Burst Training Again

I started the burst training recommended by Dr. Pompa last week.  Then I took a whole weekend off from everything.  No restricted calories, no burst training, but I did walk well over a mile or more at a flea market.  Then today, it was back at it again.  And the burst training exercise was harder than ever.  I went the first round and thought I was going to die.  Waited two minutes and went the second round short 10 seconds of a full minute and knew I was going to die.  Waited three minutes and could only do 40 seconds and felt like I should just collapse.  Even now, 20 minutes later I’m still feeling it.  And I’ve been nauseated.  I don’t know where that comes from.  Do you suppose I really am sick?  Naw, surely not.  Anyway, as with all exercise the first time is great, the second time it gets harder and so on.  Had I not been a big fan of doing all kinds of exercise DVD’s for years I would not know that.  But I’ve been able to persevere before so I should be able to push on through with this too.  OR!  I could claim my age has me and just give up.  No, that’s no fun.  I’ll just keep going and keep telling myself it is going to get better.

I have to say though it is really depressing that you can work out for years.  Have a knee injury that puts you off for months and feel like you never worked out a day in your life when you start back.

Seriously, people, I’m about to throw up.

Hitting the Weight Loss Wall

Several weeks, maybe over a month ago I blogged that I was doing the 5/2 Diet which quickly became the 14 to 16 hour Fasting Diet.  I’ve been doing that ever since.  I’ve kept my caloric intake below 1500 on most days and normally around 1200 to 1300 a day.  I dropped 6 pounds wham-o.  And then, thud, I hit the wall.  Everyone knows how depressing it is to be hungry most of the day and get on the scales the next morning and not see an ounce of change in your weight.  It leads to eating cake.

Then I saw in Southern Living a new product called SeroVital which is supposed to ramp up your HGH levels which coincidentally should make you lose weight and tighten your skin and make you feel better and — well, it’s just a miracle, isn’t it?  Except it’s taking something that costs $100 a month to maintain.  I thought to myself, there has to be a better, more natural way.  Then I found Dr. Pompa.  The first video of his I watched was one on raising your HGH levels naturally through high intensity burst exercising.  Here’s a link to the video:  Weight Loss and Anti-Aging.  Exercising 10 minutes every other day — uh, I think I can do that!

So, if you watch the video you see he does a simple squat and press with weights as fast as he can for a minute or less.  Then he rests until his breath returns to somewhere near normal or 2 to 3 minutes.  Then he goes again for 3 or 4 repetitions.  I have weights, I have lots of weights.  I know how to squat and press.  I do it.  I am sweating like a pig afterwards.  A very good sign that my body is releasing toxins.  I congratulate myself on a job well done and go about my day.

I get up this morning and there it is!  I’ve lost a little over a pound.  I am now in a territory I haven’t seen in quite some time.  Nothing like success to motivate.

Hawaii – Day 2, Boarding the Ship

This was seamless for us.  As I mentioned before we stayed at the Marriott Beach in Waikiki.  The shuttle to the ship leaves from there.  Norwegian gives you a loading time when you check in and we had received 12:00 noon.  In the morning we walked down to the restaurant that is in the hotel complex and had a very good, very expensive (this IS Hawaii) breakfast.  Afterwards we walked along the beach.  Now, this is where the sadness comes in.  There are a lot of people living on the beach right across the street from the hotel we stayed at.  I don’t imagine it is much different anywhere else though.  There was an encampment of about 20 homeless people occupying one of the covered shelters on the beach.  And I saw several homeless people just wandering around.  I noticed later that every day on the daily news sheet the ship hands out you are warned to watch your belongings and be vigilant of your surroundings.  We didn’t have any trouble with the homeless people.  They didn’t beg or even approach us.  It just makes you feel sad and kind of, well, ashamed that you have spent so much on your vacation and they are living with nothing.  Honolulu is the most populous city in Hawaii.  And that makes it just what it is, a city with all the foibles of any city.

Hawaii - 2013 010

Anyway, we arrived safe and sound back at the hotel, collected our luggage and headed to the lobby to await our shuttle.  And to enjoy the pigeons that were enjoying us in their lobby!  Norwegian takes a full bus to the pier so we actually were allowed to board an earlier bus.  Arriving at the pier we found ourselves inspected, photographed and standing in line.  Then I noticed that we had priority boarding because I had joined the Norwegian Latitudes Reward program when I booked the cruise.  We skipped over to that line, bam, we were done checking in and onto the ship.

This was our first time to have a balcony.  We’ve gone from an inside cabin with no windows to twice taking a cabin with a “seaview” and now we have moved up to the balcony suites.  Ah-h-h-h-h, yes.  Moving in the right direction.  However, the smaller suites are really small!  I didn’t realize, but should have, that they take your balcony out of the space you would of had in a cabin with just a window.  Regardless, we considered it one of the best things we did.  However, and this is another tip for you, most of the disembarkations on Pride of America are done on the port side.  That means usually your view is of a dock, a working dock with all kinds of shipments coming and going.  If you want the view of the islands instead book the starboard side.  You won’t miss a thing and you’ll have something pretty to look at all the time.  Not only that as hard as I had tried to figure out which way the ship was going to circle the islands, I didn’t guess right.  The starboard side had the traveling view too.  Now, we did occasionally see a whale on our side, but you have to go at the right time for that to be a factor.  I will discuss this when we get to Maui.

Stepping upon the Pride of America is like having a huge party for being an American.  The main lobby is done in Colonial America decor.  They have the John Adams coffee bar and the Thomas Jefferson Bistro.  Having been raised in Virginia that made me homesick every time I walked through it.  So, silly.  Now, I’m planning a trip to Williamsburg to get a fix.  Dastardly cruise ship!  Match that with the hula dancers swaying away on the steps up to the sixth floor and you’ve got quite a combination.

We were soon settled in our cabin and ready for a little refreshment.  We didn’t sail until later that evening so we had plenty of time to explore the ship.  And then we said good-bye to Honolulu and headed for Maui.

Hawaii - 2013 026Mahalo!

Tattooed Cookies

If you’ve been following my blog you know I have been working on very special cookies for my Valentine boxes this year.  I went with a tattoo theme mostly because I have three little grandsons.  There are two granddaughters, one of mine and one of my husband’s.  Mine is the only one old enough to be concerned about the cookies though.  The boys won out this year.  I did tone down my design somewhat to not be quite as gory as I’m sure they would have liked.  I have to say, if you really want to do something spectacular this may be it.  I am very pleased with the whole thing.

I ordered my design printed on sugar rounds from Sweet Doodle Bytes.  They arrived very quickly and the people there are really great with customer care.  They let me know that they had tried to get in touch with me to answer my concerns, but the email address failed.  Now, that’s customer service!  Their directions are concise and easy to follow.  I chose to put my little designs in the freezer for 30 seconds and mount them on the cookies with corn syrup.  It was beyond easy.  The freezer makes the little rounds stiff and they pop right off the backing paper.  Then you just spread a little syrup on the cookie and press the design down and there you have it.


I did taste the little arrow that shows you which way is up just to see what they tasted like.  It was kind of like the message candy hearts that we give at this time of year.  And it dissolves in your mouth.  I only ordered enough to make for the kids, so I won’t be eating any of them myself.  I’m sure they will taste delicious though.

This time around I used my special roller bands to get a nice flat and exactly right thickness for my cookies.  What a difference that makes.  They still spread in cooking, but they held their shape for the most part.  That is if I could get them on the cookie sheet without distorting them.  For my purposes I believe they are very good though.


I did make some cookies for the girls and the boys can just tough it out.  I reserved some of my white frosting and tinted the rest a deep pink.  After I got the cookie iced I took my white frosting and made a circle in the center of the cookie.  I then drew a toothpick through the circle and made a heart.  That was kind of fun and I can’t wait to try different designs with more colors.  I’m going to use that idea on the Christmas cookie mittens I always make.


Now I can move on to creating my secret message in a bottle and assemble my boxes.  I’ll have them in the mail on Monday and into their eagerly waiting little hands before Valentine’s Day.

Bon appetit!

I have No Idea What is Going On

I checked my blog today because I had received notification that you people are out there and you are actually reading this.  Thank you very much!

However, I noticed that my last post does not have the sidebar of my previous posts and I have no idea why.  I’ve tried and tried to figure it out, but at this point I’m at the end of my rope.  I have curtains to make.  Yes, the never ending saga of trying to spin twenty plates at one time continues.  I think I mentioned that I’m making curtains for the dining room and living room.  Pictures will follow.  I will give you one tip I learned the hard way.  If you’re making raw silk curtains don’t set your iron on high.  I’ll explain later.  There was a near meltdown in our household.  Not the curtains, me.

So, I’ve diddled a little with my blog template and that is in flux too.  And I’ve got cookies to ice because Valentine’s Day does approach even though my calendar is not showing up in the side bar anymore.  I need to have my boxes in the mail on Monday.  Busy day ahead.

Take care and….. Bon Appetit! or some such.

P.S.  Oh!  It is over there now (the side bar).  I just don’t get this.

Plays Well by Herself

Some of us had a category on our report cards in kindergarten that indicated whether or not we could play well alone.  I always got an “E” in that category.  Yes, I could play well alone and actually preferred to play by myself most of the time.  As a child I built elaborate Barbie doll houses out of boxes and scraps of material and little bits of this and that I found along the way.  I had tables made out of old Dove face cream jars and little foyer sculptures made out of old perfume bottles.  My parents were kind enough to allow me to spread my habitat across the floor or ping pong table and leave it for days.  Each day required another adjustment to my creation.

In the last week or so my daughter has come across some things that have led her to re-affirm her mother’s introverted ways.  She suggested I read the new book by Susan Cain entitled, “Quiet.”  I haven’t done that yet, but I do have it on my wish list.  Just this week my daughter shared a video of Susan Cain speaking on introversion.


As an introvert I encourage all my fellow introverts to take the time away they so desperately yearn for.  It is in that time that we do our best creating.  But do not neglect to bring your creation back and share it with the world.

Sibling Rivalry is so Much Fun


When I told my father I was expecting my second child he said, “Oh, good.  I’m so glad Megan will have a sibling with whom to have a rivalry.”  I laughed then, but it wasn’t so funny in the years ahead when the screaming and door slamming were going on.  We lived through it though.  And then my own children started their families and they both had two children.  The picture above epitomizes to me the complete disgust with which the first child greets the second child.  This was taken the day we brought this young man’s little brother home from the hospital.  What is so remarkable is not an hour earlier he had been so excited about the whole thing.  Thinking we were forgetting his “lil’ brudder” he had been wildly banging the bassinet into the walls in the hall trying to get it to the elevator.  It wasn’t until we hit the car and he settled in and got a moment to consider that he must have realized that this squirming little human being was coming home with us and, really, who needed him?

We took care to not fawn over the new one and pay attention to the elder one, but the sibling rivalry reared its ugly head anyway.  It is just amazing to me what two little boys can think of to torture each other.

So, take heart all you brave parents that have decided to have your second.  You too will have those moments when looking for the “off switch” on your children becomes an obsession.