50 things I will NOT do on my 50th

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50 Things I will NOT do on my 50th:

1.  I will not – NOT cry 

2.  I will not clean

3.  I will not do laundry

4.  I will not make my bed

5.  I will not go running (on that day or ever)

6.  I will not diet

7.  I will not pick up the socks from the floor

8.  I will not – NOT be happy 

9.  I will not feed the children

10.  I will not feed the husband

11.  I will not feed anyone

12.  I will not – NOT embarrass my children 

13.  I will not fake a smile

14.  I will not wear deodorant 

15. I will not put the cap back on the toothpaste tube  

16.  I will most certainly not replace the toilet paper

17. I will not flush

18.  I will not stop humming

19.  I will not wear a bra

20.  I will not get dressed

21.  I will not pay the bills

22.  I will not paint my own nails

23.  I will not stop watching reality tv

24.  I will not cut my carbs –damn it

25.  I will not use PAM instead of butter

26.  I will not hold my gut in

27.  I will not let my vagus nerve control me

28.  I will not use tonic in my gin and tonic

29.  I will not delicately sip my wine

30.  I will not wipe the wet floor after my shower -(if I shower…)

31.  I will not get off the computer

32.  I will not fill the ice tray- again

33.  I will not floss

34.  I will not take my meds

35.  I will not stop dancing

36.  I will not sing in tune

37.  I will not give back rubs

38.  I will not water the dying plant

39.  I will not use a glass when drinking milk

40.  I will not have RA

41.  I will not stop shaking my leg uncontrollably because it annoys my husband.

42.  I will not share the covers

43.  I will not – NOT be first in everything

44.  I will not turn down my cell phone ring tone

45.  I will not flatten my hair

46.  I will not stop eating

47.  I will not stop drooling

48.  I will not stop saying, What?

49.  I will not twerk (on that day only)

50.  I will not feed Ron the fish 

 

About a boy and a fish

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Long, long ago there lived a very inquisitive little boy who loved his family.  He was a sensitive lad and a silly one at that.

He loved dirt, trees, butterflies and all bodies of water.  Outside, was where he preferred to be, whenever possible.  He played sports in school but was distracted by the bugs, birds and butterflies that got in his way while trying to concentrate on the games.

His family was known in town for loving the game of baseball and living it night and day.  He followed his cousin’s footsteps and became a pretty good pitcher and hitter although not to the degree that his eldest cousin did.

The problem was, that this young boy did not feel the passion that he was expected to have for the game.  He tried, but baseball was simply, not for him.

Where the passion flourished was on the water, with his rod and reel.  He became an avid angler at a very young age after his father introduced him to the sport.  Now, he was old enough that he did not need his dad to take him.  He could, not only go by himself, but he had surpassed his father in skill.

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Fishing became his life.  He dreamed about it.  He read books, manuals and articles about it.  He watched it on TV between his homework assignments and spoke only of fishing.

His family became concerned.  They were thrilled that their now high school aged son had a drive and a passion for something so pure and innocent, particularly when his peers were experimenting with not so pure activities.

But you see, fishing became his all.  Rather than going out with his friends, he chose fishing.  Instead of going on dates, he chose fishing.  He chose fishing during the summer, fall, winter and spring.  After all, ice fishing had its thrill as well as its chill.

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On a cold December day, he asked his parents if he could skip school the next day to fish with a friend.  His parents, as you can imagine, could not believe he had the nerve to ask for such permission and in a synchronized fashion yelled, NO!

Being the smart and clever teen that he was, he convinced his parents that he did not need to go to school the next day because he was finished with his finals and had no classes and 3 study halls.  His parents reluctantly caved and allowed him to go.

On that now famous and frigid day, while playing hooky from school, this young angler hooked himself a World Record catch.   He knew it was special as he tried to reel it in through the ice hole.  It was fat and it was heavy.

“Holly Crap!”  It was the biggest Crappie he had ever seen.  His frozen mouth grinned from ear to ear as he looked at this monster of a fish.

After taking pictures, releasing it back into the frozen waters and getting it verified by an official fish weighing individual, he sent the picture and stats to the Gods at the Fishing Hall of Fame.

The official letter arrived weeks after, confirming that he indeed had a world record fish and was now inducted to the Fishing Hall of Fame.

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This was too much for this young man to handle.  That he could score a world record while skipping school, was beyond his wildest dreams.  He sent the picture to a place that mounts fish and had a replica mounted for his room.

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This young record holder’s passion and love for the sport was now magnified and even stronger than before.  So strong in fact, that he applied to colleges based mostly on the strength of their fishing teams or clubs.

What, say you?  Yes, he and his family learned that there are many colleges in the country that have fishing teams/clubs that compete in tournaments for real money for the college and travel all over the country.  They fish for Bass in fresh waters.

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{Yes, it is true.  Who knew? I bet not you.  Until now.}

This young man is now in his second year of college.  He is well-adjusted, has plenty of friends and will be competing in his first official college tournament this September, in Maryland.   This, after paying his dues as a freshman and sitting on the bench dock, for most of the year.

So you see, the boy learned a very important lesson that day.  Follow your passion no matter what other’s say – even if it means you might have to break the rules.

MyCCA.net News 

Colleges For Students Who Like To Fish

4-15-2012

Advising a student who likes to fish? Let them know that going to college doesn’t necessarily mean giving up fishing. A number of colleges have fishing teams or fishing clubs which compete at the regional and national level. This weekend, Ryan Patterson of Kansas State took home a $100,000 prize in theBass Fishing National Guard FLW College Fishing Championship in South Carolina.

Here’s a starter list of colleges and universities that have fishing teams or fishing clubs to share with your angler students:

  • Auburn University
  • California State University Sacramento
  • Chico State University
  • Christopher Newport
  • Clemson University
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Fresno State University
  • Georgetown College
  • Georgia College
  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Indiana University
  • Kansas State
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mississippi College
  • Murray State University
  • Ohio University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Purdue University
  • Ramapo College
  • Sacramento State University
  • Sonoma State University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Stephen F. Austin University
  • Texas A&M College Station
  • Texas A&M Corpus Christi
  • University of North Alabama
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Louisiana Monroe
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missisippi
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Montevallo
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Tennesee
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wake Forest
  • Wayne State University
  • Yale University

Fiesta/Siesta – Do Not Molesta (Disturb)

Fiesta Time

I was completely oblivious to the rumpus going on around me last week while on vacation with my husband’s family. We were staying at my amazing brother-in-law’s (and his awesome husband) beautiful house at the Cape.  We had just spent the day at the beach, it was close to dinner time and I could not be dragged away from the challenging cupcake jigsaw puzzle in the other room.

Everyone else (there were 16 of us) was running around the house doing their thing as I sat hunched over, trying to identify the tiny pieces in front of me. Someone once described getting a piece of a puzzle done, being equivalent to a mini orgasm…this cupcake puzzle had a 1000 pieces (just saying).

ebay.com

ebay.com

One of my sister in-laws had delivered a glass of the peach Sangria she had made (YUM) to me at the puzzle room – so all was good with the world.  I had offered to help in the kitchen but was secretly hoping that I wasn’t needed and they in fact (thankfully) encouraged me to stay put.

Still completely clueless, I got up when I was summoned to the dining room for dinner.  When I arrived at the dining room…SURPRISE!!!!!!!

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It was like being back in the motherland!  We are talking a  Puerto Rican flag hanging on the window, balloons, salsa music playing in the background, more Sangria, rice with pigeon peas (trust me, they are yummy), my fave plantain dish, chimichurri sauce and more!!!

There were old pictures of me displayed on the buffet table as well as photo albums from the ‘ol days.

I had developed quite the buzz by then so I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and feeling the love.

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Shhhh. This is really me, but don’t tell anyone. 🙂 Here I am with not one, not two but three bday cakes. The middle one being gluten-free – I tried them all.

Needless to say, the meal was delicious. My Gringa family had gone all out cooking dishes they had never cooked before, buying $8 flags at flea markets, driving two towns over looking for gluten-free cakes, slaving over chimichurri sauce and not only enduring but also dancing to the salsa music with me!  Ok, the men wouldn’t dance with me, not even my son or nephew…but us gals were really getting down and shaking our hips which most definitely, did not lie!!!

In fact, our hips were being brutally honest with us and wondering who we thought we were. I was giving hip shaking lessons to my other sister-in-law and teaching her how to pretend that her shorts were a long flowy flamenco skirt she could flap with her hands.

There was more Sangria served, wine bottles opened, muscles pulled, necks realigned, joints damaged, bodies showered in sweat, music played, grinding, laughing and collapsing – to be had.

****[Side note –  BREAKING NEWS:  I wore my new skirted bathing suit to the beach that day and lived to tell about it, people!!!]

Turning 50 is not so bad after all!!  Still 8 days to go and already the fiestas have begun!

I am scheduled to go on a two night stay with my sister and my hilarious two cousins for a girl’s getaway to celebrate more of this 50 thing, the second week in September.  There should be plenty of laughter (and peeing in our pants) at that one!

With all these fiestas, ill be stumbling to my 50’s rather than swimming.

Well, I better [Big Yawn] go take another siesta so I can rest before the next fiesta.

PLEASE, DO NOT MOLESTA.

leafandbeanstrip.com

leafandbeanstrip.com


Hungry & Exhausted Woman, Dreams of Being Trapped

thecapitall.com

thecapitall.com

It’s been a bit of a tough week.  Exhaustion barged into my home (uninvited), snatched my original body and took over my existence.  That little f*****!!

My Vagus Nerve probably invited him in so they could party together at my expense and make me totally useless.

In addition, I am STARVING!!  The gluten-free experiment is going very well and I have cut back on carbs as well.  I notice a difference in my tummy (it’s a bit flatter, cuz I’m starving) but have yet to notice a difference with regards to my RA.

I eat a lot of veggies and healthy foods.  But, did I tell you I am starving?

Take a look at some of the great dishes I have been making:

Tomato Mozarella & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Tomato Mozzarella & Arugula Salad topped with Garbanzo Beans and a Balsamic Glaze

Onion, Sun Dried Tomato, Mozarella, Pesto, Black Olives on Brown Rice Tortilla

Onion, Sun Dried Tomato, Mozzarella, Pesto, Black Olives on Brown Rice Tortilla

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Chicken, Seaweed Salad, Sweet Plantain, Yuca, Brussel Sprouts, Potato with Dill, Cole Slaw

This is an abundance of food is it not?  Healthy, robust, filling.

But damn would I kill for a juicy cheeseburger with bun and all with some greasy fries!  

theburgerreview.com

theburgerreview.com

Or how about a creamy carbonara with lots of yummy REAL pasta, alfredo sauce, tons of bacon and oodles of bread.

thebestblogrecipes.com

thebestblogrecipes.com

One bread, two breads, three breads, four breads, five breads….instead of counting sheep at nights, I count bread!

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As exhausted as I was yesterday, I dragged my useless body to Whole Foods to get prepared food to feed my family.  I usually don’t shop there since $ does not grow on organic trees, but decided they had the best prepared food selection.

This is when I knew once again, I was not right, in the mind.

I happily daydreamed, as I pushed my little cart, of being trapped inside of Whole Foods, locked in with no way out and with permission to eat anything my starving stomach desired!

I went section by section, in my mind, of what I would eat.  First, I would get in my cart and wheel myself over to the alcohol aisle.  Have myself a wine, cheese and seafood gorging tasting.  Skip the entire veggies and fruit section completely – who needs those?

Then, I would wheel myself back to the prepared food section. I would start off with their homemade pizza, then their soups with all the bread in the store.

Soon, I would stumble over to the deli and have a bite of each and every $25.99 per pound meat, and every ridiculously delicious looking platter, one by one.

To my left, I would try everything from the hot food bar (even the stuff I could not identify), then hit the cold salad bar and eat even the tofu!

After burping a few times, I would crawl over to the bakery to inhale all of the amazing baked chocolatey non gluten-free desserts, ice cream, donuts, and croissants.  

Consequently, being in a food induced coma as well as in my debilitating exhaustive state, I would grab a $100 yoga mat and blanket, shut off all the lights in the store and hibernate, for months.

I awoke from my daydream to find myself at the register, paying $200 for yuca & seaweed salad.  Drove home somehow, ate said foods and crawled into bed.

On Saturday, we leave for a week-long vacation by the shore.  It’s going to be tough to stay strong and go entirely gluten-free, but I will cheat do the best I can.  

I cannot promise, however,  that I will not eat pounds upon pounds of fried clams and lobster rolls!  

There Once Was A Girl Turning 50…In A Few Weeks

Apologies for the reblog. Experiencing technical wordpress difficulties!

brickhousechick

There once was a girl turning fifty

Who thought of herself pretty nifty

She had many friends

And some of them hens

Cackling and laughing all night

She had quite a past she was hiding (not really)

In case they came after her while dining

She acted real tough

Even though things got rough

Cuz that’s how her cookie crumbled

She was full of life

And such the sexy wife

Who kept her man always smiling

She sure did love food

Everything was so damn good

Eating became a real passion

What lay ahead

She scratched her balding head

In the next fifty years to come?

She had a choice

To use her wise voice

And drink herself to oblivion

Ignoring her sagging giant arms

Yet watching them go jiggle jiggle

Multiple chins for her comfort

Which most definitely should be illegal

Life would be fine

With a lot…

View original post 119 more words

There Once Was A Girl Turning 50…In A Few Weeks

amazon.com

amazon.com

There once was a girl turning fifty

Who thought of herself pretty nifty

She had many friends

And some of them hens

Cackling and laughing all night

She had quite a past she was hiding (not really)

In case they came after her while dining

She acted real tough

Even though things got rough

Cuz that’s how her cookie crumbled

She was full of life

And such the sexy wife

Who kept her man always smiling

She sure did love food

Everything was so damn good

Eating became a real passion

What lay ahead

She scratched her balding head

In the next fifty years to come?

She had a choice

To use her wise voice

And drink herself to oblivion

Ignoring her sagging giant arms

Yet watching them go jiggle jiggle

Multiple chins for her comfort

Which most definitely should be illegal

Life would be fine

With a lot of good wine

So she didn’t really have to worry

Botox was easily accessible

Although transformation – not possible

She looked at her thighs

With an abundance of sighs

But smiled when she saw no cellulite

It was what it was

Que sera sera

She was just going to have to accept it

So she forged on ahead

And went back to bed

Since she could no longer avoid it

She thought about her fate

But then it got very late

And off to slumberland she went 

Excitement grew near

Or was it something in her rear?

And she knew she could no longer wait

Because soon my good friends, she would open

 the next half-century gate 

What Happens in Vagus…Stays in Vagus

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blogspot.com

(I’ll show you mine if you show me yours)

I have one.  You have one.  Your mom and dad have one. Your sister, friend, boyfriend, worst enemy.  Even your dog and pet monkey have one.

The same way that, Everyone Poops, everyone has a Vagus (actually two, one on each side).  And I’m not talking about wheatgrass juice or fancy sun glasses.

I am talking about the nerve. The Vagus Nerve.  Take a look at where this baby is:

nimh.nih.gov

nimh.nih.gov

It is the longest cranial nerve and is responsible for the function and regulation of several bodily systems such as the heart and digestive tract.

It is also the nerve used by many martial arts experts to subdue (or kill) their opponent.

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Like Spock doing the vulcan nerve pinch on “redshirt”
startrek.com

I experienced over stimulation of my vagus nerve when I had a medical professional try, Myotherapy on me for my arthritis.  It was not pleasant let me tell you, and I almost fainted. 

It is quite the interesting nerve.  Why do I care?  Why should you care?  Because, this nerve is the explanation to my life long problems (some of them, at least).  And you care about me, right? A little?

You see, I have been fainting all of my life.  Not so much as an adult because I have learned to control it (for the most part).

It all started when I was about 9 years old.  The first time, I remember standing in the kitchen helping my father make a soup.  I was stirring the pot and next thing you know, I was down.  I awoke to his desperate and very loud screams for my mom to come help.  My parents laid me down on the sofa and my mom gave me some orange juice to drink to get my sugar up.  The juice worked and soon I was up and about but feeling very irritated and moody for the next hour or so.

Another time, I was getting my cast removed from my left wrist which I had broken a month prior.  Unfortunately, the doctor who set the cast was drunk at the time (I know, we should have sued) and so they had to re-brake my wrist and put a new cast on.  When the first cast came off and I took one look, I was down for the count.  Prior to fainting, I felt hot, sweaty and nauseous and could hear a ringing in my ear.  I was very irritated and upset for a long while after that one.

There were many other times.  Particularly, when I had to get blood drawn or while sitting in a dentist’s chair getting my wisdom teeth pulled.  I made quite the scene on that day.

The absolute best time I fainted involved…a boy and a diet.  I was in high school and was trying to decide between two boys.  One of them I am now married to but at that time, I chose the other.  We were outside enjoying the stars above, standing up leaning against his car.  He leaned in slowly for the kiss.  That kiss sent all kinds of signals to the rest of my body.  My legs felt weak, I got dizzy, nauseous (sorry guy) and down I went.   When I came to, he had placed me in the back of his station wagon and was sitting next to me, while his buddy drove the car to my house.  

My parents panicked at first but knew I hadn’t been drinking. It was just me fainting, yet again.  This boy soon spread rumors about how powerful his kiss was and the effect he had on me.  I didn’t want it going to his head so I informed him that I had been doing the Scarsdale diet and had not eaten much and that is why I had fainted.  I kinda burst his bubble, oh, and I married the other guy.  

Well, this whole condition is called, Vasovagal Syncope.  A person who is predisposed to this condition, usually will react to a specific trigger before fainting. This response to a trigger will affect their heart rate and blood pressure and therefore a lack of blood to the brain, thus…thump.

The triggers can be things such as standing for too long or getting up too quickly, stress (but I’m never stressed), arousals or stimulants (so, it was the kiss after all!), the site of blood (duh), extreme emotions, heart conditions and the list goes on and on.

Although I have not been medically diagnosed, I was diagnosed by my sister (she plays a doctor on tv) who is married to a cardiologist who confirmed her suspicions and most importantly, helped me figure out the other vagus nerve issue I have.

Remember I was saying earlier that everyone poops?    Well, this is a problem for me.

We are talking, Defecation Syncope, people!  Even the recommended links feature below couldn’t find a link to this condition. Yes, you read correctly.  Now stop laughing and hear me out.

I often feel dizzy and utterly exhausted from a BM (I said, stop laughing.) Like the type of fatigue where I am worthless for the rest of the day (well, that’s me everyday.)  I have to lay down and sleep for hours.  This is different from my usual chronic fatigue due to my RA (Wow, am I a basket case or what?)

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Yes, but does everybody faint after they poop?
google.com

You know how one can feel a “high” or “pooh-phoria” after a movement? Not me, never. Well this is because during defecation, the vagus nerve gets stimulated and one can experience euphoria and ecstasy (God I hope my Mami does not read this post.)

During this “process”, your blood pressure drops and so does your heart rate and if you are sensitive or suffer from Defecation Syncope (I swear it exists), it can cause  you to pass out or become extremely fatigued.  I have  yet to faint from this shitty condition, but my husband is always on high alert.

Like I needed one more thing to add to my list.  Did you stop laughing yet?  Look it up if you don’t believe me.

To end on a good note and flush through this information, I will tell you two last fact about our new friend, the vagus nerve.

Stimulating this nerve can help stop the hiccups!  By causing another sensation, the brain is tricked into thinking that there is something more pressing than hiccups and so the hiccups stop.  

Remedies like drinking cold water, eating a spoonful of sugar, stimulating the back of your throat and throwing up (I am not throwing up to stop my hiccups) are vagal stimulations.  Who knew?

In conclusion, the last vagus nerve fact I will share with you is one in which research has shown, that women who have had complete spinal cord injury (I don’t wish that on anybody), can experience orgasms through the vagus nerve which can go from the uterus and vagina to the brain (I wish that on everyone.)

Well, I may have told you a little TMI so remember that, What happens in Vagus, stays in Vagus.

A Devil Named ED

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joshspurlock.com

Many men and women in this world know who ED is.  He is present is so many people’s lives.  He is relentless and evil.  He wants to take full control of your life.  He alienates you from your loved ones and friends.  He wants you to be lonely so that you are loyal to him and only him.

He wants you to stay home.  To eat the same things (if anything) and to maintain the routine that he sets for you.  He talks to you throughout the day to make sure you are obeying.  He wants you to leave your friends, school and work.  He is secretive about it and very condescending.  

He tells you that you are worthless.  Fat.  Ugly.  That you have no power over your life.  He then takes control and convinces you that he is the key to your happiness.  The one to listen to and the one to worship.  You become a victim of his lies and manipulation and can’t get him out of your life.  You are helpless, miserable and scared.  And it now becomes a matter of life or death.

  • It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder (ED) – seven million women and one million men
  • One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
  • Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
  • Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)
  • An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males

MORTALITY RATES

  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
  • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems

ACCESS TO TREATMENT

  • Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment
  • About 80% of the girls/women who have accessed care for their eating disorders do not get the intensity of treatment they need to stay in recovery – they are often sent home weeks earlier than the recommended stay
  • Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,000 per day. The average cost for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000. It is estimated that individuals with eating disorders need anywhere from 3 – 6 months of inpatient care. Health insurance companies for several reasons do not typically cover the cost of treating eating disorders
  • The cost of outpatient treatment, including therapy and medical monitoring, can extend to $100,000 or more

ADOLESCENTS

  • Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
  • 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
  • 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
  • 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight

RACIAL AND ETHNIC MINORITIES

  • Rates of minorities with eating disorders are similar to those of white women
  • 74% of American Indian girls reported dieting and purging with diet pills
  • Essence magazine, in 1994, reported that 53.5% of their respondents, African-American females were at risk of an eating disorder
  • Eating disorders are one of the most common psychological problems facing young women in Japan.

CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE SUFFERED WITH EATING DISORDERS:

Paula Abdul
Justine Batemen
Karen Carpenter
Nadia Comaneci
Susan Dey
Jane Fonda
Tracey Gold
Elton John
If you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, please do everything possible and urge them to get help.  Getting help will make a difference.
I know of too many loved ones who are suffering everyday and I pray for them and their families that they can be helped and able to live successful healthy lives.
You will beat this. 

Weekend Getaway With My Husband And Many Of You

courtesy of brickhousechick's husband

Motif No.1 – Rockport, MA -Courtesy of brickhousechick’s husband

Ahhhh.  Who does not love summer getaways?  Even if you cannot go far away or take the whole week off, a weekend getaway can refresh your soul.  And that, it did.  

Child #1 was busy working and participating in a fishing tournament (yes, they exist – that’s for another post) and Child #2, is away for the week with her boyfriend and his family (Ay…).  He is actually a very nice young man and his family will take great care of her (my father is turning in his grave because I allowed her to go, something I would never have been allowed to do at the tender age of 17 – Sorry, Papi, she will be ok!)

I figured I would un-plug from the world for the most part, while away and focus solely on my wonderful husband who needed desperately to get out-of-town (being a town official, let’s just say he gets beaten up down often, since it is impossible to please everyone and it can be a thankless job.)

We “pricelined” our Saturday night stay, bidding low and having our bid accepted and headed out Saturday morning on our little getaway.  I love how relaxed we felt from the beginning.  No rush, no stress – just driving along with no real plan.

If you have not visited the coastal towns of Massachusetts before, it is something you must do.  We often vacation on Cape Cod (I was thinking of my buddy Joe @ http://joedegiorgio.com/ who got to go for two weeks this year) and love its beaches and sand dunes.  

We headed to the North Shore which is just as lovely.  My husband’s favorite beach is, Plum Island (named for the wild Beach Plum Shrubs that grow on the dunes) off of Newburyport.  He is an avid birder and loves the fact that some of the beach is sectioned off to protect the many nesting and endangered, Piping Plovers.

US Fish & Wildlife

US Fish & Wildlife

It is such a beautiful and pristine beach.  We took a little walk and ran into the incredible and only resort on the beach called, Blue The Inn On The Beach.

Blue Inn resort at  Plum Island

Courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce

Even though we had our non refundable Priceline reservation already, we checked out the rates for next time.  At $400/night we decided to turn back around and go sit in our great Rio Beach chairs which by the way, have built-in cup holders – so there!

While relaxing on the beach, my mind kept veering off into blogosphere.  Everything around me made me think of a post I had read, a particular blogger or a blog-worthy picture I could be taking.  Is this what happens when you have been blogging for a while? Your life is forever linked to your blog?

I kept telling myself to STOP.  Focus on your hubby and this beautiful day, brickhouse!  Forget about the blog! But, I looked at the cutest couple with their adorable little girls playing in the sand and I immediately thought of Andy ( aka father of the year) from http://ourlifein3d.com/ and his great vacation pics with his girls.

Then, as I looked in the water and saw a woman on a tube, I remembered the awesome tube the lovely Shannon at 

http://mrsugarbears.com/

got for her weekend getaway.  Shannon’s was a pumped up tube with mini fridge and all!

I kept coming back to my hubby and smiling at him.  At least he thought I was thinking about him!  We were soon hungry (when am I not soon hungry) and left the beach for an early dinner at the local Grille.

I looked at the menu and the only thing on my mind was, what would mama (my awesome friend the nutritionist) want me to order that is gluten-free?  Ay!  This place is famous for its fried clams but I knew this was not an option.  I was ok.  I ordered a lobster salad with avocado and cucumber along with mussels.  Pretty good, huh?  Except that the lobster salad was minuscule and did not even make a dent at my starvation and the mussels although in abundance…did not fill me up either.  PLUS, I could not dip the wonderful fresh smelling bread into the mussel sauce!  AY!  I filled up on the liquid variety on the menu and stayed strong.

Our overnight accommodations were…so so.  We had tried to get reservations at other more suitable places but everything was booked since our trip was last-minute.  The most interesting part about our hotel was that it was a stone’s throw from the infamous,http://www.thegoldenbanana.com/ a gentlemen’s club sort of place on Route 1.  Nothing good ever comes out of staying in a sprawl infested Route 1.  You know the kind.  But, as tempting and tantalizing as it was…we stayed away.

The next morning we headed to beautiful Rockport (and I thought about my friend’s husband who grew up there), a historic little village off of Cape Ann.  Such an eclectic and gorgeous place. An artist’s paradise.

20130804_143353 20130804_133433 20130804_130655 20130804_130223 20130804_123913 and home to

Motif No 1 20130804_141830 A fishing shack that is “the most often painted building in America”.

As we walked around, we saw many signs.

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 I immediately thought of the inspiring Andra, who wrote a nice post about signs, 

http://andrawatkins.com/2013/08/02/i-start-in-the-middle-of-a-sentence-and-move-both-directions-at-once/.

Then I saw another sign for an Inn,

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and how could I NOT think about the talented Peg from

http://pegoleg.com/.  

Everywhere I turned, my blogging friends were there.

I enjoyed the gluten-free treats (and thought of my friend who is also just starting the g/f craziness with me) and did more walking than I probably should have.

20130803_180210

Sans the bread 😦

20130804_140710

Oh yea! Take that – gluten world!

It truly was a wonderful weekend.  And although y’all were not always on my mind during this getaway (wink,wink), I am glad you came along.

One Month From Today, I Could Drown or Be Eaten By A Shark

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I have been documenting the swim to my 50’s since March of this year.  So far so good.  A couple of leg cramps here and there and some swallowed salty water along the way but generally speaking, my strokes have been smooth.  I have stayed afloat (sort of) and continue to breathe rhythmically.  Phew!

 Exactly one month from today, the big day will come.  HOLY #%*@!!!  It’s almost here!  The big 5-0.  The day I could…drown or get eaten by a shark.  It’s true. 

The day that the swimming comes to a halt.  On that day, I will either drown and get swallowed up by the immense dark terrifying ocean of the 50’s, or get swallowed up by an immense terrifying Great White of the 50’s.  

There will be no escaping my fate.  If it is to be a shark, it will begin to circle around me a few days before planning its attack.  It might nudge me once or twice.  It will get bolder and take a chunk of my foot.  Then it will circle some more.  It will come back for my leg.  All of it.  Soon it will alert his friends and they will finish me up tugging and jerking me around like a rag doll.  Swallowed up.  The whole half century of my life, Gone.  Now, officially 50.

Or, I could just drown.  Let the ocean swallow me up alive drifting my body and soul towards the next half century of my life.  

But you know what?  I am thinking that I may ask for a life boat.  Even a small raft.  I may tread water, doggy paddle like crazy and stay above water.  Maybe I will take a break from my swim for a bit and party my ass off.  Yea.  That sounds better.  Maybe I will cheer and celebrate like crazy.  This brickhousechick is no quitter, damn it!  She never gives up and she will continue the long distance swim through her 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80′ and beyond.

I will reflect on the past 50 years.  I will remember the tidal waves, tsunamis and shark infested waters I have lived through.  Also the calm beautiful clear waters I encountered, that made my journey a joy.

I think I will play my <a href=”http:/

“>favorite song throughout the whole month and dance like nobody is watching (cervical stenosis or not).

Won’t you join me?