Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finally My No Impact Exercise Video is Here!

     Well I finally finished it. The video took less time than the techno-process to get it all together. Hope you enjoy the first session of No Impact Workout for Baby Boomers.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lots of Women, Not Much Men


     Today I had my yearly visit to the gynecologist. "Oh, no!" you are thinking. "Do I really want to read this blog? Do I really want to know Jeanne Kraus's thoughts on her gyno visit?"

     I can reassure you on one point. All of the thoughts contained herein are my pre-stirrup thoughts. In other words, my blog is based on my waiting room observations. So please feel free to continue to read.

This is not me. I never wear my socks.

     I love people-watching. Of course, the gender ratio in a gyno office is rather off. At any given time, there could be up to 12 women in the office, but at the most, 2 men. Husbands came with the pregnant women and were ushered in with them. One threesome appeared to be a father, his pregnant daughter and her boyfriend.

Who Reads Signs?
     I have other statistics for you. Despite a "No Cell Phones" sign, there were 4 cell phones in use. There was one I-Pad and one Kindle. Three women were reading novels, and 2 women were filling out forms on clipboards. George was writing and I was observing. The only people in the room who watched the TV were the men as they came through, avoiding eye contact with any of the women present.

     One lady, probably in her 20s, kept going to the EXIT, stepping outside for a second and coming back in. I was curious as to what she was doing. At first I thought she was waiting for a ride, and checking to see if it had come. Then I wondered if she was passing gas, and being courteous to the other people in the room. After she had gone out about 5-6 times, she frantically ran to the receptionist and asked to use the bathroom. Yup, must have been gas, I decided. While she was in there, a car pulled up and honked.

     Jeanne, Good Samaritan and Ready Helper, was in a quandary. Do I go out and ask the driver to wait and she will be right out? That she is in the bathroom probably from a bout of diarrhea? Or do I go to the bathroom and knock on the door and tell her to get her butt moving, because her ride is there?
Meanwhile, I am feeling guilt that I am taking too long to decide and she is going to miss her ride and it will be all my fault.

I Remember These Days
     Finally, she comes out of the bathroom, with a paper towel pressed to her nose and lips. OMG! She had morning sickness. The girl was in the early stages of pregnancy.

     All this time, the nurses had been calling women in. The last name called  was "Cobra," a most unusual first name for sure. The variety of women was apparent. There were 3-4 obviously in the pregnancy stages. Several women were my age, probably wishing that once the usefulness of the uterus was no longer needed, we could dispense with the annual pap exam.

     Finally, the name I was waiting for. "Jeanne" and it was time for me to enter Papland once more. It would be one more year before I would have this experience again. Good thing I got it on paper.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Only in America -Random Acts of Bizarreness


     For years now, it seems that citizens of other countries find the behavior of American citizens to be somewhat amusing. As a bonafide American, I decided to research this fact. It is stunningly true. There is a lot of wacky stuff going on in the U.S. In many cases, we look like a bunch of buffoons. It's not just Congressman Weiner.

     What about the man experiencing difficulty breathing for years? He had been a smoker and it was predicted he might have cancer. The doctors suspected a tumor. A big surprise when they checked out his lungs more closely. A split pea had lodged in his lung and opened up and had grown a little plant. It was causing him to cough frequently.
    “God has quite a sense of humor!”  said his wife, Nancy Sveden.

     Most of the fools regularly appear in YouTube episodes and bigger fools, such as me, watch them. Now and again you can capture an amazing little tidbit that you wondered how you missed. I was looking through videos of wedding proposals in highly public places.  This particularly gut-wrenching episode was at some kind of professional basketball game. The action in the game was temporarily halted as a young suitor had his time in the big lights. Big lights, indeed. TV cameras and commentators covered the event.
     A young guy in a suit, heart on sleeve dropped to one knee. He held the hand of his intended.
     “Jodie, we have had a wonderful 2 years together. I love you and would like to ask you to be my wife.” He pulls out the traditional little black box.
     But something’s terribly wrong. His almost-betrothed is staring in shock. She backs away. 
     “No!” she wails as she runs back through the crowd. The camera follows her hasty exit from the floor, tears rolling down her face. 
     Back to the would-be groom. Not only has his relationship dissolved, it has done so on a televised screen seen in most homes of the free world.
     The commentators continue talking.
     Number 1: Well that’s it for him. Poor guy. What a letdown. Bet he’ll never feel like  a man again.
     Number 2: Well he put it out there. I am thinking sometimes it’s just a gamble to be so public.
     Number 1: I wouldn’t have done that and I’ve been married 30 years.
     Number 2: Oh, look, the mascot is cheering him up.

     The crestfallen dishrag of a man is led off the court by a giant duck who puts his wings around the poor guy to shield him from the limelight. 

     Speaking of weddings, I heard an interesting story on a YouTube video broadcast. It seems as though diapers are not only for the very young and the very old, brides are purchasing them. If they wear a wedding diaper all day, it is said, they do not have to worry about going to the bathroom and managing the train and all. They can just go in their diaper.
     Now, isn’t that a pleasant thought? A delicate young woman with a diaper on. A loaded diaper yet. Just when would the odor give her away? Perhaps a wedding thermos needs to be provided for each bride. (Reference to Wrinkles, Waistlines and Wet Pants
    Better yet, provide them for the Mother of the Bride.

      I watched an incredible video at a McDonalds where a woman in Ohio went crazy at a drive-through window when she was told that there were no chicken McNuggets served at 6:30 AM. She punched in the window and tried to push her way in, all her antics being caught on camera. What is in those McNuggets? Better get me some of them.
     Then how about the Jet Blue attendant who had a temper tantrum on board? When I was young, the stewardesses were young, trim and female. Their wide smiles could be featured on a toothpaste ad. Their hair was perfect, every strand in place, and their manners impeccable. 

     Fast forward to 2011. We now have men stewards. Some of the stewardesses are a lot older than they used to be. The wide smiles have tended to disappear; replaced with frown lines and stress wrinkles. They deal with passenger rage, annoyed consumers that remember the gratuitous airline meals, such as they were, and the excellent service. Well, this particular attendant, a young man, was hit in the head with a suitcase that a customer had stored overhead, despite his repeated warnings to ask him to take it down. Evidently the passenger made a nasty comment to the attendant with some bad words in it. The attendant went to the intercom, proceeded to publicly berate the passenger with more bad words, grabbed  a couple of beers and slid down the emergency chute in a fantastic super-hero departure departure.
     He has, of course, become somewhat of a folk hero among the masses. I wouldn’t be surprised if a song were dedicated to him, something along the lines of “Take This Job and Shove It!”

Saturday, June 25, 2011

From the Kids...

     Last spring, I interviewed a number of children on some fairly important questions. The children were from the ages of 9-13 and were chosen randomly. They had some interesting insight. I thought you might enjoy hearing what they have to say on some chosen topics. Some of their answers really made me think.

What do I wish my parents knew/understood about me?

I wish my parents knew I need a playmate.
I wish my parents knew the hard stuff I have to learn in school that they never had to learn. 
I wish they knew that I will not always get A's and that B's are not bad.
I wish my parents knew that I have feelings too.
I wish my parents knew that I don't like soccer that much any more.
I wish my parents knew I have a kid's brain, not theirs.
I wish they would listen to what I have to say.
I wish my parents knew that I don't always need help.                                     
I wish my parents knew that asthma can be really bad to my health.
I wish they knew I do not like the chili they make.

What should my teacher(s) know about me?

I am very talkative and very noisy.
My teachers should know that I take very good care of my brother and am very responsible.
She should know I do not like calligraphy.
I am smarter than she thinks.
I am sensitive.
My teachers should know that I'm doing my best.
My teacher should know I love her.
I want to do better in school-- So Bad! 
I work hard at everything I do.
I am irresponsible.

Who is the biggest person in my life? Why?

My mom because she always helps me and cares for me.
The biggest people in my life are my parents and God because I love them.
My dad because he raised me.
My grandpa because he is a Vietnam veteran.
My dad because everything I need help on, my dad is there.
The biggest person in my life is my dad because he's the only one working so we could keep our house. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning, Freecycling, and Underpants

     Today was a pretty adventurous day in the life of George and Jeanne.  First of all, we did some practice takes on my new YouTube video, No Impact Workouts, which should be done soon once I quit screwing up on the dialogue.

     After a few takes on Training Session Number 1 with helpful comments from my cameraman such as, "You are going to have to be funnier." and "You need to eliminate most of the words." and "OK I admit you need the words but your head is moving too much. Hold your head still."

Spring Cleaning Time

Crap Galore!

     Then an amazing thing happened. We both got in the mood to do some spring cleaning. We cleaned out a couple closets and cabinets, stacking excess stuff on our kitchen counter to free-cycle. While I was on the computer to put in an e-mail about all of our Bargain Crap, I found another free-cycle bargain. 

A woman not too far from here, in Coral Springs, was giving away clean underpants for little boys. 

Free Underpants!
      Yes, I know you are wondering what on earth I would do with a bag of tightie-whities for little boys. My little boys are 34 and almost 30 and these would just about fit on their hands. But I do work in an elementary school and we have pee-accidents almost every day and need replacements for all the underpants we give out. So we are in search of the underpants lady. I have a little trouble putting the address into my Tom-Tom GPS, and have to do it several times. 

Warning: Put the Tom-Tom on the window!
 I love my Tom-Tom. But today something is different. Oh, the route is showing but the voice is not speaking. We keep driving, however, obedient Baby Boomers that we are, until we find the Coral Springs City Limits sign. We have driven several miles and have not yet heard the voice and have not turned off the first main road. My first thought is that someone is trying to get rid of us and programmed our GPS to keep us driving till we reach Wisconsin.

      We pulled off the road and both stared intently at the GPS. I decide to turn it off and on again and reprogram our address. What do you know? It worked. We had gone about 5 miles out of our way to get some boys' underpants. But I figured out the problem.

     I was holding the GPS on my lap, instead of putting it up on the window. I've heard that you should always have it on the window. So it can get the signal. Evidently the only signal it was getting was from the crotch of Jeanne Kraus and that wasn't leading anywhere.

     In case you are wondering we finally picked up the underpants, which are probably way too tiny for most of the kids at my school.

     Now that we are home, I need to figure out what to do with all this stuff I cleaned out!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

TV Commercial -No Wait for Weight Loss


It is pretty scary to listen to TV commercials that advertise medications. Evidently, every company, in order to preserve their corporate asses, has to mention every side effect of their medication known to man. If you listen to the commercials, you would never take anything again. The dialogue with the dire warnings goes on despite smiling happy people who are leading better lives because of this medication. Take a listen to the words which drum by in a steady beat, lulling you into an unconscious state so that you are not aware of the dire warnings they are preaching. For example, for a product I will name NoWait, you might hear the following warnings.

     NoWait is a safe medication you can take to help control excessive weight gain.

     NoWait should never be taken by women who are pregnant or nursing. Men and women under 65 should not take NoWait unless they have a copy of their will notarized and on file. Men and women with a first name starting with a consonant should avoid taking NoWait.

     NoWait should not be taken before bed or after waking. Be sure that you take it with 16 ounces of pure spring water and avoid dairy products for the next 5 hours. NoWait has been shown to be safe for use on baby piglets and squirrels but may be hazardous to pets and other wild creatures.

     Take NoWait just as the doctor prescribes. Do not change the dosage time and for Pete's sake, don't take more than the prescribed amount. Eat a half a loaf of whole wheat bread before taking NoWait and the rest of the loaf afterward.

     Always take water with NoWait. At no time should you substitute juice, soda, tea, coffee or other beverages, especially alcoholic beverages.

Excessive growth of hair is a possible side effect.

     While considered to be a safe and effective means of weight loss, there are some possibly unpleasant side effects. These may include hair loss, hair growth, sleepiness or sleeplessness. Orange or purple urine has been noted, and excessive weight loss can be accompanies by excessive weight gain in extremities. In rare instances, death, coma or brain injury may occur.

Add caption

     Ask your doctor about NoWait! It may be just what you need to get that edge on weight loss!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It May be a Mini But it Maxes Out Our Garage!

     If you have been following my blog you know that we bought a Mini-Cooper a couple of months back. Our desire was, for the first time ever, to be able to put our car in the garage. That meant we could buy a Mini-Cooper, a Smart Car, or a bicycle built for two. 

George drives Minnie carefully in. There is about an inch of space on each side for "Wiggle Room."
     We opted for the Mini, which has been a favorite of ours but only a skilled driver can drive Minnie into the garage and back her out. That would be George. Observe...

There is one little cleared area for George to get out.

Even so, it's a tight fit.

I have never been one to care about putting the car in the garage. Somehow Minnie seems different.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's New in the News?

Le Wiener
Hot Diggety Dog!
More pictures have surfaced of Congressman Weiner, this time on the treadmill at the Capitol naked, filming himself for posterity (sorry, accidental pun). In my humble opinion, Weiner is a wiener and they need to kick his naked butt from here to Timbuctoo. People have been very vocal on the situation, mostly, I suspect, because they like to call him a Weiner. Picketers on both sides of the issue have lined Washington D.C. government buildings bearing signs such as "Weiner needs to be "mustered" out of our government.", "Weiners are bad for our health!", and "We love the Weiner. Leave his buns alone!"

Gas Prices Are Out of Control!
Is Hugh Through?
     It's a nice change from terrorists, the war and the economy. In addition, I noted Hugh Hefner is having his own problems. Seems as if his future bride sandbagged their upcoming nuptials. Hurray for her I say. She must have gotten a look at his wiener. (Sorry, I couldn't help it).

Blessings to the Fig Leaf.

Something seems missing!

     Last but not least I see in the international news that there is an increased interest in nude hiking in some of the European countries. Germany has a number of clothing optional trails, which are clearly marked so as not to discourage or freak out tourists. From some of the nude hikers that were pictured, and who obviously had indulged in a bit too much beer and "wienerschnitzel," the nude aspect of the hiking was not that appealing.

     And that's the news.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Arnaldo Returns

He's coming again?
     Being that it is Saturday, it is time for Arnaldo! Usually, I get this panicky realization that once again the week has passed and I have done little in the way of exercise.

By the time I get my motivation moving, he's here again and I have done very little.  And he's been reading my blog. 
Oops! Caught in the Non-Act!

So he read about the day where I was supposed to walk after he left and I didn't. 

     Today was pretty pathetic. He wondered where my set of 5 pound weights were that we had used previously. Darned if we could not find them. We were all over the place looking for them. Then he wanted me to find my gloves.
Missing in Action

Oops! Wrong Gloves!

     "Are they in a place that you could get them now?" he wanted to know.

     "Well, how long are you staying?" I asked. So now in addition to my workout assignments I have to find the rest of my "equipment." However, I got a bonus point because I had purchased a foam roll that he had asked me to get. However, I forgot I had it and when George was helping us look for the weights he found it. Score 1 for Jeanne. Sort of. 

Buff Jeanne
     This week will result in a new and improved Jeanne with an Attitude for Exercise. I'm going to get myself buff! 

Balloon Man
But don't worry! I am not going to go crazy like Balloon Man!   


Friday, June 10, 2011

Trampoline Update

     All's quiet on the Trampoline Front.
    "How can that be?" you ask. Let me tell you.
    Yesterday, when the family came home and the little boy who owns the trampoline came outside, there was a line of kids waiting outside the fence. It looked like a returns line at Wal-Mart the day after Christmas. This time, Daddy came out and informed the neighborhood kids that there would be no trampoline jumping. Since eerie calm hangs over the yard.
     I have no life. I should be exercising.

I feel like Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Updates on My Life

Teachers are worn out about now.
     For those of you who avidly read my daily blogs, all 6 of you, I thought you might like an update on what is going on. First of all, the last day of school (half day) for the kids is tomorrow. Teachers are walking around like tired zombies, but they all have these grins on their faces. They are ready for a well-deserved vacation.   

     For those of you who read about the trampoline that was erected in the yard behind us. Here is the update. Within 5 minutes of the first jump on the trampoline, every kid in the neighborhood had found out about it. Yes, it is certainly a kid magnet. As a matter of fact, there are so many kids jumping on it that I am wondering when the first injury will occur and rules will be enforced about how many kids at a time. I see kids lying in wait for the family to come home. I am not sure this trampoline is going to last very long. But it is entertaining watching.   

     And for those of you following my workout progress, well I have some great leaps to report. On my last blog I mentioned that I bought a workout mat and a ball blower-upper thingy. I was quite pleased with myself and emailed Arnaldo that I had purchased EXERCISE EQUIPMENT. He was very happy about that, and came over today to see the new EQUIPMENT. He was extremely disappointed that it consisted of a mat and an inflater. He actually expected bigger stuff.  

     He was also disappointed in the quality of my workouts. In 4 days, I have done no more than about 15 minutes of exercise despite the exercise list he taped to my wall at eye level where I could not miss it. So we had another one of our conversations of despair.

     Arnaldo: What can I do to get you to work out? What am I not doing as a trainer?

     Me: You're a great trainer. I just suck as a human being. Remember that two other trainers have given up on me before you. I promise to try harder.

     Arnaldo paces up and down. "You promise. You promise. Then you never exercise."

     Real guilt was kicking me in the butt. "I will do better this week. You wait and see."

     Before Arnaldo left, he told me to take one more walk before quitting for the day. I said "OK!", took off my shoes and relaxed. I'm a tough case.   

Ahh. I like the After-Training Session Best!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Onward Toward Working Out

     Well, if you checked my blog a few days ago, you might remember that I had experienced a renewed determination to become healthier and more fit. That was about 10 days ago, I think. Well, I am moving now, no longer at the pace of a sloth, but of a Jeanne Kraus. 

     After my trainer, Arnaldo, chastised me for not working out during the whole 6 months he was gone, I felt really bad. The bad feeling did not translate into any kind of working out experience during that week. Except George and I walked around the block once.  
Huff Puff!

     So there I was last Saturday thinking, "OK, Arnaldo is coming over again and I still haven't done squat. What shall I do?" 

     My first thought was that I would lie to him and tell him I did work out. He'd never know, and it would make him so happy. But no, I didn't. He could tell that the exercise ball still needed more air, the equipment was dusty, he wasn't born yesterday.

     So I confessed to him that, while I was moving closer to exercise, I had not quite achieved Nirvana yet. I had not broken out in a sweat. 

Arnaldo was sad.

     This week will be different. Right after a disappointed, disillusioned Arnaldo left me on Saturday, we went to "Sports R US", not a place I had previously frequented, and decided to buy some Exercise Stuff. First was a mat since I needed a comfortable place to put my body on. Then we got a ball inflater thingy. 
These are squats. They leave ball marks on your wall.

This is not me.
     Well, I unfolded the mat yesterday and we inflated the ball. I actually did some squats (technical term for knee-threatening very difficult actions) with the ball. Then I put it away. Now that I am home tonight I am thinking of trying something else but I don't want to burn out. That's why I'm blogging instead.

Oh, my abs! My aching abs!

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Window Over the Years

     We bought our house about 9 years ago. The neighborhood was about 25 years old with nice sized lawns and lots of green everywhere. Our lawn is over-sized, a corner lot and we loved the openness of it all. For about 5 years we were very happy. We could go out on our back porch and watch the birds and enjoy the breezes.

OK so this was not our real backyard. But I can pretend.

Black links replaced greenery.
     Times have changed. Our neighbor behind us moved and sold his house. We really did not know them well and do not know the new neighbors either. They are nice enough people. The first thing they did that made us a little sad was to put up a chain link fence.

     The view was no longer really pretty and green but we still had the breeze. They started filling up their back yard with attractive porch furniture and a gazebo. Then a wooden swing set for their young son. In 4 years, we saw the outside BBQ and porch/gazebo used maybe once or twice. Now they have removed the swing set, the gazebo must have blown away in a strong wind. The unused porch furniture remains.  They have added a dog to the backyard. He started out as a puppy in the house and once the fence went up, much to his dismay, he became more of an outdoor dog. I now spend my time looking out the window and wishing they would let him in when he wants in. He looks so lonely.

     Well, he may not be lonely for long. Today they are installing a quite large trampoline. It is close enough to the fence, that we may get to see some entertainment on a daily basis. They are installing a big net around it to discourage people from hurtling into our yard like jet-propelled missiles. All of this just before the start of hurricane season. It could be an interesting summer.