Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My Neighbors

I live in an artsy college town.  I am pretty sure that the majority of people living in my town are either affiliated with the college or have a random crafty skill. The ability to play the harp or maybe glassblowing come to mind. Personally, I am a former college employee turned stay-at-home-mom. I also play the piano and operate a blog, so I fit right in.

My neighborhood is filled with a delightful range of people. There are professionals, hippies, and probably even professional hippies all on one eclectic block.  Here’s what I know about my neighbors…

The Band
The band lives across the street.  The guitar player is the only consistent inhabitant of the home, but at varying times, other band members have lived in the abode. The band is famous.  Locally famous that is.  They play gigs every weekend, weeknights occasionally, and the college students love them. The band even has groupies!  Different girls are at the house all of the time and it is weird.  The band has wild house parties. Every party includes loud music, lots of alcohol, and multiple girl’s hula-hooping in the backyard.   (Hula-hooping is not slang; I literally mean that they are spinning hula-hoops around their waists.) To my husband’s dismay, the band has converted an old school bus into a biodiesel tour bus that is regularly parked in front of our house. The band is nocturnal.  The guitar player usually rolls out of the house around 3 pm, hungover and wearing sunglasses to hit whiffle balls with a children’s baseball bat across his backyard. I don’t get it either. 

I am intimidated by the band.

I have talked to the guitar player exactly once. He actually did the talking, I just stared. His unexpected presence held me in a frozen state of panic.  Our conversation occurred when he snuck up on me at the mailboxes.  He was wearing a trench coat, skinny jeans and a top hat with a 3-foot-tall peacock feather sticking out of it.  No big deal.  He winked, then said with a nod, “Hey darling…” I stared blankly, partially in shock because only waitresses had ever called me darling, and then, “winter is coming, the air is getting crisp, don’t forget to dig up the Cannas in your garden because they won’t survive the winter.”  Then as he walked away he added as an afterthought, “Store your bulbs in the basement. Peace.” Our exchange left me with the desire to use my pepper spray, but also a yearning to chase him and ask for a demo tape.

Bruce is my next door neighbor. Bruce carries a lot of extra weight on his frame which must raise his body temperature. This is an assumption based on the fact that even in winter he is too warm to wear a shirt. Bruce has a wife who he refers to as ‘The Wife’.  I have been living in my house for 7 years and I still don’t know The Wife’s real name. Bruce and The Wife have a small yard, but that doesn’t stop Bruce from mowing his grass on a riding tractor while wearing nothing but cut-off jean shorts.  Bruce talks a lot, and in the years that I have known him he has shared many random tidbits about his life.  I have learned that him and The Wife spend a month each summer living in a campground with an above ground pool.  I know that he has had two knee replacements and that he and The Wife are both diabetic. Bruce and The Wife do not recycle. They have several adult children whom I have never met, but Bruce often drops their names in conversations like they are my best friends.  Things like, “Jimmy’s youngest is 4 years old now, you wouldn’t even recognize him if you saw him.” Which is a legit statement, because I have never seen Jimmy or any of his kids in my life. I always assumed that Bruce and The Wife were gun-toting blue collar employees, or maybe owners of the local Little Caesar’s establishment. 

Last week, I learned that Bruce and The Wife are both pharmacists. This blew my mind.

The New/Nude Neighbors
This couple moved in 1.5 years ago, and it has been 1.5 years since they have purchased a single curtain or blind for their home.  As far as I can tell, they do all of their in-house activities naked. They also leave all of their lights on at night.  Every time I walk by their house I laugh like a third grade boy. I have seen them sitting on the couch with TV dinners; naked.  Hanging artwork on their walls; naked.  Playing the piano; naked.  The only other fact that I know about the new/nude neighbors is that they order fried catfish and ribs for takeout once per week from the weird diner down the street. They put on clothes and walk to pick up their food. I usually pass them while I run and don’t immediately recognize them because they are clothed.

Sister Mary Theresa*
Sister Mary Theresa is a nun who lives across the street.  I know two things about her. 1) Regardless of the temperature, if the sun is shining, she will recline in the lounge chair in her backyard and read the Bible.  I have witnessed this happening even in 25-degree weather. 2) She is a nun.  I only know this because by accident, I once received her mail.

I have tried to introduce myself to Sister Mary Theresa several times to no avail.  Whenever she sees me walking in her direction, she abruptly enters her house.  I have a couple of theories as to why she is dodging me, but my top theory is that she has mistaken me for a wayward groupie straying too far from the band's house.  Fair enough.

I don’t know much about my other neighbors, which is probably for the best. Maybe one day The Wife will organize a block party and I will have the opportunity to meet more people.  Let’s be honest though, if my neighborhood has a block party I probably wouldn’t be able to make it.  I think I have plans that day.

Do you have a good relationship with your neighbors?  Do you know your neighbor’s names? What’s the weirdest thing that you have witnessed in your neighborhood?

Enjoy Life!

Miss Nutralicious

*Not his/her real name. Names have been changed to protect MY privacy. ;)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fitness Friday

It’s Friday night and I am about to party hard, and by ‘party hard’ I mean I am going to go take my multi-vitamin, brush my teeth, and then watch 20 minutes of Netflix before I hit the sack.  But first, before things get too crazy, I am writing another Fitness Friday post because I want to be a committed blogger.

What’s new:  Nothing.  I am tempted to say that I am stuck in relaxation mode after my 40-day running challenge, but “stuck” isn’t the right word.  I am enjoying some time off from vigorous exercise.  I am going to get back to it, but for now I am having fun squeezing in moderate exercise on top of my regular day to day routine.

Changes to my routine: I went outside.  Seriously though, if it were 80 degrees all day every day I would be happy.  This week, the beginning of spring happened, and temperatures reached 40 degrees in my neck of the woods.  You better believe I was outdoors pretending like it was only a matter of seconds before a patch of crocuses bloomed and a robin landed on my head.  Throw in some skipping and humidity, and now you have a pretty good idea of how I envision spring in my daydreams---just me, with a robin on my head, dancing in a patch of crocuses.

Running: 3.25 total miles
Longest Run: 2.25 miles
Shortest Run: 1 mile
Craziest Run: I guess the craziest run was that time that I meant to run 2 miles, but didn’t realize I was actually a quarter of a mile farther from my house than I had anticipated.

Strangest Physical Activity Performed: Dancing.  I am not a public dancer, but when I am in the comfort of my own home, I can really bust a move.  I don’t mean to brag, but I have skillZ.  SkillZ with a capital “Z” at the end. This week I have been cranking the Pandora Easter Egg Hunt playlist.  This list can be found categorized under the genre “Easter Egg Hunt”.  To me, this is a very strange genre, but if this is what the kids are listening to in anticipation of the Easter Bunny, I need to get to a modern day Easter egg hunt, stat!

Most challenging physical activity performed with a 2-year-old: Picking up sticks.  We have had a windy couple of weeks and my yard is covered in sticks, branches, and some wood that I would probably classify as logs.  My daughter and I went outside to pick up a “little bit” (according to her) and every time I tried to transition to a new task she would say “No way! Get to work!”.  “No way” has become her favorite new phrase, and I have no idea where the “get to work” came from, but talking 2 year olds are the best. Also, picking up sticks is hard work!

Weirdest Food: One of my (former?) favorite local restaurants is a vegan cafĂ©.  They quit making my favorite dish recently (a burrito bowl) and replaced it with barbecue chicken nachos.  I tried the new dish which had cashew nacho cheese and buffalo soy curls, and it was weird.

Fitness highlight of the week:  Walking outside.  It’s spring!!!

Goals for next week: Exercise more consistently and find a regular physical activity that my daughter and I can enjoy together.

Questions: What was your fitness highlight this week?

Enjoy Life!

Miss Nutralicious

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fitness Friday

It's time for another round of Fitness Friday.  Let's do this. Pow!

What’s new: I finished my 40-day running challenge! Sunday marked day number four-oh.  Go me! When I tallied up my GPS runs and treadmill mileage, I discovered that I officially ran a grand total of 166 miles.  I am a beast! A beast who will be rewarded with a long sleeve t-shirt.

Changes to my routine:  I’ve done a lot of chillin’ this week. I ran a couple of times, mall walked once, and attended my weekly tumbling class. Sometimes, adding relaxation to a routine is a much needed change.

Running: 15.25 total miles
Longest Run: 4.25 miles
Shortest Run: 3.5 miles
Craziest Run: My Thursday run.  I ran outside because it was sunny.  It was not warm, but the sun had melted the snow and ice that was previously covering the roads in my neighborhood. I ended up doing half of my run on the very slippery and muddy dirt roads near my house. Amazingly, I did not fall.

Strangest Physical Activity Performed: I played basketball at the local YMCA.  This is an extremely normal physical activity, but extremely strange and out of character for me.  Even stranger, I am not a basketball player, nor a member of the YMCA.  Life is weird.

Most challenging physical activity performed with a 2-year-old: Running around the kitchen table.  It doesn’t sound challenging, but when a toddler who idolizes her father discovers that her dad is a track coach, track becomes a thing. A beloved thing.  All week we have been “racing” and running “laps” around the kitchen table.  It’s a workout!

Weirdest Food: I am in a bit of a food rut lately. I haven’t made the time to cook much, let alone cook something unique and fancy.  This week I did make M&M cookies that called for vanilla pudding as an ingredient (delicious), and my mom made spinach calzones and gave me the leftovers (fantastic).

Fitness highlight of the week:  Finishing my 40-day running challenge. Nuff said.

Goals for next week: Exercise outside.  It’s still so cold, but I am sick of being trapped indoors!  I need some fresh air, and I am going to make it happen even if I need to wear my snowsuit. 

Questions: What was your fitness highlight this week? Do you commit to fitness challenges?

Enjoy Life!

Miss Nutralicious

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fitness Friday

This week has been a blur!  Something major happened at my house this week; my daughter decided to boycott naps.  To be completely truthful, she is trying to abandon sleep altogether, but she hasn’t convinced me to jump on the 'no sleep' bandwagon, yet. 

A toddler’s decision to quit napping doesn’t seem fitness related, but I assure you that it is.  My entire exercise routine has changed this week because of her sleep patterns:

1.  I can no longer solo exercise during her naptime. And,
2.  I can’t wake up early to exercise alone, because she is already awake. Like, one day 3:00 am was “morning”. That’s how things have been going in my neck of the woods.

This will not (CAN not) be a permanent situation.  But, while it lasts, here’s what’s up in my fitness life…

What’s new:  I am still doing a 40-day running challenge (today is day 38!) but this week, I got the added adventure of doing each run with a two-year-old by my side.  It has been wild, but also fun.  

Changes to my routine:  I have traded my normal running music for a full Halloween playlist.  My daughter is really into Halloween right now, which makes sense, being that it is March.  Pumpkins, ghosts, witches, bats and Halloween music are a big hit at our house. She loves playing in our basement, but doesn’t particularly WANT me to go on the treadmill.  Unless, of course, she can have a “monster ball” (major dancing included) to the Halloween music that I blare on the basement stereo while I run.

Running: 30 total miles
Longest Run: 7.5 miles
Shortest Run: 3 miles
Craziest Run: We lost power at my house for approximately one minute on Wednesday.  It happened while it was dark outside and I was on the treadmill.  The treadmill came to an abrupt halt and everything went pitch black.  I almost died.

Strangest Physical Activity Performed: Track season starts on Monday (yikes!) and in preparation, my husband has placed a bucket full of track related things he needs to take to school on our kitchen table.  This includes a track baton.  All week, him and my daughter have been practicing baton passing and they’ve roped me into their game.  Regardless of what I am doing, one of them will run at me with the baton and yell “stick!”. This means I am supposed to run around the house and pass it to someone else by also yelling “stick!”.  

My family is a relay team.

Most challenging physical activity performed with a 2-year-old: Our DVD player broke about a month ago, and my mother-in-law gave us an old one that she had in her basement.  My husband hooked it up this week and when he turned it on we discovered that there was an old Jane Fonda exercise video inside.  My daughter immediately started following along with the exercises, which was hilarious, and I joined her for a fun-filled 15 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity.

Weirdest Food: There hasn’t been a lot of time for weird food this week, but I’ll fill you in on a secret.  A major portion of my town lost power this week due to wind.  Currently, my parents power is still out, and they are storing a bunch of food in our basement freezer. 

I have been eating their food! Shh, don't tell!

Small portions.  I don’t think they will notice.  Last night I ate a Dr. Praeger’s Super Greens Veggie Burger.  It was good.

Fitness highlight of the week:  The highlight of this week is that I made it to day 38 of the running challenge.

Goals for next week: Complete my 40-day running challenge!

Questions: What was your fitness highlight this week? Have you ever lost power while on a treadmill?  If you have kids, do they sleep?

Enjoy Life!
Miss Nutralicious