Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Death on the Prairie


I Can't Feel My Arms Any More

It was Jack's bright idea, more or less. He saw an infomercial for an intensive fitness program, hot on the heels of his doctor telling him that he needed to get back into shape. She had a nice little chart in her office, ranging from Very Underweight to Grossly Obese. I am much too kind to tell you where exactly he fell within that scale. Suffice it to say that even I was surprised. (I am also much too discreet to tell you exactly where I fell within that scale. I'd rather tell you my age. It's 39. And a half.)

Being the wonderful wife I am, I ordered the program before he had the chance to, and it arrived at the end of last week. We were both very excited, and I even put the pull-up bar together so he wouldn't have to. Since the program has six days of hard work, and a seventh day of rest - sound familiar, anyone? - we started on Sunday.


Dizzying rounds of push-ups and pull-ups followed each other in quick succession. Since Jack hadn't yet mounted the pull-up bar, we did air pull-ups. Even with that major advantage, we still keeled over just past the half-way mark. I was pretty sure I would never move my arms again. You can imagine my dismay when Jack noticed later that, not only did we quit early, but we entirely missed the Ab Ripper. Gaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!

Last night was leg exercises. Though nowhere near the level of the video, I enjoyed this one much more. After a whole summer of brisk biking, even going up steep hills in high gear to give my muscles an extra pounding. Jack has not been riding bicycles. He made it to 27 minutes before collapsing on the couch, swearing he would never walk again. I nearly had to carry him to bed.

(In case any of you are familiar with this well-known 90-day program, let me just assure you that I will be substituting other stretches in on the days they recommend yoga.)

Tonight is Shoulders and Arms, followed by...yep... the Ab Ripper. 

Maybe we will at least watch it this time.

Painfully yours,
Noni Beth

PS Even for someone of my customary gregariousness, it was too much of a stretch to post "before" pictures in a completely public place. Especially THOSE "before" shots. For those of you who are my friends on Facebook, you will find the "Before" album visible to friends only. Any of the rest of you who would like to see them can email me at you_neak@yahoo.com. 

Stay tuned for periodic updates on our progress. Do not hold your breath for video. There won't be any.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Prefer to Remember Them the Way They Were...

They were so cute! So adorable! So HAPPY!

For those who have not seen The Rest of the Story, click below:



See if I trust Tina with any more of my vegetable friends!   >:(

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In the Quiet, Misty Morning

In the quiet, misty morning,
When the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows hush their singing,
And the sky is clear and red,

When the summer's ceased its gleaming,
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure's lost its meaning,
I'll be homeward bound in time.

A mother of three busy children has little time for solitude or reflection. You can imagine how delighted I was when my fond expectations were realized, and ~part~ of my school bus trips each day contained large helpings of both peace and quiet. 

The early morning rides were glorious! Leaving shortly after sunrise, driving dramatically through the misty morning, while the sky was clear and red.... simply gorgeous. Simply silent.

I leave town headed east, the sun shining on my face, a rainbow of clouds streaking the sky ahead and above. A set of hills - the nearest thing we have to a mountain - rises in my path. I climb it effortlessly, glancing enviously at the abandoned air force base at the crest. At one time, nearly 100 children came from the base to Westby School. Now, it lies abandoned and still, old buildings wearing the ravages of time. Except for the giant concrete tower, the edifice I most envy. How I would love my own concrete tower!

From the air force base, the road drops down the other side, curving past the turnoff to Skjermo Lake (pronounced SCYARE-mo), and winding narrowly between two lakes, brightly reflecting the colors of the sky. These lakes are fairly new, left over from the spring floods that never quite went away. Waterfowl throng the liquid paradise, large numbers swimming right up next to the road, then curving off in a flying fantasia just ahead of my approach.

Sheer magic.

After several mornings, Devon asked if he could ride along with me. I said yes, if he got up early. I expected that to be the end of it, but to my surprise he bounced out of bed, ready on time. My personal suspicion is he slept in his clothes to improve his efficiency, but the results were impressive.

As we pointed our enchanted yellow chariot into the rising sun, Devon began firing off comments and questions faster than an auctioneer in a hurry. The plethora of lexicon bubbled up, finally spilling out the windows and trailing behind the bus as we drove.

The next morning, he brought his baritone.

Oom-pah, Oom-pah-pah, Oom-pah, and ever time we went over a bump, OOOOGAH!!!

Oom-pah, OOOOOOGAH, Oom-pah, Oom-pah-pah, Oom-OOOOOOOGAH!!!!!!!! We went over a lot of bumps. 

I made him put the baritone away shortly before the first stop, and then the auction began again. One phrase stood out in the dizzying blur of sound. "Wow, Mom - it's so interesting to come with you in the morning. Now I know just what you go through!"

I smiled to myself. No, Devon, you don't quite know what I go through.


If you find it's me you're missing,
And you're hoping I'll return,
To your thoughts I'll soon be listening,
In the road I'll stop and turn,

Then the wind will set me racing,
As my journey nears its end,
And my path I'll be retracing,
Till I'm homeward bound again.

~ Marta Keen