Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Let's go to the gym

Over the years, I've been a member of almost every gym in town.  Eventually I'd grow bored or aggravated for some reason that caused me to switch to somewhere else.  About three years ago, Planet Fitness opened here.  With their cheap rates and brand new facility, it was a hard deal to pass up.  As soon as my contract was up where I was, I jumped over to Planet Fitness.  That was 2-1/2 years ago.  I have my complaints but for the price, it's tolerable.

This visit happens to be on a Saturday.  I don't usually go to the gym on the weekends.  With it being summer and no school, I've decided to make a change and make an effort to go on the weekend.  

Our Planet Fitness has been a mask free zone for patrons throughout this whole pandemic ordeal.  There was a brief period of about two weeks where they were policing masks.  Then they gave up.  Until recently, only the employees were required to wear them.  Now, it's nice to be greeted by a smiling face upon check-in!  All the tables and chairs were gone for months, but in the last week or so they were put back out. Of course, there's plenty of cleaning stations, hand sanitizer, and plexiglass dividers.  

Let's get started!  I usually do a 10 minute cardio warm up.  When my foot was hurting, I made friends with this seated stepper machine.  It's actually a very good full body workout that you can do sitting down.  It's low impact and there's no pressure on your knees or feet. 

There's plenty of TVs, but I bring my iPad.  

What am I watching??  Well, a while back there was a (terrible) reality re-boot of Beverly Hills 90210.  I decided then to re-watch the series I loved back in the day to pass the time at the gym.  I'm on the final season, season 10 and I have about 5 episodes left.  I'm already wondering what long running TV series shall I watch next?!?  LOST keeps popping into my head for some reason.   Or maybe the X-Files?

Side note - did y'all know numerous people used to call me Scully?  I can't imagine why...

hmmmm who's who??

Anyway, I try to mix it up, but after my warm up, today I head over to the ab section. I usually do about 100 various crunches with a 10lb weight on the incline bench and the roman chair. 

I used to be in much better shape, but I had to stop lifting heavy weights.  It seemed I was always nursing an injury.  My left shoulder bothered me for months.  Then my right elbow, which it sill hurts from time to time. Tennis elbow probably.  My right knee, and my left foot...    always something.  The max I do is 30 lbs now.  I like the 30 minute express weight circuit.  It's pretty self explanatory. Each station is numbered.  Start at number one. Green light means go.  Red light means stop, and move to the next station.  No one - and I mean NO ONE- pays any attention to the lights or order.  They jump right in out of order or sit on the machine through several light cycles.  It can be somewhat annoying for those that want to follow the circuit.  I could complain to the front desk, but I hate to be that person. 



Nobody uses these steppers - including me

Most of the same machines that are in the 30 minute circuit are out on the main floor anyway.  The only difference is the yellow machines are 'fixed' where both sides must move together.  The purple machines on the main floor are separate and made to be used tandem if you choose. You can move one arm, both, or alternate if you'd like. 

Weights done!  Now let's get back to Dylan and Kelly.  Or were you team Brandon and Kelly??  I never could choose because they both were a good fit at different points in the show.  But at this point, Brandon is gone, and Matt in season 10 is SO boring, so Dylan it is. 

RIP Luke Perry

My final 20 minutes of cardio is on the ARC Trainer today.  I love the ARC but I stopped doing it when my foot was hurting and was only doing the seated stepper.  It still hurts, just not as bad.  So I'm back on the ARC, which is a cross between a stepper and an elliptical.  It is quite a challenging machine and took me quite a while to build my endurance.  Sometimes I do the elliptical, but I find the motion puts pressure on the ball of my foot right where the neuroma is, so I probably shouldn't. 

That's my red bag on the floor.  Which, that's one of the silly PF rules - No bags allowed to be carried with you but nobody pays attention to that rule either.  Including me. 

And.... 20 minutes later, my weekend workout is DONE!  

My shirt says "You know what I like about people?  THEIR CATS."

I'll be back to do it all again tomorrow!!  

Monday, May 24, 2021

Hello, summer!


It sure doesn't feel like the last day of school, but here we are.  Both kids went to school today.  They haven't done any class work in a week and have been watching movies.  Valerie decided she wanted to go afterall to play Mario Kart on the Switch with her friends.  Veronica wasn't about to miss her last day of middle school.  My poor girl came home just sobbing...   tough day of goodbyes for her.  She doesn't like change and next year will be a big change.  Roni even told me she wishes she could get up at 6am tomorrow and go to school!  It reminded me of when they were in elementary school.  Every year on the last day they'd both run off the bus crying their eyes out because it was over.  I probably have the only kids who cried because it was summer break!!  

It's tradition to have a cookie cake on the last day of school.  I used to get them pool toys/floats or pool towels but since we no longer have a pool, they got money.  I also always dig out their school memory books so they can fill it out all the questions for the year and put all their awards inside. (I still have my school days book somewhere and all of my report cards!)

So far we don't have much planned for summer.  Valerie has to go back to school for part of this week for the start of marching band camp.  Then she has June off, and mid July through November is non-stop marching band, or so we hope. I also hope to have her driving by the time school starts, so we'll be practicing a lot.  She's doing quite well but still has a ways to be driving test ready.  Veronica was invited to attend a dancing competition in Biloxi, MS, so we may try to plan a mini-vacation around that. Veronica is also doing a theater camp in July.  The rest of the summer will be pretty low key I guess.  I know it's going to fly by and August will be here before we know it.......... 


Friday, May 21, 2021

Cue the tears~

 Y'all!  Watch this.....that's my girl at the 12 minute mark!!!!

  In case that doesn't work, here's a link that should go directly to her performance:  Veronica

It's one of those moments that will live in my heart forever.  

We weren't sure if she would go through with it, but Veronica sang her first choir solo last night. I seriously cried when she started singing. She gets a little pitch-y towards the end, but it's likely nerves and she's never sang into a mic like that before.  She struggles so much and is so hard on herself. If y'all only knew.  This was big for this shy, quiet kid.  I'm so proud of her for putting herself out there!!!   After the concert we went out to dinner at the only restaurant near the school, and so many strangers complimented her on her performance.  Hopefully this will give her confidence a little boost. 

She was also voted outstanding musician by her peers. (Awards are at the end of the video above if you want to watch.)  And as I predicted, she was 8th grade choir student of the year.  

High school choir here she comes!!!


Some exciting news from the band kid is that Valerie was asked to switch from clarinet to oboe for next year.  I'm no band expert, but apparently the oboe is one of the hardest wind instruments to learn.  Val's band director said with her talent for perfect pitch and her work ethic, he thinks she could be phenomenal on the oboe.  The school will provide her with an instrument, which a professional oboe costs about $8,000!! They are willing to hire someone with band funds to come from New Orleans to teach her one-on-one and get her where she needs to be.  He also said there's some serious scholarship money out there for oboe players.  Obviously the band director has some idea of what Valerie is capable of after two years of band, so this isn't something on a whim.  It's going to be a lot of work on Val's part to learn a new instrument.  She has accepted the challenge, so we shall see how it goes.

Next year is going to be a great year for both musicians!  

Only ONE day of school left. Monday is the last day... although Valerie is adamant she is not going on a Monday, so technically today will be her last day of 10th grade....   Monday will be Veronica's last day of 8th grade.  

And I'll have two high schoolers. Where has the time gone? 

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Awards Day!

The high school did a virtual awards ceremony, so we were not able to attend.  I did watch it live on Facebook though!  Valerie got a Top Scholar Award for being on the honor roll all year.  Actually, everyone got a Top Scholar Award.  Yep - whether you made As or Bs - everyone got the SAME award.  Strange times indeed.

State testing or LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) scores are rolling in also...   For the second time, Valerie scored a perfect 850 in English!  She'll get an award from the parish sometime in the future.  

Veronica's school did in person awards, but instead of the whole school at once, it was done separately by grades.  But for some reason, they gave out the class favorites awards during school hours and not at the awards ceremony.  Every year the 8th grade class votes for their "most likely to" picks....

Ironically enough, guess who else got the same when she was an 8th grader?  (and guess who was mad that little sister copied her once again? haha.)

Val in 2019

Veronica racked up with Principal's List All Year, Top Scholar, and Student of the Year Nominee.  And when I say Principal's List All Year...   she made one B on a grammar test the 3rd 9 weeks.  The rest...  and I mean EVERY test, every homework grade, everything..... 

 I don't know how she does it.  She rarely asks for help, and the few times she has it's more about the why than the how.  Veronica also tested out of Algebra I for next year in 9th grade and will skip to 10th grade Honors Geometry.  She amazes me.  

Tonight is Veronica's final middle school choir concert!  I will try not to cry.  I'm certain she's getting the 8th grade choir award tonight also.  

Two more days of school!  

Sunday, May 16, 2021


It's been a busy week!! 

Veronica was recommended a few weeks back for Talented and Gifted (TAG) Choir. ( Valerie is also in TAG for clarinet and has been attending a special class once a week.)

Veronica was picked to try out for TAG in sixth grade, but the audition wasn't what she expected so she didn't get in. This year Veronica's choir teacher asked her if she wanted to try again. Shew knew how it was going to go and she was better prepared.  I know she was nervous but she made it through the first round audition at the school level just fine.  The second round was this past Tuesday, and is the one that actually counts because it's in front of the TAG coordinators and a music professor from the local university.  Of course my shy girl was quite nervous to sing all alone in front of people.  She chose a crazy hard song from Les Misérables - "On My Own" and a choir song called "Follow the Drinking Gourd."  She was in the audition room for a good 40 minutes!  When she came out, Roni said she thought it went okay.  The judges told her she seemed very interesting.  They tested her and played short melodies on the piano and had her sing them back, and told her she had a good ear.  

Then we had to wait a couple hours for the results...  

And of course, she got in!!  Veronica will be in Talented and Gifted Choir next year in high school! Valerie will continue with TAG band.  The cool thing is TAG choir and TAG band actually do performances together, so I will get to see both of my girls do their thing on stage.  (Well, I'm hoping anyway because the restrictions are easing up so next school year should be more normal.) 

(Can y'all please tell my girl how beautiful she is?  I mean, I know she's beautiful to me...  but she's always saying how ugly she is.  She's only 14 and I think she's going to be a knockout.)

Anyway, the countdown to summer is ON!  There's just SIX days of school left.  This week is another busy week of band practices, awards ceremonies, TAG meetings, choir concert....  

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Happy Mother's Day to all

Happy Mother's Day dear blogging friends!!  Hope you all were able to enjoy spending time with your families. It's been a quiet day here.  We went out for a late lunch and that's about it.  

 And of course, I'm remembering my Mom today also.  How fast these 13 years without her have flown by.

Hope you all enjoyed the pictures!