Were our grandmothers right?

My grandmother was something.

She could make people squirm with her casual cross-examinations, and always- always -always- had the upper hand , at every discussion.

I used to tell everybody at work that she was my mentor when it came to interrogating people on the witness stand.

I loved her with all my heart.

She also had these sayings- I’m sure your grandmothers had then too- and I think the beginning of 2021 is a perfect time to check if those sayings are still valid, or did time and internet push them to the “irrelevant box”.

#1: always save a penny for a rainy day”

Wow, too valid.

If there’s anything we learned from Covid is that when it rains- it definitely pours, metaphorically speaking.

#2 . you are not rich enough to buy cheap”.

Well- this one is tough- since in my experience- not all pricey things are necessarily better quality, and vice versa. maybe take the time to learn the difference between good advertising and good quality?in any case- since sentence #1 is always true- maybe “when in doubt- just don’t” is better.

#3: “Never leave the house looking like roadkill”

Think of all those books/movies/TV shows where the heroine breaks up with her boyfriend and goes out “just to throw the trash” in her best “stay at home in comfiest ugliest PJ’s of them all ” and of course, as the universe would have it, her high school sweetheart happens to walk by (he has to walk, not drive by, otherwise what’s the point of the scene?)

Well- I think , with all due respect- that this one didn’t make it to 2021.

Seems all everyone wears is at home PJ’S, the comfier-the better- the jeans and dresses , let alone those stylish jackets and tailored pants- seem like they belong to another era.

Plus- seems like the attitude has changed (I’ve been waiting for this forever) and there are fewer and fewer sleeping princesses waiting in a corsette for their prince to save them.

I hope this is the situation, because ladies- we need to rely on ourselves only-and the only way to get up from a long sleep is to drink a cup of coffee and go fr a run.

#4:”never give unsolicited advice”

This is definitely true- always has been- is now-and will always be.

This is also the best advice I always ignore.

#5:”Mother knows best”

Well-

Emmmmmmm.

I’m not sure about this one, honestly.

I think many mothers want the best for their children, but we are all unique people, and need to learn to rely on ourselves and not on anyone else to make decisions for us.

I am aware that this can complicate relationships that are built on one party expecting the other party to automatically follow their advice- but- here’s to sentence #4!

#6: always make your bed first thing in the morning!”

Now this one, is the ultimate truth ladies and gentlemen.

Why?

Because-

Sleep is the most important activity your body and your brain needs, and a fresh , clean, made bed, is always more inviting and comfortable than a wrinkled up, haven’t changed sheets in a while, couldn’t care less about it-bed.

All I can say is that I believe in clean and organized surroundings as a method of simplifying matters, even deep unsolved issues of the past.

Plus- everything looks better after a good nights sleep- rest my case.

So change your sheets every week, make sure your room is clean and ventilated ( open window? try it- oxygen is not fake news), and try to get nice linens and a good , light blanket, and try to avoid watching the news before going to bed. .

I miss my grandmother.

I hope one day, when I have grand-kids of my own, they will love me as much as I loved my grandmother.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

Embracing the nerd within me.

I know a lot of people who have tattoos. some even have many.

Some are very close to me- 2 of my kids+my partner have them- the above picture is the tattoo my son had in honor of our beloved dog, Sirius, who passed away a few months ago. (still brings tears to my eyes to write about him, he was a true friend.)

The thing is-

Growing up, I never thought of getting one, because only the perfectly cool people had tattoos.

In case you were wondering- I was never, am not- and will not be-a cool person.

On the contrary I might add.

I am a nerd who can’t understand the point of fashion trends , of wearing the “right clothes” ,or the “right perfume”, going to the “right restaurant”, reading the “right books”, and generally looking and sounding “comme il faut”.

There were a few years- when I became “somewhat of a mini boss” at work, that I made an effort to blend in , and spent quite a lot of money trying to fit in.

I went to the right gym, bought the right clothes, even got some jewelry, definitely the right perfume, went to “it” places- and the whole time-felt like an outsider desperate to get back home, have a good shower and read a book.

Finally- it dawned on me that this is a total waste of time and money, and I’d rather put this money aside so I can retire early and get out of the race .

So I did, and I can tell you this was one of my finest moments.

I now wear mostly workout clothes, wear no make up, no perfume, eat my simple home made vegan food, go to sleep early and wake up at the crack of dawn (sometimes before), see no reason to do what everybody else is doing, and after many many years of feeling misplaced- I feel right where I am supposed to be.

So why not get a tattoo now and celebrate that profound understanding ?

Well-

Because I’ve reached a point in life where I can try to just relax.

I am about to celebrate 2 years of early retirement, and in spite of Covid , I find myself , for the first time in my life- actually having the freedom to decide what it is I want to do.

Don’t get all excited here-

I ‘m not dancing around the garden in a blue dress and straw hat picking cucumbers from a bush everyday.

Yes- Disney movies affected me .

I have my bad days, I have horrible days, I have all kinds of days-

But it’s OK.

These are MY days to feel angry and frustrated at something esoteric.

And I finally understood that no tattoo will take those days away.

Put this self empowering manifesto aside for a moment-

I think even if I were cool I wouldn’t get a tatto-

Why?

Because tattoos are forever, and I haven’t even decided which music streamer I prefer-Youtube music or Spotify.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

How I stopped complaining.

I don’t particularly like complaining.

Doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t do it- but I don’t enjoy it.

I decided on my 50th birthday that I am not about to spend the next 50 or so years , going on and on about things .

Either I can change the situation-or I can’t- either way- what’s the point of whining about it?

So-

I already told you I happen to live in a rural small village, which looks extremely beautiful between march 1st and march 31.

Other seasons are less agreeable , as it tends to be really hot at summer, everything is still dry in autumn, and winter can be quite cold.

But-

I do have a stunning running trail, and on many days I get to see cows and horses, and their young calves.

I took the picture above just to prove my point, as I come from the world of evidence rules the world.

But-

Just when you were contemplating getting absolutely and furiously jealous at me, here I come forth telling you about the strange habit of some people to slam dunk whatever garbage they have, exactly where they happen to be.

This sporty habit of theirs, caused me to frown and get upset -and complain about it- every friggin’ time I went for a run, and that’s a lot of times. (individual sports are allowed here, and I am using this permit as much as I can).

The A-HA moment came a few weeks ago, when reading David Sedaris’s “Calypso”.

In case you like to laugh (out loud) and then understand how perceptive that book was- go read this book. I got it on my online free library and spent a great Saturday reading, laughing and thinking.

Best way to spend a Saturday- in my opinion.

Sedaris tells about his garbage collecting hobby, (and how he became his fitbit’s slave, and more), and then came my A-HA moment.

“That’s it!” I understood.

Instead of frowning and whining and thinking “somebody should do some Thing about this! this is outrageous!preposterous!” ( loved that lawyer caricature Jacky Chiles on “Seinfeld”), I’ll get up and do it myself!

So-

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If you want to shoot- scoot (and collect garbage)- don’t talk.

This is my running pouch, super useful -I can put my phone, stick my corded headphones- if I feel like using them , or just pair with my Bluetooth earphones, if I choose, and- as I recently discovered- I can pack 2 plastic bags I save and re-use (often times my online supermarket wraps some products separately- though they generally use brown paper bags which eases my conscience).

I have no shares in the pouch business , honestly until recently I thought pouches were gone in the 80’s, but here I am, literaly running around with my pouch.

The thing is- as much as I don’t mind collecting the garbage I will not touch it with bare hands no matter what.

I thought of taking gloves, but the thing is I collect while running- I stop , pick up the trash, and keep running, and throw the bag as soon as it fills up-and there is a limit to everything- running with kitchen gloves is where I draw the line.

You might think- much like my partner by the way- that my efforts are hopeless, and the people that throw garbage will keep on doing it, but I believe that there is a lot to be said in favor of the “broken windows” theory- meaning- a pile of garbage is an open invitation for people to keep throwing , whereas a clean place might -over time- inspire those same people to think twice before starting a new pile.

Maybe.

I can tell you that since I started collecting- the streets look so much cleaner, I absolutely enjoy my runs, and people started talking to me about joining in and cleaning too.

I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t even know how long I can run and clean, but in my experience- it definitely beats complaining , mainly because I found out I pout while complaining, thus potentially creating new wrinkles, as opposed to smiling- which create crow feet wrinkles near my eyes- and those I am really fond of!

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

Running errands as an introvert!

A few days ago, I was talking to my good friend (we go back more than 25 years of blood sweat &tears at work, and kept our friendship through retirement), and she has this thing where she insists on talking with me when she runs errands around town. 

 The thing is, she gets really worked up whenever anything annoying happens to her- which is almost every time she runs errands -whether I am online talking to her- or hearing about the mishaps later-via same phone. 

she is a petite woman, very funny and intelligent, now retired-as I am- from long years of being a litigator- meaning she knows what acceptable behavior is supposed to look like- 

And yet- 

I hear her start shouting at passing cars that honked too loud-in her opinion- or didn’t stop at the crossroad she was using, at electric bike riders that- again- in her opinion -were super close to running her down, at the post office- at other people in line, at the hairdressers- when other people display their political beliefs, at the market -etc. 

last time I heard her getting all worked up and shouting- 

#1. I was glad the conversation was over-( I was beginning to get worked up too).

#2. I thought-oh my- if she could hear herself. how embarrassing. (I know- I exercise my right to be a bitch every now and then).

#3. I thought about the errands I needed to run the day after- and thought of ways to avoid getting all worked up about it. 

#4. I understood that she gets this way probably because she is anxious and getting out of the house and running errands takes a toll on her well being. 

SO- I guess what I’m saying is if you read the title and thought “what the F?”, then you’re definitely not an introvert

Because an introvert knows WHAT THE F.

An introvert knows that leaving the house and being in constant need to contact people in order to get things done, is a HUGE task, one that leaves you drained of energy and many times frustrated-so much so- that many simply avoid running errands all together and join the “bureaucracy phobia gang”. 

Being a stellar introvert myself, I’ve managed to organize quite a method -if I do say so myself- to minimize the toll.

So if you are an introvert- or- if you are a lucky happy “let’s go out and have fun” extrovert- but have introverts as family or friends- then hear me out on this one

Before I start- 

I am mentioning the obvious here- since I am no health certified anything- told you- an early retired litigator- whose only certification on the subject comes from 52 years as an introvert- this is not professional advice, and If you feel you need an expert- find one. 

My approach is the opposite– 

Instead of trying to change me-

why not change the circumstances?

What I mean by this bold statement is-

#1: whatever you can do online- do online- most things can be bought/sorted out/ discussed -online- via phone- or much better yet- by Gmail. 

 lucky for us introverts, the internet was invented a few decades ago, saving us not only time and money but also the agonizing fear of actually leaving our safe and comfortable home- only to be challenged with the task of dealing with a lot of other people.

The mail method is brilliant because there is no way you can get worked up and start behaving like my shouting friend, though I am aware that it is possible to do that via Whats App voice messages- that is why I recommend the good old Gmail.another plus is that every conversation or negotiation is “on record” for future “I can’t remember what exactly was the offer” or such mishaps. 

#2. If you can’t sort it online- try to pack up as many “on route” errands as possible. that saves you money (gas)+time+ the agony of leaving the house is minimized significantly if you run all your errands at one time. 

This, naturally, requires some planning- I mean- sure you can just go about wandering the busy streets , but, then again- you can’t . 

Because -at least for me- being an introvert means I like hiking alone in nature, but roaming busy streets full of people? malls? stores? no. way. 

I get tired easily and then- get upset easily, and when this snow ball starts rolling-

Once I realized this chain reaction, I decided there is no need for me to wander about and waste my energy , I need to be super focused and just get things done in the most efficient way I can think of. 

planning ahead means- at least for me- writing down every errand I need to run as soon as I notice it- (get more gardening soil, get new hot water bottle -old one tore after years of excessive use, annual blood works, annual car check up, etc. no need to reveal all my exciting activities here). then- before planning my route- checking all the lists and checking for possible new errands to be run. 

#3.Make sure you are set and organized for the task: OK, I know this sounds as if one is going on a trip around the world, and not going out to run a few errands , but- 

For me- acknowledging the fact that both activities are equally stressful- plus the fact that I usually need to run errands every few weeks, but don’t travel around the world that often-  

I think you get it. I learned to respect my odd reactions, and as they say- “own it”. 

Any way- 

By being all set I mean- check I have my list, (see #2 above) , my water bottle (I take it everywhere), plan my breakfast/lunch -before? after? I think it’s common knowledge that errands ran on an empty stomach are good for nothing. (Winnie the poo?possibly).I also check my cell phone battery, (what?? just in case?),my GPS navigator (me getting lost is not a pretty sight), plus I go over the route beforehand to check that it’s the most efficient route possible . 

#4. I dare say this is a major super important tip here, although it’s hidden after 3 other tips.

Be the first person in the store!

 I mean it. 

people tend to dismiss the timing factor, and I , on the other hand, tend to give it my utmost respect. 

The thing is- 

early in the morning- the streets are quieter,  people are nicer and calmer, less noise, more space, and -if you go to the market- fresher produce. 

If you are a late sleeper- well then- I really have nothing to say, because I’ve never slept beyond 8 am in my whole life, and now I wake naturally-at 4-5-6 am . 

I have to insist on this tip- unless you live in a quiet distant village, that sees 10 people and a goat max a day. 

(Now that- sounded great by the way. then again- you don’t really need any of these tips if that is your situation).

I’ve lived in cities before, and I hear my friends go on and on about traffic, and parking space, and crowded stores, and I keep thinking- why don’t they go out earlier? 

I am well aware that “be the first in the store” can generally apply only to the first store you go to- but- planning ahead can get you started in the busiest store first, and build your route from there on. 

5. Take into consideration that you may not succeed in checking off all the errands on your list. things happen. accept it before hand, and be joyful if everything worked out great. 

Oh, and by the way- just as I was finishing my chat with my agitated shouting friend, she exclaimed:”wow-don’t you miss the great bakeries we have here in the city? they are fabulous!it’s so difficult to live in the far far away village of yours!”

Yea, right. 

Enjoy- the cooliflower. 

 

Perfecting my on-line grocery shopping skills!

I know- Pfizer+Moderna+Astra-zenica+ more labs are on it- soon everybody will be happily hugging sweaty people they barely know, and everything will be back to normal.

But-

Us introverts, have believed in social distancing since the stone age, certainly before Covid began, so we needn’t change our non social habits just because vaccinations are in town.

I am not about to write what I have to say about these vaccinations, although I do have my opinion , lets just say I think each person should do his/her research , and decide based on their own parameters what is good for them.for that matter- regulating mandatory vaccination is not something I believe in. I do think-however- that those who choose not to take the vaccine- need to keep practicing the same routines as now- meaning wearing a mask and keeping 2 meters away -for the sake of people who cannot use the vaccine due to their immune system or other medical reasons.

On that note-

I think mastering the art of on line grocery shopping is crucial , and I believe it not only saves introverts from having to manage the whole “going out of the house ” production (yes, it is a production.), but mainly- saves a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy, and yields better results than regular grocery shopping.

How’s that? 

*1: you do your shopping from your couch, or desk at work- there is no need to start the car, drive over, find a parking space, in the shade, but close to the entrance, not to close to someone else’s car, so that when they stuff their car with their shopping bags, they wouldn’t accidentally scratch your car, or bump it trying to wiggle out of the narrow parking space.

(saving: gas costs, car repair costs, time it takes to drive to and from store).

*2: you do your shopping from your couch or work desk, where you can control the temperature surrounding you by opening the window, lighting a fire, switching the fan on, or even- if needed- using AC.

Whereas-

driving to the store in hot and humid temperatures, can get you pretty messed up +upset, can get other shoppers upset- thus zero patience (+zero tolerance), if you bought ice-cream or other refrigerator friendly products- the chances of them making it safely to your freezer are 0-0.1, thus making you even more agitated.

(saving: money spent on freezer needing products that lost hope on the drive back in the Sahara’s temperature car .possible wrinkles from all the agitation and anxiety)

*3: If you have kids, than you blu**d^ well know they like to sit quietly during shopping- as if all is well- but! when you get to the cashier! those marketing “geniuses” put all the little useless plastic toys /cheap chocolates/other useless if not hazardous stuff right in the face of your precious organic eating , lettuce loving teddy bears- and in an instant they become the nightmare described by Avenged sevenfold.

(saving: money, endless time spent building those wretched “toys”, cleaning up after they crushed them, and going to a therapist, trying to maintain your peace and quiet).

*4: If you are anything like me, than you absolutely have a list carefully made before you leave to the store. sure you do! come on! the thing is- I seem to remember quite a lot of dishes I was intending to make- as soon as I pass some of the isles, resulting in cramming the carefully prepared list in the bottom of my shopping bag, and continuing “free style”!

(saving: a lot of money, a lot of produce that “for sure will become a new quiche(!)” but ends in the compost bin. )

So-

Here are my top tips on how to save time+money+energy- and enjoy home made healthy cooking :

  1. The list! the beauty of online shopping is that you have your list ready to be altered every minute. no more driving home and “oops, forgot x,y or z”. but- make another list- stuck to your fridge door (for, well, obvious reasons), where you can write all those -“oh and I need extra celery to make that pea soup from that excellent blog:

The perfect pea protein!

make sure to add all those additions to your on line shopping reservation, otherwise you will have to swap another carrot for that celery.

2.About those coupons.

All I can say is tread lightly in this territory.

Unless you have a hugeeeee pantry, the expiring date is year 2030, and the sale is preposterous.

In that case- go for it! what are you waiting for??

3. On the other hand- you need to restock on beans and legumes? dates ? olive oil? soaps? I don’t shy away from a good sale, but do remember all this stuff needs to be stored somewhere accessible- so don’t over do it.

4. while on the subject of buying in bulk- do me a favor and check the sell by dates once the groceries arrive, and before you put everything in place.

The reason being- that way you can not only return the products that are past their sell by date-and get your money back- but also avoid falsely believing you have the ingredients to make the great breakfast from the above mentioned stunning blog :

Yummy healthy post workout breakfast!!

only to find out , alas, that the oats are not in the best shape of their life.

5. Be sure to get your delivery when you have time and some energy to put things where they belong , otherwise- you won’t find anything a week later- causing unnecessary stress.

If you are a pro on line buyer- then go ahead and peel your carrots and soak them in water -in fridge. keeps them fresh for 2 weeks- even more- provided you change the water every 2-3 days. same goes for celery.

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That’s enough for now-

Have a great new year and enjoy!

The cooliflower.

“Tell me lies, sweet little white lies”. (not Mac, Fleetwood).

white lie: (Merriam Webster)

Definition of white lie

: a lie about a small or unimportant matter that someone tells to avoid hurting another person.example:”He told a (little) white lie as his excuse for missing the party”.

A few days ago I heard a Fleetwood mac song I didn’t know , so it’s only fair that I should keep last week’s promise and tell you how I was brought up on the concept of “white lies aren’t actually lies”.

(By the way-just in case you were interested, the Fleetwood mac song I heard was “I’m so afraid”, go check it on YouTube- whether you know it or don’t- you will enjoy one of the greatest guitar solo’s out there- performed by Lindsey Buckingham).

So-

Before you start rolling your eyes at me and going all high and mighty about how you shouldn’t lie and all that, let me ask you a few simple questions:

#Have you ever met a good friend of yours and told them they look great , the whole time thinking “oh. my. god. what. happened. to. them???”

#Have you ever chatted in a meeting/class/convention-whatever- and once caught -told the lecturer “we were discussing the subject”? (yea right, subject of how bored you can get in a 20 minute meeting).

#Have you ever been asked by a friend to tell the absolute truth about his-her partner, and told everything but the truth?

#Were you ever asked by your parent how was lunch-dinner- whatever, and complimented the whole dang thing although if you could take back time , you’d rather chew on your car tires instead?

I believe you got the point.

You really wish you didn’t have to lie- but between lying a “harmless little lie” and facing the implications of telling the truth- you’d take lying any day.

Growing up I simply didn’t get it, and my mother- an firm believer in the concept of “white lies” , had a hard time convincing me of the purpose of “a lesser harm”.

When I grew up and came across workplace politics, not only did I embrace the “white lies” concept- I believe I stretched the limit of the concept like no man ever did.

I discovered even the harshest of bosses are human when it comes to flattering their “brilliance and wonderful understanding of the human nature”, not to mention their “hilarious sense of humor!

Also discovered the art of getting your workers to do extra work or take on a huge project : well, you get it- shamelessly flattering them on their great work and telling (each and every one of them) that they are the only one that can get this project done right, all the while wishing you had totally different people on your staff.

“That’s life, Amiga!” I told myself.

But although I perfected the “art” of telling little lies as to “not hurt people” and stretched it to the direction of “getting my way at work quickly and efficiently”, I did remember it was, at the end of the day- lying.

I retired early- so I can’t give you any advice on the complex subject of using harmless little whatever colored lies, as a way of avoiding the consequences of telling your actual opinion to people.

I thought of 2 possible outlets -see if it works for you-

#1: instead of lying- Maybe try avoiding the subject and deflecting it to another subject, counting on the terribly short span of attention everybody has.

#2: “shrink them”- if you are presented with a question you can’t tell the truth to or you won’t see the end of it- use the all time TV series psychologist tactic: ask right back :”and what do you think ?”

The cooliflower.

Take care of yourself. the rest will follow.

This morning I woke up, and it was chilly, and the mere thought of going out for a run was giving me the shivers.

I got up and made myself a cup of strong coffee, filled my hot water bottle and got back to bed to contemplate my next steps.

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Now I know you may be thinking:”this here is an old lady, sad little thing, goes around with her warm bottle, to get the old bones moving”. 

Frankly my dear(s)- I don’t give a damn. (Butler, rhett. “come on millenials- “gone with the wind”??)

Because- I can’t stand AC air, and I love sleeping with the windows open, hence my fondness of said water bottle, plus-there is a long way to go between A (warm bed, open windows, contemplating going out) and Z ( actually going out for a run when it’s cold out).

The warm water bottle gets my muscles going much faster , plus it gives me the ilussion of on going warmth, thus enabling me to go out- falsly believing the warm temperature I feel is going to last.

The mind (mine, anyway) is quite naive at times.

While on the subject of the naive mind:

I discovered many times I can fool myself with little tricks I play on my behalf.

That doesn’t give me much credit- not for fooling myself, and mostly not for managing to be fooled by myself- but- since this is the situation, might as well try to make the best of it. (when I get too many lemons, might as well make lemonade cubes and freeze them- etc).

For example-

When I still can’t get out of my lazy funk and go running, I promise myself a hot shower and a great yummy meal afterwards.

Now- since I don’t lie to myself ( nor to anyone else for that matter- well except for “white lies” ( I am making a note to myself to tell you all about the miracle of “white lies” -AKA “the Schrodinger cat of lying truthfully”

I get up and set the hot water boiler on, and make sure I have all the ingredients for that promised yummy meal when I get back.

This does work, surprisingly more than once , that is if you keep your promise to yourself, and don’t get caught in “life, kids, work, internet, whatever” stuff.

Because- as life has taught me -if I don’t make a point of taking care of me- well then- too bad , because it’s no one else’s responsibility but mine- to take care of me.

If I slack on my workouts, nutrition, sleep, work (back when I used to work)-whatever- because of the “oh so many excuses life brings on”- then that’s my choice- and it’s fine- as long as I don’t expect to enjoy the benefits of putting the effort and taking care of the above list.

The thing is-

The body is very forgiving when you are younger, and tends to take the little nasty note book out once you reach 45.

The little nasty notebook is where the body writes down all the incidents where you neglected to take top notch care of yourself.

I am not about to go into examples, you all know what I’m talking about, no need to turn me into a food hater or something, although- I really can’t see a scenario where a grown (ok, mature, mature) woman can eat a doughnut and get away with it.

Sorry.

My opinion here. (don’t get all upset- I told you I wasn’t a dietitian or anything).

Perhaps you are thinking:”come on! you only live once! I love them pastries and burgers! .

Yea, well.

Fine.

As always- do whatever you feel like.

I can tell you I haven’t eaten a doughnut in about 30 years (actually- I think more, but- who’s counting?), have been exercising seriously since I turned 30 ,and clean eating since I became vegan 7 years ago-and I still woke up one morning to find my body heavier and weaker.

Apparently- after you reach 40 , you lose 8% of muscle each year (!!!).

Just in case you were thinking -so what if I’m not Schwarzenegger-that’s not the point at all.

Muscles are super important at any age- but not only because of the obvious- but also because they build bone mass (yes, that ‘s right, not dairy Bu$% sh*%, and not store bought calcium- muscles)https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles. (click on the link- I am guessing Harvard is good enough a source for everyone).

Also- the more muscle you have- the more energy (as in calories) your body uses (as in burns).

Meaning- the stronger you get- the leaner and healthier you get, and vice versa.

Also-

The less you sleep -and the less you hydrate (on water, not alcohol) your skin will react as if you’ve declared a war on it- and it has to prepare for war by getting wrinkled up.

I am not linking anything to prove my point. this is in the lines of “goes without saying”.

So-

What I’m saying here is-

Take care of thy selves, because no one else will+

Sometimes you need to promise yourself a treat to get yourself back on track with the taking care procedure.

Now the treat need not be a sugary oily pastry- (a bit counter-productive I would say)-

It can most definitely be in the lines of a hot shower, a healthy nutritious home made meal, a good book, great music ( Beethoven’s “emperor” for example? YouTube it and thank me later- AKA piano concerto #5), doing your nails, putting on a great body lotion, whatever. (make your own list of favorites).

What I realized is- that sacrificing yourself for others may benefit you in the short run ( others will be grateful for a while, you feel mighty and gracious and oh so powerful), but not so much in the long run.

The people you sacrificed yourself for tend to feel pressured to be constantly grateful, and end resenting you for it, and you end up unhealthy and not pleased with your body- the one you got for this journey, and can’t replace-thus resenting the same people you just sacrificed yourself for.

Ah-the irony.

Instead of complicating it-

Simplify it.

Take care of yourself- the rest will follow.

The cooliflower.

The introvert’s best friends.

I live in a rural village.

Pastoral. 

Rustic.

Serene.

well-not exactly.

I am surrounded by neighbors that aren’t exactly big fans of peace and quiet.

While I seem to have an acute problem with noise.

 I am fully aware that they are the “normal people”‘ I am the problematic one +that I sound like an old nag.

Being aware is 50% of success!!

Now-just to make things even clearer- here are some tedious facts: 

The neighbors to my left– have 7 (!) kids, some of them grown up with friends, and since my neighbors had to build a pool in their back yard, almost every day during summer time, they  feel an urge to start shouting by the pool, while grilling meat (in an open barbecue- so as not to miss any of the fun of inhaling the stinky smoke) while playing music on the (loud) loudspeakers.

The neighbors in the back side of my garden- have only 3 girls, but the girls are teenagers, and very keen on karaoke .

They seem to believe they have a good voice and a good sense of rhythm, quite contrary to the actual truth.

Quite often, they start quarreling and calling each other names and stuff not appropriate for a  proper blogger such as I to repeat.

The neighbors next to the ones in the back– own 2 organic food shops.

You would expect them to appreciate the sounds of silence- but the man seems to think he can manage his shop from afar- thus having long and loud phone conversations , that are well heard due to strange acoustics in their house.

The neighbors to my right– have 2 young kids, and I really thought I hit the jackpot when she told me she is into meditation and teaches bibliotherapy.(oh- and yesterday I heard her telling a potential client on the phone that before the biblio part (or side by side to it) she assesses the feet.

But- she seems to be enjoying a unique kind of meditation technique, where you keep talking loudly and giving orders to your family members- while in deep meditation.

The neighbors across the street used to be really quiet, until a month ago they decided their 23 year old son has to open a pizza place in their garage, thus having all the kids in the village-and some grown ups too- happily (and loudly) “going out for pizza” in my neighbors garage.

Teens these days seem to be very opinionated on various subjects, and where I live they seem to believe that he who speaks the loudest- is automatically right.

I would be quite miserable if it weren’t for my best friends:

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I have no idea what brand the earplugs are, and I don’t believe I have enough knowledge to recommend a certain kind of headphones.needles (I hope its needless!) to say that I have no shares in the earplug-headphone industry, just in case you were suspicious .

I truly believe I am not meant to live in agony of any kind, and I also believe there is always a way . as long as you have the will to find it.

Since I go to sleep early (between 20:00 pm and 21:00 pm, on good days- even 19:00 is a good time to lay my head) and the pizza parlor-karaoke singing-pool shouting- store management- active meditation -is still going on, I simply shove my blue buddies into my ears and give myself the much needed peace and tranquility. ( I always sleep with my windows open, even in winter time I open a bit).

During the day, I listen to my classical music in my living room/kitchen, or in my room using my headphones’ and nothing can bother me.the corded headphones and bluetooth ones are for running+working out+working in the garden. 

If, by any chance, you seem to “enjoy” the same kind of “lively” neighborhood -get yourself a pair of earplugs, and if ‘ by any chance- you have a musical ear and the sound really does make a difference to you -do yourself  favor and get a good pair of headphones, and try listening to music on a PC -as opposed to cell phone or even Ipad.

You will thank me later- it makes a huge difference. 

No use in getting upset/angry/going over there to give them a piece of your mind.

You need to believe me on this one- since I tried all the above, to no avail.

“SERENITY NOW!” (Frank Costanza).

The cooliflower.

The perfect pea protein!

If you are vegan/avid health freak/ curious George- than you couldn’t have escaped the pea protein craze.

Evidently, a lot of vegan protein powders are made of, mainly , pea protein.

So-

I thought to myself-( I do that a lot. it’s definitely a good thing to befriend yourself, especially in times of social isolation- but not only then).

Why not go to the source?

Then I remembered I don’t particularly like pea soup.

I have no idea why.

I mean- now I do know why- and I have an urge to share this revelation with you.

Turns out I don’t like dried peas, that’s all.

I know, I know- I’m vegan, I’m supposed to love everything remotely resembling a legume.

But I don’t.

I don’t like quinoa, either. (in case you cannot go on reading without getting to the bottom of this strange dislike for the almighty quinoa- then here is a link to the explanatory post).

Sorry- dont like quinoa!

But- there is hope, so it seems.

As it happens- a few weeks ago I bought 3 packages of frozen peas, (huge sale in my online supermarket), and since I have this thing against keeping stuff for too long in the freezer, I got up and decided to make something with a large bag (OK, not that large- 800 grams )of frozen peas.

Rice and peas? ok-its tasty- but- what about some soup?

So I started the way I start every cooked dish- I diced fresh onions, garlic, peeled carrots, peeled potatoes, condiments, a dazzle of olive oil, salt&pepper.

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I pan fried the lot for about 10-15 minutes- until the carrots were tender. then added the bag of frozen peas, and stirred every minute or so- let it fry for a good 10 minutes or so- then added boiling hot water, a little bit of coconut cream , and when everything was nice and ready- used my hand mixer to blend everything to a soft consistency.

This is my hand mixer, next to the all time favorite apple sauce.

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Don’t get discouraged- this might look a bit odd- but I assure you the taste is great.

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This yummy soup is not only super healthy , but is also creamy, satiating, warming, comforting, and I think that’s about it. 

A cup of Fresh peas ( not the soup- but the peas themselves) contains 124 calories (that’s practically nothing! this is like a medium apple !) , 22 grams of carbs, 8 (!) grams of fiber (that’s a wow, mind you), and 8 (!!!) grams of protein. aside from that- they contain antioxidants, vitamin A, folate, manganese and more. 

Here is a certified link to assure you of the above data.  

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-peas-are-healthy

I have 3 things to say:

1.No wonder so many protein powders use peas as a main source of protein.

2. this soup is so filling and comforting, you will be grateful you made it when you’l look for your lunch on a chilly autumn day in the office.

3. I wondered whether frozen peas are as good as fresh peas, and my My online research on the subject concluded that there is no significant difference- since the freezing process keeps the freshly picked peas in good condition, whereas the time that passes between the farmer picking the peas and you actually enjoying them- is many times not a short while

But! if you are one of those dream gardeners that grow peas, or have any kind of access to one of these people-

Well then. 

You know what to do.  

Sides?

1:toasted leftover bread.

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2.home made spelt TORTILLAS. (easy recipes are available online).

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3. bulgur.

4. coriander/parsley + homemade toasted nuts.

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Who said vegans don’t enjoy great -healthy -protein packed food???

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

Does changing your mind=failure??

So, I’ve had this “math fantasy” for a long time.

There you go-

Just when you thought you’ve heard every strange fantasy, comes a strange new one and opens your perspective.

The thing is, when I were in high school, I liked the cleanliness of math equations. the fact that there was a clear cut solution. (this is high school math, not higher levels where everything gets complicated).

I was fascinated by the fact that other than the necessary 3-4 sentences , there was absolutely no need to write a mini novel in exams, and that when you get the point- you can relax for a while- because the point wasn’t to cram as much information possible to your poor head, but getting the logic of it.

Mind you I wasn’t the brightest math student -far from it, but- I was on a mission to succeed, because that’s who I was (and continued to be until I became 50 and age became wisdom. well some wisdom , anyway).

So I got a good grade on my math SAT’s , but never crossed paths with the clean equations again.

Because I had never tested this ideal perspective of my math abilities in real life, I kept thinking that once I retired, I will get a university degree in Math,you know- for the sake of pure intelectual interest.

Now this- is a fantasy.

A huge one , too- for me .

For years I nurtured the thought that I am fully capable of jumping to the next mathematics level -and that the only obstacle was time .

Well, now I had (have, I have!) the time, lots and lots of it, and I decided it’s time .

So I enrolled in the open university, to get a math degree.

Now- you need to understand this was totally unnecessary in every aspect:

1.I have no intention of going back to work, even if I did have to go back to work-

2. I would go back to being a lawyer long before I would try to get a job with a math degree, and

3. the cost of this degree was quite high .

But- dreams are there to be pursued , right? believe in yourself? there’s nothing you can’t do?

Emmm……

The beginning was promising.

I was so excited when the books arrived!

I immediately started reading -though the semester hadn’t even started yet.

I was on the top of the world, I tell you.

I spread my books and notebooks all over the place, arranged magic markers in different colors, sharpened the pencils, got on line to buy refills for my uni ball pen, only to find out that buying 12 new pens costs 50% less than buying 12 refills (!!!!!! people! that is so non environmental! I made a point of buying a pen that can be re-used!) and prepared a list for future note pads and stuff.

Great time, really.

But then, I started doing the assignments, (that part was still ok)- and checking my answers,

Well.

I personally was really surprised at my grand failures.

I really thought I nailed it, until I checked the correct answers.

But that wasn’t the worst part:

The worst part was the on line classes.

There I was, sitting shameful in front of my computer, trying to follow the professor’s lecture and not really succeeding, when I realized that about 20% of the class, is made of 13 (!!!)year old kids, getting math credits even before they finished high school! even before 9th grade, for that matter!

The mere fact that those 20% existed wouldn’t have bothered me so much, if it weren’t for the fact that they understood the professor much faster than I did, and kept hurrying her (I swear this happened) with lines such as :”come on, that’s obvious, let’s move on. everybody gets it”!

“HELLO NOT E V E R Y B O D Y!

Of course I didn’t say anything.

Are you kidding me??

I just watched the online lesson again and again, until I thought I nailed it, only to check the answers and find out that, well, not really.

To say this was frustrating would be an understatement.

But even worse- it was friggin humiliating.

There I was babbling to my partner about “the beauty of pure math, that is the basis of philosophy as Plato said, and needs only the sharp mind to grasp, no need for excessive explaining and much talking, only pure logic”-etc, when in fact- clearly my skills weren’t up for the task.

I kept going on, because that’s me-

That was me for so many years- failure is only a temporary state to overcome by hard work!” “if you don’t get it the first time- you’l get it the 300th time!”, “nothing ever came easy for you (that’s true by the way), but you always hung on and kept going till mission accomplished!”(also true).

I grew up knowing that “you always finish a book you started

“you always finish eating from your plate” (I have a lot to say about this-promised myself I won’t do the same to my kids, even if it did mean being really creative about leftovers).(I can tell you I double checked with my kids prior to writing this- in case I was delusional about this, too. turns out they confirmed I never made them finish what’s on their plate, at least that is off my plate when my maternal sins shall be counted ).

And the last one:“you always finish a task you start”.

I can tell you I stopped reading books I don’t connect to- (but still feel a bit queasy about it), sadly- still finish everything off my plate, and up until now- I always pushed through every task.

I think I would have kept on going- if it weren’t for the fact that on the second on line lesson, the professor divided us into on line study groups, and I heard a chat between 2 of my “study mates” (only 3 in that room), chatting about the course.

They were as amazed as I was at the 13 year old’s, but then one of them told the other that “this course is considered very easy , compared to the next advanced courses”.

WHAT?????

No no no.

I can barely keep my head over the water in this course-having to watch every recorded class a few times only to find out I am not really getting it- and this is the easy course????

I immediately turned off the computer, ( it was the middle of the class, mind you), and told my partner I can’t go on.

The next day I enrolled on 2 on line classes -no assignments or exams involved -therefor no degree granted-

One on empowerment in classical music, lectured by a famous conductor, and the other about french art .

At first- I felt relieved.

I could read again, sleep well, rest like a pro, drill holes in thrown buckets, re paint them –

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drag a thrown out table , fix and re paint it- turning it into a nursery workshop-

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You know-

Enjoying myself.

But then, the old feeling crept.

“Seriously? you quit? isn’t that what a loser does? you wanted to quit so you told yourself you can’t handle it, when in reality- you were simply lazy!!

(You can tell I ‘m kind of “tough love” with myself. )

I contemplated these feelings for a few days while meditating.

I think I’m more at peace with myself now.

Mainly because I found multiple justifications, and some of them valid, too.

“I would have continued in “real life”- now I am retired, and have no need for this degree- so no need to put that massive pressure for no real reason”…”I wanted to study music too- here’s my chance, and a gread conductor is lecturing, so!”

Etc.

I love justifications.

My brain’s method of handling cognitive dissonance.

I accepted I failed, I quit, I didn’t follow through-

And that’s ok too.

I think.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.