Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Battling the Winter Blues

Are you ready for Spring?
We had a teaser of spring this week, got to 75 one day! My boys were happy to get outside. But cold weather is around the corner, so it's not quite time for shorts yet.

Well, here are a few ways to squelch the Winter Blues...
(from Real Simple and Article)
  1. Seek the light!
  2. Eat better
  3. Get some exercise
  4. Don't watch the news! i.e. - avoid negativity
  5. Listen to some tunes
  6. Talk to friends, old and new
This list may sound familiar because it's also a good way to live, no matter what time of year it is. I know I'd be happier if I ate better and exercised more, but it's just not as high a priority as it should be.

I also put together a list of some Positives Parts of Winter!
  1. Sweaters & Boots
  2. Cozy comfort - blankets, fires, hot cocoa, cuddling
  3. No bugs!
  4. No outdoor allergies!
  5. No yard work
  6. Snow - just not too much
  7. Basketball season - fun sport to watch
  8. Outdoor fun - skating, sledding, skiing, snowmen
Winter is not my favorite season, but it's not all bad. And soon Spring will be here with new, new, new... And that's why we have the change of seasons, so we don't have to deal with too much of one - unless you want to and move to Florida!

Ready for Spring? What do you like about winter? How do you beat the winter blues?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Great Sugar Crash of '17

Feeling a little off this morning? Maybe a bit shaky, or
irritable, or unreasonably hungry? You might even have a bit of a headache, or think your heart is beating a little too fast. If you are, don't go to WebMD (it's really not a tumor) - it's probably just all the Valentines candy we broke our diets for yesterday. You - if you're like me - might be in the middle of a sugar crash. And considering all that delicious, wonderful, soul-saving chocolaty goodness is on sale today, it's probably going to get worse.

I don't usually eat a ton of sweets, so it was pretty easy for me to find the culprit when I started sweating after candy bar number [redacted]. What I didn't know, though, is that there are several ways to help mitigate the terror of a sugar hangover that go beyond simply drinking a few gallons of water.

I found some great advice from our friends over at Reader's Digest on how to recover from a sugar binge, and some of it was kind of surprising. The full article is here, but if you're jonesing for a quick fix, here's a summary:
  1. Lay off further sugar infusions. A body needs to find balance again and can't do it if you keep going back for more.
  2.  Eat a spoonful of peanut butter. You don't have to tell me twice...
  3. Take the stairs, go for a quick walk - anything to move your body and burn that sugar energy.
  4. Seek out diuretics like green tea with lemon to help flush your kidneys. But remember to keep drinking water at the same time!
  5. Plan your next meals to be low-sugar while your body heals itself.
Personally - I'm all about the peanut butter fix. As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY way to eat peanut butter is with a spoon. And keep in mind - this is absolutely not medical advice and you should consult your doctor if you have or think you might have diabetes and experience the symptoms I mentioned above. This is just for those of us - like me - without insulin-related issues who tend to overdo it with the chocolate on holidays :-)

So now it's confession time - hands up if you splurged yesterday! *puts both hands up*

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Get Ready to Feel the Love

It’s February. The month of Love
Which is totally awesome if you’re married or dating a romantic.

But what if you’re single? Or married to a guy who thinks jumper cables make a great gift-- totally true story...

Then you do what the Really Real Housewives do! You bend the twist that holiday to suit yourself.

How about this Valentine's Day you get prepared to turn February 14th into a holiday where you show the love to one of the most important people in your life-


How about an in-home spa day?

Can’t afford all the scrubs and creams? Make your own!

Apple-Cinnamon Body Scrub
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. white sugar
1 Tbs. applesauce
1 Tsp. cinnamon

Need a great hair rinse to wash away product build up and increase shine?  
Soak hair in beer, leave on for five minutes and rinse.
(You only need one can, but feel free to grab a six-pack if you’re feeling thirsty.)

Olive Oil Moisturizer
½ cup olive oil
½ cup sugar
Rub on and rinse with warm water.

 If you want to go full-blown anti-Valentine, feel free to celebrate SAD

Pick up a copy of My Bloody Valentine- the 2009 version with this hottie:

Photo credit IMDb
I'm not sure if the movie is any good, but 201 minutes with Jensen Ackles is never a waste of time. You can rent the movie from Amazon for 3.99, but sadly it's only available from Netflix on DVD. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Getting Old Ain't So Bad - If You're Sassy!

Hi-ya. Me again. Back for my final fling as this week's guest blogger. And today... anything goes! Woo-HOO! So what are we gonna talk about? Something you've all heard about before, I'm sure... those dreaded midlife crises. You know, that time of life when we allegedly go temporarily nuts, and do all sorts of wild and crazy things because we suddenly notice we're (gasp!) getting old.  Driven by desperation, we supposedly do anything and everything we can to prove we're still young... even if it's nothing but a silly delusion.

HOGWASH!!! I don't think that midlife crisis nonsense amounts to a hill of beans. Granted, my hubby and I sped past the mid-points of our lives a long time ago, but we still haven't experienced any great angst about getting old, or behaved any nuttier than we ever have. Know why? Because, believe it or not, this is actually a great time of life. Exhilarating, even. We truly ARE the captains of our own ships now. If we want to do something, we do it.

Well into the post-retirement years, our time is our own, and what we do with it is up to us. If an old guy wants to buy a convertible sports car, why shouldn't he? That doesn't have a thing to do with being in crisis. Doggone it, he worked hard all of his life, raised his family, and now, he can finally afford to treat himself to some of the things he's always wanted. We seniors can indulge ourselves by fulfilling some of our delayed wants, the things we put off all of those years when raising our families, and our careers often took top priority. If an old gal wants to dye her hair purple, why the heck not? Maybe it's her favorite color. If an old guy leaves his longtime wife to run off with a twenty-something bimbo, that doesn't mean he's having a mid-life crisis, either. All that means is he's an ass, and probably always has been.

There's actually a lot of good things to say about getting older. Like we generally have the confidence to stand for more convictions, and the moxie to fall for less malarkey. We may still be competitive, but we also realize being kind is much more important than being right. We've learned it isn't very smart to test the depth of the water with both feet, and we understand that the true art of conversation isn't just about saying the right thing. Sometimes, it means keeping our mouths shut when it's oh-so-tempting to deliver a verbal shot.

You may have heard this quote before. It's been sent to me many times, but without attribution, so I don't know who initiated it, but it's worth sharing:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! What a ride!"

That's our plan. To enjoy the ride as long as it lasts, and to carpe the hell out of each diem. Don't make a big deal out of getting old; just enjoy it. My body parts may be getting old, I may take more pills every day than I ever imagined possible, and the pain under my boob may turn out to be a bum knee, but I'm determined to stay young at heart and in attitude. Is that being sassy? Could be, but I refuse to let aging get me down. (For one thing, it's too damned hard to get back up again!)

Be assured, ladies, that no matter how old you are, you can still have the body of a 21-year old, if that's what you want. But (Bada-boom!) you may have to buy him a few drinks first... In closing, I'm gonna make a blatant plug for a book called Old Broads Waxing Poetic, a compilation of poetry from some very talented ladies. (And me.) Best thing about it? All proceeds go to CARE International, a fantastic organization, so none of us ever see a penny of it. If you're interested, you can find it on Amazon.
Isn't that cover awesome? The image Forever Young is courtesy of a very generous Italian artist named Francesco Romoli, who immediately agreed to let me use it... for free... when I contacted him. In closing, I'd like to share one of my poems from that book with you. It's called Ode to Old Age.

I found a hair there under my chin,
And I yanked that sucker out,
But wouldn't you know, the very next day,
Two more began to sprout.

I don't know what's happening;
It's a perplexing change of pace,
My arms and legs are going bald,
But I have to shave my face.

It's such a rotten travesty;
My tummy once was flat.
But now my hourglass is mostly ass,
And my waist has turned to fat.

My body's slowly sagging,
And I don't look so hot;
If a man wants to ogle my bosom now,
I'm afraid he'll have to squat.

But that's okay, 'cause I'm still here,
Of life I'm still a part.
So what if when I bend or stretch,
I leak a little fart?

I've lots of life and love in store,
Though I'm not young and shiny;
If ya wanta know the truth,
Old age can kiss my heinie.

Well, that's it, folks. It's been a pleasure. Thanks to the lovely Tammy for inviting me over to do a few guest posts. Remember: A good attitude is contagious, but for Heaven's sake, don't wait to catch it from someone. Be a carrier. Best wishes from Susan, longtime housewife, and visiting SOB (Sassy Old Broad)

We had so much fun with this Fun, Sassy lady! Susan, thanks for teaching us to take life less seriously and enjoy it as much as we can!

Susan with her hubby's 1930 Model A rat rod. (Lucky for her, he apparently likes old things.) If you're a glutton for punishment, and want more of Susan's SOB sense of humor, you're cordially invited to visit her blog I Think; Therefore, I Yam where she blogs most Fridays.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sassy Health Tips

Hi-ya. So here I am again. Still a bit saggy... although personally, I prefer to think of it as more of a relaxed fit... and hopefully, still sassy and savvy enough to provide you with some worthwhile wellness tips. Some of these may be old-hat to you, some may be new, and some may even be a bit counter-intuitive, but I'm going to try not to be such a smart ass today. This stuff's as real as the mildew growing under my boobs. Okay, so I totally made that part up. (Just a few squirts of X-14 keeps the mildew problem down nicely.) Okay, another lie. Sorry. But trust me, these tips are on the up-and-up. (Unlike my boobs...)
  • Want to  amp up a twenty-minute nap so it does a better job kicking fatigue in the keister? Have a cup of coffee first. Really. Downing approximately 200 mg of caffeine immediately before catching a few zees is all you need to turn your mini- nap into a super nap. That's because of something called adenosine, which is a natural byproduct of being awake and active. The higher its level, the more fatigued we feel. Makes sense, right? Well, a nap clears that stuff out of our system, and caffeine is an adenosine-blocker, so just as you're waking up from that nap, the caffeine is kicking in, and... ta-DA!... it effectively amplifies the benefits of that nap. 
  • Are you one of those people who is so conscientious about brushing your pearly whites immediately after every meal that you carry a toothbrush in your purse? Hold on. You might want to rethink that, because you may not be doing something quite as good as you think you are. Especially if your meal includes something acidic... like citrus fruit, tomatoes, sports drinks, or sodas. Acid temporarily softens tooth enamel, so brushing too soon, when your teeth are at their most vulnerable, can actually cause damage to your teeth. Bottom line? If you want to still have your choppers when you're as old as I am, best to wait 30-60 minutes before pulling out your toothbrush.
  • Those snack products marketed in 100-calorie packages seem to be a great idea, right? I mean, they control our portion size, and essentially save us from ourselves. (Assuming we have enough willpower to only eat one of them, that is.) The thing is, that small portion of carbs may spike your blood sugar a tad initially, but then you're too soon hungry again... for more carbs. It'd be better in the long run to pass on the carb snacks altogether, and reach for proteins. Something like peanut butter or cheese and apple slices. More calories per serving, yeah, but you'll feel full faster, and stay full longer. That means you won't be tempted to stuff your face with something else, and will end up eating fewer calories overall. 
  • Are you hooked on energy drinks? If you drink them, you probably are. One of those hopped-up beverages has five times more caffeine than a comparable amount of coffee, so no wonder it leaves you feeling nervous, jittery, and irritable, and makes your heart race. In addition to that mega-dose of caffeine, it also contains aurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of fifty grams of sugar. (That's a whopping thirteen teaspoons!) Yeah, that'll provide a rapid spike in blood sugar, all right, but it'll also lead to an inevitable hard crash, which will leave you fuzzy-headed, groggy, and... in need of another energy drink. 
  • It may sound counter-intuitive, but when you're dragging, exercise can re-energize you. Just thirty minutes of moderate exercise is enough to lessen your fatigue, improve your mood, and get those juices flowing again. Unfortunately, blog-hopping, jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, carrying things too far, dodging responsibility, pushing your luck, and doing diddly squats don't count as exercises.
  • Would you believe there's no evidence that antibacterial soap is any more effective than regular soap? In fact, long-term usage of anti-bacterial products can actually be detrimental to your health. Some of the ingredients in them, particularly something called tricolsan, can lead to hormonal changes in users, and to bacteria with a  higher resistance to antibiotics. Getting the optimal amount of effectiveness from a regular bar of soap requires a certain amount of lather time. A simple trick: To reach that optimal time while washing your hands, sing Happy Birthday in your head... twice.  Well, I suppose you could belt it out loud, but it might get you some strange looks if you do it in a public restroom. Not that (ahem) I know anything about that from personal experience, of course... 
  • Smelling a green apple can help ease the severity of migraine headaches. Certain scents naturally help us relax and reduce tension, and studies have shown the green apple scent to be particularly effective. A chilled cut lime is also reported to reduce headache pain, both by smelling it, and by rubbing it on the forehead or temples. For a select few, squeezing it into a margarita may also be beneficial.
  • Honey is a powerful antibacterial. Just a little dab will do ya before applying a bandage. If you suffer from hay fever, a teaspoon of honey a day is also reputed to reduce those miserable symptoms. Sweet, huh?
  • Cut yourself in the kitchen? (In a minor way, that is; I'm not talking about a to-the-bone debacle.) Rinse the area with cold water, (Use soap if you were handling raw meat.) sprinkle on some black pepper, and  then apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Who'd a thunk it? Good old black pepper has analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. How 'bout that? (Doesn't sting, either!)
  • Looks like I need to increase my intake of spearmint tea. Just two cups of it a day are supposed to help with hormonal problems, like acne or excess hair. It accomplishes this by reducing the level of male hormones in the body. (I'm reeeeeally getting tired of having to shave my darned face!)
  • Having trouble regulating your blood sugar level? Drink slime water! I don't mean you have to sneak out in the middle of a moonless night and skim muck off the top of a dirty ditch, or anything. Nope, you can make your own slime water. I do. Every evening, I wash three pieces of okra, slice off the ends, cut the larger pods in half, and cover all of the pieces with about half a cup of water. (You could use more, but the more you make, the more somebody has to drink.) Refrigerate overnight and in the morning, remove the okra, and drink the slimy water. My husband is the one who saw the tip online, and after investigating it on multiple medical websites, I ascertained that it could help, and most important, it couldn't hurt, so we decided to give it a try. Guess what? At least, for my husband, it has made a difference. Okra water doesn't negate the need for regular diabetes medications, but it has kept his numbers on a nice even keel. (If you try this, drink it all down at once. Then the slime isn't even noticeable.) (So he says...)
Th-th-th-that's all, folks, Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
Best wishes from Susan, long-time housewife, and visiting SOB (Sassy Old Broad)

One of the best things about being an old broad is... grandchildren. Susan and Smarticus have thirteen of them, ranging from three to eighteen, but since they can't all fit on her lap at one time, here's three of the younger ones who do fit. Most Fridays, Susan blogs at I Think;Therefore, I Yam Y'all are cordially invited to come visit her. No telling what the topic might be on any given week. Her body may not be flexible anymore, but her interests still are.
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