Sunday, October 6, 2013

Days Like This

Today is a good day.  It's Sunday (yay), sunny (yay), warm (yay) and quiet (double, triple yay) at the compound today.  Danielle and Jeff are off doing something.  Robbie is out dirt biking with his buddy and Skip just left for Canada for the week. That just leaves Courtney and I here.  Sundays and Fridays are my days off so I really strive to make NO plans for those days and just enjoy them.  Today feels especially golden.

I was just outside working.  Birds are chirping and the day is just warm enough to feel amazing but not too hot.  Nobody is bothering me (well except Courtney asking me random questions).  Everything feels great.  Inside I have my quiet meditation room (aka Bitch Cave) that I plan to slip into in a bit and enjoy as well.  Yes, I'm in love with this day.

Of course, a day like this gives me pause to reconsider whether I really want to move from here.  I can list a LOT of reasons why I don't want to live here on the compound anymore.  Another day they would be big and valid.  Today, they seem so insignificant. 

A day like this brings me back to what I consistently teach in all of my yoga classes:  Bring your attention to this breath, this moment, right now. 

So, for now, I'll just feel the greatness of now.  Tomorrow or another day will bring with it whatever it brings.  I'm sure this moment will pass into another moment that might not be as zen. 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Slow Down

Thursday night I bopped into the studio to teach my Stretch & Release class.  Same class I usually teach there but on a whole different night.  This was to be my first night teaching this class on Thursdays so I wasn't expecting a big crowd. 

My boss (and friend) was still there saying "good bye" to her students and finishing up administrative stuff as my class was coming in.  A young woman blasted in the door with her mat in hand and seemed to be on a mission as she was heading for her "spot" in the studio.  Cool.  Obviously she heard someone else conversing with me and got the heads up that I was the teacher.  She looked at me, sized me up (okay, I'm a larger middle aged woman) and said, "you the teacher for this class?"

"Yep, I am!" (with my bestest smile).

"What kind of class is this?" (obviously from her assessment of me it wasn't going to be what she came for, but then I already knew that from the way she was bustling in and the stressed out, maxed out look on her face).

"This is a deep stretch class."

"Oh, I was looking for a more intense workout.  I'll come back another time."

"Okay!" (with my bestest smile AGAIN!)

My boss heard this interaction and intercepted Miss Full Throttle as she was heading out the door.  She told her that she was twice her age and for her to stop and just listen to wiser, older person for just a second.  The young dynamo did (to my surprise).

Gloria (my boss) said, "There will always be opportunities for you to push yourself to the max in a class.  There will always be teachers that are willing to offer a class that takes one to their full potential.  However, slowing down and taking a nice stretch class and taking care of yourself is equally important.  Jody here, is our guru and I don't think you will be disappointed if you stay.  I mean, look, you already are here, you've already carved this time out of your busy day and you already have your mat."

The young woman did stay.  I soon realized that she was VERY tight and not flexible at all.  I worked with her (my class was small) and assisted her in a lot of our melting and stretching poses.  She kept saying, "wow, I really need this" several times over throughout the class.

At the end of class as everyone was leaving she came up to me and said, "I'm so glad I stayed.  That was an amazing class.  I'll definitely be back next week.  Thank you so much."

And THAT is why I love to teach a nice sweet stretch class.  Everyone needs to slow down and take time out to just take care of themselves.  Something our culture seriously lacks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What's The Deal?

Short and sweet this post will be.

I haven't blogged like I used to blog lately.  I was thinking about that and wondering what the flip my issue was.  I want to blog.  I love to blog.  It's a nice way to get stuff off my chest and to have a "trail" of what I've been going through so what's the deal?

A person close to me that I respect and lot and love more than words can express told me that she read something I had posted and it "really upset her" and she was not going to read my blog anymore because of it.  I took this so personally.  Is this the reason I don't blog much anymore?

There's the whole "I'm busy" thing.  Actually I AM super busy by design.  I teach yoga and have been taking on as many classes as I can because it really makes me happy to teach.  It's also a sweet way to escape my "life."  Is this the reaon I don't blog much anymore?

Lastly, there's the "I just don't feel like putting myself out there" excuse.  Honestly, my life has been in a tough place lately and I have holed up inside WAY too long.  I've gone into self pity, depression and a menagerie of other behaviours that are undesireable including self destruction.  I'm moving past all of this but is this the reason I don't blog much anymore?

Probably a combination of all of the above.  Today I feel healthy with my fingers tapping across these keys.  I feel happy.  I feel ALIVE.  Maybe I do need to blog.  So, to those who don't like what I have to say I say "forgive me for not agreeing with you.  I will give you your space and I respectfully ask that you return the favor to me."

Just Stuff

Our family is on vacation in Pinetop, Arizona (HOLLA!!).  Why did we pick such a random place?  Truthfully, our timeshare has a spot here and it seemed like a nice place to go for a low key relaxing vacay and it is.  The weather has been cool and it has rained every day we've been here.  I might add that we haven't really seen rain in our hood for about 10 months and it's a sweet refreshing change.

However, at home there seems to be a whole different story going on.  I left my place in the capable hands of my son's girlfriend and, I might add, she's doing an amazing job especially considering the circumstances.  We got a call (well a lot of calls) that fire had broke out on our road on Sunday afternoon.  It's turned out that it's a pretty serious fire blazing several thousand acres of real estate.
This has left our family pretty unsettled and fearful for our place.  So far, we've been told, our place isn't in immediate danger.

As I was about to go into meditation yesterday I was pondering what (besides my beloved animals) in my home would devastate me if it were lost to a fire.  I mentally went through each room and didn't come up with much.  Oh there's things that have been passed down in my family to me and that I intend to pass down to my children but even those things didn't seem to "devastate" me.  It made me a wee bit sad at the minute prospect of losing these things but "devastation" wasn't the emotion I was feeling.

Yes, my husband put his heart and soul into building our home - well remolding it into a gradiose structure - but even that just felt like something that wouldn't wipe me out.  I love and enjoy our home.  It's been a great place to raise our children and we now have it for sale so that we can buy something smaller, cheaper and more manageable to spend our golden years in.

I know I consider myself to be a "detached" individual.  I don't particularly like this aspect of my persona but it is a reality.  However, is this taking it too far?  To not really have emotion over losing all my material possessions?  I feel like my family is safe.  I have a LOT of concern about my beloved animals.  Even the chickens (lol).  I would be devastated if they were harmed because of this.  I often think of them and hope they aren't frightened because of all the smoke and helicopters and other such commotion that surely must be going on.

Nonetheless, I choose to embrace who I am ... detached.  I am going to choose to be grateful that I'm not in a tither about all of this.  I will continue to send good vibes in the direction of Livermore and place my trust and confidence in those firefighters that are battling the "Morgan Blaze."  I also choose to enjoy the balance of my relaxing vacation and look forward to being reunited with my happy dogs, cuddly cats (yes, I just did say that), trusty steeds and . . . can I say it? . . . obnoxious but somehow loveable chickens.  After all, the rest of it is JUST STUFF right?

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Sanskrit word that means "non-injury in thought, word and deed."

A few days ago I walked into a store that no "good" Mormon would go into.  I made a purchase that no "good" Mormon would on a day that (you got it) no "good" Mormon would shop.  I was dressed up in my "Molly" clothes and, yes, that was definitely me.  I refuse to made excuses or explain myself because, quite frankly, it's nobody's business what I was up to.

There were three people in the establishment.  The young woman behind the counter, a man that I assumed to be a chain smoking alcoholic meth addict and a middle aged woman with a birth defect that left her with one badly deformed short stub of a left arm.  All three were having friendly conversation and seemingly enjoying each other's company.  Quite an unlikely group, in my opinion.

I told the clerk what I was after and she quickly went to retrieve said item.  The man looked at me and said, "well, you are definitely a woman sent on a mission."  I looked at him questioningly and probably asked him what the heck he meant.  He then said that I didn't look like the type that would require the item that I was requesting.  He was right. 

He then informed me that he had been clean and sober for over 30 years.  (There went my initial "judgment").  I was impressed and told him so with a hearty congratulations.  The other two were smiling and nodding their approval at my seeming "acceptance" of them. 

I write this story more for myself than for others.  I want to remember this when I feel like I am the victim of judgment.  I want to remember this when I look down my snooty nose at someone else and judge unfairly.  Judgment is injury - whether it is in thought, word or deed. 

I have spent a lot of energy lately feeling a lot of sorry for myself because of the way certain people have judged me and my family.  I feel ostracized and it hurts.  This day was a good lesson for me.  I was dishing out exactly what I was receiving ... hurtful judgment. 

Ahimsa.  Non violence to all beings.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Out to Pasture

Skipper kisses me good-bye as he leaves for work at 5:00 am.  I linger in bed for another half an hour then reluctantly push myself to getting up and about.  It only takes me about five minutes and I'm in my bliss.  I LOVE the mornings.  I have three amazing hours before I have to leave for work.

The rest of the fam got in late so they are sleeping in (yay!!) and that leaves the compound to me and just me all alone. Nothing better.

I feed my cats and dogs. The dogs are just too happy to see me (even though they slept all night with me in my room - silly animals).  I start another load of laundry and take the load in the washer out to hang on the line.  My momma did this while we were growing up and I just never tire of the smell of my laundry that has been dried by my earth mom.  PLUS, the very process of hanging my clothes just is so enjoyable.

Next, I start turning on water for my various gardens (the compound is for sale which means that all the foliage needs to look pristine) and head out to feed my horses.  They, too, are happy to see me.  Then there's the chickens and more plants and gardens.  I head to the backyard and hand water all the flowers in pots. 

And on it goes.  I just putter (my momma's word - I love it) around in my gardens and with my animals and just enjoy the peace, the solitude, the gentle breeze and the cool morning air. This is close to heaven.  In fact, please tell me that this is how my life will be when I arrive there.

As I've mentioned before, I'm moving.  This is it.  I'm moving to a place where nobody knows my name.  Nobody knows my past.  Nobody knows diddly squat about me.  I'm ready to be put out to pasture.  I'm grateful for this new direction.

Now . . . if there were just someway I could get a Bux delivered . . .

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Busy Bee

Really?  Almost 4 months since I've posted?  Wow.  Is someone busy or what?  Actually, for some reason, I've adopted the mindset that being on my computer is an unnecessary indulgence.  PLUS my computer in the office has become the family computer - the ONLY computer in our home at the moment.  So . . .

The compound goes out on the market again next week.  I have a great feeling that this time is THE time that the keys will be handed over to the family that this place belongs to.  I have mixed feelings about the whole deal.  We've lived here for 16-1/2 years and have a lot of amazing memories.  However, it makes NO sense to stay here anymore.  My kids are all but grown and the dough it takes to keep this place humming along is ridiculous.

We have our eye on a sweet spot in Arizona.  I'm so trying to not get my hopes up but I still daydream about how my furniture will fit into the "new" (MUCH smaller) house and how my happy fat horses will enjoy their new digs.

Meanwhile . . . back at the ranch there's a whole lot of work to be done.  There's a new roof popping up overhead and new (gasp) appliances rolling into the kitch and flowers and flowers and flowers being planted all over the place and, and, and.  Yeah.  Lotsa stuff going on around here.  Why the heck didn't we do this like forever ago and enjoy it all these years? I think we say and do this in every home that we have ever owned.  No bueno.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No kidding?

Saturday I got to go to the rock and gem show with my friend who is WAY more knowledgeable about rocks, stone and crystals than I.  I love her energy and it was fun spending a bit of time together.

As we were about to leave the show, I happened upon the amber table.  There was a Russian woman that was the seller.  Knowing that amber is a great stone to absorb pain, I stopped and took a look see.  Debbie, too, was interested.

I then, speaking TO MY FRIEND, said, "Hey, should I get a necklace or bracelet or anklet to help with the pain in my knee?"

Debbie replied, "I don't think it matters.  The stone is going to absorb the pain regardless of where it is placed on your body."

The Russian woman then approached me and interrupted with, "The reason you have pain in your knee is because you are fat.  If you were not so fat your knee would not hurt."

I looked at her (obviously with astonishment), "excuse me?"

She continued, "you Americans are so fat because you do not exercise much.  In Russia we walk everywhere and do not depend so much on our cars.  We are not fat like you."

Debbie then whispered, "don't listen to her."

It's all good.  I was more in shock that someone could be so bold.  1) I'm pretty sensitive about my weight.  2) yes, I am fat, 3) my knee was the pivotal reason I got so fat because my exercise efforts have been thwarted.  Not that I need to explain any of this to anyone but . . . seriously????

So, did I purchase any amber from this rude woman?  Yeah, I did.  I scored a bracelet and necklace.  Yes, I'm still fat and yes, my knee still hurts.  Hopefully both will change soon.

Growing Season

Courtney is back living with me.  She's been living with my sister for the past 6 months and, frankly, my sister isn't accustomed to parenting and . . . well . . . she's back with me.  It's all good.  I got a 6 month break and now I feel like I can better handle the stresses of raising a special needs child.

I enrolled her in the local high school and yesterday was her first day.  She was so excited to see all of her old friends from before.  She came home as happy as could be.  She kept thanking me over and over for putting her in that school so that she could not feel so awkward when she was technically a "new" kid.

One class, that happens to be her first period of the day, that she particularly is NOT too fond of is PE.  Court has always struggled with this class - typically getting a D or F.  I ask, "how does one actually go about failing PE?"  Answer:  You don't dress out because you are too "sick" to take PE.  Bad answer!!!

I think this morning I might have found a little closer to the truth:

C:  Mom, there is something that is really bothering me that I don't know what to do about.
Me:  Mmm.  What's that, Court?
C:  I don't have breasts.
Me:  Oh.  Well, that's not something I can help you with but I'm pretty sure your day is coming.
C:  Well, I looked it up in the book and it said that breasts grow anywhere from between 10 years old to 15.  I've missed the growing time.  I don't think mine are going to grow.

Okay . . . I was driving DOWN THE HILL when this little bit of wisdom was shared with me.  I swear I almost wrecked Herkie trying not to break up into hysterics.  Actually, if the look on her face hadn't been so sad and pathetic, I might have.

I then informed my child that that was just an average for young girls.  There are always exceptions to the rule and she was one of them.  (Really, babe, count your blessings.)

Wow . . . I truly didn't see that one coming.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lotus Spa

I love cruises.  I really do.  I love food.  I love new places.  I love doing much of nothing and being a fat cat.  It's the good life but it DOES come to an end eventually.

One of my favorite indulgences is the Lotus Spa.  We go up there and score on massages, facials and the like.  I'm a massage junkie so this is definitely a high point for me.  I do my share of foot, face and back zones to barter for amazing massages on a regular basis at home but here, I get to pay a FAT amount of dough to bliss out.

When you first waltz into this place on the ship they thrust a clipboard with a questionaire in your lap and instruct you to fill it out.  It has things like "concerns" and little boxes to check.  You know . . . weight gain, lethargy, cellulite, etc. etc. (check, check, check).  Then the cute little darling come along and escorts you to your massage room.

On one occasion, she says, "I see here that you have concerns about weight gain and cellulite and .... I wanted to let you know that we have treatments that can help you with these problems.  You can book an appointment with a specialist and they will help you find things you can apply that will help these problems disappear."

I gave the little sweetie a "look" and then informed her, "My issues are not caused by some random cruel act of God.  They are not going to go away by putting magical potions on my skin.  No, my issues are a result of me not gaining control of the fork to mouth action.  My issues are caused by to much input and not enough output (exercise)."  I think my honesty blew her away.  I further informed her that learning to exercise a lot of self control and applying the "Mind over Platter" theory into my life and pushing myself to move my bum more would give me the desired results.  Sorry, babe, no sale here for your magical products.

Then, letting her know that I was here purely to gain an hour or so of relaxation - nothing more, shut her down.  I know their job is to sell, sell, sell but honestly that is a big turn off and kills the whole motivation of my being there.  I must say that to Skip's and my credit we did amazing this time around.  We did not buy ONE product from them and we feel pretty good about that.

Tortoises Rule!

As I mentioned numerous times in the past, I'm a runner.  I haven't been practicing my "art" as a runner for a bit over a year now because of the complainings of a rogue knee.  So when Brandilyn said that she was participating in the Phoenix Marathon, I had to say this was too good to pass up.  I wanna play too!

Well, power walking became my new game.  I dusted off my trusty treadmill (well actually Jeff did) and went to work.  I was booking it and felt pretty good about my progress.  When I told Skip that I was going to walk the 10K he said, "Well then, what's the point of doing it?"  What?  To get back in the game, Homie!  To feel the energy of runners!  To relive my . . . youth?

Today was race day.  I honestly wasn't nervous.  I was pretty sure that I would be finishing dead last and even that didn't bother me much (well, okay, it did).  I told Brandilyn that it wouldn't bother me if she took off out ahead of me (she didn't).

We started off at a slow jog and continued on that vein for about two miles.  We were passing a LOT of people (good for the ego).  Finally, fearful that I would blow out that knee of mine, I said that I needed to break it down to a power walk.  Brandilyn was agreeable and walked for about three nano seconds and then decided that a slow jog beside my walk was just fine for her.  To her credit she didn't walk the rest of the way (applause for that!).

Oh, people passed us but I wasn't too concerned.  We passed quite a few peeps - and a LOT of them were running (jogging).  It felt good to round the final corner and look back to a lot of participants behind us.  Brandilyn then said, "Come on, Mom.  The finish line is just up ahead.  Let's run the last little bit!"  I couldn't let my baby girl down so I complied.

I have to say the old adage, "slow and steady wins the race" held true for us tortoise girls today.  Team Tortoise rocked it!  We averaged a 12:26 pace.  Not bad - not my PR, but not bad for someone who hasn't done this for 25 years, right?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Today I was doing my bi weekly visit with my chiropractor, Doc.  I love the guy.  I really do.  Anyway, he paused to relay something to me.  He said, "Oh, Billy Bob (not his real name) says hi."  I looked at him and said, "wtf?"  (Not really what I said but that's what I meant.)

He then told me how the convo went . . . 

Billy Bob:  (looking at the business cards on the counter - one of which is mine since I work there as a zone therapist)  Jody Weltz?  Is this the same Jody Weltz I know?

Doc:  Idk.  Is there more than one?  (laughing)

BB:  I know a Jody Weltz from a long time ago.  We used to work together.

Doc:  Well, this Jody is about yay tall, blond hair, married to a guy named Skip

BB:   Yeah, yeah!  Just a total bundle of energy?

Doc:  Yep. We're talking about the same one!

Lol.. Wow.  Back in the day when I knew Billy Bob my nickname was BOF.  That name was given to me by my boss.  He had waltzed into my office one day and declared:  I'm going to name you BOF.. Ball of Fire!  The name stuck and most everyone in the office caught on.  I actually get called that occasionally when I attend company functions with Skip (he still works there - that's where we met . . . that's another story that may or may not be blogged about).  

It makes me smile that the image I had when I was young(er) is still the image people have of me today.  I take it as a compliment and hope that I will ALWAYS be known as that blond woman that is a ball of energy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Leaving Depression in the Dust

I have to say that I'm quite impressed with myself as of late.  I took on the challenge of picking up my running shoes, lacing them up and getting ready for a 10k run in Phoenix in March.  I haven't been a runner for a year since I injured my knee last January doing something that I choose not to disclose at this time.

I told Danielle this morning as I was walking down the hall after finishing my run, "Hmm.  It's amazing that I don't have depression since I started running again (2 weeks now)."  Well, that's not word for word but that's the gist of what I meant.  It's true, though.  I've had a rough year in every way I can imagine.  Going through the list of poopy things isn't helpful so I'll just leave it at that.  However, the last two weeks have had me singing, "Skippidy Doo Dah, Skippidy Day . . ." (get it?  Skip?  Lol).

So, last night I decided to take a yoga class that I don't usually take.  I had no idea what to expect.  The teacher is someone I respect a lot so I was excited to take the class.  Besides, it's the class RIGHT before my class that I teach so it was a "no brainer".  Right?  Well, guess who rediscovered her knee issue.  Damn! I tossed and turned all night last night in bed with that throbbing knee.  I rehearsed the words in my head that I would now have to share with Princess, "Um . . . sorry I can't do that run with you.  I suck butt!"

I hobbled my way to the bathroom this morning, said a prayer, sent my energy to God for refreshing and closed my eyes (seeing myself in the mirror in the morning is scary, lol).  I then felt the nudge to go to a certain place in my stash of potions and discovered a bottle of magic that I forgot I owned (there's a lot of those, just sayin . . .).  I mixed it with a little of this and a little of that and put it on the ailing knee.  I then made my way out to my trusty friend, my treadmill and climbed on board for a "fast walk."

About two minutes into said walk I started feeling pretty perky.  I bumped up the speed and, before I knew it, I was RUNNING (Forest Gump).  I logged on my 3.5 miles and felt pretty amazing.  I can't say that my knee is healed but with ice, love and magic potions, I think I'm on the mend.

Pretty excited, too.  I was a little concerned about the dark cloud returning.  NOT!  I'm still Miss Sunshine and I'm ready to walk out the door to another episode of my teacher's class.  Wish me luck!

Friday, January 18, 2013

auf Widersehen

Tonight is our last night here in Munich.  We fly out tomorrow around noon to begin our journey back into the United States.  It's been a great trip with some really rich experiences. Some amazing exposure to culture and the opportunity to meet some awesome people.  I have had a great time, enjoyed the time alone with Skip (somewhat) and was able to catch up on some blogging, journaling, reading and a wee (very wee) bit of relaxing.  Can't say I'm excited to return to my life, but I'm happy to be returning to the world that is familiar to me.

Today, besides visiting Dachau, we also visited the king's summer residence which was cut short because we just missed the cut off time to tour so we only got to see the treasury.  It was a little bit interesting but neither Skip nor I are into the possessions of ancient kings etc.  We also visited the old Catholic church today.  I think it's called St. Petersburg or something.  It was pretty ornate and interesting but, again, not being Catholic it was just mildly interesting.

We had dinner at yet another crazy huge restaurant that seats 2500 people!  I think the place was filled to capacity tonight.  We were sitting by the door and the people filed in non-stop for the entire time we were there - about 3-1/2 hours.  As usual, Skip and I were the first ones to leave the party - being the only non alcoholic drinkers in the group (applause for us!).  

Another thing I'm looking forward to coming home to is my own food.  Yes, this has been a great experience but my body is screaming BIG TIME for a Jode Banode salad.  Bring it on!

So, Munich, thank you for the memories.  Thank you for sharing your wonderfulness with us.  Thank you for your friendly and fun people.  Next time . . . I choose to visit you when I can see your true colors and not all that white stuff on the ground.  

So, for now I say to you . . . auf Widersehen!!!


Pronounced "dakow".

I'm trying to come up with an upbeat way to write this post.  There really isn't any, I think.

While looking up "things to do" here in Munich, one of the top five things to do is visit Dachau.  I did some research on the place and was a little hesitant but almost everyone who posted a comment said that it is worth the time.  That is was good exposure to Germany's history.  We went.

Dachau was the first concentration camp that was set up during World War II by the SS (Nazi).  It served as a model for subsequent camps and guards were trained at Dachau before they went to other camps.  It is now set up as a museum and memorial.  We toured this horrible dark place and it has traumatized me, to say the least.

We were bluntly educated on how the prisoners were treated.  How they were beaten, starved, executed and tormented.  I found it more than a little disturbing that my feet were standing right in the very spot where unspeakable things were done to human beings at the hands of other human beings.

I have a new found appreciation for the freedoms I enjoy and the life that I am so priveleged to have.  It's one of the many times in my life where I only have to reflect on this experience to bring me to that reality when I think I'm having a "hard life."

Now THAT'S Italian!

Yesterday, when we got the message that there was a group dinner organized, I was a wee bit nervous in light of my last experience (the "sweet breads").  However, I really didn't want to appear the party pooper so I put on my brave front and went with the flow.

I was overly excited when the group had chosen an Italian establishment on the other end of the market place.  It was snowing like a booger head but I was even game to walk the distance to dinner. We ended up having a very formal six or seven course dinner.  I loved it because we got to try a lot of different things, the portions were small so we didn't end up being stuffed to the gills and the waiter was a hoot!

First of all . . . may I please say how entirely refreshing it is to be in a culture that treats women (for the most part) like ladies when we are out and about.  The three of us women in the group were served first and accomodations were made for us as we were the only ones that expressed a displeasure for fish.  Several times I have noticed "gentlemen" going out of their way for the women here - something that seems to be lost in the U.S.

Next . . . our waiter.  I LOVED this guy!  At one point he brought out a platter and gently placed it between one of the other women - Stephanie - and I.  She looked at me and said, "what did you order?"  Before I could answer, he pulled off the lid of the platter and a rubber chicken jumped out at us.  We both screamed and jumped and the whole table was in hysterics.  Good one!

As we were departing, the waiter helped me with my jacket on and took my hand and kissed it.  I've never had a gentleman do that before.  Very touching.  We closed the place down and had one of the best evenings EVER!

Our waiter was Italian - from Italy.  The restaurant was Italian and I must say . . . I'm impressed!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Field Trip Day!

Finally!  Skip was able to take a wee bit of time out from the exhibition (the reason he's here) and spend some time with ME!  Woot woot!  I was a bit surprised when I woke up to do my treadmill workout and find he was still about.  He actually joined me down in the workout room.

We toured the BMW facility here in Munich (Munchen) today.  Holy wow!  It was awesome!  There were cars there on display from the inception of BMW to present.  There was even a car that was made about three years ago (an 8 series, I think) that is a convertible and RED.  There was only ONE of those cars made and it was there in the museum.  Such a gorgeous machine.

We weren't able to tour the factory because there's a waiting list of about four months long to do that. Wtf?  THAT 411 wasn't in the write up online.  Oh well, touring the museum and the new showroom was enough eye candy for this girl.  Skip took a whole bucket full of photos of motorcyles and I think I heard him exclaim at least that many times, "Ooooh, David would love this one.  Wait, wait, I gotta send Dave this one."  Yeah, there were engines (not into it) and motorcycles (not into it) and cars (so into it) up the wazoo!

I know this may be a "duh" for some peeps but it was a "wow, really?" to me.  BMW makes mini coopers.  I didn't know that (insert Courtney's voice in here, please).

I sat inside a brand new BMW and asked Skip to shoot my photo.  I didn't want to get out of that beautiful car.  It just molded my body and felt so comfy.  That's ok, Herkie, you're safe, baby.  My loyalty is still to you.  The BMWs cost an assload of money and won't fit in my suitcase.

I have to say the tour and field trip was worth the time and money.  I had a great time.  We then came back and walked for a couple of hours out in the snow around Marianplatz.  We made our way over to the old Olympic stadium (built in 1847) and I insisted on getting my photo take on the stairs of said structure.

By the time we made our way back to the hotel room, Skip had had enough fun for one day.  But wait!  We still have dinner with the group tonight!  At least I know what NOT to order, right?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Sounds innocent enough.  Right?

On our second night here we went out to dinner with "the group."  We went to the biggest restaurant I have EVER seen in my life.  The Hof Brau Haus.  The largest pitchers of beer I have ever seen (I have since found out that that's the norm when you order beer).  This place was massive.  I think it took up a full city block and was two stories high.  It was as loud as loud can be and there were people EVERYWHERE.  Because of the size of our group, we had a room all to ourselves.

So here comes the menu.  Most everything here is sauerkraut, meat and potatoes.  Very little fresh vegetables and when there are, it's pathetic at best.  I decided when I embarked upon this journey that I was going to pony up and eat what the natives eat and not fuss about my dietary pickiness.  I take a look at the menu and it is scary to me.  Really scary.  I'm actually thinking that maybe I'm not hungry and a glass of water sounds pretty nutritious.

However, someone hands me the weekly special menu and I notice "Sausage with Sweetbreads".  Hmm, think I.  Sausage ... not my favorite but do-able.  Sweetbreads ... hell yes!  I'm a sugar junkie and anything sweet gets my attention and NOW.  So, yup, that's my choice and I'm sticking with it!

I place my order as does the other 18 people in our party (none that I have ever met before besides my husband).  While the last of the people are placing their order, the gentleman next to me turns to me and says, "Wow, you're sure a brave soul.  I honestly didn't initially peg you as an overly adventurous one.  And, now, look you're the bravest one here."

Okay ... you've got my attention.  Wtf?  He then explains to me that "sweetbreads" are "brains" and what I ordered was sausage made with brains.  Holy vomit!  What the hell did you just say???? Yeah, suddenly the water idea was sounding AMAZING!  I flagged our waiter down as quickly as possible and requested a change to my entree.  He smiled, knowingly, and obliged.  I ended up with saausage hot dog looking things on sauerkraut with scalloped potatoes.  I picked at it and smiled a lot and pretended to be engaged in conversation around me in hopes that nobody would notice I wasn't eating.

The next night for dinner?  Yeah, we dipped before they knew we were gone and headed to Planet Hollywood and had salad.  Sorry, Germany, I really love you but you can keep the grub.  I'm a salad and fresh produce kind of gal.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Girl About Town

Skip went to his trade show (hated it!) and I went shopping (loved it!).  We met up later but while the cat was away . . .

Actually, I hit the treadmill this morning and began logging on my first workout in the direction of going on that 10k run with Princess in a month or so.  I have to say that I am duly embarassed at how out of shape this ol dawg has gotten.  Walking has been guut but running is my game and, boy am I OFF my game.

I then got myself pulled together and ventured out to see what I could see.  I found like FOUR Bux today (and the crowd goes wild) and managed to find myself a cute pair of boots.  Pretty good so far. I was also on the hunt to find little goodies to take home to the kiddos but I tend to get too picky in this department so I decided to wait for the man to come and help out.  Of course, he didn't really so . . .

Skip joiined up with me and it was clear within a couple of minutes that he was bored out of his ever loving mind.  I only kept him out for an hour before he made it clear he wanted to go back to our hotel room.  I felt like a naughty child that was told to go to her room (literally).  Of course, he was snorning within about 15 minutes of our arriving back to the hotel and I was pacing the room like a crazy person.

I finally looked up some fun things to do away from our hotel room for the next couple of days (yay me!) and told him I wanted to go walk to dinner and stroll around.  We ended up at Hard Rock Cafe and indulged in some good ol American salads (sometimes you just gotta take a break from this rich food and put something healthy in your body, right?)  When we walked out of the restaurant it was snowing!  Holy wow!!  (Ok, I'm a California girl).  We walked home in the snow and I finally gave in and let Skip have his away about sitting in the hotel room.

However . . . tomorrow . . .

Amping Up!

Brandilyn announced that she will be running in the 10k in Phoenix March 2nd.  Of course, since running was always my passion for more of my life than not, I could NOT let this moment pass without jumping on the band wagon.  I, too, signed up to participate with my amazing daughter.

It has been a year since I've been running.  Last January I hurt my knee and have been "grounded" from running.  My knee still isn't where it used to be and may never get there.  However, running has always provided a "high" for me that I haven't had in a very long time.

This morning was Day #1 of training for said 10k.  I jumped on the treadmill here at the hotel (everything is in German so it was a wee bit difficult to figure out the logistics) and sadly only logged on 4.5k.  Actually, not bad for someone who hasn't run in a year, though, right?  My knee gave me permission to attempt Day #2 and I couldn't be more thrilled.

I feel better than I have in a long time.  My spirits are high and I wish Skip wasn't at the trade show so that I could share this amazing mood with someone.  On second thought . . . I'd probably drive him up the wall.  Lol.  I'm beginning to wonder if the depression that enveloped my life this past year didn't have something to do with the lack of miles logged on this dawg!

There's quite a few more poundage on this bod than used to be not to mention a bit more age but I truly am excited to begin anew and see if this is the beginning of bringing happy back into my life.  Couldn't hurt, right?

Plans have been made to move my treadmill up into the garage to remove any further excuses of Miss Sunshine not dragging her happy bum onto the magic machine.  Let's do this!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weary Flippers

Skip and I arrived in Munich Sunday afternoon (which was like 3:00 am by our body's standards).  Of course me, being fueled by massive quantities of caffeine, wanted to frolick about contrary to my husband's advice.  He went along with my antics, nonetheless.

Unlike the U.S., this country actually honors the sabbath and shuts down for the most part.  Actually it was refreshing but annoying when you are a tourist that is striving to score some grub.  After strolling around in the cold (it's freaking snowing here!) for quite a bit we finally happened upon a Mexican restaurant, of all things.  We were the ONLY customers about the place (we ate at 5:00 pm which is uber early to eat by local standards here) and were extremely not optimistic about the food meeting our standards but found ourselves overly impressed.  DEFINITELY hitting up this place again!

Today, we went to the trade show (the reason we are here).  I found myself looking around like Alice in Wonderland.  Nothing made sense and everything was overwhelming.  I was relieved to hear that Skip was somewhat feeling the same way.  Since there wasn't much for Miss Sunshine to do but follow Skip around, I decided to listen a lot for words in German.  I actually am picking up a few.  We ended up logging on like six (no exaggeration) miles and finally headed back to our hotel.

My little toesies are ouchy right about now and I was wanting to dip into the local department store (makes Macy's look like a Five and Dime) to score a pair of cute comfy boots but no luck.

I already informed Mr. Weltz that Sunshine will not be accompanying him on his journey to the show tomorrow.  Instead, she's going to go out and paint the town shopping.  I truly believe that as a woman, it's my duty to log equal miles on shopping.  Right?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Running Mate

Today one of my most faithful friends returned home to live with God.

12-1/2 years ago a good friend gave me this amazing companion, Maddie, my black lab.  At first I just "tolerated" her because she was a puppy and she was all over the place.  But, over time, she became one of my bestest running buddies EVER!  I would go out running in the hills and Maddie would be gone in a flash.  She would find any kind of little or BIG animal and just run and run and run.

When I would take my a horse out for a trail ride, Maddie was right there with me.  She kept up and was happy every step of the way.  Sometimes we would go out on 15 or more mile rides and she was such a trooper.

As time went on, Maddie began to slow down.  So much so that she didn't get to go out with me anymore.  I knew the day was coming but I, as always, chose to stick my head in the sand and pretend that it wasn't so.

Today while I was up in Sacramento taking care of some things with Jacob, I got a frantic phone call from Danielle that something was terribly wrong with my buddy.  It took me over an hour to get back home and, when I did, I knew that there was only one thing to do.  Call the vet and do the right thing.

It broke my heart and I've been crying non stop since.  I stayed with my little buddy right up to her last breath.  I sobbed my heart out the entire time and really haven't stopped.  I know she's up in heaven already reunited with Boomer and Holly and Mosca (some of my other beloved pets that have gone before her).

Maddie, I love you.  I know you're happy and I thank you for all the amazing memories.  I hope that you are there to greet me when I get to return home soon.  Until that day, RIP.