It’s been so Long!

I’ve missed you guys!

And now I realize, at least for me, writing is kind of like exercise.   You stop doing it for a week and you forget how to get back into the groove.

I just came back from a 4 night cruise to Bahamas with some girlfriends.  The main reason? To swim with dolphins!!  And yes, I got to cross that off my bucket list.  And along the way we met some wonderful people.

Let’s just say that if a dolphin swim is on your “to do” list, Do It!  That’s not to say we didn’t have many hassles just getting to the dolphins (you’d think this was the first time a cruise line had to coordinate this type of thing). Deep breathing exercises were called upon—and I’m not talking while we’re in the water!  Plus let’s not forget the expense.  But again, totally worth it.  And before you start feeling bad for the dolphins (because yes, I was feeling bad;  why should these sweet creatures have to pull my weight along the water?). Most of the dolphins at Atlantis are rescue dolphins from Hurricane Katrina. And Brewer (our dolphins name) seemed to really love his trainer.  We were pulled by his fin and pushed while on boogie boards, got to feed him and pet him.  CABBF489-5A42-4BDC-8C19-006C8EE887A4-284-0000002108DAB765 Just a delight!

On the Dolphin swim excursion we met two sisters from Chicago.  Both in high school.  So it was just the five of us.  Elena, Nancy (my friends) and I and the two of them.  They were so sweet and enjoying the event as much as us!  It’s amazing when you try something new, it doesn’t matter your age or where you’re from.  It brings you all on even ground and you have so much fun together.  The smiles on all our faces.  We met the girls again while on the ship and they shared with their parents how much fun they had with us!  30+ years older than them.

Now for some fun stories:

My friend Elena and I were walking towards the ship from the pier, with a mom and dad in their late 40’s and teenage son walking a few feet in front of us.  Walking toward us is a very shapely woman in a bikini and very high heels.  You know when you’re on vacation you see all shapes and sizes in all degrees of clothing.   I saw the father and son turn their heads a bit to look at the woman—not surprising.  But then the woman walks past them and now I see why they were looking ever closer than normal.  One boob was totally out of her bathing suit.  Just hanging out.  So, being the considerate person that I am, I walked over to her and told her discreetly that something was amiss.  She looked down, popped her boob back in, thanked me and kept walking.    She wasn’t horrified, or embarrassed or….anything.  Just popped it back in. If it was me, I’d be like….OMG, OMG, OMG covering myself up, crossing my arms, my legs everything!  Now I have to say covering her boob and not covering her boob is only the difference of about one inch.  So we’re not talking major coverage here anyway.  Thirty seconds pass and the mother in front of us turns to us with her mouth dropped.  I said, “ I bet your husband and son didn’t mind that.”   Anyone watch Seinfeld?  Nipple Sighting?

Earlier in the day, while on the pier, I was looking for somebody who sold Sky Juice.  It’s a yummy cocktail that I can only find in Bahamas.  Actually it’s even difficult to find in Bahamas.  They serve it at the establishment Fish Fry (outside of town) or, the last time I was there, at a pop-up tiki bar on the pier.  If you’re lucky it will even be served in a coconut.

The story:   The tiki pop-up wasn’t there.  I walked into restaurants and bars with no luck.  And I really want to share this drink with my friend who never had one.  So I walk up to these two non-tourists and ask them if they know where I can get some Sky Juice.  Besides the Fish Fry, they didn’t know of any other location.  “BUT”, they said, “we’ll make you some—what time is your ship leaving?”  Not knowing what to expect, I said, “soon—-But if you can make us some, sure we’ll wait”.   My girlfriend’s looking at me like I’m crazy.  One of the guys ran into the convenient store to get cups, ice, coconut water and sweetened condensed milk.  The other into the liquor store to buy the gin.  We followed him into the liquor store.  He was so sweet.  All the while, looking behind him, making sure we didn’t leave and if he was going quick enough (our ship really wasn’t leaving for hours).  We paid for the small bottle of gin and all three of us joined him and his friends ( now there’s two more guys) outside on the pier.  Because they didn’t have a can opener, he’s banging the can on the pier wall to open it up.  Then he pours the drinks back and forth between the two cups to make sure they are thoroughly mixed before I add the ice.  I know all you readers are shaking your heads, completely convinced I’m crazy.  I’ll insert a text from one our friends agreeing with you.  BUT,  I’ll have you know we tipped them well and the drinks were well worth it!!  And now I have a story to tell. P.S.—Please don’t try this at home.  The recipe yes, the experience, maybe not 🙂


2 cups coconut water (4 green coconuts or 16oz canned/bottled juice)
1 cup gin (or white rum, if preferred)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon

Texts from friends at home:

IMG_5458_LI        IMG_5456_LI (2)

We also had so much fun playing trivia games, Pictionary, zooming around the ship on a scavenger hunt .  For the scavenger hunt, I went up to two different strangers sitting in a cafe’ asking if I could have whatever was on their plate because I needed a photo eating two different treats from that shop.  People are so helpful when they know it’s part of a game.  It’s like they want to be part of it also.  And I was thinking “outside of the box” because I wasn’t going to wait on line.  This was a race man!  And the trivia games?  We won TWO of them!  With absolutely no help from me.  My friends Elena and Nancy deserve all the credit for that.

OK, well this blog is longer than expected.  I guess once I start talking I can’t shut-up 🙂

Let’s see if I can remember how to publish this.

Talk to you soon.


Itlbok, really!

If you like my blogs, please Follow Me.  This means you will get sent my new blogs straight to your email instead of having to remember my site address or going onto Facebook.  Just click the floating “follow” button on the lower right side of the page.  Thanks!  Happy Reading.

Who says I’m opinionated?

Difference of opinions.  Tons of opinions in all shapes and sizes.  Whose opinion is correct?  Well mine of course!  🙂  Just kidding.

It’s funny.  I never thought I was an opinionated person until years ago my husband compared me to his step-mother who was extremely opinionated.  But then I thought about it.  Oh yeah….I am opinionated.  And the older I get, the louder I get with my opinions.  BUT the difference with me?   I love hearing other people’s opinions.

I just saw the movie The Black Panther the other day and a friend of mine asked if the people of Wakanda (whom the Black Panther is king of) were acting amoral, evil or ignorant.  Don’t worry, you needn’t have seen the movie for this question to be relevant.  And I said I saw both sides.  He just laughed and said “of course you did”.

At first I was hurt thinking he was making fun of me.  But then I realized, I love having the ability to see both sides of the story. When you try to see both peoples point of view, it diffuses anger.  There’s more understanding.  I’m not saying complete understanding mind you!  But I think MOST people and populations want the same things from life.  We just go about it differently.

I’ve tried to teach my children that and I’m happy to say I think they’ve learned it well.  Many times one of my kids has been a mediator between myself and their other sibling.  Not siding with either of us but explaining to each of us what the other person is trying to say.  Incredibly helpful.

I remember when President Trump got elected.  I was in Bahamas, and I was seriously interested in why people voted the way they did.  Even in Bahamas (not that they can vote in the US but they have opinions because what happens in America effects them) two different people with two very different opinions.  Now I know many people would be terrified to ask how and specifically WHY others voted the way they did.  But you know what?  If you ask gently, really wanting to know, out of curiosity, and not in a defensive manner…..and then just sit back and listen…..people will tell you.  And you can actually learn things.  IF you listen and not spend your time thinking up defensive responses!  No fights, no arguments.  Just a nice peaceful discussion.  Remember, you’re not trying to change people’s minds.  You’re trying to gain knowledge and understanding.

Can it be difficult if you’re trying to form a definitive response?  Yes.  Would other people consider it wishy-washy?  I’m sure.  But who cares?  Seriously–who cares??  Think what you want.  But listen to what other people have to say.  Really listen.  If it makes sense, keep it.  If it doesn’t move on.

And please don’t think I’m always good with this.  Sometimes I just think people are nuts and/or should be on medication!   And/or I’m the person that’s nuts or I’m PMSing.  Sometimes I AM right and you ARE wrong!  Or is that just my husband?  🙂  As he likes to say, he never knew he had so many things wrong with him until he married me.  Hey-that’s what I’m here for!


Itlbok, really!

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How Deep do you Go?

It’s freezing outside.  Let’s delve deep into your personality and see what we can find shall we?  What fun!  What else to do on a cold winters day.  And for those of you in warmer climates….do you feel our pain, on the extent we have to go to keep ourselves warm and cozy? We have to read blogs written by someone who’s typing just to keep her fingers warm!

You’re having a conversation with your friends.  Do you ask interesting questions?  i.e.-, If you were granted three wishes…, If you were stuck on a deserted island, which one album would you want with you and why? What’s your biggest regret in life? (besides starting to read this blog 🙂  )  Or are you the type of person that likes to stay on the shallow part of the pool?  i.e.–What’s the weather like today?  Did you see Game of Thrones last night?  I really like your sweater.

There’s nothing wrong with either type.  But can you guess which side of the pool I dive into?  I love going deep.  The deeper the better—Keep your minds out of the gutter people–that’s for later :-).    As long as we can keep the vocabulary within 3 syllables I love delving into other peoples brains and seeing what makes them tick.  And if you think we have to be best friends for me to want this, think again!  I can have deep conversations with someone I just met 2 minutes ago.  And if you don’t believe me ask my friends and family….much to their chagrin.

The reason for me, is that I want to get to know people.  Even if it’s just a five minute conversation.  People are interesting.  Just the other day, I started talking to a 40ish man reading a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman.  I’ve always been curious about graphic novels but from the adult point of view.  And I found something in common…I recognized the name Neil Gaiman.  Then we started talking about his teenage daughter and trying to get her interested in reading etc.  This to me, is so much more interesting than the weather!

A few years back, while waiting at the airport with my daughter, I saw three, what looked like, rappers coming down the stairs.  All three had white washcloths.  And they were coming from the arrivals section of the airport, so I was curious.  So I asked them.  And they stopped and talked with me and we had some laughs.  I honestly can’t remember the reason for the washcloths.  All I can remember is my daughters reaction.  “Mom, you can get anyone to stop and talk to you-unbelievable”.

Little anecdote:  My husband and I and another couple were at this fancy country club restaurant down south (they are not as open down south as they are up north-at least from MY experience).   At the other side of the restaurant sat two tables of about 5-6 people each.  Women at one table, men at the other.  Obviously, couples separated.  From afar, I was trying to figure out who matched up with whom (who?).  Can you guess what happened next?  It wasn’t “afar” for long.  With my husband and friends practically begging me not to, I merrily went over to their tables to start chit-chatting with them.  These were couples in their early 70s.  Married for quite some time.  I told them I wanted to see if I could match them up.  Most of them were game for this.  One was NOT.  One did not share my enthusiasm of meeting new people, conversing with them and seeing compatibility.  I think problem in boudoir more than problem with ME! But did I let that deter me?  What do you think?  Did I do a good job of matching up?  Well no.  But that’s because I didn’t have time to ask probing questions.  See how I did that nice little circle of rounding this blog up?  If I had time, and that woman wasn’t giving me the evil eye, I would have felt more compelled to do a more thorough job!

Get to know the stranger next to you.  It might be me and I’ll write a blog about you 🙂


Itlbok, really!

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Good Morning!

How was your morning?  Is there something in your morning routine that makes you smile and/or should I say, giggle?  

I am a morning person.  And I know you night people hate us.  We pretty much do jump out of bed with energy and desire to check things off our list.  I start babbling to anyone who will listen (actually listening is not a prerequisite).  Now morning people definitely have a downside–afternoon slump, nighttime social life is practically nil etc.  But I don’t want to focus on that for now.  

I love getting things done before the rest of my family wakes up.  Before most of the country wakes up.  I love driving to work toward the east and watching the sunrise.  Every time I see a beautiful sunrise while driving, I’ll look around at others in their car to see if they see it. I’m amazed that no one else around me is in awe or even notices the beauty.  I want to roll down my window and point to the sky but I’m afraid they might think I’m a loony.   

Now one thing that I’ve been doing for years during my morning routine, that I didn’t even NOTICE was bringing me down, was watching the news while dressing.   Even 15 minutes of the news, for me, is like watching a balloon deflate slowly.  The life just comes out of me.  But what can I do?  I have to watch the news.   I have to know what’s going on in the world.  And I’m certainly not a news junkie.  I don’t go crazy on Facebook or Fox/CNN because I know I’m not the type of person that can handle 24 news without it affecting me.  Heck 15 minutes affects me.  

So….I found 2 ways to fix that!

One….I actually found a “Cliff Notes” for the daily news.  It’s called theSkimm.  Perfect for me.  One page.  Nothing emotional.  No photos, no angry rants.  I read it, get in, get out…bing bang boom! If I want more information on something, I look later on.   I know that’s not enough for everyone–but that’s why we’re all different.  But it works for me.  I’m not as “heavy” on a daily basis as I was before.  (Yes, very easy for me to make a weight joke right here but it’s toooooooo easy 🙂  

Two…I love this.  I’ve started using my inversion table. unnamedYou know for upside-down ab workouts.  Hahahaha.    No–for low back stretching.  It’s part of my morning routine.  And my little puppy dog, Beaux always comes to lick my face.  My face is right at his level now.  And there’s nothing I can do about it.  Totally makes me start giggling.  Every morning.  How’s that for a great start to a morning?  Gigglinbecause your dog is loving you, or getting depressed watching the news?  Your choice. 

Now obviously, the dog licking is not everyone’s cup of tea (following will be a funny story about the dog licking).  But find something that makes you smile–sunrise, fresh air…step outside, in your robe for 10 seconds and breath in the fresh morning air (if nothing else you’ll help your neighbor with their morning smile seeing you in all your morning glory.  Whether you’re a … or….. 4ced3d3209c82838fe512e1042e21f59 Who cares!  You’re neighbor needs something to make him smile too!  Don’t be selfish 🙂   Just DO Something that makes you smile during your morning routine.  

And just to finish with a funny story –  Dog licking is not all giggles and smiles of course.  Normally it drives me crazy when he licks my face.  But when you’re in the upside-down position and can’t do anything about it…and all he’s doing is loving you… have to just let it go and embrace it.  BUT, his tongue got into my nostril ( I guess I should be happy it wasn’t my mouth, which has happened more times than my husband’s tongue has gone into my mouth I’ll tell ya!!!)  And I could tell he went into the cat’s litter box. Yep-kitty poop scent (and whatever else) was in my nose.  How do I write the next sentence?  Do I need to write the next sentence?  And my little Beaux-Beaux is sitting on my lap at this very moment while I type this, looking at me, going “what, what, did I do something?”.  Actually what he’s really thinking is “your typing is bothering me, can you type quieter?”.   

Go and find something to make you smile and possibly giggle withing the first hour of the morning.  It will make and everyone else you meet that day happier!


ITLBOK, Really

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Smile, someone’s watching

So here’s something interesting that happened to me the other day.  It’s the first day of a new class that I’m taking.  Yes-I’m taking another mindfulness class, I like it that much.  Plus I fell off the wagon during the holidays.  BUT that doesn’t matter, does it?  Because, the important thing is that I’m choosing to start up again!  Anyway, that’s not the point of the story 🙂

As soon as I walk in, a woman from my first mindfulness class, (let’s call her Marty-I don’t know if she wants anonymity or not), was so happy to see me.  She said she was specifically thinking of me this morning and wondering if I would be in this class.  We hugged and she was truly smiling.   Now I remember this woman from the other class but we never had a deep connection.  She sat on the other side of the room of 25 people.  I could tell that she was going through some painful issues, not that anything specific was ever mentioned.  Our personalities, I’m guessing are totally different.  She’s petite, very quiet, kind of in her own cocoon.  I’m more vocal (obviously), take up more space just by spreading and stretching my limbs whenever I want to, crack jokes whether the timing is completely appropriate.  You get my point in our differences.  Think of quiet deer vs noisy chipmunk!

So where am I going with this?!?  You–the universal you–never know how you’re going to affect another person!  How people see you–what do you want them to see?  I’m asking, not judging.  For me, I don’t want them to see the nicest person, or the prettiest person, or the funniest person (I mean you can if you WANT to 🙂 )  I want them to see a REAL person!  With all their ups and downs and flaws and greatness.  Heck, I’ll walk into Barnes & Noble (my hangout) and tell all who’s listening, “I’m in a grumpy mood, watch out!”  I figure if you give fair warning….

But this is the real me.  Took me years to get here.  And I think you should try and be the real you.  Not everyone is going to like it.  Another lesson I learned from being a fitness instructor with lots of different classes taught by different instructors.  You have to be you.  Some people will like your classes and some will want to go to another instructor.  But that’s OK.  It really is!  This way, you’re having fun in your class and so are your students.  Just like life….you’re having fun in life and so are the people around you!

But just like how this other woman remembered me and actually CARED whether or not I was in class…….That’s how much affect you can have on people just by…….wait for it…….can you guess what I’m going to say?……

Just by smiling at someone!!!!  Yes I said it!  IMG_4590  OK maybe this smile is a little over the top….you might get put in the loony bin if you look like this at strangers!  

You smile at someone holding a door for you.  Maybe even say hello, thank you, make a small joke–anything.  That small act will make them smile.  That interaction will put a tiny pep in their step and they will smile to someone else.  And so on, and so on.  I kid you not!  Specifically people that WON’T smile.  You get the most bang for your buck with them!  They take more effort getting a smile out of them but it’s worth it.  I know you’ve heard this before….smile, pass it forward, blah blah blah.   But come on–it can’t hurt!  Takes two seconds.   What’s the worse that can happen?  You put a crease in your cheek?

So go out tomorrow, look around at all the people.   You never know who’s watching and who’s day you will make!!!



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Did I remember to write my Blog this week?

I have a theory ( I always have a new theory!).  The Universe is addling my brain to help me get my 10,000 steps! 

I’m sure 2/3 of my non-formal exercise steps are looking for things.  Looking for my coffee mug, water bottle, car keys, purse, book bag, Iphone, novel, items I put out to be “organized”, bills etc.  All this adds thousands to my step count.  I’m not just circling the house I’m going north-south, east-west, north-east, west-south …..looks more like a Spirograph f8bb9f94e7cdfc45b04861d9e7a0b895--spirograph-art-stringart (1)than a circle.  That’s what I look like running around the house!

And then when I finally find what I’m looking for?!  I look at it positively….”well at least I added many steps to my Fitbit”.  Wait, if only I could see the numbers on my pedometer.  Where are my eyeglasses?  And around I go again.  Of course two pairs of glasses already on top of my head.  IMG_4649 (2)

This is for women over 50…how many times has this happened to you.  I’m driving in the car, pretending I have everything under control….I just say to myself, “It’ll click, it’ll click.  I’ll figure out where I’m going.  Just let me figure it out before I pass the turn I need, that’s all I ask”.  And most of the time my brain reacts accordingly!  Thank you brain.  See, life is good 🙂

My goodness I feel sorry for people who don’t have a good sense of humor!  How on earth are you going to make it through these times if you’re tough on yourself?!?  I crack up at myself all the time.  Of course laughing at myself, WHEN being by myself used to look odd in the past but not anymore.   Not in the days of Bluetooth and ear buds.  THEY (other people) don’t know you’re not talking to another hilarious person.  THEY don’t know you’re just happy having this wonderful conversation in your own mind.  The only time I run into a snag is when I start talking and assume the person I’m with has heard the dialogue in the my head.  I can’t tell you how many times my daughter has said, “mom, I know that makes sense to you, but I haven’t heard the conversation that led up to what you just blurted out”.  She’s practically patting my hand, and cooing at me with a soothing voice.  I can see her mentally filling out applications to a senior living facility! Heck, I like the chit-chat in my head.  I’m pretty funny and not bad company if I do say so myself! 

Another good thing about starting to go a little loony this early in my lifetime (of course, some may say I’ve always been this way, and I think I would have to agree).  If I end up with Alzheimers or dementia, who will know?  My husband and kids know I’ve been like this for years.  So, the memory is not as good as it used to be.  There are worse things.  Forgetting the little things forces me to be more organized.  And makes me realize the “little” things – if I forgot – obviously are not that important.  Peoples names, birthdays, etc are still “little” things.  People themselves, they are the BIG things.  And THAT I haven’t forgotten!!  

So don’t be hard on yourself!  Laugh, it’s no big deal!


ITLBOK, Really

If you like my blogs, please Follow Me.  This means you will get sent my new blogs straight to your email instead of having to remember my site address or going onto Facebook.  Just click the floating “follow” button on the lower right side of the page.  Thanks!  Happy Reading.

Happy New Year! Self-improvement time!

Happy New Year!

Well I just learned something about myself – Writing is very similar to Exercise!  If I don’t do it for more than a few days, It’s very difficult to get back to it—almost scary!

I took the month of December off from my blog writing.  Thank you so much for those of you that noticed.  I love you!  And I’d like to say that I took it off intentionally.  If I have to be honest, (and what’s the point of a blog if you’re not honest?) Not really. Just one week off led to another, which led to another.  I kept looking at the computer thinking, I should blog, I really should blog.  And like exercise, that first day back was not easy.  But once I sat down at the computer and started typing, I remembered how enjoyable it is.  Just like exercise.  You start moving, and you remember how good it feels!  How many of you are thinking “is this girl for real?”  Remember I’m a fitness instructor. Your body loves to move.  Can you at least pretend you agree with me?  Thanks 🙂

Now I LOVE December.  I love the holidays.  I love the decorations and the gift buying and the crowds and the Hallmark movies and all the festivities.  I think 4-6 weeks is much too short a time.  I love the chill in the air, and the food and the fancy drinks and the friend and family get-togethers.  My husband is Catholic and I am Jewish.  Neither of us are religious.  I consider myself culturely Jewish.  But I would call myself a Born Again Christmas Person.  I love Christmas!

BUT I do so enjoy January.  I really do enjoy routine.  I enjoy getting back to my normal habits, my normal eating, uncluttering the house (not the tree, the tree with lights stays up until the pine needles fall when you blow on it).  I love thinking of January as a clean slate. Don’t we all?  Come on, how many self-improvement books have you bought?  It’s January 5 and I already have 3.  Will I read them all the way through?  Of course not!  But just starting them is refreshing!  Like taking a shower.  It’s a renewal process.  If I get just one good nugget of information that sticks with me it’s worth the $20 I paid for the book.  Heck, this year I even bought new highlighters!  I’m a crazy person.

I don’t make resolutions.  The rebellious part of me would just poo-poo it.  One of my books is about habits.  Why habits work for some people and not for others.  How your personality defines which habits work best for you etc.  There are four categories and I am definitely part Rebel!  I can’t even tell MYSELF to do something or I may rebel against it!  BUT I’m also part Upstanding.  If I put it on a to-do list and give myself plenty of time, then I’ll do it.  Make sense?  Human beings are such interesting creatures, aren’t we?

There are sooooo many self improvement books out there.  Just walking through the bookstore makes you feel like a better person.  It’s like walking through Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.  Don’t you feel healthier just by shopping there?  Heck-you can be buying nothing but non-gmo organic popcorn and chips but within minutes you feel like you’ve lost 5 pounds and substantially healthier.

If you do start browsing books, here’s a tip, skip the ones that don’t have a sense of humor. Who needs that?  And skip any fads—we’ve all been there, done that.  We all just want to keep improving-or else we get complacent.  And improving is like replacing the battery in the Energizer Bunny.  It puts a hop in our step.  And improving can mean something so small – as to finally admitting to ourselves we’re never going to sew on that button so let’s finally get rid of that shirt!!  Yes, that’s an improvement!  You are clearing something from your mind as well as your closet!  Trying to eat healthy?  You can start with eating one extra piece of fruit a day.  Exercise?  Work out once a week.  Media addiction?  Turn it off just one evening a week.  In other words you don’t have to be Superman or Superwoman.  Just be the fun wonderful person you already are—just a little tiny bit improved 🙂

Oh wow, when did I turn into this motivational speaker?

I need to go now and get a martini, a brownie and watch Mike and Molly.

Do as I say and not as I do 🙂


ITLBOK, Really!

If you like my blogs, please Follow Me.  This means you will get sent my new blogs straight to your email instead of having to remember my site address or going onto Facebook.  Just click the floating “follow” button on the lower right side of the page.  Thanks!  Happy Reading.