Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Five Stages of Sailmaking

 (My apologies to Elizabeth Kubler Ross, whose five stages of grief are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. It was noted in her study that people, when faced with any traumatic life event will pass through these stages, in a certain order, although the person may jump ahead and then repeat these stages. Sailmaking is no exception.)


DENIAL

Even after many discussions and cost comparisons of making vs buying a ready made sail, when it was determined that making a sail would save us nearly $1000, I pretty much blocked the decision from my mind.

The kit came in this unassuming box, was placed in the basement and promptly ignored. 

For at least a month.

Maybe longer...

this box sat unopened for about a month


ACCEPTANCE

When at last it was noted that sailing season was less than a month away, we opened the box, sorted out the supplies, and set up the workspace.

Note the smile. This is what psychotic looks like.


This is the enormous spool of thread. It had to be threaded around the leg of the table as the actual machine spindle is entirely too small. 
This should be a warning. 

Note the two shades of fabric. This is an example of the layering technique used to make the sail.
The sections are numbered 1-8. This is section 8 attached to section 7. Moving from smallest to largest. Except that there is a need to skip sections and attaching 'relatively smaller to relatively larger' until all you have left is two ridiculously large sections that in NO WAY are easy to manage. The sections are sewn one on top of the other rather than along a layered seam line. It would be impossible to open and crease a traditional seam. These seams are sewn with two lines of zig-zag stitches. This not only locks the fabric twice, sort of hems the dacron and most importantly looks Super Cool 

Once the sections get too large to handle flat - which would be about one double section - the excess fabric is rolled and secured in any manner you can think of, including but not limited to double sided seam tape, masking tape, rubber bands, chip clips, paperclips and heavy duty clamps. 



Be warned - none of these methods will stay secure and will release at the most crucial moment of sewing thus causing the excess weight of the fabric to unfurl and pull from under the machine needle leading to missed stitches, broken needles and Stage Three

ANGER
At this stage you must resign yourself to the fact that two people are not going to manage this task and if you want to save the marriage you will call someone unrelated to act as mediator and fabric wrangler. In this case it was our friend The Fireman. (Our son had assisted on some of the smaller portions but for some reason became 'unavailable' by phone, text. email and search warrant.)




 The Fireman has entered into the ACCEPTANCE phase. 
Where as I am hovering between the stages of Divorce and Justifiable Homicide. 

However, the fewer giant pieces of dacron left lying on the furniture and floor of the basement gradually placed me into 
BARGAINING
I have ceased any inner dialogue. I am openly praying to any and every deity available to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't break another needle and make me resew the last three feet again....


Apparently my prayers were answered as when what I thought was my last needle snapped into fourteen tiny shrapnels, I found an entire new pack of heavy duty needles in my supply dish. 

Once the sail is completely pieced together the sides must be finished which involves encasing the raw edge in double fold fabric. This went much easier that any of us expected. 
The final sewing machine task is making the channel for the bolt rope. The bolt rope stiffens the leading edge of the sail and allows a more firm edge to the hanks which will attach to the forestay. 
(In layman's terms - this hooks the front sail to that front line as noted in every cartoon drawing of a sailboat.)




Now we enter into possibly the saddest moment of this sailmaking process. Or the most optimistic depending on your mindset. Note that tiny string extending from the bottom of the sail? This is the waxed cord that is enclosed in the rope channel. Ideally it does not get sewn down or stuck to the seam tape because it is going to be attached to the bolt rope itself and then very carefully pulled through the channel by the guy in the garage as The Fireman and I quietly pray and take bets on just when and where the cord is going to either get stuck or break. 


a close up of the cord and the attached rope

Which now leads us to the final official stage of Kubler-Ross's stages
DEPRESSION

Because, if you hadn't figured it out yet, the cord broke exactly ONE FOOT from the opposite end. There may have been some light cursing and an exchange of money. 
We had a cheese and cracker break and after a group vote it was decided to make a small incision into the channel itself, reattach the cord and work that %$#$%$ rope through to the end. 

Thus ending the Five Stages.
I would like to amend these stages with one final stage

DEVIOUS JOY!!

I have now come to the realization that I NO LONGER have to sew anything on the machine! 
HA! 
There are just bags of hardware left on the supply table and this is NOT my job.

Except that I have just been informed that the metal rings have been attached to the top and bottom of the bolt rope and now I have to HAND SEW them securely. 

Commencing re-entry into 
ANGER
DENIAL
BARGAINING
DEPRESSION
ACCEPTANC


This will make it all worthwhile, once that sail is complete....

At this writing I have successfully ignored my hand sewing duties for a week. The picture above is of St. Frank with the too small jib sail from our much smaller wooden boat. Thankfully, although sadly, the month of May has not cooperated weather-wise or life schedule-wise to allow us to get to the boat. 
I have managed to get the cushion covers washed up, purchased some surprisingly cheap non-breakable dishware, and planned the cabin curtains. Although the fabric for same is still lying downstairs waiting to be cut. Oh, and the bimini still needs to be measured for fabric purchase and creation. 
But that will be another, less hateful post.
I hope....


Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Welcome to the Coast



 

Hello!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it…something like two years and a month….

Things have changed, haven’t they? We have all been through some stuff…

I have tried, on more than one occasion to get a post up, but they all just seemed so…depressing.

But, time passes and hopefully we have learned a few things to better prepare us... 

Prepare us for things like, oh, I don’t know…making a new sail…??? 

2019 saw our old sailboat die a sudden death by broken mast, aided by 40 years of poor upkeep compounded by rotting would and some really good wind. We were rail in the water when we heard the CRACK. Initially assuming it was all our stuff flying to the leeward side.  Instead, that horrible sound turned out to be one of the mast stays, which had pulled free of the interior anchor thus leaving the mast partially unsupported. I dropped the mainsail as Rob started the engine and we cautiously motored back to dock at 5mph. All the time discussing how we were going to fix the problem. Once docked, it become clear that the best way to fix the problem, short of sinking the boat in a hidden cove, was to somehow donate the boat.

 

this is not a good thing

 As luck would have it, the marina Cool Change lived at was run by a sailboat lover and they worked out a deal to just take the boat, and it’s brand new outboard, off our hands.

We decided then that our little 15ft wooden boat would do from here on out.

We decided that we would not buy another boat.

So, two years later, we bought a BIGGER boat….

Meet St. Frank, a 27ft, 35ish year old Catalina tall-rig. (this last descriptor becomes way more important than I thought it would…)

 


St Frank – formerly/currently/actually – named St Frances by her previous owner, will be eventually undergoing a name change. (Can a boat be gender fluid?) Not that we have anything against St. Frances – I have known two very lovely women named Fran. But St Frances is just not a name that fits us. Once we land on a name fitting to all three of us – Rob, me and the boat – there will be a renaming ceremony. I can’t risk angering Neptune any more than I already have.

St Frank has it all, her previous owner outfitting the cozy sloop with a microwave, a portable electric refrigerator, a sound system and an AIR CONDITIONER!! We have seat cushions, kitchenware, movable cupholders and no jib. (The jib is the smaller, front sail on a sloop. It helps balance the larger main sail and just makes the whole boat so pretty.)


an actual galley

AND no more leaking port-a-potty!

What the boat does have is a storm sail, which is a much smaller front sail for inclement weather and a Genoa.

the large sail at the bow is the Genoa, note how much small the actual main sail is

 A Genoa is an ENOURMOUS front sail which grabs every ounce of wind there is allowing for some fast racing, if you are so inclined, and a lot of heeling. (Where the side of the boat leans into the water, which is fun, but the exact opposite of relaxing which is always my goal when on a boat.)

Which brings me to the theme of the next few posts (yes, there will be more!)

Because sails are expensive and we have already spent our Not Buying Another Boat budget on the above said boat, AND because I have made two other sails, it was decided that we would order one more sail kit from Sailrite.

The two previous sails were also Sailrite kits – precut sail pieces, hardware and some really helpful directions and diagrams. These sails were for our wooden boat. Because if Rob could make the entire boat of wood, just think how cool it would be if I made the sails…

Anyway, it was definitely a learning curve. But it has been 15 years since I made those sails and apparently 15 years is exactly how long it takes for me to forget what a semi-complicated and awkward process sail making is on a portable home sewing machine.

Sails these days are made of dacron – what can only be described as plastic paper fabric. It is stiff when new but over time softens to an almost leather feel. And it makes a cool popping sound as the needle pierces it.

The mast for this new/old boat is 30ish feet tall, which calls for a rather big sail. However, all I heard when discussing this project was ‘jib’ and ‘it’s a smaller sail than the main’.

I have no concept of size, or distance. All I knew was the last jib I made was not enormous.  

I am pretty sure my judgement was impaired by a tasty rum drink.

Turns out the small sail for a 27ft boat is quite a bit larger than the big sail for a 15ft boat.

Huh.

The sail comes precut in sections. The process involves sewing sections together and then sewing these sections to the other sections until you have an entire sail. The idea is to keep the sections a manageable size. Which in theory makes sense, if you have a football field size work room with a table of the same dimensions.

hardware with candles...

why a pic of an enormous bottle of wine?
 because this is what I will be drinking once this project is finished


I have two folding banquet tables, in a fully furnished basement family room that also currently houses a banana tree waiting for above 40 degree weather outside.

This is what that set-up looks like:

see all that white stuff on the floor? those are the PIECES of the sail

At this posting, the sail is about a third of the way finished.

Upcoming posts will discuss the finer points of securing, rolling and wrangling dacron, repetitive bobbin winding and needle threading and dealing with the panic of thinking you have sewn everything backwards……

Until next time...

this.
this is what makes all the broken needles worthwhile


Monday, July 27, 2020

Mask Making With CrapMonkey

Knowing how to sew is both a blessing and a curse.

For a time, I enjoyed making dolls and doll clothes, occasionally a dress for myself, curtains for the house, a formal for our daughter’s 8th grade dance…

But then word gets out and people start asking if you wouldn’t mind fixing this ripped pocket, or taking in this dress which is six sizes too big, or hemming these jeans or making the sails for your 15 foot sailboat….

And then the world decides to catch the MOTHER OF ALL VIRUSES and suddenly your 12-year-old, 4-H self feels obligated to make masks to protect family and friends.

Only the minute you sit down at the 35 year old Kenmore machine, you notice that every little thing begins to annoy you, from the color of the pin heads to the fact that EVERY TIME you try to take a stitch the needle un-threads itself and you can’t see that stupid needle hole because, seriously, you could NEVER see that stupid needle hole even when you were 12 years old and in 4-H making a circle skirt.

So, you throw all the mask making supplies in a heap, slam the bedroom door and vow to never go back in until overseas visitors arrive and need a place to sleep.

There may have been some cursing, also.

But then your friend Mel comes up to you at work, all excited because she has ordered 100 pounds of fabric, 2500 miles of elastic and seam binding and a spool of metal wire large enough to secure millions of things that need to be secured with wire, all so she can make masks.

just a sampling of supplies...

And as you stand there waiting, the words come out of her mouth….

“You know how to sew, right?”

And she has such a hopeful, excited look that you don’t have the heart to say that even the thought of talking about making masks makes you want to scream horror movie style and run to the nearest closet, curl up in a ball and slam the door.

Let alone trying to teach someone how to sew in the process…

(It should be noted that the last time I attempted to teach people to sew we were planning a fun trip to Jamaica and everyone needed super cute girl pirate shirts. NO where in that process was the concern that those shirts might save a life or at least prevent the spread of anything but laughter.)

But then, in a nearly out of body experience, you see your mouth open and the words hang in the air like a Sunday morning comic strip: SURE, Let’s make a day of it! We can do dinner!”

And that is how, a couple weeks ago, Rob and I hosted Mel and her partner for mask making and BBQ.

one of the most important sewing supplies, these days. 
one that my 4-H leaders never mentioned, btw. 

Before this goes further, there are a couple things you need to know about my friend Mel. She is ALWAYS prepared and has researched everything exhaustively at which point she has taken all the information she has gleaned and used it to invent an even better way to do something.

She is generous to a fault.

And, due to an unfortunate intestinal issue on a trip to Cabo several years ago, has earned the nickname CrapMonkey. 

(check out the original CrapMonkey post: https://www.coastofillinois.com/2013/02/travels-with-crapmonkey.html  )

So, it was no surprise when she and Joy arrived with the above listed mask making supplies, Mel’s new Brother sewing machine, a bag full of beer and wine, and some very delicious looking steaks.

because craft sewing also requires craft beers

We set up the basement with a big table, our sewing machines facing one another like partners in a crafting law office. 

this little trouper has been through a lot.

Fabrics were discussed, chosen to meet personality needs of family and friends and soon an assembly line began with Mel cutting, me pinning and Joy ironing.

sewing, or at least trying to...

ironing, which is very important

The lesson was going along pretty well, until the new sewing machine refused to sew a straight line, tracking to the right, and wadding the fabric up into an annoyingly tight ball.

Given the fact that  my machine is a good 35 years old, pretty much only goes forward and backwards and is not a Brother brand, I gave it my best shot and spun all the dials and changed all the settings I could and then still managed to act surprised when it continued to refuse to sew a straight line. All the while, Mel is frantically looking online at an owner’s manual the size of her phone screen.

Because she was looking at it on her phone screen…

Thankfully, we were saved by Rob announcing that dinner was ready. We had some much needed nourishment and even more needed wine before returning to one last attempt.

As Joy continued with her pressing of seams, I assembled and sewed, and Mel continued to fight with Brother.

pleat placement demo

Suddenly there was a shriek of only CrapMonkey magnitude.

“I found it! I searched ‘BUNCHING’ and here is the problem…”

After searching ‘poor tracking’ ‘fabric wadding’ ‘tension issues’ ‘how do you make this expletive piece of expletive work’, the google search for bunching fabric yielded an embarrassingly easy solution.

The machine was threaded incorrectly.

That was it.

Re-threading the machine produced a fine straight line.

And it was time for Crapmonkey to GO TURBO!!

In the next half an hour we power sewed about a dozen masks.

just a few of our custom designs

By now, it was getting late and everyone had work the next day. We barely made a dent in the warehouse of fabric and notions, but the foundation was laid, and mask production was ready to proceed at our respective homes.

For two weeks now I have walked past the abandoned sweatshop, throwing disdainful glances at the nearly finished masks spread out on the table just waiting for elastic earpieces and metal nose bridges.

I managed to make a few requested masks in support of our local baseball team for a sister-in-law. And some adorable littles and their stuffed animals will be sporting the latest in virus protection out West.

Teddy and Pooh modelling the latest in children's
and matching stuffies masks. 

But the fun of Crapmonkey Mask day is long gone and the thought of making masks for tiny kiddoes is nearly too much to bear.

I guess that’s what living in a Pandemic is.

Trying to find a way to make the weird and unsettling feel normal.

You don’t have to like it. You just have to find a way to get through it.

Maybe I need to turn to google for a better answer.

It worked for CrapMonkey.

 

Hoping everyone is staying safe out there, an appropriate 6 feet apart, and wearing your MASKS – over both your mouth and nose!

As a person of science, I am here to tell you that while they are irritating, uncomfortable and irritating, they are actually very important in the fight against the spread of disease.

The Healthcare System and Coast of Illinois thanks you.

 

 


Friday, March 27, 2020

Hope

That one brave bud, waiting to open...

Well.

March took an ugly turn, didn’t it…

A little disclaimer – I generally try to keep this blog on the light side. I don’t like to talk about the fact that I am a registered nurse. My nurse life is very separate from my home life.
Until now.

Welcome to the World of Covid-19.

(Don’t give up. This is not a depressing post. Remember the title – HOPE!)

For most of us, this is the first, and hopefully only Worldwide Pandemic we will ever see.  There have been other World Health Risks – AIDS, SARS, Ebola, N1H1. But none of these have reached this level. Nothing since the Spanish Flu of 1918.
I have been thinking about what to post for several weeks now. My first love has always been journalism, although I am a terrible ‘journal-er’. But, after seeing a post on Facebook regarding the importance of keeping a personal journal through the coming days from the perspective of a historian, I have returned to the dreaded Journal. (Mr. Pillman, my junior high English/comp teacher would be so proud.)
So, here it is.
We are on Day 7 of a Shelter At Home order by the State of Illinois. Prior to that everyone had been asked to Social Distance due to the high probability of spread of the Coronovirus.
But this started long before March 20, 2020.
The following is a personal timeline –

December 2019 – we begin hearing of a virus coming from WuHan China.
Life through January is the usual on the Coast of Illinois. Work, appointments, birthdays. Planning for Mardi Gras. There is talk at work of this epidemic possibility. But mostly I am obsessed with the arrival and subsequent torture that is the new exercise bike. (see the previous post…)

January 31, 2020 – President Trump bans foreign nationals from entering the US if they were in China during the prior two weeks.
                We celebrate our 35th anniversary at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis. As always, it is  lovely, dinner is delicious.
At Cinder House, Four Seasons St Louis
February 7, 2020 – Dr. Li Wenlaing dies of Coronovirus. (He was one of the first to warn the Chinese government of this dangerous virus.
                I am driving home from work and hear the report on NPR. We continue to live our lives. We have family dinner on Sunday night. I take a trauma re-certification class the following week. We have our bi-annual Mardi Gras party on February 15. Serious talk of the epidemic is more common.

February 29, 2020 – A nursing home in Seattle is announced to have numerous patients and staff infected and the United States reports its first COVID-19 death.
                My husband and I spend the afternoon at the St. Louis Art Museum. We see the special exhibit – Millet and Modern Art. I spend most of my time studying Starry Night by Van Gogh. Seeing such a piece of art in person literally takes my breath away.
This doesn't do justice to the art. The lights seemed to radiate outward from the painting
We wander the Grand Basin and take note of people ‘social distancing’. There are conversations overheard regarding the ridiculousness of how much hype the virus is getting. That evening we have an impromptu dinner at Mineo’s – one of our favorite restaurants – and listen to Brian Clarke perform – one of our favorites. We hear the news of the Seattle nursing home and I know, deep down, that life will change. Suddenly this day, this evening is just that much more meaningful.
Brian, the performer and Bridget, the owner of Mineo's
March comes in with its usual schizophrenic weather. Work is ridiculously busy, and everyone is a little edgy whenever a respiratory isolation patient makes it into our unit.

March 6, 2020
                My husband and two friends pick me up after work. We attend the Dean Christopher show at the Blue Strawberry. Dean is a fantastic Dean Martin impersonator and the Blue Strawberry is a unique, intimate supper club style venue in St. Louis. 

We laugh about this being the last time we all get together for a very long time.And after my tirade about how stupid work was our friend shuts me down with - And how was the rest of the play, Mrs. Lincoln....best comeback ever!

March 8, 2020 – Italy locks down.
                Somewhere in here people in the United States begin hoarding toilet paper. Toilet paper doesn't come from Italy. Why aren't we hoarding spaghetti sauce and Chianti?
                The comedic possibilities are endless…
                Rob and I take a trip to Grafton Winery, along the Great River Road. Another of our favorite places. Another ‘last’ for a while.

March 13, 2020 – all Illinois schools close and parents everywhere regret that decision. 
                I get a haircut, after checking to be sure my stylist is still working. After that I do a grocery shopping. I am amazed that the shelves are stocked full of toilet paper, although things like lunch meat and frozen pizzas and fresh meat are gone. There are plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. I thank heaven that we tend to ‘eat the perimeter’ of the store. I will eventually regret my decision NOT to buy a 6 pack of Charmin.

March 16, 2020 – Illinois Governor Pritzker closes ALL bars and restaurants except for carry-out or delivery.
                                Rob attempts to pick up Chinese carry-out but our little restaurant is not open, even though the sign in the window is on. This leads to much yelling in the back, and no black pepper chicken. Which turns out to be okay as we had hoped to make this a dinner and a movie night and watch the old move China Town while eating our delicious food. No one told me there was very little actual CHINA TOWN in the move CHINA TOWN.
He picks up Lilly’s gyros instead.
If nothing else, we are supportive of our local establishments.
Our work schedule is beginning to dwindle. I work at a 1000+bed hospital in St. Louis. We see an average of 60-80 surgeries a day. There is talk of stopping all elective procedures and in preparation we begin to see the decline. Our numbers decrease slowly to 40, then 30. I am on-call as back up one day and don’t get called in – a rare event.

March 20, 2020 - Illinois Governor Pritzker declares a Shelter in Place order for the state of Illinois. Beginning at 5pm on Saturday, March 21.
                I am at work. I ask if this means I am exempt from returning. This is met with a resounding Facial Expression that answers any other questions. We have a family lunch on Saturday, which allows our kids to come over and then go home before the lockdown starts. I have not been in contact with any obvious COVID patients at this point, but I know that this will be changing. I don’t want to admit that this will be our last family dinner for a while. Once I am in the general population of patient care – removed from surgical recovery – I am at a much higher risk of bringing the virus home.
This was not a good weekend. My emotions ran the gamut. I power cleaned the house. I set up a ‘quarantine’ area downstairs in case I need to keep myself away from my husband. I pack a bag to take to work with a few essentials should I be required to ‘quarantine’ there.
I realize I am way to good at spelling ‘quarantine’.

So, here we are. Day 7 of Shelter in Place. Our toilet paper supply is dwindling. Rob took advantage of the 60 and older shopping hours earlier this week but to no avail. The bathroom tissue aisle is still a wasteland. Even the Great and Powerful Amazon can not guarantee  delivery next day...

Our work schedule has diminished to an average of 20 patients. This means a lot of displaced staff. I spent a day screening people as they entered the hospital. We are no longer allowing visitors in. Try telling the family of a brain surgery patient they can’t wait nearby…
I spent several hours cleaning one of the shut down areas of our recovery unit. We are all studying up on inpatient charting as our computer charting is much different in the peri-op area. People are shadowing in the ED and ICUs as preparation for the patient surge that is likely. We are all shell-shocked.

I was lucky enough to get an extra day off yesterday. It’s a good thing. I spent the day before fighting back what promised to be a World Class Nervous Breakdown. The sun peeked out a bit. JoeyKatt and I sat on the couch yesterday morning and watched a robin begin to build a nest right outside our living room window. and I spent the afternoon cleaning up some flower beds.
Plants are beginning to peak out of the ground, leaves are beginning to green up.


Spring is slowly arriving and with it the HOPE of a new start.

Life is different now.

We all are experiencing this in our own ways.

While we may not have toilet paper, we can always have Hope.

Look for it in little things – a flower trying to open, a beautiful sunset, a simple text from a friend, that last bag of Cheetos. 

This is a Pandemic. It is also an opportunity for our scientists to develop even better ways to fight disease. It is an opportunity for the healthcare industry to truly take note of what is lacking, and develop ways to improve our practice in much more essential ways. It is a chance for all of human kind to hit the reset button and prioritize what makes life livable on a global scope.

The cliché quote by Emily Dickinson  - Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words-and never stops at all – may bring you comfort.

For me, I must go with Woody Allen’s version – Hope is not that thing with feathers. That thing with feathers has turned out to be my nephew. I must take him to a specialist in Zurich…

Live is weird right now.
Embrace it. Write it down. Share your fears and your laughs. And yes, it is okay to laugh and joke. No one really wants to end up wearing feathers in a Zurich clinic....

Yes, this is serious. No one ever said life wasn’t.
Keep sight of what is special to you, while also doing what is best for the world.

Look for the things that give you Hope.

And in the process, maybe we will come out of this on the other side with a better understanding of life on this big wonderful planet.

That brave little bud. I brought him in to shelter him from the storms promised today.

Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope to update Coast Of Illinois soon. The tale of the 40 Year Old Sailboat has a final chapter to tell...


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Snowballs!


We are well into the resolution keeping period of the year, and while I don’t make ‘resolutions’ per se, I try to set goals. One of those being to exercise more frequently.
To that end, we have had an ongoing debate over joining our local RecPlex which opened about 8 months ago.
The RecPlex holds a lot of perks:
It’s only a couple miles away, within bike range in warmer months.
It’s brand new, with a pool, a work out room full of fancy equipment, and minimal gym sock smell.
Two of our friends are frequent users.

But there are also downfalls:

It’s a couple miles away, which means I have to get up, dress, get there, work out, get home, clean up – making my thirty-minute workout a day into more of an hour. An hour of which only thirty minutes counts for anything.
All the fancy pools and equipment in the world won’t necessarily motivate me, without a class instructor to encourage me. And sadly, my work schedule makes in nearly impossible to consistently hit a class.
Our good friends are there. We would like them to remain good friends, and as I feel that all relationships are based on a certain amount of mystery, seeing me in spandex might just be the tipping point.
Spandex does not allow for much mystery.

With all this debate, and a cost/usage analysis done, it was decided that purchasing a Well-Advertised Fancy Exercise Bike would be the better way to go. (From here on out noted as WAFEB)

And that is where the Snowballs  begin.

First it was where to put the WAFEB. If the television is to be believed, most WAFEB owners have thirty story penthouses with views erected just for their bikes.
Lacking a thirty-story penthouse with a simultaneous view of mountains and ocean, we went with the spot in our downstairs formally known as the Toy Room. (Our kids are 29 and 31. The name is truly a formality at this point.)


Snowball…

But we couldn’t possibly go with the room as is, except for the fresh coat of paint applied a year ago after the enormous flood.
So, what started out as a ‘let’s clean out the toy room' became:
What are we going to do with these tubs of books, blankets, electronics, office supplies…? Where did all these staplers come from? Is that a hole punch? And OMG, is that REALLY the floor under there???
That discussion concluded with me needing to mop and then steam clean what’s left of the ugly tile in prep for putting down the beautiful, new, really-too-pretty for a workout room, rug.
Oh, and a trip to Goodwill.

Snowball…

Yet all I really want to do is upload pics to a printing site and have wall art made to decorate….
And maybe make a vision board….
Oh, and there might be an aromatherapy diffuser to add a zen quality as I curse at the chirpy instructors and help cover up the cat box scent…(did I mention the new Workout Room is also the Cat's bathroom?)

Snowball…

One of the arguments for getting the WAFEB was me actually using the WAFEB.
I work four, 10-hour days a week. This gives me three days off.
So that’s three days of workouts.

But I am also a 58-year-old woman who clearly needs more than three days a week to make a dent in my current state of physical decline.
So….
I have plans to dedicate three of those four workdays to work outs. 
I have also recruited a friend to text me in the morning and remind (harrass) me to get up and work out. She is relentless. And not easily offended by my replies...

This means getting up at 5am to give me enough time to brush teeth, wash my face and peel my eyeballs open, change into work out clothes, feed the cat and crawl downstairs to get 30 solid minutes of exercise in before starting my actual workday.
But that is just the beginning.

Snowball…

In order to get up at 5 am, I now must:
Go to bed by 9:30 at the latest.
Cut out the occasional glass of wine in the evening to facilitate going to bed.
Turn off BRAVO, Home design and that evil entity known as Facebook.

Snowball…

I started this plan a little early by easing in to working out again with some yoga classes provided, conveniently by the WAFEB company.
With the purchase of WAFEB we got a subscription to their Fancy Work Outs. Which are subversively encouraging, given titles such as 2-week Yoga class for Beginners and 10 day Get in Shape or We Will Track You Down and Take Photos of You in Spandex intermediate strength training.

As it turns out, the WAFEB company is pretty darn prompt with their delivery so at this writing I have just completed week four of the six-week Beginner Learn to Cycle, because Clearly You Have Never Ridden A Bike Before, workout.
It has taken me this long to figure out how to UNCLIP my feet from the pedals at the end of each session. And it's still hit or miss if I remove the shoe or the foot first.
But I haven’t fallen off or over the bike yet, so that’s a win!

Snowball…

And there are so many rides to choose from, Pop Music Rides, Rock Music Rides, Love Advice Rides, Lady Gaga Rides.....
(I am dying to try that last one, not sure if it's just Lady Gaga's music or if she actually leads the class...)

Snowball…

And with all this working out, it seems a shame to eat anything less than healthy.
So…. meal plans…meal prepping….new lunch containers…

Snowballs!!! 
The WorkOut Room. Deluxe folding chair for putting on clip-on shoes of death. The table, sporting weights and painting is for the ipad should I manage to advance to Core work...

While JoeKatt is not thrilled with sharing his spa, he does appreciate the scenic photos and M&M clock. The jenky seat cover is purely a personal choice...
And, should you like to do a late night 'mood' ride...