My fire

First off, let me lead with the obvious, I’ve not written a post for a while and while I realize that makes me a negligent blogger, life sometimes gets in the way of the things we love. And although, this blog is mostly dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, I cannot do that without putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. Of course, I also should admit, if you didn’t know it already: I love to write; this is not because I like to write about myself or I am an over sharer, but merely because it’s my fire.

Today, I was thinking about this on my drive home and how I should’ve perhaps pursued a career in journalism, or better yet  travel or food journalism and combine two passions. Anthony Bourdain has this dialed in; however, I would have to gag down some rather questionable food, and perhaps even more daunting is traveling to Libya or the Congo. I could still write a book, God knows I have a few unfinished manuscripts on my hard drive. I could write for one of the animal activists groups like ASPCA. There are still any number of things I could or may still do.

However, what’s most important is keeping that flame alive. I write every opportunity I get. I can write a Yelp review of epic proportions and why not? I mean if I’m thinking about trying out a new hot spot or buying a product I want to hear the details, and the more specific and lurid the better. If someone cannot deliver that then I may not trust their review. I hate to be an English snob, but we have been given this gift of language which we can use to describe the depth of beauty in this world or lack thereof. Unfortunately, what I have witnessed  on various social network sites. . . . Warning: rant coming. . . .is mortifying. I have a name for it language poverty, and it’s not merely the young and naive that possess this malady. I truly understand economy of language in texting or perhaps even Facebook, but then you risk people misunderstanding you. I often want to respond ” huh?”

I think writing, one of the single most important inter-disciplinary skills is downplayed in school-yeah not on my watch, but nevertheless, we are producing a citizenry of people who lack the skill to communicate effectively. Imagine a modern day Babylonia, where everyone is talking/writing– as a first world country, and yet no one understands one another,  yeah hyperbolic I know, but at the very least, find the skills to render yourself understood. Rant complete. Secondly, if you are not pursuing your passion, you know that fire that burns within you, I’m not going to be cliche and comment on how you should do what you love for a living and you won’t work a day in your life, blah, blah, blah, but find ways to incorporate it into your daily life, because that’s what makes even the simplest things like eating and then reviewing your favourite dessert spot a life worth living.


My Hero


Those who know me know I’m not a gusher. I don’t write very often about my state of marital bliss or how fabulous my husband is on a daily basis. I don’t prescribe or repost other people’s prescriptions for a happy marriage religious or otherwise. This, however,  does not mean that a). I don’t love my husband, or b). that I’m not a proponent of marriage.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth(we’re coming up on ten years); however, the daily ins and outs of marriage are trying even in the best of circumstances. I would be lying if I said we don’t fight or that he doesn’t try my patience. ( I don’t post that stuff either.) Marriage is about compromise, sacrifice, and respect on both sides.


If someone had asked me early on in our marriage if it was going to work, I probably would have responded “I’m not so sure.” I had two teenage girls, a full time job, and was carrying a full load of college courses at night. He had an equally trying position in law enforcement and two new stepdaughters. Looking back we spent quite a bit of time just treading water and passing each other on the freeway.

Life became less stressful; however, as the girls grew up and out and I finished school, but it alternatively left us without a clue  how to maneuver a relationship sans kids and newfound time together. This is the point I think where many relationships fall apart, because you really no longer know one another and either you rewrite the next chapter together or you part ways. This has not been easy for either one of us as Mike was also recently medically retired and home full time now. We have spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how all of this would work and again left me wondering if we would overcome, yet another change in our relationship.

Ultimately, this made me realize that God doesn’t always give you what you want, but he gives you what you need. The reason I call my husband “My hero” is because he lives by an old fashioned code whereby his decisions, at least I think are mostly guided by God, or morality, call it what you will if you’re offended.  It is his “works” or actions that I admire most and I truly find inspiring. Last year whilst we were walking with our dogs at a nearby park we came upon some abandoned rabbits(five exactly) and my husband and I proceeded to climb through scratchy shrubs in shorts to rescue the rabbits. Ultimately, I know he did it because his wife would be heartbroken if he hadn’t. Then he spent untold amounts of money and heartache to ensure their well being because it was the “right” thing to do. Some people might call that stupidity; I call it: love.


Although, I was raised Methodist, I think I lost my way at some point–cue bad marriage and a divorce-, and I had veered off course. I’m not proud to admit it, but I don’t think I knew what it was like to have a real relationship with God, and maybe even my husband, at least a mature more authentic one,  that I am shouting from the rooftops. . . .. only just this once.


Should Men and Women Workout Differently?

I think it’s important women lift each other up and this chick rocks hard. . . .seriously!

Muffin Topless

I can’t help but notice when I enter the gym, that the cardio section is primarily filled with women, and the men occupy the majority of the weight room. From the outside looking in, it may seem as though there is a fundamental difference in the way men and women should be training. This; however, is not the case. When it comes to cardiovascular exercise or strength training, both men and women can benefit substantially. According to certified personal trainer, Danielle Vindez, “Training, no matter the sex, has to do with the goal and present physical condition.”


Spencer Neveux Fitness & Nutrition www.spencerneveuxfitness.comMany women believe the myth that lifting heavy weights will result in a “bulky” or “manly” appearance.  The truth is, women do not have the levels of testosterone men do, and thus cannot “bulk up” without the help of steroids and years of serious dedication.  This fundamental difference in hormones makes it…

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What Death Teaches us about Living

John Donne once said  “When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.” Donne was a poet and a preacher and someone who obviously knew a little something about coping with the death of someone close. When I started this blog (yesterday) I fully intended on keeping it professional; however, sometimes it’s hard to separate the personal from the individual, and while I wanted to post about my findings on local grass fed  beef (that can wait), but the former lies heavy on my heart and I think this is the best way for me to work through how I feel and share one man’s legacy.

Mr. Raz was a teacher who was on my team for the last couple of years(he passed away this morning and it feels so surreal to talk about him in past tense) and a man I had come to know and love over the last several years. He was an older man, probably upper sixties, but still a teacher so passionate about literature and so wise in his spectrum of knowledge about not only literature, but also in history, art, and music, some of it perhaps gained by his teaching stint in South Africa.

I know he had been dealing with some health issues and  the pressure of teaching in such a turbulent time probably had sadly also taken a toll, and while he may not have fit the mold of what the current administration deemed a “great” teacher, he made an impact on his students, because he “still” loved what he did and truly cared about the well being of his students. I don’t want to sully his good name by getting into educational politics so I’ll stop there and suffice to say Mr. Raz may very well have been a relic of the past . He  believed our students needed to be exposed to classical literature and if he loved it then they couldn’t help but love it too, and by golly I think most of them did. Another teacher described him as a “ray of sunshine” in our hallway; he changed his music in his room  according to the literary era and drew some amazing artwork on the board of the Grendel and Beowulf battle among other things. He always absorbed his students in whatever we were reading.

Apart from the profession, he was a sweet, thoughtful man and a holiday rarely passed that we (his team members) didn’t receive a little token of some sort whether it be candy or a little skeleton for Halloween; I couldn’t help but think with all he had going on he always stopped to think about others. So today, I want to pause and reflect on him and take a little piece of that tattered page–his legacy–as I would ask any of you who will be heading back into your classrooms this year or any workplace for that matter–and do just a little fine translation to help make this world a better place if even for a fleeting moment, because we never know when that bell will toll for us. Life teaches us invaluable lessons, but death teaches us about our own mortality, life’s brevity,  and what we leave behind when our vessel is gone.

Please keep Mr. Raz and his family in your thoughts and prayers.