Taking Back the House

I love to exercise and so does my husband. We aren’t gym rats exactly but we do have a serious interest. We don’t relish the idea of getting flabby and weak. As a result, we are both on a big health kick. We have been reading a lot about taking matters into your own hands. You hear all the scary stories about diabetes and heart disease and how younger people don’t even take good enough care of themselves these days as they are lazy or in denial. We try to eat right but have our lapses as most people do. We are trying to be better about it slowly but surely. If you aren’t strict with your nutrition, you will have to compensate with going to the gym more often. While we both enjoy the gym and all the equipment and facilities it offers, we don’t get there that much. You have to make time. You have to change clothes after work, grab a snack or you might pass out, jump in the car, drive in traffic and search for a parking space in the always full gym’s lot. Then you wait for your favorite treadmill or elliptical to become available. The wait could be ten or more minutes. It’s excrutiating when you are in a hurry, and who isn’t? You finally get on but the next person is standing right there by your side staring at your minute counter, hoping you will abort after the usual twenty minutes. I resort to cover the counter with my towel.

I can think of better ways to stay fit than the waiting game. My husband and I decided to turn the kids’ old room into a home gym. There is nothing like the ultimate convenience of having a gym in your own home. I bet we use the equipment more often, especially after making a financial commitment to a treadmill, some weights, and a pull up bar among other items. I love the idea of being able to jump on the treadmill at will and of working out any time of day or night. We also put in a TV so we could enjoy our favorite shows. It makes the time go much faster.

It was difficult to decide how to set up the gym. We hadn’t a clue. We have seen those multi-unit systems on TV and online but they take up huge amounts of space. They look wonderful but are awfully expensive. After consulting a pro, he said that a treadmill machine, some weights, some stretch straps and different size bosu balls would cover all the parts of the body we needed. What was encouraging was that the pro designed exercises for both of us to do together since they would not require the same equipment. We follow his regime to the letter and after a while, I do believe I can see some real results. A home gym is a real blessing, a convenience, and a godsend for busy people. I promise you, it will help keep you fit.

Replacing Things

I missed the kids after they moved out, what mother wouldn’t? It is inevitable that you will feel the empty nest syndrome. This is the feeling of loss when your children are no longer around. After all, you spent years attending to their needs and desires. What do you do with your time when your child rearing years are over? In my case, I love photography and that can easily fill the gap. It is rewarding and enriching and something I can share with others. Fortunately, social media is a great way to do so. Meanwhile, back to the empty nest. When the kids left, they emptied the nest in their own unique way by taking things they needed from the household or “borrowing” them as the case may be.

I suddenly found myself missing assorted kitchen tools. The drawers were suddenly empty of all the extra mixing spoons, graters, paring knives, and measuring cups. Maybe they thought I would never cook again. Fat chance! They also took assorted towels, laundry soap, the back-up vacuum, and would you believe it, the bathroom scale. Now this is one item I do miss as I use it almost daily to track weight gain and loss. They had told me they wanted a few things and I was more than willing to oblige. I told them to make a list that I would approve before they walked off with anything crucial. Of course, no list was in sight. The items of need were simply gone. Okay, I get it. Kids don’t want to run around buying stuff that is not particularly interesting. I can always replace what they have taken for the most part. The one device I needed right away was a new scale, so I jumped online and read bathroom scale reviews. I got a great one so am not particularly sorry to see the old one go. It wasn’t digital and had no nice LED display. It did not track body fat or sync with my laptop as the new one can. The improvements nowadays in bathroom scales are enormous.

I got what is called a precision plus and I love it. No more tapping scale to turn on. Step on and get instant readings—that’s it. It has a large backlit 4.3″ lcd display – easy to read from any distance and in any light. Plus it has 4 high precision g sensors for measurement in increments of .2 lbs. / 3oz. to 440 lbs. or 200 kgs every time. It has an extra durable oversized platform – over 15 inches wide. Last but certainly not least, it is auto calibrated, has auto power-off, and runs on 2 AAA batteries. I loved that it came with a two-year warranty. So you won’t hear me complaining any time soon about all the borrowing. I think I will let them come over sometime soon and do another round. This will prod me into getting some updated items I need. Replacement can be fun.

Upgrade in the Living Room

I have a little discretionary money so I am looking around the house to see about some upgrades. I have many choices. Things seem to fall apart even when not in much use. The kitchen cabinets could use a refinishing and I could add some new pulls. The cabinets are starting to show a lot of wear and tear. The stain has faded in many places and it looks a bit tacky. Then there is the bathroom faucet. While not bad looking, it leaks on a regular basis and in my mind’s eye I see the water bill increasing proportionately. Plus, it is just plain wasteful. Let’s be ecologically minded when we can, shall we? I keep looking and start thinking I need new shelves in the den for the overload of books I have being stored in the dank and damp basement. This can’t be good for the longevity of the paper. What else is there? A lot more. The bedroom could use a new headboard. The one I have is for a double bed and now I own a queen. This is a no brainer. I could use a new TV, too, one larger than the 24 inch model I now have and practically can’t see from afar. People are going grand with TVs these days: the bigger, the better.

Let’s keep making the rounds. How about a new microwave, one that matches my stainless steel appliances. How about a new coffeemaker, although frankly I rather enjoy going to the local coffee bar each morning where I meet up with friends. I could go for a new ceiling fan in the living room for air circulation. When it gets warm, I hate turning on the AC. I feel the same way I do about leaky faucets and lost water. Why waste energy apart from the utility bills. I love the idea of selecting the ceiling fan for looks as well, so that is the route I have chosen. This is one upgrade I am going to enjoy. The fans are so high tech nowadays. You can get the light in the center on a dimmer and you can also control the fan velocity with a handheld gadget or at the wall near the dimmer. You dictate how you want the fan to work. If you want high speed for a really hot night, so be it. For a gentle breeze, low will do fine.

There are many choices of finishes for the blades and I chose a nice medium oak stain. It looks great with the furniture. You also can select from dozens of light fixtures and I went for a simple milk glass bulb that is unobtrusive but a good design.

The living room therefore gets the upgrade this time. It gets a facelift as to décor and also gets a practical way to beat the heat. I am sure that with my long list of other desires, I will soon make some additional household changes.