Using My Old School Skills

A quick (and hopefully funny) story for all of you this lovely Thursday.

Last weekend I spent a few days in Oxford, OH visiting my boyfriend. I made the drive down one other time, about a month ago. Meaning I kinda knew where I was going, but not really. Sure I was set from Akron to Columbus…I was even OK getting toward Cincinnati, but beyond there I felt helpless. Normally I use the Google Maps app on my phone, but I decided to be like the cool kids and use WAZE because it will tell you when other report police activity and since I enjoy driving efficiently, this is a needed feature.

I turned on the directions when I first left Akron and set the phone aside to enjoy the lovely afternoon/evening weather. I listened to the voice cue me on when to turn, merge and exit. I took it with me in and out of the rest stops. Never really looking down because I knew about 75% of my trip. Then I approached the exit I did not know very well. I reached down for my phone….and it was off. Not just dying, but off. It wouldn’t respond to a charge at all! I forgot how much power WAZE uses! Ugg. Maps doesn’t suck battery nearly as much as WAZE and I had killed it. My phone has been acting like a piece of crap lately anyway.

What do you do when your phone is dead and you don’t know where you are or where you’re going?

I stopped at a gas station and trying not to laugh I asked if they had either a pay phone or WiFi. See I had my iPad and I could message someone or look up the directions myself. Modern girl right here. Some of the kids looked at me like I was crazy for asking about a payphone. We were in BFE so WiFi wasn’t an option either.

They directed me to the local library to use their internet. THANK YOU. Once I arrived though, guess what? The library is CLOSED on Friday. WHERE DOES A LIBRARY CLOSE ON FRIDAYS? WTF?!?!

In a panic I started driving back toward the highway and stopped at an Ace Hardware. The guy seemed to think I was stupid for having a phone that wouldn’t charge….but allowed me to give him a number to call. I called my Mom’s office because it is one of 3 numbers I still have memorized. She wasn’t answering! Luckily the nice guy printed my directions. BUT since I didn’t know the exact address, it was only to the main city.

I left there very thankful, but not out of the woods. I used the printout to keep travelling. Do you realize how weird it is to PAY ATTENTION instead of waiting for a voice to tell you when a road will appear? Felt like I was in high school again! Haha. I made it near the city and then hoped my phone would be charged with the over an hour drive. NOPE. No dice. I used my awesome detective skills to drive to stores/places I remember visiting last time and finally found where we were meeting.

I was over 45 minutes late and he was panicked I was answering my phone! OY OY OY! He did some type of reset and eventually it came back on, much to my amazement.

Point of the story? ALWAYS travel with your directions printed out, your exact addresses printed out, and several names and numbers of people you can call. Oh and spare change in case you do find that elusive pay phone.

This entry was posted in fitness.

Friday Food : Basic Ham & Potato Soup

I’ll be honest, this soup isn’t winning any major awards, but it is exactly what I was looking for in a “base” soup. I love soup, even in the summer, but I’ve never been a fan of only having soup as my meal. Most definitely, I prefer to eat it along with a sandwich or chips or anything else. It was frustrating to me to be on Weight Watchers and to learn many times a hearty soup would suck up more points for a meal than I would like (or imagined!). One of those soups was potato soup.

I set out to find a “healthier” version, and more importantly a version I could eat on its own or I could add additional pieces to make it more like “a meal”. This is what I created and I am very pleased with the results.

Basic Ham and Potato Soup


What you need:

  • 5-6 Baking potatoes
  • 32 oz Chicken broth
  • 4 – 8 oz diced ham (I bought prepackaged ham)


  1. Wash, peel and chop your potatoes than place them in a 6-8 qt slow cooker
  2. Add your diced ham
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and set on low for 6-8 hours (cooking times vary, so keep an eye on things)
  4. Mash/stir the potatoes and ham when finish and ta-da! Basic ham & potato soup!


I will admit buying the ham prepacked keeps this super simple.  Heck buying the potatoes canned would be simple too, but let’s not take things too far. I find the chicken broth adds enough flavor and spices I don’t need anything extra. The fact it’s broth over milk or other cream based it what keeps it “healthier”. The way I calculated mine, a VERY generous 1-cup serving is about 3 points. For me this is perfect. Not too many points I can’t “easily” add it to a meal, and low enough where if I want to toss in cheese, bacon, sour cream or whatever I have points wiggle room.

What’s your favorite simple soup recipe?


This entry was posted in fitness.

My First Meetup : Aerial Skills Class

Back when I was super whining about dating (ya know not just my normal level of whining about it) many people suggested I join I was hesitant to try anything because most of the groups didn’t seem like my cup of tea. I have explained MANY times in person and on this site, I am nervous around new people and with new activities. Going out alone was terrifying to me, but I am getting better at it as I keep forcing myself to try.

Several months ago I found a group called Mix Fit and they travel around the area checking out new fitness classes. This sounded like EXACTLY the type of group I would like to join! I signed up for a few classes (meetups) which were months out! I actually missed one a few weeks back because I wasn’t feeling well. Tuesday night rolled around and I was on my way to the Czech Cultural Center of Cleveland to try my hand (feet?) at Aerial Skills!

We began by warming up on the springboard floorboard or something to that effect. Whatever the gymnasts use during their floor routine. I had NO IDEA it was so bouncy, takes a little magic out of their performances for me though. We did jumping jacks and stretches and other general warm up related materials. Then we went over and “got familiar” with the ropes. We touched the fabric, tugged on it to feel how it would stretch, generally got to know our equipment.

Out first task was to reach up about forehead height, tug on the fabric and lift our knees to our chest. Then we were told to hold this pose for 5 seconds. Nearly everyone did great with this, I could barely lift myself off the ground. I have no upper body strength or control.  We did three sets of this per student (two per ropes).

The next task was to wrap our left foot in the fabric and lift with our right and stand on the fabric. Then we could pull up and redo the movement, this is how you “climb” the fabric. This was a little easier for me, because it relied a lot on lower body and that is an area I actually have some muscles. Of course my arms failed me and I never scaled up very high. My partner did much better with this task!

After learning how to climb (we did each side three times). We were taught how to twist and turn and make the fabric into a swing! I FINALLY was able to do something that kinda resembled the right idea. Mind you I should have my hips more lose, the fabric more centered and my leg tucked under more, but I did not realize how much flexibility I’ve lost not going to Pilates. You can see my partner was able to master this position much better.




The next few techniques were very similar, with different foot wrappings and then making positions in the front of back. Because I couldn’t get the position right, I wasn’t able to do any of the other skills. At this point in the night it was about an hour into the class and I was super sweaty and super feeling down on myself. I told the instructor I thought I was too fat for the fabric. She said if I was uncomfortable that is perfectly OK to admit and common, but I was certainly not too fat. I sat down and almost cried I was feeling so sorry for myself. The class and life moved on though, and soon we were on the final technique. Unfortunately I didn’t grab any shots of this…but it was this really interesting body wrap where you’re handing in air in the fabric. I managed to make it work for like 2 seconds before I unraveled and fell down. I was laughing the whole time though.

Once all “lessons” were completed one of the instructors volunteered to give us a “demo” of more advanced styles. It was totally beautiful and mesmerizing.






I’m really glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and gave this class and Meet Up a try. I would certainly try it again in the future, but I think I will try to lose weight and do more weight training first. All day long I’ve been struggling with my arms because I strained my triceps so much. Time FOR SURE to get myself back in the gym!


This entry was posted in fitness.