Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Fluidity Bar

I am a sucker for infomercials. It doesn't matter what the product is- by the time the program is over I am convinced of it's value and thoroughly believe that it will change my life for the better. I realize that many of them are scams and a complete waste of money, but on the other hand I can personally vouch for a number of products. I love my "Total Gym," (even if I never actually use it). I think "Nads" is a fairly decent hair removal product. I've seem women completely transformed by Windsor Pilates. I love the "Juice Man Jr," My "BOSU" is excellent, and every now and then I still enjoy a good workout from Billy Blanks.

A few weeks ago I found myself up in the wee hours of the morning fighting a bout of unexplainable insomnia, so I turned on the television hoping to lull myself back into dreamland. Now if you have never suffered a sleepless night before you may not realize that between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. just about every channel is selling something. It is an infomercial lovers paradise and that's where and when I first learned of this Fluidity Bar. In short, it's a free-standing ballet bar that enables one to do all sorts of great dancer-like toning exercises. And even though I will probably never have my dancer's body completely back again (thanks kids), I figure this contraption just might get me closer to my coveted college form. (If you want the full low-down on the bar you can check out their website.) My point is, I was sold and I ordered one. (Mom, this was your birthday present to me. Thank you!) After all it has a 30 day money back guarantee!

My bar arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I've tested it out. It's a really nice, solid piece of equipment-although a little larger and heavier than I had anticipated, but I like it. The workout is pretty straight forward. I enjoyed it and think it has a lot of potential for me. My problem is this: I think only one of the exercises actually requires this kind of bar. Minus that one-I could do the entire workout on a wall-mounted bar which would cost me a lot less, and would solve my problem of "Where do I put this thing?"

So now I have to decide. Should it stay or should it go? Any thoughts?

Pets-How could this happen to me?

I am not an animal lover. I believe it is because I tend to feel edgy and nervous with things and situations I cannot control- and I for one have seen too many of those "close encounter" video-clip shows where the "trained" bear, or other animal, ended up swallowing the head of his perfectly relaxed and confident trainer. (Just look at the fate of Sigfried and Roy or Steve Irwin. These guys were professionals but when it got right down to it, the animals got the best of them- because no matter how much people try to train or humanize them, animals will always stay what they are genetically meant to be- animals.)

I'm especially uncomfortable with house pets. I've always told my kids that that they can have whatever pet they desire once we have a large barn to put them in. It's not that I don't enjoy animal life, I just don't think animals should be in the same living space as humans- or at least the same living space as me.

This has always been my stance and no amount of pleading, crying or begging from my poor deprived children has ever been able to change my mind. But the fates are conspiring against me.

I made the mistake of letting my soft-hearted husband take my animal-loving 5 yr-old son on a father-son date last weekend. Where did Kimball choose to go? The pet store of course, and the sneaky little kid worked his baby blue magic on his Father and managed to acquire two lizards and a large bag of crickets.(apparently these "green anole" lizards eat juicy live crickets-- an insect I also happen to have a large aversion to). What was I supposed to do? I mean just look at his happy face!
So now I have two more little guys to feed and clean up after. The funny thing is, even though they are a bit like scary little dragons, they are growing on me. They currently reside in our kitchen and I find myself constantly distracted by them. They fascinate me and I'm getting quite attached. I worry that they aren't staying warm at night or getting the proper amount to eat. ( I even fortify their crickets with a special calcium powder! ) What can I say? I think we are a good match because even though they are in my home, technically they still reside in their own pad. At least that's my excuse.

I disgust myself.

This is all for you Kimball. Never doubt how much your Mother loves you.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Cookie Scoop!

It wasn't until I married into the Neilson Clan 11 years ago that I learned of this great kitchen gadget called a cookie scoop. My sister-in-law (shout out to you Kari!) gave me one along with a few other baking essentials for a bridal shower gift. Since then, I have become an avid believer in them. How did I ever make nicely even-shaped cookies before? Honestly, I think I just didn't. Since then I've acquired about four of them in various sizes. (Stanton is particular to the scoop that is equal to about 1/4 cup. It makes a meal of a cookie which is almost always still a little doughy-just the way he likes 'em)

The great thing about cookie scoops is that they are so versatile. In addition to making perfectly shaped, professional looking cookies they can also be used for melon balling, ice-cream scooping, and even, as my boys discovered this winter, for quickly making snow-balls. But, if you are a member of the Neilson posterity you learn at a very young age to use them the "proper" way- that is to scoop nicely shaped cookie dough balls directly into your mouth. As you can see here, Laura has already started her training for this acquired skill. By the time she is 5 or 6 she will have it mastered to perfection I'm sure. But for now, I think you need a smaller scoop sweetie!

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