Note to Self

Dearest Danette,

WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!?!!!??!

It’s been months since your last walk/jog (aka WOG).  You really have no excuse.  None.  You turned 50 continued working out for a short time and then stopped.  You skipped working out nearly all of ‘cold’ season.  For no reason that is legitimate.  So today you decided it was time to pick it back up again.

In the past you’ve never needed someone to work out with, an online buddy or a workout journal to be consistent. In fact you prefer to go it alone.  But obviously something has changed.  So I’m writing you this note for all to see (if they so desire), as a committment to continue – cigaba – swagaliga.  You are going to workout a minimum of 4 times/week, but preferably 5 or 6.  Keeping your word is pretty important to you, so with this in writing, there’s no turning back.

After much contemplation (days & days & days, ok – weeks) you decided that today was the day to start.  Again I ask, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!?!? It was 105 degrees out there.  But if you were going to start anytime in the next 2 or 3 months, those temps (not to mention humidity) will only get worse.

So out you went.  And remember you have witnesses to your craziness.  Neal & Tim saw you.  But they were just as crazy, because they were playing tennis in the heat.  And I think the heat was doing something to the message center in their brains because they continued to play for quite awhile after you finished.  And you wogged for at least 45 minutes.  That’s usually your average.  Not sure of the distance since your running app stopped working – it was too hot in your pocket.

And after you finished, you did your push-ups. (Girl  style) And you will continue to do them. No matter that a few short months ago you could do 3 sets of 30.  The 3 sets of 15 today was better than nothing.  Much better.  Keep it up!

Here are the tennis players.


Now lest you get discouraged or tempted to quit, you took a few pictures to remind yourself that it’s really not that bad…

Here’s your view – at least the downhill side.  Quite lovely.  Who wouldn’t want to jog here?  (What one can’t ‘see’ is each one of those 105 degrees). But we don’t need to dwell on that – not with the beautiful Niger River in the background.


The uphill side is a bit more challenging, but keep in mind the downhill side is right around the corner. The picture just doesn’t do justice to the upward slope.  But remember, this is where you do the walking part of your Wog.  So it’s all good.


And remember the lovely smells you smelled?  You had great opportunity to suck in those smells.  Panting some might call it.  So you got nostrils full of flowery smells.  Keep in mind that most places you go don’t smell nearly as wonderful.  And some places there’s nothing wonderful at all about the smell.  And let’s talk about the butterflies. Well, you only saw one today, but I’m sure there are more.  He was lovely too. 
And you even had a laugh, in spite of your panting.  Remember?  You allow yourself a drink after every 2 laps.  You were greatly anticipating that water as you came around the bend –on account of your throat sticking shut.  But when you reached the place you stashed your bottle, IT WAS GONE!!  You started to panic just a little as you tried to unstick your throat.  Then you looked at the tennis players, and thought to yourself “I’ll bet Tim took your water as a practical joke”.  Yep, your mind went there.  And you didn’t find the humor in it.  But just as you started to accuse him, you spotted the missing bottle.  Right where you left it – in the drainage ditch.


But in your defense, you thought you put it here, just a few feet away.   
Looks pretty similar, right?  AND it was 105 degrees. The synapses in your brain may have been misfiring. Give yourself a break.

Also keep in mind how much you like music pumping into your head.  This is the perfect opportunity for that – without interruption.  And – some of your best prayer times are while on the ‘track’.

So dear self, this is a note to you.  Just in case you forget or think this all a dream.  It wasn’t.  It was real.  You are real, and you will run.  Or Wog. No matter how you feel in the morning.

Durban here we come!

We were finishing up Tobi’s haircut in Livingstone at the end of my last post.  We are now Durban bound.  Our final night in Livingstone involved swimming in the hotel pool (well, Tobi swam and we watched.  It was too cold for our desert blood), eating, and watching a movie.  All vacation type things.  We arranged our taxi to take us to the airport the following morning for our flight to Durban.

We had to include Durban into our trip because Tobi had heard us talk about it so much, and had seen the pictures of himself on the beach in a baby bed (he was TINY!).  We looked into staying at the same place we’d stayed when we were there in 2000 – The Oyster Box – but it had been ‘renovated’ and was over $300/night.  So we figured a simple visit to the hotel would be enough of a walk down memory lane.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…First, we boarded another plane.  Here we are walking to the plane.

IMG_0922Still walking…

IMG_0924 “Seriously Mom, do you have to take my picture on every flight?”

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Coming in for our first landing – we had a stop in Johannesburg before moving on to Durban.

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Even more developed than we remember 13 years ago!

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The thing that was really cool about this trip is that the Louts were meeting us in Durban as well.  The Louts consist of Scott & Sarah (Sarah is Neal’s sister), Luke, Grace and Claire.  Sarah was with us in 2000 when we visited Durban with Tobi so she remembers the Oyster Box too.  Scott works for World Vision and is currently the National Director for the country of Lesotho.  They graciously agreed to make the 6 hour drive to Durban with the family so we could hang out there for a few days.  We don’t get to do that very much – hang out.  So they took off Tuesday morning by road, and we by air.  They made all the lodging arrangements and while the family got settled in there, Scott picked us up at the airport.  It was great to be together and Neal and I got the long end of the stick regarding accommodation – Scott and Sarah hung with all the kids and Neal and I got our own room!

The first day dawned beautiful and sunny.  Grama was anxious for a picture of the kids together so we quickly took this one before heading to the beach.  Claire, Grace, Luke & Tobi.  Tobi is one year older than Luke but they have always been the same height.  And even though it’s out of both of their controls, their height has always been a point of competition.  Tobi has finally passed Luke.  Those are some good looking kids!

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Here’s the place we stayed – quite close to the water.

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We ate breakfast here one morning.

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It was quite lovely.

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Close enough to walk.

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So walk we did.

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The boys wasted no time getting in.

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C’mon Dad!

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I can tell you that the Indian Ocean is FREEZING this time of year!  And everyone was jumping around in it like they didn’t even notice.  And even though there are no pictures of me (I have an aversion to being photographed in a bathing suit), I really did get it.

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What follows are pictures of beach fun.  Lots of pictures…

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Claire bravely battling the waves.

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There’s Grace!

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Tobi!

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The men.

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Sans boogie boards.

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Check out Luke’s hand on Tobi’s face.

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Watching these guys walk with their boogie board/bathing suit rash was pretty comical.

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Contemplating.

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Still contemplating….

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Contemplating over.

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Serious about digging.

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Dads helping.

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Grace adding some artistic touches.

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Bobble head?

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One more wave.

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Scott – you can caption this yourself….but I must say you’re looking pretty proud of yourself!

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This is how beach chillin’ is done.  Complete with McDonalds umbrellas.

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We had 2 days to enjoy the beach, and we spent a day visiting our old stomping grounds.  Well, I guess stomping grounds is a bit exaggerated, but we were there 3 times in the year 2000, so that should count for something!

I’ve already mentioned the Oyster Box and how it upgraded to a fancy hotel.  No worries.  The thing we remembered about it was this lighthouse, and that was still there.  We had to go through security to enter the hotel, but we did that like we knew what was going on.  Then on we went on a self guided tour.  It was near this lighthouse that we played in the tide pools and found octopus.  Tobi was in a carry baby bed and we’re missing Trae and Tanika, but other than that it was just the same…

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I believe Uncle Scott is pointing out downtown Durban from the Oyster Box.

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We enjoyed a great make your own yogurt shop before continuing our tour.

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Next stop was a little amusement park near the ocean.  This looked pretty harmless (non dizzying).

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Off they go.

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What we didn’t consider was how high this thing really was.

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It was really high.  And these dudes are looking down – not with their eyes but with their bodies.  Neal and I were behind them and I was taking note of the loosely fitted bar that was holding us in.  Which is what was holding them in.

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I’m not easily afraid, but I must admit I felt quite nervous flopping around up there. And our kids flopping around up there. I would have preferred a nice tight harness or something of that sort.

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Happy to be on the way down.  Geez that’s high!

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Seriously, can you just hold still?!

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Next stop was to a really cool, really huge mall.  It holds some claim to fame like the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere — not exactly sure.  But it was impressive.  Here’s Claire being part of the OZ family.

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And Tobi.

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Luke should have been part of the cast!

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As I said, this mall was impressive.  We saw The Croods, rode a virtual roller coaster and just had a fun time.  As you can see, the family is pretty cool.

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We intended to play more games in the evenings, but we were so tired everyone crashed.  Well, I think everyone.  Now that I’m thinking about it, the kids were with Scott and Sarah…

We had a great few days in Durban reminiscing and  creating new memories.  The next leg of our journey would take us to the Lout’s home in Lesotho.  I hope to write about that soon.

Eyebrows, sweat and dumbness.

I did a dumb thing the other day.  I went into Tanika’s room for a reason which I no longer remember.  That wasn’t the dumb part.  While there, I noticed a magnifying mirror sitting on her desk.   I decided to look directly into it while the sun illuminated my face.  That was the dumb thing.  This was not an everyday ‘large print’ type mirror.  I think the magnification was measured in exponents.  My pores looked like craters.  My chin and upper lip hairs?  I almost combed them.  I had been putting off taking care of my eyebrows for quite some time – it’s one of my least favorite things to do.  I decided right then and there it was high time to locate a tweezer.  That’s how infrequently I attend to this chore – I had to first find the plucking apparatus before I could begin.  I found one in Tanika’s bathroom.  I don’t know what she uses it for, as I know she doesn’t pluck (lucky duck!).  With the assistance of the sun’s natural brilliance shining in the window, I began the daunting task.  With the aid of the magic mirror, I was quite sure I was yanking out handfuls of hair.  And each one looked a good 2 inches long.  No kidding!  It was quite a time consuming process.  After I cleared what seemed to be an appropriate area along the brow bone, I looked into a ‘regular’ mirror.  That was dumb thing #2 — waiting until I mowed it all before checking to see what the eyebrow would look like to the natural eye.  All I can say is that I won’t have to pluck again for quite some time.  There was almost nothing left.  Switch to magic mirror and it appeared that I had a sufficiently filled in brow.  Switch back to ‘ala naturelle’ and I’ve got bald eyebrows.  I debated on what I should do with the 2nd eye and decided to give it the same style.  I figured it would be less noticeable (although more painful) to have matching brows then to have one stray bush and one thin blade of grass.  I’ve never used an eyebrow pencil before, but I’m never too old to start.   And considering the heat, the less hair on the body the better.  Right?

Since I’m confessing dumb things, let me get it all out at once.  I am back to working out regularly.  I’ve been back at it for less than 3 weeks now, but it’s a start.  That’s a smart thing.  Its good to know that if one is exercising in this climate to do so as early in the day as possible.  Though ‘cool’ is relative, it’s still cooler in the house at 7am then it is later in the day.  Our family room drops to a nippy 90.  Prime time for exercising is as soon as the kids are at school.  Though we turn our AC off as soon as we get up, if we keep the door closed the room will retain some coolness.  One would think the remains of an artificially cooled room would be motivation enough to work out first thing.  Somehow, however, I manage to effectively procrastinate and before I know it, it’s 2pm and I’ve yet to do one squat or lunge.   That’s dumb thing # 3.  By this time the ‘cool’ room is 89 degress.  Also by this time, I’ve been sweating for several hours and I begin to wonder if I really need to work out – considering the sweat and all.  Then I stop rationalizing, accepting the fact that in this weather sweating can be accomplished by something as strenuous as, lets say, breathing.    This poses the next problem… getting spandex/cotton/stretchy work-out clothes onto an already sweaty body…dumb thing #4.  This could easily be avoided by working out as soon as I wake up and before I start the day’s sweating. I can only say that to get the Lycra onto the right places I am required to contort myself in ways I wouldn’t even consider doing during my workout.  So by the time I’m ready, I’ve already had my workout.  Enough said.  Tomorrow I plan to be smarter.