November 16, 2015

Whazzup? Crabby Checks In

By Crabby McSlacker

Hey there!  So here is yet another post packed with slow-to-load photos that has nothing to do with health and fitness. Even though this is theoretically a health blog.

I mean, sure, I could try to turn this post into some sort of preachy "how to stay fit when life gets distracting" thing, but my advice would suck.

Because here's the secret to how I manage to keep up my exercise routine in the midst of many adventures and distractions and upheavals: By stubbornly prioritizing exercise, slacking horribly on other self-care and creative endeavors I should be pursuing, barely earning any income at all, and relying on the pragmatic, emotional, and financial support of my super-achiever, long-suffering wife.

Unless you've won the lotto or managed to procure a spouse like mine, I suspect my advice wouldn't be too helpful.  If I lived a normal life and wasn't so ridiculously blessed with undeserved good fortune, I'd probably have gotten about 3 minutes of exercise this year, and coped with stress and/or excitement by repeatedly sticking my head in a pail of Toll House cookie dough and washing it down with a vat of Two Buck Chuck. Instead, I've been hiking, ellipticalling, biking, swimming, doing HIIT, weight training, and even my own invented frighteningly weirdo exercises. I've been pretty much keeping on track fitness-wise, even if I do tend to undo most of it by eating like a pig.

So yeah, this isn't going to be advicey, just chatty. And as usual, it's just to put something out here to say hi, and try to entice some of you into letting me know down in the comment section what you've been up to and what you might be planning and what's on your minds these days. I miss you guys!

Anyway, what's been so distracting that I've barely made an appearance on my own damn blog in months?

Blame Travel?

Well, that's part of the problem, as we have been doing some of that.

In Canada we saw some pretty things,

And some weirdly-named things,

And some funny signs.

Damn, we totally forgot our mackerel!

Oh, and we spent the night in a Walmart parking lot in this little town, which I think could probably use little rebranding work:

And we generally had a whale of a good time.

Are there a bunch more pictures somewhere? You bet! But I'll spare you. Plus, most of the good ones are on my wife's phone and as is so often the case, we're a few time zones apart at the moment.

There have also been a couple of New York adventures. I get to go often enough that I stopped trying to photograph it much, but it's always a great place to wander.

That's not me, btw. Just a friendly random stranger procuring an emergency cupcake.

Blame a Hard-Partying Social Life?

Well, we did do some celebrating here and there.

We even went to Vegas!

But that was so NOT our hotel room.  We were there to celebrate my mother-in-law's 90th birthday, and she stays up later than we do and is way more fun.

So while what happened in Vegas can stay in Vegas, it didn't involve incarceration or million dollar jackpots or bankruptcy or random weddings to strangers or anything that would make a particular good story.

Of course, the travel continues so there's still a chance for something blogworthy to occur.  We've got a 25th anniversary trip to Mexico coming up soon, yay!

Blame the Novel I'm Supposed to Be Writing That Was The Reason I Said I Was Quitting Blogging?

Nah, I'm making really shitty progress on that. Though I have not given up. But it's really slow going.

So What's The Latest Distraction Besides Travel?

A totally insane, spur-of-the-moment, crazy-ass but exciting decision to buy a condo we fell love with. And get our current home sold before 95% of Provincetown decamps for the winter and no one is left to buy anything. So what if we happened to be traveling a good chunk of October and are going to be gone almost all of November? Oh and did I mention the place we are buying was built before 1900 and is located in a high-velocity flood zone? And it's a little funky in terms of the floor plan and needs some major renovation?

Note:  the real estate flyer said, quite truthfully: "The galley kitchen has the feeling of being on a boat!" However, as we were looking to purchase a home in which we could cook our meals, and not an actual sailing vessel, this was not a strong selling point.

Anyway, all this was not on the radar at all.  Here's what happened:

In late September we got a notice of a zoning hearing: the cute and tiny little cottages in the wooded lot abutting ours were going to be replaced by massive two story townhouse buildings looming right over us, filled with partying weekly renters. Oh, and all the lovely big trees were going to be removed.

This made us sad. We dutifully wrote grumpy NIMBY letters and rallied neighbors and attended hearings (it's still undecided). But in the meantime, it got us thinking: If our lovely quiet neighborhood was going to change, was there any where else we'd like to live someday?

How about... right on the beach????

So we started with the "maybe someday" conversation. And then had the "well, let's see what's on the market so we know how much we're talking and if we should even torture ourselves by fantasizing about it" conversation. And then the "OMG, this would be awesome, but fat chance!" conversation. Followed by the "so how much would we be willing to trade off in terms of space, noise, and privacy to live on the water?" conversation.

And then it didn't take too long before we got to the "what if we didn't wait 5 years but made a low-ball offer now?" conversation. Which then led into the "how high would we actually go if they countered our offer?" conversation.

Well, high enough, apparently.  We're in escrow, which is pretty damn exciting, but holy crap is real-estate stuff a lot of work!  Between getting our current place on the market, (chores, egad!) and figuring out all the forms and deadlines, and lining up contractors and preparing to move and store and pare down all our stuff, it's been a little hectic.

It's always been a fantasy to ditch the weeding and raking and clipping and hauling and just let the winds and tides handle all our yard work. And go to sleep to the sound of lapping waves...

And by late next spring, it may be a reality!

But we've watched enough HGTV to know we could be in for a whole lot o' challenges and surprises before we get to watch ships sail by over our morning beverages. Even the Canadians on HGTV end up all pissy and petulant at some point in the process, which is saying a lot.

So that's what's been up with us, sure do miss you guys!

What about you: did you go anywhere this summer or fall? Cultivate a lovely garden? Participate in an event? Purchase, rent or renovate something?  Make or maintain a healthy lifestyle change?  Would love to hear about it!


  1. Crabby, how wonderful for you for making this change. It will be lovely listening to the water, and I am sure it will help you sleep.
    Mike and I went to Uzbekistan in September and it was wonderful. Except they cook everything in cottonseed oil and that is the antithesis of wonderful. But it is a lovely country with a long and exciting history (Silk Road, for example) and I recommend it.
    And speaking of oil, husband and I have taken up oil pulling. Just started last week and am very happy with the results. The downside is I have so much energy that I have been cleaning the house. This morning I swept behind the fridge.
    So glad to read a post from you again.

    1. Ok, my computer still doesn't seem to allow me to comment except as a reply to an existing comment, so here goes. First, congratulations, Crabby! That sounds absolutely wonderful! I hope it goes as smoothly as possible, and I am sure it will be worth the worries. It sounds beautiful.

      We have been scrambling in all directions, most recently in support of our daughter who has had a complicated pregnancy, but who gave birth to a perfect daughter 8 days ago. She (daughter, not baby) was hospitalized 7 times, including one a few days after the baby came, so it's been quite the roller coaster. I actually went 10 days without getting on a bike - that's how weird it's been.

      But I managed to run a bit, and do yoga (kept my sanity and avoided too many tight muscles) and weights & walking. I am now only about 6 weeks from retirement, so there have been a few dinners and gatherings. Makes me realize how much I will miss all these great people, but I am also really looking forward to having more time to - uh, run and ride, and do all the stuff I am doing now? Oh, and spend more time with grandkids, get my guitar back out of its dusty case, travel. We are scheduled to head to New Zealand in January, part cycling, part just looking around, then Costa Rica in February with a friend who is a pretty well qualified naturalist (although that's not how he makes his living) who actually lived there some years ago. That will be about hiking, not biking. So, life is very full and very busy, and now that daughter and baby are home and doing fine, very, very good.

    2. I tried the coconut oil pulling for like 3 days...max. I didn't want to sweep more or anything. Hahahaha. My gag reflex couldn't cope.

    3. Leah how cool is it you went to Uzbekistan?? That sounds fascinating and I'm glad you had a great time. The oil pulling thing? I don't know why that gives me the creeps, though your testimonial is pretty compelling. Hmm... should I reconsider?

      Nah, yish, it sounds too yuck. And I'm with QD in having a rather aggressive gag reflex. Best I get my energy the usual way: by consuming potload's o' coffee.

    4. Death Ride Grandma! So great to hear from you! I somehow missed the comment earlier, and apologize for the delay.

      Sorry about the difficult pregnancy, sounds very stressful for all, but so glad daughter and granddaugher are doing well now. How exciting!

      And retirement, gosh, sounds like quite a transition because I imagine you will be missed and will miss others as well and even without ever seen you in action in a business context, am certain you are kick-ass at getting things done. But what a great line-up of adventures and pursuits to explore next!

      And guitar? I'm jealous, never learned, but there is something so awesome about someone pulling one out and making music on it. I will be singing along, totally out of tune, when you get around to dusting it off.

  2. "Even the Canadians on HGTV end up all pissy and petulant at some point in the process, which is saying a lot." LOL. Gosh I love all that is going on in your life. How fun. You guys are just living it and it is so great you have each other and you are happy together! Fingers crossed for house closing! Great catch up!

    1. Thanks so much QD! We may be a little nuts, but at least life ain't boring. And all of a sudden everything on TV is fascinating, even the commercials: never mind the snackfood you're selling, what kind of cabinetry is that in the background? Where could I find a light fixture like that? Plus all of a sudden HGTV seems a lot more compelling.

  3. Wow, what a roller coaster!!!! Indeed!! We've lived in our house for 21 years and I can't imagine having to pack up, clean up and sell. What a lot of work!!! Nice pics though. Really beautiful. I love the cupcake ATM. I need a cupcake. I wish there was an emergency cupcake ATM around here. Good luck with your new ventures. I've been taking a step back, reflecting on life, not reflecting, breathing, working out (a lot) and taking care of me. It's nice.

    1. Tracey, I think every municipality nationwide should hereby be required to install emergency cupcake dispensers, it really should be a civil right to have instant access!

      And "taking a step back, reflecting on life, not reflecting, breathing, working out (a lot) and taking care of me?" That sounds incredibly healthy and smart, good for you!!!

  4. Oh fun, moving! Oh gads, moving! It's one of those things where i both congratulate and commiserate. May it turn out to be all you hope.

  5. Thanks messymimi! Moving kinda sucks, but it's always a good chance to take stock and pare down and have a nice panic attack or two.

  6. Crabby, the new place looks so charming and I love that you two just went for it. Someday doesn't always happen; more of us should be going for it NOW. Can't wait to hear all about the updates, and hey, living a HGTV-style life for a while looks fun (although not the moving part...that is never fun).

    I just got back from Oregon, where I got to see trees with red and yellow and orange leaves! You don't see that in Texas. Also, it was cold. But a great trip, and now I'm getting excited for our next one, next month, to North which I will pack better and bring a jacket and a down vest and maybe even some gloves, LOL. Great to hear from you!

    1. Sounds like an awesome Oregon trip Shelley and North Carolina next? Great that you're having so many adventures! And hmm... don't suppose it's possible to knit a down jacket, because if it were, I'd bet you'd already be all over that. :)

  7. I've always liked traveling in Canada! They are so correct and polite :-)

    I've been the Ronin lately. Traveling from one martial arts school to another looking for a home where I can take my training to a higher level, and pining to reconnect to my karate lineage.

    1. Good luck in your quest for martial arts mastery Dr. J! Hope you find the right school and mentors.

  8. Happy moving to you!
    I'm farther behind than ever, but at least padding the foot the way the orthopedist showed me is making it possible to work all day without pain. Or not much. I've even been for a few recreational walks, but the dark days of winter are going to make that harder.
    I still check the real estate listings for where I used to live every week, but I can't seem to think of an alternative to this job, which I love, even in its most frustrating moments.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    1. That damn foot, so sorry it's still such an issue Mary Anne, but glad the padding helps at least a little. And too bad you can't get job/house you love in the same place! Your old place was so awesome. But then sounds less stressful in the new digs. You're always good at making the best of things!

  9. Hi Crabby!
    What a wonderful newsy post! You are hilarious as always. And a great pic of mother-in-law!

    Similar to your experience, I wondered about the town of Athol. Maybe it's the nicest people ever. :)

    Wow, it's easy to understand the attraction of that condo, despite the issues raised. It looks super inside and out. And a fine place to eviscerate, flagellate, and marinate your mackerel and other tasty fish!

    As for what I'm doing, nothing as action-packed as what you're doing. Sorry if this sounds annoying, but I was starting to overtrain, and have backed it off some. Along with that, lots of stress these days, and I'm finding ways to lessen it.

    Thanks! Dave

    1. Well, I can attest that at least the Walmart employees were not Athols, Dave!

      And lessening stress and backing off overtraining sound very sensible! (The latter is not a problem I tend to have, unless one defines overtraining as doing Specific Stupid Kinds of Exercise that Injure Body Parts You Know Damn Well Need to be Coddled. The other more general kind of overtraining is way too much work.

      Hope the mellower, more sensible approach is working out!

  10. I love this post!
    On October 10th, I got married, and we went to Arizona on our honeymoon. Within two days, we started talking about moving to Arizona. I'm not sure how serious we are, but it was the best week either of us had had in a long time. We do wish we had a larger house. I bought the one we have, three and a half years ago, shortly before meeting my husband. I bought the house assuming I'd live there, just me and my six, or ten, cats, for 10 years or more. Now I'm living there with my husband and three cats (I'm on order to acquire no more pets), and it's gone from being my cute little house to "I wish we had more counter space," "we really need a second bathroom," "there's nowhere for guests to sleep." So I'm throwing away or giving away as much of my crap as I can manage, to make more room for us, and the possibility of a mini-us sometime in the next year.
    We had the enclosed porch renovated, and paved our back yard, planted about 100 bulbs, and erected a shed. And I have started running again, after being on a too long hiatus, due to various tragic things including injury and death in the family. It has been a big year.
    I wish you the best in your new digs! It's stressful, yes, but also exciting.

    1. Hannah, thanks so much for an awesome comment! And wow, there's nothing I've done in my life as brave and exciting as having a "mini-us". Maybe that's why we tend to be so willing to complicate our lives every few years with some relocation scheme or another? But also hope the Arizona dream or some other fun adventure is in your future.

      And omg, sounds like you got some major landscapey stuff done and yay for running!

  11. What an exciting time you're having, Crabby!! I've long dreamed of living on the water--it's been a debate between The Husband and I about where we're going to retire. We talk longingly of retiring a lot! We want Italy but that is an impossibility, so I keep arguing for the beach or lower Louisiana (home!!). He wants to go back to New England: inland New England. Maybe I should start a campaign for coastal NE? Hmm . . .

    Not much going on here except work, injury recovery and probable surgery. But the doctors said I could still use a recumbent bike so I've been doing intervals on that thing like crazy!!

    Sending good thoughts for the house :) May you soon wake to the sound of waves!

    1. Genie, I think coast NE sounds like an excellent compromise! And bonus, maybe I can stop by for a visit! ...Wait, that doesn't sound like a bonus? :)

      Italy sounds kind of awesomer though, gotta say. But not in the cards? I haven't the first clue about the logistics of retiring to another country but wowza does that sound appealing. And Louisiana is cool too! Especially the cuisine...(I had a cousin who could make a crawfish Étouffée to die for. I did NOT inherit the gourmet cooking gene).

    2. That would definitely be a bonus! Meeting a blogging/fitness hero?!? Awesome! And I'll make you some etouffee if I get there :)

    3. You can make etouffee?! Oh my goodness Genie, I just may have to hunt you down even if you don't end up in New England!

  12. Wonderful update! Gorgeous pictures as always and I am happy you enjoyed Canada. I must go back to NYC to use the CupcakeATM. That is AWESOME!

    MIL partying in Vegas for her 90th…that's the kind of stuff I always want to see. Love it and I feel certain everyone had a great time.

    Live right by the water? You know I would never disagree with that. I miss the sound of the ocean putting me to sleep (or at least trying). Hope all goes well with the selling and buying.

    1. Thanks Kimberley, and I hope you have some really fun adventures coming your way soon too!

  13. I am SO EXCITED for you and really envious. Please have us over for a visit! ;)

    I also wanted to let you know that I moved my blog to a new URL, if you are still interested in my goings-on. ;) I redesigned it, too. Next: maybe a non-Blogspot address! Gasp!

    xo Amy

    1. Would love to see you in ptown Amy!

      And yay, a blog move, how fun! Will definitely check out the new digs, thanks for keeping me posted!

  14. Wow.. now that's exciting. I hope it works out perfectly for you. And your photos.. mon dieux! You were in St. Louis de Ha Ha! And New Brunswick. I love the maritime provinces.

    As for me.. I've had a lot of turmoil and upheaval in my life, this summer. I'm now on my own.. away from my beautiful house on the lake. But getting back to me.

    1. Gosh Hilary, sorry to hear about the turmoil and upheaval. Sounds like a lot to deal with, but getting back to yourself and what's most important to you---always the best outcome even if it means weathering a tough transition. Hoping that closing one door leads to opening another to something even better in the future!

  15. Atholville... that's quite a place to visit for someone with a lisp, lol!


Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)