Skip to content

…. the uhaul

Hey U Haul… if you are scanning blogs… take a listen to this!

It seemed so easy, go online, rent the cargo van… pick it up… and move away..

the complexities had to do with us renting the van, loading it, DS picking it up and driving to the destination, unloading, picking up there, driving to his home, unloading, and then returning the van to the burbettes… a 3 day process, hundreds of miles, well organized… done deal.. (involving giving bunk beds to friends with a lake house and acquiring a table from them for DS)

until we met Orlando… well we didn’t meet Orlando… Orlando is the ‘voice’ of U Haul.. with a mail box that is full..

How do you run a business remotely in the first place… and then manage it by telephone… with a full mailbox?

the U Haul location near our home is first rate… we set up our reservation, found answers to almost al of our questions, and were set to go…. until the local U Haul site informed us they did not have a cargo van, and we would need to drive 4 miles down the road to pick up the van at another site….

That seemed reasonable, we had the location address and phone number.  Since we had a question about the drop off, we called…  the very pleasant voice answered… do you need a reservation… we have a reservation, do you want to rent a truck, we have a truck rented, we need to pick it up… clearly English was not the first language, after several rounds of frustration on both sides we were given the number of Orlando …. he runs the U Haul concession at this repair shop and will take care of you.

Right… except Orlando’s voice mail box was full… and not accepting any voice messages… which of course means he was not answering his phone either.

A call to corporate U Haul customer service answered our question. They assured us they could reach Orlando and have him clear his mail box…

Hours later, we arrived at the appointed time and place to pick up our truck.  … you have no reservation… YES, we do!  Here is the confirmation number…. much looking about for paperwork, you have no reservation… YES, we do… and we can see the truck on your lot…..

maybe you can go up or down the street to another U Haul location… NO, we can’t… you have the available cargo van, we can see it, we reserved it, we want it..

Ah, a phone call to Orlando… AND… voice mail box full…. sheeesh..

Juan then pulled out multiple cell phones and land lines and a search began for other numbers… we waited, and waited… finally the elusive Orlando was located… Orlando would walk Juan through creating the paperwork for our reservation… but NO, the computer would not let Juan do that… so the non present Orlando would do it wherever he was and email us the contract… all we wanted was the key….

and the truck…. FINALLY…  off we go now…. with hope that the transaction has been properly recorded and will end well…

I am driving the truck back to our house… only a cargo van… but for me big bulky and stiff… following DH who pulls a u turn… while me and my U Haul watch in amazement…. like DH thinks I can do that?  NOT!  somehow we get the truck home and loaded…

the next morning DS arrives with his coffee cup and energy…. and continues the saga… soon the phone rings… there is a problem with the van…. OH NO… what is the problem?

The radio station only plays Spanish speaking stations….!!!  REALLY…  DH figures it out, the antenna is broken and so the radio can only pick up very local signals…. OY!

We are now two days into the three day adventure…. truck unloaded, loaded and back to DS’s home…. all that is left is the drop off tomorrow morning… wish us well!

….. chubby cheetah and the weekend…

spoiler alert…. chubby is down another 1/4 pound!   WHEEEEE…. since chubby for an extended period of months had been playing the lose during the week, gain on the weekend, how could that happen game, this is BIG news.. And, when BIG news is creating SMALL cheetahs, it becomes the lead paragraph!

This was possibly the roughest weekend yet, due to an at home luncheon on Saturday, featuring two toddlers and thus requiring an amazing looking Costco mac and cheese… Heated to bubbling for an hour in the oven, the toddlers had 4 or 5 itty bitty noodles each and went back to ‘work’, while the adults had 4 or 5 portions each!… sigh.  But worth it!  magnificent mac and cheese…

which would have been ok,  however lunch was followed by a trip to the city and bar b q with DS and DDIL… Yumzers!  They were grilling grass fed beef with a coffee rub, fillets, burgers, a bit of chicken, and of course bacon!  Surrounded with multiple kinds of potatoes and pasta salad… there were also fruit and lettuce salads available (I mention that just for honesty in reporting, I am not saying I actually ate either of those!)… complimented with bubbles, wine and beer… and topped with the thawed after one year wedding cake topper of DS and DDIL!

ah, let’s just take a moment to note that the cake, boxed and wrapped in multiple layers of saran, was delish… likely as fresh as on JULY 12… when it was cut for the first time!  The frosting was particularly amazing… just saying..

A most fun time was had… but Sunday had to be an on plan day and hope for the best… I ate… well, but small.. and was again surprised at relatively how little food it takes to fill and fuel the cheetah!  … There was a mid afternoon green tea latte with coconut milk… possibly a favorite… to stave off starvation til dinner.  ….which was another meal out.

….Out with friends at a fun fine iconic spot, with fun fine iconic food… in big portions…Going in, I knew there could be no internal debate, chubby and cheetah duking it out in the frontal lobe of the brain during the menu reading portion of the meal…. nope, decision made in advance of arrival…. salad, no alcohol… salad, no alcohol, salad, no alcohol… sigh… the mantra was looping.. and it WORKED!  salad, no alcohol…

AND Monday morning, coming out of the weekend, the cheetah weighs less than going in!  Likely not a recipe for success on multiple weekends. and there may be some residual adjustments, you know how that goes… but overall… SUCCESS!

.. And where does that leave me?  Ready for another week…. challenged by another week, week ahead… the choices are mine… sigh.. (lot’s of sighs required!)

Because I want to do it my way, live on chocolate, cheese and bubbles…. and be healthy .. Reality is just so real… I get why toddlers throw tantrums… I may throw an internal tantrum… rage and fuss, complain and whine… but in the end, when I am worn out with the futility of the tantrum… I will step up… and step forward…

How about you?  What was your success last week?  What will you do this week?

…. what are you doing with your life?

as a wanderer in this world, I am consistently amazed at the accomplishments of my fellow travelers.. seems to me they are so much more deeply engaged in living…  living every day, every moment… living time, not wasting time..

these observations challenge me to explore more, to be more present, to take more risks… to learn more, to see more…

success is partial… candy crush saga can still grab me as a habit…. better I should meditate on the wonders of my life then on the crashing candies, better I should be looking up and out then into the screen of my cell phone.

living fully is a discipline… a habit…

and…. sigh…. as I am clearly in the last third of my life… not said morbidly, but said with reality, how will I choose to spend this time?

I am healthy, strong, curious, … I write this post to challenge you… and me… to step outside the box, to investigate life fully. to take the time that is allotted and use it … use it for good… to share, to give, to learn, to see, to be.

my mind is racing…. the ideas sparkle.. but can I, will I, should I, must I…. YES!

so for today… this old self is open … open for change, open for adventure, open to engage fully… I’ll keep you ‘posted’!

…chubby cheetah has her groove on

oh, she is rockin it…. rollin it… runnin it….  oh oh oh…. go cheetah, go cheetah….

how does that happen?  a groove can be missing for, oh, decades…. and then just show up?… I mean it is not like chubby wasn’t looking for her groove. searching.  begging.  whining.

shhh, let’s keep this fairly quiet, because the thing about grooves is that they can slip away much more quickly than they can be located…

so, let’s define groove!  bell bottoms, granny glasses and a hookah?  NO, silly… that groove was lost many many moons ago!

GROOVE.  to be on plan, to be on plan without a crazy amount of energy, to be on plan on subsequent days (in a row),

so what is on plan?

ON PLAN.  ah, likely different for each cheetah… as it should be… and likely different at different parts of the journey…(cause this sure is a journey).  Plan is usually two parts:  move more, eat less.  (such a crazy concept!)

MOVE MORE.  the thing about this is you actually have to do it.  I mean move and more  are great motivating words, but unless chubby is actually MOVING MORE, they are empty… thus leaving chubby full.  the fulfillment of the phrase is for each of us to determine, based on our abilities, and level of movement.  I move.  I typically walk about 30 miles per week.  walk.  Last week I walked 40 miles….including one two mile run.  This week I am not sure I will make 40 miles, the realities of work and rain or rain and work.  I will do my best, look for opportunities to add steps, which add up to miles… I also worked out with my trainer, she is a meanie…. but truth be told it is up to me… I can push as hard as I decide to push, work the move as deeply as I decide to work the move… and working the workout works…(oh I like how that sounds!)  And, I went to a tough hot yoga class… there are posts on that…. and survived… actually thrived…

EAT LESS. hrrrmph… moving more should make eating less unnecessary!  however it just doesn’t… eat less is about quantity… but really eat less is just as much about what cheetahs eat…. so eating less, but eating chocolate and wine will not work.  hungry cheetahs do not stay in the groove.  eat less brings in quality, variety, nutrition… also includes knowing your bodies needs.  breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper is best for me… fuel up.. tank full … (of the good stuff) and then top it off as needed during the day.

another thing about the ‘groove’… we know it…. we fight it… we learn and relearn it over and over…. once we clear out the sugar we don’t crave it as much… sugar is addictive… as addictive as any other addictive substance…. once cleared does not a lifetime cure make… forget lifetime, once cleared does not a cure make.

phooey… or sigh… or JUST FUFFY!

so… whine ahead…  chubby is moving the needle down, around 5 pounds total…. but, and here comes the whine,  5 pounds is equal to 20 sticks of butter… that is a lot of butter… and chubby know just where the butter is stored…. however the butter storage section is ALWAYS the last section to shrink.. right?  DH has a tummy and no behind… when he loses weight, the first thing to go is the non existent behind, while the tummy holds out to the absolute end.  right?

sigh (it can be the only response to such unfairness)

chubby wants what chubby wants, what does chubby want more?  AH…. What do you want?  What will you do today to make it happen?

…. gardening

Can gardening be considered managing several pots of straggly herbs on the front porch, one jalepeno pepper plant gifted in good health from a coworker of DH… and a pot of sale tomatoes… with some green tomatoes already on the vine?

Possibly not really a garden at all…. but still… an attempt…

I mean, I started the herbs from seeds… put them in those little trays, watched them pop up… and then transplanted them into various pots… basil, sage, and .. I forgot…  the goal is to get the little pots going and then gift to friends… much as the jalepeno pepper arrived as a gift.

the difference seems to be that the jalepeno arrive looking very sturdy, upright in his little pot… actually quite perfect… while my herb pots still seem a bit straggly as though they are not sure what to do next… GROW is what they are to do next, be strong like the jalepeno pepper plant… reach for the sky…. or at least the top of the pot.  PLEASE..

Maybe the pepper got an earlier start… maybe he had more love, a better home life, fewer siblings… who knows…

And then there is the tomato, spotted at the nursery with just a few friends left… appears to be meant to live in his pot.. the pot extends into a cage sort of thing to keep the tomato from falling over… on sale… we dithered and discussed and in the end put him in the cart… to come home to our garden challenged family….

one thing for sure, he will get plenty of rain… we may need to get him a sunlamp as that is in short supply in chi town this year.  He is outside… on the deck… a good place, right?

so much responsibility… and I have not even begun to discuss the flower situation… we try to add a few perennials each year… and plant some bright annuals to give color…

one success this year is the petunias… in prior years they have been nothing more than rabbit food, this year the rabbits seem uninterested… maybe they haven’t found them yet…  I only put in a few plants.. cutting my losses, if they were eaten… they are bright rose, nearly red, striated with white… and they do love to bloom.

Over the years, we are planting more in pots, containers I believe they are called… a bit of a struggle this year as the ones on the deck railing keep flooding (due to all of the rain).  I have asked DH to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage… but he doesn’t like the idea of the pots dripping….

And then there are the weeds, the goal is to pull 100 per day… this week, I am current, hard to find 100 some days… we finished cleaning the little maple trees out of the last gutter yesterday… I really should have gotten a photo, or maybe even a video of that endeavor.  DH and I are still speaking, but it was touch and go for a bit…

well, off to weed and admire the ‘estate’!

Do you garden?

…. chubby cheetah is stiff, sore, achey and old….


it is true, the cheetah is not as young as she once was…  and would like to crawl onto her soft comfy couch with extra soft comfy pillows, likely some comfy soft pants, a book, a magazine and a cuppa hot chocolate with marshmallows… and WHINE… all day.


actually, chubby is heading out to weed, water, tour the estate… (very small estate, really just a lot…. shhhh!) and then go to yoga with DD.  as mentioned in prior posts HOT yoga, likely 105 degrees for an hour of pretzel contortions, all in the company of 80 or so young pretzel bodies dressed in the latest lululemon outfits, with maybe an athleta outfit or two thrown in.  Fortunately I have a new, (from the Gap Body clearance rack, $2.99) quite nifty comfy yoga top to rock my hour of pretzel attempts.

it will take a lot of energy, a lot of water, a lot of self talk, as well as several unscheduled periods of child’s pose just to survive… and survival is relative… I will emerge weak, shaken, drenched, red… bright red…. soggy…

hmmm, I will also emerge relaxed, energized, calmed, centered, stretched, and truth be told, damn proud of myself… ( in a gentle yoga kind of way!)

I mean, I don’t want to speak too soon… BUT chubby is close to ANOTHER pound gone… let’s keep that on the DL, okay? So if the cheetah is a bit sore, what the hell…. no pain no gain?  I am not sure I fully subscribe to that phrase… yet there is something to be said for going out of the comfort zone to get what you want.

Be that the food comfy zone, the exercise comfy zone and even the mind comfy zone… You know what I mean, right?  So on I go, learning and relearning that a strong healthy body does not show up on the soft couch without tremendous effort prior to the arrival on said couch.  Those moments on the couch are to be savored… appreciated… and earned… phooey!  But true.  EARNED.

Hurray for me…. I am just so amazing… ah!  right! this particular period of amazing covers only from 10-11 this morning…  only!  what will I do next?  Yup, there has to be a plan for next… amazing is only as good as your next move… so… I am over step goal for the week, today is gravy… how much gravy can I acquire?  (step gravy, not mashed potatoes and gravy).  What are my movement goals for the week?  How will I make sure I meet my goals…

And what is the reward for all this work?  Certainly health and strength… but let’s talk true… the reward… Rocking my hopefully amazing dress at DD’s wedding in just 3 months!!!!

What are your goals?  Rewards?

…. chubby cheetah ran nearly two miles…

… in a row, at the same time… one step after the other… without stopping!!!  WOW!

ok, slowly, verrrrry slowly…. at the pace of the young man walking ahead of me… (he was YOUNG with LONG legs!)

Enough… chubby ran.. and ran… and ran… DASH ON!  (see post on the Ditka Dash). AND took a stroll around the neighborhood last night with DH,, and hit 18,000 steps for the day AND can move this morning…

ok, maybe a bit sore… a bit stiff…. a couple of small aches….

but overall not bad at all for an old cheetah!  It is tempting to say go cheetah, run again today. however that would be foolish on every front… for sure the cheetah would not be able to move tomorrow… and tomorrow is hot yoga with DD… I mean hot, intense, class lasts for ever yoga.  (with the mostly young and fit crowd)

so today chubby will work in the yard, take a walk and behave on the food front…

the damn food front…

we all know it is more difficult to fight a war on more than one front… and this is a war, against a very determined enemy… the enemy says SIT, EAT, DRINK, REPEAT…. and the enemy has gained ground…

Thus the full court press…. on all fronts.. having tried the tepid, just toss a couple of grenades into the air and see what happens method.   grenades explode in air, chubby remains chubby… it is now time for the real deal…

so, getting there on exercise… step goal for 7 days met in 5… two bonus days ahead… how many steps can the cheetah get?!

and making progress on the food side…. will keep you posted on that..

Are you planning exercise today?  NO?  WHY NOT?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 233 other followers