Monday, May 31, 2010

Life's Too Short to Sleep on a Crappy Pillow

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. Psalm 39:4

Corduroy Pillows are Making Headlines
What's Your Sleep Number?
I have spent from $50-$100 per pillow in search of that perfect head rest. Memory foam, eggshell foam, mystery foam—why is it so hard to find something to lay my head upon that will keep my neck aligned with my back so I don’t end up with a headache every morning?

When I was young, I would sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag—sometimes without any pillow at all. But the older I get, I find that a good night’s sleep is nothing but a dream. My first bed (after my crib with the inch-thick, plastic mattress) was a hand-me-down bed with a feather mattress. The box springs creaked and groaned, and the feathers grew flatter and less fluffy over time. When I got a place of my own, I purchased a waterbed—gallons and gallons of H20 in a rubber bladder. When the heater goes out in those things, you might as well be sleeping outside in a tent in December! Waterbeds are great unless—you have had too much to drink, have a bad back, or want to be able to get out of bed in the morning without getting wedged between the side rail and the water-filled mattress.

On the few occasions that I have had the privilege of spending some “quality” nights of sleep in a hospital bed, I find I’m forever pressing the buttons raising my head, lowering my head, raising my feet, lowering my feet just to try and find the perfect balance on that sterile rubber cushion… So when my husband suggested we look into the Select Comfort mattress, I immediately dismissed the idea knowing full well I would spend the entire sleepless night pressing the buttons. Additionally, I find I am unable to fall asleep if my feet are cold. I have warmed up my feet on my husband’s legs, but it takes a long time and sleep just eludes me over the fence with the sheep. I finally wised up and purchased an electric blanket. Thirty minutes before I go to bed, I turn on the electric blanket and can finally slide into a warm bed.

Life’s short—the nights are even shorter. Spend the money for a good pillow and mattress (and electric blanket) to assure that you wake up on the right side of the bed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Life's Too Short to Bake Cookies

No Match for this Batch

My lack of patience and need for instant gratification were most likely the reasons for my less than exemplary grades in Home Ec and Shop. (Today it is known as Family and Consumer Sciences and Industrial Arts). How boring is sanding, and who cares if I skip the coarse grade and go right to the finest grade? To sand to a baby’s bottom finish was more than exhaustive, and I frankly had better things to do. My wooden airplane, therefore, was not very aerodynamic with its rough surface and thus my skills as a carpenter never got off the ground.

While baking cookies in Home Ec was a basis for learning measurements and ingredients in the kitchen, the end result was more like cookie dough in a shell, as I just couldn’t wait the duration of the baking time for the cookies to be “done.” I still prefer warm cookie dough just out of the oven. My mom prefers to just leave the oven out of the equation all together and grab a spoon after the cookie dough is mixed.

Life's short. Eat cookie dough.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life’s Too Short to Exercise

“The span of our life is seventy years, perhaps in strength even eighty; yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow, for they pass away quickly and we are gone.” Psalm 90:10

Exercise – A four letter word (times two)
I used to tell people I didn’t exercise because of my beliefs. I explained that I believed in the limited heartbeat theory. I felt we were all born with a certain number of heartbeats. When your number is up—your number is up. I would go on to explain that exercise, of course, increases one’s heart rate, and I didn’t want to tempt fate. Better to be safe than in shape.

That was 30 years ago. Now that I'm older and wiser (and tipping the scale has taken on a whole new meaning), I've come to realize the necessity of physical activity and that staying in shape doesn't just happen naturally. I still don't think much time should be spent on the necessary evil of exercise, so I have found some very effective 20 minute-a-day workouts which done first thing in the morning gets it out of the way for the day. Yoga and walking are good forms of stress relief and should be done as needed in addition.

Life's short. Don't exercise until it becomes absolutely essential, and then don't obsess over it--just do it.