A Long Drive in a Red SUV

Mom and I went for a long drive in a red SUV. I’ve been wanting to upgrade my dark gray Subaru Forester with a new red model. That’s exactly what I did back in February. Here’s a shout out to the Apple Car Guy, from Cannon Subaru who made it happen. By the way, I love Cannon Subaru in Lakeland, FL

My Love Affair With Red Vehicles

It all started when I was a kid and my parents bought a red Chevrolet Super Sport in the 60’s. I thought it was so cool. It had bucket seats. All the family cars prior were either station wagons or Oldsmobile behemoth hand-me-downs from my grandparents. We didn’t have it long. It just wasn’t practical.

Later, Dad bought a ‘57 Chevy and gave it to my older sister when we were in high school. We thought it was just awful. The headliner was loose and the vacuum tube wipers would stop during torrential downpours as we climbed the hills on 10th Street in Haines City, Florida. I don’t know what happened to the car, but I’ll bet Dad kicked himself a few times for letting that classic go.

The closest I got to a red car when my parents furnished them was a used Datsun 2000 convertible I received after graduating from high school. The paint was white, but the leather interior was red. What a guy magnet! I gave the five-speed manual transmission a workout on the curvy roads I found as alternative routes to Polk Junior College in Winter Haven.

A few years later I married. Like most American males, my husband liked horsepower. His favorite magazines were Motor Trend and Car and Driver. And he devoured every word when they compared models. The Ford Taurus SHO caught he attention. It wasn’t long before we bought one, a red SHO.

During my Datsun sports car days, I learned to enjoy the exhilaration of performance driving, but always tempered it with caution concerning speed limits. All my life, I’ve had an uncanny ability to note the legal limit, driving  accordingly. With the many miles I’ve put in, I’ve never received a speeding ticket. Even when I drove the SHO, which we referred to as “arrest red”.

Back to the Long Drive

Some of my relatives from Wisconsin spend at least a week in Ft. Meyers Beach every winter. Last year we managed to ‘meet in the middle’ in Arcadia at The Magnolia Seafood Grille. Our lunch was great, but this year the Wisconsinites opted for no rental car. It was perfect for them and me; Publix delivered groceries to their condo, the grandkids played in the pool and the adults could walk to the pier, along the beach or shop in the many stores nearby. And I got to take my four-day-old red Subaru for a long ride.

Mom surprised me by wanting to come along. Just like all travel for me, I’m happy with a travel companion or going solo. And I knew Mom and I are very compatible traveling. We’ve driven to Williamsburg, Va together, the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, traveled to all the major islands of Hawaii, and I drove us from Colorado to Florida and back numerous times.

There’s something about being on the road that brings out Mom’s stories from all the decades of her life. And her memory is phenomenal. Don’t worry, I finally figured out I could tape some of her stories on one of the 2,000 mile Florida to Colorado treks.

In contrast, what made this 3 hour trip fun was the preponderance of red cars. It was an ongoing joke both ways! Most of the trip was two-lane country roads, but nearing our destination, the traffic was horrendous. Being a Florida native, I avoid the coasts during the busy months, November through April. We were in the height of snowbird season in late February. At the many stoplights nearing the beach we’d count 4, 5, even 6 red vehicles! And we’d laugh and laugh about this silly coincidence. It made the hours fly by.

How About You?

Do you have a car story? Or maybe a story where you keep seeing people who have something in common with you? Tell me about it by sharing this post On social media and include my handle, @dawnoutside in Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I know you have to get innovative in Instagram, but sharing my handle along with this photo will work.

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My Unusual Holiday Tradition

This is a secret, but I’m going to reveal my unusual holiday tradition to you, my friends. I start a diet regimen. Yes. I know it’s crazy, but I’ve done this at least two years running.

This time it’s different

I see you naysayers shake your heads.

“But it is something you do every November or December. Obviously, you haven’t been successful in changing your eating habits,” you say.

And you are right! This time is truly different. I started a plan called Noom. This is week 4 and I’ve lost 3 pounds.

“That’s lousy. By now, you should have lost at least 5 pounds.”

That’s why I believe I’ll be successful this time. All the other times I’ve ‘started a diet’, the initial results were phenomenal; 5, even 10 pounds in the first week or two. And then by the end of a month, I’m going crazy for carbs or sweets or whatever it is I was forced to give up.

How is this different?

Noom is psychology driven. They use multiple legitimate research studies to educate and help participants change their habits. It’s that simple. And they are funny. I like funny. How about you?

How do I start?

For me, I saw a TV commercial air during Jeopardy. Yes, I watch Jeopardy. And I’m amazed how much I don’t know both on Jeopardy and about my eating habits.

Noom has helped me get healthier, I think it could help you too! Use my special link for 20% off when you sign up here. And add my unusual holiday tradition to your December for the last time!

truly changing my health is simple

I’m committed to a dual pronged attack. If you’ve been reading my blog, you might have noticed quite a few references to my workout schedule. I started with a trainer in August. My trainer started off slowly and now I’m boxing on Wednesday, doing abdominal work on Friday, and training for a 5K on Sunday afternoons.  And now I’ve added a food change to the mix, daily logging food and interacting with my fellow Noomers because I believe consistency is the key to success!

How to Host the Imperfect Thanksgiving

Are you the one who hosts Thanksgiving in your family? If yes, I’ll bet you share my knowledge of how to host the imperfect Thanksgiving.

Siblings and Planning

My sister, Lila, and I were texting during the initial planning.

“Your house or mine?” I ask.
“It doesn’t matter to me but you hosted last year.”
“I’ll do it again so the dogs won’t be alone all day,” I reply.

Hunt for Obscure Recipes

Do furry animals color your decisions? They sure do mine. But anyway… The next communication with my sister was looking for a cranberry chutney our mother used to make. Mom is 91, lives with me and visits Lila occasionally. She doesn’t take a lot of interest in the menu at home, but a few days ago she mentioned the cranberry chutney she used to take pride in making every Thanksgiving. It’s very unusual and since I’m a super traditionalist for Thanksgiving, I don’t care for it.

Sure enough, Lila had Mom’s giant recipe file, and she emailed me the recipe. Just reading some of the ingredients was enough to make me shake my head; onion, vinegar, curry, and mace, oh my!

Email Communication Hiccups

At the end of the recipe email, my sister wrote, “I am bringing a pecan and pumpkin pie. If Wayne (my husband) wants pumpkin, I’ll bring that too.”

Do you forget to read all the words in an email, once you’ve read the part you are looking for? I do…. sometimes.

I noticed pecan and added “pie” after it. That left pumpkin pie. It was obvious to me two pies were coming with my sister and brother-in-law; one pecan pie and one pumpkin pie.

That’s exactly what I wanted since pecan pie is my favorite. Six email replies later, I realized she wanted to make one pie that was a combination of pecan and pumpkin. This seems understandable, since I’ve eaten the pecan-pumpkin pie before and should have realized what she meant.

Planning Outcome

Although I really wanted a pecan pie, in the end I acquiesced. After all the back and forth, there will be a pecan-pumpkin pie and a traditional pumpkin pie on the dessert menu. At least I think that’s right..

And don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to make a pecan pie either before Thanksgiving or after. Hey! It’s my favorite!

Here’s hoping this blog helped you learn how to host an imperfect Thanksgiving!