Buddy: January 2004 – September 2015
Buddy Ghaner departed this world on September 28, 2015. Born on a farm in Maryland, “Budweiser” ultimately ended up in a rescue on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he was happily found by his dad, Ray. Upon discovering Buddy on PetFinder.com, Ray drove from central Pennsylvania to the Eastern Shore and is said to have arrived at the rescue and be waiting in their parking lot when they opened. Buddy and Ray hit it off immediately and while it wasn’t the rescue’s policy to let animals go home with families the first day they met, it was clear that Ray would not be leaving without Buddy that day. An exception was made and the new friends embarked on the 5 hour drive home while sharing a large box of Chicken McNuggets.
Buddy spent 9 years with the Ghaner family, during which time he lived with them in 4 different houses and helped them welcome two children. With those children, Buddy was unfailingly patient and kind, despite their attempts to ride him, dress him up, and use his ears as teething toys.
Buddy’s proudest moment was the day he chased down and caught a groundhog in his yard, which he proceeded to carry around for the next half hour, before depositing it on the front steps as a gift to his family. Buddy was a notorious slobberer and all who came near were blessed with a shower of his excessive drool. Late in life, Buddy took up swimming and insisted in joining his family in the pool whenever they were out. He also enjoyed burying his kongs in the flowerbeds and napping in a sunny spot on the dining room floor. Buddy was completely devoted to his family and his greatest joy was simply being close to the people he loved. He could often be found sleeping right next to his father’s side of the bed or lying on their feet under the dining table.
Buddy was predeceased by his adoptive brother, a chocolate lab named Cody, and leaves behind a mom, dad, sister, and brother, all of whom hope that he is painlessly running around in Dog Heaven, chasing groundhogs and eating ham sandwich biscuits.
It is my dream to visit Provence. I imagine that I’ll find a quaint little house to rent with a bright blue door and window boxes overflowing with flowers. The house will sit on a lane just a short walk from town (What town? I have no idea; does it matter? This is a dream after all.) and border a lavender farm so every night as I go to sleep with my windows open (blissfully unconcerned about mosquitoes or would-be intruders), the warm air will carry with it the soothing scent of lavender. Next to my bright blue door, I’ll have a giant rosemary bush and whenever I pass by it I’ll pull off a few springs and stuff them in my pockets, because I have a strange tendency to do that. I think it’s an excellent plan. Who wants to join me? You are extra specially welcome to come if you know French….since I don’t….and it would probably be helpful.
Ugh tends to creep up on me Monday mornings as I’m getting dressed:
Wait, these pants…they fit fine last week…Ugh.
Or, it’s dinnertime and I’m exhausted and I have no energy to cook, let’s get pizza…again….Ugh.
I’ve definitely been feeling Ugh. Summer vacation and then a string of holidays and birthday parties and picnics have left me circling in a state of Ugh. Once I’m there, it’s really hard to break out of that cycle and return to feeling good.
Over the past year I have made a stronger commitment to myself to be healthy. In doing so, I have found that a commitment to health is most definitely a journey. You never get to the point where you have reached your destination and can simply stop. You always have to keep moving forward and sometimes you find yourself stuck. For me it’s like I’m stuck in one of those crazy rotaries, circling, circling, getting to the outside lane, trying to make my exit, to a path of healthier choices. But the traffic is heavy and I end up circling around again and again, never exiting and never making any progress. Sometimes I even allow myself to be pushed back into the inside lane which puts me even further from my goal of moving forward. It drives me crazy!!! If I had to come up with a visual of what Ugh looked like for me, that would be it. Me, driving around in circles.
So when you have made a commitment to yourself to be healthier and you get stuck or if you keep circling and can’t even take the first step to start moving forward, what do you do?
That wasn’t rhetorical, I really mean it. What do you do? How do you get unstuck?
I hardly have all of the answers, but this is what I do – I rely on other people. If you truly want to make a commitment to yourself and embark on your own fitness journey, you can’t be timid. You have to find the motivation to drive aggressively, get out of that blasted rotary, and on your way. If you surround yourself with people that are all traveling in the same direction, you find yourself swept up in their caravan and headed towards the same goal. For me, my Beachbody team has been that group of people. Our challenge groups have been invaluable in keeping me motivated and focused and headed in the right direction. For the first time in my life, I have begun to think that maybe I can make this commitment to myself a lifelong journey and not simply a response to holiday overindulgence or a weak attempt to get in shape for vacation.
Now that I know what Great feels like, Ugh is no longer an acceptable alternative. Can you imagine if we were all on this journey together, surrounded by people who are all heading in the same direction towards a healthier and happier life? Perhaps that’s a bit too sunshiney and rainbows for you. The cynic in me actually just grimaced a little bit. Nevertheless, the sentiment is true. When you are surrounded by people that are heading in the same direction, it is ten times easier to stay on your path. We are told that when you work out with a friend, you are more likely to follow through and stick to your schedule. What if it wasn’t just your friend? Imagine if you had a whole community supporting you! Go out and find people that are heading in the direction you want to go. I bet they will be happy for you to travel with them. If you don’t know where to start, contact me, and I can tell you about our team and what we can offer you. Make the commitment to yourself. You shouldn’t settle with feeling Ugh, you deserve to feel Great, every day.
Sangria is the perfect party drink. It almost pains me to say that because you could argue that my favorite drink, margaritas (plural because why would you just have one?), is the ultimate party drink because they contain tequila and tequila = party, plain and simple. Sadly, not everyone shares my affinity for tequila, or margaritas, so sangria has more crowd appeal. Sangria can also be made fairly inexpensively, which is also helpful if you are serving lots of people. You can use whatever ordinary wine is currently on sale at the liquor store and no one ever knows because you are infusing it with lots of different flavors.
Let’s be honest, a great watermelon is basically perfect on its own. So I consider the star of the show here to be the mint vinaigrette. After all, how many things can you add to a watermelon that only serve to magnify it’s perfection? Exactly.
Sweet watermelon, salty feta cheese, invigorating mint vinaigrette – every time I eat this, I feel like my taste buds are about to do a happy dance inside my mouth. Admittedly, the whole party in your mouth verbiage is completely cliche and I’m actually kind of embarrassed that I just wrote it. But in this very specific instance, it really fits! I don’t know who originally decided to put mint, watermelon, and feta together but they really were a genius, don’t you think? I found a sweet yellow watermelon at a local farm stand and as I was driving it home, the bees in my head started buzzing: “I love watermelon salad, I must make one!” “What if I took the mint and onions and incorporated them into a vinaigrette to simplify the whole shebang?” “No onions, use shallots so it’s not so oniony.” “Yes, great idea! I must do it!”
So I did, and it is delicious, and you must try it.