Row80 Check-in: 8/3/11

The Good

“More Cowbell” continues to engage my writer’s brain and brighten my day. I have soooo much fun here with all of you. So, on the plus side of the goals, blogging is swimming along, doing a graceful backstroke in a flirty pink polka-dotted bikini.

Over on the side of the blogging pool, hiding out in the cabana tent, you can find me and my exercise goals (they got added in with the Life List Club). I promised to exercise for THREE hours a week and all of you shouted Zumba! at the top of your lungs.

I trooped off to my 24-Hour Fitness last Friday morning, raring to try some Zumba. While I liked it quite a bit, I think I need some different shoes to really love it (and not turn my ankle) so I’m getting myself prepped for this week’s class.

Fabulous news: I found out there’s a great Kid’s Club at my gym so I can combine activities (my favorite thing) two mornings a week and get my workout in while Baby Girl socializes. THAT kind of efficiency is soooo exciting!

Here’s wishing for a Baby Girl who eats like a truck driver all week so she has a fun time at Kid’s Club (and Mommy gets to exercise)…

Can we get more blueberry pancakes here?!

The Bad

Not a single word on the memoir this week. I’ll just let that little gem settle into the Row80 pool and sink to the bottom. I’m sure I’ll be ready to rip by next week, but Dang…

The Ugly

It has been so hard to watch one of my best friends lose her second parent in 9 months. Not only does it bring back memories of my own mother’s passing, the business of death just sucks wide.

Funeral arrangements, obituaries and estates are necessary things but they’re just a bitch and a half to do. When you’re grieving, they feel like Mount Everest, don’t they?

Hate the Death-Biz.

What are you up to this first week of August? Are you doing Okympic laps around the Row80 Pool, or just floating along on a big yellow Pool Noodle? Do you have any tips about Death-Biz (besides Xanax and vodka)?

Enquiring minds always want to know here at More Cowbell!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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27 Responses to Row80 Check-in: 8/3/11

  1. crystalcip says:

    So sorry about your friend’s parents. I don’t have much experience with it. As for ROW80 I was sick and floundered. I think I might be drowning. We’ll see.

    I am planning on starting to work out again. I hate not being able to run twenty feet without getting winded. Farm work is good for arm muscles but not so hot for endurance. I’m looking at PX90 until we move and then hope to do something similar with you. I have five kids though so childcare is pretty vital in any regime I start.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Crystal!

      On the ROW80 front, the great part is that you just pick yourself up at the next check-in time and pur some fresh energy into it.

      It’s nice to hear about exercise on the farm – I had this image that y’all ran around tan and fit all the time. It’s interesting to hear that’s not the case. And FIVE kids??? How do you ever take a relaxing breath?


  2. crystalcip says:

    yeah that would be “like” you, not with you. Though a work out buddy would be neat…need more coffee. ::blush::


  3. Gene Lempp says:

    Hang in there on the exercise, it does get easier with time. Right with you on the “death-biz”, my sympathies, it is difficult to lose the people closest to us.

    Keep pressing towards your goals 🙂


  4. Sherry Isaac says:

    1. Blessings and comfort to your friend.
    2. Kudos. When my kids were small I joined a gym with babysitting services, bought new shoes and and shorts and sport bras – and never went. Not once. But I did look cute in shopping in my gym gear.
    3. This week: Blog Tour! At the invitation of Joan Swan I am spending Day #3 at today, discussing The Long & Short of the Short & Sweet.


    • Jenny Hansen says:


      Thanks for #1 – she usually checks into More Cowbell periodically so she’ll see.

      That is sooo funny about the cute gym clothes. I have several bits of incentive to get myself over there, one of which is how much fun she’ll have with the other kids.

      Awesome on the tour, Sherry! Comments with more than one link get caught in spam so I edited you down a bit. We can all go back to Monday’s post for any promo links.


  5. jessicaaspen says:

    Exercise does get easier. But I’ve found that it makes a difference how often I do it in a week. My goal is to get to the gym twice a week and walk at least 4 days. If I miss a gym day, the next one is like pulling a sledge full of rocks. No fun. On the writing I’ve decided to do the August Tour de Force and write 50k in August. Just crazy! But I am determined to have a rough draft by the end of September. Anyone else crazy enough to jump in?
    Sorry for all the losses. It does seem that they come in groups. I don’t know why that is, but maybe it does mean you have one really sucky year and then you can recover. Or at least move on. Sending mucho sympathy to both you and your BFF.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Dang, girl…that Tour de Force sounds aptly named. Good for you!!

      I’m actually excited about the gym now that I know my daughter gets to have fun there. 🙂


  6. Stacy Green says:

    So sorry for your friend. My parents (especially my mom) have health issues, and some days I send the end getting closer. I don’t know how people get through it.

    Ugh on the exercising. I’ve pulled a muscle, so that’s why I keep putting off my yoga. But yoga is good for pulled muscles, so that excuse really doesn’t fly. Need to get back on the horse because once I do, it does help clear my head.

    Row80 going better for me this week. Keep hanging in there. Your and the blog are awesome as always.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Stacy…I’m delighted to hear that you’re “Rockin’ the Row” this week. 🙂

      On the parental front, you get through it by doing the next thing, one day at a time. Some time in year 2 or 3, it starts to get easier. It stops being the thought that lives at the top of your mind. That’s when the healing starts.

      Take it from your fellow “Goal Girl” – the longer you sit out with that pulled muscle, the more it’s going to affect the other muscles around it. Get the to your yoga! What kind do you do?


  7. K.B. Owen says:

    Jeepers, Jenny, what a tough time. Sorry to hear about your friend’s mom. Just keep on keepin’ on – remember, you’re special to alot of peeps (including me!) ❤


  8. Condolences on the death-biz duldrums, Jenny. My mom died in January, but she had early onset Alzheimers so I grieved her “loss” a decade plus before she finally found peace. When I was a kid, I used to sit on a lounger (webbed, rusty, staring at the stars, and looking beyond — giving you a visual) and I tried to wrap infinity up in a tidy package. I couldn’t. I knew the definition of infinity, but could never get to the end of “and beyond that”…? That’s when I decided there was a higher power. No clue what he or she looks like. It’s also why delivering the eulogy at mom’s funeral was a healing experience for me. My four sisters asked me to speak for them and we asked that everyone take a piece of candy when they left–that they find a place to enjoy it and relive sweet memories of the feisty woman we knew before she got ill as they tasted the sweet candy.

    No words of wisdom from me. I do NOT think there’s a clinical way to define the process of grief. I just (again) try to keep my head where my feet are and my feet moving toward my dreams. Oh! And, to leave smiles in my path instead of footprints on backs.

    Wish I’d been a Cowbell Groupie when the Row 80 started. Would LOVE to have been part of this. Next year? You ARE doing it again, right?


    • Jenny Hansen says:


      You can jump in to Row80 anytime you want…Check-in is on Wednesdays and Sundays. This is Round 3 and is July 4-Sept 22. Round 4 will start after that.

      For the rest of your comment, it’s hard to lose a mom, no matter how long they’ve been declining. I felt like an orphan when my mom passed in 2004. I appreciate the condolences – I’ll make sure my BFF checks into the site for some of this Cowbell Love.

      You guys are THE BOMB!


  9. Sorry about your friend. Always tough to lose loved ones. So far as the exercise, let me know if you need any excuses for postponing, cutting back, etc. I’m the guru at that.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks for the condolences, David! On the exercise front, it’s a necessary evil for many reasons but most of all, I look at my daughter getting ready to walk. These are my last moments to prep for that and make sure she doesn’t outrun me. 🙂


  10. amyshojai says:

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} (you can pass it on to your friend but save some for you)
    Kudos on the exercise! I’ve not accomplished nearly as much on the fiction as I’d hoped. Got derailed by a client throwing out my contract and offering a revision–sort of a take-it-or-leave-it–and trying to see how that shakes out. *sigh*
    Lost the AC on Sunday, but it’s back on in time for the 110-degree weather so that’s the GOOD part!

    Love reading your updates. Inspires me to get off my ass-ets and get something done.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks for the hugs, Amy! Your client sounds like they’re being a bit dodgy about holding up their end of the deal. I’m sooooo sorry.

      You’ll get back on that WIP of yours. Don’t you worry…


  11. So sorry for your friend’s loss. My prayers are with her and her family.


  12. Your friend has my deep sympathy for her mom’s death. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can by being there. Sometimes it’s all that’s needed.

    Glad to hear you tried the Zumba and liked it enough to try again.

    It’s ok you didn’t get to write. It sounds like it has been a tough week. It’ll be there waiting for you.


  13. jamilajamison says:


    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s mom, but I am sure that she is grateful to have your support!

    I’ve heard some good things about Zumba — one of the grad students in my department has just gotten certified to teach classes, and so I hear she will be bringing one to the school’s rec center in the coming semester. If I can get a space, I might try to check it out.

    One of my Life List Club goals is also to exercise more, and I managed to squeeze a walk in on Monday. I’ve been busy grading, etc, since then, though, so I’m going to have to hustle and get it down during the rest of the week. And the writing is coming along, though I hit a rough patch that I wasn’t expecting yesterday. Looks like I’ll have to go back to the brainstorming board to iron out those kinks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing — the more brainstorming, the better, I always say!


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