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I should have known I would grow up to be a big homo when, as a kid in the 1970s, I spent hours going through Dolgin’s catalogs (remember them?) and picked out all the home appliances I wanted to have some day.
Our parents had unusual rules in my house while my sister and I were growing up. My sister and I were required to go to our rooms at 7 p.m. We could stay up as late as we could or wanted, but we had to stay in our rooms. We were free to read, listen to the radio, play games—but no TV. My parents, both teachers, argued that there wasn’t much value in primetime television and our time could be better spent. That means we never got to see Three’s Company in its original broadcast run!
Anyway, I did spend many a night flipping through that catalog selecting pots and pans, serving dishes, and time-saving appliances—most in stunning avocado or harvest gold finishes that were destined never to go out of style…or so I thought. One item that always seemed to make my list—my parents were really training me for a successful run on “The Price Is Right”—was a shiny fondue pot.
People weren’t eating fondue in my hometown at the time, I’m pretty certain. In a town of 3,000 in the middle of farming country, mothers were really living on the edge when they sprinkled a little red paprika on anything other than deviled eggs. Still literally decades away was the 24-hour Wal-Mart with its choice of exotic vegetables, fruits, and cheeses. Regardless, I knew I needed that fondue pot for my swinging bachelor pad. If I only knew then what I know now!
I never did buy that fondue pot, but on a recent date I did finally get to experience the ultimate fondue. The Melting Pot is a national chain of fondue restaurants that has burst on the scene in recent years; the local restaurant is at the Country Club Plaza. My beau and I (yes, there is a boy in the picture again) decided it was time to break out of the culinary rut we’d been digging for a few weeks, so we checked the place out with another couple who absolutely raved about the experiences they had enjoyed there.
Before we get too far, a word of caution—a trip to The Melting Pot is NOT recommended for a first date. Danger Will Robinson! While the experience is very impressive, the meal will take anywhere from two to two-and-a-half hours until the last mushroom is cooked. If the conversation and chemistry are faltering…. there’s NO WAY OUT! Oh, and it’s not exactly a cheap date, either. But back to the story:
It’s almost impossible to miss the electric heating element in the center of the table. As soon as we were seated, our server got the “fire” going and warned us repeatedly to avoid the surface. Our friends had been there before, but they hadn’t warned us about the sticker shock we felt on examining the menu (isn’t that what the World Wide Web is for?).
There is no kitchen on the premises, just lots of knives to cut up the meats and vegetables, so diners must choose their fondue ingredients either from a couple of recommended “combinations” or a la carte. For about $70 per couple, there is the “Big Night Out,” a four-course meal including cheese fondue, salad, dinner fondue, and a dessert fondue. For $50, there is a three-course meal, sans dessert.
After once again warning us about the danger of getting burned on the cooking element, our very attractive server “Dan” (names are always changed to protect the innocent … or not so innocent) proceeded mixing up our cheese. My beau and I selected the “Wisconsin Trio” fondue, which teased us with just a hint of salty bleu cheese, while our friends stuck with the “Traditional,” Swiss cheeses with white wine and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I think we were melting also as we watched Dan mix each pot’s ingredients into a bubbly goo. Everyone cracked up as one of our friends actually voiced his interest in dipping our server (well, one of his parts) into the cheese and licking it off! Unfortunately, tonight we would have to settle for cubes of pumpernickel bread, baby carrots, and cauliflower.
After the salads, we jumped into the main course. Dan gave us another safety reminder (the corporate lawyers can rest easier) and then we started cooking pieces of beef tenderloin, seasoned pork, chicken, and shrimp in the pots of broth and oil. We had selected a vegetable stock as the base for our fondue while the other guys opted to cook theirs in canola oil--the main difference being they could dip their meats and vegetables in two types of tempura batters and fry them up.
Cooking in the broth is fairly straightforward because everything takes approximately two minutes to cook. The oil is a different story. Despite their previous experience at the restaurant, our companions still had trouble finding the right cooking times and sometimes settled for less than appetizing results.
My beau and I were stuffed nearly two hours later as we cooked up the last pieces of chicken and pork. But our friends were celebrating and had ordered up dessert. After so much food, Melting Pot’s basic dessert tray actually was perfect for four, even though they recommend it for two. Dan prepared our pot of sweet chocolate with just a hint of peanut butter. By this point, I was finally thinking about dipping him in the chocolate! A few chocolate-covered strawberries, marshmallows, and a bite-sized piece of cheesecake later, our server was the last thing on my mind. We were all on the verge of food comas!
The entire experience has inspired me to throw a fondue party at my loft soon. Dolgin’s is long gone but I bet I can find a cute little fondue pot somewhere. Some cheese, some veggies, and lots of good wine and conversation will be the ingredients. Now, I wonder if I can hire Dan to melt it down….that’s my kind of party.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
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· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.