Friday, April 29, 2016

Cold April

Holy smokes, it's almost the end of April already and yet it feels like we're still in mid-March. It's been so cold this month, I'm starting to wonder if spring will ever fully arrive.

For all who are wondering, I'm doing great after my ultra long walk the other day with my close friend D... The main things that were bothering me were my ankles and my Achilles tendons. I barely felt anything in my legs and back. Even my bum shoulder is feeling great, and I have more mobility in it since our walk. Not sure what did that, maybe swinging it back and forth so much during that 90 minute stint? 

As hoped, I was able to take my regular walk yesterday, but with a little extra tacked on to it. Husband - who goes with me once in a while - and I walked down to the one road and back... It's about 1/3 of a mile one way, or 2/3 mile round trip. 

Now I did make a mistake in my calculations in my previous entry. I said to the stream and back it was 1/4 mile round trip. It's actually 1/4 mile one way, making it 1/2 mile round trip

Oops. So I've been walking a lot more than I realized. That's good, right? :) 

I remembered the camera this time around - it's only a point and shoot idiot proof one, a purple Vivitar - and snapped a few photos. You can see the buds coming out on the trees more, and the greens are starting to become more and more vivid. 











The last one is our lone daffodil. It doesn't come up every year, but it is so pretty when it does make an appearance. 

I've also learned a few things about the things I'm eating... I'm now counting a lot of things, like calories, and taking note that just because something "looks" healthy or says "whole grain", etc, doesn't mean it's healthy or right for someone with my condition. I've become one hell of a label reader, and I've noticed that the less of a certain type of food I eat, the better I'm feeling. I do have to keep things within a certain guidelines, but I'm finding that on the lower part of that scale is best for me... So I'm now adapting my eating habits and grocery list to suit that even more. 

Let's just say I'm noticing a huge difference in only three days. It's a pain in the ass to keep track of certain things, but I think in the end, this will be a good chunk of my daily maintenance and bringing myself back to my old self again. It's not just good for my body to do this, it's good for my mental health and overall well being. I find the better I feel physically, the better I am mentally, and that means I'm more productive in the run of a day.

My long term goal is to get back into a size 10. I don't expect that to happen for a few years yet. My doctor wants me to lose weight, but only 2 or 3 pounds per month. If you lose it too fast, it'll come back so much easier. Slow but steady wins the race in this case. :)

Have a lovely weekend everyone... My writing day got preempted by a school inservice this week. No worries, I still have a few extra left between now and the end of the school year. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Follow the Mud Brown Road...

Today was a great day.

Yes, it was cool outside this morning, and we had *snow* yesterday (PUKE!!!), but once the sun was up, things warmed up fast and the white crap started melting. The car was pretty much cleaned off by the time I got to my longtime friend D's place, about five miles from here. 

As y'all know, I've been back to my routine of walking to the stream and back, while listening to heavy metal cranked up in my earbuds on the MP3 player.

I didn't have to do that today... My pal D - who I've known for about 30 years, we met in elementary school - and I have decided we are going to be walking more, and on days we're able to, do it together. If I'm unable to make it to her house, or she's working, we'll just do our regular routine each day. 

I'm still trying to build up my endurance, so D decided we'd take it slow and go at my pace. Her youngest Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Lucy, tagged along, and it made the walk more fun. Our route went along a dirt road not far from D's house, and it was pitted with lots of mud puddles. Of course, Miss Lucy loves water, and was walking through the deeper and bigger ones when she felt like it. She even tried swimming a few times, but the water wasn't deep enough even for a dog with dwarf legs. It was cute. 

D motivated me to keep going even after I started getting winded. I'm still overweight, still not used to being on the feet constantly, and still feeling the effects of being a smoker for over 20 years, even though I'm almost 2 years into my quit. Each time I started huffing and puffing, we'd stop for a few, long enough for my breath to even out, and as soon as I felt ready, we'd start again. 

We walked all the way back to the beaver dam, not far from the former town reservoir... We stood on the bridge, noted a few things, didn't see the beavers swimming around, and kept Lucy from jumping off the bridge for a swim - I understand she loves to swim, and would have loved to go this morning. Unfortunately the water is too dirty and murky, so no swimming back there for the dogs. Or humans too.

The way back went so much faster, and I had a second wind. By the time we reached D's house, I was starting to get winded again but felt great mentally. 

We told her father where we stopped and turned back. He thought for a moment and told us it was a total of two miles to the beaver dam, or thereabouts.

Wait, two miles one way means the round trip was... 

FOUR MILES...?????

Seriously??? 

Are you fecking kidding me??? 

I walked four miles in ONE stint? My regular routine to the stream and back is a QUARTER MILE, ROUND TRIP. I'm just getting to the point of doing the entire thing without getting tired or winded. 

Whoa. *blinking!* 

I thought we were going to do half a mile one way, tops... Wound up doing four times that! LOL 

Well, it looks like I'm going to be able to add more to the routine, starting tomorrow. I'm still going to gradually build things up... Today was D's way of showing me I *CAN* do it, with motivation... And an adorable corgi loving me up when I needed it. It was Lucy's way of saying I can do this, and I did. :) 

My goal is to be able to go to the line for the next community and back without getting sick, tired or overly winded by the end of summer. That's one mile one way, or two miles round trip. D wants my endurance to be higher than that, but I'm going to set a goal I know I can reach on my own... I can't always get out walking with her, so I think a mile one way is good for the time being. 

Note to self: I am going to wear out the sneakers much faster now... Oh well! LOL 

Of course, my reward for the walk was extra loving from Lucy and the rest of D's dogs and her cat... Her cat seems to love me, because whenever I go there, she talks to me a lot and today, let me pet her on her head, and she even gave me a smooch. I just love Cat, and she knows it too... She's pure gray and so pretty. 

My old corgi pal Tucker, who was at the beach with D and I a couple of years ago, was very happy to see me once he clued in I was there. When I was copying a file from my portable hard drive to her computer, he laid on my feet and made a lot of contented noises. Yeah, I love him too and he knows it. LOL 

D has about six dogs at the moment, but one is her nephew's... That baby girl is staying with her "Auntie" for a visit. I just love each and every one of them, they are all sweet natured, and all beautiful... So easy to love. 

She gave me a LOT of tea bags too, various flavors. I've discovered I love English Breakfast, and she included other ones that look awesome... One cup of the brewed stuff per day, tea is loaded with anti-oxidents, and it's healthy. 

I may replace the old green tea with the English Breakfast. Fermented (black) tea is really good for you too... Tee hee. 

I'm tired, and sore, and I may not make it down the stairs without help tomorrow morning, but it's worth it. 

D proved to me that with a lot of motivation, some extra coaxing, frequent rests, a slower pace, and of course, the most adorable and sweet natured corgi walking companion, that I can do it... 

Taking a Vitamin B tablet before I went helped too, it woke me up and gave me extra energy... Natural too, no caffeine. Tee hee. 

I'm so grateful she did. Now that I know I can, maybe, just maybe I'll be able to get myself back on track and get back into my ultra small jeans sometime in the future.

Have a great week everyone, enjoy the remainder of your Wednesday! :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Observations

I owe all of my family, friends, readers and anyone else passing through an apology. Things have been crazy here, and I finally remembered to update my blog among the chaos.

Hearts Remembering is in its final stages of revisions and edits. After careful consideration, I already know who is getting it first, and pending rejections, any other publishers... Thank heavens I've done my research, and know where to look to see if they are taking unagented submissions or not. 

Eh, enough about Hearts Remembering... I'm almost "done" with that one as much as I can be, even with help from the Betas. (Speaking of which, they loved it!)... 

I'm recuperating. Before I post from what, I want to toss out a reminder that anyone who laughs at someone getting hurt, sick or anything else that may stop them from doing things is a complete narcissistic twat waffle. Same with wishing any kind of injury, harm, or illness on anyone else, especially if they saw your true nature... JUST SAYING.... 

I threw out my left shoulder - the rotator cuff - about six weeks ago, and it's just starting to heal now. It's the shoulder I injured a few times over the years, starting in high school, and several times since. So, it's a little weaker than the right shoulder. This has prevented me from doing the really heavy renovations around the house, which ticked me off. I'm not supposed to do any lifting with it, and my doctor said not to do any work with it that makes me lift it above my head. Husband has been doing what he can for me heavy lifting wise when he's home... Thank heavens.

It has NOT stopped me from writing and working on prelim stuff for various story ideas though. I can easily type with it held in place with a band around it to hold it against my side, and haven't really used that since before the equinox. I was using a sling when I left the house - especially during my walks - to keep it stabilized, so I wouldn't injure it further by swinging it back and forth like we humans tend to do when we're walking at all.

It's much better now. I can raise it above my head without any weakness or pain, and although my doctor still has the ban on me doing any heavy lifting or work above my head, I am no longer using a sling. I'm still doing strengthening exercises and being careful, but it's well on the mend, thank heavens.

My fall endurance is back, after not taking a lot of walks during the winter time due to icy conditions and just horrid weather in general. I'm able to make the full trip one way without stopping at all, and able to get up any hills without losing my breath. 

The fact I just hit 21 months smoke free this week is probably still a bit of a factor on my speed and endurance are holding up. Even with my allergies in full swing, I'm still motoring, despite sneezing constantly. I put the earbuds in, and crank up Creed, Whom Gods Destroy, or my newest discovery music wise, DISTURBED (heavy metal band out of Chicago, IL)... Their cover of "The Sound of Silence" is beyond amazing, and I love the rest of the "Immortalized" album, and two of their other albums, "Indestructible" and "Asylum"... It's platinum stuff! I have to get the rest of their work for my collection but it's all awesome so far... *grins*

ANYWAY... 

I've been practicing my photography too. I am still using the idiot proof point and shoot camera, but I'm learning a few things here and there to get better shots - thanks to a few tips from my photography pals around Facebook and other spots. 

Here's a few photos I snapped just this morning, during my walk....
















All of these were taken within a mile of my home. I live in a former farming community, and it feels like the middle of nowhere, but in reality, I'm only a couple of miles away from a major highway.

I've also noticed I'm needing smaller jeans, or at least a belt. That's what happens when you're eating real, healthy food you prepare from scratch - not the processed garbage like convenience foods, fast food, or junk food - and getting your daily dose of exercise.

More on that another time though. :) 

I have to remember to get some sunblock though.. I'd rather not get a sunburn. I fry, and turn lobster red after a few minutes in the sun without protection. Thank you northern European ancestry... *grumbles*

We purchased Star Wars The Force Awakens on DVD, and my son finally saw it. He didn't like it when Han Solo died - hell, I CRIED when I saw that scene!!! - but loved the rest of it. 

Folks, my son has finally discovered my favorite franchise of all time. I'm so proud of him!

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you're in Nova Scotia, I hope you're loving this ultra warm weather like I am! :)

And on a final note, my cousin shared the following on Facebook yesterday... 

WARNING: SEXUAL CONTENT AHEAD!!!

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LMAO!