Six Months old!

Molly is six months old today! We celebrated this morning with our usual walk around the neighbourhood. She did great on the sidewalks and back alley – not so good going through Patricia Park. I have no idea why she can’t deal with parks but we made 3.5k so I guess that was okay.

Checking out a bit of litter…
Just eating wood…

I had a chat with Genie before we went for our walk. She is on her drive to Toronto. So far so good! She drove from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Winnipeg, Manitoba and her friend Chelsea drove through the night to Thunder Bay, Ontario. They were stopping for breakfast before Genie got back behind the wheel. Tonight they are staying at a hotel along the way before heading on to Toronto tomorrow. 😊

She sent me a few photos to share.

Lumsden Valley just north of Regina
Sunset at Brandon, Manitoba
Into the night…
And into Ontario this morning
‘It’so pretty out here.” Genie
I agree!
And foggy πŸ™„

I hope the rest of their drive goes as well as it has so far. They are driving around Lake Superior today and lake Huron tomorrow so the scenery can only get better. But… that is one long drive. I am so glad Chelsea is there to help with the driving and that she is familiar with the route.

That is it for today! Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Week Twenty Six!

It has been 26 weeks since I started my fitness plan.    It was exactly six months yesterday.    I am halfway to a full year of working to get and stay as fit and as healthy as possible.  With all of the benefits I have discovered and all of the encouragement that I have received, I have no intention whatsoever of slacking off. I have no doubt that I will be celebrating a full year of fitness  six months from now. 😊

This morning, Molly and I started our day with  a 3 km walk.  We began going on daily walks on July 1st – two and a half months ago.

Molly’s 1st Official Walk

Molly was a big, rambunctious puppy,  so I was concerned about what would happen if I failed to control her.   I decided THAT would never happen.  In my infinite wisdom, I decided to take the easy way out.   As we set out on our first official walk, Molly was securely strapped into her harness and I had a death grip on her leash.

Needless to say, that did not go well for either of us.   Molly did everything in her power to make our walks a daily battle.   I tried a clicker, I tried treats to reward (and occasionally bribe) her.  I finally resorted to a special training harness.  All had limited success.  Finally a few days ago, I was watching a video of a dog trainer working with people who had dogs with particular issues.  One woman came out with a little dog that was always straining at her leash and trying to attack other dogs.  The dog trainer looked at the woman and told her to stop engaging her dog in a game of Tug of War.   The woman  looked so much like me.   She had the leash wrapped around her arm six times  AND had a death grip on it to boot.  I was embarrassed for her – and for me!  The next day I loosened my grip on Molly’s leash and she was WAY better.  This morning, I extended her leash about three feet (it has different metal rings that I can clip on to).   That made ALL the difference.     Molly and I walked along at a comfortable pace without a single incident.

As we were trucking along, it occurred to me how often we try to take the ‘easy’ way when dealing with challenging situations.  I don’t know if everyone does, but I am sure it is pretty common for people in my age group (baby boomers).   We watched our parents work SO hard that it just didn’t seem right.  We decided we would have easier ‘better’  lives ( and that our children and grandchildren should be equally blessed).   Except life does not  work that way.  We are challenged in order to grow stronger and healthier –  mentally, emotionally, and physically.   Taking the easy way out just doesn’t cut it.  (Nor does trying to pave the path for our children and grandchildren,  but that is a whole other chapter in my book on questionable infinite wisdom. πŸ™„)

The easy way, is particularly counterproductive when it comes to getting or keeping fit and healthy, especially as we age.   Collagen which is vitally important to every part of our bodies begins to decline in our thirties. (Unless we are born with a genetic collagen disorder – then it begins before we are born 😧) By the time we hit our sixties – and looking to retire and ‘take it easy’, it is a serious issue for many of us. At our age, even those who are healthy and strong can lose collagen in a matter of weeks if we do not keep active and maintain a healthy diet.

I found this article online and it explains in a better way than I could, what collagen is, what it does, and ways we can maintain and improve our levels of it even as we age. It does not mention how important physical activity is to maintaining and increasing our levels of collagen, but that is definitely an important part of the equation!

https://vibrancemedspa.com/what-happens-to-collagen-as-we-age/#:~:text=Your%20body%20begins%20to%20lose,habits%2C%20and%20poor%20diet%20choices.&text=While%20it’s%20possible%20to%20accelerate,possible%20to%20slow%20it%20down.

The great news is, we absolutely can maintain and improve our levels of collagen as we age, but there is no easy way to do this. We have to do the work and maintain a proper diet. The ‘work’ does not have to be unpleasant – walk, run, dance, swim, lift, hop, skip, and or jump. Find and do what works best for you. And the diet does not have to be bland or unpalatable. It has to be nutritious, although there are specific foods that are better at supporting collagen levels.

I walk less than one hour every morning, I do one thirty to forty five minute You Tube Zumba class when I get home. Other than that I do my housework and cooking, spend time in our garden, brush Molly and clean up after her. That is pretty much it. And I have never felt better and stronger. It is amazing. I am so glad that I am not still trying to take the easy way out, sitting around and hoping I feel better tomorrow so I am up to doing something. I know I would never have felt better going that route.

That is it for today. It is beautiful out and I am ready to get out there to enjoy this weather while it lasts. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Ps.. the new header image on the website version of my blog is a modified version of a picture Prim sent me last night. πŸ’ž

Just Another Summer Sunday

Molly and I started off on our walk this morning. The weather was perfect – not too hot, not too cool, not too humid. We went to the end of the block and I decided to come back to the house for a minute. We got in the yard and big fat raindrops started to fall. The skies opened up and it rained hard for two or three minutes. It stopped as suddenly as it started and we headed back out. We went two miles. Molly did perfect on the sidewalks and the back alley. We took the path through Regent Park and she acted up all the way through. Arghh … It is frustrating but it always feels good to get home. We got our walk in. We got home in one piece. Molly did a lot right – and she is still a puppy. We’ll get there.

I played in wet sand when we got home. πŸ™‚

Granddaughter Genie and I had our Sunday chat yesterday. This is her last day in Saskatoon and then it is off to Toronto. One of the managers had to fly there early so she has Genie driving her car there for her. It is a thirty hour drive but she has a friend to help with the drive and a sister for company, so they will have a grand adventure. 🌟

Genie had to invest in a new camera this week as her old one gave out. (She must take after Grandma and Grandpa when it come to putting off upgrades. πŸ˜‚). Anyway, she was excited with the improved quality of her photos so she sent me quite a few. I hope you enjoy!

This one was from her old phone. Genie’s little sisters, Maddy and Prim, at the Regina ex last week.
My kind of tattoo art…. Elephant! (This is not Genie)
This is Genie, sporting a new tat for her brother, Rory. She already had a sunflower on one wrist for Maddy, a Primrose on her other wrist for Prim(Rose), and a ladybug on her left shoulder for Grandpa. 🐞
Now for her choice of exhibition artwork this week!
This is my ok? for the week. πŸ™„
Saskatoon obviously has some talented youth!
I love that top one.. and gummy bears.. I love all three! (I hope when I inevitably choke to death on a gummy bear, people will just say I was killed by a bear and leave it at that. πŸ˜‚)
My favourite this weekπŸ’ž
Close second – very close!

And, that is it for today. I am hoping Genie will have some great nature shots for me by next Sunday. They are taking the Canadian route to Toronto so they will be passing through some amazingly scenic areas.

Take care and have a great Sunday! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Would You Buy This?

Since I started working on my health and fitness in February,Β  I have searched You Tube for fitness videos, Amazon for workout clothes, and Googled low calorie healthy meals, nutritional facts,Β  and the like.Β  Naturally, I have been bombarded with advertisements for related products – most often diet pills.

This one has became a regular!

I do not take diet pills.Β  In fact, I don’t take ANY pills that I can avoid,Β  and most of the one’s that I cannot avoid disagree with me one way or another.Β Β 

My ‘stash’ and the Claritin doesn’t agree with me. πŸ™„ I have been taking prescription Siv-Rabeprazole (for excess stomachs acid) and I am occasionally prescribed Prednisone and/or antibiotics for my lungs. None of the prescription drugs agree with me. 😒

I find the claims made by this company (Keto Max Science) to beΒ  particularly questionable.Β  How does anyone lose 79 pounds in three weeks and not have loose skin hanging off their body?Β  Do these pills automatically suck up excess skin?Β  Do these pills build muscle? Do these pills make one feel better – physically, mentally, and emotionally?Β  Do these pills lower one’s blood pressure or strengthen one’s heart?Β Do these pills lower cholesterol or blood sugar?Β Β  Do these pills improve one’s lung function?Β  Do these, or any diet pills actually make, or help, anyone lose weight?

It would seem unrealistic to think there is a pill out there that provides any of the benefits of physical activity and a reasonable, nutritious diet. The market is flooded with diet pills so they must sell. But do they work?

Just wondering. Take care and have a great rest of your day!

Molly for the Win!

I am so excited today!Β  Molly and I went for a 2.5 km walk this morning and she crushed it! She walked all the way to the park (the long way) and just strutted along like a champ.Β  She even got a thumbs up from the ex dog sitter enroute.

Then…Β  we got to the park and one of her favourite crew members was working beside the path and a family was walking towards us.Β Β  I led Molly off the path to walk along the tree line and she just trotted along beside me.Β  The family smiled at her and the maintenance woman said she was doing GREAT. Β  It was so fantastic!

We did it!Β  Molly and I.Β Β Β  I am just so proud.Β Β  I did invest some money in harnesses – and finally a training harness, a clicker, and LOTS of treats.Β Β  And I have gotten tips from Dan, and my sister Lorraine, and the ex dog sitter, and the lady I met at the dumpster yesterday who watches Caesar Millan You Tube videos, and Donna with Myles from Mexico.Β Β  And I have gotten a lot of encouragement from too many people to mention. And it was all appreciated! But, it was Molly and I who put in the work and it all came together today.Β Β  I am not about to slack off on my vigilance or claim to have totally ‘tamed the beast’ but today was a win!

Molly, celebrating with a well deserved nap.πŸ’ž

Getting to this point with Molly has not been  the easiest thing I have ever done and nobody would ever mistake me for a professional BIG dog trainer.  (Or a small one for that matter).   Molly has lived up to the Pyrenees reputation.  She is STUBBORN, independent, powerful, intimidating, loud, relentless, and can be more than a bit obnoxious. At (almost) six months,  she is still very much a puppy.  She has landed me on the ground twice on our walks. She has jumped up on me, scratched me, and scraped me with her razor sharp baby teeth. I have pulled some UGLY litter out of her mouth (a very flat, dehydrated, roadkill squirrel yesterday 🀒). She has lunged at other people and barked at other dogs. And.. she leaks a little when Dan comes home or Genie stops by for a visit. Easy does not describe her.

BUT… Molly is so intelligent and affectionate and gorgeous and beyond entertaining. She challenges me and she inspires me. She keeps me on track for getting fit and staying fit which is huge for me right now. I just want do much to be worthy of this amazing dog. She has so much potential in the right hands.

Way to go, Molly! πŸ’ž

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Week 25 -More Challenges

I have been working out and getting fit for twenty five weeks now. I started out in February hoping that if I put a bit of effort into it that, by spring (in Saskatchewan), I would feel a bit better, breathe a bit easier, and have a bit more strength and stamina. I can’t believe how that bit of effort has paid off.

This morning, like every morning Monday to through Saturday, I got up, washed down my B12, Vitamin D, and Lutein with half a cup of coffee and did my Advair inhaler for my asthma. This was followed by my breakfast, which this morning was a bowl of cereal. Next, I spent half an hour organizing Molly’s walking kit and getting her into her harness and myself into my sneakers and jacket. Then we headed out for a 1.5 mile walk. (That is not a record for us, but I do not want to push Molly too hard until she is used to her new training harness.)

We got home, Molly got her good girl treat and I took my Spiriva inhaler for my COPD and my bronchiectasis and followed that up with six ounces of beet juice. (Which I make a litre at a time from Salus Beetroot Crystals, the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of ginger, plus filtered water). After a short rest, I did my favourite You Tube exercise video.

Now I am ready to move on with my day, being better, stronger and breathing easier than I ever have. The benefits of that bit of effort never cease to amaze me.

But, like everything else in my life, I have my challenges working out and getting fit.

This weekend I took Molly across the street to the ball diamonds to work with her and her new harness and I got attacked by mosquitoes – lots of mosquitoes! I was wearing yoga pants and the beggars bit right through them. My legs are covered with bites. I could not sleep on Saturday night so I took an antihistamine hoping that would ease the burning and itching, since nothing else had. The antihistamine did nothing for the bites but it did make me groggy and fogheaded, and feeling weak all day Sunday. I was able to get out for a short walk with Molly but the rest of the day was a write off. Last night, I went to make supper and found that I had wrenched something in my left arm (somehow?) and I could not lift a small pot of noodles to serve them out. My arm and back muscles are stronger than they have ever been, but one little tweak and it was gone. Rediculous! And so unfair! Life should not be so challenging when one is really trying to make it better!

Except… I need challenges – I need physical and mental and emotional and spiritual challenges. It is the challenges that make me better and stronger. If my fitness journey was too easy, I would start slacking off, going through the motions, until I drifted back to my old ways. Inevitably I would be back in my rocking chair, wrapped in a blanket and feeling weak and miserable.

So… Bring it on life. Bring the benefits and the challenges because while the benefits are a nice incentive, it is the challenges that really push me further and higher than I could possibly imagine.

PS – I finally came across a bit of advice from The Farmer’s Almanac that soothed my mosquito bites. Wet an antacid tablet (like Tums or Rolaids) and rub it on the bites. I have no idea who first thought “Let’s try this!” but it works. As for my arm, Who knows? but no noodles for supper tonight. They would be wierd on Taco Salad anyway.

Mmmm – Taco Salad

That is it for today and for this week’s fitness update. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Our Girl Molly

It seems like it has been a while since my last Molly update, and since she is coming up on her six months birthdate, this seemed as good a time as ever.

The big news this week is that I got and started using Molly’s new training harness for our walks. 

The face piece attaches to a collar and both pieces attach to her regular collar. 

I did not like the idea of using anything that looked like a muzzle but it seems okay.  We have only used it twice.  She seems to be getting used to it and forgets she has it on at times.   I have been using the clicker and giving her lots of treats to keep her motivated.  It does seem to help a lot as far as keeping her at a manageable pace and walking nicely.  It doesn’t really help her avoid distractions like barking dogs or free range cats, but mostly she just sits down and refuses to budge when we encounter anything that grabs her attention.   We will see how it goes!

Molly has found her voice but I don’t find it that much of an issue.Β  Her bark is really low-pitched and she doesn’t go on and on – or even use it all that often.Β  In our yard she is fairly laid back.

She LOVES company and was in her glory when granddaughter Genie came by on Tuesday morning and then came back yesterday morning – with her fiance Alec.

Alec was trying to pose Molly.
While Genie was losing it.
Nailed it!

It is funny how dogs come into our lives with perfect timing.

Casey πŸ’ž

Casey was the first dog that Dan and I adopted together. She was so beautiful, so smart, and so empathetic. She was the perfect dog for us at a time when my aging Mother spent a lot of time with us and when we had young grandchildren here on a regular basis. She was the most devoted care giver and protector – to Mom, our grandbabies, and to our little blind cat, Suzie.

Kat

With Casey aging, we brought home Kat. She was never as responsible or serious as Casey but she made an adorable companion for our growing grandchildren, a great walking partner for me at a time when I was struggling with health issues, and a perfect travelling companion for Dan and I. She was such a sweet little dog.

Molly

After losing our little Kat so suddenly and tragically from congenital heart failure this spring, I was not anxious to have another dog in the house. I didn’t know if I would ever be ready to take on another such loss after Casey and Kat. Then… Dan suggested I needed the companionship and security when he was at work. I started poking around the want ads looking for a midsize dog – nothing as ‘vulnerable’ as Kat was. Just a good healthy dog.

I saw an ad for Molly and she just seemed right. She was destined to be MUCH bigger than Dan had in mind but I had been looking at sheep dogs for a long time and they have a reputation for being good, solid, easy going dogs. And Molly was so cute!

So Molly it was, and at a time when my priority is my health and fitness Molly is perfect. She is my inspiration to get up every morning, get active, and keep active. She is the epitome of affection and entertainment. She is a bit of a challenge at times but she fits our current lifestyle amazingly well. I look forward to many years ahead with her and seeing how far we can go together. The potential is unfathomable. 😊

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Strong Women 🌹

This one is for all the women in my life – especially the young women just starting out, or the older ones just starting over – a new job, a new relationship, a new lifestyle, a new life. Whatever the case, this is for us.

“Strong women don’t have attitudes, we have standards”. – Marilyn Munroe
“The question isn’t “Who’s going to let me?” It’s “Who’s going to stop me?” – Ayn Rand
” Don’t let anyone speak for you and don’t rely on others to fight for you”. – Michelle Obama
“Above all, be the heroine of your story, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
“A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else.” – Unknown
“A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, a woman of strength knows it is in the journey that she will become strong.” – Luke Easter
“The strongest actions for a woman is to love herself, be herself, and shine amongst those who never believed she could. ” – Unknown
And finally… ” It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” – Rumi

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Bits and Pieces

I just have a couple of bits and pieces to share today. πŸ˜‰

First up – Over the past few days, Dan and I have celebrated my birthday and our wedding anniversary. As always, my sister Elaine was thoughtful enough to send us beautiful handcrafted cards to mark the occasions.

My photography does not do them justice. The needlepoint images are padded and both are exquisite! πŸ’ž

Secondly – I promised then and now photos of Genie with Molly.

Then – Two months ago when Genie was leaving on the first leg of her summer adventure.
Now – Molly is quite a bit bigger and Genie is actually quite a bit smaller (thinner) than she was when she left.
Molly was determined to let Genie know how much she missed her.

That is it for today. A beautiful sunny day out so I should get Molly fed and get outside to do a bit of yardwork before it gets too warm.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Congratulations!

Celebrating a special young couple today. Our granddaughter Genie (Genevieve) and her boyfriend Alec (Ben) are officially engaged! They are such a sweet, responsible, caring, special couple – we couldn’t be happier for the both of them. From the beginning, through thick and thin, they have always been – meant to be.

Alec & Genie
First Love
Young Love
Graduation Love
Forever Love
It’s a Love Story – THEY BOTH SAID YES!

That is it for our big news for the day. Congratulations to both of you! Thank you, Denise for raising a very special young man and for all that you have done, and do for the two of them.