Regent Park

Our newly renovated neighbourhood park is almost complete and finally (mostly)  opened to the public. 

The entire area of land across the street from us and down to the railroad tracks (about four blocks away) was all greenspace when I moved in here twenty three years ago.  The amenities included baseball diamonds, a couple of small playgrounds, a par three golf course,  an indoor ice rink, and an outdoor pool.  There was also an overflow channel, trees galore, and an abundance of wildlife – birds, rabbits, gophers, butterflies, and when the mosquitoes got bad enough there would be a shimmering field of huge dragonflies. 

Over the years townhouses and a seniors residence were built, basketball courts were erected, and the wildlife was pretty much all driven away.  (The mosquitoes stayed. πŸ™„)

Now the Par 3 has been bulldozed along with many trees.  A new accessible playground, off-leash dog parks, and a toboggan hill have been added – along with much artwork and a winding path tieing it all together.

Personally, I preferred the natural state and wildlife but we live in a city. We are relatively fortunate to have access to the amount of greenspace we have in this area.

Sign at park entrance.Β Β  I didn’t read it when I was there, so I didn’t walk the outline of the buffalo. Just as well, since there seemed to be a basketball tournament going on at the time.
I love the path.  It is perfect for walking Molly early in the morning.  I hope it is kept cleared in the winter so we have a safe place to walk when the streets and sidewalks are icy and treacherous.
B is for ‘boulder’.Β  I don’t think there is a single bench in the park but people could sit on the boulders.
I have no idea… But I do think they have this area all seeded for grass as they were watering it this morning.
Hundreds of healthy trees were taken down but a few dead ones were left behind.
Baby buffalo (?) in front of the dog runs (which are not yet open and which do not seem to have water fountains although there are water lines running everywhere).
Accessible playground with splash pad and accessible washrooms.   I don’t know if I saw any other trash cans but there were at least three right in this area. πŸ‘
Close up of playground.
Washrooms,  which were needed to service this playground, the basketball courts right next to it, and the park area.
A dead tree with spindles stuck in it. I hope they add some signs to explain the artwork in this park. I am sure there is an interesting story behind it and it would be really helpful for those of us who are pretty much art illiterate.

There is a lot of open space and more to see in this park but walking Molly AND taking photos is a bit of a struggle.  I will take more photos  when I get the chance.    There are some really amazing boulders and some nice plants that I look forward to sharing.

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

Grandpa’s Girl

Grandpa’s girl Genie has gone off to join the circus this summer. (She is actually working Guest Services for North American Midway Entertainment, but joining a circus sounds so much better. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

So far she has been doing her usual best of working hard, taking pride in her work, enjoying her job, and saving the bulk of her paycheques for another year of college courses. She texts every Sunday morning and so far her only downside has been home sickness (being a total home body 😯) and at times being overly busy with guests, guest, guests! (Did I mention she was working Guest Services? πŸ˜‚)

I asked Genie to send me a few photos from her travels that I could share here. I’m not sure if it is because this is the Calgary Stampede or if it is just her typical love of animals, but she does seem to have a theme going here.

Probably the view from their bunking quarters.
Probably the view of a truck she liked. πŸ˜‚
Almost a horse…
The real deal!
A cow?
Has to be a bull… Or a cow with horns? πŸ™„
Piglets πŸ’ž
More piglets.. πŸ’ž

Genie will be off to Edmonton in a few days. I’m anxious to see what her focus will be there. Their annual exhibition is called Klondike Days so we might see some gold.πŸ‘

Following Edmonton it will be Buffalo Days in Regina! I’m not sure how many buffaloes we will see but there will definitely be updated photos of Molly and her favourite human.

Molly was SO little. If we do this shot again, she will have her paws on the top of Genie’s head. 😳

That’s it for today. We finally had a good solid rain last night – with thunder and lightening. The risk of more of the same has finally passed so it is time for Molly and I to venture out.

Take care and have a great day!

Week 21

It has been twenty-one weeks since I began my fitness journey. In those weeks, there has been a lot to celebrate. Every week there has been some notable improvement to my health and fitness. That is pretty amazing.

Unfortunately, I am in a place where the improvements are becoming harder to come by and less notable. That is not terribly surprising. Regardless of what you do, how you do it, or how well you do it, there are challenges along the way.

So… My thoughts on week 21

#1. Humidity – Our temperature has finally begun to rise, we have had frequent short spells of rain and our humidity has risen accordingly. That may be great for something, but not so good for my lungs. Activity indoors or out is a struggle. I have kept up with my Zumba every day (except Sunday, which is my ‘rest and recover day) – but the struggle is real!

#2. Walking – I cannot believe that Molly and I have been walking daily for two weeks. It seems SO MUCH LONGER. I was so excited about walking our new pup. It was such a long wait until she was fully vaccinated and cleared to go. Now we are walking and it gets worse every day! Molly is getting somewhat better at dealing with the traffic, but…. The warmer weather has brought out the people in our neighborhood. These people seem to be worse than ever for tossing their litter on roads and sidewalks. Molly is distracted by each and every piece. Walking the walks is one ongoing chorus of “Molly come on!” And “Molly drop it!”. Walking in the park is somewhat less distracting but the mosquitoes are brutal and Molly stops regularly to roll in the grass or….

… strike a pose. πŸ’ž

#3. Cold showers – I think that I have had three cold shower experiences. When I decided to add these to my fitness routine, the main draw for me was the possibility that cold showers could help me to develop some brown fat on my body. Brown fat is the fat that insulates one body and burns calories to keep a body warm. Living in Saskatchewan and facing the prospect of walking Molly this winter, brown fat sounds like a pretty good idea, well worth the effort it takes to produce it. So, how have the cold showers been going? The first one started as a regular hot shower until I felt ready to go for it . I turned off the hot water and the blast of ice cold water was more than I was prepared for. I got out as fast as I got in. I approached my second cold shower a bit more cautiously. I got into a hot shower and gradually turned back the hot water a notch at a time, until I was hit by the blast of ice cold water. Then, once again, I beat a hasty retreat. Last night, I tried another route. I got into a cool to lukewarm shower. Every few minutes I went a little cooler. When it was cold – but not ice cold – I settled in for a two or three minute chilly dousing. I don’t know that it was enough to start producing brown fat cells but there were a couple of things that I did notice. After exiting my chilly shower, my skin felt smooth and there was none of the typical hot shower, or hot bath, dry itch. Also, my hair was smooth and soft. I have spent a lot on hair products in recent years, some with better results than others, but my hair always seemed dried and fried. Last night, not so much. Obviously, it is too soon to tell if I am sold on cold showers, but I am definitely not ready to throw in the towel.

#4. Sleep – For some reason I am struggling to get any decent sleep – even now that Molly has become a solid sleeper. I sleep for an hour, then I am awake for two, trying to figure out why my sleep is so filled with disturbing dreams. It’s not even nightmares as such. I dream that I am back at work and freaking out because I can’t remember when I last paid the company’s payroll taxes, or some other such nonsense. It is annoying, exhausting, and frustrating.

That is it for this week. I sure that things will turn around and that I will find I have made a big leap in progress one of these days. In the meantime – it is about the journey, not the destination. πŸ˜‰

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

Cooling off after a walk in the park.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Yesterday was a rather challenging day for me.Β  I was just off, and while there were some bright moments along the way, there were some that were less than brilliant.

The Good! I received a few items that I ordered from Amazon.Β Β  This isn’t something that we do often, but for some odd reason there is a shortage of squirrel peanuts in our stores these days, so I put together a small order.

If you haven’t tried these crackers or salted nuts, they are both amazing.Β  I don’t know how Amazon sells Costco products.Β Β  Since I cannot handle Costco’s bare cement floors (or their location here), I really appreciate it.

I also got a sundress for myself, which is super comfortable and fits quite well.Β 

More Good!Β  I cleaned out my dresser drawers, tossed a number of items, and sorted and folded the rest.Β  I noticed that somehow, something had slid under the bottom drawer so with some finagling and some help from Molly, a ruler, and a small flashlight, I found a favourite pair of socks, a couple of bras, and SEVERAL unopened packages of pantyhose from my office days.Β  Weird – I always wondered where they went.Β Β 

The Bad! While my morning walk with Molly was pretty good yesterday (as our morning walks generally are), the evening one was bad.Β  I had a bruised toe that was very painful, the mosquitos were terrible, and Molly was distracted and disturbed by everyΒ  barking dog we passed – and we passed a lot of barking dogs!

Also Bad! Since I started my mission to get fitter back in February, I have shaken things up every few weeks by adding new healthful activities (like walking Molly), improving my diet, and the like.Β Β Β  Yesterday I needed a shake up so I turned to something a few fellow bloggers, most recently Dwight from Faded Jeans Living , have tried.Β Β  I decided to give cold showers a go.Β  This was a stretch for me because I do not enjoy showering at the best of times (bubble baths thank you) and apparently our cold water is piped in straight from the North Pole.Β Β Β  But, I have been reading up on this practice, there are a number of benefits that do sound reasonable, and I am no quitter.Β  So,Β  as much as that was one unpleasant split second after I turned the hot water off, I am not done.Β Β  I will definitely giving this another – and several more tries before I throw in the towel, so to speak.

The Ugly! Molly is not the first dog I have had.Β  She is not even the first BIG dog I have had.Β  Up north, we had a sizeable Springer Spaniel who was aptly named Sprocket.Β Β  But, yesterday, I had a big dog moment that I was NOT prepared for.

Major Puddle
Molly’s water dish
Molly

I don’t know exactly what happened, but Molly came crashing into the porch, holding up one injured paw, and despite my best efforts, swallowed an entire sparrow before I could figure out how to get it out of her mouth or bribe her with something that would be less disgusting than eating an entire bird.Β Β  🀒

I can’t believe our veterinarian gives me regular diet advice like, “you can start giving Molly an additional 1/2 cup of dry food a day” or “Molly is too young to have bones or bully sticks”.Β Β  Molly eats wood (in fact she eats trees), she chew on rocks, she eats anything out of the recycling bin, and now she eats entire birds – beak, feathers and all!Β  (I am not even sure it was dead).Β Β 

Today is looking up to be a less intense day all around. It is cool and raining out. Molly is relatively mellow and it is time for me to get something productive done around here.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Perfection

This came up on my Facebook feed this morning. It has probably been around forever but I do not remember seeing it before. This relates to everything that is wrong with the world today compared to when I was growing up.

Things are never black or white – they weren’t when I was young and they are not now, but generally speaking, we grew up learning to make the best of what we had – as our parents did, and their parents did before them.

Nowadays, people are so often the opposite. If it isn’t perfect, if it isn’t the best – it is worthless. Waste it, destroy it, and throw it away. ‘IT’ is everything – homes, vehicles, food, clothes, people (parents, siblings, partners, friends, anyone). As a society, ‘IT’ is healthcare, roads, education, the environment, natural resources. EVERYTHING. Waste it, destroy it, and throw it away.

And so many people are miserable – struggling with their health – mental, emotional, and physical AND finding themselves with less and less. Still they are demanding more and more – AND ‘the more’ has to be perfect or they waste it, destroy it, and throw it away.

It is an unsustainable obsession that we have these days, this desire for perfection or having only ‘the best’.

It is kind of funny that this came up for me this morning. This week wasn’t going well for me. My lungs are not liking our weather, I am feeling blah and bloated, I put on a couple of the pounds that I have worked so hard to take off. 😒 So, I decided it was time to change directions. I am not giving up on my health and fitness. It is just time to quit moping and start cleaning cupboards and closets, polishing up the Jeep, maybe give my dog a bath. Just make the best of what I have, instead of being so focused on what’s not working for me this week. This post came up at the perfect time to give me the boost I needed to get on with it. πŸ₯°

Feeling grateful for what I have.πŸ€—

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

Around the Yard

It is a dull drizzly day here in Southern Saskatchewan. Molly and I did take a walk this morning, I did get my workout in, I am doing a few loads of laundry, but this weather is making me tired!

I was just outside with Molly fort a few minutes to see if the fresh air would perk us up. It didn’t but I did take a few photos.

We had to replace our little Buddha this year as the last one did not survive the winter.
Our current bush is covered with berries. They will change color and then disappear. Squirrels? Birds? Kids? We have no idea and neither of us eat them, so whatever.
I have dug out hundreds of these lilies over the year but they are incorrigible.
Marigolds
Pansies
No idea – I planted mixed wildflowers under the birdbath.
More wildflowers
Petunias
As is this!
And this!
And a few California Poppies

That was it for today. Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

Week 20

It has been 20 weeks since I got out of my rocking chair and started getting fit for spring. It has been such a great journey, I have had no inclination to quit once spring sprang or at any other time in my foreseeable future.

As always, I noted a few improvements this week.

#1 – For the first time since I started working out, I noticed that when I am working out, I was really not struggling to breathe or to catch my breath – even on warm and humid days. That is amazing! With asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis, I used to struggle to breathe all of the time.

#2 – My hands look younger. My blood vessels are not as noticeable. I don’t know if that is because my skin is healthier or because my collagen levels (that affect blood vessels) is better. Either way, that is cool.

#3 – My stamina has improved considerably. On Saturday, I spent the entire first half of the day working to clean up our entire yard in anticipation of a visit from my sister, her husband, and their two German Shepherds – Heidi and King.

This was after they arrived. 🀣🀣🀣. I can hear Dan out back recleaning the back patio as we speak.
Heidi appreciated the nice cool sand.
King – The first pure black German Shepherd that I have ever seen and he is GORGEOUS!
Molly and King went hard.
And rested frequently!

Dan and I had a good visit while watching our dogs carry on. Dan barbecued us a delicious steak and shrimp supper Saturday night. On Sunday, I whipped up some pancakes and bacon, Dan and Jerry went golfing, and Lorraine and I got in a good visit while keeping an eye on the canines. It was a great visit and the weather was perfect – warm, windless, and absolutely bugless!

The dogs all got along great – especially King and Molly who are both still puppies (big puppies). Heidi has quite a few good years on her and struggles with arthritis, so she was more content laying back and watching the young ‘uns.

That’s it for this week’s report. I am still working out, planning to get in some good walks with Molly, and anxious to see how far I can take this fitness program that I am on.

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž