Fifteen Weeks

It has been fifteen weeks plus a couple of days since I decided to GET FIT! Do or die! (That may be a bit overly dramatic, but my quality of life was drifting downward and I wasn’t going down without a fight).

Three and a half months later, now into daily Zumba, spring yard work, and raising Molly (our Pyrenees pup), I am still seeing positive results – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Yay!

One issue that I have struggled with lately has been my blood pressure. It has been running high and last week when we went to spend a few days up north with son Dan and family it was way too high. When we came home, I started reading up on controlling blood pressure and read that beet juice was particularly helpful. I decided it was worth a try. 🀷

Dan bought me the liquid beet juice. After more reading (and seeing the price of the liquid), I decided to try the crystals.

I have been drinking six ounces of beet juice a day for six days. After the first day, I started adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to each glass. (Pure beetroot juice is VERY sweet). In the matter of a few days my blood pressure has dropped to normal, healthy levels. Not only is my blood pressure better but my lungs and sinuses are better than they have been in ages. Because I am breathing so much easier, I am sleeping much better (which is no doubt helping my blood pressure). At this point, I have no idea if any of this is due to the beetroot juice or coincidence but I am going to try using it for a while and see how it goes!

Molly – Fifteen and a half weeks – 36 lbs.

Meanwhile, I was back to the vets with Molly yesterday for her first Parvo booster. She checked out great, was exceptionally well behaved, and won the hearts of every vet, vet tech, and receptionist who fussed over her and her fluffy white fur coat. One more booster in three weeks and a week for it to take and YAY we can start daily public walks.

At home, Molly is less than exceptionally well behaved on a regular basis. This week she is in a battle with a clay flower pot that keeps stealing her collection of small rocks. It is too funny and worth the trouble of collecting the rocks and moving the pot each day to keep the battle going. Usually, Molly dumps the pot and carries the rocks into the porch. Last night, she came zooming through the house carrying the pot. πŸ˜‚

Other than that, the biggest excitement we have had this week was having a Finch fly into the house yesterday. I tried catching it with a butterfly net. All the while, Molly tried her best to stay between me and our unwelcome guest. Eventually, the Finch got tired of our futile efforts and made its way out the back door.

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

Playtime With Molly

In a futile effort to wear Molly out during the day, to afford us a good night’s sleep, I try to schedule in some regular playtime with her.

I like fetch but obviously Molly prefers ‘hide and seek’. 
She wins on a regular basis. πŸ™‚

Last night we were awake until 2 or so listening to her walk around the bed, groan loudly, and drop to the floor with a thud. We should have named her ‘RELENTLESS‘. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

Grooming and Gardening

We are back home so it is time to get to work around here. There is always plenty of yardwork to do in the spring. This year there is twice as much since I wasn’t in shape to get much accomplished last year. With Molly’s help, I don’t know how much I will get done this year. 🀦

The birdbath is cleaned up and our little flowers are starting to take.
Grandpa’s Bleeding Heart and ferns are coming up. He cleaned out this flower bed and put up new fencing to slow Molly down.
I have the pond Petunias in.
…And the Roma and San Marzano tomatoes planted.

I also started cleaning up the front yard flower bed and thinning out the dandelions in our lawn. I think this year will be all about the WeedNFeed.

I am also trying to keep on top of grooming Molly and taking care of the house. When I was researching Pyrenees pups, there was not much to be found regarding grooming. I read that despite their long, thick hair, grooming is not a serious issue as they only shed much in the spring and their hair is ‘self cleaning’ for the most part. Supposedly, it is a matter of weekly brushing and semi annual baths and they are good to go!

In case you didn’t catch it, the ‘self cleaning’ is the issue here. Everything that Molly sits in, lays in, rolls around in …. works its way into her fur. Then she comes into the house where this ‘self cleaning’ takes place. Grass, tree branches, leaves, dirt, toys, car parts, small tools – you name it – Molly smuggles it into the house, where her fur ‘self cleans’. This morning I found a dead, bald, baby bird in the porch. 😒

Of course, most of what Molly drags in does not shed in the porch. It drops off gradually from one end of the house to the other. I dust and I sweep several times a day. Molly likes to help – which is not terribly helpful.

All in all, Molly’s ‘moderate grooming needs’ take up a LOT of my time.

I took a bit of a break from my daily workouts while we were gone on the weekend, but I started back up yesterday, so that is something else to keep me occupied.

That is it for today. Time to grab a quick lunch and get back at it. Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

Comfort Zone

Molly – In the Zone

Back in the days when I was working, I would receive a weekly inspirational email.Β  I do not remember theΒ  name of the woman who authoredΒ  these emails.Β  I do however remember one email in particular.Β  It inspired me at the time and it has stuck with me to this day.

This one email focussed on our comfort zone.Β  Basically, the place, places, or situations where we feel comfortable.Β  For any number of people, which I am one of, anything outsideΒ  of our comfort zone(s) is uncomfortable to the point of being distressing.Β  So, what to do?

We have two options.   First off, we can do everything in our power to stay in our comfort zone(s). The problem with this, is that the harder we try to stay within our comfort zone, the smaller it gets.   We back ourselves into our yard or our house or our bed, while our life passes us by.   😒

Our second option is to realize that any discomfort or distress we feel in leaving our comfort zone is simply growing pains.Β Β  If we push through the pain, out comfort zone expands to include more and more of the life we are meant to live.Β 

Over the years, I have been reminded of this email countless times when I have experienced these ‘growing pains’.Β Β 

One situation it has specifically helped me deal with is my fear of driving.Β Β Β  (Terror would be a better word).Β Β  I have been terrified to the point of suffering full blown anxiety attacks when driving. (Which, trust me, is not good at any time but particularly dangerous when one is driving.)Β  By recognizing the first signs of distress, and accepting them as growing pains, I have been able to get past the discomfort and embrace the challenge ofΒ  expanding my comfort zone – even when I am driving.Β Β 

I know that I cannot do this advice the justice of the original author, but if there are places or situations that you find challenging, try it. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you tried. If it does work – you will be amazed!

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

Three Months Old

Molly is three months old now (as of the sixteenth). She has tripled in size – at least! She is a firmly entrenched member of our once peaceful household. She dug the trench herself and our household is not nearly as peaceful as it used to be.

Molly 3 mos & 2 days

I am impressed that we still have really good days. Yesterday wasn’t one of them. She pooped TWICE in the house and peed once. She was also in one of those rambunctious moods where she insists on jumping on me and biting at me. She also managed to toss my supper plate off of the table and onto the floor and yes – my supper was on it. 😧

This morning is starting out way better, but she did come in a while ago with a big tick on her neck. πŸ™„

That was a ordeal!

Ticks are not the only things Molly brings into our small house from our big yard. She hauls copious amounts of sand, leaves, branches, twigs, rocks, plants, and garbage that blows in from Lord knows where. It is a challenge keeping up with her. In deciding to get a larger dog, that was not something I had even considered. I had no idea how much debris one dog could haul around. 😳

All in all, life with Molly is lots of fun. She is getting really good at playing Nerf Frisbee and better at playing ball. She is relatively quiet, although these dogs have a reputation for becoming big barkers. I will be surprised if Molly goes that way. She is not the skittish, excitable sort – even when the squirrels visit. She did do some serious whining yesterday when I went out front to mow our lawn. She had to stay inside the fence and she let me know she was upset about it.

Anyway, Molly is proving to be a good companion so far and I am looking forward to whatever lies ahead for us. Seems like a keeper! πŸ€—

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

Thirteen Weeks – Positive Results πŸ‘πŸ»

It is thirteen weeks since I began my fitness routine! I continue to see improvement and to stay motivated. This week I am impressed with the increased strength and flexibility in my joints that I am noticing. I particularly appreciate the notable difference in my knees and hips. You know those old ladies who crouch down to get something off of a shelf in a store and can’t get up without the assistance of their strong armed husband? Yea, that was me a few weeks ago. Even getting off of my chair at home was problematic. Not any more! πŸ’ƒ

My fitness level is not the only positive result that I am celebrating this week.

This is our front lawn…
And this!

It may not seem that impressive to anyone who has a manicured lawn but this is after the first good rain of the season and for the past number of years, we have been pretty much allowed our lawn to devolve into dried weeds and bare patches. Last year we decided that since I was home to give it some TLC, we would work at bringing it back to a semblance of lawn. We spread a couple of containers of hardy grass seed, applied lawn fertilizer a couple of times, I pulled weeds, and I waterer AND watered AND watered! It is a work in progress but I am loving the results so far.

Also, the training of Molly continues and we continue to appreciate the results. No inhouse accidents for two days! And… she will give a paw, touch her nose to a fist (without trying to eat it), and she knows her bed. She is such a quick learner and so anxious to please. πŸ₯°

I am never going to pee on the porch mat again. πŸ₯³

Here’s a link to another You Tube Zumba class I have been using. I still zig when I am supposed to zag and my leg lifts are a bit awkward. In my defense, it is rather more challenging with a growing pup walking around me and between my legs – especially when she is dragging her toys or blanket. πŸ™„

Last but not least…. One more result that I was super excited about yesterday.

I threw Molly’s disgustingly dirty toy elephant in the wash and he came out better than new! Totally impressed. 😊

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

Power

I begin every day with a cup of coffee and a quick browse through our local paper.  I scan the news (while trying to ignore the comments), skip the sports, check the obituaries, and read the horoscopes.  Honestly, the most interesting find of my morning paper time is often the general horoscope introduction for the day. Today was no exception.

Holiday Mathis our resident astrologer, began the horoscopes of the day with this profound line “True power is the ability to command oneself.” The obvious wisdom of this line is so simply perfect, or perfectly simple, and yet so often ignored.

Throughout my almost sixty seven years, I have seen every extreme of those who are obsessed with having and holding the power to command or control others. I have seen the screamers, the physical threateners, the manipulators, the whiners and complainers, the reactors, the ultra organizers, the bullies, the victims, and the blamers. I have seen it all and at times in my life – I have been it all.

The thing about creating our best life is in knowing that the only real power we have is in the ability to command ourselves.

This is true throughout our lives and in each and every situation in our lives. Currently, one of the most challenging situations in my life is in dealing with our new furbaby, Molly.

As a puppy – a Pyrenees puppy, Molly can be a challenge at times – a BIG challenge. I had some idea of what I was doing going in, and what was important to having a content, well behaved dog in our home. Having a BIG dog, is something I am rather new to and having responsibility for training said BIG dog is something I was not totally prepared for. So… yesterday I turned to Google and You Tube.

I went through a fair amount of advice on training dogs to be well mannered and responsive. The best advice that I found, focussed on training myself to best react to Molly’s good, and not so good, behaviour. I found ways to encourage her good behaviour and ways to discourage her unacceptable behaviour – without turning our lives into a power struggle. πŸ˜‰

One ‘trick’ I found that works amazingly well with Molly is avoiding eye contact and crossing my arms if she is doing anything unacceptable (like trying to chew on me or jump on me) to get attention. It works like magic almost every time. If she is super wound up, a two minute timeout in the porch and she comes back calm and settled. Another ‘trick’ deals with her propensity to steal and chew on shoes, clothing, furniture and the like. I still say NO and take away what she is chewing on – but then I offer her a choice of something more acceptable (like one of a growing number of her own chew toys). I am fortunate that I am home with Molly all day, so I can praise her when she is doing well and guide her in another direction when she does misbehave.

The bottom line for both Molly and I – and for all of us regardless of circumstances is to remember “True power is the ability to command oneself.”

And… Nobody’s perfect. πŸ™„

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

Raising Molly

Molly, the Pyrenees sheepdog, has been with us for (almost) three weeks now. It has been a fun and occasionally frustrating time. It has also been an amazing learning experience – as much for us, as for our fluffy friend.

Day One
Growing Bigger
And Bigger

Raising a well behaved, manageable dog is the only option when one is dealing with a dog that will soon be able to get the upper paw. Training is an ongoing effort – and one that is, fortunately going fairly well. At almost three months old, Molly is (pretty much) potty trained. She has learned to sit patiently while waiting to be fed. She is a natural at the ‘sit’ and ‘come’ command. She has ACED the ‘stay’ command – staying even when I walk across the yard, out of sight, and back to her. πŸ‘ She understands down, stop, drop it, leave it, bring it, and NO. She doesn’t generally comply – but she understands. πŸ™„ She is getting better at walking on her leash and doesn’t always chew on it. Sometimes she does, but not ALWAYS. πŸ˜‰

Molly is shaping up to be a natural sheepdog – not that we have sheep, but she would be a great help if we did. All dogs have their own quirks – but hers are with such purpose. She is always alert to dangerous intruders, but in a very inconspicuous and calm manner.

  • She does her business in one place – the most ‘hidden’ obscure corner of our yard
  • She follows RIGHT behind us – she will not walk ahead of us. (Which would be great, except Dan and I tend to take a step back on a rediculously regular basis).
  • She is SO quiet – we don’t hear her coming or going, and we seldom realize that she is RIGHT behind us – until we take a step back.
  • She keeps hidden when she sleeps. πŸ˜‚
You can’t see me…

So far, so good! Every day is an adventure with our Molly as she finds her place in our home and hearts. πŸ€—πŸ’Ÿ

Love those white eyelashes. πŸ™‚

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

12 Weeks πŸ’ƒ

Yesterday, I completed twelve weeks of my daily fitness workout. YAY! Of course, I started a new six week run because I have no intention of slacking off. It is the first fitness plan that I have ever found that works for ME. It gets me pumped and keeps me motivated all day instead of exhausting me and sending me to the snack cupboard for an unhealthy source of energy (or the sofa for a nap).

This morning I went to see my respiratory specialist. I drove myself – downtown – at rush hour, and parked backwards into a slanted parking spot. Yay me! The good news is there is no new issues with my lungs. The bad (questionable) news is that my blood pressure now seems to range on the (bit) high side. No doctor seems concerned enough to suggest medication but since they keep bringing it up, I have started looking for ways to bring it down naturally. πŸ™„

In Molly news, we are having a challenging week. I planted flowers around the base of the bird bath yesterday. I surrounded my little seedling with a wooden fence to give them a fighting chance. The plants are still hanging in but Molly ate the fence. She is also in hyper play mode. Between her teeth and her nails, I look like I have been crawling through barbed wire and rocks.

Molly with a new rawhide chew treat I got her today.
It seems to have slowed her down. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. Take care and have a great what’s left of your day! πŸ’žπŸ’›πŸ’ƒ