Week 36 – Beyond the Physical

This will be a health and fitness update but I cannot blog today without mentioning Halloween.

So… Happy Halloween! TBH I am not a fan of holidays and Halloween competes with Christmas for my least favourite of the lot – but my greeting is sincere for all those who are into it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This year, with our eight and a half month Pyreneese (who has all the social skills of a ginormous rabid squirrel), I thought Dan and I had agreed to forgo the festivities, dim the lights, pull down the shades, and crack open a bottle of wine. It turns out, I was wrong. Last night Dan brought it up and was concerned about the influx of kids in our neighbourhood and how he hated to disappoint them. I was willing risk their disappointment, but okay we will partake.

Our dainty dog, pretending she will be all chill about this.

Since we had no plans until last night, we had no treats to hand out so my mission this morning was to go shopping. Easy, peasy as our Maddy would say.

I headed out at 9, started the Jeep, and was greeted by the dashboard drama queen carrying on about the lack of air in my rear passenger tire. This is a regular occurrence, so whatever. I headed off to Walmart. The last time I was in Walmart was sometime in July and they had shelves overflowing with Halloween treats. Today, nothing! I picked up a few things we didn’t need and made my way to the cashier. There were two women ahead of me. The first was a frazzled young woman trying desperately to stuff her overflowing cart as the cashier rang her groceries through. I felt for her. The woman behind her was an elderly woman with two packages of chicken breasts and a bag of salt. She kept her salt in the cart and set her chicken on the end of the counter. She told the cashier (who was still running through the previous customer) about the salt and then proceeded to push her cart to the end of the aisle, whipped out her bank card, and pushed herself right up against frazzled young woman – who couldn’t even pay for her stuff because elderly lady was blocking her access to the debit machine. WTF? I was so busy watching the drama play out, that I didn’t notice the cashier across the way trying frantically to wave me over to her til. It finally got painfully obvious, so I hustled on over there.

I got out of Walmart and made my way over to Freshco – dashboard queen getting herself into a lather of red lights the entire time (which matched all the red lights that I was hitting). Did I mention, I dislike driving? A lot? So I get to Freshco and surprise they have no Halloween candy. I consider going to our Dollar Store but decide to just whip over to the Wholesale Club on 4th Ave – which OH YEA is closed for construction. After navigating the detour through hell, I get to the Wholesale Club and find that my best option would be a couple of cases of single pack potato chips. Massive cases. I am NOT one of those elegant, sophisticated women at the best of times. Carrying two big ass cases of potato chips through a busy store and across the parking lot to our Jeep, is not happening!

On to Northgate Mall. I did run in and check out Dollarama. They had miniature chocolate Santas and individually wrapped Easter eggs. I headed down to Safeway but took a quick detour (because they’re my thing now) and I went to Shoppers Pharmacy. Hallelujah – they had shelves of Halloween candy.

Score!

I grabbed an assortment of goodies and hustled up to the cashier. FFS! What kind of fresh hell is this. Virtually, every cashout is self serve. (I haven’t been to Shoppers for years). I go up to the sole actual living, breathing cashier and she points across the aisle and offers to help me ‘over there’. Over where? She tells me she is pointing at the self serve counters. Why? You’re here. I’m here. Why would we go over there? I said “No, I would rather help you keep your job”. ๐Ÿคฆ Unbelievable.

So I make my victorious way home, stopping at a dozen red lights, and crawling through three or four school zones. Despite all the ballyhoo about the air in my tire, all is well. I am still driving on four round tires. I should be super pumped about my successful venture, but I am kind of struggling to get past the entire episode. Which brings me to this week’s health and fitness update!

Thirty six weeks in and I am still excited about the health and fitness regime that I started in February. I talk mostly about the physical aspects of what I am doing but health and fitness isn’t only about the physical. We are not just physical beings, but also mental and emotional. It is all so intertwined that what affects one system affects all of our systems.

So yes, I am still excited about doing the physical work – my Zumba lessons, walking Molly, and lifting (light) weights. This week I am finally up to ten sets of ten reps of four lifts and I am adding a few wall push-ups (push-outs). But…

I am also meditating every day, working on developing general coping skills, and I have started (re)reading self-help type books. In my journey to wellness, I have come across a number of authors whose works I find to be particularly inspiring. In the days to come, I am planning to write some blogs highlighting some of these authors and explain what it is about their ideas that I personally relate to and how they have helped me to improve my mindset.

In the meantime, I have to sign off for today. Molly is impatiently awaiting her walk and I really need some fresh air and some quiet time out in nature to re-centre and work off my earlier shopping venture.

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Changeable Seasons

Our snow is pretty much melted, the sun is shining, and our temperature is warm enough to pass for late fall or early spring.

While Dan and I have seen enough of the white stuff for this year, Molly obviously loves it. I didn’t manage a You Tube worthy video, but I did get a short clip of her romping around the dog park. Mostly, she just liked to run around in the snow, which was a good thing. I forgot to bring her ball and all of the sticks were buried. I tried tossing some snowballs for her. She would run after them but kept losing them when they hit the snow covered ground. ๐Ÿคฆ

We are keeping busy getting ready for winter these days. Dan finished cleaning up the yard yesterday and went out to get a new set of tires for the Jeep. I have been digging out winter coats and boots, and today I kicked off our fall indoor cleaning, starting with the kitchen. It is so nice being retired and having the time and energy to give each room a thorough cleaning. (I never get tired of appreciating my retirement. ๐Ÿ˜Š)

That is about our life right now. Getting ready for winter in the daytime and relaxing in front of the fireplace at night. Despite Molly’s thick coat, she does enjoy being front row centre when the fireplace comes on. Preferably, as close to Dan as she can get.

That’s about as close as she can get. ๐Ÿ˜‚

That is it for today. I will be back tomorrow for my weekly workout update.

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 35 – I’m Back!

After a week or so of questionable health issues, I have finally shaken off whatever was bothering me. The timing could not be better as yesterday we had our first blast of Saskatchewan winter. It was wet. It was windy. Fortunately, it was not terribly cold, with the temperature hovering at about the freezing point.

It was a perfect day to get out and practice some serious snow removal and to watch Molly zig, zag, and zoom through her first snow of the year. Unlike our little Kat who was not a fan of the white stuff, Molly loves the snow. She loves to slide around on our icy patios. ANDShe loves to race into the house soaking wet and grinning ear to ear from her adventure.

As for my thirty five week update – I am back to my full workout, my meditation, and my weights (starting with the nine sets – again!). I didn’t walk Molly yesterday and today may be the same. We did get lots of outdoor exercise yesterday and there is more snow to move today, as it snowed off and on during the night. I am not sure how icy the streets and sidewalks to the park are, so we will have to see before I decide on a walk. By tomorrow, it should be safe enough, as we are due to see some sun and warmer temperatures that should clean things up to a safe level.

Genie and I did take Molly for a walk a few days ago, and for a run in the park. Genie put together a short video of our outing. It is a first effort, but she did catch a few of Molly’s runs!

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!๐Ÿ’žโ˜ƒ๏ธ

Crash & Burn

Yesterday I wrote a blog about how I have not been feeling my best for the past few days. It didn’t seem that serious. I was coughing, tired, achy, chilly, and the like. It was nothing worth bothering our thinly stretched doctors about. Since my symptoms did not seem that worrisome, I have just been plugging along – working out, eating well, and keeping things in order around here.

At least I was until yesterday… Yesterday I was feeling fine when I got up and planned my day. I had a breakfast of bacon and eggs and toast. I wrote my blog. When I got up to do my workout, I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt tired and weak. I remembered that I am retired, so in a position to treat myself to a short nap before I worked out. Two hours later, I woke up and the house was spinning. REALLY SPINNING! I decided that I should make my way to my phone on the kitchen table. Maybe I would call Dan, maybe I would call the health clinic. I had no plan. I slid off the bed and carefully made my way to the kitchen, one piece of furniture to the next. I reached my phone and called Dan. He said he would be home soon. Since he still had several hours of his shift left, I thought it would be rather longer than soon. My next mission was to battle my dizziness and ever-worsening nausea to let Molly outside. Mission complete, but by the time I got back to the kitchen, my nausea had progressed to vomiting into the nearest wastebasket. This magnificent turn of events lasted until Dan got home a few minutes later (by which time, I was laying on the bathroom floor – my world was still spinning, and I was still vomiting). Dan helped me to the sofa and got me a glass of 7-up (which Molly knocked under the sofa at some point). I gradually felt better until I decided to call it a day and head back to bed. Dan helped me to check my blood pressure, which was considerably lower than usual. That was strange and had me rather concerned but not overly, as I was feeling much better than I had been.

After a difficult night, I got up this morning feeling fairly decent. I remembered my maternal grandmother having ‘spells’ and my mother suffering from ‘fainting spells’ every time she had a flu or significant illness. Maybe these episodes are relatively common in our family. I don’t know, but as long as I do not have a repeat, I am not going to dwell on it.

Today, I am taking another easy day. Tomorrow I hope to be back to my routine of working out, lifting weights, and walking Molly.

She seems to be getting bored. ๐Ÿ™„

Have a great day! Hope you are well and keeping so. ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 34 – Weekly Update

Thirty four weeks (or a solid EIGHT months) in and I am still on track and enthusiastic about my health and fitness journey. ๐Ÿคธ

For sure, some weeks have been better than others, and this last week has not been one of the better ones. After getting bit by a bug last weekend, and celebrating a quick recovery, I have struggled to feel really GOOD – or as good as I did before I got bit.

I am not sick – I am just not GOOD. My lungs feel congested, I am tired, stiff, and chilled. I am just a little achy, breaky, sluggish.

I have been getting out and about with Molly every day. Dan came with us a couple of times and granddaughter Genie joined Molly and I one day. Molly had two or three good runs at the dog park, plus we had some decent walks.

But, I have felt a bit like Molly looks. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I have also been doing my dancing or Zumba and I have been meditating. I didn’t ace my weights every nights. That was my biggest struggle, so I decided to repeat my nine sets of ten reps of four lifts for this week. The last thing I want to do is hurt myself but pushing too hard when my body is not up for it! I have also been getting some good nights sleep and I have been focussing on fixing healthier meals. Dan and I made some real chicken broth last weekend, which we used to make an amazing pot of chicken soup.

Chicken Soup
And we had some Baked French Onion soup!

I also kept up with regular housekeeping chores, laundry, dishes, and made the most of our milder temps this week by getting some (quite a bit) of yard clean-up done.

And… I ordered a new winter coat. ๐Ÿฅณ I do have a decent Denver Hayes winter coat that I bought a couple of years ago. It is nice and warm, BUT it has two tiny useless pockets that I do not trust to hold my cellphone and keys. They certainly will not accommodate – Molly’s tennis ball, dog treats, poo bags, tissues, my Ventolin inhaler, my cellphone, and my keys! So, I ordered a new winter coat. With boots and toque and gloves and scarf, I will be ready to get out and about with Molly when our winter hits. ๐Ÿ‚

That’s it for this week’s update. My weights went great last night so I’m looking forward to a better rest of this week and a really inspiring update as I head into the next. ๐Ÿ’ช

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

I have also been busy keeping the squirrels, bluejays, sparrows, and finches in peanuts and sunflower seeds as they prepare for another Saskatchewan winter. ๐Ÿ˜

Eight Months Old

I am running a couple of days behind here. Molly turned eight months old on Sunday. She can still be a handful but in some ways she is calming down a little.

Molly enjoying a peaceful nap after emptying three (large) flower pots on the sidewalk this morning.
Molly changing up from flower pots to pails.
She loves this one because she can carry it around by the handle. Dan hung it on the fence out of her reach because that’s just wrong. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ’ฉ

Molly’s favourite human (Genie) came over yesterday. We went for a walk around the big block to Regent Park and spent some time in the dogpark. Genie took a few photos while we were there.

Stopped so fast she lost a leg! ๐Ÿ˜ณ
Strutting her stuff…
Having a rest with Bouey.
Giving Genie some close up love and attention. ๐Ÿ’ž
She could be impersonating a bunny? ๐Ÿ˜‚
Ready to head back home.
Back home and enjoying a fresh pail of water – before she dumped it. I love the water droplets from her wet muzzle. ๐Ÿ‘

This Friday, Dan and I are taking Molly to a dog wash station in a pet store close to us and in a couple of weeks she is booked to be spayed. Both should be an experience for her – and us.

That’s it for today! I should be back tomorrow for my fitness update. (Which I try to get done on Mondays, but what can I say? Our days are getting shorter so I am falling further behind. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ)

Take care and have a beautiful day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Leaf Me Alone!

Despite lower temperatures this morning and strong windgusts, Molly and I made our way around the neighbourhood on our daily walk.

Molly

I was somewhat concerned that following my recent health hiccup, our ever growing dog, and the strong winds, It might be a bit much for me today. Obviously, I am even stronger than I thought I was because the weather did not bother me a bit. When the windgusts hit me, which they did, they did not even have me struggling to breathe. I was good!

Molly, on the other hand, struggled. I have noticed her getting really edgy on our walks lately. She has seemed a little bothered by the crisp, dried leaves falling from the trees and hitting the ground – especially walking through the park where there is a constant snap, crackle, and pop of falling foliage.

Today with the strong winds, the leaves were not only falling, but drifting and piling up on the paths and sidewalks that we travelled. Molly tried dodging them, but since that didn’t work, she tried rolling in them and finally running her nose through them like a giant, white, hairy, truffle hog (or dog as the case may be). It might not have been a huge deal if I had not been on the other end of her leash, but since I was it was indeed a bit of an issue. I did more than my share of bumbling and stumbling as she tried to make her way through, over, and past the offending, ubiquitous leaves.

With no shortage of trees in our neighbourhood, Molly’s aversion to falling and fallen leaves may make for a long autumn.

Unfortunately, our only hope for an end to this season is the onslaught of the next – which will undoubtedly bring with it a barrage of falling and fallen snow. ๐Ÿฅบ

We will get what we get when we get it! I just hope we find a way to bumble and stumble our way through it. Here is to hoping for an early spring!

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒฌ๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ

International Day of the Girl 2022

Today we celebrateย  the 10thย  International Day of the Girl.ย ย  This day was created to draw attention to the challenges that girls face around the globe.ย  Female children face particular problems dealing with their physical and mental health, accessing education, and experiencing violence throughout their lives.ย  Specially challenged girls face additional obstacles to accessing services and support.

I find itย  sad that any group of people has to have a special day to draw attention toย the ย  lack of basicย  respect and regard which they face just because of their sex, age,ย  race, color, or whatever else they may beย  judged on.ย ย  Shouldn’t humanity have evolved past that by now?

I also wonder how effective these special days are, if the message is directed to those who are comfortable with the status quo?ย  To those who feel that there are others who do not need or deserve healthcare, a proper education, opportunities forย  employment,ย  or even personal protection and security.

I believe the answer lies in empowering those who are exploited, abused, or treated as less valuable than others – supporting them and encouraging them in this regard.

This morning I caught a clip on our morning news show.ย  A number of young women were asked the question “What empowers you?”.ย ย  The answers ranged from “Being a woman”, “being a mother”, “my friends and family” to “my education” and “my career”.

It has taken me sixty seven years to decide that my answer to that question would be “What empowers me is being pro-active andย  in taking responsibility for myself – for the choices I make, the actions I take, my own mental, physical, and financialย  wellbeing.” That has empowered me more than anything and coming to this conclusion has not been easy.ย  I grew up at a time, in a place, in a family where success meant finding and marrying a good man to take care of me.ย ย  ๐Ÿคฆ I do not blame anyone.ย  That was just the mindset.ย  But it was not a mindset that would serve anyone well.ย ย  I can’t think of anything that would be more disempowering for anyone – than to be taught that anyone needs to rely on anyone else to ‘take care of them’ – for their entire lifetime no less.ย ย 

My question for the day – What empowers you?ย ย  I would really appreciate your answers to this one.ย  I have tenย  grandchildren and one great granddaughter.ย ย  Your answers will no doubt help me to help them develop their own power – as women AND men.ย 

It’s a family sock thing ๐Ÿ˜‚
A family supper thing..
A sibling love thing. ๐Ÿ’ž

That’s it for today! Take care and have a great day!๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 33 – Setbacks

It is thirty-three weeks since I started working on getting fit and healthy. Things have gone rather well, better than I had ever thought was possible – and with few set backs.

Back in May, I skipped a couple of days of workouts when we went to son Dan’s for the long weekend and my blood pressure rocketed. Once we returned home, it started to drop and has been getting better and more stable all the time. My husband had a bit of a cold/flu/virus thing this summer and I skipped right through that with nary a sneeze. ๐Ÿค—

However, this past Saturday I woke up feeling a bit rough and it only got worse throughout the day. By evening, I had no inclination to do my evening weights and after crawling into bed early, suffered through a miserable night. By Sunday morning, I was feeling somewhat better. I puttered around the house all day and for the first time since the beginning of July, I missed walking Molly. She seemed fairly understanding – at least until I tried to lie down on her spot on the sofa. Having a 70/80 pound dog walk back and forth over you and finally flop down on top of you, is not nearly as restful as it sounds. ๐Ÿ˜ง. I survived the rest of the day napless, got a good night’s sleep, and got up feeling even better this morning.

Molly was feeling something… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I got up, fed Molly, made myself a nutritious breakfast, did a sinkload of dishes that should have been done last night, took Molly for a walk, tried to meditate for an hour while Molly tried to sit on my lap, chew on my hands, lick my ears, and half sit on my lap while half standing on the floor while wagging her tail in my face. (That was difficult to ignore.). I persevered and then chased her out into the yard so I could complete a thirty-three minute You Tube Zumba class.

My final challenge of the day will be completing my weight lifts (3 Pound dumbbells) and moving up to 9 sets, 10 reps, of four different lifts. ๐Ÿ’ช

One of the most challenging aspects of working the last few years before I retired, was dealing with health issues. I was never ‘healthy’ and, more often that not, I was dealing with the effects of chronic health issues and catching every bug that came near me. Calling in sick was seldom an option, so I would generally suck it up. But, I really looked forward to the day that I was retired and would have the luxury of pulling a blanket over my head and just wallowing in misery when I got sick.

Now I am retired and in so much better shape since I started working out in February, that I… A I almost never get sick, B – When I do get sick, I recover so quickly and easily that I do not have time to wallow, C – Have learned that wallowing does not really speed up the healing process, and D – Have a dog that does not approve of wallowing. So that retirement dream has run its course! And honestly, I am so much happier feeling healthy and fit that I really don’t mind missing out on the wallowing in illness thing.

That is it for today. Another week of making health and fitness a priority and another week of looking forward to a retirement filled with happy, healthy, adventures with my husband and our Molly dog! ๐Ÿค—

Happy Thanksgiving to any Canadian readers. Take care and have a great day – to all! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Autumn Gold At The Dog Park

Week 32 – I’m On My Way!

It has been thirty two weeks since I started making an active, healthy lifestyle a major priority in my life.   While I have enjoyed countless benefits from the improvements I have made to my lifestyle, there are limitations.

Physically, most of my limitations involve my respiratory system. I have asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis. These are all chronic conditions which have caused permanent lung damage. They are also conditions that are aggravated by dust, woodsmoke, frigid temperatures, and humidity. All of which happen in Saskatchewan on a regular basis.

Yesterday, I woke up to a city wrapped in thick fog. On days like that, it is hard to get up, get active, and basically get excited about doing much of anything. On days like that, I have two options. I can go the easy route, wrap myself in a fuzzy blanket, plant myself on the couch and wait for the congestion to get worse, the bronchitis or pneumonia to set in, and ultimately the trip to the health clinic or ER for x-rays, antibiotics, and oral steroids. Or, I can push myself to get dressed, get active, and work on improving (or at least maintaining) my lung function – and my waistline. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Fortunately, I have built up a few foolproof means to help me make the right choice. I have my fiercely motivated Volley workout partners who inspire me every day – and keep me accountable, I have a library of dance music to get me moving, I have a library of Zumba workouts to push me through, and of course I have my Molly dog to get me out into the fresh air (once the sun burns off the fog).

Here are a few of my currently favourite inspirations…

Molly at the dog park

That’s it for today and another week of working my way to a fit and healthy lifestyle. ๐Ÿ‘

Take care and have a great rest of your day. ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž