Cats, Crows, and Crazy Pups

Molly and I went for our walk this morning and not to brag or anything, but it was an EPIC fail.

We did not get halfway to the Regent Park before we crossed paths with THREE free range cats.   These beggars are big and cocky.  Before we got back home, we came across two more.  It is not what I need when I am holding onto a pumped up pup who was just looking for a rumble this morning. 

She may look all meek and mild but she was running on all cylinders this morning.

We managed to get through the first park of the day none to worse for wear.   Well except for the potty break.  I don’t know what is worse  – back in the days when Kat would stop to poo three or four times on our walk –  or now with Molly  and having to clean up a pile of sh#t three or four times the size of Kat.   At least Molly likes to do her business close to a garbage can, unlike Kat who preferred to do hers in the middle of a busy intersection as far as possible from a garbage can. 

Anyway… We got through Regent Park and made it across Elphinstone to Patricia Park.

Patricia Park looked fairly quiet.  It was not!  The trees were filled with CROWS. 

I have no idea where all the crows have come from this year but Molly is on a mission to send them back there.   We somehow managed to make it through Patricia Park, across the bridge and around Pony Park, and back to Elphinstone.  It wasn’t fun but it was relatively quick. 

Back on our side of Elphinstone, we headed for the ball diamonds.  We almost made it around the first one before Molly had some kind of meltdown.  She grabbed the leash in her mouth and tried running around my legs.   Not only did she take me down with her but she tangled us up enough that there was no elegant recovery from this one.  We make it back to our feet none the worse for wear, but the grounds keeper dude on his little tractor on the other side of the fence took in the entire spectacle.

Four or five ball diamonds later, and a relatively uneventful stroll across a field and and our little street and we made it back home.    As soon as Molly was off her leash, she made a mad dash for her pool, tore around the yard a couple of times, sped through the house and dove into her kennel, where she has been sleeping ever since.

They are so cute when they are sleeping. πŸ™„

Meanwhile, I had my breakfast, relaxed for a bit, and did my workout.  With any luck at all Molly will take it easy for the rest of the day and I will get something done this afternoon.

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

Walking off the Celebration

I had a great day yesterday. Once again, I would like to thank everyone for the well wishes. If I missed anyone in the individual replies, I am so sorry! Every birthday wish, and comment on my improving fitness, was genuinely appreciated!

I had a very nice day which was topped off with two of my favourite foods for supper. KFC and Carmel Cake.

Made it myself but it was SO good.

Neither a choice that I would recommend for a healthy diet, but one has to keep it real. How many birthdays does one get in a lifetime? (Ok! Apparently it can be quite quite a few since this was my 67th πŸ˜‰) Other than that, I stuck to my fitness routine yesterday and I was back to it this morning.

Molly & I heading into the new Regent Park.
We had to stop to admire the wildflowers.
The crowded paths were manageable. 😯
As were the deserted green spaces. πŸ™„
Molly was relatively good today… except walking around the ball diamonds. I don’t know why she was determined to look over the fence every two minutes. I could see through the chain link? πŸ€”
We finally ran across some other visitors to the park. We have SO many crows this year. Why is that?

That is all I have for today. I came home and finished my workout so it is time to get some real work done around here. We had another heavy rain yesterday afternoon and Molly decided it would be a great time for a romp around the yard followed by a run through the house. I did clean up as best I could at the time but there is a still a wet dog smell lingering about the place. Nice…

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

Sixty Seven πŸŽ‚

Today I turn sixty seven and I have to admit, I have never been so excited about growing older. πŸ€—

Every year of my life has brought joy and sadness, love and loss, challenge and triumph. This year has been no exception, other than that the past five months have been exceptional when it comes to personal growth, wisdom, and understanding.

It all started so innocently and easily. I felt miserable and looked worse. Physically, mentally, emotionally – I had drifted to a really blah place. One day, enough was enough. I got off my butt, cranked up some tunes from the sixties and danced. I started to eat better and I found ways to improve my diet and fitness level.

  • In the past five months I have:
  • Gone from basic dancing to Zumba (aerobics to music) using free videos on You Tube
  • Mostly given up junk food snacks
  • Spent more time planning and preparing healthy meals
  • Started drinking six ounces of beet juice, and eating a couple of tablespoons of sauerkraut a day. I also eat about a quarter of cup of sunflower seeds a day – which I buy raw and airfry with olive oil, lemon juice and hot sauce.
  • Started to take cold showers in lieu of hot baths
  • Started walking my Pyrenees pup every day
  • Meditated daily for the first three months – not so much lately – but I have been spending a lot of time out and about, enjoying fresh air and the sights and sounds of nature.

Everything I have been doing takes minimal time out of my day, the cost is negligible, and the results have been amazing. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, I have never felt better or stronger. Surprisingly, shockingly actually is that the one change that I have made, that I enjoy the most, is the cold showers. I go from cool water to straight ice cold. The initial discomfort is NOTHING compared to how much better I feel after a cold shower. My dry, itchy skin is gone! Even on a cool day, I am warmer getting out of a cold shower than a hot bath (because the air is warmer than my skin), and I just feel good. One can never imagine a cold shower as being a good thing but it is a game changer. ☺️

Now for the before and after….

July 2020 – Celebrating my birthday with Dan, Amanda & Family
July 2021 – Celebrating Dan & Amanda’s Wedding Reception 
July 2022 – Feeling better than ever and looking forward to turning 68 just so I can use this photo as another ‘before’ picture.

That’s it for another day – and another year. I have no idea what this next year has in store for me. It will probably be a mixed bag of challenges and blessings – BUT I am ready for both and everything in between. I am so glad that I took that first step five months ago. It is never too soon and never too late. πŸ‘

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

Sometimes it is hard to tell a challenge from a blessing. πŸ˜‚

Week 23 πŸ€—

I can’t believe it has been a week since I last posted.Β  I don’t know how retired people fill their time each day but we definitely do.Β  Like I have heard so many others say, “I cannot imagine how I ever had time to work” !

Monday is usually my wellness/fitness update, but I am going to post that tomorrow to coincide with my sixty-seventh birthday. (Complete with before and after pictures. 😳) Hopefully, people will see how much healthier and happier I look. πŸ™‚

In lieu of my regular Monday update, I have a few bits and pieces of my last week to share today.

We had a short surprise visit from our granddaughter Maddy. She is SO grown up all of a sudden that it is hard to believe she is the same wiggly, giggly, pigtails flying tot of a few years ago.

And, I had not one, but TWO chats with Maddy’s older sister Genie this week. In Calgary, she was excited to be given the opportunity to do some extra promo work at the Stampede. She was escorting dignitaries around the midway, as well as a film crew making some promo videos. She had a lot of fun and was even captured in a couple of the videos. πŸ€— Now she is in Edmonton and counting down to being in REGINA next week. It will be great to have her back in town for a few days, even if she will be busy working. Any free time she has will be well spent sleeping in her own bed and visiting family and friends.

And then there was Molly! She grows bigger every day and her voice is coming in loud and proud. Her energy level is also growing exponentially.

Molly had the zoomies.
And the hungries!
And the messies!
And an occasional sleepies. 😴
We also had a furry little guest yesterday. He was not the least bit timid!
Our mystery plant is blooming like crazy!
And our garden is coming along nicely! If blossoms are any indication, we will have tons of tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.

That’s all for today and this past week. Take care and have a great day!

Week 22 to Wellness

I am still pretty much in a holding pattern as far as progress is going!Β  I am not terribly concerned or even disgruntled by this.Β  I am not losing ground, which is good and I figure for the time being the progress is just going on beneath the surface.Β 

My blood pressure is still holding really good.Β  I have been averaging 120/76 over the past month and that was with a couple of little spikes. I don’t know if the improvements is due to my daily workouts or the beet juice but I will keep doing both.

I am also still doing the sauerkraut.Β  I don’t know if it is helping my digestion any but it is sauerkraut and I love it and it came highly recommended so sticking with that as well.

I have been partaking in a cold shower every day or two and I can’t say how much I am enjoying them!Β  I don’t even like hot showers but I feel SO good after a cold shower.Β  It reminds me of a Mark Manson quote that Genie shared with me a couple of weeks ago..Β  “Wanting positive experience is a negative experience, accepting negative experience is a positive experience.” So much more profound than “No pain no gain.” πŸ™‚

And the good news this week!Β  After a couple of ‘challenging’ walks with Molly this weekend, we had a great one this morning.Β Β  If she hadn’t gotten excited and jumped all over the hard hats at the Regent Park exit it would have been an A+ for her.Β  To be fair, I think they wait for her now and they do get as excited as she does when they see us coming,Β  so it isn’t ALL her.

Pathway in Patricia Park
We walked all three parks again and the only other visitors we met out and about were a couple of old crows. 😒
Molly was proud of herself today – and deservedly so.

The weather was perfect! The mosquitoes were tolerable. The litter was not too bad. All in all a beautiful way to start the day, and again not something I plan to drop from my daily routine.

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

Sunday Morning News

It is Sunday morning, so that means another update from our wandering girl Genie.Β  It is the final day of the Calgary Stampede so tomorrow it will be time to tear down the midway and move on to Edmonton.Β 

Genie’s been working some pretty intense hours in Calgary, but this week she did find the time to follow her heart and visit the art displays.Β Β  She sent me photos ofΒ  a few of her favourite finds, so hope you enjoy!Β Β  AllΒ  of these are just amazing and a tribute to the talent of their creators.

This Native chief was done entirely of melted wax crayons.
Wooden Sculpture
My favourite!
I can see how this one made Genies list of favourites.Β  She has always had a soft spot for angels.Β  (I think she can relate.πŸ’ž)
Genie’s first book collection.

A little angel background…. When Genie was too young for preschool, she understood the concept of words and taught herself to read by having us help her to read signs – any and ALL signs.Β  When she was about seven or eight, we went to Walmart one day,Β  where local author HenryΒ  Ripplinger was signing copies of the first book in his “The Angelic Letters Series”.Β Β  Genie was star struck to meet an actual published author.Β  He told her she was probably too young for his books but she turned those big eyes on me and of course Grandma indulged.Β Β Β Β  Needless to say, she read the book, cover to cover barely setting it down, and she was hooked.Β Β  She has acquired and devoured every book in the series since. I believe she had gotten most if not allΒ  of them autographed.Β 

That is about it for today. Molly is sleeping off our morning walk (which went less than stellar), Dan is at work, and it is time for me to sweep and dust for the first of several attempts to keep this place in relative order today.

Take care and have a great day!

Molly is Five Months OldπŸŽ‚

Molly – Five Months Old πŸŽ‚

Molly turns five months old today. Neither Dan nor I were sure how having a BIG dog in a small house would go, but so far I would say that despite the occasional hiccups, things seem to be going along just fine.

Molly is beginning to find her voice. It is very deep and very loud, but one or two barks and she is done. If another dog is barking at her, one or two Molly barks – and they are done. πŸ€—

Molly loves to steal shoes and chew on them a bit, but so far she hasn’t totally destroyed any. My black leather heels have a little more character than they used to and Dan really needs new laces for his Sketchers.

We had Molly back in the big pool yesterday. We were totally impressed with how well she was swimming – until we realized that she was just walking around the pool on her hind legs. I guess that is kind of impressive – in its own way .

Molly did really well on her walk today – finally! We walked the trail through the new Regent Park (where three maintenance guys made a huge fuss over her). We walked the entire path at Patricia Park (twice). AND – we practically ran home through the ball diamonds. ☺️
Molly learned to dump her water bowl onto the kitchen floor so Dan scored this beauty for her from Peavy Mart. It stores her food under her dishes and lifts them high enough that they are comfortable for her to eat out of.

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

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.