31 Weeks From Feeble to Fit!

It is hard to believe that I have been working out and getting in shape for THIRTY-ONE weeks.

It is even harder to believe how far I have come in only thirty-one weeks.    In Mid-February I was exhausted, cold, sore, sickly, flabby, and feeble.    My mind was sluggish and I just felt blah

With spring coming up in two or three months, I decided I had to do something to regain some strength and improve my health.    I started gradually,  and have worked up to an hour of  dancing/Zumba every day (except Sunday), daily walks,  and working out with dumbbells each evening (except Sunday).    I drink six ounces of beet juice a day and take cold showers on a regular basis.  I have also joined an online Volley group for support and motivation.  Nothing I do is much of a time commitment and the only cost has been  in maintaining my Daily Walk companion Molly.

High maintenance Molly. 💞

The difference in my health and fitness has been amazing!  I feel good – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I look better than I have for years.  I keep active all day  and embrace new challenges!

This morning, Thirty-One  Weeks from spending my days in my rocking chair in front of our electric fireplace, I strapped a harness on Molly (our now +/- 70 pound Pyrenees), set off for a walk, met up with a stranger in one of our neighbourhood parks and WE DID IT!    Molly and I went to our first offleash dog park.

If anybody had told me seven months ago that I would be heading into an offleash park to hang with a group of strangers and a pack of BIG dogs, there is no way I would have believed it.   But there, I was, hanging with the other dog owners, while watching our pups race around an open field, having the time of their lives.  Occasionally, they would come back to check on their human, before racing off again tails flying and grinning eat to ear.  It was just one of those moments that make it all so worth while!

It was just one moment of many, when I am so glad that I decided to make this health and fitness change. Every day, I have reason to appreciate the choice I made, reason to appreciate ALL of the people who have supported and encouraged me, and reason to marvel at all of those random moments that have brought me to this place – be it a random meeting, a chance advertisement on Kijiji for a perfect walking partner, or coming across the right article at the right time. That first step has led to so many more – and in only thirty-one weeks.

That is it for today. It’s time to go finish prepping the porch so I can get it painted this week. Just one more thing that I couldn’t have imagined doing back in February. 😊

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

Full Moon Coming!

I am not into astrology but I am a serious believer in the power of a full moon.   From the goings on around here, I would say we are on track for a fullsome one this week.

First off, this spring when Molly was a pup she had a thing about small rocks.  I had dumped a pile of them beside the house one day and they were her rocks.  I picked them up and put them into a small flower pot on the back landing, but she was having nothing to do with that. Every time I went out, the rocks were on the steps and the pot was knocked over or tossed right off the landing. I finally gave up and moved the rocks back beside the house and put the pot in the shed. And forgot all about it AND Molly’s obsession with it. So, last week I grabbed said pot and planted a small Basil plant in it and set it on the landing. Yesterday, Molly grabbed the pot and dumped it all over the landing and the walkway that runs to the back steps. Dan cleaned everything up, I replanted the Basil, and forgot all about it. Molly did not. This morning she went out, got the pot, brought it into our kitchen, pulled out the Basil and dumped the dirt all over the floor. I cleaned up the mess, tossed the Basil in the garbage, and took the pot back out to the shed.

Are you happy now?

Next, there was a commotion across the street at the Native Gathering Place. I think it was a basic case of road rage. One person had stopped in the middle of our very narrow street to drop someone off. The impatient driver behind him was yelling at him to move it. A woman exited the vehicle and made it across the street, the first driver started to move ahead and the impatient driver booted it, swerved around the right side of him, swerved to the right of a truck parked in the right-hand parking lane and booted it down the sidewalk. Four or five guys, standing in the parking lot of the Gathering Place, jumped into their halfton trucks and chased after the impatient guy. Meanwhile, a couple of more vehicles came booting by. A few minutes late, the halfton guys came back and went into the Gathering Place. Finally, impatient driver returned and cruised by going really slow. Normally, none of this would bother me. But… On Sunday there were multiple targeted and random stabbings at a Native reserve north of here. It was one of the largest mass murders ever in Canada. Ten victim fatalities plus one of the two attackers and several injuries – with some still in critical condition. And one of the attackers is still at large and there have been credible sightings of him in Regina. People are on edge. Molly was in the house, so I closed and locked our doors.

Squealed his tires going between that truck and the fence. 🤦

Moving on, I went downstairs to change the laundry. Coming up the stairs, I noticed an electronic mousetrap – with a mouse tail hanging out of it. Not happening – the doors are staying locked.

Forgetting that I still hadn’t cleaned the burnt cheese out of the oven, I decided to try making Baked Oatmeal. I have been looking for a quick hardy breakfast that I could have before walking Molly in the morning. I do not like the consistency of Oatmeal Porridge but I like the taste of oatmeal so I thought this would be worth a try.

It is softer than I had anticipated – sort of like an oatmeal muffin. I am hoping the Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal will be better. (Dan just got home and he seems to like it. 👍)

Anyway… The baked apple oatmeal could be better in my opinion. Grating an apple is more difficult than I thought it would be. And… Our house was full of smoke from the burnt cheese.

THEN! The doorbell rang. Yay! I forgot the water heater guy was coming. I dragged Molly to the bathroom, closed the door on her, and ran to let him in to our house… which was in total lockdown in the middle of the day, filled with smoke, and the awkward sounds of Molly lapping up toilet water.

That is it for today. I am going to go get the last of the laundry up and folded, do my weights, and probably have myself a Caesar before supper.

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

Note: The lone suspect that was at large following the James Smith Cree First Nation has been apprehended. Thoughts and prayers for all who were affected by this weekend’s horrific events. May people of this province sleep easier tonight, thanks to the RCMP – particularly those directly involved in this operation.

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/stabbing-spree-suspect-myles-sanderson-arrested-rcmp/ar-AA11zPfK?cvid=0cfb961255dc4776be2e672cc13ab85b

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.  Her bark is really low-pitched and she doesn’t go on and on – or even use it all that often.  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 💞

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! 💞🌞

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. 🙄

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! 💞

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. 💞

#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. 😉

Take care and have a great day!💞

Cooling off after a walk in the park.

I Herd That!

Raising a pup to become a dog always has it’s challenges.  Apparently, raising a big pup has BIG challenges.   This week we are dealing with one of Molly’s.

Before we brought a Great Pyrenees sheepdog into our home, I did a fair amount of reading on the breed.  Since having her, I have taken Molly to the vet’s three times and have asked about any specific issues with this breed.  I spoke to people who have Pyrs, as has Dan. (Apparently, they are quite a popular dog!).   For all of our research, neither of us came across anything noting that since herding dogs are so intuned to their environment, they are particularly sensitive to loud sounds. 

Since Dan and I are both relatively quiet, this sensitivity to sound has not been an issue – until now

A few days ago, Molly and I started daily walks.  On Monday, we were walking across an open area across the street when there was a loud BANG.  It sounded like a gunshot.  Molly freaked out!  We turned back and came out of the park and she calmed down so we went on to walk around the neighbourhood, keeping to the sidewalks.  The bigger, and louder vehicles bothered her but she seemed to manage once such vehicles were past us. 

That night, our new nextdoor  neighbour put up a basketball net for his two young sons.  They were exuberant and well LOUD.  It was early in the evening and Molly seemed okay.  She did coming flying into the house and spent the evening laying beside Dan on the sofa, but she seemed okay.  She wasn’t.

Yesterday, Molly was terrified of going outside.  I had to drag her out.  She would run to the gate and peek around a cedar to the basketball net nextdoor.   I brought her lunch outside, thinking that would distract her.  She was too scared to eat.  Dan and I took her for a walk in the park across the street and she was fine.  We had her on an  extendable leash and she raced  and leapt around, ears flopping – having a ball!  We came back home, came into the yard, and she was terrified.  It was a brutal day.

Molly’s rough day. 😢

This morning, Molly was slightly better.  I got her to come outside to do her business and to come back in to eat her breakfast.   I turned to Google and read a few articles about dogs who are terrified (terrorized) by loud sounds.   One thing that sounded promising was that dogs find the smell of Vanilla calming.   I rubbed a bit on my left  hand and let Molly sniff at it.  She immediately, and noticeably became calmer. 

I put on her leash and took her out for a walk.  She was stressed getting out the door and across the yard but she was fine once we were on the other side of the gate.  We walked around the block, came to the back of the house through the back alley (where I knew Dan was chatting with a friend).  Molly was excited to see them, and was happy to be fussed over by both of them.  We resumed our walk and went through the park and back.  Molly was a bit hesitant about a small tractor working in the park, but she dealt with it.  

On our return home, she balked at the gate but she came in without too much of a battle.  I unclipped her leash at the gate and came into the house.  Molly followed within a few seconds.   I sprayed Molly’s kennel, stuffed elephant, her blanket, and the carpet in the porch with diluted vanilla.    It seemed to calm her considerably – until her favorite human stopped in unexpectedly.

Chilling out in her Vanilla scented kennel.

Our granddaughter Genie was passing through from Winnipeg, on her way to Calgary, and she was fortunately allowed a few hours stop in Regina.    She managed a few minutes to come by.   Molly was beside herself (and on top of Genie) the entire time.

When Genie had to leave, Molly bounced out the door with her and walked her to the gate.     She barely glanced at the dreaded basketball net. 👍

A month for the Calgary Stampede and the Edmonton Exhibition and the The North American Midway will be in Regina for a few days – with Molly’s favourite human!

We seem to be heading for a gradual recovery, but if anyone has any suggestions for dealing with our fearful pup, I would love to hear them.  This is thunderstorm season in Saskatchewan and The Weather Channel has a warning for tonight. 😳🌩️⚡

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

Molly’s First City Walk

We finally did it! I took Molly for her first official walk yesterday. We went around our block and to say it went badly is an understatement. She had two speeds – fast and stop and she insisted on walking right in front of me or right behind me (perpendicular to me of course 🙄).

Molly’s First Walk

This morning Molly seemed bored. (Sometimes, it is hard to tell if Molly is bored or tired, but when she stole the bra out of my drawer and went racing around the yard with it flapping in the wind , she didn’t appear to be tired). I decided this could be as good a time as ever to try walking her again. I traded her a Milk Bone for my bra and got her into her harness and leash.

Today went much better. I took Molly to the ball diamonds across the street (a ways) from our house.

Past the housing complex and seniors building and across the open field to the ball diamonds.
Rest Break

Molly did fairly well on the way to the ball diamonds. I took her into one of the diamonds and walked the bases with her, teaching her to walk nicely on my left side. It took about 30 sudden u-turns but she got the hang of it and walked home like a pro – even when we had to walk past the scary miniature dachshund (in the fenced in yard ten feet from where we were walking).

I stopped to chat with a neighbour. Molly politely said hi and proceeded to roll into the one patch of mud on our block.

We practiced sitting to wait before crossing our street. Finally, I stopped for a chat with Liam and Molly sat (occasionally rolled) patiently.

All in all, today went pretty well. It will be interesting to see if she remembers the lessons tomorrow and fun to see how things progress on busier and more distracting paths.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

Miss Molly Is Growing Up

Molly is four months old today! All things being equal, that would be twenty-eight months in human time. That seems about right. While she is obviously a joy, she has her “terrible two’s” moments.

Looking back through photos I have taken of her in the past couple of months, since she has been with us, it is amazing how she has grown and changed. She is still a baby, but she is getting bigger, more independent, and smarter every day! And… more helpful. She definitely likes to help! Last night she tried to help me take a metal splinter out of Dan’s leg. Somehow, having a big white fuzzy head between me and the magnifying glass did not help. 🤦

First Day Home
With Her Toy Elephant.
First Roadtrip – and she was excellent!
In Her Kennel
This Morning

Here’s to Molly and many more months – and years of her filling our lives with all the love and joy she brings to our home. 💞

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! 🌞💞