Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 31 - Sunset

Nearly forgot to take a sunset photo. Through the car window on the way to recital.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29 - Negative space

Frequently in art, negative space is either black or white. Really stepping out here. Heh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I lied

The rain didn't happen after all, so the grass did get cut. It's so dry and dusty that my eyes are a mess ... swollen, red, just lovely for being out among civilized people.
Oh well. At least I won't have to hire someone to bale the yard waste when I get home next week.
Have a great weekend, y'all. Thanks for reading.

May 28 - Unique

A birthday gift – three bars of a really unique, 90% cocoa, chocolate.

Prepping for the weekend

Today's predicted rain has cut into my schedule a bit. Looks like mowing the lawn cutting the grass will have to wait until we return from our little weekend getaway.

Oh, darn. Heh.

"Lawn" is much too refined a word for the expanse of green stuff growing in the area around my house. Even calling it "grass" is being charitable.

I have, however, managed to transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer and it isn't even 7:30 a.m. yet. So, yay, me!

As I'm sure you know, you can get a bunch of coupon offers for your birthday from various and sundry companies you've connect to in the past. Companies also will occasionally extend an introductory offer when you like their Facebook pages or sign up for an email newsletter.

Both have recently happened to me and I'm beginning to think my reading on minimalism (which I haven't written about) is taking over my brain. I have a $10 coupon for The Grommet, $5 at DSW and a free burger from Ruby Tuesday.


Yes, we'll be passing a handy-dandy Ruby Tuesday right around lunch time tomorrow. Mmm.

The other coupons will, unfortunately, expire unused because I just can't find anything I'm willing to spend money on, even with a discount. The Grommet has some cool stuff, but it's just stuff. And I have plenty o'shoes at the moment and for the foreseeable future.

What I need is a swimsuit. And since I accidentally ordered two Target gift cards instead of one for my daughter's birthday, I'm going to see what I can find once we hit the Big City. It will – even 46 pounds later – be a traumatic experience, I'm sure.

Yesterday was a good day. I tilled the garden (again, as weeds grow quickly when the space is neglected for any length of time), and planted spaghetti and butternut squash, then walked and got my hair cut.

I'm now heading out for what might be my last walk this week, depending on how things go on our trip. Weekends like this are why I try to walk five or six miles a day when I'm home. I know there will be days I have to miss. I'm trying not to look at this week as a huge setback. But I fear it will be.

However … watching my older grandchildren perform in their spring recital will be worth whatever mileage I have to make up later.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27 - Meal

Sometimes this is it for breakfast. But I usually have another mini-meal
when I get back from my walk. Today, it's going to be gardening, then walk,
then lunch. Because I'm running kind of late around here!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Paying the piper

My plan to walk eight miles yesterday fell through. I managed it Saturday, but in order to finish the week at 35 miles I would have had to repeat the feat yesterday. Did. Not. Happen. (Actually I ended the week at 31 miles, so I "only" would have had to go seven. Hah!)

My husband and I met some of the family on their way out of town at the Dairy Queen, where absolutely nothing on the menu is paleo-friendly and I absolutely didn't even try. It was my birthday, after all, and I'd decided ahead of time to have ice cream. Real ice cream, not that fake banana soft-serve we paleo folks pretend is ice cream. (Although it is a fine substitute!)

I also had a hot dog. With the bun. And onion rings. That's about as crazy as I get, lemme tell ya.

I paid the price with general fatigue for the remainder of the afternoon. I walked two very slow miles after I rested. A lot.

You know what, though? It's fine. I enjoyed that ice cream cone. A LOT!

I just hope I remember how lethargic and sluggish I felt the next time I decide to have one. It's okay (with me) to stray from the plan as long as I'm willing to pay the price. And it's good information to have, reinforcing my belief that this way of eating is the best possible one for me.

I weighed a lot more at the last reunion two years ago, and thus had to answer a lot of questions about how I'd managed to shed the extra poundage. I was careful to say that it's more than just weight loss – and yesterday was an excellent reminder that it truly is. My energy levels plummeted after just one off-plan meal. I was stuffy and uncomfortable during the night, waking frequently.

I was also careful to say that going full-on paleo is very restrictive, but that I was able to adapt and stick with it because the rewards are so worth it.

And with that … I'm going to begin my 64th trip around the sun with a plate of bacon and eggs.

May 26-Pet

Poor Hershey is not traumatized for the remainder of the day. She hates having
her picture taken, rarely looks at the camera and usually moves as I snap the shutter.
I got somewhat lucky this time. But I think I owe her a treat for being patient with me.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 25-Neighbourhood

We don't really live in a traditional neighborhood. The trees are our neighbors.

Let's get this party started!

So I just went to to find a birthday illustration for today's post and this was the Google doodle:
I thought, "Hmmm, wonder who else is having a birthday today?" So I hovered my cursor and it was for me: Happy birthday, Debbi!

I shouldn't be surprised, since Google knows everything about everybody

George Washington convened the Constitutional Convention on May 25, 1787, the first step in creating our country's new government.

Also on this day, Babe Ruth hit his 714th and final home run in 1935, Muhammed Ali knocked Sonny Liston out in less than two minutes in 1965 to become boxing's world heavyweight champion and Midnight Cowboy – the first X-rated film to receive an Academy Award – was released in 1969, the year I graduated high school.

When I was a little kid, my birthday never competed with a holiday weekend, because Memorial Day was always May 30. That changed in 1968, when Congress moved four federal holidays to Mondays. Next year the holiday and my birthday are one and the same.

So how will I be celebrating today? Sixty-three isn't an especially momentous number … the birthdays with "5s" and "0s" on the end seem more celebratory, somehow. So we're keeping it low-key. We'll be saying farewell to some of the family reunion folks today as they head back to their homes in other states. We're meeting at the Dairy Queen and I think I'm going to have a vanilla cone dipped in chocolate, if that's still on the menu. I haven't been to a Dairy Queen in years, so I really don't know. 

I'll walk today, of course. I'd thought about walking 6.3 miles, but I need a little more distance to make my five-mile-a-day goal for this week.

And since we've eaten dinner out the last three nights, I'm not especially interested in another restaurant meal. I'll be cooking my own birthday dinner, probably my favorite chicken wrapped in bacon. Mmmm.

Way to party hearty, right?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Turning it over

My friend and fellow blogger has written a pretty darned brilliant post. And since I'm still in the midst of family reunioning (I didn't get to walk yesterday at all, SOB!, and it was a pretty darned perfect day to do so), I'm going to share the link and hope you'll click through.

We should nominate her for Secretary of Labor, don't you think?

May 24-Sunrise

Almost missed it! Seems like the sun rises more quickly in the spring.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Busier than a …

I can't even come up with a good description for how busy I've been lately and will be the next few days.

The one thing that hasn't fallen off the rails is the walking. Didn't get to walk last Thursday because of the rain, but have continued to walk and/or run every day since, no matter what else is going on. I'm really glad walking is a priority, for the physical and mental benefits.

Yesterday was the first big "cheat" day I've had with food in a long, long time. The day began early (as days are wont to do) and I chose to not eat breakfast before I left. That really set me up for a day of less-than-ideal choices: a mid-morning frappucino with whipped cream, quiche for lunch with the crust and pesto pasta primavera for dinner with the pasta. Quite a decadent day, all in all.

I'm trying not to make judgements about yesterday's food. It's just food. I'm sure I'm going to feel a little achier today than I normally do and I fell into bed right after dinner last night. My energy level was below empty at that point.

The busy-ness continues with a banquet tonight (I have no idea what the menu will be but I'll do my best to eat reasonably) and a family reunion the remainder of the weekend, capped off on Sunday with my birthday. I may or may not be updating the next few days. (After going back and looking at my last post, this isn't really much of an update but more like "more of the same." OH WELL. That kind of illustrates pretty perfectly where my head is at lately, doesn't it?)

At any rate. I'm kinda busy. Gotta go. Thanks for reading, as always.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21 - Card

A stack of cards to hand out encouraging my friends and neighbors
to elect Jim Brown for Delegate in WV's 28th District. Hope he wins!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20 - Waiting

Had a lunch meeting in the big city today. Waiting at a traffic light to get back
on the highway and head home.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19 - Alone

Lately on our walks we've started out together, but I want to go farther and faster,
so each of us ends up walking alone. As we did yesterday. I did six, he did four,
practically the same total time. He got home just a couple minutes before I did.

Grateful for YOU

Thank you for your kind words the past few days. It's been a rough, rough week.

With a couple more in store. Not, thankfully, because of funerals but because of a family reunion and a little weekend getaway. No matter how much fun such events and excursions can be, there's still a lot of planning and preparation to make them happen.

Fortunately the reunion isn't at my house, but at a state park nearby. No one has to make mountains of food and the park offers plenty of recreational activities for those who want it – hiking, golf, horseback riding, an indoor pool, etc. We should have rented a cabin for the weekend, but honestly didn't even consider it. Now we're looking at three days of 70-mile round trips to get there.

Throw my birthday in there, too. The fun never stops.

The trip will be the annual one to the Nash, to watch my older two grandchildren perform in their spring recital. Can't wait for that!

And then it's full-on summer … I hope to do a little garden work every day, instead of a lot once or twice a day. Except on mowing days, of course. Since mowing takes a good three hours, I consider that ENOUGH yard work for any day.

Skipping last Thursday's walk didn't hurt too much, but this week's miles were down quite a bit from the past month. Still … I'm not changing the mileage goal just yet. Two hundred twenty-seven days left this year. If I can average five per day I'll not only make it to 1500, I'll smash it! But being nearly a third of the way there and way more than a third of the way into the year doesn't exactly bode well.

As the young folk say … it is what it is.

Thank you again for your kind comments and warm thoughts. I do appreciate it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 18 - Something I drew

A long time ago – more than 30 years – I used to pen-and-ink illustrations.

A life well-lived

The morning was sunny and bright, but
by the time we all got to the cemetery the
clouds had rolled in and it was cold. 
I was texting with my daughter while waiting for the funeral service to begin yesterday afternoon. I told her that I'd overheard one of the staff say they'd run out of chairs. Her response is the subject of today's brief post.

We who were there yesterday didn't learn anything about our friend that we didn't already know. He was kind and generous, knowledgeable and loyal. Saying good-bye to a man like that is hard, my friends. Real hard. There are so few of them.

His parents – and oh, how sad I was for them – raised him right, simple as that. "Right" to them meant helping and giving and learning and working hard and he did all those things, every day, until he got too sick to do them any more.

My grandchildren knew Billy from their summer visits. My granddaughter came by herself a few years ago and practically before she got out of the car, Billy was there to take her on her first tractor ride. She baked him a batch of lemon bars to thank him. Her brother came with her the following summer and sure enough – he got his first tractor ride the first day of their visit. He also cut a path through the field where our pond is, unasked, so they could walk in to go fishing.

We could never repay him for his many kindnesses, or for rescuing us in true disasters. He brought a huge tank of water for us during the derecho, and cleared snow from the driveway countless times. Our gifts of home baked bread or brownies seemed like a paltry thank-you, but he would never take money and we wanted so much to reciprocate.

Had either of us known about the disease that eventually took Billy's life, we might have been able to share our stories. But we didn't know, not until he was on life support in a hospital two states away. Too late. Leaving both my husband and me helpless. And too sad.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May 17-Bag

While I usually order from the catalog, it's a treat to be able to shop in a
Penzeys store once in a while. This bag is from the Raleigh, NC, location.

Water, water everywhere

Woke up to a chilly 37° F temperature this morning. Not freezing, but definitely colder than tomatoes like. I hope they're not damaged. It's too muddy to walk in the garden anyway.

There are times during the summer when you can walk across
the river on the large rocks that line the riverbed. Not now!
The rain Thursday and yesterday ended up being not as much as predicted, but still pretty impressive: two inches in the rain gauge. My husband and I spent a couple hours yesterday morning at the garden center moving plants, as the Greenbrier River kept creeping closer and closer to the retail area. So that was a good workout to start the day.

We then walked along the Greenbrier on a road I used to use all the time when I was training for half-marathons. It's a two-mile flat stretch, so four miles total, and it used to be very pleasant. Apparently more people have moved into the area or have discovered that it's a nice little shortcut road to take. Lots of traffic, more than we're comfortable with.

So a biting dog that runs free on our favorite road and too many cars on yesterday's road leaves us walking the hills of home, I guess. Hills are good, though, right?

My neighbor's funeral is this afternoon. It's still so, so hard to look out at his hayfields and know he won't be cutting and baling it this year. Or to see his old dog, Toby, waiting on the porch for a pat from Billy.

I'm not sure whether I'll walk before or after the service, but walk I will. Taking last Thursday off might have been necessary weather-wise, but it didn't help me get to that 1500-mile goal at all.

My weight is holding steady. Perhaps this is where I'm supposed to be. My BMI is still in the overweight range, though, and I'd really like to – once and for all – see it below 25. I'd hoped to see it last year, and that – obviously – didn't happen. This year is speeding by and I've stayed the same since Christmas. That's one long damned plateau.

BUT … I haven't been using the rowing machine as much as I'd hoped to. The yard and garden work are eating into my time significantly. But I made walking a priority, and I'm only rowing 30 minutes every other day – I should be able to manage it.

Thanks for reading. I do appreciate it, and I especially thank you for your comments about Billy's death. It isn't only the good who die young, but when the good do die young, it's somehow more of a loss.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16-Create

Created this American Girl doll outfit from a couple of old t-shirts and some
leftover lace fabric. Doll clothes are SO STINKIN' CUTE!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15-From where I walk

This was the morning view out my rain-spattered front door. The rain poured down
all day. I post a picture while I'm walking every day on Twitter, Facebook and
Instagram. Ironic that for today's prompt, I didn't get to walk at all. (Insert sad face.)

And on Thursday, May 15, she rested. Maybe.

It's going to rain all. day. long. Well, maybe not all day, but when I look at the hourly forecast it's supposed to let up at noon. When I'll be in a meeting.

And so, unless something really inspires me later this afternoon, this will probably be a no-walking day. I'd like to keep the streak going, though – I haven't missed since April 7 – so I wouldn't be surprised if I hit the road later. And you shouldn't be, either! Heh.

The coming week will at least be better for walking temperature-wise than the last few days have been. If you don't get out early on a day when the thermometer rises to nearly 90 (in MAY!), you're going to suffer. Or at least I do. But we have a week of 60s and low 70s coming up – pretty perfect for walking and running and gardening.

I still don't have the fence around the garden, but I've planted the onions, summer squash, tomatoes and peppers. I dumped coffee grounds around the tomatoes and peppers, because I've heard the deer don't like the scent and, well, we have plenty of coffee grounds around here. But no fence. One does what one can.

Primary day is done and dusted. I ran unopposed for a seat on our county's Democratic Executive Committee. I didn't need to campaign, which was nice, but I was still invited to all the meet-the-candidate events, so I got to test my public speaking skills a few times. Not something I've ever been especially comfortable doing, but the older I get the less self-conscious I am. Imagine that.

Republicans don't turn out for the primaries the way Democrats do, which gives us Dems a sense of hope, looking at the numbers. But Democrats don't turn out for the general election the way Republicans do – why is that!?!?! – so we have a lot of work to do. We have some great candidates with good plans and policies, and we'll need to push, push, push to turn Democrats who vote in the primary into Democrats who vote every damned chance they get.

That would be me.

On a sad note, my neighbor died yesterday. He'd been in two different ICU units for the past two weeks, one in West Virginia and one in NC. He was married but had no children. He was a farmer and a railroader and the best neighbor anyone could ever hope for. We talked about sports and politics and weather – always the weather. He gave my grandchildren tractor rides when they visited, unasked – just showed up when they arrived and told them to get in the cab. He made sure our driveway was plowed when it snowed. He let me pick apples and turnip greens from his garden.

I'm sure going to miss him. He was only 57. A hard worker, and a good man with a fatal flaw. Rest in peace, my friend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14 - Lines

Electric lines. Or telephone. Amazed that bird didn't fly away, they usually do
before I can get the camera focused. Hot day for walking today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13 - I spy

I've heard that rabbits think if they stay very still, they think they can't be seen.
This one was testing the theory. He didn't move until I was right next to him!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12-Ready

Ready to hit the road … another six miles added to the total today.

Should I stay or should I go?

My blogging has been sporadic lately, and also banal, boring, uninspiring and did I say boring? It's not that those qualities have infused my life lately, but this isn't a tell-all blog. And there's a lot going on that is front-and-center in real life that I can't or won't share here.

Leaving me to write about:

  • mileage goals
  • weight-loss goals
  • gardening goals

And little else.

I've taken long breaks before. The transition time from The Shrinking Knitter to this blog was a couple of weeks. (I actually thought it was a couple of months, but I just checked.) For the most part, though, I've been posting regularly for a long, long time, and daily for a couple of years.

It's that damned NaBloPoMo. I keep signing up, month after month, but quality suffers, eventually, when quantity takes precedence. Or perhaps there was never much quality in the first place.

The one goal I'm truly committed to is walking 1500 miles this year. I'm not quite a third of the way there – 457 after yesterday's eight-miler. We're 12 days into the second third of the year. I've finally gotten the required daily miles below 4.5. But I need to keep doing five or six a day to make up for the days I eventually won't get to log anything – travel days, weather days, sick days … they're out there, waiting.

At any rate, the daily photos will continue, but I'm rethinking writing daily just for the sake of writing. I'm definitely not signing up for June NaBloPoMo. It may be a while before I have anything worth sharing. Or I may be back tomorrow. Indecision rules.

In so many areas.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 11-Mother

My mother, probably the earliest photo I have of her.

Another Whole 30 in the books

But NO weight loss. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I am very disappointed and a bit baffled, but as I've said previously, this is THE way for me to eat.

It's so easy for me to get away from tracking my food, even when LoseIt is right there in the palm of my hand. Tracking food is a little more difficult when you're cooking all your meals from scratch, especially if you make a recipe with lots of ingredients. But as Jen pointed out, there's a recipe builder in LoseIt and I have, in fact, used it many times. It's just … tedious and I'm not a big fan of the tracking.
Please don't ask for the recipe. I made it up, using 
two different cookbooks and substituting freely. 
And I didn't write anything down. Take my word 
for it, though, it was YUMMY!

Also, many of the ingredients I use aren't in the database, so you not only have to enter all the individual components of a recipe, sometimes you have to enter all the data from a package of, say, coconut sugar. (Which was an ingredient in the delicious cherry rhubarb crisp we had for dessert last night.)

And when most paleo/primal folks don't keep food journals, I feel especially cranky.

Anyhoo … the end of the Whole 30 was Friday and I fired the LoseIt app up again yesterday. My daily calorie target (according to LoseIt, based on my eventual goal) is below 1200, and we're not even going there. I'm trying to keep my calories around 1400 and I get plenty of exercise. Yesterday's burn was almost 600 calories. And since I've been doing essentially the same amount of intentional activity since, oh, FOREVER (heh), I should be losing at least a couple pounds a month.

Sound familiar? I've whined about not losing weight WAY more than I've celebrated losing it over the months years both of you have been reading. The difference this time is I feel good, I eat well, I have a ton of energy, my sleep is good and I've lost a bunch o'pounds already. I see no reason to change what's been working as far as food goes.

As for exercise, I've added rowing – not as much as I thought I would the first week, but a tiller workout is nearly as effective as a rower one. Maybe more! I'd hoped to get four rowing workouts in, but only managed two. And I've added running intervals to my daily walks a couple times a week.

The nice thing, as I said the other day, is my favorite jeans fit great. My husband says I look fitter and trimmer, despite the number on the scale. My spring, summer and fall days are much more active than my winter ones, so I just need to be patient and let my body catch up with the season.

In the meantime, I'll hit the highlights of how it used to be, and how it is – even with 20 pounds more to lose:

Then: I rotated three pairs of yoga pants with baggy shirts – sweatshirts in cold weather, tees when it got warm – and wore either walking shoes or Clark clogs, the only comfortable footwear I could find. I never wore make-up, I pulled my long hair back and pinned it up, and I tried to be as invisible as possible. I was embarrassed to take up space, at times, and while I know that's not a healthy way to feel about one's body, it definitely was how I felt.

Now: My current summer wardrobe is fun and includes skirts and dresses and a cool pair of linen slacks and many tops I've hung on to over the years that now fit and look good. Again. I'm buying cute shoes and wearing jewelry and, generally, doing all those fun things to make oneself look and feel good. Things I never did when I was overweight.

And as for that feeling of taking up space? Two words: Move over!

Friday, May 9, 2014

May 9 - Favourite

Favorite singer [Dylan]. Favorite son [Forever Young]. Front of my favorite t-shirt.

Oh the weather outside's delightful

Pretty sad when the only thing you can think of to blog about is the beautiful weather.

I guess it's better than the endless posts about winter, though, right? RIGHT?

Should get the right half finished today and then PLANT!
I finally got the tiller out yesterday. The upside of that is that a big chore got started. I turned over a little more than half of the area I'm going to plant. The downside is that I only walked four miles in the morning, thinking I'd get that other mile or two in later, but I was so tired and sore after tilling (I also got some weeding done in the herb bed) that I didn't get another short walk in.


I banked a couple extra miles Tuesday and Wednesday, so I'm still ahead of the game. I've already logged 26 miles this week. I'm trying to do 40/week while the weather's good, anticipating the fall and winter days when I'll end up doing less.

So today is the last day of the Gingerzingi/Knit.Run.Reap.Eat. Whole 30. Which isn't going to make a whole lot of difference in my menu planning. As both of you know, I feel/sleep/function better on a primal plan. But it'll be nice to have another pumpkin muffin made with nut flour.

I'm disappointed I didn't lose any weight. In fact, I weigh exactly the same today as I did when we began. I'd still like to lose about 20 pounds and I'm 3 points above a normal BMI.

But my size 10 jeans still fit. So there's that.

It feels way wonderful to wear clothes that fit comfortably and look nice, rather than fit comfortably and look like I'm ready for bed. Heh.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Planned electrical outage

As opposed to the surprise ones we get every once in a while.

I guess if I'm going to write something today, I'd better get 'er done. We've been notified that the electric company will be doing maintenance and we will be without electricity (because we always have POWER!) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

I've already filled two carafes with coffee. That should last until 1 p.m. HAH! Not much more I can do to prepare. I think I'll take a long walk beginning at 9 a.m., and till the vegetable garden when I get back from the walk. It's going to be very nice today – mid 70s, mostly sunny, might be a little humid but once I get started I hope I won't notice.

And I'll do 30 minutes on the rower today, too. I'm going to row every other day, because there's just no reason to go completely crazy with intentional activity. My husband says it's easier to remember Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but I'm pretty sure I can keep track of every other day.

I hope the electric company is correct in their time frame, because I'm surely going to need a shower when I'm done with all of this sweat-producing exercise! And out here in the Middle of Nowhere, when the electricity is off, the water is off, as well.

Other than that … not much to report. I hope your lights stay on and your coffeemaker brews. All day long.

May 6 - From down below

Not a fan of the "from below" or "from above" prompts. (From above is tomorrow's.)
This is the ceiling fixture in the guest room. BO-RING.

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5 - 4:00 p.m.

Hershey's kibble goes in her dish at 4 p.m. She usually doesn't eat until we're finished
with our people food a couple hours later, though. Because she might get people food!

Okay, so it's been a while

The break felt good. The daily posting streak continues, thanks to photo-a-day, but I just didn't have it in me to write much of anything the past few days.

To be honest, I don't have much to write about even now. It's been too windy to till (I don't care for all that dust blowing up my nose and in my eyes), so the garden remains fallow.

The walking streak continues … 26 days straight now, averaging more than five miles per day. I was bitten by a dog last Thursday on my favorite road (third bite from the same household of dogs) and haven't been back since. That road is flat and shady and follows a little creek and is absolutely lovely for walking.

My road is hilly and not shady and follows a bunch of empty fields. I'm not saying it isn't lovely, because we do have some beautiful views here, but it isn't lovely like Indian Creek is. But after a conversation with the dog owner we just don't feel as though we can safely walk there any longer.

So sad.

It's amazing that it took seven wheelbarrows full of mulch
– and two hours of labor! – to cover this small space. 
That's the bad news. The good news is: The rowing machine is FIXED! I'm very happy about that, and I put it to work yesterday afternoon. Yesterday, in fact, was one of my more active days of late. I walked four miles in the morning, spread seven wheelbarrows full of mulch around and between two trees while my friend was working on the rower, rowed for 30 minutes later in the afternoon and walked another two miles after that.

I'm still doing the Whole 30 with Gingerzingi. And I still haven't lost any more weight. But all the other benefits of eating this way are still with me – energy, good sleep, lack of pain – so I'm sticking with it.

The graphic design project I've been working on for several weeks if at the printer. I have some web design projects to do, but I think I'll wait a couple days before I plunge back into "work." The blog break was nice … I think a work break also is in order.

No such thing as a workOUT break, though. I'll be tiptoeing between raindrops and thunderstorms today, but I WILL add at least five more miles to the total. I'm OBSESSED with that 1,500-mile goal. I guess there are worse things with which I could be fixated, right?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May 4-Us

My daughter and me, walking down a hallway in our house in 1970.
She was born 44 years ago today.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3 - Collection

My Blue Willow dinnerware collection began with the gift of a set from my
parents at the time of my first marriage. I stopped adding to it quite a while ago …
how many pieces does one really need, after all? But I couldn't resist a pair of
tea mugs with a matching teapot. Not old, but different and a nice addition to
the collection. My oldest piece is marked "Made in Occupied Japan."

May 2 - Snack

Homemade Larabars. (Click here for recipe.)

May 1 - Begins with J

Old, old campaign button for our retiring Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April: Done and dusted!

I rocked the walking in April!
The graphic kind of looks like a thumbless hand,
with one finger pointed up. I'm Number ONE!
Only 1,110 miles to go, and with 245 days left in 2014, that means as of today I need to log 4.53 miles per day to hit 1500. Are you getting tired of me making these calculations and keeping such close track? I'm sorry if you are, but it's really been helpful to set that goal. And while it seems out of reach at times, it really isn't.

So far, anyway.

One hundred sixty-four miles beats every month since I started tracking. Previous high was 155, last September.

I gotta express how grateful I am that, at my age – I'll be 63 this month – I can comfortably walk five-plus (5.66, to be exact) miles a day, nearly every day. The weather kept me from getting out just one day last month.

I only wish I were seeing a corresponding decrease in my weight as I increase the mileage. But OH WELL. It'll happen. I'm confident. And if this is it as far as my weight goes … well, that's just dandy. Because I haven't felt this great in years.

I might take a day off today. Then again I might not. The schedule is pretty full, with a candidate's meeting this morning, a lunch date and another meeting in the afternoon.

But late afternoon is still open. Heh. And we can have quick-to-fix bacon-and-eggs for dinner.