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Sir Oliver

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yesterday I took my grandkids to the shelter to meet the dog I was thinking about adopting. They fell in love with him. He is an English Setter who was running as a stray. The shelter calls him Ollie - but we thought Sir Oliver sounded like a pretty good English name for him.

He is very skinny. He was infested with fleas and has an ear infection of some sort. The shelter treated him for all those things, but he is still a bit itchy and flipping his ears. I don't think he has ever lived in a house. The shelter people thought perhaps he was tied out or in a run as he seems to be able to amuse himself and play ball with himself. He doesn't know his name or if he does he is just ignoring me when I call him. He doesn't respond to it - or any name you call him! He doesn't respond to whistling, to clapping to get his attention - he is on a mission! Birds!!! Critters!!!!

He is a bird dog. He loves birds. His ears perk up, he points at them, he drools when he sees them, in fact he is a bit obsessed by them. When we took him to PetSmart, he had a hard time leaving the aisle by the parakeets. He stood there drooling and pointing at them. At home, the only thing that keeps him from looking at the birds are squirrels. So he goes from "look a bird" to "ooooh a squirrel". He runs in circles chasing things or looking for them! He is a chore to try to walk as he weaves from side to side tugging at the leash - his only interest is chasing and finding something! He doesn't listen to commands. He just tugs away, choking himself. I am certainly getting an arm workout walking him! I have to frequently stop him and stand in front of him to get him to refocus. He severely needs the dog whisperer. Oh wait .... I am the dog whisperer!

Well Sir Oliver now reigns over my kingdom. I hope he gets accustomed to his home soon and we have many fun adventures together!

So yesterday was not a good day at getting steps in or exercising. My after work hours were filled with getting Oliver and shopping with him. I am hoping today to get a long walk in with him (If my arms can hold out!)

Obedience school is on the horizon, but first he is getting neutered. In the meantime, I am working on honing my dog whisperer skills.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMPCHIC52 10/31/2014 12:23AM

    we have a part beagle that we rescued so I know where your at. The good thing about ours is he is smart as a whip it is really freaky. Make sure he can hear cause the ear infection may be causing him not to hear or was so bad he lost his hearing. emoticon on your new friend emoticon emoticon

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GERIKRAGH 10/30/2014 1:30PM

    My dogs think the squirrels are odd looking cats!

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WALLAHALLA 10/30/2014 12:15PM

    Lots of love and attention. emoticon The best training tools ever.

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Raking leaves and other things

Monday, October 27, 2014

I live near woods. I love the trees and wildlife most of the year - but when those leaves fall - they are soooooooo much work. Not to mention most of my trees are oaks which drop the bulk of their leaves in November.

Saturday I spent a good portion of my day driving to a neighboring town to go to an animal shelter to meet a dog I saw on the internet. After seeing lots of dogs, including the one I was interested in, I filled out adoption papers, met with workers who questioned me on all sorts of things - and went home - without a dog. My adoption request was pending verification of my references. The remainder of the day, I got in a 4 mile walk, blew the leaves out of my garden and cut down flowers, did laundry and met some friends in the evening.

Sunday a good friend stopped by who was visiting from out of state. He offered to get on my two story ladder and clean the leaves from my gutters. Yippee!!! Gotta love good friends who know just what you need! He cleaned gutters and helped with the leaf blowing, I raked, bagged and hauled leaves to the woods. It was a quite the job! Afterwards, I treated him to lunch. I had the remainder of the afternoon to myself. Later in the evening I felt Lake Michigan calling, so I went out to the lakeshore with another friend and we walked the pier by the light house. It was dark. There were no other people out. The lake was pretty quiet and the stars were brilliant. We sat on the end of the pier for quite some time taking photos and enjoying the serenity and sound of the waves lapping the shore. What an awesome end to a busy day.

Today I got an email and my adoption request has been approved. Wednesday I will be going back to the shelter with my granddaughters and with their approval, will be bringing home my new friend Ollie.

I have a feeling there will be lots of adventure with Ollie to come!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATELJM 10/30/2014 11:06AM

    Ollie is quite photogenic! Now you'll have even more opportunities to be active as Ollie discovers the neighborhood!

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WALLAHALLA 10/28/2014 5:50PM

    Good old friends, and a new friend to come. Life is good!

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AQUAGIRL08 10/28/2014 1:13PM

    What a sweet face! I hope you have many happy years to come with Ollie!

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POCKETFULOFSUN 10/27/2014 7:17PM

    Aww, Ollie I am in love!

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SQUIRLY13 10/27/2014 7:09PM

    Awwww... Ollie is adorable! I was out mowing the leaves today, myself. Will probably have to do it again, though. Such a nice day!

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NETGYRL 10/27/2014 6:41PM

    Oh he looks like a great pal! Can't wait to hear about your adventures together. :)

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SUE5007 10/27/2014 5:14PM

    Ollie is gorgeous! Love those spots. I bet he will have a lot of fun in the rest of the leaves you have yet to rake. emoticon emoticon

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walk walk walk...

Friday, October 24, 2014

I am doing a virtual walk - from Grand Rapids Michigan to Phoenix Arizona. I finally synced my fitbit to calculate exactly where I am. I am now in Cuervo, New Mexico - 1,322.72 miles from my home! From what I can tell, Cuervo is a ghost town. Actually there are still a few people who live there, but it was quite a bit bigger in the early 1900's. This virtual walk has stirred the wanderer in me - I would love to actually drive the walk I have taken - partially on old route 66, following old train tracks, and now heading out into the ghost town in New Mexico. Reality - I am really not going there anytime soon. However it sure has been fun checking out the things and places along my virtual walk.

My reality walk? Well, I headed down by the creek this weekend. Thought I'd share a few of my photos from the actual walk.

the path was covered with leaves - but who stays on the path, right?

There were some reflective spots where I just had to stop and think...
and other spots where the colors were vibrant

the ducks were quietly resting, not noticing their beautiful surroundings

this piece of wood caught my eye

I could have wandered forever

In some spots the creek was babbling away

but I did find my way back to my car

I am sure there will be more walks in the woods, but not sure how long the beautiful leaves will last. I must say mother nature's carpet sure looks lovely!

Mother nature's work in the woods rivaled the work of the workers at our local Meijer Gardens

However I love the colorful gourds and pumpkins

Feeling truly blessed to live in a place where we experience all of the seasons!

Hope you can find a few minutes to take in the beauty of nature where you live!

Not to mention - its great to get some fresh air and move those muscles!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIWIBYTE26 10/30/2014 2:26PM

    How did you sync your fit bit to work with calculate where you are???

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WALLAHALLA 10/25/2014 9:38PM

    such gorgeous photos....wish I could take that walk

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POCKETFULOFSUN 10/25/2014 6:44PM

    So lush!

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COMPCHIC52 10/25/2014 1:24AM

    wow where you were walking is beautiful! emoticon

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LYNNIERN 10/25/2014 12:06AM

    Great walk..thanks for sharing the awesome pictures.

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NETGYRL 10/24/2014 6:38PM

    I am jealous of your gorgeous forest. I wish I had a place that nice to walk!

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2BDYNAMIC 10/24/2014 6:09PM

    Gorgeous pictures and what a walk it was ........... thanks for sharing! .... (I understand the capturing the pics as they really were) ......... Glad you got the experience. emoticon

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MARCIAC10 10/24/2014 5:05PM


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ONTHEPATH2 10/24/2014 3:39PM

    PS You have to love cell phones that help to capture all these moments, now if only they could capture the colors as vibrant as they truly were. Technology hasn't quite caught up to mother nature!

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Wisdom, kindness and other stuff

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Some people say wisdom comes with age - but personally, I think wisdom comes from living - making a lot of mistakes and learning from them!

So as I progress on this journey I am gaining some wisdom. One piece of wisdom I am gaining is that all those goals I set to take me towards a healthier lifestyle ---- well there were just way tooooo many of them to fully work on or meet them successfully! So next month, I am paring back the map to success to include just 3 goals for the month!

We have had two high school age young adults commit suicide in our area in the last few weeks. Both were from different high schools, one a boy and the other a girl. Their parents indicated that they had issues with bullying in their respective schools.

I can't say I was bullied in school. I was not one of the popular kids. I didn't get invites to all THE parties - however, I was blessed to have a few very good friends and we supported each other through those times. I remember people saying that high school and college were supposed to be "the times of your life". I felt my life was doomed at times!

I can only imagine what it is like to be the victim of bullying, especially with social media today. The only thing I can say to young people suffering from that is to be strong and reach out to someone. High school is only a few short years of your lifetime and it will be over before you know it. There are so many good people in this world. They far out number the bad and the bullies - they just don't get the publicity!

I had to stop and think - the biggest bully in my life today is myself. I badger and bully myself all the time. I talk down to myself and call myself a slacker and shred my own dreams. If one of my friends treated me that way, they would not be my friend! I would NEVER treat my friend that way!

So, just for today, I will NOT bully myself. I will encourage myself and treat myself with respect and dignity. I will compliment myself! It's time to shut that mean girl off. she serves no purpose in my life today!

I have the feeling this is going to be a tough one!

Also, I wanted to thank my challenge team for putting me in the spotlight yesterday! Kind of ironic it happened on a day when I had little computer access during the day! Regardless, it was an honor and made my day! It certainly added the spark I needed!

Today - I am struggling with a sore knee. Not sidelining pain - but a pinching pain behind my kneecap - which seems to get worse with distance walked. It is usually a bit sharp when I first start walking, but lessens as I am moving and then comes back sharper if I pick up the pace or add on some distance. So, I have been trying to be creative in getting other forms of exercise and giving it a bit of a rest - but not too much of a rest so it stiffens up. I am hoping it won't require a visit to the Ortho doc.

Not only am I struggling with a sore knee, I am struggling with food temptations. I seem to lose sight of my goals when I am making food choices, falling to my old habits of procrastination - I will do it tomorrow - but tomorrow doesn't seem to get here! Today it is all the baked goods in the work kitchen and tonight I am having dinner with a good friend who is visiting from out of state which will be a challenge for me.

Good note - I am thinking about adopting a dog. I am going to the shelter Saturday to meet a dog - which would be a great walking companion for me. I swore I would wait until I retire to get a dog because I am such a nomad, but I am hoping he would be a companion on some of my adventures! I guess I will know more Saturday. I will keep you posted!

Have a great day everyone and spark on!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALLAHALLA 10/25/2014 9:45PM

    I hope you find just the right companion. emoticon

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NHES220 10/24/2014 10:09AM

    Good for you Barb - be kind to yourself. Life is short and meant to be enjoyed! How fun, a dog! That is awesome. On the note about your knee, I too get the pinching behind my knee cap at times and I am a big fan of foam rolling. I get that when my IT bands get tight. Do you use a foam roller? I highly recommend it. Those muscles get tight with all the walking or running we do.

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MARCIAC10 10/24/2014 7:50AM

    I have osteoarthritis in my right knee. Losing weight helps, but the cartilage is pretty much gone! Still, there most days it's fine, since I've lost 20 pounds. Some days, it bothers me. My ortho did knee injections with synthetic fluid that helped when it was really, really bad once! And PT which taught me some exercises (which you can find online yourself!).

Dogs: good luck!!

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LYNNIERN 10/23/2014 8:31PM


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MOONGLOWSNANA 10/23/2014 5:58PM

  I am struggling with both of my knees. I have moderate osteoarthritis in both because I have carried too much weight for too long. Apparently I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Two of my aunts and my father, their brother, had artificial knees when they got older. At least a couple of cousins on that side of the family needed knee replacements as well. I am built like my dad's side and so now here I am visiting the orhtho for shots in my knees which helped a lot, but only lasted a few months. I had physical therapy in and out of the water which also taught me a lot and felt wonderful. I have a salve I use to rub on ouchy muscles, but I know that I will need a replacement or two in the future. I am working seriously on losing weight through knowledge and lifestyle changes which is working slowly, but surely. If I had found SP 10 years ago, I might have averted the need for replacements. I am losing weight now to make it easier to do the things I want to do on new knees and to be the best that I can be for the rest of my life. Perhaps I'm a slow learner, but for me wisdom has come with age and with Spark People!!! The comprehensive way to lose weight !!!

Comment edited on: 10/23/2014 5:59:11 PM

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SUGARJESS 10/23/2014 5:13PM

    Hope your knee gets better soon! I have watched a documentary on Bullying and suicide it is just so sad. Just last week the county over from mine 3 teenage boys gave another 15 year old muscle relaxer and sodomized him, nearly killed him, ripped him eternally. I have a 15 year old son and this has weighed on my mind.....so so very sad! We can only pray for this sort of thing and hope it gets better!
Good day to you!

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KIWIBYTE26 10/23/2014 5:04PM

    I hope you knee feels better and is nothing too serious. Dogs are great walking companions. emoticon

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goals schmoals

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yikes! We are midway through the month and I thought I'd let you know how I was doing on those goals I set up.

I had really good intentions in setting up those goals and didn't think they were that crazy or difficult. Boy was I wrong Change IS difficult. It is ok for a brief moment - but maintaining it is the hard part.

I am asking for help and suggestions on obtaining/maintaining some of my goals!

1. Sleep - I was shooting for 8 hours sleep a night. I did well with that on the weekends. I did poorly on that during the week. I averaged 6-7 hours a night on weeknights. This is what I find is happening. I get home from work at 6pm. I change my clothes, make dinner, eat dinner, clean up the kitchen, read my mail, hop on the treadmill for an hour -it is now 8:30. Shower (cuz I am a sweaty mess after the treadmill), sit down to watch some tv. After an hour of tv, I am not ready to go to bed. I am wide awake. I tried turning off the tv and going to bed, but I just toss and turn for a couple hours. In fact, I find it takes me longer to fall asleep than when I stay up an hour longer! I have tried soothing music, reading in bed, meditation - my mind is still going and is NOT ready to stop yet! I thought after a couple weeks of doing this I would adjust, but it hasn't happened yet!
I have met this goal an average of 3 nights a week out of 7. Less than 50%. I am gong to continue to try to get my body to adjust.

2. Water. I have been doing great with the water. I get at least 8 glasses in a day. Yippee! A success!

3. Soda. I was shooting to limit my soda to one a day. For the most part I have met that goal. I had three days where I had more than one per day. So This one is well on its way to being met!

4. Breakfast. I was going to try to eat a breakfast at home in the morning before going to work instead of grabbing a protein bar at work. Again, I do well on this one on the weekends, but the work week has pretty much been protein bars and fruit. I have not been able or perhaps I should say willing - to get up earlier and make a breakfast before work. I continue to not be a morning person! This goal is far from being met!

5. Purging cupboards. I did purge my cupboards of all the things that cause me to want to binge eat. I pretty much have some canned goods, some whole grain pasta and a few other things in there. No chips, no oreos, no chocolate. This goal has been met!

6. Whole foods. I was trying to eat more whole foods and avoid processed foods. I am doing better in this. I have cooked more - however I am finding just because the healthy foods are there, doesn't mean I am eating them. I have had a couple nights each week where I either had meetings after work, or something scheduled that caused me to eat out instead of eating my healthy options at home. Positive - I have made better choices while eating out and have not fallen for the alfredo pasta yet!

7. Table. I was going to eat only at my kitchen table - however, I have found myself more than half of the time eating in front of the tv watching the news as I ate. This one is a work in progress. Eating at the table alone staring out the window really isn't something I enjoy!

8. Morning walk. It is much easier for me to meet my step goal if I walk a couple miles in the morning before work. However with the season change, the temps are cooler and it is now dark in the morning - as in DARK! I find myself reaching for the snooze button. I feel tired and I don't wanna! I would say the snooze button has won out 70% of the time! This one needs improvement.

9. Journal. Yep, it sounded good, but it isn't happening. I keep my food log and my exercise log- but any other journaling just isn't happening. My free time during the week is limited and I haven't wanted to spend it journaling.

10. 3 positive things. I was going to blog these - but I haven't. In fact this one totally fell by the wayside! However, I need to do this to keep myself motivated and in a positive space. Sooooo, I will be working on this one!

11. Scale. Uh, no. I have been on the scale more than I should. I get obsessed about lots of things = mostly that involve numbers. For some silly reason I feel I can control numbers. So after hopping on the scale tomorrow morning for my challenge I am going to try harder NOT to get on until the following Saturday morning. Positive side - I am not getting on the scale multiple times a day! So obsession hasn't totally taken over.

Wow, I thought these were somewhat easy goals and I am seeing that I have much work to do on reaching many of them. amazing how we can think we are doing everything we should be - until we take a closer look!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PICKIE98 10/27/2014 3:14PM

    Every site including Sparks, suggest not doing a workout late before you retire. A few hours before, but perhaps you are stimulated too close to bedtime. TV, exercise, interaction with others, all are stimulants. How about going to bed early with a book? Warm milk has a chemical in it that makes one drowsy too...

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POCKETFULOFSUN 10/20/2014 6:48PM

    I wonder if the intense exercise b4 bed might be affecting your sleep. Perhaps you can swap and go walking after dinner. Also if you have do ahead or crockpot meals you could perhaps hit the treadmill b4 dinner.
Goal to cut down on soda is great. The news this am reported that a can of soda a day shortens lifespan by 2 years. The more soda the shorter you live.

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LYNNIERN 10/18/2014 8:00AM

    Start over each day. I didn't do as well this week as I wanted to either. It's a new challenge and a new start! We can do this!!

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WALLAHALLA 10/17/2014 3:24PM

    I use melatonin to help relax me before bed.
I like to prepare my breakfast at night so that it is ready to eat in the morning with very little work from me.

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NHES220 10/17/2014 3:12PM

    Well, lots of stuff here!
1. I don't think I could ever get 8 hours. I shoot for 7 and sometimes get it. 7 is my goal and I think that is really what I need.
2. Great job on the water!
3. Soda - that was my downfall years ago and I could never do just 1, it was 6 or 7 a day. I had to quit.
4. Breakfast - can you bring something to work with you? Cereal in tupperware? Fresh fruit? That way you don't have to eat at home, but you do have to plan.
5. Great job on the cupboards!
6. I need to do more whole foods too.
7. We usually eat at TV trays, I'm not going to stress about this one.
8. Morning walk - I should be getting out there but it is dark and cold. I do have these Nathan lights for the dark so I can be seen. They are LED and clip on.
9. Journal - I am not a journal person
10. 3 positive things - great idea, I should put this on my list
11. Scale - I am and will stay a daily weigher. I don't obsess but it keeps me in check
Have a great weekend!

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NSCARNEY 10/17/2014 12:26PM

    I feel ya on the sleep part! Are you feeling tired during the day with the sleep you're getting? I figure that if I do a little pre-staging--have the coffeepot set up on a timer, the bread, peanut butter and a plate out, and my clothes laid out, I can hit the snooze bar and gain a few minutes on the morning end, since I can't seem to sleep before 10:30.

And please, please wear reflective gear and carry a light (even your phone's tinyflashlight app) for safety's sake if you're going to be out before dawn!! I'd miss your cool blog entries!

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