LESLIELENORE's Photo Gallery
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Bluestone Lake, WVCooper and ICooper's first day with me.My buddy, CooperCooper and me 9/11Cooper and me 2/19/12Allegheny Reservoir Sept. 20123/29/13At goal weightCooper on the kayak 5/13Cooper on the Chadakoin 6/15Cooper on the Chadakoin 6/15This is my "before" hair color picture 9/2/17... going to the salon for the new color 9/8/17... stayThis is my Cooper-dog, that I adopted over 6 years ago... he has been my faithful companion through thick and thin. He keeps me moving in every kind of weather (though he dislikes rain...), I am so grateful he came into my life!This is what mornings look like here this time of year... this is NOT from this morning, as the sun has yet to rise... but from earlier in the week when I was walking the dog at sunrise...Yep, that's my Cooper-dog... he is getting to be a bit of a grumpy, old man, but he still walks about 5 miles with me most days...I am up... but my dog is curled up with one of his stuffed animals in bed... snoring. He has much better sleep habits than I do! LOLOnce again I was plagued by insomnia... while my dog slept on blissfully beside me. I wish I could bottle that contentment and ease with the world...This is one of the few items that has survived multiples moves and relocations... I think I drew it about 27 years ago...It has gotten pretty cold here this week... and my dog hasn't gotten used to it yet, so this is where he parked himself yesterday whenever I turned the heater on... I think he was just superheating his brain... LOLMy Cooper-dog nested in my baby blanket my grandmother knit for me when I was born... (11/18/17)My and my best friend, Jennifer... (Fall 2017)The blanket my dog is snuggled in is the baby blanket my grandmother knit for me when I was born (a certain number of years ago)... It is great condition, especially considering I have used it on my bed all of my life!And it is only 4:24pm here... I still have to take the dog on his evening walk, which will probably add a couple thousand more steps...November 24, 2017The sunset last night as I walked the dog... Not sure why it is loading sideways...? But you get the idea...This is what my Cooper-dog was doing while I went out for a brisk walk this morning... 5am is not his thing... ask him again at 7am.Sunrise on my morning walk...When he sits there staring holes through me with one ear up... I know it is time for a nice, long walk.Had minor foot surgery yesterday... doctor said no restrictions in particular (just use common sense) So, I did about half my usual morning miles, and I did them indoors, instead of risking the icy and snowy sidewalks in the pre-dawn darkness. Then I sat down for an hour and cuddled the dog... who really likes to snuggle.My Cooper-dog usually waits patiently for me to get ready to go out in the snow (I wear a LOT of layers), sometimes though he just lays down and gives me the "look"...Snowy morning here... already went out for a short walk. Just waiting for the dog to wake up and decide when he wants to go out... bet he goes out for a short walk this morning! HahaMy Cooper-dog and I have been contemplating the benefits of hibernation today, as it snowed and snowed... I did take him out in it, and went out walking by myself a couple times, but hibernating sounds better and better ! HahaThis is what I am walking in today... It isn't too cold yet, so it is just really pretty.Before it was snow, it was freezing rain... which my little dog despises! I tried peeling back the blankets this morning to get him to go for a walk, but he would have none of that... so I waited until it turned to snow... and then he was happy to go for a walk! Picky little puppy!The trees are dressed in their holiday finery!Cooper wishes everyone a Merry Christmas... and wishes it were warmer here!This was my view from my window Christmas Day...we didn’t get the 4+ feet that Erie, PA did, but it still came down fast... Lake Effect Snow is no joke!Who invited the chupacabra for Christmas? It would motivate me to run faster, that is for certain!Snowy brambles along my morning walk yesterday before my appointments... the dog was not along due to the frigid cold temperaturesThe skeptical look my dog gives me when I ask if he wants to go out and the wind chill is below zero... and yet once we get out there he wants to go for a long walk and I end up having to pick him up and carry him home because he refuses to turn back... chilly dog... I try to take him out for 10 minutes or less... but he has other ideas! Good thing I am bigger than him and I am still able to carry him... silly dog!I started the day with a “brisk” walk (wind chill is sub zero)... while the dog did this... doesn’t he look energetic? Haha! It is just too cold for him out there... 10 minutes (tops) today, as the high is supposed to be about 8F... Definitely making him wear his boots today!I think my Cooper-dog would like to be a marsupial during the Winter (I can see his point)... here he snuggles with my eldest niece ignoring the coffee and crossword puzzle happening above him... in favor of cuddles! Smart dog...I asked the dog if he wanted to go out? And this was all the response I got... none at all! One smart puppy! Too cold out there this morning for either one of us...Say good night, Cooper!Sometimes strength isn’t just about how much weight I can leg press... sometimes it is about asking for help when I am struggling mentally or emotionally... life can be difficult, but I have many blessings and my friends here on SparkPeople are numerous of them... thank you!It has been below average temperatures here for the last two weeks or so... but it’s going to warm up this coming week. In the meantime I am walking the hallways of my apartment building and doing laps on the stairs (I live on the 3rd floor)... I can hardly wait to get back outside more though. Even the dog only goes out as long as he absolutely has to! The picture is the view out my window these days... not too bad, at least the roads are plowedThe Cooper-dog was in dreamland while I walked and didn’t want to be disturbed when I came back... right after I took the picture he gave “the look” and burrowed All the way under the blanket . Silly puppy... I am up, but I won’t make you get up for at least two hours!Up early again to walk... disturbing the pup...This is what my dog thinks of my penchant for very early morning exercise! “Leave me alone Hu-mom!”I was recently told I was a reactive hypoglycemic, so a serving of rice for me should be about 2 tablespoons... but I really wanted Dirty Rice for dinner last night... so I tried making it with riced cauliflower... not bad! And it didn’t make me sick, so I will put that one in the “win” column.Spicy shrimp on a simple salad... dressing on the side... shredded Parmesan on top... it was very tasty! Staying on plan can taste good...Up for no good reason... my dog is skeptical... since the picture he has gone back to bed and is snoring... while I have gone for a 30 minute walk(indoors, it’s 2F), and now I am brewing a cup of coffee...The Cooper-dog and I hope you have a great day!Ever sleep with one foot out from under the covers? My dog does... otherwise he is completely tucked underneath from the tip of his nose to end of his tail!Here’s that portrait of my dog...Shirataki noodle salad... I tried a new brand of noodles and they were okay, but I like the kind I normally get better... with grilled avocado, tomato, surimi, and shredded Parmesan... very tasty.I got up, but the Cooper-dog has gone back to dreamland, I am going out to walk while he snoozes on... I bet he’ll be ready to go outside in about an hour, so I can get close to 4 miles in, before walking him... we will see...This is what my dog did while I was out walking... I think the higher lump in the middle is his head... he didn’t even twitch when I came back... great watch dog! lolSometimes I need to see it in pictures to believe the difference... I forget exactly where I started from, and how uncomfortable I was... this is a Much Better feeling... #BeforeAndAfterGood night from the Cooper-dog and me... he has the right idea. Hope you had a good day today!Cooper-dog has been yipping in his sleep and twitching... so I know he’s dreaming. I bet doggie dreams are less complicated and convoluted than human ones... I am still up because I have to recheck my blood glucose levels again... too low after dinner, so I took care of it... but it requires a recheck to make sure the number is going the right way... ah, the joys of hypoglycemia...I am fighting against the puppy sleep vortex, but the little snores and the sight of his utter relaxation are drawing me in... even though it is only 7pm here. LolI have been experimenting with pasta substitutes... today’s selection was spiralized sweet potato... topped with herbed shrimp, tomato, avocado, garlicky yogurt dressing, and topped with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan... not bad. I liked the crunch the sweet potato gave to the “pasta” salad! I would definitely make it again.My dog is begging for his morning belly rubs... but I am already handling a book and a cup of coffee... which should I put down? What a conundrum... guess the book can wait... lolThe dog won’t look at me, he is pouting because I made him walk in the rain!I can always go for a simple salad... lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Topped with shredded Parmesan, and oil and vinegar... easy, quick and tasty!Up really early to drive my sil to the airport... little does the dog know I am about to wake him up and take him for a car ride...“Shrimp Skimpy “. Zucchini and summer squash zoodles, with Cajun shrimp and lotsa garlic... another successful experiment!Good thing I got my long outside workout in yesterday morning... 18 hours later it is snowing and blowing (though not too bad yet)... but the roads haven't been plowed so far...The Cooper-dog is most unimpressed with my early morning (or middle of the night) fitness feats... I can just imagine him thinking “turn that blasted light off and go back to bed! Are you crazy, lady?” I, of course, ignore his admonishments and go out anyway.I am actually surprised how many people at the doctors office refused to wear a mask... It isn’t glamorous, but it’s the responsible thing to do when you have the flu and have to go out for some reason... sorry, that’s a pet peeve of mine... I’ll get off my soapbox now. As for me... I’m down almost 12 pounds since I caught this bug. This is NOT the way to lose weight...My Cooper-dog wishes everyone a good night and a great day tomorrow...sweet dreams!The Cooper-dog is doing his part to make sure I don’t overdo... by pinning me to the recliner with his sleeping puppy self! We all know puppy cuddles take priority... lolSleepy dogI am ready to get up, but the pup is NOT! Dreamland still claims him... so I will grab a book and a glass of water, and wait for a while before annoying him with my wakefulness...I had coffee and breakfast, took a slow one hour walk, then got sucked into the puppy sleep vortex for an hour... lol! Is it a nap that early in the morning? Or just going back to bed to finish the nights sleep?The Cooper-dog will walk in snow, no problem. In fact he enjoys it... more than I do. This mornings walk was about 30 minutes.Went and got my hair touched up today... after being sick and losing too much weight all at once I needed a pick me up... just a trim and some purple highlights...While I was out in the bracing 2F chill this is what my dog was doing... now which of us is smarter? LolSomeone woke up and feels chipper... but it isn’t me. lolLook, coffee!You can’t really see the snow falling, but I thought the tree looked interesting... this is what I am avoiding going out in... until Cooper has to go out!Meanwhile, the Cooper-dog also has no intention in going outside yet... just begging for belly rubs and cuddles. Doesn’t seem fair sometimes... he eats whatever he wants, and never gains weight! lolI think even the Cooper-dog is ready to call this day done... look at the resignation in those eyes!I weaned myself off sugar in my coffee, but I haven’t convinced myself to give up the cream yet... how do you take your coffee?Lol... I have been up for about 2 hours, had my coffee and a light breakfast, walked in the building (it is about 5F outside), and started contemplating what I can feasibly do today... and my dog sleeps on! I wish I could sleep that well and deeply... the only time he twitches is when he dreams of chasing squirrels or possibly something grander...Lunch today was garlicky mushrooms and lobster on zucchini and summer squash “noodles”... with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan... it was really garlicky, and really tasty! I like that I don’t get that “pasta bloat” feeling when I do the spiralized veggies, and my blood sugar does not spike (or crash)... tasty and healthy... I call that a win!Snuggle puppy... exhausted after walking a total of four hours with me today... not sure what the mileage total was, but the way he zigzags his was probably twice what mine was for the 4 hours!I celebrate my puppy’s birthday on February 14th each year. He is approximately 8 years old now, and yesterday we walked for a total of four hours! What a blessing in my life he is... companion, exercise coach, relaxation mentor, and friendship ambassador (more people in my apartment building know his name than mine, lol)... Happy un-birthday Cooper!This is what I am doing right now... petting the dog...My brother made this creek rock lamp for me... with rocks from the creek by my parents’ house... so I will always have a small piece of home to illuminate my life...The Cooper-dog is relaxing after an hourlong walk with his hu-mom (that would be me...). I need to take relaxation lessons from my dog... while I rub his belly I also am cleaning the coffeemaker, finishing my breakfast and coffee, and planning my day (while listening to hear if whoever got to the laundry room before me this morning is done doing their laundry)This is how busy our sleepy little village is (or rather... isn’t) early on a Saturday morning when the Cooper-dog and I go out to walk... normally this time of year there would be three foot drifts of snow, but not this year... good for walking, but not good for the farmers who depend on the water from the snow melt...It is really windy here (and the rain just stopped a few minutes ago)... so instead of my favored pre-dawn walk I spent the time dispensing belly rubs... Cooper-dog was blissful... I did do some stretching before I started indulging the dog. lolWhile I was walking the Cooper-dog was both sleeping and practicing his camouflage skills... not bad little dog, not bad...Good morning sparklers! I am savoring the first cup of coffee of the morning, with the dog beside me... snoring along with a bit of Etta James to serenade me into the day... a new day full of potential and opportunities!Photographic evidence of how dark the syrup is...I dug this antique(?) out of my dad’s back storage room... it needs some love and dusting, but isn’t it pretty? (Pretty heavy, too!)It’s the last day of February... and already the snowdrops are blooming! Took this on my morning walk today...Over 18 inches of snow fell overnight causing quite a bit of damage from falling branches and trees. The snow is a good bit deeper than Cooper-dog is tall, so he gets shorter walks today... as we can really only go where the sidewalks have been cleared and there aren’t trees down in the sidewalk. He is not liking this development.Someone has his priorities straight for 4:15am... he doesn’t really care what I am doing this time of morning as long as I don’t disturb him... lolMy dog is a bit of a dorkI woke up way too early... and decided to spend some quality time with the belly rubs... much to the Cooper-dog’s delight. Of course it’s too early for him as well, so the instant I stopped giving belly rubs he burrowed under the blankets and started snoring, which is where he will probably stay while I do some yoga, and in a little while go out for a walk... I call it “determinedly sleeping” and I wish I could do it...Not really done yet, but the weather might limit me from adding much more to my step total today... I’ll take it!This is my view out the window at my dad’s house this morning... we got another good bit of snow... turns out he got more... lolBack to my early morning walks... while the dog walks through Dreamland... it’s apropos that the sidewalks are starting to clear since it’s Spring and all...I got up early and got out for a run/walk, but my little dog was completely uninterested at that time of the morning. He didn’t even get up and come greet me at the door when I got back. Instead I came home and had to look for him. He, of course, was sound asleep!Feeling lazy meant I just layered everything in one pot and stuck it in the oven for 20 minutes... summer squash noodles, spinach, extra firm tofu, an egg, nutritional yeast, a little pinch of cheddar, and some herbs... most of the ingredients are locally sourced, purchased from the local farmers’ market... (except the tofu and nutritional yeast)The Cooper-dog and I hope you have a good night if you’re on this side of the globe... and a wonderful day if you’re on the opposite side from us! We had a good day today... I walked him about 3 hours total over the course of the day... he is tired and ready for Dreamland...The Cooper-dog and I hope you are having a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed sort of Saturday morning... we certainly are! We started our morning with a 4 mile walk, and now I have the laundry going... while he tries to convince me to take him out in the sunshine again...Look at the smile on his face! That is 7 miles of walks... a treat... an hour of belly rubs... and a nap in the sunshine... I am smiling too, but not quite as serenely as the Cooper-dog!Used the bits and pieces left from preparing dinner the past couple nights... came up with summer squash, tofu, marinara bake... it was very tasty... I think it was all the extra garlic I added, lolWent for a walk along the shore of Lake Erie this morning. Still frozen along this shoreline... but it will break up fairly quickly now.Yesterday the Cooper-dog and I logged about 8 miles together, which is pretty good... considering this was his idea of a walk when I took him outside in the afternoon... ahhhh, sunshine!Warming up after my run with my cuddle buddy... the Cooper-dog... he was rather unimpressed with the flash when I took the picture, but he is a very good sport...Last night I took the Cooper-dog for his last walk of the day (I ended up walking him for 5 hours over 5 walkies over the course of the day...)... when we came back inside I told him that was “it” for walks and he just laid down and stared at me... as if he wanted to protest... “say it isn’t so hu-mom!” He is really enjoying the changing weather, and cool, but sunny days we have been having... it isn’t going to last little dog!Coffee time for me... belly rub time for the Cooper-dog. Don’t know which one of us is happier... lolRoasted asparagus and onions on a bed of shredded chicken, with a sprinkle of mozzarella... it was very tasty, and very filling!After several mornings when the Cooper-dog has insisted on early walks this is his current state... but I think he is in love 😍... My niece adopted a blue heeler/lab mix puppy, and they love each other! Last night we walked them together for 40 minutes at dusk. Tired him out... I believe Sweet Pea (the puppy) was still a bundle of frenetic energy however... lol (I will try and get a picture of the two of them together...)Walking the Cooper-dog this morning I was very aware of the tiny signs of Spring popping up...While the trees aren’t leafing out yet... the shy, little Spring flowers are appearing all over... robins are active, as are the squirrels and coyotes... it’s not really warm yet, but the intensity of the light has changed, which makes me hopeful that Spring may finally, truly be on its way to this little corner of the world!is relaxing... now...The Cooper-dog says good morning... even though the hu-mom is being lazy, just sitting there watching the freezing rain outside... doesn’t the hu-mom know she should at the very least be spending the quiet time giving belly rubs to handsome dogs? lolThe Cooper-dog wanted to walk this morning... early! I wasn’t quite ready to deal with the snow and cold, but I cater to the dog, so off we went... April 17th, and it’s snowing and 20F outside... didn’t seem to bother the puppy much... lol... it wasn’t rain, so he was fine with it. Me? I would like to curl up in the blankets and just watch it out the window! Of course, once we got home himself curled up and started snoring 💤Yesterday morning at 5:50am the Cooper-dog stared me awake using his psychic doggie superpowers... and convinced me to walk him to my dad’s house for play time with Sweet Pea (my niece’s new dog)... he was very determined we go, and I had no particular morning plans, so we walked the chilly 4+ miles (mostly uphill, as my dad lives “up in the hills”)... stayed for breakfast, then caught a ride back halfway to home... made my step goal by 9am lolThe Cooper-dog is really enjoying the sunshine today! He is ready for his 4th walk of the day... with about 6 miles tallied so far... happy dog! And the vitamin D is good for me too...Tussilago popping up means it might actually be Spring hereThat’s not a dandelion, it’s Tussilago (or Colt’s foot) a sure sign that Spring has finally, finally sprung hereCoffee time for me (The Cooper-dog is scornful of my habit, and turns away...)I saw the forsythia is starting to bloom on one of my walks with the Cooper-dog... I walked him 4 times before 11am, because he refused to go for a long walk in the drizzling rain. So, we just kept going out. In between walks I got my laundry done, refilled 2 bookshelves, loaded 6 more grocery bags of books to donate... and came to the realization that I still don’t really have enough shelf space for all of my books! lol I am going to have to get creative..,I am headed out for my late night/early morning run/walk... and couldn’t find the Cooper-dog... turned out he had burrowed under the covers, leaving just his tail visible... and he is once again determinedly sleeping, so he refuses to acknowledge my presence. lol... okay... off I go! Back in a bit...Back from my morning workout... and the Cooper-dog has ventured out from under the covers, but he definitely is not ready to wake up. Can’t you just hear him muttering... “not yet hu-mom, just 5 more minutes... or maybe hours”This is the Cooper-dog’s attitude to my wakefulness at such an early hour as last night/this morning... he WILL sleep... determinedly so, no matter the distractions! I wish I could do that... I bet I would be less cranky! lolI got out of bed for a couple minutes... when I returned the Cooper-dog had “nested”... almost hated to disturb him... lol... back to catch a few more hours of sleep 💤, despite the dog’s proprietary action towards my blanket...I woke up naturally for a change... while the Cooper-dog snoozes a while longer.This is the mountain of bags of books that I am donating to the used book store... so far... there may be more! I have been trying to find useful things to do with plastic grocery bags... and I think this’ll do! I have gotten rid of the weight on my body... now I am working on reducing the “weight” of the clutter in my apartment. Only a couple problem areas left to resolve!The Cooper-dog knows what we should both be doing on a stormy night... he is the only one successful at it.Ha! This is how much the Cooper-dog noticed I was even gone for my run... this was the greeting I got when I returned. Sleepyhead. I am waking him up in 20 minutes to walk him before the morning rain showers... poor puppy will have to leave his captivating dreams for his ordinary hu-mom.I was planning on walking before my niece picked me and the Cooper-dog up to go to my dad’s for the night, but there was a big fire in the center of downtown which shut down a number of streets to both cars and pedestrians...This is my view as I sit on my dad’s deck and read... on a partly sunny, 70F day... no one but me and the Cooper-dog and my dad’s ninja kitty! Sigh of relief...I keep getting distracted from my book by the antics of these little guys... the chickadees are so funny at the feeders on the edge of the deck! Not the best picture, but they don’t sit still... even when I ask nicely. lol ... laughing is good for your abs... right?The Cooper-dog is enjoying the quiet and solitude too, just hanging out in my lap outside for hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon... we made our step goal by noon, so I made the decision to relax the rest of the day... the pup is definitely down with that!Finally noticed bright Spring flowers actually blooming when I took the Cooper-dog for his evening walk. He couldn’t care less... but I was thrilled!Current portrait of the Cooper-dog while I do a little middle of the night yoga... funny pup!I woke up in an anxiety attack and the Cooper-dog did his job and soothed me... either that or he really just wanted belly rubs at 3:45am? Hmmm...So, I went for my ramble, and when I got back I had to negotiate for a piece of the recliner, as the Cooper-dog had claimed it as his own... good thing he is a forgiving pup!The Cooper-dog had an exhausting day walking in between rain showers (and sometimes during to his utmost disgust), supervising the closet cleaning, and practicing his zoomies while his hu-mom tried to organize and sort out the contents of said closet... so exhausting he fell asleep in the middle of chin scritches! Bedtime for the both of us I suspect...The Cooper-dog almost has me convinced to skip my early morning ramble... just by being so stinking cute! lol... the puppy sleep vortex is tugging at me to turn the bedside table light back off and snuggle in again... will I be strong enough to resist his psychic powers? Or will the Cooper-dog prevail this once?is relaxing tonight...Lunch is served... cheesy riced cauliflower with mushrooms and shrimp... if you use your imagination and squinted really hard you could probably pretend you were eating cheese grits and shrimp ( well, if I had left out the mushrooms...) whatever... it was really tasty!I decided to go simple and veggie-ful for lunch today... spinach salad with tomato, fresh mozzarella, avocado, and shrimp... the dressing is mostly lemon juice, with a tbs of olive oil and one of vinegar... bright, fresh, tasty!The Cooper-dog ‘s attitude toward the idea of getting up just quite yet... not gonna happen!The Cooper-dog and I were at my dad’s house for the night, and walked down the hilly driveway to fetch the newspapers... and when we were headed back up the driveway this was our view...this is why I come to my dad’s house to recharge!I had a lot of frustration today, which I combated by taking a hike at Chestnut Ridge Park (the largest county park in the US)... this is the view from the top of the toboggan hill... you can just make out the city of Buffalo in the distance...The Cooper-dog knows when I should stay in bed... and even resorted to a wrestling move to pin me to the bed yesterday afternoon during a nap... tonight he is on top of me and gives me such a “look “. When I move as if I were going to get up... not that I am making many this morning!Took advantage of the empty streets due to the cool, wet weather to get in my workout... just a few hours later than normal... and yet I still came home to the Cooper-dog burrowed headfirst in a blanket! Silly puppy!When I took the Cooper-dog out for his evening walk he was not happy because it was raining, but it made me happy... because I was blessed to see a rainbow! I know there are scientific reasons for them, but they still seem like miracles to me.The Cooper-dog says “thanks for the walk hu-mom!”... and immediately after I took this picture he fell sound asleep! I say thanks to the motivation of the Cooper-dog my weight is pretty much where I want it to be... thanks for walking with me Cooper-dog!Good morning sparklers! The Cooper-dog and I hope you have a great day!The mist rising out of the vibrantly green trees into the blue, blue sky reminds me wonderful it is to be in this world this morning... at my dad’s house again... walking the dog in the early morningWell sparklers, I wish you a good morning and a great day, but the Cooper-dog advises that we all go back to bed... I called his name to try and get him to smile for y’all to this morning, but he gave me one of his side-eyes and buried his face in the blanket... nope, he is definitely not ready to get up and go for a walk! Haha... he can sleep until 7am today and then we have to go out because I have things to do today... sorry little dog, your agenda of snoozing the day away got pre-empted!Even dizzy as all get out I can still wear out my Jack Russell Terrier... lol... I have to admit that he doesn’t do well in hot weather and it was about 80F today which may be affecting his energy levels... but this is his normal state when we aren’t walking or running somewhere... all those toys I bought him are going to waste in his toy box, because he never has the energy left to play with them after spending the day keeping up with me! He does manage to keep up though... good puppy!The Cooper-dog and I napped away a rainy afternoon It turned into a rainy, gray day... and after my solo walk early this morning, followed by a medium long dog walk, the Cooper-dog and I spent most of the day dozing on and off... sure, I took him out every now and then, but not for a long rambling walk like we usually do... I guess we all deserve a relaxing day every now and then lolI broke down and turned on the A/C after our afternoon walk... the Cooper-dog is no dummy... he found the spot directly in the middle of where the coolest air blows out... and commandeered that spot. Have at it little dog, I am not wearing a fur coat in 80+ degrees and high humidity!Hmmm... I seem to have broken the Cooper-dog! Actually, this is the silly puppy staging a rebellion after I kicked him out of bed to go for a walk.., if he is that insistent in staying in the A/C for another hour I won’t argue with him too hard... as long as we get out before 8am... when the temperature is supposed to rise quickly from merely slightly warm to “hot enough to melt asphalt”...Slowest dog walk ever this morning... I couldn’t tell if he was protesting the early morning hour or the already muggy heat. I turned the A/C on full blast when we got home... and now I can’t tell if he thinks it’s a wee bit chilly in here (I am just barely cool enough), or if he’s hiding his face from the sun so he can get another hour of sleep that I cheated him of with the early awakening today?! Either way, it’s too darned hot for blankets Cooper-dog!Sometimes I have to remind my niece that she herself is not actually a dog, despite everyone calling her a “dog mom”! Mmmmm, liver treats! She and I spent a good three hours running the dogs in and out of the new kiddie pool! Hysterically funny... they made up games with each other and the ball, and hopping in and out. The smaller dog is, of course, the Cooper-dog... the larger dog is Sweet Pea.This is what the Cooper-dog thinks of 5am after playing hard in the heat and sun yesterday... 💤... we are at my dad’s house overnight. And the Cooper-dog does need to be walked before I leave for my appointment in a couple hours... but that’s still a couple hours away. I will let him snooze until about 30 before I have to leave... and then it’s walk time... until then it’s yoga with Adrienne, and a solo walk.... if I don’t succumb to the puppy sleep vortex lolI walked the Cooper-dog down to get the morning newspaper at my dad’s house this morning... I thought I would share what that means... that’s all hill... and the paper box out of sight still... it gives the Cooper-dog a chance to get a real walk in early in the morning.And I had to try and catch the beauty of the sky as we came back up the driveway... (my dad lives in western NY state)The pups contemplating the moral implications of hybrid cars... or the cat is in the driveway! This made me laugh... and I am taking time out to appreciate the things that make me laugh this weekend...Good morning, the Cooper-dog and I are spending a few (not so quiet, it’s those birds) dawn moments on my dad’s deck. I look at that sky and all’s right with the world for a moment or two...My mom’s flowers are blooming. I bet she’d be pleased. I love this color of purple. I would love it if my hairdresser could duplicate it!I think there’s a metaphor for learning to live a healthier lifestyle in there somewhere... those are blackberry brambles... they look a mess, and some of them will prick you, but in the end they bear the most delicious fruit...I have mostly done solo walks today, as the Cooper-dog is exhausted from playing with Sweet Pea most of the day yesterday... the pose in the picture is his most common one today, instead of jumping down and bugging me to go out, he gives me dirty looks if I suggest he move for any reason. I guess sometimes I forget he is no longer a young dog... it takes him two days to recover from one day of intense playing...I kind of feel like this today... a bit shy, and a little on the worn and tattered side... but still rather pretty... going to the salon this afternoon with my niece and best friend... maybe a change or pick me up for each of us will make all three of us feel more positive about ourselves...My dad got my a Fitbit Alta as a very, very early birthday present (it’s not until July) I like the color he got me... not bad for a 75 year old man who is colorblind! He knows me pretty well though... lol...When I was playing with the dogs I saw these red flowers... the only red flowers I think my mom planted in her garden... btw playing with two very active dogs is good exercise!Walking the dogs there were a lot of red paintbrush flowers... I guess I am on a red flowers kick today! lolI enjoy playing with colors! My niece said it looks like the best crayons melted on my head lol. I love 💗 this hairdo! #BeforeAndAfterIs feeling bold and bright!Spinach and tomato salad, with a splash of avocado ranch dressing... and topped with chipotle tuna... yum!No workout for me this morning... I am still unwell, and decided to practice prudence, and slept in a little... much to the Cooper-dog’s delight! He is in dreamland still, with his hi-mom snuggled next to him... not off gallivanting... lolis grateful for Sparkfriends... a friend in Canada sent me this awesome tshirt! eh?The Cooper-dog’s opinion of 6am this morning... I think he is hiding his eyes?My mom’s flower garden has kind of gone wild now that she’s gone... things are still blooming, but the weeds and brambles are encroaching... my task for Wednesday afternoon is going to be getting in there and weeding it as best I can... (I wish the money plant grew cash, don’t you?)A bit on the cool side this morning, if I were feeling better it would have been a beautiful morning for a run... but my health dictates a brisk walk today. Still a good workout! Of course I came home to the Cooper-dog buried in blankets unwilling to face the day just yet... I let him sleep on... just because I am up doesn’t mean he has to be!Someone claimed the recliner while I was making coffee. Think he’ll share if I ask nicely? lol Good morning!Checked on the status of the fruit on my dad’s Pawpaw trees while I was out walking the Cooper-dog this morningThe Cooper-dog is waiting patiently at my dad’s kitchen table for me to finish my yoga... or not so patiently?Several people asked for an action shot of the Cooper-dog... this is the closest I can get with my phone. No, he is not smoking a cigar... that’s a dental stick... he’ll chew on it for the rest of the day and clean his teeth...Maybe it’s a good thing that the Cooper-dog is a bit of a recliner hog... it makes me more motivated to get up and do housework, so I am not disturbing his furiness... of course he’s just as happy when I join him and we snuggle... but I do tend to get more housework done while he sprawls out...I am not sure if that’s a look of disgust or resignation? I just told him I have to get up and go do the dishes and stop cuddling with his furriness... this does not meet with his approval I believe... we did go for an hour walk before our half hour of cuddles... he is not being neglected... poor puppy...Walked the dog, finished the dishes, did the laundry, finished my book... time for a second cup of coffee!You, yes, you... I’m talking to you! Hello! I hope you have a good day and realize how beautiful you are just the way you are right now. You may want to be healthier, stronger, trimmer... whatever... but you are beautiful just the way you are!Dinner is roasted zucchini, onion, and shiitake mushrooms, with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan... simple, but oh so tasty (and the mushrooms came from the farmers market this morning, and were picked this morning... I think that qualifies as “fresh”!)Happy Father’s Day to all those who fill that role in whatever fashion. This is my dad, with his other grandpuppy... I am blessed to still have him in my life! He is the gentlest person I know, and the small furry creatures pick up on it and all adore him...I only walked him for 45 minutes and he’s exhausted! He’s not a hot weather sort of dog(or a wet weather dog, or a really cold weather dog... in fact he has a pretty narrow window that he enjoys... spoiled puppy!). Brought him back inside to the A/C and he melted in relief... gonna be interesting over the next few days when it gets even hotter!The sunrise view as I sip my coffee... I guess this is my reward for getting up early?Finished my early morning cardio, got cleaned up, made my coffee, and sat down with the intention of reading while drinking my morning coffee... but once again the morning sky distracted me with its glorious colors... moments like these I feel so blessed!The Cooper-dog and I are chilling out after racking up over 9 miles of walking miles together today... tired pup! Bet he sleeps well tonight...The Cooper-dog is a snoozy dog this afternoon... it’s a good day to chill out, kind of gray and gloomy, with rain now and then. I did take him out between rain showers... but now he just wants to examine the inside of his eyelids and only run in his dreams... so I am doing yoga and stretching while he sleeps.Good morning... from the Cooper-dog and myself The Cooper-dog is drifting off to sleep again after a 1.5 hour walk... followed by treats and tricks. Mostly he just sits on command, but occasionally he lies down or dances. The one thing I have failed to train him to do is to come when called... in fact, he runs as fast as he can in the opposite direction! Obstinate pup! Thus he is never off leash... well, not on purpose...When I got back from my run it sort of looked like the Cooper-dog was listening for me... but really he was sound asleep! I am going to have to wake him up in a few minutes to walk him before the rain starts up again.My dad and I (and the Cooper-dog) checked on dad’s Pawpaw trees this morning at the end of our walk... they are coming right along ...The many faces of myself... skipping the “heavy” years... the blue and purple hair is a current picture...some days I want to acknowledge the pictures in which I looked and felt good...I think orchids are pretty...It was a wet walk this morning... and the Cooper-dog declined to accompany me due to the weather... I got him out for about 5 minutes and he was done!Good morning sparklers! I am definitely getting in my outdoor cardio workouts in the middle of the night/ early morning for the next few days as the temperatures as going to be in the high 80s-mid 90s ....which is too hot for intense outside activity in my opinion. I am just as delicate as the Cooper-dog I guess! Haha! I am on my way out the door soon, see you in about an hour...The Cooper-dog invaded and set up housekeeping in his cousin Sweet Pea's crate... thankfully she didn't seem to care. He was protesting the fact I was walking and not paying attention to him... like I properly should have been! hahaThe early morning moon at the end of my workout...I am going to try and make the best of my weekend... even if that means taking it easy and staying indoors during the hottest part of the day and working out when the sun has gone down (or before it has come up again)... and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!The top picture is the Cooper-dog waiting to go for his early morning walk... the bottom picture is the aftermath... we went out a bit earlier than usual this morning, due to the warm weather... I wanted to get him out for a good long walk before the asphalt started to get too hot. (We have to cross a little just to get out of our apartment building to the grassy areas) I don’t want him burning his paws on the asphalt! (Besides, it’s safer for me to walk then too...)The Cooper-dog is doing his pancake impression while we visit my dad... it’s only 82F... inside.... in front of the fan... it’s hotter outside little dog! We’ll be going home to our apartment with A/C shortly... after I do some yoga with my eldest niece... which is as active as either of us want to get today. (Free hot yoga, with no special gear required!)Lunch was a locavore’s delight with locally sourced zucchini, beef, shredded Parmesan, garlic... and the last of my dad’s asparagus! Roasted together just long enough, but not too long. Meat is cooked, and the veggies aren’t limp! Yummy!The pups and I are enjoying a little breeze that kicked up, giving us a little respite from the heat... still not going for a run until tomorrow in the early morning hours though!Dad put a birdbath in mom’s garden... I got a start on weeding a couple weeks ago, then life interrupted. I gotta get back to it and finish up!As I walked back into my apartment after my workout this was the view out of my window... it was just barely pink when I entered the building, so it blossomed pretty fast into this color sunrise......and the Cooper-dog has definitely decided the recliner should be his... especially when I leave him home to go for a run at 4:30 in the morning! (Not that he would deign to actually get up at that hour himself!)A fitting sunrise for July 4th I think...... and this morning when I got back from my early morning cardio workout the Cooper-dog was actually awake and ready for cuddles (after I cleaned up)... usually he is sound asleep for another hour or so, before he hops up... ready for his walk...While I was out there walking with the Cooper-dog I spotted this hawk... “dancing” around the base of a tree across the street from us... couldn’t figure out what it was up to... but it was intriguing to watch... the Cooper-dog was too busy sniffing a tree on our side of the street to notice the hawk... just as well!My INR was high... so spinach and arugula salads are on the menu for the next couple of days (good old vitamin K!)... and the side benefit is simple yet tasty meals! This was my lunch today...With a heat index in the high 90s yet again I can almost see the plea in the Cooper-dog’s eyes to turn the thermometer down... please! We went for a long walk this morning, followed by play time with Sweet Pea... but since then the Cooper-dog has been as sedentary as possible and as close to the A/C as possible... there’s a storm forecast for tonight that’s supposed to break this heatwave tomorrow though!My idea of fast food now... veggie spring rolls from the local farmers market... with a vendor-made peanut sauce... and since I know the family that runs that farm I felt comfortable asking for the ingredients...AND it’s always really pretty!If you look closely you can see blue on the blueberry bushes... (I know the netting gets in the way)... they aren’t quite ripe yet, but they are getting there! Almost ready for the early picking...The Cooper-dog and I are meditating this morning... well, I am meditating... the Cooper-dog is snoozing!Chopped up some watermelon to chill in the fridge... I love cold watermelon on a hot day! That, plus a salad for lunch and I am at 5 servings of fruits and veggies for the day... so dinner veggies are bonus veggies... lol... I am running a little low on protein though, so I will have to add something to dinner (and track it, of course!)The Cooper-dog would like to discuss my penchant for long walks... ummm... mom... can we talk about this... seriously? I was okay at 90 minutes. But thanks for carrying me that last 30 minutes! (Thank goodness he only weighs 12 pounds... and doesn’t wiggle)Awesome clouds on the Cooper-dog’s first walk of the day!Pawpaw update: they are putting on size, and the birds have left them alone as yet. I have been researching and they are very “hipster” these days... which makes me laugh that it’s my 75 year old dad growing them!The Cooper-dog standing guard.... he is my ESA, and my favorite walking buddy (though I don’t ask him to go out with me at 4am to run! He is still snoozing at that time)The first planting of sweet corn is starting to show silk... early beans are coming in... tomatoes are ready to be picked, broccoli is just starting to form heads... soon it will be fresh veggies from the garden! (That’s my dad tilling the corn)For my early morning cardio workouts I usually finish up before dawn... this morning I got a little later start, so the first indications of the new day are visible as I stretch and savor my post-workout coffee.The first of the beans have been picked! Now to snap and freeze most of these. We’ll probably eat a couple servings fresh (who could resist?)...Guess what’s on the agenda again today? Yup! Picking, snapping and freezing green beans from my dad’s garden... we are definitely going to have some for lunch too... yummy!The Cooper-dog is contemplating his options for resting after our mid-morning walk. Either that or he is plotting on how to get his harness off...Just look at the anticipation in those furry faces! This is from yesterday’s play session when I was dog sitting Sweet Pea... I got a good workout tossing the frisbee! ...And walking them. (They haven’t figured out the walking together thing yet, so I get tangled up in the leashes half the time.)It’s going to have to be an abbreviated workout this morning... I promised my dad I would be at the farm by 7am to help pick blueberries... and I want to walk the Cooper-dog before I go out there... so I am headed out the door, while the Cooper-dog sneaks in a few more zzz’sA touch of drama to the clouds as I finished my workout this morning. Oh... happiness is new sneakers! They came yesterday, and I wore them this morning for my workout. They are a little heavier since they are trail running shoes, but they feel sturdier, which is what I was looking for, as part of the time I am running on gravel or on a dirt path... and I was tired of feeling every little rock and twig!I managed to get to my dad’s house within 10 minutes of the appointed time... spent the next hour and a half picking blueberries in his berry patch...The Cooper-dog required belly rubs when I got back from my early morning walk workout this morning... normally he snoozes on, but he was awake and waiting today, so of course he got those belly rubs! (Not that he’s spoiled or anything... lol)The main key to maintenance for me is consistency... and the Cooper-dog requires me to get out and go every single day. (Some days he may not want to go far, but we go out for at least a short walk together Every. Single. Day.) here he is basking in the sun on my dad’s porch after a short walk with his canine buddy Sweet Pea...I went out extra early this morning to run... it was actually a touch slower than a 12 minute mile, but only by a little bit... when I got back the Cooper-dog was all about the snuggles this morning and not so much for belly rubs...The Cooper-dog and I walked almost 2 hours this morning... starting before 5:30... we were more than halfway through before the sun had risen enough to peep through the trees... It was a gorgeous morning for a walk!Pawpaw update: (hipster banana, Quaker delight, North American papaya) they continue to put on size, and so far the bugs and birds remain uninterested. I have found reference to picking them when they turn yellow... and another site said wait until they fall off the tree! I read that they were a favored dessert of George Washington... they don’t travel well, or store for long, which may be why they are hard to find other than in farmers markets near orchards that grow them...I finish my cardio... and stretch on the lawn of the apartment building I live in, before heading inside for my coffee. I was dreaming of that first sip and daydreaming in general while staring at this tranquil sky... so I thought I would just share it with y’all. It turned more colorful as I sipped my coffee, but there was something so calming about that early-dawn Sky...All of yesterday’s excitement means that the Cooper-dog appears to be sleeping in! I need to walk him, go over to my Brother’s house and feed the cat and fish, and get to my dad’s house to help make breakfast this morning! I have a feeling the Cooper-dog will be satisfied with a short walk though, so I think I can safely let him sleep another 30 minutes before rudely waking him lol...Yesterday’s sunrise... reminds me of all the potential that is illuminated and “sparked” to life each day... y’all are pretty awesome!I have been sleeping a little later the last few days (this is a good thing!) so for my run I either have to increase the pace or break it up into a couple workouts, neither option is a bad idea. Today I went for shorter, but faster (at least I felt like I was moving faster... lol)... when I got home and finished my stretches and sat down in the recliner, the Cooper-dog decided it was snuggling time... can you see him? (Hmmm... I think his nail need to be trimmed again...)I walked to my brothers house to feed the cat and decided to sightsee along the way... it may have been hot and dry so far this summer, but the flowers are still bloomingGosh, I love watching the sunrise each morning! The top picture was only 15 minutes before the bottom one, but the whole essence of the light changed in those moments. I enjoy both... the first for its serenity, the second for the promise of things to come (the purest potential!). Running through the changing light is a sheer delight...The Cooper-dog gives me “the Look” whenever I roust him out at 5:30am to go for a good long walk. He may grump about going, but once he gets out there he is his happy, jaunty self. We managed nearly 2 hours walking this morning, before I had to feed my brother’s cat, eat breakfast, and be ready to be picked up to go to a doctor appointment by 8:20... we made it!Normally the Cooper-dog joins me for yoga (sometimes to my consternation)... but this morning he has turned his back on me and is refusing to acknowledge me or my yoga mat... not sure if his still sulky over yesterday’s early walk, or my long solo workout in the middle of the night (which he usually sleeps through anyways), but he is definitely throwing some attitude this morning! Puppy tantrum?! lolAfter about an hour of walking and 30 minutes of belly rubs the Cooper-dog is blissed-out and I think I am forgiven for whatever infraction I committed earlier!I am headed out the door for another early morning cardio workout... as soon as I can convince myself to disturb the Cooper-dog! Doesn’t he look comfy? And he’s kinda wrapped around my leg... so if I move he WILL be disturbed... poor puppy is doomed to be awakened... we will see if I get the cold shoulder again when I get back (like yesterday morning!)Well, this morning I assume the Cooper-dog slept through my workout... and it seems he couldn’t care less that I am back. I give it an hour and he’s going to want a walk. It is a lovely cool morning, so I expect it will be another long walk... I really don’t understand people who say walking is “boring”... there is so much to see and hear in the world around me... and of course I have my walking buddy, the inimitable Cooper-dog, to keep me company!This is my 75 year old father, who generally walks 2 miles every morning (rain, snow, or shine, though he has stopped going on icy days)... the Cooper-dog adores him... maybe even more than I do! This morning the dog insisted on walking to grandpas house (3.5 miles) so he could get grandpa cuddles! Turns out we were just in time to be included in breakfast!Now that’s takeout! Stopped at the local farmers market and picked up a cold Cambodian noodle salad (with a local flair) for lunch... got their ginger sauce for dressing... oh my goodness! So yummy... and so satisfying...Somebody’s tired... 7 miles before noon will do that to a pup!Someone drifted off to dreamland when I got back from my workout this morning (and before his walk)Walked the Cooper-dog at 5:36am for about an hour and a half... so we started by moonlight( left picture)... and watched the sunrise (picture on the right)... before heading to dad’s for breakfast with my brothers.I went for a solo walk when we got home from dad’s... when I got back from my walk I had to play “find the puppy” because he was all curled up asleep with no intention of coming to greet me! Good thing I know how much he adores me from his other actions! A girl could get a complex...day 350 of my streak for "Consume at least 8 cups of water per day." earned 7/29/2018The Cooper-dog was a little slow to wake up this morning, but once he did he was full of vim and vigor! This was just before he popped fully awake and decided we had to walk right away... so we did. I was up and mostly ready anyways, so why not? It ended up being a fairly short walk as it was cut short by a rain shower, but we went out again after the rain!I have trouble quieting my very noisy brain... the Cooper-dog seems to have no such trouble! He has mastered the art of utter relaxation. I haven’t figured it out yet, but if I can get to a state of internal (somewhat) quiet that will be close enough for me. lolI woke up way too early, and the Cooper-dog has turned his back on me in disgust at my nocturnal habits... so why not review my goals while I’m awake and not feeling like going out to workout yet? It’s the beginning of the month... it helps me focus on what is important in each month to review and revise my goals.Someone was awake and wanted to say hello when I got back from my workout just now... the Cooper-dog got up close and lovey dovey, like I had been gone a week not an hour or so (and I bet he was asleep most of that hour!). Funny pup... good workout this morning...Instead of cataloguing my current sickness status I thought I would post a picture of the Cooper-dog sleeping determinedly. Sweet pup... he is just happy I was only gone for my early morning workout for about 10 minutes or so (or maybe he wishes I had taken longer so he could throw a wild party while I was occupied?)... I am hoping he sleeps in a little this morning, I could use a leisurely start...day 1475 of my streak for "Exercise 10 minutes 1 time per day" earned 8/5/2018There are many times I envy my dog... this morning is one of those times. He is drifting back to sleep, while I am awake and unable to sleep due to coughing, and a sore throat (among other things)... I tried taking a 10 minute walk... since I was up anyways, why not?... not a good idea today... ugh... have I ever mentioned how much I despise being sick? (Whining now commencing)... sweet puppy just gave me a hug... good dog!My coughing disturbances upset the Cooper-dog, he is just now settling back to his peaceful self, but he seems to need to pin me down. Normally, at this juncture, if I were unable to sleep I would go do a cardio workout outside, but I am too sick. So frustrating. Instead, I am just going to sit here in my recliner and listen to some good music and think healthy thoughts...This was last night about 9pm... he wanted to go out... just one more time mom!? I said yesterday morning that I needed to rest? I ended up walking the “sadistic puppy” about 6 miles total yesterday, including a 3 mile walk in the morning. Normally, I would be all for it, but when I am this sick...? But, I figure, better to walk him than to have him start chewing the furniture!Now, the Cooper-dog is snoring away in the crook of my arm, pinning me down so I cannot escape to do even a 10 minute cardio workout this morning. Smart puppy! He must know that I need to rest..,The Cooper-dog is smiling for me!The sadistic puppy (aka the Cooper-dog) is finally getting his revenge for all those times I left him home to go out and get in solo cardio workouts in the middle of the night... he looks all sweet now, but we just got back from a 2 mile jaunt around town... at 3am. I love my dog. I do. But as sick as I am, I wish I had the heart to be mean and drag him home as soon as he did his “business”... instead of walking another 1.5 miles. Oof... torturous pup, torturous...The sadistic puppy (aka the Cooper-dog) led me on a merry pre-dawn walk today... we watched the sunrise for during the last 20 minutes of our walk... it was a lovely, gentle sunrise this morning... hoping it’s a precursor of a good day ahead!The Cooper-dog is my secret weapon against stress. Just having him curled up next to me is calming. Who can resist such quiet energy...?I left the AC running while I went out for an early morning walk, and came back to this... methinks the Cooper-dog is of the opinion I set it too low! He wouldn’t unbury himself from his blankie even for belly rubs... I thought it was comfortable... (I still think it’s comfortable). Poor cold puppy! I guess that’s why he has a blankie...The Cooper-dog would never ask if his derrière looks big, because frankly, he just doesn’t care! I wouldn’t ask, because I care too much... I do know there is less of it then there was 155 pounds ago! Actually, now that I think about it... I am satisfied with that realization! The Cooper-dog is just happy he gets fed, and walked, and has a cool, soft place to sleep! Priorities, priorities!It ended up being more walking than running... just not up to par yet... in the meantime the Cooper-dog is back to sleeping through my late night/early morning workout and my return from that workout... it’s supposed to storm in an hour or two... just about the time he normally goes out for his morning walk, I think I am going to have a pouting puppy later this morning... lolOver an hour past when he usually pesters me to go out... and he is still snuggled in his blankie... guess listening to the thunder convinced him to stay in bed. Smart puppy!The Cooper-dog went for his last walk of the day (today’s mileage total was 6 miles over 3 walks) and is ready to snuggle in his blankie... dogs seem to have the best dreams from what I have observed, no wonder he likes sleeping so much!The Cooper-dog dragged his blankie to the recliner while I was out walking, but did not stir when I came back. I guess he was just too comfortable! The quiet of the summer is at an end here, the college students are returning, I may have to rethink my early morning cardio workouts, or bring them indoors. I didn’t have the streets to myself this morning ( Well, it’s been me, the paperboy, and the village police patrol)...Daily stretching... while the Cooper-dog snoresI went for a windy walk by Lake Erie this morning just after dawn...While I am doing my daily stretching the Cooper-dog is snoozing and really couldn’t care less! He has his priorities...The Cooper-dog awakens! Good thing, since we have 10 minutes before we have to meet my brother. I will probably still have to carry him out to the car... lol... he will be fully aware by the time we get to dad’s house and quite ready for that walk!Walking with dad and my eldest brother (and the Cooper-dog)... and stopping to smell the flowers... but NOT eat the berries!And there’s the Cooper-dog headed back to dad’s house in the morning light...Per usual, the Cooper-dog is snuggling in his blankie while I do my daily stretching. If I wait and do it later in the day... he “helps”!After doing my daily stretching, I sat next to the sleeping Cooper-dog... hoping that some of his sleep mojo would rub off on me... since he is a master at sleeping anywhere, anytime! (And I am definitely not...)The storm was intense, but short-lived. I got soaked, but Cooper-dog did not, so all is right in the world..: lol... the hardest part for me was keeping my hair from getting wet. I dyed it again last night (touched up the blue)... and it will run a little in the rain until I wash it a couple of times! My selfie skills are deficient, but at least you can get an idea of the color...Doing my daily stretching (added a couple new ones)... while the Cooper-dog nests in his blankie... doesn’t he look comfortable (and fast asleep!)?day 1500 of my streak for "Exercise 10 minutes 1 time per day" earned 8/30/2018This morning’s early walk (with the Cooper-dog) the picture I captured had sunrise brightened clouds, with a hint of moon up in the right hand corner!Doing my daily stretching... the Cooper-dog deigned to wake up and spectate... momentarily. His way of welcoming the new Day is to go back to sleep and dream it into existence!The pawpaws are getting plump, but still hard as rocks. I guess it’s a race to see if they ripen before the weather gets too cold...I forgot to post yesterday mornings sunrise picture from walking the Cooper-dog out at my dad’s house... so here it is. I love watching the sunrise!The Cooper-dog is showing his usual level of interest in my pre-dawn workout routine... as in zero!Here’s a clearer shot of me standing in one leg of a pair of pants that I used to wear when I started this journey a number of years ago...I used to wear those tan pants!The Cooper-dog is doing his puppy burrito thing while I do my daily stretching early (very early) in the morning... he sure does love his blankie!On this cold, rainy morning I debated joining the Cooper-dog in his somnolent state... instead I pulled on my layers (including gloves, for my poor fingers) and set off in the dripping dark... not so quiet in the rain! When I got back to the apartment, I changed into dry clothes and did my stretching... and then I snapped the picture of the Cooper-dog... who still had not awakened! He is so determined to get his full quota of sleep...I have been wearing more stripes lately. I got this dress for my birthday in July, but yesterday was the first day it was cool enough to comfortably wear it. I am still debating whether I like wearing striped clothes... they look cute on the hanger, but I am undecided about their attractiveness on me.Instead of going for my solo morning cardio I decided to spend an hour snuggled with the Cooper-dog this morning. Much to my surprise he actually woke up for a few minutes! (Of course now he is back to sleep, and I am contemplating that workout after all....). There is still a while before I need to be anywhere (7:15am breakfast at my dad’s house)... hmmm... decisions, decisions!This striped dress is not quite as flattering I fear, but sooo comfortable. I was at my dad's house, and got photobombed by niece's dog, Sweet Pea... this was after taking a walk with dad, niece, Sweet Pea, and the Cooper-dog...The Cooper-dog is doing his best to lead by example as far as sleeping well goes. I really should be paying attention. Because I don’t sleep well. At all. Gonna give it a good try though.The Cooper-dog joined me in doing daily stretching this morning... then promptly fell back to sleep 💤Around the curve from my dad’s house is this view... we walked the Cooper-dog and Sweet Pea together this morning... I don’t think the dogs noticed the view...After rousing games of tug and fetch the Cooper-dog seems to be asking, “what’s next?” And then he promptly curled up and fell asleep on that hardwood floor. Little dog can sleep anywhere if he played hard enough... hmmmmThe Cooper-dog and I just finished his morning walk and are chilling outside for a few minutesI was going to spend some me time reading, but the Cooper-dog thought I should be giving him belly rubs so instead of reading I spent 15 minutes dispensing pets and belly rubs...This all white pigeon has been hanging around the playground next to my apartment building for weeks, but it usually flies away when I walk near. Yesterday when I was walking to the lab for (more) blood work it actually stayed long enough for me to snag a picture. So, are white pigeons omens of good luck? Or merely an anomaly of genetics? (I know they are fairly rare)When I left the apartment I took a picture of the Cooper-dog... when I returned he hadn’t moved a muscle. Not even to come to the door and greet me, or lift his head and acknowledge that I exist. Pup has his priorities. Night is for sleeping! He would appreciate it if I would turn out the light and join him! Unfortunately little dog, we don’t always get what we want in this life... even when we are cute... insomnia wins tonight, sorry.I was washing my dad’s car yesterday when I noticed what my brother had done... he has a whacked sense of humor. Btw washing the car is pretty good exercise if you do it vigorously! I snort every time I look at that picture!The Cooper-dog wouldn’t wake up earlier to say hello, but now he is using his psychic puppy powers on me to get me up and moving to suit his schedule... lol... gotta love our fur babies! Time to finish getting ready, so I can go walk the dog... he is definitely focused on what is important!Went for a walk after dinner and watched the moonrise... nice end to the day.It was cool enough I needed to keep a brisk pace to stay warm this morning ... when I got home the Cooper-dog woke up and as you can see made a request for belly rubs! Half an hour later... I had to start getting ready to go to my dad’s house for breakfast. I can tell Fall has arrived... 93F yesterday, and low 50s this morning!Pawpaw pictures for those interested: first, part of the crop off the small tree... second, inside of the fruit (you can see the large size of the seeds)... and third, a whole fruit next to a standard table fork for size comparison. I think they might get bigger in a more southerly climate. More sunshine = bigger fruit...My dad also grows Crispin apples and Asian pears...Sunset at the end of my last walk of the day with the Cooper-dog, and my friend, Steph... It dropped 40 degrees from yesterday to today... Fall is upon us!I was meditating, and the Cooper-dog was snoozing with his blankie... which of us achieved inner peace? Hmmm... probably more him than me this morning!I was contemplating the day ahead and drying off from this morning’s walk, and snapped this portrait of the Cooper-dog. He detests wet, windy weather! I suspect that my exercise for today will be independent of his needs. I will be surprised if I get him outside for more than 10 minutes until this storm breaks... can you spot his little, white tail? Supposed to be stormy tomorrow too. Poor puppy!I timed my walk to finish before the next storm rolled in... of course I couldn’t convince the Cooper-dog to join me that early in the morning... in fact he definitely gave me the stink eye!The Cooper-dog is recharging his batteries after his first walk of the morning... he instigated his walk early today (about 5:30am)... we are headed out to my dad’s house shortly for another walk and breakfast with dad and my brothers and my one niece.On yesterday’s evening walk I didn’t stop and smell the roses, but I did spot this cool fungus... the world is a wondrous place...As dad, and my brother, and the Cooper-dog and I set out on our walk this morning before breakfast the sun had just risen. It is clear that autumn is upon us, as the quality of the light has drastically changed from the bright light of summer... I enjoy the Fall with the cool weather and muted sunshine...This is the picture my brother took of my dad, and the Cooper-dog and me walking down my dad’s driveway this morning...Who’s smarter? Me or the Cooper-dog? He stayed inside snoozing on his blanket, all cozy. I went outside in the early morning chill (48F) and damp, and took a short, fast walk. I am energized, but cold. He is sleepy, but warm. Hmmm...The outside world just looked wet and cold this morning, so I made the decision to bring my workout indoors. I usually prefer going outside, but rainy, dark mornings sometimes can be a bit daunting. The Cooper-dog, of course, just snuggled deeper into his blankie...The Cooper-dog really, really does not want to go out this morning (and neither do I), as it is storming big time. Loud thunder, bright lightning... normally storms don’t freak him out, but after I finished my workout (indoor) I had to go sit in the bathroom with him, because it is the quietest, most protected room in the apartment. Poor puppy is freaked right out! Look at that tail, and those ears...I did my PT exercises while the Cooper-dog snoozed. They are all done standing, so he doesn’t care what I am doing... except that I am not giving him belly rubs while I’m doing them... lolI was playing fetch with my niece’s dog... while the Cooper-dog tried to dig a hole to center of the earth. He failed at that, but managed to get pretty impressively muddy! FUNctional fitness...It was a foggy morning out at my dad’s house... some of the things I particularly noted on our walk... the wild apples are ripe... the tree at the bottom of his driveway is just starting to turn colors... and his heartnut tree has really grown significantly in the past year or two. Sometimes I don’t notice trees growing until they have grown a lot, but it just struck me this morning how much it’s grown... it was a good walk, all in all, just a bit damp...The Cooper-dog is snoozing for now, but in about an hour he will be ready for the day to start. I believe it will be a good day today... it may be stormy outside, but I have a smile on my face because it is another day that I get to decide to do and be just a little bit more/better than yesterday... tomorrow is not promised to us, but for this moment we can choose what our priorities are... I certainly am!The picture on the left was the sunrise... the picture on the right was the reflection of the sunrise in the opposite direction, while dad and the Cooper-dog and I walked.Priorities, priorities: rub the Cooper-dog’s belly, or go run in the rain (I also have a nasty cold), in the pre-dawn dark. I had already done my PT exercises for the morning, so I had done SOMETHING... the pup will want a long walk when the rain stops in an hour or two, and I think a meandering dog walk suits my mood better today (and gives me a chance to take a decongestant, and let it work)... the Cooper-dog fully supports this choice!This is a normal portrait of a soaking wet, sulking puppy who got caught in a sudden downpour... I picked him up and ran him back inside, but he still got soaked... so his solution is to make a cocoon of his blankie and not emerge until both his fur is dry and his mood has improved!Made a quick detour by one Brother’s house on my Sunday morning walk with dad and my other brother. The top picture is pond-side, the bottom picture is a colony of amanita ‘shrooms... they are plentiful at his place. Chilly walk this morning... about 36F.Posted a photoThese are my favorite pasta alternative when spaghetti squash is not in season...After our morning walk dad is in charge of coordinating breakfast prep...Since it was a rainy day I made the chili that I meant to make yesterday (but I fell asleep way before dinner, and never did make it... or have dinner!). I intended to make a half of a pot, but as you can see I failed. lol. The picture was actually taken after three servings had already been dished up, so I must admit it was a FULL pot of chili! But very tasty, and usually it tastes even better the second or third day...Got in a good walk with the Cooper-dog this morning... the trees are definitely changing colors now. And the Fall cloudiness was broken by the occasional burst of sunshine during this morning’s gloomDoesn't it look chilly out there? Still went out and walked. With the dog. Without the dog. Just plodding along, one foot in front of the other.Coffee time for me... for the Cooper-dog? Yeah, he’s not feeling this morning business yet! (Besides, it’s raining out there...)We’re all packed and ready to go... he is waiting so patiently, I think... unless you see that expectant look in his eyes... ready, set, go...!Good morning! It is coffee time for me... while the Cooper-dog remains burrowed deep in his blankie. He isn’t even a lump this morning he has piled so much blanket on top of himself. Frost warning for this morning! (At least the AC unit is out, and I don’t have a window open anymore!)The Cooper-dog began the process of extricating himself from his blankie when he smelled my breakfast! Ham and cheese omelette this morning... yum!The big pot of chili is finished off, but the weather is still damp and gloomy... Soup weather! So, this morning when my insomnia kicked me out of bed I made a big pot of beef vegetable soup. There’s still something missing from the flavor profile, but I will figure it out after lunch when I eat a bowl of it... haha... what’s your favorite soup (or other food) for dark, wet days?The Cooper-dog before I left the apartment to go outside for a quick dash through the rain... and after, when I dripped cold rainwater on his head before drying off and changing clothes! Look at the soul-deep sufferance in his eyes... haha. Poor pupperito!Doing my PT exercises very, very early in the morning... and the Cooper-dog seems to be enjoying the fact that I am not dripping cold rain water on him this morning. (I am waiting until the rain stops to go out and walk today!)I had to play find-a-puppy when I got back from my walk this morning... lol. He wasn’t coming out from under his blankie for just me! Maybe if I offered him treats he would... it was chilly this morning, but at least it wasn’t snowing like it did yesterday when I went out to my dad’s house to walk with him...The Cooper-dog was avidly watching me make breakfast after our morning walk... we made it home just before the thunder started rolling through. It was a noisy storm, though a short lived one.The physical therapist changed up my stretching routine a little, eliminating a couple exercises that were actually aggravating my shoulders a little, and increasing the number of sets and repetitions of the ones that seem more useful. The Cooper-dog still couldn’t care less as long as he gets his beauty sleep!The moon was big and bright this morning when I went out for my solo workout... wasn’t a long one, but I did it!The Cooper-dog and I took a short walk at home before heading to dad’s house... this picture makes me think of that old song “me and my shadow”...These are the last two boxes of old vhs tapes from my dad’s house that I boxed up to get rid of... these are the only ones I thought the thrift store might be able to sell. I called first to ask if they even accepted them...! Ancient history that they are... headed down to donate these boxes after lunch.It doesn’t look like much, but after I packed up vhs tapes, I hauled brush for my dad who is clearing out space in the woods behind his house, so that he can put in a fenced dog run... so that he and my niece can foster and help train dogs from the local shelter. There’s a good reason why I want to be like my dad whenever I grow up... lolI went out for my solo walk in this cold, wet weather... but the Cooper-dog is lollygagging in the recliner with his blankie. And I am letting him! I know exactly how miserable it is out there. No need to drag him outside until he HAS to go out... lol... besides he walked 12 miles all together yesterday. Not too shabby little dog. I think you earned a rest day...I asked the Cooper-dog if he wanted to go out now (about 6:15am)... and he gave me the dirtiest look and then closed his eyes and pretended to sleep! Do you think he knows it’s below 40F and raining out there? lol... puppy attitude! I will get him out in the next hour or so... whether he really wants to go out in the cold wet or not! Be brave little dog, be brave!The sun actually came out while I was walking the Cooper-dog this afternoon! After three days... we were due for some sunshine. I love that orange tree highlighted by the sun. There’s a number of reasons I live where I do. Having 4 seasons is one of those reasons...Taking a few minutes to relax with the king of relaxation...Homegrown green beans topped with homegrown soybeans (okay, they came out of my freezer, but originally they came from my dad’s garden...)... and there’s winter squash in the oven! Add the last of my chicken from the other night and dinner is served... mmmm, yum!It’s coffee and breakfast time for me... while the Cooper-dog snoozes on. I think if he could talk he would tell me to turn the light off and go back to bed! He certainly gives me the dirtiest looks when I disturb his slumber whether it’s going out for an early morning workout, or merely making coffee and reading a book. Makes me laugh every time. A 12 pound dog has a hard time looking any more than merely disgusted with circumstances. Ah, poor puppy never gets taken seriously!Good morning sparklers! Coffee time for me, along with a good book. Ninja kitty is actually my dad’s cat... who earned the nickname by the sneaky attacks he springs on the Cooper-dog from the shadows... (and the cat always wins)Very short solo walk this morning... the Cooper-dog definitely never noticed that I was even gone... he was still sound asleep when I got back. Cold and wet again out there. Meh.I know it kinda looks like dog food, but it’s actually Tex-mex jackfruit on rice, with a sprinkle of cheddar. I had never had jackfruit before, so I thought what the heck! Not bad, I couldn’t taste much more than the spicy Tex-mex seasoning, but the texture was not off putting. I could definitely see putting that in a taco or burrito...Another cold, wet, and windy morning workout. My fanciful imagination says the Cooper-dog was along with me ... in his dreams! It looks like it in the picture doesn’t it? Like he might be trotting along? lol... time for me to change into something snuggly and warm, so I can get warm again while I drink my coffee and cuddle with the pup... good morning world!!Went simple for lunch... four ingredients; spinach, arugula, 3oz baked chicken, and tomato. Topped off with a squeeze of lemon. Mmmm, good!The Cooper-dog actually woke up when I was getting ready to go out the door for my solo workout... to say he was NOT PLEASED is an understatement. All I can say is at least I only got an annoyed stare... we will see if he’s in a better mood when I get back... lol 😆Taking the Cooper-dog for a midday walk on a strangely sunny day. After days on end of grey, cold, rainy weather... the practically cloudless, blue, blue sky is more than welcome! (And I promised my niece that I would go to a movie with her this afternoon... lol)Just as I am enjoying the sunshine, so are the critters... the ninja kitty has declared a ceasefire in his campaign of doggie harassment in order that all may bask... I am right there with ya kitty! Some things are more important than world domination...I left a book in the seat of the recliner when I went out for my solo workout this morning... and when I returned the Cooper-dog, for some reason only known to him, was using it as a pillow... silly pup, he had his blankie right there too! Maybe he was absorbing the story through osmosis? lolThe Cooper-dog was so sound asleep when I got back from my early morning workout that I was able to get right up in his face and take his picture... without him twitching. That pup sleeps hard! Wish I could do that... cold workout this morning... about 33F. I have to break out my Winter leggings. My legs were cold this morning 🥶Coffee time for me while I contemplate breakfast... I weaned myself off sugar in my coffee, and I am very slowly reducing the amount of half and half... very slowly... (I waffle a bit on this one, since it’s a minor splurge)The Cooper-dog partially emerged from his blankie nest when I got up to get my coffee... we have thunder and lightning... and whiteout conditions?! Thunder snow, it’s a real thing... glad I chose to stay indoors for my early morning workout!I attempted to walk the Cooper-dog... he lasted about 2.5 minutes outside, before making a beeline for the building... he is not mentally prepared for Winter... look at those unhappy ears! It’s only supposed to snow a couple more hours... after that I might go for a slow, careful solo walkThe Cooper-dog is sound asleep despite the smell of soup bones simmering. I am headed to the basement to ride the recumbent bike while the beginnings of soup continue slowly along. I have a new book on my ereader, so I better set an alarm, so I don’t get too caught up in the story... I would (and have)!The soup’s ready... I started making the broth early this morning, and the veggie beef w/lentils soup was ready by lunchtime... yum!There was a touch of sunrise color this morning when I walked the dog... not that there was any sunshine today.Taking a break from playing with the dogs... chasing them around the house HAS to burn some significant calories... lolWinter weather advisory in place. That looks like snow, but it’s largely ice. Makes the decision to go pedal in the basement for my early morning workout pretty easy to make.The Cooper-dog remained in the same spot, sleeping, while I went and pedaled for an hour or so. Took my current book with me, and got through almost half of it. I get going in a good cadence on the pedals, and then I can get pretty lost in a good book, only checking now and then to make sure I am maintaining my pace. It works fine for me! And I don’t have to go out and brave the ice on the sidewalks...The lighting is not the best, but I colored my hair again, a purple so dark that in places it looks almost black, but I left some of the teal... I get some flak for the bright colors I use in my hair, but the colors make me smile... and some days it’s a struggle to find things to smile about. So, I go merrily on my way... with mermaid hair!Went out to my dad’s house and walked with him this morning... the Cooper-dog was wide awake and eager to go by the time we left our apartment. I might even say “bright eyed”!I went out for my usual early morning solo walk... brisk out there! When I got back it looked like the Cooper-dog was asleep with his eyes open, which always kinda freaks me out. I guess it’s a dog thing. lolTime for coffee, while I consider breakfast.Good thing I set an alarm! My new book is really good, and I got caught up in the action and suspense. Surprised the heck out of me when the alarm went off. lol! The Cooper-dog was in his normal position (sound asleep) both when I left and when I returned... my dog definitely has better sleep hygiene than I do!The moon is big and bright tonight... walking with the Cooper-dog after dinner...While I was doing my PT exercises after breakfast the Cooper-dog and his buddy Sweet Pea played tug with her cloth frisbee... yes! An actual action shot of the Cooper-dog!Just got back from a longer, early morning walk... as it was a positively warm 39 degrees out at 4am... still left me wanting to bundle up in something cozy when I got back home though, lol. The Cooper-dog, of course, is buried in his blankie... and refusing to emerge, even for scritches and treats!Time for coffee before my PT exercises... (see that pile of stones behind my coffee mug? That’s the base of an awesome lamp my brother made for me a couple years ago with creek rocks from the creek by my parents house... I freaking love that lamp, even if it weighs about 45 pounds! Lol... my brother gives the best presents! 😊)Walked with dad (and the Cooper-dog)... when we got back to dad’s house it was quiet time for the dogs...Good morning all! Here’s a better picture of the creek rock lamp that my brother made me. Enjoying my coffee on a cold and rainy morning. Spent about an hour on the bike in the basement with a good book. I am unsure if the Cooper-dog is going to walk much today, as the forecast calls for freezing rain most of the day... his most despised weather.I guess I have started a streak... of days in a row of meditating in the morning. Today was day 3. The Cooper-dog also meditates... in his own way, which involves snoring 💤... lolYep, the snow is back... just getting started Not sure exactly how healthy it is, but my niece wanted to make waffles for dinner, dad wanted baked beans, and both wanted eggs... so we put them all together... it was tasty, filling, and just what was needed on this snowy, mucky night! So, maybe not the healthiest, but definitely hit all the notes for comfort food!I am ever so grateful for 4 wheel drive today... the picture is a Cooper-view of the parking lot at my brother’s work. We organized driving today, so it was almost all done in his 4WD truck. My dad tried going out in his little car... and got stuck coming back up the driveway. The dogs don’t want to go for a walk in this, but they sure seem to enjoy playing in it... for about 10 minutes at a time!Unsure about the calorie burn... spent about half an hour or more frolicking in knee deep (on me) snow with the pups. Throwing the frisbee, chasing my recalcitrant pup when he got off his lead, breaking trails for them... etcA little brightness and color for this dreary, cold morning... dad’s Christmas cactus is vividly blooming! And we have been going through MORE bookshelves, and found this gem, printed in 1917... I love the smell of old books...This may seem like a random picture... but when my brothers and I were growing up we had regular game nights after dinner... using one or two of the board games in the pile (and there were more, but my middle brother laid claim to them)... I believe it helped encourage us to be at the dinner table as a family on a regular basis, and finish our meals without (much) complaining.My dad got my mom this sign years ago... I might just have learned comfort eating from my mom... lolFrolicking puppies!There was rumbles of thunder in the distance, so I hightailed it home to the Cooper-dog... who really couldn’t care less... lol... not truly, he would miss me if I disappeared from his life tomorrow, as he is very much a one-woman dog. The walk was good, no active rain, made it home before the storm, and I made good enough time.The first half of my PT exercises... while the Cooper-dog continues to snore. I am waiting for the rain to stop before I roust him out. Then I am going to try and see if he’ll go for a longish walk before the snow starts...Chili... it was what I made for lunch for today... and probably the rest of the week, possibly the month! lol I am incapable of making a small pot of chili. I am taking some to my dad which should help empty the pot. I was just in the mood for it today. We had drizzling rain this morning, freezing rain at midday, and this afternoon we have blowing snow. Meh. I figured that deserved chili...The Cooper-dog was sleeping so determinedly when I returned from my early morning walk! lol. I am never really certain if he’s actually asleep, or refusing to acknowledge me... haha. It was a fairly nice morning for a walk. Not much ice on the sidewalks, and surprisingly, given how hard it was snowing yesterday afternoon, there was very little snow on the ground.Headed out the door for my early (so very early) morning walk. That paw was the Cooper-dog’s only acknowledgement that A. I exist... B. I was departing. I bet he is in a similar position when I return. Sidewalks are clear, so even though it is pretty chilly, I may make it a longer walk this morning. My playlist is 2 hours long!“Reach out and touch someone.” I forget what ad that’s from... anyone remember?A brisk walk on a chilly morning! Can you spot the Cooper-dog? He barely moved while I was walking as far as I can tell... he IS snoring 💤 now, which he wasn’t before, this proving that he is ready and willing to sleep through anything (except the new building fire alarms... those set him off big time!)If I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and creating small successes, it will lead to bigger and better things sooner rather than later... I just have to focus on the smaller goals and achieving each small milestone...Well, rewarding myself and rewarded the Cooper-dog! By spending extra cuddling time after my morning workout. It may mean I will have to rush my morning routine to get to my dad’s house for breakfast, but it is soothing for me... and the Cooper-dog seems to soak up the attention and adoration just fine! (Besides, he neither owns a watch nor has a particular morning routine, lucky dog!)I remembered to set the timer on my phone this morning! I also managed to finish my book about the time I finished my workout. Synchronicity! With the shorter workout the Cooper-dog remained completely asleep (as far as I know... though maybe he is really throwing big, elaborate dog parties while I am gone...?) and seems to have decided to spend the rest of the early morning hours snuggling. Fine by me!My lowest weight was 160... at that weight I was told by quite a few people that I looked “ill”... my happy weight is between 170-180, but right now I am 15 over that... time to buckle down again!The Cooper-dog is not only awake... he is attempting to use his psychic puppy power to get me to get moving faster and take him for a walk... sorry, pup! Finishing the coffee is imperative! Give me 10 more minutes...Pesto eggs were the main dish for dinner last night... my blood sugar was pretty low most of the day yesterday, so I needed a quick and simple protein to help even things out... a slice of Ezekiel bread toast with a Tbs of peanut butter (anyone else ever noticed how small a serving of peanut butter actually is?!), and half a glass of orange juice to balance things out. The combination seemed to do the trick! Yay! And it tasted good too... bonus!The soundtrack for my meditation this morning was the Cooper-dog’s little snores... he was meditating too of course!I was dancing with a YouTube workout when I turned around and saw the Cooper-dog watching me... couldn’t tell if he was scared or skeptical... lol!! What he wasn’t doing was joining me. Puppy dog was not moving from his spot in the recliner with his blankie before time for his walk! Pup’s got his priorities in order!I had a honeycrisp Apple with a Tbs of peanut butter for a bedtime snack last night... and gave the Cooper-dog a bit of peanut butter. I can never tell if he is truly enjoying it, or cussing me out for feeding him something so sticky... lick, lick, lick...The Cooper-dog was definitely looking askance at my dance moves this morning! lol... I tried to tell him I was just following the choreography of the workout I was doing, but he didn’t seem to care about the reasons for my gyrations... he was just resigned to my foolishness! Funny puppy face...Good morning sparklers! I actually got an eyeball from the Cooper-dog as I headed out the door. Goodness gracious, that doesn’t happen often with this sleepyhead Jack Russell! lol... It’s vaguely warmer here this morning (37F) and the sidewalks are definitely clear, so I am all decked out and layered up for an early morning workout outdoors. Yay!!Posted a photoSince I can’t sleep, and I have pretty much exhausted the non-reading quiet occupations I can do to try and relax and get back to sleep... I am giving up and going out for a walk. As you can see, the Cooper-dog (as usual) has no intention on joining me for a pre dawn, or middle of the night perambulation. He is determinedly snoring away, cuddled up with his blankie in the recliner, and shows no inclination to pretend any interest in a walk. Sleepyhead pup! 💤The Cooper-dog was using his blankie as camouflage as I was getting ready to head out the door for an extra early workout. I am headed to the neurologist this morning for a treatment, and then to the hospital for the MRI, so everything has to happen earlier than usual... or it probably won’t happen at all.I am definitely easing into my day today, while the Cooper-dog is in denial that it’s another day already, though he will accept petting and scritches with pleasure!This is what a morning “resting” looks like for me and the Cooper-dog... I look pretty rough, and the Cooper-dog is determinedly asleep... but honestly, I savor these moments for their simplicity, and lack of pressure or pretense. I put enough pressure on myself in the course of a day (and The Cooper-dog will start making demands for walks and playtime in a few hours), that these sweet, calm, moments when I just let myself *Be* are precious!Normally the Cooper-dog sleeps through me getting up, getting ready to go out, and usually I find in the same place place as where I left him when I go out for my early morning (very early) walks... this morning though he gave me *the Look* right before I was ready to head out the door. lol. Not sure if that was for disturbing his sleep, or leaving him behind? My guess...? He really didn’t want to be awakened at 3:12am!Memory of Summer on this first day of Winter...My dad puts up this little Christmas tree each year with the little DIY elf ornaments my brothers and I made for our parents over the years... most are made of felt, pipe cleaners, and wooden bead heads... I still find them charming and they make me smile, but that might be the love that went into the making coloring my impressions... lol... many have been lost or destroyed (darn cats!) over the years, but I know dad treasures the ones that have survived.The Cooper-dog didn’t even twitch while I was dancing around... huh?! I did check to make sure he was still breathing this time. Because really, he usually wakes up to either laugh, or sneer at me, or possibly critique me when I do a dance workout (I have never figured out which it is)... and instead he was doing his comatose Frankenstein-dog impression this morning... I guess I just wore him out yesterday...Merry Christmas Eve-Eve! lol An hour ago when my niece and I walked our dogs, there was no snow on the ground, but we got hit with a band of lake effect snow... and there we go... a white Christmas after all (or at least Christmas Eve)... I haven’t walked as much as usual today, because I have been in the kitchen a good portion of the morning....And peace reigned throughout the house... the Cooper-dog and Sweet Pea both decided that grandpa’s lap was the place to nap this morning... instead of squabbling over who got a place they shared... it must be Christmas time, even the dogs are trying to stay off the naughty list! lolSome of my crazy family... in the aftermath of Christmas Eve dinner, playing silly games.Yesterday morning’s exercise was playing with the dogs and hauling firewood for my dad. My niece was actually feeling better, at least well enough to take over playing tug with the pups while I worked with dad on the firewood!The Cooper-dog and I ended up spending four nights at grandpas house... we were both happy to get back to our routine last night and this morning. The Cooper-dog was his usual sleepy self while I went out for an early morning walk (something I don’t do when at my dad’s house)...I received a spiralizer (or two, lol), so for dinner tonight I made squash noodles and added them to sautéed green onions, mushrooms, and shrimp, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan... so simple, and yet so tasty...Whew! I didn’t blow away out there, though it was close at times. I am surprised my apartment building hasn’t lost power. The lights flickered a few times before I went out, but so far we are good. I think the Cooper-dog can hear the wind...Good morning!I took the Cooper-dog’s morning portrait when I finished the first half of my morning PT exercises... yep he is there, just buried in his blankie! Pup is determined to sleep a while longer I guess...I am glad I walked before sunrise this morning... I was meditating, and when I was finished and looked out the window this is what it was doing outside... it’s not a lot of snow yet, but it is a lot, considering there wasn’t any in the forecast! lolI am off to the basement this morning for my early morning workout. It’s snowing these hard little pellets that sting when they hit your skin... ummm, no thanks. Not if I have another option. The Cooper-dog refuses to acknowledge me this morning. His face is firmly planted in his blankie, and he is enthusiastically snoring 💤... bet he is still there when I get back!!Hey beautiful people! The Cooper-dog is looking back at 2018, and all the naps he took, and dreams he had, while I went out and worked out in the middle of the night! He figures we both consider our time well spent. I hope your time was well spent. But if it wasn’t...? Hey! Today is a good day to get a jumpstart on 2019. Invest your time wisely, so you have plenty to spend doing what you love 💕The Cooper-dog didn’t wanna get out of bed and go walking with grandpa this morning... until we got started... then he didn’t want to stop walking. Silly little dog! Walking with my dad, a nice way to start the new year...After helping dad fill the wood rack, I spent a half hour sitting by the wood stove, reading, with the dog curled up in my lap.Here’s that random corner of my apartment again... this time with the table my brother gave me. (I know the yellow chair is ugly, but it’s pretty comfortable actually, so I keep it.)The Cooper-dog is happy to be cuddled up to his blankie, even if it means I take off for a while early in the morning... last year in January my mileage dropped precipitously. This year, in January, I am going to try and keep it close to my yearly average...I was busy in the kitchen making a heart healthy lunch, involving broccoli, 97% lean ground beef, and leftovers... when I went to ask dad a question this is what I found... the Cooper-dog And Sweet Pea crashed out in his lap. I half expected to see the ninja kitty peeking out too! Furry critters just seem to gravitate towards my dad... now back to lunch prep!I got up to get a drink of water... and when I went back to get my sweater off my bed, it had been infested with bed-dogs!! lolThe Cooper-dog and I have walked a little over 10 miles today. It helped that it was 50F and sunny. The pup has earned his belly rubs tonight! Though he has already mostly fallen asleep... but watch me move that hand, and...Definitely good that the Cooper-dog was uninterested in my early morning workout today... I ended up speed walking. Significantly faster than my normal pace. I was trying to see how fast I could comfortably complete one of my normal routes, that with the pooch takes at least two hours most days... haha! Pup would not have been happy with my speed. Instead he remained at home, where his idea of early morning exercise was to roll four inches to the left!It’s a grey, winter day, but a weirdly warm one, which means mud everywhere! Especially on the dogs... lol... when I run the dogs I have to rinse them off before they can come in the house. Poor pups hate that! But it’s good exercise for me. Lots of bending and twisting, since I am essentially doing it one handed with my bad shoulder limiting the use of my right arm. Good thing the pups may hate it, but they are patient!Walked with my dad, eldest brother, and the Cooper-dog. I managed to catch a moment of the 10 minutes of sunshine we had this morning!I was experimenting for lunch today... one quail egg or two for optimal “quail’ocado toast” yumminess. Quail eggs have about 14 calories per egg, so adding two does not add a lot... (though the extra avocado does). I preferred the two egg toast in the end. Soooo yummy! My brother got me eating these...Sometimes simple is just as tasty. Salad with chicken breast, tomato, and a side of avocado (because I always eat the avocado first, so I figure why not just eat the avocado?!)...I gave it a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors, but that was all it needed. Yum!I know, I know... I had a salad for lunch, too. But that was chicken, which is entirely different. (Besides I had a bag of mixed greens that needed to get used up, lol). Tonight’s salad was spicy lime shrimp on mixed greens, with a warm lime dressing... the greens had already started to wilt slightly by the time I took the picture. It started out bigger, but things happen, lol... So yummy!Lemon chicken zoodles! Yummy, and yet another simple meal. I really like one pot meals...Primarily hot tea with lemon for me this morning (with just half a cup of coffee on the side to prevent a caffeine headache), whilst the Cooper-dog remains snuggled in his blankie, just the tip of his nose and his tail visible. Smart pup!Quail egg avocado boats... with a tiny sprinkle of cheddar on top. (It was a small avocado, so the quail egg was a perfect fit!)... so, it’s just an avocado cut in half, remove the pit, fill the hole in each side with a quail egg, and put about 10 shreds of cheddar on top and bake at 350F for about 20minutes or so (depending on how well done you like your egg...).Doesn’t he look sweet in this picture? The Cooper-dog has reverted to his “sadistic puppy” persona... this morning he was adamant that he get a long walk, despite the fact I feel cruddy. Since I barely walked him at all yesterday I felt I needed to give him more exercise today (oh the guilt from those sad puppy dog eyes!)... now we are both ready for a nap I think!! Oh, sadistic puppy you have truly earned your title this morning...The orthopedic doctor told me to skip the weight and band exercises, and stick to just stretching for now... the Cooper-dog is enjoying this adjustment I believe, as it means more cuddle time, as it cuts my morning PT time in half (at least)... have a great day everyone!Managed to not go overboard on the workout again... I am still trying to work on the concept of “less is more”... while I recuperate from the crud/virus/whatever that flattened me last week. I need to imitate the Cooper-dog more! He knows how to chill out...Lunch was seafood sweet potato nachos... lol. I know, bizarre, but very tasty! (And right about 300 calories)My apartment was feeling (and smelling) stuffy and close (I have been doing a lot of cooking with onions lately, and that odor lingers...), so I tossed my orange peels in a pot of water on the stove with some cinnamon and cloves... set it on low... and voila! No chemicals, but my apartment now smells yummy... can you tell I am feeling a little stir crazy from the snowstorm already? lol... what project will I come up with next?I am headed to the basement to the bike. Aiming for an hour, but we shall see... the Cooper-dog is happily buried in his blankie as I leave. I am thinking he probably won’t move while I am gone!Well, the Cooper-dog did shift in his repose while I was gone pedaling the bike in the basement. What I can’t tell now is if he is hiding his face to escape the boogeyman, or just the light from the lamp?! It was chilly in the basement this morning, but then again the wind chill is -20F...Dinner tonight was spiralized zucchini and onion, with mushrooms, with a light coating of “hot peppers in tomato sauce”... mostly peppers, very little sauce. Rather spicy 🌶!!! Very tasty 😋 yummy food... and vegetarian by coincidence...Tried out the new puppy sling I got for carrying the Cooper-dog (to minimize strain on my shoulder). He seemed dubious at first, but seemed to stoically endure the snugglieness once he got over himself. I found it much less tiring on my shoulder than carrying him in my arms!Ummm... I chose not to go out in the freezing rain and risk life and limb on the black ice in the dark for an outdoor workout this morning (see I can practice prudence and restraint!)... so to the basement I went. But first I had to displace the sleeping dog from my lap. I extricated myself with minimal grumbling (mine or his), and took myself off for a little over an hour.After I came back from the basement (and the bike), I did my morning stretching, got cleaned up, put on the coffee, and settled in with my coffee and a good book to snuggle with the Cooper-dog for a bit. He goes to the spa today to get those “talons” trimmed, as well as a professional bath! He has a love/hate relationship with the groomers. He loves going there, he just doesn’t like what they do to him once he is there. lol. Poor conflicted puppy!Walked home from one appointment in time to walk to the next appointment... then took a detour by the corner store on the way home from the second appointment to grab some tomatoes 🍅... it rained all day yesterday, but it looks like it’s going to snow all day today. I prefer walking in the snow! (At least until it all turns to ice, then I don’t want to go outside at all)... today it reminds of “walking in a winter wonderland!”Slowest, shortest dog walk... and this was his longest walk of the day so far. I almost wouldn’t count it, except I took the stairs on the way back to the apartment... up the stories... carrying the dog, so what the heck, I will count it after all...I was going to skip an outdoor workout completely today due to the unrelenting snowfall, but then I decided what the heck it is fluffy snow, I can slog through that fairly easily, as long as I take it easy it should be okay! And as long as I wear appropriate outer layers it’s fine. So out I went (after the sun came up!)... while the Cooper-dog visited with my neighbor. When I got back I took the pup out. I now have a new snow depth measure... it’s two Cooper’s deep!I had just finished my morning stretching when I turned and caught the Cooper-dog giving a big yawn and strrrreeettch! It’s like dog yoga!! Sadly, I am not bendy like my dog... but I do what I can, and try to push a little further each time... sometimes good enough is really good enough!The Cooper-dog and I have been snuggling since I got back from the bike 🚲 in the basement... hot coffee, and a cuddly pup... good mood lifter!The sun has come out, and it has warmed up! 1.2F now... so still too cold for outdoor activities. The Cooper-dog and I are a little stir crazy already, but it’s so cold out I would rather be restless and warm-ish...I don’t know if the Cooper-dog agrees that it’s “enough” sleep, but I met my sleep goal.Just got back from the basement and the recumbent bike... enjoying a cup of coffee and snuggling the Cooper-dog, while I decide which book to start reading next. Got a slightly later start than usual, but I am not planning on doing anything special today, or going much of anywhere (I only have one errand to run today), so I can be a little more lazy than normal.I woke up super extra early this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I read for a while before heading to the basement and the bike. The Cooper-dog doesn’t seem to mind the light being on, as long as I don’t move too much, and disturb his slumber. This is pretty typical of how we relax together... I am pretty certain he looks about the same while I am off pedaling the bike as well...I have been putting off getting my hair cut. I walked the dog nearly 12 miles between 7am yesterday morning and 11:30 this morning... he earned a rest, and I rewarded myself with a long overdue cut. (The haircut really changed the color scheme of my hair!)The Cooper-dog definitely makes a habit of sleeping through my absence while I go workout in the basement, or outdoors . I decided to combine indoors and outdoors workouts this morning... so an hour on the bike, followed by a brisk walk, then 20 minutes stretching routine... and he slept through the whole thing far as I can tell... though he did glance at me when I started my stretching...The Cooper-dog is snoring quite determinedly while I finish up my stretching routine... it’s like he *knows* that the next item on my agenda is a dog walk!! He gets a short reprieve while I check my blood sugar, and then I am waking him up and walking him... I have an 8:30am appointment this morning, so we don’t have a choice!!Breakfast this morning (and I made enough for breakfast tomorrow too) was an egg and tofu bake, topped with Swiss. Not quite an omelette, not quite a soufflé... but definitely yummy, and heavy on the protein which helps regulate my blood sugar.Celebrating the Cooper-dog’s 9th birthday with puppy snuggles and special treats today. He is the best stress reliever!Found a little time to just sit and read with my cup of coffee... with my pup cuddled up beside me in the recliner... There are things about myself I wouldn’t mind changing, that I NEED to change, but I do love myself in all my imperfections... I love the fact that I am striving and trying to live a healthier lifestyle on a daily basis. One of the things I am working on is balance... learning to relax again...Off to my early morning workout... basement for the bike first, then probably outdoors for a pre dawn walk. I am leaving the Cooper-dog curled up sound asleep in the recliner... he cares not a whit that I am leaving! He has his priorities in order (and I woke him up at 1am when I got up to get a bottle of water, much to his disgust...), and he’s probably glad to see the back of me for an hour or two... lol.I stayed to the end of the playlist again this morning! In an attempt at distraction to keep from getting wound up today... at least for the first hour or two of the day... lol. I think I am going to practice denial for a few days until I have an appointment with someone who can actually DO something to help sort things out. In the meantime here’s this morning’s picture of the Cooper-dog when I left for the basement and the bike... he can be a bit of a dork!I am missing summer, and so is the Cooper-dog. I thought I would post a picture of a fond memory of summer fun. The Cooper-dog and Sweet Pea playing in the grass and sunshine! Oh! And I did my stretching for the morning, and let me tell you, the second day after a fall hurts worse, hence the need for a good memory!Used this picture of an intensely purple flower as my focal point for my meditation this morning... some days I need something external to focus on to help quiet the chatter in my head...Needed a reminder that Spring is on its way this morning. So, I am using pictures from last year to brighten things up!My afternoon project... homemade chicken noodle soup. I was advised not to cook the noodles in the broth, but to prepare them separately, and spoon the chicken and broth, etc. over the noodles, thus preventing soggy noodles in subsequent bowls of soup. Makes sense to me! Tastes the same, and no soggy noodles.Cooper has walked a little over 5 miles so far today, and has one more walk before bed time! Which means that I have added those 5 miles to my tally for the day as well. Doesn’t he look excited about it all...? Fit puppy!More summer memories This was the beginning picture of the box I was filling full of stuff to get rid of from my apartment (you can’t really tell, but it’s a Big Box). The box is now full. My journey to downsize and declutter continues... An organized living space helps to maintain an organized mind, which helps in making healthier decisions on a daily basis...I am patiently waiting for the Cooper-dog to awaken and uncurl from his nest of blankets. He was very patient and well-behaved yesterday. I am letting him sleep in today. Then we are going for a nice, long ramble around town. Sidewalks are clear. Temperatures are close to freezing (positively warm!). And I really need to stretch my legs, lol. I had my coffee and breakfast, and now I am just puttering waiting on the pup...The Cooper-dog is unusually awake and feisty after our morning walk, it might be the stiff wind, or the storm that blew in ten minutes after we came inside, but he is reluctant to cuddle the way he normally does... for now, lol. I am prepared just in case the power goes out...I just needed a reminder that Spring IS on the way... This is a picture from last Summer... Just the motivation I need to get going, and get ready to go walk the dog on this cold, snowy, February morning... (Why does February seem so long, when it's the shortest month?)Sometimes I need to remember where I have been to fully appreciate where I am now. The before picture is not my heaviest weight... I don’t really have any pictures from that time. And, yes... in the after picture I am standing in one leg of those pants that used to fit me comfortably. #BeforeAndAfterI am dilly dallying about heading to the bike in the basement this morning, and the Cooper-dog has an opinion... can’t you just hear him thinking “get out of my recliner hu-mom!” Okay, okay, I am on my way to workout with a rockin’ playlist, and a pair of gloves, because it’s all of 8F outside, so it will be a tad bit chilly downstairs too. (And I am just the delicate type... hahaha). I bet when I return the Cooper-dog is buried in blankets in the recliner! But hey, he’s not spoiled!We have a “snow event” in the forecast for today... to counteract that I decided to recall the hottest part of last summer. That thermometer does read over 100F... I am trying to appreciate that it’s not THAT hot right now! lol. We will see what I think while I am out walking in the “snow event” with the Cooper-dog!The Cooper-dog puts up with a lot, including the occasional cleaning frenzy, like this morning! (He doesn’t enjoy the vacuum cleaner). But when I was finished and ready to relax in the recliner he was definitely dubious about relinquishing pride of place to a whirlwind such as myself... can’t you just see the thoughts in his head? The cleaning was a great workout though, no matter the Cooper-dog’s opinion..,Just got back to my apartment and a snoozing Cooper-dog after pedaling a little over an hour on the bike in the basement. I like how my hair color turned out (I am not good at selfies though), and had to share a picture. It even looks good after a workout, with bright red cheeks, lol. (It doesn’t seem like I managed to keep much teal this time, oh well). I have an hour to finish MY morning routine, before I have to roust the Cooper-dog to walk him, and do HIS morning routine.I was experimenting with odds and ends left from prep for other meals and snacks... ended up with celery top soup, with mushrooms, onions, and pollock chunks... simmered the veggies for a while for maximum flavor, before adding the fish so all it needed for seasoning was a dash of salt to brighten the flavors. Strangely yummy! I would make it again...last night was soup nightI got up to go down to the basement and pedal the bike for a bit, and I turned around and the Cooper-dog had already co-opted the recliner. He looks comfy. Bet he’s still in the exact same spot when I return!? Good morning y’all...Coffee time... with a side of puppy cuddlesI reversed the order of operations for my morning, usually I workout before coffee... this morning I had coffee and puppy cuddles first. Though the Cooper-dog spent the hour under a blanket in my lap! Can you spot the Cooper-dog?Fun playlist for my workout on the recumbent bike in the basement this morning! Just over an hour... variety of bpm, and genres. When I got back to my apartment I had to search for the Cooper-dog... until I saw his little paw sticking out from underneath the blanket in the recliner! Cozy puppy... stretching, breakfast, gratitude list, and weather check (last I checked it was -3F)... and maybe he will start to stir.Meatless Monday turned into meatless Monday and Tuesday... lol. I really liked the asparagus roasted with mushrooms and tofu, so I made it again... (except this time I remembered to take a picture before I ate it all) and enjoyed it just as much the second time. It only took 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven to be the perfect balance of al dente.Going over short term goals this morning... including getting through the rest of this week and next week with all the doctors appointments and paperwork happening in the next 10 days. Sometimes the mundane tasks of life have to be organized into my exercise routine lol... and sometimes those mundane tasks have to win out 😔...My dad got my mom this sign many years ago... I am thinking about stealing it, lol!!I spent some time cuddling with the Cooper-dog before heading out to walk this morning. He always seems to insist on laying on top of whatever book I am currently reading. I am not sure if he’s critiquing the book, or merely protesting the time I spend reading... and not petting him. This book is rather apropos...Coffee is brewing and we are having sliced pears with breakfast this morning. I counted and with the veggies in the eggs and the fruit, we have about 4 servings of freggies each... not a bad start to the day! Plus, you know... coffee!I went out to run the dogs, intending to wash the dishes when I got back, but dad got to them first! He only had the egg pan left to wash... he’s so efficient. When I complained (lol) he said it’s part of his morning routine to do the dishes, and he enjoys it! Gotta love him!The dogs seem to enjoy the snow. I actually don’t mind snow, it’s the mud and/or ice underneath the snow that bother me... I fall on it at least once every Winter. This morning marks my second fall for this Winter. Sigh. At least this time I didn’t smack my head! I will take my silver linings where I can...I had to eat a small snack off plan already because my sugar was too low. I will recalculate and reapportion to attempt to forestall a repeat today. When I got up to check and see what was good to eat (and protein heavy to support my sugar levels), the Cooper-dog absconded with my blanket, and made a decent attempt at tucking himself in... let’s play spot the Cooper-dog! lolHeaded out to walk... waited an hour, for the streets to be empty except for the other dedicated early morning exercisers. Oh... and the village police patrols.Cold rain is not my most favorite weather for walking, and since I have the option of the stationary bike... that is what I opted for this morning. The Cooper-dog’s sleeping habits continue to amuse me. Every other dog I know would get at least get up when his human companion did, but not the Cooper-dog! Nope. He curls up tighter, and sleeps more determinedly! lolCoffee time (with seltzer water after)...Walking with dad this morning... feeling a bit reflective.Starting breakfast prep... veggies on the stove to cook lightly, then add eggs and cheese... yumminess ensues!Just back from our afternoon walk on this bright and sunny day. Still a bit chilly. The Cooper-dog is now ready for his nap, while I enjoy a cup of tea and a good book.Good morning! The sleepy Jack Russell Terrier is, well, sleeping... while I have been up for a few hours and been out for a walk in the pre dawn darkness, did my morning stretching routine, had breakfast and my essential first cup of coffee. Finished reading a book, and started reading another. Sent off my morning emails. Wrote a couple letters and a journal entry. And the sun rose about 20 minutes ago... I thought that might wake the Cooper-dog, but he is still snoring enthusiastically.Enjoying my coffee and seltzer water after that workout... first the bike, then the walk, then the morning stretching routine... and the Cooper-dog seems to have slept through it all. Someone in some comments yesterday called JRTs Jack Russell Terrorists (instead of Terriers)... lol, it seems rather apt for the breed. Though my little guy seems to be the sleepy version. Ha! Gotta watch out for the quiet ones!!Dancing myself into a better mood this morning. A sleepless night, a sad time of year for me, another doctor appointment on tap for today... yep, I need the endorphins, and the positive vibes of feel good music! 🎶The Cooper-dog has the right idea this morning! Cuddle in the blankets... I cut short my early morning walk, as it was dripping a cold rain out there, and that happens to be one of my least favorite conditions. In fact, if I Had to choose, I would pick snow over cold, rain! It still felt good to get our and move, but it also felt good to come inside and sit in front of the heater and dry off... lol! (Good thing I started my workout with time on the bike in the basement this morning...)I am off to the basement for my early morning workout today, as it is currently snowing outside (ugh). The Cooper-dog is happily settled in for my absence. So far he hasn’t twitched while I have gotten ready to go downstairs... he sure is a dedicated snoozer! I have another new playlist for today’s workout, so we shall see how long my workout lasts... the playlist can really make difference for me on the bike or treadmill...A fun, new playlist kept me on the bike for a while this morning. I thought I would say a quick good morning before doing my stretching routine. I hope y’all have a marvelous day!Until the Cooper-dog insists on going outside, I am staying indoors. You can’t tell in the picture, but it’s snowing sideways. And it’s sunrise and the streetlights are still on... that’s just sad 😞. I am going to dance and celebrate being inside and warm, with clean water to drink and enough food to eat. Gratitude is my word of the morning!I like the color greenI would have won that bet! The Cooper-dog shifted very little whilst I was off working out! The picture doesn’t catch the twitching eyebrows or ears, but he’s definitely still dreaming... it was a nice walk this morning, though too early for even a hint of sunrise. But the night birds were singing, and I think I heard an owl down along the creek. Beauty can be found in the darkness...Dinner last night was super simple... just cabbage, onion, and mushrooms sautéed in a tiny bit of butter and some broth. I caramelized the onions which gave it a really nice color and flavor though. It only needed a single dash of salt for seasoning...Gentle stretching this morning with ice to follow... as I got a cortisone shot in the shoulder joint yesterday. I am supposed to ice it at least 4x a day for the next two days, and see if the injection helped any. So far, I can feel a slight improvement in range of motion, but not in pain level. You can see how much Cooper is invested in my stretching routine and self assessment in this picture... as in “not a whit!” Love him anyways...For a change (a drastic one) I actually got 8 hours last night. I spent the night at my dad’s house with the Cooper-dog and my niece’s dog, Sweet Pea, snuggled up with me most of the night. I can’t remember the last time that I got more than 4 hours in a night...Cooper’s morning portrait, before I disturbed him to get up and get ready to go workout... when I got back he was in a similar place and pose, and utterly ignored me. Good to know some things don’t change, lol.I was craving pizza... greasy, calorie dense, pepperoni pizza 🍕... but I decided to compromise. It was still pizza, but the toppings were artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and chicken breast, on a white sauce, rather than a red sauce... I almost left off the tomatoes, but I had the perfect slicing tomato sitting there on the counter, and it sounded (and tasted) good to me. It was a good compromise. A yummy pizza.Good morning! The Cooper-dog is buried in blankets as I am headed to the basement to start my workout on the bike today. Great playlist cued up, and I have my headphones on this morning, so I know I won’t forget them, lol.I stopped by the newest bakery in town, that just happens to be a certified gluten free bakery... so everything is gluten free... everything! I had a toast tartine, they called a “Jack’s Nest”... gluten free toast with a spread (I forget what it’s called besides tasty), arugula, pickled quail egg, and pickled almonds... with a cuppa herbal tea... lovely light lunch!I thought Spring might have thoroughly arrived as I saw the Rock Irises are blooming when I was walking the Cooper-dog just now, but there’s snow in the forecast later this morningWhile my dad and eldest brother cooked breakfast for everyone, the dogs and I played in my niece’s room. The Cooper-dog and Sweet Pea likes the early morning sun coming through her windows! We had fresh mango as our fresh fruit with breakfast this morning... mmmm, yum!Went down to the basement earlier than usual to pedal the recumbent stationary bike. I was listening to a really good playlist, which kept me going longer than I had planned, but that’s okay by me! When I got back to the apartment this was what the Cooper-dog was up to... such a hyper dog, isn’t he? lol. Unless the weather turns nasty (possible storm in the forecast) he will want a nice long walk in a few hours...I was reading before heading to the basement to pedal the bike, with the Cooper-dog crashed out asleep on the foot rest of the recliner. I got in a good hour before I had to disturb his cuteness and wake him up so I could get up and get ready. Of course, he went right back to sleep 💤. We all know what his priorities are!Someone didn’t really want me to leave the apartment at dark O’clock this morning! He jumped down and stared at me, using his psychic puppy power to try and stop me from leaving to go pedal for a while (he even did the cute ear thing). Sorry Cooper-dog! When I got back he was either sound asleep again or pouting and ignoring me. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, lol. Fun playlist this morning to keep me motivated and moving.Well, I am awake to wish you good morning! The Cooper-dog probably just wishes I would leave him alone and go to the basement and pedal that bike for a while... okay, okay, little dog! Will do. Be back in a bit. Might be a short workout this morning as my pain level is kinda high this morning.I did pretty good at keeping to my self imposed time limit on the bike this morning. I always wondered what the Cooper-dog was doing while I was gone for an hour or two in the early morning hours working out... answer: he sleeps! Soundly!! lol. Good dog! No wild dog parties for him...The Cooper-dog refuses acknowledge that it’s morning yet... I am avoiding it myself. I am still under the weather, and I am more closely following his sleep and nap schedule, in hopes that it will help me recover faster. I am frustrated and grumpy, but his fuzzy self makes me smile. So far all I have managed today was my stretching routine... and it exhausted me. Sigh.The Cooper-dog was waiting for belly rubs when I came back from a short, slow walk. After 10 days of misery I am going to ease back into my normal routine. This last treatment, though beyond uncomfortable, and nothing I want to repeat, seems to have been effective and I am pain free. I feel silly posting a single mile walked, when my normal is usually significantly more, but I am practicing prudence! It’s good to be back...The Cooper-dog is feeling a bit clingy after the past two weeks of being shuttled between my apartment and my dad’s house every time I ended up in the ER. He grumbled at me when I went to get up and make a cup of tea and do my morning stretching. So, I stayed cuddled up with him for an extra half hour... morning stretching routine done ✅The Cooper-dog and I went for a longer walk today. As you can see, when we got home he was begging for belly rubs and chin scritches... so my relaxation time was spent doing just that. It was a good walk, and the quiet cuddle time helped recharge my batteries for his afternoon walk... lolSpent time with my brother yesterday... and his cat Ruffy... we call him “derp”, lol. Funny cat!The Cooper-dog and I just came in from our midday walk... and the fog rolled in behind us... it’s just getting thicker and thicker out there, but at least it’s not thunderstorms!Went for a walk in the fog this morning with the Cooper-dog... out at my dad’s house.When I came back from my solo walk, The squirrel we named “tubby” was at the bird feeder... someone needs to watch their portion sizes! lolThe Cooper-dog and I are at my dad’s house for the weekend... on the schedule this afternoon...? A nap. The Cooper-dog got a head start, lolMy first truly “brisk” early morning walk since my medical issues were resolved. I felt like I could have gone for longer/farther, but decided to err on the side of caution, and turned towards home before I got too tired out. The Cooper-dog was dreaming when I got back. His little Dreamtime tips are so adorable!The Cooper-dog actually woke up (for a moment) while I was doing my morning stretching routine. No worries... he is back to sleep now. lol. Morning stretching routine done ✅Once again the Cooper-dog slept through everything... though he must have moved at some point, as he had claimed the entire recliner by the time I was finished, lol!The Cooper-dog fell asleep in the middle of a stretch, while I was doing my morning stretching. Morning stretching routine done ✅Coffee and the sunrise! After my workout, a moment of clarity and caffeine...Solo walk before the rain started... when I left the Cooper-dog had tucked himself in the blankets, all except one back leg. I do that sometimes too!New shoes... diabetic shoes no longer have to be ugly. And I got two extra pairs of inserts, so I can still wear my other sneakers too. Seems my feet are two different sizes, it feels kinda weird to have shoes that are the right size for both feet!Went for a walk with my SIL and her son by the river... the goslings were still fuzzy...I was a little later than usual going out for my early morning walk, so I walked through the dawn breaking. On my way back to the apartment I noticed that the flowering trees look like they are near the end of their blooming season, so I thought I’d catch a picture while this one is still colorful(ish). I really like walking in the morning during Spring.Walking with my dad and the Cooper-dog before a family breakfast.Just going outside to help my dad split and stack firewood for next winter. Not my favorite task, though it is rewarding both now and later... when we can stay warm In front of the wood stove.The Cooper-dog was being cute and yipping in his sleep when I came back from using the bike in the basement.
He doesn’t know it yet, but I am going to walk him earlier than usual this morning, because the forecast calls for a hot and stormy day... all day long.I was finally getting to my morning stretching routine... when the storm hit... the Cooper-dog usually doesn’t notice thunderstorms, but that first crack of thunder... right over head... spooked him, and I cut short the stretching to calm him. Look at that face! That’s one unhappy pup...The Cooper-dog is resting after an hour-long walk. Little dog was happy to get out this morning... maybe he knows there are storms rolling in this afternoon, so he should get in his walking beforehand?!Spiralized zucchini and onions, with shrimp... seasoned with coffee seasoning... sounds a little odd, but actually very yummy! Lunch is served...It’s hot out there today... the Cooper-dog and I agreed that a short walk is a smart move when the temperature is around 90F. When we got back the Cooper-dog settled in front of the fan with a big yawn. Shortly thereafter I gave up on the fan, and turned on my A/C unit... we are both much happier now!This past week has seen a vast improvement in my sleep. It’s such a relief... last night I actually slept a full 8 hours! The Cooper-dog was much relieved as well. I hope y’all have a marvelous day today!The Cooper-dog and I are sitting down for a moment after our morning walk... and before getting on with our day. Perfect temperature for an early morning walk!! Happy pup!My niece and I procured some herbs for dad’s kitchen use... and subsequently for ourselves...Walking both dogs... and the sun finally, finally came out. As you can see the rain has made things very green!The Cooper-dog and I... along with my dad... went for a nice walk on a cloudy morning. The Cooper-dog prefers sitting in the dirt to sitting in the grass. Weird little dog.The sun was shining when I got back from a quick walk! Those are awesomely pink...Wasabi catfish over caramelized onions and cabbage for lunch... and blueberries with sliced strawberries and banana for dessert... and add a bottle of seltzer water to hydrate... Mmmm, yum!I went out for a midday solo walk... and when I returned the Cooper-dog had hopped in with my clean laundry (or rather, formerly clean laundry) and made himself a cozy nest. My own fault for not putting my laundry away immediately, lol. Lesson learned.Went out for a foggy pre dawn walk. It is close to daybreak now, and the light is still so muted and a soft, crystal grey... it was thick out there, but I love the sensation of cutting my way through the utter stillness of a foggy morning.Took the long way to my hair appointment, saw this misty iris along the way. It is still foggy to the point of not-quite rain.Morning stretching routine done ✅... and in the meantime, the Cooper-dog is beginning to wake up. Good morning all you sparkling people!The Cooper-dog and I had a lovely early morning walk. It’s supposed to be a bright and sunny day today. I just love the stately old trees that we walk under every day. They are so enduring!So many vegetables! And so yum! My niece and nephew and my one brother all went out for lunch. Ginger chicken with edamame, seaweed, etc. mmmm... good!Good morning sparklers! I hope you have a marvelous day. I took an hour this morning to read some chapters in a new book... as you can see the Cooper-dog spent the time resting...The Cooper-dog wanted a brisk walk this morning. There are lots of flowers blooming around town right now, but the only ones he let me stop and take a picture of we’re these pretties...I went for a short, solo walk when we got home from dad’s house. The wild grapes are just blooming stage, so I walked into a pollen shower when I walked past. Good thing I don’t have really bad allergies... it just made me sneeze a little.Went out for my solo walk this morning before the rain started. Guess who was awake for a change when I got back? I don’t think he looks real pleased with me... lol. I suppose I interrupted his dream time.The Cooper-dog is at grandpa’s this afternoon, because I have a meeting. But it’s not for another 1.5 hours... so I went for a brisk walk by myself. I hadn’t really noticed how many flowers around town are pink, like this one. Pink and purple seem to be the most popular colors for Summer flowers around here. Hmmm...After walking the Cooper-dog a little over 4 miles this morning, I walked the long way to an appointment. A one mile walk turned into nearly a 3 mile walk... lol! I enjoy walking despite the pain in my legs. Did you know that medical grade compression stockings don’t have to be ugly!!Guess who wants me to stop reading and take him for another walk?I cut my early morning walk short, as it started pouring. When I made it home and dried off the Cooper-dog and I cuddled up in the recliner. He is OUT! While I am reading. I guess this might turn into a rest day. I have no desire to go back out in the rain, and I know the little dog won’t go out until he is desperate, lol. Don’t you just want to give him a scritch under the chin?What’s for lunch? Plain yogurt with banana, strawberries, and blueberries... and seltzer water...Early morning walk with the Cooper-dog, dad, and one brother. The Cooper-dog wanted to chase this snake... he pouted the rest of the way home when I wouldn’t let him, lol.Short walk with the Cooper-dog in the fog out at dad’s house... before starting brunch prep...Spent some time contemplating the pond the fog...The Cooper-dog walked home from my aunt’s house. She brought my dad a gorgeous hanging basket for Father’s Day. (And lemon pound cake, with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream... oh gosh... had to have a bite!)Walked about 2.5 miles around the village, including through the Commons in the middle of town. Public green space is a good thing! (I believe legally one can still graze livestock on the Commons... though no one does, lol!)The Cooper-dog decided to take us a different route this morning, we passed these red roses... golly flowers that aren’t pink or purple!! (Red is not nearly as common as pink or purple...)15 minutes into the Cooper-dog’s first walk of the day it started to downpour! I quick picked him up and sped home as fast as my feet could go... while carrying the pup. Got a wee bit soaked, lol. So, it was a short walk this morning. This wasn’t in the forecast!The Cooper-dog and I are enjoying the early morning. He is snoozing, while I am sparking. I already went for my solo walk, and did my morning stretching routine... now it’s time for coffee and my spark friends!Good morning, moon! The moon was still fairly high in the morning sky when the Cooper-dog and I were out walking around 6am. Clear skies today! (And hopefully, smooth sailing!)Started with veggies, add eggs and cheese... Saturday morning breakfast at dad’s house is served!I did solo morning walk, did a short, guided meditation, breakfast is in the oven, and I completed my morning stretching routine... now it’s coffee o’clock, and I am savoring that first cup!I am waiting for the Cooper-dog to awaken, so that we can go for our morning walk. He seems determined NOT to wake up yet. I give him another 15 minutes... then I am getting out the leash, whether he is ready or not. (He is always happy to walk once I get him outside, lol!)Walking the Cooper-dog at sunrise...Took both dogs out this morning. Walked them through the archery field in the early morning light...There’s something altogether different about meditating outdoors!Took the Cooper-dog and Sweet Pea for a short walk... the Cooper-dog is sulking a little, because it wasn’t long enough. But, I walked him for over 2 hours already this morning! Spoiled puppy!!The Cooper-dog and I were walking earlier than the day lilies were blooming this morning... the world was just starting to wake up...Cooper-dog and I walked with my dad this morning at his farm... I love walking there with him, every time we pass under his heartnut tree... and today as we were returning it was sprinkling rain out of blue skies, but there was no rainbow...Cooper-dog was waiting for my brother’s arrival, while dad and I had our eggs and fruit (and of course coffee)...I spent a couple hours at daybreak (well, I started a little before daybreak...) weeding my mom’s flower garden. No one has really done anything with it since she passed, but the flowers are still blooming!The last of the cone flowers, looking a little sad. Spotted it on my morning walk with the Cooper-dog. He wanted a long walk this morning. He is now asleep, and I am pretty tired too!Good morning! The Cooper-dog was actually awake and watching while I did my morning stretching routine today. He looks a little puzzled to me, lol.Good morning! The Cooper-dog took a moment to stop and smell the flowers this morning... nice long walk today in the cool (almost chilly) morning air.The Cooper-dog resting after our morning walk with my dad and brother...“Are we done yet?!”... that must be what the Cooper-dog is thinking after a 90 minute walk...Someone is off in dreamland! I think I tired him out yesterday...Good morning! The Timothy grass is baled and ready to go... dad and I noticed on our morning walk. Have a marvelous day!My niece and I picked blueberries from my dad’s blueberry patch this morning... estimate... over a gallon. Took us about 45 minutes, but we were being really careful.Went to the salon, new shorter haircut... looks more blue now than purple.The insomnia is really bad tonight. I have given up on the bed... and my restlessness has bothered the Cooper-dog to the point he has abandoned me for the floor. Poor puppy needs his sleep, and I am disturbing his slumber. Thinking of going out for a walk or doing some yoga. I think the Cooper-dog would vote for me to leave and let him sleep.When I got back from my early morning walk the Cooper-dog settled right in and snuggled up with me. I suppose I am forgiven for accidentally keeping him up a good portion of the night. It was a nice walk. With my lupus I need to be careful about both overheating and sun exposure, so taking my long walk before sunrise is safer (health-wise) for me.It stormed again in the middle of the night. I got a strange urge to start a deep cleaning of my apartment about 30 minutes before it rolled in. While I was working the Cooper-dog was content to nap in the recliner (the left picture), but when the storm hit... and it hard... he was freaked, so I sat with him, and he insisted on burrowing into his blankie on my lap (yes, that’s him in the right hand picture... lol). I got a lot done before the storm though!The moon was still visible in the morning sky when I took the Cooper-dog out for his morning walk. Have to take him for his long walk before it’s too hot and humid!The Cooper-dog’s early morning walk. I was looking at the clouds, while he was scouting the ground. I got pictures of both. It was a slightly faster walk than he usual does, but it was also cooler this morning than the past 3-4 days. Lovely overall!Breakfast is strawberries and blueberries with just a drizzle of cream. While I have been prepping this... the Cooper-dog has been determinedly sleeping. He’s probably catching up on his 💤... last night there was a ruckus in the hallway, as a bat had gotten in, and one of my neighbors decided that screaming at it would help move it along...ummmmI saw these blooming in an otherwise completely overgrown yard (of what I think is an abandoned property) on my early morning walk with the Cooper-dog. Even amidst weeds and brambles a beautiful flower may bloom...Dad and I walked this morning ( although we went a little slowly and not quite as far as usual to accommodate my current ability)... on our way back to his house we went and checked to see if any work had been done yet where the road half washed away about two months ago in a big storm... ummm, doesn’t look like they did anything but put up signs saying “one lane road”. Oh well, they’ll get to it... eventually! lolThe side for dinner is Swiss chard and green beans from my dad’s garden (picked about an hour ago)... with a little bit of Parmesan.Early walk with dad this morning, because there’s a storm rolling in...Before our walk, I did my morning stretching routine outside on the grass under the sunrise (before the clouds got so ominous...)Walked just over a mile with the two dogs... too hot for them to go farther. What am I saying? Too hot for me to go farther too!The Cooper-dog would probably argue with the idea of early morning being “good”!! He slept through my early morning walk once again. lol. He reminds me of a paramecium in this picture 😉. He gets another hour or two of sleep before I wake his furry self up to walk. MY early morning walk was lovely... temperature is comfortable, the streets are deserted, and the night birds are singing their gentle chorus. Ah...A friend sent me this Tree of Life necklace. It reminds me to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground even if my head is the clouds and I am dreaming. As well as reminding me of the fact that I have some wonderful friends, and that we need each other to find success in life. Do you have a token or memento that reminds you of something important?Some days I feel like the pampered, carefully cultivated rose... other days I feel like a wildflower or weed pushing my way up into the world through inhospitable conditions. As I finished up my stretching routine I realized that today I feel like the weed that bends but doesn’t break.The Cooper-dog was basking in the sun as us human types had breakfast. Between the veggies in the eggs (peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, turnips, leeks), and the fresh fruit (mango, watermelon, cherries, and sliced banana)... I already achieved 5 count of fruits and veggies today. The salad I have planned for lunch will just be bonus...Walking the Cooper-dog after getting home from breakfast at dad’s house, we came across an oddity. Yep, that’s a giraffe! Don’t know it it’s made of plastic, metal, or what all, but it’s fairly realistic... and poised to wander out of this person’s front yard. Kinda freaked the Cooper-dog, who of course, has never seen a giraffe of any sort before!The Cooper-dog seems capable of sleeping through most anything early in the morning. I walked just before sunrise (during the gray and pink light of the pre dawn), and when I came back I tiptoed up and leaned quite close to the pup and snapped his picture... and not even a blink of an eye was seen. Snoozy puppy! Wish I slept as deeply as he does...After my walk (sans the Cooper-dog), before I headed inside... I laid in the grass and contemplated the leaves of a tree with the rose gold of the approaching sunrise behind it, just breathing and letting myself wonder at all the blessings in my life. Not counting breaths, or focusing on anything specific, just allowing the marvel of the morning to overcome all the worries on my mind.The Cooper-dog’s first walk of the day... we walk the longest in the cool of the morning, before the sun gets too high in the sky and the humidity starts soaring... passed this Crispin apple tree on our way back home. There’s a lot of apples in that there tree!When I got home from my early morning (pre dawn) solo walk, finished my stretching, and sat down in the recliner to cuddle with the Cooper-dog... he actually woke up long enough to look at me. (Not certain if it was the stink eye, or merely keeping a weather eye on my whereabouts?) I was impressed he woke up at all, since he is the snooziest dog I think I have ever met. lol.After I finished my morning stretching routine (✅) the Cooper-dog decided to snuggle closer (and cuter). He melts into my arms when he is completely relaxed. He’ll be up and rarin’ to go in an hour or less. It’s a coolish morning, so I am anticipating a long, brisk walk with him today... well, at the “speed of dog” anyways! lolGood morning! My water bottle talked to me this morning... and I think it’s true of all of us... we are “turtley awesome! You, yes, you... be the best version of yourself that you can be today. That’s my plan for today!On the drive home from the neurologist yesterday we were being chased by one storm system, and driving into another one. (And no I didn’t take the picture while driving... I was the passenger). I still had time to walk the Cooper-dog before it started pouring.Tomorrow is not a given, so I make my best attempt to LIVE my life to the fullest. Pain and uncertainty are only blips on my radar, not stumbling blocks to trip over ... and go splat on my face... on the pavement... but rather lessons to be learned from, and from which to grow stronger.I ate breakfast and had my coffee whilst waiting for the Cooper-dog to exit dreamland... Yum, I added a Tbs of honey to my Greek yogurt and fruit today. The Cooper-dog still seems firmly ensconced in his Dreamtime. I might need a snack before I walk him if he sleeps a lot longer. lolInsomniac here... usually I take these middle of the night hours to review my goals, or plan my day/week, or something equally mentally active. Tonight I thought I would try calming my mind (in hopes that maybe I could go back to sleep)... so, I meditated for a while, while the Cooper-dog did his best attempt at pulling me into the puppy sleep vortex. Alas, none of it worked for sleep... but the Cooper-dog and I did have a nice cuddle.Good morning, I know how much it boosts my day to receive a compliment, a smile, a friendly wave, a kind gesture from friend or stranger... so, I make it a point to give out such kindnesses myself. We may never know the impact of each small interaction... but it can change the whole tenor of somebody’s day. Love and kindness is never a waste of time. Today I am certain that I can do this small thing... that we can do this!I was walking on the riverwalk along the Chadakoin River yesterday and spotted this duck with its ducklings (I know it’s kinda blurry, sorry). Ducklings make me smile, even when (especially when) I am feeling down on myself. Providence put them there in the water right when I needed the smile. I just thought I would pass the smile along.Good morning! Blue skies this morning... took the Cooper-dog for a short walk after my dad brought the pup back to me. The Cooper-dog has been at dad’s house most of the weekend while my toe heals enough so that I can safely walk him.Good morning! The Cooper-dog is fast asleep per usual. I thought I would try the bike, instead of taking an early (very early) morning walk today. I figured it would be less irritating on my foot. I overdid it a little bit yesterday, so it seemed the wiser choice. I am letting the Cooper-dog sleep in this morning. We will walk once he decides to wake up and get moseying...I did my morning stretching routine, then sat down to read for a bit before getting moving on the rest of my day, but... the Cooper-dog was being adorable (yes, he actually woke up for a change!) so I had to multitask and provide belly rubs while I was reading, and drinking my coffee. lol. I like starting my day this way!Just finished my first cup of coffee... I used to be a flavored cream AND sugar kind of coffee drinker... I weaned myself off both, and now just use a Tbs of half and half. There are mornings though when I am still tempted to add sugar... this was one of those mornings, but I resisted the urge to sweeten my coffee, and you know what...? It was good, without the sugar.I am loving these punny water bottles... and I AM your biggest fan. I believe we can do this with the support of the SP community!Took a short walk through the village without the Cooper-dog. It was early enough that the lamps around the gazebo in the center of town were still lit up.After the Cooper-dog and I got back from our first walk together this morning, the fog started rolling in. This what it looks like out my window at the moment... and it seems to be getting thicker by the minute...Good morning! I was back to the bike this morning, because I have been overdoing on the walking, making poor toe hurt again. Makes me a little embarrassed to be able modifying my workout for a toe... really...? It’s just a toe! I guess I forget how important those little things are for the rest of the body to keep doing things like walking.The Cooper-dog has to walk, even if I am gimpy. I spent our (very slow) walk trying to concentrate on the beauty of the village, in an attempt to not think too hard about the pain. I have decided to ask dad to come get the pup for the day, so that I can put my feet up and not have to put on shoes. We will see if dad agrees...I kinda took yesterday off from everything and everyone... it helped my brain and my toe. Decided to take it easy and mostly just stretch today. I did walk a tiny bit this morning, and spotted these lovely flowers.Breakfast this morning started with fruit... lots of ripe fruit to choose from... the containers held watermelon and cantaloupe. And no I did not eat some of everything, but I did have the ones I like best.Today was a typical summer lunch with dad... the green beans, beet greens, and corn are from his garden, and the pork was purchased from a local farmer...It stormed a good portion of the morning... But I did manage to get both dogs out for a walk between storm fronts. Between the walk and them freaking out when the thunder and lightning were directly overhead, they are both exhausted now. Poor puppies!It’s a little toasty today at my dad’s house. A good day to sit and read in front of the fan.Took time to meditate out on my dad’s porch, while the sun rose over the barn...Enjoying my cup of coffee after walking the Cooper-dog. Breakfast was a lot of fruit and a little bit of yogurt... with my coffee.This amaranth plant is growing by my dad’s mailbox, I am picking some for my salad at lunchtime.., I had it once before in a salad, and really enjoyed the flavor (and color). That will make fruit/veggie number 5 for today... and there’s still more to come.The Cooper-dog woke up for a moment before I went out for my solo early morning walk. He didn’t look real impressed, lol! It was a nice walk. It’s supposed to be both hot and stormy today, so I wanted to take advantage of the calm before the storm... and the cooler temperatures before the sunrise. I am glad that I went out...... sometimes it feels like it... lolLunch was a taco salad. Lettuce, fresh tomato, ground beef (with my no-salt taco seasoning), salsa, one Tbs sour cream, and a dash of red hot sauce.... I sometimes forget that salsa can make a lovely dressing for certain salads. And for dessert I had Canary Melon, which has the texture of watermelon, and more of the flavor of a cantaloupe.I was walking the Cooper-dog this morning and ran into a friend who offered me some goodies. So I am now in possession of 4 beefsteak tomatoes, and 2 jars of cowboy candy (pickled jalapeño and cayenne peppers...). I see some caprese salad in my future!I walked the Cooper-dog (the little one), out to my dad’s house for breakfast... a little over 3 miles... so that he could meet a friend’s dog, Pluto, (the chocolate lab). All three dogs (my niece’s dog, Sweet Pea, was also there), got along great. The Cooper-dog is now curled up asleep in my lap, exhausted from the walk, and the three hours of doggo play time. I am pretty tired too, lol.is Good morning! The Cooper-dog gave me the “look” when I accidentally woke him up while getting ready to go out for a brisk early morning walk. He will probably sleep another 2 hours before he wants his walk. Snoozy pup!My niece and I baked some whole wheat cranberry almond banana bread... per dad’s request. We used about half the sugar called for, and added a bit more banana. We haven’t tasted them yet (they just came out of the oven!), but they sure smell good...Cranberry walnut banana breadI think I broke the dogs! We went for a long, fast walk on this breezy, sunny day. Then played catch the ball. (Well, Sweet Pea catches the ball, and Cooper-dog chases her around). Not too hot yet. Just about right.Good morning! Happy weekend... the Cooper-dog doesn’t seem like he is ready for the day to start, so I did my morning stretching routine while I awaited his return to consciousness. Added an extra stretch to help ease some tightness in my quads.Good morning, after my regular morning stretching routine I took the Cooper-dog for a good walk. I finally remembered to snap a picture of a fairy house at the base of a tree. There are a number spread out around time. People set them up and tend them. Not completely certain why, but they are sweet anyways.After our walk the Cooper-dog and I sat in the grass and meditated for a while. Well, I did anyways... the Cooper-dog spent his time outside either rolling in the grass or just sitting with his nose in the air smelling all the scents on the breeze. It’s a beautiful morning. Starting to feel like Fall. Blue skies at the moment, but there are supposed to be storms rolling in after lunch... and lasting for the next 3 days.Currently in the process of making Watermelon Rind Pickles... it’s my first attempt, so we shall see how they turn out.Lunch was a salad... romaine lettuce, tomato, peppers, cucumber, green beans, lightly dressed, and topped with cranberry almond chicken salad. (With a can of seltzer water for my drink). It was so yummy!Dad picked what he thought was a turnip to use for breakfast this morning... turns out it’s a giant “watermelon” radish. But it sure is pretty, even if it wasn’t what we were expecting, lol. Still using it in breakfast too.On the weekends we have veggie eggs, and fruit (lots of fruit)... the veggies are so pretty when they first go in the pan... and it all tastes so good when it’s all scrambled together!Breakfast is servedI am up before the rest of the household. Taking advantage of the solitude and quiet to sit out on the deck and meditate at sunrise. Beautiful day ahead!I have spent the past two evenings emptying my late mother’s china hutch (and other random stuff she decided to pop in there). Most of the family heirloom type china and glassware is going to my niece, but I am keeping these two bottles, which belonged to my great grandmother. But now I am taking a break to spend some time doing not much of anything.I had to wake the Cooper-dog up to go for a walk. It was a nice walk.My niece and I were tossing heavy bags of trash in the dumpster by moonlight. The last three required the use of a tractor with a front bucket to lift them up and dump them in. We have 2 walls of shelving left to sort. It’s a really strenuous workout!It was so foggy and damp this morning at dad’s house. It was like walking inside a cloud. The Cooper-dog really didn’t want to walk, but I insisted. Little dog has to go out and walk! (It’s good for both of us)After I walked the Cooper-dog I went for a solo walk on the farm roads. Still very cloudy. I liked it. It’s easier to believe in the impossible when the world is shrouded in fog and mist and the air is so very still...The view as I waited for my brother to pick me up so we could go to dad’s and walk together. The Cooper-dog walked with us as usual, though I ended up putting him in the puppy pouch for half the walk...I walked the dogs over to the archery field at dad’s. After I walked the dogs home, I went out and practiced a bit. The tracker says “hunting”, but I just like to do it for fun.Dad sent me out to pick veggies from the garden. I got green beans, Swiss chard, sweet corn, and broccoli... and he went and picked the last of the blueberries.The Cooper-dog kept watch while I ran in and out of the house throwing more stuff in the dumpster. Now it’s time to take a little time to myself...Good morning! Taking a few minutes to spark before the day gets started. Of course the Cooper-dog is not ready to face the thought of waking up. He’ll wake up in a couple hours and want to walk.Dad and I took the dogs for an hour walk. Then the dogs wrestled while dad and I made breakfast. In this picture they had stopped wrestling to look for dad.It’s been a stressful few months for me... but just for today... I will be as happy as my dog with a new stick! Looking at things at their basic and simplest form, and reducing my wants needs to the bare minimum of expectations let’s me be as happy as my dog.Steak for dinner, with Swiss chard, green beans, and grape tomatoes from dad’s garden. Mmmm... yum!I wore out the Cooper-dog already. It is toasty warm today, and even though we set out in the cool of the dawn, by the time we met my brother to hitch a ride out to dad’s house for breakfast, the pup was hot and exhausted... and so was I...Went for a quick (fairly short ) walk, but I am now sipping my first cup of coffee and relaxing a bit before the day really gets going. I don’t always do the whole relaxation “thing” very well, but I can usually take a half hour in the morning to chill out and ease into my day.Good morning! The Cooper-dog is doing his best to not wake up this morning (per usual). I have been up and out for a walk, had my breakfast and coffee and generally prepared myself for the day ahead. I do have to wake his furry self up soon and get him out for a walk before it starts raining...I believe the Cooper-dog is trying to tell me we’ve passed lunchtime. I am having a smoothie for lunch... he is having boring old kibble... poor puppy!The Cooper-dog, Sweet Pea, Tigan, and I went for a walk this morning. The dogs were good for 30 minutes... and then they were all out of good! lol. The Cooper-dog is now relaxing in the sunshine on this cool, Fall day, while I am relaxing in the shade. He looks pretty blissful, all in all.Someone’s interest is piqued by what I have in my hand. A treat!Took the Cooper-dog (the Jack Russell Terrorist) out for his third walk of the day... a little over an hour prancing through the village exhausts a pup! All he wanted to do when we got home was curl up under his blankie. I am joining him for a little while... and drinking some seltzer water to rehydrate.Good morning! The Cooper-dog is resting after his first walk of the day. 2.5 miles so far with the pup. I am tidying up my apartment today. I wasn’t home all that much in the month of September and I can tell I generally just grabbed what I needed and left each time I stopped back in. Of course, the Cooper-dog couldn’t care less! As long as he has a soft place to sleep between walks he is a happy pup.Down 12 pounds...Sometimes circumstances interfere with my plans. Day 12 of this migraine. Getting an infusion (again) to try again to break this cycle of pain. I still walked the dog for over an hour so far today. I was just glad it was overcast all day long. Two hours round trip, plus two hours getting medicine through the IV... makes for a long afternoon...Lunch with dad: locally sourced Italian sausage, homegrown beets, and Brussels sprouts.Took a break on this bench after a long walk with the dogs. The bottom picture is the view from the bench... featuring my niece’s dog Sweet Pea. The dogs were so good walking through the woods, not wandering off after critters!After the rain... it might have been grey and gloomy outside, but the dogs and I went out for another walk under dramatic late afternoon clouds.I was having cottage cheese and fresh sliced strawberries for breakfast (with my water and coffee)... when I looked up the Cooper-dog had that intense doggie stare going on... “where’s MY breakfast...?” Poor starving puppy... NOT!Took the dogs for a brisk walk at moonrise...Meditating as the sun sets... the beauty of the evening sky reminds me that marvelously ordinary things happen every day.Good morning! This is the face awaiting me when I finished my workout. She is my niece’s dog, Sweet Pea. The Cooper-dog was still sound asleep and snoring, and buried in blankets, lol.There are still flowers out there... for nowA friend gave me a bag of fresh picked haricot vert to have for dinner. I am lightly steaming them... sprinkling on a little lemon juice and Parmesan. Mmmm, yum!The haricot vert a friend gave me for dinner last night... and lunch today...Morning is breaking...! And my morning stretching routine is done ✅Good morning! The Cooper-dog slept through my entire early morning workout. Just shy of an hour on the elliptical... I wasn’t looking at the time, or I probably would have gone the extra 3 minutes, lol. Have a marvelous day everyone!My doctor suggested that I get patella bands to help ease the pain of going up and down stairs, and up and down hills... I was skeptical, but I managed to walk up 6 flights of stairs this morning without undue discomfort! I guess they ARE working! (And they are inexpensive and much less painful than an injection!)As the cold weather rolls in in this area I find that I am in the mood for chili... so when my insomnia kicked in tonight I made a big pot. I made it spicy! (But sneaky spicy... it sneaks up on you). I will freeze some for later in the month. Yum!I took the dogs for a longer walk than usual... now they are exhausted and laying out on the sun porch basking, and recovering.My dad and brother each had one cinnamon roll, my niece had half of one... the other half is calling my name, but so far I have walked past it about 20 times and resisted the siren call of pastry...This was the other recent physically active project my niece and dad and I have been working on... enough firewood to last the entire winter at dad’s house. Dad splits it, usually... and my niece and I stack it... the stacks go all the way back to the high window in the back wall... we did it for about an hour or two each time... slowly but surely the wood shed is full...Dad made soup! Vegetable soup with parsnips, carrots, onion, celery, lentils and barley, in a homemade bone broth. The weird looking thing on the plate is a quarter of a delicata winter squash...Good morning! After yesterday’s long walk with the dogs I decided to keep today’s morning walk short. We went out just after dawn. The leaves are really, truly starting to change now.The Cooper-dog and I did a little over 7 miles together today. I did a few more by myself. We are both tired, but he is falling asleep faster than I am... I plan on sitting quietly reading for a little while before I drift off to dreamland.I exhausted the pup yesterday...Good morning, taking 15 minutes (or so) to sit quietly and breathe. Clearing my mind of expectations and anticipation reduces my stress level to start the day. And I know that I can return to this place in my mind with just a few deep breaths if I start to get overwhelmed.It’s fall harvest season from the garden and orchard! Today’s lunch was baked argonaut squash, topped with a little dab of butter, stewed apples, and chopped walnuts. (My dad put real maple syrup on his...). It was delicious!Lunch today was “just” a salad, but just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. Romaine, yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and a spoonful of chicken salad. Yum! Lots of servings of veggies, and some protein to get me through the rest of this crazy day...I will take it!I watched the sunrise as I looked over my goals, and reassessed them in light of my progress and current limitations. Sometimes I forget to “make haste more slowly”! There are situations in which taking it a little easier for a day or two can prevent injury that would sideline me for weeks or months. Rest and recovery are just as important as pushing hard... I tend to lose sight of that fact.Good morning! The Cooper-dog and I spent the very early morning hours snuggled up in the recliner. He wedges himself in beside me in the smallest possible space. Silly puppy! Much to his disgust I got up about 5:45am and went out for a quick pre-dawn walk. Still a little slow, and not as far as usual, but on this chilly morning it definitely woke me up and set me up for the new day!The Cooper-dog are just heading out on the first dog walk of the day... sunrise edition.It’s day 4 after my knee injection... so I felt fairly comfortable and confident about taking the Cooper-dog for a longer/faster walk. I love walking the dog during this time of year! The temperature is cool, and the leaves are vibrant colors. (Of course now the dog is sound asleep in my lap! Poor puppy, I tired him out...)Good morning! It was a real workout staying upright on my solo dawn walk this morning. Winds at 30mph, with gusts to 45mph. Not horribly damaging necessarily (though the power did go out a couple of times), just harder to stay on my feet than usual, lol. The clouds are dissipating, so probably the rain is done, but the wind is still thrashing pretty good.Meditating on the beauty (and the ferocity) of nature. The seiche on Lake Erie has eased up some already, but the small craft warning is still up. It’s chilly, so I didn’t stay long, lol.It’s still a while until sunrise, went out and took a brisk walk in the pre dawn (not quite so dark) dark. We had really windy weather Sunday, so most of the trees lost a majority of their leaves already. It does make for some dramatic images.The forecast here is for a stormy day, with possible snow flurries tonight. This picture was what daybreak looked like this morning when I set out for my solo walk (a little later than usual, but still early enough to beat the rain)... I am guessing that it is going to be a gloomy day light-wise. Now I need to rouse the Cooper-dog so I can walk him before the rain gets here.The Cooper-dog must have been in a strange mood this morning... we walked for a little over a half hour in the rain! Usually he wimps out if it’s raining. I really liked the starkness of this bare tree against the gray sky. Most of the trees here are bare now, and the ones that aren’t yet probably will be tomorrow as the forecast is calling for high winds (upwards of 60mph or more).I went out and walked the Cooper-dog (much to his consternation) in the high winds and driving rain. Now he is curled up under a blanket on my lap, and I and my dad’s cat, Darkness, are just staring out the window wondering if it’s going to start snowing...? It sure looks like it...Good morning! I needed a pep talk this morning, so I am telling myself that it’s all okay. The snow didn’t stick overnight, and the freezing rain has stopped. Sure the clouds look ominous, but I don’t have to shovel out the car or scrape the windshield. The only thing I HAVE to do today is my best possible. Have a great day everyone !I did a workout on the elliptical earlier this morning (why not...? I was up anyways), and the Cooper-dog slept through it per usual. Now I have to rouse him, so we can get a walk in while the weather is cooperating. Doesn’t he look comfortable though? I hate to disturb him, but if I don’t get him (and myself) out there shortly the freezing rain will have started again before we finish our first walk of the day. Up and at ‘em puppy dog!!Someone is patiently waiting to walkGood morning! I am indulging in a leisurely cup of coffee while I wait for the Cooper-dog to rouse from slumber. It’s later than usual for our first dog walk of the day. But I don’t have the heart to wake him. Besides I already did an elliptical workout, and my morning stretching... dog walks are just the bonus NEAT stuff in my day. 😉‘Nuff said...The snow held off for the walk to and from my morning appointment, but it’s snowing heavily now with poor visibility. I decided to do an indoor workout on the elliptical instead of braving the snow for a solo walk. It’s hard to capture the reality of how thick the snow is falling in a picture, but there’s something about the quality of the light...Using my morning meditation time to focus on just this moment. Whatever else is going on I can let this moment be a good one. It truly is a good day to have a good day! (Not that I am ignoring the baggage I bring to this day, but rather putting it into perspective and prioritizing...). I hope you have a marvelous day!!Good afternoon! Another snowy day with temperatures in the high teens and low 20s. The cooper-dog was helping dad and I move firewood. The Cooper-dog refuses to wear a jacket, but he shivers so hard that he’s practically vibrating. So I don’t leave him out long. Dad and I filled the wood rack inside by the stove, and restacked a section of the wood shed. That was most of my workout today.Two weeks ago dad and I brought in the plants from the porch... this started blooming yesterday. I believe it’s pineapple mint... well, I am certain it’s some kind of mint, based on the flavor of the leaves. It makes a nice garnish. And if I crush a couple of leaves and add it to my water it gives a subtle flavor.The pineapple mint added to water is rather lovely (not the flowers of course, but the leaves... lol)#BeforeAndAfter... I don’t think the date on the first weight is exactly correct, but it’s close. The main thing I focused on was my diet. Measuring and tracking everything makes me much more vigilant about food choices and accurate portion sizes. I still have a way to go to get back to the weight where I feel comfortable and healthy... but I am significantly closer.Good morning! After a short workout (indoors), the Cooper-dog and I are spending some quality time together. I am reading (my favorite activity) and he is dreaming (his favorite)... so we are both getting “me time”!Dinner last night was simple yet tasty... cabbage and onion cooked in a bit of chicken broth, with a handful each of egg noodles and shrimp. Seasoned with a liberal sprinkle of black pepper. Mostly vegetables, with just enough protein. With a liter of water to drink.Sometimes I use images to help me focus (usually when my brain just won’t shut up...) during meditation. I especially like black and white pictures, as I find colors can be distracting. This morning I focused on my breathing and the graceful yet stark lines of the tree branches. (And when I was done I wrote a short story inspired by the picture... it was a little macabre, lol)Took the Cooper-dog for a good walk this evening, and holy moley there was blue skies and sunshine! That’s rare for this time of year. It made me smile!The snow partially melted yesterday... then refroze overnight making dad’s driveway hazardous for walking (as you can see!). So the Cooper-dog and I walked in town before heading out to dad’s for breakfast.Sunrise walk with the Cooper-dog. The sidewalks are mostly clear, so we were able to move at a reasonable pace.Good morning! The sunrise is valiantly trying to pry its way through the heavy clouds. I was watching it go to a dark orange as I went for a solo walk. Looked more like sunset, lol. Chilly walk, but not frigid yet. Came home to a snoozy Cooper-dog...The Cooper-dog interrupted my reading to give me a “look” that says “let’s take a walk!” So, out we went. Our walk was pretty nice. It’s not super cold and the sun is out!Cooking like crazy for an early afternoon Thanksgiving dinner. My niece and I have done most of the prep so far... the apple pie just went in the oven. We had fun playing with the crust. Do you see the turkey...? Just because I made it doesn’t mean I have to eat it though. I am planning carefully what I will eat... or not. Since I know what is in most of the food I can make informed decisions...Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Ours is done, and cleaned up... the pups think it’s their turn for eats now... which is why they are so (not) patiently waiting in the crate. Time for me to take a walk!Went to dad’s house for breakfast. After breakfast I went for a long, wet solo walk. When I got back to dad’s house both dogs were zonked out on the couch by the wood stove with my brother. All I could think was “smart dogs!” For staying in out of the rain and cold. Of course the walk felt like I accomplished something on the first day of December. I am starting the month off on the right foot.is laughing at the dogI shoveled off the porch earlier this morning, and filled the bird feeder while I was out. The birds must have been appreciative, because when I took the dogs out on the light dusting that fell after I shoveled the bird tracks were copious. I wonder if they “mean something”...?Good morning! The Cooper-dog is sleeping in this morning. I did my morning workout, and morning stretching, and he just curled back up with me when I sat back down. He sort of woke up when I rearranged him to make room for myself in the recliner. But no he is zonked again. I will probably wait another hour before I rouse him... it’s supposed to start raining around 9am, so I want to get him out before the rain!Good morning, it stopped snowing just in time for the sunrise. I watched the snow plows go rumbling by when I stepped outside for a quick weather check (have to figure out how cold it really feels like!) after doing my morning stretching routine.I walked at midday, after much deliberation on whether to walk early or late today. Good thing I did walk when I did because not only is it snowing again (heavily), but the wind has also picked up dramatically. The dogs really didn’t want to go out just now, even though they needed to... we didn’t keep them out long though.My me time today consists of sitting in front of the wood stove and reading, with dogs curled up all around me (and on me).Yep... it’s snowing sideways...Dad made me lunch! We split a porterhouse steak, and had Brussels sprouts, beets, and potatoes with it... plus a dill pickle spear. It was all so tasty I didn’t need any butter, salt, or cheese. Simple food can be yummy food!Well, sort of healthy, lol. Spanakopita (lighter recipe), fresh asparagus, and soy-ginger beef. My niece and I each decided what to have dinner... and then we mixed our choices. Made for an amusing dinner!Started the food prep for Christmas Eve (which we are celebrating on Monday, as my SIL has to work Tuesday). Every year I make red fruit sauce to go on the rice pudding. This picture is the first step. Still have to strain it to get out the seeds, then chill it. Not too sweet, so it completes the flavor of the rice pudding when drizzled over top. What are some traditions in your house for the various holidays we celebrate this tune of year?They don’t look like much, because I haven’t washed them, but I went out and harvested some root vegetables. There might be snow on the ground, but dad covers the root vegetables each Fall, and we enjoy them a good portion of Winter...Took a short walk with the Cooper-dog this morning, then sat on the porch for a time while the Cooper-dog nosed around in the snow. My family’s Christmas celebration ended up being today, so I am off to start preparations.Dad is plowing the driveway on the large tractor while I have been shoveling the porch and walk to where his car parks when it’s not charging. We got a bit over 6 inches of new snow overnight. I didn’t realize how heavy and wet it was until I started shoveling. My walk this morning should have prepared me for this workout.Tried a new food... black bean penne pasta. I added tomatoes and cheddar to brighten it up. It was a qualified success. It needs sauce of some kind, mainly for the moisture factor, as the consistency was somewhat dry and grainy (and yes, I cooked it as directed). It was a fun food to eat though, as I don’t usually think of black as a color for pasta (except the occasional serving of squid ink pasta). I will finish the box, but am ambivalent over buying another once this one is gone...Good evening, sparklers! Don’t they look so innocent? It’s all an act! Put them together and they always get into something, lol. When I went out for a walk this afternoon they decided that chewing on some emery boards would be fun. Thankful they had just gotten started when I got back. Glad I cut it a bit short!Snoozy pup... while I am huffing and puffing through a workout. Which one of us is the smarter one? lol Freezing rain with significant ice accumulation this morning, so I put on my yaktrax and took the dogs for a slow, careful walk. When we came back in they made a beeline straight for the rug in front of the wood stove. Smart pups!Sitting in the quiet of the morning... by the fireplace... with a dog in my lap... and a good book in my hand.Good morning! The stack of books I am making my way through this week... plus the composition book that I am using for my journal at the moment. Since I don’t watch TV good books and journals to write in are very important to me. The Cooper-dog just likes the fact that we snuggle, lol.I was breaking in my new boots (wearing them around the house), and then I got distracted by a snuggly dog by the wood stove (he’s under the blanket in my lap)... and yes, I filled the wood rack this morning. The boots are awesome (they are Oboz, and I love them).Slowly sorting and packing up my books. I am packing smallish boxes that I can actually comfortably carry and move around... 11 boxes packed, and 15 bags of books gifted away or donated. That’s most of three bookcases which I believe is about a quarter of the bookcases that hold books. I am pleased with my progress.Took the Cooper-dog for a walk before heading to the groomers. He was very well behaved... and not only got a treat, but also a new collar and a bow tie! Fresh, dapper, well exercised doggie...Someone is spying...The old apartment is mostly empty now... just moved the last bookshelf out. Still have to take down my big charcoal drawing and a poster or two. But I have most of the bookshelves filled in the new apartment. After yesterday’s big push, that is all the umph I have in me for today. I am headed out to my dad’s house to relax.The Cooper-dog let himself into Sweet Pea’s crate, and I shut the door, but didn’t latch it. He stayed in there for almost an hour... the last 10 minutes whining to get out when all he needed to do was push open the door and walk out. For me this journey is similar. I am trapped within the imaginary bonds of my beliefs in my limitations. All I need to do is push the door open and walk through and I can be free of the limits I place upon myself. I CAN do this. Just open the door...Good morning! Morning stretching routine done ✅... this morning I had spectators. Either they were fascinated by my stretching or they were enjoying being directly in front of the wood stove, lol.My niece with her dog and mine claiming lap space yesterday. Very shortly after this photo we went out and ran the dogs in the archery field. We all came back in muddy and exhausted!Roasted root vegetables with cheddar and sour cream for dinner tonight. It looks smaller than it actually was because my bowl was a deep one, lol.Before this recent bout of snow the snowdrops were starting to bloom. I will be interested to see how well they fared the next time I walk that direction with the Cooper-dog.The Cooper-dog and I went for a little walk on this sunny Sunday morning. Now he is sunbathing... happy dog!Good morning! The Cooper-dog and his friend Sweet Pea didn’t want to go out for a walk in the rain this morning. So I left them cuddling together and went out for a short walk. It wasn’t even really raining... more like misting. All the snow will probably be gone by tomorrow!The Cooper-dog and I went for a nice walk this morning. It has rained most of the day today though, so all that snow is pretty much gone now... leaving mud in its place. It has been a pretty muddy winter all in all.Good morning! Morning stretching routine done ✅... the Cooper-dog was spectating while I went through my stretches. I added a few calf stretches to try and alleviate the pain from the plantar fasciitis. By the way... this is the Cooper-dog’s Dr Who impersonation, lol.The Cooper-dog and I went for a fairly short walk, and came home and laid down for cuddles and belly rubs. He loves having under his chin scratched. It’s a gorgeous day outside... I really expected him to want a longer walk than a single mile.Long sunrise walk by myself this morning. The Cooper-dog doesn’t adhere to daylight saving time... so he’s still snoozing. I wasn’t trying for speed this morning, just movement.Asparagus and mushrooms... and hidden underneath is a London broil round steak. Dinner is served!Good morning! It’s not raining or snowing so the Cooper-dog wanted a long walk again today. He came home and crashed out after a snack. Me? I sparked!I took the Cooper-dog and Sweet Pea out for a short walk while my brother and his daughter wrangled cement board into the house to start the rebuild of the area around the wood stove. Next comes the rebuild of the chimney pipe. Good thing Home Depot is considered essence services!There were a lot of fire fighters here yesterday. So many that half of them just stood around. Yesterday and today I spent cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Everything has to be wiped down and or vacuumed. My dad used 4 fire extinguishers before the first fire fighters arrived, so there is a lot of dust and smoke to remove from every conceivable surface, but especially in the living room.Signs of spring! It might have snowed yesterday, but the rock irises are blooming, which means that spring is definitely on the way.Dad used all of these fire extinguishers the other day...Good morning! I am spending some time just cuddling the dogs who are crashed out asleep. A little snuggling, a little spark time... ah calm. It’s lovely.The Cooper-dog is sunbathing on a warm and windy day after a short walk.Good morning! Morning stretching routine done ✅Dad and I made lunch together. Chuck roast, sautéed asparagus, green beans and soybeans, and yellow bell pepper. Simple but so tasty!Good afternoon! After a lovely 57 minute morning walk with the Cooper-dog and Angel (the foster dog) we all sat down and relaxed a little. Sweet pea joined us too, but I couldn’t get her in the picture.The Cooper-dog and I stopped to smell the flowers while out for our afternoon walk on this warm and muggy day. Good thing we went when we did because about 10 minutes later a thunderstorm rolled in.Our foster dog, Angel, had surgery today. She is still groggy and has the cone on for a few daysGood morning! The Cooper-dog was fixedly staring at me while I did my morning stretching. It made me a little self conscious. Though I imagine he was thinking about breakfast more than he was the weird contortions I was performing, lol.Good afternoon! The Cooper-dog and I went for a long walk. We saw one other person, but they stayed on the other side of the road. That’s one of the blessings of living out in the country. We didn’t set any land-speed records, but we did keep a fairly steady pace, with only a few sniff breaks. (His, not mine!)That black blob in the middle of the picture is a big Tom turkey. The Cooper-dog and I stayed well away from and his ladies. That thing is at least 4 times the size of the Cooper-dog and we didn’t want to mess with him!Went out on the sun porch to cut some chives for the eggs we had at breakfast... and saw these flowers blooming already in a hanging pot. Btw breakfast was scrumptious. Cheesy veggie eggs, sausage, plums, pears, mango, and fresh hot coffee. Weekend breakfast for the win!Good morning! Morning stretching routine done ✅... I went outside to stretch this morning. The sky is completely clear and that springtime blue just makes me happy. I am also pleased that the driveway has dried out and I don’t get muddy walking the dog (until tomorrow anyways, lol!)Good morning! Morning stretching routine done ✅... another morning spent outdoors with the Cooper-dog.The cooper-dog and I were sitting outside listening to the birds. Good morning! The Cooper-dog and I went for a short walk through the woods. The paths are clear of obstacles... except for the snow!Good afternoon! For lunch we took a basic (not very healthy) box mac and cheese, and added sautéed onion, asparagus, mushroom, and ham... a sprinkle of Asiago, and a spoonful of sweet mustard. Stir it all together and presto! An almost healthy meal ready in 15 minutes or so. Added baby carrots and sugar snap peas to boost my veggie count. So, if I add in my breakfast fruit and veggies then I have already surpassed my goal of 5! And mighty tasty too!Happy Easter! We had ham for dinner, with assorted veggies and soda bread.Good afternoon! We are resting after our walk. Not really warm enough to just sit outside, but the sun is out and the Cooper-dog seems to appreciate that. Me? I am ready to go inside and warm up!There’s a reason I don’t leave my dog out unattended at night. A neighbor caught this furry friend on his trail cam last night.The Cooper-dog and I passed by this groundhog on our walk. I noticed it, but the Cooper-dog passed right by, lol. (And notice the forsythia starting to bloom?)Morning stretching routine done ✅... didn’t do it outside this morning, cold and snowy. It’s pretty to look at though.This morning Good afternoon!! The Cooper-dog and I went for a nice walk on this windy day. Warmer today, but we’re waiting for the rain to start. (At least it’s not supposed to snow!)Yellow seems to be the color of spring around here. We saw all the flowers (and more) on our second walk.Forsythia!Lunch today: pork chop, baked acorn squash, steamed Brussels sprouts, baby carrots, snap peas, a dill pickle spear... with cantaloupe and Turkey Hill all natural vanilla ice cream for dessert.Good morning! It’s a dry, sunny day. So, dad and I are working on firewood. He is splitting it, and I am using the little tractor to haul loads to the woodshed where I stack it. Just taking a quick break between loads. Tedious work on one hand, but rewarding to see the woodshed fill up on the other hand.Good evening!! After a day of weird weather the sun came out just in time for the sunset. So, I took the Cooper-dog out for a brisk walk.Dad and I walked our dogs down to where they are replacing the culvert that washed out (and took half the road with it) about a year ago. They are finally replacing it and fixing the road (we won’t live on a dead end any longer) so it is once again a through road. Nice little walk up and down the hills.The Cooper-dog really wanted to walk through the old culvert and I was mean and wouldn’t let him! Can you say filigree?!There was a definite light at the end of this tunnel After our morning walk we sat out on the porch in the sunshine... trying to catch a picture of at least one bird. Finally got this woodpecker on a beam of the deck. We think it’s “warm”-ish, as it’s in the mid 50s, and warmer in the direct sun.Time to unload the firewood from the little tractor. Fully loaded... bucket up front, bin on the back. Probably take me about half an hour to tote it all into the wood shed and stack it right. Trying to get the wood shed filled before the heat of summer sets in!The dogs basking in yesterday’s sunshine. Totally different weather today with gray skies and rain. I am going to have to interrupt the Cooper-dog’s nap to read my book! It’s a rainy and gray day... good for reading.The Cooper-dog and I spotted these on our morning walk today. Pretty.The Cooper-dog and I took a shorter, slower walk this afternoon. Really what he wanted was to sit in the grass in the sunshine. But I made him walk with me for a little while before we came back to the house... and then he got his wish.Guess what dad and I are having for lunch...? Yep, fresh picked Swiss chard. Mmmm, yum!The Cooper-dog and I went for a little afternoon walk. I am always on the lookout for flowers, whether they are in a flowerbed or they are wildflowers. Today I saw the tulips on the left in mom’s garden, and the wild strawberries on the right on a hillside near the house. I also spotted the groundhog that lives in the woodshed as we were walking back towards the house.Something to keep me busy when I am not walking the dog, cooking, or stacking firewood. Shades of my childhood!It was just starting to snow when the dogs and I set out for our midday walk. Grumpy puppies! (But quick ones)Meatloaf, Swiss chard, baby potatoes, snap peas, baby Carrots, and cucumber spears. Combination comfort food meets healthy food. The thing about cooking at home is I control what goes in the dish, so I can modify to make things healthier.I usually prefer to do my meditation outdoors, but... maybe not today.I fill the manure spreader... dad empties it. (Picture is of dad driving the tractor, pulling the manure spreader after our second load of the morning)Good morning! I had two spectators for my morning stretching routine... the Cooper-dog and my dad’s cat, Darkness also known as Ninja Kitty.It doesn’t look like much, but that is the garden several inches deep in manure. We only managed two loads today. We got a later start as it was cold enough for frost this morning, and neither dad nor I wanted to work in the cold (not that it got warm... but it did get warmer).Hello Darkness!Went to one of the greenhouses today... dad needed broccoli plants for the garden, and I needed flowering pots to hang on the porch Our mission was successfulThe Cooper-dog and Angel put themselves in the crate by themselves... makes me wonder if they did something to feel guilty overNew sneakers. They are actually diabetic shoes, with custom inserts... to prevent problems with my feet due to issues with my diabetes. It was time for a new pair of sneakers anyways.Meditation outside today. I used the hanging basket for a focal point. There’s just enough breeze for an occasional tone from the wind chimes to help bring me back to focus when my mind starts to wander off in unproductive directions.Transplanting and repotting flowers and herbs.It’s a hot day for us (in the 80s). After I walked the Cooper-dog he collapsed flat out on this old tile on the porch (that hasn’t made it to the dump yet). I guess whatever works to keep him cool is good enough for now. As for me... a can of seltzer water cooled me off just fine.We walked extra early this morning so it would still be cool. Good thing too... that’s the thermometer around lunchtime. Too hot for me! And definitely too hot for the Cooper-dog.Heat wave Dad made lunch today. Oof! Lots of food, but oh so tasty. Blueberry pancakes (with just a little butter and homemade maple syrup), fried eggs, bacon and pineapple. Definitely not a reduced calorie meal, but I adjusted my other meals so I won’t go over on calories for the day.Morning stretching routine done ✅... outside todayThe wildflowers are really starting to bloom.Morning stretching routine done ✅... outside next to mom’s flower garden (but not too close, I have a thing about bees)When I was walking the dogs this morning we passed my brothers pond and I saw the water lilies are getting ready to bloom. Just another day or two!Walking with dad and the dogs... passed by this hayfield that’s getting tall. On the other side of the road a turtle was digging a nest to lay her eggs, but I stayed away with the dogs.The grass is getting high in the hayfield Spent 20 minutes meditating on this cool bench by my brothers little pond today. I got to watch the water lilies start to unfurl as the sun rose. Followed by my morning stretching routine.Romaine salad... with shrimp and tomatoes... topped with lemon juice and olive oil. A light dinner.Dad and I passed by my brothers pond when we were out walking the dogs. The water lilies are blooming now!Water lilies This shiny clean Cooper-dog managed to stay clean through our midday and after dinner walks. And he smells good too!Healthy lunch: romaine, avocado, tomato and shrimpEvening walk yielded these flowers growing in mom’s flower garden. Afterwards I retrieved my laundry from the clothesline (though it hasn’t been folded and put away yet... that’s tomorrow)Stopped at the farmers market and got Spring Rolls for lunch. The colorful bits are edible flowers... and mighty tasty too!Lunch!Dad likes to experiment with the eggs on the weekends... today’s surprise? Sweet corn? Odd, but not horrible. lolI picked blueberries for an hour and a half, and then I picked over the summer squash for lunch. Not hugely intense but constant motion... and mighty tasty too!Blueberries!Blueberries are in season here...I am down to the nitty gritty with this move. Closet and kitchen are empty. The volunteer day lilies (sowed by the birds) are blooming. These are right outside the kitchen door. I passed them multiple times today, lol.The shrimp took over my salad, lol! The greens underneath are baby kale and baby Swiss chard fresh picked from the garden. It was so good!Dad and I usually sit outside on the deck for breakfast while the weather is nice. We have yogurt with berries and the pups get a treat too. The Cooper-dog was being very good waiting for his treat!Sometimes it’s good to look back when I am having trouble seeing the way forward. This picture is from Christmas 2007... at about 320 pounds. I am no longer that heavy, but it was good to find this picture today as I have been hovering around 240 for a while after I regained 50 points (180-190 is my happy weight). But I have been feeling discouraged. Seeing this picture I reminded how far I have come. I may have regained, but I am nowhere near that weight again.More blueberries! There were more, but my brother was snacking last night...Yesterday and today’s blueberry picking. There were more, but my brother sat here snacking, lol.Back to the blueberry patch this morning! It’s slower picking because they have already been picked clean once, so there are fewer berries on each branch. That’s about 1.5 gallons in the bowl. We will freeze most of them for the winter, with some kept out of the freezer for immediate snacking. Mmmm... yum!There’s dad’s garden! The conditions have been really good for the sweet corn and the early planting is already topping (that’s at the back of the garden), beans should be ready to pick tomorrow!The garden is green and growing About a gallon of blueberries picked first thing in the morning (before heading out to do the grocery shopping)...and 2 more gallons from the afternoon picking! I have one more bush to pick,and then... I start all over again!Seems like I am picking berries every day now...I ended the day yesterday with a migraine and started the day today with the same one. So, I am taking the day off (sort of). I DID snap beans that dad picked. It’s a mindless task and can be done in a dim room.Beans snapped and ready to be blanched prior to freezing for the winter. This should fill a gallon bag.And now we add beans to our bounty Fresh picked Swiss chard and green beans to go with veggie bites (broccoli/cheese), and a frozen chicken entree heated to internal lava temperatures. That’s 4 servings of veggies for lunch. Add in strawberries and raspberries for breakfast, and a peach for dinner and that’s 7 servings of freggies for today.Headed out for a dog walk. The Cooper-dog likes to water the day lilies before trotting off on our walk.There’s a passel of green beans under all those leafy greens (and a handful of broccoli). After I get home from my appointment I am on tap to snap the beans. We will probably eat most of the greens for lunch today... there will be more to pick tomorrow!I finished snapping the beans dad picked this morning, I will save out a couple of handfuls for lunch... the rest will go in the freezer.Dogs are walked, breakfast is over and the dishes are washed (and the kitchen cleaned), beans are snapped, and the groceries are wiped down and put away. Now I am sitting relaxing with both dogs in my lap. Angel and the Cooper-dog think there’s enough lap to go around, lol. Sadly, one of them is undoubtedly going to be rousted... probably before I crack my book open.Steak, zoodles, fresh green beans, and baby carrots for color. Super yummy!Beautiful morning to do my stretching routine outdoors. My dad calls these flowers an “outhouse rose” because people would grow them beside their outhouse to both hide the building and make it smell better. I just call then pretty, lolAs I was picking blueberries this morning (another gallon), I spotted this big boy across the driveway. I didn’t want to get any closer than this... even if no hens were with him to be protected.Along with the blueberries I picked today... the first of the beets!Blackened seasoned salmon, boiled beets and beet greens, and baby carrots. Lunch is served!My brother joined us for our morning constitutional. He and I (and the Cooper-dog) walked over 2.5 miles. Dad and Angel walked one mile, then turned around to head home and get breakfast started. It was nice having my brother along. Normally he can’t go because he has to leave for work between 6:30 and 7am. He went the full distance with the Cooper-dog and me.Greens, beans, and berries. Plenty of the first two, just a few berries. Now I get to snap all the beans dad and I picked. (I already sorted and cleaned the berries). We are having greens with lunch!After our morning walk the pups were patiently (?) waiting for me to sit down and make a lap. Sorry to disappoint little ones... dishes need washing, and the groceries need putting away... and then I am going out for a solo walk. Later we will all go out again.Hiking with my niece at Treman State Park last summer... Or was it the summer before. It was one of the times that I grew my hair out anyways. I do remember there was a LOT of elevation with rough steps carved into the sides of the ravine. It was fun. (Whenever it was, lol). Sometimes it helps to see reminders of satisfying hikes and workouts. Gets me motivated to get out there and “wander the wild” again!... and sometimes it’s good to see a reminder of where I started from. This was the Cooper-dog’s gotcha day photo, so the year I joined SparkPeople (2011) I joined in May and I adopted him at the beginning of August... so I had already lost some weight (it just wasn’t noticeable yet). I do remember how hard it was to move (and breathe) when I started, just because I was carrying so much extra weight. Start small. Make lasting changes that can be sustained for a lifetime. I am worth the effort.Good morning all! Clean picked the blueberry patch once again. There are two bushes that will need to be picked again, but the rest are at the end of their season. Fresh blueberries are delicious, and good for you. Brain food!Fresh picked sweet corn, Swiss chard, and green beans... along with coleslaw and a stuffed chicken breast. I love the fresh veggies this time of year!Greens, beans, and corn are fresh picked from the garden. Also (not from the garden) baby carrots, chicken salad, and a chicken sausage hiding under the corn. Garden fresh food just tastes better to me.Angel and the Cooper-dog are recovering from our morning walk on a hot and humid day. (Feels like rain, but there’s none in the forecast)#BeforeAndAfterSweet corn and beans! Both for freezing and for lunch (also Swiss chard). Looking at a light veggieful lunch today. 2 ears of corn each, a couple scoops of beans, about a cup of greens each... and the potato salad needs to get eaten. The garden: it’s what’s for lunch!Lunch: sweet corn, green beans, chard stems, and coleslaw (yes, we eat Swiss chard stems as a separate vegetable...)Blackened salmon, potato salad, grape tomatoes and green beansPicked beans, broccoli, and blueberries. The blueberries are dwindling, with only two bushes still producing. But the beans and broccoli are still prolific. So much so that we invited the neighbors to come pick a row so they don’t go to waste.The late crop of sweet corn looks to be coming in strong. I know we have about 12 gallons of beans in the freezer so far, but only 7 quarts of sweet corn. Hopefully the late crop will help fill the freezer with a lot more!This was the look on the Cooper-dogs face before we went out for our evening walk. He REALLY wanted to go out! That’s our last walk of the day. We are off to bed soon. The Cooper-dog and I covered about 6 miles all together today. Not bad little dog!Good morning, sparklers! I went for a solo workout this morning after breakfast (but not too soon). First two miles I ran intervals. Best mile was 11:49 (mile 2), then I did 3 more miles of walking intervals. When I got home I quick grabbed pictures of the pups, who were both snoozing. I think I might join them... after I stretch.Swiss chard, green beans, sweet peppers, and 4oz of steak. During the summer months we eat a lot of green things, lol 😉! I gotta love my dad’s green thumb...Good afternoon! When I was out doing my solo workout this morning I almost stepped on this hoppy little guy. (I promise it’s there... in the middle of the picture). Good workout today. About 6.3 miles in 2 hours. No intervals today, just a nice LISS workout!Good afternoon! I picked beans again today, and then snapped all of them. Ended up with 3 gallons of frozen beans. I thought this boa constrictor bean was cute.Morning stretching routine done ✅... clear skiesNot many berries left to pick, only enough for eating right away. So sad... NOT! lol.I rewarded myself with shiny spoons 🥄... pretty...Good morning! 62 minutes for my solo morning workout. I passed these small sunflowers while on my walk.What’s for lunch? Veggie sushi! I get it already made up at the local farmers market. Mmmm... yum!Dinner: a small strip steak, Swiss chard, broccoli, and green beans. The veggies are all from the garden, and the meat is from the local butcher.Picked soybeans, beets and beet greens for lunch. (Well not all the soybeans are for lunch... some are for freezing)Good evening! I have been feeling unwell today. Took some medication to hopefully help feel better. No morning stretching, and my total walking time today was about 30 minutes... much less than my usual. Here’s hoping that I feel much better tomorrow. The Cooper-dog just ate a bee I think. Hence the licking. He usually gets stung when he eats a bee. Ulp!This tiny little toad greeted me when we left the house for our morning walk. We made it home before the rain!Romaine, tomatoes, and salmon in the salad, with a side of sweet corn and Swiss chardToo warm for the cat...Picked and shucked a crate of sweet corn. Most of it will be frozen (after it’s cut off the cob), but we will have corn on the cob with lunch today.Posted a photoA small piece of salmon, with garden fresh broccoli and green beans. I had already eaten the red bell pepper slices, lol.Picked and shucked another crate of corn. Probably another two crates worth to be picked out in the corn patch.Posted a photoI wasn’t quite raining on our morning walk, but the fog was thick enough to leave drops in this spider web.Picked and prepping yellow pole beans this morning.A small portion of salmon, Brussels sprouts, and yellow pole beans (that I snapped this morning). Yum.
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