Easter Weekend, 2014!

If ever there was a classic example of ups and downs, this weekend was it!

Thursday morning I had my review at work where they raved about my efficiency, productivity and initiative and then gave me a 10% raise.  So I work somewhere with no stress, no commute, no dress code and I make more than I did at my previous job!  I’ll take that!

Thursday evening I was fortunate to get off work an hour early and went home to prepare the Easter Turkey.  Ray’s son picked me up a couple hours later and we met Ray and his mom at the restaurant for dinner.  Costco and then Thrifty’s and home to cook the turkey!  At that point the weekend was pretty much right on track.  Friday morning I slept in a little, made a nice breakfast (apple crisp, anyone?) and then decided to take Gracie on a long walk while Ray and his son worked on building a boat rack for their fishing trip coming up.  I wouldn’t normally drive somewhere to go for a walk since we have such nice walking right out of our front door….but I thought it would be nice to be truly “gone” for a couple of hours.  I drove us to Burnaby Lake and was anticipating doing about 7-8km.  At the head of the trail we parked near, there was a sign that the whole loop was 10.3km (6.5 miles) which was a bit further than I had planned….but we weren’t in a hurry so I thought, why not.  Burnaby Lake Loop is the most boring, anti-scenic, flat, dull, poorly marked walk I think I’ve ever been on…especially for over TEN KILOMETERS.  With no music, nothing to look at and no one to talk to, it seemed like the walk took us forever (1:49), it wouldn’t frigging end!  Plus, the back half of the loop backs onto Highway One so you end up hearing a lot of traffic noise for a good part of it.

Looks like you would be able to at least see the water....but you would be wrong!

Looks like you would be able to at least see the water….but you would be wrong!

This is as exciting as it got!

This is as exciting as it got!


With around 4.5km left to go (and no shortcuts, it’s all or nothing), Gracie started to slow down a bit.  We stopped so she could get a drink and wade around in a creek and then pushed on.  I didn’t think anything of it except for the fact that she was probably as bored as I was.  When we finally got back to the car, I turned off MapMyRun and got Gracie a drink of water…..during which time my phone slid off the roof of my car and smashed onto the gravel.  The back of it is shattered, thankfully the front is unharmed, this phone needs to survive until October when the iPhone 6 is released!

Anyway, walk done, phone smashed, home for beer in driveway.  I knew Gracie was tired from our trek but I didn’t realize just how exhausted.  She crawled up onto my lap and fell asleep in my arms, snoring away.  And….that’s where she stayed for most of the rest of Friday.  By Friday evening she was so stiff and sore that she could barely walk, couldn’t do the stairs and was crying in her sleep.  I know that she has some stiffness issues from her previous life but this was to the extreme.  We doped her up with some doggie pain meds that we had left over from previous dogs/issues and put her to bed.  She cried a bit during the night but fortunately by Saturday morning she was mostly recovered….but she spent the entire day sleeping.  What I didn’t know when I took her on an 11km walk was that Ray had already taken her for 4km before I got up…..so she had a total of 15km under her belt.  Too far, poor baby.

2. Nap

Saturday morning we were up early and welcomed our new downstairs fridge!  I am so in love with it!  It’s an all-fridge and it’s HUGE!

3. Fridge

Saturday afternoon my sister came over and we all went out to my mom’s for a family dinner.  Although we all live within 2 hours of each other (some closer, some further), we don’t get together very often as a group.  Given that my Grampa has been uwell lately, we thought it was high time to get some family pictures taken.

4. Us

I have many more pictures posted over on Half a Pear if you’re interested.  There are a lot of nearly-duplicates so that the family can pick the ones they want…but there are some cute ones in there too.

Sunday Ray let me sleep in extra and then we did a walk with Gracie and then our regular mall routine.  It was starting to cloud over in the afternoon so we decided to lay low and watch a movie (Legally Blonde…so dumb but perfect Sunday movie!).  During our movie we got a phone call that I had won an Easter basket at a store a couple of towns over so after dinner we went to go and pick it up!  Unfortunately you win some and you lose some because 20 minutes after I picked up the basket I’d won, we had a blowout 5 blocks from home.

5. Basket Tire

So….our little mishap is going to cost me around $400 to get fixed….plus since the dealership is the only place that will do those exact tires, I’m sure I’ll also have to do a full service since I’m running behind.  Stupid pothole, going to cost me a fortune!

6. Pothole

And finally, to finish the weekend, I had absolutely gruesome nightmares last night….really quite gory and I don’t appreciate that…so I’m not overly well rested or well settled today.  I’m drinking oodles of Orange Blossom Rooibos tea and taking it easy today….it’s very quiet at work since most people are also off today.  I find it funny that for as many ups and downs as there were this weekend, I’m not particularly stressed about any of it.  I surmise that this ability to handle whatever life throws is a result of not having chronic work stress eating away at me day after day.  I would never have wished what happened with our previous jobs…..but I am at the stage where I am mostly pleased with how things have turned out.

Have a great Monday!

Update:  I just made some calls regarding the blow out yesterday…..my city is willing to reimburse me for the cost of the replacement tire.  Since I reported the pothole and the damage, I can make a claim against the city and they will cover the charges.  As far as the actual replacement, the dealership will let me drop my blowout off tonight after work, they’ll mount the new tire onto the rim and balance it and then tomorrow after work I pop by and they mount it onto the car.  No wait, no hassle!  And….it’s a LOT cheaper than I predicted!


March, In Like A Lion

I was going to do a “picture an hour” post this morning about my Saturday.  It’s a thing going around right now for a neat post.  You take one picture every hour.  I took one the first hour, one the second, forgot the third and then got busy and ditched the idea.  So while I didn’t end up with one every hour, I’ll share what I did get.

Let me preface this weekend “outline” by saying that there was a LOT of lazing around and couch time….which is exactly what I wanted to end February.

Friday night I was, once again, home alone for awhile while Ray went for dinner with his mom (I hate the restaurant that they go to and would rather skip!) so I did the extra fun task of grocery shopping, dishwasher unloading, mayonnaise making and meat packaging.  I LOVE meat packaging day.  Makes me feel all content.  Friday night was an early to bed one, mostly because I was bored and didn’t feel like staying up.

1. Meat

Saturday morning I loaded myself into the truck and went about 45 minutes up the freeway to my mom’s house to pick up my new sideboard.  I have desperately needed some storage in the kitchen, our cupboards are packed with fry pans, pots, crockpots, glassware for lunch containers, stoneware, food processor and mix master.  PACKED.  It’s a puzzle getting things out sometimes and a complete ‘giveup’ putting them away from time to time.  Many a time one of us has gotten frustrated and either just left the item sitting out (on our very limited countertop space) or whipped the item into the cupboard and slammed the door, hopeful that nothing was broken.

No more!  My mom and sister and I went thrift shopping a few weeks ago and I found something I really liked that was absolutely perfect for my storage needs.  Only….they wouldn’t sell it to me unless I took the table and chair set that was with it. My mom persevered though and went back every second day to bug them into separating the sideboard off.  And they did so I got to go and get the one piece on Saturday.

First up though was a visit with her little furball!

1a. Tucker

After the doggy-loving we went to get the sideboard.

2. Haul

I knew it was big but I had no idea how HEAVY it was!  It is solid hard-wood and weighs about 350 pounds. It took Ray and I 20 minutes of heaving and resting and heaving to get it out of the truck and upstairs…around a corner and finally into position!

3. Sideboard

I’m debating painting it or stripping and restaining it.  It is a bit chewed up in spots so it does need to be refinished….just not sure how yet.

After we got the sideboard all in place and full of cookware (LOVE how it’s working and the extra spacious cabinets I now have), we took Gracie and went to a dog birthday.  Not just any dog, this particular one is becoming a bit famous in our area. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and isn’t a candidate for surgery, he’s going to die soon. Instead of getting too sad about it and missing out on his last good days, Riina (his mom) made him a bucket list and has spent the last months marking things off.  Meeting Biff Naked, drinking beer at the pub, riding in police cars and firetrucks to name a few.  His 9th birthday came this weekend and she threw him a party for all his boxer-dog friends.

5. Romeo

Gracie was a good sport and played nicely with the other dogs, donned her bday hat for pictures and ate cake!

4. Bday Hat

You can click this link:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dog-with-cancer-gets-bucket-list-for-final-days-1.2554369 if you want to read more about Romeo.

After the party it was naps all around, some cooking and some hockey watching

5a. Sleeping

Sunday was more of the same but with a trip to Mecca….Gourmet Warehouse thrown in. Sunday was a lazy day (as always) filled with television, silly dog playing, reading, some cooking and movies.

6. Couch Hog


7. Movietime

I made absolutely certain to spend as much of the weekend (and the end of February) doing lazy, relaxing things.  I want change in March and I work well with drawing a line and then stepping over it to start.

Tonight we’ll be working on getting Pedals all geared up so that as SOON as it stops being winter outside, I can bicycle to work.  It has either poured with rain, snowed like crazy or been freezing rain the last four weekends in a row.  It’s been awful!  So…..as much as I would prefer to “test run” my ride to work and back, I’m almost positive that’s being chucked out the window.  The moment it’s sunny out, I’ll be riding to work, test-run complete or not.  Pedals will have new, clip-in pedals put on tonight, the headlight and taillight batteries replaced, the odometer calibrated and then tomorrow I’m going to go after work and get new panniers and gloves.

In the meantime…while it’s pissing down with rain outside, I’ll be rowing at the gym in the mornings.  I desire change in both my body and my attitude and the only way to make change is to be the change.  Someone, please remind me of this at 4am!



Oh, Monday….be kind to me today!  I’m suffering quite a bit with my Alien this morning, I’ve had the dropsies all weekend and smashed my head against A) a cupboard door, B) an oven hood fan and C) a cutting board (don’t ask).  I’m cranky and feel quick to tears this morning.

None of this is helped by what Gracie did on the weekend.  Let’s just say that 4 pounds of frozen solid, bone in, skin on chicken thighs mysteriously went missing.  We discovered the culprit when she squeezed back in through the dog door with a huge frozen mass in her gut and her fur on so tight that it looked it was three sizes too small.  So….we were on dog watch duty all weekend while she fidgeted, cried, waddled and sweated through the digestion process.  Brutal.  And if you’re wondering, it’s not that the chicken was easily accessible, it was IN the kitchen sink.  Where it always goes.  I didn’t even think she was tall enough to get her head in there. I was obviously very wrong.  (she’s fine now)

Anyway, Friday afternoon I was very excited to finally receive delivery of my Great Lakes Gelatin!!!!!!  It really is completely flavourless and odourless and dissolves perfectly in cold water (I bought the hydrolyzed version).  I’ve been putting my tablespoon in my morning coffee….you’d never know it was there!  There were some cautions online about a bit of a detox process when you first start taking it but neither of us have noticed anything unusual.  The comments were “viscious headaches” and nausea and the runs.  No reaction from us…I guess we are already detoxified!


What else……my Century.  Last week I had been wondering if I should keep trying to achieve it……and I think I’m going to move forward with it.  It’s still achievable, if a little more difficult.  Tara suggested that I add on the amount of days that I was laid up for…..and I may do that if I have to….but I’m really going to try to get it within the original goal period so that I can happily go and buy myself a hot tea and turn myself over to someone else.  Really looking forward to that, so the final push is on.


I’m hoping that this coming weekend weather holds out because I really want to ride my bicycle down to work and back to gauge the time and route.  March should have at least a couple days a week in it that I should be able to cycle to work…..but only if I know how long it takes and how to get here!

Overall I think I’m feeling pretty content with life right now (stupid, boring job notwithstanding).  Of note, I’ve cut back on my fat intake substantially….once I started actually measuring I realized that I was going way over board and I’ve pulled the measuring spoons out again.  I know that the idea is that we’re just supposed to eat intuitively….but that does not work 100% for me.  They say that no one overeats pork chops and roasted Brussels Sprouts and I fully agree with that.  I definitely don’t measure out food in that aspect….but I can be known to drink my coffee with nearly the same volume of coconut milk as coffee.  Or eat an entire avocado in a day or a batch of homemade mayo in a week after I’ve just polished off a double batch of sunshine sauce.  I can be an egg-eating-machine and don’t even get me started on almond butter.  So I’m measuring for a while…..and yes, restricting my fat intake somewhat.  I’m also throwing out my “food-clock” and again, making a conscious effort to judge my hunger vs “it’s time to eat”.  I’m pretty happy with how I feel both mentally & physically after a week of having done all of this.

We had a major windstorm with super heavy rain last night so I’m curious to take Gracie through the park after work and see what the damage is in the forest.  And tomorrow is gym…..which I want to be excited about.  But I’m not really.  I still can’t go back to lifting and pullups and dips, my shoulder is still not 100%…..so I’m going to get some much needed Century mileage and then go from there.  I actually thought my shoulder was fine…until Sunday when I was in the backseat of my mom’s car and she had to slam the brakes to avoid getting us killed by a bus and my shoulder smoked the seatbelt pretty hard….so I was back with the ice yesterday and the Advil today.  Nothing serious though, just a bit tweaky.

Anyway, that’s it for me today.  I hope your Monday is treating you well…..I’ll be here, bored….with cramps….and fighting crushing cravings for lemon meringue pie and puffed wheat squares.  Seriously.  Shoot me.

Dog to the Shoulder

Remember this picture from a couple days ago?

photo 2

Remember how I said she crashed right into me at top speed?  It was HILARIOUS at the time, seriously funny, we both killed ourselves laughing.  I haven’t laughed since.  My right shoulder started aching on Monday night, a deep, bone-ache.  By this morning it was excruciating, couldn’t move it at all, Ray had to put my shoes on me this morning (after I’d cried for two hours trying to get myself ready).  Turns out that thanks to Gracie’s antics, I have trauma (bruising, bleeding) where the biceps attaches to the bone (called the biceps insertion), a torn deltoid and a heavily bruised spinus anterior muscle.  What all that means is ridiculous pain.  RI-DIC-U-LOUS.  Absolutely nothing I can do about it but let it heal.  Ice.  Ice.  More Ice.  Rest.  NO gym.  NO lifting anything…and that means NOTHING, including a fork to my mouth (ever try eating with your non-dominant hand?).  NO heavy breathing (ie, fast walk, stationary bike etc) because….the nerve that services the shoulder contingent is the same one that services the heavy breathing part of your diaghram.  Think about it…..when you are heavy breathing, what are your shoulder muscles doing?  Lifting your chest up and down to facilitate the breathing.  So…..nothing.

I am at work, apparently that is good for me…..small movements bring healthy blood flow to the area (typing, mousing…no writing because that requires grip strength…which starts in your forearm and travels to your bicep and delt…and believe me when I tell you, it most certainly does affect that area!).

Snowflake (my Jetta) is stick shift so Ray and I have to trade for awhile.

I’m borderline amused by all of this and borderline hysterical.  ALL of February’s fitness goals are in the toilet, I am in SO much pain (which hopefully will start to abate in a few days….dependant I guess on how much I really follow the “lift absolutely nothing” rule).

Ray is going to have to step up his game over the next few days…..this morning after I made breakfast (yes, seriously) and served both our plates and poured our coffees, he took his plate and coffee and went and sat down and left me and my breakfast and coffee standing in the kitchen….whereby I burst into tears because, seriously, HELP ME!  And then…..sitting on the sofa, crying into my breakfast while I tried to eat it, he made this comment, “So, what time on Saturday are you riding your bike to work?” and then laughed at me.  He is very, very lucky that I couldn’t lift my coffee or it would have been all over him!  SO not the time to be making stupid jokes about things that, quite honestly, are going to be depressing.

So….that’s where I am right now…..won’t be getting up to much….no bike ride this weekend, no Coquitlam Crunch, no Perimeter Trail run, no gym.  Nothing.  I’d be really bummed right now…..if I wasn’t busy being in so much pain I could puke.

Air Teddy out.

Enter February!

So February is underway, the sun is shining brilliantly and I’m ready to go.  I had an unexpected injury late last week that couched me for four days (dislocated shoulder from years ago acts up from time to time) but I’m a LOT better now.  Still a little tender but at least now I can comb my hair, LOL!

This past Saturday was February 1st and I took a well thought out break from a couple of my goals so that I could enjoy a little treat and not have to mark it down as a failure.  It seemed unreasonable to go from one month to the next without having a “break day” in between to have a sweet or buy a new nail polish.  So…I allowed February 1st to be a day that didn’t fall under the January goals or the February goals.  It just seemed like smart planning.  I’m planning March 1st to be off the grid as well!

On Saturday, after a treatment at the chiropractor (which hurt SO much at one point that I thought I was going to faint), we went for coffee and I had a delicious red tea latte (made with coconut milk) and a little gluten free sugar cookie with pink icing and little white sprinkles.  It was amazing and perfect and just what I needed!  Unfortunately, the sugar in that and the teeeeeensy bit of honey in my chia seed pudding awoke my treats dragon and I’ve been clawing around for the last two days searching for something……..something sweet, something to make it go away, something to munch on, just….something.  Not cool!  So now, four days into February, the banishment of treats or sweets begins anew.  I do not suffer at all with what I eat and often I will have a dessert planned (an orange or coconut chips or a kombucha) and I go days without having it because I’m full from dinner and just don’t need it.  I enjoyed the chocolate chia pudding parfait that I had over the weekend but I enjoyed that more on a strange emotional plane than a physical enjoyment one.  On Sunday morning, parked on the couch drinking our coffee and watching a dumb movie, we ate the rest of the raspberries and blueberries plain right out of their lit6tle clamshells and I enjoyed that more than the pudding parfait, go figure. 


Aside from recovering from my injury and doing some cooking on Saturday, we didn’t get up to much. My cooking “hour” has morphed into about a 3 hour time investment on Saturday and another hour on Sunday.  It’s a good chunk of time to devote to preparing food but my time investment during the week is reduced to about 10 minutes (not including heating/baking time) and that has created quite a bit more time for me each day which is so nice.  I make or prep all the ingredients for the breakfast we’ll eat all week as well as every dinner (we take leftovers for lunches).  I go as far as I can possibly go with each dish and then it all gets stored in the refrigerator downstairs with the weekly menu posted on the fridge upstairs.  I predetermine the menu before grocery shopping and that way I typically don’t buy anything that’s not on the plan to eat, thereby reducing waste. No baby cukes in the fridge rotting, no box of salad going slimy because it seemed like a good idea to buy it but it wasn’t anywhere on the menu.  Granted, the type of preparation that I rely on really screws me when I’m not feeling well or if we have plans or if something comes up…..but since I usually schedule in the cooking on Saturday afternoon, we can work around it.  It’s important to me to be prepared and organized and it would have to be something pretty remarkable going on to make me delay it.

Because I have no holidays this year to speak of, I have been “reserving” our Sundays for just the two of us. We typically go down to the mall and I’ll get a tea (gift card, doesn’t count in the no spending, ha!) and Ray will get a coffee and we’ll window shop for a bit and then carry on.  I hate the mall….but strangely I love our Sunday jaunts.  This past Sunday, as part of my goals for February, we went somewhere new for a walk with Gracie and had a blast.  We’d been there before but it’s a nice change of scenery instead of the forested park we walk around all the time by our house.  The weather was clear and crisp and gorgeous and Gracie ran around like a demon, she loved it!  We ended up walking 6.3 kilometers (3.9 miles) before heading home for a shower and some alone time.  It was a perfect Sunday and fully recharged me for this week ahead. 

photo 2

Right before she lost her mind and crashed right into me!

photo 1

So happy!

photo 3


photo 4

This is my favourite, she looks partially deranged!

photo 5

Ray said he watched her deke over to one side like she was going to go around me and then changed her mind and tried to go right through me!


My two favourite beasts.


This week:

  • Gym x 3
  • Dinner at the table x 3
  • No handheld technology after 6pm
  • Television-less Friday
  • Paint nails


Have a good one!

Sunday, Run Day!

This weekend seemed like it was really disjointed and choppy!  Friday night the headache that plagued me all week went supernova and I couldn’t do anything but lay on the sofa and wimper.  During the night I had an epiphany that maybe I have a sinus infection so I took a decongestant and an advil and was provided with enough relief that I’ve diagnosed myself with it. I used to get them alllll the time when I was a smoker; it’s been so long since I’ve had one that it didn’t even cross my mind.  I slept for 12.5 hours Friday night and when I finally woke up on Saturday morning, Ray was gone to do some errands and I spent a couple hours back on the couch with my coffee before he came home and we took Gracie for a good (slow) 5km walk. It was such a gorgeous day and getting that bit of fresh air was so nice!  I did a bit of cooking on Saturday afternoon, took another nap and then we went to Ray’s daughter’s for a family dinner.  She made spaghetti and meat sauce but was sweet enough to cook a spaghetti squash for me.  That whole relationship has come an amazingly long way, I’m so grateful for where we are today!

Sunday morning I was up bright and early and in the car, driving through immensely thick fog to get to my sister’s house for our 5km event.


We were very excited about our run.  The distance wasn’t too far, completely achievable, and our plan was to do it together from start to finish.  We were reminiscing about the two that we had done previously, one in March 2008 that was my first organized event ever (I was so nervous I couldn’t even smile for the pics) and the second one was in July of that year and it was so hot and I was so hung-over that I nearly passed out halfway through the course from dehydration.  And…..this time I had a severe sinus infection.  Grrreat.

We were not to be deterred though, the horn finally sounded after an hour standing around in the freezing fog and we were off!  We kept a good pace through the first half, stopped just after the 2.5km mark for about 30 seconds for a sip of water and then pushed it back to the end.  We finished strong, sprinting our way across the finish line holding hands; wish there was a picture of that!


We finished pretty much smack dab in the middle of the pack as a whole and in the middle of our female age group.  Our official times were 34:36.9 and 34.37.4.  I’m extremely happy with that, it’s my fastest 5k (which, according to my GPS was actually 5.25k) and was achieved with no outdoor run training, mainly just cardio conditioning on the treadmill a bit and the rowing machine for the most part.  I have to decide now if I want to train outside on hills and roads in order to see if I can place in the top 10 in March.  Right now I don’t really give a rip….but after my legs stop hurting I might consider giving it a shot!

Saturday was also, sadly, the one year anniversary that our foster puppy, Snoopy, passed away.  For those of you who don’t know, Snoopy came to us as a foster and we’d pretty much planned to adopt him. He was an 8 month old boxer puppy, a sweet little redhead, full of fire and love.  I wrote this post:  http://darcycanaday.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/the-snoopy-saga/ when he started to get sick, even reading back on it is hard, that was such a hard couple of weeks, the stress & sadness from that really threw us for a loop at the beginning of last year.  Here’s the post I wrote when he passed away:  http://darcycanaday.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/rip-snoop/

In order to not end this post on a sad note, I’ve included a bunch of photos from yesterday as well as my Century chart which I am over 1/3 of the way complete.  Today is the quarter way mark and if things keep on at this same pace, I will happily reach my 100km goal and book my foot reflexology appointment!

Century Quarter Mark photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4



A little over 3 years ago I found myself hearing a small voice in the back of my head that kept telling me that the right thing to do was to stop eating grains.  I put it off and tried to repress it and made excuses as to why that little voice was insane.  Eventually though, I had to acknowledge it, really listen to it and then make a decision.  Three years later and I’ve never looked back.  It was absolutely the right thing to do and it changed my life and my relationship with food.

Around two years ago I found myself hearing another small voice that was telling me that cardio (running & spinning) was no longer what I should be focusing on.  Again, I tried to repress it and made excuses as to why I could never follow that little voice and learn my way into lifting heavy things.  Eventually I bought a book (New Rules of Lifting for Women), learned the movements and didn’t look back.  I gained muscle and lost fat and got into pretty decent shape. 

Then life happened, people became injured or sick, jobs were lost, car accidents were experienced and while the foundation of my health, nutrition and fitness beliefs remained the same, my commitment to all the work involved did not.  I wasn’t in the gym, I was eating too much, allowing in “unapproved” foods and drinking too much. So then, coming up on January 2014, I really felt ready to put myself back in the game, to dive back in to the things that make me who I am.  To take back the things that I value.  And I did.  We’re halfway into January and my goals list for this month is coming along great.  We’re eating at the table more often, all the food I’m making is completely approved (by my own guidelines, I don’t label myself as anything), we haven’t eaten out at all and I’ve met my gym dates so far.

And yet?  I’ve been feeling really crappy.  I’m not losing the weight I want to be (or should be), my stomach seems more upset that normal and I’m exhausted.  And all the while that I’ve been trying to figure out the cause and going through foods, carbs, calories, nutrients, macros, blood-iron levels, B12 levels, increased Omega 3 supplements….there’s been a voice.  A niggling little voice that I cannot seem to turn off.  A little voice that keeps saying “you know what you need”.  Ignore.  IGNORE.  IGNORE.  Until yesterday afternoon when that little voice got really loud and I had to acknowledge it.  “You are not getting enough exercise!”.  Yes, I’m meeting my gym dates and I work hard when I’m there.  But previous to October of this year, I also walked my dog between 4-7 kilometers Every Single Day Of The Week at a near-jogging pace.  Unfortunately right now that’s not possible with the darkness, my (& Ray’s) work hours and meal timing.  If I want or need to do anything after work, including something as simple and fast as stopping at the grocery store for an ingredient or two,  I eliminate what little time I had to go on a walk before it’s time to get dinner going and served.  And if I do get to take Gracie for a walk after work, it’s only for about 3km (or less) or 30 minutes.   Not enough.

Since today is the halfway mark of the month, I’m adding in a new goal for the next 15 days to see how it goes.  Starting today, from 7pm – 8pm I will take Gracie for a 4-5km walk, three weeknights and one Sat or Sun morning 4.5km trail walk/jog.  On the short side this will give me 16km and 4 hours of exercise a week.  It’s only for three weeks so I’ll see how it goes, I predict that it is not sustainable over the winter months and I may choose to put an AM spinning class in its place (preparation for bicycle commuting to work, maybe).  I think it’s important to me, my body, my mind and my overall well being to try this. 

This morning when lifting weights, doing pullups and squats, I could see the muscle, it’s still there and coming back more every day……….I really believe I just need to quiet the noise in my body and head in order to start making noticeable progress…..and right now, this is the way to do that.  These “voices” are rarely wrong….even though sometimes I wish they were.  😉


Good Morning,

We had a fairly nice weekend, things have levelled off a little bit for now, thankfully.  The weather was a bit hit or miss so we stayed close to home.  One of the things that I did do was go and buy some bedding plants for the front garden.  And…..a bag of ladybugs.  My little rose bush in the front has aphids and I wasn’t super thrilled about spraying it with chemicals every 7 days.  So, while at the garden store I inquired about, and purchased a bag of 250 ladybugs.

I took a video of the garden once it was planted, we also videoed the ladybug distribution as well as Gracie and I playing with a new toy.  I thought the videos might be a nice way for my grampa (and gramma) to “see” us and might be a nice distraction while they’re dealing with some not so pleasant things. 

Plus, like we talked about before, pics and now videos are a neat way to peek into someone’s life!

I hope you enjoy:

LADYBUGS – Part One:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dOL9reU3U8

LADYBUGS – Part Two:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI9J24lOS7w

GARDEN TOUR:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7JE3XPRfZ4

GRACIE & SHANNON PLAYING:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp6mgbvKFUg

In For It

10 day strike notice was given at my company yesterday.  Husband and I work at the same place so we’re in a unique and highly stressful situation of limited/reduced finances, the high potential that the company will just close our plant permanently rather than deal with the strike and the political and relationship issue of me having to cross his picket line (I’m not in the union so I’ll still be working).

My Grampa has been in the hospital since last Wednesday with a wicked lung infection in his already deteriorated respiratory system.  He has COPD (emphysema) from decades of being a welder.  While they have mostly cleared the infection, he is now on full time oxygen and dealing with issues of acute aging.  He’s 82 and declared to me last night that he doesn’t feel like his life is worth living anymore. 

I am stressed to the max right now.  I don’t even know what to worry about at any given moment.  Last night I had a good hard cry………well……….I was going to.  I started to.  And then Grace came to the rescue while I was laying on the floor of the hallway sobbing and stood on my back and started licking my face like it was her job.  Ray says that she is a professional in the area of misdirection.  I say that God made tears salty so that your dog will lick them while you cry.  It’s strangely comforting.  I also drank some cheap wine and ate a couple chocolates.  That helps too.

I don’t know what next week will be like.  Hell, I don’t even know what tomorrow will be like.  I’m fully in one-day-at-a-time mode right now.  I have gym plans next week.  I think I need a hard sweat to help release some of the stress.  Whether I can actually get myself there or not……..can’t commit right now.


After three cold, dark and scary nights out in the world alone, Jenna was found last night!  I cried when I heard the news.

I realize that she’s a dog and a stranger’s dog at that.  But I just kept thinking that if my girl was lost out in the world, I would appreciate every single person’s effort to get her home.  We love the little buggers So Much that knowing they are cold or tired or hungry or scared just rips the heart apart!

Anyway, Grace and I went out right after work to look for Jenna and spent about three hours combing the neighborhood.  Unfortunately it’s a very affluent neighborhood so you can’t really just wander in and out of people’s back yards to check under their decks for the dog.  The yards are enourmous and filled with shrubs and hedges and masses of greenery.  Perfect for a scared dog to hide.

We called it quits around 8 and about 20 minutes after we left, someone in the neighborhood found Jenna in their backyard and called our volunteer.  Unfortunately right then Jenna bolted and ran into the woods.  The two volunteers chased her into the woods for quite a ways and eventually Jenna looked back, saw them and just stopped and layed down so that they could get her.

The reunion with her mom makes me teary eyed to watch. Unfortunately the video is posted in a closed group so I can’t fetch it out to share it here. 

Jenna, just after she’d been found.  Being driven home to her mom!

Jenna, just after she’d been found. Being driven home to her mom!


And of course, because nothing ever seems to go smoothly or happen one thing at a time, yesterday Ray called me from the side of the road in the middle of nowhere (from a pay phone…did you know they still had those?!) and told me that the motorhome died and he would have to get it towed back.  Because it’s a motorhome he had to get the semi tow truck as well as a second tow truck as he was pulling our boat with the motorhome.  $750 to tow the motorhome, another $200 to tow the boat, an impound charge for the boat and trailer while they wait for the motorhome to be repaired plus the cost of whatever the repair turns out to be.   Initially he told me that I was going to have to drive 3 hours up to get them and bring them home but very fortunately they changed their minds and decided to wait there with the vehicle while it’s being repaired.  Driving three hours in the dark and then cramming 780 pounds of man (and 80 pounds of Grace since I wasn’t about to leave her home alone) into my little Jetta and driving another three hours back was not my idea of an awesome time!

With a labour dispute looming, we really cannot afford this and so they may be coming home this morning once the motorhome is up and running again.  I’m in a holding pattern to find out…..could be that the repair takes longer or is more involved and then I will have to go and get them.  Hope Not!

Wishing that today is smoother and more stress-free than yesterday!