Tag Archives: walking

Finding Ten Things of Thankful (#90)-oy vey!

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I could sit here and tell you all things this week that went horribly wrong. I could tell you all the things that completely stressed me out. I could sit here and tell you what a crappy crappy crappy week this was. However, THAT is not what Ten Things of Thankful is about. 

Let’s see if I can turn this week around day by day:

Monday:

What happened Monday. Well I really can’t remember Monday very well. I had my Cleaning Job so I had income to go to the Farmers Market to get fresh fruit and produce. I got my kitchen cleaned up and even baking soda and vinegar bombed the oven. So that is three things right there.

Tuesday:

Tuesday I got my four and half mile walk in. It was very much needed and I really felt the week off that I took to get over that sinus/allergy flare that seems to be pretty much done.

Wednesday:

Oh Wednesday why must you attack me so? The day before the school had testing. Whatever happened, the kid did not get a decent lunch. When you have a protein deficiency this then makes a phone call to mom to bring protein the next day. She gets very similar to hypoglycemic symptoms. LUCKILY, I was able to leave my Nanny Job for a  bit and take her some magnesium to calm the shakes and some protein. I don’t blame anyone, she is old enough to advocate for herself, she made the choice not to say anything. I am sure she was told at least four times to bring her lunch box with her and didn’t. It was just frustrating because she is normally pretty aware of her protein need. She had a breakfast of 20grams of protein only an hour before she called just to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Thursday:

Thursday we will just call the day of so many mix-ups. Everything that needed to get done got done. Well except for gas in the car. I just didn’t have it in me after a quick grocery store stop.  However the baking soda and vinegar bomb from Monday made my oven so clean I hardly recognized it when I went to put dinner in after it was pre-heated.Sparkly clean ovens make me happy and I am sure the neighbors as the fire alarm did not go off just from pre-heating the oven.

Friday:

You were such a tease Friday;Over-sleeping, car seats forgotten, wrong shoes worn to school and all. Hey remember I didn’t have it in me Thursday to stop for gas…….yeah I completely forgot. LUCKILY enough I made it to my Nanny job by shear stubborn Irish will and possibly some anger of wrong shoes worn to school. Mommy does not like getting phone calls from school, especially not when it’s the second one this week. In all my rush I forgot to bring the greek yogurt to mix my left over pulp from juicing the day before. LUCKY for me, I have awesome friends who take time out of their lunch break to bring me some! Plus I got a second four and half mile walk in and it was much easier this time!

Pretty sure there is more than ten things in all of that. Pretty sure I turned my week around however, I am really really really glad it is over and we can just focus on moving forwards.

Oh and some obligatory pictures from the week……

Squish is really digging this solid food stuff. I have been fired from feeding him for not shoveling it in fast enough

Squish is really digging this solid food stuff. I have been fired from feeding him for not shoveling it in fast enough

Fish make nests? I don't think I knew that before.

Fish make nests? I don’t think I knew that before.

Very well Pheasant I suppose this meal is good....enough..

Very well Pheasant I suppose this meal is good….enough..

The Kid and Snickerdoodle in a tree

The Kid and Snickerdoodle in a tree

Me and squish

Me and squish

Sunset

Sunset

We have Wednesday morning Youth Religious education garden watering . I supervised and drank my greens smoothie

We have Wednesday morning Youth Religious education garden watering . I supervised and drank my greens smoothie

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The week it all seemed to come together. TTOT 74

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Saturday

1. A nice exploring hike with the kid. Just the two of us. We had a lot of fun. She took some videos. It is not recommended you watch them if you easily get motion sick! But she did crack me up.

Sunday

2.. Despite a constant rain drizzle that stiffened my joints and pain invading what little sleep I did get…. I got up and made an excellent breakfast and fresh coffee. We made it to church and I was able to come home and continue to rest.

Monday

3. Husband got a raise.  He works so hard for us. Working two jobs and biking to both jobs most of the time. Thankful. He works hard and it paid off. So proud of him.

4. Helping a friend with the last of my tea tree oil.

There is that nasty bug going around school. Lice. Its a bad word in our house. One time when teaching I had to deal with if for six weeks. The kid has had it once. ONCE is plenty. Tea Tree Oil is a natural repellent.  I was glad I had enough extra to help a friend out. That is the last thing anyone needs to deal with.  We will also be pulling her hair up and putting  hardening cream in it. Any barriers help!

Tuesday

5. I walked without my walking partner. I was having issues with my pace because of my hip being really angry. I went for distance. I overestimated how far away the bench was. Walked further than I planned. Walked almost five and half miles.

Wednesday

7. I got to take squish for a walk, baby wearing. We walked four and half miles. We went a slightly different way. It was actually very pleasant out.

8. Well as a testament to how much better I am getting. I walked with squish,baby-wearing, for another almost two miles.  I hit the ginger, turmeric and magnesium very hard.  I woke up in the middle of the night to realize I hit the magnesium a little too hard. The bathroom and I were very close at two am.

Thursday

9. New recipes. Even though I really don’t like the uncertainty of them. Will it come out? Will we like it? Did I just waste all that food?

We made zucchini chips and they were pretty darn tasty.

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Friday

10. I was asked to be a regular contributor to a news and entertainment magazine. It is still in the process but stay tuned for more information.

So that’s it. Ten things. This week it was fairly easy to come up with ten things. I seem to be making my way back up from depression. I really do hate the ebb and flow of it, even with medication.

Hey wait I just checked my email.

I have a new essay up about heart Health and men’s health over on Mamalode. Go check it out! Matters of the heart

Tell me your Ten things your thankful for this week!

And Don’t forget to check out the others on this hop!

Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop

Happiness/contentment/rage/thankful/happiness :TTOT 71

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”Ten

Saturday

1. Pridefest, we helped our church run the booth there. It was so rewarding and my daughter had a great time. We had a great discussion on the way to the festival. Although the whole conversation about people should be able to marry who they love, regardless of gender, went a way I didn’t expect.
“So I can marry Joey Kenzie and Hayden?”

“What about a parent marrying their kid.”

Yeah wasn’t really ready to talk about THAT!

However, we did have a good talk and she really enjoyed herself as well.

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Sunday

2. We had a great time at my friends birthday party. Even though we were the only ones able to make it. The kid had fun playing with Princess P. We roasted Marshmellows over the fire and had pizza. It was simple and very enjoyable.

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Monday

3. New feast place, vegetarian organic and reasonably priced for a friend of mine and I to go to on our weekly lunch date. It will do much to keep us on track eating healthy.

Plus I just have to add: I bought the rainbow t the farmers market. This lasted us four days. Well , we do still have a few eggs left.  And I think a kiwi.  Oh wait. I forgot about the broccoli but that is for lunch today so gone in Five days.

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Tuesday

4. Rainbow juice in the morning and saved the pulp for a delicious dinner as well. If that is not multipurpose I don’t know what is.  The rainbow juice did not layer like the website said.. Spinach kale cucumber celery Apple pineapple carrots beets purple sweet potato  ginger and lemon. It was however very delicious!  Then for dinner I took the kale and spinach pulp that I had put aside and mixed it in with brown rice and Pearl Barley. Then took the beet and sweet potato pulp added olive oil and salt.  Baked chicken in lemon juice.

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5. I could say a comment by a family member rubbed me wrong. I could focus on that. That however would not be productive. Instead I am focusing on the fact that I banged out a new blog post and it was very very very well received.  I know a lot of people follow my blog and facebook page. Internet friends are real and some of the comments were just the balm my soul needed.  Read my rant here. 

Wednesday

What happened Wednesday? I am actually not sure. It is totally besides the point that I am writing this on Thursday and I am honestly having trouble recalling the past twenty four hours. Lets look at the pictures in my phone…….

6.  Ah yes. I took a walk babywearing my friends eight week old and managed to do three miles and only a few minutes behind what I normally do. Carrying  twelve to fourteen pound baby easily ups those calories by 100.

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Thursday
7. Grateful for a friend who pulled me out of my funk after my four mile walk. I was ready for it. The rest of my day I had planned out, didn’t go that way. Sometimes my ocd/anxiety really gets the best of me.

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This was me right before we went for my walk. I had to drop off my daughter at school first. Rocking the eighties workout look. Just needed leg warmers and a headband. I also weighed in on Thursday and lost another pound. Was finishing my juice on the way to meet my walking partner.

8. Grateful for friends who understand my need to help whenever I can, and take care of my kid. Went with  my other friend to Tampa to take her Eight week old to the doctor for a follow up from lip and tongue tie. I have lived in Florida all my life but these scenes never get old.

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Friday.

9. A beautifully perfect morning not even seventy degrees with a nice breeze for a walk with friends.

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Although my pedometer did not work due to lack of signal, I am sure this counts as todays exercise. Yes we climbed the stairs to the top. 76.1 feet.

10. We got an unexpected payment from Workmen’s comp from hubby’s thumb injury in July.

okay well.. Before I got the mail and saw the check I was going to list my corn intolerant problem as a thankful for weird reasons people with gastrointestinal issues will really understand. I couldn’t bring myself to delete it. So think of it as a bonus.

 We ran to the store this morning. I got some juice. The brand I normally get was not on sale. I grabbed the one for sale. Luckily I had only drank two oz or there abouts before realizing it had 91 kernels of corn in it. Corn intolerant.  It might be an odd thing to be thankful for. However, it has cleaned out my intestinal tract.  You never realize how much those suckers can hold until they are letting loose. HOWEVER, I don’t feel nearly as bloated anymore. Also grateful I can just rest and relax and recover from that.

Autumn Equinox

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Grammar people- I did not edit this or worry about grammar in this blog post as I felt it would take away from some of the authenticity of my thoughts.

I have been struggling for a while to find what I truly believe. I finally realized a few years ago that part of my problem with religion and spirituality was because I didn’t truly believe it. Part of the struggle has been letting go of what I was taught and part of it has been finding what I do believe in. I feel I am starting to get somewhere. When my walking partner told me her kids were still sick and thus unable to go for our walk. I was tempted to just not go. Then I realized it fell on the autumn equinox and I felt led to find a walking meditation to listen to. I tried several choices off youtube. They were not what I was looking for. Then I found one. Sage Goddess  had an hour long ritual and it was simply titled Fall Equinox Ritual. This was it. This resonated with me right from the start.

Now a bit of backstory is that I have been walking this trail for four weeks consistently. I did however walk it a lot last fall and winter. The first thing I noticed when we started back up on this trail was how dry everything was. The first two weeks of walking this trail I was just continually amazed at how little life there was along the sides of the trail. This was a trail we had seen alligators and turtles, gopher tortoises and even otters. It saddened me a little truth to tell. I understand it was the circle of life but still. Even last week on Thursday when we walked it was still dry. There was no water visible. There however had to be water somewhere as the frogs were back. They were singing their songs again.

Today the trail found me in amazement again. It was now Tuesday. Five days had passed. There was water. There was so much water. There was at least a foot deep of water if not more in some parts. Some areas it stretched back as far as ten to fifteen feet.  This was the trail I had fallen in love with last year.

As Sage Goddess talked about the story behind the equinox. There are many but this one was dealing with Demeter and Persephone and Hades. I had heard it before. However I had never felt the depth of emotion I felt when she told the story. I understood Demeter’s anguish and it suddenly made more sense why the light was softer in the fall.  There was just so much emotion I felt and could relate to in this story. It was like. Oh this is why I embrace fall so much.

Now many people who live in Florida say there are no seasons. I beg to differ. There is. They are just very subtle changes and you really do have to be paying attention. The change in the sunlight is always what I notice first. Soon after the air feels different. Less oppressive somehow. There is a slight change in the plants, the rain makes them fuller more alive, more colorful. We do have leaves that change colors. They just are not as many so you have to look carefully for them. Maybe it is because I take my walks outside twice a week minimum. I just have always felt fall the strongest though.

As I walked I found myself drawn more and more inwards and even despite walking felt grounded after Sage Goddess led us through a grounding practice.  Really it was a good thing that my pedometer kept interrupting every ten minutes as it forced me to look up and take in my surroundings.  My cats had knocked my cord out of the wall sometime in the night. So where I thought I had a fully charged phone. I was shocked to discover a mile and half into my walk that my phone battery was dying.

Sage Goddess had set the circle and was calling the four corners. I have always known I am considered an air element/East. However I have never fully related to any of the descriptions until now. I tend to relate the descriptions to personality and I really felt she had found me. Then she called Fire/south which is my daughters sign. Again everything she described I could relate into my daughters personality. She described us so beautifully and perfectly.

Sadly my phone died right after calling the four corners. However, my senses were so awakened. I tried to gather my thoughts for a letter to tell Sage Goddess how much just even that thirty minutes meant to me. I found it was much better suited to a blog post.

I spent most of the walk back looking off to the side. Noticing the little things. The song of the frogs was much louder and stronger. Their songs even seemed happier. We are wet, we are alive, we are happy.  There were so many little chickadee type birds flirting from branch to branch to water to branch. It may seem odd to see flowers blooming in Fall but that was what was happening. These were wetland flowers and they were showing how happy they were with the recent rain. They were bright and vibrant and almost seemed boastful and proud. Pinks and purples, yellows, whites and even a few red in color.  I saw a gopher tortoise hole and I wondered if anyone was way down deep in there. Enjoying the humid wetness of the soil.  A little further on I saw the gopher tortoise. He too seemed to be saying,” yes , this makes me happy.” The far off distant rumble of thunder had me thinking please clouds just hold off until I get to my car. Then I thought. well if it does, it might be just as cleansing as this walk has been. Before I knew it I was almost done with the second half of my walk. Here it was more obvious the plants had loved the rain. They seemed to have doubled and the sunlight that hit the new green of freshly grown leaves was just stunning.  There was Lantana blooming. They are my favorite and bring back so many childhood memories of picking them.

Fall is here. The trail is alive once more. I no longer worry that I will get bored walking the same trail twice a week. I now look forward to noticing all the subtle changes and hope again to glimpse some otters. The walk that normally takes an hour and twenty minutes took a few minutes less. I had a better more consistent pace. This walk was just the thing I needed. I felt grounded and restored like I haven’t felt in quite a while.

I will finish the Fall Equinox Ritual later today.  I am linking it here for anyone else who wishes to listen or practice.

 

What actually happened week one (May31-June7)

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We can plan only so much. We can do only so much. This is what life with a child is all about. It is also what life with a chronic illness is all about. Combined the two and things don’t always go as planned. This is a peak into our summer break, what is planned and followed by what actually happens.

 

Saturday:

Well of course she was up at six am. I let her watch Tv for an hour and realized at seven am it was pointless to stay in bed. We were out the door for a walk by seven thirty. Flipped her scooter up on the bike rack and we we were off. We started the trail at seven fifty. About every mile on this walk is a bench. We sat just about every time for a good ten minutes. I think this is why I did not swell as much. At the two mile mark I started stretching then sitting then stretching some more at our breaks. We stopped under the roadway bridge to listen to the bats and contemplate why we could hear them but not see them. OH but we could SMELL them. We found flowers. We saw a frog. We saw some poop, also known as scat

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Then we were off to meet my in laws for a belated birthday get together. On the twenty minute drive or so I had the kid read from her chapter book, squeezing it in where we can.We went to Myakka State Park which has both a boat tour and a tram tour. On the boat tour we learned mostly about alligators, the fish that live in the river and some of the bird life. We saw around twenty alligators. We then got on the tram after a short bathroom break. It is funny I have ridden that tram ride many times. It has new perspective for me as an adult as it did as a kid. I was more interested in the pioneers of Florida. It was fascinating the types of jobs that people had, ranging from Spanish moss gathering to Cattle hunters and even alligator hunters. Learned about a tree I never knew about, a water locust, and its big honking thorns. Pioneers used them for a multitude of things after they boiled them in water to get the toxin from them.  It was very interesting. On the way home I also had the kid read some more.

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We were outside from almost eight am to three pm. When we got home I immediately laid down and medicated.  The kid obviously was still at full steam and went out back to play.

 

Sunday:

We had our normal church morning and then after church a quick grocery shopping run. She also had her last harp concert of the season. All done until next school year.

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Monday:

It was the very last day of school. I originally thought to let her skip. She will have to go with me enough during the summer.

We did not go to the beach.. It was grey and over cast and forecast to rain. We did go for a short walk with a friend. Where we ran into …

 

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MANATEES. This was an unexpected surprise and a very pleasant one. Other mundane things happened, dinner and showers and such.

 

Tuesday oh Tuesday. I could not have predicted this and its just one of those things. I had severe fatigue. I had a severe headache. Even my own movement made me nauseous. It was completely a Pj and tv day. I did manage to get my daughter to read for an hour. That was about as productive as I got.

 

Wednesday we were not really sure what we wanted to do. Low and behold a message asking us to watch snickerdoodle. Of course we jumped at it! I made my daughter bring her book and a notebook.  While snickerdoodle napped she did her hour of reading. The writing prompt for Wednesday was to write using very descriptive words , seeing the manatees at the park.  There was lots of outside time. We even got a two mile walk in. I forgot how much harder a walk is when you are pushing a stroller. It is such a delight to see life through the eyes of  an almost two year old. Little things are big things. Excitement over trucks and squirrels and flowers and most importantly BUBBLES!

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Thursday started our first math tutor lesson. I did not stay for it as I wanted to get a walk in. I had realized I had not taken a walk by myself for a while and it is a good time for me to get some me time in. When I picked her up she was raving about the math lesson. Math is not as complicated as I think mommy! We got most of our hour reading session done and then had lunch with a friend.  The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house.

 

Friday came way to fast and after a rough night of very high anxiety dreams and then lack of sleep. I was looking forward to taking her to the library for a movie. I needed the calm comfort of the quiet sounds of the library to surround me. I stopped at the quarter book spot because who can pass up books for a quarter? NOT ME!!!  When my daughter found me. She didn’t want to watch the movie alone. Sigh.  We ran into Publix afterwards for lunchables and headed to the next library. This one has a nice pond in front and we say on a blanket and had lunch before going inside to get our hour of reading in.

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Then my favorite part. I had been looking forward to this part for at least two weeks. A class on archaeology with a real archaeologist!! It promised lots of hands on fun and it did not disappoint.  On the way home she wrote in her journal about what she learned. The coolest thing she liked? A six thousand year old clam shell.

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These pictures suck because most of the day I felt off just a bit and had the shakes. Could not seem to get a clear picture for anything.

 

Saturday. Oh thank god we made it to saturday. Oh but wait we have a nature hike planed. I know its a short trail. I know its gonna be hot. I also know the kid needs to get out of the house and expel some energy. She didn’t get up til six forty five this morning. That is almost like sleeping in for her. I woke up and thought, ” she isn’t awake yet….is she sick? I gave her the right amount of benedryl last night right? She was congested. Okay well if she is not awake by seven I will go check on her because if I check on her now , and she is asleep, she will wake up. Seven seems much saner to be up than six thirty.” but I didn’t go back to sleep. Just when I thought I couldn’t stand it any longer… She wakes up and comes to our room. Sigh okay.

Next task: Medicate and caffeinate. (spell check you are wrong Caffeinate is too a word.)

Then scroll the internet while waiting for it to kick in. Hoping it kicks in because man, the ache is bad today. The pain is already high.

I had grabbed some snack packs at Publix last night for today’s lunch so it will be hummus and carrots plus cheese and celery ,apples and grapes. Since we will be outside it is water to drink.

 

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I can honestly say it was completely worth it. We learned about Dragonflies, and Damsel flies. The difference between the two. We saw the shells from dragonflies at the larval stage.  We learned that dragonflies are deaf.  It was hot. It was sweaty. There was actually less walking than I had thought there would be so that was an added plus for me today.

We came home and the kid is now doing her writing prompt for the day, What did you learn on today’s walk. She has math home work from her math tutor and she will finish her book today and complete the assignment in the back about persuasive writing. I feel we are balancing the educational with the fun fairly well so far.

 

While it was exhausting it was also a great start to the summer break. It didn’t all go as planned, nothing ever does.

If you read to the end of this….THANKS YOU ROCK!!!

 

 

 

 

Never a normal doctors appointment

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Friday mornings are my roughest. I am so ready for the sleeping in on Saturday morning that sometimes happens. If it doesn’t happen the staying in bed a little longer happens. Most of the time.  Having a doctors appointment on a friday morning seemed like a good idea. I am not sure why. I know how rough I am. I got the kid out the door and to school on time. I headed to the doctors office right away because traffic is still horrible here. The tourist and snowbirds are slowly going back home…..slowly.

This was a review bloodwork and make sure my medications were all still okay. I was seeing the nurse practitioner because of a schedule conflict the doctor had. Because I can never just be a cut and dry case of ANYTHING…… my magnesium and potassium are still fluctuating still on the low side….and my thyroid is off…also on the low side…but the hashimotos study and the antibody study came back completely normal. This makes perfect sense to me, because I am used to this kind of thing. The Doctors were a bit perplexed. As I have a heart condition as well and am on medication for that, she is a bit hesitant to start thyroid medication. My heart condition is fairly well controlled with medication, however that does not mean we should take risks. If we do start medication it will be with an event monitor to make sure that I don’t have any SVT episodes(read my heart goes wacko, arrhythmia). For now we are doing thyroid level checks every three months and checking the antibodies every six months.

She was incredibly pleased with my progress on loosing weight and walking. Both of these will in the long run also help my thyroid along with my heart and other things. The progress is also why she was hesitant to start thyroid medications, afraid it will affect my heart and set me back walking and weight loss wise. We discussed diet and how juicing is helping. She was a little bothered that I only drink juice in the morning for breakfast and water. I am not a breakfast person. Unless breakfast is at ten or eleven am. She said she would like to see some grains introduced into my breakfast but since I was getting such packed nutrition from the juice she was not going to push it.  I have cut back my soda and coffee and that too will only continue to help. I told her there is one thing I do , do……the week before my period. I go with what I want, not necessarily what is healthy. We also discussed the once a week frozen yogurt. She said she wasn’t concerned because it was frozen yogurt first of all and the amount of fresh fruit I add was enough she felt the hot fudge and carob chips were an okay splurge. 

I was on prednisone for several years. During that time I had issues with skin scarring and keeping my skin moisturized enough. When I went off it , it slowly got better and went away. It is back. However she was not concerned that it was a new thing. It can take several years for skin to return to normal and will take intensive moisturizing treatments. Oh more fun. I am so horrible at remembering to do this, plus my OCD hates the texture of most of the lotion and creams.

While my magnesium and potassium oh and vitamin D levels are just slightly below level, we are still gonna keep an eye on those too. Its a relief to know that I am not taking too much because the levels I take are fairly high. It concerns me. However my body just doesn’t seem to like to hold on to those things.  Malabsorption is so tricky. Sometimes I absorb things great. Other times not so great. There is constant adjustments needed.

We then discussed the upcoming trip in August to Epcot and camping. She doesn’t see it being a problem for a low dose muscle relaxer for a week. It is one less thing for me to worry about. I can work on progress with distance in my walking. It will help with endurance. Camping and keeping up to an excited nine year old will be hard. This is just a little edge off at night to keep me going for four days.

After such a good doctor visit and leaving so pumped. I treated myself to Starbucks. Just a single shot espresso. I add sugar to it and it reminds me of Cuban coffee I used to get with my Dad. Its a nice warm fuzzy memory to set the rest of my day with. Not to mention the boost of energy and possibly being productive with housework today!

Friday verbal diarrhea

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I had it in my mind I was going to get a really good walk in. I had it set in my mind a four miles walk. There was somewhat of a change of plans with our friends. Instead of walking we were going to take a bike ride to the park with the kids. Four kids, two adults. The weather cooperated and we took the kids for a bike ride. The kids rode their bikes. I walked behind to bring up the rear. The first three quarters of a mile were really good. It was a pretty good pace to keep up with.

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Then we got to the park. There was some resting then we walked some more. Mostly it was aimless wandering. We ended up at the fitness trail. When we were done with the trail our friend was there was the van. The kids were done. There was no riding back or even walking back for them. All told it was three miles.  The only problem I had with it was it was not at a consistent pace.  It was good enough for now.

We went back to their house and had lunch. I ran to Target to get Easter Basket stuff and the kid watched a movie with the other girls.

We came back to the house and both the kid and I crashed for two hours. We mainly just laid down and watched tv. We both needed the down time. 

So then it was off to pick up my husband from work. It was of course now raining. We had some errands to run but while my husband did his errands the kid and I walked around Ross. Then we swung by McDonalds for dinner for the husband, I got a carmel Frappe. We dropped him off. There was still an hour and half before I could take the kid to movie night at Tae Kwon Do. It was pointless to go all the way across town back to the house only to come back to where we were for movie night. We wandered around Books A Million. Really what could be more perfect to kill an hour and half on a rainy day? Nothing that’s what.

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Finally it was time. I could drop her off. They would feed her dinner and a movie, I could pick her up and then it would be bedtime. So Now I had three hours on my hands with no husband and no kid. What to do what to do. Almost on auto pilot I was driving home. I didn’t really want to go home though. Not really. I had pent up anxiety left to walk out. I knew I did. I decided I was going to get that walk in after all. I started the runkeeper app and my audible book. I was just going to walk until I was ready to turn around. Not look at how far I have gone. Yeah right. I don’t even know who this competitive person is anymore. Now a good walk is at least two miles. If you have been following me since the beginning you know this has been a slow and steady process. One that has taken me almost a year and half to get to where I am in walking. Half a mile in and I was just hitting my stride. I couldn’t turn around now. I made it to 1.15 miles. Turned around and started back. I was making excellent time. I have now programmed the runkeeper app that my target range is 1 mile in twenty minutes. There is a glitch in the system and before I have even been walking twenty minutes it starts telling me I am behind my Target pace. It irritates me but I have noticed I keep a better pace so for the time being it is staying that way.  

Stopped at the little bridge to tie my shoe…almost screamed.

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Then realized he was just a baby still. 

Afterwards. I am almost done with my audible book.I got in a two and half mile walk. I felt satisfied and there was no pent up anxiety left. Of course my joints in my hips knees ankles even my feet joints are all incredibly pissed off with me. Thats okay. They can be pissed off at me. The less I walk the more I hurt. So I walk. I walk even when I don’t want to walk. 

 

Now that the verbal diarreaha is out of my head I feel maybe I can actually relax the last hour I have by myself! 

All I want to do is see the river……

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I did not want to go for a walk. I knew I needed to go for a walk, after all it is friday, Frozen yogurt day. I had also had Panera for lunch. I needed to burn some calories. I needed to move for my joints. I needed to walk to help promote better sleep tonight.  I decided I was going to go the the preserve but walk the trail on the other side. I had never walked this trail. Now this might not seem like a big deal. However I normally go with someone when I am doing a new trail. Someone who knows how to read trail maps better than me. I don’t think I read them too good.

This particular trail you park on one side of the road, cross the road and start the trail. However, it is right where the incline of a bridge starts. It’s just a short incline, then the trail. The key is….I would have to cross this again to get back to the car. So I cross the road. Get through the incline, and start on the trail. I am only a few minutes down the trail when a red shoulder hawk flies right in front of me. It then lands close by and starts to call very loudly. So I go check it out. There is a fence between me and him and I stop at the fence. He starts to fly off. I think.. it figures. But no….he could care less about me… There is a female hawk in a nearby tree.

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Hey baby wanna make a nest with me?

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So…do you come to this branch often?

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The whole walk has been made. It was worth it just to see those two. I continue on the trail a bit. I come to a sign. Service entrance only. um… WHAT? So I go back to where I started. I found where the actual trail begins. It was actually a lot less obvious than what turned out to be the service trail. Like I said I don’t feel a whole lot of confidence on reading the trail map, so I am really aware of the markers. I orient myself to where the marker is and where it is indicated on the map. I figured out what my path would be and how i would loop it back around to the beginning. Okay maybe I got this. Off we go.

Its been a bit and here we are at the first marker we come to. The marker 23. Okay. So I am on the right path. I decide I have plenty of time so I want to walk down to the  river and loop back. We come to the next marker, 22. So far so good. Markers 21, comes and goes. In much of Florida our woods and preserves have been invaded by invasive wild boar. They tear up the ground. I guess the trails are very convenient for them as they had torn up quite a bit of this one.

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For extra fun there is a fresh layer of um dead oak leaves on the ground. This hides some of the little holes. This was turning out to be more of a hike than a walk. Well I will sure enjoy extra hot fudge on my Frozen yogurt. That is how this exercise thing works right?

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Then there is a little path that veers off….do I follow that? I decide to just stay on the larger path and keep going. Now we come up to marker 18. I am starting to see that these markers are fairly accurate on where I think they should be as to where they appear on the map. This has not always been the case on trail maps.  We come up to a marker…… it says eleven. How the hell did I get to eleven? I just want to get a look at the river and maybe sit a few minutes. I look at the map.  I look back at the marker. Ooooohh not eleven.. That is a seventeen. The top of the seven was just hard to see. Ooooookkkaayy We are good. I follow the map and trail fairly well and even get down to the river. I wasn’t impressed with the view at first.

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Then I am retracing my steps a bit which is also what the map indicates you have to do. I find a little beaten down path. It leads right out to the water. There is a slight incline but I really want a good view of the river so I am good for it.

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Besides there is a tree right in the middle…I could always just use that to stop my fall right? I could get a little muddy but the water is right there so we are good right?

Lets just say it was worth that little incline.

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I get back up the incline to the path and my knees and ankles are like…yeah don’t try that again okay? I start off taking the path that loops back.  Marker nine. Check. Marker ten check. Marker eleven. Check. I keep on going. There are some birds calling that I don’t quite recognize and I file it away to go to the Audubon site to see if I can match them up. I came to the next Marker…..or so I thought. Turns out I went the wrong way and ended back at 15. I could have just followed that back. I was determined now though to finish the walk. So I turned around and back tracked and took the right path. Shortly there after I come to marker seven. Between Marker six and five there is a bench indicated and it looks like it looks at the river. So I am going to check it out.

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Really was worth the little detour. I climbed over those logs a bit and there across the river, was an alligator. The alligator is in the second picture above on the shore. Really he looks like a log. The only difference is this particular log moves, and has teeth.

He really was a tiny alligator. I would have to say maybe four years old or so. When they are younger than four they have stripes. Anyway, it made the little detour worth while. So next marker was five and then four. At three there is another indication of a detour to see the river. So I took it.

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So now I am confident on where I am at I explore some little off shoots. Then the worse part.

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The incline back to the car. I get to the top of this and I really want to go down the little bit and see the river from the bridge.

It did not disappoint.

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Hey maybe I can read a trail map pretty good. I do think there would be some market value in an app that tracks your gps on trail maps. Of course then the trail maps would have to be online as well. It would be something I would be interested in, for when I walk the trails by myself.

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I like more landmarks than most trail maps put on there. Like you will pass a pile of old cement pilings…..or you will pass an abandoned tank of some sort here. Although how they would depict that on a map, I have no idea. They would probably label it what it was and I would be like well we passed a tank looking thing back there, I guess that’s what they mean.  Maybe on the app that someone could create they could also let others add landmarks. Maybe they would use terms others would understand.  These are the kinds of things I find myself thinking about on my walks by myself.  Birds, trail map apps, pigs, and wanting to just see the river.

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All pictures were taken by me with my Android Phone.  The river is the Myakka River. This preserve is Sleeping Turtles North.

Start

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That is the key. First you have to start.
Many people assume because I go on walks, I am feeling better. It looks impressive that I walked two miles.It is impressive but it did not happen overnight. I has been over a year though since I started walking and it has been slow and steady increase.

When I first started half a mile completely fried me for the day. It was all I could do to make it back to the house.

I didn’t give up though. I kept doing it. First it was one walk every three days.. Then every other day.. then every day.

This allowed me to ease  my Fibromyalgia and arthritis ridden body  to walking. Giving myself time to deal with flares when they happen.

It wasn’t about stopping when I hurt. If I did that I would never get anywhere. You will find that there is a period of time that the walking makes you feel better. It is typically ten minutes into the walk for me. Then I can go for a bit a feel pretty decent. Then the pain returns. That’s when it is time to turn around or be heading back.

Be gentle with yourself. Fibromyalgia does not like it when we try to minimize its impact on us. Remember that you need rest after these walks. Typically there is not a lot left for me to do for the day when I take my walks. If I take them too early in the morning I am completely fried for the day.

Track your walks with a pedometer. I use an app on my phone. It helps to keep you on schedule with walking. It is also an added bonus of something to show your doctor to show you are trying.  It is also fun to see the patterns you walk on the GPS mapping part of it, at least for me it is.

It is also important to remember to hydrate yourself. If you don’t like the taste of water. I recommend chugging at least eight oz of water prior and after the walks. Remember to keep hydrating through out the day.  I have found that people with Fibromyalgia need more hydration that normal.  It helps your muscles in so many ways.

Something else that helps is having someone else go on the walks with you. When I first started out I went with my husband or my best friend, neither of them have chronic illnesses but, they know when I am pushing myself too much. Now I tend to walk with another friend who has chronic illnesses. We keep each other accountable for walking. Now we tend to walk twice a week and we are averaging two and half miles. Sometimes it is too much for me, sometimes it is too much for her. We get each other through it.

Keep playing around with it and find what works for you. It maybe that it works better for you to walk in the morning. It maybe something you do by yourself,for yourself. I promise you will find it helps in so many ways than just exhausting you.

Walking can help improve your mental state, ease anxiety, it boosts your energy levels, it increases your Vitamin D intake(since most people walk outside in the sun). It strengthens your heart and other muscles, it aids weight loss. It can also help prevent dementia and lower the risk for other disease. I also find that when I am dedicated to walking, I sleep better at night too.

It is to your benefit to get out there and walk. So get out there and just START!

 

Prepare prepare prepare

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The thing to do when you have chronic illness is pace yourself. There is something to do before that though. First you need to prepare. If you know in advance that is, if not its all about recovery.

We have a huge big group hike that we have been planning happening tomorrow. Well if it is Thursday it is happening today but, I am writing this Wednesday.So we kept activities very minimum and flexible as well. I even came home and took a nap. I really did not have much of a choice actually. I came home from a rather short activity for me and laid down. Tried to get into the computer with my tv on like I normally do. I knew  shortly after that I needed sleep. It was a good way to start preparing for tomorrow.

Tonight I will take an epsom bath and when I wake in the middle of the night, as I inevitably will, I will re-medicate without hesitation. I normally wait. I don’t like to take anything if I can get back on my own. Tonight however, sleep will be imperative. I will also stagger my melatonin and other night meds, for whatever reason they work better if I take them about an hour apart. The only thing I can think of is it is like stepping your body down from the day. I will probably take the magnesium first with half dose of melatonin. My heart meds the next hour and then the last one will be benedryl so I can breathe.  (I know there are other things to take, Benedryl was what my ENT and I settled on).

In the morning it will still be about preparing. Coffee of course will happen. A good breakfast will be vital today especially. A good bowl of quality oatmeal, some chopped almonds tossed in.  About an hour after breakfast I will drink some green juice mixed with some soy protein.  Lunch will be light. Probably Cheese and crackers and apple. A pocket full of almonds and cashews, a bottle of water and we will be off. It sounds like a lot. Especially when you think that is just to get me ready and not the kid. At eight though she pretty much takes care of herself. We go on hikes enough she knows to drink lots of water and she will probably have the same lunch as me.

The last thing I will do is take my multivitamin right before we go. Its kinda like a little pep before we go.Just one more way to give my body a little oomph.

This is what works for me. It has taken me literally years to know how to prepare and not just recover. There was a lot of trial and error. There was a lot of thinking or over thinking or under thinking going on. There were even a few I found by accident, like stacking my medications. Only stack your medications like that if they are not scripts. If they are scripts talk to your Doctor first. I can not stress enough the importance of water. When you think you are hydrated, drink some more. I would encourage only water but whatever it takes for you to be hydrated. Often we get the Mio electrolyte additive drops for flavor and a maintaining hydration. The key to finding what works for you is to journal it. Jot down notes when you can about what you did , how it worked. I kept mine in just a microsoft word file for the longest time. There are also a lot of good pain journal apps that will help as well. I still use one off and on.

The last bit of advice is remember to this will NOT stop you from hurting after a big activity. It is to reduce the impact. It is still important to pace and to recover. Do not consider this pampering yourself. This is self care and it is vital.

Also…if you have followed me for even a little bit….you know there is a hike post coming as well!