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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

Homeward Bound

Some eons ago, when I was a little girl my parents took us kids out for Sunday drives.  Those were always exciting times with donuts as the grand finale.

My parents are long gone, but some of those sweet memories resurface, especially since there has been ample time to reflect on past pleasures.

Nowadays Bill takes Elsa-the-dog and me for “rides in the car.”  I think he thinks we need a change of scene and he is so right.  These outings expand our world beyond the walls that bind us since Bill and I are among the most vulnerables to the Corona Virus.

Elsa gets beyond excited when we ask, “Wanna go for a ride in the car?”  She dashes back and forth barking and whining and eagerly jumps in.  But the sad thing is, Elsa does not know how to enjoy life as a dog.   She immediately hunkers down as if to hide from imminent danger, rarely looks out the window, and shakes and shivers with her head in my lap no matter where we may wander.

Because she is so frightened I ride in the back seat with her, and off we go, with Bill as the Chauffeur.

 Elsa does sit up but only if the car stops.  That gives her a window view of sorts with glimpses of an alien world fraught with terror.

  • Sometimes Bill stops at an ATM machine and when he gets out, Elsa goes mad with worry – crying and howling in despair that we have lost a pack member to the insane outside world
  • The parking lot of Walmart is always interesting too.  We went there to see if the GoodWill drop was still open (and it was).  Elsa began whining in anticipation of further pack loss, but we had not brought our donations and we all stuck together inside the relative safety of the car.
  • The Sheetz gas station is colorful too and very scary indeed.  Last time we were there a mask-less fellow was filling up next to us, right by my open window.  Suddenly he began yelling at a friend who was some distance away.  Being Covid-19- paranoid I feared I might contract the virus from his unmasked yelling vapors (so I held my breath)!  I wonder why the CDC has not recommended holding your breath as a preventative measure.
  • Another time we drove to Buena Vista (the nearest little town) and we saw whole families out walking with little kids skipping alongside. None of them were wearing masks either (not the parents, kids or dogs) but they were single family units out in the fresh air.  It was a heartwarming slice of Americana but maybe Elsa has the right idea about hunkering down and avoiding even looking out the window.
  • And our last ride in the car was around our own neighborhood where we saw a new neighbor’s house being built – a lovely A-frame log home atop a hill.

We are hoping Elsa will become accustomed to our outings and will some day enjoy the wind in her hair and the sights (other than a yelling man and an ATV machine) through the window.

In any case, I will remember these precious times, these spontaeous rides, these family/pack trips during a serious pandemic.  They were Bill’s idea for a change of scene that has now become a happy tradition.

How about you?

Wanna go for a ride in the car?

 

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adult alternative medicine care comfort

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The BigFoot story is not over – until it is over of course.

Big Foot has been somewhat reduced to a visibly normal size.  At the same time, it is still bigger than it should be.  Sometimes I can walk fast but still cannot run with abandon.

Today, on the way to PT (Physical Therapy), I was walking with my cane in front of a young couple.  They eventually passed me and the young man said, “You don’t need that cane.”  And I said, “Yes, it is only for balance.”  Wasn’t he the sweetest thing? He actually made my day and I am still grinning and thrilled that someone said I don’t really need that cane.

But this story is about today’s journey through PT (Physical Therapy).

PLAYING WITH ELSA-THE-DOG

“I want to get down on the floor to play with Elsa,” I said to Anne-Marie (my physical therapist) today.  “The problem is, once I get down, I am not sure I can get up.”

Anne-Marie is a very sweet and expert therapist who will work on whatever problem I present. She understood immediately and she promptly demonstrated her technique for gracefully lowering herself to the floor with one bent knee.

I explained my own technique for getting down there.

“It’s like this,” I said. “ At home I collapse face first and chest first onto an easy chair.

Then I push off in a pre-aimed sideways fall to get the rest of the way to the floor.”

“Uh, I don’t like the word collapse,” said Anne-Marie. “Don’t collapse on anything but remember stomach in and accomplish goals with slow determination.”

O.K.  I made it to the floor in front of my therapist and anyone else who was watching of course. I got there by holding a death grip on Anne-Marie’s wall mounted ballet rails and kind of hanging my way down.  There was nothing graceful in this.

NOW HOW TO GET BACK UP!

I explained to Anne-Marie that at home I arise from whatever position I fall in by

  •  hoisting my upper body onto the seat of the easy chair,
  • swinging BigFoot as far forward as it will go and pushing it a little further with my hand,
  • then not so gracefully heaving myself up to a somewhat wobbly standing position.

Do you have a mental image of this action?

IT IS NOT A PRETTY PICTURE!

Again, my lovely therapist urged me to use thoughtful, slow, determined movements to hold onto the chair but to bring that foot around and to lean on my own bent foot to rise with strength and grace.  I will be a picture of graceful moves.  Ha!

I did it there once again using the ballet rails and arm muscles instead of abs!

I think I can do it at home.

It will be a move in the direction of physical fitness.

Not today though.

Maybe tomorrow.

I will try not to collapse onto the chair, but to lower myself, abs in and with goal-oriented determination.  If you are young you have not read this far. Getting up is not a challenge.  If you are old, stick with me.

Lowering my body to the floor and then hoisting myself up from the floor was not the only goal today but it was the major one.  After all, this session was designed specifically for Elsa-the-dog so we can play face to face on her own level.

For more pretty pictures of Dor managing to live happily ever after with BigFoot, stay tuned.

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Russell-Terrier-On-White-03

Russell Terrier

Monday was PT Day.  Those are the initials for Physical Therapy of course.  I am trying hard to join the current initial-speaking generation whilst also re-learning how to walk.

Anyway, believe it or not (and I can’t believe it myself), I saw a wonderful thing when  entering the Physical Therapy center.

I saw a beautiful, sweet little DOG! 

A dog at PT?  Yup!

And although I didn’t have the nerve to take a photo, please

picture this:

  • A lady was lying on her back on the therapist’s table.
  • The therapist was seated at her head and manipulating the lady’s neck.
  • And on the patient’s abdomen was the most adorable little dog I have ever seen.

She (the dog) was stretched out on her Mistress’ stomach and looked up when I walked in (the dog – not the lady). Then she stared at me (the dog) and I stared at her until we both got tired of looking.  Actually I never tired of looking but while awaiting my turn with the therapist I pretended to read a magazine but kept sneaking looks at the amazing little creature.

At the end, they put the little dog down on the floor and she came right over to me for a greeting, an ear rub, and immediate love!

“Do you have another like her you want to get rid of?” I asked the lady.

“Funny you should ask,” was the answer. “Birdie just had puppies.  There are 3 left.  Someone is coming in two weeks to choose one of the 3.  The therapist wants another.  And there will be one left.  All 3 are calm like Birdie.”

Birdie is a Russell Terrier, a derivation of the Jack Russell.  These are  very active hunting dogs but the “Russell” (minus the Jack) is breeder-described as a couch potato!

Now I ask you, “Is this meant to be?”

I will know in about two weeks.

 

 

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BigFoot (now magically transformed into LittleFoot) went for a 300 step walk today.  We know because we were wearing a pedometer in-pocket.

And how amazing it was to capture 3 great photos in 300 steps!  But I suppose, not so remarkable since I live on the edge of a forest primeval.

Do butterflies mate?

Butterflies on Zinnia

I wonder because there atop a happily blooming Zinnia stood Miss Butterfly joined by a very happy friend (who was actively fluttering as near as he could get). Are they just pals saying, “Hi”, or is there more going on here?

I made a hasty exit in order to give them some privacy.

Then walking along the edge of the forest, there stood an elegant doe.

Deer Stare

I am sure she was wondering about the 2-legged critter looking back into those big beautiful eyes.  She allowed me time to retrieve camera and click before she turned and leisurely loped back into her wooded glen.

Finally, there was a mountain view I would wish some day to paint.

Mountain Vignette

And although I have taken this shot many times before, each season it becomes more appealing.  I always see it as a frame of tree limbs forming a natural vignette for a splendid view of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

I suppose my 300 step, 3 photo walk to exercise the healing BigFoot could be considered mundane.  But, I think of it as a magical journey through a little corner of rural Virginia’s wild side.

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Maxine attitude

My “to-do” lists are created in all seriousness, with all-serious intentions.

But creating a list is not always the same as fulfilling it.

This was yesterday’s list:

  • Get gas in the car. O.K., so I forgot.  Will get it tomorrow.
  • Mail that bill.  Forgot.
  • Remember to take a cooler bag with ice packs for perishable purchases. Forgot the cooler.
  • Stop at the drugstore for allergy meds and eyedrops. Sent Bill (short for “William.”)
  • Shoe store for comfort sandals. No time.
  • Haircut. Managed that.
  • Gym for a mild workout. Too tired.
  • Stop at the real grocery store for real food.  Sent Bill.
  • Stop at the produce market for fun things that taste good like local peaches and tomatoes. Managed that.
  • Don’t forget to put all that in the cooler bag. No cooler bag.  Drove home fast.
  • Take pictures along the way.  Nope.  Taking time would make the peaches go bad.
  • Visit with people you meet.  Of course.

Somehow I did not feel particularly productive on this day.

But after all the groceries (peaches and tomatoes) were put away, I took a little walk.

No list.

Just a walk.

And  how about this all-in-one list of fulfilled to-do’s?

  • A 30 minute walk added EXERCISE.
  • Thirty minutes in sunshine for VITAMIN D3.
  • Thirty minutes of fresh air in beautiful rural Virginia!
  • STOP-AND-GO PHOTO OPS for next blog post.
  • And, I pulled at least 5 weeds and thinned one zinnia bed in the front garden.

 

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Pedometer 1

The final indignity that has opted me out of modern gadgetry was an old reliable pedometer that finally ran out of batteries .

And of course, no one could figure out how to open the battery box.

Maybe it was frozen in shock at how few steps I walked in the last five years.

I mourned that little pedometer and somehow knew a substitute would require a Masters’ Degree in Programming and hours of frustration to get up and running walking.

Forced to buy a new pedometer- three or four new ones  to be exact- they all challenged my intelligence.

It’s not that I’m not intelligent.  I used to be considered a bright child.

But that was in the good old days when life was simple.  There were no huge technological innovations calculated to make things easier.

Life was easy enough with Off and On switches you might have to get up for.

But I am ranting.

Even after hours of reading and re-reading I could not decipher the directions to all the new pedometers stacking up in a secret hiding place reserved for storing complicated gadgets.

Asking for help, as you may know, is humiliating.

But trying one last time, I ordered a supposedly SIMPLE  PEDOMETER that “is operational right out of the box!”

Really?

I could hardly contain my excitement when it came – a simple little drop-in-your-pocket pedometer with great big Easy Read Numbers and a little pull-tag.

I pulled the tag (according to the directions) and it was ready to go!  No intelligence required!

But where were the instructions to program calories burned, body mass indexes, breaths per minute, miles consumed, muscle contractions, levels of perspiration, or all that other irrelevant stuff?  Not there.  What a relief!

All I ever wanted to know was STEPS!

And, although I hardly believe it, this little gadget ONLY REGISTERS STEPS!

No need to purchase another 550 page book on Pedometers for Dummies (I wonder if there really is such a book)!  I already have Computers for Dummies, Windows 10 for Dummies, and Office for Dummies, plus a few more.

“By golly,” as they used to say in the good old days, when I was intelligent,  “Someone has figured out how to regress to simpler times.”  Kudos to the inventor of this precious little Steps Only Pedometer!

And  now maybe I can fool the world into thinking I have a Master’s Degree in Programming.

Why can’t everything else be this easy?

Why do I always have to pull out the directions for my self cleaning oven?

Shouldn’t I just be able to hit “Clean??

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Shadow Horse n Buggy Team

Beauty

A Week of Random Ramblings

One night Bill and I went to see Wuthering Heights performed at our local university theater of the arts.  Occasionally we get out at night like that.  I should have taken “night” pictures but forgot in the excitement over seeing city lights and other real people.

B w Kendall 9-24-14 B'dayGirl for  Lunch

They have Cream Cheese Jalapeno Burgers here!

On Wednesday we drove to Harrisonburg to take our grandgirl out for lunch and a stop at Costco!  At her suggestion, we dined at Jack’s local hamburger joint where oddly enough, that’s all Jack served – hamburgers.

Bill ordered a plain one in spite of a wide variety of options including a “Peanut Butter Burger!”  And  Kendall and I got Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly Burgers!  Costco is always fun too but seems Enormous to us country bumpkins.

Thursday was dedicated to Getting-Ready-for-Winter.

At our house that means moving out summer clothes and moving in winter.   Somehow sandals don’t work well anymore in these cooler Fall temps.  But I am loathe to store away the new sparkly ones that make my feet look 17 years old.  The object today was to accommodate cooler weather, but the object remained elusive and the sandals still sparkle in the closet.

I did manage to go Monday and Friday to the gym!  And now increasing “footage” (walking), though nowhere near goal.  Today, due to the energy giving qualities of a new vitamin, and the usual self imposed mental delusion  that I am an energetic 17 year old, I set out in earnest.  Never made it to the gym, but…..

Hoping to find apples, there was a farmer’s market at the Virginia Horse Center.  No apples, but lots of honey!  Honey is my next recommendation for hoarding.  And as long as I was there, I did a little walking around the horse center and watched young people jumping things and a very graceful horse and buggy team.  Lovely!

Beautiful Horse and Rider 1

 

I have determined that walking is a good thing.  You never know what you will stumble on.

Late as usual but this was a week of random ramblings gone by and it was a good week after all.

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A Walk on the Wild Side - Our Forest

Photo by Dor at Virginia Views

The mystery of the forest awaits

as I walk once again to my secret place

a small bench halfway along the trail

to sit and listen and rest awhile.

The forest fills with sound,

the purring whine of  insects,

a wooshing breeze,  a song bird’s song,

a stream’s shhhhhh and trickling,

the chatter of leaves, 

unknown cracklings  and 

Yes, I can hear nature’s sigh 

that matches mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Burning Bush (not really burning of course)

Burning Bush (not really burning of course)

I used to go on walks with my “Pal” Camera – a real camera that felt like a real camera.

But Pal has been replaced by this stranger thing called a smart phone.

It is so much smarter than I am that I need to take lessons and go on practice photo shoots.

Practice Session #1 was this morning and the first problem was the glare.

Cemetery Visit for Halloween

Cemetery Visit for Halloween

I could barely see what I was photographing so had to take photos standing in the shade.  I might have to wear a wide brimmed hat all the time now or miss out on great photo ops!

The next problem was in holding the thing still.  I never felt shaky with a camera before but I need a walker to lean on for this one.

Then if I tried to zoom in with that funny thing you do with your fingers on a “touch screen” the shot would get either too big or too fuzzy.

And finally, the “stupid phone” would not respond to my brutal tapping on the shutter camera icon.

There were only three recognizable pictures conjured from a 30 minute walk on a beautiful fall day.

And people out for a Sunday stroll no doubt wondered why that strange woman was standing so long in one place aiming her phone at a burning bush.

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Kids Playce

Kids Playce

O.K., I’m walking for good health –  just like the doctor ordered.  Today I was moving more than sitting.  Now I am sitting very still because I’m stiff and creaky and sore.  After all, 10,000 steps is a real milestone right?  Well, I did stop here and there to snap pictures.  And I did stop here and there for a brief rest.  I even stopped in at Curves and did my rounds (for upper body strength) and then collapsed in their easy chair to regain strength for the return walk.   I feel smug indeed.  But, I may never do this again because I may never be able to move again!

Meanwhile, let me share my camera walking “finds” from today’s expedition.

Kids Playce is a children’s playground where I stop to admire what this community has created.  A grand collection of slides and swings and hiding places and mystery make this a playground like no other.  I always took my grandgirls there, even when they were almost ready to leave childhood behind.  It was on their request list.  “Grandma – can we go to the playground puleeze?”  And it’s where they burned off a whole lot of energy.  Me too – just watching.

Kids Playce Playground

Donor Names are On Kids Playce Fence Posts

Donor Names are On
Kids Playce Fence Posts

Just past Kids Playce is a house I always admire – a Victorian beauty the owners have not been afraid to paint in great colors to highlight its storybook lines.  I feel like Alice in Wonderland as I pass by.

Victorian Architecture

Sometimes I wander then, into the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, where the confederate general and his family are all buried.  It’s a city cemetery and my Mom is there too, and my first best friend when we moved here.  So, it’s a sad place, but always lovely and peaceful.  There are red ribbons and flowers now adorning many of the headstones since it is the Christmas season.  And as I looked around today, there stood a little holly tree, full of berries.  It speaks of life even in that solemn place.

Xmas in the Cemetery

And then there was the old tree with its base so gnarled and scarred that I dubbed it The Battle at Wounded Tree!  It too, is a survivor and is probably feeling stiff and sore like me.  Still it grasps at the sky for the sunlight and is beautiful in some ancient way.

Battle at Wounded Tree

Reaching for the Sky

And finally I stagger home with pride and head straight to the medicine cabinet for some Tylenol Extra Strength!  Maybe I will leave the 10,000 steps for once a week?  Or once a month?  We’ll see.

Home Again Home Again

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