This is where I go out on a limb and ponder a while.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking Care

I have a friend who is a body builder.  And she turned 50 exactly 2 weeks before me.  That's right, 50.  And what's more impressive is she was overweight and inactive just 2 1/2 years before and now this August she is set to compete in her first bodybuilding show.  I am so proud of her!   She inspires me to be better.  When I don't feel like doing my stretches or exercises, I think about the fact that she lifts every day, twice a day and sticks to a 'clean' diet.  Then I find the time and energy to do what I need to do, and it's not much, compared with what she does.  All I ask of myself is to get back my flexibility and strength that I had just a few years ago.  Surely I can do that if she can accomplish all that she has done in the past two years.  My PTA told me that the normal course of events is you get older and less active.  You become stiff from being inactive.  You feel some pain from the stiffness and you become even less active, and it becomes a vicious circle.  And that's how people get old in a hurry.  Don't let it happen!  Get up!  Get moving!  Are you with me?!  :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dirty Monday

I'm so excited to finally get my hands dirty!  I've been stalking the garden section at WalMart for weeks, waiting for the herbs to arrive, and finally, yesterday I was able to purchase some potted herbs.  None of the local greenhouses are open yet, of course, because it's too early to be planting a garden.  But you can always count on WalMart to rush the season, right?

I love cooking with fresh herbs.  I've been growing them in my garden for the past 2 years, but I really miss having them over the winter.  I'd like to try to keep them in pots year-round.  Does anyone know if that will work?  Well, I'm going to give it a try.  Probably drive my husband crazy, having all these potted plants to trip over, but he does love my cooking :)

I've always had pretty good luck with this brand, by the way.  I've seen them at WalMart and Pamida.

While I was photographing the herbs on the kitchen table, this little lady bluebird showed up by the deck, looking for some breakfast.  The bluebirds are hard to shoot because they're always looking down at the ground for something to eat!

I caught her fluffing her feathers - it's cold here this morning.

And here is her 'significant other', also looking down at the ground.  A split second after this shot, he dove down to the grass and nabbed some kind of a meal.

Aren't the goldfinches gorgeous now that they have their summer plumage?  Sometimes there are 10-15 of them clamoring for the feeder.  They have to kind of wait in line on the branches above and take turns, although they are not nearly as polite about it as the chickadees.  They make a lot of noise - it sounds like the bird section at the pet shop.  

Well, I'm off the computer and into the dirt!  Have a great day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beauty Everywhere

I went up to the ranch last weekend with my camera, hoping to find some signs of spring.  But it's about 30 miles north of here, and just far enough that not much is happening yet.  No flowers, no bees, very few buds on the apple trees and lilac bushes.  That doesn't mean there is nothing to admire, though.  If you look for it, you will see beauty.

I like the contrast of the red maple buds against green the moss on this huge rock.  We pass by this rock on our walk through the woods.

These two always get impatient with us old folks and have to run ahead.  I love to watch them run and take countless photos of them galloping through the woods and fields like wild animals.

When we step out of the woods, this is the view of the house and the barns.  It's nothing fancy, but we love the spaciousness of it.  There's so much sky!  It's beautiful in every season.  A picture doesn't do it justice...

Old Buddy says, "You guys go on ahead, I'll just lie here in the water hole and rest a bit."  He's 13 years old.

We don't know what these are called, just that they have a little worm inside.  I always like the way they look.  Does anyone know what they're called?

And, of course, there's plenty of these around.  Everyone likes ladybugs, right?  Except when they get inside :)

Maybe next time I visit the ranch there will be some blossoms on the apple trees.  I'm kind of glad there weren't any yet the last time I was there.  People south of us lost a lot of apples due to frost because their trees blossomed early :(

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Books: Paper or E?

I am a confessed bibliophile, more commonly known as a bookworm.  I would rather spend the day at a bookstore than shopping for clothes.  As a matter of fact, I have to admit to my husband at the end of each year, that yes, all of those charges to Amazon and Barnes and Noble are for books.  And he is perpetually frustrated that I never have anything nice to wear on the rare evening that we decide to go out.  Because I just run to the thrift shop on occasion to grab up some jeans and blouses if my closet starts to look a bit lonely.

But now I have a new quandary.  He gave me a Kindle last fall on our Anniversary, which thrilled me to no end.

All those books in one little device that I could carry with me everywhere!   No more lugging around heavy books!  And anytime I wanted a new book, I could just download it instantly, rather than order it and wait for several days!  (Before I go any further, I know someone is going to bring up the library, so just let me interject here that our library system leaves a lot to be desired and rarely has the books I am looking for.   If they do have what I want, I often end up waiting months on a waiting list - too frustrating.)  So, back to the Kindle:  brilliant idea, but now comes a new problem - sharing books.  Amazon advertises that you can share books on your Kindle. But the drawback is that you can only share a book for 2 weeks. Wait a minute!  2 weeks?  How many people these days have the time to finish a book in 2 weeks or less?  So now I have this big debate with myself every time I want to buy a book:  "Is this a book that I might want to share with someone?"  For me, one of the joys of reading is sharing a with another person who has the same passion for books.

There is another thing I want to bring up, and I know that other bookworms feel the same way, because they have shared this with me.  And that's the physical experience of using a book.  Holding a book, looking at the cover, turning the pages, seeing the pictures, looking back a few pages now and then, even the smell - it's all part of the whole reading experience that I have to admit I miss with the Kindle. 

I am guessing some of you, my blogging friends, have to be bookworms too, because bloggers are usually writers, and writers are usually readers!  So, am I the only conflicted Kindle owner out there?  What are your opinions, paper or E?  I'm not giving up on my Kindle, but I'd love to hear what side of the fence you all are sitting on!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Time for Healing

I've been off my computer for a while.  I neglected myself and I paid the price.  I let a little stiff neck go for too long and it became a big thing to the point where I could barely get out of bed in the morning.   Dr. D. suspects it may have started with the illness last summer, but I'm pretty sure I made it worse by favoring it over the past several months.

Anyway, she sent me to Physical Therapy.  They taught me how to stretch and exercise those long-neglected muscles.  Then after the exercises they gave me massages.

This is not me in the pictures, of course, but this is what I mean by a massage - it hurts!  My hubby would say each day, "Did you get a massage?" and when I said "Yes", he would look envious, but I had to tell him that it's not what he was thinking!  The therapist would zero in on the spot where the pain is and dig in - OUCH!  No mercy!

After the massage they use E Stim.  It's electrical stimulation directed at the muscle.  It stimulates the muscle to contract and it directs blood flow to the muscle to aid in healing.  Sounds odd, I know, and a little creepy, but it works.  I had the same treatment a few years ago for my hip ligament from birth trauma.  

Between the visits to PT and doing my stretches and exercises at home, I feel like I'm really making progress and I am determined to NOT let things get so out of control again.  And I've learned a lesson here.  It's more important than ever as I get older to stay flexible and in shape.  It's not enough to just watch my weight.  It seems that stiffening up and getting out of shape happens more quickly and easily these days :(

So I just ordered a Pilates DVD (recommended by the therapist) and some exercise bands (looks like more fun than weights).  I hope I can manage to stick with it!  I still have an 11-year-old that I need to keep up with!  ;)