Wednesday, September 10, 2014
My Aspire and Inspire BSG challenge blog assignment for Week 2 is to answer the questions: Are you looking forward to cooler weather? What is your favorite outdoor fitness activity to do in the fall??
Well, after spending most of the summer at our home in Florida, it is SO nice to be experiencing some cooler weather as we visit my family and friends in Pennsylvania! And tomorrow we leave for Maine for a week to visit a friend and have even cooler temps to look forward to - highs in the mid to upper 60's and getting down into the high 40's at nigh!Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons because of the warm days and cool mornings and evenings...great to have the AC off and it's perfect sleeping weather! I also love seeing the leaves change colors and all of the fall decorations of pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows and cornstalks. Wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts again and snuggling up in a blanket...sitting around a bonfire and eating soup and drinking apple cider. All of that and much more puts a smile on my face! We intend to head back to Florida in mid-October so we won't get to experience the whole autumn, but I will enjoy every minute that I am here!
As far as fitness goes, I think fall is the perfect time for taking walks and hikes. Our RV campground is not too far from the Appalachian Trail and Hawk Mountain, so we have opportunities to hike there, and see the hawks and other migratory birds of prey that pass by. In Maine we hope to do a lot of walking as well, and then next weekend we will be going to the Pocono Mountains for our annual get together with friends, and we always take walks there. I also want to go walk around at some fall festivals in the area!
Thursday, September 04, 2014
Sorry to say, I did one of my disappearing acts for the months of July and August! Last I sparked and blogged at the end of June, I was in Florida, helping my hubby recuperate from his second knee surgery.
Here are his 36 staples!!!
My favorite team, Aspire and Inspire took a monthly break from their BSG challenge, and I decided to follow suit. I was very busy at the time, and I was keeping active with lots of exercise, keeping up a 10,000 step streak and doing water walking and aerobics,
and a few line dancing classes and zumba classes. I was proud that I was able to lose 20 pounds total.
Then in August it was time to get ready for our trip north, back to my home state of PA to visit my family and friends. We had to get last minute things done in our house and close it up for us being away for almost two months. We left Florida on August 17th - saying goodbye to the beautiful scenery and all the activities, but not going to miss the hot, humid weather!
- the dogs were ready and adjusted nicely to RV life again!
We took three days to get up to PA, because Dave didn't want to drive more than 6-7 hours a day with his "new knees." As it turned out, the driving went fine - the challenges lie in things not working in our coach, despite getting it all checked over in early June! - we lost power from a faulty inverter, the toilet was leaking, and two air conditioners and the dryer were not working! Needless to say, we were upset and angry at the RV place in Tampa. We were going to turn back to Florida the first night, but we hung in there until we got to the RV park in PA, and then got things fixed gradually.
We stayed at this RV park last year for a couple weeks, and like it, except for the distance from everywhere we want to go. It is an hour away from where my parents and son live, so it's not fun having to travel so much back and forth, but it's beautiful PA Dutch country here, and I have missed this scenery! There is a farm right next to the campground, and Max and Sophie get excited over the horses, donkey and llama!
Another challenge of being here is that the campground does not have Wifi that works unless you are right next to the office. I have to admit I went into a bit of computer withdrawal, but then Dave decided to start up an air card from Verizon, so I can now use my laptop again, and I can get back to sparking!
And I really miss and need SP now that we are here! I went from living a very healthy, active lifestyle in Florida to struggling with my eating and not getting much exercise again! There is no swimming pool here, and I take the dogs for little walks twice a day, but I need to do more than that. I brought my weights so I can do some ST inside, but there isn't much room, and I can't use YouTube videos here, because I will use up too much memory on the air card. I had been searching for places to walk and hike nearby, since the few times I did a 30 minute power walk up and down the lanes here at the campground, I felt pretty silly (it's not that big!) We went to a beautiful area for hiking our first weekend here, and I loved it, but it's not a place you would go on a daily basis, and it cost $6 a person to hike there (I guess since it's a hawk sanctuary.)
Last week I found two parks nearby, and while they were pretty, the path distance wasn't very long.
Finally, today I found a park 20 minutes away that Dave and I could go to on a regular basis. It is lovely and I can't wait for a few weeks when the leaves start to turn.
But, the real reason we are here is for me to spend time with my parents and son, who I have missed so much! My parents both have health issues and my son struggles with challenges as well. I am cherishing each day I spend with them. My dad just celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday!
I am also visiting friends whenever I can. Of course that means going out to lunch and dinner a lot. I have already gained back four pounds, so I know that I have to rein myself in and get back to moderation and low carb. I have already had samples of favorite (unhealthy of course) foods that I have missed from PA, so now I am ready to focus back on that healthy lifestyle that feels so good!
So...that leads me to think about my goals for September. I don't expect to be perfect, but I will do my very best, and I am happy to be back doing my A&I BSG challenge to help support me.
I am going to keep them very short and simple! Starting today I will....
1. Track my food and water
2. Eat mindfully and with moderation
2. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily
Monday, June 23, 2014
I have been procrastinating writing my blog assignment for Week 3's BSG Challenge, but then I have been slightly busy taking care of my dh as he recuperates from his second knee replacement surgery last Tuesday. Shhhhh...don't tell him I posted these pics that I took "on the sly!" He would kill me if he knew! LOL
We had originally planned on leaving our new Florida home for the summer and travel north in our RV to see family and friends in Pennsylvania and also vacation in Maine for a few weeks, as we have done in previous years. But sometimes things just don't turn out the way you expect or wish. It's more important to me to have Dave's knees healed so that he can do all the active things with me that we used to do - mostly taking walks and hikes together. We still hope to head up north, but it probably won't be until mid-August and we then plan on coming back in mid-October. It looks like we won't be able to go to Maine, since it's more important for me to spend time with my parents in PA. It will be so nice to be with them and my son and lots of my friends - I miss them so much!
On the other hand, I really can't complain too much about being here in Florida. Yes, it's really hot and humid here in the summer and we've been experiencing thunderstorms just about every day. We are now staying inside in the AC during the day and can't enjoy our lanai. But... after a few days of me being "on call" to help Dave out throughout the day since he's been home from the hospital, I can now escape the house for a couple hours -to take my morning walk and to go to a social or play a game at the recreation center. In a few weeks Dave will be well enough for us to go out to dinner and take golf cart rides through the villages in the evenings. Some days I still can't get it through my head that this gorgeous community is my home!
Here are a few pictures from my morning walk last week. The first two are the sandhill cranes I saw walking across the street in front of me, just down the street from our house.
Here are some pictures at the town square, where my walking buddy, Kathy and I walk to each morning. It's peaceful to be there before all the stores and restaurants open. It can be really crowded later on, as they have entertainment there each evening.
So, no sightseeing trips for us this summer, but there will be other years for that. I am okay with my "different kind of summer!"
Sunday, June 15, 2014
My blog assignment for Week 2 of the A&I BSG challenge is about Father's Day: How will you spend Father's Day? Do you have any special plans?
Write a blog about your father, special memories, etc.
Well, I better get to it, before the day is over! LOL
Since we are still in Florida, and my dad and son are in PA, it doesn't really feel like Father's Day here, except for phone calls and photos I put on Facebook. Our son, Sean called Dave this morning, and I called my dad. They are all getting together at my parents' house for dinner. I wish I could be there, but in another month and a half we will be there in our RV for about two months, so I am looking forward to that, and don't feel too badly about it.
Dave is getting his second knee replacement on Tuesday, so we only have two days left for him getting out and about till he is in the hospital for three days and then homebound for about two weeks, except for going out for his PT. We are going out to dinner with our neighbors this evening, so that will be very nice. We just got back from going to our RV to load some things in there, while he can still lift heavy stuff and get up the steps.
Back to my dad...I have so many wonderful memories of him - he's such a great man! I am so grateful that he is still alive and a special part of my life! I can't be there physically right now, but I talk to him just about every day and give him big hugs through the phone lines. He is 84 right now and although he is doing fine for the most part physically, his mental faculties are deteriorating gradually with dementia, and he was just told by his doctor that he cannot drive anymore. This upset him quite a bit, and I feel so bad for him. The hardest part for me, I think is to see him more confused, not able to do the things he was able to do before. He's always been a proud man, and I feel for him as he feels a loss of dignity.
To honor him, I am going to post a few of my favorite pictures of my dad to share a little about what makes him so special to me.
There are lots of pictures of me as a child back in PA, but this is the only one I could find of him and me when I was little...we had such big snows!
Here I am with him when he walked me down the aisle...I still remember how nervous and proud he was!
Here are a few of the many silly pics I have of my dad. He always would clown around and make us laugh!!
Most of my pictures are of my dad with my son. Sean calls him Epop (a story I don't have time to share now.) They have had such a connection from the time Sean was born. Sean is still close to him today. They both are "die hard" Philadelphia sports fans and watch the games together...Sean lives 5 minutes away and goes to their house a lot. I am so thankful they are close!
Dad LOVED to mow the lawn, and it was hard to give that up recently.
My dad in his "Archie Bunker chair" taking care of Sean when he was sick!
This is a Phillies game we went to a couple years ago. My sister and her family were there, too. We used to go to Phillies games a lot when I was a teenager.
This is my favorite picture of my dad and me in recent years. I went over to help him shovel a BIG snow, and we had a blast together!
My mom and my dad are so close to each other! I don't know what one will do when the other is gone! I feel so fortunate to have seen such love between a man and wife!
Here is one of my favorite pictures from a few years ago, when we spent Father's Day at my sister's house.
Finally, these are two of the most recent pics of my dad that I have. The first one is he and my mom visiting us at the campground while we are living in our RV last summer.
The second one was when I took them out to breakfast. My dad's favorite meal is breakfast and I have many fond memories of going out to a diner for breakfast with my parents. I still do it when I get together with them.
Thanks so much for sharing my "dad memories" with me!
Thursday, June 05, 2014
One of my goals for last month and this month is to blog more often. I have seen some people write blogs each day and wonder how they do it! Last week I tried it and it was pretty tough coming up with something different to write each day. So I don't know how long I will be able to make this work. I may not do it daily, but I am going to focus on the things I have to be grateful for in my days. I have so many blessings, but sometimes challenges take over the mind. Writing the positives down, just like I used to in a gratitude journal years ago will help me focus on all that I have to be thankful for!
I am grateful for an awesome morning walk with my walking buddy, Kathy! She is a wonderful friend...we've been walking together for six months now, and time just flies by when we are talking! She couldn't go as long today, but it was a good 45 minute, 2.5 mile walk on a beautiful June day in Florida!
I am grateful and proud of myself for making it to Day 11 on my 10,000 + step streak! I actually did over 15,000 steps today, as I got up to walk around the house throughout the day. I put on some music and got up to dance and use my step on a few songs, as I was going through paperwork this afternoon.
I am grateful that my dad was doing better than I expected when I talked to him today. Yesterday he found out he has skin cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) and will go to a dermatologist to get it removed. I am thankful that they caught it early and this type is unlikely to spread internally. The doctor also told him during his visit that he cannot drive anymore, due to his dementia. He took it hard, but today he wasn't as angry, so I am hopeful that he will cope with this change in his independence.
I am grateful that my ds lives close to my parents and visits them regularly to keep them company, as I am many states away and can't be with them for two more months. He loves them dearly and has always been close to them. He and my dad love watching baseball together...they are die-hard Phillies fans! He was there tonight, and he helped my mom find an email I had sent her.
I am grateful that I am getting on more of a schedule with my retirement. I made a weekly to-do list with chores and outings, and I am making sure that I do a balance of activities each day. I could spend way too many hours on the computer, so I am becoming more disciplined.
I am grateful for being able to spend quality time with my dh. Tonight was a beautiful night, so after we came back from taking our Jeep to get serviced, we jumped in the golf cart and then went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. I went over my calories from my choices, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate, and will get back on track tomorrow. After dinner, we went to the square and walked around in a shop and then sat on the bleachers to listen to the band and watch people dance. When we got back home, we sat out on the lanai and watched the CMA awards together, while I was doing some sparking.
I am so grateful for my many special friends, who give me encouragement, love and support. I texted several friends tonight, I received my first Summer Buddy letter from a SparkTeam, and I communicated with several friends on SP through challenge teams, goodies, email, and blogs!
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