REJ7777   67,278
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Hike on Mount Chapman

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It was great to be out hiking again today! Beautiful, sunny weather, with just a slight breeze. Perfect!!! Like I told my sister, "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world!" Unfortunately, our hike had to be cut short because of some physical symptoms I experienced due to meds my doctor has to adjust. It was so frustrating to head back down when I had enough energy to keep climbing for at least another hour! I shouldn't complain though. We hiked for 3 thoroughly enjoyable hours and for that I am very grateful.

We belong to a hiking club that negotiates passage rights for its members on private land.

Some of the trail is just a pleasant and easy walk.

Some of the trail is steeper and more challenging.

My hiking buddy negotiating a tricky turn.

We enjoyed the gurgling of a little brook beside the trail.

We even had to cross the little brook in some places.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NONNATAMMY 9/24/2010 8:16PM

    Looks and sounds wonderful! I'd love to hiking but no one to go with. Hope you're better now with the meds adjusted.

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/19/2010 10:29AM

    thanks for the great scenery a three hour hike is marvelous. sorry about the meds that happens to a lot of us. emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 9/18/2010 11:30PM

    What a beautiful place to hike! So sorry you had to cut it short though!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/18/2010 9:31PM

    What a lovely way to spend your day with your sister! Looks really peaceful and beautiful. I hope your doctor can adjust your meds so you can go "full out" next time.

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MOTIVATED@LAST 9/18/2010 8:51PM

    Scenery like that just makes hiking a pleasure. Well done!

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SUNNYARIZONA 9/18/2010 8:43PM

    Are you sure you were NOT hiking on Mt. Lemmon?! Your pictures sure look like you were there! ha....Sorry you couldn't complete that hike.....hope all is ok now?!

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Berry Good Brain

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Thought you might enjoy this short article from Dr. Weil's website:

Here's another reason to include blueberries, strawberries and walnuts in your diet: the polyphenols these foods contain appear to be good for the brain. In fact, these micronutrients seem to reverse an age-related decline in the process by which brain cells remove and recycle biochemical debris that could interfere with brain function. Investigators with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston found that the polyphenols in these berries seem to help maintain the process by which specialized brain cells do their "housekeeping." Researcher Shibu Poulose, Ph.D., noted the study provides further evidence of the benefits of eating foods rich in polyphenols. In addition to berries and nuts, fruits and vegetables with deep red, orange or blue colors also pack an antioxidant punch. Dr. Poulose emphasized the importance of consuming the whole fruit and noted that frozen berries, available year round, are also good sources of polyphenols.

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I'm still sparking, but my scale isn't rewarding my efforts very much. It's been moving up and down for the last two months. I'm refocusing and recommitting (as many of you are) in the hopes that I'll start losing weight again. But no matter what happens, I know I'm doing what I need to be doing for my health (eating well and being physically active), so I intend to keep Sparking. This is a lifestyle choice. Period.

I did have an encouraging moment after church today. Someone came up to me and said, "Hey, you're getting younger!" I responded, "It's just an illusion." emoticon But I do FEEL younger and much fitter than I was. Then someone else mentionned that I'd lost a lot of weight. Those were encouraging comments at a time when the numbers on the scale aren't being as cooperative as I'd like.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APRILLSCOTT 9/7/2010 1:43AM

    Thanks for the information! The comments about how we have lost weight and look younger always help don't they? I read an article the other day from some doctor and I don't remember who. They said when you get on a plateau to just add 10 minutes more to your exercise and take 20 calories away from your intake and you should start losing again! If it works I do not know! Mrs Lisa cut about 300 calories off my intake and I did lose the 5 pounds this month with hardly no exercise! emoticon

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MARENAMOO 9/6/2010 5:07PM

    Rej, I just seems like there is constant reinforcement in the health news that eating fruits and veggies along with light protein is the best diet for health. That's good because I love all of those foods. I just need to get my head and hands out of the chip bag and recommit to eating less junk, more nutritious foods and getting out and moving the body (even for a walk). Like many I hope to start back up soon and with determination. Reminders like this are great ways to do it.

And really - how great are those comments. Younger, fitter and thinner. Health and beauty rolled into a great confidence building morning. Woohoo!!

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BAGGYPANTS5 9/6/2010 2:54AM

    There's a glut of fruit here at the moment. I have autumn fruiting raspberries and plums in the garden and the damson tree is loaded. I also have runner beans in abundance. Free, nutricious food. Well done on the positive comment at church. All encouragement is gratefully received!

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SUNNYARIZONA 9/5/2010 10:20PM

    Just want to encourage you . I know how it feels to not see the scale moving at all.
I had gone for almost 2 years weighing about the same, and was tired of the 6 Word Diet, mostly because I was not sticking to it, and needed a change.
That change came after I really heard the ads for Nutra finally CLICKED, they constantly talking about the Glycemic Index. I decided to check that out. I HIGHLY recommend you do so too. Foods we eat really does make the difference. It is not just about calories but the KIND we eat!

Hope that gives you an idea!

As for the ENCOURAGING words at church....GOD was in that, you can be sure. When we are down, He LIFTS US UP!!!! AMEN!!!

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DEBRITA01 9/5/2010 8:55PM

    Great information...thanks for sharing! You have a great attitude about your weight loss journey. Someone once told me "the scale is a fickle lover" and it's true. You are getting positive feedback from others and they are noticing a change in your appearance, so your right to forget that old scale. I think also, if you feel good about yourself, others are bound to notice.

Hooray for the more youthful, fit, and healthier you! emoticon

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ANDI571 9/5/2010 7:00PM

    Who cares what the scale says, when someone asks if you are getting younger. I would have thrown them on the ground and kissed them. emoticon

I bought almonds the other day. I wonder how they do. I like walnuts, but they always give me heartburn.

Yay, to the younger you.

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PERSISTANT123 9/5/2010 6:10PM

    My scale isn't rewarding me either.

Thanks for the information in the article. My brain needs all the help it can get right now.

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/5/2010 5:53PM

    Ooh, I need to go back to the store and get those strawberries I bypassed! emoticon I just had some last week and they were so good... but this week I picked some other fruits. I do love my walnuts!

Here's to younger "real age" us!

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Quiet time to reflect

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I needed some quiet time to reflect on my life and priorities today. I went to the Howard Domain, that's known for its beautiful gardens and peaceful atmosphere. The Domain was bequeathed as a heritage to the citizens of Sherbrooke by Senator Howard.

I sat on a park bench and read, I reflected and took notes, I walked through the gardens and prayed. I have life-impacting decisions to make in the next few days and I needed this time to reflect. I still don't know what decision I'll make, but I know that God is in control of my future, as He has been of my past. I'm really at peace about this.

I sat on a bench overlooking the pond and lovely fountain.

There are several benches in the domain's gardens.

A pagoda-like structure on one of the paths.

Many couples have their wedding photos taken in the beautiful gardens.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVETOBEALOSER 8/15/2010 11:38PM

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures. I can see why you chose that spot to pray and think.

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MARENAMOO 8/10/2010 10:49AM

    I wonder what it is about being in nature that allows us to talk to God and ourselves with so much more clarity. Is it more elemental - closer to creation? Is it less distracting and easier to be clear minded? Or is it just beautiful which allows us to look at the gifts in our lives and not focus on solely the problems. I am not sure what the answer is but I feel the same way about going someplace peaceful to seek inner clarity. I hope you found some Rej. I pray for that too.

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PENNYAN45 8/9/2010 11:54PM

    You had a beautiful and peaceful setting in which to reflect.
You are fortunate to feel at peace with whatever decision you make.


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ANDI571 8/9/2010 7:49PM

    Looks like a beautiful place to get with God and ask for his guidance. We can't go wrong when He controls our future. emoticon

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SUNNYARIZONA 8/8/2010 11:19PM

    Extremely quite place for sure! SO GREEN in AZ, the mts. green up during the monsoons, but we do not usually see so much green!

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ACROSONIC 8/8/2010 9:47PM

    What a beautiful place!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/8/2010 9:31PM

    It appears that you certainly picked a perfect place for quiet, solitude and reflection. I'm hoping you find clarity and are able to make the tough decisions ahead. Good luck, and know that I'm here to support you as needed.

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JUST_TRI_IT 8/8/2010 9:24PM

    What a special spot to be able to walk and reflect. Being at peace with a decision is a settling thing :) These photos really share a sense of calm.

Best wishes on your decision.

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Surprise visit from my son

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The house feels empty this morning, after having had my son here for a wonderful 5 days. He decided to surprise me with a visit for my 60th birthday. Since he lives in Alberta, 3000 miles away, I don't get to see him very often. My sister and nephew were in cahoots to get me to the airport to deliver an emergency package. Since that kind of delivery is a regular part of my nephew's job, I didn't question the legitimacy of the trip. It turned out that we weren't delivering a package, we were picking one up! emoticon

We stopped to say 'hi' to my mom when we got back from the airport.

The next day, my son accompanied my sister and I on a hike up Pinacle.

Taking a break with the best hiking buddy in the world.

Walk at Blanchard Park. My son will be getting married on January 20th.
It was wonderful to spend such quality time with him before the wedding.

A surprise get-together was planned for me at an all-you-can-eat intercontinental buffet. I thought of Marenamoo's blog about wanting to eat a LOT of all the delicious foods that are available. I mean, who wants to be reasonable at that kind of buffet? emoticon But even if I *felt* like tasting everything in sight, I did make fairly reasonable choices that I felt pretty good about afterwards.

My goal is to get down to 150 lbs. in time for the January wedding. I'm not sure it's doable, but it was my original goal and I'm sticking to it. Life should get back to *normal* today, but I feel a bit empty and sad this morning. I need to renew my focus on Sparking after a week's break. Thank you for being there! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APRILLSCOTT 8/6/2010 11:04AM

    You truly had a wonderful surprise for your birthday! Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday emoticon emoticon emoticon! He got to go with you on your walks that was great!I guess it does feel lonely after they leave though! Your pictures are great and you look wonderful! Thanks for posting and I am sorry I am late checking this out and sending birthday wishes! emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 8/6/2010 10:47AM

    What a WONDERFUL surprise! Your son sounds like a caring and loving guy - to travel across the country to spend time with you for your birthday! You are a fortunate Mom!

Having a wedding in January gives you a good goal to work toward. Maybe your goal could be to follow your program - and however many pounds come off would be fine. Then you can feel good about whatever weight loss you achieve in that time period, and you avoid setting yourself up for feeling that you failed if you don't reach a certain number on the scale.

By the way -- let me wish you a belated Happy Birthday!

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MARENAMOO 8/6/2010 9:38AM

    I just love the fact that your family conspired to surprise you - what a show of love. And what a gift of love that your son gave you - time. Isn't time sometimes the rarest of gifts and the most precious. Never enough of it some days and seemingly too much of it on others. I am sure that it feels lonely with him gone - even with the memories. Do you Skype - to be able to see him face to face over the computer? Not the same but still it is a chance to see him.

Only you can set your goal and your pace. Can you still exercise during the winter? Is it too dangerous to hike when it gets cold? Have you thought about cold weather fitness like snowshoeing or cross country skiing? Planning is always key to success so figure ways to stay active - you have been doing great this summer. Remember that the biggest goal is to enjoy now and enjoy the planning and support for the big event. The goal is to celebrate the marriage and your pursuit of health - even if it is not the exact size you have hoped for.

Well done on the enjoying the buffet but not over indulging.

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ANDI571 8/5/2010 3:53PM

    Ahh! I bet the house does fell empty. You two looked so happy. It was nice he hiked right along with you. You keep up the good work, and that weight will come off by your goal. emoticon

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BAGGYPANTS5 8/5/2010 12:10PM

    Glad you had such a great time with your son. It must be awful to live so far apart. My two live 2 miles and 5 miles from me. On the other hand, people make more effort to visit if they are a long way apart. You have about 5 months to lose about 28 pounds. That's definitely doable, and you have the greatest incentive. My DF lost 14 pounds for her son's wedding in May and everyone said she looked like the queen!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/5/2010 10:16AM

    There's just something about the bond between a mother and her son, isn't there? What a lovely surprise for your birthday. And, a belated happy birthday to you! Sounds like you had a wonderful time together. And while your house may be empty now, just remember that in about 5 months you'll be celebrating your son's wedding. How special will THAT be?

You've got great motivation to reach your goal -- I bet you'll be successful on that! Have a great day.

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LUCICAMP 8/5/2010 9:24AM

    What a wonderful surprise for you! It looks like you had a wonderful time together.

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FERNCREST 8/5/2010 8:21AM

  That's so nice!!!! You can do it, just stay focused.

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DSCROW 8/5/2010 8:19AM

    I always find the time after the visit with my sister the hardest too. Congrats on the the buffet success and I agree shifting focus is the best way to deal. Good luck!

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Back to Mount Pinacle

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today was another one of those ideal days for hiking. We had several options, but headed back out to Mount Pinacle because we had been surprised at how few biting bugs there were. (Some regions are more infested than others.)

Last time, we had noticed a cute little 1.6 km trail that led to the mountain. I was looking forward to trying it out. It was the cutest little trail in the woods by a brook. Who would ever have thought I'd want to park 1,6 km away from a mountain, just for the pleasure of walking a little trail before hiking there. My sister and I looked at it as a pleasant warm up and cool down.

We took a different, and a bit more difficult, trail up Pinacle this time. It's the type of more challenging trail I have to be able to do in order to hike up Mount Chauve. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and am very grateful for the health to be able to do it!

I tripped on a teeny tiny rock coming out of the woods. I then tripped my sister with my hiking pole. Neither of us fell, but we could have. My sister said, "No one got hurt, we'll laugh about it when we're in our six... six... sixties." We both realized that I'll be turning 60 this weekend! emoticon I said, "No problem, the memory will still be pretty fresh!" emoticon

This lovely brook babbled all the way by the 1st trail

Trail leading to the top of Mount Pinacle

This couple got to the summit shortly after we did.

We spotted this small cave on the way down and wondered what lived in there.

We took another picture of the brook on our way out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARENAMOO 7/31/2010 12:31PM

    Beautiful blog and a funny answer to your sister. I am so impressed by your rapidly improving fitness and your wish to not only hike but explore. And you know me - I love those babbling brooks!

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SUSIEMILO 7/30/2010 9:50AM

    LOVED it -- it felt like I was there with you. Photos are great, and it was a nice little break for me.
And your answer to your sister made me laugh!
Thanks for posting this -- I'm proud of how far you have come in your ability for fitness, and it would seem that even though you are working --- to be in such a beautiful setting, it wouldn't seem like work.
(Is this in Arkansas?)

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APRILLSCOTT 7/30/2010 4:09AM

    emoticon Re,
You are getting more challenged every day aren't you? This trail looks a lot like the one I took in the mountains of NC and fell on! Sort of rough and tough! It had a beautiful waterfall at the top! I guess it was worth the fall just to see the beauty and the magnitude of God's work! I am sure this is sometimes how you feel! The pictures are emoticon and I am sure they don't do the scenery justice! I am so glad those bugs are going away a little!

Please be careful, but I do admire how you are challenging yourself! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THE_BUNNYO 7/29/2010 9:00PM

    So take the memory until your 90's! :)
Glad you have a good time!!!

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