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SWDESERTLOVER's Recent Blog Entries

The Colors of Fall

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My husband and I did a short hike this evening after I got off work at the spa. The leaves at Pilot Mountain are at peak color and I wasn't making good time because I kept stopping to take pictures. It was so nice that we've decided to go back tomorrow morning and do a 7 mile loop combining 3 different trails. I hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy some outdoor activities this time of year.

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    I have a picture similar to this as my background on my laptop:) I'm glad youg uys had a good time!

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RAVON27 11/1/2008 10:09PM

    Beautiful picture. I've taken a few walks around here, but nothing as beautiful as where you are. It's actually been in the low 70's for a few days! Thanks for sharing your picture.

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Cold Weather Hiking

Friday, October 31, 2008

Yippee!! I LOVE this time of year! It's the best for hiking IMO (unless I'm in the southwest where they have that awesome low humidity). Okay, it's pretty in the summer, but it's a little hard for me to remember that I'm having the time of my life when I'm at war with the mosquitos and other flying bugs that seem intent on making a beeline for my eyes, nose, ears or mouth. What's that all about anyway? Then of course there's the poison ivy lurking around each bend just waiting to reach out and brush my legs as I pass by. When you're as allergic to this demonic little vine as I am, the mere thought of it can almost bring on a panic attack. Oh, and did I fail to mention the awesome humidity we have here in the southeast during those hot summer months. Nothing like peeling your pack off of your sweat soaked (and I do mean SOAKED) back at the end of your hike. So, it probably sounds like I hate hiking. Nope, just the opposite. I love it. It's my favorite outdoor activity. I love finding a trail where I can find quiet and solitude and get away from the stresses of the city. I just enjoy hiking in the fall and winter so much more because I don't have to deal with all those little annoyances (and they are really just annoyances). Another plus is that so few people hike around here in the winter that I often have the more heavily used trails to myself and don't have to go to the more remote areas to find some peace and quiet. Last Sunday DH and I headed to the Mountain Trail at Pilot Mountain, my first time on it since last spring. The poison ivy was dying away and we saw one other hiker. It was a great day. Then I went to hike the Grassy Ridge Trail at Pilot Mountain on Tuesday after I got off work. I never saw another person and the woods were beautiful with the leaves changing color. I can't hardly wait to get out and do some more hiking tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVON27 10/31/2008 3:55PM

    It does sound like fun except for the poison ivy. I use to get it all the time as a kid. I once had it in my mouth, eyes & nose, Yikes! Have a great weekend!

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GOLDENPEARLE 10/31/2008 2:43PM

    I agree hiking when the humidity is high and bugs are lunching on you is not much fun. I myself find cooler weather much appealing to hike. Especially if you are hiking a long distance.

Keep up the good work...and thanks for sharing your blog with us...Wendy -Goldenpearle emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/31/2008 2:41:40 PM

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    That sounds like so much fun!!!! I'm not a fan of humidity though. I plan on taking my daughter up to the mountain on Sunday for a easy hike...assuming it's not raining!!!

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CJROMB 10/31/2008 12:17PM

    I'm jealous. Hiking sounds incredible. I'm just about healed to the point where I can consider doing something like that. Maybe over Thanxgiving or Christmas, eh? Sounds delightful.

Yes, you definitely need to get a heartrate monitor! That fitness tracker is nowhere near accurate. Thing is, though, even without it, if you know what you've lost this year, and you know what you've burned, all you have to do is divide what you've burned by what you've lost, and you'll see how many calories you need to burn to get rid of a pound. If the calories have all been tracked with the Fitness Tracker, that's okay, cuz then it will just be consistently high. You can still figure it out.

The heartrate monitor I have (Polar F11) has a little trophy on it. If I make my goals for the week on the watch, I get a little trophy. If I don't, it gives me what I call a "Turlet Swirlee". This big swirlee people can see from long distances and JUDGE me if it's there. I'm back on track after the surgery, so I won't be getting a Turlet Swirlee again.

Lemme know what your goals end up being if you want to, and thanx for commenting on my blogs!

Happy Halloweenie.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 10, 2008

As many of you may already know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Having had several friends who have suffered from breast cancer, and a family member who died from a cancerous tumor in his brain, I was very frustrated with a feeling of helplessness to do anything for others suffering from this devastating disease. Then I was asked if I would be willing to volunteer some of my time as a massage therapist to provide free massages for cancer patients. Iíve now been volunteering my time for about a year. While I love working with all of my massage clients, the cancer patients I work on every month have provided me with as much as Iíve provided to them. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to provide these patients with a little bit of relief and escape from their daily stress, even if just for an hour. This has also put things into perspective for me. Sometimes when I start whining about something in my life thatís not going exactly as I had planned, I try to stop and remember what these individuals are going through and I realize how fortunate I am. Each of these patients are in a fight for their life and they are often on an emotional roller coaster. Their emotions include fear, anger, despair, and loneliness. Some want to lay down on my table and just relax and go to sleep. Others want to talk throughout their massage to release some of those buried emotions. Not only are they fighting for their lives, they are often stressing about finances because even with insurance, often their medical bills are incredibly expensive and many are unable to work regularly during their treatments.

The organization where I volunteer is a national organization that is free to cancer patients and relies on funding from private donations along with some funds from United Way. They also depend on volunteers to provide a wide variety of services to the patients.

I would encourage anyone who can spare even one or two days or evenings a month to check and see if you have a local organization that provides free services to cancer patients and see if they are in need of volunteers. Without volunteers, these services would not be possible, and they mean so much to these individuals.

Thanks for reading this and I hope youíll give it some thought. This is such a devastating disease and any help you can provide means so much to so many.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPINNINGAL 10/11/2008 10:54AM

    Good for you! Thank you for providing this service to folks who are battling cancer.


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RAVON27 10/11/2008 8:55AM

    I'm so sorry that you have lost people to this terrible disease. This is such a wonderful thing you do. I was still in massage school when my SIL was diagnosed with cancer and she didn't want me to massage her. Some patients just need to be touched because so many people are afraid they will hurt them or catch their disease. Keep up the great work!

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Struggling to get back on track!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Okay, so I went on my awesome vacation in August and had a wonderful time. Got to see the Rocky Mountains, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde, Canyons of the Ancients, spent 3 days in Moab (one of my favorite towns) and lots more. I also really, really enjoyed some great restaurants. Probably too many! I came back a few pounds heavier even though we did a lot of hiking. I've struggled to get back to where I was before I left and now I've just been stuck for the last couple weeks. I'm going to try to change up some of my workout schedules and increase my hiking distances on weekends because I HAVE to be in good shape by June. My best friend and I are finalizing plans for our backpacking trips in Arizona and Utah. We've decided to drive and will be leaving on June 12th and coming back on the 21st. That means I have about 8 months to finish getting into the shape that I want to be in to be able to enjoy our hikes. I know I can do this, so now it's time to increase my activities and get back on track.

Hope everyone else is doing well!

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CJROMB 10/10/2008 4:30PM

    Is there anything I can do to help you?

And THANX for stopping by my blog, and always having such great pictures on your website!

No beach until tomorrow. And then, maybe not even. We'll see...plans may be changing.

Comment edited on: 10/10/2008 4:28:19 PM

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YOGATICHA 10/9/2008 5:55PM

    Nice picture. Great hobby!! (both of them) You can do this. Just take one day at a time and work your workouts in. It's tough, but I know that you are tougher!!


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SLIMMER150 10/3/2008 6:04PM

    Hi, I wondered where you were. You were one of the first people to write to me. I just thought you were on a LONG vacation. I hope you find your way to get where you were and then taking off New weight! I am cheering for you!

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RAVON27 10/3/2008 3:35PM

    Beautiful picture. Isn't traveling fun? I'm sure you will get to where you want to be in time. Have a great weekend.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Woo Hoo! I finally finished my 40 miles this evening. My friend Alyce joined me after work and we did a 3 mile hike at Pilot Mountain to complete my 40 miles for the month of July. It felt good just to know that I had set a goal and completed it. The best part is, that the last 10 miles I've hiked over the last few days were much easier than they were at the beginning of the month. I can actually feel how much stronger my legs (and my lungs) are and it feels good. Not sure how many miles I'll get in August, but I know it will be more since we'll be on vacation hiking for two weeks. Wow, hiking in Utah wll be a lot easier this year than it was last year.

Thanks to those of you who've read my blog and encouraged me. It makes it a lot easier to push yourself when you know others are watching. Also, CJ if you read this, thanks for all your great blogs because that's what motivated me to get off my behind and set my own goal.

That was fun. Now, what's next?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNDASPIX 8/1/2008 3:06PM

    Congratulations on achieving your goal! emoticon

I'm a Soutwest Desert lover, too. I live in Phoenix and am just beginning to see what all the desert has to offer. It was hard at first as I'm a Wyoming Mountain Girl!

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CJROMB 7/31/2008 8:51PM

    You are a total rock star! You were done with your 40 miles before the end of the MONTH! So??? What's next?

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MADDIEMCWA 7/29/2008 8:55PM

    Congratulations! I wish I could say that!

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RAVON27 7/29/2008 8:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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