WILSONWR's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=WILSONWR WILSONWR's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Fall Hiking Vacation - Part 4, Northern Arizona http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5803538 The last stop on my big trip was Page, Arizona. Here is a picture of Lake Powell as I headed towards Page from Southern Utah. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1983154695.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I planned to hike two "slot canyons" while in the area, both on Navajo lands. The first slot canyon was called Antelope Canyon, and you could only access it by going on a tour with a Navajo guide. This was a very popular destination, and it was absolutely packed with people. ... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:24:02 EST Fall Hiking Vacation - Part 3 Southern Utah http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5798941 After I left Bryce Canyon, I left for Page, Arizona (on the Arizona-Utah border). As I drove, I made several more hikes along the road in Southern Utah. Close to Bryce Canyon, a hiked for a short period in Red Canyon, Utah. Here are a couple of pictures from that area: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1024728244.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2143524607.jpg"> <BR> <BR> On the way to my next hiking area, I took a few pictu... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 21:58:21 EST Fall Hiking Vacation - Part 2, Bryce Canyon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5798611 After 2 days of great hiking with my son and his family in the Grand Tetons, I headed on to Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah. I spent 2 days hiking there (about 19 miles total) in some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever been around. These hikes were very demanding as the trails were continually going up and down. In one stretch, there was a 1,000 foot gain in elevation in less than a mile. Although strenuous, I could have spent another several days exploring the beauty of ... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:40:22 EST Fall Hiking Vacation - Part 1, Grand Tetons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5797743 I just got back from a fantastic 2-week hiking vacation in Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona. Today I'll share some of the stories and pictures from the first stop - Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. I met my son and his family there for a few days of challenging hikes. <BR> <BR> The first day it rained very hard, so it wasn't good for scenery pictures. We went on two 5-mile hikes, however, and got some great wildlife pictures. Here are a few of the better ones: <BR> <BR> <img src="h... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 23:05:28 EST Not a Good Week at the Ranch... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5769639 What a week! I went to the ranch this week to get in three days of work. When I arrived, I discovered that lightning had burned up my cell signal booster, my DirecTV receiver, my DVD player, my television, and my coffee pot. And that was with the power off at the breaker box! In addition, hogs had destroyed one of my gates on the property and mice had decided to use the air intake system on my Kawasaki Mule as a storage for corn. <BR> <BR> So in addition to fixing the things I could, I... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:41:13 EST Rocky Mountain High http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5763074 Since my wife passed away in January, I decided to make three trips this year to help with the grief. I planned to visit friends and do something active on each trip. This was my second trip - a trip to Colorado to visit friends and do some hiking, fishing, and camping. Since I got there early in the day (and my friends were working), I went hiking around the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. That is such a beautiful place. Here are a few pictures from that hike. <BR> <BR> <img ... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:02:27 EST A Little Introspection http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5705071 I have not been successful during the past two 5% challenges. I get the fitness minutes in, but I don't lose the weight. I seemed to be so busy getting big "fitness" numbers with easy and fun activities that I wasn't doing enough of the really strenuous aerobic exercise. I also was still recovering from the recent passing of my wife, and I wasn't watching my diet very well. <BR> <BR> I was just about ready to not sign up for the next challenge, when it really hit me. I was simply "w... Wed, 28 May 2014 09:50:47 EST A Great Vacation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5704237 I just got home from a great 2 week road trip vacation. I traveled almost 4,000 miles and visited friends in North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It was the perfect vacation to take my mind off the recent passing of my wife. I thought I would share a few pictures from the trip. <BR> <BR> I first stopped in North Carolina to visit friends from my Air Force days in Texas. I had a great time visiting and seeing the local sights. The beach was also really nice there. <BR> <BR> <img... Tue, 27 May 2014 09:47:46 EST World Walking Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5687129 Yesterday was World Walking Day and the American Volkssport Association (a national nonprofit organization of nation-wide hiking clubs) sponsored a walk in San Antonio, Texas. Since my wife used to be the Executive Director of this organization, I volunteered my time as the "official" photographer. I also got to do the 10K walk in a very historic part of San Antonio. I wanted to share of few of the pictures taken during this celebration. <BR> <BR> Here is a picture of some walkers registe... Sun, 4 May 2014 11:39:12 EST Hill Country Hiking Lessons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5683872 A few weeks ago, I joined the San Antonio Adventure Club. It looks like a fun group with numerous activities almost every day. The latest hike a few days ago was definitely the "adventure." We planned to do a 5-mile hike in the Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera, Texas. <BR> <BR> We met the event leader in San Antonio and rode with him for about an hour to the location of the hike. There were only 4 of us on this particular hike. On the drive there, he hit a wild turkey and... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 10:09:16 EST Mardi Gras fun with my son http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5642036 My wife and I always enjoyed the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, but we had never been to the really big parades. A year ago we made reservations for the last week of the parades to finally see them. Unfortunately my wife passed away in January, and I was going to cancel the trip when my son said that he would go with me. Although I really wish my wife could have been there, my son and I had a great time. We attended 17 parades and got so many beads, stuffed animals, toys, and aluminum... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 10:11:31 EST Camping at the Lake http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5614798 My son and his kids invited me to go tent camping with them last weekend. It seemed a good way to get my mind away from the loss of my wife, so I agreed. We went to a place called Inks Lake State Park in the Hill Country of central Texas - just a few miles from where I grew up. Here is a picture of me and the grandkids near the tent. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/5/l65764449.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Last Friday and Saturday were warm, with temperatures in the 70s and... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 09:24:55 EST A Beautiful Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5596224 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/3/l337930452.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My wife, Jackie, passed away peacefully on January 8th after a 4-year battle with a rare disease called Amyloidosis. She was 58. While some people say opposites attract, Jackie was a perfect match for me. We did everything together and never wanted to be apart. She cleared brush at our ranch with me and even helped to build our dream cabin. She never thought anything about throwing 50-lb bags of feed to me. I... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 18:31:17 EST Sad Times http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5580034 To all of my Spark Friends, <BR> <BR> My wife's condition seriously deteriorated yesterday to the point that she had no vision and could not move herself from the bed to the wheelchair. She also passed out in the bed once. To top things off, she continues to suffer from another serious case of Peritonitis (internal infection). Since she has spent 2 out of the last 3 1/2 months in the hospital for the same infection, it appears her immune system is no longer working. At this point, we ... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 21:34:46 EST Another Update on My Wife http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5546766 My wife has now been in the hospital for nearly three weeks with a serious internal infection. She has had two surgeries and is now dealing with a secondary infection. Although the infection is starting to respond, progress has been slow. The biggest problem now is that she shas no appetite - not even for her favorite foods. She also has lost much of her strength and can no longer support her own weight. Doctors told us yesterday that once her infection is cleared, they will transfer her... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:13:12 EST Update on My Wife's Health http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5534194 Because several of you asked about my wife, I thought I would give an update. <BR> <BR> She is back in the hospital again with a serious case of Peritonitis (internal infection). It is the same antibiotic-resistant strain that she had just 5 weeks ago when she spent two weeks in the hospital. They now think that the internal infection from last time never fully resolved. They believe two things caused the reoccurrence – (1) the abdominal catheter for her dialysis must have a film of th... Wed, 6 Nov 2013 18:43:48 EST How I Gained a Pound in 10 Seconds! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5462678 Our old digital scale "bit the dust" yesterday when our bathroom flooded because of a broken shower head. I bought a very expensive replacement, but, lo and behold, it weighs one pound heavier than the old one! It is probably more accurate, but it is frustrating when you are in the middle of a challenge! I may have to subtract a pound from my weight every week until the challenge is over and then acknowledge the new weight. <BR> <BR> It would have been nice if the scale could have been ... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 05:11:59 EST Update on my Wife http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5455979 Many of you have asked how my wife is doing. (She has Amyloidosis and suffers from kidney failure and extremely low blood pressures). Although we try to remain positive, things aren't looking so good. She was removed from the kidney transplant list because the head doctor doesn't think a new kidney would survive after the surgery because of her low blood pressure (41 over 27 a few days ago). This is a shame because her brother proved to be a match for her - he also passed all of the rigor... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:00:40 EST Clearing Brush at the Ranch http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5444312 Well, we just got back from our ranch a couple of days ago after clearing brush for 5 days. Even though I normally don't clear brush this time of year (100 degree temperatures), the local county is getting ready to implement another burn ban, and depending on the current drought, it could be a very long time before I can burn the cut cedar. The "cedar" (actually a juniper) is a non-native species that is taking over much of Texas. It takes a lot of water from the ground and chokes out many... Sun, 4 Aug 2013 16:53:48 EST Texas to North Carolina to Missouri and Back http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5373534 My wife and I just finished a 2-week road trip visiting friends. While the trip was a little hard on the wife (she has to do daily dialysis sessions), it was still a good break for the both of us. I thought I would share a few of our pictures from the trip. <BR> <BR> We first went to visit friends in Newport, North Carolina. They took us to a lot of great places. The first picture is of the wild horses on Shackleford Banks near Beaufort, North Carolina. We took these pictures as we were... Fri, 31 May 2013 10:42:41 EST Clearing Brush at the Ranch http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5337099 I was going to spend 3 days at the ranch clearing brush, but I ended up coming back after only a day of work because of a serious sinus infection (bad enough that I was coughing up blood!). Although this trip wasn't as enjoyable as most, I certainly feel good about the work that gets done. This trip was to extend a trail, both for the wildlife and for us to be able to explore more of our 100 acres. Attached are a few "before and after" pictures of the work I did on Wednesday. <BR> <BR> <... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 08:44:07 EST Kidney Donor Test Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5274744 I didn't feel like blogging about it earlier, but I was turned down to be a kidney donor for my wife. The frustrating thing is that I was a perfect match and all of the doctors' previous concerns had been alleviated. Then the lab work came back showing that I was a borderline diabetic - this was cause for immediate elimination. I was shocked! My family doesn't have a history of diabetes, and in the past 6 months, I've lost 45 pounds, am eating healthier, and am exercising regularly! We're ... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 18:43:32 EST Finally Getting the Eating Under Control http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5246089 December and January weren't good months for me as far as my journey to a healthier lifestyle. The holidays and multiple vacations got me off track as far as calories were concerned. This past week, however, I finally stayed within my calorie range for 5 of the 7 days, and my average for the week was within the range. The result - I lost 4 pounds! It's funny how that works (ha!). Now I just need to do this consistently - the Winter Challenge will help get those good habits back in place.... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:44:57 EST Mardi Gras Workout! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5228354 This past weekend my wife and I went with our son's family to the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. The grandkids had never been to the parades and wanted to go with "grandpa." <BR> <BR> We haven't been to the parades since before Hurricane Katrina. With New Orleans becoming a much dangerous place right after the storm, we weren't in a hurry to go back. My wife also developed a debilitating illness several years ago that made such trips difficult. We decided to just go ahead and do i... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 08:33:46 EST Cruising for Trouble... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5218266 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1172485293.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We had a great time on our cruise to Progresso and Cozumel. The weather in Mexico was great and the water was so clear. They had just about everything you could want on the ship to keep you busy (shows, shops, a casino, and various other entertainment). The food was also fantastic (more on that later). The only problem we had was some rough sea days – at one point you had to hold on to something as you walked... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 09:19:11 EST Working Hard at the Ranch http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5204798 OK, maybe it isn’t really a ranch, but it's 100 acres of property we own in the country near Rocksprings, Texas. It’s our “get away” place that we have really worked hard on these past 10 years. We built a large cabin over a 2 year period (with a lot of help from friends), and we go here to enjoy the wildlife. When we first bought the property, we only saw one deer in a whole year. Because of our hard work, we now see “trophy” whitetail deer, elk, aoudad sheep, axis deer, sika deer, Rio G... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 10:13:55 EST Food Preserving Because You Just Want to (not because the world is ending...) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5174381 Several of you commented on my activity feed about canning jalapeños and smoking sausage. Preserving foods for later consumption has always been a hobby of mine. It's both a way to keep food from spoiling and also a way to try the food in a different way. <BR> <BR> When I have a garden, I always have too many tomatoes, too much okra, and a lot of extra peppers. The solution is canning. I make homemade tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and even salsa. I also make pickled okra and pickled p... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 11:37:20 EST Nothing Like Progress to Motivate You! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5144450 I've been feeling a little "down" after eating too much during Thanksgiving yesterday, but I got an "eye opener" this morning that helped get me back on track. <BR> <BR> I don't normally take part in the "Black Friday" shopping, but I was awake at 3:00 AM this morning, so I decided to wait in line for an hour for a smoker I really wanted. I got the smoker (normally $329 - a limited few on sale for $179), and I also picked up 4 pairs of jeans at $9.99 each. Since the place was "crazy" with ... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 18:19:24 EST Consistency and Commitment are the Keys to Success http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5138156 We just finished week 6 of the 8-week 5% Fall Challenge. Although I never had the most weight lost for any single week, today I achieved that 5% goal and dropped 10.5 lbs during the challenge. <BR> <BR> This accomplishment was really due to two things: consistency and commitment. I exercised hard and, for the most part, I kept my calories within my calorie range. I didn't always succeed on the calories, but looking back, I probably needed the extra calories a few times with all of the f... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 08:28:38 EST Grand Canyon Hike Remembered http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5130701 As the 5% Fall Challenge makes a "virtual" trip to the Grand Canyon, I remember back to a hike I made in March of 1984 with my 10-year old son. It was a trip I'll never forget. <BR> <BR> We were to hike down the South Kaibab trail, walk along the river, and hike back up the Bright Angel trail (15.8 miles total distance). This is a hike not recommended in a single day, but I was confident my son and I could do it with no problem. <BR> <BR> We started out early in the morning at a comfor... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 16:00:14 EST Sometimes the Doctors are Wrong... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5118205 I had a freakish accident about 8 years ago and broke both of the bones in my lower right leg (freakish meaning I broke my leg jumping for beads at Mardi Gras... ). Although the doctors put it all back together with plates and screws, my tendons were a mess and they said I would never run again. This was extremely disappointing as I was an avid runner before that. I gained weight and just couldn't find another exercise I liked as well until I started going on long hikes. I tried playing s... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:36:51 EST Does Exercise and Better Nutrition Really Help? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5114455 I'm not perfect. While I exercise regularly now, I still have my challenges with the calories. But overall, I am eating much better than I was 4 months ago when I finally decided to get healthy again. So ... did it work? <BR> <BR> In June, I weighed 238 pounds. Today I weighed in at 204.4. <BR> <BR> I just saw my doctor this past week. Here was the result of my lab work: <BR> <BR> In July, my cholesterol was 181 (I had already been on the program for a month). It's now 152! <BR> ... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 09:07:00 EST Starting Over http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5087639 I've tried to clean up my SparkTeams by deleting ones I haven't been active in. Unfortunately, this inadvertantly deleted my "streaks" associated with them. Yesterday was also an extremely busy day and I only got 9,500 steps in - stopping my 10,000 step streak at 102 days and my 12,000 step streak at 28 days. So today starts a new day and I'll start working on those streaks again. Taking part in 5% Fall Challenge as a Teddy Bear will help make it easier. Good luck to all of you in your j... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 09:44:00 EST Having A Bad Day? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5075558 All of us have bad days. For example: <BR> <BR> You're so busy you revert to old habits. <BR> <BR> Those food tempations are just too great. <BR> <BR> You feel tired, so you quit your program for a day or two. <BR> <BR> Something happens in your life making your fitness efforts much less important. <BR> <BR> These things happen to all of us - just don't get discouraged and give up. As I've said in previous blogs, remember the progress you've made and remember how hard it was... Wed, 26 Sep 2012 10:08:09 EST Overcoming Adversity http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5071957 I had my first real setback this week when I just couldn't seem to keep my calories under control. Eating out 3 times, visiting Costco (with all the samples), and "grazing" at night just did me in. Instead of letting it get to me, though, I buckled down and exercised more. The last three days, I also got the calories back under control and starting eating healthy again. There was a time when I would have let this setback get the best of me, and I would question whether it was all worth it... Sun, 23 Sep 2012 20:15:08 EST Walking to Become Fit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5052089 About 2 months ago, I began using a pedometer again and found that I had a hard time getting 10,000 steps a day. When I worked, I walked all around a large building (with steps), meeting with people instead of talking with them on the phone. 10,000 was easy then. To help me reach my daily walking goals now, I decided to start walking outside each day. There is a large park near the house and I began morning half-hour walks. I then discovered a path along a creek and I mapped out a new ... Mon, 10 Sep 2012 08:13:16 EST Motivation to Get Healthy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5043539 I used to be very active until my wife got seriously ill and couldn't do any of our favorite activities any more. It finally "hit home" how out of shape I was when we visited some friends (a couple) in Virginia. The wife in Virginia was a former co-worker in Texas and we used to go jogging together. Since her husband couldn't hike because of a recent motorcycle accident, she and I went on a hike in the mountains to a waterfall while our spouses waited for us. It was a 6 mile hike, with a... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 07:54:50 EST Motivation to Exercise http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5031344 I have to keep the goal in mind - lose weight and get in shape so I can do the long tough hikes I used to do. I also want to look better - and see my belt again! It won't be easy some days, but I have to remember the progress I've made so far and how I will get where I want to be if I just continue what I'm doing!! Sun, 26 Aug 2012 08:24:28 EST