Friday, November 20, 2009

The belly dancing mama

We had a great work out today--lots of punches, kicks, jogging with weights, crunches, leg lifts and waist twists. Our instructor told us a funny story. She is taking a belly dance class--says it's great exercise (she has a toddler). She also has a junior high daughter. You know ho within a year they can go from being your BFF to not wanting to be seen with you. Apparently, she has threatened her with showing up at school in her dance outfit if the daughter doesn't behave herself!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If I would just quit blogging and go outside

This is what I'd see. Should get near 70 today--some beautiful fall color.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beautiful October

I'd probably not count this as exercise but I did get out today and walk around to take a few photos down by the river.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October Blue Skies

Today the weather is just so October- brisk, sunny, and blue skies - my favorite month of the year. I have been walking when I can, but work and weather interfer. Last Sunday we did a 5K and that was the walking for the week.

Today, after church, I headed down my usual route - 1/2 mile country road, a mile and 1/2 through down, then along the canal path for a 1/2 mile. Round trip is 4 miles. Saw lots of squirrels hiding away nuts. And saw the Great Blue Heron - he's not too flighty, ended up about 6 feet from him when he decided it was time to fly a little farther from the bike path.

Am hoping this weather stays much of October so I can take care of my wild yard - golden rod as tall as me, as well as giant rag weed and tall grass. I'm trying to have a couple days off each week from now til the end of the year - no time for a weeks vacation so I schedule days off between reporting deadlines, budget deadlines, and other responsibilities.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last week's sunrises

I was back at the Lake for the Midwest Birding Symposium Sept. 17-20, and again had a chance to walk at sunrise.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday August 17 walk

Aug 15, 2009

I still haven't missed a sunrise walk, although it's later each day. I see the 7 a.m. ferry instead of 6 a.m. Today I saw a heron, terns, gulls, a family of mallards, and a barefoot bathrobed dog walker.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Before I forget

This morning's sunrise was incredible. I haven't missed a sunrise this summer during the time we're at the lake. One morning I carried an umbrella, but it only misted. This morning the cloud formation was incredible. I never actually saw the sun, only the orange, pink, fuchsia, cobalt and gray backing up a huge cloud that looked like the old fashioned ships that used to sail the Great Lakes. Then when I turned back west, there was the full moon brilliant above the trees. It was just incredible.

This photo is not this morning--I think it was 2 days ago. It was a cloudy morning with the sun just peaking over the horizon. I wanted to get a photo of the freighter over at Marblehead, Ohio which takes ore from the quarry. There's much less traffic this summer as the economy hurts even the traffic here that fed so many industries.

The rip rap you see is not "native" to Lakeside, but was brought in from the quarry about 20 years ago because the lake was rising and covering the natural flat rocks on which you could easily walk out into the lake. You can't fool Mother Nature and the lake then receded, and many of the man-made protections and ideas in Ohio, New York, Michigan and Canada just made the shoreline worse, and many beaches were destroyed.

Yesterday I did 2 walks along the lakefront, one at dawn and one at noon (very brisk walking with a younger friend), plus the back and forth to various places. So I'm guessing 5 to 6 miles.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Way Too Long Hours

Trying to manage some 4 milers in between 60 hour weeks at work. It rained here until about 2 in the afternoon. By that time I was just getting my act together and cleaning house. So I'll get my 4 in tomorrow before church.

I'm taking a day off on Monday, will still be working about 50 hours for the week. It is really "funny" - I'm the oldest at work, but have the most stamina for the long hours. I'd better not be "crowing" too much - pride goeth before a fall.

Looking foward to a real early walk tomorrow and Monday so I can maybe catch a glimpse of the blue heron and other favorite critters. During the week, Im changing my walking time so I'll be at work by 7AM and home by 6:30 in the evening to do "my 4"!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Walking at home this week

It's just not the same walking a dawn in the suburbs. You can't see the sunrise.

Saturday, July 18, walking along the lakefront at dawn.

Lakefront cottages on July 18 reflecting the morning sunrise. These were all built around 1915-1920, I think. We rented the one on the far right (a 4-plex) in the mid-70s when the children were small.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Traffic jam

I took an evening walk along the lakefront last night about 8:30, and my oh my, so many people. There were crowds everywhere. But it's good to see people out and about, away from TVs and computers, especially the kids. This group seems to have their own clubs for miniature golf.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Health and Wellness Week at Lakeside

All the programs I attended (5) were excellent with qualified speakers, good graphics, and prepared hand-outs. The problem, as I see it, is in the audience. In most cases, they were preaching to the choir. Also, as I look around and observe people within 10-20 years, up or down, of my age, I see two really common problems that could have been successfully addressed if we'd started 20 years ago. Bones and Obesity. When I see an 82 year old woman who is still 5'10" and walking briskly, with attention to fashion, tall and proud, I want to take a photo and interview her. Is it genes? Nutrition? Exercise? Continues at Collecting my thoughts

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not so wild life

I frequently see this woman with her lab at dawn when I get in about 2 miles along the lakefront. He's getting his exercise--she's down there a long time. Many people with large, athletic dogs just don't give them enough attention or exercise and they develop behavior problems. This week is "Health and Wellness Week" at Lakeside and yesterday I attended a lecture on "Exercise is medicine" by Kitty Consolo. I think I knew most of it, but it is always good to be reminded. One of her suggestions was to have a work-out buddy--something that never has worked for me. Hers is her black lab.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Morning walks

I've been watching summer slip away by walking at dawn. It's only July 5 and already I think the sunrise is about 15 minutes later than when I started this 2 weeks ago. But I've been walking 4-6 miles a day, usually 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening, and counting all the steps in between.

I often see this lady "walking" her cat later in the day--although I'm not sure who is walking whom. I doubt that my kitty would tolerate this.

Monday, June 29, 2009


An essay on walking from a daily five mile walker and 8 year cancer survivor*

"Walking, I have noticed, is the first thing we want to do and the last thing we are want to give up in our old age. I took my first walk (I am told) with my father at about two years. The story goes we were gone a long time and my patient dad reported to my mom that I investigated every leaf and twig en route. I have been walking ever since.

We walked to play with friends in the neighborhood, we walked to school, we walked to the library and even walked to and from some of our first dates. I learned to love walking from my dad and my grandpa, both walkers all their lives. My dad was inclined toward rural, out of the way dusty country roads for his ambles. My grandpa likes to roam the woods to the north of our family farm. He raised sheep there and the farmland was heavy with nut trees and berries. My summer walks with my grandfather were some of the best to be had.

Over the years I have walked for many reasons. I have walked to sort things out, avoid depression, to make me sleep and to lose weight. They have all worked. Now I walk for the sheer joy of walking. It is my "drug” of choice. I walk the outskirts of town, I walk on the old high school track and I walk the town walk path. I sometimes even walk to Pond Road and rest by the Leaf River (Illinois) bridge and then return. I celebrated my 70th birthday recently with a 7 mile walk.

Going tramping is at first an act of rebellion; only afterwards do you get free from rebellion as nature sweetens your mind. Town can make man contentious; the country walk smooths out the soul. Lots of people have been great walkers. Dickens is said to have walked 25 miles a day! and we know Henry David was a great walker. . .why not, he had Waldon Pond, and Justice Douglas to name just a few...

The changing of the season would be reason enough, even if the health benefits were not there. Autumnal walks, with the russets, yellows and browns and the mists that hang, are nature’s melancholy. Winter walks make you strong my dad would say, as we bundled up on a zero day for walking to school. And they do--the air incredibly pure and sunlight gently caressing your shoulders. Spring walks, perhaps the best, full of hope of a glorious summer ahead. Summer walks, simply put, just hum, I do not mind the heat and find these walks my most rewarding. . . watching children ride bikes, or play in puddles and the exchange of smiles from fellow walkers.

Well, I have gone on enough. . . "I will arise and go now" - William Butler Yeats

Come join me in a walk and have someone say, "You mean-you walked!"
* Lynne Fleming Wilburn

Friday, June 26, 2009

Making it to 7th

We had a huge wind storm last night and lost power for several hours, cancelling the program. The photo is our neighbor's car covered up by a falling limb. As far as we could tell, the only damage to the car was the rear window. On this morning's walk I could survey the damage. I had attended a program on care of trees yesterday afternoon, so I could observe why some trees fell and others survived. Silver maples are quite frail and don't even have the life expectancy of a human but grow quickly (we were told in the class, and several of the biggest trees I saw damaged were silver maples.) I did make it to 7th street, which is almost the last street on the south end, or would be if there weren't a nice camp ground with an entire community of its own another street south of 7th. I'm not sure if I'm allow to walk in there. I'll have to take a peek tomorrow. But I did get about 5 miles in yesterday. I walked in the afternoon choosing to hop from shade to shade, because the heat index was near 100. It really is amazing how grass and trees lower that.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More wildlife

This black cat in my path is probably not feral. She didn't seem afraid, but neither did she come when I called. Smart kitty. Owners should not be allowing their pets to run loose--just because it's safe for children, doesn't mean it's OK to let your pets "litter."
This morning I walked about 35 minutes leaving the house about 5:45--east along the lakefront, then up to 7th on Poplar and back west, then north to our cottage on 3rd. I stopped several times to enjoy the scenery, and once to get my breath from that hill on Poplar between 4th and 5th. I'm not a tennis player, but those clay courts on 7th look mightly fine.
The story is that back in the 1870s when Lakeside was very young, a 14 year old girl named all the north south streets after trees. Louise Franck's father was an engineer and laid out the streets and she helped him.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The weather has held--no rain, and cooler than northern Illinois or central Ohio. So I've been able to add a street each day to my west end to east end walk--all the way east along the lakefront, then Monday I returned on 3rd, Tuesday on 4th, and today, Wednesday on 5th. Fifth is a bit of challenge in that there is a hill between 4th and 5th. But it's interesting to see the changes from year to year--although there are more houses for sale than I realized. Yesterday I saw a huron sillouetted against the sunrise but didn't have my camera. Today I took the camera, but he/she saw me first and flew off. The only wildlife I caught was this very shy calico (she's feral but gets food from all the neighbors).

After Lynne's inspiring comment at Joanne's post a few back, last night I did a second round trip along the lakefront, so combining those two with my walks to the grocery, the farmers market and Rhein Center I think I did at least 6 miles yesterday. Yeah! The calories, however, keep coming. Boo!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The start of summer

It's almost as good as a New Year's Resolution--arriving at the lake and resolving to take advantage of the walking and biking opportunities. Yesterday, first day of summer I began the day with 25 minutes along the lakefront with about 4 shorter destination walks during the day, for at least an hour of walking. I think that's about 4 miles. I can manage that if I break the walks up.

Then today I began with a 30 minute walk along the lake returning on 3rd St. Then about 6 blocks round trip to the grocery for ingredients for tonight's potluck, then about 6 blocks round trip (walking) to the coffee shop. So I've already got about 3 miles in today.

Part of this glorious plan was inspired by the coffee shop which this year isn't opening until 8 a.m. instead of 6:30 last summer. But on my way there today, I see that the new proprietor of Abigail's is opening at 6 a.m. Oh my! My plan might fail.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


My walking has been confined to the weekends, but wanted to share a close encounter yesterday morning.

As I was starting my morning exercise, I was surprised by a doe and a fairly new born fawn in the orchard. Of course "Mom" jumped the fence, leaving baby in the tall grass on my side of the fence. If only they had stayed in the woods on the other side of the road. The doe, as they do, bounded into the field. I imagine she wanted to head for the small woods between two fields - about a 1/2 mile away. I went to the fence line and there the fawn lay so quiet, yet not seeming to be frightened. I lifted the fawn over the fence and into a bed of tall grass. The baby was light as a feather. What a sensation to be that close to God's new creation! The doe had stopped not too far away and watched. I then went into the house.

Lucky that I did what I did for the neighbor's yellow hound was in my yard right after my going inside. Thank goodness he was too busy sniffing for rabbits. I called out my window for him to "Go Home!" and for once he did.

The doe was there with the fawn when I left for work - hopefully they reached the woods and are safe, as the farmer neighbor was spraying the fields when I came home from work.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I am finally getting with the program - it is taking a little longer than I thought (won't start Nautilus for another month).

My walks have been fruitful with flora and fauna.Along the canal path, I have watched mama goose, papa goose, and 4 goslings. My other bird finds include 2 blue herons, at least 1 pair of Eastern Bluebirds, lots of Robins and Goldfinch, Flickers, Red-Headed Woodpeckers, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and the most surprising of all - a Pileated Woodpecker. The canal is alive with turtles and fish and along the banks and path squirrels and bunnies are playing. Plants and shrubs are blooming in abundance - even found a shrub in my rose bush brambles that I'm not sure whether it is something I want to keep or if it is a pest - must look it up in my gardening books.

This weekend has been spectacular. My brother was here from Nebraska for a couple of days and I have been digging in the dirt and trimming and weeding. This is a good start this year - slow,but if I remember to get myself out of the office early enough in the evenings, this will be a great stress reliever besides helping my waistline.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I just read Norma's post - wake up call! I have a physical in 3 weeks and have really let myself get into a lazy mode. Work has been stressful and rain has been much, but it is time to set aside time for some unstressing - diligent walking and weight training as well as yard work. I should be able to do some good in those 3 weeks and then keep at it. I'm promising myself 4 miles in the early morning and Nautilus every other day right after Memorial Day (need time to build up some stamina with the walking). Did 3 miles today in just over 50 minutes, so that is a good start.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here's a good reminder

High intensity exercise is more beneficial. Boy I hate that! I don't like to sweat. I'd prefer to stroll and enjoy the sights. But that’s what this article in Prevention says. The calories are the same--the results are different.

"Researchers from the University of Virginia found that women who did three shorter, fast-paced walks a week (plus two longer, moderate-paced ones) lost 5 times more belly fat than those who simply strolled at a moderate speed 5 days a week, even though both groups burned exactly the same number of calories (400) per workout. Those speed walking also dropped more than 2 inches from their waistlines, pared about 3 times more fat from their thighs, shed 4 times more total body fat, and lost almost 8 pounds over 16 weeks--all without dieting!

The improvements didn't stop there. The high-intensity exercisers lost about 3 times more visceral fat--the dangerous belly fat that wraps around organs such as the liver and kidneys and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. "Vigorous exercise raises levels of fat-burning hormones," says lead researcher Arthur Weltman, PhD, director of the exercise physiology laboratory at the university. It also increases afterburn (the number of calories your body uses postexercise as it recovers) by about 47% compared with lower-intensity workouts."

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Regroup Time

Weather and work have slowed progress. If I make 40 miles by Easter, I'll be doing great.

Today's walk was the first since last Sunday. I figured I'd better make use of a nice day and was able to do 4 miles in just over an hour. In the fields by my house I counted at least 16 calves - two and 1/2 weeks ago, there were 5. Spring is slowly showing along my route, watched a robin wooing a lady friend and saw some crocus and scillas peeping up out the ground.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Doin' My Best

I can see this is going to be a challenge. Workdays may get longer in order to prepare for working with the economic stimulus funds. Tried to leave at regular time this week, but the best laid plans of mice and men.....Even so from this time forward, I hope on workdays to pack up by 5:00 so I can be home to do my 4 miles each evening. Managed 3 and 1/2 today. Once this is going - back to some weight training.

Today's walk brought some new calves and my usual stops for petting the pups and talking to acquaintances. Grass is barely beginning to show and I think the pink hyacinth by the wall may not have made it through the winter - the first snow of last winter ended with a truck running over where they are planted. If not I'll be working near where they were planted to rebuild a small rock wall. Maybe I'll be lucky and find the bulbs to replant.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring is Coming Better Get Ready

After a long winter, I'm back to writing about my walks as I continue to seek a work/life balance. What better way to do this than require some discipline from my self regarding work hours so I will make it home in time to do a 4 mile walk before dark. With the world in the current economic crisis, my agency will be in the front lines, providing training services locally for those affected by layoffs, plant closings.

I managed 3 blocks shy of 4 miles with this first walk since the Christmas Minneapolis walk. Saw robins, cardinals, a squirrel and crow having issues, some old puppy friends, and talked to some acquaintances. The farm field next to my home showed me a week old calf and saw some signs of green grass along the road. As always, I thank the Lord for all He has created and thank Him that I am able to enjoy His creation.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Exercise in the New Year

I've gone back to a 3 times a week class. I just wasn't doing it on my own. Two of the classes have stretching and weights, and third (led by my husband) is more cardio. I did this class in 2000-2002 and then dropped out, preferring to walk--which I rarely kept up. So back to some discipline. . .

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Holiday Greetings and Happy 2009

Yes - I know it is after Christmas, but really this is the 10th day of Christmas.

Christmas was again in Minneapolis, where we did some walking and playing with my niece's newest addition - an Australian cattle dog named Pip.

Since then there has been no real time to walk and no good snow to try out snow shoeing. But am doing an exercise routine twice a day!

Hopefully time and weather will allow me to get out to do some winter walking and try out the snow shoes - they are not the old fashioned kind, but "hi-tech" (LL Bean) with poles and a storage case. One of my resolutions is to set aside an hour + on weekends for just doing walking or snow shoeing.The other resolutions are the continuations of last year - "works in progress".

Just want to wish all a Happy New Year!

Saw a silly Robin today - doesn't he known he should be south of the Illinois Quad Cities?