Gord Downie died last night

It’s a sad day when you wake up and a Canadian icon, legend, hero, musical talent, well known philanthropist, activist – so many ways he could be described – has passed away. It wasn’t unexpected due to him having brain cancer but still it was sad. At 53 years of age. With music left in him. With care and love for the people he knew he touched in his heart. It’s just sad his time had come to leave this way of being and move on to the next way of being. His body may be gone from us but his spirit in music and his acts of kindness and love will carry on.

Life is so precious. We can’t forget that. Rest in Peace Gord. You done good while you were here.

A day of happiness and tears of sadness

Today started off with some happiness and yet with some worry. My older cat Muffin hasn’t been eating very much at all lately and we were worried about her. So we called and made an appointment at the vet clinic to take her in in the afternoon. But in the morning we had a lovely walk in the Gatineau hills with my niece, her two daughters and my brother. It was a nice 45 min. walk that wasn’t too strenuous and yet got me some exercise. We walked at a comfortable pace and didn’t stop too many times. The younger one was in a backpack on her mum’s back and the older one just walked along beside us. She was fine with that distance.

When we got to the vet’s office we let the vet know that we were thinking of euthanasia since the cat was 13 years old and likely suffering kidney failure. But the vet said that there was a mass, likely a tumour, the size of a clementine in her abdomen. So, based on her advanced age, her losing weight, her likely kidney failure, euthanasia was the best choice. So we said goodbye and it was the end of seeing Muffin. My dear sweet furry friend for 13 years. I’ll miss her terribly. It’ll be sharp, for a while, then time will dull it but tears will come as I think of her. But I can rest easy knowing I did the right thing at the right time. She died purring, being patted by me. Not in drastic pain, not in distress. At a good time in her life. When she still had quality of life. Have to rest easy with that.

But the tears are going to come for a while.

Saw my niece and her daughters today

I saw my niece and her two young daughters today for the first time in a long time. It was so nice to see her again. She’s in her thirties now and her daughters are 5 and just about 3 years old. Very busy little girls. So wonderfully cute. Completely fluent in English and Czech. They live in the Czech Republic and are visiting here briefly to see family. We invited the family over for a family gathering of lunch. Good excuse to clean up the house haha. Nice excuse to use all the fancy crystal serving dishes and good plates and dishes and silverware. No time like the present. We had a simple meal of hamburgers and salads. Was delicious.

The fresh strawberries for dessert were yummy too. I had a piece of carrot cake as well and a mini oatmeal raisin cookie so have to account for that on my calorie counter app on my phone. Having a light dinner tonight of turkey sandwich with lettuce cheese tomato and mayo and mustard and had a matcha latte with coconut beverage (can’t really call it coconut milk cuz it’s not technically the real coconut milk from the can). It’s the Silk stuff you get in the carton that you drink. That coconut stuff lol.  Yummy with the matcha all foamed up with the wire spinner thing (milk frother!).

Feeling a bit tired after a full day. It’ll be nice to have a day off from walking tomorrow since it’s going to pour rain all day. So I’m going to go swimming at the condo pool with my brother, his wife, my niece and her daughters. Should be a fun, noisy, good time. Will lift weights in the weight room too.

Today was a good day.

Comparison photos

This picture was taken today, October 12.

This picture was taken May 14th when I was my heaviest weight.

Sorry about the previous post

It made an automatic numbered list for me and I couldn’t figure out the html code to get it to fix itself properly. Anyhow, I’m sure you can figure out that yourself lol.

So I got my 1.1 mile walk in this morning at 6 am. It was a chilly morning where I was thinking man I need gloves at the start of this walk. But I tried walking fast a few times and that got my heart rate going and blood pumping. I was pretty hot by the time I got home. Had my yummy porridge and blueberries and almond butter.

Happy to say that I’m 246.8 lbs today, when I got up. Hurray! That’s the lowest I’ve been and down from 262 lbs when I first started weighing myself back in August. Hurray!

10 things you didn’t know about me.

Well, decided to do a 10 things you didn’t know about me. Likely, anyhow, if you don’t talk to me on a regular basis.

I took a scuba diving course and am a certified diver. I don’t use the certification however as I’m scared of the dark water in Canada and it’s so damn cold. Not to mention my wetsuit would never fit me and our tanks are way too old to be filled and be safe.

    1. I’ve been to Portugal when I was 11 years old with my parents. We flew into Lisbon, drove south to Albufeira and stayed at a rental villa there. I can remember the beach and the fish market. I can remember my mother buying eel to eat and me thinking no way am I eating THAT!!??!!! We did a day trip to Seville Spain and then went up to Lisbon for a few days where we visited Sintra. I can remember so many stairs. It was awesome for a young girl, full of energy. I’d be so tired now though lol.
    2. I’ve met in person the author Kathy Reichs who’s a forensic anthropologist who writes the Tempe Brennan books. She was in Hull, Quebec to give a speech and we went to see her speak and there was a line up where you could get books signed by her. Wonderful smart awesome lady. So interesting to listen to.
    3. I attended McGill University, MacDonald Campus in Montreal for a year. Didn’t do very well as my mind wasn’t on my studies and more on my upcoming trip to Europe with my friend Pam. But I studied Soil Science there. Interesting courses.
    4. I’ve visited Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Great Britain in 1985 with my best friend Pam on our “grand tour” of Europe. Was so much fun with our backpacks, our Eurail pass, and our passport, and our “Let’s Go” guide. We got to see the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and see a performance. Saw the famous eventing course in England at Burghley. Ate at a seafood restaurant on the Cote d’Azure in France. Saw the leaning Tower of Pisa. So many other notable events, too numerous to mention here. Was a fun time.
    5. I was on my dad’s boat for the Kingston sailing portion of the Montreal Olympics in 1976. His yacht was used as Mark boat #1 on Charlie course for the Tornado class for the races held. We had to record if the boats went around the mark correctly on a sheet of paper. The eventual gold medal winner Reg White of Great Britain and his crew member were so obviously better than the other sailors, by yards difference.
    6. I rolled my car on the Queensway which is the major road running across Ottawa on January 13th, 1982. I’ll never forget that day. It was a snowy day, and I was driving too fast and my car flipped over. If I hadn’t been wearing my seatbelt, or if the car roof had crumbled or I’d slid out into traffic I’d likely not be here today. Thank you God for sparing me that day.
    7. I rode my bike a lot when I was younger and one year, with Tim, we rode our bikes, according to my bike computer 1200 km. Including a few rides all the way up to Champlain lookout at the top of Gatineau parkway. Which means quite a few climbs and downhills on a very long road. The road down is full of long downhills where you’re going “very very fast”.
    8. I can speak some French. Not particularly well and certainly not fluent, but enough to get by in Quebec to get my point across.
    9. I took a sailing course in my teens at the Britannia yacht club in Ottawa and learned how to sail small boats including a Laser. It’s fun and challenging. I’m not particularly good at it nor can I say I’m particularly brave at it. But my brother Andrew has a Laser and I know how to sail it myself at his house on the lake there.

 

Easy day of swimming today

Tim’s legs were tired today and I didn’t feel like doing that much today either after yesterday’s long walk. So we had an easy day of it with swimming. Felt nice to be in the pool for half an hour and was relaxing and enjoyable. I bought a new pair of shoes for walking and a couple of new pairs of socks at the Running Room store in Ottawa. I got nice New Balance shoes that are best for my gait which is pronating meaning I roll and push off on my big toe. So the inner foam is much stiffer to counteract that force of my foot. Looking forward to putting some miles onto those shoes. They’re very comfortable.

We’re going to loosely follow the Hal Higdon guide and both enter a 5k walk, the Santa Shuffle in Ottawa on December 2nd. Tim said he’d join me for moral support and to give me somebody to talk to and for company. So we’ll train for that together. I’m very appreciative of him being willing to join me for that. It’ll make it easier and encourage me to keep going in case I feel like not doing it or dropping out. Group support is best, for sure.

So nice to feel my clothes are fitting looser. Such a wonderful feeling. I can get used to this LOL.

Today was a good day. I feel happy and joyful.

 

Did a beautiful walk we’d never done this morning

Well, we did a beautiful walk we’d never done before this morning. It was from the parking lot on Meech Lake Road up an escarpment, along a lovely long shaded forest path, down a steep long hill, then across a very sturdy bridge. We stopped to read the interpretation plaques where they stated they are trying to preserve the unique ecology of Meech Lake despite human encroachment. Then another hill upwards then a short way along there was a turn off to the Wilson Carbide Ruins. That path was significantly narrower and steeper and rougher with more roots and rocks to worry about. A lot of up and then a big downhill to get to the actual ruins which are on a little stream that flows out of a lake. Nice flow of water through the rocks. Rather spooky ruins, all in all.  We didn’t linger long as there was nowhere to sit down and it was all damp and rocky. We took our time climbing back up the steep hill and started seeing more and more people heading the other way. Quite a few people, about 30 in total I’d say by the time we got back to the car. On the downhills I was careful to not let my feet slip on the gravel or rocks. We sat and had a snack on the bridge. Apples and walnuts and water made for a tasty snack. Fueled us up for the long climb up the long steep hill. I had to pause in about 4 places to just slow the heart rate a bit. Wasn’t terribly out of breath but could feel the heart pumping, for sure. We were taking it very casually, not rushing things along like some people who passed us on their way back already. Tim has an artificial knee and didn’t want to jar it or make it sore in any way. So we just took it easy. Not in it to win any awards for speed, after all. Our own pace, we’d get back in our own time. We stopped and listened to bird calls, examined shelf fungi, saw Old Man’s Beard which is part fungi, part algae apparently? Tim looked it up after bringing a small piece home with him to identity it. Reminded us of Spanish moss, only much smaller and growing vertically from fallen branches. We saw plenty of chipmunks, red squirrels, a skink, and a salamander which I squealed at and jumped away from. Not keen on those lol.

Took us about 2 hours total but we were walking for about 1 hour 34 mins. according to Strava which I turned on, on my phone. We walked 2.6 miles and did 236 ft of elevation while walking.

Was nice to get back to the car and rest. Lunch was delicious when we got home, for sure. Count my blessings for a good hearty omelette cooked by Tim, for sure. I made sure to say thank you to him for making lunch. Then enjoyed a couple of nice cups of coffee.

Was a good walk today.

Been feeling nostalgic, kinda, for my fitness in past years

I searched on youtube for menu plans dietians and came across Becca Bristow’s channel and she’s done a marathon series here.  Making me nostalgic for years past, and training done and miles done and runner’s high felt and wishing I was 20-something and could still run for 60 minutes straight and feel good after. I have done that, by the way, when I was younger.

I was always good at running in school. I could run fast. My friend Pam was astounded how much faster I could run than she could. I used to jog around the neighbourhood of my parents house in my teens for exercise. Weak muscles in my arms but good lungs and heart and leg muscles. In my 20’s I was still running casually, for exercise, doing about 30 minute runs, not at any pace. Then in my 30’s when the weight started creeping on, I joined the Running Room store in Ottawa where they had regularly scheduled Wednesday night runs for various distances and Sunday morning run for various distances. I signed up for a 5 km race and trained for it by doing their prescribed plan of running a certain distance every few days etc. Mind is hazy, as to details. Felt so good to just zip that race out of my system and feel like “Woo, did that like a breeze!” Easy peasy when you’ve done the training. And when you’ve had no injuries or soreness. Did a few more 5 km races that year. Then the next summer I graduated to trying the 10 km race. Trained carefully. Was very lucky to have no injuries or soreness. Got my miles in, and again it was a breeze to do it for the first time. Did about 7 10 km races over the next 2 years. Then I decided to go for it and try to train for the half marathon. The big step up, as I said to myself. Sadly, I strained my calf muscle so had to lay off running completely. I also found out I was pregnant at this time. So there were issues with not feeling so well. But despite the issues of not feeling well. soreness, lack of training, and not feeling I was 100% ready to knock this one out of the park, I entered the race. I got myself in the slow-ass group, that’d be very late to finish. And I walked the first bit. Tried running and my leg hurt and I felt just ugh, tired. So I walked. The entire half marathon distance. I was tired at the end of it. My feel hurt like hell! But I did it! Only time I ever walked that far haha. But I did it! And got the medal to prove it. I finished the half marathon in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Yay!

Sadly my bipolar took over and I needed the meds and they screwed with my body making me feel tired and bloated and overweight and I couldn’t run for shit. And I gave up running.

But I’m going to get back to walking. I’m going to enter a 5 km race for walking. And do it. Just do it. And say I did it. At 56 years of age maybe? Maybe 57? We’ll see. I’m going to get inspired and just do it. Cuz I can.