Walking With My Dog

Bella is a half Westie, half Spitz, 20 pound terror on 4 legs when I take a walk with her.

She’s smart, energetic and totally stubborn. She also has the attention span of a rock. She is easily distracted by sights, sounds and smells. I have tried everything to get her to pay attention to me and not sprint off to the end of her leash checking out those sights, sounds and smells. If she meets another dog on our walk, she takes a defensive, aggressive posture and barks her head off. I’ve tried picking her up, yelling, jerking the leash, and, in frustration, I have popped her one. Nothing worked. If she was determined to be Lord of the Manor, barking out orders to her subordinates, she was going to do that no matter what I tried.

Today was different. I planned ahead. I know she is food oriented, so I took one of her favorite snacks, Pupperoni, broken into small pieces and put the pieces in my fanny pack. I kept one piece in my hand for the expected misbehavior I knew was going to happen.

Sure enough, we ran into Elvis and his human. I could tell she was on the verge of erupting into a full blown barking maniac any second. So I waved the snack in front of her nose. Lo and behold she kept her eyes on me until we were well past Elvis. When we reached a safe distance, I gave her the snack and took out another one just in case.

Well there were no further incidents on our 2 mile walk. She stayed next to me for the duration. When we arrived home, I gave her the one in my hand.

Now that I know what to do, our walks should be much more enjoyable.

Bella Evening 005a

Update:

Had to take Bella in for her shots today. I know she is not a friendly dog, so I had to muzzle her. She didn’t like it, but I’m glad I did. She growled at the vet tech. Just cannot take the chance that she might bite someone.

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Take a Hike!

Yes, take a hike. You want to get fit and a gym is not your thing. Well there are other things you can do and you don’t literally have to take a “climb Mt. Everest” type hike to get there.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Visit a local museum. Walk around and enjoy the exhibits. Take pictures and document your trip.

2. Go to your local zoo. Feed the animals and enjoy the day.

3. Visit a public garden in your area. Take pictures of the flora and fauna. Enjoy being outside.

4. Go to a state or federal park. Walk the nature trails. Look for things you wouldn’t normally see in your neighborhood.

5. Go to yard sales, especially neighborhood yard sales. Park your car and walk from house to house.

6. If your area has a yearly Parade of Homes (a builder’s way of showing off), visit each house in the new neighborhood.

7. Visit your downtown area. You may see something you haven’t seen before.

8. Visit historic sites. Learn about your town or state.

These are just a few ideas to get you up and moving.

See you on the good side of healthy.

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BTW, this photo was taken yesterday at Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama. It is a lovely place and takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to walk thru. That does not include a tour of the house, which I recommend at least once if you visit there.

Wearing Socks in Florida

I’m a knitter, a sock knitter primarily. I just love to knit them and wear them. And, yes, I live in Florida. I wear socks year around.

Why? you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. First, it does get extremely hot and humid here. That includes the sand at the beach. That sand can blister your feet in seconds. Then you can give up walking for awhile. The sun can blister the tops of your feet while the sand takes care of the bottoms.

Second, this is the South. Air conditioning is used everywhere. I don’t mean just cool comfort from the heat outside. I mean freezing temperatures, walk-in freezer type temperatures in stores, theaters, homes, businesses, schools, etc. That cool blast feels pretty good the first few minutes you are inside, then you begin to get cold and that includes your feet.

Third, I make my socks with a wool blend sock yarn. Wool pulls moisture away from the skin so you don’t have that yukky, sticky, wet squishy feeling while wearing your socks.

So, I’ll continue to wear my socks year round…in Florida.

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That Scale is a BULLY!!

Yes, that’s right. That weight scale is a bully! It governs your every move. You hop on it secretly wishing to see less numbers and it doesn’t cooperate with you. It is a liar and a cheat. It lies to you about your healthy lifestyle choices. It cheats you out of feeling good about yourself.

So why do you allow that? You wouldn’t tolerate a bully at work or school? You would shut them down ASAP. Get rid of it! At the least, move it to another room that you don’t go in very often.

You are doing everything necessary for a healthy, more fit you. You eat healthy and you exercise. You want numbers? Use a measuring tape. Monitor the losses in inches not pounds.

Don’t let a scale cheat you out of feeling good about your healthy accomplishments.

See you on the good side of healthy.

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Measuring tape aB

Fingering Yarns Are NOT All the Same!

I want to talk to all of you knitters out there who knit socks. I love knitting socks and I love sock yarn or fingering yarn. But they are NOT all the same.

Most patterns call for 50g (grams) per sock. So you know it will take 2 to make a pair. But do you pay attention to the yardage/meters? If not, you should. Why? Because not all 50g skeins have the same yardage/meters. They vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. I know when I knit socks it will take close to 200 yards per sock to complete, so 400 yards for a pair.

Here are a few pics to show the difference in fingering yarns.

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As you can tell by the above pic, these skeins are different sizes. Each is 50g or 1.75 ounces, but the number of yards/meters varies in each one. The Patons Kroy has 166 yards/152m; the Knit Picks has 218 yards (doesn’t list the meters); the Regia has 210 meters (yardage not listed, but is over 200 yards) and the Pegasus is 180 meters (196 yards).

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This sock I knitted from the Patons had a very, very small amount left over. And that is only because I decided not to complete 5 rounds of the cuff pattern, just 3 rounds. If I had done 5 rounds, I would have run out of yarn on the first sock.

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So be careful when choosing your fingering yarn. Compare the yards/meters required in your pattern to what is on the label. You may need more than 2 to complete your socks.

Water, The Elixir of Life

Everyone knows water is essential to life. On average, a person can survive only 3 to 5 days without water. And, of course, there are other factors to consider. Factors that affect water deprivation are how hydrated you were before you were in a situation with nothing to drink and temperature and humidity. Hopefully, none of us are ever in that life threatening situation.

So how do you get your water? Tap or bottled? According to the Mayo Clinic, both are comparable in terms of safety. It is only a matter of preference. The safety of tap water is governed by the EPA and bottled water is governed by the FDA. Now if you have a well as your only supply of water, you should have that tested at least yearly.

For personal preference, I use tap water. It’s more convenient and less expensive. And I drink a lot of water daily, usually more than the recommended 8 glasses (8 ounces each).

Have you had your daily dose of water?

See you on the good side of healthy.

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Diet Destroyers

Oh NO! Auntie Vera is having a family reunion next month and you know there will be all kinds of food there that you should stay away from. You are seriously thinking of not attending. Seriously? Why?

Consider yourself lucky. Yes, that’s right…LUCKY! You know, ahead of time, that there will be all kinds of temptations. You also know which foods are your weakness, foods you just can’t resist, no matter how committed you are to your diet.

First, remember that you will have binge days. Everybody has them. It’s NOT the end of the world. And one day out of 30 is not going to ruin you or your diet.

Personally, I try to live by my own 2 bite rule. I know I will want that fried chicken and potatoe salad and piece of pie. So I grab a small plate (you can’t put a ton of food on a small plate). Then I try to fill up on the foods I know are good for me. It is after this that I begin using my 2 bite rule. I know I still want the foods that aren’t good for me. So I cut a piece of fried chicken that equals 2 bites, a small spoonful of potatoe salad that equals 2 bites and a small piece of pie that equals 2 bites. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But this way I get a taste of the foods I love, without over indulging. I’ve satisfied my craving and I haven’t ruined my diet. I’ve had a good time at Aunt Vera’s and I’m not depressed about what I ate.

There are all kinds of ways of dealing with diet destroyers that don’t involve self loathing. Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to attend those parties, get togethers or special nights out. You are a strong person and you can win the battle.

Have faith in yourself. And if you do blow it…well tomorrow is a brand new day, a new beginning.

See you on the good side of healthy.

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