Pollen, Humidity, Allergies, Asthma and Determination

I slacked off this past winter on my walking.  So started back in on the treadmill in March, but really not exerting myself.  Found out rather quickly when I took a couple of outside hikes that this year is going to be a little tough on me.

The pollen count is way higher than it has been in the past couple of years and the humidity drains your energy.  My allergies are over active and I’ve had a few minor asthma flare ups.

So on one of my routine visits to my doc, he suggested I use my inhaler PRIOR to hiking and take an antihistamine. Just have to find one that doesn’t knock me out.

Anyway, I’ve been doing more walking outside, through my neighborhood.  My normal walk is 1.2 miles and takes me about 30 minutes with my dog.

Today, I tried a different route.  It is longer (1.6 miles and 43 minutes) and a good portion of it is uphill.  WOOHOO!  I made it around.  I did use my inhaler prior to the walk and was only huffing and puffing on the uphill part.

Now the kicker will be to do this walk on a regular basis.  Wish me luck.

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5/22/2015 UPDATE:  I am managing to do this walk at least 4 x a week.  Already planning a new, longer route for the future.

Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site

Youngest and I went on a short hike at Arcadia Mills Archaeological Site.  It is open sunup to sunset and is free to the public. (except for guided tours).

A lot has changed since we were last here.  There used to be one boardwalk area, then a footpath on somewhat rough terrain and a scare the hell out of you suspension bridge over the creek.  That has all been replaced with a boardwalk and steel and wood bridge over the creek.  There is still a short footpath of about 1/2 mile.  We trekked it all today.

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Perdido Bay Trail

This past Sunday I agreed to go on a 7+ mile hike with my youngest son.  I figured with me walking on the treadmill for an hour a day and walking the dog, I would be prepared for this hike.  I also figured it would take us about 3 hours max. It took us 5.5 hours…not what I expected.

I was SO WRONG!!!  After about 2.5 to 3 miles, fatigue set in.  I had to take frequent rest breaks.  I had episodes of shortness of breath which I attributed to the heat and humidity.  I drank lots of water, but still felt wiped out for the remainder of the trail.

I did manage to finish, thanks to the patience and encouragement of my son.  And, yes, I am going to do the trail again….when I am better prepared.  I plan to utilize shorter trails until this coming fall when I will again attempt this trail.

I did manage to get some photos of our trek.  There were places with standing water that we had to either walk through or find a way around.  Part of the trail passes the beach and part is a savannah like area…grasses and pine trees and no shade.  There were tons of tadpoles, baby toads and adult toads along the way.  And, of course, way too many gnats, mosquitoes, and no see ’ems flying around, biting and sucking blood.

ETA: Pay careful attention to your clothing.  Wear lightweight, comfortable clothing.  I wore jeans and a t-shirt.  The t-shirt was fine, but after a couple of hours the jeans felt like they weighed a 100 pounds.  And use an insect repellant and a sunscreen.  I did have on my Tilly hat which protected my face and neck.

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How to Make a Corded Envelope Style Pillow

Per a friend’s request I am posting a photo tutorial on a corded envelope style pillow.  Making the cord is not difficult.  It can be a little tricky to sew it in place, but it is not impossible.  Just take your time.

First, decide on what size pillow you want to make.  Then purchase or make your own pillow form.

When cutting out the squares for the pillow case, they must be one (1) inch larger than your pillow form.  So if you have a 12 inch pillow form, you squares must be 13 inches.

When I cut out squares for front and back, I cut out 3 and they are all the same size.  Two I use for the back of the pillow. I fold over and sew about 1/4 to 1/3 of the back pieces.  You will see this in the photos.

I use 2 1/2 inch wide strips, sewn together end to end, to encase the cord.  For the cord, I use cotton clothes line.  It is soft and pliable and fairly easy to sew through.

Now for the photos:

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Here is another corded pillow I made.  This one is appliqued.  The owl I drew on regular 8.5 x 11 paper and cut out the pieces.  I used Steam a Seam 2 to attach the pieces and ironed them down. Then satin stitched around them.

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Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

April 5, 2015 (Easter Sunday) we decided to take a drive to Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park and take some photos of the area and especially the Pitcher Plants.

The park utilizes the honor system in collecting entry fees, which are cheap, by the way.  There is a small pavilion at the entrance and an information board about the 2 trails through the park.  One is about a mile or so long, round trip and the other is 7+ miles long, round trip.  We opted for the shorter one yesterday.

My youngest and I took quite a few photos of the trail and the bayou at its end.  Hope you enjoy them.

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What Happened to Good Old Fashioned Discipline?

Yes, that’s my question.  I’m talking about the kind that you and I received as a child.  The kind that we knew would come if we misbehaved or caused our parents any kind of grief.

When we were young we were taught the consequences of our actions.  We quickly learned the rules of appropriate behavior and the type of punishment that followed should we not abide by those established rules of behavior.  There was no “time out”.  There was applied “science”, if you will, in the form of a switch, paddle or belt to our padded posterior.

Children learned quickly what was acceptable and what was not.  Our parents did not have to worry about what we might do in public because we had learned the lessons of acceptable behavior.  I’m not saying we were perfect little angels, because sometimes we did test those lessons and were forced to re-learn them.

We did not have parents who refused to accept the job of forging us into responsible adults.  Our parents didn’t ignore us until we caused a major crisis or run us to the doctor seeking a diagnosis for our behavior so that they could use that as an excuse for a lack of discipline on their part.

Yes, I have seen that.  I am a retired nurse and I have seen my fair share of parents who don’t want to take responsibility for their children.  And it seems to be getting worse on a daily basis.

I am not advocating beating your children, but a pop on the butt alerts the child to the fact that there are consequences to their actions.  But parents must be consistent in order to raise the child to be a responsible member of society.  Inconsistency does the child no good whatsoever.

It seems today’s parents, don’t want to discipline their children.  They are quick to blame someone else when their child does wrong instead of correcting the child’s behavior.  And then they wonder why no one wants them or their children around.

This little essay will probably offend some folks, I really don’t care.  It needs to be said.

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