A Walk on the Wild -Powder Room- side…

I’ve pretty much solidified my walking route home…when I get to walk, that is.  We’ve had a lot of wet weather so far this summer.  Last week, I got 2 clear days to walk – the remainder of the week had rolling storms consigning me to watching the world through streaky windshield wipers.  This week was a bit better…but I think my demon-weather summoning fat cells are continuing their spell work.

On the (not) plus (-size anymore) side – I had to make another journey to Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul for smaller pants – the 16’s finally got to the point of ‘I don’t need to unbutton the fly to take them off.’  I stocked up on some funky shirts while I was there.  I may actually LIKE going clothing shopping again.  Three cheeses for Ketosis!!!

Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!  Hip Hip Havarti!!!!

Some of my more dirt-minded (NOT dirtY-minded…watch the difference :D) co-workers have started to lament on the status of their gardens.  Vegetable gardens all over the area are starting to look pretty sad with all the moisture coming down.  Plants need sunshine as well as water, and they’re starting to REALLY need a few hot, sunny days.

I hope things turn around, for Erica’s Garden’s Sake.  Cucumbers should be cherished!

Aaaaaanywaaaaaaaaaaay….

Today’s walk started out pretty normal.  Some sunshine peeking through the clouds, a bit of a breeze, a selection of my favorite tunes queued up on my iPod.

Through the industrial leg.  Check.

Past the Greenspace.  Check.

Homage given to the Fox River….Check.

It’s that witchy thing, where I bow to the river.  Just go with it…

Down into Bethesda Park….check.

Now wait a minute…what’s THAT?

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No…not that.  THAT…

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There…on the light post…

 

OH MY GAWD!

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It can’t be…but it is…

That innocent little cup from work…the one that broke containment a couple of months ago…is now stalking me on my walking route!

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Walkabout Down Memory Lane

I may have mentioned I started walking to work this spring…

 

Ok…so I’m kinda obsessed, and ya’ll get to share.

This morning, I was passed by a commuter on roller skates.  She was a middle-aged lady, wore a fairly standard backpack, and sported a bright pink helmet with matching knee and elbow pads.  The wheels on her skates may have matched the bright pink of the rest of her ensemble, but had been darkened slightly from use.

She was also on the street – which is a hell of a lot smoother than the sidewalk I was currently pounding.

I had to giggle just a bit – but not loud enough to put her off her stride.  I’d hate to cause an accident with my rather hard-to-explain mirth.

See – I did the roller skate thing a long time ago.

Remember wavy

Look out!!!! It’s the ‘memory shimmer!’

I officially became a teenager in the tender year of 1980.

but I’m still 29 thanks to ‘female’ maths

In this year of big, permed hair, screen-printed satin jackets, and eye-blistering neon-colors – one of the biggest social gathering places for those newly minted teens was the skating rink.  There, you could blithely roll your heart out on a stretch of perfectly level, perfectly straight, and perfectly clean poured concrete, while the punk music blasted out of the speakers and stage lights flared, spun and flickered across the painted expanse.

All your classmates were there, too…doing what teens do worst – attempting to flirt with the opposite sex.

Well, except for me.  I was more interested in actually skating.

At this age, I didn’t yet understand the biological Human directive to form pair bonds…

I had a pair of rink skates.  Not the little metal numbers you had to screw onto your shoes (although I owned a pair or two of those, too…) – but a real pair of above-the-ankle leather boots with the wheel assembly permanently bolted onto the hard sole.  I dressed ’em up with hot pink wheels, neon-purple, sparkly laces, and pink/purple puffballs strapped to the toes.  I even had a bright blue satin jacket with the rink’s name screen-printed across the back.

The rink was within walking distance of home, and I went there every chance I could.  Not that there were a lot of chances in 1980.  The parent’s divorce was final, and Mom had moved back to the ‘ancestral’ part of Wisconsin with my and my little brother in tow to work a 2nd shift job in a nursing home.  Guess who got the responsibility of making sure I and my little 10 year old brother had food at night?

I can still wield a can opener with the best Olympiads!

So 1980 was memorable, if only for the year I got my first ‘real’ skates, learned how to heat up cans of food, and realized I had little awareness of or interest in the whole boy/girl attraction thing.

I loved my skates though…they represented freedom & frivolity!

Now…I’m just gonna fast-forward through the remains of the 80’s.  The fashion trends are starting to make a comeback, anyway, so why remember when I can just look out a window and see the same stuff on the street?

Yea!!!  I’m 20.  Out on my own for the first time eveah!  Just me and my wits against the rest of society!

Damn…this sucks.  

A broken-down car, some mother-fu*k3#! stealing my bicycle, less than $50 in the bank, a tiny efficiency apartment with a lecherous landlord, a job waiting tables in an extremely depressed segment of the US…

Yea…I had to walk to work.  But, unlike now…back then I resented having to do it.  I’d rather have had wheels.

Can you see where I’m going with this?  I HAD wheels – my old trusty freedom-loving skates.  And, unlike the bicycle that went off on its own, the skates I could bring inside the restaurant for protection against the tender mercies of the more ‘unsavory’ elements in town.

So I skated to work once…

 

 

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ONCE!

It didn’t go so well.  First…I was out of practice.  Second, the sidewalks had cracks and pits and ankle-breaking perils (sticks, small stones, various debris) randomly scattered about.  Third – curbs.  Do you know how difficult it is to step off a curb with wheels strapped to your feet???

Lastly – there was traffic.  Both other pedestrians and actual cars.

There were no cars in the Skate-Rink…and everyone rolled the same direction.

Welcome to real life!

 

I did survive that trip in to work…sweaty and shaking but intact and unbroken.  At the end of that shift serving grouchy people burgers & fries…mopping up various spills and cleaning tables that the public left incredibly messy – I didn’t even bother lacing the skates back on.  I just looped ’em over my shoulders and walked back to my little shelter.

I don’t think I ever wore my skates again.

 

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Somebody Order an Ark?

We had a weather-event in Wisconsin last week Tuesday.  It got wet.

Really wet.

Really, REALLY wet.

Dinosaur weather

I remember 2 ladies at work not able to make it in, as they were flooded in.  I remember one lady who managed to get TO work getting a news push, citing the dam that was 2 blocks from her house had failed.

(for the record…everyone ended up safe, as sane as before, and semi-dry…)

I remember having to drive to work, as I don’t own a wetsuit or flippers.

I also remember walking to work the day after the stormage pounded through…because I had to detour.  Bethesda park’s walking path was flooded.  Now…I could get ON the footbridge spanning the Fox River…but I couldn’t get off it.

Here’s a couple of shots

 

This one, taken earlier in the spring, the Fox River is firmly in it’s banks, you can see the walking path winding all the way across the park.20170508_165502

Here’s the shot from the same vantage point.  You can see where the water has totally covered most the path.

Flood July 2017 Bethesda Park

This morning when I once again donned my walking shoes and set off…I thought I’d at least see where the water now was in the park, and see if I could now get through.

Almost success!

I can now get onto the park grounds from the footbridge, but I have to go straight up the hill instead of the walking path down by the river.  I call it ‘Taking the High Road.’

I’ll take it whatever way I can get it 😀

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No (ah) Ark Required!

Get on my Lawn!

For quite some time, now, I have a segment of my walk where I abandon the solid concrete and put feet on the ground itself.  I feel by doing so, I connect just that much better with our Earth.  Connecting with nature (even the tiny bits you find in your standard city) is something that speaks beyond words.

There is this long swatch of grass bordering the railroad tracks and the river.  Because it’s this close to the tracks, it’s considered the domain of the city (you can’t build that close to the tracks because…well…when rail accidents happen, they tend to spread their destruction), and thus, is fair game for any walkers who wish to wander.

So…I leave the pavement at the beginning of this swatch, and tromp across a narrow band of green with the river on one side, the street on the other, and the tracks once the river bends north to swing around Bethesda Park.

Right here…the little red line…is part of my walk home.

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The trees along this stretch fan out and over the grass, giving me a bit of shade.  The breeze comes up from the river, giving me a bit of relief from the (usually) hot sun.  It’s here that I offer a bit of blessing, and a bit of homage, to the Fox River.

I honor the Fox River with a bow and a few soft words of admiration when I come up to this point on my homeward journey, because water is life, for which I am grateful.

The Natural has taken it upon itself to give a little something back to me.

Raspberry bush

I have been graced with a tangle of wild raspberry bushes under the canopy of trees bordering the river.

I take one or 2 berries a day…just a bit of sweetness for my walk.  I leave the rest.  So far, the bushes haven’t been stripped by any foragers…either of the 4 legged or 2 legged kind.  I feel it’s a bit of a secret understanding between the Natural and I – and a tangible display of our mutual acceptance of each other.

 

One Year on Ketosis!

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I zipped right past my anniversary!

On the weekend of Memorial Day, 2016, I decided, rather on a whim, to give this Keto thing that my friend was on, a try.

Soooo…like all good diets, I made a spreadsheet.

Wait a minute???

One of the things that ketoer’s harp on is consumption tracking in the beginning.  In order to figure out what to cut from your dietary intake, you gotta first know what             -exactly-   you’re putting in your mouth.  In this age of smart phones and apps, most suggest my fitness pal to track their intake.

I’m not romantically, physically, emotionally or mentally tied to my smart phone.  In fact, the more I can ignore the demonic little piece of tech, the better I like it…so nix on the whole “there’s an app for that” thing.  But I am a self-confessed excel junkie – so a spreadsheet to track daily, weekly, monthly intakes was right up my alley.

A year later – I’d say I’ve had some very noticeable results.

I don’t know how much I weighed when I started, as my SOP was to avoid scales like the plague, but I’m gonna guess it was upwards of 260.  At 5’4″ and that much poundage, yea, I was a ball.  But, hey…round is a shape, right?

I know I went from size 22-24W pants to a size 16  – and even those are now starting to bag.  Ditto on some of my favorite shirts.  I went to the local Goodwill a couple of weeks back, and went mad in their shirts department…I can now wear a ladies size large.  I’d have been lucky to find 2x or 3x that fit before.

People I haven’t seen in a while are starting to tell me “Man…you’ve lost a LOT of weight…”  I usually tell ’em “Keto done me good…”

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I made a choker necklace for S a year+ ago – it didn’t buckle around my neck then – it does now.  And even my ring (featured a couple of times here on the T&T) got too loose to wear without emergency reinforcements!

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t discuss the underwear…you’re welcome!

Am I curious enough to actually step on a scale to see how much tonnage I’ve removed?  Maybe.

Anyway – here’s me before and a year into Keto… and looking forward to year 2!

 

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Before….

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1 Year Low-Carb

Goodbye Darkness, my old friend…

Right…

I haven’t had a drop of anything caffeinated since the fascinating brush with the new pain chart last week won me an all-expenses-NOT-paid trip to the ER via ambulance last week.  It was a hard decision.

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I had been drinking the occasional energy drink on the weekends, because I wanted something sweet and cold, instead of hot. (Not that big a deal – they’re loaded with chemical stimulants, anyway…)

 

 

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The Diet Coke is now officially history.  (ditto – chemical shit-storm, anyone?)

 

 

 

 

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But the coffee & cream in the AM?

**sob**

Gawd, I miss my coffee…

 

 

 

 

Oddly enough, it’s not missed nearly as much when I walk as when I drive in to work.  The fresh air, exercise, and sunshine must be fully waking me up so I don’t NEED  my coffee in those mornings…but when I end up having to drive in to work, I feel my ass just a-draggin all day long.

 

I have to wave valiantly to you, my dark, hot, creamy & sweet (thanks to some Torani syrups) lover…but the romance is over.  Maybe you and Catherine’s Clothing Stores can get together?

 

Now what am I gonna do with my funny coffee cup collection?

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The Rock

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Nope – not the wrestler/actor…although, it certainly FELT like I’d been body-slammed.

I’m talking about a kidney stone.  I had one make its way down from the kidney to the bladder yesterday.

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For the record, I did hit 12 yesterday.  Max Suckage.

 

When they say ‘You never forget your first,’ a kidney stone may have been what they had in mind.

But – I did survive my trip to the ER via an ambulance, after scaring the bejezus out of my co-workers – and survived the stone’s travel from the kidney to the bladder.  I even survived a brief episode of ‘bumper beds,’ when the lady who was wheeling me from the CAT scan room back to my ER room banged the bed into a wall.

I now get the lovely task of waiting until it takes the final leg of its journey, out of my bladder and into (hopefully) the strainer the ER provided to catch it.  They want to analyze it and find out what substance it’s made of, so dietary recommendations can follow.

I already made some changes in the daily diet on recommendations I found on the web…going meatless for my work lunches (I still get cheese & butter, though, which is an acceptable substitute for the Keto-me), looking for protein/fat sources with a little less sodium, and seriously amping up the water intake.

I also have magnesium and potassium citrate supplements on their way.  Both are recommended in the prevention of future stones.

I have a feeling there’s gonna be a fight with a nutritionist in my immediate future, though, because I’m not willing to give up ketosis.  A year of no heartburn after 20+ years trying everything under the sun to alleviate it – yer damn straight I’m gonna fight to keep my diet.

 

Should be interesting.

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