Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Little Behind

I have been a little behind on blog posts lately, okay you got me, I have been a lot behind !  Good reasons though as I have had a Family Reunion, my daughter-in-law, grandchildren, and a best friend all visit us last week, and I feel I have been just darn busy.

I had a one month follow-up appointment with my Doctor yesterday.  I have lost 20 pounds since February (oh it is soooooo slow coming off).  He is very happy with the progress I am making, and have made, telling me I am a *star* patient (now that makes one feel pretty good, even at the best of times).

I feel after years of being on a roller coaster ride, I have been given my life back, and most days it feels really damn good.  I still experience small bouts of anxiety, however have not had a "full blown" anxiety attack since I have been on the new medication of mood stabilizer, Lamotrigine.  I could resent the fact I was not diagnosed until this late in life, but why do that when we can only move forward, and this I believe I am now doing in a better frame of mind.  I still have "bad" days, but everyone does so I would never expect to be an exception to the rule, even though I am sure I would kinda like not have any "bad" days ... *smile*.

I barely got any photos at this year's Masterson Reunion, however I had no problem getting my Uncle Reg to pose for me.

Here you go Uncle Reg, your honorary mention ! xo

From left to right, Briar, Chloe, Liz, Aiden & Connor.  They had a great time staying with us and got to spend two glorious weather days at Sauble Beach.  The Tuesday evening Poppa & I took them all to see Ice Age at the Drive-in movie in Owen Sound.  Precious memories in the making it was.

For the past month I have been walking early in the mornings, trying to be out of the house before six a.m., as it is cooler and I love trying to "catch" the sunrises.  My girlfriend, Shannon, went one morning with me, since I was not to take her photo, I have shared a photo of the view I am blessed with each morning I walk.

That was pretty much my last week in a nutshell, or should I say the "highlights" of it, as there was lots more then just this going on I am sure ... you know, the usual housework, meetings, Aussies, etc...

Speaking of Aussies, here are a couple of "fun" photos of two our our Aussies:

Bandit is pictured here with our rescue kitty, Paisley, who we acquired at the end of June.  His look is one of "really, you are going to leave me alone with "it" again!".  Never a dull moment with a kitten in the household.  Rob and I have never had a kitten before, as in the past we have adopted older cats, our one living until she was 15 years old.

This is a very rare photo of Portia in Paisley's bed, and Bandit is his, as Paisley usually monopolizes the "big" bed all to herself.

The other day I captured a great video of Paisley and Portia playing together, which can be viewed on The Checkerboard Aussies' Facebook page, by *clicking* HERE, and scrolling a bit down in the newsfeed.  Like I said, never a dull moment usually at our house.

Tomorrow afternoon I head into the Owen Sound Hospital for the "dreaded" mammogram.  Unfortunately it is a very necessary thing to have done, and because of my Mother, her sister, and both my sisters having had cancer, it is really important for me to go to my yearly appointments.  After the experience with my Mom having one at 80 years old to find she had aggressive breast cancer.  Yes you are never too old to have a mammogram !

After my appointment I am heading down to New Hamburg to my son & daughter-in-laws.  We have a friend getting married Saturday.  Rob has to stay behind to "hold down the fort" so to speak, and look after the Aussies and kitteh.  I have offered to take photos at the wedding, should they not have anyone else.  This offer was readily accepted so I hope I can manage to take a few nice photos for them.

Well I think I have managed to catch up with myself, so this is all she wrote this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Truly Blessed

It wasn't only a month a go or so that I had ran into my friend, Diana, who I used to volunteer with when I was part of the VON SMART Exercise Program a couple of years ago.  Diana share with me about her Niece, who resides in Scotland, telling me that she had Bi-Polar and had also suffered for years.

Diana told me her niece, Angela, had written a book and when they were going to go back across the Pond she was going to get a copy of the book for me.  Well..... this past weekend in pulls Diana and her husband, Alex.  She had sent for the book and had it mailed over here for me !!!  Yes, I am truly blessed with wonderful caring friends and family.

Angela's book gives her personal experiences first-hand through her writings and poetry.  Can You Hear Me Now? is available online by *clicking* HERE.

Thank you Diana ! now the holiday weekend is behind me I can now take some time every day and begin digging in to reading Angela's book, Can You Hear Me Now? Finding My Voice in a System That Stole It.

I can somewhat relate to Angela in the respect of finding healing in her writings, as I know blogging these past years have been therapeutic for me at times, plus it gives me something to look back on where I was at certain times in my life.  How do you reflect back on your life? do you keep a journal? photo albums? scrapbooks? 

I am certain I have mentioned before how hard our well water is.  There is iron and magnesium in it, and not sure what else.  Even with a Water Softener it still isn't as soft as I think it should be.  We have sent a sample of water away to determine exactly what is in it and what system we can purchase to take some of the minerals out of it.

In the meantime our bathroom still needs cleaned of the rust stains the well water leaves behind, and this is how I combat it.  Never the most pleasant task to be done in the house.

Cleaning the bathroom is not on the top of my list of the most favourite things that I want to do, however someone has to do the "dirty work" and my name got picked for the job !  

Even though my feet are very bruised from all the walking I have been doing the past couple of weeks, I never tire of the view on my very early morning walks ..... this morning was no exception.  I do love sunsets, but I also LOVE the sunises I am so fortunate to witness most mornings.

Temperatures have been sky high this Summer, with very little rain here.  We have been trying to stay cool by running our little window air conditioner on the cheap hydro times which is from 7 pm until 7 am each day.  Other then that we keep our ceiling fans going constantly to keep the air flow, and our windows all closed up to keep the heat OUT where it belongs.  Sleeping hasn't been too bad, as there has been a couple of nasty nights, however nothing we can't live with.  I do NOT want to complain as I am NOT a Winter person, so Spring, Summer & Fall suits me just fine.

It really is a bonus when we go out in our vehicles, as of course they are air conditioned ! and out on the motorcycle is even better if we ever find ourselves any time to do so.

How do you "beat the heat"?

I had some "happy" mail today from my blogger friend, Lynn.  We have been exchanging note via snail mail the past couple of months (thanks for initiating Lynn), which has been fun to get.  Lynn has a Foodie Blog that you may find & enjoy by *clicking* HERE.

I don't think I can ever say enough, "I am truly blessed with such great friends and family members, who most certainly know who they are.  Thank you xo

Not much more to say this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Early Mornings

The past couple of weeks I have been having myself some early mornings, leaving the house anywhere from 5:30 to 6:00 am, so I can get my daily walk in before the heat has saturated the day.

I take photos of the sunrise over Colpoy's Bay, where I walk beside pretty much each day.  I have entered a few of my photos in a #PictureOntario contest that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has on right now, so fingers crossed that at least one of my photos gets viewed.

As usual I love sharing and being shared with ..... I hope you enjoy the scenery as much as I do.

Bandit has been a great walking partner each morning.  He keeps the pace and never talks back to me or complain (not that any of my other walking companions do either, Sharon, BJ, or Lynn).

Rob and I have been enjoying our company this weekend, and the weather has been absolutely stellar for the Civic Holiday Weekend.

Portia and Bandit, especially Bandit as he is over with them all the time, have also been enjoying "Auntie" Vicki's company.  Vicki does "spoil" her own doggies, and our Aussies as well.

Things to do and places to be, so for now I am off and running, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

**Please respect the ownership of my photos, and request permission if shared with photo credit given to me.  Thank you.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Busy, Busy & Busier

Yes since I have been feeling 100% better I have been busy, busy & busier like there has been no tomorrow !

Last weekend I headed down to my Son, Paul's, where I had a great visit with them all.  Paul & I even picked up my sister Donna, and we all went shopping at Costco Kitchener together.  A short visit with my sister, but still nice to see her in person.

This week I was very happy to have lunch with my Auntie Gladys, and my first Cousin, Cindy.  They travelled up to Wiarton, and of course we had lunch at the Green Door Cafe.

What else have I been upto that has been keeping me so busy, one might ask? well I have been going 90 at trying to loose the 60 lbs I put on last year from all the meds I had been taking.

I have been trying my best to get out twice a day, however that is not always possible, but I have been usually getting out before 6 am for a morning walk averaging about 1.67 miles at a time.

I use two apps on my Iphone to track my walking throughout the day.  One is Endomondo and the other is Pacer.  Love both apps as they keep me on-track.  I also use an app called "Fitness Pal" to keep track of my 1200-1400 a day calorie intake.  

More info on Endomondo, *click* HERE, on Pacer, *click* HERE (free download app for iphone), and My Fitness Pal, *click* HERE.  All these apps have been very instrumental in my weight loss endeavours.  To date I have lost 17 lbs since February, and also some inches off my thighs, stomach and waist.  Trust, you, me, it has been a difficult journey some days, but I am persistent as I want to get back at my "normal", or "old" weight.

What else have I been up to, other then the every day humdrum of housework? well I have been back taking a few photos again ...... while out on my early morning walks along the beautiful Colpoy's Bay.

I usually take a "new" photo each morning on my walk, as it is every changing.  Really I am fortunate that we live in such a beautiful Ontario area.

This weekend is the Civic Holiday weekend.  Our friends, Vicki & Doug arrived today to visit over the weekend.  I am thinking the weather is to be amazing, so perfect for them to have a little holiday away from their home.

Speaking of friends, I think I will stroll on over to their RV to have myself a wee visit with them, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Happy Weekend

This past weekend had been a happy weekend for us as we had our youngest son, Paul, his wife, Liz, and our grandchildren, Josh, Aiden, Chloe, Briar & Connor arrive on our doorstep late Saturday afternoon.

Once they had arrived we had a bit of bbq'd hamburgers, along with potato salad, then headed on out for some fun at Berford Lake.

It only took me about 6 photos to finally get Paul to *smile*.  The kids all loved exploring the shoreline as well as swimming.

Josh was in his glory catching crayfish of all sizes !

We must not forget Missy Mercedes, who also had a fun weekend with us.

Sunday morning we at some more fun at Wiarton's Bluewater Park, then had lunch before the "family" headed back to their own home.  Thank goodness they have a van ! however I still think they could also use one of those car top carriers .... to stuff even more into.

We always love having the grandkids come up for a visit.  This is the first time they have been up since Christmas.  Rob's daughter and her two boys will be coming up soon to a cottage close by they have rented.  Hopefully we will be able to spend some "quality" time with them while they are here.

I got started back this morning on my early morning walks.  I usually head out just before 6 am.  Nice and quiet at that time in the morning.

The scenery is forever changing looking out across Colpoy's Bay.  I try to get a different photo each day.

After walking this morning I spent the day doing the usual morning routine, then adding to the day by cutting the lawn and pulling some twitch grass out of my flowerbed (lots more still to pull, dang stuff).  Other then that is has pretty much been a mundane kind of day here, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

A Clean Bill

I have decided for myself to go walking daily even if I do not have a walking partner to go with some days.  We all have to do for ourselves at times, or we would sometimes do nothing, yes?

A couple of years ago when I was in a manic state, I was walking at least 2 or 3 hours a day, either outside or in on my treadmill.  Trust me other then not sleeping well those days, I must admit I was physically in much better shape.  My Goal? is to get back where I was then (less the manic state).

I have been out the door before 6 am, as I have to get back to look after our Aussies by 7 am.  Also early mornings are a time to try and "beat the heat".  We most certainly are getting our share of heat the past few days, not that I am complaining as I am not the biggest fan of the Winter months.

I have been fortunate the past two mornings on capturing, what I think are, some beautiful scenes looking out over Colpoy's Bay from where I walk through Wiarton's Bluewater Park, and along by the Wiarton Marina.

I hope they are enjoyed by more then myself, so I have shared them on my Facebook page and here.

Hashtag: #PictureOntario

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is running a Photo Contest with a chance to win $300 for an Ontario Park.  I have entered the first photo, please wish me luck, as if I ever won it would be the very first time I entered one of my photos into a contest.  Thanks in advance for everyone's vote of confidence !

Rob and I very seldom have our photo taken together, and my Cousin Vi was kind enough to take our photo at our Cousin's Wedding reception a couple of weeks ago and give us a copy.

Hopefully not too bad of a looking couple.  Just a little older and a little heavier, but still with *smiles* on our faces, so this is a GOOD thing.

Last month at my Doctor's he changed me up from seeing him every two weeks to once a month.

Today was my once a month appointment with him.  I am pleased to say I do not have to go back again for another month as I am doing so well.  I still have the odd anxiety issue, however so far I have been able to deal with them and get them under control.  My overspending that I had been experiencing last Summer in my Bipolar depression state has came to a halt (thank goodness).  I had my Doctor laughing about that, as I told him I had just found a brand new bra in a drawer that I had bought last year, but had been quite delighted to find it as it had saved me by going out to buy a new one this Year !   Ha ! it is a good thing we can laugh at ourselves, as well as give someone else a good laugh.

Anyhow my blood pressure is great, I have lost 17.5 lbs (still on the decline), and my Bipolar is quite under control, much to my delight to be out of that dark area in my head, thanks to the Lamotragine.  Yes it was nice to walk out of my Doctor's office with a clean bill.

I know I have thanked all in my life who have stood by me throughout my known illness the past Year, however I really can't express enough how really grateful I am for the support.  Thank you to Everyone, as I so appreciate all the kindness and understanding I have received from so many. It was this kindness that gave me just enough thread of hope to keep going.  Once again, thank you.

Since the heat wave has hit us, we have been keeping all the doors and windows in the house closed up and all the fans going full speed.  How has everyone else been beating the heat?

Anyhow on the note of beating the heat, I think I will keep myself plunked on my couch for awhile and enjoy a nice glass of Pure Leaf Iced Tea, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Birthday Celebrations

I had a pretty busy week last week.  I headed down to New Hamburg on the Wednesday, July 6th, as it was my youngest son's birthday, and I wanted to surprise him.  Yes I did surprise him.

As it happened a truck had broke down at his work, resulting in him getting the day off which was perfect !  It was also our granddaughter, Chloe's birthday on the 8th of July.  Lots of birthday celebrations on my visit.

Chloe turned 11 years old.  She loves the BBQ sauce from Miner's Maple Products, so I had my friend, Abby, make a 1 litre bottle for her.  She was one happy camper when she got it (and she will be sharing all of that with the rest of the family).

We all had a fun day with Paul at home for his 33rd Birthday !  The five kids, Josh, Aiden, Chloe, Briar & Connor made him a super huge "candy" card.

It is nice that I am able to go down to visit every once in awhile, as Rob is so very good to hold down the fort while I am gone.

When I had returned back home my Clematis have been coming into full bloom.  I so enjoy the three different varieties.

I have finally gotten back to walking more again, and strive to do so on a daily basis.  My friend, BJ and I, walked almost 4 miles the other day, and this morning I did 1.66 miles.  Walking the past few months with my friend, Sharon, really helped me build my stamina again.  Thank goodness for friends !!!

On our walk BJ and I had been fortunate to see Wiarton Willie out, and then came upon a red headed woodpecker, who had been very intent on whatever he had been after.  I could not believe the woodpecker never even budged as we passed by him.  Yes VERY INTENT.

Ha ! I suppose I should think about blogging again every day, or at least every second day, since I have a difficult time some days remembering what I did !

This is all she wrote this day, Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard.
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