Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thankful Sunday--November 29, 2015

I am thankful for new motivation.

I've never been a regular exerciser. While I am active and have done various exercise programs from time to time, I've never experienced the "exercise high" that comes from the feel-good chemicals that are released with exercise. I've always stopped before I reached that point.

However, now I am motivated and am having more success than I've had in a long time. My employer has joined a growing trend and has subscribed to a program that gives rewards for exercise and other good health habits. Points are rewarded for walking along with other challenges.

Since I joined a couple of months ago, I've been making sure that I eat my veggies and have two fruits a day. I'm getting adequate sleep, drinking more water, and recording things that I am thankful for (on more days than just Sunday). I'm taking time to read and I am using reusable shopping bags. Also, I'm doing strengthening exercises and having my blood pressure taken. I have gone walking in the cold rain, with a migraine, and in the dark just to get enough steps in to get the points I need. I have chosen only veggies at a BBQ restaurant to get my requirements in for the day and have gone to the store to get extra fruit to keep up with a challenge.

Wow. That's an impressive list, if I do say so myself. Especially for me. So what's my motivation? Well, besides the obvious one of it's good for me (which has never been particularly motivating in the past), I'm earning money. So far, I'm up to $50 and if I work really hard, I may earn some more before the program restarts at the first of the year.

And perhaps even more importantly, I am surrounded by people who are doing the same thing. The program is one of the hot topics at work and we are both encouraging and competing with each other. (I didn't realize how competitive I am until I started this.)

So for this program and the motivation it is giving me to take better care of myself, I am thankful.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankful Sunday--November 22, 2015

I am thankful for a new roof.

A few weeks ago, we noticed a water stain on one of our ceilings which led us to the conclusion that we needed a new roof. Friday, it was installed. And for new roofs and dry ceilings, I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Second Look--November 17, 2015

While a few trees are hanging onto some of their leaves, most are bare now. A couple days of rain and strong winds bought most of the remaining ones down this week. The squirrels are scampering about usually with a nut in their mouths and the deer are spending more time in the upper part of the yard. Sometimes I see a herd of them taking a nap in the sun.

A few fall  flowers are continuing to bloom and a handful of things have sprouted new growth like its spring. It's fun to see a spot of vibrant green here and there among the brown leaves. While morning frosts are common now, no snow yet.

Here are a few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.


Maple tree

Blanket Flower

Bishop's Weed (or Snow on the Mountain)


Wild asparagus 

White tailed deer

Sugar Maple

Monday, November 16, 2015

Computer Time

I try to limit how much time I spend on the computer every day. There are no official rules, I just know when it's been too much. And recently, I've reached too much before I've had time to post here.
Lucy as a kitten. (Not related to anything in the post. Just like the pic.)

So what have I been doing? First, there's my regular routine of checking my email and dealing with whatever business comes up. This may be something with my mother, a bill, or other family concerns. I've also been working on a couple of newsletters that have been plaguing me. Paragraphs have been written and erased, written and erased, written and erased. Finally, they were written and declared done because I ran out of time. Throw in a little blog reading and Facebook checking and it adds up to too much time on the computer--that indeterminate amount of time that just feels like too much. But now that the newsletters are done, I have a little more time open for other pursuits like my blog.

But a little more time is the key word and I've run out of it for the day. It's time for me to move on so I can fix supper. Yes, that's right. I said fix supper which is going to involve cooking. On the menu is leftover homemade chicken pot pie from last night, a green salad with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pears along with roasted cauliflower. And for dessert--brownies.

So see you next time. Do you ever feel like you spend too much time on the computer?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day

Today, in the United States, is the day we honor veterans and the sacrifices they have made for us. I will be forever grateful for the time and service those in the military have given to let me have the good life I have today.

There are many organizations that provide support to veterans and one category in particular is service dogs. The local organization that trains service dogs for veterans brings them to the library, where I work, as part of their training. It is fun to watch how eager the dogs are to learn and how they progress in their training. Below is a previous post I did a about these dogs so you can learn a little more about them.

Hero Dogs
or Service Dogs for Veterans 

Recently, I attended a program about service dogs for injured or disabled veterans.  While we learned about the overall program, my attention was focused mainly on York, an older puppy in training who was there with his handler.  To demonstrate some of the things a service dog might do, he retrieved hidden keys, opened doors, pushed buttons, pulled a chair, and all the while was very happy to be doing them. That's what so great about dogs. They are eager to please. (Not so with our cats. They have a way of making YOU eager to please them.) Another one of the important things the dogs are trained to do is help if a veteran is getting agitated with an impending panic attack or similar problem from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The dogs also learn how to take their owners through narrow spaces which can also be a problem with PTSD. It's amazing what a service dog can do and the difference it can make in someone's life.

As you can imagine, the show was fun to watch. A couple of times, York got to be off duty and let all of us pet him. (Service dogs are not to be petted or played with while they are on duty.) A special treat for him as well as us. However, during the Q&A session, he got a little restless and started to talk to his trainer with a bark then and again and a pull on his lead. He was just like a child who was trying to get his mother's attention when she had been talking too long. The trainer said that that is one reason that York is not ready to be placed yet. He's still a bit too young and impatient to be a good service dog at this point.

There are many service dog organizations out there that could use your help. First of all, they need money--it takes approximately $30,000 to raise and train the dog until it is ready for placement.This organization provides the dog at no cost to the veteran. However, there are many other ways to help. They also have need for puppy raisers, trainers, and people to play with the dogs. They could also use donations of materials such as paper towels, wipes, and old towels. If you are interested in helping, you can google service dog and your location to find out what organizations are available close to you.

Want to Read More:

--Ever wonder what the difference is between a service dog and a therapy dog? Here's a good explanation.  

--There are several prison programs where the inmates raise puppies that will become service dogs. They are quite successful in changing the prisoner's behavior in positive way. Here's a story about one of them.