I’ve been out walking

Sorry that I haven’t posted much lately.  As you can see by the Fitbit stats, I’ve been out walking some miles lately.  I swore I would take the day off yesterday, but the sun came out again, and I couldn’t resist.  It is shining faintly today and I am feeling a pull to go out, but I need to get back to quilting, so I have promised myself (and Ozzie) that we won’t go.  Besides, I was supposed to clean and organize the spare bedroom so I can paint it, but I’ve been so tired from all the walking the past few days, I’ve gotten very little of that done.

Since I shared photos of the fog with you the last time, I thought I would show you how Eugene looks in the winter when the sun is shining.

autzen in the fog autzen sun

 

As you can see, Autzen stadium looks a lot different in the sunshine.

heron

 

A heron sunning itself on a mossy log in the middle of the pond

hooded merganser

 

I’m not a birding expert, but I think this may be a hooded merganser.  Generally, we have a large mallard population, but these little fellows seem to have arrived in great numbers lately.  There were a few in the pond, but most, like this fellow, were in the canal along which we walk.

wading heron

 

This heron was wading rapidly across the canal.  I think he may have noticed that I had a dog with me and was determined to reach a hiding place before we got too close.

hiding heron

 

He seems to think he is quite well-hidden here.

I5

 

Our walk takes us down under the Interstate 5 bridge, newly built and just reopened last summer.  We were on our way back to the park here when it occurred to me that I should take some photos of the artwork under the bridge for the next time I post about a walk.  It’s surprising that they actually invested quite a bit in some nice art that not too many people would see.

autzen footbridge

 

Coming back up along the Willamette River, you can see the Autzen Stadium footbridge that joins the campus (to the south) with Autzen Stadium.  This bridge is, of course, quite busy on game days.  Ozzie and I walk under it on the right side there before getting back into Alton Baker Park.

Canada geese

 

A very small portion of a flock of Canada Geese in the park.  They are lovely to look at, but unfortunately, they leave the trails quite a minefield with their droppings.  Years ago, the city hired dogs to chase them out of the park because they were making such a mess.  We are now much more hospitable to them, either because it is PC, or because they realized that resistance was futile.

sunsetAnd, at the end of a beautiful sunny day, we have the beautiful sunset, taken from the not-so-lovely vantage of over the fence of my back yard.

Fitbit stats (I hope) will now be confined to once a week on this page.  I think they’re really cluttering up the view, and my steps are likely to take a dive as I plunge back into the pile of quilts.  It’s also supposed to rain over the next few days.  That doesn’t usually stop us from walking, but it does make it slightly easier to stay indoors.

 

Back to work

Well, I think my Fitbit stats will suffer a bit this weekend.  I have a lot of quilts backed up here and really need to get them cranked out.  My ankle is screaming at me (sinus tarsi) but usually shuts up by the time I’m into the first mile of a walk.  However, I really had a hard time getting warm after yesterday’s walk.  It was 50° out there, which isn’t horribly cold, but when I got home, I ended up going into my room, fully clothed in my jeans and sweatshirt, with hand warmers in my pockets and toe warmers stuck to my socks, and got into my bed under two quilts to try and get warm.  I turn into a brick of ice after exercising. We’ll probably get a much shorter walk in today, but if I get that cold, I think I’ll try a hot bath this time.  I was just miserable!  Anyway, the sun is actually out today, so it will be difficult to totally dis a walk, but I do have a lot of work to do!

Fridays come with an early buzz

Just in from the morning’s walk.  I think next week I’ll have to wear my parka.  I get way too cold walking out around the pond and have difficulty warming up when I get home.  Since I didn’t get much sleep last night, I’m going to wrap up in a quilt and take a brief nap before I get back to quilting.  I know a little dog who would gladly join me.  After all, he was on that walk too, and he took a lot of side trips to sniff things!  I had my 10,000 steps and my little buzzing wrist dance about a mile before the end of the walk today.

Friday walk

Livin’ for the buzz

I think I’m becoming an addict.  I really have to have that buzz.  No – no brain-altering (well, maybe) chemicals here, but the buzz of the Fitbit on my wrist.  I went two days without this little bracelet throwing a dance party celebration on my wrist while I attended to very mundane things here at home.  It felt very good to get out for a nice walk with the dog yesterday and feel that little buzz when I got to my 10,000 steps.  I just wish I had had a bit more sleep the night before.  I was really tired after yesterday’s walk.  Also, even though it was about 52 degrees out, it was a bit foggy and damp and I could barely get warm when I got back home.  Good thing I have several quilts here to warm me up.  Plus, once you snuggle up on the couch with a quilt in this house, you get the bonus of three extra heating pads.  Their names are Ozzie, Vince, and Sadie.  I’m sure we were quite the sight, but I did eventually get warm!

Nose to the needle

As you can see from my Fitbit stats, I didn’t move much yesterday.  Why?  I have been working feverishly to finish the custom quilt I have had on the frame for far too long.  There are a few reasons it’s been there for this length of time.  It calls for some complicated quilting, the borders are an unusual size and are not equal all the way around, and, of course, I’ve run into some personal disasters while it’s been awaiting finishing.  Spending hours on the phone with the doctor’s office and the insurance company has not been fun.  Not to mention that when I get stressed out, I really just want to go in my room, pull the shades, and curl up in a ball.  I’ve done my best this time, not to feel sorry for myself, and I’ve made a habit of going out and tearing up the pavement over the past few weeks instead of giving in to depression.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things, my problems don’t really amount to much.  I’m very grateful for my good life, and I’m doing my best to just get on with it.  Hopefully, this quilt will be off the frame before lunch tomorrow morning, but then again, I’ve got a couple more medical coverage-related calls to make in the morning, so you never know.  I’m really looking forward to doing some edge-to-edge design quilts and to having a little more free time in my schedule!

I’m slacking

Well, it will seem so in my Fitbit stats, anyway.  I had to take a break today and get a bit of house work done.  Then I decided to take my dog to the dog park.  If you’ve been following for very long, you know that Ozzie likes to get into the pool at the dog park and drink his water while he’s lying in it.  I think it helps him cool off too.  Well, there was a clean up and renovation at the dog park recently.  They did some mowing, paved some spots that tended to get muddy by the entrance gates, and they threw out the pools!  When we were there yesterday, Ozzie was so confused.  I could tell he really did not want to drink out of the bowl, and he would just stand in the pool area and look around for the missing swimming pool.  So, today, instead of just going to the dog park, we went shopping for something suitable for taking a dip at the dog park.

At this time of the year, this was no easy task, so our trip to the park, which usually takes all of an hour and a half, took about 3 hours.  The tub we bought was smaller than I wanted, but it’s tough enough that the big dogs won’t poke holes in it with their claws in short order, and it’s big enough for my boy to lie down and get his drink!  It’s also a great way to wash off muddy paws before leaving the park to go home.

So, this was my donation to the Alton Baker Dog Park.

livestock tub

Someone is watching!

Remember my “Someone to Watch Over Me” post?  Well, it turns out, you really can get this Fitbit to watch over your life.  It links with all sorts of apps.  I told you this morning I was disappointed with the food database in Fitbit’s website, but it turns out you can link your Fitbit to MyFitnessPal, which will allow you to log your food in on your smartphone, and it will appear in your Fitbit dashboard.  MyFitnessPal has a much better food database.  You can also link your Fitbit to Endomondo Sports Tracker, which is what I had been using on my smartphone for logging my walks.  Very, very cool, but at the same time, it does give me the creeps that there are so many databases linked in the background.  You may, if it works, see a daily post of my Fitbit activity here.

Fitbit Flex

Here is my short and early assessment of the Fitbit Flex.  I like it.  I’m not in love with it, but I like it.  I’m enough of a gadget geek that I enjoy checking on my progress towards my goal of 10,000 steps each day, and the Fitbit makes this easy.  All I have to do is double-tap sharply on its face, and the little lights will tell me how far I’ve come for the day.  This is not a precise measurement, as there are only five lights, so each represents 20% of the goal.  If the light is solid, you’ve completed that 20%, if it’s blinking, you’re working on that one.  The on-line food log needs some work.  While it’s nice to be able to enter the foods you ate and see how many calories you have left for the day, I find the database particularly distressing.  It is populated with packaged foods and restaurant foods.  Not much in the way of raw, whole, or non-processed food in the database.  I’ve suggested they link it to nutritiondata.com, where I generally keep tabs on what I’m taking it.  Nutritiondata gives you almost all you need to know about your foods and nutrition, down to the vitamins and minerals in your food and the completeness of the amino acids.  You would think that a company producing a gadget to promote fitness would have a bit more fitness-oriented database.  It would seem a little silly to say I’ve walked 10,000 steps today, and my Whopper and fries were almost burned off.  Of course, I am sometimes totally naive in these things and I guess some people do that.  I never – and I mean never – eat fast food.  Sigh.

fitbit

 

The other component of this little gem is the sleep data mode.  It worked fine the first two nights.  Actually, for some strange reason (placebo effect?), I slept like the dead the first night.  The second night revealed some disturbances in my sleep.  While I don’t remember waking up, I apparently tossed and turned a couple of times during the night.  Last night, I got into bed, turned on the sleep session, and then realized that a couple of my painful joints where going to make sleep impossible, so I got up and took some meds and got back in bed.  Just as I was beginning to doze off, I remembered where I put my parka last year at the end of the season and, since I’m heading for the deep woods soon, I decided that I’d best get up and throw it in the wash, since I already knew I had a few loads of laundry to deal with today and wanted to get a head start.  In the process of putting that in the wash, I knocked over a little rubbermaid storage box that had some old surgical stuff in it – gauze pads and sterile wash, etc. (don’t know why I save this stuff), but apparently, the sterile wash bottle had some sort of failure and not only did it begin to leak, but it filled my bedroom with perfume – which I can’t stand.  So, I started laundry, had to take the smelly stuff to the trash, scrub the floor, and then get back into bed.  I’m not sure if I had user error when I originally turned on the sleep mode or if it just got frustrated with me horsing around, but when I awoke this morning, I found that sleep mode had shut off and I had no data on last night’s sleep.  Oh well.  Next time, I’ll be sure to make sure it’s running before I get into bed for the last time each night.

Well, so much for my ‘short’ assessment of the Fitbit.  I do like it.  Competing with myself (and others in my age group) is something I enjoy.

Someone to watch over me

Well.  Maybe I just needed someone (or thing) to be keeping track of my life.  Other than  the government, anyway!  Just kidding.  However, not only was I very sleepy last night, but I managed to sleep all the way through the night and nearly got eight hours of sleep.  We’ll see how it goes tonight.  I know this is not because the Fitbit is controlling my life, but perhaps my mind is at ease knowing there’s something there.  I have no idea why I was so tired yesterday, but I’m glad I managed to get a good night’s sleep for a change.  I have a feeling I may sleep fairly well tonight too, as this little Fitbit has been encouraging me to keep going today.  I was just coming into the garage from my final errand of the night, when it began to vibrate and flash all its little lights.  Apparently, I hit my goal of 10,000 steps for the day!  Yeah me!

The device links via bluetooth to your iPhone or Android smartphone, and there’s a little USB dongle you can put in your computer and it syncs whenever you’re within so many feet of the computer.  So now it can keep all sorts of data on my life.  You can set up a food plan for yourself if you want to lose weight (I do) and enter all of your food during the day.  The internal database is all set up around restaurant or packaged food, which I find fairly distressing, but I’m just entering my own values from foods I’ve already programmed into nutritiondata.com.  As you enter the things you’ve eaten it tells you how many calories you have left for the day.  I’ve got plenty of calories left for the day and probably can’t and won’t eat more today.  We’ll see if this thing can sync up with the vagaries from my weird metabolism.

Ozzie and I headed for the dog park this morning, then I picked up another customer quilt, and then ran a bunch of errands.  I came home, had lunch, which made me incredibly sleepy, and I fought through it and went out for a walk.  This afternoon was quilting and then a run to the pharmacy to pick up my B12, for which I’ve been waiting for five weeks!

We got some more lovely fall foliage pictures today.

red close upunder the tree blaze japanese maple red and pine vibrant yellow little red yellow burning bush

 

I’ve never seen the trees this pretty in my neighborhood, and I’m really enjoying them this fall.  I hope you all won’t be bored to death with the photos.