Our 4th of July bash!

Family, friends, food, spirits, children playing . . . and dessert, then later in the evening, back at home, the sounds and sights of fireworks over the lake.

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Chow time

Suzy and Joe, do it again! They open their home to another fabulous celebration. These two people are thoughtful and engaging and they’ve made their home all about making sure that whoever comes there to visit, finds a unique tucked away spot on the property to retreat to. There are plenty of outdoor seating areas, several Pergolas, and now a faux beach for the grandchildren, along with hammocks and swings. It’s always fun at Memaws!

Mingles and schmoozes on the swing

Giggles and smiles in the elf garden

Cousins

Oh Baby

Dessert

Happy 4th
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Fireworks

Good night!!

Black and White

I thought I had fallen out of love with the DF. The iPhone X with its fantastic cameras, its lean light-weight design, and the fact it is always with me, and therefore always available, stole my heart.  I don’t want to haul all the big camera lenses and the batteries, and, well you know, all the photography gear, to capture a few shots. But then, when I pull out the DF and click its shutter, I remember why I fell in love with it way back before the X was born.

Here are are a few shots of my Olive taken with my 300mm Nikon prime, and my 60 mm Nikon macro mounted on my Nikon DF. Shot in aperture mode for that nice bokeh effect, outdoor and indoor, ambient and natural light, high ISO, auto WB.

 

Sunday morning ride 14.3 miles

It’s been a couple of weeks since I was out on the trail. I thought it would be a tough ride but it actually was a great ride. My endurance kicked in. I was able to go much longer before I needed to hydrate or rest. I’m Getting stronger!

These beautiful blooms greeted me when I returned home from my ride. I thought this bush was done for after the hurricane but there it was growing and blooming. I love it!

Sunday Ride 14.3 miles

You know every time I get on the bike early in the morning there’s a little mental challenge with myself that I have to overcome. The way I’ve learned to deal with that is just to ignore the entire conversation that my brain is having was itself and I just keep moving. I put air into the tires, pack my water into the saddlebags, I get into my riding clothes, I put my helmet on and set up my ride tracking device, finally I turn on my music put in the earbuds and hit the road.

I always have a goal in mind, and, a challenge. I try to best my last ride but I’m never quite sure whether I’m going to. I’m constantly talking myself into the ride as I move along. And I’m always surprised when I not only make it but am able to best my last ride.

I let the trail talk to me and reveal itself along the way.  For instance, on this morning’s bike ride I photographed a windmill I had not seen before because I went a little further and discovered another part of the trail. On this ride, I encountered a couple of new animals who’ live here. Parts of the trail runs right through the middle of their habitat.

I had to stop to shoot (with my iPhone camera of course) a mama armadillo and her baby, that crossed the path. I came upon a couple of young snakes, okay, they were not so little. In fact, they scared a whole group of joggers who stopped and turned around and didn’t want to walk past the snakes, but I managed to ride past them as they were crawling in opposite directions of each other across the trail.

I am so happy about my iPhone camera, it is so convenient to just pause on my ride and snap random shots like the cool dragonfly that landed near me when I stopped at one of my water break spots. And there were also the turtles, birds, cows bulls, and the baby calves. Did I mention the vegetation that is everywhere? The trees the, open meadows and the impressive savannas seemed to be calling out to me. All of it taking place under this beautiful blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds. It was picturesque.

In my interaction with nature, I’m presented with the awareness that I am immersed in a world within worlds and all these creatures and I are sharing our existence on this planet with each other. Yet, we are each experiencing life from a totally different perspective.

Today’s Photo Gallery

I find that kind of interesting because I think that we often lose sight of the fact that we often think that everybody is perceiving things the same way, but they’re not. Life is one unique individual experience at every level of existence. I must develop more tolerance and understanding. These are not easy for me sometimes.

Today’s Gallery!

Enjoy and Soar!

Goal: Staying Alive

Staying Alive

This is day 11 of my keto eating style. As I have posted in a previous post, I have not had the easiest time of this. It’s taken me all the way to day 11 to even hit ketosis of some form, and I don’t stay in that state the entire day. Only yesterday, day 10, did the mighty scale tell me I lost 2 pounds! Normally, within the first week a lot of people see up to a 5 lb weight loss. I haven’t seen that. I know some of that is water weight for people but I haven’t even lost water weight until yesterday! I have one of those scales that breaks down the fat, muscle, water, bone ratios reflected in the total weight, and I am happy to see that my body fat % is going down and my percentage of muscle is going up so I know things are happening under my skin.

At first i was disappointed because I was really paying attention to what the scale was telling me was not happening, instead of focusing on what my body was telling me was definitely happening! Body says, you are shrinking in places And feeling stronger! I am feeling healthier, I am feeling very positive, and I have a lot of energy, along with mental clarity and focus.

Nothing seems to be able to pull me away from positivity! And I am definitely enjoying this happy positive state of mind. I tend to be a positive person anyway but I am really feeling healthy and positive, with so much energy!

I know the keto is working from the inside out! I have kept up my weekly cycling ride. That is something that I do for myself for a couple of reasons. I want to stay mobile. I want to keep my joints healthy and I want to get in a little bit of cardio to keep my heart and lungs strong.

The rides are tough, but I get a Zen after affect when I complete them. I feel very peaceful and very calm and I enjoy that! I don’t want to give that up. I don’t know if cycling has been slowing down my weight-loss progress and I don’t care if it is. I know that I’m gaining a little bit more muscle and muscle weighs more than fat yada yada yada all of that!

The bottom line is that, for me, this is not about losing weight or looking good. It’s about mobility, and it’s about feeling good. Its about being able to move my body in the ways that I need to. To be able to squat, bend, stoop, run, and walk.

Doing all of that without incurring joint pains and stiffness or having my body play an entire chorus of crackles, creeks, pops, and snaps that come with aging.

I’m not breathless when I walk, what more can you want? And my clothes are beginning to feel a bit loose on me so I know something is happening!

The key for me is to conquer my mindset! Getting my mind in a place where it understands who’s the boss! I am not going to allow my mind to tell me what to do! I have to tell it what to do! Mind shut up and be quiet!

It is a process of dealing with my demons and the demons are those mental voices that say “oh my God I’m too tired” or “oh my god this is too hard”, “oh my God I’m not gonna make it” “oh my god my joints, my knees, my calves, or my muscles are on fire!” “I don’t think I can make it.” “I’m so thirsty”, “I have to stop!” Those are ugly little bugger demons that pop up in my head to mess with my ride, and I have to flip those words and move past them, and continue on my way. I discipline myself to just ignore them and instead counter the attack with positive talk. I repeat goal setting affirmations to myself and I keep on moving.

Until next week, enjoy and soar!

Mindset

I started my keto diet again last Monday so this is officially my sixth day on keto and today I’m struggling. I am having some sugar cravings and dealing with boredom issues over the amount of vegetables, salads and all of the meat I eat. I really have to work on my mindset if I’m going to be able to be successful and get past this week.

A couple of months now I have been riding my bicycle one time a week. I’m up to 10 miles on my weekly ride. Keto doesn’t encourage exercise when you first start but I just didn’t want to stop my weekly ride. Today I struggled early into my ride.

I find that this is all a mindset choice and when I’m struggling either with the boredom of Keto, or with my commitment to cycling, when I get to that point where I’m really struggling and I think I’m going to fail, I change my mindset. Instead of making it a challenging burden I try to look at it differently. I immediately set out to find something in it that I can enjoy. This change in my perspective made all the difference. Enjoyment in the process is essential for me. If I’m not enjoying the process I will quit. That’s just my human nature.

So when I began to struggle on my ride today, I realized I was pushing myself to hard and I was making the ride about meeting a goal and it became hard. I stoped and reset the way I was approaching it. I sat on the next bench and created a new playlist of music to ride to.

Then I took off my shoes and stood barefoot.

I even took a few minutes and leaned against a tree for grounding and recharging. When I got back on my bike I stopped as often as I felt the need to do so to hydrate and rest. The results were that I met my 10 mile goal and I actually exceeded it by a few blocks, and I did it in the same amount of time as my last ride but I actually rode faster.

I finished with a wonderful soaking bath in magnesium flakes for remineralization. I enjoyed a nice healthy Keto lunch, and after a 30 minute nap I made my way outside to enjoy the lakeside.

Until next week, Enjoy and Soar!