Posted in fitness, health, rural life, Self Care

Old school indeed

I wanted to make a fancy daily journal but didn’t find the items I had been looking for. So I went old school. Like as basic as it gets as I don’t even any gold stars like we got at school.

In the past I have used an app to keep track of calories. It involved just more screen time and a certain amount of frustration. Because even an apple could show up with 50 versions and no I am not exaggerating. An egg wasn’t even an egg. So… enter the piece of paper and the pen.

The sheer irony — hung it on the fridge with magnets that say ” The only thing better than a good friend is one with chocolate!

Truth is I know what to do and not do to lose some weight and be healthier. I just need help saying no to myself with snacks. For example I made oat apple sauce muffins with no oil and no sugar. They are so good. So good that I eat them when eating them is not the right choice. So I am giving myself check marks for good choices and x’s for behaviour that needs to change. Trying to stay focused, positive and not beat myself up for a bad choice and then derail myself for however long before I climb out of “I’m a smuck to myselfville”. Then if I need to adjust things next week I can just change things up.

It gives me hope that I can stay the course. I am also going to create my own 30 day fitness challenge for May. Beginner level senior citizen type. Taking into account  that my back still seems to hate me and I need to account for that in my plan. Lots of research shows that a significant walk every day can be a huge key to maintaining health. We walk almost every day (the wind occasionally makes us all wimps) but some days we only do 1.5. It’s like the food- I know what I need to do.

I have joined the women’s road biking group I rode with for a few years. Pretty certain I am going out in the back of the pack but that’s ok. I am going out. On my road bike (in spandex but let’s not focus on that sight!). It’s a “forced out” and will be written on the calendar and the wind be damned they ride. As of next Friday the gravel bike will be off the trainer and The Engineer and I will be out climbing hills and lamenting a rural life (the only two times that happens is when the wind is crazy and when we ride on gravel roads). But we can hope for less wind and just the right amount of gravel on those roads. Or we can go out and face reality. Hope is not passive and I must continue to remember that. That hope takes effort just like being physically healthier.

Remember what is important

Which brings me to my WOTY update. April was a much needed “quiet” month.  Reduced work shifts, less city runs,no soccer and a long list of necessary and fun projects. I undertook a deep spring clean of 2 floors of the house which lead to a lot of decluttering and it’s amazing how the dustless walls improved my mental state of mind. I live on a gravel road in a windy locale and have no AC so the windows are open in the summer. I’m not even going to harbour any hope that said walls will remain clean and what’s more is that even light fixtures will, once again, be filled with dead insects within a few months. I think the belief approach is pragmatic and as such borders on realistic.

I spent endless evenings working away on the inside of this blog doing housework. I suppose it’s akin to washing walls and light fixtures. No one really notices that it has occurred except the person who felt it needed to be done. Same with the blog. I went “inside” and cleaned up the media files as well as ensured that posts had a featured photo and were categorized. I managed to get 7 years worth done which leaves about 4 years worth (the oldest stuff) to do and while it matters not a stitch to anyone else I do care that it be “neat and tidy” as well.

I also spent a fair amount of time exploring other blogs and several books in the past month. The bonus to back pain is that it forces me to slow down and ice so I spend time reading. I am still working on learning more about ADD and am part way through “Scattered Minds” which is apparently one of the best out there on this subject matter. I’m much more partial to historical fiction but it’s important that I learn more and I am hopeful that my actions help the road ahead. The same could be said for this month’s Indigenous content. I read “The Reason You Walk” by Wab Kinew and this man finds hope in spite of the background of Residential School and the legacy that it left in his family. So clearly outlined about why it will take generations to rebalance families.

As with every spring I’ve ever experienced hope sails in on the colour of crocuses and the sound of geese and cranes. The intensity of the blue skies and the sweet song of the meadowlark. The smell of that lone little rain shower. The exploring and meandering that occurs with the Littles.

It makes it easy to forget about the devastating effects climate change is showing all around the world. A recent Canadian report highlighted the top 10 cities that will be significantly impacted and Saskatoon is on the list. The whole province will be hotter drier windyer (is that like a legit word) and colder – well obviously not all at the same time. So are we doing our part was the discussion and could we “step up to the plate” more. We really live a fairly conscious life style in that regard but one can always do more. Which is why, coming to a garage at our place, on Tuesday will be a new Hybrid vehicle. Then the I’ve hit one too many deer SUV (which was a gas hog) will end up under the wrecking ball. It’s the biggest step we can take in regards to our lifestyle so I guess I am happy that deer # 4 happened.

As usual thanks to the hosts of #whatsonyourbookshelf and the #woty update linkz party. Nice to be invited to a party. We are still living Covid quiet lives and wondering if it’s now just the normal to only hang out with your spouse. Can’t even say “asking for a friend” because I feel like we aren’t too connected to many friends right now. I am hopeful summer time will change that.

It’s a lengthy post but hope isn’t one dimensional. It impacts so much of how we feel and what we do.



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

16 thoughts on “Old school indeed

  1. Hi Bernie, thanks for linking up to our WOTY for April. I’m a personal trainer/group fitness instructor for Over 50 women and I’m not a fan of apps. I rather the old school method of keeping track writing it down. Love that you are walking and also joining your cycling group. It doesn’t matter where you are in the pack as long as you are doing it. Consistency is the key and looks like you are doing that. Good luck with your challenge and hopefully I’ll read about it in your next WOTY post. x


    1. Sue thanks for stopping in. My big issue is consistency — I get derailed with my SI joint/hip issue and have trouble getting back into it and then once I do something happens (often unrelated) and then it gets really annoyed again and I spend more time icing than I do exercising. 3 years into retirement and 3 years into my 60’s and I have not quite got this sorted out yet but I think keeping track may be key. I am sure I will join in again with the WOTY post — fingers crossed that it’s a good “report card” as I have failed in the past. Take care. Bernie


  2. I’m not one to get any benefit from charts and logs on screens. If I write it down in my own hand, then I feel empowered. But on a screen, just more computer mumbo jumbo. I’ve found the same thing as you about back pain in that it has slowed me down. I now do all things bloggy while standing in front of the screen. This has helped my back immensely– and improved my posture.


    1. Mumbo Jumbo — that’s how I felt about the app keeping track of my food intake. It was just a thing to do that didnt’ seem to impact my choices really. This system seems to be working but what I need to do is “up” my self control. Ah back pain — it’s never fun and some days it is down right painful. Great idea to stand and use the computer. I do a LOT of things at my kitchen island as it’s the perfect height for me (designed just so it would be!). I try to be very aware of my posture as my mother has such bad bad osteo and is like a little shriveled pretzel. I don’t want to be that way so must make good choices now. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Bernie – I like your ‘old school fitness chart’ and am sending you virtual gold stars. I agree with the power of keeping a daily record of our fitness progress, as well as with the power of a ’30 day Fitness Challenge.’ On my recent challenge, I decided to give up sugar for 7 days. I really didn’t think that I ate that much sugar anyway so thought ‘how hard can it be?’ Spoiler Alert – It was very, very hard. It was also a great teacher about areas of high sugar content that I had been overlooking (aka ignoring). I only kept that part of the challenge for the one week as planned, but it’s lessons have continued over into this month as well. I greatly look forward to following your progress!


    1. LOL! I don’t get a gold star today! Thought I could manage grandkids and a serious walk once they were asleep but the little guy won’t settle so trying more stories and snacks and by the time he settles it will be dark dark dark! So not the best way to start the month! Stay tuned- will I climb back up and find the band wagon before it’s gone?? Bernie


  4. Congratulations on the hybrid vehicle purchase, Bernie! I’ve loved mine (currently driving #3 and have an order in for #4). I started with a strict hybrid and graduated to a plug-in hybrid. I would never consider any other type, anymore. Car #5 may even be full-on electric. As you know, I live in a milder climate than you and I see some range loss in the winter but not near as much as I did in Ontario.


    1. From a practical point of view not everyone can own one. I drove for 4 hours today and never saw a city let alone a charging station. In the wife open spaces of the prairies the infrastructure has a long way to go hence the hybrid. I am sure we will love it. Wow that you have been driving them for a long time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The lack of charging stations is what is preventing me from going full electric right now. I am hoping the infrastructure will be vastly improved over the next decade. A plug-in hybrid offers the best of all worlds right now, I think. You get a gas engine and a decent enough range on the battery. I can usually get all my errands around town done just on electric power.


      2. It will be interesting to see how it works with the 18 km to the city and then errands and the 18 km home plus the difference when we use it for 4 hour trips to my mom’s or 9 hour trips to our mountain happy place. Shall be a learning curve of course. Picked it up today so pretty pumped! Bernie

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey you have been productive in your “quiet” month. Sounds like you have a plan…
    I’ll join you on the 30 days of May with my own plan to #just keep moving… hoping for bright, happy and healthy days ahead!


    1. Quiet days aka not leaving home. Oh yes I definitely had several plans. #justkeepmoving — ok you are on. Let’s encourage each other and see how far we can move our bodies in May! Thanks for reading and engaging Elaine. So good to hear from you my friend. Bernie


  6. We all need to renovate our lives from time to time Bernie. We bought a hybrid just before I retired and have never regretted it. It came with a remote starter which I found odd and have never used. We have had smaller vehicles since 1984 and tend to keep our cars for a long time. Never had an SUV or a pickup, but certainly understand why they may be required in the rurals. As to health, working behind a desk for 38 years left me a bit wrecked. I was fine on the 7 week vacation and then the 6 months of projects and walking daily after retirement. But, one morning I got a reminder I needed to do more. My sciatica shot right down my left leg, to the point I could not put my own socks on. Turns out, I had neglected my core. So, every 2 days, we do a strength stretch and balance routine of 122 minutes and once a week, a bit of Tai Chi. That coupled with walking up to 30 k a week and biking 50-100 k a week in summer has kept most things at bay. Good luck on your new initiatives. You will not regret the efforts. Happy Sunday. Allan


    1. Your fitness regime is significant and inspiring. I am still trying to “find” a schedule that works. Plus I think i need to accept that I am an afternoon exerciser and stop trying to force my back to do it in the morning when it is at it’s crankiest. As to the vehicle we are both pretty excited with this change for us. Cant’ see going full EV for a while as the infrastructure is not here in rural living but good if you live in a densely populated area. Sorry I missed your comment. It was in the spam file again — what the heck!! Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good for you Bernie for getting a hybrid vehicle. It probably makes more sense than a fully electric vehicle, especially in our cold prairie climates. I’m not yet convinced that electric vehicles with batteries are the way to go here. A cold winter day can reduce a standard car battery to 20% of a full charge. That’s like having 80% of a tank of gas disappear. That can’t be a viable solution. I’m all in for hydrogen but that’s a long way off. Hopefully these decisions will get easier with time. Have a great weekend Bernie.


    1. Add to the list that my mother lives 4 hours from my house but not a city to be had and that’s just one example. So we felt this was the best option at this time. Glad to see you here, I hope you enjoy my posts as much as appreciate yours. Take care. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

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