March 22, 2019
A Bloodhound Surprise
Starting this post I have only been up less than two hours but I have seen more change and surprises than I have in a month. What is in store for us today for the rest of the day? Will sitting on the couch duplicating yesterday afternoon and last night be a factor? I can't imagine seeing as much as I did this morning in less than an hour ... I hadn't had my second cup of coffee yet !!!!
It didn't matter the bedroom was filled with bright sunshine. Heidi was on her dog bed in the far corner of the room where the sunshine through the east window streams right on her. I may have had a different schedule this morning but she didn't.
I can tell it is spring, even if it's only been official for a couple of days. I can see it in the field across the highway and I can see my yard turning green from front to the back. It's time to drag the lawn mower out of the shed and make sure everything is ready for the first mow. Do you notice the two Sassafras saplings are not in the lower part of the picture?
I had not stepped off of 'Winston's Patio' when I knew immediately that the world had slipped off its axis and Stella was going to dictate what was going to take place. I cannot remember how many months it has been since he started her morning walk and did not take the path into the field.
When she kept ignoring my calls I knew there was no hope today. All I needed to do was 'buckle up' and enjoy the ride because Stella was behind her wheel of stubbornness and anything I said wasn't going to mean a damn thing.
She did stand at the property pole at the corner of the yard before she took off down the return path. She turned to look at me as I stood on the normal path, soft with a lot of saturation. She looked proudly at me, acknowledging my "get over here" ... then turned and walked away ... as you see here.
As I slowly walked back into the backyard toward the return path I wondered what the hell was going on today. With Stella's new ideas for the walk this morning combined with all of those very weird dreams that kept waking me up last night, I could tell the earth was having its own case of vertigo.
By this time I had stopped saying a word to Stella because I knew from past experience, when she gets this way it will not matter what I say or do. I could have gone back into the house and she would have continued on like nothing was off schedule. I am sure you have picked up through all of my drivel since December, that I like things in order. I don't like change that much ... well when you start walking the opposite direction taking the return path first ... how much change could I handle ??
As I walked up the path, I see Stella now meandering back to the middle of the field between both of our worn paths I really wondered if our walk this morning would amount to anything more than just walking in circles. I wasn't sure we would get to the first corner, let alone finish the half mile path. See how I like things to remain the same ?? LOL
My one cup of coffee at this point had done nothing to calibrate my brain cells. I had gone back to bed as the hounds were eating their breakfast kibble. Watching basketball games, sometimes two or three games at once on the split tv screen evidently wore me out. I was out of March Madness shape. I had a problem though.
During the day, I before the games, and on the way to buy more food, I stopped by the library to pick up the two books I had ordered through the state library system by Dr. Michael Greger. "How Not To Die" and his recipe book that went along with it.
Off of the "New" shelf I took a book named "The End Of The Myth" by Greg Grandin.
After reading a few pages of each, both books were so good I couldn't put them down. So I turned off the sound on the tv and would glance up from my book on occasion to check the scores or any action I needed to watch. IF it was a close game, I'd put the book down, turn up the sound, bring that game to the full screen and watch the last five to seven minutes of the game.
With both books so good, I'll do the same thing again today and tonight. I had to force myself to stop reading and go to bed last night after the ballgames were over.
I was wrong to suggest the other day that Dr. Greger might have been influenced with bias, stressing a plant-based diet is the way to eat because of his position as the director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the US. He loves animals just as much as I do but he has the scientific proof that the plant-based diet is the way to eat. He also has proof that eating that way DOES reverse heart disease and many other diseases. To me, scientific data to back up his recommendations is the key factor in all of this.
It was his grandmother who influenced his diet thinking and his career path. I'll not go long on this because you can read her story in the first two pages of the preface in the book. Basically she is released from the hospital at 65 years old in a wheelchair, told by surgeons she has weeks to live and there is nothing more they can do for her. She has already had by-pass surgery. She signs up for the Pritikin's Study and showes not only signs of heart disease reversal ... but lived another 31 years to the age of 96 !!!
It's a book you will find hard to put down once you start reading it.
While going the opposite direction, not quite to the first corner, Stella turned and looked at the neighbor's house like she does every morning on 'the way back'. LOL ... funny hound.
The other book is a great lesson of US History, something I wish I would have spent more time studying in college. I've only read the first 75 pages of the book but WOW ... what a story. Was I taught all of this in past history classes and forgot how this took place?
It starts after 1750, describing in detail the strategy, the famous men in charge and the movement west in the USA. Early in the book there were hints describing how our country got to all the racial tension today, the polarization that pushed Trump to the presidency. The last comment on the book sleeve, just inside the cover states ...
"The border wall may or many not be built, but it will survive as a rallying-point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism."
I highly recommend this book and that is based on reading only a few pages.
As you can see Stella decided on her own that taking the walk backwards was not good for brain cell health. She made the short crossover to our normal path, then over to the edge of the wooded area like always. Even I felt better after she moved back to our normal routine. Whew ... close call. :)
Can you tell between these two pictures which is on my manual settings and which one is taken with the automatic setting? Which one do you like?
With underground water seeping up the sides of my hiking boots, Stella was also aware of the wet path and walked along the edge of it in the taller grass to keep her paws dry. Rain, snow, sleet or ice ... she doesn't like her paws getting wet. Sadie would have charged through just to show me how high she could splash the water.
I surprised myself yesterday at the store and how I felt throughout the day and night with my changed eating habits. With March Madness it use to be sandwich material, liters of Pepsi, huge bags of tortilla chips and large jars of salsa. Not yesterday. My 36 oz jar held cold water. I munched on carrots and broccoli with no salad dressing to dip into. Later when I ate dinner it was another large salad and two cups of 15-bean soup.
Was that the cause of my weird dreams last night?
Stella wasn't done wandering ... I let her go. She knew what she was doing and where she was going ... I followed the path while keeping an eye on her. She hasn't run off to the north woods since the time that Sadie decided it was a good time to lead her to new frontiers. They sprinted away from me that day in a playful run, hopping up high enough to see over the tall hay as they ran north.
What's this ??? She is going to cross in front of me while I follow the normal path ?? I couldn't believe she was in the same area of the field as I was after all of the changes she had this morning. I glanced at my watch and it was hard to believe, we were on time for the walk. It had not taken any longer than following the normal way. Once again I think Stella is trying to remind me to 'lighten up' it just life ... relax. Go with the flow.
Of course with the change of direction in my eating, the fat content has dropped a lot. I am alway below my recommended 1,850 calories per day although both Dr. Greger and Dr. Fuhrman say counting calories is not important eating a plant-based diet.
So is it Vegan or Vegetarian? I would have thought it would be one or the other. Last weekend I could not figure out where the term "Whole Food Plant Based" diet came from. I had been a Lacto-Vegetarian for 8 years many years ago, I had never heard of that term until recently.
After reading the past three to four days on this diet plan I finally figured it out and it was something that Jeff over at Respectful Living told me this past weekend in an email.
To many Vegans and Vegetarians still eat processed food, bags of chips, sugary sport drinks, pastry with tons of sugar, candy, etc ... all because it was meatless, possibly dairy less. The Whole Food Plant Based way of eating does not include any of that type of eating. Basically it is fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes.
I am still not getting enough protein. Taking my weight x .4 tells me how many grams of protein I need per day and with this meatless diet I am not getting anywhere close to that. I AM seeing more positive results in the nutrient content of the food I am eating. Like both doctors say it is not the quantity of food you eat but the quality of food, optimized nutrition. Cronometer tracks your food intake right down to the very last mineral.
Unless I shock myself, I still think there will be times I'll grab a pizza at Mother Bears in Bloomington or a strom at Nick's, even a Five Guys cheeseburger. The neat thing about Five Guys, I no longer have to fight traffic to drive to the other side of Bloomington, then south out of the way just to get to a cheeseburger, because they have built a new store next door to Nick's on Kirkwood Ave ... perfect. :)
Right after I took this picture my camera's battery icon started flashing red at me. With a morning like this mornig why was that not a surprise? I knew it would be touch and go the rest of the way if I was to finish the walk on film as we usually do. I started turning the camera off and on to nurse it back home and still get a few pictures of Stella as she finished her walk ... like nothing out of the ordinary happened today.
This time last year I had already mowed my yard once. Not a chance to mow for weeks from now unless some hot sunshine shows up and makes it grow faster. I look at this picture and thank my lucky stars for what I and the hounds can walk through every day. Compared to the current pictures of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska with water up to the roof line of all the houses ... two different worlds. I feel for the people going through all of that.
I have wondered about my recent blogging activity. Twice per day ??? Really ?? I know it has only been a few days but I like doing that early evening post of Heidi's afternoon activity with just a short paragraph and all pictures. This morning post seems to have evolved into a step by step narrative of Stella's daily walk. I find it hard to decrease the number of photos since there seems to be some sort of story following her through the field. Her post doesn't look right with few pictures.
It doesn't bother me blogging twice per day. Jon Katz at Bedlam Farm, posts multiple times per day but has only one photo each on each post. So each blogger has their own way, which is fine.
With my late start this morning I have not taken the time to look at the news online nor have I turned on the tv. By the time I finished my first cup of coffee and read all of my email, Stella was whining to get started. She is a great house dog, minus her occasional bouts of anxiety when I am gone. It is hard to believe that both hounds will be ten years old this summer.
I forgot to mention one interesting thing about following the recommendations from both doctors ... if I were to follow the amounts of fruit and vegetables to eat, I would have to go to the store to buy more fruit and veggies everyday and no longer than every other day. I tried eating the recommended amount of vegetables yesterday and could not do it ... I was full and didn't have any hunger cravings at any time.
Probably this weekend, after the NCAA field will be reduced to 32 teams from 68 teams, I'll spend one morning raking and picking up all the loose tree bark, sticks and a couple of limbs from the yard and add to the burn pile. My huge bonfire is scheduled for early April. It might be my biggest fire ever.
Stella may have started her walk off entirely different this morning but that didn't mean she would end it that way. Right after she passes that last tree on her right, she veers down the slight incline toward the house and follows the edge back to the carport. How long will it be before she changes that routine ??
A beautiful day this morning in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.