Thursday, January 20, 2011

Walking Around in Circles

Some of you may remember my fateful meeting with my general practitioner this past fall and the discussion she and I had about walking for exercise.  Silly me had brought up the fact that I tried to walk five miles a day as a goal for weight maintenance and health benefits.  (This was before the sleep apnea diagnosis, by the way.)  I was feeling this was a Good Thing I was doing, trying to walk five miles, until I was soundly slapped upside the head and told that if I wasn't walking ten or fifteen miles a day I wasn't accomplishing anything.  (Ok, there was no 'slapping' per se, but it was rather shocking to my ego, if nothing else, lol.)

"If you are walking five miles a day, that isn't much.  And if you are, and you're not seeing any weight loss, then you need to walk more.  Once your body gets used to five miles and then ten and fifteen, you'll have to walk more than that, too."  And my doctor's next challenge was, "So, now winter is coming on. What sort of exercise will you do in winter?  You should buy a treadmill or join a health club or walk in the mall.  You have to do something and most people don't like the cold."

(Our sons' take on the good doctor's advice was that she was Grade A Certified Nuts but with an ulterior motive:  If I walk as much as they say I have to, then I'll be certain to need  knee and/or hip replacements eventually, along with foot problems........ so, see, it's a Win-Win for the medical community, keep 'em comin'.)

At the time of my appointment, I was groggy from lack of sleep, and yes, I still am now, come to think of it, so I had nothing to say for myself.  I remember sitting there, nodding my head up and down, like a menopausal bobble-headed Hula Girl on a car's dashboard, agreeing with the superbly physically fit doctor.

Doctor Knows Best.

(No, that's not her name, by the way, but for my purposes, it works, so I shall use it.)  I assured Dr, Knowsbest that I would do my best to get exercise no matter how cold it was outside.  We can't afford a treadmill (I blew all our disposable cash on the ambulance ride and hospital stay back in October, ditto for a health club...) and we live about 13 miles from the nearest mall, which would actually work out about right, I could walk the 13 miles to the mall and then turn around and head back home, thereby walking 26 miles. Shouldn't take long.  In January.  In Wisconsin.  In below zero weather. 

So, Dr. Knowsbest, you were right,  I'm sorry to report I haven't been walking fifteen, ten, or (gulp) even five miles a day lately, though if waking up (sixteen times last night) and getting out of bed and tinkering with CPAP equipment counts at all, I probably get a good aerobic workout just tossing and turning in bed. Oh, last night was a doozy, not good!  I talked to the sleep tech again today and he's going to see what else he has in his magic box of masks that may work better.  He's supposed to give me a call before the weekend and I sure hope he does.  These sleepless nights are getting old.  Carl left for work at 4:30AM because I had disturbed him just one too many times...oh, dear, I think even he's starting to lose hope.  This is just like having a colicky baby in the house.  Even worse.  A cranky sleep apnea patient with a chronic case of CPAP mask-itis. 

But I am trying to get in some outdoor exercise, walking, cross-country skiing and possibly snow-shoeing, about three miles a day, no matter what the weather.  We have had quite a bit of snow though which makes regular walking a challenge.  This past week I did something I haven't done before--I took the snowblower and made trails around some of the gardens so I can enjoy the garden in winter.  I do love winter as much as any other season; cold weather really doesn't bother me as long as I have a nice, warm house to go back to.

Care to join me on my walk this afternoon?  Screech Kitty usually does, and below, he shows us how important it is to stretch before exercising (and sharpen your claws!)
The Snowblower Trail takes us past the old gazebo first:
Looking past the gazebo to the west and the sunset
Then we head out past the chicken coop and the barn:

Past the east side of the Quarry Garden:

 Which overlooks the Formal Garden and the Dome:

 We keep going down the lane:
 Where we come upon the Aermotor windmill catching the last rays of the sun:

Looking back toward the barn and turning the corner, below to the east side of our property:

Walking past another snowy urn with a beautiful dollop of snowflakes artfully arranged:
Coming up on the tufa wall around the hosta bed that  I nagged Carl to help me move last summer--oh, it was so HOT out that day!  And the mosquitoes!  (None of them bothered me today.)

Finally, something GREEN in these pictures--just the wrought iron arch Carl built, but hey, it's sorta green:
Follow Snowblower Trail through the gate and:
What is it?  An old silo base?  A ruin?  Um......well.........more about this in another post...

past something (above) that I have to do some explaining about in my next posts---yes, it's another Procrastinatoe Project.....but I have HIGH hopes this year for it......stay tuned for an explanation in the next segment of "How This All Started Part 14,003" (or whatever I'm up to now) and we now head back past the barn--looks like Screech beat us:

And even though my feet are now aching with the cold, the sunset looks so pretty, so we'll take a quick walk down the road---here's the woods across from our house:

And our humble abode:
Heading back into the driveway (no, I didn't take the Christmas decorations down yet, need hip boots to get through the snow)

And finally, back into the nice, warm house where I tried to capture the sunset through the window:

But my glasses and the camera lens kept fogging up.  
So, this is as good as it gets! 

There, thank you for coming along, exercising with someone is much more fun!  We just walked about a half mile, so I only need to walk Snowblower Trail and the road a few hundred times to get my mileage for the day...

Or head for the mall.

Awww...phooey, I'm going to bed to get some sleep  rest, uh......exercise. 


Granny Lyn's Garden said...

Hi Karen, I loved the walk through your gardens. Must be the kid in me, but I love walking trails made in the snow,maybe it's because it's easier walking trails than thru the snow. Too old for that!! So sorry you had a bad night, I had high hopes for you after your last post.Hopefully they can find the perfect mask.
God Bless, Lynda

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen, what a great idea using the snowblower to make a path. At least this allows you to walk through your garden in the winter.


FlowerLady said...

Good morning Karen ~ I just love reading your posts. I always feel like I am right there with you. Thank you for the walking tour through your snow laden gardens.

Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

Darla said...

Walking through the snow has to be like walking through the sand at the beach. It's harder to pick your feet up and and walk with any speed, so I say, you should calculate by at least three. We just walked 3/4 of mile....don't you feel better? I certainly do.

Becky said...

Karen,The Dr. that you saw should have said something positive about you walking five miles aday instead of negative. It sounds like that just stressed you out more and maybe makes your sleep apnea worse if you don't relax when you go to bed. I think the trail you made is great and would be much more relaxing than walking on the highway or in the mall. I love all the photos you took. Hang in there.
Ginger Creme Hollow

Beth said...

Karen, Quarry Garden is lovely even in the dead of winter! This was a creative post filled with lovely photos, especially the last one!

Zoey said...

I think walking your snowblown paths is a great idea to get exercise. I would feel pretty good if I walked the path twice in the am and twice in the afternoon for a total of 2 miles.

Sandy said...

You know, walking through your beautiful property, in the snow is about the best exercise you could get. Not sure why you need to walk more than 5 miles.. that's just silly really. I'd think I did something really wonderful if I walked that many miles! You just continue doing as your doing and you will be fine..
Such wonderful photos!

xoxoxo said...

What a lovely walk--are you sure it is only .5 miles? I think it was quite possibly longer!!

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Said a little prayer for you last night as I was (dare I say) drifting off to sleep. Such a beautiful walk. Thanks for taking us along. Walking in the snow is harder than walking on the road, though, so I would think that 1/2 mile on snow would be the equivalent to 1 mile on the road. Sounds good anyway. Hoping for a restful night sleep for you.

Rosemary said...

Enjoyed the snowblower walk and especially loved the sunset thru the stained glass just beautiful. I personally think 5 miles is a heck of a walk. Dr. is downright silly saying to do more.....

Dandelion and Daisy said...

Snow is beautiful....even more so in someone else's yard! So far, only water falling out of our sky. I really enjoyed your views, it made walking your property a "breeze"! Thanks for visiting me today. Hope you sleep better tonight.

Sall's Country Life said...

What a great idea Karen!! Wish I had my own snow blower, it would make the walk into the farm alot easier. We've talked about cross-country skis too, but, I'm sure we'll be shocked at the cost of those also!! Glad this gave you a chance to get out and get some exercise!! Looks like walking in a beautiful park! I love how the cat stretches before it's walk (what a smart cat). We also have a cat that likes to tag along with Sall and the dogs outside, I think he wants to be a golden retriever!

Anonymous said...

You had a wonderful walk and got some beautiful photos. The skies were amazing. The lighting was just perfect.

Tootsie said...

what a great post! thanks for taking us with you!

lifeshighway said...

Do you need me to come up there and give your doctor a knock upside the head? I'll do it, it will be a pleasure. Good grief, 15 miles? Unless you can do that in 30 - 40 minutes, you get all the aerobic work you need in daily short burst. Just ask the hubby Mr. Triathalon man. (who by the way does not do 15 miles a day)

I love love the arch.

Just say the word...

Karen said...

Thank you to everyone! I'm feeling much better and I'm glad you enjoyed the walk down Snowblower Trail. All your good wishes have helped me magically adjust to the CPAP machine and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Karen said...


Shirley said...

Karen, your acreage is so beautiful, even under the cover of snow and you've captured some amazing skies too. I enjoyed the walk very much, thank you.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

After all you've been through, 3 to 5miles a day sound like way more than most people walk. I'd say keep it up, and if you have extra energy once in awhile, put in a few more. You must feel fitter.

I hope you get the mask situation worked out. My dad has to use one of those. I was finally getting used to my $700 night guard in my mouth, but one morning, wasn't fully awake when I took it out, and now it is lost. I also kick in the night, so don't get the best quality sleep.

Your photos are beautiful!