Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rain, wind and a walk

This is the view looking south from my front porch. Although it's not easy to tell from this picture, it's raining. It's been pouring now for a couple of hours, but early this morning I went out with the Fairhaven walkers (there were more than a dozen of us) all bundled up in the cold, expecting it to rain, but it didn't. In the most amazing timing ever, as I walked back to my car after our six-mile walk and well deserved coffee klatch afterwards, the rain began spattering my windshield. I wouldn't have gone this morning if the rain had already reached us. Satellite images were clear, showing the rain several hours out.

I love this group of walkers, led by Cindy. We meet at 8:00am every Saturday, rain or shine, at a place she chooses. She reminds us where we are going by email a day or two beforehand. The only time she cancels this walk is if it's icy and the footing might not be good. Most of the trails are around Bellingham, and I've been introduced to many of the beautiful places that are tucked away out of sight, some of them just a quick turn into woods from city streets. You just have to know the town as well as Cindy does.  I first joined this group on the only time each year she starts the walks at 9:00am: New Years Day. On the first day of the year, several of the long-time walkers bring food, and Cindy provides coffee and hot chocolate. Here's a post about my first visit with these friends; I realized when I started writing this that it's been almost two years now since that day.

Many times during the summer I'm out skydiving with my friends in Snohomish on Saturdays, so I miss this walk, but usually I try to get my knees in the breeze on Sundays so I can join them for a four- to six-mile walk at a brisk pace. Cindy was a world class race walker years ago, and she moves her tiny little body so fast across the ground that it seems like she's standing still, zipping from the front of the group to the back time and again with her dog Luna. Today we went up some very steep hills and down again, with the trail covered with damp leaves that had recently fallen from the trees. So many of the trails are in deeply forested woodlands. When we moved here, we knew about the nearby mountains and Bellingham Bay, but these numerous urban trails were a happy surprise. Two of my Senior Trailblazers told me about this group of (mostly) women and their dogs on leash, if they choose to bring them. Today we had fourteen walkers and three dogs.

Just a quick aside before I sign off: it's been almost three weeks since I've been wheat free (and free of any added sugar) and I notice one interesting side effect: my stomach is getting flatter and my waist is beginning to reappear. And here I thought it was gone forever! Is it possible that wheat can really cause that? I haven't lost any more weight and just want to keep what I've lost from creeping back up during the winter months. I remember once long ago seeing a cartoon showing the three shapes a woman can expect to have in life, using keys on the typewriter:
) (    Young babe
|  |    Premenopausal but no longer young
(  )   Postmenopausal old lady
Maybe it's not always true!


  1. Sounds like a good thing to me. Keep us posted, please.

    Lovely images as always, DJan.

  2. Your walking group sounds wonderful! I don't know if I could keep up though.
    I checked the computer weather map too this morning and got out at 8:50, which is early for me, and got in a 3.25 mile walk around the neighborhood while it was still dry. In fact the rain didn't hit until about 11:45, so we got in most of Isaac's soccer game too. But now - 43 and raining, real November rain - the worst!

  3. It’s lovely to look at your mountain pictures and read about your hikes. Autumn has been so colorful here that we have gone to two other state parks and a garden. A walking stick helped me go down little hills but I could not go much farther than a couple of miles without my knees starting to yell to stop. We are supposed to get a couple more days in the low 70s so we will go out again. It seems like the leaves are staying on trees a lot longer than last year.

    So you don’t eat any bread? That would be hard for me – what do you have for breakfast? I usually have a cup of coffee and an English muffin – whole grain but as you say - that does not mean much anymore

  4. Today is finally sunny over here. We've had rainy days for a couple of weeks now. No kidding? About the wheat? Wow! I'll try watching my wheat intake and see what happens.

  5. nice on the results...that is awesome...ok you might have just sold me on this...

    sounds like a fun time with the walking group as was a beautiful day here...crisp yet some nice sun...

  6. Wow, I can't believe not eating wheat and sugar can produce results in just 3 weeks, even though the scale says otherwise.

    I am definitely ( ). lol.

    Hard to give up cookies, though.

  7. Wheat or waist, wheat or waist. That is a hard decision, but a Great view from your porch.

  8. That's a really nice view from your porch DJan. The Saturday morning walking group sounds like fun. I had lots of errands to run today and the rain held off until just before I turned into my driveway.

    Isn't it amazing what leaving off wheat and added sugars can do for the body. I've been indulging a bit lately so it's time for me to get back with the program too.

  9. Isn't it funny how quickly a couple years can go by? What a great group of people.

    Sure does sound like cutting out the wheat and sugar is really doing something positive! I'll be curious how things turn out at your next doctor visit. :)

    Have a wonderful Sunday!!

  10. It is wonderful that you are learning more about the place you live from the walking group. I would be too slow..besides that I am always stopping to take photos:)

  11. Learning new places to see around your home town sounds lovely.

    Really interesting how much impact losing sugar and wheat is having, keep us posted please.

  12. DJan, I wrote a little post about your 2 blogs that you might be interested in. Here's the link:

    It's about your wheat-free diet.

  13. One of the amazing things about the Pacific Northwest in winter is how often we get breaks from the rain that allow us outdoors dry nearly every day.

    I stopped wheat, sugar and dairy almost a year ago, and have had the same results. Nothing else worked before. Plus I have more energy.

  14. I'm encouraged to hear that your ban on wheat and sugar has produced positive results. Maybe that will motivate me to try it. You get a lot of exercise which probably helps too.

  15. Another walking group? You're great at finding them! It's definitely a fabulous way to discover a bit more about your immediate surroundings! :o)

    Fun coincidence, my family's dog is also named Luna! :D

  16. You do lead a fit- for- life life! I'm in my official training schedule for my half marathon in February in Florida and loving it so far. weather is more favorable here- cooled down to high 50's- low 60's in the day. And congrats about the wheat free experiment. Are you concluding that they're right about wheat/gluten?

  17. Oh, man, I think dropping wheat and sugar is the right thing to do, but I don't think I'm going to begin just as we enter the holiday season. I'm going to be observing just how much of that stuff I do eat, though, and thinking about alternatives. You are an inspiration!

  18. What a lovely way to spend your Sunday !
    We've had forty mile an hour wind gusts all night and all day here, not good weather for much of anything :)
    I need to cut out the wheat products, since I fit into the group of the latter illustration :)

  19. Hi DJan! What a view! Lovely to look forward to each day, I imagine!

    Part of me wants to try your wheat free/sugar free regimen, but the bigger part (no pun intended!) is fearful, as I've already done it before, twice, and when I "fell off the wagon" the weight came back fast and furious.

    Thank you for your comments. I know that right now, my focus is on exercise and icing my knees. But, I'm going to do some research while I sit here!

  20. What a great way to spend your Saturday.
    That's great about your diet. From my experience with no wheat, sugar, dairy, etc., my stomach was the first thing to go but it slowly spread to the rest of my 'less toned areas.' When I let the crud back into my diet my stomach was also the first area to reappear. I applaud the changes you've made! I know it's hard at times.

  21. Your walkin' clan sound like so much fun.

    Kinda makes me feel sad 'cause I have to walk alone out here smack in the middle of nowhere!

    You have a beautiful view...that we have in common.

    Now...those signs at the bottom. I'm rebukin' 'em!!! Heeehehehe!

    God bless ya and have a fabulous week sweetie!!! :o)

  22. () that's me the old lady!!I know you have heard me say this before but I got to get busy with healthy eating! I so admire you!

  23. I've heard going wheat-free has lots of other effects, too, including mood. Pay close attention and let us know, okay? Because I'm not giving up my olive bread with butter slabs for nothing.

  24. I can walk from the house to the swing up in the back but it has to be a not too hot and not too humid and not too cold kind of a day.

  25. That sounds like so much fun--and what a BEAUTIFUL view :)

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog today.

  26. how amazing to that view from your porch, and I love that you appeciate it so much

    I think there is more than those 3 shapes
    I just don't know what to call mine ;)

    thank you for your empathetic comment on my last post
    I always count on you to make me feel less alone


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