Take a hike!

IMG_0929When I’m walking with the pooch through the neighborhood I can’t help but chuckle at how my strolls have changed over the years. When my kids were little, really little, and I was pushing them in their strollers I would be soaking in the sights and sounds and pointing out birdies, squirrels and pretty flowers to them along the way. Then when they got older, I would be huffing and puffing trying to keep up with them while they rode their Big Wheels, tricycles or big girl two wheelers, yelling at them to wait for me at the next corner and not to get too far ahead.

Eventually it wasn’t cool to walk with mom anymore but luckily for me I’ve always had a dog in my life who doesn’t mind in the least! That latest pooch is, of course, Jasmine. Now when Jasmine came into our family she was supposed to be a lap dog, our first small dog, but she definitely had a different idea. She ain’t nobody’s lap dog!  She’s rough and tumble, loves to run and fetch, and thankfully a walker extraordinaire!

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We’ve logged a lot of miles, more than I ever realized until I started keeping track, and the fact that she expects numerous walks every day come, sun, rain or arctic snows, means I can’t rest on my couch all day long as I’d prefer.

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Being small, and just over 8 years old (not me, the dog!) hasn’t stopped us from logging an average of 3-4 miles a day. While we mostly meander through our neighborhood(s), we do occasionally get to be a bit more adventurous and see some pretty amazing sights!

And just like when my kids were little, I find myself yapping away to the dog telling her to say “hello” to her (doggie) friend, and “hurry up and cross the street”, and “RUN, there’s a moose in that yard”! Well, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.

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But sometimes all that exercise can tire the little pup out…

…. and I won’t show you my picture ’cause it ain’t a pretty sight!

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Long time, no write!

It’s been many moons since I’ve put digits to keyboard to compose a scintillating (pure sarcasm!) post for this blog. I have had a lack of focus for quite some time both with this blog, my book reading and any other aspects of my life that involve, well, focus. Maybe it’s the ping-ponging back and forth between the mid-west and Alaska, the absence of a daily agenda, or the fact that I’m just on the cusp of qualifying for some senior discounts, or possibly all of the above, but whatever it is I would like it to STOP!

Now “unfocused” does not necessarily correlate with “lazy” (well maybe a tad), because I’ve done a great deal of walking while feeling all higgledy- piggledy and out of sorts. I’ve done so much walking in fact that this week I’ve completed a major milestone on my FItbit pedometer…a MILLION STEPS in just under 3 months!
Now while that’s exciting and all, this spurt of putting feet to pavement hasn’t really done much for my slightly overweight physique, or my ability to touch my toes before first doing a deep knee bend, but it has certainly gotten me out of the house, and off the couch and it has done something more too, it made me realize I was focused all along it just was on something else for a change.

Counting Moose instead of Sheep


Cow moose

Cow moose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even though coffee is verboten for this blogger, I decided after the sleepless night I had I was going to go crazy and brew a pot. Just call me irresponsible and unreliable too.

~~Sorry for getting a little sidetracked but I couldn’t stop singing the above song after I wrote that last sentence~~

Anyway, the reason for my lack of 40 winks? MOOSE!  Specifically Mildred Moose, at least that’s what I call her. We haven’t been formally introduced but she just looks like a Mildred to me.

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Moose (Photo credit: Travis S.)

Mildred is really cramping my style. Every morning when I’m walking Jasmine around the ‘hood, and we’re just hitting our stride, I spot Mildred…lurking. The scary part is that I don’t notice her until I hear her snorting and chomping on some poor defenseless foliage just yards away. I’m not an outdoor kind of gal so these encounters, while thrilling, are also terrifying and just way too close for comfort.

The first time I saw her I tried to snap a picture with my antiquated cell phone. I only managed to shoot a picture of the tree that Mildred was hiding behind. Maybe this was because I was panicking a bit when she raised that Jimmy Durante snoz in the air and took a big sniff. Maybe I’ve seen too many scary movies featuring beasties (Jurassic Park came to mind) , but this seemed like a really good time to turn around and head back from whence we came!

But last night I decided maybe I was making a mountain out of a moose hill and decided to google “Moose attacks in Anchorage”. BIG MISTAKE!

 

~This is akin to googling “headache” and becoming convinced you have a brain tumor and have only weeks to live~

I came away with numerous hits, both old and new, about attacks in suburban areas of Anchorage. It seems with the record snows we’ve had this year the moose are irritable and a little cranky from having to climb huge snow banks and search for food.

Then I found out they don’t like dogs, they can run as fast as a rabbit,  and they can kick sideways too!  This does not seem to bode well for Jasmine and I, since she’s a dog and I’m as slow as molasses. A double whammy if Mildred ever decides we are interrupting her all you can eat buffet!

As Einstein said, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”!

But the new day found me pulling on my boots (because of course it’s snowing here yet again), leashing the dog and venturing out onto the mean streets of Anchorage, filled with more moose knowledge than is good for any one person to possess.

As I peered around every corner and tree on our journey, Mildred was no where to be seen. Even though I was relieved to make it home unscathed, a part of me missed the little vixen.

Born to walk

As a sometimes runner and an everyday walker I’ve always been curious about the distances I’ve gotten under my belt. I’m not a long distance runner/walker by any means but I am curious about my accomplishments no matter how small.

I’m not a fan of the pedometer. I’ve tried several different versions and have found that they either stop recording at some point during my walk or they don’t record at all no matter where I place them on my clothes.
I’ve used an app on my IPod that was just ok, but I found that it was inconvenient and not very accurate.

But I wanted to share something I found on the internet that is just great, it’s the g-map pedometer. You can figure out distances for walks/runs any place in the world or just use it to record walks/runs around your neighborhood. If you want, you can get a free account that enables you to set a default starting point, and keep a log of routes that are already under your belt.