Exercise … It’s Bad for Us!

The Secret Waterfall!

Over breakfast the other day, there was something on the news that didn’t fully register at the time. They said fat people who spent less time sitting lost more weight. And they keep it off better too. Duh, I guess, eh!

Anyway, they said if you spend 3 fewer hours sitting every day, it works wonders. You didn’t have to do gymnastics, nor run triathlons. Just get off your ass an extra 3 hours a day. While it didn’t capture my attention at the time, it jumped back into my thoughts as I was trying to figure out how to modify one of those rolling hospital tables. You know the type they roll over the bed. I was redesigning it so that I could more comfortably do my day job from … wait for it … an armchair & ottoman combo! ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚

You want one now too, don’t you! ๐Ÿ˜

Since I was already overdoing the sitting “activity”, this was just silly. I decided to get more active instead.

Walking around a suburban neighbourhood isn’t much fun. The view of my back yard is good enough, especially if I’m lying on my lounger! I needed something more exciting to motivate me to move. I like to visit new places. Places with a little variety & adventure. But we’re on lockdown, stuck in our own communities. Were there any hidden spots, locally, that I hadn’t seen before? Is there an app that can help with that?

There is!

I download this trails app &, to my total disbelief, I discovered a waterall very close by. It’s on a little river that flows into a lake that I’d also never heard of. Wow, who knew? The app said the walking trail was a short, flat, easy loop. How perfect.

That bloody app was lyin’ to me! ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ˜

The trail head was down a gravelled dirt road. Lucky I brought the truck, I might have lost the car in the potholes. Finally came upon another parked truck & figured this must be the spot. The trail was wild & wooded, barely marked with paint spots & faded orange ribbons. The app’s navigation map helped, especially when the trail markings disappeared. I’m not sure why the description said it was flat but, far too late, I realised I had gone a long way downhill to get to the falls. I could only hope that the return half of the loop magically kept on going downhill. After catching my breath & capturing a few pics of the falls, I was ready for the rest of the loop back. Actually, I wasn’t. By then, I really just wanted to be airlifted out. I was tired, thirsty, & I wanted to be home again already. Sitting! To top it off, this was the warmest day of the year so far. The bloody mosquitoes thought I was their first summer barbeque. Little bleepers!

I followed the map & the markings. I crossed the little river, twice, & got a little wet. Then I ran out of trail. The map said I was on the trail, but there was no trail that I could see. And I didn’t have a machete to hack my way through the overgrown “path” the app now wanted me to follow. Hauling my corpulence through the woods already had my heart rate on the top shelf. Not having a shortcut back to the truck only made it worse. I sat down on a rock. OMG, I just realised something & jumped back up! Are there swarms of disease-laden ticks in this God-forsaken place? No way is this hiking stuff healthy. I really just wanted to pin-drop someone to come get me now.

But, instead, I had to turn around & go back the way I came. I crossed the little river again. Twice. I got a little wet again. I easily lost 2lbs to sweat. Maybe another pound of blood was donated to the mozzies. Going back uphill, I had to sit & recover. More than once. Okay, more than twice but, at last, I could see the glint of sun off the back of my truck. I made it.

Later that evening, I was watching the local news. They showed Momma bears popping up all over the city with their cubs. Bloody bears too? I didn’t even know that I should have been worried about bears in the woods, for cryin’ out loud. That’s it, I’m done with all this woods & nature crap. Anyone got any other ideas (safe ones only!) that I can use to get off my posterior periodically?

Vaccinate by BMI!

Indian Sweets!
Part of my pandemic shopping program to support local businesses! ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ท

I had my first vaccine shot a couple of weeks ago! Woohoo!

And now that I’m done, I can bring up something that was bothering me … why were we not vaccinating by BMI?

I kept hearing that obese people were among the most susceptible to bad outcomes, but nobody was pushing for fat people to get to the head of the vaccination line? Look, I’m not saying that other groups are not important. Health workers, front line workers, the sick, the elderly, & a host of others deserve priority. Some because they are putting themselves, & their families, in harm’s way. Others because they were more likely to die. The obese fell into this latter category. But nobody was pushing for us. Of course, I wasn’t even pushing for that myself then either!

Shouting about it before I got my shot would have felt a bit self-serving. Now I can shout out on behalf of other fat folk, who should be considered a priority. Where were all the non-fat people that should have come out on our behalf sooner? Were they afraid of fat-shaming us? Guys, for future reference, feel free to fat-shame me any time you’re trying to save my life!

Or do they still think it’s our fault we’re fat?

Though, to be fair, I’m beginning to wonder about that myself. I’ve lost all dietary control during the pandemic. It’s funny that. On other fronts, I’ve gotten things done that have defied getting a checkmark on any of my to-do lists for years. But, somehow, I’ve lost my vision for weight-loss & I think I may have hit an all time high. That’s sad.

I just realised a few days ago that I hadn’t posted for ages. Maybe I’m waking up again. Fingers crossed!

Mask up, get your shot, & shop on! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜ท

Stay safe out there!

You Think What!?!

Covid Questions?
Are you Seeing Double, Blindsided, or Enlighted by Hindsight?

Are introverts really enjoying lockdown & all this working from home?

Are some people secretly delighted not to have to travel for work?

Should we continue to support local small businesses if they suck?

One year on, knowing what we now know, would putting up with a hard, one month, 100%, total lockdown really have been so bad last year?

Or would enough people still break the rules, that it wouldn’t work anyway?

Ever get the feeling that we missed a really big opportunity to learn how to handle pandemics better?

What if the next one is far more serious? More deadly?

Would we react differently if the death rates were far higher?

Or if a virus targets our children more severely, rather than the sick & elderly?

Or are we collectively that stupid that it wouldn’t matter? Maybe don’t answer that one! LOL

What about a virus that targets liberals or conservatives? ๐Ÿ˜œ

Which country did the best job containing the pandemic?

Which one is doing best deploying vaccines?

Are the rest of us capable of learning anything from them? Maybe we shouldn’t answer that one either! ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

Have you wondered if you’re one of those people susceptible to believing conspiracy theories?

Why don’t we give the real ingredients to the @#&$heads out there making fake vaccines?

Should we look at improving our country’s healthcare system?

Do we only worry about the less well-off countries after we take care of ourselves first?

What are the chances that we all answered all those questions the same way?

Is there anything we can agree on? ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜

Stay safe out there all. ๐Ÿ™

Happy St. Brigid’s Day

Scarves out for the attention of St. Brigid on the eve of imbolg!

St. Brigid is a 5th century Irish Saint. And a Celtic fire goddess. How Christianity is interwoven with Celtic mythology is something that can only be sensibly discussed in an Irish pub! Indeed, the celebration of imbolg, about halfway between the winter solstice & the spring equinox, goes back even further. Through the times of the mythological Tuatha Dรฉ Danann & probably further, all the way back to neolithic times. But whatever the origins, February 1st is celebrated as both imbolg & Lรก Fhรฉile Brรญde, St. Brigid’s Day.

Neighbours passing by our Canadian homes over the years have been treated to occasional displays of (mostly unrecognizable to them) flags of Irish counties, green lights on Paddy’s Day, & other traditional oddities. Nothing, though, is as strange as seeing scarves tossed onto winter-stripped shrubs at the end of January!

While we are usually still white & frozen at this time of year in Canada, in Ireland, spring is imminent. Crocuses & snowdrops have been blooming in January. And, this year, I’ve already seen pics of bright yellow narcissus blooms on the social media pages of my Irish friends. Though, sometimes, I feel like they’re growing them indoors & sharing pics with the sole purpose of irritating me! ๐Ÿ˜œ

So what’s with the scarves on the bushes?

Brigid, the saint & the goddess both, have a large portfolio of responsibilities. She is the patron saint of farmers, milkmaids, blacksmiths, fisher folk, mariners, children, poets, & Lord knows what else. She stands, side by side, as a patron saint of Ireland, with her contemporary, St. Patrick. Known for her kindness & charity, Brigid is also famous for turning water into an endless supply of beer! Funny enough, she is not one of the patron saints of beer. Go figure!

Again, what is the thing about the scarves?

If you toss a ribbon or scarf out on a bush on the eve of St. Brigid’s Day, it’s said she passes by overnight to bless the cloths. These will then protect you for the next year. And they are reputed to cure ailments, like headaches, pains, & other afflictions! Probably worth a shot, if you are so afflicted.

Hey, if nothing else, especially during these pandemic times, it makes for a great interactive story opportunity for the kids. But, even for us adults, what’s the harm in having a scarf round our neck that’s been naturally freshened outside overnight! ๐Ÿ˜

If you have covid-confined kids that you’d like to entertain, try making a St. Brigid’s cross. You’ll find plenty of simple instructions online. If you can’t find any reeds growing around your garden at this time of year, try plastic drinking straws, craft pipe cleaners, or cut strips of card stock. Very entertaining & a great time consumer for kids. That’ll be St. Brigid protecting your sanity during covid too. And I pray those refreshed scarves will keep us all safe ’til we’re vaccinated!

Stay safe out there & …

Happy St. Brigid’s Day! โ˜˜๏ธโ˜˜๏ธโ˜˜๏ธ

DIY Fast Food

DIY Murg Tikka Masala

It’s probably not helping my diet, but I am trying to help my local businesses, by getting takeout. Or maybe I’m just putting that virtuous spin on it by way of excusing the bad behaviour! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Every now & then though, I just don’t feel like another takeout meal. I feel like something home cooked. But I don’t feel like cooking it.

DIY homemade fast-food is the answer.

Between cans, jars, & leftovers, you can sometimes be serving dinner faster than you can find the car keys. Or call out for delivery. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve noticed an increase in the pantry inventory of canned foods & sauces in jars. It was never a plan, it just evolved that way.

Take that Murg Tikka Masala, for example. It’s a quick concoction of some leftover chicken, frozen peas, a can of mushrooms, & some chopped onion & garlic. With a jar of tikka masala sauce thrown in at the end. A few sprigs of cilantro & a splash (okay, it was a cup or two!) of cream finished it off & it made for a mouth-watering, gustatory delight. Even the rice was that quick-cook type. Bring it to the boil, turn off the stove, & it’s ready to serve when everything else is done. The whole meal had little to no prep time, & very short cooking time. It’s all just too easy. These pandemic skills will be carried forward to when this whole covid thing is, hopefully, just a bad memory for us. Buy some cans & give it a try. And if you already have, send me your fast recipes!

I think that Murg Tikka Masala just means Chicken Pieces in Mixed spices, right? Convert any food name to Hindi & it sounds way more delicious & exotic to my western anglophone ears. I wonder if that works with Irish!?!

Fancy a plate of my special Pรญosaรญ Sicรญn Spรญosrach? No? Maybe I’ll just stick to coddle & boxty for the Irish stuff then! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

PS … Make sure you make enough for more leftovers next day. That’s even faster fast food! Stay safe out there.