Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Changing Seasons July 2017

It’s July – summer time here in the Northern Hemisphere. Judging by what I read, or more precisely what I don’t read on WordPress, I’m no different from other bloggers who are otherwise engaged. That means I’m not posting or commenting as frequently as I usually do.

But it’s raining today, so I’m going to take this opportunity to contribute to the Changing Seasons blog challenge for July.

Mostly, this month I’ve been doing more of the same around the house and the Town of Cobalt, though wearing moderately lighter clothing. Would you believe that I haven’t worn shorts yet this year? Not even capris.

My medical test results are in. High blood pressure and borderline LDL cholesterol. My new MD has prescribed medication for hypertension. Because there’s a history of heart and stroke disease in the family, she prescribed an ACE inhibitor as well as lifestyle changes. I’m not crazy about the side-effects of the drug, so I’m going to focus on diet and exercise. No alcohol, no cheese, no ice cream, no cakes, pies, cookies, or muffins. Bye-bye french fries, bring on the leafy greens and whole grains. Fortunately, we already follow a low- or no-salt diet. Plus we don’t eat meat or butter.

So, why do I have a weight and blood pressure problem? Snacks. And sedentary lifestyle.

Years ago, I started to eat more frequently through the day – you know how they suggest? Five small meals rather than three larger ones. My problem is that the “snacks” were often heavily loaded with calories. Then there’s my husband – the giant green string-bean who is constantly battling to keep weight on. He must eat twice the calorie load that I do, at least. Of course, a lot of it is crap food – potato chips, cookies, candy. The reason this a problem for me is that he’d have a bowl of chips and offer me one. And to be honest, I’d help myself without being offered.

However, years ago, I was exercising more regularly. Since I moved, yes, I have plenty of time to get out and walk, but… the butt stays put, warm by the fire, dry on the sofa, napping in the afternoon. No, not a good excuse, really.

Now, however, since the medical reports, I’m motivated to make improvements. I’m keeping a daily journal of my BP and heart rate, and logging the minutes spent walking. My exercise goal is the recommended minimum of 150 minutes a week.

Today I got out for a forty-minute walk before the rain hit. I don’t know if it can qualify as “brisk” since I was stopping every few meters to take photos. But hey, hobbies have health benefits too, right?

Enjoy more of the floral bounty of Northern Ontario!



And the garden? It’s limping along, thanks for asking.


Speaking of bears…

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Changing Seasons is a monthly photo feature hosted by Max at Cardinal Guzman.

Categories: Blog Blog Blog, It's a Hobby, Photography

Tags: , , ,

61 replies

  1. You posted bear poop?


    Lovely photos of flora, Maggie…and even if you were stopping every few minutes for a shot of this and that…it’s still more activity than you would have gotten had you stayed in and napped.

    I’d say that counts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did post a picture of poo. I posted it. Then I deleted it, then I (obviously) posted it again.

      Glad you like the pictures, and the supporting comments regarding butt-time vs face-time with mother nature. 😀


  2. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos, Maggie. Keep walking and stopping! Good luck on your new healthy food plan. Loosing weight is one key to lowering blood pressure. Let us know how your are doing. Virtual support is important. Happy Wednesday! 🎉 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Summer is not for blogging, that’s for sure. There’s too much to do and too little time. The dark season is just around the corner!
    Hopefully your new food- and exercise regime will help a lot. I definitely do way more than the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week. At one point my average was up in 13,1 hours per week. I haven’t kept that up though. I’m guessing that now it’s around 240-300 minutes on an average.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning collection of flowers! Many are new to me, so thank you.
    I’ve read and been told that starting and stopping is actually good for you when it comes to exercise. The Mister does go on about intervals sometimes. I don’t know if it’s true, but the flowers are worth it, I think 🙂 Still more exercise than curling up in front of the fire.
    Good luck with your self-care. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have the best collections of flowers surrounding you. I don’t know of anyone who can claim so many varieties randomly within their walking rituals that aren’t purposefully planted in a garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep…those hobbies count as well, and you had me in awe of those pretty posies…then, the bear droppings ! I had some bad LDL readings a few years back, was on and off of statins, which I hated. So I increased the exercise (walking) and started a food log. LDL is now down, no need for meds. And the bonus, I’m also down 15 lbs. and blood sugar levels are no longer “pre-diabetic”.

    Good luck with all that, Maggie, we’ll be cheering you onward.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful wild flowers. Yes, walking out in beautiful nature, even with frequent stops, is good for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, your garden is lagging a bit but your flowers are gorgeous! Good luck on the health stuff. I hate taking meds too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kate – There’s the expense and then the side effects of meds that put me off. And if I can make it right by monitoring intake and output? All the better.
      Yeah, the garden is mostly a big disappointment this year. It can be done, though. To the north lies very productive agricultural land. I’ve seen evidence of lush growth in sheltered yards. Next year!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good luck with the regime. I also have a string bean husband who eats whatever wafts in front of his face with impunity. Curse them both. Lusting after your blueberry bushes and I bet the bears are too! Keep walking, Maggie. And yes, interval training is good for you just like Joey’s Mister says.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Susanne. Isn’t it the most aggravating to hear him munching away on chips or crinkling open the wrapper on a bar of chocolate?
      This interval training – I’ve heard the term, but know nothing more. Not that I plan on becoming an athlete or anything, but it wouldn’t hurt to explore the benefits.


  11. That’s bear poop? Uh-oh … it looks just like the unpleasant little deposit left on my front step one day. I assumed it was left by a raccoon … at least I hope it was a raccoon 😉

    I am most impressed you knew what all those flowers were. The only one I could have named with any confidence was the thistle … oh, and the blueberries. I have some just like it 🙂

    I’m not ready for fall yet, so let’s hope August is a kinder month weather-wise … and good luck with the lifestyle changes.


    • I’ve always had a curiosity about botany – I still have the first field guide I bought in the early 70’s. Years ago I explored herbal remedies – you know, living green – I even dabbled in making my own cosmetics and household cleaners – that’s how I know soapwort, for example. But yesterday, I had to fact check my terms – wouldn’t want to lead anyone astray!
      Speaking of which – it was hubby who ID’d the scat – that’s not saying it is correct, because he has been known to make bogus authoritative declarations before.
      Thanks for the luck – I’m going to use all you can offer!


  12. Beautiful images. I understand your health challenges. I have always been active but since hubby hurt his knee we can’t hike like we did and I have quickly put on ten pounds. So I am stepping up my exercising and cutting the bad carbs. I have already lost 6 lbs. yay. Good luck with everything.


    • Thanks, Cheryl! And yay for the 6 lbs. gone!
      You make an interesting point, one that I can relate to. I am a wee bit anxious about hiking out alone – it is the wilds of Northern Ontario, after all, though in a relatively built up area. I have gone out on my own, but will often wait until Reiner can come with. And if he’s not ready, then I don’t go.


  13. No cheese? No ice cream? Oh dear. goes for a walk to think about this If all you did was walk, that alone would be excellent, Maggie. Don’t kill yourself trying to…you know, not kill yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL Yeah, I know. Those are all big deals to give up.
      I’m approaching this cold turkey thing as a purge and MAYBE will introduce the forbidden foods back a bit at a time.
      But that’s a slippery slope, that sentiment. You know the one. The one that goes “an occasional taste of [insert food to avoid here] will do no harm.” I see that as licence to stock up on cheese on sale, or oh, it’s summer let’s stop for a soft serve cone (four times a week) that kind of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow what a lovely gallery of photos. And you know their names! It’s nice to find things to look at when you are out walking, and even better if you have a camera with you. You could always try running from blossom to blossom to up the training effect. Gosh the weight thing is such a bother, I know, I am at my highest ever…UGH! I need to reign in the treats too Maggie. Good luck and thanks for the pretty pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ilona – I know that you live in a similar bountiful botanical setting. I’m glad you like the pictures. I too was at my highest weight – I’ve shed 5 pounds since the first of the year, so I’m pleased with that. But I’ve been here before, at this place where I say, “Ugh!” and then try for a bit and then slide back. I want the outcomes to be different this time! Thanks for the support! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. No weight to lose, don’t have (for various reasons) alcohol, cheese, french fries, red meat, candy…and buggered if I’m giving up icecream! So I sucked it up and took the pills. I am not a good and virtuous, health-conscious person!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. so I’m going to focus on diet and exercise. No alcohol, no cheese, no ice cream, no cakes, pies, cookies, or muffins. Bye-bye french fries, bring on the leafy greens and whole grains. Fortunately, we already follow a low- or no-salt diet. Plus we don’t eat meat or butter.

    Oh, the humanity!

    Same here, Maggie. High blood pressure, high LDL, right on the margin of pre-diabetes, that is the word I got a week ago at my annual exam.

    Now I am dieting. GOOD GRIEF!! I have not had a beer in a week. Again, oh the humanity.

    The thing is, I have been walking five miles a day with Scooter but apparently that is not enough. I used to be a marathon runner, that was 50 pounds ago. Back then I was banned from the buffet and sadly I kept my eating habits.

    Keep us updated on how you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Three times to seal the deal: oh the humanity!
      We are in the same boat, my friend.
      No beer/no wine is discouraging for me for another reason. At the risk of over-sharing: some of my best work – or rather, some of my best blogging experience has been under the influence of happy hour beverages. Not over-indulgence, just a nice daily ritual, something that I’d look forward to.
      Tea doesn’t quite cut it, you know?
      Of course you know.
      Five miles = eight kilometers. I’d need to walk more than twice around the lake to achieve that. Once around is about all I can muster at this point.
      Good luck to you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Good for you for being willing to make the changes to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control! I would prefer to do it through natural means, with as few drugs as possible, as well. And please know we are rooting for you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your photos are lovely– and if that’s what you see while you’re out walking, then I’m jealous. Keep on, keeping on, I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Beautiful images!! I love how everything is flowering. And I totally feel your pain – in school I used to have a friend who could eat everything without putting on weight, so it was hard to eat lunch with her every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Love the sentiment and the photos. But, I have to ask…seriously, bear poop is that small? Or, is that your dog, named Bear?


  21. The picture of the Viper’s Bugloss is particularly lovely – such pure blue! We are trying to walk more too but, like you, we’re dodging the rain. The forecast does not make great reading for NW England for the whole of August. By the end of the month we should have cloud watching down to a ‘t’.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You posted pictures of bear poop? Ha! Good for you (I hope that you checked to make sure it wasn’t still steaming… and the bear still around). I have a story about green poop… one of these days I’ll be brave enough (or have had enough wine before blogging) to post it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL – it was day-old poop. (Don’t ask how I know. Then I’ll be forced to admit that I am making it up.)
      Due to my recent “lifestyle changes” I’m avoiding happy hour – and I miss the creative (read no inhibitions) surges when I wrote posts before dinner. So, please, for me? Have a glass and write that story? Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Stunning photographs. Love the collection!

    I can highly recommend a book called “Conscious Eating” by Dr. Gabriel Cousens.

    I wrote about my focus post breast cancer on a plant based diet. I invite you to swing by our blog 🙂

    “Food is thy medicine, medicine is thy food.” Since making this switch about ten years ago, neither my husband nor I are on any medications and we both feel great!


    Liked by 1 person

  24. Amazing photos! Keep walking and taking pictures, this is great to do and you do fantastic with it. I just started my blog about a month ago and just started following you, I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. The Changing Seasons: July 2017 | Cardinal Guzman
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