Thursday, April 18, 2013
Porter's Creek Trail - GSMNP
April 12, 2013
I loved all your wonderful responses to My Next Big Thing post. It was fun to write and I promise to keep you updated on the progress towards our RV purchase or not!! One thing I did want to clarify is that we still thoroughly enjoy the way we travel now. We highly recommend renting cabins/cottages/house/apartments directly from the owners especially for longer terms stays when having more space and a kitchen fits in with your plans. In fact, we have five such stays booked for ourselves between now and the end of August. It is just that the process itself has become more tedious and rigid since we first began planning travel this way. If you weren't a part of it ten years ago, you'd never expect anything different. In August, we will be returning to Colorado for our third multi-week stay at a place we found on VRBO.com in 2009. The place in Flagler Beach, Florida where I return every January was originally found on that same website in 2006. I could name several others that we now return to repeatedly and consider the owners as friends! So if you are curious (or uncertain) about trying out this method of finding travel/vacation accommodations, don't hesitate to email me if I can answer specific questions or help in any way.
My life won't seem to slow down and that's just the way I like it except I'd like to make time to write more often. I'm way behind on my list of things to talk about, but keep finding myself putting it off thinking I'll have more time later. But later never comes..... It's something I'm working on as a higher priority because I discover that when I don't write as often, I truly miss the camaraderie, support and encouragement that I find here. I'd like to force myself to write shorter posts more often, sit down and simply WRITE rather than trying to plan it out. So we'll give that a whirl. In the meantime, here are just a few tidbits that have been on my mind.
1) Google Reader Update - After checking out three of the most highly recommended alternatives to the disappearing Google Reader, I have settled on Feedly. I've been using it exclusively for the past two weeks and I like it. The transfer from Google Reader was painless, the format actually has some advantages I like better than Google reader and after finding a page of shortcuts, there's only one thing I can find that I DON'T like. I generally am able to find time to read a few blogs at least once during the day, but often that is limited to those categories I consider favorites leaving many that I only get to once a week or so. I prefer reading them in the order they are posted and in Feedly, I have not been able to find a shortcut or setting which shows blogs in the order they were posted rather than the most recent listed first. If I'm missing something, please let me know. I'm also very interested in what those of you who depended on Google Reader have decided to do. A few weeks ago, Blogger subtly removed the link to the Reader that was prominently displayed on your dashboard. That's when I got serious about becoming comfortable with a replacement. Nothing they do any longer would surprise me.
2) In the almost three years I've been blogging, I've not yet found a satisfactory method for responding to comments left on my posts. Especially when you ask a specific question, it is important to me that you know I don't just ignore it. But for now, please know that if you ask a question in the comment section of a post, I will generally try and leave an answer, but unfortunately, it is up to you to return to the previous post and check. However, I have decided that I'll put a statement at the beginning of each new post (with a link back to that post) letting you know that I've made some responses to your previous comments.
3) This is really, REALLY old news, but I had my annual physical back in late February and am happy to report that all my lab test results were EXCELLENT and my weight was less than the previous year. Now you and I both know that's a tad misleading because I was still in major loss mode in February of last year. I reached goal in May, maintained it until late fall and then picked up a few pounds which are being extremely stubborn about coming back off. But no matter, my doctor was really happy. Two things, however, were a bit out of kilter. My Vitamin D levels were very low and my sodium level was low. Now the Vitamin D didn't surprise me a bit as I'm a classic case of SAD (no smart remarks please) and I knew something was out of balance. The low sodium level caught me off guard, but my doctor assured me that along with the Vitamin D deficiency could certainly keep me feeling less than optimal. I thought I just had a bad case of winter blues from long days with no sunshine. I'm to return with the next week or so for a retest on the sodium and I can tell the extra Vitamin D has already been working. Anybody out there ever heard of or been told their sodium level was low. The good news is that with a blood pressure reading of 110/70 and a low sodium level, I can salt my watermelon guilt-free this summer. LOL!!
3) I've resumed faithfully tracking every bite that goes into my mouth and just for a change of routine decided to start using My Fitness Pal instead of Calorie Count. I've been using Calorie Count for several years and have no serious complaints about it. Just thought a new interface might bring on some additional motivation. For the most part, I really like MFP. For those of you who have used BOTH, what did you like and dislike about each and which one did you finally settle on as your go-to. I've got some things to say, but want to hear from you first. And really only from those who have used BOTH and then settled on one or the other.
Wildflower season is in full swing and my weeks are full of long walks in my community and long hikes in my mountains. Our Dogwood Arts Festival began last weekend and this year (for a change) the guests of honor are right on time.
I hung my hummingbird feeder yesterday afternoon and the first hummer appeared just after daybreak this morning. Shortly, he was joined by another and they've both been feeding all day.
And then of course, one more sure sign of spring......I was working away on Summer Trip 2013 plans early this afternoon and the season's first shrieking of the weather radio began blaring. We are under a Thunderstorm Watch for the remainder of the day. One of these days I'll tell you the story of the tree that fell through our house in the middle of the night back in 2004. Then you'll understand why I have a weather radio. Ahhh, spring - how I love you! At least I haven't seen a SNAKE yet. That's only a matter of time, I'm sure.
Talk to me.......there's lots in this post that asks for feedback!