Day #227 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A published story from 7 years ago today…

Jessica L. Grain Brain Success Story

Today’s only photo (please excuse my redundancy) is again repeated from our post on this date in 2013 when Dr. David Perlmutter (one of many research studies here at this link) posted a story about my success with a low carb/keto way of eating. For our full story from that date, please see our link here.

Today’s story is by no means intended to “toot my own horn” or elicit praise or recognition from any of our readers. My purpose is solely to inspire others who may have been considering some lifestyle changes to improve health, reduce symptoms of inflammatory disease and reduce the likelihood of cognitive issues often affecting seniors and in some cases, those in mid-life or younger.

If only one person reads today’s post and they are inspired to read and follow Dr. David Perlmutter, who is New York Times Best Selling Author of the books listed below, my message would be worthwhile. For those not interested, I apologize for the repeated story, but perhaps you may pass on some of this priceless information to someone you know or love.

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers (2013)Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness (2020)Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life (2015)The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health (2016)Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment (2011)

All of these books may be found at Amazon.com. Please click the Amazon link on our site for ease of purchase. We receive a tiny commission from Amazon when our readers click on any of our links. You pay the same prices for products and services if you visit any of our advertisers on our site. These commissions help offset a small portion of our annual website expenses. However, we are in no manner involved in the sale of Dr. Perlmutter’s books or services.
After the publication of Dr. Perlmutter’s first book and having had such outstanding results from his (and other medical professionals) recommendation that ultimately provided me with the health I’d need to be able to travel the world, I contacted him. He is a highly regarded board-certified neurologist and MD.
He replied promptly and asked if I’d be willing to write the story here for his site. I was excited and pleased to do so. This was not for any financial remuneration, but hopefully, my story would inspire others, like me, who were subject to a wide array of hereditary inflammatory diseases which had impacted my life for many years, which I’ve shared here ad nauseam.
His prompt reply after the publication of his first book, Grain Brain thrilled me. Surely, then, he wasn’t as busy as he is now. He does regular podcasts on YouTube and Facebook most of which I have listened to while walking recently, and over the years. For those interested, here is the link to his YouTube page.
He’s an excellent writer and speaker, and also has provided considerable research and relevant information about COVID-19 as well as his ongoing research on the functions of the human brain, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline and disease, and how it’s impacted by our diet, inflammation, and lifestyle.
Many of us have either experienced some cognitive decline while aging, after an accident or injury, or have observed it in our aging parents, loved ones, and friends. His books and podcasts can be an invaluable resource for information and education.
If you’d like more information from our post on November 5, 2013, please click here.
Have a superb day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 5, 2019:

Pirate ship attracts tourists at the port in Bermuda. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, a new fitness watch and a bag…7 days and counting…

One year ago, we posted this photo we’d taken in 2013 while on a road trip. Bourke’s Luck Potholes was definitely our favorite photo of the day on our three-day tour of the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon. See the original post here.

Yesterday, after completing the post, I headed out shopping. I don’t care to shop for anything other than groceries which I find quite enjoyable. Browsing through any type of department store, makes me cringe. 


I wasn’t this way in my old life, but with my limited wardrobe over the past seven-plus years, knowing I have to toss something from my one suitcase of clothing to maintain the consistent flight approved weight if I purchase something new. This fact makes shopping less than fun.


Over the past three years, I have been using a blue cloth grocery bag as a means of carrying the necessary items with me when we’re going out for an extended period.


On shorter outings, I only bring a lipstick to be stuffed into my or Tom’s pockets. (Many women’s pants don’t have pockets). Now, that my flip-open RFID phone case has space for ID, cash and credit cards, I no longer have a need for a wallet.


Over the past three years, I’ve become tired of using the navy blue grocery bag. With the long and arduous upcoming flight to India, I reconsidered if I actually wanted to carry that blue bag one more time. I do not.


What I wanted to find was a cloth-type bag that can be squished enough to fit under the seat on an airplane and yet large enough to hold what I usually carry with me onto the plane: phone, camera, cosmetic bag, hairbrush, earpieces, and charging cords and a wide array of odds and ends.

(With this upcoming flight, we’ll need to bring along a few toiletries based on traveling for almost 30 hours including an eight-hour layover. In checking information on British Airways, it appears they provide toothbrushes and toothpaste, our biggest concern).


As it turned out, I found the perfect item at TJ Maxx, a black Steve Madden padded, parachute material bag that zips with several pockets, all secure leaving the contents relatively theft-proof. Sure, a thief could steal the entire bag off my arm, the reason I haven’t carried an obvious handbag all these years. This new bag is more of a carry-on type bag.


The next item I wanted was a fitness watch. I’d ordered one online in December and it never arrived. I am now awaiting a refund. If I don’t see it come through in the next few days, I will contact the credit card company to remove the charge, especially since I have an email from the company apologizing for their error in not sending out their product.


After the trip to TJ Maxx in Mesa (a 20-minute drive), I followed the road that circled the mall to the Best Buy store. They had a number of models, but many that included music and Amazon’s Alexa. 


Since Alexa doesn’t work in most countries I saw no need to purchase the more expensive FitBit Fitness watch. I selected the FitBit Charge 3 that suited my needs at a fixed price of $149. I’d shopped quite a bit online over the past week researching models and settled on this particular watch.


Yesterday, while wrapping up the completion of setting up Tom’s old laptop for my use, I also set-up the watch itself as well as the app for the device on my phone, and the computer. 


By dinner time, I had everything set-up and was thrilled with the results. I love my new FitBit. Overnight, last night I downloaded all the photos from my old laptop onto our external hard drive, My Passport. 

Now, I can reformat the drive on my old laptop and offer it to Tom’s sisters, if they’re interested. If not, we will recycle it at a proper facility, as mentioned.


Tom just left for the Mesa airport to pick up his sister Rita from South Dakota who will be staying with Margie for a week. Now there will be nine of us, including Mary and Eugene’s son, Kevin who’ll be leaving in three or four days. It looks like some fun card playing is on the agenda!


Once Tom brings Rita to Margie’s home, we’ll pack up food for me and beverages for both of us. This morning Tom purchased a roasted chicken for me to bring today since they’ll all be having sandwiches and chips.


That’s all for today, folks. We’ll be back again tomorrow with more. 


Have a fantastic Wednesday!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2019:

Basket the Bully was feeling sad after his right ear was nearly torn off in what must have been as a result of a fight he most likely provoked. We comforted him with pellets, apples, and carrots before he took his nap in the hay. For more photos, please click here.

Cows in the yard…Today’s the day…Questioning medical science once again

 
This appears to be an angry bull who doesn’t want us looking at him.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
The
story of Dracula is said to have been inspired by the Irish legend of
Abhartach. Bram Stoker was Irish born and raised, and learned the legend of
Abhartach when he was young.”

                     _________________________________________

We’re so excited!  Our friends, Lisa and Barry will be here in a few hours.  This morning I made a lemon cake, crab salad made with fresh crab brought to us by John, the fish guy and have everything ready for the Rueben sandwiches we’ll be making for lunch.


We have Irish-made potato chips, dill pickles, carrot slices, and pre-strung (by me) sugar snap peas to go along with the sandwiches. We have plenty of red wine, Pelligrino sparkling water, bottled still water and soda.  


This time, we don’t have placemats or linen napkins and I forgot to purchase paper napkins.  We’ll have to use the strong large sized paper towels I’ll fold nicely and we’ll be good to go.

As we drive down the shared driveway between us and the owner’s house, we now have cattle on both sides.

Standing on my feet for any length of time preparing food or other tasks is still a challenge.  My legs tire easily although I am able to do the walking each day, now up to 8000 or 9000 steps daily.  A dear friend and reader sent me an article she spotted in regard to my goal of accomplishing 10,000 steps a day.  It reads as follows from this site:

“I-Min Lee, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard University T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, began looking into the step rule because she was curious about where it came from. “It turns out the original basis for this 10,000-step guideline was really a marketing strategy,” she explains. “In 1965, a Japanese company was selling pedometers, and they gave it a name that, in Japanese, means ‘the 10,000-step meter.’”

Based on conversations she’s had with Japanese researchers, Lee believes that name was chosen for the product because the character for “10,000” looks sort of like a man walking. As far as she knows, the actual health merits of that number have never been validated by research.

Cows are smart and curious. “According to research, cows are generally quite intelligent animals who can remember things for a long time. Animal behaviorists have found that they interact in socially complex ways, developing friendships over time and sometimes holding grudges against other cows who treat them badly.”
Scientific or not, this bit of branding ingenuity transmogrified into a pearl of wisdom that traveled around the globe over the next half-century, and eventually found its way onto the wrists and into the pockets of millions of Americans. In her research, Lee put it to the test by observing the step totals and mortality rates of more than 16,000 elderly American women. The study’s results paint a more nuanced picture of the value of physical activity.

“The basic finding was that at 4,400 steps per day, these women had significantly lower mortality rates compared to the least active women,” Lee explains. If they did more, their mortality rates continued to drop, until they reached about 7,500 steps, at which point the rates leveled out. Ultimately, increasing daily physical activity by as little as 2,000 steps—less than a mile of walking—was associated with positive health outcomes for elderly women.”

Please click on the link for the balance of this article.
From this site:  “If an animal is left on its own in a pasture, it will spend a third of its time gathering food, a third of its time eating, and a third of it sleeping. If they’re lying down, it probably doesn’t signal much beyond the fact that it’s sleeping time.”

I deliberated over this study carefully, wondering if I should, in fact, lower the number of steps I’m striving to accomplish each day.  The reason I chose to continue with the goal of 10,000 steps daily is in regard to the recovery of my heart and arteries after the recent cardiac bypass surgery.  But even there, the science isn’t clear as to how much exercise protects the heart and arteries from future problems.


The question and answers remain ambiguous, such as: 
  • How much exercise should a cardiac patient do post surgery?  Is it the 10,000 steps?  Are they to be done consecutively, or are small spurts better?  No one seems to know nor is there consistent evidence on the 10,000 steps as shown in the above article.  “They” say 30-minutes a day but is that enough?
  • How much fat in the diet is suggested after bypass surgery?  We know the obvious foods to avoid. transfats, fried foods, and chemical laden foods.  But as a low carb dieter, how can I make this fit into my way of eating?  Eating a low carb, low-fat diet is unhealthy according to a number of studies. No one, including my four doctors which includes a cardiologist, a cardiothoracic surgeon, a plastic surgeon, and a family practitioner has a definitive answer in this area.
  • Is drinking red wine really beneficial?  Or, is avoiding alcohol altogether better over the long run?  There are no definitive answers here either.
Thus, I trudge along striving for as many steps a day as I can do.  I consume a high protein diet (recommended by the plastic surgeon particularly while the wounds are still healing), still avoiding excess “carbage,” and eating fish, chicken, seafood, and tons of a variety of colorful fresh organic vegetables each day.  Now I am drinking a glass and a half of quality red wine each day.  It’s quite a treat.
From this site: “Cattle can experience “Eureka” moments. In research published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, researchers observed cattle who were given a reward after completing a task and gave the same reward to other cattle who had no control over their rewards. By measuring heart rate, they determined that the cattle who could control their own fate got more excited than the ones who were rewarded passively. This could be interpreted as cattle having an emotional reaction to finishing a puzzle, not just getting food.”
Each day I prepare the protein smoothie recommended by the plastic surgeon to which I add organic unsweetened cocoa powder and a scoop of high-quality protein powder with water and ice for a tasty smoothie drink.  (Tom used to make it for me each day but now I am able to do this myself.

As for what I can and can’t do at this point…I can walk but I get extremely tired in the grocery store.  I have trouble bending to the ground to pick something up (due to my chest hurting) and have trouble getting up from the low slung sofas and chairs.  

Why do I have trouble getting up from a low sofa or stuffed chair?  Usually, a person uses their legs to provide the traction needed to arise from low furniture.  It’s only been two months since I had two separate surgeries on both of my legs.  I realized this can take a while to recover.  

Also, my arms are still painful when used to support my body upon arising.  This is due to the trauma to my chest and surrounding nerves and muscles.  The scar on my chest is still a bit painful and now the skin is stretching and itchy.  I am currently doing some arm exercises, using bottles of Pellegrino as weights and performing some lunges at the kitchen sink every other day.

As for the healing of the serious wound on my left leg which many have inquired about, it is slowly improving, although it’s still open.  Every other day, Tom removes the compression socks and bandages and cleans the wound with a special antibacterial liquid, covers it with a special cream Dr. Theo provided and then with “Jelonet” a sterile moist wound gauze.  He then bandages it all once again.  

After this process, he helps me put on a clean pair of compression stockings which are tough to put on while I still continue to wear them day and night.  Here again, there was no definitive answer as to how long compression stocking should be worn after leg surgery and infection.  We decided I’ll wear them until the wound completely closes, hopefully in the next 60 days.

So there is our story for today, dear readers. Thank you for your love and ongoing support and concern.  Not a day goes by that we don’t think of all of you and smile.

We hope you’ll have an enjoyable day!
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Photo from one year ago today, June 6, 2018:
This is a Bovine Tuberculosis infected kudu we spotted only the day after we were educated on this dreadful disease impacting mainly kudus in Marloth Park. For more photos and information on Bovine TB, please click here.

More Cairns Botanic Garden photos…Quiet day on the home front…Lots of steps?

A beautiful bouquet already made by nature.

After yesterday’s workout and finally completing the post around 1:15 pm my day had gone haywire. Most days I’m done by noon and we can go about our day of either shopping, sightseeing, or hanging out at home.

Lipstick bamboo.

With the late start, I found myself running around like a Tasmanian Devil (hope to see more of these someday soon) in ten different directions at once. With laundry to do, dinner to make, Tom’s blood test results (they were perfect) to scan, and tidbits of organizing here and there, my day was full.

These must be a treat for the many birds in the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Tom had a hankering for our bread-less sandwich. But none of that for me here in Australia. All the meats are processed as opposed to sliced real meat we’ve been able to buy in some countries. Also, all the meats were filled with gluten and sugar. 

Orange puffs.

Tom doesn’t care if he eats small amounts of sugar or gluten nor does he react to the perils of gluten and sugar in lunch meats so I opted for a salad with bacon, avo (Aussie slang), cheese, celery, lots of cos (romaine) lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and chicken chunks, my favorite salad.

We saw these Sausage Trees in Kruger National Park in South Africa.  These pods are huge.

Based on the fact that I was making two totally different dinners, I spent a considerable time chopping, dicing, and slicing for both of our meals. Plus, I got this crazy desire to make a new recipe for Low Carb Blueberry Coconut Muffins with less than two carb grams each.

Some creek beds were dry.

Although I don’t eat fruit due to the high sugar content, berries are relatively low in carbs in small portions and I can easily handle the five berries in a single muffin. It was the first time I’d made the recipe and they were moist and delicious. 

Moments later we saw this waterfall.

If you’d like the recipe please email me. It is written and prepared to go. If you want to replace the sweetener with real sugar, feel free to do so, but the carbs will increase exponentially making it an entirely different muffin, although it will still be moist and delicious.

According to a friend/reader, this is a Prickly Pear. 

By the time I was done in the kitchen, the laundry was done and put away, the muffins were cooling undercover (lots of flies here) and we were able to sit down and play cards until dinner.

Gecko on a rock at the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Each day I wear a FitBit which keeps track of my steps and other pertinent health information. I’m only interested in the number of steps I do each day. When we’re staying home, I can’t seem to top 5000 steps in a day. 

Tom was busy inspecting this huge tree.

This place isn’t big enough with no steps to run up and down and, it’s impossible to go for a walk when the driveway is too steep to get down on foot. With no parking allowed on the road and the fact that we can’t block the driveway for the owner’s comings and goings, walking in the neighborhood isn’t practical.

Pink beauty.

Instead, we amp up the walking and subsequent steps when we’re out and about. No matter what they say, managing 10,000 steps at home in a day is outrageous unless one goes for long walks. 

Even the smallest flowers are lovely.

We only manage to do this three or so times a week when we visit a good location suitable for walking. Add in my HIIT workout and Tom patiently waits for me in the car while reading a book, that’s about as good as it gets for us.

The Flecker Garden was laid out in a manner that aided in seeing everything possible with ease.

In a way, I think walking is overrated as a means of fitness. Getting up and moving around seems to be more important for us than sitting all day. Doing the resistance and burst training seems to work well for me, adding greatly to my strength and stamina. 

We see tons of people walking who don’t appear to be very fit, especially on cruises. That’s not to say that we’re highly fit. We’d probably both flunk fitness tests.  With our bad shoulders, neither of us can do a single pull-up or push-up.

Easy to navigate walkways and occasional steps led to a different level in the gardens.

By the time we had dinner, I was ready to wind down. We like to watch a fun show during dinner each night. I know. “They,” whoever they are, say one shouldn’t eat and watch a show. Who cares what “they,” say? We’re discovering “they” were wrong on many points regarding our health and well being. 

We enjoy dining and watching a show. It’s almost comparable to having popcorn at the movie theatre which we don’t do anymore (not because of the movie, but, due to the fact that we don’t eat popcorn) watching an entertaining show makes the meal seem as if it’s a social event. We do talk and make comments to one another. It’s kind of like a fun date.

This was one of my favorites.

Over the past several months, we watched all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy, disappointed when it ended.  Now, we’re doing Breaking Bad, well into season three, another show filled with gore that may not be appropriate for dining. Tom always cringes when they show a character puking while we’re eating. He’s gagged a few times. It makes me laugh. He keeps watching.

We watch one episode a night and without commercials, it only lasts for about 45 minutes, perfect timing for dinner. Once we’re done, he does the dishes and then the remainder of our relaxing evening continues. 

In reality, our lives are simple and uncomplicated except for managing bookings, financial details, and travel days. The remainder of our days are spent just like yours except for the excessive amount of sightseeing we may do at times.  We didn’t do much of that in our old lives. Do you?

                                               Photo from one year ago today, July 26, 2014:

The quaint village of Campanarios was preparing for the annual “Festa do Santíssimo Sagramento,” a religious celebration during which most of the village participated.  For details and more photos, please click here.

Out and about…Always discover something new and interesting…Joined Coast Fitness…

This pretty restaurant, L’únigo (misspelled in TripAdvisor as L’Unico) is rated #3 of 16 restaurants in Trinity Beach. We’ll try this one also. The sun peeked out for a few hours yesterday!

With dense fog and pouring rain impeding the view of the ocean and the horizon, we’ve decided not to go on the road trip along the ocean that we’d tentatively planned for today. 

With the intent of taking photos of the scenery along the coastline to share here, we’ve decided to wait until the next sunny weekday. We prefer not to travel on busy weekends fighting traffic and crowds when we can just as easily travel on weekdays.

I stepped out of the car to take this shot. Tom reminded me that passengers on the ship had told him that the ocean is murky at most beaches in Australia, as opposed to the clear crisp blue waters of Hawaii and other islands. Here’s an article about the murky waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.

However, yesterday when we took off for me to join a fitness center, we took a drive and stumbled upon a fabulous area with photo ops we look forward to sharing here over the next few days. With wifi limitations and the overall poor signal, we can’t post as many photos as we had in some past locations when we had free unlimited wifi.

Coast Fitness is the closest health club and although modest, it certainly will do the trick. I’ve always found that a health club must be conveniently located in one’s place of residence. It’s hard enough to make oneself workout on a regular basis, let alone having a long distance to drive. 

View of the mountains from Trinity Beach.

Working out, although obviously beneficial, requires a degree of self-discipline that I’ve always found to be challenging. Once I’m there and warmed up, it’s all good. 

Unfortunately, Tom has to drive me wherever I’d like to go. The car rental required an extra USD $23.22, AUD $30 per day to add me to the agreement. It just wasn’t worth spending an extra USD $2066.58, AUD $2670.36 for me to drive myself to the grocery store and fitness center during the 89 days. 

There are warning signs along all the beaches in this area in regard to stingers and crocodiles. We’ve seldom seen anyone in the water or lounging on the beach.

It’s not like Tom has a lot to do to prevent him from having time to drive me around. He brings his phone loaded with books he’s reading staying entertained while he waits. Also, driving a stick shift left-handed and on the opposite side of the road wouldn’t have been ideal for me. In essence, I’m happy I wasn’t included in the agreement.  It would not have been pretty.

As we exited the car at Vasay Esplanade, we were excited to see restaurants along the street. Trinity Beach Beachfront Bar and Grill which we particularly liked for their menu is rated #4 of 16 in TripAdvisor. We’ll try this one soon.

It took no more than 10 minutes to pay the required US $177, AUD $230, for the next two months and get my membership card. Not wanting to pay for the third month, my membership will end two weeks before we leave Trinity Beach on September 8th. During that final two weeks, I’ll do the workout at home.

This morning’s view at 10 am.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a facility on the tiny island we’ll be living on in Fiji after we leave here. I’ve already begun searching, contacting various resorts for possibilities, hoping to hear back before too long.

We can’t see beyond the yard.

I hadn’t realized that I’d feel so out of shape when I started yesterday’s routine. I can only attribute it to the fact that I was sick during the final month in Kauai, never working out, and then did a less than stellar attempt on the ship when we were busy socializing each day. 

Now I’m totally committed to go to the fitness center frequently and give it everything I have. It’s amazing how energized and strong I’ll feel after a few weeks. 

The modest entrance to Coast Fitness.  Although unassuming, it has excellent equipment, everything I can possibly use.

As we left the fitness center, Tom, with his keen sense of direction, decided to take us on another drive toward the ocean. Little did we know we’d stumble upon a quaint oceanfront area of Trinity Beach we hadn’t yet discovered. I practically squealed with delight as we parked the car.

The pool at Coast Fitness wasn’t particularly appealing. With the pool here at the house which we’ve yet to use with the mostly cloudy weather these past few weeks, we won’t be using this pool.

Even Tom, who doesn’t get quite as excited as I do, couldn’t get out of the car quick enough so we could wander along the ocean boulevard, Vasay Esplanade, checking out the scenery and the various restaurants and their menus. We found enough restaurants in that one location to satisfy us for weeks to come.

The equipment is up-to-date and adequate.

However, we’ve yet to dine out since we arrived. What can I say? We’ve so enjoyed making our meals and, with Tom losing weight like crazy, it’s pointless to dine out and spoil the momentum. Perhaps soon, we’ll visit one of these appealing options.

We’re content, feeling settled in, enjoying the area. We’ve begun looking ahead to the future when we still have holes in our itinerary that we need to fill. We’ve waited long enough and currently are considering several options. Once, we’ve booked the next round, we’ll certainly be sharing the news here.

Have a warm and wonderful day filled with sunshine in your life, if not in the skies.

                                              Photo from one year ago today, June  24, 2014:

This was the first time we’d seen these Angel’s Trumpet flowers as we drove in the mountains of Madeira. Later, I saw these in Kauai when I toured the Princeville Botanical Gardens to discover that these flowers are used as a hallucinogenic by certain cultures. For more details, please click here.

Moving around has a double meaning…A year ago…Inside of the 300-year-old stone house in Boveglio, Italy…

The sky changes minute by minute with the strong winds coming in from the sea.

The walk up the steep hill outside of our house is excruciating. Each time I go it’s a little easier, making it further. Yesterday, I traveled the furthest.

This new discovery from yesterday baffles me.  Any comments?

After sitting so much while in Morocco I’m working hard to get back into shape. Although we walked a lot while in Marrakech, it was never enough when the remainder of the time we were sitting doing no cooking, household tasks, or laundry.

The vine-covered wall across from our house on the steep road.

Now busy doing everything for ourselves, I find myself feeling lighter on the feet and energized. For me, it illustrates that moving around frequently has therapeutic benefits that seniors (and younger) definitely need when it’s easy to get lost in a book or online as the hours whiz past us.

This white cat hangs out by the “snack bar” at the top of the hill.

Without a doubt, I’m deriving the most benefit from the steep walk on the road not only from a physical perspective, but also from the beauty I discover along the way. I happily take photos on the way down to avoid disturbing the beneficial flow of endorphins on the painful way up.

The season for roses is nearing its end.

From what I can tell, this neighborhood is mostly occupied by over 40’s working people. There are few children. A few of the homes are owned, managed, and maintained by Gina and her family as vacation rentals most of which are occasionally rented for one week or two, seldom longer as Gina explained. We are the rare exception, staying for two and a half months.

Are these red lilies? The flower season is soon ending from what appears on the walks.

When I walk up and down the road, I walk past several locals, mostly men, working on houses along the way, some being remodeled, others being maintained. There are a few garages where cabinets and woodworking is occurring, a seeming common occupation of the local men, not so much the women.

Judite, our cleaning person, told me this morning that this is “pera abacata” which translates to avocado.

The only time I see women is when an older woman wearing a conservative flower printed dress and a headscarf also walking on the road carrying something from here to there. They look at me more out of curiosity than as a result of my invasion into their neighborhood. I always smile. They don’t always smile back but, from the glimmer in their eyes, I feel they mean to.

Not a clue.

The garbage truck guys always wave and smile as do the other small service truck drivers seeing to the needs of the area. As I walk past the little “snack bar” which is actually a bar serving alcohol during the day and night, there are always two or three guys standing outside, throwing some comments my way.

These must be bleeding hearts. 

I have no idea what they’re saying. I smile while continuing the trek up the hill, never turning my head to look.  Good grief, I’m not delusional enough to assume they’re flirting with me. After all, I’m too old to assume that.  For whatever reasons, they always look and comment which I take in my stride staying determined to stay focused on my mission…getting up the darned hill!

These blue, sometimes purple flowers grow wild in Madeira.

Overall, the people of Madeira are friendly. But, the language barrier always prevents one from determining as to their degree of friendliness. Nothing will ever compare to the people in South Africa with whom one can become close friends in a single night in the bar or over food.  We did our share.  We miss those people.

Grapes growing in a private garden.

After the walk each day, which takes only 25 minutes round trip and feeds into my passion for HIIT (high-intensity interval training), I feel energized and refreshed. 

These appear to be hydrangeas.

Once we leave here on July 31st, we’ll be staying in hotels with health clubs for a month so I can return to my former routine. Then, we’re on to two cruises with workout rooms for another month. When we live on the four islands in Hawaii there are workout rooms at the condos.  

Variations in color of the greenery.

I can’t explain how excited I am to return to the fitness routine that I’ve dearly missed over the past year, instead, doing makeshift at-home exercises with which I have trouble disciplining myself. Sound familiar?

Tom thinks this is a water tank atop this roof.

Five years older than Tom, I realize that staying strong and fit will determine how long we can continue to travel. That motivation alone drives me on, knowing that we still have so much more world to see. As much as we’ve done over the past year and a half, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Poppies growing in a pile of vines and rubble.

Speaking of icebergs, we’ll be in Iceland in less than three months hoping to see the Northern Lights. Gosh, I’d better keep walking up that hill with vigor. There’s so much ahead of us.

By the way, we managed to stop the produce guy a few minutes ago, buying two full shopping bags of fresh produce. Need I say that we’re thrilled?
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Photo from one year ago today, June 19, 2013:

This was the larger of two bathrooms in our 300-year-old stone house in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. Although we had many modern conveniences, the old house required adjusting to with its many steep steps and uneven halls and walkways which was definitely not appropriate for anyone who wasn’t surefooted. We paid special attention each time we walked from one room to another due to the uneven steps in doorways. For details of the date, please click here.