Miscellany

The Beauty of Nature

Relaxing
Relaxing at Madison County Nature Trail

BJ and I have been making treks up Green Mountain to the Madison County Nature Trail for many years. It is a wonderful spot to view nature and relax. Once you enter the park, you really don’t have any cell phone signal, although I have seen some people using their phones there. There is a 1.5 mile nature trail that you can walk along. I am not in good enough shape yet to do it, but I have walked it in the past. I hope to be able to do it again this year as I build up my stamina.

If you go during the day in the middle of the week, you will find it almost empty. You will sometimes see cars, but no one at the entrance and pavilion of the park. A lot of people go there to walk the trail. I like to sit at the pavilion in a wooden rocking chair, looking out over the manmade lake and seeing the covered walking bridge.

This week, BJ and I decided to make a trip up there on a Friday afternoon after he got off work. There were a few people milling around. There was a large family having a picnic and doing some fishing in the lake, there were some people dressed in prom dresses and tuxes having their pictures taken. Overall the park was quiet, and the weather was gorgeous. Sunny, and not too hot with a slight breeze. We decided to walk along the trail to the covered bridge.

MCNT
Water feature near the start of the trail.

BJ was of course fascinated by the lake and the fish he could see in it. I was busy looking at the plant life, and there is plenty of it to be seen. I’m including some pictures of some of the plants we saw. My mom helped me identify some of these.

Yellow Wild Azaleas
Yellow Wild Azalea Tree
Pink Wild Azaleas
Pink Wild Azalea Tree

We walked across the covered bridge while BJ looked out every window opening to catch glimpses of the fish below in the lake. We walked back toward the entrance, and BJ almost stepped on a poisonous snake.

Wild Red Magnolia
Wild Red Magnolia

It was an Earth Day treat to go visit the trail.


Weight Loss and Exercise

A major issue for most of my life has been my weight. I have yo-yo’d up and down over the years. I got a gastric bypass in 2008, and because I wasn’t truly ready for the surgery, I gained the 90lbs that I lost back over the course of several years. I’ve never been really good at sticking with exercise. I have joined a couple of gyms in the past. I joined a gym at the local Wellness Center back in 2014. I decided to hit the gym hard, and work as fast and as hard as I could. In the end, I ended up injuring my left foot badly enough that in June of 2015 I had to have foot surgery.

I felt discouraged, but I’ve never given up hope that I can get to a healthy weight. In January of 2015 I joined Weight Watchers to start the process of losing weight. As of today I am down 74 pounds. I stopped WW a few months ago, because $20/mo was just too much to pay for something I already know how to do. I downloaded the app “MyFitnessPal” on my iPhone, and I’ve been tracking calories ever since.

I’ve recently started exercising again. I’m starting out slow with walking and doing some yoga. I am keeping a record of my steps on my phone.

Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup with mashed baked potatoes.

Although I don’t always eat healthy, I do try to most of the time. It is possible to be a vegetarian, and still not eat as healthy as you are supposed to.

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