Thursday, April 30, 2009

Parent Break

Yesterday Papa Seed and I went to a class that was being offered for folks involved in the Foster care system - either as parents or workers. Although we are no longer "Foster Parents", we want to keep our license current. You never know. It always makes me think of Tammy Wynette, who said she always kept her hairdresser license current in case the music industry gig fell through. That probably isn't the best analogy. Somehow it works for me.

Unlike some of the classes we have been to which are total snooze cruises, this one was very interesting - "The Disruptive Teenager" I think it was called. Something like that. We really liked the slightly crazy, totally energetic, very smart woman who taught the class, especially since she introduced the session by discussing how much she hated pathologizing kids by sticking a label on them that they would carry on their foreheads the rest of their lives. Yep. Papa Seed and I totally agree with that. Everyone has to have a diagnosis, a label, a sickness or mental illness. We wanted to be very careful just to call Mancub by his name. I think we've done pretty good with that piece.

It was also all a bit overwhelming. As the class went on, the stories became more intense - the stories about kids who just have everything going against them. The firestarters, the animal torturers, the suicidal ones. It is all so sad. Lives that are chaotic and insane from the time they land on earth - their version of "normal" is something so very shattered it is hard to wrap our minds around it.

We had a lunch break that we took advantage of by hitting a Vietnamese restaurant nearby. Papa Seed and I never get to have lunch together during the week. That was nice.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alki Walk V

I got a couple of good shots of Papa Seed on this walk. I usually don't take photos of people, but since I knew this one it felt safe. Plus, at least on the anchor, I told him to get in the camera's view.

Satisfying and more than a bit exhausting, but like a good walk should be it left my spirits lifted and once again feeling so fortunate that we live where we do.

Alki Walk IV

Alki Walk III

There are treasures on the sidewalks and along the path - poems, stories, pictures. There are several large viewing machines that you can peer through to see vintage photos and drawings of the way it once looked in the area.

Alki Walk II

Some of the most beautiful homes in Seattle are found along Alki, most weathered and funky and now dwarfed by neighboring condos. Truly charming, but alas - not for much longer.

Alki Walk I

Papa Seed picked me up from work today. We were going to head home to get the boys and take them to the dog park, but instead decided we would head to Alki for a walk. Alki is part of West Seattle, as are we, but it isn't a place we go everyday, although I wouldn't mind if we did. Since I had already had a bit of a walk before stopping at the Thai Truck for lunch this afternoon, this was my second walk of the day. Most amazingly, I not only hit 10,000 steps on the pedometer for the first time since the New Walks, I made it to 11,690 for the day. Not bad for a way out of shape, way obese, middle aged dude with chronic pain and a penchant for blowing through Fiesta Sized bags of Tortilla Chips in one sitting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Walk (Part III)

The Walk (Part II)

The Walk (Part I)

After several months of being sedentary, I started walking again a few weeks back. It is always a bit humbling (if not aggravating) to have to start all over just to work towards where I started the last time I was walking. I have to stop the backsliding. Each time I stop, it is just a matter of time before I end up in worse shape than I ever was before.

The first few days it is always a struggle to go around the block. Sore joints, painful painful painful back, short of breath, coughing and hacking, sweat pouring off me like Niagara Falls. I know that I have to push through it, and eventually I can start adding to it. I waited until I'd been walking about three weeks before I attached my new pedometer to my waist (or where my waist is supposed to be, I haven't had a "waist" in 20 years). After thinking I was walking the equivalent of a marathon, I found out that on the first day of the pedometer wearing I had only reached around 6000 steps, far short of the 10,000 goal (that skinny jocks set for us all to achieve).

Put I keep truckin'. It is getting easier. Of course there are always days when it is difficult again, but for the most part it gets easier. And I'm seeing a lot more. Riding in a car, something I really don't enjoy much, you just miss out on life. I got to know Seattle over 20 years ago when I first moved here by walking and biking all over.

Now with my camera in my pocket, I've started snapping shots of things that catch my eye, things I might not pay attention to on a bus or in a car. Most days I walk downtown from work to catch my bus home, but I've switched that up a bit too - sometimes adding a lunch time walk, taking different bus routes, getting off early and walking home, or waiting until I get home to walk the trails.

Today I did a 35 minute lunch time walk, and then a walk downtown. Darn if I didn't get 8080 steps in. Oh well, it is closer than ever. I took it off once I got home. Probably add a few more steps to check on the chickens and walk about the house. I'll add a few more blocks - get off the bus a few stops earlier. Something.

These are some of the things I saw on my walk today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Return

After disappearing for several months, I am feeling the need to return. I've been haunting other sites, mainly the Evil Facebook, where I waste far too much time spitting into an ocean.

In between visits to those other sites, life is pretty much rolling along; addiction to podcasts, eating too much, bouts of depression, started walking again, endless visits to doctors and always with the same shrugged shoulder ending, lots of documentaries, stacks of books that don't get read, an uncertain job future, chickens, amazing dogs, the mood swings of a teenager and coffee.

I'm trying to fill my head with science, since it never really took back in the school days and I'd like the post-50 years to be a time when I'm more knowledgeable and able to actually have a conversation with other adults. I put aside learning Spanish - have to get back on that caballo. I'm working the weight/health thing - slowly. The walking is getting there. I'm trying to lean much more towards a vegetarian diet (although by no means only). And I have to get on that art thing. I've got to start drawing again.

It is cool and a bit cloudy out there, my kind of weather. I'm going to spend most of the weekend watching DVDs and puttering around the house. You have to be 50 before you can putter. I've earned it, I'm doing it, and I'm proud.