Coffee, Tea, You, and Me

Meditations in Motion

Hello and welcome to the April edition of The Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner, where we dish over coffee (or tea, if that is your preference) about all things running (and some non-running topics too).

Ahhh…where to start, where to start?

When I wrote the Coffee Date post last month, it was a different world. Bill and I thought we would be in Morocco today, businesses and schools were open, and COVID-19 was something happening elsewhere, not in our towns.

It seems like a lifetime ago.

OK, how about if we begin with some good news?

Readers of this blog may remember I have been on a reduced-sugar diet for the past year in an attempt to lower my cholesterol so I do not have to begin taking statins.

I do allow myself to eat foods that naturally contain sugar but stay away from foods with added sugar, so peaches are OK, cupcakes are not.

It worked!

Even though my good cholesterol was up slightly, my overall number was down by 50 points.

Big sigh of relief!

Meditations in MotionIf we were having coffee, I would describe some of the activities Bill and I have been doing to stay sane in these days of social distancing.

We went hiking in Shenk’s Ferry Wildflower Preserve one afternoon, a gorgeous wooded tract of land in southern Lancaster County.

There were wildflowers everywhere, dainty Spring Beauties, Virginia Bluebells, Yellow Trout Lilies, and (for my sister), even Trailing Arbutus.

March brings the first wave of wildflowers. If we go back in April, and I hope we do, we will see a completely different palate.

Meditations in Motion

On a raw, rainy afternoon, when it was too cold to hike, we drove to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area to look at the ducks.

The big show of hundreds of thousands of snow geese is over, except for a few stragglers who will not make the trip to the nesting grounds on the tundra but the ponds still contain several different types of ducks, including the one pictured above, the Northern Shoveler.

He is called a shoveler because of his big shovel-like bill, which he uses to slurp up underwater plants.

Meditations in Motion

We also began our annual mulching extravaganza early. Usually, this is an activity we do in May but since we are at home anyway, we might as well be productive. This huge pile of mulch should keep us out of trouble for a while!

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee, I would tell you what I saw one rainy evening a few weeks ago. I was sitting in my living room reading when the clouds suddenly parted and the sun appeared.

I jumped up, ran out on the porch, and looked East.

I was rewarded with the sight of a beautiful rainbow.

What a wonderful reminder of promises kept and better times ahead just when we needed it most.

Meditations in Motion

Finally, if we were having coffee, I would share one brief video I saw on social media.

Maybe it’s because I am a retired teacher, or maybe it’s because of the heightened emotions associated with the Coronavirus crisis but this video tugs on my heartstrings. Every. Single. Time.

I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Thank you for joining me for our Coffee Date. See you again at the beginning of May for more coffee and conversation.

 

You can find the places I link up here.

 

 

 

 

 

97 comments

  1. You deserve credit for sticking with the diet to lower your sugar Laurie. It is hard to believe that three weeks ago today we had two cases and today we had 10,791 cases and 417 deaths. Very scary. Today a bus driver died because some passenger sneezed on him on March 21st. I looked at your links – looks like nice places to go, each of them, and I must learn my wildflower names soon. Hopefully it will be cheerier times the beginning of May.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. It’s not easy removing sugar from my diet but I do cheat every once in a while! πŸ˜‰

      That poor bus driver and his family! People can be so inconsiderate. Who would have thought a sneeze could be so deadly? I am hoping for a better month next month too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s okay to cheat – I did give up sweets for Lent – I had a small package of Nutter Butters I cracked open and pistachios that were my Fat Tuesday treat – I didn’t eat all the Nutter Butters but saved them for Easter and a few for my furry friends.

        Terrible with the bus driver and today, the head of the bus drivers’ union has died. We have had 82 cases and 5 deaths re: Coronavirus in our City … our City is only five miles big. I’m thinking with those stats, I will go to a mask.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will be looking forward to your post about your furry friends eating their Nutter Butters for Easter. We have over 100 cases and 6 deaths so far in our county. So sad!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, today we stand at 100 cases and 5 deaths in our City alone, My county has 47% of Michigan’s Coronavirus cases. So that is worrisome. I was going to make the treats for tomorrow morning … I am thinking I’ll take pictures (if it is not too gray out but I have more time on a weekend) of the squirrels at the house. This is because I am re-thinking taking the camera to the Park – they keep saying if you wear a mask, then don’t fiddle with it and have the need to have your hands (in gloves or not) around your face. Well, a camera would cause you to have your hands up near your face. Thinking maybe for me a moratorium on picture taking except at the house/neighborhood. I don’t know – I’m still dwelling on it. It is still drab at the Park anyway, and nothing will green up and no baby robins or goslings for a month yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I never thought about that, Linda. I camera would cause you to have your hands near your face. I just use my cell phone as a camera so there’s no problem there. Of course, my pictures are nowhere near as good as yours are! I guess I will look forward to seeing photos of your “home” squirrels. Now, what was that little guy’s name again? The star of your “home show”? Grady? Is Midnight a home squirrel?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that is my concern Laurie. We have a lot of COVID-19 cases here in my City, my County and in Michigan. As of this afternoon, it was 1,493 new cases of bringing the total to 15,718 – we have 617 deaths.

        I’ve been dwelling on it all day – walking is a big part of the day, but I tell myself it’s not worth getting sick over and to just “let it go” and say in.

        You have a good memory Laurie – yes, Grady is that little gray squirrel at the house and he now has a friend/mate … they will sometimes come at me from both sides – I previously thought it was one squirrel who was pretty brazen and fearless. πŸ™‚ Midnight is at the Park. I had called the two black squirrels at the house Pitch and Tar but I don’t think I ever named them as such in my blog. I am going to do the treats tomorrow – it was quite gray this morning … I am not sure if I’ll stand at the door or in the driveway – it depends on them as sometimes they are very skittish when I’m around, other times they come right up to me. I don’t have a smartphone – so you take pictures like a point and shoot so it is not near your face then?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awww…maybe you will have some baby squirrels begging for peanuts in your yard before too long! I don’t remember Pitch and Tar, but I will now (I hope)!

        Right. The phone is not right at your face when you take photos. I had to get used to it at first but it’s second nature to take pictures that way now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That would be sweet to see wouldn’t it? My neighbor found a bunny nest years ago and she sent me pictures of them and mowed around the nest (in the front yard no less). I did my cookie treats, but it was abysmal – I think a hawk was nearby – they didn’t show up, none of them, but showed up three hours later – I’m going to write about what happened, but I went to get an Amazon box –
        there they were, and I was on a rush at work … poor timing on their part! I didn’t realize that about the phone – I think I could hold the digital compact away, but if I keep walking I’ll take a camera break. It is raining today, very hard, and we had rumbles last night, so I shut down early and we are having a stormy day today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m thinking I will try again tomorrow or Saturday morning – the only days with no sun … I’m bummed they did not show up and then showed up later. We are having some severe weather tonight though – it got too warm too fast they said (hail, 70 mph winds, possible tornado – so hopefully everything is okay) … I did a post for tomorrow morning and if everything is okay, I’ll give it a whirl tomorrow – they really looked cute (the cookies) (and the squirrels too). πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh! We are not supposed to have temperatures below freezing for the next 10 days so I think it’s safe to plant out annuals. I will probably wait for closer to the beginning of May, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I never realized until interacting with you and Kate Crimmons (also from your state) that it was that much warmer than us. I’d better study geography more closely. We have heavy snow coming in about an hour – it likely won’t stay long as we have rain/stormy weather (third night in a row) overnight. You can plant a whole month earlier than us. I’ve planted and then dragged pots of flowers into the garage or put newspaper on them under the patio awning in early June. I’ve even had to cancel the A/C checkup as it was too cool in early June.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Why does reducing sugar help lower your cholesterol? I’m not sure why I’m asking, I’m not sure if I could do it anyway, but this is something my doctor never mentioned. Why is the sky to the right of your rainbow brighter than the sky to the left? So many questions tonight…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is the sweetest video!
    Excellent work on the reduced-sugar diet.
    And in other good news, if you had gone on your trip, we would have missed out on some of your posts. And now we get to read you a bit more!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on lowering your cholesterol! I already am careful about sugar, but not that careful. And quite frankly, I eat a lot healthier than I did when it was first discovered almost 20 years ago — plus am more active — so I (and my dr) just accept it.

    Love your rainbow and your stay-at-home activities.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear that the diet changes helped your cholesterol drop! I’m afraid to admit that I’ve not been as diligent as I normally am with my diet. I’m trying… but it’s tough.

    Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg. That video.

    Still waiting for some spring greenery. Enjoying my walks while working from home. Never can do this otherwise.

    You are fortunate to have your husband as a running partner. I am running alone but look forward to races and my friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. That video gets me every time.

      We have a lot of greenery here but the last few days have been cold and windy. Hoping for a warmer weekend.

      I am fortunate to have a live-in running partner. We don’t have to worry about social distancing when we run!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s so crazy to me how last month seems like it was years ago. Man has 2020 been a long year so far, lol.

    I love that photo of the rainbow. Definitely a good reminder that better times are coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How wonderful that you have a beautiful place to hike. I hope that having coffee with friends is something we can all do again soon. xo Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So much has changed in a month. The world really is a different place now.
    That’s great news that the reduced sugar diet has gone well.
    The hike sounds lovely. I do love this time of year when everything is growing.
    That rainbow is beautiful. So bright!
    Take care x

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I think back to March 3, I can hardly believe the changes that have occurred. I hope to be able to hike again in the wildflower preserve soon. Thank you!

      Like

  10. You had some nice things to write about despite all the happenings in the world. What a colorful duck. And those Virginia Blue bells, wow. And the rainbow. I’ve been noticing beautiful sunsets here in the evenings. God’s creation continues to sing his glory.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I don’t think I can watch the video. I almost started crying listening in on little man’s live classes this week. The teachers sounded so relieved (and near tears) to see and talk to their kids, and it just about broke my heart.

    I am so sorry about your trip. That’s got to be so disappointing 😦

    Wildflowers bloom here towards the end of April. We won’t be able to visit them, with everything going on. Blah. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can imagine the relief of those teachers to be back with their students again, even if it is just online. Watch sometime you need a GOOD cry.

      The trip is rescheduled for this fall. I hope we can go then!

      Like

  12. Last month definitely seems like a whole lifetime ago–I can’t believe all the things that have happened since. I’m so glad to hear that the dietary changes you made worked! :]! That rainbow is beautiful and that video was so sweet! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That is fabulous news about your cholesterol, Laurie! And that rainbow? Ah, the infinite comfort we can take in God and His promises to be with us always. I will watch the video, and I’m sure I will cry, too.
    Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was so happy when I got the results back, Martha. And the rainbow had an even more special message for me when I saw it this time because of all that’s going on right now. Blessings to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. They also did a teacher parade through my neighborhood, unbeknownst to anyone in my family at the time but that’s what we guessed was going on. I thought it was sweet and got a little choked-up myself. My husband, not so much, and he’s usually the emotional one of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great news on the cholesterol! Our crocus have bloomed…but that’s it for my yard. I’ve seen daffodils elsewhere, but mine aren’t ready yet.It’s supposed to be in the 70’s next week (that is NOT a typo), so that will get some blooming going! Stay safe!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Go girl, on the great cholesterol reduction quest Laurie! Well done!
    Now the test is to maintain the no added sugar new lifestyle…we’re in this marathon together πŸ˜‰
    Love the rainbow & I enjoyed our coffee date today, as always, although of course I had tea & we shared a few sugarless protein treats! Lol! πŸ™‚
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ah, your trip to Morocco! I still haven’t canceled my trip to Europe because I’m hoping if I wait long enough I can get a refund and not just a voucher. It sounds like you and your husband are coping well. Thanks for joining us for coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well done on the cholesterol front, Laurie, and such lovely pictures you share. The rainbow, with the darker side sky on the left, is indeed intriguing. My Facebook is acting up at time of writing I haven’t actually viewed the drive-by teachers yet. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It was lovely having virtual coffee with you, Laurie. The picture of the Virginia Bluebells caught my eye … I have a patch in my backyard but only yesterday figured out what they are called. Just in time for the temperature to go below 30 and cause them all to wilt! I’m also working on my annual β€œmulching extravaganza,” as you call it, although mine comes from bags, not a big pile. πŸ™‚ I normally do this in May to0, although last year it was much later than that due everything going on with my parents. It’s nice to get into the rhythm of working outside a lot earlier this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about the low temperatures. The yard looks so good when the mulching/edging/weeding is done but it is so time-consuming. I guess this year we all have more time!

      Like

  20. Well done on managing to reduce your cholesterol. That wildflower you photographed is so pretty as is the rainbow. That pile of mulch is huge – that will definitely keep you busy! We’ve been working on our garden lately too – it’s never had so much attention! Hope you are keeping well x #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Louise. I was so pleased with the results of my cholesterol test. We will be busy with mulching for at least a month. We work on that on nice days and cleaning out the basement on rainy days. Hope you are well too!

      Like

  21. Such a lovely thing for the teachers to do, here’s hoping Mays coffee date is back to normal, I’d like to think so. Once a week we are clapping the NHS and frontline workers at 8pm on our doorsteps, I’ve only cried twice during this crisis and they both happened to be at 8pm on a Thursday. Thank you for lonking with #pocolo and hope to see you back in 2 weeks time, stay well

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope May’s coffee date will be back to normal but I am not going to hold my breath! I have seen videos of that clapping. How inspiring! Thank you for hosting!

      Like

  22. That’s good news on the cholesterol numbers! My cholesterol was really high too and that’s why I switched to a more plant based diet last year. It helped my numbers go down a lot too. Of course, being vegan naturally means fewer sweets too since most have dairy and/or eggs. I love that rainbow photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am vegetarian but not vegan. Of course, cheese, butter, and eggs are high in fat. I could probably bring my numbers down even farther if I would forego them. I should do it! Good for you for getting your cholesterol numbers down too.

      Like

  23. Giving up sugar must be difficult. Big well done for doing it. Last time I went to the doctors, the nurse gave me an enthusiastic talk about using fruit instead of sugar in my baking. She had some clever ideas. I’m glad you are seeing results. Love your photos of spring flowers. Such a beautiful time of years. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m always inspired and heartened by the sight of rainbows in the sky. Good for you on lowering cholesterol! I can’t quite talk myself into giving up sweets, but I need to restrict them at least. That video got me in the heart, too. I’m sorry your trip got canceled. Sounds like you’ve seen some marvelous things here.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s