The World’s Smartest Dog-Day 24 of My Year of Living Abundantly

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go!  My granddog has been staying with my mom so I was most excited to see him.  He was excited to see me too!  When we were in Bend, Oregon for Thanksgiving it was cold and the ground snow-covered.  Today, we played ball for an hour and I was in just a sweater so being at grandma’s house with my kids and granddog was much nicer.

Because of work schedules, we celebrated Christmas a few days late this year.  At my parents’ house for Christmas every year, we have lutefisk and lefse bread.  This year, my son cooked the fish on his Traeger Grill.  Opening Christmas presents always happens after dinner with at least a small spoonful of lutefisk. Usually, it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas when a hint of rotten fish wafts through the air.  When you cook fish on the barbecue, the smell stays outside.


The trip over the mountains to sunnier Central Oregon was beautiful today.  The sun poked through the clouds at Detroit Reservoir.  This is a favorite spot to camp during the summer.


The Santiam Pass had wet pavement with beautiful snow covered trees on the side of the road.  I love snow when the roads are safe.


Suttle Lake is a favorite spot to camp during the summer.  The trail around the lake is about four miles with little elevation gain.  Nearby Black Butte is a great place to ride mountain bikes or hike.  It’s time to start planning summer adventures.



As we drove today I thought about the many times we’ve stayed along this route.  In 1994, I’d just finished my master’s degree and was thrilled to have a full summer to relax.  I read trashy novels, didn’t take a single class and enjoyed time on the lake with my family.  My two year old caught her first fish at Detroit lake.  We were in our very, very old boat and I was reading a book about how to lose weight.

In 2006, I remember pulling a kid on a tube behind a newer boat on Suttle Lake.  Death By Meeting was one of the books I read during the Suttle Lake camping trip.  My son had nightmares about that book because I went to way too many meetings.  On the banks of Suttle Lake I also read books about weight loss that summer.  In 1989 we camped there as I read Fit or Fat by Covert Bailey.  For more than 30 years I’ve read about dropping pounds.

Back then, I had to carry physical books with me to the campsites I visited.  Packing and unpacking books as well as lugging bags of books likely built muscles.  Now that all the books I’m reading are on my phone,  I’m no longer about to count reading as exercise.

On my trip today, I’m reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.  I have a few more chapters of Work Clean by Dan Charnas to finish up and To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke is on deck.  While these aren’t dieting books, I seem to find a way to eek out weight loss tips from almost anything I read.   Women during war time drank weak tea and thin soup and they lost weight.  In kitchens,  cooks prepare their work space  with intention.  What would happen if I set out my exercise clothes to maximize time int eh same way.  A large coffee cup is on the cover of the third book so I’m already assuming that I’ll be encouraged to slow down and savor my coffee.

While I’m making assumptions about the third book, I am hopeful that it will help me internal living.  Twenty-four days ago, I had a total mindset shift. My Year of Living Abundantly started with a visit to a new primary care doctor. After a conversation with her,  I realized that  I’M the one who needs to make the decision to eat well and move more AND I’m the one who’ll live with the choices I make. Though BMI and Blood Pressure may reflect my health and well being, there are other success indicators I’ve decided to track.  I’m tracking a few things here so I’ll be able to review and share the highlights when I see my doctor again in December 2020. I’d love to honestly report positive things.

Today I spent time with family, played with my favorite dog, lost myself in a great book, had a fabulous Americano at Starbucks,  sipped sweet tangerine Yogi tea and laughed hard and often.  it was a good day.

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