Julius Ceasar and Me

As you can see, I crossed another Rubicon this week—26,000,000 steps. Once again, I wasn’t right on the money, so I ended up recording it when I was 39 steps over.

That’s a lot of steps, and it’s also a lot of miles. If the earth’s circumference is 24,901 miles, then 12,351 is spookily close to having made it halfway. Does that mean that part of the time I’m walking on water?

So what do I think about while I’m walking inside or out. I think about what I’m writing—planning the next scene or mentally rewriting one I’ve already done. Or I’m thinking about what’s going to be on tap in that week’s blog.

I no longer count steps as I walk—I count laps instead. A lap around the flat part of the front driveway is worth 265 steps. A lap around the pool on the back patio is worth 165.

Outside I’m able to watch the seasons change around me. The blooming wisteria pictured here is in the turn-around at the far end of the driveway. Out front this spring I’ve watched lenten roses, daffodils, narcissus, and tulips all come and go. Right now the rhododendrons are in full bloom which means the hydrangea can’t be far behind.

This spring we did some long neglected pruning out back and got rid of some dangerously leaning trees. That new bare spot has now been filled with new perennials along with the fifteen year-old bushes that were root bound and leggy in their outgrown pots. Those guys appear happy to be out of the pots and into the ground with plenty of room for them to grow. As for all those empty pots? They’ve been planted full of annuals which should give the patio loads of color this summer.

When I’m walking outside, I usually go down to the pond to feed and visit the fish. It turns out that the birds and bees don’t have anything on fish. It appears that the Big Guy and Big Orange have been doing the dirty behind our backs, because we now have a bunch of little all-black fish. The guy who cleaned the pond today told me that fish that are hybrids—half Koi and half Goldfish—start out black and develop orange coloring later.

Oh, and speaking of birds. Our bird feeding station is in the Japanese maples in the raised beds on the back patio. We serve up seeds and suet to our regular visitors made up of mostly little birds, with a solitary robin or blue jay showing up on occasion. We also have bags of fluff hanging in the trees that can be used for making nests.

Three days ago, while doing pool laps, I saw a baby bird parked on the pool deck. When I walked up to him, he barely moved. I took him over to a shady spot and put down some seeds where he could reach them. Then I made sure some drinkable water was close by. While I was doing so, I looked down and saw he was so close to my foot that I almost stepped on him.

The next day, the little guy who could barely hop the day before had grown enough feathers that he could flutter up into the raised beds. Today he was up on one of the hanging bird feeders. His flight pattern is still a little wonky, but unlike his compatriots, he doesn’t go zooming off whenever I pass by. I guess, as far as he’s concerned, I don’t pose a threat.

This morning I found another baby bird with the same markings out on the patio. He, too, didn’t make any effort to move out of my way. I figured he had been pushed out of the same nest as the first one. I did the same thing as far as seeds and water were concerned, but the poor little guy didn’t make it. In other words, win some and lose some.

So once again, thanks to all of you who have been with me on my walking journey. It’s been fun to be able to share it with you.

22 thoughts on “Julius Ceasar and Me

  1. What a wonderful life you have! The baby fish, the baby birds who want to be friendly. All the beautiful Spring plants blooming… Life can be good if we look for it.

  2. I always enjoy reading about your steps. It amazes me as I can barely walk from my front door to the back door – a total of 30 steps. The round trip wears me out and I must sit and recuperate. The fact that I am older than you doesn’t make a difference as I could not walk as you do even 50 years ago. Keep on walking and writing.

  3. Congratulations on the achievement with the steps!

    And kudos for trying to rescue the baby birds. The good you do will come back to you.

    Sounds like your garden will continue to thrives with new additions.

    And your fish…the circle of life continues.

  4. Isn’t it wonderful how the seasons happen as a matter of course. You are so lucky to have that garden. Keep well.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your views you have on your step/walks. As with your books, you paint such a great vision for your reader. For me it is such a pleasure to participate in your “word painting.” My brain thanks you too…so fun.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your views you have on your step/walks. As with your books, you paint such a great vision for your reader. For me it is such a pleasure to participate in your “word painting.” My brain thanks you too…so fun.

  7. Congratulations on the 26,000,000 steps! Your picture of the blooming wisteria brings back a memory from 1962. We lived on an acreage near where my father was teaching school, and there was a dirt road on it that went nowhere except around a non-descript little tree. That was where my brother–aged 8, and barely able to see over the steering wheel, taught me (age 11) how to drive our dad’s standard transmission Vauxhall. Down, around and back we went, over and over, our dad believing, I suppose, that practical experience is worth more than a whole lot of verbal pointers. It must have worked okay, and my brother must have been a decent teacher, because to this day I’m a pretty smooth gear shifter in my 2001 standard transmission Honda. Totally off your topic, but you did revive a memory!

  8. Of all the things I encounter in my yard/garden, I like the surprises the best. I hope you will continue to report on the baby fish!

    For some reason, the Caesar reference inspires me to name the little black fish, as a group, the plebeians or plebes.

  9. Every time I read about your steps, I think about the time I heard you say, “The only exercise I do is jumping to conclusions.” That was 20 years ago. I congratulate you for on reaching your goals. Walking is much heather than running. As a former Marathon runner, at age 92 I have a strong and heathy heart but have had knee and hip replacements. I am still listing to all your audio books over and over again.

  10. Love walking around the yard with you. Wonder why momma bird kicked the babies out of the nests so soon.

  11. Enjoy your Blogs so much. However, the pictures don’t come through. Instead I get a block that says, “Stop! This image was hotlinked”.

    Why is that? And how can I get the pictures.

    Keep up the good work -not only with the Blogs but with your books. I love them all.

  12. I am trying to wrap my head around your walking close to half the circumference of the earth!
    I did not know that fish could breed across species- Amazing! I guess it’s not so strange when you think of how a horse and donkey romance can produce a mule-

    I am so happy that you saved the first baby bird, but sad about the second one-
    That Mama bird should be reported to the avian child welfare authorities!
    I love the picture of that gorgeous, thriving Wisteria-

  13. So much fun to read your blog! Your place sounds nice! Mother Nature entertains almost as much as your writing. 😉

  14. So I assume you are losing tons of weight by walking. I used to walk daily but now arthritis in back stops me from physical anything. So I am totally jealous of your walks.

  15. I look forward to reading your blogs, you make simple tasks interesting and I want to do them. I don’t have the flowers or trees you have but I do walk around my backyard doing doggie pick-ups and putting a gate up because it isn’t attached it’s just leaning on another gate. It is this way so my dog won’t go alongside the house to do her business in the weeds that always grow even when sprayed or dug up.

  16. I read a quote from Graham Greene yesterday that I thought was interesting.

    “All writing is therapy. To some extent all writers seek their craft to heal a wound in themselves, to make themselves whole.”

    I don’t think Judy has any wounds to heal, but she is blessed with the ability to write.

  17. I just finished reading blessings of the lost girls. I really enjoyed the book. It kind of made me feel like I went to my hometown and was visiting my BFF from high school and we were getting caught up on the people we knew and the places we went and Things we did.
    The storyline was very interesting to me. Also, I don’t understand why people were not happy with that stories at the beginning of the chapters. It is sad that they don’t wanna learn about other peoples legends and histories. Thank you so much for your novels.

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