Spring is Springing Up!

Spring is springing up!

This morning as I made my loops around the track I could see it everywhere.

Little flowers on the ground.

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Bigger flowering trees overhead.

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At the beginning I didn’t feel like running so I just walked.

But when I saw all the flowers popping out like little spots of joy, I wanted to run.

I walked 4, ran 3 miles this a.m.

Song of Songs 8:13 You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice!

Praise Him whatever way you can, let Him hear you. Julia French

P.S. For those that are interested,

Chapters 1-55 of  Daisy and Connor’s World have been updated.

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Psalms 1 and Cherry Blossoms

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 This time of year, taking walks is especially nice because of the Cherry Blossom Trees.

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 These flowers bloom for such a short amount of time. It’s amazing. Some of the trees I photographed are completely bare now. Some trees become bare after just two weeks, others take a little longer. As beautiful as the Cherry Blossom is, we all know this flower does not last long, it is fleeting.

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I am reminded of Psalms chapter 1:1-6.

1) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2) But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

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 3) He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

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 4) Not so with the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5) Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6) For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

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The Bible gives good directions, yes? And God’s creation speaks His wisdom too.

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Wickedness may look good but it is fleeting.

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Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

We yoke ourselves up to Jesus, focus on Him, He’ll make us like Psalms 1:3…

  Like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Focus, Julia French

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I see an Edelweiss flower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYSw02uwzJ4

During the closing prayer at church the other night, I saw (in my mind) a small white flower with a bit of snow around it. It looked to me like an Edelweiss.

Above is a youtube site where a song about Edelweiss is being sung.

I understand that this flower is supposed to represent freedom and purity.

The verses that my Pastor was praying over us at the time that I saw this flower are found in the book of Numbers chapter 6 verses 24-26.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.”

In my mind’s eye, when I saw this flower, the bit of snow around it was melting. I’m thinking this means that coldness around our hearts is melting away. That freedom from a clean heart is budding out.

Now, I could end it here and just says, thank you Lord for the peace and freedom that you have blessed me and my church with. The End. Actually I did end it here but….

I’ve come back to edit and say, no, it doesn’t end here. It is not just for me and my church. The Bible verses up top were said by God to Moses. Moses in turn said them to Aaron. Aaron then spoke them over Israel.

It all started with God blessing Israel. Then Jesus took up His cross. And from there this blessing has passed on to all who believe in Him. To whomever calls on the name of Jesus.

In John 14:27 Jesus says:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.

God’s peace is for Israel, yes. But also….

God’s peace is for all who believe in Jesus. No matter what nationality they might be.

Peace,  Julia French

For more info on the Edelweiss flower please go to:

https://thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/the-edelweiss/

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Julia’s Jog Log 2010-2011

Dear Readers & Runners,

In 2010 I was walking 2 miles a day. Then in 2011 I made the jump into running. Julia’s Jog-Log is a day by day account of how I moved from a walker to a runner.

For more current running please check my dailymile page.

(**If you scroll down below this short letter you will run into my actual 2011 Jog-Log**)

Today, July 6, 2011, I ran 11 laps round a baseball diamond near my house. I am so glad I did it. I walked a bit of some of the laps, but I ran for the most part. YEAH!

I used to run in high school but then got married, had babies, traveled, kept house ect and forgot about running. Now that my family is mostly grown, (still have one at home but he is big, and prefers to do things on his own ) I have found time to spread my wings and discover old loves again. Running being one of them and writing being another. Combining the two, is very easy to do. Much of my writing is about running and I am having the time of my life exploring both the running and the writing world.

Now that I have hit the 11th lap mark in my personal running experience; I thought I’d add it to my blog in a more realistic form for public reading as,

  Julia’s Jog Log:

July 6, 2011- I stretched out and ran 11 laps today. July being a hot month, I was drenched in sweat after the first lap but I’m getting used to it. I have managed to quit panting by biting my lip as I run. It’s not pretty but it works.There are locust in the trees around the baseball diamond. The amazingly loud noise that they make distracts me from thinking too much about myself as I run. That’s a good thing. I will look forward to their high-pitched buzzing tomorrow.

July 7, 2011- I tackled another 11 laps again today. YEAH! The locusts were screaming none stop and the clouds moved across the sky in  a very helpful way, hiding the sun for a portion of my run. I am trying to stretch my legs out farther in an attempt to do less bobbing and more reaching as I run. Tomorrow is a another hopeful day.

July 8, 2011- I told my sister yesterday, in an email, that ‘real runners’ run no matter what the weather. (I was referring to the heat when I made the comment) I woke up to the sound of rain this morning and wondered if God was having a some fun with me. He does that sometimes. His ears are very good, especially when I talk too big for my britches. I pondered what I had said, kicked myself a few times then went for my run. It stopped raining when I began my run, resumed on lap 7 for a short time, then stopped for the last 4 laps. I thought I would be the only one on the track this morning because of the weather but my words to my sister rang true, all the hardcore walkers and runners I see out there every day were there today. The weather didn’t bother them a bit. I feel like I have accidentally stumbled across a whole different brand of people. RUNNERS ROCK!!!!

July 9, 2011- My sister told me that crunches were good for runners. So I spent some time this morning doing that. I’ll not tell you how many I did. I’ll only say that I did them until my husband started joking around. I suppose if you are a family member reading this you could email my husband and ask him how many I did. But you are not likely to get the correct count out of him seeing that he refused to count correctly and kept messing me up when I tried to count….after a playful morning with my hubby I did manage to walk/run/walk to the highway and back. It was a slow Saturday, what can I say. It’s always fun to have my hubby home. He’s great!

July 10 is Sunday here, where I am. I just rested under the shadow of the almighty and enjoyed church.

July 11th-Monday- There is something important to be said about having a day of rest. I always run stronger on Mondays. My first 5 laps I gave it everything I had. I extended the running portion of each lap by 75 meters. (I’m just guessing the extended meters) Then on laps 6-9 I ran to my regular spot then walked some. Laps 10 and 11 I ran again to the extended length. Lap #12 was a cool down walk.

July the 12th–  okay, I got something to say, there is this guy on twitter, JeffGalloway. He is a professional runner. Anyway, on one of his little twitter comments he said something to the effect of……, “it’s better to start out slow..blah, blah bla…” can’t remember all of it but this morning when I was preparing to run I remembered his little comment and thought I’d put it to the test.

All along in my running, I have been trying to do a complete lap without stopping. I can do lots of laps as long as I walk portions but not a whole lap of straight running. I’ve increased the running portions of each lap but I still don’t run a whole lap straight. (you already know that but I just thought I’d repeat my present delima, because well, I just wanted too) Anyhoo,

I got out my notebook this morning and numbered down the page to 12. Meaning 12 laps, and set it on the steps. I switched my strategy. Previously my strategy had been……, push it, at my very best from the beginning, then the last laps just complete the task. I switched it to starting off slower,then picking up my pace as I went along. Take a look below,

1– first three laps I just ran to the overhang (which is the halfway mark I was doing weeks ago)

2– second three laps I upped it a bit and ran to the signpost. (which is the additional 15 meters)

3– third three laps I upped it a bit more to the end of the over hang.( which is the additional 75 meters)

4– then lap #10 I upped it to a new distance, all the way to the electric lights, that would change the 75 meters to maybe 100 meters added. (keep in mind I am only guessing at these meter distances)

5– Then lap #11 I was able to run the whole lap (very hard, I stopped for a minute, then scolded myself and started again, so I’m saying I ran it all cause that was just one very short mini break down which I recovered from and ran, let’s just pretend that didn’t happen shall we)

6– Then lap # 12 was just a cool down, I dropped back and ran just to the overhang like I did in laps 6 to 9.

I felt better running this way I think, as opposed to running the first laps as far as I could go then shortening the running portions of each lap as I got tired. Starting off slower and picking up your pace as you go along works better for me I think.

I believe to run well you have to ‘think’ about what you are doing as well as do it. You know, strategy and action work together.

There was a running quote on twitter this morning which read: “most people have the will to win, but few have the will to prepare to win.” A good strategy is priceless.

July 13- followed the same running plan as listed on July 12 except I ran to the electric lights on laps 10, 11, and 12. I don’t know why I did that. So much for ‘thinking’ about your running. I just wasn’t ‘thinking’. I ran an additional lap to the electric light as well, lap 13. So I did a total of 13 laps but I did no lap entirely of running. Go figure? I can keep adding on laps (the walk/run type of lap) with hardly any trouble at all. But to run one whole lap, totally run it.., man, that kicks my butt every time! I don’t understand it! Tomorrow is just around the corner…

July 14th This morning I went to the track. I stood there and just looked at the track for a while. I had to let the things I wanted to accomplish run through my mind several times before I began. It is against my nature to start off slowly. I have to really tell myself to do that several times before I start or I just won’t do it. Human nature says, start off at your best speed and run til you drop. If you are a sprinter, this probably works for you. However, being a sprinter is not my goal. I am looking for longevity in my running experience. I have to really get a hold of myself and make myself start slowly in order to go the distance and finish strong.

Laps 1,2, and 3 ran just to the overhang. Took it slow. I even slowed down on the walking portions. Before today, I was walking super fast and pumping my arms the way I see other walkers do. But their goals in exercise are different from mine. I can’t copy them anymore. I walked slower today and scraped the arm pumping thing.

Laps 4,5,6 and 7 I extended the running portions by 15 meters each lap and drank apple juice between each lap.

Laps 8,9,10 I extended the running portions by 70 or 75 meters each lap. I listened to the locust and focused on relaxing during the walking sections of each lap. I am also working on keeping my toes straight forward. My ankles sometimes twist when I run so I’m watching my feet and keeping them straight.

Laps 11,12,13,14 I ran all the way to the electric lights. This distance is more that 2/3rds of a full lap but not a whole lap. I ran it 4 times, telling myself all the while to relax and take it slow. Save it for the end girl, save it for the end!

Lap 15 I ran a full lap with no breakdowns! I p’ed in my pants and my nose was running faster than my legs but I made it the whole way around! The locust cheered for me!

lap 16 I ran to the electric lights as a cool down and finished my apple juice very happy with my run. YEAH! Slow starts are key but you really have to train yourself to start off that way so you have something left for the ending. You have to think about what you are doing.

July 15th– I focused on making a slow start so that I could go longer and finish stronger. This plan is working really well for me. I accomplished 16 laps today.

First 3 laps very slow to the overhang. These laps used to take me 4 minutes each now I’m doing them 6 minutes each. Sounds weird ‘tring’ to go slow doesn’t it. But it works.

Then I did 4 slow laps to the foot sign. Because I’m running more on these laps I lost a minute. Each lap was 5 minutes.

Then I did 3 laps to the end of the overhang. Each lap took me 5 minutes. (please remember that every lap is 1/4th of a mile total. When I mention a stopping place that is just where the running portion stopped. I walked out the rest of it.)

Then two laps to the electric lights both done in 5 minutes.

Laps 13, 14,and 15– I ran all three of these laps the entire way around with no stopping at all!!! YEAH! lap 13 was done in 3 minutes, laps 14 & 15 were both done in 4 minutes.

Lap 16 I walked it out as a cool down. Took me 7 minutes to walk it.

Saturday July 16–I had an easy day. I did a DVD called The Biggest Loser Power Walk Workout, in the morning. Then in the afternoon I ran to the highway and back. Walk/run/walk style. 5 minutes walk/5 minutes run/5 minutes walk, like that. Took me 25 minutes total. Did sit up for my sister, man, the things I do for that girl. :) check out ‘running sister’ on my menu bar, she a great runner.

Sunday July 17th– I got my cardiac workout in church this morning, Praise God!! Our worship team was kick’in man! “You got me jump’in for joy now, Jesus!”

Monday July 18th- first 3 laps walk/run around the track, 6 minutes each. Second 3 laps walk/run around the track, still 6 minutes each. Third 3 laps walk/run around the track, moved to 5 minutes each. Then two laps walk/run to the electric lights 5 minutes each. Then 3 laps around the track. I ran the entire 3 laps with no walking at all. YEAH! first 2 in 5 minutes the last one in 4 minutes. Then one cool down walking lap. Total 15 laps.

Tuesday July 19th-This morning I ran the first 6 laps to the foot sign, 4 of those laps were in 5 minutes two of them were in 6 minutes. Next I ran 3 laps to the end of the over hang in 5 minutes each. Next I ran 3 laps to the electric lights in 4 minutes each. Then I ran 4 laps all the way around the entire circle with no walking at all. YEAH! 1 lap was 4 minutes the last 3 were 3 minute laps. Lap #17 I walked as a cool down. Total of 17 laps this morning. All laps were between 3 to 6 minutes long.

I’m still trying to find my middle pace and keep it steady. On lap 16 which was my last running lap of the day, I had to really focus on keeping my feet straight, not letting them twist out at all. But if I focused on my feet too hard I subconsciously picked up pace. I am also trying not to speed up but maintain a slower steady pace so I can finish well.

My body still cries pathetically from time to time, “Pleeeeaaaasssse, be done now! Pleeeaaassse! be finished now!” Perhaps that is why I subconsciously pick up pace. My body wants to hurry up and be finished so it tries to speed up. That is not my will, however, so too bad so sad. I’m not going to hurry up and be done fast, I’m going to slow down and take my time. My will is to increase distance not speed. I have to make a conscious effort to follow my will, maintain a steady, slow, pace, in order to increase distance and stamina. I have to shut down my complaining body who wants to just hurry up and be done with it all and go home…..

“No Home!” I say! “You’ll do 17 laps today! You got that J!” “Okay”

Wednesday July 20– Accomplished 12 laps of the half walk/half run type. Then 4 laps of total running. Then the last lap I walked it out. Total of 17 laps ranging from 3 to 6 minutes. (3 minutes being the total running laps and 6 minutes being the first walk/run laps) Had a friend with me today. She followed my whole run exactly as I did it. She’s like 1/3 my age and very fit. SHe could have done more if she’d wanted. It was nice to have company. :)

Thursday July 21– 17 laps total. First 12 laps were walk/run type all between 5 and 6 minutes each. The next four laps were all running. 5 minutes each. The last lap was a walking one, 7 minutes. My son went with me this morning. He scooted on his scooter for 10 laps. Then climbed a tree to catch locust for a while. There was a baseball team practicing in the field this morning. Timmy also watched baseball until I was done. He said he wanted to join me tomorrow too. I thought that was a great idea.

Friday July 22-  I started off with two laps of the walk run type. Then it suddenly poured cats and dogs. Wind, torrents of rain, the whole 9 yards. I debated about leaving the track. Everyone else did. But then I remembered my marathon sister and how she braves outrageous weather conditions for the sake of a good run. She’s hard-core, man. The thought of her kicking my butt suddening flashed through my mind. I don’t think she could really kick my butt. :) She might call me on the phone and say I was a wimp though so I decided to run faster instead of quit. (do you think I will get in trouble for the above comments, I guess we’ll find out won’t we. he-he. Perhaps running in the pouring rain makes you braver than usual) Anyhoo, I wanted out of the rain but couldn’t quit because of my scary sisters :) so I picked up pace. The next 6 laps I ran the entire circle every time at 5 minutes each. Which is super good for me. I’ve never run 6 entire laps with no walking before. It was the dislike for rain that did it I think. But after those 6 laps the rain died down and I walked some. Laps, 9, 10, 11, and 12 were of the walk/run type. Then laps, 13, 14, 15, and 16 I ran the whole way with no walking like usual. Then lap 17 was a nice wet walk on a nice wet track back to the car. I feel brave and cocky! Cocky enough for the above comments about my sister! I love my sister, I wouldn’t be running if it weren’t for her. Thanks sis. I’m having fun. 

Saturday July 23rd- Drove out to the beach for camping on Friday night. Swam all Saturday morning. No running at all, just hanging out with the family.

Sunday July 24th- Church was great! Took a long nap.

July 25th Monday morning rolled around. It was hard to get out of bed. I was concerned that I might not run well. But when I got out to the track I discovered that how one feels when they first wake up does not dictate how they’d run when they get to the track. It was a really good run. The first 12 laps were all done in exactly 5 minutes. I upped the running portion of these laps so they were 3/4th running to 1/4th walking. My body was quiet, I didn’t have to fight it to get the laps accomplished at all. Then I ran 4 laps straight through. I only stopped long enough to write down my times for each lap. 2 laps were 4 minutes, 2 laps were 3 minutes. The last lap I walked it out. 17 laps total. This was my first, what I would call, “Quiet Run” where my body moved along without complaint. I enjoyed it.

Tuesday July 26th- This morning went great. Again it was hard getting out of bed but I have already learning that slowness in getting out of bed does not indicate what kind of run I’ll have so I just ignored the sluggish feeling and moved on to the track. I took the first 5 walk/run type laps in 25 minutes. Then I decided to up my running and took the next 4 laps of total running, 16 minutes total. Then I dropped back and walk/ran the next 4 laps, 20 minutes. Laps 14-17 were total running taking me 16 minutes. Because I was feeling so good  I added on laps 18-20 today. I walk/ran them in 15 minutes. Lap 21 was a peaceful, happy walk back to the car. I have offically hit 5 miles. Now I just need to work on running more of it and walking less. One small step at a time you take the road. One small step at a time lightens your load. Move along, move along, progress seems slow. But when you look back seeing miles of taken road. You’ll say to yourself, “Man, how I’ve grown. Who could have guessed it. Who could have known. That I could run with the wind that has blown.” 

July 27 Wednesday– I pushed up the bar a bit this morning at the track. I cut back considerably on the walking. The first mile, I walk/ ran each lap. It took my 21 minutes. The second mile I ran straight through at 15 minutes. The 3rd mile I ran straight through at 16 minutes. The 4th mile I ran straight through at 15 minutes. The 5th mile I ran straight through at 15 minutes. In between each mile I walked a few circles under the overhang and drank my drink (2 minutes each time) but I otherwise ran every lap. I was very happy. Then I took one last walking lap around the track to my car which took me 5 minutes. Totaling 21 laps at 1 hour 30 minutes. (not counting 2 minute breaks only counting the laps)

July 28th– Today’s running experience is written out for you on my front home page. It is also listed in the dailymile every morning. Please look for it there. Have a good day.

July 29, 2011 Friday– I have logged my runner entry into the Daily Mile. If you would like to see it, go back to the daisydesk home page, scroll down until you see Daily Mile on the right side of the screen. Click on that and my running should pop up for you. Thank you so much for checking my site and please have a great day.

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2014 Flowers

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Purple Passion

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Chocolate Cosmos really smells like chocolate.

Chocolate Cosmos really smells like chocolate.

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Nasturtium

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Waterfall たき

waterfall たき

waterfall たき

たき waterfall

たき waterfall

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Tree Photos

Pine trees at Zakimi Castle 2013

Pine trees at Zakimi Castle 2013

Cassia Surattensis Tree 2014

Cassia Surattensis Tree 2014

Giant palm fronds over my head 2014

Giant palm fronds over my head 2014

Huge tree near Zakemi-Jo

Huge tree near Zakemi-Jo

Male Papaya Tree

Papaya Tree

Pond いけ and tree with face

Pond いけ and tree with face 2013

I love flowers but to love them, one has to love the whole plant. Because as we all know, blooms come and go. It is the root that endures. It is the root that yearly produces new blooms. Blooms delicately display the enduring inner beauty of the whole plant. So, I guess I need to say, I love this tree. 2011
A Cherry Blossom Tree

Japanese Cherry Blossom Tree 2012

A closer look at the Cherry Blossom Blooms

Japanese Cherry blossoms 2012

 

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The little berries on this tree will eventually turn dark purple. In Japanese this tree is called, Nandenshi なんでんし。

がじまるのき

がじまるのき

がじまるのき

がじまるのき

 

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