Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Oct 11

Best Walk Ever

Earlier this week I gave a hint at some exciting news around my house that was making not only me happy but also my dogs. Vickie wondered whether a new cat had moved in next door (she was awarded the prize for the most interesting guess, btw)

My news is absolutely HUGE….. to me.  You probably won’t have any trouble dialing it down a bit when you read about it, because – well, it IS only my ability to take the dogs for a walk…a 2 mile walk; by myself!!

Yes, after over four months of living in a bad scene from the movie Groundhog Day, I can finally say that I am making great strides in my recovery.  Strides. Get it?  (Yes, I know it’s corny, but I’m high on life right now so let’s pretend that was funny). 

It’s been over a month since I tried walking the dogs by myself. The last time I ended up with a terribly swollen abdomen and incision pain for days afterward. What a difference a month can make!

So, to commemorate this next chapter in my life – the one where I begin the slow journey back to that physically strong woman I vaguely remember, I leave you with some photos that I took on what I’m now appropriately referring to as ‘The Best Walk EVER’.



The official Start of our walk together:


The beginning of our walk!

Some beautiful foliage along the way:


We came to one of Brulee and Emmie’s favorite holes.  I don’t know what lives under that uprooted tree, but the dogs always, without fail, pay a visit.



This photo came out a bit fuzzy because Emmie was getting frustrated that we were stopping to take so many photos and she jiggled the camera a bit.  Still, look at those colors!



And finally, on our way back to the car.  Is it any wonder why I’m painting nothing but trees right now? 


Being able to take my dogs for a walk is a goal that I’ve been waiting to achieve since the beginning of summer.  Being able to actually do it and suffer no consequence makes me feel like my body starting to forgive me for allowing this surgery.  

I’ve been so inspired by my progress and the colors of the trees lately, that I’ve begun a series of inspirational quote paintings.  Here is one I finished earlier this week:



It reads: 

“I am still standing.  Through wind, rain or drought.  I am rooted, still.”

And that about sums things up right now. 

Have a great weekend, everyone. 


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  1. Caron says:

    Great news for you! I am currently waging a war against eye problems and know how it is to come up against a defeatist attitude. Here’s hoping you’ll have many, many more beautiful walks

    • Ellen says:

      Anything physical, emotional – whatever the burden may be, can be really debilitating after a certain length of time. It’s hard to hang in there when you don’t see an end. I hope you are finding solutions to your eye problems, Caron. ((hugs))

  2. Roxie says:

    I am so happy for you – and I can certainly see how you can draw artistic inspiration from those walks. Simply gorgeous!

    • Ellen says:

      Who knows – maybe if I’d progressed any sooner I wouldn’t be as grateful for this time of year, never needing or feeling inspiration for these paintings. (I’m determined to get something positive out of this experience, even if I have to squeeze it to death) 😉

  3. Sharon says:

    That is wonderful news and a day you some times wandered if it would ever come again!! You know how I feel about walking – take that privilege away from me and I’m not sure what I’d do. Such beautiful colors – hope you are sending them this way.

    • Ellen says:

      Yes, there is something therapeutic about walking as we both know. In fact, Craig and I were discussing today how beautiful it must be in your neck of the woods right about now. We are itching to get back to the Smokies.

  4. Jan says:

    How exciting! What an accomplishment! I’m so excited for you! What a gorgeous walk too! The colors are incredible! I love their vibrancy! So proud of you for not giving up. I’m thrilled you had “the best walk ever”. :)

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you, Jan. It has been a lovely Fall so far, but the leaves are dropping fast. I feel winter coming quickly around here. Hope you’re getting some color there as well!

  5. didi says:

    So happy for you! We’ve been enjoying the fall colors around here too. There is a creek that runs through a park a few blocks from our house, and it looked so picturesque with all the red and yellow and orange leaves floating lazily on it. I saw a mother muskrat with two (mostly grown) young ones paddling around in the leaves, so I sat in the grass and watched them for a while.
    Hah, love how the stick is clamped in his mouth and he’s ready for a walk. Lali loves to carry sticks around while we are walking. Sometimes she chooses one that is bigger than she is, and then tries to drag it.

    • Ellen says:

      I had to laugh when you mentioned Lali and the ‘big’ stick. Bru does that, too. He’s so particular with his sticks, though. If they don’t ‘feel right’ in his mouth he goes in search of another one. Sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever get our walk in at all!

  6. goodnuff says:

    Sometimes the simplest things are the most joyful! Thanks for sharing “The best walk EVER”

  7. Vickie says:

    Interested to know if you will be doing prints of your new series ( in addition to paintings). I will be interested in a matching pair, but no hurry and I will wait to see the whole series. Really like the one you showed. I am thinking I will end up with one for each season, and really like that concept.

    • Ellen says:

      Yes, Vickie – and thank you for asking. I will be offering prints as singles and then most likely as sets as well. I am sketching out forest scenes for winter but I’m finding it difficult to work ahead. I seem to have to paint while I’m ‘in’ the season or else the ideas don’t come as easily.
      I honestly don’t know why I haven’t started doing these before now. I’m enjoying them so much and love these kinds of affirmations. Will keep you posted on my progress.

  8. debby says:

    OH MY GOODNESS, Ellen!! Thank you for the gorgeous inspirational pictures! I need to start an album of ‘Ellen pictures.’

    Love the pic of the dogs at the ready for the walk. And love that you are enjoying your newfound strength. Its amazing how much we appreciate something we took for granted once its been taken away from us.

    • Ellen says:

      Debby, you are more than welcome. If you need any inspiration, I have an entire folder full of autumn pics that I haven’t even gotten around to posting yet. Just let me know :)
      I just love this time of year and it’s already coming to a close. A hard rain stripped almost every yellow and red leaf from our trees today.

  9. teresa says:

    I can not get over the beauty of where you live! Even more reason to grieve not being out there.
    2 miles is impressive!!
    Thank you for sharing your first walk.
    And I was really giggling at your giddiness…and your funny/corny joke.

    • Ellen says:

      It has definitely been a good year for the changing of the colors. Normally we don’t get such vivid color (and my camera doesn’t do the real thing justice).

  10. Hanlie says:

    I love it! All of it! Happy trails, you three!

  11. Munchberry says:

    You know what makes roots go deep? When they have to work to survive – they have to search for water. Those are the trees that not only live on, but thrive – thru the hard times.

    Very apt painting my lovely and strong friend.

    Brave of you to take them to a place that had to be chock full of yummy things to smell and roll in. So beautiful.

    FF, Munchy

  12. YAY!! I love the photograph of the path with the colored leaves and can SO imagine your painted rendition of the same.

  13. Oh, happy day! And I’m happy for you, Ellen! How wonderful that you got to experience it when the surroundings were so lovely.

  14. slendern10 says:

    excellent photos thanks for sharing! fall is the bestest

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