Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Ok. I added my Christmas photos tonight.
Here;s the deal: If you want to see them up close and personal, just let me know.
I need to know how many to cook for!
Several of you asked for photos of the crystal ornaments I put on my tree. I took the photos, only to find out that they don't come out very well.
That's why you have to come here, live and in person.
I would love to serve you some hot apple cider and a good Christmas dinner!
If you live in the area, and want to take me up on that, just send a private sparkmail message!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Yesterday I actually cleaned my office and exercise room. I woke up today all stiff and sore from over doing things yesterday.
I vowed to do nothing but stretch today. My entire body needed it.
I decided it would be okay to not do any workout whatsoever today, just stretch.
So I log on to SP, and decide "Hey, I haven't weighed in for a while. Might as well do that and the measurements, too."
One pound left the ranch!!! Inches left with the pound!!
Ok. Let 's see how I am doing on the points. Gee, my body really still hurts and is sure stiff!
I switch to the fitness page, intending to find stretches.
Sure enough, there is the strength training exercises I am supposed to do today. For some reason, I really resist strength training. I only want to walk.
But the workout tools are waiting and calling me......actually, they are TAUNTING me.
The pretty blue ball is nearly jumping up and down saying "Me first! Me first!"
Let's listen to Bob Marley and some Reggae!
Okay, I will stretch with the ball. That ought to feel very good. I stretch a bit, then decide to do some crunches on the ball. After all, that's not a huge venture into exercise!
The crunches led to wall sqats with the ball, which led into kneeling roll outs with the ball, which led into push ups with the ball.
WHAT'S GOING ON HERE????? I have been sabotaged by a BALL.
I am doing Hamstring curls followed by back stretches on the ball.
Good Grief! When can I get off this stupid BALL and do simple stretches??!!
Then it dawns on me. I am capable of simply getting off the ball. I mean, I AM IN CHARGE HERE, NOT SOME STUPID BALL!!!
I get off the ball, and look at the stationery bike, which is now calling me to go for a ride.
Go for a RIDE??? I have already been taken for a ride. By a ball. And Bob Marley. Two very dangerous creatures to get involved in on a day that was only supposed to be for stretches.
I whisper this to you, friend, so the ball and Marley can't hear.
"i do feel better."
NOW I will spend the day stretching.................out of sight of that damned ball!!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Today I walked 5 miles in 51 minutes! I just kept pushing my speed, and WOW! I was really making tracks!
I have finally gotten guilty enough to get back on the program. I was not logging all my food, exercise or much of anything else these past couple weeks. I rarely went outside to walk, using the excuse of rain and/or wind. SO WHAT???!!!
It's not like I will melt in the rain, or blow away with the wind. I am made of much sturdier stuff than that. Some of my "sturdier" jiggles. In the wrong places. Not good. Not good at all.
It all happened today like this: My friend Shirley (lovescamping) wrote a beautiful blog. She talked about her son and she decorating the Food Bank for the holidays, and how her son is making her a live wreath out of the excess Christmas branches from their tree.
I thought to myself "and just what am I doing sitting in the house, denying my need of exercise?". Emphasis on the I.
I got on the scale, and have gained 1/4 pound. NOT GOOD! I lost 43 pounds with WW, stopped doing the program, and gained 41 of those pounds right back. So, 1/4 pound may not sound like much, and is easy to dismiss with a shrug and "oh well", but in my case, 1/4 pound increase quickly becomes 41 pound increase.
That's right. Even a miniscule number like 1/4 counts! And it is too easy to let it grow into 41.
Try walking 1/4 mile as fast as you can, and you will see how important 1/4 of anything really IS!
On with my shoes, grab the pedometer and timer, jacket and gloves, and off to walk I go. I decide to see how fast I can walk before I have to stop.
Up knolls and down, step after step, I speed along. I am amazed as to just how fast I can go! This Spark Thing, as I call it, really pays off!
I had no idea that when I timidly agreed to a mile a day in September challenge that it would lead to this kind of ability and happiness.
I really love walking now. It has become a personal challenge for myself. I feel invigorated when I walk, and Winsten sometimes sits down and waits for me to come back because he is tired. No THAT impresses me!
Winsten, as most of you know, is a Golden Retriever. He is five years old now, and just beginning to settle into life. , which means he has slowed down to a speed of Mach 1.
I must admit here that he was outside before me for about a half hour, so he did get in some kind of workout before I showed up on the scene. He found me at my first mile lap, and was happy to go along with me until the last mile.
HA! I finally showed HIM a thing or two! This old broad could keep going, even after HE got tired.
Let me tell you about that last mile. It is the first time I have walked that fast, and the first time I did 5 miles on my "exercise" walk. I say that because I believe have walked 5 miles before.......in malls and such. Those walks don't count for me, though, because I was STROLLING, not WALKING.
I am zinging right along, and then look at the pedometer. Holy Cats! I have already done 4 miles! I can stop now............uh, wait a minute. Ms. Smarmy shows up!
"OK Cuddlethighs! Why not try one more mile, or are you going to quit NOW?"
I press my lips together so as not to use the language that comes to mind every time SHE enters the picture, and feel my feet stomp for about four steps.
I am stomping on her words, but nevertheless, I am still moving.
The stomp soon turns back into steps, because I am facing the hill again. I feel my calves stretching to keep up, and my butt is announcing that perhaps I am doing a bit too much. The jiggle in them is getting a bit tight. That's a GOOD thing!
I bravely face the hill, one step at a time, one breath at a time, and before I know it, I am at the top, doing the big loop!
It's all downhill from here, and I am actually beginning to play with the idea of going another mile.
Then I remember tomorrow is another day, and I will no doubt feel the workout today. I choose to end the walk with my stretches after the five miles, look at the timer and almost fall over.
THANK YOU, Sparkies, for nudging me along. THANK YOU, for all the encouragement and laughter you have given me. THANK YOU for being on this journey together!
Here's to all of you: THANK YOU!!!
I am WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!
Now I will have a small piece of fruitcake. Huh? Who's there?? Who is telling me that I don't need the fruit cake, and that Special K will fill me up just as much without all the fat?
My Goodness! It is ALL OF YOU!
Thanks, I needed that. CUDDLETHIGHS??? Not today!
Friday, November 27, 2009
We did have a lovely Thanksgiving. We went to our neighbor's. It is a fun story.
They came over last week, "just chatting". They were nudging each other with their elbows, saying under their breath "YOU ask her" and "NO, YOU ask her".
Finally Ted and I got a bit restless watching this nonsense, and I said "Ok. Just come out with it. What do you want?".
Then Toby blurted out "Do you cook good turkeys and make good dressing and gravy?"
What a weird question. Ted responded with a loud "She sure DOES!".
Then they explained that they wanted to do Thanksgiving at their house, but they always make lousy turkeys, dressing and gravy. "So if we supply the turkey, would you cook it?"
It was after I agreed to it that they told us they would have a guest list of 14.
So I cooked turkey, dressing and gravy, our house smelled wonderful, and we packed it all up and across the road we go.
We walk in, carrying all our food, and there are these guests.....all sitting down in the living room, looking like they were starving, and not doing any conversation.
When they saw us, they all jumped up and cheered "The turkey is here!" and headed for the table.
Neither Ted nor I dropped the food we were hauling, even though we were laughing so loud.
Dinner was really good, the turkey was moist and cooked to perfection, the gravy without nary a lump and the dressing rich with flavor. The side dishes they supplied were wonderful.
It was one of the funniest thanksgivings we have ever had!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Well, here they are again. The Holidaze. Why are we always worrying about the Holidaze? I'll tell you why we worry about Holidaze.
EXPECTATIONS!! Expectations from ourselves, our kids, the rest of the bloomin family, friends, merchants, TV...........even the streets are decorated so we don't forget that their are expectations upon us!
We think we need to give gifts to everybody! We don't. We can't afford it, and neither can they!
We think we need to give our grown up kids what they ask for. We don't. They are GROWN UPS, for Pete's sake, and can jolly well buy the stuff they want for themselves.
We think we need to send Christmas cards to every member of the family, old neighbors, and others we haven't seen in years and years. We don't. Stamps and cards are expensive items. If you haven't seen these people in a zillion years, there must be a reason. Remember the reason!
We think we need to shop in every single store in the mall because the economy is down, and we don't want to be responsible for them going out of business. We don't. Yes, we would all love to save the economy, but the government is against that, and you "can't fight City Hall", especially when their idea is to simply borrow more money, and print all those new dollars at nano-speed.
Make a list of what you are going to shop for, where you are going to shop for it, and take your timer with you. Set it for 15 minutes each time you enter a store. You have drop whatever you are holding that you "might" buy that is on the list and head immediately to check-out when the timer goes off, and if you are not, You are over doing things. The secret?? THE LIST!! GET OUT OF THE STORE!!
We think we need to buy all that crap on TV in order for our children to be well adjusted. We don't. Remember, these people are highly paid to make you feel guilty or ugly or stupid if you don't invest in their products. You don't know these people, and you don't have to believe them! You can even turn them off!
We think we need to be politically correct. Let me assure you, WE DON'T!
Put up your lights if you want to, get the creche set up in the yard, and blare the Christmas music.
Say "Merry Christmas" to everyone you see, and don't forget the store clerks.
We think we need to make our "famous recipe for fudge" for everyone. We don't. They won't miss it. Chances are, YOU are the only one who will notice!
If you need to make the fudge, send it off to Iraq or Afghanistan to a soldier. You can bet he or she WILL notice! And if you don't have an address, call some churches and have them give it to a needy family.
Believe me, it will taste and feel better to you than that fudge ever could!
We think we need to buy presents for our grandchildren. We don't. Instead, we can take them to a store, let them pick out a toy, and then go straight to the Toys for Tots barrel run by the Marines, and let your grandchildren donate the toy(s) to a needy child who will have no Christmas otherwise. This is also a good thing to do for the kids still living with you. Take a photo of the toy being donated, and then, on Christmas day, give the framed photo to the donating child as their Christmas gift. It will mean more and more to them as the years pass, and they will look forward to giving toys to less priveledged children.
One year, before DH, it was just my daughter and I. We were very poor. There was no money for gifts. I took a piece of cloth and embroidered a clock face, then asked a friend to make me a frame for the clock. Another friend donated the clock workings, including the hands. While I was embroidering it, I pricked my finger, and a couple drops of blood spilled onto the clock face. I couldn't get it off.
The morning of Christmas, I was very worried and ashamed that that was all I could give my daughter for Christmas.
My DD opened her clock, and burst into tears. She came over and gave me the biggest hug ever. She instantly KNEW I had embrfooidered that clock face, and she also instantly saw the blood stains.
While sitting on my lap, hugging and crying, she said "Mom, this is the BEST gift I have ever gotten! You BLED to give me this."
She still has that clock, and it is still running. Neither one of us has forgotten that Christmas, and it is the best one I have ever had.
My husband and I have everything we need and then some. There is nothing left to WANT.
Each year, we individually choose a charity and then donate to it in the name of our spouse. Then we get a pretty Christmas card, and inside, it reads "This year you donated to ............charity, and they love you for it, and so do I". We keep the name of the charity secret from each other, and we only find out when we open the envelope.
These are just a few suggestions...........I am sure you all out there have many more.
Don't let the DAZE happen to you. Drop the expectations. Take your voice, whether you can sing or not, and head to a retirement home. Sing with the seniors! Play a game with them!
Leave a plate of cookies for someone who can't afford them on their door step.
If you live in snow country, go to a poor neighbor, and ask them to make a snow man with you. Leave them some cocoa to make hot chocolate.
If you see a stray animal that obviously is hungry, feed and shelter it.
Walk in the snow sticking out your tongue and see how many flakes you can catch with your mouth. It doesn't cost anything to be a kid again! You can even make snow angels. AND count points for the exercise!!
Find simple, old fashioned ways to celebrate the season, and spread your LOVE around. It is something that you cannot buy, but means the very most!
Expect to do Christmas YOUR way, and get to planning the fun.
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