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Some Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's the last Saturday in June and real hot weather summer is upon us. Of course, it's nothing like last year's real hot summer weather which was more often over 100 degrees than not. This summer it's different - like the Start page on Sparkpeople this morning.

I'd had a tip off from a spark buddy I met up with yesterday (first time ever!!!) who told me the roll-out had happened yesterday. I see some folk don't like the changes but I agree with the editors. This is a much more streamlined page and it still tempts me to explore. I tend to use SP from a serendipitous point of view. I always begin with Best of SparkPeople email - and follow the leads it presents. I've met more new people, gotten more new ideas and just all around enjoyed myself going with the flow. It's a little surprise gift first thing in the morning.

I say Thanks SP for keeping it fresh. (I'm also glad the swapped around the points earning options - again, just for the variety factor.)

Meeting up with SP friend CLBENS was fun. She looks great too! And we both ordered the same lean protein rich lunch - without even discussing it first! Next time, though - we will probably meet for something more active.

For a long time there didn't seem to be any sparkers who lived close enough for me to meet up with but this summer several have swung into my orbit. I'm looking forward to hooking up with them.

Last night there was a wine tasting in our local wine shop - She does these about twice a month on Friday evenings and they're like little parties. Afterwards there was a free bluegrass concert down the street at a riverside park. These are sponsored by our local main street organization and this is their second season. Last year I bought tickets for all of them and then never got to go to one - and gave my tickets away. It was fun to stroll down the street and listen to the music after sipping my wine (carefully calculated to fit within the days calories/points)

It was the last day of the fiscal year and though I believe I've tied up all the strings, I have a funny feeling that maybe I did not. It all seems too easy this year. Of course, there have been huge personnel changes this year, both in the library and in the county government - so maybe that's what's giving me that odd sensation. At least I know the changes are for the better, so I will just throw out my blessing hook and expect the best.

Ah well. a meandering blog with no real insights or words of wisdom - just a few thoughts fluttering around on a Saturday morning. Hope your Saturday is full of joy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMREITE 6/30/2013 1:37AM

    Sounds like a good day.

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LRSILVER 6/29/2013 9:57PM

    Glad you got to meet a sparkfriend.

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MSLZZY 6/29/2013 6:47PM

    Out with the old and in with the new. It is exciting to see changes on SP. It does encourage me to explore parts of the site that will help me even more!

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CELIAMINER 6/29/2013 12:14PM

    I don't mind the changes in the Spark start page, but I do notice polls no longer award points. Being a "points whore," I'm still searching for where the point opportunities have gone, and I see that articles and Spark Blog page items now award 5 points rather than 3. I like that, since I see the educational and motivational aspects of those tools as very valuable.

Your wine tasting sounds like fun! We have a couple of shops close by that do tastings, and the "nicer" of the two (a gourmet/specialty/wine) shop also has music on occasion. Then there are all the wineries in Virginia! We have a couple of favorites, though getting there is not as easy as getting to one of the shops.

Finally, thanks for reminding me that it's the end of the FY for one of my volunteer organizations, and as treasurer, I need to get the financial report together.

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KANSASROSE67 6/29/2013 11:58AM

    Your evening sounds wonderful! And I'm so glad the budget process was better this year. I sent mine off to our new city manager and haven't heard a thing...hoping no news is good news!

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JLITT62 6/29/2013 11:37AM

    Having worked in social media before we really had a term for it, I can tell you people don't like change.

How lucky to have some local spark buddies!

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KANOE10 6/29/2013 9:43AM

    Yes, we have had major changes in our library system..due to lack of funding. I hope your job is secure for next year.

We have 100 wineries in my area so wine tasting can be very much fun.

You sound happy and focused. I don't mind the changes on Spark People..Change is good for us. I am going to have to check out those emails from Spark.

We are hitting the 100s..that is why I exercise early!

Have a great Saturday.

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FORBANDE 6/29/2013 8:58AM

    How great to meet another Sparker! I'm meeting a Spark Friend in July and am very excited. The wine tasting sounds so fun!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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What's Different This Summer? What's the Same?

Monday, June 24, 2013

For a long time I've thought about writing this blog - the promptings of inspiration have been there but not the actual inspiration - so I've just allowed the thoughts to float around. And though I still don't feel inspired to write - I do want to get these thoughts down before they fade away because this summer is really different.

A year ago I finally broke through that 160 lb barrier that had held me in its grasp for more than a year. It felt great. It put me within target range of my old weight goal of 150 lbs. Clothes were fitting better. People were complimenting me on how I looked. Not too tall, not too short, a little chunky and squishy but well proportioned. And for a 59 year old woman, living in the rural (think FAT) south, I didn't look too bad.

One year later there is a physical difference. I've been at or below my goal weight for almost 4 months. Now, when I am naked and standing with my arms at my sides, they don't brush against my hip fat. I feel muscle and bone when I stroke my hand down the length of my thigh. My arms, thanks to a year of lifting weights, have a pretty definition to them. Interestingly enough, people seldom notice it anymore, yet the look and feel of me is really different this summer. It's fun too - this difference.

So what's not different?

1. For a long time the goal was to reach 150 lbs. Now, I'm not sure I want to stay at the goal weight I selected. I'm not 5'6" any more - I'm a full inch shorter - diagnosed with osteopenia. There's still a fairly substantial roll of fat in my lap when I sit down. It disappears when I stand up but it doesn't seem to be doing anything for me - it's not as if it were cushioning a joint or something. And since there are some pretty strong ab muscles beneath the layer - I am wondering if it's something I ought to dispense with. That means I'm still thinking 'Weight Loss'.

2. Also, I am not really sure how to LIVE at a maintenance weight. I suspect that I'll be tracking what I eat for the rest of my life. I've always thought of that as a "diet activity" - even though, yeah, yeah, I know the mantra ... "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle"

Well, okay. But. Tracking still FEELS like a diet. So - where else in my life do I track and does that feel 'restrictive' ... like a diet? I track my money - and that just feels like real life. I track the moment I write a check. Always. And once a month I do a full look-over of our financial situation. I LOVE knowing about my money - how much there is - how long it would take to plan for a big purchase - How many options I have with my cash. Even if I've overindulged and need to rein in the spending, knowing I can do it - that it's only going to take some little tweaks, makes it exciting. Doing the money math is absolutely fun for me.

I also write down a to-do list at the end of each work day. I call it my Charles Schwab List. It doesn't feel like some burdensome work-diet. It just feels like being a good steward of my job. Each week I have 40 hours to make my work world absolutely wonderful. And if I do that most of the time, I can also let it slide a little - take things easy, take a day off to go have lunch with a friend. By keeping things written down I know I'm doing my part. It doesn't mean I can prevent every bad thing from happening at work. After all, I live and function in a world full of Other People. but it does mean that when Stuff Happens, I don't have to add guilt and shame to my plate of difficulties. Tracking at work keeps me safe.

So yeah. Tracking my food is NOT something I'm going to stop doing, probably ever.


Can I be okay with this? Can this feel like part of a normal life? Hmm. I think so.

Even though I can see the value of weekly meal planning, I've always resisted it because it doesn't take into consideration the unexpected - like sudden invitations or particiularly hard days at work that sap all my desire to cook at all. Making a week's worth of plans that I then don't follow just depresses me. BUT I can plan for a day. I've begun to track my whole day early in the morning. I usually know exactly what I'm going to have for breakfast so I can be specific with that. If lunch is going to be in a restaurant I allow a certain number of 'points' or calories. That lets me know what's left for dinner so that I can either shop for what I need for dinner or select from what's in the pantry.

So - yeah. Tracking this way is almost exactly like my Charles Schwab Things To Do list at work.

Ah well. I have meandered all around my current status long enough. It is sufficient to say that this summer Some Things are Different and Some Things are TheSame.

Here's an article about rural obesity that contains NO surprises for someone who actually lives there:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LRSILVER 6/25/2013 4:40AM

    I like your analogy. Tracking makes you accountable.

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SHIRAZSOLLY 6/25/2013 2:01AM

    I live in rural Oregon and used to live in rural Virginia. In both areas, I was the "thin one" in a sea of overweight people. Except after I moved here, I definitely wasn't so thin anymore. It's just that others were even bigger than I was. I can't even mention being on a diet here for fear of insulting someone! So I've learned to be cautious how I phrase things. It's about comparing ourselves to our own internal standards, our younger selves or our ideal selves. We're not judging them.

If you keep on doing what you are doing, reflecting, working out, being honest with yourself and not letting the stress get to you, you will keep losing and maybe some people will be asking for your secret. And wouldn't that be great, to help provide a little motivation and inspiration to turn around someone who is ready to leave behind an unhealthy lifestyle now?

BTW - I got shorter, too. Bummer, huh? Being taller makes us look skinnier! But lifting weights increases bone mass, so we know what to do!

Have a great week!

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MCFITZ2 6/24/2013 9:57PM

    Good for you. Well done. emoticon

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NIKKICOLE83 6/24/2013 5:21PM

    This is my first time reading your blog and your spirit just speaks right through it. I think you are right on track and like you said, the roll on your tummy isn't helping anything so why not lose it? I think maintenance is going to be so much harder than losing and so I understand the desire to continue with the behaviors that helped you lose. I think now, you have a little more freedom to enjoy a glass of wine or share a desert.

And in the rural south, you are stick thin for their standards! I am suprised no one has strapped you down and force biscuits and gravy down your throat!

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KANSASROSE67 6/24/2013 3:32PM

    Thanks for the link to the article. Very good points about rural obesity. I'm on a task force here for chronic disease prevention, and we're working on the triple threat of lack of exercise, obesity, and tobacco use.

It seems we country folks have lost the hard physical labor component of the past but gained the widespread consumption of processed foods and soda. Lots of work ahead to make the changes needed.

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CHRISTIECAT 6/24/2013 12:46PM

    That article certainly rings true here - the closest CSA is 45 minutes away in a land where farms are everywhere.....they just produce so few produce items - mainly corn and'd think produce prices and availability would be cheap and easy in the country!

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KANOE10 6/24/2013 10:08AM

    That was a great blog. My summer is different also. After a year of lifting weights my arms and legs are more sculpted and I finally am not embarrassed to wear sleeveless shirts. I also have loose skin over my stomach which I fear will not come off, despite my abdominal muscle workouts.

I agree with you, tracking is going to continue throughout maintenance for me. Planning meals ahead is also going to continue.

You have done a great job of maintaining your loss for 4 months! Way to go.

I live in a rural town in the Northwest. We also have problems with obesity!


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JLITT62 6/24/2013 9:00AM

    I've got that stomach roll when I sit, too & it drives me freakin' nuts! Some of it is because yeah, I still need to lose 5 lbs (depending on the week) & some of it I'm guessing is because the skin is all stretched out from those extra 35 lbsthat are gone & older skin isn't as elastic.

I suspect I'll always have it, altho if I lost 10 lbs maybe it wouldn't be so noticeable, but I really doubt that's gonna happen.

As to tracking, I'm with you - I think I'll always need to do it & frankly that doesn't really bother me much. If that's the price to maintain my weight I'm totally willing to pay it.

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EMILY0724 6/24/2013 8:58AM

    I could have written this blog! Almost EVERYTHING you said describes me. However, I have yet to get below 160 . I hover between 163 and 161. My goal weight is the same. I have that belly roll. I live in the South (near Memphis). on and on.

thanks for putting my thoughts into words!! I've often wondered what I will do when I reach my goal weight. I'll probably keep tracking, too. It's so ingrained in me now that it feels totally wrong to not track!

Best wishes and many blessings to you!


Where in the South do you live?

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BETHGILLIGAN 6/24/2013 8:35AM

    You make some great points. We do a lot of tracking of different things in our lives and never give it a second thought. But, tracking food seems like such a burden, so unnatural. Hmm! I've stopped tracking (again) and definitely need to get back to it. I'm getting way too fluffy and lazy!! Thanks for the insights! It seems I need a change of mindset--tracking food is something I just do!

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You Could Die From This!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Back in 2007 I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. My doctor advised medicines and I caviled and whined and begged "Please don't put me on medicine. I'm no good with pills. I never remember to take them. Let me see if I can deal with this through diet. I lost this weight before. I can do it again.

For the first and only time in my life a doctor yelled at me. "Don't you realize you have serious, life threatening conditions? YOU COULD DIE FROM THIS!" he shouted at me. My doctor is so young and has such a baby face that it's hard enough to remember he's probably closing in on 40 - much less imagine him trying to look fierce. That's a real disadvantage with his baby boomer patients who grew up with family doctors who looked more like Professor Dumbledore.

Still, 2 months later I had an incident that convinced me to cooperate with him. As I sat in his office, nodding in submission I said to him "You know - especially in this largely Christian community, the thought of death is never that frightening. While I am in no hurry to die, I'm not afraid of it either. I believe there will be something wonderful after this life and so does almost everyone else who walks through your door. So telling a patient "YOU MIGHT DIE" is just not that convincing an argument. Next time a patient refuses to follow your sage advice tell them:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 6/24/2013 3:35PM

    I completely agree. I'm not afraid of death either, but I am afraid of living as many people have to, suffering and ill. Some of that is out of our control, of course, but I want to do the best I can with the things I do have some control over.

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KANOE10 6/21/2013 6:54PM

    I was sufficiently scared from the effects of diabetes to lose weight. I am in no hurry to die! Your visual comment could scare anybody into losing!

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IMREITE 6/18/2013 11:02PM

    i am not ready to die, but i do want to have halthy habits so i can be active and have energy to enhoy my life. I have so many wonderful things in my life and i waste to much time complaining.

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    That is a warning I think almost anyone will take to heart!

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CBLENS 6/18/2013 10:47AM

    yup, that's real life and what could happen.

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NELLJONES 6/18/2013 9:05AM

    My husband's father died of a diabetic stroke in 1971 at the age of 64. That was before the life saving medications available today. My husband is now 75, was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago but didn't take it seriously until his second stroke. He is now alive ONLY because of modern medication. Medication isn't a moral judgement, nor is it a substitute for healthy living. One without the other won't help. Men used to die in their 50s and women in their 60s all the time when we boomers were young. It's not just the doctors' age that has changed. In the end, you have to believe that biological reality means you,too. Having people shake their heads over your grave may help them accept, but it will be too late for you.

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LRSILVER 6/18/2013 8:59AM

    Those youngsters have finished college, medical school and residencies. They are rarely younger than 30, but have seen more in a few short years than you can ever imagine. Take their sage advice.

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STRONG_SARAH 6/18/2013 8:40AM

    You're right. It's a scary image but one worth thinking about. I would like to add also "you could become a burden on your children".
No one wants that.

Comment edited on: 6/18/2013 8:42:53 AM

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KELLIEBEAN 6/18/2013 8:00AM

    Interesting way to look at it. That mental image would get me in gear!


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MJREIMERS 6/18/2013 7:54AM

    Whatever it takes to make someone realize the severity of their condition! I'm like you, I'm not afraid to die, but I would like to see my kids grow up and possibly see grandkids. Now if I could get my husband to get off the couch and eat right so he can be right there with me! emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 6/18/2013 7:42AM

    How true!

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MSLZZY 6/18/2013 7:39AM

    The second scenario is more convincing. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
It is all in how you look at things.

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KARENKANDO 6/18/2013 7:21AM

    Oh how I love your thinking! Thanks for sharing. This was a wonderful way to start my day!

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NANNABLACK 6/18/2013 7:17AM


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DMEYER4 6/18/2013 6:59AM

  scary but true. thanks for sharing

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TORTISE110 6/18/2013 6:59AM

    Scary indeed! And I sure wish I had a Dumbledore too... These youngsters practicing medicine are so, so....young!!!!

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And What Makes an UNhealthy Day - another RB/LB conversation

Saturday, June 08, 2013

So. Yesterday I crashed my Healthy Living streak into a ditch. In a weird way I sort of watched it happen - watched my Left Brain School Marm and my Right Brain Wild Child derail it. Perhaps it would be good to listen in on their conversation and see if they'll come up with an idea or two to prevent this from happening again.

emoticon LB Hey Hey Hey! What the ... is going on?

emoticon RB Spare Ribs! gnom gnom gnom

emoticon LB Stop! What is happening?!!

emoticon RB Gawd I'm sleepy - gimme some ice cream!

emoticon LB No! Stop! Back! Stop!

emoticon RB Crayons. I want Crayons!

emoticon LB Oh law. I am going back to bed. You go ruin our lives all by yourself

emoticon RB No! Help! I don't know what's happening. You're supposed to help me. Make the lists. fix it all!
Waaaah. This is all your fault!

emoticon LB You're nuts. I can't fix you. You're crazy. And if we turn into balloons it will be All Your Fault!

emoticon RB No it's not! All I wanted was a bite of spare ribs. A bite! One measly bite! It was you who decided that it was healthier to buy pulled pork and then save money with the daily special just so Himself could have some dinner too. You were the one who felt guilty because we didn't want to cook last night.

emoticon LB Well I can't buy one bite of spare ribs. It's not sold that way. and enough baby backs for himself and me would cost too much

emoticon RB It's only money. We have tons of money. Why would't you pay $30 to stay slim? Wouldn't anybody?

emoticon LB Easy for you to say. Besides himself doesn't like spare ribs that much. I had to buy something he would eat too.

emoticon RB So what? Don't we count? That's what I WANTED and it's what YOU wanted, but you ruined it all by getting what we DIDN'T want just to save money and please somebody else.

emoticon LB Well cry-mi-nee. Just how greedy and rude do you want to be? Was I supposed to just feed me last night and let Himself fend for himself? Besides. I didn't ruin it all. I didn't eat it. WE did.

emoticon RB Oh. Well. You can't put pulled pork on a plate and expect me to ignore it.

emoticon LB Great. Just go eat that stuff and fatten us right out of all our hot hot hot clothes, you wild child you.

emoticon RB Well Miss Smarty Pants School Marm, if you know so much why didn't you stop and listen to me and come up with a good idea. I'm not the thinker around here. I'm all about the FEELINGS.

emoticon LB Oh. Yes. Well. Hmmm. Yeah. You're right. I didn't stop to find out how you were feeling - besides wanting the spare ribs and I thought I was giving you enough when I bought them. I'm sorry I didn't give you enough time to get comfortable with my thoughts and decision.

emoticon RB Yeah. Well. You did get the spare ribs for us, but by then I was so frantic that I gobbled up all the Other Stuff too. I'm sorry about that.

emoticon LB (Hugging Wild Child Self) It's ok. it was a screw up by both of us but it began when I decided to ignore our feelings. Today we will begin again and we'll do better.

emoticon RB (snuggling close to Thoughtful School Marm Self) Okay. I'm ready to begin again. Thanks for understanding.

emoticon LB (clasping her hands and looking thoughtful) So what can we do next time - so that I don't run roughshod over your feelings - so that you'll get what you want without feeling like you have to gobble everything in sight?

emoticon RB You have to say yes to me. You have to give me what I want.

emoticon LB Yeah, but I can't always give you exactly all you want.

emoticon RB Well - you have to make some suggestions to me - offer a compromise I like.

emoticon LB I tried to do that yesterday.

emoticon RB Yeah, but you knew how I was FEELING about that compromise. I didn't LIKE it. You should have waited till I agreed that it was a GOOD compromise, not just steamroller me by THINKING I would come around. It's not a GOOD compromise till you can FEEL how happy I am with it.

emoticon LB (Giving Wild Child Right Brain a twinkly look) But I'm all about the thinking part of us.

emoticon RB Yeah? so what did you THINK about how I felt? 'Cause if sure FELT like you didn't care.

emoticon LB (Looking chastened) Oh. You are right. I did do that. I thought "no this is good enough" as soon as you sent me the bad feeling about my decision. Now I really AM sorry. That was cheating us both.

emoticon RB (smiling sweetly) Thanks for understanding - and thanks for the apology.

emoticon LB So how about this - next time - I don't act till you send me the IT'S OKAY GOOD IDEA feeling. Even if I am tired or in a hurry. I'm never in THAT big a hurry. No matter what the weird craving - I'll listen till you send me the green light feeling.

emoticon RB Oh. I like that.

emoticon LB Great. So. How about we go work out at the gym this morning?

emoticon RB Now you're talking. I REALLY like that!

* * * * *

Well, it looks like my Left Brain School Marm and my Right Brain Wild Child have made some progress this morning. Nonetheless - I hope we don't have another day like yesterday any time soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:




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LRSILVER 6/9/2013 6:31AM

    So clever. Good luck on regaining your control.

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 6/8/2013 11:25PM


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MSLZZY 6/8/2013 11:25PM

    Get the girls together and tell them to play nice! One of these
episodes is enough to last for a long time.

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WEDDWT 6/8/2013 7:47PM

    You know yourself so well, up, down, inside, out, left, right...what is it they say about self-knowledge? You are so wise! And funny.

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JACKIE542 6/8/2013 12:50PM

    I love this too. emoticon

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HEALTHY-SPARK 6/8/2013 11:02AM

    I like it! :-)

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/8/2013 9:29AM

    Oh how I understand this dialog all too well. Cute blog.

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KANOE10 6/8/2013 9:24AM

    I like the way you can use humor to deal with your feelings and thoughts.

You did an excellent job of identifying the panic that can set in..we will look like balloons..made me laugh but was all too true. Also worrying about not fitting your new clothes.

I am glad you realize that one day is just one day and that today you are ready to get back on track and exercise. Good for you.

emoticon emoticon

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CBLENS 6/8/2013 9:23AM

    lol, love it.

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Come Into The Garden (lots of photos)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yesterday Himself and I took a trip down to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, in, of course - Norfolk VA. (Not Norfolk UK)

We had an unforgettable visit there nigh on to 30 years ago but in spite of it's relative proximity, we've never been back! This is not good, considering Himself has to drive down to Jamestown half a dozen times a year. What's another 20 miles?

When we went in the 1980's we didn't explore the whole place. It was August and we were just traveling on to another destination so we stayed only an hour or so, but while standing in a beautiful green enclosure along the canals, a tour boat puttered by and I lusted to have my own boat ride. There wasn't time then but I made sure we took one yesterday - all the more reason to wonder why I took so long to go back - except you have to get to Norfolk on an interstate highway and I hate driving on them.

The gardens are right next to the airport - in fact, both were built the same year - and both are really easy to get to. You just take the Norview exit off of 64 and turn left on Azalea Gardens, drive about a mile and turn right. Voila!

Talk about water features - this place is threaded with canals and a lake so of course boat rides are offered.

You betcha - I got barefoot every chance I could.

There are fountains everywhere.

The azaleas, daffodils and camellias are past but the roses are in full bloom

This one is Bill Warriner Rose - a florabunda - and a complete bouquet on a stem

Yes. I was swooning with the beauty of it all. LOL

Hydrangeas were just coming in -

Including a climbing one!

We simply had to take a boat ride down the canals

Where we found a rare green heron

We also road out onto Lake Whitehurst - a spring fed fresh water lake not half a mile from the Chesapeake Bay!

We walked through the butterfly maze

Through the Virginia Native Plant garden where we found some things never change

and deep into the Enchanted Forest

Where you can see - Other Things never change either

Yes. It's true. If there is a tree to climb - I shall climb it.

We stayed at the garden till 5 o'clock and then went to a Golden Corral for dinner where, yes, I did indulge, but not beyond the caloric limits. I'm learning how to handle myself in these buffet type restaurants at last.

This was a perfect mid-point celebration for my sort-of stay-at-home vacation. I seem to be spending an awful lot of time in the car for a staycation but oh my - this drive was so worth it. I won't let another 30 years go by before visiting these gardens again.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 6/10/2013 8:49PM

    So beautiful!! I love visiting gardens and if not in person, your blog was the next best thing! You are looking so slim and trim in those pictures!!!

PS. I promised myself "NO MORE ROSES" but I'm going to have to see about that Bill Warriner!

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FORBANDE 6/5/2013 11:09PM

    Such a wonderful place!! So glad you shared!

And I love, love, love the pic of you climbing the tree. :)

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SCOTMAMA 6/2/2013 11:34PM

    Beautiful day to spend in a beautiful setting! I envy you!

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CAMSEDGE 6/2/2013 11:17PM

    Thanks for sharing...I love gardens, flowers and peaceful places.

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WARRIORGIRL121 6/2/2013 10:01PM

    Beautiful photos! What a lovely place! emoticon for sharing!

emoticon emoticon Karen

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JACKIE542 6/2/2013 11:18AM

    What a beautiful garden, thank you so much for sharing the pictures. I could stay there forever, just love gardens. emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYM48 6/2/2013 10:15AM

    Absolutely lovely! Thanks for sharing the beauty of the gardens with us! Love the picture of you in the tree, you look great! emoticon emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/2/2013 10:10AM

    What a gorgeous place! It looked like it was a perfect day. It made me long for a boat ride!!!

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WATERMELLEN 5/31/2013 8:56PM

    Pics are wonderful -- I can't think of a better way to spend a day. Like you I can never resist climbing a tree! And you look wonderful yourself!!

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MSLZZY 5/31/2013 8:06AM


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KANOE10 5/31/2013 7:44AM

    Loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing. I have never seen a green heron. we have blue herons.


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LRSILVER 5/31/2013 6:50AM


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CELIAMINER 5/30/2013 1:01PM

    Great visit!

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BOSSONBABE 5/30/2013 12:39PM

    Lovely! Bet you wouldn't have been as comfortable climbing that tree before Sparkpeople.

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WEDDWT 5/30/2013 11:08AM

    You look like an ornament in that tree, a little garden nymph - and I do mean little. Thanks for the tour of the garden! I feel relaxed

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VMASSEY2 5/30/2013 9:26AM

    Bess, these were wonderful pictures. I have been in that area a lot in my lifetime. My Uncle was stationed at Ft. Eustis and we would go up and visit him. We did all the history stuff since I am a history lover. But he never mentioned these gardens. Thank you for sharing this with us. I loved it; even the tree climb.

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GETULLY 5/30/2013 8:21AM

    Wonderful pictures! What a day that was! emoticon First Rate!!

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KELLIEBEAN 5/30/2013 8:13AM

    Beautiful! Thank you for my mental health break!


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LASKIE2 5/30/2013 7:46AM


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MJREIMERS 5/30/2013 7:35AM

    How beautiful!! Even looking at the pictures brings a peaceful and serene feeling. emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/30/2013 7:34AM

    What a lovely place!! Thanks for sharing!

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