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Friday, February 10, 2012

I've had a few bad afternoons/evenings this week. No big deal and I'm not complaining. Sometimes I need "restful" times. I get a lot of thinking and reflecting done then.

This week I've been thinking about who I believe in. I came to the conclusion that one of the biggest things to have contributed to all my lifestyle changes here at Spark has been a belief in myself. We have to love ourselves in order for others to love us, too. It amazes me how the new Spark attitude has spilled over into other areas of my life.

My caring and sharing have always been there, but I find I really do love a calmer, smaller life. The support here on the teams, boards, and blog comments have helped to instill this in me. One of my biggest pleasures is returning all the love and support I feel.

When I lost my hair, I got wigs and wore them for awhile. I tried hats with and without the wigs. Then I went "bare". I figured if people didn't like my bald head it was their problem, not mine. It would grow back, but I couldn't force it to return sooner than on it's own. When I turned that corner, I no longer cared what others thought about my weight or body image either. It was like a light bulb moment for me. All I had been reading in The Spark and on SP made perfect sense. I really did love myself for who I am, not what others THINK I am. Hey! I really am doing this for me and no one else. If someone is truly your friend, they care about who you are and your feelings and most importantly, how you make them feel about themselves. Looks have little if anything to do with that.

Again, it's not what you serve your guests - family or friends - or the games you play while entertaining. What they are going to remember is the enjoyment they received being with you. They will remember how you made them feel. By showing we care about others, we care about ourselves.

Remember the famous Nike ad - Just Do It? I would like to think that part of my believing in myself is much like that. I am concerned about my health and therefore the health of others. No preaching about it, though. Just live it and just do it and just have it be who I am and what I'm about. It isn't some number on the scale or even a tape measure for that matter. It's the wonderful, calm and happiness that is inside that lets me know I am doing the right thing. One of the ministers in my life told me happiness is not guaranteed anywhere. If we can achieve contentment, we are very fortunate. I believe he was right. How blessed that I am now achieving both this late in my life. It has been so great, it seems to have always been a part of who I am.

Yet I accept I am not perfect. I make mistakes just like everyone else. But now I know that is OK. I can go on from there and make my good choices. It doesn't matter if those choices are what goes in my mouth to exercising my body to help regain my strength and physical capabilities. And I'll forget things, too, and no reason to cry over it like I have in the past. If it concerns another person, I can sincerely apologise letting s/he know what happened and simply be honest about it. If they can't accept my imperfections, I can't change that. It is totally up to them alone. Again, if I can't forgive, how can I expect anyone else to forgive me?

Who is it that you walk with on your journey? Who is it you believe in? I hope it is yourself. You want to know why I hope for that? It is because I believe in YOU, too.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PMCFARM 2/12/2012 11:54PM

  What an awesome blog... considering all you have been through, you use it all to reach out to help strengthen others. Therein lies your strength. emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 2/12/2012 6:07AM

    What a moving blog. You are a very special person and a true inspiration. Thank you Ev. emoticon

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PUFFPASTRY 2/11/2012 4:33AM

    This made me cry. You are so sweet and wonderful, Ev. Thank you so much for always being willing to share your personal growth and evolution in this gentle, humble way. emoticon

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COACHPENNY 2/10/2012 2:57PM

    Peace, Ev.....and Love!

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SMIDGON 2/10/2012 2:30PM

    You are so Precious, Ev!

All I can say, is, AMEN!



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Am I really THAT old?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Today I started to think about the music and dancing I listened to when I was much younger and the dances that accompained them and how doing them was such terrific exercise. When I thought back how many years that was, all I could think is: am I really THAT old. Well, yes, yes I am. Things have changed so much since then and as much as there is a lot I miss from back then and how happy I was with what we had, I enjoy all the new technology, too. I can't say some of the music, movies, TV shows today are my cup of tea, and I really wish our neighborhoods were safer, but today is good, too. We can all blame Bob and Serius radio with all their oldie stations for all these thoughts.

To name a few:

when I was in grade school and junior high we had the twist, the swim, the stroll, etc.

When I was in high school we continue with a love of moving around.

In college we did a lot of the jerk.

Right after that in the 70's we did the bump.

All moving around and great exercise.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWMS48 2/13/2012 9:23AM

    I had so much fun dancing at my daughter's wedding and trying to imitate some of their dances. It's all about enjoying the music. The kindly young ones just smiled and encouraged us.

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SNUZSUZ 2/10/2012 6:51PM

    I remember the twist, the bump, and the mashed potato! Also, the funky chicken (which I didn't do cause it looked like a funky chicken! But, I also remember and love the Waltz, the charleston, and the jitterbug, they were a little before my time, but I use to waltz standing on my dad's toes:)

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SMIDGON 2/9/2012 6:54AM

    I remember Hank Williams, Sr.. Anyone else? Iwas 11 yrs. old when he passed. I still have his original album, "Hank the Drifter." Am I so old, that the rest of you don't remember?

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GOSPELCLOWN 2/9/2012 12:51AM

    Remember The Bes Stop or the Mashed Potato ?

I tried M J's Moon Walk.... no hope for me.

I'm glad I was too old for all that whistle blowing- toot, toot! I think that was the '80's.

Oh well... at least we enjoy nostalgia!

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POINTAFTER 2/8/2012 6:38PM

    I loved the bump!

What makes me sad is kids play video games instead of playing outside with REAL baseballs or on REAL bikes. During the summer we didn't come in the house unless we were hungry. I know people that can't get their kids to go outside.

I'm old simply because I hate Facebook. I use a device called the telephone to catch up with old friends. emoticon

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PMFISH 2/8/2012 5:35PM

    Wow! I must be a bit older, because I do not see the jitterbug! The ones you describe when you were in junior high were after I was married and had my children. I don't ever want to be as old as I was when I was 21! My cousin was remarking about our age and her statement was "How did this happen"?? emoticon Like a fine wine we get better with age!

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COACHPENNY 2/8/2012 3:18PM

    You, of all people are not old! What do they even call the dances they do today?

I incorporate dances like the pony into my aqua classes and use a lot of oldies music.....so much fun!

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KKKAREN 2/8/2012 8:42AM

    I think we're from the same era, getting old sure jumps up on you!

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KASEYCOFF 2/8/2012 3:21AM

    I read a quote not long ago that said something like 'Yeah, I may be old - but at least I got to see all the cool bands!'

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JANTWO 2/8/2012 12:28AM

    You are not old. I remember doing the bump!!!! I really miss how some things were before. We actually talked to our neighbors and friends instead of catching up on Facebook.

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SUSIEPH1 2/8/2012 12:26AM

    I too am starting to realise how much life is changing ..
Who would have thought way back then that we would be conversing with each other by computer from all corners of thie wonderful world ..

Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVWINGS 2/8/2012 12:03AM

    I started this on the 7th, but didn't get to push the post button until it was the 8th! I think I need to reset some clocks!!!


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Friday, February 03, 2012

I have a lot of different things running through my mind today. I think I'll start with our trip to town this morning.

Today is in the mid-70's, which is not quite as warm as yesterday. All the way (30 miles) to town I noticed a lot of greening on the trees and shrubs. Spring is on the way and will be here soon. About half way there is a high bridge we need to cross. The call it a Creek, but to me it's fairly large for that! It connects Lake Crescent with the St Johns River. Anyway, the bridge is so high, the tree tops are the most visible. Seeing how many of them have greened since last week was very awe inspiring. There are some high cement and steel utility poles that line the bridge. On one (the highest of all) there is an eagle's nest. Today I notice a baby peeking over the top of the nest and it made me smile.

Yes, spring is coming and very soon the azaleas will be in bloom and the festival season will be starting in the county. Our county fair is in March, there is the Azalea Fest. In April will be the Catfish Festival and the end of May is the Blue Crab festival. Finally, June brings the Blueberry fest. We are so fortunate to have so many great fests right here. Nearby, the Daytona 500 is this month. There will be Strawberry, Cabbage, and Potato fests, too. There are so many opportunities to purchase fresh local fruits and veggies nearly year round. In the river there is fishing for blue crabs and shrimping along with the catfish and other kinds of fish. We also have quite a few parks with walking and hiking trails. I can barely wait until I am able to utilize them. One of the very best is at Ravine Gardens. If you are ever in this area, you must at least see it. Of course there is boating year round. We can get on the river and go to Jacksonville. Bob and I have never done that, but a lot of friends have.

The St Johns River, about a mile from our home.

With my exercise, I have been walking in place (more like marching!) during commercials of my favorite TV show for each day. Then I walk around the house. It is 100 feet going around the main living room, kitchen and dining room back to the living room. It is nice to know that to be able to know just how far I am going. Then I try to do some videos from the site along with the exercises have from my PT and OT. I feel I am getting somewhat stronger and my balance is getting a lot better. Almost as if to prove that, when I did my weekly weigh-in today, I am down to the lowest weight I have been since college!! I still want to loose a little more, but not too much more. I am wondering what my radiation oncologist is going to say when I see him this month!!

This picture is part of my visual collage. Wouldn't it be nice? Only thing is, she was much younger than I m now!!!

This weekend is the superbowl. I am wondering if any of you are going to watch? I'm not sure if I will, but I always enjoy seeing the ads that premiere. If we do watch, Bob says he'll root for New England and I opted for the Giants because their coach used to coach here in Jacksonville and still has a charity here that he comes to do fundraising to help. So leave a comment if you are going to watch and which one is your team.

Guess those are my reflections and ramblings for today. I hope all of you have a super terrific weekend, no matter your plans. If it isn't too hot, I plan to walk on the road and around the neighborhood.

Neighborhood just before a storm last year.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COACHPENNY 2/4/2012 7:29PM

    I would love to see the eaglet! You describe so many thing so beautifully, Ev. You must see the world as a storyteller or a filmmaker.

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MOM2ACAT 2/4/2012 2:59PM

    Love your photos!

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PIMPINELLAN50 2/3/2012 11:39PM

    It sure lifts the spirit when we see the first signs of
spring in nature.Today was a beautiful warm spring day here
in Vancouver,B.C Canada,with + 13 degrees celsius,and emoticon and blue skies!Glad to hear that you are getting stronger.The picture of the river looks so peaceful.

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ITALIAGURL91 2/3/2012 6:50PM

    Oh just to hear that Spring will be here soon! I cannot wait!

Keep up your great spirits! You have lots of SP friends rooting for you!


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CELLOPLAYER1 2/3/2012 6:18PM

    It sounds wonderful to think spring is just around the corner.

We still have a ways to go here in Wisconsin, but our local ground hog didn't see his shadow yesterday.

Take care as to regain your strength.


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SUSIEPH1 2/3/2012 4:56PM

    I love the discription and your photos of where you live!
and that you are getting so much stronger !!
Take care Ev and remember baby steps !

hugs Susie emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/3/2012 4:57:11 PM

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SUSIEPH1 2/3/2012 4:56PM

    I love the discription and you photos of where you live!
and that you are getting so much stronger !!
Take care Ev and remember baby steps !

hugs Susie emoticon emoticon

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JACKALACK 2/3/2012 4:47PM

    It sounds so beautiful and peaceful! So ready for spring, it's warming up here, but still very grey! Enjoy your weekend! I love that you're taking the time to notice the little things. I forget about that sometimes!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Today I have read several blog entries showing how different each of us are this reminded me of feelings I have had for years: what works for you may or may not work for anyone else. I have never tried to put my feelings, beliefs, etc on to anyone else. Quite often I WILL say what something means to me or what has worked for me. If someone asks or would like to know, I'll be happy to say always adding "it isn't for everyone". We are all shaped by our own particular life events, and how they effected us and our thinking and beliefs.

I remember back when I was in my 20's (yes, I CAN remember that, but not necessarily what I wanted to blog several days ago). I had been divorced about 6 months when my ex appeared at the mall where I worked. One of my co-workers wanted to know if I would care if she went out with him. Well, I told her just because things didn't work between us there was nothing to say it wouldn't for them and I had no problems with it. And I meant that. We had been way too young when we married and Viet Nam happened and then we were divorced. But we can "talk" to each other if we have to. There is not hatred involved. It was something that happened where we changed by our life experiences. We were 16 when we started to date. Today, I doubt we would even consider each other as our lifestyles and interests are too diverse.

In June 1996 I became smoke free. I always said I was going to quit smoking on a certain birthday. That day would come and some traumatic event would occur and I would use that as an excuse to say I couldn't do it. I'd wait until another date. That would roll up and the same thing would happen. So I decided it wasn't working for me and I'd have to change my mindset in order to make it work for me. I changed my thinking from a negative to a positive. Rather than I quit on such and such a day, I told myself - and anyone who would listen - that I was going to become smoke free by the time I was 50. And then I did it! But I had lots of motivation. My mother decided she would no longer drive, so we both traded our cars for a brand new mini-van. That was what I needed. I declared no one was going to smoke in the new vehicle. She said - not even you? Yep, not even me!! It wasn't easy. I was used to smoking on the way to work. So, instead, I would take a can of diet soda and use a straw to drink it. That helped me cut back until I stopped smoking completely. That is what worked for me. I KNOW it isn't for everyone. Bob says he hasn't quit - he's just put off having the next one for 11 + years. That is what has worked for him. The results have been the same but reached in quite different ways.

The same is for the journey we are on here. I can tell you what has worked for me, you could try and have absolutely no success. I want everyone to be the best they can be. It doesn't matter to me if everyone is a size 2 or 22. It is that they are trying to do their best. No one is perfect and we all have our ups and downs and it is crazy to think of us all eating the same and exercising the same and looking the same in the end. That's just crazy!! I am happiest if I can support my friends when they are up ... or if they are down. If they ask for suggestions, I'm more than happy to let them know what has worked for me, my favorite recipe(s), videos, workout music, etc. But I wouldn't dream of telling them "you should" or "you shouldn't". I feel that is being negative. And it is strange because before I started on this journey, I would start a lot of my sentences to friends with "You have to...." I didn't mean anything by it. But then I found I lost a very good friend because she was so hurt that I was trying to tell her what to do. It brought it all home to me. It made me really think about why I even do what I do. When I would say that, I only meant if the other person did something, it might be fun. I had no idea of the impact. So I learned the hard way.

I am a praying person and I do pray for anyone who is hurting, physically, mentally, or emotionally. That includes all of us trying to become into a much healthier way of life. I have never ever wanted to tell anyone what to do and I don't want to start now. Each of us is different. Sometimes our differences are what bring us closer. Sometimes those differences separate us. All in all, I feel most of us on SP are more alike than different. But we get to where we need to go in the way that is best for us as individuals. It often takes lots of tries before something sticks, and we may wish to give up. Sometimes we do for a while, but we come back because we know in the long run this is what is best for us. So I pray. And do the best I can to support my buds. And if anyone asks, I'll be more than happy to share what has or hasn't worked for me..... but it may not for you!

Just remember, I'm around if anyone wants to mail me!! I'll do my best, that's all I can promise.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEMPOWER 2/2/2012 6:49PM

    Your best seems to be what we all need. But, you are a blessing to all of us. Thanks for the great blog.


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TDWANDD2MYK9 2/1/2012 3:09AM

    Thank you Ev. emoticon emoticon

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PIMPINELLAN50 1/31/2012 3:19PM

    A great Blog!Thank's for sharing your insight,honesty and wisdom.

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COACHPENNY 1/31/2012 1:20AM

    So true.

I think we all want to tell all about it when something works for us but, we have to let others find their own way. It's hard to do sometimes.

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JKURJACK1944 1/30/2012 9:17PM

    Evie, You just have to continue blogging like this. Very insightful about human nature. I was joking about "You just have to", but if it works for you, would you please continue letting us know your secrets.

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GOSPELCLOWN 1/30/2012 10:40AM

    I like to read that you can make healthy changes in your life! Some are dietary, for your breathing and for your emotional health too!

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GOLFLADY11 1/29/2012 7:23PM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. And thanks so much for my Spark goodie. emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 1/29/2012 5:29PM

    Great blog Ev !.
Just plain old commonsense.. It works every time! .
We need to be Happy and Healthy and as Fit as we can be and that is what is so important ! ..
hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I miss them already (pictures included)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My brother and his wife left today to see some cousins, back to their aunt's then back to OH on Monday. They have only been gone a few hours and I miss them already!!! They said they want to get back sooner than last time, but I understand why they didn't want to come in 2011 considering all I went through!! But I really enjoyed talking with my SIL about Spark. She joined the site quite a while ago, but hasn't been really active at all. But she is getting serious about it and I'm so glad we talked face to face about it! I truly felt I was "spreading the spark". emoticon

Here they are. My SIL is holding Snuggles

We went out for dinner both Wednesday and Friday. She and I had very similar orders both of those nights. We had sensible salad bars one night and fish dinners the other. Our sides were the best of choices. I brought some home and had part of it for dinner tonight and I still have enough for yet another meal!!

This is my bro, SIL (She is holding Snuggles), and myself. I am holding Bruzer.

Bob and DDDD have enjoyed visiting, too. I always say they are the brother the other never had! They had never met Snuggles and my SIL really, really liked him!

Here we all are. Bob used the timer and I wasn't sure when it would go off and I really wasn't prepared!!

All and all it was a wonderful visit and I do hope the next time will be sooner than a year. I am so blessed to have a wonderful brother who brought such a neat lady into our family and that he and my wonderful Bob get along so very well!!

Soooooo, bye, bye, DDDD. See you soon on line or on the phone.

DDDD and sis Ev.

Love to you and be safe on your return to your home.

Happy daisy day, my friends!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IDLETYME 1/29/2012 9:24PM

    It's great that you were able to have such a nice visit (and pictures). Wishing them a safe return home. emoticon

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COACHPENNY 1/29/2012 2:03PM

    Ev, how lovely! You are lucky to be so close with your brother!

I have to tell you...my daughter is getting married later this year....we were sitting around yesterday, talking about the future. I asked her about having kids and if she and hubby to be, had ever talked about names. DD told me she loves the name Evelyn...Evvie or Ev for short. That gave me a BIG smile. I told her about you and what an inspiration you AND maybe that's why I love her choice.



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NMMAMA2011 1/29/2012 12:30PM

    Glad you had a good time with your family. Great job spreading the spark!!!

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GOSPELCLOWN 1/29/2012 10:52AM

    Sounds like a nice get together!

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GRAMMAP1 1/28/2012 11:41PM

    What a lovely tribute to your Family members. Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HICKOK-HALEY 1/28/2012 11:36PM

    I'm so glad you were all able to visit with one another. Salad bar, and the fish sound soooo good.

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ARTJAC 1/28/2012 9:54PM


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SUSIEPH1 1/28/2012 9:26PM

    What lovely Pictures.
Really nice to see you all so happy!.
Couldn't quite see what Snuggles was... I am guessing !!.
Could he be a little Dog?. Glad you were mindful of what you ate !
I am sure you will be feel better for it ..
Love and Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon

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