Friday, December 18, 2009
Gosh, it has been a long time since I signed on and checked things on Spark. Many times I had no access to a computer and when I did, I used the PCs at the timeshares and they were quite busy. Please forgive the delay in news!
HELEN, GA.---11/8 THRU 11/17
First, we spent a week at a timeshare called "Loreley". It was a very rustic, Bavarian type condo that had a loft with 2 beds, t.v., dresser, closet and its own private bathroom. We loved our time there so much that we extended it another four days as this was our oldest son's favorite place to spend time when he was very young. He loved the layout of the town---very Bavarian! Too bad he had so much work with the merger of Wachovia and Wells Fargo. He would fly to Charlotte, NC while we were in other areas of the eastern part of our country. This was our only sadness in not getting together.
We stayed at a cabin along the river, where in the summer they raft and tube----it was simply beautiful and peaceful. We enjoyed sitting by the river in the crisp, cold air.
How my hubby wished he could fish there, but he did not bring his gear---I kept telling him to busy some to have some fun as he spoils me with all that I ask for! Well, almost all (and that comes later)--LOL
We ate at so many different German Restaurants until my pants were bursting. No amount of walking and sightseeing helped me with that "beast" that attaches to the waistline!! Here Jim bought me a couple more "Dept. 56" buildings to remember this part of the trip. I did want a couple of Jim Shore items, but we were going to get them on our return trip after Thanksgiving! Not!!
We spent our 11 wonderful days in Helen and then we had a quick drive to visit one of my best friends from Ca. who now lives in Dallas, GA.
DALLAS, GA AND ROSWELL, GA.--11/18 THRU 11/24
Vonnie looked so good! We had a wonderful visit, we shopped, lunched, went to see the movie "Blind Side"==which I highly recommend, cooked at her lovely home and just caught up on all that we both knew about everyone we know from the mountain town we lived in. She used to play the piano in the Church we attended, for years!! A great Christian friend. I loved having "girl time"---it has been a long time!
Now, for the "frosting on the cake"--I met my 3rd SparkFriend, STEFFI1264. What a wonderful person!! We met in a town of her choosing that was located between our two respective places. The town is called "Roswell" and she chose a super French restaurant called "Pastis". Unfortunately, I had those awful panic attacks before leaving our friend's home to meet Steffi. There was a great delay in our packing which delayed our visit by an hour. If I would have known this was going to happen, I would have packed up the night before, left my best friend's home and reserved a room in that wonderful and quaint town.
Steffi is absolutely beautiful inside and out---as I knew she would be!! We had a wonderful time learning about each other and I was certainly surprised that my DH was so comfortable during our luncheon. Steffi had such wonderful stories that she kept my husband very interested for our short-lived time together. How I forgot about being home for the little ones when school let out, I will never know. Looking back on it, we should have just met on another day when Jim and I didn't have to pack and we would have had more time with Steffi. I love being with girlfriends and doing the "girlie things" some of us love to do. All of a sudden our time was up as she hurried to pick up her children--AND, OF ALL THINGS--NO PICTURES TOGETHER. One of the biggest faux paus of my trip. And, I had the camera positioned in my purse that was easy to get to--just for this occasion. Needless to say, this saddened me!!
Before leaving us, Steffi gave us both some great ideas about where to shop for what in this cute town. She had the time to peruse it while waiting for us! I, quite literally, took her suggestions to heart! I bought some wonderful broaches in a boutique a few doors from the restaurant and, while my DH was waiting for the tally, I noticed 2 large gnome fairies for my collection. I feel the only reason my DH gave in to that purchase was I talked the owner down in price, that he would send them to us (they would NEVER fit into our car at this point of the trip) and most of all, one of the fairy gnomes looks like his best friend!! Of all things!! Honestly, the gnome looks like Jim's best friend posed for the face on him!! They are very different from our other ones. Jim had me call Steffi and share with her that the lunch cost him a lot more than he expected---laughingly, of course! And, they were waiting in the snow, by our garage door when we returned! What a memory---thank you, Steffi!!
HELEN AND DAHLONEGA, GA.--11/25 THRU 11/27
We then went back to Helen, GA as well as Dahlonega, GA, which is the town just a little south and west of Helen.
Dahlonega is the town that the Cabbage Patch Hospital is for those wonderful dolls. As a matter-of-fact, when we dined at the famous Smith House (where gold was discovered in GA), I thought we would finally make it to visit those babies in that hospital. This is the ??th anniversary--I think 40th for the distribution of these famous dolls. While dining, a woman came in with a newly adopted baby doll. She held it all through dinner which is served family style. I, personally, didn't think the food was as good as when we were there in 1984, but the experience was still wonderful. We bought some gifts for friends in St. Augustine and also, for our oldest son for Christmas. He will be thrilled!!
I saw a beautiful signed print on the wall positioned next to where we were waiting for our table. The sage border would look great in our master bedroom and I would have loved to hang it on a particular wall, BUT, Jim put his foot down---not because of the cost as it was very reasonable with the fancy lazier cuts on several borders---and, the frame, too! He thought I wanted to try to squish it in our Lincoln Towncar which was only carrying a print I bought on our first night of the trip and some books I brought along. I can't believe how fast a vehicle fills up when traveling - and we have no children with us!! LOL
If there are any doubts, just ask SING4MYFOOD (Keroline) and she will attest to what my DH was dealing with!! But, I would rather buy things for my home that remind me of my trip---only periodically---than eat out. My DH, on the other hand, would rather have both!! Just like a man!! And, on our latest drs. visits, it definitely shows that he was overeating and eating all the wrong things as his cholesterol rate was in the mid 200's. He has had a 6-way bypass, 3 years ago and felt he was invincible since he was also taking cholesterol meds. and I warned him as us "wifies" tend to do, but to no avail. He was walking all the time, especially when on beaches, but I guess it wasn't enough. It is a family inherited thing!
HILTON HEAD (yet again)--11/27-12/4
Then, we traveled back up to SC because we still wanted to get to Savannah, GA. We went back to Hilton Head, SC for another week, at the same place "The Marriott SurfWatch" and this time we had a beautiful 3-bedroom room. Unfortunately, we only had two decent days of weather for walking on the beach. It was so cold!! We did lay at the swimming pool that was located right on the beach and all those sand flies fed on me like it was a dinner at the "White House"!! I still have the bites on my body and will be scarred again. If anyone has any clues about how to subdue "itching from bites", I would be forever thankful!!
Due to the fact that I wasn't feeling very well this time around, we never did make it to Savannah, GA, as planned. Oh well, next trip out east!!
We ended this part of our trip on Dec. 4th! But, our travels to the ocean are still not finished! I thought I would be meeting, yet, another SparkFriend! And, also, to try to meet Steffi on our return from the next leg of our adventure!!
Darn me, I should have taken the time to use the PC at the timeshares or libaries when I didn't have wi-fi on our journey. These could have been shorter entries!! Oh well, for all of those who really know me, know that would probably be on the impossible side of my life!! LOL
NEXT TIME: I PROMISE NOT TO TALK MY DH OUT OF ATTACHING
CAR CARRIER!! LOL
Wishing you all a wonderful and healthful week!
Peace and blessings,
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Well our time is coming to a close here at Hilton Head, SC but we have rescheduled to return the end of November before we head towards home. We are hoping for some more sunny days, but hoping that there will not be as much cold wind===but, what do we expect? It is late fall, after all.
It has been exciting to meet, yet another Sparkler friend here. Her name is Kerolyn and she resides just outside Savannah, although she will be moving to Miami, FL. within the next couple of weeks. She is hoping to see us, sometime this week, in Helen, GA. She has some personal business to take care of before she comes up. She has always wanted to go to Helen, GA. and has never had the opportunity before. I hope that we can give her that as she has had some tough weeks lately. I believe we all need a break from stressful issues in our life. I hope she feels her car will make the trip, but if she isn't able to come, it has been nice to have her here with us for these last few days.
Well, I did manage to leave our room more here at Hilton Head than during our other stays along the east coast. I think that Cape Cod came in 2nd, unless it was 1st. It is close. The difference is that when we were in Cape Cod we were with our friends from the Ottawa, Canada area and they like to go, go, go!! There was only one jaunt that I did not make and that was to Jayne Mansfield's grave. I just don't "do cemeteries", but my wonderful DH did accompany them while I stayed in the timeshare, in the Poconos, and Sparked while they were gone. I was happy to do so.
When we return to Marriott's SurfWatch Resort, I would like to attempt a few activities, if they still have them available. I wanted to see the "SurfWatch Iron Chef" contest here. Guests apply if they would like to compete. The day of the contest they are given "the secret ingredient" and have a certain amount of time to make something wonderful with it. Then there are "judges" here to decide who wins. I was also very interested to see what the "prize" was---I am sure it wasn't new stainless steel appliances!! LOL Probably a dinner certificate to the on-site restaurant. It was rough enough for my SparkFriend and I to pass up the burgers grilling as we walked by the outdoor restaurant/bar that was strategically placed right before entering the beautiful beach area.
I have never experienced a beach quite like this one. The sand is so solid that you can ride a bike on it. I saw a baby crawling in front of us, heading straight for the ocean. It was obvious it was the first time to be on the sand and that baby took off for that water like he was in a Spark race!! He looked just like a little turtle as he was only about 6 months old. His little knees didn't even get sore. He was so surprised when the wave came in and he was so close that it involved his little, wee body. I expected him to cry, but instead he sat up and raised both his arms above his head as if to say, "touchdown"!! I think he is going to be an up and coming Oakland Raider---even at his age, he could probably improve the team some! I hope you all enjoyed this little story and it brings a smile to your face today. It still does for me and that is a "good thing"! We all need more smiles in our day.
I have taken pictures while in Hilton Head, too. I need to download them and put them into my photo gallery to share with those who are interested in seeing them. Most are of beaches and the trees changing color up in the northeast.
I'm not sure if I will have internet at our next timeshare, so I want to wish all of my SparkFriends a great week, if I cannot keep in touch. I will be thinking and praying for each of you, and I will be missing you, also!! What a bond we make with each other here as time goes by.
Well, it is almost 3:30 AM and my sweet DH has asked me to close the PC down. Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday, today plus a great and productive week ahead. Stay healthy!!
One thing, before I leave you, let us all keep the families of the deceased and injured at Ft. Hood, TX. in prayer. I know many of us have different religious beliefs, but we all have one thing in common. When a loved one is injured or we have lost them in our lives, it hurts! It is bad enough to lose them in an accident or a terminal illness, but to have this kind of tragedy happen to their lives, is an abomination!! My heart goes out to each and every family. Sorry, I ended on such a sad note, but not all in life is fun and games. We need to treasure our moments with our loved ones and good friends!!
Peace, love and blessings,
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
After months of spinning the wheel to sign in to SparkPeople and receiving one and two points for months with every now and then, spinning a 3 and an occasional 4 or 5 and I mean very occasional, I was becoming very sad as I love giving goodies away to my SparkFriends and even a few Sparklers I don't even know, but wanted to encourage or congratulate.
Then this weekend, I had the joy of spinning the wheel and receiving 500 points when it was on the wheel, not just one day but the next day, also. That meant in two days I received a total of 1,000 Spark goodie points. How exciting it was to see those numbers come up.
Now, the first day I felt very guilty as I bought something for myself for the first time since joining Spark. I purchased, for a total of the 500 points, a personal trainer. How I wish I could afford that at home. Maybe, some day soon!!
Then I was very blessed as I received another 500 spark points the next day, too. Those points are going to be used for goodies for others, although I am thinking of giving a personal trainer to another Sparkler, who feels they need one.
Now, back in the Spring months, when I was so ill and in bed, I had made myself turn the computer on and I was spinning that wheel. As the wheel went around and around and I was hoping for that "5" points, it landed on the Spark's exercise DVD. I would have jumped up and down that I won that and it was certainly plenty, in my book, but I was so sick I couldn't. I have bought a lot of exercise tapes, cassettes and dvds over the years of "thinking I was going to start and finish, yet, another exercise plan", but failed to use them. I was so excited to win the Spark DVD and felt it was a "sign" to get on the ball and get busy for my own health benefits.
For those of you who are reading this blog of mine, please share with me your most exciting "spin of the wheel" here at Spark. I would love to here the stories.
I have always looked forward to spinning that wheel and I am glad that I have only missed a few days of spinning since I joined Spark, 11 months ago.
I want to thank Spark for all of the wonderful information here and making this a wonderful avenue for others to get together with other issues in common besides the need to get fit and healthy.
Share with me what you would buy for yourself if you had won the "500 points" spinning that wheel?
Now, I must wait to spin that wheel on Wednesday, Nov. 4th. What number will I receive? Isn't it fun to see?
Peace and blessings to all,
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is an article that I read on the Yahoo site and was originally posted by "Women's Day Magazine".
Out of Energy?.
By Denise Schipani
See nine things that zap your vitality and how to get it back
It's 3 p.m.--do you know where your energy's gone? You probably expect to feel that late-afternoon drag, but you don't always have to. Turns out, some of your regular habits may be sneakily zapping your zip. Fix some or all of these energy stealers, and you just may be feeling brighter this afternoon.
Energy Zapper #1: Being Addicted to E-mail
Isn't being wired to the hilt--e-mail, voice mail, IM, BlackBerry--supposed to boost productivity, freeing up your energy? More often, the opposite is true. If you continually halt what you're doing to answer e-mail, check voice mail, and attend to a thousand other beeps and blips, your attention becomes diluted, which leaves you feeling depleted.
There are two things going on here, says John Salerno, MD, a New York City family physician and director of the Salerno Center for Complementary Medicine. "The brain needs a lot of physical and mental energy to multitask, which gets drained," he says. And continually redirecting your attention from the BlackBerry to other stimuli siphons more energy and distracts your brain further.
Switch off electronic gadgets during your most productive work hours, which for most people tend to be in the morning, says Laura Stack, author of The Exhaustion Cure. As for e-mail, try to limit yourself to checking it once every hour, instead of hopping to whenever it beeps. (Hint: Turn off the beep sound.) If something pops into your mind that you need to remember--call back your mom, e-mail the soccer coach about the snack schedule--write it down and take care of it later.
Energy Zapper #2: Visual Clutter
We may be used to living in enclosed spaces with lots of stuff--a refrigerator door packed with artwork, a countertop laden with mail, a desk that's little more than a shifting pile of folders and paper--but it's not how we're meant to live, says Dr. Salerno. "Clutter signals disorder, which makes us anxious. Our brains sense that anxiety."
Do your best to clear visual clutter, so when you look around, your eyes can "rest" rather than dart from mess to mess, says Janice Ash, organization expert and owner of I Declutter!. Instead of layering papers on a bulletin board, leave a small border of space around them. Clear the front of the fridge of all but the most current kids' artwork, and make a habit of leaving the kitchen counter stuff-free before bed each night.
Energy Zapper #3: Being Bored
Ever sat around for an hour or more not tackling a chore or work because it's just so darned monotonous? Mental foot-dragging, boredom and lack of motivation are draining, says Dr. Salerno. "Put simply, we like to see results, and getting things done gives us a mental energy boost." So avoiding tasks deprives you of that high.
Find a partner for encouragement--a friend, a coworker--and call or e-mail to enlist her in a time challenge. "Say, ‘I'll check back in with you in an hour, and we'll see if we've gotten these reports/ organizing chores done.'" Or promise yourself motivational rewards for completing the task at hand, suggests Dr. Salerno.
Energy Zapper #4: Poor Posture
You already know that not sitting or standing straight is bad for your body. But all that hunching over a computer screen or cradling a phone on your shoulder wreaks havoc on your energy level, too, says Pia Martin, a San Diego health and wellness chiropractor. "When you sit for long periods, you tend to slump forward, leading to rounded shoulders and a tilted lower spine. Your muscles contract, and blood flow is impaired," which limits the amount of oxygen to your brain.
Sit up straight! Your legs should be at right angles to the floor, your arms at right angles to your keyboard. Be conscious of keeping your shoulders down, not up near your ears. Adjust your computer screen so your eyes gaze at the middle of it. And don't just sit there--if you have to, set a timer to go off hourly to remind you to get up, stretch and get a drink of water. When you get back to your desk, do a quick posture check: Shoulders down! (Reboot your posture with these tips.)
Energy Zapper #5: Toxic Indoor Air
Humming copy machines. Cleaning products. Dry-cleaning chemicals. Synthetic carpeting. Even the desks in your office may be contributing to the load of toxins you breathe each day, because all of them release chemicals into the air. "No one knows for sure how much harm these cause to our bodies, but they do build up over time, and can drain your energy by potentially interfering with thyroid function and overloading the body's detox system," says Frank Lipman, MD, a New York City physician and author of Spent: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again. (Reduce your exposure to chemical toxins.)
Get outside. If you're feeling tired, go out for 10 minutes to breathe fresh air. Indoors, cultivate houseplants, which are remarkably good at absorbing toxins. And don't wear shoes inside the house--you're dragging not just dirt indoors on your soles, but pesticides and other harmful chemicals too.
Energy Zapper #6: Eating Too Much at Once
Consuming a big meal is always something that will cause a dip in energy later, but that effect is most noticeable in the afternoon because the slump happens at that reach-for-coffee-or-sugar hour: 3 p.m. Here's what happens: You fill up on a carb- and calorie-rich lunch and, as nutrients are absorbed by your body, excess glucose is dumped into your bloodstream, and your body releases insulin to process all that sugar. "A better idea is to spread out what and how you eat throughout the day to keep energy levels steady," says Gloria Tsang, RD, founder of the nutrition website HealthCastle.com.
Eat every four hours, instead of the usual six. To reform lunch, "try to brownbag more often than eating out," says Tsang. It's a fact that if you buy takeout or dine in a restaurant, you're likely to eat more. Four hours after lunch, have a snack. If you're going to eat dinner a couple of hours later, keep the snack small, such as half a turkey sandwich, or a yogurt and some crackers. Other ideas: Drink liquids (water, tea) all day. "Dehydration makes you tired, too," says Tsang. If you usually have coffee right after lunch, try it a little later in the afternoon and make it a latte. The caffeine's an obvious pick-me-up, but the little bit of fat and protein in the milk gives you a snack-like boost. (Increase your energy with a smarter lunch.)
Energy Zapper #7: Living in Artificial Light
Our natural body rhythms are keyed to the rising and setting of the sun, says Carol Ash, DO, medical director of Sleep for Life, a sleep-disorder clinic in Somerset, New Jersey. When you open your eyes in the morning and get your first glimpse of sunlight, your brain receives a signal that helps it set its sleep-wake clock for the day. Similarly, seeing sunlight during the day gives your brain a boost. So if you are awake before the sun, and/or don't see much sun all day, your body is experiencing something a lot like jet lag.
Instead of hitting the coffee cart when you're flagging, hit the sidewalk--the combination of physical exercise and a shot of sunlight will energize you. You don't need much: "A 10- to 20-minute walk in the sunshine will give you a boost," says Dr. Ash.
Energy Zapper #8: Listening to Negative Nellies
You may be upbeat, but it can be exhausting to listen to complainers all day long, whether it's the fellow mom who calls to trash-talk the neighbors or the coworker who never has a positive word to say. It's not your imagination: A 2006 study at Chicago's Northwestern University found that people forced to listen to "high-maintenance" colleagues became frustrated and unfocused, and suffered a decline in the quality of their work.
Insulate yourself as best you can. If a coworker loves to enumerate her complaints, cut her off with a firm but polite "I really have to get this finished," then smile and get to work. She'll get the message. If it's your own negative thoughts that drag you down, train yourself to banish them by listing, daily, the things you're grateful for, so you can pull out that list when the negative stuff intrudes.
Energy Zapper #9: Holding a Grudge
It takes a surprising amount of energy to remember whom you have a grudge against, and to continually update the faults, missteps and things you're mad about. "Resentment is a huge drain physically as well as mentally," says Dr. Lipman. "Anger, resentment, grudges--all of these emotions are toxic, and we hang on to them in our bodies especially in tense, tired muscles."
It takes practice, but try to forgive old mistakes. An easy way to start is to simply be aware of the times negative thoughts about others creep into your mind, says Dr. Lipman. "Think of others as flawed humans, which we all are," which makes it easier to forgive-and free up energy.
I managed to find this article very useful for me, personally, and I hope that it is of value to you, as well. Please let me know what you think and how it might be helpful to you, in your everyday life!
Peace and blessings,
Monday, October 19, 2009
I forget how wonderful walking on the beaches can be. It is tougher walking so you burn more calories but, it is exhilarating, none-the-less!! Just breathing in that fresh air--as deeply as I can manage--is a wonderful experience!! It smells so good out here. I have always envied those who are able to afford to live right on the beach and just watch it for hours--although, for me, I do have my favorite times of the day. I do miss watching the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean but, the Atlantic Ocean has its wonders, also. You get the sunrises, here!
Maybe, we will get up early one morning and partake of that wonder. Bring a couple of blankets to wrap around ourselves and just sit and watch as that sun slowly creeps up to greet us a sweet good morning!!
The sounds of the birds, the sights of the birds going in for the landing to catch that fish for dinner and the beautiful sunrises, if you are lucky enough to see one! The sea lions frolicking in the water as they play with each other!
How blessed we are in this country to be able to travel and see the sights of different areas that people live in. And, it is an added blessing to meet people and visit with them and learn their way of life. We have that in our own country, too! We don't have to travel over to other countries overseas to experience this.
I love being on the beach. Looking at the massive ocean reminds me of how small we are. Wish it wasn't so cold outside, it would be nice to get a little extra exercise by swimming against those waves! I used to do that in Santa Cruz, California in my teens and twenties. It amazes me, the amount of people that still go in that ocean on cold days and just stand there while the waves come to them!! Can you lose weight that way? I wonder!!
Peace and blessings,
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