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Extra Low Calorie (but still yummy), easy-to-make birthday cake

Thursday, February 10, 2011





This is a great recipe for any holiday celebration when a cake is required!! We got away from store-bought cakes long ago because of the saturated fat, lard, sugar, high calories and junk that is contained in them. I know, they taste great and some are works of art -- however!!! this little cake is equally delish -- incredibly refreshing, without taking in a lot of calories.

Ingredients:

* Approximately 1 cup - 1 1/2 cups of fresh fruit that is in season - we love strawberries but any fruit will do. Be aware if you like peaches. Only use peaches packed in their own juice -- not Cling Peaches -- because you will save lots of calories.

* Sugar free Angel Food Cake. You can find this cake already made in the bakery of your local grocery store. Make sure that it is labeled "Sugar Free."

* Sugar free, fat free Cool Whip



Slice your fruit into bite-sized pieces and place to the side.

Cut the angel food cake in half so you have an upper half and lower half. Place the upper half on a plate and place it to the side.





Generously spread the FF/SF Cool Whip on the lower half of the cake as if you are icing a cake. Place your sliced fruit on top of the recently spread Cool Whip.



Gently place the upper half of the Angel Food Cake on top of the completed lower half. Spread Cool Whip all over the rest of the cake as you would ice a cake.

Place the remaining fruit on the top of the cake and along the bottom. I add fruit in the hole created by the bundt pan for extra fruit goodies!!

For an added treat, you can add either chopped pecans (contain over 19 vitamins and minerals including folic acid, vit A, calcium, manganese, copper, potassium, vit. B and zinc.) ; walnuts (omega-3 essential fatty acids which protect the heart improve cognitive function and reduces the inflammatory effects of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma etc.); or almonds (which provide a rich source of potassium, manganese, cooper, calcium, vit E, an anti-oxidant, and selenium) to the Cool Whip frosting - although remember, while you get lots of nutritional value, you must also consider the additional calories too.



One generous slice of Strawberry Angel food cake = 150 calories

Angel Food cake = 100
Strawberries - = 25
SF/FF Cool Whip = 25

(This blog is dedicated to Brother Dave in celebration of his 56th birthday!!)

And to my Sweet T: (Trainer_T) who cheered me on 'til this blog was posted!!!
(Hugs and Blessings, T!!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUTUMNHOPE 6/2/2013 7:07PM

    Yum, what a savvy blogger you are ! Thanks for sharing with all of us.

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DECAFFEINATED 3/1/2012 11:52AM

   

That looks absolutely beautiful !! What a great idea.
Thanks!

Sue

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NISSANGIRL 2/17/2012 7:18AM

    This looks amazing!!!! I can't wait to make it! hopefully it will look as beautiful as yours!!! thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FREEME1980 12/27/2011 5:45PM

    Beautifully done blog & cake! Thank you for sharing. Your brother is fortunate to have a supportive sister.

Happy 56th Birthday Dave! emoticon

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KIM_POSSIBLE77 12/27/2011 4:40PM

    Now this is what I should have had for my Birthday...I know what I will be making next year!

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MOFITZ726 10/25/2011 8:05PM

    This is exactly what I was thinking of doing for my boyfriend's birthday this week. emoticon

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TFROGHUNTER 4/19/2011 7:37PM

    thanks so much!!!! were gonna be trying this 4sure in the next couple days!!!! wow it looks yummy!

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JHARTSCOM 4/12/2011 3:30PM

    I 'm definitely doing this for my birthday this year...
...yum-yum!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
Judy emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/12/2011 3:39:48 PM

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SONIEAH 3/30/2011 11:07AM

    This is the best "cheater" cake ever!!!!
THANKS FOR SHARING!!! emoticon

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LIL_EZZY 2/27/2011 12:09AM

    OHHHH YUM

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NISSANGIRL 2/24/2011 4:18PM

    This looks great! I m going to have to make it! thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMC120 2/22/2011 11:57AM

    Can't wait to make this!!! YUMMY!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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MOMFAN 2/20/2011 12:54AM

    What an amazing journey you have had! This is what I started having for my birthday celebrations also!

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ADNAW_YOTS 2/18/2011 6:42AM

    I do this on July 4th celebrations and everyone loves it ! Thanks for sharing. I add blueberries for the red white and blue !

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DWEXCEL 2/12/2011 5:42PM

    Sounds absolutely delish! I'm defintely going to try it with all the fresh strawberries around here!

And it looks beautiful too!

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GODZDESIGN95 2/11/2011 11:37AM

    OMG what a neat idea. I love angel food cake.

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MBSHAZZER 2/11/2011 10:44AM

    That looks great! Perfect treat! :D

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TRAINER_T 2/11/2011 9:57AM

    Your just the emoticon
I want to make it right now at work but I have to wait but I will do the article on it.
Hugs, T.

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BEFIT014 2/11/2011 6:00AM

    Ooh, that's looks wonderful!

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SPMOM2 2/11/2011 2:38AM

    Wow, thanks for sharing, looks yummy.

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MIZM20 2/10/2011 9:22PM

    Looks Very Yummy! Amazing how you can get fresh fruit anytime of the year!
Oops, I'm drooling! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to try!
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GWENAEL 2/10/2011 8:40PM

    It looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

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Comment edited on: 2/10/2011 8:40:53 PM

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STARPESCADO 2/10/2011 7:50PM

    Looks yummy and I love the plate-looks like Talavera...

Thanks for post!

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MICHELAR 2/10/2011 7:21PM

    Looks beautiful Dollface, thanks for sharing the recipe!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 2/10/2011 7:11PM

    shame we don´t get sugar free angle cake or any other angle cake over here lol.looks great though joannie and i am sure dave loved it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIKE82X 2/10/2011 6:48PM

    Looks beautiful and sounds delicious! That's a good idea. I think the strawberries really make it.

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MARINEMAMA 2/10/2011 6:47PM

    Yummy!!! My son turns 17 in just a couple of weeks now and we will love this healthy option!!! Thanks girl!!!

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DREMARGRL 2/10/2011 6:33PM

    So beautiful! Thanks for sharing JoAnne. XO MaryAnn emoticon

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PIR8DAVE 2/10/2011 6:27PM

    I have enjoyed this delicious and nutritious treat many times. That picture of my birthday cake is really great! This shows you can make alternative choices that are good for you and take the place of all the unhealthy cuisine the food marketers and agri-business interests provide us with. I simply LOVE the fresh strawberries! This cake tastes "sinfully" good and is my preferred choice for the celebration cake. Thanks for sharing and for so lavishly illustrating it as well!

You are the best! Love and Light!

Dave

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KATRINAKAT23 2/10/2011 6:13PM

  Hi there!! Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I love ALL the ingredients and it is so easy to make. I sure will make this one.

Take care,

Kat

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TOBRIEN27 2/10/2011 6:13PM

  This is a fantastic, easy and "yummy" idea! Thanks for the idea.

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JO88BAKO 2/10/2011 6:13PM

    Awesome!! Thank you so very much for sharing! emoticon

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BEC_55 2/10/2011 6:08PM

    WOW I forgot all about this kind of cake. My mom use to make it for special occasions! Sadly I can't eat it now unless I find a gluten free angel food cake! LOLOL I do love the strawberries and cool whip!
Thanks for my little walk down memory lane Sweetie!
HUGS,
Becky

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The payoff for working your butt off!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Y'all know that I'm not real good at blowing my own horn ... And, I must concede that, sometimes in life, tho, the Universe comes together - the sun, moon and stars shine brightly in unison at just the right moment; the seas part, Cassiopeia can be seen throughout the universe and -------- voila!!!

So here it is, my own little bit of braggadocio.

Last week, in anticipation of the (Jimmy) Buffett concert at Jones Beach, New York (August 31), I decided a new little diddy from Victoria's Secret -- in the way of a Beach dress to wear to the concert was in order. Since I am still very much on my journey (especially my P90X program which is a whole other story, My Friends!!), and the concert still 43 days away, I sat at my desk at Vicky's web page (she and I are on a first name basis, natch!) , in deep contemplation as to which size to order. One thing I have learned, especially at my age, is to not buy clothes with the anticipation of getting into them "someday" ... "Someday I'll be a Size 2" which never happens -- at least, not in my world!! "Someday" remains elusive and then I've got a closet full of new clothes -- various sizes, of course, that act as a constant reminder of what I "should" or "could" have done. Ordering the small size was not in my wheelhouse. ... But a def plan of action was!! I called my husband at his office and we discussed the matter. "Honey -- just both both dresses you like in both the sizes --- the size you are now (Medium) and the smaller size (Small) because you'll be there soon enough." Now that's a good husband, y'all ... He loves me **and** he gave his blessings to go wild at Vicky's Secret because y'all know a few dresses quickly turns into a couple pair of shoes, too. I happily got off the phone and was ready to order when I spoke with Brother Dave (PIR8DAVE) for his thoughts on the subject. Dave is not only my brother, but my exercise bud and someone in whom I can confide totally and completely. My bravado now dissipated, I posed my dilemma, once again vacillating... Should I get the Medium or the Small? With great kindness and reverence -- and without hesitation, Dave once again reminded me that I have a "bit of difficulty with body image." "Hmmmm ....." I said .... "very true ...." Dave's suggestion: "buy both dresses in a size small. Period. Because no one is more committed or more motivated than you, Joanne .. just get 'em in a small .. they'll look great on you -- if not now, they will just in time for the Buffett concert!!"

When the UPS man delivered the Vicky's Secret box, I knew in my heart that the moment of truth had arrived: I would have to try the dresses on and accept wherever I was at on my journey -- and know that I still had some time to get into the size small should it not fit, which is exactly what I had anticipated. For a fleeting moment I was concerned that if they didn't fit I'd be bummed .. but I quickly dismissed that chatter in my head and tried both dresses on. Oh my heavens!! -- they actually fit now --- like a glove!! omg!!! Simply adorable!!! It was at that moment that I stopped and took a deep breath ..... and acknowledged the Universe for each and every day that I am healthy enough to be able to kick major a$$ in the gym (and P90X specifically!). And then, I acknowledged me --- for giving it hell the past 189 days, when on January 10 of this year I reclaimed my health and recommitted myself to being fit and healthy. Getting into those 2 dresses is worth every minute spent working out and challenging myself; for every drop of sweat I perspire; and for each and every sacrifice that I make to be healthy and fit. One thing for sure, there is no food, no drink, special dinner or treat that I would spend even 5 seconds eating that will ever, ever feel as good as getting into those two dresses!!

... I’m off for another shopping adventure at Vicky’s -- this time, it's because when trying on my dresses, I realized I need a special halter-strap/convertible bra to complete the look --- (and, yes -- in the next size smaller!). (Thankfully I still have 43 days until the Buffett concert!!) So until next time, Dear Spark Friends, thank you for being the best cheering section anyone could ever hope to have, anywhere on the Internet or on the planet; and for your continued love, support and Spark friendship.... I truly believe that ultimately, it is all about the journey - not the destination ... And the honor, pleasure and grace to walk our journeys together is all mine!!

P.S. Look for me to model Vicky's Secret Beach Dresses after the new bra arrives!! ; )






Victoria's Secret Beach Dresses~ Size Small/Petite
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This blog is dedicated to: Earl who is my love and heart; and my diet bud and fellow P90X-er extraordinaire, Brother Dave!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSHEL7 6/12/2013 1:02AM

    I really love this blog, you did great, I can imagine that you felt like queen for the day or week, maybe still. Thanks for sharing.

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FREEME1980 12/27/2011 6:09PM

    Oh my gosh, I know this was back a year and a half ago but I am just so thrilled with your excitement of being in the moment. WTG on all your hard work paying off and feeling the reward of fitting into the small size emoticon and sizzling!

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RASCALRACCOON 11/20/2011 3:20AM

    Its the most incredible feeling when you suddenly realise you are alot smaller than you thought you were :) :) LOVE it! COngrats on all the hard work that is payin off :)

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NGALAX 10/11/2011 4:33PM

    Those dresses are gorgeous! It wouldn't have mattered what size you had to buy..you deserve to go out and have a ball! I hope you made wonderful memories while doing so! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/11/2011 4:35:29 PM

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TRICOTINE 8/17/2011 9:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I cannot wait to see you modeling those adorable dresses! I bet they are going to look gorgeous on you!

Congrats on your hard work! You are my HEROE!!! Thanks for the inspiration you spread around you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/17/2011 9:42:27 AM

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PRAYERANDPRAISE 8/10/2011 12:00PM

    Wow I have to say your brother is right you are so committed and have come so far that being comfortable in that size small is going to happen for you and you are right food does not replace confidence and feeling awesome for coming so far can't wait to see your up date! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAZZID 2/4/2011 8:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALLEYKITTEN 1/28/2011 8:00AM

    Both so cute! And you are going to look fabulous in them!! Great story!! emoticon

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 12/20/2010 9:19PM

  You are going to look stunning in those dresses!

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DWEXCEL 11/15/2010 7:40AM

    Oh Wow....What a wonderful story! I love it, and really admire what you have done! I am a P90X graduate too; I've done 2 classics and 1 lean. It is the very best!!! I have had a little bit of a set back, but I am back in the Drivers Seat, and am on my way to goal!

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DREMARGRL 10/24/2010 7:28PM

    AAAahhhh.....ohhhhhh You are going to look totally, BEACHY!!!!!!!! I really think these colors will look magnifico. I'm sorry it took so long....Just reading this today. The Buffet concert has come and gone. Did you just love it in NY???? Did you post pics? I'll have to go look. I always love reading your energetic, optimistic blogs, JoAnne. One day we shall meet at a Buffet concert.....or at the Von Jacob winery here in Southern Illinois. XXOO MaryAnn
Keep that spark blazin' hawwwwt, beautiful, and we'll both continue to LIVE STRONG! emoticon

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MARIAX2MARIA 9/15/2010 12:32AM

    I never read this entry until today. Woo Hoo. . .you are so amazing and special my dear sistah-friend. So glad that you area part of my life. emoticon

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DREAMSICLE 9/14/2010 4:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TRAINER_T 9/14/2010 10:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ELEGANTFLOWERS 8/22/2010 11:31AM

    WOW!!!! Love the dresses. I can't weight to see you in them. You are so beautiful and have worked so hard. I am so inspired by you. emoticon

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JDTHUMPER 8/12/2010 1:43PM

    You rock as uasual and I am sure that they are absolutly BEAUTIFUL on you!!!

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MICHELAR 8/10/2010 2:26PM

    Fabulous dress for a fabulous lady! You will ROCK thos dresses Dollface and I cannot wait to see you in them!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 7/25/2010 3:16AM

    can´t wait to see the photos you will be a knock out it specially the peacock green one.just love it and here is me dreaming of becoming a xl.i like you will get there then a l,then a medium.then i will be happy. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMMABENJI 7/21/2010 8:58AM

    I love the printed one you must look awesome in them. cant wait to see the pics. you have done a great job.

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MARIPOSA65 7/20/2010 11:28PM

   
I love, love, love the print dress! It's just fits your happy personality!

Can't wait to see the pics.

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/20/2010 7:36PM

    Can't wait to see the pictures! Hugz!

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KIMPAINTS 7/20/2010 5:50PM

    You are one sexy hot healthy lady goin to see Jimmy!!! Hard work makes your dreams come true. I am inspired thank you.

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MBSHAZZER 7/20/2010 12:53PM

    AWESOME!!! I cannot wait to see you model those fabulous fly dresses!

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JLRIAN 7/20/2010 12:59AM

    Thanks for bragging! You're story is inspiring:) emoticon

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SHERRYCHERIE 7/19/2010 8:53PM

  Major YAYS to you, Joannie!
Your joy radiates through your words.
I am so happy for you!!:)
And you have such wonderful loved ones in your life! The very best!

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TAMMIE1006 7/19/2010 8:18PM

    wahoo!!!! awesome job! your hubby's awesome for suggesting you get both, but brother Dave was right in urging you to "go for it" and HE WAS RIGHT!! you're gonna rock Jimmy himself!!
keep up the great work!!
~tammie

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ACACIA21 7/19/2010 7:37PM

    You will have to attend 2 concerts!! you're beautiful!
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PIR8DAVE 7/19/2010 7:35PM

    Hi Joanne!

Thanks for the kind words. You are doing a really amazing job and I congratulate you on your dedication and success. I also want to thank you for your support and inspiration in doing this particular phase of our journey. BTW, your new outfits look GORGEOUS, if you know what I mean. Take a bow, you deserve it!

All the best,

emoticon emoticon emoticon
Dave
Exercise Buddy and Honorary Mayor of Sparkaritaville

Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 7:36:07 PM

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ANGIE_1230 7/19/2010 6:36PM

    emoticon Both dresses are adorable. How will you decide which to wear to the concert?

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BLAZINGSWORD 7/19/2010 6:22PM

    Can't wait to see you in your new dresses! That is so exciting and I am so glad for you because I know you worked very hard! It's awesome! emoticon emoticon

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I promise ... I really didn't go away!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Those who know me well, know that sometimes I must retreat and regroup .... It is good for the soul and strengthens the spirit.

Over a year ago, I impetuously decided that I was going to finish school. I had paid the tuition and was on "short leave" when I had my foot/ankle reconstruction and all that that entailed. Two years passed quickly - my precious cat, Mallory Anna's health deteriorated -- and then there was Spark!!! I make no excuses for my Spark time -- I have met friends on Spark that I have laughed with, cried with, loved and supported -- and whether I ever meet them, it matters not to me.... I am blessed to call them "friend."

I gained the proverbial "Freshmen Fifteen" -- and then some.... I immersed myself in my studies. Again, the person who needed me the most was me .. and I didn't have the time. I had fought long and hard to honor me ... to love and nurture myself. And quickly, easily, without so much as a parade or fanfare, I found myself right back at Square One-- thinking I had licked this thing for once and for all. But this time was different. This time I couldn't do all my usual tricks to lose it quickly ... This time, I had to go back to the basics and find the blessing in all of this.

You see, I had gotten where I was apologizing for being me ... ashamed once again for being fat -- which is really weird considering I was 267 lbs once upon a time. But this extra weight really bugged me big time ... Why??? Because I was judging myself harshly thinking that I should know better. All the things that I espouse and hold dear were causally, carelessly, without a second thought, tossed out the window...

On January 10, 2010, I decided it was time to recommit to me ... To begin the process of forgiving myself for gaining weight and getting into the predicament I found myself. And, perhaps more importantly, to find the blessing in this setback. I had to begin to take care of myself once again -- to nurture, accept, and honor me just as I love and honor those in my life. I had time for everyone -- but me. And, as I always say, If I don't take care of me, then who will????

Back to basics is where I found myself last January. I remember huffing and puffing in the gym barely able to do what I once did with relative ease. I embraced it all. I kept a diary once again ... I critically looked at what I ate (and had to eliminate all soy from my diet); began weighing my food, exercising daily -- and I began losing weight with my weekly weight ins -- sometimes only one ounce at a time -- literally. And I was glad to lose that!! The year before, I was angry because I felt my body had betrayed me ... But the truth be told, I had betrayed it with all the years of abuse, crappy eating and yo yo dieting.

Mid-Spring I was putting dishes in the dishwasher, when my brother Dave (as y’all know, my confidant and diet bud – btw -- everyone should have one!!) sauntered in to have a protein drink with me. He, too, packed on the lbs. -- but he jokingly says he is back on the "Joanne Plan." I shared with Dave what I know to be true -- and that is, there is a moment when a life lesson and life blessing is born --- when everything crystallises and makes itself known. My life lesson was that it is never okay to ever apologize for being who we are ---- ever. Regardless of what we weigh. We all have value and purpose - and we all deserve the same love, honor and respect that we so lovingly, easily, give to those in our lives. And I can say with authority, our value and worth is not contingent on what the scale says …. I promise. The scale is merely a measurement – it is not something that should ever determine who we are and how we show up in the world.

Yup ... I''m back... With more Life Lessons learned to share!!!

Thank you **ALL** for your love, support and friendship ... Your friendship and understanding has sustained me -- more than you know.... God Bless you all.

Special love and appreciation to one of the best friends a girl could ever have -- My Michlea who never ceases to amaze me with her love, understanding and friendship and who stood by my side during Mallory Anna's illness. I could not love and appreciate you more if you and I were related, Mich.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HALLALUYAH 12/22/2010 11:04AM

    Hello Gorgeous....I sure do miss you Joanne. So many blessings have manifested in the past few months that I would love to share with you. Happy Holidays old friend and "May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.
Blessings;
Love,Luyah emoticon

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BUGGYS 10/20/2010 5:27PM

    Thank you for reminding me exactly what I need to do for myself and for giving me some valuable tips and for your newfound frindship...I know one day I will be as fit and as strong as you are!!! emoticon emoticon

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PSCARPA16 10/18/2010 2:55PM

    I almost want to copy and paste this into my page!! Very similar story with the names chaged to protect the inocent!!! I have relized what I need to do for myself! I have so misssed you and your wisdom!
Love you,
Patty

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TEENY2BEE 8/28/2010 9:31AM

    Glad to see you're back....Ive gone through the same problem,without the self-apologies,weighing more now than I ever have without being pregnant.Being overweight does not bother me no as much as it did three years ago. But,like you,I'm not going to pack on any more pounds.

Glad to have read this,very sorry about Mallory Anna emoticon

You're a tough cookie emoticonwho is very beautiful in many ways...hope you see that emoticon
emoticon F

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MARICHARI 7/4/2010 12:15PM

    I read your blog post and felt I was reading about me. I too have become so ashamed with myself for becoming fat again. The good thing is I have not given up. I am back on this journey once again. I am starting back at the beginning, taking the baby steps necessary. Everyday seems to bring some sort of obstacle to overcome, but these only make me stronger and more determined than ever. Thank you for the reminder to love and respect myself. It is so easy to forget about yourself and so difficult to forgive. Bless you! emoticon

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2010CONNIE 6/28/2010 10:52PM

    Wow that is just what I needed to see. I did the same thing, I had to finish my Master's and like you said, the focus on my body was the first to go. My routine of watching my food went right out the window and I was eating whatever I could find that was quick and easy. I am so sorry for leaving Spark, but I am back and hope to get back on track again. But, like you said, regardless of the scales, we deserve love and respect, each of us! I love and respect you my friend!! :) emoticon emoticon

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JULIE2990 6/27/2010 12:28PM

    Welcome back Joannie..missed seeing your smile. We can all do the very best we can given our circumstances..this is a journey not a destination....God bless you too!

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JDTHUMPER 6/23/2010 5:20PM

    Hey BEAUTIFUL lady; I am so glad to see your recommitted to you!! I love seeing your wisdom and so enjoyed the e-mails we shared! You truly are the most amazing person I know! Even when I knew you were MIA on SP for sometime I would look at your Picture and read your life lessons that were already posted. It just is so amazing the journey that you have taken. Numbers are that numbers! You my darling ;look absolutely AMAZING!

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KATRINAKAT23 6/23/2010 11:52AM

  It is wonderful to see you back again. I missed you!! I know exactly what you are talking about, I too have gained back weight and am still struggling to get back on track.

I know you will do well and again glad you are back.

Kat

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AMBERNICHOLE3 6/23/2010 10:36AM

    You're just gorgeous!

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 6/22/2010 10:48PM

    emoticon

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ACACIA21 6/22/2010 9:54PM

    My sweet friend, you are so beautiful . It's nice to see you here again, and I am happy that you want to share with all of us who adore you. I have taken a break too, but I am also happiest when I take care of me, too. You have been so special to me in these last couple of years and I think of you everyday. The encouragement you give to others is so wonderful and you have such a tender loving heart. I guess this sounds like a love letter. It IS! emoticon

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LILPAT3 6/22/2010 9:29PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan. I truly believe that you will accomplish what you are setting out to do. Good luck! emoticon

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PIR8DAVE 6/22/2010 6:50PM

    Dearest Joanne:

As always, beautifully written and insightful as is your way. Thanks for sharing this journey with me and for being my "exercise buddy" extraordinaire. I salute you for your commitment and dedication. We have been doing this particular part of our personal health and improvement plan "re-booted" if you would for 163 days. I have dropped 44 pounds since December '09 after packing it back on. It was painful and a drag, but I learned much from what being unmotivated, uncommitted and lazy. It is hard work, but then, those things that are valuable and worth something require time and effort. Glad that you have been able to write and post once again. See you in the gym soon. Keep up the great work!

Love always,

David emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/22/2010 6:53:17 PM

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CAROLISCIOUS 6/22/2010 6:50PM

    I have missed your smiling face on these pages...but I knew you were taking care of YOU and that was what you needed at the time. Welcome back luv-muffin! Now you are smarter, sexier and more determined than ever before!
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MICHELAR 6/22/2010 6:41PM

    My precious Dollface! My life is blessed for having you in it and I am so honoured that I am your friend but as far as I am concerned we are related. I could not ask for a more caring friend to call my sister and you are always there to support me through my struggles. You are a very special person and give so much of yourself to everyone and now it is time for us to give you all the support you need to do this for yourself again. I will be cheering you on every step of the way sweetie!

Love you

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DREMARGRL 6/22/2010 6:18PM

    Yes...what a familiar story.....I do think we are.....any of us...perfect...just forgiven! I'm happy that you have your brother and your sparkfriends. Michela is pretty darn AWESOME! Anyone who can uplift us when we're down, soothe our weary souls....is a good friend. Sounds as though you have it figured out...Now you have to keep yourself in the "site" and carry on, my friend. You are stunning....whatever you weigh, but I know that you'll be happiest when you are healthy, too. You're doing great. I sometimes think that life is supposed to be like this....ups, downs, happiness and sadness. We are supposed to feel it all.....Keep the spark blazin', darlin', cuz I know that you will! XO MaryAnn emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticonblog!!!!!! You are emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 6/22/2010 4:35PM

    Joannie, welcome back! But it sounds like you never really went away! No matter what you weigh, you are truly a special person. A big congratulations for returning to school and feeing your mind AND your body with good stuff!

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R.I.P. Hemingway

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The following prayer to St. Francis is dedicated to all those whose life has been graced by the unconditional love & affection of a fur child; and especially Hemingway, an awesome cat who, with wanderlust in his heart, visited his world but always managed to find his way home to share his life , love & adventures with us.

With a new day, and only 24 hours since Hemingway died -- an eternity and a minute all at once, it is the song "Stand a Little Rain"¯ (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) that aid in mending my broken heart and brings peace ... and joy; while making prophetic the words ..." if we are ever gonna see a rainbow, we have to stand a little rain."

Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi
(The Patron Saint of Animals)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZID 7/10/2010 6:29PM

    emoticon so sorry Joanne... emoticon ~ Dee ~

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THINSPARKLE 6/20/2010 12:27PM

    Sorry you lost your furry feline friend... May God answer your prayer in amazing, surprizing and personal ways. AMEN

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QUEENB62 1/21/2010 7:46PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have three dogs myself and they are so dear to me. Those furry little things give us so much of themselves and ask so little in return. I am sending you a big hug. Take care of yourself. emoticon

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FUNRUN25 8/3/2009 7:28PM

    RIP hemingway! fur babies are so special. i send all my love and hugs to you deary! xoxooxoxoox

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SALAD-ADDICT 7/31/2009 12:03AM

    Gosh...and we thought it was gonna be Mallory Anne.....
Im sorry sweetie....every fur baby is so so special emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MANDORA3 7/20/2009 9:13PM

    Aww...I am thinking of you. emoticon

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-CHERYL- 7/20/2009 8:46PM

    My sweet Joannie, This is a beautiful post. I am so sorry and my heart is filled with sadness for you.

Love and hugs to you,
Cheryl
xoxo

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SHERRYCHERIE 7/20/2009 10:20AM

  Dear Joanie, I am so deeply saddened by your loss. What a beloved baby Hemingway was, and always will be!
Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Perhaps my little Siamese ZuZu was there to help greet him.:)
Bless you, Dear--
Your SP friend--
Sherrycherie

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MRSCPLUS9 7/20/2009 2:22AM

    I am sending you love, hugs and wish for comfort. So sorry for the pain you feel.

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ACACIA21 7/19/2009 10:23PM

    Oh Joanne I am sorry you lost your kitty. I have been away, and haven't checked Spark lately. emoticon
My thoughts are with you.

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ACACIA21 7/19/2009 10:23PM

    Oh Joanne I am sorry you lost your kitty. I have been away, and haven't checked Spark lately. emoticon
My thoughts are with you.

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ACACIA21 7/19/2009 10:22PM

    Oh Joanne I am sorry you lost your kitty. I have been away, and haven't checked Spark lately. emoticon
My thoughts are with you.

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PEARL10 7/19/2009 3:41PM

    I'm really sorry 4 your loss. When our kids have lost a fluffy loved one, I tell them they are in heaven with Grandma. Such a wonderful place i'm sure, with loads of paddocks to run around in & loads of loving ppl to pat & cuddle. I'm sure this will be the same for your friend too.
Take care
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KATRINAKAT23 7/19/2009 2:13PM

  I am so sorry for your loss. I know you gave him lots of love and security. Pets' lives are just too short. emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/19/2009 1:58PM

    I'm so sorry Joannie...Love and hugs...

Carol

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 7/19/2009 1:25PM

    emoticon I'm so sorry to read of your loss.

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The fragility and preciousness of life

Wednesday, January 28, 2009






One of my dearest friends who adores Mallory and I asked me the ultimate question last night: "Can it really be that Mallory Ann is dying??" Stark black letters juxtaposed against the white background made the words jump off of the monitor... And, truth be told it is a very real, honest question posed by someone who wants to know the truth -- but really doesn't ... Because to know the truth means to acknowledge and admit that we all have a finite time on this carousel called "life." I also know that in relating the story of Mallory Ann, My Precious Friend, who I have come to truly love, is reliving unfinished pain and business of a time gone by in her own life, when she loved and lost a fur child; a beautiful white cat who, for a time way too brief, filled her life with joy, love and acceptance that only pets can offer ...

When she and I first met her on Spark, I shared with her my experience and the truth of our friendship -- that there was no accident or coincidence in our meeting; only Divine Appointment. You see, I truly believe that it is by Grand Design that we are blessed and honored by the love and friendship of those who touch our hearts and come into our lives for it is by and through them that we will experience and learn who really are -- what we are really made of; how to grow into and become our Highest and Best Selves .. It is these people who are the ones who love us totally and completely --- without judgment, without condition ... Just Because.

I cannot answer my friend's question because I am not Mallory's Creator ... The One who gave her life and who will, one day, take it away so she can sing sweet, gentle purrs as she plays with an unlimited supply of Kitty Hoot toys "there", as she does here; and when a single blade of grass that catches her fancy for a mere moment, there will be a look of joy and knowing victory on her precious little face that she victorious in her search. This is the blessing of Mallory Ann being "there" one day -- wherever "there" is -- where I know in my heart that she will once again, be whole and complete, no longer in pain, no longer in the struggle.

Mallory Ann's little life is tenuous at best ... And, it is through her life that she has beautifully reminded me yet again, how fleeting our own lives and good health really is; how blessed we are to have a healthy body to navigate through life each and every day; to go about our lives; to carry us to work so we can care for families and ourselves; and how sometimes, in the craziness and busyness of life, we take that for granted; living life frenetically and unconsciously -- day in and day out ... forgetting the fragility and preciousness of this thing called "life..."

My Dear Friends: Please take a moment and hug -- or call ... or send a note -- to those in your life and tell them how much you appreciate them and how much they touched your heart. It is in opening your heart to those in your own life that you will in turn receive all of the love and blessings that you have so lovingly, richly, completely given me...

Bless you all!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINSPARKLE 6/20/2010 12:30PM

    Your words, your ways, your gift is shared in what you write and the photo's you take. May God continue to bless you as you honor the gifts He has given you.

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LUCKY13_1984 5/20/2009 10:08PM

    hello my dear friend, hopefully this week is going well for you, ive seemed to have fallen off the weight loss wagon as a co worker passed away suddenly this weekend.....just wanted to say hi and you are a beautifl person with lots going for you!! keep up your positive attitude and wonderful advise to ppl!!! i lvoe this post it makes us all so aware of how prescious life really is!!1 what a lucky cat to have gotten the chance to have you as an owner and friend!!! have a great thursday!!! love ~Lindsey emoticon

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GETFITAGAIN09 3/15/2009 11:24PM

    In the past 90 days I've lost 6 folks I worked with, were friends with or knew. You are so right to take time and call or write and let them know how they have inspired or touched your life. My mom always said "Give me flowers, when I'm living not when I pass". Sometimes just a call to a friend means more than we will ever know.

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LAUGHMORE4LIFE 3/1/2009 6:36AM

    What BEAUTIFUL photos of your kitty. She is georgeous. Not only is life fragile - she is also beautiful... I love the green in the photo against the white!

I used to have a beautiful longhaired white cat who looked a lot like Mallory... He had such an amazing "mane" that I named him Judah ("Lion of Judah")... He was an amazing animal. He disappeared one day (I had gone out of town, leaving a hostile roommate to care for him) - and my heart still aches ... I am left wondering if he was picked up by someone who took good care of him, or... I got a tiny glimpse of the horror and agony a parent must feel to have their child suddenly disappear!!! When I had my own children, you can be sure that I kept an eagle eye on them! Pets DO teach us life lessons... encouraging us to celebrate each day with those we love...

Thanks for the exhortation and encouragement to let those we love know how much we appreciate them. I'll make it a priority today....
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Comment edited on: 3/1/2009 6:38:01 AM

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SKINNYNANNY 2/28/2009 11:09PM

    the way that you connect so completely with all that are blessed to be part of your life is amazing. from the animals, to the people that share your life in person, and the people whose lives you touch just being you every day here on SP.
you are indeed a SPARK ANGEL to hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who are blessed in knowing you.
thanks for your sweet spirit, your joy, your enthusiasm, your honesty, your love.
you are a blessing, and God has sent you as a special angel on earth to teach others how to see with different eyes.
thanks for being you!
blessings
skinnynanny

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CUDDY521 2/16/2009 5:44AM

    Dear Joannie, Just enjoy your special times with Mallory & you`ll keep them in your heart.
I just lost my kitty Misty under the Christmas tree on New Year`s Eve & I will always miss him,he was 15 years old & so friendly to everyone..
emoticonCuddy emoticon emoticon

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KATRINAKAT23 2/15/2009 12:36AM

  Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones. I hope Mallory is doing ok.

Take care,
Kat

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SUE_2U 2/11/2009 6:27PM

    We just recently lost our dear KiaKat... and it's been difficult for me. Thanks for these beautiful words in memory of a beautiful cat.

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BEC_55 2/9/2009 11:53AM

    Hello my pecious friend,
I have been absent for a while. My family was honored to all be together in my parents house when my father passed away on Jan. 31. I am trying to get back up to speed and checked your page. I was intrigued by your blog. You have such a way with beautiful words and sentiments. If you would like to know more about my father - go to my page. I have written some blogs about our relationship.
HUGS,
Becky

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KUNGFOOD 2/2/2009 4:33PM

    Hi JO*ANNE*IE~
Stopped by to wave "Hi!" and to see how you and Mallory Ann are doing. Your spirit and kindness are like rays of sunshine. Grateful and hopeful that everything is right with you both.
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MRSCPLUS9 2/1/2009 2:40AM

    My dearest Joannie, you truly touch my heart. I am so lucky to have found all of my parrothead friends and to share their stories, both happy and sad. I sure hope that you feel the love I am sending and the big hug for you and Mallory Ann. Your photography classes are making you a wonderful photographer. This picture is just precious. emoticon emoticonI am sending hugs and prayers your way.

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MIZM20 1/29/2009 6:17PM

    Wow, this picture of Mallory Ann is looking right into my heart. And you both have mine!
Thank you for sharing your talents - photography and writing. I'm all teary.
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BLONDESTRANGER7 1/29/2009 12:57PM

    Awweee, she is gorgous! Like an angel....thanks for sharing a part of your soul with us....it is hard to have/ watch a beloved pet go thru their later stages of life..I honestly believe that when they get to heaven that everything is wonderful..I know when I had to put my dog down in September it was so hard, the hardest decision I have ever had to make but I know that my grandparents are taking care of him and that in heaven the sun is always shining and there is fresh water, toys and treats etc. They are (we all are) in awsome hands when we get to that part of our journey of life. We just need to live every day to the fullest til we get there and that is what she is doing with you!

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JUNE_BUG 1/29/2009 10:42AM

    Thanks for the great advice & for sharing.
Mallory Ann is beautiful.
June
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Comment edited on: 1/29/2009 10:43:07 AM

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CAROLISCIOUS 1/28/2009 9:40PM

    Thanks for sharing your heart Joannie...that pic makes me wanna run my hands through her soft silky hair...

I love you and I will heed your advice...
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TAMMIE1006 1/28/2009 9:19PM

    I have tears from reading your post - My hope is that dear Mallory Ann knows how lucky she is to have you just as you have been to have her as well. She is as beautiful as you are, my friend.
I lost my first, and most dearest kitty, Boots, ten years ago aready, after having her enlighten my life for 18 years. I know your love for Mallory and know that whether she is here with you physically, or 'there', purring away, you will always have her in your heart, now and always.
loving thoughts,
~tammie

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Comment edited on: 1/28/2009 9:22:02 PM

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GOLDEAGLE143 1/28/2009 8:11PM

    Beautiful post. I completely empathize with you, having lost a dear fur child a little at a time. I know how heart-wrenching it is.

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Crystal


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KATRINAKAT23 1/28/2009 7:37PM

  Hi Joanne:

I believe that our pets will meet us when we cross over. They are too good and pure not to go to heaven. That is what comforts me when I think of the pets I have lost and I hope it comforts you during this difficult time.

Take care,
katrinakat23

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ACACIA21 1/28/2009 7:05PM

    Thanks. I will. And I love you too, Joanne. emoticon

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MICHELAR 1/28/2009 6:26PM

    I appreciate you Dollface and you have touched my heart in a very special and unique way and so has Mallory Ann. I am in tears reading this, so much to take in and absorb.
I love this picture of Mallory, she is so beautiful!

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MRSGOFARR 1/28/2009 6:10PM

    I will right now!!!

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PIR8DAVE 1/28/2009 4:32PM

    Wow another great and poignent piece of heart felt writing. Thank you for sharing this...it is on the same thing I have been thinking about lately after hearing about Mallory. I want you to know how much I like and appreciate your fine, honest prose. You know you have my love and support always. God Bless You!

DAVE

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