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Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm staying at my cousin's house and all is quiet. The kids are in school, my cousin is at work, and I have some time to myself to quietly enjoy coffee and connect to SP.

I arrived in Ohio on Saturday afternoon. The flight was uneventful, just the way I like them, and the car rental place was out of economy cars so I'm driving in style in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Wow! Same price as the economy car, too!

I've seen my grandmother both days I've been here. The first day, Saturday, I drove straight from the airport and many of my family members were already there. She knew who I was immediately and managed to stay alert long enough for me to sit with her by myself, cry a little, and tell her how much I love her. Sunday was very different. She had no idea who my aunt and I were and she could barely keep her eyes open. She talked about things none of us had ever heard of before (like a 4th son who never existed...). We were worried that she was being given too much pain medication, but found out from her nurse that she was given NO meds that day at all. She's just old and fading...However, I'm noticing how hard it's been on the family that she's been going in and out of this type of mental state for over two weeks now. One day she looks like she's at death's door, and then she wakes up the next day totally normal and asking to be dressed and gotten out of bed. My uncle who is very pragmatic by nature is really torn and it's taking a huge toll on him. It's hard to watch. But, like I've always believed, death is much harder on the living than it is on the dying. Certainly, we don't want our loved ones to feel pain at the end and that is incredibly hard on them, however, once they are gone and at peace, regardless of what you might believe spiritually, it is those of us left behind who then have to deal with that death and all the pain it can bring.

I've been able to see my grandfather who is 94, and he looks fabulous! He's always been a fighter (literally - Golden Gloves boxer, and figuratively). I get so much of my strength from him. He has a horrible time walking because of knee degeneration that is to dangerous to operate on at this late stage of his life, but otherwise, he's spry, feisty, and all-together mentally. It's amazing. I've got some serious longevity in my family - hope my husband and kids can put up with me that long!!!

Ohio is beautiful in the fall. It's my favorite time of year. The leaves are brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red, the air is crisp and clean, and the weather is cool and mild. I walk outside and breathe deeply and feel alive. There is no smog, no traffic, and no hassles. Of course, I'm technically on vacation, so I sleep in, stay up late, and mostly relax at my own pace. But still, I know why I'm here, but I'm still enjoying being back "home" with my family at this time of year. Right now, I'm looking out the bedroom window and seeing nothing but fall colors. The leaves are rustling becasue of a slight breeze and the sky is overcast - it's everything I think of when I'm in sunny So Cal missing the change of seasons!

My cousin works at the local YMCA. I'm heading there today with a pass. She's a fitness instructor and a personal trainer, so she's going to take me through a cycling class, which I've never done and am looking forward to. I'm going to get some strength training in today, too. I brought workout clothes and plan to run while I'm here (talk about a beautiful place to do THAT). There's always a way to stay healthy. I have no intention of worrying too much about food, but I want to keep my exercise up. As for the food, however, I know when I'm hungry and I know when I'm not, so I can do this without going overboard. It's only food, after all.

I changed my goal weight today. I want to get down to 140 instead of 148. I changed my goal date to January 20th of next year and lowered my calorie burn for each week, at least until I can get back home and get back into a normal routine where I workout as much as I did before my ablasion and my trip. I feel good about this change. I'd like my BMI to be lower and I'd like to feel firm and trim, despite my age and my height. I believe I can do this in a healthy way. I'll take it one day at a time, like I take everything else in my life.

I hope my spark friends are doing well. I've been preoccupied and busy lately and haven't done tons of posting or connecting. I think about you all, though...you keep me motivate and connected and I appreciate that.

Have a wonderful day (and week if I don't have a chance to touch base again).

Thanks for listening!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOTIV8TEDMOM23 10/25/2010 7:21PM

    So glad you're getting this time to see your grandparents and to reflect and think. It's so hard to see those we love go through this stage and then to pick up the pieces after they are gone. Enjoy this calm now while you can.

emoticon emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 10/25/2010 1:19PM

    emoticon it is hard to see loved ones get like that. Stay strong.
I am jealous of the leaves, I know they are gorgeous!

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BUTEAFULL 10/25/2010 12:12PM

    the family should celebrate your grandparents' lives while they are still alive like a family reunion (I bet grandpa would love it). I have seen in the hospital where a person suddenly becomes very lucid right before they die, so you can be prepared for the inevitable
emoticon emoticon

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NUMBER1ARMYWIFE 10/25/2010 9:57AM

    Hope you have a great day!

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Sh** rolls downhill sometimes...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Okay, where to start:

Got a call this week that my 98-year old grandmother might or might not be on death's door. Could be an hour, could be a month, but it doesn't look good. I've got a flight to Ohio (one that I could afford) scheduled for a week from Saturday. I'm hoping it's for a goodbye and not for a funeral.

My hubby's grandmother had a fall at her assisted living facility and when they got her to the hospital, found that she has pneumonia.

Windshield is cracked half way across and I've got to get it replaced.

Passenger side door is dented badly and hasn't been fixed for about a year.

I need four new tires.

Fridge start relay went out tonight so all of our freezer items are crammed outside and fridge stuff is in the cooler while we wait for a part to arrive on Friday.

My best friend just found out she has gestational diabetes.

Both of my kids have colds.

You'd think I had several reasons to be depressed, feel sorry for myself, and eat emotionally.


Today I weighed in - lost 1.6 pounds this week. I also lost another 1/2 inch in my waist and my calves finally gave 1/2 an inch. That alone is reason to celebrate.

A blog I posted on FB about a student of mine has made it into the scrapbook work is creating for our retiring executive director. They took my picture today so they could put my face with my words and the picture looked AWESOME!

The car can wait. The crack isn't getting any longer, the door still closes, and I've got at least 5000 miles on my tires now.

We have enough coolers for the fridge items and bought ice to keep everything cold for at least the next couple of days. I also have the outside freezer which means almost nothing had to be tossed by the time I got home to take care of the great thaw!

Ohio Grandma came out of the hospital and back into her assisted living facility. My cousin says she's alert and doing great. Even joked with her about waiting until I got there if she was planning on dying (grandma jokes around about it a lot lately, so it's not mean unless you take it out of context). My flight was only $260 - round trip with only one stop!!! Can you believe that???

Kevin's grandmother is going to be fine too, and even though it's pretty tragic, she has alzheimer's so she won't remember what happened to her this week once she's out of the hospital.

Neither of my kids have fevers and the holistic remedies we're giving them are working like a charm.

I went online and did some research on the fridge. Followed directions from a repair website on how to take out all the parts to check them and found that it's the easiest and probably least expensive part to replace. I paid $28 for shipping the part FedEx overnight, and it still cost me less than $90. I'll be able to replace it myself when the part arrives on Friday. That's a garbage disposal and a fridge repair I've done ALL BY MYSELF in the last couple of months! Amazing what you can do for yourself if you do a little research and act a little fearless!

My life is good. We were joking with the kids at dinner about my life. I told them you could easily tell that my life is wonderful by the three people surrounding me at the table: Kevin, Annie and Shane.

Bring on the funk, the disasters, and the irritations. I'm too happy to be mad for long.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HONEYBEEGRL77 10/23/2010 4:24PM

    I love your positive attitude. Sometimes the stuff life throws at us can be so overwhelming that we forget to count our blessings!

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KAMAPERRY 10/15/2010 2:56PM

    What an awesome attitude!! emoticon emoticon

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RANAWAY 10/14/2010 12:19PM

    Love your positive attitude! Keep up the great work.

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CJANSEN40 10/14/2010 8:12AM

    Good attitude, though sometimes all we can do is all we can do.

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FRIENDOFBACH 10/14/2010 12:25AM

  Spunds lit you have Sophia Petrillo for a next door neighbor!

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I like...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

...cold days in the fall

...the coffee my husband makes for me every day

...being a teacher

...the way my kids get along and laugh together

...the sounds my dog makes when she's dreaming

...leaves turning bright yellow, orange, and red

...the smell of pine trees

...friendship that doesn't cost anything but time and care

...watching movies

...reading a good book

...wearing slippers

...sleeping in

...staying up late


...foot massages (thanks, honey)


...genuine laughter

...fresh sheets

...my towel warmer

...random acts of kindness

...when someone waves after I let their car in front of me

...when someone waves after I thank them for letting my car in front of them

...not feeling my age

...not looking my age

...the experience that comes with age

...being positive, but realistic

...my life

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELLALUCIA 10/11/2010 10:27PM

    What do you teach?

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MOTIV8TEDMOM23 10/9/2010 10:58PM

    My list would be very similar! Isn't life great?


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BUTEAFULL 10/7/2010 11:58PM

those are the things I like

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BOOKAYB 10/7/2010 2:31PM

  Beautifully put!! Thanks for sharing with (and reminding) us!!

Comment edited on: 10/7/2010 2:31:21 PM

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SLEEPYDEAN 10/6/2010 7:52PM

    I love this!

Ohh I want a towel warmer... And I plan to have clean sheets tonight. emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 10/6/2010 12:38PM

    Happy, happy, happy!!! Love this! emoticon

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KAT2212 10/6/2010 11:53AM

    very nice list!

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Just a little Tuesday for ya

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It's Tuesday in Southern California (okay, anywhere it isn't already Wednesday...) and the weather is my favorite right now - overcast and cool. I hope it rains some more because I love the way the world smells after a good, clean rain. I love that I'm wearing a new sweater today - first cardigan I've ever owned and I really like the look on me with the white t-shirt underneath.

I packed a healthy lunch today and left room for some dove dark chocolate with almonds. I have a couple of those every day after lunch, and I love the indulgent flavor with the few calories!

I'm going to do upper and lower-body strength training when I get home from work today. And, since it's Tuesday, I've got ZUMBA tonight! I still have a blast at the class. I've also found a half an hour of it on Fit TV. I just need to DVR it and see how it is! My daughter wants to try, too, so it would be fun to do it together in the living room!

I feel good, I look good, and I'm truly happy. All is right with my world...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOTIV8TEDMOM23 10/7/2010 8:54PM

    Sounds like a great day!!! What a way to end the day - with Zumba!! Love it. I had Zumba tonight. Now it's time for my Wii Fit Challenge - Super Hula, Soccer Heading and Perfect 10.

Keep up the great work!!

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APMAC_D 10/6/2010 10:41AM

    Wonderful- I love the great upbeat way of looking at everything. I also adore ZUMBA it is such a fun way to burn those calories.

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NATURALLYJJ 10/5/2010 1:21PM

    The weather is so enjoyable and incredible now. I too love the smell of rain and a freshly washed world. Hope your day ends as fantastically as it began.

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KAMAPERRY 10/5/2010 12:05PM

    I love happy blogs!!!!! Your day sounds wonderful!! I need to get some of that Dove chocolate! emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 10/5/2010 11:43AM

    I too am digging the weather change, and literally digging in the yard. I've gotten so used to the smog that fresh air smells alien

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Hello, is it me you're looking for?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Great line from a Lionel Richie song...

It's been awhile since I've blogged so I just wanted to give a few updates:

1) I broke my plateau a couple of weeks ago and am now down below 152. It feels great. I've increased my strength training and the cut in my arms and thighs are AWESOME!

2) Kevin and his mother had a blow out over Thanksgiving. Really, it's not about Thanksgiving, but about her drinking and overall health, which Kevin will no longer ignore. Her answer to everything is, "I'm fine," which is absolute horsesh**. She's a 3x and drinks a large bottle of southern comfort a week. It's ridiculous. She already has at least three or four pre-diabetes indicators, so sitting back and ignoring how badly she treats her body is not something Kevin is willing to do anymore. She doesn't like it, and I think that's mostly because, like everything else, if she doesn't talk about it, it doesn't exist. There is no resolution, but Kevin will not give any ground on this, regardless of what it does to the holidays, because he's sick of watching her kill herself (especially since his dad died over a year ago).

3) The friendship I wrote about awhile ago is officially over. I apologized for what my part in the misunderstanding was, but the friend refused to acknowledge how hurtful and tactless her part of it was. When we tried to resolve things, she became nasty and spiteful. I was able to walk away from the friendship with absolutely no guilt and no sadness. Her true colors came out in the way she handled the conflict with me, and for the first time, I realized I had done the right thing by rising above her attitude and spite. Yay me!

4) A colleague at work is doing everything she can to sabotage me, but I've been in close contact with my boss. Her attempts to make me look bad are only making her look bad. It's really unfortunate because she could be a really good teacher if she weren't so angry and bitter that our administrator has changed. The previous administrator was forced to retire two school years ago because he embezzled funds from the other school where he was principal. Our new principal a) is all about education and has been for the thirty years he's been in our district, and b) is being closely watched by the district to make sure no more improprieties are committed her, and c) expects teachers to actually teach and not just sit and grade packet work all day. This gal has allied herself with another teacher who is very negative toward our principal and is close to retirement. That she isn't allying herself with the principal and the teachers who he actually respects and likes is totally beyond me. The only consolation is that I do not feel afraid of her efforts to undermine me because she can't do it. She isn't that powerful and I'm not going to give her that power.

5) My aunt (only 7 years older than me) and my cousin are making a quick trip to San Diego for work. We're going to get to see each other on Sunday when all the work obligations are over. My family is so excited - we love San Diego and we haven't seen my family from Ohio in over two years. They've never been to San Diego so we're going to take them to Old Town for some great Mexican food and shopping! Can't wait.

6) My life is good. I feel great. I'm living a healthy lifestyle. I have tons of energy and positivity. I'm living large - living out loud - living it up!

Go grab so good life for yourself, Sparkers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOTIV8TEDMOM23 10/3/2010 10:32AM

    emoticon Good for you!!! So glad that Kevin is taking a stand with his Mom - as much as you don't want to alienate her - you don't want to lose her more. For the sake of love - sometimes you must be tough.

Sorry about the friendship - but you're right - you took the high road. Your family must be first and you can't let a friendship belittle one of your children or hurt them in any way. emoticon

I hate the office politics too. Good for you being aware and smart to protect yourself.

Hope you have a fantastic visit with your family this weekend! We're hoping to get out to California sometime soon with the family. No relatives there - just want to see it.

Here's to a terrific life and living strong!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 10/2/2010 5:49PM

    don't you just hate politics in the workplace
you can badger Mom but don't expect any changes, alcoholics are stubborn people and if it isn't THEIR idea to change then they won't

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KAMAPERRY 10/1/2010 11:48AM

    Awww!!! You are in such a good place!!!! Congrats on breaking the plateau!! Sorry about your friend, but I agree you did what you could.
You know, I agree with Kevin. Hard to say, but you can't watch loved ones kill themselves and be ok with it.
That situation at work hopefully will resolve itself, sounds like your coworker is digging herself into a hole.
Enjoy your family!! You made me homesick for Old Town! emoticon

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