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First Dragonfly of the season! It is truly Spring!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I witnessed a miracle of nature today!

Our little backyard pond is home to dragonfly nymphs and the first one this season chose today to emerge from the pond and transform into a dragonfly. It is an amazing process that takes several hours as they crawl out of the water and attach to a plant stalk. Then they break out of their nymph body, uncurl their legs and wings and slowly energize their body in the warmth of the sun. They start out very pale looking and this variety turn bright red as the process takes place. I saw him or her take off over the rooftops upon completion of the transformation process. I felt awe and wonder being witness to such a profound event.

In the images you can see both the dragonfly and the nymph body that it emerged from. Amazing!

Here at Spark People we are all in a state of continual transformation as we achieve the goals that we set for ourselves. I feel that same sense of wonder, awe and humility being witness to each member's successes as well.

May you ALL continue to soar Dear Spark Friends! :) Janet

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAPTOR 5/4/2013 7:47PM

    Very, very touching and cool sight to witness. Better than stopping to smell the roses, is to see a wonderous transformation of life. (not that the rose is a bad thing, it has its place too)

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HANNAHV 5/31/2012 9:12AM

    Truly a wonderful sight! nature is amazing...and once you get back to nature, you find your soul there. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELAINEANNE1 4/8/2012 1:42PM

    Great photo

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JLWOF1 5/5/2011 7:09AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing!

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FRISBY0 5/4/2011 6:13PM

    Wow, thanks for sharing that! I don't know where you are, but I need to know that spring is coming sometime here too~in SW WI, we just had temps in the 30's again and sunshine is fleeting. My lilacs have buds but spring is taking its sweet time this year. I'm not one to complain about winter or the cold but it's May 4th already, let's go!

Savoring your dragonfly pic and hoping to see my own some day....

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MADAMES 5/4/2011 3:02PM

    Thank you for sharing these photos and your journal. Nothing made with human hands can approximate the wonders of nature!

emoticon emoticon

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WEDDWT 5/4/2011 2:09PM

    Wow, what an amazing thing for you to witness! Thank you so much for sharing the photos! When I read this I went to get my journal that I've been keeping this Spring and here is my entry for 4/11: heard red-bellied woodpecker drumming and frogs croaking, saw my first dragonfly of Spring, a large turtle camouflaged at the edge of pond by bridge, and an Eastern wood pewee....
Who knew that when I saw my 1st dragonfly a month later I would see pictures of YOUR 1st dragonfly! And how they emerge! Amazing!
A friend is writing and illustrating a children's book, on each page she painted a dragonfly...Do I have your permission to send your blog to her? (tho I have a feeling we cannot copy and paste blogs...?) I think the pictures would astound her and she'd have a great appreciation for the text!

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New Feathered Family Members!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We have a new group of feathered family members at our house. They are bantam chicks of three different breeds and are a birthday gift from a friend of DH's. Just in time for Easter our house is filled with the sounds of happy peeps and chirps.

I am enjoying them so much that I decided to share them here in Sparkland. You may wonder what they have to do with weight loss or maintenance. I have come to understand that continuing to see and feel the wonders of life all around us (even in the midst of challenges) is what fuels happiness for me. When I am happy I take better care of myself and those around me.

Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are 6 week old hens and will be transferred to the outdoor henhouse when they are old enough and it is warm enough to live outside.

May you all pursue and enjoy the things in life that keep you the Happiest and Healthiest!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HANNAHV 5/31/2012 9:06AM

    You are so blessed! love the names and breed-tough and hardy.

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NISSANGIRL 5/4/2011 6:45AM

    Cute! emoticon

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VEGEFARMER 4/14/2011 1:39AM

    Janet, hi................ thanks for the comment on my feedbac thingy........... LOL
Luv the new additions to the family and their names. The sounds of their peeping must be so sweet to hear and I agree with you on how you take better care of yourself and others when you are happy.
BTW............ how is daisy.

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WEDDWT 4/13/2011 10:49AM

    Cute baby pix of the chix!
You are so right about the wonders of life all around us. This Spring I started a journal of nature discoveries on my daily walks around the lake. It just takes a minute to jot them all down when I get back to the car, but this Winter I'm hoping to be able to read my lists and see the beauty all over again!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 4/13/2011 10:38AM

    We have Banty chickens! I love them!!

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Inspired by Fellow Sparker! Attitude Shift!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hello to All in Sparkland!

I was reading a couple of Blogs this morning and one of them really touched something in me. It was a Blog about a lady who had been stuck on a plateau for a long time. She was successfully tracking her food and had even taken up running with her dog. The progress tracker on her Spark Page caught her attention. It was a water scene background and a fairy godmother ticker. She realized that she needed to take more action to achieve her goals and not wait for the fairy godmother to make it happen.

A New Year is fast approaching and although I have made it to maintenance, I am ready to "kick it up a notch"! I have changed my tracker icon to a light bulb in honor of my Ah Ha moment and the background is a herd of people running. This reflects my desire for greater muscle tone and more movement. I'd like to work my way up to running in 2011 (if my knees will allow) but I will be ecstatic if I can just get up to and sustain those 10,000 steps a day!!! Attitude is so important and I AM READY!

What are you working on? And how do the symbols on your Spark Page reflect that? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THREEWHALES 4/3/2011 12:51PM

    Thanks for sharing your Aha moment!

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JIBBIE49 3/4/2011 12:16AM

    Loved reading your Sparkpage and seeing you as THE MOTIVATOR OF THE DAY. You have done great.

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WEDDWT 2/4/2011 5:41PM

    You mean the symbols on my Sparkpage are sposed to reflect something? emoticon
You are such a go-getter! That's why you are my inspiration! Congrats on kickin it up a notch. I'm still doing yur standard kickin, but a little behind (can you tell? it's almost Valentine's Day and I'm just now reading your final 2010 blog). To answer your 1st question, I am working on staying positive. This has been a challenging winter, one thing after another. Due to my decreased activity I have gained some pounds back, I think I'll edit my weight ticker...and then that would reflect the Truth on my SPage!
Continue letting your outstanding

emoticon shine!

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AZIMAT 12/28/2010 9:43AM

    Sometimes all it takes is a little spark. I had a light bulb moment too. If you want to read it check my last blog. Keep up the good work!

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GATOR12 12/14/2010 11:23AM

    Attitude IS important. When you have an aha moment you took advantage of it. You made changes emphasizing or reminding you of it and it has given you new momentum. We MUST take advantage of every opportunity to continue to challenge and use others support and encourage to "win our races". We also owe others to share those aha moments for they may be the encouragement or provide that momentum or aha for them. Thanks for taking time to share.!!!!! Brenda

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What This Thanksgiving Taught Me! Stuffing myself does not relieve Stress!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hello All!

How did you do last week on your healthy journeys? My path was a bit of a mixed bag. I did have a plan and for the four days preceding Thanksgiving, I did Great! I got in my 10,000 steps, did my strength training, stayed within my calorie range, kept up my nutrition, got proper rest, drank the water and treated myself well. Even on Thanksgiving I exercised and played some wild WII Dancing games with my niece! I planned for some indulgences and brought a healthy dish to the family dinner. All went well!

Then the day after Thanksgiving came, we got some news which caused financial upset and I came apart a little. Those leftovers in the fridge called out to me and I found myself trying to take some comfort in carbs! We had to make some emergency home repairs over the weekend and I did not have time to get in my walks and most of my good habits took time off.

On the second day, as I was chewing through a big sourdough roll, I had a flashback of holidays past. I remembered that I have often been really good at taking care of myself BEFORE the arrival of a holiday. After Thanksgiving in particular, the demands of the season have often become overwhelming to me and I have sought refuge in food. I have given up and indulged in whatever seemed appealing at the time to keep me going. But what an illusion! I never felt better and always ended the season exhausted, possibly sick and feeling terrible about myself.

No More! I felt so strong and wonderful on Thanksgiving. The good habits are becoming more appealing than the sloppy ones. And I have some new strategies!
1. No leftovers (especially the sweet stuff & zero fiber bread) in the house.
2. Get in daily exercise Early (before other demands take over).
3. Have a meal plan of healthy foods that I LOVE in place for the days following a holiday.
4. Do something fun just for me 10-30 min. daily. Like playing with the dogs, reading, taking a warm bath, playing a game,
tending the garden, etc.
5. Make the commitment in writing to myself or join a Spark People challenge to help me stay on track!
Simple yet powerful!

Here we stand on the brink of a brand new month!
Now I have even less fear of the holidays to come.
I am prepared with a plan and I know a bit more about myself and my tendencies. I feel freer to enjoy my family and friends and the true spirit of the holidays instead of hiding in the next sugary treat!

Blessings to All as you learn about yourselves!
Enjoy this Blessed Season! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEGEFARMER 11/30/2010 4:14PM

    Another good blog, Thanks for sharing, I love getting ideas from others to help me stay on track.

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WEDDWT 11/30/2010 1:50PM

    I just recd some news that bums me out, I was diagnosed with shingles. I can't go to the pool because of the eruptions, this means more pain plus the pain from the virus (chickenpox, you know). I too will try not to resort to food to comfort my distress. I'm keeping my nutrition a priority and will remain positive and try to relax. That's the plan. Thanks for sharing your strategies, Janet!

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NAJENA 11/30/2010 11:11AM

  You have learned a valuable lesson that will take you far. Yep one day at a time. emoticon

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JANNIEWANNIE 11/30/2010 11:10AM

    I am slowly letting healthy habits become my preference. Old habits do die hard, don't they? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Have a great day. Hugs from Janet in central Illinois

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/30/2010 9:46AM


Our journey never ends!

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Learning Something New About Myself & Exercise!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I just realized tonight as I was high steppin' around my kitchen while preparing a nutritious dish for Thanksgiving dinner, that I am learning something new this week. My commitment to lead the Shake, Rattle, & Roll for the holidays challenge on By The Numbers Team is pushing me toward the achievement of some formerly unachieved goals. Most significantly, the consistent achievement of 10,000 steps a day. The challenge started on Sun. Nov. 21st and runs until Sun. Jan. 2. So far I am 4 for 4 in this 43 day challenge but it has not come easily. I have had to take at least a couple of lengthy walks a day, beg my husband to walk with me at night and even strut around the house for extended periods
to get it done. I have refused to end the day without getting in my steps.

Tonight, as I marched around the kitchen, that 'ol light bulb in the head went off. It said, "Wow, this is familiar! It's just like
learning how to stay within your calorie range and finding the foods that work for you!" It is true! I am learning how to fit those 10,000 steps into MY life. It also means that just as I learned that I had to plan menus and shop ahead for healthy foods, I have to plan to exercise and discover ways to find those 10,000 steps every day that work for me. It is so simple and yet so profound!

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 11/25/2010 10:18PM

    Great blog! I voted for it. Good for you for finding a way to get those 10000 steps in.

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VEGEFARMER 11/25/2010 8:14PM

    Hey Janet, I am pushing myself to do the 10,000 a day as well. most days it is all good but there are some that i need to work on.
Keep going. Hugs

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UMUCGRAD 11/25/2010 2:58PM

    Good for you! I found myself dancing while washing dishes yesterday. What a difference when it's a lifestyle and not a diet. Keep up those 10,000 steps a day.

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MUSHCAT 11/25/2010 4:56AM

    Soon you'll find yourself dancing while brushing your teeth! The best way to lose it is to move it.
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Comment edited on: 11/25/2010 4:57:34 AM

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SOPKAMANJU 11/25/2010 4:04AM

    emoticonyou are inspiring me to go walking. emoticon

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TENACIOUSTRISH 11/25/2010 3:34AM

    I am very happy for you and keep up the wonderful work. Its difficult to stick to the plan during the holidays but you can do it...just believe in yourself. Trust me, I have to!

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