MISSG180   114,688
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MISSG180's Recent Blog Entries

Dealing with winter

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I've seen many blog entries and team posts from people who are irked with themselves because of the weather over the last few days. They are berating themselves for the impulse to curl up by a warm fire and stay out of the cold.

I lived in Alaska for two decades. So I feel fully qualified to give advice on this subject. And my advice is:


A little hibernation at the worst of the storms is no bad thing. But just like the squirrels and other "semi-hibernate" critters, when it warms up is time to take FULL advantage of outdoor activity! Don't scold at yourself for what you didn't do in the last few days; that's counterproductive! Instead, revel in the coming weekend of warm temps and scurry about doing All The Things until the cold descends upon us again.

Seasonality exists; we just have to recognize and take advantage of it! It's supposed to be in the high 40s and even the 50s for a lot of Northeasterners over this weekend. And you know what? That's a *great* time for "gathering nuts." Go for a run, or a bike ride. Get out in the relative warmth. Rejoice in the sun while it's here.

And then, when we go back into the drecks of JanuFeb, be okay with your hibernation instincts for a couple weeks. Lower the intensity of your workouts if you just aren't feeling it. Sleep in a little. Take advantage of the darkness.

Time after time we all read articles about how lack of sleep is HUGE factor in obesity. This is your time to curl up under the covers, Just don't wreck it all by stressing yourself out over a little extra rest.

If you keep eating right, your body will reward you when the flowers bloom in spring.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INFLATED 1/15/2014 1:21PM

    I watch a TV show called Mountain Men. They are out on their snowmobiles trapping in extreme cold. We are warned on the weather channel that in some situations, the skin can freeze in 10 minutes and cause frostbite.

I have tried to learn ways to exercise indoors due to the fluctuation in temperatures during the winter months. My doctor said to go "up" the steps from the basement, I think she told me 40 times was 2 miles. Only going up counts.

You are right about sleep though. If I get in 10 minutes of exercise a day, I am content.

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JANETRIS 1/10/2014 4:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 1/9/2014 11:16AM


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MSANITAL 1/9/2014 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/8/2014 11:43PM

    Excellent advice MissG!

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ASK_STRATMAN 1/8/2014 10:53PM

    It's funny, but when my Dad was stationed at Fort Richardson, I don't remember being cold, I mean really cold. But now, in Cleveland Ohio the temperature drops and I am grabbing every blanket, pair of socks and gloves I can find. I think being in Alaska made me used to it where in Cleveland the weather changes every 5 minutes (or less).

Thank you for your words of wisdom!

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Cutting back on computer time

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Once again I'm finding myself sucked into the computer for far too many hours. This year I want to read more books and do more crafts, not just stare at this screen all evening. It's a real time-sink for me, and I have to get away from that.

The problem is that when being on the computer is also your livelihood, it's really easy to let the hours of work and the hours of checking social media kind of mush together. I am probably going to have to actually shut off the social meda sites for certain hours of the day in order to get myself away from the computer in a timely fashion.

Today, I have very little work and lots of stuff to do around the house: take down the tree, put together the exercise bike, get the snow blown so I can go pick up my CSA. So I'm running through my Spark time now, then getting busy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 1/10/2014 3:48PM

    I hear you loud and clear! I also want t0 get back to the basics and let go of computer time a bit. I wish all the best on your goals! emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/9/2014 10:42PM

    I have been limiting my spark time and facebook time as well. its the only way I can accomplish anything around here. we got rid of our tv a few years ago. well, we can watch Netflix, but we get no actual tv stations. that was a great move for us and we don't miss it one bit!

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CTUPTON 1/5/2014 2:50PM

    emoticon emoticon chris

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MSANITAL 1/3/2014 9:47AM

    Good idea and I so can relate I love that my lap top has a two hour battery and most of the time when I get on it the battery is only half charged which leaves me an hour then I shut it and pick up a magazine or do something that needs to be done.. I think in the winter it is so easy to sit here and type away but for me it is better then going into the kitchen.. I guess with anything I do I got to try to find that common ground.. LOL
keep up the good work ..

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DELHSI 1/3/2014 12:55AM

    Social media can be a magnet for so many. For me, I've never gotten into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so many others. Sparkpeople is really the only social media I have. Balance in everything though and it can be a challenge. So, I hope you get a good book read and squeeze in some crafts.


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QUEENMOXIE 1/2/2014 11:19PM

    I know how you feel. I've cut back myself. Love the background. Vincent's blue period...starry night....Is that how your life is feeling....swirling around you? Ha...Every day I wonder whether I should continue with SP or not...I'm doing great weight wise...but my spark just isn't there. Anyway...do what you need to do... emoticon

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NANHBH 1/2/2014 10:38PM

    I hear you. While I love social media, including Sparking, it is a time trap. Everything in moderation!

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TATTER3 1/2/2014 10:30PM

    Just keep sparkin'!!

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MUGGLEMUM 1/2/2014 8:55PM

    I feel the same way. I want to read more, get more done----but the computer sort of sucks me in. And, as you said, the worst is that I work on the computer all day, so when I come home and I have to finish up things at home---ugh. I'm thinking about quitting social media all together, but I keep in touch with family this way.

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DOGLADY13 1/2/2014 4:12PM

    I don't mind using social media. The Hubster and I don't own a TV and haven't for the 26 years we are together. If we want to see a show or movie, we watch Netflix or Google Play and it isn't that often. Since I don't spend the time on TV, I don't mind losing an hour in front of the computer. I've lived in so many different parts of the US and Facebook and twitter help me stay in touch with many friends that we've made over the years.

Of course, when I get busy my personal email and SparkPeople are the first casualties. My personal email gets the boot because it just does. SpearkPeople gets the boot because I value my friendships here so much that I won't short change them. I'd rather be absent for a couple of weeks and then spend a Saturday catching up than to skim everyone's responses. You guys are like family to me.

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NATPLUMMER 1/2/2014 1:33PM

    I know how you feel.

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MILPAM3 1/2/2014 12:40PM

  Yes, that old computer has magnets, doesn't it. emoticon

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ARNETTELEE 1/2/2014 12:07PM

  That's great...save time for sparking, though!

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Farewell, unlucky '13

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Yesterday evening, hubby and I took down the 2013 calendar and wrote on it every horrible thing that happened. Then at 11:30, we and all our party guests went outside in the falling snow and burned 2013 and all it's dreadfulness in effigy.

Afterward, we came inside, opened a really fine bottle of Scotch, and watched the ball drop. As soon as the toasts and hugs were over, my dark-haired friend headed out the back door and we all waited for his reappearance at the front door. He knocked, and we heralded him with drink and cheers.

I feel good about 2014. Cheers, everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 1/3/2014 8:15AM

    That seems like a fine way to say goodbye to an awful year. I hope 2014 is exponentially better!

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TATTER3 1/2/2014 10:32PM

    LOL..yea you!!! Keep Sparkin'!!

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NATPLUMMER 1/2/2014 10:52AM


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PELESJEWEL 1/2/2014 4:48AM

    emoticon lHere's to 2014!

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NANHBH 1/1/2014 8:35PM

    Love it! Gotta find me a dark-haired man before the end of the year!

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MUGGLEMUM 1/1/2014 8:10PM

    How very fun and ceremonious! Best wishes for a fabulous 2014! emoticon

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Gonna start 2014 right

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

There is an old Welsh new year tradition called First Footing. It calls for the first person to enter your home in the new year to be a dark-haired man, to whom you immediately offer a drink. It is supposed to ensure good luck for the coming year.

I have been First Footing the house every year for a decade. What I do, immediately after midnight, is to collar a dark-haired guest and send him out the back door of the house. He walks around to the front door, knocks, and I let him in, drink to offer in hand, while the rest of the guests laugh and cheer.

Except last year. Right after midnight on Jan. 1, 2013, a female couple arrived and entered the house before I could get my dark-haired man out the back door.

"Oh, well," I thought. "It's just a silly superstition. It doesn't really mean anything."

And then, we had 2013. A year filled with health crises and deaths. It was terrible.

So tonight, you can be certain that I will have a dark-haired guest's shirt clutched in my grasp as we count down the last 10 seconds. He will be *flung* out that back door, and greeted with great gusto when he reaches the front.

Between that and burning 2013 in effigy, I'm hoping to bring in a much better year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 1/1/2014 5:30PM

How did it go? Did you find your dark-haired man to "fling" out the back door?

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DOGLADY13 1/1/2014 4:23PM

    I have a couple of Spark Friends who have had "A Year." I pray that your dark haired man came through at midnight.

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SOKKERNUT 1/1/2014 12:49PM

    Very cool tradition. Hope you got your man! emoticon

Happy New Year!

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NATPLUMMER 1/1/2014 9:14AM


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    I hope it works

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TATTER3 12/31/2013 3:37PM

    My dark haired men are all gray now...lol...no luck here!

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HAPPYMENOW58 12/31/2013 12:51PM

    Best wishes for the new Year! And thanks for sharing!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 12/31/2013 12:40PM

    May this year be better for you! I know I wish it to be for all of us!

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ALICIA214 12/31/2013 12:22PM


The First Footing I am familiar with is the first person to cross your threshold at
midnight carries some salt and a piece of coal...

Happy New Year...

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BATCHICK 12/31/2013 11:59AM

    2013 was rough for me and mine as well, i'm glad for a fresh start!

wishing you a happy new year!

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Tired of stress: have some gingerbread

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yesterday we visited the Cleveland Botanical Gardens because they had up their annual display of gingerbread houses. Here are some of the highlights.

This church won the grand prize:

Check out the stained glass detail:

There was a paddlewheeler, and a lighthouse to keep it safe:

The fantasy world was represented by Hobbiton, Hogwarts, and a dragon:

And houses from two of my favorite movies. The house from UP, complete with balloons:

And the house from "A Christmas Story," complete with leg lamp:

These were just some of the highlights of an amazing collection. Hope you enjoy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 1/1/2014 5:38PM

    How cool! Wish this were closer to me. I'd love to see it in person, but thanks for the photos.

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GARDENQE2 12/31/2013 12:01PM

    Beautiful! Such talent and imagination!
In Prescott Arizona, they have a huge gingerbread house display as well.
I never miss it, even though I'm afraid I gain weight just from breathing the sugar-filled air!
Best wishes!

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MANDYLOVE_76 12/31/2013 10:20AM


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CAKEMAKERMOM 12/30/2013 1:48PM


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TATTER3 12/29/2013 10:17PM

    Love this!! I got a kit to finish with GS of a rice crispie train and a ginger bread train. He loves Thomas so this will be up his alley. thanks for sharing! Too fun.

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JANETRIS 12/29/2013 6:56PM

    Such fun! I love gingerbread houses. Thanks for the great pics! emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 12/29/2013 6:38PM


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    Wow that mmust have taken alot of time...how beautiful and ymumy looking

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STEVIEBEE569 12/29/2013 3:54PM

    Very creative

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MARILYNROBERT 12/29/2013 3:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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.DUSTY. 12/29/2013 3:01PM

    Unbelievable the talent! Thanks for the photos!

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OURELEE1 12/29/2013 2:56PM

  Thanks may I ask where the display is located at

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