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The garden

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

With my back being injured, there is no way that I could safely clean up the yard for the summer. And boy did it need it: I did nothing in the line of fall cleanup, what with all the health crises going on. So we got a lawn service in to do a thorough cleanup, trimming, and general un-disastering of the yard, front, back, and side. It looks better than it has in a couple years.

And my first reaction to it all was to be really sad.

Poor hubby was distressed. "I don't know how to help you be happy!" he said. I didn't know, either. It made no sense, because I'd gotten what I wanted, and what I didn't have the physical capability of accomplishing myself.

But I realized that the process of cleaning up, as much as I thought I disliked it, had meaning for me. And not being able to do it, even when I can objectively see that I would not have done nearly as thorough a job, left me feeling a little hollow.

Fortunately, they did leave me one section of work that needs to be done: the ivy along the driveway and the narrow bed in which I plant my herbs that runs along the driveway as well. It's not a very big job, but since I can only work at it for half an hour a day, it will take me plenty of time.

And it will get me outside. I love my house, but after this winter it feels a little like I'm stuck inside a Coleman cooler. We have small windows and not much natural light--it's good for the heating bills, but psychologically wearing. I really need that sunshine. I've been outside walking at least an hour a day.

What I really need is a place to sit outside. We used to have a swing in the backyard, but it's gone now. We have no porch and no deck. And hubby isn't much for the outdoors, so just setting up a couple lawn chairs in the hopes that he will sit with me is pretty futile. He makes the valid point that he's either too hot or too cold, and at either extreme there are bugs; the chairs are less comfortable than the ones in the house and what exactly are we doing this for? But I dream of a summer kitchen kind of space. Oh well, maybe when I win the lottery!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 4/26/2014 9:55AM

    Being outside is healing. Get outside to dig in the dirt. If you have the energy, invite a neighbor over to join you for a cup of coffee and a visit outside. It all helps. The suns helps everything and everyone thrive.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 4/24/2014 12:32PM

    I to like to sit out side and in my apartment's yard outside the care taker has sat two chairs that he and my hubby sit in now and than.

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TTLEELEE 4/23/2014 10:29PM

    Being out in my yarden is very much my therapy, exercise and JOY!!

My DH isn't big on just being out in the yard either. I can't figure out what kind of space would make him want to come and be outside.

I would love an outdoor "living room" because there is nothing like a good glass of wine under the sky with some music in the background. Maybe a good book, or a nap....Ahhhh Bliss!!

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MUGGLEMUM 4/22/2014 11:08PM

    I, too, like to sit outside. Even though there's more noise, it seems more peaceful. :-)

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MARILYNROBERT 4/22/2014 2:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 4/22/2014 10:59AM

    I know exactly how you feel about being outside and working in the garden. It makes me happy every time, no matter how hard the work is.

I'm glad you have some tasks you can do yourself. Maybe some pots of flowers that could you put together would be fun too. They could surround a nice comfy lounge chair for you to relax and read in...let DH stay inside!

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NATPLUMMER 4/22/2014 10:27AM


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HILLSLUG98239 4/22/2014 10:25AM

    I understand. While I want something to be done, I also want the sense of accomplishment of having done it myself. Our garden really suffered last year because of Jim's 150-mile round trip commute and my commuting by bike. We've pledged to put more effort into it this year, but I'm also lowering my expectations.

There's something calming about sitting outside. Our front porch is mostly shaded during the summer. The patio in back is on the north side of the house, but it still gets really hot. We're building a pergola this spring. We have grapes on the west side of the patio, and it's our plan to trail them up the west side of the pergola to provide shade. I'm planning to paint a "carpet" on the concrete. My hope is to make an outdoor room that will be cooler than the bare concrete patio is now.

I hope you win the lottery.

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Injured, and sad

Friday, April 04, 2014

I am having a very bad day. I just got back from the physical therapist. She thinks I have a bulging disc. That means for now no biking, no lap swimming, no free weights, no running for now. I can walk at a moderate pace, walk in the swimming pool, and use the weight machines. Low weight, high reps for endurance. I have to admit it, I got a little weepy. I'm pretty devastated. She encouraged me that she thinks it's manageable, and that I can work back up to those things once we get the swelling out of the disc and build up my core. But I just want to cry.

Rebecca and her family are leaving for Disneyworld on Sunday for their Make-a-Wish. She has been rejected for all research studies, so when they get back from Disney we will just be waiting for the final degeneration. At this point, you'd never guess she was sick. It's heartbreaking to see this lively, funny, adorable five-year-old running around in a body that doesn't know that her brain is a grenade waiting to go off. It just doesn't seem real that we can't do anything to save her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSHAR7 4/9/2014 6:51PM

    Oh my!!! I will pray for this little girl. I'm so sorry for your back problems. I can't imagine not being able to do the things you want to do. Prayers for you too.

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NATPLUMMER 4/6/2014 8:45AM


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DOGLADY13 4/5/2014 8:02PM

    No words. Just sending comforting vibes across the ether.


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JANETRIS 4/5/2014 2:06PM

    You will come back stronger from all of this. We do get better at coping with the tragedy in our lives.... emoticon

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BERKANAFAIRY 4/5/2014 11:47AM

    I'm so sorry you are having a tough time. I've been sick since last summer, and I eventually had to give up all my physical activities, but I'm now on the mend and taking baby steps to get back to where I was. Last summer I could walk a 20km, now I'm just glad to be doing 3km! Have patience, don't push too hard, you'll get there in the end.

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    I'm sorry about your injury. I've been there and it's very hard to have such limitations when you like to be active. You really learn the meaning of patience during times like these. emoticon

And I'm sorry that sweet little Rebecca won't get well. She is truly loved and that's so very important. emoticon

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.DUSTY. 4/5/2014 12:21AM

    I'm so sorry about your back! I'm wondering though if you're putting a lot of your sadness about Rebecca towards your back? Making you feel way worse than you otherwise would normally be? Does that make sense?

Just take care and do what your doctor says.

Big emoticon

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MSANITAL 4/4/2014 8:01PM

    I think it was you who told me to listen to my body when I tore my knee and I know it easier said then doing it and yea I know how you feel about not being able to work out.. .my downtime I did try to keep my self busy.. it is hard but.. you will get through it and before you know it you will be back at all your activities

I am sorry about Rebecca and I have been saying a prayer for her everyday.. I cannot imagine being told that they cannot do anything for this.. no treatment what so ever? no radiation? no drug..? I know there is all different types of cancers I knew two children that had these one did survive and the other she lost her fight.. sometimes it makes me so bad when they say there is nothing that can be done, and that is the time we need to pray more.. which I will for her

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JUSTME9898 4/4/2014 5:24PM

    Be careful with your back - I sneezed and turned a bulging disc into a ruptured disc and was almost paralyzed. Do exactly what the therapist tells you. I had back surgery 30 years ago and after a long time healing I have not had any reoccurring problems.
My prayers and wishes for Rebecca.

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TIME4MJ 4/4/2014 5:07PM

    Hi, I spotted your blog and just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I understand how set backs, especially in the midst of worrying about a child, can seem huge. Please take good care of yourself and know that with some time and patience you will be able to go back to your favorite exercises.

Regarding Rebecca, I am so sorry to hear that. I cannot imagine the pain of watching a child go through what you've described. I can, however, pray for you all, and I will. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Blessings to you and yours,


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No benchpressing a Volkswagen for me

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Yesterday after I wrote about my 30 days in the gym streak, I put out my back something fierce. No gym, not even any dog walking. Fortunately I already have an appointment to see the doctor today. But I also have to make a court appearance on behalf of a client and meet with a new client. It's goingto be a long, long day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 4/3/2014 5:22PM

    The Volkswagens will be relieved.

Take care of your back. I hope it's less cranky soon.

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    Feel better soon and know that you are in great shape so the time off won't be a bad thing. emoticon

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DOGLADY13 4/2/2014 4:37PM

    So continue your challenge when your back recovers.

Back pain is stinky. I hope you recover quickly. I am a recent convert to epsom salts baths. They are magic. I don't know how it works, but they definitely ease muscle soreness and pain.

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2WHEELER 4/2/2014 1:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 4/2/2014 11:15AM


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JJARAMILO 4/2/2014 10:42AM

    Very Gentle Hugs emoticon

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    Poor you. Back pain is horrific, I hope you get better soon xx

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ANDREWMOM 4/2/2014 9:10AM

    Hope you get better!!! Try to have a good day!

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30 days in

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

So, Iím 30% through my hundred-days-at-the-gym commitment. What are the results so far?

-Iíve gained 2 pounds
-I am not able to lift appreciably heavier weights
-Other than swimming, I am not appreciably faster
-Lifting on Sunday, I twinged my old shoulder injury which made me temporarily lose control of the weight and pulled muscles on my left side in my arm and my chest wall that keep giving my twinges that make me scared itís my heart (yes, I am going to the doctor tomorow to get myself checked out, but taking Advil made it go away yesterday evening, so Iím not too worried)
-I have improved my abs so that I can do 3 sets of 10 leglifts on the captainís chair, whereas at the beginning I could only do 3 sets of 5

What is my analysis of these results? It would be easy to be discouraged, because the markers that we generally look for are not there. But Iím looking at it a different way. I was already walking quite a bit and lifting, though not with regularity and discipline. So my fitness in these areas was already pretty good. Therefore, itís not actually surprising to not see much change in so short a time, since my baseline in those areas was already high.

My swimming speed and my abs, however, were abysmal. I hadnít been swimming since last summer, and I hadnít been doing ab work. So itís not surprising that I saw quick improvement in those areas because my baseline was really low.

When we see a story about someone who made vast improvements in their fitness really quickly, they usually involve either someone who was not involved in fitness at all prior to their effort, or someone already in great shape who is now making fitness pretty much their full-time job (Iím thinking of actor training up for physical roles where they spend 6 weeks in intense training and such). If a person is starting from a position of ďalready working out and in reasonable shape,Ē then the changes that upping that workout time will bring are going to be less dramatic.

Which is to say, yes it would be awesome to say that my cardio fitness went through the roof and I can now benchpress a Volkswagen. But also not a realistic expectation. My improvements are smaller, but they are there. And they will continue to grow.

If my approach to fitness was one that focused on weightloss and dress size, I would probably be discouraged, regard it all as a failure, and be tempted to quit. But because I am focused on health and activities like triathlons, I am still feeling very positive about my accomplishments.

And now it's time to get to the gym.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 4/2/2014 8:01AM

    Well said, Miss G.

And: please post pictures of you benchpressing that Volkswagon, when you get there. emoticon

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RHOOK20047 4/2/2014 7:20AM

    Great determination! Keep at it and don't be discouraged! You can do it! Consistency will breed success! emoticon

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MSANITAL 4/1/2014 8:32PM

    Love your determination... your building fitness everyday and that is what is so important .. keep up the great work.. hope your shoulder heals give it time listen to your body and your doc..

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SECRETKEL 4/1/2014 4:55PM

    I love your attitude! Great work! emoticon emoticon

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DOGLADY13 4/1/2014 4:29PM

    Huzzah! Stick with it. You are too far in to not finish.


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NATPLUMMER 4/1/2014 1:57PM


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MANDYLOVE_76 4/1/2014 1:47PM

    You can do it. Keep it up.

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JUSGETTENBY42 4/1/2014 11:51AM


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Spark People reset?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In all of my groups months of messages have just disappeared. Weirdness. I hope this is temporary!

EDIT: It's all straightened out now. Must have been a glitch!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 3/29/2014 4:09PM

    I no longer get any notifications from Spark. I think Yahoo looks at it as SPAM. I checked and rechecked my settings....I don't know.....

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NATPLUMMER 3/27/2014 10:45AM


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MSANITAL 3/27/2014 7:29AM

    UGH emoticon

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.DUSTY. 3/26/2014 11:58PM

    What makes you think that? I just checked our Team 300 and didn't notice anything.

I think they just did an update archive yesterday. Back one year from 3/25/13. But that's on the Message Board Forums.

Maybe they're thinking about doing something like that on the SparkTeams?

Message Board Archives (Open in new window, link, tab or copy and paste.)


Most of them go back to 8/2002! I've been meaning to take time and read some of them for fun.

Hopefully they'll show back up and it was just a glitch.

I found this from 1/2011
They (messages SparkTeams) will stay on there forever. If it is a message board though, if it hasn't been posted on in a while (I believe around 6 months), the message board is archived, but still on the site.

Posted by Coach Denise

Comment edited on: 3/27/2014 12:06:04 AM

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WILSHAR7 3/26/2014 11:13PM

    Sorry. Can't help you. I don't know what could have happened.

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DOGLADY13 3/26/2014 10:38PM


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