Saturday, August 10, 2013
No...this is NOT an interesting blog. Just thought I'd report on my non-interesting, but tiring day.
I should have taken "before" pictures...but IT was so ugly, I would have been embarrased.
I'm talking about the wood-tiered, re-bar "infested" flower box implanted by the former owners of my house. Judging from the number of re-bars inserted into the wood tiers, the owners felt certain this flower box would be permanent. Sadly, time and weather has a way with wood. So I have this rotting, re-bar infested flower box. It's 3 separate tiers high, 6 feet wide, and 10 feet long.
Because it's rotting so badly, I thought I'd just be able to yank the wood beams out. Nope! It's "Re-Bar City" in there!!!! It's not budging.
So today I started my deconstruction. Mind you, I'm OLD lady. I got out my handy-dandy shovel, and my "Sawz-All" saw. I started digging out all the dirt, weeds, and dead flowers from the first tier. Notice, I said...STARTED! Three hours (count them...3 hrs) later, I managed to get MOST of the dirt, weeds and dead flowers out of the first tier with my handy-dandy little shovel.
Next came the "Sawz-All" for the one portion that was fairly cleared.
First...check...any evidence of re-bar in intended area? Nope.
Oh, this is going to be easy because the wood is rotted...right? Wrong! The Sawz-All only wants to go part way through before it starts vibrating to the point my arm-flaps are jiggling at 90 miles per hour. AND it's not going to go any deeper. So then I have to cut into the first cut at an angle. I'm beginning to feel like a lumberjack. Whoo Hoo!
First cut done. Yank!!! Oh no...besides re-bar; there's giant screws! Really????
Okay...so I finally got most of the dirt out of the first tier, and I finally managed to get the wood tiers off 2 sides of the first tier.
I'm TIRED. I'm HOT, I'm SWEATY. I CAN'T SEE through my glasses. My legs are SORE. My back is KILLING me...........I'm going in.
But the real killer????? SparkPeople doesn't give you points for lumberjacking!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Why haven't I been on SparkPeople? I can't even remeber the last time I was on SparkPeople...a little over 3 months??? I've always enjoyed SparkPeople, but...
I got caught up. Too many things. When I retired I thought I'd have lots of time to do as I pleased. But then I found out I didn't know how to say 'NO" and was soon on many committees. All good!! All needful!!!
But then I started to grow weary...
When you grow weary, you start to become lax...yes...including eating and exercise habits. And yes...I've gained...a little.
Finally...I grabbed the "reins". As of the end of THIS year, I will be off two committees that took a lot of my time. That will still leave me with three. Hopefully my time will be more manageable. Even though it may sound as though I'm complaining, I'm not as I've enjoyed every moment and felt very uplifted with each.
I just added a photo to my photo album, which I'll repeat here. It needs explanation:
This is one of the committees that remains very dear to my heart and will continue to work many hours on. This was a Park that was dedicated to the public back in 1929. For many years it was a very vibrant park, but then a slow and steady decline started. Without going into detail here in this blog, it was soon going to be given to an organization, while a worthy one, would not have benefitted the public as much as retaining it as a park. We had to go through Court to keep it as a park. In the two years since we've had raffles, yard sales, t-shirt sales, etc. (YES...BUSY, BUSY, BUSY...EAT, EAT, EAT). We are now in the process of restoring the park. We've been clearing brush, cutting dead trees, will be replacing the roof on the existing pavilion, the Eagle Scouts are repairing the "restrooms", we'll be putting in a nature trail, park benches, etc., etc. It been a LOT of work, but a LOT of fun. We hope to redidicate the park this fall. We have the 1929 newspaper article when it was first dedicated, which additionally sets forth all the games that were played and who won. We hope to repeat this in as many aspects as possible.
And now...I hope to grab the reins with my eating and exercise habits...once gain.
Hope to be chatting more with my good ol' SparkFriends.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I haven't blogged much and this won't be much of a blog. This is more just "my thinking or rambling".
I haven't walked in a while and I miss it. I hadn't walked, in part, due to the rains we've received over the last several days. Most of it was remnants of tropical storm Lee, but there were other weather fronts that also produced rain. I've dumped 10-1/2" inches from my rain gauge. That's a lot of rain, but fortunately it was over several days and I've not really been affected by it...other than I will have a horrible time when I can finally push-mow my lawn. The grass is about 8" high. I'm not alone...all my neighbors will have the same problem. It will be a "good workout"!
I hadn't walked in a while, also in part, due to the various functions I'm involved in. But I'll get to that a little later.
There's no threat for rain until later this afternoon. So I laced up my running shoes and walked out the door. WHAM! Whoo-Boy, the air is HEAVY! It's hard to breathe. Because I haven't walked in a while, I decide to take a SHORT walk down to the Juniata River. Well, actually, it's the RAYSTOWN BRANCH of the Juniata River. On my walk I get soaking wet from the trees dripping their heavy water droplets. You'd think it was raining. I decide to go to the River because it's known to flood in several areas, one of which is by Fort Bedford Park. It's about 1-1/2 miles from my home. You can see where the water was over and beyond the newly constructed Walking/Biking Trail. This particular portion has macadam and no damage. Just muddy now. You can see where it invaded the park portion but the picnic tables and kiddy rides remain intact.
Whew! This is good. But then I think about Texas and portions of Oklahoma who could use some rain. How sad. I'm praying rain comes their way to help with their parched ground and the many widespread fires. I am praying. I think about all those in other areas where the rains have exceeded flood stage records. I am praying.
The other reasons I haven't walked much of late: I like to keep busy. A part of it is due to the fact that it numbs my thinking about the deaths of my girls, my husband, my brother, my parents, and many other family members. A part is due to my just feeling so much better about myself when I help others. Therefore, I am extremely active with our local Food Outreach Bank; am co-chair of the Free Community Dinners that are put on by 7 local churces; and very active with our Church Missions group which is 75% for localized help and 25% worldwide help.
And now I recently became a member of a group that is trying to SAVE a dedicated Park. It could be the beautiful park it once was but our town fathers have had no interst in it for years. Now they want to break the restrictions of the deed and transfer to another entity. I won't go into detail, but it is taking a lot of effort and court time. If we can win and keep it as a Park, then there will be a lot of hard work to bring it back to its former glory. It's worth it!!!
I am passionate about these projects. So as long as I can remain healthy (which I am), if I miss a walk here and there, or don't exercise as I should, I won't beat myself up about it. I AM very active.
This is also a time for reflection regarding 9-ll. Like most of you, I could tell you in detail what I was doing at the time and how it affected me. I have been to Shanksville, the Flight 93 crash site. It's only 30 minutes from my home. IT IS SOBERING. I intend to go again when it's not quite so crowded. I am, and will be, praying.
FINALLY, I am praying for everyone on Spark People who may be struggling in some form,whether it's physical, mental or spiritual. Contrary to what YOU MAY be thinking: YOU CAN DO IT! GO FOR IT!
Sunday, June 05, 2011
LAST weekend was such an exciting weekend!
I had the honor of being a PART of hosting a group of 4k cyclists. It's a non-profit organization that cycles 4,000 miles across country raising cancer awareness. They do cancer education programs, health screening, visit cancer patients, cancer centers and hospices during the ride. This year there were approximately 85 riders that were split up into 3 groups:
Baltimore to San Francisco
Baltimore to Seattle
Baltimore to Portland
My church had the opportunity to host the "Baltimore to Portland" group that consisted of 25 cyclists. We were their first stop along their 4,000-mile journey. Our church has been doing this for approximately 9 years. We make arrangements for them to shower at our local high school, then we feed and make sleeping arrangements for them in our church. What an exciting group...they were SO MUCH FUN!
Below is a picture of the first group of cyclists gathering goodies at the "cold bar". At the "hot bar" we had penne pasta, spaghetti sauce, meatballs (on the side), Italian vegetables, garlic breads and hot rolls. On the cold bar we had several kinds of salads, fresh fruits, mixed nuts, etc., and cakes and apple cobbler:
After we got them "tucked in" for the night, five of us raced home for a little sleep and was back at church by 4:45 a.m. to make their breakfast of pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit cocktail (homemade), yogurts, and the like.
Below is a picture of the entire 4k group, plus ME in my "trusty apron" (the OLD one in the front row) and another of our cooking group (last row in green). The group is happy...they had a FILLING breakfast.
They loaded up 2 vans with their gear; got their bikes into proper working order; and filled up at the water fountain...they were everywhere:
And the first group IS OFF not too long after dawn. I actually hated to see them leave (not only because they were a great group...but...I knew there was a ton of dishes back in the kitchen)!!!
It makes me wish I were younger...but then...I know I'm doing my thing!
If anyone is interested in following their journey, they can be found at http://4kforcancer.org. I've been following the Portland group and they were last reported to be in Cleveland!
I pray they have a safe and blessed journey.
to my Sparkers and the 4k group!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Okay, I want to make one thing perfectly clear. My "master" calls me "Michael", but I'm here to tell you I AM actually the ONEGREATCAT. This is me.
My "master" has taken over my user name. I've told her to get her own user name, but she didn't like any of the names I suggested: Salt'nPepperHead, MoldyOldie, FrumpyDumpyWimp. Who knew she could get so insulted!!!
So...to be clear...this is her.
Let me tell you about "her". Her name is Gwen and I've told her she's lost her "Sparkiness". She had all these grandiose ideas about what she was going to say on her 9-month SparkVersary. I told her she needs to re-read "The Spark" as I believe she's lost some of her original spark and original goals.
I told her she shouldn't be so "consumed" with what she hasn't done, but focus on what she HAS DONE. Chris Downie's book, "The Spark", asks if there is a clash between what you really BELIEVE...and what you're trying TO DO. To that, I say "yes dear master", you have a clash. What YOU'VE been trying to do is first get healthier, and thereafter to work on weight loss.
As Onegreatcat, I can tell you that in the 9 months that Gwen has been on this site, she HAS gotten healther! Her Doc is pleased. But Gwen has been too focused of late on how she hasn't exercised as she should and hasn't lost the weight as she should. But I say...
You have lost some weight. True, you've been on a plateau for a LONG time, but quit obsessing! True, you could get off that plateau if you would crank up your exercise habits...but, my dear Master Gwen, quit trying to jump in the middle of a RAGING RIVER when you can't even swim!! Follow "The Spark" and work on those little building blocks, one step, one block at a time.
Remember this: You are healthier! That was your first goal! You have lost some weight! You walked your first 5k...something that you thought was unattainable. And with a time that shocked you! You'll get there so long as you remain committed to the Spark ideals.
Now as far as your believing you can get into a marathon or a triathlon? Isn't that a bit of a Spark "clash" at this point? I mean is it realistic for you, given the current problems you have with your knees AND (gasp) your AGE???? (ohhh, she's going to hit me for that one!). Granted, if you keep building on those building blocks...
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE...but is it REALISTIC for today or next week? NO! Quit obsessing about what OTHERS are doing. That is THEIR journey. Not yours. Quit the whining about "this one" is doing that, and "that one" is doing this. You stick with YOUR JOURNEY. Continue with YOUR building blocks and be content with what you've accomplished THUS FAR!
Now, here's my final cat observtion. This the Gwen I can purr over:
HAR, HAR! Got her!
Okay, now that the darned cat has had HIS say, it's my turn:
Thank you SparkPeople and thank you SparkFriends for being with me and supporting me through 9 months on my journey!!! Now I'm going to re-read "The Spark" to refocus, and work on those building blocks, one step at a time. My goal is to live the rest of my life with revitalization of happiness, health, exuberance and zest. I will stretch myself, but not to the point of breaking. I WILL move beyond MY comfort zone, but I will not allow myself to overdo it and lose control.
With that said, I have "visions" of a KAYAK in my future....oooops, does that involve raging rivers???
SPARK ON all SPARKERS with YOUR goals and YOUR journey.
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