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A true Valentine can't be bought

Monday, February 14, 2011


After yesterday's rather serious and somewhat sad blog I want to thank each and everyone of you who read it. Extra kudos to you if you responded to it! Thank you! Your words of support mean more to me than most of you will ever know.

If you read yesterday's blog, you know that I've had a couple of off days. Yesterday I was very weepy for some reason and kind of moody, or at least it seemed to me that I was. So it was very suprising and very unexpected that my husband suggested we go out to supper last night instead of tonight. I wasn't feeling very festive but decided to get out of my comfy clothes and at least try to make some effort.

We had our usual supper.....I had a cheeseburger and garden salad and we shared an order of sweet potato fries which are my favourite. Then I suggested that we run to Walmart to buy each other a Valentine. Are you getting the hint that we are not really romantic about Valentine's Day? So, there we were standing next to each other and reading cards that we felt obligated to buy because Mr. Hallmark says we have to. I proposed buying one card (I'm also cheap) and we could write something on it for each other.

I'm not sure how it happened but at that point my husband got abducted by aliens and was replaced by a man who suggested we go home and make our own Valentine's Day cards. I think I was still in shock when I left the store but the alien followed me home and went around the house with me gathering card making supplies.

Now, neither one of us is really creative and I don't have many "arts and craft" supplies so we gathered scissors, coloured paper (that was left from some family project I did several years ago), tape, glue, scissors, and some pens, markers and pencils.

Alien (who surprisingly looked just like my husband) cleared off the dining room table and down we sat. He even suggested that we write down 14 things that we love about each other. We were like two grade one students with our craft projects! All we needed were smocks and those rubber-tipped glue bottles we used to use about 35 years ago.

I've got to post the pictures of the resulting cards as they are hilarious and touching all at the same time.

John's reasons for loving me were:

1. You laugh
2. You like dogs
3. You don't try to change me
4. You don't hog the sheets (anymore)
5. You're a domestic godess
6. You're kind to animals (except me)
7. You're smart
8. You can draw
9. You don't like mushrooms**** (he gets to pick them off of my plate!)
10. your feet are always cold
11. You made us get smartphones
12. You've got red hair
13. You let me drive
14. You like to use the snowblower

My reasons for loving John were:

1. Because it was your idea to make our own cards
2. I love your humour as warped as it is
3. You pretend to like my cooking
4. You don't mind being my arm candy *** (I said this a huge joke!)
5. You love Louisa and Maddy
6. For filling up my water bottle
7. For always tucking me into bed
8. I love your smile and your soft voice
9. For sharing your life with me
10. For the very best bear hugs
11. Your encouragement means a lot to me
12. For calling me Snoo-ger Roo
13. For being Peaches' true love
14. For putting up with me and for not leaving even when I begged you to do so
Bonus reason: For loving Dad as much as you did

We sat beside each other and read these to each other and had a few happy tears. It was the best Valentine`s Day ever....even if it was a day early!

I hope you are all feeling loved this special day! I know I care deeply for each and every one of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARACT 2/18/2011 7:12AM

    Seriously that is awesome! That was so sweet of him and I think that is a great VDay!


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RIMAJO 2/15/2011 6:53PM

    Ohhhh! How exciting.. Your hubby was abducted by a romantic alien!! Let me give you my address so that the next time theres an abduction, they'll come grab my hubby too! Sounds like an excellent way to spend your evening.. I really loved reading this blog & imagining the deeper bond that was shared between the two of you. What love Susan!! I hope this was a day you both will always remember. emoticon

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CALGARYNEWF 2/15/2011 6:48PM

    Awesome! Definately Cest valentines Blog ever!!! emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/15/2011 1:01AM

    What a special Valentine's Day! Kudos to hubby for being an old fashioned romantic after all! Just LOVED reading this!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 2/14/2011 6:04PM

    Very very sweet. I also got a creatively handmade card from my friend, and he knows that I love his art and cherish things that people make themselves. Thanks for sharing yours. They are special and lovely.

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NEENSTER1 2/14/2011 5:51PM

    emoticon So, So Sweet and you and your husband are very creative and I can hear from all the reasons you shared with each other that UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS IN THE AIR.

To love by freely giving is its own reward. To be possessed by love and to in turn give love away is to find the secret of abundant life.

Have a blessed Valentine's Day. emoticon for sharing your beautiful cards. A true Valentine can't be bought. emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 2/14/2011 5:01PM

    I LOVE this! Your alien husband is the best. Thanks for sharing a wonderful blog with us!

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RUNNER12COM 2/14/2011 5:00PM

    I absolutely love this blog. What a wonderful reminder of what is truly important.


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MYOWNHERO 2/14/2011 4:49PM

    This is the most beautiful blog I have read in a long time. I'm actually a little misty-eyed here. That's real love!

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HOPEFULANGE 2/14/2011 4:47PM

    That's so much more romantic than anybody who spends oodles of money on gifts and flowers (though I can't bash flowers since my dh sent me some!). emoticon

I'm so happy you have John in your life (even if he was taken over by aliens!).

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LESLIES537 2/14/2011 4:41PM

    AWWWW, that is the sweetest thing! What planet did your alien come from and where can I get one?!! lol

Happy Valentine's Day! emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 2/14/2011 3:51PM

    awe! that is the cutest thing I have heard and read! ALiens you crack me up

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    Well, this just has to be the best Valentine blog I've read about in forever! How amazingly WONDERFUL!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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What the heck is my doctor trying to do to me.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Please don't read this blog if you are offended by deeply personal issues such as intimacy.

Ok, I warned you and you are still reading so I'm going to write one of the most gut-wrenching blogss I have written. Any humour used will be to cover my embarrassment as I often use humour when I really don't want to confront real issues.

I've got a sexual hangup! I don't enjoy it and it causes me me great physical pain. I also have very little libido. I also have lived with depression for most of my life and thus, have seen many professionals. Some of which have been fantastic and others...well, lets just say they haven't been the best fit for me.

Through therapy it has come to light that I may (emphasis on MAY) have been touched inappropriately when I was two or three by the son of my parent's friends. Apparently, Mom says (she only admitted this within the past six months) that I had told her that the babysitter had his hands inside my panties. That is all she says she remembers. Doesn't sound like much although I'm sure little children don't make stuff up like that so I'm thinking there is a grain of truth in it.

Anyway, my upbringing was really sheltered. Sex was not discussed at all and teenagers who got pregnant (both of my cousins) were "filthy and dirty for bringing shame to their families". Needless to say, I wasn't sexually active...in fact....I really wasn't interested in boys until I left home to go to university!

Had a serious boyfriend but never would have sex because a) I was afraid and b) I was kinda a religious nut at the time. Yes, I became "saved" and was going to devout my life to missionary work. Funny how my parents were more upset that I had turned relgious as they viewed it as brain-washing. Anyway, I think common sense found me along the way and I realized that the bunch of hypocrites I was hanging around with were probably the most un-Christian like people out there. Hence my claim that I'm not really religious but I've remained spiritual over the years although I don't call any church my own, not really.

Okay, was dumped by boyfriend because his parents didn't think I was educated enough and met John when I quit univesisty because I was so devastated by the breakup. Came home to live. Dated John for 11 years before getting married. Sex was attempted but wasn't pleasant.

Fast forward to several years into our married and sexless life. I was always replaying in my mind how sex was dirty and shameful but as a married woman I was supposed to have sex and get pregnant. Oh, and did I tell you my mom told me at every opportunity that I would make a horrible mother. So, I guess the sex thing was kinda not going to happen with those thoughts rushing through my mind.

I sought help and John went with me. Different things were suggested but it all kept getting blamed on the anti-depressants I was taking. I was told to go home and weigh how important my sexual well-being was compared to my mental well-being. Finally, I got a referral with an outstanding gynecologist and again, I spilled my story. This doctor wanted to rule out any physical cause of my discomfort so he suggested I have minor surgery where they look through your belly in various spots. He also suggested tying my tubes at the time as I was 44 and freaked out about being pregnant at that age and having to go off my medications.

Fast forward several months later. Testing came back that there was no physical reason for my discomfort other than extreme dryness in the vaginal area. So, he prescribed Premarin (an estrogen cream) which is applied internally. Some relief was found but sex was still painful. Did I mention I have the most patient husband on this planet? Next appointment I was given testrosterone but I was very reluctant to take a steroid. I tried it in mid-December until last week when I returned to the doctor for followup. He then tells me this could really cause some nasty side-effects like muscle build up, weight gain, deepening of the voice, and a hairy chin. Oh, the joys.

Oh, to get back to my appointment. I had to see an intern first before my doctor. I had to explain this whole situation to a young man, half my age, and try not to blush. THEN, my doctor came in and I had to repeat it all with not one, but two men watching me. (John was out of town unfortunately). First came the lecture on I would have to contact my mental health doctor (can't spell the p word this morning} to get weaned off the medications as according to them I had to make a choice......I couldn't be mentally balanced and sexually active! It was going to be an either or decision on my part. DUH???

Then comes the lecture about how the vagina is a muscle and like any other muscle has to be kept active before they "shrivel up". At that point, I was blushing like a rose and politely suggested that "a man came up with that solution, didn't they". The two doctors did not find my humour appropriate and I kept thinking to myself "well, how is this for not appropriate, you are telling me my vagina is going to dry up and die"

So, then the doctor pipes up and says "I have these pills in my office which were free samples. I've never tried them or prescribed them but they might help you". I took them and stuffed them in my pocket. Left without making a follow-up appointment (I don't think I'll be going back anytime soon!). Then I darted to Walmart for some frozen veggies on the way home. Walked into Walmart and set off the alarm with the packages of pills in my pocket! Oh dear! I explained and they didn't ask to see the boxes....thank goodness.....

Arrived home and decided to take a glance at what the pills were..............(warning pee now before you read the rest!)..........

The doctor's instructions were to take one tablet 30 minutes before sexual activity....hmmmm......so I put my glasses on to read everything and that is when I saw in big, black letters....for erectile dysfunction only! What the heck? I laughed so hard but then I grew a bit more serious and I thought, and this is the kind of help available to women. Tell them, basically they have to choose between their mental health and the sexual health and that their vagina's were going to shrivel up and die!!! The final blow were the ED pills! So I'm half mad, partly disgusted, a tad bit embarrassed and I feel like a complete fool.

To add a wee bit of humour....anybody know how many points you earn for exercising your vagina? Oh, and I forgot to mention, the idiot intern's question....."is your husband above average size" and I started to say "well he does have about twenty extra pounds........when brain kicked in and I realized that wasn't the size he was talking about........

I know this was a bit personal to blog about and I hope you don't think I'm gross for telling you this. I'm going to discuss my mental health with my doctor but for me it is not a question of deciding which is more important in my life. Without my medications, I would probably be dead but perhaps there are a few changes that can be made so it is not an all or nothing battle.

Thanks again for reading and for your support.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMBELISLE 2/15/2011 12:34PM

    Based on what you said about your past and the way you were raised, I'd say you've come a long way in breaking through some of the mental aspects of your issues, especially putting it out here for us to read.

As for your doctor, maybe it's time to find a female OB/GYN. While I love my OB/GYN and "outstanding" reviews are good, there are times in life that you really need a woman's perspective.

My libido is sporadic at best, but when I'm well rested and can focus on my own pleasure as well as my hubby's, it is REALLY nice. I hope you find what you need to make it enjoyable, because it really can be. A good orgasm is a better stress reliever than any other kind of exercise.

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SAMGERBINE 2/14/2011 5:46PM

    Your humor is hilarious! I feel for you and what you're growing through and you're right...doctors are way off sometimes. I would definitely get a second opinion.

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NEENSTER1 2/14/2011 5:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.

Thank God for your loving and supportive husband. God bless you and your husband.

Happy Valentine's Day. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 2/14/2011 4:46PM

    This is why I love SP so much....the support for issues that can be so sensitive. Thank you for sharing your story.

I have heard of ED meds being used for women. Here is an article about it.

I hope it works out for you. You husband is lucky to have such a loving wife who is willing to try all of these things. He sounds like a real peach, too. Happy Valentine's day!


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LESLIES537 2/14/2011 4:34PM

    We'd never judge you silly! I totally can relate to the low libido. Non-existent is more like it! You're not alone, that's for sure!

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HOPEFULANGE 2/14/2011 7:31AM

    It sounds like you have the most wonderful husband. While I believe sex can bring a couple much closer together, I also believe if it's done grudgingly (just to satisfy the other), it can harm a relationship. I think the portrayal of sex in the media is completely bogus...not everyone wants to have sex all the time! I wish you the best of luck getting help, or coming to terms with what you have to work with. I hope you can both be happy without drugs.

Oh, and I HATE having to talk to interns at the doctor's office. They're so judgmental - you can see it in their faces. I know they have to learn, but having to repeat your story is NOT the way a patient should be treated. We shouldn't have to muster courage to walk into a doctor's office. Sorry you had that experience (as you may tell - I can relate).

Comment edited on: 2/14/2011 7:34:37 AM

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S3XYDIVASMOM 2/13/2011 8:23PM

    I have no words of wisdom for this situation, nonetheless, I'm glad to listen. My libido is low and my husband's is even lower. So, I cannot say it is really much of a problem. You might be surprised how many sexless marriages there are, so if your concern is about normality, you need to decide what is normal and desirable for you.

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BTRTHANEVA 2/13/2011 6:07PM

    This is exactly why SP is so great... Though it might have begun as a site for helping people lose weight - it has turned into a site for people helping people on many levels.

I have no libido. No desire for sex other than to satisfy my husband. My older brother, who committed suicide a few years back, abused me for years after my father committed suicide when I was 10. I was never able to address this *situation* with him before he died. I was never able to make peace with my apparent sexual dysfunction. I have no feelings towards it. I'm quite aware of why I shut myself down - it's a defense mechanism. I literally leave my body. Thankfully, my husband is an understanding soul. He hears me reliving my past through my nightmares. Through my screams that wake us up. Paul holds me close to him. His unconditional love has truly saved me.

I have always believed that sex makes up about 5% of a marriage. I know, most men probably think it's at least 50% because they have two *heads*. Thank goodness I have a man who loves me for me, with all my baggage...

I'm so glad that you're able to use humor to get you through this. For me, if I didn't laugh so much, I'd be crying...

Take good care of yourself... And thank you, so very much, for keeping it real. You're in a safe place. It makes all the difference in the world!

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GRACEZN 2/13/2011 5:04PM

  Never fear - you are certainly not alone. I think you should consider seeing a female ob-gyn doctor. Might be easier to talk with her. emoticon

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SASSYBLONDE69 2/13/2011 12:05PM

    I suffer from depression, and a low libido. I don't have your associated pain, but that it because we now just use Getting in the mood is difficult for me, once I am, I'm fine.

You are so blessed in your husband! He sounds amazing!

Those doctor's are idiots! I think you need to get a new one...

I hope you can find someone who can actually help you.

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    You know, i'm really glad you wrote about this! I had some issues with sex (not brave enough to lay it out), and I DID get some excellent help from a Christian psychologist or two who I really trusted. I also had the physical check, although it wasn't surgery, when I first got married. Anyway, fortunately for me, sex does not hurt, although I can take it or leave it, and mostly do it out of the deep love I have for my husband.

Don't feel alone in this. I know there must be thousands and thousands of women who can relate to most of what you said! Don't give up, either! There must be a way, as you said, to have a balance with the sexual aspect of things, and the mental peace of mind!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 2/13/2011 9:22AM

    you are real brave to put this out there! sorry you are in this situation. I wanted to writed about the reverse but dont have the "balls" so to speak! lol

I wonder if the docs knows he gave you ED pills? does it even work on women?

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ERIKO1908 2/13/2011 9:10AM

    If nobody talks about the tough stuff, we all sit around and suffer in silence thinking we are the only ones. Thanks for sharing! You are right that you should not have to choose between mental or sexual health!! It is not an either or situation!! HUGS to you!! Hope you get to the bottom of all of this!

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OZARKMARY 2/13/2011 9:09AM

  emoticonGod bless you and best of luck. I have had encounters recently with people in the medical field that made me feel very uncomfortable, so I totally understand you not going back to this dr and his intern. Sounds like they might have handled this a bit better by suggesting a sexuality specialist instead of floundering with your case the way they did. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but I don't have any solutions. I'm glad you blogged though and are looking for the help you need. Don't give up on yourself. With the right counseling you will feel much better about yourself and may yet be able to enjoy sexual satisfaction. emoticon emoticonmary

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BARBARACT 2/13/2011 9:07AM

    That is really tough and I hope you find what works for you and what you are most comfortable with.

Although a part of me thinks that doctor needs to be reported for giving you those pills. That is scary!

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Why I want to come back as one of my dogs

Friday, February 11, 2011


Well, we thought yesterday was a cold one. Today it is just as sunny but even cooler at -23 C (-9 or thereabouts in F) and I am tired of people saying it is too cold to exercise. Honestly, if we used that as an excuse, we would only exercise a few perfect days of the year. So, here is what I do to walk comfortably outdoors.......ahem.......

I start with an inner layer of regular bra and underwear....just in case I'm in an accident....I don't want to show up at the hospital naked and frozen!

Then I add a layer of longjohns which are so very unattractive despite the catalog images we see. To make matters worse, mine are made by Dickie so if I'm found in a snowbank my rescuers are going to say "well, the underwear says Dickie but it looks like a female to me".

Then I pull on a thick pair of socks which go halfway up my calves and are arranged just so over the bottom edge of my longjohns.....don't want any VLJL....or visible longjohn lines showing, now do we. Then I pull a long sleeve t-shirt on which again has to have its tail tucked inside the longjohns as there is nothing worse than a cold wind hitting your lower back. Check for visible shirt lines!

By that time, I am either sweating profusely or have to pee. Somedays it is both! Add two super-excited dogs to the mix and you can see how this is quickly turns into a military operation.

In the porch, I pull on wind pants that are a mile too big but get the job done. Then I layer a fleece jacket under a winter coat. All gets zipped up and strapped on. Next comes the wool hat pulled down over my forehead....much to everyone's amusement but that is where I find the cold wind the most....just above my eyebrows! So I kiss pride goodbye and pull my hat down low.

Boots are next. They have to be warm and comfortable....mine are 15 years old and still serve me beautifully. Finally, I wear wool handknit mittens because I find them warmer than any leather mitt on the market.

By this point, the dogs are jumping all over me and I remember I have to snap on their leashes which requires me to take off my mittens. Usually I end up going out the door with one mitten on and the other in my mouth as I'm struggling to lock the front door and not be pulled down over the front steps by the sled dogs.......didn't know a Pomeranian could be so strong, did you?

Then we pile in the truck which excites them even more and they bark at every living thing and some things like garbage cans that look like humans to them. I drive, half deaf through town to the outskirts and go across a huge bridge to get where we are going. Barking is at fever pitch by this point and I've often thought of opening the truck windows and letting them accidentally jump out.....tsk....tsk....tsk.....especially since I claim to love dogs!!!!

Get where we are going, we all pile out of the truck. Truck gets locked, my nose gets wiped for the first time of many, leashes get removed and my bliss starts. Watching them and hearing nothing but the snow crunching under my feet is wonderful therapy for even the most frazzled minds. Seeing your breath freezing in the air is an added bonus! Head down, I proceed to walk and ignore the numbing cold on my cheekbones. I talk to myself sometimes (did I mention I'm nuts), point out imaginary bunny rabbits to the dogs (just to see them race off into the woods), and generally embrace all that nature has to offer.

Yesterday, I made the discovery that if I got down on the snow about eye-level with my dogs (I discovered this by trying to bend over and realizing I was too padded to actually bend comfortably) the dogs go wild. They think it is a great thing Mommy is doing when in fact I was trying to check Maddy's foot for snow and ice buildup! I took off my mitten which Lou grabbed and took off with. It ended up in more snowbanks and was tossed between the two of them and was quite snowcovered when I retrieved it....but....and you have to love wool for this....it was still dry and warm inside.

After about 40 minutes we end up back at the truck and the barking resumes....so much for tiring them out.......nothing and I mean nothing....tires the vocal cords of my two. Between Maddy's high pitched yelps and Lou's deep bark I don't need a radio...just earplugs.

Back at home, they rush in ahead of me to grab their toys. Meanwhile, I'm still in the porch, trying to peel the layers off of me without sending the snow and ice everywhere. Everything comes off.....yes....everything and dry stuff goes back on. I pee, get dressed in comfy clothes, and let the beasts out to pee in our backgarden because everybody knows they can't stop long enough on their walk/run to do that....heaven forbid!!!!

While I log on to Spark to enter what I walked, they flop down on their beds for a well-deserved rest. Then it is time for me to think about supper.......did I mention that I want to come back as one of my dogs when I die as they are lying on their beds with eyes half-closed but their sniffers are keeping them abreast of what is going on in the kitchen. They could be half dead and in the midst of a good "doggie chasing bunny" dream but if something hits the kitchen floor they have it sniffed, licked and swallowed before I even notice something fell off the counter!

Then its back to their beds where they usually stay until my husband arrives home. He asks if they've been out and they look at him and say, "yes, but we would go again" so off they go on another excursion. Meanwhile, I'm flaked on the chesterfield, trying to muster enough energy to check on supper and there they are racing through the snow....again!

Oh, the joys of owning a dog or two or three! What we don't do for them. I wouldn't have it any other way I'm sure I wouldn't be walking so much if I didn't have them!

Thanks for reading!

Susan (206 pound human) Maddy (10 pound Pomeranian) and Louisa (64 pound Golden Lab/mix)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALGARYNEWF 2/15/2011 6:56PM

you have the most interesting and entertaining blogs!!!Thank you for making us smile!!!! emoticon

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BOVEY63 2/13/2011 12:32AM

    Loved your blog!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 2/12/2011 11:49AM

    I thought about writing a blog entitled, "Fashion Statement Walking," on the same topic. You said it so well that now I don't have to.

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ERIKO1908 2/12/2011 11:13AM

    I love your stories!! They are so very visual!! Thanks for sharing!

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LESLIES537 2/11/2011 9:48PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story! You are such a talented writer! I would totally come back as one of your dogs too! emoticon

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GAYLE-G-63 2/11/2011 8:41PM

    Pictures, we need pictures!

You write so incredibly well. I can visualize the entire excursion. Thanks so much for sharing.

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OLDERDANDRT 2/11/2011 5:22PM



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BTRTHANEVA 2/11/2011 4:35PM

    I so relate to this! I took my girls for a 4 miler today in a sunfilled, albeit slightly windy, 20 degree day - not sure what the wind chill factor brought it down too. Just getting their leashes sends them into a frenzy! Trying to get their harness, jackets and leash on is a lesson in futility!

I have found fingerless gloves/mitten combo! A lot of contractors use them. Very hand, especially when you need to dig in your pocket for something to wipe your nose with!

Unfortunately, our sidewalks which were finally just cleared are now mini ice-skating rinks. So we took it to the road, me keeping them on a tight hold on the inside. I have a black jacket which stands out against all the snow - so when I see an oncoming car, I widen my arm swing to make sure I've got their attention.

Our new addition of one week, Gidget, is enjoying all this exercise. Now, if I could just get the housebreaking part down... (her nickname is leaky - she gets excited and voila! Instant pee. Thank goodness I have a spot-bot!!!)


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HOPEFULANGE 2/11/2011 2:05PM

    Wonderful blog! I laughed out loud too many times to count! I love the dogs racing around with your mitten, and I know how it feels to be bundled up and then need to pee!!! emoticon

You should write a book. The only problem would be wondering whether to put it in the humor section or the self-help!

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JLITT62 2/11/2011 1:06PM

    I have often said this! I also use gluttons, which are those gloves that have the little mitten cap that pulls over - allows me to actually use my hands!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/11/2011 12:43PM

    lol I know right! got a husky!

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HEALTHYGIRLTOO 2/11/2011 11:48AM

    This is a great blog. It makes me laugh, because I can relate. You have a gift of writing and you humor is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Comment edited on: 2/11/2011 11:49:10 AM

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TEMPEST272002 2/11/2011 11:21AM

    As a fellow Canadian, my going out routine is remarkable similar. Just getting ready to go out is a workout all it's own! But hey! You forgot something important. Where's your sun/wind screen for your face & lip balm? Don't forget rubber grippers for the icy path.

Aren't dogs fun in the snow? I love to watch them race around and fling the snow up with their noses. Dogs teach us so much - including how to find joy in winter.

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MEMARE 2/11/2011 9:37AM

    Another great blog! Thank you for a peek into your world...the one that contains a joyful funny woman and two vocal dogs... LOL
Thanks for brightening my morning! emoticon

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    You are such a NUT!!! Thank you for the blow-by-blow! I'm especially glad to know that you stopped to go PEE! emoticon emoticon

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ANNIE7205 2/11/2011 9:12AM

    Too funny - and easy to relate to!

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JHADZHIA 2/11/2011 9:08AM

    The oh so familiar michelin man build up lol. I love my Eskimo Parka, cocoons my face in a huge hood with the fur snugging it in, no arctic wind can get in there, its as warm as being inside :))) Just need a fleece shirt under it and I am warm!
Dogs do have the life, and the convenient fur coat as well.
Have a fantastic Friday!

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    What a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing with us.

I agree, I would most definitely come back as one of my dogs.


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Time to stop being so rigid and inflexible

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Morning,

T'is a cool one here this morning. A balmy -15 c. with a slight wind and lots of blue skies. A beautiful day all around. I know what some of you southern belles are thinking.....brrrrr...but if you dress for it, anyday can be enjoyed in the great outdoors.

A few days ago, I wrote about walking outdoors and somebody responded that I was only enjoying it because I live in a rural area as opposed to an urban one. While it is true that I do live in a town of about 13,000 I choose not to walk in the slush and icy sidewalks by driving to a great walking area. BUT, if I had to walk in the slush (I was a student once and nobody knows the joys of walking in winter than students) I would dress appropriately. In fact, I would get a funky pair of rubberized boots to keep the damp out and the warmth in.

Anyway, I digress from my blog title! One of my brand new SparkFriends (thanks for adding me REDWEASEL61) wrote an interesting blog about putting off things that bring you joy. The part that really got to me was when she wrote "I got to thinking....about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night"!!!

Stop and think about it! How many of us, put off things that we really enjoy until the moment is perfect. We do it all the time! We are going to start exercising when the weather turns nice, we are going to eat better when we get some seasonal produce, we are going to take that trip when we lose weight, we are going to write that letter one of those days.........

On the television show, What Not to Wear they often preach the need to "dress the body you have now and not the one you want". I've started to do this. I've bought a few (emphasis on a few) new pieces and they fit me now. I didn't buy them too big or too small! I'm wearing them now to work. Just yesterday I had somebody compliment me when I was out walking the dogs about how much happier I seem . I really don't think it was about the weight....wearing a puffy down coat cannot do much justice to anybody's figure! According to her, I "radiate peace and happiness".....wow...who knew! Ha! Regardless of the truth, it made me smile and feel so much better about myself.

So, today if you are bogged down with your lifestyle journey step back and think of an award you can give yourself today. You might not have reached a definite goal but you are still part of the journey. Don't get down.....get inspired! Do something outside of your schedule that you enjoy. Make flexibility part of your life. If an opportunity comes your way don't say "I can't" but rather "I think I will" .

Have a good day.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARACT 2/13/2011 9:05AM

    I think that is so true! There is no "perfect moment", just the here and now. You never know what the next day will bring.

Thanks for the reminder! emoticon

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JLITT62 2/11/2011 5:32AM

    I sooooo needed to hear that - actually I needed to hear it yesterday, but better late than never! Thank you!

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JHADZHIA 2/11/2011 12:28AM

    Beautiful attitude that will get you far.. Way to go getting clothes that fit you now!!
Your state of mind is what you make it!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/10/2011 9:59PM

    I love this blog! yes I need to soooo do that!!!

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REDWEASEL61 2/10/2011 9:17PM

    thanx for the words of encouragement! I really enjoy your blogs. emoticon

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CALGARYNEWF 2/10/2011 7:15PM

    I think you "radiate happiness" in your blogs...Another great one! emoticon

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NEWMAC2011 2/10/2011 7:11PM

    That is really great advice! There is no perfect anyway so it's silly to wait for it!

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KAYDE53 2/10/2011 5:01PM

    I like this too, so much of the time we think in terms of "when" or "if" instead of "today" or "now", and pass up opportunities to make our lives richer!! emoticon

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GAYLE-G-63 2/10/2011 4:48PM

    I can relate to your blog. I have two sizes of jeans (both smaller,the smaller ones are only one size smaller, both fit well). I had been 'saving' the smaller of them for 'good'. And wearing the larger size for every day. It finally occurred to me, wear the pair that looks good and you feel good in. I'm the only one who knows the size difference, but it makes me feel good!

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HOPEFULANGE 2/10/2011 2:01PM

    Lovely sentiments! Thanks for always providing a life lesson. We don't often stop to think about how we feel, but you encourage us to do so everyday!

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KANSASROSE67 2/10/2011 11:19AM

    Great blog! I do tend to put off things until I think I've "earned" them. I need to think about this...thanks.

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LESLIES537 2/10/2011 11:15AM

    emoticon blog today! I loved it!

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WILLOWWINDS 2/10/2011 10:49AM

    LOL had to look up -15C which is 3.2 F.

So true can't put off happiness. It isn't something that happens you have to choose to be happy.

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    Hurray! What a GREAT BLOG! emoticonI agree 100%!!! TODAY is the day that counts!! emoticon emoticon

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How do I......please take the time to answer

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I've got a couple of Spark related questions and I'm hoping you, as my SparkFriends, will rush to answer for me.

For starters, I know I wrote yesterday's blog in jest but, please, how do you know where to take your waist and hip measurements. For your waist is it above or below your belly button. And for hips, does it include the flabby overhang of my lower belly (sorry for the visual!) or should I be measuring lower.

Secondly, how do I send a group e-mail to all of my SparkFriends? I did it once before but for the life of me I can't seem to find where.

Thirdly, my calorie range is between 1300 and 1650 a day. Should this change depending on if I exercise? I exercised yesterday and on Saturday for close to 2 hours and was starved afterwards. Today I've only exercised for 40 minutes and have the same number of calories. I know there is a spot on the fitness tracker/fitness goals to indicate the calories you want to burn but how do I pick a number? Some days I exercise more than others.

Finally, I want to know how I can possibly thank all of you for your support, encouragement and kindness. It really means a lot especially now that my weight seems to have hit a standstill!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 3/13/2011 2:55PM

    Ok, came back b/c I wanted to see if you got the answer about the mass email question. There use to be a button on your edit page but it's gone now. Darn them for taking it away! Grrr. Did you just have to go in and individually add everyone to your list or did you ever get it figured out. What a pain in the emoticon

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MEMARE 2/10/2011 10:43AM

    The below link is to SP message board post regarding mass mail to SparkFriends... (copy/paste in browser)

I think SP has changed this though because there is no longer a button to send sparkmail to all friends...(at least not on my page)

As far as measurements..
I found this:
Start by wearing tight fitting clothing (or no clothing) and make a note of what you're wearing so you know to wear the same clothes the next time you measure. Here's how to do it:

•Bust: Measure around the chest right at the nipple line, but don't pull the tape too tight.
•Chest: Measure just under your bust
•Waist: Measure a half-inch above your belly button or at the smallest part of your waist
•Hips: Place tape measure around the biggest part of your hips
•Thighs: Measure around the biggest part of each thigh
•Calves: Measure around the largest part of each calf
•Upper arm: Measure around the largest part of each arm above the elbow
•Forearm: Measure around the largest part of the arm below the elbow.

my waist indentation is about 2.5" above my belly button; so I do it there (I have a long torso...)
I take my hip measurement from my 'saddle bag' area (about 10" below my waist).
Hope that helps. emoticon

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CHLOE453 2/10/2011 7:34AM

    Thanks for asking those questions, I now too have the answers thanks to all the good advice that you received. Have a wonderful day. Kelly

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TEMPEST272002 2/9/2011 3:25PM

    Well, I see you got your questions answered. The only one I have additional input is determining your calories burned. I track my exercise, so I went back for a month and looked at the average I was burning each week and entered that number in the "goals". I had it somewhere around 3500 in the summer, but am at 2800 right now.

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KANSASROSE67 2/8/2011 10:15PM

    To set up your calories correctly, go to your start page, and in the left-hand bottom box where it says "My Goals" click on calories burned and enter the amount of calories you anticipate burning through exercise each week. You can also adjust your starting weight and goal weight here and set a date to reach your goal. The calories you're allowed to eat will adjust based on these factors: target date, how weight you have to lose, and how many calories you're burning through exercise. Since it's winter and I'm not outside as much, I have my calorie burn set at 2400 a week, or 400 calories 6 days a week. In the summer I had it at 3000.

When you enter your calories burned through exercise on your fitness tracker, you will get a message if you go well over your target for the week. If you think you will continue to go over, you need to go back to your start page and readjust. Spark will not adjust your calories for you automatically.

I hope this reply makes sense!

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ASHLEYKAT 2/8/2011 6:56PM

    I think you are not supposed to add in the calories from exercise. If you put more minutes in your "plan" (modify exercise) if you consistently go over, your allotted calories go up, so I can only assume that it takes those into account.

Excellent questions though. I've learned a lot already!

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BYEFATNANNY 2/8/2011 6:20PM

    You get a reminder if you do "too" much exercise, they tell you somewhere how to figure it out, but for the life of me I could not figure it out. I got the impression it was an automatic thing they did. But I've always been between 1200 to 1550, so I've left it. Anxious to hear the answers. Waist = smallest, hips = biggest. Open your sparkpage and there is a box near your "edit" box that says something like "send sparkfriends a message" Well I hope I helped a bit...

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APIRLRAIN888 2/8/2011 5:48PM

    quick on, tot about to explode ;p

1. no idea. but curves to be consistent!
we did as you suggest in your last blog, bend on one side and the crease is the "smallest" ( however not true now for me, my above belly button is smallest)

SO I think it's consistentcy! just try same place!

I however regret not doing abdimone! that is th overhang between bellybutton and crutch!!!
that is where the inches lost would be!

HIP is widest! I just pick a stop too now!

2. no idea, haven't done

3. YES you have to up when you exercise! so in long run I add cals! I am straved! basically try not to have more the 1000 deficit or better yet 500!!!!

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LESLIES537 2/8/2011 5:18PM

    Ok...let's put on our thinking pants! emoticon hehe

About the measurements...I don't know as if there's a standard "above the flap or below" measurement...just make sure you hold it in the same spot each time you measure. So if you decide to go below the belly button, always measure below in about the same spot. I've heard of people making up different measurements to take....for example, one chick said she measured just that "flap" (not exactly sure how!)...so you can measure anything, just as long as you're doing it in the same spot consistently.

Regarding the calories....yes, you eat more the more you exercise. You need fuel to energize that body. The more you exercise, the more you can eat. So, let's say you burn 1800 calories without exercise, and 2300 calories with exercise. you want to have an average deficit of 500 cal per day. That leaves 1300 calories on days without exercise, or 1800 calories on days with exercise. Make sense? Great, now you can help explain it to me!! lol

Oh yeah, and the group email thing----I was trying to figure that out the other day!! I almost even asked you b/c I knew you had done that before! The only thing I could figure out was to save each person as a contact in your email list. Once you've done this tedious task for each single friend, it will be saved in there and will be easy in the future. So basically, once you have everyone saved it's easy...until then, it's a big pain in the emoticon !!

And for your final question....when you figure that one out, let me know!! emoticon emoticon

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    I will have to let the experts answer you questions but i wanted to stop by your blog and wish you a fantastic day...you are really on top of your game when you show such an interest in doing this the right way! I think you answered your last question on your own. A public blog of thanks did it for me! Great job. The standstill is temporary. Let your mind take your body where you want it to go and don't accept no for an answer!!!

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