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How I walked 500 km one baby step at a time

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Although I haven't been the most active member of Spark, nor the most aware of what I've been eating, I noticed yesterday that since I joined Spark I have walked a little over 500 km. Now this might be pitiful to some and a miracle to others but the point is I....as in ME.....walked 500km since September 1st. I'm amazed and I'm so glad that I've kept track of my mileage. This is something to be proud of so in my moments of doubt and self-defeat, I have to remind myself that a year ago this time I couldn't (and didn't want to) walk the length of myself!

So, I've learned a valuable lesson. If I started out and said I'm going to walk a minimum of ____km a week, I would have given up within the first few days. The days when the sweat poured down or when the weather became cold would have been enough to send me back to my comfortable chesterfield. But, no, I started out by just saying I was going to try to walk the dogs. I didn't say I was going to do it everyday but I would do it when I felt like I could. And there you have it.....I started out very slowly and never made a conscious effort to pick things up or to do it more regularly. After a time, our walks became a habit and now if I miss a day I really miss it. I don't knock myself out with regret, but I do miss it and miss my lungs breathing in fresh air and looking at two happy and contented dogs.

What else can I learn from this? I can put the same "formula" to work with my nutrition. I am stating here for all of you to read that I am going to become more aware. The days when I can look back and use the 80/20 rule, I am going to applaud but the other not so successful days are not going to be enough to send me off the beaten path! No more all or nothing thinking! If I had that attitude with walking I'd still be on the sofa waiting for the magical moment.

Anyway, like I said, 500 km may not be much to some of you while others may think that amount is out of reach. But I'm ME, and you are YOU, so we have to find what works for us. I can say with pride that over the fall and winter of 2010-2011 I logged 500 km..yeah for me! For once I feel a sense of pride in an accomplishment and that self-appreciation is what makes this our own unique journey!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICKILYN4 5/18/2011 9:30PM

    emoticon emoticon Way to go Susan!!!

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CHRISTINA791 5/13/2011 5:41PM

    Fantastic job, and proof that those little victories add up. You don't have to run a marathon the first week in, you just have to keep doing what you're doing and you'll accomplish great things. Congratulations on hitting the 500k mark, and here's hoping the next 500 treat you just as well.

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LESLIES537 5/13/2011 11:56AM

    Be proud, be very proud! That is a great accomplishment! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/13/2011 4:41AM

    And you SHOULD be proud. A healthy habit is wonderful, and as you're noting, it can spark more healthy habits.

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    You are really doing great with this mental picture of what will work for you! If you can SEE it, you can DO it, I think! You're doing fantastic! I'd say more, but it's night-night time! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/13/2011 12:14AM

    I think 500 km is fantastic!! You rock! Going from the couch to walking is a major achievement! Be proud! Good luck with your food!
You can do this!!

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KAMAPERRY 5/13/2011 12:12AM

    That is awesome!! Wooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooo!!

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THETURTLEBEAR 5/12/2011 9:19PM

    That is FABULOUS! I love you blog! What an inspiration to others - you have figured ou the secret to all this!!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 5/12/2011 9:11PM

    Salt Lake City, Utah to Boise, Idaho. That's a pretty good jaunt. If I get in my car and drive nonstop, it will take 5 hours. So, I'm not laughing: I'm truly impressed. The beauty of it is, this is not something you visualized. You just saw yourself getting off the couch to walk the dogs. But it all adds up. Keep up the good work.

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HOPEFULANGE 5/12/2011 8:23PM

    Holy Crow! That's further than walking from Badger to St. John's! Great going Susan...keep doing what you enjoy! emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 5/12/2011 8:02PM

    I know what you mean about not keeping up with it if you had set a specific goal, but surprising yourself with how far you'd come taking one step at a time. So proud of you! And I do think 500km is quite the accomplishment!

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BECCAJ98 5/12/2011 7:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great job!! Keep it up!

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Living on an island and eating what is available.....

Sunday, May 08, 2011


This blog was inspired by a friends blog in which she encouraged us to try new things. I am in total agreement but does anybody else live where grocery shopping largely depends on what is available?

I live on the island portion of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. For produce to arrive on our shelves, it has to be trucked to Nova Scotia, be put on a ferry, and driven halfway across the island. The ferry crossing takes about 6 hours and the drive to here is about 7. That is in good weather when the highways are open and the ocean is calm enough to sail on!

We have two grocery stores. Yesterday I wanted some sweet potatoes and there were none in the first store and in the second one they looked shrivelled up. Same goes for bananas, ginger, spinach, strawberries etc,

I'm not complaining! I grew up this way and have become quite used to the store clerks shaking their heads and saying, "no, the trucks are all stuck in North Sydney and won't be here for a few day". It just makes trying new things a game of hit and miss.

Come on now, the staples of the traditional Newfoundland diet has for generations been salt or fresh cod, moose meat, rabbits, ducks, berries and the few vegetables like potatoes and beets. There are parts of northern Newfoundland and most of Labrador for which the growing season is too short for even carrots! Salt beef is something that most people have with every cooked meal...basically meat, soaked in brine and stored in buckets....salted so much that refrigeration is only a polite suggestion.

Now, I'm lucky. I live in a town of about 20,000 people but this is the hub for a lot of communities. So imagine planning your meals, driving four hours to get here to find out the trucks haven't been in and there is slim pickings in the produce section. Is it any wonder people are eating the convenience foods? I watch with horror as people fill up their grocery carts with drink mixes instead of juice, tin milk instead of fresh, tin fruit (packed in sugar) instead of fresh, etc.

This summer I am planning on expanding my food choices. I have never had artichokes, avocados, leeks, papaya, black beans, fiddle heads, but if I can find it I am going to try things out. I found out I love asparagus (we never could get it growing up) and sweet potatoes weren't bought because we had a perfectly good supply of regular potatoes. Maybe this will be the year I try out Ugli fruit (I've only seen them once in our town), Passion Fruit (have never seen them), or try squash of any kind......or maybe I will have to wait for the trucks to come in!

emoticon Susan!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAZINMICH 5/9/2011 11:04PM

    We were watching Air Alaska which depicted similar food issues! It's amazing how spoiled we really are. I get so frustrated when cucumbers are not fresh during the winter months. I couldn't imagine having to plan out dinners and not know what would be at the store! So Crazy! This year I am doing the same as you - expanding my pallet. Trying to eat new healthy foods I've never tried. So far I'm enjoying it. I now love mushrooms - both raw and cooked, I love bananas, I love fruit! I ate a strawberry for the first time - nope, still don't care for that texture. LOL. Try as much as you can! Hopefully you can buy frozen veggies & fruits and make smoothies out of them to get in some additional healthy stuff. I can't wait to read your future blogs about things you try, I'm so curious now as to what else I should be trying!

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_LINDA 5/9/2011 9:45PM

    I wish you luck getting some new kids of produce! I know I am lucky to have access to a wide range of fruits and veggies. I do enjoy them, but know as they have traveled so very far they aren't always in the best of condition or the freshest. I can see why they sometimes recommend frozen as it gets done when they are just harvested..Better than some truck that has traveled 1,000 + miles... Same with canned goods.
Have a good evening and great sleep!

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KANSASROSE67 5/9/2011 4:20PM

    Very interesting blog! I wish I could send you some of our garden produce! Just picked more than a gallon of radishes...I love them, but that's a little excessive! Drifter's contribution (horse manure) really upped our production this year.

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KAMAPERRY 5/9/2011 12:36PM

    Wow, I am so spoiled!! This makes me so thankful for what I have available! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 5/9/2011 11:37AM

    We're not on an island, but are still limited when it comes to the variety of fresh vegetables and fruits in our area. During the summer months the variety is a little better. There is a local health food store but as a single mom the prices are most often too high for my budget. I will try and get to the farmer's market as often as possible this summer and see if there is anything new to try.

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LESLIES537 5/9/2011 10:24AM

    I just learned to love asparagus too!! AND broccoli! I never thought I would say that! lol I want to try the ugly fruit out too, I saw those in the store and never heard of such a thing!

Good work Susan! emoticon

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    WOW! I wish I could visit there! Just during the carrot season, mind you! emoticonI'm a warm weather lover! emoticonYour blog really should help a lot of people appreciate the fresh, wonderful food as close as a mile's drive to the nearest store (in most places). It sure did me! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEATLETOT 5/9/2011 8:42AM

    Oh, my. I never thought about what it's like buying food on a northern island, just the idea of buying milk, bread and gas in places like Hawaii and Bermuda! It must be so crazy-expensive!

You've never had guacamole, ever? Oh, you're in for a treat when you try the avocados!

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JLITT62 5/9/2011 4:44AM

    Good lord, I would perish up there - altho the cold & snow would probably do me in first! I hope you get to try some of the foods on your list - some of them are great! Especially avocados - which I never had til I was an adult cause my mom doesn't like them & they weren't as prevalent when I was growing up, either.

Do you garden?

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TEMPEST272002 5/8/2011 10:48PM

    I'd never thought about shipping to NFLD like that before. I like your attitude of trying things as they come in. Very adventurous! Reminds me of when my son was young and doing a report on China. I took him to Chinatown & we purchased several different fruits we didn't recognize & then took them home for the family to sample. Had a lot of laughs that night. Don't forget about sparkrecipes as a resource - you can see recipes by ingredient & find ways to cook up some of the more exotic veggies.

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    Ah, wow! I wouldn't know what to do.

Do you get the frozen veggies? They are frozen fresh with a quick freeze and no additives.

I hope you get to try a new veggie/fruit soon.

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GARDENQE2 5/8/2011 9:03PM

    Oh, My goodness! You have my sympathy! I would really suffer without a great variety of produce!

I have lived in many areas of the USA and I have found that there are differences everywhere.

In Washington state, the stores had dozens of varieties of apples, and lots of fresh fish and shellfish.

In Michigan, there were many varieties of cheese, potatoes, root vegs, and winter squash.

I am now in New Mexico. We have many varieties of peppers, avocados, and many unusual tropical fruits...but only 1 or 2 kinds of apples, frozen fish, one kind of potatoes, summer squash and canned pumpkin, and I haven't seen one parsnip or beet.

It is an adventure to move from place to place, and a further adventure to learn to shop in a new area!

Keep asking at your local stores for new things...it should encourage them to purchase different items...and your neighbors may enjoy food adventures as well.

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BLESSED2BEME 5/8/2011 8:16PM

    Wow! This really sheads light on how different we all live depending on our situations or locations. I grew up on avacados and couldn't imagine not having them in my life. I do have a hard time getting decent ones where I live now but we can at least get them.

I admire that you are desiring to try these new things. I can only imagine some of what you eat from your region.

BTW, I lived in Ottawa, Canada for 3 years (late 90's/early '00). I was stationed at the U.S. Embassy while I was still on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. We really enjoyed the new things we got to experience while stationed there and miss our dear friends and living there very much!

Good luck with your goals to try these new (to you) foods!

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In deep thought - making little accomplishments a BIG deal!

Saturday, May 07, 2011


After the past couple of blogs you will all know I have been working up the nerve to make a change things up a bit. I was up half the night wondering how to revamp my goals and aspirations as well as to how to maintain my motivation.

Well, I don't have any definite answers yet but I'm working on it. I walked 3 km just before supper tonight (good), I washed all of the dog's bedding and line dried it (good), I ate 3 Kashi cereal bars (not so good), I skipped lunch (not so good), I went grocery shopping and didn't buy any junk food (good), I bought flowers and some fruit for my mom and delivered it (despite the home being under quarantine - good), I made a yummy salad for supper (good), and I drank about 6 glasses of water today (good).

So, I'm going to be deep in thought about how to tailor this program to my own needs and quirks. I'm vowing to go back to re-read The Spark and to make any little accomplishments a big deal and to place less focus on my slipups.

Anyway, here is a picture of my all time favourite salad:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 5/8/2011 11:39AM

    That salad looks awesome!
Your making some good steps forward - one step at a time wins the race!
emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/8/2011 5:38AM

    Yum-mo! I like to make a salad similar to that sometimes.

I'd say you had a really good day. I didn't really eat the best yesterday - hey, it happens to the best of it! I think the most important thing is just to keep trying.

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    Awesome salad!

I am also celebrating small things, it keeps me positive.

I went grocery shopping today and I did not buy any chips, which are my downfall.

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KAMAPERRY 5/7/2011 10:51PM

    What is all in that salad? Looks awesome!!! I think you did great! You had more goods than not!

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ERIKO1908 5/7/2011 8:14PM

    Sounds like a pretty good day! :) and I agree...that salad looks scrumptious!! What is the list of ingrdients? I can see the spinach, strawberries & almonds...after that I need help! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

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BECCAJ98 5/7/2011 7:58PM

    You're making me hungry!! (And sounds like a good day...)

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ILOVELIFE2012 5/7/2011 5:58PM

    salad looks great!!!!! Good luck with achieving your goals!

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    Oh, my GOSH! I wanted to come through the computer and EAT that thing! emoticonYUM! emoticon

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Why I do the things I do

Friday, May 06, 2011


Well, it is Friday again and I feel like my grandfather when he used to say that. As a child, I never understood what he meant as the time seemed to stand still at times. Now it just flies by and I wonder where it went or what I accomplished.

I know one thing I've accomplished in the past week! I've eaten enough Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars that I'm slowly turning into one. I never thought I was a binge eater but I've realized that if I'm not careful I tend not to eat all day and then gorge at night. Well, they say the first step in recovery is acknowledging you have a problem. So, here I am admitting that I, Susan, do have an eating problem.

I know if I plan my meals ahead of time, avoid junk, eat all of my meals, limit snacking, and cook healthy, I can do this but why don't I? Am I too strict when I try that I quickly lose interest? Am I just sabotaging my own efforts by thinking this is "all or nothing". Do I use my episodes of depression to eat comfort foods rather than stick with my plan? Unfortunately, I can answer yes to all of these questions and still not be motivated to make any changes.

Okay, so lets be honest! Do I have what it takes right now to throw myself into Spark? No.
Do I think it is an all or nothing program? Yes
Why do I feel this way? I don't know
Did any of you experience this and what did you do to overcome this feeling?
Would a reward system and clear, short-term goals work best for me? Yes
Do I want to set up such a reward system? Hmmmm?

I know some of you are probably yelling at your computer monitors right now to tell me to grow up, not be so lazy and to take this seriously. To be honest, if this was someone else's blog, I'd be rolling my eyes and saying, "enough already"

Since I like projects, I think I will come up with a set of daily goals (duh, like Spark tells you to do but I figured I would bypass that part) and make up some rewards (another Spark favourite!)

I will look at the positive choices I make each day and count those without focusing on the stuff I'm not doing or the stuff I'm eating that is wrong.

I think today's personal challenge will be to start re-reading The Spark book and not rushing ahead this time. I need to establish a few permanent habits as opposed to many temporary ones.

See, how easy it all sounds "on paper" as they say. Thanks again for reading through my scribbles and for not giving up on me.

So back to basics it is for me........................................


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GARDENQE2 5/8/2011 8:43PM

    Hi, Susan!
I am a serious chocolate addict, and I found this way to deal with it. Rather than keeping my favorite (Peanut M&Ms) out of the house, I keep a good supply of them in a big bowl where I can look at them. For some reason, just looking at them is satisfying, and days go by without my eating any. When I have serious cravings, I can eat a couple pieces, and walk away. Even if I come back twenty times, I have eaten only one serving, it has taken all day, and I have gotten lots of walking in! I haven't had a real chocolate binge in several years, since I adopted this practice. Whatever works is good!
Best wishes!

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MEMARE 5/8/2011 12:15PM

    Hi Susan, it's me Mare...I'm a emoticon.
Taking things slow and steady is what has worked for me. In the beginning I modified the exercises to the 'easy' route until I felt comfortable/confident doing the more strenuous ones. In doing the C25K program... I think my jog sessions were more like a bouncy walk... I wasn't about speed. In my food choices, I worked on portion sizes before changing up my food selections. When I 'graduated' to the mindset of changing those dietary needs to more healthy ones I did it slowly...like changing from cow milk to almond milk. I still have my indulgences but I try to limit their frequency. It’s not easy by any means to do these changes. Just take it slow, try to plan ahead and if you screw up…so what? Step back acknowledge your shortcoming and step ahead into knowing you can overcome…one step at a time. One day at a time. One month at a time.
emoticon emoticon

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    Hi Susan, take it in small steps. Pick one non food thing to do, like exercise for 10 minutes. Then add in a food item to change or try.


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_LINDA 5/6/2011 9:56PM

    This lifestyle change has always been about baby steps, one at a time, and all things in moderation, not deprivation. There is nothing I don't allow myself to eat or have. The key is not to have it every single day ;) If you can get it right 80 % in a day, you are doing great! Picking one goal and reward at a time is necessary too, so you don't feel overwhelmed. Make it a realistic one too.
You can do this!
emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 5/6/2011 9:38PM

    Not only wasn't I rolling my eyes... I was nodding my head as I remembered feeling the exact same way.

To change my life, I had to change my thinking. To help me, I created the persona of my Inner Cheerleader. Sounds a little silly, but it was effective. I would imagine her arguing back against my Inner Perfectionist. In the beginning, it felt awkward but - like everything else - it because easier & more comfortable with practice.

When I'm not sure if it's perfectionism or reason talking - I ask myself what I would think if the person is question was a dear friend. The better friend I am to myself, the healthier I become. Not coincidence, I'm sure.

I think you're on the right track to focus on the positives. Acknowledging those little successes helps us build momentum. So next blog - a list of the days non-scale victories perhaps? Every little healthy choice counts.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNJEWELRUN 5/6/2011 6:25PM

    You are in welcome company! I think most people on Spark love food. We all just have different ways of dealing with it.
Moderation is best(and it is something we slowly learn over time).
I put my cheats in to my calorie count for the day(and if I feel like I am going to go over, I increase my exercise).
Also, drinking a lot of water really helps.
You can do this. Remember that you are not alone and we all support you.

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JLITT62 5/6/2011 6:02PM

    That all or nothing attitude has to go! Wish I could tell you how to do it. You have to just accept that slips will happen cause you're human - but you can't get complacent, either.

Balance is tbs key!

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BLESSED2BEME 5/6/2011 5:44PM

    Hi Susan, my name is Trish and I'm a foodaholic. I too think I should be working my program, ALL or NOTHING. It has taken me FOREVER to figure out that is not possible. I had to finally knock it into my head that small baby steps, one at a time, getting a new healthy habit estabilished before taking on another change was the way to go. I still fall back into old habits. Being addicted to food is a bit different than something we can give up 100%. There is no cut and dry answer.

Now that you have conquered step 1, what is step 2?


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BECCAJ98 5/6/2011 5:32PM

    Hi Susan, I'm Becca......and I binge too! emoticon

We can do this!

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KAMAPERRY 5/6/2011 5:01PM

    My name is Kama. I am a food addict, nice to meet you. We can do this together, one day, one minute at a time emoticon

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-KATHERINE- 5/6/2011 4:55PM

    I just goofed around with this tracking things on my good days and nothing on my bad days...but then I asked myself if I really wanted to lose weight? The answer was yes, so am I just going to piddle around with it or do it...So I tracked everything even if I was way over my calories cuz I could see exactly what I was consuming and why I was the way I was and things started clicking in my head for me. This kind of turns into a game and who is going to win? you or the calorie intake? you or the fitness nothings? Keep persevering until it clicks in for you.

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LESLIES537 5/6/2011 4:53PM

    Hi Susan, I'm Leslie, and I too, have an eating problem. We can conquer this, together! emoticon

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    I did my goals over, and WHY I did those goals, and it really helped, Susan! emoticon emoticon

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I know I'm not a parent.....but....

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Had a really good and productive day yesterday which was made that much easier because the sun was out in all of its glory. Wasn't real warm but enough to get laundry on the line and a few windows open to air out the house.

I only walked the dogs once all the same and that was around 8:00 a.m. so I feel kind of bad about that. They were out in the back garden with me but most of that was spent lying down or looking at me with "okay, what do you want us to do now" expressions.

I took 2 garbage bags of freshly washed/dried clothes to goodwill which made me feel good on many levels. Some of it still fit but was simply wrong from the start, some of it was too big (YEAH) and others I collected from other people. I cannot stand when people throw good things in the garbage that others might need and/or want!

The highlight of our day was after supper when our 12 year old friend called and said he finally got his dirtbike! We were thrilled and of course had to go along to see him take his first ride. Let me back track here for a minute. We met this little boy about 3 years ago as his mom taught dog obedience. We were instantly smitten with him (not so much with his parents but that is another story) and sort of took him under our wings. He wanted an iPod, so John suggested that his family start recycling (a foreign concept apparently) and we recruited a few neighbours. John spent hours in the woods looking for bottles and by last June, there was enough money raised. He asked John and I to take him shopping for it which we did.

So, his next goal was a dirtbike which we all laughed at (he did too) because we figured raising $1000 would take him straight into high school! But, they did it! They raised $800 from collecting bottles and cans and the other $200 he had from his birthday money. Of course as soon as he got it home he called us to thank us.

Okay, so last night we all (his parents who are divorcing) and John and I. His parents know a thing or two about bikes so they started telling him what to do. Unfortunately they swore on him several times for not catching on, called him a sissy for being nervous, etc, etc. I was almost in tears and John had to walk away on the pretence that he was looking for more bottles/cans for gas money!

Like I said, I'm not a parent but don't they see how humiliating their words are? Alex is a wonderful boy (I know he is not an angel but he is a nice, mannerly boy) and he was reduced to tears by his parents in front of us. He asked them several times to stop pressuring him before his father said, "get the *^%@$ off the bike and I'll show you....see if it gets into that pea-size brain of yours this time."

I felt horrible so I pretended that I was interested in learning how to start the bike too so we could learn together. Everything his parents yelled at him, I carefully repeated and asked questions and Alex explained it back to me. Before we knew it, he had it started and was off across the field. John was at the other end taking pictures and jumping up and down like a cheerleader!

When we are all frozen to death and ready to leave, I gave Alex a big high-five to which his father snapped,"It was about &$%#@&*^ time you *&^%$#### scaredy cat" It was then that I turned and asked his father if he still teaches the learn to ride a motorcycle course, He puffed out his chest and said yes, to which I replied, "well, thanks for the warning because I'll make sure if I ever need to learn I won't be asking you". Then I got in the car and broke down in tears and we drove away. AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH

Sorry to vent!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 5/5/2011 11:05AM

    It so nice that you and John have taken Alex under your wings - he sure needs people like you in his life. You are angels for doing so.
Love the new profile pic - it's adorable!

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JLITT62 5/4/2011 6:42PM

    Boy, you're just having bad luck with the neighbors lately. Good for you for standing up to the dad -that took courage!

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BLESSED2BEME 5/4/2011 6:15PM

    You don't have to give birth to a child or raise a child to be a parent. You have all the qualities of a good parent from what I see here. How awful for Alex to be raised that way. The emotional scarring will follow him into adulthood and be repeated.

I'm so glad he has you and your husband in his life. You are making a difference!

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    Oh. My. Gosh! And you say you've never been a PARENT!?!? You are an EXCELLENT PARENT! You know what? Growing up, I didn't have a parent like that (my Dad left when I was 7), but one of my brothers (now deceased) tormented me mercilessly, and well, it's a long story. I grew up at the neighbors, and I still adore them as the family I wished I'd had back then!

SOME parents should NOT have children... that young man's parents should be taken out and... well, I had to go back and delete the rest of this sentence! YOU, on the other hand, may have given this sweet young man the confidence and example he so badly needs! It's not SPERM that makes parents become parents! It's LOVE and NURTURING and YOU have BOTH of those!

I just love you! I wish you weren't way up there on that island so that I could come give you a great big HUG! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 3:52:22 PM

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CHANGING_LIFE 5/4/2011 3:08PM

    This brought tears to my eyes.

Not only have you been such a wonderful parent figure or support to us here on Spark, but you are also helping out this boy. What a wonderful idea to give him about recycling! In the state that I live, only cans can be recycled for money but I have been to other states where bottles are recycled. This is such a great to not only teach him about the environment, but to also teach him about working for things he wants or needs. He will hopefully take this lesson to when he has his own family, and successfully support them and teach them the same lesson.

Unfortunately, many people in this world do not have the support at the home level. I have been blessed with many people in my life such as my Uncle Barry (who is not my uncle) that have been encouraging to me when my parents have not been. It is horrible that his parents treat him this way, but I am so, so grateful that he has you and your husband to depend on.

This is also what we sometimes do to ourselves. . .and I know at times you can really be down on yourself. Next time, try to think of how awful it was to see his parents talking to him this way and try not to talk to yourself that way! I know, it's not just you--we all do it!

Again thanks so much for writing this!

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CALGARYNEWF 5/4/2011 2:42PM

    Well done, it's a good thing this young boy has you and John in his life..Imagine how negative things must be otherwise!!!!So Sad!

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_LINDA 5/4/2011 2:27PM

    OMG that is one horrible father (I hope the poor kid is staying with the mother) :((
Good for you for standing in and creating a barrier between Alex and his loudmouth father. Especially love it that you told him off in a polite way about his ability to give lessons ;)) I think I would have used stronger words in this whole incident.
You are a bright light in this boy's life. I hope he has learned from you and will pay your kindness forward and not turn into a mean mouthed SOB like his father..
Well done in your handling of this whole affair! You can be very proud!!
emoticon emoticon

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BECCAJ98 5/4/2011 1:16PM

    That is so awesome that you two have become great role models and influence on the child. Too bad his dad isn't!! Hope and pray that his parents don't have a permanent negative outcome for him! (And ps.....if I had been in your shoes, I would've slapped him!)

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NINJA_SMOO 5/4/2011 12:51PM

  Wow, that's horrible! Poor kid :(

But it's so cool that he's found a way to raise money for things he wants. Thumbs up for all the recycling and getting his bike :)

Question: does he have ALL the proper gear? I got one of those kid-sized dirt bikes when I was 14 and figured I was good because I was wearing a helmet - But I have a large scar (and 40+ stitches!) that beg to differ.

He'll have so much fun with the bike! :)

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TEMPEST272002 5/4/2011 12:26PM

    You guys have such warm hearts. It's people like you that helped me through my own difficult childhood. You did right & you have had a HUGE impact on this little boy's life. With your interest & kindness you show him that there is another way to be - and since he's doing so well with his goals, it looks like he's paying more attention to what you & John are teaching him.

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KAMAPERRY 5/4/2011 12:12PM

    I agree, parents REALLY need to not be so careless with what they say.

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MESEATURTLE 5/4/2011 12:01PM

    U did right!
I think it's great what u & your husband did with this kid! I think he is super glad that he has met u!!!!!
God bless you'll !!!

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LESLIES537 5/4/2011 11:55AM

    THATTA GIRL! I'm sure you had a million things you wanted to say to those poor souls. What you said was PERFECT though! Good for you, and good for you and hubby to provide such a positive role model in his life. God knows he needs it! Bless your hearts!

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KANSASROSE67 5/4/2011 11:51AM

    Oh...I so understand how you feel. I often wonder what these kind of parents are like in private if they're willing to act like that in front of other people. Why can't they see how easy it is to crush the spirit of this young person they've been lucky enough to have to raise?

You and your husband did so great to help and encourage Alex. He so needs postive adult role models, and you two sound like you've been wonderful. Keep up the good work! You might make all the difference in his life.

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