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The cottage by the stream

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I remember one particular little home, positioned close to a bubbling stream; it always looked like something that should have been in a magazine advocating country living with all it's charm. Peaceful, quiet, it was the epitome of living the good life if you liked that country flavor.

The home had a curved walkway made out of some type of smooth stones, and on either side, flanking this walkway were bright red geraniums, blooming profusely. Out toward the rear yard I could see a swing hanging from a big branch, well shaded by the tree supporting it. Visions of backyard picnics from my childhood days sprang to mind, and I found myself envying the children growing up there.

There was seldom anyone visible as I drove past the little home, but one chilly evening as I drove past there was a light visible and a thin trail of smoke coming out of the fireplace chimney. It was enough to start my imagination busy dreaming up pine furnishings and rag rugs on the wooden floors, homey, comfy, and very warm and welcoming.

Children of today seldom know the blessings of the "cottage by the stream" type of upbringing, and it is sad, because those are the memories that are so sweet to look back on as we go about our busy city lives.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 4/1/2010 8:09AM

    Your words are like music! At the same time your words paint a picture in my mind!

Thank you for a peaceful oasis moment in a pressured day!

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MARGOMCP 4/1/2010 7:19AM

    My favorite word is "wholesome" because, for me, it brings up the image of a country kitchen with the smell of fresh-baked bread and gingham curtains blowing inward from the open window, the big, scarred wooden table where the work's done. . .

Comment edited on: 4/1/2010 7:19:54 AM

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LIS193 3/31/2010 10:54PM

    Sounds like my kind of place :)
Isn't it amazing how a place can touch our heart and spark imaginations?
emoticon

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When I was 21

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Boy Oh Boy! How many of you can remember that far back? It seems like a lifetime ago, and for me, it definitely was! Back then I didn't have to count calories, and I seldom stepped on a scale. If I did happen to step on a scale it was probably because I was in a doctor's office. Weight did not matter to me! It never does when you wear a size 6 and you are super active.

Back in those days 40 was practically "over the hill" and with the active lifestyle that was the only way I knew how to live, who needed to watch what they ate. I can remember that my very favorite dessert back then was pecan pie WITH two scoops of vanilla ice cream on it. I used to go out to lunch sometimes with my husband's boss' wife -- yes, I was already married and had 2 little boys. She would take me to lunch and I'd order that exact dessert. She would sit and look at me with wonder in her eyes. Now I know why.

Years have a way of slipping by and with them the scale did go through a few adjustments. I changed from 105 pounds to 114, then finally at 40 moved to Japan and needed to have a hysterectomy -- now estrogen came into my life and my weight shot up to 124! Good old med's will do it everytime. I thought I was fat, fat, fat!! About that time I got a divorce and eventually remarried, still at 124 pounds at age 50. Then the old clock picked up a little speed as we started our own business and ate every meal in a restaurant! My weight seemed to shoot up overnight, and the rest is history! All I can say in retrospect is "Thank God for Spark People." I'm not at my goal yet, but little by little I can nibbling away at the 162 that I carried around for a number of years.

to emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GGFIRST 3/31/2010 7:58PM

    So many are in the same boat but we are on our way out of that boat thanks to SP!

I was 99 pounds when I graduated from high school.

In 1978 I had my first child, a beautiful 10 1/2 lb baby girl but that's when the weight problem began.

In 1982 I had my second child, a wonderful 9 lb 10 oz little boy, that's when another 10 pounds stayed with me.

After my divorce in 1996 I weighed about 160 lbs.

In 1999 I actually got down to 120.

Then I went back up to 168, then at some point I was down to 130, then I went back up to 150, then I got down to 130 again.

Got married in 2004 I was 130 lbs and then I started gaining again. Started SP Jan 15th at 168 pounds.

Presently at 157. I won't quit until I reach my goal which is no longer 99 pounds. I'll be happy for 130 again. emoticon

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CATLADY52 3/31/2010 7:05PM

    Too true. emoticon

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VITCHY-VICKI 3/31/2010 8:25AM

    At 21 I was married and had two kids also but I have always been heavy and I have always been on a D all my life so nothing new here. But with SP and you I try hard not to go back to what I weighed when I started SP. If I had to do it all over again I would do things a little different. Love my hubby and kids but would have made better chooses.
emoticon Should say WE can do it together.
Vicki

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LIS193 3/31/2010 12:23AM

    21 is along time ago... I've always had a weight problem and at 21 I was about the same weight as now. Lost a bit, gained a lot and lost a lot again. It turned out my thyroid was not functioning at all.... Anyway, weight is still a struggle and it will always be. The trick is to keep an eye open and take action when it starts to get out of hand. I have a "panic zone" and unfortunately I'm on the lower edge of it now :( Time to take action! (ok I will after we get home next week)

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GRANNYOF05 3/30/2010 11:24PM

    Ah! Yes! It seems like yesterday.

I gradulated from HS at 102 lbs.
I wore a size 5 dress.

When I got married I was 108 lbs. Still in a size 5 dress.

My first pregnancy I got up to 136 lbs. at 9 mo. pregnant.
Oh my!

My second pregnancy I got up to 140 lbs. at 9 mo. pregnant.

My third and last pregnancy I was 156 lbs. at 9 months pregnant.
After he was born I got back down to 135 lbs.

And then I got down to 125, and I thought I was fat.

Slowly the weight started coming back and the yo yo began.

Boy I wish I was 156 lbs. today

Thanks for the memories.

Hugs,
Gayle

Comment edited on: 3/30/2010 11:25:01 PM

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Living in the Present

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I think a lot of us could improve our lives and our outlooks if we would try harder to "live in the present." It's kind of like living in the moment, or taking one day at a time. Trying not to reflect too seriously on what may or may not have happened in the past, and trying not to be too concerned about what may or may not happen in the future.

I've met a few individuals who seem so layed back that I think they have the system well under control; but for the majority of us, living in the present is difficult, if not impossible. How do you forget (or put out of your mind) that your husband or wife died "x" number of years ago; or if you have a medical problem, how can you space that out and not worry or wonder about the treatment you will have to undergo?

Perhaps the solution that we are all missing here is one of trust. Trusting to take care of the things we have control of, and accepting the things we cannot control. For those of us who find religion comforting, perhaps simple prayer and trusting in God's will is the only way to make it through problems, and still remain calm and happy.

When I say that it is not healthy to live in the past I am certainly not saying that our fond memories of good times from earlier days and years should be forgotten. The good times should always be in our conscious and unconscious minds, reminding us of what life is all about. It's the bad stuff that we should try to put away in some secret little space. After we have accepted it, thought about it, and have healed with the knowledge of it -- put it away, so it doesn't become "baggage" and rule our lives and behaviors! Think only of the good things, and even there, try not to become so engrossed in the past that you forget the good things that are coming your way each and every day. They may be simple little things, but they are still good.

Today I was thankful that I could sleep as late as I wanted in a wonderfully comfortable bed. I enjoyed my cup of fresh coffee and a piece of toast when I got up. And instead of being annoyed with my Scotty, when she woke me (as she was hunry) I felt thankful that I had a sweet, loving, obedient pet to keep me company. Unconditional love, something everyone covets and few have. I was thankful for my beautiful home and my lovely backyard where I can spend pleasant hours pursuing my hobby of gardening. I was thankful for my good health and although I vent and carry on about my 2 or 3 pound weight gain, I am not in the least ashamed of my shape, and for that I am thankful also.

Make a list of the things you are thankful for each and every day -- and try to live in the present instead of reminiscing about the past, or worrying about the future. Today is a present, treat it like one!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARSHALL 3/30/2010 7:47PM

  Scotmama, I am Charlotte1940. I live in Liberty, MO I have joined the retired group so far, I live with my husband of 47 years and our dog. 3 children all grown and flown, 4 grandchildren and 2 great grands!! This is a very encouraging blog and a beautiful page

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ANNANN63 3/30/2010 6:15PM

    Love the picture and love the message. I have done some work on accepting the past and if I think of something good in the past I enjoy the memory; if I think of something bad in the past, I stop and move my thoughts elsewhere. tI is working most of the time. I am just letting the future unfold. It does make me happier than I was before. Great blog.

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DHSPARK 3/29/2010 5:36PM

    The 'ole Serenity Prayer and living in the moment are great thoughts. We (me) beat ourselves up over past mistakes and worry about what may be coming our way (and I've got the white hairs to prove it!).

We should enjoy each and every day. It's the KISS theory...Keep It Simple Silly (don't like Stupid - ya can't "fix" stupid).

emoticon advice from a wise woman. Thanks, Eve!
Deb emoticon

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4CINDY2010 3/29/2010 7:17AM

  Wonderful blog, Eve. You have a great insight & I hope you have a terrific day. Your Scotty must be precious! ... oh, also, that photo is gorgeous emoticon
emoticon

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LIS193 3/29/2010 12:18AM

    Beautiful blog - thank you.
Enjoy your dog, she is a precious companion.
emoticon

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Is it OK to just space out one day?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Today I woke up and my face was swollen once again -- this time it was the right side of my lower lip all the way down to my jaw! Made me look funny, but I wasn't laughing! This is getting to be depressing and doctors don't have the slightest idea what is causing it.

My SP calendar said I was to go to the gym at 11:00, but do you know something? I could not force myself to get dressed and go. Sometimes people don't notice what you look like, you could have red and yellow polka dots on your face and they wouldn't give you a second glance -- but maybe I'm overly vain or something, but if there is something different about me I'm always sure people will be staring at me. So I made the decision to stay home until my face was back to normal. Hey! I've been through this hundreds of times over the past 8-1/2 years, so what's one more day?

I slipped on a pair of comfy slacks, and a long-sleeved zip up jacket, didn't do much except pull a few weeds for exercise, mostly I read and watched TV. I tried to eat healthy and tell myself that tomorrow everything will be back to normal (until the next episode!). Maybe for me the lazy day I spent is equivalent to other people binging and eating everything in sight. It seems to do me good to just space out for a day, never leave the house, kind of just cease to exist.

Does anyone else have days like this? Do we owe it to ourselves so we can keep going?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEENSTER1 3/29/2010 1:51PM

    emoticon Hello,

You may have Bells Palsy. Look it up in the article under A-Z in the SP articles. Hope that helps you. Be Encouraged and have a wonderful day. Take good care. emoticon

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SCOTMAMA 3/28/2010 10:51PM

    To all who have read my blog, I have had this "swelling of the face" problem since early in 2001 when my husband was dying of stomach cancer. At the time I thought it was brought on by stress. Later, it began to also affect my tongue, that was scary and I went to see an Allergist. They gave me the shot test on arms and back for every imaginable thing -- but nothing showed up as being the problem. They suggested I take Zyrtec each evening before going to bed. I do this, but it still occurs on a very variable timeframe. I think it is probably stress related, but half the time I don't even know I am stressed about something.
Eve

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ANNANN63 3/28/2010 10:40PM

    Nothing wrong with it at all. Any chance you are having an allergic reaction? That was my first thought hearing your symptom.

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CATLADY52 3/28/2010 12:19PM

    You deserve a day off now and then. I'd say that even if you didn't have something bothering you. I feel the same way at times and it is hard to get started. So.. emoticon

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VITCHY-VICKI 3/28/2010 9:10AM

    I have those days a lot and sorry about the face thing have not had that so not sure what to tell you. But hope you enjoyed your day off. I wanted to exercise yesterday but didn't and hubby said I needed a day off so I did but now I really need to work out for the scale didn't like my day off.
Ok hope all is better today.

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JJPJ4242 3/28/2010 12:08AM

    Nothing wrong with re-charging the batteries for a day. When I was in high school, I used to get facial swelling, lips, eyes, etc... It turned out to be a sensitivity to caffeine and was worse in the hot months. Weird !

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Generosity - Another Virtue

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

emoticon No, I'm not just talking "money" here, but more about the feeling of generosity that comes from the heart. Sometimes it involves TIME; other times it involves giving of yourself, perhaps by giving of your talents, your time, your money, your opinion, it could even be giving a compliment. Generosity is a funny thing, the more you give, the more you get. Sometimes it's just giving of your friendship and befriending people.

Be generous with your smiles, after all they are free! Did you ever notice that when you smile at someone you nearly always get a smile in return? And doesn't it brighten up your day just a bit when you receive a smile from someone? Or a kind word -- that's another way of making another person's day a bit brighter. And it costs you nothing at all.

Unless I'm staying home all day, I try to make it a habit to smile at people as I walk through a store, when I'm working at the Library, or when I'm at the gym. And if it happens to be one of those days when I'm home all day, spread the sunshine by making a phone call to a friend. I think it's important to reach out to some of those people you don't see often, because we never know when our time is up (or theirs either).

As far as being generous with your money -- sure, it's a good idea to help people, but do not "enable" them, there is a big difference. One example is how people are always so worried about what they are going to leave their children. The philosophy that I use is that I try to help them if possible now, while I'm alive. At least then I know where the money is going and what it's being spent on. After you're gone -- who knows?? Better to be loved while you are here than to be a happy memory in someone's mind.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVES_ANIMALS 3/25/2010 1:29PM

    Very nice to share, teach, and encourage all at once!

Sally

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PAYDAY10 3/25/2010 2:21AM

  This is a good blog.
One persons smile greeting may be the only face that glows for a person as they wish them a good morning. a Good Day greeting can lift their Spirits. Opening a door for someone leaving a store. Some people will be surprised by your thoughtfulness. You can buy a soda or coffee for the person behind you at the drive up window. You can clean the snow off of the windshield of a co-worker's car next to yours in the parking lot. There are so many opportunities if we simply take advantage of them.

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ANNANN63 3/24/2010 6:19PM

    You have a lovely attitude. If each of us did small things to improve where we live, imagine the consequences.

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LIS193 3/24/2010 11:48AM

    Wonderful blog - thank you for smiling my way
Here's a smile back
emoticon

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STRONGMELISSA24 3/24/2010 11:11AM

    what a great blog! thanks for sharing!

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ENJOYINGMYLIFE 3/24/2010 12:36AM

  smiling atcha.... btw... congrats on reaching your sparkpoint milestone!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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