60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
WATERMELLEN's Recent Blog Entries

Coffee/Dog/Book or Tea/Cat/Movies?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A recent comment on WALKINGANNIE's Spark Page, following up on my "Ambrose the hero hound" blog:

"I often think to myself that there tend to be coffee people and tea people; dog people and cat people; book people and movie/TV people: and I'm primarily in the first category for each of these dichotomies!!"

What do you think?

And -- are there any more "great divides" you'd add in?

Clothes/Home Decor? (for me, it would be clothes quite definitely).

And yes: I DO have dear friends who are tea/cat/movies/home decor types: yes I do!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 8/6/2010 11:24AM

    coffee/cats / books / creativity
interesting : )
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FROSTIERACES 8/4/2010 8:54PM

    definitely a tea person here...love chamomile. Thank you Ellen for the kindest words on my blog today. I've missed you. I've been trying to catch up and reconnect back to Spark. I find your blogs pretty darn deep :) so I need time to concentrate! while reading. You often write about many ideas and subjects that cross my mind and other things that I should give more thought to. I am a dog person...and I choose books over movies any day! I am not a decor person ...though I buy and read a lot of books about it! :) Thanks again....so much. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MERALO 7/29/2010 8:59AM

    Hmmm...I'm the following:

Home decor/coffee/cat - but I love movies and books equally, can I have both?

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNFLOWERGRRL 7/29/2010 8:31AM

    What a fun blog! I like 'em all!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 7/28/2010 9:46PM

    I love my cats but if I were home more - they'd have to learn to love my new doggie. I love doggies.

I tend to like TV and books more than movies... Hmm...


Report Inappropriate Comment
BRIGHTSPARK7 7/27/2010 2:34PM

    Cat or dog? I'm in the "All creatures great and small" category. Do you watch James Herriot, the Yorkshire vet? I quit drinking coffee a few years ago. Are you aghast at this? It took some doing and I still LOVE the aroma, but the caffeine was affecting my bowels. More than you needed to know. :) My favorite teas at the moment are Rooibos and Tulsi pomegranate green tea. With a chocolate dipped biscotti to dunk. emoticon And as for clothing and decor, as long as it's color coordinated with Duke's fur, it's okay. LOL!

Comment edited on: 7/27/2010 2:38:41 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WHOLY_FIT_48 7/26/2010 5:46AM

    Oh, I'm definitely coffee/dog/book/movie/clothes type of person. With three goldens who rule the roost, home decor focus is out of the question... LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
TKADEEPBREATH 7/25/2010 8:17PM

    My dear friend, I think we have so many things in common, I think we should plan a cruise together . . . how 'bout 2013? Let's work it . . .

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRACTALMYTH 7/25/2010 6:52PM

    hmmmm tea/catdog/book lol

Report Inappropriate Comment
REMEMBER2BME 7/25/2010 5:41PM

    How funny. I agree. Coffee (love the ice coffee)/dog (no doubt)/book (although I like movies too)/clothes
I am also a huge breakfast person. I am happy eating breakfast 3 times a day. Funny, I used to not be a book person and now I always want one within reach if possible.

Ah, and what about runners versus... hum what else is there?
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 7/25/2010 1:53PM

    Coffee / dogs / book / clothes! i don't mind the others, but these are definitely dominant.

Thanks for the book goodie and tip. I haven't read any of that series but I'm always open to recommendations.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 7/25/2010 11:19AM

    Coffee / dog / book person here.

But I fuzz the line on all three... I also like tea on occasion, get on OK with cats, and enjoy a good film. Can't even begin to decide between clothing or home decor, as I'm not strong on either!

Funny how we choose to classify the world. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    coffee/cat/ cartoons!

I love dividing hippies between vdubs / volvos (I like to count both in the parking lots of shows and then classify the bands by the cars their fans drive)

not sure about clothes/decor divide but I am on the knitting side of crochet/knit and on the purse side of purse/shoes.

Comment edited on: 7/25/2010 11:16:32 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
NORAB52GOOD 7/25/2010 10:55AM

    I am definitely a cat person but I like coffee and tea equally and I prefer books and home decor. So I guess I am coffeetea/cat/books/home decor. emoticon Fun blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TERRIPHILL 7/25/2010 10:24AM

    OK....I'm coffee/cat/movies/home decor seems I can't make up my mind! Loved your post. Cute!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEODAWG 7/25/2010 10:18AM

    I am too lazy to actually have a dog even tho I love them. I have a cat who is as lovable as any dog I ever had, so he fills the void. I'm with you on the coffee/book thingy!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Can I Nominate My Official Best Dog Ever?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Really love ANNASBF's "Official Best Dog Ever" blog: here is the link, the wonderful story of her giant schnauzer rescue dog who rescued her and her two little girls from some pretty bad guys:


I love dogs, have had dogs pretty much my whole life, and have to say that Charlie my current golden retriever is the very most loved of all my very loved dogs.

But in the "hero hound" category, there was Ambrose, my basset: a lovely boy, but not a very bright boy. Except on one memorable occasion.

My daughter was brand new, amost six weeks premature, very tiny, and had us up around the clock, me post Caesarean-section. It was a pretty tough time.

My husband groggily ironed a golf shirt and was heading out to play his first post-baby game, pretty much sleep walking.

Baby daughter was finally napping and I crawled back into bed myself. But Ambrose would not let me sleep. He kept scratching at my bedroom door, howling insistently, and refused to be silenced. Finally I rolled out of bed, and Ambrose beckoned my very clearly to follow him down to the basement laundry room.

Yes, the iron had been left plugged in -- there were flames shooting out of the ironing board cover -- and the ironing board itself had melted right through.

I was there just in the nick of time.

Ambrose, the hero hound.

About a year later, our house was badly damaged in a tornado, with our baby daughter's bedroom window exploding in giant glass shards over her bed. I rescued her just in time, took her down to the basement. And then, yes, I returned upstairs and risked my life again to rescue Ambrose without a second thought. He had earned it after all.

Ambrose was five when we had our first child but he had been advocating babies for all of those five years. When we were out for a walk and he spotted a toddler, he would drag us strenuously across the street with his white-tipped tail wagging joyously. And turn around to gaze up at us meaningfully with his mournful wrunkled face as if to ask , "When?"

And he really did love both our children, and was infinitely patient with them. He tolerated our baby son trying to ride on his back. One memorable day, I found Ambrose sleeping peacefully on the back door mat wearing four tiny rainboots on his four freckled basset paws. On him, they were pretty much hip-waders.

Bassets are photogenic dogs: it's their dramatic long ears (which bassets can fling about most expressively). But unlike golden retrievers, who are infinitely companionable and affectionate, bassets are dogs whose brains are mostly devoted to processing stimuli from their noses: they are absolutely obsessive about smells of all descriptions.

Nevertheless, Ambrose was an exceptionally sweet basset who probably saved the lives of my daughter and myself that long-ago day. And all of us do remember him with the greatest affection.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 8/4/2010 8:56PM

    amazing story and blog...... :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRIGHTSPARK7 7/27/2010 2:20PM

    Ambrose, what an amazing dog! I love his name also ... purrfect for a basset. A joy to read your blogs ... on so many levels. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STLRZGRRL 7/26/2010 9:46PM

    Awwwwww... whoozagooboy, Ambrose, huh? Whooza gooboy? Ahhh, YOU are....

Ah, Ellen... we'll see them all again one day... if I didn't believe it, I would refuse to ever go...


*iz the dog angel*

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYGOLDENBOYS3 7/26/2010 6:59AM

    What an incredible story of an amazing dog. Not all dogs would have possessed that special quality of being smart enough to sense the danger. My dogs are my special friends. They always want to be with me no matter what. They motivate me to walk every morning because they need to get out for their exercise too. Goldens, too, have incredible noses for hunting smells...hope that they would be able to do what Ambrose did!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WHOLY_FIT_48 7/26/2010 5:53AM

    Ah, I love this story Ellen - Ambrose sounded very special and he was indeed a hero. Always amazes me the loyalty our four-leggeds have to their two-leggeds. My brother has always had Bassets so I've had some exposure to them. And there is a business here in town that I frequent quite often as part of my work responsibilities and they have a basset named Cinnamon in the office. She always gets some good "pet time" from me...I mean, who can resist those droopy eyes and ears?

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Good dog. Such a good boy. Yes you are, Ambrose. Good, good dog.
(thanks for the happy tear or two before breakfast)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEODAWG 7/24/2010 9:43PM

    Bassett hounds are so sweet. I had one years ago and loved him better than ticks love blood. I had to give him away and it broke my heart! Thanks for sharing your dog story.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 7/24/2010 4:27PM

    What a fabulous story Ellen - and you write so beautifully.

I love the idea of the 4 little boots but top marks go to Ambrose and to you for saving precious lives. Love gives such courage.


Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTBIRDY 7/24/2010 3:35PM

    What a great story! What a great dog!

Report Inappropriate Comment

In Recovery from a Specially Busy Time

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

After a wonderful week of holidays (an outstanding creative writing course) my work has been particularly demanding in the last short while. All-consuming, actually: much much time plus much much emotional energy. I've worked right through several weekends -- and it's been worth it, I got the results necessary in a crucial situation.

Now . . . ahhhhhh . . . . must slow down and recover a bit. Also devote some time and energy to the stuff that's waiting its turn!!

And: all of that's meant less time on SparkPeople, less time for exercise too.

But I have kept right on tracking the nutrition and controlling the weight.

The cardio has been affected because (in addition to the busy busy) it appears that my darn toe problems have NOT been resolved -- I was back to the surgeon today who says it's likely further and more radical treatment will be indicated. This too has prevented me getting back into the running consistently. I'd resumed the 8 km program - really loving it -- but the toe would not stop bleeding, unfortunately. So will have to back off a bit, and if another round of surgery is inevitable, then the backing off could be for a fairly lengthy period. Will be trying a more moderate laser approach first before more surgery.

Il faut reculer pour mieux sauter; ya gotta fall back in order to leap forward. Might not be doing any really really BIG leaps for awhile but that's OK. Big leaps will come!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGHTSPARK7 7/27/2010 2:26PM

    Great catching up with you, Ellen! I've been on Spark less myself recently. So great that your hard work paid off! I am in awe that you kept tracking throughout your busy period. Well done!
Glad you have some time to kick back, give your toe the time and rest it needs. Wishing you all the best for treatment and healing. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 7/23/2010 6:56PM

    Oh, I am so sorry about your toe. Maybe this down time will do it some good. There is nothing like kicking back and unwinding and just addressing little things that get put on the backburner.

It sounds like you accomplished a lot though. And that is awesomesauce.

Yeah you!!!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
TKADEEPBREATH 7/22/2010 11:05PM

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one with the "busy" problem. The writing course sounds great. And the business stuff, as long as we get through it and all the time invested pays off, it's worth it.

Sorry you are suffering with your toe. It's so easy to take foot health for granted. Our feet work so hard for us. I hope your next procedure takes care of it.

Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend. Talk to you soon, dear friend. Jan emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 7/22/2010 5:32PM

    It's great to see you back again Ellen. I have been wondering about you. Glad that you enjoyed the creative writing course.

I'm really sorry about your toe and hope that you can get the problem resolved successfully as soon as possible.

Take care.


Report Inappropriate Comment

    I promise not to panic next time I notice you missing.

It is reassuring to know that you are willing and able to pull back when you have to. That way I don't have to worry.

emoticon emoticon emoticon
(Sending Loving Toe-d thoughts your way!!!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEODAWG 7/22/2010 6:03AM

    Missed seeing you here. So sorry about your injured toe. I do hope you get it resolved soon. Nice to have you back!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WHOLY_FIT_48 7/22/2010 5:51AM

    So glad to see you back on the boards here at SP. You had to prioritize your time according to your life situation and I applaud you for doing so intelligently...although I know many of us were freaking out and asking "Where's Watermellen?". LOL Hope you know that's because you are greatly appreciated for the encouragement you give to so many of us. Creative writing course - hhhmm, that sounds fun, interesting and challenging. It's always nice when the extra work we do pays off in terms of results...doesn't always but glad for you in this case it did. And, I am so sorry to hear about your toe. Will be praying for a good healthy resolution and proper healing. And frogs don't always move with great leaps...sometimes they just scoot forward a bit at a time. But they still get to where they want to be as you will as well. Blessings.

PS Tell Charlie that my 3 goldens said he is to be especially attentive to you and must be careful he doesn't step on your toes...not the place for big golden paws. LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
MELAPHANTN 7/21/2010 10:32PM

    Little by little, bit by bit, ups and downs but the graph chart says your always moving towards your goals and that is success no matter how you look at it.

Sorry about the toe, sounds painful. Hopefully the surgery will go well and you will be able to do whatever you want with no problems soon.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 7/21/2010 9:47PM

    It's good to hear that all your hard work and busyness over the past few weeks led to the desired outcomes!

Hmm, it's too bad how something as small as a toe can mess up major plans.


I'm picturing those doggy devices that put wheels in place of a dog's injured hind legs.

A skate board or roller skates, maybe? emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
JOPAPGH 7/21/2010 9:42PM

    Nice to see you around. Hope the toes are resolved soon and you can get back to what you want to do.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Dessert in a Cup

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The number of calories -- and the quantity of fat and sugar -- in a number of popular cold summer beverages is pretty shocking, at least according to a recent article in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Gotta admit, I don't have these things often but the numbers really suprised me.

Here's the link if you're interested in getting all of the gruesome details:


Who would have thought that a McDonald’s Triple Thick Vanilla Milkshake has 1100 calories: as much saturated fat as three McDonald’s cheeseburgers and 140 grams (35 teaspoons worth) of sugar!!

The Cold Stone Creamery Oh Fudge Milkshake (“Gotta Have It” size, 24 oz. would not be a better choice: 1920 calories, 69 grams saturated fat, 750 milligrams sodium, 200 grams sugar. That's more than a day's worth of calories for most of us plus 3.5 days' worth of fat and the sugar equivalent of 40 Fudgee-O cookies. Yikes!!

The article goes on to list a number of other options including Canada's fave Tim Horton's items and various smoothies that clearly won't do much to smooth my hips and thighs . . . but as for me, it looks like I'm gonna be sticking with my usual hot coffee. Yup, that would be my "only remaining sin": black coffee -- way too many cups a day, probably, but still.

And maybe an occasional skim milk latte with Splenda! Sigh. Not glamorous, not summery but -- about what I can handle.

Can do either of these over icecubes if it gets really really hot, I suppose.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGHTSPARK7 7/5/2010 2:58PM

    Boy, am I glad for home made smoothies even more, now that I've read your blog! And one of my favorite desserts is in season here in California: a fresh fig. Yummmm.

Enjoy your holiday, Ellen! Coffee over ice cubes ... very cool. LOL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 7/1/2010 9:18PM

    Love my coffee and I am never giving it up. Woot!!


I can't believe how many calories some foods have in them. Amazing.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Coffee is my favorite diet drink... hot, iced, or maybe with a little frothed skim milk. Tastes amazing, makes any workout better, next to no calories!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 7/1/2010 4:08PM

    Yikes ! A milkshake at 1100 calories!!

Back to the frozen blueberries I think!


Report Inappropriate Comment
DSHONEYC 7/1/2010 2:23PM

    Thanks, Ellen, for putting "The Big Chill" on our summer favorites.

Seriously, we can probably make lots of "lower cal/fat/sugar" options at home. Perhaps someone will start a franchise (is this a good idea or what?) that features nothing but healthy options, including good for you milkshakes and light lattes.

Personally when I drink, if it ain't wine then its water. Or tea or coffee or V8. Coffee is not a sin...in some research cycles is is branded good for you. But like anything, too much of a good thing ... whatever.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 7/1/2010 10:56AM

    Yes, it is shocking. And the biggest shock for me, since I'm truly addicted to watermelon, was to find how many calories SP lists for it. Especially since I have been known to eat one a day for days and days!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMAGINE_IT 7/1/2010 10:09AM

    Crazy..crazy amount of calories..that is why i stay far away from those 'Shakes' thank goodness that is one item on the food/drink list i do not crave..however i did have a small shake from Wendy's the other night and when i tracked it the next day i was shocked to see that it had 330cal... emoticon and i mean it was the smallest of the smallest they had!!! Live and learn..that's all i can say for myself..lol

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYMAC45 6/30/2010 9:57PM

    I would have never guessed that a milkshake was so high in cals & fats. Thanks for the info.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLENDERELLA61 6/30/2010 9:38PM

    I knew milkshakes were a lot, but that's more than I would have suspected. Thanks for the warning. Yep. Sticking to the water and maybe a little tea, coffee, or Crystal Light. -Marsha

Report Inappropriate Comment

Five Minutes Exercise a Day Controls Weight Gain

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

That's what a recent article in the Toronto Star claims: and it's based upon Harvard School of Public Health research. Here's the link if you want to read the whole thing:


The gist of the article: particularly for women over age 50, as little as five minutes a day of brisk walking -- as if you're running for the bus -- or biking is enough to do the trick. And biking is often less stressful on the knee and hip joints.

Of course it's better if you expand upon it, add some strength training and so on: but the five minutes built into the daily routine is the "tipping point". Another study, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, provides evidence that doubling the five minutes to ten minutes a day can "trigger profound and lasting changes in metabolism and improve overall health". Wow.

So many women really are just too busy with work and families to make time for exercise. We've been accustomed to think that 30 minutes is the minimum and that you have to break a sweat to make it worthwhile. That makes a shower necessary and then restyling of the hair and makeup and so on: and when we can't do all of that, there may be no choice but not to exercise at all.

But five minutes: that's more doable! Ten minutes is apparently close to miraculous!

For me, then, this was encouraging news.

Almost every one of us can find five or ten minutes -- and apparently five or ten minutes may be enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINSNEWNEST 7/27/2010 1:39AM

    good to know...I like your page and postings. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
STLRZGRRL 7/5/2010 8:17PM

    Five minutes is better than no minutes.

I agree!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 7/1/2010 11:17AM

    This is encouraging information. We tend to think 5 or 10 minutes won't do much of anything. It's helpful to know better now.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VENISEW1 6/30/2010 9:43PM

    Every little bit counts! Something is definitely better than nothing emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESSIEAUDREY 6/30/2010 8:02PM

    I would beg to differ... How can 5 minutes be enough? Even with working out 5 days a week for at least one hour and tracking my calories, there are still times when I don't feel like it's enough.

Comment edited on: 6/30/2010 8:03:12 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 Last Page