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Food: If It's In the House, I Intend to Eat It!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Several of us post-holidays have been kicking around the perennial issue of giving into temptation --and since this is Spark People, that would be primarily in the context of food, of course.

Let me be frank: I don't have any will power. And probably for that reason -- because I prefer to make excuses for my own moral weakness -- I like to believe that will power is highly over-rated.

For me, it's all about evading temptation. Avoiding it. Because it's been well established. I can resist. Anything. But. Temptation.

But if the tempting food is in the house --if I've bought it at the grocery store, or brought it home when someone gave it to me, or failed to throw it out when someone brought it to me -- then I intend to eat it.

I've already decided. It will happen.

It's not a question of "if". It's a question of "when".

And the answer to when is probably late at night. Furtively. And guiltily. Without a whole lot of pleasure. On automatic pilot. Which is, come to think about it, such a waste of calories!!

Remember the baseball movie, "Field of Dreams" and the inspiring message that "if you build it they will come"?

Well in the context of food, if I've bought it, I will eat it. For me, the chow down will be a completely predictable variant on that field of dreams doctrine. Just not so inspiring. And then I'll try to tell myself I'm not culpable because . . . . I didn't mean to do it. I just gave into temptation. As we all do.

But of course I did mean to, at least at some level. And I am culpable. I meant to eat it and I had decided I would eat it because I had brought it home knowing I cannot resist temptation. Just like the drunk driver is culpable because he had too many drinks. He may not have planned to drive after all of those drinks, but the drinks impaired his judgment before he got behind the wheel. And he knew they would. So, knowing that about himself, he knew or reasonably ought to have known that the time to establish an alternative driver was before he had the drinks. And for me, knowing what I know about myself, the time to say no was before I permitted those irresistble trigger high fat/salt/simple carb foods into my house.

Who am I kidding when I buy the stuff? Or fail to throw out trigger gift foods? I can leave it at the store. I can thank the (sabotaging) food givers politely and pitch it out in the office dumpster. Or donate the items to the food bank. Or wrap it up in the garbage after they've gone home. I don't have to hurt anyone's feelings. And I don't have to keep the food. But if I keep it I will eat it.

Do I really believe I've gotta have it in the house because all the neighbours are going to show up at my door this evening demanding fattening stuff? Quantities sufficient for 12 or 20? Ooey gooey triple cheese pizza, chips and dip, whatever? No. They won't. And I don't really believe I have a duty to have all the ooey gooey stuff in stock for my family members either: they're adults, if they want it they can go out and get it for themselves. And then they can eat it, please, somewhere else. Somewhere I don't have to see it. Or smell it. Or hear it crunching.

Think about all the other situations in which we might be tempted. Situations in which because we know we'll be tempted and might give in to the temptation, we don't ever put ourselves to the test. Would not dream of it, in fact. Never.

I don't slide that pretty one carat ring into my pocket and edge nonchalantly towards the door of the jewellery store just to see if I could get away with shoplifting it -- and then put it back before the alarms go off -- all to persuade myself of my superior moral powers of resisting the temptation to be a thief. I don't check into a motel with that attractive stranger I picked up in a bar and then wave a cheery goodbye and exit at the very last moment possible before . . . um . . . well you know. Just to persuade myself I'm not a . . um . . well you know. Not happening!!

So: do I need to bring home the chocolate brownie cheesecake icecream and bury it in the back of the fridge and try to persuade myself it's not there until . . . it really isn't there . . . because I've eaten it?? Using the rationalization that if I don't eat it I'll be demonstrating to someone how strong and determined and morally superior I am because I didn't?

No. I don't. A results-based analysis coupled with a little probability prediction tells me that I shouldn't bury the cheesecake in the freezer because more often than not I will eat it. In fact, almost all of the time. And the results will be self-loathing, rage, despair, a downward spiral. Plus, did I mention, weight gain?? Which I'll wear around my waist and my hips and my thighs?

(I might get away with stealing the ring or . . . the other. But the evidence I've given into food tempation is going to be apparent to everyone. And most of all, apparent to me.)

I can resist anything but temptation. So I have to avoid it. And avoiding temptation is quite likely the best I can do.

Which is, actually OK. Because nobody is twisting my arm and making me buy the chocolate cheesecake icecream and bury it in the freezer. All I've gotta do is leave it at the store and refuse to let it into my house.

Avoiding temptation might not make me virtuous: I'm not fooling myself about that. But avoiding temptation is doable; more doable than resisting temptation. And that's (most of the time) good enough.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 1/13/2011 7:22PM

    GREAT blog, and soooo true! Thanks for the insight. If I bring it into the house, I've already decided to eat it. Awesome.



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FROSTIERACES 1/12/2011 7:43PM

    Put down the Fork! emoticonLock the cupboards! emoticonand pretend you're on an deserted island?! emoticonwith only bananas, berries and emoticon emoticonthe Sunshine to worry about! emoticonOh How I WISH I was on a warm vacation with just tropical foods to eat! I am so burnt out on turkey and these heavy meals. Lately one saving grace for me has been Luna bars! Have you tried them? I absolutely love them and they seem to fill in the gap when I'm starving between meals.

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KALIGIRL 1/10/2011 1:10PM

    Here's to avoiding temptation!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/9/2011 9:08PM

    LOL. " I can resist anything but temptation." I just love your brazen honesty. So so lovely.

People always think something is wrong with me when they look in my fridge. It is always bottled water and enough bagged veggies for a couple of days and I used to have protein bars until they started tasting exactly like Snickers to me. No more protein bars now...

It is best that I admit my weakness and just work around it. All of this drama about will power is just not my thing. I could be using that power for something else...

Great blog!

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CMB2048 1/9/2011 10:26AM

    Forgot to mention, although, I think I did already, that until you said in another blog that when you bring this stuff in the house you'vve already decided to eat it, I never thought of it that way. I shop differently now thanks to that insight!

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CMB2048 1/9/2011 9:59AM

    Your blog is so on point. That is me. I cannot bring the stuff in the house or I'll eat it!

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PENNYAN45 1/8/2011 7:57PM

    I'm with you all the way on this one!

You are so right about having foods in the house that are tempting. I will also eat them. There's no question about it.

And I love your analogy with other types of temptation. Of course we wouldn't put ourselves in those situations just to prove that we can avoid temptation. Rather, we avoid the situations altogether.

I think you made a great case for your point of view. I agree. We shouldn't have the foods in the house. We shouldn't bring them home. If someone brings them to us, we should throw them away.

And here's something else to think about. In days gone by, when I was completely addicted to nacho cheese chips - it wasn't enough for me to throw the bag away in the trash. I had been known to go back and raid the trash within the hour. What I learned to do (to avoid that temptation) was to RUN WATER IN THE BAG first, and then throw it in the trash. Shameful.....but necessary. LOL







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IMAGINE_IT 1/8/2011 4:54PM

    Very well said and great Blog!! Food for Thought...I am 100% with you Ellen..if i bring it home..it will end up in my body..because who am i kidding?I am saving it for my grandson..or maybe a friend is coming over???? Yeah right! I buy it for myself..just in case..one never knows when the "Junkfood Blues" hit!!So i made the decision long time ago to NOT buy the food that tempts me!
Thanks for this reminder. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/8/2011 4:22PM

    Darn and drat. You're right Ellen - and you made me laugh because it's true.

I 'like' this blog - very much.

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/8/2011 4:05PM

    I've just been watching Coach Nicole say, "There's no bad food."

So there you have it, so you might as well come out in the open and enjoy that temptation - BUT - NOT IN HUGE QUANTITIES. That's the hard part.

Love your blog Ellen, so human, so thought provoking and with humor, you rock.

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FRACTALMYTH 1/8/2011 2:55PM

    I am doing pretty well with this lately. Most times, I can tell myself it belongs to the kids or to hubby and just leave it alone, especially if I have programmed my own treats into my day, and I know they are good ones - like homemade fruit nut honey biscuits, or two squares dark chocolate. I used to really binge, and I still feel a flash of anger everytime MIL comes home with a shopping bag full of cake and doughnuts, because I have to triple strengthen all the mental defences. "IT IS NOT FOR ME." and I resent that :P I gave myself permission to let the walls down over Christmas, and stopped tracking... but after a few days I really noticed it was getting out of hand. When I found myself going back for a fifth helping and hiding the evidence (wrappers to the bottom of the bin where no-one would see them) I declared open season over and retreated to the moral high ground again. Love your analogies. Be strong, big sister (I've always been the big sister in the family, but I am adopting you lol)! Now I am just goign to sit here for a moment and IMAGINE the taste of chocolate brownie cheesecake icecream. OH MAN! What evil genius invented that combination? I'm going to pretend I've eaten a whole tub full... mmmmmmm tastes better than the reality, and none of the calories :D

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PHEBESS 1/8/2011 11:47AM

    You never fail to make me laugh, while at the same time making me think!

And yes, if it's there, I will eat it. Especially ice cream or anything chocolate, which all seems to know my name and shouts it from the fridge or freezer. (Right now the rum balls my friend sent from Seattle are calling and calling and calling.........I'm trying to fill up on tea so I can better ignore them.)

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HARISHABAD 1/8/2011 11:08AM

    Yup, I am totally with you. And this is all made worse by the season, the short days, and icky weather.

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HARISHABAD 1/8/2011 11:08AM

    Yup, I am totally with you. And this is all made worse by the season, the short days, and icky weather.

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LUNADRAGON 1/8/2011 12:26AM

    Yep, if I buy it, I might eat it. Especially home alone during a snow storm.
THROW IT OUT! I did that with some of the stuff that was left. (not all).
Now, I look at the boxes I bought as "gifts" and want to "gift" myself! Not a good idea. Gotta get these "gifts" out of the house!

Comment edited on: 1/8/2011 12:26:50 AM

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DEDICATED2HIM 1/8/2011 12:20AM

    Amen Sister!
I am USUALLY pretty good about doing this...will buy myself ONE (usually somewhat healthy) snack per week...And I think I'm going to stop doing this too, because, it's guaranteed, that on the first night of having it in my house, I will sit down and devour it...yep ..the whole danged package of whatever it is. Enough of that! If I don' t have enough will power to dole it out to myself slowly, then I'll just have to come up with the , what, five minutes of willpower I need to resist it at the store? yep. That's what this little piggy has to do at the market.

Thanks for this blog...good to know I'm not the only one.

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TBANMAN 1/8/2011 12:05AM

    Chips.

That's me and chips.

Right there.

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DDOORN 1/7/2011 9:17PM

    Oh yeah...as long as I've been struggling and as much success as I've had I recently backslid and allowed some of my trigger foods in the house. BIG MISTAKE! I'm still pretty darned helpless around 'em and OUT they've gone with the New Year.

Battened down the hatches and maintaining a home SQUEAKY CLEAN of tempting trigger foods!

I SO admire those who have the willpower and psychological muscle to have, let's say, just ONE piece of dark chocolate. Or 1/2 a bagel. Or a teensy bowl with a level cup of cereal. Now THAT impresses me a WHOLE lot more than any physical accomplishment, because THAT is some real strength!

Don

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SERENE_ME 1/7/2011 8:31PM

    Oh I so glad you expanded on your response to Charlene - you've hit the nail on the head with this one my friend! "All I've gotta do is leave it at the store and refuse to let it into my house. " -LOVE it!

Over Christmas I bought "treats" for others but I was the one who ended up obsessing over them! Seriously - who needs Tim Horton's fudge in the house!!!??? If it's there, I'm the one who eats it so - out it went 10 am Boxing Day.

Great blog!



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AMBUDMAN 1/7/2011 8:11PM

    What a great blog. If it is there I will eat it also. LOL!!

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Kindness Counts

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's what we need, it's what so many of us find here on Spark People.

And here's a great blog on that topic:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public
_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3851561

Thanks, DCGUY72!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 1/5/2011 3:53AM

    Loved the blog.

... and it's why SparkPeople works for so many of us.

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CMB2048 1/4/2011 11:13PM

    You are so correct and thanks for sharing the blog link with us.

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TRAVELGRRL 1/4/2011 8:58PM

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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FRACTALMYTH 1/4/2011 4:35PM

    Hugs!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/4/2011 1:12PM

    Thanks Ellen. A great read.

I wonder how and why SP has tapped into people's kindness? It's magical.

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KALIGIRL 1/4/2011 12:46PM

    Right on!

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VALERIEMAHA 1/4/2011 10:28AM

    'Twas a good'un! Thanks for pointing it out.

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
-- HH, the Dalai Lama
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Maha

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I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Remember that old song by the Temptations? Also known as "My Girl"?

Well, my guy presented me with a light box beaming out a powerful 10,000 lux, which I've been using every morning. Sunshine bright!! I've positioned it over my lap top, so the middle of the screen is at eye level about 12 inches away from my face -- nice for illuminating my morning SP login while I sip my coffee and scan the newspaper, Charlie curled up at my feet!

There's a lot of interesting research on the use of light boxes for treating a wide range of full blown clinical issues including depression, seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, shift work disorientation, post partum, PMS and even senility. Here's a link if you'd like to read more: there are a couple of scholarly articles and the second one in paricular cites the literature quite thoroughly.

http:/day-lights.com/light-therapy-news/
downloads/light-therapy-wp.pdf

As for me, I'm pretty sure that I don't have any of these clinical conditions. But I am the original sunshine girl -- love sunshine, crave it, thrive on it. When other people want to be closing the blinds, I'm basking in it. Generally speaking, people tell me that I've got a pretty sunny disposition. (Dunno, but I've been spontaneously nicknamed "Sunny" in so many different contexts, from little girl days onwards, that maybe there's some truth to it.)

Anyhow, April through September mornings after the gym often find me and Charlie on our east-facing verandah with my coffee and newspaper. But no question even for sunny types it's harder to feel sunny when there isn't any . . . um . . . sunshine. For weeks. For months. Which had made me curious about use of a light box to help me keep my mood upbeat during our long cold dark winters, when day after day we head off to work in the dark and come home again in the dark.

But there's more. In addition, light box therapy may help with winter weight loss or weight maintenance. That's because sunlight deprivation seems to be associated with carb bingeing. Apparently there is some research evidence that the long dark days tend to trigger a craving for more comfort foods . . . and more sleepiness too (so less exercise). The big ol' bear hibernation effect, I suppose. We are circadian-sensitive mammals, so that makes some sense to me!

Added on to my multivitamin and extra vitamin D and calcium, I'm now experimenting with 20-30 minutes of 10,000 lux light box exposure early every morning . . . getting my days off to a bright start So far, it does seem to be waking me up, cheering me up, and helping with the excess carb control.

The light box was a total surprise from my guy. Truly, I've now got some sunshine on a cloudy day. In the words of another fine old song, it makes me happy when skies are grey -- which as I mentioned (yeah, I know I mentioned it, wasn't whining, just mentioned it) is in this part of the world at this time of the year, kinda constant.

So I do appreciate the thoughtfulness of this gift. I do appreciate the sunshine. And if in addition the light box can also help me control the carbs, emerging from hibernation without any extra winter weight would make me even happier!!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 1/5/2011 5:06PM

    What a lovely gift!

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DANCINGGARDENER 1/5/2011 4:59PM

    What a great gift! The closest thing I have is a mirror over my sink with a grow light over that - that way every time we do dishes we are awash in full spectrum light.

You've been the sunshine in more than one of my cloudy days... you deserve all the luminousness your boy can pour on!
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CMB2048 1/3/2011 10:50PM

    You always sound "sunny"! LOL! I hate winter because it is so dark. Have not tried a light box. Let us know how it works out!

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PHEBESS 1/3/2011 9:24AM

    What a brilliant gift!

And I can certainly attest to cold weather/less sun equating to more carb ingestion - we certainly are doing that in Spain!!!!!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/3/2011 8:40AM

    How thoughful of your guy..and how sweet!! I am the opposite of you..love the dark (that is one reason why i work nights) gloomy and rainy days..i do not like to sit out in the sun at all...and carry sunglasses everywhere i go...but i find this 'lightbox' and the research behind it very interesting..and if you say it helps with 'moods' and curbs carbs??!! WOW!! then i may have to start looking into this. emoticon
Thank you for this info..now here is some of the plenty sunshine from Texas for you emoticon emoticon

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FROSTIERACES 1/3/2011 1:37AM

    I heard light boxes do wonders for people for various reasons! You're so lucky to have one...nice hubby! Thank you for the sweetest comments and compliments on my pix and blog! I'm a very happy woman these last couple days!

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/3/2011 1:28AM

    And it helps to have such a thoughtful guy around the house. emoticon emoticon

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DBCLARINET 1/3/2011 1:17AM

    Cool gift! I remember when I moved to Texas feeling like every day was awesome because there were big blue skies and plenty of sunshine. My husband hated the lack of seasons, but I thrived in the sun!

When we were high-schoolers, my room was on the main floor and my brother's room was in the basement. He'd even board up the little window he had so that he could have perfect darkness and sleep as long as he wanted. Now, my husband and I are using the basement room until we get stationed, and I can't stand it! Where's my waking up to sunshine? Can't. Stand. It!

I got a sunrise lamp sometime in my undergrad as a Christmas gift, and I love it. I'm not sure I'd ever wake up before the crack of dawn without it.

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PENNYAN45 1/2/2011 7:38PM

    A light box! It sounds very interesting - and useful.
What an enlightened gift from your husband!

Happy New Year, Ellen. May 2011 bring blessings to you and your family.

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TBANMAN 1/2/2011 7:05PM

    That is a great gift. And being on the lovely Wet Coast of Canada, I know what you're talking about with our dreary winters. Luckily Vancouver has been basking in sunshine for a few days now. Such a lovely treat!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/2/2011 6:13PM

    What a great gift. Hope you and Charlie benefit from it throughout the year.

Thanks for all your encouragement and inspiration Ellen and all best wishes for a happy healthy 2011.

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VALERIEMAHA 1/2/2011 3:08PM

    Mmmmmmmm...you have less sunshine up there in those northern clime than I do here in the mid-south, though it doesn't take much time at all without El Sol for me to start feeling deprived.

I LOVE that song, My Girl, such a great smooth beat! And Your Guy sounds purdy durned loveable as well, Ellen, coming up with such a useful and unique gift for His Girl!
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Maha

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FRACTALMYTH 1/2/2011 3:08PM

    Woohooo :D Sounds fantastic... we've had plenty of lovely sun last few days at 37+ C, making up for lost time... today is back to clouds and rain though. Sunny suits you perfectly! I'll remember that :D

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JOPAPGH 1/2/2011 3:05PM

    Sounds like a great way to start the day!

Have a great 2011!

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This Will Be the Year That . . . .credit JGRIFF2712's blog

Friday, December 31, 2010

I will turn 60!! And how is that possible?? Gotta be delusional: almost-sixty still feels so so young, yes it really does!! Although if you'd told me that 60 could feel young when I was 25, I'd never have believed it. But given that I really am almost 60, I do have a substantial past and so I will reflect on what I've done and where I've been, keeping in mind: "The past was the best thing that could have happened to me". Even for those parts of my past where believing that to be so is a willed choice . . . I'm choosing to believe it.

I will actively seek out every opportunity every day to notice and to value all that is beautiful, all that is meaningful, and all that is zest-inducing in my life as I experience it: "The present is the best thing happening to me". Yeah!!

And: I will continue to maintain my weight loss and fitness levels: nothing new, but for me this will always be one of the toughest goals of all. It's not trivial, it's essential because I am a body and I cannot value my past or experience my present without cherishing the body that carries me forward into the future. Keeping on keeping on, keeping as healthy as it's possible for me to be. Exercising eternal vigilance to avoid the temptation that I know I can't resist. Exercising of the cardio and strength-training varieties too because (as I read in the Toronto Globe and Mail this morning), the unexercised life is not worth living. The unexercised life really is the unexamined life. Eternal vigilance and exercise so that "The future is the best thing that's going to happen to me".

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 1/3/2011 9:22AM

    Isn't it amazing that we don't feel as old as our years seem???? Always blows me away that I'm approaching that same year (albeit a few years to go)...........when did 60 become NOT old?????

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IMAGINE_IT 1/3/2011 8:33AM

    60?? No way!! You look beautiful..and as they say..60 is the new 40??? You wear it well!! I am fast approaching 60..and even though i am a little scared of getting old..er i will try to embrace it and live like there is no tomorrow!!(especially now!!)Thank you for this wonderful blog Ellen..Happy and healthy New Year 2011 to you emoticon emoticon

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FROSTIERACES 1/3/2011 1:42AM

    "actively seek out every opportunity every day to notice and to value all that is beautiful, all that is meaningful...."
I love this. It really helps to just take those moments to stop and take in our surroundings, there is so much beauty everywhere. Have you ever watched the movie.."What the Bleep do you Know?".....I highly recommend it....it's amazing. Hubby and I are going to watch it again to absorb more of the messages the doctors were getting across. Hoping you have a Great Week ahead! :)

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VALERIEMAHA 1/2/2011 3:15PM

    I'll stick with the Present, thank you! Ahhhh...it's all just play on words anyway. But seriously, I'll be SIXTY NINE in less than two months and I TOTALLY feel AT LEAST 25 years younger than that...in my energy, health, sense of adventure, etc. But I DEFINITELY don't look any younger than my actual age, and I've become MOST invisible in this youth-and-beauty obsessed culture. And that's no fun!

But in any case here's to a great quality of life as long as we life because of loving and mindful self-care!
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Maha

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TRAVELGRRL 1/2/2011 2:15PM

    The future IS the best thing that is going to happen to us! What a great reminder that losing weight isn't about looking good in the end, it's about taking care of the body that is going to carry us into the future.

I love this. Thanks for your insight. Now I must get down to the treadmill!



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BRIGHTSPARK7 1/1/2011 10:47PM

    It's going to be a wonderful year, Ellen. You are the present you've been expecting. emoticon Cheers! emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/1/2011 7:40PM

    I so know how you feel. As I looked around at church this morning I saw all these elderly ladies and thought - "Surely I am no one of these lovely ladies!?!?!" But truth is I am fast approaching that stage and I still feel like a twenty year old. Long may we be young in spirit and work as hard as possible to have a flexible, healthy body. Go, girl, go! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/1/2011 1:17PM

    Me too!

"The unexercised life really is the unexamined life."

Love it! The ancient Greeks believed motion meant soul. While they disagreed on where the soul went after this life, to move was to live.

Here's to living 2011!

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BARBIETEC 1/1/2011 12:17PM

    I loved what you said ""The past was the best thing that could have happened to me"

BIG BIG BIG HUGES!!!!

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CMB2048 12/31/2010 6:09PM

    And This Will Be the Year That.....I turn 50! And I can't believe that this year is here! I used to figure out when I was young what year it woudl be when I turned 50 and it was so far away I couldn't relate. Hard to believe it is upon me! Beautiful blog and thoughts I need to remember this year. Here's to a great New Year ahead!

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FRACTALMYTH 12/31/2010 6:08PM

    Yay you! You are right - this will be an AWESOME year! Big HUGS :D

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JUNEBUG150 12/31/2010 5:18PM

    Good for you! I am 60 and I agree with you that I still feel very young, too. Of course a few short months ago before I started changing my lifestyle I couldn't say that. I hurt a lot and would get short of breath if I had to walk up steps, etc. I'm very thankful for spark people and the great support that I get on this site. Have a wonderful, healthy and happy new year. emoticon

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Christmas Eve at the Dog Park!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My son and I took Charlie to the off-leash dog park this afternoon for a long romp this afternoon: he loved it! So did we.

The place was teeming with other similarly-beloved dogs: pugs, a beagle, a South African Babul (?? big sweetie, like a fawn Great Dane with jowls. . , never heard of it, can't find it on google, but that's what his peeps told us), an Australian shepherd, two other goldens, a chocolate lab, a Boston terrier-type (but beige rather than black and white) and lots of assorted "originals".

Our fenced dog park area is a generous size and an interesting terrain but quite a long hike away from the parking lot. We took the route through the woods to get there: up and down steep hills. The white pines were heaped with snow, the sun dappling through their trunks.

Charlie certainly knew where we were headed and wanted to zoom as quickly as possible: easier for him than us with his claw-equipped traction paws!! But he waited for us as necessary, smiling and wagging every step of the way.

We rewarded him for his patience with two complete circuits of the dog park path and lots of play time. Then took a different long route back, this time beside a gurgling brook with acrobatic chickadees on the overhanging branches.

The new happiness research tells us what we already knew: doing stuff creates more pleasure than acquiring stuff. I'm pretty sure that the hike through the sunny woods to the dog park with Charlie and Dave will be one of my best memories of this holiday season.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 1/3/2011 1:46AM

    Charlie is a smart dog! I think he may kinda love you and your son a wee bit!! Thanks for sharing the story :)

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KALIGIRL 12/30/2010 4:53PM

    What wonderful memories - we had a houseful and I will count it as one of the best Christmases ever. Here's to living life!

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STLRZGRRL 12/28/2010 10:30PM

    Yep, yep, yep!

Once again, Ellen, you hit the nail squarely on the head...

Charlie and your son and you each got an incredible gift... a wonderful day with each other...

And we know every day IS a gift... and that's why it's called...

wait for it...




THE PRESENT!!!!


ah-HAHAHAhah
aha...

I love that one... it gets me every time!!!

Happiest Holiday EVAR, Madam! I am honored to accompany you on this unfolding journey!
MWAH!

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/28/2010 8:08PM

    Dog parks sound so cool. Can you go without a dog?

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FRACTALMYTH 12/28/2010 4:33PM

    How lovely! Yeti bought the boys a surprise Christmas present - a lifesize German Shorthaired Pointer dog-doll (Yeti used to breed them). The idea was to see if the boys really wanted a dog lol... it was a HUGE hit :D

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CMB2048 12/28/2010 1:17PM

    Sounds like a wonderful time.

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GOING2LOSENOW 12/25/2010 11:58AM

    emoticon

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TKADEEPBREATH 12/25/2010 11:56AM

    Oh I love this blog . . . . I'm so with you on that thought. Our dog Chloe has been in doggie "boarding school" since October. It was either get her trained or put us both out of our misery!! Sad to say, not kidding. She was uncontrollable and you can't have a big powerful animal like that. It's just too hard. We got to visit her yesterday for the first time to see about her progress and I'm very pleased. She's "off leash" and heels and will come when called. Pretty awesome. The last thing they are working on is some "house manners". Can't have enough of them I always say . . . Lol. Have a wonderful Christmas . . . talk soon friend . . . Toodles, Jan

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GROEDER 12/25/2010 6:36AM

    That sounds like a great time for everyone!!!! Otto would live a place like that. I'm glad you had that quality time together.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Gregg

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VALERIEMAHA 12/24/2010 5:26PM

    And I'm pretty sure you're spot on about that! Wonderful prose about a fabulous day!
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Maha

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