APPLEPIEAPPLE's SparkPeople Blog APPLEPIEAPPLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Weekly update and discovery <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had an epiphany this week. Left over bacon grease mixed with bird seed and frozen makes a great winter suet for the bird feeder! It seems to be working fine for the birds. <BR> <BR> I need to confess that one week ago I gained 5 pounds almost over night due to stress. But I am happy one week later to have lost all 5 pounds! I do not know what it was: the food, holding water, feeling ill, lack of sleep or the ... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 09:47:29 EST Weekly update: Getting ready for Christmas <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This has been a productive week. Monday I went shopping with a friend all day. Tuesday I made chocolate chips cookies for my writers club which is today and my home made pot pies. Wednesday I put up my tree and decorated my mantel as well as did my weekly grocery shopping. Yesterday I wrapped the aloe plants for the writers club members for Christmas and did my Christmas cards and mailed them. Today I have my wr... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 08:35:41 EST Homemade Pot Pie! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Very Happy! I made 6 homemade turkey pot pies today. This is the first time I've ever made them. I missed my mom's and could not find her recipe. I did discover one which was kind of like mom's only I made 6 pies instead of one large one. I plan to try and freeze some of them for future quick meals in the microwave. <BR> <BR> It was odd how during the entire process things happened that felt like mom was t... Tue, 2 Dec 2014 16:18:14 EST Update on diet and my book is now in paperback <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I finally got my ankle feeling better and was able t make the November challenge. Yesterday I somehow managed to get 10,000 steps in! The weight loss is stalled. I think the muscle is forming which is why my weight is not showing much loss. At least I HOPE that is it! <BR> <BR> More good news! My book, "Find a Penny: A Financial Journey" is now available in paperback for those who wanted it. And I got a good r... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:41:05 EST Hospitals Selling Sickness <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>elling-sickness/?utm_source=rss&utm_me<BR>dium=rss&utm_campaign=hospitals-sellin<BR>g-sickness&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=r<BR>ss&utm_campaign=hospitals-selling-sick<BR>ness&<BR>_campaign=23e44eee8e-RSS_VIDEO_DAILY&u<BR>tm_medium=email&utm_term=0_40f9e497d1-23e44eee8e-23375473 </link> <BR> <BR> Above is a link and picture which goes w... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 12:15:18 EST Yes (sigh) Fall can be my weakness <img src=""> <BR> Made cream puffs for dinner today. <BR> <BR> Sunday is my time with my sons. We get together eat dinner and then spend some time sharing and watching movies. It is one of the best rituals. I get to share time and cook for my family. Today with the cold weather, I am making oven beef stew made with red wine, corn meal muffins, mussels, and for dessert the cream puffs. I make them maybe once a year, usually in the fall t... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 09:33:30 EST Weekly Progress <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yes, I made more caramel apples. (sigh) But I've been eating only one per week. The walking 6,000 steps a day seems to be finally working. I am back to where I was before the (sumac) incident. That event put me back. The stress of it all was almost too much to handle. <BR> <BR> This week I harvested and dried the spearmint from my garden for tea. Then I sorted, ground it and bagged it for this winter. I also ... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:45:35 EST 11,036 steps so far today <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My award for 100,000 steps in October. I met that yesterday. I am on a roll. Also lost another pound! <BR> <BR> Finally! My walking is paying off. Let us hope it continues. I need to get myself back. <BR> <BR> I have been reading quite a bit about healthy foods and exercise. I remembered how I lost weight as a teen by walking. So I thought I might try it again. At first I gained weight. But I guess that was musc... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:36:49 EST Finally making progress! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Making homemade vegetable soup for dinner. During the summer sumac poisoning, I managed to gain 4 pounds. My walking is starting to pay off. I, FINALLY, lost 1.5 pounds! Now 2.5 to go to get back to where I was before the sumac disaster. <BR> <BR> I have decided, after doing research on trimming apple trees, that the best time for me to trim them is late winter before they blossom. That way they have all spring... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 15:41:34 EST Keeping Busy <img src=""> <BR> Facebook share <BR> <BR> I have been busy walking. I have increased my steps to 6,000-10,000 a day. My cat thinks I'm nuts watching me walk in circles from the living room around to kitchen and back. However, she has been walking with me occasionally. <BR> <BR> The bird feeder sanctuary I put out front has worked for my cat, Samantha. She has been enjoying watching the birds. I have got to get more seed for winter. Bo... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 20:01:04 EST Got my glow getter medal 5 times this week! I have been readying my yard for winter. Today I used a spray attached to my garden hose to remove green mold from my shady side of my house. It was wonderful! I also trimmed my hedges and created a new bird feeding area in front of my house where the cat and I can watch the birds this winter. I made a bird bath from an old fireplace grate as the base and the bowl was an old cookie pan which is only 1/2 inch deep. It is near enough to the front door so I can get to it easier in the winter. It... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:59:10 EST Stacking wood and preparing for BRRR winter <img src=""> <BR> Just one of 5 stacks. <BR> <BR> This past weekend my son Josh and I spent Friday stacking wood the winter. I have heard from several people it was to be a c-o-l-d-e-r than last year one. Brrrrr! I sure hope they are wrong but I am getting prepared. I do not want to run out in January like last year. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I re-potted and created many ... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:45:39 EST BETTER VISION <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At age 22, after a visit with my eye doctor to renew my drivers license, I was told I needed glasses to drive. This was devastating news since I never noticed that I had problems seeing. But dutifully I got glasses. Then at age 40 I was told I needed them for reading as well. Again I dutifully got new glasses. Then at age 42, after nagging from my husband, I got contacts. I enjoyed the freedom from glasses for ev... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 12:44:57 EST Coughing from cold finally subsiding <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been suffering with my cold for almost 2 weeks. Finally I think it is abating. What a summer! One month of sumac and almost another with a cold! <BR> <BR> I did get my deck stained and also stained my picnic table as well as painted the trim around my back door on the deck. The winter has been really tough on the house. In the spring I had to paint the front door and garage trim as well as seal the concr... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:26:38 EST My book <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I finally got my book completed. It will be available for free on August 8, 2014 at <BR> <BR> <link> </link> If you are interested. <BR> <BR> The poison sumac is gone but was the final catalyst to get me to write. Writing helped me to forget the itching. So something good came from it. <BR> <BR> Now I have a summer cold! LOL. Please take the opportunity to read my book and comm... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 09:55:57 EST Have you been "Pinned" lately??? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin: it should make you jump up and do something. <BR> - unknown <BR> <BR> My poison sumac is acting like a needle. Yes, I still have it but it is getting better slowly. To keep my mind off itching has been a challenge. But I did manage to finish my book due to this. I maintained by focus away from the itch. It is currently being read by a friend in my writers circle f... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:37:11 EST Starting to feel a bit better. <img src=""> <BR> facebook share <BR> <BR> Well last night after I took a shower and readied myself for bed I drank two Kuhula's and creams (large). That gave me a good night sleep. <BR> <BR> I got up early and began my deck project and got another section done (two coats) but quit by noon. I still have the arbor facing the deck, and the roof to do but the outside of the arbor side of the deck is the fall project. If I do this in smal... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:59:23 EST Update. Got a shot for poison sumac but making progress on deck <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I made the 10,000 calories! I guess the painting, yard work despite the poison sumac are paying off. <BR> <BR> The frustration over the itching makes me very edgy. As a result I am doing things to try and occupy my mind and body. I also find I am eating more due to the stress. I just hope my work outs with painting etc balance the added calories. I am afraid to get on the scale. I will wait until I am more s... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 17:42:29 EST Poison Sumac! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well leave it to me to find probably the ONLY poison sumac in miles! As I was staining my deck I decided to trim the "tree" limbs which surrounded part of the arbor roof of my deck. Well I had no idea that poison sumac was actually a tree! I went to the doctors for a shot to try to get better. It has crept from my arms to my legs and now invading my face so the doctors visit was really needed. I am "itching" for... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:52:21 EST Tracker still on Fritz---but lost weight <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Finally! The scale moved. For the last two days I have been staining and sealing my deck floor. Not done yet. With the threat of rain, I may or may not work on it today. But my aching muscles are proof I have been getting my exercise. I hope to do the entire deck by the end of summer. I have a large deck. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Deck with my husb... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 09:54:42 EST 4th of July and Tracker On Fritz <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Happy Fourth of July! <BR> <BR> Well my day was really busy yesterday so much so that was about to break the 6,000 steps on my Spark people Tracking device. But for some unknown reason the device went red and I can not get the devise connected to my computer back to green. It says the network connection for data is red. I have e-mailed Spark people and await a response. Meantime I tried to re-load the program bu... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 09:11:28 EST Eating Healthier Can Make Us Crave The Right Foods. <img src=""> <BR> Facebook share <BR> <BR> Feeling a bit Melon Collie? <BR> <BR> I have been in a "mood" thinking about the past quite a bit. You see I am de-cluttering. As I do so each piece of "stuff" I pick up recalls memories. <BR> <BR> Lately I am working on my husband's VHS tapes. He was into Chess, Reading, and Movies (and me). So as I de-clutter melancholy sets in. I got rid of his chess books and movies about 6 years ago. ... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 12:29:28 EST Have been busy and am exhausted <img src=""> <BR> from a Facebook share and SHERYLDS blog--love the dog <BR> <BR> This is how I am feeling tonight. Way too sore and tired to move. This week I painted my front porch and side walk. The trim around my garage and front door, planted some stuff int he garden, weeded and trimmed around the birdbath and ponds and I am still having lots of stuff to do. <BR> <BR> This past winter was hard on my deck as well. I did re-nailed th... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 19:48:49 EST Bras, Freedom and Cancer <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I hate bras. Always have. They make me feel like I am being choked or on a leash. I relished wearing no bra in the 70's. Yes, I was one of those. LOL. Youth. Don't you love it?! The article below has a theory that bras increase cancer risk. So do not wear bras. Sounds like a cause I could "support"! <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>Cancer_Society_Komen_Foundation_bras.html </link>... Mon, 19 May 2014 09:25:17 EST Mimimalism the Path to Freedom and Happiness <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Joshua Becker is minimalist. Please listen to his interview at <link><BR>w-to-simplify-life-in-retirement/ </link> <BR> <BR> He discusses how it dawned on him one day, as he was cleaning his garage and his son was asking him to play, that being attentive to our "things" instead of what really matters to us is wasting our time, money and not making us happy. <BR> <BR> Since... Fri, 16 May 2014 11:20:35 EST Lost a pound! Leptin Diet <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yes! Finally! Lost a pound! <BR> <BR> To celebrate I got a hair cut. (Maybe that will show up on the scale as well, LOL) <BR> <BR> I have been reading about Leptin, the little hormone which is in charge of all the other hormones. I realized that when I lost weight at age 12 I was following a Leptin diet and did not know it. I know it worked back then so I began it again and finally I am seeing some results. <BR... Sat, 10 May 2014 13:32:11 EST Finally a little SUN! <img src=""> <BR> Facebook share <BR> <BR> It still looks a bit gloomy but some occasional sun. My garden area was under water so much local drakes and ducks were swimming over it! The rabbits were bouncing all over the yard. The birds were frantically pecking at the wet soppy grass. I guess the worms were coming to the surface which explains the birds in frenzy. <BR> <BR> I am actually looking forward to mowing the lawn. Anything to ... Thu, 1 May 2014 15:38:24 EST Hello Spring!!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last week, as the signs of Spring began, I found some strawberries on sale and bought about 8 pounds which allowed me to make jam and strawberry yogurt ice cream. I also had enough to eat them just as sliced berries. <BR> <BR> Then I bought a tree saw which extends up to 16 feet because I had severe ice storm damage I needed to repair. So I was able to trim the trees, grape arbor and bushes around the house. I ... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:23:55 EST Washing Machine Fixed!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I happy to report ALL IS WELL!! My machine is now repaired. The technician needed help to take the machine apart so I helped him. Otherwise I would have had to wait for week or more for and pay for two technicians. Fortunately for me and him, I researched my issue on line and was able to aid him with logistics. Sometimes one pair of hands is not enough. He did the repair work but where he needed logistics I was ... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 19:54:30 EST Coq au vin <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well Sunday I made Coq au vin for the family meal. I had just enough left overs for my dinner today. The chicken, mushrooms, carrots and parsley potatoes are delicious. Not sure about the calories. I am sad to report I have gained 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks. I think the delay in Spring is having its toll. I am so sick of winter. I have shoveled , slipped, froze and used all my fire wood. The electric bill jumpe... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 15:52:07 EST Tumeric kills cancer cells--safely <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>rcumin-reprogramming-cancer-cell-death<BR>/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_ca<BR>mpaign=turmeric-curcumin-reprogramming<BR>-cancer-cell-death&utm_source=Nutritio<BR><BR>_VIDEO_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term<BR>=0_40f9e497d1-ecc51432c6-23375473 </link> <BR> <BR> The above link is a video of the benefits of Turmeric esp... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:37:17 EST Vegan Diet? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs </link> <BR> <BR> I just watched this video. Humorous but a lot 55 min to watch. It is worth it. It shows how eating less meat will help stop the top 15 causes of death in this nation. Cancer and heart disease the top two. <BR> <BR> I am going to try to eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat to see what happens. I always enjoye... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 11:47:43 EST Re-cycling <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My community has been using the one container re-cycling for about a year now. Since I am an avid supporter of re-using, re-purposing, or re-cycling to save the environment as well as my wallet I have been very happy with this. I have also found recently that I have much less "trash" than I used to have. They gave us HUGE re-cycling bins when they started this program. I tend to wait until it is filled to drag it ... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 09:20:09 EST What are the Benefits of Homemade Yogurt?? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>efits-homemade-yogurt_.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Above is my yogurt maker as I am preparing my yogurt as I write. I began making my own yogurt about 3 years ago and I must say I have been very happy doing it. But I began to wonder with all the writing about probiotics out there just how good is mine? <BR> <BR> It seems according to the article above I am doing... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:49:54 EST Do I have to pay taxes on my social security?? For those who have been asking me about Social Security and Taxes. Please check out his link <link><BR>fo-2014/social-security-benefit-taxes.<BR>html?cmp=EMAIL-TOPIC-ALERT </link> <BR> <BR> The answer is yes if you make $25,000 are single and half of your social security plus other adjusted income equals a total of $25,000. So when you start those required distributions at 70 1/2 if that required money plus your other income and 1/2 of social securi... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 09:51:18 EST 2 feet going once, twice, the woman in Maryland sold for 2 feet! <img src=""> <BR> My back deck. Picnic table to the left--two feet of snow on it. <BR> <BR> I felt like I was on the precarious winning side of an auction yesterday. I spent most of the day shoveling and snow blowing my driveway. Fortunately my neighbor also has a snow blower so both of us were out working. Yes, we got 24 inches (2 feet) of that glorious beautiful white stuff. I heard on the news that three people died digging out. So ... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 09:22:37 EST I live in ICE BERG <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My yard is SOLID ICE! I could almost ice skate on it. As it "melts" it just gets more solid. The sun tries to melt it but the temperate is 28 degrees and freezes it as it melts. Weird. <BR> <BR> Remember when Desi Arnez says, "You have a lot of explaining to do!" Well that is about how I feel about the 4 trees I need to trim once the glacier melts. I am trying to figure out how I am going to trim them. I may b... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 14:57:50 EST Ice is nice--juicing can get creative <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The trees and shrubbery are laden with ice. One of my trees lost a branch due to the weight of the ice. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Look above the umbrella at the broken branch. That will be a challenge once the weather gets better to trim. <BR> <BR> The trees are very beautiful despite the weight of the ice. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 5 Feb 2014 13:24:13 EST Fast Food Adds to Our Waists <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>-food-each-fast-food-meal-bumps-bmi-2D<BR>12035018?cid=eml_nhh_20140203 </link> <BR> <BR> I ran across this today and had to share. I, myself, have been limiting fast foods for over a year. I only eat there if I have to do a mystery shop. Even then I just eat what I need to review the item. Yes, they taste good. But they are so unhealthy. The food industry p... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 09:38:35 EST The Tale of Dirt Pile <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My husband was a very educated man. He held several degrees and many skills. He had an IQ over 150. But intelligence is not just knowing facts and thus many times common sense seems to elude him. <BR> <BR> I was working at the phone company and Bill was home with the kids. For Thanksgiving I bought him a used truck so he could look for work more easily and have some freedom. Our home was on a hill. When I say on ... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 18:28:33 EST Cleaning and de-cluttering the Refrigerator <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yes, I am a copycat... After reading how active INFLATED, SCOOTER4263, and others have been, ill or not it was time to get active. Soooo today was REFRIGERATOR DAY. This is one chore I really hate, especially if I have things I forgot about hiding in the depths of the abyss. LOL! Not too bad though. I made chili in my slow cooker once I remembered I had a little bit of tomato sauce left over from Friday. I als... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:17:35 EST When to take Social Security? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ways-to-maximize-your-social-security-<BR>benefits/ </link> <BR> <BR> Please read the article above from the Intentional Retirement website. <BR> <BR> More and more of my friends and relatives are asking that question. I was asking it at age 55. I PLAN early! Yes, and I also plan with contingency plans B, C, D, ...... Laugh all you want. But runnin... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 17:13:42 EST Strep Throat. Starting the new year. Neanderthal habits. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well my year is off to a good start. The day after New Years Day I awoke will a terrible sore throat. I did the normal things like gargling with salt water, take aspirin, and rested. But by Saturday it was not going away and now I had a deep, throat cough to with it. So Monday I went to the doctor who has me on antibiotics and codeine cough syrup to try and heal this. Strep throat is something I used to ge... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 16:08:25 EST Spark Savings, who knew? This is another site which helps with budgets and more. I also joined the frugalists and simple living community. I hope to live leaner both financially and physically this year. <BR> <BR> I came across this by accident since it has no linkage or "rare" linkage from sparkpeople. <BR> This was one of those rare ones. But I thought some of you may e interested in this for the 2014 new year. So visit You can sign in using the same login a... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 09:11:28 EST Received a Wreath--Thoughts fo Christmas. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What a surprise! My brother and his wife sent me a wreath for Christmas. Love it over my fireplace. <BR> <BR> I fired up the wood stove this week and all worked well. I 've been holding off because January and February are my coldest months and I ran out of wood mid-February last year. But I plan to fire the fireplace Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. <BR> <BR> My driveway is still icy near my garage door but i... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 13:06:11 EST Winter Wonderland! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My backyard is a real wonderland. I had to take pictures before it melted. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The snow is dripping from the branches. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My dogwood tree is laden with snow. <BR> <BR> My son and I finished plowing and digging the driveway and then we had hot... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 14:32:01 EST Let it snow, let it snow , let it snow... <img src=""> <BR> My yard about 11 am as just got snowing. Now I have about 6 -8 inches. <BR> <BR> I have my new spark people tracking device which is counting my steps but it does not count calories burned. I spent 15 min shoveling snow and another 15 with the snow blower. My neighbor did the rest of the driveway (bless them). So I still needed to add that and any other exercise I do. Not a real issue. Actually adding mine stuff to it... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 17:44:17 EST Homemade Mint Extract <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hello! It has been awhile since I made an update mainly because I have been busy getting ready for the Holidays. I decorated the outside of the house, put up my tree, and decorated my mantel and living room. I also decorated my homemade mint extract to give as gifts to my readers circle for Christmas. I also made some pumpkin bread to share. <BR> <BR> Most of my holiday shopping is completed. My youngest son n... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 11:33:53 EST Happy Thanksgiving! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Beautiful! Got the pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and cinnamon pastry cookies made. Finished cleaning the house and defrosted the turkey. All the drama of last week has subsided and I am feeling rather good. <BR> <BR> I did some Christmas shopping on line this week and made the mint extract to give to my Writer's Circle and Reading Circle this December. The mint turned out well. I found 3.5 oz bottles at Joann Fabric... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:22:17 EST Whats Up and What is down....update <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sorry I have not written in awhile. I have been busy helping friends and relatives with "issues". In my family circle, I am the go to person for advice. I am not sure how good or bad it is but I am the one they call. It can be a bit stressful after a bit which is why my weight went UP for the past month. But then I grabbed control and recently lost ALL the weight I gained during the crisis. Thank goodness! (Little ... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 08:03:31 EST