AZLADY2's SparkPeople Blog AZLADY2's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Any man can call time out, but no man can say for how long. (Vonnegut) "I'm taking my time to figure out where I want things in the kitchen. When I'm done, I'll give away what doesn't fit." <BR> <BR> When I typed that, nine months ago, I didn't actually intend to take a year to empty the kitchen boxes. Last night I consolidated the last four boxes into two. <BR> <BR> It's been a tough year. On January 9 I went to my family practice doctor for what I thought was a sinus infection. I was in a leukemic crisis; it's a miracle I was able to stand up, much less... Wed, 10 Jun 2009 02:47:24 EST Downsizing Sometimes decluttering requires giving up things that you love and that make you smile, but just aren't working for you at the moment. <BR> <BR> I'm ruthlessly pruning my SparkTeam participation. I realized tonight that, when I see new SP email notifications, instead of smiling I feel overwhelmed. That's counterproductive. <BR> <BR> I'm turning off the new post notification on all teams that I don't lead, and leaving the teams on which I've just never become active. <BR> <BR> I wish you... Fri, 5 Sep 2008 04:28:24 EST I'm not dead, just tired. I cannot believe that I've gone nearly three months without a blog entry. <BR> <BR> Honestly? I've gone nearly three months checking in only rarely. <BR> <BR> It's been a very busy time. I've spent 6.5 of the last 14 weeks in New York, at my sister's, in three separate trips. <BR> <BR> I've had an extreme makeover, apartment style, hanging over my head since last November. In eight hours per apartment multiple crews gutted the kitchen and bathrooms, replaced the cabinetry, replace the... Fri, 22 Aug 2008 19:13:10 EST Leavin'... I just posted an entry explaining my decision to leave the Community Team. The Internet ate it. <BR> <BR> This is the short version. <BR> Sun, 1 Jun 2008 00:25:22 EST I'm still here, sort of.... Hi, All! <BR> <BR> Been a while.... <BR> <BR> The morning after my last post I left for New York to help my sister. I didn't realize that I'd have spotty Internet access, and that my email would be messed up. (I can receive but not send.) <BR> <BR> I've installed her router now, and my laptop sometimes will talk to it, but we're still very busy with the project that I brought me here, and with visiting family and friends. <BR> <BR> My participation here will continue to be hit and miss... Mon, 26 May 2008 23:54:43 EST Update Well, I finished that mystery shop and signed up for two more. <BR> <BR> They should have been easy, put I procrastinated, then stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home for wiper blades and didn't finish entering the report before the deadline. I had entered the whole report and was checking my answers. They were deleted, the shop was cancelled and the employee won't get the $20 he won. I am not a happy camper. <BR> <BR> I am also not accepting any new mystery shops. <BR> <BR> I'm feeling be... Tue, 13 May 2008 19:33:20 EST I'm sick.... I'm sick. And I'm going to bed. <BR> <BR> I've been pushing too hard, breathing too much dust and eating the wrong food. (Cinco de Mayo, anyone?) <BR> <BR> Yesterday I didn't feel well, today I'm overtly sick. <BR> <BR> I've printed the materials I need for my mystery shop, due today, and I'm going to bed. <BR> <BR> (With the materials printed I can just get up later, dress and leave. If I hadn't printed them it would be too tempting to cancel.) <BR> <BR> I know. I said I was throu... Wed, 7 May 2008 14:22:46 EST Progress on the home front.... This is a stub. I want to post an entry about the changes I've made in my office, but not right now. <BR> <BR> Wed, 7 May 2008 14:17:39 EST Thanks, Sue! (Increasing my water intake) After reading the first suggestion included in today's email, "Squeezing nutrition and fitness into your busy day," I jumped up, went to the kitchen, took one of my "company" glasses from the top shelf and filled it with a measured amount of water. Now I know exactly how much it holds. <BR> <BR> More than ten years ago I saw those glasses on TV. I mentioned to a friend how much I liked them. She went to Arby's *six times* between then and Christmas in order to get me a full set! (You had... Sun, 27 Apr 2008 20:47:46 EST Reflection Hmmm. <BR> <BR> I was just working on my 2007 Annual album (scrapbook), laying out my photos of my visit to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center. <BR> <BR> As I worked on the album I was reminded that, immediately after learning that I have leukemia I had to keep doing what I had been doing -- I had mystery shopping commitments and financial commitments that had to be met. <BR> <BR> After the blood work was repeated and the diagnosis was confirmed, first I slept. For most of the month of Jul... Mon, 21 Apr 2008 14:28:12 EST Feast or Famine... (Starting over, over again.) After nearly three weeks with no entries, I'm posting four entries in less than 12 hours! <BR> <BR> I've just sent myself back to Stage 1, and re-vamped my goals. <BR> <BR> It's been a tough winter, in a number of ways, and I really got off track for much of April. I've been making progress lately, and I got some news Friday that relieved a lot of the stress I've been under. I see my oncologist Tuesday, and I'm exactly halfway between visits with my Family Practice physician who monitors ... Sun, 20 Apr 2008 11:03:10 EST It's not just the weight. And another one. (blog from a reply to a member) This member wants to regain the energy she once enjoyed, and hopes that losing weight will help. <BR> ----------------------------------- <BR> <BR> You know what? I have leukemia and don't have the energy I once had. The great thing about SparkPeople is that it can help us make the best of our circumstances, no matter what they are. <BR> <BR> Another thing I love about SparkPeople is that it is about sustainable change. Most diet programs r... Sun, 20 Apr 2008 01:21:48 EST How do you spell success? Some of my best blog entries start out as replies to other members. This is a reply I just left on the Introduce Yourself forum. The member wants to meet a certain weight goal by a milestone birthday early next year. <BR> --------------------------------------- <BR> <BR> Would you be willing to consider a change of focus? <BR> <BR> I understand that you are concerned about the weight you've gained. I understand that milestone birthdays seem to give us a built-in deadline for grand gestur... Sun, 20 Apr 2008 01:04:45 EST Temperance, one more time... I've written here before about my problem with temperance, or, more accurately, my lack of temperance. Looking at my last blog entry, I realized that that is the source of the problems I've been having this month. <BR> <BR> I had allocated a certain amount of time and energy to creating the video and preparing my application for the Cooking for Life instructor position. The video took many, many more hours than I budgeted, and immeasurable amounts of mental and emotional energy. That left... Sun, 20 Apr 2008 00:28:12 EST On the other hand... (video success) On the other hand, I was able, eventually, to create a video and upload it to YouTube successfully. (I had already created a video and uploaded it, only to learn four hours later that it was rejected due to length.) <BR> <BR> This is a still photo that I took during the shoot. <BR> <BR> Flo <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Fri, 4 Apr 2008 10:26:21 EST I ended the roller coaster ride by derailing. I am sorry to report that I will not be considered for the Cooking for Life position. <BR> <BR> Actually, I'm horribly disappointed and frustrated. <BR> <BR> I spend so much time and mental energy trying to get the required cooking demo video uploaded that I didn't have the time or mental energy to do a good job on the application. <BR> <BR> To make matters worse, after sending it off I realized that I had omitted some required elements. The application requirements are listed in three pl... Wed, 2 Apr 2008 16:33:47 EST The rest of the story... (see 3/15 entry) After posting such a discouraged entry two weeks ago I wanted to share the flip side. <BR> <BR> I've lost the weight I gained. My blood sugar is down. The lymph node in my neck has returned to its previous size. My energy level is better. My mood is vastly better. I've significantly reduced my consumption of Dr. Pepper, my drug of choice. <BR> <BR> My kitchen is drastically better, and will be completely back in order tomorrow. <BR> <BR> My tops are clean, my sheets are clean, my to... Sun, 30 Mar 2008 18:50:53 EST Surviving Metabolic Syndrome I just posted the following comment on the SparkPage of a friend who joined SparkPeople recently. As I wrote I realized that I wanted to save this in an easily accessible place. This is it. <BR> <BR> The women of my family have been dying of Metabolic Syndrome for four generations, at an earlier age in each generation. I decided to be a survivor instead of a victim. <BR> <BR> I was lead to the work of Dr. John McDougall. He has been successfully treating the chronic illnesses that p... Sat, 29 Mar 2008 15:48:57 EST Take me out to the ball game.... One component of the fitness program sponsored by my Medicare HMO is social activites. Last month I signed up for a Spring Training game (MLB) yesterday. <BR> <BR> The day got off to a rough start, and I really wanted to stay home. If I hadn't been planning to take Flat Stanley I probably would have. I left late, did not have any comprehension of what parking would be like, couldn't park in the handicapped lot because of a medical emergency, spent 30 minutes driving around, nearly turned ... Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:30:33 EST Somethin's gotta give.... It's been a tough week. <BR> <BR> I woke up Monday morning to the sound of compressors running, too close. Uh oh. I was supposed to clear the patio because they were painting our buildings. I had to get up before I was ready, move all of the patio furniture into the storage closet. Which was full of dirt, because it's a low spot in the concrete, so first I swept out the closet. And I had to lift the 5 gallon planter of aloe up onto the chair, because the closet isn't that big. (I have to rem... Sat, 15 Mar 2008 17:40:36 EST My Thanks and apologies... I apologize for having tunnel vision when I posted that last blog entry. My focus was on my Community Team commitment, and how long I'd been neglecting my blog, and how tired I have been feeling. <BR> <BR> I totally neglected to mention the comments, messages and Spark Goodies that I received yesterday! Thank you, all! <BR> <BR> It started when I woke up. There were several comments waiting for me on my Spark Page, plus goodies! It was so unexpected that I did a search on my username, t... Fri, 14 Mar 2008 15:39:02 EST Still struggling "I'm exhausted. Periodically I need to remind myself that, if I want to beat this leukemia, I need to rest when my body demands it, regardless of what is on the schedule." <BR> <BR> I said that on Feb. 8, 2008, and it's still true. <BR> <BR> I have stopped mystery shopping. At least, I don't have any pending assignments. I haven't stopped looking at what's available. <BR> <BR> But things are doing a bit better in some areas. I just wish it weren't at the expense of some other areas. <B... Fri, 14 Mar 2008 07:25:30 EST (tiptoeing back in, hoping no one notices....) Only one entry in the last three weeks?! What have I been doing? <BR> <BR> Well, since my last post, I've been sleeping when I need to. At least, I'm doing better than I was. <BR> <BR> I finally completed those mystery shops that were postponed by the client. I've gotten much better about not accepting any new ones, too. But today, a scheduler requested me, personally.... It's just one. No food involved. <BR> <BR> And, after completing one of the series last week, my sister and I dis... Wed, 20 Feb 2008 21:57:17 EST Absent I've been missing in action here for a while, and it will continue for at least a few more days. <BR> <BR> I'm exhausted. Periodically I need to remind myself that, if I want to beat this leukemia, I need to rest when my body demands it, regardless of what is on the schedule. <BR> <BR> I've had a lot going on. Last week I had a meeting, on very short notice, about one of the unresolved issues in my life. I was glad for the opportunity, but I put a lot of time and emotional energy into pr... Fri, 8 Feb 2008 08:54:10 EST Explanation of new avatar I've changed my profile/avatar again. That is me, teaching correct principles of nutrition and whole foods cooking, whether in person at Cooking For Life classes, or through my work online here at SP. <BR> <BR> Note, too, that it's a skinny me. <BR> <BR> The Cancer Project, which offers Cooking For Life classes nationwide, is recruiting instructors. The applicants who are chosen will be flown to Washington, D.C., for two days of instruction. All equipment will be provided, all food wil... Tue, 29 Jan 2008 21:56:19 EST Something else is working! (message rules) I'm having so much fun setting up message rules to sort my incoming SparkPeople emails. <BR> <BR> Message rules are a feature of most email clients (such as Outlook Express). They allow the user to sort, forward and / or delete incoming mail according to rules. I have a rule with a very long list of words, which I'm sure you would recognize, but which I will not repeat here, that cause a message to be deleted. Immediately. I never need to see those offers or suggestions. <BR> <BR> I use... Sat, 26 Jan 2008 20:10:01 EST It's never a quiet week in Tempe. (with apologies to Garrison Keillor.) <BR> <BR> I've left some of you hanging, and I apologize. I'm thrilled to see the new members who have joined Whole Foods for Health, and the beginnings of some community developing among the Tempe Sparkers. <BR> <BR> It's been a not quiet week in Tempe. <BR> <BR> I drove into Phoenix to see my oncologist on Tuesday. <BR> <BR> I drove into Phoenix again to start another Cooking for Life class on Thursday. <BR> <BR> Today, I finally took action to beg... Fri, 25 Jan 2008 11:39:45 EST New Oncology results The blood test results were exactly as I expected. Everything was worse. Almost everything was the worst it's ever been. By far. <BR> <BR> But...I'm still on a three-month follow-up, so that's good. (Versus having to come in sooner.) And the doctor was receptive to hearing about SparkPeople. I left a poster for her; she's going to check out the site. <BR> <BR> I'm really tired, and going to lie down. Tue, 22 Jan 2008 22:10:40 EST It's Working! Thoughts on memory-keeping.... When I talk to people about album making I try to distinguish between "scrapbooking" and "memory keeping." <BR> <BR> For a great many people scrapbooking is a craft. The focus is on the decorative elements: the layout, the papers, the shapes, the enhancements. There's nothing wrong with that, but a hobby can be set aside when money or time or attention is short. <BR> <BR> Memory keeping may include those elements, but the focus is on the stories: stories of our lives and families, our tri... Thu, 17 Jan 2008 11:19:34 EST Hmmm... "A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison." Francis Bacon <BR> <BR> Seen in another member's signature. <BR> <BR> I'm posting it here so that I can find it again. Thu, 17 Jan 2008 10:48:03 EST A-choo! Down with a PC virus! I have just found a virus on my laptop and will be offline until I get it taken care of. Wed, 9 Jan 2008 04:58:48 EST A new beginning. How have I gone so far astray? Actually, I know how. <BR> <BR> When I was first diagnosed with leukemia I cleaned up my act. I stopped mystery shopping almost completely. I started napping without guilt. I let the house go. I watched feel-good movies. I stopped making myself do things out of duty or guilt. I resumed listening to my hypnotherapy CD's. I planned a healing room, I made some purchases that made my life easier, but had previously seemed like indulgences. My lymphocyte c... Mon, 7 Jan 2008 15:47:40 EST The Biggest Loser -- in more ways than one! Well, last night I saw the TV show The Biggest Loser for the first -- and last -- time. It confirmed all of the negative impressions I had formed in the past. <BR> <BR> That show seems to be reinforcing virtually every damaging, out-dated, destructive piece of weight loss / fitness misinformation out there. <BR> <BR> What a waste! <BR> <BR> Thu, 3 Jan 2008 02:53:56 EST Personal Training benefit I want to make a personal training appointment at the gym. <BR> <BR> My insurance company has added participation in Silver & Fit to my benefits this year. <BR> <BR> Besides a full membership in the gym I used to belong to, the program includes five Personal Training visits per year. I'm thinking one now, as a baseline, one in two weeks, then one at the beginning of April, July, October. If they continue participation in the program I can schedule one in early Jan. 09 to evaluate my progre... Wed, 2 Jan 2008 23:57:24 EST The year in review This is actually a stub entry. I don't have time right this minute to give this adequate attention. <BR> <BR> Ironically, however, since learning that I have leukemia I've been making worse choices, not better, even though I know that strengthening my immune system, through clean eating, moderate exercise and stress management, is the only thing standing between me and chemo. And with the kind of leukemia I have, the chemo is kind of like having a six-shooter with no extra ammo. Each time... Mon, 31 Dec 2007 17:51:25 EST Weather relativity When I lived in the midwest I went out in the cold. The last winter I lived in Nebraska, I *worked* out in the cold. I was delivering pizza at night to supplement my income while I closed my business. I delivered pizza when the temperature was 25F below zero, before the wind chill was added. (And believe me, when an Arctic front blows in off the plains from the northwest, there's a serious wind chill factor.) At that temperature, a little four cylinder Mazda never gets warm. I would cal... Sat, 29 Dec 2007 00:33:29 EST PC Challenges I may be minimally present for the next few days. <BR> <BR> My PC is acting up again. Periodically the motherboard loses track of the mouse, sometimes for days at a time. <BR> <BR> I can read and reply to email without a mouse. Navigating web sites is a lot harder. I usually give up. <BR> <BR> Have a great week, and I'll be back when I can! <BR> <BR> Flo <BR> Sun, 23 Dec 2007 16:00:36 EST Wow! That SparkRecipes Widget is slick! I was cleaning up my email folders when I came across the "new feature" notification about the SparkRecipes Widget. Wow! <BR> <BR> The widget allows you to drop a frame into your page on another site, such as MySpace, or, in my case, The frame shows my profile photo and rotates through five of my posted recipes. There is also a search feature. <BR> <BR> It was super easy to add, and works well! <BR> Sun, 16 Dec 2007 06:18:19 EST Doing much better, thank you! Thank you for the good wishes -- I'm feeling much better today! <BR> <BR> Won't make it to the pool today, either. I sliced open my thumb yesterday; it's still bleeding. No public pool 'til it closes. I'll take a walk in the beautiful, clear sunshine that we're enjoying. <BR> <BR> Thu, 13 Dec 2007 12:42:02 EST Winter takes me by surprise, again. I've been in Arizona more than 14 years, and my gut-level expectations about the weather still haven't changed. <BR> <BR> Last month I whined -- as I do every fall -- about having grey skies and early sunsets when the temperature is 80F. It just doesn't seem right. <BR> <BR> Today the sun is strong, the sky is clear...and it's 47F. At 11:00 a.m.! <BR> <BR> I am philosophically opposed to using my furnace here. Most years I am able to avoid it. I did get my winter robe out yesterday, bu... Wed, 12 Dec 2007 13:04:42 EST Oh, no! Not crud! Yesterday evening I felt off, not sick, but as if I might be on the verge of getting sick. I went to bed without even watching my favorite TV show. <BR> <BR> This morning I woke up feeling well, but now I'm coughing up yellow crud. <BR> <BR> Much as I hate to, I think I'll stay home from the pool today. Stay home, stay dry, stay warm. I have a second shift mystery shop that is due today, but it's easy. <BR> <BR> I haven't made broth in a while, and I'm out. I guess I'll go start that... Wed, 12 Dec 2007 12:16:59 EST Spinning and clapping While checking out the Spark Page of a new member of one of my teams I found in her introduction the injunction to get up, put on some rousing music, spin around 10 times and chug a glass of water. Or something close to that. I smiled, then got up and did it! <BR> <BR> I probably hadn't spun around ten times in 40 years! It was kinda fun! <BR> <BR> From time to time, especially when I notice a post by that member, I jump up and do it again! <BR> <BR> New thread... There is a track on t... Tue, 11 Dec 2007 16:38:21 EST Know what's worse than discovering... that someone is already using the URL The site isn't about using whole foods for health. He's selling a bunch of supplements. <BR> <BR> Fri, 7 Dec 2007 20:06:43 EST Oh, no! Not an extreme makeover! The apartment managers probably didn't expect the notice to send me screaming...after all, they "are delighted to announce you will be receiving a facelift to your home. We are sure that you will be pleased with the results...." <BR> <BR> Sometime in January they are replacing my kitchen and bathroom cabinets, countertops and faucets, kitchen appliances and sink, light fixtures, ceiling fans, electrical outlet and switch covers and door hardware. <BR> <BR> I should be thrilled, right? Wro... Wed, 28 Nov 2007 18:47:44 EST Rough day Headache, sinus, neck -- can't get anything done, but can't sleep, either. Overcast, and possibly high pollution levels. <BR> <BR> I did get a bunch of stuff done since I posted on Thursday. I moved a utility cart from my office to the kitchen, which allowed me to bring my crockpots out of the cave (24" deep island) and into the light. I rearranged my counters to that I no longer have to play musical outlets with my small appliances. (Rice cooker, food processor, vacuum sealer, micro and... Wed, 28 Nov 2007 18:39:40 EST A Thanksgiving Tale I got some stuff done early. I went to the grocery store at 6am because I was out of frozen roll dough and it takes five hours start to finish. Didn't start them, because I knew I would want a nap. <BR> <BR> Discovered that the outside of the recycle bin was nasty from the garbage that leaked last week. Cleaned and disinfected that. Cleaned and disinfected the floor under it. Washed another wastebasket so I can put it back in the main bathroom. <BR> <BR> I rearranged the appliances on my ... Thu, 22 Nov 2007 21:28:09 EST New (weight loss) ticker! I've been feeling that it was time to revamp my weight loss ticker. <BR> <BR> When looked at the calendar I realized that six weeks from tomorrow is New Year's Eve...traditional time of new beginnings. Why wait? <BR> <BR> For the next six weeks I am going to focus not on losing weight but on making health-promoting life-style choices. Good food, good rest, good exercise, but also stress reduction, feel-good movies and increased service. <BR> <BR> That will be my holiday gift to myself. <... Sun, 18 Nov 2007 03:08:19 EST I made it! (field trip) I made it! <BR> <BR> I finally made it to the Deer Valley Rock Art Center today. <BR> <BR> I needed to use up some gasoline in order to complete my mystery shops today, since I never left the apartment most days last week, and didn't go far when I did. I have wanted to visit the Rock Art Center since I first drove by it, ten years ago. It's on the other side of the valley, so I thought it would be a nice midday trip between shops. <BR> <BR> It would have been, too, if we hadn't had thund... Thu, 15 Nov 2007 21:44:31 EST My First Laptop Lunch Finally! My first Laptop Lunch! <BR> <BR> I finally made it to a crop today with the group I joined. I took my laptop lunch. Everything was finger food that I could eat while working on my scrapbooks. I also took bottled water. <BR> <BR> Hummus roll-up, using the garbanzos that I blogged about below. Snow peas, baby carrots, red bell pepper. A Gala apple. And a little flat leaf parsley here and there. There's nothing in the little dip container -- I just wanted to be able... Tue, 13 Nov 2007 21:04:24 EST How can I be out of garbanzos?! And status update. I knew exactly what I was going to cook today: Bouillabaise with Potatoes, Spinach and Garbanzos, from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen that I blogged about last week. I made a big batch of veggie broth Friday, strained and packaged it yesterday, and was finally ready to cook with it today. I have fresh spinach, I have potatoes and I always have garbanzos. I *love* garbanzos! <BR> <BR> I'm out of canned carbanzos. (And I'm having a tough time typing it, too!) At least I discovered this b... Sun, 11 Nov 2007 23:31:26 EST