BE-THE-CHANGE's SparkPeople Blog BE-THE-CHANGE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 08-23-2015 We celebrated my grandson Gino's 3rd birthday at our house yesterday. This is the first time both sides of their family have been able to get together since their wedding 6 years ago. I think everyone had a great time. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This is the birthday boy in our back yard. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I have a friend w... Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:53:13 EST 08-16-2015 My son and his family arrived in Pittsburgh today. They have not yet found a place in York, so they will stay with us for a bit. My husband flew down to Florida on Friday, helped them load up their POD yesterday, and then he drove one car here with their cat for company while my son drove his family and their dog. They arrived mid-afternoon today. After dinner, they all went to bed early. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I will watch my two grandsons while my son and DIL drive to York to look at some ... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 21:18:48 EST 08-08-2015 When my son and his family were here a couple of weeks ago, a friend of theirs who is starting a photography business took some pictures. I can't get the name off the photo - I am not trying to advertise her business. I just love this picture! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Right before they left, on the 27th, my son had a phone interview with a school in York PA. They were heading back to Florida the next d... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 20:03:36 EST 08-07-2015 There has been an awful lot of turmoil in my life these past few weeks and I'm not ready to post about it all yet. One of the good things was the trip to my sister's for my mom's 80th birthday celebration. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> On the far left is my husband. I am next to him and my mom is next to me. Behind me is my youngest brother, Dennis, and between me and my mom is my sister, Kathy. In front... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 09:57:32 EST 07-16-2015 I have several friends with major issues in their lives right now. I am also missing my kids and grandsons terribly today (they left at 10 AM). Combined with what's going on at work, it's all got me feeling pretty down. <BR> <BR> I am working on some ways to turn these feelings around: <BR> <BR> - Remember that this mood will pass. Just like the smallest things can really aggravate you, the smallest things can also bring us out of this. <BR> <BR> - Get out. Take a small step. Run an e... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:01:59 EST 07-15-2015 My son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons arrived in PA. They are staying at my house for one night, then going to the in-laws for a week, and then back to my house for a week. <BR> <BR> Frankie (9 months old) got his first haircut at my house. Our friend, Linda, came over and took care of both boys. Linda did all the hair for their wedding, so it was nice that she could do this as well. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> ... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 11:40:31 EST 07-12-2015 I did not get as much done around the house as I wanted to, but I did get some things done. <BR> <BR> We got a new area rug for the living room. My grandsons are coming to visit this month and Frankie, who is 9 months old, is trying to crawl. We had 3 smaller rugs down and now we have one large one for him to move around on. The three smaller ones have been moved into other rooms, so there is a bonus. DH and I shopped together, which is something we don't do very often, and it was all go... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 08:40:46 EST 07-07-2015 Not too much going on today. Work is difficult - a very down atmosphere right now. Right now our weather matches - yet another thunderstorm. It's been a very wet summer here. I guess I'll have to force an attitude adjustment. <BR> <em>334</em> Tue, 7 Jul 2015 20:05:46 EST 07-06-2015 I wrote a follow-up blog to yesterday's but I decided I don't want to start the week on a negative note. Instead I will start with some joy. I took this picture during our video chat last week. My son, DIL, and my two grandsons will be here for a visit in a few weeks and I can't wait! Gino is 2 1/2 and every week he has learned something new. Frankie is 9 months old and we haven't seen him since he was born. I am so anxious to spend some time with them. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://phot... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 07:41:15 EST 07-05-2015 Well, I had a lousy 4th of July. What was supposed to be a day with just my daughter and her partner turned into 7 other relatives coming too. I had to go shopping that morning because I didn't have enough food for all the additional people. Then I had to prepare more than I planned because the additional guests (2 families) offered to bring a dish and then reneged at the last minute. Finally, an hour before they were coming over, my one niece called and asked if she could bring a "+1", ... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 21:31:59 EST 07-02-2015 Thanks for all the support on yesterday's blog. <BR> <BR> I didn't get to sleep until after midnight last night. I had today off, though, so I deliberately stayed in bed very late. I didn't sleep the whole time, but at least I got rest. I felt sick to my stomach the first time I work up with DH (he had to work) but was better by the time I actually got out of bed. <BR> <BR> I had a lot of plans for the day but after the late start, I decided to bag most of them. I made a commitment to g... Thu, 2 Jul 2015 21:40:45 EST 07-01-2015 I've been hiding. From here, from myself, from the world. I need to get my "stuff" together, but I can't seem to do it for even one full day. Lately my life feels like it's always one step forward, two steps back. There is a lot swirling around, but right now, my job is the biggest issue. <BR> <BR> We had been waiting to hear about some funding. We needed it to get through the next three months. We made a contingency plan (my boss and I) but she never really thought we'd need it. Sinc... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 23:33:45 EST 05-25-2015 Memorial Day I attended my first funeral when I was 10 years old. The Mahers were friends of my grandparents. I don't remember much about that day, except for two things. One was the 21-gun salute at the gravesite. The second is that it was the only day I ever saw my grandmother cry. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Edward Michael Maher, Jr. was born on April 4, 1947, in Bronx, NY, to Gladys and Edward M. Maher, Sr. He ha... Mon, 25 May 2015 08:52:01 EST 05-24-2015 It was a nice Sunday. My oldest son and his wife and my daughter and her partner came over for a barbeque. It's not often that I get all of them together, without any nieces, nephews or cousins. We had a great meal and visit. <BR> <BR> We also did a video call with my other son and his family in Florida. He was visiting my SIL and her children, who were visiting from here and Boston. It was great to see my grandson playing with his cousin, Lydia (my great-niece). I can't wait to have t... Sun, 24 May 2015 23:55:49 EST 04-11-2015 In honor of National Siblings Day yesterday, the one of my siblings you would least expect to posted this picture of us. (He is the one looking away from the camera.) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Judging by my baby brother, who was born at the end of January 1962, I was about 4 1/2. As you can see, we are all very close in age. This was taken at my aunt's house on Long Island, where we were living at the time. It's funny how y... Sat, 11 Apr 2015 17:53:26 EST 03-26-2015 Yes, it's been a while and it's no longer the 26th, but that was my birthday and what I want to post about right now. This was my first birthday since my dad passed away from complications due to Parkinson's last May. <BR> <BR> I am usually off on Fridays but I had something I had to do this past Friday, so I was able to switch days and take off on my birthday. I spent the morning visiting a friend who has been sick and helping her and her husband get their books in order for taxes. I was... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 20:30:55 EST 03-01-2015 Another Sunday means another video call with my grandsons this evening. I can't wait. I look forward to this all day on Sunday. <BR> <BR> Gino is toilet training and his dad sent me this picture earlier this week. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is Frankie about 2 weeks ago. He is over 12 pounds now and is sitting up and smiling during our calls during the past few weeks. <BR> <img src=" Sun, 1 Mar 2015 16:44:34 EST 02-05-2015 DH seems to be OK. I am being very careful. I have not walked on the driveway at all this week. I am also very careful in our parking lot at work. I am parking closer to the building than I was so that I have a shorter walk right now. I may have to look into cleats if this keeps up. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am sorry to report I had to move another bead from right to left. I now have 196 on the left and 33 on the right. ... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 18:39:23 EST 02-02-2015 thru 02-04-2015 On Monday we had freezing rain and then rapidly dropping temperatures, which turned lots of areas into a sheet of ice. I was really stressed about driving, but the roads were mostly OK. Our driveway looked very icy, so I slowly and carefully navigated between the two cars at the end of our drive and got into the garage without incident. I texted my DH, warning him about the ice. But I guess he thought I was exaggerating. He got home, started to take the trash cans out, and wound up on hi... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 19:19:08 EST 02-01-2015 Sunday means video call with my son and grandsons. These are all screenshots from the call. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My son was feeding Frankie when we started the call and so here he is content. Frankie is just over 10 weeks old and he is already 12 pounds (24 inches long). He is much bigger than his brother at the same age. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Vinnie trie... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 15:51:12 EST 01-24-2015 thru 01-31-2015 I am not even going to try to do this on a daily basis. I just need to catch up. Things got progressively busier at work and my healthy efforts diminished more and more as time went by. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had to move one bead back to the left on Wednesday. It's probably worse than that right now, as even my water drinking has suffered this past week. My hands are puffy today and so I know I am retaining fluid. I pl... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 11:15:43 EST 01-19-2015 thru 01-23-2015 I am sorry I am been AWOL. My week just got progressively worse time-wise every day. <BR> <BR> 01-19-2015 <BR> I worked Monday even though it was a holiday and even blew off dinner with my friend to try to get the last fiscal year closed. I haven’t seen my friend in months and I was really looking forward to it. However, I knew I would just be worrying about my work and I knew she would understand. We have rescheduled for next week. My DH is also working extra hours, which is good and b... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 14:03:18 EST 01-18-2015 I always look forward to Sundays because I get to see my grandsons during our weekly video chat. They are both growing so fast! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is a screenshot I took last week. Gino is working on counting to 10 and singing his ABCs. Frankie is up to 11 pounds already. He is growing much faster than Gino did - very similar to my own two boys. It will be at least May before I can see them in person. Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:50:43 EST 01-17-2015 I could have sworn I posted this on time. Saturday was a quiet day. DH tried to get DD's car started again, but to no avail. They will have to have it towed to a garage. I hope it's repairable - she starts a new job next month. <BR> <BR> I didn't get too much done - a little cleaning, some laundry, and some reading and websurfing. I'm off on Monday, but I'll need to get some work done between now and then. Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:47:12 EST 01-16-2015 I ran around today and got a little work and a lot of errands done. I've got a fridge full of healthy food and I saw my friend Donna today. <BR> <BR> She had her first week of radiation and she was really tired but in good spirits. She spent the time on her recliner under a blanket so I didn't get a really good look at her, but her husband told me she is down to 90 pounds. She is probably about 5' tall, but was always struggled with her weight before. I hope the radiation/chemo does th... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 21:57:52 EST 01-15-2015 Thursday night was my last night out this week. We went to my great-nephew's orchestra concert. Nelson is in 3rd grade and started playing the viola this year. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This was taken before the concert started. Nelson is the nephew that I watch in the mornings. I just can't say no to that face. Fri, 16 Jan 2015 14:31:54 EST 01-14-2015 Wednesday is weigh-in day for me. I moved 4 beads from left to right. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:36:23 EST 01-13-2015 Yesterday was a crazy, busy day. I had several setbacks, but food was not one of them. I wound up not eating out and not eating dinner until I got home at 9:45. I was at or under range. At the meeting last night, which was extremely stressful, the chair brought wine, beer, and hot chocolate cupcakes. I am pleased that I stuck to my water and waiting until I got home to eat something a bit more healthy. Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:11:51 EST 01-12-2015 Not much interesting going on today. I have to be out the next three nights. I've been completely on track with my food for six days - all items that I track in range - and this will be a challenge for me. I will most likely be eating dinner out tomorrow and probably on Wednesday too. It makes me anxious. Mon, 12 Jan 2015 20:55:18 EST 01-11-2015 I should know better than to do much of anything on my cell phone. I went on LinkedIn to accept an invite. Shortly after that, my email started blowing up with people accepting my invite to connect. I didn't send these people invites - at least I don't think I did. I don't even know some of them! All I can think of is that I somehow hit the button to invite everyone in my contacts, because some of them are clients of my last employer, although I never had any direct communication with t... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 21:32:10 EST 01-10-2015 It's been a quiet, stay-at-home day for me. My husband went to my daughter's early this afternoon to try to figure out why her car still won't start with a new battery. They worked in an unheated garage in this cold all afternoon. They were able to rule out a few things, but no answers. Next step is to have it towed to a garage. Hopefully it won't be too expensive! <BR> <BR> He is due home any time now and I am sure he will be chilled to the bone. At least I'll have a hot dinner ready ... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 18:56:34 EST 01-09-2015 My daughter got the job! She got the call yesterday and the official letter today in the mail. What a great birthday present! Thanks for all the good thoughts. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I thought it was time I started posting these again. This is the status after my weigh-in on Wednesday. For the record, there are 31 beads in the right hand jar, and 198 in the left hand jar. This is exactly where I was back in mid-October,... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 22:38:01 EST 01-08-2015 Today is my daughter's 26th birthday. Angie is my "baby". This is one of my favorite pictures of her: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I love the intense look in her eyes. She earned her MSW this year and is currently in the running for a great job. She interviewed last week and they subsequently contacted all her references. Any good thoughts for her would be appreciated! Thu, 8 Jan 2015 08:57:03 EST 01-07-2015 Like most of the country it seems, we are having extremely cold weather. I was supposed to have a meeting in town tonight, but they postponed it around 4 PM due to the weather. I wasn't looking forward to walking a few blocks at 9 PM to get from the meeting to the parking lot and then getting in that cold car, so I am happy. <BR> <BR> My daughter is waiting for AAA right now, as her car wouldn't start this evening. The schools here have already delayed for tomorrow morning, which means I ... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 20:57:05 EST 01-06-2015 I heard back from my brother today. It was a just a brief note, but he says he "gets" my point. I think we're OK for now. It's not over, as I told him yesterday they could change the plans we originally made if they wanted to, but I wasn't going to come in that case. He is still saying this morning that we all have to talk and figure this out. My guess is that they think I will change my mind, like I always have in the past. Luckily, my DH and all three of my grown children are on my si... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 20:40:11 EST 01-05-2015 Monday was a rough day. I had several email exchanges with my brother about a family gathering later this year. In the past, I would always give in to what the others want, even though it would cost me time and money for something that would inevitably make me miserable. In this case, I fought to stand up for myself. I wrote and re-wrote so that it also was positive, not negative. He still took some offense, which upsets me because this brother and I are closer than I am with my other br... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 18:52:00 EST 01-04-2015 I had a lunch invitation at the last minute today from my friend, Leslie. She rarely ventures out in the winter, but we had an unseasonably warm day and she decided to come up to the mall near me to return something. <BR> <BR> My first impulse was to say no, since it was short notice (less than an hour). But I decided that I would enjoy spending time with her and so I dropped what I was doing and I went. And I am very happy that I did! Sun, 4 Jan 2015 21:06:04 EST 01-03-2015 Today was cold and icy this morning, so I decided to stay in all day. We got our budget updated and planned out for the upcoming year. I got a bit more of the house in order and the decorations are all put away. I also did some "work" work in anticipation of returning on Monday. I am struggling with an Excel worksheet right now and after hours DH had an idea for me but my brain is too fried to try it right now. I'll do it fresh in the AM. I inherited this from my predecessor and after t... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 22:45:07 EST 01-02-2015 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have had this treadmill for many years. I'll go stretches where I use it daily for weeks on end and then it just collects dust for a while. I started using it again but I noticed that the front panel was no longer working. All the measurements were blank. I set a different timer, but I did miss seeing the mileage. I wear a Fitbit but it doesn't measure distance on the treadmill. <BR> <BR> I was going to ... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 10:20:38 EST 01-01-2015 I am a day late but I am determined to write a blog for each day this year. I don't know about anyone else, but I do go back and read them again, and I have found it very helpful. <BR> <BR> I tend to have an idealized view of how things are going when I am doing well with my weight loss. In going back and reading old blogs, I have found that even when I am doing well with my goals, life itself is messy. I am not sure why there are times when I let "life get in the way" and there are other... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 18:14:36 EST Spark the Season - Day 31 Today is celebration. Tonight it will be just my husband and myself. We will set the alarm to make sure we are up at midnight. Then we will have some pink champagne and cold shrimp. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I say we are a couple of old fogeys, but honestly it's my husband who wants to stay at home. He doesn't like crowds. I am not much for bars ... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:53:53 EST Spark the Season - Day 30 I have often made New Year's Resolutions, and at one point in my life, my list contained a dozen items. As I have gotten older, I have whittled it down to the point where this year I only have one: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I think everything else can come from this one thing. <BR> <BR> ~~~~~~~~~ <BR> <BR> I can't let the day go by without acknowledging my son Vinnie's birthday. Today he is 29 years old. I wish we could be ... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:26:16 EST Spark the Season - Day 29 I like this picture because it has two different kinds of warmth - that of the candlelight and that of the family. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my youngest brother with his wife and his 3 boys. I haven't seen them in a very long time unfortunately, so I really treasure this picture. It was taken 2 years ago when the oldest boy, Miles, turned 12. The twins, Harrison and Avery, were 8 in this picture. <BR> Tue, 30 Dec 2014 15:11:07 EST Spark the Season - Day 28 Today's theme is "it's cold outside", but it is not. At least, not for Pittsburgh in December. It's in the upper 30's right now, at 9:30 PM. It was even warmer yesterday - I think it hit 50 degrees. So I guess I'll have to go with an old picture. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This was taken from my front door in March 2013. I did not make it off my street to work that day. I hope we don't have any days like this any time soon. Sun, 28 Dec 2014 21:29:19 EST Spark the Season - Day 27 My favorite holiday food is the turkey. I really like it and no one else wants to eat it except at the holidays. I make one for Thanksgiving and another one for Christmas. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I always stuff it and I am lucky that my daughter's partner makes great gravy, because it is definitely not one of my strong suits. <BR> <BR> I am also trying to make turkey soup this year. I haven't done it in many, many years.... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:42:03 EST Spark the Season - Day 26 I received two gifts this year that were especially meaningful for me. <BR> <BR> This is a scarf made for me for one of my SparkFriends, indeed one of my best friends and someone who is more of a sister to me than my own sister. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my favorite color and it means so much that she took the time to make this for me. <BR> <BR> The same is true of the second gift. This was made for me by my daughter-... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:22:59 EST Spark the Season - Day 25 Gratitude. It's been a tough year but there is still a lot to be grateful for. I am grateful for my family and many things in my life, but the thing I am most grateful for is SparkPeople and the friends I have made here. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I may not be where I want to be in terms of my health. I may not be where I want to be in terms of my weight. But I know for a fact that I would be in much worse shape if it were n... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 22:17:36 EST Spark the Season - Day 24 We had some of our Family with us on Christmas Eve. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my daughter Angie and her partner, Red. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my niece, Tina, her daughter, Lydia, and her husband, Andy. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here we have Andy again, my nephews Merrill and Nelson (th... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 21:35:33 EST Spark the Season - Day 23 Today I am supposed to post a picture of something red, so I give you my daughter, Angie, and her partner, Red! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This was taken at our house at Christmas last year. Sat, 27 Dec 2014 21:16:39 EST Spark the Season - Day 22 This is the symbol of my shopping this year - <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I did the bulk of my shopping online this year and I actually started early. I kept an eye on the daily specials on Amazon and I got a few really good deals on tools for my husband, as well as gifts for my kids and grandsons. <BR> <BR> With the exception of my 2-year-old great-niece, all my nieces and nephews all got cash or gift cards. Almost all of th... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 21:09:24 EST