BE-THE-CHANGE's SparkPeople Blog BE-THE-CHANGE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 12-1-2016 <img src=""> <BR> It's still the 1st if you haven't slept. Fri, 2 Dec 2016 02:15:48 EST 11-24-2016 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am thankful for my daughter, Angie, and my sister/friends, Di and Dawn. These three ladies are my strength. <BR> <BR> I am thankful for Red, my daughter's husband, who loves her as much as I do and takes great care of her. I don't have to worry about her as long as he is there. <BR> <BR> I am thankful for my two grandsons, Gino and Frankie, who always make me smile. <BR> <BR> I am than... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:37:06 EST 11-23-2016 For many, it's been a rough year. Sometimes it's hard to see that we still have many things to be grateful for. I find that this list helps me. <BR> <BR> 1. What are the things you use every day that you are thankful for? <BR> 2. Who are the people in your life you can talk to about anything? <BR> 3. Who are the people in your life who always make you smile? <BR> 4. Who are the people in your life who always make you laugh and forget your worries? <BR> 5. What energizes you? <BR> 6. What are... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 07:53:50 EST 11-21-2016 If you pray, please say a prayer for my Mom. If not, send some good thoughts her way. My stepfather passed away yesterday. It was their 37th wedding anniversary on November 11th. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 08:08:37 EST 11-18-2016 One of my favorites... <BR> <BR> Desiderata by Max Erhmann <BR> <BR> Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, <BR> and remember what peace there may be in silence. <BR> <BR> As far as possible, without surrender, <BR> be on good terms with all persons. <BR> Speak your truth quietly and clearly; <BR> and listen to others, <BR> even to the dull and the ignorant; <BR> they too have their story. <BR> Avoid loud and aggressive persons; <BR> they are vexatious to the spirit. <BR> <... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 18:19:04 EST 11-14-2016 <img src=""> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 08:17:15 EST 10-31-2016 Purple Passion - The Winter Challenge I am the co-leader of a Biggest Loser team (no relation to the show except for the name) called the Purple Passion. We have room for a couple of members for the Winter Challenge. If you are looking for a small team that is very encouraging, this may be what you want. The teams are private, so what happens on our threads stays on our threads. <BR> <BR> These are the team expectations: <BR> <BR> We compete against other teams (usually 10 or so) to be the Biggest Losing Team over the course ... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 18:18:07 EST 09-11-2016 If you have known me for a while, you have probably read this blog before. <BR> <BR> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <BR> <BR> I had a brother, several step-brothers, a brother-in-law, and a step-uncle all of whom worked on Wall Street and whose companies had offices in the World Trade Center. I spent 9/11/01 desperately trying to reach family members to make sure everyone was OK. I learned that the brother who worked in Brooklyn - not Manhattan - was on his way to a meeting at the Towers but was tha... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 22:20:27 EST 09-07-2016 I know the date says that today is the 8th but it's 3 a.m. and I haven't been to bed yet. I just spent 6 hours at the ER with my niece. I came home when they decided to admit her. They don't know what's wrong with her but her heart rate is too fast and her blood pressure is too low. Good thoughts would be appreciated. Thu, 8 Sep 2016 03:02:08 EST 09-06-2016 I came across this using SparkCoach today and I really like the imagery. I need to keep this in front of me at all times. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is a link to the original image. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ramid.asp </link> Tue, 6 Sep 2016 22:23:47 EST 09-04-2016 and 09-05-2016 I was planning on a quiet weekend at home. My husband is out of town, helping my son and his family get settled in their new home. I was planning to spend Saturday with my daughter (which I did) and then the next two days were going to be spent cleaning and working. Instead I watched my soon-to-be 4 year old great-niece Sunday evening and overnight into Monday afternoon. Then I watched my two great-nephews this evening so my niece and her husband could go out for their anniversary. I got some... Mon, 5 Sep 2016 22:02:29 EST 09-03-2016 My daughter (PRETTYKITTY26) is getting married three weeks from today. It is going to be a very laid back, casual affair, but there are still things to be done. We spent this afternoon together, taking care of some things and planning what to do about others. I feel much better now, and I think she does too. <BR> <BR> I have had lymphedema in both my legs for many years and I can't remember the last time I wore a dress. I wore fancy pants suits to both of my sons' weddings. However, my daugh... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 21:18:08 EST 09-02-2016 I live in Pittsburgh and it is a city of bridges. Today there was a fire on one of the main bridges into the city and the bridge has been closed indefinitely due to structural damage. <BR> <BR> No one was hurt and at first people were posting on social media about traffic delays, etc. But eventually people started to develop a sense of humor about the situation. What else can you do? I liked this image the best. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 2 Sep 2016 22:58:54 EST 09-01-2016 It's been a rough summer and I am glad it's over. September will be very busy, but I am hoping it won't compare to the past two months. <BR> <BR> I've been thinking about having my DNA tested and I finally did it a few weeks ago. The results are now in, and I am almost disappointed that there were no real surprises. I've always thought I was more Irish than anything else, with German not too far behind. A while back we learned that we were also Slovakian. My results showed: <BR> <BR> <img ... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 22:46:05 EST Purple Passion - The Fall Challenge I am the co-leader of a Biggest Loser team (no relation to the show except for the name) called the Purple Passion. We have room for a couple of members for the Fall Challenge. If you are looking for a small team that is very encouraging, this may be what you want. The teams are private, so what happens on our threads stays on our threads. <BR> <BR> These are the team expectations: <BR> <BR> We compete against other teams (usually 10 or so) to be the Biggest Losing Team over the course of... Wed, 10 Aug 2016 16:25:19 EST 06-17-2016 I've been having a tough time since Sunday. It should have been a great day. My daughter Angie and I are co-founders of Proud Haven, an organization that works to help homeless LGTBQ+ youth in our area. Eventually we plan to open a shelter. Sunday was our organization's second time participating in Pittsburgh's Pride activities. We had an awesome day at Pittsburgh Pride - we could really see how far our organization has come in just a year. Last year it was just Angie and I - this year ... Fri, 17 Jun 2016 23:20:37 EST 06-12-2016 <img src=""> <BR> My heart breaks. Sun, 12 Jun 2016 22:17:09 EST 06-01-2016 We had a very enjoyable weekend with my grandsons. On Saturday, all three of my children were here as well. These days, being surrounded by my family is all it takes to make me happy. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Gino will be 4 at the end of August and Frankie will be 2 in November. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here the boy... Wed, 1 Jun 2016 20:03:52 EST 05-11-2016 <img src=""> <BR> Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad's death. I miss him more than ever. Wed, 11 May 2016 23:17:36 EST 05-10-2016 We went to my great-nephew's orchestra concert last night. Nelson is in 4th grade and plays the viola. He had a duet last night while the larger bands were changing places. He did very well! I would have been a nervous wreck. <BR> <BR> I couldn't get both of them from my vantage point, but this is Nelson playing the duet. <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 10 May 2016 13:39:31 EST 05-02-2016 There is a really interesting article in the New York Times today. It is titled "After 'The Biggest Loser,' Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight". A scientist at a federal research center had the idea to follow the Season 8 'Biggest Loser' contestants for six years after the final night. The project was the first to measure what happened to people over as long as six years after they had lost large amounts of weight with intensive dieting and exercise. They may have gotten some insights in... Mon, 2 May 2016 13:12:47 EST 05-01-2016 If you asked me, I would have said I hadn't posted a blog in a month or so. Boy, how time flies! <BR> <BR> I've been busy at work, with tax season, with some Spark guests, and then sick. This week I attended a conference for my nonprofit work on Thursday and Friday and still worked both evenings after the conference. I was also working just now, because no one reviews anything until the last minute. And I'm not perfect. <BR> <BR> It's been a big week for our nonprofit. On Wednesday we h... Sun, 1 May 2016 19:56:47 EST 02-22-2016 Wow, I didn't realize I missed the whole weekend. My husband was feeling sick all weekend so we didn't do much. We both worked a lot of hours last week and pretty much crashed on Friday night. <BR> <BR> Saturday I spend working on tax returns. I generally don't mind doing taxes, unless the person owes a lot of money and didn't realize it before I tell them. I always want to say "don't kill the messenger". I know they are angry at the situation, not me, but it still feels lousy. <BR> <B... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 20:25:38 EST 02-19-2016 <img src=""> <BR> This is how I feel. Fri, 19 Feb 2016 23:15:09 EST 02-18-2016 I apparently fell asleep in the middle of posting last night. It was another long day at work. Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:25:18 EST 02-17-2016 There is a water main break near the end of my street. Right now we have no water. Here's to hoping we can shower in the morning! UPDATE - we have water this morning! Wed, 17 Feb 2016 23:56:29 EST 02-16-2016 I know this is late, but I took the time to take these pictures and so I am posting under this date. <BR> <BR> On Tuesday we had a very icy morning. All the schools wound up closing. My entire office decided to work from home. So I sat in my office all day and decided I HAD to finish organizing when my work day was over. This also fit in with my 40 bags in 40 days challenge. So once I was done with "work", I got to work and finished cleaning my office. That meant finding a place for th... Wed, 17 Feb 2016 10:18:26 EST 02-15-2016 I have been using my phone for blog posts and I just realized that some of them did not actually post. I know that last night's post was fairly long, but I'll be darned if I can remember what I wrote about. Oh, the joys of getting older! I was off today and very grateful for that. As much as I enjoyed the weekend with family, it was also exhausting. My sleep is still off. For those who asked, I do not have sleep apnea. I've had two sleep studies done over the years and I'm not even borderlin... Mon, 15 Feb 2016 23:06:14 EST 02-13-2016 Today is my husband's 60th birthday. We had a wonderful day with our grandchildren and a great evening with family and friends. It was such a pleasure to have all three of our children together. Sat, 13 Feb 2016 23:43:47 EST 02-10-2016 Last night we went to bed at 10 and I was still awake at 11:50. I finally fell asleep but woke up at 1:15 with horrible acid reflux. I slept sitting up the rest of the night. I still felt awful this morning and decided to work at home today. I went back to bed until 8:30 and then worked all day. I was more relaxed today than I've been in a while. I am really not sure why sleep is so elusive. I have been worried about work. I often wake up but I usually don't have much trouble going back to s... Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:32:20 EST 02-08 and 02-09-2016 Work continues to be very busy but I am getting a handle on it. I had a good talk with my boss today about my workload and priorities. I knocked a couple of items off my to do list. I am still working long days but it's better. Now if I can just stop waking up every night! Tue, 9 Feb 2016 22:35:28 EST 02-04 thru 02-07-2016 This week at work was physically and mentally draining. I blew several of my streaks, including blogging (and sleep). Time to get them going again. Sun, 7 Feb 2016 22:14:06 EST 02-03-2016 I worked from 7:15 am until 8 pm today. I still have a few things to do for tomorrow but my brain was fried. I left things set up and ready to go. I don't expect the auditor to arrive 9:30. I should have enough time if I can get up early and get started by 7. Wish me luck! Wed, 3 Feb 2016 21:48:40 EST 01-31 thru 02-02-2016 The days are running together. Work has been overwhelming this week. As much as I have gotten done, I am still behind. Tomorrow is my last day before the auditor arrives. I still have SO much to do. I'll just have to stay at the office tomorrow until it's done. Tue, 2 Feb 2016 21:32:07 EST 01-29-2016 and 01-30-2016 Thanks for all the kind thoughts and prayers. <BR> <BR> My grandson (and his dad) are on the mend. <BR> <BR> My daughter, Angie (aka PRETTYKITTY26) saw the neurosurgeon yesterday. There is no spinal damage. She has whiplash and lots of soft tissue damage. He gave her a script for a muscle relaxer, a soft collar (instead of the hard cervical collar), and he wants her to go to physical therapy. All in all, the best outcome we could expect. Here are some pictures she posted on Facebook. Yo... Sat, 30 Jan 2016 19:38:18 EST 01-28-2016 Keep some good thoughts for my family and a friend. My daughter is in a lot of pain from her accident. I am taking her to see the neurosurgeon tomorrow. Hopefully it's just deep bruising from the air bags and nothing more. <BR> <BR> My younger grandson, Frankie, has pneumonia and a double ear infection. I am betting his dad, my son Vinnie, also has pneumonia but of course he did not get himself checked out. I pulled a mom on him and told him to get to the doctor on Saturday if he is not... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 22:24:23 EST 01-27-2016 I almost forgot to post tonight. I am already in bed and posting with my phone. It was a long day and I can't think. I'll post more tomorrow. Thu, 28 Jan 2016 00:10:25 EST 01-26-2016 After I posted last night, I was worried that it was too whiny. Well, today the universe decided to tell me I was right. I was on my way to work when my daughter called. We had just been texting before I left, so I couldn't imagine why she was now calling. Well, it turns out she had a car accident. She wanted me to come and get her and bring her to the emergency room. Long story short, she seems to be ok. She has a lot of bruising from the airbags. The CT scan was negative but since her nec... Tue, 26 Jan 2016 16:01:19 EST 01-25-2016 What a long day! It actually started last night. We went to bed at 10, but I didn't fall asleep until almost midnight. Then I woke again around 3:30. No idea why, but it makes for one tired day. <BR> <BR> Suddenly I am absolutely slammed at work. I had 7 items on my to do list for today, and I got just 3 of them done. I am only in the office 1/2 day tomorrow and then I am alone for the rest of the week. That is a good news/bad news type thing. I won't be interrupted by co-workers, ... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 19:46:23 EST 01-24-2016 I did not get as much done as I had hoped. However part of the reason for that was an unexpected visit from my oldest son. We haven't seen his since Christmas Eve so it was nice to take a couple of hours and catch up. Sun, 24 Jan 2016 22:10:58 EST 01-23-2016 We escaped the worst of the snow. We got about 5 inches. On the other side of the state, my son says they have 2 feet. I planned to stay in all day and I did just that. I got some well needed rest this morning. I got some work done and some board work done. More of both tomorrow. Sat, 23 Jan 2016 22:30:40 EST 01-22-2016 It's been a long week. I have a big list of things I want to get done this weekend but it looks like I'll have to work for at least part of the time. So far we don't have too much snow but I am planning on staying in all day tomorrow no matter how much we get. If you are in the storm's path stay safe and warm. Sat, 23 Jan 2016 00:00:50 EST 01-21-2016 Thanks so much for your comments on my last blog. I could not have done this without SparkPeople and the support of my friends here. It's hard to say how close we are to actually opening the shelter. We have the possibility of a partnership with a housing organization here. It's still early to know if it will pan out. We have also become aware of a property another nonprofit is selling. It was a shelter in the past so that would put us ahead with zoning. We are trying to arrange to see it... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 22:24:43 EST 01-20-2016 The organization we have started is called Proud Haven. We have a website and you can find us on Facebook. Our mission is to open and run a shelter for homeless LGBTQ+ youth. When I was a child my family was homeless for over a year. By that I mean we did not have our own home. For a time we stayed with my aunt and her family and then we lived with my grandparents for a while. We were lucky to have family to help us. My husband and I have housed numerous people over the years, mostly but... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 23:39:31 EST 01-19-2016 Today was a long day, but productive in the end. It started with me setting off the alarm in a new office space our non-profit will be using. After getting someone to help me turn it off, I hosted a meeting there. After that it was work all afternoon. We lost power for a while but it came back on just as we were going to go home. I found a mistake I made when reviewing some work we had to resubmit with more details. I'm glad I found it but since we already submitted I may have to explain th... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 23:01:34 EST 01-18-2016 It's much too cold for me. I don't mind winter but these wind chills are ridiculous! Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:37:18 EST 01-17-2016 I wrote a blog on my phone last night but obviously it didn't post. We had a quiet day at home after my SIL and niece left. We lazed around all morning and spent the afternoon working on our annual budget, until it was time for the weekly call with our grandsons. We didn't talk last week because they were feeling well. It's amazing how much a one-year-old can change in just two weeks! Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:25:15 EST 01-16-2016 Last day of company. We had dinner at my BIL's house. He and his wife recently moved back here. I was a bit anxious but we had a good meal and a pleasant time. I tracked as well as I could when we got home and I'm just a little over. We've had a nice visit with my SIL and niece, but I am looking forward to getting back to the routine. Sat, 16 Jan 2016 22:48:28 EST 01-15-2016 I am a bit over on calorie range today. My visiting SIL took me to lunch and I underestimated the calories. I did eat healthy foods and I tracked it all once I got home and could search the Internet for calorie counts. I am counting today on the win column. This SIL used to be my cheat buddy. We would constantly sabotage ourselves and each other by being that person you could overeat with who would always help you "justify" it. Fri, 15 Jan 2016 23:17:57 EST 01-14-2016 I know it's technically Friday but I am just going to bed so it's still Thursday to me. It's been a day from hell. There's too much to get into at this hour. Suffice it to say my streak continues. Fri, 15 Jan 2016 00:51:49 EST