BE-THE-CHANGE's SparkPeople Blog BE-THE-CHANGE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Spark the Season - Day 21 This is what comfy looks like: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I took this picture of my grandson Frankie while he was sleeping on me. We were both comfy. Sat, 27 Dec 2014 20:45:57 EST Spark the Season - Day 20 During the winter, my workouts consist of the treadmill. My treadmill is set up in my office. That's a file cabinet in front of it. The large picture on the right is my daughter, to the left of it is my "Spark" patch from JASR a few years ago, and the picture at the bottom is me and DH over 30 years ago, taken during the brief minutes (months) that I was a normal weight. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I haven't been using my free we... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:43:17 EST Spark the Season - Day 19 I have the same dinner more often than not. I guess I'm just a creature of habit. <BR> <BR> I will have chicken several nights a week: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am really not much for vegetables. I like a nice big salad, but when I was a kid the only vegetable I ate was corn. (I know, not really a vegetable, but that was it.) My mom also served peas, but I hated them. <BR> <BR> I do like this: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:35:20 EST Spark the Season - Day 18 My goal for day 18 was to get all my packages, including cash for nieces and nephews, out in the mail. Before I left the house that morning, I had all the packages prepared, with the exception of putting the cash in the envelopes. I had also printing out mailing labels online, so all I had to do during lunch was fill the appropriate envelopes with cash, put them in the mailing envelopes and attach the label before dropping the entire batch at the post office. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://ph... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 11:59:38 EST Spark the Season - Day 17 I checked last year's entry and I find it very interesting that on the 17th, this year as well as last, we ordered pizza for lunch in my office. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last year it was my boss' last day in the office and she ordered it for all of us. This year her last day in was on the 18th, and she ordered Chinese food for all of us, but the pizza was also her idea. Of course, my boss never brings in her lunch, so for h... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 23:10:25 EST Spark the Season - Day 16 Today's theme is decorations, so I thought I'd post this year's tree with its decorations. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my office decoration. They don't decorate the entire office but I have to have something. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 26 Dec 2014 23:01:25 EST Spark the Season - Day 15 I really don't have any good Christmas memories from when I was a child. I'm afraid I remember the disappointments more than anything else. <BR> <BR> This tree is from my first Christmas with my husband as a married couple in 1979. We lived in West Virginia, far away from our family, but it was a great Christmas and the first one I remember as a happy one. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The tree is covered in "angel hair". Looking... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 22:55:04 EST Spark the Season - Day 14 Honestly, I don't know how to relax. I always feel like I should be "doing" something. This is what I posted last year: "I honestly could not do this one. I realized I don't know how to just relax. I am either multi-tasking or sleeping. I need to fix this. " <BR> <BR> So I am asking my friends - what do you do to relax? Fri, 26 Dec 2014 22:27:40 EST Spark the Season - Day 13 Someone I love - this is really a tough one. I love my family and my friends. I especially love my two SparkFriends and "sisters", Dawn and Di. I don't know where I'd be without these two ladies. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I also adore my two grandsons. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is Gino, age 2, and Frankie, just two weeks old. Fri, 26 Dec 2014 21:27:27 EST Spark the Season - Day 12 Today's theme is cookies! I am not a cookie baker by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes I will make Tollhouse cookies, which I learned how to do in Home Ec in 12th grade. That is the extent of my repertoire. They are not one of my favorite treats, either, but I do enjoy Italian cookies from a good bakery. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> These are from Moios' Bakery in Monroeville, PA. Luckily for me, that is 45 minutes from ... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:03:39 EST Spark the Season - Day 11 I was in a bit of a hurry this morning, so I had this for breakfast: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This oatmeal is very tasty and has less sodium than the dry packages. Unfortunately my local grocery is discontinuing these. I hope I can find them somewhere else. It's very handy for a quick breakfast. <BR> <BR> Outside of today, I have been having English muffins most days. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:22:21 EST Spark the Season - Day 10 They say home is where the heart is, and my heart is certainly with my family. But you do need a place to hang your hat. We have lived in this house for 20 years, which is the longest I have lived anywhere. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I especially enjoy turning onto my street - the view tonight was beautiful. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our house is on the left and th... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:13:28 EST Spark the Season - Day 9 I try not to eat too many snacks. It seems to me that I am hungrier for the rest of the day on the days that I snack. However, I do keep a couple of things at home and at work, just for those days when I really want something. <BR> <BR> Depending on what I am in the mood for, it may be... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> or <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> both of which I kee... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:01:30 EST Spark the Season - Day 8 My favorite part of winter is definitely sitting in front of a warm toasty fire. One of the reasons I loved this house is because it had a fireplace. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, we don't use the fireplace nearly as much as I'd like. I think I'll have to work on that! Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:36:51 EST Spark the Season - Day 7 Wow, I got way behind with my traveling home and trying to get caught up on things here. <BR> <BR> The Day 7 topic was "Best Part of the Day". For me the best part of my day is any time I get to talk to one of my kids. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This is my oldest, Mike, and his wife, Jenn. They live about 1/2 hour away but with work schedules, we don't get to see them nearly enough. Mike isn't one to pick up the phone (neither am I f... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:30:33 EST Spark the Season - Day 6 Since I have been away from home for just about 2 weeks, my To Do List has been growing and growing. I have really enjoyed my time with my grandsons, but I am looking forward to getting home, back to my own bed and a routine. <BR> <BR> Sorry to say, the first thing on my list is work. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my desk at home, which is appropriate since I will be getting in some work tomorrow night before I go in on Mon... Sun, 7 Dec 2014 00:13:39 EST