BROOKLYN_BORN's SparkPeople Blog BROOKLYN_BORN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Searching for a new suit with Spark help A few months ago I decided to start swimming again and posted this picture in a blog. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After 5 years in a drawer the elastic had deteriorated and I wasn't sure how long I would have before it gave out completely. <BR> <BR> So began the search for a new bathing suit - one I could actually swim in - one that would stay in place without tugging on all parts of it. <BR> <BR> I we... Fri, 8 Jul 2016 06:32:45 EST My weird hand injury Thank you for the good wishes for recovery. Day 4 and I am almost back to normal but still trying to do as much as possible with my left hand. <BR> <BR> That's not easy. I'm strongly right handed. My left hand and arm just coast through life. <BR> <BR> One positive - holding my fork in my left hand really slowed down my food consumption. Have I discovered a new weight loss technique? <BR> <BR> I realized the cause of the injury. After my 2 weeks of exciting travels/music experiences... Wed, 6 Jul 2016 06:31:01 EST Look! We have twins! Not children, just matching kayaks <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Exactly one month ago I blogged that I had an immediate need to make 3 purchases. <BR> <BR> The first was a new kayak. 5 of our 6 grandchildren were visiting and the 18 year old at 6'2" had a tough time getting his legs into a comfortable position. <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Sat, 2 Jul 2016 07:25:04 EST How did the 2 of us create HER? That was DH's comment at the conclusion of DD's semi-final performance at the Cliburn International Piano Competition on Thursday. We watched the live stream broadcast of the field of 12, down from the original 68 competitors invited to Fort Worth by recorded audition. <BR> <BR> Thank you sparkers who followed and supported her journey (and me). <BR> <BR> I hinted that there was a backstory to all this and I've been asked to tell it. <BR> <BR> Subtitles to this blog could be: <BR> "Ho... Mon, 27 Jun 2016 06:46:44 EST Sparker Hayburner1969 finishing her semi-final performance at the Cliburn International Piano Compet <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I LOVE this picture. At 2am Jeannie (my DD) posted the following on Facebook. <BR> "Hey everyone, I'm totally pooped and crawling into bed, but I wanted to say thank you for being such a great audience and support system. I had a good run here and got to play three times for a jury of world-class pianists. I got bravos and a standing ovation and I'm cool with that! Goodnight and see you soo... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 08:28:41 EST "Several Amateur Pianists Stand Out in the Quarterfinals of the Cliburn" And one of them is my DD#1 - Sparker Hayburner1969 <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> She was pleased with her performance in the round of 30 (down from the 68 International competitors whose recorded auditions earned an invitation to the preliminaries in Fort Worth, TX). Being featured in the web story and in the newspaper the next day was fantastic <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 23 Jun 2016 08:54:32 EST The Medical Benefits of Sparking by Association I've written about DH a lot in the past 7 years. <BR> I've called him the "junk food king of the world" <BR> <BR> For those who have only known me only a short time, this was my kitchen table in 2010. It was not a staged photo. It really looked like that. At that time I wanted to document that I reached MY goal while living in this environment. <BR> (Confession, the Pringles were mine!) <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 06:57:35 EST It's Spark Guy's fault that my laundry isn't folded It's DH's fault that I burned my toast this morning. <BR> It's my friend's fault for retiring so that so much tempting food was right in front of me today <BR> It's the wind's fault that I couldn't kayak longer. <BR> Which are true? Definitely not the first 3. <BR> <BR> For quite awhile Spark Guy blogged about the Ultimate Spark Challenge - extending spark principles to our daily lives beyond the food/exercise thing. I jumped right in and whenever I washed clothes, I folded them and put the... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 15:16:12 EST The Way We Were Since I've finished my "old spark friends" project, here's one of my oldest real life friends. <BR> Joe and Me in '63 - our first date at Rockaway Beach, Long Island, NY. <BR> He was 18. I was almost 16. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We started "going steady" 4 months later. <BR> I still wear the ankle bracelet, but now it's part of a necklace. <BR> <BR> We were married 4 years later - 49 years ago today. <... Fri, 3 Jun 2016 10:07:51 EST Three purchases needed - immediately Tomorrow DH & I will be married for 49 years. There isn't much we NEED to buy anymore. You acquire a lot of stuff over a half century. In the beginning all our worldly possessions fit into the back of a 1961 station wagon. We didn't downsize after retirement. Actually our lake house has more space than we once raised 3 children in. This works out well since where we once were only 2, over time we grew to 5 then 8 and finally 14. All except my son and the oldest grandson live nearby. <B... Thu, 2 Jun 2016 06:48:26 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 24 Today's group of 18 are the end of the line. <BR> <BR> One last post is significant, something we say to ourselves and each other all the time. <BR> "Today is the first day of the rest of my life." That's a true statement. However, since she disappeared, we have no idea how she is spending those days. I hope in a happy, successful environment. <BR> <BR> The final results: <BR> 267 out of 448 friends are still actively sparking - a nice round 60% <BR> <BR> Here are the day by day statis... Tue, 31 May 2016 07:17:13 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 23 "I thought we were already friends" Today's group is a recent addition to my friends list since I'm proceeding chronologically through it. Yet many are long term spark veterans whose presence I've always noticed. Through this project we are now friends. <BR> <BR> Research often leads to other questions. <BR> How did we meet our spark friends? <BR> Through teams? <BR> Through blogs or comments on blogs or message boards? <BR> Or my very favorite image (from OneKidsMom) <BR> "Did I foll... Mon, 30 May 2016 07:08:29 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 22 The Spark World and my gym have several things in common. <BR> As I analyze and synthesize what I've learned during this project I've noticed several similarities. <BR> <BR> Some people are regulars in the fitness classes - something for everyone. <BR> Some sparkers are active on teams - quite a variety of options here too. <BR> <BR> Some people workout individually making use of different resources and focusing on their own goals with minimal interaction with others. <BR> I myself experie... Sun, 29 May 2016 11:06:49 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 21 Three weeks along in this project and the finish line is in sight. I expected it to take much longer checking out 10 old friends per day, but I doubled that early on. It was like bumping into old friends on the street and catching up. I even made a few new friends along the way. <BR> <BR> Today's group is a remarkable bunch. <BR> <BR> 17 Active & 3 Inactive/Missing - That's 85% <BR> <BR> Summary so far: <BR> <BR> 221 out of 390 are still active - 57% <BR> <BR> Here's the day by day s... Sat, 28 May 2016 06:46:33 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 20 "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." <BR> For Sparkers either can be true. Sometimes sequentially and occasionally at the same time. <BR> Congrats to Watermellen who identified my last literary reference. <BR> <BR> Along with the basics stats, I'm taking the time to read about each of my old friends, especially the last posts of those no longer active. Aside from reconnecting, my goal here is to get some sense of why people leave or give up and the events leading up to... Fri, 27 May 2016 06:45:14 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 19 "In Times of Change, Learners Inherit the Earth while the Learned are Perfectly Prepared for a World that No Longer Exists" <BR> <BR> That was one of the quotations displayed prominently in the front of my classroom. It's also the title of my personal website - the one I continue to update and maintain even after my retirement. <BR> <BR> During my 7 years here I've changed in many ways. Because I'm the "Queen of Gradualism" many were not visible day to day, but when viewed from a long r... Thu, 26 May 2016 06:44:45 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 18 "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" <BR> Anyone get my reference? Yes, even Math majors read the classics. <BR> In the context of my project, substitute "sparkers" for "families" <BR> <BR> I'm looking at unhappy results right now. <BR> Today's group includes 2/3 with status "inactive or missing" <BR> <BR> One case is understandable. Over the years I've known her and even seen her blog featured, she has gone dark and then returned several times.... Wed, 25 May 2016 06:23:05 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 17 "It's not our old Brooklyn anymore" That's what an old friend told me 2 years ago when I was planning to attend my 50th high school reunion. It's also the comment I got from a spark friend about this community as she returned after a long break. <BR> <BR> No community is static. People change. Their needs change. Communities change, both real and online. I'm not naive enough to claim that all change is beneficial, but just because it's not how I remember it doesn't mean it's all bad ... Tue, 24 May 2016 08:04:41 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 16 Hopefulness and Discouragement - Our attitude makes a difference in our ability to stick with a plan. That's the reason for all those inspirational quotes on spark pages. I believe they help, but it's not enough just to say it. We have to really believe it. We have to act on our hopeful, positive quotes. <BR> <BR> I was sad today to find the last post of an inactive spark friend to include: <BR> "I'm discouraged but not giving up. This is going to be a good week for me" <BR> Then nothin... Mon, 23 May 2016 08:01:13 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 15 "Let the Haters Be Your Motivation" - Persistence and Resilience <BR> <BR> Yesterday we attended the HS graduation of grandson #3. He is class valedictorian and made a speech at the ceremony. He's known as "Math Guy" since he enrolled in Calculus at the local Community College at age 12. All his math courses during HS were taken at a local university. <BR> <BR> His speech included interesting as well as whimsical statistics and equations. He thanked his teachers and coaches. I particu... Sun, 22 May 2016 07:44:42 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 14 Today's group of 20 friends deserves a gold star from Spark. <BR> 18 are still active. That's a remarkable 90% <BR> <BR> I didn't have to remind myself of who they are because they are active here regularly and I "see" them here all the time even if they are not specifically interacting with me. <BR> <BR> At some point I may look more closely to see if they have anything in common that would indicate persistence. Nothing jumps out immediately. My friends list is ordered chronologicall... Sat, 21 May 2016 05:46:51 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 13 Suddenly, recognizing old friends became a bit more difficult. Heck, when I logged in on Wednesday for my 654th consecutive day, I hardly recognized myself. My profile picture, where I proudly display my Spark T-Shirt, was a tiny little "postage stamp" amid a sea of blue. <BR> <BR> The new format of the spark pages right in the middle of my project tested my perseverance. I may not have remembered everything about friends I haven't heard from in a long time, but I remembered their pag... Fri, 20 May 2016 07:44:22 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 12 "My live-in BF calls me fat chick" - That was one line of the last blog of an old spark friend. It was no surprise then that she became inactive before reaching her goal. The blog didn't say she was leaving, so that wasn't her intention at the moment she last blogged, but living in that atmosphere must have been toxic. <BR> <BR> Personally I would have stayed on SP and gotten rid of the BF. I am very much aware of the negative effect of hurtful words. Sadly, hurtful words are everywhere.... Thu, 19 May 2016 07:36:20 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 11 The law of unintended consequences is usually invoked when describing an unexpected outcome of a project. My original goal was to check in on old friends, reconnect with those still active and maybe discover why others had disappeared. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I read about a friend's swimming activities. This ignited something in me. I know how to swim. I think I'm actually better than average, at least for my age, but I don't do it because I don't like being cold and wet or having to ga... Wed, 18 May 2016 08:05:16 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 10 Each day of this project a new question pops into my head. Of course, I still want to know the results - active vs inactive/missing, but today I was wondering about the "old timers." <BR> <BR> Some sparkers have been here longer than I have and I consider myself a real veteran. <BR> <BR> At this point my "Longevity Award" goes to a sparker who just passed his 11th Spark Anniversary. <BR> He joined in April 2005. We haven't interacted in a long time so I won't include his name. He hasn... Tue, 17 May 2016 08:15:37 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 9 DH calls my spark friends my "imaginary friends." I envy those who are able to meet in real life after sharing experiences online. So far in real life I've meet exactly ONE spark friend (Teri-rific) when we realized we would both be participating in the VA 10 Miler which attracts thousands of runners each September. That's the race title but we both had chosen the 4 miler option. So we were able to meet at the finish line while waiting for our daughters who were running the full 10 miles.... Mon, 16 May 2016 07:28:39 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 8 Each day I look forward to this project. I'm glad I have the time to do it. I'm retired so there is no boss (principal or superintendent in my case) to demand something be done immediately if not sooner. I was a math/computer science teacher and later Technology Coordinator. <BR> <BR> My time is my own and I have the flexibility to fill and organize it as I see fit. Our 6 grandchildren are 14-21 and while we see them often and attend their sports and music events, it's not like I'm the... Sun, 15 May 2016 07:20:21 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 7 Today I'm thinking about my "class" - those who joined the same week that I did. I know that we are supposed to be automatically assigned to a team when we sign up, but somehow that did not happen to me. I know I didn't have any friends or any teams for a very long time. I just tracked and occasionally read some articles. I didn't even spin the wheel. I was the invisible sparker. <BR> <BR> Years later when I realized that class teams existed, I joined mine. I figured that would confus... Sat, 14 May 2016 07:27:41 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 6 Perhaps there should be a subtitle today? Why did they leave? <BR> I'm learning a lot both from my stroll down the memory lane of old friends and also from the comments. <BR> <BR> Is the efficiency of the website a reason to leave? <BR> <BR> In the beginning I used to have trouble with the trackers. Then veteran sparkers introduced me to shortcuts that reduced data entry to just minutes. It helps that after 7 years here, every imaginable food item or form of workout is already in "favori... Fri, 13 May 2016 07:02:06 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 5 I used to be a fan of the "Survivor" TV show. I remember that on the day before the finale the 4 last "survivors" would walk down a path lined with the torches of those who had not survived and would say a few words about each one of them. This is a bit how I feel with this project. <BR> <BR> While I'm glad to see those still active even if they have not been interacting with me, seeing the pages of those inactive brings back memories of their time here. Sometimes their last posts give a... Thu, 12 May 2016 07:58:17 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 4 Another reminder from my project. Some sparkers return with a new screen name. Either they left for a while and returned with a brand new persona and outlook or like me they just deleted their old page and joined again without a spark break. <BR> <BR> My spark start date is listed as 8/20/2009, but I really joined on 1/1/2009 after my worst 5k time ever produced my "aha moment." I was a spark hermit in the beginning only using the trackers. However, I was being successful with slow and ... Wed, 11 May 2016 07:45:07 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 3 I'm working on this project gradually, checking in on 10 old friends per day. <BR> That's my mindset about most things - gradual, slow and steady progress. It's worked so far for weight loss, increasing fitness/strength training/steps per day, cutting down on sugar etc. <BR> <BR> The lesson learned today is that sparkers are not inactive just because they are not communicating with me. They may not be blogging and have a private feed, but they are posting on teams and/or message boards... Tue, 10 May 2016 07:48:16 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Day 2 Before I post the data for today, I want to clarify something because of a comment posted on yesterday's blog. It ended with this statement. <BR> "I am not one of those people who feel the need to have hundreds and hundreds of friends. For me, that is totally ridiculous." <BR> <BR> I believe: <BR> <BR> We are all an experiment of one seeking the path to a healthy lifestyle that works best for us. <BR> <BR> There are many different attitudes toward the appropriate level of interaction with... Mon, 9 May 2016 07:22:40 EST Where have all my old friends gone? Today I decided to find out. <BR> Over my 7+ years on Spark I've made hundreds of friends, followed their journeys, celebrated their successes and sympathized with their problems. Perhaps it's the recent losses in my life as members of my own generation pass away, or maybe it's my 70th birthday coming up next year, but I've been wondering about the people who once were a part of my real life with whom I've lost track. Facebook helps me keep in touch, but so many of my generation never beca... Sun, 8 May 2016 08:01:41 EST Some heavy and totally unexpected race hardware <img src=""> <BR> <BR> With all the excitement about music events lately, I've neglected to mention that I've been rehabbing another one of my freak yoga (over-stretching) injuries which occurred on April 7th. DH calls my approach to this activity "competitive yoga" - not competing with anyone else only myself. <BR> <BR> I was really mad at myself for being so stupid AGAIN since I had registered for a half ma... Sun, 1 May 2016 18:32:29 EST Successful Recital How wonderful to see every seat occupied. <BR> They actually had to quickly run off more copies of the program. <BR> How nice to see my daughter (Hayburner1969), now the mother of 3 teenagers, performing again. <BR> How great to sleep for 10 hours last night. <BR> <BR> I didn't take any photos or do any recording during the recital, but others did and I'm sure I will get them eventually, but here are a few I took beforehand. <BR> <BR> A friend made this "piano cake" complete with candela... Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:30:06 EST International Piano Competition Not much keeps me from posting regularly here, but sometimes attention must be paid elsewhere. No, I'm not competing. My daughter (Hayburner1969) is the pianist. <BR> <BR> I was thinking of how to explain the history of all this when this article appeared in our paper. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>munity/bedford-co-resident-to-compete-<BR>in-international-piano-competition/art<BR>icle_f07692b8-f5b5-52e6-ab45-33a1fe604cf2.html </link> <BR> <BR> That about says... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 07:16:40 EST "but I know I want to check in" Thank you to Alicia363 whose blog this morning reignited my flickering spark. <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6135806 </link> <BR> <BR> I've come to believe that just checking in here is the key to keeping on track. It's like taking a wrong turn and my GPS immediately tells me "recalculating" and informs me how to get back on the right road. That's the role that Spark plays in my life. <BR> <BR> I woke up feeling a bit "out of sorts." No pa... Thu, 7 Apr 2016 07:07:15 EST Spark - my touchstone and motivation during a stressful week Last week was tough. On Easter Sunday DH & I drove 8 hours to attend the funeral of a dear friend on Monday. We could have saved 45 minutes if we hadn't mindlessly followed our GPS instructions which took us over some crazy mountain roads. That route was probably shorter but the narrow twists and turns only added to our stress. <BR> <BR> SP intervention: I weighed myself before I left. I packed healthy snacks and water for the car including a salad for my lunch consisting of everythin... Mon, 4 Apr 2016 08:14:04 EST The Unchecked Task My status says that I'm checking off tasks one by one by one. That is true and prompted by Spark Guy's Ultimate Challenge to extend spark principles to other areas of our lives. <BR> <BR> Now a confession: <BR> There is one task unchecked. Not only today, but this week, this month, this year, actually since November. More about this later. <BR> <BR> Some tasks are easy for me. Some not so much <BR> <BR> Exercise - I do this every day. I LIKE movement. <BR> <BR> Music - I've got a lot... Mon, 21 Mar 2016 08:31:51 EST A Milestone Trivia Day and my Compromise Approach I start every day with a cup of coffee and Spark. It's been over 7 years now. <BR> I like trivia. It's kind of a cliff notes version of reading the articles plus a way to test if I've retained the information I once knew. <BR> <BR> However, I was disappointed that my daily score would hover in the 60-70% range. Often I would miss the same question more than once. When I looked at the "Leaderboard," I always found myself somewhere in the bottom half of participants. <BR> <BR> I blogge... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 09:48:51 EST I am the Phantom Racer My first race of the season was interesting. I never race in winter or in the heat of the summer. I'm a weather wimp. My goal during those months is simply to maintain a fitness base. <BR> <BR> So yesterday DH & I drove 75 miles to a city where DD#2 and family live. I ran their Shamrock 5k to get a benchmark as to my fitness level and test out my new shoes and orthotics in a real situation. <BR> <BR> These races are small, always under 200 participants and not even chip timed - just a... Sun, 13 Mar 2016 07:37:58 EST Why pass a bill to deny my right to know what I'm eating? I'm trying hard to eat natural, to eat REAL food. I'm reading labels. <BR> I'm trying to decipher the different ways ingredients can be disguised. <BR> <BR> I know I'm responsible for what I put in my mouth. <BR> Why make it harder for me to know what's in my food? <BR> <BR> I'm referring to the bill 1599 which passed the House last year and has now been introduced in the Senate by the senator from Kansas, the chairman of the agriculture committee. <BR> <BR> It would negate all existi... Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:09:01 EST The Long and Winding Road I'm always amazed at Spark connections. Today it was Spark-Guy's Ultimate Challenge blog that blended perfectly with my deep thoughts this week. <BR> <BR> Thank you, sparkers, for the kind words on my blogs about DH & me. <BR> <BR> Here we are in the beginning - Joe and Me in '63! <BR> Not an exotic location, just Rockaway Beach in NYC. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Spark Guy's blog included this graphic ... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 07:42:19 EST The Evolution of a Stealth Sparker My last blog hinted at DH's alternatives when faced with being housebound by bad weather. <BR> <BR> A bit of history: <BR> This was my table in 2010 when I blogged that I lived with the "Junk Food King of the World." I had reached my goal weight by then, but this environment kept me clinging to SP for maintenance motivation. I used to say that my husband had a mistress who lived in our house. Her name was "Little Debbie" - (the snack cake lady) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.spark... Fri, 19 Feb 2016 10:07:41 EST "There are always alternatives" - Mr Spock That's Spock of Star Trek, not the author of the baby books. <BR> <BR> The original 60s TV show was a favorite of DH and me. He was an aerospace engineer working on the Lunar Module and I was a HS math teacher. Years later I had a poster in my classroom - "Everything I know about life I learned from Star Trek." <BR> <BR> My title today refers to Spock's answer when the crew was confronted with a seemingly insurmountable problem. <BR> <BR> We were snowed in on Monday, weathering the storm... Thu, 18 Feb 2016 06:40:50 EST A Different View of Valentine's Day I appreciate the Valentine Goodies from Spark Friends just as I like receiving comments and notes of encouragement all year. It's nice to feel connected to people and something bigger than ourselves. <BR> <BR> Now as I log in to SP this morning for the 560th day of my streak, I don't have a Valentine gift from DH, not a card, not candy, not flowers or any other kind of gift, nor do I expect to receive anything. <BR> <BR> This is not a rant, but a reflection on a TV show last night where ... Sun, 14 Feb 2016 06:43:41 EST Still learning after all these Spark years Spark and Sparkers have been responsible for my continued motivation and success. However, I had become complacent. I know what I have to do and logging in here has kept me doing it. <BR> <BR> So what a surprise to realize that since 2013 I could have linked my nutrition and fitness trackers together and let Spark calculate and adjust my calorie and nutrition ranges accordingly. <BR> <BR> I use the nutrition tracker to plan my food for the day. It's a game to me. What if I eat this ... Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:18:29 EST You know you're weird when the doc calls the intern in to observe Nothing serious, fortunately. I was at an appointment to get new orthotics. The ones I got last year are fine for walking but I CANNOT run in them. I've been using a pair that is now 4 years old. Maybe a new pair will solve my shoe problem? (See other blog today) <BR> <BR> I really like this facility. The lead doctor has worked with our Olympic runners. They know what they are doing to keep people mobile. <BR> <BR> I've written before about my "difficult feet," but finally I got an ex... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 08:04:08 EST Shoe Woes Continue - I feel like Goldilocks I've always identified with the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea." Her problem was the mattresses. Mine are the shoes. Now I have a new alter ego. This is my living room floor right now. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I already own the 2 on the right, but they are wearing out. <BR> As Goldilocks would say, "these are TOO old" <BR> <BR> I replace my running shoes every 500 miles or 6 months whichever comes ... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 08:01:23 EST