BROOKLYN_BORN's SparkPeople Blog BROOKLYN_BORN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Thoughts from a Nursing Home and an Unfortunate Quote Thank you for the kind messages about my MIL. She is settled into her new location and seems content with the situation. I visit several nursing homes as part of our church ministry and from what I’ve seen here so far, this one is excellent. <BR> <BR> I’ve been walking the halls, talking with residents and even singing with them in the activity room. Of course, many are not active or able to participate in anything at all. It is a nursing home after all. <BR> <BR> This brings me to... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 07:44:15 EST Spreading the Spark and More I’ve been on the road since Wednesday morning with only enough spark time to post my status. <BR> <BR> The last time I gave a conference presentation was just before my retirement and the focus was Educational Technology. My topic was “Virtual Field Trips.” <BR> <BR> If someone told me that 8 years later I would be invited to speak at a Diocesan Conference, I would have thought they were crazy. Yet, that’s what I just did, along with my DD (Hayburner1969). <BR> <BR> Our topi... Sun, 31 May 2015 06:37:57 EST Quo Vadis? Where are you going? Some grandmotherly advice for all you young women out there. Since I’m 68, it’s likely that anyone reading this is younger than me. <BR> <BR> I’m working on a presentation to be given twice next week in cities 300 miles apart. <BR> <BR> One difficult point is balancing self-acceptance with the need for improvement. <BR> <BR> As a young woman I was always told not to worry about my weight because I was tall and fit and I could “carry it.” That was perfectly true – at TWENTY ... Thu, 21 May 2015 07:11:11 EST “Until now I did not know why your husband chose you” This is a sequel to my last blog where I wondered if my personal preferences give the wrong impression. <BR> <BR> Thinking about it more, I thought I’d share the above actual comment to me several years ago. <BR> <BR> I wasn’t offended because: <BR> The speaker was from a culture VERY different from mine and English was not her first language. In addition, she was actually trying to be helpful. <BR> <BR> She continued: <BR> “You have a nice shape. You have a waist and nice legs. W... Mon, 18 May 2015 12:06:11 EST I wear loose fitting clothes but I’m not hiding or hating my body I read a blog and a separate article recently about women who dress a certainly way because of their body image. I understood the intent, but now wonder if my preferences give the wrong impression. <BR> <BR> Loose fitting clothes: They are comfortable. I can move easily in them no matter what the activity. Yes, most even have elastic waists. <BR> If I have to get down on the floor and under a desk to check the cables on a computer, I can do that. <BR> If I want to sprawl on the floor w... Fri, 15 May 2015 08:46:24 EST This is NOT what I expected to eat our first day in France Lunch <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Dinner <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don’t even eat this at home, so why in the land of quiche, amazing bread and pastries was I eating this? <BR> <BR> We left Prague on a Sunday morning flight to Paris and arrived just before noon. Not a fan of airport food and anxious to get on our way, we found our rental car agency and a long line. <BR> <B... Mon, 4 May 2015 08:05:50 EST Le Harve France and My Personal Walk Through History Although not a typical tourist destination, this city had special significance to me. It was about an hour’s drive east of the D-Day beaches. <BR> <BR> This is Le Harve in 1945. Located at the mouth of the Seine, a major port for centuries, it was heavily bombed during WWII. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The war caused major destruction to the port facilities and buildings of the city. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.s... Sun, 3 May 2015 08:06:57 EST They Gave Up Their Collective Future to Ensure Ours <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I live in Bedford, VA. It’s the site of the National D-Day Memorial, since this little town lost more men per capita than any other place on June 6, 1944. So the Normandy Beaches were our primary destination after leaving the Czech Republic. <BR> We paid our respects at the individual graves of “The Bedford Boys.” Twelve are still buried here in the American Cemetery. The remains of 10 others were taken ... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 08:49:39 EST Gotta Love Races in Europe - a shirt, a medal AND a bottle of wine! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> DH and I packed a lot of variety into this trip to Europe. He was presenting a paper at a conference in the Czech Republic. This just happened to coincide with the Czech National Championship Half Marathon. <BR> <BR> I couldn’t just be a spectator as the field ran by, could I? Or could I? <BR> <BR> There were negative voices in my head. <BR> Out of 11 countries represented, there were no runners from the U... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:46:44 EST Telling a slim woman to eat a sandwich is just as rude as telling an overweight woman to eat a salad (posted again since the first title was truncated. It seems that you can't edit a title.) <BR> <BR> I read the text of Candace Bergen’s interview on the Today Show. I’ve always liked her and I was happy to hear that she was no longer trying to emulate some Hollywood standard of beauty. She was now comfortable with herself and had developed a healthy self-image. <BR> <BR> I applauded that UNTIL she said that she didn’t want to have lunch sitting across from a woman eating only kale... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:20:13 EST Telling a slender woman to eat a sandwich is just as rude as telling an overweight woman to eat a sa I read the text of Candace Bergen’s interview on the Today Show. I’ve always liked her and I was happy to hear that she was no longer trying to emulate some Hollywood standard of beauty. She was now comfortable with herself and had developed a healthy self-image. <BR> <BR> I applauded that UNTIL she said that she didn’t want to have lunch sitting across from a woman eating only kale. Why not? If you really are secure and confident that what you are eating is right for you, why wou... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 07:57:26 EST Who are you and what have you done with my husband? It’s 6 am and DH is packing his swim bag for the gym. I’m sitting in my recliner in my PJs drinking coffee and checking in on Spark. That’s my morning routine. He’s getting ready to leave. That is NOT his morning routine. <BR> <BR> What has caused this sudden motivation? He has joined a challenge organized by a nearby city and he wants to “help our team.” <BR> <BR> I described the challenge in my last blog. <BR> <BR> Swimming is his exercise of choice. He’s slow and... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 06:22:50 EST You don't want anyone to think our team cheats, do you? This was directed at DH – an honest man who, like many of us, can sometimes underestimate the amount he eats and overestimate his exercise. <BR> <BR> If portion distortion causes me to incorrectly enter the amount of spaghetti or cheesecake into the nutrition tracker, my calorie count will be off. If my favorite neighborhood route is really 2.2 miles instead of 3, I won’t have burned as many calories as I thought. That’s why I have a food scale and carefully measure my route. <B... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 09:16:44 EST I would be laughing this morning except for an inconvenient truth. I log into Spark every morning for my dose of motivation. <BR> Today’s headline in the daily email: <BR> “Government Adjusts Weight System to Help Country Lose Pounds” <BR> <link><BR>motivation_articles.asp?id=402&utm_sou<BR>rce=sparkpeople&utm_medium=email&utm_c<BR>ampaign=best-of-sparkpeople </link> <BR> <BR> This would be a very funny, intentional April Fool's Day joke if it weren't exactly what the clothing industry has done. <BR> The measureme... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 07:27:44 EST Thoughts from a hospital corridor – another reason to maintain a healthy weight DH & I are in Tennessee since his mother is in the hospital. She’s 95 and in addition to the bladder infection (a frequent occurrence) she also has pneumonia. <BR> <BR> She has always been a big, strong woman. In her middle years she was somewhat overweight, but it wasn’t a concern. She was active and fit. The problem is, as is the case with many of us, the weight didn’t remain stable, the pounds kept increasing year after year. <BR> <BR> Eventually, it impacted her mobility. ... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 09:30:26 EST My Happiest Half Marathon - Proof in Pictures I was not well prepared as I described yesterday, but it was a most enjoyable race. <BR> It was rather windy at the start. We were right off the beach after all, but I had a plan. If I stood behind this very tall guy, the wind wasn’t a problem. For perspective, I'm 5’6” <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> He and I had something else in common. In a sea of green Shamrock theme shirts, we were easy to find, even for DH who has been... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:29:48 EST Having realistic goals – thoughts after a race DH & I had a lovely weekend in Virginia Beach. The Shamrock Marathon weekend is very well organized. However, I was not well prepared. I knew this and blogged about it 12 days ago. <BR> <BR> "The voices in my head and my Dad’s jacket" <BR> <link><BR>blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=58<BR>90931 </link> <BR> <BR> After that blog there was another setback. The combination of new shoes and new orthotics which had been OK up to 8-9 miles, caused ank... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:48:33 EST I'm a 'B' - I'm a 'B' and I'm thrilled about it! No, it's not my bra size or that word that gets deleted from online comments. My all-time spark trivia score is finally 80% which I consider the 'B' level (apologies to those school districts that calculate it differently). <BR> <BR> When I began my journey here in 2009, my trivia score was abysmal. I considered 60% or 75% right a GOOD day. Note, it's a personal choice for me to treat it like "Jeopardy" and test my current knowledge. I do not judge anyone who googles the information fi... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 08:48:27 EST The voices in my head & my Dad’s jacket I have a half marathon in 11 days. I am not well prepared. <BR> <BR> In January my allergy/asthma triggers (perfume & cigarette smoke) sidelined me for a week. <BR> In February a night out with friends resulted in food poisoning and another week lost. <BR> I did keep up with the short runs, but no real distance effort. <BR> <BR> The weather has been awful – rain, ice, snow, temps in the teens. Unplowed roads limited visits to the gym. When I did get to a treadmill, my limit indoors i... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 07:30:26 EST I broke my own rule and bought running shoes online It’s been a personal choice for me to support my local running stores. “Local” is a relative term out here in the country. I’m between two cities so I have a 40 min to 1 hour drive each way. Fortunately, I only need new shoes every 6 months and call ahead to be sure they have my size in stock. <BR> <BR> My current problem isn’t with the stores. I appreciate their support of fitness activities in the area and that they provide employment and pay taxes locally. <BR> <BR> I have “difficult... Mon, 9 Mar 2015 09:28:30 EST The Mystery of the Missing SPAT – a “Who Done it” Story More precisely it’s a “What Done it” because after more than 2 days of searching I can blame the disappearance on “Dustin” our “Roomba.” That’s the robot vacuum cleaner that my son gave us a few years ago. <BR> <BR> Our grandchildren named it after following it around fascinated at how it found dust and dirt even when we didn’t see any and was smart enough to back away when it sensed an open staircase. It even automatically goes back to its recharging station when its battery is low. Th... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 09:15:29 EST A Tale of Two Weeks I like Spark Trophies. I once insisted to DH that we had to walk for 10 more minutes so I could reach the next level. <BR> <BR> DH: They send you a trophy? <BR> Me: No, I get an email with a picture of a trophy. <BR> DH (Rolling his eyes): Let’s go. <BR> <BR> He knows when I’m serious about something. We’ve been together over 50 years. <BR> <BR> I like being active. Exercise was never my problem. Food was! <BR> <BR> I blogged twice about this week’s difficulties. <BR> It began with... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:33:52 EST Icebound in South Central Virginia? Look at my boat! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It’s not like I planned to go for a sail or a cruise on the lake, but this was a surprise this morning. <BR> <BR> The sailboat is 25 feet long. That’s a lot of ice. <BR> <BR> Our lake was created 50 years ago by construction of a power dam over the Roanoke River. There’s a current, but it’s been so cold for so long that it reminds me of my previous life up north. Good thing the ski boat is in a lift and t... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:55:40 EST When a night out goes terribly wrong I posted the short version in my status Monday morning. A few hours after dinner at a local restaurant, I began having GI issues which continued until the next morning. <BR> <BR> Monday: The only activity I did was to log into Spark to get my points. I was upset at this unfortunate turn of events, but would have felt even worse if I broke my 190+ day streak because of it. The rest of the day was the BRAT diet and dozing on the couch while catching up on all the episodes of “Reign” I ha... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 07:48:28 EST Thinking about pregnancy at age 67 No, I’m not announcing or planning a medical miracle. Blame it on the Beatles. <BR> <BR> My choral society is performing a concert of Beatles music and through the months of rehearsals I’ve been digging out my old clothes from the 60s and 70s. I keep my favorite stuff a LONG time. <BR> In one box I found this. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The good news: Oh look, it’s even a little loose! <BR> The bad news: Now I remember why. ... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:27:58 EST Destination Walmart – my long walk First of all, why Walmart? It’s not one of my favorite places for several reasons I won’t list here. However, suddenly they are the ONLY place that stocks my organic yogurt (Stonyfield - plain and their non-flavored Greek variety). I buy both by the quart. I eat a LOT of yogurt. <BR> <BR> On Monday I got my new orthotics. I’ve replaced mine every 3 years for decades. I credit them with keeping me upright on my “difficult” feet. I also picked up new running shoes – same brand and sty... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 07:32:52 EST Tai Chi and Me and my search for a “perfect” exercise class I have belonged to a gym or some kind of fitness center for 40 years, beginning with “Spa Lady” in 1975. <BR> <BR> Back then aerobic classes were 20 minutes long and we jumped around shoeless in leotards, tights and sometimes even leg warmers. I liked the music, but never achieved the enthusiasm of the other participants. However, it was only 20 minutes, so I kept at it. <BR> <BR> There were a variety of weight machines too, interesting and new to me. I didn’t need the treadmills or exer... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 07:49:21 EST Can this be called food? Yesterday, my errands were taking longer than expected and I was hungry. While standing at the “express” checkout with my 2 bananas, waiting for the clerk to get a “price check” for the customer ahead of me, I was attracted to this display. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> REAL fruit filling. NATURAL flavors. Could it be? <BR> <BR> Where are the apples? Oh, there they are, the 8th ingredient – “evaporated apples treated with sulf... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 08:37:03 EST Look, I have a complete rainbow now! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last week I wrote that my plate was all shades of orange and resolved to add green. <BR> Ending my first successful week, this dinner includes my turkey meat loaf, sweet potatoes, carrots , peas (frozen) and organic 50/50 greens. The red stuff is a tablespoon of organic salsa. <BR> <BR> I have even included a serving of salad greens at every lunch. Mixing them up with 3 black olives and a cut-up cheese stick (w... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 07:55:23 EST I HATE reading! Does that shock you? Of course it’s not true. I’m here every day both reading and writing. I read mostly for information and to stay connected to the world. My taste in fiction leans toward historical novels. <BR> <BR> What if your child came home from school and said “I hate reading. I’m just not good at it.” <BR> What would be your response? <BR> <BR> What if he or she complained: <BR> “Why do I have to read Shakespeare or those old classics or poetry. I’m never going to use that stuff.” <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:06:36 EST Cardio, Strength Training, Flexibility, Balance – trying to work on all aspects of fitness. I like physical activity. I always have. However, I don’t like all options equally. <BR> <BR> Cardio – no problem! I don’t even need music or companions or TV. Outside, nature is enough. Indoors, I’m content with my own thoughts. <BR> <BR> Strength Training – not so much, but necessary, so I do it. Here I need a visual reminder and motivation. So I keep my set of dumbbells right by the TV. I record Judge Judy and the Peoples’ Court just for that purpose. There’s something about wat... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:27:00 EST I love my SPAT - It’s not perfect but neither am I I like that it (SPark Activity Tracker) keeps track for me, both the “workouts” and those random steps throughout the day that don’t fit the “10 minute of continuous activity” standard. <BR> <BR> Yesterday when I saw the results it posted, I was a bit confused – 17 minutes of CYCLING? That was my cool-down walk home. That’s odd. That’s never happened before. <BR> <BR> I’m used to discrepancies. <BR> <BR> I have several running routes pre-measured for distance. <BR> <BR> When I walk ... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:19:28 EST Remembering pizza - thanks to Spark Guy’s Sunday blog Today I’m thinking about all the pizza I ate while growing up in Brooklyn, NY. <BR> <BR> Living in a neighborhood of immigrant families from all over the world, one thing we all had in common was that we ate lots of carbs. My heritage was pierogi and halusky and lots and lots of potatoes. <BR> <BR> I was introduced to spaghetti and lasagna and ravioli which resembled pierogi but with tomato sauce. <BR> <BR> It was about 1954 when a new food arrived on my block - “a pizza place.” Pizz... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:03:58 EST Joe’s “Antique” Food - Do not eat! The title of this blog is what’s written on the paper in the top right portion of this photo. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In my status today I said that I would be organizing my food pantry and I did. I could only photograph 3 shelves since my back was already against the wall of the hallway, but you get the idea. <BR> <BR> The top shelf isn’t visible except for the note I keep there as a warning to unsuspecting visitors. <BR... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 09:53:11 EST There’s a color missing from my rainbow It’s not easy being green, for me at least. During my spark years I’ve learned a lot about nutrition. I suppose I’ve always known that it’s important to eat fruit and vegetables, but knowing doesn’t always lead to doing the right thing. <BR> <BR> Fruit – no problem, never was. In fact I packed on quite a few pounds over the years overeating healthy fresh fruit. I can make a pound of grapes disappear. The same with plums or cantaloupe. <BR> <BR> Vegetables – now that took more work an... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:10:39 EST If I had a pre-set weigh-in day, I might feel really bad this morning. My daily Spark email includes yet another article about avoiding the scale. <BR> “4 Signs It’s Time to Step off the Scale.” <BR> <BR> Oh, there I am in #3 <BR> “You can recite your weight to the nearest fraction at all times” <BR> <BR> Yeah, sure I can. <BR> I step on the scale every morning, while in my PJs, on the way to pour my coffee and log in to Spark. <BR> <BR> Thanks to my digital accountability friend (the scale) I know exactly to two tenths of a pound what my body weighs. <BR... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:39:12 EST What a surprise! I’m “elderly”! When did that happen? I don’t feel elderly. <BR> <BR> When DH & I travel to Europe, we like to stay in hotels popular with local people rather than the US style chains. <BR> <BR> When traveling with family and staying in one place 3 days or more, we rent an apartment. <BR> I expect to make adjustments especially close to the center of town (no elevator, no AC, unusual bathroom configurations etc.) That’s not a problem. <BR> <BR> I also expect the better “deals” to go quickly, so I start ... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:45:19 EST Taking my own advice – not always easy 1) “Rest and come back stronger” <BR> That’s something I’ve said to others who are sick or injured. <BR> I do believe it, but last week when I was a lump on the couch (see last blog), it was tough advice to accept. <BR> <BR> There was that voice in my head. “Get up, you need to get some steps in.” <BR> Hah! My only steps were to the kitchen or the bathroom and back to the couch. <BR> I thought about what I would tell someone else. Your body needs rest right now, not exercise. <BR> <... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 07:17:02 EST A non-spark day so bad it’s actually funny On Wednesday I posted a status that I was feeling “under the weather.” <BR> My attitude was as bad as I felt, especially since I know my situation could have been avoided. <BR> <BR> What turned me from an energetic, determined sparker into a lump on the couch was perfume. <BR> <BR> Perfume, along with cigarette smoke, are the triggers that throw my allergies into a tizzy resulting in sinus trouble, sore throat, laryngitis and eventually an asthma attack if I don’t get out of there. <BR> <B... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 07:18:57 EST “Good Luck Getting into Heaven” At first I only heard the first two words. I had been running and I thought that the man I encountered during my cool down was encouraging me to keep going. <BR> <BR> “Excuse me,” I asked and he repeated all 5 words. <BR> <BR> You see, I was wearing a T-Shirt with our church’s logo on it. <BR> <BR> My tradition is different than his and his response was to condemn a perfect stranger. <BR> <BR> How sad! To any outside observer we both looked like we have the same background. Our trad... Sun, 28 Dec 2014 06:50:57 EST There’s a “stealth sparker” in my house My last 3 blogs were about the trip DH & I took to Europe to visit the Christmas Markets accessible from a cruise on the Danube. I wrote about the sites, the food/drink, what I wore and that I only gained 1.5 pounds. <BR> <BR> What I didn’t mention is that DH gained TEN pounds. In 13 days! <BR> <BR> He had been doing so well. He read “The Spark Solution” which came free when I ordered the Spark T-Shirt that’s now my profile picture. The “Junk Food King of the World” was really payin... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 07:27:23 EST How a spark friend influenced my travel wardrobe and helped me pack light. I regularly turn to SP for healthy eating and exercise information. A few weeks ago this “non-fashionista” got some advice of a different kind. <BR> <BR> Sparker Phebess wrote a travel blog specifically geared to fashion. <BR> <BR> I wanted to run every day of our trip which meant that 2 pair of running tights and a bunch of “performance, moisture wicking shirts” had to be packed. <BR> <BR> So this is what I did. <BR> <BR> The first wearing of each running shirt was at dinner. <BR>... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 07:29:05 EST Sparking my way across Europe before Christmas – the ultimate test of motivation Yesterday I posted a summary of the sites we visited during our 11 days on the Danube. There was an additional 2+ days of travel to deal with also. Flying during the holidays is a test of patience in itself. <BR> <BR> Many articles and blogs address strategies to avoid weight gain during this season. After 5 years of maintenance, I’ve got that down, at least when I’m at home surrounded by familiar food. <BR> <BR> When my destination is the Christmas Markets of Europe, I need a differen... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 07:17:17 EST Christmas Markets on the Danube – The short version This is the 3rd year in a row that DH decided we should cruise a European river before Christmas. <BR> <BR> We began in Prague which isn’t ON the Danube but a great place to start. <BR> The market between the Cathedral and the Astronomical Clock draws a huge crowd. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Traditional music is played on a rotating schedule <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One nig... Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:06:59 EST A race, a funeral, a parade and a concert – not a regular Saturday Sometimes everything just comes together at once. <BR> <BR> This morning was our town’s annual Christmas Classic 5K. I run it every year along with about 70 members of our church. DH even participates. He’s part of our walking contingent. His stated goal is to finish ahead the ambulance and not in it. <BR> <BR> We’ve been called the “runningest church in town” and this race is part of our “Health and Holiness” Ministry. Our church also happens to be right on the race route so we’re ... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 14:12:35 EST Glad I fell on my face and not on my knees. Weird, huh! Friday’s run was the perfect storm. It started as a routine practice run. My only goal was to run up that last hill on the 5k course that always defeats me. Usually I check my watch and decide there won’t be much difference if I take a 1 minute walk break even though I’m .3 miles from the finish. <BR> <BR> I surprised myself that I was keeping a great pace and felt good going up that last hill. <BR> No problem, right? <BR> <BR> At that point I met 3 people walking a large dog. I do ... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 06:45:59 EST Wearing a small size doesn’t make you “anorexic” Fat shaming is wrong and the stories about the devastating effects are constantly posted here on Spark. <BR> <BR> The inspirational stories about challenges faced, incremental progress and final success provide motivation to millions. <BR> <BR> However it is hurtful to hear comments that can only be termed “skinny bashing.” <BR> <BR> Telling an slim person to “eat a burger” is just as insulting as telling an obese person to “eat a salad” <BR> <BR> Making judgments about a person based on... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:22:19 EST Now here’s something you don’t see every day – A HOUSE in the road! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was right at the end of my driveway. That prompted a change of running route. I watched with neighbors for a while then ran in the opposite direction. I returned in time to see it proceeding on its way. <BR> <BR> There it goes! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The house was on a farm behind us which will now become a housing development. Many neighbo... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:20:32 EST Over 2 years ago I posted a blog asking “Who are these people who always get 100% in Spark Trivia?” I was lucky to see a “passing” grade. On the scoreboard you would have to scroll 50 to 80 pages to find my name. <BR> <BR> I persisted for quite a long time. I know I could have googled the information before answering a question, but it was a personal choice to see what I knew on my own. <BR> I drifted away and gave it up for a few years. <BR> <BR> Then in September a spark friend invited me back. <BR> <BR> I’m a much better student now with my monthly score hovering around 90% <B... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:17:08 EST Gee, Eileen got FAT! - Remembering a Thanksgiving Day comment. It was a family dinner sometime back in the 1980s and that observation was loudly expressed by my aunt. <BR> <BR> I’m pondering that memory today for several reasons. <BR> <BR> Thanksgiving week marks 5 years of maintenance for me. <BR> <BR> A Spark email this morning informed me that I am today’s SparkPeople Motivator. <BR> Wow, thank you everyone. That alone is so motivational for me. <BR> <BR> I re-read the information on my page which really hasn’t changed much in all my spark yea... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:12:08 EST