CHOCLAHOLIC's SparkPeople Blog CHOCLAHOLIC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sedona, Ariz. 2016 Just a few of the many photos from a recent trip to Sedona, Arizona <em>41</em> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Hiking the West Fork trail in Oak Creek Canyon (15 river crossings) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> My sis at one of the crossings <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Verde Ca... Mon, 14 Mar 2016 07:05:27 EST RIP FUR BABY RIP Bailey ... We had 13 years together... My Heart is breaking... But I know it was time to let you go... I held you in my arms as you left me... No more pain for you old friend...Miss you already ... you were such a good old dog! <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 3 Oct 2015 16:42:05 EST Early April Fool's trick March 31st and we woke up to an early April Fool's Day trick from Mother Nature! <BR> A friend said it's Michigan's fifth season called "Sprinter!" <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 08:26:40 EST "Oh Deer" LOL Deer at my bird feeder tonight (and here I was blaming the squirrels for how fast the bird seed has been disappearing, LOL) :-) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> . <BR> <img src=""> <BR> . <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:39:17 EST Big snowflakes and bird feeder <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Cardinal closeup <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 10:58:05 EST New Year's Resolution <img src=""> <BR> I'm choosing "option A" (already tried option B) <BR> <em>20</em> Have a healthy 2015! Thu, 1 Jan 2015 08:10:39 EST "memory" Mini Christmas tree All the straw ornaments were bought at a "made in Sweden" shop, the wooden ornaments were hand carved by my dad, and the glass ornaments were handed down from my parents, ...I hand made a lot of the bread dough figures and needlepoint ornaments, The Russian Santas and Russian peasant girl were given to my from my sis so everything on that little tree is kind of "keepsake memories" Wed, 3 Dec 2014 08:15:21 EST Monsanto, GMO's & cancer A friend posted this on Facebook ... I shared it there & thought I'd also share it here ... Interesting article on Monsanto, GMOs & cancer... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>amage-control-over-gmocancer-study/ </link> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 07:55:12 EST Dec 21 & 22 ice storm :( Tree damage around my home... (Think I'll stay inside today!) <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 09:30:33 EST Fall Hikes Around My Home Some of the Fall Hiking views near my home :-) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:43:08 EST Rain, wind & hail Results of Monday's storm at my house: <BR> Hail <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Big oak tree uprooted <BR> <img src=""> <BR> And just down the road there's more trees down, electric poles snapped in two by the wind & live wires on the ground ! <BR> <BR> Looks like my generator will need to be running for quite awhile before power is restored! <BR> <em>40</em> <em>189</em> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 06:29:26 EST Father's Day In loving memory of my dad on Father's Day... Miss you dad! <em>26</em> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Dad passed away the day after his 88th birthday, 1915-2003 Sun, 16 Jun 2013 20:56:26 EST Morel mushroom hunting :) Went over to a friend's farm today to look for Morel Mushrooms in his apple orchard... This is what we found (sauté mushrooms on the menu tonight for sure!) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <em>4</em> <BR> Sat, 25 May 2013 15:02:37 EST Hugs Thanks to all my Spark friends for all the hugs and support! <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 15 May 2013 10:14:40 EST First day of Spring (Just had to share this...) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Not quite this snowy in Michigan, but definitely cold, snowy and not very Spring-like <BR> <BR> Happy first day of Spring! <em>20</em> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 07:07:05 EST Protect Michigan's wolves Taken off the endangered list only a year ago, and yet Michigan's lame duck politicians rushed legislation through to allow wolf hunting and it has been signed into law... There is now an ongoing petition drive here in Michigan to try to get this issue put on the next election ballot so HOPEFULLY voters can get this law repealed! Hoping we succeed in this petition drive! (And I am not against hunting when it's for food, but wolf hunting is ONLY trophy hunting, they are not a game animal, and ... Thu, 28 Feb 2013 15:14:32 EST Breast Cancer Awareness Month <img src=""> Wed, 3 Oct 2012 09:36:53 EST The Blessing of the Hounds An annual event near where I live.... the Hunt Club starts their season with the "Blessing of the Hounds"... then it's "Tally Ho" , gallop off after the hounds (officially called a fox hunt, but they haven't caught a fox in years!!! They often just follow a scent trail that was laid out ahead of time) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 22 Sep 2012 12:10:49 EST "boots and paddles" Yesterday's "boots" hike on was on nearby roads because it's now hunting season here so not too smart to be on local trails,...hike included trees starting to change color and being "spied" on by a raccoon <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And today's "paddle" on the backwaters of a local... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 18:04:04 EST And More Peacocks Spent about an hour this afternoon sitting on my front porch steps taking pictures of peacocks in my front yard... a new landowner nearby turned a whole bunch of them loose on his "private hunting estate" about a mile away, but the birds seem to be smart enough not to stay there, cause now they are all over the neighborhood ! (Really can't imagine how that new landowner thought the birds would actually "stay put" LOL) <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 13 Sep 2012 16:01:36 EST Peacocks There's a "new landowner" near my home (about a mile away) who "stocked" his property with pheasants, grouse and peacocks... obviously the peacocks didn't know where his property borders are, LOL, because we're seeing them "all over the area" now. (will be interesting to see if "non-native" birds can survive Michigan winters in the wild) <BR> <BR> Here's some photos of the two that showed up in my yard yesterday :) <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 4 Jul 2012 09:54:48 EST Dear dad, (note: Someone posted this on Facebook ... I don't know who the author is, but wanted to share this on Fathers Day in honor and memory of fathers who have passed away, as my dad did the day after his 88th birthday... Love you and miss you dad!) <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> Dear Dad <BR> <BR> I thought of you today , but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too. I think about you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories, and a picture in ... Sun, 17 Jun 2012 11:10:54 EST Hiking views near home :) Some views I enjoy while hiking near my home (all within a 5 mile radius from my house)... these photos were taken during yesterday's and today's hikes. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http:/... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 12:02:17 EST Outdoor Woman's toy When I go shopping, it's usually "not" for clothes or shoes (unless they are for hiking, LOL).... <BR> <BR> <em>295</em> <BR> <BR> So here's my new "Outdoor Woman's toy"... and I'll say "proudly" that I assembled it myself in spite of "terrible" directions included in the manual, (and yup, it actually works! hee hee!) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (K-PO, I don't think this will work as a hand mixer, LOL) <em>20</em> <BR> Gonna be trimmi... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 15:15:52 EST Tough Turtle! Came across this big tough snapping turtle during a hike today... "she" was about the size of a dinner plate, all covered with moss, and had just finished burying her eggs in the sand and gravel... you can see where she had covered them up in some of these photos... She gave me the "evil eye" as if to say "I dare you to get too close!"... so after snapping these photos (from a safe distance, LOL) I left her alone to finish her job of burying her eggs. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Tue, 22 May 2012 16:29:27 EST These boots are made for hiking :-) Finally found the hiking boots I wanted... and they were all on sale @ huge discounts...even better!!!! Got them at (we have a local store near here) and ordered others from <BR> <BR> For longer, more strenuous hikes / backpacking I got Women's Vasque Breeze Gortex mid height boots (in Olive/ Sage, cause we all know color is "so" important on the trails, LOL)... they weigh just over 2 pounds and are REALLY comfy right out of the box <BR> <img src="http://photo... Tue, 20 Mar 2012 17:50:51 EST Total Knee Replacement, July 2011 One week after total knee replacement surgery... swelling is "slowly" going down, various shades of black and blue (from hip to toes) is fading into yellows and greens (yuk), half the staples have been taken out, and I'm able to walk around without the walker (and sometimes short distances without the cane)... so even though I know it's going to be a long time before I'm back to normal, I'm encouraged by the progress I've made in just one week (although my family says I've never been "normal"... Fri, 8 Jul 2011 08:10:09 EST Cancer Anniversary Exactly one year ago today it was verified that I had breast cancer.... Had a mammogram at the beginning of May 2010, went through two biopsies and a second mammogram, and then was told the news.... and then a summer of operations and chemo.... exactly one year ago.... <BR> <BR> .......... and I'm still here! <BR> <BR> Pretty amazing considering that 10 years ago I was also diagnosed with cancer... that time it was ovarian cancer... <BR> <BR> .......... and I'm still here! <BR> <BR> P... Thu, 26 May 2011 22:20:42 EST "Choclaholic's" perfect wine, LOL Was shopping today and spotted this in the wine section of a local store... considering my "name" here on Sparks is Choclaholic ( aka "choc" or "choco" for short ) I just HAD to share these two pics I took with my phone... notice the name on the wine labels, LOL (although got to admit, not "real" sure I want to sample this wine!!!!) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Thu, 19 May 2011 17:33:48 EST Baltimore Orioles Very first time I've ever had Baltimore Orioles visit my bird feeder ! Saw him / her a couple days ago, then put out the orange halves and he / she has become a "regular"... so pretty! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 11 May 2011 12:09:19 EST Ukrainian Easter Eggs Here are some photos of the Ukrainian Easter Eggs I made years ago... we actually called them Russian Easter Eggs or Pysanky (we went to a Russian Orthodox Church in Detroit)... new eggs would be made every year (never to be eaten, they were saved or given away as gifts... each design had a traditional meaning ) The designs were made by "drawing" with bees wax, dipping in colors, adding more bees wax designs, etc... when finished the wax would be melted off revealing all the colors and design... Sun, 24 Apr 2011 08:42:33 EST Pals And the "Lion" laid down with the lambs (I mean dogs).... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> All three were sound asleep just before I snapped this pic :-) Fri, 11 Feb 2011 07:17:48 EST Autumn on the water Spent some time yesterday letting nature do it's "healing power" on me... <BR> just slowly kayaking around a local State Park Lake... Here's some of the Autumn views I enjoyed.... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ... Sun, 17 Oct 2010 06:18:22 EST Odd conflicting emotions re end of chemo Having some odd conflicting emotions re the end of my chemo treatments. Seems Like I spent all summer looking forward to this day, and now that it's here (and over with) I'm finding that I am happy, relieved, nervous, and scared, all at the same time.... Happy and relieved that chemo is over (even though I know this coming week will be the "sickie" week as with all the other chemo treatments...but it will be the last "sickie" week).... but now I also find myself nervous and scared about what... Fri, 8 Oct 2010 23:08:12 EST Early Autumn Kayaking (Wood & Luv... recognize this lake?) <BR> Beautiful fall morning, no wind, no one else on the lake but me & my "yak" <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Trees and brush around the lake are just starting to show color <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A beaver lodg... Thu, 30 Sep 2010 21:23:03 EST chemo delays & changes :\ Was supposed to have chemo #3 yesterday (Wed) but Monday I got a call from cancer center saying they had to delay this chemo because they were having trouble getting the drugs I use from a new pharmacy company they just switched to... then they also said the problem was "funding" and "insurance reimbursements" to the center.... next day I get a phone call from the new pharmacy saying they wanted ME to pay copay on the drugs (odd, since my insurance has been paying 100% of all chemo costs...dr... Thu, 16 Sep 2010 06:51:03 EST Chemo #2 "Pole Dance" ( IV pole that is) Done with chemo #2 "pole dance" ( IV pole that is )... went quicker than the first <BR> chemo session but now I get to wait for the side effects over the next few days... yukko! <BR> But the good news is.... only two more months of chemo to go! <BR> <BR> WOO HOO ! HALF WAY DONE!!! (That makes this "pole dance" worthwile!) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> choc <BR> <em>244</em> <em>20</em> Wed, 18 Aug 2010 16:35:25 EST BARE-it-all kayaking, LOL ok... in keeping with my journey through cancer and chemo.... I decided to "bare-it-all" while kayaking this morning , LOL .... so here's what it looked like.... <BR> <BR> starting out.... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> the hat I usually wear when out in the "yak" <BR> <img src=""> <BR> and then.... the big "bare-it-all" kayaking on the lake .... <BR> (that bald head definitely needs some ... Tue, 17 Aug 2010 15:36:08 EST Chemo=hair going...and going...and gone 7/28/2010 <BR> First chemo hair cut... photo taken today after chemo... bald is next... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 8/10/2010 Hair going....and going <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 8/12/2010....and GONE (thanks to my sis and a razor)...bald i... Wed, 28 Jul 2010 18:21:45 EST mug monster A friend sent me this cartoon pic... pretty much how I feel this morning after waking up at 1:30 am and not being able to fall back asleep! <BR> <BR> (Have a feeling I'm going to need LOTS and LOTS of caffeine today!) <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 28 Jul 2010 05:06:17 EST The Power of Friendships To all my friends on the Outdoor People team.... <BR> <BR> The power of our friendships is an awesome force.... today I received the most BEAUTIFUL surprise gift of a prayer shawl from Luv and Wood, along with so many WONDERFUL and heartfelt messages of support, encouragement and love from all my friends from "the deck" <BR> <BR> As I sat here "in tears" hugging this unexpected, and much appreciated gift, I realized that our friendships are as real as if we had all known each other all of o... Thu, 24 Jun 2010 10:56:15 EST not going to let this get me down ok, I'm over the whiney, whoa is me mood I had yesterday... refuse to let this get me down... yes, cancer "sucks", but so did my attitude .... so onward and upward and I'm going to quit looking back at the past month and start looking forward to a better future... I will beat this! Sat, 5 Jun 2010 08:29:36 EST Trying to stay positive Trying to stay positive is hard....especially when fighting the weight battle....trying to stay positive is hard.... while going through lots of medical tests and issues.... trying to stay positive is hard....while paying for all the medical tests that the insurance isn't covering... trying to stay positive is hard... when the medical tests aren't "finding out" why you feel the way you feel....trying to stay positive is hard.....when you get a phone call saying you have to have another mammog... Mon, 10 May 2010 14:49:38 EST On dealing with medical "run-around" issues ok, usually I am pretty easy going when dealing with medical personnel flexing "muscle" .... but today I just had to "fight back".... <BR> <BR> Last week I had some medical tests done as ordered by my thyroid doctor, and was told by the technician that I could get my results in about a week (which would be today)... so today I called the thyroid doctor's office for those results. The receptionist (a very very nice lady), politely told me I'd have to call their main office to get my result... Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:16:41 EST borrowed one word survey Not as easy as you might think! Copy and Paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. It's really hard to only use one word answers. Borrowed this from Kay who borrowed it from another blogger... <BR> <BR> Where is your cell phone? <BR> belt <BR> <BR> Spouse? <BR> nope <BR> <BR> Your hair? <BR> short <BR> <BR> Your mother? <BR> alzheimers <BR> <BR> Your father? <BR> deceased <BR> <BR> Your favorite thing? <BR> outdoors <BR> <BR> Your dream last night? <BR> diving <BR> <BR... Fri, 12 Mar 2010 08:35:34 EST Super Bowl Sunday Ice Dive/Tailgate party Our scuba diving club celebrated Super Bowl Sunday with an ice dive / tailgate party out on a local lake.... was a "cool" time for all ! <BR> <BR> Here' s about half the group, gathering out on the ice to chop the hole for the dive <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Some of the divers ready to dive...the guy on the stool in the background is the safety diver (ready to jump in "just in case") The hole is made in a triangle shape to make it easier for th... Wed, 10 Feb 2010 13:25:01 EST Oh Deer ! :-) Here's what I get to watch from the windows of my "little house in the woods" :-) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh .... and some wild turkeys under my birdfeed... Tue, 2 Feb 2010 16:12:07 EST xc skiing Today's xc ski outing.... <BR> <BR> Bottom of the first downhill <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Bottom of the second downhill <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Me at the end of today's xc ski outing, LOL <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeopl... Tue, 12 Jan 2010 16:33:14 EST Clowning around Here's some photos of my sis and I "clowning around"... we were balloon handlers in the Detroit Thanksgiving parade... our balloon (elephant) was the kid's design winner from last year <BR> (an 8th grade girl designed it).... <BR> <BR> Me in "blue", sis in middle... and an awesome (and tall) friend of ours <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Inflating the balloons (6am in the morning... Sat, 28 Nov 2009 08:50:29 EST Here kitty kitty Here's the newest member of my furry family....just adopted it and named it "Oreo" .... my other cat is not at all "amused" nor "impressed" with the new kitten... lots of hissing and growling going on between both cats, .... and the new kitten is not at all happy with my two big doggies... lots of sniffing and tail wagging from the dogs (while the kitten hisses and spits at them).... but given time to get acquainted, I'm sure they'll all eventually figure out the "pecking order" and get al... Mon, 9 Nov 2009 13:50:23 EST