CJWORDPLAY's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CJWORDPLAY CJWORDPLAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS WITH A FESTIVAL OF CAROLS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5837106 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l17107555.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Do you remember these? I still have the set my mother used each year when I was growing up. Well, now they are old and sag a bit in places (just like me). But I like them anyway – mostly because music has always been a part of my Christmas festivities. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2083133186.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is how we looked in the 1950's going caroling. Imagine if we cou... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 03:03:41 EST NOVEMBER (y)AMBITIONS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5813870 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/9/l69769057.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The picture above sums up my last few months. Lots of real life has been happening so all my original goals have been geared way down (as in basically asleep). <BR> <BR> FYI: [This month I am a member of the A&I Yearning Yams team <BR> thus I am using yams for my theme] <BR> <BR> Well I’m rested up now so here are my (y)AMBITIONS* for November: <BR> <BR> <BR> Y = YAY! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 22:41:05 EST SPOOKY STORY http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5807891 Since it is Halloween time our thoughts turn to S-P-O-O-K-Y stories. . . <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/9/l998967861.jpg"> <BR> It was a dark and stormy night. . . when <BR> <BR> SUDDENLY Steve stretched skyward – showing startlingly scary symptoms <BR> before sinking to the soggy, squelching sod. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2095385601.jpg"> <BR> <BR> PLAYFUL poltergeists paraded proudly placing putrid pumpkins precariously <B... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:02:42 EST MY GREAT PUMPKIN CELEBRATION http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5804317 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1257925033.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” first came out in the 1960’s I knew I had found my perfect way to celebrate Halloween. Somehow it was easy to identify with Charlie Brown when he finds only rocks in his bag of “treats”. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/5/l75753952.jpg"> <BR> <BR> And Linus, the picture of hope, sitting outside freezing in the pumpkin patch, exuding sincer... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 03:58:36 EST We Wish You a Happy Birthday! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5777660 It's your birthday, CJ! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1240361130.jpg"> <BR> Celebrating YOU is such a treat! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/9/l793578047.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We couldn’t wait to wish you a happy birthday! <BR> We hope your Spark Friends will do the same! <BR> Many Happy Returns! <BR> Signed, <BR> You-Know-Who & Me-Too! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/4/l244714072.jpg"> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 03:37:07 EST I'm Celebrating 4 Years with Spark! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5700441 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1671492245.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Four years ago, I stumbled onto SparkPeople.com and discovered a host of tools to help me become healthier and increase my fitness. New friends shared their stories with me and encouraged me along the way. Spark Trackers helped me set and record my goals. I wanted to build new habits so I decided that my basic strategy would be to focus on small daily steps. I’ve found that there is something about writing it d... Thu, 22 May 2014 03:04:45 EST Summer Plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5697399 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l273259735.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I’ve been trying to write a blog about my summer plans. I started making a list. You know the kind of thing: types of exercise I will do and new recipes to try. (I know better than to set a specific weight-loss goal. I know the direction I want my weight to go = DOWN. But just how many pounds and exact dates is a bit too discouraging. I want to celebrate what actually happens and not over- estimate the possi... Sun, 18 May 2014 01:40:59 EST Going to San Francisco http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5696081 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2057728643.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I am making plans to spend part of the summer in San Francisco. I have a friend who lives there and when she goes on vacation she invites me to come stay at her apartment and care for her cat. That means 3 weeks in midtown SF in a rent-free apartment (with snuggly kitty) starting in late August. Isn't that a great arrangement? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/9/l993593909.jpg"> <BR>... Fri, 16 May 2014 01:40:11 EST CELEBRATE WORLD LAUGHTER DAY – Sunday, May 4th http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5686913 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1853354637.jpg"> <BR> <BR> What a wonderful idea - setting aside a special day to remember just how good it feels to laugh. The health benefits of laughter are well established and described in the following Spark article: Laugh Your Way to Health and Happiness <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes<BR>s_articles.asp?id=655 </link> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l197069403.jpg"> <BR> <BR> World... Sun, 4 May 2014 05:53:09 EST WHAT REALLY MATTERS - When Life Gives You Lemons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5684208 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1509933981.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Oh how many times have we been told what to do when life gives us lemons. <BR> Here are a few options: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/6/l366260179.jpg"> <BR> <BR> These ideas are humorous when things are going well. But they're not so easy to embrace when one is in the throes of one of life's "Lemon Gifts". <BR> <BR> During difficult times I find it important to call on whatever cou... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:20:57 EST Goals: Renewing the Basics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5666562 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1188750892.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Extravagant flowers planted in <BR> Autumn, sleeping through <BR> Winter, only to burst forth in <BR> Spring, awakening us to <BR> Hope and Renewal. <BR> <BR> Spring is the natural time for me to renew my goals. Yes, I know lots of people like to do this for New Year's Day. But, for me, it seems more in the rhythm of nature to look at them in Spring. Maybe because, like the flowers, it is easier to view th... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 13:33:27 EST ABC's of CJ http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5620952 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1175364909.jpg"> <BR> <BR> A is for Age: 68 <BR> B is for Booze: Just use a little wine for cooking <BR> C is for Car: Honda Civic, it's old but it's still going - just like me! <BR> D is for Dad's name: Glenn <BR> E is for Ego: I only use it in self-defence. <BR> F is for Favorite song or music: I'm a classical musician but love lots of styles of music. I especially like the sound of the cello. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spa... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 01:19:49 EST MY THANKSGIVING TRADITIONS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5542335 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l582772297.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When Thanksgiving time comes around I tend to become very literal minded. I look at the word “Thanksgiving” and I automatically say, “Hmm, this must mean giving thanks!” (Afterall, my user name is CJWORDPLAY – what else would you expect but that I would do some wordplay). <BR> <BR> Considering the actual meaning of the word “Thanksgiving” is really more than play. For me, “Giving Thanks” is the most enduring t... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 23:56:21 EST HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5522777 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/4/l546779082.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Since Charles Schultz first aired his television special, “It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, I have followed the example of Linus and celebrated Halloween with a Great Pumpkin sense of humor. When my daughter was born she also fell in love with a Charlie Brown-style Halloween. Each year we watch the show again and congratulate ourselves on the fact that no matter what else has happened to us during the... Fri, 25 Oct 2013 00:36:26 EST EXERCISING – when it's cold outside. Brrr! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5516581 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1175859117.jpg"> <BR> <BR> First, let me make it clear that this is NOT a picture of me. When it is that cold you will find me indoors staying warm and sipping fragrant tea. <BR> <BR> So the question is – how do I get my exercise in when “the weather outside is frightful”? <BR> <BR> This isn't so difficult. I have fibromyalgia and I have found that I do best with exercises specially adapted for my needs so I already have quite a ... Fri, 18 Oct 2013 00:31:08 EST AUTUMN CHANGES http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5494245 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1026336820.jpg"> <BR> <BR> One look outdoors reveals the natural changes that come with autumn. The nights become longer, skies clearer and stars brighter. Day after day the sun shines on leaves turning from green to limitless shades of red, gold and brown. <BR> <BR> For me, autumn has always seemed like a change into a new year. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1928691337.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> Perhaps this... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:15:14 EST RECIPE: Tuna and Rice http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5487875 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/6/l46852322.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here is my variation of an old favorite - a tuna rice casserole that is just as good warm as it is leftover and served cold as a salad. And especially fun - if you choose to add some whimsy as in the picture above. <BR> <BR> 2 cans tuna, solid white, no salt added <BR> fresh lemon juice to taste <BR> 4 servings cooked brown jasmine rice <BR> 1 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese (Trader Joe's) <BR> 1/3 cup light sou... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 02:21:49 EST Only One Goal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5477120 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1766860817.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Each month the A&I Team prompts us to write about our goals - looking at how last month went and how we want to proceed for the next few weeks. Since the first of the year it has been hard for me to write this kind of "goals" blog. My health went into a steep downward spiral and I just couldn't seem to wrap my mind around writing detailed expectations for what I would accomplish. At that time I was having trou... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 20:25:15 EST IF I WAS ALONE ON AN ISLAND . . . http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5470436 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1808524815.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This week our A&I Blog Challenge is to write about what we would want to have if we were stuck on an island. I’m starting with the assumption that I have what I need for physical survival (food and shelter and fresh water) available. Besides these basics, what would I want to meet my “soul” needs? <BR> <BR> First, I would like some ways to make music. Percussion instruments would be easy to improvise from av... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 00:10:22 EST MY FAVORITE EXERCISE http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5464409 Please imagine really fun and colorful pictures for this blog. I couldn't get them to load so I'm leaving it up to you to create any you want. <BR> <BR> My favorite exercise is dance. <em>350</em> <BR> I have enjoyed dancing as long as I can remember. As a child I would make up my own songs and dance to them. My parents liked Big Band music and I went along with them to dance evenings at the local community center. Glenn Miller's music can still get me moving even when I'm sitting d... Fri, 23 Aug 2013 21:48:55 EST WHY I JOINED SPARK http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5458575 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1626237080.jpg"> <BR> Years ago this was all the activity I could manage. I was trying to recover from several car accidents (yes, 3 in as many years). I developed fibromyalgia and was no longer able to work. I could hardly walk and was in constant pain. I gained weight and lost muscle strength. Definitely not the way I wanted to be. But everything I tried only increased my pain and sense of hopelessness. <BR> <BR> In 2010 my doctor t... Sun, 18 Aug 2013 02:04:53 EST "Loving Me" Valentine's Day Retreat: A&I Week 2 Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5251131 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1070044594.jpg"> <BR> <BR> February is the time of year when we search for ways to express our love to the people we carry in our hearts. The A&I Challenge was to blog about our ideal way to celebrate Valentine's Day. I decided that the person who I am most likely to forget to express love to is ME. So I let my imagination soar and here is what I would love to give myself. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/2/l52... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 04:11:47 EST FEBRUARY GOALS: A&I Week 1 Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5235268 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1646469399.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It hasn't been easy to even think of goals this year. I'm experiencing a major flare-up of fibromyalgia symptoms including debilitating fatigue. As the weeks go on and the symptoms continue it becomes difficult to plan ahead. (And I'm not mentioning the incredible brain drain that accompanies having chronic pain and lack of sleep -- oh, wait - I just did mention it. When fog gets in your brain everything gets ... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 05:06:23 EST I AM THANKFUL . . . http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5147795 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/5/l354719187.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the season for remembering all those things for which we are thankful. Before writing this blog I decided to look up the definition of the word . . . and I found this connection between being aware and expressing appreciation. <BR> <BR> At first that seems like a no-brainer. How can I express thanks for something I am not aware of? But what really struck me was the realization of how very, very ofte... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 23:20:54 EST MY THANKSGIVING BREAKFAST: A&I Week 3 Easy Recipe http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5142011 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l802166206.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Disclaimer: This isn’t what I will be eating on Thanksgiving morning – but I couldn’t resist the picture. Doesn’t this look like a fun way to start the day? <BR> <BR> Now to get back to the topic: favorite foods for Thanksgiving. Most recipes center around the big feast so just to be different I decided to focus on breakfast. This year I discovered a tasty, easy way to start the day. Here’s the recipe: <BR>... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 22:57:50 EST MY FAVORITE THANKSGIVING MEMORY: A&I Challenge Blog Week 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5140941 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/3/l23339363.jpg"> <BR> <BR> One Thanksgiving Day stands out in my memory. <BR> It was cold and stormy; everything was covered with ice. I was happy to be indoors and warm -- even though I was in the hospital. I was lonely because no one could make it to the hospital to visit me. The roads were so slippery even the doctors and nurses had trouble getting to work. <BR> <BR> I was looking forward to enjoying a “real” Thanksgiving meal – it wou... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 22:52:49 EST MINDFUL MOVEMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5128010 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1855657357.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This week I received a wonderful gift. My daughter discovered that a local group is sponsoring free exercise classes especially designed for people with fibromyalgia. <BR> <BR> Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that results in chronic pain. People with fibromyalgia have widespread pain, aches and stiffness in muscles and joints throughout the body along with unusual tiredness. If you want to know more about it her... Thu, 8 Nov 2012 03:17:31 EST WHAT I’M LEARNING TO LIKE ABOUT MYSELF http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5116252 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l212309466.jpg"> <BR> <BR> WOW! This picture really appeals to me. There are actually times when I can say, "This is true!" <BR> <BR> And then there are the other times . . . <BR> It’s not that I’m unhappy with who I am – it’s just that sometimes the percentage dips. And that's okay . . . <BR> because I’ve come to realize that for me it is less a matter of happiness – <BR> and more a matter of becoming increasingly comfortable with who I... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 01:04:02 EST WISDOM QUOTE FOR THE DAY http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5100499 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/9/l694569738.jpg"> <BR> <BR> How well you perform <BR> when you start trying something difficult <BR> is not a good indicator <BR> of how good you can become. ~ Mark Kelly <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/2/l625188031.jpg"> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 21:23:49 EST FALL REFLECTION: “The Trick to Staying Well” http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098940 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/3/l235285776.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the delicate white-plumed anemone. It lives in the deep ocean - far from light. Amazing! <BR> <BR> In the fall - this season of dramatic change and growing darkness, <BR> I can find my energy dropping and feel a sense of growing melancholy as I long for the light of summer. <BR> <BR> Knowing this, my friend shared a reflection by Mark Nepo - illustrating the gift of the white-plumed anemone. I have... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 18:11:50 EST WONDERFUL FALL SOUP RECIPE http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5074438 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l663642620.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My daughter found this wonderful sweet potato soup recipe when she was looking for foods that help keep migraines at bay. It tastes great! <BR> <BR> Simple Sweet Potato Ginger Soup <BR> <BR> Ingredients <BR> 1 Tbsp canola oil <BR> 2 medium yellow onions, chopped <BR> 3 large sweet potatoes , chopped– (I like the lighter colored ones, but you can use the orange ones) <BR> 1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled a... Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:05:51 EST GETTING TO KNOW ME: 50 Questions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5024842 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/8/l282841874.jpg"> <BR> <BR> 50 Questions template gratefully snarfed from NICKI109 and LITTLERCATHY . <BR> <BR> 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? – Yes – actress, Carole Lombard. Not many people spell my name correctly (with an "e" on the end) and I like using my 2 initials so generally I go by CJ to keep it simple. <BR> <BR> 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? – Last week – after days and days of migraines, Yuk!. <BR> <BR> 3. DO YOU L... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 11:52:25 EST MY SPARK ANNIVERSARY PARTY: YOU’RE INVITED! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4971220 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l141670015.jpg"> <BR> <BR> July is CJ’s month to celebrate. (I actually signed up for Spark in May 2010, but I'm a slow starter - and July was when I really got going with this health journey.) So on July 16th I will have been actively Sparking for 2 years and I’m planning an online party! Won’t you please join me? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l800773343.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here’s how you can help:... Sun, 15 Jul 2012 12:27:15 EST GOTTA DANCE! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4966450 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l821246047.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Dancing has become one of my go-to exercise workouts. I love all kinds of music and choose a mixture of steps that I can adapt to my fitness level. So I thought I would share some of my favorite songs for adding movement to my day. <BR> I like to start the day with <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l403047145.jpg"> <BR> <link>www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6Q6zg90dxk&<BR>feature=related </... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 23:52:20 EST IN A SLUMP?? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4948232 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/3/l635472454.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I was sitting at the computer checking in with my Spark Friends and up popped this wonderful quote from Coach Nicole: <BR> <BR> �Are you slumping right now? Sit up straight! <BR> Now doesn't' that feel better?� <BR> <BR> Well, Coach Nicole gives very good advice. So I tried it. And � no surprise - I actually did feel better. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l431384680.jpg"> <... Fri, 29 Jun 2012 21:20:31 EST SOME DAYS ARE HARDER THAN OTHERS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4939276 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l156888152.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You follow your nutrition plan. You faithfully exercise. You smile at the grocery checker even though the line was long. You are supportive with your family and friends. You do all that and still there are times when life hands you harsh realities you would rather not face. Some days Mr. Whipple hides the Charmin and you are left with something that resembles the picture above. <BR> <BR> What you could manage... Sat, 23 Jun 2012 18:30:21 EST WALKING IN THE OREGON WOODS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4918247 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l196582457.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Recently I had the opportunity to spend several days at a nearby Trappist Abbey for some time of quiet retreat. Doesn’t this look like a wonderful place for contemplation? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l123782782.jpg"> <BR> A path circles the pond before branching out onto many forest trails. It is a place to experience freedom – freedom from the ordinary schedules and stresses and... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 21:20:02 EST HOW MY EATING HABITS HAVE CHANGED WITH SPARK http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4890578 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l905361961.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This week we were challenged to write about the ways our eating habits have changed since joining Spark. This is a great topic because one of the most amazing surprises about Spark nutrition wisdom is that I am now eating more – Yes I said, MORE – than before. Want to know how that came about??? <BR> <BR> First, let me sum up my previous “diet” adventures by saying that they all centered on various degrees of de... Mon, 21 May 2012 01:55:04 EST EXPERIMENTS WITH EXERCISE: Part 2 -- MORNINGS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4880224 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l436114904.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Mornings - Garfield doesn’t do mornings – so, for him, morning exercise means lifting his coffee cup up and down! <BR> <BR> I like Garfield because, by contrast, he makes me look energetic. I’ve learned to greet mornings a bit more optimistically that he and I no longer need caffeine to jumpstart my day. But I usually haven’t scheduled exercise until afternoon. <BR> Then, at the first of the year I re-read th... Mon, 14 May 2012 03:21:59 EST CJ’S Got a New Pair of Shoes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4876406 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/1/l411456048.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here’s a picture of the brand new funky pair of fitness shoes my daughter gave me for a Mother’s Day gift. Aren’t they cute?!? DD Stephanie knows about my experiments with exercise and she thought these would be fun to try. <BR> <BR> First: they feel really comfy – like walking barefoot, except there is something between you and the rocks and barkdust. <BR> <BR> Second: I noticed that I walk easier – with my f... Fri, 11 May 2012 00:39:31 EST MY EXPERIMENTS WITH EXERCISE: Part 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4873331 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l109040826.jpg"> <BR> <BR> In July I will be celebrating my second year with SparkPeople. As I think back over these last months I realize that my general approach to increasing my fitness has been one of experimentation. In other words -- I’ve been trying many approaches to exercise, and nutrition, and wellness in order to find out what works well for me and what moves me toward better health. <BR> <BR> EXPERIMENT def.: to try out somet... Wed, 9 May 2012 01:49:22 EST MAY GOALS: A&I Week 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4870938 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/0/l302539478.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here are my goals for the month of May. <BR> <BR> N – NUTRITION: This is foundational for me. <BR> 1. I will continue to plan my meals ahead of time using the Nutrition Tracker. When I don’t do this – it is far easier for me to wander into mindless eating. <BR> 2. I will eat what I plan!!!!! <BR> 3. Freggies are my friends! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/8/l787173830.jpg"> <BR>... Mon, 7 May 2012 16:51:12 EST My Ideal Spring Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4844795 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/1/l310593913.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I think of Spring I visualize trees and fields dressed in all varieties of green. Therefore my ideal spring day must include a leisurely walk through the woods – with plenty of time to linger and observe buds opening, ferns unfurling, and leaves reaching toward the light. The air is freshened by recent gentle rains. <BR> I stop and breathe with the trees. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.c... Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:34:37 EST I'M PROUD OF ME http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4833667 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l888110054.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I'M PROUD OF ME. What an amazing statement that is. For it hasn’t always been true. I grew up with grown-ups who told me that I mustn’t “show-off” about things that made me proud of myself. “People won’t like you if . . .” was the beginning of many warnings to not let others see that I had talents and abilities. <BR> <BR> Years later, a quiet, simple man, Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood), turned all t... Fri, 13 Apr 2012 15:48:35 EST MY APRIL GOALS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4823988 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/1/l516361405.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the month for me to get back to basics. During the six weeks since my shoulder surgery, I’ve re-learned the importance of consistently doing those daily steps that keep me moving toward a healthier weight and lifestyle. Someday, I’ll tell you the story about how I learned that… : ) <BR> <BR> Right now, though, I’m just going to list my goals for April using one of my favorite acronyms, “NEW”: <BR> <... Fri, 6 Apr 2012 23:39:25 EST FAVORITE RECIPE: Make-Ahead Breakfast to Go http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4812289 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/4/l548576818.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> I tried a new recipe this week and it has already become a favorite. <BR> <BR> First, it’s easy, <BR> it’s a complete meal <BR> AND it tastes great. <BR> <BR> Second, you can make a big batch and have extras ready to go. It stores well in the refrigerator. AND you only have to clean up once. I like that. <BR> <BR> Third it’s adaptable to individual tastes or what you have on hand. <BR> <BR> That’s what... Fri, 30 Mar 2012 13:21:41 EST FEBRUARY – MARCH GOALS: A&I Week 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4781396 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/1/l413485467.jpg"> <BR> <BR> In a word, February went well. I spent the first 3 weeks preparing myself for shoulder surgery. This meant eating well, exercising and getting lots of rest. Yay! <BR> <BR> <BR> On February 23rd, my right rotator cuff was repaired. It is healing well. You could say that for the next month -- my life (as well as my arm) is in a sling! Kudos to my daughter, Stephanie, for finding such an adorable “sling” pictu... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 23:27:38 EST Coach Nicole's 28 DAY BOOT CAMP DVD: REVIEW http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4739497 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/9/l899914931.jpg"> <BR> <BR> First – this is NOT a picture of Coach Nicole. <BR> <BR> But I deliberately chose this picture to introduce my review of her new 28-day Boot Camp DVD because I want to make it clear right from the beginning just how much I differ from the stereotypical person who looks out at you from an exercise DVD that includes the words, “Boot Camp”. Yes, I am a 66 year-old woman who is physically disabled and doing all I c... Wed, 15 Feb 2012 03:04:58 EST SHOWING LOVE: Week 2 A&I Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4738797 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l43766713.jpg"> <BR> <BR> How do I show love to others? <BR> <BR> I am a person who looks for ways to support and encourage others. I do this by being interested in what other people are interested in, by being willing to listen to their hopes and dreams and needs and empathize with their sorrows. I am blessed as I see others become more confident in their own strengths and abilities. And I love joining in to celebrate what brings them j... Tue, 14 Feb 2012 15:56:25 EST FEBRUARY GOAL POST: A&I Challenge Week 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4719620 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l147614862.jpg"> <BR> And speaking of a Goal Post – (ooooh – groaner of a pun) February is here and it’s time to post my goals. And with all the Super Bowl excitement I just couldn’t resist this picture. So I guess I could say that one of my goals is to maintain my sense of humor. And that’s a very good thing . . . because . . . <BR> <BR> later in the month I will be having surgery to repair my right shoulder rotator cuff. Getting ready ... Fri, 3 Feb 2012 00:17:05 EST