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/ Summer Fun http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6169233 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/c557ecb7-23d7-49e2-a3f6-8aefd4cb441c.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Vacation time is fast approaching and people begin to ask, “Do you have any plans for this summer?” Yes, I have plans for some fun summer activities. <BR> <BR> First, I will be walking our local forest trails. I love being among trees, especially in the summer sunshine. The rays of the sun filtering through are fascinating. And the shade is nice, too. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Tue, 24 May 2016 03:37:17 EST What I Like About Being Outdoors http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6164580 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/03d45fa5-2515-40d8-856a-40e99f796648.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Where do I begin? I live in a fantastic part of the United States, the Pacific Northwest. I am surrounded with wonderful places to walk and just enjoy the beauty of nature. I don’t have sufficient words to describe these places. So here are pictures of some of my favorites. <BR> <BR> Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/e7aa848f-b137-... Tue, 17 May 2016 04:32:05 EST May Goal: Dealing with Discouragement http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6159841 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4fe88a3f-0664-4a34-8549-be023c6a6218.jpg"> <BR> <BR> EVERYONE gets discouraged. Yes, even top athletes, powerful leaders, Oscar-winning movie stars, people who have a reputation for being positive, and . . . Me. No matter how hard I work, no matter how well I plan --- discouraging days will come. It’s part of being human. It’s part of living a real life. And boy, has my life been real lately. <BR> <BR> So when I was asked to blog about my... Tue, 10 May 2016 04:25:20 EST THE ART OF MOTHERING http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6157972 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/6de0c265-9bd3-4b0d-ac71-b7fd54255258.jpg"> <BR> <BR> First, let me say that I am thankful for the countless blessings I have received from my gentle Mom. And I am delighted to be the mother of an exquisite adult daughter. Those two things make this a very Happy Mother’s Day for me. <BR> <BR> Over the years, and especially after the death of my mom, I have become aware of a wider concept of the word Mother . . . one which includes others wh... Sat, 7 May 2016 01:53:13 EST FOCUS ON CARDIO http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6105821 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ee5be4df-8d7c-4bd3-bfe2-b49ce6bb089d.jpg"> <BR> <BR> February is National Heart Month which makes it a good time to focus on cardio exercise. When my knee was injured my regular walking routine was seriously curtailed. I did what chair exercises I could, but I missed being able to move freely like I had before. Physical therapy is going well. I am now able to walk 20 minutes using my walking poles. It feels good. <BR> <BR> Now I am lookin... Sat, 27 Feb 2016 02:12:38 EST MY VALENTINE DAYS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6094048 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/e68d9cfa-b711-42f8-8569-2ed034921c0b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Over the years I have celebrated many Valentine Days. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3ec99e3d-ce5e-41f1-ba23-622e6c472390.jpg"> <BR> <BR> In kindergarten I remember cutting out hearts and making valentines for my school mates. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/04be1733-0680-46ec-8f0b-b83bc5dd1ff5.jpg"> <BR> A few years later Valentin... Fri, 12 Feb 2016 03:36:46 EST WINTER WONDERS: Let it Snow! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6072999 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7a3eefb2-b983-4503-b036-c57e0c1e7e9d.jpg"> <BR> <BR> For a lot of people snow comes regularly in winter and sometimes it comes in super over-supply. But where I live snow arrives seldom and often by surprise, so it is always an event. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/e0f36b43-d0fb-4a69-a7f4-5a47ecf9a59c.jpg"> <BR> <BR> As a child to awaken to falling snow often meant a day off from school. I could sit home by th... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 18:57:44 EST 2016 Plan for Healthy Living http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6065437 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/acbf430a-616d-4acf-87cf-a937a8075c70.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I am thankful for the New Year and a fresh start. Last year was a difficult one with multiple health issues which side-tracked my regular exercise and eating patterns. I'm ready to get back to the basics. <BR> <BR> Here is a III Part checklist my doctor gave me to help determine what is most important for me. These questions helped me work through to a plan so I've included them along w... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 03:20:19 EST My Favorite Winter Soup http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6053731 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/fab34ace-b7c5-4ef9-851e-79ca6fe4c365.jpg"> <BR> <BR> There are so many reasons to make soup for cold winter days. It smells wonderful while cooking. It feels warm and comforting. It fills you up. You can make a big batch and have leftovers. <BR> <BR> This is one of my favorites: <BR> BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/b532ede4-669e-4c14-a639-9d43c3aebfc3.jpg"> <BR> <BR> 1 qt. (32 oz) B... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 01:36:44 EST Success http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6040401 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/32d8acc0-c8cc-4d01-ae6f-12aea57ddb16.jpg"> <BR> <BR> What does success mean? According to the dictionary -- <BR> <BR> SUCCESS, def. noun: a person or a thing that accomplishes an aim or purpose. <BR> <BR> I think it is safe to say that most people consider success to be something positive. <BR> Many people look up to those who appear to be "a success". <BR> <BR> Success is often pictured something like this <BR> <BR> <img src="http://ph... Tue, 1 Dec 2015 02:49:05 EST Here’s a Fun Game that is Absolutely Free http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6039761 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3424f89b-ef00-4ba6-8d47-200ae887f9d1.jpg"> <BR> That’s Right! You can play this game with any number of people and it doesn’t cost a thing! <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3424f89b-ef00-4ba6-8d47-200ae887f9d1.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You start with a topic, any topic. The first person says something happy about that topic and everyone else shouts <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3424f89b-ef00-4ba6-8d47-200ae... Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:01:39 EST The Twelve Goodies of Thanksgiving http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6036942 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7dd26cca-dd15-436f-bd3c-350f305e1a78.jpg"> <BR> Here is a just-for-fun Thanksgiving song I adapted for all my Spark Friends. <BR> <BR> <em>335</em> THE TWELVE GOODIES OF THANKSGIVING <em>335</em> <BR> <BR> For the first goodie of Thanksgiving my Spark Friend gave to me <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/de143672-8fb6-45a2-955a-0be9c8bd0273.jpg"> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/1305c0c9-6146-4337-9b29-1aa... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 23:11:31 EST ANY TIME IS TEA TIME http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6023511 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/0ff77266-9f57-4320-a4f4-1886e0065940.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My grandmother introduced me to tea time. She had a tradition of sitting down for a hot cuppa and biscuits in the afternoons. When I was little she served my tea in one of the children’s tea sets she had. This is the one I still have. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/aa59c53e-16f3-44a0-a388-aac7c1dcb296.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I got older I was able to sip my tea ... Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:06:45 EST BALANCING FALL CHALLENGES http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6016353 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/8fef8ada-80e6-482b-88b1-ab04493cc76d.jpg"> <BR> Fall is a time of lots of changes. The leaves start falling, we begin to get less daylight and before long it's time to reset our clocks back to standard time. Some people look forward to these changes, longer nights and cooler temperatures. Some people wish summer heat and sunshine would stay. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/acfa18c6-22c4-40cc-87ec-217db6eeaee5.jp... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 03:46:19 EST One thing I like about SparkPeople http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5998289 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/16f7371f-efe4-49a0-acf7-fabd3f0c125d.jpg"> <BR> <BR> There are many, many things I like about SparkPeople. But the ONE thing I like most is that SparkPeople provides a wide range of choices and resources. If all I needed was a “diet” plan with a list of foods that are and are not allowed I could look anywhere. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/8f05474d-745c-4213-8691-900794128fe9.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Since I am emb... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 01:19:43 EST CHANGING MY GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5993828 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/b52cb10f-d881-4faa-936a-064fc08130bf.jpg"> <BR> <BR> For years I was either a student or a teacher so September meant the beginning of the school year and the time to set new goals. This is my plan so far: <BR> <BR> I’ve been experimenting with my nutrition and I've discovered that . . . <BR> <BR> 1. I feel better without wheat <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/6e869eb4-99b7-4672-9585-c766912a561b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I p... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 01:42:14 EST Summer Memories: State Fair http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5982411 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/5b8a40f0-4f06-4491-a07b-3395dd63d274.png"> <BR> <BR> It’s August and the time of year when many states are getting ready for their annual fair. When I was a new teacher my first job was in Salem, the capital of Oregon. I lived a few blocks from the state fairgrounds. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/0a5d1dd6-0544-4514-9f5e-3b85cc5e3c59.jpg"> <BR> My apartment was just across Silverton Road near the Gray Gate. ... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 01:31:20 EST THREE THINGS EXERCISING HAS TAUGHT ME http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5977634 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/887f3fad-7ac4-4346-b496-6a77b65089d0.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I started Spark I did not think of exercise as a reward. I thought it was next to impossible! I had experienced several car accidents which left me disabled and unable to walk without pain. At that time exercising was a memory, something that able bodied people did in order to lose weight and keep in shape. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/2aacd339-52f4-42... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 04:34:21 EST WHY I LIKE USING "SPARKRECIPES" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5973983 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7e9f7402-98ae-4e61-ae26-febae1340d49.jpg"> <BR> <BR> SparkRecipes is one of my favorite Spark resources. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a67b029b-df06-4df9-bc12-b915f340e694.jpg"> <BR> <BR> ~1 – SparkRecipes encourages me to do more of my own cooking. There are so many ideas. <BR> If I have lots of zucchini to use up I can search for zucchini and find a wide range of recipes to try. <BR> Here is one of my favo... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 02:12:50 EST AUGUST GOALS: How I Plan to Reduce Stress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5972124 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ff4b4997-367a-4358-aa1f-779b6d605694.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Reduce your stress. How many times have you heard that? <BR> <BR> We know that reducing stress lessens your chances of developing all kinds of unhealthy conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more? And if you have one or more stress-related conditions, reducing your stress levels is an important part of your treatment. <BR> <BR> Yes, I know reducing stres... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 17:09:59 EST Some Like it Hot – Some Do Not http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5969012 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/eb9450f4-e036-476b-82bb-a725e4387890.png"> <BR> <BR> It's that time of year again. Summer is here and people start asking, "What is your favorite? The heat of summer or the cold of winter?" <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/d11d1e21-8b3e-4603-a22d-0728a3af09d7.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here in the NW we have been sweltering with WAY above average temperatures. Some people really like day after day of 100 degrees and above.... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 05:44:12 EST Summer Memories http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5965580 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/87e7de7a-70b4-450e-8b6f-a9448f78318d.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Summer takes me back to the time when I was a child playing my way through school vacation time. Things like wearing flip flops (we called them Zori’s) and writing in the sand. <BR> <BR> Do you remember your first hula hoop? I did a lot of silly things to play with it before I was big enough to twirl it around my waist. What laughter it provoked. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.... Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:59:15 EST Pictures of Oregon in Summer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5961032 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4e13c52e-5996-47e7-b9a1-489228695a7f.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I think of summer in Oregon certain pictures come to mind. <BR> <BR> First, are the roses. They signal summer, coming into bloom in June and blooming bountifully all summer. The picture above was taken at the Portland International Rose Test Garden. It is a joy to walk among them. <BR> <BR> The next thing you notice is the abundance of water. In fact, Oregon is well known for its r... Wed, 15 Jul 2015 04:55:32 EST Celebrating America’s Birthday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5955221 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/c6aae1a9-04e7-4007-adcd-2d4688781a2b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Grandma always said that Independence Day was America’s birthday and we liked to celebrate it with music (as well as parades, picnics and fireworks). I wanted to give you samples of some of my favorites by American (mostly) composers. I’ve tried to give you links as well. <BR> <BR> <BR> One of the most stirring and inspiring musical tributes is Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Cop... Sat, 4 Jul 2015 04:16:31 EST STUMBLING BLOCKS?? MAKE STEPPING STONES http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5953121 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/cf72441a-f1c0-4f9f-bfd7-a8a234f41ff3.jpg"> <BR> <BR> “The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way you use them.” <BR> <BR> I remember the first time I heard this saying. I had arrived at a huge stumbling block in my life. In fact it had stopped me cold. I was stuck and didn’t want to be -- but I couldn’t see any way out. <BR> <BR> Then I saw this quote. What good news. I could turn my stumbling ... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 02:28:59 EST My Favorite Quick Get Away http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5950022 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/8564b0bc-42da-4ba7-806b-a2f02fc1ed67.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I live where I can see the majestic Mt. Hood. For as long as I can remember it has been a calming influence on me. There is something stabilizing about knowing that wherever I am driving, I can come around a corner and be gifted with a view of this always beautiful mountain. It never fails to thrill me. <BR> <BR> When I need a quick get-away I like to drive up to Terwilliger Boulevard in... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 23:33:11 EST CELEBRATING FATHER'S DAY http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5948478 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f77c34b1-792d-4376-9f93-4ffc4656d057.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here it is – the special day we have set aside to celebrate fathers. <BR> Many thoughts come to mind when we say the word “father”. <BR> <BR> We use it to designate our biological or adopted father. <BR> We describe our ancestors as our fore-fathers. <BR> We look to the oldest and wisest as fathers of our community or group. <BR> Many call their spiritual leaders father. <BR> Christ... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 03:09:04 EST One Day of Healthy Recipes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5945876 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/b9e54d0d-e3a3-41c0-8fa8-6f883c7e0b78.jpg"> <BR> <BR> A good day starts with breakfast, especially when breakfast includes chocolate. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3a577117-50b2-4338-9d80-e8ce4597aa90.jpg"> <BR> <BR> CHOCOLATE BANANA OATMEAL <BR> <BR> This recipe is quick, easy, requires no cooking and includes protein, grains (can be gluten-free) and fruit. All it requires is a banana, some protein powder, coco... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 03:02:57 EST Self-Care 101 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5942681 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/c2b339d9-30ad-4709-b929-1e3760a8e1d2.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It has taken many years for me to realize the wisdom of self-care. I come from a tradition that honors submerging one’s own needs to meet the demands of others. I received praise for ignoring myself and was scolded for being selfish or self-indulgent if I chose to do something that honored my own inclinations. I learned this lesson. I obeyed it. I also became more and more a stranger ... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 01:15:32 EST Diving into My Summer Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5938826 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/96a40e18-00ed-4275-bbe1-6cbab72589a9.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It’s June and time to revisit my May Goals. <BR> I made progress in each of these: <BR> 1. Get enough sleep <BR> 2. Be sure to stretch <BR> 3. Drink plenty of water <BR> 4. Eat lots of veggies <BR> 5. Exercise as much as I can <BR> 6. Find Joy <BR> <BR> In May I received good news from my doctors. My new endocrinologist was helpful and my levels are stable. The cardiologist recommende... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 01:57:03 EST MEMORIAL DAY MEMORIES http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5933760 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/22ac7871-2197-43da-92be-0307fecc4fe0.jpg"> <BR> <BR> When I was growing up (1950’s) Memorial Day was called “Decoration Day”. We always went to my grandparents’ house in what was then a very small town in rural Oregon. They had lived in Tennessee and South Carolina and still held many memories about the War Between the States that had been passed down to them. At that time their relatives lived in the North as well as the South whi... Mon, 25 May 2015 01:34:37 EST Summer Plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5932305 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3b90483d-1ea9-4b7c-b0c6-499925d49da0.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is a picture of the Oregon coast which is about a 2 hour drive from where I live. I go there as often as I am able, even if it is only for the day. One of my favorite places is a lookout at Gleneden Beach. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/9b65339c-2c3d-4f62-8ae7-e410d9c0766b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Seals can be seen fishing in the waves. It is usually a quiet plac... Fri, 22 May 2015 01:44:00 EST GOALS REVIEW FOR MAY http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5924447 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1383251363.jpg"> <BR> <BR> MY GOALS FOR APRIL <BR> <BR> Get enough sleep - <em>248</em> between 7 ½ and 8 ½ hours per night <BR> Be sure to stretch - <em>248</em> using Stronger Seniors chair exercises <BR> Drink plenty of water - <em>248</em> usually 10 or more glasses per day <BR> Eat lots of veggies - <em>248</em> I increased my veggies to at least 5 servings per day <BR> <BR> Exercise as much as I can - <em>248</em... Thu, 7 May 2015 19:50:31 EST Mother’s Day 2015 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5922129 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/0/l609393863.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We have a family tradition that the most important thing about a special day is that it be celebrated. It doesn’t really matter whether it is celebrated on the “official” day or a little earlier or later. So this year my daughter, Stephanie, and I will be going to a spa on the week after Mother’s Day. <BR> <BR> She found a gentle masseuse who tailors her work to each person’s needs. There are even s... Mon, 4 May 2015 00:28:55 EST MY HEALTH UPDATE http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5918865 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1190042796.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today I went to Oregon Health Sciences Center for a Nuclear Medicine Stress Test. At my last doctor visit my lab work revealed inflammation in my arteries so I was referred for this test in order to view the blood flow to my heart. <BR> <BR> Discovering the possibility of arterial problems surprised me. My blood pressure is normal and my cholesterol numbers are optimal. (Thank you, Spark) I had noticed some sw... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 02:47:56 EST A Walk in the Forest http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5915524 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l458638286.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the bridge at the beginning of the Wetland Boardwalk Trail at Wildwood Recreation Site in the foothills of Mt. Hood in Oregon. Mt. Hood is part of the Cascade Range and Wildwood borders the Salmon River. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1381080227.jpg"> <BR> <BR> What a beautiful place to quietly walk and observe all sorts of wildlife. We go there especially to view young co... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:04:32 EST Showers of Blessings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5914314 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l827923645.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The Aspire and Inspire Team challenged us to write a blog about some of the things that bless us. I'm so glad they asked us to mention "some" of our blessings - otherwise the blog would never end!!! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1800312591.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is a VERY SHORT list of my blessings (in no particular order) <BR> 1. Clean, safe water to drink <BR> 2. Choices of many h... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 04:31:09 EST 2015 - My Personal Progress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5911551 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/1/l811867326.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It’s been three months since the beginning of 2015. Time to take a look at my progress. <BR> <BR> I started the year with three goals that I called “Getting Back to Basics”. <BR> ~Eat Well <BR> ~Get Real About Exercise <BR> ~Find Ways to Recognize Progress <BR> <BR> <BR> To summarize, my progress has been <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1791694608.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Just when I w... Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:49:41 EST April Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5907369 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/7/l872909883.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Do you remember playing with building blocks like these? I do. <BR> It was fun to build houses and towers and bridges and arrange the letters into words. <BR> <BR> When I look at this picture – the blocks look rather beat up and worn. <BR> That’s how I’m feeling about my “goals”. <BR> I’ve used them for many years and they seem a bit tired. <BR> <BR> It’s not that they don’t work anymore <BR> The... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 22:24:04 EST Easter Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5907333 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1724892051.jpg"> <BR> <BR> One of my favorite memories of Easter time is sharing a Passover Seder meal with Jewish Christian friends. (The Seder is a dinner during Passover in which the story of the Exodus from Egypt is retold.) Since Jesus and the Disciples shared the Seder as their last meal together it has become a particularly meaningful part of our family preparation for the coming of Easter. <BR> <BR> Each year we have roast lamb, ... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 21:27:03 EST Happy Saint Patrick's Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5894953 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1620576792.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I like celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Wearing spring green and sending blessings to friends is a hopeful way to look forward to the renewal of Spring. <BR> <BR> My daughter and I enjoy painting our nails green. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l207104346.jpg"> <BR> <BR> While ours didn't turn out quite this professional looking we still had fun. <BR> <BR> <BR> This is the time we w... Wed, 18 Mar 2015 00:03:47 EST Spring is Coming http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5894350 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/5/l250691032.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here in Oregon spring is coming with all it's glory. Here are some signs of spring I look forward to: <BR> <BR> 1. Colors - after dark days and gray leafless trees what a delight it is to feast on the brilliant yellows, purples and reds of springtime. And it seems that everything is "green" again. Spring Green! <BR> <BR> 2. Budding trees and flowers - I love seeing crocuses, hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 01:36:36 EST MARCH GOALS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5890249 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1205607595.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This picture sums up the month of February for me. I got the killer flu the end of January and when I asked my daughter when I would start feeling better she said, "March". She was right. Boy, was she ever right! <BR> <BR> As for goals, the only realistic goal I had for the month was getting well. Now that I have achieved that goal I am determined to move forward. I need to start where I am and rebuild my ... Tue, 10 Mar 2015 04:02:57 EST FIND THE FUN http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5865645 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l820415549.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Remember these words of advice from Mary Poppins? <BR> <BR> “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun . . . <BR> You find the fun and <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l175740764.jpg"> <BR> <BR> SNAP! The job’s a game.” <BR> <BR> Today I am taking her advice to heart <BR> and applying it to one of my jobs (aka = goals.) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 01:46:53 EST THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT . . . http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5858422 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/4/l843913020.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today is a holiday for Americans to remember Martin Luther King Jr. Some of us are old enough to remember hearing him speak. Our children read his speeches or see him on newsreels. Some of his words are familiar. Today I discovered a passage that is new to me. He said: <BR> <BR> THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT <BR> TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT . . . <BR> <BR> Ten small words <BR> Amazing in their simplicity <BR> yet life-c... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:05:45 EST Progress Report - 2014 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5850795 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l178451164.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It's that time of year to take a look backward and re-evaluate my goals. <BR> When 2014 began I was hoping for a fresh start. I was recovering from shoulder surgery and had gained some pounds. I wanted a new start that would lead me to progress and a drop in my weight. <BR> <BR> But the year began with a return of fibromyalgia pain and severe migraine headaches (This often happens as a result of surgery with f... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 04:21:41 EST Sparking from 2014 into 2015 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5842472 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1207934123.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Morning is a special time for me. I enjoy the quiet while drinking my first cup of tea, appreciating being alive and making plans for the day to come. <BR> <BR> Exercise is one thing I have been trying to add back into my morning routine. I used to exercise every morning but life got in my. I made it a priority in November and December 2014. I kept at it for a week or two but then I got flu. It seems if I... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 04:24:55 EST 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