CLUMBOY's SparkPeople Blog CLUMBOY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community friday--fingers crossed for tomorrow hi everyone. well--tomorrow is my first ever 10K race. yesterday I just did an hour of walking and a little yoga. my training tips say to take it easy before race day, so today will just be a walk at the park with the dogs and some yard work. really need to get my house cleaned. <BR> I am really excited about this run--nervous too, since I have never actually done this distance. but as long as I finish it, that's all I ask right now. <BR> last night rob and I went to our fave restaur... Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:41:32 EST thursday--DAY ONE HUNDRED!! hi folks--today I put the ONE HUNDREDTH post it in the pile that logs my spark days. ONE HUNDRED consecutive days of logging on and tracking. I can't thank mostmom for this idea enough. its so simple but so concrete--a real help to keep my motivation up. each day I just write the day number and a little note to myself (YAY or something) and throw it on top the pile. the following day I don't have to remember what number the day is--its just the next number up from the pile. <BR> gettin... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:04:09 EST wednesday--thai food and a lot of fun hi everyone--we had such fun last night on the spur of the moment. Phyllis called to tell me that the last dish rob had ordered me for Christmas had finally come in, so I went to pick it up--it is a beautiful casserole dish and he ordered me the wire stand for it as well. I was so pleased with the quality--I knew how nice the dishware was, but this wire stand is wonderful--heavy, well made and very pretty. while I was there, Phyllis mentioned that she had 2 people cancel for her cooking c... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:07:50 EST nothing sweeter than baby chicks (and other pics) hi all--say hello to blossom, possum, velma, Selma, Belinda, Lucinda, wanda and fonda. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> and here are two awful pictures of my new tomato dishes--just the thing for ensalata caprese! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:15:10 EST monday--good weekend hi everyone--hope your weekend was good--we had a good one here. the weather was warm and lovely--a bit cloudier than predicted, but excellent "garden cleanup" weather. I got almost all the front yard done --2 small beds left to go, and started on the other side of the driveway. started week 10 of my intervals--since my run is this Saturday, I decided to do my intervals sun-tues-thurs so I could rest on Friday. Sunday's run was challenging--its two 29 min. intervals with a 1 minute break ... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:05:14 EST friday hi everyone! well lets see--yesterday I got my BEEYOUTIFUL new dishes, a couple running tops and a running bra that were on sale, and a new pair of shoes (also on sale). the one good thing about my shoe size is that I can often get lucky and find boys shoes that fit me--they are usually cheaper to begin with--and on sale its even better. so I scored a pair of new balance shoes--which means I can officially relegate my asics to work shoes and keep wearing them until they are completely tras... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:12:38 EST thursday good morning! well--got my run done, got yard work done, worked on the sign for the kitchen store, took the dogs to the park, so yesterday was a good day. more garden work ahead today--I think the weather is supposed to get rainy, but then I can paint inside. big front bed in the front yard is about 2/3 of the way done. that makes me nowhere near done, but I can see a visible dent in the workload now. <BR> second of the ninth week running intervals went well--I think this set is actuall... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:57:50 EST wed--progress good morning all--well, I think things are progressing--hopefully on an upward trajectory. my mom called me yesterday afternoon very pleased--apparently her talk with the nurse bore some fruit because my dad said he saw two doctors yesterday and someone started him on medication for parkinsons. this is a big hurdle we have been stuck in front of for awhile. <BR> my mom said he seemed better and brighter than she has seen him in a long time. he is probably coming home today--and mom is go... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 07:04:19 EST tuesday--short hiatus hi all--back from rob's week of what was supposed to be a vacation. we had a few quiet days, punctuated on both ends of the week with trips to the hospital for my dad. first ER visit ended with him coming home--second one ended with him being admitted for a severe UTI. probably what was going on the first time we took him, but they didn't pick up on it. <BR> he is being well looked after at the hospital, and my mom is getting some much needed rest. of course things can't ALL be going smo... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 07:00:18 EST monday NAILED. IT. <img src="">hi all--well the saga continues--the most recent caregiver lasted a mere 24 hours. she was a very capable lady but not the right fit at ALL for my parents. my mom--who is the soul of politeness and mind numbingly tolerant--fired the lady herself because she knew it was never going to work. so the next day after a frantic night of phone calls and arrangements, rob took her to the train station, paid her fare home and that w... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:17:41 EST thursday--the black hole of yesterday hi everyone--well yesterday kind of fell into a black hole. Tuesday I was really tired etc. took shambles to the groomer and when they called me to come fetch her, I stood up to leave and suddenly felt very lightheaded etc. called rob and told him I wasn't sure if I could drive, so he said he would go. hung up the phone and got sick instantly. spent the rest of tues. afternoon sick as a dog, and yesterday I just curled up on the couch, ate jello and took showers. it finally passed about... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 06:54:26 EST tuesday--one step forward good morning all--well, its one step forward and one (maybe two) steps back. the caregiver arrived--very nice lady from Ukraine. we had such high hopes--until she told us that since she was told that my parents were 1.5 hr. drive from her home, and it actually was more like 3 hours to drive it, that she did not want to work the job. I don't know what drugs the person was taking when they told her the drive time. you can actually do the job in that time frame--if you leave the house at 4 a... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 07:03:31 EST monday good morning all--well its a chilly Monday, but I can get my run in--supposed to be sunny later. trying to catch a cold or something--I shouldn't be surprised--all the stress I have been under has surely taken a toll on my immune system. <BR> new caregiver for dad is supposed to arrive today--a bit nervous about it because the communication from the agency wasn't exactly what I was let to believe. they were supposed to call Friday but they didn't--finally my brother got some answers on th... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 06:53:18 EST friday--75 days and week seven hi everyone--well lets see--yesterday was day SEVENTY FIVE of my spark streak. and I started week seven of the 10K podrunner program. up to 4.5 miles now and my speed is increasing a little bit. I would like to get back up to a 12 minute mile again. first race is march 29th. there is supposed to be another polar vortex or something about that time, so I will have to bundle up well. then my first EVER 10 K race is april 19th. great way to spend the day before my 59th birthday. <BR> ha... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 07:09:56 EST thursday--another step and some God winks good morning everyone. well--yesterday my brother called the agency and got a caregiver lined up. she arrives Monday. this is an agency out of Chicago but they will send people to south bend. we were kind of mystified as to the process and a little bit nervous about doing this, but a couple things have happened that are helping us allay our fears. <BR> first off--the people (ladies) they employ don't generally drive--so Monday a man from the agency will drive her here from Chicago, along ... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 06:56:03 EST onward good morning all. well--we are moving onward in our quest to care for my dad. today I am going up there so I can accompany my mom to his dr. <BR> and we are looking into a home care agency out of Chicago--they represent eastern European caregivers who live in. the price is much lower than local places and this idea was suggested to me by the area agency on aging dementia case worker. she told me that her experience with these groups is through anecdotal evidence but based on the reports ... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:04:18 EST the nursing home disaster hi everyone--well--its about 10 days since my last blog. my dad was in a nursing home for exactly one week--he is back home now. I can't begin how to describe the experience except to say I am glad my dad is safe and happy now. why a facility would accept a dementia patient and then not help him transition to a new place except to correct and fuss at him whenever he made a mistake and went into the wrong room is a mystery to me. that's only the beginning. don't want to rant on about it--... Sun, 16 Mar 2014 19:13:22 EST wednesday--challenges hi all--well my dad is in the nursing home and my mom is still sleeping in the office/spare bedroom. the move went smoothly enough. i didn't get a call and my brother and mom came here and had lunch before my brother went on home. later that day mom and i went back to check on dad--and i saw my dad cry for the first time in my life. i guess he had cried at home a day or two before the move as well, and now he is mad, wants to die, thinks my mom abandoned him to run off and party (at 86 i ... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 07:08:35 EST tuesday lavender oil good morning everyone! thought I would write something today about lavender oil. people think its just a pretty smell, but there is a lot more than that to lavender. I got to thinking about this because last night when I couldn't sleep, I put a couple drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and slipped it into my pillow case. I drifted off to sleep soon after that. <BR> lavender oil has been in use since ancient roman times--the word lavender is derived from the latin "lavare" which means ... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 06:52:32 EST monday--ready for the big change good morning everyone! well--this is going to be a significant week here if all goes according to plan. Tuesday my dad is supposed to be moving into the nursing home near to us. my mom is then going to come and stay with us for awhile to help her work through this transition. I have her little bedroom set up in our office and logistically the house is as ready as I can make it. this is uncharted territory for us in many ways--first, the most obvious is simply the fact that this is happen... Mon, 3 Mar 2014 07:10:58 EST slate pics hi everyone--janet asked for some pics of the slates I am working on--here are some--the pics are kind of blurry but you get the idea. <BR> first--this is my worktable and the slate I am starting on. I use photos as reference esp. to help with the eye placement and the beak--two very critical things in making a bird look correct. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> this is a roof slate from a batch that Marianne gave me. the shape is different f... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 12:03:52 EST friday good morning everyone. well its Friday--time to regroup and get organized for next week. starting on my 4th slate--going to be a bluebird and dogwood blooms. I wish I were spending more time painting each day, but I am getting stuff accomplished, so I am happy with that. right now I am doing what I call "journeyman" painting--just getting things done so I have some new inventory in the little house when I open for the year. I do want to do 2 paintings for my mantle and they will be a big... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 07:00:58 EST Thursday--product review and other stuff good morning! well its snowing again. REALLY???????? <BR> not much--the roads should be fine when I head out--meeting a dear friend at the south bend farmer's market lunch counter today. south bend doesn't have a lot of surviving institutions, but the farmers market is still going strong after many many years. <BR> wrote a product review yesterday for my friend, Phyllis. she runs a wonderful kitchen store and she gave me an Oxo brand salad maker to review. here is a shot of it in actio... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 06:48:23 EST wednesday--scorched yogurt good morning everyone! did you know you can scorch yogurt? well, you can. I made a batch yesterday and scorched the milk. you can taste it in the yogurt, which we ate for breakfast anyway. I have one of those induction cooktops and I have tried using it the last two times when I made yogurt--but it seems to get too hot at the base and scorch the milk. so next batch will be back to the stovetop. we usually eat yogurt once or twice a week--this week the dogs will just get all of it and I... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 07:24:51 EST tuesday good morning everyone! Tuesday morning--and yogurt making is on the early agenda. <BR> had a lovely time yesterday with friends bobbi and Phyllis. after a frigid morning run (but I got out and ran at the park--YAY!!!) picked up Phyllis and we went on to bobbis. spent a little time there so bobbi could show Phyllis all her antique collections. Phyllis was an antique dealer for 15 years and she really enjoyed bobbi's extensive collections of lead figures, whistles, Scottish dolls, tartan... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 06:56:16 EST monday--gotta get an early start good morning everyone. well its 18 degrees out and I hope I can get my run in this morning. will need to bundle up cause I think the wind is blowing pretty hard too. <BR> I need to get there and back early because I am picking Phyllis up around 10:30 and we are going on to bobbi's house. from there, bobbi is taking us to a local place called fiddlers hearth where we will have lunch and meet with the owner. Phyllis owns a wonderful kitchen store and once a year she hosts a themed event. t... Mon, 24 Feb 2014 06:48:16 EST friday--woo hoo x two hi everyone--two woo hoos this morning--first--this is day FIFTY of my spark streak! I have logged on and tracked my food for fifty consecutive days! <BR> also got on the scale this morning--2 weeks since my last time--I had been stuck for 3 weeks. today I am about 2.5 pounds lower. very glad tidings--I needed the boost. it really is too bad that the scale looms so large over so many of us. I am doing much better in that respect, and it is a useful tool, but it falls so short of measurin... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 06:48:21 EST thursday good morning all--well it is pouring rain right now. I can only hope the water stays outside of our house--the barn is going to be submerged, I fear. all this snow, the frozen ground and now rain. well, the water table will be in good shape again, anyway. <BR> actually had kind of a quiet day yesterday. went to the park and finished week four in the 10 K rotation--loaded week 5 to my ipod thingy, and it looks like Friday I will be able to go run there again. getting tired of leslie and th... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:46:43 EST tuesday night or wed. morning hey spark folks--its some weird time of night and I can't sleep right now. a cup of sleepytime and a piece of toast and some quiet time on the puter. I just uploaded "walden" and will go and start reading it when I am done here. <BR> living room painting is done except for one detail and I am wrestling with the color choice. its the trim around the door. I think rob made the decision for me--and I should have just enough of that color paint left. really like it--very happy with the new v... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 01:00:06 EST tuesday-- snow aftermath good morning everyone! if its Tuesday it must be snowy. holy crap--we had an insane winter "storm-let" blow through yesterday. most of the day was fine--quiet and relatively warm. I made it to the park and completed the second of my 3 time rotation of week four in the 10K interval series. made phone calls about housing for my mom--there are some possibilities--need to make some more calls today. Debbie stopped by and we had a very nice visit, then after she left i worked on the living r... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 06:56:47 EST monday good morning everyone! hope you had a great weekend. we had a good one--rob got the face frame on the cabinet we are building--yet another slightly missed measurement meant he had some tweaking to do, and it looks a bit odd at the moment, but once the cabinet doors are on it will be fine. working some more on the living room paint and so far its looking very nice. planning to finish the largest wall today. it will be a lovely change for spring. <BR> the big news is that my parents deci... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 07:00:27 EST friday--GOING TO RUN AGAIN!!!! good morning everyone! well, its kind of cloudy but the temp is hovering right around 20 which means I am going to the park to run again today!!! <BR> normally I don't run 2 days in a row, but I am not going to let this tiny break in the weather go past without making use of it. later today my brother is bringing my folks down here to look at the nursing home that is close to me. my dad is back tracking on his decision to go a little bit--not sure how much--but my baby brother is coming to... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:04:10 EST thursday--the magic of the post it note good morning everyone! think its supposed to be at least a reasonable temp this morning so I am going to the park. really need some fresh air and sunshine. <BR> today is day 42 of my spark streak--I have logged on and tracked my food every day during this time, and my exercise too. the thing that helps me stay consistent is the little stack of post it notes I keep right beside the puter. each day I tear half of a post it and write the number of the day (42 today) and put it in a little pi... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 07:01:17 EST wednesday--tuesday was quite the day good morning everyone. gee--its below zero here--I really wish I weren't able to be sarcastic and say "what a shock". <BR> well--yesterday was a really up and down day--but overall a positive one. <BR> I woke with a migrane. despite that, I had a full day that had to see me functional and in control--so I did everything I could to relieve it. my friend Patrick was having a group of us for brunch and right after that I was going to go pick up my mom and take her to look at 2 nursing homes.... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 07:04:17 EST monday good morning everyone! its Monday and there is snow. at least its not falling right now. I am hoping it's not brutally cold so I can go to the park and run this morning. <BR> got paint for the living room yesterday and I have seeds to start today--so I am beginning the spring renewal now, regardless of what mother nature wants to do! <BR> have a lovely day! Mon, 10 Feb 2014 06:54:57 EST sunday morning--got me a new cookbook! hi everyone--well, its sunday morning and the road is once again covered with snow. I think rob is outside shoveling. to make it a little more bearable, the sun is shining with that raw, crisp winter light that catches on the facets in the snowflakes lying on the ground. my yard is dotted with brilliant flashes of diamond between the cold blue shadows. did you know that is why the shadows on snow are blue? they reflect the color of the sky, the same as a body of water does. I must confes... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 10:49:58 EST friday some interesting facts and other things. good morning all--hope you are having a great day. its below zero again here--supposed to be sunny today, so that's a plus. <BR> well its been3 weeks since my weight has budged--in fact today it was .2 higher than last time. not helpful--I really could have used a boost this morning. but I have been tracking faithfully and recently upped my kettlebells and added a short yoga routine two days a week, and I'm on week three of the gateway to 10 K series and that is all going well. so I hav... Fri, 7 Feb 2014 07:37:00 EST thursday good morning--a little sleepy this morning--was up a lot last night worrying about my folks. even though my dad has agreed to go into a nursing home, my mom is making things ever so much worse by talking to him incessantly about it. we have all told her to "shut up" in a polite way, and she acknowledges that she understands she needs to give it a rest--and then goes right on, all the while saying she isn't talking about it. I understand she is trying to process this difficult chapter in th... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 07:12:02 EST wednesday--yes--MORE snow. good morning everyone! yes--its snowing again. yesterday someone told me our snow totals are now about the same as the blizzard of 78--which was a legendary one. its true we got that snowfall in one or two days--but the impact is the same. snow EVERYWHERE. <BR> rob is working from home today. there are a lot of cars going by right now--but the wind is picking up--so all these people that are going to wherever are going to have a heack of a time later in the day. there is a travel ban in... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 07:42:03 EST tuesday--planting time is near!! good morning everyone--getting ready here for spring--yesterday I finished cleaning out my plant room: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> the last thing I do is spray it all down with bleach water and close the door. today I will get some seedling containers washed and ready to go. I save strawberry and tomato containers--they are deep, have a lid and drainage holes already in them so they work well. <BR> yesterday I went driving around and got a b... Tue, 4 Feb 2014 07:00:03 EST monday--all kinds of stuff good morning everyone--hope you are having a great Monday. we are going to have lots of sunshine despite the cold--and another snow event scheduled for Tuesday. <BR> yesterday ended up much warmer than predicted so the roads were good. we headed out in the morning to get stocked up (MORE FRUIT!!!!!!!!!). hit the grocery store, the farm store where we each got a pair of boots on sale, the menards for paint and a few other things, and then to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. they have a re... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 06:49:21 EST saturday--good choices hi folks--well guess what--its Saturday and we are having a snowstorm--what a surprise. but its warmer outside (not far south they are getting freezing rain and sleet) so the bird feeders are filled and the henhouse is cleaned out. the road is a complete mess, so we are hunkering down in the house--I imagine we will work on the cabinets some today--maybe we can get that job closer to completion! <BR> so Thursday I went a little over my calories--nothing much. but Friday I implemented wha... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 09:39:26 EST friday--MORE snow? who thought this was a good idea???? good morning everyone! we are hunkering down awaiting the next snowfall--supposed to begin this afternoon and dump 4 to 7 before its done. I'm beginning to wonder if its time to consider learning to snowshoe or cross country ski. I'm not averse to either, but our winters are so inconsistent of late it seems silly to invest in the gear. oh well--shoveling is good exercise too, as long as you don't overdo it. <BR> on a happy note--today is day THIRTY of my new spark streak--I have logged o... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 06:40:14 EST thursday--finally made it out on the roads! hi folks--well yesterday was a banner day--rob drove into work and I drove into town. he called when he got in to say that the roads were okay--not great but driveable. so after I did my morning exercise I got dressed and headed out. went to the grocery store and loaded up. it's funny--I got in there and couldn't get enough fresh fruit and veggies in my cart. for some reason being cooped up and eating out of our pantry for so many days had put my fruit cravings on high alert. it was actu... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 07:13:20 EST wednesday can a thaw be coming???? good morning! well this morning its minus 3 outside--a vast improvement over yesterday. we spent a quiet Tuesday at home--rob has his computer set up--I suspect he will work from home until its full light and then see what kind of shape the roads are in. the traffic that is going by seems to be travelling too fast for the amount of ice I saw yesterday when I went out to get the mail. hopefully by day's end the temps will rise to the point where they can salt and we will get the pavement ... Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:12:56 EST tuesday deep freeze hi everybody--its Tuesday evening and we are in the deep freeze. I think the high today was one below zero. there was a travel ban in effect until noon, but there still aren't many cars on the road. the road alternates between dry pavement where the plows have scraped, and solid ice. not fun. <BR> rob worked from home and we stayed indoors all day. I finished the cottage cheese and made a batch of yogurt. tonight I am going to put a batch of baked oatmeal in the oven. I worked on paint... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:03:44 EST monday--another cold one! good morning everyone--its 5 lovely degrees here right now--and the mercury is headed for the basement (again). looks like I am going to treadmill in the basement. I really want to go to the park, but even for me-5 degrees and 40 mph wind gusts is too much to take. <BR> yesterday we continued our adventure into the world of cabinetmaking. <BR> my DH is a software engineer, but he is also a pretty fearless home improver. he will tackle almost any job that doesn't involve heights, and even if... Mon, 27 Jan 2014 07:43:32 EST saturday hi folks--not sure what happened to yesterday--I think the snow covered it up! we are having one whale of a winter here. the cold temps are really making a mess of the roads, we have had several weather advisories the last couple weeks telling people to stay off the roads. a couple counties were actually ticketing people on a couple nights. and we made the national news recently (not in a good way) with a huge pileup on an interstate just outside the town right next to us--three people di... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 09:24:16 EST thursday--we had FUN hi everyone--cindy and I had such a nice time yesterday! and I came home with some treasures. we left about 11 oclock and it was bitter cold and snowing lightly. got to the antique mall and browsed to our heart's content. its a great place with a really nice mix of antiques and giftware. we were sad to find the lovely café inside was closed--the owner had become ill and had to quit for health reasons. best wishes and prayers to her for a speedy recovery. but we shopped and visited. ci... Thu, 23 Jan 2014 07:02:21 EST wednesday--FUN day! good morning everybody. we missed the snow but not the cold. the winds took all the lake effect to Chicago and northwest Indiana--think they really got pounded--here it was sunny and lovely all day--nyaa nyaa! <BR> FUN day today--my friend cindy and I have been trying to connect for quite awhile--cindy and her DH Dwayne built our new master bedroom and we have all been fast friends ever since. cindy comes in the summer when she has time and weeds for me and I sell her beautiful glass garde... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 06:57:41 EST