DONNABRIGHT's SparkPeople Blog DONNABRIGHT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Wednesday's blog Here I am again with the day almost over and finally getting to do my Spark stuff. I did get groceries today and I feel so much better to be restocked with fresh produce. I also made an awesome veggie soup as I depleted the freezer supply several days ago. We had some haddock for lunch that was really good and will do soup and salad for supper. Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:00:55 EST Tuesday 11/15/2016 I've had a busy day and finally getting a chance to Spark. I started off with a 30 minute bike ride followed by a weekly appointment, a visit to town hall with DH to apply for homestead exemption on the new house, met my friend for lunch (salad with dressing on the side - I'm so proud because I really wanted a grilled cheese with bacon!) and then we stopped at an antiques store and I found the cutest little side table. It is round but the sides fold down to make a triangle. If I can figure... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 14:28:01 EST Not sure I used to blog everyday and I always appreciated the feedback from other members that helped to keep me on track. I'm not sure why I stopped or if I just ran out of things to say. <BR> <BR> My last title was about my BP being out of control and I am happy to say that it is well under control and has been for over a year and a half (time flies!). <BR> <BR> We've sold our big home in Florida and our cabin in the mountains (sigh) and bought a smaller home in an active 55+ community. So far s... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 11:19:36 EST Yikes - already behind! As part of a challenge I'm supposed to blog every day this week starting yesterday so this will have to count for two days. I'll try to do better tomorrow! And that is the story of my life. Sun, 13 Nov 2016 21:54:21 EST Finally.... For a couple of weeks I have had some seriously high BP readings but after two visits and one more phone call to the doctor we seem to have found the plan that is working for me. New meds on Friday and an increase of an old med and readings dropped some on Saturday and even more today. I am hoping the trend continues and I level off tomorrow. I am to continue monitoring and see the doctor in a month if all is well. <BR> <BR> We leave on our trip to Europe on Wednesday and for part of the... Sun, 12 Jul 2015 16:12:44 EST Struggling with BP My BP has been under control for years but last week I learned it has been a little higher than normal and I feel frustrated. I'm losing weight, exercising and eating right so why did it decide to do this now? <BR> <BR> I'm heading back to the doctor's today in hopes of a solution as I don't want to worry about it when we leave for Europe on July 15th. <BR> <BR> Tue, 7 Jul 2015 09:43:44 EST Have I finally learned my lesson??? I had to go to the doctor this past week for a sinus infection and was very surprised to see my BP was high. I do take medication but it has been under control for a long time. I remembered and confessed up that the day before I had eaten potato chips with my DGD and looking back I'm sure I had more than my share. The salt and the fat had to be a contributing factor. I have been very careful the rest of the week tracking my food and taking my BP a couple of times a day. Today I was down ... Sat, 4 Jul 2015 10:45:19 EST Cool morning... This morning we woke up to temps of 59/F - hooray! BUT it is the day we will be leaving the cabin to head back to Florida. We can look forward to coming back in a month or so. <BR> <BR> I'll do my best on exercise today and am aiming for 60 minutes. I'll definitely need to do something active when we get there after sitting in the car all day. Sun, 28 Jun 2015 05:50:00 EST Too hot for anything The heat wave has come to the mountains this week. We have seen temps in the 90's and we don't see it that hot very often. Fortunately it is only that hot for a couple of hours and then the temp goes down some. I watched an old movie today and walked with Leslie and then I read while I rode my stationary bike. The bike was moved inside this week so I could enjoy the air conditioning while I ride. Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:51:39 EST Aiming for consistency I am again trying to blog more often as the feedback helps to me on track. I did a long walk this morning and later will take DH out to lunch for father's day. Sun, 21 Jun 2015 09:37:34 EST Cloudy Saturday Another cloudy day in the mountains. I walked this morning with Leslie so I have an hour of exercise in already and will try the stationary bike later. I'm thinking of making some mac and cheese today. I have some left over chicken we can finish up and some fresh summer squash. Our local farmer's market picks the squash when it is small and it is so tender and flavorful. They sell a basket of it for $4. which gives us about 14-20 pieces of yummy deliciousness! We get several meals and I... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 10:11:29 EST Summer has come to the mountains It has been really warm here this week. The good part is that it starts to cool off about 3 p.m. and the humidity is very low. I can still be out on the back deck most of the morning and late in the afternoon. I like to ride my bike there as it feels like I am riding through the trees plus the scenery is awesome. I may get a deer or two meandering by. It should be back to more tolerable temps next week. In the meantime we run errands in the morning and hibernate in the afternoons to sta... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 09:34:21 EST Getting ready... We're having company next week. It always makes me feel so excited! One of the things on the "to do" list is to get rid of all (or most!) of the cobwebs. Living in the wooded mountains it is a constant job. DH sprays the house inside and out twice a year and that helps tremendously but some of them still get in and spin their webs. We have to pull furniture away from the walls and run the vacuum up and down all corners and along the ceilings. They love the fans and overhead lights! <B... Sat, 30 May 2015 10:47:32 EST Rainy days in the mountains... We've had some heavy rain off and on for the last few days. It does not deter me from exercise. Here at the cabin I have two flights of stairs and that in itself can be a workout - 10 minutes up and down definitely gets the heart rate up. I also love old movies so I put one on and walk with "Leslie" while I watch. This morning's walk was 81 minutes followed by some stretching. Next up is a trip to the local thrift store and this afternoon we'll be pulling out the sofa and cleaning all th... Wed, 27 May 2015 09:52:41 EST Feeling very blessed... My daughter received a grant for an art history class in Rome! Over the last few months we have talked about how we could work out bringing her DD (our DGD) to Rome. Yesterday we booked the flights and then we booked a 14 day cruise from Venice visiting several countries in the Mediterranean, a couple of the Greek islands and a stop in Istanbul. We will join her in Rome several days before her course ends so that we can see some of that beautiful city and then a couple more days on the end... Wed, 13 May 2015 15:26:08 EST Cabin time Yesterday we did the 9 hour drive to the cabin. It is always a pleasure to be here until we begin to unload the car and have to bring all those things up at least one full flight of stairs. If it is something we need upstairs that means another set of stairs. <BR> <BR> Our driveway is quite steep going down so we go in through the basement/garage and up to the main level. There are two bedrooms and a bath on the upper level. <BR> I choose to think of it as unexpected exercise! <BR> <... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:36:26 EST My red blouse..... I have had a beautiful red blouse for a couple of years. I bought it one year after Christmas on sale and I wore it once or twice but somehow (who knows why???) it got a little snug so it got shoved to the back of the closet. This morning while getting dressed for church I tried it on and it is a little too big! I was so excited I wore it anyway. That just made my day. <BR> <BR> After church we met our son for breakfast and that was fun. He even offered to pay! Children do grow up fi... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 11:31:27 EST Still looking We found one condo that we like but the owners were there and she was in bed after some surgery and he would not stop talking so it was hard to look around. We may go back and take another look if we decide we are interested. <BR> <BR> We are now looking in to what is available near where our daughter lives. It would be easy to get on the turnpike from there so that is a plus. Thu, 26 Mar 2015 07:45:37 EST Condo shopping again... Today we are looking at a few more condos in our designated area. Condos are still fairly reasonable in this area and we lived not far from there for almost 20 years so we are comfortable there. This would allow us to spend most of the year at our cabin in the mountains but still maintain an inexpensive home in Florida which we consider "home". Eventually we'll get back to one home - we just don't know where it will be yet. Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:50:43 EST Can't stop counting..... I keep thinking I will blog routinely because the feedback is so helpful but then I get busy and don't take the time to put a few thoughts together. <BR> <BR> My blood sugar had been really good so what do I do - start getting sloppy with eating again. This morning I was up to 111 and I don't want to be there anymore so I'm back in control and counting the carbs the way I am supposed to do. Sun, 22 Mar 2015 11:41:00 EST Don't stop now...... I finished a 5% challenge on Saturday and I tend to look at the interim time before the next challenge begins as time off. I do not want to do this. I'm making progress again and I want to keep the momentum going. <BR> <BR> With that in mind my current goals are to: <BR> <BR> Track food daily <BR> Exercise at least 120 minutes 5 days a week Mon, 9 Mar 2015 10:45:10 EST Making progress I have been participating in an 8 week challenge to lose 5% of my weight. I have done this challenge multiple times over the past few years and each time I learn something and make some progress. I started this one off with a vengeance determined to make my goal of loosing 5%. I had 3 pounds to go from last weeks weigh in so I don't think I will make my goal but I did make progress. My carbs are way down and being spaced evenly throughout the day to keep my blood sugar steady and I felt go... Thu, 5 Mar 2015 13:17:37 EST Feeling the chill It is 52/F in central Florida. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing and it feels cold! I know I have no right to say that with what is happening in the rest of the country but it is all relative to what you are used to experiencing. <BR> <BR> The inside temperature of the house is 62/F. We try not to turn on the heat. Why, you ask? I don't know - it has become a test of wills. Us against the weather. DH decided many years ago he liked to say we don't use our heat no matter how... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:10:01 EST Never should have done that! I have no idea what I was thinking but this morning I stepped on the scale. I try so hard NOT to do that except on Saturday morning. I was up a pound from my Saturday weigh-in! Needless to say that was annoying. I am telling myself to block it out and that it does not count because I was not supposed to do it. We have lots of stuff scheduled for today so I am going to get to it and not let that scale ruin my day as I KNOW I will show a loss again on Saturday. <BR> <BR> <em>521</em> Tue, 3 Feb 2015 07:23:55 EST Week 2 - sticking to the list Saturday started the 2nd week of the current 5% challenge and I am still feeling very motivated. Meals are being planned and tracked early in the morning so there is no question about what can be consumed. <BR> <BR> We are working on cleaning out the freezer so the only thing that gets replaced these days is produce. I am trying to get most of it at a farmer's market so we are not tempted by another else. <BR> <BR> I have to go to the supermarket later today or tomorrow to get some st... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:51:28 EST Sunny Saturday It was sooooooooo nice to see the sun this morning. We've had several dreary days in central Florida. So wonderful to be out walking and feel the sunshine and a little breeze. January is why we choose to live in Florida! <BR> <BR> I'm down about 1.5 lbs. on the first week of the 5% challenge. I am praying I can keep this amount of loss each week. Sat, 17 Jan 2015 11:19:32 EST Remember Jell-o? As a general rule Jello does not come to my mind. I was never crazy about it as a kid and I never developed much of a taste for it as an adult. I used to make it when the kids were young and a couple of times we even made it in a baking pan so they could cut it into fun shapes. <BR> <BR> My DH mentioned a week or so ago that some Jello would taste good. I bought the sugar free kind that is only 10 calories per serving and we are really enjoying it for our night time snack. So far we ha... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 07:57:01 EST Splurging at Vero This afternoon we are heading over to Vero Beach to have dinner and spend the night. We used to go there often for long weekends and had a favorite motel on the beach. Tonight we will be having dinner at the Ocean Grill - one of our very favorite places to eat and we are both planning on having fish. I know we will probably eat more than usual tonight but we have both planned our food for the day carefully and will still be in range for the day. If we splurge on dessert we'll adjust over ... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 12:56:44 EST On the road again.... Yesterday we decided to take a ride and check on the cabin in the mountains. We were happy to find all was well after some really cold weather there and lots of rain! Today we are heading back south and making a couple of stops along the way to check out places we might be interested in living. We've been in our current home for over 20 years and are thinking of going smaller. <BR> <BR> I'm happy to report that with DH watching his weight it is SO much easier to stay on track. We'll hav... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 06:18:25 EST Waving good-by to 2014 It seems impossible that the year is fading away and we have a new one charging in quickly. It was a year of joys, frustrations, challenges and surprises but aren't they all? <BR> <BR> Happy New Year! <BR> <BR> <em>410</em> <em>408</em> <em>409</em> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 08:12:46 EST Surviving jury duty The jury selection process is frustrating, time consuming and inefficient to me. The #1 issue for me is the drive to get there -about 45-60 in good circumstances. Add VERY heavy fog and it becomes 80-90 minutes. Over 300 people are in a room and asked not to move for several hours. I felt like I was in an airline seat. After basic instructions jurors are divided by judge but you still have to sit there until everyone is assigned. Now you can have a break - so we have 300 hundred people ... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:29:52 EST December 13 ????????? Here we are half way through December and I'm not nearly ready for Christmas to come in less than two weeks. <BR> <BR> To start with I have jury duty on Monday. I think my part of the county is about as far away as you can get from the courthouse so I will be leaving home about 6:45 a.m. to get there in time, find a parking spot (the jury lot is usually full when I get there), go through security and get to the jury room by 8:05 a.m. I have done this 5 or 6 times in the last ten years. ... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 07:53:57 EST The sun at last Yesterday we had lots and lots of rain in central Florida which we truly needed. The temperature stayed in the 50's and it was windy and cold. I know, I know, half the country is laughing that we don't know what cold is. I should say cold for us! <BR> <BR> This morning is 48/F but clear and the sun is coming up! <BR> <BR> Today I am thankful for all the rain yesterday and for the sun today. Happy Thanksgiving! <BR> <em>471</em> Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:12:17 EST Some nights are like that.... I usually go to bed and go right to sleep but every now and then I have one of those nights that I do not sleep well. I went right to sleep but woke up about 3 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. I stayed in bed until about 6 and had a headache when I got up. I finally made myself walk for about 45 minutes and I felt better but still not up to my usual energetic self. I am going to walk again after lunch and see if that will motivate me. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:25:06 EST Cooking day Yesterday we went to Sam's to stock up as we came home from the cabin to an empty freezer. $200. later and a day of prep and cooking resulted in about a half full freezer. We have pork for about 10 meals, 6 ground beef patties, 2 pkgs. of 3/4 lb. ground beef (that will be combined with ground pork/turkey/veal) for future meal loafs or shepherd's pie. 6 weeks worth of deli ham plus 4 meals, 6 meals of grilled chicken breasts, the crock pot is full of pot roast which will result in 3-4 meal... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:30:28 EST Heading home It is always a little sad when we have to pack up the cabin and head back to Florida. The leaves are awesome colors and are flying off the trees these days. Just enough wind to make them come down. Our little town is in the middle of its yearly Apple Festival (U-pick, hayrides, corn mazes, arts and craft shows) and Scarecrow Invasion (mostly everyone puts up a scarecrow - especially the downtown area) so it is fun to be here with all the goings on. <BR> <BR> Our DGD's 16th birthday is thi... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:27:04 EST The Wal-Mart Walk Another morning of heavy thunderstorms so today I opted for walking at Wal-Mart. I put my sneakers on and I go up and down every aisle at the fastest pace I can do. If I see someone in the aisle and it is too narrow to pass I go to the next aisle and circle around so I can keep the momentum going. Definitely have to go early before it gets too busy but that is OK with me. I got a good 45 minutes in and then another 30 at a slower pace as I picked up my groceries. I'll do some biking on t... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 15:15:16 EST Rainy days in the mountains I'm always surprised at how much time goes by between blogs. When I do blog I appreciate the feedback and support that comes my way so I know I should do it more often. <BR> <BR> This morning we had really heavy thunderstorms so I put a movie on and did Leslie type walking. Next up was a bike ride on the deck - grateful it is a covered deck! <BR> <BR> We had an awesome short trip last week. We drove up to TN and took a boat ride on The Lost Sea - a lake 140 feet down into a cave! Then ... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 10:08:40 EST Mountain memories We are enjoying being at our cabin in north GA for a few weeks. The air is cool, the humidity is low and the deer are all over the yard. We love watching them. They are white tail deer and their fur is starting to darken up as it does as the weather gets cooler. It must get denser to keep them warm. The males are growing their antlers back and the babies have lost their spots. <BR> <BR> As for me the cooler weather gives me more energy which makes me more active so that is a good thin... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:38:25 EST September 8 We've been back in Florida for about ten days and we are getting antsy to go back to the cabin. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and then I see my PCP on Wednesday. DH has the dermatologist tomorrow and then we just have to wait for his new glasses to be ready. <BR> <BR> Evidently it rained lots while we were gone and we continue to have afternoon thunderstorms so everything is growing like crazy. There were weeds everywhere even though our neighbor had sprayed them again for us (awe... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 09:39:16 EST Walking in the Dark We drove back to Florida yesterday leaving our little mountain cabin all alone with the deer. We are here for a few weeks for some routine appointments and then hope to head back to enjoy Fall and feel cool weather. <BR> <BR> This morning when I got up it was 76/F compared to the awesome 59/F when we left yesterday morning so I went out to walk before the sun was up as I would have a hard time talking myself into going after the temperature continued to rise. By 7:45 I had walked for 45 m... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:25:45 EST August 24 This month has just slipped by in a wonderful haze of walks up the mountain and down by the river, reading, crosswords and enjoying the deer off the back deck. There have been a few old movies throw in there and lots of rides on the stationary bike out on the cabin. We head back to FL on Thursday for about 3 weeks for some routine appointments and hope to be back at the cabin by the middle of September and stay though at least October maybe some of November. Sun, 24 Aug 2014 11:54:01 EST Tomorrow's plan In the morning (after my bike ride, of course) I'm going out to a few local yard sales. Our little down town has a farmer's market on Saturday mornings and I will also go there to stock up before going out to the orchard for more peaches. You never know what will be available at the farmer's market. last week I got some yummy yellow tomatoes but I got there late and most of the vendors were closing up so I plan on being earlier tomorrow! Fri, 1 Aug 2014 19:28:25 EST Enjoying the challenge I find if I start the day with exercise I have more energy and can accomplish a great deal more than if I miss it and plan to do it later. Today I started the day with the stationary bike: one session of 24 minutes and another for 14 minutes. We needed to do some errands and I took advantage of the air conditioned super market and walked 20 minutes before I got my groceries. After lunch there was a show on Netflix I wanted to watch but I still needed more exercise time. OK, I can multi t... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:45:37 EST Travels on the Road We got back on Wednesday from a trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls. We met our DD and DGD there (they flew and we drove). From the cabin it looked like about a 12 hour drive so we thought an easy two days. Wrong - the first day we lost 3 hours sitting in traffic due to an accident so that made the 2nd days drive really long. On the way home we couldn't leave until we dropped the girls off at the Toronto airport for a 4 p.m. flight so we only drove 3 hours that day, 8 hours the next and 2 1... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:26:37 EST Mountain musings We've been at the cabin for about 10 days now and have gotten the cobwebs mostly under control. When you are nestled in the trees there is not much you can do to keep them out altogether so we settle for under control. We have not tackled the basement yet but that is for another day. <BR> <BR> Today we weed whacked, raked leaves about 6 inches thick and trimmed some shrubs. That took care of the back that is accessible - the rest is too steep. We got the leaves off the walk and tomorro... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 14:49:42 EST Remembering the reasons.... <em>232</em> <em>283</em> <em>195</em> <BR> <BR> This morning I drove down to a local park by the river. Part of the area is maintained as a veterans memorial. This morning there were three veterans there with a table set up selling T-shirts and caps to raise money for the bricks that list the names of veterans. I stopped to talk to them and was rewarded by meeting three wonderful people. I did not have any money with me as I had left my wallet in the car but I took the paperwo... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 14:45:30 EST Time marches on Almost a month since my last blog. I know I should blog as I miss the feedback from my spark friends and they help me to stay on track. <BR> <BR> We finally made it to the mountains yesterday and are happy to be here. We have a few small projects to do and have several short trips planned. We mostly need to relax after a very stressful winter and spring. <BR> <BR> We went to the local orchard/farmers market yesterday and I was in heaven. Something about the soil here makes the veggies a... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 14:48:41 EST I know I need to just do it! I've not been tracking food very well these past few weeks. My excuse is too much chaos in my life but that is all it is - just an excuse. I only lose weight when I track so I know how important it is to me. Everything for today is planned and tracked. I have almost all my exercise done for the day. One more 20 minute session will bring me to 120 minutes for the day and I usually do that just before supper. <BR> <BR> I WILL track tomorrow, too! Fri, 30 May 2014 13:00:59 EST Counting down to cabin time Summer is in full swing here in central Florida. I find myself going out for my morning walk earlier. We're trying to finish up some family obligations in the next couple of weeks so that we can head up to our little cabin in the mountains and enjoy the rest of the season there. While it can still get hot the humidity is way less than here and the heat of the day does not last so long. Plus we have lots of shade that makes a huge difference. Thu, 29 May 2014 08:23:49 EST