FIFIFRIZZLE's SparkPeople Blog FIFIFRIZZLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Packing for our summer holiday The house is in disarray because we are packing for our trip and we are taking everything. In the meantime, everything is spread out in various places but by the end of the day it will be stowed in the car. <BR> I don't know what possessed me but we invited friends to join us for dinner tonight, it will be simple takeout from our local Malaysian place, followed by fruit. <BR> The neighbors will be taking care of the chickens, lawn guy will keep the lawns under control, and I have told friends... Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:36:21 EST And the band played on Today was hot, Sparkies, hot and mostly still. Searing in the sun, where I sat with my niece eating a Mille Fieulle, her birthday treat for me. Still hot while I watered the wildflower meadow I have just sown. Hot when the brass band playing Christmas songs worked up and down the valley. <BR> Warm when DH & I sat outside drinking champagne, as he BBQd fish for me for my B'day dinner. <BR> Now my new Fitbit Charge is charged, and I am a year older all at once. <BR> My last year in my fifties. Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:34:02 EST Fasting today... I am doing the fast diet and after breakfast I decided to make today a fast day. So my fast day is 24 hours from 11 til 11 tomorrow morning. Not starving, just having 500 calories in those 24 hours. I find it fun to do this, at least when I have a big breakfast under my belt! <BR> I made a chicken salad for dinner and if I get peckish I will have an early night. <BR> <BR> I have just one more day at work, on Wednesday. And it is a half day because we are having our team Christmas celebratio... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 01:08:15 EST Sleep injury Don't ask me how I did it, I hurt my ankle somehow. Fine when I went to bed, and when I got up in the night, but then, nek minnit, sore ankle! So sore that I had trouble getting down my steps. And along the road. And to work. And back up the steps. I have absolutely no recollection of hurting it. And no, it cannot have involved any, uh... Bedroom action. <BR> A mystery... <BR> <BR> I've been busy and I am tired and stressed. But the other day I had the jolliest dinner party with old friends... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:52:19 EST Fast Exercise HIT HIT is High Intensity Training. There are some good articles on it here on Sparkpeople, check them out. <BR> I got a session in yesterday morning before work. I did three sets of one minute running in the pool. It was harder than I expected, after the first session where the recovery took not too long, I felt the effort. <BR> It made my exercise session more fun in a way. I spent just less than an hour, still did my usual strength training and all my stretches. <BR> I knew about HIT but I've ... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:39:22 EST Giving myself credit Nightshift so I started late. Plan was to exercise at the beginning of the day but I ran out of time. Spent the whole day sitting down because the afternoon was spent at a conference. Interesting but by the time I finished the last thing I wanted to do was spend three more hours sitting down. <BR> Went home and met DH on the steps. <BR> I nearly stopped for Fish and Chips on the way home, I said. Me too, said DH. We could get some now, said I. We could, said DH. But we won't said I. No? Said... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 03:49:26 EST Traditional Saturday We had a guest coming for coffee and the house was a mess, so I skipped morning exercise to clean it up. Normally I do my housework on Mondays while DH is at work. <BR> So Saturday was a little like my childhood Saturdays when my sister, mother and I spent the morning cleaning house. Each of us girls had to strip and make our beds, clean our bedrooms and one other room. My sister took the living room and I did the bathroom & toilet. My mother did everything else, laundry took a while in those... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 11:33:44 EST How is that working for me? It's a powerful question, isn't it? I sometimes ask it of others who tell me they are doing something they're not happy about. <BR> <BR> Well, Sparkies, i've been awake since just before 3am and it,s all my own fault. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a big day at work, I worked from 8 am through til 6.15 with two breaks, on etwenty minute breaks, one ten, and today will be similar. <BR> <BR> I didn't then go straight to the pool for a swim, which is my schedule for after work Wednesdays and Thursda... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 09:55:05 EST Upping the exercise And have hurt my foot. I don't recall doing it, but for the last nearly week my left foot has been gypping me. I got DH to look at it tonight, and he says it is all bruised along one side. <BR> I guess if the bruising is visible, it is close to being gone. And it's a relief to know it is just a bruise not some internal structural niggle. <BR> <BR> So I swam today instead of Zumba. I wanted to do two Zumba sessions this week but might just have to hold off until next week. Wanting to up my l... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:44:58 EST Plan B. Report on fasting day Well, that was different. I have done a lot of 500 calorie days over the last year or so and they have worked very well for me. But this felt really different, and I enjoyed it. <BR> My low cal days before were weeks with restricted foods, and I found them easy to do. Until I didn't. But this Fast Diet day really mixed things up and DH & I really liked it. <BR> <BR> The noticeable difference was that tomorrow I could eat whatever I wanted. I could feel little girl Fif go, OK, when I said '... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:10:59 EST Plan B, the Fast Diet In the event yesterday did not make it to the work do, I had to work instead. <BR> Not to worry, DH & I went to a favorite place and had some yummy plates. No dessert though. This morning all set to go for a swim but the pool is in use for a swim meet. <BR> I suggested the other pool as plan B but DH didn't want to, so we went out for breakfast instead. Then did a heap of Christmas shopping, which is a great feeling. Picked up some cocoa husks for my chickens, and put it in their nesting boxe... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:50:10 EST This time of year Our end of work celebration is scheduled today, they took a chance and decided on an outdoor BBQ but I don't think the weather will be kind today. The default is next week. <BR> <BR> I have been worried about going away, how my chickens will cope, but I have made arrangements for their care so that is a load off my mind. <BR> <BR> We are hosting a Christmas celebration in our shared holiday home, with the family, including children. I have been fretting about this but now I am putting that ... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:26 EST Thank you my dear SparkBuddies What kind and sweet messages you have sent me, SparkBuddies, on the death of my dear little cat Edie. And such thoughtful spark gifts. <BR> <BR> It really makes a difference to know that you understand and care. <BR> <BR> Feeling much better after a day at work, it was a warm sunny day, at least when I went out for a big walk at lunch time. And life goes on. It's for living. And we mustn't waste it. <BR> <BR> Have a great day, dear Sparkfriends. <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <BR> Fifi Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:18:34 EST Back on track but still a joy germ Hey there Sparkers <BR> It's been a tough week or so and I took some time to sit with the things that have been going on. Didn't exercise except in the garden, but the last couple of days I have been swimming and that has helped me regroup and get back on track. <BR> Charlotte the new old chook is making great progress, she is laying now and is clearly better oriented and interested in mixing with the other chickens. <BR> I'm off to work today, it's a windy cool day because spring is like tha... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:28:50 EST RIP Edie Our dear little cat Edith is no more. <BR> <BR> She was a lively happy and opinionated cat who enjoyed bossing us around. She had a lot of fun in her life. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> She enjoyed playing until the very last, and doing all the things that cats love to do. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Bye bye, dear Miss E <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 8 Nov 2014 22:05:26 EST The eggs Thought I'd better get a picture before we eat them. <BR> Tallulah, who lays the green eggs, is going broody so this might be the last one for a while. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The other eggs are laid by Dora, Riga, Henny Penny (the really big one) Artemis, and Riga. Charlotte, the one who is having a hard time, hasn't laid for a while. Henrietta doesn't lay, and the other pullet didn't lay today. The two from Riga are from a secret cache ... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 02:24:30 EST Slept like a log Got over six hours which is unusual for me. Even though the gardening is persistent, it doesn't feel like effort, so I haven't been tracking it. Or using my fitbit, I find wearing a bracelet tends to give me tingling in my wrist, and we don't want that! But when it is enough to tucker me out, I know I have had a good day. <BR> It's cool and rainy today, perfect for my just planted plants. And to be at work in. Though I find myself thinking, what I could accomplish if I didn't have to go to ... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 12:24:06 EST Four garden days Am I tired! I didn't do a full day in the garden because I had a couple of visitors. But got up early to beat the rain-which hasnt arrived yet-and got more done, planted some plants, filled a fadge up with weeds and twigs. So got four hours in. <BR> Then my niece came to visit, then a friend dropped by. After which prepped my vegetables and meat for the next week, cleaned up and sat down feeling rather tired. Even had a little snooze. <BR> Feel better now. But glad to be going to work for a b... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 02:22:45 EST Bonus blog more chick pix Am I tired after 3 days in a row in the garden. <BR> I am being very lax about other exercise but the gardening is wearing me out. <BR> Oooh my back! Maybe a bath for me tonight. With Epsom salts. <BR> <BR> The clematis is out, it smells wonderful <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Spent day in the garden and got lots weeded. Still need to put some more plants in the ground. and there are more weeds. I'll get it done, I just need to stick with... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 01:35:00 EST Chick Pix OK it's a lovely day today so I might get more. But actually I am on a mission in the garden. So in the meantime... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The newbies are learning how to use the chookateria. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here is Oriental Bay from the other day when we took a walk on the way home from work. They had just groomed the beach, hence the track marks. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 18:58:57 EST Garden car movies Despite spending seven hours in the garden I only planted six bedding plants, but I did a lot of weeding and turned the compost. <BR> The chickens are very interested in these activities, and I have to fight them for the compost or they would eat all the worms before you could say Boo. <BR> We had a short break in the day during which we went to look at a car DH was interested in purchasing. It is a people mover and it is a very long time since I had a car that is taller than me. This will b... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 01:54:56 EST Busy and tired Work has been a mad house. We are two people down in our team and the work has been pouring in! Yesterday I was just tired working away, my hands were sore and I could hardly see when I stepped away from the screen. <BR> Far too sore to swim the last two days but last night DH and I stopped by the harbor and had a walk in the evening sun. It was great to stretch my legs and arms and feel my body relax. <BR> One of the consequences of being in lockdown is it takes a long time now to exit the ... Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:23:59 EST Cauliflower rice by request You can do this with a grater or food processor. Chop the florets off the core of a cauliflower and discard the core or use it for soup. Grate or process the cauliflower until it is in rice sized grains. <BR> At this point you can freeze some of it. I keep it in my fridge along with other prepped vegetables to use for the week. <BR> Cauliflower rice does not absorb moisture and if you steam or microwave it, it will be moist itself, so it is best to dry fry it. I spray a non stick pan with oil... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 16:19:41 EST Rain Its raining today though forecast to clear and then get rather cold. This will be a challenge for my newbie chickens, who have no experience of rain except for a heavy shower yesterday. And they have been in a temperature controlled environment. <BR> Looks like we will be eating inside tonight... <BR> I think it will be Thai fish cakes with cauliflower rice and stirfried vegetables. <BR> No chick pix until we have a sunny spell. <BR> Have a great day Sparkies! Sun, 26 Oct 2014 14:40:17 EST Holiday weekend Today I gardened the whole day long. It was a great day for it, warm but not too hot, and cloudy for the most part. DH did some chicken stuff for us, fixing up a feeder. I need a variety of feeders because I have to encourage the girls to eat pellets instead of mash, and there is a certain amount of waste at the moment. The newbies are getting bold, one followed me down to the lower terrace and explored. <BR> Then we went to dinner and a movie -A Most Wanted Man- leaving the chickens to put ... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 06:07:34 EST In lockdown Long days at the moment getting up at dawn to let the chickens out, then sitting with them in the evening to be sure the newbies have each eaten enough. And work is in full swing, with the MPs back in their house too. It is busy and buzzy. <BR> Concerning too with the events in Ottawa. Parliaments all over the world have shivered and we have gone into lockdown, which means that we cannot readily come and go as we please. <BR> Sparkies it reminds me of the measures we took after 9/11. It's u... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:56:41 EST Bedtime for chickens My work week begins and I need to accommodate extra time for the new chickens. <BR> They are so sweet I am enjoying them a lot. <BR> Putting them to bed is a drama as the newbies need to sleep in the coop with the other girls. However Henny Penny the boss chook drives them out as soon as I put them in. It,s a performance for about ten minutes in the dusk, but I know it will get easier soon as they all get used to each other. <BR> Hoping by next week they will be putting themselves to bed, the... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:04:54 EST Spring chickens are go An early start to the day to let my chickens out of the hen house. DH helped me to set up a separate part of the run so my new gals can have some security while they learn how to walk and find food, without being haraassed by the Whataitai Whanau. But at night I am putting them all in together, much to their horror. <BR> <BR> One of them is doing very poorly so I spent time with her on my knee this morning, giving her sips of water and little bits of food. <BR> Suddenly she seemed to wake u... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:22:15 EST Becking: Sitting down to eat Darn it! I talk a good game, but yesterday I ate strawberries while standing looking out the window at birds in the birdbath. I was really enjoying the taste, but I was distracted, too, with my attention on the comings and goings. <BR> Funny because think of myself as having very good habits, I don't like to stand up and eat... Except when I don't notice it. <BR> It was only when I thought back that I realized I had done it. <BR> <BR> I think I might take this Beck Solution thing a little m... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:30:00 EST Breaking news on crash diets. As a successful crash dieter, I was so happy to read this! <BR> It is an article saying essentially not only that crash diets do work, and have the same long term success rate as slower methods, but they are more successful than slower methods. <BR> Check it out! <BR><BR>health-and-families/health-news/crash-<BR>diets-might-not-be-so-bad-after-all-su<BR>ggests-new-study-9796651.html <BR> <em>20</em> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 03:42:03 EST A visit from the Queen I swam last night, my arms feel delicious this morning. Skipped my Wednesday swim because my Sister in Law was in town unexpectedly. We took her home straight after work for a drink before dropping her at the airport, so no time for a swim. <BR> SiL hasn't seen the 'new' ensuite bathroom. So she looked around the house, which was, while not pristine, tidy enough. And we sat in the sun in the still garden enjoying the spring birds and my chickens and having a catchup. Admiring my tulips and an... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:49:09 EST Spring flowers DH painted the fence this weekend and i weeded the ''new' flower bed. Last week we had such a terrible storm that our bay window was damaged. So how is it that the lovely spring flowers can hold on to their petals? <BR> <img src=""> <BR> You would not think there had been any wind at all. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Nature is so resilient <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeopl... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:00:00 EST Getting the window fixed We've heard back from the insurer and they will cover the fixing of the bay window. The firm that is doing it seems very efficient, but I know there is often quite the difference between the people selling the service and those delivering the service. <BR> Anyway this is a task that happens mostly off site. The window is built then transported up to our site. There is no road access so it has to be walked up, and it will be installed in one long day. <BR> The damage is to the flat not the par... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 13:23:21 EST Another lovely spring day it is mostly still today and sunny, but fresh, the wind is blowing off new snow. We have been having a stormy time of it, typical spring weather, except we did have some unusual wind the other day and it sucked a window nearly out of its frame. So spent all yesterday dealing with insurance issues. <BR> Bummer! <BR> We had just got our other insurance issues sorted out then this happened. not sure yet what the outcome will be so await word from the assessor. <BR> Still, no-one was harmed, and ... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 23:20:49 EST Spring in the garden Great to spend the day in the garden today. It was a limpid day, still, sunny, warm. <BR> On my return from the shops laden with groceries I stopped to enjoy the view and an apple on one of our terraces. Henny Penny wanted some of that apple! so she <BR> <img src=""> <BR> hopped onto my knee. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 04:08:03 EST I see my mojo! It's raining here today. I have finished cleaning the kitchen and am spending some time taking stock and planning out the next few months. While I am not in tip top shape, I do see my mojo waiting around for me to pick it up. <BR> At last! I have certainly been derailed for a while. <BR> <BR> Some of the reason I'm feeling better is because my health is improving. And some is because the brain fog has lifted after only a week of eating only foods that agree with me. <BR> <BR> I,ve been e... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 21:31:17 EST Spring clean I've been so busy today doing spring cleaning. Woke early and determined to finish deep cleaning the kitchen, which had been my goal for September. A bout of health niggles interrupted me, and I realize that I only have a few days to meet my goals. <BR> So I spent the whole day cleaning the fridge, freezer, under the sink, above the counter, and several cupboards and drawers that I rarely visit. Put down new paper lining on the shelves. <BR> Threw out lots of recupycled plastics, and matche... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 04:33:36 EST Spring forward A beautiful spring day today at the beginning of my working week. The new MPs are in the House so that is an exciting time at work. <BR> <BR> I have a cold, I have had a string of little ailments but am feeling OK despite this little glitch. I have been swimming in the warm pool and going for some easy walks, and it feels so good to keep the body moving. <BR> This is my week to pay extra attention to my eating, which I have neglected lately, and it shows. So far, so good. <BR> <BR> Daylig... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:42:23 EST Fit at last Not as fit as I was when my exercise was more regular, but I have just had my first few days of antibiotics and finally feel back to normal. I had a fever. I had a respiratory infection that wouldn't go away. <BR> Even when I started the day feeling better, I could only be mildly active for a few hours before I had to lie down. <BR> Every time I thought I was getting better I got worse. I finally clicked and took it to the doctor and hey presto, it's like a miracle! <BR> It wasn't detox rea... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 19:39:01 EST Kombucha success We have finished the first bottle of Kombucha Tea I brewed in the last couple of weeks. It was interesting and pleasant. It's not like DH to be adventurous with this type of food but it seems to have caught his fancy too. Perhaps he remembers those ginger beer bugs we used to make when we were children. <BR> <BR> I made one bottle of plain KT with no fermenting or flavoring, and then a couple with flavoring in, lemon in one batch and chai spices in the second, then one plain but I fermented ... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 17:14:45 EST Feeling better Visit from DS& BIL went very well, and Wellington put on a couple of lovely days. We spent time at my favorite seaside places, walked the beach, ate fabulous food, and chatted. <BR> It was a bit taxing as I wasn't feeling so flash, but antibiotic eye drops have sorted out our conjunctivitis and I am feeling a lot better this morning after a good nights' sleep. <BR> <BR> Wondering whether some symptoms might have been exacerbated by the clay cleanse I am doing at the moment, not unreasona... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 15:02:31 EST A new quarter Spring is a big thing, and usually I have had a plan in place. But I am kind of playing catch up at the moment. So I will just do a little thinking aloud. <BR> Im not going into work today because I am a little unwell. I have a headache, and caught conjunctivitis off DH, so I will lay low and take my eye drops and hope I am better by Sunday when DSister & her husband are in town. <BR> They are wonderful hosts to me so I really want to make their visit special. I so hope the weather cooperates... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 15:20:17 EST Spring! First day of spring, I love the weather warming up, the birds. Planted my first lettuces, yay! <BR> Had a great weekend, last night walked an outdoors exhibition, Lux, with multiple installations of lights around the waterfront. Truly beautiful on that still, warm night. <BR> And on Saturday, went to a gala dinner, here is a selfie as we are heading off. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Got more spring cleaning done, emptied some boxes of ju... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:09:26 EST Fizzing along Today is the day to make my first batch of kombucha. I will infuse some for a few days before fermenting it. I think I will add ginger and lemon to some, and earl grey tea to some, and leave some plain. <BR> <BR> Big weekend this weekend, we have a gala dinner and a friend's significant birthday tonight. Wish I hadn't woken up so early (4am), will try to get a little nap in this afternoon. <BR> Wish me luck! Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:14:51 EST Baby steps I'm not being as diligent about my exercise & food as I might be, so I am blogging the positive steps I AM taking, no matter how minor. <BR> So, I have begun taking diatomaceous earth and bentonite. So far so good, I know I need to have heaps of fluids to keep everything moving along, if you know what I mean. <BR> I've been feeling quite foggy headed & am attributing this to a cleansing reaction. <BR> Part of my increased fluid intake is apple cider vinegar with honey and cayenne pepper. I,v... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 18:33:50 EST For Eunice Watermellen blogged about fit neighborhoods. My DH used to walk to school with his friends. They would stop by each other's homes where the SAH mums were there to welcome them, and the tins were always full. <BR> He is now at that age where the parents of the friends are dying, and on Monday he is flying home for the funeral of one of those women. <BR> So this blog is to remember Eunice, who had two sons, one of whom was killed just a few months ago in an aircraft accident in a plane he was... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:40:11 EST Kombucha and other probiotics I had lunch with my niece yesterday after we did a water exercise session. Then we picked up a scoby she had saved for me and bought a big jar to make Kombucha in. It is sitting on my counter working away. This will be my first batch so I hope it all goes OK. <BR> In the meantime we have a bottle in the fridge, it is very pleasant tasting and delightfully fizzy. So now I make yoghurt and Kombucha, I guess the next step will be water kefir or sauerkraut. <BR> Meanwhile I am drinking apple cide... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:10:20 EST Spring gardening I spent a happy day in the garden yesterday. The weather was glorious, warm, sunny and still. Everywhere I weeded were bulbs and spring flower mostly on the cusp of opening. I planted a few of my shrubs that have waited all winter. I trimmed a flowering shrub and pruned another. <BR> DH worked with me and we got one part of the garden looking good. <BR> Lots still to do. <BR> The weather looks set to be good enough for gardening today so I might finish up on that yerrace, including patching ... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:06:12 EST Spring cleaning This month I have set a goal of dealing to my kitchen. Spent some of this weekend cleaning the oven, it is a surprise to open it now. Will give it a final go with commercial oven cleaner but in the meantime it's looking much shinier. Moved on to the microwave and today is fridge time, followed by the pantry. <BR> I am working my way counterclockwise and will finish under the sink. <BR> We have a kitchen dining room and the dining room will be next, this is not a big deal except for ... the ... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 14:12:20 EST Facing Friday... a good mood this week. Feeling stronger and happier because I have increased my calories. Found this round of the Cura tough so I have shortened it and will tackle a three week round when the spring asparagus and strawberries come in again. <BR> Work has been good this week, I am writing a paper and the research and writing is a happy place for me. My garden is a happy place too but the weather is shaping up wet and cold for the weekend so I may not be spending much time there, don't w... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 14:56:21 EST