GARDENQE2's SparkPeople Blog GARDENQE2's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community If You Don't Change Anything, Nothing Will Ever Change! I remember a silly old story. <BR> A guy went to the doctor, and complained, "Doc, whenever I do this, it hurts." <BR> The doctor told him, "Stop doing that." <BR> <BR> As I read blogs today, I'm reminded of that story, and other similar ones. <BR> <BR> One person was working with her friends from TOPS. GREAT!!! <BR> Someone brought donuts for them to snack on. WHAT??? <BR> It's TOPS, fer cryin' out loud! <BR> Where was the veggie tray? The big bag of grapes? The air-popped popco... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:49:46 EST A Great Honeybee Rescue The rainy season is going strong in the Southwest High Desert where I live. Each afternoon, clouds develop and we get an evening thunder shower. The air feels fresh and cool, and I spend hours outside, gardening, watching birds and enjoying the wildflowers. <BR> <BR> I have a field of wild zinnias, many primroses, gaura and mallow, as well as huge bushes of datura and bird-of-paradise. There are so many hummingbirds buzzing around that they are almost a hazard! This morning, I expe... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:46:23 EST Esther Finally Finds Bohemia Nearly everyone in America is a descendent of immigrants. That is one of the things that makes Americans such an interesting people. Our ancestors came from everywhere, and combined their religions, foods, music and habits into a new whole. <BR> <BR> When I was a little girl, my third-grade teacher gave us a project to interview a grandparent and make a report on the country our family came from. I talked to Grandpa Sabatka, and he said he was Bohemian. Most of the other children had co... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:04:31 EST A Strange Day at the Nature Preserve My yard is a certified wildlife habitat, something I'm rather proud of. <BR> <BR> Sometimes, nature doesn't exactly follow what I had planned. <BR> <BR> I discovered several missing plants in my walled garden. Later I found a baby cottontail had slipped through the mesh of the gate. He is in paradise! He is so cute and unimaginably tiny. <BR> <BR> His body is about the size of half an apple, his ears like a pair of almonds. <BR> <BR> Apple? Almond? I'm starting to think like Mrs. Mc... Wed, 28 May 2014 11:00:52 EST The Southwest Uniform When I was young, I often traveled on airlines. Flying was luxurious, with comfortable upholstered seats, fine dining and everyone using their company manners. Women wore dresses, and men, jackets and ties. In those days, the flight attendants were ladies and wore military-style skirts suits. <BR> <BR> Then came the years of raising kids and paying bills. Travel during this time consisted of camping and fishing trips, outings to car shows, races and ball games. <BR> <BR> The children ... Wed, 14 May 2014 13:14:10 EST This Scale Is My Good Buddy It is actually one of my oldest acquaintances! <BR> <BR> It came into my house in 1970, early in my first pregnancy. I bought it at K-Mart for $6.99. <BR> <BR> It went up with me till the baby was born in August, then along with me, went back down. <BR> <BR> It went up when I was divorced, and back down for my next wedding. Up during my second pregnancy, then down again. Up when I was widowed, and back down for another wedding. Up again when I was widowed again, and back down as I lea... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 16:18:45 EST Bill Cosby on Life Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. <BR> Once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it. Wed, 5 Mar 2014 18:34:36 EST Unusual Valentine Story Here is the the touching "how we met" story of an acquaintance. <link><BR>ncer-valentine-20140213,0,7511512,full<BR>.story </link> <BR> <BR> Best wishes to all sweethearts on this special day! Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:20:57 EST Perhaps There IS Justice in the Universe The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. <BR> <BR> The tailgating woman was furious, honking her horn and screaming in frustration. She had missed her chance to get through the intersection and dropped her cell phone. <BR> <BR> As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window, and looked into the face of a very serious police officer... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:33:30 EST How's this for motivation??? <img src=""> <BR> My daughter-in-law is a Girl Scout leader. <BR> My son just sent me this picture of his exercise area. <BR> How many of us could exercise effectively while gazing across hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies? <BR> I'm glad I don't have to face the temptation! Wed, 5 Feb 2014 21:16:15 EST The Boy Offered to Be My Gigolo !! My husband Gene was a lot of fun. He was a great tease. He loved puns and practical jokes. Such a kidder! <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, he smoked for 55 years, and the last few months of his life, he was visited by kidney cancer, stroke, and ultimately a fatal heart attack. For his sake I'm glad it was so quick. For my sake I'm glad we had some little time to discuss the future. <BR> <BR> One day he asked me, "What are you going to do after I'm gone?" <BR> <BR> That question made it feel... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 15:39:36 EST Holiday Recycling! I have so many friends, and they make the season full of so much cheer. Happy me! <BR> <BR> I love having people come by with greetings and gifts. <BR> <BR> But, I have to face the fact that I'm not fit to be left alone in a room full of goodies. <BR> <BR> I seldom bake treats, but already heaps of sweets and snacks have accumulated in my house. Popcorn with caramel and chocolate!! Pretzels with candy coating!! Cookies!! Candies!! Cakes!! <BR> <BR> I'm looking, looking, LOOKING a... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 12:46:46 EST Mother, This Mug's For You! During the holiday season, I often find myself visiting, in my memory, with loved ones lost. <BR> <BR> I had a remarkable childhood, as I came to understand more fully while writing the family history for my grandchildren. <BR> <BR> My childhood home was way out in the country. While I was ages 12 to 18, I attended school in the nearest town, and the school bus dropped me at our gate around 4:45 each afternoon. In Wyoming, where I spent my early years, the winter temperatures often staye... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 18:34:56 EST Scalloped Sweet Potatoes and Apples For years, I wouldn't eat sweet potatoes. With all the marshmallow, butter and sugar, they were just "YUCKY!" <BR> Then I found this recipe, and discovered that sweet potatoes could be delicious (and healthful, too!) <BR> <BR> four sweet potatoes (about 4 pounds) <BR> four apples (about 1.5 pounds) cooking apples like Granny Smith or Rome Beauty are best <BR> 1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces <BR> 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg <BR> <BR> Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into round slices about 1/... Sat, 23 Nov 2013 12:19:07 EST Some Days Are Just Weird! This has been the weirdest! <BR> I woke up early and got my workout done... but... <BR> <BR> I forgot to turn off my alarm, so when I opened the door to go out to the garden...EEK! <BR> <BR> How fast can an old lady sprint from the back door to the front? Not fast enough! <BR> 90 decibels of siren...the neighbors had to wake up early, too, thanks to me! <BR> <BR> Then as I walked past the brush pile, I somehow managed to stumble and fall into it. A dozen birds were suddenly chased out of... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 14:47:11 EST Vanity, Thy Name Is Woman! My friend doesn't wear glasses. She probably should. She's very proud of the fact she doesn't wear glasses, even though she has a teenaged daughter. <BR> <BR> Recently, she was vacuuming her daughter's room. She found two mysterious tablets under the edge of the bed. That is enough to terrify a mother! Perhaps her daughter was involved with DRUGS!! <BR> <BR> Rather than make an emotional accusation, and cause her daughter feel distrusted, mother decided to take the tablets to the loca... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 13:42:29 EST Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall... I seldom look in a mirror. Usually just long enough to comb my hair in the morning. <BR> <BR> When I dress up, I go to the full-length mirror and check my back. I must make sure my skirt is not tucked into the top of my pantyhose...I don't want the Walmart photographers to focus on me! <BR> <BR> Eight months of the year, I wear shorts and a tee shirt. They're quick and not complicated! <BR> <BR> Today, though, I wanted to try on a new blouse. <BR> <BR> It's not very new...I bought... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 12:53:33 EST Canola Oil I've been curious about all foods ever since my Grandma put me on a stool beside her in the kitchen....nearly sixty years ago. <BR> <BR> What in the world is Canola Oil? I use it all the time! Except when I want the particular flavor, as in salad dressings and Italian bread, and I turn to Extra Virgin Olive Oil. <BR> <BR> There was no such thing when I was first starting to cook. There was "vegetable oil." There was solid shortening such as Crisco. There was lard and butter. <BR> ... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:47:57 EST Time and Chance Happen to Us All I live near the Rio Grande. The riparian forest is thick with cottonwood, Russian olive, ash, walnut, locust and tamarisk trees. Underneath are raspberry, currant and plum bushes, clematis and Virginia creepers, asters, sunflowers and goldenrods, and the unavoidable ragweeds, thistles and nettles. <BR> <BR> Insects thrive here. Rodents thrive. Lizards and small snakes dine on the many insects and rodents. Birds, in turn, dine on insects, rodents, lizards and small snakes. Small mamma... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 14:23:56 EST I Didn't Eat the Whole Thing! I didn't even touch it! You can just stop chiding me over it! <BR> <BR> Last night I had a vivid dream! <BR> I was at the school carnival with my grandchildren. I won a raspberry Kringle in the raffle. <BR> <BR> A Kringle, my friends, is a gigantic ring-shaped pastry. Made with lots of eggs and butter and filled with finely chopped nuts and fruit jam. At Christmastime, you can order one from Wisconsin for $20. It weighs 22 ounces. They say it's 18 servings. <BR> <BR> I've never... Fri, 13 Sep 2013 11:48:57 EST She had a Lump on Her Arm! She is a skinny little old lady. You know her type. She looks any age between 50 and 100. Her kind seem to live forever. <BR> <BR> She exercises at CURVES three mornings a week. Has done for twenty years. She is so regular that you could almost set your watch by her arrival. <BR> <BR> She is a motivator for the younger women. A friend to all. She is interested in everyone and everyone is interested in her. <BR> <BR> One Monday she confided to the group that she wouldn't be in o... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 13:49:20 EST Bear Bait My friend and I walk along the river each morning. <BR> <BR> She takes two big stupid dogs on leashes. I think they are stupid. Definitely untrained. <BR> <BR> They pull her two ways, constantly, while chasing every grass hopper, lizard, and sparrow we see. She gets a serious workout! <BR> <BR> I just walk. <BR> <BR> This time of year, we often see bear sign along the trail. My Daddy was a hunter, and he taught me to identify all sorts of tracks and scat. <BR> <BR> My friend somet... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 14:21:23 EST As the World Turns I know it's a big world. It is 40,000 km around the middle...that's nearly 25,000 miles. <BR> I know the world has many climates, nations, and peoples, but who really thinks about them? <BR> <BR> Most of my life, I have felt that the world revolves around me. <BR> I was an only child until I was ten, with appropriately indulgent parents and grandparents. <BR> I was happy in school and had many friends, some I still enjoy after 60 years. <BR> I had happy marriages and loving Fri, 30 Aug 2013 15:02:47 EST The Beasts Pottering in the kitchen... <BR> Now for a few carrots and a sprig of parsley... <BR> Tum-tee-tum...out the garden.... <BR> <BR> My parsley is carrots are stumps...I've been robbed! <BR> <BR> EEK! Caterpillars! <BR> Green and black striped ones with yellow spots. <BR> Wait... <BR> Wait... <BR> Wait... <BR> Look in the book...those little beasts are black swallowtail butterfly babies. <BR> <BR> Sigh...before we have beauty, we have to endure the beast. <BR> <BR> Write carrots an... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 11:43:05 EST A Wonderful Day! Did you ever have a day that was completely wonderful? <BR> <BR> Of course you have...but did you really take notice? <BR> <BR> I can remember days from 1952 that I thought could never be surpassed. <BR> <BR> There were extraordinary days in school...days in the lazy summer...days with my Grandma...days with my babies...days with my teenagers...even some days at work...all memorable. <BR> <BR> Sometimes, though, I get careless about remembering my good days. It seems that something alway... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 12:19:47 EST Grandkids! My grandchildren live a thousand miles away. <BR> When I go for my annual visit, usually accompanied by my Gentleman Friend, we have an intense week. <BR> My granddaughter is nine years old and has beautiful red hair. She is a competitive swimmer, so we always go to a swim meet. <BR> Her brothers have their own athletic events. All the boys (all of them!..aged 12 to 70) love to shoot fireworks, so we try to make our visit during Independence Day! <BR> We all love animals, so we never... Sun, 4 Aug 2013 16:38:36 EST 2.6 Servings Some things are really annoying! <BR> Seeing the above on a food package is one of them. <BR> Who wants 2.6 servings of anything? <BR> How about two? Then you could share with a friend. <BR> How about three? Some for Mom and both kids. <BR> Or four? You could enjoy a little for several days. <BR> <BR> I just invested in a Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate bar. It's marked 2.6 servings. <BR> It's made to break into 8 pieces. Impossible to break off one serving! <BR> <BR> Fortunately... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 15:57:16 EST Annual Ironing Day Do you remember the story about the little kid who ate dinner at his friend's house? <BR> He reported, "Guess what, Mom? Instead of napkins, they use little pieces of cloth!" <BR> <BR> That must have been my house. <BR> <BR> I'm not a person who regularly irons. I learned to do it at my Mother's side when I was a child. She would spend most of Tuesday seated at her ironing board, turning out crisp shirts and dresses and linens. "Slave labor!" I thought. I determined to never iron a... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 14:43:02 EST Dog Food Diet This story has been going around the internet for years. The originator used it as an example of how retired people have WAY too much time to think of silly stories. I assumed everyone had heard it! <BR> <BR> A retired man was in the checkout line at Walmart with a large bag of dog food. The woman behind him asked if he had a dog. He replied no... he was on the dog food diet. He carried a handfull of dog food in his pocket and whenever he got hungry, he ate a few pieces. It contains c... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 14:01:07 EST Wise Old Lady A woman was asked, <BR> Now that you are reaching a ripe old age, which would you prefer to get... <BR> Parkinson's or Alzheimer's ? <BR> The woman quickly replied, "Definitely Parkinson's ! Better to spill half my wine than forget where I put the bottle!" Mon, 11 Feb 2013 14:08:31 EST Shoshone Elder Oldhands and his original Christmas song Here is a video of a song by an elder in the Shoshone nation residing in Wyoming. <BR> <BR> This made the rounds of all my cousins...I got a chuckle from it! <BR> <link><BR>s-song-video </link> <BR> <BR> Each of us has his own point of view! Sat, 22 Dec 2012 14:41:08 EST The End of the World Today, December 21, 2012 is the day the world is prophesied to end. I have heard a bunch of such prophecies. After a while you get sort of immune! <BR> <BR> The first one I can recall was in 1968. <BR> <BR> There was supposed to be a massive earthquake that split off California from the rest of the continent and dropped it into the ocean. It gradually evolved that the whole wicked west coast was doomed. <BR> <BR> I was a 19-year-old living in Longview, Washington. I remember intelli... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 11:31:57 EST I keep getting younger and younger! These are the facts of the matter. My actual age is 63. My children are 40 or very near. I have teenaged grandchildren. <BR> <BR> A few days ago, I took the Real Age test. They said my "age" is 54. That's OK by me. I'm too busy having fun to get old. <BR> <BR> Today I went to see a new doctor. She asked my birthdate. When I told her, she refused to believe it. She said I looked about 45. <BR> <BR> WHAAAT???? <BR> <BR> I have a reputation for being energetic. My grandkids ca... Mon, 10 Sep 2012 13:10:13 EST Jesus Is Watching I live in a tiny town originally settled 350 years ago by people from Spain. <BR> <BR> Their descendents are great story-tellers. At parties, some keep their friends giggling with joke after joke. Unfortunately, most jokes and especially puns lose a lot in translation. <BR> <BR> Here is one that I especially like. <BR> <BR> One night a burgler broke into a house. Busily loading silverware into a pillowcase, he was startled when a voice coming from above said, "You'd better stop doing t... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 21:14:09 EST Walking on Water There is a small town in Wyoming that has a little Catholic church and a little Methodist church. There are also a few Jews, and several times each year, they are visited by a traveling Rabbi. One time, the Priest asked the Rabbi to stay over till Monday, and planned for the three clergymen to go fishing. <BR> Early Monday morning, they put their picnic and rods in the back of the Priest's car and drove the few miles to a small reservoir. They pulled an old rowboat out of the bushes and ... Sun, 5 Aug 2012 12:06:14 EST The Old Timers from Maine The old guy maneuvered his big RV into the gas station in Oregon. (Even if Oregon weren't so beautiful, it is a great place to visit because you don't have to pump your own gas!) <BR> A cheerful and talkative attendant came out. <BR> He saw the old guy's "Navy" cap and said, "I see you were in the Navy. I was in the Navy. I had a great life in the Navy. Twenty-five years. I went all over the world. The Navy was good to me. You can't beat life in the Navy! Best thing I could have done... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 17:40:47 EST The Old Widow and her Dog Lucky An old widow lived in a cottage by the sea with her dog, Lucky. <BR> Every morning they went for a long walk on the beach. <BR> One day she found an old bottle in the sand. <BR> She rubbed it and a genie came out. <BR> Of course, he granted her three wishes. <BR> She continued her walk. <BR> "I'm very happy here by the sea with Lucky. I really have no wants." <BR> As she approached her cottage, she realized it looked shabby. <BR> "I wish my home was as fresh as when it was new." <BR> P... Thu, 26 Jul 2012 13:30:50 EST Style over Substance With the proliferation of phone cameras, millions of pictures are being snapped daily. <BR> <BR> For what purpose? <BR> <BR> My cousin sends me every new page of "Walmart People." I'm sick of seeing men wearing feathers and high heels, and women with WAY too much skin showing. What is the object of the game? To ridicule people because of what they wear? Aren't there enough other things to divide people? Didn't anyone listen to their kindergarten teacher? <BR> <BR> What happened to... Tue, 24 Jul 2012 18:26:11 EST California Stop My neighbor is a man who always has something to say. <BR> In fact, I think he should be declared a national treasure as a repository of old jokes. <BR> He drove to our little downtown yesterday to pick up a few things at the grocery. <BR> Coming home, he rolled past the stop sign a couple blocks from home. <BR> An extremely youthful police officer had his patrol car concealed behind a large bush. <BR> He arrested our neighborhood scofflaw. <BR> "But Officer, I made a California Stop!" <BR> ... Sat, 16 Jun 2012 13:05:49 EST A Different sort of Obsession I have always suffered from winter blues. When I was young, my self-administered treatment was to write a cheery letter to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents or friends every day till spring. You might say I was an obsessive letter-writer. Mother was an obsessive saver. After her death, I found fifty years of accumulated letters from me! <BR> <BR> By now, all my correspondents have passed on. When I write or email my kids or grandkids, I get a one-word response, if any. O... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:59:55 EST In my Easter Basket Years ago, Mother bought baskets of flowers and hung them along the edge of her porch roof. Almost immediately, house finches built nests in them, so she had to quit watering and let the flowers die. She had the pleasure of watching the baby birds hatch and grow. <BR> <BR> The same thing happened to me last summer. I watched three chicks grow up. Then I bought 5 little Easter baskets at the thrift store and hung them along my roof edge, about 10 feet apart. <BR> <BR> Today I have nes... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 12:16:17 EST Hummingbird Timeline On June 12, the mother laid her second egg and began to incubate the eggs. <BR> On June 24, both eggs had hatched, <BR> On July 7, the second baby had flown from the nest. <BR> <BR> How quickly it happens! Fri, 15 Jul 2011 11:08:59 EST Hard-working Mama Bird The little hummingbird hen finished her nest this week. It is about the size of a golf ball. She laid an egg on June 10 and another on June 12. Now she will incubate them for about 10 days. My neighbor and I are really enjoying watching her through the window...we feel almost like grandmothers to these chicks! <BR> <BR> For anyone who is more interested in hummingbird nesting, a book and award-winning DVD have been made by a couple of photographers in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their website is... Thu, 16 Jun 2011 17:46:37 EST Mrs Hummingbird Builds Her Dream House For the last 4 years I have found a hummingbird nest in my big mulberry tree. They are 6'-7' above the ground, on a small twig, with leaves above for shade and rain shelter. Very clever, this bird! Since the whole nest is smaller than a golf ball, and the color blends with the lumpy gray of the tree bark, it is almost impossible to see it before the leaves fall in autumn. <BR> <BR> After finding the first nest, I have spent A LOT of time watching this tree, and the hummingbird's activitie... Tue, 7 Jun 2011 12:20:20 EST YOOVIE, Rush Limbaugh, and the Salem Witch Trials The recent flap about blogs that may have pushed the limit, and the "friends" of the writer who bullied her out of the website shows just another step away from civility in our world. <BR> <BR> No one is mildly annoyed these days, but OUTRAGED. People don't get miffed, they get PISSED. When something occurs which is slightly shocking, rather than to shrug and turn away, the current reaction is to ATTACK. <BR> <BR> Public discourse has gone from civil to lethal. The first time I drove acr... Mon, 16 May 2011 18:29:38 EST