LAURELSPARK's SparkPeople Blog LAURELSPARK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Orchid Show Today was the last day of the Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Hubby and I walked through the exhibition hall and the took a power walk around the gardens. It was cool but it was great to see what is starting to come up. I took lots of pics and here are some of my favorites....... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.s... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 19:40:30 EST More Las Vegas Hubby attended a convention so I tagged along. While hubby was at meetings, I walked, walked, walked! <BR> <BR> My longest trek was from New York, New York (where we stayed) to the Stratosphere (where my cousin's son plays with Frankie Moreno). I got some great pics. I put on a few pounds (no surprise, no worries). <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src="http://p... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 10:21:58 EST Viva Las Vegas! Have had a great time in Las Vegas! I took lots of pics so I'll post them tomorrow. Back to the freezing Midwest. <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 14:26:10 EST Walking In 2 Degree Weather........ Yesterday we got the snow and today we got the cold. On cold mornings like this morning (it was 2 at 9AM), I walk at the mall with my walking buddies. We usually walk two or three times a week and often run into (not literally) other retirees from our school district. When it warms up, we will walk outside. Spring will not come soon enough this year! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 6 Feb 2014 19:22:45 EST What to do on a snowy day............ Once again........ <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, here's what I'm doing today......... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> No, I'm not riding the bike that is against the wall........I'm walking on the machine that is behind my son's stinky old couch. Then I'm working on the basement. All of the junk belongs to my two sons who have moved out. Why has our basement become the... Wed, 5 Feb 2014 11:00:52 EST Here we go again! We have had more snow this season than I ever remember. Up to twelve inches is predicted. Isn't it beautiful? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And now for my holiday nemesis........ <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I will kick my popcorn habit to the curb and get back to eating healthier. <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> Oops! The Disney pic must be a Freudian slip......... <BR> <... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 11:22:42 EST Garden Glow The Garden Glow was great. It was not too cold but it was crowded. I thought I'd share some pics........ <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 28 Dec 2013 09:45:20 EST Wow! We got our first real snow and it is beautiful. I've never tried it post pics before so I thought I'd give it a try. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From the front porch. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hubby's man cave. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From the back deck. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeop... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 09:37:22 EST It's not my fault! Hubby and I picked up a pizza for the teen (from Costco) but it did not make it home in one piece. We got to the entrance and it was blocked off. It had been windy (we did not realize that there were severe thunderstorm warnings out), a tree had knocked over a power line, and there was a live wire across the road. The fire/police crew said had could walk by if we walked on someone's lawn so debated over walking the two miles to our house with the groceries or eating the pizza while it was ... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 16:07:55 EST Dreams I often have vivid dreams and had a crazy one last night. I dreamed that I was taking some kind of writing class (I'm not sure where or why). The class was being held on some outdoor bleachers . It was a small class so we introduced ourselves to each other. I was surprised to find that all of my classmates were Sparkfriends . Go figure! <BR> <BR> <em>252</em> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 20:55:13 EST I love Baltimore! We are having a blast in Baltimore! There is so much to do and see. We have split our time between walking around the harbor area and visiting churches, neighborhoods, and cemeteries where my ancestors on my mom's side of the family lived and were buried. I have become obsessed with local history and have been reading about it every chance I get. <BR> Tomorrow we head up to Pennsylvania to meet my mom's cousin and compare notes on common ancestors. <BR> <BR> We watched the Cardinal game... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 08:18:25 EST See you later Just wanted to let you know that I won't be sparking much over the next few weeks. Hubby and I are heading out to do some family research. We will spend most of our time in and around Baltimore. We'll be spending some time with my mom's cousin Chris, who I have never met, and she and her husband will be showing us places where relatives live/ed and died. I was not interested in genealogy until recently and was not aware that all of my mom's side of the family landed in Baltimore. I have ... Tue, 8 Oct 2013 12:41:16 EST It's not my fault................. ................that the Cardinals lost yesterday but I promise to stay away from the remainder of the games. Every time I go to a game, we lose, so I will stay home. It's also not my fault that I had nachos and pizza at the game. Hubby asked me to split them with him and I did not want to hurt his feelings. <BR> <BR> <em>198</em> Sat, 5 Oct 2013 17:32:41 EST To many choices..... There are so many Fall activities to do today that we are having problems deciding. Topping my list are visiting the Daniel Boone Home, biking to a brewery, and visiting a winery. All of the choices involve getting outdoors! <BR> <BR> What's on your list today..........I hope that you get to do something fun. Happy Fall!!!!! Sun, 22 Sep 2013 09:06:28 EST Too much fun! Snorkeling <em>248</em> <BR> Hiking <em>248</em> <BR> Eating at great places <em>248</em> <BR> Drinking lots Rum punch <em>248</em> <BR> Doing lots of shopping <em>248</em> <BR> Having one more day of fun <em>334</em> Sat, 14 Sep 2013 08:07:04 EST Having a great time! We're having a great time in St. Thomas. Lots of snorkeling, shopping, walking, , food , and drink.......but it's worth it! <BR> <BR> Hope that you are having a great week......!!!!!!! <BR> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 17:55:20 EST Baby it's hot outside! 90 degrees and sunny!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> 8.56 miles in 45 minutes over hilly terrain!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> 6 pounds of library books in my daypack!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> Enough said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> <em>332</em> <em>198</em> <em>67</em> <em>332</em> <em>198</em> <em>67</em> <em>332</em> <em>198</em> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 11:06:43 EST Three times is NOT a charm! We tried to bike to the northern trailhead of the Katy Trail and still have not made it. The first time we tried, we ran through a patch of deadly invisible thorn and ended up having to hitch a ride back to our car. The second time we tried, the trail was clocked by tons (and I mean it literally) of hard, blackish sludge that was deposited when the Mo river flooded over the trail. Yesterday, I just couldn't make it the last 5 miles. (In my defense, I had been at work until 12 midnight the... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 08:38:53 EST Summer's back..............but it's not stopping me! The temp and humidity are back to normal but they are not stopping me. When you live in Missouri you learn to stay out of the heat in the summer. That's just the way it is! <BR> <BR> Today I walked with friends in the morning and am going on a bike ride when hubby gets home at 6ish. In between times, I'm sparking and cleaning. What could be better! <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>332</em> <em>311</em> <em>17</em> <em>332</em> <em>311</em> <em>17</em> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:40:07 EST I'm getting there! I've been working my way back to my goal weight and I'm making progress. We've got only a few weeks left until vacation so I have to continue to work hard. <BR> <BR> Today, I'm biking with a friend. We are meeting in a lot at the top of a hill (which I have named cardiac hill) and are riding to Creve Coeur Lake and back. We're meeting early as our summer heat and humidity have returned. <BR> <BR> Have a great day! What are you doing for fun today? <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> <em>332<... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 09:00:37 EST I made it............ ............home before the rain! <BR> <BR> I had to come up with an excuse to get on my bike so I decided to go to the grocery store door for soy milk and syrup. When I headed out it looked like rain, but I went anyway. I got halfway there and remembered that i had a prescription to pick up. After that I remembered that I had some Tupperware waiting for me at the Beauty Salon. It was a good thing that I had brought my big day pack with me. I pedaled furiously to get home before the rai... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 13:56:28 EST My life is so boring................................... but I love it. <BR> <BR> Hubby and I went on our Saturday bike ride and it was great. We went on a very hilly trail (you know it will be stenuous when they have warning signs) so we did not go as far. Afterward, we went to Costco (another Saturday ritual) and bought hubby a new smoker. Later we are going to the movies with son#3 after we grill up some brats. "Boring," you say? I'll take boring any Saturday. <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Sat, 3 Aug 2013 20:20:44 EST So long, July!!! July was not a good month for me so I'm glad to see it go. Thankfully, I've gotten out of the funk mode and am ready to be a good little sparker again. Here are my August goals: <BR> <BR> <BR> 1.Get back to my goal weight <BR> <BR> 2. Work out 60 minutes on days I don't work, 30 on others. <BR> <BR> 3. Eat 5 servings of Fruits/Veggies a day. <BR> <BR> 4. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. <BR> <BR> Short but to the point! <BR> <BR> Have a great day, friends! <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> ... Thu, 1 Aug 2013 09:29:54 EST Reset I've been getting lots of exercise but I've been eating way too many things that I shouldn't (like the bag of jelly beans that I had last night) so this morning I hit the reset button. I weighed in and changed my weight. I'm going back to eating three square meals and little processed food. I know I can do it; I've done it before. Wish me luck! Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:20:50 EST Unbelievable weather! Less that 80 degrees in the summer............UNBELIEVABLE! <BR> <BR> Yesterday I took my mom to Shaw's Garden. We took the tram around the garden (she doesn't walk far at 91) and had a wonderful time. This morning hubby and I went on a bike ride and had breakfast at a new café one block north of the Katy Trail. We started lawn work when we got home and I am taking a break on the deck, in the shade, with my computer on my lap. Later we are BBQ-ing. What a great day! <BR> <BR> How about... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 15:00:05 EST Happy Birthday Hubby! We met the first Thursday of our Freshman year in college and have spent 41 birthdays together. Wow...........time flies when you're having fun. Here's to 41 more! Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:20:10 EST Off to wine country! Hubby's birthday is tomorrow so son#1 is taking us to wine country for the day. We often bike down there but have never made a day of it. There are many local wineries and lots of quaint shops. I'm not much of a drinker but I'm sure we can find something that I like. How many calories do you burn sitting on a bluff overlooking farmland and drinking wine! At least we got a great walk in yesterday! Sun, 21 Jul 2013 10:35:42 EST Somebody loves me! Unfortunately, it is the bugs who live in my mulch. I have been diligently weeding and mulching for the last few days and every morning I wake up with new bug bites. One more reason to win the lottery and hire a gardener! Thu, 18 Jul 2013 08:07:38 EST Excited about tonight! I'm excited because I'm going to the Muny tonight to see Les Miserables with son#1 and a friend. Hopefully the new fans will help cool off the warm weather. My parents used to take the family to the Muny when I was little and we used to sit in the free seats. <BR> <BR> I googled the Muny an found some interesting stuff on it. Thought I'd share this...... <BR> <BR> History of The Muny <BR> <BR> In 1914, Luther Ely Smith began staging pageant-Masques on Art Hill in Forest Park. In 191... Tue, 16 Jul 2013 08:29:42 EST Watch what you eat! My day started great....I woke up at 6:30 and decided to get on the computer before waking hubby up for our ride. I turned on the computer and down came son #3. He informed me that he had eaten some carrot cake and was feeling sick. He hardly ever eats anything before we/he reads the ingredients but he did this time and he is highly allergic to nuts. He said that since it was carrot cake he thought the crunchy things were carrots! I gave him some allergy meds, which seemed to help for a ... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 21:20:10 EST Curses.........foiled again! (Dick Dastardly used to say that. It's pretty sad when one starts quoting cartoon characters, isn't it?. You can find him at<BR>.) <BR> <BR> Anyway, my outdoor plans have turned to dust. It has been raining since 5ish (along with lots of thunder). I will have to put Plan B into effect. I always have a Plan B and this one involves filing paperwork, measuring for new window treatments, laundry, walking in the basement with Leslie Sansone and gang... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 07:08:55 EST I can't wait............. ..........until tomorrow. I am off work for 4 days and have so many things to catch up on. I hate to admit it, but I haven't even trimmed the bushes (it should be done in the spring) yet. The weeds in the flower beds are thriving and all of the roses/flowers need to be sprayed for Japanese beetles. I am also walking with friends twice during the week and have a bike ride planned for Saturday, <BR> <BR> How about you? Do you have anything fun planned for the week? <BR> <BR> Tue, 9 Jul 2013 20:42:54 EST See ya!!!! Sun's out, <BR> Bikes are packed up, <BR> See ya!!! Wed, 3 Jul 2013 15:22:09 EST I love paperwork!! Well, not really, but I'm trying to stay positive. It rained all day so I have been stuck inside with all of my paperwork that has stacked up. The good news is that I caught up on all of my filing and have dinner ready for hubby when he walks in the door. The bad news is that I had about 10 pounds of cheese popcorn to fuel me throughout the day. I'm praying for sun tomorrow so I can be bike is screaming for a workout. Tue, 2 Jul 2013 19:48:14 EST I want it all.................... ................and yesterday got it. Our day started out with a great bike ride (this time we went east on the Katy Trail). <BR> <BR> We came home, cleaned up, and waited for our carpenter/friend to come. (We've lived in this house for 18 years and had yet to hang towel rods in the bathrooms so we decided it was about time. How's that for procrastinating!) Dennis hung rods/TP holders/hooks in all of the bathrooms, hung two curtains in the basement, and put a security light above the ... Sun, 30 Jun 2013 09:31:28 EST Someone is trying to tell us something! Someone is trying to tell us not to go north of St. Charles on the Katy Trail. The last time we did, we rode through a patch of hidden thorns and had holes in our tires. We did not have enough extra tires/patches to fix our tires so a gentleman took me and four others back to our cars and we had to go back and pick up the bikes. (We found out later that there had been a warning posted on the Katy Trail site.) <BR> <BR> This time we ran into flooding problems. The trail runs along the Mis... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 10:30:05 EST Saturday The roofers are gone! <BR> <BR> I weeded for an hour! <BR> <BR> We're getting the bikes ready for our first ride of the summer! <BR> <BR> Hubby went fishing yesterday and we have fresh trout ready for the grill! <BR> <BR> I love summer! <BR> <BR> <em>492</em> <em>332</em> <em>126</em> <em>436</em> Sat, 22 Jun 2013 09:57:50 EST Flower Show 2 The flower show was a success. My mom won one blue ribbon and three red ribbons. She was penalized because some of her foliage had tiny holes because of bugs. She explained that her eyes were too bad to see the small holes......but I was the one who cut them for her. (Oops.......I didn't realize they had to be PERFECT!) I guess I'll have to fess up. <BR> <BR> <em>125</em> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 17:29:04 EST Flower show............... My mom has been involved in garden clubbing ever since I remember. <BR> <BR> This week she is getting ready for the annual Flower Show at Friendship Village (FV). Last year she won four blue ribbons so this year she has to come up with some spectacular arrangements. She fell while gathering flowers a few weeks ago (she was fine) so today I'm going to help her. She has scouted out the local florists and the large gardens on FV's property so this morning we are off to the races. I'm taki... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:00:33 EST It's a sun-sun-sun-sunshiney day! The sun is out and the temp is down. What could be better! I'll tell you what could be better.................I have a walk planned with of my walking buddies and I've dropped a few pounds. WooHoo! <BR> <BR> Have a great Father's Day weekend. It's going to rain here; I hope that you get better weather! Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:41:46 EST Hubby is back! My hubby is the one who introduced me to SP in the first place and how he is back. He's started tracking his food and exercise again and is walking every night, even when I'm not at home. WooHoo!!! It's so much easier to plan meals when we are on the same page. <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 17:09:46 EST We are becoming night owls! Who needs's overrated. Friday night we were up all night, driving back from Florida and last night we got up at 2AM to pick up son #1's and take him to the his connection to the airport. He's meeting some friends in France who were chaperoning a high school trip, and they will be touring the area for about 10 days. <BR> <BR> Meanwhile on the homefront , hubby and I will be doing lawn work. Weeds sprang up everywhere while we were gone and we have to cut up the downed tree in... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 10:35:23 EST Home again! We got home this morning and the first thing that we did was to check out the storm damage. Yes, we lost a tree but there are ten still standing. Yes, we have roof damage and a small amount of water damage but our house is not one of the 100 houses in the area that were left uninhabitable. Yes, there were branches all over the lawn but it only took about an hour to bundle them up and put them at the curb and it was good exercise. <BR> <BR> Yes,we were lucky! <BR> <BR> Sat, 8 Jun 2013 15:04:00 EST Tropical storm It's official! Our relaxing, sunny beach vacation is over. We have tornado warnings here in Florida. I did not know that was possible. I guess we will have to go down to the gym to work out. No walking on the beach today. Tomorrow, we will bug out! <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, back at home, son number three reported that our roof has sprung a leak. We knew that we lost a tree, a fence, and shingles in last week's tornado so now it is time to go home and assess the damage. <BR> <BR> <em>298<... Thu, 6 Jun 2013 08:44:24 EST New IPad! I always get hand-me-downs but that is OK. I got hubbies ok'd computer, son' old IPhone, and now hubby's iPad. No matter,the hardest part is figuring haw to use them, it just takes me a while! <BR> <BR> Have a great day! <BR> Wed, 5 Jun 2013 08:54:47 EST Rain, rain, go away! This year hubby and I have been rain magnets. We are at the beach again and, again, it has begun to rain. The good sunscreen needed. Hubby joked that we'll have to find a tanning spa before we go home. More good news, less sun means lower temps and more walking. Now we just need to stop going to the wine and cheese party every afternoon! <BR> <BR> Tue, 4 Jun 2013 06:58:57 EST At the beach! We are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary in Palm Beach Shores. Yesterday we visited Jupiter Light House and walked on the beach for hours. We are in a corner unit in our resort and have a view of the ocean as well as the inlet. Today we thought we would visit a state beach that we found yesterday and see if anything is happening at the Cardinal's spring practice ballpark. <BR> <BR> Have a great week! I plan on getting in lots of exercise and am going to try to watch what I eat.l... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 07:09:40 EST Blog got whiped out............. and I don't have the energy to re-write it. <BR> <BR> Long story short................tornadoes ripped through our neighborhood last night. We only lost a fence and a tree, thank goodness. They are working to clear out all of the fallen trees and restore power. There were no major injuries. I feel very lucky!! Sat, 1 Jun 2013 11:55:42 EST Still under the weather............. I just couldn't kick this crazy cold so I went to the doctor's office yesterday. Just as I suspected.....I have bronchitis. The doc put me on some heavy meds so, hopefully, I'll feel better soon. This is not the right time of the year to be feeling crappy. I'm so behind in my gardening that it's ridiculous! <BR> <BR> Some good news.....we are getting our new washer/dryer today. After 28 years, the dryer bit the dust. I can't wait to do laundry and have a dryer that actually dries cloth... Wed, 15 May 2013 08:05:12 EST Back from the beach..... We are home and guess what, it is raining! It drizzled or rained every day that we were at Myrtle Beach, while it was warm and sunny here. It rained the whole 14 hour trip back home and now that we are here, it is rainy. <BR> <BR> The good news about being at the beach for the last week was that we got lots of walking/hiking in (luckily we did not melt in the drizzle/rain). There were two state beaches nearby and we visited both. It was too cold and windy to sit on the beach for more th... Sun, 5 May 2013 10:11:38 EST