LUVS2BIKE101's SparkPeople Blog LUVS2BIKE101's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My Favorite Winter Pasttime Stewart Forest Preserve has been my favorite winter playground for a number of years. The trails are plentiful for all levels of fitness. Celebrating my recent birthday in Nature as I snowshoe is so uplifting. Enjoying the pristine views, "quiet" sounds, "songs" of feathered friends, and relaxing sounds of flowing brooks affects all the senses and enhances my reason to celebrate life. And, to do this with my best friend is extra special! Don't let the winter cold stop you from playing. It's g... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:36:49 EST Another birthday, another adventure... You are never too old to play! As I approached another birthday this month, for which I am grateful, I decided to buy a new toy to begin a new adventure in my life. For 20+ years I have always pedaled a Trek mountain bike. It served me well as I traveled hundreds and hundreds of miles over rough terrain, wet terrain, mountainous trails, and paved trails and roadways. <BR> <BR> Reaching a new milestone in my life, I felt the need to get a new, lighter bike. Not wanting to spend my whole so... Thu, 31 Mar 2016 20:21:55 EST How do you measure success??? If there is one thing I have learned today, it is never to think success is solely measured by the numbers on a scale. Slightly changing your lifestyle habit a little over time supports improved health. Whether it be increasing a daily walk by a half a mile or few minutes, substituting herbs for salt at the table, meditating for a few minutes during the day, increasing daily water intake, you will FEEL the success that may not be all that visible, especially on a scale. <BR> <BR> By using ... Fri, 25 Mar 2016 10:03:57 EST Want motivation? See my personal trainer! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 9 Jan 2016 09:43:45 EST Take time out for tea...... Has there ever been a time in your life when you are being pulled in every direction? Many of us who work full time have additional responsibilities that demand much more time and energy than just what is required for our daily jobs outside the home. Are we burning the candle at both ends? <BR> <BR> I found that improving time management is key to a successful balance of family, volunteer commitments and work related responsibilities. There is also a very small word in our vocabulary we ... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 18:46:55 EST Seasons of change..... The times are changing……seasons come and seasons go. Work hard at achieving your short-term and long term goals. Have fun exploring new activities outdoors. You only come this way once. Don’t miss out on the beauty along the way. You can enjoy your journey to better health with your eyes wide open! Here’s what I cultivated and saw <BR> <BR> throughout Spring………. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src="http://photosaws... Sun, 13 Sep 2015 08:40:52 EST Healthy ways to beat the deep freeze…. This past week with Valentine’s Day on the calendar, strawberries were plentiful at the local market along with chocolates of every variety. Several quart containers filled with the red beauties with green tops made their way home to my kitchen. The chocolate did not. <BR> <BR> When the winter weather of subzero temperature is not conducive for any kind of outdoor activity, it becomes necessary to get creative indoors so as not to feel “cabin fever” or allow depression to overshadow you. Af... Sun, 15 Feb 2015 19:35:22 EST True Love... It’s been a week since my dear sister-in-law was called home to heaven. How I miss her! But I will always remember her unconditional love for me and everyone around her. She was an inspiration to me and to all who knew or just met her. When she smiled, the whole room lit with excitement. She was compassionate and never ever held a grudge. Negativity was not part of her life. A positive attitude was always displayed by her being. She was happy living a simple life and, except for chocolate an... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 16:40:56 EST A Time To Laugh....."This Is Heaven" THIS IS HEAVEN <BR> <BR> Mike and Yvonne were 85 years old and had been married for sixty years. <BR> Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they carefully watched their pennies. <BR> <BR> Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to Yvonne's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade. One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven. <BR> <BR> They re... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 20:06:12 EST How Good Is Your Soil??? Is it “good enough” to produce healthy vegetables (results)? Do you tend to it on a daily basis by hoeing, removing weeds and rocks, watering, adding organic nutrients and/or soil compost free of chemicals? <BR> <BR> My love of gardening began with soil that was “untouched” for many years. Except for weeds and clumps of hay-like grass, nothing of value grew there. I made a conscious decision to give that soil new life and start a new hobby by growing a few vegetables and herbs. Making that... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:37:05 EST What a Difference Consistency Makes! The fruits of our labor can look and taste very sweet. Planting and maintaining a vegetable and floral garden is hard work but worth every drop of sweat that is perspired. Thirty minutes a day can make all the difference in the successful growth of plants. Whether it is time spent tilling soil, fencing, weeding, watering, or transplanting, goals are met when the work is consistent. An earlier posted blog entitled Patty’s Patch 2014 gave an overview of the goals I want to reach with regards to... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 19:53:49 EST A Pictorial Summary of My Active Weekend..... Love, love , love the outdoors! This past weekend was so much fun: <BR> <BR> GARDENING <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> sweet basil <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Thai basil <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> mint <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> tomatoes <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photo... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 19:37:10 EST Happy 4 Years of Spark! After 4 years with Spark, my journey to better health continues. I've undergone many positive changes in my life since my first day as a member of this community. And I have so much to be thankful. Overall improved health is my biggest accomplishment. To have blood pressure within normal range without medication, to remain alert and awake well past dinner hour, to hike for miles without collapsing, to bike for miles without stopping, to run 5Ks, to paddle upstream and downstream with the t... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 23:03:56 EST Patty's Patch 2014 It's that time of year to add another outdoor activity to my lifestyle: gardening. There are so many benefits to both a floral garden as well as a vegetable garden. The exercise, beautiful floral arrangements, fresh vegetables and herbs all contribute to better health for mind, body and soul. <BR> <BR> Aside from the traditional annuals, this year I decided to go beyond my comfort zone and plant a rose bush. I didn't know the first thing about roses other than they are a joy to receive and ... Sat, 31 May 2014 21:55:50 EST Finally, it's Spring! Spring is such a beautiful season. Nature just comes alive with colors, sounds and all sorts of creatures, big and small. Flowering trees and bushes show off their magnificent beauty while giving off their delightful perfumes. The birds wake us every morning with their joyful melodies and somehow teach us the importance of preparation when they diligently work at creating their strong nests for offspring. Spring is one of my favorite times of year that just simply wakes me up from "hibernati... Wed, 21 May 2014 21:41:56 EST Black Friday Benefits Oh, the things you would save as well as avoid by staying home on Black Friday! Money, time, and stress top my list. On the other hand, one can also lose a few things, too. And, this is where the benefits come into play: calories, inches, left-overs. <BR> <BR> Today, instead of wasting time with frustration at shopping malls, I decided to use my time wisely by running a 5K at the local park. It wasn’t my best running time because of the cold temps, but I felt accomplished by completing ... Fri, 29 Nov 2013 18:14:54 EST The Fruits of Labor! A garden of a few tomato, pepper and radish plants produced quite a bountiful harvest this year. Growing and cultivating the plants took on a whole new meaning to me when it involved a different type of physical activity. “Patty’s Patch” was now my new playground. I never knew I had so many different muscle groups until I started gardening. The reward was great for nutrition as well as for fitness. And, what fun! Yes, working hard does produce the fruits of your labor. It was a great le... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 20:31:40 EST The Beauty of Spring! I went for a jog at a local park the other day. What a view along the trail! There were so many different varieties of tulips in so many different colors. See for yourself: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src="http://photos-... Sun, 26 May 2013 19:33:12 EST Now is the time.... As I look back over 2012, I am pleased to see that I accomplished most of the goals I listed in my profile. Although I continue to struggle with weight goal, I feel like a winner in so many other facets of my life. I have learned a great deal throughout the past twelve months, in particular, how to deal with troubling events. Increased self-confidence has been one of my noticeable characteristics that in the past has been lacking. Even though I sometimes eat because of emotional pressures, ... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:16:17 EST Thinking of you...... And wishing you a very blessed Christmas and a New Year of good health and happiness! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 22 Dec 2012 14:25:23 EST Turkey Trot 2012 Run a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day? Me??? At the invitation of my son and with much encouragement, I began my training following SparkPeople’s 5K Your Way Running Training Program a couple of months in advance. When Thanksgiving Day arrived, I was ready! I was not concerned with the amount of time it would take for me to cross the finish line; I just wanted to cross it. <BR> <BR> It was a cool 29 degrees that morning. Upon arriving at the registration desk, we were issued our bib n... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 08:34:32 EST "Home, home on the range..." My recent visit to Utah included a tour of Antelope Island. It is the largest island of Great Salt Lake’s ten islands. What an extraordinary area along the Great Salt Lake to find the antelope, bison, and other wild animals live and roam so freely. Enjoy the sights of Mother Nature! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (Antelope) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-a... Sat, 17 Nov 2012 20:39:17 EST Hiking the Unita Mountain Range Come along with me as we hike our way in the Unita Mountain Range, Utah. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> October 5, 2012 ready to climb Bald Mountain in the Unita Mountain Range of Utah. Notice the ski gloves and hat. It is 28 degrees! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Just 2 miles up! Whew! What a hike! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 20:50:54 EST The Beautiful "Gunks" in Autumn It was a beautiful autumn day in the Shawangunk Mountains and to visit the valley’s local wineries. The countryside was picturesque with vivid colors of the season. Baldwin Winery hosted a Strawberry, Chocolate and Wine Festival. It was so much fun to taste their different wines while we listened (and sang along with) the music of the Beatles played by The Nerks. What a blast from the past! <BR> <em>181</em> Sat, 20 Oct 2012 21:42:19 EST The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Autumn It was a glorious autumn day here in New York. I couldn’t wait to get out and ride on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. The trail extends for 12.2 miles from the southern border of Gardiner to the northern border of New Paltz. Along the way it passes through woods, open fields, and agricultural lands. It links the hamlet of Gardiner with downtown New Paltz. The fallen thick autumn leaves blanketed the trail and made the ride smooth as well as picturesque. See for yourself. <BR> <BR> <img... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 20:19:58 EST You know it is autumn in New York when….. Deer greet you early in the morning looking for “berries” dropped from the tree outside your bedroom window… <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Neighbors are splashing their yards with the autumn colors of mums and pumpkins…. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Harvesting green tomatoes along with the red ones because the gro... Sun, 23 Sep 2012 22:37:44 EST Anyone for Tea??? It is truly amazing to relive the days of old when friends gather in a relaxing atmosphere without the use or interruption of technology to share stories catching up with their lives. I was a participant in one of those gatherings and, I must confess, I did use one gadget of technology so I may share the event with you in pictures. <BR> <BR> My previous blog has the background of this tea social. During the course of today’s event, I offered a toast to all who were gathered. As they raised... Sun, 16 Sep 2012 19:57:13 EST An Old Fashion Tea Social…. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas of which I am a member in my home parish is hosting our annual old fashion Victorian tea social Sunday afternoon. We have been planning this event for the past few months with hopes of capturing the experience of what society was like before people communicated with cell phones, text messages, Facebook, twitter and video chat “hangouts”. The tea will give everyone a chance to reflect back to a more simple way of life. There will be elegant tea sandwic... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 22:29:31 EST Heroes on Parade... Isn’t it an amazing feeling when we willingly do something for someone else without looking for compensation? After morning breakfast, I put the final stitches in a fabric book I made to be given to a needy child via Project Linus. It was my first book created with donated fabric panels that tell a story of about our heroes to children. Yes, the mission of Project Linus is to provide security through blankets to children in need. But, secondly its mission is to provide a rewarding and fun ... Sat, 8 Sep 2012 20:21:39 EST Wanna Go Fishing? Remember your younger days when you woke up on a Saturday morning and planted yourself in front of the TV for hours to watch your favorite cartoon shows? Well, I did just that this morning! But instead of watching cartoons, I watched my younger son's work as a cameraman and videographer for the TV show "Wanna Go Fishing?" What a great show! What a great and gifted son! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 1 Sep 2012 22:43:00 EST Making New Goals..... It’s time for me to update my list of goals. My recent hike in New Hampshire has “sparked” me to plan a new adventure. This time the hiking and biking trails that I will blaze will be in Little Cottonwood Canyon as well as in the Grand Tetons. My hope is to make this trip to Utah and Wyoming sometime in October. <BR> <BR> If there is one thing I have learned since joining SparkPeople, it’s the importance of planning. As of today, I am giving my fitness program a make-over. I will complet... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 23:29:58 EST Part II -- The Continued Ascent and Final Descent And now for the continuation of my August 12th blog, my trek across the peaks of Mount Lafayette, Mount Lincoln and Little Haystack Mountain… <BR> With my right boot wrapped in duct tape, we continued on along the path that would take us to the top of Mount Lafayette. <BR> <BR> This is the view of the rear of Greenleaf hut as we hiked away from it heading up to Mount Lafayette. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sp... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 20:37:32 EST Part I -- The Beginning.... One of the greatest challenges in my life began on Bridle Falls trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The trail is a very rocky one. Hiking boots are warranted for safe footing. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Natural steps... <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.c... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 00:09:22 EST Hiking in NH Today's hike in New Hampshire was exciting and challenging. However, because took us over nine hours to complete the looped trail, we are arriving home very late.So my summary highlighting my day will have to wait. My next blog will have a pictorial summary. <BR> <em>295</em> Sat, 4 Aug 2012 23:46:34 EST Service to Needy Children…..Project Linus We all recognize the importance of service to one another. Project Linus, a non-profit organization ( <link> </link> ), tugs at my heart and motivates me to make quilts for children who are experiencing tragedies or serious illnesses. The mission of the organization is to help children in need by providing a sense of security at a devastating time in their lives. <BR> <BR> What a great feeling it is to be a “blanketeer” with hundreds of others who share a common pu... Sat, 28 Jul 2012 22:27:20 EST "I get by with a little help from my friends......" In trying to stay focused and avoid depression, I decided to push myself out to the park to continue with my SparkPeople's 5K Your Way Rookie Running Program. The rain and intense heat from this past week almost made me feel like throwing in the towel. But today, after reading many of my SparkFriends activity feeds, I felt encouraged to go out and complete day 3 of week 5. It felt really good to accomplish that small task. Now I am ready to enter into week 6. It’s great having friends look o... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 22:19:19 EST Choices........ Every day we wake up we are faced with many decisions to make. For some choices, we need to think a bit before deciding; for others we find ourselves making the decision right away without giving it much thought. Automatic responses are usually part of habitual behavior. Some behavior is learned. On our journey to better health, we are constantly learning how to decide which foods contain better nutritional value over others. We learn to choose to be active rather than watching someone e... Sat, 14 Jul 2012 23:14:59 EST Reflections........ As I embark on year three with SparkPeople, I recently took time to reflect on my journey to better health while kayaking on the Wallkill River. <BR> <BR> The beauty reflected by the rock and shoreline reminded me of the strength I have gained spiritually, physically and mentally. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The reflection of the clouds on the river made me realize the sky is the limit with anything I would like to accomplish. <BR> <i... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 21:44:40 EST A Time to Create... It’s been a hot, hazy, but not-so-lazy kind of day. Before the temperature reached 90, I headed outside to do a bit of gardening at my church as well as on the home front. The newly planted flowers were in dire need of a good watering. I did a short power walk on the way home. Later, I freshened up a bit, had lunch and then headed to my sewing room for some creativity. With 4th of July upon us, I was feeling very patriotic and dove right into my stash of red, white and blue fabric. What... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 23:16:42 EST A Message to You...... As I look back over the past two years, I am amazed at how I successfully began a journey to transformed myself into a new, healthy individual with goals and dreams I never thought conceivable. And it was all made possible because of my faith in God and with the continuous support and encouragement from my family, the entire team and friends like you! Now it is time for me to review my short and long range goals, celebrate my 2nd Sparkversary, and plan my next new adventure.... Wed, 20 Jun 2012 23:12:19 EST Do You Have What It Takes? We were so excited about joining the group for a kayak adventure on the Wallkill River. This river flows through the National Wildlife Refuge beginning at Sussex, NJ. It flows north between two major rivers that flow south, the Hudson and the Delaware. The weather report called for mostly sunny skies with a 10% chance of late afternoon rain. <BR> <BR> Prior to meet-up, the leader of the group informed us that the paddle launch is 10:30AM. Because we were anxious and not so familiar with ... Sat, 16 Jun 2012 14:40:37 EST Making Time to Succeed Did you ever have one of those days when everything is going along so smoothly? And then you begin to wonder “when is the other shoe going to drop”? No matter what I did today, I was led in the right direction and everything I did, every place I visited, every person I spoke with brought a smile to my face. It was certainly a day filled with positive outcomes. <BR> <BR> The morning began with a relaxing blueberry and whole wheat pancake breakfast. This time I remembered to include all the ... Sat, 9 Jun 2012 22:54:29 EST Open Your Eyes! Being active is key to successful weight loss and all around good health. There is seldom any free time in my life to sit around and do nothing. Since adding kayaking to my world, I've become reacquainted with nature while finding a new purpose with my life. <BR> <BR> There is nothing like the serenity or the beauty of a marsh in Spring. Sit quietly for a moment and close your eyes. Think of the sight and sounds of the red winged blackbirds, the beautiful yellow blooms of the lily pads, a f... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 22:27:49 EST To Pedal or Paddle??? The rain has subsided and we are in for some sun shiny weather tomorrow. So, will it be a “pedal” day…. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> ….or a “paddle” day…… <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Decisions are hard to make sometimes, aren’t they? I hope you decide to go outdoors and play this weekend! Fri, 25 May 2012 22:34:21 EST A Ride Through the Forest Just wanted to share with you today's ride through the Stewart Forest Preserve. Over the past couple of weeks, the forest vegetation has become very thick and very, very green. Although the beauty is awesome with different wild flowers taking turns showing off their blossoms, it makes my ride a bit more challenging because of the shadows created on the trails by the foliage of the trees. I am a little more cautious than usual but still enjoy the adventure. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://phot... Sat, 19 May 2012 22:08:25 EST Come, follow me.... ….as we ride through the Stewart Forest Preserve. Because the area experienced quite a bit of rainfall yesterday, our ride will take us through muddy areas and streams. Ride steady and try to pedal continuously right through these areas without stopping. While going downhill, elevate yourself above your saddle and keep your feet parallel on your pedals to avoid hitting rocks and uneven areas. While going uphill, I find it helpful to avoid standing while pedaling. Instead sit firmly in your sa... Thu, 10 May 2012 20:49:13 EST The Maiden Voyage The cool 50+ degrees and cloudy skies did not stop us from embarking on our new adventure. A local park has a lovely lake that is perfect for beginners like us. It took me a while to finally figure out what my outdoor enthusiast son was trying to teach me over the phone last evening about how to paddle. But after I left the shoreline and “paddled” for about 15 minutes in circles, the light bulb finally came on and I truly enjoyed about an hour and a half of paddling. My husband was doing well... Mon, 7 May 2012 22:12:21 EST Here I go again.... Another new adventure awaits me, this time on the water. I’m finally reaching another goal on my list. That is, to learn to kayak. After much research, my husband and I decided on 2 kayaks that meet our beginner needs and pocketbook. With life vest, water shoes, oar and kayak, I’m ready! <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From old rail trails to mountain trails, and now ponds, r... Sat, 5 May 2012 20:02:01 EST Never Quit Pledge I am making the following pledge that was posted on a SparkFriend's blog. I'm committed and wanted to share it with you to encourage you to never quit. <BR> <BR> Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and <BR> downs I pass through, <BR> I will continue on my journey. <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, <BR> and forgive myself for my past, <BR> and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, <BR> To Stop making excu... Fri, 27 Apr 2012 18:48:47 EST Responding... As I look back on the day, I marvel at all the wonders of Nature. My morning walk with my best friend was a great way to start my day. I find it great therapy to go for long walks and talk about issues on the home front, problems at work, share jokes or just listen to the sounds of Nature. Sometimes Nature’s beauty is just the right environment one needs to be in to start the day with a fresh new look at life. To quote Stephen Convey, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that ... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 23:04:02 EST