LYNDALOVES2HIKE's SparkPeople Blog LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community First Day of Spring!! <img src=""> Sun, 20 Mar 2016 11:14:52 EST Sign the Never Quit Pledge This has been going around for a long time but it's appropriate to re-post it today. I AM REPOSTING THIS TO PASS IT ON...FEEL FREE TO COPY AND PASTE INTO YOUR OWN BLOG AND JOIN US!!! <BR> <BR> Saturday, June 30, 2012 <BR> Taken from BBonet's blog <BR> <BR> NEVER QUIT PLEDGE <BR> <BR> Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myse... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 13:26:11 EST After 25 years, he still puts up with me!! I saw this image of a coffee cup and decided it describes things perfectly! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We have been celebrating our anniversary and the year-end holidays by spending a week in Yosemite, first at the Wawona Hotel and now we're in the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. We went out to dinner last night at the Mountain Room here at the Lodge and tonight we are dining at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Last night... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 15:43:42 EST Happy New Year to my SparkFriends!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> May 2016 be the year of reaching goals, making progress and finding more happiness than ever!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION!!! Thu, 31 Dec 2015 19:19:25 EST The End Is Near!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As this year is ending, I wish all the negativity and difficulties also end with this year and 2016 bring success and desired results for you. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 26 Dec 2015 11:08:03 EST Merry Christmas to all my SparkFriends!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I hope you have the best holiday ever!! Fri, 25 Dec 2015 13:33:59 EST Cynical Christmas with Crabby Maxine Some of you are already familiar with the crabby, cynical cartoon character named Maxine. While I feel much more optimistic and happy this season than the cartoons express, I still think Maxine is hilarious so wanted to share a 'marathon' of Maxine cartoons I've saved over time. Hope you enjoy these - and hope you are much less crabby and cynical than Maxine is, haha! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="h... Thu, 24 Dec 2015 10:28:38 EST My Virtual Walk through Germany About 3 months ago, I discovered a site called - I've blogged about it before because I chose to do a 'virtual walk' through Germany, where I was visiting in person at the time. I've posted several blogs about my trip and also about my virtual walk - it was fun because I had the amazing opportunity to visit in person several of the 'milestone' destinations from my Virtual Walk. Several of the places we visited this fall in person were added to our agenda because of my Virtual... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 20:44:54 EST Want thiings to change? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've found that 'things' will change as soon as my attitude toward them changes. How about you? Fri, 18 Dec 2015 12:56:29 EST We are all flakes!! <img src=""> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 13:07:18 EST To all my SparkFriends The following applies to YOU!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thanks for being my SparkFriend!! Wed, 2 Dec 2015 11:39:30 EST Welcome December!! <img src=""> Tue, 1 Dec 2015 19:26:49 EST Gratitude and Letting Go I am very grateful for my life, my husband, my home and I feel extremely lucky because things could have turned out so differently - so I am always aware of the saying 'There but for the Grace of God go I' when I see others in less fortunate circumstances. I feel especially grateful for my husband, who provides a centering or grounding presence for me as well as endless support for my goals and interests. And although I have been grateful for my job as a college professor over the past 25 yea... Thu, 26 Nov 2015 19:23:08 EST You are more important.... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> than the number on the scale!! Sat, 7 Nov 2015 21:44:30 EST Sod Rooftops in Germany In one village in Northern Germany, not far from Lubeck, we saw quite a few homes with sod rooftops - intriguing! From what I understand, this roof system is common in some traditional areas in Scandinavia and of course, Lubeck is one of the cities with ferry service to Denmark and ultimately Sweden, Norway and Finland where this type of roof was used for centuries. So it wasn't really surprising to find it on a number of homes in this area, although it's not something I've ever seen in the U... Tue, 3 Nov 2015 21:58:46 EST Halloween at the zoo As usual, Halloween at the zoo was very popular - we all dress up in costumes and have games, a scavenger hunt [with questions to answer about the zoo animals], prizes and of course lots of candy and other goodies to give out to the kids. Some of the animals get to wear costumes and most are pretty much OK with it - a few actually seem to LOVE to get dressed up [more attention - as if they don't get enough on their own, haha]. <BR> <BR> Here's a picture of me with a chuckwalla wearing a sha... Sun, 1 Nov 2015 11:08:23 EST Forest Mushrooms in Germany We hiked in a lot of places across Germany during our trip and I couldn't hope but notice that there were mushrooms EVERYWHERE we went - different kinds with a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and quantity. Here are some pictures I took - I don't really know much about which type of mushrooms these are but I noticed that a lot of people were out gathering them. I was told that most of the ones I saw in the forest were edible but some had to be picked in a certain stage - I think I will just d... Sun, 1 Nov 2015 00:30:43 EST Another adorable Gothic town in Germany - Lubeck We stopped for one day and night in Lubeck, which is the starting point for my virtual trip across Germany and also the birthplace of one of our close friends in Germany - it's in the far north side of the country, on the Baltic Sea, and is very close to the border with Denmark, although we didn't get over there at all. I reallly enjoyed visiting this historic town, which actually has evidence of human presence going back 9700 years!! The old part of the town itself was established in 1144 an... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 05:07:01 EST The adorable village of Bamberg - part of my Virtual and Real trips to Germany! We stopped for a couple of hours in the village of Bamberg on our way from Nuremberg to the next stop on our trip, which I'll tell you about another time. The main reason we stopped in Bamberg is because I have started doing a 'virtual walk' through Germany on a site called and Bamberg is one of the destinations on that virtual walk. I've physically been in most of the virtual destinations and wanted to stop by this one just to see it in person, since it was really our way an... Sun, 11 Oct 2015 04:06:07 EST Nuremberg We stayed in a somewhat nondescript hotel because the place we really wanted was booked and a number of other places we checked were also booked - seems like a lot of people wanted to visit Nuremberg at the end of September!! So our room wasn't terrible - just not very exciting - so it was sort-of like the German equivalent of Super8 or some other lower-priced place. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was well-l... Wed, 7 Oct 2015 04:25:17 EST Quick stops in Dresden & Leipzig On our way to Prague, we made a quick stop in Dresden - we had been through there before but decided this trip to take a little time to drive around the city and make a quick stop somewhere for coffee and just to have a break from driving. We settled for a Starbucks in the center part of the city. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm struck by how many 'familiar' companies are here - we see Starbucks, McDonald's,... Tue, 6 Oct 2015 10:41:15 EST Visiting Friends in Prague Last week we visited a friend and his wife in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic. We love visiting them as they are totally wonderful people and they seem to enjoy us being there as they are always excited to talk with us and do things with us. It's interesting because our friend Cenek does speak English pretty well but not his wife, who speaks only Czech - of course, I don't speak any Czech but somehow we have managed to communicate fairly well - maybe all the details don't come th... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 04:23:13 EST Raptors in Germany I really like raptors so I was very happy that we got to visit a place called Falknerei am Rennsteig, which rehabilitates or rescues injured hawks, owls, etc. They also have a large collection of 'education birds,' which are used to help people learn more about the various species. One of the ways they do this is by displaying the birds without a cage - in the US, this would never work because people would not respect the rules and would go over or around the barriers to touch the birds, etc.... Sun, 4 Oct 2015 08:09:50 EST Hiking on the Rennsteig Trail I've wanted to hike on this trail for a long time but when we were here in 2013, my knee was completely messed up and I could barely walk, thanks to all the cobblestone streets and stairs in Europe. Well, what's a girl to do?? <BR> <BR> 1. Get a new knee [check] <BR> 2. Go back and try again [check] <BR> <BR> We are definitely not going to hike the entire 120-mile length of the trail, although I'd still like to do that someday - but we did visit the very start of the trail in a little villa... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 15:27:51 EST Gottingen, Germany We are spending a few days in the little town where my husband lived for a year and a half or so in the early 70s - he worked as a translator and took some classes at the university, He had studied German in college but 'perfected' his language skills when he lived here so it has a very special memory for him. We've visited here a couple of other times but didn't spend an extended amount of time - this year, since I'm actually not 'on vacation' but am teaching classes online and have other wo... Thu, 17 Sep 2015 03:17:41 EST Koln Flora - visiting the botanical garden Another place we visited with our friends was the Koln Flora, which is a huge botanical garden next to the Zoo in Cologne - we walked quite a bit but only saw a small part of it so we plan to go back with our other friends when we return to the area in a few weeks. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We were having a late lunch so decided to have some coffee and a snack around 11am - I ordered a piece of 'apple cake... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 03:10:25 EST Germany - Florscheim am Main and Koeln [Cologne]!! So far we are having a great trip with only a few glitches and we are so glad we came here. We spent our first night in a little town called Florscheim am Main - our hotel was the Karthauser Hof, which has been run by the same family for more than a century. It was originally a cloister for monks so they have a statue of a monk on the balcony in the back of the hotel. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src="http://pho... Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:41:08 EST Two hours left!! I only have 2 hours to put the final 'finishing touches' on everything before my BFF picks us up to take us to the airport for our trip <em>535</em> - we'll be gone for 5 weeks so it's nerve-wracking to try to pack and make all the arrangements for being gone that long <em>534</em> plus it's hard on my back to pack, weigh, re-pack, weigh again, etc, to make sure we don't go over the airline weight limit - sigh! It's always about the scale sometimes! <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 16:10:32 EST Europe 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark, Cologne, Frankfurt - and home!! The past few days, I've been blogging about our upcoming trip plans - we leave next week so I'm getting ready, packing, etc, so it's definitely on my mind. In fact, I think a trip has three phases, each of which is really fun in its own way - the first phase is planning and preparation - the second phase is actually traveling to places - and the third phase is remembering and telling others about it afterward. So I really try to thoroughly enjoy all three phases of each trip, which makes it t... Wed, 2 Sep 2015 12:44:43 EST Europe 2015 - Back to Germany - Nuremberg, Rennsteig Trail and Berlin I left off yesterday telling you about our plans to visit Prague - after we leave there, we are heading back to Nuremberg [Germany] to see and do things we didn't have time to do or see last time we were there. That's our theme - finish up previous trips, haha! Here's a picture of Tom touching the 'ring in the Nuremberg Gate,' which ensures that we will return. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One of the things I... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 11:45:36 EST Europe 2015, Germany, Amsterdam and Prague As I mentioned yesterday, my husband and I are going to spend 5 weeks in Europe again this year - we're leaving next week and flying to Frankfurt. Based on previous trips over there, we have decided to spend the first night close to Frankfurt, even though our friends [where we are going to stay first] only live a couple of hours away. We need to do some shopping first anyway and doing it this way will allow us to adjust to the time change before arriving at their home. We've stayed with them ... Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:50:31 EST Getting Ready to Travel I really enjoy traveling and I'm very fortunate that I've been able to do a fair amount, probably more than the average person. One advantage I have is that my job is teaching online so I don't have to wait for 'vacation' or 'time off' - I simply take my job with me wherever I go. <BR> <BR> This year, I've been blessed to have gone on a number of trips already - twice to Yosemite, the first in January <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 30 Aug 2015 15:17:53 EST Another new friend - Flower!! I really enjoy my volunteer job at the Orange County Zoo and one of the biggest pleasures is when we have an 'education animal' that we can introduce to the children [and adults] who visit the zoo. <BR> <BR> We recently were joined by the cutest baby opossum named Flower!! She is only about 6 months old and is so darned sweet!! I know there are a lot of people who don't like opossums and when it comes to those in the wild, I can't say I blame them - I would never try to 'tame' one or pick o... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:38:34 EST My new friend Elinor!! I first met Elinor about a year ago, when she joined everyone else at the Orange County Zoo, where I am privileged to volunteer on a regular basis. I got to know her in private for quite a few months until she finally was able to be introduced to the public last month. Since then, a lot of people have decided she is their favorite new friend, too - watch the video and see if you agree with us that Elinor is one of the most fun and delightful friends you could ask for!! <BR> <BR> <link>www.... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 17:15:21 EST End of 10 seconds of Fame - just as well..... It's just as well that they took down the television interview and replaced it with the more current news clip - I really didn't like the way I looked in the picture, half asleep and all puffy without makeup, haha! But the news is important because it is a terrible fire and growing rapidly - we've had several years of extreme drought so I'm anticipating more big fires this year and just praying we don't get hit in my local area we've worked so hard to restore and protect! They are creating HU... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:48:00 EST Early morning, no make-up, rushed out the door and.... Yep it was one of 'those mornings' when I overslept because my alarm didn't go off so I rushed out the door with no make-up to meet my friend so we could carpool to our birding class - we left at 5:30am so it was a miracle I even woke up in time at all, haha! We got to the Mill Creek Ranger Station to meet up with our classmates around 6:30am and there are news vans all over the place because of a big forest fire that had started - so guess who has a microphone and TV camera in her face befor... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:02:14 EST Super-quick Good Morning!! I'm running out the door to join my friends for our monthly Citizen Science Butterfly Count - it's a survey group I've been active with for several years now and it's loads of fun PLUS a little bonus is getting exercise in a beautiful outdoor area. Yay, great combination!! <BR> <BR> There's no way I could be considered a 'butterfly expert' [or any other type of expert for that matter] but I've learned a lot by participating in this and I can actually identify quite a few types of butterflies... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 10:28:34 EST Summer 2014 - Point Reyes National Seashore & Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park I'm very lucky that my husband and I were able to go on a number of trips this summer so I thought I would share a little about some of them with my Spark Friends and add a couple of comments about the difference between my Spark Friends, my FaceBook Friends and my 'real life' friends. I'll start with that first, then move on to the travels. <BR> <BR> I do have a very wide circle of 'real life' friends and acquaintances - I'm pretty active in a number of groups and it amazes me that even peo... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 20:40:22 EST Staying Active & Staying Healthy There are a lot of ways to interpret 'staying active' and 'staying healthy' - I try to cover all my bases and look at all-around health, not just going through the motions on one or two aspects. I stay physically active by hiking and getting out for other types of exercise but I've also realized that 'just' exercise by itself is not necessarily 'healthy' unless it's part of an overall program that includes mental health, emotional health [and yes, they are different], spiritual health, and al... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 11:16:04 EST No, I'm NOT Dead - Just Busy and Still Hanging In There!! I know, I know - it's been so long since I've posted, probably everyone I ever knew on SparkPeople has forgotten I ever existed but I'm back, at least sporadically, and decided to post a long-overdue blog!! I've had plenty of experience with 'starting again,' as I'm sure many others on here have experience doing as well, haha! Actually, there's nothing wrong with starting again but I actually prefer to consider it a NEW START since I'm definitely not where I have been before so 'starting over... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 22:42:03 EST Hey Orange County! Join me on March 9 at Mile Square Park!! At least one other SparkMember and I are registered for the Thomas House Run4Homeless Children 5k and Walk-A-Thon on March 9, 2013 - it's for a great cause and a wonderful way to burn some calories, have fun and 'do good' at the same time! You can get more information at this link <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> You do NOT have to run this race - you can walk it and be proud of yourself for doing so! My goal is to finish in less than 40 minutes so if you ... Thu, 7 Feb 2013 14:23:57 EST I'm just too old to start running.... Well, I can't use that excuse any more - here's a little clip from Lisa Ling's documentary series on the OWN cable channel. Her documentary is called Our America and last night's episode was titled The Secret Lives of Seniors. <BR> <BR> Since I know a lot of people don't get this cable channel, I definitely wanted to share this particular clip about Ida, the 97-year-old woman who just set a world record for the 100-yard dash for her age group, 95 yrs and older. <BR> <BR> As I learned from w... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 11:27:16 EST Lynda's A-Z This has been going around off and on for awhile so I decided to fill it out just for fun - hope you enjoy it!! <BR> <BR> A- Available or married. I've been married to Tom since January 1, 1991 – 22 years! <BR> <em>337</em> <BR> B. Book- I'm currently reading 'Fat Chance' by Dr. Robert Lustig – highly recommend it!!! Other recent books are “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes and a variety of reference books for classes or personal interest – don't really 'read' those, just bits and pieces he... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 16:12:42 EST Do You Believe in Magic?? I do - sometimes! I guess it boils down to how you define the word 'magic' but maybe I'm just not that picky about definitions - when something surprises me and seems to defy my ordinary expectations, I call it 'magic' <BR> <BR> One example is when I met my husband - I'm not talking about those tingly feelings we get when we meet someone special - I'm talking about 'above and beyond' things that I absolutely cannot explain. Things that had never occurred before and have never occurred since - here is one of t... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 14:35:06 EST National Day of Service - Habitat Restoration Project As you might have heard, today has been designated as the National Day of Service - a day when people are asked to 'give back' to make the world a better place. This is actually something I try to do often as it's something that gives me a really good feeling. And heck, we like to do things that make us feel good, right? <BR> <BR> So my project today was to work on a land stewardship project, planting prickly pear cactus to establish/restore habitat for a bird called the Cactus Wren. It's n... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 20:26:44 EST Dolphin Watching Trip [pictures] We signed up for a Whale Watching trip the day after we went to Safari Park but since we didn't see any 'whales,' I've decided to call it a 'Dolphin Watching' trip instead! It was a really nice day - we were afraid it would be really cold but it ended up being somewhat warm instead! My husband, surrogate 'daughter' and 'granddaughter' went on this trip with me - sort-of a family Christmas Present and a way to have a fun adventure together. We started out in Newport Harbor on the Balboa Penins... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 20:29:36 EST Safari Park/Last Part [pictures] To conclude my blog on our visit to Safari Park, I have a few more pictures. First is of the facilities where people can CAMP at the park - they call it Roar N Snore Safari and I've known a few people who have done this. They all said it was a lot of fun but the prices have gone up considerably so they probably wouldn't do it again. At any rate, it's something we've thought about and the cost does include meals, workshops and 'private tours' within the park so it seems reasonable to me - cost... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 14:44:53 EST Safari Park/Part Two [pictures] I posted some pictures of my 12/27/12 trip to Safari Park, which is part of the San Diego Zoo. I was a member many years ago but let that lapse when I got too busy doing other things to visit but we joined again this year so I'm hoping to get back down there more regularly, if only for a few hours at a time. As Diamond Members, we will also get invited to 'special events' so I'm looking forward to having more fun at this park. It's really gigantic and there were whole sections we didn't visi... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 09:35:27 EST Safari Park - Escondido [pictures] My husband and I took my unofficial 'daughter' and 'granddaughter' to Safari Park a couple of days after Christmas. This park used to be called Wild Animal Park and it's run by San Diego Zoo. There's a nontraditional design and many of the animals roam in huge open fields, interacting with each other. Obviously the predator animals are kept away from the 'dinner' animals and there are other separations but in general, it's a little more humane than a typical zoo setting. We've been wanting to... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 20:24:53 EST Merry Christmas Balboa Style Tom and I decided to spend a week on the Balboa Peninsula for Christmas - there's been a tradition for the past 104 years called the Newport Beach Boat Parade and we enjoy watching it once in awhile. This year we saw it THREE nights in a row because we were staying here! It was such a nice, frivolous break from the depressing news about....well, you know how depressing the news has been lately so I won't repeat it here! I hope you will enjoy a few pictures of the 104th Annual Boat Parade. It'... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 12:52:51 EST