LYNDALOVES2HIKE's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=LYNDALOVES2HIKE LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ No, I'm NOT Dead - Just Busy and Still Hanging In There!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5435712 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!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5241704 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>www.run4homelesschildren.com/ </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.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5240109 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 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5225830 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! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5224490 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 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5214735 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] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5195743 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] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5193281 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] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5191277 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] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5190597 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 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5175869 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 Kauai Hike - Mohihi Ridge Part 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5159756 Yikes, the last couple of days got away from me, even though I had intended to post this next section of our hike earlier - ooops! But better now than never so here it goes. After we took a good look at the Alakai Swamp trail heading down, we went back to the main road and started hiking a bit further to see Kawaikoi Camp. It was about 1/4 mile further, maybe a little more, and is a very nice camp. Here's the entrance sign <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/2/l6214947... Fri, 7 Dec 2012 23:19:34 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Ridge Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5156342 This is a continuation of yesterday's blog - where I left off, my husband Tom and I had not quite reached our lunch destination, although we weren't too far from it. Just before we reached the top, a car drove by - this may not seem like a very startling thing to happen but the road is quite washed out in some places, the majority of 'tourists' never go up there and the rental agreements don't allow rental cars up there either, plus it was a weekday - so we had hiked for a couple of hours wit... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 20:12:21 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Ridge Part 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5155306 In early November 2012, my husband Tom and I were fortunate to spend some time in Kauai, our little garden paradise. We've been there many times before - at least 20 times - and that should be a clue that we enjoy it there very much. One of our favorite activities there is hiking. Well, to tell the truth, that's our favorite activity anywhere we go and it's not exactly a secret, haha! There are a lot of people who don't even recognize me if my hair is fixed up and I'm wearing make up - they a... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 22:18:03 EST Kauai Hike - Mohihi Road back to car http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5153613 This is the final blog about the hike we took on 11/4/12 in the Koke'e State Park area on the island of Kauai. If you've been reading the blogs, you may have the impression we hiked for 3 days and covered 20 miles but actually, it was maybe 4-5 miles and we were moving somewhat slowly with a number of breaks to look around so spent about 2-1/2 hours on the hike, more or less. There were sections where we went our usual 3mph hiking speed but because we had to navigate a lot of tree roots acros... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 13:47:05 EST Kauai Forest Hike - Pu'u Ka O'helo Trail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5151827 This is 'the next installment' of the hike we took on 11/4/12 in Koke'e State Park on the beautiful garden island of Kauai. The Berry Flat Trail and Pu'u Ka O'helo Trail form a loop hike off to the side, both connecting to Mohihi Road. This blog shows pictures along the Pu'u Ka O'helo Trail, which also connects to the Water Tank Trail, a segment we didn't hike this trip. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1080906545.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Here's another Hawaiian language... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:52:31 EST Kauai Forest Hike - Berry Flat Trail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5150881 This is a continuation of the last blog I posted telling about our hike on the Waininiua Trail and Kumawela Road in Kokee. We went on this hike on Sunday, 11/4/12, which was my dad's and mother-in-law's birthdays - my dad was born in 1919 and my MIL was in 1918, both on 11/4. From where I left you in the previous blog, we hiked a short way along a 'main road' [so to speak] called Mohihi Road, where Kumawela Road ends - both are dirt roads, actually clay roads, so it can be challenging to driv... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:36:16 EST Kauai Hike - Waininiua Trail and Kumawela Road in Koke'e http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5148234 One of the best places to hike in Kauai [according to us, haha] is in the rainforest of Koke'e State Park. Although we've made 20 trips to Kauai, there are still a lot of trails we haven't hiked on yet but we're doing what we can to shorten that list - here are some pictures and memories of a hike we did on 11/4/12. It was extra-sweet because that day is the anniversary of my husband's mother's birthday and also my father's birthday. Both of them loved to hike, loved Kauai, loved getting away... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 10:34:48 EST Kauai Vacation - Wailua River Kayaking + Hike to Secret Falls http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5145541 We were very fortunate to spend a little time in Kauai earlier this month - we have been there many times before but there are still a lot of things we hadn't done yet so we decided to 'work the list' this trip. One of the things neither of us had ever done, either there in Kauai or anywhere else, was to go kayaking. I've really been wanting to try it and Tom was interested, too, so we decided to give it a try. <BR> <BR> After a little research, we discovered an outfit called Kayak Wailua, w... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 23:43:45 EST Turkey Trot 2012 - Yorba Linda, CA http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5144432 Each year, DH and I enter ourselves in a Turkey Trot - these are 5k/10k runs on Thanksgiving morning that are usually a combination fundraiser for some worthy cause and just a fun way to burn off a few calories before the big 'Thanksgiving feast.' For the past 3 years, we've entered the Plymouth Rock 'N Run Turkey Trot at Yorba Regional Park in Yorba Linda, CA. <BR> <BR> I was very pleased with my time yesterday - finished the 5k course in 43 minutes, 53 seconds, which works out to 14 minute... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 17:47:17 EST Where does the time go? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5074423 It's been SOOOO long since I've blogged - yikes, I hope my SparkFriends don't think I fell off the face of the earth! <BR> <BR> I've just been pretty darned busy - and have had to put 'sparking' at the bottom of a long priority list, sad to say, although I've done generally OK with the rest of life. Any of you who are busy probably have gone thru periods of the same and as much as I enjoy keeping up with my friends here on SparkPeople, life has a way of demanding attention, too, so until I ... Tue, 25 Sep 2012 12:53:05 EST Exploring the White Mountains http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5001359 Another great day in Eastern Arizona exploring the area. This morning we went on a nice hike near the campground and then drove out to Big Lake to have lunch, which was about 25 miles or so from our campground. It was a stunning area to drive through - lots of trees, gigantic mountain meadows with loads of wildflowers - and we didn't have any rain until we got very close to the lake. So we ate in the car but still enjoyed the meal and the company! <BR> <BR> After lunch, we drove over to the ... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 23:17:03 EST Kicking back in the tent! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4999988 I'm writing this from my tent in a campground next to Luna Lake in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona - at the moment, it's raining fairly steady outside so we're just kicking back in the tent for awhile, listening to the rain. We had planned a quiet day without much activity anyway so the rain isn't keeping us from much, although I'm wondering what we're going to do for dinner since we can't fire up the stove - maybe drive to town to eat in the cafe! <BR> <BR> While I'm enjoying the sou... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 20:23:09 EST An Exciting Trip Begins!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4994712 I've gotten all of my 'stuff' packed [except my purse, computer and the dogs] and just waiting for DH to wind up his last-minute organization - then we will be ON THE ROAD!! I'm so excited, even though in some ways this might not sound like anything to get so worked up about! But it's not so much WHAT we're going to do, it's WHO will be doing it with us! <BR> <BR> First off, I enjoy traveling with DH - and we'll have our dogs with us, which always adds a lot to the experience. They love to t... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 12:26:57 EST Tiger's Personality Transplant - memories of an amazing cat! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4984861 When my dad became disabled in Texas around 2006, he had 38 cats on his ranch - my brother and SIL worked to find homes for many of them but after they had exhausted their resources, there were still 4 cats left - Midnight, Bitsy, Greyboy and Tiger. Bitsy lived in my dad's bed with him, a 'reformed' feral cat - Greyboy was super aggressive and attacked all other creatures in his vicinity, male or female, so he was kept isolated and eventually found a home/job as a 'barn cat' - Midnight was el... Tue, 24 Jul 2012 12:53:36 EST Toe Update [boring blog of the day!] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4983336 In a narcissistic moment, I've become convinced that everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting to find out how my toe is recovering from the recent injury so here is the Boring Blog of the Day - keep reading only if your life is so boring, even this bulletin sounds interesting, haha! <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> Quick recap - I broke my toe on Friday the 13th. [Bet you thought the 'bad luck' was a myth, didn't you?] - it wasn't 'just' a broken toe, it broke lengthwise on the bone across the ... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:53:27 EST What if today, we were just grateful for EVERYTHING?? [posters] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4979322 The horrible tragedy in Aurora Colorado have illustrated just how fragile life is and how 'random events' can affect many people. I am very blessed, privileged and <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l667377089.jpg"> <BR> <BR> for my life today - things like this tragedy sure put my petty little problems into perspective! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l166990662.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So I thought I'd post a few of my favorite GRATITUDE pi... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 13:44:10 EST Yosemite = Amazing! [pictures] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4978250 We ended our most recent vacation with a short stay in Yosemite - it is an incredibly beautiful place, almost 'too' gorgeous to be real. Honest, I look at the scenery and feel almost like it's gotta be a painting or photo-shopped because nothing could possibly look like that in real life - but it does. There's a good reason why it's considered one of the Wonders of the World! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l556291148.jpg"> <BR> <BR> All I have to say is, if you... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 19:19:50 EST Don't Forget to Be Awesome [posters] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4976807 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l9076039.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l110720604.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l884803486.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/8/l483937435.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l215503354.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l377566937.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 21:15:59 EST The Secret Garden at Tragedy Spring [pictures] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4974962 When we left Lake Tahoe, we drove south on Hwy 88, which is not as heavily traveled as other routes - just our type of road ;-) It took us through the Eldorado National Forest around lunch-time and the dogs wanted to stretch their legs so I started looking for an appropriate picnic area. Unfortunately, most of the designated picnic areas we passed were right on the highway or were super-busy, neither of which was conducive for letting the dogs wander around off-leash for awhile. We spotted an... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:55:07 EST 'Secret Trails' in South Lake Tahoe [pictures] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4971882 Over the past two weeks, we were privileged to spend some time in the High Sierra - first visiting the Mammoth area, then spending several days with my brother and sister-in-law in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, followed by another couple of days staying in South Lake Tahoe. While it's the same lake high in the mountains, the resemblance between the North Shore and South Shore stops there - the North Shore is quiet and more 'dignified' in many ways, while the South Shore is... Sun, 15 Jul 2012 21:20:24 EST Was Friday the 13th Bad Luck for You? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4970303 Ordinarily, I don't really believe in 'bad luck' - at least, I honestly don't believe that Friday the 13th is more likely to trigger 'bad luck' than any other time nor do I think Black Cats are bad luck, etc. But sometimes 'coincidence' is just a little too much. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> Yesterday morning - Friday the 13th - I got up to go to the bathroom while it was still dark. My black cat wanted to come into the bedroom and was outside the door making noise so I decided to let him in. In t... Sat, 14 Jul 2012 17:49:36 EST Lake Forest Beach - Pictures of Where We Were Married http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4965344 I won't be online tomorrow so decided to post TWO blogs today, mostly because I couldn't wait to show you where Tom and I were married 21-1/2 years ago [before my brother even moved to this area!] <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/2/l92088075.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We actually got married on January 1, 1991, when the area was covered with snow and the lake was frozen so it looked somewhat different from this at the time. And getting married in this spot was not the origina... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:03:33 EST More Tahoe Meadows pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4965289 We walked/hiked through so many meadows, I hope everyone is still enjoying the pictures - at any rate, if you're bored with meadows, skip this blog and look at the next set of pictures - if not, well here are some more pictures of one of our hikes, the one on Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail and sections of the Tahoe Rim Trail <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/8/l485219173.jpg"> <BR> <BR> More trees, more wildflowers.... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 10:37:00 EST More Incline Village Pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4963826 I wanted to show you a few more pictures taken during our visit with my brother and sister-in-law, who live in Incline Village on the north end of Lake Tahoe. It's a beautiful place, although somewhat isolated so a lot of 'necessities of life' are not available locally. Instead, they drive to Carson City, Reno or 'wherever' to get what they need some of the time. Still, it's pretty difficult to feel sorry for them - if I was going to be 'stuck' somewhere, this is among my top choices, haha! H... Tue, 10 Jul 2012 11:58:51 EST Hiking around Incline Village - pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4961826 The past several days, we have been staying with my brother and sister-in-law at their lovely home in incline Village, NV, which is on the north side of Lake Tahoe. It's an absolutely gorgeous area there so I feel very lucky to have a sibling living here who has a spare room and likes dogs! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> To give you an idea of the splendor surrounding their home, here is a look at the corner where you turn into their street - as you can see, it's dense forest with homes scattered a... Mon, 9 Jul 2012 09:41:45 EST Earthquake Fault and Mono Lake - pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4960302 There's a lot of amazing geological features in our country and one that fascinates me is the faults and fissures created by earthquake and volcanic activity. Of course, most of you know that the 'volcanic zone' and 'earthquake zone' are mostly the same so even though they are totally different phenomena, I tend to associate them. The magnificent Sierra mountain range was created by a combination of volcanic activity and upthrusts/folding of ground as tectonic plates collided over millions of... Sun, 8 Jul 2012 10:06:25 EST Sherwin Creek and Devil's Postpile [pix] http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4959370 As I've mentioned, we camped for a couple of nights at the Sherwin Creek Campground near Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Mtns - while I didn't care too much for the actual campsite itself [or the holiday-celebration noise from other campers], there's no complaint about the surroundings! Here's a couple of pictures of our tent to give you an idea of where we stayed: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/9/l894223046.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You can see in this next picture how part o... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 14:15:23 EST Camping, Hiking, Exploring - pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4958004 We came up to the Eastern Sierra Mountains on July 4, camping in Sherwin Creek Campground near Mammoth - can't say I'd stay here again unless we got a better campsite but it's still been a great trip and we've had fun - my main complaints are that the campsite is too small and we had to move the heavy picnic table to make room for our tent, which isn't THAT big [10x9'] and even so, part of it is in the parking area. There is more trash than I'd like to see although we pretty much cleaned up o... Fri, 6 Jul 2012 13:07:39 EST Sharing a Mummy-style sleeping bag with 2 dogs - oh what fun! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4956437 We spent the night camping in Sherwin Creek Campground, just outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA. The campground elevation is 7600' and we had a light wind all night so it got fairly cold - although I had blankets and 'beds' for the dogs, Moani wanted to snuggle up to me all night, as she usually does at home. Around 1am, when the temps had dropped a fair amount, she decided it looked a lot warmer INSIDE my sleeping bag than it was lying next to me under her blanket. <BR> <BR> This was a very, um, ... Thu, 5 Jul 2012 12:12:44 EST It ain't perfect but it's MY AMERICA! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4954779 There's lots to do still, the nation is far from perfect - but it's still the country that I love! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l177889787.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/9/l296544265.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/7/l971255187.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today is a day we can celebrate our history <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l199... Wed, 4 Jul 2012 09:13:09 EST Camping, Hiking, Packing - wow, have I been busy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4954171 The last few days have been super busy - but in a good way! Over the weekend we went on a camping trip with Inner City Outings, a Sierra Club group that I've volunteered with for many years. It was a gigantic group, the biggest I've ever worked with - and I don't actually know EXACTLY how many people were there - every time I tried to count, people would move around, others would be arriving while some were leaving, etc. So I think we had something like 65 participants ranging in age from tod... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 21:05:18 EST Health Care!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4946413 I know some people have a different reaction but I am VERY PLEASED that the Supreme Court upheld our Affordable Health Care act!! As a marketing professor, I have analyzed the various scare tactics that have been used to oppose this legislation when the truth has been that it's simply a political move to oppose it and not necessarily based on legitimate facts. <BR> <BR> The main argument against the act is a claim that we can't afford it and that making people purchase health insurance is a... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:53:47 EST Making trip plans ;-) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4940282 Well, it's summer and that means TRAVEL TIME!! I teach online so really could travel any time but somehow it just seems like everything is a lot nicer in the summer, esp if we can get away from the heat here at home. Also, I'm [ahem] "getting older" now and figure if I'm going to take vacations, now is the time to take them!! DH is retired and I am fortunate to have such a fantastic job so I can still work and travel to some extent [but don't forget, I do still have to spend a fair amount of ... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 15:16:53 EST Villa Park 5k - pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4939044 My husband, best girlfriend and I entered the Villa Park 5k this morning and had a great time. I forgot to take my camera so didn't get all the pictures I had planned to take - darn!! But I'll tell you a little about the event and show you a couple of pictures DH and I took when we got home again. <BR> <BR> My husband goes out running all the time so he wanted to run the 5k but my BFF and I wanted to walk it - he wanted to get there early so he went in a separate car and met us there - we sh... Sat, 23 Jun 2012 14:24:16 EST Working on the Farm Harvesting Seeds - pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4931908 On Saturday, I decided to volunteer for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy's Native Seed Farm because it's "harvest time" and there is a LOT of work that needs to get done. I really like the young man who does most of the work on the farm and leads the crews. And besides being a 'feel good' job, it's a good way to 'burn calories' so I arrived at the office early on Saturday morning. I was happy to see there were three other volunteers, esp since I was still pretty tired from the Tecate Cypress Wate... Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:31:28 EST Pictures from Recent Hikes & Events http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4930703 This is a 'catch-up' blog with pictures from things I've been doing the past few days - because I've been "between classes" at the moment, I have had more time to have fun. But with summer classes starting again tomorrow.....I'm back to work again. Fortunately [from a fun standpoint], I have a light schedule with only 2 classes instead of the 4 classes I used to teach in summer. And, there's always another side of the story so I'll add that UNfortunately [from an income standpoint], I have a ... Sun, 17 Jun 2012 22:26:25 EST Pictures from Mountain Workshop http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4929568 Last weekend, DH and I went to a great workshop in the San Bernardino Mountains - I blogged about it a couple of days ago but hadn't downloaded the pictures from my camera until today. So now I'm sharing the pictures with you and I hope you enjoy them. <BR> <BR> There were cabins we could have stayed in but they were all 'dormitory style' with multiple people sleeping on bunk beds so we decided to take a tent. This was actually the first time we had camped in it, although I bought it a coupl... Sun, 17 Jun 2012 00:07:35 EST Watering Burned Tecate Cypress Grove Restoration Project http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4928452 I spent a great but exhausting day helping to restore a Tecate Cypress Grove that burned in a fire a few years ago. This project is extra-important because the Tecate Cypress Grove we worked on is only one of a few existing in the world and the tree genetics here are somewhat different from the other groves in San Diego County and Mexico. The Native Plant Society lists it as a rare or endangered plant so it was heart-breaking when the Sierra Peak Fire roared through here in 2006 and destroyed... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 23:57:36 EST Leading Hikes as a Docent http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4925675 I just completed the requirements to become a Docent and before everything even got processed, an 'urgent' need for someone to take over a hike arose - so they hurried up the processing and I led my first hike last night as a Docent for Irvine Ranch Conservancy! <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> The group was awesome and everyone seemed to have a good time. In fact, some of the participants were trying to find out when I'm going to lead another hike, saying they liked the way I led the group. Wow, I r... Thu, 14 Jun 2012 00:56:43 EST