MADMARE's SparkPeople Blog MADMARE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 18 day vacation nine pounds gained. This summer's vacation was a group tour call Ed The Arctic Circle with Globus tours. Started out with delays in Boston because the plane we were scheduled to fly out on had struck a flock of birds while landing. I knew it was going to be a long wait when the staff started bringing out carts of snacks and soft drinks. They announced the engine was being inspected with fiber optics and our takeoff would be over an hour late. My attitude was " take all the time you need, getting there safely is ... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 12:42:09 EST 18 day vacation nine pounds gained. This summer's vacation was a group tour call Ed The Arctic Circle with Globus tours. Started out with delays in Boston because the plane we were scheduled to fly out on had struck a flock of birds while landing. I knew it was going to be a long wait when the staff started bringing out carts of snacks and soft drinks. They announced the engine was being inspected with fiber optics and our takeoff would be over an hour late. My attitude was " take all the time you need, getting there safely is ... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 12:41:40 EST 18 day vacation nine pounds gained. This summer's vacation was a group tour call Ed The Arctic Circle with Globus tours. Started out with delays in Boston because the plane we were scheduled to fly out on had struck a flock of birds while landing. I knew it was going to be a long wait when the staff started bringing out carts of snacks and soft drinks. They announced the engine was being inspected with fiber optics and our takeoff would be over an hour late. My attitude was " take all the time you need, getting there safely is ... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 12:27:19 EST Back from France and back to tracking. Just returned yesterday from a three week trip to France, a river cruise tour through Grand Circle/Overseas Adventure Travel. We flew in to Nice, spent the next day then bussed to Arles to board the boat. The next day we spent in Arles, beautiful in its own right, it is famous through the many paintings Van Gogh did of the town when he lived there. Next day we were in Avignon. Had a walking tour and visited the former Pope's palace. Walking around town was made "interesting" by the Mistral w... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 09:22:50 EST Spent the day with my head down a hole I had a day off work yesterday for a dentist appt. About 7 AM I was drinking my coffee and watching the news when someone knocked on my door. It was an older lady who drove by on her schoolbus route and stopped to let me know my horse had broken the fence. This nice lady wanted to let me know before Katie got out and into the road. She stayed and kept watch while I threw on the first available jacket, grabbed a halter off the hook by the door, then ran back to get carrots to entice the horse.... Wed, 25 Apr 2012 15:15:22 EST Ethnic Diversity Day Yesterday at work we had our annual Diversity Day party. FOOD FOOD FOOD. Everyone brought their traditional family favorite foods from Cape Verdean Munchupa and Jagacida to lasagne and Jamaican Jerk Chicken. A high calorie feast. Of course I had to try some of everyone's offering, and when I thought I'd had enough, new dishes appeared. I ate way more than I should have but enjoyed it immensely, with people sharing stories about the grandma or auntie who taught them how to cook these family he... Thu, 19 Apr 2012 10:54:20 EST UGH! Turbotax I spent much of Sat and part of Monday doing my taxes with Turbo tax, finally finished and e-filed on Tuesday. My printer was out of ink, so I just trusted its accuracy. Got a cartridge and printed my returns, only to find TT had DOUBLED some of my income. Aargh! The return was e filed but not acknowledged by IRS. Now I must amend the federal return but can't amend till they say it was received. Luckily(?) I was going to file my TT-prepared state tax by mail. The same error was on the state f... Thu, 5 Apr 2012 15:53:41 EST The Ghost of Acushnet Park <img src="">Talking with Joanna, a friend at work. She mentioned she once lived in the south end of New Bedford Mass, the city where I grew up. I asked her where, she said East Rodney French Boulevard, across from the beach, facing the Butler's Flats Lighthouse. As I pictured the location it reminded me of the 1954 hurricaine which caused major damage to the coast. With that thought came an image of a seaside restarant, Dan's Pavillion sm... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 12:08:23 EST Peabody-Essex Museum Alton, my neighbor Lorraine and I finally went on our long-planned day trip to this interesting museum in Salem Mass We needed to go before the end of April because A is interested in Native American history and art, and the NA exhibit "Shapeshifting" was scheduled to end then. Complicating things was the fact that Lorraine works some Saturdays. We had finally settled on Sat <BR> March 17, then at the last minute changed to Sunday. Lucky choice, the weather on Sat was drizzly and felt colder ... Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:22:47 EST Kimchi Experiment I like to make things from scratch, same as my friend Juli G. She says her sister often comments "If there's a hard way to do something, Juli will find it" Alton my BF is in favor anything homemade homegrown or organic. He bases his food philosophy on Weston A. Price, and gave me the book "Nourishing Traditions" One of the things they advocate is naturally fermented foods. Enter kimchi, a spicy cabbage pickle popular in Korean traditional food preparation. I got 2 recipes off the web. The aut... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 10:32:14 EST Okay, now I am officially old Yesterday I applied for Social Security retirement , and Medicare. Makes me feel good in one way cause I have been putting it off for weeks and now I've stopped procrastinating, But it sure makes me feel lika a genuine senior citizen. Thu, 1 Mar 2012 13:34:29 EST Name the cat contest In theory Alton gets to name the gray cat. Our agreement is I can attempt to corral any stray that shows up in our yard, but I can't import any cats. So in the past few weeks we have acquired 2 new kitties. Usually I go along with the names he chooses as long as the cat gets to stay. He named the calico Kaleidoscope, and thinks we should call the gray boy cat Rudolph Valentino, since we took him in around Valentine's day. The cat is steel gray with a white shirt front and white feet. (I will ... Fri, 24 Feb 2012 13:16:32 EST The gray cat is REALLY a pain in the butt He escaped from solitary a few hours before his neuter appointment. When I caught him, he bit my hand. I know cat bites get infected easily so I put on antibiotic cream and took an antibiotic pill from a prescription left from my last vacation. Called the vet they said OK to bring him in they would put him last on the surgery list in case he got any food. When I brought him to the vet they were not hopeful, said if he turned out to be FIV and Fe Luc positive, and a biter he would not be safe ... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 14:54:17 EST How we make maple syrup Maple syrup is the first harvest of the year. We tap the three Norway maple trees that line our driveway when the sap starts rising, usually mid- February through early March. When the ground is frozen the sap is stored in the roots of the trees. Increasing temperatures and longer hours of daylight warm the trunk and branches, drawing the sap upward when the days are above freezing. When the cold of night returns, the sap retreats to the roots. This is the time to tap the trees. The greater t... Wed, 15 Feb 2012 10:39:21 EST Lured the gray cat in. Night time temps over the weekend forcast to be in the teens with below zero windchill, so we captured the gray male cat that has been hanging around and locked him in the bathroom so he wouldn't fight with the resident felines. Our plan is to get him fixed, but since we got up-close and personal he seems to have a respritory infection and has blood in his urine. He's probably FIV ane Feluc positive. He has a vet appt Tuesday to examine him and do whatever is feasible. He's a medium size cat ... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:38:26 EST Cat update and urban bushwacking The calico cat has a name. BF says Kaleidoscope, because her face and coat are such a mixture of colors. Her trip to the vet was less expensive than anticipated,the vet found a scar showing she was already spayed, so just exam,shots, and flea treatment. The gray cat reappeared, Alton, the "no more cats or I'm leaving" guy, was at the door with a bowl of cat food sweet-talking him close enough to grab. We fed him, let him prowl around the kitchen for a few minutes (a mistake, since he sprayed... Tue, 7 Feb 2012 10:20:07 EST New Cat I've been leaving dry cat food out in the old garage/barn for over a year because we took in a stray in January 2011, had him fixed , and kept him in for 2 weeks because the daytime temperatures were in the teens. During his 2 weeks of "house arrest" Won Ton aka One Ton because he was fat, kept scratching at the door begging to get out. When I let him out he didn't come back, though I did see him walking through the yard one rainy night in April. I opened the door and called him, but he just ... Mon, 6 Feb 2012 12:11:29 EST La Cage aux Folles! On Sunday Alton and I went to Boston to see La Cage aux Folles, the musical with George Hamilton as, appropriately, Georges. It was a mad combination of sparkle, pathos, foolishness,dignity and chaos. The plot was simliar to the movie, but simpler.Georges and Albin are a homosexual couple who own a night club with a drag show.They live in an apartment upstairs over the club Albin is the club's resident diva, in his ZaZa incarnation. They have raised Georges son (from a youthful fling), and n... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 10:40:00 EST India day 2 October 27 Visited the Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, then Jama Masjid, a 17th century mosque. At the mosque all the women visitors were loaned wrap-around dresses to assure we were respectfully covered. The robes looked strange on all of us but more so on Helen who is quite short,so it trailed on the ground. Worshipers washed their hands and feet in a pool in the courtyard before entering the mosque itself to worship <BR> <BR> Then we were sent off on a cyclo rickshaw ride around the crowde... Fri, 9 Dec 2011 11:48:08 EST India day by day Day one was a travel day.October 25th my friend and travel buddy Helen and I were picked up by our friend Jeff for a ride to Logan airport. I was picked up first, then we drove to Helen's house on Buzzards Bay. While waiting for her to attend to last minute details I watched and took pictures of an egret fishing in the saltmarsh in front of her house. It was standing motionless for so long with its neck stretched out nearly paralell to the water that I thought it must be a plastic decoy. Fi... Wed, 7 Dec 2011 14:03:49 EST I am Thankful It is hard to know where to begin, There is aso much to be thankful for. After thinking about it for awhile I decided good health was the primary thing that allows me to do and have most of the other things for which I am grateful. I am blessed that I am seldom ill,and any injuries I have had in my lifetime have been slight, and have healed well. This is in spite of many years spent riding, and falling off horses and taking up skiing at age 50, with plenty of out of control moments and some s... Tue, 22 Nov 2011 10:40:21 EST Vacation in India The day after the auspicious wedding date our group went to the Taj Mahal. Luckily the tour plan had us arrive when it was just opening for the day, We stopped to marvel at the beauty of the building and its setting by the edge of the river. We stopped to take (many) photos, and to have those "I'm actually here" moments. when we got to the entrance of the Taj itself there were only a few people in line and we got in with little delay. When we came out the rear door though, the line to enter ... Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:14:51 EST Back from vacation SAME WEIGHT!!! I have just returned from a three week vacation in India, which was spectacularly amazing. By dumb luck we chose thefirst tour that went to the Pushcar Camel Fair, and the first day we arrived in New Delhi was the Hindu holiday of Diwali, the festival of light and abundance. People decorate their houses with strings of lights, clean and sometimes paint their homes, buy new clothes to wear, feast and set off fireworks. It is celebrated in the night of the new moon so the date varies from year... Wed, 16 Nov 2011 16:22:12 EST Vacation prep continues My packing is not started yet. My excuse is that I'm tired when I get home from work and have to cook (or at least reheat) supper, then it's nearly 9 o'clock and I'm ready to sleep. One nice problem with packing is that since I have lost 20 pounds I will have to try on any clothes I haven't worn recently to see if they still fit. I also have some old favorites from before I gained, maybe my favorite dress will fit me again. It's a size 8 so that is a longshot, but at least I will try it on. ... Fri, 21 Oct 2011 08:37:52 EST Vacation Prep Next week my friend Helen and I are going on a group tour to India with Overseas Adventure Travel, a Boston-based tour organizer. We will be leaving Tuesday and I still have lots to do to get ready. I have already done the big things, booked the tour, got a visa and travel shots. Got travelers checks and some cash, notified my credit card of where and when I will be traveling, but i haven't packed anything yet. I've made (and lost) my packing list several times, Monday I even got out the sui... Wed, 19 Oct 2011 15:36:03 EST I bought someone a camel One of my favorite charities is Heifer International. They help families around the world out of poverty by giving them farm animals and training in how to feed and care for them. In return the family must breed their female animal and "pass on the gift" in a ceremony that gives the baby animals to other families. In this way whole villages are helped to raise their standard of living. Check out their website for more infomation, pictures and success stories. They give animals that suit the c... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 16:25:31 EST Relaxing long weekend Saturday, spent the morning vacuuming and sorting thru the piles of papers on my kitchen island. Some stuff went into recycling but the pile doesn't look any smaller SIGH! In the afternoon I went to buy my long awaited IPad! I had been to the electronics store before and spoke to a sales guy who was very helpful. He was trying to help me find a reasonably priced combination of IPad and accessories. Iwent back looking for the same salesperson cause he probably works on commission and I wanted... Tue, 11 Oct 2011 11:02:00 EST Wow I won a pie baking contest! Lakeville Mass has an autumn Arts Festival. They have music by folk and blues groups, a juried art/craft sale, art and craft activities for kids and food booths. For several years our UU church has had a food concession there selling Portuguese kale soup, baked goods and coffee. We are lucky to be assigned a spot in the old building where the folk singers perform. Starry Night Band, a group of our friends are usually on the bill. Barry plays hammered dulcimer, Elaine plays stand-up bass, Patt... Wed, 5 Oct 2011 16:27:21 EST Almost to goal weight BUT...... For the last 3 weeks I've been stuck at 134 pounds, just one measly pound over my Spark-recommended goal weight. I know why. I've been eating, not wisely, but too well. Every week this month there has been a calorie laden dine out of one sort or another. Three weeks ago it was a fundraiser for the Attleboro, Mass. Zoo. Their theme was "Passport to Africa" My friend Tenny and I combed our wardrobes for African inspired clothing. The weather report was predicting temps in the upper50's for th... Fri, 30 Sep 2011 12:15:29 EST Walking a colicky horse Sunday I got my 1/2 hour of excercise in a way I dread, walking my horse Katie around the field because she was acting like she was starting to colic. When I went to the barn for her 5 PM feeding she didn't come running into the barn as she usually does, nickering for her supper. Instead she was behind the barn pawing the ground. I could see she'd been rolling because there was dirt and grass on her back Both of these are signs of colic, but she rolls several times a day for various reasons-... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 17:02:30 EST Horse Show of trick riding. The Harvest Festival at the Soule Farm in Middleborough was this weekend. I try to go every year because they have a trick riding show by Dale Perkins and his students. He comes from Rutland Mass, which is west of Worcester, near the center of Massachusetts. Dale himself does a lot of the show, but his students ride out to introduce the horses and do a drill team ride. a smaller group does a dill without saddles or bridles, just a hoop around the horses' neck for steering. Some of the girls... Mon, 19 Sep 2011 12:25:18 EST Hemi-Sync experiment I bought a book "Focusing the Whole Bran- Transforming Your Life with Hemispheric Synchronization" because I feel I may be ADD, and I have read that differences in the activity of certain parts of the brain are common in people with ADD. The book is a collection of articles reprinted from professional journals, that report the experiences of psychologists, teachers, therapists and their patients/ students with the use of audio recordings that synchronize the activity in both hemispheres of th... Thu, 15 Sep 2011 09:38:46 EST Cape Cod Rail Trail On the Sunday before Labor Day my boyfriend Alton suggested taking our bicycles and riding the Cape Cod rail trail from Dennis to Chatham, about 10 miles each way. I thought It sounded like a fun way to get some excercise, with lunch in Chatham as a reward at the mid-point of the ride. We took my pickup and wasted half an hour tying the bikes to the tie points in the truck bed then changing and redoing it. Finally on the road. When we got to Dennis the trail parking area was full so I park... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 15:53:44 EST Turkeys Driving down a rural road near my house yesterday evening I saw a big bird about to cross the road so I stopped to let it get across safely. It was an adult turkey, and while I watched a bunch of smaller birds were zig zagging thru the grass behind her, turkey chicks about the size of a full grown chicken, Anothre car came from the other direction and stopped to watch too. As the group reached the far side of the road I noticed there were also 4 or five bigger turkey chicks waiting in the roa... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 16:57:29 EST 139! I went to the gym today and weighed myself and the balance beam settled at 139! The last time I weighed that little was in the spring of last year. November, December, February, and March I worked overtime and in that period gained about 15 pounds by stress related snacking. I found Sparkpeople in May and jumped right in. My size 12 jeans had split in the seat and it was either lose weight or buy a bigger size. Healthier eating won out, and I've been tracking my food faithfully since then. ... Mon, 15 Aug 2011 16:24:51 EST My first setback I admit I haven't been "good" for a few weeks. I've been eating at the top of my calorie range, having an occasional donut instead of healthier options. I try to leave a few calories for desert every day so I don't feel deprived, but sometimes the "spare" calories are an illusion because there was a slice of bread or some crackers I forgot to log earlier in the day. So the outcome is I gained half a pound since my last weigh-in a week ago. Not too awful, but a sign that I have to eat less and... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 15:39:00 EST So tired... Yesterday a bunch of us went To Valerie and Janet's home on the shore of Tispaquin Pond. It was the choir picnic, tho there were other people, friends spouses grandchildren.The Weather was perfect sunny with tempratures in the 80's and a bitof breeze. Food was the first thing on my mind. I knew there would be burgers and I planned to have one, but there were a lot of people and I got impatient waiting for mine, so I looked for the "healthier" alternatives among the potluck offerings. Grilled... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 10:40:38 EST Bosebuck Mountain Camp I spent last week in Maine with my friend Judy and 3 of her friends from work (teachers). We stayed in a duplex cabin at Bosebuck Mountain Camp, a place so remote that neither mapquest nor my GPS recognized the name of the town. The GPS, though located and had the name of the dirt logging road that is its physical address. When you turn off the paved road it is 13 miles to the camp. The logging roads are well maintained, you just have to watch out for the loaded logging trucks. With tons of w... Tue, 26 Jul 2011 15:41:39 EST A REALLY productive day! I was confined to the house waiting for the refrigerator repairman, In the morning after my breakfast I fed Katie, my horse and picked out the stall, took compost to the manure pile and stopped to yank out some invasive weeds (Gill-over-the-ground), passing thru the vegetable garden, I spent about half an hour weeding 6 feet of the beet row. Back to the house, I had to clear out the refrigerator and freezer completely before the repair appointment which was sometime between 1 and 5 PM. after... Tue, 12 Jul 2011 10:05:46 EST Wow, I actually sorta jogged! Last evening at 8 I chanel-surfed my way to the Veria network. The show coming on was about a woman who wanted to excercise and eat healthier to lose weight, so naturally I watched. They went through the refrigerator make-over, then suggested several things she could do for excercise. Since she lived near a park she decided to try jogging because her sister would jog with her. The program provided her with a suitable pair of running shoes and an excercise coach to get the ladies started. T... Thu, 7 Jul 2011 16:32:07 EST Uh-Oh I ate a donut! Dining out on Sunday I asked for a take-out container as soon as my meal was served and put half of my generous portion of broiled fish aside, so far so good. Though I ate as slowly as I could my boyfriend was still eating long after I was finished. I had already eaten half of the serving of sweet potato fries and planned to save the rest for lunch on Monday, but I just kept nibbling and soon they were all gone. Oops! but I made up for it by just having a snack for supper. Still overspent my... Wed, 22 Jun 2011 12:25:02 EST Two weeks and seeing progress I found the SparkPeople site by accident when I went online looking for a calorie chart to manually log what I was eating. I signed up immediately, this community offers so much more than just food tracking. I have been faithfully logging every meal and snack. I have faced some challenges and was able to plan a straegy ahead of time to cope with expected temptations like the All-you-can-eat Annual Chowdah Suppah for the herring conservation group (2 bowls of chowder, no more and take the Qua... Mon, 16 May 2011 16:52:29 EST