MARITIMER3's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=MARITIMER3 MARITIMER3'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/ Camino de Santiago Stage 6 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6338932 Stage 6 runs 20 km from Estella to Los Arcos. I completed this stage in 4 days. There's a nice surprise for walkers just past Estella... a free fountain dispensing the local wine. <BR> <BR> Near Mount Montejurra, a monastery has records of pilgrims back to the year 958. The nearby Castle of St. Stephen was taken by Charlemagne, uniting the Kingdoms of Navarre and Castille. <BR> <BR> Los Arcos was built at a crossroads, on the site of a Roman town. The Church of Santa Maria was built... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 20:30:32 EST Exercise routine, and how can I improve it? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6338820 A couple of weeks ago I joined the 30-day Plateau Breaking Challenge. I'm half-way through, and today's challenge is to blog about my exercise routine, and identify ways of improving it. <BR> <BR> Exercising regularly is the biggest change I've made since joining SP six years ago. Presently, I go to seniors swimming 2 days/week for 1 hour each time, aquafit once or twice/week for 45 minutes each time, and walk 3 miles/day on the treadmill 5 days/week. I also take our granddaughter (22 m... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:49:20 EST Stage 5 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6337563 I just spent 25 minutes describing Stage 5 of the Camino, from Puente La Reina to Estella, and it disappeared. <BR> <BR> Suffice it to say, I finished Stage 5 and am pushing on to Los Arcos, 20.4 km. away. <BR> <BR> I hope Stage 5 somehow reappears! <BR> <BR> Frustrated Gail <BR> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:42:17 EST Camino de Santiago - Stage 4 completed http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6333575 The 4th stage of the Camino goes from Pamplona to Puente La Reina. 19 km. or 12.5 miles. I'm walking 4 to 4 1/2 miles each day, with a goal of 5 miles/day within the next 2 weeks. <BR> <BR> We've left the Pyrenees behind, but this stage also has its ups and downs. Outside Guendulain we begin to climb the foothills of the Sierra del Perdon, which has been on the horizon since Pamplona. Guendulain is now virtually abandoned, but in the 16th century there was a pilgrims' hospital run by a ... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:23:52 EST Camino de Santiago, Spain. Stage 3 completed http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6331517 This week I walked 12 miles and completed Stage 3 of the pilgrimage, from Larrasoana to Pamplona. We are still in the mountains, with some very steep sections and many rivers. In fact this week's stage crossed the Arga River 3 times, as well as several smaller rivers. <BR> <BR> Mid-way through the week we crossed a medieval 6-arch bridge to visit the Basilica de la Trinidad de Arra, which was a pilgrims' hostelry in the middle ages. <BR> <BR> Pamplona is best known now for the Running of ... Sat, 11 Mar 2017 20:18:08 EST Camino de Santiago - stage 2 completed http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6324150 Stage 2 is 26.9 km long, and goes from Roncesvalles to Larrasoana, roughly parallel to Highway 135N most of the way. About 3/4 of the way to Larrasoana, the trail crosses the Arga river. Some parts of the trail are steep, passing through plantations of conifers. <BR> <BR> The Basque people who live in this area are believed to be direct descendants of the first farmers who settled in this area more than 35,000 years ago. They are perhaps the oldest ethnic community in Europe. The Basqu... Thu, 2 Mar 2017 21:08:30 EST March 1 - February Results and Plan for March http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6323449 Hi all... <BR> <BR> I had a good February. My goals, and results are as follows: <BR> <BR> - lose minimum 4 lbs... done! <BR> - swim lengths twice weekly, 60 minutes... done! <BR> - aqua wellness class, once weekly... Completed 3 out of 4 weeks <BR> - take Aria swimming once weekly... Completed 3 out of 4 weeks <BR> - get back on treadmill... Started new virtual walk, walked 38 km in February <BR> - strength training 3 times/week... did ST 10 out of 12 times in 4 weeks <BR> - try a new rec... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 13:08:44 EST Camino de Santiago, Stage 1 completed. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6320052 The first stage of the Camino, from St.Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles, is 22.7 km. I completed this stage on Monday, and am now part way through stage 2, from Roncesvalles to Larrasoana, is 26.9 km, and runs roughly parallel to highway 135. To this point, I've walked 29 km or 18 miles. <BR> <BR> The area the first part of this route goes through is Basque territory, an autonomous section of Spain. The term "Basque" was first used in the 1660's-1670's. It is a mountainous area, borde... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:16:32 EST Do you have a lot of houseplants? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6317815 When I was growing up, my mother had plants everywhere. We lived in an old house which had windowsills wide enough to hold a plant, and most of the tables had rings from where she over-watered the plants. <BR> <BR> We didn't have a lot of money, so she kept her geraniums over the winter instead of buying new ones each year. She started plants from slips she got from other people, or took off her own plants. When she got older and couldn't garden, she switched to mostly african violets, ... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 10:30:03 EST Lunch & Learn on Elder Abuse http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6317133 We're into our 3rd year of monthly Lunch & Learn workshops at our church, aimed mainly at seniors, but also of interest to anyone who is helping look after their parents. <BR> <BR> We start each session with a light pay-what-you-want lunch catered by North House, a local social service agency which helps people (especially single parents and older women) find affordable housing. <BR> <BR> The programme is intended to be a learning experience, not a social outing, and we've had speakers ... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 19:09:10 EST Camino de Santiago... A New Virtual Walk http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6316706 I've started a new virtual walk, with 2 Spark Friends, from St. Jean-Pied-De-Port, France, just east of the Spanish border, to Santiago de Compostela where the remains of St. James were supposed to have been buried after his beheading in Jerusalem in 44 A.D. Pilgrims have been following this trail ever since, and in 2015 more than 250,000 people reached the cathedral from all parts of the world. This route, one of many, is called the "French Route", and is just over 500 miles long. <BR> <B... Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:37:16 EST Canada 150 - Town's Fitness Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6313511 Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday on July 1, 2017, and there are celebrations, big and small, going on all across the country. <BR> <BR> One of the things that our small town is doing is a fitness challenge. Participants register with the recreation department and can choose between biking 1500 km, running 500 km, walking or hiking 150 km, swimming 50 km (it takes 40 laps in the town pool to swim 1 km, so one would have to swim 2000 laps!), complete a mobility challenge of 50 km, or... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 14:53:19 EST Tuscan Bean and Haddock Braise - my new recipe for this week http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6310287 One my goals is to try one new recipe each week. I have lots recipe books, and envelopes of recipes I've cut from magazines or copied from friends... it's time to use some of them. <BR> <BR> Peter and I have fish for dinner on Tuesdays and Fridays, and usually at least once for lunch, so I decided to try a new fish recipe this week. This one came from an ad for High Liner individually frozen haddock fillets. <BR> <BR> 1 tbsp. olive oil <BR> 1 each onion, celery stalk and carrot, finely... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 15:42:11 EST Plans for February, 2017 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6309760 I gained 4 lbs over the holidays and have lost 2 of them. I'm within 11 lbs of my goal. I've been here before... but I've never reached goal. I'm doing a lot of reading, and planning, and hope that this time will be different. <BR> <BR> My plans for February include: <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> - lose 4 lbs. minimum <BR> - swim lengths twice weekly for 1 hour <BR> - aqua wellness once weekly for 45 minutes (wish it was offered more often) <BR> - take Aria to family swim once weekly <BR> - ... Thu, 2 Feb 2017 16:40:06 EST Was it worth it? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6308073 Over the holidays I gained 4 lbs., and put myself back to where I was on November 30/16. Not a huge gain, but still... was it worth it? <BR> <BR> The biggest single food item that caused the gain was ice cream. Special holiday ice cream, to be exact. One kind had chocolate bits and crushed candy canes; the other had pieces of shortbread. They were both delicious. Could I have eaten less? Yes, definitely, especially the times that I got up at night and ate it right out of the carton. ... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 20:04:40 EST One new recipe each week - challenging myself! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6307376 One of my British Spark Friends posts regularly about this challenge, and I decided to try it too. I'm a good basic cook, but tend to use the same recipes over and over again, even though I have many cookbooks and regularly clip new ideas from magazines or find them on-line. <BR> <BR> We eat quite healthy meals, with one vegetarian entree each week, fish 2 or 3 times, chicken usually twice, and beef or pork once. I try to use vegetables that are in season, and visit local farmers' markets ... Sun, 29 Jan 2017 17:02:11 EST Do you ever blame someone else when you overeat? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6306959 Yesterday I was absolutely furious with DH. We were doing some major cleaning around the house, and every time I started to do something one way, he'd want to do it a different way. And vice versa... I didn't like the way he was doing things. <BR> <BR> It got worse and worse, until I stomped off upstairs, muttering (and believe me, a short, plump 73-year-old stomping off isn't a pretty sight), determined to eat away my frustrations. <BR> <BR> There was a certain family-size bag of low... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 22:27:10 EST Do you get rid of your "fat clothes" as you lose weight? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6301863 I must admit I haven't in the past, and I usually needed them again. <BR> <BR> I'm frugal. When I was working, I bought good quality clothes, and wore them for a long time. They would go from work clothes to around-the-house clothes, and sometimes ended up as working-in-the-garden clothes. <BR> <BR> If you come to my door unexpectedly, you'll probably catch me in old jeans and a t-shirt. Remember the "housewife" from ads from the 60's, wearing a dress with a little apron? Definitely n... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 09:48:44 EST Yesterday I wrote about tracking food... let's talk about exercise today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6300940 I find it harder to exercise regularly than to track my food. <BR> <BR> I have no excuses. I have a good treadmill, 2- and 5- lb. weights, a resistance band and a stability ball. There are also 16 steps between our main floor and the upstairs. I live within walking distance of the downtown, with the library, small stores and church. Oh yes... and I bought an adult 3-wheel bike, since my parents would never allow me to have a bike. <BR> <BR> But as one of my old friends said years ago... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:24:06 EST How closely do you track your carbs, fats and protein? What about fibre and salt? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6300104 I've lost 34 lbs. since starting SP, and have 8 lbs. to go to meet my goal,of 150 lbs. I've belonged to SP for 6 years, and went up and down for the first 5 years. Last May I "got serious", mainly because I'm 73 and want to be around, and able to play with our 20-month-old granddaughter. <BR> <BR> Since then, I've lost 30 lbs., and I think the main reason is because I carefully track my calories, carbs, fats, proteins, fibre and salt just about every day, even when we're on holiday. I e... Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:27:20 EST Started using my 6-month swim pass today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6299308 Peter gave me a 6-month swim pass, and today I went to the seniors swim from 10:30-11:30. <BR> We had 3 lanes of the pool, and there were only 8 of us, so lots of space. I mainly swam lengths, although I did do a few of the exercises I remembered from aquafit. In comparison, the lifeguard told me there were 47 people in the aquafit class this morning. Way too many for me! <BR> <BR> I was the only person who swam hard for most of the time. Some people definitely use it as a social time,... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:37:29 EST Ukrainian Christmas http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6292542 As some of you know, my husband belongs to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which celebrates Christ's Birth on January 6, known to most of us as Epiphany. <BR> <BR> The special meal is served on Christmas Eve, traditionally beginning when the first star appears in the sky. Since our daughter's family can't come until they get home from work, we'll probably eat between 6:30 and 7. <BR> <BR> There are 12 dishes in the traditional Christmas meal, which cannot include any meat or dairy. The mea... Fri, 6 Jan 2017 11:40:42 EST Choices http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6291348 Day by day, sometimes hour by hour, we make choices which affect our lives in big and small ways. When Peter and I met, 16 years ago, we each had a mortgage-free house. When we decided to get married, we sold both of our homes and had a new one built, in the town where he lived, so that Siobhan could continue in the same school and not have to move away from her friends. Peter was already retired, but I was still working. The move doubled my travel time, from 2 hours/day to 4, and was one... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 18:09:29 EST Clutter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6289804 One of the days I was sick, I had tv on but wasn't really paying attention until I realized they were talking about 4 different kinds of clutter that we have to deal with. They were: <BR> - indecisive clutter <BR> - emotional clutter <BR> - guilty clutter <BR> - over-shopping clutter <BR> <BR> As those who've been reading my blogs for a while know, I'm relatively well-organized, but my DH is a collector... BIG TIME... bordering on hoarding. Before we married 14 years ago, he'd lived in the... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 19:52:34 EST The "Different" Christmas http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6285486 Since my oldest daughter's family moved to Calgary three years ago, Christmas has been smaller, but still great. In the morning we open our gifts to each other and things that have been mailed to us, talk to my son & his wife in Nova Scotia and my daughter's family from out west, and have a brunch of tourtiere, a baked egg/tomato/spinach and cheese dish and of course cookies. <BR> <BR> Since Aria's birth, we've gone to Siobhan & Will's mid-afternoon to exchange gifts and enjoy dinner with... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 09:49:18 EST Christmas in a Small Town http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6278132 Uxbridge Township has a population of just over 20,000 people... but this includes many square miles of farms and little villages, so the "town" itself is probably between 10 and 12 thousand. <BR> <BR> For the tree lighting ceremony at the hospital last night, I think at least 2,000 people came out. It was a clear, cold evening; perfect for the event. The hospital cafeteria provided hot chocolate, warm spiced cider and sugar cookies. The Roxy Kids, a group from our small movie theatre... ... Thu, 8 Dec 2016 13:43:40 EST Bit of a meltdown yesterday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6277088 I love Christmas. I love the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking... but mostly, I love being with the people who matter most to me. <BR> <BR> And there's the problem. Of our 4 children, only one lives close enough to visit regularly. The others are widely scattered... one on the east coast, one in Alberta, one in Europe. I'm so proud of all of them. They're bright, ambitious, hard-working people who have all done well in their chosen careers... but we seldom see them. Even going to... Tue, 6 Dec 2016 09:52:23 EST December Plan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6275386 Since I finished working in the garden, my exercising has been spotty, to say the least. For December my commitment is to exercise a minimum of 10 minutes each day. Last night I was in bed when I realized I hadn't done anything... after a long moment, I got up and used the free weights and did some leg exercises. <BR> <BR> My first goal is to weigh 160 lbs. by December 31/16. At the moment, that means losing another 1.5 lbs., which isn't much, except for the season and all the extra eat... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:55:25 EST Christmas Baking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6269580 I always look forward to baking at Christmas time. I bake for our family, but also for gifts for some neighbours and friends. I usually make a combination of traditional family recipes (shortbreads and my mother's sultana cake), cherry loaf, rum balls and fruit/nut/marshmallow treats that Peter loves, and many batches of nuts and bolts. <BR> <BR> If I'm going to reach my goal of 160 lbs. by December 31, I have to cut back, because I usually end up eating most of the baking myself. So.... ... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 22:43:41 EST Vimy Ridge and The Ontario Regiment http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6268348 Last night Peter and I went to a meeting at the high school about Vimy Ridge, where the Memorial to Canadians who served in the First World War is located. Some of the Canadian soldiers were from the Ontario Regiment, formed by Colonel Sam Sharpe who grew up near where we live, and who went from village village, farm to,farm, recruiting young men to join him in France. In total, 1106 young men answered his call. <BR> <BR> Vimy Ridge had been held by the Germans for a long time, and they w... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 09:36:32 EST It's a slippery slope... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6266317 The holiday season is upon us, and one of the hardest things for me is not being in control of what is served, especially at pot lucks or dinners out. <BR> <BR> I've worked very hard and am down 25 lbs. since May. I don't want to gain over the holidays, so here are some of my plans for coping... <BR> <BR> ... eat at home as much as possible. Get the slow cooker out and make some vegetarian chilli to have on hand when we're in a rush. <BR> <BR> ... Roast a chicken, surrounded with veget... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 17:28:47 EST Does anyone remember... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6264786 ... "Bend and stretch, reach for the sky... stand on tippitoes oh so high..." It was the theme for a program my kids watched back in the 70's. Perhaps a small, Canadian program. <BR> <BR> That's what I was doing today. Over the last couple of days, Peter pruned a maple tree, an apple tree and two lilacs. My job was to chop up the branches, save the bigger ones to burn next year in our chiminea, and put the rest out for yard-waste pick-up. <BR> <BR> I did lots of bending, stretching ... Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:23:58 EST November... A dangerous time and place http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6260894 I realized today that this is the third time I've been down 20 lbs. (actually down 27 as of today!) since I joined SP in 2011. The other times, I regained all, or most, of the weight before getting myself in hand. I am determined to make this time different, and continue on until I've reached my goal of 150 lbs. <BR> <BR> November is dangerous for another reason... Christmas baking, lunches out with friends, special events at church... so many tempting foods, and less sunshine. No more ... Wed, 2 Nov 2016 12:25:01 EST It's always nice to be home again. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6257101 We left Toronto by the VIA train just after midnight on September 27. The train had been late arriving in Toronto, so it couldn't leave until the crew had their minimum 6-hour break. Peter and I stayed up in the dome car until we left the city lights behind, then retired to our tiny cabin with bunk beds and a toilet compartment. The shower was "down the hall", one per train car and serving about 20 people. Crew did a great job of keeping it spotless. <BR> <BR> The meals on the train we... Tue, 25 Oct 2016 20:05:24 EST August Report and Plan for September http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6228440 My goal for August was to lose 4 lbs. I actually lost 3.5 lbs. That means I've had a loss each month for the past 4 months, and am now down 17 lbs. since the new year. <BR> <BR> We will be away from September 27 until October 21, without regular internet access and of course no scale. The first 5 days and the last 5 days won't be difficult because we will be on a train and the meals, although very good, are on the smallish size and there is little opportunity to snack except on the fruit ... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 13:42:29 EST Kincardine Scottish Festival http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6226074 Kincardine is a small town on the shore of Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario. This past week-end the community pipe band there celebrated it's 25th Scottish Festival with a gathering of 8 bands plus individual pipers and drummers from probably another 8. <BR> <BR> The Uxbridge Legion Pipes and Drums were invited to take part, and since our daughter's husband wasn't available, we took her and our granddaughter with us. We left on Friday morning, stopping in the Mennonite area west of Tor... Sun, 28 Aug 2016 18:02:21 EST Don't Get Taken in by "Free" Offers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6223776 I've always thought of myself as a smart consumer and careful shopper. Probably most of you would say the same thing about yourself. <BR> <BR> Whoa... not so fast... if I'm that smart, how come I signed for a free sample, "pay only the shipping", offer for what's probably the world's fastest-selling weight loss product currently. It's everywhere... tv programs, magazines, pop-ups on the computer... it seems like all the stars are using it and shedding pounds the way I shed my winter coat a... Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:57:03 EST Thomas the Tank Engine & the Carpets are Dry http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6216666 Back in the early 90's Peter was one of the local people who formed the York-Durham Heritage Railway, to bring tourism to our small town. After 3 or 4 years of fundraising and acquiring rolling stock, the railway opened. Peter remained a volunteer until about 2005, when he realized he didn't have time for both the railway and the pipe band. <BR> <BR> For the next couple of week-ends, though, he's back on the train. YDHR, working with Mattel, has brought Thomas to Uxbridge. Thomas origina... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 09:57:42 EST Ontario's Algonquin Park http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6212421 Today we went for a long drive in our '59 Austin-Healy Sprite Mark 1 - Peter's first car, and his pride and joy. He bought this car when he was teaching in Belleville, and took it north with him to Red Lake, where he was principal. He's very proud of this car, and takes excellent care of it. <BR> <BR> We drove a total 375 miles, north-east from Uxbridge to Barry's Bay then west through Algonquin Park. About 95% of the park is accessible only by boat. The one road (besides some seasonal r... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 22:12:22 EST Plan for August... Be Strong, Lose 4 lbs. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6210880 Good morning everyone. <BR> <BR> It's hard to believe that summer is half gone. It's been very hot and humid here. Temperatures often in the low 30's with humidex 37-39. Very unpleasant, and not conducive to exercising outside. To make things worse, we had less than half the usual rain and some of my annuals, planted to provide colour in between the perennials, didn't survive even though our water bill was twice what it should have been. <BR> <BR> We had grandchildren here for 14 of t... Tue, 2 Aug 2016 09:36:06 EST DH and I Had Our Check-Ups Today http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6199430 And the results were generally good. He was very pleased with my weight loss, and told me to keep doing exactly what I've been doing, except he told me to eat regular whole grain bread rather than gluten free, as he says there is no indication that I have celiac disease, and (and I didn't know this)... if I keep on eating gluten free for a while, and then go back to regular wheat breads, I may find that I can no longer digest it properly. <BR> <BR> He said we should have red meat no more t... Tue, 12 Jul 2016 20:06:12 EST Cham Shan Buddhist Temple, Bethany Ontario http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6190058 Yesterday Peter and I went to an open house at the site of the largest Buddhist temple outside China. <BR> <BR> The Cham Shan Buddhist Temple is being built at Bethany, Ontario, about 2 hours north-east of Toronto. It is modeled after one on a Chinese mountain top, and will cost $80 million before it is finished in 2-3 years. <BR> <BR> About 20 years ago the Buddhist Association of Canada began buying up land near the village of Bethany. The site was chosen after considering many differ... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 16:15:53 EST Home after a rainy 4-day break http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6181154 Peter and I decided to take a little trip... in between the church activities, the gardening and the many piping commitments... and after checking the long-range weather forecast, decided to leave last Tuesday for a trip to the Eastern Townships of Quebec, about an 8-hour trip from home. <BR> <BR> Somehow the weather forecast was way off, and we left in the rain, in the Sprite (Peter's first ever car, a 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite), weighing only 1200 lbs. It's a little 2-seater with a remo... Sat, 11 Jun 2016 23:43:01 EST Why I Hate Clothes Shopping at Big Stores with Thin Salespeople! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6176004 I am most comfortable in gardening cloths, or in the pyjama pants and loose t-shirts I wear to work around the house. I seldom wear high heels, and even when I do, they are only 1 1/2 to 2" high. <BR> <BR> The other day, going to a memorial service in Toronto, I dug deep in the back of my closet for a black and beige patterned shift, and wore it with a beige jacket and black patent shoes. I was the only one of the Uxbridge contingent who wore a dress, so I was quite pleased with myself. ... Fri, 3 Jun 2016 20:18:53 EST Acid Reflux... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6168348 I've been having some trouble with Acid Reflux (GERD) lately, and have been doing a lot of reading up on the food triggers. If I can, I'd rather control it by diet and lifestyle changes rather than taking more medications. And I know that losing weight will probably help reduce the incidents. <BR> <BR> The foods I'm reducing or eliminating in my daily meal plan include tomato products (I love tomato-based soups and casseroles), citrus fruits, carbonated beverages and alcohol. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 22 May 2016 20:32:55 EST Low cost housing options http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6139927 On Saturday I went to a seminar in town put on by Habitat for Humanity and North House, a local social service agency working with the homeless and those in danger of becoming so. <BR> <BR> I live in a small town town about 50 miles north-east of Toronto. It used to be mainly agricultural but now is becoming a bedroom community attracting commuters and seniors who want to move out of the city. The average price for a detached home in Toronto is over $1 million, with most condos costing wel... Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:52:26 EST Virtual Walk Around Nova Scotia - part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6102406 I'm finally leaving the suburban sprawl behind as I approach Musquodoboit Harbour. When I was a little girl, people had summer cottages Porter's Lake; now people live there full-time and work in the city. With the new 100 series highways, it's only a 30-minute drive to the city, although once you get there, it will probably take at least that much time again to get across one of the bridges and to your destination. <BR> <BR> More later, someone just came in. <BR> <BR> From Lawrencetown Bea... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 21:20:29 EST Virtual Walk Around Nova Scotia - week 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6090350 A couple of my Spark Friends have gently reminded me that I promised to start a new virtual walk. Thank you, Kate and Audra, for giving me the push I needed. <BR> <BR> I grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, a city across the harbour from Halifax, the province's capital. Halifax was founded in 1749, and Dartmouth a year later. Both cities were settled primarily by people from Britain. As I walk around the province, I will talk a little bit about the people who first settled specific areas. ... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 19:57:42 EST What's Changed?... Me! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6080588 So what's going on? I recommitted to SP on January 4 after regaining 12 lbs last year. Since then, I've lost 4 lbs and am exercising regularly. I'm switching things around in the house, planning lots of sewing projects, sleeping better and staying within my calorie/fat/protein/carb range just about every day. Still struggling a bit with salt, and realize that I have to almost give up eating out if I'm going to stay below 2000 mg/day. The good news is that I've been off BP meds for 3 weeks,... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 12:01:26 EST Pride goeth before a fall... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6076174 I have to admit I've been feeling really good about my "fresh start" on SP a couple of weeks ago (see previous blog). Well last night I crashed in a big way. I wrote just yesterday to a Spark Friend saying that my binges were fewer and not nearly as bad as they had been. Or so I thought... to quote Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral. <BR> <BR> Last night I couldn't sleep, and wandered downstairs around 2 to read by the fireplace. 5 minutes later I had a package of crab-flavoured p... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 10:22:16 EST