MAURIZIA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=MAURIZIA MAURIZIA'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/ Never too old to learn... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5707987 Yesterday was the last day of the 5% Spring Challenge. I managed to eliminate a few lbs but nowhere close to my goal of 12 lbs. I'm keeping that goal for the 5% Summer Challenge. Though it may not have been a roaring success, at least as I hoped, but it was successful because I have learned some things. <BR> <BR> The most important thing I learned is that I was quite naive in making slight adjustments to my 5% Winter Challenge plan, thinking it would be enough to accommodate for my extended ... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 09:45:24 EST Days off... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5704211 ...and not talking about days off from work. :) <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a holiday for me...in most senses of the word. Though I did manage to get my exercise done, I didn't do much else. I relaxed - played on SP, played on Pogo.com, did some reading, and watched a couple of shows I recorded on Sunday while I was in Boston. <BR> <BR> This morning I awoke thinking that I didn't do much to move forward with my purging my apartment. Those guilt feelings began to rear their ugly heads...but as... Tue, 27 May 2014 09:26:21 EST Measuring success... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703524 So many articles on SP deal with ways to measure your success while using the tools available on the site. Those of us who are active on SP probably read a lot of these articles, nod our heads, post on our team boards, and intend to adopt these "other ways." Do we really? I'd like to say I have but until yesterday, success has always depended on those little numbers on the scale. Occasionally, I realize that I've succeeded because clothes are now fitting better, my refrigerator has healthi... Mon, 26 May 2014 12:37:03 EST April 22nd...REALLY? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5702358 I can't believe my last blog was on April 22nd. Geesh! Time somehow flies so much faster now that I am older. Since my 5% Spring Challenge has spurred me to eat healthy, exercise everyday, and check in, maybe this week's LTGL Challenge of blogging each day will get me back in the habit. Decided to do a quick summary: <BR> <BR> 1. On May 10th, 2014, I officially outlived both my parents. It was a momentous occasion for me to have surpassed their ages...and scary. I continue to surpass them.... Sat, 24 May 2014 20:42:38 EST Where, oh where-e-e-e is...time? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5678013 (Sung to the tune of "Where oh, where-e-e-e is love?" <BR> <BR> I have no idea where time goes. Well, if I sit and thought about it I probably do. Of course, the Hope Bus is back on the road so it is getting crazier with my work schedule and in an earlier time frame. <BR> <BR> Mornings: I exercise at least 40 minutes (well, that's the plan anyway); play a game of Trivial Pursuit & do a crossword puzzle online to stimulate my brain cells; feed Katie; cook breakfast for me; check in at SP; ... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:22:16 EST How much is too much? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5671012 Challenge is to what I am referring. What are my challenges? To list them, they are: <BR> <BR> 1. Work <BR> 2. Nutrition & exercise <BR> 3. Time <BR> 4. 5% Spring Challenge <BR> 5. Stress Busting Challenge - which I joined yesterday <BR> 6. Packing up the excess in my apartment. <BR> 7. Finding & moving to a new place after 30 years here <BR> 8. Finances <BR> 9. How to buy new clothes that will fit without money <BR> <BR> Well, at least my challenges number below a 2-digit numeral, right? I... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:06:58 EST Achievement is the best motivation... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5659125 ...at least for me. <BR> <BR> I have tried over the last couple of weeks since the 2014 Winter 5% Challenge ended to maintain the habits developed during it. Overall I think I did okay though at last Friday's weigh-in for me, I had found a lb. I thought was eliminated. Instead of being disappointed in me, I revisited both my nutrition & fitness trackers. During this week, I've been more mindful of what had worked and the lessons I'd learned about my body and me. Returning to what worked t... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 07:55:21 EST Will wonders never cease? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5656383 Part of my work responsibilities include teaching breast health and breast cancer classes. Last week I was teaching classes at a local middle school. When in schools, I always share a story about a young man several years ago who sent me an email about a year later, thanking me for saving his grandmother's life. He went home and kept urging her to have a mammogram. To quiet him, she finally went and was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. She was successfully treated and, presumably, is e... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:21:03 EST Friend or foe? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5654614 As I continue to track my food here at SP on their nutrition tracker, it occurred to me this morning that I've always seen food as an enemy. It's there to add lbs. to my body. It's not good for me. Food is unhealthy and tempts me. It tricks me into believing I will feel better the more I eat. This morning the little light bulb above my head shone brightly. <BR> <BR> Food is a friend. It is a good thing. It's there to SUSTAIN my body not act subversively in making it grow. It IS good for me... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:35:33 EST Overwhelmed by your support... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5650247 <em>137</em> HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! <em>137</em> <BR> <BR> Feel the need to tell all of you who have commented on my last two blogs how much your support and encouraging words inspire me. Thank you all for taking the time to read about my 5% Challenge. It is overwhelming, and to see so many of my new "friends" here at SP commenting means a lot. To read comments from those of you who have become part of my SP "family" - you know who you are - I am so grateful for the years of support... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:49:19 EST How do you measure lessons learned? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5649015 I arose this morning thinking about my successful 5% Challenge. That resulted in my realization that the real test of having learned things about me, adopting new eating & exercise habits, and if I'm really serious is going to be these weeks between the Winter and Spring Challenges. This is the time when I really have to engage my brain and knowledge to cement the lessons I've learned during the Winter Challenge. That was an eye-opening way to start my Sunday. <BR> <BR> Thank you to all of y... Sun, 16 Mar 2014 10:16:41 EST 2014 5% Winter Challenge - Would I do it again? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5648280 Today is the last day of the 2014 5% Winter Challenge. If you read an earlier blog of mine, you know I really thought about whether I wanted to join it and be challenged to lose 5% of my body weight. I spent some time thinking about it because I'd been in other challenges and abandoned them. Somehow my mindset was different this time and I stayed to the end. Glad I did. I met some awesome women on my Casual Travellers team. They inspired me everyday as they dealt with life's ups & downs and s... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 09:37:10 EST Catching up is hard to dooooo... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5634383 Somehow I'm still having problems with time management each day. Need to find some articles to figure out how to fit everything into my day. I know that part of it in the winter is that my SAD & the weather deplete my energy stores, mostly because of anxiety over sn*w. <BR> <BR> As a report to myself, here goes: <BR> <BR> 1. Really working the 5% Challenge and I find myself at my lowest weight (by a 1 1/2 lbs) since joining SP in 2007 (I think). Lesson learned? I CAN DO IT IF I FOCUS ON GE... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:56:02 EST Really? I haven't blogged in 13 days? Really? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5618406 Time truly does just run away from me. Every day on my way to work & home, I think about my blog topic for the day. Problem is that when I get home from work (about 7 PM), I'm too tired to even think about hopping onto the computer. A quick synopsis of these 13 days: <BR> <BR> My winter work schedule isn't quite as crazy as April - November, but there isn't much rest this year. <BR> <BR> My SAD is being exacerbated by all the sn*w & ice that covers the ground. Just as I start to feel better... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 07:42:54 EST What is that light? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5605962 Oh, it must be the <em>67</em> ! I love having it stream into my apartment...and evidently so does Katie who has repositioned herself to absorb its heat. Think I may do the same. Now I know why it's called SUNday! (ref. last Sunday's blog title) <BR> <BR> I've decided to take it easy on me today. I have done a few little tasks - put groceries away, go through coupons so I can recycle the pages I don't use, may fill a bag of books to donate this week, and just think about what to wear to w... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 09:21:43 EST The wisdom of Jimmy Carter... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5605191 "You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can." ~~ Jimmy Carter <BR> <BR> My 2014 Word of the Year is DO! <BR> <BR> Yesterday ended the first week of our Winter 2014 5% Challenge. It was successful for me, but this morning as I read our destination for Week 2, I became curious on how much my habits have changed. Flipping around SP, I landed on the reports page. I had no idea how many and types of reports you can run to analyze success in w... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 11:13:54 EST Wondering how SUNday got its name... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5598811 ...since I haven't seen much sun the past few Sundays. :) <BR> <BR> Had a lovely day with John & Katie yesterday. It was very low-key and since I have to give up my usual quiet Sunday today, I truly appreciated it. We watched two DVDs, including Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love." For me, I loved seeing the beautiful city of my family, watching for my favorite landmarks, i.e. Colosseo, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi Fountain, and also the crazy little streets in the Eternal City. <BR> <BR> Spea... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 10:22:23 EST Just Saturday... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5597891 It's just an ordinary, stay at home Saturday for me, Katie and John. Caching up with Netflix DVDs - British mystery & a Woody Allen film as well as the Critics Choice Awards that I recorded since John doesn't get the station on which they were broadcast. <BR> <BR> Our lunch is put together and just needs baking later. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART PLAN: <BR> 1. Tracked food/analyze nutrition - done <BR> 2. Visited my 4 teams - done <BR> 3. Blogged - done <BR> 4. Exercise - 30 minutes so far tod... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 11:05:26 EST All my bags are packed... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5597260 ...I'm ready to go... <BR> <BR> No, not on a vacation. No, not moving...yet. Tomorrow begins our Winter 2014 5% Challenge. I am so excited about this challenge. I received an invitation via Spark Mail about the challenge. As I posted on our Casual Travelers thread where we can share our obstacles and our progress, my process was thought out - especially given my limited time because of my job. I'll share with you: <BR> <BR> This is my process for joining this challenge... <BR> <BR> <em>... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:25:45 EST DO! Do bee do bee do... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5583965 The word "DO" always makes me want to sing a Sinatra song! <BR> <BR> My 2014 Word of the Year is DO! It is a simple word, just two letters, but it has such impact on our lives! We are always doing something - We work; DO housework; DO gardening; DO cooking; DO...DO...DO. As I examined my *SPARK* RESTART Plan that I created in May 2013, I realized that the most important part of it is DOING. I can plan a lot of things - but if I don't DO them, the planning is useless. So for 2014, my word ... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 08:11:22 EST Trigger was a horse... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5580585 ...when I was a child. I loved watching Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, but my favorite "character" was Roy's horse Trigger. He was a beautiful, graceful creature. What got me thinking of him is today's activity for our 2014 Winter 5% Challenge team. The challenge was to think of the triggers in our lives - food, exercise, people, life - that send us of track on our way to a healthy lifestyle. Using the questions one of the leaders posted, I thought that would be my topic here today. Maybe answerin... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 10:33:05 EST Happy 2014! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5577712 Wishing you all a successful journey as we continue towards our healthy lifestyles in 2014! <BR> <BR> This will be a short blog for me...since I have to head out the door in the next 5 minutes. Just needed to note some things for myself as I begin this journey in 2014. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART:: <BR> <BR> 1. I am starting 2014 a total of 17.5 lbs. lighter than I did 2013. Giving myself a trophy for that, even though I am 2 lbs more than the goal I set to reach from May 1st. <em>209</e... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 11:09:03 EST The Hope Bus... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5575315 So many times when I blog, I mention the Hope Bus on which I work from April to November. You also know, if you read my blogs regularly, that I love being on it - even if it does get exhausting from long hours, particularly from September through November. The Foundation for which I work is presenting a series, "Behind the Ribbon," on our local PBS station. The first two episodes covered our Young Survivors (40 & under) Program and our Fashion Show. The 3rd episode is about the Hope Bus. I w... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 07:02:34 EST Stunned, shocked, and sad... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5565412 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l190436187.jpg"> <BR> My beautiful Gracie is gone. How can it be that just 9 days ago she was waking me, walking with me to the pantry, and "singing" to me for her breakfast...and today she is gone. How did that happen? It was so fast...Her thyroid and kidney issues were under control. She saw the vet on August 30th and all was well. Today she is gone. My heart literally hurts...I can feel the hurt in my chest. Here's what happened...and this... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:31:35 EST Tempus fugit... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5547503 Time sure does fly! Foolish me thinking that my work schedule would be lighter in November. I'd forgotten all the events I pushed to November to not turn folks away. I love being on the Hope Bus, but I think I've reached a breaking point since I can feel my alterego, "Mean Mauri," really pushing to the surface. Not so much with visitors to the RV, since I can't help but be compassionate as I listen to their questions and stories. It's more people with whom I interact - read that as "co-worker... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:06:10 EST Best laid plans... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5537958 For those who read yesterday's blog, you know I was very excited about visiting the Dunbar Tea Room...well, the best laid plans...Here's how the day went... <BR> <BR> When we arrived on Cape Cod, our first stop was to drop off the pet food at Collections Gallery in Sandwich. While there, John mentioned that last year he received a call that he won a prize. Believe it or not, that was last December...and they were holding it for him. It was a $25 gift certificate so he bought a beautiful hand... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 07:28:39 EST Gratitude... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5537100 Each day I check FB my home page has posts from friends/colleagues listing something for which they are grateful. My PB team also has a November challenge of listing daily thanks, and I have been participating in that daily. I love that the PB challenge also asks for a random kindness we have done for someone & a random kindness that was done for us. I think of the 3 things we list daily, the act of a random kindness done for me is my favorite part of the challenge. It has helped me to unders... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 07:47:17 EST It's a learning curve... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5535987 ...trying to get back into the swing of my normal life. Somehow work always puts a kink into it...as does life. <BR> <BR> Though I though work was going to be maneagble in November, the past two days were a bit on the hectic side. Taught classes on breast health at a local high school, meeting a new survivor who shared part of her story with them. Always amazed at how differently each person reacts to their disease. <BR> <BR> Tuesday was a non-stop day on the Hope Bus and I love that one ... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 16:44:58 EST I survived! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5531632 I'm baaaaccckkk! I survived October...I think. It was a frenetic month, primarily because everyone wants to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We had 34 visits in 28 days with the Hope Bus, with some very long days. We met lots of folks, heard lots of stories, taught lots of classes, answered lots of questions, made lots of touchstones, and connected lots of women with the state's free women's cancer screening program, financial resources, or with others who have fought breast cancer and... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 08:11:14 EST Where to start?... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5513154 Can't believe my last blog was September 25th. In my head, I thought I'd written at least 2 since then. As a result I don't know where to start so will hit highlights. <BR> <BR> October arrived fast & furiously for me. Our Hope Bus has 31 events in 28 days, with 24 of them happening between Oct. 15 and 31. Looking forward to it...with some trepidation about how well I will plan to stay healthy, have energy, and get my rest with this more than the usual hectic schedule. <BR> <BR> Today is on... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 11:18:52 EST Letting go... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5495924 Yesterday our daily challenge was to turn a negative into a positive. I thought about it in lots of ways, since I'm physically and mentally exhausted...and we haven't yet reached October for the Hope Bus. Between Hope Bus outings and spending time with my cousins from Italy who are visiting, I truly am struggling for energy. So for me, that was my challenge - how to restore my energy. Of course, sleep, healthy foods, exercise, and avoiding stress were the answers that quickly came to mind. Y... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:27:09 EST Difficult decision... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5493466 On Saturday evening and yesterday, I thought hard and long about our Positive Bloggers' Fill-A-Meter Challenge. My challenge for September was to blog each day...and then I added visiting my 3 teams, two of the goals on my *SPARK* RESTART plan. I was doing well until the Hope Bus hit the road everyday and my cousins from Italy arrived. Those two events totally derailed me. <BR> <BR> Last week, the Hope Bus was on the road for six days. Most mornings I left home between 7:30 & 8 AM in order t... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 06:45:06 EST Surrender, Dorothy... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5483852 Somehow I lost track of Wednesday. It was a hectic day...it was an emotional day...and by the end of the day, I felt like I had run into a block wall. <BR> <BR> The day began at 7:30 AM as I headed across the state to do a presentation on Community Outreach with the Hope Bus & education to an advisory board for a non-profit health service that provides care to low-income and minority populations. It should take about 25 minutes but I allowed an extra half hour in case of traffic. It took 1 h... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:40:15 EST My heart hurts... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5481317 My heart hurts today. A lot. My landlord of 30 years died this weekend. I wasn't expecting it. I think he missed being home and I know he hated being in the nursing home. So he left. When I met his youngest son in the yard yesterday, I asked how he was, since his back was hurting when he left my apartment after fixing the bathroom. He replied, "Okay, considering Dad." I asked if Lindy was back in the hospital. That's when he told me Lindy had died. He didn't call me because his older brother ... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 06:56:31 EST The madness begins... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5480289 September & October are the busiest months for the Hope Bus, as you can guess. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month here in the US, at least. The spillover of requests for the RV fill the month of September and the first two weeks of November. Today & tomorrow we are at Gregg's Restaurant, a local restaurant that begins its Pink Ribbon Cake fundraising for the Foundation. A portion of the sales is donated to provide programs for breast cancer patients/survivors & their families. They have... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 08:32:34 EST Fill-a-meter challenge for September... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5479261 Our Positive Bloggers team has a September challenge, Fill-A-Meter. Love this idea that Wanda, our #1 leader...and founder...developed. Here's my progress report - though it looks much nicer on my Excel spreadsheet, with the blocks filled in with color. Haven't figured out how to turn that into a jpg file to add here. Will work on that. My MS Paint app disappeared. <BR> <BR> DATE <BR> 1 - Blog + 3 teams <BR> 2 - Blog + 3 teams <BR> 3 - Blog + 3 teams <BR> 4 - 2 teams <BR> 5 - 3 teams <BR> 6... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 08:09:00 EST Limitations are removed... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5478869 Yay! Flushing is no longer restricted. John & I went to breakfast and to run some errands. When we got home, my landlord's youngest son was fixing the bathroom. It took him two seals but it is now working. It's the little things for which I am most grateful. <BR> <BR> At breakfast I was able to set up a Hope Bus visit to support my friend Laurie's daughter and her fundraising for Team Laurie, her 5k run to benefit the Foundation. Laurie raised funds for women to carry torches in our Illumina... Sat, 7 Sep 2013 18:40:05 EST Wrote them... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5477429 For our Fill-A-Meter challenge for September, I chose writing a daily blog. Usually I will write them in a MS Word document for editing...I just haven't posted them here at SP because time escapes with long workdays. Again this morning, I have to head out the door early to take John for his colonoscopy. I will transfer them to SP later today or tomorrow morning. <BR> <BR> Update on the bathroom: The son who was supposed to fix the seal on the commode on Wednesday told me he would rather do ... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 06:26:51 EST Managed to achieve my plans... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5474312 Despite not being in pjs yesterday as planned, since I had to dress to await my landlord's son checking the water leakage in the bathroom, I still cleaned my stove and refrigerator. Felt good to accomplish those tasks, though I did have to take a break between them. The fumes from the cleaner exacerbated my coughing. I also managed to rest, watching several British mysteries I had recorded and one Netflix DVD of MIDSOMER MURDERS. I love that show and it has been one of my favorites...now it i... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 08:30:38 EST A day to relax...I think... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5473226 Today was going to be "clean the stove & refrigerator and then stay in pjs all day reading & watching movies." Instead I am waiting for my landlord's son to come check if my toilet is leaking. They noticed water stains on the ceiling of the bathroom downstairs. I think they are old, from when the 43 yo toilet tank cracked a couple of years ago. Wish they would come upstairs and get it done so I can get on with my day as planned. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART: <BR> 1. Tracked food/analyzed <BR> 2... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 08:12:33 EST September??? Really?? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5472809 I cannot believe today is September 1st. How did it arrive and where are the days I'm missing? It feels as if summer never arrived. I love my job but it takes so much of my time from me. I need to relish the free time I have so it doesn't seem to go so quickly. <BR> <BR> Today our Positive Bloggers team starts its monthly challenge - Fill-O-Meter. We either have jars or charts and the goal is to fill whatever meter we are using. Some are rewarding themselves with cash. I haven't quite figure... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 18:06:57 EST Sundry subjects... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5469635 Thank you to all who expressed well wishes for healing. Yesterday my fever finally broke and as of this morning, my temp is back to 97.4*. YEA! The use of peppermint oil extract really has helped. My cough is still deep seated but I am coughing less than half as much as Tuesday, and the peppermint oil has helped clear the choking sensation. This morning on my way to work I will stop to get a dropper, since I put a bit too much in my water bottle...causing me to cough from the strength of the ... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 08:14:40 EST I need a clear head... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5468057 Oh, I hate this feeling of fogginess from my cold/bronchitis. I can't think. Want to take a nap but have a program at 6 PM...hoping to leave it early. Looking forward to something HOT to drink. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART: <BR> 1. Tracked/analyzed food <BR> 2. Blogged <BR> 3. Visited my 3 teams <BR> 4. No specific exercise other than normal movement <BR> 5. Did not declutter <BR> <BR> Because I am having breathing issues from whatever this is, I'm trying to rest my body...and mind...as much a... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:16:40 EST Check in http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5466563 *SPARK* RESTART: <BR> 1. Tracked food/analyzed <BR> 2. Blogged <BR> 3. Visited 3 teams <BR> 4. Did not exercise - too sick <BR> 5. Never left apartment yesterday <BR> <BR> BLESSINGS: <BR> 1. Gracie & Katie, who stayed by my side <BR> 2. Tissues, cough syrup, aspirin, OJ, water <BR> 3. Took several hour naps on Sunday <BR> 4. G-d, Who loves us Mon, 26 Aug 2013 09:16:29 EST Unexpectedly serene... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5465711 Disappointment yesterday - I look forward to the afternoon of opera every year. It is a giant garden party, raising money for scholarships for students of opera. My mom's uncle was a tenor, singing at La Scala in Italy (their answer to the Met here in the US). Unfortunately, shortly after we arrived, I had a coughing fit and could not stop, getting dizzy. John decided it was better if we came home - he was right because the cough was annoying me and I didn't want to ruin the concert for other... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 12:12:25 EST Not much to say today... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5464699 Can't find Gracie to medicate and hydrate...hoping she comes out before we leave for Connecticut to at least medicate her. The IV can happen tonight or tomorrow. I have a cold and am feeling really sick...but hate to see John spend so much on my ticket and it goes unused. Hoping being out in the beautiful weather today - sun, low humidity, high 70s - will help me feel better. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART: <BR> 1. Visited 3 teams yesterday <BR> 2. Tracked/analyzed food <BR> 3. Did not blog yest... Sat, 24 Aug 2013 08:46:34 EST More photos than words... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5462833 As promised, here is the intention bracelet I made, having described it in my last blog: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l8874468.jpg"> <BR> The life bead - black & white <BR> The bell - reminder <BR> The coin - abundance <BR> The fish - faith, courage/strength, determination <BR> <BR> Since I talk about the Hope Bus so much, I thought I'd post photos so you know what it looks like: <BR> The outside - with the words, Faith, Hope, Courage, Strength, Determination <BR> ... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 09:16:54 EST Intention... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5460730 Yesterday the Hope Bus visited one of our community hospitals. It's in southern RI, which brings it closer to the beaches. Had we not had another stop, I think I would have taken a walk along one of them simply to hear the water against the shore. <BR> <BR> A local jewelry artist led us in a session of making intention bracelets. I wish I had brought mine upstairs to photograph and post here. I will post a photo in my next blog. Back to the bracelet. Renee does a beautiful job of setting the... Tue, 20 Aug 2013 08:05:59 EST Little annoyances... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5456935 ...can drive me crazy. As those on my teams know, I have a co-worker who is quite abrasive and LOUD! I thought it was just I who felt that way. It's not. Yesterday I closed my office door, as did the two people in offices on either side of mine, because it is impossible to think. Add to that the sounds her cell phone makes with boings...yup, "BOING...BOING...BOING..." Even with doors closed, it is as if she is sitting next to you and it is nearly impossible to think. We have all at times ask... Fri, 16 Aug 2013 08:45:51 EST Just a day... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5455866 Not sure how I missed blogging yesterday...too much "noise" around me, I guess. <BR> <BR> It was a relatively normal workday since the Hope Bus is in the "hospital" getting repairs done so I spent the day in the office, catching up with emails and trying to get the office cleaned for filming on Friday. <BR> <BR> My new habit that I am trying to adopt is to eat lunch. I am notoriously known for skipping lunch and my co-worker Mandy is helping me. Each morning that she's there when I arrive ... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 08:42:55 EST