MCJULIEO's SparkPeople Blog MCJULIEO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Texas Woman Quotes (More) Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) <BR> <BR> Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power. <BR> <BR> Human rights is not a temporary or transitory political issue. We have got to respect the humanity of each other and know that no one has the right to rule others. I'm neither a black politician, nor a woman politician, just a politician. . . . I am here simply because all those people in the 18th District of Texas cannot get on planes and buses and come to Washington to spe... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:14:32 EST Six Pounds of Butter! Yes! I can hardly believe it myself, but in that refrigerator that died, I had six pounds of BUTTER, for goodness sakes! <BR> <BR> I guess that I stocked up while my DH was sick and I was trying to give him extra extra calories, and I didn't use them up before he died, and then I nudged them to the back, and ultimately forgot about them... <BR> <BR> I wonder if the local food bank will accept butter.... <BR> <BR> Not to mention the five quarts of YOGURT I found.. looks like I need to make... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 09:33:27 EST Domestic Catastrophe My refrigerator/freezer died without me noticing until yesterday... the freezer was already was my extra fridge, kept in the laundry room, not the kitchen, but STILL! It was the backup that held pre-prepared food for special events....the Thanksgiving turkey thawed in that fridge...meat marinated....fruit salads melded... <BR> <BR> Five years ago, when it started making terrible noises, the repairman came and said that it would be cheaper to buy another one than to repair it, a... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 10:03:10 EST Texas Woman Quote (Babe) Didrikson Zaharias (1911-1956) <BR> <BR> It's not just enough to swing at the ball. You've got to loosen your girdle and really let the ball have it. <BR> <BR> Winning has always meant much to me, but winning friends has meant the most. <BR> <BR> You can't win them all - but you can try. <BR> Tue, 8 Jul 2014 09:11:15 EST Looking Guilty When I was in Colorado a week ago, I saw the funniest thing...Lake City is so small that it is an hour away from the nearest stoplight, but in the summer it has a bakery.... <BR> <BR> and it's a GOOD bakery. <BR> <BR> They will make cakes with 24 hour notice, but they specialize in pastries and bread.... <BR> They bake sticky buns every morning and sell out everyday. <BR> They bake fruit pockets every morning and sell out everyday. <BR> They bake ham and cheese kolaches every morning and s... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 18:54:53 EST AHA! Explanation! When I checked my Sparktracker after turning my computer off and then on again, I found this message: <BR> <BR> "Our partner, FitLinxx, is currently experiencing issues with their system and it is currently down. All of your data will be stored on your device and will sync up once FitLinxx system comes back online. Until then, you won't be able to calibrate your device or reclassify events. We apologize for the inconvenience." <BR> <BR> In other words, it's not me! <BR> Or at least, it MIGH... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 01:59:59 EST Out of Sync I've done so much travelling lately, it's been hard to know what day today is and establish a regular schedule... Even though YESTERDAY seemed like Saturday, because of the holiday, I know that TOMORROW is SUNDAY... <BR> <BR> Thank goodness for church services keeping me on schedule! <BR> <BR> Also, I spent about an hour walking the entire perimeter of one of the largest outlet malls in the country, but my Spark activity tracker isn't recording it...(actually, the TRACKER has measured it, ... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 23:43:56 EST Devil's Backbone The tourists are out and thick in our tourist loving town, but I needed to get back home after a lovely day spent 50 miles away, and my host suggested that I take Ranch Road 32, sometimes called the Devil's Backbone, as an alternate route to avoid the greater congestion of tourists... so I did.. <BR> <BR> And I got to thinking.... how many roads in the US have that appellation? There's at least one other outside of Texas...The road I drove on followed a ridge and provided a beautiful view, w... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 23:48:23 EST KaBoom! The fireworks have started going off already, on this Independence Day Eve....and though the police have made a special point that fireworks within the city limits are illegal, I'm hearing booms and quite a few of them nearby right now.... we live very near the edge of town but I'm sure that these noises are coming from forbidden areas. <BR> <BR> With the drought that we've been having, I really hope no one is knuckleheaded enough to let some fireworks start a fire in the neighborhood...that... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 23:08:50 EST Triggers Yikes! I was reading a book today, and one of the characters started talking about how hungry she was.... <BR> <BR> And I STARTED FEELING HUNGRY, TOO! <BR> <BR> Fortunately I had some carrots clean and ready to snack on... <BR> <BR> But Yowsers! That was a close one! Thu, 3 Jul 2014 00:14:48 EST Summer at the Library “The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don’t, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.” &#8213; Polly Horvath Tue, 1 Jul 2014 21:37:37 EST Lubbock's Prairie Dog Town Yes! The prairie dogs in Lubbock are alive and have lots of babies, and they are truly wonderful to watch.... and they also seem to have escaped and have colonized much of the city park that used to be clear of them except for their special enclosure... I don't know if Lubbock has a plan for limiting them to McKinney Park (McKenzie Park?) but I DO know that for a time they were considered a highly desirable pet in Japan and that entrepreneurs developed highly powerful vacuum trucks that could... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 00:29:31 EST Home Sweet Home There's no place like home. Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:43:42 EST Trip Not Yet Over We left Colorado this morning and encountered some kind of bike event between Creede (elevation ~8900 ft) and Slumgullion Pass (12,000+ ft), so it was about 50 tortuous miles, almost all of it going up. There. Must have been a thousand of them including a few recumbent bikes, and about a half dozen 2 seaters. <BR> <BR> I admire them, really I do, but also think they are a little nuts,,, <BR> <BR> Tomorrow we're stopping in Lubbock, TX to see the prairie dog colony. I hope that the burrowing... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 23:52:21 EST Wild Irises? Do irises grow wild? I always think of them as highly cultivated plants... but today we were high in the Uncompaghre Forest above Lake City, CO and sat in a meadow that had multiple clusters of irises... they looked naturalized as if some early settler had planted them many many many years ago, and they had since gone wild, but the land showed no remnant of old homestead or building.. <BR> <BR> It was a puzzle worth pondering as we sat in that mountain meadow watching the clouds send dapple... Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:08:57 EST Breathtaking Night Sky where we are deep in the the Uncompaghre Forest in the San Juan part of the Rocky Mountains, we are really far from any considerable light source, and looking up at the moonless sky just seems impossibly beautiful. <BR> <BR> Last night as I lay in bed staring out the window, I found myself thinking,"Wow, this is almost as clear as what we see at the planetarium!" which made me laugh at how unnatural nature sometimes seems. We city dwellers can be pretty dumb... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:26:40 EST High Adventure OK, I may be getting a little acclimated to this Colorado altitude...we spent all day high up in the mountains (this time in a car- oh my aching legs from yesterday!) as we took absolutely the worst road I have ever been on. As we ascended from Lake City, altitude about 8700', we carefully climbed on a road that was rarely wide enough for more than one car (there were a few places that allowed one vehicle to move all the way to the side to let another one by, and the vehicle going up has the ... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:11:40 EST Rocky Mountains? Yes, They Certainly Are! We got an early start (for us, with a two year old and a one year old, and a pregnant woman) and were on the trail to Waterdog Lake. Up and up and up we climbed the cruel mountain which seemed to tease us over and over with promises of a summit nearby, and then, instead of a lovely path down, it provided another switchback and more UP. When you start at an elevation of almost 8700' and climb for several hours, you can look down from the loftiest resting spots and try to figure how much higher... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:42:31 EST Under the Aspens What a gorgeous day! Walked into town to let the little ones play on the playgrounds there, and I alternated between being hot when the sun was shining to being freezing when a cloud passed over.... Lake City has a very small year round population (less than 300) but it pretty much booms in the summer, and there are apparently a LOT of regular summer residents who migrate in for the season... once here they want to come back year after year... and I totally understand that. <BR> <BR> We had ... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:03:50 EST It's Official. I'm a Weenie! I don't remember when I've had such a difficult time acclimating to the altitude.... we're staying at about 8700' altitude but we hiked up from where we're staying on what should have been an easy trek, and any upward elevation change had me huffing and puffing. <BR> <BR> I could have wept with how unfit I am! But right now I'm blaming it on the altitude.. I mean, we're several thousand feet above Denver here, and it stands to reason that gravity has pulled all the spare oxygen molecules do... Sun, 22 Jun 2014 22:50:39 EST Ahhhhhhhhh! We Made It! Lake City, Colorado! What a glorious destination! It sits at about 8700 elevation, and even at that it was the host to a big race today, a FIFTY MILER! We caught sight of one of the way stations way up high in the mountains above Lake City near Slumgullion Pass, which is at 11,530 ft altitude,, and part of the race was even higher....I am astonished at the undertaking... <BR> <BR> The San Juan Solstice 50 mile endurance run is a scenic but very rugged loop at high altitude in the San Juans. ... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 23:10:26 EST Santa Fe! Santa Fe is a beautiful city... I just wish it didn't take so long to get here! <BR> <BR> Of course having 2 children under the age of three, and one expectant mother doesn't help,,, but we made it! <BR> <BR> Tomorrow we go the rest of the way to Lake City, CO, our ultimate destination..Ahh, Nature! Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:16:54 EST Santa Fe! Santa Fe is a beautiful city... I just wish it didn't take so long to get here! <BR> <BR> Of course having 2 children under the age of three, and one expectant mother doesn't help,,, but we made it! <BR> <BR> Tomorrow we go the rest of the way to Lake City, CO, our ultimate destination..Ahh, Nature! Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:16:50 EST The Garden Waits for No Man Back at home again, and my garden missed me.... in the almost week that I was gone, the tomatoes produced prodigiously and the squash perished ignobly. Red spider mites have invaded, as did squash vine borers, but many plants still look very healthy... <BR> <BR> I may have planted, and I may have watered, <BR> but God is the One Who gives the growth. <BR> <BR> How nice to enjoy the fruit of our labor! Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:11:06 EST On the Road Sleeping in another bed tonight, visiting with my old college chum while I research some more on women at Texas A&M.... there is tons of data, and all so interesting to me... I went through almost a year's worth of college newspapers today. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow we're taking her kayaks out for a spin.... <BR> . <BR> Must remember to put on lots of sunscreen! Tue, 17 Jun 2014 00:29:58 EST Day of Gratefulness How happy I am is directly proportional to the amount of thankfulness that I feel. In other words, I do believe that the more grateful I am, the more happy I am. <BR> <BR> This weekend I'm visiting my 92 year old mother, actually staying with her (sleeping in a rollaway bed), in her independent living apartment complex. She has a 2 bedroom apartment and lives by herself, as do the several hundred other residents of the place....they have a common dining room and activities that they can part... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 12:41:49 EST Graduation Party Another graduate, another graduate party... <BR> <BR> Th!is one I totally failed at.... there was a turning around point several times, but only a couple of times did I choose wisely. I DID drink water, lots of water.... <BR> <BR> But have you ever eaten a "Lacey cookie" from Costco? Oh my goodness, the path to perdition is paved with those cookies. <BR> <BR> Tomorow is a new day! I will do better Sat, 14 Jun 2014 23:42:23 EST Rent-A-Machine-Gun...Whaaaat??? In driving between San Antonio and Houston today, I read a LOT of billboards, but the one that still has me scratching my head is the one advertising some gun range where you can go and shoot big guns.... like a machine gun!!! <BR> <BR> I don't have any inclination to do so, but I have a LOT of (male) friends who would think that was the coolest thing in the world. <BR> <BR> Me? I'd like to go to the place that lets you drive all the big trucks, like dumptrucks, and steam shovels... Unfort... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:01:29 EST Rain! It's time to go to bed, but it just started raining! <BR> <BR> "Big deal! ", you might say, but really it long as our drought has been going, we're ALL THRILLED to get rain of any kind, especially the "rain, rain, RAIN!" kind of downpour we're getting right now... I might feel different if my home had a leaky roof or other leaks, but it's sound and I'm going to enjoy falling asleep to the sound of a downpour... <BR> <BR> Good for the garden, too! <BR> <BR> (Extra Bonus- this is my... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:04:37 EST Sweet Sleep I slept almost ten hours last night, starting at 10:30pm. <BR> <BR> It was wonderful. <BR> <BR> I woke refreshed and ready for a great day, and then had one.... <BR> <BR> With a lot to do, I still got to go to CRAFT PLAY DAY- Woo HOO!!!! We painted in our books. (I'm working on an unconventional cat with a candy cane striped tail...the cat is striped in turquoise and lime green with little pink dots, and his belly is yellow with red cheetah spots) I'm going to give him some REAL pizzazz th... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:55:02 EST Perfect Day- Disagreement Practice Since I usually volunteer to sort books at the Friends of the Library on Tuesdays, I always look forward to getting out and enjoying the intellectual stimulation that friends (and especially friends who love books) provide. As varied as our backgrounds and tastes run, we all are genuinely involved with each other, and usually don't back down to challenges that come our way. In other words, it is because we know that we care, that we can dare to disagree with one another. <BR> <BR> Even so, I... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 23:07:22 EST Old MacDonald I picked my first tomatoes today, and since I neglected to label the plants I'm not quite sure exactly what variety they are... One is a Celebrity, I'm pretty sure, and the other big one is an heirloom type, but it came off a plant that I could have sworn was one of my usual common varieties, but the fruit is dark dark red, almost purple... definitely NOT a Celebrity... <BR> <BR> And then there were a handful of Sweet 100s... how I love this little, vivacious tomato.... sweet like candy, it'... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 10:35:30 EST Graduation Celebration Our church annually celebrates each year's graduates with a covered dish (sandwich) supper and ice cream. It happened tonight. <BR> <BR> I had eaten carefully at lunch (Panda Express= vegetables, vegetables, vegetables!), so I savored every bite of the two small scoops of ice cream this evening... Nice! And I don't feel hungry. <BR> <BR> Yay! Sun, 8 Jun 2014 23:14:34 EST Moms' Night Out The movie, "Moms' Night Out" , was released to theaters the Friday before Mothers Day, and I've seen it twice already (and am hoping that my kids buy it for me as Christmas gift this December.) It's a comedy of errors, and oh-so-enjoyable to anyone who has lived with small children ... and tried and tried and tried to be a good Mom. <BR> <BR> It all starts with a young mother who is ready for a break (there were times when I wanted to run away from home, when I was a young mom) and schedules... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 00:36:40 EST Delightful Day Texas A&M... <BR> <BR> Some people call it The Promised Land.. <BR> Some call it Sing Sing on the Brazos.. <BR> <BR> I spent the day on the campus today at the Cushing Research and Archive Library. What a GREAT place! And the librarians and staff were Uber helpful... <BR> <BR> But I have to admit that part of the fun of the day was watching what MUST BE the new freshmen/women on campus for their new student orientations...generally it was a middle aged couple, usually beaming benevolence, ... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 22:12:41 EST Fireflies The fireflies are out this evening...a true indicator of summer... <BR> <BR> Some quotations about fireflies: <BR> <BR> “Fireflies in the Garden <BR> Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, <BR> And here on earth come emulating flies, <BR> That though they never equal stars in size, <BR> (And they were never really stars at heart) <BR> Achieve at times a very star-like start. <BR> Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.” <BR> &#8213; Robert Frost, 1874–1963 , The Poetry of... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 22:52:44 EST iOS8 Kim Komando, the Digital goddess of radio fame, says that Apple just announced a new operating system for Apple I-phones, I-pads, etc., to compete with the cool innovations that other cell phones have been producing... I just recently updated my phone to iOS7!!! <BR> <BR> As reluctant as I am to upgrade any of the tools that I use daily (because of the inevitable adjustments that must be made), I consider this all healthy competition in which the consumer is certain to win, one way or anothe... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 23:32:32 EST Tourist Season I live in a town famous for its rich historical heritage, its clear, pristine rivers, its superb country-western music venues, and its wonderful waterpark, Schlitterbahn..... in short, a fantastic place to go for vacation. <BR> <BR> The locals joke about tourist season being the time of the year when it is legal to shoot tourists, but deep down in their hearts they are secretly glad that others recognize what a special place we live. <BR> <BR> But the traffic can get a little congested, and... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 00:01:11 EST Recent Oddities Observed A friend and I recently made a trip across the southern part of the US in her (small) RV ....It was a great trip but I still can't stop thinking about one campground where we spent one night. Its advertisement proclaimed that it was "kid friendly", and on first glance it appeared to be- <BR> <BR> It had a swimming pool, and swingsets, and a jumping pad, and a giant sandbox, complete with benches for parents to watch their sweetie pies at work... <BR> <BR> But it also had, and I am not makin... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 23:49:16 EST Feels Like Summer I KNOW, it's SUPPOSED to feel like summer.... <BR> <BR> It was 102 degrees by my car thermometer today at noon, and it was supposed to only get to 89 at its hottest... <BR> <BR> I need to start swimming laps next week when the city park pool opens... How long do you think it will take me to get up to swimming a mile again? I'm hoping less than 2 weeks. <BR> <BR> We'll see. Sat, 31 May 2014 23:38:17 EST Inspiration Spark Video Did you see this amazing video of the collegiate runner who fell in her race, and managed to win anyway? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ark-videos-detail.asp?video=86 </link> <BR> <BR> Holy smokes! It is the perfect example of not quitting, no matter what... see if you think the same thing... Fri, 30 May 2014 23:48:31 EST Made Me Have Something in My Eye This was sent to me this week in an email- I have no reason to think it's a fake, but I looked at Snopes to see if I was a gullible softie... I think it really happened and I want to share it. <BR> <BR> My Daughter Made A WWII Veteran Cry <BR> <link><BR>n-cry/ </link> <BR> <BR> We owe so much to these heroes who would never call themselves heroes. <BR> <BR> Thu, 29 May 2014 23:49:05 EST Memorial Day Addressing a joint session of Congress on April 16, 1945, President Harry S. Truman said, “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” Truman was speaking of the sacrifices made during World War II, but his words ring true today, regardless of the conflict where such selfless service is displayed by our men and women in uniform. <BR> <BR> I am remembering t... Sat, 24 May 2014 18:39:54 EST Storytelling I went to a storytelling class today.... <BR> <BR> Author, Steven James, has, can you believe it, a Masters degree in Storytelling!!!!! How cool is that!?!?!? His presentation was a hoot, and I HOPE that I remember enough of it to utilize it later. <BR> Oh yes, I DID take plenty of notes, but it would be hard to capture the essence of the experience... I guess that's kind of the point, conveying the distillation of a moment in words. <BR> <BR> I'm working on it! I'm working on it! Tue, 20 May 2014 23:38:11 EST Writers' Conference I'm surrounded by authors... in the meetings, in the cafeteria, in the bathroom,... they are everywhere! This annual writers' conference for Christian writers, especially those of the Blue Ridge Mountains, began about thirty years ago, and there are several here who have attended for multiple years...lots and LOTS of them have been published, but keep coming back to hone their craft. <BR> <BR> I have no illusions of being an author... I happen to be here, almost a thousand miles from Texas,... Mon, 19 May 2014 21:58:14 EST Meeting New People What a challenge/treat to be in a position to HAVE to meet new people! I'm at a conference, and there are a lot of people that I have never met..... slowly, but surely, I intend to change that each day....I can't get to know EVERYBODY, but I can practice Texas friendliness . <BR> <BR> I will practice various conversational gambits..... the scenery here outside of Asheville, NC is gorgeous, and the blooming shrubbery is always good for at least SOME reflection... they even have rocking chairs... Sun, 18 May 2014 23:11:15 EST Turning Point We arrived at our farthest destination yesterday (the place from which we'll turn around and launch our return to Texas), the mountains of North Carolina. It rained on us again all day except for a short time when it was hailing......HAILING! <BR> <BR> Really? <BR> <BR> But it was beautiful today. Despite 50% chance of rain. Very niiiice! Sat, 17 May 2014 22:43:55 EST Continuing On Not raining this morning....Yay! We slept late, and then got really good showers at the campground showers.... much better than showering in the 2x2ft RV shower! <BR> <BR> Sunshine is even coming out... <BR> <BR> It's going to be a great day! Thu, 15 May 2014 11:04:26 EST On the Road Continued We made it to Kentucky, despite the rain, the eighteen wheelers, ......and the second flat tire on the RV! We're spending the night at My Old Kentucky Home State Park, as the rain pelts the roof, and we have only 150 miles more to go to our first destination. <BR> <BR> It is so beautiful here! Lush and green and full of wildflowers....lots of wild honeysuckle... mmmmmm, smells so good! <BR> <BR> Hope to get a breather tomorrow..... I am so grateful to have friends to make expeditions with! ... Wed, 14 May 2014 22:00:20 EST On the Road After a rocky start, including a flat tire, a dead battery, a cranky GPS, and a Houston rendezvous, we got off on our big adventure about 6 hours later than we expected.... <BR> <BR> but we're OFF! <BR> <BR> And last night we experienced the granddaddy of storms, with lightning so bright and so often that I felt surrounded by papparozzi . I'm so glad that we're in an RV, and not a tent! <BR> <BR> Upward, Onward, Excelsior! Tue, 13 May 2014 08:45:28 EST