MCJULIEO's SparkPeople Blog MCJULIEO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Have to Stay Home Well, I dropped my car off at the dealership to get routine maintenance tomorrow all day, but I'm considering it a bonus day for my home, in that I won't be able to go gallivanting without a car... <BR> <BR> I've even checked out a really interesting audiobook from the library entitled "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants". So far , it has been fascinating, touching on Lawrence of Arabia, and what he had in common with a certain middle school girls' basketba... Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:13:00 EST Shopping Day I'm sure that my tracker has missed some of the (many) steps I took today as I made the rounds of grocery stores (Woo Hoo! Large pineapples for 99 cents!) and craft stores (found easels for my grandkids that will be PERFECT!) and all the back and forths just unloading all my finds when I got home. <BR> <BR> And when everything was unloaded at home, I had a big bowl of healthy homemade soup, and some bakery focaccia.... <BR> <BR> I feel like I made a lot of progress.... which doesn't happe... Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:51:14 EST Mission Accomplished My beloved dentist (who is another female Aggie, and whose children grew up with mine) capped the tooth today that had to be root canaled yesterday.... what a wondrous development that it all could be done so easily and efficiently! <BR> <BR> And I had a Christmas luncheon to attend, which went really well, partly because I stuck to clear soups, spinach salad, and I had brought fresh pineapple, so I knew that it was a safe choice. I DID have a bit of dessert, but left the party satisfied, no... Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:24:13 EST It's Always Something! In the spirit of "When it rains, it pours", I am adopting (for a short while anyway) a "resistance is futile" attitude.... that Less Than Ideal circumstances happen to everybody, and I might as well roll with the punches, and not waste any more time and energy bemoaning my situation. <BR> <BR> After an exhausting weekend baking cookies for scholarships, I was sore all over (manning commercial cookie sheets and commercial convection ovens can really take it out of a person in GOOD shape, and ... Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:38:24 EST What a Difference a Day Makes! Yesterday we woke up to a 2 inch layer of snow on the ground, and a 2 hour delay of most government activities, including school, because of the winter storm conditions.... <BR> <BR> Today the temperatures zoomed up to almost 70 degrees and I saw people out Christmas shopping in shorts. <BR> <BR> Welcome to Texas! Sun, 10 Dec 2017 00:42:21 EST Can It Be?? Yes! Snow! It never snows in south Texas... and, even if it did, it would not snow in December.... and even if it DID snow in December in south Texas, it wouldn't snow in EARLY December... <BR> <BR> Unless it does! <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After a rainy day all day, I came outside to see a blanket of white everywhere! <BR> <BR> As... Thu, 7 Dec 2017 23:43:21 EST Tragic Discovery After being gone for so long, I found myself in a Bible study out of my usual stomping grounds this morning , but in a Divine coincidence (by which I mean that in God's economy, it wasn't a coincidence at all) I was greeted by an old friend that I hadn't seen in years... and in catching up with her, I found that she had been widowed ... <BR> <BR> And as the morning progressed and we tried to catch up in snippets (there just wasn't a whole lot of time for exchanging lengthy chit-chat), I foun... Thu, 7 Dec 2017 00:35:24 EST 1600 Traveled Miles Well I woke up in southern Maryland and I'm going to bed near San Antonio, Texas.... With many flown miles, I also had some serious commute-to-the-airport miles.. <BR> <BR> Is it any wonder that I'm bushed, totally wiped out! <BR> <BR> But I DID eat wisely (and would up with wonderful Panda Express for dinner near my home- lots of excellent veggies and I was full!) <BR> <BR> Oh, and it's my birthday... I had practically forgotten it but the airport TSA security screener noticed it on my dr... Tue, 5 Dec 2017 23:26:14 EST Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC This was my last whole day here in Maryland with my daughter before heading home to Texas (already feeling the mutually hard tugs of going without those daily Grandchild hugs versus getting back to my own home and sleeping in my own bed again after three weeks!) <BR> <BR> But as a special concession to me, we decided to go into the city and visit the brand new (opened November 17) Museum of the Bible, and we JUST GOT HOME after spending about 8 hours there..... and could go back tomorrow if ... Mon, 4 Dec 2017 22:55:01 EST Just a Good Principle This was on a Sparkpage somewhere today ( I copied it, but didn't copy the reference! Sorry!) <BR> <BR> "Principle 1: Say 'Yes' to Portion Control <BR> When you first decide to lose weight, you might approach the process thinking that you won't be able to eat any of your favorite foods anymore--but that's not true! By using portion control, you can literally have your cake and eat it, too. <BR> <BR> Instead of munching on your favorite snacks straight from the bag, measure out the proper p... Sun, 3 Dec 2017 23:25:32 EST Apparently What I'm Good At! You know how I've been visiting with my daughter's family these last several weeks? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well, apparently, her 3 girls have never been able to decorate a gingerbread house together without resorting to tears, or worse, fisticuffs, hair-pulling, and eye-gouging... <BR> <BR> That is, until THIS year..... when the Granny-Who-Outranks-Them-All took over the icing bag and directed the troo... Fri, 1 Dec 2017 23:38:25 EST Eggnog Season! Have I ever mentioned how much I love eggnog? <BR> <BR> I love it so much that I am deathly afraid to let myself indulge in eggnoggery of any kind.... <BR> <BR> EXCEPT <BR> <BR> Frozen eggnog yogurt from a commercial frozen yogurt place! <BR> <BR> Which is harder to find than you might imagine since the last TCBY franchise in our town closed more than 10 years ago, and even THEY offered it only randomly through the holiday season... <BR> <BR> So, ever since, I've been searching for a rel... Wed, 29 Nov 2017 23:44:50 EST My Eyes Are Growing Heavy! It's been a long day, and my eyes are so weary, but I promised to tell you more about my fun Christmas crafts <BR> <BR> Like these ornaments, Triskele globes: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Like I explained yesterday, I had heard that these were easy (which I could hardly believe)- so I TRIED them, and sure enough, they were a LITTLE fiddly, but came out SO BEAUTIFUL, I couldn't help but make some more..... and then... Sun, 26 Nov 2017 23:33:42 EST Is It Time For Christmas??? I love Christmas.... I love the significance, I love the Bible passages...I love the food.... I love the Good Will... I love (most of) the decorations...., and I love the togetherness most of all... <BR> <BR> But since my husband died, I've been a lot lower key about Christmas. Yes, I'm still all about Jesus birth, but just about everything else is just.... well..... hoopla... <BR> <BR> But being here with my daughter's family is giving me a lot of (what has been missing lately) Christmas s... Sat, 25 Nov 2017 21:26:47 EST Winding Down Thanksgiving is over..... and pretty much Black Friday is over..... <BR> <BR> The Christmas tree is up and is beautiful! Watching my daughter and her children assemble the tree and decorate it was such a delight.... AND it made me grateful for all the times we did it together when the children were little (I certainly don't remember the effortlessness I witnessed today in our own lives lo those many years ago!) <BR> <BR> Getting a Christmas tree up back in the old days was quite an ordeal.... Fri, 24 Nov 2017 23:43:28 EST Thanksgiving- So Far So Good I'm at my daughter's and she hosted another family for Thanksgiving so there were lots of opportunities to indulge, but I did great! <BR> <BR> It was a little different, because the other family had very specific diet needs which involved two menus, or maybe three.... one normal, one for a brittle diabetic, and one for a very gluten free person.... <BR> <BR> We had turkey, and dressing, and brussels sprouts, and gravy....and two versions of the various dishes if they could be made accepta... Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:48:46 EST Irreverent, But Funny As Heck, Christian Satire Site My son-in-law is in seminary while he works days as a rocket scientist, but as a seminarian he stays au courant with the latest in Christian trends, including Christian comedy, and he introduced me to, which bills itself as "Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satire", and I can't help but marvel at how clever (and provocative, as all good satire should be) it is. <BR> <BR> Sandwiched in between fluffy stories like "10 Awesome Baby Names Straight Out Of The Bible", <BR> <... Mon, 20 Nov 2017 21:24:45 EST Such Progress While Visiting While visiting with my daughter in Maryland, I've gotten to try new things (like Aldi's, WOW! Such great prices, and interesting things! I wish there were one near me in Texas, but the closest is in Houston) <BR> <BR> We have also done some things that I have an OLD skillset for (like painting her bedrooms to get their house ready to put on the market- TODAY we painted the woodwork in one room - TWO coats!) <BR> <BR> And since we've been going through apples at an alarming rate, we trekked ... Sat, 18 Nov 2017 22:37:12 EST Got Sleep But Still Fatigued I'm visiting with my daughter's family, and while it's wonderful, I'm not really on my own schedule, and I don't really have a lot of control over menus and timing... fortunately there are plenty of wonderful fresh apples grown locally to snack on, but I admit that adhering to someone else's schedule is quite fatiguing... <BR> <BR> There's delight in helping homeschool the three kids (and YES! I can still ACE that 4th grade math curriculum!!! And 4th grade was a long LONG time ago for me!), ... Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:05:16 EST A Streak to Be Challenged Today I have logged on to Sparkpeople for the 2000th day straight! <BR> <BR> TWO THOUSAND DAYS STRAIGHT! <BR> <BR> That's almost 5 1/2 years! <BR> <BR> And I actually remember when I missed last... I was on a cruise ship somewhere off the west coast of Canada on my way to Alaska... my phone had no coverage! It couldn't be helped... <BR> <BR> But I've been back every day since then... And my, oh my, my life has changed a lot since then! <BR> <BR> And I've learned a lot here at Sparkpeople... Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:51:14 EST Provocative Blog I just wanted to share this <link><BR>ublic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6<BR>429015 </link> by longtime Sparker LeanJean6 about something she had read: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "It said--imagine--each day, we were given $86,400.00 in a bank account , daily-- <BR> The gist of it was, that you had to spend every cent of that , daily---- <BR> If you didn't use it all, what wasn't used, would be taken away--- <BR> <BR> It went on to say that we are given... Thu, 9 Nov 2017 09:04:28 EST COLDER Today was 30 degrees colder than yesterday, and I managed to stay comfortable by being busy while outdoors... well, I was actually working in the garage with the garage door open, so it was SORT OF like outdoors... <BR> <BR> Boy, do I ever need to clean out my garage... especially now that it is less like a giant Easy Bake Oven.... even the attic would have been survivable today! <BR> <BR> But I'm getting ready to visit my daughter up NORTH (in Maryland) and it's going to be REALLY cold up... Wed, 8 Nov 2017 23:24:33 EST Compliments A friend stopped me today and asked if I was losing weight, and if I hadn't stepped on the scale this morning I might've supposed that I HAVE, but alas! I'm still bouncing around the same five pounds or so.. but I was wearing a new outfit. <BR> <BR> AND, I WILL be remembering this outfit to be sure to wear it when I feel like I need to give the illusion of slimness... <BR> <BR> Funny how a compliment can turn your day in a different direction.... Tue, 7 Nov 2017 20:47:31 EST Another Shooting! Close to Home. Sutherland Springs is less than an hour from my hometown, and is truly a tiny agrarian community, much like many around here.... In fact, it is usually the presence of a church that crystallizes the formation of a community in the first place (and then a bar if it isn't close by already- which came first, the chicken or the egg?) Small town, Texas is so familiar to most of us <BR> <BR> Suffice it to say that I'm watching the news closely to glean as much info as I can... I have friends who k... Sun, 5 Nov 2017 18:42:32 EST She's 96, But Doesn't Look a Day Over 90!!! Make That 80!!! We celebrated a third straight day of my mother's 96th birthday, but THIS time we went to a Mexican restaurant and MARIACHIS came and sang Happy Birthday to her... AND to my brother whose birthday it was also. <BR> <BR> Oh, I am SO stuffed, and I even strategically planned on fajitas to keep the calories down, and I brought home half a plateful and had it for dinner tonight.... oh, how I am yearning for a little SIESTA... yesterday we ate at a Greek restaurant (Mmmmmm! Delicious tilapia and ... Sat, 4 Nov 2017 22:52:10 EST Houston is Different- (see account at end) The big parade (200,000 supposedly there live, while 2 million watched on TV) to celebrate the hometown team winning the World Series took place today... (later reports reported almost a MILLION people crowded downtown to see the parade) <BR> <BR> Many businesses let their employees take the day off... many schools were dismissed as everyone rejoiced in the shining goodness of a spectacular season of Houston Astros baseball, by a team that was so dismal as recent as 3 years ago, that even th... Fri, 3 Nov 2017 23:58:32 EST Gotta Love the Astros I'm sleeping in Houston tonight, and boy-oh-boy, are the people here happy about the Astros winning the World Series!!!! I drove from San Antonio this afternoon, about 3 hours. but I had an interesting audiobook to keep me awake ("Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind") as the miles rolled by.. <BR> <BR> They are SO SUPER, They can EVEN FLY! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But the Astros! I've loved that team ever since I was i... Thu, 2 Nov 2017 23:55:47 EST Library Refuge I took refuge in the library this evening to avoid the Halloween crowd, but going to the library is always such a wonderful experience (and I needed to pick up some items that were On Hold for me anyway. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 1 Nov 2017 00:08:19 EST Good Kind of Tired <img src=""> <BR> Today I spent the day volunteering at the international headquarters for Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) the nondenominational multinational Bible study.... It's in San Antonio, TX, and they print and ship all the materials for the 500,000+ class members in 40 countries right there, using only a handful of paid workers and all the rest volunteers. <BR> <BR> We spent almost the whole day collating le... Mon, 30 Oct 2017 21:43:27 EST Happiness is a Choice <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I got to be with some friends I hadn't seen in over a year and it was such a treat.... little things can add up to big happiness! <BR> <BR> Even if I don't FEEL like being happy I can manufacture at least a LITTLE spark of happy <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 29 Oct 2017 23:53:02 EST Expectations I've been thinking a lot lately about expectations, especially how I loathe feeling that I must live up to the expectations of others... <BR> <BR> However, it is also true that expectations can be my best friend when I generate them BY myself FOR myself.... I WANT to dream and expect the best for ME... and cheer myself onward. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 28 Oct 2017 23:02:15 EST How Now, Eyebrow?.... Threading Department Well, I tried an utterly new experience (to me) yesterday.... I had my eyebrows threaded! I've looked at videos on Youtube of people having threading done (Is that what you call it? or is it "people being threaded"? No idea...) <BR> <BR> Apparently OTHER people are a LOT more concerned with eyebrows than I am, when you consider all the helpful hints online <BR> Simple suggestion <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> More c... Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:46:29 EST Jury Time Yesterday I told of how I was chosen to serve on a jury in my home county, and how they told us that we would have to come back the next day for the trial, but also that we would have to come back yesterday afternoon also, and so... <BR> <BR> I raised my hand, and when they called on me I asked, in the spirit of DIALOGUE, " If you make your selection for jurors now, why can't we start the trial this AFTERNOON, instead of waiting for tomorrow.. I mean," I said, "We're all right here NOW, and ... Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:06:09 EST I Was Juror #65.... Promoted to Juror #10!!! At the crack of dawn I hopped out of bed and started getting ready for my Big Jury Call Adventure.... and after a lovely hot bowl of oatmeal and raisins, I zipped down to the courthouse to stand in line with a humongous crowd who ALSO were waving the same Jury Summons Card that I had clutched in my hand.... <BR> <BR> Courthouse security must have been dialed up a notch because every single person I saw set off the metal detector and had to be wanded, even me! But gradually the crowd was pro... Tue, 24 Oct 2017 00:14:37 EST Report for Jury First Thing in the A.M. Funny thing about Jury Duty: it seems like such an imposition on a well planned day/week, but it's really a cool opportunity to participate in and see how our justice system works. <BR> <BR> I have to report to the District Clerk tomorrow morning at 8:20, and the phone message actually mentioned that we should dress "appropriately", which they went on to describe as "no shorts" and "no muscle shirts".... <BR> <BR> Coincidentally, a cool-ish front came through this morning so I don't think a... Mon, 23 Oct 2017 00:06:32 EST The Internet Doesn't Know Everything I was in bed, ostensibly to sleep, but I couldn't remember the name of someone I met last week, someone who should be on the I got back up... <BR> <BR> Someday I will seek out a librarian specialist who will reveal to me all the secrets of searching on the internet... but right now I'm going to go to bed, BACK to bed.... without having found out what I wanted to find out... <BR> <BR> Because the internet doesn't know everything.... or if it DOES, it won't tell just ANYBODY...... Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:31:13 EST Ahhhh! The Weekend! Well, I got the most important things of the week done, including my flu shot, and checking in with the County Judge, who called me for jury duty 1st thing Monday morning... (Yes, I have to report, but it remains to be seen whether I will be chosen- I've been eliminated during the voir dire part of the trial twice before, but maybe THIS time I'll get to serve) <BR> <BR> There should be no breathtaking loss by my beloved Texas Aggie football team since they have a Bye weekend, and so I won't ... Sat, 21 Oct 2017 00:55:50 EST Flu Shot? CHECK! Number One on my To Do List has been retired as of this afternoon: I got my Flu Shot at the local big grocery store, HEB.... <BR> <BR> Major accomplishment. <BR> <BR> Many years ago, in fact it was the year that the big flu shot scare spooked lots of otherwise intelligent people and kept them from getting flu shots for fear that they might contract some mysterious neurologic illness..... anyway, THAT year my husband's father came down with Guillain Barre Syndrome (the very same illness that... Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:32:30 EST Cool Weather! FINALLY, the temperatures have dropped down into the 60s (and the high was only in the 70s today!!! low in the 50s tomorrow!) This is SUCH a welcome development! <BR> <BR> It actually means that I don't feel quite so weird having a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (I've just grown accustomed to oatmeal, and it's so easy to make in the microwave and track that I've kept it up all summer...) but I HAVEN'T been drinking hot tea in the summer, but I have some fresh herbal tea ready to brew in... Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:24:22 EST Can't Keep Eyes Open It's usually a good sign that I'm sleepy, if I can't keep my eyes open.... <BR> <BR> But I'm optimistic that as soon as I hit my pillow that I will fall asleep... <BR> <BR> It's a hypothesis worth testing, anyway. <BR> <BR> Good night! Mon, 16 Oct 2017 00:52:49 EST Sudden Realization- Frostbite! I just realized one slightly surprising result from all those frozen grapes that I've been eating... (Frozen grapes are the best way that I have found to keep from just inhaling grapes indiscriminately.... I LOVE grapes, but I can't eat them fast when they are frozen solid) <BR> <BR> My tongue was getting sore, or at least, sensitive.... and that's when it dawned on me--- I've been suffering from FROSTBITE on my TONGUE! <BR> <BR> Which is funny, since the temperature rarely goes below freez... Sat, 14 Oct 2017 23:46:16 EST Recreational Shopping I used to LOVE to shop, but I am not quite so enthusiastic (fashion has left me behind, and I refuse to embrace its ugliness, regardless of Who is wearing it) but ... <BR> <BR> TODAY I set out with one simple goal: to find a cloth bag of some sort, preferably with a zipper or some sort of closure that would be big enough to hold some magnetic building block kind of toys... (as a grandmother, I am acutely aware of how much fun toys can be, but as a MOM I know that any toy that has a LOT of li... Fri, 13 Oct 2017 22:53:55 EST Celebrating "Gumbo Day" I don't know whether it's National Gumbo Day or International Gumbo Day or just Sea Island Shrimp House Gumbo Day, but Sea Island Shrimp House offered 99 CENT cups of gumbo (dine in only) today so I took advantage of their offer, but I actually ate TWO cups <BR> <BR> (I'm not sure that their cup was a real measuring size CUP- but it was not a BOWL!) <BR> <BR> I examined it closely and it was full of shrimp AND vegetables, not quite as good as the gumbo I grew up on in south Louisiana, but ... Thu, 12 Oct 2017 23:37:17 EST How I Spent My Weekend (at Texas A&M) Well, it was a great weekend, but I am still pretty bushed, so I'm going to bed as early as I can... <BR> <BR> Starting on Thursday afternoon, I drove to College Station, TX, home of Texas A&M University, to stay with one of my oldest friends, someone I sat next to while taking Organic Chemistry as a college sophomore ( and that was a long, loooooong time ago!). We went to watch the beloved Texas Aggie Women's Soccer Team beat the University of Alabama 2-0.. Aggie soccer has one of the most ... Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:43:01 EST Newsflash: Aggies Beat Alabama In futbol (soccer) <BR> <BR> I was there and saw it! Sheer delight 2-0! Fri, 6 Oct 2017 00:58:41 EST Packing and More Right as I was trying get things together for my weekend in College Station (Gig 'em, Aggies! Beat Alabama!), my phone rang, and it was my mother wanting to know the password to her internet router... <BR> <BR> My mom lives about 180 miles from me, and I had no idea as to when she set up her router and internet, nor what her password is... <BR> <BR> But I find it charmingly amusing that anyone would turn to me for answers to questions of a technical nature.... hilarious, even! <BR> <BR> I ... Thu, 5 Oct 2017 00:04:34 EST I LOVE the Internet When I'm not hating how mesmerizing and enslaving the internet is, I really love it... where else can you find all the Far Side cartoons that you might have forgotten.... <BR> <BR> The untamed humor of Gary Larsen keeps holding up as Very Funny Stuff....even when they're not home runs, most Far Side cartoons make me smile and smile... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 4 Oct 2017 00:04:13 EST A Few Binge-Watchings Netflix can really take all day of everyday if you let it.... especially with series, where you can't stop with just ONE! <BR> <BR> For example, I just discovered "Anne with an E" on Netflix, and after watching the first episode about the Canadian orphan who found a home at Green Gables, I was hooked! I HAD to watch more! Fortunately, the whole first season is short, only about 7 episodes....which I devoured in less than a week..... but it ended with a sort of cliff hanger! <BR> <BR> Canada... Mon, 2 Oct 2017 23:09:43 EST Mapping Out the Week Ahead I'm thinking that if I lay out all the things I want to/need to do this week, that I am less likely to forget something important.... <BR> <BR> For example, I know that I'm going to visit an old college chum of mine for next weekend, but I need to remember to take her some glycerine, which she has apparently had a hard time obtaining where she lives, since SOME people think its only use is in making explosives..... Silly them! Everybody knows that children's bubble solutions make the biggest... Mon, 2 Oct 2017 00:00:08 EST Slow Days Are OK Biggest accomplishments of the day were 1) making wise food decisions, and 2) making some phone calls which I needed to make <BR> <BR> So that's OK.... <BR> <BR> Except for the chocolate covered almonds I ate (in moderation), everything was Super Nutritious, and I have been saving myself for those chocolate almonds for weeks! <BR> <BR> I deserved that treat, and I knew how to stop. That's a victory in itself! <BR> <BR> A Slow, but Good Day. Sat, 30 Sep 2017 23:26:39 EST