MCJULIEO's SparkPeople Blog MCJULIEO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Home Again- Back to Reality! I think that the universe is conspiring against me! <BR> <BR> I was really trying to make wise decisions once they were available to me again, away from my mother's dining facility, and I drove the three hours home and stopped at Panda Express to get my usual meal, Stir Fried Mixed Veggies (80 calories), Mushroom Chicken (170 cals), and Broccoli Beef (150 cals) for a lovely 400 calorie very filling lunch... <BR> <BR> HOWEVER, they were all out of the Mixed Veggies, and so they fixed a fresh... Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:21:14 EST One Step at a Time It has been good to be in Houston with my mother for these last few days, sleeping on a roll-away bed (Boy! Will it ever be good to get back home to my own bed!), and helping her change out her closet things (Spring and summer go into storage and fall and winter come back into her closet) and gotten some of her Christmas decorations out, and we even drove down to the Galleria and Highland Village areas to look at the early Christmas lights. Since she's wheelchair bound, these excursions are ... Sun, 29 Nov 2015 23:16:50 EST Weekend Not Over Yet- Temptations Abound Still Just because we made it through Thanksgiving Day relatively unscathed (that is, we ate conscientiously, and made sure to get some exercise in as well) , we just might feel like coasting through the rest of the weekend, but there's still today and tomorrow with many of the same temptations, not just food, but this year with the overcast dark sky, the desire to take a nap or just veg out on the couch watching college footballers doing their version of "Clash of the Titans" while armchair quarte... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:12:40 EST A Cautionary Utensil This was the butter knife at the table where I ate my Thanksgiving repast, I kid you not! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The blade was metal stamped with a cautionary message..... I had to laugh... Fri, 27 Nov 2015 21:35:33 EST Hope You Weren't THAT Guy! Happy Thanksgiving! <BR> <BR> But I hope you had a great victory... unlike THIS guy: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Thu, 26 Nov 2015 22:17:10 EST Looks Like a Wet Thanksgiving We have a big family gathering planned for tomorrow with a number of small children (first grade and younger) and since there is a high probability of rain, I'm making a box with extra games and books to read and I've tucked in a bunch of umbrellas so that we can go out and play in the rain.... <BR> <BR> It shouldn't get that cold tomorrow, in the sixties, I think, and a spell in the wet outside should be just perfect... <BR> <BR> Hope you all have fun counting your blessings and enjoying a... Wed, 25 Nov 2015 22:24:50 EST Warning! Really Corny Thanksgiving Jokes for Kids I just can't resist these corny Thanksgiving themed jokes : <BR> <BR> Why did the police arrest the turkey? They suspected it of foul play! <BR> <BR> Why did the Pilgrims eat turkey at Thanksgiving? Because they couldn’t fit the moose in the oven! <BR> <BR> What did the Turkey say before it was roasted? Boy, I'm stuffed! <BR> <BR> Knock, knock. Who's there? Dewey. Dewey who? Dewey have to wait long to eat? <BR> <BR> Why did the Indian chief wear so many feathers? To keep his wigwam <BR> ... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:45:55 EST Celebrated a Bit Too Enthusiastically Our local Friends of the Library celebrated their 30th anniversary this afternoon, and though I did not imbibe any of the wines they had (not really my thing) I DID happen to find myself chowing down on some stuffed mushrooms that were certainly NOT among the Top Ten Hors'doevres for People Trying to Lose Weight.... but I CAN report that they were DELICIOUS!!! <BR> <BR> And then there was gloriously beautiful cake, shaped like an open book, with a cornucopia spread across its open pages, an... Sun, 22 Nov 2015 22:07:31 EST A Front Came In I got up and went to the grocery store early this morning..... and a cold front came in while I was shopping.....I stepped outside to a very different climate from what I entered on.... and I don't remember a brisker wind that wasn't connected to a hurricane... but it felt SO GOOD! <BR> <BR> Then some other shopping, and I managed to resist some good buys simply because I didn't need the item... pats self on the back.. <BR> <BR> SO much going on around here, even a marathon to highlight ad... Sat, 21 Nov 2015 21:18:46 EST Still Tomorrow I had a LOT of things I wanted to do today, but, as it often happens, I didn't get as far down the list as I would have liked... <BR> <BR> But I DID get the most important things done, <BR> <BR> And I'm counting that a WIN! <BR> <BR> Also, my beloved Texas Aggie women's soccer team managed to beat the University of North Carolina, one of the most celebrated of college soccer teams in the country.... this was in the NCAA tournament this afternoon.... what a nice surprise! <BR> <BR> And I s... Fri, 20 Nov 2015 23:28:20 EST What a Glorious Day! Perfect temperatures..... <BR> <BR> Perfect sunshine.... <BR> <BR> Perfect opportunities to stop and enjoy it.... <BR> <BR> May I suggest you try it!??? Thu, 19 Nov 2015 23:59:07 EST Banana Sherbet I don't think I have shared this fantastic discovery before.... many of us Sparkers have tried and enjoyed the frozen banana ice cream substitute (I know that I have) but the only thing against it is that it's still a little bland, and I always want to add some extras which contribute to its calorie count (things like peanut butter, and Hershey's syrup, which are, of course, OK in moderation... <BR> <BR> But I wanted something a little different.... <BR> <BR> So I invented SHERBET made from... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 22:27:38 EST My Bat is Back! High up under the eaves of my front porch, a small bat has taken up residence, or at least, shelter.... he was there this morning, but he left sometime after it got dark... he doesn't look sick, but I didn't get that close to him, either. <BR> <BR> I may have to call Animal Control tomorrow, and see what they recommend. Tue, 17 Nov 2015 21:39:12 EST A Splurge, with Some Redeeming Qualities Logan's Roadhouse emailed a real deal for today and tomorrow, a free hamburger with french fries.... really, it was totally free.. <BR> <BR> So I needed to run some errands and so I went by there before the rest of things on my list, and redeemed my coupon... <BR> <BR> The Logan's Original Hamburger was delicious, freshly grilled, and even had some kind of specialty bacon on it... <BR> <BR> But this is the good part: after eating a few of the french fries, I decided that I had had enough, ... Mon, 16 Nov 2015 15:02:26 EST Everything I Expected Yesterday was fabulous! I got to ride with my friends the 2.5 hours to our old college campus, my beloved Texas A&M, and then enjoy a very tame family style tailgate gathering... I lost count of all the In-laws and cousins, and the weather was cool , but not uncomfortably so... <BR> <BR> I managed to eat FAIRLY sensibly, salsa is a very good dip after all, and there was plenty of bottled water, so I didn't have to guzzle sodas or alcohol, AND when we walked over to the stadium, it was a nice... Sun, 15 Nov 2015 17:05:58 EST Positive, Positive, Positive! I've just finished two Spark articles which encourage having a positive attitude, being a positive person, or avoiding negativity, and in light of yesterday's horrible attacks in Paris which I am in no way avoiding but AM recognizing that those events are beyond my control, I'm choosing today to focus on what's RIGHT in my life. <BR> <BR> So maybe that's a little like saying, "I may be FAT, but I FLOAT really WELL!" <BR> <BR> BUT... <BR> <BR> I have a chance to go back to my beloved Texas ... Sat, 14 Nov 2015 12:21:15 EST Reeling from Paris Situation I was so proud of myself for joining the local Gold's Gym (the LAST place I expected to find myself, but I got a Groupon for 3 months for a real DEAL!) and I went by there today, and actually managed to swim a full mile in their pool.... I was really ready to quit after a half mile, but then thought, "What if I kept going, and actually made it all the way to a mile!" <BR> <BR> And then I did it! Felt so good! <BR> <BR> But when I got back to the car, the news was full of the Paris attacks, ... Fri, 13 Nov 2015 22:28:35 EST Must Be the Change in Weather My bat has gone. <BR> <BR> That is, the Mexican free tail bat who had taken refuge under the eaves of my front porch, has gone.... after staying in place for two days, not even leaving after dark, he/she/it flew off (I presume he/she/it flew off- bats are extremely awkward walking along the ground) and was gone went I went to bed, and then was back in place when I checked on him in the morning... for about three more days... <BR> <BR> But he's gone now... was gone when I checked on him this... Thu, 12 Nov 2015 22:28:40 EST Veterans' Day I'm celebrating Veterans' Day by remembering, and thanking the veterans I know. <BR> <BR> Thank you, SP Veterans! <BR> <BR> Wed, 11 Nov 2015 23:39:01 EST Random Thoughts A few thoughts worth mentioning: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> May you have a Veterans Day to remember... Thank a Veteran! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 10 Nov 2015 23:55:26 EST Hedy Lamarr's 101st Birthday "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." Hedy Lamarr <BR> <BR> Funny thing about Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler 101 years ago today). While she was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world in her heyday (the 1930s, 40s, and 50s), she apparently was quite intelligent, like Rocket Science Smart.!!! <BR> <BR> At the beginning of World War II, keen to aid the Allied war effort, Lamarr identified jamming of Allied radio communicat... Mon, 9 Nov 2015 11:43:44 EST Moving Funeral Yesterday I got my tearducts cleaned out by attending the funeral of a good and godly man. Jim Scanlon was 80, and a retired military man who elected to go to Bible College on the GI Bill and then spent another 20+ years as a pastor who served small congregations as needed with Village Ministries... <BR> <BR> I never saw him without a smile. <BR> <BR> He was in excellent health and then he wasn't. Respiratory problems overtook him a couple weeks ago, and the next thing we knew he was in th... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 21:22:58 EST Bat in my Belfry Well, I don't really have a BELFRY, but I certainly have a bat hanging under the eaves on my front porch..... at first I thought the small dark blob was the beginning of a barn swallow mud nest.. it's way up high and in a corner... <BR> <BR> But it moved! <BR> <BR> I am thrilled! There are some giant colonies of bats that summer here in south Texas, including a million plus colony of Mexican free-tail bats that nests and have babies in the understructure of a river bridge in downtown Austi... Sat, 7 Nov 2015 13:15:11 EST Wurstfest! I live in a town that was settled by German immigrants in the 1840s, and the city newspaper was printed in German as late as 1973, so it makes a lot of sense that the Powers That Be in our community decided that an annual week long German celebration would be a good idea, ... <BR> <BR> And so Wurstfest, New Braunfels salute to the local sausage industry (New Braunfels Smokehouse, anyone?) and celebration of all things German, ESPECIALLY sausage, and music, was born 55 years ago. <BR> <BR> L... Fri, 6 Nov 2015 22:02:38 EST I Think She Knows It's Not Right A dear family member is on a peculiar diet, <BR> Prescribed by her chiropractor, a diet which limits all kinds of foods, and <BR> Which excludes ALL fats, even fat soluble vitamins, <BR> and promises a weight loss of 20 pounds in 40 days. <BR> <BR> After my first questions, she announced that she "didn't want to talk about it"... and then, she WASN'T going to talk about it. <BR> <BR> In her former life she was a nurse, a good one, too... <BR> <BR> But I think she knows in her heart this i... Thu, 5 Nov 2015 22:29:43 EST I Need A Smile Many of my friends are going through rough patches, either their own or people they are close to..... very rough times.... situations that only the Lord can give peace in.... <BR> <BR> I know this verse meant a lot to me when times were hard for me: <BR> <BR> Isaiah 58:11 <BR> The LORD will guide you always; <BR> he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land <BR> and will strengthen your frame. <BR> You will be like a well-watered garden, <BR> like a spring whose waters neve... Thu, 5 Nov 2015 00:26:39 EST Settling In Back to Normal Life.... It was a beautiful day, though when I woke there was a thick fog which mostly burned off by 9am.... Daylight savings time arranged for a bright morning (although it makes for an early sunset and dark) <BR> <BR> But Everywhere there were reminders of the storm over the weekend, debris and detritus strewn about where floodwaters had left them in retreat. Tree limbs are down, and municipal workers will have their hands full setting things right.... The river levels are... Tue, 3 Nov 2015 23:59:09 EST Settling In Back to Normal Life.... It was a beautiful day, though when I woke there was a thick fog which mostly burned off by 9am.... Daylight savings time arranged for a bright morning (although it makes for an early sunset and dark) <BR> <BR> But Everywhere there were reminders of the storm over the weekend, debris and detritus strewn about where floodwaters had left them in retreat. Tree limbs are down, and municipal workers will have their hands full setting things right.... The river levels are... Tue, 3 Nov 2015 23:59:07 EST Such a Great Day The water in south central Texas has gone down, and everything has greened up..... we got to see a lot of it as we drove from Houston to San Antonio today.... <BR> <BR> This morning We took my mother out to breakfast (for her 94th birthday) at The Egg & I and I ordered something from their "healthy" menu, and have no idea just hoe healthy it was (egg white omelette with cheese with a side fruit order) since it didn't give specifics like a calorie count.... had a lovely time with her (and ano... Mon, 2 Nov 2015 22:53:40 EST FAMILY! I love my family, even though they can sometimes drive me crazy.... this is not one of those times.... <BR> <BR> I rode with one of my siblings the almost three hours to Houston so that we could join another sibling to celebrate his birthday, and our mother's birthday (she is turning 94, and I am so proud of her- she may be less lively than she was 10 years ago, but she runs intellectual circles around almost anybody, including pillars of the community, and most people considered "important"... Sun, 1 Nov 2015 23:36:10 EST Great Ideas Do you love to celebrate Halloween? I used to love it when I was a kid, but as a believer, the reality of true evil in the world, and many who actually celebrate the darkness has turned me away from it.... our church kids dress up as an animal from Noah's Ark, or their favorite Bible character for their AWANA children's Bible club as an opportunity to dress up <BR> <BR> And I DO enjoy a fun costume. these are some for pets I found on the web: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeopl... Sat, 31 Oct 2015 10:22:51 EST New Challenge for Me Since my DS fixed our treadmill, I've been trying to build up my endurance in walking/walking fast/walking on hills, and have been doing pretty well... but I want to not only keep it up, but get better, so much better that if I take another trip that requires quite a bit of walking, that I will do GREAT! <BR> <BR> So I went to Spark people's Challenge Central page and found the SparkPeople's 30-Day Walk This Way Challenge! <BR> <BR> So I joined up! <BR> <BR> And right now I'm particularly ... Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:04:09 EST Remember That Book Sale? Remember how last week I spent the better part of five days working on our Friends of the Library Book Sale? The big bag sale (everything you could fit in a grocery bag for $5) ended at 4pm on Saturday, and then gleaners from an assortment of charitable organizations came and picked what they wanted out of the books that were left.... <BR> <BR> THEN the truly hard work began.... the gathering up of all the books that were left and sending them to the recyclers (or the landfill)... nobody who... Thu, 29 Oct 2015 23:57:24 EST The Big Two Five Oh Oh Oh Oh I crossed 250,000 Spark points this morning before I even knew it! <BR> <BR> And that was the first of a series of accomplishments ranging from getting my flu shot (BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT!) to seeing the dentist, to turning books and DVDs at the library that were due today to going shopping and NOT buying something that I had my eye on, because, simply, although I was sure that I was going to love it- and I had a 20$ OFF coupon, it didn't look good on me- it fit, and it was a fabulous color for... Wed, 28 Oct 2015 19:04:26 EST Glorious Day! All the rain that came over the weekend has produced a bumper crop of what we in Texas call "Rain Lilies"..... they come from bulbs that will produce a plant and bloom only when there is sufficient rain after an extended drought.... Well, OUR drought was extensive, and so all these little subterranean treasures have been saving up, so Voila! Instant beauty! And they will just as quickly fade and dry up, and become invisible until the next drought followed by a rain... <BR> <BR> (I will try t... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 23:00:07 EST Home, Sweet Home What a fantastic day! <BR> <BR> I didn't have to go anywhere, and even when I found something that I wanted to buy, and a local store showed that they had it, I STILL stayed home.... fixed some meals in advance, spent some time on the (newly repaired) treadmill while watching Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix, emptied a disgusting drawer in my refrigerator (baby steps! Baby steps!), got all my laundry done, got all my dishes done... <BR> <BR> WOW! I feel so domestic! <BR> <BR> And I finished my... Mon, 26 Oct 2015 22:25:14 EST Expecting More From Myself Weighing on the doctor's scale last week explained why so few of my clothes are fitting the way that I would like... so now it is time to buckle down... no more excuses.... <BR> <BR> It's time to make some wise choices: <BR> <BR> Is the taste of whatever treat is in front of me worth the calories it costs? <BR> <BR> Am I ready to write down/ record EVERYTHING that I eat? <BR> <BR> Am I prepared to get on the treadmill instead of sitting when I want to catch a Netflix film? <BR> <BR> <BR... Sun, 25 Oct 2015 20:25:24 EST RAIN!!! How glad we are to get some rain, but it sure made for troubled Friends of the Library book sale...... people trickled in when the doors opened this morning at 9am.instead of their usual stampede.... and business was slow but steady until we closed at 12:30 so that we could re-organize, and then re-open for our well beloved Bag Sale (all the books, tapes, CDs, and whatever you can fit in a paper grocery sack for $5) <BR> <BR> It was THEN that people streamed in and started shopping in earnes... Sat, 24 Oct 2015 21:56:41 EST So Many Books, So Little Time It started raining here in south Texas, and so the normal attendance to our Friends of the Library annual book sale was down some for the first day open to the public, but I believe that we are probably on schedule to equal last year's sale at least.... <BR> <BR> Tomorrow will be a half day of regular sale, and then we close for a half hour to condense our displays, and then re-open for our usual "Bag sale for $5" grand finale.... all that you can fit into a paper grocery bag is a great deal... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 23:58:57 EST Library Friends' Book Sale Well, we launched the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale with our usual Members Preview Night, and although there seemed to be fewer shoppers, they seemed to be buying books eagerly... <BR> <BR> The crafty bibliophiles among us have made these banners/swags out of old, discarded atlases, and other books, and when festooned around the stage, they really make the Collectible part of the sale quite inviting! <BR> <img src=" Thu, 22 Oct 2015 21:47:20 EST Library Book Sale Again I spent the day working at the Friends of the Library book sale, organizing books so that their titles could be read easily, and doing more than my share of browsing through book flaps and dust jacket blurbs.... so pleasant a way to spend the day... <BR> <BR> And I got quite a bit of exercise as I traversed the civic center's ballroom returning mis-placed books to their correct categories.... you know, like when "Fear of Flying" is accidentally placed in Travel... <BR> <BR> AND, I nee... Wed, 21 Oct 2015 23:43:49 EST Bonus Day Despite Reluctance Yesterday turned out SO much better than I was dreading it to be... <BR> <BR> First of all, let me say that since my husband got sick I just haven't paid that much attention to those normal health professional appointments that roll around annually, and since he died, my primary care GYN doctor retired, ... <BR> <BR> So I had a great excuse for letting things slide that shouldn't slide.... BUT I finally got myself together and found another doctor and set the appointment for yesterday after... Tue, 20 Oct 2015 13:08:15 EST Oh My Golly! More from the Texas Book Festival!!!! Every year I tell myself that I will clear my calendar and head up to Austin for the Texas Book Festival, a celebration of reading, writing, listening, and all things literary connected to Texas, founded by Librarian Laura Bush when she was first lady of Texas (when she got to Washington, she started the same sort of thing, but NATIONAL, and held on the national mall in DC... I actually got to go to THAT once for a day... it's sponsored by the Library of Congress..). <BR> <BR> The Texas Book... Mon, 19 Oct 2015 23:13:02 EST Texas Book Festival... How Do I Love Thee?? I was so privileged to get to go to the capitol grounds in Austin for a function at the Texas State Library, and was thrilled to discover that THIS is the weekend of the Texas Book Festival.... I've been able to go only once before and I tell myself each year that NEXT YEAR I AM GOING TO GO FOR THE WHOLE THING (and am still telling myself that today, because I saw only a small fraction of all the good stuff that was going on) <BR> <BR> I made a quick circuit of the activity going on in tents... Mon, 19 Oct 2015 00:47:21 EST Out of Shape Well, now that I have the treadmill working again, I really REALLY realize how out of shape I am..... walking at my usual speed was too much, so I had to slow it down and then speed it up for intervals only.... I should get better pretty fast if I make time for it.... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 10:25:20 EST Woo and Hoo! I have been patiently waiting for one of the sons (engineers) to come for a visit and fix my treadmill, a very useful bit of equipment, but way too large to sit in the den as an ornament unable to work (it wasn't getting any power)... but alas! There was never any time for it for the engineers and my broken bit of machinery to get together... <BR> <BR> I figured it just needed some wire to be resoldered or something easy, but the thing is huge and very hard to move, even with wheels.... it w... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:00:36 EST Not My Imagination It's really true..... Texas is unusually hot for this time of year... 10 degrees hotter than the seasonal average....95 again today... <BR> <BR> We all have our coping mechanisms... <BR> <BR> Like parking way far away in the parking lot so that you catch some shade (it's also really good exercise) <BR> <BR> My favorite coping trick is when I'm driving and adjusting my speed on the Interstate so that I can stay in the shade of an 18 wheeler as ir rolls along... <BR> <BR> But it won't be to... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 23:38:00 EST Book Sale Time Our FOL (Friends of the Library) hosts a big (BIG) book sale every fall, and several members spend all year getting ready for it by sorting all the donated books into about 75 categories every week.... it's a massive task, and one that many libraries have traditionally embraced in order to keep their communities reading new and recycled materials... <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, the man (and woman)power necessary to keep something like this going is considerable, not to mention the time, trouble,... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:27:17 EST Book Sale Time Our FOL (Friends of the Library) hosts a big (BIG) book sale every fall, and several members spend all year getting ready for it by sorting all the donated books into about 75 categories every week.... it's a massive task, and one that many libraries have traditionally embraced in order to keep their communities reading new and recycled materials... <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, the man (and woman)power necessary to keep something like this going is considerable, not to mention the time, trouble,... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 21:27:16 EST Cool Days Coming I looked at the forecast and the 95 degree days here are numbered, and it's a good thing, too! Mid October is about time to ditch the tank tops and break out the long sleeves, even if they ARE sheer.... Right now it's hot.... But it won't last... (I would have claimed the same in mid September!) <BR> <BR> Moderation in all things, even the weather....... Tue, 13 Oct 2015 19:58:42 EST