MCJULIEO's SparkPeople Blog MCJULIEO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Decision Time Do I eat the holiday treats, or do I not? <BR> <BR> Do I sleep in, or do I get up and get outside for some active time? <BR> <BR> Do I brave the crowds in a massive shopping frenzy, or do I thoughtfully consider the stash of gifts that I have been purchasing throughout the year, and resist impulse buying? <BR> <BR> So far, so good....... but my willpower is ebbing even as I declare victory... <BR> <BR> What it all boils down to is , it's up to ME to make the decisions.... nobody else can ... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:06:49 EST How'd You Do This Thanksgiving? There were lots of kinds of food, and lots of each kind, too, but I took small portions of ONLY the things that I knew I liked..... No mashed potatoes, no sweet potato casserole, no dessert... <BR> <BR> But I was perfectly content, and able even to have a little pie with our evening meal later in the day.... And I'm more thankful, WAY more thankful that I didn't eat myself into oblivion... <BR> <BR> And that's on top of all the thankfulness that I was already feeling... <BR> <BR> I'm real... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 21:27:24 EST CRRRAAZY! Traffic in Austin today was Crazy.... Or as the radio traffic reporter said, "Really bad, even by Austin standards." <BR> <BR> Supposedly Austin has the second worst holiday traffic in the country ... <BR> <BR> And I'm really glad that I don't live there, and can avoid the worst of it usually... <BR> <BR> So thankful!!!! <BR> <BR> Have a great Thanksgiving! Wed, 26 Nov 2014 22:54:24 EST THIS Close I got out early this morning to enjoy the beautiful day and take advantage of the Ross Dress for Less Senior Discount (on Tuesdays), and did a LOT of Christmas shopping, and quite a bit of shopping for myself.... <BR> <BR> Actually it was kind of scary..... Hardly ANYTHING was too expensive! I found gifts for grandchildren.... and children..... and friends..... I bought all kinds of things, including some exercise equipment, SUCH A DEAL on a jumprope and 2 different sizes of kettlebells!! ... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:42:22 EST Day of the Bible Today is the International Day of the Bible! And I am glad to celebrate it... the Bible is dear to me, and since my DH died it has encouraged, sustained, and comforted me beyond measure. <BR> <BR> With the Psalmist in Psalm 92 I can say, "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to His name..." and with the Psalmist of Psalm 34, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit". <BR> <BR> And there's an APP for it, too! <BR> <BR> Youversio... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:48:11 EST Not Yet I saw my first Christmas tree of the year up in a house today.... the stores have had them for months, but this was in a home and it took me by surprise... <BR> <BR> I guess I had better start getting used to it... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 23:04:09 EST A Good Day Though it rained most of the day, and I hardly went outside at all, I STILL managed to get a lot done, not only discovering that I had seasonings that had been sitting WAY too long in my cabinet, but actually getting RID of them, AND finding some that needing discovering.... <BR> <BR> Tomorrow will be a good day to clean out the refrigerator! <BR> <BR> Or maybe PART of the refrigerator (let's be realistic here...) <BR> <BR> AND the rain was nice and slow, JUST what we needed... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:56:16 EST TEN I slept ten hours last night!!!! TEN!! Went to bed early, and conked out, and woke up refreshed ready for a new day, albeit with a phlegm-y cough (but hey! It's PRODUCTIVE, which is more than I can say for the rest of me these last few days) <BR> <BR> Nose running? Check! Rest of me running? Not so much.... <em>211</em> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:16:06 EST Thanks Thank you for all your good wishes with my feeling under the weather... <BR> <BR> You know, I have observed that my normal resistance to bad choices is impaired when I'm sick... I look at some chocolate covered peanuts and think, "Oh crud, those look awfully good, and just think of all that protein in the peanuts!" And then I cave. <BR> <BR> What a wimp I am!!!! All that I'm looking for is COMFORT!!! <BR> <BR> Anyhow, I've laid in a stock of healthy snacks, like 40 calories per cup Boom Ch... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:48:25 EST Hunkering Down I'm sick... <BR> <BR> With a cold... <BR> <BR> A sloppy, coughing, wheezing, juicy eyes-watering nose-dripping cold.... <BR> <BR> And since I got home from my mom's and am sleeping in my own bed, I just want to sleep. <BR> <BR> And so I will. <BR> <BR> I've got Mucinex DM on hand, and healthy canned soup, and vitamin C, and I'm going to rest while I can. <BR> <BR> Carry on without me.... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 17:06:06 EST A Realist's Prayer "Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older. Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject. <BR> <BR> Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone's affairs. <BR> <BR> Keep me from the recital of endless detail. Give me wings to get to the point. <BR> <BR> Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by. <BR> <BR> Te... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:16:12 EST Have You Got a Book in You? Na No Wri Mo! <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I wish that I were less distracted.... November is National Novel Writing Month (sometimes called NaNoWriMo) and thousands of aspiring authors use it as a springboard to getting that book nestled deep in their brains out into the light of day... <BR> <BR> In their own words: <BR> National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a ... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 10:28:05 EST Veterans Day November 11 <BR> <BR> Armistice Day <BR> <BR> My Aunt Lois' birthday <BR> <BR> Ruth and Ernie Teske's anniversary <BR> <BR> I honor them all, and am particularly grateful to our veterans. <BR> <BR> Thank you. Tue, 11 Nov 2014 23:46:28 EST Glorious Weather, Delightful Scenery We've had extended days of beautiful weather, and even though it is deer season all around us, the deer have decided to "urbanize" themselves (no hunting inside city limits).... we live on the edge of town, but have deer everywhere... in our neighborhood, in the church parking lot, everywhere... <BR> <BR> And while I really begrudge the deer eating my shrubbery and garden, I love to watch them graze along the yards on my street.... they are welcome to as many of my acorns as they can eat! P... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 23:17:44 EST Do You Speak Oom Pah Pah? It's Wurstfest time of the year, and our town goes Polka and Sausage Crazy for a week and two weekends. There's lots of German music, and German heritage, and German food, and all other things German, and it's also a lot of fun, but usually pretty high calorie fun... <BR> <BR> Yes, I know that we can eat sausage in moderation, as well as everything else BUT even MODERATE amounts of potato pancakes, streusel, funnel cake, sausage balls, beer, and soda add up, and add up BIG.... <BR> <BR> So ... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 22:20:12 EST Highs and Lows Life is full of highs and lows, and I guess the best perspective is one that recognizes that without the lows, we probably wouldn't fully appreciate the highs, and that lows are naturally inevitable..... <BR> <BR> I'm not talking about FEELING low, or maybe I am..... regardless, the SCALE often provokes a natural "low", which it did for me this morning. <BR> <BR> "Crud, crud, crud!", I thought to myself, and then I examined my activities of the last week, my menus, and my exercise , or la... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 12:16:48 EST New Day Sparkpeople is so good about keeping me going.... even if I seem to have colossally flubbed a day, I can have complete expectation of not letting it totally de-rail me, <BR> <BR> That even though it might have been better if I had remained bad decision free, the past is past, and it is still up to me whether I choose to make good decisions ......or not.... right now. <BR> <BR> Knowing that I am fully responsible for my own decisions is actually pretty motivating to me... as well as indicti... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 22:19:52 EST Sleep Talking Well, apparently I talk in my sleep, or I have STARTED talking in my sleep since my husband passed away and I just haven't had any witnesses until now..... <BR> <BR> Twice in the last week have I waked up family with sleep talking.... once at my son's while I was playing grandmother to the newborn, I waked myself up with a particularly vivid dream.. the other time was this weekend when I was spending the night with my mom, and she woke up to a conversation I was having with myself!!!! <BR> ... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 21:57:03 EST Still A Good Day While I didn't have quite the accomplishments of yesterday, it was still a very good day, even if I DID sit in Austin traffic for an hour.... but traffic was moving and it was a beautiful day and I had an exciting James Patterson audio book to listen to while I watched vehicles around me inch slowly along... <BR> <BR> Yes, it could have been a much worse day... <BR> <BR> It's all in your perspective, right? Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:38:11 EST Day of Accomplishments Oh, how I love getting a lot done from my To Do list! <BR> <BR> Today I: <BR> <BR> VOTED EARLY (major accomplishment!) <BR> <BR> Found just the right gift wrap for a niece's wedding shower.. <BR> <BR> Got the laundry done... <BR> <BR> Walked all of the aisles of a store recently opened in town (and it was huge) <BR> <BR> Stopped at the grocery and got what I was looking for, but ALSO some lovely salmon fillets, AND Honeycrisp apples for $1/ pound... <BR> <BR> Had lengthy long distance ... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:18:48 EST Asian Market I had some extra time in Austin today and so, since I had a two year old with me, I went to the area's biggest Asian grocery store, and it provided all kinds of inexpensive entertainment, especially the live fish and lobsters, which the two year old kept calling "fish grasshoppers". <BR> <BR> As mystified as I was about almost everything (there wasn't a whole lot of bilingualism going on, or at least not two of any language that I speak) and most of the food products were a bit cryptic in th... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:48:16 EST Wish I'd Made a Video I live in a tourist destination, and this weekend was a busy one since the Texas Clay Festival (all things related to pottery and pottery crafts) attracted a lot of out of towners... <BR> <BR> But I had a chance to watch a wonderful example of civic authority demonstrating grace under pressure while having fun.... <BR> <BR> You see, there was this traffic policeman... <BR> <BR> At a very busy, non-controlled intersection right in front of Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas, and t... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 23:37:29 EST My Current Go To Meal Even though I have a couple of really excellent Eat Out Meals (like the healthy choices at Panda Express, and salads at Freebirds or Chipotle), the no brainer-keep-everything-on-hand-so-it's-re<BR>ady-to-go meal has become a large salad at home... <BR> <BR> This salad usually has greens, usually romaine lettuce with spinach or maybe mixed greens, and kalamata olives, and usually red sweet peppers and maybe some green peppers.. add in some cherry tomatoes and cucumber chunks, and then toss s... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:04:04 EST Priorities My computer is acting up again, Freezing up when I least expect it, and least want it... <BR> <BR> But I'm okay with it because I got to hold my grandbaby today, and hold him and hold him and hold him..... When you are holding a sleeping baby certain things just don't seem as important anymore! <BR> <BR> "Having my baby fall asleep in my arms takes away all my worries and stresses. A sense of complete and total peace comes over me." <BR> Jose Maria Ovalle <BR> <BR> On the other hand: <... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 00:53:11 EST Useful It feels SO GOOD to be useful to someone who really needs it! <BR> <BR> I spent the afternoon with my daughter in law, the one who just had the baby a week ago... One toddler was having a meltdown when I got there, and I was able to distract the young drama queen and calm her down. I took the other grandmother to the airport to get her back home. I fixed dinner, using what we had on hand, and made a grocery store run with the non-napping toddler for fresh veggies and fruit... <BR> <BR> Afte... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:07:36 EST Brain Plan With the arrival of this latest grandchild, I am finding it hard to concentrate..... and while I don't actually have any real responsibility in raising him, I am distracted. <BR> <BR> I'm having to make notes to myself on my phone so that I won't forget any important appointments, or documents, or bills to pay, or other things... papers are piling up.. <BR> <BR> I got to hold him (the grandbaby) today as he slept. He's a real snuggle bunny... at least right now he is.... <BR> <BR> It was g... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:48:59 EST It's A Baby!! Grandbaby born this morning..... mother and child doing well, as are daddy and assorted family and friends. <BR> <BR> When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it's a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity. <BR> Rose Kennedy <BR> <BR> “This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:24:37 EST Still Waiting The grandbaby has not arrived yet, though his momma is still having contractioms, and they ARE stronger now and more regular.... the other grandmother arrived by plane this afternoon and has settled in with the other children... <BR> <BR> So we wait. Thu, 16 Oct 2014 00:03:39 EST Agreeing with Piglet “Piglet was so excited at the idea of being Useful that he forgot to be frightened any more, and when Rabbit went on to say that Kangas were only Fierce during the winter months, being at other times of an Affectionate Disposition, he could hardly sit still, he was so eager to begin being useful at once.” <BR> &#8213; A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh <BR> <BR> This afternoon I offered to drive up to my son's house an hour away from my home, since my daughter in law is great with child (due date ... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:36:20 EST High Points and Low Points What a wonderful weekend! I got to spend time with an old friend, whose birthday it was, and there were high points to contrast with low points (or rather, points to contemplate) <BR> <BR> First of all, old friends, friends that have known you a long time and still love you, are precious gifts from was so great to get to be together, and pick up where we left off the last time we were together. <BR> <BR> Bad news: my friend's cat had killed a hummingbird ( a HUMMINGBIRD!) and its ... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 22:27:28 EST Moderation..... In Everything The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything... or nothing. <BR> Nancy Astor <BR> <BR> Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:48:00 EST Dr. Benjamin Carson What a privilege to get to hear Ben Carson speak tonight at a gala honoring the Pregnancy Care Center of San Antonio!!! It was a pretty swanky dinner, and I haven't added up my food tracker yet, but the food for thought was filling and delicious.. <BR> <BR> Born in poverty to a mother who worked two and three jobs and was so determined to get her kids grown and educated, he had to write two book reports each week for his mother's scrutiny, and he didn't know until much later that his mother ... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 00:11:08 EST A Decent Egg? It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. <BR> C. S. Lewis <BR> <BR> Tue, 7 Oct 2014 00:32:04 EST Thank you, Dr. Dobson At church tonight, we watched the first part of a series on leaving a godly heritage that Dr. James Dobson produced.... It was an excellent reminder of how families flourish and thrive when a conscientious effort is made to connect generations and touch each other's lives. He was particularly talking about a spiritual heritage, but the concept spills over into other areas as well. <BR> <BR> Especially since I've been taking a genealogy course, I am more than ever interested in those who cam... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 23:17:04 EST Too Much Drama I volunteer with a group that has gotten along famously for many years, but just in the last few years that peace and harmony has evaporated!!!! Factions form and then target their victims (it reminds me of Junior High where cannibals run rampant!!!) <BR> <BR> I can't stand it! And it makes me so sad. <BR> <BR> And I'm torn between trying to mediate, and walking away. <BR> <BR> My personal prayer is that I would be a peacemaker, and bring the sides together, inspiring common goals and eff... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 15:13:45 EST Not. A. Drop. The dangerous weather turned out to be a non-event.... we didn't receive even a drop of rain... <BR> <BR> What a disappointment! <BR> <BR> But it's a beautiful day today, and i CAN REALLY rejoice in that... <BR> <BR> Fri, 3 Oct 2014 16:28:49 EST Weather or Not Crazy weather today to someone paying attention.... <BR> <BR> It started out perfectly delightful, with temps in the low 70s, and a rather strong breeze.... it was GORGEOUS, the perfect day for being outside UNTIL it got hot, up to the high 90s, and just now, at 7:30pm, it's hot and very, very still, and there's not a cloud in the sky, but the forecast predicts some hard rain and violent storms this evening, and then cool temps, maybe even down to the 50s this weekend,,, <BR> <BR> Makes it ... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 20:26:21 EST Needed An interesting quote, ........what do you think? <BR> <BR> “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; <BR> ask yourself what makes you come alive. <BR> And then go and do that <BR> Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” <BR> <BR> ~Howard Thurman Wed, 1 Oct 2014 15:03:15 EST What a gorgeous day! Yes! It got into the 90s today, but it was the LOW 90s! <BR> <BR> In the shade was quite comfortable! I have a friend who always says, "Autumn in Texas is wonderful..... Both days of it!!!" <BR> <BR> Well, I hope that we get more than 2 days of autumn, and I kinda expect it, too.... the forecast says that starting later in the week that the temperatures won't get above 90!!! Woo Hoo! Real progress! Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:32:48 EST Genealogy for Me I am not a dummy. <BR> I am not a dummy. <BR> I am not a dummy. <BR> <BR> Just because I can't find anything about my grandfather's grandmother doesn't necessarily mean that I am a dummy. My grandfather has been dead about 40 years, and I can BARELY find anything about his parents..... I've found at least 3 different spellings of his name, and his parents apparently died when he was quite young.... probably before 1900, and they were supposedly born in Canada.... that's it! The trail runs ve... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:31:35 EST Made It! My time with he grandchildren went wonderfully! They ate nice lunches, napped for TWO HOURS without a single squawk, fretted over their parents' absence for all of about 30 seconds, and wanted to read stories with me all of the rest of the time... <BR> <BR> I had to stop by Walmart on the way home just to get some exercise in! <BR> <BR> Now I can look forward to going back and doing it again sometime! <BR> Sat, 27 Sep 2014 22:20:04 EST From The Frying Pan.... I am weary from hauling books around, and guiding shoppers to their book destinations, and woking until I can hardly see straight.... <BR> <BR> But TOMORROW... <BR> <BR> I'm spending the afternoon with a 3 year old and a 2 year old..... and their parents won't be there, and it's supposed to be rainy so possibly no outside time..... and even though they are my grandchildren, I get tired just watching them go Go GO all the time.. <BR> <BR> I am going to bed early tonight. Fri, 26 Sep 2014 22:55:46 EST Books and Exercise As a bibliophile I know that I would much rather read about exercise than actually exercise itself, BUT this is the time for the annual Friends of the Library book sale, and I've spent the better part of the last two days moving boxes and books and getting our venue ready for the coming shoppers...... <BR> <BR> Back and forth, and lift and carry, and haul and sort for several hours without stopping or even sitting down, and I am totally wiped out tonight, but with all the volunteers working ... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:32:51 EST April Showers... Supposedly April showers bring May flowers, but we had hardly ANY showers in April.... or May... or June or July or August... <BR> <BR> BUT we DID just get some showers last week, more than an inch on each of several days, after MONTHS of nothing, no rain, no precipitation AT ALL.. <BR> <BR> But today I saw their results..... Rain Lilies! Transient, fragile, ephemeral rain lilies.... by themselves, in clumps and clusters, and even whole YARDS FULL OF RAIN LILIES! <BR> <BR> This thirsty lan... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:22:27 EST Can't Believe I Missed ITLAPD!!!! Arrrrgh, Matey! And shiver me timbers! <BR> <BR> I got distracted and totally missed International Talk Like A Pirate Day, which was Friday, September 19!!!!! My favorite manufactured holiday, and I got busy and forgot about it until Friday night too late to call anyone and do any pirate-y hijinks!!! I even discovered that you could adjust your Facebook account to be all in the foreign language known as "pirate"...Blast it all! <BR> <BR> 'Tis a sad pirate I am today.... <BR> <BR> (Fortunat... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:22:45 EST More Rain My, Oh, My! <BR> <BR> We've received more rain! 2 inches earlier in the week, and then 2 days ago another 2 inches... <BR> <BR> And THEN, another INCH today!!! <BR> <BR> It makes me want to plant wildflower seeds! Texas' wonderful spring wildflower season depends almost exclusively on autumn rains...if no rain in the fall, the spring wildflowers will be sparse, even if there are plenty of spring showers.... <BR> <BR> But I've got some maroon colored blue bonnet seeds burning a hole in m... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:24:42 EST Grandchildren Playing with grandchildren CAN count as cardio, if done correctly... <BR> <BR> That is my observation of the day... <BR> <BR> Woo Hoo! Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:45:38 EST Productive Day Ate wisely. <BR> Made it to my genealogy class...worked on homework... <BR> Finished tying up some loose financial ends. <BR> Ate wisely again. (Yay!) <BR> Watched my beloved Texas Aggie soccer team beat the University of Tennessee, a team they had never beaten before... <BR> Stopped at grocery store on way home and shopped wisely and efficiently. <BR> Listened to John Grisham novel as I drove around. <BR> Turned in library books after library was closed. <BR> Got groceries put away and plann... Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:06:58 EST Spotty at Best, But Yay! We had rain today! Sweet beautiful refreshing pouring down deluge of RAIN! Something we hadn't seen in months! <BR> <BR> And I got soaked going from the house to the car, and I didn't mind it at all, even if it meant that I would get soaked again when I arrived at my destination... but it wasn't to be! <BR> <BR> The rain apparently was very specifically localized, and the farther I got from home, the dry-er it got, so less than 2 miles from home was perfectly dry, and received nary a drop..... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:43:16 EST Youthful Forever Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. <BR> Henry Ford <BR> <BR> <BR> ... so I started a genealogy class today.... <BR> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:02:48 EST