MCJULIEO's SparkPeople Blog MCJULIEO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Recovering From the Library Conference Yes, I AM going to blog about the Texas Library Conference, but after the weekend.... I'm currently in Houston with my wonderful, wise mother, and will get back home on Monday... <BR> <BR> I have a cold... I think I just kept going during the conference, and going, and going.... and just got run down enough to get a hoarse voice which morphed into lots of drainage and a cough.... I'm taking loads of Vitamin C and Mucinex D twice a day, and I got almost 9 hours of sleep last night... <BR> <... Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:54:42 EST Milestone Today I logged in for the 1800th straight day.... yes, I was part of Sparkpeople before then but lost that streak while on a cruise (no internet!) <BR> <BR> And yes, I survived the Texas Library Association conference and have a LOT to tell you, but not right now.... <BR> <BR> LATER! Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:40:51 EST Small Successes Contribute to More Successes The TLA conference started today for the work of the conference, ... the set up and preparation and the committee met for pizza after a very long day, and though the first piece I had was positively wonderful (it's been a LONG time since I ate pizza), I stopped at ONE <BR> <BR> Because <BR> <BR> This morning I weighed and I was down one more pound.... Woo Hoo! I certainly didn't want to counteract that progress.... <BR> <BR> The next few days are going to be grueling. <BR> <BR> I can do t... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 23:32:55 EST A Quick Blog I haven't forgotten that I've intended to blog about all that's going on around me, but that TLA conference is staring me in the face, and it's all that I can do to get all my cool goods packed securely and realize what photos and signage I still need to work on <BR> <BR> Not counting my Powerpoint presentation on recycling books for fun, fashion, and furniture! <BR> <BR> But it took practically all day to get photos downloaded from my phone to my computer !!! (I believe that EVERYTHING tak... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 23:26:23 EST Tired, But Triumphant Today was our last day of the Friends of the Library crafty team to get together and finish up some of our projects for the Texas Library Association annual conference next week.... one part of the team worked on banners made from old dictionary pages that have been over printed with art images.... one part of the team worked on embellishing the insides of several hollowed out books (interior decorating at its most literary!)... one part was cutting mats to frame our art... <BR> <BR> And one... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 22:24:09 EST You Realize That You Are Tired When..... I'm tired of wrestling with crafts, and graphics, and the printer that wants to chew up paper... <BR> <BR> And I realized just how tired I was when I was looking for my can of spray lacquer fixative (to stabilize colors on cardstock) and I almost grabbed a can of spray lecithin (Pam cooking spray)!!! <BR> <BR> That does it! <BR> <BR> I'm heading for bed! Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:39:28 EST Still Perking Along I'm trying to download photos to post about my trip to Texas A&M University, but have hit a few snags, so in the meantime I've been out in the garage sawing up books with my bandsaw (this is part of getting ready for the TLA conference next week) <BR> <BR> We've been having warm weather and working in the garage was fantastic for opening up all my pores (I was sweating like a long distance runner, with sweat dripping down into my eyes!)I had to quit when it wasn't safe any more... Bandsaws a... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 23:48:25 EST Texas A&M University I just spent the last 2 days on the Texas A&M campus, and I have so much to blog about!!! <BR> <BR> But I'm also trying to get to bed at a decent time so my blog will have to wait until later. <BR> <BR> Suffice it to say that I had a great time and got to do and see a lot of things... so glad I went! Sun, 9 Apr 2017 00:25:50 EST Back Across Texas Because a dear friend invited me to come visit, I drove to College Station, Texas, today...a drive of about 3 hours.....since I had skipped lunch, I had some cherry tomatoes to snack on, and they were delicious! (I went through FOUR cups!!!!) <BR> <BR> But perhaps unwisely, I also had some chocolate/ with nuts trail mix in the car with me, and I figured that since it had nuts in it, it might provide some protein to help nutritionally... I could hardly believe that all that chocolate was too ... Fri, 7 Apr 2017 00:23:59 EST Coming Down to the Last Week My crafty bibliophile team from the Friends of the Library met again today to try to finish up a variety of projects.... Some we will never be able to finish, but I'm OK with that ... <BR> <BR> We have at least 200 pairs of earrings, some quite interesting pendant tubes with a scroll of text on the inside (most are from a copy of Pride and Prejudice), and almost all of them are made from pages of books or sheet music. <BR> <BR> We have light switch plates, again covered with text, and we ha... Wed, 5 Apr 2017 19:01:08 EST Got 8 hours Sleep Last Night Slept 8 hours and woke refreshed and ready to Seize the Day.... It was a beautiful day, and I managed to take care of quite a few random things, and still eat healthily... <BR> <BR> I'm planning on spending the weekend with a dear friend so I need to take care of a number of things ahead of time... <BR> <BR> Two weeks exactly before we head off to the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, and there's still so much to do!!! Wed, 5 Apr 2017 00:24:33 EST Letting Go I had a greatly productive day today, and my To Do list felt the impact of my full focus.... But it meant letting someone else take on a responsibility that I might formerly have claimed... <BR> <BR> I didn't have to be in charge, or be in control ... All I had to do was what I had to do at home and let someone else represent me, and because I didn't do any gallivanting about town, I was able to get some projects done and out of the way. <BR> <BR> AND, since I had a number of meal choices p... Mon, 3 Apr 2017 22:26:54 EST Interesting Program on the Passover Tonight I got to see a Messianic Jew speak on the elements of the celebration of the Passover, and how each part symbolically pointed to Christ and His fulfillment of prophecies in place more than a thousand years before He was even born... <BR> <BR> It was fascinating, and with the Easter season upon us, even more inspiring to dig out the passages in the Bible that highlight Jesus as the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. <BR> <BR> I particularly appreciated the opportunitie... Sun, 2 Apr 2017 23:43:05 EST April Fools Day I didn't pull any April Fools pranks, and, as far as I know, Did not experience any either, BUT I read about a lot of them... <BR> <BR> And I just really don't seem to get into that kind of spirit, although I laughed and laughed about the suggestion to exchange a bathroom air freshener spray can with an air horn at a workplace restroom.... I figure it couldn't REALLY work, but the sheer sophomoric lunacy of it just made me smile and smile. <BR> <BR> The better occasion is that today is a de... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 23:20:24 EST Beautiful Response to Wednesday's Tragedy 13 killed in Texas church bus crash <BR> Dr. Jim Denison | March 30, 2017 <BR> I woke up this morning to news that a bus carrying fourteen senior adults from First Baptist Church of New Braunfels collided with a pickup yesterday afternoon. Thirteen bus passengers were killed. One passenger was hospitalized in critical condition; the pickup driver was hospitalized in stable condition. <BR> <BR> The senior adults were returning from a three-day retreat at a Baptist encampment. <BR> <BR> So fa... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 00:33:12 EST 13 Dead Our town is grieving over a church bus accident that killed 13 senior citizens.... only one on the bus survived the crash, although one was airlifted to the hospital before dying, and the 20 year old driver of the pickup truck that creamed them survived ... They had been at a church 3 day retreat together, and had just started on their way the 2 hours home when the collision happened. <BR> <BR> Thirteen. <BR> <BR> I knew one of them pretty well, a wonderful nurse whose life intersected mine... Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:45:51 EST Not Able to Test That Hypothesis... Yet Well in order to test my hypothesis that my dad was right when he said, " An hour's sleep BEFORE midnight is worth TWO hours of sleep after midnight." I would have had to go to sleep much earlier than I find myself right now (1 am). <BR> <BR> I got detoured by quotations about mothers that would appeal to my target audience of librarians at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, that I want to turn into banners..( Mothers Day should be the next big holiday after the conference) if... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 02:13:47 EST I Believe He Was Right I didn't really believe it when I was growing up, but NOW I'm coming to know that generally in whatever my dad had to say, he was right... <BR> <BR> including, "An hour of sleep BEFORE midnight is worth TWO hours of sleep AFTER midnight..." <BR> <BR> I made a very small test sample of LAST NIGHT, and woke up so refreshed I could hardly believe it! <BR> <BR> This calls for closer examination, at least to my carefully trained scientific mind.... , and it will be my DUTY to pursue this resear... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:16:04 EST Short Blog Tonight I'm in a hurry to go to bed.... and I'm remembering some wise words that my dad used to say... <BR> <BR> "An hour of sleep BEFORE midnight is worth TWO hours of sleep AFTER midnight." <BR> <BR> It's worth a try anyway. Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:39:38 EST Busy Day It's funny how fast a day can go by...... like this one... <BR> <BR> I'm blaming Daylight Savings Time... <BR> <BR> And going to bed! Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:44:36 EST Teamwork My team of volunteers from the Friends of the Library came and worked together again today, and we actually got a lot done.... <BR> <BR> My goal was to train them in how to cut mats for the art work we've produced, and not only did they do THAT, but they also got a number of pieces assembled complete with backing, artwork, and matting, all ready for sale.... it was amazingly encouraging to me as we hustle to meet our mid April deadline... <BR> <BR> We also made some progress on some banners... Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:19:58 EST Odds and Ends Lots of projects to do today, and I got most of them done! <BR> <BR> There were a few setbacks, ideas that didn't work out, not being able to get my computer to do what I wanted it to do..... the usual. <BR> <BR> But, even though I skipped lunch, I managed to eat wisely and responsibly the rest of the day.... my scale has suddenly started moving downward again so I'm encouraged to stay vigilant... <BR> <BR> We can do this! Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:51:16 EST Favorite Quotations Project So I'm taking old dictionary pages and printing quotations onto them for my Texas Library Association Crafty Bibliophile project....and I've been finding some great ones, but i have no idea of others that Librarians especially might go bananas over.... <BR> <BR> Many are literary, having to do with reading, or libraries, or were made by authors, <BR> (My favorite, by C.S. Lewis is "Life is not all friccasseed frog, and eel pie!") <BR> <BR> <BR> but some just tickled my funny bone like: ... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:38:36 EST Old Friends We had a special treat today at church.... a young family who had moved to Canada from here was back for a visit, and I got to have lunch with them.... they missed Mexican food especially so we had lunch at one of the excellent Tex-Mex places around here (I ate a mixed chicken-beef fajita with lots of lettuce and peppers and pico de gallo, and only about 1/2 ounce of tortilla chips, so I dodged the danger that super high carb Mexican food NORMALLY is) <BR> <BR> They ate green enchiladas with... Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:03:13 EST Infrequent Experience Mixed honor today: I attended a funeral for a 100 yr. old, the mother of a good friend.... I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to know too many 100 year olds (although I DO know at least 2 currently 99 year olds right now. <BR> <BR> It was a pleasure to remember my friend's mother and the experiences of her long life. She was a good woman who loved the God of the Bible, and she passed on great wisdom to all the generations which follow her. <BR> <BR> And I drank only water at the po... Sun, 19 Mar 2017 00:04:18 EST Big Week of Memorable Days I just realized that this week (spring break for many, including me) has been so full of memorable days that I haven't even posted a Sparkblog since Monday (unusual for me). <BR> <BR> Sunday- drove home from Houston (also first day of Daylight Savings Time, Ackkk!) <BR> <BR> Monday- my brother's birthday, which I remembered (Yay, Me!), AND day of a good friend's cancer surgery <BR> <BR> Tuesday- BIG day- National (maybe INTERNATIONAL) Pi Day, because 3.14 (March 14, get it?) are the first ... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 15:23:39 EST Important Common Sense Announcement <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It MUST be wisdom, because more than one person is reputed to have said it: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I suspect it WAS Will Rogers,because he seems to be considerably wiser than Warren Buffett, BESIDES having predating him by about 30 years.... <BR> <BR> Anyhow, there are variations: <BR> <BR> <img src... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 23:05:23 EST The Ritz Carlton of Funeral Homes Went to my friend's memorial service yesterday in the pouring rain, but it was a peaceful, pleasant rain, not a dreary, mournful, disconsolate rain.... and the funeral home was astonishingly swanky.... <BR> <BR> The doorman in his uniform could have doubled for some powerful third world country dictator, so regal and majestic was his bearing.... and the service was held in a breathtakingly beautiful chapel... all the furnishings were exquisitely carved and upholstered, and the gracious staf... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 16:40:55 EST Daylight Savings Time! I'm setting my clocks ahead right now and will go to bed early. <BR> <BR> NOW! Sat, 11 Mar 2017 23:52:18 EST More Driving Across Texas It's only about 200 miles, but I'm driving across MY part of Texas again (Thank goodness I'm not going to El Paso ... or Amarillo for 10-12 hours of driving) , to be there for my friend's memorial service... <BR> <BR> I have some audio books to keep me company, and I know that I will be watching to see how much progress the wildflowers have made since last week when we drove to Houston. I may even pull to the side of the road to check and see if the rampant tiny white flowers clustered on r... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:03:28 EST Changes Will Take Some Getting Used To I was just getting comfortable with the "Old" Sparkpeople when they up and changed it again!!! Although, I DID learn which Message Board is the one to use to ask where my old favorites have gone (Click on the Community tab, then click on the Message Boards tab, then under "Get Help Here" there is a Forum called "What's Up at Sparkpeople") <BR> <BR> Sure enough, they helped me find SOME things and also let me know that the Team Bonus Spins are now gone forever (ALAS! I'm really going to miss ... Thu, 9 Mar 2017 21:42:36 EST Appreciating an Old Friend An old friend of mine died a couple of days ago.... We had dated for a while when we were in high school, but became even better friends as time went by, and he pretty much became part of my larger family, just another brother to joke around with and argue finer points of sports with..... He married and raised a family and suffered some setbacks which he grew and matured through... He became a respected friend of my husband's, and then, later, of my children.... such was the character and wis... Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:15:55 EST More Bluebonnets Texas is known for its wildflowers (Lady Bird Johnson, as US First Lady, embraced wildflowers as an avenue of beautifying America, but she learned to appreciate it as she was living here in Texas), and from what I can see from right now, THIS year is going to be a humdinger of a year for wildflowers, one of those hold your breath and try to keep your eyes from popping out of their sockets at all the beauty around you years. Bluebonnets are just the most beloved of many beloved roadside treas... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 20:34:20 EST Cannot Control Everything Well, I can't control everything in my life, but so far I'm having at least SOME success controlling what I can... <BR> <BR> I've made good progress on the craft projects I need to have done by Wednesday when I meet with my team again. ... I still have to work on some graphics to get their sizing just right... <BR> <BR> I'm working my way through the sad, limp vegetables in my refrigerator (roasting them can improve their palatability by an immense degree.) and maybe someday I can have a mo... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 00:17:07 EST Back across Texas From Houston back to San Antonio where I picked up my car, and then to New Braunfels to drop off my suitcase and change into appropriate clothes, and then off to Wimberley for a funeral, and then home again (FINALLY), and I still need to unpack my bags, <BR> <BR> But after sleeping on my mother's sofa, I am really looking forward to being in my own bed tonight! <BR> <BR> There were more blue bonnets than last week, and I KNOW it is really early, and I can't be certain since we were barrel... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 22:40:56 EST Bayou City Houston is sometimes called Bayou City, although its Buffalo bayou is not a well remembered part of its geography.... However, there is a Cajun restaurant in Houston also called Bayou City, which has devotees all over the southern part of the state.... In other words, many Texans, as well as all those misplaced Cajuns from south Louisiana, really love the delicacies rarely found outside of the parishes in Cajun land. <BR> <BR> My family ate there for lunch today to celebrate a birthday, and ... Sat, 4 Mar 2017 22:18:55 EST How Bad Could It Be??!!??!? My brother and two sisters in law and mother all went out to the delicious and generally expensive Taste of Texas Steakhouse restaurant in Houston today, and, as usual, I got the salad bar.... <BR> <BR> but Oh! What a salad bar!! Besides the perfectly crisp and cold lettuce/green mixtures (4!!!), there are all the usual salad bar fixings, including cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives, and carrot raisin salad, and pasta salad, and water chestnuts, black eye peas, and marinated peppers, and ... Fri, 3 Mar 2017 23:48:04 EST Driving Across Texas on Texas Independence Day We crossed only a small part of Texas today (from San Antonio to Houston) to visit my sweet 95 year old mother but the wildflowers have just begun to color the Texas highways so the 3 hours went quickly.... <BR> <BR> YES! The bluebonnets have started their annual show, and even though it is early yet, the promise of a bountiful crop is in place.... Please excuse me, but Bluebonnets make me giddy with happiness!!! <BR> <BR> And today is Texas Independence Day, commemorating when the Texas se... Thu, 2 Mar 2017 22:29:26 EST Crafty Bibliophiles Our Friends of the Library group met again today to work on the crafty literary items for this spring's Texas Library Association conference, and we are slowly chugging our way toward the Finish Line (conference starts April 18, and so time is limited, especially when you have to periodically wait for glue and paint to dry!!!) <BR> <BR> And I've been enjoying digging through old Nancy Drew books for material to use... Nancy Drew is so fun... <BR> <BR> Anyhow, when our 2.5 hour session ends ... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 23:39:28 EST NSV- I'll Take It! What a thrill to see a full PATCH of bluebonnets today.... earlier I had seen only a handful poking out, peeking around other plants, but Today I drove by an area near my home which had apparently just decided to give itself over to Spring! <BR> <BR> Then, when I got home I decided to tackle substituting in a second hand monitor for the one that had died connected to my old computer... The old computer cannot be connected to the internet, or my home network, but I needed to access it since I... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 23:33:43 EST Yes! Got it Done! Non Scale Victory of the Day: <BR> <BR> I actually got all the forms and data to the accountant for my IRS filing.... and I feel Free as a Bird now.... <BR> <BR> YAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> Now I can resume the rest of my life... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:40:57 EST Death by Spam Yesterday I wrote about my NON Spark blog.... the one I started before I ever met SparkPeople and how, after being away from it for about 3 years, I went back and discovered a bunch of emails from pseudo-people who had obviously never actually read my other blog. Their postings (which had to be approved by the blog's admin, ME) had been sitting in my inbox. <BR> <BR> Some were extremely complimentary, but vague, so I knew they were scammy spammy notes... some were gibberish, and some were in... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 23:22:54 EST Stroked Ego or Rightfully Disgruntled?? Years ago, my son gave me a website domain for Christmas, so that I could blog about all the various bookcrafts and creative endeavors that I had been doing..... I was reluctant at best to "put myself out there", but I thought it was time for me to stretch (this was way before I met SparkPeople, and very different, since it was not within the context of a loving and supportive community like SP) <BR> <BR> So I blogged a few entries, and I could say that I "had a blog", but it wasn't second n... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 13:33:47 EST Rest of Life On Hold Briefly Must get my income tax receipts and data together this weekend..... (this is the time I have promised myself to get this done) I have an appointment with the accountant on Monday. <BR> <BR> So everything else (except eating wisely) will be put on hold. <BR> <BR> But it surely is tempting to hang up the hammock and enjoy the beautiful day outside....That may be my reward for getting it DONE!!! The weekend's weather forecast looks sublime! Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:50:08 EST OK, It's Official! It is officially Spring in south Texas..... yes, I KNOW that our average last frost date is still March 15, but the mesquite trees in my yard have sprouted leaves on them, and everybody, from the veteran farmers to the old wives, knows that THAT means SPRING! <BR> <BR> My drive into San Antonio revealed more blooming bluebonnets.... we're a LONG way from typical bluebonnet blankets of color, but I can tell you that the plants look healthy and well on their way to eventually producing a beaut... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:22:24 EST Need For Sleep I didn't get to sleep at a decent time last night, and have felt the effects all day..... <BR> <BR> But TONIGHT I'm going to bed pronto. Fuzzy is no way to go through life! Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:34:50 EST Juggling Incidentals My life , I'm sure, isn't any more complicated than anyone else's, but I DO think my life SEEMS more like a juggling act than anything else. <BR> <BR> As a priority, I've got a Bible Study to prepare for and lead (2 half days a week), but it's studying the Gospel of John this year, and So Entirely Worth It! After studying Revelation last year, which John also wrote, his gospel is especially insightful. <BR> <BR> Then, I'm coordinating the Friends of the Library crafty bibliophile group maki... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:47:30 EST Day Has Dawned Well, the storm last night SEEMED to be a humdinger, and the warning that my phone gave out about a tornado was alarming, but my hyper vigilance resulted in me staying up too late, and then, when I finally went to bed, my sleep was slow in coming and interrupted by the waves of storm that crashed and ebbed outside. As Shakespeare would have said, it was "all sound and fury, signifying nothing". <BR> <BR> This morning dawned, and the world is mostly wet, but not destroyed.... <BR> <BR> The t... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:48:28 EST Yikes! There's a storm crashing outside and My phone just set off an emergency warning signal, announcing that I am in a tornado warning zone and to take cover.... does not give the same message.... <BR> <BR> Maybe I had better get off the computer and head for my one protected bathroom space... <BR> <BR> Hope I can get some sleep tonight... I am listening for that characteristic freight train sound of an imminent tornado... <BR> <BR> Will check back with SP in the morning... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:26:26 EST Ho-Ho-Ha-Ha-Ha! Ho-Ho-Ha-Ha-Ha! Some people missed my original blog on Laughter Yoga, and had questions: <BR> <BR> As far as how to find out more about Laughter Yoga, I'm guessing that your best bet is to Google it.... I just happened to be in the Library when they announced that a class was starting in 5 minutes (the library had hired a certified instructor to come on a Wed. afternoon for their programs for adults series) <BR> <BR> Since I was curious, I went! And I'll give feedback that I enjoyed it, so maybe they'll d... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 21:57:10 EST