MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Whew! Some would say that was an easy move (yesterday's upsizing from a condo to our new house) and we have certainly had much worse (we moved 13 times in the first ten years we were married as my dear man was in the Air Force...but then we moved back home to RI and lived 25 years in our old big house before downsizing to a condo). <BR> I'm not so sure about that. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> We did have a loooooong time to prepare for this move and the luxury of moving things down here gradually befo... Fri, 9 Dec 2016 22:10:37 EST Moving in FIVE days! is a strange feeling to look forward to something and work toward a goal for so long and then have it happen so quickly at the end. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> Our condo is nearly empty, just the things left that we will need for the next few days remain. <BR> We have been filling our cars with small things and have hired movers for the furniture, have a few young family members with a pickup truck coming to help out with odd jobs, and have a bulk trash pickup scheduled for moving day... Sat, 3 Dec 2016 21:25:05 EST Countdown to moving day We are so fortunate to have already done so much of the moving as we prepped and staged the condo for sale this past year (and a half, actually!). <BR> And, also, how lucky to have had the empty new house to move things to (decided in April to buy out my dear man's sibs at the house they inherited from my late FIL). <BR> So the move itself will not be nearly as huge a deal as it often is. <BR> The new house has been just about ready for some time and we have only stayed at the condo as it is... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 10:38:51 EST Happy, happy, happy! So glad to have some good news to share for a change! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Number son has been feeling a bit better the last few days (he is on his third two week round of chemo for advanced colon cancer). He is able to sit up for longer periods comfortably and has been able to reduce his pain meds and actually has gotten out for a few walks with his young family. He has found it helps for him to push the jogging stroller, even if it is empty. It feels like we are gettin... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:47:42 EST Three weeks in My dear son Patrick, father of my three young grands, is halfway through his second round of chemo for stage IV colon cancer. <BR> It is much more difficult than he was led to believe and he is quite sick despite strong anti-nausea meds and medical MJ. <BR> He is still in pain due to the size of the tumors and needs to lay flat much of the time and take even more strong meds. <BR> His workplace is still being very supportive and he is mostly working from home, when he can manage, and going in... Sat, 5 Nov 2016 08:30:11 EST Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket today! I kept hitting it big time on my sparkpoints today...and I haven't even exercised yet. <BR> You may know what a little spark points junkie I am! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> I don't really pay attention to the levels and trophies and spark streaks but I happened to notice that today was day 365 for my login spark streak. <BR> <em>43</em> <BR> And, my weight was back down to that 19 lb point after creeping up a lb or two in the last week or so (lack of sleep due to stress, I think, not dieta... Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:07:12 EST A great day DS started chemo yesterday for his advanced colon cancer. <BR> He will go every other week for 4-5 hours for infusion and leave with a dose attached to his port that he will wear for another 48 hours. <BR> He woke up feeling well today...if it is wishful thinking, we will take it...and went to work just a bit late and lasted most of the day. He was very happy about that. <BR> He came home to a clean house and a new recliner chair (from us) is indeed a happy man. <em>41</em> <BR> I not... Tue, 18 Oct 2016 18:27:48 EST A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel My DS and my wonderful DIL went to Dana Farber in Boston yesterday and felt very reassured by the team of oncologists they met with. <BR> He has stage IV colon cancer which has spread to his liver. <BR> He is only 46 so has never had a colonoscopy. <BR> We have no family history of cancer of any kind. <BR> So, the plan is chemotherapy (he had a port installed today) to shrink the tumors, with scans done every few weeks to monitor that, then surgery to remove the cancerous part of his liver a... Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:08:49 EST Taking each day as it comes Both Patrick and Jean reiterated to my dear man and I that the oncologist said this is not a death sentence but a problem to be solved. <BR> They, and we, are living our lives in just that way. <BR> Not ignoring it, no, not possible, but living our lives to the fullest, as we always have (although I did cancel our Napa-Sonoma trip, and our trip to Anguilla for the closing on Jasmine Villa...I want to be in RI now). <BR> I am taking the kids to the movies this afternoon (Storks...has anyone se... Sat, 1 Oct 2016 09:38:16 EST Devastating news Upon further testing, it appears my son's colon cancer has spread. <BR> There Is some some cancer in his liver. <BR> They have postponed the radiation for now, doing further testing locally, then sending him to Dana Farber in Boston. <BR> This is terrible, terrible news. <BR> He is 46 years old with three young children. <BR> My dear man and I are walking around in tears, feeling helpless and sad. <BR> We are clinging to the tiny five year survival rate and will do all we can to support Patri... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:04:45 EST Cautiously optimistic Pat's oncologist advised he and Jean to think of this (colon cancer) as a problem to be solved rather than a disease and that they have an entire team on their side. <BR> They are giving him some strong pain meds that are not narcotics and not addictive, with instructions to use freely. <BR> He is getting iron infusions as he is anemic and that will help with the fatigue he is already experiencing. <BR> The plan is still for radiation, chemo and surgery. <BR> So, lots of appointments coming ... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:35:29 EST Will know more today The docs were able to bump up DS's oncology appointment to today so he will have a more specific schedule and course of treatment. <BR> <em>250</em> <BR> is his primary care physician, who has only ever seen Patrick a few times, who seems to be in control, keeping in touch with Pat, even on weekends, which he appreciates, coordinating the specialists and moving things along. <BR> So good to hear about 'the system' working well. <BR> My wonderful DIL is going with my son as an ext... Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:00:39 EST Life is a roller coaster....need some sparklove! I have said it before and I will say it again... <BR> you just cannot predict the twists and turns of life... <BR> you cannot control all that happens, no matter how hard you try. <BR> Sorry...just not possible. <BR> If you are lucky, and often luck is all it is, mostly positive things will happen to you and yours. <BR> <BR> Maybe you eat less, move more, and lose weight. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> Not everyone. <BR> <BR> Maybe you meet your soul mate and stay together your whole life. <BR>... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:45:02 EST My selfish, selfish man! My dear man knows I am low carbing, quite happily and successfully, I might add. <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> So, what does he do today? <BR> Fills the house with the amazing smell of apples cooking. <BR> He created this amazing galette...a free form apple tart. <BR> See why I hate this guy? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just kidding, of course...anyone who knows me knows I could care less about sweets..he will e... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 18:19:18 EST How thoughtful! My grandkids' day care provider (since Lucy was a baby, although she doesn't get to go there very often any more) is such a thoughtful person. <BR> I have never heard any of the children ever say one bad word about her. <BR> She plans little age appropriate projects and provides nice structure and routine to their day...maybe a bit of junk food, but... <BR> She has a college age daughter who helps on busy days and a neighborhood teen helper as well. <BR> Some days she only has two or three we... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 09:13:23 EST A slight correction... my anniversary blog.... <BR> We have spent 48 years making all of Each Other's dreams come true! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> <em>304</em> <em>304</em> For all the good wishes and spark goodies! <BR> <em>252</em> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 12:55:02 EST Unbelievable! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We were both still teenagers when we 'had to' get married, as we used to say. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> I was embarrassed by it all for years but I am over that! <BR> I am 64 years old and today is our FORTY EIGHTH anniversary! <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> It has not always been easy, certainly not all fun and games, <BR> but we have weathered all the storms, <BR> gotten help when... Fri, 26 Aug 2016 21:36:36 EST Life is good! STILL haven't sold my condo yet...many lookers and much interest but no offers. <BR> I am so tired of cleaning and showing this house! <BR> We have half our things down at the new house so this condo is vastly decluttered and shows well. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> On the plus side, we have had a wonderful and warm summer and I have had the opportunity to spend many many hours in the pool (went up as far as 88f!) ... Wed, 24 Aug 2016 08:35:18 EST I'll take it! Some Sparkpeeps complain about slow weight loss but unless you have done all the right things and stayed the same (within 5 lbs or so) <BR> week after week, <BR> month after month, <BR> year after year <BR> like I have, <BR> you could not possibly know how happy I am to be finally watching that number on the scale slowly go down week by week. <BR> I am back into the 170's for the first time since 2013, when I was still doing elder care and was housebound with a 98 year old for 6 hours th... Sat, 6 Aug 2016 14:00:33 EST I'll take it! Some Sparkpeeps complain about slow weight loss <BR> but unless you have done all the right things and stayed the same (within 5 lbs or so) <BR> week after week, <BR> month after month, <BR> year after year <BR> like I have, <BR> you could not possibly know how happy I am to be finally watching that number on the scale slowly go down week by week. <BR> I am back into the 170's for the first time since 2013, when I was still doing elder care and was housebound with a 98 year old for 6 ho... Sat, 6 Aug 2016 14:00:33 EST Living low carb while intermittent fasting So, about six weeks into this way of life and feeling great. <BR> I am an imperfect being but eat according to the low carb plan almost all the time. <BR> I refuse to feel deprived. <BR> I am rarely hungry. <BR> My recent lab work came back excellent. <BR> My weight is slowly going down....12-14 lbs since January, but really only half of that in these six weeks. <BR> I also added intermittent fasting as often as I least once a week, would love to do 2 or 3 but it is not working out f... Sat, 16 Jul 2016 11:55:21 EST Low-carbing ...week one My sisters and I have had some good results from reducing the carbs in our daily diets. <BR> My younger sister, who was visiting here a few weeks ago, is at her all time adult low now. <BR> She and her hubby quit smoking together 3 years ago (hooray!) and had each put on weight rewarding themselves with ice cream and other treats. <BR> She has been sober for 30 years and he hardly touches the stuff. <BR> Her guy had also developed some horrible life altering conditions just in the last year ... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 08:25:26 EST Hello friends My busy life has not let up since last I blogged. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> Still a whirlwind...but I take the time to eat well every day and exercise most days. <BR> Still keeping my house squeaky clean for showings...lots of interest but no offers yet. <BR> One woman came back for a second look, but, so far...nada. <BR> So far. <BR> We are quite optimistic, though. <em>334</em> <BR> We are well priced, in a desirable area, <BR> in tip-top shape, <BR> coming up on summer (we are in a c... Wed, 25 May 2016 20:15:19 EST Gotta just do it The less I sleep, the more tired I am. <em>40</em> <BR> The more tired I am, the less I move. <BR> The less I move, the more stiff I feel. <BR> My hip pain is keeping me from sleeping all night. <BR> I have always been a person who requires a lot of sleep. <BR> Now I get about 6 hours of restless sleep before the pain drives me out of bed. <BR> I have chronic bursitis (over five years) in both hips, esp. the right and am on a prescription NSAID (and a sleep aid). <BR> Other than fatigue, I... Thu, 5 May 2016 08:18:39 EST Too clean??? Lol! My house has never ever been this decluttered and cleaned and probably never will be again. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> It's freaky clean! <BR> We finally listed it on MLS yesterday and already have two broker showings today and tomorrow. <BR> I have that funny fes <BR> <BR> eling in my stomach when you are all ready for a party but the first guest hasn't arrived yet. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> Here are some pics from our listing. <BR> I hardly recognize it! <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sp... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:01:10 EST Too darn busy! It is all good (except my hip, which is very bad, only at night...I zip around all day) but still... <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> We have the new house 99% cleaned out and have hired a few tradesmen for painting, refinishing floors, ordered appliances and bedroom carpets, consulted a kitchen designer for update ideas (not doing too much there right now), all the while cleaning out our current home and preparing it to sell. <BR> WHEW! <BR> Plus, babysitting two days and usually a weekly overnig... Tue, 26 Apr 2016 10:39:37 EST My big news Some of you know that my dear man and I have been looking to upsize (yeah, yeah, I know, we downsized ten years ago...but now we have three grandkids we are very involved with and we really are getting closer to requiring a one level home). <BR> We spruced up our two bedroom condo last summer and put it on the market as we had made an offer on another, bigger unit which was accepted with a contingency clause. <BR> Bottom line, lots of lookers, lots of positive comments, zero offers. <BR> Then... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 20:58:43 EST Huh? So on my trip I walked for miles and miles every day and slept in strange beds and my hips were fine. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> Came home all jet-lagged and with lots of responsibilities and my hips started hurting again! <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> We got right back into the warm water pool on Monday, but then babysat on the next two days. <BR> I don't think it is my mattress, which is fairly new and of good quality, but I am going to try sleeping in the kids' room for a few nights and see i... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:00:56 EST El Mercado de Cebada Well, we returned from our amazing two week vacation in Spain last night <BR> (6 hour time difference so a bit of an adjustment...I was asleep by 9 here (3 a.m. my body screamed) and up at 5:30, wondering if I was the only person cleaning my empty fridge at six in the and I have some great pics and stories to much I will have to chip away at it. <BR> We started with an apartment in Madrid for a week (see my last blog) which I highly recommend. We used Airbnb, which ... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 07:22:44 EST Good-bye, Madrid We have had an incredible week here at our little apartment in the La Latina neighborhood of Madrid. <img src=""> <BR> Tomorrow we pick up a car rental and leave for a one week road trip around Spain. <BR> It is a working class part of town on a bit of a seedy street, truth be told, but the apt itself is fine and we found a great little breakfast place for our morning coffee, chocolate and churros nearby. <BR> <i... Sat, 2 Apr 2016 18:14:57 EST Does beauty ever make you cry? This is not the first time this has happened to me. <em>24</em> <BR> Once I cried at the beach because the sky and water and sand were such spectacular colors. <em>198</em> <BR> Another time I cried when we were driving home from Vermont in October and the mountains and foliage were just so breathtaking. <em>46</em> <BR> Of course I cry when a baby is born and I am witness to that miracle. <em>46</em> <BR> Today I went to a museum here in Madrid and stood before works of art whose ... Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:50:56 EST Way too many pots in my fire (Is that the expression?) <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> (***I stand is too many irons in the fire.) <BR> <BR> Anyway, I seem to be going flat out since my FIL's failing in January and passing on Feb 1st. <BR> His amazing memorial service was on the 13th. <BR> Then the family took a little bit of time to pack up and take away what they wanted from the family house. <BR> Then we had to sort and clean, clean and sort. <BR> Took a while to get the estate auctioneer in there an... Sat, 12 Mar 2016 10:06:32 EST Have any nice black pants you love? I went to Macy's last week to do a little pre-trip shopping and found (many, but only bought) three tops I really like. <BR> But, I bet I tried on by at least 10-12 pairs of black pants and bought NONE of them. <BR> I am a petite large (I know, an oxymoron) or even an extra large on bottom. <BR> I need that 28 inch inseam for my short stubby legs but my butt is going through a fat phase right now. <BR> I need pants that travel well and I can wear day after day on a trip. <BR> I was hoping to ... Sat, 27 Feb 2016 22:27:33 EST Help me plan my trip, please We are planning a trip to California next October. <BR> <em>465</em> <em>408</em> <em>426</em> <BR> We are wine lovers and hope to spend a week in northern CA. <BR> So, should we do Napa Valley or Sonoma? <BR> Are they close? <BR> Can we do both? <BR> Should we stay at a winery or nearby? <BR> Is 5 days enough or should we plan on a week? <BR> Is October a good month (we have some flexibility)? <BR> We actually lived in Monterey for two year over 40 years ago but we were dirt poor a... Thu, 25 Feb 2016 17:33:05 EST Ta-dah! My book list... I tried to recreate my book list from the last few years from my calendar as my nice blank books are still packed up down in my FIL's garage since we de-cluttered our little condo when we were trying to sell six months ago. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> These are only the books that I enjoyed, for various reasons- great plot or characters or I learned from it or something. I would not list a book I didn't like. <BR> <BR> I do belong to a book group, which I LOVE (for the last 12 years, I b... Tue, 23 Feb 2016 18:14:40 EST Read any good books lately? I have always been a reader. <em>203</em> <BR> My father used to make fun of me for always having a 'book in my face'. <BR> It was my escape from my wildly disfunctional family. <BR> (I am the white sheep of the family.) <BR> I was high school drop/out, married at 16, two kids by 18 and never, ever even thought about becoming a teacher. <BR> Well, went to college, graduated at 26, then taught for almost 30 years. <BR> 'One never knows, do one?' as Fats Waller once said. <em>334</em> <... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 22:48:04 EST Well, I promised so here I am with a blog I have been super busy in 2016, especially since my dear FIL fell ill, went into the hospital and 'rehab', back in the hospital, and passed away February first. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> My own dear man developed pneumonia during all this so wasn't much help. <BR> (I will not mention how many times I have nagged him to get the pneumonia and the shingles vaccine to no avail.) <BR> We had an AMAZING celebration of life for the old guy, nearly 92, a well-respected leader of the fishing industr... Sat, 20 Feb 2016 22:42:44 EST The most amazing sunset EVER I live in southern New England. <BR> We had such a beautiful snow storm yesterday. <BR> It was a perfect day to be stuck inside with a sore throat and cough and for countless cups of tea and catching up on reading. <BR> I don't have much of a view from my little condo but the woods out back were magical and the sunset colors out my big front window as the storm moved away and the sun peeked out low on the horizon was absolutly breathtaking. <BR> That it was so fleeting, maybe ten minutes, mad... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 10:04:40 EST Strange times, indeed You know how it is after someone dies? <BR> ...even older folk when you knew it was coming? <BR> It is just so strange to think of never, ever seeing or talking to someone again. <BR> That is where my dear man and I are right now (his dad died Monday night, at 91, after a month in 'rehab' and 5 days in the hospital). <BR> Even though we knew it was coming, as did he, and we were SO ready, as was he... <BR> it is still a shock. <BR> get a little bag from the hospital with his watch and h... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 20:59:24 EST It is over I almost said 'finally over' but I know many people go through looooooong final chapters with their dying loved ones and my FIL really only spent a month in 'rehab' and five days in the hospital before peacefully breathing his last breath. <BR> He was almost 92 and required a lot of care this last year or two (we were able to keep him in his own home until this last month), most of which fell on my dear man, being the oldest and only local child. <BR> Still a lot ahead of us but then it will ... Tue, 2 Feb 2016 22:08:49 EST Too much going on! I think my update recently was something along the line of 'why am I, the regular exerciser who eats so healthy, the only one NOT sick around here?' <BR> That was even before my dear man's pneumonia diagnosis. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> So, my FIL is very disappointed every time he wakes up...he is so ready to die at 91 with so many health issues. <BR> He went into the hospital on Wednesday from the rehab place with a fever and some pain. <BR> We were told he had pneumonia, an abdominal mass ... Sun, 31 Jan 2016 20:58:29 EST Didn't mean to do it ....but I spent almost the whole day doing self-nurturing sorts of things. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> My dear man has a nasty cold so he spent most of the day on the couch or in bed. <BR> Last night I slept in the guest room and slept (well) until 8:45! <em>102</em> <BR> I went to a 45 minute Tai Chi class with my gf. <em>361</em> <BR> Then spent 45 minutes in the warm water pool. <em>237</em> <BR> After lunch I read two newspapers and then did a wonderful 20 minute meditation aimed... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 22:25:04 EST My FIL He is still hanging in there...still in rehab, making teeny tiny progress so they are keeping him there for now (day 17 today). <BR> We have an assisted living place on stand-by, assuming they will accept him and we can get him to go there. <BR> Sadly, his current facility is just awful at keeping us informed, unlike when my mother was there in 2007, the last year of her life (has been sold twice since then). <BR> We can only believe half of what my FIL says as he is somewhat confused (at 91)... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:10:38 EST SPAM comics Since getting a new laptop a few weeks ago some of my sparkpeople notices go to my spam folder so I now check it every day, something I rarely did before. <BR> Almost every single day I receive one or more of those (I always call them Nigerian but they could be from anywhere) phishing emails trying to get my personal information. <BR> Some of them are so hysterical! <BR> I cannot believe that anyone would be stooooopid enough to fall for them! <BR> Here's today's: <BR> <BR> "Hello Good Frien... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 15:31:47 EST And...still learning! One thing I noticed while rereading a few of my way early blogs (you know, when I was actually losing weight???), a strategy I have used on several occasions to reduce my alcohol consumption was to abstain for weeks or a month at a time. <em>40</em> <BR> I must admit I do love my nightly glass or two (three more often than it used to be!) and I did not find those long abstentions easy or particularly helpful in my weight loss and so was always eager to give them up. <em>244</em> <BR> Bu... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 19:56:42 EST Took a walk down memory lane! Omg...I just had so much fun going back and reading my first 5-10 SP blogs from 2009! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> It was a time of joy and wonder and learning and excitement. <BR> I had almost no comments or friends at first but that was fine....doing it for me! <BR> And it worked so I learned more and more about healthy living I modified my eating and drinking and lost, lost, lost, slowly but surely. <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> I felt so great! <BR> My life was changing in other ways,... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 10:32:39 EST FIL update Jack is doing fairly well....he is eating a bit but seems like he has little appetite, not that he is intentionally not eating. He eats a bit of breakfast, a few bites of lunch and little dinner. He is cooperating with PT and seems to be enjoying the change of scenery and stimulation (he is very lonely at home). <BR> He was asleep so did not attend his first care meeting at which time the professionals all agree he does not need skilled nursing care but will not be able to live on his own an... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 10:41:09 EST Happy, sad news The warm water pool reopened today.... hooooray! <BR> I swam for an hour and then cleaned house for another hour so I wouldn't have to go back out in the cold (temps dropped into the 20's here as the day went on) <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Thrilled that my weight is creeping down thnx to moving more and eating more F&V's and protein and fewer carbs. <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> My FIL (the crankypotomous) went into the hospital on NY Eve day....his feet were swollen and painful, no ap... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 18:04:18 EST Pity party, part II, with some clarification I am a tiny bit mortified with myself about yesterday's blog, <BR> but please don't for a fraction of a second think that I am even thinking about giving up my efforts for a single day. <BR> That is never going to happen. <BR> I am only 63 and assume I have a good 30 years ahead of me and they will not be spent 'pissing and moaning' and feeling sorry for myself. <BR> I will continue to do my best and try new things and chip away at it until I achieve a healthy weight, among other health goal... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 07:56:27 EST NEVER thought I would see that number again! I stepped on the scale this morning after a few days of normal eating (I actually never once went overboard with holiday eating) and saw that I am right back up to where I was when I joined SP in Jan of 2009! <BR> <em>198</em> <em>15</em> <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> My old friends may recall that I lost 30 lbs in my first six months here SEVEN years ago. <BR> I felt and looked great but was only half way to goal. <BR> Then I plateaued for well over a year and tried every trick in the bo... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 22:45:52 EST