MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Keeping it simple and peaceful.... ...well, as much as one can when celebrating the season with a two year old, a five year old and a six year old. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Yesterday, after their healthy afternoon snack, I let the three of them share one candy cane (broke it into three pieces and gave Pearl a tiny piece maybe an inch long). <BR> They were bouncing off the walls for the next hour! <BR> Even a bath didn't calm them down. <BR> Lesson ... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:50:04 EST Fun! Please try to find ways of incorporating some fun into your life every single day. <BR> We deserve it! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> BTW...found another condo to bid on (lost out on the last three)....just made an offer today. <BR> Smaller than the one we really wanted but bigger than where we are now...and, in the same development, which we love. <BR> Wish me luck. <BR> <em>381</em> <BR> <BR> Mon, 14 Dec 2015 14:55:44 EST I love me! Got your attention, didn't I? <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> But I really do...I am a perfectly imperfect being. <BR> I guess it's really my life I love and I accept all of my flaws. <BR> I take the bad along with the good. <BR> <BR> I have survived and witnessed enough sadness and tragedy in my 63 years to know how to go with the flow and appreciate the small and wonderous bits of my life. <BR> <BR> SO what? We lost out on that dream condo to a cash buyer...I have a warm and comfortable ... Thu, 10 Dec 2015 21:53:01 EST OK, getting in the mood! I headed out this morning to my BFF's church bazaar...she has worked so hard getting ready for it. It is a very small church but they go all out for this, their major fundraiser. <BR> They had vendors (mostly crafters) a nice raffle, and a bake sale. <BR> They had an entire room of sporting equipment and bikes out in the hallway. <BR> I found a few things there, bought some cookies and Christmas plates to give away. <BR> Seems like they had a successful day. <BR> There was also a huge cookie... Sat, 5 Dec 2015 19:07:58 EST December!?! Oh, my...where has 2015 gone? <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> May December be a happy healthy month for you. <BR> I am trying to eat more protein and more vegetables ever day. <BR> And drink less wine, too. <BR> <BR> <em>213</em> <BR> Wed, 2 Dec 2015 22:50:19 EST Moving on... William's birthday book came out great! <BR> Each one is easier than the one before (although every company does it a bit differently so I am constantly learning...guess that's a good thing!). <BR> He was a very happy birthday boy. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now, I am working on Pearl's second book. <BR> Great, except my computer has been acting up for months (new one on its way) and that slows things down. <BR>... Wed, 25 Nov 2015 22:29:33 EST Sweet William My dear grandson, William, will be five next week so I have been working on his birthday photo book and marveling at how much he has grown. <BR> He is such a sweet, funny, and, of course, brilliant child. <BR> Handsome, too, and, since his constipation issues seemed to have mostly resolved (still barely touches fruits and vegetables, though, despite being served them at every meal), a much happier child than he used to be when he suffered so much from that. <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sp... Wed, 11 Nov 2015 10:02:32 EST Sorry! My dear friend JANTHEBLONDE sent me a goodie today and when I went to 'look at my goodies' I saw several that had been sent in the last few weeks for which, I swear, I have not been notified of receiving. <BR> How embarrassing! <em>2</em> <BR> I always make a point of thanking my friends promptly. <BR> I checked all my email preferences and all that stuff but didn't see anything related to that...then again, I did get that notification today..hmmm.....maybe I am just losing it!?! <BR> YA ... Fri, 30 Oct 2015 21:40:04 EST Love spoiling my grand babies! We took the kidlets to a local carousel on Sunday, after we had them overnight so their parents could have a little getaway. <BR> <em>220</em> <BR> It didn't take long...wasn't that expensive...and they were super happy and excited! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oops...Pearl's pic came out blurry but he... Mon, 28 Sep 2015 21:53:05 EST Miss Pearl! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> She can't actually push the pedals yet at 21 months but she wants to ride so Lucy and William do. <BR> <BR> Have a grrrreat weekend! <BR> I have to clean my house for yet another Open House and I offered to babysit at some point so Pat and Jean can go out to celebrate their 7th anniversary. <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> Fri, 18 Sep 2015 21:53:53 EST Party, party, party! Many of you know, I have a huge family of origin...originally seven brothers and seven sisters. <BR> Imagine the milk! <BR> The laundry! <BR> The shampoo! <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> There are ten of us still alive...all between 50 and 70. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (Omg..I am the fattest of the group now!) <BR> <BR> Yesterday we had our family reunion at a nearby park...perfect weather..nice turnout...maybe 75, g... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 16:43:24 EST Party, party, party! Many of you know, I have a huge family of origin...originally seven brothers and seven sisters. <BR> Imagine the milk! <BR> The laundry! <BR> The shampoo! <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> There are ten of us still alive...all between 50 and 70. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (Omg..I am the fattest of the group now!) <BR> <BR> Yesterday we had our family reunion at a nearby park...perfect weather..nice turnout...maybe 75, g... Mon, 7 Sep 2015 09:56:53 EST Lucy! <BR> Many of my ~ahem~ older spark peeps will remember just six years ago (I joined SP in January 2009) when my first grand baby, Lucy Ann, was born. <BR> It was a life-changing event in our family, as it is for all, come to think of it. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> We could not have asked for a smarter, sweeter, prettier, kind and wonderful girl, now big sister to William and Pearl. <BR> <BR> Time just flies by and our dear child started first grade today. <BR> I am treasuring every mo... Tue, 1 Sep 2015 14:25:26 EST When is life too busy? I am retired. <BR> I (almost always) get to go to bed when I like and sleep as late as I want. <BR> I retired from my retirement job (private elder care) well over a year ago. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> My youngest child, dear Mimi, left the nest exactly two years ago. <BR> Sounds like I am a lady of leisure, does it not? <BR> One would think I would have all the time in the world to get a massage, or get my nails done, or read for fun, or get to the gym, wouldn't one? <BR> NOT! <BR> <em>19... Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:28:48 EST On the move First we took William and Lucy on a day trip...rode the train to Providence, our nearest city, to walk around the capital building and the river, ending up at a huge mall, mostly for lunch and the air-conditioning. <BR> The kids are already asking when we can do it again! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img s... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 07:19:08 EST Butt is better! <em>18</em> <BR> <BR> My glute and hamstring are much better...not all better but definitely healing. <BR> As the strained muscle pain eased I could feel a deep pain in my hip (tendon?) but that is easing up, too. <BR> I am walking normally (not limping) and have spent at least 4-5 hours in the pool, which has been 85ish degrees lately due to our heat wave, in the last week, which must have helped. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> In other big news, we have put our little condo on the m... Wed, 19 Aug 2015 20:14:01 EST Really? Like I don't have enough to blog about? <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> My vacation at my beautiful second home, <BR> <link> </link> <BR> was wonderful, though, truth be told sisters' week was more fun than hubby week...way more giggles, plus we did not have to bother with bathing suits (very private pool). <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We had a terrible travel d... Sat, 15 Aug 2015 21:12:01 EST Good-bye, my friends! Tomorrow I am heading down to our gorgeous second home on the island of Anguilla, off the coast of St. Martin. <em>47</em> <BR> People are surprised when I tell how wonderful the weather is in the Caribbean in the summer. <BR> For example, it is an atypical humid 95 degrees here in RI today..even 90 on the beach! <BR> And 'only' 85 on Anguilla today. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> Here is my home, if you want to check it out and look at my pics. (it is a rental property): <BR> <link>Www.jas... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:15:42 EST I am going to miss these little munchkins so much! My 3 grandkids are leaving for a week in NH on Saturday. <BR> I am leaving on Tuesday for two weeks on the beautiful island of Anguilla. <BR> <link> </link> <BR> So when I get home on August 4th it will have been over two weeks since I've held them in my loving arms. <BR> FaceTime is great but not the same! <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> They are here today, playing with shaving cream on an almost rainy day. <BR> <img src=" Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:41:47 EST Happy, happy! I may just have a touch of SAD, like so many of my friends here...I am so much happier when I can get outside into the glorious sun every day. <BR> We have a small garden plot that, thank goodness, my dear man is managing on his own this summer, although I am down there, too, 'supervising'. <BR> We live in a condo and there is a perfect one mile walking loop around the neighborhood which I or we walk every day, often 2-3 times. <BR> We have been having a hard time getting up to URI for the w... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 09:07:13 EST Summertime! ...and the living is easy! <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> I am the opposite of a morning person <em>102</em> so the only thing I do not like about babysitting for my adorable grandbabies is getting up at 6:30 two days a week to go over there. <BR> <BR> During the summer, things are more relaxed as my wonderful DIL, Jeannie, is a teacher and, while she is still very busy with her boot camp and work duties and professional development, she also relishes being home with her babies. <BR> <B... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 06:58:29 EST Update on yesterday's blog Oh, believe me, we have spent months (and by we I mean all 4 of his children, his neighbor who brings him his mail, his grandsons and granddaughter) trying to help him understand that he is being ripped off by these sweepstakes scams. <BR> He refuses to believe it is that much money he sends out. <BR> He really thinks he might win something. <em>198</em> <BR> It gives him something to do during his long boring days- he gets up by 5 and because he dozes off and on all day in his chair he st... Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:36:48 EST My FIL Jack turned 91 a few days ago- still living in his own home, with much support, mostly from my daughter and my dear man (his sibs live out of state or just don't care). <BR> He is ready to die (sometimes he wishes he would) and he has had CHF (congestive heart failure) for at least the last 3 years but he has not been hospitalized in years. <BR> His dad died young but his wonderful mother lived to 99. <BR> He is not too cranky but almost totally deaf so not much fun to spend time with- never ... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 20:22:57 EST Thank you so much I felt so nice after your kind words about yesterday's blog. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I was feeling guilty about letting Miss Pearl use my iPod touch while I did that chick project with the 'big' kids. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> She is not quite 18 months but can <BR> ~go to youtube <BR> ~ click on Baby Bum or Elmo <BR> ~scroll down (with her thumb!) and pick out song/videos she wants to watch! <B... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 15:26:54 EST Need points! We had a cool rainy low key day with the kids today so I have ZERO fitness minutes (5500 steps- 8 flights of stairs). <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> So I had planned a little art project with the 'big' kids and then took a few pics so I could share with you tonight. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ... Tue, 2 Jun 2015 21:51:59 EST Grammy's in big trouble now! Here is Pearl, wearing her mac and cheese and sweet potatoes and applesauce lunch. <BR> <BR> She is mad because I won't turn on the TV (I strictly limit it as she is not even two) even though she is following me around saying 'Elmo, Elmo, Elmo'. <BR> <BR> I distracted her by going into the playroom and playing with the dollhouse with her. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkp... Wed, 27 May 2015 21:50:05 EST Istanbul (Part one blog about my recent trip to Central and Eastern Europe). <BR> <BR> LOVED Istanbul! <BR> It was so very different from anywhere else on earth I have been, <BR> it was like a movie- so very beautiful and exotic. <BR> The city (home to TWENTY million people in the entire metropolitan area!) is ancient and colorful and beautiful. <BR> The call to prayers five times a day by the many mosques filled the air with magical musical beauty. <BR> Muslims cannot/do not honor likenesses so all ... Sun, 24 May 2015 18:29:48 EST Will be away for a few weeks Good-bye, dear sparkpeeps! <BR> <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> My dear man and I are heading to Central Europe tonight for two fabulous weeks: <BR> Istanbul, <BR> Prague, <BR> Budapest, <BR> Bratislava, <BR> and Vienna. <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> All on our own, all planned by us, all first class (almost all frequent flyer points and various credit card bonus points earned- my dh is a wiz at it, despite his recent brain injury). <BR> <BR> The weather forecast looks perfect! <BR> <em>67</em> ... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 13:30:19 EST Come along with me! My grands are over on nearby Block Island for a few days for spring break and I am enjoying a bit of time off, especially from getting up so early two days a week. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My dear man and I have gone to the warm water pool every day this week, which is nice, but then he wants to stop for lunch. <em>15</em> <BR> <BR> Since I had my camera with me to go wave goodbye to the kids leaving on the boat, I decided to take ... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:27:18 EST Fitbit-fitness minutes Oh, my. <em>40</em> <BR> I am on the Fitbit team and some folks are up in arms that Fitbit (not SP) has changed the way they sync to SP so that we don't earn fitness minutes unless we are exercising at a moderate pace for at least ten minutes- as per federal guidelines. <BR> Don't even ask me how Fitbit knows that- <BR> the steps per minute, maybe? <BR> Anyway, it actually makes sense to me- <BR> it will encourage me to workout more vigorously, when possible. <BR> For example, the other d... Sat, 11 Apr 2015 20:47:23 EST Pearl! Oh, precious grandbaby Pearl is 16 months old now and into everything! <BR> I cannot let her out of my sight. <em>198</em> <BR> If I have to use the bathroom, I pull her into the room with me and shut the door. <em>40</em> <BR> She found my mixing bowls and measuring cups. <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now, as soon as she sees a camera, she starts saying 'cheeeeeeese'! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Thu, 9 Apr 2015 15:03:40 EST My wacky and wonderful family~ with pictures My older sister, Maureen, now our family matriarch, is just so amazing. <BR> She loves to host parties; always has, but especially since she became a widow ten years ago (when an unhappy marriage ended in her hubby's early death- he was a heavy smoker and drinker and died of a heart attack at 54, leaving four devastated daughters and one rich widow) and moved to a big house with a big yard, perfect for entertaining. <BR> She is close to her daughters and has 12 or so (some steps) grandkids. ... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 21:05:38 EST Easter memories I come from a huge Catholic family- <BR> 7 brothers and 7 sisters- <BR> and my parents struggled to feed and clothe us and yet sent us all to catholic schools (with the help of the diocese). <BR> We went to church every week and all had our Holy First Communion and confirmation. <BR> (Not a one of us is still in the church, btw) <BR> <BR> Easter was always our second favorite holiday, just after Christmas. <BR> ~ new clothes! <BR> ~ a big feast! <BR> ~ city cousins came down for our egg hunt... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 09:20:32 EST April! Yay! <BR> It is still pretty cool here in RI but most of the snow is gone...just a few patches in shady areas and small dirty mounds..and the sun is getting stronger and stronger each day. <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> I have been able to take Pearl out in the stroller, which she loves and I need, quite a bit lately. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> And at the end of this month, my dear man and I will be flying to Istanbul for three days, Prague for three days, Budapest for three days and Vienna for th... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 19:57:56 EST goes on Nothing new here. <BR> Rested up from my extra babysitting this week. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Went to the pool and out to lunch with friends yesterday. <BR> Went to the gym and then out looking (no luck) for a new short winter coat today. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> I have been noticing more and more lately that my dear man does indeed have some lingering neurological deficits since his major health issue last fall. <BR> He has regained so m... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:32:16 EST Cinderella review Well, I loved it-as did all the mommies in the theater- <BR> not so sure of the youngish girls- <BR> like my Lucy, who is almost six. <BR> I'm sure they enjoyed it as the dresses were gorgeous and the prince was quite charming, alright. <BR> But, there were too many complex plot points and concepts for young trying to explain why the (gorgeous) stepmother was so mean (jealous of C's youth and beauty and happy life- until C's parents died) and the king, also dying, pressuring h... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:17:56 EST How do people babysit every day? I adore my grandkids. <BR> They are sweet and lovable and good and funny and fun. <BR> They are 5 (in K, so before and after school care) 4, and ONE. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> We usually babysit two days a week. <BR> This week four days, including one overnight. <BR> Next week will be four days a... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:16:18 EST