MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Another pic of me and my sisters, out walking <img src=""> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:54:17 EST Sisters!!! I am so very fortunate to have two sisters I adore and who love everything about me! <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> This past weekend we had a sisters' weekend in nearby Newport, RI to celebrate my birthday and my older sister's retiring from one of her jobs (she will be 70 in April). <BR> She and I booked a day at a new spa over there which is sort of a mini Turkish baths, with small pools of various temperatures and several saunas and steam rooms. <BR> When our younger sister heard our plan she ... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 19:24:15 EST One day at a time My family is still on hold...counting the days until March 13th, the date for my dear son's first surgery in his battle with stage IV colon cancer after four months of miserable chemo. <BR> Here he is with my wonderful DIL, my sis who was visitinglast weekend from NV, and his adorable and obviously adoring daughter, Pearl, the youngest of his three wee ones. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> My amazing DIL will go on the very... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:41:07 EST Miss Pearl at three <img src=""> Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:14:19 EST As good news as we could expect My dear younger son, Patrick, father of my three sweet grandbabies, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer last September. <BR> He had just turned 46 and so had never had a colonoscopy. <BR> We have no family history of cancer of any kind. <BR> He has been undergoing somewhat grueling chemotherapy for four months. <BR> Today he and his wife, my wonderful, amazing, beautiful and smart daughter-in-law, Jean, went to Dana Farber in Boston for a full evaluation and presurgery testing and consul... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 22:26:47 EST Disappointing day My son and my wonderful daughter-in-law went to Boston and spent the night there to get to a 9a.m. appointment at Dana Farber this morning to do pre-op testing and plan the surgeries needed to continue his battle with advanced colon cancer (he has undergone four months of chemo). <BR> When they found out that Patrick had had a mild reaction to the dye usd in a previous scan (a few itchy hives), they sent him home with an Rx for a short round of prednisone. <BR> So they will go up there and do... Wed, 1 Feb 2017 20:52:05 EST Slow but steady So far so good in 2017 in my weight loss/health goals. <BR> It is not good walking weather and I will need to build back up to a decent walk after it warms up but I will, that I know. <em>521</em> <BR> I have two strikes against me right now... <BR> I quit my gym as we moved so much farther away from it, plus, I fell on my knees on moving day in early December and my right knee is still not right...waiting until Medicare kicks in February 1st to get it checked out....coincidentally the dat... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 11:40:31 EST Get in the water! I've said it before and I'll say it again... <BR> if you possibly can, get in some warm water and MOVE! <BR> <em>218</em> <BR> I wish I was in the Caribbean Sea water-walking for an hour every afternoon, after my one hour morning walk but that is no longer an option for me. <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> I live in New England and we have wonderful summers but October to April is not conducive to getting out for walks, etc. <BR> I have found a perfect solution for us...our local university (URI... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 18:48:00 EST This and that...and say YES to SP Premium! My sweet little grandkids are sleeping over tonight....this was the earliest they have ever all fallen 8:30...just perfect, as my dear man and I want to watch an important Patriots football game tonight. <BR> Their parents took a little overnight trip to Newport, which makes me very happy. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> My dear son is not feeling very well but he felt he could manage it...Newport is not too far at all and they were going for a couples' massage, out for a nice early di... Sat, 14 Jan 2017 21:57:25 EST Happily snowed in! We brought our three sweet grandchildren here for a sleepover allowing their mom to have a quick overnight respite with a friend on Block Island (she taught there for a few years a long time ago) and allow their dad, undergoing chemo, to have a restful evening and good night's sleep. <BR> The snow started about ten this morning and hasn't let up...just gorgeous...maybe 10-12 inches, hard to tell as it is drifting and still snowing. <BR> The big kids, Lucy and William, played outside happily f... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 21:29:55 EST I am worth it! Hahahaha...splurged the $29 for a lifetime of Premium SP. <BR> I am coming up on my 8th Sparkaversary next week and I have enjoyed it for free all these years...have learned so very much and made so many friends! <BR> And more importantly, I may have tried a lot of different approaches over these years but, because of SP I have stuck with it through thick and thin...LOL, <BR> My iPad is getting old and slow and I suspected (rightfully) that eliminating most of the ads would speed things up a... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 17:55:14 EST Premium SP? Happy New Year! <BR> Day ONE of a shiny new year. <BR> Make it a good one, as best you can. <BR> <em>411</em> <BR> At one point I was down 23 lbs for 2016 on LCHF but I strayed from the path, got hurt in a fall on moving day and then...well, you know how the story goes. <BR> So I am calling it a 20 lb loss for 2016 and I intend to do it all over again in 2017! <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> I have set up a little fitness area in my gorgeous new master bedroom and am committing to do 30 minute... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 09:20:17 EST Warm and wonderful Christmas holiday I cannot ever remember such a beautiful family day as we had yesterday. <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> Not sure if we just hit everyone at a happy time of their lives <BR> (certainly we are all appreciating each day as my dear son battles stage IV cancer), <BR> or the move to the new house made things more comfortable for a gathering of ten people, <BR> or the wee ones were very happy (still believers) and grateful for every little thing, <BR> or our delicious prime rib roast and all the fixings c... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 16:44:31 EST All is well! Hello, dear Sparkpeeps. <em>213</em> <BR> Here I sit, by the tiny Christmas tree decorated by my wee grandchildren, <BR> candles burning on my faux mantle (top of the tv cabinet), <BR> feeling satisfied with my life today, living in the moment as much as possible, <BR> no regrets about the past, no worries about the future...pointless wastes of my precious life energy. <em>414</em> <BR> I called my older sister today (the only one I am not that close to) to let her know I was thinki... Fri, 23 Dec 2016 20:55:53 EST Best possible news at this point! Just came from my dear son's chemo treatment center (5th round of what we thought would be 6 but will actually continue until his surgery in January or February) and the results of his first scan last week were very encouraging. <em>244</em> <BR> As he suspected (because of his diminishing abdominal pain) the tumors are shrinking. <BR> Also, there is no sign of any new ones. <BR> We are one very happy and grateful family! <BR> Thank you for your continued happy thoughts, good vibes and pra... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 16:30:27 EST 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