MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Things didn't go as I planned We have been babysitting extra days lately for a few different reasons, and that will continue next week. <BR> Yesterday was our first full day off in a few and my dear man's cold is well enough that he was up for a swim at the warm water pool- had our day planned around that, and getting my nails done, after a quick bite out. <BR> Don't you know, the pool was closed as the university is on spring break! <em>46</em> <BR> They were open over xmas break so I thought they would be open on a m... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:07:15 EST New glasses Probably not a big deal to many folks, but to me, who wears glasses all day, every day and tries to get 3-4-5 years out of a pair, getting new eyeglasses is a big deal. <BR> I really do try to buy locally as much as possible, but after going to THREE local optical shops and not finding what I wanted, or finding what I wanted for $1400 or so (for a regular pair and a pair of sunglasses), I gave up and went to a chain, where I got both for about $700. <BR> Not crazy about them, but they meet my... Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:36:17 EST Top of the Morning to you! <link><BR>ardid=3121606&hdn=undefined&path=83556 </link> <BR> <BR> Darn...the link only goes to my subscriber's page! <BR> <BR> <em>137</em> <em>440</em> <em>441</em> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:10:54 EST The green monster Jealousy rears its ugly head around here at times. <em>234</em> <BR> I have a not-too-close local friend, a lovely woman in the next town, I had one of her daughters when I taught, and we are FB friends. <BR> She is a bit more well off than I, which I can handle, and can afford to do a lot with and for her three children and four grands, and lives in a pretty fabulous love, which I envy, too. <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> But, she also slowly over the years has put on a lot of weight and had a... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 09:38:18 EST Yahoooooooo!!! It's raining! <BR> I don't ever remember being so happy to see the rain fall. <BR> Just watched the weather forecast and we should be above freezing the next FIVE days! <BR> Our snowpack is finally receding and I WILL be taking sweet Pearl out for a walk in her stroller tomorrow. <BR> Can not wait! <BR> I saw a statistic online that we (here in RI) have had an average of 11 inches a week for the last six weeks! <BR> <em>244</em> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 21:06:09 EST Miss Pearl Pearl, almost 15 months, loves books but is already learning the hard lesson... <BR> So many books, so little time! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 3 Mar 2015 10:31:35 EST But wait...there's more! Snow, that is...just as things settle down, maybe a little melting on sunny days, here comes another 4-8 inches! <BR> Probably another day off from school, meaning school will last into the last week of June. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We live in a dear man is the treasurer...we have spent $12,000 for plowing in January alone! <BR> <BR> And here is Pearl, who is another late walker in our family (over 14 months and wil... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 17:14:34 EST Looking for book ideas My book group is meeting this week to discuss our latest book <BR> All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, <BR> an amazing book about a blind French girl and a young German man during WWII. <BR> Not an easy read by any means, but well worth the effort. <BR> <BR> I also just read <BR> Private Life by Jane Smiley <BR> (who wrote 1000 Acres, also a not-easy-but-amazing book), <BR> which came out about five years ago and is about a woman in MO at the beginning of the last century, nearly ... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 10:49:57 EST And once again! Our Newport friends (we live on the other side of Narragansett Bay-over two bridges) called to see if we could meet them for dinner. <em>198</em> <BR> There was a great winter deal at a good restaurant ending last night. <em>4</em> <BR> We hadn't seen them since before Christmas and had a lot of catching up to do. <BR> Out the door we went again! <BR> I shared a huge salad with my dear man (overdressed...why do they do that? We were so busy chatting I forgot to ask for it on the side) a... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 09:28:52 EST The good, the bad and the ugly Well, I am thrilled to have rejoined my original gym, which I left in 2009 in my efforts to get my DD into a lifelong habit of exercise by going to a smaller, closer gym. <BR> I left there last summer when my DD moved out of my house, <BR> into her very own first house, a few towns over, closer to her work, <BR> and she quit that gym. Also, their maintenance was sliding slowly into the unacceptable range. <em>40</em> <BR> So, the good is, I LOVE my gym and have gone most days since I joi... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:51:55 EST My very own funny Valentine Here we were in 1969 <BR> ~ahem~ <BR> shortly after marrying (at 16 and 19). <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here we were a couple of years back at our second home in the Caribbean. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Not that every day has been paradise, <BR> oh, no, no ,no... <BR> but every day he makes me laugh and every day I make him smile, <BR> ever since the day we met in 19... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 21:01:22 EST Return of the gym rat! Woo-hooooo! <BR> I am so happy! <BR> I let my gym membership go last summer when my dear man's health crisis was just beginning. <BR> I was not happy with the maintenance/cleanliness of my gym anyway, and I was unable to get there regularly. <BR> I was walking a lot at that point. <BR> Well, now he is all better and I am in the worst shape of my life. <BR> My weight hasn't changed much in a year but I am weak and flabby. <BR> Other than the warm water pool therapy I have been doing two or thr... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 21:05:14 EST Fun in the snow! We have had way more snow than usual this winter but we were able to take the kids out one warmish day and of course I grabbed my camera! <BR> <BR> Here's William, aged 4, who said he does not like gloves or mittens (gave in after about an hour outside). <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's Lucy, 5, building a snow wall with a beach pail. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Her... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 19:37:52 EST Blizzard! I am so very glad we filled the bird feeders yesterday...lots of action out there all day...can you see the beautiful Cardinal pair? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Our snow started very lightly yesterday afternoon and picked up overnight. <BR> We have about a foot so far <BR> ...hard to tell for sure as it's blowing so hard...but luckily the wind kept the dry snow from building up on the wires so we have not lost our power, altho... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:33:41 EST Update Just added an update to my previous blog...I sure hope it's true. <BR> <em>244</em> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:30:03 EST You are the best! Thnx for all of the great ideas about what to do with my 90 yr old FIL's new addiction to sweepstakes the tune of $1000, so far. <BR> This is a man who would never in his life buy even a lottery ticket! <BR> I have passed on your ideas to my dear man, who is not handling the situation well, IMHO, and not very open to my help. <BR> He will call our attorney, who is also his dad's of many years, and ask his advice. <BR> In the meantime, the money is pouring out the door. <BR> This i... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:42:12 EST Help! Elder care advice needed My FIL is 90, lives on his own with minimal help, but is getting more senile. <BR> He has started returning "sweepstakes" envelope and often encloses a check for processing or a filing fee, which is against the law, btw. <BR> We have shown him this in black and white from the Postmaster General but he won't hear it. <BR> He is convinced he has already won it just by doing a simple math problem. <BR> Totally scams! <BR> We cannot convince him otherwise. <BR> It started out slowly but now they ... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:01:41 EST Hahahahaha!?! To summarize?!? Sorry...just really noticed how looooooooooong my anniversary blog was! <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> I said I would summarize?!? <BR> Imagine if I gave you the long version! <BR> Well, it has been six years, after all...a lot can happen in all that time. <BR> Anyway, thank you so much for your patience and wonderfully kind comments. <BR> You are the reason I am still here after all of my ups and downs. <BR> <em>247</em> <BR> <em>285</em> <BR> <em>304</em> Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:20:13 EST Happy 6th Sparkaversary to me! Thank you for the kind notes and fun goodies, dear sparkpeeps! <em>304</em> <BR> I joined SP on 1/11/09 but, like many folks, was overwhelmed at first and didn't start tracking~ which means LOSING~ until 1/18- <BR> so today, 1/18, is a good day to reflect upon my experience. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I will try not to go into too much detail, but, to summarize- <BR> I have been a lifelong yo-yo dieter- <BR> doing every fad diet that came along- <BR> plus WW and Atkins for years- <BR... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 12:18:55 EST Just showing off! <em>244</em> So far I am ahead in the daily fitbit challenge thrown down by my nieces and their hubbies! <BR> Only because I got o at 6:30 to go babysit and then took Miss Pearl to the market for a few things. <BR> She was the hit of the store, let me tell you. <BR> <BR> Here she is before I gave her a bagel to munch on: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And after she got what she wanted: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 10:49:47 EST Taking those baby steps and doing it for me I am taking our friend, Chris the Spark Guy's advice and focusing on baby steps. <BR> I need to get moving more. <BR> For a lot of reasons; my dh's health crisis, the coming of winter, my hip pain, etc., I have been eating more and moving less. <BR> I go to a pool for an hour of warm water therapy with him (which is amazing for my hip bursitis, too) a few times a week but, for example, they were just closed for two weeks (it is at a nearby university), the holidays were busy, and I did nothin... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 09:40:38 EST Wishing all my sparkpeeps a wonderful 2015! Despite almost losing my dear husband this year, <em>40</em> <BR> I would not have wanted to miss one minute of 2014. <BR> It is the trials and tribulations of life (and I have had more than a few) that make the good times all the sweeter. <em>334</em> <BR> Watching my ittybitty grandbabies grow and become tiny little people this year (they are 5,4 and just turned 1) has given me more joy than one person deserves. <BR> May this new year mark a new beginning for all of us; a fresh start... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:36:47 EST Finally! The very last humongous family..although only about 75 showed up today...we rent a Girl Scout camp out well...Santa comes and each child gets one gift (that their family brings and hides for Santa to bring)...pot-luck. <BR> Everything works out very well. <BR> Except of course my camera froze up (it's fine now, all I did, when I got home, of course, was take the batteries out and put them back in) so I only have pics from my iPod touch, which doesn't take very good one... Sun, 28 Dec 2014 20:37:58 EST Merry merry Christmas! May you have a beautiful and peaceful holiday, my friends. <BR> <BR> Here's a pic of Lucy and William with just a few of their cousins at last year's big family after Christmas party (I have 13 siblings and oh-so-many nieces, nephews, and greats). <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>442</em> <em>443</em> <em>444</em> <em>446</em> <em>447</em> <em>425</em> <BR> Wed, 24 Dec 2014 16:49:37 EST My dear man says life is good! Out of the blue today, <BR> after we left our granddaughter Lucy's kindergarten winter musical program <BR> (see my new profile pic? ....that's Lucy at 7 months.) <BR> and while we were heading up for our third session this week in the warm water <BR> (90 degrees!) pool, my dear man, who survived a major medical crisis a few months ago, turned to me and said 'I think I am so fortunate...not just to have survived but to have you to spend my life with and be in a place where we can do all o... Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:51:31 EST Christmas projects We decorated gingerbread boys yesterday. <BR> Can you tell which one Lucy did and which one William did? <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:26:21 EST Need I say more? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> NINE days until Christmas.... <BR> But who's counting? <BR> <BR> <em>442</em> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:29:52 EST Can't help myself <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am one besotted Grammy! <BR> Pearl loves to play in our toy kitchen area. <BR> <BR> Both my hips are killing me but I went to another of those 90 minute restorative yoga classes tonight so I am feeling a bit better now. <BR> Taking my dear man to the warm water pool ... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 22:28:41 EST Miss Pearl Grace is one today! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Pearl is an amazing, active, curious, LOUD (3rd child in a very verbal family), beautiful child who is almost ready to let go of the furniture and walk (maybe today, wouldn't that be cool?). <BR> She has a strong personality and quite the tiny temper but I could just eat her up. <BR> She is a snuggle bunny and loves to play little games and laughs constantly. <BR> You should hear her try to say William and L... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 09:21:09 EST Living positively Just read a great SP article about stating one's goals in positive ways <BR> (I know, we've probably read that a hundred times... but this time I really got it!). <BR> Even my SP page (entitled 'I will never ever ever give up') seemed a bit negative when i thought about it. <BR> Hence the change. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I took another Svaroopa yoga class last evening- <BR> stretching and holding restorative and healing postures for long periods- <BR> 90 minutes of pure bliss! <BR> ... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:15:22 EST RIP, dear Betty I know I have written before about my neighbor and dear friend, Betty. <BR> She was one of a kind, that's for sure! <BR> She almost made it to her 93rd birthday but died in her sleep while visiting her daughter for Thanksgiving last week. <BR> Her hubby was my very first elder client 8 years ago...her out of state kids hired me to sit with him to give her a little respite during what turned out to be just the last few months of his life. <BR> We became fast friends after that as she learned t... Sun, 7 Dec 2014 22:22:19 EST Our tiny gingerbread houses Lucy had no school today so I took a bonus day with my three wonderful grandchildren. <em>244</em> <BR> I invited my great-neice, Sophia, whom I used to babysit for a few days a week (until Pearl came along and it would have just been too much for me) to come over as well, and we made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and candy. <BR> Lots of candy. <em>40</em> <BR> So much for getting my house cleaned yesterday! <em>198</em> <BR> No really, we kept it pretty much under control... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 18:21:17 EST Christmas baskets I have done this for years...very easy but messy...a fun creative outlet and a perfect casual gift for friends and relatives, esp. those who have enough stuff already. <BR> Take any old basket or container, <BR> line it with plastic (I save up big yogurt , ice cream, take-out containers), <BR> buy floral Oasis (sold in all florists or craft shops...don't buy the dry kind), <BR> collect a variety of evergreens, <BR> arrange in foam, <BR> add bows and sparkly do-dads, pine cones, etc, <BR> ... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:16:27 EST Had a wonderful Thanksgiving day! Ok, the white meat on the turkey was a tiny bit dry (I don't much like the white meat for that very reason) but nothing a little cranberry sauce or delicious gravy wouldn't fix. <em>428</em> <BR> <BR> I'm so glad we went to all the trouble of getting my 90 yr old cranky FIL over here as he now lives alone and i am quite sure this will be his last Thanksgiving. <BR> See him watching my son read to Lucy (the old guy is fairly deaf): <BR> <img src=" Sat, 29 Nov 2014 09:55:33 EST We have so much to be thankful for! Here was my dear man, hubby of 46 years, six weeks ago, towards the end of his battle with three different infections in his body, two in his brain...he did not know who I was for a while, was unable to speak or even eat. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And when he was discharged at the end of acute rehab (41 days in the hospital) <BR> This was almost 4 weeks ago. <BR> <img src=""> <B... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 09:22:33 EST William is four today! Lucy's little brother and Pearl's big brother is four today. <BR> He is such a unique little man...very smart and inquisitive...Loves books and anything with wheels. <BR> He has a wonderful imagination and loves to play pretend games. <BR> He is good at amusing himself but adores playing with his Papa and missed him so very much when Papa was in the hospital so long. <BR> Will was a cranky baby and had (still has, some days) some painful intestinal problem that his doc says will sort itself ... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:23:42 EST Aaaaahhhhhhh! My massage today was divine! <em>334</em> <BR> Just what I needed right now. <BR> My therapist is just a doll and gives an amazing massage. <BR> I have gone to her off and on for 15 years or more...less since I retired (no $!). <BR> She took a good long time working me over, especially my hips, and gave me lots of advice of things to try. <BR> Since retiring, as my income declined, I tried at least 5 or 6 different massage places using Groupon but no-one compares to Angela, and I told her ... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:53:32 EST All is well! Things are going even better than we had been told to expect. <em>104</em> <BR> David is still weak and tired and too skinny (has hardly gained any muscle mass) but his cognition is almost back to normal. <em>58</em> <BR> He is reading his brain is hungry...sometimes a book a day! <BR> Lots of people sent books over when they heard he was sick, not knowing he was unable to read for a long period. <BR> I let him drive (with me in the car) a few short distances (we liv... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:40:57 EST Aaaauuurrrgh! TWICE I composed a long, literate, heartfelt, meaningful blog and <BR> POOF!!! <BR> They disappeared from my iPad (never had my iPad freeze up before). <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> So, I shall try a third time to let you know that my dear man has been doing so very well recovering from his major health crisis of these last few months. <BR> <BR> Mentally, he is doing grrrreat- his vision, hearing and focus have all improved-he is able to read and write again and actually has poked around on his... Mon, 10 Nov 2014 21:16:03 EST Strange appointment Just returned from DH's post-op appt with the neurosurgeon (postponed for a month as my dear man spent 41 days in the hospital with serious complications. <BR> His doctor acted sort of distant or something. <BR> He usually is warm and welcoming and he and my hubby really hit it off. <BR> Today? <BR> Stand-off-ish. <BR> I wonder if he is afraid we are going to sue him. <BR> Although, my hubby was talking too much, still some brain issues going on, actually interrupted the doc at a few points.... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:26:28 EST Wednesday, 10/29, day 1 My dear man is doing so very well, <BR> waaaay better than anyone expected, <BR> BUT, <BR> we have both been through a major life-changing event, <BR> and, so, there will be an adjustment period. <BR> We are keeping the lines of communication open, <BR> acknowledging our love for each other , <BR> and living in gratitude and appreciation for each moment of every day. <BR> It's not as easy as it sounds. <BR> We are very different people and have had very different experiences. <BR> <em>334</... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:28:12 EST All good with my dear man! You all know I am an incurable optimist but I am not the only one blown away by my husband's rate of recovery this past week. <em>244</em> <BR> He has been in the hospital 37 days as of today, after serious life-threatening complications (3 different infections, including 2 in his spinal fluid and brain and also the dreaded c-diff) following a simple outpatient surgery on his back in early September. <em>40</em> <BR> A little over a week ago he could barely walk with a walker and was so... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:39:44 EST The caregiver's dilemma I have been overseeing the care of my dear husband for most of the 34 days he has been hospitalized from serious complications following a routine outpatient back surgery (3 different infections, including two in his brain). <BR> I am ecstatic that he has been in an inpatient-acute rehab unit for a week now and making good progress, physically and mentally. <BR> I am trying to step away at this point and give him ownership of his own rehabilitation (so far, so good). <BR> He is truly on the m... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:01:56 EST Great day! My dear man had a great day today- <BR> his 31st day in hospital- <BR> now in an acute rehab unit- <BR> bright eyed and clear thinking (relatively speaking)- <BR> tired but eager to work on his recovery. <BR> His mood was very stable and his walk was fairly steady (with a walker). <BR> His speech was soft but fairly clear. <BR> I know I should not let his state of recovery rule my mood and life but <BR> OH WOW! <BR> This was an amazing day. <BR> Plus, we met a new doctor (a hospitalist) who ... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 20:24:35 EST I am beyond sad I was warned that my dear man's recovery from the spinal bacterial infection, plus two other infections and encephalitis would be slow and long with peaks and valleys but after about a month now he seemed to be slowly improving, enough so that he could move to another hospital for 2-4 weeks of acute rehab. <BR> David is still very flat emotionally but expressed happiness about the move. <BR> He has not been sleeping well at all (like barely) and that is hindering his progress. <BR> When they ... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:37:07 EST Better and better each day My dear man is slowly recovering from a major medical crisis. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> On Saturday he could only say single garbled words. <BR> On Sunday he could speak short sentences, not always making sense. <BR> On Monday he could string more words together with more meaning (he slowly asked me if I was paying the bills on time-usually his job) and was getting his needs met. <BR> Today he was speaking much more and more clearly but as he comes out of the fog he is much more agitated, im... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 23:01:12 EST