MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 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