MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Postmodern Jukebox Most people have heard that wonderful song ‘It’s All about the Base’ <BR> <BR> (Shoot! Can’t copy the link on my iPad... google it or go to YouTube) <BR> 😟 <BR> Anyway, they started out as a few music student in NY in Scott Bradlee’s basement (the early videos are so amateurish) and they posted a new video on YouTube every week for a few years as the group grew and they got better and better. <BR> They do variations of other artists songs in unique ways, with great costumes, settings and ev... Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:36:52 EST I’m baaaaaaaaack! Wow, nothing like a good storm and losing power for a few days to show us how dependent we are on our devices! <em>40</em> <BR> It was some rain but mostly wind that tore into New England on Sunday night, knocking down trees and bringing down wires, stealing power from thousands of people. <BR> We live out in the middle of nowhere so it took until 4 this morning for those amazing linemen to get us back up (2 1/2 days). <em>304</em> <BR> We are so fortunate to have a generator in our ga... Wed, 1 Nov 2017 17:31:48 EST Aaahhhhh...a good night’s sleep Last night at my wonderful book group get-together, <BR> which I hosted for the first time in several years due to family illnesses and selling two homes and then moving, someone brought up the topic of sleep, 💤😴💤 <BR> which it seems like every single one of us struggles with (all young grandmother age).😕 <BR> Seems like we all follow the ‘good sleep hygeine rules’ of bathing, soothing tea or warm milk, dark cool room, no screens, etc. but still we are struggling to fall asleep or to stay... Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:47:19 EST Hip-hip-hooray! When we upsized back to a house from our condo with a pool, which I loved, part of the deal was that we would get a hot tub. <BR> Took a while but here it is! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Isn’t she a beauty? <BR> We spent a half hour in there after dinner and it was heavenly! <BR> The chemicals are a bit high because we just filled it today and I have to fiddle with all that but I think we are going to love it. <BR> Th... Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:47:30 EST Wooo-hooooo! My dear man and I have built the base for our new hot tub, to be delivered on Monday. <BR> Didn’t we do a good job? <BR> <img src="">. <BR> We also had to create a landing at the bottom of the deck stairs (the bluestone). <BR> Still not sure if my hubby was punishing me for wanting a hot tub or he just wanted to do a project or if he just wanted the excuse to buy a bunch of new tools (one never knows when one may n... Thu, 12 Oct 2017 21:32:23 EST Oh, my...looking at the big, please!?! I was looking to freshen up my SP page... <BR> scrolled down and all around and found a summary of my weight loss journey. <BR> If I hadn’t seen it in my own eyes, <BR> on my own page, <BR> in my own writing, <BR> I wouldn’t have believed it. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> Briefly, I joined in 1/2009 after 30 years of yo-yo-ing my way up to 195 lbs (I am 5’3ish) and lost almost 30lbs pronto, <em>9</em> <BR> due to consistency, SP support and increased exercise (I always was a gym rat). <BR... Mon, 9 Oct 2017 09:41:56 EST Another update Things are slowly coming along on Anguilla in recovering from the devastating hurricane Irma. <BR> The Brits finally arrived, six days later! with some men and equipment to start rebuilding, although still no relief supplies for the people since the desalination ship arrived a few days ago. <BR> They need construction supplies, plywood, tools, gasoline, not to mention food and water! <BR> Anyway, one of the grocery stores reopened quickly as they had a generator for their frozen goods and onl... Wed, 13 Sep 2017 09:53:20 EST Anguilla-Irma update My beloved Caribbean island of Anguilla has suffered catastrophic damage from Irma. <BR> Anguilla is 10 miles across the sea from St. Martin, which has been all over the news for the devastation there. <BR> Thousands of people live on these two islands and they have been without water and electricity for almost a week now. <BR> There are also thousands of tourists who are stranded there (on St. M). <BR> The US, British, French, Canadian, and Dutch governments are sending relief ships there as... Mon, 11 Sep 2017 21:33:29 EST My heart aches... Hurricane Irma, category 5, the strongest hurricane ever recorded, is heading almost directly to the beautiful island of Anguilla, where I have spent many happy times for over 20 years. <BR> 😓 <BR> In fact, we just sold our second home there, Jasmine Villa, this last November. <BR> One meteorologist said those Leeward islands may be decimated. <BR> My heart actually hurts when I think about all the wonderful people I know who live there and are facing this horrendous storm. <BR> Here are a... Tue, 5 Sep 2017 20:40:07 EST Monarch butterfly time! Every year my grandkids and I search for milkweed and look for little caterpillars to bring home to observe for a few weeks as they go through their life cycle into adult Monarch butterflies. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> It is a wonderful science activity that I did for years with my third grade students to introduce them to life science, the life cycle, and to talk about environmental issues, like pesticide use and clim... Fri, 1 Sep 2017 19:49:27 EST Need a smile? Here is Miss Pearl at the beach. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Mon, 28 Aug 2017 14:12:28 EST FORTY NINE YEARS! Then (we were teenagers): <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And now, 49 years later: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And still having fun! <BR> ❤️ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 11:24:11 EST William Jack Let us not neglect my sweet William...a smart, funny and quiet boy who loves his Papa to the moon and loves me well enough.❤️ <BR> He doesn't get as much attention as he should because Lucy has always been in charge of the world and Miss Pearl is ...well, Miss Pearl! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Will is going through a hard time right to be some sort of delayed reaction to the family stress, I he... Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:35:46 EST Lucy and her gang My oldest granddaughter, Lucy, rocked our world when she was born 8 years ago. <BR> Then she was followed by William the next year, and Pearl a few years later. <BR> Quite the motley crew...all smart and beautiful and funny and, oh, my, so energetic! <BR> Lucy is most definitely the leader of this gang! <BR> <BR> I always start a photo session with goofy faces: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Then pretty faces:... Wed, 9 Aug 2017 09:31:54 EST Lesson learned and relearned First of all, my dear man and I had a wonderful much-needed vacation this past week on the beautiful island of Anguilla which we have been visiting for well over 20 years and love it so much we even built a home there in 2003 (sold last year). <BR> It was quite warm but always breezy and delightful. <BR> The bedroom had a/c and the mattress was divine! <BR> The ocean is so warm (a few teeny jellyfish larva stings...about like a mosquito bite). <BR> I had the best snorkeling in some years..saw... Sat, 5 Aug 2017 10:06:18 EST Happy me I am learning how to take a panoramique photo. <BR> Can you see the difference? <BR> It comes in handy sometimes. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, breakfast, beach, swim, lunch, beach, swim, nap, beach, happy hour, sunset, dinner, unwind on the front porch and enjoy the breeze. <BR> Get the picture? <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src="htt... Sat, 29 Jul 2017 08:46:46 EST We made it! Well, it's no Jasmine Villa but this is fine and dandy! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is Carimar...a small property right on the beach where our travels to Anguilla began some twenty years ago (before we built the villa). <BR> It is old, basic, but they have updated a bit, most importantly (to us) added a/c in the bedrooms and there is an a king size bed with a wonderful mattress. <BR> <BR> And there is this: ... Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:13:33 EST Miami sunset Had a pretty easy travel day yesterday.... <BR> Good thing as my dear man's back is not well and last week we were not sure we would be able to take this vacation at all. <BR> We took the train to Boston then flew to Miami. <BR> We pack very lightly and sit in business, which is much much more comfortable. <BR> We arrived in time for me to get a nice pool workout ...he would not come, although I knew he would have felt better if he had. <BR> We were able to find a decent Cuban restaurant with... Wed, 26 Jul 2017 08:35:09 EST All is well! My dear man and I are heading down to Anguilla (the quiet and beautiful island near St Martin in the Caribbean where we owned our second home until this past November) in two more days. <BR> <em>47</em> <BR> Yes...Our Farewell Tour! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> We will be going to the condos on the beach where our journey there began 20 years ago. <BR> <em>298</em> <BR> We will say good-bye to the folks we have come to know down there, friends and former employees, our property manager,... Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:49:56 EST I am ALL that! I am inordinately proud of myself for walking for over two hours today (almost 12k steps, just under 5 miles for me), although it was almost by accident. <BR> I brought my car in for an oil change to the place I usually use (and trust) near my old house and planned on visiting a few old neighbors and going for a walk while waiting for my car but none of my old friends were available for a visit so I just walked. <BR> And walked. <BR> And walked. <BR> My longest walk in a looooong time! <BR> T... Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:23:27 EST Better and better! My son is nine days post-op today, home after six days in the hospital after life saving and life changing surgery. <BR> Every day he is feeling better and doing more. <BR> Thank you, visiting nurses!!! <BR> Yesterday he got his first shower and shave and that did so much for his morale. <BR> He cannot sit up for two weeks but he can lay on the couch, stand and walk short distances. <BR> We put one of the tiny kiddy chairs next to him and his wee ones take turns 'visiting him'. <BR> It is so ... Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:03:47 EST One day at a time My dear son, Patrick, is home, where he will continue to recuperate from his major surgery. <BR> The latest scan shows no cancer anywhere in his body. <BR> (He lost several body parts to get to this goal.) <BR> What more can we ask for? <BR> <em>38</em> <BR> I saw him last night and again today. <BR> He is exhausted, managing his pain as per his doctor's orders (still suffering, of course) but so happy to be in his own home with his beloved family. <BR> We kept the kids here last night, h... Mon, 10 Jul 2017 19:21:57 EST Good news After a tough first few days, my son has had a few good ones and has been eating more and walking a bit more. <BR> Jean said he is like a new man this morning and is off several meds. <BR> If a few technical medical issues resolve in the next 24 hours, he may go home tomorrow afternoon. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>334</em> <em>345</em> Sat, 8 Jul 2017 12:35:57 EST Much better, thank you! Patrick had a much better day yesterday, getting up for a few short walks and one longer one, getting adequate pain and nausea medication management. <BR> He still has a long road ahead of him but he knows it will only get easier from now on. <BR> The worst is over. <BR> He is pushing to get home tomorrow or Sunday. <BR> I hope not, to tell the truth, as his wife is spread thin with three young demanding children and they have a tiny one bathroom house. <BR> The little one often crawls into ... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 07:49:12 EST A difficult day Oh. My. Goodness. <BR> That was so hard. <BR> My son was in such pain when we got up to the hospital in Boston to visit him late this morning. <BR> He cried talking about his pain, which made him start coughing, which caused awful pain,which made him vomit, which caused more pain... <BR> He kept apologizing! <BR> They had taken him off his IV pain meds (he said the doc explained why that was a good idea but he could not really remember the explanation) a few hours earlier and he was sufferi... Wed, 5 Jul 2017 21:42:36 EST Three more days I know it is a cliche, but I am in awe of my son's grace and bravery in the face of his battle with stage four colon cancer. <BR> He has already undergone months of chemo and then lost half his liver, then radiation and now will have surgery on Monday to lose his entire colon. <BR> There is no other way to possible to save his life. <BR> He is just 46 and has three small children who he wants to see grow up. <BR> He is dreading the surgery, the hospitalization, the recuperation, and the life ... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:53:17 EST Another dreaded countdown My son Patrick's next surgery, the big one (see previous blogs), will be in ten days.😕 <BR> We all understand that this surgery is life-saving and there is no avoiding it. <BR> That does not make it any less scary and life altering (losing his entire colon permanently) for all of us...especially Pat and my amazing DIL, Jean, who will live with those changes forever. <BR> He is getting truly scared of the actual ordeal and the long recovery period. <em>40</em> <BR> He goes to Dana Farber, ... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:46:53 EST Hahahahaha! Funny story! <BR> Today was a busy family day... <BR> it definitely took a village! <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> My dear man took number one son to the airport for a quick trip home (he lives in FL but works in RI in the summer) so we could use his pick-up for a few days. <BR> My wonderful DIL took a day off from teaching. <BR> We all met up at ten at the elementary school for William's end-of-year K concert. <BR> (Got some nice family pics afterwards but they are on my good camera.) <BR> The ki... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:34:44 EST More heartache for my family As always, I am trying to stay grounded and positive but now we have more to worry about <BR> 😕 <BR> My sweet grandchild Lucy, 8, has been having some strange spells lately...spacing out and then speaking gibberish...then coming out of it gasping for air and confused. <BR> An EEG shows abnormalities on the left temporal lobe. <BR> Complex partial seizures. <BR> Epilepsy. <BR> She will have an MRI next week to confirm and rule out anything else (can't even think about that). <BR> <img src="h... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 17:29:39 EST Kids' b-day party My niece has just one daughter and she goes somewhat over the top every year for her birthday party. <BR> Today Sophia, whom I adore, turned 7. <BR> 🎂 <BR> They invited all of her first grade classmates, <BR> plus her many cousins...probably 30 kids altogether, <BR> and then many of the parents stayed. <BR> Luckily, the weather was fine and they have a nice big yard. <BR> There was a trampoline, a nice jungle gym, a big swinging bench, a fire pit, lawn games, two hammocks, tons of food, cup... Sat, 3 Jun 2017 21:41:30 EST Lucy's First Communion What a lovely event. <BR> I am not a believer but the service was so nice, with a young vivacious priest in a church right next door to a university campus. <BR> Lucy took it seriously and was nervous but very happy. <BR> All her family was there and then we had a nice get together at her other grandmother's nearby house. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> *Doesn't my son look great? He had been out for a boat ride the d... Mon, 22 May 2017 13:53:33 EST Just love flowers! Any flowers. <BR> Any time. <BR> Inside or out. <BR> I started buying myself fresh flowers many years ago...probably about when supermarkets started carrying them so cheaply (long before the buy local movement). <BR> But I guess I fell in love with flowers long before that. <BR> I used to get in trouble as a child picking our neighbors' flowers to bring home to momma. <BR> I worked at a florist for five years, all through college. <BR> Here are some lilacs I found on the side of the road (lit... Sat, 20 May 2017 13:56:39 EST Happy 8th birthday to our first grandchild, Lucy! Boy, did this little baby girl change the lives of so many people...she has no idea! <BR> Here she is with her beloved Daddy. <BR> They even look alike! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today she is a smart and curious 2nd grader who reads and writes beautifully, loves science and is a happy, sunny, funny girl (suffering a bit through these hard times in our family, but getting help for it) and the most amazingly mate... Mon, 15 May 2017 09:29:26 EST So far, so ok... My son finished five days of the targeted radiation of his colon cancers on Wednesday. <BR> He felt well enough to drive himself to Boston (almost two hours, or more, depending on traffic) and, in fact, was happy to have a reason to get out of the house...he has been housebound so long! <BR> His mood is better, but still some cranky periods. <BR> I talked to him about the kids actually complaining to us about it and he poo-poohed it as daddy is mean if he 'yells' at them to pick up their to... Fri, 12 May 2017 09:05:03 EST Life goes on I was nervous about going for my annual physical the other day but my doctor was thrilled that I have not regained any of the 20+ lbs I lost last year (haven't lost any more, either..well, bounced up a few over the holidays but lost them in January). <BR> She was very supportive of the stress I am under with my family situation <BR> All of my lab walk was solidly in the average range. <BR> My total cholesterol has been creeping up these last ten years (I am 65) but she said that is of no conc... Sat, 6 May 2017 21:56:00 EST Things I am doing right Eating mindfully. <BR> Eating less. <BR> Reducing carbs (my preferred and previously successful WOE). <BR> Moving more (walking, rejoined the Y, exercising in the pool, PT exercises). <BR> Getting to bed earlier (so, reading more...yay!) <BR> Meditating more. <BR> Worrying less. <BR> Nipping negative thoughts in the bud. <BR> Looking for the positive things in my life daily. <BR> Being patient and forgiving of my dear man. <BR> Keeping my new house neat and tidy (reduces my stress). <BR> Taki... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:03:01 EST Moving forward My son is in Boston today to begin preparing for his next surgery, which will happen at the end of May. He felt well enough to get himself there (almost two hours away) and to go it alone. <BR> Patrick and his wife, my wonderful DIL, went up there (The Dana Farber Institute) last week for his six week post-surgery check-up and to start the planning process for the next stage in his battle with stage IV colon cancer. <BR> His docs were very happy with his recovery so far (he lost the larger of... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:15:35 EST Need I say more? <img src=""> <BR> Here she is. <BR> Our sweet little adorable first granddaughter, Lucy. <BR> Many of my long time sparkpeeeps have 'known' her since she was born and through many of her big life events (she'll be EIGHT next month). <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:50:47 EST Happy Easter! My dear man and I are feeling better each day, but, oh, my, how weakened we are after just a month or so of illness! <em>40</em> <BR> He gets short of breath so easily as his pneumonia is gone but acute bronchitis is just now resolving. <BR> The spasm in my back is settling down and I am working on my range of motion, and of course, building up my energy level. <BR> We did go to the warm water pool for 45 minutes in the morning! Wooo-hooo! <BR> He got out in the yard yesterday's beautiful... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 08:26:10 EST All is well Seriously. <BR> My life, just like yours, is full of amazing, soul-enriching, wonderful people and experiences. <BR> Except when it's not. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> Some days are full of joy and belly-splitting laughs. <BR> Some days I am fighting tears. <BR> Right now, my family is going through an unbelievably difficult time. <BR> I try to live each day, each moment, as aware and fully in the moment as I can. <BR> There are lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles and declarations of love every... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:15:54 EST Who, ME? An emotional eater? Hahahahaha...I have never thought of myself as an emotional eater, never binged, don't sneak food, never eat in my car or after dinner, or when upset or sad or mad... <BR> Those things are just not part of my coping strategies repertoire. <BR> <em>43</em> <BR> (Don't ask me about drinking alcohol....that, I must admit, is in my behavioral repertoire.) <BR> <BR> So, I have been very surprised to see myself turning more and more to comfort foods lately...cookies or toast with jam with my t... Mon, 3 Apr 2017 17:24:41 EST Just getting by... Finally went to the doctor yesterday after nine days of coughing, hacking, fatigue, sinus pain, etc. <BR> I knew it was too much to be a cold but had no fever so waited it out with tons of tea and honey lemon drops and rest. <BR> Meanwhile, my dear man has been on three rounds of antibiotics in the past six weeks for bacterial pneumonia so he has been coughing his germs out all over the house. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> My doc said it appears to be a sinus infection and I started my own anti... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:40:49 EST Updated and the beastly patient As if my wonderful DIL doesn't have enough on her plate right now, my son is being cranky and highly irritable... to her especially. <BR> Cranky when she tries to get him out of bed (he should do some walking every day). <BR> Cranky when she sends the kids in to say good morning/night or good-bye for the day. <BR> Cranky when she gets his meds ready and makes him get up to get them, esp. the daily self-injection prescribed to prevent deadly blood clots.👿 <BR> Not to excuse that crap, and I t... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:37:33 EST Update When I traveled to Dana Farber in Boston (only an hour and a half away but it took me THREE and a half to get home in Friday night-St. Patrick's Day traffic) I was saddened to see how my dear son was sttill suffering four days after his surgery (lost the larger lobe of his liver to cancer). They had originally spoke of him going home on Saturday but his nurse said probably not due to his so many ongoing issues. <em>39</em> <BR> Well, apparently he had a great rally overnight as they sent h... Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:59:00 EST As good as we could have asked for!!! My son's surgery (lost half his liver to colon cancer that has spread) went well. <BR> The docs saw no spread of the cancer to the remaining part (the smaller lobe) of his liver. <BR> He will be in the hospital (Dana Farber) until Saturday, then at home for 6-8 weeks recuperating and undergoing more chemo. <BR> Then he will undergo a second surgery to remove his entire colon. <BR> All this we hope will save his life. <BR> He woke up yesterday asking for a large Italian t... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:08:49 EST A nervous wreck How dare I feel so scared and nervous about my dear son's surgery tomorrow when he is facing this with such strength and dignity? <BR> His docs are doing all they can to keep him alive to raise his family. <BR> I cannot stop moving, tearing up, nibbling, and now (evening) drinking. <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> On top of everything, my dear man, who has been sick and getting sicker despite two rounds of anti-biotics and two trips to his incompetent primary care physician, has developed pneumonia.... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 20:01:44 EST Self-care or self-sabotage? Not sure if I am <BR> rocking myself in the cradle of loving kindness through a difficult time in my family's life <BR> OR <BR> sabotaging my own success with a bout of self-pity. <BR> <em>40</em> <em>38</em> <em>198</em> <BR> I hadn't checked a BMI calculator in a few months so I did and <BR> I AM NO LONGER OBESE...JUST overweight! <em>15</em> <em>9</em> <em>224</em> <BR> I am very happy about that...I have found a way of eating that works for me, <BR> slowly but surel... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:48:06 EST Five day countdown My dear son's pre-surgery testing went well and he is still scheduled for surgery to remove the larger lobe of his liver in hopes of stopping the spread of his advanced colon cancer <BR> (see previous blogs) next Monday, the 13th at the Dana Farber Center in Boston. <BR> My wonderful DIL is taking four weeks off from her middle school teaching job to help her beloved husband through this stressful life changing time and focus on their family. <BR> Patrick will lose his entire colon few months... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 21:05:00 EST Hotter shoes...from the U.K...good shoes? A beautiful catalog came in my Sunday NYTimes....never heard of this brand but the new customer prices are tempting. <BR> I am looking for a few pairs of casual shoes. <BR> The reviews online are not great but people tend to complain on those sites and not bother when they are satisfied with a product. <BR> Any of my sparkfriends have experience with Hotter? <BR> Seems like they used to be for older folks but they are trying to reach a broader customer base with better styling. <BR> Feedbac... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 08:26:15 EST Another pic of me and my sisters, out walking <img src=""> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:54:17 EST