NELLJONES's SparkPeople Blog NELLJONES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Thanksgiving Day I'm taking a break. I am the cook, there will be 17 of us: Mom, my brother, one of his sons, my sister, her son, her husband, three of my sons, two with wives and kids, my husband and me. It's a fairly small house with a small kitchen, but I still manage the feast: <BR> <BR> Brined turkey <BR> Ham <BR> Dressing (not in the turkey) <BR> Gravy <BR> Mashed potatoes with pomegranate seeds <BR> Cranberry relish <BR> Spicy black gram <BR> Curried cauliflower <BR> <BR> Apple and pecan pie <BR> ... Thu, 23 Nov 2017 13:29:59 EST My father died 16 years ago today I remember it like it was yesterday. I don't know how it happened, but all three of us kids were there with Mom that day, the old family of 5 we grew up with. He died on 11/11. We all thought that was God's will, the house we grew up in and that we all loved was at 1111 Faun Road. <BR> <BR> Dad had been praying for death for months. He had been mutilated by a surgeon. He had mouth cancer, and a surgeon in Philadelphia promised my mother that a "new type of surgery" would cure him. It w... Sat, 11 Nov 2017 12:13:28 EST My friend is dying. I hear yesterday. She is 73 years old and still working because she says she can't afford to retire. She has had to bail her husband out of major debt twice, and they are both still working to have enough money to retire. Her biggest fear in life was that he would outlive her and spend everything she worked so hard for on his children at the expense of hers. She has a lawyer who set up as tight a trust as possible to keep her money separate from his, her husband doesn't even know about it.... Wed, 6 Sep 2017 05:30:07 EST But those pictures look so GOOD! I got the flyer for promotions at Sam's Club, and the cover photo looked so colorful, so festive! It was a picnic with all the food you can buy at Sam's. <BR> <BR> Upon closer examination, I couldn't eat any of it, or at least not at the same picnic. I saw chips (can't have them), hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and I can't have them at the same time. My picnic wouldn't look that good in any case, with my plastic containers instead of the pretty plates and bowls in the shot. <BR> <BR>... Fri, 25 Aug 2017 09:23:04 EST I moved to this town 42 years ago today. When we moved here, I was 26, and my kids were 5, 3 1/2 and 6 months. They are long married with kids of their own now. <BR> <BR> And I am now one of those old-timers who "remembers when". <BR> <BR> I remember when there was only one road in and out, and there was only one traffic light in the whole town. I remember when the only neon sign was one that said "Singer", on a building that is long gone. I remember when Lawyer's Road had a ford at the bottom, and when Route 7 used to flood in... Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:03:05 EST I'm 68 Years Old Today Where did the years go? June is a wonderful month for a birthday, the long warm days make it extra special. <BR> <BR> I had a peaceful, ordinary day. My husband remembered when his son reminded him, my mother hasn't mentioned it. She has dementia, though, and doesn't remember much. I talked to all my boys on the phone, so it was a good day. <BR> <BR> Anyway, another birthday has passed with the same sweet nostalgia I feel every year. Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:24:09 EST Choices Choices! I am making my usual weekly meal plan, using my friends, my many WW cookbooks. I am amazed at the number of dessert recipes in WW cookbooks. I haven't made very many of them over the years. <BR> <BR> Now that I am at goal, you'd think I can now add the desserts back in. But I hesitate to re-activate a desire that with a lot of work I managed to extinguish. <BR> <BR> The savory recipes call for low fat ingredients, of course, that's the whole point. Now that I am at goal, I am choosing ... Sun, 2 Apr 2017 10:48:46 EST Today I have 40 Years of Continuous Sobriety 40 years!! I am amazed myself. It has only been possible by the Grace of a loving God, and the support of an amazing fellowship. <BR> <BR> I had lost my weight on WW 6 years before, so you'd think I understood something about addiction, but I didn't. People compare food addiction to alcohol addiction, and there are many similarities, but the support needed to overcome each one is different. I know many people in both AA and OA, but most started in AA then went to OA. I did it the othe... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 09:01:03 EST Stabbing Over French Fries?? It seems that a woman in England was so upset that her boyfriend ate all the french fries, that she got a knife, slapped him, then stabbed him in the shoulder. The boyfriend is OK, fortunately. It happened at a friend's house, so I guess they couldn't get another order. <BR> <BR> I understand being upset, I've been there before myself. But to stab someone over FRENCH FRIES??? Alcohol must have been involved. <BR> <BR> She was sentenced to 26 weeks in jail. At least in jail whatever the... Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:05:58 EST Merry Christmas!! Today is the day toward which we have been working so hard!! <BR> <BR> May we all have the Best Christmas Day Ever!! Sun, 25 Dec 2016 09:33:12 EST Crappy Bonus Points are Depressing! I shouldn't start my day with spinning for points on Spark. Of all the stupid things that get me down, it's crappy points. Which falls squarely in the category of Things I Can Do Nothing About. <BR> <BR> Let's see if I can counterbalance the low spins with a productive day. Mon, 5 Dec 2016 05:32:49 EST Happy Thanksgiving To You All!! It's just one turkey dinner! I can do this!! <BR> <BR> With a Redskins game for dessert, though I fear that won't turn out as well as the dinner. <BR> <BR> A great, happy day to you all!! Thu, 24 Nov 2016 08:52:37 EST My Father Died 15 years Ago Today. He died on 11/11, Veteran's Day, 2001. I remember at the funeral home, I was with Mom and my brother, and when the man asked the date of death, we said "11/11", which was the street address of the house we kids grew up in. It seemed an omen. <BR> <BR> The last 11 months of his life were a horror for him: he had had mouth surgery (I'd still like to kill the surgeon who practiced on him) so couldn't eat, drink or talk. He was in terrible, unremitting pain for all 11 months after that surge... Fri, 11 Nov 2016 17:40:28 EST Would YOU Like To Be Queen For A Day! Does anyone remember that TV show? Women would talk about the financial and emotional trials in their lives, the disabled children, the debt, the missing husbands, sick parents, and the audience would applaud. The woman who got the loudest applause on the "applause-o-meter" (yes, that was a real thing) would win a.......washing machine!, or some other household appliance. And for a few moments she wore an ermine cap and a crown. How that eased the pain of a disabled child, I don't know. <... Sun, 31 Jul 2016 14:11:01 EST Landmarks that note time is passing Today was the last mass said by our priest of 12 years. He is moving on. <BR> <BR> When I think how well I remember his arrival it seems like just yesterday. But when I think of all that has happened in the last 12 years, it seems like a long time. It seems like we just said goodbye to Father Bob and his dog, now it's goodbye to Father Tom. <BR> <BR> The poor man is 75 and needs a break, so he'll be going to a tiny parish up north. Sounds cold to me, but he wants to fish and move more s... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 14:40:41 EST My birthday didn't work out as planned I had scheduled a massage for my birthday. I wanted a facial and a massage, but they were booked for facials, so I thought a massage would suffice. It was the only special thing for the day. I told them I'd had neck surgery in January so didn't want anyone messing with my neck, not because it would be dangerous but because it would be uncomfortable. <BR> <BR> I got to the spa, filled out the form, got undressed and was lying on the table when the masseuse came in and said that anyone who ... Fri, 17 Jun 2016 09:14:11 EST Happy Birthday To Me! I'm 67 today! I will celebrate by getting a massage, a treat doesn't have to be food. <BR> <BR> I'll make us a nice, legal shrimp dinner tonight, no cake. <BR> <BR> Indulgences don't have to be food. I'll have a peaceful day, no regrets tomorrow. <BR> <BR> My husband gave me a big hug this morning (he remembered!). One of my kids emailed me Happy Birthday, another sent flowers, I called the other two. My Mom doesn't remember anything, let alone my birthday, but she's happy in her own li... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:19:24 EST Bad Spark Spins are an awful start to a day Silly as it sounds, when I get low spins on the wheel and low team flag points, it just feels like a bad start to a day. I've had low bonus points for a couple of weeks now, and it's easy to feel like I'm doing something wrong. <BR> <BR> It's like the Spark version of getting up on the wrong side of the bed. <BR> <BR> Oh well, maybe tomorrow. At least I'm not "getting back on track" tomorrow. I am comfortably at goal and I can take comfort in that. Mon, 6 Jun 2016 09:15:32 EST I love my Fitbit! Yesterday I had to go to the condo to do a job that paid staff was supposed to do but took half a day off. Yes, it's a management company policy that I didn't know about, but a lot of residents would be without pool passes for the opening of the pool, and a hot one at that. I couldn't leave my residents hanging, so I tromped all over 16 buildings, up and down 3 flights of stairs in each one to slide envelopes under the door. It was hot and miserable. <BR> <BR> But I was wearing a Fitbit, ... Sun, 29 May 2016 08:57:14 EST Counting Out Pills is like Making a Meal Plan Every Saturday morning I count out the week's pills into little 7 day pill containers, for me, my husband and my mother. That way I can count to be sure we all take our medication, and I can check to be sure Mom is taking hers. <BR> <BR> Making out a meal plan isn't any different. It takes a little thought, very little time, and can prevent problems. I never have to ask myself if I've taken my calcium, I can just look at the container. I have have to wonder what I'm having for dinner, I ... Sat, 21 May 2016 13:35:36 EST Sometimes You DO Have To Give Up My husband has had three strokes, and he had to make the difficult decision to give up riding a motorcycle. All the years of striving to keep trying, to not give up on anything, had to be put aside with this painful decision. <BR> <BR> We read all the time about how to get old people to give up driving when they are no longer safe behind the wheel, yet to them, that amounts to "giving up". My father didn't mind so much, he still had Mom, but when Mom was diagnosed with dementia, her doctor... Thu, 5 May 2016 09:52:34 EST I reached my Weight Goal 45 Years Ago And I've kept the weight off. I don't remember the actual day, just that it was about Christmastime. <BR> <BR> I read a story in the paper today about the new Weight Watchers plan, and that so many people are outraged that their favorite treats now have double the Points. They call it "deprivation". They should see the old old WW Plan I lost my weight with, they would REALLY call that deprivation. But I learned to see the world as one of possibilities rather than bemoan those foods that ... Fri, 25 Dec 2015 12:41:08 EST I have a new kitten!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Her name is Rosie. She is a seal point Siamese, and will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. This photo shows her asleep on my husband. <BR> <BR> I have three Siamese again! I lost my Isabelle, but now I have Rosie! Sun, 20 Dec 2015 14:29:04 EST What a Wonderful Thanksgiving! I cooked for three days, the food was wonderful. What made the day really wonderful was having family around. This is the one day of the year when Mom has her own three children with her. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My sister is on the left, my brother behind Mom, me on the right. We're all old now, but to Mom we are still her little ones. <BR> <BR> I hope you all had a wonderful day of thanks! Thu, 26 Nov 2015 20:28:42 EST Calling An Audible For Myself In football, the offensive team has each play planned out before each scrimmage. But sometimes the quarterback looks at the defense and sees something he wasn't expecting, something that won't work with the planned play. So he changes the play at the line, an "audible", to try to confront the defense he sees rather than the one he expected. <BR> <BR> Our plans for the day can be the same. We had the day planned, but the day that presents isn't what we expected. When confronted with this... Sat, 7 Nov 2015 09:28:23 EST My Kitty Isabelle Is Gone 2003-2015 We got her in March of 2003. I have always had cats, but had been reading the Cat Who mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun, and just had to have a Siamese. I got her from a farm about two hours away. Both her parents were Siamese, but not registered. She was a beautiful seal point kitten, about 3 months old. <BR> <BR> And what a scamp! We had 3 other cats at the time, all older, and dismayed by the energy of a kitten. But they tolerated her, played with her. Isabelle loved to "kill" spir... Wed, 28 Oct 2015 15:28:40 EST Great Course: Nutrition Made Clear I highly recommend this course from The Great Courses. The instructor is Professor Roberta Anding, a Registered Dietician, and Director of Sports Nutrition and clinical dietician at Baylor College of Medicine's Pediatric Department. <BR> <BR> The course covers weight loss, of course, but just about every other aspect of nutritional science. She doesn't attempt to sell anything or promote one aspect of weight loss, but she does cover all the science involved. She goes through each nutrie... Sun, 20 Sep 2015 15:09:29 EST Article in Consumer Reports about Snacking The article says that it was just a generation ago when people didn't eat between meals so as not to "spoil their appetite". Has it only been 25 years, or whatever a generation is? <BR> <BR> They discuss that some people have taken as gospel the idea that we should eat 5 or 6 small meals a day, though there is no proof that it is healthier, except for the very young and the very old, who have a hard time eating enough. But for those who want to lose weight? What a wonderful excuse for tho... Sun, 16 Aug 2015 15:51:34 EST Try to Imagine Weight Bankruptcy When a person's financial debts become overwhelming, he can file for bankruptcy in court. In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court will reorganize the debts. You still have to pay them off, but maybe not all of them, and deadlines are eased and penalties are reduced. <BR> <BR> But Chapter 7, you get the magic wand. Poof! They're gone! It's a lot more complicated, of course, but that's pretty much the result. Chapter 7 is only available to people who have tried everything, and cannot get o... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 14:12:36 EST Woman's Fitbit Info Leads to Her Arrest I read that a woman has been charged with false alarms to public safety, false reports to law enforcement, and tampering with evidence, based on the info from her Fitbit. <BR> <BR> This woman claimed to have been sleeping at her boss's house when she was awakened, dragged from her bed, and raped in a bathroom. Police then looked at her Fitbit data, which said she had been awake and walking around at the time she claimed to have been asleep. She said the Fitbit had been lost in the struggle... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 13:05:11 EST My husband has sold his last motorcycle. It's over. Years ago, my husband wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle. His mother forbid it, but she died in 1997, and we both signed up to take the Basic Rider Course. There was no way I was letting him discover something new without me. Turned out that we both loved riding! We both started out on Hondas: he had a Nighthawk, I had a little Rebel. I outgrew the Rebel in 3 months, and got a Yamaha Virago. Then we both got used BMWs: I got an 1100R, he got the 1100RT. We rode with friend on weekends... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:23:50 EST I am 66 Years Old Today My mother doesn't remember, but she doesn't remember much anymore. My husband doesn't remember, but then he doesn't remember his own birthday. So far nothing from my kids. I won't remind them, just let it go by. I remember when birthdays were a huge event. Then it was my kids' birthdays that marked time. Now it's the grandkids. <BR> <BR> My big gift will be next month on the 4th Wednesday when my first Social Security check lands in my checking account. Last year was Medicare, this yea... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:30:40 EST "Promise of a diet pill can backfire simply because it exists" That's the headline of an article by Robert Ferdman in today's Washington Post. <BR> <BR> The story tells of an assistant professor at the Tuck Institute School of Business, Amit Bhattacharjee, and his study entitled "The Perils of Marketing Weight Management Remedies". <BR> <BR> "There's a funny, kind of counterintuitive thing that happens when many people take weightloss drugs: they gain weight", he says. It's called the Boomerang Effect. <BR> <BR> People want easy weight loss so badly ... Fri, 29 May 2015 19:16:23 EST Jean Nidetch 1923-2015 Jean Nidetch changed my life. Actually it was Weight Watchers, but Jean was still the heart and soul of WW back then. Her very image evoked hope in those of us who were hopeless. She turned a food plan into a mission of success and possibility. She was her own success: she got to her goal in 1963 and stayed at goal until she died, and shared that success with many thousands of us. <BR> <BR> We all know Jean as the founder of a weight loss plan, but most don't know what she contributed to... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:37:49 EST Americans spend more money eating out than buying groceries For the first time since the US Department of Commerce starting collecting the stats in 1992, money Americans spent at bars and restaurants exceeded what they spent in grocery stores. The convergence began in earnest just at about the time of the housing bust, and accelerated in the last two years. <BR> <BR> The stats are about money, though, not calories. I wonder how America's waistline will look in 30 years? Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:08:22 EST Stanford Marshmallow Experiment I was reading about an experiment about delayed gratification in children, done at Stanford University in 1970. <BR> <BR> They took a bunch of young children, ages 6-9, and offered them one marshmallow, but if they were able to wait 15 minutes without eating it, they would get two marshmallows. Some kids ate the one right away. The ones who waited for the two didn't just sit quietly for 15 minutes, but sat on their hands, or stared at the wall, or kicked their chairs, anything to help them... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 09:56:41 EST Case dismissed After months of worry and preparation, the court date was today. <BR> <BR> We had a maintenance man at the condo that we fired last September. Three days later, the newly hired maintenance man discovered that the former guy had used our shop as storage for his son's household goods. That's called trespassing. His son had just gotten out of jail and had to move in with him, and evidently didn't want to pay for storage so stole our space. We found a set of brass knuckles in plain sight, an... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:59:16 EST It feels so good to be thin!! When I was at church today, I noticed how beautifully thin some of the people were as they filed out to take communion. I remember when I used to notice thin people and wonder Why, Oh Why can't I look like that? Now I do. <BR> <BR> You can buy a smaller nose or a different hair color. You can't buy a thinner body. If you could buy thin, everyone would find the money to be thin. Thin takes work and patience and diligence. I can be blonde in a few hours every few weeks by sitting in a ch... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 12:18:56 EST Eggs Are Good For You Again I remember back in the 70s when "experts" first told us that ingested cholesterol could kill you. They told us to avoid eggs and shellfish, two of my favorite things to eat. My father was an organic chemist, not into biology though, and he always told us that it was the saturated fat that our livers converted into cholesterol that was the problem, not cholesterol in foods. <BR> <BR> He has now been vindicated but he is no longer around to see it. <BR> <BR> I'm glad I listened to Dad rathe... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 10:10:34 EST Why is Superbowl about food? I was a senior in high school for Superbowl I, although it was called the NFL-AFL Championship Game at the time. It was a new idea, something about trying to see if the two leagues could combine as a business. Nowhere did I read anything about chicken wings or guacamole. I went to the grocery store yesterday and there were football shaped cakes. Really?? <BR> <BR> It's a football game, not a food extravaganza. When my boys were little we'd have a dinner favorite, but nothing in excess, no... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 08:12:11 EST I reached my goal 44 years ago. And have stayed there pretty much ever since. There was a 10 pound blip during menopause, but I knew what to do and I did it. <BR> <BR> My goal weight is about 10 pounds lower than it was when I was 21. Old ladies just can't carry the weight like we used to, I guess. <BR> <BR> I did it by living all the wonderful lessons I learned in Weight Watchers way back when. They gave me the tools, it was up to me to use them. One of the biggest advantages to staying at goal for a long time is war... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 09:44:42 EST Going to any lengths There are times when I'd rather just sit on the sofa and read, do nothing physical, for days on end. Then I see someone like this: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is an old man who after several accidents and serious osteoporosis, still carries his walker down three flights of stairs to go walking. This day was pouring rain outside, so he carried that walker down to the electrical room (a room that has to be empty by law) and w... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:35:01 EST A Second Chance isn't the same as a Second First Chance We all get second chances, but each attempt is farther along in life. Sometimes it's harder. Getting a college degree is harder when you have a house and kids than it would have been when you were 18 and had nothing else in life but studying. It's still a second chance at a degree, but not the same. <BR> <BR> It's the same with second chances for changing health. It's harder when you are older, it's harder when you have already had your first stroke or heart attack. But harder doesn't m... Sun, 30 Nov 2014 12:02:02 EST Massive amounts of sugar and oil for NO CALORIES!! Yes you heard me! It's called a sugar polish, and I just had one at the Arlington Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They mix sugar and olive oil and scrub it all over your body, then wrap you up in plastic for 25 minutes before rinsing it off. It feels decadent! And it is totally calorie free! <BR> <BR> I highly recommend it, followed, of course, by a massage. What a treat! Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:47:32 EST LOSE 10 POUNDS FOR FREE!!!! I love these kinds of ads. If only it were just about money, like a facelift. If only all it took were money! <BR> <BR> I lost my weight on Weight Watchers many years ago, but it was by the week not the pound, which makes more sense. And they didn't promise Easy, just something that worked if I worked it, and they helped me with the work. <BR> <BR> I guess people buy these ads and plans or they'd stop, but the promise of Easy Weight Loss has been around for hundreds of years. <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:29:51 EST Fatty Liver Disease Caused by Obesity <link><BR>reat-grows-from-liver-illness-tied-to-<BR>obesity/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 </link> <BR> <BR> I saw this article in the New York Times yesterday. Usually fatty liver disease is found in alcoholics. Now it seems it is a burgeoning problem caused by overeating. <BR> <BR> Everyone is horrified by the practice of fattening goose livers for foie gras (which means, after all, "fatty liver" in French) by forcefeeding. It's a process called "gav... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:47:11 EST The pursuit of Easy Pleasure There is a lot of talk about the addicting nature of food, but I wonder. What I am really addicted to is Easy Pleasure. And what's easier than a cheap bag of Cheetos? <BR> <BR> We all reminisce about "simple pleasures", but they all sound so pedestrian these days. Today's Little Things didn't exist for most of us until a few decades ago, like professional mani-pedis. Now they are so cheap and omnipresent that we don't see them as the extravagances they once were. It's just something else... Sat, 31 May 2014 12:26:59 EST Preparedness vs Negativity I am listening to lectures about critical decision making from a business professor. He speaks of hashing out plans, of trying to anticipate every possible failure or problem in advance. He cites business plans for new products, plans by generals going into battle, plans for ascending Everest. In all cases people get together to brainstorm, to try to figure out in advance anything that could possibly go wrong, possible problems they may encounter no matter how absurd it may sound, and prep... Tue, 27 May 2014 09:35:13 EST I Don't Understand Modern Grocery Stores I know there are a lot more products than there used to be, so the stores have to be bigger. I enjoy the bigger variety of produce, but the packaged foods seem to be crowding out the basics. <BR> <BR> Why are the same products in multiple areas? There is basmati rice in the Asian section, short grain rice in the Latin section, and all of them in an American section. It's all rice. <BR> <BR> I couldn't find the peanut butter at my local Harris Teeter, only to be told it's with the bread. ... Sat, 24 May 2014 09:51:23 EST If You Can Dream It You Can Be It?? Really? The slogan is on posters and T-shirts, and I don't get it. <BR> <BR> I dream of being the Best In Class, standing at the top of a skill surveying all the lesser mortals beneath me. That is what a dream is, isn't it? <BR> <BR> But that demeans the work of people who have been working for years, for decades, on a skill. There is no way I can accumulate decades of experience in a few years, no matter how hard I work or how badly I want it. <BR> <BR> There is an arrogance in thinking that ... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 19:24:01 EST