ONEKIDSMOM's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=ONEKIDSMOM ONEKIDSMOM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Taking advantage http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6093314 There is something particularly satisfying about getting outdoors to run on what turns out to be the best day of the week to do so. Turns out it was a much better substitute run than the originally planned one would have been. <BR> <BR> The Universe / Higher Power is apparently watching out for me. I headed out in bright sunshine, thought the Garmin had died on me and not recorded my workout... but when I got home after work it uploaded to the website just fine. Five miles in 51 minutes..... Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:57:05 EST But then we didn't run... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6092476 I packed the bag to run at noon, and was greeted as I brewed my first mug of coffee at the office by my running buddy who said, "I'm letting you down already". Apparently she'd read the same forecast as I about the high winds & low temps and was not prepared to run outdoors... so we did not run at noon. <BR> <BR> No problem, I thought, the forecast was such that it would have the wind dying down by 6 p.m., I would just take my shorter lunch break, leave on time, and make the 6 p.m. group ru... Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:17:28 EST I miss my higher weight http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6091584 Knew that would get you in here! <em>246</em> Seriously, there is ONE time of year / type of weather that makes me miss the extra 100 pounds of ballast: high winds! Yesterday on that outdoor commute walk (the part of it that I did outdoors, that is) I darn near got blown off the curb into the street at a traffic light. Some folks, never having been heavy, do not recognize that advantage... but I can tell the difference. Fly, Barb, fly! <BR> <BR> Clarissa (the deep-ended pool who ex... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 07:53:24 EST I still love Mondays http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6090681 I especially love Mondays when I have 1) Got enough sleep over the weekend, 2) Been active, and 3) Invested in preparing for the week ahead. <BR> <BR> All three of those were true of this weekend. Add to "the old guy" getting his Super Bowl win that I roused enough from slumber to recognize before shutting it off and committing to sleeping through the night. <BR> <BR> And now, I have two bags packed for the day: <BR> <BR> * Remember to eat what's in the food bag. <BR> <BR> * Get your... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 07:50:37 EST Souper-bowl Sunday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6090382 Yep, I chopped up my veggies and made my big pot of soup, having polished off the split pea soup last week. Beets, parsnips, turnips, green beans and cauliflower are part of my "whatever's left in the 'fridge" soup this week. Quite a tasty supper, added to a baked yam and some cottage cheese. <BR> <BR> Also boiled my eggs for the week, set up my salad bases, and kept myself active on and off through the day and evening. It being Super Bowl Sunday, I didn't feel like leaving the house. ... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 20:47:16 EST Bonus blog - the trail shoes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6089550 Since someone asked: here are the shoes I run in on snow / ice. I also use them when shoveling snow or for off-road running, all seasons. They are trail shoes. Note the soles with rubber spikes on them... kind of like mud/snow tires, only for feet. <BR> <BR> They are much better grip than any of my other shoes. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f974d723-a076-499d-b515-7d19b0e3abe2.jpg"> <BR> <BR> They pretty much keep my feet warm and dry, too. Add wool socks ... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 19:58:47 EST Seven miles on ice http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6089294 We are up to seven miles on the so-called "long" runs. With the snow storm that blew through here in the lower 30's temps, there has been melting and re-freezing. The Thursday Red Dress Dash saw a few very ugly blocks where the downtown property owners had not cleared the walks. <BR> <BR> So I knew it would be a challenge to find not just the 7 miles for the half marathon trainees, but especially the 14 for the full marathon trainees (no, that would NOT be me, but several of the group AR... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 12:34:46 EST Despite how I got there... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6088329 I did stop myself from resenting being a part of the Red Dress Dash. I had a good time. Even the boss was a good sport and showed up in his red dress: <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/065617c1-f91f-42f9-accb-aebde439dacc.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The gal third from the left and I (I'm first on the left, in case you don't recognize me) found we had a similar "comfortable" pace, and have even agreed to go run some lunch breaks... have to juggle a bit to make that happen, but las... Fri, 5 Feb 2016 08:00:35 EST Binging while writing blog, trashing the blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6087445 That's exactly the order of events yesterday. I declared it an "extra" snow day, or rather "slick roads" day yesterday. And that's a danger zone for me... especially as the sun came out, the wind wasn't too bad, and my walks were already cleared. The only weather workout I got was chipping the piles the plow left behind when it came through, and fortunately they weren't too bad, 'cause I got to them before they re-froze, fused into mountains of ice. <BR> <BR> I backed the car out to do a ... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 08:02:32 EST Snow Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6085655 It really is quite pretty. As long as I'm inside, safe and warm. The power flickering wasn't all that fun... but it *did* come right back. This time. It's still coming down. The TV news folks are now saying 5 to 10 inches... but you know how these things go... you never know until it finishes. Strong winds, wet snow that sticks to branches... so pretty! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ecc71a4c-ef45-4c04-b159-9e71fd536910.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Ooh shiny! Have you ... Tue, 2 Feb 2016 09:04:39 EST Deep Dark Fears or no, life goes on! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6084594 "Do it anyway". Short for lack of time: <BR> <BR> * The bag is packed. Eat what's in it, that's why you packed it. <BR> <BR> * Remember to go to recess. <BR> <BR> * Remember to breathe and prioritize. <BR> <BR> * Be kind to yourself as you would be to your best friend. <BR> <BR> * And live TODAY, today, because it's the only February 1st, 2016 we'll ever see! <BR> <BR> <em>223</em> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 07:59:01 EST So what about those deep dark fears? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6083811 We lay a lot of story on top of the deep dark fears, but they lurk, and sometimes they blind-side us. Whenever I find myself "back in the food" you can bet it's not JUST because somebody brought donuts to work! The sugar-filled crap or the salt-and-fat fest did not jump into my shopping cart in a vacuum. <BR> <BR> I listed a few of them in my blog on Friday: fear of mortality, poverty, failure, embarrassment (looking foolish, overexposure are flavors of embarrassment to me). <BR> <BR> Th... Sun, 31 Jan 2016 10:27:36 EST How to climb out of the hole http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6082115 Simple, right? One hand-hold at a time! <BR> <BR> Yesterday I packed the bag. I didn't eat what was in it. I indulged in some off-plan eating. But I did make ONE good decision, part way through my afternoon recess... I didn't buy MORE. I let myself get hungry again. <BR> <BR> See... it's not a straight line back to "perfectly on plan". At least it has never been so for me. <BR> <BR> Casting my mind back to how I gave up soda (pop, for those of you who grew up where I did). Every t... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 07:30:13 EST Baby steps and CREDIT http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6081250 Often I find that I use illness as an excuse to "fall off the wagon", i.e. to indulge in some comfort eating. "I feel lousy anyway, I might as well see if this old friend of a food will make me feel a *little* better, even temporarily." <BR> <BR> And that was true this time. I didn't just do "chicken soup", I followed the rabbit down the hole. The <em>18</em> voice tries to tell me "not as bad as you HAVE in the past", but I refuse to accept that justification. Breaking the habits is ... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 07:28:42 EST Self-pity Sunday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6078108 Went through about three boxes of *these* today... ah-choo! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/b2f513d7-95b2-42f5-aec0-69db43e7816a.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yesterday morning at 7 I ran 6 miles with the group in about 20F with a 10 mph headwind going out. I thought I had this stupid cold over and done with (the ah-choo! kind), but after I got home, sneezing like nuts. This morning it continued. A good chunk of "feed a cold" self-pity party has gone on today... and not a ... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 19:03:02 EST Just for cutes: the cat olympics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6077346 In the category "Synchronized Sleeping", we have The Prisoner and Rubia, from the USA: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/f3daeb7e-44d0-4760-a783-f2eee6b3f46f.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Note the near-identical positioning of paws, tails... my niece pointed out they were "synchronized"! <BR> <BR> Hope you got your smile for the day... and Spark on! Sat, 23 Jan 2016 20:38:06 EST Nothing exciting here... but it IS Friday, so you never know... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6076061 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/2675ff1b-5885-4e39-a39f-9d376ee630b9.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yesterday over the noon hour they held "The Governor's Walk". This is the 5th year that the state-wide challenge "Live Well Nebraska" has kicked off with the Governor's Walk. It is done in the halls of our state capitol, and here is the pre-walk speechifying. The guy in the white shirt with the white sneakers is our current Governor. The guy at the microphone is the head of the Nebraska ... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 07:56:23 EST Clarissa explains the need for strength http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6075185 What, another confession? Yep. Y'all know I changed gyms, and I changed from my old gym's pool that I had dubbed Chloe Jones (we had a thing going on), to my new gym's pool, Clarissa (she has a deep end, and she explains things to me while I zen out doing my laps). <BR> <BR> The confession? A-hem. When I first changed and started swimming with Clarissa, I attempted to spring out at the shallow end onto the pool deck. I failed, spectacularly. Clarissa it turns out, is deeper, even in th... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 07:57:32 EST OK, so maybe it was not my WHOLE life's purpose... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6074308 but it IS my Spark mission, here. (See yesterday's blog.) <BR> <BR> Those five questions can drive any kind of mission/purpose statement, at a personal or at a group/organizational level. <BR> <BR> Reminder of the questions: <BR> 1. Who am I? <BR> 2. What do I do? <BR> 3. Who do I do it for? <BR> 4. Why do I do it? <BR> 5. How do I hope it will impact those I do it for? <BR> <BR> You've seen me blog about "I run because I can, I run FOR those who cannot." If I focused solely on my endu... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 08:00:42 EST Your life's purpose http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6073418 Admission: I've been discovering more TED talks, and one of them purported to give you your life's purpose in five minutes. Five questions lead to your purpose statement, and forgive me if I warped them in translation. <BR> <BR> 1. Who are you? (Say your first name). <BR> Barb <BR> <BR> 2. What do you do? <BR> I write blogs on SparkPeople.com <BR> <BR> 3. Who do you do it for? <BR> Any Spark Buddies who choose to follow along <BR> <BR> 4. Why do you do it? <BR> To let them know the... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 08:01:42 EST The process http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6072481 I confess, I'm one of those people whose ursine (bear-like) side comes out in the cold and dark times of the year (Winter). I want to store up fat and hibernate. I want to stay in my cave and sleep. <BR> <BR> Does one fight this tendency, or indulge it? Maybe a little of both? <BR> <BR> I caught a cold. I ran some, despite having that cold, the first week. The second week, I indulged in extra sleep and rest. Now I'm feeling considerably better, and I'm back at jollying myself into act... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 08:51:14 EST Spark Chapter 8 - Hormonal Changes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6071830 Sorry guys, this one is specifically addressed to us ladies - "The Impact on Women's Brain Health" is the chapter subtitle. Feel free to skip it as TMI... or read on seeking to understand what the ladies you love might be going through. After all, it was written by two guys! <BR> <BR> Disclaimer: This blog is part of a series, commenting on the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD with Eric Hagerman. NOT to be confused with The Spark by ... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 13:46:11 EST Spark Chapter 7 - Addiction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6070906 This blog is part of a series, commenting on the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD with Eric Hagerman. NOT to be confused with The Spark by our own Chris Downie of SparkPeople.com. <BR> <BR> Seems like exercise and how it influences our neurobiology is a really hot topic as the generation known as the Baby Boomers in the US ages. This book is "old" in terms of how research in the area has exploded, copyright 2008. With that caveat, I ... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 11:15:09 EST The push-pull of big scary events http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6069961 OK, so I qualified. Does it mean I'm going to do it? <BR> <BR> That's the current push-pull. <BR> <BR> The thing is, Spark buds... training for endurance events takes more than just the time to train. It takes a toll on my will power reserves (Susan Pierce Thompson videos claim we have at most 15 minutes of will power in the bank at any given moment, which is why we establish bright lines...). It tends to bring out all kinds of push-pull within my head, as the perfectionist wants to unde... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:56:58 EST Guess I can't stop TRI training yet http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6068277 Congratulations! You have qualified for the Olympic-distance race at the 2016 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on Aug. 13 in Omaha, Nebraska, after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the Last Blast Lincoln Triathlon. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/37e1f28f-2c28-495a-b53c-5a6f24d518ec.png"> Wed, 13 Jan 2016 08:01:56 EST The commute walk OUTSIDE the Caves of Steel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6067396 Just for balance... when the weather is milder, yes, of COURSE one can do the walking commute outside. It is in fact a little shorter when done as an outside walk, because there is some backtracking in those corridors. <BR> <BR> Start is same garage, but on exit, I'm looking diagonally across at where I'm going to walk: <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/78ab76a8-8b36-406f-b377-df502f6b85d5.jpg"> <BR> <BR> A block farther, an half a block north of where I would have exit... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 07:34:25 EST The commute walk INSIDE the Caves of Steel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6065017 I whined a couple of weeks ago about trying to decide whether to pay more for parking closer to the office to facilitate "planned" steps rather than the automatic ones I get in my commute from where I now park my car (at much more reasonable $$). <BR> <BR> Some folks mentioned weather / walking surface issues that might influence the decision, but let me assure you, of this half mile commute, only about 2 blocks are outdoors. So, on the last day I worked in 2015, I impulsively pulled out ... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 15:40:09 EST Bonus Blog, back to the Ratey Book: Chapter 6 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6064288 This book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD with Eric Hagerman copyright 2009 is not to be confused with "The Spark" by our own Chris Downie. <BR> <BR> I haven't blogged about the Ratey book since I blogged about Chapter 5: Depression, back on December 10th. That doesn't mean I stopped reading, I've finished two more chapters. What it means is I have had other things to blog about, and other things going on in life that limited my blog-wri... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 18:31:07 EST Change in plans! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6064060 After blogging my "crunched for time" entry this morning, I tossed the bags into the car and started to back out of the garage... and found myself sliding backwards down the driveway with the brake engaged. I had to back further out to get the purchase to pull back in! <BR> <BR> Then I did something I hadn't done before... I logged on remote from home, begged permission to work remote for part of the day and call the rest vacation... rather than weather wimp the whole day. (This is an opti... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 12:40:49 EST Another crunched for time accountability http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6063823 * The bag is packed - remember to eat what's in it. <BR> <BR> * Take the swim bag. Decide at noon whether to use it or not based on how you're feeling, rest day is valid option! <BR> <BR> * Remember to go to recess. <BR> <BR> * You are not getting enough protein to support training... fix that! <BR> <BR> * Remember to get to bed on time! Sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise in building a healthy body and mind! <BR> <BR> Love y'all... will catch up later... meantime, let's al... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 08:01:08 EST Five minute blog drill http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6062865 News bulletin: two cats in doghouse after altercation with Frosty the Demented Snowman - Frosty lost. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/1eb20f77-d8f9-42fb-b517-c75ba02c3951.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Sigh. This happened last night. I was out of the room, but I strongly suspect the smaller cat failed her jump to the table, clawed into the table cloth, jostling Frosty, and part of Frosty ended up broken. Dang, this has not been a good season for crockery in this house! <BR> ... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 08:02:35 EST Just a quick status update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6061908 I only have about two minutes... and I'm finding myself crunched for Spark time... so apologies for not keeping up on every Spark blog (I can get totally sucked in... LOVE your blogs... I'm wrapped up in my Spark friends' lives... or at least what they choose to share here)... but we all have to live our regular lives before we have anything to begin to write about! <BR> <BR> So, that said: <BR> <BR> * The bag is packed - remember to eat what's in it. <BR> <BR> * The cold is still not horr... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 08:04:48 EST The importance of putting HEALTH first http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6060844 Somewhere out of left field, I caught a cold. Yikes. Right when it's time to start my 18 week half marathon training plan. <em>366</em> <BR> <BR> If there is one thing I have learned over the decades it is not to use the word "health" or "healthy" as a code word or an excuse to overdo it: either in terms of over-exercise or under-eating. Neither of these is HEALTHY, not really. <BR> <BR> The first group run is tonight at 6 p.m. I could not resist the pull of signing up for the same... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 08:02:10 EST For newbies and restarters in the season of Resolutions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6058809 I haven't done a "for the newbies" kind of post in a while, but every so often it is a good thing to remember where we CAME from. So, with apologies to those of you who've been through all this with me before in prior "before/after", "transformation", "reality check" kinds of blogs I do from time to time, this is really what Spark is all about. It's about setting goals, taking baby steps, and getting from wherever we are to wherever we're going to be. It's NOT all about weight loss, but it... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 10:56:54 EST The Pebble Jar Calendar http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6058361 Here it is, set up before the start of the year: <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/51db03cd-920e-4aa8-9c87-d4633b528698.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Each of the small candle jars is a month. They proceed from the blue jar in the lower left, clockwise: January (31 pebbles), February (29 this year), etc. Notice I've played games with January being a different color jar, February a different shape, and the four 30 day months (April, June, September, November) are frosted. <BR> <B... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 20:47:18 EST A week finding my way to the priorities http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6057232 I got called out by at least one Sparker who saw me missing from the blogosphere for a couple of days, hoping things were OK. Well, not really. I had after effects of the decision to skip family visiting... as I sometimes do. And I realized just how exhausted I was from family stuff over Christmas... much as I like doing those things... they do take something out of me. <BR> <BR> I recognized I really did not have it in me to run a 10 p.m. event if I worked a full day before it. When I d... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 18:12:24 EST Choosing to miss opportunities... a.k.a. you can't have it all at once! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6054475 I don't know why this is, but I somehow seem to think I need to "be everywhere, do everything" that comes into my life as an opportunity. Maybe this trait is related to my old tendency to EAT everything that crosses my path, too. It may be tied up in the "people pleasing" thing, never wanting to say "No", putting everyone's requests/offers as "high priority". <BR> <BR> In the middle of the work day yesterday, I got a text from my youngest sister... her daughter, newly married, and step-mom... Tue, 29 Dec 2015 07:52:47 EST Back to work - weather - and workouts brought to me by Mother Nature http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6053813 As the year wanes, this throw-back to my "Pebble Jar", photo from this morning: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/24cb6422-f109-4a8a-bd10-06e9f9433458.jpg"> <BR> <BR> And here's the link to my blog from last New Year's Eve where I described my morning "pebble a day" ritual: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5841874 </link> <BR> <BR> Today, it's back to work. The weather forecast lightened up overnight, droppi... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 07:53:00 EST Bonus blog - Christmas week tradition - the movies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6053534 I know my family was not alone in using some of our "Christmas money" to go to the movies... the day after Christmas, it was for us. Since I made the kids not talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens when they came to visit on Christmas, I had to lift the "no spoilers" ban by choosing it as my after-Christmas movie this year. Free Ad for them here: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/e481c016-ad50-438e-922a-c2219371e357.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Seriously, I would have gone ... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 17:44:33 EST Whatever it takes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6053356 Steven Siebold, the Mental toughness coach, says the best predictor of success has to do with your answer to the question: "What are you willing to do to achieve your goal?" The correct answer, the one that predicts your success, is the title of this blog: "Whatever it takes!" <BR> <BR> In Overeaters Anonymous, the twelve steps are arranged in such a way that "acceptance" comes first, "readiness" or "willingness" next, both preceding the steps that ask for removal of defects, or the makin... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 11:16:52 EST Days out of synch - is it Christmas? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6052815 You'll get no family photos of the gathering of the mythical son, his lovely bride (of 9 years as of last Tuesday), as they are not fans of getting their picture taken. Since I want to encourage future visits, I was not about to make them uncomfortable... so y'all will just have to take my word for it. The visit happened. We had a fine dinner with as is traditional "too many desserts". <BR> <BR> I was contemplating this little inner feeling... last night felt more like Christmas eves past... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 09:21:05 EST Kitchen Chemistry http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6052462 I remember my mom making peanut brittle when I was a kid. Fudge, too. And Divinity. These were part of her Christmas tradition... they went to large gatherings. But she learned all of this candy-making at a class held in 1959. <BR> <BR> Mom didn't have the wherewithal to invest in a candy thermometer, so she used the old "cold-water" method of determining if the base syrup was hot enough for the next step in the directions. This involved dropping a spoonful of the stuff into a cup of ... Fri, 25 Dec 2015 10:32:18 EST A childhood memory http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6051996 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/80627807-2082-40d9-89ee-28593a78d408.jpg"> <BR> <BR> As the snowflakes fall outside, and on an impulse of memory, I added cocoa powder to my steel cut oats as they completed their simmering in the skim milk. This brought back memories of my childhood, in my paternal grandmother's kitchen. <BR> <BR> After a day of playing in the snow (or shoveling the walks, in her case, she was a widow and did this job for herself more often than not)... she... Thu, 24 Dec 2015 07:55:33 EST It's raining out there! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6051559 39F and rain. Well, at least it's not freezing. Yesterday our town had something like 20 accidents as people were not ready for the thin layer of frost on the bridges. I was clueless until I heard about it in a meeting at about 10 a.m. from others who commuted a different way. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I ended up wimping on the group run last night. I'd done the team lunch, and did well with the menu there... split a sandwich with a team member, and we each added a cup of the tomato soup... very... Wed, 23 Dec 2015 08:01:02 EST The lure of the pool http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6051095 I don't have a photo of Clarissa, the nick-name I've given the pool at the Y, the one with a deep end, so that she can "explain it all"! But I had planned to swim over "super recess" yesterday, and I did. There is something about the rhythm of strokes and breathing, something about being relaxed in motion... swimming is probably the first sport in which I went "zen". <BR> <BR> Funny thing, after only 3 weeks a member there, I keep running into the same clump of women post-workout. I do my... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 07:58:44 EST The lure of the trail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6050572 Yesterday I let myself out the door to run. I covered 10.49 miles, had no idea how long I was going to run when I went out the door... I was jollying myself along... I can just do 4 miles if I want. I can just to 10K... Oh, I'm this close the 33rd & Sheridan convenience store, it's a good potty stop... at mile 5. Then I started down 33rd street toward South street... and noticed traffic coming across the bridge! <BR> <BR> That bridge had been under construction for MONTHS, keeping us off ... Mon, 21 Dec 2015 07:52:14 EST The Spirit of Christmas Present http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6050167 In Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" they are not actually referred to as "ghosts", but as "spirits". The Spirit of Christmas Past, the Spirit of Christmas Present, and the Spirit of Christmas yet to come. At some point, in our minds, we might turn them into "ghosts" but it really is a review of the "spirit" of the holiday... <BR> <BR> How did we feel and experience Christmas in the Past? Scrooge's first "spirit" takes him through memories of years past, both happy and sad times. The ... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 10:22:43 EST Health assessment at the Y http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6049254 OK, I was skeptical. Why would *I* need another health assessment? I'm a triathlete for heaven's sake. But there was a free t-shirt involved... and y'know... that old phrase... "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" (The correct response is to answer the question with a question: "Is there a medal? A t-shirt?") <BR> <BR> So... I met with a cute young guy who clearly isn't used to dealing with people "like me" (and I know we exist, just maybe not in his short life-exposure). ... Fri, 18 Dec 2015 08:04:26 EST Breathing, focus on positive, talk to that Rebel http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6048755 Rebel alliance is a good theme for today, don't you think? May the Force Be With You! <BR> <BR> A buddy at work has tickets to the third showing of the Star Wars reboot tonight... me? I can't stay up that late, and will wait for the crowds to clear. Retired buddy has tickets to FOUR showings, spread over the next week... reminds me of when the very first Star Wars Movie came out, back in the 1970's. I think I went six or seven times, relishing feeling I really was flying in a starship,... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 07:58:39 EST One day at a time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6047769 I left yesterday's bag at work. I had chosen to rebel yesterday... went out to lunch, skipped the workout, AND bought candy. And ate most of it, too. <BR> <BR> Left the gym bag in a drawer, and the lunch I'd packed in the 'fridge. Walked back to the car late (worked later than "quitting time")... but unburdened. <BR> <BR> Got phone call (scheduled) from health coach. Exchanged instant messages with my son. He's in finals week at school. <BR> <BR> So today... don't have to carry a gy... Tue, 15 Dec 2015 08:05:11 EST