PHEBESS's SparkPeople Blog PHEBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community We're in the Seychelles! It took us two and a half days to get here, but the island is so gorgeous it is totally worth the long trip! Loving the warm weather, beautiful beaches, and the delicious Indian Ocean waters! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/suddenly-seychelles.html </link> <BR> <BR> And yes, it really looks like this: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 14 Oct 2017 00:12:08 EST Good-bye to the USA, Hello New Horizons We're on the road again after four months in Washington state. Our medical procedures are all finished - I have a brand-new bionic knee (well, metal anyway), and DH has new and improved vision. <BR> <BR> Currently in Dallas at the airport, we have a flight out in a few hours. Heading to the Seychelles - with the long flight, and the time change, we'll arrive Tuesday morning. Looking forward to more knee building with lots of walking and swimming and exploring what looks like a gorgeous ... Sun, 8 Oct 2017 17:52:16 EST The rest of the summer It's been a quiet summer, but I finally wrote the blog. Mostly about my brother's wedding, which of course was the social event of August. We're almost ready to book our trip elsewhere for the year - but here's the catch up blog: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/and-suddenly-its-autumn.html </link> <BR> <BR> And weddings mean gorgeous flowers! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 01:58:43 EST How I Spent My Sunday My youngest brother married a woman he met in first grade. Really, they knew each other all through school, but never once dated. Bumped into each other in their 40s, and it blossomed into love. <BR> <BR> And I got to be the officiant. <BR> <BR> I don't have a lot of photos yet - but it was a beautiful day in a lovely garden park, and I managed to stand on my new knee for over an hour. It was a fabulous day all around! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:45:39 EST It's My Birthday Party!!!! August 3 is my birthday, so I'm having a big virtual party! Please join in! <BR> <BR> We're on the most beautiful beach you've seen, with white sand and aqua water. Lots of room for swimming, playing on the beach, and of course places to sit and eat and chat with Spark friends. And of course lighting on the beach for the evening guests. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.... Thu, 3 Aug 2017 01:40:08 EST "Good genes are nice, but joy is better" My Spark friend Watermellen has been writing a series of blogs about intentional happiness - what makes us happy, how do we stay happy, how can we be happy given everything that goes on in life, and how does our happiness impact our health, fitness, and weight. Great series, and I'd suggest taking a look if you're interested. (Her blogs are always thoughtful and thought-provoking.) The first of her series talks about how relationships impact happiness: <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.c... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:28:37 EST My new knee Some people know that I spent June getting a new knee. Here's the overview blog - and yes, there are vaguely abstract photos at the end, but nothing gross - just photos of the x-ray of the knee replacement in place. But you can skip them too, if you prefer. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/where-did-june-go-oh-new-knee.html </link> <BR> <BR> And now, not quite 4 weeks later, I can walk 1/4 mile or so with just a cane. Plus pedal a bicycle. <BR> <BR> So doing... Sat, 8 Jul 2017 22:34:00 EST A wonderful time in New York We had a great time in New York City - I even met up with several Spark friends! Had a fabulous time, got in lots of walking, and found new things to see in this ever changing city! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/some-days-in-parks-with-friends.html </link> <BR> <BR> Including a fabulous mural I somehow missed last time! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't have photos of our... Thu, 1 Jun 2017 01:31:10 EST My baby chickadee DH saw a tiny baby chickadee resting on the edge of a flowerpot outside the back door this evening. It was getting dark, this bird was so little and seemed so alone. We kept an eye on him/her, because there didn't seem to be any parent birds nearby. <BR> <BR> Well, a couple of hours later it was colder and little baby bird was still in the same spot. DH was convinced it was shivering and crying. (Yeah, well, it really was just asleep.) <BR> <BR> But I'm a sucker for little lost animals ... Tue, 30 May 2017 23:05:42 EST My Debut on Broadway Okay, off Broadway. But still, just a few blocks over on 42nd street. <BR> <BR> I was IN an off-Broadway hit last night! Really, I was one of the characters and had to act and everything! Fortunately, I had experience with my role. <BR> <BR> Really, it was one of the more hilarious things that I've done in quite a while! <BR> <BR> No photos of me in my role, but lots of photos in the blog. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/so-about-that-time-i-was-in-off.html </l... Thu, 18 May 2017 18:09:40 EST Re-visiting St. Thomas in time for Carnival!!! We enjoyed living on St. Thomas for 20 something years, and Carnival was always a special event that we enjoyed. Colorful, crazy, loud, and joyous - the sort of sums up Carnival. <BR> <BR> But here are all of the details: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/st-thomas-deja-vu-visit.html </link> <BR> <BR> And just one photo: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tue, 16 May 2017 10:19:02 EST Still Dancing in Cartagena We're absolutely enjoying this city - full of music, color, culture, interesting holiday celebrations! So much to see and do, though we also take time to swim in the hotel pool and just relax - days are hot and quiet, evenings are cool and loud and crazy. <BR> <BR> Loving it! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/04/still-dancing-in-cartagena.html </link> <BR> <BR> And one of my favorite murals: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 19 Apr 2017 01:07:25 EST Cartagena, Colombia! We've been here five days, and are having a great time! It's colorful and full of history, with friendly people, lots of music, and we just saw some fireworks outside! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/cartagena-old-city-in-new-world.html </link> <BR> <BR> Plus lots of walking all around! <BR> <BR> I love the bicycles as a display for items on sale: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <... Fri, 31 Mar 2017 02:34:47 EST Visiting Ernest Hemingway's Cats We stopped at Key West on our last full day of our cruise - I visited the home of Ernest Hemingway, which was amazing! And of course played with the great-great-great-grandchildren of his cats, famous for having more than five toes! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/hemingways-cats.html </link> <BR> <BR> Great way to get in my walking (11,000+ steps), and see the sites, get my kitty fix, and feel literary all at the same time! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://pho... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:51:28 EST Out of the Amazon and Into the Caribbean Here are the last several blogs from our cruise - we're in the Caribbean now, with super speedy wifi which is great! <BR> <BR> A kitschy, touristy "indigenous" village: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/boca-da-valeria.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> The city of Manaus, a huge metropolis halfway up the Amazon: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/manaus-capital-of-amazonas.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> The river cruise I went on, com... Sat, 18 Mar 2017 14:16:57 EST Carnaval, the Amazon, Even Some Piranhas! We're having a great time - Carnaval was unbelievably gorgeous and crazy and colorful - the photos only begin to give the feel of the samba parades! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/carnaval-in-rio-sambadromo.html </link> <BR> <BR> Then we had a few sea days, and a visit to the coastal town of Fortaleza: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/fortaleza-brazil.html </link> <BR> <BR> We're now cruising the Amazon River, which yes, is... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 14:13:17 EST Update on our Cruise Around Brazil We're currently visiting Santarem, a small city on the Amazon! Really, the AMAZON! <BR> <BR> But I'm trying to catch up on blogs - working on the Carnaval blog, which has tons of photos and was one of the most fabulous events ever! <BR> <BR> But here are two blogs to update everyone on our adventures: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/finally-ashore-in-ilhabela.html </link> <BR> <BR> And: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/03/rescu... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 11:45:19 EST Cruising along We're still having fun in Brazil, though I missed a few ports of call because I developed bronchitis, and then was quarantined. Yeah. Thankful for room service and chicken soup! <BR> <BR> We're currently south of Rio, visiting a lovely island with mosaic all over. <BR> <BR> But here's the blog about Salvador da Bahia, and being put into isolation on a cruise ship. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/02/quarantined-in-ilheus.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a lady in ... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 10:10:20 EST We're in Brazil! Wifi has been very iffy, and sometimes nonexistent. <BR> <BR> So here's the list of blogs - <BR> <BR> Leaving the Caribbean, and visiting Devils Island, French Guiana: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/02/good-bye-caribbean-hello-devils-i<BR>sland.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Crossing the equator, and Belem, Brazil: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/02/across-blue-equator.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Recife, full of color as they ... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:26:55 EST Birds, Roti, a Flood, and All is Well We had a great time on Trinidad, first being greeted by a student steel pan band - made me feel right at home! Then we toured by walking around town and being adopted by a lovely young lady who may be Trinidad's next big track and field star. Really! She's a part-time tour guide, had just finished a tour, and somehow found us and adopted us for the afternoon! <BR> <BR> We missed out on Tobago, though - our room flooded that morning, and we had to move. Got a room upgrade in the bargain, ... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 10:24:04 EST Aruba, Curaçao, and now on Trinidad! We're so happy to be back "home" in the Caribbean - after 20+ years on St. Thomas, we've missed the warm sea breezes and aqua blue water! We spend a good part of our time chatting up locals, just so that we really do feel at home again! <BR> <BR> Having a great time! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/the-abc-islands-aruba-and-curacao-bu<BR>t.html </link> <BR> <BR> Oh, and I rode the pontoon bridge as it opened and re-closed - free and fun! Plus everyone is gea... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 10:22:06 EST Life on a Cruise Ship We signed up for a cruise from Florida down to Brazil, around to a number of cities including Rio for Carnival - then up the Amazon a ways, and eventually back to Florida. <BR> <BR> It's a little crazy, and a bit of a splurge, but, well, I explain why we opted to travel this way in the blog. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/cruising-caribbean.html </link> <BR> <BR> And even though the average cruiser gains something like 2 lbs a day (!!!), I'm losing weight. S... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 10:26:24 EST And now, the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls We stayed at the hotel in the midst of the national park, and had an amazing view of the falls. But of course I had to get in some hiking to the falls, though I didn't do all the trails. <BR> <BR> Gorgeous, dramatic, and WOW! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/iguazu-falls-argentinian-side.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a couple of views from the top of the biggest and baddest waterfall of all: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:53:33 EST The Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls On Monday, I went across the river to Brazil to hike along the waterfall trail. This is about 2 miles long - at least, I put on about 2 miles on the trail. <BR> <BR> This series of waterfalls in incredible! Amazing! Gorgeous! Majestic! And just about every superlative you can think of - it really is one of those places where every corner yields a vista that just takes your breath away! <BR> <BR> LOTS of photos: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/01/iguazu-fa... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 16:16:54 EST The Women's March goes WORLDWIDE! This is incredible - you really need to see that on all seven continents, women and the men who support us were out there marching! Pink pussy hats and all! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>21/world/ </link> <BR> <BR> Makes me so PROUD to be a woman!!!!!!! Sun, 22 Jan 2017 09:22:45 EST Up one moment, down the next I fell today. <BR> <BR> It's a good thing I walked four miles yesterday - we headed out for a walk and lunch and I don't know what happened. I was walking and talking with DH, next moment my right foot is sliding off the sidewalk and my left was in mid-step and I went careening into a telephone pole! Couldn't quite grab it to hold on, the momentum kept me going and I kind of slid around the pole and ended up lying on my back in the street, between two parked cars. Without any idea of how I... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:49:04 EST Happy Birthday to Lima, Peru! This is the 482nd anniversary of the founding of Lima, Peru, by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. <BR> <BR> So some of the staff at our local neighborhood casino were dressed in 16th century clothing to help celebrate the occasion! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/happy-birthday-lima.html </link> <BR> <BR> I LOVE stuff like this, so of course I ran around taking everyone's photos! I think the rose and burgundy dress was my favorite! <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:29:28 EST An Odd Musical Deja Vu Coincidence! I was having lunch in my friendly little neighborhood cafe today, and I heard a very familiar melody on their sound system. I listened a bit more closely, and while I couldn't understand any of the words (since I'm in Lima, Peru, and much of the music is in Spanish), I could have sworn I knew the melody. <BR> <BR> I listened more closely, and suddenly I knew - this was the tune for "A Groovy Kind of Love" - a song from my youth! I kind of hummed along, and while there were a few parts that... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:17:47 EST Three Kings Day We were just walking down the street, looking for a taxi, when there were trumpeters. And three men on horseback, dressed up as Middle Eastern kings. And, well, it was colorful and exciting and celebratory! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/we-saw-three-kings-bearing-gifts.html </link> <BR> <BR> I took photos as the horses ambled by, and then as we passed them on our way home in a taxi. But this is really the best photo: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.s... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 00:55:23 EST A Very Yellow New Year Yellow is the color for good luck in the New Year in South America - so we hung up yellow balloons, and wore yellow leis. Even the Chihuahua! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/a-peruvian-new-years-eve.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a sample of traditional Peruvian Christmas decorations: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 5 Jan 2017 17:43:08 EST A Salsa Band Playing Christmas Carols! They came wandering by, first playing "Feliz Navidad" but then some more familiar carols like "Joy to the World." Still in their salsa beat, on drums and a few brass instruments. <BR> <BR> Christmas in Lima, Peru, has been exciting! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/the-salsa-carollers-for-peruvian.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Tue, 27 Dec 2016 23:21:57 EST Karaoke party - come over and sing along! I won SparkGoodie points on my daily spin, so I just bought a karaoke machine! <BR> <BR> Come join the fun and add a song below!!! Just a title, singer or group, maybe a few lyrics or the memories the song evokes!!! Mon, 26 Dec 2016 12:39:29 EST Return to the Kitty Park Finally blogged about our first two weeks back in Lima, Peru. Turns out to be easier to get a visa for Brazil here than in the US! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/19-december-2016-we-came-to-lima-for.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> And of course I've visited the kitty park three times. Lots of walking. Finding old friends again. Having a great time, we like Lima and the dry warm days. <BR> <BR> And the kitties. As well as local color. <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:05:34 EST Leaving Bellingham (home) and heading to Lima, Peru. <BR> <BR> Because my husband's dentist happens to be there. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/its-cold-and-were-out-of-here.html </link> <BR> <BR> We're SO COLD and mostly want to get somewhere warm - and south of the equator is heading into summer. Seemed like a good way to warm up again! <BR> Mon, 5 Dec 2016 00:41:25 EST Wedding in Hawaii, and my medical stuff We had a great time at my niece's wedding in Hawaii, and then a big family and friends reception back in the US. <BR> <BR> I'm having weird medical stuff going on - every test is great except my heart is doing weird stuff and no one knows why. As I said, weird. <BR> <BR> But not to worry, we're doing more testing, and we should have a diagnosis after a test on Monday. At least we hope so. <BR> <BR> We're also making contingency plans in case we can't continue travelling at the pace we've... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 02:53:08 EST Chocolate improves brain function <link><BR>more-chocolate-might-make-you-smarter-<BR>new-study-suggests.html?cid=cp01002quartz </link> <BR> <BR> My brother sent me the link to this article. Apparently chocolate helps improve brain functions - this came out of an extensive study of foods and their effect on the human brain. <BR> <BR> Not that we need a whole lot of chocolate. Not denying that too much of the wrong kind of chocolate is high calorie and not nutritious. <BR> <BR> No,... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:05:20 EST Helicopter Over Hawaii Photos and the story of our helicopter tour of the Pu'u O'o crater and lava flow to the sea, and some waterfalls. Plus views of Mauna Loa volcano as we drove by. Fiery hot gelato. And volcanic rock cliffs. <BR> <BR> Yeah. Hawaii is great! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/pele-is-alive-and-well-and-living-in<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 4 Nov 2016 05:29:04 EST Hotel Halloween, in Hawaii We can hear the luau going on right now, but this morning I went trick-or-treating at our hotel. It was so funny! They had free bags to carry, a route to follow to five offices around the hotel, and everyone in those offices excited to see kids coming to collect candy. <BR> <BR> Yeah, I was their first trick-or-treater! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/hotel-halloween.html </link> <BR> <BR> I had fun, chatted with people in every office (who all recognized wh... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 01:14:37 EST The Volcano Blog We had a fabulous day visiting the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii. I've always wanted to see lava, and it was bubbling up and spewing and making me happy! <BR> <BR> The Jaggar Museum was also interesting. <BR> <BR> But live lava - just WOW! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/visiting-pele-goddess-of-volcanoes.html </link> <BR> <BR> Teaser photos: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img s... Fri, 28 Oct 2016 06:30:44 EST Sleeping sea turtles, and black sand beaches! We headed toward the Kilauea crater, but we were sidetracked by our visit to the black sand beach at Punalu'u. Not exactly soft sand, since it's made from tiny bits of black lava rock. But beautiful and dark and different. <BR> <BR> The green sea turtles come out of the water to nap on the warm sand, which retains heat from the sun for hours. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/turtles-sleeping-on-black-lava-sand.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> We had such a great ti... Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:52:19 EST HAWAII!!!!!!! We're in Hawaii, playing for three weeks prior to my niece's wedding. SO nice to be warm and in a tropical setting again! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/kitties-and-mongoose-and-saffron.html </link> <BR> <BR> With lovely views and gorgeous flowers. How can we not love this place? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 23 Oct 2016 00:32:06 EST We went up to Mount Baker Gorgeous views, fresh clean air, and hiking around! Had a wonderful time, and probably need to do this more often! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/mountain-to-ocean-peak-to-bay-skiing<BR>-to.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:11:57 EST Getting caught up We've had a very busy month in the northwest corner of Washington state - three weeks celebrating my birthday, spending time with friends and family, and taking care of a year's worth of medical visits and tests. <BR> <BR> Busy! And also fun! <BR> <BR> Here's the link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/catching-up-on-everything.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I found plastic cows in the supermarket. Not for sale, though. Just as decoration. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 03:36:14 EST Ospreys! We have ospreys!!! I went birding - and saw ospreys!!!!!! Parent ospreys, teenage ospreys, kid ospreys, and osprey nests!!!!!!!! Plus some walking around the nature refuge, and climbing the lookout tower - what a wonderful day!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/the-birds-birds.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's Osprey Junior debating whether to fly or not: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 1 Aug 2016 01:11:56 EST New Jersey, Home of Kitsch New Jersey!!!! The home of kitsch!!! A giant elephant!!! Huge ice cream you can sit in! You'll be amazed!!!!! And then: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/summertime-and-living-is-kitschy.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 23:45:36 EST Hotel Room Workouts An article I wrote for Travel Fashion Girl has been published in her blog. I talk about how we need strength training to maintain muscle strength, especially as we age. And how to use body weight as the resistance for strength training while travelling. <BR> <BR> Here's the link to the article: <link><BR>kouts/ </link> <BR> <BR> And I even cite SparkPeople as a source for some of the info - YAY to SparkPeople! Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:30:41 EST Goodbye Guatemala, Hello USA Or, why you need to wear shoes in developing countries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/were-fine-just-busy.html </link> <BR> <BR> We had a great time in Guatemala City, shopping and chatting and all. I also started sketching, and got a great haircut. <BR> <BR> All while my poor hubby was a bit ill with a stomach thing. Which, we found out today, is a persistent kind of parasite that one can get in a variety of ways. Including walking around barefoot. I've... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 23:15:21 EST What NOT to Wear After Age 50 Women are always told what to do, how to look, what to wear. You know? And as we age and get wiser, we're told not to wear this or that. Don't have long hair. Not too much makeup. <BR> <BR> Blah blah blah. <BR> <BR> THIS! This article tells us what not to wear - except, it isn't about clothing. It's about all the things we take on as women. And what we can do without. Including the attitudes of the rest of the world! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s/wha... Sun, 17 Jul 2016 13:28:00 EST Urban Sketching I stumbled on this organization, called Urban Sketchers. They're an international organization of people who sketch where they live, where they travel, what they see in the world. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> So I joined. Part of the mission statement is that we share our sketches online. I find it easiest to do this by blogging, so I have a new blog site: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> This will take you to the most rec... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 13:26:18 EST Wrapping up our time in Antigua Guatemala We've enjoyed having Antigua as our "home base" for the past five weeks while we've travelled about this region of Guatemala, and northward. But we're heading to the big city, and hoping to make it as far as the Caribbean coast. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/mellow-life-in-antigua-guatemala.html </link> <BR> <BR> We've had a great time in this city, the old capital of Guatemala. With all kinds of fascinating history. And with volcanoes in the near distance... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 02:00:08 EST