PTESORO's SparkPeople Blog PTESORO's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Negative Self-Talk Almost Killed Me! It's been quite some time since I've posted anything. And my journey to better health had had several setbacks From early 2011 I have been plagued with chronic migraine. I was having as many as 25 a month. The longest one I ever had was 19 days. And finding the magic combinations of treatments, therapies and medication has been a long and frustrating process. But I think we have finally got them under control. During that time I had gained some weight back due to inactivity and poor nutrit... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:26:05 EST Laughter Many years ago, while on a spiritual retreat, the retreat leader asked the participants what is our favorite part of ourselves. We told that since it may take while, we would discuss this at the END of the retreat, and were given an index card to write what it was and why it was your favorite part of yourself. My answer surprised me. <BR> <BR> As soon as the question was asked, I instantly knew what my favorite part of me was. It is my laugh! I love the way my shoulders shake when I laugh, I... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 15:15:13 EST 50 Years Ago Today Was a GOOD day Today, on my 50th birthday, I am at peace with who I am. Over the years I have learned many things. I’m fiercely loyal to the people I love. I have developed a deep capacity for love and forgiveness; forgiveness for myself and others. I am far from perfect and there are times I have unreasonable expectations for myself and others. One of my greatest assets is my capacity for forgiveness of myself and others. What I know, is forgiveness is not forgetting, it’s choosing to NOT let the past k... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 23:47:45 EST Thinking of you... When I was a little girl, my father used to take me and my two sisters hunting and fishing. Both my sisters took to it, however, I didn't. Still, he would still take me every chance he got. <BR> <BR> My father passed away in 2006. When I re-discovered my love for photography a few years later, it dawned on my that my father managed to instill me a deep, deep love of nature. I wish he could have seen some of the images that he inspired me to take. <BR> <BR> This one is for you, Dad! <BR> <B... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 13:52:11 EST The Mighty Golden Gate Bridge I grew up in Northern California; I have family that lives in the bay area, and my grandfather lived in San Francisco before for moving to Sacramento. I can't tell you how old I was when I first saw this magnificent landmark, but I can tell you that I never get tired of seeing it, EVER! <BR> <BR> One of my favorite things to do is play "tourist" in my own state. I'm starting a new photography series called "America the Beautiful" and some of these photos will be included in that series. <B... Sun, 26 May 2013 19:53:07 EST A Little Somthing to Brighten Up Your Day A few weeks ago, I visited a local Iris farm. It put in in my "happy place" to take photos of these beautiful flowers. Note: The Iris' were not shot with my new lens. <BR> <BR> You can see the dew drops on the petel <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just love this flower! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Somebody's always gotta be different! <BR> <img src=" Sun, 5 May 2013 20:03:06 EST This is the beginning of a beautiful thing ~ I'm certain I have falling in love, he goes by the moniker 'L' Series. Yes, that's right I bought my first 'L' Series lens! OMG! What a beautiful piece of glass! I said GLASS not ASS for those of you minds in the gutter. It's a 70-300mm f4-5.6. Sure, I took a few test shots in the store last weekend, but I just shot a few test shots in my back yard, and it is just STUNNING! I'm in love cuz it's got the reach I need (300mm) and quality I seek (L glass). Yes, I do believe this will be a match made in heave... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:38:33 EST Remind you of any one???? I ran across this earlier today, and thought it was interesting. Reminds of someone I used to know... <BR> <BR> "She's that girls that believes what comes around, goes around. The one that hopes for a better day. The one who won't give up on you. She's the girl that's unlike the rest. The one that spent her days smiling and her nights crying. She's that girl that would love to be loved. The one who looks so damn strong, but feels so weak. She's the girl who picks herself up every time she fa... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 11:01:59 EST Ahhhh...... As most of you know, one of my life's passions is photography. You may also know, that one of my favorite places is the California coastline. No place on this planet soothes my soul like the ocean. <BR> <BR> I recently took myself on an extended weekend to Monterey. I went alone, and I was able to completely immerse myself in my photography. Below a some images I managed to capture! <BR> <BR> This photo makes me smile, remembering how the ocean spray felt on my face as I shot this picture.... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 19:06:38 EST Today is a day for celebration!!!! Normally on my birthday I reflect on my life a bit. Today, I like the person I’ve become. I am comfortable in my own skin, and I am not afraid of showing who I am, flaws and all. I realized not everybody is so fortunate. It took a lot of hard work and fearless self-examination to become the woman I am. I had to look at selfish things I did and the angry words I’ve spoken. I had to ask myself “Is it worth it? Is my dignity worth the price I pay when I am selfish, unkind or resentful?” Of cour... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 01:00:21 EST Great News!!! Last week, my niece got word that she won't be deploying Afghanistan on Nov 27th! Yippee! I had been meaning post a blog sooner! I can't begin to tell you the relief I feel! <BR> <BR> So her deployment was cancelled due to some technicality about a certain skill set. This does not mean she's not eligible to get deployed; it only means she's not going this time. <BR> <BR> And while I won't be seeing her for Thanksgiving, I'm soo so thankful she's not gonna be in a hostile environment. And ma... Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:37:47 EST Veterans day Every Veterans day I think of all the sacrifices our soldiers make for our country. However this Veterans day my Niece is very much on my mind. She is a Medic in the Air Force, and in less than months time she will deploy to a hospital in Afghanistan. The particular hospital she's deploying to is dangerous and us under fire regularly. <BR> <BR> <BR> Regardless of my personal option about the war, I'm grateful she will be putting herself in harms way to tend to our fallen soldiers. I shudd... Sun, 11 Nov 2012 13:03:20 EST My first wedding shoot! Okay as many of you know, photography is a passion of mine. I'm no pro, but I do enjoy taking pics of all sorts of events. During the last week of September, I shot my first wedding. <BR> <BR> I did the shoot as a favor to my best friend's niece. She couldn't afford a pro, so she told me whatever I could do would be greatly appreciated. <BR> <BR> Not exactly an ideal lighting situation for outdoor formal photography. It was quite challenging. It was a BRIGHT and blazing hot California fall... Sun, 28 Oct 2012 17:24:25 EST Growth! With each painful experience in my life, be it a breakup, death of a loved one, job loss etc., I have become stronger, wiser, kinder person BECAUSE of it, not in spite of it. Because with each loss, I had to get a bigger God; I had to forgive myself and others; my capacity for love and compassion grew; I had to learn to trust the process; I had to learn there’s a difference between grieving and being broken; I had to learn how to maintain my dignity in the face of tragedy. All of those lesson... Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:15:34 EST Wadda think??? Last night, I went to a friends house for dinner. Her BF has caught the photography bug. So, before dinner he and I went to the rail road tracks to shoot some pics at sunset. Below are a few of the images I managed to capture <BR> <BR> Under the train... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The tracks to nowhere! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I took this shot by "braille" meaning I could not... Sun, 9 Sep 2012 18:57:41 EST On Safari in California.... Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting one of my friends who recently moved to Oakland. What a beautiful city. I know there are some of you who've heard the horror stories about Oakland, how it's the epitome of gangland USA. Sure, like many urban cities there in the states, it has is seedy areas, but Oakland also has some very beautiful areas <BR> <BR> On Friday, we had lunch in Berkeley and hung out for a few hours. When we got back to Oakland, it was late afternoon, and the shadows w... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 15:44:20 EST What a great weekend!!! Last night, I had one of my high schools friends over for dinner. It's been a few years since I've seen her. As we laughed about "days gone by" and caught up on "current events" I couldn't help but think, 'Yep, after all these years, I'd choose her again as my friend.' <BR> <BR> In high school we were inseparable, as high school friends often are. After we graduated life "started happening" and we drifted apart. Over the years, I looked for her on every reunion forum I could find. She was n... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 17:39:16 EST Fire Season…. The gulf coast and south eastern regions of the United States has hurricane season, California has fire season. This time of year, with the humidity dropping and temps soaring, makes California a veritable tender box. The last few weeks haven’t helped. We’ve had a heat wave with temperatures into the triple digits several days in a row. <BR> <BR> I leave for work shortly after sunrise. The last few mornings it’s been dark and almost gloomy. As I look to the east, I can see the sun somewhat o... Wed, 15 Aug 2012 10:50:45 EST I’m stunned…. I sit here today after my annual evaluation simply stunned. Allow me to explain. <BR> <BR> My boss is a very difficult man to work for. He’s critical, confrontational and doesn’t provide positive feedback. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in “blowing smoke…” but I’d like to improve upon the things I do right, and minimize the things I don’t do correctly. <BR> <BR> The last few weeks, there have been a few situations where there has been some friction with the development staff I support.... Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:26:05 EST Hot, Hot, Hot It was 108 degrees in Sacramento yesterday. And with temps that high, I decided to stay indoors. To entertain myself, I decided to edit some photos I took a few years back. <BR> <BR> Taken from the foothills facing Sacramento. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> California Poppy, our state flower <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Another Poppy in full color <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spark... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 15:43:49 EST Sunset on the Lake Went camping this weekend, and only managed to capture a few pics worth posting. Both happened to be at Sunset last night. <BR> <BR> Just before sunset, this Canadian Honker was peacefully swimming by. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just before the sun slipped below the horizon, I managed to capture this image. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Sun, 15 Jul 2012 23:07:37 EST Napa/San Francisco 2012 In the latter part of June, my niece came home for 10 days leave. In honor of her 23rd birthday we took a road trip. My niece, my sister and myself played tourist in our state! Sooo much fun! And of course my camera was my "true companion" Below are a few images I managed to capture. <BR> <BR> Andretti Winery <BR> Their wines were soft and were not as robust and flavorful as I had hoped. However, the grounds were beautiful. But the vineyards were stunning in the morning light. <BR> <img sr... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 16:33:25 EST Happy Memorial Day! Today, here in the United States, we honor our soldiers who paid the ultimate price for our country. Every year on this day I’m filled with mixed emotions ranging from pride to sorrow, gratitude to regret. And while I don’t always agree with the reason(s) why our soldiers are sent into battle, I’m am always deeply grateful for their service. <BR> <BR> On this day, I’m especially aware of the sacrifices our soldiers make. My 23 year old niece is a medic in the US Air Force. When she was home... Mon, 28 May 2012 14:16:00 EST Nature At Home These doves were sitting on my balcony today. Normally they are quite shy, but these brave birds allowed me to take some pics! I shot these pics through my window in my bedroom and my living room. No the best quality, but still wanted to share! <BR> <BR> Good Morning! I brought you something! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just thought I'd come by and say 'Hi!' <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ... Sat, 19 May 2012 17:17:54 EST Happy Mother's day (2012) Happy Mother's day! I feel blessed every day that Louisa Minyard is my mother! I adore her more than words can possibly express. So today, I celebrate her! Many, many years ago, I couldn't say that! But times have changed, and so have I. She is one of my life's greatest treasures! <BR> <BR> But I'm also thinking of the many people I know who no longer have their mother; cherish their memories if you have good ones, pray for peace in your heart of you don't have good memories of your mother!... Sun, 13 May 2012 13:23:48 EST Gratitude comes when you least expect it I'm feeling very grateful today. To all the people who loved me in my darkest hour, you have no idea how much you mean to me! A dear, dear friend of mine called me today needing support. He knew I recently had a similar circumstance, and he said to me "How did you get through it, Alesia?" What a gift. I can give him what was so freely given to me! <BR> <BR> Sun, 22 Apr 2012 13:43:35 EST Springtime in California (2012) It's been a long time since I've shot my camera. And it's been even a longer time since I've taken a decent pic. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I decided I was gonna go shoot a local nursery. It's so fun to shoot flowers in the spring time, with all of mother nature buzzing about. Below are a few images I managed to capture. Thought they would be fitting post them on Easter. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeopl... Sun, 8 Apr 2012 14:18:47 EST Ano Nuevo State Rerserve In February 2012, I decided to take a trip to Ano Nuevo State Reserve, to shoot some elephant seals. And by shoot, of course, I mean photograph. <BR> <BR> It was a hazy day on the coast, and the elephant seals were kicking up sand too. Not to mention I was shooting into the afternoon sun. All of these elements made it very difficult to get "decent" shots. But I thought I'd post a few anyway. <BR> <BR> Hey, I know... Let's see who can yell the loudest!!! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sp... Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:54:40 EST Supporting a freind in need Once when I was going though a very tough time, a friend of mine said "All we can do is standby and watch!" I disagree! While nobody has the power to take another's pain away, a friend reaching out and the power of love can ease the pain considerably. During that same time, another friend said to me "Sometimes there are no words" then he held me let me cry. <BR> <BR> I have a friend in a similar situation, and I try to remember those lessons learned, and let them know I love them, and suppo... Wed, 7 Mar 2012 11:00:00 EST Yoga, Yoga, Yoga! Ahhhh… Yoga does a body, mind and spirit good! Last night, I practiced yoga for the first time in a very long time. I decided to put on a CD that one of my yoga instructors used to play often, when I first starting practicing many, many years ago. As I sat on my mat and closed my eyes, it felt as if I had been embraced by a long lost friend, smiling and welcoming me back home. <BR> <BR> My practice last night was a bit short than I’m accustomed to, but as I progressed through various poses, ... Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:52:06 EST February 9th.... A day to celebrate On this day, I always reflect on my life a bit. I think of my father the troubled man he was, and all the things in his heart I knew he wished he could give me. Not knowing about all the precious things he did show me; a love of nature, he continues inspire my photography and he is with me on each camping trip I take. And oh how I wish I could share those things him now! On this day, I think of my mother and all the courage she has shown through years. And how grateful I’m for her love and su... Thu, 9 Feb 2012 10:47:45 EST Use Your Food Tracker I have known for years that tracking my food keeps me accountable to my current eating plan. But with the help of SparkPeople, I can also keep track of the macro nutrients I consume. I can monitor my sodium, calcium, trace minerals etc. That has been such an eye opener for me. Because of the fantastic food tracker SparkPeople offers, I feel fully empowered to more effectively manage my food intake while living a healthy active lifestyle. <BR> <BR> But don’t take my word for it that tracking... Thu, 12 Jan 2012 11:15:46 EST Two VITAL eleiments to Weight Loss most people overlook After lots of research over the years, I’ve concluded the two most important and over looked components of weight loss are water and sleep. <BR> <BR> A few years back I wrote a blog about water is vital to weight loss. Paraphrasing my own blog, the kidneys can’t do their job correctly, if they don’t get enough water. And the liver, who’s primary job is to metabolize fat, picks up the slacks for the kidneys, and can’t do it’s job efficiently. You see the domino effect of this issue. <BR> <B... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:22:13 EST Goodbye 2011 Let's hope that saying is true "That which doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger." <BR> <BR> You know... As I look back on 2011 it's staggering all that's happened to me. I’ve had 9 separate traumatic events happen in my life, from January 8th to December 5th. Somehow with each loss, I found the strength to keep moving forward, albeit slowly sometimes, I was and am moving forward. It’s a miracle I didn’t crumble under the weight of the sorrow and the vast changes in my life! I know I w... Sat, 31 Dec 2011 15:40:00 EST Merry Christmas from a couple of your favorite Characters! <img src=""> Sat, 24 Dec 2011 12:54:18 EST Christmas Memories! For some reason, I've been having the most pleasant childhood Christmas memories of my father, and my grandfather (my mom's dad) putting together our bikes, toys, or other items with "Some Assembly Required" I keep hearing them bickering and teasing each other about how to put the items together. Those are fond memories, indeed!!! <BR> <BR> Fri, 23 Dec 2011 14:49:14 EST Jack's Camera Some people come into your life, and you are changed irrevocably. I have been fortunate enough to have a few people like that in my life. They are the people who mold you into the person you aspire to be. Jack is certainly one of those people. <BR> <BR> Jack is my former father-in-law. We were close during my marriage to my ex-husband, but it was *after* my separation as subsequent divorce that Jack and I got extremely close. Oddly enough the father of the man who broke my heart, was instru... Sat, 26 Nov 2011 16:05:53 EST A Little Thanksgiving Humor! I couldn't resist posting this cartoon. It was given to me several years ago, and it still makes me giggle today! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 24 Nov 2011 13:00:54 EST Latest Photo Shoot - October 2011 Went and shot a few photos yesterday, Here's the best of the bunch, IMHO <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 30 Oct 2011 16:18:13 EST Yosemite - October 2011 Hi Sparkies, <BR> <BR> I've lived in California ALL my life and I've never been to Yosemite, EVER. So a few weeks back my best freind and I decided a camping trip was in order, and decided that our destination should be Yosemite. <BR> <BR> Got a few good pics, below are a few... <BR> <BR> Half Dome... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yosemite Valley - It was simply breathtaking <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 20 Oct 2011 00:57:06 EST Up, up and away, my beautiful balloon… To say I have had a bumpy year, is quite the understatement. However, when summer came around, I VOWED to continue to enjoy my life, even if it was full of ups and downs. <BR> <BR> So last weekend I joined a few of my friends on a trip to the Reno Hot Air Balloon Races. It was an incredible experience. Our day started long before dawn; it was captivating watching the balloons being inflated. As the sun came up, and I was able to see just how many balloons there were, and just how massive the... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 20:30:04 EST Thought for the Day - Compassion Compassion is ALWAYS a choice. ALWAYS!!! It takes courage, grace, strength AND vulnerability! Some of the strongest people I know, have the deepest capacity for compassion Thu, 8 Sep 2011 13:38:17 EST GRRRRRRRRRR.... Instant relief my A$$ As I mention in my last blog, the doc said "The procedure should bring you instant relief." <BR> <BR> Really???? Then why than in less than a week, Greek yogurt is getting stuck in my throat gain! And I'm having most of the other symptoms I have having before the procedure too! Really not finding any relief, and this is beginning to reek havoc on my whole system!!!! <BR> <BR> Sorry, I'm ranting... Called the doc, let's see what he has to say... <BR> <BR> UPDATE: <BR> <BR> Doc's office ju... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 11:53:27 EST Health Issues - Update I wanted to thank everybody for support about my recent heath issue. You guys are the BEST!!! <BR> <BR> As mentioned in a previous blog, yesterday I had an Upper Endoscopy. I had been having some serious problems swallowing food, and food would often get stuck while swallowing. As the doctors suspected, I did have a narrowing of the esophagus. To correct this issue, the Dr. inserted a balloon down the scope, expanded the balloon to stretch my esophagus. Before the procedure began, the do... Thu, 1 Sep 2011 10:52:50 EST I waaaaaant Ooooone... ...but I don't suppose he would fit on my balcony! And the new landlord wont allow pets. Hmmmm... Wonder if he would notice!?!? hehehe <BR> <BR> <BR> Lately, I've really been missing not being able to have a cat. Anyhow, to get my "cat fix" I decided to go to the Folsom Zoo shoot the big cats. As I've gotten older, I'm not a huge fan of wild animals being locked up changes. But this zoo is actually a preserve, and all the animals there have been "rescued" in some way or another. One of th... Sun, 28 Aug 2011 20:46:29 EST Health issues…. Need Support In my last blog I mentioned, I was having a minor medical procedure at the end of the month. <BR> <BR> For several years, I would occasionally find it difficult to swallow food. Food would get stuck in my throat, then I’d get the hiccups. I’d have to drink some water to food to go down. It happened so infrequently I didn’t really think anything of it. Then it started happening more frequently, I remembered that my former father in law had the same issue, had his doctor told him it was a par... Sun, 21 Aug 2011 13:21:40 EST Update on my Aunt Martha Thank you everybody, who sent prayers and well wishes to me and my family. It was very comforting for me to know so many people were supporting me. <BR> <BR> My aunt Martha passed away at 5:55pm on Saturday, August 13th; I was privileged enough to be standing at her bedside as she drew her last breaths. She labored long and hard, but I know she is at peace now. It’s a cliché expressed often after someone dies, but for the first time, I was able to feel that. <BR> <BR> And while I know she... Mon, 15 Aug 2011 22:05:15 EST Reaching out for support This weekend I’m unexpectedly going to Los Angles. My favorite aunt, Martha, has cancer. Her prognosis is very grave and we expect her to be put on hospice any day now. So I’m traveling to the City of Angles to say my “goodbyes.” And while I’ve had many loved ones die of cancer, it’s never any easier. Each loss has its own unique difficulties. This will be an especially hard trip. You see, Martha is my mother’s sister. My mom will be flying to down a few days ahead of me. In addition to my ow... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 11:36:10 EST Thought I'd share this fantatic quote A woman once said, "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living." Fri, 5 Aug 2011 10:38:39 EST Remembering Cliff It was one year ago today, that my mom’s sweetheart Cliff Counter passed away. He was one of the best men I ever had the privileged of knowing. My mother still misses him deeply; he really was the love of her life. So today, I’m thinking of her loss and missing Cliff. Tue, 2 Aug 2011 10:27:26 EST