RUBYTWOSDAY's SparkPeople Blog RUBYTWOSDAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Witch's Bubbling Stew 1 package of stew beef <BR> 2 onions, quartered <BR> 2 carrots, sliced <BR> 2 – 3 potatoes, quartered <BR> ½ cup apple juice <BR> Beef gravy (I use a powdered variety, making enough for 2 cups of broth. <BR> Pepper to taste <BR> <BR> Place all ingredients in oven-safe covered dish. <BR> <BR> Bake at 275 from noon until serving time – around 5 p.m. Serve with fresh bread and a salad. Perfect for Halloween evening! <BR> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:22:18 EST In My Father's Footsteps One of my commitments to a healthier lifestyle is to take ten to fifteen minutes of my thirty minute lunch break and get outdoors. I find the fresh air and movement helps me de-stress from whatever the morning has given me and I find myself rejuvenated and ready to tackle the second half of my day. <BR> <BR> I’ve chosen two or three short routes to walk during this small spark streak and I try to ensure that I get out and go every weekday, rain or shine. <BR> <BR> There is one walk, in par... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:19:25 EST A Motto to Live By You can't fail if you don't give up trying - Yogi Bear Sat, 1 Oct 2011 22:13:55 EST Life in a Goldfish Bowl! I’ve been a Keeper of Goldfish since I was about 12 years old. My first golden beauty lived in a round goldfish bowl, but as I grew and my income grew so did the size of the bowls my fish were housed in. Today I have a 55 gallon tank in my living room that is home to three goldfish and one pleco. <BR> <BR> My first fish didn’t live very long, even though I religiously kept the bowl clean and fed him three times a day. I thought I was giving him the best possible life. How wrong I was! <B... Mon, 26 Sep 2011 10:04:43 EST Look How Far Memory Lane Can Get You! The last few weeks, I have had two people on my mind. They were the parents of a good friend from high school. I haven’t seen or heard from the high school friend in 30 years and, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why her parents have crept into my mind so often. <BR> <BR> But there it is. I keep finding myself thinking of them and remembering things from the past. My friend’s mother was like a second mother to me for quite a few years. I can remember her teaching me new crochet ... Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:47:10 EST Choices Your day begins - 5:45 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:00 a.m. Any of those times will do. You roll out of bed to the sound of the alarm clock. Go through your morning routine, whether its 30 minutes of exercise, a quick shower, a bite to eat and out the door, or something a bit less manic. <BR> <BR> Before leaving for work, you determine that supper tonight will consist of the leftovers that are hanging out in the fridge. Its grocery night so the perfect time to clean out the fridge of all this food... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 21:35:39 EST It's Never To Late To.... Act on your dreams. <BR> Be what you want to be. <BR> Change your future. <BR> Do things differently. <BR> Enrich others’ lives. <BR> Face your fears. <BR> Get out of neutral. <BR> Have fun. <BR> Initiate friendships. <BR> Jumpstart possibilities. <BR> Knock the “t” off can’t. <BR> Live enthusiastically. <BR> Make a difference. <BR> Be Nonjudgmental. <BR> Orchestrate your legacy. <BR> Plan for tomorrow. <BR> Question your priorities. <BR> Reinvent yourself. <BR> Stop keeping score. <BR> Take ... Fri, 2 Sep 2011 09:14:41 EST Dare to... Ask for what you want. <BR> Believe in yourself. <BR> Change your mind. <BR> Do what you love. <BR> Enjoy each and every day. <BR> Follow your heart’s desire. <BR> Give more than you receive. <BR> Have a sense of humour. <BR> Insist on being yourself. <BR> Join in more. <BR> Kiss and make up. <BR> Love and be loved. <BR> Make new friends. <BR> Nurture your spirit. <BR> Overcome adversity. <BR> Play more. <BR> Question conformity. <BR> Reach for the stars. <BR> Speak your truth. <BR> Take pers... Thu, 1 Sep 2011 11:28:42 EST Who Would have Thunk It? Who would have thunk it? Yesterday I read a blog on SparkPeople about MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) shoes written by Catherine Pearson a guest blogger. I want to send a big thank-you out to both Catherine and SparkPeople. <BR> <BR> I was at Walmart last night and because of the blog I had read, I cruised down the shoe aisles and found a pair of Dr Scholl’s Athletic “Adventure” Mary Jane shoes on sale for $15.00. That’s right, just $15. So now I have a pair of these shoes that I can w... Fri, 3 Jun 2011 13:06:58 EST Gaming Ok, I admit it. I am a compulsive gamer. Whether its The Sims, Neopets, Farmville or SparkPeople, I just can't help myself. <BR> <BR> Yes, I included SparkPeople in my list of favourite gaming things to do. SP knew what they were doing when they created the point wheel to spin daily. It got me hooked, long before I was committed to creating a healthier lifestyle for myself. <BR> <BR> Now if only my recumbent exercise bike could offer me a wheel to spin! No, wait a minute, there is a ... Mon, 30 May 2011 16:11:01 EST Where to Draw the Line There are two seasons in the region of Eastern Ontario - winter and the season of the Canada Goose. Winter seems to last about 9 months and once that is over the Canada geese take over - everywhere - parks, farmer's fields, back yards. You can find members of this protected species pretty much everywhere you go. They have polluted our parks and waterways. They make a nuisance of themselves in almost every public park area around. They seem to know that they do not have any enemies and ju... Thu, 26 May 2011 09:43:21 EST I Just Don't Get It.... Over the last few days I have spent some time exploring this massive website SparkPeople. I have checked out each of the teams that I am a member of. I have huddled in teams, read blogs posted by other team members, and posted some myself. <BR> <BR> When I had exhausted the blogs of team members I then checked out the SparkPeople Community page. I discovered that the SP Community page lists who they consider the best member pages for the following categories: Motivational, Community Invo... Thu, 19 May 2011 12:57:04 EST Sowing the Seeds of Anticipation! My newly retired husband has just finished relocating our small garden patch in the hopes of eliminating a tomato plant virus we have experienced over the last couple of years. Garden is ready and just on time for my Victoria Day planting ritual! <BR> <BR> Next step is planning what should go in this new garden plot? I have the tomato plants – they were planted on March 17th – a family tradition passed down by my Dad. I know that I will plant some yellow beans, that’s a given. Maybe I’ll... Wed, 18 May 2011 11:30:57 EST The Next Stage of Our Lives The title of my post tells it all. Today, my husband is retiring. He has worked for the same employer and paid into a pension plan for over 35 years. Not everyone will be able to reach such a milestone. And he did it even though he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 30 years ago. <BR> <BR> Not sure how he's going to like working for the new boss (me)! But I have a honey-do list ready and waiting! <BR> <BR> Hopefully I'll be able to join him in his retirement mode soon too! Fri, 29 Apr 2011 11:34:54 EST The Christmas Gift Last fall when I was still Sparking regularly, I made a commitment to myself that I needed to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day along with watching my diet to be successful in living a healthy lifestyle. <BR> <BR> Counting the calories isn’t a big hardship for me. I religiously use the Nutrition Tracker in SparkPeople and usually manage to stay within my calorie range. <BR> <BR> My main source of exercise consists of walking. I manage to walk at least once ... Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:30:04 EST Our Local Green Food Box Program Last night, when I went to bed the weather forecast was saying that we could expect extremely cold temperatures for this time of year, high winds, rain, ice pellets and a possibility of snow. So, when I went to bed I had an uneasy feeling about how the start of my Wednesday work day would be. <BR> <BR> I woke up this morning before the alarm clock to the sound of wind howling and rain pelting on the bedroom window. I got up, grabbed my clothes and headed for the shower, trying not to look ... Wed, 20 Apr 2011 10:23:50 EST My Lunch Time Streak I committed myself some time ago to take a walk outside the office at lunchtime whenever the weather permits. I only have 30 minutes for lunch, so I monitor how long I’m out by checking my watch and turning around when I’ve been walking about 7 to 8 minutes bringing my mid-day Spark Streak to 15 minutes. <BR> <BR> Today, our area is enjoying cool but sunny weather. As I walked through the neighbourhood I met people who were out and about doing yard work, bringing parcels in from their cars... Tue, 19 Apr 2011 13:06:44 EST My Weekly New Recipe Challenge to myself I’m quite excited to be making a new recipe today. It’s a Monday. How many people can sympathize with the working person’s ‘What’s for dinner?” cry that is heard on Mondays as they come in the door? <BR> <BR> My new recipe challenge to myself for this week is “Crockpot BBQ Chicken”. This recipe was featured in a local weekly newspaper and was added to the SparkPeople Recipe database by Kogo_Shuko. Thank you to Kogo for sharing! <BR> <BR> This morning at 7:15 a.m. I placed a whole chic... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 11:25:00 EST How can something with such a tasty name.... Friday is here yay! I'm sitting here eating an extra-large apple called 'honeycrisp'. You'd think that something with such a tasty name would be full of flavour and worthy every bite I take. I have never tasted anything so bland in my life. Guess the old 'don't judge a book by its cover' is working in reverse here! Fri, 15 Apr 2011 13:00:26 EST How we perceive things. Isn’t it amazing how our mind’s work. Every day, we all move through the moments of our lives. And you can bet, that at the end of the day, when you find the time to sit quietly and sort through all your experiences of the day, your perception of all the moments of that day will be different from the people who shared them with you. Whether the people who shared your day are co-workers, family or friends, we all view and remember these moments differently. <BR> <BR> And you can also be... Thu, 14 Apr 2011 11:49:24 EST Tonight's Challenge An ongoing challenge I have given myself is to cook one new recipe weekly. And if, with that recipe I can make some healthy changes, all the better. <BR> <BR> So every week I search for a new recipe to try. Sometimes its a crockpot recipe, sometimes not. Sometimes its a recipe that was submitted by a fellow Spark member, sometimes its something out of a cookbook I have and so on. <BR> <BR> Tonight is my new recipe night. And its the perfect night to try something new. Its been a dreary... Wed, 13 Apr 2011 15:45:13 EST Healthy Cooking Challenge Team I have been an on-again, off-again, Spark member since 2009. Recently, I have picked up interest in continuing working towards my weight goal and leading a healthier life-style. As part of this renewed interest, I’ve become a more active Spark member. <BR> <BR> I have read The Spark and have joined a number of community teams. I am a lover of internet games and have, to my delight, discovered an addiction to Spark points and trophies. I try to log on to the site daily and gather as many ... Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:19:04 EST I'm old enough to know better! The title of this rant says it all! <BR> <BR> Starting on Friday I listened to my cravings and not my head. Friday for supper went out to A&W and had the new Grandma burger and shared an onion ring with my husband. And instead of asking for a bottle of water I had a real cola product. <BR> <BR> Saturday I ate at Tim Hortons for lunch and had a Ham Swiss sandwich. I forgo the sauce and refused to have the donut they were pushing towards me. But once again, I had a Pepsi. Later in the... Mon, 11 Apr 2011 10:16:32 EST How Many Calories Burned Over the weekend, I spent some time doing some long-neglected work around the house. We have a 55 gallon aquarium that was set up in our basement that I wanted to bring upstairs. I had rearranged our living room about a month ago to make room for the aquarium and then spent the rest of the month trying to convince my husband to help me dismantle and bring the thing upstairs. <BR> <BR> Well, on Saturday morning, I had success! At 10:15 a.m., EST, we began the process. Between 10:15 and ... Tue, 19 Oct 2010 10:09:26 EST These Boots Are Made For Walking..... And they’re NOT kidding! I purchased a pair of ShapeUps by Skechers at the beginning of September. I’d previously been wearing an ‘athletic’ shoe made by Naturalizer for about a month. Unfortunately, when I purchased the Naturalizers I made the error of assuming that I needed the same shoe size I usually wore. They were a little tight, wearable in small doses, but not comfortable for any serious walking. <BR> <BR> To make a long story short, I was lured into a shoe shop at our local mall... Mon, 18 Oct 2010 11:49:31 EST Coffeemakers and Diets Over the weekend, our coffee maker died. My husband is a Mr Fix-it, but was unable to make the necessary repairs. Three days of being deprived of his caffeine quotas had him quite edgy by Monday at supper time. I’ve never seen him so eager to go shopping in his life! Last night after supper, we headed out to purchase a new machine. But first, we made a stop at a coffee shop! <BR> <BR> Once at the department store we spent quite a bit of time looking at all the models and makes of coffee... Wed, 6 Oct 2010 11:33:36 EST "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" This afternoon as I trudged from my office to the parking lot where my car was parked, the song made famous by BJ Thomas – Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, came to my mind. And from there, my mind drifted to the boy who was in my daughter’s Grade 9 class, and who loved to sing this song, was next in my thoughts. <BR> <BR> The further I walked from the school, however, the lyrics to the song left my head as did my daughter and her classmate. Its really pouring out here, and I began to thi... Thu, 30 Sep 2010 16:24:23 EST Picture of my new "Brown Bag" For those of you who have asked, here it is - my brown bagged lunch. <img src=""> Wed, 29 Sep 2010 07:31:32 EST My Brown Bag Lunch gets a Facelift I have been a brown-bag lunch girl for a lot of years. You might as well say from about Grade 3 on. Doing some simple math I realize that’s about 46 years. My, how time flies! <BR> <BR> Over the years there have been a few work locations where fellow co-workers preferred to eat out or order in and occasionally I have been known to participate in these meals, but overall I much prefer to bring my own food with me. I find packing my lunch early in the morning gives me the incentive and... Mon, 27 Sep 2010 11:56:12 EST Yesterday's weigh-in I’ve designated Thursday morning as my weigh-in day for the week. Been back on track for almost a month now and have been successful at losing at least a pound every week – except for this week. <BR> <BR> This week I’ve managed to put back on ½ pound. Doesn’t sound like a big amount, and if the ½ pound was in the opposite direction I probably would have felt that it wasn’t even worth thinking about. But….the pound was in the ‘going up’ mode and it felt more like five pounds of disappoin... Fri, 24 Sep 2010 11:55:28 EST Comfort Foods Ok, so in my neck of the woods, the days are getting shorter and nights are getting cooler. The scenery is turning from a luscious green to the vibrant colours of fall. Kids have returned to school, with their days filled with the usual activities that involve their friends and education. And just like the kids, I find my days returning to a semblance of order and routine. And not a minute too soon for me! <BR> <BR> During the long days of summer I never seemed to find enough time to sit... Mon, 20 Sep 2010 17:10:14 EST