SABLENESS's SparkPeople Blog SABLENESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Happy Hump Day I feel so much better than I did the last two days after a night of insomnia and then badly oversleeping yesterday. Today I woke up just before my alarm, felt rested, and didn't have to rush. The cats were happier too that they got their canned food this morning. Yesterday I dashed out the door with three pair of accusing and pitiful cat eyes looking at me like where is our REAL food?? <BR> <BR> I spent my lunch looking over a small patch of cypress trees, pines, and a couple of magnolias... Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:03:25 EST Doings Made colcanon, roasted veggies, coconut sweet potatoes, and slow cooker chicken over the weekend, great food for cooler weather. <BR> <BR> Park #119. Eagle Scout Park in Dunedin on Sunday. How did I overlook that one? It has a picnic shelter, tennis court, walking path done by the Eagle Scout, and a thriving community garden. <BR> <BR> Had bad night of insomnia, stayed home from work on Monday. I'm glad those don't happen very often. <BR> <BR> Woke up 25 min before I had to be at work a... Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:13:37 EST Sableness's safety tips for walking alone in parks Not in any particular order, but I thought about these after texting husband today to tell him where I was: <BR> <BR> 1. Let someone know where you are. I don't always know where I'm going when I set out, so it's important for me to let someone know when I get to wherever I'm going. <BR> <BR> 2. Stick to open areas. Today's park was perfect with lots of trees and shade but only grass-high undergrowth so I could see all around. Save more secluded ones to walk with a companion. <BR> <BR... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 22:15:36 EST Lunchtime flora and fauna 118. John C Bonner Park yesterday - pond full of turtles. They looked so funny lined up on a palm tree trunk overhanging the water. <BR> <BR> Today I went to a new part of a park I've been to before. I ate my lunch on a bench by the lake and saw ducks, seagulls, an anhinga, moorhens, flocks of ibis, a hawk, a small white heron, a small blue heron, four kinds of wildflowers, oaks, cypress, pines, and palm trees. <BR> <BR> It's almost too warm, much too warm for January even in Florida, bu... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 14:37:39 EST Closing out 2016 "Podria haber sido peor" is the repeated refrain throughout a children's Spanish story husband and I read about the misadventures of Ratoncito (Little Mouse). It means it could have been worse. <BR> <BR> In 2016 <BR> <BR> I lost my job, but I got a new one with a pay increase and some unexpected perks. <BR> <BR> I'm not close enough to go home for lunch anymore, but I'm finding lots of new parks to visit on my lunch hour. <BR> <BR> I gained weight and could not get back into exercising... Sat, 31 Dec 2016 14:35:40 EST Christmas dinner Just me and husband this year so we had <BR> <BR> Deluxe shrimp and grits casserole: stone ground grits cooked in fat free half and half, shrimp, bacon bits, peppers, green onions, shredded Swiss and Gruyere <BR> <BR> Fresh cranberry relish: chopped cranberries, combination sugar/sweetener, pecans, cranberry/cherry juice <BR> <BR> Pickled beets <BR> <BR> Yeast rolls (not homemade) <BR> <BR> Molasses cookies that I made yesterday <BR> <BR> For fun: British Christmas crackers Sun, 25 Dec 2016 15:39:30 EST More parks and busy week 114. Indian Rocks Beach Nature Preserve - never knew this lovely little park was there. Nice boardwalks through the mangroves and saw a green-backed heron <BR> <BR> 115. Kolb Park - took a little hunting; mostly playground and one picnic shelter <BR> <BR> 116. Indian Rocks Beach Access Park - boardwalks to the beach. Beach sunflowers, west coast Florida's signature white sandy beach, and sparkling blue water. The tourists are happy with the warmer than usual weather even if the locals ... Sat, 24 Dec 2016 13:32:37 EST Today's good things Massage at work - ahhh <BR> Coworker who makes coffee before I get there <BR> Fun but low key office party <BR> Two more days till winter break Wed, 14 Dec 2016 16:24:17 EST Funny thing seen at park You just never know what you're going to see. I stopped at a trail crossing and saw a gray-haired man on a unicycle going by--while playing a ukeleli! <BR> <BR> 112. Walsingham Park. Besides unicycling uke player, I also saw white water lilies, a successful anhinga gulping lunch down its long snaky neck, and a 5' gator. <BR> <BR> 113. Heritage Village Park. Forgot to add that one from a few weeks ago. It has a collection of old buildings, including a log cabin from Coachman Crossing t... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 13:45:21 EST Weekend's parks 105. Crescent Lake Park <BR> 106. Flora Wylie Park <BR> 107. Elva Rouse Park <BR> 108. Grizzella Kopsick Palm Arboretum (in the middle of two parks) <BR> 109. North Shore Park <BR> 110. Vinoy Park <BR> 111. Allendale Park <BR> <BR> I intended to go to two of those; the others were all new to me and all in St Petersburg. We saw a great variety of water birds at Crescent Lake and a long stretch of beach at several others. The palm arboretum was amazing. As a native Floridian, I knew ... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 16:43:45 EST Plodding is not a bad thing Yesterday was a low energy day, but I did two good things for myself: I spent a break in the gym on a stationary bike and went for a 15 min walk over lunch in another new to me park. I did pretty well on the bike and have been upping my speed, but by the time I went to the park, I really wanted to do nothing but sit. I told myself I could manage a 5 min walk one direction and 5 min back. I ended up doing 15 min, but at what I call my plodding pace. Someone said that sounds like I'm doing... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 09:41:53 EST More parks Two years ago, I made a project of walking in 100 different parks between Dec-May. I did it and found many new-to-me parks in the process. I was fortunate to work within lunchtime distance of nearly 20 parks from little city parks to a couple of state parks on the Gulf. Now my plan is to walk in 50 more parks. I've already discovered a few close to home that I missed, a few more I didn't know about, and some I just never got to. This is going to be fun! <BR> <BR> 101. Del Oro Park. I ... Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:15:21 EST I won't be sorry Today's excursions included Red Rocks Amphitheater, a huge natural outdoor amphitheater in an amazing place. Just the ramp up was more steep than I bargained for, so I told daughters to go on, and I'd do it at my own pace. I eventually made it, looked up to the top viewing area many long steps away, and said I'd wait for them. I walked around taking pictures and found shallower stairs at the sides...hmm. With many stops along the way, I made it to the top to enjoy a stunning view. I don't ... Sat, 26 Nov 2016 22:47:49 EST Month's efforts paid off Exactly a month ago, I made plans to spend Thanksgiving with daughters in Denver. Daughter who lives there said bring hiking boots; she and sister both hike a lot. It was the motivation I needed to get my out of shape self back in action. I didn't know if I could accomplish enough in a month to be able to hike, but I gave it my best efforts--and I was able to hike with them for a few hours yesterday at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. They looked for the easier trails, and I could ... Sat, 26 Nov 2016 09:41:03 EST New boots + hike = happy My new Lowa hiking boots were at the PO this morning. I'm so pleased with them. I wore them for their first hike, and my feet, narrow heels and all, felt right at home. <BR> <em>295</em> <em>26</em> <em>334</em> Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:06:07 EST I can! One of my goals is to be able to go up the stairs at work as easily as I go down. I got a chance to try it today. I've been going down the stairs from my third floor office and going up one flight once a day. Today the power was out for awhile--no elevator. Of course I got calls to pick up papers in the lobby. I went down twice AND back up. It wasn't as easy as going down, but I was able to do it. <BR> <em>386</em> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:01:58 EST Did it again and treating myself Well... I wondered how I'd feel today after yesterday's longer hike. Answer? Fine!!! No soreness at all, though I suppose the hot soak I did last night didn't hurt. I was going to take a day off but after a good nap I decided to go to my favorite county park and hike from one end to the other, about 3.5 miles. I track minutes, not miles, but husband was impressed and wanted to know. I guess I'm good for an hour or so of flat to moderate incline hiking, at least at sea level. <BR> <BR>... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 19:56:00 EST Hoping plus a real hike It's been three weeks since I did my restart prompted by unexpected plans to spend Thanksgiving in Colorado with daughters. "Bring hiking boots" was one thing they told me. Hiking boots? Oh dear. I am so out of shape since the last time I used them. So...I figured I had four weeks to do my best to be able to hike with my girls. <BR> <BR> I have given a lot of thought to what is successful for me and what I'm willing to stick with. The small gym downstairs at work has been a godsend. ... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 12:53:17 EST Making progress Downers: no further weight loss yet <BR> <BR> Upside: being much more active. <BR> <BR> I am so grateful for the little gym downstairs. I use the stationary bike, one of the three treadmills, an exercise ball, and hand weights. I use the stairs whenever I go down and have begun going up one flight. I'm on the third floor, and my goal is to be able to go up as easily as I'm now going down without knees complaining. <BR> <BR> I've also started checking out parks within lunch hour range... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 13:05:34 EST Two weeks later <em>192</em> Lost 4 lbs <BR> <em>91</em> Drinking more water <BR> <em>315</em> Making good use of gym on my lunch hour and breaks <BR> <em>252</em> Tracking fitness minutes. At the moment, tracking food feels like too much after working at computer all day, but I'm eating as though I were tracking. <BR> <BR> Had physical yesterday, have appointments for mammogram, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, and tentative colonoscopy date over winter break. A lot of things got put on ho... Thu, 10 Nov 2016 12:54:17 EST Plans and motivation The last six months have been stressful, and I really caved in to emotional eating. I'm going to spend Thanksgiving with both daughters, and I need to fit into my winter clothes. It's the motivation I need to seriously get back on track to better health, starting yesterday. How to do it: <BR> <BR> <em>194</em> Get back to drinking 8 glasses of water a day <BR> <em>331</em> Be more active. New workplace has a small gym, and it's finally cooled off enough to walk. Use the stairs more. ... Sat, 29 Oct 2016 09:06:52 EST Portion size and calories GRRR Got me again. I had a prepackaged dried soup for lunch, 100 cal portion, and only later when I went to track it did I discover the container is supposed to be two portions. REALLY??? You're looking for convenience, right? Something to grab when making lunch isn't going to happen, right? So you're in the lunch room at work, heating up your soup and eating it. And then? You're supposed to eat just half the container and do what? Throw it out? Tote a container for such contingencies? Y... Tue, 6 Sep 2016 13:05:53 EST Bonus day & Progress With more rain, wind and flooding expected on Florida's west coast, I'm off work today. I''m in my nightshirt finishing first cup of coffee and catching up on Sparking. One cat is having a crazy fit dashing around and harassing cat #2, and tiny senior cat is nowhere to be seen, smart move when Mickey, twice her size, is on a rampage. <BR> <BR> Progress report: <BR> April-June: gained 10 lbs from stress of job upheaval <BR> July: started new job, adjusting to changes, lost nothing but a... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 09:02:45 EST Carpe diem Today I'm grateful for my new job. It's more different from my previous one than I expected, but in interesting ways. I deal with phone calls a lot more and use a record keeping program in ways I never needed to access previously. My daily routine has changed, and I've gotten used to it. <BR> <BR> Today I managed to sleep in, so I feel energized and am catching up on housework. <BR> <BR> Today I'm ready to focus on me, first of all to lose the 10 lbs I gained from stress eating. I don'... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 12:06:37 EST Happy Thriday That's what my office neighbor called today, the end of our 4 day summer week. My space is beginning to look like mine as I've brought in a few more personal things each day. I'm working at a central location now and am enjoying running into people I knew in the halls or stairs. A department down the hall was cleaning out, and I acquired a much better desk chair to replace my scruffy one. <BR> <BR> With an office lunch and welcome cake, this was not a great food day, but I did some extra ... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 19:42:01 EST Today's good things For work: successfully did a task of a sort I haven't done in ages, started moving personal decor into my office, and received a very nice compliment from someone in the elevator who had helped me prepare for an interview. My two ceramic cat vases let me know who the cat lovers are. <BR> <BR> For self: 1000 more steps than yesterday, lots more water, and healthy meals Wed, 6 Jul 2016 18:35:31 EST First day new job & fresh start For first day on my new job, I'd say it went well. My phone rang off the hook, so I quickly learned the sorts of questions to which I don't know the answers yet. I answered with the greeting for my previous department only once and had to laugh at myself. My new colleagues were very welcoming and helpful, bless them. <BR> <BR> Fresh start choices: actually exercised a little, chose a salad for lunch, and went down the stairs a couple of times. Knees have to get used to it, but I'm looking... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 18:55:23 EST Fresh start all round Besides starting new job tomorrow, I'm making a fresh start on me. My job hunting has reminded me that when I really want something, I put 200% into making it happen. In the back of my mind throughout this challenging time has been the thought "what if I put this much effort into being a healthier person?" So here goes. <BR> <em>249</em> Mon, 4 Jul 2016 21:43:33 EST Job!!! FINALLY, a job to start in July when this one ends in June!!! <em>244</em> <em>334</em> <em>355</em> <BR> Yesterday I was officially offered the job I wanted most of the current ones I've interviewed for. I am really really happy about it. My prayer around job hunting included three things: at least a pay grade up, and it is; someplace I can stay at and retire from, and it should be as this is a very stable department with mostly internal hires; people to work with as nice as the ... Tue, 14 Jun 2016 14:26:02 EST Hurry up and wait No apparent progress on the job front. I've applied for one more, am waiting and waiting to hear back from two after interviews. I've had some nebulous hints of jobs that may--or may not--become available that aren't posted. Feeling sad this moment. <BR> <BR> Fri, 27 May 2016 08:32:33 EST Really bombed 5% Challenge <em>24</em> <em>193</em> <em>49</em> <em>198</em> <em>227</em> <BR> Those emoticons about sum it up. I still don't have a job lined up when mine ends June 30. I've been tired and stressed and totally focused on job hunting. I had my monthly massage this week, and the therapist said your head may be handling things pretty well, but your muscles say otherwise. <BR> <BR> The best I can say is that I didn't quit, I was honest about all the days when exercise = zero, and I did c... Fri, 20 May 2016 07:08:20 EST Morning prayer You know my desires, You know my feelings, You know what is best for me. Bless my job hunting, I pray. Tue, 17 May 2016 09:25:02 EST Big time ups & downs today Good news: <em>128</em> I woke up before the alarm, having forgotten I go in early on Fridays. I got to work on time, but... <BR> Bad news: I had to go home again for my badge and key. <em>2</em> <BR> Really bad news: I didn't get the job I had a second interview for. <em>198</em> <BR> Better news: It was the nicest rejection notice I've ever received. <em>245</em> <BR> <BR> Better yet: the person who sent it called me to reiterate all the encouraging things she'd said an... Fri, 13 May 2016 17:12:45 EST Why bother and what's going on?? Job hunting has been taking up a lot of energy. I'm behind on Sparking, behind on house upkeep, behind at work, and just about anywhere else I can get behind. However, that is the rhythm of things at the moment. <BR> <BR> Why am I bothering to do any Sparking at all? Anything I do, however small, keeps me mindful of my longterm goals, even though I'm not doing much toward meeting them at the moment. <BR> <BR> What I have been doing is researching whatever I can about the jobs I'm int... Mon, 9 May 2016 13:11:33 EST Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow That's a line from a hymn I learned as a child, and I take those words with me into this week. This moment I feel tired and unready for Monday. Before I start a new job, I intend to take a vacation day between finishing and beginning. SISSYFEB48 is making a retreat right now, and I am heartily wishing I could do the same. That will have to wait, but I'm hoping to make time for one over the summer. I need it. Sun, 24 Apr 2016 20:22:51 EST Hurry up and wait Quite a week: three very good but very different interviews, two classes, trying to keep up with my work between interviews, classes, and looking for new job postings. I seem to have timed it right; nothing this week looked as suitable as the four I've applied for. So now I'm waiting to see about an interview for the fourth position and to hear back on the others. I'm not going to worry about it this weekend; Monday will get here soon enough. <BR> <em>458</em> <BR> <BR> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 21:41:51 EST Where oh where A heartfelt thank you for all the support with my job search. I've been so focused on it that Sparking has sort of gone by the wayside this week. I check the day's job postings first thing to see if anything new has been added, give my very supportive coworkers updates on my latest interviews and applications, come home to dinner and a nap, then get to work on one of the several online classes I'm doing to better my chances at one or another of the jobs I've applied for. I went to an onsit... Thu, 21 Apr 2016 20:39:29 EST Seeds bearing fruit I now have four applications in and two interviews ined up for next week so far. I've had some very encouraging conversations and figured out the new job search site well enough to explain it to someone else. Now I feel sad, exited, scared...and nervous. <em>39</em> <em>224</em> <em>40</em> <em>2</em> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 22:34:05 EST Gardening is hard work My last blog was titled Planting Seeds of Change. I wrote about the positive seeds I've planted since learning that my job will be eliminated, effective end of June. Although I will be getting internal placement offers, that won't happen till mid to end of May and the offers will be equivalent to my position or below. If I want to use this unsought change as an opportunity to move up, it's up to me to work at it. So far I've had to navigate an unfamiliar new system in HR which I've done ... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 15:10:00 EST Planting seeds of change My job loss won't be common knowledge till tomorrow, and it's been good to have today to get used to the idea myself. I have this job through June 30th and hope to have a new one to start on July 1st.. <BR> <BR> <em>378</em> I spent some time today looking at work-sponsored classes that could be useful to a job seeker, especially if I should be able to make a move upward in best case scenario. <BR> <em>378</em> I spoke with a coworker about a class he teaches without explaining the ... Thu, 7 Apr 2016 20:49:42 EST Happy? Birthday? Well, some days are just not what you expect. Yes, it's my birthday, and that is good. My office was all decorated when I got to work, and there are beautiful flowers on my desk. <BR> <BR> The not so good part is that I learned my position is being eliminated. Whew, what timing. <BR> <BR> I'm reminding myself that things have happened in the past that I would not have chosen that led me to other places. I will have internal job opportunities, so I'm not completely out out of a job. Mo... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 17:28:58 EST Scared! I had a big scare last weekend while driving down 75 at the end of spring break. I started feeling AWFUL, wondering if maybe I was having a heart attack. I know they can manifest in odd ways in women, and four close family members died from one. My mind was racing as well as my heart, checking to see if my hands were shaking, wondering if I was going to pass out, etc. Thanks be to God, I was close to an exit, and that exit had a hospital sign. <BR> <BR> Fast forward a couple of hours--... Fri, 1 Apr 2016 11:02:12 EST Colcannon, courtesy of MEWHENRYSMAMA An Irish recipe repertoire essential - simple delicious colcannon <BR> Jane Walsh @irishcentral March 09,2016 01:00 AM <BR> <BR> The Irish potato dish colcannon is delicious, hearty, and easy to make. <BR> Traditional for Halloween but delicious for any time at all, colcannon is an essential Irish potato dish. Its unique and simple recipe has become popular around the world. It normally includes chopped kale or green cabbage mixed with hot, floury mashed potatoes. <BR> <BR> This simple ... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 16:31:20 EST Monday menu Last night's leftover baked lemon pepper salmon <BR> Brown rice <BR> Red beets and white beets <BR> Mixed greens <BR> Salad with tiny very tasty tomatoes from husband's garden <BR> <BR> Yes, there is such a thing as white beets. We had white beets and red turnips in this week's farm share. The mixed greens turned out better than expected, given that I knew what only two of the four kinds were. I still have collards, cabbage, fennel, green onions, radishes, parsley, cilantro, the last of t... Mon, 29 Feb 2016 18:28:01 EST Sunday dinner Lemon pepper baked salmon <BR> Steamed endive with olive oil and lemon <BR> Red turnips cooked with their greens <BR> Broccoli and mushrooms leftover from last night <BR> Mashed potatoes <BR> <BR> We are so spoiled by wonderful farm fare and will miss it when Fla. heat kicks in. We're enjoying it in the meanwhile. Tonight's recipe for steamed endive called for cinnamon as well as the oil and lemon. Next time I'll leave it out. It was interesting but not a keeper. Sun, 28 Feb 2016 21:05:05 EST Lent, Quaker style So what is a Quaker doing keeping Lent? One of the Quaker testimonies is simplicity. I don't feel obliged to keep Lent, but I have a long history as a singer in liturgical churches, and this is a spiritual practice that I choose. <BR> <BR> Last year I chose a "give up"practice. I gave up baked goods for the duration. I had two hard moments. I offered to make my favorite from scratch cake for an office party--and chose to forego making an exception for myself. I froze a big piece and ate ... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 18:50:14 EST good things I am so enjoying the weekly share we get from a small local organic farm. We've had vegetables tasty enough to double as dessert. The farm manager says the two questions he gets asked are "What is it?" and "What do I do with it?" I've discovered some yummy recipes for the more unusual veggies, our favorite to date being vegan kohlrabi soup. That recipe has morphed into "farm soup" using up whatever we still have toward the end of the week. The tomato-based sauce I made for today's egg... Sat, 20 Feb 2016 21:23:45 EST Off to a fizzle My winter 5% challenge got off to a fizzle. I started the week resuming good habits and then got flattened by a cold. I've missed a couple days of work and have had no energy at all. <BR> <BR> Gratitude list: <BR> 1. Being caught up enough at work to not worry about taking time to stay home in bed <BR> 2. Husband helped make a big pot of chicken soup <BR> 3. No sinus infection, thanks be <BR> <BR> Bummer list: <BR> 1. Missing Meeting tomorrow <BR> 2. Not able to sing a concert to... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 20:06:36 EST Where oh where could it be?? A Catholic friend shared this little prayer to St. Anthony, saint of lost things: "Tony, Tony, come around; something's lost and can't be found." <BR> <BR> I could use some help. Husband and I replaced our Sparkpeople activity trackers with Fitbits. I set mine up, synced it once, and promptly mislaid it two days ago. I know it didn't go in the wash because I distinctly remember taking it off to see if everything was syncing OK--and that was the last I've seen of it. I only hope one of t... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 19:23:10 EST Last day of winter break On this last day of winter break, I'm busy preparing for the workweek. I have a load of laundry going, am tidying up a few corners, and have just looked in the freezer at what I have ready to eat. I'm about to make a pot of mixed greens from this week's farm share to get a start on using up the veggies. <BR> <BR> I must confess I've been using up in whatever is in the pantry that's not low fat. However, I took a large batch of cheese squares to a potluck so there were only a few left. To... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 17:59:50 EST