SABLENESS's SparkPeople Blog SABLENESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community First and last FIRST new park for the new month <BR> <BR> LAST park that I know of within lunch hour range <BR> <BR> I was on my way to a small but quality park by the water, one of my favorites, thinking "Hmm, I've been to every park within a reasonable range of my office" when I spotted the one I hadn't been to and had forgotten about till I saw the sign. Not that it was much of a park, but the sign said "Sutherland Bayou Boat Ramp, A Pinellas County PARK." Ok, so it counts as a park if the county cla... Fri, 1 May 2015 15:04:31 EST Back at it Park #87 - Montclair Park <BR> <BR> Small neighborhood park I spotted when I took a different route to work. Thirteen to go! Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:43:27 EST wash out Last week was sort of a wash out. I had a whole week of major insomnia that dragged my energy level down to zip. My steps totals and workout minutes were bare essentials. <BR> <BR> One big thing on my mind was organizing my mom's birthday party/picnic. We had an issue with the park I'd chosen that meant some last minute scrambling to find another one. :-) There's where my parks project saved the day! After work on Thurs, I picked up my mom, and we went to explore a park I knew about bu... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 07:35:22 EST Found and Lost Yesterday: <BR> 85. Bicentennial Park <BR> 86. Mobbly Wilderness Preserve Park <BR> <BR> Since starting my 100 parks project in December, I've FOUND that the area I live in is chock-full of beautiful places to walk, hike, bike, swim, play, and picnic. There are at least 15 parks close enough to visit on my lunch hour. There's another dozen or so within a short drive or even walk from home. I've taken advantage of excursions farther afield to check out parks wherever I've gone and again ... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:37:39 EST Belated birthday celebrating Husband had asked what I wanted for my birthday. I told him I want parks! So we went to two beautiful Florida state parks yesterday: <BR> <BR> 83. Honeymoon Island State Park <BR> 84. Caladesi Island State Park, reached by ferry from park 83. <BR> <BR> On a trail at Honeymoon Island, we caught up with a group of birders who pointed out a kestrel high up in a pine tree. <BR> <BR> On Caladesi, we walked on the beach and spotted colorful black skimmers, birds with distinctive orange b... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 18:36:25 EST Nearing my goal Of walking in 100 parks, only 18 to go with 82 in less than 4 months. I do want to finish up before the hot and humid Florida summer settles in. Already I've had to give up walking at lunchtime; it's just too warm. <BR> <BR> I am so so so fortunate to live where there are so many parks within a close radius. A number of them are near the water, either Tampa Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, the Intercoastal waterway, or lakes large and small. I haven't yet been to Honeymoon Island State Park, Cal... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 21:40:16 EST Three parks before breakfast I went to a sunrise service at Philippe Park, one of the first parks for my 100 parks goal. It was dark and crystal clear when I arrived, but by the time it was light, you had to take the sunrise by faith since it wasn't visible through the heavy mist that moved in over the bay. On the way home, I passed Mullet Creek Park, the prettiest one I've walked in to date. That reminded me I'd planned to stop at two small parks the next time I was in Safety Harbor. <BR> <BR> 80. Baranoff Park - I... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 11:07:05 EST More than expected Parks, that is. These include one private park, a state park, a county park, and five city parks, seven of them today. I came back from my parks hunt tired, thirsty, and starving. I had a great time!! <BR> <BR> 72. Life Enrichment Center - beautiful nature trail, paths, & labyrinth <BR> 73. Lake Griffin State Park - magnificent 300 yr old oak, may be largest in Fla <BR> 74. Lake Deaton Park - lovely water hyacinths and lilies <BR> 75. No name park - picnic tables, paths around two sma... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 15:28:46 EST Good things in twos I drove across Tampa Bay to a rehearsal this morning and made the most of my day there by adding two parks, two thrift shops, two grocery stores, one of which was Trader Joe's. I also parked in two of Tampa's most inadequate parking lots, one of which is Trader Joe's. :-( <BR> <BR> The two parks were wonderful! One I planned on, the other not, but both were special. I was on my way to Ballast Point Park when I spotted a park sign off of Bayshore. I did a quick turn and visited Fred B... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 21:12:27 EST The three skirts (not tenors) Happy dance this week! My scale hasn't been moving much lately, but I was inspired to rummage through some skirts that have been in my unwearable collection. I wore three of them this week for the first time in quite awhile. Granted, they're not loose, but they are snugly wearable. Nice to have some "new" spring clothes! <BR> <BR> Note: Red Velvet cake is in the oven. I did clean the bowl; batter isn't baked. <em>2</em> But I have my plans for tomorrow. See yesterday's blog. Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:39:53 EST Lenten strategies Bad decision - I agreed to make my very favorite Red Velvet cake for an office party on Friday before remembering that I am not eating baked goods for Lent. This is my #1 favorite cake. Do I cave in and eat it? Give it up as hopeless trying not to eat any? <BR> <BR> NO NO NO. I have plans. I will make the cake, and I'm not going to eat any of it on Friday. I looked at the grocery store for red velvet yogurt, but it must be a seasonal thing because there wasn't any. I did buy myself ... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:59:13 EST Snakes and dolphins and bears, oh my Well, not bears, but I did spot a black snake frightening the lizards near the bench I was sitting on. I walked down to the water at lunchtime, bag lunch in hand. It was a perfect day for a walk, for sitting, for enjoying all the beauty around me. <BR> <BR> Creatures of the sea: <BR> --a large school of shimmering silvery fish avoiding the predations of a pelican <BR> --tiny minnows near the shore <BR> --a solitary dolphin quite close <BR> <BR> Other creatures: <BR> --fiddler crabs rust... Tue, 24 Mar 2015 21:00:02 EST Blooming things Seen on a short drive at lunchtime: <BR> <BR> Bleeding Heart <BR> Bottlebrush tree <BR> Orchid tree <BR> Firebush <BR> Hibiscus <BR> Oleander <BR> Alamanda <BR> <BR> Not blooming, but beautiful: <BR> All the new spring-green leaves <BR> The osprey next door <BR> Newly washed oak trees = less pollen in the air, thanks be Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:54:00 EST To market, to market One of today's highlights was a walk with husband to Coachman Crossing and the produce market there. We loaded up on good things, two bags each, enough to carry comfortably. We had carrot/pumpkin casserole, leek soup, and artisan bread for dinner. Sat, 21 Mar 2015 21:56:16 EST SIT in a park--what a great idea For lunch today, I took my leftovers and a couple of clementines to one of my favorite nearby parks. I got out my lunch--and realized that the spoon I intended to add to my bag wasn't there. Lunch was NOT finger fare, sooo...back down the road to an ice cream shop where I ordered a kid-size fat-free sugar-free cup of coffee ice cream. It was amazingly tasty, and I got a spoon to eat my lunch with! <BR> <BR> Sorry, northern friends; it was an absolutely gorgeous day here. I do very little... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:21:53 EST A walk I didn't expect Some days can only get better! On my way to work, my engine light came on. Fortunately, there's a garage within easy walking distance to my workplace. Many of my coworkers go there since it's so convenient, and I became one more customer this morning. I walked back to get it at noon, and thanks be, it was what I thought, nothing major, nothing expensive--and I got a good walk out of it. Thu, 19 Mar 2015 20:19:53 EST Disgusting! My scale, that is. You'd think the thing was hard-wired for discouragement. I just hate it when that ornery scale refuses to take into account a week of extra workout minutes and good eating. GRRR <BR> <BR> Park 69. Lake Valencia Park Mon, 16 Mar 2015 18:11:43 EST A pair of monarchs danced for me A monarch crossed my path while out walking, and I was reminded of a special moment when.... <BR> <BR> I lay on my back in the soft grass looking up at a tree full of bright green leaves. As I looked, I became aware eye? peering down from the tree. It seemed to be a black iris in a green pupil that blinked as I watched. I stared upward trying to make sense of what I saw when I realized that I was seeing the black markings of a monarch perched on the topside of a leaf with a hole i... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 19:56:44 EST Potlucks & Parks Two potlucks & three parks - at least I did more parks than potlucks. Ate lots of veggies, too. <BR> <BR> 65. John C Chestnut Park on Lake Tarpon <BR> 66. Sheffied Park along Oldsmar canal <BR> 67. Canal Park likewise <BR> <BR> Love walking in parks! Sat, 14 Mar 2015 20:07:39 EST SMARTer goals In the business world, you constantly hear about the importance of setting SMART goals. With a few variations, the gist of it is: <BR> Specific <BR> Measurable <BR> Achievable <BR> Realistic <BR> Time-oriented <BR> <BR> Today's article. "Goals that Help; Goals that Hurt" ties right in to setting SMART goals. <BR> <BR> 1. Look at the words you use--positive or negative? I never talk about my calorie "limit" for the day; I use calorie "range" instead. Range gives me options, freedom to ma... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 20:15:45 EST Didn't want to Didn't want to walk after dinner--but I did. Things to be grateful for: <BR> 1. Beautiful sunset <BR> 2. I live within walking distance of a library. <BR> 3. My sister and family are close enough to walk to also. <BR> 4. Did something challenging at work successfully. I have more to do on it tomorrow, but I feel more confident about what I'm doing. <BR> 5. Tomorrow is Friday! <BR> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 20:31:41 EST What I did instead I am SOOO tired. <em>40</em> I was very tempted to park under a <em>434</em> and take a <em>102</em> at lunchtime. Instead, I checked out the possible parks I thought I spotted yesterday. I was right! There were THREE small waterfront parks. I even saw a pod of dolphins close up at the last one. <BR> <BR> 60. Mira Vista Park <BR> 61. San Jose Park <BR> 62. Kiwanis Park <BR> <BR> I'm still tired, but I'm glad I opted for enjoying the beautiful Florida day <em>67</em> and three mo... Tue, 10 Mar 2015 13:16:22 EST 5 good things about today 1. <em>106</em> Coffee <BR> 2. <em>67</em> Beautiful Fla weather <BR> 3. <em>459</em> Being a Quaker <BR> 4. <em>335</em> I get to sing this afternoon; more on that below <BR> 5. <em>43</em> Laundry is done <BR> <BR> The Boys Choir of St Thomas 5th Ave, NYC, will be giving a concert today at St John's Church, Hyde Park, Tampa. St John's altos, tenors, and basses will be joining them for some of their pieces. High on my list of favorites: a setting of Ave Maria by Robert Parsons.... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 14:29:44 EST I am a loser And proud of it. While I did not make my Winter 5% goal of losing 10 lbs, I did lose 5, and that's 11 since mid-December. I added a SP activity tracker to my fitness plans. It's fun to count those steps, make sure I get in 10 min increments so it counts as a workout, but I think I'm walking a bit more but otherwise working out a bit less because I'm focusing on steps in lieu of other activities. That is a learning edge. <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, in spite of more rain, I got in another park.... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 21:43:24 EST Parks! 56. Kate Jackson Center and Anderson Playground - I've passed this one before and been curious to know what was behind the wrought iron fence and arched gates: a multipurpose park! Includes rec center, courts, playground, picnic tables, shaded walk with most unusual gazebo--narrow horizontal beams hung with hundreds of keys! <BR> <BR> 57. Old Hyde Park Village Circle - small but quality. Trees, benches, fountain in the middle of Hyde Park Village shops. Thu, 5 Mar 2015 21:09:24 EST Had it With prepackaged meals, that is. On Monday, it was that awful accidentally 2 portion vegan black bean & lime soup; today it was Hormel Chicken & Rice with a sodium count off the charts. WHY do they have to put so much in it?? When I buy those things for husband's work stash, I at least look for the healthy choice ones that have a good bit less sodium but still too much. I slipped up on this one. <BR> <BR> I've been eating so few prepackaged foods that these two certainly reinforced how... Thu, 5 Mar 2015 13:14:01 EST Misleading Yesterday's lunch came from the stash in my desk drawer. From home I had carrots, grape tomatoes, and delicious globe grapes. From the drawer: Vegan Black Bean & Lime soup, one of those cardboard containers you add water and a seasoning pack to. Well...I was not impressed. It looked like mud, tasted bland, so I added a few crackers. Didn't improve much, so I sprinkled on a generous shake of Cajun seasoning. That made it edible, but then, then I happened to notice the label. There are ... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 20:39:58 EST PreDiabetic class session 5 and scale matters I'm going, I'm participating, but I still think SP does it better. I have lost 4 lbs in Winter Challenge, 6 lbs according to class scale, so maybe I should change my mind! Actually, it's probably my antique scale, the kind with numbers and a red arrow/line that settles on the number. I've been sure for some time that it's not all that accurate, but whatever it says, it's going down, and that's what matters. <BR> <BR> This week we track food, fat, and workout/fitness minutes. I am very ... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:28:54 EST Activity Tracker, 2 for 2 <em>545</em> For Valentine's Day, I bought SP Activity Trackers for both me and husband. Husband loves tracking his steps; he easily gets most of them in at work. I have a sedentary job, so I usually add an intentional walk or two to make up my minutes. <BR> <BR> Tonight I was really tired, but--husband hadn't gotten enough minutes, and it was his idea to go for a walk around the neighborhood even though the sea fog was rolling in and the humidity thick enough to slice. Ugh! I was thin... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:32:12 EST Choices I went for a walk early this morning, am still a bit short of 6000 steps. I could go for another walk, even go to another park, but because of other commitments earlier this afternoon, I still need to pay bills AND cook up some of the wonderful produce we got yesterday. So--I'm going to focus on healthy cooking. And who knows? I might still get in that extra walk. <em>545</em> <BR> <BR> PS: Resisted all baked goods this morning, even the ones that came to my house later. No, I did not... Sun, 22 Feb 2015 16:34:08 EST Successful Multitasking All in one: quality time with husband, a good walk, two more parks, and some organic produce! <BR> <BR> Husband and I walked in two parks: <BR> 53. Alligator Creek Channel H Stormwater Improvement Project, which is a lovely natural park area. We saw herons, anhingas, ducks, hawks, turtles, jays, a crane, and possibly an eagle. <BR> 54. Coachman Ridge Park. I'm glad we did our longer walk at the first one. This one is also disc golf, and it was a bit hazardous on a beautiful sunny day... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 17:28:07 EST Winter 5% Challenge progress report Since 1/10/15: <BR> <em>192</em> lost 4 lbs <BR> <em>311</em> kept up walking habit <BR> <em>434</em> walked in 29 different parks <BR> <em>362</em> gotten back to doing SP videos <BR> <em>4</em> attended 4 of 16 prediabetic classes & introduced classmates to SP <BR> <em>347</em> haven't missed a day of checking in and tracking since 12/22--oops, I lied. I missed Christmas day. <BR> <BR> How do I feel? Pretty good! I've kept going for two months and actually lost some ... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:48:38 EST VERY grateful no damage to me or car I was rear-ended today coming back to work after lunch. Thanks be, I had just stopped at the stop sign about 30 feet from the gate. The driver behind me stopped at the sign, but failed to notice my left turn signal and plowed right into me. Fortunately, we couldn't have been going above 15-20 mph, so it was just a good bump. <BR> <BR> I felt like a mom. The young person who jumped out of her car was scared to death, I suspect imagining what her parents might say. She was actually shaki... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:02:45 EST Bright Idea Quakers don't do Lent, but I had what I think is a great idea, and it already saved me some calories. I decided to forgo baked goods till Easter. I had to think about it; did I really want to? Do I think I can? And what about my daily dark chocolate? If I gave up sweets, there goes the chocolate. Sooo, it's baked goods that has to go. That covers most dessert-y things and leaves me my daily square of 90% dark chocolate. <BR> <BR> I had lunch at my mom's today--leftovers from yesterda... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 19:53:46 EST Blustery Awesome! I was sure I'd get rained out today, so did an SP video this morning plus a little more. I went to a tea on my lunch hour, so no walk however badly I needed one after that. <BR> <BR> On the way home, it wasn't pouring, and I thought, "where could I walk and not get too far from my car?" I parked at the Dunedin Causeway and walked the bridge twice. It was an exhilarating windy damp walk, quite wonderful. I came home windblown and quite happy! Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:25:23 EST Park Reruns Now that I've been to nearly all the parks that are close to work or home, I'm having to go farther afield on the weekends when I have more time. However, knowing about so many more convenient parks than I did makes it easy to fit in a walk at one of them. Today I had to go to the grocery store, but the store I chose is right next to Dunedin Tree Arboretum and Oasis Park. They're linear, small, and hook into each, but it's a perfect walk to combine with an errand. <BR> <em>434</em> ... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:19:05 EST It was a dud 51. Curlew Creek Park was a disappointment. All of the parks I've walked at so far have been beautifully maintained. This one needed some serious upkeep. So on the way home, we stopped at <BR> <BR> 52. Coachman Ridge Park, well up to the standards I've come to expect around here. <BR> <BR> Sat, 14 Feb 2015 19:43:41 EST Busy week and no new parks yet Super busy week at work preparing for inventory. Yesterday I just went for a drive and didn't walk. Today I had lunch with my mom so no walk. I'm looking forward to a new park this weekend. I've reached my halfway mark, and the next will be # 51. <BR> <BR> body has decided it doesn't like being over-full. Now to listen to it. Thu, 12 Feb 2015 20:45:27 EST Park repeat I had a good walk today in a park I've been to before, one of my favorites and close to work. Loved the chilly breeze and fast moving clouds casting shadows on the Gulf. Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:37:32 EST Rained out For the first time since Dec 22, I got rained out. I'd hoped to do a lunchtime walk before the rain came in, but it was a little earlier than expected. <em>27</em> I don't mind walking in fine misty rain, but this was a soaker. Oh well, "tomorrow is another day." Mon, 9 Feb 2015 19:42:58 EST Halfway there and keeping going! 50. Freedom Lake Park. I've seen this one from the highway, used to pass it everyday on the way to work, and never checked it out. Another lovely park! <BR> <BR> I'm halfway now to my goal of 100 parks, and as I expected, it's getting harder. I've explored most parks close to home or on my commute and am having to plan for time to go farther afield. Park 50 was one of those. <BR> <BR> On keeping going, I've had a pretty bad weekend foodwise. I know it's symptomatic of not being in bala... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 18:37:47 EST Spring Bayou Spent half my lunch hour walking in park # <BR> <BR> 49. Craig Park at Spring Bayou <BR> <BR> This has been a favorite place since my girls were small. We brought picnics here and walked around the bayou where there are springs and sometimes manatee. Every year on Epiphany, the large local Greek community has a dive for the cross. The Metropolitan (church leader) throws a cross into the chilly January water where there are boats full of young men waiting to dive in after it. The boy wh... Fri, 6 Feb 2015 20:34:17 EST Sometimes you just put one foot in front of the other... It's been that sort of day. I've been going strong for awhile now, and today I just felt worn down. I am a person who needs a lot of quiet time to myself. I realized that even my wonderful walks, while usually solitary, are for me an extrovert activity since my first choice would be home with a book. It didn't help that the SP video I chose this morning was only minimally do-able; I kept moving anyhow, but couldn't do most of it--discouraging. <BR> <BR> I was already running late when ... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 20:30:06 EST Bend like the green reed - Confucius If I were set on one way, I'd have been disappointed today. I set off for a state park, but turned around at the $8 admission sign. Not worth it to walk for 20 min of my lunch hour. I'll save it for a day I can spen time to enjoy it. <BR> <BR> Plan B - OK, so I won't get a park in today, but I can do a mighty good walk over the Dunedin Causeway Bridge. When I got to the other side of it, I thought I'd go just a little farther. I'm so glad I did. Well hidden and unnoticed by me previous... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 16:31:59 EST And what did I see? Wood stork on a roof <BR> Cormorants hanging their wings out to dry <BR> Mangrove island dotted with ibis <BR> Raccoon tracks on a tiny beach <BR> Sand pellets pushed up by fiddler crabs <BR> Crows, ducks, sandpipers, gulls, skimmers, hawks, pelicans <BR> Osprey in its manmade eyrie <BR> Bird of Paradise blooming <BR> <BR> All on a walk to the Speckled Trout Marina on a winter's day in Florida Tue, 3 Feb 2015 13:30:01 EST I love a gray day - and park #46 What I'd like best to be doing on a gray day is to spend it in my favorite chair with my space heater going, one cat parked near it, another on my lap, book in hand, cup of herbal tea beside me--perfect. However, not an option for us working folk unless we're ill, and then it's no fun. <BR> <BR> Here in Florida, we DO have seasons besides warm and HOT. It took my first New England fall to make me appreciate Florida's subtlety. Fall happens, not all at once and not everywhere, but in p... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 18:55:14 EST I know there's a park back there... In my park-spotting, I'd noticed one that looked inviting. I didn't see any parking lot access from the busy roads on two sides, so husband and I drove to where I thought there might be access. There was a sign by the busy highway, but none at all into the old neighborhood where it's tucked away. However, a deadend sidestreet took us right to park # <BR> <BR> 45. Myron A Smith Bayview Park. It has a nice walking trail that loops back to make a good walk in a relatively small park and a ... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 16:00:09 EST Weekend Whew - and ready for bed All week I've been working hard to prepare my home, myself, and my notes for a gathering in my home with faith sharing on excerpts of a larger workshop I'll be giving in a couple months. My things to do list every day has read Clean--Read--Write--PRAY. <BR> <BR> At the end of the day, my house is very clean, and I had some very encouraging feedback and suggestions. I've certainly been active doing lots of heavy cleaning, and I did pretty good with my second potluck in two days--and anoth... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 19:47:37 EST What I learned today In an unexpected twist, all these parks are teaching me. This is another busy from end to end day, so in case I didn't get out to walk at lunchtime, I did some stretching and a short SP video before work. However, in planning my day and thinking my only park would be the Publix PARKing lot, I remembered a parklike area along the Pinellas Trail that I wanted to check out sometime. This interesting area also borders the west end of the Publix parking lot, sooo I parked there and walked over.... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:15:35 EST Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from those goodies Temptations: <BR> <BR> #1. There's a pack of donuts in the break room. Self-talk: These are not the last donuts in the world. Don't set my coffee cup down next to them. I've already done my tracking for breakfast, lunch, and snack #1, and there's no room for anything else. Custody of the eyes--DON'T LOOK. <BR> <BR> #2. Buffet tables after a memorial service. Self-talk: Don't even go near the desserts. Make a good choice--have a few little sandwiches, but leave my sandwich in the ... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:28:18 EST