SCIFIREADER's SparkPeople Blog SCIFIREADER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Back from Alaska I am back from my Alaska cruise and what a great time. There were four of us that went, myself, my sister, her DIL and our niece. We flew out Thursday and stayed in Seattle, WA Thursday and Friday night. A friend of my niece lived in a condo 2 blocks from Pikes Place Market and they rent out apartments on a daily basis. We got one while we were there and it was fantastic. Walk to the market, walk around downtown Seattle, had a ball. We took the Amtrak to Vancouver on Saturday morning and then... Wed, 3 Jul 2013 21:22:04 EST Alaska cruise My sister and I have talked for years about taking a trip to Alaska and doing a cruise. A few months ago my niece and her husband came back stateside from Japan (he is in the Navy), and they came and spent a few days with us. Talked turned to things we would like to do and an Alaska trip came up. Seems like she was really interested too, so we thought we would see who else in the family wanted to go. My niece got on Facebook and posted about taking a family cruise the summer of 2014, everyone... Fri, 31 May 2013 16:56:51 EST Victorian Tea House Last year my sister, her son's girlfriend and I took mom to a victorian tea house near us for her birthday. We had so much fun we did it again this year, today in fact. Mom turned 85 yesterday so it was good cause to celebrate. She really didn't want to go this morning but I kept talking to her and got her convinced to go. She had a great time and was so happy that we took her. <BR> <BR> The tea's featured today were a vanilla and a peach and they were both delicious. Mom is a coffee drinke... Fri, 31 May 2013 16:41:16 EST Weeding, weeding and MORE weeding If was beautiful here this weekend so I worked in the flower beds all weekend. I have been looking 5 years for a dwarf Japanese Maple and just didn't like the shapes of the ones that I had seen. Finally found one at our local nursery and brought it home. I put it in the flower bed in the front of my house and it frames the fountain nicely. This variety only gets 4-6 ft tall so I like that about it. Then it was weeding the flower bed that runs up along the driveway. My mom is always looking fo... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 17:57:20 EST Busy week of vacation. Here it is Thursday and my vacation is about over, it is back to work on Monday. I had a busy week, a lot of projects around the house got done. Since my sister moved in things have just been put here or there until it got to the point where I couldn't find anything! I may not be the world's neatest person but I can only take clutter for so long and then it drives me crazy. I made a start on it 2 weeks ago by organizing my garage. I put a floor down in the loft of the garage to use for storag... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 19:53:16 EST Mom's picture wall In November I bought a new flat screen TV and TV console and got rid of the old TV and big entertainment center. Mom had all of her pictures in frames sitting on the entertainment center so I had to figure out what to do with them. Well, now that the Christmas decorations are down I had to get the pictures back out. This is what I came up with: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR>... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:15:17 EST The Gift of Family Another Christmas is almost over and it has been a good one. I didn't get much in the way of material gifts but the gift I treasure most is time with family. <BR> <BR> My brother lives 4 1/2 hours away in Virginia so we don't get down to see them much. They have a foreign exchange student that lives with them so during the school year we don't get down. Unless it is a holiday and the student goes home, which happened this Christmas. I drove my mom and sister down on Friday evening and we spe... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:43:11 EST One thing leads to another Have you ever gotten something and then realize that you now have to get something else to go with what you just got? Oh my I hate when that happens and without realizing it I did it, again! <BR> <BR> For those that may not know, my sister moved in with mom and I over the summer to take care of mom. We made the basement her area, put her bedroom, a living room and even an office area down there for her. The problem was that my Wii is hooked up down there so I feel like I am intruding in her... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 11:33:56 EST Mom's broken hip My mom is 84 years old and the one thing we feared the most happened. On Wed Oct 10 as she was leaving to go to her volunteer job, she tripped going out the front door. She fell and landed on the porch on her right side and broke her hip. Luckily she did not break it at the joint, she broke it in a V shape on the side. She fell at 8:30 am and had surgery at 3:45 pm where she had a rod and pins put in. The next day she was up walking the halls in the hospital with a walker. We were able to bri... Sat, 27 Oct 2012 14:54:30 EST Reunion after 64 years!! My mom, my older sister and I just got back from a cruise to New England and Canada. This was the second time that mom and I took this cruise, first for my sister. My sister and I had an idea that we were hoping we could make work. <BR> <BR> My mom is originally from Burin, Newfoundland in Canada. When she was 20 she moved away to the Air Force base in Newfoundland to find work. While there she met and then later married my dad, who was stationed there in the Air Force. Mom came from a large... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 19:26:52 EST Mowing grass is hazardous to my health Last week I was out back mowing grass when I felt this sting on my left thigh. I looked down and a wasp was stuck on my pants after stinging me. I wear a light weight Danskin sweat pants working out in the yard and the stinger went right through them into my thigh. I went in the house and made a paste of baking soda and water and put over the sting to draw the stinger out. Went back out and finished mowing with no more problems. <BR> <BR> Today I am out back mowing when I feel a sting on my ... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:46:21 EST Relay For Life 2012 We had our ACS Relay For Life in my town this past Friday and Saturday and I was able to attend this year. This was the second year that it was held at one of our local high schools, on their football field. The track was so nice to walk on and much easier on my knees and hips. This is the last year for the team that I am currently on, they are disbanding the team. <img src=""> <img src=" Sun, 15 Jul 2012 09:48:20 EST Visit to a Victorian Tea House My mom turned 84 on May 30 and as part of her birthday we took her to the Victorian Tea House in nearby Spring Grove, PA. Those of us that went were my sister, my nephew's girlfriend, my mom, myself and a friend of my sisters. This was the second visit for my sis and her friend and the first time for the rest of us. Our reservation was for noon and we got there alittle early to look around. <BR> <BR> The house is decorated all Victorian inside and is gorgeous. This is the picture over the f... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 08:55:16 EST My sister moved in. On my previous blog I said how my mom has to have someone with her 24/7 now and how my sister was going to move in. Well she gave her notice at her job and said she would stay till the end of June but she was only working from 6-10 a.m. What we chuckle about is that her son's girlfriend was hired to fill her position. So my sister has been training her in the mornings when she goes in. <BR> <BR> For the past couple of weeks my sis has been moving boxes over in her car. On Thursday she borro... Sun, 27 May 2012 08:54:19 EST Mother's Day Another Mother's Day has come and gone and I am so thankful that I still have my mother here. For the past few years my nephew will cook chicken on the grill on Mother's Day and we have a get together. This year I went out with friends and dropped mom off at my sister's. I stopped at my sister's to pick mom up when I came back and my sister had already taken her home. They had a wonderful day sitting out on the patio, in the shade watching the grandkids on the trampoline. <BR> <BR> My sister... Sun, 13 May 2012 20:56:57 EST Mom has to have someone with her 24/7 now. This all started last month with my mom complaining of headaches. Took her to dr and she has high bp. Dr put her on meds to see how they would do. Had her back today and the med he put her on is not bringing her bp down enough. He put her on another and hopefully the two of them will work for her. I will continue to monitor her bp here at home and she goes back end of May for a follow up. <BR> <BR> One thing he did stress is that he does not want her left alone now when I go to work. When mo... Thu, 10 May 2012 21:04:08 EST Duckling dilema I have said before that I work at a Walmart in my town. We have a retention pond behind our store that is home to three pair of ducks. The females build their nests in the enclosed area. This year one of the females decided to build her nest outside of the fence, and the drama it caused. <BR> <BR> We have behind our store two chain link enclosures where we store empty containers going back to vendors. These enclosures have the webbing in them to hide the clutter inside. One of our female du... Sun, 6 May 2012 16:50:51 EST It finally clicked!! For the past two months I have not been making any progress with my weight. The scale stays the same, at least it's not going up. I had to drive to a conference today for work, a 3 hour drive up and 3 hours back for a 2 hour meeting! Made no sense to me but I was being paid for it. There were 3 other ladies in my car with me going to this. On the drive home we were talking about some of the points brought up and that is when it clicked, My hours were changed from 6am-3pm to now working 7am-4p... Wed, 2 May 2012 20:01:30 EST Questions about the FitBit, need input. I have seen some references lately to the FitBit and I am thinking of getting one. When I read the reviews though I am concerned about how well they are made. I want to get one to help with my daily tracking but I am more interested in how it can monitor sleep patterns. <BR> <BR> My mom has Alzheimer's and when she gets something in her mind it stays, even if wrong. She says the same thing about her sleep pattern, she goes to bed at 830pm is still awake at midnight and gets up every 2 hours... Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:56:56 EST Frustrated and worried! My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2010 and she is progressing a little quicker now. What is becoming a problem is that she is either not mentioning when she does not feel good or she exaggerates the symptoms. I never know if it is real or if it is memorex. If she told you something months ago that was wrong, it is still wrong to this day. The thought gets in her mind and it does not change. She keeps saying that she goes to bed at 8:30 and is still awake at midnight and gets up 4 tim... Thu, 12 Apr 2012 17:56:51 EST Mocha meets her first horse!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This is my dog Mocha, she is a rescue that I adopted last July and she is 14 months old. I have been around her since she was 3 days old. She loves to go for walks so I try to take her every day. We went for our walk this morning and I decided to go a different way. The way that we went this morning went by the York Fairgrounds for the Hanover Shoe Farms. <BR> <BR> The Hanover Shoe Farms is one of the larges... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 11:03:56 EST My April goals I have never put my goals in writing where I can see them every day so I started today. These are my goals for April: <BR> <BR> 1. I will get at least 700 fitness minutes this month. <BR> 2. I will take Sunday's as a "me" day. <BR> 3. I will loose 5 pounds this month. <BR> 4. I will drink 8 glasses of water daily. I do this now occasionally. <BR> 5. I will track meals daily, ( not consistent now) <BR> 6. I will walk Mocha daily. <BR> <BR> All these goals are reasonable and not out of reach.... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 08:36:46 EST My cat from he** I have a cat named Cara that I found in the parking lot of our Walmart 10 yrs ago. She was this little ball of fluff that purred like crazy when I picked her up. Cara was raised with my Great Dane (Kalli) and my German Shephard (Collin). She was never around other cats cause no one in my family owned cats. <BR> <BR> When I took her to the vets for her checkups the vet would turn on the tap and run water to try and get Cara to stop purring so she could listen to her heart. Never had a problem... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 19:13:41 EST My Pittsburgh vacation. I am on vacation this week and I went to Pittsburgh with a couple of friends. This is only the second time I have been and the first time was just an overnight stay. Since it is a four hour drive for us (from Hanover) we stayed Monday-Wednesday. <BR> <BR> Monday when we got there went to Penn Brewery for some lunch and a beer. I really like Penn beers but they are so hard to find in my area. We then went and found our hotel and the manager told of us a really good place to eat, Hoffbrau on ... Fri, 3 Feb 2012 09:11:01 EST My new Ninja blender! I work in retail so on Black Friday I am in the store because I have to be (working) not shopping. Well this year I did do some shopping and I got a Ninja blender. I love fresh fruit and sometimes I buy too much so I throw it in the freezer. Well I hate it when you thaw it and it is mushy. My old blender just could not handle big chunks of peaches or mangos to make smoothies. The Ninja does just great. It has two sets of blades, one above the other, so it just zips right through frozen fruit.... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 13:33:27 EST The Healing Fields As a tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 a Healing Fields display was set up in my town in front of a local elementary school. There were 3000 8 ft tall American flags placed in the field by the road. Each flag had a card attached to it in memory of someone who died that day, wheather they be at Ground Zero, Pentagon or Shanksville. As you drive in to the school this is the site you see. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I walked through th... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 12:48:01 EST Another step on the journey. First off I want to thank all of you who sent me sparkgoodies and well wishes for my two year sparkversary. I greatly appreciate all the good feelings and glad tidings. Things have been a little crazy lately and I have not been as active on the site as I wish that I was. I have decided that that will have to change. I miss my time on Spark and I need to make time to visit, I need it to continue my journey with any chance of success. <BR> <BR> I have had some health issues lately that have ma... Sat, 6 Aug 2011 09:08:54 EST Mocha's favorite toy My new pup Mocha has a favorite toy and it is a small red Kong. She loves that Kong and chases it all through the house. She just plowed her way through here after it. If no one throws it for her she throws it for herself. She does the same thing with the rope. She is pretty much done with accidents in the house. We hook her to a tie out from the front porch and to make it easier for mom I have the hook of the tie out in under the door. If Mocha has to go out she goes to the door and nudges ... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 18:26:27 EST House training a puppy! Boy it has been years since I have had to house train a puppy (15 years to be exact) and I forgot how much time is involved. I brought Mocha home on July 3 and she is around 6 months old. She is partially house trained, in that she knows she should go outside, but sometimes she forgets. I have her in a crate at night and as soon as I get up in the morning I take her outside. The past couple of mornings I have had to keep picking her up and putting her back on the lawn to "go potty". This morn... Wed, 6 Jul 2011 18:58:02 EST Mocha's Fourth of July Well, today was Mocha's second day with me and she is doing great. Last night the neighbor up the street was shooting off fireworks and she didn't like that. She would not go out before bed. So even tho I was off today I got up at my normal time (5:15 a.m.) and took her out first thing. She was still afraid and couldn't get her to go. She did very well in her crate last night, didn't fuss at all. Once the dew dried off the grass I took Mocha and Cara, my cat, out front while I did some weedin... Mon, 4 Jul 2011 19:10:40 EST New addition to my family If you have read my blogs before you know that where I work, we donate products to a local Animal Rescue. One of the benefits of this is that when the lady comes to pick up from us she usually brings puppies or kittens along. We call them our service animals because they help us destress. If you have ever worked in retail you know that some days you need alot of help destressing. One of the animals that was brought was Mocha. She is a terrier mix and was one of a litter of seven. This rescue ... Sun, 3 Jul 2011 21:30:14 EST Paying Attention I have been looking back on my eating habits of the past and present and I have noticed a big difference. Before SP I never really looked at the nutrition label of what I was buying. If it looked good, or better yet, tasted good I bought it and ate it with relish. Now I find myself reading the nutrition label before I put anything in my shopping cart. <BR> <BR> I look to see what the calorie count is and mainly what I look at is the sodium. I never payed attention to these things before. Now... Sun, 1 May 2011 16:34:27 EST Another furry squatter In September of 2009 I had some four footed squatters in my yard, a groundhog and some possums'. This year I have a squatter in my garage and I really don't want this one at all, it is a skunk ! Now mind you I live in town not in the country but I seem to be attracting the critters to my place. My garage is detached and sits back from my house. I leave for work at 5:00 a.m. so I pop the garage door with the remote before I leave the house. Last Monday as I was walking back to the garage I saw... Sun, 13 Mar 2011 19:53:28 EST Enjoying my workouts at the gym After reading alot of blogs from fellow team mates about the benefits of strength training I finally joined a gym. I had been a member of a gym several years ago but did not enjoy going there. People would tie up the machines sitting and talking to friends and there was no personalized help for you if you needed it. We had a Planet Fitness that came to town couple of years ago and several people I know are members. They said how much they liked it and I finally decided to go check it out, I a... Fri, 11 Feb 2011 18:54:01 EST Taking it off again! I was so proud of myself, I was exercising daily and really paying attention to what I was eating. Then I got in a funk and put 13 pounds back on. I had so many issues going on at work and home with my mom that I just got to the point that I didn't care. I know that I was going through a mild depression and I realized that I had to take stock of my life. <BR> <BR> I have been with the same company for 20 years now and I can truly say that I never really had a day where I did not want to go ... Sat, 11 Dec 2010 15:14:22 EST Doing some soul searching Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. What did Thanksgiving mean to you this year? I have been away from SP for almost a month dealing with some issues at home and I realized that I have much to be thankful for. <BR> <BR> My mother is 82 and is in fairly good health but has been having some issues for the last month. The thing that concerns me is her memory, mom is in the early stages of dementia. She remembers her days as a little girl and young woman very vividly but has a hard time reme... Sat, 27 Nov 2010 09:51:57 EST Puppy update Well our little rescue puppy is still doing well. He has had a name change, we now call him Beau (Handsome in French) cause he is sooooo cute. Here he is on his last visit on Tuesday <img src=""> <BR> Naturally he closed his eyes just as I snapped the picture. He was 8 wks old on Monday. When the lady from the rescue came she brought Beau and the 3 Yorkie-Poos (who are 9 wks old). Here is a picture of Beau, in the foreground, and Sam, the ... Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:05:45 EST Update on the puppy ! On 09/01 I wrote a blog about a new puppy at the rescue where we donate food. Well, she came to pick up more food today and brought the little guy along. We all started calling him Beau, which means Handsome, and he fits his name. He is 7 weeks old today and when he was at the vet on Friday he weighed 1 lb 3 oz. One of the other girls got him out of his carrier and put him down on the floor and he started prancing. He looked like he was just strutting his stuff. He would run from Alycia to m... Tue, 7 Sep 2010 17:57:16 EST A new puppy I work in the claims department of a retail store and take care of damaged / defective merchandise. It is our policy that we try to donate any damaged pet food / litter to an animal rescue organization. We have a rescue that we donate to and she gets alot of dogs with new litters that are puppy mill surrenders. Most of these puppies need bottle or dropper feeding. When the puppies are old enough she will bring one or two along with her for us to see. This helps the pups by getting them used t... Wed, 1 Sep 2010 20:16:10 EST My trip to Vermont Just got back from a great vacation to Burlington, VT. I bought a TomTom for myself last year at Christmas and thought I would put it to the ultimate test and it was great. Left on Saturday morning (8/21) and had a nice drive. The weather was great and not alot of traffic on the road. It took us about 8h 30m to get to Kent, NY for the ferry across Lake Champlain. They were loading the ferry when we got there but there was not enough room for my car so we had to wait for an hour for the next f... Thu, 26 Aug 2010 10:49:52 EST Bright Light Five years ago I had LASIK surgery done. I thought about it and researched it for 2 years before deciding to have it done. It was the best decision I made and I don't regret it. I went from being blind as a bat to having 20/15 in both eyes. When I read I wear a pair of dollor store glasses (1.5 magnification). <BR> <BR> Well, today I had my check up and things are still looking great. My vision is still 20/15. The only problem is that I had to get my eyes dialated. It is now 5 hours later a... Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:54:48 EST Tubby the moose, cute reminder of my dad <img src=""> <BR> This is a plant holder for our yard that I affectionatly call Tubby, after my dad. When my dad was a baby he was a chubby little boy and his mother called him Tubby. Well, that stuck and it became his nickname, even tho he was as skinny as a string bean as a teen and young adult. All of my cousins called him Uncle Tubby, he was never called Uncle Don (Donovan being his name). When my dad retired from the Air Force he got... Sun, 18 Jul 2010 13:25:27 EST Much needed rain We finally got some decent rain the last few days.The last rain that we had at my house was June 4. I checked my rain gauge on Saturday when I got home from the relay and we only had a quarter inch here. Got more across town. We got a nice shower Monday night into Tuesday morning, had 3.5 inches in the rain gauge Tuesday. We had another nice shower this morning that gave us 2 inches. The grass is finally showing a hint of green through the brown and my plants are standing tall now not droopin... Wed, 14 Jul 2010 20:16:33 EST Relay For Life a success We had our 10th annual Relay For Life on July 9th and 10th at our local YMCA. <BR> We had 56 teams registered this year, our highest yet. We had a great site for our canopy this year, on the outside edge of the track. Here are some of our team setting up the canopies. <img src=""> <BR> I got to the field at 10:45 to help with set up and I was on the track walking at 11:15. Opening ceremonies was at noon and the survivors lap was suppossed ... Sat, 10 Jul 2010 21:57:51 EST AMC Relay For Life This weekend is our Relay For Life here in town. It is held at our local YMCA and runs from noon Friday to noon Saturday. I stay at the field for the entire 24 hours and usually walk the night time laps. During the day we have a DJ who plays music non-stop to keep you pumped. The music has to stop at 10:00pm so they have games that we play while walking to keep you motivated. I have met some really great people at the relay and hope to meet more this year. I lost my father 8 years ago to canc... Wed, 7 Jul 2010 19:43:36 EST My niece's visit Today my 16 year old great-niece Monica is flying in from Seattle, Washington to spend a week with my mom and I. She usually spends 2 weeks every summer with her grandfather (my brother) in Virginia. This year she told her mom she wanted to come here for a week. My mom was so tickled when my niece called to see if it was ok for Monica to come. Yesterday we went grocery shopping so we could get Monica's favorite snack and make sure that there was plenty of food in the house for a 16 year old. ... Sat, 26 Jun 2010 14:12:20 EST Beds in bloom !!! Was putzing in the front flower bed over the weekend and thought I would share some pictures with you. My mom and I love working in the flower beds and this time of year is busy. We have finished cutting off the spent greens from the spring bloomers and now the early summer bloomers are starting to open. This is the bed that I put in in the front of our house. I love the water feature espeically. It is so nice when sitting on the porch to listen to and also to watch the birds bathing or drink... Tue, 15 Jun 2010 19:48:32 EST Almost there When I joined SP I set a weight goal of 175 pounds, well I am only .7 pounds away from that. I think my next goal will be 150 pounds. I really don't think I will have any problem doing it and I am going to take my time just like this time. I feel that if I take it off slow I will do a better job of keeping it off. I would eventually like to see if I can get back to the weight I was when I was in the Marine Corps and that was 140 pounds, we'll see. <BR> <BR> I am gong to make sure that I con... Sun, 13 Jun 2010 18:51:47 EST New Game If you have read my blogs before you know that I have a Wii and really enjoy the exercise games for it. Well, I ordered two more and got one of them today, so I thought I would try it. It is called Walk It Out and it is a blast. Basically, you are walking around an island in time to the music. The better you keep in step the more chips you get to create and build your island. I used the pad for my Dance Dance cause it tracks your steps better. So I am walking and creating my island and after... Wed, 19 May 2010 19:58:23 EST Another step on the journey Before I joined SP I had reached my highest weight ever of 200 pounds. I got discouraged and disappointed with myself. So I set out to "LOOSE WEIGHT", well every time I do that it backfires on me. I joined the local YMCA and went after work but that soon became work, but I stuck with it. Then I heard people talking about Wii Fit and how it helped them loose weight. So I decided to try it and bought the Wii and Wii Fit. I did not go overboard with it but tried to exercise at least 4 days a wee... Mon, 17 May 2010 19:16:52 EST