SHAMROCKY2K's SparkPeople Blog SHAMROCKY2K's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community It's time to count my blessings I've been writing this to friends. "I'm embarrassed to tell you I broke my arm a few days ago.". I shouldn't be embarrassed. Things happen.. not usually days after breast cancer surgery. The positive attitude I was told would help did. I think of others going through worse things. Blessings: 2 very supportive daughters and son in laws I have some pain spikes.. but savour the calm. I am strong! Thanksgiving is approaching..I won't be asked to cook a thing. I will be VERY thankful. Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:43:38 EST My Mom Another loss.. this one was very hard. I probably can't type about it too much now. It is sad to lose my Mother. I was always very proud of her. She was born and raised in Oregon, got her undergraduate degree in chemistry with a minor in English. She was offered a job at a prestigious hospital in New York City and took the train across the entire country. Not knowing a soul and making that trip alone amazed me. She never talked about it. She DID talk about going to a dance .. dragging... Sat, 9 Sep 2017 00:24:41 EST Finally got in an evening walk <img src=""> <BR> I've missed it. Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:36:12 EST As promised.. my status update turned blog (with commentary in parentheses) <img src="">Yep.. surprise, surprise.. it's all about the eclipse.. and me <BR> Plans were foiled for my trip to the Nashville area to see the total eclipse. Long story.. but the 12 hour drive was not one I was looking forward to anyway. <BR> I knew where I live that the forecast was looking overcast or rainy. Through the power of my smartphone weather app I kept looking (was on a mission) at the hourly forecast f... Tue, 22 Aug 2017 01:00:25 EST A dog tale So.. my daughter's dog was operated on for the third time today thinking she was spayed (a common procedure).. but was just ACTUALLY spayed today. Somehow the vet didn't tell them they botched it pretty bad and never removed what needed to be removed.. time one (a few years ago).. and the repair.. time two (a year after time one). New vet today.. surgical and it's a mess, nothing had been removed but so much scar tissue is left. Fingers crossed that the damage done didn't hurt her kidneys ... Fri, 18 Aug 2017 23:52:52 EST Antioxidants in something delicious "A 2005 USDA study found that unsweetened cocoa powder contained the highest concentration of beneficial compounds of all chocolate products." That's what I read on the trivia quiz today. I knew it but it reinforced what I do for my daily breakfast. I add cocoa powder to my breakfast of oatmeal, crunchy peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, bananas and vanilla yogurt. It's delicious. Just think.. you don't get any of the sugar additives by adding the cocoa powder and you don't need t... Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:43:39 EST The added benefit I started a new exercise class yesterday plus I took an evening walk with a neighbor who's my daughters age. I got a lot out of walking and dancing but I got even more out of the mental exercise of learning something new in the class, meeting new people and just walking and talking with a friend. <BR> Windows open today and house cleaning. Hoping to stay focused. Oh look a shiny object! Wish me luck! Thu, 6 Jul 2017 10:08:19 EST The perspective we gain.. Life flies by.. but losing my Dad and then 5 years later losing my husband I feel like all the older relatives I have heard .. NOW I get it. <BR> <BR> Try to be sensitive to everyone. I never looked at it that way until today. <BR> <BR> My goal is to make an impact on those that may be missing their father. My Dad got me through my husbands passing. I truly felt him guide me from beyond. <em>26</em> Sun, 18 Jun 2017 02:27:09 EST A photo or three <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today it was important for me to get out and walk and change my mood. It worked! I talked to people and walked all the way down the hill. It's steep and I have always felt like it was a good indicator of how fit I am as I climb back up the hill. One of my pictures is not loading and I will fix that... Sun, 21 May 2017 17:05:44 EST still.. Time to take Flacco for a walk and see if I can stir something up in the neighborhood. <BR> I STILL get down. The house is too quiet. I STILL feel like I hear him.. a cough or a whistle. If I am up late I try to be quiet STILL. Maybe that feeling will never leave. I have always wanted a busy social life. That probably drove him crazy.. but he loved it.. and me. <BR> <BR> I'm fighting the good fight though..Maybe it was the wonderful visit I had with family and my Mom especially. S... Sat, 20 May 2017 17:29:14 EST A walk along the Chesapeake <img src=""> <BR> Today was an absolutely perfect day outside. I went with a friend to a town along the Chesapeake. The reason wasn't good. We were visiting a friend who has been my idol and inspiration. She's mid to late 80's and extremely independent in her own house; was hit in the head on a windy day by a door. She's half paralyzed from brain bleed and not seeming herself at all. I'll keep visiting her an... Tue, 16 May 2017 23:42:23 EST The great big beautiful out of doors. My friend Connie messaged me encouraging me to visit the parks and trails.. I replied, "Thanks Connie for that reminder. I DO love the outdoors. That's kind of gone by the wayside but I WILL get it back. Now that I am 62 (shhhh) I hope to get a golden pass .. or silver.. whichever it is where you can into all the national parks for nothing. Do you have one? My parents did and enjoyed using theirs frequently. I do have a friend that would probably enjoy walking with me and I need to call her a... Sat, 13 May 2017 23:14:36 EST Buy what is in season.. a handy reminder I've used for decades. Buy what's in season. <BR> Here's a guide to help you identify the best produce deals <BR> month-by-month: <BR> <BR> January <BR> <BR> oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, tangelos, lemons, papayas, <BR> cabbages: red, white and green; leeks, broccoli, cauliflower <BR> <BR> February <BR> <BR> oranges, tanelos, grapefruit, lemons, papayas, broccoli, cauliflower <BR> <BR> March <BR> <BR> pineapples, mangoes, broccoli. lettuce <BR> <BR> April <BR> pineapples, mangoes, zucchini, rhubarb, ar... Mon, 8 May 2017 00:53:39 EST Keep progressing! Oftentimes I want to blog when I am angry or frustrated about something. I keep a journal.. but that's just for me.. so does it count in getting all that out to the world? I usually stop myself. <BR> <BR> Today I'm just happy. I've continued to lose weight slowly. I'm surviving on my own quite well. I have wonderful friends but I don't need to lean on them. I LOVE reading.. and book clubs. I am learning more and more. Playing trivia has helped. I played last night and it seemed I wa... Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:02:55 EST Two years ago.. I am the lowest weight I have been since my 30's possibly before. I had the DISadvantage of growing up super skinny and was very self conscious about it. That's part of being a kid. I thrived away at college.. got happy and ate. That trend continued. Now that its just me I eat healthy most of the time. I keep the ice cream away. I do indulge in dark chocolate. I track my food.. THAT's a no brainer. Exercise has been thwarted due to my fall back in late August. I have some major deci... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:57:31 EST Family, super bowl and more. I just got home from a weekend away a couple hours north of here. Stayed with my one brother who lives alone and he cooked a delicious healthy meal for when I arrived. We got to talking and he used to be on Sparkpeople and post recipes. Now I know we are related. I totally love the recipes here and have posted many. So Sunday was another brothers super bowl party. Food wise It was NOT healthy but good. I love being with family. Saw my Mom too. She has Alzheimer's and is usually healt... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 18:26:24 EST DIY dishwasher detergent A local farm I follow posted this: <BR> "I did not have any dishwasher detergent today and the dishwasher was packed. It was also a beautiful day and I did not want to leave the farm. Googled it: <BR> 2-3 drops of liquid dish soap <BR> 2/3 soap container filled with baking soda <BR> Remainder filled with salt <BR> Results! Yes you can stay home!!! <BR> Dishes clean!!" <BR> I might have to try this! Fri, 6 Jan 2017 15:31:47 EST Getting there.. I went to a NYE gathering. Asked a neighbor what she was doing and she and her hubby invited me along to the relatives party. It was slightly awkward but we played board games and I love doing that. Nice people! The 20ish son amazed me by coming up and introducing himself and talking about his night at work. Asked how I was doing. That's rare. That guy is going places. I didn't have an appetite but that trifle I was served was delicious. Came back and celebrated by watching the ball d... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 13:22:58 EST Independent.. for 2017 So.. there was a challenge last year for me to come up with a word as a resolution. I chose BE.. and I did keep it in mind most of the year. I am being me. People notice that. I feel good. I was thinking about what would be for next year and in the blog last year I thought I would choose UP.. but nope. I am up already. What I want my word for this coming year to be is Independent. Its more of a thing where I want to be comfortable in my own skin doing everything.. <em>521</em> Sun, 25 Dec 2016 19:29:39 EST From MSN news .. Live Music Relieves Stress I probably could have told you this but now I have proof: <BR> <BR> "Live Music Relieves Stress <BR> <BR> There's evidence proving that live music reduces stress. Researchers took saliva samples from 117 concert goers once before the performance and once again after an hour into the performance, in order to analyze their levels of two stress related hormones, cortisol (also known as the fight-or-flight hormone) and cortisone. The results showed significant reductions in both hormones after ... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 15:23:02 EST Thanksgiving Nice holiday weekend. Even ended up having 2 Thanksgiving dinners. That's a first. I have the best neighbors. For Thanksgiving we invited someone I realized wouldn't have a chance to sit down with family for a meal. My friend from California's son is going to a local college. They could stay.. but no cafeteria. That morning I thought to ask her and what a joy it was when we texted her son and picked him up. He's a little guy but boy could he eat. We went down to daughters pond and ca... Sun, 27 Nov 2016 17:34:25 EST The new "American Plate" "At mealtimes, strike a balance of at least two-thirds plant-based foods and no more than one-third animal protein. This "New American Plate" is an important cancer fighting tool, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research." <BR> <BR> I don't usually like to just post a link but this seems SO spot on. I could live happily and longer with a lifestyle like this: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ncer-fighting-foods?ecd=socpd_fb_2946_<BR>ss_cm302 </link> ... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 12:10:54 EST cooking It sounds selfish to just cook what you like, especially if you are cooking for others as well as yourself. Most people are. Having lost my husband last year the last thing I wanted to do was cook. I relied on my grown daughters and quickly got tired of pizza and tacos. My husband had been the cook. He loved the praise and rightfully so. When I used to cook for him I was always taking into account his tastes as well as mine and it never turned out quite right for either of us. SO.. I say to y... Thu, 3 Nov 2016 13:11:40 EST Halloween For the 29th year in a row I went to the neighborhood bonfire right next door. This is where I get to catch up with everyone.. new and old neighbors alike. Good for the soul but I am sure my hair smells like fire. This year I just bought my candy and put it in with others rather than sitting next door and waiting for the trick or treaters. Adorable little ones stopped in from over the state line which was cute but then some highschoolers strutted in like they own the place. (Another occa... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 00:36:03 EST A vacation.. and an ooops.. plus I lost weight Can't help but smile when you are in Aruba they say and it is true. Even though the morning I left I managed to fall off my brothers step and wrench my hip I was determined to go. I was offered a wheelchair at the airport and whisked through both airports. A friend I grew up with invited me to go along for the week. She had another friend going as well. I was glad they both had someone else to do things with. Mostly in the beginning I was in too much pain to do anything. Day 2 I went t... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 21:37:40 EST A photo or two <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been trying to take some outdoor pictures. I was in the car after my daughters orchestra concert yesterday. It had rained and when I walked out of the school the blue sky and the white puffy clouds were brilliant. As I drove up the road the clouds almost made an arch that was amazing. Alas, though, there were no scenic overlooks on my short drive home. The picture above was taken... Mon, 6 Jun 2016 12:11:38 EST Updates and Thankyous I wanted to let you know that I got through the anniversary of my late husband's passing. Partially it was due to everyone making a big deal of my birthday. I had two celebrations. My daughters as well as my dear neighbor of so many years are to blame. We all reminisced about Bill but are looking to the wonderful times to come as well. <BR> <BR> I read another Sparkers blog and it made me reflect on my time on Spark People. The friends I have made here have gotten me through the toughes... Thu, 10 Mar 2016 23:03:21 EST A year ago March 2nd, the first anniversary of my Bill's passing in the early morning is upon me. I thought I was very emotionally prepared. Basically, I don't feel that way at this moment. I was asked yesterday "What are you doing to honor him for the anniversary?" Yikes. I didn't know that was a thing..but of course I will be thinking of him. I am sure my daughters and my husbands 2 sisters are in the same boat. My birthday is the following day and I see everyone trying to prepare to make it a ... Tue, 1 Mar 2016 17:41:42 EST A good read. I just read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. In it he says, "Human knowledge is never contained in one person," he realizes, noting that a doctor, patient, engineer, economist, pearl diver, alcoholic, cable guy, sheep farmer, beggar and pastor all see the world differently. "It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete." <BR> I love that! <em>58</em> <BR> Sat, 27 Feb 2016 15:11:28 EST Resolution word - BE I was introduced to the concept of using just one word as a resolution. My friend chose her word, LISTEN, after much thought. That struck me as an excellent word. I think she is already a good listener though. This will perfect her listening skills even more so and she will learn a lot. This year though I think I need something different. I am at a different point in my life and I need to live not being someone's other half. I need to BE my whole me. It will give me confidence and hop... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 15:26:24 EST No DIET.. lesson learned I guess I have always known this but for me I cannot deprive or even limit some type of food. I got down to my goal weight and had lost my appetite for ice cream. Well, I rediscovered ice cream and the scale was going up. I have a suspicion that the low fat variety makes you crave it more. SO I signed up for the 21 tame your sweet tooth challenge, OUCH! I stepped on the scale and gained almost 2 lbs since starting the challenge. <BR> <BR> So.. Lesson learned and back to: <BR> walkin... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 12:30:24 EST hip to waist ratio I did reach my original goal and was excited to take measurements. I had not done it in a long time. Lots of things were better including a larger calf measurement. One thing that is discouraging is that my hip to waist ratio actually got worse.. more into the danger zone. <BR> <BR> I know it is said you cannot target certain areas but how does anyone try to improve that risk factor? I dropped 2 pants sizes. I think the issue is I lost too much in the hips. <BR> <em>9</em> Mon, 18 May 2015 23:32:49 EST May Day <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My dear departed Dad was born on "May Day" 87 years ago. He reminded me and my 4 younger brothers of that often. Lately I have felt his spirit trying to remind me of who I am. It gives me comfort. He was one to sing loud in church and at ..well every event, family or otherwise. He also made everyone comfortable. He was a great father who worked diligently with his kids well into adulthood. <BR> <em>285</... Fri, 1 May 2015 14:54:13 EST It's been a month It's not hard to believe really. It's harder now than it was the first week. Part of it is my worry over my future. I am unsure of so much. Being 60 and going through this is tough enough and I cannot imagine being up into my 80's and losing a long time spouse. I have to be together to help my daughters through losing their Dad at such a relatively young age. Truth be told they are helping me more. My oldest is currently working 40 hours a week AND taking 9 tough credits in school. It... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 12:05:30 EST Tears I have not wanted to say much here. Have never been a fan of complaining about things. The grief support set for tonight was postponed for a week. It's probably a good thing.. I cannot stop crying. I had a friend stop over today for coffee and then she asked me where she could plant my Lenten rose bush. How sweet of her. She also placed a ceramic angel that has a solar light in it beside the roses. I will think of my hubby when I see it. <BR> <BR> This is not a good picture but gives... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:34:27 EST The Funeral is tomorrow for my dear hubby <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That picture, one of my favorites, was back in October. We were married for 34 years and I surely hoped it would have been longer. I wish there had been a recent sign. He had had a coronary bypass in his 30's. He lost weight after that but it gradually came back. 7 years ago he battled legionaries disease and we almost lost him. He also had depression and gout along with diabetes. All that was not him thoug... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 11:32:06 EST The news on fats and cholesterol - Big Changes. For those of us monitoring those levels here are 2 important links. <BR> <BR> The first one is about fats: <BR> <link><BR>guidelines-heart?ecd=wnl_chl_021715&ct<BR>r=wnl-chl-021715_nsl-promo_1&mb=Z1Vk9N<BR>ca%40Z0QcKeO9%2fV2O%40HnVev1imbC77H7TpRG2C4%3d </link> <BR> <BR> This next one is about cholesterol: <BR> <link><BR>/news/20150210/us-advisers-rethink-cho<BR>lesterol-risk-from-foods-report?ecd=wn<BR>l_chl_02171... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:11:04 EST An update Looks like between some cold bug from last week and the temperatures here falling colder than I can actually ever remember I am so up and down weight wise. Water aerobics starts back in 2 weeks. THAT will get me going. A blade of grass will get me going actually. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I did have a nice weekend though. (Outside of being in hubby's truck when it spun out then righted itself..whew!) We went to an 80's ma... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 00:11:23 EST A question to make you think. "Before I leave this earth I will not be satisfied until I..." Asked by Barbara Walters to Oprah today. Deep question. <BR> Not sure of MY answer yet. Hers was weight acceptance, surprisingly. <BR> <BR> What is your answer? Mon, 15 Dec 2014 01:18:51 EST Don't let this happen to you! It's happened to us.. well to me at least.. in the past. WE cannot let it happen again! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:37:54 EST Streaking.. won't say struck. I am happy the scale dropped again today. I have been in the Fit2Feast challenge since before the beginning. It is to exercise everyday up to and including Thanksgiving for at least 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> Maybe I can get like an A minus? <BR> <BR> I didn't exercise yesterday after a very active day the day before. Drove for 6 hours to get my friend to the hospital, stayed for her procedure and back and made it back for water aerobics which I run. I ROCK!! WOOHOO! LOL <BR> <BR> Any... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:00:37 EST Chair 1 - Pam 0 Saturday evening.. Son in law sets up a campfire alongside their pond. <BR> <img src=""> I was I guess lost in the conversation when I felt like things were moving. Was I dizzy??.. NOOO.. I was falling in rather slow motion. It took me a second to abandon my cellphone and reach to brace the fall. The chair, you should know, was on a hill. I feel like a klutz! <BR> <img src=""> <... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:33:37 EST A Sweet moment - maybe it will help you too. SWEETS.. <BR> <BR> For me it's dark chocolate and ice creams. <BR> <BR> I would eat everything sweet very very slowly when I was a child. I would still have Halloween candy left at Easter. Maybe we can all do that? I surely did enjoy those treats back then. I was always underweight growing up but college happened and unlimited food in the cafeteria.. WHAT? It's been decades. Now it's more sweets but less enjoyment. <BR> <BR> As we approach the season(s) of these goodies I will try... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:51:10 EST Sparkpeople is the first thing I now see.. This calendar is now the first thing I see when I go into my browser, ie my home page! <BR> <link><BR>track-calendar.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Right away you see a calendar with calories and exercise that you did today and in previous days. <BR> <BR> It also shows upcoming birthdays I had saved years ago. I have to find a quick link to set up appointments. <BR> <em>189</em> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:20:35 EST a fellow sparker asked how to keep in the habit of exercising. I have found an accidental way to keep exercising. I volunteer to chair the water aerobics program. I don't teach it.. but I have to be there to verify the lifeguard and teachers are there and to make any decisions. It doesn't cost me anything to attend since I have this position. Before I was the chairperson, I easily gave into excuses not to go. Hey, it works for me! There is time and effort but that is something that makes me feel good about myself. <BR> <BR> Years ago I had luck ... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:55:38 EST Low carb advise needed. I am proud of my hubby..he's lost 47 lbs within the last couple of months. HIS secret is all meat.. pretty much. In that time I have probably not lost a pound. Currently I eat whatever meat he is having and add a vegetable and possibly a small starch for dinner. I did Atkins many years ago and while it jump started weight loss it didn't all stay off of me. I also ended up with osteoporosis after that and just remember the awful feeling I got after eating any carbs. My question is whethe... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:11:34 EST Roads less traveled I like taking different routes when I travel. I am not sure why more people don't. Today's trip I let mapquest tell me the route. Just to the north of me is some beautiful countryside that I rarely see. <BR> (insert beautiful photo of rolling green countryside.. ooops.. I can't drive and take pictures. Trust me though, it is awe inspiring.) <BR> It's like with exercise though. If we take the same route we can get bored and then stop visiting altogether. Pick a new activity. It doesn'... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 01:22:52 EST This was at the Zoo wedding this weekend <img src=""> <BR> <BR> He was cute. 10 years old and tilted his head when the trainer talked. The bride and groom got pictures with him. I was glad to hear no one could touch him. <BR> The wedding was very nice. I shed a tear for the couple as they are truly wonderful together. There was enough food where I ate smart.. then I danced it off. <BR> <BR> Have a great week! Mon, 2 Jun 2014 11:39:52 EST My favorite Maya Angelou words. Rest in peace, Maya Angelou. What an inspirational positive woman! My favorite quote of hers: <BR> “I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.... Wed, 28 May 2014 17:09:44 EST This happens... Whoops.. or however you spell it. I forgot to get onto Sparkpeople yesterday at all. Hubby and I were busy with outside stuff and before I knew it it was time to meet long time friends for a reunion of sorts for 10 of us. So.. you sit and chat.. occasionally looking at the menu. You have it all picked out (and consider the calories, etc.) and then someone orders appetizers for all. WAY too many. I figured this was dinner. Nachos, wings and fried pickles. At least there were some carro... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 01:36:32 EST