SHECHAM's SparkPeople Blog SHECHAM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Well written article prompted by actions in Ferguson by Taylor Toretto It was about a year ago today when I went to a Little Caesar’s pizza place nearby my workplace to try their lunch combo box for the first time. Admittedly, I wasn’t all that proud of where I was ending up for lunch that day, but I worked in a food desert and my options were limited. After all, pizza and a soda for $5 was the best deal around for me and my post-college finances. <BR> <BR> I remember the staff was very friendly the first time I was there. They quickly helped me locate the meal... Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:06:09 EST An Update from Chris's mom Wow! The summer flew by! We've been super wrapped up in a massive home renovation project, and I hadn't realized how long it had been since I last sent an update. I'll try to keep it short: <BR> <BR> With the help of several strapping young (and old) men, we tore down the old section of our house in June, and began the long process of rebuilding and renovating. What was a collection of small rooms with uneven floors and several step-ups and step-downs is now a beautiful open and fully a... Sun, 8 Sep 2013 20:33:47 EST Chris 2 years later: Amazing! <BR> <link><BR>n </link> <BR> <BR> Many of you have prayed for Chris these past two years. His progress has been nothing short of miraculous. Please follow the link and read Chris's own words as he tells his story. Chris has inspired me so much. He has helped us in design of the construction of the porch we are building. <BR> <BR> This link does request donations... or monetary gifts to help him with one last hurdle toward independence. Please... Wed, 28 Aug 2013 00:24:08 EST Chris Update After many, many moons, Chris has finally been able to get his Trackchair! <BR> Check out the awesome video clips on YouTube! <BR><BR>/videos Sat, 25 May 2013 21:46:15 EST Migraines Well, many of you know, I have been really struggling with migraines this year. It has greatly interfered with my ability to exercise, which in turn made it harder to eat right and maintain weight. I went to a neurologist last fall when the migraines were really awful... and have been following his care since. It has helped minimally. I requested a referral to another neurologist and met with him Friday. I am now more hopeful. What complicates my care, is that I also have arthritis whic... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 16:12:44 EST Distracted Driving... Follow this link for a quick but powerful video that shows just how fatal distracted driving can be.... The video was taken with a dashboard camera by a state trooper. Stay safe my friends... <BR> <BR><BR>cs Wed, 2 Jan 2013 22:50:11 EST Prayer request for Chris (see prior blogs) From Chris's mom: <BR> Just a quick request to those of you who we know to be closely connected to prayer chains: <BR> <BR> Please hit the "Refresh" button for Chris. He has been fighting with constantly recurring UTIs for two months and is now on an intravenous antibiotic which has to be administered twice a day for the next week (through a pic line). He feels "okay" and is in pretty good spirits, but this is really wearing on the heart and soul. Many forward movements have had to be pu... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 11:55:45 EST Little acts of kindness.... You never know how your actions will affect others... sometimes what seems like a small, inconsequential act of kindness by you, is taken by others as profound. My son was at a metal concert last night. Being almost 6'4" and in the second row, he could easily catch things that band members tossed off of the stage. He caught a pick when the band members all tossed them at once. He then noticed a woman about my age on the floor desperately searching for a pick that may have fallen to the floor.... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 09:11:01 EST A poem in memory of my dad I wish I could feel one more hug... <BR> I wish I could hear one more "Top 'o the morning to you!" <BR> or one more "How ARE you Sheila?" <BR> I wish I could see him one more time <BR> he would look into my eyes and listen... really LISTEN. <BR> I wish I could share a laugh with him and gain strength from his smile <BR> I wish I could share one more day, one more hour, one more minute with my dad.... <BR> <BR> Oh, how i miss his belief in me and his huge bear hugs. His love was t... Mon, 6 Aug 2012 09:14:07 EST The math geek/teacher in me shines through! Sheila went blueberry picking with $47 in cash. She picked berries from 10:15 to 12:45, filling four picking baskets. She spent $1.80 per pound for her berries. If she had picked 4 pounds less, she would have had to pay $2 per pound. She spent a total of $42.30. <BR> <BR> How much time did she spend picking berries? <BR> About how much time did it take her to fill one picking basket? <BR> How many pounds did she pick in all? <BR> Did she have enough money? If so, how much change d... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:37:26 EST Chris Update 5/6 in his mom's words... Hello dear friends and family, <BR> <BR> It's hard to believe that 8 months have passed since Chris's injury. What an amazing journey! <BR> <BR> Despite continuing spasms of ridiculous intensity, April brought many interesting adventures for Chris, the first of which was the kegging of his first batch of home brew, a nice pale ale. A second trip to the brewer's supply store, and a new batch of blueberry ale was in the works. Ron, of course, as Assistant Brewmaster, did a lot of the gr... Sun, 6 May 2012 22:47:59 EST Chris Update 4/2/2012 Let’s see, where to begin? <BR> <BR> Still plagued by heavy duty spasms, Chris finally connected with the outpatient doctor at Spaulding, Dr. Liau, who was quickly able to determine the problem. Apparently, the tube leading from the internal pump to Chris’s spine had been detached or “fractured,” so that the medication meant to control the spasms was not being delivered to where it was needed. Finally, we know the cause! Chris is now awaiting word from the surgeon as to when he can sche... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 23:04:15 EST Chris Update 3/5 Chris's mom reports: <BR> Hello dear friends and family, <BR> <BR> February had its ups and downs for Chris and his care-givers (us), but we continue to press ever onward! <BR> <BR> On the down side, Chris went through three rounds of antibiotics trying to clear up a very stubborn infection that has manifested in sudden, frequent, and intense full-body spasms. He is currently finishing up the third round; however, while the infection appears to be gone, the spasms have not subsid... Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:55:52 EST Chris update 2/4 Hi Everyone, <BR> <BR> It's been a month since our last email, and my, how the time has flown! For most folks, life slows down after the flurry of the holidays, but for us, not so much! Chris's weekly schedule keeps us hopping. Between therapy sessions and follow-up doctors' appointments, Chris and his faithful sidekick (PCA Dad) are on the go constantly. <BR> <BR> In mid-January we were delighted (finally!)to make the trip to Boston to pick up Chris's shower chair and permane... Sat, 11 Feb 2012 11:05:39 EST Little changes add up Today I realized that to stop mindless eating, I needed to do something about that big bag of trail mix with M&Ms in it that was sitting open on the counter screaming, "Eat me!" So, I tracked what I think I ate, and then I bagged the rest of the mix into service size bags... no more sneaking just a little more... I WILL limit myself to one snack bag at the MOST. I will relearn portion control and starting thinking about everything I put in my mouth... I can do it... I will do it... a bit at... Thu, 26 Jan 2012 18:12:01 EST Time to regroup It is time to read my own Spark page and remember what I already know... if you really want Spark to work, you have to REALLY Spark. I have been sorta Sparking for a while now and need to get back on the ball... I have decided to: Spend 15 min a day, at least, Sparking... for 6 or 7 days a week. I am going to exercise 4 days a week, at least. And when I get back down to where I was before, I will buy myself a new pair of jeans. I have gone back to old habits of mindless eating... the fo... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 21:38:15 EST Chris Update 10/16 From Chris's mother <BR> "Hi Everyone, <BR> <BR> Another awesome week of travel along the road to recovery! <BR> <BR> We continue to experience incredible happenstance on a almost daily basis, the latest being the acquisition of a handicap van! At last week's Harvest Fair, parked directly across the street from where Chris's Boy Scout troop was parking cars to raise funds for Chris, was a high top van, fully equipped with a wheel chair lift. It had belonged to Smith College, was well-... Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:08:59 EST Chris update 10/09/2011 "Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> My goodness, what an exciting week this has been - full of adventure and promise! <BR> <BR> Chris began his week with a sailing trip organized by Spaulding's Therapeutic Rec. department. On Thursday he got permission to remove the cervical collar that he has been wearing for the last 7 weeks. Ahhhhhhhh, that feels good! At last he is allowed to stretch his neck! Then, after practicing slide board transfers all week, he was allowed a day leave in order to ... Tue, 11 Oct 2011 21:43:20 EST Rest in Peace Zack I chose to be in special education and hope to touch many lives in the process. My cousin got involved because God chose him. His second child, Zack, had CP and was a quadriplegic. He had a heart as big as the world. He understood much, but his only form of expressing himself was through laughter and tears. My cousin introduced the concept of inclusion for individuals with disabilities beyond the classroom into the community. He created a free service for such individuals... an enrichm... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 21:18:17 EST Chris Update 9/25/2011Sunday, September 25, 2011 10:42 PM Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> With another week of hard work and determination under his belt, Chris's upper body balance, assisted by his strong arms, continues to improve. His team of petite, young physical therapists, each of whom could lift a small car, have been giving him ample opportunities to practice slide board transfers, a physical skill which, when mastered, will greatly reduce his dependence on others to get him from point A to point B. He has also spent a great deal more time in... Sun, 25 Sep 2011 23:44:49 EST Chris update 9/17/2011 with pictures "Hi everyone, <BR> <BR> Your cards, emails, text messages, and phone calls have kept us continuously uplifted as we move forward as a family toward a new "normal." We are doing well, laughing a lot, and being inspired daily by the inner strength and tenacity of a remarkable young man. <BR> <BR> Chris's week got off to a rough start, but ended well. Last weekend he got a roommate, a young man of Chris's age with a similar injury, but with a less-than-amenable demeanor. His insistence o... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 09:36:21 EST 9/8/11 Update on Chris "Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Chris has settled in nicely to Spaulding and the exhausting routine. He has PT and OT for 3 hours a day (spread out), punctuated by sessions with the Assistive Tech specialist, Therapeutic Recreation specialist, and some family training time. His first full week was interrupted by a long holiday weekend, during which his girlfriend and other friends came to visit. This filled a lot of the downtime of the weekend, time that Chris finds most frustrating. "I'm a ... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 17:24:34 EST Chris's mom updates us again! I spoke with her today. She was almost giddy with optimism which she readily attributes to the love, prayers and support of friends and strangers that is being provided across the country on her son's behalf... She looks forward to seeing where this road leads him. Spaulding has been wonderful for him already... I knew you would appreciate the update! <BR> <BR> "Thank you all so much for the continued prayers, warm wishes. positive thoughts, and love. <BR> <BR> Chris arrived at Spauldi... Fri, 2 Sep 2011 20:10:55 EST 5 Minute Management Course <BR> <BR> <BR> Lesson 1: <BR> <BR> A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. <BR> <BR> The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. <BR> <BR> When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor. <BR> <BR> Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.' <BR> <BR> After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few secon... Mon, 29 Aug 2011 19:38:42 EST Irene rescue All was quiet in our neighborhood in western Massachusetts... though towns nearby have flooding issues... and many have tree limbs down. <BR> <BR> We did have to make one rescue, (or rather 12). Yesterday the snapping turtle eggs, buried in our yard in late spring, hatched. The cute little hatchlings made their way to our pool instead of the wetlands behind our home. We rescued twelve and released them. They were so young, their shells were still soft. <BR> <BR> It was great to get ... Mon, 29 Aug 2011 08:57:14 EST Chris update 2: Continued need for prayers Another message from Chris's mom... <BR> <BR> "Chris had a sleepless night last night - swirling thoughts, he said. After spending the last 8 overnights with Chris, his girlfriend has left to join her family at their home to wait out the hurricane and to get some much-needed sleep. Chris's best bud, is keeping him company today, along with his sister. The three are at this moment watching the Family Guy version of Star Wars on Chris's laptop and eating Skittles. We are so grateful for these ... Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:40:18 EST A Chris update... please keep praying... I received this note from Chris's mother... <BR> <BR> "Chris, suffered a spinal cord injury at the beach. He was diving over a wave in waist-deep water when a second wave broke behind it, driving him into the bottom. Chris shattered his C6 vertebra, with fractures to C5 and C7 as well. He was LifeStarred to Stony Brook University Medical Center on Long Island where the spinal surgeon removed the fractured vertebrae and rebuilt a fused section of his neck surrounding the spinal cord. In t... Fri, 26 Aug 2011 10:03:06 EST Chris update: Continued need for prayers Chris is still in ICU. He can move his left hand more than his right. He is maintaining good spirits, though is obviously scared. They anticipate he will move out of ICU soon, then after a stay on a general floor, he will transfer to a rehab facility. His family is searching to find the best spinal cord rehab place in the state of Massachusetts. They also have to work to get his state provided insurance upgraded to cover rehab. They will need to do significant adjustments to their home... Sun, 21 Aug 2011 08:33:41 EST Prayers please? Please pray for my good friend's son Chris. He broke his neck yesterday while swimming on Long Island. A wave hit him the wrong way. It was a freak accident. The doctors do not know if he will walk again and they need all of the prayers and healing vibes we can send his way. At first the report was he might lose mobility. When I heard last night it looked more likely he will have movement above the waist at least. He is 25 years old and has degrees in green construction. He is an Eagle Scou... Sat, 20 Aug 2011 10:45:59 EST My Dilemma I worked hard to get my degree in administration... and now I have to decide if I should apply for a one year interim position as supervisor in my current district. I had always assumed this would be an easy decision for me... and a definite YES! But now that I am faced with the decision, it is not so easy. The supervisor job is incredibly stressful and time consuming. My hours are long now, they would be much longer both in number of days and hours put in, if I were to become supervisor.... Sat, 4 Jun 2011 22:47:26 EST The wonders of Inclusion I mean.. who wants to be excluded, right? I have a student... the third of triplets... who has severe special needs and an intense love of music. When he asked to learn to play an instrument, we all pondered... He has CP and cannot move his hands a great deal... and has lousy wind/breathing... so how could this work? But follow a dream... we enrolled him in a guitar/piano class. He could not play an instrument with the class, but he sure could sing along. Since that time he has joined th... Thu, 14 Apr 2011 21:02:28 EST Next Season on Survivor: Teaching Have you heard about the next planned "Survivor" show? <BR> <BR> Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for 1 school year. Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her school district's curriculum, and a class of 20-25 students. <BR> <BR> Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.H.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe ... Sun, 13 Mar 2011 14:19:05 EST I would like you to meet a remarkable man March 11th is a difficult day for me... even after 15 years.... it feels like yesterday, but it also feels like forever ago... How can that be? <BR> <img src=""> <BR> These are my parents... Jim and Marg. Fifteen years ago, we lost my dad to congestive heart failure. It is only fitting to share a picture of them together because they were truly like one. I am going to focus this blog on my dad... Though both my parents are amazing....H... Thu, 10 Mar 2011 21:30:19 EST Stepping forward again... Well, I had to rest my knees a while... and several weeks of low activity made me antzie and nervous... but I am easing back in to water work outs and doing ok. Had to force myself to hold back at class last night. When I pushed myself... I felt pain. So my workouts have been regular but not nearly as intense as they were... and I am ok with that! This is a huge step for me. I generally push myself too hard... which is how I hurt my knees in the first place. <BR> <BR> I felt Newton's L... Wed, 9 Mar 2011 06:38:46 EST Had to step back today... Just over a week ago... I was marveling that I could run in a previous blog. Today, my doctor informed me that I cannot run. Today. Tomorrow. Whenever... and I should not have been running. I have arthritis. My knees are injured, I am in pain, and now it is time to stop and reflect. I sometimes have a hard time deciding when "enough is enough." I drive myself hard and struggle when I achieve less than perfection. Sigh. This time, I went too far... Lesson learned. I am not invincibl... Wed, 23 Feb 2011 16:54:52 EST 6 Months of Sparking! Spark Member for 6 months today. SparkPoints: 11,314. Fitness Minutes: 7,365. Pounds lost: 25.2. Inches lost: waist 4.5, hips 4.75, thighs 3 inches, 1.25 (That is over a foot of fat!) But best of all... I have energy and I barely notice my arthritis! <BR> <BR> I have formally told my family that if I EVER go for even close to a week without exercising... they are to say 3 words to me. "Foot of Fat!" <BR> <BR> But I have changed... I won't go back. I like the way I feel. I like th... Thu, 17 Feb 2011 19:33:09 EST For the first time in 35 years, I ran today.... I ran today. That may not sound like much, but… for the first time in 35 years, I ran today. ME! I am the one who hid in the band room in high school. I conveniently had cramps or head-aches during gym on a regular basis and the teachers always took pity. I have never considered myself an athlete… and I still don’t. But I ran today! Last time I ran was in high school when I had to do the President’s Physical Fitness award. I gasped for breath like a fish out of water and then threw up ... Sat, 12 Feb 2011 10:03:52 EST Photo Blog of Snow Day #6 Our superintendent does not cancel school the night before. 5 am wake-up calls... are becoming much too frequent around here. #6 was today. We have so much snow, the dogs cannot or will not walk anywhere but on paths... <BR> <BR> On December 2nd.... my son and his girlfriend... made this snowman (notice my son is wearing shorts...) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> By the 12th the snowman looked like this... <BR> <img src="http://photos-a... Tue, 1 Feb 2011 22:43:45 EST Favorite foods when sick? I lost my fight with a nasty cold. I am home resting and reading the Spark. So far have done fine with food... can's smell anything which means when I eat, I am kind of wanting food with flavor! Started my day bland, with oatmeal, which I loved. I enjoyed a snack of dried cranberries. I had home-made chicken and barley soup. Just wondering what others like to snack on and eat when hungry but under the weather... My mind is blank... This is my first illness in my nearly 6 months of Spark! Wed, 26 Jan 2011 14:48:30 EST Day three: Photos of our trip to California! <img src=""> <BR> Alcatraz! This is the rec yard. The day we toured it was so foggy, you could not see San Francisco, but you could hear the people on the dock... Eerie! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> These are the steps from the rec yard down to the shore. Would have been locked when used as a prison. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR>... Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:55:59 EST Day two photo blog of our trip to California <img src=""> <BR> We visited the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. It was amazing. The trees were huge and ancient! The drive up was hair-raising... up a very steep, very windy road... that some individuals were brave enough to bike up! Not us! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This is me in front of one of the redwoods... <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 19 Jan 2011 19:23:09 EST Photo Blog of the first of our three days in California! We went to San Jose to check out the area. My youngest will be interning for Cisco there this summer and we wanted to figure out living arrangements for 3 months.... This is a photo journey of our trip... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Ahhh. Palm trees.... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Brian and I at the apt complex we think Mike will live in this summer... San Jose. <BR> <BR> <img ... Tue, 18 Jan 2011 22:03:33 EST Blizzard January 12th, 2011 <img src=""> Our driveway... with the cars lined up down the middle because it is sooo wide that the snowblower can't reach the edge of the driveway from the center! It was still snowing... we got several more inches after this! <BR> <img src=""> This is our snowman from the last storm... buried waist deep! <img src=""> Penny... Thu, 13 Jan 2011 08:58:41 EST At almost 5 months of Sparking... I am happy to report a loss of 22 pounds... and 4.25 inches from both waist and hips... nearly three inches from my thighs and one inch from my upper arms. But more important... my body feels less pain (arthritis) and I feel more energy and less stress. I have to go shopping because most of the clothes I am wearing are two sizes too big... The thing is, it does not feel like work... I am enjoying my new life style and am starting to believe that this time I will also succeed at maintaining.... Wed, 12 Jan 2011 08:15:11 EST My sticky point... I have changed a great deal over the past months since joining Spark. With healthier habits (both diet and exercise) I have found momentum. Success in one area, propels the other... and lack of success in one, makes me want to control the other more... If indulge in emotional eating, I tend to exercise more. I do not let it get to me now. But, I do still tend to eat chocolate when stressed. Thankfully feeling better has helped me control my stress levels. I am now 2 pounds away from my ... Sun, 9 Jan 2011 07:04:32 EST A new year, a new goal... I will NEED Spark! I have been Sparking since August. I have just about reached my goal weight and am working at changing my frame of mind from one of weight loss to one of cementing this life style into my life so that it is more than maintenance... I want it to become natural, without thought, worry or concern. I am really feeling anxious about this. I have lost weight before and it has gradually crept back on... I fear if that happens again, I will not have the confidence to try losing weight again. I ca... Sun, 2 Jan 2011 10:25:53 EST Crack Pot Friends!!! An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.. <BR> <BR> One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. <BR> <BR> At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.. <BR> <BR> For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.. <BR> <BR> Of course, the... Wed, 1 Dec 2010 22:57:17 EST I think I can... Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” Pope John XXIII <BR> <BR> This quote motivates me. Life is good... <BR> <BR> Sun, 28 Nov 2010 21:35:27 EST Cite a legal brief? Does anyone know how to cite a legal brief? I have to reference three years worth of Legal brief's for my paper. They come quarterly. They in a binder called (Landlaw's) Massachusetts Special Education Reporter (MSER). Would the binder be considered a journal? It is a shot in the dark, but I thought I would try. My advisor didn't know and the lawyer who is working with me did not return my call. I am using the Bibme site to make my bibliography... <em>198</em> Wed, 10 Nov 2010 17:57:49 EST Does anyone else find that... Some days you have to work to eat the base amount of calories, protein and fats and other days you are feel so hungry you are lucky to stay in your limits? I am finding I have trouble getting the right amount of protein, but never have trouble eating enough carbs. Calories, fat and fiber are usually fine. I'll keep working on this, but if anyone has any suggestions... I am open to hearing them... Sun, 7 Nov 2010 22:21:06 EST