SHIRL20's SparkPeople Blog SHIRL20's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 117 - 120: On the Road Tuesday and Wednesday went to getting ready for my road trip to the West Coast. I've done this trip before and I'm packing less and enjoying it more. <BR> <BR> Thursday, I woke up to find that my plan route out of town was smothered in a freak Spring snow storm. My navigator, Dave (dad), hoped on the computer and rerouted us just enough West to miss the mess. Landed in Omaha, NE safely last night. <BR> <BR> Friday (today) we traveled safely and made it in to Brush, Colorado. This afte... Fri, 3 May 2013 19:21:58 EST Day 112 - 116 Bit too much going on right now. Have been neglecting the blog. Getting back on track. <BR> <BR> Today is Monday. I've got Tuesday and Wednesday to finish up preparing for my road trip out to the West Coast. And get plenty of rest. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 18:45:16 EST Day 111 A week from Thursday, Dave (dad) and I hit the road for the West Coast. Niece and grand nephew will mind the house and cats. Currently Dave and I are working through either a mild cold or Spring allergies. Hard to tell which it is. Doing lots of naps and fluids. Wed, 24 Apr 2013 23:51:22 EST Day 110 Big splash get togeter -- celebrating grandnephew's 3rd birthday. Low key but, lots of fun. Boy am I tired. s Sun, 21 Apr 2013 23:56:27 EST Day 108 and 109 Kicked off the day with a lovely soaky bath. Sister showed up mid morning and we nipped out to Ikea. This is Saturday and the place was a mob scene. Retail may be having a hard time right now but, Ikea is doing something very right. Found the bedframe sister wanted, purchased it, loaded it up and headed for home. Doesn't sound like much but, by the time we were done I was ready for a nap. Hit the couch with a book and a blanket and that was all they wrote. Naptime and enjoyed every min... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 21:38:31 EST Day 107 Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow! <BR> <BR> It is not like I have any choice in the matter so, I might as well embrace it. <BR> <BR> We got hit starting before noon and it snowed for about 6 hours. Flurries are still flying. Used real restraint and took on my driveway in stages. <BR> <BR> Back feels like I've been shoveling but, I'm okay. Thu, 18 Apr 2013 22:59:46 EST Day 106 Late Wednesday: Got caught up watching "Flight". Reporting in late here. Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:16:37 EST Day 105 Did not get the job I'd applied for - Moving right on to Plan B. Since I am not tied down, Dad (88) and I will drive out to the coast to visit his brother (89). We've got about 2 weeks to map out the trip, pack, tie up any loose ends and then we will be on the road. Tue, 16 Apr 2013 23:56:22 EST Day 104 Some how the day was long: took Dad to doctor's office for a blood test. Home for a bit then off again: let my sister's dogs out for the midday break, hit the market, hit the bank, hit the post office -- home again. Got in my exercise: actually revisited a different Leslie Sansone DVD -- did three miles. Dinner was a new salad and a reheat of yesterday's homemade veggie-bean soup. Into the evening, I'm finishing up my taxes, so is my niece. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow will simply be a lighte... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:42:58 EST Day 103 Made a great homemade soup today: picked up some 32 bean dry soup starter from Whole Foods. Got that going and then added onion, carrots, celery, yellow pepper, zucchini, tomatoes and a can of Rotel for kick. Main spice was saffron this time out. <BR> <BR> All the adults were on board and my 2 year old grandnephew actually gave the soup a nod. Sun, 14 Apr 2013 23:22:42 EST Day 102 Quality time with my grandnephew this afternoon. His mom was off for monthly lunch with girlfriends and I stepped in for my neph. He's two going on three and actually quite amenable. While he was in the mood for television, I suggested we read a few books and then, watch tv. Made it through four books: Go Diego Go! Changed the poopy diaper, watched a little Sprouts tv and then it was off to napland for both of us. <BR> <BR> His mom made it home from lunch and had time for a nap of he... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 23:56:00 EST Day 101 End of the week. Treated family to Chinese takeaway: egg roll, steamed pot stickers, chicken in black bean sauce and shrimp egg foo young. Not something I'd do every day but, once or twice a month is decidedly doable. Fri, 12 Apr 2013 23:57:47 EST Day 100 Snow has revisited us here in the Midwest. Yesterday I had lawn; today I have snow. Really dangerous heavy wet snow. Did my shovelling in short intervals. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 23:56:49 EST Day 99 Attended annual "Conversation with Books" this evening. Of the books discussed, I'd read three. Always a good time, and a good source of new reads. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:42:48 EST Day 98 Home-made asparagus soup and cauliflower au gratin for dinner. <BR> <BR> Lost my bid for job with library, moving on to plan B -- will drive out to the west coast with Dad to visit with is brother. <BR> <BR> Life just keeps moving along. Tue, 9 Apr 2013 23:55:01 EST Day 97 Home from my Northern respite -- back to reality. <BR> <BR> Pulled it together to do my Tai Chi practice and get in 2 miles wit Leslie Sansone DVD for te aerobic piece. <BR> <BR> Dinner was fish, broccoli and salad. <BR> <BR> Evening to decompress. <BR> <BR> Life is wonderful. Mon, 8 Apr 2013 23:03:08 EST Day 94 - 96: Up North with Minimal Internet Access Blew out of town Friday morning after Bridge Class. Drive to Leech Lake takes about three and a half hours. Downloaded a tight little mystery, "The Killing Floor" so, I had an audiobook for the drive. <BR> <BR> My friend and host has a home right on the bay. Breezeway, living room and dining room all face onto the lake. Peaceful and beautiful don't say enough. <BR> <BR> Ate good food, watched a couple of movies, yakked forever, read until late hours of the night, slept in til I felt... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 19:56:26 EST Day 93 Tad late but this is Thursday's blog. Still have high hopes for potential job. Packing up for a long weekend up North. Life is good. Fri, 5 Apr 2013 00:24:55 EST Day 92 Phone interview today for a potential job: YAK! It is over. It went okay. I'll know by early next week whether I got the job. Wed, 3 Apr 2013 23:52:30 EST Day 91 Working the program (exercise, fruits & veggies, water, blogging). Falling down when it comes to wine and late night snacking. Two days running, cut the wine in half and passed on the late night snack. Will weigh in tomorrow as a new kick off point and see if I can stay on the straight and narrow. Tue, 2 Apr 2013 22:19:18 EST Day 90 The snow is going away! I can see most of my front lawn. Still a little snowy in the backyard but, we are headed to the low 50s this week and I can just feel the melt. <BR> <BR> Fortunately, the ground has gotten around to thawing and the melt is going into the ground. Mon, 1 Apr 2013 22:51:46 EST Day 89 Family (15 in town) all coming at 4 p.m. for Easter Dinner. <BR> <BR> Sister shows up at 10 a.m. and we start cooking. Menu and shopping has already been done. Amazingly, Trader Joe's is open and I'm able to nip out for milk and coffee. <BR> <BR> The meal is a throw back to times past -- haven't done this particular meal in probably a decade: homemade Indian Curry dinner. Strangely labor intensive. But, the day with sis was lovely. The newer members of the family got an intro to th... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 23:13:54 EST Day 88 Mopped the kitchen and dining room floors. Great exercise. Let Dad, 89, do the pre-mop sweeping. Everybody needs to feel useful -- my job is to make sure Dad gets his share of doable jobs. Dad has laid claim to cleaning the kitchen, specifically the dishes. He is know far and wide as the kitchen drudge. Sat, 30 Mar 2013 20:45:27 EST Day 87 In house nephew was joined by his cousins --- massive egg dying done. On one level it was a little piece of perfection... there was one adult for each child. <BR> <BR> Eggs were beautiful and we ate some too. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 23:55:47 EST Day 86 I've got a big crowd coming for dinner on Sunday: 15 plus. Feeling pretty on top of it here. The meal is planned and all but, the last minute food shopping is done. Today I spent the afternoon cleaning kitchen, dining room and living room. Tomorrow I hit the bathrooms and bedrooms. Saturday will be a bit of last minute food shopping and any food prep work that can be done. Sunday will go to cooking and if I'm really lucky, a nap before my family shows up. Should be wonderful. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 19:28:37 EST Day 85 Talked with older sister this evening: I'm in MN, she is south in TN. Beyond a lovely chat, we were both laughing at the fact that we made the same meal for dinner. <BR> <BR> Tuna: mixed with diced red peppers, capers, plain yogurt, mayo, lemon and pepper. So, then you have your base of green salad. Top with some of the tuna mixture, a sprinkle of chopped black olives and just a few cooked elbow macaroni. A bit of parmesan and a home-made creamy vinaigrette. <BR> <BR> The tuna don... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 22:45:52 EST Day 84 Tired tonight: put in three hours at the library, hit two markets, got in my Tai Chi practice, 2 miles of aerobic exercis, put dinner on the table and then spent a little quality time with niece and grand nephew. Yeh, it makes sense that I'm tuckered out. Tue, 26 Mar 2013 21:43:07 EST Day 83 Daily exercise is up a tick: I had been doing 30 minutes/2 miles with a Leslie Sansone DVD for aerobic quality. Now I've added an additional 15 minutes of Tai Chi -- completely different from aerobic. Tai Chi is all about slow, continuous motion, with emphasis on improving balance and lower stress. Very nice change up. Mon, 25 Mar 2013 19:31:36 EST Day 82 I can tell Spring in on the way. Snow is still here but, starting to recede and my seasonal allergies a kicking in. Will be living close to the box of tissues for sometime into the future. And then the summer seasonal allergies will move in. <BR> <BR> But, if all I've got to complain about are some allergies... my life is still really grand. Sun, 24 Mar 2013 21:38:50 EST Day 81 Time for a Seasonal change up. My fireplace mantel had a collection of pine cones in clear vases, some giant oak leafs, rust and orange colored eucalyptus and a number of beautiful fall cards and post cards. <BR> <BR> Well, the Easter family get together is here next Sunday and the mantel needed a change over. Cleared everything off and started fresh in a more Springlike mode: fresh eucalyptus in natural green, two stylized stuffed chicken decorations picked up at the Arboretum Auxiliar... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 20:56:08 EST Day 80 Hot dish or casserole -- a lovely meal by any other name. <BR> <BR> For me, I use whole wheat elbow macaroni, onion, zucchini, peppers, celery, black olive, soy crumbles, tomatoes and a can of tomato paste. Spices: ground black pepper, garlic and oregano. <BR> Top with shredded cheddar and heat in the oven. <BR> <BR> To go with it, we had green salad and fresh broccoli. Tada! <BR> <BR> And, there is enough casserole for another meal. Fri, 22 Mar 2013 22:22:43 EST Day79 - Lunch with "The Girls" Mercy --- it is that time again. Once a month I get to do lunch with three women I used to work with at OT. One retired, two of us were laid off and the final is still on the job. <BR> <BR> We worked together for years, are all of a similar age (plus or minus 10 years). They were there for me when my Bill died. We all gathered round Babs when her hubby died. Dee's husband is dealing with dementia -- all hands on deck. Two of the four of us have deal with and survived breast cancer. ... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 23:50:40 EST Day78 Was a reasonably busy day. Kicked off day with a spate of cleaning. Did a little marketing. Lunch and then onto Bridge class. Got home and it was time to start pulling dinner together. <BR> <BR> Besides getting Dad (89) where ever he needs to go and hang in there as company for the little dear, my other main job is food. I market and get dinner on the table for our little mob of 4: Dad, niece, her son and self. With Dad at 89 and niece's son at 2 -- the range of food preferences is ... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 22:46:13 EST Day 77 Stiff neck is better today but, still a bit of a nag. Was able to get in my exercise and made up a veggie-bean soup. <BR> <BR> Evening, was sans tv. For once, we didn't even bother with the evening news. Went directly to music on the stereo with reading as the adjunct. Very peaceful. Tue, 19 Mar 2013 22:12:01 EST Day 76 Mixed bag today. Woke up and I had inadvertently slept "wrong" and now have a stiff neck. Was able to still do a little snow removal on my driveway, did my 20 minutes of Tai Chi and did 2 miles with Leslie Sansone. Also got in a nap and some serious time on the couch with the heating pad. <BR> <BR> Plan for tomorrow is lighter. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 23:13:24 EST Day75 Sister's visit from Tn is over -- she took off for home today. 10 day visit -- Spring break for her daughters living here so it was a great time for family stuff. <BR> <BR> For me, I did a faux blt salad(Morning Star Bacon) for lunch and then fajitas for dinner (with veggies bits -- we are a mostly non-meat crowd here). Mexican dinner was lovely. So was the blt salad lunch. <BR> <BR> Mon, 18 Mar 2013 00:00:18 EST Day 74 End of my visit with sister from TN. S takes off for TN Sunday morning, to miss Monday's snow storm. Tonight we ended the visit with one last night of bridge. Cards are simply high humor. Sat, 16 Mar 2013 23:52:29 EST Day 73 It can happen in the blink of an eye. Was walking in my living room, in socks (no shoes), and whacko! My left foot connects full force with a foot of the couch. Needless to say, the couch did not give and I crumpled. Missed the big toe and the little toe but, of the three in the middle -- hard to tell if two or three were involved. <BR> <BR> After a solid sit down on the couch.. I thought I was doing okay. Got up on my feet and it was obvious that there was some anticipated pain. Bot... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 23:42:19 EST Day 72 Grand day. Did my three hours at the library (lots of bending, stretching, lifting), did a tad of marketing, made dinner and even had the energy to do 2 miles with a Leslie Sansone DVD. Thu, 14 Mar 2013 20:17:19 EST Day 71 The day was simply packed. Now I'd be the first to admit that I normally sleep til I wake up (can you tell I'm retired), and then with a cup of coffee, I retire back to bed to read for a bit. This makes for a very relaxed and lovely life. <BR> <BR> Today I got up early - I can get out of the house in about 5 minutes but, Dad, who had an eye appointment, needs a solid hour before he is ready to leave the house. Any way, early up -- deal with taking Dad to the eye doctor. Then on to the ... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 23:41:59 EST Day 70 If yesterday was a "long day" -- today has outdone itself and would be described "splendid". I put in 3 hours at the library, did a light lunch, and then hit the couch with a book and proceeded to dive into a nap. It was glorious. <BR> <BR> Another big plus of the day, the sun came out. For those of us in the throws of a midwestern Winter, the sun is a big item. When it puts in an appearance, what a wonder. Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:31:17 EST Day 69 Long day. Mon, 11 Mar 2013 23:59:46 EST Day 68 Another late entry -- this is for Sunday, March 10th. <BR> <BR> My world changes a little today. A dear friend's husband pasted away. He was a healthy guy, did all the right things and had a family history of bad hearts. He was felled Saturday and finally gave it up Sunday evening. He leaves behind a wife, who is a strong woman. <BR> <BR> I too was a strong woman who was left behind... a heart attack took my Bill in minutes. <BR> <BR> To any an all out there who have lost that l... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 00:42:58 EST Day 67 Hugely mixed day: kicked it off with a Tai Chi class, middle of the day was a hospital visit to a friend in very deep weeds, and then ended the night with a bridge foursome. I'm relaxed, sad and enthused. <BR> <BR> This is simply life. Sat, 9 Mar 2013 22:40:46 EST Day 66 Bridge class, chores, time with visiting sister, marketing, cooking -- what the hey... I didn't get a nap let alone a lay down today. I'm a tired cookie and I'm headed for bed. Fri, 8 Mar 2013 23:50:20 EST Day 65 - Extra Family Onboard for a Week Bless my sister -- she once again hopped in the car and made the 2 day trek from TN north to MN. I am a lucky dog. <BR> <BR> She is here for a week (Spring break); lots of grandchildren to see and catch up on all the changes. As one of the grandchildren lives in my house, I'll get a little sister time too. <BR> <BR> Thu, 7 Mar 2013 19:14:13 EST Day 64 - Its a Cat's Life I've had cats as pets since I was a small kid. For some of us it is a way of life. <BR> <BR> George is my senior cat; Felix is my junior cat -- both black and whites, one short-haired and the other a just a tad fluffier but, not a long-hair. <BR> <BR> This summer, my niece joined my household and added her two cats to the mix: Sebastian, an orange marmalade and Squeakers, a long-haired, mostly black cat and the only female in the crowd. Niece has the basement apartment, separated from th... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 20:28:55 EST Day 63 Late posting -- this blog belongs to Tuesday. <BR> Monday's snow fall was moderate but, with the other family shoveler(niece) at work, the clearing of the driveway fell to me. Good move as late Monday, the 2nd and more serious storm hit. Niece was up at the crack of dawn, out there dealing with the snow. She gets back in only to get the phone call that work is declaring a snow day. Snow fell all day finally tapering off at 6 p.m. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 6 Mar 2013 09:04:21 EST Day 62 - Extra Exercise Today My normal routine has me doing 2 miles of aerobic exercise with a Leslie Sansone DVD. If I'm feeling particularly on top of it... I go the 3rd mile. <BR> <BR> Today, I kicked off the day, shoveling my driveway. Took Dad off to the Mall for a walk and then back to additional shoveling. It is aerobic and definitely hits muscles that don't always get taxed. <BR> <BR> After at least 60 minutes of shoveling, and a solid break -- amazingly I was still up for 2 miles with my DVD. Stamina i... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 18:51:25 EST Day 61 -- Back Home, Refreshed Safely back home, albeit a day early but, well worth not trying to travel in tomorrow's snow storm. <BR> <BR> Got in around 3:30. Play catch up with my family, had a bit of dinner and still had enough pip to knock off 2 miles of exercise. Feeling a little sweaty but, the job is done. Sun, 3 Mar 2013 19:26:38 EST