SLIMMERJESSE's SparkPeople Blog SLIMMERJESSE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Taking A Break fromSP Will be taking a break due to several stressful circumstances. Hope to be back soon. Big hug to all. Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:58:39 EST Returning the Tracker It's packed up and ready to go back after just one day. Why? It recorded activities I didn't even do. Didn't record activities I DID do. And it took over 20 taps (supposed to be about 5) to wake it up, even though the USB port was green-lighted. Very disappointed. Sat, 25 Oct 2014 22:33:50 EST Day 64 No Caffeine, New Sp Tracker, 7 lbs Down Even though this is day 64 of no caffeine, I still can't seem to part with my leftover coffee and supplies. I think it's in the back of my mind that it's there if I need it and I really don't want to think like that. <BR> <BR> I'm back on track with sugar; I was totally derailed for a little while and was feeling awful about it. Feel so much better without. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, late afternoon, I received the SP Activity Tracker and set up was a breeze. This is my first full day and it'... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:07:11 EST Fence Project Began Today It's been a real ordeal with my neighbor and the shared fence adventure. She finally agreed to pay half upon completion and I hope she keeps her word. <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, what should have been a very simple fence built has been a complicated process thanks to the witch. <BR> <BR> However, it'll be nice when it's done and may go until Sunday. If that's the case, I will start painting on the other end while he completes it. (maybe I'll lose another 5 lbs) <BR> <BR> This is the last side... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:43:27 EST Heart Goes Out to Ottawa Spark Friends I'm listening to the news about the entire city being locked down. Very sorry for your loss. <BR> <BR> While crime is a way of life in the U.S and we're largely desensitized to it, it's pretty rare in Canada. <BR> <BR> Hope all are okay. Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:58:19 EST Fence Guy Confirmed for Friday However, my neighbor refuses to respond or contribute even though this is her property fence as well. These people have been nothing but a headache, so I don't feel like being charitable. In fact, I feel like calling off the whole thing. Yes, I'm aggravated. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:46:31 EST WILL HE, OR WON'T HE SHOW UP ON FRIDAY? My fence guy has been on vacation; I've called and emailed to confirm the side fence replacement and can only hope it's a go. Getting to this point has been no less complicated than the signing of the Magna Carta. (smiling) <BR> <BR> Wishing all a good day. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:42:36 EST Conquered Caffeine, Now Sugar has Revisited My Life Bigtime Was doing so well with little/no sugar for a long time. Got rid of caffeine, but sugar is back. I'd better get this under control. Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:18:16 EST Not Coconut Milk, Coconut Beverage I don't know how accurate this info is, but I was shopping at a new store and needed coconut milk for my green smoothies. All they had was coconut beverage and I asked what the difference is. They said that the milk industry is making everyone else call theirs a beverage as theirs is the only true milk. So, in time, everything besides milk will have to be labeled as almond beverage, coconut beverage, etc. <BR> <BR> Wishing all a happy, healthy weekend. Sat, 18 Oct 2014 21:49:21 EST I Just Ordered the SP Activity Tracker I really like to support SP, but the tracker was pricey until they just lowered the cost by half. So, I ordered it and will use it with my FB to see how it does. This website has been a free tool for almost six years, and I've bought everything SP has come out with to show my support. It's my way of giving back. <BR> <BR> Having another home project done while I do my work on the computer. Three minor things repaired today and tomorrow. Next Friday, the side of the fence will be replace... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:48:30 EST Bursitis in My Shoulder I occasionally get these painful shoulder things going on. I figured out it's bursitis. My first thought was that this flare-up was from painting a couple of weeks ago. But I used my other arm and not the one currently in pain. Plus, this has happened before. OUCH! <BR> <BR> Doing ice compacts on it (also tried heat), stretching, and that's about it for now. Google research said it lasts for weeks before subsiding. <BR> <BR> On another note, yesterday I received two final things for m... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:40:01 EST Losing Weight Using Passwords? I recently read an article, not sure if it was here on SP, about someone who used passwords to lose weight. She set all of the passwords to remind herself that she eats healthy and is losing weight. She claims that the constant reinforcement and reminder each time she logged into all of her sites helped her lose weight. Interesting tool. <BR> <BR> Wishing all a happy, healthy day. Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:19:51 EST Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian Sparkfriends! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:19:43 EST 11,000 calorie Halloween Candy Bags I heard on the news that the average kid who will be out trick or treating will bring home candy that totals about 11,000 calories. <BR> <BR> When I was shopping for a new dentist, I walked into a nearby office and was surprised to see a bowl of candy on the counter. The receptionist said that the dentist allows children to take a piece, BUT only if they brush their teeth in the office bathroom immediately after eating it. (to teach them what they are supposed to do after any candy eating)... Sun, 12 Oct 2014 12:52:42 EST My Computer is Slowly Dying My trusty computer has been showing signs of uh-oh. And it may be unfixable, and necessitate a purchase. If I disappear suddenly and for awhile, that might be what happened. I do have a laptop and will try to use that to bridge the gap until purchase. This has been a work horse and I'm sorry it is failing. My computer expert friend is trying to keep it alive as best as possible in the meantime. <BR> <BR> Seems like temps are slowly going down and a bit cooler days. Hope so. <BR> <... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 12:50:35 EST Halloween Zit, Trader Joe's, Portion Control, Weigh-in Loss It never fails; almost every year, I get a big, honkin' zit right at the end of my nose. No kidding, it's hilarious. It's not the kind that you can take care of or cover up with makeup. It's also the kind that gets worse before it gets better. Big, red bump. Hooray for me. Just in time for Halloween. (smiling) <BR> <BR> Trip to Trader Joes this morning and lots of wonderful pumpkin things. Pumpkin breakfast bars. Pumpkin granola cereal. Pumpkin biscottis. (very small) I almost trie... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:57:10 EST Posting a Pic of Backyard My friend came over for lunch today and took a pic but couldn't get the entire yard in; there are more plants, a walkway, and my little bridge. Will try to take other ones after the last side fence is replaced and painted. Will go to post the pic now. <BR> <BR> The tribute bench I ordered just arrived and I put it out in the front yard. My dear cousin is smiling. I can feel it. <BR> <BR> Big hug to all. <BR> <BR> p.s. Can't upload. Will try back later. For some reason, it won't go... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 19:03:23 EST 7 Years Ago on Columbus Day, 6 Years Ago This Coming Jan. on SP Seven years ago on Columbus Day, I embarked on a new journey. Never having had a wgt problem in my life, I was faced with the result of a confluence of factors - overwork, less exercise, hormonal changes, stress, and yes, overeating. <BR> <BR> I started with two months of Nutrisystem, which taught me portion control (still have to learn that one permanently), basics of good eating, etc. But I didn't like it for a number of reasons. However, it kick -started my weight loss adventure. <BR... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 12:52:28 EST HOORAYYYYYYYY....I'M DONE PAINTING! (UNTIL November) Man, am I happy! Done girl, that's me. Until the last side of the fence is replaced on the last weekend of this month, no more painting! WOOHOO! I figure I'll start again on Sat., November 1st. <BR> <BR> By then, the weather will be cooler and it'll go faster on new wood. <BR> <BR> I ordered a few last tribute garden pieces for my yards that'll arrive in a couple of weeks. That's it. Wishing all a wonderful day. Mon, 6 Oct 2014 12:08:35 EST Updates on Scale, Painting Project, etc. Okay, I switched brands of paint for the fence and it's a world of difference. They matched the color, and this brand not only goes on easier, but also is more forgiving for unevenness. My last section of these two sides will be done tomorrow. Gave myself the day off because I'm wearing myself down and fighting a cold. <BR> <BR> The third side of the fence needs replacing and I wrote about my difficult neighbor not wanting to share the cost. In all fairness, times are tough. But they ... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 12:32:59 EST Updates Well, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it's October 2!!!! Where in the h did this year go? <BR> <BR> Today I finished painting the back side of the fence from h. Started on the side. Went to HD yesterday and they mixed the same color in a brand that is supposed to go on easier. Yeah, right? I've only got a 2-hour window from 6:30-8:30 a.m. before the hot temps come in. Supposed to have record highs the next few days. I'm so looking forward to cooler "fall" weather. <BR>... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 15:50:26 EST This is A Total Comedy, This Fence Painting So, yesterday I went back to Home Depot to get more paint. I discussed my woes with the staff there in the paint dept. She replies, "oh, that brand is hard to apply, no matter what surface." <BR> <BR> Well, gee, I went in there with tons of questions last week as a new painter but left with the hardest to apply paint. Thanks a lot! <BR> <BR> This morning, I had a contractor come out to give me some estimates on future projects and as he was leaving, he gave me some advice. He said to s... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:57:21 EST Painting the Fence Yesterday I started a gargantuan job - painting the backyard fence. I'm limiting myself to a certain length each day so that I don't burn out. There are several challenges that make the job more difficult, but that's the way life is. Plus, this is not my bag, so I'm learning as I go. (smiling) <BR> <BR> I'll check in soon with more details on other things. For example, still off of caffeine but not doing stellar with sugar. Not awful, just not as good as I was recently doing. Again, th... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 13:48:51 EST Backyard is Finished I'll try to take and post pics this weekend. It turned out great. Very different from front in design. Again, low water and no maintenance needed. <BR> <BR> When weather gets cooler, I am going to start painting the fence. Which is hilarious because that's not me at all. But I plan to pace myself and not overdo it. It's a major undertaking. But the temps are still high and hot days are just exhausting me. <BR> <BR> One neighbor who shares a common fence in the backyard (this is sub... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:08:31 EST Welcoming Back Several Spark Friends In the last few days, about five SP friends returned after a long time away. It was so nice to see them again and catch up on their lives. <BR> <BR> It reminded me that SP is like home. Even when we go away for awhile, we know where to come to find the road back to healthier choices. SP is like coming home again and staying for awhile to hone those better habits. <BR> <BR> Wishing all a good day. Wed, 24 Sep 2014 09:01:37 EST Blood Test vs. Physical for Potential Job? Maybe it's just me, but I really think that a blood test is too personal and invasive by a potential employer. I've nothing to hide, and am in good health, but I feel there is too much information that is no one's business that is contained in blood. Any and all opinions, as always, are welcome. <BR> <BR> I also feel that way about credit checks as part of background investigations. I have excellent credit and nothing to worry about, and I realize that some employers feel that your financ... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:18:10 EST Woke Up with A Bee in my Bonnet Honestly, when I have a grouchy day, I don't take it out on anyone. But I feel totally off kilter and everything looks yucky. Ever have one of those days? Even walking didn't help. I think I had a strange dream that left me with emotions riled up. <BR> <BR> I thought the hot temps were gone, but nope. Well, that's just the way life is sometimes. <BR> <BR> Not much to say today. Plus, it would all be grouchy stuff like bad drivers and dogs pooping all over sidewalks. (smiling) <BR> <... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:08:14 EST Posted Yard Pics & 5-HTP - Anyone have experience with it? I finally was able to upload a couple of new front yard pics on my photos page. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the entire sections all in one photo and there is a third matching section near my driveway. But it'll give you an idea. I'll post backyard pics when it is done on Friday. Love it already. Beautiful variety of drought-resistant trees/plants. <BR> <BR> Okay, I just read an article this morning on 5-HTP and then did due-diligence in researching. Problems in the 80's were due to m... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:43:54 EST Full of Shrimp, New Carpet Cleaner, Cooler Weather Great lunch at Red Lobster and now full of shrimp. Thanks, Wallahalla! (smiling) She's the one who mentioned it in her blog and I started thinking about the RL that is literally around the corner. Nice time with my son. <BR> <BR> Went to Target early this morning to pick up my new, heavy-duty carpet cleaner. My old one lasted awhile, considering it was a tiny little thing. I want to do my rugs more often and this model should do a much better job. <BR> <BR> Finally, cooler temps tod... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:51:14 EST RL Endless Shrimp, Fitbit, and misc. Updates Well, if it hadn't been for a SP friend mentioning it in her blog, I would've never known that the Endless Shrimp promotion has arrived at Red Lobster. (You know who you are, you little rascal - smiling) Tomorrow I am meeting my son (the only remaining child of three) for lunch. Looking forward to it, but even after all this time on SP, I still have a feeling of dread because I revert to being a piglet sometimes. Shrimp goes down SO easy. But I've already decided what healthier choices I... Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:44:57 EST Back Yard Landscaping Has Begun I took pics of the front yard this morning, but having trouble uploading to the SP site. Either my camera or program is wonky. I'll keep trying. My landscaper, Danny, and I are making a minor alteration on the very front section, so that will make me totally happy with the overall look. <BR> <BR> He's got seven jobs going (and he's a small/med size company), so I thought he'd fit my back yard in during the coming months. Nope. Started today and working around others in their schedule, s... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:09:06 EST Yard is Finished and Stunning Once the hot (triple digit) temps are over, I will get out there and take pics. People are knocking at my door already, asking who did this yard. He's putting his sign out front in a little while that I'll keep up for a bit. His work is one-of-a kind, no two yards are the same. He prides himself as an artist. <BR> <BR> Honestly, as a tribute garden to my cousin, it is bringing me so much joy and I'm moved sometimes as I know Carole is smiling down. In fact, just as they finished yester... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:15:47 EST Heat Wave, Day24 w/o caffeine & sugar, Landscaping Schools will be out half-day and people are wilting wherever you look. Heat wave as we welcome in the fire season during a critically-severe drought. Whoopeeeee! <BR> <BR> Day 24 without caffeine and sugar. Sugar was easier to get back on track due to having been off it for awhile before the indulging short period. No caffeine has left me extremely tired, but a friend reminded me that the caffeine energy is only short bursts. So, best not to think of it as something I need. <BR> <BR>... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 10:43:22 EST Landscaping Has Begun! Very Excited! I am dedicating this new yard to my dearly-departed cousin (in black top in photo) as we both have/had a tremendous love for nature. My landscaper's work around town has always given me a huge sense of peace, love and tranquility when I look at it - and Carole would be very happy for me to be doing this. It brings a lot of joy into my heart already, just seeing the plants they have brought today. One of my faves, and there are a few, are the dwarf palm trees with several trunks. LOVE them... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:47:00 EST I've Never Forgotten Nor will I ever. God bless and help our country; we are in big trouble with weak, corrupt leaders who have their heads up their butts making one bad decision after another. <BR> <BR> I'm so tired of it. Truly. And it has nothing to do with party politics. They are all a bunch of bums. <BR> <BR> Where have strength of character and courage of conviction gone? Where has the family unit gone? Where is our moral compass? <BR> <BR> All I can do is try to do the best I can in my little c... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:24:49 EST Less Energy Without Caffeine Day 19 of no caffeine and I do feel wonderful. However.... <BR> <BR> My energy level is yucky. I have a lot of energy, but it depletes quickly and there is no instant fix as there was with coffee. I am doing more protein to try to combat the fatigue. <BR> <BR> This doesn't mean I will go back to it. But it's an adjustment, for sure. <BR> <BR> Wishing all a good day. Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:51:38 EST The Down Side of De-cluttering I've been de-cluttering for a number of years now. Which makes me sound like a hoarder, which I'm not. But if you've been on the earth a number of years, you've accumulated things, things, things. And you get to the realization of how freeing it is to not hold onto those things. <BR> <BR> That said, I have to almost laugh out loud. I have donated enough to have opened a small retail store. Among the "stuff" was most of my wardrobe. I was quite a fashionista and had an array of nice clo... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 18:21:45 EST Today's My Friend's Neurologist Appt. I blogged about the symptoms my dear friend is having, and how his GP insisted it's from nerves and would not give him a referral. I kept tenaciously (but pleasantly) insisting he convince his doc that this needs further attention. He finally got the referral. <BR> <BR> Today he goes and I suggested he be as specific as possible about his symptoms to help them pinpoint. My guess? Some type of circulatory issue like inflamed blood vessels. His symptom is a hot, burning sensation under ... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 00:12:00 EST Exhausted, but Windows Look Amazing Yesterday entailed my having to scrub all of the window blinds by-hand and it was an all-day job. The windows look amazing and well-worth the hard work. What added to the difficulty was the heat - 90 degrees in the house with no way to turn on a/c posed a challenge. Of course, I was cleaning the blinds outside, but that was no cooler. <BR> <BR> It was a labor of love; the old windows were a million years (at least) old. Looking forward to some energy savings as these keep house warmer ... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 10:49:57 EST Waiting for Window Installers Today I'm having vinyl windows installed and it'll be a lot of work for both me and them. Just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a good day. Sat, 6 Sep 2014 11:18:57 EST R.I.P. Joan Rivers So many are departing; just heard the news on the radio. Thu, 4 Sep 2014 15:09:23 EST This and That After meeting MANY landscapers, I found one who is a gem. An absolute find. They started the demolition of front yard yesterday in preparation for a xeriscape. Since CA is almost out of water, it makes sense to not have to water anything. Or at least as little as possible. My budget is humble, but this guy has been willing to work with me. <BR> <BR> Both of my boys are indoor cats, but they are amazingly stunned by the changes in the front yard. The hedges that surrounded my small fron... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 14:22:56 EST Day 10 - No Caffeine Detox aches and pains are gone. No cravings except for occasional feelings of "everyone else gets to drink coffee but me." Which is a totally irrational thought since I don't really care what everyone else is doing. But you know how that feeling of deprivation can kick in sometimes. <BR> <BR> It's 2:11 a.m. and I'm wide awake. Not sure what's going on. <BR> <BR> Wishing everyone a fun Labor Day. Mon, 1 Sep 2014 05:10:51 EST The Power of Blogging It was tough for me to blog about sugar yesterday, but once I did, I became instantly accountable and knew what to do to get back on the right track. Sure, I could have told you some of the emotional issues propelling that need for sugar comfort, but we know that there will always be emotional issues as part of life. <BR> <BR> The thing about this journey on SP is, among other things, I know when I deviate from course I can get straight again - no problem. There's no need to make it a hu... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:50:02 EST Day 6 Caffeine-Free, but Diving Badly Into Sugar Once I stopped caffeine, I took up with my other old nemesis - sugar - which I'd been off of for quite awhile. Gotta get a grip on myself. <BR> <BR> Hope all are having a good day. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:44:30 EST Body Aches - Not the Flu, but Caffeine Withdrawals This is Day 3, friends!!!!!!!!! Hooray for me. And thank you all for the kind support. It really does help. <BR> <BR> As I've written, this weaning process has been kinder and gentler than cold turkey that I've done previously. Headache was minimal for the first two days, and pretty much gone now. Wow; compared with almost a week of a migraine when I went cold turkey. <BR> <BR> But yesterday (and today, but less so), my body ached from head to toe. I thought I was getting the flu or so... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:54:24 EST ARE MY NORCAL FRIENDS OKAY AFTER BIG EARTHQUAKE? I hope you're all okay up there; very scary, for sure. <BR> <BR> Second day of no caffeine. I guess I'm doing fine. Headache is a lot milder than the cold turkey headache, so that's a wonderful thing. <BR> <BR> Wishing all a good day. Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:08:06 EST GRADUATION DAY (NO CAFFEINE). Just Packed the Coffeemaker Away. As many of you know, I have tried repeatedly to get myself off caffeine. Although my daily intake was only one small mug of coffee a day (nothing else - I don't drink soda), I am very sensitive to caffeine. <BR> <BR> Previously, I've done the cold turkey route and have suffered from those detox headaches and body aches for weeks. I've tried weaning gradually before, but it never worked. This time, I think it will stick. <BR> <BR> I'd been down to a quarter of a small mug daily and, each... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 12:10:10 EST So Often, I Think about Moving to Canada. Caffeine Detox Progress. Where is the warmest part? How do I make a living as a foreigner? (have many skills and much experience) I'll have to do a lot of research. Is there anyone out there who has relocated? Or native Canadians with any advice? I've researched moving to another state, but will inherit some of the same problems there that are plaguing this country. Yes, I do love my country. But I am sad, disheartened, angry, etc. at so much of what is going down. <BR> <BR> Caffeine detox is slow. This time a... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:19:31 EST Why Is Harry Pooping on the Carpet? I've blogged about this before; about once a week or every two weeks, Harry poops on the carpet. I honestly am puzzled why he's doing this. Litter box is kept very clean. Nothing causing anxiety. Carpet is clean. Nothing new as far as food. In fact, nothing is new in his environment. <BR> <BR> This time, I saw it was about to happen, scooped him up and brought him to the litter box. He ran away and proceeded to go on the carpet. I've used my scolding voice with him, but he really is... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:34:22 EST