TRYINGHARD1948's SparkPeople Blog TRYINGHARD1948's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sandy's Jottings Just popping in to let you know how things are going. hubby was in hospital all last week an is home now. He is much more like himself, the pain relief did not agree with him plus he had an infection so a hospital stay was required. I, and our family are coming to grips with how quickly these things can happen. <BR> <BR> For myself, I have entered a different world of bed socks and pill boxes. Joy is waking after a good night's sleep, a very rare thing! I miss the daily visit to Sparks an... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 05:04:23 EST Sandy's Jottings Today,the challenge - eat more slowly. Savouring food and allowing time, 20 minutes for the stomach to catch up with what has gone in the mouth. I sometimes find this difficult but try to have a gap between courses. <BR> <BR> What strategies do you use? Mon, 1 Apr 2013 04:37:47 EST Sandy's Jottings Updating goals. <BR> <BR> I am within A healthy weight for my height but would like to lose the four kilos which seem to be hanging around. That's the big goal. Breaking it down I will try to lose a kilo a month just by cutting back on morning tea and keeping up the exercise. <BR> <BR> I do like having four or five smaller meals a day. I also use entree size plates and really think that has helped me to keep within that healthy weight. Exercise has been mainly renovation which has tak... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 07:29:36 EST Sandy's Jottings Just a quick catch up. I've had a few days just keeping things together. Yesterday Ken saw his Oncologist and his disease has progressed. He now has pain medication, thankfully, and has started his third course of Chemo. <BR> Needless to say I am relying on the things I have learned from Spark to keep me on the straight and narrow but Ken's needs do come first and foremost. <BR> I am very thankful and appreciate greatly everyone who has offered their support, prayers and kindness. <BR> ... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 07:46:20 EST Sandy's Jottings Today I have to think about self talk. That's that little voice that is a constant in our heads. My lovely daughter-in-law has a note on her fridge,"How you talk to your child becomes the voice in their head." It took me many years to understand that I had a tape recorder going on in my head every day and it was a very negative voice. <BR> <BR> Fortunately, I met my wonderful husband who would only talk to me with positivity and had complete faith in me and my abilities. Still that lit... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 04:54:05 EST Sandy's Jottings Coach Nicole's advice for today was the best way to strengthen the abs. It's not crunches or bicycle crunches but practising the plank. I've always found this a difficult exercise but today I made a huge effort and actually achieved a minute. <BR> <BR> I've also managed to work out how to get the SparkPeople radio on the iPad. I had to go through iTunes. Don't you love how the capital letter is the second letter these days? <BR> <BR> I'd also like to share this little quote from my ... Thu, 28 Feb 2013 17:30:58 EST Sandy's Jottings The challenge for today is to find a fitness buddy. I'm wondering how I can achieve this. Up to recently my fitness buddy has always been my DH but his illness is taking its toll and he cannot participate these days. <BR> <BR> I'm wondering if anyone would like to share their fitness minutes with me and I could share mine so that there was an element of accountability. For the last forever we seem to have been renovating but the end is in sight and it is time for me to establish a fitness... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 21:18:13 EST Sandy's Jottings Challenge for today is to think about long term goals. <BR> <BR> My goals are to stay within my healthy weight range, do some form of exercise every day and stay as healthy as possible for the rest of my life. Fri, 22 Feb 2013 03:07:52 EST Sandy's Jottings Today's challenge is to blog about drinking water <BR> <BR> water is no problem when the weather is hot, hot, hot. The water we have here in Melbourne is really lovely too so it is not a big ask to drink 2 litres. <BR> <BR> I like to start with a large glass of warm water before anything else first thing in the morning. A squeeze of lemon can be added but really there is no need here, another large glass mid morning and I'm half way through. This does not include the cup of tea and cu... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 04:51:56 EST Sandy's Jottings My task for today is to find three excuse busting reasons. <BR> <BR> The first one is one I gave five years ago when I started SpArkPeople. I want to see my grandchildren grow up and be healthy enough to play with them and enjoy the things they do. <BR> <BR> The second one is to stay healthy to help my DH through his illness. <BR> <BR> Thirdly, half an hour to an hour of exercise each day is not hard to find, get up and just do it. Sometimes I just have to say to myself, "get on and ju... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 06:41:21 EST Sandy's Jottings My task for today was to eat by the clock. Too easy, I say. Being in retirement I have been eating by the clock. breakfast, usually before eight, morning tea at ten, lunch about twelve, avo tea at three and dinner at six. I try not to have more than three hours between bites and the morning and afternoon tea has moved from high carb nibble to fruit. <BR> <BR> One of the disconcerting things is that even on this I can put on weight if I am not careful. A glass or two of wine each night... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 18:07:59 EST Sandy's Jottings My challenge for today was to keep all sweet treats out of sight. I don't really have a sweet tooth and very rarely indulge. A piece of fruit satisfies me much more. No sugar in tea or coffee, a left over from my upbringing and soda just does not appeal. I owe this to the way I was brought up too. <BR> <BR> My Grandmother died after living with Diabetes for many years. My mother obviously felt that too much sugar was not a good thing so I owe her a big thank you. <BR> <BR> Now, cheese... Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:58:05 EST Sandy's Jottings Yesterday I visited the Melbourne Aquarium and we were delighted to find the first ever king Penguin baby for the Aquarium had hatched and we actually caught a glimpse of it. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ch/587bdbb2-d532-329a-9d81-7fa2e720d8a<BR>8/raw-king-penguin-chick/ </link> <BR> <BR> Isn't funny how we love to see new life! Fri, 25 Jan 2013 03:58:13 EST Sandy's Jottings Today I have been asked to write down three positives I have achieved in this lifestyle. <BR> <BR> I am going to concentrate just on today. <BR> <BR> 1. I managed to keep up with my family going around the Aquarium, it was so interesting I did not even think about anything but taking in information. Had the best time. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 2. Although I had a large iced coffee at afternoon tea time, I did decrease the amoun... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 03:52:42 EST Sandy's Jottings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been away from the Internet for the past week. We have been four wheel driving in the bush. The photo shows how glorious the countryside here is but it will also give an insight into the volume of trees there are in this part of Australia. <BR> <BR> At the front of the photo you may see a couple of Crimson Rosellas at the feeding bowl. Coming from Scotland originally I never cease to be delighted by t... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 03:57:15 EST Sandy's Jottings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is an example of the huge termite mounds to be found in the North of Austrlia. They nibble and crunch their way through huge areas of grassland. While they are a pain if you want to build a house, they do serve a purpose in keeping the grasslands less of a fire hazard. Just shows what can be achieved if there is cooperation. Sat, 12 Jan 2013 04:18:27 EST Sandy's Jottings I couldn't resist sharing this. <BR> <BR> A letter from the Post Office...this is absolutely the best ! <BR> <BR> We don't know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. <BR> The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. <BR> She asked if we c... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 03:21:09 EST Sandy's Jottings Last night, unexpectedly, I was invited to go to see Life of Pi. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What a great film. I think it is full of symbolism and I'm sure the interpretations will be numerous. Ang Lee has done a great job. Tue, 8 Jan 2013 22:37:44 EST Sandy's jottings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now this is one little man who has really enjoyed his food in every way. <BR> <BR> Will at six and a half months. Mon, 7 Jan 2013 18:53:03 EST Sandy's Jottings Yesterday my husband was explaining to me what is meant by a standard drink. It is not the amount of liquid that a standard drink measures but the amount of alcohol. I had asked why there were nine and half standard drinks in a bottle of 750ml wine while a bottle of beer was only one and one third standard drinks. <BR> <BR> That made me think about food. Perhaps I would be better thinking about the amount of calories in any given food rather than the space it takes up on a plate. I cou... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 15:32:12 EST Sandy's Jottings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today is Epiphany, that's reminding us that it was Astronomers who noticed the star and came searching for the new King. Just from their gifts I imagine the King they thought they would find was very different from the one they did find, a baby in a manger. It's interesting how much faith they had in natural phenomena and in their dreams. <BR> <BR> We have lost much of that faith. We now know why many natural ... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 20:19:16 EST Sandy's Jottings <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Meet Tranquility, she was supposed to take pride of place in the garden but she never quite made it downstairs. We just love to look out the window and know she is there, through heat wave weather like these days, through thunder and lightning storms that will inevitably follow and through the calm. She reminds us that no matter what has been or what will be, there will always be a small corner where peace and tr... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 22:19:27 EST Christmas Day - joy across the Ages Just had to share this photo my daughter in law took <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 25 Dec 2012 18:44:43 EST Advent - a time of preparation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have just been looking at my blogs from last year's Advent. Where did I get the time, well it was found somewhere so hopefully this year I can find some time too. <BR> <BR> Just an update on where I am. Ken is on his second course of Chemo, which while it is not curing the Prostate Cancer, it is holding those traitorous cells back from what had become extreme activity. This round of Chemo will finish in Marc... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 16:11:53 EST Testing <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just noticed that Sparks now allows photos from iPad stream. <em>243</em> <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> Oh I should say this was taken last week at my son and his partner's fortieth birthday celebration.. Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:15:27 EST I found the scales Well only another few weeks until the renovation is over. The bedroom wing was finished a few days ago and we have been getting things back to normal. The scales have been placed back where it is hard to miss them so this morning I hopped on ------- <em>40</em> <em>39</em> <em>46</em> . Despite much work during the reno, due to those little rewards, okay, not so little rewards I have been allowing myself, have resulted in a few more kilos being quietly laid down. <BR> <BR> What ... Wed, 10 Oct 2012 01:17:32 EST Introducing William Lawrence <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hello friends, <BR> Meet William Lawrence, the latest addition to the family. His was four weeks old yesterday and is doing well. Mum and Dad, although tired are over the moon, as are Nan and Pop on both sides of the family. <BR> <BR> Much love to everyone and to those who have been remembering me and sending words of encouragement and support, thank you. It has meant so much to me and helped me so much. <BR>... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:58:56 EST 2nd June, Final stress busting reflection I have found several ways to alleviate stress and whilst things are so busy here I am cutting back on commitments. I will be back in July and hopefully will have lots of positive news. Blessings. Fri, 1 Jun 2012 18:55:47 EST 31st June, stress Busting Reflection, no 11. Now I know why death bad moving house are the top stressers. Actually the house has blossomed from the midst of 27 years of clutter, children's remnants and accumulated dross. Underneath it all there are good bones and some really gorgeous choices in furnishings, if I do say so myself. <BR> <BR> However, it is almost as if the house knows and is in two minds about what is going on. Two minutes before the real estate agent was due to come, Ken looked up and one of the diffusers decided it ... Thu, 31 May 2012 07:25:20 EST 28th May, 2012 Stress bursting Challeng, Response Ten Where did last week go, busy, busy, busy. <BR> <BR> All going well. Getting everything under control, house, garden and all the decluttering. Real estate agent is organised and first open house is a week on Wednesday. It's all happening. Mon, 28 May 2012 06:59:00 EST 19/05/2012 stress Busting Challenge: response nine I am more positive this week. I have learned I am happier with lots to do. Maybe I retired too early, what a thought! Sat, 19 May 2012 04:13:20 EST 18/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge, Response Eight Friday after a lovely evening with friends. I have a list of final touches to do thanks to the advice of my son and his partner. I have found having lots to do very therapeutic. All in all this has been a good week. I'm feeling much more positive. Fri, 18 May 2012 06:30:07 EST 17/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge, Response Seven I had hoped this week would be calmer, but it has been as busy as last week. Twenty seven years in the one place means a lot of clearing out. I always thought I was a minimalist but I think it made more room for my grown up children to leave things here. <em>30</em> . However it is all coming together and we are beginning to think about putting the house on the market. <BR> <BR> This reflection is about Maintaining a Positive Outlook. It is even more important as we age to remember this... Wed, 16 May 2012 17:37:06 EST 12/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge, Response Six Exercise: hmmm, I'm not a natural born exerciser. I am best when I can exercise by doing something that needs doing. I feel better working or walking outside. I do believe the Vitamin D from sunshine is very therapeutic for me. Sat, 12 May 2012 09:12:12 EST 12/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge: Response Five It has been an extremely busy week but all walls are now painted and looking fresh and pristine. Thanks to my son helping we are five days ahead of schedule, but it has been gruelling at times, stressful, yes, but it has been good, productive stress. <BR> <BR> Tonight I have to do two blogs to maintain my momentum with the stress challenge. I am on the third of the seven stress busting strategies, and it is to write a journal. I don't write a journal every day but I do blog from time to t... Sat, 12 May 2012 09:05:41 EST 07/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge Reflection 4 This week I have to learn the 7 Simple Stress Busters. <BR> <BR> Up until a few years ago the way I best handled stress was to tackle that which was causing me stress. How lovely it was to do what needed doing and then feel a sense of completion. That was good stress, stress that led to accomplishment. <BR> <BR> This stress is different and different strategies are called for. The first two stress busters are; take a walk and call a friend. Both are great ways to help. I love walking i... Mon, 7 May 2012 07:54:39 EST 03/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge, Reflection Four What have I learned this first week? <BR> <BR> I am not alone, lots of different situations create different types of stress. For me it is the not having any power over the future but knowing what the future holds. I have to come to grips with this. It has been good to start preparing the house, our large family home, for sale. In some ways it is heart wrenching but there is no way we can keep the house in good repair as we age and that is heart breaking too. The exercise whilst paintin... Thu, 3 May 2012 06:28:57 EST 02/05/2012 Stress Busting Challenge, Reflection Three I need to get a stress ball, to relieve stress, but that's not all, it will improve my hand strength and dexterity, but that's not all, I'll type more efficiently and grip and grab things easier, but that's not all, the stress ball will help to reduce arthritic pain and stiffness. I wish I'd been using one for years. I am going to start right away. <BR> <BR> This was inspired by a Spark article on Stress Management but i printed it out without the heading so apologies to Sparks. Wed, 2 May 2012 08:30:11 EST 30/04/2012 Stress Busting - Reflection 2 This reflection comes after reading '10 High-Stress Personality Characteristics'. <BR> <BR> 1. Over planning each day. Well, being retired I very rarely over plan. Having said that I think I get used to not having too much to do and when I do get busy it is much more stressful than when I was a very busy working woman. Another thought comes, when I worked I was in control usually of the situation, now, when I get busy it is not within my control and I feel pressured. <BR> <BR> 2. Doing... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 05:21:18 EST Stress Diary Day 1 - 28/04/212 As part of the week one Stress Challenge I have to keep a diary of things that stress me. <BR> <BR> Just to put things into perspective, for over three years my husband has been fighting prostate cancer, a particularly virulent form. He has been on Hormone treatment from the beginning, then radiation and then a drug trial where he was on the placebo. Now he has entered the chemotherapy stage and it looks as if this will continue for some time. <BR> <BR> I entered the Stress busting ch... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 08:42:16 EST April Flowers In Australia we are now in Autumn. Whilst many of you may have seen beautiful beaches and sun kissed bodies cavorting on golden sands, most of us live just as many people in the world live, working and trying to make the most of our lives. Yes, Australia is much, much warmer than my homeland, Scotland and yes we have barbecues all year round in some parts and for me the joy is the colour that permeates this wonderful land. Flowering trees abound and already my Spring bulbs are making an ap... Mon, 9 Apr 2012 20:05:20 EST A Little Piece of Australia 107 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From Lake Talbot we made our way to the Warrumbungles and stayed in the worst cabins we have ever stayed in. I think they must have been built fifty years ago. However we were there to see and explore the Warrumbungles and here I am at the top of one of the bungles enjoying the amazing geological features and ..... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> our loca... Tue, 3 Apr 2012 05:11:02 EST A Little Piece of Australia 106 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In February of 2011 we went on a trip to the tip of Cape York. That meant we were travelling from one of the most southerly points of Australia to the most northerly tip, a journey, as the crow flies of approximately 3000 kilometres, but of course we never drive anywhere in a straight line. <BR> <BR> Our plan was to meet at Mossman in Queensland and we could all go any way we wanted prior to meeting with the ot... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 05:25:21 EST A Little Piece of Australia 105 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And this is who we rushed home for, it took us five days to get back, but we were so happy to see the arrival of our first grandson, Harrison James, now three years old. Tue, 14 Feb 2012 03:36:12 EST A Little Piece of Australia 104 The Pentecost River was quite an experience and one not to be forgotten. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is Wyndham, the docks here are for the live sheep export trade. This type of farming export has been greatly argued over here in Australia, but like all things there are positives and negatives. One thing is for sure and that is it keeps our stations alive up here in this wild are of the world. <BR> <BR> In the evening we ... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 00:30:37 EST A Little Bit of Australia 103 Now, where was I <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Ah yes, the Pentecost River. If anyone saw the film "Australia" this is where the cattle crosed. Although the river is wide, at the time we crossed it was quite navigable. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We wanted to get this view so we came back so we cou... Sun, 12 Feb 2012 05:56:21 EST Willpower! I've just been reading Dr Birdie's blog on Willpower, <link><BR>ts_your_secret_dr_birdie_willpower </link> <BR> <BR> It certainly got me thinking. How do I strengthen mine? <BR> <BR> 1. Don't bring temptation into the house. If someone else brings it in, hand it on - handing it back will almost definitely lead to a loss of friends. <BR> <BR> 2. Exercise -do something I love. That's why you will find lots of gardening as my exercise. I have fo... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 15:03:05 EST Update We are having Internet problems so it has been difficult to keep up with posts, so only essentials being taken care of. <BR> <BR> Picture blogs continue to be problematic but all will come good eventually. <BR> <BR> The best news of all is that DH's prostate cancer is being given a whipping by the Chemo. His PSA has gone from 100 to 13.5 and he still has 7 treatments to go. He is more active than he has been for the past year. We are enjoying this wonderful change. Each day at a time is... Tue, 24 Jan 2012 16:30:13 EST A Little Piece of Australia 102 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We had a few days touring around the Kalumburu area and this is what the beach at Longini looks like. Not the golden sands that you would imagine, but that is because the river has worn everything else away. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is the King Edward River which cuts its way through these rocky platforms. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.... Sat, 14 Jan 2012 03:35:13 EST A Little Piece of Australia 101 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our next destination was Kalumburru so we had to backtrack back across the King Edward River. I should have said yesterday that the Mitchell Falls do not run all the time. We were fortunate to be early in the season so there was plenty water coming from the north. During the dry it gradually disappears and the Falls are a very different sight. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 12 Jan 2012 04:00:19 EST