WESTERNSAGE's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=WESTERNSAGE WESTERNSAGE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Eliza Doolittle Has Nothing On Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5824096 No, I could not have danced all night. But I could have visited all night. My daughter and her son and daughter and granddaughter's new boyfriend came for dinner. What a delightful day! It is the first time we have all been together for holidays in many years. We visited until moderately late, then granddaughter and her friend stayed a couple more hours. What a joy to have young people who seem eager to visit with us old folks. Then hubby helped clean up the kitchen after he prepared more tha... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 02:16:32 EST Root Canals Are Not For Sissies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5819809 Just before we made our move to Oregon I started getting pain in my upper right teeth when I chewed on that side. One lower tooth was involved too. So I started to bite and chew on my left side only, knowing that eventually I would have to endure major dental procedures. Over the last 4 months the situation got worse. Once we finished the major work on the house I knew the teeth would have to be the next project. I found a dentist on-line, got an exam and a cleaning and like the dentist - as ... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 23:57:19 EST Expectations and Forgiveness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5808184 When I was little my mother set a lot of expectations for me: perfect manners, sweet and smiling disposition, straight A grades in school, and more, all to be shown at all times and without exception. Any deviation brought down constant immediate condemnation that ranged from "that's a horrible sin" to "what did I do to deserve such a terrible child" as I've mentioned in previous blogs. One classic from my mother was, "Don't put on weight: your father likes skinny women." I didn't realize unt... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:39:17 EST Country Critters: The Joys of Life in a Small Town http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5807405 Whoever dreamed up this romantic drivel about the joys of life in the country? Find them and feed them to the mice! <BR> <BR> I am 68 years old and spent all of my life in big cities. My mother kept an immaculate house. I wasn't nearly so fastidious as I worked outside the home but I did my best to keep the health department from condemning my quarters. The only bout I ever had with mice was in the first house in Colorado that my first husband and I bought. Hidden inside a coat closet was a ... Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:29:32 EST I'm a Gelotophobe. Are you? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5803536 For many years my first husband accused me of having no sense of humor. He loved to make jokes at my expense, and when I protested he told me I needed to adjust my sense of humor. He never saw himself as thoughtless or cruel. <BR> <BR> Several years later I worked for a man with a similar sense of humor. He directed what I called rude comments directly to people as jokes. For example, his wife was legally blind with macular degeneration and he usually referred to her as his "blind old lady."... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:17:35 EST Please Don't Watch Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5799835 I have a confession to make - a secret I have kept for many years - one I have trouble even acknowledging to myself. But I think maybe if I can deal with it here on SP I can start to deal with a very private issue that has complicated my life in ways I can't begin to count. So here goes: <BR> <BR> I am absolutely terrified of being caught in the act of making a mistake. Terrified to the point of self-sabotage. Terrified to the point of denying myself opportunities for personal growth and pro... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:00:31 EST THe Best Laid Plans ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5796944 I just looked at my last blog - and tried to put myself into time-out. I had such great plans and enthusiasm. Then the insomnia set in again, and the need to drive hubby to medical appointments, and those are the excuses I can accept. Then there are the rest. Does it never end? Does the effort to keep starting over again continue indefinitely? I guess so. It's better than some of the alternatives I can think of. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I finally made some visible progress. The kitchen counters a... Sun, 12 Oct 2014 16:57:54 EST My Spark-versary - Time to Take Stock http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5778913 My goodness, all the changes! It's hard to believe it's been 2 years since I signed up on SparkPeople. I initially did it to support my daughter, who has had great results with SP. For a long time I tracked my food and worked out, and I didn't seem to make any real progress. But finally the work started to pay off and I lost 22 pounds of the 40 or so that were my target. At that point I hit a plateau. But my cardiologist is happy with me, and for the most part I have not gained it back. Now t... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 02:38:31 EST Attitude Adjustment - Again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5775110 It's been more than I month since I wrote a blog, so I thought it was about time for me to get back to writing. I started out with a diatribe about our house still being full of boxes while we get the kitchen remodeling finished, about the inconvenience of washing dishes in the bathroom sink, about how we are still sitting in uncomfortable chairs, and about how I have gained 5 pounds during this ongoing ordeal of still trying to get settled in our house. Still allowing my fingers to record m... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 11:15:36 EST The Latest Poltergeist Episode http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5753335 As I have posted on the Paranormal team section, I have lived with ghosts or poltergeists for many years. When we moved to Oregon we wondered if any would follow us or we would encounter any new ones. We didn't have long to wait to find out. <BR> <BR> A week ago we went to the DMV to get our new driver licenses and car license plates. We took both our cars so they could be checked against our ownership paperwork. The state website talked about the need for various types of identification, so... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 01:35:45 EST No End in Sight http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5752184 So here we are in August.'we started packing boxes around June 1. Our moving truck left Colorado July 2, our household goods arrived late on July 6, and we started moving furniture into the house July 20 after the carpet was installed. We started staying here overnight on the 23rd, which is now 11 days ago. It feels as though we have been moving forever. <BR> <BR> The kitchen turned out to have some not-so-obvious problems, such as a lower cupboard door that won't open because it bumps into ... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 10:53:27 EST Next Installment - New Furniture http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5747255 We moved into our new home two days ago, before it was really ready for us. With the washer fixed and 6 loads of clothing/bedding cleaned we have a start at feeling civilized. The roof is fixed and the a/c was installed just before the next round of hot weather hit. Of course, the HVAC guy had to turn off the gas to the water heater to connect the stove. He made a special point of telling me he relighted the water heater before he left. I wondered when, since I thought I knew his every move a... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 00:17:09 EST We are in our house - finally! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5745192 We have had such uproars with this move - a late start on the road, the moving truck breaking down, figuring out we would have to replace the entire HVAC system while adding a gas line for the new stove - and that's only the stuff that's already done. But now we have hot water and tomorrow the clothes washer will be fixed. (It was moved without anchoring the tub so the tub is off kilter and won't stay in place when I try to set it back up.) Also, the guys are coming tomorrow to repair the r... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:24:47 EST Short update on the move http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5743028 We made it to Oregon! Although the move had some glitches we got here safely. Our furniture was transferred into the garage so we could work on the house and get a carpet installed and now we are moving into the house itself. <BR> <BR> I really thought I had found the perfect weight loss plan. With all the bending and lifting and constant movement I could eat anything I wanted and still lost 4 pounds in 4 weeks. Great deal! Then it all came flying back on. I blame it on the salt in fast food... Sun, 20 Jul 2014 22:48:04 EST Today it was the computer - again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5710160 I suspect every day is about to present us with new challenges for this move. Today it was the computer again. We got a call from the inspector for the house. Before he would go to look at it we had to sign an agreement that we would pay him. Can't say I disagree with him. My hubby had gotten the computer fixed enough that we could read and print out incoming pdf documents. Great. Printed it out, signed it, scanned it into the computer. Had trouble getting it copied onto the e-mail to the man... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 00:08:21 EST And Starting Over - Again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5709396 I know things happen for a reason. I know that there is a purpose to everything, even if I can't see what that purpose is. Faith is following the path even when it's dark. OK. I get it. But it's still frustrating as can be to have the house show up, my financing get approved, and then find out that there is a detail in that financing that is going to screw up the whole deal! And that's what happened today. We are buying a house in Oregon. The financing company will not close on the house un... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 00:07:17 EST Starting My New Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5708371 What a whirlwind life has been. I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks since I quit working. I started packing for our move and then on the 4th day we were off to Oregon. I am a firm believer that events in life happen the way they are supposed to. Still, I was pretty amazed to have an ideal house at the right price show up on our second full day in OR. So we got our financing pre-approval and submitted out offer to the seller - a bank, in this case, since it is a foreclosure property. <BR... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 21:02:24 EST Mixed Emotions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5695986 Today was my last day of working - at this job - at any job. At 68 years old I can't function as well as I used to and it's time to acknowledge the reality. In some ways it's scary. Yes, there is Social Security, but it's not the same as a paycheck. My worth isn't tied to a paycheck, but it is closely related to the ability to support myself and stand on my own two feet. Over the years I have had 2 periods of 4 years each when I was a single mother and supported my two children, a pair of dog... Thu, 15 May 2014 22:06:03 EST Turning a Page in Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5648402 Today feels different. I can't put a finger on any particular reason. There haven't achieved any particular successes and the have been failures where I feel the need to set new goals. But there is a sense of moving in a new direction. <BR> <BR> Yesterday my husband and I went to the psychic fair. Two readers each confirmed to us that our already-planned move out of state is a good idea, that a lot of new opportunities and successes will come from it. Among other things, all of them also sai... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 12:29:18 EST Stage 3 - Dealing with Memories, Part 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5636567 In looking forward to the upcoming move I created a list of chores that need to be accomplished. The list is long and each item will take several hours. The advantage of the list is that I can cross off what is done and then pick something else to do - and most things do not have to be done in any particular order. <BR> <BR> This afternoon I finally managed to get home about 1:30 and had the afternoon to attach a chore. But which one to work on? <BR> <BR> Just before leaving the office I sp... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 01:23:32 EST 2nd Stage - Child of Depression Era Parents http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5625501 One step finished - a bazillion more to go. At least that's what it feels like. I finally got the Christmas stuff sorted, tossed, packed away, and ready to donate. It took 5 weeks. I can't take that long for every step or we'll never get moved to Oregon. <BR> <BR> This week I started the next chore. My little desk in the home office was piled to overflowing with papers. A lot of them were receipts attached to credit card statements. I try to match them every month and almost invariably end ... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 11:51:54 EST The first stage - part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5611610 "Know thyself" is an old adage. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but then I got hit smack in the head with part of my I like to ignore: I don't like to finish up details and complete a task. From what I've read it's because as long as I am working on one I don't have to look at all the other tasks still waiting for me. It's sort of a form of being lazy, which I don't want to admit because I work hard at a lot of things. I think I just like to see the big results and don't like the tedium ... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:27:43 EST Starting the Journey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5598199 It's funny how you can decide on a long-term goal and then have trouble getting started taking the first steps. Several weeks ago we decided to move to Oregon from Colorado. It's a good idea and the more my husband and I talk about it, the better it seems. But that means cleaning out 25 years of accumulated "stuff" and packing up and getting the house cleaned up to sell. I made excuses about getting through the holidays; now the holidays are over. So I decided that handling the Christmas item... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 16:54:51 EST I can fix your back: you have to fix your life. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5596424 It's hard to believe it's been several weeks since I last wrote a blog. The time has raced by - a warning to me that I have to quit procrastinating and get busy preparing the house to be sold so we can move to Oregon. <BR> <BR> But I haven't been deliberately putting it off. I've just still been working a lot. We have had a lot of conversations at work about my moving to the file room. My replacement has been hired and I have been training him. Still, we have been too busy to make the change... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:36:43 EST It Was Worth All the Calories I Inhaled http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571932 Today we hosted the last big holiday dinner we will hold in this house. We are planning an out of state move, and today's dinner helped tie up some loose ends. My 2 stepsons, ages 39 and 49, have been on the outs for several years. My husband's dearest wish was that they would reconcile before we move. In a moment of wifely weakness I had suggested we host a big Christmas dinner and invite them both, putting the emphasis in the invitation that this would be our last Christmas together before ... Thu, 26 Dec 2013 00:30:36 EST That Bitter, Bitter Cold http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5558673 I know about cold weather. I grew up in Cleveland. When I was 12 and walking parallel to Lake Erie about 1/4 mile inland the wind used to whip at my bare legs (not allowed to wear pants to school) and a coat plus 3 sweaters couldn't keep me warm. Only the exercise of brisk walking kept me alive. <BR> <BR> Fast forward 10 years: I moved to Denver, where I have seen some dandy storms but never a bad winter. The weather fronts blow in, dump their snow, and move on in 2-3 days. Then the sun come... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 21:51:03 EST Hoof in Mouth Disease http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5557173 I love people - I really do. And I'm considered intelligent, so one would think I could figure out how to communicate with them. But no matter how hard I try, I ultimately end up putting my foot in my mouth and either saying something poorly or just saying the wrong thing. Most of the time I do all right - at home, at work, with friends, with family. But just when I think maybe I learned how to get along with folks I blow it - again. <BR> <BR> Maybe that is part of why I love to eat: when my... Wed, 4 Dec 2013 22:58:57 EST Baking Pies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5551908 We have never kept sweets in the house on a regular basis. When I was raising my kids I didn't want them to develop a sweet tooth or bad eating habits. Since they have grown up and moved out, my husband and I have tried to main our weight - and lose some, so we never buy snacks and I don't bake. <BR> <BR> But now it's the holiday season. We will be spending Thanksgiving with my son and his wife and their son and my daughter-in-law's parents. My breads and pies were requested, as usual. I bak... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 00:38:43 EST A Weekend in the Wonderful West http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5486711 Colorado has many facets - flat rangelands in the east, dry desert in the southwest, skiing mountains and oil shale rocks in the middle, and fertile fruit and vegetable fields in the western valleys. This weekend my husband and I drove from mid-state Denver to Grand Junction, about a 4 hour drive due west across Interstate 70 nearly to the Utah line. There we were set to spend time with the eldest of my 3 sisters, Linda, who has been living in near Ogden, Utah, near her son. She is about 3 ye... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 23:07:28 EST It's My Sparkversary! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5484111 Well here it is - the one year anniversary of my joining SparkPeople. I can never express how grateful I am to my daughter for telling me about this program and encouraging me to join. I look back at myself a year ago in amazement; I never thought I could accomplish so much in one year, especially since I was already eligible for full Social Security. <BR> <BR> In one year I have lost just a little over 20 pounds, dropped more than a full clothing size, gained energy, reignited my passion fo... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 23:01:42 EST Where does my time go? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5481114 As I got into my silver years (translation: senior years) I noticed that the old adage that the older you get the faster time flies seemed to hold true. In trying to figure out why this was so, I finally figured out that unconsciously I was slowing down: walking slower, moving my hands and arms slower, even taking longer to think about something. I also seem to be more easily distracted by thoughts, events, and even items that catch my eye. And the more I tried to compensate, the worse it go... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 22:38:15 EST A day of good news http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5478204 My body seems to be telling me to slow down a bit. I've been working a lot of overtime or just long hours and have not had time/energy to work out. But I'm watching my intake and staying pretty steady weight-wise, so it could be worse. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I had 1 appointments. One was a routine dental cleaning and exam. The dentist ended the visit by telling me I have really good teeth. That was really good news, as I am one of those people who grew up with really bad dental experiences. As ... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 22:54:40 EST End of August - thank goodness! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5472127 OK - so this last week of two nearly drove me nuts. The hot car contrasts with the frigid air conditioning in the office and it's a wonder I haven't developed a cold or something. <BR> <BR> More importantly, we have had a lot of stress at work: sudden deadlines, new employees to train, and then moving half the staff to the lower level once the renovations were completed. I come home every night just exhausted. For the first time since I joined SP nearly a year ago I have not met my exercise ... Sat, 31 Aug 2013 23:23:08 EST The Other Party Is Over http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5450404 My grandson has gone back to Oregon. He was in town about 7 weeks but I didn't get that much time with him. He spent more than 4 weeks with his dad and then I had to work 4 of the next 5 days he was with us. <BR> <BR> But we did make the best of the time we had. <BR> <BR> I took him to the Renaissance Festival. It was expensive, of course, but we had a good day just wandering around and being together. He had a caricature drawn and was really happy with it. We played board games several tim... Fri, 9 Aug 2013 23:13:36 EST Something's Coming http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5428698 The classic movie West Side Story includes a song titled "Something's Coming." The lyrics suggest that whatever it is that is on its way is "coming soon, don't know when, but it's soon." That's what seems to be happening in my life. <BR> <BR> About 5 years ago I was in a minor car accident. My 12 year old Saturn was totaled by the insurance company, although I thought it could have been repaired. I ended up buying a new car. And I was bummed about the whole thing. Fast forward about 3 years... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 21:50:07 EST My grandson is in town http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5417221 Oh for the energy of a 13 year old boy! Last winter he was in town for a week's visit with his dad at Christmas time. He really wanted to enjoy our gorgeous Colorado winter at that point and talked me into going to the park with him to shoot baskets. I blogged on that and marveled then at how I was able to walk and shoot baskets and shovel snow thanks to my improved fitness from joining Spark. <BR> <BR> Now he is in town for several weeks for a 4-week visit with his dad. After 4 or 5 days th... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 22:03:34 EST The Party's Over . . . http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5410668 Well, OK, so it wasn't really a party. But I had 6 days of enjoying my daughter's company. And that was a lot more fun than a party. And a lot more work. <BR> <BR> We really set this visit as a working trip. My husband and I are planning to downsize our home soon, and I didn't want to throw out all my daughter's possessions that were being stored at our house or make the decisions on what to keep and what to toss/recycle/donate. Besides, it had been more than a year since I had seen her. She... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 13:25:47 EST The Joy of a Daughter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5392645 The summer solstice is nearly upon us. Even though the days will start getting shorter the daylight will still linger into the evening hours for several more weeks. And some of the members of the Oregon branch of my family will be coming to town. I can hardly wait. <BR> <BR> On the 27th - just 10 days away - my daughter and her 13 year old son will fly in. The next day he will go to visit his dad for a month while my daughter stays with my husband and me for 5 days. It's been more than a yea... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 22:50:06 EST Grapefruit Right Off the Trees http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5379732 It's hard to believe it's been a month since our trip to Arizona. We waited so long for it to arrive, then it was gone in a flash. Still, we have great memories. <BR> <BR> And we have wonderful grapefruits. <BR> <BR> My husband's aunt and her husband moved to Arizona many years ago - around the 1940s or 1950s, from what I remember. Her husband had built and then sold a couple successful businesses and they bought property in a grapefruit orchard in Scottsdale. They built one house, sold it,... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 23:12:41 EST Vacation Part 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5354304 The real test of weight maintenance during a vacation began when we finally got our room. We moved in our stuff, including suitcases, nutritional supplements, remaining foodstuffs, and my portable DVD player with workout programs. The conference didn't begin until 1:30 p.m., so although I was tired and still a little cranky from the two-hotel dance, I got into my workout clothes and worked out. It was amazing how much better I felt after loosening up my joints and muscles. Then I showered and... Sun, 12 May 2013 19:22:36 EST Vacation - Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5353611 The desert southwest of the United States has a stark beauty, dominated by vistas of sand and cactus and rock outcroppings and mountains and blue sky that seem to go on forever in all directions. Some people think it is ugly and desolate, but they just don't appreciate the story it tells. The color patterns in the rocks (think: 75-100 feet high, half a mile or more in length) tell the story of its geologic history and how our earth evolved in that part of the continent. The various scrub tree... Sun, 12 May 2013 00:20:22 EST Vacation Part I http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5350489 Many jobs, including mine, have a fluctuating workload. One day you are swamped with tasks and deadlines; the next day you could be twiddling your thumbs. I knew that the time before my vacation would be busy. The other administrative assistant in our office was off the two weeks before my trip, so I would be doing double duty. I could only hope that one of us would be in the quieter part of the work cycle so there wouldn't be an overwhelming drain on my energy before our trip. There would be... Thu, 9 May 2013 00:27:45 EST What fun - we went to the Fair http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5336897 About 30 years ago, give or take a few, our local TV station channel 9 sponsored a health fair. Events were held in local shopping malls. All the options were free and included conventional tests such as blood pressure screenings and non-conventional opportunities such as an iridology screening (that's reading patterns in a person's eyes). My then about 4 or 5 year old son was told from this latter person that he needed to be especially careful of early high blood pressure and darned if they ... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 23:37:23 EST My Birthday is Coming Up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5329911 Growing up in suburban Cleveland in the early 1950s - what could have been more idyllic. Our neighborhood of small bungalows had been forested at one time, and a large tree, mostly maples, sat on the southwest corner of the lots on our side of the street - and on the northwest corner of the ones across the street. These mature trees formed a magical canopy up and down the whole block. I played house with a neighbor girl in our driveway, dragging out miniature sized chairs and tables and kitch... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 18:23:50 EST I got SCREWed at Work! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5319038 I work for a small engineering company. At nearly 67 years old (coming in May) I am grateful to have a good job. The work is interesting and the company pays reasonably well. But the simple fact is that administrative employees are on the bottom of the food chain. <BR> <BR> The boss also has a somewhat warped sense of humor. He understands that money is a major motivator for employees. So he pays well - and expects tons of work and loyalty in return. But he was also convinced (by whom I don'... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:07:55 EST Our vacation is getting closer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5314177 Our vacation to the astrology convention in Phoenix is now less than a month away. I'm excited for the first time in longer than I can remember. My conference and hotel reservations are made and confirmed. I have made arrangements to meet with two separate friends who live there. I still need to have the car inspected and prepared for the drive, but that will come as the date gets closer. <BR> <BR> One other chore is to purchase a small DVD player, the kind my 7 year old grandson plays with ... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 23:59:26 EST A Present to Myself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5297736 I have been very good at giving supportive advice - to my children and step-children, my co-workers and friends - and even to myself. But I haven't been so good at taking my own advice, especially to take care of myself. <BR> <BR> I can kid myself and say I've really been doing a great job of taking care of me. After all, I have been working on my health for more than 6 months now, working out, watching what I eat. Heck, I've even lost 16-18 pounds (we all fluctuate a little). I get at leas... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 22:55:41 EST Defining Forgiveness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5280635 I grew up attending a traditional church that included pushing parishioners, including small children in Sunday School, to forgive other people for whatever wrongs they had committed, and also to seek forgiveness when we did wrong. We learned to say "sorry" to appease domineering adults, and even at a very young age we knew that other children were more sorry they got caught than they truly were for a misdeed. Does any child truly regret stealing a cookie from the jar if were hungry and manag... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 22:50:51 EST Priorities http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5262357 Who is the most important person in my life? I used to say it was my 2 children. When I re-married my husband got added in. They were all in a bundle. When my children had children I added my grandchildren. But which one was most important? Which one really had priority? I decided it depended on who was most in need, or who had my attention, at any given time. <BR> <BR> With that as background, I asked myself what value or activity was most important in my life. <BR> <BR> The value answer ... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 17:20:20 EST Temper Tantrum Follow-up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5245467 To all of you who responded to my Temper Tantrum blog - A HUGE THANK YOU! <BR> <BR> I had no idea it would strike such a strong cord with so many people, and I'm grateful to know that other people found my thoughts helpful. Gratitude became a way of life for me more than 30 years ago and has helped me through a variety of difficult periods in my life. I highly recommend it - and the more troubles you have, the more gratitude you need to express. <BR> <BR> I thought you might like to know th... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 19:12:05 EST