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/ Picking Zits Off the Face of the Earth http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6235906 Living in the dry Colorado climate for roughly 45 years I never thought about the mushrooms that used to grow in our lawn in the moist climate of my Ohio childhood home. Two years ago we moved to Oregon in the middle of summer to a yard that had been neglected for years. It was just weeds and rocks until we had it landscaped in September. Last year was one of the hottest, driest in Oregon history. <BR> <BR> So looking out at the yard and seeing the white caps of mushrooms in our yard a coupl... Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:19:28 EST Do you still have your gall bladder? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6230007 I've been a member of Spark for a a few years now and realized that in spite of exercising and tracking my food and drinking my water I'm getting nowhere with my weight loss efforts. And I have noticed that I am not alone. While there are some wonderful success stories there are also a rather large number of people in my situation. <BR> <BR> The usual responses include, "You aren't trying hard enough" and "You're cheating" and "You're in denial" and "You just have to be more determined" and ... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 12:27:21 EST I Didn't Think I Was An Emotional Eater http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6222872 Over the years of my adult life I have had bouts of emotional over-eating. But since I retired and we moved two years ago I thought I was past that. My life is relatively stress-free, sometimes to the point of boring, but I don't turn to food to fill my time. Even when I do occasionally prowl the cabinets I find little to nibble on because we don't buy junk food. No candy. No pastries. No cookies or sweets. No chips. No soda. My worst offense is an occasional low-fat mozzarella cheese stick a... Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:59:00 EST Living Life Without Regrets - Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6219723 Awhile back I blogged about three of the five regrets people have often expressed on their deathbeds. They were: <BR> <BR> 1. Not being true to themselves and who they really are. <BR> 2. Not expressing their feelings. <BR> 3. Denying themselves happiness. <BR> <BR> This past weekend I had an opportunity to challenge myself on these items. My daughter both got married and graduated from college. Her dad and I separated when she was only 7 months old and divorced shortly thereafter. At that... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 13:19:26 EST Living Life Without Regrets http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6206023 Recently I found an article on line that referred to the book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse who kept a record of the last regrets expressed by her dying patients. I wondered if any were things I might say and I also wondered if any of them might reflect attitudes that are impeding my efforts at weight loss and better health. <BR> <BR> The first one was that people regretted not being true to themselves, focusing too much on what their parents, c... Sun, 24 Jul 2016 20:22:49 EST A Great Start To The Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6156167 I had barely wakened this morning when my cell phone ding-a-linged at me reporting receipt of a text message from my son the nerd. I pass his greetings on to you. "Happy Star Wars Day. May the Fourth be with you." <BR> <BR> Have a great day! Keep on Sparking! Wed, 4 May 2016 10:38:56 EST I'm a Gelatophobe. Are you? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6074745 <BR> I am re-posting this blog that I first wrote on Thursday, October 23, 2014 In light of the number of people I have added as friends since that date I thought it might be of some interest - and a way for these newer friends to get to know me a little better. <BR> ________________________________________<BR>__ <BR> <BR> 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... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:08:30 EST Thoughts While Dancing in the Kitchen http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6068594 I have an open kitchen, meaning only a set of floor cabinets with a counter top separates the kitchen from the dining room. It's long and narrow - and the only hard surface floor in the house big enough to double as a workout area. The only time that counter top was ever totally clean was when the remodeling contractors finished creating it. One thing it is good for, however, is holding a portable DVD player I use to play my workout videos. So I dance in the kitchen. My favorite partner is Ri... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:03:24 EST To Our Australian Sparkers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6050158 Sometimes we all get so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget there is a bigger world beyond the borders of our own worlds. Recently our American media managed to get their minds stretched and reported that Australia is in the midst of summer and having absolutely horrible wildfires. Please accept my sympathies for all of you in having to deal with them, and especially if you are experiencing personal losses because of them. We have had them over the years here in the U.S. and I know Austral... Sun, 20 Dec 2015 09:51:55 EST I haven't really been MIA . . . . http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6040615 It's been awhile since I blogged. I've still been hanging around on Spark, commenting on other people's blogs, posting on team threads. But I haven't been here. Since that surgery 5 weeks ago my head and heart just haven't been into the program. Between the craziness in my head from the anesthetics to the fact that I am banned from exercise by my doctor for now, it just seems as though I'm not in the same "space" as usual.The doctor says I can walk gently, but it's been cold and raining so ca... Tue, 1 Dec 2015 11:36:31 EST Results of My Experiment http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6012591 Awhile back I posted a blog - can't find it now - about starting to drink more water. Around the same time I read that granny smith apples help stabilize intestinal (gut) flora. I have had reflux issues for several years, ever since I had my gall bladder out. Not one doctor has ever argued the cause or suggested anything to deal with it. I gave myself 2 weeks to see what would happen. <BR> <BR> Well, it's been more like 4 or 5 weeks. There's good news and bad news. <BR> <BR> The good news i... Sat, 10 Oct 2015 10:27:26 EST Are Weight Issues a Symptom of PTSD? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5979593 First, I need to lay a little groundwork for this. <BR> <BR> My first husband had weight issues when I met him. He had a difficult childhood and his outstanding memory was watching his dad throw his mother against a wall and being too young to defend her. <BR> <BR> Fast forward to the late 1960s and his year in Vietnam. He came back physically unharmed (blessing!) but with the PTSD enlarged out of control. We had 2 children and ultimately divorced, but we stayed on good terms. He was a bett... Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:59:34 EST Truth Depends on Who Writes the Story http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5977900 <BR> <BR> Several years ago my then-teenage son and I were driving on an errand with the radio on and heard an ad for a college with several new majors available, including one in Women’s History. My son said, “How can you have a major in women’s history when women don’t have a history?” I nearly wrecked the car. And I gave him an earful about how the word is HIS-STORY. History has been written primarily by men and they wrote their own stories, ignoring the very different experiences and pe... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 13:54:49 EST A Year Ago at This Time http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5967716 It's hard to believe, but a year ago at this time we were just moving into our new home in Oregon. We have noted the days: July 4 a year ago we rolled into town. July 6 a year ago our furniture arrived July 9 a year ago the furniture final got unloaded and into the garage. July 13? 14? 15? we talked to the HVAC people about installing a gas line for the new gas stove - and ended up with a new furnace, new water heater, and new A/C unit? July 17?? suddenly the days start running together, the ... Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:56:55 EST Working Out in the Kitchen http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5962052 A year ago we downsized and moved into a house less than half the size of our previous residence. It has a big dining room so we can entertain the family during the holidays and small extra bedrooms so we can each have an office. But there was this problem with the kitchen: It was tiny! You couldn't even open some of the cabinet doors AT ALL! And it was narrow, only 40 inches wide with very little counter space. And the biggest problem was that there was absolutely nowhere for me to work out ... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 01:32:22 EST Red Raspberries http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5949855 Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio the only red raspberries I knew about were the ones that came from the store. I knew they grew on bushes but I had no clue about the bushes themselves. Fast forward to living in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. At one point we had a next door neighbor had a long, narrow piece of property stretching back from the street. Somehow they managed to have it zoned agricultural and they had a small farm on it. Their farming qualifications ranged from chick... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:24:19 EST I Left the Diet in the Car http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5944002 Last year we moved from Colorado to Oregon. Since then my husband has been trying to find places where he can fish and ski, his two passions in life. He has read books and studied maps; he finally got to the point where he needed to take a drive to visit some of these places in person, so yesterday he and I took a short road trip to find and explore the area around Mount Hood, the highest mountain in the state. <BR> We followed the Mapquest instructions through town, got turned around only o... Fri, 12 Jun 2015 12:13:03 EST Great News From the Doctor - mostly http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5939166 Since we moved to Oregon from Colorado my husband and i have both had to find new doctors. I started with getting a new cardiologist as that seemed to be a priority. This new doctor also told me I better get a primary care physician too, so I found a good lady near our house, and of course an annual checkup was the natural first step, since she didn't know me and I hadn't had one in several years. In preparation I blood drawn for a variety of tests, a mammogram, and a bone density test. Yeste... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 16:49:27 EST What a Difference A Year Can Make http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5931620 Sometimes as we look back at our lives the years all run together - taking kids to school activities and scouts and church events and sports games - and then watching our kids form families and have children of their own. It's easy to lose track of just what a difference a single year can make. <BR> <BR> Exactly one year ago today my husband and I flew from Colorado to Oregon to visit my daughter and for me to attend an astrology conference in Seattle. We drove a rented a car and stayed wit... Wed, 20 May 2015 20:57:15 EST I have to get honest http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5929803 I haven't been lying, really I haven't. I just forgot to change my tracker. Sort of a bad news, out of sight, out of mind matter. But I have been weighing myself every day, and I knew when the scale started inching - really racing - up again. Holiday stress (yes, I know it's May) but it was followed by family stresses, which culminated with my daughter and her family moving into our garage for a month until they could close the paperwork on their new home. We had a total of four adults, a tee... Sun, 17 May 2015 20:37:15 EST More about the Body Fat Monitor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5924865 Awhile back I wrote that the Body Fat Monitor is a great tool for tracking fitness progress. The Spark materials state (correctly) that the most accurate way to determine body fat percentage is in the water, and I also understand that using the calipers to measure skin folds is quite accurate. The body fat monitor uses electrical resistance and then takes that reading and adds it to a mathematical formula. Part of that formula is age. <BR> <BR> Having had this monitor for a number of years I... Fri, 8 May 2015 14:08:15 EST Today Is My Birthday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5921293 The first thing I read on-line this morning was a headline that England has a new princess - born today, on my birthday. Her life will be nothing like mine was, but what will it be? Parents and other relatives will have expectations, and that poor child will have the whole world watching her every move. What dreams will she develop for herself? What will happen to those dreams? When she is my age, now 69, what will she look back on? What will she celebrate and what will she regret? <BR> <BR>... Sat, 2 May 2015 11:36:22 EST Hurray for the Body Fat Monitor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5908944 Many years ago I bought a body fat monitor. It was when they first came out and cost me $100 which was a lot of money at that time (still is!). What a wonderful investment. Sometimes it sat on the shelf for months - or years - patiently waiting for me to pick it up again. Since we moved awhile back and my schedule has been all haywire my weight has gone up again. It stabilized at 162. I started modifying my eating and exercising more consistently. Still no weight change. That was when I decid... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 14:18:20 EST Cardiology Visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5908308 No need for a long blog today. I saw my cardiologist yesterday. She said my heart is in good shape so long as I keep on doing what I am doing. We did discuss some swelling ankles. She wants me to get some compressional stockings and wear them for 3 months and then come back. I checked them out at the pharmacy in the grocery store. The ones for me were $16.00 per pair. The ones for women were $40 per stocking. Talk to me about discrimination! Anyway, I saw them on sale on Walmart online for co... Thu, 9 Apr 2015 13:00:34 EST They Call This "The Joy of Retirement" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5905892 Caution: This turned into a rant. <BR> <BR> A year ago at Easter we were living in Colorado. I was working out regularly and had lost 23 pounds in the previous year. I was looking forward to retiring in the middle of May and then traveling to Oregon to visit with my daughter and to Seattle for a conference. We thought about looking for a place to retire to in Oregon while we were there. <BR> <BR> Fast forward a year: I retired. We took the trip, found a house, packed, moved, sold the old ho... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 14:53:35 EST Packing Boxes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5900862 I didn't do any official workout today, but I feel as though I should be able to track some time. I went to the rental house my daughter is moving out of and helped her SO and her son to pack boxes for the move. Primarily I packed kitchen stuff - some dishes, crock-pots, tableware, various items. The primary work of the dishes and pots/pans was already done. I also helped in the family room with videos and CDs, lamps, puzzles, just lots of stuff. I worked from 10:30 to 1:15 straight (2.75 hou... Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:13:38 EST Random Early Morning Thoughts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5895783 Life has been really hectic the last few days. I am glad I am retired so I have the time and energy to cope. Now I just need to clear my head. <BR> <BR> A couple day ago I got a phone call from my daughter's Significant Other. He needed a ride back from the U-Haul location where he was dropping off the truck they had rented for their move. I picked him up and headed to his house. As I approached a traffic light (green for me) I noticed a pickup truck waiting to pull out from my right. As I e... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 09:31:36 EST The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5892448 I hate being a pain in the neck, but apparently all my calls to the doctor's office finally got through to the right person. They called today to verify the correct oxygen flow for the orders and said they would fax the orders immediately. Since that was already 4:15 in the afternoon I might not hear from the oxygen providing company until Monday but that's all right. At least the process is finally moving and I will have my supplemental oxygen. My heart will be happier, I know, and I suspect... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 20:01:25 EST Dealing With Doctors - A Rant http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5891994 The first doctor my parents visited had a huge waiting room. We always had to wait a long time after our appointment before we were seen. One night the doctor had evening hours and fitted me in after I fell off my bicycle, but even then we waited. An hour sitting there was common. I thought that was wrong. <BR> <BR> When I got older we saw a different doctor in our neighborhood. My mother would take me with her to any doctor's appointments she had. The waiting room was always empty or just ... Thu, 12 Mar 2015 23:50:10 EST Starting a New Streak of Gratitude http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5891074 For many years I have tried to live with an attitude of gratitude. Most of the time the items on my list were kept in my head, being added to my list as I just happened to think of them. Recently, however, I realized that I had lost the habit, had neglected adding to my mental list. At the same time, life has seemed more difficult: weight is going up instead of down in spite of my best efforts, self-talk has become more negative, coping with my aging husband (he's 80) has become more difficul... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:33:31 EST Facing Reality http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5889128 I have always considered myself a hard-headed realist. Life hasn't given me any other choice. Usually I just look for the bright side of any situation and get on with the business of living. For the first time in a long, long time I am having trouble doing that. <BR> <BR> For many years I was motivated to work out. From aerobic dancing to Jazzercise to Richard Simmons I found ways to keep moving. It seemed to compensate for all the drinking I did to keep up with alcoholic husbands, though I ... Sun, 8 Mar 2015 10:00:37 EST Turning Lemons Into Lemonade http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5883188 One of the most common attitudes I share with many women who are married to retired husbands is that ultimately being together 24/7 can become tedious as best, infuriating at worst. I worked for several years after my husband retired so he got used to having the house - and the exercise equipment - and the computer - available to him whenever he wanted to use them and for however long he wanted. I worked until I turned 68, well after the stereotypical retirement age in the US. Immediately we ... Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:05:56 EST Short Report - Heart Is In Good Shape http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5873239 I had an appointment with a new cardiologist yesterday. I don't know what made me feel better: the OK report from the doctor or the people I met there. <BR> <BR> As I walked into the medical suite I ran into a couple whose grandson plays on the same basketball team as my grandson. We exchanged pleasantries and they gave really glowing reports of the medical care they had received from the doctors in that office. Then as I waited a few minutes (I was early) I spoke with a lady waiting for her... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 13:40:46 EST The Magical Birthday Pie http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871731 Practical jokes have never been my strong suit - either pulling them or being on the receiving end. But once in every decade or two the inspiration hits. This past week was one of those times. <BR> <BR> My grandson's 15th birthday was last week. Since he was playing in a basketball game that night and his mom had to work late we postponed his birthday celebration to yesterday. Since his mom was so busy I offered to make his birthday cake and was told he didn't want a cake, he wanted a pie - ... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 09:54:06 EST Birthday Pies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5869433 Since I posted my status about baking birthday pies I have had 2 response, both asking "What kind?" So in case others are wondering, here is the story. <BR> <BR> We moved into our new home in Oregon last summer. We had downsized but in our selection of a house I made sure we would have room to entertain the family for holidays. For Thanksgiving we had a traditional turkey dinner; thankfully my daughter brought some of the sides and hubby helped with the cooking. And as always, I made the pie... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 13:56:31 EST Outrage at My Age - A Personal Rant http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5865442 For once I just have to vent - and have a complete hissy. I have been donating blood for more years than I can count. There has never been a problem. Today I was told I could not give because my hemoglobin was too low. It was 12.2. Although the specified low for good health is 12.1 the Red Cross requires 12.5. Mine was too low. I could not give. OUTRAGE! <BR> <BR> If I were a Skinny Minnie who didn't eat enough to keep a bird alive, as my late mother was, I could understand the problem. But ... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:40:00 EST Super Bowl Shopping http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5864514 It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the retailers jump from one holiday or promotion to the next in search of the almighty dollar. Go grocery shopping January 2 and the Valentine's Day candy and cards are already on the racks. <BR> <BR> In a slightly more subtle move, they have also moved the snack foods into more prominent positions throughout the store to promote Super Bowl snacking. Back in Colorado they even put stacks of large-size bottles of soft drinks outside the door for you to ... Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:05:09 EST Good Intentions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5863820 In the name of accountability I have to confess I have not been riding my exercise bike even though I said I would start doing that. I did try. But as I have been saying elsewhere, we recently moved from Colorado to Oregon and brought the old bike with us. Between the dust and dirt of moving trucks and living in the garage for while (first boxes, then the Christmas tree filled the space set aside for the bike) not to mention being 25 years old, the bike ended up complaining mightily with groa... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:16:09 EST 5 Pounds On, 1/2 Pound Off http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856625 For the life of me I can't figure out what goes on with my system. It has been this way for years, no matter what I do. If the sudden gain was water weight it should come off just as fast when I change my diet. But no dice. <BR> <BR> So now I have finally lost 2 pounds, back down to 158 after the holiday gain. This is actually a major accomplishment since I've only been behaving myself for about a week. But is this water weight? Probably. <BR> <BR> Oh well, I set a target of working out 1... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 19:10:19 EST Next Accountability Item and Blood Donation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5855134 We moved to this small town northwest of Portland, Oregon about 6 months ago. Sometimes we have been able to find new support groups in town. Our new dentist is 1 mile from the house and the best I have ever had, hands down. Just 2 miles from us there is a medical clinic affiliated with the hospital system we want to use. Now they may have good professionals there but there is a small hitch in this giddy-up. They are minimally staffed and focus on general stuff. Specialists from their groups ... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:54:16 EST Accountable - Better Late Than Never http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5853661 My last action item was to get touch with a cardiology office. I finally did that this morning and have an appointment on February 9. There's nothing wrong or critical - I just want to get it in place so when I need a refill on my medication there won't be a problem. Now one of these days I should probably get set up with a General Practitioner (GP or Family Doctor) for the same reason. I'll get there. <BR> <BR> One thing did bother me this morning. While on the phone I was having trouble re... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 16:24:11 EST Meeting the Action Item - and a Quandry http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5841251 Why is it that nothing ever goes as smoothly as I think it should? Yesterday I promised to blog when I met the goal of getting a new doctor. And I did do it - sort of. <BR> <BR> There are a few "medical systems" in this area. To get to most of the hospitals you literally have to go "over the pass" to get to them. When you are older and time could be of the essence in an emergency, that pass in winter could be a killer. So we opted for the system with the hospital that is about 20 minutes dow... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 12:25:21 EST Something's Coming - Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5839978 In July of 2013 I posted a blog that I sense something big was coming in my life. Fast forward a year to July 2014 and we were both retired and in the middle of an interstate move of the household. And now that sense is coming again, that sense of big things coming in our life. <BR> <BR> This time is more ominous. As we are getting older our health seems to be deteriorating. I know why mine is going: in the midst of all the other changes in life I have stopped exercising and gained back 10 o... Sun, 28 Dec 2014 15:58:18 EST The Water Weight Experiment http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5838803 Awhile back I tried an experiment that really brought home the value of not getting overly invested in scale watching. I got on the scale at bedtime. Then I urinated and got on the scale again. Instant loss of .4 pounds. In the morning I weighed again and was down another 1.5 pounds. Then I drank a glass of water and weighed again and was up .8 pounds. <BR> <BR> It wasn't rocket science or even anything I didn't know, but it made the very specific point that small variations in weight are of... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 12:25:28 EST Christmas Tree Memories Follow-Up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5829803 Before I left for the dentist's office I stopped to give one last stroke and comment of appreciation to the lower part of my old Christmas tree that was lying on the dining room table. I knew that while I was gone my husband would be checking with the trash company on the best way to get rid of it - recycle if possible, since it is plastic. When I got home the piece was gone. <BR> <BR> Then I looked into the living room and received the loveliest surprise. The top part of the tree, which had... Mon, 8 Dec 2014 16:54:56 EST Christmas Tree Memories http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5829397 My old artificial Christmas tree died today. It had served me well for 36 Christmases but this year the plastics had deteriorated to the point that it would not hold together any longer. My husband tried to pull it together with wire and fishing line and I even some screws, but no luck. It would not hold. <BR> <BR> I bought that tree the year I was pregnant with my daughter. She was due to be born December 27 and I planned ahead as much as I could so I would not have to rush for presents or ... Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:33:01 EST 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