Finally, a blog and some new photos

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hi everyone!
Long time, no blog! I have not checked in for months and good to see many of you still here sparking away.

I would like to start again on Sparks but the same old story, still a health issue for the arthritis in my knees and back and circulation in my legs to sit at the computer each day tracking and blogging at my slow pace plus trying to keep up with everyone's blogs, instead of meal prep, housekeeping, or walking. I must weigh the pros and cons because I did lose weight when I tracked, blogged, and posted daily photos of my food. I have not gained weight back but will not lose more unless I better regulate my food intake. When I remember to eat, I do prepare whole and organic foods, no fast food, micro-waved or packaged meals, with the occasional slip ups with chocolate bars or a pasta meal at a restaurant, and must remember to drink enough water. I know tracking would help with my protein and veggie count.

I continue to struggle with my ADD, hyper-focusing at the computer even without Sparks, taking hours to write one e-mail, still forgetting to stop to eat three meals, eating two and sometimes one a day. I will set a timer (if I remember) or write down all kinds of checklists and schedules, to no avail. When I am not hyper-focusing on e-mails and Photoshop, I lose my focus and get distracted easily so I am making snail progress with my decluttering. I try to spend less time with computer in the day or TV at night, but at this rate I will not get my condo in order before Christmas once again although my box of decorations is still here since I never got around to taking it down to my locker after last Christmas. I am OK with my lack of progress because after so many years of making big dinners I do not care about entertaining anymore. I cannot stand on my bad knees for hours in the kitchen preparing food. Now I enjoy spending Christmas day at my brother’s or being invited to someone else’s apt. or going out for lunch or a movie with friends. I have accepted that I no longer need to be the one doing all the work at holidays although I still bake and make cookies, even experimenting with gluten free, dairy free recipes. Some good ones on the Gluten Free Goddess blog site.

If I return to Sparks, less will be done around here, but on the other hand if I track my food I will be back losing weight and probably have increased energy to do more around here. Always a conundrum. Meanwhile, I am very pleased to be progressing with my landscape painting courses and am continuing to take seasonal photos of the city and countryside. Since July, I have been selling between 8 and 32 photo cards and the occasional framed photo every Thursday at my table outside historic St. Lawrence Market next to my condo, weather permitting. This has helped towards purchasing organic food or towards a painting class or a day bus trip. I will stop selling for the winter in the next week or so when it gets too cold. At that point I will probably get back into Sparks, at least to track my food, since over the winter I will be spending less time fussing with my photos on Photoshop, getting them printed, making my cards. I start another landscape painting class with my same teacher and small class of eight students on January 22.

Oh, something important off my checklist! After having moved 38 years ago to Toronto, Ontario, from the US, I finally applied and on Monday Nov. 19th I received my Canadian citizenship! I am now officially a proud Canadian (with a Queen even) although I have always felt proud to have lived so many years here in this wonderful, beautiful country. All the new Canadians at my inspiring citizenship ceremony received a "cultural pass", good for a year for free admission to many museums, art galleries etc. all across Canada, plus 50% off ViaRail travel across Canada for a year. If I can save enough money and my knees hold up, I am hoping to take advantage of that and go "down east " by train to the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. with a ViaRail package deal since I have never been there, and miss so much seeing the ocean. Many photo ops there for sure too.

Here are some of my photos from a 30,000 Island 3-hour cruise on Georgian Bay (mostly in the rain), some autumn photos, some of Toronto, and Christmas cards. We had no snow to speak of last year so hopefully this year I can take some winter scenes.

Parry Sound and 30,000 Islands

Harbourfront and Toronto Music Garden

Toronto downtown

Christmas Cards

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and a healthy new year!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think you hit on the solution - Spark in the winter to log your progress with food and declutter goals, then in warmer weather when you are taking day trips and selling photos in the market, let it rest. Sounds like a plan. Lovely photographs, as usual. I will have to check out that gluten free goddess site. Much love always -V
    1999 days ago
    It is so nice to have you back writing a blog again - and sharing your beautiful photos.
    Perhaps it will work out that you can spend more time here on SP during the winter, as you say.
    It is such a pleasure to catch up with you and hear about what you are doing.
    Congratulations on your new Canadian citizenship!

    I wish you the very best holiday season ahead,
    and I hope to see you around here some more.


    2005 days ago
    What a great blog with such beautiful pictures. I hope you do get to travel to the East Coast because I know you will get more pictures. It is so beautiful. (Of course I am biased because of my Maritime roots.)

    I understand stepping back from the computer because it sucks so much life from us. I too struggle with balancing my time while needing my Spark account. We will just keep trying and learning. emoticon

    Judy emoticon

    2006 days ago
    What gorgeous photographs! You are a true artist!

    So glad to see you back on SparkPeople, if only for a little while, but I know how much time it takes to keep up with everything. I took a break for awhile, but now I'm back tracking my food and exercising again, so I've lost a little weight.

    Congratulations on your Canadian citizenship! And what great perks they gave you to enjoy the country! I know you'll enjoy taking advantage of all they have to offer.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a great blog and let us know how you're doing. I've missed you!

    Best wishes,

    2006 days ago
    Hello again, your photos are fabulous as ever. I understand what you are saying about Spark I too have issues but I need friends so I am staying. I got to my goal of Spark points so now I can leave it alone. I still have not lost any more weight but I like what I see in the mirror and the friends keep me happy. HUGS I hope you will be back some time in winter. If you get to anywhere near me I will come up there to say hello HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon Photos. Pat (((HUGS))))
    2006 days ago
    Thank you so much for posting the beautiful photos!!!A most beautiful area
    2006 days ago
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