Tuesday, November 25, 2014
It was right at the end of my driveway. That prompted a change of running route. I watched with neighbors for a while then ran in the opposite direction. I returned in time to see it proceeding on its way.
There it goes!
The house was on a farm behind us which will now become a housing development. Many neighbors opposed the rezoning, but it’s OK with me. If some earlier farmer hadn’t sold his land, MY house wouldn’t be here. So, I’ll graciously welcome the newcomers.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I was lucky to see a “passing” grade. On the scoreboard you would have to scroll 50 to 80 pages to find my name.
I persisted for quite a long time. I know I could have googled the information before answering a question, but it was a personal choice to see what I knew on my own.
I drifted away and gave it up for a few years.
Then in September a spark friend invited me back.
I’m a much better student now with my monthly score hovering around 90%
However, just like a high school or college student whose GPA continues to reflect a slow start, my all time score is stuck at ‘C’ level.
My data driven mind has just computed that I need to get the next 23 questions right to raise my all time score 1 percentage point (75% to 76%).
Strangely, I don’t mind. My improvement shows that I’ve learned a lot just being connected to Spark People. It also validates the power of persistence.
Persistence in following the plan, continuing to try and just plain hanging in there.
Weight loss, maintenance, exercise streaks, nutrition goals, learning new information – whatever your goals – just hang in there.
Note: Here’s my original blog from October 14, 2012
and thanks to SunnyWBL for the invitation that got me back on track.
Monday, November 17, 2014
This was a combination trip for us.
We drove to the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina to:
Check on my 94 year old MIL in her assisted living facility
At MIL’s request, visit the old family vacation/retirement cabin a few hours drive further on
Attend a meeting of Carpatho-Rusyn Society – a heritage group very helpful to me as I sought my East European roots during the last decade.
Visit the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, one landmark we had never seen before.
MIL is doing as well as can be expected. However, her weight is making it difficult to walk more than a few steps and she spends most of her time in a wheelchair. I remember a physical therapist telling me that it was easier to get my 110 lb mother back on her feet than a 220 lb woman (my MILs weight).
We found a nice hotel central to all our plans in the town of Dillsboro, NC. It was about a 2 hour drive to the cabin over curvy mountain roads. We hadn’t seen the place in nearly 30 years and it’s in need of a lot of work. There’s more building going on in the area now, but still quite remote – no cell phone service.
It was a good time to visit Biltmore, all decorated for Christmas but not yet very crowded. Supposedly tourism increases after Thanksgiving.
I had mixed feelings about the place. It was very nicely decorated and efficiently organized for visitors, but I thought it was overpriced. You only got a booklet with brief explanations included in your entrance fee. An audio guide or tour guide was extra. As you walked around, you could hear the tour guide’s explanations anyway without even trying.
It was interesting to see how “American royalty” lived in 1895 in their “castle.” The tour included a nice variety of the nearly 300 rooms. The booklet mentioned that there were 43 bathrooms at a time when “MANY” Americans didn’t even have one. I would amend that to say to MOST American homes didn’t have one at the end of the 19th century.
I know I’m in the minority, but I found the place unnecessarily and conspicuously ostentatious. I felt that Vanderbilt should have BiltLESS not BiltMORE. A 7 story high banquet hall? 43 bathrooms?
The conservatory was very interesting as was the winery.
This is still a family owned estate operated for profit, so they charge what the market will bear
My heritage society meeting provided quite a contrast as we watched a video of the lives of my immigrant ancestors in the USA at the time of the opening of Biltmore.
I shared my recent trip to Slovakia connecting my children and grandchildren with their roots and the relatives whose ancestors stayed in the old country, not taking a chance on an uncertain future in America.
From a Spark perspective I did pretty well. There was a lot of walking although at a touring pace, not high intensity at all. One good run with the temperature at 19 degrees made me feel very righteous.
I had healthy snacks in the car and a supply of water. Restaurant meals were the best choices available.
I did eat the homemade ethnic pastries provided during my meeting – one of each type.
Then there was the NY style cheesecake. My MIL ordered it ahead of time to be delivered to her at the facility because “she knew we liked it” and “this bakery makes it just like we used to have back in NY.”
There was no Spark excuse I would make in that situation, valid though it may have been.
Sometimes a situation arises when you just gotta eat the cheesecake. A healthy lifestyle is able to accommodate something like this.
I am 1.6 pounds heavier than the morning I left. Most likely the salty restaurant food.
No problem. I’m home now. It’s back to real life.
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