JANEDOE12345   64,653
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Back at it

Friday, August 01, 2014

Thank you, friends, for reading and replying to my Blog of Sorrow a few days ago. All the replies made me a little embarrassed that I had let things go and gotten myself terribly down in the deepest of dumps. Your suggestions and support encouraged me and helped me get moving again. I had to admit how awful I felt to get it over with and out the way so that I could feel better. And I do, hooray!

Yesterday I made a sticky note and stuck it to my purse that said GO TO THE GYM. The note on the purse must be obeyed, and I did go to the gym. I pledged ten minutes then did exactly that time on the treadmill. Overdoing it is not a good way to start.

Today I went again and did fifteen minutes. It wasn't a big deal to go back. Nobody pointed at me and called me a quitter ... in fact, no one even noticed me. Great! Anonymity! the Unknown Tread Miller!

Some good cleansing work on my inner anger was done by listening to the Clash at an unhealthily loud volume, with a few rounds of Fallout Boy. Angry music for this depressed lady reminds me that depression is only anger turned inside out. I guess I AM angry and being miserable about my health is no solution.

Whether online or in person, good friends make life just that little bit more livable by offering support, humor and affection. Thank you, and you have all that from me in return.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARNETTELEE 8/1/2014 8:34PM

  You're welcome! Happy sparking!

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On and Off

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hello from the land of doing nothing, the place of zero, Planet Not-spark. This summer has been a retreat from Spark. My Fitbit has been gathering dust for weeks. I bought a grocery load of vegetables and one by one, they have rotted and been thrown away when the stench got noticed.

I spin the wheel every day and that's it. When I started to go rogue about a month or more ago, one of the things I was clinging to was my daily spin. I had a little secret goal to make 365 days and made it to like 260 something.

So I used my iPod to check in 21 days ago and it didn't 'take,' meaning the spin was not recorded by Spark. I was back to zero again. This really saddened me -- my little secret goal was shot. This gave me one more reason to let the whole thing go.

And it's very, very gone. I am dispirited and have given up.

Other things are happening that make me feel crappy but I won't list them. Nothing major, just an accumulation of motivation-robbing people and events that reinforce me in my negative direction. I don't have the spark to get Sparking right now.

Let's all join in a circle and hope that some of that motivation can creep back in to my outlook.

I feel yucky but not sorry for myself. Just yucky.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Not to sound too upbeat but I'm often on the figurative edge of a cliff and without a single reason not to jump but I always decide not to. I have found that at times like this it really is often the darkest before the dawn. For instance, everyone is always gung-ho on January 1 and I'm usually in ugh-mode. I actually started exercising in 2007 on my mom's birthday. She had been dead many years. I started a diet later the next year. Soooooo I'm a little out of synch with everyone else. I feel yucky right now too. You and I both need some rewiring. Gotta ease into it slow though. I'm starting to drink more water and eat the veggies again before they rot. I'm challenging you to do the same.

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MCJULIEO 8/1/2014 2:59PM

    It's summer! And the livin' maybe isn't so easy...

And you know that we, having all been through similar feelings and situations, are rooting for you.

Great advice from my younger brother:
"Don't let the turkeys get you down!"

We can do this...

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_UMAMI_ 7/29/2014 8:54PM

    Oy vey! I didn't know it had gotten so rough! I've been in a rough patch myself. With everyone home, it's hard to get much done (besides my job, the usual chores, etc.)----*I* have to be the motivator, and sometimes I just don't have it in me!

Just the fact that you showed up (here, Now) counts.
That's the first step: Show up.

Start a new streak. Show up. Spin.
Add another small goal. Show up.
Miss a day. Curse yourself.
Next day, Show up.
Lather, rinse repeat.

I've been doing it for YEARS. Am I where I want to be? No.
Has it helped keep the weight off? I'm SURE it has---I feel accountable, and I'm not gaining.
Should I be doing better? Surely! But I'm not going to kill myself or miss out on other things in my life just to reach a goal on the scale or a size on a clothing tag.

So I show up, spin, and check in on my friends.

Hey, I like that better.

Pam: Show up, spin, and check in on your friends. We want to see you happy and healthy.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NORASPAT 7/27/2014 11:12PM

    Some days I feel like this but when I am not tracking I feel bad. I love to walk an d work in my garden. Work out is out too.
Only you can do it.

I hang on here so I will go back~~ TO MY COUCH POTATO SELF.

Only you can do it, you must ask yourself the question am i wanting to stay healthy. HUGS it is tough being in a place where you are. If I had a fit bit it would be a great motivator. I hope it will help you to make your decision.
Take care HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon

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BONNIEMARGAY 7/27/2014 2:46PM

    Wishing you relief from discouragement.

You do not have to feel motivated to start. You can do this!

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SUEARNOLD1 7/27/2014 11:21AM

    You're being honest and reaching out by your blog so. . . You took a step.

Set a small goal - make it fun like dancing to a song - be careful you might really enjoy this.

Keep us posted!


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JOANNANOW 7/27/2014 10:47AM

    I totally get it. Sending you a hug. Hope they yucky stuff passes soon. Enjoy the flowers and sunshine. emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 7/27/2014 9:51AM

    And yet ... and yet ... you have found some incredible photos! There's still some creative spark there!

I, too, am in a kind of "don't care" mode and need to get back on things, so to speak.

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HOLLYM48 7/27/2014 9:49AM

    Please log in and see that you can do this. One day at a time, one choice at a time. Nobody ever said it was easy, but you are worth doing this for. Remember that you have the power over yourself and you must use it to be the best that you can be!

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New Clothesline

Sunday, June 29, 2014

After two years, I finally have been able to replace my clothesline. To explain: The last vestiges of the old barn had to come down a couple of years ago. My old clothesline had to go since it was attached. Then when my brother put up the new shed, we planned on replacing the lines and never really got around to it. I am have been impatient, since dryers cost too much to run and I dislike the texture of the clothes. And really -- there is no soul in a dryer.

Dear Son came down this weekend and borrowed a post hole digger from Ed Next Door, the Snowplow Hero. It took all day, between going out to brunch, hitting 2 hardware stores for cement, going for ice cream, and just general going-slowness. But we got it done and then went out for dinner.

The kits for the posts and crossbeams were about $80, the line was $17, the cement & extra bolts about $20, and I spent about $80 on going out to nice restaurants for meals with Noah and myself. Outrageous! That’s $197 on this. Well, there was no labor cost and I did have the fun of hanging with my son all day so I am not really complaining, just noticing how much it costs to save money.

Today I hung out my wash. What a pure joy that is for me! The smell and feel of clean laundry – there exists nothing on earth like it. It is difficult to do with my bad shoulders and my arthritic hands, but somehow it is good for me to be out there DOING something. All those years of wash when I was growing up came back and I loved remembering my Mom, that Clorox smell, the scratchy towels… Remember being reminded to get the clothes in before it rains? It’s work but it is good for my soul, my budget, and the environment. Serendipity!

I am pretty happy with a job well done by Noah, and just happy to have been working on something I can see and feel and love. Here are some random pictures taken as I went about my day today.

A Full Line -- Lines Need to Stretch & be Tightened

Clothesline featuring my Thumb

North Corner of my house with Things Blooming in the Shade

Birdbath with Hanging Basket from Noah

Back Porch Buddha

Extra Computer Hooked up in Living Room for Extra Hard Drive Project

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 7/1/2014 6:47PM

    Good job! Well done!

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BETHGILLIGAN 7/1/2014 6:56AM

    I used to love hanging clothes out on the line! I remember using a clothesline pole to prop up those sagging lines!! When we moved to this house in VA, clotheslines weren't permitted but I had a retractable line and still hung out most things. I would throw much of the stuff in the dryer for a quick fluff. LOVED sleeping on those line dried sheets. Aaahhh! That smell! We added a screened porch to the back of the house and I lost my clothesline. Sad!!
Even if you never hung out clothes, spending that day with your son is priceless. I love it when my son and I have something to do together. Love spending time with him!!

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BONNIEMARGAY 6/30/2014 2:34PM

    Congratulations! I was so blessed that my wife could install a closet rod all the way across my laundry room, so I can hang everything up to dry and not worry about birds or rain.

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JOANNANOW 6/30/2014 10:45AM

    In my kitchen I have a little framed post card. The picture is a painting of a back alley in Montreal (my hometown) with clothes hanging on the line that is stretched across the alley. It is my favorite painting ... I don't know who did it but reminds me of my youth and sunny days, the baby napping and the city buzzing around me. I love your description of fresh laundry on the line. emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 6/30/2014 4:38AM

  great pics great having a fun time with Noah

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_UMAMI_ 6/30/2014 1:07AM


It always seemed silly for me to say it, but hanging clothes out to dry made me feel happy (sure, they might be scratchier, but towels were certainly more absorbant!), and I could DEFINITELY see a decrease in my electric bill. That $197 you invested will pay for itself in no time.

Things I liked about it: noticing the sky, having the cats come out to hang out with me, it was Zen-like, it saved us money, it felt natural and old-fashioned, and HANDS-ON, unlike so many things these days. (Things that are "chores" but are actually life-skills that so many kids don't have, KWIM?? Seriously, if you ask a kid how they will wash and dry their clothes without a washer and dryer, how many could cope???)

Great post, happy for you doing something constructive (heh!) with your son and neighbor.


*I say things in past tense, because, since pollens hit HIGH, and other things kicked in, I haven't been able to hang my clothes out. Now that it's high heat season, it makes sense to at least put some things out to dry, and it will save us money**, and bring back some of that weird joy I get from doing so.

**Bills super low since A/C was out for 3 weeks---who KNEW???

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NORASPAT 6/29/2014 11:06PM

    I love your clothesline. In England our clotheslines were in the back alleys. When we came to US I loved to hang the clothes but we got here in April and the joy went away in November. Those years we had feet of snow it is different now. I loved to hang the kids diapers and watch them freeze but Oh how white they stayed.
Your yard looks lovely all round. You must live some place that does not have snow.
Well done!! What a great day your son to pamper you and work for you. That sounds so lovely. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 6/29/2014 8:39PM

    My clothesline bit the dust a year or two ago (they're not actually permitted at our condos but my backyard is pretty private and I only had the single retractable kind) and we just haven't bothered to replace it.
Just plain lazy, I guess.
I don't really like that scratchy feeling so I often threw the clothes in the dryer for a bit, anyway (except for sheets- that smell is too divine!).
So, a quality day with your dear son is priceless, imho, especially with ice cream.

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GERIKRAGH 6/29/2014 3:34PM

    Looks wonderful!

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ARNETTELEE 6/29/2014 2:34PM


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CWC2010 6/29/2014 2:15PM

    I too love the feeling of hanging clothes out to dry. Great pics!

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FitBit Disappointment

Friday, June 20, 2014

A couple of months ago, I rigged my FitBit up so that it could be worn on my ankle. It did look a little like Lindsay Lohan's house arrest monitor, but it sure felt great to NOT have it on my wrist. I had fun calling it a FootBit.

Well...Tuesday I was too hurried to put it on my ankle and just snapped it on my wrist. Funny, my steps dropped. Hmmm. I thought it was the same no matter where you put the FitBit? NOT. I noticed again today that the steps were less and have been all week.

I have been racking up points and gaining confidence that I am walking lots of steps a day. But you know what? I was wrong. No wonder I haven't lost any weight despite thinking I was walking more.

Boy, it was great on my ankle, but I hate this thing on my wrist. It's a black, unfriendly-looking chunk of plastic and vies with my watch for space. It feels funky and I am very aware of it there. Maybe it's time to go get another pedometer and give up on this ridiculous toy. It was a welcome gift but I am now p1$$ed that I fooled myself - so I am blaming the FitBit.

Discouraged. That would be me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 7/1/2014 6:50PM

    I wear my Spark tracker hooked to my shoe, but I hope to try it soon on my bathing suit when I swim laps tomorrow.... we'll just see how well it makes the transition...

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BETHGILLIGAN 6/23/2014 8:30PM

    Well, that's not good! I'm sorry to hear that. Hope you find something to replace it. I wear an ipod nano. It is small, it has the clip on it and it stays clipped to the waistband of my pants. It measures my steps or time and keeps that info in the history. I had an Omron which was fine but this is much smaller and all I need to track are my steps.

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MAGGIEBONGO 6/23/2014 4:05AM

    I wear mine (fitbit) on my pants, works great. I did have it attached to bra - even better b/c I never had to remember it - but this is fine, too. Don't give up! Walking's good regardless. Hey, maybe count miles or time instead?

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_UMAMI_ 6/21/2014 10:09PM

    I've just stuck to my trusty old Omron....and when one bites the dust every other year or so, it's not a big deal to replace it. Maybe it's not high-est tech, but it functions adequately enough for my needs, and has got me exercising more.

Doesn't the fitbit have a small footprint, so you can attach it in your bra or something? I don't think I could wear a big chunk of plastic---I'm too sensitive to even wear much jewelry, and when I'm hot and sweaty---forgeddaboudit!

h, I typed "hot and sweary"---THAT TOO!)

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BONNIEMARGAY 6/21/2014 2:40PM

    Sorry for your discouragement!

I just track my fitness minutes with a clock.

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NASFKAB 6/21/2014 6:33AM

  would try it on my ankle if I got one

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NORASPAT 6/20/2014 9:38PM

    I am a real novice with anything technical. I was asking others to give me a heads up on how difficult they were to use and how reliable.

I wanted to buy the spark tracker But I have no way to check it out I know it can be returned. My OMRON stepper has been great. I put min on my pants belt but it gets pushed off. I was able to tether it with a clip and a safety pin but it slips off and dangles so I have no idea what I lost. Then I went to use it on my shoe. I was certain my steps were higher but the distance is very true we have quarter mile posts in granite blocks all the way so we can synchronize well by them.
HOWEVER my OMRON pedometer dropped off and I stood on it as I lurched forward. The clip is broken so I have it Velcro'd in my pocket. Thanks Pat in Maine. emoticon

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VICKITS 6/20/2014 8:19PM

    Interesting that you tried on your ankle, I'd never thought of that as having a diff step value. Perhaps you are on to something..

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My Cat Chauncey is OK

Friday, May 30, 2014

Yay! Chauncey only needed to have his foreleg shaved and then a two-week anti-biotic shot. Plus he had his rabies shot. All for the bargain price of (gulp) $181.91.

He looks terrible but I know he did not lose the fight that left him like this. He rules this hill, and whoever tried to beat him up will get a good dose of Chauncey's temper as soon as he gets outdoors again.

I am pleased to report that no vets left the profession as a result of Chaunce's visit, although they gave it some thought -- in between fending off the bared claws and wild flailing of this enormous and angry ex-tom.

He really was a lovely kitten...

And a handsome teenager...

He survived getting shaved one year...

And other hair-raising events, like meeting the curling iron (don't ask)...

Then he grew up ...

and he is still lovely when he wants to be...

I never would have expected to be ditsy enough to go online and blog about my cat, but I do love the little gladiator.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Glad Chauncey is going to be alright. I have cat named Pretty Boy but called KI-KI. He is a big black and white. Rules the roost with 2 American Eskimo's. He is calm and loving sometimes, into every thing and sometimes just a spitfire. But mostly loving. He is a lot of company as are the American Eskimo's. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MCJULIEO 7/1/2014 6:52PM

    Go, Chauncey, Go!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/1/2014 3:52PM

    He is beautiful. He has a real touch of old Hollywood glamour and sultriness. emoticon

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_UMAMI_ 5/30/2014 10:47PM

    I need to send you a pic of my Big, Chauncey-like cat. Who is Chauncey named after? Mine was a stray, named Nelly, and the only similar name I could think of was Solly (short for Solomon). I just could not bring myself to call my cat in to "NELLY! NELLY!" Well, I think of Nelly as something else. And I'm pretty liberal, but I'm not going to call my cat Nelly. Even if the former owners named the cat after a rapper.

Glad C-cat is ok. Think I missed the beginning of this story, but I'm exhausted and will have to catch up later.

Isn't it nice to have critters to come home to?!

My kids are trying to talk me into raising chickens!!

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NORASPAT 5/30/2014 9:57PM

    Thanks for sharing CHAUNCEY, It was a really nice blog. I do love cats and he reminds me of our Siamese Cat who thought he was a dog. Thanks for a nice memory and a good feeling about cats and MR Chang and CHAUNCEY, Thanks for sharing. Pat in Maine.

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SUEARNOLD1 5/30/2014 9:36PM

    I'm very glad and he's beautiful!

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MJEFFERSON23 5/30/2014 6:29PM

  Glad Chauncey is better!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/30/2014 6:19PM

    So happy to hear this report! Have a great weekend!

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CAROL6X 5/30/2014 5:54PM

    Beautiful cat. I love cats. They each have quite a personality to them.


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