Thursday, September 15, 2011
Changing weather is harking the beginning of Fall. We will still have the occasional warm, even hot days, but now they will be a rarity. With cooler weather out comes the frisky in animals and people! Along with it comes the instinctive urge for warm foods and aromas to fill the house in the evenings.
For me, that means stocking up on good veggies to make soups. I love a cabbage / tomato based soup... add beans or lentils, quinoa, or brown rice... and you're getting a pretty complete meal for not a lot of calorie buck!
Cooler weather also means I might want to warm up the house with my oven: now's the time to be baking that potato or yam, using the regular oven to heat up that fish filet or roast a chicken breast. So many healthy options to choose among and still feed the soul as it prepares for Winter ahead.
What's your favorite Fall food, and how are YOU planning to make it healthy?
Life's good... Spark on!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Not being able to take the withdrawal from e-mail and Spark, I dusted off the old computer and brought it out of the basement to feed my addiction. The internet is really, really slow on the old machine, but I'm typing in Notepad and will copy and paste it.
On the way home from work tonight, I placed my order for a new laptop. Been wanting one for a while, as in ever since my kid swiped my last for for college in 2003, was it?
This machine hasn't been used since 2007, according to one piece of software that I updated. Woo-hoo! Here's to backup plans.
In about a week, I hope to be back up to speed! In the meantime, given the speed of this one, don't expect a lot of pictures or even text from this end. This old thing feels like the computer in hotel lobbies!
Life's still good... and I can deal with whatever it brings!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
OK, I've been having computer issues, so much so that I could not get online this morning when I usually Spark and blog! So... if I disappear for a while, it is because it completely fried and I haven't got the backup plan in place yet!
As has become a pattern here in the "retirement red zone", every time something breaks, I carefully consider whether I will replace it. Remember my fantasy blog last year about possibly giving up having a car? Anybody who does gets extra brownie points for longevity as a reader of my blogs!
So, this morning's fantasy was how I would live if I gave up the computer! It did not take long for me to realize that this is not truly an option for me. While I can fantasize about going to the library for internet and e-mail... let's face it, for many of us, e-mail, FaceBook, SparkPeople... have kind of become the telephone of our generation!
So, with that realization in mind, I'm starting to look at replacement options. I downgraded my cell phone last year... perhaps this is the year I downgrade the computer! And in the meantime, hope I'll still be Sparking along.
Speaking of Spark... I've found this amazing book that is named "Spark" but *isn't* Chris Downey's book... it's a book on the mind-body connection... from the point of view of exercise helping your brain stay healthy! As if feeling good and being more fit were not reward enough in itself, Dr. John J. Ratey, M.D., the author, cites all kinds of scientific research that shows it fights mental illness and helps us learn better!
Who knew? I've always thought of mind-body being things like Yoga and meditation... it's aerobic exercise, too!
Life's good. Spark on!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Cool, a little chilly before the 8 a.m. start of the Buffalo Run. This is in a hilly park, locally, and the distance is 5 miles. I am not particularly confident of my ability to run at this distance, have been waffling over whether / how much to walk in the midst of jogging, and had even given myself permission to walk the whole way.
But... this is one of those races where the "real runners" show up, and the competitor in me gets awakened... kind of want to test myself against them. I found Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) before the race, and her husband was running, as well. I started out with her, walked the first four minutes by my watch, to get a good warm up, but then felt impelled to start using the gravity of the downhill slope to increase my pace, especially since there were slow joggers in front of us that I probably could have walked past (Deanna did).
At mile one, I was blown away by the time of 11 minutes (they had folks with stop watches at each mile, telling off the times as runners passed). I found my natural inclination had me running 7 minutes before I dropped to a recovery walk for one... the amount of time jogging reduced over the course of the race, but the walking recoveries remained about a minute each. I mostly ran the downhills, slow jogged the uphills, and did my recovery walks on flat (OK, on one uphill, too, let's be honest).
In the end (which was uphill to a short flat), I crossed with the gun clock reading 51 minutes and change. Woo-hoo... I *did* blow away my anticipated time of 11 minute miles. (Official time for 5 miles was 50:21, or a 10:05 pace per mile.) Remember I said the "real runners" show up for this one? The winner in my age/gender group had an 8:35 pace... and that was not even a record for the race. Good for her! I was 8th in my age/gender group. Felt great!
Next outing: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, on October 2nd.
After the race - Me and Deanna:
After the race - Deanna and her hubby:
Saturday, September 10, 2011
This has truly been a chopped up week. I let stuff get to me on Monday and had a fatigued, lazy, anxious, grazing day. Tuesday I handled things better, getting back into my program and pepping myself up. Had a dental appointment that morning, and work is going crazy, so a part of me stresses over even time off for health care.
Wednesday I broke a tooth, requiring a second dental visit. He took care of the broken tooth, thankfully not needing to put on a crown. Almost as soon as I was done with that and put my stuff away at work, it was back across town to be extra ears for my sister at the Cancer center.
The decision she'd been struggling with was taken out of her hands by the recommendation of the doctor we were talking with... his recommendation for her continued therapy was clear, it does not include the option she would have to fight the insurance company over... because of something in her pathology. So... thanks for all the prayers for guidance and wisdom... looks like they worked! Another layer of stress removed.
Back to work only to get faced with a challenge to another project that I had thought was going well. More stress, and a choppy day. But I had done my bit... I had written my pep talk to myself, and I was mentally prepared.
The work bottom line is that I've decided I need to go to work today. I did find an important code bug, and fixed it, but testing turned up another misinterpretation of a requirement on Friday. It is in code someone else wrote, but that coder is not available, having been moved onto another priority. I had not resolved it by end of business yesterday. I wisely came home and got a good night's sleep.
Today, I pick up my race packet for the Buffalo run tomorrow. I may just end up walking the whole thing, and that's OK. After I get my race packet, I will go to work, to catch up on status reports and maybe give that second implementation problem a look. If I get it, OK, if not, I've given it a shot.
And tomorrow? I have a great Autumn Day for a morning walk in the park, and quite possibly a distant view of the air show. We've got the Blue Angels here for the weekend!
Life is good... I am determined... let us all Spark on!
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