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Fresh new Monday!

Monday, February 06, 2012

I had a pretty decent weekend, all told. Didn't go anywhere, except the grocery store, made good food choices, kept on healing, got extra rest, shoveled snow for exercise, and walked on the treadmill to the Super Bowl on TV.

Now it's Monday morning. Lunch is packed. Breakfast cooked and savored. Coffee at the sip.

What do I need to focus on today? Is it "safe" to be on auto-pilot? Never! Be ever vigilent!

Today's focus will be managing stress at work, as there will be several people in line for my attention. They were already lining up in the e-mails and in-person cube visits on Friday, but I firmly shut all thoughts of them out for the weekend.

Now it time to prioritize and get the most important things done first... and don't forget that at the top of that priority list is taking care of my health: that means taking time to breathe, take those breaks away from the desk and walk, and nurture myself with healthy snacks and meals at appropriate intervals.

For some people this is normal and natural. For me, right now it is habitual, but it never hurts to remind myself of why it's so important to me.

Life's good, my friends! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I've been battling stress at work also. I enjoy my routines like fixing portioned snack and lunches, my exercise routine.It gives me that control I keep feeling I'm loosing.
And in all my ranting, raving and otherwise grumpy talk...I lost 2 lbs in the past few weeks!
That cold was such a killer I think those of us who got it got slammed.
Have a great day!

Comment edited on: 2/7/2012 5:34:10 AM

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SUE_2U 2/6/2012 10:59PM

    You've got your ducks in a row, there!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sometimes we really do not put ourselves first, when we should be. '
Good that you are taking care of yourself.

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KARIDIAN1 2/6/2012 9:11PM

    Keep smiling! Sounds like you have a game plan at least.

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WATERMELLEN 2/6/2012 7:59PM

    Love the idea of Neapolitan oatmeal -- that was always my mother's fave flavour of icecream (bought in the brick and sliced in stripes . . . ).

And: trust you were able to stave off stress at work thanks to your advance planning AND determination. Lots of pent-up demand for your attention after you'd been away itching!! THEY were itching for you to get back, I suspect!!

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_LINDA 2/6/2012 12:47PM

    So glad you know what is really important -yourself and your health. I can see it would be hard to say no to all these people clambering for your attention, but am happy to see you are prioritizing!!
Good work!!

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KNITLEIGH 2/6/2012 11:02AM

    I admire your wonderful steady attitude! Keep up the awesomeness!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZCATHI 2/6/2012 10:21AM

    I definitely believe in prioritizing, but I am surrounded by people who believe that every item in a #1 priority!

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MSLZZY 2/6/2012 9:44AM

    Keeping yourself first is difficult as there are
so many people who want a chunk of your time
and attention. Tend to business, so to speak,
and be a little greedy when it comes to the
"me" time. Less stress and less aggravation.
Keep smiling and SParking!

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KALIGIRL 2/6/2012 8:56AM

    Here's to prioritizing and keeping yourself first!

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Snow business

Sunday, February 05, 2012

I had this cleared off yesterday, to the curbs... but the plow came through and gave me work for today! My arms and back are somewhat tired after yesterday's efforts... but I managed to blast my way through the soft-slushy ridges and go to the grocery store. So now my kitchen is full of healthy options for the week ahead!

Now the plow has been by again, and the place where I drove through before is filled in too.

It's pretty, though, you have to admit that:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 2/6/2012 5:46AM

    The first day of snow is gorgeous, and I even remember enjoying the satisfaction of shoveling snow (to a degree) but... what a mess it becomes, and traffic is a killer! But yes, it is pretty.

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REJ7777 2/6/2012 5:42AM

    Shoveling is hard work! But you're right about the beauty of snow. Especially when it's heavy, sticky snow that sticks to the trees. It can be breathtakingly beautiful in it's beauty and purity. I've often thought of how differently we'd see snow if we could just enjoy the beauty and not have to shovel it... which is NOT the case.

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SINISTRAL 2/5/2012 11:52PM

    Congrats on the fun shoveling! The area, it is definitely beautiful especially as I don't have to see it here. I have to say - I don't miss that! I do have a semi-equivalent job -- I am mowing the lawn year-round :D I second and third the "be careful" wishes; Walk and drive safely!

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COMETER 2/5/2012 10:58PM

    I have to say that I enjoyed my work outside this afternoon, moving snow around--and I expect to move more tomorrow after the second swipe of the plow.

And I liked the fresh air.

Crazy snow thought--those first few inches were HEAVY. Good workout.

Happy Week!

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KARIDIAN1 2/5/2012 8:25PM

    That is what we normally see this time of year in MN. Hardly any snow round this year. We are dealing with the disappointment though.

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FITFABJENN 2/5/2012 6:09PM

    So beautiful. We rarely get snow in my part of Texas, and never like that. We get hurricanes instead.

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MOBYCARP 2/5/2012 4:29PM

    Today in Bible study after church, the minister asked who wanted to live in Nebraska or Colorado? I don't think he expected to hear from someone who would like to live there, but for the job here.

Yeah, the weather there is less than ideal right now. But in a few weeks it will just be pictures and bragging rights.

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SUNNY1432 2/5/2012 4:08PM

    That's a lot of snow. I'm glad that you were able to make it to the store and I hope the re-shoveling isn't too hard. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/5/2012 2:12PM

    It does look pretty with the sun shining, fresh and clean.
Silly snow plow could have moved it somewhere else LOL!
Take care of your back! HUGS!

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ANDI571 2/5/2012 2:00PM

    Very pretty, but you can have it. I like this year of hardly any snow. But winter isn't over yet. I am hoping for the best.

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SUE_2U 2/5/2012 1:56PM

    Snowplows sometimes do seem to just go by and bury us again! Ugh... I hope you don't have to go out much today. Stay warm! Be well.
How are you feeling? I hope you are over your nasty bug. ((((hugs)))

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_LINDA 2/5/2012 1:47PM

    WoW!! Absolutely beautiful and so clean looking!!
Those nasty plows -thought they were supposed to leave clearance for driveways..Its great you get service so quickly though. Even though I live on a bus/snow route, they didn't get to plowing our street until two weeks after the little snow we had, all they were doing was scraping up the ice melt really, but it was nice to see that gone.
Enjoy the view! Wish I had some!!

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NEWKAREN43 2/5/2012 1:33PM

    Oh, it's just gorgeous! I'm sure it's a ton of work, a huge workout too! We haven't had any snow this winter so yours looks especially inviting to me! Just be careful, not only getting around but while you are out shoveling! Blessings!

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Bike ride rescheduled - have to share snow cat photos

Saturday, February 04, 2012

They wimped on the forecast, and rescheduled the frosty bike ride to the 18th. Unfortunately, I won't be able to ride that day, but, it was nice to see there is SOME level of sanity in the organizers.

And this morning, woke to the forecast in progress. The cats have been hilarious. We hadn't had much snow this season, and Patches started chasing snowflakes on the deck.

The Prisoner was less eager to step out on wet cold white stuff.

And once he did, opening the door to take the photos brought him streaking back in.

So today... the workout is most likely clearing walks and drive.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 2/9/2012 1:05AM

    What wonderful pictures! I have cats, actually, they have me!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUE_2U 2/5/2012 6:36AM

    Brrrr! gave me the shivers to just look! But kitty is having a great time! I bet Dexter would, too... but Zola would expect someone to go out and shovel a path so that she could pee without getting her feet too wet. She hates going out in anything but sunshine. Spoiled by the weather, here, I think.
emoticon Don't dispair - Spring is on it's way!

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BARBAELLEN 2/4/2012 11:21PM

    Awwwwwww. So cute!

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SUNNY1432 2/4/2012 11:14PM

    Love the photos!! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 2/4/2012 8:59PM

    Fun pictures of the kids.

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MOBYCARP 2/4/2012 8:40PM

    Love the cat pics; and no, I wouldn't ride a bike in that snow either!

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DEBRITA01 2/4/2012 3:39PM

    Cute photos...I love to watch pets in the snow. Take it easy with the shoveling today! emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/4/2012 2:29PM

    Thank goodness sping is closer now than it was in November.
Enjoy the snow, not the shoveling. We missed out but I think
everyone is okay with that. We'll get ours, eventually! HUGS!

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KALIGIRL 2/4/2012 12:05PM

    IF it ever ends.....
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 2/4/2012 11:46AM

    Cool photos!! Nothing like fresh falling snow and a soft, sparkling carpet of white! Hope its not too heavy and wet to shovel.. Would LOVE to go for a walk in it and be the first to put prints in it :)
Sorry the rescheduled bike ride time isn't convenient for you :(
Enjoy your Winter Wonderland!

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KANOE10 2/4/2012 9:10AM

    The cat pictures are adorable. My cat looks outside at the snow and won't go out. Have a great day.

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ANDI571 2/4/2012 9:01AM

    They are so adorable. MEOW!

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CONCHA77 2/4/2012 8:48AM

    Your cats have gotten so big. Seems like just yesterday they were little. Nice looking. I still haven't had our one cat, Otis, come out of hiding yet. It's been 4 full days :( Our other kitty is playful and we have already bonded. Just wish Otis would join us.
Have a great weekend. Don't hurt your back shoveling that snow. We still don't have much up here. emoticon

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LJCANNON 2/4/2012 8:35AM

    emoticon emoticonSnow and Cats are ALWAYS a Great Combination!! So glad to see that the Bike Ride was rescheduled. You can just do the "Ride" on your own.
Enjoy your Day and your Free Entertainment!! emoticon

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JAYDEE925 2/4/2012 8:25AM

    Cute, cute, cute! I wish we'd get some snow...I just love sled riding and ice skating, and it hasn't even been cold enough to freeze this year.

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MIZCATHI 2/4/2012 8:22AM

    So cute! I love "The Prisoner" name for one of your cats - hilarious!

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Weather and Whether...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Tomorrow a local organization is sponsoring the "Frosty Bike Ride". I will not be riding. First, because of the spots. Second because we're predicted to have 6 to 12 inches of "heavy wet snow". Yuck! I can't think of a worse surface for biking!

Meantime, back at the ranch... made it through an entire work day yesterday. Hope to do the same today. Itchiness gets relatively better or worse, spots fade and intensify... healing is happening, but of course I would prefer it was instantaneous. Patience, Barb, patience.

I am getting in my break walks, but not more... rest is an important element of healing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 2/4/2012 12:33AM

    emoticonThanks for Taking Care of YOU!! The Bike ride sounds Crazy! You will live to ride another day, indeed!!

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KALIGIRL 2/3/2012 11:19PM

    Sorry I haven't been more diligent about checking in...
Do you need anything this weekend?
Just down the street you know and can walk supplies to you - even the girls if they'd bring some joy the kittens haven't provided.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 2/3/2012 11:00PM

    Would think they would cancel the bike ride in that much snow. it just started snowing here in Columbus an hour ago. Hope you are getting better each and everyday!!!

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_LINDA 2/3/2012 1:03PM

    So glad you are getting better, slowly but surely..
6-12 inches of heavy wet snow???? Nothing should be moving in that, let alone a bike ride!! You aren't missing a thing. I hope they do the sensible thing and reset it for another day, better to live to ride another day!!
So now you are done with work and its the weekend. I hope you can find some mental or light physical activity that is fun for you to take your mind off the itchy spots..I would get lost in my online games personally, lose all track of time doing those..
Hope you can enjoy your rest!

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MIZCATHI 2/3/2012 10:43AM

    I hope you heal up soon, but you will, you will. Patience seems to be a theme today!

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MSLZZY 2/3/2012 9:53AM

    When healing becomes instant, I would like to know.
Patience is not one of my virtues but I do try to
practice on it.
Hope the weather doesn't get so bad but I do know
they took us out of the rough stuff and kept it down
south. Hope the next two days aren't so bad.

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KRISZTA11 2/3/2012 8:28AM

    I'm happy you feel well enough to work : )
Biking in snow, that sounds too hard and dangerous for me - I wouldn't do it either.

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KANOE10 2/3/2012 8:11AM

    I would stay out of biking in the snow also. I hope you are healing and that the itching is getting better.
Have a wonderful day. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 2/3/2012 7:46AM

    Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not!

Remember this one? And: patience optional (since we'll weather it anyhow, I suppose). But patience makes it easier if summonsable!!

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LEANJEAN6 2/3/2012 7:40AM

    Oh Barb--I finally got to your blog--I assume you must have an allergy--thus the spots--Hang in ---- You are a hearty exerciser!---I see Kasey is back blogging--- Hava good day Barb!-Lynda

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MAGGIE101857 2/3/2012 7:29AM

    Glad you are on the mend!

Yes, patience is a virtue, and it is hard to listen to it's voice....proud of you that you are listening and making the right choices for you at this time!!! emoticon

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EMGERBER 2/3/2012 7:29AM

    I would not want to bike in the snow either. Take good care of yourself that will guarantee a great a healthy life.

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Recurring theme: don't get cocky!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

You know that old saying that when man plans... God laughs? That seems to be oh, so true in my life, leading to my theme, "don't get cocky". In the face of success, I have to be very careful. Because just about the time I think I'm flying high and have the answers... SOME twist or other shows me how wrong I was!

2011 was a great year in terms of personal health and athletic eventing. Finished that first half marathon, ran a 5K at the end of the season in under 10 minute mile pace... even gathered a couple of gold medals for my age group in some non-mainstream outings. It wasn't such a great year in terms of people I care about: lost a nephew, oh, too young... illness hit a sister, in breast cancer (she's doing very well), and a sister in law in ALS (and she's doing as well as can be expected).

2012 dawned with my having a whole lot of dreams of building on the athletic event side of things: I had joined a gym so I could swim and prepare for a triathlon in the summer. I had hired a personal trainer with a background in triathlon, to help me develop a strength training plan for the same goal. I had "blended" my half marathon and triathlon training plans into something that "looked good to me". And I started executing the plan.

THEN... three weeks ago, I guess it is now... a cold. No biggie, right? A few days off, rest up, start back. Then BAM... sinus infection... misery. Get put on drugs for it, once again start back, with lesser expectations, maybe? Like the plagues of old, not enough! I can hear the emoticon belly laughing. The reaction to the medication. I am actually laughing over it myself... it's like some kind of song or story that's a lesson for us all.

I've had my heart blessed a lot already this year, and it's only Ground Hog's Day! Hopefully, unlike the movie, I won't have to relive this scenario endlessly. The fact that I'm writing this and with perspective, speaks to improvement... I'm itching less (on antihistamines, third day now), and able to talk of things beyond how I personally feel right this minute!

I do think I'll have to reschedule the personal trainer and the blood bank... just to be sure this stuff is behind me. Don't want to alarm the gym rats with a spotted body... they might not understand. emoticon BUT, I can still use my treadmill, right here in my home, without alarming anyone. And that is the plan, starting today... work the whole day, and walk on the treadmill when I get home.

Despite the storms, folks, life IS good. Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 2/3/2012 1:56AM

    There are so many things in life that we don't have control over. Then again, there are a lot of things in life that we do have control over. As the proverb says, "Fall down seven times, get up 8".

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_LINDA 2/2/2012 9:10PM

    As a person who personifies continuous roadblocks to a healthy lifestyle -I would say you have a pretty good grip on things. Just two lessons. Patience. Healing. When the hurts are over, you can resume your training schedule. The earth won't stop when you are sick. You ARE allowed to recover and heal. You actually do NOT have to exercise 24/7 :) Layoffs are a pain, but it makes getting back into it much sweeter :)
May you get back to normal soon!

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    I feel you pain and empathize on all the cr@$p you are going through!

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MRS.DOYLE 2/2/2012 2:42PM

    If someone is laughing at Plan A, time to roll out Plan B...which you are doing.

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SUE_2U 2/2/2012 12:04PM

    You are such an awesomely dedictated person.
I broke out in purple freckles that itched, once, all over my body, from some medication. Inside, too, apparently, as they gave me asthma. Ugh...
I hope you heal up fast from the medicine that was supposed to be healing you! emoticon I am glad it wasn't a worse reaction. Quite bad enough as it is.
emoticon Just take time to heal. Be patient with yourself. You can do this, but it just means a bit of a change in the timing. emoticon Hang in there.

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DEBRA0818 2/2/2012 11:07AM

    Amazing dedication to exercise, Barb! They say where there's a will, there's a way. You have quite a will.

Spark on!


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MSLZZY 2/2/2012 10:26AM

    No matter what, you are still working at it.
Just take good care of yourself and take each
day as it comes. HUGS!

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ANDI571 2/2/2012 10:10AM

    Remember, resting your body when it needs it, is just as important as exercising and eating right. The trick is, to get it moving again when the time is right. Most of the time we give up when we stop. Not you! I have no doubt you will be back to your ole self as soon as you can. In the mean time, know your body is healing itself.


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KARIDIAN1 2/2/2012 10:01AM

    You must have had the same reaction I had. Got spots from a reaction to sulpha.
The more I took the meds, the worse I felt and then the spots appeared.

Glad you are feeling better, but it will take some time to feel 100%.

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MIZCATHI 2/2/2012 10:00AM

    You are such an inspiration to me in all regards, but particularly to taking care of yourself even if it creates a blip in your personal athletic goals! Thanks for your continuing encouragement, too! I want to be just like you when I'm 60, only 2.5 years away!

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WATERMELLEN 2/2/2012 7:53AM

    You know you have the self discipline and drive to resume vigorous workouts as soon as humanly possible: so you can afford to be flexible and kind to yourself. Love your self-deprecating humour: a key survival skill!!

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BUGGYS 2/2/2012 7:33AM

    Listen to your body, Barb and ease back into your workout routine slowly...your body has needed the rest to heal itself! With your determination and gutsto, I'm sure you'll be back in the thick of things before you know it! emoticon

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    I've had that kind of reaction to meds, too...broke out in hives. Hope you're feeling better soon!

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