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A Healthy Day at the State Fair?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Yesterday my husbnd and I went with my stepdaughter and grandchildren to the Virginia State Fair. What a terrific day. The children loved the rides the best, of course. I remember how great it felt to be given the freedom to go into the ride section of the fair with $10 for the afternoon! Rides aren't unsupervised anymore, at least not with an 8 and an 11 year old, but still.

My daughter made this collage of pictures from the day. Note the one with me and the grands in front of "Porky's." Now a fair is not a place that features healthy food, but you know we did well enough with well cooked pork sandwiches and for me, a fan of a hot dog in a pinch, a hot dog. I added sauerkraut and gave myself a serving of vegetables. Ha! And then there was all that walking. Do you see where this is going? Who says the gym is the only healthy place around (-:

And as always, I wish I got calorie credit for all the things I did not eat. Fried Oreos? Yikes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDLEAR 9/30/2014 1:45AM

    I never miss my state fair, they're too much fun.
I'm glad that you got to share that with your GC.

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DALID414 9/29/2014 9:25PM

    No corn on the cob?

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MM11113 9/29/2014 6:08PM

    I haven't been to the fair in 20 years, sounds like a great time!

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KELLIEBEAN 9/29/2014 9:51AM

    How fun and major kudos for passing up the fried oreos. Not sure I could have.

Way to stay healthy at the fair. Great pictures!


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    Looks like a great day!!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/29/2014 7:41AM

    Making healthier choices at a state fair deserves some kind of special award. A great model for your grandchildren too.

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KANOE10 9/29/2014 7:32AM

    Looks like a fun state fair. Deep fried oreos..yikes. Hot dogs and sauerkraut was a better choice.


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JAROL7 9/29/2014 7:30AM

    Healthy ... State Fair? Sounds like an oxymoron. Way to go.

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GARDENCHRIS 9/29/2014 7:25AM

    State fairs are fun.... i wrote a blog on my state fair and the food also.

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Add Fun to My 'To Do' List? Really?

Friday, September 26, 2014

I got a suggestion yesterday (in an on-line class) to look at my 'to do' list for the day, to scratch half of it and add one item of "fun." It could be anything. Sticking a flower in a vase, drawing a picture, painting my nails...

I realized how my original list--which was, by the way, in my head and not written down-- was one of 'obligations.' There was a bill to pay, a stack of paper to organize, an exercise session to get in, etc. When I tried to think of 'fun' I was (I am embarrassed to say this) STUMPED.

I stewed about this question off and on all day. Finally after dinner I came up with the idea of doing a 'night walk," with my husband. We held hands and bumped along on our country road. (No worries, it's in a safe community place). We ran into a neighbor who was driving out to run an errand. She said we were nuts! (But I also thought she looked a teensy, weensy bit jealous...) It was then I realized how unique JUST HAVING FUN is in my much too serious life.

It felt great to be called NUTS (-: And I'm still thinking about that sweet walk in the dark.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 9/30/2014 6:54AM

    Oh this is SO cool. I am going to do exactly this every day too!

In fact - I did it last night. After a horrendous day I came home (with take out fried chicken,no less!) and as the sky turned golden behind the clouds I called to Himself and said "come out here with me and hold my hand in this glow"

And he did.

And it filled my heart.

I love it that when we thought of fun we thought of our Himselves.

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KANSASROSE67 9/28/2014 8:41PM

    I really, really need to remember this. I get cranky and want to turn to junk food when I haven't had any "fun" in my day. Glad you came up with such a great idea!

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NAYIME 9/27/2014 4:41PM

    Fun is what brings forth laughter; and laughter is good medicine for the soul, and incorporating it each day is a blessing especially when you have your loved one with you to share it, so continue to embrace it! emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/27/2014 3:11PM

    That's perfect! Remember when there was joy in movement, back when we were kids. It was called PLAY. We still need to take time to play. Good for you - both of you!

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DALID414 9/27/2014 9:29AM

    Being 'normal' is overrated!!

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WALKIN4JEANIE 9/27/2014 6:26AM

    Great blog! I love the idea of putting fun on the to-do list....there are days when I don't even want to THINK about the to do list! What a great way to make sure you are not "all work and no play!" I don't know which class you are taking, but it sounds like a good one!

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MAREE1953 9/27/2014 6:17AM

    Great blog, Toni. I went through a program several years ago which included methods to keep your life in balance, with one element being to spend one hour a day doing something that brings you joy. Could be playing the piano, reading, meditation, prayer...whatever! Reconnect with the real you! Here's to JOY in your day (or night, tee hee)!

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SEATTLE58 9/26/2014 7:17PM

    I love it and emoticon to add a little spice to the marriage at the same time! When I have to go to town for a part or supplies for the farm or whatever the errand would be that's not full of fun, I make sure that I take a few minutes to stop somewhere where I could go in and browse for fun, so I don't have to call it a plain ole' errand! emoticon Sometimes there's no time to spare and then I'd just sing to the radio and live it up. We can always find fun in most things and other things are best left serious. emoticon

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MM11113 9/26/2014 4:22PM

    Never put FUN on a list, but I try to have fun doing my job. Gosh, I am so serious all the time, but I do get a kick out of work most days!

Now to apply that around the house. Only one more week of full time.

Do you suppose there is a FUN way to clean the bathrooms?

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KELLIEBEAN 9/26/2014 8:10AM


One of my favorite movie lines is from Rumor Has It. Kevin Costner's character says something like "Life has to be a little nuts sometimes otherwise it's just a bunch of Thursdays all strung together."

So great that you made your Thursday a little nuts!


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KANOE10 9/26/2014 7:35AM

    That was a lovely blog. Walking with your husband is definitely fun and so enjoyable. Yes, it is all too easy to get focused on what we have to do, and what we should do instead of what we enjoy doing.


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FUZZYBEEZ 9/26/2014 7:33AM

    Good job of adding fun. I need to take your advice and add some fun to my day also.

And I don't think you are nuts at all for doing a night time walk, just be sure to wear something reflective so no real Nut runs into you please.

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SANDICANE 9/26/2014 7:17AM

    Hear hear!!! Cheers to fun EVERY DAY!!!!

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GARDENCHRIS 9/26/2014 7:14AM

    do something "fun" everyday!

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Maintaining as Summer Departs and Fall and Winter Arrive

Thursday, September 18, 2014

As September moves all too quickly toward October I am thinking about fall and winter weight gain. It is tempting to cling to the lovely fruit and veggie meals of summer, but I noticed lately that local peaches and nectarines have lost their healthy texture and flavor. And yes, the markets where I live have summer fruits all winter, but for me, it is not the same.
I ate a wonderful apple today for a snack. It crackled when I bit in. It was juicy and close to divine.

I need to remember that it itís not the switch to apples, from berries and plums that will derail my maintenance; it is the strudels, the muffins, and the tempting au gratins. These fall favorites can lead me far from my healthy intentions.

I like fall clothes. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where a wool jacket worked most of the year. But here in Virginia the seasonal changes are a bit more dramatic. Iíve got clothes to layer up for fall and winter walks. Iím digging out my gloves this week for the day I will need them. This is prevention. I want to be ready so I have no excuse when the winds pick up, and the rain and snow come.

Itís important for me to look ahead and be ready to embrace whatís next. But in the meantime, Iím heading to my mailbox to pick up our mail. Iím going barefoot. For today itís still summertime!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDICANE 9/23/2014 10:06PM

    Lovely blog to get us thinking about winter foods and how to handle them! And I LOVE that you went bare-foot today! Yepper, it ws beautiful here too. Just love this weather!

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KANOE10 9/19/2014 9:26AM

    Your feet are too cute with that nail polish. It is good prevention to plan ahead for the fall. I am walking with gloves also. We can make it through the fall in a healthy way.

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DALID414 9/18/2014 11:26PM

    I can't get into the thought of Fall just yet, we are just getting over a heat wave!

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BETRHO48 9/18/2014 10:40PM

    emoticon Thanks for such a lovely blog and for the reminder to be careful when switching from one treat to another.

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KELLIEBEAN 9/18/2014 2:52PM

    Thanks for the reminder to mentally prepare for fall and winter. You have a great attitude.

I hear they are calling for the same brutal winter this year in the midwest like we had last year. Not sure I can handle that but I'm a Sparker, I will face it head on!


I love your toes.

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GORIANA 9/18/2014 12:34PM

    It sounds like a good plan for today and tomorrow.

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JANTHEBLONDE 9/18/2014 11:43AM

    I love your positive attitude going into the winter months! There are lots of delicious winter vegetables! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love,

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SEATTLE58 9/18/2014 11:18AM

    Good for you. It's so smart to be so mindful of what lies ahead and those comfort foods that abound because of the colder weather. I know too, about more cooler temps. in the Pacific Northwest and how that Minnesota is alot cooler!! And Virginia too! We will bear whatever lies ahead and come out winning in the Spring!! Thanks for your good example!! Hugs, Karen

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Remembering 9-11

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thinking of this date as my husband and I travel to NYC today to visit our son who works in Brooklyn. He was in elementary school in a Washington DC suburb the day the towers were hit and the Pentagon as well. We live close enough to the Pentagon to have had our house shake. He does not remember much about that day.

We have an older daughter who changed her fitness goals after 9-11. She realized she could not have carried people out of the towers, and it bothered her.

We had another son who lived in NY and would have been under the towers in a subway, except that he was lucky enough to be late to work that day.

Our lives have changed in so many ways since that time, but we are also--many of us--still safe and living privledged lives. My husband and I are active in a group called Interfaith Youth Corps. It promotes an understanding between and among religions to celebrate the values that all major religins all hold in common.

Feeling grateful. Reminding myself to keep working, praying and acting for a better world.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIEBEAN 9/11/2014 9:05PM

    How frightening how close you and your family were to such a tragedy!

Tragedies can make us appreciate what we have. I agree, we should never forget!


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JANTHEBLONDE 9/11/2014 1:12PM

    We can never forget 911! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your son today! Sending you you lots of hugs! xoxo
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICKEYH 9/11/2014 12:02PM

    Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 9/11/2014 9:40AM

    emoticon We will never forget

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SEATTLE58 9/11/2014 7:39AM

    Yes, remembering is what we're doing today. How could we ever forget? Wow, you were close enough to the situation. Scary! With living in MN, we were scared too, and I think everybody was, wherever they were. To tell you the truth, my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary when it hit and for the rest of the day we didn't think of our anniversary as much as we thought of whether we were going to get hit somehow in our area too! Such a horrible, horrible feeling and we sure feel for all those living today, who were affected at any aspect. We celebrate our 33rd anniversary today! Yay for us, we made it through so many ups and downs and are going strong! Have a good day. emoticon

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KANOE10 9/11/2014 7:39AM

    I love the Interfaith Youth Group. What a great organization. Thanks for the reminder. We all need to remember 9-11 and to focus on having a better life. I am glad you are visiting your son.

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WENDYSPARKS 9/11/2014 7:34AM


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RIDLEYRIDER 9/11/2014 7:32AM

  Thank you for the reminders of how grateful we should be to be alive, well, and living where we do.

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It's the Little Things: Playing with my Spices

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Twice a year I go through my spices and organize, re-alphabetize (no one in my house, including me seems to consistently put spices back where they belong!!) and evaluate my spice rack.

Spices get old and stale and need to be tossed. This project helps me decide I'm never going to use something and toss it out: today it was dried basil. It is so readily available fresh now, and dried basil doesn't work the same way at all. I'm not going to use it anymore. I feel the same way about cilantro. Fresh is a whole different thing.

I'm all ready to cook now! When I open the doors to my spice storage area I feel like an artist, with a full selection of colorful alternatives.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 9/2/2014 6:23AM

    Beautiful. I will be doing the same next week - when someone is away. LOL. Deep cleaning is best done alone.

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GRAMMYX7 8/29/2014 11:34AM

    Wow! What a beautiful spice cabinet. I love to cook and use spices for added flavor. I recently put all my spices in 2 stackable containers, one for small bottles and one for larger bottles and alphabetized mine. Made a trip to Penzey's for fresh bottles of some of the older ones I tossed. You are so right that some spices are better fresh.

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JACKIEWALKS4FUN 8/29/2014 9:16AM

    A reminder to me to do this. Yours looks great emoticon

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KANOE10 8/29/2014 8:09AM

    I love spices. I did that yhis summer...went through and got rid of old spices. You look very organized.


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SUSANNAH31 8/29/2014 5:46AM

    What a worthwhile project. Spicing up food in different ways is something I like to do.

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TUDAFD 8/29/2014 12:06AM

    I love this -- wish I had one although I finally found space to hang the spice rack my hubby made so that should help. :)

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DALID414 8/28/2014 11:12PM

    That is an impressive spice nook!

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KELLIEBEAN 8/28/2014 9:21PM

    THAT is a thing of beauty. I'm jealous. I have to agree with you on the cilantro and basil. Nothing like the fresh stuff!

I was out of fresh basil the other day so I sprinkled dried basil over my tomato slices and mozzarella cheese and it just wasn't the same.

I bow down to you!

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AMARILYNH 8/28/2014 3:09PM

    Wow - that is one IMPRESSIVE spice cabinet! You are indeed ready to cook!! emoticon

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/28/2014 1:06PM

    Your pantry looks absolutely awesome! Way to go girl! You did a fabulous job! I think you should come over to my house and organize my spices! :-) :-) I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 8/28/2014 11:51AM

    very organised!

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WIFE48 8/28/2014 11:45AM

    I am impressed with your organized spice cupboard. emoticon

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 8/28/2014 11:34AM


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SEATTLE58 8/28/2014 11:20AM

    Wow, it looks like you're a good organizer! Can you come to do mine now? emoticon I think that I get it all good and organized and then it seems so rinky too! Ha! It is a good feeling to know where everything is. emoticon I love it! emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/28/2014 11:15AM

    I love spices too and what a great idea to re-organize them 2 x a year so we remember what we have!!!

Have fun cooking and I love your cabinet toooooooo!

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DOING-IT4ME 8/28/2014 11:12AM

    I like your cabinet - I desperately need a true spice cabinet in my house. My spices are always a mess, I have to pull have of them out of the cabinet to find the one I'm looking for!

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