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VONBLACKBIRD's Recent Blog Entries

Time for a size change

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I know that losing weight is going to take some time. I didn't get this way overnight. And I've not done bad. With Sprakpeople's help I've lost almost 30 pounds and am much healthier than I've been in some time. But I look in the mirror at times and still see me as this larger size. I grew up skinny and didn't get the "heavies" until I was in my 30's and so in my mind eye I think of me as still thinner. But then when I see my real self in the mirror I realize I still have a ways to go. I've not lost any pounds for almost a month now but last 2 days I've weighed and show a 2 pound loss. To me in the mirror it still doesn't show. But I did get a boost today. I have been noticing my jeans bagging. So I decided today was a good day to reward myself with a new pair. I am down 1 size and almost another. Well it is what I really needed for a good boost. So here is my goal and plan.

I want to be down by at least another size by Christmas. It will be icing on the cake if I'm 2 sizes down.
I plan to keep on the low end of the calorie range...above 1200 but below 1300 if at all possible.
I have been walking but haven't done any core exercises. (I just hate exercising). So I plan to add the toning core exercises I need. Starting small and adding to it as my body adjusts.
I am also going to add 3-10minutes of dancing per day.
I'm also going to look into yoga lessons or dig out the old yoga tapes and use them more often.

I'm more determined than ever to get back in shape now. And with everyone here at Sparkpeople I will succeed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOTHEROFANGELS3 9/21/2008 7:21PM

    Congrats on the losses and the new jeans, that is a very motivational move now you will want to work twice as hard.

You have an excellent plan laid out and I see you moving forward making progressive step after another.

Way to go!

Char emoticon

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Whiny Americans

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm not a great fan of Jay Leno but I found something he had written which was pretty profound. I'm putting it here but not in entirely all that was said.

"'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President.

In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

D. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here."

There was quite a bit more that I won't bore you with but I have to whole hardily agree with him on this.
Today while in town, I noticed that the gas stations had upped their price per gallon by 75cents from just yesterday and also many stations had run out and had their pumps covered. I ran in to get milk and felt so blest that our shelves were still stocked with food and then came home to realize that we are truly blest. We don't live in a fancy mansion but we have a house that is paid for, food in our freezer, a generator if the power goes out, wood heater to heat our house if needed, fresh spring well water to drink, nice clothes to wear, phones to call out on, and computer and tv to keep us entertained. What more do we need. Just to be more mindful of our blessings and give the One who provide these things a great big THANKS!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBBJORNBE 9/15/2008 12:59PM

    Dear friend,
You have it so right! I wouldn't want to be any place else. There was an article in our paper yesterday ( I live in CA) about people retiring in Mexico beacause it's 30 % cheaper to live there. My hubby and I think their nuts. Al least twice in our lives they've taken over property owned by foriegners. If you live down there you can't work either.

I'm getting more inclined as I grow older to realize there is no place like home and I am so glad God gave me this one.

You have a great day counting your blessings! And I will too, friend!

DebbB emoticon

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PUNKIN165 9/15/2008 10:52AM

    LOVE that, TY for sharing that one so I can pass it on :)Diana

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MOOGIEBEE 9/13/2008 5:35PM

    We do have so much.... Thanks for posting this. The little poorly insulated apartment that I live in is a mansion to someone somewhere.

Gratitude has given my heart and soul wings... you are right there is so much to be thankful for.

Also I like to remember to: "Be the change I want to see" - Ghandi


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ANTEEKER 9/12/2008 9:47PM

    Hi Thanks for posting.. I too want to know who all these unhappy
Americans are?

My family worked hard and struggled to come to this great country asking for nothing more than the oppurtunity to achieve the best they could..

An American Flag flys proudly in front of my home God Bless America emoticon

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Rants from a Former Teacher

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Something on one of my teams prompted me to write this rant.

I'm on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to schools. As a former teacher of 25+ years I can see the teacher's points of view and as a mother and not a grandmother of children who have gone through or are going through the system today I can see the parents' points of view. I have seen the stupidity of some teacher ans many have the mentality that it all has to be their way and their point of view or not at all. Example:

My oldest granddaughter at 13 loves reading and English. This year she has an absolutely terrible teacher. I taught with this teacher a few years ago and know a little of her teaching style and she is not "A Teacher". She and my granddaughter have gone round and round. Our GD has been taught to be a free thinker and bless her, she stands her ground on some things she believes is right. This GD has good character and can read people pretty well. She tells her mother or me everything that goes on at school and she does not lie and even hates liars. But she speaks her mind just like all the women in our family. She is stuggling this year mainly with just this teacher because this teacher won't give an inch.

The middle granddaughter has been blest this year with a man teacher who is one of the best I've seen. (heavens forbid..he doesn't give homework) But he is a hands on teacher and this GD loves everything about school this year. These two teachers are as far apart as night and day.

Teachers today "teach to the test" rather than giving the kids real learning experiences. They are so busy teaching the test and testing shills (which are important but not everything) that the kids are feeling the stress from this. They have no spare time to just be kids. There recess time has been cut back to maybe 30 minutes a day and that is usually at noon. Then they come home to so much homework that after they work on their home work they have little time but to eat and bath and go to bed. And the schools wonder why kids act out so much. They need an outlet. Then on the other hand, many parents like to occupy their kids time so much with activities (think so they don't have to have interaction them) that it is no wonder kids are so stressed out. We also wonder why our kids are getting fatter and fatter. Stress, no exercise and in such a rush that families have to get take out so much. Kids today just do not have the time or energy to just be a kid anymore. I can remember riding my bike for hours or roller skating on the sidewalks. I can remember our sons spending hours on the trampoline or riding their bikes or building forts or treehouses. Today I don't see that with kids. Whose fault is it. Both!!! We need to give kids more time to be kids and time to enjoy the school experiences. Think of the experiences you remember in school. They were either the worst experience in life or the most fun. Today they only remember the worst. Let's let kids be kids awhile.
On another note, while teaching I had a long talk with my principal and he said today high schools are now designed as a preparation for college. There are so many who fall through the cracks because they aren't given a training for when they leave school. Not all kids are college material but yet we don't provide any training that they can take with them when they leave...something that they can use. Tell me how many of you have used algebra or trig or chemistry. Sure there are those scientist who have used these but everyday joes....
Enough rant!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLI_MAE 9/9/2008 12:46PM

    Keep on keepin' on, Barb! And why are teachers teaching for the numbers on the standardized tests? I'm guessing because they are forced to do it by the superintendents and beyond them, the local mayors & state governors who want to be able to take credit for scores improving when it comes to re-election time.

I also wonder if the "new" educational theorists who began writing when we were beginning to study to become certified teachers messed around with something that wasn't broken to begin with, and now those theories have had many years to grow and take over.

I had an argument with a neighbor who thought that I would support some of them regarding a referendum that failed here for funds to tear down a perfectly good school building so they could re-build it (I suppose because of my backround). Well she was very disappointed when I asked her hadn't she noticed that 90% of our property taxes already go to the schools in this district, and that all these years of pumping more & more money in and seeing less and less in return, that maybe SOME problems we have with our schools today are problems that no amount of money can fix?

It occurred to me later that -- oh, duh -- her and her husband live free of charge in that house, because her father bought it for them, they've never paid him back, and he's also paying the property taxes on the place while they are merrily running it into the ground & not even doing basic cleaning. They and their children would be healthier and cleaner living in a pig sty (& I do mean that very literally -- yecch)!

Ooooppps ... now I am ranting emoticon But you are right ... something is way off, and it's more than just one thing.


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WATOGA17 9/9/2008 9:12AM

    Our system is clearly "broken". It truly has become about the test and not about the student. It is a sad thing.


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ANYALEA 9/7/2008 3:18PM

    I am a sub teacher and totally agree with you so RANT ON. We need more teachers and parents to rant on this subject more often.

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Why Women Should Vote

Friday, September 05, 2008

Regardless of your party affiliation get out and vote...


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and g asping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

HBO's has a new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that we could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have our say. Are we ashamed to say we need the reminder.

All these years later, voter registration should still be our passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal and more rote. Frankly,voting often feels more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it is inconvenient.

. 'One thought should come to us 'What would those women think of the way we use, or don't use, our right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.'
HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.
We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.

History is being made.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATOGA17 9/6/2008 9:21AM

    Oh Barbara, you are amazing!

As I began reading your blog, I thought, "I have to respond to this by telling everyone to rent the movie IRON-JAWED ANGELS". Then there it was, suggested by you! I own that movie. It is a must-see for all women of all ages.

You are absolutely right. Voting is not just a privilege, it is a responsibility to ourselves, our children, our predecessors, our country.



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CARLI_MAE 9/5/2008 11:52PM

    Yahoo! Hey, Barb ... I edited it a bit and posted it on our team ... did I do good? It's also been posted on 2 other teams. Lots of folks say they're going to try to rent or buy the dvd.

Like that old Joni Mitchell song ... 'Yellow Taxi' ... "don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?" ... when we don't put our rights to use, we endanger them! emoticon fantastic find! emoticon

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ANYALEA 9/5/2008 11:05PM

    AMEN!!! Thank you so much for reminding us that we should vote. We the women do make a difference as long as we take a vote. Thanks.

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After Gustov

Thursday, September 04, 2008

We were finally able to really get out and view the river and all. Our road was washed out at the far end. But not much traffic there anyway and most can detour around on another road. The river was up to the bottom of the bridge but I've seen it over the bridge at times. Sonny got out yesterday in his muck boots and dug out the drainage culvert that the road crews had accidentally filled in this summer in their side of the road grading. It drained the bottom of the garden out. But today no rain, but no sun either. I'm ready for some sun!!!

Today was our annual dentist visit. And like I thought I'm going to have a cap done Oct 10th. I really need 2 but one hits a hole in the pocket book so will have to wait on the other until next year. I knew there was a weak tooth there but didn't realize there were 2 cracked ones. Usually they don't give me problems until they break off. I told him I needed a matching set. He just attributed it to getting cavities filled in the 1960's in that they put huge ones in then that weakened the teeth. Also he said jaw breakers didn't help much chomping on them and ice as a kid...of which I did both growing up as he did too. I really like my dentist. I don't like having the work done but like him as a person.
After this wild week, I'm hoping for a calm restful day tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATOGA17 9/6/2008 9:42AM


What a photo! Mother nature is an amazing thing!

Good luck with that cap.


Comment edited on: 9/6/2008 9:39:50 AM

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