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50+ For All Newsletter

April 2008

Team History
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008

April gets its name from the Latin for 'to open' (probably)



First of all, Catherine (who did the recipes) and Jenna (who kept track of Anniversaries) have decided not to continue with the newsletter - is it because I smell of wet dog? Seriously, I thank them for all of their good work. I'll try to keep track of the Anniversaries myself for now, but does anybody want to take over the job of providing the newsletter with recipes?
Also, I just want to mention that Ellen and Kim have been invaluable this month, performing above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you, babes.
Now, lets clear up that 'probably' above - the name of April is derived from the Latin 'aprilis', EITHER from the Latin word 'aperire' which means 'to open', probably a reference to growing plants in spring, OR from the Etruscan name 'Apru' for 'Aphrodite'. The month was dedicated to her.
Sparkychums, this month's newsletter is a bumper issue! Apart from the regular features such as birthdays and recipes, we also have items about quotes from signatures, praise for members' achievements, a lovely report on members get-togethers, some fascinating info from Jenna on binges, and a poll of 50+ For All members on a burning issue of the month. There's so much here I'm surprised the interweb thingy can cope!
I hope you all enjoy the read. And remember (puts serious, but floppy, hat on), don't pull an April Fool prank that you wouldn't mind having done on yourself. This way everyone can enjoy the day. And, if in doubt, then don't do it. Because hurting someone's feelings is no joke at all.

"When things go wrong, don't go with them" Elvis Presley
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!
"The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting" Andy Warhol
Friends are like chocolate ......... one is never enough.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" Lao-tzu
"When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane."
Don't let today's mistakes travel into tomorrow. Spend your time wisely as there are no refunds.
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
You wouldn't worry so much what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they do!

Things are not what they seem, they are what they are.



A section where we can celebrate and enjoy the success stories of our Fifty Plus For All friends!

Helen (HELENGMORRIS) says "My Easter day was great when the suit I had planned to wear to our Church Service, was so big, even my hubby said I needed to find something else, and even the other dress was big - wore it anyway... Also I have lowered my total cholesterol in a year's time from 243 (1 yr ago) to 229 (5 months ago) to 174 on the 3rd of this month..I made the choice not to take the cholesterol lowering drugs, and try to lower it with diet and exercise...AND I DID IT..."
UMUCGRAD had her last cigarette in April 2003, and her total weight loss since Aug 2006 is 64 lbs. Her BP, cholesterol, glucose levels are all now in normal/healthy range. She gave up candy, cola and pies for Lent and has no desire to take them back! Wow, no candy since February!
Susan (SUSAN5599) says "Me...I hate tooting my own horn. Well, since 2003 when I weighed 175 I've lost 40 pounds and I'm heading into my last goal phase to get to 130 pounds where my doctor wants me to be. My cholesterol is now 146, and I'm relatively sane most of the time now. I've cut my wine consumption down to almost none and I'm thoroughly enjoying standing on one leg, closing my eyes, and then touching my nose". (Wombat is enjoying this mental image)
Di (HENRYSMOM0215) says "I'm celebrating 18 months of sobriety this weekend, little did I know when I gave up alcohol i'd drop 90 lbs!"
Helen (HRDWLBY) says "I'm finally fitting into some size 12 pants and jeans. Last August I was in size 16. I'm also able to wear some Medium tops, especially with the clothes I order from QVC and HSN".
Linda (YOSOYLINDA) says "It's great to be out of the W ("wide") clothes, for sure, but I'm not quite into the regular sizes in a lot of clothes. So, a few more pounds are definitely in order!"
Deb (LADYPI) says "You all have inspired me to continue on. Sunday I will have been free of smoking for 6 months !! Funny I joined SP to lose a little weight. Never even thought about stopping smoking !!"
Sharyn (SUG@RPANTS) says "Today I can blow my trumpet. I went to our heated pool yesterday & apart from doing 30 mins of exercising in the water ....... I swam the length of the pool. It is a 50 metre pool so I have no idea what that is in your measurements but it is a standard olympic size."


Birthstone for April
April Flower
"She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow."

The April birthstone poem above reflects some of the properties with which the Diamond is associated - enhancing relationships and increasing inner strength. The traditional metaphysical properties for the diamond are supposed to be balance, clarity and abundance. The healing properties of diamonds are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to brain diseases and the pituitary glands. Some say that the diamond is also used to draw out toxins and therefore can be used as a remedy for poison. The traditional colour associated with the Diamond is white, or colourless, and it is strongly favoured as a popular gem in jewellery. The word 'diamond' is derived from the Greek word "adamas" ("hardest metal") which reflects the property of the stone. The diamond is a precious stone or gem excelling in brilliancy and renowned for the beautiful play of prismatic colours, and further remarkable for its extreme hardness. The diamond as found in nature (called a rough diamond) is then cut for use in jewellery (an extremely skilled job), into various forms with many reflecting facets, by which its brilliancy is much increased. The crystal structure of the diamond is Isometric.

The April Birth Flower is the Sweet Pea. The language of flowers developed during the highly conservative period of the Victorian era. Many Victorians were strongly restricted by the rules of etiquette, and it was considered totally inappropriate to express feelings of love or affection. The "Language of Flowers" therefore evolved when a message was assigned to specific flower such as the Sweet Pea. A lover could then send flowers which conveyed a hidden romantic meaning. The meaning of the April Birth Flower, the Sweet Pea, is Good-bye or Blissful Pleasure. The HIDDEN message of the Sweet Pea, so favoured during the Victorian era, was "Thank You for a Lovely Time". The colours of the Sweet Pea are extremely varied because so many varieties have been developed. Sweet Peas therefore come in a huge mix of soft colours and bi-colours. The Sweet Pea is a climbing garden plant having fragrant pastel-coloured flowers. The scientific name of a flower species is formed by the combination of two terms: the genus name and the species descriptor - in the case of the Sweet Pea this is Lathyrus ('pea') Odoratus ('fragrant'). The flower originated in Italy in the 17th century.

LET THEM EAT CAKE ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ birthdays by Ellen


RMBEAR (Rose Marie)-5th
HRDWLBY (Helen)-6th
MAAMOU (Karen)-7th
SHERRYINOK (Sherry)-25th


ANNIVERSARIES ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Jenna
YERDUA (Audrey) April 5, 1975 Wedding Day
RENE54 April 13, 1991 Married 17 years
DEEKEN April 18, 1996 Anniversary of being with my husband
DWMW613 April 19, 1998 Stopped Smoking
GRANKAT April 27, 2003 Wedding Day
ORARMYMOM April 28, 1996 Wedding Day
DEEKEN April 31, 2001 Wedding Day




Normally, we members of Fifty Plus For All know each other at a distance. Yes, we make good friends, but there is always that barrier between us of a computer screen (and for most of you, in my case, an ocean). This month however some members made the effort to meet up with their long-standing virtual friends. That's Kim and Susan up on the right, and of course the very first question that we all want answering is - why does Kim have 'PENIS' written on the front of her shirt? Here's what Susan had to say of their meeting just after the Atlanta tornado - "Evan and I had dinner with Kim and her husband, Tom, last night. I told her you all were a little concerned for her flying in with the bad weather. She said to tell you all that you're wonderful and she's having a good time visiting her family and friends here. I'm sure she'll go into detail about what they've done when she gets back later in the week. Tomorrow (Wednesday) it's supposed to be rainy so she and Tom are going to see the Georgia Aquarium (the largest indoor aquarium in the world). I haven't been there and would love to see it. She is so sweet and looks really cute in person, and it was like I've known her for a long time. Lots of laughing and girl-talk while the guys talked about whatever it is guys talk about [WOMBAT COMMENT - Heh heh heh!]. We talked for 2 1/2 hours and then it was getting late and we had to head home. I hated leaving her because we were having so much fun. We agreed we'll have to get together again hopefully at their house in Erie, Pennsylvania. Evan and I really want to. It's really funny how close we all get being here on this team. It's very much like family. We both said it's a shame we live all over the globe and not in the same neighbourhood."
Meanwhile, Kim tells us - "I'm back and I'm all in one piece, and since I haven't weighed in yet, I may be in a slightly larger piece than when I left. We did a lot of walking, though, so I'm hoping that I maintained. Meeting Susan and Evan was awesome. They are great, and yes, we did talk up a storm for two and a half hours. It was tough hugging goodbye. Now I know how Di and Janine felt. It's the best. I'm a little too tired right now to upload my pictures from the trip, but I'll try to get them on soon. Wednesday was spent at the Aquarium and World of CocaCola [WOMBAT COMMENT - 'World of Coca Cola'? Huh? Are you sure?], so we had a chance to walk around and see some of the devastation from the tornado. Missed you all; thanks for thinking about me. (We were fogged in at the Cleveland Airport on Saturday morning so got to Atlanta three hours later than planned, but the weather was great for the most part.)"


Of her get-together with Di, Janine said "We had a ball together and I would say that meeting was one of the best things ever! We actually stayed in the house together for over 3 days and came out with a friendship as strong as ever...great times..we plan on doing it again. The trip was great..seeing Di..just so wonderful that words don't make sense of it. We have a connection and now a bond..friends forever. We were lucky to have good weather most of the trip..only some night rain that did not interfere with our plans". Di also enjoyed their meeting - "Got to meet Janine in person finally. Awesome experience. She and her husband stayed with us for 3 days while in FL on vacation. It really felt as though I'd known her forever. Just wanted to say "thanks" Sparkpeople. You've given me some wonderful friends but meeting one in person simply ROCKS". She also said at one point - "I'm with Janine snorting water out my nose". Wombat he think she strange woman!

Cavemens Corner ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by DON
Welcome to our new members!
Fat Loss for Men
~~~ 5 Tips you must know

Fat loss for men is really the same for both sexes really, both men and women want to lose fat and want to lose it as fast as possible. Well here are my 5 essential tips you must know.
ANALYZE how you put the weight on in the first place. You need to know how you got to the point you are at now so that you do not repeat them all over again, identify what it was that started the downhill slide into being overweight and deal with that before embarking on a weight loss program.
MENTALLY prepare to change the way you eat. You need to be prepared to change the way you eat, fat loss for men and women is the same as in you both need to totally change the way you eat and think about food and fitness.
Eat six SMALL meals a day. It is a well known fact that eating six small meals a day is better for fat loss for men and women than three big heavy meals.
Increase your METABOLISM. Increasing your metabolism will help to lose fat by melting the fat away,that is where eating the six small meals a day comes into play by turning your body into an efficient fat burning machine.
WORKOUT regularly. Fat loss for men and woman is increased twofold by introducing exercise workouts on top of eating small regular meals, it will hit your fat with a double whammy!

As you can see fat loss for men and women can be achieved by taking control of your eating and every component of your life, there will be times when you lose your way but as long as you get back on the horse and give it everything you have got and stay motivated and persistent then there is absolutely no reason why you can not achieve the body you want and deserve. If you are really serious about your fat loss commitment then go here
to find out even more information on the workouts that will easily melt the fat off your body!
BOZMOG is from Nashville, TN, and runs the half-marathon. MYSUNNYSKIES is trying to stick with fresh fruits and veggies, limit red meat and no fast foods. MACKTEE is in Alberta, and is looking forward to chatting with new friends. MARJORIE55 likes to use the treadmill, stationery bike, resistance tube, aerobic ball as well as the figure trimmer. SEVENROSES is from Charleston WV; her motivational song is Strength, Courage and Wisdom. CWPRAISINJC shares her home with seven (count 'em) fur kids! HANNAHV lives in South Africa with her darling "house husband" (he hates being called that), mother of 3, has 3 grandchildren. NADINEL is from Western Oregon, loves reading Karen Kingsbury, mother of 5, grandmother to 10 Wow!! SASSIEANN is a gardener who is aiming to get healthy before it is too late in life to maybe find a new love or a best friend to share it with. MAISIE658 lives in Georgia, mother of 2, Grandmother of one. SILLYSKINNYBONE has two dogs, an inside 13 y/o N/M Boykin Spaniel named Brunswick, and an outside rescued young N/M named Wroofus. Shhhhh! VBSWILDWOMAN is from Utah, loves to travel, crochet, listen to music, and garden, loves the mountains. Has the Tetons to enjoy. KSANDERS88, mother of 9, has 20 granchildren. WOW, WOW!!!!!


The history of April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day is uncertain, but the current thinking is that it began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under Charles IX. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved from March 25 - April 1 (new year's week) to January 1.
Communication was slow in those days and some people were only informed of the change several years later. Still others, who were more rebellious refused to acknowledge the change and continued to celebrate on the last day of the former celebration, April 1. These people were labelled "fools" by the general populace, were subject to ridicule and sent on "fool errands", sent invitations to non-existent parties and had other practical jokes played upon them. The butts of these pranks became known as a "poisson d'avril" or "April fish" (see my blather above).
This harassment evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continues on the first day of April. This tradition eventually spread to Britain and Scotland in the 18th century, and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. Because of this spread to other countries, April Fool's Day has taken on an international flavour with each country celebrating the holiday in its own way.
In Scotland, for instance, April Fool's Day is devoted to spoofs involving the buttocks and as such is called Taily Day. The butts of these jokes are known as April 'Gowk', another name for cuckoo bird. The origins of the "Kick Me" sign can be traced back to the Scottish observance.
In England, jokes are played only in the morning. In some areas, fools are called 'gobs' or 'gobby' and the victim of a joke is called a 'noodle.' It was considered back luck to play a practical joke on someone after noon.
The Dutch are not immune, either. Spain's King Philip II ruled the Netherlands back in 1572. Rebels opposed to his rule were called 'Geuzen' (after the French word Guex - beggars). Den Briel (a small town on the coast) was seized by the Geuzens on April 1, 1572, beginning a civilian uprising against Spanish rule that spread throughout the Netherlands. Commander of the Spanish army was the Duke of Alba, and he was powerless to stop the Geuzens (stay with me here). Now, the Dutch word for glasses is 'bril' and, during this uprising, the Duke of Alba lost his glasses. Because the Dutch enjoy this silly mishap, they use it to commemorate April Fool's day. Ah those hilarious Hollanders!
April Fool's Day is not always observed on April 1 - in Mexico and Spain, a similar day is on December 28 and called Day of the Holy Innocents. According to their custom, it is very foolish to lend someone anything (especially money) on that because it doesn't by tradition have to be returned. Instead, the borrower sends the lender a box of candies with a note that he's been fooled.
In Germany and Norway, April Fool's day is celebrated twice: On April 1 and on April 30.
In Rome, the holiday is known as Festival of Hilaria, celebrating the resurrection of the god Attis, is on March 25 and is also referred to as "Roman Laughing Day."
In Portugal, April Fool's Day falls on the Sunday and Monday before lent. In this celebration, many people throw flour at their friends.
The Huli Festival is celebrated on March 31 in India. People play jokes on one another and smear colours on one another celebrating the arrival of Spring.

So, no matter where you happen to be in the world on April 1, don't be surprised if April fools fall playfully upon you.


April Fool's phobias range from mild anxiety to full-blown panic attacks, where people will literally refuse to go to work on April 1st. Ironically, it is rumored that talk show hosts actually fear a 'no-guest-a-phobia'; on April 1. This is a fear of guest canceling out at the last minute.

fear of April Fool's Day. Many of the phobias associated with this day are termed social phobias because they pertain to being embarrassed in public.
Fear of Ridicule or Embarrassment
Fear of something new
Fear of being stared at
Fear of blushing
Fear of making a false statement
Fear of being emotionally wounded or injured

SPARKIE on the STREET ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by KIM
Every month, our intrepid roving reporter, KIM, asks members of Fifty Plus For All their views on a variety of questions. This month...

What April Fool's Day prank have you played on someone, or had played on you?


We'll start with my father, who always called my kids when they were small to tell them a big purple elephant was walking around in our yard. They would run to the window every time! Why purple? I have no idea!
Susan can tell us hers in her own words - "Well, back in the late 70's I shared an office with this guy who thought he was every girl's dream. He was constantly getting phone calls at work from all kinds of girls, and he was consequently calling all kinds of girls. For April Fool's Day I got to work early and took the voice box component out of his phone receiver. Shortly after the start of the work day his phone started ringing. It was all I could do to keep from rolling on the floor laughing my you-know-what off listening to him screaming "HELLO!!! HELLO!!! I CAN HEAR YOU!! I SAID...I CAN HEAR YOU (expletive)" Grumbling about his "(expletive) phone" I let this go on til he left for a few minutes. I then put the voice box component back in and took out the earpiece receiver. So now the young ladies could hear him, but he couldn't hear them. More grumbling about the "(expletive) phone". When he left for lunch, I fixed everything back to normal. What's really sad about the whole thing is we were both telephone installers for the local phone company and the bozo didn't have a clue what was wrong with his phone!!!"
Audrey tells us "Two years ago I had a good one pulled over on myself. My husband and a friend of his made arrangements for us to go to Las Vegas on the Q.T. So of course I had no idea and I don't think my girlfriend did either. On March 30th my husband (knowing I would need time to pack etc.) sprang it on me by saying: 'What are your plans for Saturday?' and continued by saying 'Well don't bother making any because we're going to Las Vegas. Start Packing!' and he giggled when he said that. My comment was: 'Now your going to say April Fool's Day to me aren't you?' He shook his head no. Two days later our friends and us drove to Minneapolis and then flew to Las Vegas. We had so much fun on the trip we would like to do it again sometime. So I am not sure was I April Fooled or not?" I think you were, but in such a lovely way! That's so cute!
Let's finish off with Wombat, shall we (and didn't you just know he'd have one?) - "I have, to my shame, played the old 'clingfilm over the toilet bowl' trick. It was funny until I had to clean up the resultant mess. One I really enjoyed wads removing the ball from the computer mouse and watching my mate get really cross at the thing. My favourite over the years, though, is one of the simplest - put a dash of food colouring into the milk carton so that it comes out blue, or brown, or green. Doesn't half make people jump"

Remember.... if you have any suggestions as to a question you would like polling, let Kim or any member of the ditorial team know. And as a guideline, next time we'll see if we can ask a weight-loss related question, shall we?

RECIPE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Elinor

"What the shlaboinkel is that?!", you're probably saying as you dubiously eye the photograph down there on the right. That, my friends, is one of the tastiest delights you will ever have experienced - BACON AND BANANA SANDWICH. An explanation - I discovered rather late in the day that I had lost the recipe that Catherine had sent, so my daughter Elinor has come to the rescue with her favourite Recipé du Jour. My thanks to her, and honestly - try it! It's delicious! Over to Ellie...


2 rashers of bacon, preferably back
1 banana
2 slices of bread (wholemeal works best)
Cook your bacon until crispy in a non-stick pan without any oil - enough fat will come off the bacon for the frying. Make sure the bacon is crispy; floppy does not work as well. Mash your banana onto a slice of bread (I use 40g slices), and when the bacon is cooked lay it on top and finish off with a second slice. Enjoy with a hot mug of steaming tea!

Dad says I should tell you what calories it has - 380 if you use 40g slices of bread, a small banana, and thin back bacon rashers, but it is really really filling. Besides, I'm a growing girl...


The Revolutionary War in America began on April 19, 1775, when British soldiers and American revolutionaries clashed in Massachusetts.
William Shakespeare, the playright, was born on April 23, 1564. He also died in Massachusetts in 1616.
The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975, when South Vietnam surrendered.


Astrological signs - Aries: March 21-April 19, Taurus: April 20-May 20


Also, here is a cute little joke if you want to include it-
April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring..............Pilgrims!

April Fool's Day
Twentieth NATO summit
Qingming Festival (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong)
World Health Day
Pope Benedict visits USA


Passover starts


420 (cannabis culture)


Patriots' Day (Massachusetts and Maine)


St. George's Day (patron Saint of England)


Walpurgisnacht (Satanic New Year)

(and just a brief note about QINGMING - see the calendar above - for those of you who don't know what it is. The Qingming Festival means, literally, "Clear and Bright Festival". It is often referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day. For the Chinese, it's a day to remember and honour one's ancestors at grave sites. Young and old pray before the ancestors, sweep the tombs and offer food, tea, wine, incense sticks, paper accessories, and/or libation to the ancestors. The rites are very important to most Chinese, but especially to farmers. Some people carry willow branches with them on Qingming, or put willow branches on their gates or front doors. They think that willow branches help ward off the evil ghosts that wander on Qingming. Also on Qingming, people go on family outings, start the spring ploughing, sing, dance, and traditionally Qingming is a time when young couples start courting. Another popular activity is kite flying. Qingming is pronounced Chingming)

UNDERSTANDING BINGE MODE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by Jenna
Jenna made this really useful post on the Forum, and I was so impressed I thought it worth repeating here for those of you who may have missed it.

For those of you who get into binge mode and don't understand what is behind it - this may help.

Cabrohyrates raise blood sugar quickly, but how quickly depends on what kind of carbs. Unrefined carbs, found in natural foods like legumes, starchy vegetables, and whole grains, are higher in fibre, which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Refined carbs (found in processed foods like white bread, pasta, crackers, and baked goods) typically contain little or no fibre, and therefore are digested more quickly. These simple sugars hit the bloodstream almost immediately, causing your blood sugar to skyrocket then plunge almost as quickly.

These jagged spikes and dips cause cravings for more refined carbs, more overeating and more weight gain. It is a vicious cycle, because the more refined carbs you eat, the lower your blood sugar plunges and the hungrier you get - and the more you eat to try to get the same energy levels to return.

Fats and proteins typically cause a slow, gradual rise in blood sugar. Fibre also helps abate extremes in hunger - when people consume a large amount of refined carbs, they tend to consumer little or no fibre. And it takes longer for your body to digest fat, so you stay satisfied longer if you make sure your daily intake of fat stays around 25% of your daily calorie total.

Good fats include: fats from nuts and nut butter, olive and canola oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, low-fat cheese and yogurt (limit the amount of saturated fats - found in red meats, and full-fat milk and transfats - found in many processed foods like sweets and snack foods) to no more than 10% of your daily calories.

I find that when I can understand the process and it makes sense then I can curb my binges by eating the right foods and noticing quickly when and where I got off track.

Hope this helps - Jenna


We are always looking for new ideas and topics for the monthly newsletter. If you have an idea or would be interested in writing an article, please let any of the editorial team know. You can find out who we are on the Home page (click the link way up there on the left)