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50+ For All Newsletter

August 2008

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

August - in Brazil, the "month of crazy dog"

(August was named for Caesar Augustus. That's him below)

Is it a year already?


It is - I joined SP last August huge and sweaty and on a slippery slope to Illsville. The wonderful people on SP have helped me turn my life around - thank you all. Nowadays, I'm just sweaty.
I think this month is an interesting read. Yet again I've touched on the importance of fibre (or 'fiber', as you wonderful Americans have it), and we've a couple of videos which I'd be interested in hearing your views on.
hope you enjoy this - I'm off to a wilderness in Scotland after posting this, so you won't hear from me at all for a week or two, but I'll be thinking of you while I'm stuffing my face with haggis and fried fruitcake. Bye for now.

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Listen While You Read
August Music

Yellow Spinning Musical Note

This month, for your listening pleasure, I couldn't be arsed thinking of a theme, and have simply put together a selection of my favourite music from a variety of genres. I hope you find something you like. If you watch any of the videos on this page, remember to pause this playlist first!

A Reminder From Janice


Not sure if anyone would want to know about these in the August newsletter ....or if they might already know about it?
1) You can now add up to 50 photos to your gallery, up from 25.

2) You can now also change the order of your photos. Go to Edit SparkPage, the click Edit My Photo Gallery. You can then put your mouse on any photo to move it around the page, and click Save at the bottom left when you are finished.
Just a little more added things to know about your SparkPage!

Birthstone for August - PERIDOT
August Flower - POPPY

"Wear a Peridot or for thee,
No conjugal fidelity,
The August born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved alone."

For those who were born in the month of August the Peridot is the traditional birthstone. The poem reflects some of the properties with which the Peridot is associated - love, truth, faithfulness and loyalty. The Traditional Metaphysical Properties for Peridot are  fame, dignity, and protection. The healing properties are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to the lungs, lymph, breast and sinuses. The Peridot is also used to enhance prosperity, growth, and openness.

Where are Peridots found?
The Peridot is found in the following countries:

  • Burma, China and the U.S.

Color of the Peridot
The traditional color associated with the Peridot is lime green and is a popular gem used in jewelry. The meaning of colors through the ages represented many aspects of life. Social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism were all reflected in the color green. The symbolic meaning of the color green was renewal of life and nature. The best Peridot is a stone with a sparkling lime green color, without a brownish or olive cast. The color of the peridot can range from lime, yellowish green, olive green or medium dark green. Chrysolite is a golden yellow variety of peridot.

Definition of the word
The word Peridot is derived from the Greek word "faridat " which means "gem". The peridot (pronounced pear-a-doe) is a pale green variety of chrysolite and used as a gemstone. The crystal structure of the Peridot (magnesium iron silicate) the August birthstone, is orthorhombic. The Peridot is one of the few gemstones that come in only one color. The depth of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. It is also often referred to as "poor man's emerald".


The flower color of poppy species include: white, pink, yellow, orange, red and blue; some have dark center markings. The species that have been cultivated for many years also include many other colors ranging from dark solid colors to soft pastel shades. The center of the flower has a whorl of stamens surrounded by a cup- or bowl-shaped collection of four to six petals. Prior to blooming, the petals are crumpled in bud, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away.

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of their (commonly) blood-red color. In Greco-Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies are used as emblems on tombstones to symbolize eternal sleep. This aspect was used, fictionally, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to create magical poppy fields, dangerous because they caused those who passed through them to sleep forever.

A second meaning for the depiction and use of poppies in Greco-Roman myths is the symbolism of the bright scarlet colour as signifying the promise of resurrection after death.

In North America, poppies are known as Clown Shoes by the Royal Canadian Legion, who sell them each fall prior to Remembrance Day. The design of the Canadian poppy has changed recently. Formerly the poppy was red plastic with a felt lining with a green centre held on by a pin. The green was to represent the green fields of France. In 2002 the design was changed with some small controversy to a black centre. This is to reflect the actual colour of the French poppy.

In New Zealand and Australia, paper poppies are widely distributed by the Returned Services Association leading up to ANZAC day (April 25th).

* Yes, many authorities suggest the Gladiolus, but I much prefer the poppy - tis my favourite flower - so there!


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

We certainly have a lot of birthdays in August! Here goes.....

PHOENIX53 (Katy)
:o)CAROL (Carol)
KIMMER827 (Kim)
CATHYANN9 (Cathy Ann)

LET THEM EAT CHOCCY ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ anniversaries by Wombat
GREATCOP0193 August 1, 2006 Joined SparkPeople 
TESSYMOM August 1, 2007 Joined SparkPeople
JANINEINSD August 5, 2008 Married 37 years
ELLIEPRZ August 9, 1980 Wedding Day
WOMBAT37 August 12, 2007 Joined SparkPeople
HELENGMORRIS August 24, 1979 Married 28 years
MEMAOF2 August 31 Wedding Anniversary


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(oh alright, "fibER")

I'm sure you know that fibre is vital for good health. Here are some answers to the most common questions about fibre and a few suggestions on how to eat more.

Q: What is fibre and why is it so important for good health?

A: Known as ‘nature’s broom’, though not by me, fibre is made up of the indigestible, fibrous parts of fruit, vegetables, cereals, beans and pulses. It’s an essential part of diet, helping food to pass through the gut more quickly. The term fibre or roughage, as it used to be called, can be divided into two groups – insoluble and soluble – and both types help to keep the body healthy in a different way.

Insoluble fibre is found mainly in wholegrain cereals, but also in fruit, vegetables and pulses. It helps to prevent constipation by absorbing water as it passes through the body and speeding the passage of waste material. Which is great, because nothing is more miserable than constipation, except perhaps a mosquito bite in the groin.

Soluble fibre is found in oats and oat bran, beans and pulses and some fruit and vegetables. It is believed to help lower blood cholesterol and is also know to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.

Q: How do I eat more fibre?

Studies show that only one in nine people consume the recommended 18g of fibre per day (that's a UK figure). To increase your intake, eat wholegrain cereal or wholemeal toast with a sliced banana at breakfast - they are also filling foods that will boost your energy levels. Choose wholemeal pasta, and brown bread or rice instead of white varieties. Add beans or lentils to casseroles, or why not try adding canned beans or lentils to salads? Baked potatoes and baked beans are excellent sources of fibre.

Q: What are the best sources of fibre?

You are spoilt for choice! Wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice, oats and wholegrain cereals are all good sources of fibre. Fruit such as apples, pears, strawberries and oranges, and vegetables such as onions, peas, broccoli and green beans, plus pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and haricot beans are all great sources of fibre too.

Q: Isn’t fibre fattening?

No, because fibre passes through the digestive system largely undigested. However, if high-fibre foods are eaten with foods that are high in fat, such as wholemeal bread with lots of butter, then they are fattening if you eat too much. It’s best if the carbohydrates we eat come from fibre-rich foods that are consumed as part of a balanced diet. Studies show that people who eat a high-fibre diet are less likely to put on weight because high-fibre foods are filling.

Q: Don’t high-fibre foods give you wind?

Yes, which is a great source of fun and amusement to all, so another good reason to get that fibre down you! Seriously, though, if you are not used to eating a high-fibre diet, try to introduce high-fibre foods gradually as eating too much too quickly can cause bloating and wind. But if you can increase your fibre intake gradually and give your body time to adapt, this won’t be a problem. In order to work properly, insoluble fibre needs water - so make sure you take in enough fluid. Aim to drink eight to ten glasses of fluid a day.

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   MEN'S CORNER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by WOMBAT  

Words of Wisdom from the heterogametic sex

I thought that this month you might appreciate an insight into what the male mind considers to constitute Beauty. Therefore, I present to you a pageant of the world's most beautiful women, according to Wombat, who, as we all know, is extremely masculine and whose forehead is quite a normal size for his face, actually. Bit of a warning - I'd only ever heard the single release of the accompanying song, and it wasn't until after I'd uploaded the vid that I realised that the version I'd actually used contained a


(remember to pause the playlist before starting the video!)

MEN'S CORNER COMPETITION - Challenge yourself! How many of the babes in the above video can you actually name? Whosoever correctly names the greatest number will receive not only copious kudos, but also a big surprise from The Wombat. It is big, honestly. Send your entries to me by Sparkmail.

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Welcome New Friends!
JAVANUT1, Mary, loves yoga but find time to do it daily difficult. I really like her profile pic.
IAMREADYTOROLL is tired of wearing the same 3x to everything. whatever that is.
217HAPPY1 has beautiful Yorkies that will help her lose weight by walking. Ben was a huge help to me in that respect.
LAUREL23 spends her time rescuing suicidal frogs from her pool. Aren't they amphibian though? Maybe they have tiny guns and nooses, what do I know?
TEDDYTEDDY, Theodora, is feeling younger since losing weight. I love the way her name rolls off the tongue - Theodora......
CATRYNRN, Cathy, is a registered nurse and has a Cocker Spaniel so high-class she has her own surname - Emma Hope.
REDDEVILTJ is known as Red Devil, Jeepgirl757 and the Knitting Jeepgirl. That's a superhero you don't want to mess with! "This is a job for.... KNITTING JEEPGIRL!!!"
STARZZ805 refuses to believe that weight, joint pain, and appearance have to be accepted as just a part of aging - yay, you tell 'em, Starry!
JULIAEFSTATHIOU is Julia from England, and I love her dearly as if she were my very own sister.
TIMELORD is from URGON 234 just south of Orion and home of the Time Lords since the Big Bang. He graduated from Cambridge with a first in Interstellar Studies and history of the daleks,
PADOOKAHEAD LOVES to travel and explore cultures and activities, but sadly forgets to tell us on her Sparkpage what a Padooka is.
ITSABOUTME2407 wants to think before she stuffs her mouth about what she is actually putting into her body. The Wombat chooses to remain silent.
BIGT_56 is from a small town in the mountains of VA - is that Virginia? I've always though Virginia sounded attractive.
BALANCENEEDED lives on a mountain ridge, where the view is fantastic in any direction. Take a look at her Sparkpage and you'll see - tis gorgeous!
DESIGNER60 says life has been good so far, now she wants to make it great.
KRSOMMA says "Felt like i was getting older,not enough energy. And I thought maybe taking care of me would do it, after all if i don't who will?" She, or perhaps he, also says "Kackalacky", for reasons which are not apparent.

Welcome all of you, including the people I couldn't find a Sparkpage for -MZALABAMA54, HDGOLFER, NERAK1957, ANNEOAK02, OLEBROAD1, MOONFLOWER626


The picture below is ""August Sky", acrylic painting by Roylynn Evans


August is the eighth month, renamed by the Romans from Sextilis', meaning sixth, to honor their emperor, Augustus. August is the height of the summer time in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. The longest days of the year is passed, but the hot days remain. In the northern regions and mountains, cool nights and early frosts lets one know that the summer is about to come to an end. In the Southern Hemisphere, August means the winter will soon be over.

The birds are already planning to fly south for the winter. The insects are more noisier and numerous than in any other month. This is perhaps the busiest month for businesses, since most people take their vacations in August.

August begins (astrologically) with the sun in the sign of Leo and ends in the sign of Virgo. Astronomically speaking, the sun begins in the constellation of Cancer and ends in the constellation of Leo.

In Brazil, folk superstition associates bad luck to August, with the proverb "Agosto, o męs do desgosto" or "męs do cachorro louco" ("August, the month of misfortune" or "month of crazy dog") being often heard. This may come from the sinister memories of the St. Bartholomew's day (24th August), which is particularly dreaded in the Northeast of the country. 24th August is also, in the tradition of Candomblé, the day of Eshu, one of the most malevolent deities. Some unfortunate political events took place in August, like the suicide of the then President Getúlio Vargas.

In Irish, August is known as Lúnasa, a modern rendition of Lughnasadh, from the god Lugh. August 1 (Lá Lúnasa in the Irish Calendar) is still regarded as the first day of Autumn. The first Monday in August is a holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

In Finnish, the month is called elokuu, meaning "month of reaping".

August begins on the same day of the week as February in a leap year.

SPARKIE on the STREET ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ by KIM
Yikes!!!  Just got our computer back from "the repair shop" (we got a nasty virus but now I'm back online) and I had a scramble to get the SOTS question out there ASAP. We managed it, though, and the question was...


..."When and why did you join SparkPeople?"

Di (HENRYSMOM0215) tells us that she found SparkPeople accidentally while looking for nutrition information. She was newly sober and wanted to keep motivated and stay away from alcohol at the same time. (She claims she just needed a "replacement addiction.")
She thanks SparkPeople for her almost two years of sobriety and a lot of pounds lost!

She "freaked out" when she tipped her doctor's scale at 191 and had a vision of how heavy her mother's side of the family was as well as the many cardio-pulmonary problems they always had. She found the site from a "MyPoints" ad. She figures there is no point in having stopped smoking just to have her heart surrounded by fat.

Viv (LUCYVLH1) had worked very hard to take off seventy pounds and gained back twenty of it. It was right after Christmas (she's been a member so long she can't remember if it was '05 or '06) and she was in a "hate myself" mode, so without much extra cash she decided to surf the net for help. She lurked on the message boards until she read a post from a woman that was so heartfelt about her failures and struggles and she had to respond. That was the beginning of her desire to help others and in doing so, she has made lasting friendships, lost weight and learned SO much.

CROTTY says that in October of 2006, her sister told her how great the SparkPeople site was, so she joined right away. Her sister never joined. CROTTY has met her goal; her sister has had a hip operation.

Janice (FLASUN) joined SparkPeople on 1/1/07 after she saw her weight three pounds away from 200. She had already done WeightWatchers and other diet classes, and found the idea of going to a website for support to be a wonderful way to stay motivated. She says everyone at 50 Plus has been so helpful and made her want to do well and continue to reach her goal. She also wants to wish everyone THE BEST!

Thank you, SparkFriends, for your participation! Keep your eyes peeled for September's "Sparkie on the Street" question which you'll find on a thread toward the end of August! And tell Kim if you have any suggestions as to a question you would like asking.

August Fitness Video
Not sure how to introduce this, other than... "What the ???????" (and remember to pause the playlist before starting the video, otherwise you won't be able to hear the lovely lady)

Let's Cook With Susan!

Let's Eat Some Meat!!

Easy Burgundy Stew

1 pound beef boneless bottom or top round, tip or chuck steak
2 medium carrots, sliced (2 cups)
1 medium celery stalk, sliced (Michael will love this!)
1 medium onion, sliced
4 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 ounce can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine OR
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 of a 16 ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained


Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Trim fat from beef.  Cut beef into 1-inch cubes.  Mix beef, carrots, celery (control yourself, Michael our Wombat), onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms in Dutch oven.  Mix flour, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper; stir into beef mixture.  Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes.  Cover and bake about 4 hours or until beef is tender and stew is thickened.  You can fix this in a CrockPot.  Just cook on low for 8 hours.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info:  Calories: 194; Fat: 6g; Protein: 19g; Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Cholesterol: 41mg; Sodium: 566mg.


Avocado and Tomato Salad


2 cups avocado, diced medium

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced medium

1/2 red onion, diced small

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/8 cup olive oil

Salt and fresh black pepper to taste.

Gently toss ingredients together and serve on a bed of fresh Bibb lettuce.

Serves:  4

Nutritional Information:  Calories: 168; Fat: 14g; Protein: 2g; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 9mg.


National Independence Day is observed in Bolivia, Ecuador, India, and Switzerland, during August.

Colorado became the 38th state, August 1, 1876.
Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," born August 1, 1779. 
Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on his first voyage across the Atlantic, August 3, 1492. 
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet, born August 6, 1809.
Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to successfully swim the English Channel, August 6, 1926.
An American bomber dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare, on Hiroshima, Japan, August 6, 1945. 
Richard M. Nixon became the first U.S. President ever to resign from office, August 9, 1974 
Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, August 12, 1877.
The United States annexed Hawaii, August 12, 1898.
Panama Canal opened to traffic, August 15, 1914.
American frontiersman Davy Crockett born August 17, 1786.
United States and Canada arranged for joint defense of North America, August 17, 1940. 
William Wilberforce, British statesman and crusader against slavery, born August 24, 1759.
British troops captured Washington, D.C., and burned the White House, August 24, 1814.
Leonard Bernstein, American composer, conductor, and pianist, born August 25, 1918. 
Amendment 19, giving women in the United States the right to vote, proclaimed, August 26, 1920.
Spanish explorers landed in Florida where St. Augustine now stands, August 28, 1565.
Great Britain provided for the end of slavery in its colonies, August 28, 1833.
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands born August 31, 1880.

AUGUST QUOTE from Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST:
You sunburnt sicklemen, of august weary

The Lion
July 23 to August 22
Traditional Leo Traits

Generous and warmhearted
Creative and enthusiastic
Broad-minded and expansive
Faithful and loving

On the dark side....

Pompous and patronizing
Bossy and interfering
Dogmatic and intolerant

"And hate the bright stillness of the noon
without wind, without motion.
the only other living thing
a hawk, hungry for prey, suspended
in the blinding, sunlit blue.

And yet how gentle it seems to someone
raised in a landscape short of rain—
the skyline of a hill broken by no more
trees than one can count, the grass,
the empty sky, the wish for water."

-  Dana Gioia, California Hills in August 


August, from the Trčs riches heures du duc de Berry

"August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a matchflame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
A moment,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away."
-  Elizabeth Maua Taylor 

 "Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear."

-   R. Combe Miller

"Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
    Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
    Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn."

-  Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown


Click the cartoon to visit the Savage Chickens website.

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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)