September Maintenance Anniversaries!

A Keith Harring type cartoon of multicolored stylized people supporting each other in a pyramid, with the one on the top reaching for the sun

This is the first month we’ve had maintenance anniversaries to announce, and no SP to announce it on…

It saddens me to know that many of the people on the Hall of Fame won’t see us celebrating their anniversary when it comes around, since few have provided a URL or place to find them. So I’ll try a few things besides announcing it on the Google group, including posting an announcement here.

If you happen to see this and are in touch with former Sparkers elsewhere*, such as on FB, or MFP, or any other place, please feel free to copy and re-post, to spread the word!

*And if they have a visible profile at this -elsewhere-, please encourage them to update their maintenance info to include a URL to it, so anyone else on that platform can also congratulate them! ❤️

Congratulations to our September maintainers! 

Maintenance Hall of Fame:

To get onto this list or update your information, go here:

These are important milestones!

– The likelihood of regaining weight when you reach goal is 80%+ to 95% (various sources).
– When you’ve maintained for 2 years the likelihood of regain drops to 50%.*
– When you’ve maintained for 5 years the likelihood of regain drops to 27%!*


And don’t forget, we have lots of maintenance information and advice collected in our Big Page of (maintenance) Links.

Our most valuable maintenance resource, however, is our dedicated group* of real, live Maintainers and Aspiring Maintainers! 😀

*This group is agnostic with regard to tracker and/or fitness platform. Our members are using: LoseIt, MFP, Cronometer, FatSecret, MyNetDiary, 1st Phorm, etc. We encourage folks to use whatever works best for them, personally. The main thing is having the support of other maintainers, people who get what it’s like, to be in this for the long haul. 💖

Stride math

After being gypped 0.2 miles on Friday (my Vivofit3 counting steps vs his Forerunner45 using GLONASS+GPS), I started trying to figure out how to get a more accurate estimate for my stride.

Unfortunately Garmin doesn’t report the steps per activity, at least for a Vivofit3. But it does have the ability to display steps during an activity. (Note – the settings make it look like you can choose to see both estimated distance AND steps on the little screen but toggling “activity distance” *on* in practice toggles “activity steps” *off*, and vice versa.)

So, *armed* with this knowledge (pun partially intended) and with the Vivofit3 set to display steps, H and I took a walk together, clocking “start” simultaneously and pausing at the end long enough for the Vivofit3 to catch up with its step count:

His wristband showing 1.07 miles, hers showing 2547 steps.​

There. Now we have a more accurate distance, coupled with the step count the Vivofit3 clocked. (The Vivofit3 thinks we only went 0.92 miles 😡)

The Connect phone app will calculate stride but it needs the distance in feet. so we do a conversion.

Conversion app showing 1.07 miles equals 5649.6 ft

Technically I could have converted to km and m, but this is Amurika, where we continue to insist on using an outdated pre-Napoleonic system of measurement that pretty much the rest of the world has wisely abandoned decades ago. Don’t get me started on that…

Garmin app with 5650 ft and 2547 steps plugged in, showing a stride length of 2.22​ ft

So now, as soon as Garmin resolves its outage 🙄, I can upload my stride to my Vivofit3 and get proper credit for my distances. At least for 1 mi walks on level dirt roads… LOL All bets are off if the walks are longer and I’m tired or going up a grade. 😏 By the time that will matter, I’ll be ready for my own gps tracker.

Caterpillars and Badges

View of a bog bathed in yellow afternoon light, framed by trees

This one is inspired by ALICIA363. Here are my badges and caterpillars! 😁

Garmin likes to gameify incentives to move and we could get a “point” for earning a “badge” for doing a 3-mile “walk” this weekend. I need two “points” to go from “level 2” to “level 3.” (Can you tell from my quotes I’m a looking a little askance at this gamification stuff? LOL). Still, it got me out there, so there’s that.

Garmin “badge” earned for doing a 3 mile “walking activity” this weekend.

So I decided to go for it. I haven’t walked that far all at once in a long while. And I only really started walking much at all again, in February.

Chart showing my weekly step totals over the past year.  From a low of about 8K around January, dramatically increasing in February, up to a maximum if around 38K in May.

So it was going to be a challenge but I suspected I could manage it. I was right.

Along the way there was a lot of milkweed. Instead of looking for frass on the ground, I just looked for chewed leaves. And once we started seeing that, there were monarch caterpillars EVERYWHERE!

Monarch caterpillar on the underside of an upturned chewed milkweed leaf
Another caterpillar picture .
If you look really closely you might notice this is the same caterpillar from the previous picture but in a different pose because i accidentally bumped it!
Close-up of a different caterpillar near some milkweed pods, looking like it’s thinking of making a chrysalis

It’s pretty scenic in places, too. I was glad we brought bug swatters because the mosquitoes were pretty thick in some places, and every once in a while a deer fly would buzz above my left ear. I had one following me like that for a quarter mile, before I got it.

I also discovered that my stride must be set wrong on my vivofit. H was along too, and his Forerunner has GPS. His watch says we went 3.37 miles. The vivofit (which just counts steps) says we went 3.17 miles. I have some math to do!

Overall, not a bad excursion. A little sore, but in a good way. And I got to see stuff. 😀

Update: DOVESEYES’ comment intrigued me. I had no idea there were monarchs in Oz and NZ!

Monarch distribution map from Wikipedia

How to comment on a WordPress blog

Eileen (BROOKLYN_BORN) has requested instructions for commenting on this blog. So I opened up Microsoft Edge, and and took some screenshots of the process, the way it will look for someone who is not logged into a browser. Hope this helps!

First, navigate to the blog of interest. Click on the title of the post you want to read / comment on.

When the blog post is open, scroll down to the comments section, which will start with, “X (number) of thoughts on [Post title]”

If there are already comments, you may need to scroll further, down to the bottom of the comment section

You’re in the right place when you see, “Leave a Reply” and a box for entering text

As soon as you start typing in the comment box, options for identifying yourself will appear.

You can click the WordPress, Google, Twitter, or Facebook icons to use your identity on one of those platforms. Note that those of you using Blogger/Blogspot will by definition have Google accounts, since Google runs that platform. You may find that you’re already logged into Google as yourself in your browser because of this, and some fields might already be filled in.

If you are logged into any of those platforms, you will see a note underneath the comment box telling you which account you’re currently logged in as, and giving you the option to log out and/or enter the fields manually, by clicking “Change”.

If you’re not currently logged into any of those platforms listed, you can manually fill in your email, name, and blog URL. You also have the option to subscribe to any other comments on this post, or to the blog as a whole. (Either with the check box on the left, or the “Follow” box on the right).

When you are finished typing in your comment and choosing any subscription options, click “POST COMMENT.”

After you click “POST COMMENT,” the owner of the blog will receive a notification to approve your comment. Currently this blog is set to only require approval the first time someone comments, after that, comments will appear immediately. If your comment requires approval, you’ll get a notification of that.

Once the comment is approved, it’ll show up in the normal way with all of the others.


Everything we do here serves multiple purposes, if I can manage it…including growing pole beans.

Pole bean “awning” growing over our sliding glass door

Since our house is passive solar, the front is (mostly) oriented to the south. The “mostly” is another story that I won’t get into here.

Anyway, in the summer any extra shade we can get on that side of the house helps keep us cool. It also means we also can sometimes lift the exterior shade in front of that window, to see out. (Or nap in front of the window, if there’s nothing interesting out there at the moment)

View of the trellis “awning” from inside

I like to grow beans for shade so we can also EAT the results! Today was our first “real” harvest (other than “testing” one now and then). That right there is sunlight shaded from our house, converted into 136g of fresh, crispy green beans. Yum. 😉

136g of green beans, on a kitchen scale

529g of Golden Oysters

I love mushrooms. I love them so much that we cultivate them.

Sections of poplar logs with yellow oyster mushrooms growing out of the interstices

With all the recent rains, our Golden Oyster mushrooms on poplar logs are fruiting! (

The slugs like them too, so I usually try to get to them before they are half-eaten. I did pretty well today and salvaged 529g. The slugs probably got about 1-2g.

529g of oyster mushrooms sitting on a kitchen scale

Over in our “refugee from SP” maintainers’ group (, MARTHA324 recently posted a mushroom stir fry recipe she enjoyed ( I think some variation of it will be on the menu tonight. 😋

Starting over, over here

Another Sparkpeople refugee. Working on moving my old blogs, both from SP, and from my old WordPress account, to this spot.

In the meantime, here’s an index of my old SP posts:

And here’s a link to my pre-SP blog:

…and here is a link to the Google group for maintainers and aspiring maintainers where I hang out, most of the time:

A Keith Harring type cartoon of multicolored stylized people supporting each other in a pyramid, with the one on the top reaching for the sun