ANNIEONLI   50,742
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ANNIEONLI's Recent Blog Entries

Is Sparkcoach helping?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This is a very very very informal poll... I am just curious.

Please answer the following if you are using Sparkcoach:

a) I am more motivated now than ever before: Yes or no

b) Has this made the difference?

c) Is guilt (ie, I am paying for it so I have to use it) a factor in your success? or does it not matter (like in any other paid online diet plan - WW, eDiets, Jenny C)

d) If you have used other programs (as I mentioned above) - what makes this one different from the others? and is it better? OR is it YOU that has a different mentality this time around???

Seriously, I am just curious... Food for thought...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 3/14/2013 8:58AM

    Not an Sp user.

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LWADE1963 3/13/2013 11:46PM

    I use spark coach and i love it. It keeps me accountable and combines all the great things on spark website

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DALID414 3/13/2013 11:41PM

    Not a SparkCoach user.

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NUOVAELLE 3/13/2013 9:12AM

    I hope you don't mind that I'm leaving a comment here without using Sparkcoach.
I just wanted to say that I hope no one answers "yes" at question c! This can be a real trap and I've actually experienced it. I used to feel guilty for paying my dietitian and would follow her orders because "I spent money and I had to prove that it was for a good reason." But one day I stopped paying. And so did my success...
I'll be back to read the comments. I'm curious, too!
Interesting poll!

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Taking chances

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sometimes life is a gamble... I am learning this a little late, especially since I am usually on the safer side of the fence: don't disrupt the order of things, don't run with scissors... you know... that kind of being.

But sometimes, life throws you are curveball and things NEED to change and you HAVE TO take a chance on something new, and the only thing that is really holding you back, you. sad is that to think of! emoticon

But that is how it is sometimes, and I'd rather rip off the bandaid and realize it now before life goes on without me!

Another EWW!!! emoticon What a horrible thought!!! But let's face it, sometimes that happens to people.

Well, today I took a chance and threw a resume into cyberspace.

That alone was weird to do...who the heck knows if I will get a call, but really, there is no time like the present when it comes to certain things, and this, is probably one of those times.

Why not??? What is it going to hurt? Absolutely nothing.

What is weird is that I have no nerves about it - and usually, I am a bundle of nerves lately! emoticon We shall see....

Weird that I am not holding my breath either... life's curveballs have had that affect on me since the last 2 months have come to pass...

Anyway, we shall see... we . shall . see...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWEXCEL 3/13/2013 8:40AM

    Good for you! As someone stated above, things that are worth having, are worth taking a risk for. And, of course, if you didn't put it out there (your resume), it would not get looked at.

I for one, think good things will happen for you!!!!

Love you and Best of Luck!

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KANOE10 3/12/2013 8:19AM

    You have courage to take a chance and to change! You go, girl. I hope your resume is well received.

Good luck. emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 3/12/2013 2:21AM

    If we don't take chances in life, chances are that... nothing will ever happen! Nothing bad but nothing good, either. I'm glad you decided to take a chance and one that's much different from what you're used to do.
I wish you the very best of luck!

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JESSICABOOTY 3/11/2013 6:18PM

    I'll be cheering you on, Annie!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 3/11/2013 1:11PM

    Thanks guys...for all of the support lately, especially since it is not really weightloss or maintenance related.

On that front - things are status quo....still in maintenance range and a 5K looming on March 23rd that I talked a friend into doing! LOL We are both in for it since there are hills involved!!!! If anything, it will be a good laugh and reunion! emoticon

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-AMANDA79- 3/11/2013 1:04PM

    I've recently been challenged as well, so I feel ya!


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OAKBORN 3/11/2013 12:43PM

    Best of luck! emoticon

Sometimes you have to throw those arrows out there like a wish with wings emoticon and just see what happens!

Leaping into the unknown can sometimes be the most fulfilling experience!

emoticon And in the meantime, just keep swimming!

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DALID414 3/11/2013 12:19PM

    emoticon it's very courageous of you to post your resume. Be wary of the Sales jobs, they usually are the first to contact you, unless of course you're looking for a sales position, in that case you're lucky!

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STSCOTT11 3/11/2013 12:15PM

I had a job for 3 years...even though I wasn't exactly happy with the people on it the job was not a bad job. It happen to be one where people were ELECTED into the positions every 3 years. One year all 5 people (who then makes up all other staff's BOSS) CHANGED.
I didn't get along with the new person...and I couldn't please her FOR NOTHING.
She personally campaigned I BE FIRED. She was nearly successful.
Thanks be to GOD and whatever else I had did right I was transferred to an adjoining office. STILL under the same umbrella but working with a group of DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
I have to admit...I kicked and screamed GOING...BUT when I got there it was PARADISE. I haven't regreted the move YET.
SO GLAD A CHANGE was made...even though it was one I didn't want at the time.
SO GLAD I didn't jump ship or cut my own nose off between "the move". Been on my job now for 9 YEARS.

CHANGE can be a good thing...GOOD LUCK. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/11/2013 12:17:30 PM

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Over the weekend

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Over the weekend...I turned 40.

Over the weekend...I turned off all emails and stopped thinking about work and enjoyed my family and a much needed break.

Over the weekend...Life continued on without me in a certain situation, just as I wanted and intended it to (thus the turned off emails explained a little bit)... and when I took myself out of the equation, the reality of what was going on for 3 months came to a head and others revealed their true colors... and I was no worse for wear, because really, it had nothing to do with me in the first place, I was just a piece in someone else's dream.

Over the weekend...I learned that a dream is a good thing, but dreaming in too many directions all at once, involving too many people in those many dreams, is NOT a good thing...sometimes dreams need a kick in the teeth of reality, and a smaller goals set in order to achieve one realistic goal first, and then you build it from there. You need a plan...I am a planner, no wonder I was a mess when I was listening to another person's scattered dreams.

Over the weekend...the music box became silent.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 3/8/2013 7:09AM

    Happy Birthday! It sounds like a perfect celebration with turning off the emails and enjoying your family. It seems like you have figured out how to deal with some stressful situations. I agree with you about setting small goals to achieve one realistic goal.


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JESSICABOOTY 3/7/2013 7:44PM

    Forty? You've got to be kidding! What a Happy Birthday - a bit late since I've turned off my electronic "helper". Hope it was all you wanted.

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PBLITZ 3/7/2013 12:40AM

    Happy Birthday Annie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You look fabulolus!! Sounds like you spent ur bday making memories that mattered w the ones who matter most!! So happy for you!!

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REBECCATKD 3/6/2013 7:36PM

    Happy Birthday!! For you, a Langston Hughes poem:

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go
Life is a barren field, frozen with snow.

Hold fast to your own dreams, Annie. They matter because they are yours!

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FULLOFFAITH 3/6/2013 4:26PM

    Happy Belated Birthday emoticon.

As previously said you don't look 40 you look fabulous!!!

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DWEXCEL 3/6/2013 12:23PM

    You sure don't look 40 Girlie!!!! But I hope your birthday was just great.

Good for you for taking a "Time Out" and concentrating on you. Sometimes, you just have to turn it all off, and it'll be there when you get back, if it's your problem, and if it's not, it might just be gone.

I'm a terrible one for giving that kind of advice, because I worry, worry, worry, about everything and everybody, and I think a lot of my tension in my shoulders, and my ulcer are all the result of years of that.

But sounds like your are figuring it all out, and you are so good at that, and at making plans, so you'll master this situation.

Don't be sad about the music box; I have a feeling you will be hearing the music again soon!

Love ya!

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OAKBORN 3/6/2013 11:16AM

    Sometimes the messages we receive from our music boxes are the most important and help us focus in on what is really important.

emoticon Happy Birthday, again!

Your story of the music box was haunting and I wanted to write something about it, but couldn't think of anything to add... except maybe to remember to listen for it, there must be something important that you need to know or to pay attention to... just like you did!

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DALID414 3/6/2013 9:28AM

    Sounds like a good weekend. emoticon

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TAFODIL24 3/6/2013 7:38AM

    emoticon emoticon What a beautiful gift you gave yourself.

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MYBULLDOGS 3/6/2013 6:57AM


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The Music Box

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I have a table with pictures on's sort of like a shrine at this point: the pictures all have their spot, I dust around them, they have been in the same spot since my mom placed them on that table 25 years ago with some additions made here and there, but in general, it is the same as it's intent is still intact, with the faces of our past looking back at us through another generation. It's neat really.

On the table are 2 statues - one of St. Francis (I think it is) and the other is the Virgin Mary...and Mary has a music box in it's teeny tiny base.

Leaning against Mary is a pic of my hubby as a baby that I put there when we moved into the house...and his communion picture is there as well...doing that made him an official part of the family history, I guess.

Well, the story of the music box is this: it is never is never wound intentionally... I couldn't tell you the last time I touched it... but sometimes, it plays.

When I am home alone, and walk by it to get to my piano, occassionally I will hear a few notes played... and funny enough, it is usually when I am in a ponderous mood.

The last 2 months, the music box has gone off more times that I can count... and it's never when the kids are running though the house, or when a door is slammed... it is always when I walk by.

So, after the second time of noticing it, I started to acknowledge it. Yup, I talk out loud to a music box. Why not? It's always going off when I'm thinking of something heavy....maybe it's a sign. So I thank it for brightening my mind, I thank the spirits around me, and I move on.

Today, I began to plunk out the song "Falling Slowly" from the movie/play "Once" - it's really a guitar/piano duet, but it's stuck in my head, so I youtubed and ituned the heck out of it...and figured to give it a shot...why not, never done that before, might as well give it a go right? And so I began.

Not a note from the music box at all when I walked by... wasn't expecting it really, since it's so random anyway.

I play a little, figure things out... go down fold some laundry... come back to it... run out to the store... come back to it. Real casual...and but I'm getting somewhere with it by ear and that is pretty neat. I'm happy.

This last time I sat down, I hear a little note from the music box. I said "why hello there!" out loud and chuckled and started playing.

The song is coming together nicely, much better than the hour before...I'm in the groove now.

And half way through, I even start to sing a little...and then the music box starts.

It's not the song from the box itself as if it's's more like it's stopping and starting along with the song I'm playing... sporadic, but fitting in here and there... and I hear it, but keep on playing, and by the end, maybe a full minute...the music box and I played a tune together.

It's the longest I have heard it stop and start like that since it began.. and when I was done playing, the music box was done playing too.

Weird right? totally!!!

But cool too... it's like I'm getting hugs from beyond... and who wouldn't want that?!? Especially now when I need a good hug from beyond.

Thanks guardian angels... I needed that today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITT52 3/1/2013 6:58AM


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ANNIEONLI 2/27/2013 8:19AM

    Music Box update:

has done it 2 more times...once after writing this yesterday, and again this morning...both times I was near it.... never did it when the kids passed by, and trust me, they do pass by it a lot! LOL

I'm glad I shared this story with you - glad you enjoyed it!

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NUMD97 2/27/2013 7:56AM

    Very uplifting. I don't have a music box near my piano, but you reminded me that perhaps I need to tinkle the ivories again to work out some stuff in my own mind.

Thanks, Annie,


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DWEXCEL 2/27/2013 7:33AM

    Woooooowww! What a comfort! I like it :)

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NUOVAELLE 2/27/2013 2:07AM

    Beautiful and touching! Thank you, Annie.

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DALID414 2/26/2013 10:13PM

    I talk out loud sometimes. I thought I was nuts. emoticon

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LYNNA1968 2/26/2013 7:00PM

    someone knows what your going through and is letting you know they are there for you. Big hug chickie

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JESSICABOOTY 2/26/2013 6:48PM

    Wow, Annie, that is so cool. Opens a lot of doors in the mind. You never know. By the way, I get a kick out of your blogs. You have a reality to what you say. Keep it up. emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 2/26/2013 5:57PM

    This is so touching! Someone is definitely watching over you.

I really like the movie Once and I think that song Falling Slowly is beautiful. It has been on my Ipod for some time.

Thanks for sharing!

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REBECCATKD 2/26/2013 5:30PM

    Someone is watching over you, Annie, and they just want you to know that they're there.

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Joy emerges slowly sometimes

Monday, February 25, 2013

I will not lie on here... and I will openly admit that the last 2 months has absolutely sucked because of various indecisions in my life, and these indecisions that were not on my plate to decide what to do, it was me waiting for action on anothers part... and while I started to say "NO" around the end of January in other areas of life, it wasn't enough to give me clarity, so February kept going with me being in limbo.

Ahhh, sorry to be vague, but everyone has these times in life, so if you have ever been there, then you will know what I mean.

Let's just say this: It's transition time for me. In my work status mainly. I am looking down a path, with several branches in the road...there is a fog too...and it was pretty dense for a while, but as each day goes on, the fog is slowly lifting...and I see some of the paths fall away, and then there are two to choose from... but in my heart, I know, that there is one that I truly wish to follow... and while it is dark and uncertain, and I can barely see the bumps in the road, I know I can handle them - because I am determined, and maybe, just maybe, this is what I was meant to do for a long long time, but didn't know it.

Life is funny like don't know what it will bring you until you are faced with tough decisions... and then your gut will be your guide.

I have always had faith like this. Some use prayer and sight Jesus as being their savior... I, on the other hand, while being a lapsed Roman Catholic (my own term I jokingly use) believe in a higher power mixed with a little dash of fate and a dollop of instinct on what path to choose... that being a good person in general will eventually work in the long run...and the long run is really that the afterlife will be a lovely place rather than one of the rings from Dante's Inferno.

If you can't tell it yet... I studied theology and ancient civilizaitons in my past... Latin too. I am a veritable cornucopia of bit and pieces of useless information that make me who I am... and while mostly useless in everyday life, I am finding all these bits and pieces invaluable when teaching my kids.. another joy that I have found and need to acknowledge because it is, to quote Martha Stewart "it's a good thing."

So here are the list of joys my eyes beheld this morning:
- 133 on the scale and the "skinny" jean still fit just fine even though eating and drinking have been abysmal, let's face it, the last 3 months... first because of holidays and then because of stress
- my middle guy has a talent for the recorder and not really the violin (short fingers, poor thing).. and he plays the recorder beautifully and for hours at a time (you'd think I would be annoyed, but he is that good..). and so I suggested he try the clarinet next year - and he BEAMED with pride at my praise and the fact that I accually have a clarinet from when I was a kid, somewhere in the closet upstairs (told you I was a font of useless information! LOL) I will be digging it out momentarily.
- my hubby is behind my decisions - he is trying to play Devil's Advocate too, but this time, bless his heart, I am not backing down...and he sees it and appreciates it. Love him for that.
- Other decisions made are for the greater good...even though they may be hard to take, it's still the best decision to be made at the time... and I am AOK with that.

My Joy is emerging slowly once again.

I signed up for a 5K at my old high is in a month, and something to focus on other than work. It will give me clarity in other ways...get me on the attainable goal for the near future. That is what we must do helps when things are up in the air.

So, dear Spark friends....when you see me quiet on here, it's not that I have gone just that life gets in the way.

I hope all is well....wish me luck too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUMD97 2/27/2013 7:49AM

    It must be the late winter doldrums. I think so many of us are there along side you, waiting for that "clarity" that you speak of. Sometimes we just need to be patient, and sometimes we have to take the bull by the horns. But how lovely that your hubby supports you all the way. For some that is half the battle.

Do what you need to do for you, that will make you happier, and then take care of the rest of the business of living, if that makes sense. Sometimes it just takes time to sort itself out.

Wishing you nothing but the best,


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KANOE10 2/26/2013 8:58AM

    I am sending positive thoughts your way, Spark Friend. It sounds like a very rough few months with stress. Good for you still fitting those skinny jeans and staying posiitive with entering a 5 k. As you say, life gets in the way and you have no other choice but to deal with it. Having an attainable goal when your life is insecure, helps a great deal. I am also giving myself a mini goal to get my spark going.
You have a lovely supportive family.

emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 2/26/2013 7:42AM

    Thanks for all the support and understanding my Sparkfriends!!

And just when I figure things out...another curve ball gets thrown at me! Sheesh! Keep sending me those clarifying vibes...the path will be even clearer tomorrow...hopefully.

One thing I do know for certain: my happiness counts, and that is worth something. BIG TIME! LOL

I'd come around to everyone individually to say thanks, but I just don't have the time to right THANKS!!!! right here...and right now emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LYNNA1968 2/25/2013 8:54PM

    Enjoy your skinny jeans, & as long as you have support and joy all will be well in your life. Happy thoughts are coming your way! You are missed do what you want to do and I'll be here when you come back. Rock that 5K!!!

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JESSICABOOTY 2/25/2013 4:43PM

    You've put a lot of thought into this. I'll reread it and get even more out of it. This is not for skimming. From what you've written I can tell that you have a vast pool of talent to draw from. I wish you all the best. I think that whatever comes next, you will take it on and make it positive.
Come back when you can. I'll miss you.
emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 2/25/2013 2:03PM

    I think you stay away long enough to be missed emoticon

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GODIVADSG 2/25/2013 12:54PM

    Without ever reading your blog I feel like you are speaking for me! I am on the same path. I hope you don't mind that I have added you as a friend. Dana emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 2/25/2013 12:16PM

    Crossroads! I've spent many precious minutes - ok, maybe hours - of my life thinking of what would have happened if I had taken the other path than the one I chose. And although I'm a big fan of the "listen to your heart" way of thinking, I'm not sure my heart has always showed me the right way...
Anyway, I just wanted to share the thoughts that were born in my head while reading your blog! I hope the fog lifts completely and your heart shows you the right way. Until then, enjoy everyday of your life even if it sometimes feels like it's getting in the way.
I'm glad joy is emerging. Slow as it may be, it's still joy!
Good luck!

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DWEXCEL 2/25/2013 11:50AM

    You are so awesome and so smart. I feel what you are saying, and knowing you, you have already answered yourself with your own words..."but in my heart, I know, that there is one that I truly wish to follow ......."

Life does get in the one sometimes for sure. I am learning that lesson myself right now. And it certainly is a path with lots of twists and turns, that things could definitely be different, depending upon which choice we make.

I felt peace coming for your blog today.

Best to you always! And you are in inspiration in more ways than one!

Love ya!

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OAKBORN 2/25/2013 11:19AM

    As usual I hear you loud and clear! emoticon

Sometimes, you just have to step back and kind of let things take their own course. I have faith in the process working itself out sometimes... and just letting it be. (I think I hear a Beatles riff in the background here) emoticon

And, as John Lennon famously said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

Transition points in life are hard, but finding goals, even unrelated ones, give you something to focus on while the rest of your stuff is sorting itself out. Like the 5K! Let us know how you do (ie. how AMAZINGLY you ROCK it!)!!!! emoticon

And for some reason, I feel compelled to put this here:

The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone
And I must follow if I can

Pursuing it with eager feet
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet
And whither then, I cannot say.

(JRR Tolkien)

Best always to you my friend!! emoticon

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-AMANDA79- 2/25/2013 10:43AM

    Decisions, decisions. I hope everything goes the way you want it to. I went through a rough patch in the fall and found that focusing on the little things in life that I could control helped to keep me sane.


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BEATLETOT 2/25/2013 9:20AM

    Thanks for the beautifully-written blog and for opening your heart and life to us. You are truly an inspiration!!!

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REBECCATKD 2/25/2013 9:01AM

    Ah, life....
"Two roads diverged in a wood and I --
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost had a clouded future many times (as do we all), but you're both right: there's a path we're meant to travel, and it sounds like you know which one to take.

"The force serves you well, young Jedi..."

And the fog burns away from the strength of the sunshine...

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PJ2222 2/25/2013 9:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MRSJERRYBUSH 2/25/2013 8:58AM


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