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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road ?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

To get away from the turkey !! LOL !

No one ever believes me when I say I see a turkey on the way to work.

I've actually seen this turkey a few different times, but was never able to whip out the phone camera fast enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLINGME176 11/29/2014 4:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SNOWYOGA 9/9/2014 8:50PM

    How cute! But be safe

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SMILINGTREE 8/29/2014 9:09AM

    We see lots of them in the fall, but I live in the middle of nowhere. Your city turkey is impressive!

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CATS_MEOW_0911 8/29/2014 12:03AM

    Well that's just gravy!

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JILLYBEAN25 8/28/2014 11:00PM

    Awesome! There are a few houses on my route to school that have turkeys (and one has a whole freakin' FLOCK of chickens!) and I just can't ever stop staring at them. I can't imagine what a turkey is doing hangin' around your 'hood!

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CALENSARIEL 8/28/2014 3:23PM

    Ya figure it's someone's pet? How awesome.

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JTREMBATH 8/28/2014 2:46PM

    Very rare to see them in a built up area.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Hey, All !

I know I haven't blogged in a while, but things have been status quo. Life at the gym has been interesting, but I'll save that for another blog.

Today, I'd like to tell you about something I'm going to do for Lent. I'm not very religious. In fact, I consider myself a retired Christian. LOL. However, I like doing something for Lent. Now, I know that during Lent, we're supposed to be making a meaningful sacrifice. However, like many other Americans, I've reinterpreted this to include doing something to make my life a bit more healthy. In past, I've given up Diet Coke, red meat, chocolate (in all it's wonderful forms), etc. I have a friend who gave up smoking and another who gave up swearing.

Some years, I've skipped Lent. Like last year. I figured that losing my job was enough of a sacrifice.

Today, I'm still working that contract job. So, I thought I'd do something. I was considering giving up chocolate. But then I was thinking, I don't really have any vices. I don't smoke. I barely drink. I eat right most of the time. I don't drink soda. A person should have one vice, right ? LOL !!

That's what I posted on a Lent thread in the Spark Cafe. I posted that I would probably give up chocolate for 40 days. BUT... inspiration struck in the form of a reply from another member. Member ZIGGY122 said that they were going to DONATE one can of food to a food pantry for each of the 40 days. Perfect ! Absolutely Perfect ! What a wonderful idea.

So, I said I'm in too. I'm going to donate either one can of food, box of cereal, baby food or some other food item to my local food pantry for each day of Lent. As Ziggy said in their reply, imagine how many families will have a nice Easter meal because of those donations ?

I'm in, hope some of my Spark Buddies are too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWYOGA 3/16/2014 2:09PM

    I like your post emoticon

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THINRONNA 3/16/2014 11:43AM

    That is such a great idea! I saw your status update and had to read what you are up to. You are going to make a real difference in peoples lives this way. Nice.

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ECOMUFFIN 3/8/2014 10:50AM

    Great idea! emoticon

Like you, some years I give up something for Lent, some years I just don't get around to it.
About 20 years ago, I was debating what to do for Lent when I read an article about the environmental effects of meat production on the planet. Without getting too church-y, I believe that God gave us this world and everything in it as a gift, with the responsibility to care for it as stewards. So I thought I would give up meat for 40 days to do some good for the earth and then go back to an omnivorous diet, albeit with a much lower intake of animal protein. I noticed, however, that I really didn't miss meat and that there was a whole world of cuisine beyond "meat and potatoes". Long story, short, I'm still a vegetarian. I think I'll give up meat again this year!

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PATRICIAAK 3/5/2014 7:14AM

    super idea

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TIGER_LILY_613 3/5/2014 1:11AM

    This is a wonderful idea ! Thank you for sharing it !

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SMILINGTREE 3/4/2014 8:11PM

    I was reading today that Fat Tuesday is really a day when many people reflect on the areas of life they need help working on. I'm a fan of introspection. It's awesome that you looked inward and realized things are pretty good. Congratulations on hitting upon an idea that will be good for you spiritually and excellent for some hungry people.

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CALENSARIEL 3/4/2014 7:12PM

    Our pastor always encouraged us not to give something up, but to add something. Awesome idea! I've been struggling with what to do this year. You know from last year it usually involves notes to folks, but I think this is super. We already take stuff for the food bank every week, but Arn has never found anything that really was meaningful for him. Going to have to suggest it. Thanks for that! Hugs, Calen~

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SPINNER86 3/4/2014 4:06PM

  Wonderful idea!!! Some years I save up my grocery receipts and donate my coupon savings. I think Lent is a wonderful time to THINK about who we are and what we do for 40 days.

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SPARKFRAN514 3/4/2014 2:53PM

    Great blog at church on Sunday Father blessed Rice Bowls . each week you eat one light meal a week and put the money you would have spent on the meal in the bowl and return the bowls at the end of Lent. But I am also working on giving something up too since old habits are hard to break and it will help me with a Spark Streak as well . great plan .

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Need Ideas - Cold Dishes for Potluck

Friday, December 06, 2013

Attention Spark Friends ! I need your ideas !

Next week, our department is having a holiday potluck. nothing fancy. They've asked folks to bring in their favorite dishes. I had originally planned to make a chicken stew, chili or sausages with peppers/onions. However, it turns out we will not have access to a stove to heat up any of the foods we make. So, the food I bring needs to be a cold dish.

Sure, I could do a leafy green salad, but I would like to bring something a little different. I'm thinking about finger sandwiches or possibly a cold pasta salad. I had considered tacos, but who wants to eat a taco with a cold meat filling ? That also nixes quesadilla since that needs to be warmed too.

What are some of your favorite COLD dishes ? I'm open to all suggestions.

Thanks !

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAMARIEZ1 4/19/2014 1:39AM

    potato salad with bacon in it and hard cooked egg halfs on top with some green onion snipped on top! I like chive!


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CALENSARIEL 12/11/2013 1:17PM

    Oh lordy! I suck at potlucks! No help here. But good luck! Hugs, Calen~

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ECOMUFFIN 12/7/2013 4:27PM

    I frequently make a quinoa salad recipe I found on Epicurious:

Sometimes I steam the quinoa, but it's really not necessary.

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JILLYBEAN25 12/7/2013 12:23AM

    Well, I'm from the desert southwest, so I say do some dips! Homemade fresh salsa, guacamole, 7 layer dip or bean dip (I hear people love those things... I'll never get know... *le sigh*) and some whole grain tortilla chips. Easy peasy.

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FENWAYGIRL18 12/6/2013 6:42PM

    I think a nice past salad would be awesome to bring with lots of veggies in it. Can you bring a crock pot?

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LULUBELLE65 12/6/2013 2:46PM

    Greek salad--cucumbers, tomato, feta, red onion, olives, lots of oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil. You can add chick peas too, or artichoke hearts.

Couscous salad. You can make similar to above, or try couscous, some red onion, dried cranberries, some chopped toasted almonds and an orange vinegarette dressing.

Sesame noodles. They're cold, and you can add a lot of veggies to them to make them pretty healthy.

Deviled eggs are always the first things to go at potlucks.

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LULUBELLE65 12/6/2013 1:43PM

    Greek salad--cucumbers, tomato, feta, red onion, olives, lots of oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil. You can add chick peas too, or artichoke hearts.

Couscous salad. You can make similar to above, or try couscous, some red onion, dried cranberries, some chopped toasted almonds and an orange vinegarette dressing.

Deviled eggs are always the first things to go at potlucks.

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SMILINGTREE 12/6/2013 1:28PM

    Massaged kale salad is awesome. And you could always do a black bean and corn salad to fill tacos. A cheese and cracker plate would be a hit. Or, a tray with olives, pickles, pickled okra, ham, and crackers. An orzo salad would be tasty. Gah. Now I'm hungry ;)

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ICEDEMETER 12/6/2013 1:19PM

    My stand-by is always quinoa salad (cooked quinoa sauteed with almonds, gruyere, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and spices) - which is great cold, or can be heated in a microwave if some prefer. It doesn't hurt to have some cooked, spiced chicken breast strips, beef strips, or shredded hard-boiled eggs for folks to add if they like. If you've got some vegans in the crowd, then using veggie broth to cook the quinoa in gives great flavour, and the cheese can be left separate for others to add later, but I have to admit that I prefer cooking the quinoa in chicken broth and melting the cheese in!

Hope you have a great time!

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BRANDIW7 12/6/2013 1:04PM

    Could you take a hot dish and keep it hot in a crock pot?

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All State Half Marathon - Boston

Monday, September 16, 2013

Yesterday morning, I ran my very first half marathon. How did I do ? Well, I managed to stagger across the finish line in roughly 2 hrs 35 mins. I would have liked to have been a little faster, but considering this was my first half, I'm not complaining.

Here are a couple of photos of the bling and swag.

I'll admit that I never really considered myself much of a distance runner because of issues I've had with my knees off/on for years. The longest distance I'd ever run for a race was 7.5 miles. Most of my races had either been 5k or 10ks. Those are distances that I can comfortably run. a half marathon ? That was going to be a whole new experience. I worried that my knees might be able to handle the distance.

But, I was looking for a new challenge. So, I decided to try a half. I had hoped to train for the BAA Half that's running in October, but got locked out of registration. The race filled in less than 20 minutes. That meant finding a difference race. I'd considered a bunch of others, but then I found the All State Insurance Half Marathon. That seemed like a good fit. I'd talked with a couple of friends who train runners. They told me I could probably do it, but I might not be able to run it as fast as I wanted because I didn't have enough time to train.

AND... they were right. I really could have used one more month of training. This race would be a test run. I wanted to see if I really could run that distance because in past, my longest run was 8-9 miles. So, I promised a friend that if I ran the race, I wouldn't kill myself. I was going to have some fun and I did.

I ran most of the race at an 11 minute pace. By the time I got to mile 10, I started feeling the back ache. That's also when I think I was hitting the wall. That's when I started slowing down. My legs felt like lead. I had to walk mile 11. Like I said, I promised a friend I wouldn't hurt myself. I probably did a walk/jog for the last three miles. That's slowed me down, but I crossed the finish line with no injuries. Just the back ache. ;)

I was also mildly dehydrated by the time I crossed the finish line. I was feeling nauseous even though I'd stopped at every water stop to drink. I had a sandwich with me, but couldn't only manage a couple of bits right after the race. It took another 30 minutes for my stomach to settle down. Then I ate.

Today, I'm a little achy, but that was expected. When will my next half be ? Not for a while. Definitely need more time for training. For now, I'll stick to some 5 or 10ks.

PS - Speaking of pictures. They did have photograpers all along the course taking photos. All I could think of is this,"Why are you taking my photo when I look like the insides of a goat !! " I'm running 13.1 miles, I look awful !!! Although, I did strike a pose a couple of times early in the course. Towards the end, ugh.... I could have also had a better picture taken at the end, but like I said I was all beat up by the end of the race and hardly photogenic.

AND ! those race photos are expensive !

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARIAJESTRADA 11/13/2013 8:54PM

    Holy cow! That is awesome! I can't wait to walk jog again. I'll settle for the walk jog. Man, I tell you, when I was jogging, I was loving it. I hope I get PT soon. Waiting for referrals takes forever.

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JADOMB 10/16/2013 9:01PM

    Great job, I'm proud of ya. I don't think I'll ever try doing anymore than a 5k when and if I do those things. I just don't think I have enough cartilage in my knees for that kind of distance. But you just keep it up and maybe someday you'll do the full marathon.

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LOVEXAVIE 9/27/2013 5:25PM

  Congrats on the Half!! That's mighty impressive!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARGARITTM 9/17/2013 10:00AM

    Nice job on the half. You did it nobody can take that away from you! I know about the BAA races - crud they seel out so quickly.

.... Next time hydrate the whole weeek before the race..... it will help.

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KAYOTIC 9/17/2013 9:38AM

    emoticon Well done for a first half with not-so-good training! It sounds like you were smart to walk at the end there, and now you know you can do it, so you can improve on that for next time!

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ONMYMEDS 9/17/2013 8:28AM

    Great job. Congratulations on your first HM.

emoticon emoticon

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KITTY20 9/17/2013 8:01AM

    Way to go !! emoticon emoticon

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PMRUNNER 9/17/2013 6:19AM

    Well done! Good job on the race and on the finish. Now you may be a bit more prepared when you run your next half!

I think the half and ten miler are my favorite distances, but I usually end up running in local 5ks and 10ks. Keep up the training and racing!

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PATRICIAAK 9/17/2013 4:54AM

    super on finishing

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KRISZTA11 9/17/2013 3:45AM

    Wonderful! Congrats to your HM!
Your strategy starting at a manageable pace, and then adding some walks when you got tired was very good - you finished with a good time and without any injuries.
13.1 miles is a huge distance, I hope I will be able to do it in the future.

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FENWAYGIRL18 9/17/2013 12:31AM

    emoticon emoticon WOW what an accomplishment!!!!!!!!!!!! great job, I bet in your wildest dreams at your heaviest you'd of never thought you'd do anything like this kudos to you!!!!
Also good for you for listening to your body and walking at the end, it doesn't matter if you ran the whole way you finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So proud of my fellow Massachusetts neighbor!
YOUR WICKED AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 9/16/2013 5:12PM

    "the insides of a goat" hahahahaha!

Congratulations! It's so good to know you did it - and 2h35m is a VERY respectable time for your first half!

You continue to be an inspiration :)

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JACKIE542 9/16/2013 11:52AM

    Congratulations!! emoticon emoticon

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CRAVINGLIFE 9/16/2013 10:51AM

    Congratulations on your first Half Marathon! You must feel so proud to have accomplished it! Even though you didn't get the time you would have liked, YOU DID IT!!! That is more than I can say.

emoticon emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 9/16/2013 10:41AM

    YAY! So proud of you! Thank you for sharing the pictures with us. I can't wait to see more.

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CALENSARIEL 9/16/2013 10:23AM

    Way to go, girlfriend! Very impressive! You've got a growing collection there. emoticon emoticon emoticon Can't wait to see some pictures. Hugs, Calen~

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SNOWYOGA 9/16/2013 10:14AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMEYER4 9/16/2013 6:45AM

  great job. keep up the good work

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TAICHIDANCER 9/16/2013 6:42AM

    Excellent job! emoticon emoticon

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Memphis Soul 5K BBQ Run

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Someone once asked me how I choose a 5K to run. I replied,"I run some 5ks, because I happen to like the t-shirt or the charity". Today, I ran a 5K for fun. Didn't even know I was going to even run it until Thursday when I received an email saying there were less than 100 bibs left. So, I decided to do it.

It wasn't my best run or my worst. It wasn't hot hot, but it was a tad warmer than I would have liked. Also, I ran 7 miles yesterday and should have taken today off as a rest day. But no, I had to run 5K. Why ? For charitable purposes, a cool t-shirt and FUN finishers medal !!

You can't beat a finisher's medal that has a cute pig on it. Yeah, I will run 5k for a medal with a pig on it. LOL !!! Elvis even ran the race. two of them !

Now, some of you have asked me how my new job has been going. And it's been going great. I can't be more thrilled. It's been a fantastic experience so far. However, some of you have noticed that I've posted some tweets that work has been a little stressful and wondered what's up with that. Work has been stressful, but not because of the work. Work has been stressful because I've suspected (no, knew) a colleague was stealing from the company.

I can't go into specific details because there is now an on going investigation. Long story short, another co-worker and I have been convinced that a new employee had been stealing expensive equipment for several weeks. This past week, we didn't catch him in the act. But we found the smoking gun i.e. proof of his thefts. So, the investigation is in full swing and I know this much... the next time I see this person, I want it to be in a courtroom with me giving my testimony that puts him away for grand theft larceny. I'd ask him why he did it, but honestly I don't expect the truth. That's the one thing we noticed about this guy in the first couple of weeks of his arrival, he's a pathological liar.

So, that's why I've been a tad stressed out these past few weeks. This quote from Theodore Roosevelt sums up how I've been feeling about the situation,"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADOMB 9/15/2013 2:18PM

    Great to hear things are going well. Sorry about having a pathological liar nearby, I hate them. That's why I can't even trust our Govt. anymore. Anyway, hope this thing gets taken care of you are rid of this blight on society.

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KAYOTIC 8/29/2013 10:13AM

    Love your reasons for running the 5K! Was there also BBQ involved?

And hope the work problem gets sorted out soon! That does sound stressful....I hope that guy is no longer in a position to steal from the company!

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SNOWYOGA 8/26/2013 7:29PM

    emoticon emoticon and good luck

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MERRY_XMAS 8/26/2013 4:22PM

    Congratz for the race and for taking action with this employee. You did the right thing!


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MELOSPARKLE 8/26/2013 10:06AM

    I would definitely run a race for a cute medal! Congrats!

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ICEDEMETER 8/26/2013 9:52AM

    Sounds like you run for the sheer joy of it --- that cute medal is just a great perk!

It's so hard when you get situations like that at work, but good to hear that there's an end in sight. The right thing to do is often the hardest thing to do, but always well worth it when you can look yourself in the eye in the morning and continue to be proud of yourself.

Hope you can get back to just enjoying the new job soon!

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THINRONNA 8/26/2013 4:17AM

    Nice job on the run! There are not very many of those here. I miss them. Love the medal!

Crazy about your work situation. I am sorry you had to go through so much stress. I am really glad that guy got caught!

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KRISZTA11 8/26/2013 2:43AM

    Congrats to the 5K, the medal is really very cute : )
I'm glad your new job is good!
So sorry about the difficult situation with that colleague, I hope the investigation will put a satisfactory end to it, and you don't have to suffer this pressure any longer.
Confrontation at work is so stressful...

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CALENSARIEL 8/25/2013 9:46PM

    I think you should just make collecting pig medals (or whatever) a hobby and see how many you can get! It is cute!

That's pretty heavy about work. So are you thinking you WILL be called on to testify in court if it gets that far? How long has this guy worked there?

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CIRANDELLA 8/25/2013 6:47PM

    The run sounded absolutely delightful, Karen - and that medal is an amazing, one-of-a-kind memento! What a kick, too, knowing that Elvis ran the race :) Sorry to hear about the very stressful, pressure-cooker situation at work with this pathological liar. I hope the investigation is fruitful and that he will be made to pay for his crime(s)... Take good care, in the meantime, and stay well! - Susan

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PATRICIAAK 8/25/2013 4:45PM

    Great on the run.
Hope the job 'situation' resolves.

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