BRAVELUTE   86,184
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BRAVELUTE's Recent Blog Entries

Circles of Progress

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I stumbled upon this site, or was led here. The concept seems to have really grabbed me because I see a simple technique to visualize goal, progress, and to decide what might need more attention or better planning, etc.

I also think the Circles of Progress could take the place of resolution making. Now, I don't subscribe to making resolutions on New Year's Eve. I do keep a jar where I put little strips of paper that give a date and short description of milestones. Then I traditionally read those slips on New Year's Eve. The older I get, the more I realize I have forgotten that those milestones even happen.

So I see those little milestone slips as post-it notes on the inner circle. For me, the forgetter, that would become a visual reminder of progress, if I hung it on the back of my door.

And the SP goal board has become my daily reminder of where I'm heading.
So that has been my outer circle, the goals I'm working on to move into the TA DA inner circle. Actually physically moving the slip to the inner circle will be a bit of positive reinforcement that I have come to realize I need.

Hmm. Over 65 with a lifetime of doling out the positive reinforcement to my students, and I find I need a little "gold star" or pat on the back treatment.

Check out the link if any of this seems to fit you.

I'm off to make my Circles of Progress Board. I plan to hang it up, maybe on the back of the bathroom door?? We'll see.

PS If you made a Circles of Progress Board with a coach or significant other, you might like to check out the interview questions to ask each other here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWYOGA 11/20/2014 1:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DWSCHUYLER 11/1/2014 7:37AM

    Sounds like something interesting to consider. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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GAILANN48 10/23/2014 5:58AM

    This is very interesting - I'll check it out. Thank you for sharing this find. :)

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DS9KIE 10/23/2014 12:07AM


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LESLIELENORE 10/22/2014 2:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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2015TODAY 10/22/2014 1:42PM

    Very nice idea, thank you! I intend to use it soon. I particularly like that we can use post-it's. That is probably much better than writing it down.

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JEANNETTE59 10/22/2014 12:19PM

  How about some emoticon a emoticon and a emoticon for being you and for sharing!

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CBRINKLEY401 10/22/2014 10:54AM

    You deserve a gold star AND a pat on the back.
emoticon emoticon

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SHARJOPAUL 10/22/2014 10:37AM

    Looks like a very good idea

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Sparkers Unite as Instruments of Change, or We shall overcome one day

Monday, September 22, 2014

Yes, I'll admit I'm a child of the sixties, but I think the attitude of speaking up for what is right is in my genes. My great great grandfather's statue helping a runaway slave cross the Niagara river comes to mind. And my great aunt sat down and fired off old-fashioned stamped letters everytime she found something remarkable about a food product, whether on the positive side or negative. She received lots of coupons for doing that. I still marvel at that happening during the depression.

So the family traditions seem to continue with me.

You know, we have convenience stores connected to gas stations here. Probably all over the US. Inside you can pick up the basics of things you might need to save you a trip to the big grocery store, if you are willing to pay a little more. The cost of gasoline currently makes these convenient shopping trips even more desirable.

So if you are hungry, some of those stores ONLY have soda, chips, candy, ice cream, cake, or cookies, greasy pizza or hot dogs. To my mind this makes the real cost extreme.

But I am finding more and more convenience stores have wraps, yogurt, fresh fruit like bananas, apples and more.

I even found juice with no sugar added, hard boiled eggs and raw nuts at one Seven/Eleven 35 miles from home. I had gone down there for a PET Scan and it was after lunch when I got out of the cancer center. I made a big deal about finding the fresh banana, raw cashews, and hard boiled eggs that I put down on the 7/11 counter. And I let them know how important those healthy choices were for my continued health.

AND I make it a point to stop back in there everytime I pass that way now. I never know when my comments make it to a manager's ears, or even how much control they have over what they sell, but I DO believe that we can become instruments of change. All of Sparkdom can make it happen!! Social media is very powerful these days.

I make it a point to speak to grocery personnel about the things that are important to me. There's a cashier at Publix who spotted me as a healthy eater not long ago. I think the almond butter and sprouted grain English muffins gave me away. He shared his favorite ways to eat those items, as did I, while he rang up my purchases. Now, I look for him each trip. And we always compare notes on my purchases. It's become a game for me to see if I can surprise him with something he doesn't know about. That's getting to be next to impossible. I guess I have nothing left to teach him!! I expect to see him in a managerial position as Publix moves to take over Whole Foods.

Last night on the internet, I discovered that my Walmart had Goat Milk, NOT POWDERED, but in the fresh milk case. And when I went there, I saw the cartons but couldn't reach them on the top shelf in the back. A manager saw my predicament. He got them down for me. I asked if they usually had the goat milk. When he said yes, I thanked him and shook his hand. I should have hugged him. I have been trying to get Goat milk for 3 months. My mother gave me goat milk when I was young with allergies to all things dairy. I wanted to make my own goat cheese and see if inflammation would go away. So I think that manager will remember that at least one customer found goat milk to be important.

On my next visit, I'm going to find another staff member to thank for the goat milk, but also to request normal pasteurization as opposed to that dead unltra pasteurized product.

So, what are your current healthy food passions? Don't underestimate your power as consumer. After all, your purchases told "them" that you wanted highly processed, nutrient poor food (food is questionnable), with lots of salt, sugar and fats, whether you're buying groceries or a meal at a restaurant.

If that's NOT what you want for you and your family, be sure to make it known that you don't. Make it known what you DO want, why, and THANK THEM WHEN THEY DO HAVE IT!! We'll all be healthier for it.

Seem to be an impossible task?

I'm reminded of the story of the man walking along the beach, picking up starfish that had washed up in a storm, and throwing them back in. When he was ridiculed for undertaking a futile, thankless job, he replied, "Well, I saved that one."

Sooo, let me be the one to thank you for your efforts!! NOW!!

If you have any ideas about how we might bring about change in our healthy food supply, share below!!

Well, I'm off to make my own goat cheese. I know I can find goat cheese ready made. I guess I like the idea that I am keeping alive a tradition. I wonder how many people in the US know how to make cheese?

By the way . . . Are you aware of Kale Krunch? A chip like product made by dehydrating kale after soaking it in a vegetable sauce. 100% food, no additives.

Whole Foods has them on sale for less than half of what I pay for them at my local health food store.

And the last time I went to the store in N. Tampa, I attended a free workshop that taught me about all the healthy food in the store. I left with 20 THAT'S IT fruit bars. Each bar had one apple and one serving of another fruit like cherries, apricots, pear, etc. and THAT's IT!!! NO flour, chemicals, sugar, sweetener. Just fruit. THAT's IT!! And they are absolutely delicious.

I froze one yesterday. Yumm!!

Here's to your adventure into healthy eating.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVER-HOPEFUL 9/25/2014 9:22AM

    i remeber all schools and kindergartens in our area getting up potitions to stop the shops by us in wales putting sweets by the checkup line as when you had to queue there the small kids and toddlers would badger the parents to buy.we managed to get the sweets away from the check out line and they put batteries etc there instead.i wish we had it the same here in germany ,lol.there are always sweets by the check up.
you are lucky being able to get the produce you do from the health store.i have gone to every health store/reform haus they have over here and canīt get kale chips for love nor money.same with green tee capsules.canīt get here and i hate the taste of green tea so wonīt drink it.keep on keeping on you are doing great. emoticon

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GAILANN48 9/23/2014 9:54AM

    Really interesting information, from your story about your family's interventions to your endorsement of THAT'S IT! Thank you for taking the time to share all this info!

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DS9KIE 9/22/2014 8:52PM

    I love it when I check out at walmart or other stores and I have bok choy or collard greens and they have no idea what it is.

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JEANNETTE59 9/22/2014 6:11PM

  First, thank you for putting a big smile on my face. I've been live-streaming The Social Good Summit today and yesterday. As an "old hippie" and forever advocate it gives me hope as did your blog.
Because we know that not everyone will spend the time and energy it takes to eat clean only clean foods. Please join me in battling GMO's , (chemical poisons in our foods).

emoticon green and clean! emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 9/22/2014 4:14PM

    My mom is very vocal about what she is willing to buy, and will request store managers stock certain foods. Usually they are receptive and are willing to see if the stuff she wants has a market locally. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I don't say as much, but I do vote with the way I spend my money at the grocery store.

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MUDDER91 9/22/2014 3:41PM

    Amen!!! I have been trying to do this lately, too. We tend to eat out a couple of times a week, so I ALWAYS ask the waitress, "Do you have any vegan entrees?" and usually the answer is no, and I go on to make my own meal out of what I know is in the kitchen, but I feel like if they hear that kind of thing often enough, they might put something nice on the menu, right?

I will have to start writing letters to people. I like that idea.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1. We're not doing my 6 mo. PET scan, partly because my counts are so good, but also because Medicare only allows 3 during your lifetime. Since I just joined the Medicare ranks in November, we're reserving future PET scans for when we somehow think the cancer might have returned a 3rd time.

2. I'm switching from monthly to bimonthly appointments (every 2 months??) to check for blood markers and flush my port.

3. Mom is going to administer the B12 shot monthly so I can skip every other month to the oncologist. WooHoo!!


I have gained 29 pounds since Thanksgiving. Not exactly a plateau, but it felt like an express elevator to the mountaintop, and I couldn't find the right button to push to make it go back down to ground floor.

It was every discouraging. But when I went for my 6 month check up in March, I had my SP weight, fitness, and nutrition tracker reports with me. Luckily my doctor had my bloodwork report. In 6 months, T4 (thyroid marker) had zoomed up from 1.4 to 10.75. Normal range is 1 - 4.

I had switched pharmacies in November when I started Medicare. My doctor thought I had received generic medication from an iffy batch of meds. Evidently it's common enough, but I certainly wish it hadn't happened to me.

The great news is that I've been on actual Sinthroid (NOT generic) for 6 weeks. After a month my T4 was down to 2.9. And now, after 6 weeks, I'm finally seeing my weight start to go back down. 192 on Friday, 188 on Sunday, and 186 today. And again, I've not done anything differently with my diet, sleep, or fitness. Well, maybe a little since it IS warmer and I can stay in the pool a little longer. Made it for 45 minutes tonight with water temp of 84.

Since last November, I felt I was climbing up a vertical wall, scared I'd never get down to that lovely valley again. When this weird weight gain began I weighed 163, and my doctor said at my Sept. appointment that he thought 155 was a reasonable goal. (I'll be happy to get back down to 163.)

I don't know how many things are out there that can sabotage all of our best efforts to eat in a healthy way, and also to get up and move, but I'm very glad my doctor discovered what was going on with me!! Don't give up. Keep records of that you eat and how much you move, and chart your weight. Discuss your plan with your physician if you don't think things are going like you expected. Ask questions. Expect help.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DS9KIE 5/23/2014 8:22AM

    I'm glad your figuring out everything. emoticon

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GAILANN48 5/22/2014 4:49PM

    Thank you for the update. Somehow you always manage to convey hope and progress, no matter what you've been facing, or what has happened. I really admire that - and will pray for your continued progress.

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SNOWYOGA 5/22/2014 4:24PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 5/22/2014 2:23PM

  So glad you have a doctor that listens and was able to get to the source of the problem. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 5/22/2014 1:03PM

    It is good to hear about what is going on with you.

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JUSTYNA7 5/22/2014 9:53AM

    It's so frustrating/scary/baffling to be doing everything right and still see the weight packing on. Same with not being able to take it off. Thank goodness this is a problem that is resolving. Two steps back and another step forward.... you wil get there! You have so many healthy habits now and more confidence in yourself. emoticon

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EVER-HOPEFUL 5/22/2014 8:33AM


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RASPBERRY56 5/22/2014 5:13AM

    Here's to continued good news, healthwise!

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2015TODAY 5/22/2014 3:27AM

    Glad to see you post!
That's wonderful that you can go to fewer appointments.

I can imagine that the weight gain must have been so frustrating and stressfull.
I very much admire you for being able to continue with your journey. Such strength and determination.

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MARILYNROBERT 5/22/2014 1:55AM

    Sound like things are now going in a better direction for you since the weight gain stopped and you figured some things out. emoticon

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MCFITZ2 5/21/2014 11:57PM

    Happy things are getting better. emoticon

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The Theory of Relativity Speaking

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Sunday, 217 minutes of walking, 21, 136 steps, 9.6

Tuesday, 45 minutes of walking, 2, 124 steps, .9 miles

You might be ready to WOO the HOO for my Sunday workout. Personally, I say Tuesday's workout was priceless.

Why? It was done in 3 sessions in the hospital. All pushing an IV pole. The nurses were impressed with the tracker and the way all the lights lit up when I reached my 2000 step goal. They all wanted one. If I could afford it, I'd get them all one. The nurses were wonderful but not so wonderful that they would have wanted to watch me pace the 6000 steps that had been my goal pre-hospital. All of us were happy I had scaled back my step goal for the time in the hospital.

I'm not sure how much fitness I'll be able to do now that I'm back home, but I plan to keep moving and if I can increase it, woohoo. If not, then I know I'm managing to do what I can. I'm not setting my sights on Sunday's record performance, but 3000 steps tomorrow is doable, and a healthy goal.

So workouts are relative, relatively speaking.

PS: My yellow hospital socks were filthy after the walking workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday! They should have put me on the payroll for mopping the floor.

PPS: Yes, I'm much better now. I'll be very glad to juice my own clear liquids and have a more scenic walk at HOME!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAFTSFAN1 10/8/2013 9:03PM

    BRAVELUTE, please let us informed how are you doing. I am very glad that you are home now. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DS9KIE 10/5/2013 7:38AM

    hope everything is going well, bet your glad to be home.

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    emoticon Reaching your goal feels so good. Hope the rest of you follows

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SNOWYOGA 10/3/2013 9:09PM

    emoticon I'm glad your home emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 10/3/2013 9:08PM

    You did wonderful getting as many steps as you did! I hope your recovery goes smoothly.

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JEANNETTE59 10/3/2013 11:24AM

  So glad you're home! You're right about all things being relative and your upbeat perspective makes you a winner everyday. Sending you lots of emoticon and emoticon

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KIWIANN 10/3/2013 10:03AM

    You are right about your Tuesday workout being impressive!! (And I was impressed to see your Glow Getter award that day!!) Wishing you a speedy recovery!! emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 10/3/2013 9:54AM

    wishing you a quick and east recovery from your hospital stay............

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTASP 10/3/2013 3:11AM

    How are you doing now? What happened? I hope you're all right.
Good for you for exercising in the hospital!

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MICKEYH 10/2/2013 11:48PM

    Glad to know you are home now. Get well soon. emoticon

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POPSY190 10/2/2013 11:40PM

    I like the title of this. Good to hear you are now home after your shining example to us all of how to exercise in hospital! I think the thing at home is to keep moving when you can but to be extra vigilant to not overdo it.

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MATTEROFHEART 10/2/2013 11:40PM

    I didn't even know you were in the hospital! Are you ok?

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Water Water Everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Well, not really. I'm drinking my 8 glasses and more every day. So you'd think there wouldn't be any extra lying around my house, BUT THERE IS!. My porch leaks, leaks, leaks. Seeps in under the walls and creates a stinky pond. Tore up the carpet and that left a mess of old glue. Stinky. Unsightly. Decided to do something about it. Contractors for 2 weeks. Everything torn up and moved and discombobulated for 2 weeks. Then yesterday the FIXING OF THE LEAK was done, at least until 7:00 p.m. when it rained. Actually there was no leak until the next morning when there was a small pond. No big pond.

But my contractor wouldn't come look at it. He had been paid, and had to go do some estimates on new jobs. And I have a leak. Can't paint the floor because it is wet. Everything is still discombobulated.

Mom was to see a bone/muscle doc Friday, but he was going to play golf because his arms work right. We've rescheduled that for Tuesday. I have had a chance to try to repay a small bit of her caregiving when I was so sick.

But I have neglected my time on Spark People. I guess I could say circumstances have weaned me from spending so much time here, but they have not taken me away from my plan, my program. In fact I'm surprised at the choices I'm making.

It's getting cooler in the evening, and while the thyroid meds appear to be at a good level in the bloodwork, the pool seems to cool me down to the bone in the evening. I need to have them turn on the sauna so I can get warm after my workout.

One good thing came of the discombobulation--I had to move my freezer twice, emptying it and refilling it both times. So I am very aware of the available frozen bags of fruit and containers of frozen soups. Think I'll start having a cup of hot soup after the evening pool session. Get in the cooked veggies and Anti-angiogenic foods, AND warm up at the same time!!

I guess I'm glad I can't go to NC right now since I have to chauffeur Mom.
I've heard the pool near my house there is down to 72 degrees. The FL pool is still running at 88, even though the air is cooler.

Perhaps if we find out Tuesday that she doesn't need surgery, we'll both drive up there for a short while and see the leaves.

Happy Autumn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DS9KIE 9/23/2013 11:21PM

    yikes I hate leaks...I always cringe when its pouring down rain...

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GEORGE815 9/23/2013 5:46PM

    Hope your Mom deal works out for the best.

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GEORGE815 9/23/2013 5:46PM

    Hope your Mom deal works out for the best.

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JUSTYNA7 9/23/2013 9:58AM

    What a mess! We have had more rain this summer than I ever remember and had to put up evestrough because the basement seems to have a leak somewhere. I got an estimate of thousands of dollars to try and find the leak from outside with no guarentees so instead we are trying to divert water until we come up with a better plan. I am feeling quite frustrated with water myself! This too will pass.

Have to think positive though. I have a harp lesson this afternoon and feel good about the basics we reviewed last week. Harp convention (Northern Lights) next weekend and though I'm not signed up for classes I'm going to the Saturday night concert. It should be amazing and only $20 a ticket. I do love fall. Here in the Ottawa area we get spectacular fall folliage. Last night I had the window open while I slept... perfect cold nose and warm coverings combination. I have a fridge full of healthy foods and MY pool is warm today. I am grateful. Life is not perfect. There are.... things I could worry about, but today I choose to work on my to do list and step forward in my plan to get healthy. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 9/22/2013 8:43PM

    Sorry to hear about the leak. I hop you get a chance to go to NC!

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SNOWYOGA 9/22/2013 6:09PM

    I am really sorry and you are really busy I will be thinking about you and prayers that everything gets back on

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ANGEL1066 9/22/2013 5:13PM

    Hope you do get to go to .n.c, both of you. Next time, withold payment until job, has been proved by rain! Hope that works out well, too.

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CRAFTSFAN1 9/22/2013 4:33PM

    I hope that everything turns up right. I am sorry to hear that you were in such of trouble with the leaking porch.
My best wishes for your mother recuperation.
emoticon emoticon

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JEANNETTE59 9/22/2013 3:03PM

  So emoticon time for an upswing. emoticon for both you and your mom.


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L*I*T*A* 9/22/2013 12:31PM

    call the better business bureau....
hope it all works out........
blessings and hugs.............lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUDDER91 9/22/2013 12:00PM

    It was good to hear from you! Sorry about your problems. I'm glad you are still making some good decisions for your own health!

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GAILANN48 9/22/2013 5:32AM

    Oh, my goodness, what a string of disappointing and frustrating things! Well, except for the freezer knowledge and the Florida pool temps. :)

It's so good of you to be there for your mother - we don't always get to directly repay the folks to whom we owe debts of kindness and care.

Here's hoping brighter days follow for you this week!

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CHRISTASP 9/22/2013 3:38AM

    Good wishes for your mother.
That's an achievement that you continued with your plan / program!
Don't you wish the contracter had the same persistance?!

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PATRICIAAK 9/22/2013 1:38AM

    how frustrating. I'd call the better business bureau.

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SUNSHINE99999 9/21/2013 11:17PM

  Happier trails ahead for you. emoticon

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EMMACORY 9/21/2013 10:57PM

    Maybe you could report your contractor to the Small business bureau. He should make it right! Hang in there.... emoticon

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