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Any Advice? To Sell or Not?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Had a busy week planned but a few things got postponed, which gave me a day I desperately wanted to spend at the studio. I have several things people have requested me to make, and I have been eager to get them made.

Hubby seems to think I shouldn't be selling things, but that I should donate them to charity or give them to my friends. I don't know what to think except that I have enjoyed having people tell me they really like my stuff, enough to spend money on it! It is very validating (and that is something I need) though I know I should enjoy making pottery for the sake of enjoyment, not concerning myself with what other people think.

Last night is when he mentioned this, after a friend saw on Facebook the picture I have also posted up above. She said she really wants to buy something of mine and wanted to see more pictures. I emailed them to her (she'd also asked about pricing)

The bowl above is a salad bowl someone requested. She'd bought a few other things a few weeks ago, and wanted this to match as much as I could match it in basic coloring and surface design. You may remember the vase I've posted a couple of photos of. That is the inspiration for this bowl. It is 12 inches across the top and 4 1/2 inches deep. I sent pictures and my friend said it's great.

I'm in a quandry. My hubby says don't sell. I am continuing to plan to do so. I guess I need to explain to him how good it makes me feel to sell, and ask him exactly why I shouldn't. I remember before he mentioned something to me about selling pieces puts too much pressure on me. (We are all about keeping my life as stress free as is possible, to aid in my mental health stability. Why add another unnecessary stressor?) I do like to have a little spending money that I don't feel like I have to report to him what I spend it on. Or I don't have to feel I'm messing up his budget when I buy clay or want to sign up for the next class. Maybe his ego is hurt that I'm finding a way to give myself a little security...that I don't trust him to provide financial security. It's not like I'm making a ton of money off of this stuff! It's just a little pocket money, for Pete's sake!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLMEIRING 8/11/2014 7:13AM

    It's been a little while since you wrote this and I am wondering if you came to any conclusions? Your work is beautiful!

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KANOE10 7/25/2014 9:25AM

    I would sell and identify yourself as an artist. Plus you can use the money to buy more materials to keep doing your pottery. I would try to talk to your husband, again. There are times when I just accept the fact that my husband will not understand nor agree to some things.

Your bowl is beautiful.

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JULIAINLA 7/24/2014 9:14PM

    That piece above is gorgeous! You are really talented! SELL! Just don't get overwhelmed. If you do, then stop taking orders.
Enjoy well deserved money.

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_JODI404 7/24/2014 9:10PM

    It sounds like you've worked out what you want to do... and sometimes people have to agree to disagree. I think this is YOUR decision to make, and I cannot think of any good reason why you should not sell your creations just as thousands of other artists and creatives do. (I LOVE to shop on Etsy -- love to support handmade!!)

I think he needs to give a really solid reason or reasons to justify his opinion. I do think this is ego based.

I have every confidence you two will work it out. Best of luck with continuing to sell. I really think it's a VERY positive thing. A-Z.... the whole hobby!


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KNYAGENYA 7/24/2014 5:43PM

    You are very talented at making pottery. If it makes you happy to sell the items, then go ahead and sell the items. I would be thrilled if someone wanted to buy my knitting.

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ANGGEL40 7/24/2014 5:03PM

    Talk with your husband some more and hopefully you both can come to an agreement...yes you could make extra money but is it worth your hubby being mad...wishing you all the best!

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ANNEMAC5 7/24/2014 3:01PM

    Your husband has known you for a long time and I can see he wants to protect you from the high's and lows you might encounter. However like most people I think you should sell just on a small controlled way. You could then pay for your classes and material with perhaps a little extra left over. You need to sit down together and let him know how you feel and get him to explain his side. Good luck

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PEZMOM1 7/24/2014 11:22AM

    Selling sounds like a good thing so that you can buy more clay to keep doing what makes you happy.

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2014TODAY 7/24/2014 9:31AM

    I think first of all you must get more clarity on why your husband would not want you to sell. Until you know, it's not worth your energy to worry about this.

I don't think that you need to worry about too much pressure if you keep this a limited thing. You could set limits for yourself (and discuss them with him if you feel that would be good) with regard to just how much time per week you will spend on the pottery.

Then, I want to shout SELL!!!! If that brings you pleasure, by all means sell it. Use your creativity. Earn some money. It need not be a big enterprise, but there's nothing wrong with getting your work that you love so much, valued by others. IMHO

Comment edited on: 7/24/2014 9:32:11 AM

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FREGGIE 7/24/2014 9:30AM


Comment edited on: 7/24/2014 9:31:00 AM

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MIAMOJO 7/24/2014 9:23AM

    I think it's really up to YOU. It's not about what you "should" do (according to others). SHOULD is a tricky word that usually stands for things we don't want to do but are 'guilted' into doing.

Being an artist is no less of a profession than anything else. Even if you consider it a "hobby," you have skills and knowledge and talent that required effort and time and money to develop, and what you produce is worth something, the same as the product of anyone else's work -- just like a lawyer's billable hour, the dress for sale at the boutique, a meal at a restaurant, or the fee you pay to the plumber or your hair stylist.

Should all of them work as volunteers, too? Should they all give it away for free?

What if you had instead put your time and effort into becoming an accountant -- would you be told you should do people's books for free? Of course not...but why not? Is it because that's seen as more "serious" than what you do, or more valuable, or more prestigious? Would you be expected to work for free and buy your accounting software and take classes with extra money from the budget, if there happened to be any?

You say "I should enjoy making pottery for the sake of enjoyment," but plenty of people enjoy their work and earn an income from it. In fact, they are the lucky ones! It is truly wonderful to earn money from what you are passionate about.

Just some food for thought from a fellow artist. Maybe something here will help you explain it to your husband. But most importantly, you say it feels right to you and makes you feel good, along with providing the money you need to keep doing it. Those seem like excellent reasons, not that you even need any reasons.

Also, don't forget that you can be in control of what you sell and how much you sell.

Best wishes to you.

Comment edited on: 7/24/2014 9:33:16 AM

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KELLIEBEAN 7/24/2014 8:32AM

    I can see your husband's point. Your mental health is very important to him. You definitely need a conversation and let him know he has a valid point and you appreciate it.

But, this is a hobby you love and you should be able to make money to keep doing something you love. Maybe sell a few things and make a few things to donate.

The bowl is beautiful!

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    Interesting dilemma! Not sure what is going on in husband's thinking.....yes, best to just ask him. I would wonder if getting into selling is going to put a lot of pressure on you that you don't need. Plus, I think it will put a time and performance demand on you that might take away from your development as an artist. You would have to spend time making things that others asked for, not what you wanted to do based on your personal creativity and inspiration. But, I agree, a little pocket money would be nice and would cover the expense of materials & classes. You probably will need to do self-employment records if you have a consistent income. Maybe you could allow selling on a very small scale, just to get your feet wet with it......see how it works, how it makes you feel, and how husband reacts? Just limit your time & effort allocation for now so you don't overextend yourself? Then take things a step at a time and reevaluate. Just my opinion, but I don't think you should simply give stuff away (unless it is personal gifts for specific occasion like a birthday, wedding, or shower gift). You have too much tied up in time and materials!

I run into some of the same issues with dance and am thinking through some of this right now. Not really about money, but more about time and energy management....what do I want to be my goals in dance?

Comment edited on: 7/24/2014 8:30:01 AM

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FERRETLOVER1 7/24/2014 8:23AM

    Sorry, but I must disagree with your husband! Why shouldn't you make money doing something you love. This could even become a full-time business for you should you want it to. Go for it - sell away! emoticon

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HMBROWN1 7/24/2014 8:17AM

    I love the salad bowl! I would definitely pay for it too! Your time and talent is valuable. You should be so proud!

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Unbelievable...My Pottery is Selling!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

You all who read my friend feed statuses have read that I have begun to sell my pottery! I am, to say the least surprised and also very humbled that people like my art and want to own it enough that they will pay money for it, (and I donít believe Iím under pricing it) some of it to give as gifts!

I have earned enough to pay for 120 pounds of new clay! Or almost enough to pay for a 10 week session of class at the studio! With that amount of clay I can make a lot of pottery, as you can imagine! (It takes 1 1/2 pounds to make a tumbler or mug)

Ok, now for some pictures. Iím going to repost before pic of a vase and a post firing one. There has been 2 salt/soda firings, and one gas kiln firing. I had nothing turn out acceptable to me in the gas kiln. So Iím not even going to show any pics of those. I think Iíll stick to salt and electric like I learned in my beginners class, as Iíve found people like that stuff too. (I prefer the brighter colors of electric, but the organic feel to the salt fired stuff)

Salt kiln pics:

old one of glazed vase: (posted in a previous blog)

finished one of vase, this one has sold!
another view.
Pitcher that sold. The woman who bought the vase and this pitcher asked me to be a fruit bowl to match these two. She said make sure I use the same inner glaze. Funny but when I first saw how this glaze turned out I didn't care for it but everyone likes it!

This is a picture of the whole first salt batch, the bowl in front of the vase sold too!

one in the works, can't wait to finish it

second salt firing I used a different clay, and the person controlling the firing of the kiln purposely lightened stuff up a little. This was all my product:

A couple of the pieces from that firing sold, too.

Now here's something totally different and I've sold a couple of these, too. I'll make more of these, they are great gifts at $15. They are about the size of a large palm of a hand.

Something I'm working on, a bread baking bowl

My experiment that I am excited to see the results

Finally, I will show you a picture my friend sent me of the pitcher she bought from me after she put flowers in it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 7/15/2014 10:36PM

    Beautiful! You are very talented!

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BABY_GIRL69 6/28/2014 10:06PM

    Love the pieces! Vintage & expensive looking...

God bless. & hugs!


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_JODI404 6/26/2014 10:58PM

    Your pottery is absolutely gorgeous!! All of it. I am not a bit surprised it is selling. I imagine that would feel like a special honor to have people appreciate and value what you have made.

How fabulous that you can take that money and invest it back into continuing classes and more clay!

It is truly wonderful that you have found something that you love to do!

ENJOY!! Thanks for sharing pics ~ I love seeing your work!!

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    They are so beautiful....all of them!
The little bird on the birdbath is adorable!
I would buy your stuff....most definitely.

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KNYAGENYA 6/26/2014 6:19PM

    That's wonderful. Your items are gorgeous. Keep up the good work.

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HDHAWK 6/26/2014 4:58PM

    Very nice! I too, have been busy making the wood burned lazy susans. Once people saw them I got several orders. Wish I had more time to work on them. You're work is lovely!

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ANNEMAC5 6/26/2014 1:36PM

    Thank you for sharing you must be so proud (and I hope your DH is too). They are all lovely I love the coppery tones, you have an artistic eye and you also must have a steady hand along with patience emoticon emoticon

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2014TODAY 6/26/2014 12:34PM

    Lovely work! And I'm so happy for you that your work sells! emoticon

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PRESBESS 6/26/2014 11:45AM

    Wow! You are good girl! Geeze, you have me thinking of looking into a pottery class. I really like what you've created.

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PEZMOM1 6/26/2014 9:44AM

    Your pottery is awesome!

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CHERYL_ANNE 6/26/2014 9:41AM

    The love and care you put into your work shines right through!

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JAMIRBLAZE 6/26/2014 9:27AM

    Lovely. Thanks for sharing! I've always wanted to get a wheel and kiln, but would have to win the lotto first. emoticon

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KANOE10 6/26/2014 9:25AM

    Your pottery is beautiful. i am so excited it is selling and people are buying it. This is also good that you are earning money to keep making pots and taking classes.

You are an artist my friend! Well done.


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NANCYPAT1 6/26/2014 8:51AM

    your pottery is beautiful

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2BDYNAMIC 6/26/2014 8:44AM

    Oh my gracious!! Of course it is going to see ............... All the way thru I kept saying "WOW!" ................. Truly beautiful and so creative! ........ emoticon ...... and look forward to see how it continues to do. (Love your page too) ........

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NUTRON3 6/26/2014 8:22AM


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    What a wonderful gift, doing something you love to do and being able to earn a living from it

Make Today the Greatest Day of Your Life

emoticon Until Tomorrow!

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SANDICANE 6/26/2014 8:20AM

    Oh my gosh! No wonder it's selling, it's BEAUTIFUL!

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I am Like a Palm Tree

Monday, June 02, 2014

I'm discovering something about my spiritual strength. Just want to share.

I am like a palm tree. Great roots and strong trunk. Able to withstand harsh storms in life as the palm in a hurricane or typhoon. My fronds whip around in the storm, and I hold on to most of them. My Father in heaven has given me faith; a deep abiding faith that during and after a storm holds tight to the One who gives me strength. Through storms and trade winds, (the many worries that toss my mind about, and the harsher storms such as my bipolar mind, my battles with weight, and relationship issues)I may falter and worry, but always go back to knowing in my heart of hearts that I am cared about and can find peace in the midst of life. I am strong and resilient as the palm. I bask in the Son (sun) and hope to give others inspiration to stand firm and hold on to the faith in their heart.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BDYNAMIC 6/26/2014 8:46AM

    Very beautiful .......... Having abiding Faith in our Heavenly Father is a wonderful thing ............. keeping us peaceful and knowing He is there. emoticon

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LINDA! 6/4/2014 7:48PM

    Very nice.

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KANOE10 6/3/2014 9:43AM

    That was a lovely blog. You are strong and will continue to face the challenges of life with your courage and positive thoughts.


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_JODI404 6/2/2014 11:04PM

    Wonderful blog!!! I love your thoughts and realizations here about your strength during the storms!!

Always -- FAITH over fear!!!!

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JULIAINLA 6/2/2014 10:53PM

    Beautifully said ! I love palm trees!

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KNYAGENYA 6/2/2014 10:58AM


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ANDREWMOM 6/2/2014 10:38AM


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Making Changes, Feeling Healthier and Happier

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spent 4 days with my parents. They eat terribly and I don't think I had much of a good impact on them though I ate very healthfully. They are 81 and don't feel any urgency to extend their lives by living with their heath in mind. Though they complain about aches and pains, they don't realize that the quality of life and aches, pains and energy levels may at least improve if they paid attention to what they put in their bodies. There are many foods that cause inflammation and they probably have sensitivities to a couple of them, but are unaware that they eat them. My dad has cancer of the blood and I imagine he just wants to enjoy what he likes to eat, why put effort into forcing himself to eliminate foods.

We get set in our ways. At 55 for the first time I'm actually taking notice of how foods make me feel. Whether they make me ache or sap my energy. Some make me more emotional including frustration and anger. I now am caring what I put into my body. This has developed after seeing my adult children all take care to eat well. My youngest son (22) and I have a wonderful relationship and he is having the most impact on me and also my hubby.

My husband is a very picky eater who never consumed veggies. He has been listening to health podcasts and is changing his diet bit by bit! He is eating sweet potatoes, will eat cucumber tomato salad(!) and even ate steamed broccoli, carrots (his much despised food) and squash. He said he only remembers canned mushy yucky tasting carrots from his childhood. The ones we had at the steakhouse were sweet and firm. This is so cool! He's trying new things. He's found he feels so much better without gluten and dairy. We're even eating out much less often! That's a big deal!

So his changes have inspired me...if he is willing to make changes after an adamant hate for veggies and love for milk and cookies, I am challenged and now listening to my body and making great strides to take care of myself... for me! I had made many changes before, but always thought that sugar didn't effect me much, and it wouldn't be that big of a difference to get rid of it. (Surprise...I tried it to see if I could see a difference and...um...well, it did!) My goal isn't even totally focused on weight loss, though I'm hopeful that cutting out the sugar and refined carbs will impact my weight.

We all can work at eliminating one thing at a time to reach a point that we feel good. I'm happier and calmer, feel more confident and walk taller.

I am praying for help to make these changes, and knowing this is something God would want for me, (to feel good and happy,) He is kind and is hearing my prayer. Answers are coming bit by bit as I am willing to put forth an effort.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNYAGENYA 6/1/2014 8:59AM

    It's hard to get people to see some things after they are set in their ways. I love eating veggies but hubby refuses to eat them. All we can do is that they come to the decision on their own that food can change how we feel.

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KANOE10 6/1/2014 8:30AM

    I am much happier and feel so much better without sugar. We are also eating pretty gluten free..but not dairy free. I am glad your husband is making healthy changes as are you. You are doing great in making good healthy choices!


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_JODI404 5/31/2014 11:39PM

    I am a really picky eater as well.... it does make it more challenging sometimes when SO many things that would be healthier are things I despise. Luckily, I don't need to have a ton of variety in my food... so if I find a few really great basics and stick with them... I do pretty well.

I think it is really awesome that your hubby is making healthy changes with you, and it's great that you both are feeling the positive impacts. Sugar is definitely something that I am focusing on greatly reducing! I do well at keeping dairy to very low levels. I did lose weight when I initially greatly reduced dairy. I try to reserve for our at home meals of pizza and black bean nachos. Besides that -- there isn't too much dairy except a rare dessert treat perhaps.

I applaud you for making these changes! It takes a lot of effort at first... but then I think it becomes easier as you adapt.

Glad to hear you are doing so well!

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2014TODAY 5/31/2014 1:42PM

    Seems you have great men in your life: husband and son.
I can't imagine anyone thriving if they don't eat vegetables...

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SKINNYPAT62 5/31/2014 1:34PM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing! I finally had a loss after being on a plateau and yo yo but I just keep going. I feel so much better no matter what the scale says!

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3 Things: Acknowledging Sugar isn't a Good Idea, Salt Kiln, and 5K

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Right now Iím gearing up for a quick visit in Wisconsin with my parents, brothers and beloved Aunt and Uncle.

Iíve taken some time to eliminate a few foods (seven in fact) from my diet. Ever hear of the Virgin Diet? Iím not on it, but just testing out elimination tactics to determine if certain foods may be responsible for things I have taken as normal things. (morning headaches occasionally, belly aches, banging pulse, bloating. I have become so used to these things, and so stubborn to imagine that I should ever have to give up my beloved comfort food group SUGAR. I also am working hard at keeping a great balance of my carb, fat, protein levels. I know without a doubt that lower carbs (not NO carbs) helps me lose weight. I am getting my carbs from fruit, veggies and minimal grains. In challenging myself to keep my carbs down, I see I canít afford to put sugar laden foods in my mouth.

Last night, after a couple of weeks without sugar, I was at our first salt kiln firing. It was a social event. The kiln is outdoors and it was a beautiful evening. The photographer present had brought a bakery box of salted caramel brownies to celebrate the event. (Salt kiln/ Salted caramel connection which i thought was clever) We were having unexpected issues with a blower ceasing to burn properly. The 12 of my pieces were in jeopardy of getting messed up. I responded with a o heck, why not have a piece. So I had one. A half hour later a friend tried one and said, there are still a lot leftÖgo ahead and have another! Just that first taste had been enough to prime the pump, so I had another. In retrospect they werenít all that good. To top it off, I woke up with a rip-roaring headache. Glad to have the knowledge that my morning headaches have an explanation, though Iíll have to check to see if chocolate is suspect at all. I had also had quite a bit of cocoa in some no sugar Almond butter/cocoa balls i made, only sweetened with a tiny bit of Monk Fruit sweetener. Iíd eaten several in the mid-day. More than usual. I usually have one or two and never had a reaction. I also on my weeks of feeling really well had been having a tablespoon of cocoa in my morning coffee. No headaches from that. Maybe larger amounts of cocoa bothers me. Yet to be tested outÖitís all trial and error.

The good news is, Iím finally at a point in my life, taking cues from all my children who donít consume sugar, That I am mindful of what effect foods have on my body. Getting over that stubbornness that kept me from entertaining the thought that sugar was all that evil. Iíll be really tested on my trip to my folksí, but it is 5 days and I have already a plan to stop at the store to get my healthy options before arriving at their house. Already told my dad Iím not doing sugar so he knows I wonít do my usual baking. I only have to make sure mom doesnít bake to win my love and attention like she did last time.

Photos of salt kiln getting loaded. My large vase is in the bottom right.

This shows the heat in the kiln. It's at 2000degrees F. here
Iím still spending lots of time on my pottery. Enjoying the present, not worried about whether Iíll be in the next class. My zeal is speaking for itself, and I am confident that we will find a way for me to continue working through the summer.

Photo of Abi and me Untitled




Abi, my 9-year-old grandchild and I ran and walked the 5K last Saturday at App State, in Asheville, NC. All the girls in this Girls on the Run club got a tag with the # 1. And all get medals at the finish line. It is non-competitive and not timed. It is all to help the girls learn that exercise is fun. Great program.

Mountain schools have hilly walking trails! This was a challenging walk/run. I do not run. I ONLY run when Iím with grandkids. I donít want to let them think of me as an old woman. I ran at first, the track was nice and cushy. Then we went uphill off the track and on to the path we had to follow three times around. Uphill, I never ran, down hilll, many times I ran. On the last lap Iíd noticed a twinge in my back and didnít want to push my luck since my back is the thing that keeps me from running, so I told Abi that since this is all about taking care of our bodies, the thing I needed to do now was take care of my back and only walk. No more running. She was protective of me from then on. Once I said lets run this one, and she said no, lets not, you need to take care of your back. I made an exception to run through the finish line. After all the track is cushy.

Hubby and my daughter and Abiís brother sat on the side of the trail at the bottom of one of the hills. When they saw me running, after lap one and two, they were really surprised that I was able to still have moments of running. Iím pretty proud of myself and had no resulting back pain since the event. We were at the tail end of the pack. It was at least 1500 girls and adult running buddies. Quite an event! Two water stations, and we got water each time. The kids loved throwing down their cups.

This was the first 5K I participated in with a real group. Abi and I are excited we had this time together!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 5/22/2014 8:25AM

    What a lovely healthy experience with Abby. I love the idea of teaching girls that running and exercise is fun.

I am glad you are learning what works for your body. I have had to give up sugar also. I find that small doses are not too bad.

Have a great vacation. That is a smart plan of stopping and getting healthy snacks to take to your mom's house.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/22/2014 7:42AM

    Well done, all around! emoticon for you AND your Abi!

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CHERYL_ANNE 5/21/2014 8:00PM

    Hurray for you in sharing a lifetime memory with your beautiful granddaughter!

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KNYAGENYA 5/21/2014 7:09PM

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. I'm sorry to hear about the sugar headache. Sugar is my "frenemy" as well. I get to blame gluten on all of my problems though.

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LINDA! 5/21/2014 6:30PM

    It definitely does look like a great time together. I like to see the pottery and your large vase looks wonderful.

Hope you have a good and sugar free time with your parents.

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