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MADAMES's Recent Blog Entries

Heart Failure - Learn All About It

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I am learning all about heart failure as I care for my parents. Nine days ago my 87 year old mother reluctantly agreed to allow me to take her to visit her doctor. She was so near a heart attack that her physician started her on oxygen and called for an ambulance to transport her to the ER. When she was diagnosed with heart failure we were all devastated...congestive heart failure had been the diagnosis when her mother died at age 94. We assumed this was a fatal diagnosis. In fact heart failure means that your heart is not pumping as it should. You can live with heart failure by following a strict program of medication, low sodium heart healthy diet and restricting fluid intake. Mother will have to visit a cardiologist on a routine basis, weigh herself daily, count her sodium intake daily as well as her fluid intake through beverages, soups, fruit, and other foods. She will have to take medication, a new habit for her that she is not looking forward to. She will have to follow doctor's orders regarding exercise. She will be reminded to allow my dad's caregivers to take care of my dad without her constant intervention.
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This experience has turned me into a true believer that everything we do at any age with diet and exercise is important. I feel highly motivated to evaluate my daily habits even more closely than before. I am so grateful for Spark People and all their information. We can track our sodium with the click of our computer keyboard and can read all sorts of informative articles on how to stay healthy. We can support each other on this journey to be as healthy as we can. For this I am truly grateful. Try one new healthy habit today. You are worth it.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYTIE22 12/19/2014 6:07PM

    You are a wonderful daughter. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing the best for your parents. Thank you for this information too.

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RAINBOWCHOC 12/19/2014 4:46AM

    Good luck being the "policeman" on that one!

Here's hoping you all have a peaceful Christmas day.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/18/2014 9:56AM

    That's a lot on the health plate for your Mom. Is there a visiting nurse going there, at least temporarily, to monitor her? Worth checking into.

HUGS

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MARITIMER3 12/18/2014 9:04AM

    That's wonderful news, Evelyn. So much has been learned since my mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure more than 30 years ago.

I know that you will help your mother adjust to taking better care of herself. And it's a very good reminder to all of us to watch our salt!

Hugs and prayers for you and your family,
Gail

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CAPECODLIGHT 12/18/2014 8:15AM

    Thank you for this information! I thought heart failure was relatively fatal - sort of just a matter of time, without stopping it. It sounds like your mom can really improve - how wonderful for you all!
As I type this I am in Paris on vacation. I am walking about twice the amount I do at home and really enjoy it. So, my vow is to keep this up back home. Thanks for the reminder to keep working the health/diet/exercise regimen.
Joyeux Noel!
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PATRICIA-CR 12/18/2014 8:00AM

    Evelyn, your taking her to the doctor at that moment was meant to be. I'm so happy you did. Please, keep us informed on her progress. Remember to care for yourself as well.

Your final paragraph... emoticon emoticon It's not in vain that we're working as hard as we are to keep ourselves as healthy as possible.

Comment edited on: 12/18/2014 8:17:41 AM

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KANOE10 12/18/2014 7:27AM

    I am glad you took your mom in. I am keeping you and your mom in my prayers. She is luckt to have you help her through this.
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SWEETNEEY 12/18/2014 6:52AM

    thanks for sharing. were there some signs what caused you to take your mother to the doctor?

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MADAMES 12/18/2014 6:41AM

    Claire,
I was shocked to learn that you must reduce your fluid intake when you have heart failure. Her maximum allowance ( including fruit and everything else) is 64 ounces per day! Apparently the diseased heart has trouble pumping, and any excess fluids tend to pool up in the body, especially in the extremities. Heart failure patients need to weigh daily and report a daily weight gain greater than 2 pounds or 5 pounds weekly to the cardiologist. This will be a challenge for sure!

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Comment edited on: 12/18/2014 7:33:03 PM

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2HAMSDIET 12/18/2014 6:20AM

    emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/18/2014 6:03AM

    Oh Evelyn, what a huge relief to read this! I am so glad! It won't be fun for your dear mother, but it will be manageable. And as far as letting the aids help your father without her constant intervention, it is the best thing that could happen for her of course (but I KNOW how difficult it is!!!).
I have a question concerning the fact that she needs to reduce fluids. Does it mean less than the recommended 8 cups a day? And why? Thank you! :)

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"We Are Not Immortal"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A character played by Loretta Young said this in the movie, Christmas Eve, and these are the last words my mother said to me before I left her at the hospital today. She was admitted there yesterday with heart failure; she has been my dad's full-time caregiver for the past six months. The stress of caring for a spouse with dementia has really taken its toll on her little body. Although we have all pleaded with her to take good care of herself we have watched her wither away from the stress and the sorrow. My brother is sitting with her now, and one of my sisters will be with her tonight.

My father is at home with the 24 hour nursing assistant. They tell him that my mother is at the store. He doesn't know... at some point he will have a catastrophic reaction. She never leaves his side for more than an hour to dash to the grocery store or to church. We visited hime today, and he was having a good day. Tomorrow could be a bad day...wtih dementia you never know.


My mother-in-law's doctors met this week and decided that she will spend the rest of her days in a nursing home. She had pneumonia a few weeks ago. She is now too weak and too disoriented to return home, even with the in-home help she had.

In essence the three parents we had last year at this time are slipping away, all at the same time. This is tough as we prepare to say good-bye.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYM48 12/17/2014 6:25PM

    I am so sorry for all of this going on at once. Your mom is right, we are not immortal and facing the end of life for parents is not something any of us look forward too. Just take it one day at a time with each beloved parent and cherish every moment you get with them. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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KANOE10 12/14/2014 8:36AM

    I am so sorry about all three of your parents. That is so hard. Care taking can be extremely stressful. Hugs and prayers to you.

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SHARON10002 12/13/2014 1:11AM

    Sending you many emoticon and emoticon. It is very difficult and stressful being a caregiver. I have a friend whose mother has dementia, and my FIL just died, and he had it too. With all of this going on, it's more important for you to MAKE time each day to pamper and nurture your spirit. Don't neglect yourself during all of this.

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BEATLETOT 12/12/2014 10:30AM

    My heart hurts for you, my friend.

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RAINBOWCHOC 12/12/2014 3:54AM

    I'm feeling your pain and sending a hug

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1SURFWALKER 12/12/2014 12:51AM

    Hugs. So sad about your parents. My thoughts are with you Evelyn. Breaks my heart you have to go through all of this.

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2HAMSDIET 12/11/2014 9:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CAPECODLIGHT 12/11/2014 8:55PM

    Your mom, of course, is right. But, I hope the medical people on her case can give her as long as possible with a good quality of life. I am so sorry everything has converged at once. It is one of the hardest things to lose a parent. I wish you the strength to manage what you need to manage and the grace to accept and relish the time you have with your loved ones.

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PATRICIA-CR 12/11/2014 7:36PM

    It is very tough. I'm in the middle of that too. What I keep thinking is what a long and productive lives they've had. They've done all they wanted and more. They've enjoyed life their way. And yes, we are all going to die. Some sooner others later. In the case of my mom and FIL, they are really lucky to are over 80 years old, and still going. My mom (80) with her dementia, my FIL (87) in perfect mental health. Nonetheless, it is one of the most difficult tasks to see them withering and knowing they're leaving from our side. One never get used to this, nor feels it easier.

I hope your mother makes a full come back.

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Comment edited on: 12/11/2014 7:38:55 PM

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MARITIMER3 12/11/2014 7:16PM

    I'm sorry that all of this is happening, Evelyn, and all at the same time. It's difficult, too, that your mother-in-law doesn't live nearby, as you and your husband must be torn, trying to look after everyone. I don't know whether you and your husband have brothers and sisters who can help with some of the decisions and visiting.

I hope that your mother soon recovers, and that she will be able to go home soon. I believe that your parents living on their own, and I wonder if there might be facilities in your area where your mother could be in a small apartment while your father received care in the same facility, but at the level of care he needs, freeing up some of her time so she could be more rested.

There are no easy answers. You are in my thoughts and prayers,
Hugs, Gail

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ALIHIKES 12/11/2014 7:14PM

    Evelyn, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. It is so tough to watch a parent's declining health or mental status. My mom cared for my dad during his terminal cancer, luckily she had help and in home hospice care. Her own end was not easy, and she missed him very much. I am so sorry for you, and for your mom and dad, and for your family.

Hugs and best wishes and much love from
Alison

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MARCIAC10 12/11/2014 6:31PM

    It's like they say on airplanes, if the oxygen masks drop down, put yours on first before helping others. With all this going on, you must take care of yourself so you don't end up suffering health consequences!

Yes, we are all immortal! I had a close call two years ago this month. I treasure each boring day now! You never know how long you are gifted so enjoy the time you have! And they have lived long, full lives! Keep that in your mind! Not everyone gets to enjoy long lives. My dad didn't. He was my age when he died from cancer. Other go at younger ages. So celebrate the time they have had, take care of yourself, and be at peace.

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PICKIE98 12/11/2014 3:43PM

    I cared for my Grandma, aunt, uncle, ,then Dad got Alzheimer's,I cared for him until his death,, now mom is in assisted living with dementia. She is now in renal failure and has hospice.
All of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, Dad, are dead.. NO brothers, two sisters and a few cousins are left.
I lost seven relatives in two weeks. I was so tired of funeral planning and depressed about it all... I go through it though...
I just keep remembering what my sweet funny Grandma always told me: "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there!"

I care for two homes, one parent, work full time and have more health problems than mom, but I just do the day-to-day thing....

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/11/2014 3:39PM

    I am so sorry to read this, Evelyn... I really hope your mother will have a good night and get better, and maybe (who knows) accept to do less in the future? It isn't easy of course, but I know what you are talking about, she is completely exhausted after caring for your father for such a long time.
Remember to take care of yourself too. emoticon

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GINGKO711 12/11/2014 3:34PM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/11/2014 3:33PM

    So sorry! HUGS and prayers. My Mom has Alzheimer's and it an really be mentally exhaustiung.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/11/2014 3:33PM

    Oh my, I am so sorry!

Mom has Alzheimer's and for sure, the care can suck the life out if you don't take care of yourself!

HUGS and prayers.

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Gratitude for Everything (really?)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I heard some wonderful messages today about living with a grateful heart. It is rather easy to be grateful when things are going well. It is much more of a challenge to feel gratitude for the bumps in our lives- the losses, the misfortunes, the diseases that rob us of our joy and keep us awake at night.

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I am definitely still a work in progress because I cannot easily profess gratitude for the challenges of my life. I will work on it again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PICKIE98 12/11/2014 3:44PM

    Any trials that we go through make us grow in some way,,It may be painful, but we are getting set up for the nest test of faith and love..
HE made us strong enough to get through it...

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CLAIREINPARIS 11/25/2014 2:11AM

    Personally I don't think I have to be grateful for the 'bumps' in my life (this sounds awfully masochist to me!), but I do feel grateful for the help I get through them. So I guess I would call it 'gratitude in everything' rather than 'for everything'.
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Comment edited on: 11/25/2014 2:24:21 AM

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2HAMSDIET 11/24/2014 8:53PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIA-CR 11/24/2014 11:56AM

    emoticon emoticon Life is a work in progress til the end, and that's part of it. Our lifestyle is another work in progress til the end. With bumps, set backs, good and bad things happening along the way.

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SHARJOPAUL 11/24/2014 9:42AM

    emoticon

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SWEETNEEY 11/24/2014 9:04AM

    That is so true - you always got to reposition the issue. It's tough to get the mind to get there but you got to keep trying. Some say it's avoidance.

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CAPECODLIGHT 11/24/2014 8:13AM

    I am not in agreement with the premise. Maybe I would be grateful for the strength to deal with life's troubles, but not the opportunity to use those strengths.

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SHARON10002 11/23/2014 9:57PM

    emoticon It's hard to be grateful when the challenges and obstacles crop up in our lives. But good or bad, there is always a lesson there, and one we may or may not be ready to learn. What I'm trying to do, is that no matter what happens, I try to find something I am grateful for. Being here to be grateful today is a good place to start. . .

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CATTUTT 11/23/2014 8:55PM

    It is always a work on process, but it's a great goal to strive for!

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WALLAHALLA 11/23/2014 8:50PM

    A co-worker lost her husband suddenly and unexpectedly last night. I imagine her family will have a hard time focusing on gratitude for quite some time. It isn't as easy as it sounds.

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MARITIMER3 11/23/2014 8:25PM

    I suspect I will be a work in progress until the day I die!
Hugs, Gail

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OHIO_BIKEGIRL13 11/23/2014 7:42PM

  I know exactly what you mean. You look at these bumps and wonder what do I have to be grateful for this? We are all works in process and need to work hard to achieve our goals.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/23/2014 7:38PM

    Right with you!

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1SURFWALKER 11/23/2014 7:37PM

    Stay positive the best you can. Look for silver linings in every dark cloud in life. Hard to do, yes, but it doesn't help our bodies to get too stressed either. Hang in there. Hugs.

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Activity Brings Motivation

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I really didn't feel like walking after dinner tonight. Why not? I was absolutely exhausted; the tornado sirens had awakened me at 3:30 this morning, and I never went back to sleep. I had to drive home from DDs this morning in a downpour of torrential rain. That 60 mile commute through Atlanta traffic with poor visibility was emotionally and physically draining. This afternoon after visiting my elderly parents I had a 13 mile drive through another downpour! Because we baby sat DGDs, I had missed my water aerobics classes yesterday and today. Overall, I really didn't feel like walking after dinner.

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However, I recently read some motivational quote from SparkPeople which said that we shouldn't wait for motivation. Instead, we should just get moving and trust that motivation would follow. Tonight I did exactly that. I put my walking shoes on and enlisted DH to walk with me. Guess what? It worked! Somewhere along the way the sun came out and I began to enjoy my walk!

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My activity motivated me to move more! I am a believer!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RITZIBROWN 11/2/2014 1:07AM

    Here's to you Evelyn for the positive attitude and self talk emoticon

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CAPECODLIGHT 10/23/2014 9:43AM

    I agree. If I feel sluggish, if I can just get moving, in a matter of minutes I feel much better and can go on with tasks/exercise, etc. Good quote!

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SWEETNEEY 10/20/2014 8:32AM

    Love the thought - do it and motivation will follow. So sensible and reasonable.

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1SURFWALKER 10/20/2014 2:33AM

    Saw this quote and sounds similar to the one you talked about:

Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it. ~Zig Ziglar

Now it makes sense...you showed us, even when you don't feel like it, once you are out there, you feel better for going!! Good for you!!! emoticon

I hope I never ever have to go through Atlanta again with their traffic...don't know how you did it and with a thunderstorm to boot! emoticon
Hope your week is great...and less busy! emoticon emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 10/18/2014 3:17AM

    Good for you for going for a walk even though you didn't feel like it! I must say that often, I don't even feel like going on my beloved hikes either. It is crazy because I actually love them so much! But once I am there and start walking and look at all the beauty around me, I always wonder why on earth I was reluctant to go for it.
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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 10/16/2014 5:51PM

    emoticon emoticon My motivation has been slipping this week. My tracker isn't working. I have to figure out how to get the back off to change battery. So far I haven't been able to get it off. I try to get out for short walks but haven't had any long walks in several days.

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MARITIMER3 10/16/2014 5:37PM

    My goodness... what a day you had! No wonder you didn't feel like going out for a walk.

I've been reading some of the motivational quotes lately too, and they really help.

Hugs, Gail

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SHARJOPAUL 10/16/2014 10:03AM

    I keep telling myself that the hardest part to my 10,000 steps a day is the first step out the door. and I keep proving myself right!

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PATRICIA-CR 10/15/2014 12:27PM

    So true. A little push to yourself and then you feel wonderful to have done exercise.

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HICKOK-HALEY 10/15/2014 6:58AM

    Great. The Lord gave you some sun shine to enjoy your walk! emoticon

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CATTUTT 10/14/2014 9:15PM

    I have found this exact thing, that sometimes you just gotta get moving and wait for your brain to catch up. It really works!

Hope you're having a great evening!

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2HAMSDIET 10/14/2014 7:58PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 10/14/2014 7:52PM

    See, there you go. If you fake it, you'll eventually feel it! Glad you got DH to walk with you too. Bonus motivation points.

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HOLLYM48 10/14/2014 7:44PM

    Great job! That is often how I feel when I get home from work but I know that my walk will rejuvenate me and I love seeing the leaves this time of year so I just get out there and start walking and I just feel so much better. Way to get moving and enjoy yourself while you were at it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AJB121299 10/14/2014 7:27PM

    nice

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Walking in October

Friday, October 10, 2014

We have had a beautiful October in north Georgia...some cooler days and some warmer days. Sunshine abounds; we could actually use more rain. DH and I explored Georgia's newest state park with its walking trails through the woods. We packed a picnic and enjoyed the day.







Another day we hiked through Gibbs Gardens, a public garden that has many Japanese maples and other beautiful sights.

Note: my yard at home is full of blooming idiots. Right now, our hydrangeas are in full bloom, now instead of in May. Our Christmas camellias are coming into full bloom, now instead of in December. And our encore azaleas which we planted a year ago are in full bloom. Nice!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICKOK-HALEY 10/12/2014 11:10PM

    Japanese Maples are beautiful trees. What a nice walk. At least your yard is lively lol


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MARITIMER3 10/12/2014 7:01PM

    Thanks for the pictures, Evelyn. Is the new park relatively close to your home? We had frost last night, so I will need to get out soon to clean up the garden.
Gail

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1SURFWALKER 10/12/2014 1:03AM

    So nice you took advantage of the new park. I just love when they do that with the pathways! More are becoming more activity minded and that is wonderful!! Nice photos! emoticon

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SWEETNEEY 10/11/2014 9:48PM

    Better bloom out of season than not at all.

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2HAMSDIET 10/11/2014 10:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RITZIBROWN 10/10/2014 11:01PM

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing the hikes and loveliness of your home. It has been a strange year emoticon emoticon

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CATTUTT 10/10/2014 9:18PM

    The photos are beautiful!

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PATRICIA-CR 10/10/2014 7:07PM

    Beautiful photos! So happy to hear there are many different plants blooming erratically. Awesome!

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CAPECODLIGHT 10/10/2014 5:51PM

    My white iris are blooming again! Weird fall. Thanks for the pictures.

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1CRAZYDOG 10/10/2014 4:28PM

    Lovely!!! Glad you posted these lovely pictures. Thank you!

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CLAIREINPARIS 10/10/2014 4:09PM

    How lovely! Many thanks for sharing. It looks like the colors haven't changed yet, just like in Paris... It will take a few more weeks here.
Have a beautiful weekend! emoticon

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