MAURIZIA   122,834
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Never too old to learn...

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Yesterday was the last day of the 5% Spring Challenge. I managed to eliminate a few lbs but nowhere close to my goal of 12 lbs. I'm keeping that goal for the 5% Summer Challenge. Though it may not have been a roaring success, at least as I hoped, but it was successful because I have learned some things.

The most important thing I learned is that I was quite naive in making slight adjustments to my 5% Winter Challenge plan, thinking it would be enough to accommodate for my extended work schedule, which is also less structured since I spend most days on the road, and a few as a combination of being in the community and being in the office. So what needs to be re-evaluated?

1. How do I fit in 45 to 90 minutes of exercise on 12+ hour workdays?
2. How do I get exercise throughout the day when I'm spending 4 to 6 hours (or more) confined to a 38 ft x 8 1/2 ft x 12 1/2 ft RV?
3. How do I get back to my 3 smaller meals and 3 snacks in these long, confined workdays?
4. How do I accomplish all my check-ins on the Challenge team AND my other 3 primary teams?
5. What foods will work while I'm on the road?
6. What veggies/fruits will I be able to bring with me, since I have food allergies - i.e. raw greens?

Over the interim time between Spring & Summer Challenges will have me thinking about how to meet my goals and what my plan will be.

Thank you to our 5% Spring Challenge leaders and especially to my CT team leaders for the gargantuan job you do for us. Thank you to my CT teammates who inspired, motivated, supported, empathized, and encouraged me. I will do better to offer the same to you.

If anyone is interested in joining the Summer Challenge, just visit

1. Time spent with Katie cat this morning before I head out to another busy day.
2. John's patience with my limited time to spend with him because of my extended workdays.
3. Discovered one of the car tires was about to blow-out before it happened.
4. The honest service clerk at the car dealer who suggested I go elsewhere for lower cost tires.
5. The ability to adjust so I can accomplish my goals.
6, Getting to enjoy this day with Laurie's friend Mary and going to one of my favorite places in New England - Dunbar Tea Room.
7. G-d, Who keeps me safe and blesses me each day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEXIE63 8/7/2014 4:17PM

    Looks like some of your spark buddies have come up with some interesting suggestions for you. I hope you are doing well since this blog was written. :-)
Lex xxx

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    emoticon One day, one step, at a time! emoticon

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STORMTMB 6/3/2014 9:28AM

    Hi Mauri,

I saw that another of your friends made some suggestions. Would you mind if I did as well?

1. How do I fit in 45 to 90 minutes of exercise on 12+ hour workdays?
2. How do I get exercise throughout the day when I'm spending 4 to 6 hours (or more) confined to a 38 ft x 8 1/2 ft x 12 1/2 ft RV?

Your friend is right... 10 minutes at a time! It all adds up as you know. Maybe 15 when you first get up in the morning and 15 before you go to bed and the rest in short walk(s) during the day, maybe during lunch break? I'm wondering if there's anyone else on the bus (working) or if you're alone. It occurs to me that I don't know. So, I don't know if you could get off for a 5-10 min walk or stay on and do some stretching.

3. How do I get back to my 3 smaller meals and 3 snacks in these long, confined workdays?
5. What foods will work while I'm on the road?
6. What veggies/fruits will I be able to bring with me, since I have food allergies - i.e. raw greens?

I take breakfast and lunch and snacks with me to work every day, but I also keep things in my desk at work so I always have options. There were times when life was really hectic that I literally kept these things in my car during the week and took into work what I needed that day.

If you don't have a fridge on the bus, could you buy a small insulated bag that would keep things cool that need to be. I have the benefit of fridge and microwave at work, so I do leftovers whenever I can, but I'm assuming you don't have both!

I keep a jar of peanut butter in my desk and a bottle of reduced sugar jelly in the fridge at work. I've also contemplated the jar that has both! I bring 2 slices of bread from home. I also keep pouches of tuna or chicken. The potted meat has sooo much sodium, but sometimes I do that with crackers for variety. I keep small containers of hunts pudding (fat free) and pineapple tidbits or fruit cocktail and eat them nearly every day. I keep packaged crackers and peanut butter or cheese and crackers in my desk. I like to munch an apple, orange or grapes. Teri loves tomatoes and eats them whole with nothing else! Carrots, bananas, kiwi, cucumbers and celery also work. If I get watermelon (or any melon), I cut it up the first day and put in lots of single-serve containers.

It helps me a lot to buy and prep and plan on Sunday then it's just grab and go during the week. I'll put bread in baggies, package up the grapes, carrots or celery. Decide if I'm taking dip and put it in a smaller container rather than risking taking a jar.

I bring my bottles of water and cans of pop every day. I also use the flavor packets for my water to make it more tolerable. The kind I use has 10 packets in a box which is perfect as I drink 2 bottles of water a day at work. I just take a box of packets me for the week.

I eat granola bar varieties for breakfast or a snack. I also eat pop tarts for breakfast, but obviously not as healthy. I will also bag up cold cereal for a snack. My last job had a toaster at work, so I'd do toast or an English muffin at work with peanut butter. Yum!

I hope these ideas help! Good luck as you have so many long days and obligations to juggle.

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YOYONOMORE1 6/2/2014 2:20PM

    I love the way you look at what you've done and then focus on what to do differently to get you where you want to be, you truly are an inspiration. Thanks for all the visits to my blogs and your words of encouragement, they mean a lot. Margaret and I managed to get our inside walk in this morning, it's stormy looking and we are suppose to get storms this afternoon. My back is doing better, now my left ankle is causing problems, it's arthritis, I am wondering if I got the smaller pain patches and put one on before going walking if that might help. I can remember my mom telling us girls "you've got to keep moving, if you don't you'll stiffen up and it'll be even worse" she knew what she was talking about. I think about you and your crazy schedule now that you are out and about on that beautiful pink RV. Thank goodness John is understanding about your crazy work schedule. I hope this is a good Monday for you.


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WANDAH3 6/2/2014 7:54AM

    Mauri...thank you for being the inspiration that you are in my life.


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SIRIUS2014 6/1/2014 4:34PM

    This is a great big miracle waiting to happen. Best wishes. I know I would be tired with that long of a day.

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SUEFROMRI 6/1/2014 3:51PM

    Here's a quickie to get the creative juices flowing so to speak. Try writing each question on an index card with solutions as you develop them.

1. How do I fit in 45 to 90 minutes of exercise on 12+ hour workdays? TEN MINUTES at a time.

2. How do I get exercise throughout the day when I'm spending 4 to 6 hours (or more) confined to a 38 ft x 8 1/2 ft x 12 1/2 ft RV? RESISTANCE BANDS AND SPARK VIDEOS

3. How do I get back to my 3 smaller meals and 3 snacks in these long, confined workdays? SMALLER PLATES. DO YOU HAVE ONE DAY A MONTH TO DO FREEZER COOKING? I HAVE A TINY CROCKPOT AND PLUG IT IN AT WORK WITH LEFTOVERS.

4. How do I accomplish all my check-ins on the Challenge team AND my other 3 primary teams? PRIORITIZE. ARE THEY ALL WORKING? WOULD 1 A DAY WORK?

5. What foods will work while I'm on the road? FRUIT, CUT UP CARROTS, DRIED FRUIT, NUTS

6. What veggies/fruits will I be able to bring with me, since I have food allergies - i.e. raw greens? THIS YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT. MELONS?

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MAINEALI 6/1/2014 1:07PM

    Such a well thought out post. I admire your ability to access how you did and what to change. Good luck with the next challenge.


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Days off...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

...and not talking about days off from work. :)

Yesterday was a holiday for most senses of the word. Though I did manage to get my exercise done, I didn't do much else. I relaxed - played on SP, played on, did some reading, and watched a couple of shows I recorded on Sunday while I was in Boston.

This morning I awoke thinking that I didn't do much to move forward with my purging my apartment. Those guilt feelings began to rear their ugly heads...but as I did my resistance band workout earlier today, I decided that it is okay to take a day off here and there. Recovery is important - physical, psychological, and spiritual. As I review yesterday, I realize I made healthy food choices, got my exercise done, played a bit with Katie (my cat, for those who don't know), and enjoyed her company...and mine.

Giving myself a emoticon for letting go of the guilt.

1. Katie, who has followed me from place to place as I sit to get things done.
2. Learning about me.
3. Letting go of guilt.
4. The ability to make changes in my life.
5. A wonderful 3 day weekend
6. My 5 senses work and help me to enjoy my life.
7. Movies!!!
8. Gratitude fills my life, my heart, my spirit
9. G-d, Who gives me so much unearned love

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM2ACAT 5/27/2014 5:25PM

    I took a "day off" yesterday too; doing my workout but not much else.
We all need a day now and then just to do what we "want" to do, and not worry about what we "should" do. I'm glad you have Katie; I really enjoyed the extra cuddle time with my Timmy and Kallie yesterday.

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NEWTINK 5/27/2014 4:44PM

    My lord if anyone deserves a day off it is you ... You have been going 7 days a week now for a month You have nothing to feel guilty about honey .. I am proud of you for taking the day and for deciding no guilt for it ...

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JAZZYMOM53 5/27/2014 1:26PM

    Mauri, I took some time off this weekend too. We all need that. And after the way you have been running on long days..I think it was well deserved too. emoticon

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OHANAMAMA 5/27/2014 1:04PM

    Everyone needs a day of rest.
Never deny yourself yours.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUEFROMRI 5/27/2014 11:51AM

    You earned more than one star!

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STORMTMB 5/27/2014 9:44AM

    Mauri, Remember that when G-d gave us a 7-day week, it included the Sabbath. He gave us a day of rest. No guilt is ever necessary. Including myself, we need to heed that day of rest again; I'd guess that most of us work all 7. Glad that you had an enjoyable day and took time for Katie too!

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LEXIE63 5/27/2014 9:40AM

    I think we all need days like that, where you can relax a bit and take the pressure off.
It is good for us to recharge our batteries. :-)
Lex xxx

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Measuring success...

Monday, May 26, 2014

So many articles on SP deal with ways to measure your success while using the tools available on the site. Those of us who are active on SP probably read a lot of these articles, nod our heads, post on our team boards, and intend to adopt these "other ways." Do we really? I'd like to say I have but until yesterday, success has always depended on those little numbers on the scale. Occasionally, I realize that I've succeeded because clothes are now fitting better, my refrigerator has healthier foods, I plan, exercise, eat right - all ways to admit success. Yet, that nasty little number that tells me how much I weigh, well, it's still right up at the top of the list...Well, until this morning as I reflect on a beautiful day spent wiht John yesterday.

We went to Boston at least once if not twice a month for theater, walking from downtown Boston to Cambridge or Brookline, surrounding towns. For those not familiar with the area, walking from downtown Boston's South Station to Harvard is about a 40 to 50 minute walk in good weather. Suddenly, as I gained lbs. and fell several times, injuring my knees, I could no longer do that kind of walking. Thus, many Sundays John will go on his own. Occasionally, if the play or concert is something in which I'd be really interested (like yesterday's "Into the Woods"), I'll join him. We set off at 7:45 AM, to be able to park for free on the street. Yea! Found a space! It meant walking to the other end of Boston. John's intent was to drop me off, then park. I told him I'd be able to walk - with both fingers & toes crossed that I COULD.

I did! We walked a lot...traversing the city from one end to the other, with a few stops for breakfast, church, lunch & theater. Not only did I do it, not only did I feel a sense of accomplishment - I really enjoyed the walk and though John slowed his pace for me, he kept telling me to slow down. The true measure, however, is this morning. Most times, the morning after finds leg cramps as I get up to walk to the shower or kitchen. Not today. Nope. I just want to keep going. And so...

It's true. What you read on SP is true. There really ARE other measurements of success. Losing nearly 32 lbs. and exercising a minimum of 45 minutes a day because of my 5% Challenges, both Winter and Spring.

Join me...Check out
for how the challenge works. Not only will you be more likely to commit to your healthy lifestyle, you'll travel that journey with some pretty cool folks at the 5% Challenge!

1. Katie, who was so happy to see me arrive home last night.
2. Despite the tire pressure light blinking, I didn't have a flat tire when I got back to my car last night. Thank you.
3. Enjoyed a beautiful day with John, walking through Boston, enjoying good & healthy foods (mostly), a lovely church service, and a terrific production of "Into the Woods," my favorite musical.
4. The rain went away and we had a lovely, cool day for walking the city.
5. G-d, Who provides all of my blessings - these and those unlisted.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZYMOM53 5/27/2014 1:31PM

    WooHoo for you!!! This may sound a goofy...but I am proud of you! I am proud to be your teammate too! You have come a long way..and you are showing it! And the fact that you didn't have pain the next morning is a real bonus too. Keep it up, and let's continue this journey together. emoticon

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LEXIE63 5/27/2014 3:25AM

    I love NSVs, and this one was epic! :-)
Hugs,>Lex xxx

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NOTSPEEDY 5/26/2014 11:39PM

    Happy that you had such a wonderful day and could celebrate a great NSV!

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SOPHINEZ 5/26/2014 8:34PM

    emoticon Wow, you are such a great inspiration to us all!!

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SUEFROMRI 5/26/2014 8:01PM

My mother, son, and I have a tentative date to walk the freedom trail. We haven't done the complete trail in about 10 years. Boston is a great walking city.

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OHANAMAMA 5/26/2014 6:26PM

    you did it! And that is a grand accomplishment!

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NEWTINK 5/26/2014 4:13PM

    You make me emoticon I am so proud of you my snowflake !!!

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STORMTMB 5/26/2014 1:59PM

    That's so wonderful, Mauri! Just awesome! Congratulations. I'm so happy for you. Keep up the great work!

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WIZKEY 5/26/2014 1:30PM

    emoticon It sounds like a really fun day!! And the best part is you are not in pain today!!! Great NSV!!!

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April 22nd...REALLY?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I can't believe my last blog was on April 22nd. Geesh! Time somehow flies so much faster now that I am older. Since my 5% Spring Challenge has spurred me to eat healthy, exercise everyday, and check in, maybe this week's LTGL Challenge of blogging each day will get me back in the habit. Decided to do a quick summary:

1. On May 10th, 2014, I officially outlived both my parents. It was a momentous occasion for me to have surpassed their ages...and scary. I continue to surpass them...obviously.

2. My 5% Spring Challenge weight elimination has not been as great as it was in winter (I think it's 4 lbs down this challenge). That's okay. It is moving in the right direction and though I thought I was prepared for the change in my work schedule, I was not. Instead of eliminating weight, I've spent time reviewing my plan to tweak it so it works better as I begin the 5% Summer Challenge. So, for me...I consider it successful.

3. I continue to purge items from home and will probably be able to call for the first pick-up of donations later this week. John has tried to throw me off track by commenting that he cannot believe the emotional mush I am can detach from things that have been a part of my life and my parents' & grandparents' lives. I have to struggle to not give in to his comments. Things continue to go.

4. Though I thought I had found an apartment, my boss helped me realize I was just settling for the first one I saw. I have passed on it and hope to find something in the next month or two. I've also changed my mind and have decided I want a 2 bedroom so that I can have an office/study/library in one.

5. Learning to say the word "no." Thus, I have my first 3 day weekend since Christmas! Woohoo!

1. Katie, who plays my shadow when I am finally home.
2. My boss, who took time from a busy schedule, to help me think through apartment hunting.
3. John, who makes sure I am entertained through theater & concerts despite the responsibilities of work, purging my belongings, and life in general.
4. I'm back on the Hope Bus and so not in the office so much. Woohoo!
5. To have had our Spark family/friend Marla in my life, though she is now our team's angel. Though the pain of her loss was great, she was truly a blessing in our lives.
6. G-d, Who gives me clear vision to see the many blessings and much gratitude I have.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEXIE63 5/26/2014 9:03AM

    If you aren't in a rush to find a new place to live, then that is also a blessing, as it will give you a chance to find something you really like. :-)
It sounds as though things are moving forward for you.
Lex xxx

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STORMTMB 5/25/2014 6:40PM

    Mauri, I love how you find the good and the blessings in everything! You inspire me! Hug John and thank him for his thoughtfulness and just continue to donate what you feel is appropriate. Paul and I are fine with agreeing to disagree on certain matters. Neither of us is going to change anyway! As another friend said, your scale is going in the right direction! Your healthy habits will give you a long life to enjoy (and we can enjoy your friendship too!). Glad that your boss took some time to share with you about your living situation. I know that you KNOW that God will provide the right place for you in His time. Just keep listening for His voice. You'll know. Enjoy your 3-day weekend! WooHoo!!

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WANDAH3 5/25/2014 6:37PM

    Mauri...I'm so proud of you. You are my inspiration. Way to go on the weight elimination and especially on surpassing your parents life span. It's tough letting go of all the "things" we deemed as necessary in our lives. But as you do it, I can hear you feeling less burden. Keep up the great work. Good for you for not jumping at the first option for a new place to live. The universe is going to supply you with exactly what you need and desire. Keep on moving forward with confidence and Yay for learning to saying no.


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KALISWALKER 5/25/2014 6:16PM

    4 lbs is good, shows the scale is going in the right direction. I look forward to doing the Summer Challenge with you!

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NOTSPEEDY 5/25/2014 1:10PM

    Your blogs are so encouraging. Congratulations on the 4 lb loss (I put on 1 lb ;-(. Emotional mush is hard to get rid of - emoticon emoticon

Keep up the good work!!! Trusting God to give you just the right apartment.

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OHANAMAMA 5/25/2014 11:55AM

    Wonderful progress and reflections! emoticon

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Where, oh where-e-e-e is...time?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

(Sung to the tune of "Where oh, where-e-e-e is love?"

I have no idea where time goes. Well, if I sit and thought about it I probably do. Of course, the Hope Bus is back on the road so it is getting crazier with my work schedule and in an earlier time frame.

Mornings: I exercise at least 40 minutes (well, that's the plan anyway); play a game of Trivial Pursuit & do a crossword puzzle online to stimulate my brain cells; feed Katie; cook breakfast for me; check in at SP; shower & dress; meditate/pray; put my lunch together; try to watch the news & weather - more for the weather so I can plan on how to attract visitors to the Hope Bus.

Afternoons: I'd like to write Mondays through Fridays at work, but for me it extends to Saturdays and some Sundays as well (like this Saturday from 8:45 AM to at least 3:30 PM), especially with the Hope Bus on the road. Most days to 6 PM (even on office days since we are open from 10 AM to 6 PM). The drive home is about 45 minutes, so it takes 15 minutes to get to my car at work...Let's call it an hour.

Evenings: Home by 7 PM some nights. Feed Katie; change clothes; pack my tote bag for the next workday, based on whether it's the office, a health/wellness event, or the Hope Bus; cook - I'll say PREPARE - dinner; wash, dry & store the dishes; wash items that are being donated; bag items for recycle or trash; exercise a bit more if it's not too late; watch some of things that I've recorded on TV during the day to relax; prepare for bed/sleep.

Now the question is how to reinvent my day's activities to allow time to spend with John & friends. That will be my personal challenge to me this week. Review these activities/responsibilities and shake them up a bit.

Week 1 goals:
1. Deep breathing exercise for 5 minutes everyday. DONE
2. Declutter one shelf of my pantry - washing, wrapping & packing things for donation pick-up. NOT ONLY DONE - DID 2 SHELVES
3. Once home from work, I will not check work emails until the next morning. DONE.

Week 2 goals:
1. Identify 2 of the stress reducing suggestions in a Spark article.
2. Put these 2 into action.
3. Reflect & report on the reflection of how practicing these 2 suggestions has affected my stress level.

My overall hopes for the challenge are to:
1. Gather new tools to help deal with the stress.
2. Be reminded of the tools already in my "shed" that I can use to defuse stressful situations.
3. By reducing stress using these, I will feel healthier.
1. Stay within nutrition guidelines suggested by SP. MISSED TWO DAYS.
2. Exercise a minimum of 40 minutes/day. MISSED TWO DAYS (DIFFERENT DAYS)
3. Participate in threads at team page. MISSED 3 DAYS AT SOME; 4 DAYS AT OTHER.
1. Wash, wrap, pack items from pantry (dishes, pans, etc.) for donation to BBBSRI. DONE.
1. Tracked / analyzed nutrition daily since Jan. 1. DONE
2. Exercised at least 40 minutes for 5 days.
3. My goal is to blog 3 times each week to start. Not done for 10 days. Blog #1 for this week.
5. Visited my 4 teams for 3 days; 4 days for one.

1. Katie, who has decided to be my fitness coach - meowing with my 10 min. cardio routine.
2. The Hope Bus is on the road, even if it means I have to re-evaluate my plan to a healthy lifestyle & a successful 5% Spring Challenge.
3. Some quiet time on the Hope Bus today.
4. Spent Easter with family.
5. A new baby cousin in Italy.
6. Despite the craziness of readjusting to long work hours on the Hope Bus, I have eliminated a 1/2 lb. each of the two weeks of the challenge - leading to a 1 lb. elimination.
7. G-d Who blesses me with moments of laughter (mostly via Katie) in a stressful day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWTINK 4/30/2014 5:06PM

    You are very busy that is for sure ..... just remember to take time for you emoticon

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TREV1964 4/24/2014 6:43PM

    Sounds like a very busy day - but with doing a job like you do on the hope bus the rewards of making that critical difference to so many must be fantastic.

Great stuff



Comment edited on: 4/24/2014 6:44:49 PM

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GHOSTFLAMES 4/24/2014 4:44AM


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MICKEYH 4/22/2014 9:54PM

    What a great goals. And love your hope bus. You are so lucky to have Katie to cheer you up. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/22/2014 9:55:21 PM

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WANDAH3 4/22/2014 7:56PM

    Mauri...what a great list! Way to go my friend on getting things down in writing and having a plan.


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YOYONOMORE1 4/22/2014 4:25PM

    Very impressive, you stuff a lot in to the time you have, my goodness. I think Katie is probably your best stress reliever when you are home and hopefully you can find the right tools for stress relief when at work and on the Hope Bus. You are certainly one busy lady. It'd be really nice if you can rearrange things so you do have more time for John and friends as they help you unwind and relax. Congrats on the new baby cousin. emoticon on that lb. being gone, awesome. Have a great Tuesday evening.


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STORMTMB 4/22/2014 3:33PM

    I'm so impressed with how much you accomplish in the morning! Wow. I'm lucky to have my eyes open when I walk out of the house. Just not a morning person. You really get a lot done in the not a lot of personal time that you have. I'm glad that you're working on ways to have more time with John! That's so very important. Good luck with all that you have planned!

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