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Saying good-bye again

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's only taken me 15 weeks to give away the leftover dog treats and food. My "one thing" after work tonight was to drop by the Humane Society and let some other animals have the benefit of her no longer needing them.

I carefully avoided going in and seeing said animals. When I explained to a departing employee that this was because I'd lost my companion of 15 years, she expressed sympathy for my loss and I acquired a catch in my voice.

Rest in peace, run in freedom, Diamond!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 6/24/2011 6:30AM

    Oh dear friend-it takes a very long time to get to where your eyes don't pool-even then-you never forget & that is good because love like that shouldn't be forgotten.
God bless you & comfort you.

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DEBRA0818 6/23/2011 11:10AM

    The price of love is very high. You have shown a lot of grace in how you handled her loss.

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BUGGYS 6/23/2011 8:03AM

    My beloved Kava died in February, as you know. A friend of mine adopted a rescue German Shepard so I took all of Kava's "big" dog toys over to her and her dog loves them. I still have my two little dogs but Kava will always have a special place in my heart. I miss him running on the beach at our cottage and jumping up on my lap to snuggle, all 140lbs. of him! Peace be with Diamond and I'm sure she and Kava are leading the pack! emoticon

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SOLIDROCK3 6/23/2011 7:53AM

    So sorry for your loss. We are nearing this with our beloved dog. I love the idea of giving the leftover things to the spca.

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APRILLSCOTT 6/23/2011 6:50AM

    Diamond was beautiful. What a wonderful idea to give your dogs things to the humane society. I am sure that somewhere in dog heaven Diamond, is watching from above and smiling. I know it has left you emoticon. Dogs are something that we really do get attached to just like having a human for friends. They all have their own personality.

We had a Rotweiler that was part of the family for 15 years. The kids when they were small could ride on his back. A very gentle, protective, loving dog. He even woke me up one time when one of the kids were sick and I had been up with them all night. He heard the child in the crib and I was so exhausted I did not hear them. When he was with me I felt very protected and like not much was ever going to harm me. His name was Taz. It was very tough getting over his loss for my whole family. I let him outside to go potty and a snake bit him on one of his back thighs. A very posionous snake and it must have been a very large one gathering insight from the phang mark. He must have stepped on him by mistake, and never seen him. By the time I got to him he was already paralyzied from the venom. He loved running around in our woods. I know how you may be feeling. We still talk about Taz now. He died the day of my graduation 2007 from college. A day that was suppose to be one of the best in my life turned out to be one of the most depressing. I cried the whole day and I am doing so now as I write this.

I feel your pain my friend. I would never get another dog until this year when Chi Chi was given to us. All I can tell you is things will get better. I am emoticon for you. May God Bless you Barb. Diamond was beautiful!

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REJ7777 6/23/2011 5:52AM

    She was such a beautiful dog! There's always a cost to loving, isn't there. We're vulnerable to pain when we love. emoticon

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2KITTIES 6/22/2011 10:10PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope ou can find peace and solace in the happy memories you have of your time together. emoticon

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    When I lost my Benny who had been with me for 12 1/2 years a part of my heart went with him. Pets really do make life so much more enjoyable.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/22/2011 12:39PM

    Diamond is smiling on you!

Comment edited on: 6/22/2011 12:40:03 PM

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/22/2011 9:31AM

    Wonderful line: Rest in peace, run in freedom.... Diamond. Perfect.


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LJCANNON 6/22/2011 12:50AM

    Wish I could have been there for a real Hug!!
emoticonDiamond was Blessed to be a part of your life. And she blessed you in return.

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ANDI571 6/21/2011 11:06PM

    What a sweet way of honoring Diamond. Hugs my friend. emoticon

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MSLZZY 6/21/2011 10:19PM


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MNTWINSGAL 6/21/2011 9:57PM

    I know how you feel....when you are just barely holding it together and then someone says something nice, or sympathetic, it becomes impossible. I feel your pain.

I'm glad you were able to donate your dear Diamond's things to the Humane Society. We always adopt our pets from there, and it has a special place in my heart.

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/21/2011 9:53PM

    You were blessed. You were a blessing. God will comfort you. Hugs, my friend!

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DEBRITA01 6/21/2011 9:50PM

    What a thoughtful way to remember Diamond. I'm sure the other animals were appreciative of the gesture. We all do things when we are ready and today was your day for that task...although it doesn't make it any easier. Also, good idea not to go into the shelter when you were feeling so vulnerable. emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 6/21/2011 9:14PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon That was the hardest thing for me, too. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/21/2011 8:20:53 PM

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WATERMELLEN 6/21/2011 8:11PM

    What a beautiful dog. It's unbearable when they leave us . . . but our dogs do have such amazing lives, because we do love them so much.

And: so kind of you to do what you did . . .

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/21/2011 7:59PM

    That was very thoughtful and caring, Barb. And you did Diamond proud, I'm sure. Have a nice evening.

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SAMI199 6/21/2011 7:58PM

    I am so sorry-My sweet girl has been gone 5 years already & I still miss her...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A long, slow jog

Monday, June 20, 2011

That's what my son proposed we do on Sunday at 1 p.m. Meet him at the trailhead and we shall go on a long, slow jog. Well, knowing his fitness level, height, age and gender, I figured HIS long slow jog might just be a race pace for his mom.

WRONG. He is working on conditioning. He had not been doing a lot of impact running the past two years. Although he is working on speed, he is mostly working on impact and environment: learning to deal with outdoors and heat and impact. And he's early in the program (first week).

Since I was along for the "ride", essentially, (and because he wanted to show off his technology) he started up his Smart Phone App that tracks your speed via GPS and gives vocal prompts in a voice of your choice. He told me we were targeting 12 to 9 minute miles, and I warned him if it were closer to 9, I'd be in trouble.

However, he also said it was to be an hour, and most of my jogs so far have been intervals (at least since last November), and shorter in duration. It was sunny and warm. You'd be proud of me, I remembered the sunscreen! emoticon And the billed cap. I was prepared.

That silly voice kept telling us to "slow down" in the first portion of the course. We went a half hour out, then turned around and came back. Most of the coming back was at a walk, and it nagged us in the other direction to "speed up" but we were having none of it. Phone apps be hanged, listen to your bodies! We stopped two or three times to stretch, remove gravel from his shoes, etc.

Momly conclusion: Son, you have to invest in better shoes. After our run, we both went to our respective homes to shower, then I took him out to eat and to shop for his birthday present. We got him a good pair of stabilizing running shoes. Hope this helps. emoticon

And we may just do this again next week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 6/21/2011 1:21PM

    Sounds emoticon
Glad you got him shoes and emoticonon running a half-hour - you are going to leave me in the dust...

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PENNYAN45 6/21/2011 7:44AM

    What a GREAT time with your son! Wow! And how many sons can say they went jogging for an hour with their mom?
Way to GO!!


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WATERMELLEN 6/20/2011 7:23PM

    Just spent about 3 hours chatting with my son: love that mum and son time. Precious.

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MNTWINSGAL 6/20/2011 7:22PM

    What a great day! I'm so glad you and your son got to spend some quality time, and in such a healthy way! And way to go with your choice of birthday present for him!

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KATIE33MAHALA 6/20/2011 6:27PM

    love this story, Its nice that you and your Son can do this together!

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_LINDA 6/20/2011 10:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That was a fabulous time with your son! Great job getting him proper running shoes, that is so important! He is lucky to have a caring and concerned Mom! I hope you can enjoy future jogs with him!

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MEDDYPEDDY 6/20/2011 9:14AM

    How nice! I am hula hooping with the daughter and it is really fund to exercise together!

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MARVEEME 6/20/2011 8:54AM

    WTG Mom! They will take him ANYWHERE!

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And on the seventh day, She rested...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day to all the Spark Dads out there!

A life with dignity has to include days of rest and relaxation. That's why this effort to "clean up my act" has to avoid becoming marathon / binge cleaning. A life of dignity includes good night's sleep, nutritious meals, healthy levels of activity... and a home that is a refuge, supporting the ability to welcome in people I care about. I'm going to get that home the same way I got to goal weight... one day at a time, with small improvements in daily behavior.

So, all that said, day 7 (yesterday) began with staying up all night. It was my turn to monitor some computer work overnight for work. It went very smoothly... all finished by 7 a.m. Saturday.

This is relevant because sleep is vital to health. I caught a short nap before the phone started ringing. First, my brother. YES! He's coming. In about 3 weeks. And YES, I will be the sleep-over house this trip. So this effort that I started before finding out about this visit is charmingly well-timed.

Second, my niece... she and her mom are returning something to me, will I be home? I have something to give them, too. So, as I was sweeping my front steps (my morning "one thing" for yesterday), they dropped over and we visited for a few minutes, then they went on their errand run, and I finished the steps and went back in for another nap.

I walked to the mailbox to mail in my commitment to join the National Weight Control Registry. Yes, I finally decided that I would take this step. After that, I managed to get yet another nap, and went to bed early. I slept a full nine hours, people... I felt *wonderful* this morning.

This led to today's one thing: I cleared out and vacuumed the guest room. I know, that sounds menacingly like a the start of a marathon, but it really wasn't. The guest room was already relatively clear. But all rooms left unused do tend to gather dust. I bagged up some old video tapes for the trash. So, today's "one thing" has been handled. At least the before church one.

Here's to those small, every day changes, made with consistency, and appreciated, daily. We can do this, and we're worth it. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 6/19/2011 10:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/19/2011 3:17PM

    Your conviction and dedication are awesome, Barb. Way to go!

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KIMA86 6/19/2011 11:39AM

    Thanks for the reminder! In our hurry to reach our goals (whether they be weight loss, work-related or anything else), we often overlook our need for rest. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact.

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Life with dignity, Day 6

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Initial goal reminder: handle each day's mail today.

So far, so fair, I've done it each day. In the process, while thinking just about "today's mail", somehow the piles on my kitchen counter and dining room table have kind of melted away. Decisions I had "put off" became clear in thinking about handling today's mail today. So I can call this week a good one on that front.

I'm adding a couple of small goals to go with "handle each day's mail today." One is "do one thing before work that contributes to living with dignity", the other is "do one thing after work and before bed that contributes to living with dignity".

Cautionary note: Not allowed to have that "one thing" turn into a marathon! No more than 15 minutes to half an hour for these "one thing" activities! And as with the weight management and activity goals, there is a need for rewards to go with achieving these small goals.

As with the weight loss / activity plans, this motivation will take daily pep talks and reminders that "yes! I LIKE my home", and "I'm worth it!"

Here's to a great weekend, folks! Oh, my one thing this morning? I swept my front porch and steps and filled one bag with weeds / cuttings. "Yes, I DO like my home."


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOURNEYTO60 6/19/2011 1:01PM

    Wow! I love these ideas. It would do us all good to follow suit. I love the handling the mail-I find my mail kind of scary sometimes. And, I love the idea of spending just a little time each day contributing to what is important to us. "Living with Dignity:-awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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MARVEEME 6/19/2011 8:09AM


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MSLZZY 6/18/2011 10:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonWhat a great idea!

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WATERMELLEN 6/18/2011 8:47PM

    Mail strike here in Canada has helped with that problem (LOL). I sympathize with the tendency to ignore tasks OR get engaged in a marathon: what I did in the garden this afternoon . . . moderation works better!!

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    Argh. My table is plies of papers. Old mail, junk stuff. Stuff I want to file. I have a place to put most of it. This definately is a bell ringer with me. I will try the short time goals.

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SUNNY332 6/18/2011 3:55PM

    I have been doing the same thing today - going though the stack of mail that has accumulated on the DR table. Good idea to make a committment to handle todays mail today.

Off to sweep the patio. Sunny

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/18/2011 3:24PM

    You are so awesome, Barb. I need to take notes from you. Somehow, doing 15 minutes of "something" before work and then again after work/before bed, really isn't all that difficult, is it? It's getting in the habit of doing it. I may just try your method -- it has to be better than mine (which is do nothing until guests are expected, and then do a marathon tidying up).

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DEBRITA01 6/18/2011 2:37PM

    I love your living with dignity...we all deserve to love ourselves and maintain living spaces that promote our well-being. Good job on the 15 minute goals...I may steal your idea and set some mini-goals for myself. emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 6/18/2011 2:27PM

    Great goals. This reminds me of a team I joined in January, Flylady: Peace is Mine. You might enjoy going to a blog I wrote about it. It has been a fun and successful way for me to reach the same goals. All the best!

Comment edited on: 6/18/2011 2:28:30 PM

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/18/2011 1:28PM

    I'm with you on this one! Told hubby 2weeks ago I can't stand the state of our kitchen table -- having to push stuff aside every night to make room for our plates! Ugh! I have now kept my stuff cleared off every day. He's got a little, but far less than before. I'm trying to handle mail when I bring it in. Have 2 baskets ... 1 for things that need attention on my next day off, the other for "stuff I might want to look at." so far,it's working. Hubby is working on a system for his stuff, and I appreciate the effort!
My "extra something" is turning out to be hand watering some hanging flower baskets. Hubby didn't think the larger pots I bought this hear would get enough water with the old drip system, so I'm needing to supplement them after work. So far, so good. Bye for now ... Need to go press out slacks for hubby to wear to church tomorrow. Enjoy the fruits of your small tasks! That is reward in itself!

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CHRYS13 6/18/2011 1:04PM

    Love it! What a fantastic plan! Here's to continued success and loving ourselves and our homes!

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On the plus side: life with dignity, Day 5

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yesterday I mentioned the "down" side of cleaning up my act, home organization version. I am far from done with this effort, but as with the losing weight and taking better care of my physical health, it's going to take time to get to the balance I desire in terms of shall I call it "environmental health".

It occurs to me that I have in some ways used my "messy" home in the same way I used to use the layers of fat on my body: to push people away! As well as to procrastinate making decisions or admitting to myself how I felt about certain things (can't toss a charity flyer... that would make me a "bad" person, don't you know?)

Here's something that my current efforts are making possible that before would have had me cringing: hosting my brother should he come to town next month! With a few little efforts over the course of even five days, it starts to look do-able, possible, and I hope it works out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 6/18/2011 11:57AM

    You've grown in so many ways as a person! As the walls of protective weight have melted away and you've burrowed through walls of emotional intimidation, you're now facing another wall of "protection" that you're ready to let go of. It's not easy to let go of those protective walls. They were built for a reason. And yet, there's fresh air and freedom on the other side of that wall!

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SUNNY332 6/18/2011 8:12AM

    I absolutely believe that a messy home can lead to extra unwanted pounds. Simplifying and cleaning out can lead to renewed commitment to keeping the pounds off too. Way to go, my emoticon!!

Keep up the great work.


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_LINDA 6/17/2011 1:02PM

    Good advice given, like everything else, do this one step at a time. Pick the worst area and get it done, one part per day. It would be awesome to host your brother! Like everything else you are putting that amazing mind to, you will get it done!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/17/2011 12:59PM

    Good luck -- I hope it works out, too!

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MARVEEME 6/17/2011 8:47AM

    AWESOME progress on the homefront! My niece asked me once how I keep my house so organized and clean. I laughed and told her that I took a look at how all those people on the Soap Operas live, and made a conscious effort to mirror their uncluttered and classy living spaces, even though I know it's a set. We laughed at the time, but awhile later she came back to me and told me that the comment stuck in her head and worked for her too. Maybe the thought will help you too. LOL

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KALIGIRL 6/17/2011 8:22AM

    What a cool reward!
I hope he can stay with you.

It's interesting to see how people are so similar yet so different. I'm a can't stand a mess person, but the dust and dirt can be a mile high. (Mom used to wonder where my clothes were only to find the dirty ones stuffed under the bed...)

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MIRAGE727 6/17/2011 8:05AM

    Hey, Cornhusker! My wife is from Lincoln. I had a black hole called a walk in closet. She tells me to tackle one shelf in my closet a day. Guess what? I'm almost done. SO, set a goal of one small area at a time. You can do it as you have done an amazing job getting to your goal so far. Go Big Red!

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MSLZZY 6/17/2011 7:55AM

    emoticonand it will be worth the effort-hugs!

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JOURNEYTO60 6/17/2011 7:42AM

    I hope it works out too! I think it will. I can really relate to this blog! During the school year, I move through my day attending to my job and everyone else's needs. I rarely look at taking care of myself and I certainly spend little time on my house. This summer I took time off to really put myself back on track. I am working on "me" and my house too. Yesterday I had family in town and I could invite them over without a thought about what the house looked like. It was quite a feeling! We are both on the same path this week! Thank you for sharing. It is fun to relate to someone!

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KIAHT6 6/17/2011 7:29AM

    Thanks for sharing

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ELRIDDICK 6/17/2011 7:13AM

  Thanks for sharing!

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WATERMELLEN 6/17/2011 7:13AM


Interesting connection: layers of "fat", layers of "mess". You've got me thinking!!


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