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Old fashioned Family 4th of July

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Old Glory... what the holiday is all about. Except of course the food, the fireworks, the family... but without the flag and those who sign up to defend us... where would we be on the 4th of July?

If I were you, neighbor, I'd move that Covette.

Can't let the kids have ALL the fun.

We are ready for the show.

It starts as it gets darker.

And it was a great show. Not just our own, but you can see a lot from where we sat. This morning: driveway cleanup began at 5 a.m.

Hope you all had a great 4th, celebrating or not!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUGGYS 7/6/2011 7:17AM

    Great pictures and great fun and a great bod!!!

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REJ7777 7/6/2011 6:24AM

    Sounds like you enjoyed your day. You really stand out in your red shirt, surrounded by all those dressed in blue and white. Red, white and blue! Very patriotic. emoticon

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TURTLETALK 7/5/2011 11:59AM

    Looks like a good time!

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CONCHA77 7/5/2011 8:47AM

    Thanks for sharing! Looks like you did have a great time. emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 7/5/2011 8:40AM

    We got our flagpole painted and a new flag up yesterday. That kind of pride is a good thing in my book too. We had a quite a neighborhood show as well. I love fireworks so enjoy every moment of it. Glad you had a great 4th.

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MARVEEME 7/5/2011 8:20AM

    COOL!

Our neighbor spends hundreds every year to set off fireworks in the middle of the street, and we just sit back and watch, with a hose nearby in case of a mishap. We usually get out the next morning and do the cleanup before they're even awake. The one year that we weren't home for the display, the debris stayed in the street until we went out to clean it up a few days later. It's our way of "paying back" every year, without a word ever spoken about it. I guess I'll give them a broom when we move away.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/5/2011 8:18AM

    Looks like you had a great holiday. Wonderful photos. Have a great week!

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Independence: from the tyrant's side

Monday, July 04, 2011

We celebrate the independence of the United States of America today. Independence was declared from a King and Country that taxed the nobles who had moved here but did not allow them a voice in Parliament. Anyway, that's what we are taught in school.

I think of other declarations of Independence, too. In the Old Testament, it is said that Moses went to Pharoah and asked for his people to be freed... then led them out in the face of resistance. I think of movements today, political movements and armed struggles where one group seeks freedom from control of another. The group and social struggles wage on over who shall control, who shall govern.

And then, being me, I bring it to a personal level, with a twist. Suppose, instead of seeing myself as the budding American Nationalist, I saw myself as King George. Such impudence these freedom seekers have! Trying to get away from me! It is my RIGHT to rule them, tax them, use them!

Only after a long and painful struggle did King George and his advisers throw in the towel, surrender to the independence that those American Rebels had declared.

This brings a different perspective, and some questions: What might I be holding on to that I need to grant independence to? How can I shorten my own pain and struggle?

Am I holding on to the idea that I can control the actions of others? I need to let that go, grant it independence!

Am I holding on to the thought that weight and fitness once achieved will solve all the problems in my life and make me happy? I need to let that go, too.

Am I holding on to the concept that I don't deserve happiness and order, that I'm somehow unworthy? Then I should let that concept go, and enjoy the happiness that is all around for the taking!

Am I holding on to a belief that I am incapable of governing myself, of having discipline in my life? Self-government is for adults... am I ready to let myself be one? If so, I need to let go of the thought that I'm weak or childish... I need to grant "me" independence.

I have met the tyrant... and she is ME! It is I who can grant me independence! I don't have to struggle... I can let me be me! And I can love it!

Have a great 4th of July! Let yourself be self-governed today! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

~INDYGIRL 7/7/2011 9:02AM

    Very Cool!

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FLORIDASUN 7/5/2011 9:08AM

    Very inspiring and I love the way you think! emoticonMy dear friend Elseebee prompted me to read this and I'm glad she did! emoticon emoticon

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LINDAJOYWK 7/5/2011 6:17AM

    Interesting thoughts-good!

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REJ7777 7/4/2011 8:02PM

    Great analogy! It's a bit scary to realize that we ARE responsible for our decisions and our lives. At least in free countries like Canada and the U.S.



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_LINDA 7/4/2011 7:55PM

    Enjoy your Independence Day and freedom!
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NEW-CAZ 7/4/2011 5:31PM

    Happy 4th!

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ELSEEBEE 7/4/2011 5:04PM

    Wow! You write some of the best blogs on Spark People! What a creative way to look at all those things we are all holding onto! Happy 4th!
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Carol

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FITFABJENN 7/4/2011 11:20AM

    Happy Independence Day to you, Spark friend!

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MSLZZY 7/4/2011 10:13AM

    Awesome! Keep those thoughts and stay positive! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Army Physical Fitness Test - woohoo!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

I was living in my happy moments yesterday and feeling strong. It was two days early, but I got this idea in my head that "I need to do some strength training, as I have that APFT goal to take it on the 4th."

Anyway, I warmed up on my trusty Ariel (the temptress, the treadmill) emoticon. Then I set out to do a couple of sets of pushups and situps... that was the plan. But... I was feeling good and decided to see what I could do... and I popped out 30 pushups in my first set. emoticon 28 is 100 points for a 58 year old woman... the max score. So, I had "aced" that portion of the test, with a couple to spare.

Being in my happy, confident place... on a whim, I decided instead of just working out, I would see if I could pass the situps portion, too, on the first set... if I did, I would do the run.

emoticon Those of you who've been following this wild hare since last November when I got the idea in my head (inspired by something my Sgt Son said) probably remember (because I've whined about it so often) that situps are my particular nemesis! When I started this initiative, I could only do 3. To pass, I needed to do 27. The most I had done in prior "test" efforts was 24.

Yesterday afternoon, fueled by "happy", by "determination", and by some specifically targeted training... I knocked out 35! emoticon That scores me 69 points.

Then all I had to do was run 2 miles as fast as I could... I only needed 24:48 as a time to pass, I needed 19:42 to ace it. Back onto Ariel, emoticon, crank up the speed... I BARELY made my 19:42, but I did make it. So 100 points... total score 269.

I did it, I did it... I'm a "real" Army mom! Just in time for the 4th of July. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOHAEV1 7/5/2011 7:46AM

    Your Sgt Son needs to salute you as if our Flag had gone by!

AWESOME


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LINDAJOYWK 7/4/2011 6:47AM

    Awesome,as always! I salute you!

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MT-MOONCHASER 7/3/2011 11:07PM

    emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/3/2011 6:37PM

    Congratulations, Barb -- that's just awesome!

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MNTWINSGAL 7/3/2011 6:07PM

    Never a doubt in my mind, Barb. You are AWESOME!!!

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CARTER4414 7/3/2011 3:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
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It so good to hear about these accomplishments.

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DONNACFIT 7/3/2011 2:34PM

    Your blog title caught my eye..way to go!!!

And Happy 4th of July tomorrow !!!

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FLOWINGWATER 7/3/2011 1:30PM

    YAY!! Way to go!!! You ROCK! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

And, you've inspired me. So, emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/3/2011 12:54PM

    Totally impressive!! I salute you!! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 7/3/2011 11:39AM

    Congratulations on a fabulous test score and a genius idea to spring it yourself when you weren't looking!

Great job, Barb!

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_LINDA 7/3/2011 10:29AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That is fantastic!! Great job!!! You are AWESOME!!
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MELITOD 7/3/2011 9:51AM

    That is amazing!! I have been working on that test too since my roommate takes it twice a year!


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WORDLILY 7/3/2011 9:26AM

    That's great, congratulations! Way to go! :D

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/3/2011 9:04AM

    WOOHOO!!! Congrats Barb on a SUPERB accomplishment. You are such a positive force here on SP... you are indeed wonderfully determined. LOVE IT!
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LIGHTHOUSE0403 7/3/2011 8:54AM

  Impressive! emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/3/2011 8:41AM

    Majorly awesome! Way to go on your accomplishment!

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/3/2011 8:40AM

    Majorly awesome! Way to go on your accomplishment!

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LESS_IS_MO 7/3/2011 8:35AM

    Congrats!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/3/2011 8:28AM

    WOW!!! Way to go, Barb! Very, very impressive. So good for you. Such an affirmation of your fitness. You are indeed a very fit lady. Enjoy your strong muscles, strong heart/lungs, and all that goes with it.

I can ace the run, but the other two I'm not there. This might be a good challenge for me to take on. I'm sure the sit ups would be easier for me than the push ups, although both would be a challenge. Take care. Thanks for the inspiration!!

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MARVEEME 7/3/2011 8:24AM

    FANTASTIC WORK!

Keep it up!

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MIZCATHI 7/3/2011 8:23AM

    Wow, that is totally inspiring! You must feel ready to fight for your life!

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MSLZZY 7/3/2011 8:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I missed the end of the month... better late than never...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

End of the month coming on a Thursday kind of put a crimp in my style. But progress (in maintenance, as in loss) must be documented. So end of last June (2010) and this morning's photos are on the front page.

Last night's one thing slopped over into the arena of "Spring Cleaning"... I actually pulled the fridge out of its cubby, and cleaned behind it. Don't think I've done that in four years. Feels good!

And yesterday our family finally got our act together in planning the 4th gathering!
emoticon emoticon One of my nieces wishes to have one. I volunteered my house as the venue, since I have the 5th to recuperate. I'm feeling so good about this... it means my "do one thing" initiative is working. It is making me feel more welcoming, in terms of my mind set.

My son brought the grill back to my house for the occasion. And I have today and tomorrow to deal with groceries and all that without too much stress over the state of the house because "doing one thing" has led to a house I'm not ashamed to invite people into! It's almost like reaching a goal. I deserve a reward! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 7/3/2011 3:27AM

    emoticon (happy dance) emoticon emoticon

Happy 4th of July! Wishing you a great get-together!

You can celebrate your own increasing freedom as you celebrate Independence Day!

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_LINDA 7/3/2011 2:02AM

    Well done!! Way to stretch beyond your boundaries! It just keeps going and going doesn't it??
Just enjoy your holiday!! Have a great one!!
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MSLZZY 7/3/2011 12:39AM

    Make it a good one! HUGS!

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SUNNY1432 7/2/2011 12:41PM

    HAvE A gReAT WeEKenD!! emoticon emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 7/2/2011 11:46AM

    Way to go, Barb! I hope your celebration turns out fantastic.

Happy Grilling!

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Observation and tracking changes the outcome

Friday, July 01, 2011

I became a Nielsen family for a week starting yesterday morning at 5 a.m. Surprise! I think twice about turning on the TV and what I'm going to watch, knowing I have to write it down. Because it has to be five minutes within a fifteen minute block, I might choose NOT to turn on the TV because I have to write it down. Or, I have to actually pay attention to what is playing because I have to write down the program name and channel.

This is one of the puzzles of modern day physics... that the very act of observing and tracking something can alter the outcome. Haven't we all found that as we Spark along? When we track, truly track, what we consume and how much we exercise... doesn't it change what we decide? "I don't want to write down that I ate THAT!" So I don't eat it?

Or, "I have this streak going, I don't want a blank space... I'll drink that extra glass of water!" Or, "My plan says I should do dumbbell flies... I want to check that off..."

And, we have to pay attention... we might actually READ a nutrition label to see how to track it!

See? Observation and tracking changed the very decisions we made and the actions we took. And that is how we got to goal.

Mindfulness is required to observe. Observation changes the outcome. Mindfulness keeps us "AWARE! AWAKE! ALIVE!" and hopefully "Appreciative of ALL there is" (copyright for the phrase Becky, KaliGirl).

Life is good. Spark on! And Happy Canada Day to all the Sparker of the Great Nation to our North. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRB13_1 7/2/2011 12:39AM

    emoticon
My problem is, I have the information - putting it into action is the link that needs to be strengthened.
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COMPUCATHY 7/1/2011 10:10PM

    Wow...that is SO true. Funny how you've noticed that in the tv tracking. I know it makes all the difference with the eating. It has definitely been a big key in my weight loss success so far. Thanks for the perspective! Hope you have a great holiday weekend! Spark on! emoticon

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REJ7777 7/1/2011 6:57PM

    I was amazed when I saw some videos on You Tube, demonstrating the phenomenon that the very act of observing and tracking something can alter the outcome. It was WEIRD stuff!

I had never thought about applying it to tracking, but I must admit that tracking really does affect my choices.

I find that science is catching up with many things that were called "spiritual" before. I was reading an article today about the power of thought, and certain metaphysical effects that occur when a great many people think about the same thing at the same time (like looking at the Superbowl, or when Princess Diana died, etc.) After reading the article, I couldn't help but think about the power of concerted prayer.


Comment edited on: 7/1/2011 6:58:23 PM

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PENNYAN45 7/1/2011 5:42PM

    For sure, when we have to record what we do - we change what we do.
And I'm so grateful that happens!!

Happy 4th to you, Barb.

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WATERMELLEN 7/1/2011 10:52AM

    Yup, the act of tracking changes what there is to track . . .

And: happy July 4th to you coming up!!

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TURTLETALK 7/1/2011 10:23AM

    So true!

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_LINDA 7/1/2011 9:23AM

    Tracking is what lost my weight and is keeping it off. It does make you accountable! It also helps you with your choices when you see how your calories and nutrients are going for the day and know what you need more or less off. No excuses, this plan works! Thanks to Spark People for introducing this concept to so many people!
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KARIDIAN1 7/1/2011 7:04AM

    I believe in tracking, it has keep me focused for these first three months on the changes I am making.

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MSLZZY 7/1/2011 7:04AM

    Excellent observation! HUGS!

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