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Fresh fruit

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's confession time, Barb! Many of my healthier friends are HUGE fans of fresh fruit. I'm afraid I'm not. I have had to *force* myself to try them. Peaches and pears are fruits that I have enjoyed the canned variety of since childhood. Even though I had gone from the "in heavy syrup" versions to "in natural fruit juice, no added sugar", until this week I had recoiled from fresh versions of these very good for you fruits.

I'm the same way with berries and grapes and cherries! I have had to force myself to purchase fresh strawberries and raspberries and I did manage to force myself to purchase fresh blueberries... once. Strawberries I have got used to, and they have become part of the regular rotation, especially in season.

I still haven't got around to the grapes. And I don't know if I will EVER do melons at home. But this is part of the transformation process.

WHY don't I trust fruit? I don't know. I've always been a huge veggie fan. Fruits I have often kept to the "safe" choices of bananas, apples, and oranges, and canned varieties of peaches and pears... grapes reduced to juice (even that was a step up).

But I'm working on it! And when the going gets tough, sometimes I just have to cut myself a break and say, "it is what it is". Meanwhile... this week: a fresh peach sliced into my steel cut oats, yesterday and this morning, constitutes my latest adventure into the world of fresh fruit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 8/24/2011 3:47PM

    I really love fruit of all kinds... for a time I had a breakfast where I put a dried fig in water overnight, then ixed it with 1 dl of frozen blueberries and a half banan, added some flax seed and poured it over a shredded apple... really healthy but created work and dirty dishes...Sometimes I wonder why I am fat considering that I really love both vegetables and fruit...

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KIKI0531 8/24/2011 10:28AM

    I have learned to "like" fruit and have eaten more fruit in the last 6 mths than I think my whole life !! I cannot eat any type of berry - I just do not enjoy them.

My mother always tried to get me to eat more fruit and it was eaten under protest ... lol. Because I knew that I was not a fruit lover, I always made sure from the time my first daughter was born - I made sure fruit was always in the house. Even though I didn't eat it - I always made sure she did. She is 14 now and LOVES fruit and so does my little one who is 3.

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BUGGYS 8/24/2011 7:05AM

    Growing up, my mom always made a fresh fruit salad every couple of days and we would munch on that and I came to love fruit of all kinds...still do. I also loves veggies and have tried some new ones along the way...roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil...yummy! I've been eating a lot of berries now, because they are in season but have also read of their health benefits...keep trying with the fruits but as long as you are eating veggies too, I think you're doing great!!!

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MNTWINSGAL 8/23/2011 10:20PM

    Fruits are important, lots of vitamins...BUT...I think the veggies are even more important, so as long as your plate is full of good wholesome veggies, I'd say it's ok to skimp a little on the fruit. Lots of sugar, even in their natural state!

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DEBRITA01 8/23/2011 8:50PM

    I like veggies, but LOVE fruits...especially fresh peaches! Yum! Way to go for venturing out of your comfort zone. Like anything new, it takes time to acquire a taste for it and adjust to certain textures. I am still working on the taste, hate the texture. If I eat them with cereal or something I can swallow them...otherwise, yuck! Keep exploring, you'll find what works for you... emoticon

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_LINDA 8/23/2011 11:21AM

    I have always been a fresh fruit fan from day one, and not so much with the veggies, though now I get huge amounts of both. I can't imagine not eating melon, its great with cottage cheese. But I do use frozen blueberries as I can't stand to wash the little beggars :P. I love grapes, its a refreshing treat. Interestingly enough, I have never loved candy, even as a kid, so I didn't have a sweet tooth. I also rarely got colds (don't even remember when I had one its been so long), maybe because of all that Vit C I was pumping in.. If its because of a low carb thing -in spite of all I eat, I never go over my daily carb requirement as per Spark's Tracker.. People who don't eat fruit are short changing their nutrition.. I had my peach with Greek yogurt and a tablespoon of strawberry freezer jam, was to die for!!
I wish you luck with it.. Like anything, its an acquired taste. It will take time. And those pre packaged ones are so much quicker and less time consuming too, I understand that.. I have just started out trying new veggies like kohlrabi and jicama....I have always had broccoli, carrots and cauliflower and that was getting really old..
Here is to new adventures in food..

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/23/2011 11:12AM

    Good for you for trying the things outside your comfort zone. I'm the same way but in reverse. I detest the veggies and rarely eat them. I'm a bit better with the fruits. I'm 56 years old and about two months ago managed to try some fresh blueberries. They are now one of my favorites. And to think I've missed out on them all these years. Being a creature of habit, I tend to eat the same fruits over and over again. Because they're safe -- because I know I like them. But I'm with you when it comes to melons of any kind. I just can't stomach them. They make me gag. Blech! :~)

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DEBRA0818 8/23/2011 9:41AM

    I've never been a big fan of fruit either and now it's off the menu permanently except as a special treat (fructose being a big fat producer in my body), but I'm glad you're getting used to fresh fruit when you have it. The seasonal fruits can sometimes be startling in how good they are -- one pundit calls them "nature's candy bars," although I don't think he meant it as a compliment!

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HOT4FITNESS 8/23/2011 9:26AM

    Don't sweat it!!I too had to acquire a taste for the fresh fruit. Now i really enjoy it. Unfortunatly I still have an addiction to cake, so now I have to find away to substitute the fruit for the cake. Keep up the good work.

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ELSEEBEE 8/23/2011 9:21AM

    Could we trade some taste buds? While I like vegetables, I am a fruit addict (I know, it's connected to my sugar addiction). So I'm trying to eat more veggies and leave some of the fruit alone. But I've read some things about research into these preferences and they are definitely based in science, not just prejudice. Enjoy your peaches, Barb, and I'll try once again to get excited about spaghetti squash, zucchini....

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KALIGIRL 8/23/2011 8:36AM

    emoticon You must not have a sweet tooth.
You need to purchase RIPE fruit - otherwise I agree.
Some say the only good thing about fruit is the fiber (because of the sugar), so you are among good company!

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CHELLYNEAGLE213 8/23/2011 8:29AM

  Fruit is great for you...keep up the good work!

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CONCHA77 8/23/2011 8:25AM

    I was the same way until the past couple of years. Now I love berries, bananas, etc. (no melons though) and love making fresh smoothies with yogurt and add berries to cereals, salads, etc .
Peaches sound really good right now! Yum! And they're in season right now, I believe?

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CAM2438 8/23/2011 8:21AM

    I think you will learn to love fruit once you start eating it. Think of how good it is for you.

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What do I want?

Monday, August 22, 2011

During Saturday morning's bike ride break, one of the topics that came up was Meditation, and transitions in life. Becky (KALIGIRL) shared a link with all of us to a 21-Day meditation challenge on the Chopra meditation site. It's a freebie to register and participate, but they are about 1/3 of the way through by now. I ended up doing a fast-forward through the first week, which focused on "Who am I?" over the weekend.

The skeptic in me distrusts "centers" pushing particular methodologies that might be "selling stuff"... the freebie to get in the door, and then a sales pitch. However, I do have some background with relaxation exercises and yoga so I opened my thought to the experience. Some of the sessions resonated more than others, as one might expect. A couple of them were in the middle of an insomnia night, and very useful because of that. One of them shut my computer down! Surprise... something in its graphics must have been misinterpreted by my display!

This morning starts the second week with the second deep question, "What do I want?" So I started in my comfortable position, eyes closed, focus on the breathing, contemplating things like "peace", "contentment", "security", "health", "to sit here like this for quite some time"... material things don't seem to come to the fore in looking at what I really want. Breathing in and out, feeling refreshed and relaxed... and whump! Right in the middle of this... I have a lap full of purr! I was quite startled out of my inner place!

Guess The Prisoner knows what HE wants, anyway!

emoticon Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 8/22/2011 9:02PM

    Very nice! left me smiling for sure. And thinking about "what do I want" . . . yeah!

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MOBYCARP 8/22/2011 8:47PM

    Yeah, cats do that. The first time, it startled me out of meditation too. Later I learned to deal with it and incorporate the purr into the meditation, just like you do with background noise. When you know the cat is going to jump into your lap if you sit still, it's not as distracting.

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BARBAELLEN 8/22/2011 2:55PM

    I love this blog. Very funny. Here you are trying to figure out the meaning of life, and life gets in the way!

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ANDI571 8/22/2011 2:32PM

    I just love the lap full of fur. My 25 pounder is definitely more than a lap full.

The kitten looks so much like our neighbors. It visited me this morning while I was sitting on the porch and it gave me a lap full of purr.

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NANA717 8/22/2011 10:58AM

    Oh how I love this blog!!!! 1st of all, I love kitties!!! I miss mine. And the meditation stuff intrigues me. I'm going to check that out. But what really caught my attention was the title "What do I want?". I'm working on that too. I'm working on "Designing My Ideal Life". Maybe I should make a blog, might inspire someone. Blessings!! Dalena

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PATRISNA 8/22/2011 9:43AM


Aw....that made me miss my cats. They are so funny. Ginger is keeping me going. She is a funny dog. I just wish she would sleep through the night. She kept waking me up last night.

I will have to think about the question What do I want? I have no desire for more material things. Great blog Barb. Watch out for flying purring fur balls!


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/22/2011 9:27AM

    Oh my, that is so funny. But I like what you said about not wanting all of the "things" of this world. That is so true. When it comes right down to it, it's the inner peace/happiness/contentment and good health that's most important. I think we serve ourselves well by trying to focus on that from time to time. Have a great day, Barb!

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DEBRA0818 8/22/2011 9:18AM

    Maybe the kitty has the answer and was trying to communicate it to you! LOL!

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_LINDA 8/22/2011 8:51AM

    I think most people truly don't know what they want and never think on it. One thing though is there is nothing like the love of a pet for peace and calming..Who needs meditation when you can cuddle your little ball of love?

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GOHUSKERS2 8/22/2011 8:46AM

    Cute kitty. Cuddling a pet is sometimes all the meditation and medication I need. I hope you find what you want my friend. Just take a good look at what you've accomplished....awesome. I think you can have it all.

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FITFABJENN 8/22/2011 8:26AM

    Hopefully you found some peace enjoying your little bucket of purr and fur.

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LRK4CHRIST 8/22/2011 8:19AM

    I thk that question is something everyone asks themself but don't spend time reflecting on it. I pray u find what u want. After u do, press forward.

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The importance of rest days

Sunday, August 21, 2011

There is a reason why just about every major religion has a day a week set aside for "rest". There is a reason why most civilized countries don't have a seven day work week. The human being needs time for reflection and rest.

Today I didn't go beyond my own backyard. Yes, I pulled a few weeds. But I also slept in to make up for some insomnia episodes, had a long phone call with a sister, and snoozed an afternoon nap into the picture too. Kitties must have thought that was a good idea, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 8/22/2011 3:19PM

    I so hear you - it's one of the hardest things to do. But taking time for ourselves, in whatever form, is the highest priority, IMHO.

Re the kitties: oh, they're growing so fast!

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PATRISNA 8/22/2011 9:32AM

    I got my "Day of Rest" confused with the "Just one Thing Everyday."

I cleaned out my pantry and refrigerator. I am much happier about the organized pantry. But I was bone tired last night. I did sit down and watch an episode of Warehouse 13.


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MSLZZY 8/22/2011 7:13AM

    Everyone needs a rest day. Just have to turn off the mind LOL!

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_LINDA 8/22/2011 1:45AM

    Awesome!! So glad you know how to have a siesta when you need it! I think I have had my quota for the year! Anxious to get back into it, but my foot wasn't yet happy in my running shoes I tried on today :(( I have never worn sandals and certainly don't think I can exercise in them (I can picture them going flying off my feet lol)
Hope you have a deep and restful sleep tonight!

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/22/2011 1:05AM


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BARBAELLEN 8/21/2011 8:54PM

    Sounds like the perfect day of rest! Ahhhh!

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SHERYL_B 8/21/2011 8:44PM

    Sounds like a great way to spend the day! That is how I was last weekend!

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Merit and Grace

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This is a pensive "good news / bad news" kind of entry this morning. Yesterday I felt really good about the doctor visit. We chatted about a number of things weight / fitness related... and words came out of my mouth that gave me a start. We were talking about runs and walks, that half-marathon, the 5K gold, and the upcoming mud run.

What I said was, "things are much easier now". Not that I have more energy, just that things seem easier. My brother (MOBYCARP) had mentioned that in one of his blogs earlier in the week, too. At this lower weight, lower than I had *ever* been since high school... things are just plain easier. When I give my body the right fuel, the right training... things are just plain easier.

This does not mean that it's easy to START or to GET here. It doesn't mean activity is impossible before arrival at goal. I ran 5K's 20 years ago about 20 pounds heavier and felt good about it... but it's easier now.

Some of this is attitude, confidence. Some of it is physiological... the heart beats efficiently, the muscles do their job in whatever context. It is that functional ability that readiness that I am maintaining. I love it. I worked for it. That's the merit side of things. But while being pleased and proud of that, I am also conscious that there are folks out there working just as hard and not necessarily seeing the same results.

Here's where grace comes in: Life's not always fair in these things. Some people have higher hills to climb. They may not be able to go out and run 5K's or walk half marathons or whatever. They may have a disease or an injury that modifies their life. BUT... treating their bodies with respect, loving themselves, working on attitude has to work for them too... the "easier" word applies to the comparison between not doing and doing the healthy things we all advocate: drinking water, eating the freggies, being active... consistently as possible, not demanding perfection. All people who are giving life their best shot have my admiration and respect! Because each and every one of us is worthy of reaching whatever level of "easier" we can get to.

On the bad news side in my personal life... same day as my good doctor visit, I got e-mail from my sister, the one who has ALWAYS been good about nutrition and exercise and taken good care of herself. We have always in our family been able to say, "no history of cancer". We can no longer say that. She found a lump, had it checked out, and yesterday she got the results. While her doctor said the good words, "small", "curable", "caught early"... and says they will have this cured by the time her next mammogram would normally have been, I'd still appreciate prayers from those so inclined.

Life is full, and life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 8/21/2011 4:41AM

    I am grateful that life is not "fair" in the aspect that people who looks after themself donīt have to endure cancer, it is a burden enough heavy to carry without having to blame oneself for "earning it"

I did not have any family history of cancer ether so my shock was total when I found that lump and as it was larger than it should have been it was either very fast growing or had been there for a while before I found it.

I donīt wish anybody a cancer but I must also admit that my cancer gave me a lot of gfts in insights and joy of life. Itīs not whats happens that mater, it is how you handle what happens. I got a lot closer to my siblings when I was diagnosed with cancer and since then we have been more loving towards eachother. Best wishes for your sister!

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MSLZZY 8/20/2011 12:59PM

    So glad you took charge of your life and are living healthier. It is never easy but is worth the effort.
Prayers going out for your sister. HUGS!

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/20/2011 11:06AM

    Hooray for Victories, and Hooray for consistency! Hooray for not taking your health for granted!

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MNTWINSGAL 8/20/2011 11:03AM

    Of course I'll add my prayers for your sister. How very fortunate she is though, to have caught it when she did. It sounds like the prognosis is excellent, and I know you are grateful for that!

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WATERMELLEN 8/20/2011 10:48AM

    Been there, have the Tshirt (actually, give the Tshirt away to a friend subsequently diagnosed) and: my thoughts and prayers to you and your sister. It's scary hearing that word (the reason why reducing chance of recurrence is my biggest motivator to stay lean) but with early dx and prompt treatment cancer can be beaten. I'm sure that your sister will be able to lean on you as she negotiates the months ahead (my sister and I went through it together . . . ).

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_LINDA 8/20/2011 10:18AM

    So very sorry about your sister :(( It really isn't fair, someone who looks after themselves so well gets that dreaded news. Meanwhile, I have a brother-in-law who smokes, drinks hard liquor and loves fatty foods and claims he can't eat veggies as they make him sick who has no health problems in spite of his father dying young of the same vices. You hate watching people throw their lives away, but what can you do?? As a person with a severe disease and recovering ad nauseum from countless surgeries, I can say I feel better in my context when I am exercising regularly and eating healthy. While I will never be able to run a race because of the impact, I can still keep up with any of the healthy people in cardio classes, without getting out of breath, so go me!
Screening is so important and your sister's experience is showing why. My thoughts will be her as she goes through her ordeal..
emoticon emoticon

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WORDLILY 8/20/2011 10:08AM

    Sorry to hear about your sister. Praying now.

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CEHALLA 8/20/2011 10:06AM

    I can identify with what you said. I haven't reached my goal yet, but I find that many things I do are easier with losing 60 pounds. And some things are still hard. But showing respect to my body is a good goal, I'll work on that.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/20/2011 9:30AM

    "Because each and every one of us is worthy of reaching whatever level of "easier" we can get to." Right on, Barb!

Best wishes for your sister. I'll say a prayer on her behalf.

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DEBRITA01 8/20/2011 9:15AM

    emoticonPrayers for your sister...

Comment edited on: 8/20/2011 9:15:34 AM

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HOT4FITNESS 8/20/2011 8:13AM

    So sorry to hear about your sister. I will keep her in my prayers. I agree that as we travel this journey and have successes things do get easier.

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Annual doctoring

Friday, August 19, 2011

Anybody else have a doctor born after you reached "adulthood"? I found out today that mine (who has been my doctor for six or seven years) was born AFTER I got out of high school, and still hasn't seen 40! He started sporting *braces* last year. And he still looks oh, so young. Yeah, he has three young children at home, he's a good family man, and has a great patient rapport. In short, I like my doctor.

And nothing made me happier than seeing his broad grin over my weight history, particularly over the past two years. BP is great. RHR is 42-43. Everybody asks me am I a runner when they take my pulse. We'll see how the blood work comes back, but in short, he sees me as healthy, and is real happy with HOW I lost the weight, not just THAT I lost it.

So, yeah, I was super pleased to hear him say, for the second year in a row, "You have made your doctor very happy and proud."

Well, Doctor, I have made ME pretty happy and proud, too. Now don't get cocky, Barb.

Life's good... Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/20/2011 1:56AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That is fantastic news! Well done!!
Fortunately, I have had my family DR. since I was 16, so we have 'grown old' together. I don't know what I would make of these young whippersnappers. I would tend to ask, how many times have you done this procedure already?? What a dilemma, young with all the latest advances and techniques or old and very experienced in performing the basics with a sure and knowledgeable hand..
Keep on Sparking!
Like braces, wow, I could not get that lol.

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/20/2011 1:20AM

    Yes, I meet a lot of doctors that was born after I reached adulthood, if I think of that age as 20, any doctor 39 years and younger is in that sector.

As I have returned to my home town and worked as a yout leader/riding teacher at an animal farm when I was 25-28 I am waiting to meet any of my pupils in a authority position - I imagine it will be weird to be examined (and adviced to get healthier) by someone that I once have told to sit straight and be softer with their hands on the reins...

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BARBAELLEN 8/20/2011 1:16AM

    Funny. I also have a doc with braces, a 58-year-old woman!

More important, your results are great, and you SHOULD be proud of taking such good care of yourself. Hope the blood work is just as good! Congrats on a job well done!

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MNTWINSGAL 8/20/2011 12:48AM

    Congrats, Barb....that's just the reaction we all hope for when we see our doctors. You deserve to be just a wee bit cocky. (just don't let it get out of hand! emoticon )

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DRB13_1 8/20/2011 12:19AM

    As a (retired) doctor, may I add "I am very proud of you, too!"

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WATERMELLEN 8/19/2011 10:32PM

    Well done! Maybe he'll ask to hand out your number to his other patients so you can coach them!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/19/2011 9:38PM

    You have every reason to be happy and proud, Barb. You rock! Congratulations.

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/19/2011 9:23PM

    Pretty cool! We're proud of you, too!

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MOBYCARP 8/19/2011 8:43PM

    I think my doctor is more or less my contemporary, perhaps a bit younger than me. She appeared to be just building her practice when I rolled into town almost 20 years ago; by the time my daughter needed an adult doctor instead of a pediatrician, she wasn't taking new patients.

Of course, if I live long enough I will some day have a doctor who is clearly much younger than I am. The day that happens could be hastened if I had to move to another town and the only doctors accepting new patients are youngsters still building their practices.

Good job keeping your doctor happy. Do that enough years in a row, and you might get to see him retire.

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