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Like squirrels in Autumn

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rushing about, stocking up, preparing for cold weather ahead... that's what I felt like at the grocery store this morning. Following through on my blog earlier in the week, when I mused over the attractiveness of soups this time of year, I have a cabbage soup base simmering on the stove now... it should be ready by lunch time.

An update on the kitties: they have adapted very well to being the kind of cat I grew up with. Almost. They are still box trained. But they go outside quite a bit of the time, too. They sit on my lap when they are in, juggling for position. And they snooze a lot of the day away. When awake, they are playful and acrobatic: this morning Patches tossed the jingle ball under the treadmill, and leapt clear over the bed of it, chasing it. (Not while I was on it, mind you!) Wish I could jump like that!

As for today, I intend it to be a nice, lazy day. Work stressed me out all week, with missed and made deadlines and adjustments and overtime. The Fall allergies are attacking at the same time as the stress: been sneezing pretty much since the end of the Buffalo run. Took my Zyrtek (OTC antihistamine) three times this week.

I have the Lord of the Rings trilogy on the DVD player. In many places its dark colors and music make me drowsy, and I might just doze off. Earlier, before the grocery trip, I used one of its great chase scenes as treadmill motivation... in case anyone is interested the interval of being chased through the mines of Moria by the balrog is about ten minutes. I will jolly myself along to be active however I may. emoticon

Life's good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE33MAHALA 9/21/2011 9:11AM

    Love this blog, I too have 2 kitties, and wish I had that energy! And soup, ahhhh I am a soup eater. I just made homemade chicken soup, chili, and ham and bean. Hugh pots of them, then I freeze them in quart size freezer bags, one bowl portions. Now, no more cooking all day, just take one out when ever the urge hits me. I also got to enjoy ham and cabbage, since I cooked the ham down for soup, I cut up small head of cabbage to cook in juice before I added the beans, over 2 days, I ate every bit of it, emmm so good, guess that's the Polish in me, love that cabbage!!! Enjoy your laid back day, we all need those!

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KARIDIAN1 9/17/2011 9:50PM

    Love the LOTR too. Have the extended versions and alot more was added in those DVD's Glad the kitties are adjusting well and keeping you on your toes.

Youth Day at the gun club today-things were hopping.

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DEBRITA01 9/17/2011 9:23PM

    Glad you're enjoying your weekend. De-stress and enjoy the comforts of works wonders for the body and spirit. Soup sounds good...too bad I missed lunch!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/17/2011 7:25PM

    Don't you love these "lazy" days of autumn? I am enjoying the cooler weather immensely. And homemade soup is my favorite food in winter. Today I made a huge pot of chili using DH's frest 'maters. I'm still trying to do the JC thing, but he said it was really good.

Sorry I haven't been reading your blogs lately. I must have missed one of them and then never received the email notifications that you had more. I was beginning to wonder where you were, so I checked out your page and saw I missed several.

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SHELL- 9/17/2011 6:19PM

    Just found your blog's, what a treat !!
"Treating my body with kindness" quite inspiring.
What's in cabbage soup, besides the obvious cabbage?? I love the after pictures and can relate to the before. I added you as one of my inspiring friends!
I never use the generic allergy meds that don't cause drowsiness, because they DO MAKE ME DROWSY. I use Claritin. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 9/17/2011 4:26PM

    Congrats on getting the cats trained to be good cats. If my daughter doesn't keep her promise to take the cat off my hands in a couple months, I may have to try to turn him into an outdoor cat. He's pretty bored in a one-human household, and I really don't want to go the 2-cat route.

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LEANJEAN6 9/17/2011 4:13PM

    Isn't it wonderful to just veg??--So good for the soul----Your cats sound like fun too--enjoyed youyr blog--I always look forward to the pictures you put up too--Lynda

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MSLZZY 9/17/2011 3:29PM

    Woohoo for the soup but sorry about the allergies. I made chicken noodle soup this week and will probaby make a roasted carrot soup tomorrow. We have some many delicious carrots in the garden and I want to use some now before the snow flies LOL!

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WATERMELLEN 9/17/2011 2:51PM

    Hope you shed stress this weekend: soup helps! (Mine this week is an Italian inflected chicken vegetable . . . )

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KIKI0531 9/17/2011 2:48PM

    No cabbage soup; but, I do have stuffed cabbage casserole made and in a pot for later. I LOVE cabbage. I went and did a 3 mile wog this a.m. after dropping our older daughter off for a volleyball tournament. Weather is beautiful Our little one (3 yrs old) told me she doesnt want her clothes on today - she wants to relax ... lol However, we will be heading out here soon to hit Walmart (ugh.. I loathe that store) for a space heater and some essentials. Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting ... lol

As for now, I am going to chase and trap the little one to get her ready and try to keep my eyes open ( whew ... I am so sleepy today !!)

Have a great weekend !!

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_LINDA 9/17/2011 1:12PM

    Sounds like an awesome day!! Kind of embarrassed, my memory is so bad, I loved the Lord Of The Rings and have that trilogy, but have actually not sat down and watched it since the movies came out, bad me. Its like reading, no time, always have something on the go. My elliptical is in the TV room, but crammed under my tiny little window to get what air I can, so I can't see my screen :(( I listen to digital music instead which is always a strong motivator for me to move my butt. But the idea of doing it while watching intrigues me except that I might slow down too much during the quiet parts lol.
My favorite soup is beet borscht hands down :) I get Mom to make me a big batch with all the beets we are given, then freeze them in one cup portions so I can enjoy them throughout the weeks ahead.
Does that Zyrtek make you drowsy? I have to use Nasonex, but its only 70% effective and makes my nose bleed. I use chlortripilon, but don't like the drowsiness although it was suggested taking it at night, when I most need it to clear my breathing before bed so that maybe I will sleep better, but I still am like a zombie with it. I tried claritin and it didn't work :(
Enjoy your weekend!

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Treats and decisions

Friday, September 16, 2011

Treats: they are special because they don't happen all the time. At work this week they had the monthly birthday spread, where everyone with a September birthday brought in treats. Cupcakes, cake, ice cream, donuts... huge spread. And yes, about once a month, such a spread magically appears, brought in by the celebrants.

As I looked at particularly the ice cream, I thought about the last time I had ice cream: it was for my niece's birthday in July. Before that? I think it was the Memorial Day family gather. Before that? Got to be the prior year! I thought about how that ice cream tasted this July... rich, creamy, like *drugs* to my compulsive eater's brain. It took some force of will to not keep on eating it, but I was able to stop. I know from my personal history that I get in serious trouble when I start making food treats a daily thing. I've known that for a long, long time... but often knowing is not enough to stop one from making less than optimal choices.

This week, I chose not to partake in the spread. I will save my treat-eating for another time. I know there will be plenty of opportunities in the upcoming season to choose to have a treat. The blessing in this particular week: I did not feel deprived or forced in making this choice, one way or the other. I'm happy with it after the fact.

Today I am satisfied and facing a new day. It too will be full of choices. I pray for the continuation of this grace period... for the willingness and ability to see it for what it is: treating my body with kindness.

Life's good: Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE33MAHALA 9/22/2011 8:04AM

    Your so right on with that! I am ashamed to say, I started with, " have to have something sweet " after a meal, now it seems, its ever so strong every day. Hard to break those bad habits, and even when we do, they loom over us always. My wt. has been going up again, 155 again, funny how I worked for months to get it down, and it only took one month to put it back on. So, back on track for me!

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PATRISNA 9/19/2011 2:51PM

    You are so right about not eating a treat every day. I think that is how I get off track and go down the compulsive eating road. The Eating Season is fast approaching. Halloween is around the corner and then all the eating holidays follow.

emoticon emoticon emoticon


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MEDDYPEDDY 9/19/2011 7:23AM

    How wonderful to have come to a point where you know where to draw the line - to be able to have those treats on very special occasions without going back into obsession.

Well done!

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WATERMELLEN 9/16/2011 10:56PM

    That "treating your body with kindness" IS the real treat . . . there are waaay too many occasions in my life that call for celebration for me to celebrate all of them with food. What a pity that the monthly birthday celebratory spread could not be . . . one exquisite flower brought in by each person . . . or one childhood photograph . . . or one poem that has particularl meanng to that person . . . or a playlist of musical faves to be shared . . . or yeah: something "notfood"!!

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ANDI571 9/16/2011 1:07PM

    Good for you. I haven't quite gotten to the point of having "treats". To many treats become an obsession for sure, or that monkey on my back.

You are awesome!

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 12:57PM

    Well done!! I am not so sure I could have resisted that spread, seriously doubt it. But a once a month thing is just too much, excellent restraint!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUGGYS 9/16/2011 10:04AM

    Not feeling deprived and treating your body with kindness...the key to healthy eating...I have to keep telling myself that everyday...thank you for reminding me, Barb!

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MSLZZY 9/16/2011 10:00AM

    Excellent choice! Treating your body with kindness will benefit you more than the treat! HUGS!

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DEBRITA01 9/16/2011 9:03AM

    emoticonfor having the willpower to avoid the treats this month. Knowing that treats are always going to be there and having the strength to say "not this time" is huge! Sometimes we get sucked into eating them ~even when they aren't that tasty~ can cause the cravings monster to rear her ugly head. Choosing when and if you want to indulge shows that you are in control. Again, emoticon

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DEBRA0818 9/16/2011 8:19AM

    The best part about what you wrote is that you did not feel deprived afterwards. You've gotten to a great place when you can feel that way. I feel that way now (in Week 4) but haven't been tested by the holidays yet. I can only hope to feel the way I feel now and the way you do years down the road.


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KALIGIRL 9/16/2011 8:11AM

    "treating my body with kindness" - well said!

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Transitioning the mind for Autumn

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Changing weather is harking the beginning of Fall. We will still have the occasional warm, even hot days, but now they will be a rarity. With cooler weather out comes the frisky in animals and people! Along with it comes the instinctive urge for warm foods and aromas to fill the house in the evenings.

For me, that means stocking up on good veggies to make soups. I love a cabbage / tomato based soup... add beans or lentils, quinoa, or brown rice... and you're getting a pretty complete meal for not a lot of calorie buck!

Cooler weather also means I might want to warm up the house with my oven: now's the time to be baking that potato or yam, using the regular oven to heat up that fish filet or roast a chicken breast. So many healthy options to choose among and still feed the soul as it prepares for Winter ahead.

What's your favorite Fall food, and how are YOU planning to make it healthy? emoticon

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE33MAHALA 9/22/2011 8:13AM

    YAMS!!! Baked, they are naturally sweet, they don't need anything! ( little butter maybe) but no sugar. Sometimes I use sprinkle of cinnamon. I love having piece of fish, nice yam, and asparagus for dinner, then had a fresh plum for desert. Can you tell me, is it harmful to measure meat, or fish, but not the veggies? Can we eat as much as we want of those??

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DEBRITA01 9/16/2011 1:58PM

    Mmmm, I was just thinking about soup while grocery shopping and bought some ingredients for tortellini soup. Can't have cold weather without some soup! I also love crisp, juicy apples in the fall and I love pumpkin pie. To make the pie fit into my program, I make it without the crust...tastes great and figure friendly.

p.s. Have you ever posted those soup recipes on SP? I'm always looking for new recipes emoticon

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ANDI571 9/16/2011 1:09PM

    I'm like you, warm soups are so good on a brisk day. I have never been a hot tea drinker, but am finding that good hot tea is becoming satisfying.

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 12:41PM

    I love the fall harvest time, parsnips, sweet potato, carrots, beets, all manner of squash, have spaghetti on the menu made spicy with a curried chick pea. No warm oven here, Mom does all the cooking for me as I have no pots or pans for big things as well as no spices, oils, etc. I am mostly a raw fruits and veggie fan, not into cooking of any kind..So its a treat having the cooked stuff. i do bake potatoes in the microwave, my favorite being the Russian blue, they taste as good as they look!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/16/2011 10:03AM

    I thawed some chicken broth from the freezer and made soup last night. My, but it tasted good! I skipped the saltine crackers as filler and concentrated on the broth and carrots.
I did reserve most of the chicken meat to use for sandwiches at lunch today.
I still have lots of veggies in the garden that escaped the frost so good eats can
still be had in the weeks to come.

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WATERMELLEN 9/15/2011 4:51PM

    Soup it is for me too!! Love them (all year round, actually). And yup, the occasional baked potato. Plus: apple crisp with crunchy oat topping, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of low fat vanilla ice cream: coming soon!

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KIKI0531 9/15/2011 3:33PM

    Love Love the Fall season and I cooked me up some steel cut oats this morning with some cinnamon, banana and peanut butter. Thanks to a fellow Sparkler who recommended a few great things to do with them !! Yummy !! emoticon

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BARBAELLEN 9/15/2011 2:41PM

    Lots of creamed things among my Fall favorites. Butternut squash soup and root vegetables au gratin are at the top of the list. I'm finding that Greek Yoghurt is a wonderful substitute in lots of creamy and cheese-laden things, and my picky eaters have never known the difference. But REAL autumn always means apple dumplings and pumpkin pie -- until I find a workaround on these, it just means the whipped cream part has to go!

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BUGGYS 9/15/2011 10:20AM

    I love making soups in the winter and going to the apple orchard and pumpkin farms with the grandkids and there is nothing better than watching a Packer game!!!! emoticon emoticon

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46SHADOW 9/15/2011 9:02AM

    Love fall harvest food. Right now, my favorite is gazpacho soup-not warm but using all those new harvested tomatoes.

Comment edited on: 9/15/2011 9:02:15 AM

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DEBRA0818 9/15/2011 8:38AM

    Fall is my favorite season although I have to wait for it until winter here in Florida (LOL). But the football season brings out the slow cooker for my favorite stews, especially a Tuscan stew that can be made with almost any protein, stewed tomatoes, kdney beans, mixed veggies, tomato sauce, garlic, onions and peppers. Served it for Monday Night Football using Italian sausage as the protein to some friends and everyone went back for seconds. A great stew!

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KALIGIRL 9/15/2011 8:17AM

    Love the fall and all that goes with it - soups are my specialty especially cabbage based. Mark's mom used to make chalupas (sp?) and I may see if I can find the recipe.

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KATHRYNLP 9/15/2011 8:05AM

    We always take the grandkids to a 'pick your own pumpkin' farm... as well as a 'pick your own apples', same farm. Lots of fun, and exercise. I wrote a blog the other day that really tells you what Fall time means to me... emoticon

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Back up plan in progress

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not being able to take the withdrawal from e-mail and Spark, I dusted off the old computer and brought it out of the basement to feed my addiction. The internet is really, really slow on the old machine, but I'm typing in Notepad and will copy and paste it.

On the way home from work tonight, I placed my order for a new laptop. Been wanting one for a while, as in ever since my kid swiped my last for for college in 2003, was it?

This machine hasn't been used since 2007, according to one piece of software that I updated. Woo-hoo! Here's to backup plans.

In about a week, I hope to be back up to speed! In the meantime, given the speed of this one, don't expect a lot of pictures or even text from this end. This old thing feels like the computer in hotel lobbies!

Life's still good... and I can deal with whatever it brings! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/16/2011 1:03PM

    Interesting, I have to wonder if my old computer is the cause of my slow internet now.. Its been seriously bogging down and the browser keeps freezing up.. I couldn't get my new computer on the internet, it wasn't recognizing the server and there was no fix for that :(

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DEBRA0818 9/15/2011 8:41AM

    We're all connected now in a way that makes it difficult to give up.

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KALIGIRL 9/15/2011 8:24AM

    Here's to dealing with life!
... and cleaning out the basement? emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/15/2011 8:24:35 AM

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MOBYCARP 9/15/2011 6:34AM

    FWIW, my vintage 2003 laptop ultimately slowed to uselessness under WinXP. With nothing to lose, I installed Ubuntu Linux; it's fast enough to be a backup web browser now, but mostly I use the Sudoku app on it.

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GOHUSKERS2 9/15/2011 2:46AM

    I hear ya.....can't get through the day without it myself.

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MSLZZY 9/14/2011 11:25PM

    Making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak! Whatever keeps you connected is a good thing! HUGS!

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Computer Problems

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OK, I've been having computer issues, so much so that I could not get online this morning when I usually Spark and blog! So... if I disappear for a while, it is because it completely fried and I haven't got the backup plan in place yet!

As has become a pattern here in the "retirement red zone", every time something breaks, I carefully consider whether I will replace it. Remember my fantasy blog last year about possibly giving up having a car? Anybody who does gets extra brownie points for longevity as a reader of my blogs! emoticon

So, this morning's fantasy was how I would live if I gave up the computer! It did not take long for me to realize that this is not truly an option for me. While I can fantasize about going to the library for internet and e-mail... let's face it, for many of us, e-mail, FaceBook, SparkPeople... have kind of become the telephone of our generation!

So, with that realization in mind, I'm starting to look at replacement options. I downgraded my cell phone last year... perhaps this is the year I downgrade the computer! And in the meantime, hope I'll still be Sparking along.

Speaking of Spark... I've found this amazing book that is named "Spark" but *isn't* Chris Downey's book... it's a book on the mind-body connection... from the point of view of exercise helping your brain stay healthy! As if feeling good and being more fit were not reward enough in itself, Dr. John J. Ratey, M.D., the author, cites all kinds of scientific research that shows it fights mental illness and helps us learn better!

Who knew? I've always thought of mind-body being things like Yoga and meditation... it's aerobic exercise, too!

Life's good. Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 9/14/2011 11:43AM

    Waiting for irrigation folks @ the house... emoticon
marking sprinkler heads in the rain.

I'll be interested to know what you decide - the iPad doesn't seem to totally replace the laptop, particularly with the way it handles websites...

Love the mind-body-soul connection - if it wasn't for Plato, I'm not sure we'd have ever considered them separate

Comment edited on: 9/14/2011 11:43:37 AM

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MSLZZY 9/14/2011 7:14AM

    I remember the car issues but you resolved that quite well. Good luck getting a better computer because I would miss your daily dose of reality. Everything wears out but with
SP, it can be one problem that we can push off with healthier choices and exercise.
Keep on SParking!

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KARIDIAN1 9/13/2011 11:19PM

    I went to the library a few times when my computer died last summer. I did not enjoy it- they screens were all set too high and my neck gave out on me. Had a monster headache and sore neck. Happened each time I went there. Could not believe how many people used them or how many they had. Am spoiled by all the computer equipment we have at home.

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WATERMELLEN 9/13/2011 8:26PM

    Hope you're not going to try computerless . . . we would all miss you too much!

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DEBRITA01 9/13/2011 8:19PM

    Can't imagine not having a computer....I'd like to spend less time on here, but wouldn't be able to make it without a computer at home :) Good luck as you explore your options...lots to choose from. emoticon

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SUNNY332 9/13/2011 7:50PM

    So Sorry - I hate it when I am having computer problems.

We leave in the morning for Hawaii. Going to see our soldier and to celebrate our 45th Anniversary. DH ask me not to take my computer so this will be the first time in a long time that I have been computer free for 2 weeks. There is one in the business center at the Hotel so may jump on there just to say Hi to everyone on MM&P's.

Take care and Hugs, Sunny

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_LINDA 9/13/2011 7:47PM

    The ironic thing is, that getting a new computer, even a cheaper one, will probably make it a faster, more memory, bigger hard drive better then the spiffy one you currently have!!! I hate the way they get so out of date so quickly. This four year old one I have bogs down and freezes frequently in spite of having nothing much on it, but some of that may be due to my problematic connection too. I like it because it has a 17 inch screen.. If I had to go to a library for my internet, I would soon lose interest as it would take me too long going back and forth all the time.
I never have driven so can't imagine losing the convenience of having that transportation..
Treat yourself, you are worth it!!

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