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Confessions of a woman on the edge...

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sheesh, the way I feel this morning, you'd think I had re-developed HORMONES! Of course it didn't help that one of the first things I did this morning was to review journals from a year ago. I was looking for training mileage... what I found was the last weekend of my Diamond's lifespan. Yep.

Then I took my son's car in for a six-month service. I asked advice for how to best care for it the next nine or ten months while he is deployed and its insurance is on "in storage". The young man who helped me was so kind, and when he went over the service showed me how he'd gone and searched for online coupons to apply to the bill, and told me his mom had taken care of his vehicle when HE was deployed. I was ready to melt into tears.

Now, if you know anything about women and being on the verge of teariness, you know this is NOT a good time to get a haircut. But that's what I needed to do this morning. One should wear a sign, "It's not your fault!" for the poor folks who end up taking care of you! No matter how good the haircut, you won't like it.

Anyway, it isn't a bad haircut. Styled a bit differently than I normally do, but that will change. I managed polite and gave a decent tip, but I'm still a bit on the emotionally fragile side.

This weekend's plan includes at least a 6 mile outing on hoof. Because I need to be boosting mileage. I've done 4.5, 4.13, and 4.25 in evening treadmill sessions earlier in the week, but it is the weekend: long walk required. Thinking about a coffee shop about 35 blocks away... walking there for coffee would fulfil the required mileage.

Life is life. Choose it. Experience it. Don't stuff it away with food. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAYGIRL14 3/4/2012 10:22AM

    I read this blog and almost came to tears myself for you. My daughter hasn't left yet for her deployment, but is currently at a hospital in Maryland for one of her final trainings. She, too, will leave her car with us. What a sweet boy your mechanic was to go the extra mile for you. That is one thing about the military family, they look out for each other. That does give me comfort.
I will keep your family in our prayers.
(and I bet your haircut looks great on you!)

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ALOHAEV1 3/4/2012 9:11AM

    It isn't hormones it's a natural reaction of pride and fear of having our own flesh and blood go off to defend us. So keep the tissues handy.

It's a good reminder about the insurance, when our son deployed the second time leaving his car in Norfolk instead of home it was suggested he disconnect the battery don't remember the logic to that. We all would love to have a helpful mechanic like yours by the way!

Must be a really great cuppa joe to walk that far. Sip away!

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MOBYCARP 3/4/2012 8:10AM

    Walking is good. Walking long distances has really helped me at some emotional times of my life. I'd love to walk those 6 miles with you, but . . . it is not to be in the near future.

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MEDDYPEDDY 3/4/2012 12:40AM

    I had never heard the word deployed before - means that he is on a mission somewhere far away?I have a friend who has been in Afghanistan on a military mission since october and I really miss her - she is a communication officer and should not be in danger but I mis talking to her.

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PENNYAN45 3/4/2012 12:24AM

    If a mom can't feel emotional about her son deploying -- then nobody has a right to get emotional about anything!!


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_LINDA 3/3/2012 9:57PM

    Of course you are upset and emotional, worrying about your son and his deployment. That isn't hormones, just normal emotions. So glad you got that nice young man for a service tech who could understand.
I always feel lightened and better after a hair cut. Ready to get a good, sweaty workout in and the wash up after is so much easier and saves on shampoo. I didn't care who did my hair as long as it was short and the cheaper the better, but as I have this nice lady in my building, I can go to her always now.
I hate walking aimlessly, getting to the coffee shop is a good goal to keep you focused! Hope you have a nice day for it!
What is this Diamond?
That is a great background photo!
Hope you have a brighter weekend and feel better!

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COMPUCATHY 3/3/2012 8:44PM

    Hang in there. You are awesome! Hope DS is safe in his deployment. Mine is scheduled to deploy next March. I'm so glad you got the nice service tech and he was so helpful and thoughtful. Son's are the best...well, daughters are awesome, too. Wishing you a super March! Keep up the good work! Spring is on the way! Thanks for your encouragement! Spark on! emoticon P.S. Love your background pic.

Comment edited on: 3/3/2012 8:45:16 PM

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SUE_2U 3/3/2012 7:24PM

    ((((hugs))) You're every bit as much a soldier as anyone deployed to Afghanistan. I have no sons in the service, but Ron's daughter was deployed for 18 months. Thankfully, she's home, now.
Bless you and I bet that is a great haircut! Just needs to grow out a bit first.

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REJ7777 3/3/2012 7:10PM


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SUNNY332 3/3/2012 6:34PM

    That would have reduced me to tears also, Barb.

The hair will grow.

Huggers, Sunny

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KARIDIAN1 3/3/2012 6:08PM

    Take care, that is hard knowing he will be so far away. At least now with the internet you can stay in touch if possible. Both my husband and I cut our own hair. Haven't had anyone else cut it for over 20 years now. What is nice is we can cut it when ever we want and never have to wait for a convenient appointment- and no tips!

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KALIGIRL 3/3/2012 5:53PM

    Save some time for an afternoon walk tomorrow.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/3/2012 4:37PM

    What is it about women and their hair? I just KNOW that if I could find the right hairstyle all in MaryWorld would be perfect. LOL! Hope you're feeling a little less emotional as the day wears on. Hang in there.

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MSLZZY 3/3/2012 4:26PM

    Sounds like a little post-traumatic issue. Son is deployed
and you are on your own again. You miss him and it
shows. So the haircut isn't quite what you wanted but
hair grows. A good walk will help clear your mind and
you might even find a little peace in it. HUGS!

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KRISZTA11 3/3/2012 2:31PM

    I'm with you - I don't like haircuts anyway.
After a haircut I feel strange and awkward, and I feel OK only after washing and drying my hair.
I like my hairdresser a lot and she is good really, but I go as rarely as possible.

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FITFABJENN 3/3/2012 1:51PM

    Walking with a purpose is always more enjoyable, too.

Feel better.

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ANDI571 3/3/2012 1:43PM

    emoticon emoticon

My motto has always been: You can't change life, but you can change your hair.

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Dialing back the calorie range: it works!

Friday, March 02, 2012

I know this is no big surprise to successful Sparkers. But it had been a while that I've been on maintenance, and I had got used to having not just my olives on my lunch salad, but a couple of tablespoons of crumbled low fat Feta cheese. I had got used to my evening snack having three graham cracker squares added to my lite yogurt.

Those are the only two changes I made this week, dropping one or the other of the items added to my salad, and dropping the graham crackers. Total calories saved? Only about 130 but that, believe it or not, is enough to make a difference. I also made sure *this* week to have lunch sized entrees for lunch. With my higher training levels I had been "getting away with" dinner sized entrees... another maybe 50 calories difference on average.

If you take that 180 calories times 7 days average... it comes out to 1260, which implies about a third of a pound deficit. But add to it some increased burn as I up my walking miles, and it should add up to half a pound a week. On average.

We shall see if this is enough to meet my March plan. The important thing? I am MAKING these small changes, and committed to them! That alone makes them worth it, as they make me feel good about me.

The most empowering thing in life is keeping a promise to yourself. One little promise. Today. One day at a time.

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMETER 3/4/2012 7:42PM

    This was timely--thanks!

I've realized that I also need to dial back down my eating. Step by step.

Bite by bite.

Olive by olive.

But--I still intend to savor every bite.

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MOBYCARP 3/3/2012 8:42AM

    I've had to make several adjustments to my calorie range in just 3 months of maintenance; it's not shocking that you should need to make an adjustment once in a while. It's kind of like playing Asteroids after you move the ship; you can always move it back to the center of the screen, but keeping it there requires attention and periodic adjustments.

One of the things I took away from discussions on a weight lifting board has to do with calories in/calories out. A guru there measures calories burned with the VO2 max method (sp?) - a high tech means of measuring how much oxygen is used by the body. She says it's impractical to measure calories burned, and the best she can do with her own body is make adjustments to how much she eats if the weight moves up or down.

If the people who actually understand the science have no better guide than scale movement to determine how much to eat, I don't feel bad about using the same method.

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KALIGIRL 3/3/2012 7:45AM

    Here's to changes - one day @ a time!

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MEDDYPEDDY 3/3/2012 12:20AM

    That is so true and it is weird that it is so hard to follow... thaks for the inspiratio!

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KARIDIAN1 3/2/2012 8:57PM

    Amazing how those little things can add up fast. Thinking back to how I ate before SP is really scarey now.

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_LINDA 3/2/2012 12:00PM

    Great planning! All those little changes are going to add up for you! Being a Nutrition Tracker fanatic, I do see how something small and innocent can sure add up over time. It sure doesn't take a whole lot to go over the calories you need :( It has to be a constant vigilance..
Hope you have a Fantastic Friday and a great weekend!

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MIZCATHI 3/2/2012 11:20AM

    These are the kinds of steps I'm taking this month - cutting out all those little extras that I enjoy, and seeing how I react. It's good to feel like I can do it, much less get my brain around the concept at all. I'm rooting you on!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/2/2012 10:09AM

    Oh, how I envy you, Barb. Sure wish I could get "there" mentally. Still struggling but not giving up hope.

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BESTSUSIEYET 3/2/2012 10:03AM

    Thanks for the reminder! Those little changes DO make a difference, and I need to make 1 or m2 of them myself! 1st one is forgoing the afternoon chocolate from the office goodie stash! Have been staying out of that over a week now.

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MSLZZY 3/2/2012 9:43AM

    Excellent plan and one I should be looking into.

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CONCHA77 3/2/2012 9:41AM

    As far as keeping our promises to ourselves I could not agree more. We must be true to ourselves.
Way to Go on a great week!

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SUNNY332 3/2/2012 9:14AM

    It is the little changes that give big results.

Thanks for a great post.


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MAGGIE101857 3/2/2012 7:52AM

    It's the little things that add up, both positive and negative. Thanks for highlighting it this morning. This has been an off week for me being sick, and little exercise, and my eating has been off as well! Add to that sinus meds, water retention, and my scale is up (hopefully just a temporary glitch).

Think I'll change my foods up this weekend (vegetarian daughter arriving today for the weekend), go for more veggie meals with her and see what happens!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Good luck with reaching your goal and staying focused. +Mark

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SUE_2U 3/2/2012 7:41AM

    Good planning! March On!

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HOT4FITNESS 3/2/2012 7:41AM

    Thanks for sharing. It is amazing that just by changing little things in our diet and lifestyle that it can make a huge difference in our progress. Happy training!!!

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Marching forward... watching backward

Thursday, March 01, 2012

First of a new month, time to assess.

It's been a while since I took a progress photo, and it's a work morning, so I haven't today, either. I need to soon, though, because I'm one of those folks who doesn't "see" the image in the mirror... too influenced by my mood.

The raw statistics:
From a year ago?
Up 4.6 pounds.

From the first of the year?
Up 1 pound.
Waist is up half an inch to 28.5.
Hips, similarly up half an inch, to 35.5.
The rest of the measurements are the same.

So, my rocky maintenance is continuing, a bit up from a year ago, but then again, a year ago I was further along in my training for the half, not having been sidelined by those illness issues I experienced in January and February.

All in all, I can't feel terrible about where I am in my "self-assessment", especially as I have resumed training. It has an amazing positive influence on my mood.

I was reading LeanJean's blog this morning, and she mentions a goal of 5 pounds in March. That's certainly do-able, and worth striving toward. If I *were* to achieve it, I'd be back at training weight range. So, here it is, the March goal... to pursue the walking time and distance training plan, and though the scale will do whatever the scale will do, eat at enough of a deficit to support weight loss this month.

Life is good, no matter that 'tis busy. Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 3/1/2012 11:37PM

    Good plan, I would need one as well! emoticon

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_LINDA 3/1/2012 6:24PM

    Nothing like being free of illness and feeling those exercise endorphons rolling in to get your March kickstarted!
No looking back now, its only full steam ahead for you!
Spark Steamroller coming through -look out March!!!

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WATERMELLEN 3/1/2012 4:52PM

    Forward March!! Left right left right . . .

You don't want to look backwards too long because . . . you don't want to march into a wall. Yeah. You're resolved, committed, and that's all it takes.

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MSLZZY 3/1/2012 2:37PM

    Right on! SPark on! March on!
I'd also say "Game On!" Go for it!

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SUE_2U 3/1/2012 2:31PM

    Spark On! March On!
You're not just surviving... You're Thriving!

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KRISZTA11 3/1/2012 1:07PM

    Looking forward to see your progress photo!
It's great you got through all that illness.
Spark on!

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KATHRYNLP 3/1/2012 9:24AM

    emoticon SPARK-ON!!!

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KALIGIRL 3/1/2012 8:39AM

    Here's to the 'the walking time and distance training plan'...
Sounds like marching forward to me!

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FITFABJENN 3/1/2012 7:45AM

    Sounds like a solid plan. Despite a very slight gain, you have made significant progress in the last year. Spark on.

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Nine and a half weeks

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

That's how long I have until the Lincoln Half Marathon.

Now it is all about training time, and building distance, so that it will be "a party" and not a torture. Monday I went 3.5 miles on the treadmill, last night 4.5. Nine and a half weeks is enough... just have to start incorporating those longer walks into the weekend. It's do-able. May have to drop some of the other training elements, because one cannot do it ALL. I have gone through the mental adjustment to "I'm walking it this year." Save the knees, people.

THIS I can do. emoticon Are you psyched? Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 3/1/2012 6:29AM

    Nine and a half weeks for you. You can do it, absent injury. And you're helping me adjust to the thought of "just" walking, in a world where it's no longer a given that I can walk that far.

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SUNNY332 2/29/2012 9:19PM

    So proud of you.

You are such an inspiration.

You go, Girl!


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ANDI571 2/29/2012 6:15PM

    You are so awesome. emoticon

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_LINDA 2/29/2012 5:57PM

    If I remember correctly from your last race -your 'walking' is an awesome accomplishment, passing by even slow joggers. Great decision! And yes, why hurt those knees?? You are going to rock this!
Strut your stuff!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZCATHI 2/29/2012 3:09PM

    I have to hand it to ya, walking that far is a major accomplishment. Rock on!

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KALIGIRL 2/29/2012 10:17AM

    Walking! emoticon
I I can get over my fear of drowning - maybe we will do the TRI!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/29/2012 9:46AM

    You have obviously turned your bus around, Barb. I'm trying, though the bus sometimes wants to make a U-turn. But I'm not going to let it. I like how you've adjusted your thinking and have decided to walk so you can save your knees. Great thinkin' Lincoln!

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MSLZZY 2/29/2012 9:39AM

    With your attitude, anything is possible.
And yes, save those knees!

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SUE_2U 2/29/2012 8:24AM

    You will do it and you will finish and it is a huge accomplishment to do that! Be proud and Spark On!

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MAGGIE101857 2/29/2012 7:58AM

    You can do it! I know you can! AND walking a half marathon is nothing to be ashamed be proud!!! emoticon

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Beginning year 24...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yesterday I went to work conscious of the 23 year anniversary of my long-ago rising awareness of "how to take care of my body". The intervening years have taught me much, but as with all of us, the journey never ends. There is always more to learn.

"When you're green you grow. When you're ripe, you rot." Yep, still green. Still learning.

Last night I got on the treadmill for 3.5 miles, which is a start back to thinking about that elusive half marathon in early May. I've already spent the money, after all. Funny how financial motivation will keep many of us moving. I think that may be one of the reasons the commercial weight loss programs stay in business: we think that spending the dollars will give us more commitment to the process. And in some cases this is true!

But not in all. How many of us have paid for gym memberships or diet programs far beyond the "I gave up" point... thinking we'll get back to them? emoticon Raising my hand here. I think my average time to continue paying for something that isn't quite working for me any more is about a year.

Spotting when to change it up is one of those lessons I'm seeking to learn! Maybe this is the year for it!

Have a great Tuesday, all! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 3/1/2012 11:47PM

    I think that to me itīs sort of "No pain, no gain" - if I pay dearly it will work. I have paid a gym membership and gone three times in a year , same with weight watchers. Nowadays I will try to find shorter commitments when I try to start with something.... but the gyms have learned, there is not possible to buy less than a year at a time...

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_LINDA 2/29/2012 12:59AM

    I joined this program called Physician's Weight Loss Center. Very expensive, very restrictive had to buy all their supplements and vitamins. Because it said 'Physicians' I thought it would be safe for someone with my health issues. Well the only physician I saw was my own, to get clearance. It was not supervised by a Dr. although they did wear nice white lab coats *smirk* Well, I did lose the 64 lbs in 6 months I needed to, and would have continued on their program, but whammo -out of business! So no maintenance plan, no what to do going back on normal food with no supplements, etc. I mean this diet was severe -lunch would be a pear, half a slice of bread, one processed cheese slice and their soup supplement! I still have their meal plans and I can sure see why we had to take all the extra pills to make up for the nutrients we weren't getting. That was the last time I would ever pay for weight loss again. Well naturally, I slowly went back to my old habits and the weight crept back. Then I lost some more on my own, just giving up the pop. But it wasn't until I came across Sparks and learned about the importance of watching the calories that it finally all came together. So I have not had the experience of paying for something I am not using. I am cheap and will make sure I use what ever I pay for.
Sparks says to change up your programs/exercise/routines, so the minute something no longer interests you, its time to ditch it and save the wallet paying for something you are only going through the motions with..
Good luck with it!!

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PENNYAN45 2/28/2012 11:06PM


Yes, I used to think that just the process of paying my money and joining Weight Watchers would somehow help me lose weight. I did that several times, in fact.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/28/2012 3:46PM


Yup, me too!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 2/28/2012 12:38PM

    Yep! We have a gym membership and have had it for years. I don't think of the money spent though. When I miss the gym I think how I don't want to miss working out.

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JAVAJO47 2/28/2012 11:32AM

    Ahh yes....Weight Watchers has been the thing I used to pay for well beyond the commitment I put into it. Not anymore! :)

Changing things up a bit will definitely boost your metabolism and give you a new outlook. W2G!!!

Happy Tuesday to you!
Jo Ann

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MSLZZY 2/28/2012 10:17AM

    I have tried to think of a time when I paid for something
and didn't use it. DH's gym membership is one. He has
the key but doesn't go. Well, it is his money, not mine.
Have a great day! HUGS!

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KATHRYNLP 2/28/2012 10:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 2/28/2012 8:27AM

    Love that quote! Still green, still growing! Hopefully will never stop growing in positive ways!

Happy Tuesday! Going through serious withdrawal here after a few days of no running, and possibly Day two of NO exercise - feeling crappier than yesterday. I don't like this! emoticon

Re: Game of Thrones...can't wait until April!!!

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SUNNY332 2/28/2012 8:23AM

    Green is good.

We all relate to paying for something long after it quit working.

Do have a Terrific Tuesday.


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SUE_2U 2/28/2012 8:12AM

    That's all so very true, and so very well said! And I'm still green, myself! Hope to always stay green and growing! *grins*

I wanted to thank you for mentioning Game of Thrones to me. HBO has season one up and we're hooked. We've been watching two episodes a day and we're both loving it! Wow, it's spectacular! Plus something new to do when stuck in bed with my knee propped up and my resistance bands going! hahaha

You go, Girlfriend! Spark On!

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RSSSLHB 2/28/2012 8:02AM

    emoticonblog emoticonfor posting

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