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A fresh, new Spark Day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Starting with Spark being "up"... that's got to be a plus. You don't know how much you rely on something until it goes missing for a while, right? Like the power outages that put us out in our yards actually TALKING to our neighbors.

How'd everybody survive? Did it make you more determined to follow your plan, or did it tempt you to unravel?

Me? I went to my "blog offline" file... wrote all of one sentence... then went to work as normal. Came home from work and my community was back online! We lived! And will continue to live.

Life's good. With Spark, it's better! Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I went "huh" and went on. So much of my computer world is a shrug of annoyance it was just another one of those things!

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SUE_2U 3/22/2012 10:04PM

    I was thinking it was my computer, or that the server went down or something...
But I kept on Sparking!
Sure is nice when it's back!

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COMETER 3/22/2012 8:27PM

    Well I'm on vacation, and didn't even know what I was missing. Whew!

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NETOPIASGAL 3/22/2012 11:06AM

    I realized I need a back up plan for tracking and planning my food! I started off okay, but unintentionally got off track mid afternoon.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/22/2012 10:43AM

    Well, it was an eye-opening experience for sure to find Spark down! We all survived! Maybe that was the lesson, could it be?? LOL Sooooo very glad to see it up and running again! Wahoo.

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MSLZZY 3/22/2012 10:16AM

    It was quite a jolt to be locked out of SP but the
world kept on turning. Have a great Thursday!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/22/2012 10:09AM

    Yesterday was a bit frustrating, to be sure, but it didn't deter me from my plan. It was, afterall, the first day of a new challenge I decided to participate in.

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MARATHON_MOM 3/22/2012 8:46AM

    I didn't even try to get on Spark yesterday. Too much craziness going on. But it's nice to know it's here today!! :) Have a great Thursday!

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BD3269PM 3/22/2012 8:08AM

    I really mised my morning routine of reading on Spark. But I followed plan and was able to go on last night and do my reading emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 3/22/2012 7:59AM

    WooWoo!!----- Nice to see yu this morning Spark Friend!!!--We appreciate Spark more--LOL--- OK--Who are the people on yer cover page??--I love that picture!! Lynda

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SHAROND52 3/22/2012 7:43AM

    I also missed The Spark while it was down yesterday. For me I had been off for a few days while dealing with dh's problems and just when I had gotten back on the program it went down. It was then I realized how much I depend on The Spark,

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Bonus Blog - Uniform day at work

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Remember this one from last year? Every year on John's birthday, we would dress like he always does... white shirt and khaki pants? We did this three years in a row.

But someone got the idea in her head that this was getting boring, and instead, this year, we dressed in the colors he can't tell apart: red and green tops, and black pants. The advantage this year is that you can clearly see which one is John!

p.s. It wasn't ME with the bright idea!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    That's good. We've done similar thing to a boss and really enjoyed the moment.

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REJ7777 3/22/2012 7:06AM

    emoticon It sounds like you've created a caring, loving environment for yourselves! emoticon

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SHARON10002 3/21/2012 9:12PM

    This is so funny, but filled with so much love!

Suggestion: Why not chip in and buy John a different colored shirt for his birthday next year, and every one of you wear the same new color shirt? Maybe he'll go into the men's room and change for the picture, AND he'd remember that birthday every time he wears it in the future. I'll bet he'll never forget it!

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MSLZZY 3/21/2012 5:14PM

    Everybody has their own ideas LOL!

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RONNIEHUEY 3/21/2012 12:18PM


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READINGLOTS 3/20/2012 11:36PM

    That is funny! He may be wondering what you will do next year to top that!

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_LINDA 3/20/2012 11:30PM

    emoticon Love it! Great photos!

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KARIDIAN1 3/20/2012 11:28PM

    Great idea to celebrate a birthday.

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SUE_2U 3/20/2012 9:17PM

    That is so funny! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 3/20/2012 8:09PM

    WICKED funny!! Obviously he must have a sense of humor as well . . . ummm . . . HOPE so! LOL

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NEWKAREN43 3/20/2012 7:35PM

    Ok, THAT's funny! Very funny! I love it.

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In search of pep talk

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some days you just have nothing when you go to the pep talk locker. Some days you're just tired of the process. You might go through a few of these days on auto-pilot before the emoticon voice starts whispering "oh, what's the use" at you. But eventually you have to boot the blues, pick up those proverbial boot straps and "drive on".

The trees are blooming in town. When I drive down my usual commute street, there are lines of white-blossomed pear trees. Mix in a few of the tulip trees and red buds, and the spring green on the weeping willows and other trees... and there is a plethora of pollen in the air.

Now's when I hide inside to work out on the treadmill. Now's when I wonder what kind of crazy I think I am to do a half marathon at the height of Spring blossoms in May.

So this morning, the Zyrtek clone, first thing. There are things to do at work. Despite the "I got nothin'" feelings, got the healthy lunch packed and the healthy breakfast prepped and eaten. Sipping my mugga coffee and browsing my Spark teams and blogs of friends and sundry... to find just enough Spark to start my day.

Because being fit is better. It adds to the quality of life. And it doesn't come for free. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 3/21/2012 9:18PM

    Barb, you are one positively amazing lady! Still put one foot in front of the other in spite!
I've had to take Zyrtec already, too for a few days. Also doing nasal irrigation/rinse with saline twice a day. That seems to help keep me unclogged - so far! emoticon

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RONNIEHUEY 3/21/2012 12:21PM

    Allergy pill are my best friend! I have to take at least two dosed a day or I'm in a fog.Good luck and may the pill work fast!

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_LINDA 3/20/2012 11:24PM

    emoticon emoticon
What you describe sounds so beautiful and yet is agony to you :(( So very sorry you can't enjoy the blooming of new life and the warmer weather. That being said, how were you planning to manage the run??? Wearing a hepa filter mask would be rather awkward for that..
I couldn't see where the pep talk was needed either -you have the healthy lifestyle firmly in hand -with the healthy meals automatically prepared -how special is that? I get low, tired, not feeling like making something and I reach for the instant gratification of the salty snack bag..
Keep up the great work, you are showing us how its done!

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COMETER 3/20/2012 10:32PM

    I feel so bad for people for whom the lovely trees are a problem. Glad you can enjoy the blooms from the car.

And yep, some days don't seem worth the getting out of bed for. But being fit IS good. And I'm a big believer in just putting one foot in front of the other, eat a good breakfast, prepare a good lunch, savor the coffee....

Spark on!

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SUE_2U 3/20/2012 4:56PM

    Keep on keeping on.
I have my Zyrtec right here in front of my keyboard! Hahaha
Here's a rose for you, without the pollen! emoticon
Keep thinking of good things, and blessings, and Spark On!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/20/2012 12:31PM

    Those are the days when I have to "fake it till I feel it." Not always easy, not always successful, but helps a little.

I am getting into Zyrtec season too. At least you're not alone!

Got a pre-printed letter yesterday giving us information, including the address, to write to DS. WooHOOoooo! First letter winging it's way . . . feels good.


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NETOPIASGAL 3/20/2012 11:18AM

    Sorry about your allergies. This is the time of year I can actually start walking outside. I tend to get bronchitis easily so I don't walk for exercise outside when its very cold.

I hope you found the spark and pep you needed this morning. You've been such an encouragement to me, I saw your blog title and decided to come over and give some pep if I could. I am feeling very positive this morning. I've been encouraged to pre-plan my food and I did it yesterday and stayed within my calories with room for a treat at the end of the day. I've got today's meal planned out too. If I don't get hungry I'll be at the bottom end of my calorie range, but if I get hungry I have room for a snack.

Anyway, thank you for your continual encouragement. It makes a big difference. I feel like someone has noticed and cares.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/20/2012 10:18AM

    I have had so many days like that since returning home. Actually, ALL of my days have been like that -- only I didn't pull up my bootstraps. I caved to the negative inner voices. But things are turning around. I'm exercising almost daily and yesterday I took my bike to work. Just that little bit of fresh air and sunshine did wonders for my mental outlook. Tomorrow I start a new challenge with "the girls." Can't wait!

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ANDI571 3/20/2012 9:08AM

    There are days you just do because you know it's the right thing to do, not because you want to. Those days are when the healthy lifestyle that has become a habit kicks in.

Such beauty to bring on the ugliness of allergies. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/20/2012 8:39AM

    Here's to enough Spark!

Not one to give advice, but here's to ThanksGiving for all the daily miracles of becoming "AWAKE! ALIVE! AWARE! and Appreciative of ALL that IS".

Namaste my friend

Comment edited on: 3/20/2012 8:43:01 AM

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 3/20/2012 8:08AM

    So true! But you are working at it no matter what with the pollen. emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/20/2012 8:03AM

    emoticonabout all the pollen and allergies!
But you are moving on and that is what counts.

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Cat's in the Cradle

Monday, March 19, 2012

and the Silver Spoon
Little Boy Blue and the man in the moon...

When you coming home, Mom?
I don't know when...
But we'll get together then, Son...
You know we'll have a good time then.

With apologies to Harry Chapin for the paraphrase. His song always made me cry. Even when I was a young single. I was there when he sang it live in Omaha back in 1971, was it? After he passed away... it took on an even more poignant note.

When my son was young, I was the one who got on airplanes and went off to work. His dad stayed home with him while I worked in other cities and in one case, even another country. He would come to the airport and we would bond and spend quality time when I came home for a weekend or during one of the times I didn't need to travel.

A couple of times we moved to follow the career. When in a joking frame of mind, he will describe his childhood as "an Information Technology brat"... because the experience was kind of similar to being a military child.

As in the later verse of the song, now he's the one going away, and I'm the one waiting at home, with a much more stable job situtation (I made this change to provide stability for him)... and he's following the pattern: the mission, the mission, the mission.

Songs ring true because songs ring true. Me? I'll be fine. When I was off working, he kept going to school, playing sports, and living a life. While he is off, I'll do the same... work the job, work on the fitness, and live a life.

Life goes on. And is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 3/19/2012 8:49PM

    I have always enjoyed the song and the irony in it as the son goes up and has his own family. Sounds like you had a very busy life with the job(s) who have had previously.

Weird how things have flip flopped now with his mission and your job.

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COMETER 3/19/2012 8:26PM

    I remember the day in my late 20s or maybe early 30s when I was whining about HAVING to do something with my folks...somehow it occurred to me that just being there was what memories were made of...duh! And if I never went, well, that could end up being a lonely life.

My parents were classic at-home people--busy with their jobs and community stuff, but definitely always there. Not necessarily always there for us, though--they were old-fashioned 50's parents whose duty was not to be our friends, but to be fairly strict parents and raise us into responsible adults. And a cool thing happened--I do think of them as my friends now.

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KALIGIRL 3/19/2012 8:03PM

    You WILL have a good time then.

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APRILLSCOTT 3/19/2012 2:27PM

    I always loved that song. It rings so true and can be so sad if you think about it. Makes me want to Thank God for the time I do have with my kids and grandkids. They grow up too fast. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 3/19/2012 12:59PM

    That song ALWAYS makes me blubber!!!

You know, when DH and I adopted our DS, we did so with the intent that I would stay home to raise him (and his sister, too, whom we adopted 3 yrs. later). I do not regret a minute of it. Not one.

BUT we do what we have to do. I feel fortunate that DH and I could make it work on one salary. I love him for that.

Now that DS is in the Army, I feel just like you! Waiting till he comes home again! And know it will only be for a visit. emoticon There I go again!

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COMPUCATHY 3/19/2012 12:58PM

    That song always stirs me up inside as I am sure it does many people. We are so proud of your son and the service he is providing. Hang tough. You're doing great. Hope you have a great week! Keep up the good work! Here's some sunshine for you to enjoy at the end of "winter!" Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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EVWINGS 3/19/2012 12:15PM

    The truth in the song rings true for a lot of us.

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_LINDA 3/19/2012 11:46AM

    I love that song too and it makes me sad. My Mom worked three jobs as a single parent to raise us. We were latch key kids -I got my first house key at age 8. Now we are all grown up, and Mom rarely sees the kids she raised. I am the only one that is around on a regular basis, but I too, had my busy period where I wasn't able to make time for my Mom when she really needed it (when her Mom finally passed away) I was fully into bridge and couldn't miss my commitments there. I am making sure it doesn't happen again. I love and appreciate the sacrifices Mom made for us. I want to spend as much time as I can with her in her twilight years..

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 3/19/2012 10:47AM

    Yes, always made me sad too! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/19/2012 9:46AM

    That song always made me sad too. And I can feel your sense of loss/separation. I was fortunate that I didn't need to travel for work and was at home all the time for my boys. (They probably would have loved to have me away every once in a while.) Now that they've moved away, I find myself wishing they were closer -- that I could see them more often. But it just makes it that much more special when they do come home.

You're one busy lady, Barb -- next January/February will be here before you know it. As we age, time certainly flies by faster, doesn't it? Or is it that we just appreciate it more?

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ANDI571 3/19/2012 8:53AM


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EOWYN2424 3/19/2012 8:19AM

    I hope you get to spend more time with your son soon!

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MSLZZY 3/19/2012 8:18AM

    I love that song-so true to life. HUGS!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

This morning I took my son to the airport. He promised he'll be back next January, maybe February. I promised I would be waiting when he comes home.

Funny about those promises that we make to loved ones. At the back of our minds, we know there are things we need to do to keep those promises. Have you promised someone you love that you will "be there" for them?

What are you doing to keep that promise? Are you taking care of your health? Eating a balanced, nutritious diet? Getting your activity to the best of your ability? Managing your stress in a healthy way? Seeing your health care provider when an issue arises?

That's our part, those of us who have promised to "be there" for folks going out and doing what they need to do. They promise to come back safe. We promise to be here when they do. I intend to do everything I can to keep that promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNTWINSGAL 3/22/2012 12:50AM

    Barb, I've been so busy I got behind in reading your blogs and just go to this one tonight. I knew your son was leaving soon but it got away from me that he had already left. The photo made me cry....good-byes are always so hard for me...and I know how hard it must have been to put that smile on your face. Know that we will "be here" for you until he comes home early next year. I promise.

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LEANJEAN6 3/19/2012 7:51AM

    What a nice looking boy! This is a great blog--Promises--We make promises and we must stay healthy to keep them---Great attitude!!---Lynda-

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REJ7777 3/19/2012 5:31AM

    You're right. Taking care of our health is a gift that we give to those who love us.

What a lovely photo of you and your son. You look small and delicate next to that tall, handsome soldier. (delicate, but fit!) May God keep both of you healthy and safe!

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WATERMELLEN 3/18/2012 9:20PM

    Nice picture, nice blog!

We have promises to keep . . .

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_LINDA 3/18/2012 8:53PM

    These will be well kept promises, I am sure.. All the best to you both to staying healthy and safe!

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COMETER 3/18/2012 8:52PM

    GREAT picture!

Thank him for his service, and thanks to you, as always, for your upbeat updates.

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KARIDIAN1 3/18/2012 8:32PM

    You both look great. It was tough to say goodbye I bet.

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    Keep the faith in yourself and your promises. I promise I will try my best to remember to keep you cheered up!

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APRILLSCOTT 3/18/2012 7:13PM

    What an emoticonpicture Barb. The blog really made me think! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/18/2012 5:37PM

    Here's to doing all we can...

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NETOPIASGAL 3/18/2012 2:12PM

    Love the picture.

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 3/18/2012 12:01PM

    Thanks for sharing! I am sending good thoughts to you and that your son will stay safe!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/18/2012 11:41AM


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KANOE10 3/18/2012 9:50AM

    That is a lovely picture of you and your son. I like your idea of keeping yourself healthy to keep your promise to be there for our children.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/18/2012 9:36AM

    Awesome blog and beautiful picfture. God's blessings to your son and your entire family.

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FITFABJENN 3/18/2012 9:25AM

    A similar promise is what led me to start my Spark journey. I want to be here for my family, especially my kids. I owe it to them to take care of myself so I can be here a long time.

That is such a wonderful picture of you and your son.

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KATHRYNLP 3/18/2012 8:16AM

    What a BIG boy you have there... and he'll do his best to be back in January. Good reminder about doing what we can to keep promises.. emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/18/2012 8:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 3/18/2012 7:53AM

    I have to admit that I never promise that I will "be there" - if I would promise such a thing I would ay that I promise to do all that is in my power to be there....your blog make me realise that I do not promise longterm stuff that much... wonder if itīs good or bad?

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JUDITH316 3/18/2012 7:00AM

    Thank you for sharing, this is a precious picture of you and your son. I will be praying for him for safety and for you that you will be filled with God's Peace and Strength while your son is away. God's Blessings and Hugs... emoticon emoticon

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