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Rest day and human powered transit

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday the schedule called for a swim, so even though the bike shop called to say my newly tuned up machine was ready, I deferred picking it up until after work today.

Instead, after work I went to the gym, and put in the pool lengths... 20 lengths of crawl / freestyle (dumb question, is what I learned as the Australian crawl the same as the modern-day "freestyle"?)... and 14 more lengths in rotation of strokes.

The deal about swimming, for me, is that it doesn't really feel like I'm exercising. I just relax into it, the rhythm, the joy of motion, the wet... it's amazing, swimming is.

Today after work, I drove to the bike shop, and even though my new Dexter (car has a name) will fit the bike in the back... chose to put on my helmet and ride the bike home, then walk back to pick up the car. This, too, did not feel like exercise. Today is a "rest" day on the training schedule, so I wasn't pushing for performance.

As I was riding and then walking, it dawned on me that when I was a kid (boy, do I start sounding like Grandma, or what!) the high school was about the same distance from home as this bike shop is from my current home (2 1/2 miles). And I used to ride my bike to school. Or walk to school.

Now, wouldn't THAT take care of childhood obesity that we have such problems with in this nation... if we once again walked six to twelve city blocks each day to school in the morning, and home again after school?

Anyway, the point was, human powered transit is good for us, as physical beings. And we end up getting fit seemingly without effort, purely through a lifestyle.

Not that I'm giving up my car (I know I blogged the fantasy last year)... but this little experience once again reminded me how good it feels to be functionally fit.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 5/19/2012 11:45PM

    Exercising three times in one day!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
You're so right about riding bikes. When I was a kid we would bike down the back roads to the local "swimming hole" every afternoon right after lunch. We'd swim three or four hours, and bike back home - 8 miles round trip. Now that I think about it, I should have been much skinnier than I was. . . emoticon

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THEEASYKILL30 5/19/2012 10:02PM

    I work in NYC and public transit is pretty good but I'm at the point where I prefer to rely on my own two feet. I could take the subway to a bus from the train station to work. Or I could walk. It takes the same time actually but walking doesn't cost me $2.25.

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SUNNY332 5/19/2012 4:47PM

    You drove to the bike shop, then biked home, then walked back to pick up your car - woohoo and way to go.

What a great way to "work in extra exercise".

If that is one of your new kittens in the photo on your page, I would say they have grown up pretty fast. Do let me know.

Take care and keep up the great work.


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REJ7777 5/19/2012 7:37AM

    You drove to the bike shop, then biked home, then walked back to pick up your car?! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/19/2012 7:18AM

    Functionaly fit--I love it!---- And that IS you!--I hope when I shed this faty, I can say this too--I always enjoy your blogs! Enjoy the weekend Barb-Hugs-Lynda

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    I want one tenth of your energy. emoticon
I love to walk but I think I get more out of it if I have a destination. Walking just to walk in my neighborhood feels, well umm, circular! It's 2 miles around the main drag in the development. I think I should walk to the stores, 3mi roundtrip just to feel the purpose.
You rock! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/19/2012 1:03AM

    I never got out of human powered transit -50 years of walking where ever I wanted to go hasn't much changed. Not having a driver's license means not ever missing what you never had to begin with. Walking has more then just physical benefits. Walking gives you a peek into life. Enjoying the many and varied gardens and landscaping as you go by houses. Their unique architecture. The people working in their yards never fail to say howdy to someone walking by if you take the slightest bit of interest in what they are doing. The sights, the sounds, the fresh air. It just doesn't get any better than that. Yes, I stop to admire the flowers, and smell the roses :)

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MSLZZY 5/18/2012 11:28PM

    That was a way of life that went by the wayside. I am
thinking that would make such an improvement in
the life of a kid, if they would just walk. Too much to
hope for, I guess.

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WATERMELLEN 5/18/2012 10:28PM

    When we walked everywhere . . . or rode our bikes everywhere . . . with wind in our hair!! . . . we didnt' have to think about extra weight!!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/18/2012 9:34PM

    I'm definitely into the human powered transit as well! Better for us, better for the environment!!

HUGS and have a wonderful weekend.

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Biking, walking and more random thoughts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One thing I love about rhythmic motion of the human body without external audio stimulation is the way thoughts just randomly pop into my head for consideration and working out. This morning I biked to work. As I got to the top of a hill and started coasting down, this one presented itself:

"I am afraid of speed." Hmmm! OK. WHY am I afraid of speed? Well, speed on a bicycle has got me into trouble in years past. When I was about 13, I took a nasty tumble (as in over the handlebars) when my chain froze up on an arterial street. Later in life, as a young adult, I managed to take a corner too fast on my moped and slid across a sidewalk on my helmet. I was OK, but shook up. And ever since... speed on a two-wheeled vehicle has NOT been something I am comfortable with.

Anyway, the thought came, it was processed, the memories examined, and then THIS one popped up: "This activity, and the triathlon, is about facing my fears. It doesn't have to be fast. I don't have to cross the finish line first. But I SHALL cross that finish line. And I will bike sensibly and safely, but I won't let this fear STOP me from doing what I have on that bucket list!"

Later on in the ride, I encountered a young man cycling, and another random thought popped up: "I like being an older lady. The young guys are SO nice to me!" Tell me, other gals of my generation, isn't it true? The young guys treat me like I'm their mom, or aunt or grandma... and I admit that I LIKE IT!

So, I got to work (they really should be warned... I'm already an insufferable morning person, but I was an insufferable morning person on endorphins and caffeine)... and had a good work day. Then I hopped on the bike and pedaled through a beautiful afternoon to the bike shop, where I left it to get a tune-up, and I walked the rest of the way home.

When I got to a major intersection, about a mile from home, it dawned on on me that I did not consider the three mile walk to be much of a such at all, and in fact, when I was a mile from home, my mind was saying "I'm home." That's another randomness... the brain on fit says a mile away is HOME.

This is your brain. This is your brain on fit! Endorphins rule.

That said, time to brush the teeth and toddle off to bed! Life is good. Spark on!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 5/19/2012 3:02PM

    I think I need my brain on "fit". I'm not sure what it is on right now. It has definitely shifted into low gear.

Keep up the good work Barb, you are awesome.

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LEANJEAN6 5/18/2012 8:28AM

    Hi again Barb---- Thanks for encouraging me--I thought about you at 5am this morning--such an inspiration you are!-Lynda

Comment edited on: 5/18/2012 8:29:16 AM

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WATERMELLEN 5/17/2012 9:53PM

    I too am an insufferable morning person often on endorphins and caffeine. And: love the idea of a "brain on fit"!!

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MOBYCARP 5/17/2012 5:42PM

    Yup, this is my brain on fit: "I don't have time for a long run, so I'll just do the flat 5K and hope that's good enough." Then I get out there, and the brain decides to add some distance.

I'm glad you're having fun being fit!

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CONCHA77 5/17/2012 12:59PM

    Ok, I admit it, I DO love it when the young guys (and gals) treat me well. It's great. One of the perks of getting older, I guess. RIDE ON!

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HEALTHYOTTER 5/17/2012 11:44AM

    I like "this is your brain on fit". I, too, get nervous when I go fast on a bike, having slid out with road rash souvenirs. As I've gotten a little more accustomed to my bike, I've started taking corners faster. I ran over a stone yesterday, and had a moment of: I love fat tire bikes! They're so stable!

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KALIGIRL 5/17/2012 11:10AM

    Love it that the endorphins are kicking in! Never experienced them, but something to look forward too.

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MNTWINSGAL 5/17/2012 10:27AM

    You're funny, Barb. It's fun to follow your thought process - and fun to see you so happy and lively! No wonder the young guys are so nice to you!

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 5/17/2012 9:08AM

    Great blog! LOL about young men treating us like mom or grandma...they do, especially when you are out biking or hiking right alongside them! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/17/2012 8:12AM

    I like the extra treatment too----- LOL---You are a careful biker!!-- I was laughing---reading yer blog with husband here--- We enjoyed the blog--Lynda

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MSLZZY 5/17/2012 7:49AM

    Such a positive attitude that it sneaks up on you and
bang, you learn something new about yourself. HUGS!
Endorphins rock!

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    You make me laugh, feel good and tired all at the same time!

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_LINDA 5/17/2012 2:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I always was a morning person before the insomnia hit and I became a 24/7 person. There is nothing like exercise in the morning to start your day off right! Its still my favorite time of day to exercise!
Go, Barb, GO!!

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REJ7777 5/17/2012 1:23AM

    What a delightful blog! You made me laugh. I'm also an insufferable morning person, but add the endorphins and caffeine... and I could just imagine how any evening person you work with must have been blasted off the planet by your energy. emoticon

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COMETER 5/16/2012 11:00PM

    Yes, we morning people can be annoying to others. We, and they, have to learn to live with that.

I had a bike crash when I was nine or 10--it was a moral dilemma because the girl who was our houseguest wanted me to ride double with her. Well, that WAS against the rules, but another rule was that guests got to have their way, so off we went. Going down the hill, we crashed. She was fine. I needed stitches in my chin and I chipped my front teeth. The chipped teeth broke my mother's heart--she'd always had bad teeth, and had high hopes that her kids would have sparkley whites.

It was Fathers Day--my dad took me to the hospital for the stitches, making the point that SAFETY rules had to be obeyed before politeness rules. Poor Dad--he's completely squeamish about blood.

No surprise--I don't go for speed either!

And thanks for the thoughtful post.

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BESTSUSIEYET 5/16/2012 10:41PM

    Love it!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/16/2012 9:21PM

    Ah, I can't say I am a Perky Polly in the morning, but I am certainly more of a morning person than a night owl. For Sure!

I LOVE that . . . this is your brain, this is your brain on endorphins. Love the endorphins myself!

Keep it up. You inspire me.

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Two a day and random thoughts

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Swimming at 5 in the morning, you find the die-hards.

Swimming a single stroke and musing while you do, you discover why your buddy who swam a single stroke could never tell you how many laps she did... YOU LOSE COUNT! Anyway, I know I went at least as many lengths as the training plan called for. I spent 20 minutes with my "freestyle / crawl" stroke and the remaining 10 rotating strokes. Probably 800 yards in that half hour... rough estimate.

Swimming at 5 in the morning and then going to work, best warn your co-workers 'cause you are arriving filled with endorphins.

After work I dressed as a runner who votes or a voter who runs... take your pick. Walking to my polling place I pondered over why here in the US we "run" for office, but in the UK they "stand" for Parliament. Why is that? Are we more aggressive over here? Lingusitically, at least?

After doing my civic duty, I did the full walking / stretching 9 minute warm up, then jogged the full 15 minutes, then walked a cool down that turned out to be about 8 minutes.

This, by the way, is "Bike to Work Week".
So tomorrow it is my plan to combine celebrating this event with my TRI training. I'm supposed to cycle 6 miles tomorrow, according to the training plan. It's about 7 miles to work via the bike trails. I figure wear work clothes and make a leisurely commute in, and carry the biking togs to change in to after work, and ride my workout home.

Have a great Spark-week, all! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/16/2012 8:04PM

    Love that "run"/"stand" thing . . . we use both expressions here in Canada!! And it's absolutely true: a special breed of person shows up at the gym at that hour in the morning (hours opens at 5:30 a.m.!)

Here's to firmer thighs! That's what we want anyhow! To look good, to feel good, to stay healthy and strong.

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DEBRA0818 5/16/2012 9:40AM

    If it's Ride to Work week it's a good thing I don't have a job since I don't have a bicycle either (but that may change this for my birthday in August).

Way to Go, Barb!


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/16/2012 8:56AM

    You're doing great Barb! It's ride your bike to work week? How fortunate for me that I rode my bike to work on Monday and Tuesday! Will definitely ride it there again today!

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KALIGIRL 5/16/2012 8:38AM

I love to swim in the morning - glad you were able to experience emoticon
It was great to see you on your emoticon - you looked super.
Not riding my bike (still dark @5:15), but can't wait to start.

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BD3269PM 5/16/2012 7:07AM

    You are an inspiration. emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/16/2012 7:02AM

    Barb--You are amazing!--Determined!--Successful--
-just getting up at 5am makes you a "'Wonder Woman"'---Wonder which pool you go to??----- Anyway--Keep it up--very encouraging for me!-Lynda

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    You either make me really envious of your energy or really tired reading about your energy.

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REJ7777 5/16/2012 5:40AM

    "Swimming at 5 in the morning, you find the die-hards." I believe that. emoticon

"Swimming at 5 in the morning and then going to work, best warn your co-workers 'cause you are arriving filled with endorphins." I believe that one too!
emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/16/2012 1:03AM

    Wow! That is dedication getting up that early!! Well thought out plan as usual to get your cycling in! Hope you have some nice weather to enjoy it!
You know the British are much more reserved in their manners ;) After all, they enjoy high tea in the afternoon, while North Americans hit the drive throughs to chug a mug a Java :)

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SHARON10002 5/15/2012 11:08PM

    Barb, I'd probably drown if I tried to swim at 5 in the morning! emoticon
You are definitely working your plan! emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/15/2012 10:16PM

    Sounds like an excellent plan. My ride to work would
be 2 blocks LOL!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/15/2012 9:17PM

    Good question, Barb, and I have no clue!!!

Great job with the swimming. I remember in HS when I was on the team, man . . . swimming @ 5 am and I would lose count of my laps, too, but I think that was because I was so tired!

Hope you have a good evening. HUGS

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Do it anyway - taking my own advice

Monday, May 14, 2012

I woke up in a fuzzy, not quite grumpy mood. Then I stepped on the scale and it bumped up not quite half a pound, despite good behavior all weekend. emoticon

Had an emoticon moment about how often a Monday *is* a bump up on my scale. Often that has some Sunday or Saturday eating behavior associated with it, but this time, not so! I could choose to decide that behaving myself over a weekend isn't worth it, but instead I contemplated that this might just be my body's natural rhythm. And I'm moving on! Reminding myself that the number on the scale is NOT my grade in life and is NOT allowed to dictate my feelings about myself. emoticon Taking my own advice, that's the ticket!

I did not get a phone call or even an e-mail yesterday... did not detect an online presence. So I'm hanging on to the pre-Mom's day one I got last Wednesday. It will have to do. Feel a little blue about that, despite the logic that knows he's busy and potentially unable to communicate? Mayyyyybe? Move on, LIVE anyway. emoticon Again, taking my own advice, that's the ticket!

And it dawned on me besides that today is a "rest" day on the training calendar. Whatever shall I do without being able to "run away" from the negative feelings? emoticon Breathe, that's what. As the line in Sleepless in Seattle says, remember to keep breathing in and out until you don't have to remind yourself to breathe in and out anymore.

Feelings, you see, are transitory. I don't have to DO anything for them to go away... they will fade in time. Distractions are fine. But staring uncomfy emotions in the face and saying "Yes, that's what you are!" works too.

So now, it's off to a work day. Healthy lunch and snacks packed. Healthy breakfast consumed. Spark coffee mug filled and being sipped. emoticon

Today WILL be a good day. emoticon Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/15/2012 2:55AM

    Sorry you didn't hear from your son -but glad you can rationalize why at least the reasons he might not have been able to contact you. I just can't imagine the thoughts you must have when you don't hear from him -number one being is he okay. Even if it was a rest day -a nice easy walk would get you out of the house and not sweat it up, but stroll and just enjoy the life going on around you. I find walking to be very peaceful, particularly if its in a place not busy.
Hope the rest of your week goes better!

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SHARON10002 5/14/2012 9:26PM

    Sorry you did not hear from your DS, but I am very sure he had a very good reason and that you were on his mind. I would have worried too, and felt like you, too. Great blog, Barb! You'll hear soon I'm sure.

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REJ7777 5/14/2012 6:29PM

    You're right, the hard part IS following our own advice! emoticon
You seem to be doing a pretty good job, though. emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/14/2012 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 5/14/2012 11:37AM

    For what it's worth, Barb, I have two - and didn't hear from either of them. Dunno what THAT says (if anything) about my parenting skills. Mmmm... I think I will be taking some sound advice - yours - and just let any negative feelings fade in their own time.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/14/2012 11:04AM

    Oh, sometimes it is sooooo much easier to give others advice than to take it . . . even our OWN advice!

I hope your Mother's Day was peaceful, and so sorry your DS didn't get to call or mail you. emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 5/14/2012 11:03AM

    Didn't see my mom either, Called several times, but no answer. Could have been out with my sisters, or at church.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/14/2012 9:18AM

    I'm sure your son will be calling/emailing you the first chance he gets. But I imagine it's hard not to worry when you didn't hear from him. You're wise to take your own advice on that.

Today may be a rest day in your training, but you can still fill your time doing some of those things at a more relaxed and enjoyable pace. Go for a fun and relaxing swim. Take a nice bike ride. Or get outside on your lunch break and take a nice stroll. Move slowly and feel good about. And focus on the simple pleasures of life -- like learning to breathe in and breathe out. . .

Have a great week!

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KALIGIRL 5/14/2012 8:26AM

    Here's to a emoticon day! and Happy Mom's Day!

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Mother's Day morning

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life's phases influence what one's mother's day is like.

When I was a kid, there was this running joke between Mom and Dad. Mom would pout and say Dad didn't get her anything for mother's day, and he would quip, "But you aren't my mother". And we would drive to grandma's house.

Of course we kids would put something together for our mom, assisted / pushed by dad.

My first mother's day cards from people other than my son were from my own mom and sisters when I was expecting him. After that, it was the hand-made kid-cards, and all that goes with school created crafts... one year I logged on to my PC to find that overnight "someone" had modified my computer's wallpaper to read "Happy Mother's Day" with a flower motif.

This year, I got an e-mail last Wednesday, from AFG, warning that he might not be able to write again today, and assuring me that he considers me an "awesome mom". So... evolution of Mother's Day over the years.

My own mom is gone from this plane and has been since 1996. This morning, as I started to put my mother's day gift (the padded biking shorts) to use, I thought about riding by the cemetery where she and dad are laid to rest... but the bridge over the highway was out, and I chose a different route to finish my ride. And I of course thought about her and the many ways that she influenced me to become who I am today.

I thought about how fast life speeds by and how important it is to grab hold and live it!

Part of where I rode, I was walking/jogging in traffic a week ago... the bike path covered with half / full marathon participants. It looks different when it is not so crowded. Has it really only been a week?

I wished the moms I saw along the path a happy mom's day, and my wish for all here is the same. May this be the kind of day that puts a smile on your lips and joy in your heart.

Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 5/18/2012 12:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 5/14/2012 7:05AM

    I have many precious memories of past Mother's days too. I wasn't able to see my son yesterday, because he lives on the West Coast, but I did get a phone call. And I had the joy of spending the evening with my 87-year old mom.

You're so right about the importance of living each moment fully, because those moments so quickly become memories.

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_LINDA 5/14/2012 2:10AM

    I am so grateful for my Mom and that I still have her, There truly is no one as special as a Mom. They deserve daily recognition for all that they do and the sacrifices they made to raise a child in our troubled world. My wish for you is that your son will always be safe and come home to you.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/13/2012 10:00PM

    Moms gave such a powerful influence over our lives. I feel sooooooooo very blessed to have my Mom still with me. Each day is a blessing to me as I get to talk w/her.

I hope you're enjoying the padded shorts! They really are such a comfort for the "tushy" while biking!


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BARBAELLEN 5/13/2012 7:33PM

    I loved this Mother's Day blog, especially since my past Mother's Day experiences parallel yours, all the way back to the mother-father interchange and the mother/sister expecting cards. I'm grateful to be able to say that my mother is still with us, and your blog made me reflect on the passage of time. This year, my mother received her usual brunch and gifts, but she came armed with a package for me. It was a couple of handmade cards and a plaster handprint that I had given her during elementary school. She said she was cleaning out junk! :)

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CONCHA77 5/13/2012 7:13PM

    Bless Your Heart, Barb. You surely are on a great path in life and always going strong. I am thinking you had to have a great mother (and father) the way you are, so strong. Good for you.
Hugs and health, Connie

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MSLZZY 5/13/2012 5:24PM

    And your words spoke volumes today! HUGS!

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KRISZTA11 5/13/2012 3:51PM

    Very nice blog : )
I love the wallpaper idea!
Happy Mother's Day to you : )

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GAELA-I-CAN 5/13/2012 11:34AM

    Beautifully said

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