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Out of Spark for a few days

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No, no... I'm not giving up... I haven't lost my Spark. But I do have this trip planned (although it's coming up to the last minute whether it's going to really happen or not!) So... if you don't see blog entries for a few days, or message board posts tomorrow through Monday or Tuesday... no worries. I don't know that I'll have internet access after tonight until then.

Miscellaneous on the topic of rewards:
Y'all know I'm a geek. I've also probably written about my tendency to reward myself with things that support my fitness efforts. It's a mind-game: I will reward myself for good behavior with things that encourage more good behavior!

The latest really big one arrived on Tuesday. I'm so excited: it's a body media GoWear Fit armband. So... I've been trying it out. I've been drooling over these toys for some time (like over a year), reading about them (and their cousins, the Body Bug, etc.) online. But it's a significant financial investment, and I just wasn't willing to put out the $$.

Still, I had a great 2010, I've had good results, and my curiosity finally overcame my frugal nature, and I sprang for it.

For those of you who've never heard of these devices, you wear them on your arm and their sensors measure various things to determine how many calories you are burning. They can DO that? Then you upload the data to a web site where it shows you a timeline of your day: when were you moderately active, DID you rise to intense activity at any point in your day? How much sleep are you getting when you're sleeping? Whoa! Can they DO that?

I'll let you know after I've played with it for a while. But based on that one day sample? Looks like they can! It detected my break walks at work as moderate activity. It took my treadmill work (an hour) as 40 minutes intense and 20 moderate. And, unfortunately, it told me that when I slept those 6 and a half hours, I really only got about 5 hours of really good sleep. I spend periods of time just "lying down".

I kind of knew all of this without having the gadget to tell me. But being a geek, I love technology and wanted to see how well it pulled it off. You don't NEED one of these to succeed. Which is why it's in the "reward" category for me. But AS a reward... pretty cool!

Wishing all my Spark friends and anyone who drops by a great Thursday.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 1/16/2011 3:36PM

    Hope you're having a great trip Barb.

Look forward to hearing about the new gizmo. You worked hard for the reward so you deserve the fun!

emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 1/14/2011 6:15AM

    Love the gizmo, even tho I'm lo-tech - sounds like it's very user friendly. Keep us posted as to how you get on with it. Hope you enjoy the break - and seeing your background picture makes me hope you're going somewhere WARM and SUNNY, lol! emoticon

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SAMI199 1/13/2011 11:29PM

    Have a great trip!
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MSLZZY 1/13/2011 8:22PM

    Really curious about the new toy! Can't wait to hear how it works for you. HUGS!

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CONCHA77 1/13/2011 5:23PM

    Enjoy your trip, Barb. and your new toy. I know it will all turn out for you. Have fun!

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PENNYAN45 1/13/2011 11:57AM

    It sounds like an interesting and worthwhile device. I'll be curious to hear more about it as you use it more.

Enjoy your trip. I'll miss your words.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TURTLETALK 1/13/2011 10:52AM

    Enjoy your trip and I can't wait to hear more about your new toy.

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BUGGYS 1/13/2011 10:31AM

    Have a great trip and let us know about your new gadget...I bought the Fitbit last year....same type of thing only you wear it like a pedometer...at the end of the day it records everything...even sleep...guess I have to remember to wear it to make it work!!! emoticon

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ANDI571 1/13/2011 10:24AM

    I would probably pull up the results and it would say, For shame, for shame! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/13/2011 10:18AM

    Wow, that's fascinating. I have heard of the body bug but never really did much research on them. I'm not a good sleeper so I'd be interested in that feedback. And, I'm not real active, so perhaps that would spur me on. I may have to consider this as a reward for myself at some point. Sure sounds interesting. Enjoy using it and enjoy your travel. Looking forward to hearing from you when you return.

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SUNNY332 1/13/2011 9:53AM

    I love it that you treated yourself to the "body bug". Do keep us posted on how it works. I think you definitely deserved it. You have worked hard so enjoy the rewards.

Have a great trip. I am still in hopes that it will fall into place for you.

Hugs, Sunny

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/13/2011 9:30AM

    Have a great trip and Spark On! emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 1/13/2011 8:04AM

    What ever works for you is the main thing. Have a safe trip.

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4DOGNIGHT 1/13/2011 7:32AM

    Interesting gadget. Might be too much information in some catagories! Enjoy your trip!

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Remember when I said I didn't have more energy?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I think I lied. Not intentionally, mind you. But going out and tackling the snow at 4:30 a.m. on Monday? I never would have done that 70 pounds ago!

The back muscles that reminded me they had been used in all that snow shoveling on Tuesday? Are recovered now... less than 48 hours since the third and last shoveling in 36 hours.

I find myself *doing* more things, simply because I notice they need doing. Spontaneously.

Yes, I lied, or rather, I didn't see it. Those folks are right: being fit *does* give me more energy!

emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 1/13/2011 12:12AM

    emoticon

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ANDI571 1/12/2011 10:56PM

    So true! I am not as fit as I would like to be, but hoping to get there. You are awesome!

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MSLZZY 1/12/2011 10:42PM

    Ah, you noticed that too! Isn't it amazing LOL!

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MOMOF2TONI 1/12/2011 2:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRENDA1995 1/12/2011 12:03PM

    That's great! I hope to get there.

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PENNYAN45 1/12/2011 11:10AM

    I agree. It seems that using energy gives us energy!

Quite amazing - a discovery I was happy to make.

emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/12/2011 10:54AM

    Absolutely -- ain't it great?!

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GONNABEFIT27 1/12/2011 9:51AM

    Yay! It's great having more energy...and being more productive :)

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WISEONE68 1/12/2011 9:01AM

    Yeah!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/12/2011 8:55AM

    Here's to energy!
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GOOFYGIRL48 1/12/2011 8:50AM

    What a wonderful discovery/realization!
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SUNNY332 1/12/2011 8:47AM

    GREAT post. Yes, being fit does give us more energy.

You are doing awesome.

Sunny

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BUGGYS 1/12/2011 8:43AM

    I actuallu love shoveling in the early am...so quiet, so pretty...shoveling doesn't seem to be such a burden...that's great that you are enjoying those moments 70 pounds lighter!!!

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DEBRITA01 1/12/2011 8:23AM

    emoticonThat's great! Can you send some of that energy my way? I'm heading out to shovel...lol

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KATHRYNLP 1/12/2011 8:16AM

    You just didn't know the NEW YOU then!! WTG hun! We got a foot of snow last night.. OoooH Caan-aaa-daaah! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/12/2011 7:42AM

    emoticon emoticon You ROCK, you know that!? emoticon

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BRASKIN 1/12/2011 7:38AM

  Good for you! Never really thought about how "easy" some of the more difficult tasks become as you shift towards healthy.
thanks for sharing.

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NERVOUSWRECKIAM 1/12/2011 7:38AM

    emoticon

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Wiped out...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This was "one of those days" at work. Pulled in a million directions. Made a gaffe that cost several people an hour or two of their own time wasted. I work with a terrific bunch of people and I really do hate to inconvenience any of them. They are understanding and supportive and we DO forgive one another when the inevitable humanity creeps in. We use it as a project in self-learning and improvement. BUT I still get mad at myself, because don't cha know, I'm supposed to be... ummm... perfect? Yeppers!

So, I fixed what I could as quickly as I could, then took a brisk walk in the basement of the office building to get my self-flagulation under control. When I returned to the desk, things looked better.

After work, I hopped on the treadmill and did my three miles while NCIS was on the TV. Amazing how moving the body helps put things in a much more positive light. And in the end, despite all that craziness, I still have to call this a good day. I ate in my range, and did my exercise.

Now to a well-deserved shower and bedtime!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/12/2011 10:43PM

    Great way to de-stress, especially when it is self-inflicted. I do that, too!

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BUGGYS 1/12/2011 9:19AM

    After all the stuff at work you still got in your exercise and felt better for it...sure is better than a bag of chips, don't you think? emoticon emoticon

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CONCHA77 1/12/2011 8:38AM

    I had one of those days at work Monday -And me being the the new kid on the block? It's been eating me up since. Maybe I will jump on the tread today and work it all off this morning,
Hugs.


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EFELL123 1/12/2011 4:19AM

    Congratulations on the healthy eating and exercise. I really think that when we take care of ourselves physically it helps us handle things that occur in life in a much more positive manner!

Turning to a walk instead of cookies or junk food is impressive!! What a great habit you've adopted.

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LJCANNON 1/12/2011 1:55AM

    I love your walk in the Basement at work. That is the 'Perfect' way to deal with the situation...............OOPS, did I say the P-Word? emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 1/11/2011 10:41PM

    Some days are just like that....but I'm glad you didn't let it get to you too much.

Having the TV in front of the treadmill really does help, don't you think?

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ANDI571 1/11/2011 10:12PM

    When did the concept of perfection come in? A perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect co-worker a perfect spark friend? It's no wonder we turn to food. Good for you getting on the tread mill. I have found that even if I walk in place during my shows, it will help calm the nerves. Keep up the good work.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 1/11/2011 10:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/11/2011 9:47PM

    We tend to be our own worst critic. Glad you were able to turn your day around with a little bit of exercise. Have a great evening.

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Muffled stillness and sparkles

Monday, January 10, 2011

"The moon on the face of the new-fallen snow, gave a luster of mid-day to objects below." Thus says Clement C. Moore in a Visit from St. Nicolas. I've always loved that line. It so completely captures how I felt this morning at 4:30 a.m. as I stood among the sparkles filling my driveway and smoothing the lines of the suburban neighborhood where I live.

It was so still I was not about to try to start the snow-blower, even if I had total confidence that my repairs of yesterday afternoon would be effective.

I love the stillness, when it's not too cold and the wind is light or absent. It is so beautiful, so peaceful. And in the stillness this morning, I realized something: this was another moment of functional fitness. I am not intimidated by the white stuff. I can wield this shovel! I can clear this property... just me, my trusty shovel, and my 58-year-old muscles!

This, ladies and gents, is why I work out. So that I can do what needs doing, when it needs doing. Whether that's running up ten flights of stairs to evade a fire in a tall building, or simply making our neighborhood safe for dog-walkers.

And in the process, we might get a poetic treat or two, in the muffled stillness, amid the sparkling new snow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 1/11/2011 1:10PM

    Wasn't it wonderful?
The snow was so light and dry and the lack of wind made it perfect.

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LINDAJOYWK 1/11/2011 6:49AM

    Barb-you are still my hero! I shovel too-but I don't find peace in the process,maybe
a few choice words? I do get pleasure watching Moses romp & play in the white
stuff-almost convinced me to make a snow angel/or snowman-ALMOST! emoticon

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LJCANNON 1/11/2011 1:35AM

    emoticonThis is a Beautiful Blog!! You have put into words so well what I feel about being ABLE to do things.
I can practically FEEL the Peace flowing from your house into my Life.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/11/2011 1:36:42 AM

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MSLZZY 1/10/2011 9:42PM

    It is wonderful to use the muscles God gave us for something more than
walking to the refrigerator and back. I enjoyed my hour of shoveling snow.
It relieved stress and was a great workout for the body and mind.

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SUNNY1432 1/10/2011 7:22PM

    I missed the early morning peace, since I was hoping to get in an uninterrupted workout, but the kids and I enjoyed the snow later. They played while I shoveled and they didn't want to leave the white powder they were having so much fun.
Great Positive Attitude and quote! emoticon

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SUNNY332 1/10/2011 6:50PM

    Being fit and healthy gives us confidence that no diet can provide.

Keep up the great work.

Loved the line...perfect for us today too.

Sunny

Josh is stranded in Atlanta. Keep him in your thoughts.

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REJ7777 1/10/2011 5:44PM

    Your blog made me smile - because of the thoughts of stillness, the beauty of soft snow, as well as the "non-noise" of shoveling and physical fitness. emoticon

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ANDI571 1/10/2011 3:22PM

    I applaud you for being 58 and able to do those things which need to be done. I haven't shoveled snow in so long, it just about scares me. D1 loves to shovel snow, and that is one job I haven't done since my dad passed away. That is what being healthy is all about. It's about not having to rely on anyone other than yourself to get around. emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/10/2011 3:21PM

    Yes, there's nothing more peaceful, to me, than a light snowfall at night, with no wind. It's like everything is standing still for that one moment in time.

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BUGGYS 1/10/2011 2:50PM

    Leading a healthy lifestyle makes you stronger! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/10/2011 2:48PM

    You are fit and ABLE to do what needs to get done...the benefits of your healthier lifestyle are endless... emoticon emoticon

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TEACHINMOM 1/10/2011 2:33PM

    WOO-HOO!! How awesome is that ~ to KNOW, without a doubt, that YOU can handle it ~ all by yourself!? That is just why I want to keep working out and getting more fit! To handle whatever life throws my way ~ whenever!! WTG!

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Repetitive messages in blogging

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I was looking back for some blogs I wrote a year ago, this morning. I was looking for the point at which I declared myself to be in maintenance mode... which truly was about that long ago. The results of 2010 were far beyond my expectations... I had no idea I'd drop another 20 pounds over the course of the year! I just wanted NOT TO REGAIN!

What I found, instead of what I was looking for... was a very similar theme to what I've been writing recently! Apparently, I have to hear the same pep talks from myself... over, and over, and over.

So please forgive an "old lady" for her repetitive telling of the same tale. As with many lessons in life, repetition of the lesson helps firm it up in one's mind. I think it's called... studying? For a test? The test might be called "maintenance" or "life".

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 1/11/2011 7:35PM

    Never ever get tired of reading your blogs, Barb. Keep em coming! Great going on your weight loss/maintenance! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/10/2011 1:06PM

    emoticonway to sum up the journey.
The more we practice, the better we get!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/9/2011 5:44PM

    Repetition and reinforcement are important and your success in 2010 is brilliantly inspiring. You surpassed your own goals. That must be so satisfying for your "inner-competitor"!

Your pep talks were for you but many of us eavesdropped and benefitted. I, for one, am very grateful.

Have a great week.

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KASEYCOFF 1/9/2011 5:40PM

    Nothing wrong with reinforcing 'the message' to yourself, hon! After all, meditation is a focus of the thoughts on a manta or phrase or idea - so why not give yourself the message of 'health' over and over? Seems like a good idea to me, and you have to admit, it seems to be working, lol... emoticon

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SUNNY332 1/9/2011 3:23PM

    We absolutely forgive your for being "human" and know you will extend the kindness to us when we do this.

Have a GREAT week.

Sunny

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JUST_TRI_IT 1/9/2011 1:11PM

    No problem! Hey if anything some of us might have missed the first one, second of tenth one!!! AND if we did not miss them, we needed to hear it again too :)

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/9/2011 12:21PM

    Absolutely! And, for what it's worth, I never get tired of reading your blogs. And, for that matter, I've not noticed much repetitiveness. I read somewhere that you have to hear/read a new idea seven times before you're ready to accept it. I know that's true with my DH -- when I want to do something different (or whatever) I know I need to start early suggesting it to him. His basic response to everything is "no," so if I can repeat the idea several times, he starts thinking about it and most of the time he's willing to agree. So, keep repeating yourself if that's what it takes to reinforce and motivate. Just know that through your blogs you inspire me (and others, I'm sure) to continue on so that we can get to the point you're at. Take care!

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VALERIEMAHA 1/9/2011 12:10PM

    I am SO right there with the importance of repetition. They've been doing it for 100's and 1000's of years in religious traditions. Mantra repetition: "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me," "Hari Rama," "Om Mani Padme Hum," etc., and we've established the importance of repeating positive affirmations for healing illness, whether emotional or physical. It just makes good sense that repetition of the values and behavior that are important to us is useful, even essential.

Your success is awe-inspiring!
emoticon
Maha
BTW, we'll be hovering around a low of 15 for several days here in the mid-south.

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BUGGYS 1/9/2011 11:34AM

    I agree with Deb that repetition reinforces the tools that we have learned and replaces the good habits with the bad so you are forgiven...I need to give myself encouragement everyday to get me through and reading your blobs has helped me to keep on!

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ANDI571 1/9/2011 11:06AM

    No problem, I have noticed I need the same pep talks too. Keep them coming. emoticon

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REDDIRTRUNNER 1/9/2011 10:50AM

    cute emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 1/9/2011 9:27AM

    We are all creatures of habit, and this must be the mood you are in post-holidays. But these pep talks are obviously working for you.....so I say, keep it up! It doesn't hurt your blog-readers to be reminded of the same messages. In fact, I think you help motivate in ways you don't even realize!

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REJ7777 1/9/2011 9:20AM

    I think that we always have to come back to basics. We need to be reminded over and over again of what works. There IS no new, magic recipe for weight control! So thanks for repeating what needs to be repeated! emoticon

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DRB13_1 1/9/2011 8:52AM

    emoticon The fact that the same message reverberates in your blogs means A) it's important, B) it's part of your success and C) you know what you need and feel. Sounds like it is meant to be! Congrats on a year of even better "maintenance" than expected!

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DEBRITA01 1/9/2011 8:44AM

    Repetition is a good thing...it reinforces what we already know. I watch my 2 year-old GS learn a new skill...small kids love repetition. It allows them to practice their skills.

Don't view it as repetition, only reaffirmation...and I love your blogs ~just the way they are. So inspirational!

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RETRAC57 1/9/2011 8:18AM

    Don't worry it happens to us all sometimes! Just keep trying and we will get there.

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SHARON2014 1/9/2011 8:09AM

    Don't worry -- I would not notice the repetition...as I age I have found I only need one book and one movie any more... emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 1/9/2011 8:03AM

    You are a great inspiration to me---Keep it up! I enjoy reaDING YOUR BLOGS! emoticon

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SAILSCALL 1/9/2011 7:42AM

    You're forgiven. Keep up the good work.

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