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Tranquility Tuesday

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story. ~ Linda Hogan

This blog is a result of my Spark Friend, Barb's (BOOCH6) reply to a post on sitting outside on a beautiful, late summer evening, taking in all of the sounds and sights of nature, and stargazing with my husband.
"That stargazing sounds wonderful ! We never seem to slow down and take in the wonders of nature. Although I couldn't take my eyes off the "super moon" last weekend. As a matter of fact, I think I'll go down by the river today and enjoy a walk and picnic. Sharon, thanks for the inspiration :) !"

“Not just beautiful, though--the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me.” ~ Haruki Murakami

We too often find ourselves caught up in the tangle of the every day hustle and bustle. We need to remember to slow down, and take some time to nourish our spirit and our soul.

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls." ~ Mother Teresa

You don’t have to venture far. We can find ourselves in nature in our own backyard, just as I did. If you have a garden, take the time not only to work the soil, nurture the life that grows therein, and most of all . . .

Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.

“Stay close to nature, cherish it’s simplicity, revel in its complexity, and take delight in the many small things all around you. It will be the little things that are extraordinary when you see not only with your eyes, but with your heart.” ~ Betsy Seeton

Take in and find the awe in the smallest of details. Breathe in their fragrance, admire their beauty, and take some inside to remind you of all that is and all that surrounds you.

To check out more of Betsy Seeton’s beautiful nature photography to soothe your soul check out her website and blog at:

Nature whispers silently and naturally to our hearts.

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in.” ~ George Washington Carver

No matter what the season we can indeed find the beauty and rejuvenate our bodies and our spirit.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. “ ~ John Muir

Nature renews the wonder and the child in all of us. Take off your shoes and let the green grass, or the warm sand, or the cool water caress your feet and toes. Go out and take a walk in the rain. We must make sure that we pass this wisdom to our future generations.

“All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.” ~ Marie Curie

*Little Leah*

“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay fields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, huckleberries, and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of…education.” ~ Luther Burbank

*Little Leah*

*Little Leah*

*Little Leah*
“Look! A trickle of water running through some dirt! I'd say our afternoon just got booked solid!” ~ Bill Watterson

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson

“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.” ~ Charlotte Brontë

And finally . . .

Namaste. Peace be with you.
Thanks for stopping by!


***Google Images***

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUBMOM2 8/23/2014 12:17AM

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder to take a breath and admire the wonder around us. Little Leah is adorable, too!

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SPARKFRAN514 8/22/2014 11:16PM

    the only words that come to mind is emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon thanks for sharing enjoy your time with that cute little one

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PICKIE98 8/22/2014 6:33PM

    We sat by the campfire last night in Northern Michigan, looking at the stars in total blackness.. making new friends from other states,, low voices, wood-burning smells.. relaxing......

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/22/2014 6:53AM

    Leah is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this!!


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ROCKYCPA 8/20/2014 11:31PM


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STEELKICKIN 8/20/2014 8:13PM

    Beautiful!!! Just BEAUTIFUL!! A VERY appropriate message to just slow down and breathe. Leah is a gorgeous little are so blessed. Thank you so much for sharing your words and your photos...well needed! Big big hugs...

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BOOCH6 8/20/2014 6:28PM

    Oh my gosh !! This is awesome ! My favorite is Little Leah (of course). I could feel her awe at the water's edge. But I also loved "a little trickle of water, running through some dirt. I'd say our efternoon just got booked solid." really wonderful blog. I'm going back to read it again !! Thanks, too for the 'shout out'. I feel so important :)

- Barb

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GENRE009 8/20/2014 5:24PM

    Wonderful! eva

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IMLOCOLINDA 8/20/2014 2:55PM

    emoticon Nature is my church!

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SUNNY332 8/20/2014 8:56AM

    Loved the photos of Leah and all of the nature pics. We have 48 acres here so know well the healing power of nature. Last night, the sunset over the back field was amazing and gave me such hope knowing that He who puts the Sun and the Moon in the sky sees my pain and has a plan for our Joshua. I hold on to this hope.

Thanks and hugs, Sunny

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CERIUSLY 8/20/2014 6:25AM

    What a beautiful and inspirational blog! Thank you for sharing your time.
Sometimes I take the beauty of nature for granted. We go about our daily routines and honestly do forget to take time to smell the roses. This morning on my drive to work, instead of complaining about the inconvenience of road work, I'm going to thank God for the beauty of the mountains. emoticon

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123ELAINE456 8/20/2014 4:04AM

  A very Beautiful God Given Blog. Love all of the Beautiful Photos and quotes. Also Love the Beautiful Heart Shaped Photos. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Lots Of Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To Everyone. Take Care. We Have An Awesome God.

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    Namaste. I salute the God within you. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 8/20/2014 12:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVINGFREE19 8/19/2014 11:41PM

    emoticon blog!

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QTEALADY20031 8/19/2014 11:38PM

    Sharon, this is so beautiful that you have reminded me of all the beauty that God has created for us! Little Leah is adorable. Thank you so much for sharing the beauty and the wonder! emoticon June

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RITZIBROWN 8/19/2014 10:37PM

    Thank you Sharon from my heart to yours.



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KATHYJO56 8/19/2014 9:45PM

    Hi Sharon, I feel all calm and relaxed just from reading your blog and looking at the wonderful nature pictures. Of course, the pictures of Leah are adorable and calming all by themselves. Hugs, kathy

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2HAMSDIET 8/19/2014 8:39PM

    I feel less stress just by reading your post. Little Leah is a living doll. emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 8/19/2014 8:39PM

    Love the squirrel picture!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/19/2014 8:39PM

    Sharon, you've nailed it!!! You know, I walk every morning and it is so serene, peaceful, quiet and beautiful!!! THAT'S what it's all about.

Of course, my favorite pictures in your blog have to be LEAH!!! What a beauty. It is so nice to see that sense of wonder and amazement at each new thing discovered!

HUGS and thank you for sharing this.

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KITT52 8/19/2014 7:54PM

    very nice

enjoy your day

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LUCYCAN7 8/19/2014 7:21PM

  emoticon These are just so Beautiful and Loving.
When we are young we just take these things for granted.
As we age we are in awe of everything God gaves us.Thanks
so much for sharing.Hugs and Blessings to you and yours.
Hope your night is very enjoyable!So glad I stopped by!Peace
be with you as well! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2BDYNAMIC 8/19/2014 7:15PM

    Wow!!! This is beautiful and I enjoyed all the 'tranquil' pics. Nature does have a way of soothing us, doesn't it .? ............. God saw to everything! thanks for sharing!

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Sweet Summertime: Team Up With Watermelon For A Healthy Refreshing Treat

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Did you know that July is National Watermelon month? What fruit could be more synonymous with summertime fun than watermelon?

You know summer has officially begun when you spot watermelons in the grocery store, or at your local farmer’s market.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like watermelon. It spans the spectrum from young and old alike.

Its luscious, rosy red, sweet juiciness is nearly impossible to resist, and just biting into a slice says, “Chill - have fun. Don’t take things so seriously.”

It never fails to quench our thirst for something sweet. As if that weren't enough to win us over on its own, watermelon is packed full of nutrition, hydrates our bodies, quenches our thirst, and is low-fat.

Did you know that watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy. Watermelon actually contains more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable, including tomatoes; about 15 to 20 milligrams in two cups of melon! It’s all that Lycopene that gives the melon its rosy red color, and it has been demonstrated to lower cancer risk, especially prostate cancer.

If your kids don’t like spinach, swiss chard, lima beans, or tomatoes, offer them a slice of icy, cold watermelon instead.

It is a great source of potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body's proper electrolyte and natural PH.

It also helps lower the risk of high blood pressure in adults. In conjunction with this it also contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which can help maintain arteries, blood flow, and aid in overall cardiovascular function.

Here are some more “juicy” watermelon facts:

• The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.
• Watermelon is 92% water.
• Watermelon's official name is Citrullus Lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It’s cousins are cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
• By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
• Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
• The first cookbook published in the U.S. in 1776 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.
• According to Guinness World Records, the world's heaviest watermelon was grown by Lloyd Bright of Arkadelphia, Arkansas in 2005, weighing in at 268.8 lbs (121.93 kg).
• Watermelon is grown in over 96 countries worldwide.
• In China and Japan watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.
• Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide
• The United States currently ranks 5th in worldwide production of watermelon.

Here are a few ways to have fun with your watermelon:

And finally for your enjoyment, here are a several fun, refreshing recipes to help you enjoy some watermelon before it’s gone for the summer:

Frozen Watermelon Lemonade

3 cups watermelon cubes, seeds removed
1/2 cup raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups strawberry-flavored, calorie-free carbonated water, chilled

Place watermelon cubes and raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. Pour through a sieve; discard pulp.

Combine the sugar and water in the small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly, just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside allow to cool slightly.

Stir the sugar-water and lemon juice onto the watermelon raspberry juice mixture. Pour the juice mixture onto a covered freezer container. Freeze until firm.

Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the mixture into tall glasses. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of the strawberry flavored water over the frozen juice in each glass. Serve immediately.
Makes 6-8 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving) CALORIES 99; PROTEIN 0.5g; CARB 25g; SUGAR 23g; FAT 0.3g; CHOL 0g;

Mediterranean Watermelon Salad

6 cups torn mixed salad greens or spinach leaves
3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 dash cracked black pepper

In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad mixture with oil. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Garnish with pepper, if desired.

Watermelon-Strawberry Pops

Everyday Food, July/August 2009

2 pounds seedless watermelon
1/2 pound halved hulled strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Working in batches, puree watermelon in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (discard solids). Puree strawberries; add to bowl. Add sugar and lime juice and stir until sugar has completely dissolved.

Pour mixture into ten 3-ounce ice-pop molds and insert sticks. Freeze pops until solid, 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or up to 1 week).
Makes 10 Servings

Here’s a Skinny Refreshing Cocktail for when “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”. Since the watermelon is naturally sweet, this doesn’t require much sugar, and refreshes for only 105 calories a glass!

Watermelon Margarita

2 teaspoons sugar
1 lime wedge
3 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup tequila
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
Lime wedges or watermelon balls (optional)

1. Place 2 teaspoons sugar in a saucer. Rub the rims of 6 glasses with 1 lime wedge; spin rim of each glass in sugar to coat. Set prepared glasses aside.

2. Combine watermelon and next 4 ingredients (through Triple Sec) in a blender; process until smooth. Fill each prepared glass with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Add 1/2 cup margarita to each glass. Garnish with lime wedges or melon balls, if desired.

Sue Spitler, Cooking Light JULY 2010

Nutritional Information: Calories: 105 Fat: 0.2g Saturated fat: 0.0g Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g Protein: 0.6g Carbohydrate: 14.1g Fiber: 0.4g Cholesterol: 0.0mg Iron: 0.2mg Sodium: 1mg Calcium: 7mg

Here’s a simple way to cut a juicy watermelon into small manageable sticks for little hands:

So get out there and enjoy more of this number one summertime favorite before it’s too late!

Thanks for stopping by!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALOHAEV1 7/24/2014 7:13PM

    Watermelon for dessert!

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SPARKFRAN514 7/17/2014 10:14AM

    what fun tip and recipes for water melon water melon is on my shopping list cute water melon people not that creative or that much patience

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IMLOCOLINDA 7/15/2014 11:11PM

    Great plug for watermelon! I wait until the seeded kind are available at the FM...and it should be soon. The 'seedless' kind just don't have the same flavor and seems to be the only kind the grocery stores stock. I feel sorry for today's kids who will never know the joy of spitting seed contests at 4th of July (and other summer) picnics!

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RITZIBROWN 7/14/2014 10:23PM

    emoticon Yummy emoticon . Can you believe DH doesn't like watermelon. Never fails to amaze me!

Great Blog Sharon!

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DUXGRL1 7/14/2014 7:12PM

    Thanks for all the info on watermelon! A friend recently recommended salad very similar to Mediterranean Watermelon Salad with arugula, and I really liked it, very refreshing!

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SUBMOM2 7/13/2014 11:46PM

    I'm adding watermelon to my shopping list. Lately I've been too lazy to cut one up, but now there is no excuse!

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    The watermelon sticks are BRILLIANT! Finally, a way to enjoy without getting sticky from ear to ear. Thanks for this post!

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SHERYLP461 7/13/2014 4:53PM

    I love me some watermelon!! Did not know you could do all that with it though!

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123ELAINE456 7/13/2014 9:04AM

  Awesome Blog. I do Love Watermelon. Haven't had any this year. Will get some next week. It is very Healthy for You too. Thank You for the Information and Recipes. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Coming Your Way. Take Care. Love the Quotes and Photos.

Comment edited on: 7/13/2014 9:06:00 AM

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SPARKLED146 7/13/2014 8:21AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KITT52 7/13/2014 12:26AM

    I love it too
thanks for the great recipes as well..

more watermelon

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2HAMSDIET 7/13/2014 12:25AM

    I do love watermelon....Thank you for the info and recipes. emoticon emoticon

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TATTER3 7/12/2014 11:33PM

    LOVE it!!!

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KATHYJO56 7/12/2014 10:43PM

    This is wonderful Sharon. We have watermelon in our fridge all summer long and buy a fresh one every week. It is a constant staple for our summer eating. I hope you are enjoying a lot of it, as well. emoticon

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REGILIEH 7/12/2014 10:25PM


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FITGRANDMA120 7/12/2014 10:01PM

    I am a watermelon addict, love the blog

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LUCYCAN7 7/12/2014 8:36PM

  Very low calorie VEGETABLE!!!
emoticon I am glad I stopped by! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/12/2014 8:33PM

    Delicious AND healthy. That's a great combination. Thanks for the information and tips. Love watermelon!

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LOPEYP 7/12/2014 7:51PM

    Just bought some today. Thanks for the recipes. I'm going to try a few!

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L*I*T*A* 7/12/2014 7:45PM


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    Great ideas - thanks!

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You're A Grand Ole Flag: Made In the USA

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Everyone loves celebrating the 4th of July! A recent poll found that 94% of Americans view flying the American flag a sign of patriotism and pride in their country. But one thing that you might not be thinking about is whether your flag is Made In the USA. If you are shopping for a flag - be it one to fly on a large 20 foot flagpole or a small flag to adorn your flowerpots on your porch - take the time to buy a flag that is Made In America.

My first recollection of showing respect for the flag was in my little home town watching the July 4th parade. First entry was a line of servicemen, one from each branch of the service, carrying the American flag, our state flag, along with the American legion flag, and one more which escapes me. They proudly carried the flag down the street as everyone stood and put their hand over their heart. My dad did and told me to do the same to show respect for the flag. I saw a tear go down my dad’s face and many other faces around us too. To this day, I still get a lump in my throat when a parade begins and Old Glory leads the procession, or the Star Spangled Banner is sung before an event.

As the nation prepares to celebrate its 238th birthday, "Buy America" efforts are still going strong, though emotions on the subject tend to fluctuate depending on the state of the economy.

"It doesn't really matter to me," said Luis Rodriguez, a retired postal worker who last week sat on a picnic table in a Satellite Beach park wearing a postal carrier union T-shirt with the famed red-white-and-blue eagle — the Postal Service's mascot.

"What I do is make sure the correct number of stars and stripes are being used," Rodriguez said. "If not, then I have more of a problem with it. But I'm not really too concerned about where it's made."

Vietnam War veteran and former Marine Corps infantryman Chip Hanson disagrees. He believes in a "buy American" philosophy. Patriotic items — including items that will be used in July Fourth parties this week — should be manufactured in the United States, he said. That includes plastic forks, paper plates and napkins.

"Most definitely it should come from our country," he said. "If you look at what's happening in our country, we've slipped into a situation where we are depending on other nations for our primary items."

I couldn’t agree more. Buying a flag and everything else you can, keeps workers employed and can create more jobs if the demand is there. Retailers aren't tone deaf to patriotic emotions when it comes to buying American. Wal-Mart, for example, pledged last year to buy $50 billion over a decade in American-made products. Still last week, many of the products sold with patriotic themes were made in places such as the Dominican Republic and China. And how's this for irony? Wal-Mart sells U.S. flags for $34.72 with the label on the package proclaiming "Made in the USA." However, a pole and bracket set sold along aside it are imported from China.

That's changing, somewhat, as labor costs in places like China rise, Kirn said. A number of U.S.-based textile and clothing manufacturers, for example, are seeing new life because it's become more cost-effective to manufacture domestically.

"Some of the textile mills in the Carolinas are reopening, and I think there is an appeal to that for a variety of reasons," he said. "You control the supply chain, you know what the raw materials are and you know what you're getting. And you're closer to the place where you're ultimately going to vend it." Plus, it costs a whole lot less to ship something from South Carolina to California than it does from China to California.

Wherever you stand on the issue of prices versus patriotism, July Fourth is a good time for each of us to take stock about how we are spending their money whether we're going to support jobs in the United States or outside the country.

"We have a Declaration of Independence, not a declaration of interdependence," said Simmermaker, an author of two books on buying U.S. made products.


American made Flags and Accessories

Annin Flagmakers have been making flags since 1847 and are now the oldest flag manufacturer in the U.S. Annin has plants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia. Not only a great choice for U.S flags, Annin also manufactures Patriotic fabric decorations. I LOVE fabric bunting as a decorating choice as it is reusable, long lasting and a great Eco friendly choice over plastic banners!

Valley Forge Flag Co. has been manufacturing US flags since 1882. Valley Forge Flag Co is headquartered in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and manufactures products in South Carolina. Valley Forge carries a great selection of U.S flags as well as patriotic decorations (yay for fabric!), all made in the USA.

Chicago Flag and Decorating Co (CF Flag) has been in business since 1898. . What I LOVE about CF Flag is the line of eco friendly U.S. flags they produce. That’s right, U.S. flags made from recycled items! Their Eco-Glory Flag is made from yarn created by recycled soda and water bottles- and even comes in a recycled box!

Flagsource/J C Schultz Enterprises Inc, manufacturing U.S flags since the 1920s, is the baby of all the companies. Their manufacturing facilities are located in Batavia, Illinois. They carry an impressive selection of U.S Flags.
All of the companies listed above are members of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America which established the “Certified Made in the U.S.A” certification program of American Flags. According to the FMAA website, ” ‘Certified Made in the U.S.A. ‘ certifies that your American flag has been made in the U.S. of materials that are domestic in origin and that all processes in every step of its manufacture were completed in U.S. facilities with U.S. labor”.

You can purchase the Liberty Telescoping Flagpole Kit, a 100% manufactured in America flagpole kit- even the flag is made in the USA! The telescoping flagpole style, is in my opinion, is the most Eco-Friendly as it contains no additional hardware like ropes and anchors. If you have noticed any “Made in the USA” flagpoles in stores, please share in the comments!

Eagle Mountain Flag and Flag Pole sells several different varieties of flag lights, including some Eco friendly energy saving ones.

If you need a flag, or might now be thinking of replacing your current flag, now would be a good time to buy one for Labor Day and Veteran's Day. Our troops and those looking for jobs will thank you.
thanks for stopping by


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMLOCOLINDA 7/6/2014 11:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I copied most of this and sent it on to my e-mail friends. Thanks for doing all the research on this.

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MADAMES 7/4/2014 1:49PM


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RITZIBROWN 7/4/2014 11:41AM

    emoticon emoticon blog Sharon! I'm going to take this opportunity to add to the "support America" context: Next time you call customer service ask if you're speaking with someone in the States. If not, ask to be re-directed to a US representative. You will be amazed at how many customer service jobs are in other countries. I've only had one company, so far, that hasn't had USA reps and that is Kodak. emoticon for my time on the box emoticon .

Please tell your son thanks for his service to our country. It's those serving that are ensuring our freedom.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 7/3/2014 11:22PM


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 7/3/2014 7:13PM

    Tell your son thanks for his service to our country and thanks for sharing him with us emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 7/3/2014 6:42PM


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123ELAINE456 7/3/2014 6:39PM

  A Wonderful Blog. Love the Photos. Buy USA Products whenever you can. United States Of America is the Best Country on Earth. God Bless America. Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Happy 4th of July Weekend. It is Our Nations Birthday. Take Care.

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SPARKFRAN514 7/3/2014 6:35PM

    I have my flags out flying and they came from with a note saying made in the USA emoticon
i can remember going to the 4th of July parade as a kid and it went in front of my cousins house so we could sit in the yard and watch the parade go by and of course stand and wave our little flags as they color guard passed. years latter on of my cousins marched in the parade playing the drums thanks for the memory as the house is now a bank and we are grown and and they don't live in the small town any more.
tomorrow i will be watching my 4th of July movie Yankee Doodle and even though I have seen it hundreds of times I still cry at the end when they sing Over there at the end of the movie .
Happy 4th to you and your family emoticon emoticon emoticon

A memory is a treasure that survives.

Comment edited on: 7/3/2014 7:11:37 PM

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1MORNINGWALKER 7/3/2014 6:05PM

    Flying my flag emoticon

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2HAMSDIET 7/3/2014 5:25PM


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KATHYJO56 7/3/2014 5:02PM

    I buy everything that I can made in the USA and especially my flag! I would not think of buying a flag that isn't made in our wonderful country and I am glad that you are drawing people's attention to this. We have a woman, here in Columbus, that owns a flag store and she sews all American flags by hand. You should visit her store sometime when you are here. Have a Happy 4th! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/3/2014 5:02PM

    Flying my flag proudly . . . every day!

Thanks so for this information. It really is important to buy American!

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KITT52 7/3/2014 4:58PM


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    You know it! I will be flying my Made in the USA flag tomorrow. emoticon

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The Great Swimsuit Dilemma: Squeezing the Right Stuff Into the "Right Suit"

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Well, it’s official. I have procrastinated long enough, it’s almost the 4th of July, and I can no longer ignore the fact that it’s time to go shopping for a bathing suit.

According to a recent poll, a sizable proportion of women, almost half or 41% of them, would prefer sitting in the dentist’s chair for a root canal over going through the emotional hell of shopping for a bathing suit. I can believe that - although it's a real toss-up for me now that I think about it.

Most styles look like they were designed for those ladies in the B grade movies, or my 4 year old niece. Those three way mirrors that are designed to give you a 360 degree view only further accentuate all the droopy and flabby body parts we try so hard to avoid noticing! To sum it all up, the view is most definitely less than we hope for. It’s funny, about the only thing I can get a good look at in those mirrors is my a**!

So after scouring every nook and cranny I find a couple of suits that I think might actually modestly cover a good proportion of me. I slink quietly into the farthest corner of the dressing rooms, and so it begins . . .

I picked out the one that gave me the most hope to try on first. I was hoping to score early in the game, and beat feet back out to the parking lot for quick get-away. The name sounded promising. It was actually called a “miracle” suit.

As I stepped into the leg holes, I knew how this suit got its name - it would be a miracle if I could get it over my knees and then up over my hips! I huffed and I puffed struggling to pull that damned elasticized tube over my hips and other “assets” and tugged and pulled even more to get it high enough to cover “my girls”.

The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom and sides. My thighs were looking like poppin fresh dough trying to escape from the tube.

Trying not to really look at myself in the 3 way mirror, my first thought was “If I even try to even take a deep breath it might cause a major wardrobe malfunction!”

That did it! It was time to squirm and exhale as much as I could to get it back down to my ankles and off. Who knew this could be more of a workout than the “Swear Master” or the “Dreadmill” at the gym? I was definitely counting this as my exercise today! I have to admit their marketing was spot on! It was a Miracle suit alright – A miracle that I got out of it! I knew that I was not willing to struggle like this again - let alone every time I wanted to go to the pool!

Here is a list of things that ran through my mind while shopping for the “right suit”:

• “Nope! I have more parts than that suit - period.”
• “Holy crap! That’s not just a muffin top, that’s the whole muffin.”
• “I must have picked up the wrong size.”
• “That’s OK, I have a couple of more to try on”
• “Maybe it’s just the bad lighting.”
• “This makes me look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s mother!”
• “This one would be great if my legs and my neck were the same size”
• “Next!!”
• “Where does this strap even go?”
• “How in the world am I supposed to fasten this behind by own back?”
• “How do I even begin to get into this thing?”
• “Aaand this one won’t even fit over my legs!”
• “This would be OK if I could amputate my entire torso.”
• “Oh hell no!”
• “Why do they always assume my boobs and butt are the same size? I’m not Twiggy!”
• “Are you kidding me?!!”
• “Did they suddenly run out of fabric?!”
• “This is literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen!”
• “Oh My God!”
• “You know what? Now that I think about it, the bathing suit I have is just fine.”
• “How many days ‘til Fall?”
• “Time for a drink!”

In the meantime, I’ll just wear a big, floppy hat to the pool, and maybe it will divert all the attention focused on my assets.

I wonder . . . does Spanx make a full body bathing suit?

Thanks for stopping by!
***Google Images***

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAKING-PROGRESS 7/20/2014 12:24AM

    I just have to keep thinking that it WILL get better...right? My best friend in the world wants to take me to Hawaii in March...Maybe by then...?

Love your sense of humor, keep laughing and all people will see will be the sparkle in your eyes emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 7/5/2014 2:23PM


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CORNERKICK 6/29/2014 3:38AM


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SOPHINEZ 6/27/2014 7:42PM

    You captured the universal experience shared by many a woman that does emoticon not have a staple in her belly button from Sports Illustrated!

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ROXANA1967 6/25/2014 5:13PM

  SWEET Blog! Thank you - I needed that ;-) emoticon

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KMCOOK75 6/25/2014 9:15AM


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1MORNINGWALKER 6/24/2014 11:14AM

    emoticon So loved this

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PJB145 6/23/2014 3:21AM

    ROFLMAO! emoticon I call those mirrors in the fitting rooms "fun house" mirrors because I never look that bad anywhere else.

This reminds me so much of my experience in finding a suit that fit. Try having lots of boobs and a bathing suit with fitted bra tops, enough said.

Thank you for this laugh out loud commentary on bathing suits.

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KIPPER15 6/22/2014 2:17PM

    emoticon Been there, lived that! worked for me.

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RENATA144 6/22/2014 12:47AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GENRE009 6/19/2014 8:34PM

    I remember when I was a size 16, and I went into a sports store to try on a spandex suit. it was like a girdle for your boobs, and smashed down my whole body. I know there are places where they specialize in suits for heavier people, but I couldn't find one, out and about. I am glad that I am now 45 pounds li9ghter, cause I can fit into some suit of mine from before. But it's still hard going to the beach when you don't have friends that like to swim, or even sun bath. eva

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GODDREAMDIVA1 6/19/2014 8:42AM


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2FORPAULA 6/19/2014 3:02AM

  I think we need to start a retro trend and bring back the suits of the 1920s. A covering from knee to head. Uncomfortable for swimming but I could hid my parts that should never see the light of day.

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NEWTINK 6/16/2014 9:16PM


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COOLRAIN 6/16/2014 4:05PM

    Hilarious! And oh so familiar!

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BLUEJEAN99 6/16/2014 2:00AM


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JIBBIE49 6/16/2014 12:40AM

    Maxine is funny.

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BONIFIANT 6/15/2014 9:19PM

    What a fun and clever blog. I think most of us ladies reading it were identifying with every emotion and thought expressed. You didn't mention my biggest fear-letting my varicose veins shock the rest of the world but I could identify with everything else. Thanks for a good chuckle.

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PATRICIAANN46 6/15/2014 8:39PM

  emoticon ed it!!!!! emoticon

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CICELY360 6/15/2014 8:20PM

  Funny and true.

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JUSGETTENBY42 6/15/2014 8:03PM


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SPARKFRAN514 6/15/2014 8:02PM

    thankful i don't swim so have not bought a suit in over 10 years +++ but loved your blog and made me laugh and remember why i don't swim any more if i go i will wear shorts and t shirt would take to much sun screen to make me feel safe in a suit. emoticon

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MAYBER 6/15/2014 7:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JSEATTLE 6/15/2014 7:37PM

  I don't know anyone who likes to go swimsuit shopping, myself included. I usually shop in the dead of winter for sale pricing at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. I have a drawer full of old favorites bu when the elastic starts to go, it is time to shop again.

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RITZIBROWN 6/15/2014 6:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 6/15/2014 6:28PM

  Thank you for the laughs - especially the Maxine cartoons! I personally just don't buy any swim suits. Thus, I have the perfect excuse not to ever go swimming. Fortunately for me, I have never liked swimming all that much.

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SUSIEMT 6/15/2014 5:21PM

    It takes me back! I remember when!!! Thanks for the laugh!

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DIANNEMT 6/15/2014 4:33PM

    Oh, yes--I do understand! My DD actually volunteered to go try on suits--and tried on about 15 before finding one she really liked--and she ended up having to choose between TWO! She is not Twiggy--but did find something that looks nice!

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LIVELYGIRL2 6/15/2014 4:24PM

  boy that is outrageous, and funny. Maybe they should label these miricle bathing suits for levels 1-4. And perhaps weights like they do on hose. You kinda assume if they have spandex or control elements they would help. Some of those biking shorts work kinda, but they are funny to get off and on.

Maybe the company that did those popular shapers, should do a bathing suit. Oh brother.

It is beter to LOL , than get totally upset. emoticon

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 6/15/2014 3:32PM

    emoticon Right on ! emoticon

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JERICHO1991 6/15/2014 2:30PM

    "The bathing suit fit alright..." paragraph left me LOL for minutes! Thanks. I needed that laugh today.

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NONNAOF2 6/15/2014 2:24PM

  I don't swim nor so I live near a lake or an ocean, so I don't even think about swim suit season. My summer wear is a comfortable pair of Bermuda shorts and a tee shirt and I'm as happy as a clam! No stress for me!! :-) I love the cartoons, they are so right on and hilarious, too! :-)

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THEMFOLK 6/15/2014 1:27PM

    This amusing blog reminds me that the dreaded Swimming Suit Shopping Season is the only valid argument in favor of the burka as appropriate (and voluntary!) beach attire. lol

I have four suits in graduated sizes, and I wear them according to how much of my body is adequately covered by a particular one. Two of these suits were purchased this year...apparently I'm a glutton for punishment...and have decided that the remedy for this is a mad dash to the water, and then don't get out until everyone has

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STEVIEBEE569 6/15/2014 1:22PM


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SDEHNKE 6/15/2014 12:57PM

    I had to come back to add that it was also hilarious that the ad running beside your blog was for swimsuits. Haha.


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SDEHNKE 6/15/2014 12:56PM

    Hilarious and I can so relate.


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SHOOPETTE 6/15/2014 11:06AM

    I think we can all relate, and all end up keeping last season's swimsuit until better times :)

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    I shop in the comfort of my computer screen, from a company that sells a "tugless tank" and offers full credit for returns. I go to the pool, take off my glasses, and everybody is as round and fuzzy as I am.

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GARDENCHRIS 6/15/2014 10:29AM


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NEPTUNE1939 6/15/2014 10:18AM


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SUZIB123 6/15/2014 10:16AM

    Well said...I like Swim 365 jogger swimsuits, I get them from One piece that have shorts attatched! It has tummy control and good hip coverage. No ride up but they did change last years style. Hope this helps emoticon

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SHOAPIE 6/15/2014 10:13AM


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AHORSEY1 6/15/2014 10:06AM

    LOVED it!!! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SCOUTMOM715 6/15/2014 9:54AM

    emoticon Love all the pictures!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 6/15/2014 9:15AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DJSHIP46 6/15/2014 8:48AM

    Oh my! Thanks for sharing.

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PENOWOK 6/15/2014 8:07AM

    I feel your pain..and share it!!

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GODDREAMDIVA1 6/15/2014 8:05AM


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TINY67 6/15/2014 8:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REGILIEH 6/15/2014 7:42AM

    I laughed so hard I was crying! You are so funny! I will be subscribing to your blogs!

You made my day!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Testing One, Two, Three: Test Your Nutrition IQ

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Which food gives you the most potassium? Which food would you choose to get the most Vitamin C? We all do lots of reading here on Spark People, and we are constantly trying to make healthy choices in our daily nutrition as we plan our meals. Think you’re knowledgeable about nutritional values in your food? Have some fun and take this quiz to find out:

Nutrition Quiz:

I didn’t do as well as I had hoped only scoring 70%. I hope that you do better than that, and have some fun while doing it.

Thanks for stopping by!
***Google Images***

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GENRE009 6/19/2014 8:29PM

    I thought that a lot of their answers weren't correct. Like I think if you brought healthier foods to a party that would be better than starving, and them telling you to just get away from the food. And I think that machreal is a lot healthier than tilapia because it isn't raised in it's own waste, instead in the wild. eva

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SPARKFRAN514 6/15/2014 7:57PM

    boy what and eye opener need to work on eating fish emoticon
know i don't get my veggies in thanks for the challenge

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EXOTEC 6/13/2014 10:17PM

    Well, it depends on your perspective. The quiz is based upon the currently marketed nutritional guidelines - aka, the Standard American Diet. I don't subscribe to that. I was guessing most of the way through. I don't have a good idea what the "standard American" eats. Nothing especially healthy, from my standpoint!

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WOUBBIE 6/13/2014 9:57PM

    I disagree with a good bit of that; the science just doesn't support it. This made me laugh:

How much of the recommended amount of refined grains does the typical American eat?

CORRECT ANSWER: Twice as much (200%)

Refined grains have been milled to remove the bran and germ from the grain. This removes fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. We should replace half of the refined grains we eat with whole grains.

Ya think this might be causing a problem?

LOL! We should replace ALL of it!

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TERMITEMOM 6/13/2014 5:45PM

    only 60%, I need to work on this...

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RITZIBROWN 6/13/2014 3:10PM

    Scored 93% but in a lot of cases it was just good guessing. Back to reading about nutrition.

Great quiz! Thank you.

By the way, happy Friday the 13th along with a full moon emoticon

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    I answered 60% correct. Off to play Spark' s Trivia quiz!

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L*I*T*A* 6/13/2014 11:10AM

    great eye opener!!

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GOANNA2 6/13/2014 6:03AM

    I got 80% 12 out of 15. Some of the answers
I didn't believe in actually. Thanks for sharing.

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KITT52 6/13/2014 2:44AM

    interesting...I did not do as well as I thought I should have....

Have a healthy week end

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LIVINGFREE19 6/13/2014 12:07AM


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123ELAINE456 6/12/2014 11:36PM

  Great Quiz. Thank You for sharing.

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2HAMSDIET 6/12/2014 11:17PM

    53% here tricky one

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NDKARIKARI 6/12/2014 10:58PM

    only 67%. wow, really need to increase my nutrition knowledge!

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BARBARAROSE54 6/12/2014 9:16PM

    oh dear only 53%

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1CRAZYDOG 6/12/2014 8:47PM

    Uh boy . . . some of the questions stumped me, so that's my cue . . . keep learning every day!

Thank you for sharing this.

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HAPPY-DESTINY 6/12/2014 8:46PM

    I received a 100!

I took a photo of the results !

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KATHYJO56 6/12/2014 7:40PM

    Sharon, I hate to admit it, but I only score 60%. That is pretty pitiful.

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IMLOCOLINDA 6/12/2014 7:20PM

    Got a 93% but I went with the answers I thought they wanted. And I missed the one about how many vegetables people eat. I don't believe most people eat 60%...unless you're counting French fries and ketchup as vegetables! Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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USMAWIFE 6/12/2014 6:49PM

    thanks for sharing

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