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September Intentions, Update 1

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stress and Sleep Challenge

To recap:


I must

~ Declutter my current batch of paper and clerical To-Do's by
~ Getting all my daily personal clerical upkeep tasks done in the first hour of the day and
~ Scheduling my workday workouts like I would schedule a meeting and
~ Scheduling a defined half hour for lunch, when I work/play only on personal business

Item 1 and 2 are coming along nicely. Most of my personal tasks only take a minute or two at most, but I continually push them off, day after day. For instance, I only need to read a two page letter from the Band Parents and either send in a form or throw it away. By scheduling a tiny bit of time for this while I'm waiting for files to open or pages to load it got done and it's no longer scratching at the inside of my brain trying to get my attention!

Items 3 and 4 are still in the Assess phase.

Item 3: I would like to start my daily list of activity by doing my Tai Chi and Kata before I leave home. As I get my bedtime and sleep issues addressed I should actually be able to free up a few more minutes in the morning without my having to sacrifice any more sleep and rest. My M W F schedule of light weights is "working as intended" so I don't need to change that. Also, my random bits of exercise at my desk and on-the-fly work fine. I get in a fair amount of squats and other thigh exercises during the day, though I need to figure out how to improve my deep squats without hurting my knees, especially the tetchy right one.

Item 4: Rome wasn't built in a day. Maybe I'll look at this again next week. For now I'm less stressed than I was even a few weeks ago, so this can ride for just a little longer.

So! Things are moving along! I have been sleeping about the same amount, but I actually feel more rested, which tells me that the daytime stress was still accompanying me in my dreams. The "drowsy alert" is working pretty well.

All that means is that, when it gets near bedtime I periodically close my eyes and "test" whether my body and mind are sending me signals that I'm ignoring. If I zone out almost immediately I shut down the computer and hit the hay. If I'm still alert then I stay up for a bit longer. This is, truly, the most progress I have made on my bed time issues in about 30 years! Woohoo!


I've just realized that if I have coffee at work before I have water I delay taking my supplements (sometimes all day), and I don't get my water requirement in for the day. So that little habit is going on the must-do list as well. You know, so many times it's not the big habits that undermine your best intentions, but the little ones!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURELEI 9/20/2014 2:34PM

    You are right. Those little issues can be big problems if we don't recognize them! You are doing amazing. Good for you!!!

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TX_WILDHEART 9/20/2014 11:42AM

    Sounds like a good plan. I always found setting a timer for things was helpful so I didn't get so distracted. Keep up the good work!

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LUNAANGELUS 9/20/2014 5:04AM

  Sleep is something I struggle with because I work nights. Kudos to you for identifying your issues and working (successfully) on fixing them!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/17/2014 9:43AM

    I read this and realized I haven't taken my supplements or had any water since I got up. Thanks for the reminder!

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NOWYOUDIDIT 9/16/2014 11:25PM

    emoticon emoticon
I don't even have to lay down to know I'll fall asleep! LOL!
Oh how I hate forms. :o)
The last one I filled out for the kid's school I totally messed up because I paid no attention to what it said- they ended up calling me! emoticon

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DAISYBELLEKIA 9/16/2014 6:22PM

    I really like the way you figure out if your body needs to sleep! Going to bed at a reasonable time is one of the most difficult things for me, especially if I get home late. I really hate only being home for a couple of hours and having to go to bed. I need to start doing what you do and listening to my body instead of getting 5-6 hours of sleep most nights.

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SKATER787 9/16/2014 2:38PM

    Wow. Anything to do with 30 years is a big deal. Congrats! emoticon

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CAROLSMOM1 9/16/2014 2:18PM

    Good for you, WOUBBIE! You are making progress! As FLY Lady maybe would advise, "Love your body enough to relax." Roberta emoticon

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REGABA 9/16/2014 1:07PM

    Good for you on the sleep issues. That is one area of my life I try not to mess with. I've got some pretty hard and fast rules about bedtimes and what I am and am not going to let myself do when I need to get to sleep.

I like the drowsy alert idea. I also have a rule that if I'm in bed and can not sleep I must get up and read--no TV no computer I have a book called the dictionary of useless information and it has short chapters and nothing too exciting. For the last year it has been my "I can't fall asleep reading" When I find myself blinking a lot then I can try to go to sleep again.

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September Intentions

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The areas that need my focused attention this month and for the following few months are:

SLEEP AND DE-STRESS: Getting enough sleep (at least 7 hours a night consistently) and enough downtime daily.

STRESS AND DISTRESS: Managing what can be managed, and learning to cope with the rest

(Getting more cardio activity and losing a few more pounds are also on my “intentions” list, but my success with those things depends almost entirely on my success with the first two, so I'm not really including them in the September goals. If I improve in those areas it will be entirely because I've improved in the Sleep and Stress areas.)

These two “action items” have been on my fix-it list for way too long now. For months I’ve had “get enough sleep” on the monthly team challenge thread, and as long as I approach it from an end-of-the-day perspective I’m doomed to fail.

Let me say this nice and loud: I don't have trouble falling asleep. I have trouble agreeing to lie down for the night. :D

The issues with my getting enough sleep at night are rooted in how I spent the rest of my day, not in what I do for the last 2 hours. Because what I do for the last 2 hours comes about as a direct (and indirect) result of what I did all day.

Where to start?

The most successful part of my day is my morning at work. I’ve known this for a while. Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed or overextended I almost look forward to that fresh start at my desk. Almost.

Which leads to the obvious question: Why? I mean, I like my job, but I don’t LOVE my job. I don’t really want to be there, yet the routine is comforting, even when the stress ramps up.

There's one of my answers. Routine; that thing which is missing from too much of the rest of my day and makes my brain bounce from thought to thought to thought like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. Routines are how things get done without much thought on your part, like driving a familiar road. It requires much less brainpower and thought than driving down a road you don’t use very often.

So why am I examining my workday routine? Because I think that the key to my last two and a half health and wellness challenges can best be met by reworking that routine. By optimizing it.

Sleep and Stress.

Stress and Sleep.


I must

~ Declutter my current batch of paper and clerical To-Do's by
~ Getting all my daily personal clerical upkeep tasks done in the first hour of the day and
~ Scheduling my workday workouts like I would schedule a meeting and
~ Scheduling a defined half hour for lunch, when I work/play only on personal business

OK, that's plenty for one month! Gonna put this list in my signature so I see it every day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIETROCKSTAR 9/15/2014 2:01AM

    I also have some similar issues! I bought a paper calendar to get to work on them.

I better get to it.


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TWESTEN1 9/14/2014 10:18AM

    That is very interesting. I prefer 8 hours of sleep a night, but am happy with 7. But many nights I have a hard time getting up to bed too ~ not that I'm even doing anything that interesting... it can be lounging in front of the tv - even watching shows I could care less about & for some reason don't want to get up to bed. And then I pay for it the next day :)

Hope you are able to get your schedule in order this month! I'm sure you can do it :)

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GURLNEXDOOR 9/13/2014 11:43AM

    In the past 6 months I hit a 8 hour sleep session once?? I don't get it in order to get enough sleep I almost have to go to bed right when I get home from work and I do NOT want too!! So sleep of 4-6 hours is max. If only there were more hours in the day!!! If I could drop work of my daily pie of getting things done I noticed I would have way more time!

Bittersweet ...

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TX_WILDHEART 9/11/2014 10:36PM

    Just a thought here.. I tried an idea that really works for me and my need to be more organized (but neat) At the end of the day - I make my todo list for the next day. Priorizing each item based on timeline. The next morning I didn't have to think "ok what am I gonna start with" it was already there.

Use a fresh paper each day... otherwise I wallow in the NOT DONES.

You might like it.

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BOSS61 9/11/2014 8:38PM

    Suggest you not make those goals too ambitious!

Congrats on the new position for your hubby too!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/10/2014 6:25PM

    "Scheduling my workday workouts like I would schedule a meeting"

Definitely my biggest issue! I make time for every one and every things - except me. Great blog!

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/8/2014 8:47PM

    Sounds like a great plan....one of my mentors told me a long time ago to schedule those workouts and make them as important as every other meeting you go to.

Sometimes, I just have to go to bed early in order to fall asleep earlier....try it on the weekends

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NOWYOUDIDIT 9/8/2014 8:43PM

    emoticon emoticon
Sounds like a great plan. I need to think things out. I just keep putting it off which = stress. OY!

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    That's a great plan :) I also find that routine is an essential for my weight-loss success. The times I struggle most are when I'm off my routine, and when you add stress to it, it's 10x worse.

You will do it! :)

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    I loved how your quickly saw that specifics like 'do cardio and lose some pounds' can only flow from the resolution of points A & B. Clear-sighted you are. emoticon

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 9/8/2014 12:02AM

    Ah, Woubbie, once again you sorta mirrored the noise in my own head! Same issues, different coast... LOL

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SKATER787 9/7/2014 11:53PM

    Good luck and best wishes.

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 9/7/2014 10:50PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAROLSMOM1 9/7/2014 10:48PM

    Have you heard of FLY Lady? She has quite a following for home and office. Roberta emoticon

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Some sage advice from Chris Kresser

Friday, August 22, 2014

I signed up for his email list a few days ago and downloaded the free e-book, but it's just been sitting on my desktop since. I had a few minutes to start reading it today, and this little section jumped right out at me:

"Over 50 percent of the calories the average American consumes today (and my guess is the number is similar in other industrialized countries) come from flour, sugar and industrial seed oils.

"We consume flour in the form of bread, pasta, muffins, bagels, crackers, cookies, cakes, and a variety of other processed grain products. We consume sugar in obvious places, like colas and candy bars, and less obvious places like hamburger buns, salad dressing, breakfast cereals, and flavored yogurts. (Sugar is so ubiquitous that the average American now eats 152 pounds of it a year, or about a half a cup a day!) And we consume industrial seed oils—soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, corn, and canola oils - in just about all processed, packaged and refined foods.

"So what’s wrong with these ingredients? Why is it such a disaster that they now account for more than half of what we eat on a daily basis?

"There are several reasons, but two stand out.

"First, these foods PROMOTE OVEREATING. They’re high in calories, but low in nutrients, fiber, and water. Nutrients, fiber and water are what make us feel satisfied after eating a food. And if we don’t feel satisfied, we don’t know when to stop eating.

"I’m sure you’ve all had the experience of sitting down with a bag of potato chips or a pint of ice cream and eating the entire thing in one sitting—even though you weren’t particularly hungry. When is the last time this happened with a bowl of broccoli or even a juicy steak? People don’t tend to overeat real foods like they do processed and refined foods, because real food satisfies us and nourishes our bodies in a way that processed and refined food does not."

You know, it's not like I myself didn't already know that. But sometimes I'm grasping for a way to make the light bulb go on for other people.

This has to be one of the simplest but most compelling explanations of how we end up so fat from these things!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURELEI 9/7/2014 9:07PM

    Thanks for the info. If I hear and read things enough eventually I successfully practice what makes sense for my life. Once is never enough. emoticon

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CINDYT63 9/1/2014 7:51PM

    It's become really hard for me to validate any kind of diet that includes them.
It's crazy. Even if I want to, I find it hard to justify eating them. How did we get so far removed from what food is.
Lucky for us, we have YOU!
Thanks for your wisdom!

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DIANESKATZ 8/28/2014 7:43PM

    emoticon emoticon I think the problem is that restaurants also serve too large of portions and too many carbs. I like Chili's for steak and broccoli but I have succumbed to terrible choices in the past such as onion strings (deep fried), fries, nachos etc. Most of the time I cook my food at home, otherwise the smells will encourage me to eat the wrong things and too much of it. Not worth it. If only people would realize. I remember the time a coke was just 8 oz. in a bottle! Now, people guzzle 32 ounces with no problem. Don't get me started. Hahaha..good no great blog, my friend.

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EDDYMEESE 8/28/2014 12:11PM

    Great reminder...I try to explain this all of the time, but they don't get it...oh, well!

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BLH507 8/23/2014 8:20AM

    I definitely agree! Although......that steak sounds really delicious and I could really overeat on a good juicy steak. Even excellent food needs some portion control.

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CAROLSMOM1 8/22/2014 5:44PM

    Thank you for posting that info from Chris Kresser. After reading your post, I went to his website, downloaded the ebook, and saved it to read and re-read. Then I sent it off to family and friends. emoticon Roberta

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NOWYOUDIDIT 8/22/2014 5:36PM

    I read his blog and he makes a lot of sense. Thanx for sharing! emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 8/22/2014 2:42PM

    Ditch them all! Best to go cold turkey....that is, eat some cold turkey...along with plenty of veggies!

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Dancing "On the Fly"

Monday, August 18, 2014

A FlyLady Morning Musing. I've read this one numerous times, but it still rings so true!

Morning Musing: Dancing on the FLY

Dear Friends,

I can tell you exactly why I put together a Control Journal! I was tired of building "To Do" Lists! Every day I would put the same thing on the list and every day I would check things off. Was I lazy! NO I call it resourceful.

We love to make lists. It doesn't take long until those lists become boring. Maybe I was just bored with the same thing and I needed a little creativity to make it fun again.

Now listen closely! My Control Journal took shape over several months. I did not build it on my fateful New Years Day that I decided to get organized. It was on that day in 1999 that I made the biggest list of all and promptly decided that it was mean to expect me to do it all in the beginning. That is when I came to the conclusion that it would be much kinder to just practice one habit at a time. That is exactly what I did! I kept my sink clean and shiny for the whole month of January. It was my only requirement and because I didn't pile on with that huge list I could just do what I wanted. I was FLYing from start because I was loving myself enough not to push too hard. Everything I did was fun because I was not under the gun of my perfectionism.

As my habits were established I began to think of them as dance steps. I put them together into logical flow to start my day. One, two, three! One, two, three! One, two, three! Dancing on the FLY!

Basic Steps to my Daily Dance

1. Get up 2. Make bed 3. Go to the bathroom

1. Weigh 2. Check calendar 3. Shower

1. Get Dressed 2. Fix Hair and face 3. Swish and Swipe

1. Take vitamins 2. Turn on computer 3. Put on shoes,

1. Check Laundry 2. Fix coffee 3. Dust Mop the floors

1. Empty dishwasher 2. What's for Dinner 3. Eat breakfast.

1. Fill water bottles 2. Start my music 3. Sit down to work at the computer.

Do you see how it all flows or shall I say FLYs by! One, Two, Three! This takes me about 20 minutes from start to finish because I have done my before bed routine and I am not trying to function in clutter.

My Control Journal became a place to hold my routines. I still had to be reminded when I was in the bathroom what the steps were. I am still a SHE and I will always be a SHE! This is why I love Post-It Notes. I don't beat myself up because I need them. I have a morning one and a before bed one in my bathroom. This is where I start my day and end my day. I even keep my calendar in my bathroom. I use it to chart my weight and put appointments in red to remind me. I am just starting to list my menu planning on it. This is because I have been cooking more.

Your Control Journal is just a place to keep your routines. It also helps others to see exactly what has to be done in a home. When you keep your routines in a sheet protector, you don't have to rewrite them every day or print them out from our Flight Plan. Use your Control Journal as your Check List for Take Off!

Are you ready to FLY with your Control Journal as your Personal Flight Plan!


If your perfectionism has gotten in the way of you building your Control Journal; I have a solution for you. I made you one to fill in the blanks.

You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up;
I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?

Rock Your Routines in 2014!

Woubbie's thoughts....

I've always tried to apply this methodology to my health and wellness goals.

If you tackle too much all at once you're setting yourself up for probable failure. You cannot get through life relying on willpower to get things done, you have to develop doable routines.

When you make food and activity choices they have to be sustainable; and that doesn't mean that you just cave in to all the poor choices you've made in the past, because continuing in poor health habits is not really "sustainable".

And I love the 1-2-3 image! Eating and exercising should be fun, and a natural, graceful part of your life, not an endless struggle for mastery. Break it down! Break it down into doable steps and then make it routine, daily, and non-negotiable! Yes, it takes longer than a season on The Biggest Loser, but it lasts. And when your situation changes, as it inevitably will, you'll have the skills to roll with those changes and adjust!

emoticon emoticon Babysteps!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOWYOUDIDIT 8/19/2014 2:41PM

    Aaaack!! THAT is what I am missing!! Post it notes!! DUH!! I lose track and don't look back at my journal because it is often farther away from me than is practical. I tried carrying it around, but eventually set it somewhere and move off to another floor of the house. With post its I can remind myself! Woo-Hoo! Thanx!

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EDDYMEESE 8/19/2014 12:53PM

    I love this, too! FlyLady is so awesome :)
I have a journal that I keep (just a day planner, nothing special) but I've had trouble figuring out what to put in it. I like the 1-2-3 routine.
I think mine would look something like this:

1. Get up 2. Make bed 3. Bathroom
1. Boil water 2. Let dogs out 3. Feed the cats their morning treat
1. Make coffee/tea 2. get on Spark, check Facebook 3. Take thyroid meds
1. Make breakfast to eat at work, pack lunch 2. Get dressed 3. Makeup/hair
1. Let dogs in 2. Check all windows/doors (so Bruce doesn't escape) 3. Go to work

Not much there from the FlyLady stuff...thinking maybe adding check laundry, check calendar, etc. and the rest of the tasks that will keep me on track. I'll work on this!

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A new project

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I've been inspired by VJH-W65's blog. She finally completed a very difficult quilt project that's been in the works for over 20 years.

Well, my little cross stitch is just under that mark. I probably started it just before or just after the boys were born, so that puts it at around 18 years. Here's what the finished product WILL look like (emphasis on the WILL):

My eyesight is not what it used to be, though I can still manage with bright light and limited time spent. So, my goal is to do just 30 minutes of stitching per week. This was always intended to be one of the showpieces in my bedroom remodel, and since that is finally underway too, I'd better get a move on!

Updating this blog with a picture showing the progress to date. So actually I'm closer to ⅓ complete. Today I spent 2 minutes making sure I had all the floss and materials ready to go, and having my son take a picture. This fabric is very fine, so the stitches are very small. The hoop I'm using here is about 4" across. Look at the needles to see the relative scale of it.

06/15 2 minutes
6/22 10 minutes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITTYF54 8/14/2014 5:23PM

    don't know if you have one already but I've seen shoulder mounted magnifiers that might help you if you haven't already tried that. Cheers and hope you get that baby done. who knows, maybe you can do it by Christmas! wouldn't that be amazing. .

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POCKETFULOFSUN 7/21/2014 11:44AM

    So pretty!

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JAZZID 7/10/2014 4:11PM

    emoticon ... reasonable goals. Very inspiring, I am trying to get a series going in my artwork, you are helping to motivate me!

Thanks, for sharing your beautiful work! ~ Dee emoticon

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DITZYMUDGIRL 6/30/2014 9:57PM

    Amazing! It is a very doable goal.

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GOLDIEFOXX 6/29/2014 10:33PM

    Very Nice!! You will cherish it once it is completed.. emoticon


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MAYA_ANGEL 6/21/2014 11:42AM

    I too have a 15-20 year ongoing needlepoint! I only have a few stitches to go and then I have to figure out how to block it and make it into a pillow! I belong to a "Stitch N Bitch" group and that really helps me make progress.

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KNOWMOREBBK 6/18/2014 10:14PM

    Very nice! I love projects like this, because they keep my mind off of EVERYTHING else.

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TWESTEN1 6/16/2014 7:24PM

    Wow - that really is gorgeous. I'm glad you're committed to working on it & getting it finished one day. Definitely something to be proud of!

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EDDYMEESE 6/16/2014 12:16PM

    I can barely even see the needles! It is absolutely GORGEOUS! What a fantastic project :)

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CINDYT63 6/16/2014 11:08AM

    I'm always impressed when people can focus on and do needlepoint. It's a very beautiful one and think how gratifying it will be to see it on your wall. My mom took twenty years to do one, and she just completed a four month one. You can do it!!!

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    Looks awesome! All of your cross-stitches are so beautiful, this one will fit right in :)

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    Beautiful and so detailed! Just lovely. emoticon

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BE-THE-CHANGE 6/15/2014 1:51PM


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GURLNEXDOOR 6/15/2014 7:37AM

    Beautiful piece! Time just for you to do 30 minutes of stitch time per week is a Great idea! Maybe like a pedometer you could get a stitchometer to keep you logging your daily stiches! Just a thought!


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NOWYOUDIDIT 6/15/2014 1:18AM

    WOW! That is inspiring! In my de-cluttering I threw out sooooooooo many projects that were only 1/4 done. My 19 year old no longer likes Barney- ha! ha! My oldest granddaughter now 17 no longer collects horses. The effort to finish the unfinished projects would be a waste of what time I have now. So I kept only 3 to finish. I like your idea of a time minimum each week- very do-able! Thanks for sharing!

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SKATER787 6/14/2014 9:06PM

    If you can, make it standing up while you work on it. It's the sitting that kills. Good luck.

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CAROLSMOM1 6/14/2014 9:00PM

    Oh, that is BEAUTIFUL! What a labor of love. Good for you! emoticon Roberta

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