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Thursday, December 24, 2009

"To give beyond reason, to care beyond hope, to love without limit;
to reach, stretch, and dream, in spite of your fears. " Mike Dooley

This is my wish for us all.

Merry Christmas!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITYSEL 12/25/2009 9:41AM

    I hope your day is filled with surprises, love and happiness. Merry Christmas!


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NANCY- 12/24/2009 10:32AM

    How wonderful!

Merry Christmas too you and yours.


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AMBUDMAN 12/24/2009 10:30AM

    Thank you and have a safe and happy Christmas.

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  Thank you and I hope you a have a wonderful Christmas as well!!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/24/2009 8:46AM

    This is a wonderful quote. May your Christmas be Happy and memorable.. emoticon

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JUSTJO66 12/24/2009 8:28AM

    Merry Christmas to you, too. emoticon

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PJSTIME 12/24/2009 8:04AM

    I love that quote. Have a wonderful Christmas. PJ emoticon

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GABY1948 12/24/2009 8:03AM

    And what a wonderful wish it is! Thank you and Merry Christmas!


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Pictures don't lie.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words. But how many calories is a photo worth?

Found this blurb somewhere on CNN:

Snap before and after photos of each meal with your camera phone.
Keeping a visual food diary is a more accurate way to see what and how much you're eating, United Kingdom researchers say. Afterward, download the pics so you'll have a record.

I don't have a camera phone. Still, this idea really struck me as the ultimate of diet strategies.

To have a photo collection at the end of every day of every bite you put into your mouth! Wouldn't THAT open your eyes!!

For now, I'll just visualize every plate of food, every snack. What will that pile of food look like at the end of the day? Of the week?? Wow!

Does that idea open your eyes, like it does mine?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

--KREN 12/24/2009 4:08PM

    Martha! That's FUNNY! LOL Karen

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JANDREWS031 12/23/2009 12:00PM

    I like the idea, I might give it a try I received a new digital camera for christmas. If I get brave I might try it.

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CHRYS13 12/23/2009 5:19AM

    Wow....you're right! What a picture!

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 12/22/2009 10:14PM

    How about the snacks???? Somedays I might run out of pixels!

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SERENITYSEL 12/22/2009 5:31PM

    I have a camera phone, but I like the food tracker and to be honest, I wouldn't remember to use the phone. Good idea for those who want to use it.

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GABY1948 12/22/2009 5:26PM

    I am sure it would open my eyes...but even more so if I could see what I USED to eat! Thanks for posting this and getting us all thinking, Karen!

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PJSTIME 12/22/2009 3:01PM

    I won't do pictures the nutrition tracker has already openen my eyes. PJ emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/22/2009 12:35PM

    I don't have a camera phone either, but that sounds like a emoticon idea. I can visualize it in my mind. This sure makes you think twice. Thanks Karen for sharing this idea. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/22/2009 8:45AM

    It would probably be overwhelming. I can just picture the snacks in my mind. Since Saturday, we have a counter of Christmas cookies, candy, etc.

So far, I've limited myself. It's difficult. With my husband's help, my favorite is almost gone.

Karen, have a terrific Tuesday.

Kay emoticon emoticon

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  That's a very good idea!
I think the visualizing alone would scare me though, even well thought out meals piled up high on one plate is making me shake in my boots haha!

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MZ_CUPCAKE 12/22/2009 8:38AM

    Wow... that is an eye-opening idea... and maybe a wee bit scary... LOL! Thanks for the great post!


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The Season for GIFTS

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What Gift can I give my body today?

My body is pretty important. It keeps on going no matter what I put in it or do to it or how I neglect it. What about YOUR body?

Instead of complaining about your body; constantly listing all its faults, express some love for your body and the miraculous things it does, with or without any help from you.

Every day that you live and eat in a healthy way is a GIFT to your body.

If you only do it once during the week, you have still given your body a Gift.

In fact, every healthy meal you eat, even if it's just one, is still a Gift to your body.

Your body is better off for having that one healthy meal than never having a healthy meal at all.

So stop counting your failures, and start counting your WINS.

Start counting all the Gifts you give your body.

And count all the Gifts you receive from your body.

Love your body. Be kind to it. Give it what it needs and not what YOU want at the moment.

Start now with a healthy meal or snack, instead of . . .


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FISHINGLADY66 12/21/2009 8:33PM

    This is a great message to all. We need to give the best gift to our bodies which has brought us thus far. Thank you for your positive attitude and encouragements.

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JANE246 12/21/2009 1:10PM

    Thanks for the gift of encouragement. I really needed this. Have a wonderful day.

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PJSTIME 12/21/2009 6:17AM

    A great message filled with positive words. Thank you. Have a great day. PJ

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--KREN 12/21/2009 5:58AM

    I've learned to love my body from my massage therapist. She's taught me to see my body in an entirely different light! Karen

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GRAMMAP1 12/20/2009 10:33PM

    Hey that is a great Message. I really needed that since I constantly rebuke my body. It's true; it has done some amazing stuff. Carried four precious Sons to be healthy. And much more!

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JUSTJO66 12/20/2009 9:17PM

    Thanks Karen for the positive words. Today I gave myself the gift of reading your blog and it lifted me up. :o)

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GABY1948 12/20/2009 6:53PM

    Positive reinforcement is always a good thing! Thanks for sharing this, Karen...I love how you are always so positive.

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LOSETONEED 12/20/2009 6:24PM

    Thanks for the pep talk; we all need one of those every now and then.

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LADYFOLDER 12/20/2009 6:15PM

    Good thoughts. Thank you

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DIHEALTHYHAPPY 12/20/2009 6:10PM

    This was a timely reminder of something I'm working on. Thanks!

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JORETTAH 12/20/2009 6:02PM

    Karen, thanks for your personal message to me and thanks for this very positive blog. Giving my body what it needs and not what I want....wow what a thought. It is one I am really letting sink into my thinking patterns.

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/20/2009 5:18PM


Your positive attitude always helps so much. I have tried to eat healthy today. My sister-in-law left some sausage balls. I ate one this morning. I'm used to eating about four of them.

I hope that you had a nice day.

Have a good week!

Kay emoticon

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Spark Tracker!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Many of you may know about this, but I just found it. I've been talking about it, wanting something like it, and I just discovered this has been here on SparkPeople while I've been dreaming about it.

It's the Stay-On-Track calendar and it gives you a birds eye view, month by month, of everything you have tracked on the Spark Planner, the food tracker, and your weigh-ins.

You can look back over any month and view a day when you ate exactly what you planned to eat, so you can give yourself an instant replay. The same goes for your calories burned, your exercise, etc. etc. It's a good way to find that favorite meal you had two months ago, but you can't remember what day it was.

I think it's a very handy, helpful tool and I wasn't even aware it was here. So I want to share it with all the teams I've joined in case others aren't aware of it either.


PS - In case you aren't familiar with the Spark Planner, the link is below. Map out your appointments and have it send you a reminder via email.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FISHINGLADY66 12/15/2009 10:48PM

    I use the planner, but I have not seen the Stay-On-Track calendar. Thanks for the info. You are so talented.

Comment edited on: 12/15/2009 10:52:02 PM

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  I just stumbled across this a few moments ago, very handy tool!

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SOPHIEMAE2007 12/14/2009 7:07PM

    I remember seeing this one time and never looked at it again until now. Thanks for the reminder!!

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PJSTIME 12/14/2009 4:31PM

    Thanks for sharing I didn't know either. It will be very useful. PJ

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JUSTJO66 12/14/2009 1:44PM

    This is just too cool. I knew about the planner but not about this feature.

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NICKI2B 12/14/2009 9:48AM

    Thanks for the info! I had no clue this was on there! Cool feature!

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AUTUMNWINDZ 12/14/2009 9:37AM

    I found that the other day and was delighted. It is amazing how many wonderful tools SP has for us.

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Friday, December 11, 2009


Angie was my aunt. She was more than that, really. She was my Other Mother. Always there. Always patient. Always happy.

The love of her life never came home from WWII. She never married. Never had children. She became Mother to me and many of my cousins and all of us thought of her with the same love you have for your mother.

She fought to get her job at the telephone company during the war. They didn’t want to hire her because she had polio. She wore a heavy leg brace, ugly built up shoes and walked with a limp. No, it was much more than a limp. Her uneven legs and her weak side threw her into such a meandering gait that every eye turned her way whenever she moved. She convinced the phone company that as a telephone operator she’d be sitting down all day so it wouldn’t matter. They were worried about all the work she’d miss.

I’d love to have been in the room during her interview when she convinced them to hire her. She eventually received an award for 30 years PERFECT ATTENDANCE.

She worked a late shift at the phone company, most of the time, getting home after midnight. Still, she was there every morning, carving my pancakes into faces with grins and big square eyes. She was there when I got home from school, with my snack, and with dinner ready in the oven before she left for work, so my mother and my youngest aunt would have food when they got home at 6 PM.

She walked her walk beside me through countless school halls and stores and trips. Never bothered that my little girl legs ran circles around her wherever we went. And what a nurse! It was almost a delight to be a sickly little girl with asthma, bronchitis and bouts of pneumonia. I spent days in a sunny bedroom, with a kitten, a book, a doll, and Aunt Angie. She made me soup. She buttered my toast. She handed me anything I wanted. And me too little to ever think of her and her painful steps, or what it meant to watch her cut callouses off her uneven feet.

No one ever thought of her crippled state. And that was her glory.

For the most remarkable thing about Angie was that she was crippled, and no one ever remembered it.

What did she feel inside about never marrying or having children? About loving to dance and having a body that fought her? About not being able to run, to take long walks, to ride a bike? I was too young to ever wonder.

Her smile, her eyes, her deep, true kindness radiated from her and met you right up front; filled your senses with delight and joy, so that you were blind to any defect, any pain she had. A spinster who lived her life with other people’s kids, in someone else’s house. Dear Lord, if I can only live in such a way to be remembered with the sweetness and fondness and love that we all remember Aunt Angie, I will die happy.

This is a poem to Angie,
Not as my Aunt, but as a woman.
A woman who never knew
that she was beautiful,
Nor remembered she was crippled.
Who, though thoughtless, ignorant people
laughed at her,
Found a reason to laugh with all.
Who loved all God's creation so intensely,
That speaking of children and animals
and ordinary people,
Brought tears of joy to her eyes.
Who loved everyone so much,
It was difficult for her
to love one person exclusively.
Who was not religious,
But was God-like in her truly Universal love.
Who could laugh until her sides ached,
And defy the strongest of the unjust.
Who never, never quit,
Until the end,
When she could not place her burden
of old age upon those she loved.
This is a poem to Angie's beauty,
Which, after her crippled body faded to dust,
Lingers still.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNY888 7/16/2010 5:43PM

    Thank you Karen for sharing this again. I didn't get to read it the original time. I'm glad I did now. Your other mother, Angie, will stay in my memory.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 12/22/2009 10:17PM

    No wonder you are the woman you are!!! Look at the role model you had. Karen, this is lovely.

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JUSTJO66 12/14/2009 1:38PM

    Karen what a wonderful testament to your Aunt Angie. A beautiful poem and memories. I suspect you might be more like her than even you can image.

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DUMBELLE 12/12/2009 9:53AM

    She sounds wonderful. She certainly made a huge impact on your life and others as well.

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MOOKBALL 12/12/2009 12:37AM

    What a W-O_M_A_N!

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SCOTMAMA 12/12/2009 12:18AM

    What a blessing for you to have had an "Aunt Angie" in your life. I know one of the reasons you remember her in such a loving and beautiful way is because you see people as she did. you see in people the beauty and the kindness, not the temper, the disabilities and other things that are in most people. Your stories reflect a kindness in you that maybe you picked up from being around your aunt.

And she is lucky to have been remembered so graciously!
Thank you for the beautiful blog.

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SERENITYSEL 12/11/2009 8:34PM

    Karen, that was a beautiful story. It reminded me of my own mother, who was severely crippled with RA. I remember as a child asking her if her hands would ever be like mine, not all twisted up. She said "when I die". Well I was 48 when she died, and I was lucky enough to be with her. The minute she took her last breath, I remember looking at her hands. They were still twisted and crippled. I cried. Yes, at 48, I really thought they would straighten. I finally realized what she meant. When she got to heaven, she would not be in pain anymore, mentally and physically.

I remember beating kids and adults (when I got to be an adult) up for laughing at her and they called her "gimp" because she could hardly walk on her crippled legs. My mom loved to play Bingo, and I don't know how she did it, but I would take her and my grandmother, and sometimes go with them, and she would buy a lot of cards and she played them, I don't know how.

Thanks for the poem and for the memories. You were very fortunate to have someone like your aunt in your life. I believe having someone like these two ladies, helped us learn NEVER to make fun of others. Sharon

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GABY1948 12/11/2009 7:25PM

    Karen what a wonderful and loving memorial to Aunt Angie. Oh, that we could ALL be remembered so beautifully but ANYONE in our lives. That would be completeness to me. God Bless you and your sweet heart!

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FISHINGLADY66 12/11/2009 6:08PM

    This is a beautiful blog. What fond memories you have of a Wonderful person. Thank you for helping me remember the beauty in people.

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  Absolutely beautiful, you're a very good writer Karen. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Angie, she sounds like a wonderful soul who left many lessons for us all.

I'm sure she would be proud to know you remember her so fondly.


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PJSTIME 12/11/2009 4:49PM

    What a beautiful poem and blog. You were blessed to have her in your life, but you already know that. I wish for myself and everyone a little bit of Aunt Angie resides in all of us. Her wonderful attitde and fortitude and kindness. The world would be a much better place with more Aunt Angies.

Thank you Karen. Have a wonderful afternoon. PJ emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/11/2009 4:45PM

Your aunt was your guardian angel. Your memories of her will carry you through many difficult times. She must have been an inspiration to many others. You were fortunate to have her as an important part of your life.
Thanks for sharing the story with us. emoticon

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