--KREN   31,883
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Might as well be HAPPY!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Now and then people comment on my HAPPY Spark Page.

I figured out when I was in my late twenties that Happiness is a decision. We make it ourselves. Or NOT.

I was having a lot of difficulty with someone in my life and with a great deal of effort I managed to change my approach and things really got better. Wow, I really affected her. Or so I thought.

Then I heard several other people complaining about her. They had the same complaints as I did before I "changed her". That was when I realized that SHE hadn't changed at all. I had. And the next thought that came thundering in was, "We really do make our own hell."

So the opposite must be true too.

Synchronistically, (Don't you love the way the Universe works?) I found this poem, loved it, memorized it. Forty something years later, it's still with me. The last line sums up the philosophy of life I began to adopt way back then.

The Penitent

I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"

Alas for pious planning - -
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep --
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So I got up in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, "One thing there's no getting by --
I've been a wicked girl," said I:
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Happiness is an inside job!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACIMPEGGY 6/22/2010 2:09PM

    All 'feelings' are a decision! Happiness, joy, satisfaction in what we have. I prefer those to the so-called 'negative ones.'


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SUPREME5 6/19/2010 8:42PM

    great blog

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NANCY- 6/19/2010 10:17AM

    It is so true that "We really do make our own hell."
Attitude is everything.

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JUSTJO66 6/19/2010 8:00AM

    So true. Love the poem and the attitude.
Happy people always act like magnets....they just draw others in. It's as if they have this special glow/light that everyone wants to share.

Thanks for sharing your light with us Karen. :o)

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HAPPY-DESTINY 6/18/2010 10:51PM

    Might as well!! emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 6/18/2010 10:07PM

    I have never heard this poem before, but I love it. I will copy it and read it when I need a little lift. Your the emoticon emoticon

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    We share the same philosophy and a love of Edna. LOL.

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JEANNE229 6/18/2010 10:20AM

    Karen, I've missed talking with you lately. LOVE LOVE LOVE this outlook. My blog this last Monday is right along these lines.


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KAYYVAUGHN 6/18/2010 8:57AM

    Thanks for the positive email. The poem is so true.

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PJSTIME 6/18/2010 8:57AM

    I have never read this poem before. Love the last line. "I might as well be glad" does say it all let's all be glad.

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BOYfriend, GIRLfriend OR . . . ?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Are you over 40?

Keep reading.

Are you NOT married?

Read on.

If you are over 40 and not married, WHAT do you call your partner, your romantic interest? You know, the person who would have been called your boyfriend or girlfriend when you were 20?

It feels pretty silly to be over 40, over 50, over 60, etc. etc. and still introduce the love in your life as my boyfriend or my girlfriend, doesn't it?

SURELY, the mature, single people of the world can coin a word or phrase that expresses this more properly, more pleasantly, in a word or phrase that isn't awkward!

Do you really want to say "significant other"? Nope.

I've heard some men say this is "my lady". Don't think a woman wants to introduce someone as "my man". sigh

Can't we come up with something that's as universally accepted as boyfriend and girlfriend but more suited to older singles?

What is YOUR idea?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLEE1945 7/4/2010 10:20AM

    I enjoyed reading this because I had totally forgotten the terms "old man" and "old lady" that were used in the 60's. Isn't it hilarious to think we were all in our 20's and those were the terms being used???? Also, isn't it funny that we are over 60 and the period of the 60's had a huge influence on all of us, no matter what part of the country we lived in??? This would make a good topic for a blog.

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SOPHIEMAE2007 6/13/2010 8:23PM

    Good question! I've often wondered about it too. I am not dating right now and I am over 40. I probably would still call the guy my boyfriend, but no it doesn't sound "mature" for someone over 40.

I've heard "ladyfriend" use by my brother when he was dating and over 40. I've heard partner used, but I don't care for that myself. Beau sounds southern and I am not southern, but I like it.

So again good question, maybe it would depend on the person you are with and what they want to be called.

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    I like the term "life partner" or "male companion" or "soul mate". But "romantic partner" or "love interest" or "sweetheart" or "date" would be okay depending on the level of commitment.

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ACIMPEGGY 6/10/2010 2:16PM

    Life partner, if that's what he/she is...otherwise just 'friend.' (The person to which you're introducing he/she can certainly see their gender)

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OLDMAMA4 6/10/2010 2:05PM


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GOALIEGRANDMA3 6/10/2010 1:51PM

    lady friend, gentleman friend???

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JURI62 6/10/2010 1:26PM

    I talked to my older sister about this awhile back. I too thought boyfriend seemed silly at mid 40s...she told me to introduce him as my sex monkey!!!...lol...needless to say that didn't work for me, but it did make boyfriend seem more appealing...finally I married him..end of problem

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RONIE11 6/10/2010 12:57PM

    well I remember a time when people referred to each other as either 'old man' or 'old lady' thats still used today but not very popular.. i never liked introducing my now hubby as my fiance.. that sounded pretentious to me.. but thats just me.. my better half is always out there... my sweety,, my honey. hmmm definately food for thought... I think just a name would surfice.. is it important to introduce him as something other than his first name??? I know we all do it.. Main squeeze might get a chuckle out of some.. If you were old enough I would think beau would work... I kinda like that one best.... and he could call you his lady...

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BAILEYS7OF9 6/10/2010 11:20AM

    emoticon I am over 40, I am not married. I am living w/ my soul mate! emoticon

I still say boy friend and ocassionally my SO, as in 'SO', not significant other. Depending on who I am talking to, he is MY MAN.

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NANCY- 6/10/2010 10:25AM

    Recently on CNN Anderson Cooper humorous exchange with Donna Brazile was on this very topic.
Apparently the new term is "boo" for boyfriend or girlfriend

According to the Urban Dictionary boo is a term that is derived from the French word "beau"

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TAZZYM150 6/10/2010 10:10AM

    I am 46 and my bf is 57 he calls me his girlfriend and i call him my bf works for us.

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BELTONWALKER67 6/10/2010 9:42AM

    I like Friend! My former husband & I meet several times a year at different functions and it just didn't sound right to be introduced as ex-husband or ex-wife, so we decided to start introducing each other as the father of my children and the mother of his children.

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KOOCH4 6/10/2010 9:37AM

    What food for thought...

Don,t really know , maybe "MY HONEY"would suffice .

Boyfriend ,does sound silly ,at an older age.

Thanks for the giggle emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 6/10/2010 9:34AM

    Hubby and I met a guy at the gym. He is there at the same time we are every day. We always say hi and talk a minute or two. Yesterday my DH was finished with his workout before me and went to the lounge to have coffee while I was still working out. The friend came up to me and said "Where's your boyfriend?" He knows we are married. I thought it was cute that he put it that way. I understand what you are saying about this and I don't have an answer for you.

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JENNYMOMMA3 6/10/2010 9:09AM

    I was married once to my high school sweetheart for several years and it was a disaster. Currently my significant other and I have been together for close to 6 years. We have no plans to get married anytime soon. Sometimes I refer to him as my SO if I am talking to someone new but generally he's my boyfriend. He often calls me his "woman".....whatever, it all works!! LOL!! emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 6/10/2010 9:01AM

    This is my "special friend."


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MMLEIKAM 6/10/2010 8:57AM

    I'm almost 30 and I'm not married but have been with someone for 4 years. We also have a child together. I feel really weird calling him my boyfriend because it just seems so...juvenile, I guess. Anyway, I just call him my husband and he calls me his wife, even though we aren't married. Seems weird to some people, but I'm more comfortable with it.

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My Garage is Beautiful!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Because it's clean and neat and tidy. And because that is such a contrast to the way it was BEFORE I worked on it this past week, lol.

I also have ALL the closets in my house in the same clean, neat and tidy shape, except for one - the one in my office/craft/painting room. I don't have the courage to tackle that one yet!

WHY does it feel so good to be neat and clutter free? Do you brag on your tidy, clutter free space when you're done like I do? Show it to everyone, lol.

If that's so much fun why does that clutter creep back in later?

Just human, I guess. Get busy. Life happens. But it's very nice when you keep on top of it, OR catch up later.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIM411 6/9/2010 3:41PM

    Me, too. I've been re-doing my whole house and just love to appreciate the parts I've done. I haven't started on closets yet, well, a little. Sure you're not avoiding doing something else:) I do that a lot. When I need to finish a song or painting, I start cleaning. Keep up the good work and thanks for your encouragement. emoticon

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JUSTJO66 6/3/2010 8:18AM

    Good for you.... don't you just love it when those burst of energy hit? I'm waiting until I get off for the summer to tackle my closets and clutter....it will probably take a couple of months to get through it. LOL. I'm definitely an advocate for clutter free living..... hmmmmm, it just seems like I haven't gotten to that place yet. LOL. It does feel soooo good when everything is in it's place and all tidy.

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NANCY- 6/3/2010 7:52AM

    Perhaps the closets are a metaphor for our bodies. One done we still need to maintain and keep things in check otherwise chaos creeps back in. We have to be attentive. I do my garage at least one a year and that helps maintain order in there. If I did not revisit it I would eventually not be able to us it for it's intended purpose.
Your blog gave me lots of food for thought.

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FISHINGLADY66 6/2/2010 9:10PM

    When you get finished with KCMETROGIRL's , Pop on over to my house, just a few blocks away and do mine. You are such a sweet dear. You must have the SPRING energy. Good Job Karen. I'm so proud of you.

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READINGDOC 6/2/2010 4:43PM

    Way to go girl! I know how great I felt when my DH cleaned our garage enough to actually have enough room to get his car in the garage too. I claimed first ownership of the garage since it was his mess that kept him out. Now he is so proud of his clean garage that I think that it is actually cleaner than the house.

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BELTONWALKER67 6/2/2010 12:55PM

    Good Job! You are more than Welcome to come visit me in Missouri! I've had the garage cleanout on my list to do for some time now and it just keeps getting pushed to the back burner. Yes, I think we always feel better when everything is neat & clean! emoticon

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    I need you here!!!!!! LOL.

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JENNY888 6/2/2010 11:55AM

    Congratulations on winning the battle. I know how you feel. I finally finished one of the 10 x 20 storage units last night. I plan to post a picture of it empty in a blog today.

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DGAIL51 6/2/2010 11:53AM

    Karen, you are a goddess! I can never seem to get my closet organized much less all the closets. I have been trying to get up the energy and nerve to tackle my closet for months and I even start, then something else seems to tear my attention away. Another thing is the getting rid of clothes. I cannot seem to give up the larger and smaller sizes - the smaller that I hope to get back into and the larger ones I am afraid I will need. Nuts!!! I may be a bit of a hoarder, I am not sure.
Okay, today I will put together a box for Goodwill. I need a cup of tea first, a cup of courage. lol

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PJSTIME 6/2/2010 11:14AM

    Brag away if mine ever gets clutter free I will do the same. You have been a busy lady. Good for you. PJ

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CATHY629 6/2/2010 11:09AM

    It is nice to be clutter free,but why does it never stay that way.

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DDWMITCH 6/2/2010 11:04AM

I'm jealous!

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KAYYVAUGHN 6/2/2010 10:53AM

    My house isn't all clean and organized at one time. It seems impossible. This morning, I was going to file. After my walk and breakfast, I've been washing clothes, etc. I get distracted by other things that need to be done. I am trying to get the front part clean, because my SIL is coming to spend the night. Our great-niece is in a dance recital Saturday morning.

I do envy you. Would you consider coming to Georgia for a visit and helping me get rid of clutter and organize?


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SALT - Can't live without it?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fortunately, I don't suffer from high blood pressure and my doctor says I have the bloodwork of Wonder Woman. I've inherited this from my Mother and I've managed to reach retirement age without needing any prescription drugs.

As I've aged, I've become more interested in keeping my good health and even improving it, so it's not surprising that I'm now becoming more aware of the sodium in my diet.

The average recommended amount seems to be about 2300 mgs, although if you read closely you'll find that 1500 mgs is really the optimum. The NY Times has an article on this today:

If you don't want to wade through all 4 pages, read the last page for the bottom line.

Many frozen dinners have the maximum allowance of salt in just one serving.

If you've been trying to load your diet with more unprocessed food, as I have, you have to think about how many times you shake that salt shaker over your steamed broccoli, etc.

So, I'm going to try to reduce the amount of sodium in my diet. Have YOU already focused on this? How's that going?

What is the best, tastiest prepared salt substitute you've found?

Have you found other additives, spices, etc., that you use instead of a prepared substitute?

And most important of all, how do you begin to drastically decrease your sodium usage and still have food that tastes good? I went cold turkey on sugar, but don't think that will work with sodium.

I appreciate any positive experience with reducing sodium in your diet that you can share with us!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACIMPEGGY 6/1/2010 8:21PM

    I like Lite Salt. We also use Mrs. Dash. And we have a great garlic wine seasoning for meat from a fondue restaurant of which I can never remember the name. (I know that sounds funny, but I don't like to leave prepositions dangling at the end of a sentence) emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 6/1/2010 8:17PM

    I use Morton Salt Substitute when cooking and nothing at the table. On my last Dr. visit he said my blood pressure was a little high and suggested I cut down on salt. I also use a lot of garlic, onion, cumin and chili pepper for flavor. Best wishes to you. emoticon

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--KREN 6/1/2010 3:49PM

    I bought a small Morton's Light Salt today. Going to start gently, lol. Maybe I can sneak up on myself! Karen

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BERNIESSOAPS 6/1/2010 1:35PM

    I have high blood pressure so started tracking the salt when I started with Sparks and was amazed at how much salt I was taking in.

It has not been easy to give up the salt and sugar is easier to give up. Best advise is DO NOT EAT OUT! But the reality of that is not as easy to do. Stay away from processed foods and look for "Low sodium" on the labels. I have turned to my crockpot for fast food. emoticon

Best substitutes that I have found is Lemon juice and garlic powder.

Best seasoning is Chili pepper, garlic, onion, cumin, ginger or any intense flavored spice you can find. I have not used the Morton lite but I have thought about it.

When I bake I only use 1/2 of the salt in the recipe. Take it slow because if you cut it out quickly things will taste bland but eventually you get use to it and really start to enjoy the real taste of food!


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PJSTIME 6/1/2010 11:52AM

    I need to check into this on the daily tracker as my last blood work my sodium was a little high. I do try and stay away form processed foods and read labels for sodium contents.

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    I've been limiting my salt since I was 32 and I'm 58. Now due to my diet and exercise I don't have enough salt. LOL. I don't eat any frozen dinners, canned soup, canned meals etc. Too gross. I eat canned beans sometimes but rinse them which helps the sodium. I don't like salt substitute. I buy no sodium added chicken broth. Use lower sodium products when possible. I use herbs which I grow or Salt Sense which has 33% less sodium but to be honest a bottle will last me several years. I love onion powder. As you use less sodium your body will adapt.

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BELTONWALKER67 6/1/2010 8:24AM

    I also track the sodium on my nutrition tracker and use Mrs. Dash. I very rarely use the salt shaker. My downfall is potato chips & I'm still working on that. Have bought the low sodium chips the last few times I bought chips but have been trying to walk by them without stopping at the grocery. I do have high blood pressure and take medication that I would love to stop so have been watching the sodium intake carefully. Great Article & Good Luck!

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JUSTJO66 6/1/2010 8:08AM

    Decreasing sodium is a hard one. When I began tracking my sodium on sparkpeople I was amazed at how much sodium I was getting everyday. Keeping your food intake ( as much as possible) unprocessed is a big first step. It seems EVERYTHING processed has too much sodium. I like to use Ms.Dash at my table and also Morton's Lite Salt (for the potassium)...I get leg cramps if I don't use the Morton's. I also have found that I use a lot more spices when I cook. Some foods still need a "little" salt but not as much as before I began watching the amounts.


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KAYYVAUGHN 6/1/2010 6:32AM

    The nutrition tracker has sodium listed. I added it to my daily report when I run it at the end of the day. It has really helped me keep account of my sodium.

Thanks for the information on sodium.


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GRAMPIAN 6/1/2010 6:27AM

  Reducing it gradually should be a little easier. emoticon

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Just for the beauty of it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I have an Artist's Spotlight thread on my Brushworks team, where I share beautiful artwork of various artists I find on the web. Not an artist myself, but definitely a wannabe!

Just thought others might enjoy viewing some of the beautiful artwork out there, even though you might not think to look for it on your own, in the course of a busy life.

We often forget to make time in the day just for beauty or joy or fun, don't we?

So here's one I really like. Hope you enjoy it!

By the way, my theory is, if I have a paintbrush in my hand, I won't be shoving food in my mouth, lol. Seems to work and cut down on mindless eating. So there!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTKARON 5/22/2010 8:05AM

    I've been on Spark for 3 hours already this morning... emoticon Time to get up off my butt.

But...looking forward to checking out the artitsts your spotlight. I love to look up artists on the net. There's a WEALTH of inspiration there huh? YES!!


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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/21/2010 10:57AM

    I have always wanted to be more creative and find if I have any talent.

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FISHINGLADY66 5/20/2010 9:34PM

    Those are lovely. I especially like the "Hunter And Dogs" Thanks Karen for the link.

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MOOOOW 5/20/2010 1:09PM

    Thanks for sharing Karen. Loved the abstracts.

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SHASTA11 5/20/2010 12:36PM

    How lovely. Thank you.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 5/20/2010 12:11PM

    love the English cottages

And karen.....your ARE an artist

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BERNIESSOAPS 5/20/2010 11:03AM

    These are just beautiful. I love to see what other artists are doing. And by the way Kren you need to call yourself an artist because that is what you are! emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 5/20/2010 9:58AM

    Beautiful paintings, love the landscapes, especially the water and lighthouses. Thank you for sharing with us.

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ANGELPEAS 5/20/2010 9:47AM

    Hi Karen;
Wow, I loved the website you shared with us- her pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing

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DESERT_BIRD 5/20/2010 9:07AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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JUSTJO66 5/20/2010 8:36AM

    Thanks Karen, these are beautiful. I especially love her still lifes. The flowers are just beautiful.


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--KREN 5/20/2010 8:36AM

    I love her colors, her cottages, and the "movement" she gets into those watercolors! Not an easy task. Karen

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MCJULIEO 5/20/2010 8:33AM

    I really really like her clouds!

(and agree with Bill60 - "We all need more paint brushes in our hands. ")

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PJSTIME 5/20/2010 7:28AM

    Thanks for sharing. I like her cottage paintings. Have a good day after you go swimming too.

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BILL60 5/20/2010 7:20AM

    We all need more paint brushes in our hands.

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