--KREN   32,017
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Sunday, August 01, 2010

This morning, before I even had my coffee, I opened the drapes in the front bedroom window. Rosie sits there in the early mornings and late evenings and does her Neighborhood Watch duties, lol, keeping an eye on what goes on in her part of the world.

Before I even opened the curtains, I could hear Mama bird using that same tone of voice she was using all day yesterday. Sure enough, she was sitting in the shrubs right outside the window and Baby bird was on the window sill!

Once I opened the curtains, Mama bird saw me and Rosie. She went into high volume, trying to get Baby bird out of there. Heís still pretty calm, because heís still pretty dumb, lol, and not wise to all the dangers in his world. He wasnít worried about me or Rosie one bit. Iím sure Mama bird will change his attitude pretty soon!

I grabbed my camera and got some pretty good shots, considering. But then I saw Mama bird with a bug in her mouth, back on the shrubs, trying to feed Baby bird. So I closed the blinds and shut the curtains. As much as I wanted a photo of that, I empathized with another Mother trying to take care of her offspring, out in the cold, cruel world, fraught with dangers everywhere, and thought Iíd better remove myself and Rosie from her worries.

Baby Bird is right behind Rosie, out there on the window sill.

He answers Mama bird's shrieks with soft little chirps.

Through the window and screen with a little glare from the sunlight, but isn't he adorable?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHASTA11 8/1/2010 2:34PM

    Haven't been up long and you put a smile on my face. Thank you for the update on Flying lesssons and the neat pixs.

Have a great day. emoticon

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PJSTIME 8/1/2010 1:27PM

    Great pics and how privileged we are to witness things like this.

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JENNY888 8/1/2010 12:09PM

    Love the photos. . . and the story that goes with them. Nature gives us such wonderful sights.

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    Very cute baby mockingbird!!

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BELTONWALKER67 8/1/2010 11:20AM

    What a sweet little bird! Loved your story...personally think you should become an author...your words make me feel like I am there watching the action. Thank you for bringing sunshine to this world.

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NANCY- 8/1/2010 11:10AM

    How sweet and yet many lessons for us all. First the shell, then flying, then ......

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MEGA_MILES 8/1/2010 9:14AM

    I believe that little bird was coming over to see his "auntie"

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LINDA25427 8/1/2010 9:08AM

    Good kitty cute pictures .Hope you have a great week . God bless. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 8/1/2010 9:03AM

    Thanks for the photos. Maybe baby bird will get used to your window sill and return to visit.

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KAKIPOPUP 8/1/2010 8:48AM

    Awwwww! :)

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Now and then I am privileged to witness a young bird on his first flight. It has happened several times in my life. Perhaps because Iím outdoors a lot, always feeding birds in my yard, and just have an eye and an ear for such things in nature.

This morning I went out to read my electric meter on the side of my house. As soon as I got there I heard a Mocking Bird raising hell! She was SO loud. I know there is always a nest in the burr oak tree there, and she polices the area well, always letting me know when Iím intruding and getting too close.

I happened to look down and see my garden hose coiled on the ground near an evergreen shrub planted in front of the window. Standing there, his little feet perched on the hose, was a young Mocking Bird with huge, round, frightened eyes!

He still had lots of baby fuzz among his feathers. His head, especially, was fuzzy, lol, but the head is the last part to fully feather out on most birds. He was still as a stone statue. Of course he was, Mama was screaming ďDonít Move! Donít Move!Ē and hoping I would go away, lol.

He was so precious, I dearly wished I had my camera with me. I went back into the house right away and straight to the window by my computer that looks out on that spot. He was already gone!

Good. That means he CAN fly. Heís just so new at it heís scared and Mama has to keep urging him on. I went about my business and returned to the window about 5 minutes later.

Now I hear Mama again. Saying the same thing over and over. I look in the bush and see Baby sitting on a tiny twig. Mama is above him in the big tree, yelling words of encouragement. His head, his entire body really, is bobbing up and down as he tries to get the feel of it all, the perfect post to launch into flight.

He loses his balance a lot, flaps his little wings and then settles down again and starts over. Now he just squats down where he is and rests a while. This flying stuff is hard work. And scary! Landing is even harder and often quite funny to watch.

Now Mama is right above him in the shrub. He opens his wide baby bird mouth and she puts a bug in there. Courage is hard to come by on an empty stomach, lol, so sheís helping him keep up his strength. Sheíll do this all day. Constantly chirping encouragement and motivation. Eventually sheíll take him to the back yard and show him the birdbath.

We all know how hard motherhood can be. No rest for busy moms. Kids come first.

Sheís letting him rest, but we know sheíll be back at it shortly, because none of us can live in the world without taking that leap. Itís a leap of Faith. Hope. Trust. Life. Love. Weíll repeat it constantly as long as we live. Real leaps always take courage. And often need some encouragement from others, even a shove like the one Mama bird no doubt gave Baby bird this morning.


Ok, itís 4 hours later. Joe and I just came in with a new wing chair I bought. (Couldnít find a birdbath which is what I went to buy.) As I propped the door open so we could carry in the chair, Mama bird was sitting in the crepe myrtle right by the door. I didnít see her but I could HEAR her, lol. Still prodding Baby bird to fly one more time. I hear her loud shriek and his smaller answering chirp. Over and over.

See, she takes him from tree to tree and bush to bush. He flies. He lands. She feeds him. (Or rewards him?) He rests a while. And then off they go again. Itís so cute!

Have you taken a LEAP lately? Or do you have a fear of flying?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAVENDERLILY 8/1/2010 7:23PM

    Thanks for sharing Karen,
Isn't nature wonderful?

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    I love mockingbirds and am blessed to see birds first flights too. I saw my 4 wren babies one day and phoebes and woodpeckers. Ours often do the same - take them to the bird bath and bird feeder. It is fun to watch the big woodpecker feed it's baby as the baby is huge.

I had to go out of town and drive 70 miles to find a birdbath I liked.

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FISHINGLADY66 7/31/2010 8:10PM

    OH I forgot...While at our lake this morning, I saw a very small Blue Bird. I think they are so beautiful. We have lot's of Cardinals, Blue Jays, sparrows, Robbins, and Yellow Finch's all this time. We also have one small very light gray bird that I haven't identified yet. I'm thinking it might be a Chickadee. Got any ideas?

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FISHINGLADY66 7/31/2010 8:05PM

    Karen you still amaze me with the way you write with such emotion and color. I love reading your blogs. I have baby robins in my back yard all the time. Unfortunately, my dog loves to get them. I have to put on rubber gloves, get some newspaper, and pick them up to put into the trash. I wish I could just watch them like you do and get Sir Drake to leave them alone. emoticon for sharing your wonderful experience.

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--KREN 7/31/2010 5:15PM

    I know, PJ. I have been looking for a chair; couldn't find one I liked. Went out to buy a birdbath. Happened upon the perfect wing chair in burgundy for my room, lol. Snapped it up. Fortunately, we were in Joe's truck. Brought it home. A good day. Karen

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PJSTIME 7/31/2010 5:11PM

    We get that privilege now and then watching young birds it is so fun to watch. One year we even had the pleasure of a family of baby foxes that was really entertaining in our driveway.

You couldn't find the birdbath so a chair instead that is quite a substitution. Only joking. I know how that goes.

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SHASTA11 7/31/2010 3:41PM

    Thank you so much for sharing that. I've raised parakeets and seen them leave the nest, but in the small breeding cages they couldn't do much flying. I've never seen a bird fledge in the great outdoors.

Yes, we mothers have a rough time, but then so do our children.

Have a great week-end.

Hugs, Joan

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Reading the (Health) News

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Every morning I take my coffee with me and sit in front of my desktop pc and read the news.

I read the local newspaper online and visit CNN, which is becoming more of a gossip site than a news site, IMHO. Looking for more substantial fare, I found the New York Times online, accessible and free..

The NYT has a lot of really interesting (to me) items every day. They even cater to a little hidden passion of mine, correct grammar. I know that's a weird thing to be interested in for most people, but hey, that's my thing. It's called AFTER DEADLINE and addresses all the improperly structured sentences, etc. that were used in their own publication. There's quite an archive of these items and it should be required reading for every school grammar class. In fact, it should be required reading for all local newspaper editors, lol, who are notorious for bad grammar in their publications. Book reviews, travel tips. All sorts of goodies.

But I digress. The really important thing I look for while reading the news is the HEALTH news. I love to hear what new issue is being discussed; another new story about people fighting the weight battle and succeeding or not; scientific discoveries that help me hang on to a healthy bod just a little longer, etc.

The NYT doesn't disappoint. They have a RECIPES FOR HEALTH section, too, as well as all sorts of articles on every aspect of health. I can always find something that applies to me or someone I know.

What's YOUR FAVORITE daily source for news, health news, especially?


After Deadline (scroll way down for all of it)

Recipes for Health

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACIMPEGGY 7/30/2010 10:51AM

    Wow! I'll have to look into this! ( notice, I didn't say 'hafta') Suz and her bro subscribe to the on-line version. I guess they get extra stuff or something. I did not know this existed. I'm going to ask if they peruse it. Billy would, for sure.

Thanks for the information and, above all, have a wonderful day.

emoticon emoticon

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SKIDEE 7/29/2010 8:05AM

    KREN: I share your opinion of CNN...well, my opinion might be even more critical, but I also share your focus on grammar, and I do NOT get paid to write! Both of my parents were trained as secretaries b/c they could not afford to go to college. But they VALUED education and knew that speaking and writing correctly would open and close doors for them, so they studied it and made sure that their children spoke correctly.

Words are extremely important. Any student of history knows that leaders who communicate well are the most effective, for good or for bad. The sad state of grammar and language arts as a whole, is to a great part, due to our culture's refusal to be held to ANY standard; dress, behavior (as in manners), language, grades, you name it.

I don't have the same general respect for the NYT, as you do b/c they seem to be blind to much of what is happening in this country, but I will check out the articles on grammar and healthy eating.

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/29/2010 6:20AM

    I also read some newspaper articles on the web in the early mornings. I am going to try some of your sites.
Thanks for the information.

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DGAIL51 7/28/2010 11:00PM

    For medical news, I receive Med News Today & I skim & read further if anything is of interest. DH gets Wall Street Journal & I sometimes skim that. I listen to the network news while I am preparing dinner. I did receive several medical news letters, but stopped them because of the time involved & becoming too disinterested to put in that kind of time to read them. If I received them, I somehow felt obligated to try to read them. LOL.
As a former English major in college, I was very grammar aware for as long as I can remember. The last several years, I have gotten lazy & less careful, perhaps because of the cryptic medical notes I used in charting for so many years, in the interest of time management & because that everyone reading a chart wants just the basic & necessary facts. (still the charts would be fat). If you don't practice good grammar, then you really do lose it & I am afraid that I do fall short very often now. Donna

Comment edited on: 7/28/2010 11:02:47 PM

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FISHINGLADY66 7/28/2010 7:35PM

    Good information here Karen. I have never read news on the internet. But then I don't read the paper much either. I get so tired of the TV news. I think I will start looking for news here on the net. Thank you for this interesting blog.

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LAVENDERLILY 7/28/2010 2:56PM

    Dr.Oz has a short little column three times a week on the same newspaper page as my morning crossword puzzles. I always look forward to those morning comments.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/28/2010 12:18PM

    You have good taste in news and in newspapers. LOL. I like both of those and like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic. JAMA and Lancet.

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VINGRAM 7/28/2010 12:05PM

    My husband and I are also critical of the local newspaper's mistakes. For me, an old secretary never dies, just continues to edit as necessary! As far as TV news, we are staunch Republicans and we like Fox - especially Bill O'Reilly!

Have a great day..........vista

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JEANNE229 7/28/2010 10:56AM

    Karen, I have the same grammar hangup (and spelling). I was an English teacher, and am now a medical editor (veterinary, not human), so words are important to me as well.

I also love to read the health news, and I check it out each day on Sparks, as well. If I find something of interest, I research further.

Thanks for the great blog.


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ZEEDRA 7/28/2010 9:25AM

    Hi Karen,
I have the NY Times as a Favourite on my computer. It has lots of good reading. I used to get the actual newspaper about once a week but it's too expensive now.
What I do get in hard copy is the NY Times Magazine (and sometimes read on the internet) from the library. That has wonderful articles. There's a humourous page, a short story (sometimes by a recently discovered great author). I also like Randy Cohen's ethics page which consists, usually, of two ethics questions. He answers in a humourous way, to start, and then gets down to brass tacks, as they say. It's fun to read the questions and think about them before reading his comments.
It's fun to read newspapers from all over the place. On my past trips through the New England states, I'd come back with a carload of newspapers from various towns. I even like to read the classifieds from these places as that's sometimes where you get the feel of what's going on there.
Okay--must get into the day.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 7/28/2010 9:06AM

    I tried to find the "behind the headlines" . Will you post a link ?

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--KREN 7/28/2010 9:01AM

    The grammar obsession applies only to those who get paid to write!! Post with no fear, lol. Karen

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 7/28/2010 8:58AM

    I check the spark health news , and earn a point in the doing.

I'm now going to be afraid to post......I make too many mistakes. emoticon

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The M Word

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Everyone who has a little food problem knows what the M Word is - MODERATION!

Is that the hardest thing to consistently achieve or what?

You donít offer an after dinner smoke to someone who is trying to quit, do you? No one drags alcoholics to a bar and says, ďNow just have one.Ē Or takes a compulsive gambler to a casino for a few hours of fun! Yet, we who canít resist tasty food are expected to sit down at a sumptuous meal on any given day and practice portion control!

Itís hard. Really.

Of course, when you DO achieve it, Moderation is wonderful. And donít you feel so virtuous? So thrilled! You look back on that day, that meal, and pat yourself on the back. And you should.

The very reason that every other addictive behavior is treated by going ďcold turkeyĒ and NEVER going near the temptation again, is that MODERATION is a real test of human will power!

Joe asks me if we can have pasta for dinner one night. He asks me because he knows itís hard for me to eat just a little. He doesnít want to tempt me, but Iím always telling him I must learn to eat anything in any situation and still practice portion control. So we agree on a pasta dinner. HE cooks it. (Heís a wonderful cook!) I prepare for it - in my food tracker, in my mind.

We sit. We eat. I have my portion. Itís wonderful. I love the look. The aroma. The texture. Gulp.
I want more.
I want MORE!

I run through the house, wildly waving my arms, stopping now and then to beat my head against the wall, and yelling, ďPASTA! PASTA! I want MORE! DONíT GIVE ME ANY!Ē

Poor Joe is so sweet and so worried, he actually takes the little portion of pasta thatís left and stuffs it down the garbage disposal, lol. He looks at me like, "It's gone, hon. It can't hurt you now." lol Now THATís a good man!

Yes, I felt pretty happy the next morning that I didnít eat ALL the pasta.
Yes, I feel really happy to have such a good buddy in Joe. WooHoo!
Yes, I know MODERATION will always be the M Word, a ďfour letterĒ word no matter how you spell it, and something Iíll be WRESTLING with all my life.

Itís not fair.
Itís not reasonable.
But we canít go ďcold turkeyĒ on food abstinence, can we?

Is anyone out there a model of Moderation? Or do you still fight with it now and then? Or, are you like me, and know it well as a daily sparring partner?

Still striving to be a Model of Moderation. sigh


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTJO66 7/31/2010 11:49AM

    Karen, I love your sense of humor laced so correctly with the truth. Yes, I've often bemoaned the unfairness of IT all myself. Moderation!!!! if only....I could practice this big old four letter word. :o) Someday...........someday..... ;o)
Great blog.

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SKIDEE 7/29/2010 8:09AM

    I totally relate....LOVED the humor! Thanks for bringing a smile to my morning!

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ACIMPEGGY 7/26/2010 3:23PM

    Dear Kren, I van visualize you running around banging your head against a wall!

I read a great blog recently by a lady who lost close to 100 pounds in a year. She allowed herself one day a week to eat what she wanted. I am assuming she tracked and didn't 'pig out,' but still.

I have decided that on occasion, on a weigh-in day after a good loss, I will do similar. See my blog shortly. If you ever decide to try a method like that, maybe you could have 1 1/1 or 2 portions and not feel deprived.

Moderation is the key, usually. I agree. But a sense of deprivation, IMHO is a live-it killer! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/26/2010 6:01AM

    That was good pasta. That's just how I feel about certain foods. There are only a few that I have trouble saying no too or eating very little. If I eat too much, I need to work it off. Sometimes it's worth it.

Does Joe cook for others? We could use a good pasta meal. Neither one of us cook a delicious pasta meal. Just let us know his price.

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    I can do a serving of most things but pasta is a problem as a 1/2 cup is nothing. I mix mine with lots of veggies when I have it which is rarely.

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ZEEDRA 7/25/2010 1:01PM

I can't do the "LOL" thing--just ornery, I guess. But I can do: HA! HA! HA! Thanks for lightening a heavy problem.
I know people in 12-step programs and I almost envy them when they have years of sobriety. What a happy, successful group they can be.
My mother, who kept her figure all her life, would say after what she considered a too-big meal: I'm not eating again for a week. Well, I used to wish I could stop eating for a long period and then I got my wish: radiation! Then I lost 20 pounds during the 33 treatments. So far, that and falling madly in love, which isn't likely now (why not?), are the only two ways that I've been able to lose a big chunk 'a chunk.
MODERATION must be the third way. Keep reminding us, Kren.
And...does Joe have a brother? Ha!Ha!Ha!
Hugs, Sandra

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JEANNE229 7/25/2010 11:05AM

    I know EXACTY what you mean...it is the carbs (bread, pasta, etc.) that always set me off.

Food is the hardest! Everything else "addictive" (like you said) you can walk away from. But THREE times a day (at least) we must face and defeat the food deamons.

Great blog!


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--KREN 7/25/2010 10:22AM

    Don't be sorry, Linda! I laugh at myself all the time, lol. That's why my posts are full of LOLs. I'm the Laughing Out Loud Lady, lol. Karen

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BELTONWALKER67 7/25/2010 10:12AM

    Pasta, Pizza....No, moderation there! But, when it comes to salads, veggies of any kind, I can do moderation. Why is that!! Sorry, I had to laugh at the running through the house waving your hands and banging your head! Thank goodness for Joe! What a great guy to remove that temptation for you! Great Blog! emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 7/25/2010 9:53AM

    WOW! Karen what a Great Blog. I can really identify with this. MY.... biggest problem is "All things (Food) in Moderation". I struggle with this one all the time. Thanks for a wonderful, gentle reminder of MODERATION. This will be on my mind all day today. Have a Happy Sunday. emoticon

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There was a blonde who found herself sitting next to a Lawyer on an airplane. The lawyer just kept bugging the blonde wanting her to play a game of intelligence. Finally, the lawyer offered her 10 to 1 odds, and said every time the blonde could not answer one of his questions, she owed him $5, but every time he could not answer hers, he'd give her $50.00. The lawyer figured he could not lose, and the blonde reluctantly accepted.

The lawyer first asked, "What is the distance between the Earth and the nearest star?"

Without saying a word the blonde handed him $5. Then the blonde asked, "What goes up a hill with 3 legs and comes back down the hill with 4 legs?"

Well, the lawyer looked puzzled. He took several hours, looking up everything he could on his laptop and even placing numerous air-to-ground phone calls trying to find the answer. Finally, angry and frustrated, he gave up and paid the blonde $50.00

The blonde put the $50 into her purse without comment, but the lawyer insisted, "What is the answer to your question?"

Without saying a word, the blonde handed him $5.

Which reminds me of the advice I give to all the men I know.
Never argue with a woman. Even if you win, YOU'LL BE SORRY.

Have YOU laughed today?


(You could call it a lawyer joke, lol, but that's not PC either. Just say "The moral of this joke is never pick on a woman" and change the word blonde to the word woman. lol. Karen)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOPHIEMAE2007 7/23/2010 8:10PM


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MAJA0123 7/22/2010 7:29AM

    TOO FUNNY!!!! i LOVE blond jokes!!! as a natural blond i hear a LOT of them and they ALL get funnier and funnier to me.. LOL.

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ACIMPEGGY 7/21/2010 11:03PM

    Karen, that's great! Don't know if I can share at my Toastmasters meeting, though. Someone there says she is offended by blonde jokes (yes, she is a natural blonde).


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FISHINGLADY66 7/21/2010 10:00PM

    Thanks Karen. That is one I haven't heard. I love it. Now I've had my laugh today. emoticon

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--KREN 7/21/2010 7:58PM

    Actually, this could be called a LAWYER joke, lol. The joke IS on him, lol.

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KOSHIE1 7/21/2010 7:55PM

    Grew up a blonde, but then my hair darkened. Still love blonde jokes though. Thsi has got to be one of my favorites -- Dad is a lawyer!

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IWILLBE145 7/21/2010 5:07PM

    Good one, I loved it!


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JENNY888 7/21/2010 4:54PM

    Great blond joke. Thanks for posting it. emoticon

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JEANNE229 7/21/2010 2:56PM

    LOVED this! Never underestimate a woman...even a blonde woman!

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/21/2010 1:55PM

    That was really good. You just amaze me.
What position did you hold in your former life?

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BELTONWALKER67 7/21/2010 1:47PM

    Need that laugh today! Really lightened up this "heavy" day! emoticon emoticon

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SHASTA11 7/21/2010 1:39PM

    Yes, just now. Thanks.

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