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Friday, November 12, 2010


Hereís a little sample of the caloric content of a typical American Thanksgiving Day Dinner put together a couple of years ago by a small group of weight watching women to which I belonged.

When you consider that most of the portions here are MUCH smaller than we have all eaten in years past, the calorie total is even more astounding.

So consider this an Early Warning Device, to prepare you to stop and think about your body and your health, BEFORE you eat that scrumptious Thanksgiving Day feast. (Some of us have to weigh-in the NEXT DAY!!)

An average American Thanksgiving Dinner

3 ounces of Turkey (white meat): 144 calories
Green Bean Casserole (1/2 cup): 116 calories
Mashed Potatoes (1/2 cup): 120 calories
1/4 cup Ocean Spray Cranberry sauce (jellied): 110 calories
Brown & Serve Roll: 87 calories
1 pat Butter : 36 calories
1 cup cornbread stuffing: 250 calories
1/2 cup Gravy: 56 calories
1/6 Chocolate Pie: 300 calories
1/8 of a Pumpkin Pie: 316 calories (not incl. Cool Whip)
1/2 cup Sweet Potato Casserole: 160 calories

Sub Total: 1701 calories

Note all those Ĺ cup servings and ask yourself if that is the amount you really eat on Thanksgiving.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOLLIEMAC 11/13/2010 8:49AM

    So glad our Canadian Thanksgiving is over and done with- that's quite a calorie haul! Happy editing:). emoticon

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PJSTIME 11/12/2010 3:40PM

    I'm glad I don't want all that on my plate. I'll skip pie altogether with no problem and the potatoes and gravy, but bring on the turkey, green bean casserole, roll and my homeade noodles:(

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SILLYHP1953 11/12/2010 3:02PM

    Portion control is something I need to work on. And I guess I better not make ANY pumpkin pies. I eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until they're gone. Seriously. Mmmm, just thinking about it. Oh well, I'll live without them. They are not something I have control over, so I cannot even consider just trying to eat a small piece. But I do need to start thinking about Thanksgiving and how to handle it this year. Thanks for sharing that info.

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JUDITH316 11/12/2010 12:33PM

    great blog post, thanks for sharing, it sure brings you back to a reality check, amazing the # of calories one might consume if one wasn't tracking or didn't eat smaller portions or even eliminate something from the Thanksgiving table, for me I reduce the portion sizes, some by eating a tablespoon of this and that, I enjoy the food but keep to my calorie intake even with indulging in a dessert...

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GLEORIA 11/12/2010 11:22AM

    Thanks for the early food for thought.

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No More Mud!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ok, this was more fun than I ever imagined!

You'll have to read my previous blog about the contest to know what I'm talking about here. . .

I think RaylinStephpens Your Own Retirement View Bestows Great Youth was the most inspiring!

And SammiesMom13ís Yes, Often Real Vampires Bite Girls was the trendiest!

But I have to give the Grand Prize goodie to JustJo66 who bestowed me with such visions as vain goats, vanilla-beige? Glasses, belching vans, gnomes and gnats, lol.
She evidently had some help from her co-workers at school. Makes you wonder, hmmm? And I never realized I should limit the number of entries per person. I just wasnít prepared for over-caffeinated school nurses, lol.

So JO gets the grand prize, even though I canít pick just one of those zany zingers, lol. I DO KNOW that from now until the day I die, when I begin to list those colors in my head, Iíll break out in uncontrollable laughter! Should make for some interesting paintings, lol.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELTONWALKER67 11/12/2010 9:01AM

    Loved it! Such creative sparkers we have & we learn something new each day. I now know what "mud" is! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTJO66 11/12/2010 8:53AM

    I am humbled. I didn't prepare a speech for this grand event. But I want to thank all the "little" people who have made it possible. My co-workers...teachers, aides, custodian, maintenance, school counselor.....nothing would have been possible without your support. lol. Thank you, Thank you Kren for your wonderful contest.....and party goodie. We will display it in a prominent place in the nurse clinic right above my poster that has Bart Simpson writing on the black board "I will not Barf Unless I'm Sick" one hundred times. :o)

Seriously, well kind of.... hey glad to oblige. We all had so much fun with this....and to think now I also know the colors that I can use if I ever start using watercolors :o)

*Disclaimer: Nurse Jo is not responsible for her behavior while under the influence of 3 cups of coffee. :O)

It's been fun.

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PJSTIME 11/12/2010 7:30AM

    And if I ever decide to try watercolors I will have to refer back to your blog. Have a great day.

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A Little Contest - For You - To Help Me

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm trying to create a mnemonic - a memory aid - to remember these colors in this order:


In other words, I'm trying to create a sentence to help me remember these colors in this order. The last color, Yellow, is repeated so it can be represented in the sentence or left out. Either way will work.

Your Only Real Victory Blasts Greed

That's an example. Not the best, I think. So I'm hoping one of you witty, smart people out there can come up with a catchy one that I'll really like and can remember easily!

Anyone want to try? I'll send you a goodie for trying. And if you come up with the BEST one, I'll send you an even nicer goodie. Wow. Are you impressed? lol

By the way, these colors in this order can be used in watercolor painting, side by side, and none of them will MAKE MUD when blended with its neighbor. Making MUD is a problem in watercolors if you get the wrong two colors together. (And if you're an amateur, like me.)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OZARKMARY 11/11/2010 9:08AM

  Y O R V B G Y Backwards...

You Get By Victoriously Relying On Yourself!


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SAMMIESMOM13 11/11/2010 8:57AM

    Y O R V B G Y

Yup, Our Resident Vampire Bit Gurdy Yesterday!!!

I thought since everyone else was doing so well (especially Just Jo!) I'd try to come at this from a different angle! Hahaha.

Yes, often real vampires bite girls.

You often realize victory by giving.

What can I say, I'm pathetic!!!

Hope you're feeling better and having some smiles.

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SILLYHP1953 11/10/2010 3:33PM

    I don't do these kind of word games very well, but found it very interesting about the watercolors and making mud. I've taken a beginning watercolor class and was not taught that. I learned something today! I wrote the letters down and if I come up with anything I'll post it.

Your Old Rare Violin Became Great

Comment edited on: 11/10/2010 3:35:40 PM

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JUSTJO66 11/10/2010 1:42PM

    Okay pleassse stop me.....last one.

You only realize victory by giving.

You own red vending boxes galore.

Yesterday our red van belched gas.

Your own (a) really vain brown goat.

Years of reading=vanilla beige glasses.

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JUSTJO66 11/10/2010 1:10PM

    Okay another round:

Your old rumbled vain butt grows yearly. (from one of my co-workers)

Your old red Volkswagen better go.

Yell out really victoriously Bad girl.

Your only real victory begins grandly.

Your our responsible very big girl.

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--KREN 11/10/2010 12:30PM

    ROFLM*O!!!! Please don't stop!

Comment edited on: 11/10/2010 12:31:27 PM

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JUSTJO66 11/10/2010 12:27PM

    Okay...why oh why did I read your blog today. LOL. Now I can't stop thinking about this:

My pathetic attempt. :o)

Yellow or red violets bring gnats.

Yellow or red violets beckon gnomes.

Your ornate red vase brings gladness.
(I especially like this one because I can See your red vase and I'm smiling because you paint so well). :o)

Years of riding V-Stars(motorcycle) begets gallstones.


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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/10/2010 10:59AM

    your own retirement view bestows great youth

yes our real veggies bring great youth

you own real value by giving yourself

your one red vest by golly, yes!

not great - but if anything helps, I was glad to try!

**edit: since you start and stop with yellow, you might be able to do this with only ORVBG - this would make things simpler to remember.

One Really Very Big Egg

Comment edited on: 11/10/2010 11:15:31 AM

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JOANOFSPARK 11/10/2010 10:49AM

    here are a few, though I am sure you will get many more much more witty and polished.....*grin* these were off the top of my head, and my brain is not actually in gear just yet, but had to try, anyway.:) emoticon

You only realize valor begins greeting youth......

You only realize valor begins gradually yesterday.......

You oughtta rely vegetables beginning grown yesterday.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I have a friend who is struggling with alcohol addiction right now. Heís going to AA meetings. Heís told everyone at work what heís doing. Heís told his family. Heís put himself out there so he really canít just give up. Heís serious about winning back control of his life and not giving in to his addiction.

As I watch him and try to support him and help him in any way I can, Iím drawn to thoughts of ďaddictionĒ. Itís such a mystery. Experts in many fields have studied it, tackled it, written about it, done clinical trials, etc. etc.

Still, addiction is HARD. Thereís not ďA CUREĒ. It takes work and commitment in every area of your Life and Being to get a grip on it, to overcome it. And you can only truly say youíve conquered it TODAY. Tomorrow youíll have to do it all over again. Thereís a reason for the motto ďOne day at a timeĒ.

We all have addictions to different things: alcohol, smoking, prescription drugs, gambling, and, oh yes, FOOD. Overeating.

Food is the one we canít conquer by going ďcold turkeyĒ or using total abstinence. The first rule in all the others is to STOP completely, but we canít do that with food. That makes it pretty hard. No one would dare tell an alcoholic to just cut down and drink in moderation, would they? Yet that is what we, who are food addicts, are expected to do. Moderation, the M-Word, is a "four letter word", for sure!

But what I really have been thinking is that while I battle my addiction to food, so many others are struggling with much worse additions. Ones that carry stigmas, that endanger the lives of others, and even bring criminal actions into their lives, that cost them their jobs and their loved ones.

Mine just makes me feel a little chubby. Not that Iím dismissing those who have severe food additions that DO endanger their health. Iím not. But mine is not so extreme. Still, I really struggle with it and can get really discouraged when I slip. How much worse is it for people who have those other, more severe addictions? How about those who suffer terrible physical symptoms of withdrawal?

I think now that each time Iím aware of my struggle with food, Iíll also think of the struggles of those with other addictions Ė the ones that have instant ramifications that could destroy their lives.

There is always someone out there, you donít have to look very far, who has a worse problem, a more terrifying struggle. Maybe in helping them, we help ourselves. And I think we help them simply by respecting them and their struggle.

After all, ďThere but for the grace of God. . .Ē


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DGAIL51 11/11/2010 1:43PM

    Addiction in all its many forms is so detrimental to one's being- physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally & on and on. I, too, have a more moderate weight issue than many, but none the less, it does cause me problems in all those areas. Addiction in any area diminishes one's present and future and affects all those around us.

I have several people close to me who have and are battling those addictions to the horribly destructive chemicals of drugs and alcohol. Some have chosen to go the hard road to recovery, some not. It is always so sad and discouraging. I want to be supportive, but each individual has to make the personal choice first to start down that road. Sometimes, guidance and encouragement can help them get started on that road, sometimes a tragedy of loss of some kind. Often, I can only pray, then wait to see what I might do.
Bless you Karen,


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SILLYHP1953 11/9/2010 11:37AM

    I have long thought the same way you wrote in this blog. I've watched loved ones deal with their addictions to substances and thought to myself, if they can stop doing ____ then why can't I stop eating my trigger foods? I think I just don't take it as seriously as they do in AA or NA. In fact, I have considered attending open AA meetings for my food addiction. 90 meetings in 90 days might do the trick for me!! I have gone to OA meetings but there are not close by. AA meetings seem to be everywhere on every day of the week. Thanks for sharing.

emoticon Phyllis

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BELTONWALKER67 11/9/2010 9:06AM

    ...there but for the Grace of God..is one of my favorite phases and often on my mind. Here's hoping your friend has success in overcoming his addiction. I think a lot of us have certain degrees of addiction and we all know what we should and shouldn't do..it's the follow-through that is so hard. Great Blog! emoticon

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JUSTJO66 11/9/2010 8:30AM

    Very insightful blog Karen. Thank you for reminding me. Oftentimes we get so involved in our own problems that we forget there is a whole world out there hurting. So many people struggling with so many things....addictions, pain, chronic illness, financial woes, martial and relationship conflicts, cancer or other fatal diseases.... the list goes on and on. I think some people are more verbal about their pain and others keep it bottled up and private.... Sometimes you just can not tell from looking at someone the hardships they are dealing with in their lives.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the magic word respect. I think if I personally can remember that "everyone" is dealing with "something".....and remember to be sensitive to that fact and open/available to them....then by helping them....I also lift myself up........

It's NOT all about me. Thanks for reminding me.


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SAMMIESMOM13 11/9/2010 8:14AM

    This has been my "watch phrase" for many years. It helps me when I'm down if I can remember to look around- there are so many people with worse problems than mine. It helps keep things in perspective and makes my issues seem less overwhelming when I can get my mind in the right place.
Thanks for the reminder.

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OZARKMARY 11/9/2010 8:06AM

emoticonNice blog and sooo true!! WE/ emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDYPAINTS 11/9/2010 7:46AM

    You are right... it is not possible to overcome this food addiction / obsession by going cold turkey and that sure is a problem! It isn't easy..

Reminds me of a comment by a friend of mine... she was talking about how people often comment that "there are people who are a lot worse off than I am" and she countered with "yes, but there are a lot who are doing better than I am, too!"

Everything is relative and we all have our demons, some mre obvious than others...

Thanks for sharing!

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Paths, Mountains, Leaps and Friends

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I've always been fascinated by trails and paths, since I was a child. I followed quite a few of them in the mountains of Wyoming, long ago, not nearly as far off the beaten path as I would have liked, but luscious and full of sustenance for the soul, nonetheless.

Sometimes I walked a trail with steep canyon walls rising high above me on both sides. Now and then it opened into a patch of sunlight filtering through the pines and lush green grass that edged the stream rushing through it. The path was covered with soft, cushy pine needles, so every footfall was muffled, and then quieted more by the gurgling sound of the melted snow searching for the lake at the bottom.

Heading for the mouth of the stream, the roar of the waterfall urging me on, I became totally lost from the world of people and machines. The spray of the water, the constant din of the falls, blocked out sight and sound of all but the most otherworldly views and brought to mind thoughts of the same. As if approaching a god. And the scent! If only I could have captured the smell of the fresh air and water and mountain pines and flowers and grasses. Ambrosia to the senses. All the while, the mountain looming upward, farther than I could see.

Mountains like these are in the tales of all the ancient religions. And no wonder, the senses are in such awe in the presence of a mountain. The eyes go upward, the heart and soul reach upward. The physical mountain is a symbol for the spiritual one that stands between each soul and its destiny. Like the tourists left behind me on the roadside, most people stand within sight of the spiritual mountain all their lives and never approach it, being content to let others dare that journey and regale them with stories of it. They avoid so many hardships that way, you see.

Most who do venture toward the mountain, use a guide or a well-traveled path tamed by many others who have gone before. But there are those whose nature it is to find their own route across the mountain; brave souls for whom the journey is a reward, even if the destination is never reached. Those that do reach it, through sheer strength of will and large doses of good fortune, become more aware than any that there is no fixed path, no single road that will take you there, but as many routes as there are souls.

If you remember the story of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends went to see the Wizard to ask for gifts - things they were lacking in their lives. He sent them on a mission to kill the wicked witch and promised the gifts as a reward. When they completed their mission, they returned to find the Wizard was a fake. But they also discovered that they had found the gifts they were asking for - acquired them during their journey. Itís not the conquest of the mountain that is the reward; itís the journey there. Enjoy the journey and never be afraid of it.

If I never lay eyes on you again, I thank God for your presence in my life, this little way along the path I'm following. People join me on the path from time to time, and it hurts when we part at a crossroads. But I'd rather have had the time with you, shared the thoughts and tenderness, and cried when it couldn't go on, than to have sat here, safe and sorry, unknown and unknowing, like those travelers who only listen to tales of the mountain from the soul who had the courage to tackle it.

Sometimes you have to leap into the void.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DGAIL51 11/11/2010 10:56AM

    Karen, once again I have been so moved and inspired by your blog. I am grateful that you have taken the time to share your experience and beautiful insights and perceptions. You are indeed a blessing to me. Thank you so much.

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LAVENDERLILY 11/5/2010 12:41AM

    Thanks for sharing, Karen. We both have a special love of nature.

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MRSFARRA 11/4/2010 6:52PM

    I love your descriptive prose. Makes me really enjoy the scenery that I live with in COlorado. I feel that need to sit inthe back yard, look at the mountains and just write.

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