4DOGNIGHT   33,255
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Sunday, July 11, 2010


Yesterday was a lazy and enjoyable Saturday. WE went to the beach for an hour in the afternoon and it was beautiful, clean of oil. When we arrived, there was a group of BP beach cleaners taking a break and we knew one of the fellows. They did gather in some oil and tarballs but it was very clean and we have been fortunate not to be oil covered as in Louisiana. We rarely go to the beach. Some summers not at all but this year we feel the need to see it before we lose it! I'm really struggling with my camera and not being able to download pics etc. I should take a class. The pic above is of the Gulf of Mexico from a condo window. This week I had a client in one of the condos that was very close to the East Pass which is the opening you see to the Gulf from the photo above. It was so beautiful and so close to the pass. Never seen it from that angle before. Most of the time I see the Gulf from an elevator or a client's apartment.

Above is a picture of me 2 years ago looking horrible in a red stripe shirt standing next to a magazine that features me on the cover. Who knew! We went to a Starbucks next to the kiosk and the counter clerk recognized me as the person on the cover. Interesting.

Here is me and my youngest grandson who we call Mr. B. He is so happy.

Her is my and hubby and my youngest son and wife at a Florida State university Football game in Jacksonville. We played Alabama that year and won!

Here's Panda chewing on a bone!

Here's hubby's barbershop group singing at Christmas. They have become a very good singing group! So proud of them.

My second youngest grandson Mr. E.

My mom-in-law and grandsons.

Hubby's new toy!

A bedroom I decorated a few years ago.

That's enough I guess. Saved those pics when I knew how to do it. Now, I've changed something so they are not being saved as a jpeg and I can't figure out how to fix that. Hope you've enjoyed the slide show!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SGKAYLOR 7/11/2010 7:58PM

    Great pictures, Go Noles!

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IPATRICIA 7/11/2010 5:12PM

    Beautiful Pictures of you and your family and your beautiful dog. Imagine having your photo on the cover of a magazine. Well done. Wow!

Hope you are doing well over the weekend on your W.W.points! emoticon

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    love the beach shot and I know which condo ; )
so pretty in that spot.
Hope to go see beach soon, been couple weeks-hope the oil stays away.

Have a good day in our great area

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KASEYCOFF 7/11/2010 10:40AM

    Oh, Carol, thanx for posting these - great group of photos! Love the view from the condo (lucky client!)... the grandchildren are gorgeous, and yes, Mr B looks like a happy baby... great shot of you with the magazine cover... the first dog Himself had was named 'Panda' - his father bought Panda the same day Bob was born, so they grew up togehter... nice car!... and oh, what a beautiful bedroom! No wonder you enjoy your business. It must be a lot of fun to use color and fabric and all that and put it together in different rooms - very creative! :-)

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Friday, July 09, 2010


I flunked the business mixer last night so I decided to write about my interesting life today, Some of you have commented that my life is so interesting and I never thought about it much. I grew up a shy child with a popular older sister whom I always took a back seat to. I have taken many risks in my life and I believe that is what leads to an interesting life, being willing to take risks and invest in yourself.

In 1972 I joined the Air Force when many were boycotting the military and going to Canada to avoid the draft. It is one of the biggest and best risks I ever took in my life. For you see, I never think I am going to fail at anything that I set my mind to. Having said that, I realize that I haven't achieved weight loss because I haven't set my mind to it. Until now. I think I can succeed with WW.

When I arrived at my first base of assignment, Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Fl, I forced myself to go to the Officer's Club on Friday evening, dressed in my uniform, and sit at the bar. We were actually advised to do this at OTC which in today's army, would be frowned upon. The idea was that was how we would meet people and that is how I met my husband. Two months after we met and dated, he was assigned to Thailand. We corresponded and I flew to Bangkok where we got married in the American Embassy. Reason being, with both of us in the Air Force, if we wanted to be together, we had to be married. I was scared to death but we are still married 37 years later. We went to New Mexico, then to England, and then to Hurlburt AFB in Florida where we still live today.

In 1984, my kids were in school and I needed to find a job or something to do. I read about a Decorating Den owner in a WOMAN'S DAY magazine and the rest is history. I made the plunge to buy a business. There were many people who did not think I would succeed, one being my father who said I couldn't sell anything. I consulted with a Real Estate agent I knew for her opinion and she said, "If you don't take RIsks you never get anywhere." I bought the business and never looked back, becoming the top Franchise in Retail sales for 3 years in the early 90"s. My husband also bought a business in the late 80"s becoming a partner in a Travel Agency.

With all of my success and awards for design, I was fraught with worry and stress, low self-esteem and fear of failure. I never felt good enough and was always reading self-help books to improve on my faults. That was also when I started slowly gaining weight and dieting to get it off. In 1995, I literally had a nervous breakdown. I had 3 employees and I was the top franchise in Decorating Den. I was on top of the world with success but I couldn't control myself. I was diagnosed with Major Depression and had a rocky roller coaster of a ride for the next 8 to 10 years just trying to stay on top of things and not have a breakdown. Some of this I attribute to my recall in the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. At that time, I was assigned to Mortuary Affairs in Panama City, Fl, not far from home. My responsibility was to help the families of any deceased airmen during the war with their funeral arrangements. That is another story but as I look back, I know that experience affected me very deeply emotionally and had something to do with my breakdown.

So you see, things aren't always what they seem to others. On the surface I looked like an extremely successful business woman with incredible decorating talents and was obviously making tons of money. So far from the truth as money was always a big issue in our family. We never seemed to have enough. My husband did not make that much as a Travel Agent and we all know what happened to that industry as the internet took over. In 1998, he left the agency and took a job with the Chamber of Commerce to sell business memberships. Now listen to this, he was on commission with a very modest salary of $500 a month plus health insurance and he had to sell 12 mbrships a month and would get a 10% commission on each one he sold. That wasn''t much but we were both willing for him to take that risk and see what he could do. WE were confident that he was a great salesperson and that he believed in Chamber membership so deeply that he was incredible at his job. Today he is the Director of Membership at the Chamber, got a nice bonus and promo last year and he is well respected in the community. We still don't make tons of money but we are both retired from the AF REserve and have those pensions and I took SS this year and I still dabble so we are fine. We don't live in a fancy new house but we love what we have.

For 26 years with Dec Den, I have traveled to many states and cities for our annual convention. Foreign places we have traveled to include, Acapulco, Cancun, Guadalupe, Italy, England, A baltic Cruise from London to Russia 2 years ago, and Greece. Most of these trips were of very little cost to us as I earned winner's points through sales to go on them. Our annual conferences have taken us to Alaska, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Washington, D.C.and next year to Phoenix. Now you see, if I had not taken that risk in 1984 to purchase a franchise business, stepped out of my comfort zone and put forth the effort to succeed, I would never have traveled to those places. And most of it paid for through my sales winnings.

As a travel agent, my husband and I took numerous trips to lots of places including the Caribbean, Egypt, Back to London many times,Canada, Yugoslavia. As I said, we didn't have tons of money and our trips were always subsidized as a Travel agent fam trip or conference but we always took the opportunity that came our way. My sister's husband was a career Army man and they were stationed twice at SHAPE headquarters in Belgium. Twice we took our boys and went to visit them. That was really special and interesting.
One year my husband came home from work at the agency and said that there was a fam trip we could take on the Norway. It was a relocation cruise from Miami, to St. Thomas and across the Atlantic to Portugal, through the Straits of Gilbraltor to Marseilles in France. It was $25 per person per day for 10 days. He said he didn't think we could afford it as we had 2 kids in college but I said, we can't afford not to go. We went and it was a trip of a lifetime, something we will always treasure.

Well, if you have made it to the end of this reading, I applaud you. Yes, I have had an interesting life with lots of opportunity for travel and we have seized a lot of it. But at the same time, I had demons to battle, tough times, not enough money and weight gain, just like everyone else. And maybe my demons were just a little bit worse. One of the other things about me is that I have compassion for other people and I don't mind sharing. If I can tell them about my experiences and help someone then I do. I don't want to leave out the Lord, because it is in him, that I have learned to be content. I have leaned on him daily, especially when tough things are happening and he pulls me through.

So that is some of my story and someday I would like to write a book. Actually, I have written some of that book in these blogs and if someone can tell me how I can go back and save or print some of these blogs off, I wouldn't have to rewrite everything. Until next time, Have a Happy Decorating Day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IPATRICIA 7/10/2010 7:45AM

    emoticonWhat a story, now I knew you had an interesting life and I am looking forward to 'The Book'.

The only way I can see of getting your Blogs back is to set up a file in you Microsoft whatever you use to write letters. Copy and paste each page into it. Yes it will take time but it will be so worth it. I am going to do the same with my own blogs.

The story of yourself and your husband is a great success story and you both deserve all the rewards.

You are so right, you cannot judge the book by the cover, nor can you ever envy anybody because their cross might be much bigger than yours.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you do at weight watchers,
I'm sure that you will be a great success at it.

Thanks for sharing your story.
Have a Great weekend Carol. emoticon

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SGKAYLOR 7/9/2010 6:20PM

    I agree about a book, I think you've had an inspiring life, overcoming obstacles that people said you could never do. You are amazing!

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MARSHASTAR 7/9/2010 5:53PM

    You should write your book. Jump in and do it like you have done other things. Thanks for sharing all this personal stuff. We got a preview of your interesting book.

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ACROSONIC 7/9/2010 11:49AM

    You are so right, people aren't always how they appear. And we all have our problems to cope with. I like your attitude. Enjoy life, cause you never know what's ahead.

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DONNAEDA 7/9/2010 11:31AM

    You are an inspiration to myself and others who read your blog. Taking risks for you paid off. Congratulations on a fun filled life.

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ANDI571 7/9/2010 10:54AM

    What a story, I commend you more than you know. emoticon

Just copy and paste what you just wrote. Take it to your e-mail, or maybe to your blank document. Paste it in. If you paste it to your e-mail, just send it to yourself, then copy it.

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4DOGNIGHT 7/9/2010 10:45AM

    Thanks all who have read this and bringing it to my attention that I HAVE had an interesting life and lots of opportunity. I am so grateful to be able to share. emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 7/9/2010 10:40AM

    You're had a very interesting life, Carol - you might not realize it because you're seeing it from the 'inside,' but you've gone a lot of places and done a lot of things. I think you SHOULD write that book! emoticon

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Thursday, July 08, 2010


I had to get up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom. So this morning I weighed! 181 it was! Whoo Hoo! I went ahead and recorded it as I haven't seen it that low in months and I hope by doing so, it will inspire me to keep on! emoticon

We have a business mixer tonight and there will be lots of food. I am staying away from the drink and standing by the veggies. emoticon Tomorrow night we go out to a Barbershop sing-out where we have dinner at a restaurant and then the guys sing to everybody in the restaurant. The place we are going I am not very fond of. It's kind of a Cajun place and I like that sort of food but I just don't like his food. I've already told hubby I don't want anything to drink, just water. emoticon

I also went out for a 45 min walk this morning with my friend Pat! emoticon We have been lax in that area and we vow to start up again. Thanks all you Spark people. Without your encouragement and willingness to stick by me I can do this! I will do this! LAter.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARSHASTAR 7/8/2010 1:34PM

    Happy DAY. Congratulations on the weight loss and the walking!
Gads, I'm always so amazed at how busy you are every single DAY.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/8/2010 12:01PM

    A great mix of:





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KASEYCOFF 7/8/2010 10:36AM

    YOU are doing GREAT! You know, it occurs to me that maybe it's a good thing you're going to a restaurant where you don't really like the food - easier to resist temptation that way, lol...

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ANDI571 7/8/2010 10:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am so excited for you!

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MAMOOAUG 7/8/2010 9:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BUGGYS 7/8/2010 9:30AM

    Congrats on your weight loss and getting back to the walking!

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LIZAP11 7/8/2010 9:11AM

    Yay! Great job!
It sounds like you are planning ahead too. Keep going!

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ILUVTOTAT 7/8/2010 9:09AM

    Congrats on your weight loss and making great choices! It's not always so easy to do, but so worth it.


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RITAROSE 7/8/2010 8:43AM

  You're making good choices and planning in advance which is so smart! Congrats on your weight loss! You can do this, step by step and day by day with smart planning!

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I joined WW online last week because ANDE1571 said she loved WW and i was encouraged to try it. I hesitated in spending the money on yet another program that I didn't follow but since I haven't been losing, I decided to give it a shot. I had briefly encountered the points program last November but didn't get into it before my time expired and counting calories doesn't seem to work for me. I'm always choosing something to eat that is low calorie but not good, like a bag of 100 calorie cookies. SOOOO, I joined WW on Wed. Then our friends came this weekend and it sure didn't seem like I was on any kind of a diet with eating out all the time but I did adhere to points counting for 4 or 5 days. And this morning as I stepped on the scale, it registered a few pounds lost. NOW, I am not going to enter that weight loss in the record books until Monday when it is my actual weigh-in day. But I am sure going to be serious about point counting until then and choosing a healthier option and more fruits and veggies.

Last night we met my sister and her husband at the local Yacht Club where we are joining. I"ll have to be careful as I had 2 beers that are 2 points each. But they have free food on Tuesdays and last night was a big salad and lasagne and I had a small portion. Anyway, as I've mentioned before, she lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago on one of those strict metabolic diets. She's kept it off until recently when she has gained about 15 lbs back. Actually I think she looks good as she was too thin and she still walks and exercises. She has been trying to lose again and says she will probably have to rejoin the diet. I mentioned I had joined WW online. She said, "That doesn't work." Great encouragement, but that is my sister. I have learned to let things like that just gloss over me.

My friend Pat called yesterday and we have scheduled to start our early morning walking again. We were so good at keeping up with it and have gotten really lax. But we have an appmt for 6:00 a.m. and now I am excited to keep that date. I know that walk will help me with my new found attitude. I'm actually leaving the house today. An appmt this morning and lunch at the Republican Women's Club. Later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IPATRICIA 7/7/2010 6:24PM

    Hi Carol, That's fantastic that the w.w.on line is working for you and so quickly too. emoticon emoticon emoticonIt cannot be easy for you as you go to so many functions, it's easy for me because I am not tempted. emoticon

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BLONDWUNN 7/7/2010 1:47PM

    Maybe WW didn't work for your sister because she didn't add regular exercise the way you do. And people have different preferences and management styles! A new plan can be very motivating. I'm happy for you that you're seeing results!

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DONNAEDA 7/7/2010 12:50PM

    It pays to hang around people who are of like minds. Negative people can derail you on your journey to success. You have to prove to your sister that WW does work. It doesn't eliminate any foods and you can stay on it for the rest of your life and not be deprived as obviously your sister was because once she went off her diet she put the weight back on. How smart is that. You are the wise one. Congratulations.

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ANDI571 7/7/2010 11:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You will be a living testimony that WW and counting points does work. You will also live an enjoyable life of eating food that tastes good, so you won't feel like you are depriving yourself.

I heard a new study yesterday that says eating "diet" food that we don't like, will not satisfy our taste, so we will quit eating it after awhile. It said we were better off to just portion out what we want to the calories of that diet food, and then we will be satisfied. I think basically that is what WW teaches us.

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KASEYCOFF 7/7/2010 11:05AM

    I wouldn't want to disagree with your sister (lol) but my thinking is, just about any reasonably healthy plan will work as long as it's one you can stay with and be consistent over the long haul. No reason why WW, TOPS, Jenny Craig, any of them won't work, as long as you follow their plan. And I know YOU can do it! Great that you're starting to schedule the walks, too. Having a 'walking buddy' keeps you more apt to walk regularly (thinks me). :-)

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VALERIEP58 7/7/2010 10:21AM

    Yahoo! Yes, I think the points work-and it sounds like you are very busy-that is awesome-keep up the good work!

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PMFISH 7/7/2010 10:06AM

    Good for you!! Delighted to hear you have found something that works for you. Family is not always the best support and it is great when you can let it slide right off.

Keep up the good work! One thing I can tell you for sure - your older body will appreciate everything you are doing to get in better shape and staying healthy.


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Tuesday, July 06, 2010


One of the best things I have learned on this Spark journey is that fresh fruit is lovely! This morning I made a fruit salad of watermelon, strawberries, blueberries and banana. One cup with WW is only 1 point and I had a slice of whole wheat toast with 1 T of peanut butter for a total of 4 points! I'm learning. I could never figure out how some diets would limit fruit and certain vegetables like tomatoes and broccoli. They said it is the sugar in these foods that is dangerous. Come on. How can broccoli be dangerous to eat, like it is going to make me want a slice of chocolate cake.

The Sonoma Diet is a good one, based on mediteranean foods. I did lose 18 lbs but, well, you know the rest. But Sonoma limits you to 2 fruits a day because you can't eat sugar or artifically sweetened foods. I think that is ridiculous not to be able to eat a piece of fruit. My fridge is so loaded with fruit and fresh veggies right now. You have to eat them or they spoil quickly.

We had a fabulous fourth of July. Our city has a beautiful park with a gazebo and a stage and playground equipment and a dock on the water. It is on a body of water called the Sound and then across is a streth of peninsula called Okaloosa Island and then the gulf of Mexico. You can almost see the Gulf from the park, we are so close. My husband was the MC at the 4th of July celebration so we got there at 4:00, put out our folding chairs in a good spot and enjoyed the show until 9:00 when the fireworks were over. This was his first time being the Mc and he did a great job! I'm sure they will ask him again. During the show, we had intermittent rain showers, lightly raining for about 5 min and then stopping. It is pouring right now as I write this, lucky we didn't have that on Sunday. Hubby's Barbershop chorus was the first act and they were great! As usual. The last act was the community band and we heard lots of patriotic tunes. We were even blessed with an F-16 flyover of 4 jets from Eglin AFB. That is so exciting. I love living in a military community. Of course, we enjoyed hearing the Armed Forces Salute where they play the tunes of all the services and I get to stand up when they play the Air Force Hymn! Then we came home in time to catch Capitol Fourth and The Boston Pops playing the William Tell Overture while the fireworks went off and the cannons boomed! Can't be any more patriotic than that!

So far, I am really glad that I joined WW online. I struggled with that, whether I would do it or not but I like it. And I love looking for 0 point foods. There are so many, like skim milk and fiber-one cereal and many fruits and vegetables. Still trying to increase veggie's and fruit as they want you to eat 8 a day. That is really difficult. They also have a recipe tracker where you can enter your favorite recipes and it will calculate the # of points it has in a serving.

I've got to get dressed and to work. Have some decorating details to clean up and place some orders. Later. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 7/6/2010 2:49PM

    If you have diabetes you have to be careful about the veggies and especially the fruits you eat: most diabetics practice some form of 'carb counting,' because all freggies are composed of carbohydrates, and even vegetables have some amount of fructose - fruit sugar - although fruit has more. If I eat a banana, I know it will spike my blood sugar; apples generally don't. Pineapple will, oranges don't. White potatoes will, sweet potatoes (which you would think could cause a problem) don't. So diets that are limiting freggies are trying to limit carbohydrates. Personally, while I have a fairly low total I can have in a day, I try to divvy them up among five mini-meals and have more vegetables than fruits. Um... is this more than you wanted to know? lol...

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BUGGYS 7/6/2010 11:56AM

    I have to be able to have my fruits and veggies! I'm not back at WW but I have started to do the points thing again...so much easier than figuring out the calories! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNAEDA 7/6/2010 9:55AM

    Congratulations on being the wife of the MC of the 4th of July, sounds like your family had a wonderful time.

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/6/2010 9:41AM

    WAY TO GO ON THE FRUITS and VEGGIES? That is rather interesting that there are diets that limits fruits and veggies so much!

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