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Not Such a Good Day

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First of all, my streaks are both over. It was time. I went over by less than 100 calories, so it's not such a big deal, and I'm okay with it. I am trying to expand my streaks each time, so it's actually kind of a relief to know I don't have to go too far next time!

And my trigger food blog wasn't very useful today. I wound up with a cookie and chips today. Since when do my colleagues eat chips? I've been offered chips every day this week! My colleagues are not usually chip eaters, but maybe I gave them my chips desire when I tried to give it up.

At least I stayed away from the chocolate.

There were other things, too. I saw a very bad accident on my way to work today, involving an SUV and a motorcycle. The motorcyclist was on the ground. I called 911, just because you hear those stories about people not calling because they think somebody else must have called, but in the end, no one does, you know? But it made me feel bad and sad and a little weird.

And Big Sammy tested heartworm positive. So he can't go to my friend's house for at least a month while he gets treated. My friend is your typical manly-man, not one to show emotions, but you can see he's a little shaken by this development, and I think it's kind of sweet, since he hasn't met the dog yet.

So today wasn't so great, but I'm all right, just a little tired, and tomorrow will be better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNASBF 5/13/2011 1:21PM

    I once saw an accident like that, same type motorcycle vs car, and it does affect you for quite some time afterwards. I think it is an overwhelming feeling of compassion... for the victim, the family of the victim, because of the knowledge that their life will be changed at least for the short term maybe longer... all that stuff. I am also glad you are the one who was there in way because the willingness to act is sometimes the most difficult behavior to get people to do. I hope someone like you is near if I ever have such a situation in my life.

As for the day you had, well, I agree, some days are just like that, I'm glad it is already yesterday! Hope today is better.

Take care.

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CASAM1985 5/11/2011 11:56PM

    The sun'll come out, on Saturday, when we will walk a 10k in Centra-aa-aal Paaaaark. Just thinkin' about, Saturday, makes teaching worries fly away, till it's daaaaark. When I think of a day, that's grey and lone-ly, I just lift up my chin, and grin, and saaaaaaayyyyy: Brenda, my sister, I love ya, my sister, you're only 2 days away.

Have a better Thursday! Call me if you have time between the hours of: 11:45-2:30 or after 5.

Love you.

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BLEIGH711 5/11/2011 10:36PM

    Time to start a new worries. Accidents are scary, you did a good thing. Hope big Sammy gets well soon

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JENBELLE 5/11/2011 10:16PM

    Sounds like a "full moon" kind of day! You've been awesome with your streaks though! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/11/2011 9:57PM

    I know what you mean about the accidents thing! I always call 911 just to be safe... I don't care if it's their 10th call about the same thing, it's better to be safe than sorry. Then I always remember those stories you hear about calling 911 and being put on hold/busy signal.... never happened to me though!
Sorry to hear about Big Sammy but at least he will get the treatment he needs... stinks that it takes so long to treat though.
And I like your positive outlook on the Spark Streaks... next time you will be able to break your records!

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RUTHXG 5/11/2011 8:56PM

    It is VERY distressing to see accidents--especially when you can't do much or anything to help. I'm glad you called 911.

I'm sorry Big Sammy has heartworm! Hope he gets over it with no problems. It's sweet that his new owner already feels attached.

And your streak-breaking was so minor that it just relieves you from performance pressure without having any negative physical consequences for you, I would guess.


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AMYLONGHORN 5/11/2011 8:47PM

    Whoa...what a weird day! It just sounds like you had an "off" day! Hopefully tomorrow will be better!!! Sorry to hear about Big Sammy, but at least he will get better before he comes over to your friend's house...I'm sure he'll be worth the wait!


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JMCADE 5/11/2011 8:35PM

    looks like some small setbacks. You will get back on the streaks tomorrow

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RRP546 5/11/2011 6:52PM

  good luck tomorrow

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Big Sammy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do you know the story of how I found Little Sammy?

I'd never had a dog before, and I never even much cared for them before, but I went through a phase about a year and a half ago, in which, whenever I was feeling low, I would look at pictures of puppies on Google Image search and it would cheer me up. Well, one day, I made the mistake of looking at the pictures on of real dogs, not out-of-context Google Image dogs, and there was Little Sammy. He was so cute that I fell in love immediately. Even when I clicked on his picture and found that he was blind, deaf, old, had a heart murmur and was otherwise a bad investment, it was too late. I was already in love.

The reason I tell this story is that I still visit and pretty regularly. This can kind of get me in trouble, like when I see Baby, this perfect little beagle puppy in West Virginia, or Ira, the chihuahua/dachshund mix wearing a green bandanna. I fear that someday it will get me in big trouble, and I'll wind up on another mission to get a dog. My sisters can vouch for the fact that the era between the moment I first laid eyes on that picture of Little Sammy and the moment I had him sleeping in my bathroom (and well, every moment since), I was borderline intolerable in conversation.

So what I've been doing is looking for dogs for friends. Or a friend, actually. I have a friend at work who had had a samoyed/golden mix that died a few years ago at the age of 14 and who has wanted another one. But he says they aren't common and they get snapped up quickly when they do pop up on these sites. So I look for him for this particular mix, because I like my dogs small, and these are pretty big, so it keeps me out of trouble.

I've found quite a few, but he'll make excuses. He's too far away, she's female, he's too old...

But this weekend, I found one that is about a 7.5 hour drive away. Yes, too far, absolutely. But it was in a shelter, without a rescue organization's backing. In the posting, it said that they only have 5 days to find the animal a home or a rescue organization. Then, in ominous red text, it said, "LAST DAY 5/10/2011." So I sent him an email that he didn't read till yesterday morning.

I asked him about it, and he said, "They wouldn't kill the dog after 5 days, would they? That seems a little drastic." And I said, "What do you think they do on Day 6?" And so he applied for it and was approved! Hooray! Then they gave him the name of a transport company that will bring it up here for $100. A bargain!

It's all VERY SUDDEN, but now, it seems my friend will have a new roommate in the form of this very pretty samoyed/golden mix, whose name is Sammy. His predecessor was also named Sam. Not that this is surprising, because I bet a LOT of samoyeds are named Sam or Sammy or Sami (it's not that creative, really), but still. I've brought a Big Sammy into my friend's life.

And how cool is that?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEAVENSSHADOW 5/11/2011 4:41PM

    I love dogs. My life would be incomplete without them.
My doxie-mixed-with-papillon? was a rescue, as well as my cat, and our rottie? Well, who could resist a 5 week old rott pup? I mean really....
Hehe. If we weren't so worried about how to feed them all, my BF and I would adopt many more to add to our family, haha!

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AMYLONGHORN 5/11/2011 4:39PM

    Awwww, Little Sammy will have Big Sammy as a friend! Too cute! Can't wait to get my day!!

And NO CATS! LOL!!!! You're nuts, Anna! :)

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/11/2011 1:37PM

    So cute! I love dogs and I hope to adopt one in the near(ish) future. My current apartment doesn't allow ANY pets even though they advertised the building as "1 block from dog park!" what the heck? On my runs I pass the dog park and watch all of them! I often think about going inside the park but I'm afraid someone would be like "which ones yours?" and then i'm like the creepy dog pedophile! emoticon

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SASSACAIA 5/11/2011 10:52AM

    That is a fantastic story!! My boyfriend had to put his beloved Golden down in March and it's been really hard for him. I love the idea of getting a dog together, since I have never had my own, but not where we live now. So I'm slowly planting seeds, as in, how do you feel about this type of dog?? To see what kinds we agree on... and so maybe in the future we can adopt the perfect dog. Those sites get me in trouble too - I'm always looking at cute kitties, but I already have two and that's enough!!

Thanks for sharing this story. :)


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JECKIE 5/11/2011 8:22AM


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ELLENSUN 5/10/2011 11:14PM

    Darn it! I just *happened* to type, and then I clicked on "dog" and then it asked my for breed. Um... what kind of dog was Rover again??? Oh, yeah, it was a Basset Hound. I type in Basset Hound, I type in my zip code. And wouldn't you know it, the very first listing is for a Basset Hound at the animal shelter JUST ACROSS TOWN. AAAUUUGGHHH! I don't think my DH wants a two year old Basset Hound right now. Darn it!

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ELLENSUN 5/10/2011 11:08PM

    WAY cool, I would say! Well done!

... help ... I'm feeling the urge to look at ... help!

emoticon woof

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BLEIGH711 5/10/2011 10:41PM

    I'd be so lost without my dogs. I think its great that you are spreading the love.

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RUTHXG 5/10/2011 10:02PM

    It is WAY cool that you could divert your dangerous tendency toward dog romances to help your friend--& succeed! Being a matchmaker is SO HAPPY-MAKING! Go you!

Also, you are a truly excellent writer, Brenda. This story was delightful to read not just because of its fairy-tale ending but also because you tell it so cleverly.


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CASAM1985 5/10/2011 9:48PM

    More Samsters on pianos eating popcorn? Or is it green beans?

When are y'all going to get a cat, I know Aldo loves Stabler! I bet Stabler and Sammy would get along...

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MUNCHIE718 5/10/2011 9:28PM

  Sammys are the best! I have one, too! I can't tell you how many hours I've spent on when I get bored at work. Glad you could help your friend out & save a dog, too.

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Am I breaking my streak, or not really?

Monday, May 09, 2011

So, today the Knees challenge was to get 24 points for cardio. 24 points!!! 1 point is 5 minutes, so 24 of them is 120 minutes. I'm not sure this was calculated before the challenge was set, because that's a far cry from doing three arm exercise or burning 300 calories, but I figured, okay, fine. It's one day, and I can handlethis.

So I walked 24 minutes at lunch. I did 73 minutes on the bike. I did 23 minutes on the elliptical. 120 minutes total.

But when I put it in the exercise minutes, my SparkPoints only showed 22 points!

This is A LOT of exercise. Do I have to go for another 10 minute walk or a cardio video to legitimately say I'm maintaining my streak? Or am I cool to have followed the spirit of this crazy challenge?

What do you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 5/10/2011 9:46PM

    Seems a little excessive. I would check how you entered them. There could be a type or you did not enter them as cardio minutes.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/10/2011 12:25PM

    Hmmm that would P!ss me off! Has Spark been shorting me on some valuable points?! LOL! That stinks! Great job marching, I might have just given up. You rock! emoticon

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BEATLETOT 5/10/2011 9:02AM

    Yeah, I know. But I was already in my jammies, and I'd already showered. And it WAS hard! I had to switch up the styles from marching band to US military to North Korean/Nazi military, all the while watching Celebrity Apprentice.

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AMYLONGHORN 5/10/2011 8:58AM

    That is weird that SP didn't count all your time...what the heck?! Oh well, WTG on...marching in place?! LOL I can just see you doing that! Too cute!

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HOPESINGH 5/10/2011 4:52AM

    I'm impressed with your determination emoticon

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BEATLETOT 5/9/2011 9:51PM

    Okay, fine. I marched in place for 10 minutes. And now my legs hurt, so I hope all y'all are happy. emoticon

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SEAWAVE 5/9/2011 9:25PM

    How much does your streak motivate you? It's probably worth doing those extra 10 minutes, even though you've had a great day of exercising already!

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RUTHXG 5/9/2011 9:13PM

    I say doing the correct number of cardio minutes counts, even if there's a glitch in SP that makes it not show up. But I'm not part of that team, so I'm probably not qualified to rule on this. emoticon

Either way, that's a crazy-abundant amount of exercise--way to go!

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JENBELLE 5/9/2011 8:48PM

    WOW! You're dedicated and did so much cardio today! Do some 10 minute abs and call it a day!

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STAR4W 5/9/2011 7:46PM

    Jst go for it! Go for the gusto! You can do it! It wont hurt anything, and will add to those disappearing pounds!!

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Mein schmerzliches Herz

Sunday, May 08, 2011


It started with a mug.

Maybe it didn't actually start with the mug, but the mug was the first tangible part. If the mug wasn't the beginning, the pre-mug era was made of only thoughts, dreams, memories and longing.

About this mug. It's a black mug. It has a picture of Karl Marx on it, and it said "Karl-Marx Universitaet Trier." It was a gift from a friend from Uni-Trier that came to visit almost four years ago. He brought me lots of Trier presents, but the mug is the only one I used regularly. I put my tea in it at work. I brought it home to wash on Friday.

Somewhere between my cubicle and the kitchen sink, it broke. That made me sad, but my first thought was probably the first thought of most people under forty and maybe the second or third thought for most people older than that: I'll go online and try to find another one.

I couldn't FIND another one. I found a ton of Karl Marx mugs, mostly ones making fun of our president (note: I'm not actually a big fan of Karl Marx, but he was born in Trier, so he's kind of a big deal around those parts). I didn't WANT one with Barack Obama on it. I wanted a black mug, with Karl Marx's face on it, that said, "Karl-Marx Universitaet Trier." But I couldn't find one.

I was really sad, and I felt really stupid for feeling so sad over a mug, but it wasn't just the mug.

In my search, I saw pictures of Uni-Trier, and Trier. Porta Nigra. Tarforst. Kleeburger Weg. I saw the vineyards. I read about the different Fachbereiche (subject areas) at the Uni. I went on Facebook and told my friend he had to come back and bring me another mug, and I saw HIS mug on his Facebook profile, and by the time I was done, I still didn't have a mug. I had a giant, crushing dose of Heimweh.

Last week, I also went to a luncheon for my German exchange student's program. All the talk about German education hit me a little, too. Then, today, I was watching soccer. Spanish soccer, but it took me back. But not literally, and that's what I want. I want to literally go back.

But I don't know how. I don't know how to navigate finding a job or a life over there. I don't know what my non-German-speaking husband would do there. I don't know what I'd do with my house, or if I could buy a house there. It's something I've mentioned to my husband before, but it's too overwhelming to contemplate. But right now--today, at least--it's kind of all I want.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 5/9/2011 11:58AM

    I'm not German. Sadly.

I'm American, but I studied and lived in Germany for a little bit in 2006, and it was like coming home for the first time. It was weird. Like, okay, I don't want my sisters to think I'm being stupid or saying that I didn't also feel at home at home with our parents and in my life there, but when I was there, it was like everything fit, and I didn't know things could fit that way until I was there.

I'm actually really jealous of you, Hope, because you were able to make a life for yourself outside of your homeland. I spent the morning before work began looking for jobs in Germany, but that is a near impossibility due to the laws they made in 1973 about hiring foreigners. But only a "near" impossibility. Not a total one. So we'll see.

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HOPESINGH 5/9/2011 11:44AM

    Hey, I didn't know you were German! Now I'm even more jealous of you (for being a person living outside of her homeland).
I haven't spent more than one year away from my homeland (unfortunately), but I do know how Heimweh feels. emoticon
How do you feel with the language thing? I mean, speaking a foreign language all day long, even if I'm good at it, feels so artificial and unreal to me. Especially when your language has wonderful words that I've never found in other languages, like "erledigen" (is that just my perversion to love this word?). Or the extremely long Komposita.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/8/2011 11:36PM

    My parents lived in Germany in the late 70's... they were in the US army but lived in "citizen housing" off base and loved it. My brother was even born there. I would love to visit one day! I hope your dreams can come true one day emoticon

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GO-LOEW 5/8/2011 11:30PM

    I didn't realize that you are from Deutschland. My husband and I have spent many wonderful days in Trier and when you were mentioning all of those places, I could picture them in my mind. I think one of my most favorite places on earth is the area between Wasserbillig and Cochem.

I can understand your deep desire to go back there. I love the orderliness of Germany and the German people, and their sparkling clean windows.

My mother-in-law is from GelsenKirchen-Horst and came to this country with her American husband after the war. I love to see my husband in Germany, speaking German. He seems to somehow belong there, although he was raised in this country.

I hope that you can find a way to calm the unrest that you are feeling as you think of these places where you want to be. Perhaps if you dream of it and decided that you really want to go, your mind will help you find a way.


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CARLYG8 5/8/2011 9:34PM

    I'm sorry...I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better, but I don' think words would help right now. Sometimes there just isn't anything anyone can say to ease the "ache", but just know that we are thinking about you, and praying that you find some peace...and another mug (smiles).

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RUTHXG 5/8/2011 5:15PM

    Well, deep desires have to be listened to, even if they don't seem practical. Who knows how this might be fulfilled in the long term? For now, I'd say keep German in your life in various ways.

I maintain the goal "keep Spanish in my life" on my list over at, & I fulfill it by keeping Spanish-language movies in my Netflix mix, making regular time to meet with Colombian friends, chatting online with my friend in Bolivia, listening to Latino music, etc.). I'm thinking pretty seriously of retiring there! Social security will go a lot further there, if things continue more or less as they are.

So coddle your German & keep your heart & eyes open. You just never know!


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Streaking By!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

I'm working with streaks right now. I'm on Day 5 of both of my streaks.

The first streak is staying within my calorie range. It's been all right. Today, I thought I went over by 15 calories, but then it turned out that I had had a half serving of something I put in as one serving, so that was good.

On Cinco de Mayo, even though I didn't originally plan on doing anything, all the talk of Cinco de Mayo made me really cravey for Mexican food. I had a bit over 700 calories left for the day, so I thought, well, I can't hit a Mexican restaurant. I could have done a Chipotle salad, hold the guacamole and sour cream, but I didn't want to spend the money on fast food. It's a bit pricey, you know?

So I went to the store and bought the ingredients for a Mexican feast at home! Ready-to-expire steaks, whole wheat tortillas, taco and fajita seasonings, and so on.

After dinner, I put my food in, and I was within two calories of my limit! Hooray!

The only problem was that one of the purchases was tortilla chips. I should have bought baked, but I skipped the part of the story where my husband had just happened to be at that same grocery store and had already put most of the stuff, including the tortilla chips, in a basket when I joined him (after going to the gym!). So it's day one of the 5% Challenge, and I'm already eating chips. But I'm within my calorie range for the last five days, and that's a good thing.

My second streak has been following the daily challenges from The Knees group. So far, I've flossed, burned 300 calories, done arm exercises, and eaten protein. I love the leader of this group! She comes up with challenges every weekday, and I've noticed in the past that often no one will post on the challenge threads, so she couldn't see if people were doing the challenges or even seeing them! But she's kept on posting them, and now I'm going to make sure I post that I've done them. I've noticed that when one of us posts on it, others do, too, so that's cool. I don't want her to think that we take her for granted. L*I*T*A, we love you!!!

So cover your eyes, folks! I'm streaking by! It ain't so pretty right now, but if I keep streaking, it will look better and better! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENBELLE 5/8/2011 6:09PM

    Great job with the streaking, lady! Keep up the great work- mmmmm your fajitas made me hungry!

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HOPESINGH 5/8/2011 3:07PM

    Way to go! I'm really bad at streaks, and it actually puts me down. But I'm glad it works for you, and that you've been able to do it - it looks like a double challenge.
And as for LITA, well - she's really wonderful. I try to post on the challenge thread when I manage to meet the goal, and always get an encouraging reply emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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BEATLETOT 5/8/2011 9:23AM

    Good morning, Ruth! I think it's a hot spring. I did a Google image search on 'spring wallpaper,' and saw the requisite flowers and sunshine and stuff, and picked this one, even though it was the 'spring' I was going for. It is pretty cool, no!

Happy Mother's Day!!!

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JECKIE 5/8/2011 9:03AM


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SEAWAVE 5/8/2011 5:59AM

    For some reason, streaking has never worked for me. Half the time, I would forget to log in my other goals when I did them. I'm glad it's working for you, though -- whatever helps us reach our goals is great!

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RUTHXG 5/8/2011 12:19AM

    P.S. What is your cool background picture??

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RUTHXG 5/8/2011 12:18AM

    Great job! You actually let us see you streaking, you know--you DESCRIBED the streaks to us. Heehee. Keeping inside your calories--fabulous. That means you are also tracking your food. I need to get back to that.

So happy to be emoticon with you again!

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CASAM1985 5/7/2011 11:56PM

    I am jealous of your Mexican feast! I spent Cinco de Mayo watching the Voice with Kim, and going to be at 10, which was awesome. I love A days where I don't have to plan for the day before! Great job, sister, on your streaks!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/7/2011 11:03PM

    LOL I love streaking but I used to get a little obsessed adn then totally crushed when the streak ended!
Great job making the mexican feast fit within your cals... the chips... those can be tough, but if you can keep your portions in check and fit within your limits, not so bad.
Go Starfish!

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DRAKON9 5/7/2011 10:18PM

    LOL. Keep on streaking!

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CARLYG8 5/7/2011 9:58PM

    emoticon You crack me up! Great job on the "streaking"!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 5/7/2011 9:48PM

    You are doing a great job meeting your goals! Kudos to you for also including treats and special meals with dh!!

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