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A Good Memory...or Maybe Just One at a Time?

Friday, January 20, 2012

In my attempt to follow the Seven Habits and help them become, you know, HABITS, I had three activities to do with the first habit: Be Proactive.

1. Pay attention to my language and that of those around me to listen for reactive phrases vs. proactive ones.

2. Select a problem and determine the first step I can take to solve it within my "Circle of Influence." Take that step.

3. Try a thirty-day test of proactivity.

And I gotta tell you, I'm not doing so hot. It's really hard to remember to be aware of all this! Especially 1 & 3. I could probably knock out 2 relatively simply and quickly if I didn't always forget what it was.

Anyway, tomorrow and Monday, I'm going to focus on the language. One day at work, one day at home. Sunday, I will do number 2 from start to finish (assuming the step can be taken on a Sunday...if it's work-related, I might have to wait until Tuesday). And I'll start the 30-day test on Tuesday or Wednesday. I will keep notes in my planner or here in the blog to keep myself accountable and aware.

Seems like a decent plan.

Thanks for all the blogging, 5% Challengers, and 'specially my Starfishies! This is always a fun LTGL challenge!

Sending lots of wet, salty Starfish kisses everyone's way!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/23/2012 2:20PM

    emoticon actually the "wet, salty" thing creeped me out a bit, but back atcha!

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RUTHXG 1/21/2012 11:11AM

    I'll be interested to read how this works out concretely--it's kinda abstract right now, & we poets don't do well with abstractions. emoticon Maybe down the road you could blog some specific reactive vs. proactive language you have found yourself using--? Language has such power!

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MISSLISA1973 1/21/2012 10:32AM

    You're doing great! The more you blog about it, talk about it, read about it, or think about it, the easier it will become.

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/21/2012 10:27AM

    Good job....change comes slowly, but with consistency, you'll get where you want to be

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TEXASTITCHER 1/21/2012 12:07AM

    Glad to be a starfish

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 1/20/2012 11:50PM

    Good Luck. Can't wait to read your progress report.
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LINDABENEDICT 1/20/2012 11:41PM

    emoticon emoticonBACK AT YA !

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Got My Bike!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It came yesterday (AS PROMISED!--thanks Overstock!), and my husband and I put it together. I haven't used it yet, for a couple reasons:

1) My housemate is gone...that means strength training!

2) I'm writing this blog instead.

My housemate has been here A LOT the last week and a half or so, which has made it hard to exercise. I tell myself I have to strength train when she's not here. Finally, she is out of town, so I have new rules. I strength train until I tire of it when she's not here, then I hop on the bike. I hope to get more minutes this week. Thanks for putting up with me, Starfishies!

On another note, we're heading to DC this week! Stop by and see me! Love y'all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDYD207 1/24/2012 8:44PM

I really like my bike and cycle at home everyday if possible, for 30 minutes. Have now got it up to 12 - 14 km for 30 minutes. But when I first started I could only do about 5- 6 km cycling for 30 minutes.
When you start cycling make sure the tension is low at first and gradually increase the tension over the weeks. You will really find you will like it. - Judy


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DONNACFIT 1/20/2012 9:41PM

    Glad you got your bike!!..I love mine..It's a recumbent with lots of bells and whistles emoticon

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KAYTIE22 1/20/2012 8:36PM

    WooHoo! Enjoy your bike. It will be fun and great exercise.

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ANNIEONLI 1/20/2012 7:38PM


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MISSLISA1973 1/20/2012 5:58PM


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SEATTLESIMS 1/20/2012 2:52PM

    sounds like you have a great plan! enjoy the new bike!

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SHRINKINGLULU 1/20/2012 1:25PM


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/20/2012 12:04PM

    Are you embarrassed to ST when she's around? Or does it just get in her way?
Congrats on the bike!

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JOSIEISHEALTHY 1/20/2012 11:00AM

    WOOHOO that is awesome and way to go! You are doing great!

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RAINBOWCHOC 1/20/2012 10:44AM

    the team should be with you as it's a short distance!

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TEXASTITCHER 1/19/2012 11:58PM

    Glad you enjoy your bike

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/19/2012 11:08PM

    Congrats & enjoy.....and don't forget to post photos!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 1/19/2012 10:59PM

    Yippee!!! You must be one happy Starfish! Now, make sure you use it. I had one many, many years ago and, eventually, it became a cloth rack. emoticon

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RUTHXG 1/19/2012 10:40PM

    Yay, the bike is finally here! And sounds like a good plan for strength training. (Though couldn't you do some ST with a resistance band while watching TV with your housemate--or something like that?)

What will you be up to in DC?


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PINKNFITCARLA 1/19/2012 10:31PM


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LINDABENEDICT 1/19/2012 10:24PM

    emoticon Have fun with your new bike !

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Focusing on What's Important

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I got home last night around 6:00. It was so nice to sleep in my own bed, and super-nice to see the Little Dog! He was being so sweet last night, sleeping while we held him, like he hadn't been able to sleep so well the last couple nights.

In addition to being proactive, I also need to work on focus. I need to focus on what's important. I'm getting this from The Spark. It's weird, because I'm reading that and Seven Habits at the same time, and a lot of it is the same. I keep reading and thinking, "I was just thinking of that yesterday," and it's because I was reading it in the other book.

This makes sense for weight loss because it's the same thing as "standing in my truth." If I want to lose weight, so I need to do things that help with that, and not do things that hurt with my goal. I need to keep a sort of tunnel vision towards my goals so I'm not distracted by the excuses and things that keep me from achieving them.

What it really said to me, though, had more to do with my grandmother. I need to be a better granddaughter. I don't email her back every week, even though she emails me. She kept saying how few pictures she had of me, because I don't send any. But it's not just me. The phone rang twice in a short span of time, and she said, "Sometimes it doesn't ring at all."

I don't want to project my reactions to her feelings as her feelings themselves, and she seems happy. Her mind is sharp, she plays bridge, she has friends at her dorm, but I know that she's not going to be here forever. When the inevitable happens, I'm going to feel guilty no matter what; it's just a matter of degree. So I need to do the best I can now while I can.

And really, it is so much more important than a lot of what I spend my time on daily. And I need to focus on what's important.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSLISA1973 1/20/2012 6:01PM

    The Spark and SP have been helping me learn to focus too. It makes a big difference!

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JSPEED4 1/19/2012 4:35AM

    Tunnel vision as focus. Maybe that is the language I need to manage my attention nowadays. I grew up with that demanded of me and have worked to not just be that way, but it has its values.

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MOMFAN 1/18/2012 10:34PM

    Do your best! I wish I had your opportunity. All my grandparents are no longer here. I loved calling my grandmother on the phone and just talking. She was so wise.

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LINDABENEDICT 1/18/2012 7:25PM

    What a nice blog ! And you are a very sweet granddaughter to be so concerned about your grandmother and her feelings !!!

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MADAMES 1/18/2012 7:10PM

    I do appreciate this reminder....lately I have been feeling the urge to stay in touch with everyone I hold dear. I think that is because a couple of them have recently been diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and that will really really make you appreciate the little moments with others!


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HAKAPES 1/18/2012 6:49PM

    How do you like the 7 habits?
I was reading it with a friend of mine last year, discussing chapter by chapter, and somehow we progressed very slowly. The ideas were good in the book, just it took so much time to get it finished.

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AMYLONGHORN 1/18/2012 6:14PM

    That part about the phone made me sad. I tried to e-mail Grandma back today and I got a failure notice twice, so not sure what is up with that. I am glad we were able to go out sure did mean a lot to her! It was sooo good to see you, too...see you again next month! Hugs!!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 1/18/2012 5:43PM

    I feel the same way! My grandmother is 90, and has been in a nursing home for about a year. She is slowly slipping, and I try to make time to visit her frequently. Can be difficult with our busy schedules.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/18/2012 5:20PM

    Yes, do the best while you can. I've been doing that with my grandfather who I know has not a lot of time left, and I've been feeling way more at peace about it. emoticon

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SHRINKINGLULU 1/18/2012 1:42PM

    Ouch! A painful reminder that I need to be a better granddaughter too!!! Thanks for that!

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DONNACFIT 1/18/2012 11:59AM

    Great's in making others happy that we find our own happiness..sometimes I get so busy I schedule things like could try "tracking" e-mail your Grandma weekly or when ever and soon it will be a habit...I used to work at a nursing home and you can't believe how much a call, letter, visit or something means to the residents..

Thanks for the blog :) and welcome home!

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HELLODANAE 1/18/2012 11:53AM

    Yes I need tunnel vision as well!! Today at work people order hot wings, and I love them and I was planning on ordering and thought " that going to help you with your plan?..No, so don't" and I didn't...Is just food right!! emoticon

Stick to the plan!!!

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RUTHXG 1/18/2012 11:18AM

    I can just imagine how happy Sammy was to smell you again!

I was not diligent enough in keeping in touch with my grandmother before she died way back in 1980. How I wish I had made it a priority. I'm glad you're planning to make that space in your life each week.

I love your new veggie background! Refreshing, bright, & a wonderful reminder!

Now I'm off to get some lemongrass . . .

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HOPESINGH 1/18/2012 11:14AM

    Thanks, i feel like I'm reading these books through your thoughts on them , and it's very interesting. emoticon

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MONAKIN314 1/18/2012 10:44AM

    Great words of advice for everyone!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 1/18/2012 10:37AM

    I am so glad you took the time to visit your grandmother. You have no idea how happy that made her. I hope you and your siblings all left with the feeling that you did a nice deed that needs repeating. And DO stay in touch with her. She might have lots of company, but it is not family. And...she emails at her age? Good for her, so do respond when you can.
Good to have you back.

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LILBITWANNABE 1/18/2012 9:44AM

    You're doing a great thing by thinking about Grandma. She will be thrilled to get your emails:)

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TAICHIDANCER 1/18/2012 9:08AM

    Thanks for the food for thought. Now go email your grandmother!

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Be Proactive

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So I'm blogging from my phone, and this is very interesting...

I'm sitting in a living room of a model apartment at my Grandma's complex. It is a really nice place. I haven't seen my Grandma yet, cuz we got in kind of late, but we've seen Amy and her husband and stepson.

In spite of not going to bed till midnight, I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't fall back asleep! Time difference, man. I gave up trying around six and came out here to sit with my planner, my Kindle and my phone and knock out some thoughts.

I'm rereading Seven Habits. After I got the planner, I realized that I could use a refresher to better use it. I read the first habit on the plane and wanted to write some things down about it.

The first habit is"be proactive." Proactive people don't blame externalities. They focus on what they can change, and they change it. Covey suggests a thirty day challenge of being proactive, so that's what I'm going to do.

I can see its application generally, but also specifically with regard to weight loss. No excuses. He says (I'm paraphrasing) that proactive people don't blame the weather; they make their own weather. You create your environment with what you put in it. If it isn't working for you, it is your responsibility to change it. He says responsibility is response-ability--you are able to choose your response.

So none of this especially new, but reading it in his wordsa is so inspiring and such a good reminder. And the 30 days will be good, I think.

P.S. I wasn't planning to doi my habit blog till Wednesday, but I managed it without even realizing!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDABENEDICT 1/17/2012 10:32PM

    Great blog ....I needed to read this today. Thanks !

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    Look at you putting your proactive plan right in motion by writing this blog early. I agree with the book and you know is always great to be reminded. I needed it too, so thank you for the early blog.



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MOMFAN 1/16/2012 4:15AM

    Love it! Proactive is what we all really need!

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DONNACFIT 1/15/2012 8:46PM

    Great blog!! I love that fav is "sharpen the saw" I'm working on being my own coach and I think I'll bring in the author as an assistant

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KAYTIE22 1/15/2012 7:56PM

    I liked the "Seven Habits" and good for you for going back over them again. Thanks for the reminder. I should take a look at my book too.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/15/2012 7:03PM

    Make their own weather :-) I like that

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TEXASTITCHER 1/15/2012 5:31PM

    Good new habit to acquire

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HS1056 1/15/2012 4:11PM

  Wow Brenda! In different words you said just what was my "lightbulb" moment that got me off the couch to begin my healthy lifestyle. I finally realized that I had the choices to make, good or bad, regarding my situation. I could sit on the couch and blame whoever and whatever or I could choose to get up and live my life. It took some years of wanting to change until that day back in June when the realization hit me that I HAVE CHOICES! And look at me now. Funny, huh! Really though it changed my life. Great Blog!

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RUTHXG 1/15/2012 2:12PM

    A really empowering thought, that! And you did a great job blogging on your phone. I look forward to seeing what shapes your proactivity takes.


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MISSLISA1973 1/15/2012 2:00PM

    I love this habit. I read this chapter years (I mean YEARS) ago and it changed my attitude so much, it just blows me away the way some people approach life. "I can't" and "no" seem to be their first response to any new idea. Proactivity turns it around to "What do I need to do to make this happen?" I love your weather analogy. What a great way to put it! Let's make some sunshine today!

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CANDOK1260 1/15/2012 1:40PM


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GETSTRONGRRR 1/15/2012 1:01PM

    Sounds real good kiddo....and totally achievable!

For me, being proactive is planning ahead for and around my future excuses.....I keep spare gym clothes in my trunk for those days I might forget to pack my bag....I have rainy weather clothes for those times when I can only work out outside....etc, etc. etc.

Take away your future excuses today!

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HOPESINGH 1/15/2012 12:54PM

    That's the second inspiring blog I've read today. Thanks! emoticon

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LILBITWANNABE 1/15/2012 12:09PM

    Hmmm so true. I might have to check out that book. What I'm doing now isn't working so maybe enlightenment from elsewhere would help.

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CARLYG8 1/15/2012 11:37AM

    Oh my gosh....I haven't read that since it came out. If I remember right, I had to read it for a business course or something in college (early '90, maybe '91). are right. The same principles apply to weight loss too!!! I am going to have to find my copy...I think I still have it with some old college textbooks. Thanks for the reminder!!!

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STILLOUT2LUNCH 1/15/2012 11:10AM

    I totally agree with the proactive philosophy. So what specifically are you gong to do this week to become more proactive?

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HELLODANAE 1/15/2012 11:07AM

    I totally agree, I have to work with what I have, instead of asking why I should ask what
I might not make sense but I get what you mean. Sounds like a great book. I might look it up!!!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 1/15/2012 10:38AM

    So, you were able to get computer connection...just see, that you are blogging from your phone. Great.
I think in this world, you have to be proactive. I found that out when it comes to your health, especially.
Again, good luck and enjoy your trip to the City at the Bay. I miss San Francisco, having lived in the Bay Area for over 30 years.

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"I Used to Be Fat"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Has anyone seen this show? It's on Logo, and it's about teenagers who are overweight, as far as I can see. I'm watching a marathon of it right now as I clean up and pack. I have a friend coming over to watch Sammy tonight, because my housemate is out of town till tomorrow night. It's a really nice show and very motivating. I may try to watch it more when I get my bike...


Hooray! I'm very happy and excited, and a little annoyed that I could have had it weeks ago if I'd just ordered from Overstock in the first place.

I lost a pound this week. How I'm not too sure, but we've gone through two massive containers of spring mix this week, so that may have had something to do with it. emoticon

I'm packing to head out to California this weekend. Amy, Anna and I are all going to San Francisco this weekend. Amy and I are bringing our families (minus Sammy) to visit my grandmother. Anna went for a conference, and she'll come see us when she's not busy with that.

I don't really know how it's going to be. I haven't gone to see my grandmother in almost 10 years. The last time I went out there, she was living in a home in a seniors' community, but now she's living in an assisted living residence. It sounds really cool, like a dorm for the elderly. But still, I'm a little nervous.

And there's no wireless there. The computers with the Internet access apparently are only for residents. I'm not too sure how I will subsist without Internet, but I will use my phone to log in. I don't know how easy it will be to blog or track while I'm there, and I'm not sure how much activity I'm going to be able to get...and forget exercise!

As far as eating, I hope that it will be okay. I do want to go to Round Table Pizza, since I haven't been in waaaaay over a decade--probably closer to 15 years, but other than one Round Table Pizza meal, I know I can make good choices throughout.

I will do my best Starfishies to visit your blogs and blog myself, but if you don't see much of me, wait till Tuesday! I'll be back!

Starfish Love!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Yes, I have seen the show and I liked it. It inspired me to motivate my own self. Have a great time on your trip, sounds like a ton of fun. Hugs to grandmother!



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DONNACFIT 1/15/2012 8:51PM

    Have a great visit!! I love my bike so I hope you love yours, too!!

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BECCIE0524 1/15/2012 7:30PM

    Have fun and enjoy your new bike.

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COLLINSCJ2009 1/15/2012 12:26AM

    You are going to have a great time with your grandmother.

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HELLODANAE 1/14/2012 10:13PM

    Have fun!!! enjoy what you CAN do and forget about what you can't emoticon

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LINDABENEDICT 1/14/2012 9:23PM

    Have fun !!! McDonalds, Panera and Starbucks all have free wi fi, but bet you are having too much fun to Spark much while you are visiting !

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MADAMES 1/14/2012 5:21PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! Enjoy your visit! :) Evelyn

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JMCADE 1/14/2012 5:13PM

    Have a good time, and remember everything in moderation. I've seen that show and it is very good.

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HS1056 1/14/2012 5:11PM

  Have a super fantastic time, Brenda! I'm sure you'll find plenty of healthy options out in Cali. And a big WOOHOO for your weight loss this week! Have fun!
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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/14/2012 4:27PM

    I'm confused... This weekend or next? It's already Saturday! Have a great trip, we'll miss you!

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ANNIEONLI 1/14/2012 4:19PM

    enjoy your trip!!!! Have a good time!!

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PINKNFITCARLA 1/14/2012 2:55PM

    Enjoy your visit and glad you will have your bike soon!

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MOMFAN 1/14/2012 2:21PM

    Using the phone takes lots of patience, finally have learned out how to do it all on hubby's when we travel. Remember to enjoy San Francisco, I have lots of fond memories when we went down and celebrated dd turning 21 many years ago.

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KIM--POSSIBLE 1/14/2012 1:51PM

    Glad you are going to get your bike. Enjoy your time with your family! "See" you when you get back!

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HOPESINGH 1/14/2012 1:49PM

    Enjoy this visit!
by the way, this starfish team sounds so cool. I was too slow on trying to join so I missed it - I'll try next time, 'cause I'm jealous of those participating in the challenge.
Have a nice trip! emoticon

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    Congratulations on losing a pound this past week! Way to go.
Are you at all considering taking a laptop with you? SFO terminals have computer access and so, of course, does Starbucks. Are you staying at a hotel? If so, they might have internet access.
Have a wonderful and safe trip. I hope the rain holds off until you return. We watch S.F. news every night and they are expecting some rain.
Ruth's suggestion to have your grandmother tell you some stories from her past is a great idea. I hope you are enjoying your trip.

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RUTHXG 1/14/2012 1:17PM

    Have a wonderful time, Brenda! You know, if you just do a little walking on those SF hills, you'll get some trackable exercise.

I hope you & Amy & Anna have a really great visit with your grandma. Suggestion: see if she'll tell you some stories from her past that you can write down. Who knows how much longer she'll be around to tell them?

Much love to you. emoticon Oh, & huzzah on losing the pound!

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ERIKGN 1/14/2012 1:14PM

  What channel is it on?

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