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The Year Without A Summer

Saturday, August 23, 2014

No doubt about it, I'm an autumn baby. My birthday is in September (I like to celebrate all month long) and I live in the south - in the muggy buggy sleepy swampy coastal land of Virginia. Secretly ... well, not really all that secretly ... I am proud that I can endure a tidewater Virginia summer. But most of all I have always been glad to see those mosquitoey days draw to a close. I can't wait for the crisp bite of a north wind, the clear blue of a humidity free sky - I even like the song of the cricket - so long as he stays outside to do his wooing.

It has always been a mystery, why so many of my friends (including Himself) prefer the summer and sigh wistfully at it's closing. Till this year. This year we have had AIR CONDITIONING! I have only spent one summer in my life living in a place that was air conditioned and I had a sore throat all that summer. So I have always known what the weather is like out there. I have always felt the stifling heat of a second floor bedroom, gasping beneath a wet washcloth on my chest as I waited for sleep to take me away from the hotness. I have kicked off the sheet in my sleep. I've gotten the ice pack out of the freezer and wrapped it in a towel so that I could lie on it till my chilled blood circulated through my body to cool it down.

Not This Year.

This has been a summer of closed windows, clean floors, bug-less window sills. This year there have been no stuck dresser drawers, no mildew spores creeping across leather shoes and no no-see-ums whining in my ear. But this has felt like the year without a summer. This year, since I haven't "felt" summer, I can't really feel like there has even *been* a summer. I know. It's a Right Brain Thing.

And here we are, facing the last week of it. (you might think summer lasts till the 21st of September, but ask any 4th grader and she will tell you it's over on the first day of school) I feel like I've been caught off guard.

And what does this girl do when she is caught off guard?

She pulls out her Notebook and Starts A New List!

First I listed all the wonderful things that have filled the past 10 weeks. Then I wrote down everything I could think of that I want right now. And then I started the list of steps I need to take to get the things I want right now.

And number one on the list - no duh - is to drop the added lbs that an air conditioned summer has allowed to creep back onto this body.

ooooo. Notice how I found SOMETHING ELSE to blame for the weight gain?

No - just joking. The weight gain came from choices made over and over and over again. One more bite; an extra ice cream bar; wine AND dessert at the same meal - two days in a row. Hel-OH-oh.

But there is nothing like a new month, a BIRTHDAY month - heralding in a New Season - to inspire a girl to revamp her could-be-more-healthy lifestyle. First on the agenda is to do a new assessment with my WW ActiveLink activity monitor. I will start that tomorrow. The initial assessment was done at a time when I was lifting weights with a personal trainer. I haven't done that since my shoulder problems flared up in December. I can plug my little monitor in to the website and it will assess my daily activity and suggest ways to improve it. I'm ready for a fresh start and new challenge.

Second will be to commit to eating in the weight-loss zone. I know what that needs to be. Time to be like Nike and Just Do It.

Between those two choices runs the golden path to the body I really do want; the body with the energy to do all the other Fresh Start Things on my Autumn 2014 list.

So. That is my pumped up post for a Saturday morning - at the tail end of August in my Year Without a Summer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUOVAELLE 8/28/2014 2:03AM

    I really enjoyed your blog!
Until two weeks ago I was also under the impression that we'd had a year without a real summer, mainly because it hadn't been the usual hot summer that we have here. But August had kept it all for the closing scene!!! It's been awfully hot the last couple of weeks!
I'm an autumn person like you and I'm looking forward to it.
I hope your birthday month is as enjoyable and as fruitful as you want it to be.

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/27/2014 4:37AM

    Paris never gets hot enough to need AC... and each time I have been somewhere with AC, I have been very sick (I remember completely losing my voice in Haiti, twice, which was awful for doing all the interviews!!!). So I know what you are talking about, and I am glad you weren't sick this summer. We didn't really have a summer here either actually, not because of AC, but because it has been so wet and so cold. Only 1 hot day in the whole of summer so far! I am off to Italy next week, and then to the Gulf, so I'll have hot days for sure, but I won't see much of Paris in September, and it makes me sad as I love that time of the year so much. Ah well! :)
Enjoy your birthday month, I look forward to hearing about your new goals and results!

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MSBEKANATOR 8/25/2014 8:06PM

    So glad I was able to read your blog. I enjoyed it!

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1MORNINGWALKER 8/25/2014 10:30AM

    Beautiful blog. Have a great Birthday month.
I love Fall and my autumn crocus are blooming now, makes me feel good. congrats on featured blog emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 8/25/2014 8:42AM


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FORBANDE 8/25/2014 7:03AM

    I love autumn too! I know what you mean by missing the summer. I can remember going to the beach and just being outside more. Now the desk jobs, air conditioning and all the other conveniences, I can barely stand a little heat.

Here's to meeting your goals (which I know you will do)! And here's to a wonderful birthday month!


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STEPH-KNEE 8/25/2014 2:52AM

    You are so fabulous! emoticon

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JSEATTLE 8/25/2014 2:15AM

  I will miss the longer days the most. Hoping for a mild winter.

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BLUEJEAN99 8/25/2014 2:02AM

    You are a good writer girl!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 8/25/2014 12:36AM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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ROCKYCPA 8/24/2014 11:13PM


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SJKENT1 8/24/2014 10:58PM

    I love the fall... I love living in an area with all 4 seasons amply displayed. Well.... actually we see a whole lot more of winter than anyother season!

Here's to a great fall!

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KIPSTER52 8/24/2014 8:46PM

    emoticon thanks for the smile

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BEATLETOT 8/24/2014 7:47PM

    I really enjoyed this blog!

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LIVELYGIRL2 8/24/2014 7:27PM

  I can get what you are saying about the contrast of this states summer, and having that lovely air conditioner.

But here in CA, it is lovely, except for a heat spell for 3-7 days. I am sad it leaving, because it's my FAV!!! But I am going to have my last hurrah for awhile. My b-day is Tuesday and I can milk it. stretch the summer wanta be until Sept. when we get rain. Actually this is year 3 or 4 of drought .

The only bad thing we have in CA is earthquakes and outrageous pricing on housing. They call it supply and demand, but it is tough , in that regard.

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DALID414 8/24/2014 6:45PM

    I'm a September baby, too!

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CICELY360 8/24/2014 5:33PM

  good blog

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HOLLYM48 8/24/2014 4:24PM

    In Minnesota, the humidity can be horrible so I will take the air conditioning on days like today when it is close to 85% humidity. I love to walk outside but at the end of that walk, I am heading indoors to the air. I also sleep better because of the air conditioning and spent my childhood in a 2cd floor bedroom with no air so decided when I bought a house, we would for sure have central air.
Enjoy your bday month, there is nothing better than celebrating for the whole month!

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SDEHNKE 8/24/2014 3:32PM

    September is my birthday month too and I'll be the big SIX OH. I thought you were going to say that you didn't have a summer just like we didn't really have a summer in Indianapolis because it never really got hot until the past few days. We had highs in July and August in the 60's. I've lived with air-conditioning most of my life. I'd much rather have the windows open but it has to be perfect weather for my husband to let me.


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NONNAOF2 8/24/2014 3:08PM

  My summers are very hot, but dry and unbearable for me to be in with the bad air that accompanies it!! I sure don't want muggy weather, I'd have to move if that happened! Your birthday is coming up, so it most definitely a good incentive to re-group and plan for your next year ahead! Congratulations, you have set up a list of what you will do in the coming year to be successful! Enjoy your summer soon being over, ours will last for a couple more months! :-)

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JUSGETTENBY42 8/24/2014 2:54PM


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MARYJEANSL 8/24/2014 2:44PM

  I too have a September birthday, and I too am all-too familiar with trying to sleep in the hot, hot summer... My survival technique when I woke up in the middle of the night gasping for air was to stagger to the shower in my nightgown and get in, nightgown and all, for a quick spray. The resulting wet nightgown would cool me enough, as the water evaporated, for me to get back to sleep.

Now that I live in Texas, which is hot ten months of the year, I do have central air, which I so appreciate. But I haven't forgotten the old days...

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PATRICIAANN46 8/24/2014 2:22PM

  I emoticon ed this blog!!!!! You brought back a flood of memories of the upstairs bedroom of my youth.......NO Air Conditioning............NOT even a fan...........NOT even a screen in the only window in my room............Just 3 circles on the bottom of the storm window with screens over them!!!!! I finally got a fan when my parents found me sleeping with my head on the window sill trying to get any kind of air from those 3 circles!!!!! emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 8/24/2014 12:14PM

    love summer, hate hot sticky weather, the air goes on.

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NEPTUNE1939 8/24/2014 11:03AM


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IDICEM 8/24/2014 10:58AM

  I leave the AC off as long as I can (refuse to turn it on at all before June) and love the summers it isn't often necessary. This isn't one of them. lol

Love that you are taking stock before your birthday month. Happy celebrations!

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ALEXSGIRL1 8/24/2014 9:33AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TINY67 8/24/2014 9:31AM


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SHOAPIE 8/24/2014 9:26AM


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WORKNPROGRESS49 8/24/2014 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DJSHIP46 8/24/2014 8:40AM

    emoticon Glad your summer was more comfortable emoticon

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CARRIELYN56 8/24/2014 8:26AM

    ...happy soon to be fall....

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TRYINGHARD54 8/24/2014 8:11AM

    i prefer spring and fall.. don't like the hot sticky weather.

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PENOWOK 8/24/2014 8:01AM

    Ugh...our "summer" was pretty wet and mosquitoey. We didn't sue the air conditioning as much as our system that dries the air because the humidity was so high. I'm sure yours was too. The crickets, though, have found an entrance to our house...2 so far! I am with you on needing to start again. It's time!! (we started school last week, so thus ended our summer!)

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MICKEYH 8/24/2014 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JERICHO1991 8/24/2014 7:31AM

    Good goals for September.

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CHERYLHURT 8/24/2014 6:57AM


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MSLZZY 8/23/2014 10:34PM

    Sounds like our summer, only a few nice days but DH HAS to have the AC on all the time. I am not fond of it so I go outside anyway and let him sit and veg. Only problem is the garden is almost at a standstill. We need rain, but the tomatoes and eggplant need the heat. What's a girl to do?

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ICECUB 8/23/2014 6:39PM


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KANSASROSE67 8/23/2014 5:45PM

    I truly prefer no A/C. Our house stays reasonably comfortable with fans unless the temps get into the mid-90s or above. Right now, I'm loving the option to have it on because it's REALLY hot here! But I'd much rather sleep with windows open and a cool breeze scented with mown grass.

Sounds like your September plans are exciting. I love this time of year, because it makes me think of back to school and fresh starts and newly sharpened pencils.

Enjoy celebrating!

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JUSTYNA7 8/23/2014 5:33PM

    A lovely blog and beautifully written. I was right there with you kicking off the sheets and hiding my hands from mostquitoes under pillows... which explains why still today I do that... Especially as I age and get hot flashes I appreciate A/C but I prefer the window open, the fan over my bed creating a breeze or better yet a wind coming in through the screen. Love fall. You are right to celebrate all month... me too but in Spring. Do things with the people who are important to you.

Could A/C cause weight gain?... I do think so because I lose my appetite in summer when it is hot and tend to gravitate towards fruit and raw veggies to not have to cook... but with A/C there is no reason not to make and eat a hearty meal.

I have only passed through Virginia and read the license plate... "for lovers" with a chuckle. I imagine you are much like us in the Ottawa Valley of Ontario Canada. We get the extremes of cold and hot but we also get the glory of spring and fall. I love it.

Good luck with your to do list. I'm still fighting my food dragon and have started the writing diet again with a couple of spark members. Two things I love, writing and walking so might as well write myself to the right size. Happy Birthday!

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SLIMMERJESSE 8/23/2014 11:06AM

    I celebrate my birthday month-long also. And I have a very tough time in a/c; sometimes throat stuff, but it mainly makes me feel lightheaded and dizzy. Very nice blog.

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123ELAINE456 8/23/2014 10:19AM

  A Wonderful Blog. Enjoyed it very much. Thank You for sharing God Blessings Always. Have a Terrific Day. Here is a Lot of Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!For You. Take Care. And Stay Safe. I Love the Spring and then the Fall. Not to Hot and Not to Cold. Winters are to Cold and Summers are to Hot. Enjoy Your Birthday Month of September. It is just around the Corner.

Comment edited on: 8/23/2014 10:19:58 AM

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BETHGILLIGAN 8/23/2014 9:04AM

    I love autumn--just wish winter wasn't right behind it! I love the smells, the colors, the air, and the first cool day when you can wear a sweater in the morning and be comfortable when you take it off in the afternoon. As a teacher, I always thought of September as the new year. Even though I've been retired for 5 years, I still see September as fresh start and new beginnings. I always feel energized and focused in the fall. I'm already in a pretty good place with exercise and diet so, hopefully, I will be able to kick it up a bit in September.

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BUTTONPOPPER1 8/23/2014 8:48AM

    Wow! Every once in a while, when I have time, I browse new blogs and click on them randomly. I happened to click on this one and found some poetry! I loved this blog about air-conditioning and how you missed the summer because of it! For some reason, it made me feel so nostalgic for the old days. Good luck with your Saturday! I love crickets, too, and autumn is my favorite season!

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Sea Change - a LB/RB conversation

Friday, August 08, 2014

A sudden shift in the universe has lifted the stress off of my shoulders. A potential family issue melted away like ice in the summer and a new county employee came by with an idea for a cooperative project that really pumped me up. It's got The Brains whispering excitedly. Wanna hear?

* * * * *

emoticon Whoa. Was that a victory last night?

emoticon Shhh. Don't talk so loudly. I think it was but we don't want to tempt fate.

emoticonWell. It sure felt like a win. And if we had to hear some weird back-handed insults as SomebodyWeLove conceded defeat , well, who cares.

emoticon Yeah. That's just little boy talking. I remember reading somewhere that when you tell your kid "don't do that one more time" you have to be prepared for him to do it one more time before he quits. I think that was what happened last night.

emoticonWell. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud ... in fact - in the end we were both laughing.

emoticon In the end we were ALL laughing. Whew. Dodged that bullet. Man - I've been sick with worry about that issue.

emoticonYeah, me too.

emoticon And how about that new Parks and Rec guy? Isn't he something?

emoticonOh la, yes! all of a sudden we are going to have so durn much fun this fall I can't stand it.

emoticon (with a huge grin) Think of all the planning we can do. All the lists! The power point presentations we get to make! Think of the explosion of productivity and interesting work.

emoticonFeel the excitement. Feel the joy we'll be able to spread around town. I feel like dancing.

emoticon So what do you think. Can we start one of those Whole Town Loses Pounds things - the sort of thing we've read about in People magazine - with this guy? Rope in the hospital? And the schools?

emoticonOh yeah. Cool.

emoticon Something like 2015 lbs gone in 2015? wouldn't that be fun?

emoticonIt feels like it'd be a ton of fun!

emoticon OMG yes! A ton of fun found, a ton of weight lost.

emoticonWell I wish now we were going to work today just so we could share that idea with him.

emoticon LOL Finally get a day off and now you want to go to work?

emoticonWell, we are going in to town. We could give him a call.

emoticonI know we could ... and maybe we will - but it's an idea that can wait till next week.

emoticonOh please. don't let the momentum die out.

emoticon If we stop by his office we may get delayed buying all that reunion stuff. You know we have that appointment at 12:30 that we really can't miss.

emoticonOh. Yeah. Okay. Well. I won't whine and insist just so long as you promise to remember.

emoticon I swear I will. I'll send us an email immediately so we'll remember on Monday.

emoticonFair enough. Now - let's go have a great Friday.

emoticon You betcha!

* * * * *

Well. Isn't that interesting. so if you read about my little town in People Magazine next year - remember - you heard it first, here. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

123ELAINE456 8/8/2014 11:24PM


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POSITIVEHOPE 8/8/2014 5:26PM

    Love the idea and your enthusiasm for it. Everyone's journey is easier with friends. Be sure to include your local restaurants and grocery stores in the effort.

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JCMSMILE 8/8/2014 1:59PM I'm pumped up too!! emoticon

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MSLZZY 8/8/2014 9:35AM

    Just share the name of your little town and I will anticipate a great article. Let those 2 happy brains enjoy the weekend! HUGS!

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KANSASROSE67 8/8/2014 9:10AM

    I'm so happy you've found an exciting project and I'd love to hear more about it! I've been in a work slump for a know how it is when you've done the same thing for a long time. We're lucky to work in a profession where we can implement new projects and bring fresh ideas into play, plus make our communities better. I need to remember that!

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ICECUB 8/8/2014 8:57AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 8/8/2014 8:22AM

    That sounds like an exciting fall and potentially a great health project for the town. How nice that new person will help you. I am also happy you resolved your family issue and are at peace.


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BETHGILLIGAN 8/8/2014 7:49AM

    Love the enthusiasm!! Reminded me of how I felt at the beginning of each school year!!

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WATERMELLEN 8/8/2014 7:40AM

    Full of great ideas and zest and enthusiasm!!

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ELRIDDICK 8/8/2014 7:05AM

  Thanks for sharing

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WDIPIM 8/8/2014 7:02AM

  Good luck! - your blog is fun to read

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The Brains Just Chatting

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

In looking for something else deep in my blog archives I found the first post I'd ever made from The Brains. I hadn't realized I'd been doing this quite so long - but then - in my 60's now I tend to forget just how long ago something happened. It ALL seems like long ago.

Anyway, rereading the first Right Brain/Left Brain conversation woke them up and now they're chatting. Let's listen in:

* * * * *

emoticonHey look at this! A record of our first conversation! Isn't that cool?

emoticonWell - that's not exactly true - we have always communicated.

emoticonYou would say something like that.

emoticonJust stating the facts, m'am

emoticonHuh. And missing the point. It's the first time I ever had a chance to articulate.

emoticon(smiling) True. It was good to hear what you were thiniking

emoticon I wasn't thinking. I was feeeeeeeling. Nothing more than feeeeeeeeling emoticon

emoticon You nut. But yeah - it was great to hear in words I could understand - what you were feeling. It's so hard for me to understand your feelings when they just come as ... well ... feelings.

emoticon I know. I can feel that too. Or rather - when you're not trying to hear me I get all tense and feel worse and worse ...

emoticonYeah - till you act out and consume an entire bag of cheetos.

emoticon heh heh. Haven't done that in a while, though - because you ARE listening to me a lot more now.

emoticon(looking sanctimonious) I do my best.

emoticon(giving RB a pinch) Smartypants

emoticonJust teasing. And I am really glad to hear from you too, because when I do listen - well - I can be me - only better. Like last night. Remember? How we were sinking into the black and gloomy pit, arguing with Himself. All the Iron Gates were clanging shut. but we really have to not just work this issue out but carry the day. And after a while I just shut down and quit answering.

emoticon Yeah. I did notice. And was just beginning to feel hate and rejection. It was awful. Till you opened up the channels and let me flow into your mouth so I could say the right words.

emoticon Yeah. Boy. That was magnificent. You were really fabulous.

emoticon (blushing) Thanks.

emoticonBut we're not out of the woods yet. We still haven't actually won this fight. And we must.

emoticon Sigh. Yeah. I know. But maybe we've figured out how to win it.

emoticonYou know, I think you're right. Hmmmm.

emoticon(nodding, smiling gently - peacefully)

emoticonHmmm. Hmmmm. You know you're absolutely right. This looming argument has been so daunting - so ...

emoticon I know. I feel it. I've been almost sick about it. Yet afraid to bring it up. Afraid to go there because ... gad - that man can swamp us with words.

emoticonI know. And I really think he's .... well ... well ... so WORDY.

emoticon(laughing) And so WRONG!

emoticon(laughing with her) Oh la. He is, isn't he?

emoticon And we really have to change his mind.

emoticonYes. we do. Sigh. Oh well. We have time. Thank God we have time.

emoticon uh oh. I can hear you now. "I'll think about it tomorrow. At Tara"

emoticonLOL. Well. you're the one who pushes me to procrastination. Besides, I don't think I'll think about it all that much. I think I will tap into your deep honest true good strong and CORRECT feelings and let you do the talking.

emoticon Woo woo. Me? Cowardly me? In charge?

emoticon(smiling) yes. You. Cowardly you who will still do what's right when it has to be done.

emoticon Oh. My. what a nice thing to say. (gives LB a kiss)

emoticon(hugs RB tightly) We're a team, aren't we?

emoticonYes. We are. And we'll get this thing sorted out. I feel it in my bones.

emoticonAnd I know it in my heart.

emoticonSo. How about that spa visit in Colonial Williamsburg. Don't you want to do that again?

emoticonOh la yes. But we're a little short of cash right now. And time. That's an even scarcer commodity.

emoticon Oh but wait! Isn't a window opening up in that 3rd week of August?

emoticonOooo. It IS. Hmmm. Let's talk to Suzanne today. I'm sure she'll want to have lunch with us. Let's just see what we can plan.

emoticonSounds good to me.

emoticonGreat. Off to werk we go then. High ho, High ho. It's off to werk we go.

* * * *

Well. Who knew? Those two brains can really come up with some plans when they work together. I never know what's going to come out of one of their conversations but my goodness, I really ought to listen in to them more often.

Now it's time for ME to get to werk. Ta.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

123ELAINE456 8/6/2014 1:27AM


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OSDOWNS 8/5/2014 4:31PM


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KANOE10 8/5/2014 9:58AM

    Nice blog. I was reflecting that very often not identifying your feelings causes problems in life. You are doing a good job of respecting your feelings and trying to understand them. Hope the two of them find a good solution to your current situation.


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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/5/2014 9:20AM


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BETHGILLIGAN 8/5/2014 8:46AM


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NASFKAB 8/5/2014 8:18AM

  interesting great

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LJOYCE55 8/5/2014 8:12AM


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The Brains Work Something Out for August - an RB/LB conversation

Saturday, August 02, 2014

I hear the brains chattering. Sounds like they have some issues. Let's listen in.

* * * * *

emoticon Hey. It's August 2. Don't you think it's time we wrote something?

emoticon Why are you always picking on me! Go away. Waaaaaaaahh

emoticon Yeah. I thought so.

emoticon You thought so, you thought so, you thought so.

emoticon Yeah. Now I know for sure. Something's wrong. Spit it out.

emoticon (gasping hard breathing) Leave me alone

emoticon No. We can't be happy if you aren't happy. So what's got you feeling so bad?

emoticon I feel like a failure

emoticon You do? Why? You're so cool? I mean we're so cool so you have to be cool.

emoticon I didn't do the things I said I'd do in July.

emoticon Oh. Well. Yeah. But I didn't either.

emoticon No duh.

emoticon Don't be snippy. They were just ideas, you know. Not set in stone. Besides. How did we know it was going to be such a weird month.

emoticon I'm ashamed to post that I didn't do what I said I'd do during the month of July. And it sounded so cool. And I wanted to feel like people admire me for doing such cool stuff.

emoticon So. Don't post that you didn't do what you said you'd do. Who is making you feel so obliged?

emoticon I don't know. I just feel. And I feel ashamed.

emoticon oh. well. I don't know anything about that. I never feel ashamed.

emoticon No. you don't feel anything. You and your old left thinking brain.

emoticon eh. we are what we are, right?

emoticon Sigh. Yeah. I feel fat.

emoticon Oh. well. I bet you do. I know we're ... well ...

emoticon BORED. I'M BORED BORED BORED. I'm tired of tracking. Tired of everything we eat. Tired of everything.

emoticon I know. I'm actually bored too. You know that boredom is a mental as well as an emotional state.

emoticon Well I guess I did but what I do know is that I feel cranky and bored and uninspired and fat.

emoticon I looked. We aren't fat. But we are probably aren't eating all that well either. Not so bad, mind, but not great.

emoticon What did you look at?

emoticon The scale. It's only up about 3 lbs.

emoticon UP! The scale is UP?!?!???

emoticon Oh come off it. You knew it was. You had to. You feel crummy. Heck. Even I feel crummy. We always feel crummy when the weight goes up. It's just that ... it's only up a little bit. We can stop that in its tracks.


emoticon Get a grip. We like to weigh in at goal but we aren't going to die if we don't. It's only feedback.

emoticon You don't understand.

emoticon No. You don't understand. I understand. You feel and maybe you forgot that you ate fudge and ice cream and French fries and

emoticon WAAAAH.

emoticon (putting her arms around waling Right Brain) Shh shh shh. It's okay. You know that neither of us has ever valued perfect attendance. That was true in school. It's true on the job. And honey, it's true for weigh in too. We may be a little up this week, but we can get it back down by next week.


emoticon Sh sh sh. That's okay too. We never overeat at that anymore. We haven't for years.

emoticon Oh. Yeah. I forgot.

emoticon But you didn't forget how we handle it do you?

emoticon No. We make sure we talk to everyone at the reunion before we eat any food. And by then, all the good stuff is gone and we're not that hungry anyway.

emoticon Right. So we'll be fine at TheReunion. And you may not have noticed but this week, when we've just eaten like ordinary Americans, with French fries and BLTs, we've always just eaten till we're no longer hungry and we've actually tracked it.

emoticon (drooping head) Yeah. Who knew a BLT was 18 points.

emoticon Well we know now, don't we.

emoticon Yeah.

emoticon So. anything else bothering you?

emoticon Well. There's that thing at work.

emoticon Ugh. Yeah. Well. Nothing we can do about that, now, is there. We're just going to have to let it play out the way it will play out.

emoticon Sigh. Yeah. I guess.

emoticon And you will stop dreading to go to work? Just accept that as one of the things you can not change and all like that prayer.

emoticon Sigh. Yeah. I guess.

emoticon It's NOT your fault. Or mine. We can NOT make people be smart, good, wise, perfect. Heck. We can't even make ourselves be that. So quit stressing about it.

emoticon Sigh. Okay.

emoticon (tickles Right Brain) Stop it.

emoticon (giggling a little) Okay.

emoticon (making the sign of the cross) Te absolvo

emoticon (eyes twinkling) Thank you Father Left Brain School Marm

emoticon (grinning) So here's a thought about August see if it feels good to you. I do think we need to change out our eating in some way but I don't know how yet. I keep hearing about things that sound interesting: ThePlan, Whole30, Anti-Inflammatory Diet. But I don't know enough about anything. So what if we just do this. What if we eliminate artificial sweeteners and limit sugars and drink half our weight in ounces of water ... for 31 days?

emoticonOh. Hmmm. That means no sodas.

emoticon Yeah. I know. But we might buy a soda stream thingy that makes carbonated water.

emoticonYeah but didn't that scientist say carbonated water made our tooth enamel wear away.

emoticon Yeah. She did. Hmmm. Well. Heck. How about just doing without sparkling drinks period?

emoticonWell. It sounds okay. I like water. And I feel like the artificial sweeteners are making me sort of .. icky. How much do we have to limit sugar?

emoticon Oh. I don't know. Maybe 100 calories? That's about 6 tsp a day.

emoticonHmmm. I'm not sure if I can or even want to dig out all the sugar info off the labels. Not for every single thing we eat. It's starting to feel bad.

emoticon Well I certainly don't want to make this into some sort of punishment. I'm hoping it'll feel so easy it'll be fun. Or at least so easy we don't really notice. Giving up sodas will be the hardest.

emoticonYeah. I don't want another month to end with me feeling ashamed. Maybe we ought to just say no artificial sweeteners and 75 oz of water. I WANT to do those things.

emoticon Hmmm. Alright. That's good enough for me. Hey usually it's ME who offers the compromises.

emoticon(grinning) I guess I'm learning from you.

emoticon (grinning back) I guess we're learning from each other.

* * * * *

Well. I'm glad they've got that all sorted out. Looks like they have a Plan for August.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAT-IN-CJ 8/4/2014 10:58AM

    ain't it the truth, tho!

thanks for the chuckle. a great way to wake up & work out the brain early Monday morning.

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123ELAINE456 8/4/2014 12:44AM

  Great Blog. Great Plan For August. You Can Do It!!! I have Faith in You. Keep Pushing Forward. WTG!!! God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Month. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Take Care.

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MSLZZY 8/3/2014 8:53AM

    Compromise and learning go hand in hand. I think my 2 brains can handle that. Yours have such interesting conversations LOL!

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BETHGILLIGAN 8/3/2014 8:04AM

    Great blog!! The August plan sounds good!!

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KANOE10 8/3/2014 7:45AM

    That was a cute blog and made me smile. I had to laugh at eating like the other Americans. It is all too true. Americans love their fries, shakes, soda, and chips. I also went through that phase where I was tired of everything that I cooked!
You have good plans for August. I hope your work gets settled out. I am not looking forward to returning to work either.
Hi to the two girls. They did a great job of getting you ready for an on track August.

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STEPH-KNEE 8/3/2014 7:10AM

    I love love love when you share this with us, not only do I learn a lot about you, I learn a lot of lessons about myself as well! emoticon You are so fabulous!! :D

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JCMSMILE 8/2/2014 11:13PM

  I love your LB\RB conversations!! emoticon

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ICECUB 8/2/2014 6:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    As usual, another emoticon blog from your 2 brains. Love the idea they came up with. We had a machine years ago that made carbonated water. Don't know what ever happened to it. We now just buy a case of club soda, which has nothing in it but potassium. I like to add a slice of lemon, orange or lime to it. emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 8/2/2014 12:26PM

    emoticon blog/message!!! emoticon emoticon

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MRSCAMACHO 8/2/2014 10:24AM

    That was awesome! You've got a pair of hemispheres that can really communicate! Can they come over and talk to my hemispheres? I think we can work a solution out for me. Thanks for sharing!!

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A Summer Bike Ride with pictures

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer always looks so long and carefree, stretching out across the calendar when you hang your new one in January. Alas, when it actually gets here it can zip by in a twinkling, leaving you sitting by the curb in September wondering "Wha happened?"

I work in a public library and we are busier than a one armed paper hanger in June, July and August. It takes a concerted effort on my part to participate in summer as well as to serve the needs of all those others seeking summer enjoyment. Yesterday I made that effort and what a glorious day it was.

Somewhere on the Internets I saw a photo of a bike, parked along a country road, and I had a lust to go bike riding. Himself and I have talked, now and then, about biking down one of the old railroad beds that have been turned into bike trails. A little research turned up a Rails to Trails park within an easy drive from home.

High Bridge Trail State Park.

Not owning a bike didn't deter me a whit. I found a wonderful bike rental right in Farmville beside one of the trail entrances.

the fact that it was still under construction didn't keep the owner from renting us very VERY smooth coaster bikes.

Himself hadn't ridden a bike in a long time and though I use the stationary bikes at the gym - they are just that. stationary. So we were both a little nervous about riding away from the rental shop, especially on such brand spanking new bikes, for fear we'd topple over. But the adage holds true - once you learn to ride a bike you never forget. Off we pedaled onto the white gravel path.

We'd had a heavy rain the day before and the sky had that washed clean look to it - fresh, cool breezes wafted scents of pine, greenery, moist earth all about us.

The star attraction of this 31 mile trail is the former railroad bridge over the Appomattox River. It's half a mile long and I believe, 120 feet high.

this is the 4th bridge to link Farmville to Prince Edward county. The Civil War era bridge was built on brick pilings and had a double deck - with the train on top and a wagon road below. You can still see some of the brick pilings. (hope this photo loads in the proper orientation)

We could hear the river rushing as we got closer to it - and then suddenly there it was, sparkling over some rocks.

There didn't seem to be any other rapids along the river so I wonder if these are artificial ones, created by the rubble of previous structures. Mostly the river was a smooth brown snake weaving through the green treetops.

There are many places where the old railroad crossed highways and country roads so you can pretty much ride the trail in 4 mile chunks. We went about 8 miles from Farmville to Rice - which is a pretty little railroad town of about 30 19th century houses

and a brick church

We took our time. We stopped often to have a snack or sip some water. We peered over the bridge for a bird's eye view of the Virginia countryside.

And we had some quiet time of just being where we were, pedaling easily, in no hurry, just soaking up the feeling of sumertime and peace, unscheduled, un-driven, and un-organized.

The quiet ride back gave us many treasures, not the least of which was riding up on these two babies, out for an afternoon browse.

It was a perfect afternoon. Just what you dream of having on a golden sunshine summer day.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSRIGS1 8/14/2014 6:26PM

    What a perfect ride! Thanks for sharing with us!

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    Oh what a beautiful beautiful day!!! Just the type of day I love. I should really try biking again, I know it would do me good. But I love hiking so much! Thank you for sharing such a perfect day with us.

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CORNERKICK 8/5/2014 3:14PM


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NASFKAB 8/3/2014 2:25AM

  thanks for sharing lovely bike ride cant bike & at 72 with a now almost fit broken femur better not try gorgeous pictures

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1MORNINGWALKER 8/2/2014 11:06PM

    Beautiful bike ride, love the bridges, the blue sky and those beautiful clouds. emoticon emoticon

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CAT-IN-CJ 8/1/2014 10:53AM

    Sounds like you had the absolute perfect afternoon!

Treasure each memory.

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/31/2014 10:33AM


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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/31/2014 10:33AM


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MAYBER 7/30/2014 11:26PM

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful adventure
Just inherited a bike from a granddaughter who no longer wanted it so will see if I remember how to ride
God Bless

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KANSASROSE67 7/28/2014 9:17PM

    Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing your ride with us.

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PENOWOK 7/28/2014 8:13AM

    How lovely!! What a wonderful gift you gave yourselves!

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ANGELN325 7/28/2014 6:13AM

    That was a beautiful ride. The railroad bridge being so high would be a little scary for me, but the rest seemed breath taking. Glad you let that adventurous spirit take over!

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BLUEJEAN99 7/28/2014 1:07AM


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SHOAPIE 7/27/2014 10:12PM


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PATRICIAANN46 7/27/2014 8:41PM

  What a wonderful way to spend a summer day. emoticon for sharing it with us. Biking has always been one of my favorite ways to exercise. I would bet that you will do this again and again....... emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 7/27/2014 7:19PM


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CICELY360 7/27/2014 6:06PM

  nice picture

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/27/2014 3:21PM

    What a great collection of photos. Looks like a soul-filling ride!

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JUSGETTENBY42 7/27/2014 2:34PM


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LCRUMLEY81 7/27/2014 2:10PM

  Great post...wish I could find a good bike

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DGRIFFITH51 7/27/2014 2:07PM

    Rails to Trails is such a great movement. I enjoyed, and walked in sections, the entire length of the Pacific Electric Inland Empire Trail (18.1 miles) in Southern California when I lived there. I have supported this organization for the past two years. Donations provide more trails to be developed.

Thanks for sharing your day and helping others to learn about the Rails to Trails organization that is turning abandoned land into wonderful trails like you enjoyed.

emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/27/2014 1:29PM

    emoticon What a lovely way to spend the day!

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TRAILBLAZER6 7/27/2014 12:38PM

    Moments in life you will never forget.

emoticon for sharing such a wonderful time.

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KIPSTER52 7/27/2014 12:36PM

    emoticon thanks for sharing

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NEPTUNE1939 7/27/2014 11:28AM


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BONIFIANT 7/27/2014 11:12AM

    Such a wonderful ride. Thanks so much for taking us along by picture. I am envious.

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LIVELYGIRL2 7/27/2014 10:51AM

  I love it! Lovely scenery !!!! How fun. Did you guys actually do the whole thing? Thanks for sharing it with us. emoticon

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ICECUB 7/27/2014 10:50AM


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NONNAOF2 7/27/2014 10:50AM

  Thank you for sharing your pictures, the scenery was beautiful! I'm curious if you did the full 31 miles, quite a feat for not biking for a while! I haven't ridden a bike since I was a child, it would be fun to experience that feeling once again! :-)

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JSEATTLE 7/27/2014 10:25AM

  Thank you for sharing your ride with the pictures too. I have enjoyed many Rails to Trails rides and they are definitely worth supporting!

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JERICHO1991 7/27/2014 9:24AM

    Thanks for sharing. I may get my bike out now.

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TINAJANE76 7/27/2014 9:20AM

    Just lovely, Bess!

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NEWBIRTH2014 7/27/2014 9:10AM

    Thank you - I needed a little motivation to start riding my bike if just for a few blocks around the neighborhood emoticon

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SHARON7464 7/27/2014 8:40AM

    I'm curious as to where this wonderful bike path is and might I say 31 miles is aggressive for the first time out in many sounds as if you had a delightful day!

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STEVIEBEE569 7/27/2014 7:34AM


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ANNEMARGAR 7/27/2014 7:33AM

    Thank you for the inspiring blog! I have to get out on my bike so I can train for a ride I am doing with my brother in September - your blog is just the push I needed. Thank you!!

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ALEXSGIRL1 7/27/2014 7:22AM

    what a lovely day you had great scenery and good friendship and I bet you almost forgot you were exercising

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WATERDIAMONDS 7/27/2014 7:20AM

    What a lovely, healthy way to spend your day...LOVE the pictures, especially the deer.

Thank you.

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CARRIELYN56 7/27/2014 7:01AM


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STEPH-KNEE 7/27/2014 6:54AM

    So wonderful!! emoticon emoticon

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SHELTER-PETS 7/27/2014 5:36AM


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MARYJOANNA 7/27/2014 5:10AM

  How picturesque!

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SHOOPETTE 7/27/2014 4:18AM

    really nice pics!

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MAREE1953 7/27/2014 4:18AM

    Great blog, Bess. I need to figure out how to add pictures. We have an old railway bike trail within walking distance of the house. I believe you've inspired me to get out the ole Trek and go for a ride. Yaaaay summer!

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JIBBIE49 7/27/2014 1:12AM

    Great to see ur blog in the Spark Mail.

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REGILIEH 7/27/2014 12:39AM


Lovely pictures!

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123ELAINE456 7/26/2014 3:08PM

  What a Wonderful and Beautiful Place to go on a Bike Ride. Thank You for the added Posts too. Those are Beautiful Photos. Thank You for taking us with You in the Post. Love IT. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Take Care.

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ANGELBELIEVER 7/26/2014 9:50AM

    hat a wonderful adventure you both had. Loved t emoticon he pictures too. Thanks for sharing your time with us.

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WATERMELLEN 7/26/2014 9:17AM

    How lovely!! Thanks for bringing us along with you!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/26/2014 9:00AM

    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing them.

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