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BROOKLYN_BORN's Recent Blog Entries

The ultimate test of maintenance? How about a CRUISE?

Monday, November 26, 2012

For those who have read my history of unfortunate wedding anniversaries, we’re doing it again – for my maintenance anniversary. DH got this great last minute deal that he couldn’t refuse. So on Dec 7th off we go for 2 weeks on the Rhine.

It will be a lovely trip – the Christmas Markets, beginning in Basel and ending in Amsterdam. There will be lots of walking tours in cold weather which burn extra calories, but there will also be lots of FOOD, all paid for in advance. First order of business will be to restrain my thrifty “get my money’s worth” gene. Wine is also included, so I’ll have to keep that in mind too.

I once wrote that I don’t deprive myself when on vacation, but neither do I plan to overdo it. River cruises aren’t as food laden 24/7 as ocean cruising, but still it will be a lot more than if I were cooking for myself. My favorite food has always been something someone else made and put in front of me.

We will see. Maybe I’ll pack all my smallest clothes.

Related Blog Entries:
How to celebrate an anniversary

How I eat when on vacation

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 11/28/2012 7:15AM

    Have a great time. That sounds like a wonderful cruise.

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WILSONWR 11/27/2012 6:57PM

    Good luck - it really sounds like fun! We're going on our first ocean cruise in January. That will definitely be a test for me as food is my weakness...

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BOILHAM 11/27/2012 8:23AM

    Spur of the moment cruise deals. Perfect for us retired folks. Gotta love 'em.
Have fun!

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TINAJANE76 11/26/2012 5:33PM

    Have a wonderful trip and enjoy yourself! I'm sure you'll work out the best compromise between taking advantage of everything the cruise has to offer and not getting totally derailed. The Christmas markets around Europe are gorgeous so you'll be sure to have a blast.

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ROOSTER72 11/26/2012 5:16PM

    It might be good to remind yourself that each meal is not the last meal. It might all look good, but there will be another good meal in just a few hours - so no need to go over board. Enjoy but not to excess.

Have a terrific time - what a lovely trip. I hope you get lots of chances to explore on foot - great exercise, but also the best way to really see new places!

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MJZHERE 11/26/2012 12:57PM

    Wow! I'm envious. Have a wonderful time!

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GOTTAPLAN4U 11/26/2012 10:40AM

  Good blog. I agree about the clothes. It's bad enough to be stressed about eating without adding the unnecessary anxiety over small clothes. You are supposed to be having fun. The purpose of being healthy and fit is so you can have fun and enjoy all life has to offer. So do that.


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CELIAMINER 11/26/2012 7:51AM

    Have a wonderful time, and, as Lattelee said, don't pack your smallest clothes. If you had more notice, you could have gone down a few pounds to give yourself a pad, but with less than 2 weeks' notice.... Anyway, please don't be so severe with yourself that you end up resentful. The way you run, a few pounds will disappear in no time when you get home.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/26/2012 7:38AM

    I know you'll succeed!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/26/2012 7:17AM

    Oh, how wonderful!! You might end up being surprised. I lost a little weight while we were on a cruise a little over a year ago, because I was so conscious of not eating all the junk that was available 24-7. Just because there's a serving area of pizza all day long doesn't mean I'm going to gorge on pizza. Just because there's dessert doesn't mean I have to have it. Free wine would be a challenge, but that's self-limiting! emoticon

And I'm sure the same sort of thing will be true for you. Have a wonderful trip!! We'll miss you!

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DAWN14163 11/26/2012 7:05AM

    That should be a wonderful holiday - the markets and ice rinks are just being set up now! Pack your thermals though, it's pretty chilly. I hope you have a brilliant time.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 11/26/2012 7:01AM

  enjoy the cruise

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TERRIPAL1 11/26/2012 7:01AM

    You'll do great with all your walking enjoy yourself and burn off those calories!

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LATTELEE 11/26/2012 6:59AM

  Don't pack smallest clothes

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DMEYER4 11/26/2012 6:54AM

  have a great time on your cruise.

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Facts - Knowledge – Wisdom

Sunday, November 25, 2012

We know they’re not all the same thing. We have more “facts” available at our fingertips than at any time in history. There are so many facts that we need help to sort them out to gain any real knowledge. So we subscribe to media to help analyze it all. Unfortunately, we also tend to patronize those sources which agree with what we want to believe.

“There are 3 kinds of lies - lies, damn lies and statistics.” This statement was popularized in America by Mark Twain and attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

We all view information through our own lens which sometimes distorts our view of reality. Just look at the competing bumper stickers and commercials during an election year. Half of the population believes each side completely. It takes an extraordinary effort to find the truth and chart our own course.

I’ve written about my grandmother. We called her “Baba.” She was a wise woman. She warned about how our food was changing about 50 years ago. She also had ideas that were false. No Baba, jumping rope and running will not make my insides fall out. In her defense, this was the conventional wisdom at the time and she didn’t have the Internet.

Take the quote I mentioned earlier. As it turns out, it’s unlikely that Disraeli was the author.

Obviously, this commonly accepted fact whether true or false won’t adversely affect anyone’s life. However, it is important that we realize our own preconceptions, investigate competing resources and sift all the facts carefully to arrive at true knowledge. Hopefully this will lead us to the wisdom to lead healthy, meaningful lives.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAM53559 11/26/2012 4:26AM

    Oh my! I have a Facebook account and that's all you need to see how true your message is! :) I see posts about missing people, "facts" about politics, information about health, religion and social norms.... and I never forward or react unless I have checked it out. is a good source for checking if "they" really said this or that. Even Wikipedia can help ascertain truth and help me to decide if I believe the propaganda being sent.

Too often we hear something and take for granted it's true, especially is sent or told to us from friends or acquaintances. We need to sort it and make our own rational judgements before we condemn, criticise, or comment. Sadly, too often, we judge then learn truths.

Thanks for the thought-provoking message this Monday morning emoticon

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KATIEEMMA5 11/25/2012 9:27PM

    Luckily spark people have done all the most up to date research for us. x

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CELIAMINER 11/25/2012 9:17PM

    I'm happy for you sharing YOUR wisdom!

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-AMANDA79- 11/25/2012 11:46AM

    We recently watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. I believed every word while the husband was a little more skeptical. We are trying to incorporate some vegetarian meals though!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/25/2012 10:38AM

    I've been delighted lately with Doonesbury's celebrating the return of truth and science! Google Doonesbury from the past week or so, if you don't already read it.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/25/2012 9:54AM

    Very good! Thanks for sharing.

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MJRVIC2000 11/25/2012 7:49AM

    Praise Jehovah God for His truth and wisdom ! If we will follow Him, humbly and faithfully, He can and will keep us from the bondage of the flesh! Worship Him and give Him all the glory! Vic.

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I hate milk – all types of milk

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I hate whole, 2%, 1%, skim, almond milk, soy milk – all of them. I hate how they taste, how they feel in my mouth and going down my throat. I hate how it feels when it lands in my stomach. Because the “hate” ends at that point in my body, I don’t think I qualify as lactose intolerant. I’m just personally intolerant of milk. The only milk I remember ever enjoying was in the glasses into which I was dipping oreo or chocolate chip cookies.

I need calcium, of course. Fortunately, I like yogurt, even Greek yogurt. Not a fan of extra hormones, so I buy organic exclusively. All types of cheese are a staple too, although I haven’t been able to find an organic brand around here.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle, but I’m so happy there are many ways to accomplish this. I don’t have to feel deprived. I don’t have to force myself into a narrow diet. I have choices. Healthy choices tailored to individual preferences lead to a happy life.

My problem is that I also hate waste. I need to buy milk for certain recipes, like my baked omelet that DH & I eat every day, or my broccoli/corn casserole. Then what do with the rest? (DH isn’t a milk drinker either). I usually use about a quart before it spoils. I buy the half gallon container since the quart size costs almost as much. I like the best value and I don’t want to run out. Our grocery store is 7 miles away – the down side of country living.

Rural wisdom has provided an answer. I learned that a concoction of egg and spoiled milk poured around plants will keep the deer from eating them. I hope the smell won’t keep human visitors away from my house as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 11/25/2012 8:54AM

    Make pudding! You need to use quite a bit for a batch and it's so much tastier than milk on its own.

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POINDEXTRA 11/24/2012 11:15PM

    I learned from my dad that milk can be frozen! So, you can buy that half gallon, and pour off half into another container and freeze it. The only drawback to this is that if it's not skim milk, it needs to be completely defrosted so the fat can be redistributed back into the entire volume. With skim, I just pop the jug in the fridge to defrost and use it up as it melts.

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CELIAMINER 11/24/2012 10:08PM

    I've always hated milk, even though I grew up on good, old-fashioned whole milk, which was infinitely better than the watery, blue-liquid stuff out there now. My parents would force me to sit at the table long after everyone had finished until I drank my milk, which, duh, only made me hate it more. I started drinking coffee when I was 6 and I've never liked milk in it, though I will occasionally add half & half or real cream.

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RUN4FOOD 11/24/2012 5:11PM

    Glad I love milk. After a week long camping trip with only rice with mixed vegetables, milk was the only thing I craved. I can drink skim, 1%, 2% and whole and enjoy all of them. I usually drink skim. I haven't done any dunking for a while. Think I may have to try that again.

emoticon emoticon

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MJZHERE 11/24/2012 1:58PM

    Here is the unvarnished truth - I quit drinking milk a loooong time ago because of the calories. If I was going to have the calories, then it was going to be from something I really liked (like ice cream). So I just don't drink it - poor bones. When I was young, they told my mom I don't utilize calcium correctly so I figured what did it matter. Do yogurt now (you could use that extra milk to make your own yogurt which is the kind I like best) and have always loved cheese (course those calories are another matter).

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CELLISTA1 11/24/2012 12:46PM

    I buy a small size carton of nonfat milk for adding to breakfast cereal. It's tiny. I just looked at it: it's 10.67 fluid ounces. Would that work? No waste.

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BOILHAM 11/24/2012 10:42AM

    Finally! Something on which we disagree! I enjoy milk, though we only use 1%. Especially love it poured over my Cheerios.

Love the frozen milk suggestion.

Comment edited on: 11/24/2012 10:42:52 AM

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WILSONWR 11/24/2012 9:20AM

    What a unique way to use spoiled milk!

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JANEDOE12345 11/24/2012 9:08AM

    You might consider freezing milk in one-cup containers. Then you will have no waste. You can just pull out one of them the night before to defrost and then use in your recipes. Since you are using it to cook with, the taste difference is negligible. The downside is that you might be overrun with deer.

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NELLJONES 11/24/2012 8:12AM

    Can't imagine life without milk. My oldest son is lactose intolerant and has to drink lactose free milk, which he does by the (very expensive) gallon.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/24/2012 7:48AM

    You've done well. Keep it up!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/24/2012 7:11AM

    That concoction should keep ANYTHING away from your plants! Eeew!

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PICKIE98 11/24/2012 6:55AM

    You CAN freeze milk. When we drank more of it, I bought a gallon of 1/2 %, poured half into a Ziploc bag, lay i ton my freezer shelf. When I wanted more milk, I simply thawed the bag, poured into a pitcher. Leave enough air space for expansion.
Pre-Spark, I even froze potato chips when on sale and we were going to need a to for a party or whatever. The bag was sealed, so no moisture got in, chips stayed fresh and whole.

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Where I will/will not economize

Friday, November 23, 2012

I used to tell my children not to spend their money on things that weren’t really important to them and then they would have enough to buy the stuff they really cared about.

I’ve been called “Frugal Fannie” (Frugal Fannie’s was a discount clothing store).
I’ve been frugal throughout my life, not cheap, but thrifty.

Obviously, the one place I WILL economize is in clothing for myself. Fortunately, I’ve never worried about having the latest fashions. Comfort, quality and price top my list, plus having something suitable for every occasion. Interchangeable parts are important too. So, the first place I seek out in any store is the clearance rack. I can usually find something there that suits me just fine and often complements something in my closet. I’m a regular at Goodwill also.

My grocery list always begins with whatever is on “special” skipping the junk food, which always seems to be front and center.

Shoes are a different matter.
I watched my mother and her sisters hobble themselves in fashion shoes. It may be genetics, but I know if I force my feet into what I see in magazines, my future will be orthopedic or worse – a cane or a walker.
I wear custom orthotics and there are brands of shoes into which I can fit them comfortably. I pay a premium for these, but I’m worth it.
(Darn Crocs – They bought the company that made my sandals and promptly discontinued them – Grr!)

Running shoes – I choose whatever keeps me moving forward pain/ache free. I truly don’t care what the cost is although I’ve never paid over $100 (I’m not fast enough to need “racing flats”). It’s nice if I can find them on sale, but not necessary. When I need them, I buy them. My favorites even come in black so I can wear those day to day with the same level of comfort as during workouts.

The source is important to me too.
I patronize a local running store, even though I can save some money online. What happened to my thriftiness? Some things just matter more to me. I want this local business with its helpful, knowledgeable employees to stay in business. I want the support they provide the community, encouraging runners/walkers, sponsoring running groups and races and providing employment to the area. Their “discount” this week is for anyone bringing at least 3 items of food for the needy. I bought a new pair of tights. Again, it’s just my personal choice to support this civic minded employer.

“Eat This not That” is a well known advice book.
We each decide to “Buy This not That.”
Organic or not?
Free range or not?
From local farmers/coops/retailers or large businesses with economy of scale?

These are just a few of the choices with which we’re confronted daily. Our decisions are our own as we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balance it with reality – our time and resources. We each decide for ourselves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 11/24/2012 11:50PM

    i'm with you - shoes are important, and so are good running stores!

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CELIAMINER 11/24/2012 10:05PM

    I like clothes with simple lines that last a long time, so I don't have a problem spending more for a classic blazer or two or durable sweaters. I even had my renewal passport photo taken in the same sweater and turtleneck 10 years after the previous one. As for shoes, I got measured by a pro who told me I was wearing the wrong size and assessed the shape of my foot. He recommended New Balance shoes built on an SL-2 last, and I've never had a blister since.

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CHANGINGHORSES 11/24/2012 9:36PM

    Looks like many of us in the same boat. I'd say that I'm in good company. Some things are definitley worth spending a little more on and some things are just not that important. Some time my family "picks on me" because of my frugal ways, they just did it today, but I spend it where I feel it is worth the value to me. (And besides that, I should ask them "When is the last time that I asked to borrow any money from any of you?" They have to borrow money all the time)
Running shoes and hiking boats are worth the price.

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KANOE10 11/24/2012 9:43AM

    I am the same way with clothes..I head for the clearance rack and then try 2nd hand stores..but like you I spend money on my workout shoes! There is a huge difference in shoe quality.

Nice blog.

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WILSONWR 11/23/2012 12:41PM

    I'm very frugal also as far as clothing, but I don't skimp on shoes. I've had too many problems in the past because I got a "great deal." I also make sure I buy quality tools. I've had one "expensive" Stihl chain saw that I've used regularly for the past 15 years. Before that, I had about 5-6 cheap ones in that same period. Needless to say, the cost of the Stihl was much less than all the others put together (and I don't have constant problems with it either!).

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BOILHAM 11/23/2012 8:44AM

    On some things "good enough is good enough".

I always buy last years electronics, good enough and about half to 3/4 the price of the latest gadgets. After all, they were the "best available" last year.

Agree with the rest of your blog, and do likewise myself.

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SUZYMOBILE 11/23/2012 8:43AM

    Me too. Can't remember the last time I bought myself something new, other than my sneakers. I've been promising myself a trip to Goodwill as a treat for reaching goal. Hmmm. Wonder if they're open on Black Friday?

The only thing I've ever disagreed with you on is here, though. I'm sorry they ate your favorite sandal company, but I love Crocs. I've got a pair of Crocs sandals that I've been wearing going on 5 years now!

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COCK-ROBIN 11/23/2012 8:25AM

    Very good choices!

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FITFOODIE806 11/23/2012 8:22AM

    Yeah for local running stores!!! Your house sounds like the house I grew up in. My mom used to tell me to divide the cost by how many times I'd wear it. $100 running shoes = worth it. $15 shirt on clearance that ill only wear twice a year = not worth it!

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KKKAREN 11/23/2012 8:10AM

    Good for you! I'm frugal too!

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There’s room for all of us at this Thanksgiving table

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I have much for which to be grateful on this Thanksgiving Day. The health of my family and seeing my grandchildren regularly top the list. I should clarify that this year I can see only 5 of the 6 grandkids easily. The oldest is spending a year in China, but still I’m happy that he’s fulfilling his dream to experience a new culture even as I await his return.

I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to see the world with my husband. We’ve been married for 45 years and together for nearly 50.

I’m thankful for the technology that allows me to explore, gather information and “meet” new people. Yes, I’m grateful for the support that I’ve found on SP.

Where we:
Become aware of what we’re doing to and for our bodies,
Inform ourselves about the content of our food.
Find the type of exercise that’s enjoyable enough to make a habit
Discover what works best for us

Whether we choose vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, primal, low carb, high carb, high protein, low salt, low fat, healthy fat, or are big consumers of meat, there’s a place for all of us here at this table.

I’m thankful to belong to a community united in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Happy Thanksgiving!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 11/23/2012 12:56AM

    Well said!

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DALID414 11/22/2012 11:51PM

    Well said! Happy Thanksgiving.

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TINAJANE76 11/22/2012 10:20PM

    Well said! These are some of the greatest things about SparkPeople and I'm happy to be included at your SparkTable. Hope you and your family had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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KANOE10 11/22/2012 1:43PM

    Have a great Thanksgiving. I like the way you say there is room for everyone at the Spark Table. Everyone finds their own way to health.

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KARRENLYNN 11/22/2012 1:31PM

    You are very blessed indeed! Have a blessed thanksgiving, Brooklyn! ;)

Karen emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 11/22/2012 12:48PM

    Beautiful gratitudes!

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FITFOODIE806 11/22/2012 11:42AM

    Happy thanksgiving to you!!

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BOILHAM 11/22/2012 9:38AM

    I am thankful for intelligent, articulate blogs.

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COCK-ROBIN 11/22/2012 8:57AM

    And a blessed Thanksgiving to you. And a healthy one.

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DEBBY4576 11/22/2012 8:37AM

    You have much to be thankful for. Wishing you a special Thanksgiving.

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SUZYMOBILE 11/22/2012 8:24AM


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WILSONWR 11/22/2012 8:04AM

    That was great. Thanks!

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BECKYHEN 11/22/2012 7:33AM


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SWEDE_SU 11/22/2012 7:32AM

    nice - that really says it all:-) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILSON1926 11/22/2012 7:29AM


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