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Blisters, Buddies, Bling, and sneaky Business

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together. emoticon

Last weekend, a number of Disney Distance sparkers came together in Disneyland for the race weekend. It wasn't always fun, but it was memorable!


MAPLELEAFMOM, IZZYBUBBLES, DANIMITE2 and I had dinner in a restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It was a lovely way to begin the festivities.

Of course, as much as we enjoyed the food, it was the bling that was the weekend's real motivation, and DANI was ready!

Unfortunately, the Beirut - Frankfurt - Boston - Washington - Charlotte - Los Angeles routing over a few days had left me stiff and gimpy. My injured knee was acting stroppy and giving me doubts. At the Expo, I discovered an ace bandage wrap that was soaked in lineament or something equally stinky. DANI almost passed out from the sinus-clearing smell, but it really did wonders for the knee.

Saturday - the 5K

We warmed up with a gentle 5K. Unlike the congenial atmosphere of the Princess race in March, there was loads of pushing, shoving, elbows, and uncouth language, even though it was billed as a "family fun run". Dani and Della could have jetted off and been done in five minutes, but they stayed with me as I tested my knee and worked out the kinks. We enjoyed company and conversation and finished in 51 minutes, or about a 16:30/mile pace.

A long time friend and her mother had visited me in Tunis earlier this year. I was surprised to learn that my friend had been inspired by my running and had run four marathons. "Mom" got all excited while she was visiting and decided to do the Disneyland 5K. She did great, and we all went out for a fun-filled character breakfast afterwards.

Two old friends of ours who live in LA also joined us. Neither of them is much interested in anything that requires physical exertion, but being good sports they oohed and ahhed over the cute little 5K medals. Mila announced that a half MARATHON was simply out of the question - she was going to invent the Half MILE race. We'd run around her block, she'd give us medals, and then we could all have a BBQ. emoticon

The Disney Distance Spark team met on Saturday for pre-race food and laughs. IZZY and Della (MAPLE) made light of their height difference.

Yeah, we were all smiles then. Little did I know ...

Sunday - Race Day

DANI and I goofed off before the race. My knee was feeling better, and I was feeling pumped for the race. We lined up in the front of Corral D because there is a pace requirement for Disney races, and I didn't want to risk getting taken off the course.

The race began well enough. I ran the first two miles at a 14:30 pace. Then the problems began.

Mile 3 - blisters. By the end of the race, I had a blood blister on one toe, blisters across the bottoms of my feet, and along the outsides. When I later went to see a doctor, he was surprised at how deep they went, much to my discomfort. I didn't quit, but I stopped running and just tried to walk fast enough to keep ahead of the pacers.

Mile 6 - I saw the pacers for the first time. They assured me that I was still ahead of pace -- but not by much. I redoubled my efforts and limped faster.

Mile 8 - The pacers told me I was now behind pace. However, they did not remove me from the course, so I kept going.

We ran through the Magic Kingdom early in the race and were then out on the streets of Anaheim. The local people came out and livened things up with marching bands, cheer squads, funny signs, a mariachi band, and even Polynesian dancers! (I thought of you, HELEN!) The volunteers were incredibly encouraging and friendly and kept me on the course when my body was begging to quit. In fact, truth be told, I was hurting so much by mile 8 that I was secretly hoping the pacers would take me off the course. I was too proud to quit, but I really didn't want to keep going.

In Mile 9, we ran through the big baseball stadium. (Is that Honda Stadium?) They packed it with thousands of boy scouts, etc. When we entered the arena, they announced our names and fun facts about us, and we ran the field, our pictures were on the jumbotron, and the crowd cheered and screamed like we were winning. I got a huge cheer, but I think it's because I entered with a 73-year old man ... who later passed me! Energized by the crowds, I tried picking up the pace -- and my left calf promptly began to spasm. The right soon joined.

Both calves spasmed through the rest of the race. I hobbled onwards. in Mile 10, the pacers told me that they needed to open up the road, and did I want to come off the course? I looked from them to the two police officers blocking the road and took off across the street, with the cops both screaming, "That's right! you go, girl!" The pacers sighed and made a point of slowly tying their shoes and other things to delay catching up to me.

I cried and trudged through a couple more miles. In Mile 12, the pacers came up to me and asked if I could finish. I simply hadn't come all that way to fail and asked to stay on the course. They let me.

I was hurting so much that I completed that final mile at a 27-minute mile pace. I couldn't even run across the finish line. I was so exhausted and in such pain that I seriously wondered how I was going to manage to get back to my room.

Imagine my surprise when I saw IZZY, DANI, and MAPLE waiting for me! They'd finished ages earlier but had kindly hung around, waiting for me! The medics iced the more problematic leg, the ladies guided me to the medals, and I tried to stop crying long enough to pose.

I honestly don't know what I would have done without them.

Just one of the many

Once I'd decided that I would, in fact, live, it was time to celebrate. DANi and I went out for a fancy dinner. I'd burned over 3200 calories on the course, so I felt entitled to eat pretty much anything I wanted to. (But I didn't eat dessert!)

Here I am, celebrating by trying to turn the "Cal" in "California" into "Cat"! emoticon

I wasn't done having fun with Sparkfriends yet! I flew from Los Angeles to Washington because Hogwarts friend BEXTRESS was getting married on 09/09/09.

JUSTKIMBERLY and I conspired to crash her wedding. JKIM met me at the metro, and we GPSed our way to the right courthouse. We had some trouble finding the correct building and room, but we made it, and boy was BEXY surprised! When we strolled in and announced ourselves (by Sparkname, of course), she looked utterly gobsmacked!

Look at that beautiful bride with the cute dimples! That's our BEXY! Then JKIM, BEXY, her new DH and I all went out to breakfast.

This trip was really hard in some ways, but it was also tremendous fun to see IZZY, DANI, and Della (MAPLE) again, as well as meet JKIM and BEX and the Disney Distancers in person. I consider myself lucky to know so many terrific Sparkers in real life now, and I've already begun scheming as to how to meet others!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLCOLMAN 10/4/2009 7:06PM

    You are such an inspiration!!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS on finishing the 1/2 despite it all!!!!!!
Sounds like a truly awesome trip overall!

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LIVESTRONGH2 9/21/2009 6:52PM

    Wow! What an awesome blog! You should be soooooooooooooooo proud of yourself! I had tears in my eyes reading the part about you running through the stadium and the crowd cheering you on! I'm amazed! I'm going to Disney World in November for my 30th bday. I won't be running any 1/2 marathons though! I only live 2.5 hours from Disney! I can't wait!!!! CONGRATS TO YOU!

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    Ohhhh Cat. (((HUGS))) I don't think there is any more motivational person here on Sparks than you. You rally people together, you push yourself to do amazing things.

I hope, that sometime in the future that you are able to cross through Cleveland, because meeting you would definitely be a wonderful time!!!!! We can get a whole Spark Party together. *grin*

SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!! You have true grit my girl!


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DANIMITE2 9/21/2009 11:54AM

    First and foremost, the pictures do NOT do the blisters justice. Ow and yuck...thats all I have to say about that!

Secondly, I had an AMAZING time with you! I'm so glad we were able to room together and share this experience! It will always be one of my fondest memories.

And by the way, I would have sat there all day waiting for you. I'm so happy to call you my friend!

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FITTYTIF 9/19/2009 10:55PM

    Okay I may not have been there with you (I was only 10 minutes away though :(
But reading your blog had me in tears!!! WAY TO GO!!! I AM so proud of you for making it through to the end.
WOW you did a whole half marathon. I was only hoping to the 5K at disney and did not make that.

I hope next year if you do this again I will be able to meet up with you and your friends. I live close by and my goal is to do the 5K


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INDIE_V 9/16/2009 5:28AM

    Really really well done on the race! You really make me want to start running/walking!! emoticon I hope your feet are feeling better. When's the next one?

I'm so jealous that you got to meet all those people from SP. Bexy looks absolutely beautiful!

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SWEETSWEETPEA 9/15/2009 1:38PM

    Wow.. What an inspirational story. I just started running this year and completed my first 5K. My dream is to hopefully run a 1/2 marathon in Disney world in either 2011 or 2012. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope your feet healed! Congratulations on finishing and getting your metal!

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ZIRCADIA 9/14/2009 8:17PM

    I almost cried reading your tale of the half!!! You are such a tough cookie, and a true inspiration. *HUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGS* Also - BEXY and her man are too freaking adorable -- she looks gorgeous, he's cute, and a cute couple. YAY for them! AND YOU MY FINE FRIEND!!!!!!! I don't think I've ever really seen a picture of you before. You are so freaking cute!!! :D Why did I not realize you were a blonde??? Anyway. I love your smile and it's so good to see you!!!! Someday we will meet!

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FIENDISHSARAH 9/14/2009 3:10PM

    You are truly an inspiration Cat and I am so happy to call you my friend. Next time I whine about a workout I'm gonna take a look at that blister of yours !! O_o

You're an amazingly strong woman, and I am gonna try the hardest I can to be up to par and be able to run the BLUENOSE with you when the time comes. There's no way in heck I'm missing that!!

I truly enjoyed reading this! Only thing better would to have been there with you!!

Love you!! xo

(PS- were the police officers smexy? emoticon)

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IZZYBUBBLES 9/14/2009 1:35PM

    Awww, I got all weepy reading many good memories of this race. I'm a little sad that I missed out on doing the 5k with all of you, I won't do that again! And I really wish I would have been there to see the interaction with the sweepers and those police officers, I can TOTALLY picture those officers in my head cheering you on as you were running away from the sweepers! How great is that?

Ugh on the blisters but yay on that fabulous drink you were having! And what fun to have crashed Bexy's wedding, I bet she loved that! What a way to make a special day even more special. You're one amazing woman! Hope that I get to do lots more races with you in the future. emoticon

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SUETINGE 9/14/2009 11:43AM

    What an amazing trip you had. I cried when i read parts of it, but your words stuck with me and a when I wanted to wimp out during this morning's walk, I thought of you and actually picked my pace up. Any plans to do the St. Louis marathon?

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SHORTTOOTH1 9/14/2009 9:58AM

    OMG, that sounds like an amazing trip. How much fun was it to meet so many sparkfriends!? I LOVE the wedding crashers story.

The only part that could have used some improvement was the whole foot pain thing. Have you ever gotten your running shoes fit by a professional? One of my runner friends swears by what they told her about how her feet work. You are definately not missing in determination!

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NEWSTART127 9/14/2009 2:17AM

    Your blogs always seem to make me cry! You are AMAZING!!!! Your whole experience is wonderful and I'm sure that you motivated sooooo many people by pushing through the pain and finishing the race! YOU totally are a Princess! emoticon

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NIMAWEYGH 9/13/2009 10:52PM

    I hardly noticed that blister as I was to taken with the terrific toenail polish...................owwwwww ahhhhhhhh SEXY!

You know girl you just down right amaze me and I am so proud of you for "trudging on" and going the distance. This is proof to you that there is NOTHING you can't do if you set your mind to it.

And if ever your around Arkansas you come on and visit. Or a bunch of us want to meet in Orlando at the new Potter theme in Disney, you meet us all there.

I want you to know I have so much respect for all you did. YOU REALLY ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs and emoticon Nimma

Comment edited on: 9/13/2009 10:53:33 PM

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AMUNET_RA 9/13/2009 9:45PM

    I am so proud of you, Sweetie! Although I keep wincing every time I look at that blister! ow Ow Ow!!!!

You're a true friend and a true inspiration!


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50FITNFUN 9/13/2009 8:25PM

    Your recount has left me all choked up with happiness for you, my friend. Even knowing already that you had finished, as I read about the pacers telling you you were too slow, I was in suspense about what would happen next. When you wrote of the girls waiting for you at the finish line, I got the warm fuzzies all over. I've said it before and I'll say it again...these are the best team mates ever!

Cat, I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to sharing the Tower of Terror 13K race experience with you in October. You are the picture of determination and a true inspiration to those of us fortunate to know you. emoticon

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    I am SO proud of you, my friend!! Just look at what you've accomplished! You're amazing! (and your toenail color is fabulous!)

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FLORIDAFAN 9/13/2009 6:09PM

    I am so glad that you stuck it through and finished the race. You are far as the blister pictures.....ooowwwww! emoticon

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HRDWLBY 9/13/2009 5:04PM


The pictures are great! It's always nice to see what the people on SP look like. It's wonderful you were all able to race together!

You are such an inspiration to finish despite all the pain you were in!!! emoticon

It's nice you thought of me when you saw the Polynesian dancers although I'm really a rank amateur compared to the dancers Disney has.

Thanks for sharing the pic of Bexy and her new DH. She does look beautiful!

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DEBULACLARK 9/13/2009 4:41PM

    I am so glad you finished. Like I said - you are my hero!! It is uber-awesome that you and JKIM got to BEXY's wedding too! How fun!!

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COLEISMYSOUL 9/13/2009 4:39PM

    All I can say is - you are remarkable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MSEMBERSTORM 9/13/2009 4:37PM

    CAT I sit her in tears just reading this. You really are inspiring. You are an amazing person and I hope you know that you push really is awesome. You are wonderful! Keep moving forward! You will do this!

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KIMCATUS 9/13/2009 3:35PM

    Awwww you are truly one amazing know that?? There's nothing on here that I could say that hasn't been said, so I'll just say you truly inspire me to never ever quit! Love ya!!! *HUGS*

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CJBAGGINS 9/13/2009 3:19PM

    Wow. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You truly inspire me.

I am so very pleased that the pacers did NOT remove you from the course and you could once again assert that you had given your all and finished another half marathon! I suspect that they, too, considered you an inspiration and realized your determination to finish at all costs.

emoticon - chocolate bar guy just for you.

eta - and I love Mila's idea for a race. Let's do hers next time, 'kay?

Comment edited on: 9/13/2009 3:19:37 PM

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FIRENUT34 9/13/2009 1:40PM

    OMG what a story! Unless I have a bone protruding through my skin, I will never quit again. That was so inspirational. I really enjoyed meeting you guys on the Saturday and can't wait till the ToT where I won't have the in-laws rushing me and can stay longer. Izzy was just behind me at the end and I didn't see her. I did run into THSLogan. I was about 15 feet from the front in coral D and missed you guys. I think the nerves of running it was one problem in the beginning and the holy crap I did it was at the end. Hope to see you guys soon. Barry
P.S. Hope your feet and knees are better now.

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RAVEN1025 9/13/2009 12:27PM

    I am so insanely proud of you. It would have been easy to quit, but you hung in there.

When I see you at ToT, I am going to give you the biggest (belated) congratulatory hug ever!!!!!!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/13/2009 12:14PM

    I am awed and inspired. I honestly dont know as i could have done it!! i'm glad the pacers were nice and let you go deserve to win it ALL!!
ok off my fat ass and on to greater things! wish there was some way i could win a medal for something and stand along side you!
Love you!

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BRAVAH 9/13/2009 12:01PM

    You are such an inspiration! My eyes are brimming with tears of joy. I am so proud of you for finishing the race - especially through all of your obstacles and physical difficulties! You are truly an amazing woman! I would be honored to be among those sparkers that you eventually meet in person.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me, and for being a friend!


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MAPLELEAFMOM 9/13/2009 9:22AM

    I LOVED meeting up with you and the other ladies! I can't wait to do it again emoticon You are an AMAZING person with a dedication and drive that inspires me and so many others around the world !!! ROFL about being a wedding crasher though!!

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Settling in

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wow. It's been three weeks since MacDuff and I arrived in Beirut. The time is flying by! I arrived and sort of jumped right into the work, but MacDuff and I are trying to find a good groove.

MacDuff is adjusting well. He is such a little trooper. He sleeps in when I get up to work out. Then we go for a walk when I get back. He keeps busy during the day, napping on his various chairs and sunning himself on the balcony until I get home for another walk.

As some of you know, MacDuff has already had to go to the vet. He has benign growths which the vet says are hereditary. Somehow, he cut one, and it got infected. Its right on his tushie, so he runs in circles, trying to reach it. He also looks ridiculous because he played in a pricker bush and got the prickers emeshed in the fur on his face. I couldn't bring myself to hurt him, so I just cut them all out. Now he looks sort of like a white fox with a sore butt.

My apartment is fab. It's very umm ... 70s. I call it Mr. Brady's Bachelor Pad, because it looks like where Mr. Brady would have lived if he hadn't married Mrs. Brady. I picture him with his curly perm, in a polyester leisure suit, throwing wild fondue parties!

How to describe it? It's a loft, and it's pretty much one large space. I have four balconies, one off the bedroom, one off the kitchen, and two off the main room. Once it cools down, that should be super fabulous.

Here are a few pictures.

I took thee pictures from my bedroom. Wild, huh? Go, Mr. Brady!

Like the show, my place only has one tiny little bathroom. *LOL* It's a powder room with a shower stuffed into it. Ah well.

Here's MacDuff surveying his new surroundings on one balcony, and I took the picture from another.

The views from the balconies facing the sea:

The swimming pool is practically next to my office:

It's wedding season, so almost every evening, MacDuff and I sit on the balcony and watch the celebratory fireworks.

Let's see ... what else? Well, when I arrived, my blood pressure skyrocketed to 180/100. So I adjusted my meds but also hired a personal trainer. We meet at 5 a.m. because it's the only way I know our meetings won't be preempted by work demands. I hate getting up at 4:15, but it's a great way to start the day. Also, there are no secrets here. We're all under armed guard and reporting our movements, so it's hard to keep anything to oneself. As the only fat woman here, it has actually worked to my advantage for people to learn my habits, as it seems to have negated the fattism I iniitally encountered.

So there you have it. I get up, work out, walk MacDuff, go to work, work all day, come home, walk MacDuff, and go to bed. I eat lunch and dinner at work because of the hours, and making healthy food choices remains a toughie for me. Unlike Tunis, there is all kinds of fast food here - Burger King, McDonalds, Appleby's, KFC, etc. The driver picks up the orders. I should be sending him out for salads, but I've noticed that when I'm tired and stressed, I get hungrier. And the salads aren't doing it. I'm still evolving a routine, but I'm trying to incorporate more snacks inbetween meals to keep my hunger in check.

Also, the Lebanese are enthusiastic social eaters, so to preempt forced eating, I told everyone straight up that I have diabetes and numerous food allergies. It has greatly reduced the number of sweets waved under my nose! emoticon

The heat and humidity are unreal, but my colleagues assure me that this summer is one of the hottest ever, so i hope to see more pleasant weather soon. Oh, I hope! I have FIVE air conditioners in my house, just to keep comfortable!

So there you have it. I'm still in a state of flux, dealing with things like the fact that my stuff is still stuck in Tunis, but overall, I'm grateful to have a good job and groovy digs! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVEN1025 8/18/2009 12:09AM

    I'm finally catchng up. Are you going to get a ducktail hair-do now, and work some poly-pantsuits??

The views from your place are pretty fantastic. Seems almost enough to counter dealing with the heat.

Give Macduff some love for me, I hope his bum gets better!

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GXROXY 8/7/2009 3:08PM


What a great looking place! Hang in there girl, everything will click into place. Give Mcduff extra hugs from all us campers!

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BRAVAH 8/6/2009 7:03PM

    OMG! I have just been catching up on a few of your blogs... you really should put this in a traveler's guide or write a book. CRAZY! I am soooooo happy that you and MacDuff are settling in okay now and that you've got a good gym routine going. I was really worried about your move - and now it turns out that I had those feelings for a reason. I am sorry you and MacDuff had to go through such an ordeal.

I'm sending good energy toward your clothing arriving sooner than expected!


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WANT2CHNG17 8/6/2009 10:16AM

    Woo Hoo Cat - Lovin' the groovy Mr. Brady Bachelor Pad!! OMG, your views are just phenomenal. Just think of how wonderful it will be to sit out there when the weather is a bit cooler. I have to hand it to you - I can't stand the heat; I commend you for being able to survive there!

Glad to hear you are setting in; poor MacDuff! Hope he's feeling better!

4:15 AM and a personal trainer? You go girl! I am impressed.

Hope your blood pressure is under control - and way to go on the avoiding the shoving of sweets under your nose (clever girl!)

Keep us posted; when will you receive you things from Tunis?

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SLCOLMAN 8/4/2009 4:59PM

    Sounds like you are settling into a groove :) Personal trainer!! Woo Hoo!! The 70's style pad does have stunning views though :)!!! You sound happy!

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CJBAGGINS 8/4/2009 3:07PM

    Love the groovy digs! Go Brady!!!!!
The views are beautiful and I would love to have those balconies!
Sorry to hear the weather is so hot and humid, but pleased you have not 1 but 5 air conditioners. That way, if one conks out, at least you have others running!

It must be difficult to have to report all your movements (that sounds like you have to let them know when you use the toilet! *snort*) but as you say, if it helps to counter potential 'fattism' before it starts, all the better.

Enjoy your new part of the world! Give MacDuff a hug for me, hope he's all better soon!


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MSEMBERSTORM 8/4/2009 12:37AM

    Wow woman! I had to giggle and poor little MacDuff. It sounds like you have awesome digs! I love hearing about your escapades and all that you accomplish. Wise choice on the blockage of sweets. Whoo hooo on the trainer. You go gal! Keep up the awesome work you are so going to rock it! Glad to hear your bp is down. That is scary. Take care and big hugs! (scratch lil MacDuff on the tushie for me!)

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ZIRCADIA 8/3/2009 8:08PM

    YOUR PLACE LOOKS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D COOL! hehehe And YAY for having a personal trainer, that is AWESOME. :)

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NIMAWEYGH 8/3/2009 11:17AM

    Oh my gosh I love the place.............I can see you doing a wild fondue party there yourself........okay so it would be you and MacDuff for now.........I bet he loves fondue. emoticon
It really sounds like you are doing so well and adjusting so well. I am so happy for you.

But poor baby MacDuff and his prickly encounter...............(good idea for a Dear Gracie and a porcupine.......LOL) Hope he is find now.

When will your stuff arrive, how long will you be there? The view is absolutely breath taking. I can see you sitting out there when it cools and really enjoying it.

It is wonderful to hear that you are adjusting so well and I know that MacDuff helps in that area as well, there is nothing like a good furbaby cuddle to make the day right.

Love and hugs,

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NEWSTART127 8/3/2009 1:41AM

    Wow, your space looks fabulous!!! And the views are stunning!!! I'm so glad that you and MacDuff are settling into a routine! I hope the rest of your "stuff" makes it to you soon! And congrats on your training sessions! I hope that goes well for you! HUGS!

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MAKOTODFW 8/3/2009 12:33AM

What GROOOVY digs!
(This coming from a guy that ACTUALLY owned 2 leisure suits in High School)
As we said in Colorado in the 70's, "Far OUT!)

I kind of like the upside of constant monitoring and no privacy you mentioned.
Nobody can call you Lazy, and they pretty much know what you eat.....
Also, a nice touch with the health comments to cow-orkers.
I know from experience that they push a lot of food on you for the sake of hospitality.
Kind of like throwing a drowning girl a glass of water init?

I hope McDuff is well on the mend, and that you are enjoying the change of scenery...and WHAT SCENERY!!!
It looks absolutely gorgeous there. I'd be jealous, if Texas wasn't at least a couple
degrees cooler (only up to 108 at the worst this summer...and now having useasonably wet weather with cooler temps into the 90's).

Good luck in your new endeavor!

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HRDWLBY 8/3/2009 12:06AM


Your place looks "mahvelous. sweety"! Did it come furnished like that? The views of the sea are wonderful! It's too bad you have such a small bath.

I'm glad you like your new job so far. I hope it remains a good experience. It sounds like eating healthy may be a challenge but you shoud get some excellent humus there. (If you're not allergic to it)

I think it's terrific you have a personal trainer. Is he cute?

I'm so glad MacDuff is settling in well! Let's hope his butt clears up quickly and he stays away from things that get stuck in his fur.

Here's to you getting your things there within the next month!

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SUETINGE 8/2/2009 9:38PM

    Love the new place! The views are fabulous. Hope MacDuff's starting to feel better. I'm sure you'll get yourself into a routine soon.

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HPTHATBME 8/2/2009 8:18PM

    Oh it looks so pretty! I am glad you are enjoying your new place!

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AIMEE_B 8/2/2009 7:42PM

    Mike and i love to read your blogs together. You make our life seem so mundane... and we thought we were busy! LOL

Truly though, it sounds like you are adjusting. i'm confident that your food concerns will work out as you find that much-longed for groove. Hence next week's challenge, i presume?

Did i ever comment on your ISO blog? i found it poignantly hilarious.. mostly because it wasn't that long ago that i was in that same predicament and asked myself many of the same questions you posed!

Looking forward to the next installment of "MacDuff's Adventures in Beirut."

Love ya!!

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DEBULACLARK 8/2/2009 4:00PM

    Your apartment is very nice. I like the layout a lot. I'm glad you are getting into a routine and that MacDuff is adjusting....I hope his little bottom feels better soon and his face grows back the fur too!

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MDMNINA 8/2/2009 2:37PM

    Oh, I love your apartment! And it sounds like you fallen into a good routine. Can I come and visti YOU? I have never been to that part of the world. Give McDuff a hug for me.

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DISPATCH91 8/2/2009 2:34PM

    Love your apartment, glad you have gotten settled in. You know my friend gets salads but she gets the chicken breast from Burger King to go with it. I think it is called the chicken pouch. Only the breast and it works real well for her to keep the hunger at bay.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 8/2/2009 1:03PM

    Hey thanks for sharing...what a gREAT place!! sounds like you are happy there and thats GREAT!!
i want a trainer too. but not at 5 am!! you are one wild woman!!
hi macduff...hope all is well with you too you furry little fluffbucket you!
is the trainer cute?
how can you be the only fat woman there if they eat that much? whats their secret? enquiring minds want to know...
love you!

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FITTYTIF 8/2/2009 12:00PM

    It is great to see your place. It is actually very lovely. I am sure it will feel more like home when you get your stuff finally!
Poor MacDuff. He is been through quite a bit! But seems to be coming through it well!
Sounds like you are making pretty good choices. Way to go getting a trainer. I like to work out first thing in the morning as well. As for the Salads not being enough. I say still get the salad and then add something to it. I agree sometimes a salad is not too much. So For example at McDonalds I will get a grilled wrap.
Good Luck. and Thanks for all the pictures

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    I LOVE your apartment! Totally fabulous! And the views?! Amazing! MacDuff is such a cutie! I love seeing pics of him.

I hope you're able to settle into your routine quickly. I'm glad you were able to get a trainer and that it's helped with work. I think when people really understand and can see what you're trying to do, they might just be more supportive. I'm crossing fingers that it'll work that way! And woohoo on fewer sugary foods being offered! That's victory #1!

Love your guts!

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KIMCATUS 8/2/2009 10:57AM

    Hey that looks like a gorgeous place!!! Maybe you can get lucky like Mr. Brady would have...bow-chicka-wow-wow!!! LOL The balconies are gorgeous and it's so good to see MacDuff!!!

I've been told by friends who were stationed in the Middle East that the temperatures compare to Houston, and I know it's hot here so I feel for ya girlie! It's tough when you're not used to it!! I think we're about the same I feel your pain sweets! I remember when I first moved here I thought I was gonna die!!!

Anywho I'm so glad you're settled in to your new swinging pad, baby!!! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous does look like a beautiful place!!! I'm glad you and MacDuff arrived safely!!! *hugs*

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MAPLELEAFMOM 8/2/2009 10:26AM

    ROFL laughing at your Mr. Brady's pad apartment emoticon Your views are incredible !! It looks like a great place. I am so happy that both you and MacDuff are settling in. He looks adorable... Guinness and Watson say 'woof' and wish they could play and they send their love!

Take care and keep us updated on your adventures. You really will have to write a book one day!

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NMUDDIE 8/2/2009 10:21AM

    This is great. We get a glimpse of your real-life experiences. I wish I knew how to print this so your Grandmother could see it. ??? emoticon

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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 8/2/2009 10:06AM

    Wow! I adore your views! It looks so amazing there. I'm glad things are finally settling in for you. You are a fascinating read woman!

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AMUNET_RA 8/2/2009 9:25AM

    LOVE the photos! Great to see McDuff! ((HUGS)) what a sweetie!!!

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COLEISMYSOUL 8/2/2009 8:48AM

    emoticon Wow, what a place. Glad you and MacD are settling in. Your experiences are so fascinating, most of us dream of. Glad you are well. emoticon

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JUSTKIMBERLY 8/2/2009 7:53AM

    Your apartment is adorable... your view is beautiful... McDuff is a sweetie... and thank goodness for drivers and personal trainers!


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Greetings from Beirut!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have to dash this off, so fasten your seat belts - the transfer was a rough ride.

When I last blogged, the company had lost my medical receipts and expenditures. Both were found and credited! Yay!

And the packers had taken all my clothes. Sadly that bit is unchanged. I won't see my clothes until October.

So on Friday, MacDuff and I headed to the airport to begin a three-hour flight .... a threeeee-hour flight *cue Gilligan's Island music*

In Tunis
Mac Duff was booked. Smiling people greeted us and told us everything was great - just pay the excess baggage, and even gave me a discount.

We went to counter one. Stood in line. Got to the front. Oops, sorry, this queue is for something else. Go stand in that one.

Stood in that one. got to the front. She decided to go to lunch at that point and told us to go stand in a third queue.

Stood there. She announced that the fare was three times what I'd been told - literally hundreds more. I didn't have the money, and she wouldn't take cards.

Off to find an ATM. Out of order, Found another one. Got more $$. Returned to queue. Waited again. Got to front. Paid. Got receipt.

Went back to initial queue. Found out receipt was incorrect. Sent back to last line. Now 1 hour and 40 minutes has gone by, and I'm in danger of not making the flight myself. Refused to politely queue. Pressed to the front, got it sorted.

MacDuff loaded. Headed through security without incident.

Flight delayed. Concerned about connection. Told if connection missed, everything would be taken care of.

Take off 90 minutes late. As I board, AFTER I am ALREADY on the airplane, I am pulled aside and personally searched. The bastards. During the flight, I'm told that air crew phoned ahead and flight being held for me.

Arrive in Amman. Flight not held. No other departures that night. No arrangements made. Nice woman told me to "sit over there" and wait for it to be sorted.

A half hour later, see nice lady leaving for night. Run after her. Airily tells me she's off for the night and to talk to her boss.

It's now 9 p.m. Tired. Hungry. Worried about MacDuff. Find boss. Boss happy to help. Books me a hotel - free. Ask about luggage. Surprised. Says can get luggage. What about MacDuff? MacDuff has to stay in airport. Oh, they'll take care of him?

Blank stare. The dog has been crated for over 10 hours, and they want to hold him with no food, water or comfort break until he's loaded the next morning, flies to Beirut, clears customs and is unloaded, some 14 hours from now.

Hours of negotiations. Money changes hands. As I'm leaving the airport, with four men flanking men, a security buttwad decides to search my suitcase and paws through my stuff with all the men watching. Finds my teddy bear, Bully. Strained mental powers to will Bully to bite him. Special magic powers let me down. No joy.

Midnight. Luggage and dog go to hotel. Hotel won't take dog but will allow him to remain outside, in his crate. MacDuff shaky and super stressed. Long walk. Accidentally walk into military range directly next to hotel. Minor altercation with guard who is stunned to learn I speak Arabic and allows MacDuff to pee on military grass.

Unable to leave MacDuff alone because little boys whose parents are nowhere to be found terrorize him the moment I walk away. Luggage spends night in hotel room. Cat and MacDuff spend it outside the hotel, on the pavement.

5 a.m. Cat, dog, and luggage return to airport. Stupid *&$#@ Royal Jordanian never booked MacDuff. Cargo not pressurized. Major drama. Almost miss flight. Another humiliating personal search. Clear security. See, of all things, a Cinnabon. Believe it to be a hallucination. In fact, real. Buy cinnabon from nice man and eat it.

Arrive in Beirut. Met by expediter. Immigration is a breeze. Luggage arrives. MacDuff arrives. Customs a breeze. Transportation is waiting. Dropped off at new home.

MacDuff wobbles out to the grass, does business, drinks a liter of water, and collapses on the sofa, unable to even muster interest in his new surroundings.

Our new place is a tad unusual but has personality, and we are very grateful to be "home"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRENUT34 9/13/2009 1:53PM

    Sorry I'm so late in writing this, but I just noticed the blog when I wrote on your latest one. My trip to Beirut was a little easier than yours. I was part of the Multi-national Peacekeeping Force in 1983 from January to June. I was there and responded to the bombing of the American Embassy on April 18th. I stayed in the Marine Barracks while there so I wasn't there for that bombing or I wouldn't be writting this as all the Hospital Corpsman had died. The only thing Arabic I can remember is Muddah Hubba (don't know if right) for hello. I have enough problems with English. Glad you and your dog is alright.

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MAPLELEAFMOM 7/29/2009 10:05AM

    I am sorry that I am sooo late at responding to this (just catching up with life this week!) but OMG!!! I would have done the exact same thing and spent the night on the curb with my dogs! I can't believe all that you went through!! ( I mean I totally believe you but WOW!) How horrid that you were searched so many times! Mean people suck! I hope karma works quickly on those folks!!

I hope that you and MacDuff are enjoying your new home. We have to decide if we are flying the dogs out to California when we move but after your story there is now way, I am definitely driving them... even if it's just me and them LOL!

You could send this story to the MacDuff story writers and see if they make it a book LOL!

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FITTYTIF 7/24/2009 8:44PM

    WOW That was some trip! I am glad to hear you and MacDuff have finally arrived safe! I hope you are settled quickly and best of luck to you!

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    Oh my goodness! What an experience. I'm SO glad that you made it, even after all the nonsense that you endured. Hooray for unexpected Cinnabons!

emoticon emoticon

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50FITNFUN 7/21/2009 11:50PM

    HOLY COW! You seem to have kept your wits about you as all else faltered around you. I'm glad you and Mac Duff are now safe and comfy(?) in your new digs. emoticon

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    Oh my gosh!! Poor you and MacDuff!!!
Travel always seems so romantic and exotic...except for the actual traveling, eh? ;P

I am soooo glad you and doggie are safe in your new home now!!! emoticon

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HRDWLBY 7/17/2009 11:28PM


Your experiences sound like a made for TV movie. Nobody can write stuff like that. I'm sorry you had to spend the night outside but I would have done the same. Nobody wants to leave their pet alone in an unsafe situation. I can't believe the hotel wouldn't make an exception rather than you have to sleep outside!

I'm glad you finally arrived safely! I hope you both adjust to your new surroundings soon!

Are you sure you're not ready to return to the good old USA to work?


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MSEMBERSTORM 7/17/2009 11:06PM

    Wow talk about a heck of an ordeal! I am glad you finally made it home. I love that you shook up the guard. Poor MacDuff. You two get rested and take care of yourselves. Big hugs !

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PUTTITAT 7/16/2009 10:22AM

    Sorry to hear about your troubles on your trip. With as much traveling as you do (and me & hubby too) it is bound to happen, but when it includes pets...Oh my!

Our last flight, (from Prtland, OR to Atlanta, GA was mostly uneventful--other than the fact that Jon got upgraded to 1st class, & I was stuck in coach. emoticon Even though I am Silver Elite & Jon is Gold Elite, they said no upgrades for rewards travel . I saw--if it is available and you qualify otherwise--why not? I arrived a little grouchy--but nothing like your situation...
HAPPY HOUSEWARMING! How long for this one?

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AIMEE_B 7/15/2009 9:05PM

    Oh dear Cat and MacDuff!!

What a comedy of errors that really isn't funny! i'm hoping the next installment of the tale is nicely mundane and uneventful!!!

Rest up!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/15/2009 9:06:19 PM

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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 7/15/2009 12:38PM

    Wow. I've said this before...i'll say it again and again: I am not sure how you do this. You are the most impressive person I've met. I'm glad this all worked out for you and your furkid. ...still shaking head...
hugs woman

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SLCOLMAN 7/15/2009 11:34AM

    OMGosh what a trip!! So glad to hear that you all did finally make it safe and sound!!

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JUSTKIMBERLY 7/15/2009 8:24AM

    I don't even know what to say. Wow and hugs.

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NEWSTART127 7/15/2009 1:36AM

    OMG - I'm sitting here reading this and need to pick my chin up off the laptop keyboard so that I can type. I cannot believe what you and MacDuff had to endure. Bless you for taking such good care of him. I would have been outside with my "kids" too. I'm glad that you have both finally arrived at your new home mostly safely and sound! emoticon

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GWEEBE 7/14/2009 11:48PM

    emoticonAw Cat,
You guys must be completely pooped! I am glad that you both finally made it "home" safely. How you keep your sanity in such situations I'll never know.....
Rest up, Bexy's gonna give you a special "Welcome Home" dance on the pole later...

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RAVEN1025 7/14/2009 6:16PM

    Oh my! I am glad you made it in the end, safe with your MacDuff.
Hope your settling in is smoother :)

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SUETINGE 7/14/2009 5:56PM

    Galloping Gargoyles! What a frickin' nightmare. I'm so glad you and MacDuff are there safely and in one piece. No way I would leave a fur-baby outside under those conditions, either.

Big hugs, sweetie!

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NIMAWEYGH 7/14/2009 4:18PM

    Cat it would have been me and Gracie & Georgie on the pavement as well. I stand up and applaud your love for MacDuff...........................w
hat PRATT'S you had to deal with...........UGH! Makes you want to go postal or something along those lines.

I am so happy (doing the Snoopy dog dance) that you and MacDuff are there and safe and sound.

I cannot wait to see pictures of are one amazing WOMAN.

The G girls and I are thrilled you are there and love ya dearly.


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    I'm always so terrified of traveling with animals. I'm so glad you're all safe and sound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ZIRCADIA 7/14/2009 3:33PM

    Poor you and POOR MACDUFFF!!!!! I'm so glad you're finally arrived and you and the doggie are safe -- what an ordeal!!!! *HUGS*

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COLEISMYSOUL 7/14/2009 2:56PM

    ARGGHHH! Is the politest way to put it on how your trip went. I am glad you and my furry friend are now settling in! Hugs to you both.

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MDMNINA 7/14/2009 2:55PM

    Yes, yes, there is definitely a book in this. Glad you and McDuff are safely in Beirut. Will you get to see new Harry Potter anytime soon. I made Raven a hat and scarf in Ravenclaw colors, which she will wear this evening, even in mid-summer. She says it will probably be cold in the theatre!

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NMUDDIE 7/14/2009 2:42PM

    And the book will be published when? You rival Ripleys!
I am thrilled and relieved that you are safe and that you have both Bully and MacDuff. I can't wait to hear about your digs. It sounds like, however unusual, you might at least be comfortable. I hope you also got my other message and that it is complete enough to work for you.
Love you very much,
Mom emoticon emoticon

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DAS92687 7/14/2009 12:40PM

    So glad to hear everything ended well. Hoping your furry friends appreciate all you did and that everyone is settle today :-)

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FLORIDAFAN 7/14/2009 12:35PM

    Wow I dont know how you hold it together. That would of been enough to send anyone over the edge. I am so glad to hear that you both made it safe. Yeah for Cinnibon

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PRSEIDA 7/14/2009 12:22PM

    What a trip! Many kudos to you for great thinking and keeping your head through the whole thing. I'd probably be in jail somewhere having shot off my mouth at the wrong person.

Glad you're finally "home" and hope you get settled soon. *hugs*

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BEXTRESS 7/14/2009 12:18PM

    What a nightmare! I'm glad the last bit went smoothly, or else I can't even imagine Cap'n Cat cracking a whip at some immigration officer...LoL Glad to hear you arrived safe and that MacDuff is not too insulted.

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KIMCATUS 7/14/2009 11:40AM

    Oh honey. I am so sorry for all that crap, but I am SO very sorry that you and MacDuff are home safe! I too am amazed at your Cinnabon?? But they wouldn't let macDuff inside the hotel??? What freaking crap!!! But at least you are safe and sound and can get settled. We have missed you!!! *HUGS*

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AMUNET_RA 7/14/2009 11:36AM

    Yikes! Sounds like a nightmare, Cat! I am so sorry but SO glad that you and MacDuff arrived safe and sound! Hopefully you've both had a chance to rest it off!

Yay! For the Cinnabon! ;-)

How can these airlines stay in business with this kind of incompetence and horrid customer service!

Welcome home, Sweetie! You've been missed!!!


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NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/14/2009 11:32AM

    I am aghast. If i EVER complain again slap me or hit me with a jaw binding curst please. You are totally my highest of the the high heroine. I dont know how you do it...big hugs to you and MacDuff...and i hope the filthy bastages that searched you have the fleas of a bazillion camels light on their hair and armpits and unmentionable places and torture them forever!!!
Oceans of hugs and comfort to you both. I wish i could apparate there and let you relax and let me do the unpacking!!

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DEBULACLARK 7/14/2009 11:31AM

    Cat - I am so sorry for your ordeal...I can't believe you stopped at 1 Cinnabon....I probably would have eaten them til I puked!
I'm so glad MacDuff is ok and you are both going to be able to get settled in now! Welcome "home"! We've really missed you around the castle. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHORTTOOTH1 7/14/2009 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sending you some love since things have been insane lately. Way to make it through everything. I'm impressed that you made it through everything without yelling at anyone. You're a bit of my hero now. Again way to survive!

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Moving Day

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Good-bye, Tunisia and hello, Lebanon!

The packers were here today. The house is a disaster, but we've made great progress and should have the rest of the house finished tomorrow, a day ahead of schedule. I was chatting with a friend, whinging about my day, and I told her about the "spark moment" I had earlier.

This morning, as I packed up clothes in eight different sizes I suddenly had a moment of clarity. I've been doing this job for 7 years. I was already losing the weight battle even back then. When I started moving around, I always brought along the smaller clothes (because of course, I was going to need them.)

Fast forward eight moves.

I'm buying bigger and bigger sizes, have never worn entire closets full of clothes, and I'm now toting clothing in everything from size 8 to 26 around the globe! No wonder I have so much stuff!! Part of me watches these shows about decluttering and getting rid of things and thinks I need to let go, but this other part of me thinks it's admitting defeat and giving up on myself and my dream.

So I looked at SIX closets of clothes this morning. Six. And I made a decision: when I leave Beirut, the ONLY clothes that will travel with me are the ones I can wear, even if it means throwing away bejillions of dollars worth of clothes. Job after job - packing up the same clothes that I am still not wearing just hurts me, and I do feel like such a failure each time I have to box up the "someday clothes" yet again.

I'll keep you posted.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Donating the clothes is a fantastic idea from LaFemme! And...the best part is that you clear out the space for NEW clothes! Okay, okay, that's the shopper in me talking.

It's a hard choice, but a wise one. Somehow it's almost metaphorical. I'm proud of you for making the choice.


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SLCOLMAN 7/5/2009 7:51PM

    A hard but wise decision I think! Much love!

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MSEMBERSTORM 7/5/2009 4:33PM

    It is hard but a wise choice. Nothing like getting new clothes when you need them. You are not giving up you are just getting prepared! You can do this! Smile and good luck on your move.

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    Maybe you could donate the clothes. Then you will not only avoid the bad feelings, but replace them with good feelings. :)

You are so courageous and adventurous for moving to (and from!) such exotic locales! :-D

P.S. Send me some hummus!!! Mmmmmm!

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MDMNINA 7/3/2009 12:48PM

    Wise move my dear! Not only will it simplify your life, but it will help you feel better about yourself. And that will improve your health in the long run. Stay safe in those foreign lands. Let us know when you are settled in!

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SHORTTOOTH1 7/3/2009 12:16PM

    I just did something like that with my last move, although I did keep some of my skinny clothes. I looked at all of my skinny clothes and realized that they are actually going out of style faster than I'm getting back into them. But because I'm such a packrat, I gave them the the Salvation Army instead of just throwing them away.

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DEBULACLARK 7/3/2009 9:33AM

    You are AMAZING and an INSPIRATION to all of us Cat! I've done that with my clothes...gotten rid of the ones I haven't worn. It's liberating and when you are ready for new can have a lot of fun shopping again!!! Good luck on the move and be careful...don't throw your back out like Nimma did!!! xoxo

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LUV_VICKIE 7/3/2009 4:51AM

    Dear Cat
I admire your enthusiasm and go to it attitude and your humor is refreshing.
I agree with the comments here. "get rid of the clothes you don't wear" or don't like. You have the great opportunity to lighten up up on the things that you don't love or need anymore.There is one web site that might help you with your move if too late this one the next. emoticon Check out: There I found "
_MovingTips.asp " a Step by Baby Step plan for getting your life and move back in order. Take care we'll miss you while you are in transit.
emoticon emoticon

You do pick the hottest months to move. emoticon emoticon

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NEWSTART127 7/3/2009 2:40AM

    I think you're making a good choice... leave that behind... not only is it physical clutter, it's mental clutter - and that's worse! You are NOT a failure! Don't ever think that! emoticon

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HRDWLBY 7/3/2009 12:14AM

    Hey, Cat,

I agree, you are no failure! You've accomplished so much, especially with all your health issues! You've even been in a half marathon which is something I've never done. I know what you mean about having lots of clothes. I currently have clothes in 4 closets and spilling over into other parts of two rooms. Most are wearable and within 4 sizes.

Good luck on your move. I hope it goes smoothly! I also hope your job in Lebanon will be rewarding and not as stressful as this one has been


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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 7/2/2009 10:36PM

    You are NO failure. I think what you do must be the hardest job in the world. Moving to foreign countries and making a home...even temporarily...muct be hard work.

As for the clothes...I agree...get rid of the ones that don't fit. You will feel your chi declutter and you will experience more and more clarity! :)

Have a safe move! :)


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AMUNET_RA 7/2/2009 10:04PM

    You're certainly not a failure! You're an AMAZING woman!

I admire your resolve! I am in the process of shifting things around getting ready for our bedroom suite to be delievered. I am going to see what I can part with...

((HUGS)) I'm thinking about you as you prepare to shift, yet again...

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CJBAGGINS 7/2/2009 9:44PM

    Great decision, Cat!
And I'm rooting for you to be able to get rid of all those clothes in the 20s before the next move! I'm sure 16s and 14s will look that much better on you anyway! You'll see.


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GWEEBE 7/2/2009 9:05PM

    Congrats on the move, I'm sure you are pooped!

Good luck figuring out the clothing thing.....I have numerous sizes myself, but I often donate or eBay the things I don't want/need.

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KIMCATUS 7/2/2009 8:47PM

    I just did this not that long ago...and it felt great!! Like everyone has said the smaller stuff isn't in style anymore and why keep the bigger stuff?? Give the different sizes to charity and then as you lose weight you can celebrate by buying new outfits!!

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DISPATCH91 7/2/2009 7:24PM

    I think we have all done that, keep our fatter clothes and the skinny ones (I don't have any of those) for just in case. The too large need to go period. You are no longer that size don't keep a crutch to fall back on. Those size 8's they aren't in style now, let them go. You are an accomplished shopper when you get there, you can go shopping.

Let go of the past baggage you are so beyond that. Girl you are running marathons. You are smart, capable, funny, and getting healthier every day. You are on the road to success and your arrival is sooner than later.


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COLEISMYSOUL 7/2/2009 6:30PM

    You are not alone with the clothes. I guess I call it my dream world, someday....... But, you are right, it can be very detrimental. One size at a time is all I can deal with. Besides which, my someday clothes have become outdated. So, one day, one size at a time. No pressure! Glad you are ahead of packing schedule. How is MacDuff dealing - or is he also used to the moves?

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DANIMITE2 7/2/2009 6:07PM

    I had this issue before too. Coming from such a poor background (and now spending clothing money on half marathons, travel, and running clothes/shoes), I hated to throw anything away for the chance that I might "some day" get back into it.

Then, after I started losing weight, I was afraid to let go of my fat clothes, just in case I might need them one day. WHAT?!? I'll never need a size 18 again...ever!

I'll also probably never be in a size 8. I got rid of those. And then I had to be realistic with myself about what's in style. My size 10s that I wore in high school are NOT popular 10 years later (think culottes!). There are a few things I kept that were 10s...basic jeans, etc., that were pretty classic. So now I'm carting around Sizes 10/12-16. Its much better than 8-18/20!. Although I haven't moved all over the globe, I have moved 10 times in the last 10 years.

I've definitely realized that clutter makes us unhappy. Its distracting and depressing. If you don't love it, need it, or it doesn't make you money, just get rid of it. You can always buy it again, if you do ever really need it. There may come a day when you need a closetful of 14's...and then you'll deserve to go out and buy yourself a new wardrobe. Until then, embrace the size you are and quit carrying around the extra clothes, baggage, and emotions that go with it!

I love you, and I hope your moving is going great. I get to have you in my bedroom in like 65 days!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/2/2009 5:58PM

    oh!! and i are NOT a failure---stop that!! you are WONDERFUL!!!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/2/2009 5:57PM

    Hey i like your tree flag!!

ok down to the meat of it...first off congrats on packing ahead of schedule!! second. i cant throw out the old clothes either. although i did throw out the 28s and 26s. now i have 12's to 24's. i probably shoulda kept the 26's though!
I have the same problem though...and its not just clothes. I cant bear to throw anything away!! so why dont we have an exchange? i have piles of books. anyone want to trade?

with you i know its a bit more difficult as you travel alot, but still....
I am so proud of you with all you are one of my role models did you know that?
ok...maybe you have inspired me to start on my closet tomorrow...
love ya!

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SUETINGE 7/2/2009 5:56PM

    Sounds like a great plan.

Cat, you are so right. Repeatedly moving all those clothes you can't wear hurts. Why hang on to all that painful baggage? I do have one suggestion though. Rather than throwing away what doesn't fit, donate it. I know Beirut isn't completely Westernized, but there surely would be some sort of charity there that could take at least some of them. That at least would create some positive out of it.

Good luck with the rest of the packing and the move itself.

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ZIRCADIA 7/2/2009 5:53PM

    GOOD FOR YOU, CAT!!!!!! I know this had to be hard to let go of, but I imagine you will feel so much better with all that baggage GONE. *HUGS*

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hi everyone. I know I haven't been online much. I thought I'd jot a quick update while I had a few moments.

So I was a complete prat and spilled soup on my computer. As a result, the punctuation and numbers didn't work. I took it to the computer guy at work to see if he could help, and he cheerfully broke it completely. I didn't even know for a while because the city did road work and cut my phone line! (still don't have it back, either.)

But my lovely family has chipped in, and for just a few knuts and sickles, I've got a new Dell on the way! (I had no idea they enjoyed hearing from me so much! *LOL)

In other news, I'm under a huge amount of pressure at work, although I think I'm maintaining my equilibrium. I need to deliver a project that will score a 71. The last time we tested, it scored a 40. It took 18 months to get to the 40, and we have six weeks to get it to a 71. So don't expect to see me online a lot between now and then.

Silly me. I thought I was getting a long holiday when I completed the job here in Tunis, but the Beirut group wants me right away, so I wil l transfer there this summer. I'm a little stressed about the move because my things sat in London long after they were supposed to ship here. Now they've finally shipped them, and I'm racing the clock to get them here, unpacked, sorted, and decide what to ship to Beirut and what to store.

What else? My co-workers continue to astonish me. One of my least physically attractive colleagues took it upon herself to tell me that my skin is ugly because I'm in the sun too much. (I have a butterfly rash from the Lupus.) I think my face reflected my thoughts, which were along the lines of, "Who are YOU talking to, Hag?" , because she immediately backed off.

Ironically, some of my meanest colleagues are themselves quite easily hurt. I actually had a sweet conversation with a nemesis the other day. She was hurt that my future boss (yes, one of my nastier colleagues) said something unkind to her. We actually bonded over it, although I don't trust her any more than before. I think the unrelenting stress is taking a toll on us all.

Ooh, and I tried making homemade pizza last weekend. Not all that healthy (Who is Rachel Ray trying to kid?), but it did taste good! I also made summer pudding and have been enjoying it bit by bit every evening. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLYB2 5/8/2009 7:55AM

  looks likeim not the only one missing you!!!

I hate work stress!!

that is how I got in this condition (over wt.) in the first place
and now cant get it off!! ugh

cant wait to hear from you!!

new dell's are so muc fun!!


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SLCOLMAN 5/6/2009 6:06PM

    Co-workers are the pits!
Glad to hear that a new computer is on the way!
Good luck with the move and all that...
I hope that the project gets the score you need it to!

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AIMEE_B 5/3/2009 10:12PM


i can certainly empathize with workstress, and i'm so sorry to hear about your unkind colleagues. But if i know you, you take the high road. Don't let the negativity or those psychic vampires suck you in! Stay strong, find time to relax now and then, and all will be well. You've got all of us rooting for you, so how can it go wrong???


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BRAVAH 5/3/2009 3:45AM

    Hi Cat!

It is good to see you punctuating again!

I am sorry to read about your annoying coworkers again. I'm not sure I could have just given her a look! Good for you, though.

So, not that I know what you mean by score a 71, but I can see the relation to the time it took to get it to 40, so I wish you the best! And wow! A transfer to Beirut! That's exciting. Although just more stress, especially with all the packing issues surrounding an upcoming move - with unresolved packing issues from the last move. I wish I could get on a plane and come and help you pack!

Have a great rest of the weekend.

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CJBAGGINS 5/3/2009 1:14AM

    I echo the comments about your co-workers. Better yet, I'll give 'em a few of these:
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congrats on the new computer!!

I'll miss you around the place while you're off doing work and earning a living and all that boring stuff. Take care.


Comment edited on: 5/3/2009 1:15:30 AM

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KIMCATUS 5/2/2009 8:02PM

    Your co-workers are idiots, I'm freaking ecstatic you're getting a computer, I'm sorry you're under so much much pressure at work, woo hoo for making pizza, wth is summer pudding and I MISS YOU!!! *deep breath* Love ya!

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MSEMBERSTORM 5/2/2009 7:45PM

    Oh hun! I have missed seeing you around. Your co-workers are really a piece of work! Hopefully one day they will see the error of their ways. Good luck on your project. Keep in touch as you can. Congrats on your new computer!!!!!

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RAVEN1025 4/30/2009 8:15PM

    I've missed you! I'm bummed you won't get to be online much for a while :(

I am amazed by the rudeness of your coworkers. I thought I worked with some b!tchy people, but at least they don't make it personal. I've always thought your complexion looked rosy, in a nice way. Karma will surely come around to these people.

You do get to live in some fascinating places! Best of luck with getting your things sorted and moved.

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DEBULACLARK 4/30/2009 7:58PM

    I'm glad you're getting a new computer Cat!
I'm sorry you won't be on much - I miss you!
I'm appalled, yet again, to read what these people say to you! How disgusting.
I'm glad that you know enough to shrug these comments off and I hope you know how wonderful you are. You certainly don't deserve to be treated the way some of your coworkers treat you!
YUMMY YUM YUM On the pizza....

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SUETINGE 4/30/2009 2:45PM

    emoticon on the new computer!

emoticon on mean co-workers.

emoticon about all the work stress and not having a nice break between jobs (and moves). I can't imagine moving from one country to another.

emoticon YUM! Tomorrow's pizza night at my house.

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HRDWLBY 4/30/2009 2:23PM

    I found that people seem to be testier when they are under stress, although rudeness, and unkindness is never justified! It's too bad you have to deal with coworkers like that. I hope all goes well with your project! We'll look forward to hearing from you when you can get online.

I'm glad to hear you'll be getting a new Dell. That's what I and my daughter use, although my DH just got a new small Mac. The only trouble I've had is having to replace the battery after about a year of use. I hope they've improved the batteries on your model.

As for your new job, I'm sorry you won't get any time off, but it must be nice to be wanted! You get to live in such fascinating places!

Let's hope all your personal stuff gets to you in time!


Comment edited on: 4/30/2009 2:23:50 PM

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QUEMBEL1 4/30/2009 9:22AM

    Yea on the dirty look. They call that "The Andrea" around here. People always know when they are pissing me off. It usually stops them in their tracks and I don't even have to say a word.
I can't imagine going w/o a computer now. I know you will be glad to get the new one.
Good luck with the project. I know you will get the job done.
We miss you around here.

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FIENDISHSARAH 4/30/2009 7:47AM

    Ahh Rachel Ray....I agree. She's got these demons trapped in her delish recipes and she tries to hide it emoticon

Good luck with work... seems like everyone is stressin' lately! I hope the project turns out great and good luck with the move. I had a hard enough time moving 1.5 minutes up the road...can't imagine moving that far!

And BOOOO-URNS to your Hagatha (hehehe Holly) collegue. I don't know where people get off thinking they can spurt stuff like that around. No manners at all. Some people's kids eh?

Anywho! Good to hear from you. Thanks for letting us know you're still kickin!

(who am I kidding... I "chat" with ya daily don't I? I'd just take that as a compliment that your less freqeuent posting makes my heart ache ) emoticon

Goodday! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/30/2009 7:47:53 AM

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MAPLELEAFMOM 4/30/2009 7:28AM

    You are one busy gal!!

Ick to the nasty coworkers, I hope they are nicer when you move! Yay to the family members who helped you out with getting a new computer!!

Take care of yourself through all that work and know we are always here cheering you on!! You are an amazing woman who deserves only the best emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 4/30/2009 6:48AM

    you need to come here..where people dont make nasty comments about your skin or your shape or ANYTHING!!! geeez...slap that woman for me willya??
Ol Hagatha needs a 'tude adjustment as my students would say.
YAY on the new computer!!!
I'm not here much lately myself...between school and the bakery there is no time for life. cant wait for the end of June!!!
Hugs and love

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NEWSTART127 4/30/2009 1:43AM

    Is Stress your middle name???
My dear, I think I'm worn out from just reading yourpost.
I truly hope that everything works out with your project and your next move.
Hope your new Dell makes it to you soon so you can hang out with us again soon!

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DISPATCH91 4/29/2009 9:25PM

    Bless your sweet heart. I am so glad you are getting a new computer. I am so sorry life is giving you such a knock at this time. Just think this trial will become your testimony and you can say well back in 2009 I........ Then you can tell the tale of how you wonderfully sorted everything out. Like the super organized person you are.

Hang in there. The rainbow is around the bend. emoticon

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HPTHATBME 4/29/2009 9:18PM

    Hi Cat! I am glad you are getting a new Dell. I have my laptop and really the only issue I have had since I had it(a few years now) is the cd burner needed to be replaced and a few screws tightened(yeah I guess it goes well with my personality lol).

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COLEISMYSOUL 4/29/2009 7:37PM

    GO YANKEES! LOL Hope you don't stress too much on the crunch! And to heck with the idiots!

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    What a time you've had! I'm glad a new compy is on the way...that will be awesome, and so nice of your family!

Work...gah. I hope that the project turns out. I have confidence that you can make it work, but I'm sorry for the stress that will bring. And the coworkers? Apparently their brain to mouth filters aren't working again. I'm sorry for that!

I'll offer huge hugs and any support that I can!

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SIXFULLERS 4/29/2009 1:15PM

    Rude collegues. You can't work with 'em and you can't kill 'em. Where's the justice....

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AMUNET_RA 4/29/2009 1:00PM

    -Yay, new computer!

-Boo rude colleague

-Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer...

-I make homemade pizza at least twice a month! LOVE it!!!

-Wish I could help you with your project!

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JEWISHREDHEAD 4/29/2009 12:48PM

    Yay for a new computer!

And I totally agree with Becca... I AM gonna miss the "EM"s hehe!

Good luck with work... I know that you can score that 71! You're amazing Cat!!


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BEXTRESS 4/29/2009 12:34PM

    No more "EM"s? I think I'm going to miss those...

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MDMNINA 4/29/2009 12:29PM

    Remember to take some time for yourself. It will help with that huge load of stress you have! And remember you can trust us on SP, even if you can't trust your work colleagues! I'm sending warm thoughts and encouragement your way! emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 4/29/2009 12:04PM

    Stupid colleagues, yay for homemade pizza and pudding, and YAY fOR NEW COMPUTER! :D Too bad we won't be seeing much of you in a while, but hey, you're gonna be crazy busy. *HUGS* :) Oh and about my job... yeah -- I have definitely been on the phone with people crying before and had to show no mercy. Umbridge would be quite happy.

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IZZYBUBBLES 4/29/2009 11:42AM

    I'm going to echo what everyone else said and say take care of yourself!! I really, really hope that you get to leave these nasty coworkers behind in Tunis when you leave for Beirut. If not, just remember - these people will get what's coming to them eventually!! You are a wonderful, beautfiul person and if these idiots don't see it, it's completely their loss. I feel so thankful to know you, if I got to work with you I'd count it as a blessing every single day.

I'm also sorry you're stressed with the move - I could barely handle moving from one side of town to the other, I can't even fathom moving all my stuff from one country to another. I'm glad it looks like you're managing to make some time for yourself by cooking (Rachel Ray - not always healthy, but genius!) and that you're getting a new computer that will have all its punctuation marks!!!

Love ya. Hope things get better soon and will be looking forward to the day when you have more time to be online!! emoticon

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LUV_VICKIE 4/29/2009 10:55AM

    emoticon A new computer.
emoticon All that work. You can do it Cat. Just take one day at a time.
emoticon We are going to miss you.
emoticon Those meany "co-workers"
emoticon I love pizza. emoticon
Take care and stop by when you can. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHORTTOOTH1 4/29/2009 10:39AM

    I actually find that people who can dish out the mean comments are usually the worst at taking them. Personally, I think that their empathy part is broken.

Also, the computer thing sucks. I did something similar in college (iced coffee, not soup) and it was awful. Fortunately, I had accident protection at the time so dell fixed it for me. However, it was a real pain when I didn't have a computer to use.

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JUSTKIMBERLY 4/29/2009 10:09AM

    1. I subscribed so do I get a star? LOL

2. Oh my goodness Cat! Just... oh my goodness. You have SO much going on. Remember to take some time for yourself. emoticon

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