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An Object At Rest...Needs a Big PUSH!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Or a good swift kick!

Although ear troubles knocked me outta commission on Sun. and on Mon. I still felt "blah" and out of it...today? Just wasn't willing to let it slide by yet one more time! 45 mins. treadmill 1st thing this morning, 30 mins. ST tonight...YES! I'm not 100%, backed off my speed from 5 to 4 mph...we'll see what tomorrow brings. Felt good to be back in the SPARK of things!

Actually on Monday I DID take time to do something I hadn't yet concentrated on: using the balance board I got from the SparkStore. We were doing Wii bowling, so I decided while not bowling I would see how long I could stand on the balance board. Horrible at first but could see some nice progress as I persisted. Could feel the effort in my glutes of all places...! Also noticed the straighter I stood, the quicker I muffed it and stepped off the board. I think there's a DEFINITE parallel to cross country skiing.

Also called the company and got my Nordic Walking Poles straightened out...stay tuned!

I had a pleasant, unintended compliment today when I bumped into a nurse I worked with when back at the hospital. He asked me if everything was okay. I gave him a puzzled look and he explained: You've lost so much weight, I wasn't sure if you were ill!

Nah, just healthier than I've ever been! Woo hoo!

Now: let's kick this EAR thing already, right...? It's still bugging me, but diminishing. No point in speaking up yet as I have another few days of antibiotic left...going to have to finish that I figure.

Hoping to rally a meeting of local SparkPeople members for a book discussion this weekend. It's late notice...but we'll see if we can pull it off!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XENA1956 1/20/2010 11:10PM

    See isn't it great when people don't know what a person can do with a healthy lifestyle. I can't believe that nurse's first thoughts were that you must be ill, "How else could you have gotten so thin" Right? Hope you told him about Sparks. I am sure he was not trying to be unkind. You do great on the balance board. Took me a while to get the hang of one. I still keep getting dizzy myself but I still don't know what the cause it because I went to the family doctor. I see my specialist on Friday, maybe something will show up by then. emoticon

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JCORYCMA 1/20/2010 11:00PM

    Wow, I can sympathize with the not feeling as you know, but I am feeling TERRIFIC as of yesterday and today! So hang in there. Hopefully you'll be feeling 100% Sparky in no time too! Good idea to back off a little on your speed. The balance board intrigues me. I may just have to look into one! I've always kind of longed for the J-Lo glutes!!
Joanne emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 1/20/2010 10:46AM

    way to go.................have a great wednesday!!!
blessings and hugs.................lita

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FRECKS96 1/20/2010 10:14AM

    Sounds like a super day, even though you're still a bit under the weather. Way to keep Sparkin'!

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ZELLAZM 1/20/2010 9:25AM

    I like how you're changing up your "workouts" with the Wii and the balance board and the poles!

Feel better,

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ARAC76 1/20/2010 9:18AM

    Way to stay persistent! Keep up the focus!

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/20/2010 7:01AM

    I'm envious of your stamina. I was so weary from a little cold and a fever and bunch of silly aches and pains. Look at you go!!! But, I have to say, I got my spiritual balance back. But, I really need to hit the exercise today or I will be a cranky gal!!! And there will be no more spiritually fit chick here!!! I am sick of being sick but it is not going to get better just by laying about. I need to move. Get the blood circulating again. Thanks for being a great example.

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DAYHIKER 1/20/2010 6:51AM

    emoticonDon! Glad you are improving quickly! Goodness, I walked like a drunk when I had my ear troubles in the fall! No way I could have balanced on that thing! emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 1/20/2010 6:40AM

    I'm really impressed that you could do a balance board with an ear problem. You rock, Don!!

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ZIRCADIA 1/19/2010 11:39PM

    Congrats on working that balance board -- that sounds cool! And yes, I feel it in the glutes when I do balance stuff too -- like standing on a BOSU or something.

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Sparking FINE Before the Crash...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just a quick one tonight as I'm heading for bed *on time* tonight...scary! :-)

Had a GLORIOUS walk in yesterday's January thaw day...around 40 degrees, sunny blue skies...had *intended* to walk one of our local parks (the Rail-to-Trail) with my Nordic Walking Poles for the first time. No go...just could NOT figure how to adjust the poles in such a way that they would "hold" and not slide in / out. Ah well, a regular walk it'll be then!

Only it wasn't a regular walk! Through the winter I had been upping my baseline speed from 4 to 5 mph pretty steadily. As fast as I could walk I still felt something was "wrong"...like an itch I just couldn't reach!

So I started to jog...ah, yes...THIS is what I've become accustomed to! More SPEED! Bring it ON! :-) Short sleeves and jeans...sweating away and loving it! A passer-by asked if I thought it was summer and I said: "Close enough for ME!" I really got into my music and at times was clapping along to the beat while jogging...must've been a SIGHT...lol!

I didn't jog the ENTIRE length (@ 5 miles), but a good share. When I was done, however, I had FAR more fatigue than I should have and it wasn't long before I could feel my right ear come back with it's aching once again...even though I'd been taking antibiotics & eardrops since Monday!

I slept 12 hours straight and woke up feeling all grogged out with sounds muffled again, ear aching. So here's another antibiotic to which I've become immune...great! This has become VERY OLD! I've never been an earache kinda kid, let alone ADULT! My energy level has been very much half-mast today, the infection seems to have so swiftly pulled the plug from that awesome high of yesterday. No cardio, no nothing...heading to bed and hoping to feel better soon...off to another doc tomorrow possibly.

I SO admire those of you struggling with any chronic illnesses...this recurring ear thing has me very much appreciating how TOUGH it is to keep SPARKING when it feels like your body keeps snuffing it out!

Don (who makes a VERY IMPATIENT patient!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 1/19/2010 4:03PM

    UGH---I know how you feel...my cold/sinus thing is back again. I am SOOOO ready for three weeks in Florida about now!

Feel better!

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SHUCG1004 1/19/2010 8:58AM

    I admire your courage to exercise despite chronic pain! emoticon

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USAKIBAT 1/19/2010 3:52AM

    So sorry about your ear problems. Earache is right up there with toothache! Sounds like you are doing better and enjoyed your "warm" weather walk/jog. I hate the cold weather, but when we lived in Michigan whenever the temperature would get back up in the thirties, I would think it was a heat wave, too! We're having cold weather here in the south too, but nothing like what you get. Some people were born to be wild; I was born to be warm! emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 1/18/2010 11:23PM

    am a little late reading this.........hope you are feeling better now................blessings and hugs................lita

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/18/2010 5:39PM

    I really hope that your ear improves soon. Gee, That's been going on way too long. I'm wiped out today. The creeping crud is nipping at my nose. And I think I've tired myself out with persistent exercise everyday. I'm one of those with the physical health conditions and I guess I just get worn out from time to time. But, I'm wishing you all the best for your recovery. I am sure glad you made hay while the sun was still shining though. Good for you!!! Saturday was glorious in the Southern Tier. We sure were blessed! Take care of yourself!!!

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ZIRCADIA 1/18/2010 2:13PM

    BUMMER... sounds like you had such a good time on your run, though! I hope you are back to feeling better ASAP!

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DAYHIKER 1/18/2010 11:12AM

    Bummer about the ear, Don! Glad you could get in such a lovely day before it hit! I went through this a couple months ago and it too two rounds of antibiotics then probiotics to get me back up to speed!! Take care!!

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FERRETLOVER1 1/18/2010 7:35AM

    Don, you have to give yourself a break. You need to rest and recuperate - I don't think you're supposed to exercise when you have an infection of any sort. Just take it easy for a couple of days.

I was wondering about those Nordic walking sticks - interesting that you couldn't really figure them out.

Great to hear that you were clapping along with your music and walking so fast - that's wonderful...but get well first, okay?

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MARJIJANE 1/17/2010 10:55PM

    Big Bummer for my not-so-big-buddy! Ear aches affect everything! You're lucky your doctor will prescribe antibiotics! My Dr usually says use drops to alleviate the discomfort ...but the balance issues are far greater a problem! Warm moist wraps are a Godsend, to say the least, just be careful not to burn yourself!

Feel better, my friend...good thoughts and prayers sent your way!



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KENSINGTONC 1/17/2010 10:43PM

    Feel better Don! Great workout yesterday, though, and very inspiring to read! I wish you did have a picture of that!

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FRECKS96 1/17/2010 10:16PM

    Ugh, so sorry you're not feeling well. It can really take the wind out of anyone's sails. But...woo hoo for a great walk/jog yesterday!! I was actually a little bummed I didn't get to enjoy it more and it really has me wishing for spring. Hope you get your walking poles figured out before the next warm-up. Feel Better Soon!

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USARUNNERGIRL 1/17/2010 10:13PM

    So sorry about year ear Don. Yuck. I sure hope you start to feeling better. I think it is great that you were out there and running, I am just sorry it ended with you feeling not so hot. I will pray for you.

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Check Out My Music...!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If anyone wants to check out my musical preferences, check out my Pandora (www.pandora.com) radio station, titled:

ECM - World - Jazz Favorites

Looks like today is for sure going to be my Nordic Walking day...woo hoo!


I *think* this link will get you to my station:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARA_BOO 1/20/2010 1:01AM

    My husband loves the pandora site, too. Since he's always worked in radio, listening to commercial stations feels too much like work to him. So, he sets up his personal station on pandora, to listen to and relax.

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DDOORN 1/16/2010 9:48PM

    ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is a record label out of Germany that specializes in one of my favorite genres of jazz / world music. The company's logo reads:

ECM... the Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence


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DAVEFITZ1 1/16/2010 6:35PM

    Hi Don; I'm a little stupid; EMC-ELECTRIC COUNTRY MUSIC??
You do know that all country music originated in Ireland don't you? emoticon

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DDOORN 1/16/2010 6:02PM

    I *think* this link will get you to my station:


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SUSIEMT 1/16/2010 3:22PM

    Way to go DDORN! I enjoy Nordic walking myself!

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FRECKS96 1/16/2010 12:38PM

    enjoy the day-it's gorgeous out!! I'd love to bookmark your stations on pandora, what's your username?

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L*I*T*A* 1/16/2010 12:31PM

    love nordic walking too......................enjoy and have a wonderful weekend.............blessings and hugs................lita

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ZELLAZM 1/16/2010 12:19PM

    Just got back from Nordic walking - it was definitely NORDIC out there today. Burned lots of calories. It's good to be feeling fit again and I hope to be back running on Monday.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

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JCORYCMA 1/16/2010 11:02AM

    I'll have to check out the music. Music is one of my top motivators and I got several i-tunes gift cards for Christmas. Have fun with the walking!
Joanne emoticon

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MISS_VIV 1/16/2010 9:45AM

    Beautiful music
I enjoy turning to this station that you recommended to me a LONG TIME ago. (You introduced me to Pandora, which I totally LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.)

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DAYHIKER 1/16/2010 9:35AM

    Ahhh, I love Nordic Walking! Unfortunately, right now it would be Nordic MUD walking here!! emoticon Have fun!! emoticon

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Lately I've been shifting my baseline treadmill speed to 5 mph instead of 4 mph, with occasional bursts of 6 mph. One of the consequences of doing this is that songs which were formerly just right for 4 mph no longer are. BUT one of the cool results I'm finding is that the songs which were too SLOW for 4 mph are beginning to work out PERFECTLY at 5 mph...cuz I do them in DOUBLE TIME!

I often shift the length of my stride to suit the beat of the song. One song which works really well in double time for me is Earl Klugh and his trio doing Insensetez (How Insensitive) a gem written by bossa nova maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim. Here's a link to the album where you can listen to a sample of the song or buy a download of it for 99 cents:


Speaking of Jobim and Brasil, later during my treadmill time this morning came a song by Brasilian Girls, yep a sucker for their name...conjured the beautiful voices of Brasilian women such as Rosa Passos, Astrud Gilberto, Flora Purim, Joyce, etc. Well, as it would turn out NOBODY in that band is from Brasil and NONE of the music they do is bossa nova! But I still tried REALLY HARD to find a song of theirs that I liked and came across their hit "Jique," a funky, jangly electronica piece with a great beat.


For anyone looking for some extra and free music to check out Amazon offers a selection free mp3 downloads...limited selection, but worth checking out. I even found Ted Leo & the Pharmacists (song title "Under The Hedge") a band recommended by ZIRCADIA that I enjoy


Lastly, I finally took time to measure myself last night. First time since Sept. 09 and found some rewarding numbers!

Waist: 44 to 41.5, Hips: 47 to 43, Neck: 15 to 14.5

So let's get out and have ourselves a SPARKTASTIC weekend! I'm hoping to FINALLY get out and try my new Nordic Walking Poles at one of our local parks over this upcoming 3-day weekend...woo hoo! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/16/2010 7:11AM


~and obviously those workout tunes are helping out!

I got on Pandora free internet radio and put their disco genre on yesterday for workout music during my hour of home PT exercises. It was fun!!! I have a whole bunch of free dance, trance and pump up radio on Itunes too. And can make play lists on You Tube. Besides my personal music which really isn't that great for workouts but I am excited by the fact that you keep making suggestions. It really gets me motivated to look for what suits me in workout music!!!

Thanks for the great ideas!!!

And keep up the good work!!! You are doing really fantastic!

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FERRETLOVER1 1/16/2010 7:09AM

    Those measurements are wonderful - it shows just how successful you are! Keep up the great work.

I've always wondered how those Nordic Walking poles really are - let me know if they seem to help your walks, okay?

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_MAOMAO_ 1/16/2010 1:57AM

  Those measurements are great. Um, I ought to do that this weekend. Maybe.
On to music - I like your taste! Thanks for the freebie link, too.

Comment edited on: 1/16/2010 1:58:20 AM

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ARAC76 1/15/2010 10:26PM

    Congrats on your progress! I havnt taken any of my measurements yet...I guess I should do that!

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L*I*T*A* 1/15/2010 8:38PM

    thanks for the link to the free music.............way to go and congratulations with the inches lost.......i'm sure you will enjoy your walking poles as much as i love mine.......have a great weekend.........blessings and hugs................lita

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FRECKS96 1/15/2010 8:16PM

    Sounds like a great streak you've got going! And congrats on your measurements, I do mine in another couple weeks. Good Luck with your walks and have a great weekend!

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ZIRCADIA 1/15/2010 7:39PM

    DUDE! I DON'T KNOW THAT SONG! I'll have to look it up at home where I can listen. :D hehe. But yeah, that's why sometimes I can do hip hop/rap for running cause usually the beat is too slow, but if I go fast enough it works in double time! :D hahahaha.

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SUZIAND 1/15/2010 7:14PM

    You have great taste in music!! I'll definitely check those tunes out! "Ted Leo and the Pharmacists"? hehehe...the name makes me chuckle!

Congrats on the awesome, dwindling stats! /high five

Have a great weekend, Don!


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Keeping the SPARK Alive!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I thought I would pass along one of my motivational strategies for folks to consider. On one of my SparkTeams a relative newcomer posted for suggestions on how to stay motivated. Many positive ideas were offered such as being kind to oneself, forgiving oneself, taking baby steps, etc. All of the suggestions were great, but I remember taking a different tack. Still use this now & then...! Here's my post:

Okay, everyone else has given great POSITIVE advice and these are SO IMPORTANT but...(and what follows is said with the UTMOST of respect, kindness and caring)

Sometimes I know in the past I have needed to take action more like fetching my own switch, i.e. Here's what works for me when I want to give up: I give myself the Dutch Uncle, 2 x 4, kick-in-the-pants talk:

So you're tired of all this working out, you crave all the food that will keep you fat? You want to give up and throw in the towel? Then you must not be sick and tired enough of being sick and tired...you must want some MORE of that... RIGHT?

It all boils down to that wise quote from the Shawshank Redemption (paraphrased): Either you gotta get on with the business of LIVING or you gotta get on with the business of DYING.

Kinda boils one's choices down to the bare essentials and for ME it makes it a little easier to PUSH myself through the rough spots until, in time, yep: the old SPARKS are FLYING AGAIN!

On another note...another newbie sent me a really positive SparkMail chock FULL of compliments which got me thinking about how MOTIVATING it is to be here sharing with all of you. Here is what I wrote back:

"I'm always surprised, honored and more than a bit 'aw shucks' when someone outside of my circle of SparkTeams stops by to compliment me. It truly means so much! Another example of how we all pay it forward, inspire others who inspire us and the positive cycle continues and ripples through our SparkFamily!"

AND on another note yet again...

Today back at the state psychiatric hospital where I work (but as a shared staff, not in the hospital itself, but out in the community) I returned today for a lunchtime teleconference. I'm not usually one to bother with such things but today's topic was about obesity and weight surgery. Well! Old home day! Time to head back up to my stomping grounds and Spread a little SPARK! :-)

After the program was over I gave a little talk about SparkPeople, handed out a few flyers and told them how much it has meant to me to be a part of this wonderful online health and wellness community and shared a bit about my weight loss. Some at the conference knew me during my "dark" days of life-threatening obesity and offered compliments along the lines of "if your success is any indication of what SparkPeople has to offer you can count me in!"

I followed up later in the day with e-mails to folks including various links to SparkPeople, my SparkPage, etc.

Super day of paying it forward....! Doing these kind of things are SO motivating for me!

Everyone keep on SPARKING and SHARE your SPARK! It's great for others AND for yourselves!


ps...yep, I'm on antibiotics for my ear infection yet again...sigh...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 1/16/2010 1:18PM

    That's so great that you were able to hold a talk about SparkPeople at work. Spread those Sparks baby!

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ZELLAZM 1/14/2010 12:57PM

    All I can say is wooohooo!

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JOYYAK 1/14/2010 10:17AM

    So nice to be able to share with others and give them that motivation. Even if you touch just one person, that is what it is all about!

Nice job!

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ROYALETBONE 1/14/2010 1:59AM

    Everybody has their own journey, their own way to make it work... if the kick in the pants way works for you, more power to ya, bud!
emoticon poo yow!
Hope the pills work to get you moving again!

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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/14/2010 12:13AM

    PS: Get well soon!!!


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PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/14/2010 12:12AM

    ~on with the business of living then...great thoughts. Sometimes I get so caught up in my head noise that I am not in my body and therefor not moving. Good points. BTW: congratulations on good work, healthy living, and spreading the Spark. You are an awesome example!!! Have a great night! Karen Ellen

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USARUNNERGIRL 1/13/2010 2:12PM

    So true Don. I know many times when I am faced with the decision of being sedentary or get on with my program, I usually have give myself "THE TALK" and it puts me back in perspective. Some of these days I make myself look at pictures of me before my journey and that is all it takes. I know I don't want to go back to being THAT Rebekah.

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DAYHIKER 1/13/2010 9:22AM

    Great post, Don! I heartily agree about the Dutch Uncle lecture and often wish my well meaning, kindhearted friends would give me that instead of petting me and saying "oh it's so tough you had your reasons for xyz." I think most of the time we probably need to be kicked OUT of that "it's okay to fail" zone which can really set us up for more failure if we are not careful. My 2 cents...


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LEELYNN2 1/13/2010 8:40AM

    I really like this saying that I found on someone's spark page... I wish I could remember who.

It's hard to be fat
It's hard to lose weight
It's hard to maintain
Pick your hard.

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MADTOWNBUDDHA 1/13/2010 8:18AM

    Thanks Don...your straight line motivation continues to help me push on. I'm getting on with the business of living today.

Comment edited on: 1/13/2010 8:18:38 AM

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FERRETLOVER1 1/13/2010 7:29AM

    I tend to like the mostly positive comments, but once in a while it's true - you need that proverbial "kick in the pants" to get yourself started!

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SUZIAND 1/13/2010 12:42AM

    Don....I hope you realize what a difference you are making in the lives of many, many people. You have truly found your path in this lifetime.

Suz : )

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ADAPTABLE_ELLEN 1/13/2010 12:32AM

    Wow, what a post! You covered everything I've learned in the past year. Yes, I do kick myself in the butt every now and then or the pity party will never end.

You had an amazing day! You make a great ambassador for SP.

Hope the antibiotics work quickly. Ear infections are a pain, no pun intended.

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L*I*T*A* 1/12/2010 10:46PM

    sorry to hear about the ear infection..............take care....blessings and hugs.....lita

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FRECKS96 1/12/2010 10:12PM

    ugh, thumbs down on the antibiotics but YAY for a great day of spreading the Spark! I need to just yell at myself sometimes too, and I always feel better after I do what I was resisting. Keep on Sparking!

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