EJOY-EVELYN   227,420
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EJOY-EVELYN's Recent Blog Entries

If I were a flower just for today, I’d be a . . .

Friday, August 19, 2011

. . . Hydrangea. I was so surprised to happen upon this beautiful specimen:

I love that they are so fascinating in that, unlike most other plants, the color of their flowers can change dramatically. Losing a hundred pounds has been a dramatic change for me. My mindset into maintenance has been a little rocky, while at the same time, remaining within a pound or two of my recommended goal. Happy, Happy!

Just as the journey to a new and healthier person takes great diligence, determination, and commitment to a good action plan, you’ll find that changing the color of hydrangeas may not be so easy. Hydrangeas can change color as they adjust to the new environment with a varying pH balance in the soil. It is not unusual to see several different colors on one shrub the next year after planting.

You’re already active on one of the best websites to good health by being on SparkPeople.com. The website below gives tips on how to change the color of you hydrangeas should you be interested in learning about the application of aluminum to the soil.

More about hydrangeas: www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com/colorch

Hope you’re making the adjustments you need to meet your goals successfully.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REYNJANET 8/22/2011 12:01PM

    I love your choice! How true our live changes according to the conditions around us but still we are to bloom and grow! Thanks for the thought

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OLDERDANDRT 8/20/2011 11:17AM

    Great blog! If I could be a flower for just one day, I'd have to have many "just one day"s!!! I love, love, love too many different flowers! Hydrangea is right up there on my list, too!! It'd be a whole other blog to try to list all my "favorites"! hehe
You are doing so great with your maintenence! I have been, too! Only prob. is that I have lots more to lose! My body decided I was good right here, I guess, but it is incorrect!! lol
Proud of your accomplishment. Setting new goals and trying new plans to get there!
Be well, my friend! And thanks for the link about the hydrangeas!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIDMIS 8/20/2011 4:58AM

    I would be a lily. Nice blog and also want to compliment you on your 100 pounds lost. Don't fret being within one or two pounds of your goal. Any number of things can cause that including water retention.
In TOPS we can go 7 pounds below goal or 3 pounds over and still be in what is called leeway. I will have been at goal or under a year the first part of September, usually under.

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BLESSED2BEME 8/19/2011 11:48PM

    Beautiful photo and awesome color! I would have to go with being a rose - it has always been my favorite flower!

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PRINCESS1959 8/19/2011 11:32PM


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MAGGIE805 8/19/2011 10:01PM

    Beautiful!!! I love hydragneas and those are my mom's favorite flower. For me I think I would be my state flower, the Golden Poppy. Not a quite a morning flower, not an evening flower. But when the warm California sun shines down on them they are a sight to behold. Kind of like me. emoticon

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READYBETTY 8/19/2011 9:59PM

    Beautiful photo and lovely comparison. Thanks for sharing.
I guess I'd be a rose....Sometimes I'm sweet, but I have my prickly side, too. LOL!

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ESILBO 8/19/2011 9:02PM


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IMIN2GENES 8/19/2011 8:58PM

    Love the photos! I've got 2 bushes now. I'm so happy!

For me, I'd be a Lily of the Valley. My all time favorite flower. They're bloom at my favorite time of the year. They are slow to grow into a patch but once they do, they are absolutely glorious! And, you can't beat that beautiful smell of them. Such a tiny flower but the best smell EVER! I may be slow in my progress; but like the Lily of the Valley, I'm planning on being glorious when I get there!

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4MRSDAND123 8/19/2011 8:40PM

    Hydrangeas are very beautiful. It's interesting the way their colors can be adjusted. If I were a flower, I would wanna be a violet.

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THETURTLEBEAR 8/19/2011 8:34PM

    Great pics - I love those!!

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 8/19/2011 8:24PM

    Beautiful photos, those are one of my favorites. I have killed too many bushes, so I just stopped trying and enjoy them from a far.
I would be a sunflower... in constant motion towards the sun for the day. Stretching tall and high.

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ANDYINBC 8/19/2011 8:13PM

    If I were a flower just for today, I would be stuck in the ground unable to move, hoping the neighbour kids don't pluck me and stick me in a jar full of water.

Or I would just be a rose or carnation because those are my wife's favourite flowers.

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My weight story . . .

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

. . . without the questions
As inspired by NEWMAC2011's blog today:

I'm currently enjoying retirement (albeit, an early one) and confess to have been overweight, fat, and obese my entire life (except once in the mid-seventies for a brief stint). At 261 lbs, I wanted to lose one hundred pounds, so I considered myself morbidly obese and referred to these words regularly for motivation in starting the journey. Then I finally saw one too many photos of myself where I could not apply that “skinny photo” edit to. I jumped on the Weight Watcher bandwagon on May 31, 2006 when some coworkers joined Weight Watchers.

Type 2 diabetes had cropped its head up in my family and I knew it was only a matter of time. I had already been tested and required a sleep apnea machine, as well as meds for an irregular heart beat and high blood pressure.

I was tired of having to shop at the fat-women’s boutique and was beginning to find a little too much comfort in the 3X and 26/28 sizes. It was time to make a change. Besides, if I travel to another country, I don’t want the locals to point to me and say, “Look at that fat American.”

Healthy changes I’ve made include:

1) From eating high-cheese and high-fat commercial pizza to a much healthier pizza, with a cheese garnish, over veggies on a healthy tortilla, wrap, or sandwich thin.

2) From having a bowl or two (or three) of ice cream or frozen yogurt several times a week to a 110-150 calorie serving of low-fat ice cream or yogurt a few times a week.

3) From eating lots of sweet rolls, quick breads (banana and zucchini) and white breads, to eating some whole grains, light, and skinny-sliced breads and wraps.

4) From eating the creamy soups (clam chowder and cheesy broccoli) and Alfredo pastas to enjoying broth-based soups (Pho), whole-grain pastas, and marinara-based sauces. I occasionally taste the cream soups or eat small portions.

5) From thinking about lying down until the feeling to exercise was going away, to moving at least thirty minutes a day and often four times that during team competition. I enjoy walking and hiking on nature trails the most, but a walking DVD will do nicely. I also enjoy marching or walking in place and Tai Chi.

6) From frying in my Fry Daddy weekly, to shelving the unit totally. I occasionally share a fried dish out and occasionally bake something I would have normally fried. A teaspoon of olive oil goes a long way!

7) I love incorporating lots of freggies (fruits and vegetables). I enjoyed two plates of spicy hot veggies at the local Chinese buffet yesterday . . . lots of bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, pepper and pea pods helped to meet most of my daily nutrients (calories, protein, carbs, fat, calcium, and fiber) for the day, while my sodium was a little high.

For lunch today I enjoyed my version of a Thai cabbage salad.

Even though this weight loss journey of a hundred pounds took five years, I’m planning on maintaining a healthy life-long learning habit to keep my knowledge active. It feels good to be off the sleep apnea machine and buying a size 12/14 now. WooHoo!

For a link to all the questions to create your own weight story, visit: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVWINGS 8/18/2011 8:07PM

    Great blog! And what an inspiration - from one Evelyn to another. emoticon

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 8/18/2011 7:32PM

    LOVED reading this, Evelyn!!!! You're SUCH an inspiration to me!!!! How is Florida? Hope we get to meet in Amnicon Falls in Sept. or Oct. emoticon

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JUSTME29 8/18/2011 1:26PM

    Your meals look fantastic. Seeing pretty food like that makes me want to eat healthier too.

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JUGE300000 8/18/2011 7:59AM


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NH_MOM 8/17/2011 8:44AM

    Congrats on the new you! You didn't say but you are probably off most of your meds too right? I only lost 55lbs but being able to move around easier and not get tired so easy was the best thing, especially with 2 very active boys. Don't be afraid of maintenance. I was and I do admit it was a little struggle in the beginning, but I've been doing it for just over 2 years now. Sounds like you've made some really great changes and will be more ready for maintenance than I was. emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 8/17/2011 8:00AM

    Congrats on your success Evelyn! I loved hearing about your journey. Thanks so much for sharing.

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THETURTLEBEAR 8/17/2011 7:22AM

    Just love reading about it Evelyn. You have accomplished so much!

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ESILBO 8/16/2011 11:32PM


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NEWMAC2011 8/16/2011 10:50PM

    Your story never fails to impress! And I notice that you do like 120 minutes a day at least which makes me tired just reading about it LOL!

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ILUVTOTAT 8/16/2011 10:49PM

    Awesome! This was very inspiring for me. I started where you did, although I wasn't on the machine yet. I did have trouble breathing when I was laying down though.

Your plate of food looks FABULOUS!

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It’s a jungle out there, Jim! . . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

. . . and yes, that was my lame attempt to mock McCoy when he proclaims many times over, "He's dead, Jim!" What can I say? I’m a bit of a Trekkie fan.

Paradise, during the summertime is sunny, hot, and wet – many times over -- within the same day. I thought I might take this opportunity to capture a little of the wild life we enjoy while here. We have flowering Jatrophia bushes in both the front and the back.

We seem to have a friendly bunny that enjoys a daily stroll through the yard.

Our Firebush has never looked so healthy and is about to bloom. At one time, we suspected it would go by the wayside like that of our Bird of Paradise and Live Oak tree (both lost in hurricane Wilma in October of 2005).

Our sea grape probably should have been trimmed back from the roof.

Our pigmy palms are doing nicely.

I can remember, while living in central Wisconsin, nurturing a split-leaf philodendron (first photo below) and schefflera (lizard sunbathing on leaf) for about ten years to what I thought were a monster of a plant. Then learned they grow like weeds (trees) in Florida. They are h-u-g-e and consistently need trimming back to control. I understand lizards are a sign of good health.

When we don’t get enough water, there seems to be enough “drip irrigation” that forms naturally from the roof line so that these beautiful ferns continue to thrive. This reminds me of being back in northern Wisconsin. That’s my partner doing what he enjoys the most while being here . . . being a lounge lizard, on the lanai, reading a good book (science fiction or mystery/adventure). Last year, after listening to a segment on the Today Show, I bought him the series of Stieg Larsson books, and he’s re-reading them all with this one being The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

May you find beauty at your fingertips today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUGE300000 8/15/2011 7:50AM

    Nice yard.


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SHELLEY140 8/14/2011 10:06AM

    so pretty! You're pictures capture it all so well...it's like we're walking around with you! :)

Even though we live 'in the city' now...I still see tons of bunnies and a huge groundhog! Last weekend there were 2 baby deer outside our bay window! :)

~hugs~ to you today Evelyn!!

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THETURTLEBEAR 8/13/2011 9:55PM

    Such beauty! And I loved the little lizard!!!!

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IMIN2GENES 8/13/2011 5:25PM

    How lovely! Thanks for sharing!

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ESILBO 8/13/2011 12:29PM

LISE emoticon

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 8/13/2011 12:05PM

    Great pictures, thank you for sharing!

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/13/2011 10:36AM

    What peaceful pictures!

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MOSTMOM1 8/13/2011 9:22AM

    Jungly adventure in your own backyard!

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 8/13/2011 7:44AM

    I see why you love it down there. ALl that green, does kinda look like a jungle. Thanks for sharing your beauty with us.

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Yikes! . . . I’m at the edge of technology, but eating healthy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I’ve already been at the edge of my learning curve with my new Android phone . . . I don't think I've found the bells and whistles that my team’s dear TheTurtleBear found so useful while on vacation. So I'm still taking photos the old fashioned way, albeit with my twelfth digital camera. I'm finding that the older I get, the less I seem to be able to find all these changes as user-friendly as I wish they were.

My laptop has gradually been s-l-o-w-i-n-g down and I knew it was nearing life support. Then came the fatal message the morning after beginning a Norton scan: Back-up immediately . . . disk failure could be imminent! Yikes! This is it! Save me!

Whew! For someone who usually shops long and hard for the best deal, this what-seems-like-a-lifetime Sony girl has become a back-to-school Dell girl, learning a whole new set of what seems like everything (keyboard, software, etc). And yes, this has bitten into my SparkTime and fitness minutes. Fortunately, the peace that keeps me from falling off the technological edge is my continued muttering of the passage, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Even though I've been a bit computer challenged, I have found that I was able to get much more prayer shawl knitting time in, create some great eats, and enjoy a cool sunset. MrsD shared with me an Easy Bean Salad and being that I enjoy a crunchy texture, added a few colorful yellow, red, and orange bell peppers and celery:

Nutrition for 1 cup (6 oz): calories 179, fat 5 g, sodium 204, carb 29, fiber 7.5 g, protein 8.3 g.

The sunset in paradise as I was leaving the computer shop and grocery store:

Many of you know how much I enjoy my food. I also like to take a little extra time occasionally to make it look like an extra special treat -- you should have seen my medically-induced “plain yogurt and gelatin” diet under glass with and candlelight – but I digress!

One of the biggest key to my success remains in measuring and tracking, so I take you through my breakfast this morning in three parts: measure, plate, and enjoy!

Nutrition for this complete breakfast, served on a huge 11” plate dish includes my morning coffee and water: calories 288, fat 1 g, sodium 101, carbs 67, fiber 9 g, protein 8 g.

May you also get through the stresses of your day and enjoy something great!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUGE300000 8/13/2011 8:30AM

    Your food pix are really nice. The only bone I have to pick with you is the Sony/Dell issue. I am a Macintosh boy. I am forced to use a Dell when I am working for the Lee County Public Schools, however, as soon as I get home, I touch the soothing "on" button on my iMac. I am at peace.


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OLDERDANDRT 8/12/2011 3:38PM

    emoticon emoticon Yummy! You can invite me over for brunch any time!!!! emoticon

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4MRSDAND123 8/12/2011 3:15PM

    You look fantastic and so does your bean salad and breakfast. Great idea to add those veggies to the bean salad. I'm going to follow suit next time I make some. Bon appetite!

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SUZYQ2001 8/12/2011 2:17PM

    You look so happy which I'm sure has alot to do with your relationship with the Lord. And you look so healthy which I'm sure has alot to do with Sparks. Nice presentation on the food pictures. They look good enough to eat! God Bless.

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ESILBO 8/12/2011 1:51PM


emoticon emoticon

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MPENNE 8/12/2011 1:22PM

    Looks delish

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/12/2011 1:15PM

    Everything looks delicious, presentation is a lost art, but you have it.

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THETURTLEBEAR 8/12/2011 12:59PM

    You should be one of those food artists who prepare food for photo layouts!

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 8/12/2011 12:37PM

    Evelyn, I LOVE your blogs! I SO look forward to reading them! Thank you for sharing your breakfast! Wish it could me MORE than CYBER sharing! ha! Also, I can totally relate on the tech issues! emoticon Have a lovely day, my LOVELY friend!!!! {{{{Hugs}}}} Susan

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MISSFORTE 8/12/2011 12:36PM

    I can sooo realte about Sony I have been an avid Sony buyer til this last december got a bad system theatre system and have gone thru hoops with the warranty the licensed dealer can't get Sony to send him parts???? GRRRRRRRRR

Breakfast looked awesome, an what a preety sunset thanks for sharing!

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Let’s face it, I love to eat! (food photos)

Monday, August 08, 2011

I knew it all along! . . . I enjoy eating a little too much! The good news is that at least I’m enjoying a much healthier fare of food these days. The other day, I bought the most beautiful looking green beans, just as my friend, NorthwoodsMom8, was beginning to pick them in her garden. I don't know what it is with my "firsts" of the season, but I just can’t seem to get enough, then I proceed to pig out! I grilled five cups -- actually thinking I might share them with my mate -- and then proceeded on eating both plates! Sorry dear, you nap, you lose! . . . I just love vacations in paradise!

Nutrition: calories 219, fat 6, sodium 62, carbs 40, fiber 19, protein 10

I can hardly wait for my first plate of fresh vine-ripened tomatoes! I just came off of freggie (fruits and vegetables) challenge where I typically enjoy about twenty servings of fruits and vegetables in any given day. As you will see, I continue to enjoy my freggies! My fruit bowl breakfast is so thick, you can eat it with a fork. If I were to use a full mango yogurt serving, then I get a tasty, Indian-style healthy fruit salad or dessert cup for about four people.

Nutrition: calories 267, carbs 60, fat 1, protein 7

For lunch today, I had almost forgotten how good freshly ground pepper dressed up the best of my tossed salads . . . yummy! For the sake of convenience, sometimes I make salads in a big container and occasionally I just build two or three at a time. Also pictured is a 4-oz serving of my potato salad with 1 oz of the Special K chips with sea salt.

Combined nutrition: calories 394, fat 8, sodium 1174, carbs 64, fiber 10, protein 23

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is my way to say a special thanks to those of you who shared a comfort food substitution or recipe you enjoy. It means a lot to me!

Care to share another food that you attribute to the secret to your success? Whether it is now or later, please keep me in mind when the time is right.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUGE300000 8/10/2011 7:48AM

    Hah! Join the club. You know the old saw about "Eating to live or Living to Eat." Well, I live to eat...but I am eating MUCH healthier food these days. And it STILL tastes great.


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MISSFORTE 8/9/2011 11:37AM

    emoticon I love to have that receipe for the fruit bowl

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COOP9002 8/9/2011 11:33AM

    Looks like some good stuff. Now you're making me hungry.

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OLDERDANDRT 8/9/2011 10:56AM

    Yummy looking foods and I'm liking those numbers, too.....(except maybe the sodium on that last one.) hehe Making me hungry for freggies!!! My neighbor keeps me in tomatoes, since mine aren't ready yet. So, I have been eating my fill in them! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 8/8/2011 8:32PM

    Evelyn, BLESS YOUR SWEET HEART, I love your photo blog! YUM, YUM, YUM!!!! Now are you having us all over???? haha! Enjoy your vacation, sweetheart! emoticon

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MARTHAWILL 8/8/2011 8:27PM

    wow-the food photos look mouthwatering awesome.

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CCCARTER3 8/8/2011 4:58PM

    I love the look of your salads makes me hungry,you should be on Food net work as a chef for SP ,then alot of people will be healthy.
The fruit looks good to good choice for breakfast gives me some ideals,but may not be able to eat that big of a bowl :).

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/8/2011 4:46PM

    You kids break me up! (smile, smile) So glad there are other food lovers out there! I actually have to make the gravy, but I slow-cooked a beef and pork roast yesterday and will serve with mashed red potatoes and steamed broccoli. Yum! . . . still have so many calories to work in today, so ths comfort food is a welcomed treat!

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HS1056 8/8/2011 4:24PM

  How deliciously mouthwatering your creations look! More inspiration for moi! emoticon
I got a box of the Special K sour cream & onion chips. They were really good. Gonna try other varieties too.

emoticon emoticon

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4MRSDAND123 8/8/2011 4:07PM

    Everything looks and sounds so healthy and absolutely delicious! I haven't tried the Special K chips yet. Do they come in different flavors? Oh...and by the way...what time is dinner tonight? emoticon

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    You are simply amazing!!

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SHELLEY140 8/8/2011 2:50PM

    Dang, I'm full just looking at the pictures of all this good stuff! :) Enjoy my friend...it's keeping you healthy and happy! ~hugs~

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IMIN2GENES 8/8/2011 2:31PM

    Wanna come be my chef? These all look so yummy! Since I have time this weekend, I'm going to make your potato salad. It's been calling my name since you shared the recipe.

I'll keep you in mind when I try another new one.

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