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Understanding Alzheimer's

Sunday, June 08, 2014

This was in our local paper in honour of a festival commemorating purple for Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m not sure who wrote it – but it struck me as so fitting a reminder for all of us who have to deal with Alzheimer’s or dementia in a relative or friend, or indeed a plea for ourselves at some time maybe !!.

Don’t ask me to remember
Don’t try to make me understand
Let me rest and know you’re with me
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand
I’m confused beyond your concept
I’m sad and sick and lost
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost
Do not lose your patience with me
So not scold or curse or cry
I can’t help the way I am acting
I can’t be different though I try
Just remember that I need you
That the best of me is gone
Please don’t fail to stand beside me
Love me till my life is done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOTTYMG87 7/23/2014 12:45PM

    thanks for posting this! this is helpful to understand what they are going through - have a friend that is having this - it is in the early stages. hope your day is going well! dotty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 7/15/2014 6:23AM

    Thanks for posting this. I helped look after a dear friend
and she passed away in April after battling Dementia for
7 years. It is a terrible disease. emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 7/15/2014 6:00AM

    This goes right to my heart. My dear mother passed away 18 months ago and also had to go into care as my stepdad was losing patience with her. I still feel guilty sometimes that I wasn't home enough to help out. I live in Perth Western Australia and mum was in Tasmania. emoticon

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AUNTALICE2 7/13/2014 12:21PM

  My mother died last year and was like a child in the end. She was very loved but it was hard. I love your post - it really hits the heart. emoticon emoticon

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EMSSBEARS 7/10/2014 4:45PM

    Beautiful several of my aunts and uncles have it and my Mom is in the early stages of it. My sister is refusing to acknowledge that fact but it is true, she just thinks that she just won't try to remember. I just need to print this out for her and let her see this somehow. Thanks for sharing.


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BIBS4664 7/3/2014 4:16PM

    Beautiful and true. TY

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NEWTEXDEBBIE 6/9/2014 11:18AM

    Thank you sweet friend. I needed this reminder right now. I am so frustrated with my mom and all the problems she is creating for me...... TY! emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 6/9/2014 10:04AM


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    excellent post. Thanks for sharing!

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123ELAINE456 6/9/2014 12:32AM

  Everyone who is around and take care of someone with Alzheimer's Patients should read and remember these things. Very Heartfelt and Well Said. Thank You for sharing. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week.

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AHAPPYSPIRIT 6/8/2014 10:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEBIGENE 6/8/2014 8:25PM

    Thank you so much for posting this. My mom has entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and I will share this with my family.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 6/8/2014 5:55PM

    I have seen this before and it touches my heart too as Mom has Alzheimer's. This is just an evil disease.

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MYTURNNOW2013 6/8/2014 5:25PM

    Thank you for posting this. My husband has brain damage and early stages of dementia. Your words spoke to my heart.


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GINNABOOTS 6/8/2014 5:18PM

    My mother died from Alzheimer's last July. She loved to have her forehead caressed and she didn't want to be alone. I love that you posted this. I talked to a gentlemen this weekend and his 60 year old wife had the disease and he was her sole caregiver. He was losing his patience with her, so I told him to get some help taking care of her.


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D Day - 6th June 1944 - 70 Years ago today!!

Friday, June 06, 2014

D Day – 6th June 1944 – the landing of Allied Troops on the beaches of Normandy.

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

The 70th Anniversary is being celebrated today in the presence of several World Leaders
From across the Channel, the Atlantic, the other side of the globe, they are arriving, headed for the Normandy beaches where, 70 years ago, war exacted the ultimate price from their comrades.
Now a dwindling band of brothers, D-day veterans from Britain, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, in their late 80s and 90s, will join 17 heads of state for an official commemoration of the biggest seaborne invasion in military history.

President Obama will join French president François Hollande at a service later in the morning at the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mere. US forces bore the brunt of allied casualties on that day. Of the estimated 4,500 who died, some 2,500 were US personnel. Casualty figures on cliff-fringed "Bloody" Omaha, where difficult terrain allowed German machine gun fire to tear into troops, were higher than on any other beach. Bodies piled up in the ensuing carnage. It has been said of Omaha there were two kinds of people staying on the beach - "The dead and those who are about to die". A huge dawn gathering on Omaha beach is planned.

Please take a minute today to remember

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for sharing this lovely blog. We honor our lost & all those lost from all over the world. I am very grateful for their courage and sacrifice.

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KAREN608 6/6/2014 8:24PM

    My Father was in WWII, and I always think about the soldiers and families this time of year.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/6/2014 5:44PM

    We owe much to those who lost their lives. Sad.

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RUNESHADOW 6/6/2014 11:59AM

  Thank you for the lovely summary. I had never seen a map showing where each country's armed forces landed. This is indeed a day to remember and be grateful.

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L*I*T*A* 6/6/2014 10:45AM

    we have so soo much to be grateful ............

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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123ELAINE456 6/6/2014 10:43AM

  I agree. Thank You. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Weekend. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take Care.

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    Thanks!!! emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 6/6/2014 7:42AM

    emoticon for the reminder.

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    When will the wars end?

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The 70 yr old activist!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

This morning I was called an activist - my reaction - what? Me an Activist??!! No Way!! Can you see me duck walk shuffling down the street with my walker, in a street march? I wouldn't get 1 block!!
But it gave me a huge laugh!!

So I decided to celebrate my 70th birthday by doing a cartoon - I hope you get a laugh out of it!!

WooHoo - and I'll keep activating!! (or maybe not!!)

Thank you to all who left Birthday wishes - and Thank you to those who say that 70 isn't old - maybe that's why I feel like a kid!! ( at heart - though my body definately has other ideas!!)

And especially for THINFITKINDVGAN:

Sorry but you might have to look carefully to spot the differences since the picture has been substantially reduced!! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYBASKET 6/8/2014 9:12AM

    NOW do you believe that you are a VERY IMPORTANT SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE for all of us on the team & even some others, too. I don't recall the Staff receiving as many accolades & comments as you have had. Not only for this "Occasion" but other previous times. As was said in one of the responses. You are the Voice & have the knowledge to be of a real help for the rest of us. Radical- yes, Activist- yes, Catalyst - YES. You are the one & all. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL & next year maybe we will all remember your "Happy Day"
So many HUGS & so much Love to you.

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DEBIGENE 6/4/2014 7:51PM

    Keep on Keeping on !!!! and hope your birthday is as awesome as you are !!!

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FREESPIRITME 6/4/2014 4:45PM

    I hope you had a fabulous birthday.

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    LOL. There the poodle is.... emoticon emoticon emoticon to one very young woman.

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PEGGY11 6/4/2014 10:43AM

    Since I will be 71 in July, I don't consider 70 old. I have wheels on my walker for longer distances. emoticon Karen said 70 is the new 40 and except for my knees, that works for me. LOL.
Have a great day for your birthday. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 6/4/2014 10:25AM

    Happy birthday to you............

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNESHADOW 6/4/2014 9:16AM

  Kudos!! emoticon Happy Birthday, and this is way cool. I thought of you as a catalyst, hoping to get Spark staff to listen more to the members and encouraging us to speak up, but "activist" suits you perfectly.

Love the cartoon!! emoticon

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    You can be ANYTHING you want to be!!! LOVE IT!!!
emoticon and emoticon

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GOANNA2 6/4/2014 7:46AM

    Happy Birthday! emoticon Love the cartoon.
Ann, we need you to speak up for our pensioner rights
that will be taken away form the pensioners.
We need activists, lol emoticon

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    LOL LOL LOL Yep, that's you alright. Except where is your cane for Canefoo? You know those can be deadly weapons in case a poodle wants to sniff your knickers. emoticon

You crack me up.

By the way....when is 70 old? Why do we buy into this rubbish? 70 is the new 40.



Comment edited on: 6/4/2014 5:26:08 AM

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NASFKAB 6/4/2014 3:00AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon all the best to the YOUNG ACTIVIST emoticon emoticon for OUR rights

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DSJB9999 6/4/2014 2:33AM

    emoticon Keep being an activist you are emoticon

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123ELAINE456 6/4/2014 12:11AM

  Have a Wonderful Happy Birthday. May You have Many More. Love the Cartoon. That is Great. You a Radical Activist? Call it what you like but please keep doing it. We need someone like you fighting and being a Voice for us. Thank You. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take Care.

Comment edited on: 6/4/2014 12:14:29 AM

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JOANOFSPARK 6/3/2014 11:13PM

    Love it!! you radical activist, you...........:) whatever they call it, please keep doing it......you do it so well.....love the cartoon..and emoticon Ann......I got you beat, though.....I was 70 on May 14th......... emoticon

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LJCANNON 6/3/2014 10:25PM

    emoticon Do Not Stop Activating!! You are a needed Voice and you have the Knowledge to back up your Requests ("Demands"?)
emoticon All that Duck Walking/Shuffling will keep you Young!

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    Happy Birthday you RADICAL ACTIVIST you! Love ya... thanks for sharing the page. I got a chuckle!

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1CRAZYDOG 6/3/2014 10:14PM

    NEVER stop activating!!!! LOL

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Some tips and tricks that might help members make the site more user friendly!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

These are a few things I have either been told or discovered in my computing time – some are ”band aid” suggestions but might help you until there are changes while some are things that already exist!!

1 – The adverts – they can be blocked very effectively with an Ad blocker. The main one people seem to use is Ad-blocker – that is available for different browsers. Its free!!
There are others available too if you search Google or other search engines.!!

2 – There are also ways to block adverts available as add ons in several browsers and many antivirus programs also have facilities to block adverts –( I know Kasperski does)

3 – if you have real problems with adverts like that cover your screen or they are offensive or they play automatically – take a screen shot of the offending advert and write and complain to adreport@sparkpeople.com

4 – Text size – you can set your computer to a larger text size usually – but if not try pressing Ctrl + at the same time and Ctrl – to make things smaller again
This is a “band aid “ solution as part of the page will disappear off the screen if you are not careful – but it does make reading the text easier!!

5 - With mobile (cell) phones and tablets that are touch screen – try widening two fingers in a diagonal direction across the screen,( thumb and index finger start together in the middle of the screen and widen diagonally) – that should enlarge it – but then you need to read the page in sections, and the adverts can cover part of the text - they don't go away (of course not!! LOL!!

6 – In Sparkpeople when reading posts on team pages – look at the bar on top of that post – on the right in very small letters it says – Sorting last post on top. Click this to get the first post that tells you why the thread was started rather than scrolling through heaps of replies that often go off the subject.

7 - Remember that these days - most computer operating systems have a setting to increase accessibility - this might help some of you. Windows definately does.

8 – to those who suggested a “Spark Seniors” thank you for your suggestion but frankly I find it insulting to seniors that you feel we should be “out of sight, out of mind” and secondly – In my blog I was also speaking for the less able, the handicapped and those with less than 20/20 vision – and that applies to all ages!!

When I think of other tips and tricks – I’ll add them to this – maybe we need somewhere permanent that we can always find things like this when we need them
Remember - not all things work for all computers!!

Coach Jen just reminded me that the "Help" button at the top of any page - takes you to the FAQ section and there are a lot of tips on navigating Sparkpeople there.
The getting started guide - showing you the way round the site is found at:

Thanks Coach Jen.

From 1Crazydog - Go to the Start page and take the site tour - it explains the use of the site.
Thanks Crazydog.

From 1Beachwalker - . Also, there are settings on most monitors to decrease contrast or brightness. There are similar settings on most Tablets and cell phones.
Thanks 1Beachwalker

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 6/4/2014 6:21PM

    Since the changed the fonts and colors on the full friend feed....I have found by going backwards makes it easier to read. Working from where I left off a day or two earlier to the most current post. Also, there are settings on the monitor to decrease contrast or brightness...I did that too...helps with all the bright white screens! I'm 57 and have eye problems, so I appreciate your concern and stepping up for those with more difficulties! Thank you. Hugs.

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DEBIGENE 6/3/2014 7:15PM

    LOVE the tip for enlarging the font !!! Thanks so much !!! I had no idea.

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YJNANA 6/3/2014 7:01PM

    Thanks for the tip on Kasperski blocker. It works. It was driving me bonkers.
now I am enjoying the peace :)

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1CRAZYDOG 6/3/2014 5:05PM

    Go to the start pate and take the site tour. One of the things said was it can be overwhelming for newbies. For sure!

HUGS and thanks for ALL you did to make the planner stay (albeit in different format!)


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ANNABELLE53 6/3/2014 4:59PM

  Yea on #4. As for #8, I suggested it and I think it is a great idea since I AM A SENIOR and proud of it. However, I get where you are coming from.

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Follow up on my Open Letter to Sparkguy and staff

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Thank you to all who read and or voted for my blog. I got a popular blog trophy but see the blog is labelled – “Voted Featured Blog Post” – so maybe these days “Popular Blog” and “Featured Blog” are the same – who knows?? Probably another change I haven’t caught up with – LOL!!

I was blown away by the support, depth of feeling and number of members who expressed similar thoughts. It was rather like breaking a dam!!
The blog was written on behalf of all older members and those younger ones who one day might be in the same situation!!

I feel that the site serves a valuable purpose but that a lot of the people who it could really help are being frightened away by the problems caused by the changes. After all the fact is that the more members that belong to the site, the more money can be charged for advertising and the longer the site will stay free!! I find the advertising annoying – and use an advertisement blocker but to many older people who were not bought up in the computer age, finding and installing an advertisement blocker is beyond them!! Yet it is these people, on fixed incomes who so need the help and company the site gives.

I did not mean you to think I am in any way ungrateful to Sparkpeople – but that should not stop me speaking up about problems that as a leader of a team I get to deal with all the time!!

I have long wondered why people don’t speak up – seem unwilling to “rock the boat” Well today I was told!! I was told its because people feel that there is no point trying to change what we cannot control!! They would rather focus on their own problems. This makes me so very sad!! It is possible to get change - if you are tenacious enough - and there is enough feeling and support for the change, but unless you spealk out no-one will ever know how you feel and there will never be change!!

I have numerous physical problems, and I have accepted this and am getting on doing what I can to help myself, but I still and hope I always will, try to help others as much as I can in a positive way I hope too!! I hope I never lose the will to do that!!

Yes this is a free site that we are lucky to have and its run by staff – but those staff are as human as you and I – they are not autocrats – they do read the criticisms as well as the good points – but on occasions they cannot act on them as we would like because of maybe technical problems or other things that we have no idea about.

That should not stop you speaking out though!! Believe me – the sky hasn’t fallen in on me yet!!

If we don’t speak out –others do not know our feelings and problems – by keeping things inside you are taking the chance of becoming introspective, dwelling on your own problems instead of accepting them, doing what you can to change them and then looking to help others in a similar position in a positive way!!
I sent the blog to Coach Jen and asked her to pass it on to the other Staff and Sparkguy. She replied that she has done this – so I am thinking that your comments and concerns will be read and noted!!

3rd June – we have been partly heard – see Coach Jen’s message – but I have emailed her to ask about other concerns raised!! I will add her reply when I get it!! And I will keep pushing!! LOL!!

Hi everyone

After much discussion, we are keeping the Planner. It will be unlinked from the site, meaning it won't be in the "My Trackers" dropdown menu at the top of the page, but you can still get to it at this address:


Hope that helps!

Coach Jen

EDIT 4th June
Perspective on recent changes

Hi everyone

As you know, we’ve made a number of changes to the site recently. Some of them have been welcomed additions, while others might be taking a while to get used to. I wanted to try and provide some perspective about why we’ve been doing these things, so that you can understand the strategy behind it and know that it’s not just to frustrate or confuse our long-time members.

Our goal has always been to help as many people as possible be healthy and lose weight. That means we want to reach as many new members as possible. When we have surveyed people about why they don’t stay on SparkPeople, the biggest reason is that SparkPeople is too overwhelming. If you’ve been a member for a long time, it can be hard to take a step back and put yourself in the position of a new member. Many of these changes are being done to help showcase our best features more cleanly and easily. Sometimes that also means removing features that are not as popular and aren’t well-used.

We also need to keep up with web design standards, to make the site a more welcoming place for new members. That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our long-time members or that we want to make the site more difficult to read or navigate. But if we want to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, then sometimes we need to make these kinds of changes- like the new Team Wall, redesign of the Nutrition Tracker, etc.

We understand that when we make changes, there will always be at least a few members who are not happy about them. We always appreciate feedback (positive and negative) from our Community Team and Team Leaders, since you are some of our most loyal and dedicated members. However, as you give feedback, we’d ask that you keep the reasoning for changes we described above in mind. We know our members love how SparkPeople is a positive community, and we like that to extend to feedback as well. SparkPeople’s community admins and employees are a small group of real people looking to help people be healthier, and we know one of the best ways to do this is an open and respectful dialogue with our Community Team and Team Leaders.

Thanks so much,

Coach Jen

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREESPIRITME 6/4/2014 4:43PM

    Thanks for your follow up. I didn't consider for a moment that you were being ungrateful, but rather that you were offering valuable feedback to SP. As it is an actual business, I am sure that they appreciate the feedback.

It would be wonderful if there were a way for visually impaired readers to see everything clearly. Although I don't have any serious vision problems, I too have problems navigating the site with my cursor. I imagine it would be even harder for you.

Keep making waves. That's the best way to make things change.

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NASFKAB 6/4/2014 3:09AM

  AWESOME how to get rid of some of the "less sane" ads, & if they could make it easier to track my exercise like the walking sideways have to track it under walking 2 m p h I know I walk slowly but that's me now am not as able as I was or how do I track the 75 minutes of therapy I do every day or will I get a lecture on REST but cant afford that the therapist can figure if I have done less

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HAPPYBASKET 6/4/2014 1:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Do you see Ann, how very important you are for those of us not strong enough to fight the system? You are our "Leader" for a reason. I am too timid to Speak my Mind & I would be so much better off, if I would speak up. You did us all a great service & though I think Coach Jen took the "Low Road" rather than accepting that perhaps the Staff had made mistakes. It is so true that we "Elders" have trouble with computers, especially when we had Windows 8 thrown at us. I feel like a preschooler again trying to do the things that I could do before with my old Excel. I jujst hope the Staff will reallysit down & reconsider their actions that only made the program harder for us to handle. & to you, I say emoticon emoticon emoticon . emoticon

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TAMKAT79 6/3/2014 9:33PM

    That's good news. emoticon

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SHERRY666 6/3/2014 5:41PM


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1CRAZYDOG 6/3/2014 5:03PM

    Totally happy with that! Wahoo!!!!!!!!

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L*I*T*A* 6/3/2014 12:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TUBLADY 6/3/2014 12:07PM

    I believe in speaking out if you feel strong enough about something.
For people who use the planner I'm sure they will be happy.
I have a planner on my phone , it does get used. plus a large board/calendar in my office that i make notes on. At my age I need reminders. Smile!!
I have got so used to the ads that are needed to keep this site free, don't bother me.
I would hate to see the people lose a free site, for there are many who can not afford to pay.
Thank you for your involvement.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANNABELLE53 6/3/2014 9:11AM


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DEBIGENE 6/3/2014 9:07AM

    I appreciate what you do and support you. I will continue to look for responsive action from the SP team.

Great Job friend. Thanks !!

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123ELAINE456 6/3/2014 9:03AM

  Awesome. WTG!!! Thank You so very much. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take Care.

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ODAT1117 6/3/2014 8:33AM

    SO great that you are getting so much response and feedback!! WOO HOO!!

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NEWTEXDEBBIE 6/3/2014 7:55AM

    Brave move my friend and very kind and thoughtful! TY

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RASPBERRY56 6/3/2014 6:46AM

    Thank you sooooooo much! Now if only the rest of this country can just get a clue about the value of *maturing* people (don't get me started on that)!

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    You are an activist in your own way. I honestly think this is your gift and you need to continue in this path.

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ZZLEESCH 6/3/2014 6:09AM


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JSTETSER 6/3/2014 5:41AM

Now to get rid of the pesky advertisements!

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