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Saturday, 7/2 WOW--MOD and more!!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hi Everyone!
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I had a tough night and was awake off and on, but I fell asleep this morning and managed to finally get my 6 hours in. I work for that each day, anyway. When I opened up my computer, I had many, many, many emails about comments on my Spark Page. I get them from time to time, but never like that--so I knew something was up. I opened the first one and found out that I was MOD. Thank you all, I am humbled. It will take a while to respond, but I will try to get that done.

I appreciate the support more than you know. There are days that it feels as if I have scratched my way up to a real life. It takes one baby step at a time for some of us. I am getting to the place I want to be and my most recent "aha" moment is that it takes growth in every area. I have had to learn to take care of myself and speak up for my health and decent treatment from everyone. I had to learn that I deserve to be treated right before I could do anything. That doesn't seem like it should be tricky, but for me--it has taken a long time and many setbacks before I finally "got it." I am worthy and deserve to be treated well. That is true for each of you as well--and I believe that is the real starting point of becoming healthy, inside and out.

Today is a special day for a number of reasons. I have lunch with my best friend today. We make a date each month so that this important time we share doesn't get pushed aside. I am going to the pool and then bowling with my kids. Bowling--really, me!! I went with Micah yesterday and using an 8 pound "little kids" ball, I bowled 114. I wouldn't have guessed I could do that a year ago!! After that, I am going grocery shopping for our family weekend with my husband, two of my sons, and Mitchell's girlfriend. She and I had a long phone call last night as I told her all of the honest things I feel about her. She is a wonderful girl and I thought it was important to tell her that. I also wanted to let her know that if I messed up and forgot to ask her opinion or if I assumed that she was joining us on a family event, it was simply and oversight because I think the world of her. It seemed to have touched her--but I wanted to make her feel welcome as she settles down here, away from her family and childhood friends. I am thinking that might be a bit difficult.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you all before I head out on a busy day. You are all awesome and I will be checking in later.

Life is good.
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Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWEETYKC00 7/8/2011 8:52AM

    you are the awesome one! big, but gentle hugs for you Sylvia.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/5/2011 10:50PM

    Congratulations, Sylvia!! You are the best!!

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MMUSICK85 7/3/2011 10:01AM

    Congratulations!!

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_LINDA 7/3/2011 1:49AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Congratulations on a well deserved MOD!!! Your struggle with your life journey is proving to people it can be done, no excuses.
That is special, welcoming the girlfriend into the family! You are a very kind, caring and considerate Mom!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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ACIMPEGGY 7/2/2011 11:19PM

    Read this like it someone else wrote it...you will see why we love you!

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DEBBIEOLMOS57 7/2/2011 10:40PM

    you look great

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NARNIAROSE2003 7/2/2011 8:05PM

    You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your journey.

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ANYVAR54 7/2/2011 6:10PM

    Congratulations! I was very inspired by your story and your spark page. You are very busy!! emoticon

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LOULOUBELLE2 7/2/2011 3:51PM

    They couldn't have picked a better MOD....Congratulations, you deserve it.

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PEACEFULHOME11 7/2/2011 2:54PM

    I am so happy for you!! Congratulations.

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-PAULA 7/2/2011 2:17PM

    emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 7/2/2011 1:13PM

    wowsie!!! MOD!!!!

Sounds wonderful :) Didn't know there was such a thing....

but Glad you were it... You deserve it!!!

aria

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EMRANA 7/2/2011 11:53AM

  MOD ~ WOW!! Congratulations, my friend!

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Thursday, 6/30 Getting sassy!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hi all,

Do you think that you get more confidence after you lose weight and become more healthy? Is it a part of growing older and more established? I don't know if the "why" part matters, but something is up with me. I have tackled a few major issues head-on rather than my former way of "putting up" with things that aren't right or fair like the former, shy Sylvia did. I called and talked to one of the park board supervisors about a wayward employee who was making life at the summer program unpleasant for every other adult involved and I simply ended the conversation by telling the supervisor that "you need to shut her mouth." I also returned an email by the PhD candidate who is supposed to be observing our summer program for her class and who is trying to act as a principal and told her that I wasn't expecting an evaluation and that there were rules about that. (I also hit the "reply all" button so this went back to administrators and everyone else in the program.) She was pretty upset with me today and we had a tense conversation--but in the end, she is not doing the "evaluation" and will come by at an appropriate time to observe a variety of ways that I teach reading. I needed relief from these things and I spoke up and got it, just like I got ahold of administrators about carrying heavy classroom materials and things are now set up for custodians to move things back for me.

Anyway, what has happened to me that I did something about all of this stuff rather than quietly swallowing it and accepting it. I think a few things have impacted me. I have had a tough relationship with my principal for the past 5 years and I finally had to call out for help because she was so mean and inappropriate with me. I know that she cares mostly about appearances, so having an obese, disabled, non-walking employee made her cringe--but that is not right for her to do. A second thing was my new doctor who offered to call my employers and who wrote a detailed restriction list of what I absolutely NOT do which includes overhead work, lifting more than 5 pounds, and repetitive bending at the waist. I took responsibility for my own actions in moving things--because I had no available help, just a custodian who was badgering me to hurry--and I handled it to save some face. I also think that I don't need to hide out from the world like I used to do because I am more comfortable with my appearance. Losing a lot of weight made me happier in my own skin, and gave me some sort of internal permission to finally become visible and speak from my heart.

I wish that I hadn't been so ashamed of myself for how I looked for so many years--I think that was the result of how people treated me in my life. Everyone from my own parents, my siblings, kids at school from elementary to high school all make fun of me constantly and it hurt. Staying away from that prevented it from happening and I think it became a way of life. It has taken me a long time to find my voice and to use it. I think I like the outcome, because even if several of these people are probably irritated with me, they have agreed that I am correct in my comments and things are really going my way. I wonder how much work I have done and how much rudeness I have accepted because I didn't want to make a scene and be noticed.

I really have gotten better!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHAWILL 7/3/2011 9:30PM

    I almost missed this blog. Well done and well said Sylvia. I love it.
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MMUSICK85 7/3/2011 10:03AM

    I'm so glad you've found your voice. I'm looking forward to finding mine, too!

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PEACEFULHOME11 7/2/2011 3:00PM

    Great job!! finding our voice is very important, and is not something we are taught. However, you will be a great example to your students too!! My son is disabled and learning to self advocate is a goal on his IEP. Keep on speaking up.

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ALEXANDERLISA 7/2/2011 11:43AM

    I am woman hear me roar" I like that!! emoticon

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_LINDA 7/2/2011 1:53AM

    This is awesome Sylvia! The Mouse that Roared!! So very glad you have found your voice and are finally sticking up for your own rights -as equally as important as the rights of any disabled student is also the disabled worker/teacher..
We strive to do the absolute best we can being physically challenged people, but we do have our limits and bounderies and the right not to have to suffer beyond them.
Go Sylvia!!!
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{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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MTNGRL 7/1/2011 8:40PM

    My favorite line is "I am woman hear me roar!" You keep roaring girlfriend and people will listen!
Well done!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/1/2011 4:35PM

    You gave me a big smile, Sylvia. You are becoming more like Morticia. LOL. I think it is a combination of maturity and declining female hormones. LOL.

Shame on the principal. I cringe to think about someone like this having to be in charge of handicapped or special needs children if that is her feelings.

I'm proud of you for standing up for yourself and in doing so you are representing so many others like you, including my own mother and grandmother who were both disabled and in wheelchairs. They were not second class citizens and I would have not put up with anyone treating them as such.

Love you. GF!!

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MALKS_ARIA 7/1/2011 12:56AM

    wooohoo!!

What an awesome job standing up for yourself!!

I am glad you are standing up for yourself... I do agree, we become more confident when we are skinnier....

aria

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EMRANA 6/30/2011 9:28AM

  GOOD FOR YOU!!

I could have written this blog, but you did it so much more eloquently than I would have. Love every word of it.

I have been going through the same thing. It's amazing to me.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/30/2011 5:22AM

    emoticon I'm proud of you for finding more confidence and inner strength! Great job standing up for yourself and others in your summer program. I do agree that the more weight I lose, the more confident I am. Keep up the good work my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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Wednesday, 6/29 More of the same!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Part 2--I'm back!!

I left off my week of activity describing our Adventureland trip--I have lots more photos to share. Anyway, we got home around 11:50 PM and everyone was asleep or went right to sleep except me, of course. I tried the best I could and slept a couple of hours, just in time to wake up with no time to spare to get ready for church on Sunday.

Sunday started out with church. We had a wonderful service followed by our bi-annual Congregational meeting. The UCC churches figured out long before the rest of the country that women were important players in business matters and we have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time. After church was over Marshall, Micah, my husband and I went to the "Feastival," a fund raising and educational program set up by the Tri-City Jewish Center. They had a wonderful menu, but we used a bit of restraint and avoided their wonderful foods and baked goods. We did buy raffle tickets and participate in activities and historical opportunities there. It was good for my youngest son to have the opportunity to visit their Temple. After that, I came home and worked on household chores before preparing for the coming week.

Monday was a bit out of hand. My day started out at the dentist's office. I was going in for three crowns, but the dentist realized he could save a tooth he had thought needed extracting and he repaired it FREE OF COST. He was so kind and gentle that I am so glad the other place was so lousy. I wouldn't have ever found this thorough, kind dentist otherwise. He spent over 2 hours working on my mouth and I missed my morning reading lesson due to no fault of my own. The final nicety at this office was the cost of the work dropped by almost $700 from their original estimate. That was sweet.

I got to school and found out that the squabbling by the folks in the park program had trickled over into my work. Their vindictive employee who was told that she couldn't stay with her daughter instead of doing her job actually told parents and families that people were not treating kids well and added in that the "reading teacher didn't even write lesson plans." Grr-rr. I don't even have to give this any time of day because my work and record keeping speaks for itself. However, this program is kind of my baby and I resent her trash mouthing that could prevent us from getting subsequent grants in the future. I called her "boss" and told her exactly that and suggested that since this young woman was her friend that she should do something to close her mouth. Topping that was the PhD candidate who sent out an observation/ evaluation schedule for me (and others in related programs.) I object to that as well--evaluations are part of our negotiated contract and a 6 week, 24 day summer tutoring program does not warrant that type of thing--this woman's desire to be an administrator needs to stay exactly her desire at this point in time. I said as much in a much gentler tone of voice.

After school, I had physical therapy and then my annual women's exam (yuck to that.) I had to make contact with the pediatrician to check on Marissa's well-being since we know that Megan's embolism was a genetic issue. I want to make sure that she is safe. I also had to get caught up on some laundry before I went to the pool.

Tuesday was much more calm. I got a report from two people in the park board that the offensive employee is denying her comments. However, the rest of the staff was glad that I brought it all out into the open because things have been stressful and uncomfortable for all of them. I got a call to take Marissa to the lab Wednesday afternoon for her lab work and she doesn't want to go, but she will. Then, two of my new crowns came out and I had to miss the pool to go back to the dentist. I learned a lot about temporary crowns and different cements. After that, Miles, Micah, Mitchell and Laura (his girlfriend) and I enjoyed a baseball game by our local minor league ball club. It was a gorgeous, perfect evening for a ball game--no ball park snacks for any of us, yay--and the only down side was that our team lost.

As we came home, my crowns came out again. The dentist thought that might happen because with my partial, they didn't have support. They didn't want to use the permanent cement because I don't get permanent crowns until July 13 and they would have to drill them off. It looks like we will have to do that after all of this.

Anyway, it's been busy and busier. I am going to leave you with a few other photos from the past few days (mostly because they are fun!!)
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

This is a funny display at one of the gift shops at Adventureland.

Here's the Adventureland train that we were riding on (behind this part f the photo.)

Micah liked the gentle "Tea Cup" ride.

Friendly geese were all around on land as well as in the water displays.

One more view of their gorgeous water park!

It's about bed time for me now--more is coming Wednesday. After work, I have an appointment for the second set of injections in my left hip and Marissa has to go for her lab work. I also have to work in my garden and go to the pool. I need to call the dentist back, but I don't know when I can see him. And, of course, there are the several unplanned things that will undoubtedly come my way. I think that final item will have to be part of my plans.

Happy Wednesday everyone!!
Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 7/1/2011 4:45PM

    I really like the looks of adventureland!!! LOL.

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MALKS_ARIA 6/29/2011 6:49PM

    Awesome Pics!!!

Sounds like you have a very busy week ... such a struggle with the dentist temp crowns... but awesome you have found such a great one....


aria

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_LINDA 6/29/2011 11:48AM

    Great photos! Glad your dental work was less costly and that a tooth was saved!! But oh what a pain, the temporary crowns falling out :(( I was lucky, when I had to get a crown, I got it all done in the office the same day. The dentist had a machine that made them while you wait! Its been good so far, no problems! Was cutting edge technology, but a fair size price too.
Its a shame a person has to be bad mouthing like that, glad you got it reported. You can't let people get away with that.
Hope the rest of your week goes better.
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/29/2011 10:54AM

    Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures. I hope that things work out for your next dental appointment. Glad that at least he was kind & gentle. You're in my thoughts and prayers as always. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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Tuesday, 6/28 I am still waiting...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hi there friends,

I am still waiting for things to settle down in my life and my current guess is that with eight kids--even those who are grown and are growing up--that life will never settle down and that having "down time" probably cannot happen. I have wanted to blog every day since my last one and either late nights or falling asleep on my feet has prevented that from happening...

Thursday--My husband came to pick Micah and I up from the workshop. They went to the river and to the car show as I finished the last part of my very good training week. We stopped at the mall on the way home as I went back to the store that was closing and bought 4 pair of jeans and 8 blouses for my daughters for $47.00 emoticonWe took Micah to have a small Chicago style pizza on the way home. I was able to go to the pool after that and then tried hard to get some sleep--that nap in the car didn't help me get nighttime sleep, but not sleeping so well at the hotel helped the car to lull me to sleep like a newborn baby.



Here is a river shot and some of the car show autos that Micah took photos of when I was in training and he and my husband were out and about.
Friday--I went to work and made up another of the four days off that I missed. I am sorry that the kids lost those days of my service, but I am important too. That 4 day training was good for me professionally and emotionally. It was even better for Micah who has had an impossibly awful summer thanks to a few uncaring and insensitive people starting with a teacher who just won't get the fact that she is obligated by law to give a disabled child an appropriate education. Anyway, I got to the pool early in the day and then made it home to start work on some chores and things, but finally fell asleep early and caught more zzz's than I usually do in a day.

Saturday--Mitchell, Marshall, Micah and I left for Adventureland around 7AM. The weather was cool, but as we traveled west, it got cloudier and cloudier. It started raining as we pulled into the parking lot. We decided to give it a chance and we spent the first hour and a half or so dodging raindrops to go on rides. It was chilly enough--and then, we went on a ride called the "Raging River" that left me drenched. I simply took off my shorts to wear my swim suit with my shrug. We had a lot of fun and after lunch, we braved the waterpark portion of Adventureland. They have a lot of water slides and "Iowa's longest lazy river." That was the warmest part of the park, but it was too cold for me to stay there too long. After Mitchell had a chance to try almost all of the water slides, we got dressed and went back to the rest of the park. We finished out the day there and left for home around 8:30 PM.




Adventureland village, rides, geese and the water park were some of the things we say and enjoyed on Saturday. This theme park isn't a big Six Flags, but is quaint and fun, just the same.

I will finish this update in my next blog...

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 7/1/2011 4:41PM

    I totally loved the pictures. I would have loved to have done all of it.

You are one amazing shopper!! What a deal!

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MALKS_ARIA 6/29/2011 6:37PM

    Sounds like a great day!!!

aria

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_LINDA 6/29/2011 11:57AM

    Great photos! Sylvia, a lot of your problem has been not getting enough 'me' time. Your kids really are old enough to look after themselves (for the most part), so its time you thought of yourself more often and your needs. You need to have breaks and de stress too. You can't always be all things to all people, like so many Moms burn themselves out doing..I can't imagine how you have gotten through all you have with your health problems while being a working Mom of such a huge family!! Do you realize how absolutely amazing you are? You must have time management down to an art!! Time to put that skill to good use and schedule some regular 'me' time in there too!
These are awesome photos! Seems like a fun place to visit!!
Take care of yourself!
{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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Wednesday, 6/22 Out of town!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hi All,

Imagine my surprise, as I am working out in the pool last evening, to have a hotel employee come in and tell us that there is a tornado warning and that we must go to the Grand Ballroom to be safe. Honestly--I got out of the pool and grabbed my suit cover and a couple of towels and headed that way with Micah. I was freezing and found out that there were funnel clouds all over the Chicago area--the wind pulled open a door at the entrance to the hotel and knocked this big plant thing to the floor. I'll try and show you a few photos again tonight if the technology will let me.

This is the big plant in the lobby that went flying.


Here are photos that Micah wanted me to take of the clouds about an hour and a half before all of the trouble happened.


We saw the clouds on our way home from walking and visiting a mall that had a really cute play area that you can see above.



The mall also had this really neat double decker carousel in it.



Tonight there are all of these trailers pulling into the expo center next door and another area down the road that are carrying cars for a car show. Micah was pretty excited about that and although most of them are well protected from the rain that is here again, these are a few that apparently can get wet. emoticon

My workshop ends tomorrow afternoon. My husband is coming tomorrow morning so that I can check out on time and so he and Micah can spend time together while my work is finishing up. It has been a positive trip and a good break from the hectic pace that is my life. I have gotten in as much activity and have come to realize that if we lived in a real "city" type area that we could get by without driving except for things like big grocery runs. Micah and I have walked all over this part of this town and have had fun doing it. We have seen ducks and bunnies and squirrels. We counted the rings on a tree trunk and he learned about some of the issues when I walk with my walker. We found a great closing sale in a shop and I bought some awesome clothes for my girls--much to Micah's chagrin. It is fun to enjoy each others company without having to charge around from one crazy activity to another. I am so glad that I came, even though it meant that my students lost two days of my tutoring. I made one of my four missing days up last Friday and will make the other one up this Friday. I have learned a lot about mentoring new teachers and the new IL Professional Teaching Standards, and I can do more to work with my colleagues who might want my support.

We go home tomorrow and get ready for our Saturday trip to Adventureland in DesMoines, IA. Then things will calm down somewhat and I can take it easy again. My left hip is a lot better--gets the other injections next week. My right hip is being even naughtier than the left one was. I lost another pain patch and let my back get out of control again. I don't even know where these things go. They aren't stuck in my clothing. Here, at the hotel, it isn't such a big issue, but at home where my dogs could find it and ingest it (like they do with any number of inedible objects,) it could be a serious problem. I need to find a solution for this and will talk to Dr. F and the pharmacist. I am only able to get 10 of these a month and they are supposed to last 3 days each, but when they disappear early, that messes up the schedule. These things are controlled substances and I can't just go get a spare.

I am going to try and go to sleep a bit early tonight--that way I might actually get enough before I wake up at 2:30. Take care of yourselves and beware the clouds and storms!!

Gentle hugs,
Sylvia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 6/24/2011 11:21PM

    It was so wonderful to find time to read one of your blogs. I have so little free time but they are so worth it. A special treat like having you as a friend.

Be careful with the storms! This is a crazy year.

Send me one of those cars. LOL. emoticon

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LOULOUBELLE2 6/24/2011 6:11PM

    That's a crazy happening, Glad you and Micah are safe and had some fun times in Chicago.

Comment edited on: 6/24/2011 6:15:12 PM

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MALKS_ARIA 6/23/2011 5:22PM

    Sounds like it has been a very relaxing, fun time.

I am glad for that Micah is having a break too...

Hope you have a great safe trip home

aria

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JRSWHIMSY 6/23/2011 12:39PM

    Thank you for sharing your pictures, I'm glad you've had such a nice trip!

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_LINDA 6/23/2011 12:27PM

    So glad you didn't get a tornado in Chicago!! Very happy that you had such a relaxing, good time :)) Loved to hear this!!
I don't think you can expect these patches to stay on when you are in the pool regularly. I have a bunion cushion that I need on the bottom of my foot so it doesn't pinch and they stick pretty good, but after two showers they are coming off, and a shower isn't as bad as a soak in the pool. Isn't there something in pill form they could give you instead??? Do look into that alternative...
GREAT photos! Enjoyed seeing them, and look forward to more!
Enjoy this trip to Adventureland, sounds like fun and I look forward to more photos!!
Take care of yourself!
{{{gentle hugs}}}
Linda

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