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Oh my! I Have Gained So Much!!

Friday, January 04, 2013

This afternoon we went to the Post Office to get mail then to make a quick stop at the Dollar store before going home. We had all three of the smaller boys with us and it was to be perhaps an hour trip tops. It turned into a lot more. Not because anything extraordinary happened, but because of something I am starting to take for granted. You see, I got out of the truck, walked into the store and walked around doing some browsing shopping, back out, and got into the truck. I did all of that by myself. Not a big deal, right? WRONG!! When I first visited Spark and clicked on register, I was basically housebound and power wheelchair bound. If I had a good day once in awhile, i could get by with a walker. On a REALLY great day (perhaps 2-3 times a year) i could get by with a cane. I have only had to use Roxie (my chair) once since June of 2012. Mobility is one of the things i have gained through Spark, a healthy life style, and weight loss. It is most likely the very most important. Oh, there are still a few things I'm not physically able to do, but the longer I continue on this journey, the better i get. At 66 years young, i stop any think: Hey! i wasn't able to accomplish this in my 50's! Heck I couldn't even do this well in my 40's before i was injured!!

Spending of some time thinking of when some gaining is a whole lot better than another type, the entire week seemed to flood back. I received more compliments on my size and how good i look this past week, than I ever have before. One lady that I was talking life style programs with at the New Year's Eve party, said she would have never guessed i ever had an issue with weight, that I was one of those people who stayed one size my whole life. So, I stood and wrapped my sweater clear around me to the back. It was then I mentioned when I joined Spark, that same sweater had been too small. She wanted to know how that could be. My response? Because I opened my mouth and put all sorts of things in it - non stop and then couldn't move well at all. That 270 pound frame is now 120 and feeling better than ever. Her mouth came open and she simply stared at me. So there are a few more gains for me.

Starting the new team with the new challenge of trying one new thing each week all year has shown me another gain. It's called friendship. It can also be known as support.
A lot of the time it's fun. it's all of that. its a lot more than one gain alone, but many comprising the one. I know i love it and is something I don't ever want to lose - no matter what.

Some of my gains I have counted by appearance, too. Like the first time my husband asked me if I knew I had cheek bones or the first time i could see my collarbone defined or when I had hollows again in my arm pits. December of 2011, the nurse was asking if i
needed the extra large gowns, because she had brought regular sized ones and then December 2012 when the sales clerk told me a large and medium were both too big and i needed a small or even an extra small and my last two pairs of jeans were size 4.
These are all part of my gain being a Spark person.

Sharing so much with all of my teams and Spark Buds has helped me gain back my self confidence and to be a lot more positive in life. Yes, my age and my two cancer journeys helped with that, too. I wouldn't be honest if i said otherwise. The thing is, without the gain in confidence from this site and the coaches and members, there is no way i could have kept that positive outlook enough to be able to share it. I am writing about it and talking about it and most importantly, living it. What a gain this is!! I'm letting myself open up to outside friendships and socializing - a gain from this wonderful lifetime healthy change.

What are some of your gains since joining our community? I'm sure you can concur that in these things, a gain is good. Do you know where you'll be going today? Will it be someplace new? Can i guess that it will be a continuation of this great Spark journey we all share? I believe that's where my path leads.

I love you all and wish the best for you and yours.

Peace Love Hope

Bob and me in 2005

Me in 2009

Me in 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PMFISH 1/8/2013 10:25AM

    Amazing how far down we can go physically, but even more amazing how we can come back when we persevere. You have done an amazing job and am so happy and proud for you! Keep up the good work.

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ZAHNASGRANDMA 1/6/2013 11:05PM


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CHERIRIDDELL 1/6/2013 12:12AM

    You look fabulous but you know what I think there is one way you have not changed,you must always have been a fabulous caring person Bob saw that inyou when he married you.You are an inspiration to me to keep working because I put on weight after my accident but more than the fact that you have lost weight your good cheer and determination makes you special.Thank you for being a wonderful inspiring Sparkfriend !

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MISSDAISY23 1/5/2013 11:44PM

    You look fabulous! emoticon


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CANNIE50 1/5/2013 6:40PM

    I am so happy for you. How liberated you must feel.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/5/2013 6:29PM

    You DO look like the "type of person" who never had a weight problem! You look beautiful in the 2012 picture you posted.

That has to feel so good getting those compliments! You deserve them.

HUGS and keep on sparking on down the road!

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SPRINKLECHEZ 1/5/2013 12:05PM

    I have blogged about it myself plenty times, when you Spark unselfishly and put your own health first - what you share with friends, loved ones, and even aqcuaintances will change ("Spark") more people into making a change in their life than you will ever realize.

As I near my maintenance weight and look back on how much my own life has changed - I would have never believed anyone if they told me that I would gain more in life than the 100+ lbs I have lost. My personal "re-discovery" and re-purposing my own life to share my journey with others and help anyone I can is the result of the support of all of my SparkFriends, all of the Blogs I wrote, and each one that I have read.

While keeping the weight off iis going to take effort, I am not one bit worried as I keep finding myself to reach out and make a difference in the lives of those around me, and occasionally the life of a stranger.

Congratulations on your new found glory - Spark It Forward with every smile. God bless-

Your friend, "Sprink"

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LINDA! 1/5/2013 11:23AM

    You look great!!

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MOM2ACAT 1/4/2013 4:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SNUZSUZ 1/4/2013 4:42PM

    Congratulations! Great blog!

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EJOY-EVELYN 1/4/2013 2:20PM

    I love that you've turned a negative perception (gain) into a huge victory. It brings out the better part of our psyche in the long run. Let's not take this for granted, eat right, be kind, and walk humbly. God bless you, dear Ev, of this Eleventh Day of Christmas. Hug, hug -- Evelyn

Comment edited on: 1/4/2013 2:21:45 PM

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MARYELLEN301 1/4/2013 2:17PM

    And here I thought I was going to be reading about someone who gained weight during the Holidays! How refreshing to see it's just another HUGE success story from another Sparker! Congratulations to you on your journey. Let's keep it up! All of us!

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LVMAMAW 1/4/2013 12:01PM

    Wow, Ev!! You are a walking testimony to healthy living! What a fantastic blog! I am glad you "gained so much"!! emoticon emoticon

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/4/2013 11:11AM

    That's great! May you have many more wonderful happy mobile years!

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SWDESERTLOVER 1/4/2013 11:10AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. And, BTW, you look emoticon

Here's to a fantastic 2013!

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DEBBY4576 1/4/2013 8:39AM

    Loved this blog. You got "a life" from losing wieght and gaining mobility. Very inspiring blog and think it should be on the Featured Blog for all to see.

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GINNJEN1974 1/4/2013 5:35AM

    Those are all awesome gains. You are an inspiration!

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NEW-CAZ 1/4/2013 3:13AM

    Ev you my friend are an inspiration.
You've put in the hard work, taken on advice, used the trackers, stayed postive and become trimmer, more confident, happier, fitter and more importantly healthier emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

This blog deserves to be shared emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 1/4/2013 3:12AM


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JUDITH316 1/4/2013 2:32AM

    What an inspiring blog, thanks for sharing, you look fabulous! emoticon on your success, indeed, you have worked so very hard and now you are enjoying the benefits of your success...I cheer you on, I'm so glad I came across your blog, you have blessed me much with your inspirational blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PUFFPASTRY 1/4/2013 2:31AM

    Whoa my gosh, Ev. I don't think I had any idea the degree to which your body, appearance and lifestyle had changed "not counting" the cancer experience, because I met you when that was the dominant thing that was going on. I'm blown away. Please know that you were - and are - beautiful at EVERY stage and phase you've been through - I think you're every bit as lovely and radiant in that first photo with Bob as you are standing next to your van, because you're YOU, and that shines through regardless of the packaging. AND I'm glad you've gotten so much out of Spark and the people you've met here. Big hugs! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1STATEOFDENIAL 1/4/2013 2:05AM

    Excellent blog, Ev! You definitely are an inspiration and such a wonderful person I'm proud to call my sparkfriend. You put in so much effort to become half the person you once were while gaining a chance to be such a greater presence. You are a beautiful person who deserves to enjoy all the wonderful that is around you.

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FLEMIDG 1/4/2013 1:35AM

    Congratulations on your success! You look emoticon. I am so happy for you.
Spark People is a wonderful site. Thank you for sharing your story and for the inspiration to keep going. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYLADY12 1/4/2013 1:08AM

    What a great blog. I love it when you ask people to smile. You fooled me though. I thought you gained weight LoL. Your fabulous!!!

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KARIDIAN1 1/4/2013 12:37AM

    I love the photo of you in 2012. You look great!

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New Year, New Things, New Challenge, New Team

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

What a week this has been! i have enjoyed so much and a lot were new to me - at least lately! And best of all - it's all been good.

Saturday I went to the Outlet Store to see if there was anything there i might like. Did I ever strike gold!!! They had started their end of the year sale and did I take advantage! I ended up with the following:

A blue jean jacket
A teal shrug
2 bras - one lavender and one black
A trumpet skirt in a pretty print
A Gators t-shirt with some sequins on the front
A dressier pair of pants in a houndstooth pattern

That's 7 items. And the bill? Are you ready? I got a little over $2 back from $40.00!! That averaged at $5 plus tax per item. I felt I did really well. And I found i wear a junior small or medium in dresses! I passed on all the ones I tried on, though.

Yesterday one of our neighbors came by and invited us to stop by this past evening. I decided to get brave and go. It has been nearly six years since I have done this. I have blogged before about missing female friendship in person. I decided since i was challenging myself to trying new things, I might as well start by doing something i haven't done in years. No, it isn't exactly new, but certainly a renewal! We truly enjoyed ourselves. Best of all - I got to spread the Spark by talking about my getting to goal in 2012. From the response i got from the ladies there, I'm pretty sure one is going to join Spark with the possibility of a second!! There it was - something renewed, meeting brand new friends, and getting to spread the Spark. it doesn't get any better.

When i got home and did some thinking, I started a new team for those who wish to join me in my new challenge of trying something new each week all year. I named it "New Year, New Things 52 in 2013." This is the link for it: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i

I am inviting anyone who wishes to give this challenge a try to join the team. Most likely I'll spend some time today coming up with a list of suggestions of things you might wish to try. I would also like to extend an invitation to anyone who might like to help out as a co-leader to let me know, and I'll be happy to add you. It won't take much other than visit once or twice a week to post and see if there is anything you would like to start, ie: other challenges, games, questions. I haven't decided what my very first challenge will be yet. That said, i've never started a team from scratch, so doing that is already a new thing in the new year.

My Spark journey continues on, working on maintaining. One of the new neighbors i met last evening, teaches an exercise class 3 times a week at our community center. She told me each year draws less members. Isn't that sad? At one point - when i first moved here - everyone knew everyone else and it was like a big happy family with an occasional hiccup. But the makeup of the area is changing, and this is one of the things gratefully affected. There are a lot more young families where before it was more of a retirement community. That said, she tells me many of the ladies will simply leave if they find an exercise too challenging. I told her she may find a lot of Coach Nicole's videos containing things she can use that would have different levels to include everyone being able to do them without problems. All of this has been on my mind and may be something else new for me to try - helping out with the classes. This new year of 2013 seems to me that is going to be one of the best ever, no matter what happens. It is already starting in a very positive way and that is the most important thing. Each day can bring a new challenge, and how we handle things, is what helps determine our success. Hopefully we can all meet whatever is thrown at us with in a positive way and with grace.


My January Goals:

Health and Fitness:

1. Continue to maintain goal weight
2. Track both food and exercise daily
3. When I mess up, not to be hard on myself, rather pick myself up and start brand new with my next meal, exercise, etc.
4. Continue with weekly weigh-ins and immediate corrections if i gain more than 5 pounds.
5. To try to make the wisest choices I can for myself to remain as healthy as i can be.


1. To stay as positive as i can no matter what comes my way.
2. Make a real attempt to "downsize" and organize.
3. Stay in close contact with my family an friends.
4. Write! Write! Write!
5. Try my very best to give more than i get in this journey we call life.


We all make choices in our life. What we chose and when we chose them determines what our lives will be and how successful we are for what we want in - or sometimes out - of those lives. I declaring a weekly challenge for the year. But in truth we all face a challenge each day. Some are new, others we see over and over. Once more it is how we react that helps determine our outlook on life. Gee, it only took me 63 years to reach these conclusions, but at least i did. Since then i have become a much happier, healthier individual.

My wish for you, my Buddies, is to have the best year possible in 2013. May you achieve all you want, continue your own journeys in a positive way, make all those wonderful, wise choices, and be the best you as is possible.

Peace, Love, Health, Joy, and Hope

Bob and i in London 2000

Bob and I in 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSDAISY23 1/3/2013 3:21PM


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LIS193 1/3/2013 9:55AM

    You scored at the outlet!
Great idea for a new team.

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LINDA! 1/2/2013 11:16PM

    What a great way to start the year.

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PMFISH 1/2/2013 10:40PM

    Congrats on striking it rich shopping! Sounds like great plans for 2013. Will be joining you on getting back to doing things, that were every day before my last bout with my health. Still getting better every day right along beside you. Check on you each day even if I don't comment. emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 1/1/2013 11:47PM

    Great Blog Ev and sounds like you have some good goals and maybe a new outlet to help with classes too.

Great start for the new year.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 1/1/2013 5:27PM

  love this

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MOM2ACAT 1/1/2013 3:12PM

    Your year is off to a great start!

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CAROLIAN 1/1/2013 3:02PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1STATEOFDENIAL 1/1/2013 2:38PM

    Wonderful job stepping out of your comfort zone. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut of 'I don't want to do something new because...' and we fill in any number of excuses. When we choose to ignore the excuses and instead give something new a try, we often find that there was no reason for us not to do it.

I wish you wonderful experiences and good health for you and Bob in 2013. I hope your team is a great success. I started my team a year ago and it is a lot of work starting one from scratch, but the biggest hurdle is getting people involved and talking.

Best wishes to you!

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MNNICE 1/1/2013 2:05PM

    I love the idea of trying new things, and the past few years I've been making a point of doing just that! I might be too old to come up with something new each week, but I think I'll give it a try!

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GINNJEN1974 1/1/2013 6:16AM

    Sounds like you know where your headed and will continue to do and inspire us that are on our way too. What great deals too on all those clothes.

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NEW-CAZ 1/1/2013 6:09AM


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KASEYCOFF 1/1/2013 5:46AM


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KATZEYEZ 1/1/2013 5:21AM

    Great work on the sales, Ev !!!! Ours haven't started yet over here!
Thank you for being my friend and for all the love, help and motivation over the last years.
May 2013 be the best year yet for you.

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2013 - It's still 365 days no matter what you do.

Friday, December 28, 2012

This week I have been considering 2013 and the making of resolutions, goals, things like that. To me it seems to be an interchange of words for the same thing. We often talk about being realistic for both when setting them and to be sure not to set ourselves up for failure. That is likely to become an end result when we get too eager or enthusiastic in our plans for a new year.

How often have you or perhaps someone you know, said or thought, if something isn't done now it will never be done. So, a time limit it placed on it no matter if it can be done or not. Even not allotting time for the unexpected can be a deal breaker plunging one into the failure part. Or at least convincing the one trying, to give up or become really depressed because there is a feeling of "can't" do or accomplish. Rather than to say or write, I want to reach my goal by the end of the year, wouldn't it be easier to think/say/write I want to reach half or one quarter of my goal by the end of the year? That is so much more realistic and doable, plus it gives time for the unexpected that may draw you away from accomplishment. Things like, a twisted ankle, unexpected crop losses sending up produce prices to make them unaffordable, unexpected severe weather that damages your garden, etc.

We can all do as much as we can and no more. And we can all do too little or nothing at all. The end of the year still arrives in 365 days. Whether or not we stay the same or challenge ourselves in making life long commitments to a healthier life style changes, the end appears on December 31 at midnight each year. We live through the same amount of time. It seems we would be not only healthier, but also happier, if we became proactive rather than sticking to the status quo which may possibly shorten how many of those years we are around to see come and go.

Nothing good is ever easy, so the saying goes. I believe at least the first few times of doing anything is rarely easy. I tend to compare the exercise and eating changes to a new job. When first starting out, it is never all that easy. Even if you have done the work for years, you must learn new expectations, additions, subtractions, to what you have always done. It takes time and practice. Rarely do you succeed the very first day. Same way with changing from bad eating habits. You have always eaten. But now you need to change to learn all you can about what your body needs and the best way to get it to be successful in getting the biggest body value for what enters your system. No one else can do that, but you. When i first came to SparkPeople I didn't think i would ever be able to exercise in any of the ways normally thought of because most of my time was spent in a motorized wheelchair. Then I discovered the Chair Exercise Team. The leaders there have done so much of the work for all who have the same issues. There are reviews of books, videos, newsletters, dedicated web pages, it's all good. The sharing and support of fellow members is wonderful. How good it is to know others in the same position have improved so much, some to the point of not having to use their chair with some even participating in runs! I am out of my chair for the most part. Running still is a ways off. I keep aiming for it, but I don't include it in goals or resolutions anymore as I realize it may never happen for me because of my health issues.

Learning so much on my Spark journey and cancer journeys since joining the site, I have decided to be different in 2013. No more resolutions, I'm not even thinking goals this time around. I reached my goal in August of this year. Yes, it is 150 pounds gone since April 2010 when I got serious, but i intend to stay with everything I have done in those 2.5 years to accomplishment of the final goal. I still intend to reward myself for maintaining what I am over time. However, this year - 2013 - I intend to make a year of weekly challenges to achieve. It is something that I can accomplish in those 365 days that I haven't thus far. My plan is to challenge myself to do something new every week. That will be 52 new things by next year at this time. It might be trying a new fruit or veggie or exercise or even a food. But whatever it is, it will be new to me. While I'm at it, I'm going to also challenge myself to blog about what I have done each week. That should do well to make myself accountable. I learned to do web pages in Front Page, which is no longer supported by our host. I know so little HTML and have no knowledge of the other programs that are supported. Because of that, I have been totally dependent on Bob to keep my pages updated and sadly that hasn't been working too well because I can't seem to explain exactly what I want. So it is possible one of those new things i try will be to learn to take care of my own web sites/pages. As of now I haven't decided exactly what I'll do or when. But I do know it will be different and a learning experience.

Should I decided I want to make goals, they will be monthly rather than yearly. They will also be realistic and doable. This is another blog entry to show them at the end of one month and a blog entry at the beginning of the next month to show how much I have accomplished. It's all just another way to keep myself accountable! The blog challenges i do, also count in those goals. I have really enjoyed the ones I participated in this past year. I'm thinking my followers have, too, by comments and notes I receive.

If anyone likes my idea of a new weekly challenge of trying something new rather than making resolutions for 2013, won't you join me? LEt me know you are interested in the comments, on my Spark page or Spark mail, and if there is anything at all I can to to help you be accountable for this. Perhaps some of those who wish to join me will want a team. All you need do is let me know and we can see who else wants it and who would like to be a team leader and simply go for it.

No matter what is decided, those 365 days will still go by no matter if you do your best or sit on your hands. So you might as well be the best you of all!! What do you think? Do YOU have any ideas or thoughts? Everyone already knows how I feel about wanting to learn new ideas and thoughts from my Spark Buddies. Step right up and post your thoughts in the comments!

Love Peace Hope

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HICKOK-HALEY 12/30/2012 12:47AM

    I agree with you. Shorter term goals are probably more realistic. Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. Here's to 2013! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 12/30/2012 12:23AM

    I really like the idea of trying something new I think I will join you!

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LINDA! 12/29/2012 9:01PM

    My biggest accomplishment in 2012 was exercising everyday. Some days it was 2 hours...somedays it was 10 minutes. But it all added up. Now I am contemplating 2013!!

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DRUIDPRINCESS 12/29/2012 4:46PM

    What a thought-provoking blog! Thank you for sharing this with us. Count me in on your team of short-term/monthly goals! I am spending a quiet morning this morning gathering my thoughts about my game plan, and I certainly want to attack 2013 with your mindset!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PMFISH 12/29/2012 2:21PM

    My biggest accomplishment this past year has been in eliminating the physical disabilities. Look forward to see if I can make equal or more progress in 2013!

Always enjoy your blogs.

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VONBLACKBIRD 12/29/2012 2:06PM

    I love the idea of a weekly challenge..I'm keeping an online blog of my weekly challenges for 2013..blogspot is free and easy to learn really so maybe try there. you can even put paypal links on if you want to try to sell things..good luck..know you can do it as you have already proven yourself by losing so much. Maintenance is much much harder I've learned. good luck.

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NEW-CAZ 12/29/2012 3:11AM

    Brilliant blog Ev, have a healthy and happy 2013.
I look forward to reading more of your writings, they're emoticon

Happy weekend emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 12/29/2012 1:11AM

    What a neat plan for 2013! I look forward to your blogs.

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KARIDIAN1 12/28/2012 11:25PM

    Great Blog Ev.

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IAM_HIS2 12/28/2012 11:18PM

    You did a wonderful blog...Have a healthy, happy New Year!

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1STATEOFDENIAL 12/28/2012 8:09PM

    I think that instead of saying I'll accomplish XX goal in the next year, or saying you'll accomplish half or a quarter of a goal, it's much more important to know short term, medium term, and long term goals. The long term doesn't necessarily need an end date, whereas the short term goals tend to work better with one. Still, I think part of what I read in your blog is the need for acceptance: we need to accept our limitations and work with them, not against them. You know you can't run right now, but you can hope that as a long term goal you might be able to jog for any distance and to get there you're working on short term goals of exercising and walking when you can. If there comes a time that it becomes apparent that having a goal of jogging/running has become harmful (you're pushing yourself too hard, become depressed about it, etc) then it's time for acceptance that it might not be possible but your short term goals and medium term goals are still possible.

Too often I've seen people who cut back their goals to make them easier and when they meet those goals they say 'I'm done' and never reach further. By setting multiple levels of goals it helps us feel accomplishment with the short term goals but still have something to strive for.

Just my two cents. I've had to face a lot of acceptance moments in the last 2-3 years, and I know when it comes to goals it's just as important to accept when a goal has become impossible as it is to still be willing to set goals to replace the ones you've reached or had to give up.

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BARBANNA 12/28/2012 6:36PM

    Thanks and happy new year!

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JOYCECAIN 12/28/2012 6:22PM

    I am game, let me know if you are going to start a team. Loved this blog.

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DIBANANA 12/28/2012 6:20PM

  Great blog. We should watch what we plan on accomplishing so we will be pleasantly surprised!

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Sweethearts and Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

ACCM: December 23, 2012

Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Do you have a special memory of a first Christmas present from a sweetheart? How did you spend your first Christmas together?

1. I do have the memory! The first Christmas gift he gave me was a reversible winter jacket. One side was plain white and the other paisley blue and green on a white background! It also had a detachable hood. i loved it and wore it for years.

2. The first Christmas we spent together, he was on leave from the Army. We had Christmas Eve dinner with my family and Christmas Day with his. On the 26th we got engaged! That was also our last Christmas together. The next Christmas he was in Viet Nam.


ACCM: December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?

In other posts, I believe I have covered how my own family, my parents, and my paternal grandparents celebrated. I mentioned my maternal grandparents didn't celebrate, but i never went into it much. My grandmother's family didn't celebrate for several reasons. One was because her family didn't approve of some of the English customs of the wassailers going door to door and all the drinking that went on. They also didn't believe the date to be Christ's real birthday. There were some ministers in the family who had forbidden the celebrations in their own churches in both Ireland and Scotland. When they came to the US in the 1700's up to 1820, they followed the habit of not following the Christmas customs. At the end of the 1800's the family started to follow the customs again, but by the late 1920's, my great-grandfather and my grandmother, along with my mother's sisters stopped celebrating once more. My mother continued because not only did my father and his family celebrate, but also because she believed in the spirit of Christmas and the joyous gift God made to us of His son.


DO you have memories of your first gift and first Christmas sp4ent with your sweetheart? Any other Christmas family/ancestor memories to tell? I really love hearing these. I believe it is one reason I love genealogy an history so much.


Our Christmas was beautiful as we celebrate the peace and joy the day brings. The weather was not very clear, but no rain either. It was about 70 degrees F. We waited until about 7PM and drove around the small area where we live to view decorations and lights. We didn't even have to go a mile from home! We took all four dogs with us as they don't often get to go for rides, especially all of them at one time. We talked tomy brother and his family plus Bob's sons called. Mostly we watched Christmas movies! I have to tell you about one of my gifts. My beautiful niece and her family gave me Coach Nicole's newest DVD!!! I am soooo excited and can't wait to get started with it soon!! Bob also got me a new pair of walking shoes that I needed. They are New Balance once more. I seem to do well with them.

How was your day weather wise and how did you spend it?

May the peace love and joy of the season be with you all year round.

Blessings to you and yours.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVETOCRUISE 12/27/2012 9:40AM

    Our first Christmas we bought each other a coat at a discount store. That was in 1958.

A n ice blog.

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KARIDIAN1 12/26/2012 9:37PM

    Can't really think of anything right now. We don't exchange gifts really so nothing comes to mind.

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JUDYAMK 12/26/2012 10:36AM

    My first Christmas my fiance ( now husband ) bought me a doll. I cried & cried. I had told him one time how my Great Aunt came over to our home & took all my dolls from me. I was 6 years old I cried we were so poor, & my Mom would save a little money out from the grocery store to buy me a doll. There was 6 of us kids I have 5 brothers. Many years later I went to her home & ask her why she took my dolls, she said because she wanted them. I still cannot believe she did that.My husband has bought me a doll every year!The ones that are done with velvet green,red & plaid velvet dresses I sit around the Christmas tree, & I have a replica Victorian lamp post in my home that I have my other dolls around the lamp post with fake snow & green boughs with tiny lights with fake snowballs. We are to have a huge snow storm starting any time. Take care

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NEW-CAZ 12/26/2012 2:56AM

    Christmas Sweetheart Memories?
Our 1st Christmas in our own home was magical, some Carol Singers dressed as in a Christmas Carol and carrying lanterns stood outside out door and it was snowing and DH bought me a beautiful necklace and matching earrings which I still have"

Christmas eve we used to take hampers to the Sally Army to give out.

Our Christmas this year has been marred by ill health, DH has had a tummy bug and I've got a streaming cold. Despite this he was well enough yesterday to tuck into a toned down version of the normal feast with no starter and no pud and we caught up with family and friends on the phone. Last night I could stand the cabin fever no more and went for a 30 min walk- it was freezing cold but was lovely and the people I met responded in kind to my "Merry Christmas" offerings.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

ACCM: December 22, 2012

Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?


1. My family visited the cemeteries where ancestors were buried every holiday. I can't remember doing so at Christmas, though. That's not to say they didn't, I simply cannot remember.

2. There have been several ways we honor our deceased at Christmas time. Since Bob and I have been married, we always get luminaries that line the waterfront for the Christmas program that is done each year. We usually get four - one for my parents, one for his, and one for each of families in general. Mine says my dad and mom family names just as Bob 's says his dad and mom family names. Sometimes I'll order poinsettias for the altar at church in memory of my family members who were members there. The Christmas after my dad died, my mom gave money to the Criminal Justice ASsociation at Kent State University where i was a student. it was to be used for a scholarship for a student majoring in criminal justice/law enforcement. The students voted to name the scholarship in his honor because he had been a deputy sheriff in the county and the money that enabled them to give the very first scholarship from the Association. The Christmas after our mom died, we donated the children's books to the Head Start in our community in her memory. I was invited to attend the community program and make an official donation of them. Then in January, I was invited back to read some of them to the students. I really enjoyed doing that. I believe both of my parents would have been very honored by these. My mom especially would have grinned from ear to ear to know this was done in her memory. Education was very important to both of them, but it was also my mother's career field. She loved teaching! The only things she loved more was her family and children, and of course her faith.

These are some of the ways we have honored our ancestors during the holiday season.


Do you have ways of remembering your family members who are deceased? Tell us about them, please. I am really enjoying the memories that you draw when you read some of mine from the Christmas season.


The weather remained cooler her in NE FL today. Tonight may go to 32 degrees F, but they are predicting 34. Bob is still going to cover the orange tree, just in case. He has tried to grow so many and each time they are near producing fruit, there is a freeze that kills them off. I'm hoping this year will be different. The major tree is in the front yard and was a gift from the young man across the street. He is such a good kid. He calls Bob "grandpa".


Enjoy your weekend and the joy that Christmas brings. The gift that God gave us that first Christmas was the most wonderful gift of all - His son. It is this "gift" that we are celebrating this week. No matter what you do to celebrate - whether it is quiet family time or busy, noisy family/fried time, remember to do several things. Get enough rest, make the best choices you can, treat yourself with non-food treats, take pride in helping others feel good, and as always, smile.

My love to each of you. You are the best!!

Peace Love Joy


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VONBLACKBIRD 12/23/2012 11:01AM

    We remember our deceased but really don't do much to honor them. I guess our thought is that they are really in heaven and not here on the earth...we were taught not to mourn but to celebrate.

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NEW-CAZ 12/23/2012 2:47AM

    Great blog Ev!

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KARIDIAN1 12/22/2012 10:35PM

    WE don;t visit the graves for any holidays, but every year or two my mom and i go out and clean the graves stones. We did it this summer. It is important to her to do this every few years. I suppose I will continue it as the years go on as i know where they are, but if I don't it isn't something that will keep me awake at night.
My mom and I usually have some nice visits during the cleaning sessions, as she will recall memories of these relatives. Some I never knew, great grandparents, and others I was too young to really know and barely remember.

The one grave we have not gone to is my Dad's grave at Ft. Snelling. I have thought about locating it, and never done so. My Mom has never asked to go see it. In a way I want to, and in another way I don't want to. Maybe I am just not ready for that yet, even thought it has been 12 years since he passed away.

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NORASPAT 12/22/2012 9:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Nice to read but nothing to add. We never went to graves, in fact few Knew where they were buried, I know my Mother and stepfather, And we know DH parents but they are the only ones we know .
Thanks EV. I love the inspirations you give to others with this. It brings people out of their shell sometimes.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Pat in Maine.

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MUSOLF6 12/22/2012 8:06PM

    emoticon for sharing

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