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Names

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Today mine is "Dog", which in Cat speak is the equivalent of something unprintable.

Today was flea med day. They are allowing themselves to be bought off with a can of lamb & turkey food, but I'm not fooled. They are plotting revenge.

Not that they would enjoy having fleas, which they would most certainly get otherwise. I think they view the flea treatment as some sort of canine ritual which obviously does not apply to them. I made the mistake of putting the flea meds on Stupid Dog first way back when so obviously it is a Dog thing not meant for more highly evolved Cats.

Because I am the human and am therefore theoretically in charge...they get flea treatment regardless of their freely expressed opinions on the subject and on my parentage or lack thereof. Past revenge has included Gandalf (14 pounds of Kitteh) jumping from the top of the headboard onto my sleeping stomach in the middle of the night, puke in my slippers, shredding the last roll of toilet paper and (deliberately) knocking over my coffee cup with malice aforethought, looking me straight in the eyes while doing it and then slowly sauntering away.

In other news Stupid Dog's name is still Stupid Dog. Although this morning he didn't try getting his walk early but that is only because he spent the night locked in my daughter's room. She is not part of his pattern of pee / walk / poop somewhere he shouldn't.

He does seem to enjoy the morning walks so I hope they help trim him down a bit.

Although then I will have to find a new name for him. His other nickname is Fat Dog and if he gets skinny...well, Skinny Dog just doesn't have the same feeling to it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/11/2012 9:25AM

    Too funny! I currently only have one cat smart enough to plot revenge with forethought and malice in her little black heart. The rest are pretty average and laid back. Lucky me.

Maybe you could call him Dumb Dog and then you can shorten it it "D Squared" or "DD"

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DOGSTARDADDY 11/9/2012 5:13PM

    "Stupid Dog" works no matter what size.

Comment edited on: 11/9/2012 5:14:24 PM

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MCJULIEO 11/9/2012 11:51AM

    If he slims down:
How about "Shadow Dog"?

Or "Slinky Dog"?



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TRI_BABE 11/9/2012 7:29AM

    LOL! I hope fat dog becomes skinny, though! emoticon

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FROSTY99 11/8/2012 11:57PM

    emoticon I always kook forward to your blogs.

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IMPROVINGME 11/8/2012 4:42PM

    You're too funny!

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ILOVEMALI 11/8/2012 4:29PM

  Lol!! Thanks for your blog today!

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CODEMAULER 11/8/2012 4:16PM

    There was a hot dog stand near my office that was called "Walkin' Dog." Would that work for a new nickname?

Our cats have never known the joy that is flea treatment. Maybe they need to appreciate how lucky they are?

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ETA: Ugh, teeny keyboards!

Comment edited on: 11/8/2012 6:44:33 PM

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The Morning Mile

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A few weeks ago I signed up over at Nerd Fitness. He has some great tell it like it is blogs, which make a nice change from SP.

Don't get me wrong, SP is great too and very supportive but sometimes the hard truths have to be said without all the rah-rah-you can do it! and SP is not a great place for that.

So anyway, I signed up and at the beginning of the month received notice of The Morning Mile challenge for November. Basically you walk a mile first thing in the morning when you get out of bed, every day for the month.

Why not, I thought, it will give me a little bit of exercise on those no-running days. And I can take Stupid Dog with me.

I added my name to the list.

And then I doubled back and re-read the "fine print"...in the morning when you get out of bed.

I am the antithesis of a morning person. Once I learned what a snooze button was and how to use it mornings became doomed.

But I have managed to go for my Morning Mile every day so far. With Stupid Dog. He's fat, has always been fat (his original owners would give him hard candy as treats and he had almost no room to run in). I've fed him doggy diet food, we had a large yard for him to run around in...and he stayed fat. Although somehow he did lose 10 pounds before we moved; I made the vet weigh him 3 times because I didn't believe it. So now he is a "svelte" 85 pound black lab mix (mixed with what I don't know but probably with something likely to win a Darwin award). So he still needs to lose weight.

Anyway after 4 days of going with me he realizes there is a pattern.

No, this does not show that he is smart after all. It took him 4 days. If I do something ONCE for my cats it immediately and forevermore becomes an unchangeable lifelong written in titanium never to be altered obligation.

So after Stupid Dog recognizes a pattern...he gets it wrong. On Day 5 he wakes me up at 2:30 am because in his mind the pattern is go outside to pee and then go for a walk.

He tries this at 2:30 am

I change his nickname from Stupid Dog to something unprintable.

He tries again at 4...and at 4:45...and at 5:15...and again at 6.

My alarm finally goes off at 6:20, which is when we go.

Today, Day 6, he tried at 4:45 and again at 5:30. So he is learning slowly.

The cats laugh at him.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 11/8/2012 2:24PM

    Ha! One more reason why we shouldn't get a dog!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/8/2012 7:58AM

    Thanks for the laugh!

I have four cats and two dogs so I can relate!

emoticon emoticon




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FROSTY99 11/7/2012 9:30PM

    Ah, poor Stupid Dog is just eager to get out there and lose the weight-ha ha! Now, our little gal, Abbie, likes to walk too but she gets that beautiful long hair black if I walk her on the asphalt, so she rides in a stroller until we hit the concrete sidewalk. She is smart enough to know when we approach the sidewalk and then she goes crazy to get out until I release her.
I too do my walk early in the morning-I was out there at 6 am today and will be there again tomorrow! I prefer 7 but if we have appointments I have to go earlier so I can fit it all in.
Keep up the good work!

Pat

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MCJULIEO 11/7/2012 8:38PM

    Sounds like an "Odie" to me!

Nice going, FFK!

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KIMCOLLINGS 11/7/2012 6:24PM

    That was hilarious! Stupid dog will slowly get it, but the cats will never stop laughing! They're too smart for their own good. Way to go on the consistency. I signed up with nerdfitness too and love the articles. I'm trying to learn parkour because of an article I read on that site. I love his James Bond for a Day blog. Keep at it!! You're doing great!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 11/7/2012 6:07PM

    I can't stop laughing! I thought MY dog was a stupid dog!! LOLOLOLOL

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FANCY-PANTS 11/7/2012 3:26PM

    LOL That dog deserves a treat! emoticon

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CODEMAULER 11/7/2012 11:30AM

    At least the dog is eager and willing. If he was any smarter, he might hit that snooze button for you.

Glad to see another friend at Nerd Fitness!

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NAYPOOIE 11/7/2012 11:15AM

    I laugh at him too.

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SEXBOBOMB 11/7/2012 10:38AM

    Poor Stupid Dog! And poor sleepy you!

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MAJTMS 11/7/2012 10:15AM

    Yay Stupid Dog!

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INIT2LIVEIT 11/7/2012 3:59AM

    It's a good thing I am alone at work at the moment, because I am snorting and cracking up loudly!!!

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KALIOPPE 11/7/2012 1:59AM

    I think SDs name should be changed to Odie. Thanks for the laugh and good luck with the run. :)

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ILOVEMALI 11/7/2012 1:57AM

  Love this! You go, Dog!!

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STUFFNEARTABOR 11/7/2012 1:54AM

    Loved your blog. Can't really love Stupid Dog though (grin).
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One Vote Wonders

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

It makes me crazy to hear people complain about the government and then hear them say that they don't bother to vote!

If you don't vote...you don't get to complain! You had a chance to make a difference and chose to ignore it. Voting is your right...and your duty.

So if you haven't yet fellow Americans...get out there and vote today! (I actually voted a month ago with my absentee ballot).

Your vote does make a difference!

And in that spirit I did a little research today. There are the ONE VOTE lists posted all over the internet and e-mails and regularly reported by the print & media journalists as facts.

Here is a short sampling of times when just a few votes - and in some cases just a single vote - made the difference. My comments are in ( ) at the end of each item. If I couldn't verify it I left it off from the list (unfortunately the best sounding ones were either unverifiable or completely wrong).

1800 – ONE vote in the electoral college made Thomas Jefferson President over Aaron Burr. (Almost true. One member of the Electoral College was supposed to abstain from casting a second vote for Burr and thus allowing Jefferson to win by one vote. The Elector did not, resulting in a tied electoral vote, so the House of Representatives had to vote & elected Jefferson, leading to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution)

1824 - ONE vote in the House of Representatives made John Quincy Adams President over front runner Andrew Jackson to become the nation’s 6th president (Almost true. None of the 4 Presidential candidates received a majority of the electoral vote; Andrew Jackson received 94 votes and John Quincy Adams received 84. As a result & according to the 12th Amendment the election was thrown into the House for resolution, which elected Adams 87-71)

1876 – ONE vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency over Samuel J. Tilden – twice, once during the actual election and again during a recount (Pretty much true. Tilden had 184 electoral votes to Hayes’ 165…with 20 votes uncounted. These were from 3 contested states where each candidate’s party reported him as the winner, & from a state where an Elector had to be replaced. All 20 votes were eventually awarded to Hayes, giving him the Presidency by ONE vote).

1948 – 87 votes elected Lyndon B. Johnson to the Senate. (True, and by a majority of ONE member the Democratic State Central Committee, which handled the runoff count, voted to certify his nomination)

1868 – ONE vote prevented President Andrew Johnson from being impeached. (If I remember my high school history book from way back in the day Johnson actually was impeached but a two thirds majority was needed to actually remove him from office. It was this second vote which was missed by ONE vote. I went from memory on this one.)

1916 – ONE vote in each California precinct re-elected Woodrow Wilson to the Presidency over Charles E. Hughes (Poor math perhaps. There are 53 precincts in CA today; Wilson beat Hughes 277-254, a mere 23 votes. Maybe there were only 23 precincts in 1916. Note this refers to the electoral college, not the popular vote.)

2000 – 237 VOTES in Florida resulted in the election of George W. Bush to the Presidency (GW was only the 4th president to be elected after receiving fewer popular votes than his opponent. He actually won the election in the Electoral College with 271 votes to Gore’s 266 with one elector abstaining - a whopping 5 vote margin)

2002 – 5 votes elected Dan Sparks to the Minnesota State Senate (True. His opponent was Grace Elizabeth Schwab. The election was so close there was an automatic recount required, which Sparks won by 5-7 votes)

2004 – 129 votes declared Christine Gregoire the Governor of Washington in a third and final hand recount (True)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 11/7/2012 8:33PM

    I voted, and I love the stories of close elections!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/6/2012 7:10PM

    Hear, hear! It is a precious right that over the years (like so many other things) people take for granted

How many other countries relish (and fight and die for) the opportunity to exercise this right that toomany of us "can't make the time for"!!

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NAYPOOIE 11/6/2012 5:25PM

    I voted, and preserved my right to complain vigorously

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ILOVEMALI 11/6/2012 2:34PM

  Agreed! I voted! No vote = no complaint!

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GIVENTHANKS 11/6/2012 2:09PM

    You and I have exactly the same thoughts about this. As a matter oof fact, I have done a couple of blogs about how voting is a priviledge, right, and RESPONSIBILITY! I am also very upset when I hear that people did not even bother to register. I just heard on the news a few days ago that a 93 yr old woman will be voting in this election for the FIRST time in her life! That just blows me away! When I turned 18 was the year that 18 year olds were allowed to vote for the first time and I have voted every election since then. I am 59 now. I have heard the stats on what a difference one vote can make but if you don't mind, I would like to copy these to give to people who don't think that their vote matters.
Thanks for posting this blog and have a blessed day!
Pat

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MANDIETERRIER1 11/6/2012 2:02PM

    I voted!

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MYBULLDOGS 11/6/2012 2:00PM

    i agree. voting is your right. exercise it. don't complain if you do not vote.

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Fuel

Monday, November 05, 2012

A coworker went to the US last week and was kind enough to offer to go shopping for me, for those items I can't get here in France (or at least in my area of France).

Today he's back and brought me my goodies, 2 of each :



I'm so excited, I can't wait to have breakfast tomorrow!

I found something here that looks like oatmeal but isn't quite like it. Hard to describe exactly how it's different, but it is just slightly off. It could be I'm not cooking it right, but there were no instructions because it is intended to be sprinkled on yogurt or something, at least based on what I remember from the package. I've been eating it anyway (as oatmeal) because it's the closest thing I could find.

The peanut butter is actually for my long run days. It's what I eat before and after the long distance runs. I finally did find some PB on the store shelf here, hidden with the Greek food on a tiny little section in the foreign food area. It is a non-US brand and has been sitting there for a very long time from the looks of the jars, and one had even been opened. So I passed on it; I'm quite picky anyway and prefer my White Chocolate Wonderful.

Fortunately peanut butter is not one of my trigger foods. The two jars should last me a while.

The other week when I was in Paris I stopped at the American food store and bought some cans of refried beans. Last night I was going to make burritos...and realized that while I now have the refried beans I have no way of actually using them.

I have no can opener. And the stores are all closed at that point.

Sigh.

Tonight I stopped and bought a can opener. But I used the meat in something else for dinner yesterday so the burritos will have to wait a few days.

Double sigh.

I never thought I'd actually miss Taco Bell.

The cats enjoy their food though. They get to eat things like rabbit and duck and all sorts of fish I haven't bothered to translate for them (because, really, they don't care). And spiders and ladybugs.

Not in the cans of cat food, those last two. The spiders come up from the basement and get eaten by the cats; Stupid Dog tries to get in on the spider eating but he's generally not fast enough to beat the cats to the goodies. Plus they smack him when he tries to muscle in on their spider stalking. And apparently the ladybugs have decided now is a good time to hibernate and invade everyone's homes. Except mine...bugs are a delicacy in the Kitteh world.

Stupid Dog has his "revenge" for missing out on the spider action...he keeps trying to sneak up to the litter box, which he apparently considers to be his personal dinner buffet.

This is just one of many reasons I call him Stupid Dog (names have been changed to protect the guilty).

Last week in the grocery store they were selling whole smoked pigs, all shrink wrapped & boxed. I should have taken a picture, but the store was crowded. Not something one generally sees, even at Walmart (in the North anyway, not sure what a typical hillbilly Walmart might look like emoticon No offense intended to any self-identified hillbillies out there emoticon ).

Sitting in my freezer, waiting for my daughter to forget they are there so I can cook them, are some horse steaks.

Another item one doesn't expect to see in the meat cooler in the US! Along with all the animal organs and innards - none of THOSE are in my freezer, I do have some food standards - no organ meats or hot dogs emoticon emoticon

I've already gotten my daughter to eat rabbit; I told her it was chicken.

Because everything tastes like chicken, right?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMCOLLINGS 11/8/2012 2:29PM

    Wow. I need to find that peanut butter. My son would flip out! He loves white chocolate. Love your blogs!

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FROSTY99 11/6/2012 1:05PM

    Until I read your blog, I never even considered the difference in foods when one is abroad. Of course, I had never heard of your brand of peanut butter or oats either so I must be out of your food circle. However, your peanut butter sounds interesting-I love chocolate and peanut butter so what is there not to like with it put together! emoticon As to some of the other food items you mentioned, it sounded emoticon to me on quite a bit of it. Guess I am just boring. My DH is more daring in his food selections and is still trying to find rattlesnake meat on the menu someplace!
Glad you get to enjoy your favorites again.
Pat

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MCJULIEO 11/5/2012 10:48PM

    Whole pigs, no... not here in Texas....

But at Christmas time the markets are full of hog HEADS, because everybody knows that the best tamales are made from hogs' heads...

And we LOVE our Christmas tamales.....
(and now probably they are the LAST thing you want to eat.... emoticon )

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BOILHAM 11/5/2012 9:20PM

    I hope you don't mind my laughing at your food problems. But, it was funny.

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HEIDI-25 11/5/2012 8:14PM

    Your food escapades are great! I really enjoy reading about them. Your kitties and puppy are hilarious as well. I hope you get to enjoy the canned beans soon. Where do you find the chocolate peanut butter? It looks delicious but I have not seen it here in the States.

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ILOVEMALI 11/5/2012 3:51PM

  LOL!!! I know that my daughter will miss American food when she goes to school in Provence (assuming that she doesn't chicken out!!!).

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October Goal Results

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yes, I'm a day early this month.

1) Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds
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Re-committed to tracking my nutrition every day. I’m not doing anything with the data yet, as far as balancing carbs/proteins/whatever, but maybe in another month or so I’ll start paying attention to more than just total calories.

3) Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily.
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I should really move this to the Completed Goals section since it is now a daily habit and not really a goal but I like giving myself a thumbs up every month lol!

5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
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Seven debts gone so far, instead of the 3 I was shooting for (although to be honest I hadn’t included ALL of my debts in the original list so I’m actually right on track and not ahead). I remembered I had opened a U-Promise account way back when; checked it and found about $90 in it just sitting & not doing anything so I’m transferring it to one of my student loans. Because of the move eliminating some subscriptions, lowered utility rates, some unexpected refunds and finding a renter for my house in the US, I have been able to revamp my budget a bit and make some extra payments, which should put me at 2 more debts gone by year end. Moving this goal to the Completed Goals section for November since I’ve now paid off all the originally intended debts.

9) Other goals as they occur to me.
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For October I got more of the necessities –dining table and a car. The washer/dryer & TV got delivered. I found a service that will allow us to watch US TV on-line (at least as long as the episodes are available on whatever websites). I still need to get chairs for the table, an armoire for my daughter and light fixtures for the house.

10) Have fun and stress less!
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Not sure if this is a thumbs up or down month so I’m awarding neither. On October 5 my internet/phone/TV stopped working and it took them until 10/16 to get it fixed. I had to have my coworkers make repeated calls to the phone company because I don’t know nearly enough French to do that myself. I hate feeling incompetent and dependent. My daughter had a horrible September with the original school, I finally got her transferred & they helped her figure out the bus system…and after a week of everything starting to go well…the bus just stopped going to her stop. The 1st time it stopped at the bottom of the Never Ending Hill of Death instead of going to the top, so she said that wasn’t too bad. But the next day – a very rainy cold Monday – it didn’t even get to the bottom of the hill, the driver just turned left instead of right and she ended up in the next village, over 3km away, and had to walk home in the cold dreary rain along a road with no shoulders (she refused to wait until I could get there, which was in 2 hours). That coupled with her isolation (due to the language) on top of the lack of internet to keep in touch with her US friends sent her into a big angry depression which I had to deal with.

On the positive side I ran my first race here, an 11k, on October 7 and am settling into the house & life here in France. Our stuff from the US was all delivered intact and we’re unpacked. There is a local running store that carries my brand of shoe & other gear (although significantly more expensive than the US!) and some local gym possibilities. We’re slowly getting all the little touches to make the house into a “home”…curtains, lighting, etc. (although the owner won’t let me paint and they have some – to me anyway - questionable color choices in the house!) The upstairs pipes leak down the wall so the paint is blistering…but it’s not MY problem! It’s the property manager’s / homeowner’s responsibility. *I* don’t have to fix it or figure it out myself! WooHoo! School is slowly getting better and my daughter now has her bus card which tells the driver where she goes is so no more missed stops.

12) New Goal – Marathon Training
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Finished week 7, made some tweaks to the plan; skipped a whole week, missed some other days here & there, but since it’s a 30 week plan I’m still in early days where the misses aren’t a major deal and I’m on schedule with my total miles (we won’t discuss the extra miles run one Sunday because I got lost lol). I can’t really afford any misses like that going forward though, I’m at the point where I either make the full-on commitment or don’t. And since I’ve already registered for the marathon…I’m making the commitment.

COMPLETED GOALS:
2) Become a half fanatic by the end of August
4) Break my dependence on Splenda
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
6) Ready to test for black belt by end of June:
6a) All techniques approved by May
6b) Ni kyoso suro no kata approved in February; Bassai kata approved in March
6c) Make terminology flashcards by end of February; review weekly until testing
6d) Assist in 4 classes per month (20 total required)
6e) Learn and master sais kata
6f) Keep running so as to maintain ability to run 2 miles in 18 minutes
6g) Be able to do 55 pushups in May; 60 in June
7) Goal revamped – finish mailbox / light switches / outlets / floors / doors / ceiling fans / curtains before I move
11) NEW GOAL - weekly pushup challenge

RESCHEDULED GOALS:
8) Postponed to 2013 - Run my first marathon by October 21
My priority is black belt testing; I will aim for the Paris marathon in April 2013

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUSCHIA6 11/5/2012 8:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Great work!

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KALIOPPE 11/4/2012 5:03AM

    Excellent progress! Keep up the great work. emoticon

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MCJULIEO 10/31/2012 9:53PM

    Oh, my! Your poor daughter! Please give her a hug for me, the unknown almost anonymous internet well wisher, who hopes that she picks up the coolest French accent ever from living over there, to make up for the rough times!

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ILOVEMALI 10/31/2012 1:52PM

  How are you feeling today?

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HOPEFULHIPPO 10/31/2012 1:58AM

    emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/30/2012 9:24PM

    Good going!

Do I hear the whispers of another goal forming.......learning French?!?!?!

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FROSTY99 10/30/2012 5:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
What else is there to say-you set your goals and you are reaching them-congrats on paying down those debts. Feels good doesn't it. We normally do not carry any debt-on that fixed income-ha ha-but DH needed hearing aides so using their money for 12 months to pay for them instead of robbing our savings! Half way there and it feels good-I tell him he better take good care of the one that belongs to him.
Pat

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FINEBABY72 10/30/2012 4:36PM

  Wow! You're doing a lot,and making it apart of your life,great goals! Wishing you well for your marathon next year!



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BOILHAM 10/30/2012 4:31PM

    emoticon all thumbs up, way to go

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COOP9002 10/30/2012 4:25PM

    Way to go!

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