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Hey! Who moved my cheese?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Literally. Someone stole my cheese.

I had a little piece of goat cheese on my plate, I got up to let the dog back inside, caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye..and when I turned back my cheese was gone.

Gandalf, the former Garage Kitty, has come out of the closet. He is declaring his personhood.

He stole my cheese and is under the fireplace eating it.

In the morning he tries to eat my oatmeal. If my daughter sets her pastry down on the counter he starts chewing on it. At night he signals bedtime by pulling back my comforter, crawling underneath and resting his head on the pillows. He opens doors. I now have to lock the bathroom door because he will open it to let Turtle in.

He believes he is a person. Who likes goat cheese and Irish oatmeal and white chocolate peanut butter. I think it is probably a good thing he can't open the fridge (although certainly not for his lack of trying).

Today is the first day of my vacation. I don't go back to work until January 8. This morning we had to get up early (for a vacation day it was early anyway) to go to the airport. My daughter flew back to the US to spend the holiday with her Dad and his family. Her flight wasn't until 10:40 so we left at 7 even though the airport is only 50 minutes away because traffic going into Paris, and into the airport can be atrocious. Plus the crowds at the desks to get your boarding pass and check bags can be like giving yourself a root canal with no anesthetic.

So because I was - for once - prepared for delays we experienced none. The closest thing to a delay was at the counter the lady had to look up the regulation about minors flying alone and then decided she is close enough to 15 (the technical minimum age) to go by herself without an airline person to babysit her every move. I hung around at the airport until almost 11 when she texted that she was now actually on the plane.

Since it was on the way home and I could spend all the time I wanted I went to Ikea. My daughter shops like her father - get in, get out, see if she can set a new PR on shortest time. I like to wander about and look at everything. Yes, I mean everything.

Today I even had a purpose. I needed chairs. I've had the dining table for a month now but we have had no chairs so haven't used. Now, I have chairs!

After unloading the chairs and eating lunch I took Stupid for a walk. Today he tried to get into 2 doggie fights with dogs behind their fences. Then I went into the shopping area and wandered through some stores I hadn't been to before. I found the bookstore, which is combination books/movies/music/games/crafts and school supplies. I found the fabric/craft store, which is like a miniature version of JoAnn Fabrics. I checked on the TV table I ordered - in October! - which is still not available and they have no idea when it will come in. I know enough now to ask when it will be available but not quite enough yet to tell them to cancel the order and refund my money so I can buy something else.

While dinner was cooking I put together one of my new chairs and ate my first meal at my table. Which is what I was doing when the Cheese Thief struck.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAISEYMAE101 12/31/2012 11:10AM

    Happy Vacation!

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CAMSEDGE 12/31/2012 10:32AM

    ...staying busy I see...aside from tracking your food...literally under tables, etc...the dog steals my chair when I get up...I let her...she is getting old

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ILOVEMALI 12/22/2012 3:57AM

    I love your life!

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FROSTY99 12/20/2012 11:26PM

    Sounds like that is one smart kitty. Enjoy your freedom and your new chairs.

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JERSEYFLOWER 12/20/2012 3:34PM

    Enjoy your vacation! And hide your cheese.

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AWOOD1973 12/20/2012 3:17AM

    Nothing like doing what YOU want to do! :) Glad you have chairs for your table. So much better eating there, than anywhere else. Have a wonderful holiday ahead! :)

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MCJULIEO 12/20/2012 12:29AM

    Ahhhhhh! Sweet liberty!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 12/19/2012 10:41PM

    Hmmmm....I have one of those food stealers too. She stole my daughter's chicken nuggets today, steals egg sandwiches and pizza on a regular basis if the kids leave it anywhere unattended and also eats cat poop from the litter box. And she only weighs 10 pounds! Darn weiner dog!

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DOODIE59 12/19/2012 10:06PM

    Sounds like you are already getting into holiday mood -- and I mean your own personal holiday:) Have a great time, get rejuvenated, soak up the sun (where ever you go). You deserve a break:)

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/19/2012 8:52PM

    Hmmmm...maybe a mouse trap to deter the kitty from taking the cheese!

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3016DEBRA 12/19/2012 7:38PM

  That's so cute! emoticon Enjoy your holidays!

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ELYMWX 12/19/2012 7:24PM

    Beware of da kitteh!

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BOILHAM 12/19/2012 5:16PM

    Your pets have some interesting names. Glad you had some time to yourself.

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INIT2LIVEIT 12/19/2012 4:46PM

    At least it wasn't stupid dog, now you know he wasn't pretending to be stupid biding his time to get at your food. Cats are waaaaay smarter :-D

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VONBLACKBIRD 12/19/2012 3:12PM

    Love your cheese thief..great blog!! Enjoy yourself.

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HOPEFULHIPPO 12/19/2012 3:11PM

    It's a good thing you live over there...I couldn't imagine Stupid and my Dumb D.o.g. in the same country. :p

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/19/2012 2:47PM

    Yikes! Does he ever get sick from food he shouldn't be stealing? (smiling) Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

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CC3833 12/19/2012 2:29PM

    Haha this is a cute light blog. Pets have to be one of the most entertaining creatures! Glad everything went smoothly. And that is awesome you finially got those chairs! There is nothing worse then buying something nice and not being able to use it.

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MOMMACASSEY 12/19/2012 2:25PM

    Wait, what? You live in France? How awesome for you! I love the place--and I would dread driving in Paris traffic. Those motorcyclists are crazy--there, you have to watch out for them while here, in Texas, they've got a signage campaign going telling drivers to share the road.

Driving elsewhere in France wouldn't be so bad--at least, in the north, which is just about all I've seen, there; Paris, and then up toward Normandy.

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"Victory" song - need recommendations

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I've wanted to created a race playlist for a very long time but in staying true to my procrastinator roots I have not yet done so. But since I will be off work from 12/19 through 1/7 - and including 10 wonderful child free days! - I will have plenty of time to finally putting my music in order.

All races so far, and all runs for that matter, have been run with my trusty iPod Shuffle on...well, on shuffle.

Never underestimate the Power of the's come up with some real winners in the past...

Pink's "I'm Trouble" when I was supremely pissed over a situation;

Sinatra's "My Way" as I approached the finish line of my first ever half marathon (and I trained on my own with no official plan at all);

KT Tunstall's "Come On Get In" the first time I experienced the Never Ending Hill of Death (We could make it easy, (or) we could do it right....oh, 'cause the time...has come, we could break these chains, and baby we could run);

"I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar when I first exceeded my 2 mile run time goal.

But...dare I say it...those runs were easy in comparison. Now I'm faced with 26.2 miles coming up in February. And while I refuse to be anything but confident I will do it...that is a freakin' long distance! I'm looking at over 5 hours of running!

I want to give the Power of the Shuffle a little help.

So I know by mile 26 I am going to be well & truly whupped and I want that perfect song to motivate me to move my feet that last few hundred meters to cross the finish line (ahead of the course sweepers). I want to finish upright and running, not shuffling along moaning like a zombie.

So Spark Peeps...give me your recommendations!

I want something with a good hard beat and motivational lyrics!

OK, I know you can't really know what lyrics I will find motivational. Music-wise I listen to something in every genre (I'm talking from classical to techno and everything in between). And there really don't necessarily have to be lyrics. One of my favorites to get moving happens to be an instrumental mix of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters.

I will listen to everything recommended. Which will also let me expand my library and give me an excuse to upgrade my iPod because I am at about the size limit for my little Shuffle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 12/22/2012 8:43PM

    I admit it... I'm not a runner...

But "I Will Survive" seems appropriate!

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CBAILEYC 12/17/2012 12:39PM

    Eminem's Lose Yourself
Black Eyed Peas Pump It
Anything by 2Unlimited

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ILOVEMALI 12/17/2012 11:55AM

    Latin music does it for me --

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INIT2LIVEIT 12/17/2012 7:47AM

    Kelly Clarkson - stronger
Katrina and the waves - Walking on sunshine
Mcfly - I'll be alright or I'm OK
Elton John - I'm still standing

If I think of any others I will update :)

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AHTRAP 12/16/2012 11:39PM

    Clawfinger - Biggest & the Best

Just the thing to hype yourself up. Funny video, too.

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WISHICOULDFLY 12/16/2012 6:42PM

    Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down A Dream"!

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FANCY-PANTS 12/16/2012 12:47PM

    Survivor-Destiny's Child

Fighter-Christina Aquilara (sp?)

Raise Your Glass-Pink

Unwritten-Natasha Bedingfield

Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 12:51:16 PM

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/16/2012 11:48AM

    WOW, that's a tall order Cat Girl!

Some of my favorites, in no particular order

"I Ran" Flock of Seagulls
"Lonely Boy" The Black Keys
"Rain" The Cult
"Dominion Mother Russia" Sisters of Mercy
"I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" Soggy Bottom Boys
"white Wedding" Billy Idol
"I gotta feeling" Black eyed peas
"Sound of Sunshine" Michael Franti

I pay no attention to lyrics. Some of the songs are good for the beat they give you, others i put there to kick in with some high energy when spirits are flagging.

I ran my first marathon listening to music from a podcast called Motiontraxx ( and Podrunner ( The music is a little techno, but what I liked was that it had a good steady beat. I just synched up the BPM to my running cadence and cruised along for hours

Good luck.....let me know what you think!

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CODEMAULER 12/16/2012 11:32AM

    I have a ton of stuff on my MP3 player. Just a few (classic) tunes that get me to move:

Glen Miller - "In The Mood" (really!)

Garbage - "Only Happy When It Rains"

Disturbed - "Land of Confusion" remake

B52s - "Bushfire"

Pat Benatar - "Invincible"

Devo - "Whip It"

Fixx - "One Thing Leads to Another"

Three Doors Down - "Kryptonite"

Toad the Wet Sprocket - "Fall Down"

Matthew Sweet - "Girlfriend"

My MP3 player is too old to talk to my computer, so no new playlists for me.


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RUNNER12COM 12/16/2012 10:14AM

    "Hang On," by Plumb. The dance remixes are pumping!

"Indestructible," by Disturbed. Fantastic, driving beat.

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LIZRUNS22 12/16/2012 9:45AM

    Ok, I will admit this may seem cheesy, but I am always motivated by Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" when I need a final push :)

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MIRAGE727 12/16/2012 8:52AM

    I've always loved this song! At the St Pete Inaugural RocknRoll Half Marathon this year, Flo Rida was the headliner. We were so excited. The amazing thing was the fact that this was my first Half. In the last mile by the Bay, I heard Flo Rida on stage, singing this song. It was so about the victory! I'll never forget that moment as I finished strong!

Here's the link to the video!

I've also posted several blogs of workout playlists I've done, feel free to take what you want to fire you up! Stay strong!

Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 8:53:25 AM

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Stupid Dog strikes again

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I haven't taken Stupid Dog for the morning walk since Friday. Saturday and Sunday were running days and I can't run with him, and yesterday I had trouble getting up in the morning so I skipped the walk.

Today I also skipped in the morning because I had to do some last minute house straightening before the insurance guy came today to review the water leak damage.

Today was also the day the owner of the company and his posse came to the office/plant for meetings and a tour, with journalists in tow. So we all had to dress up more formally than normal. For me that was a dress and heels. This is important later.

So back to Stupid Dog.

I went home at lunch to meet with the insurance guy. Stupid Dog was locked in a bedroom barking his fool head off. The insurance guy showed up right on time; I had allowed for some delay on my calendar so when he left I still had an hour before I had to be back at the office.

I ate lunch and decided to take Stupid Dog out for the walk. Not wanting to walk a mile + in heels I changed into my winter boots, these are purple to match my coat. These are NOT the fashionable knee high leather boots one can get away with wearing with dresses or jeans; they were meant only to keep one's feet warm and dry in the snow. Remember this detail.

First was the sing along chorus of dogs. I honestly had no idea there were so many dogs in the village. Apparently they all come out for lunch to practice their routine for the French version of American Idol. From the moment we hit the sidewalk there were dogs barking all over the place. Stupid Dog felt compelled to join in and sing harmony.

Then we passed an older lady walking her dog; I have no idea what kind it was, just that it was smaller than the Stupid One. I stop and grab his leash right by the collar and tell him to wait as the lady passed. Stupid waited for maybe a second before lunging at the dog. Stupid is also still barking his solo of the Hallelujah Chorus. I have to yank him back repeatedly, the lady says something like Ooh la la!

We each continue on our separate ways. Stupid has to stop at every stick and stone and pee a river. This is the exact same route we walk in the mornings so it's not like it's new and exciting. And I'm not kidding about the river, little lakes of dog pee were forming. This wasn't just leaving a bit for doggie messages, unless he thought he was writing War and Peace.

We go around the first corner, the barking chorus continuing all the while, and now Stupid thinks he's a football player and starts ducking and weaving all over the sidewalk, darting around imaginary obstacles and barking...always barking.

Until we got to the bottom of the hill where he added jumping straight in the air to his antics. We were passing the house that keeps chickens (and I think they have a goat too) and one of the chickens squawked. Stupid, apparently, was mightily startled by the chicken squawk because he jumped several inches.

We reach the bottom of the hill and turn the corner and see...the lady with her dog coming along on the opposite side of the street. Again I make Stupid stop and grab his collar this time; he continues with the barking and lunging. I know he just wants to do a meet and greet with a potential new doggy friend but to her it must have looked like he was trying to attack.

Stupid keeps trying to choke himself until she passes behind us and then, since out of sight equals out of Stupid's mind (or what passes for one in his case), we continue with the ducking and weaving bit - and mercifully the Bark Bark Boys have stopped for the time being - and I see a delivery truck coming down the road.

Not a problem, where we are the sidewalk is kind of wide to accommodate cars parked in front of the house.

Yeah, I should know better.

For absolutely no reason that I understand Stupid proves his name by lunging into the road just immediately before the truck reaches us.

I didn't know a person's eyes could get so big.

The truck driver's, not mine.

Fortunately I still had a good grip and shortened leash so I could yank Stupid back before having to change his name to Flattened.

I have had more than enough by this time so I practically drag Stupid the rest of the way up the hill to the house. We finished the walk in record time.

We go back in the house, I grab my things and go back to work.

Remember those details I told you to keep in mind at the beginning?

Yes, I went back to work in my purple snow boots and spent the afternoon walking around in them. They clashed nicely with my dress. The only saving grace is that the owner and his posse and the journalists were gone by the time I got back to the office so I only looked foolish in front of the people I know.

THIS is just one of many reasons I prefer cats.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



Hahahahaha I love the "stupid dog"

Our dogs have many other names (many not repeatable) that get yelled at daily (thank goodness we live in the country where nobody can hear us). Not much relief with the cat as his name is Pussass so imagine what the neighbours think of our household!!

I'm with you on the "pee me a river" my Maggs (a little Aussie terrier) can pee on every blade of grass on the walk and still have plenty left to water said grass again on the way back. I swear she has a "pee bag" the size of a St Bernard!!

Kudos on your quick action with the lead, "flattened" just doesn't do well for a dogs name
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/13/2012 8:16PM

    LOL! There is special place in heaven for those of us that love Stupid Dog and stupid dogs in general.

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FUSCHIA6 12/13/2012 3:39PM

    I'm the opposite. I have a cat & a dog. I love them both, but if I had to choose one to keep.......Ms. Purrfect would be packing her bags. Sorry Ashley, if you drag me out for a walk perhaps I will reconsider.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INIT2LIVEIT 12/12/2012 3:17AM

    heehee, another chapter in the life of stoopid dog...

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FROSTY99 12/11/2012 11:00PM

    I so look forward to see what Stupid Dog is going to pull next. I am glad you have a great sense of humor and don't get really angry with him. It really makes me appreciate Abbie.
Until your next adventure, good night.

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MCJULIEO 12/11/2012 10:59PM

    I'm reminded of Dave Barry's descriptions of his two dogs: One is the Large Economy Sized Dog, and the other was the Small Emergency Back-up Dog.

I love your stories of Stupid Dog.

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HOPEFULHIPPO 12/11/2012 4:59PM

    hahahahahaha We have a dumb dog named "D.O.G" hahahahahahaha

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/11/2012 3:10PM

    What a rascall he is! Never a dull moment. BTW, thank you for the snowman goodie. Have a wonderful day.

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ILOVEMALI 12/11/2012 2:27PM

    Oh my goodness -- this is hysterical. I feel (a little bit) bad for laughing -- SD and Mali would get along great -- I can hear them barking together!

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3016DEBRA 12/11/2012 2:17PM

  I think that's just what dogs do...that's the only kind I've ever had anyway! emoticon emoticon

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NAYPOOIE 12/11/2012 2:06PM

    LOL. Your dog is an adventure.

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13 weeks

Sunday, December 09, 2012

I am now 13 weeks in to my marathon training and starting to get the real mileage long runs.

Today was a scheduled 14 miler but I went over a bit and ended up with my 2nd longest run ever, 15.41 miles. I'm happy to note that my Garmin ForeRunner matched the miles on my phone GPS with RunKeeper almost exactly. They were only 0.01 miles apart mostly, which is good enough for me. Perhaps yesterday's aberration was from starting my run by going downhill.

In any case I am beat now and will probably fall asleep soon. I have even struggling to keep my eyes open for the last hour. I should sleep well tonight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVEMALI 12/10/2012 1:21PM

    You are so amazing.

I gotta take a walk.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/10/2012 6:21AM


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AWOOD1973 12/10/2012 3:21AM

    Fantastic job!!! :)

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MCJULIEO 12/9/2012 9:44PM


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FROSTY99 12/9/2012 7:07PM

    Run little Kitten, don't let the wolf catch you! Ha ha.
Sounds like training is going great.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARISPHERE 12/9/2012 5:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WOWEETOO 12/9/2012 4:16PM

the lady mary emoticon

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The 1 minute mile

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Usain out, I'm coming for you!


Today my Garmin informed me I ran 1.16 miles in exactly one minute!

I am the fastest person in the world!


Ok, probably not.

My Garmin has been a bit wonky since it went through the washing machine. That is what broke the strap a few weeks ago. I got a new strap for it and I thought it was working pretty well except for the annoying beeping messages of "approaching turn" when nothing of the sort was approaching.

Now I have to treat what it tells me as suspect. Tomorrow I will cross-check it against the phone GPS with RunKeeper and see what it shows. I don't want to run my normal route just yet to check because that route is pretty rural and I still hear hunters out shooting at things. Getting shot is not part of my training plan.

And why is it the male runner emoticons are all "running", i.e. fast, and the female runner emoticons are just jogging along? Why is there no female sprinter? Aft all, the fastest person in the world (me according to Garmin emoticon ) is now a woman!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/11/2012 1:53PM

    FFK: Superhero! Don't question the Garmin. It know best!

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FROSTY99 12/8/2012 9:39PM

    emoticon You go girl!!

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WOWEETOO 12/8/2012 4:50PM

don't we wish

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JUSTLIKEALICE 12/8/2012 2:26PM


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INIT2LIVEIT 12/8/2012 12:27PM

    Whenever I see a blog posted from you, I look forward to reading it. It usually gets more than a chuckle or two... This one didn't disappoint!
Here's to the fastest woman in the world :-D

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/8/2012 9:58AM

    I was in awe when I read this. Between the Garmin and your insurance quote, numbers have definitely been wonky!

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GARDENCHRIS 12/8/2012 9:06AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon she running... backwards but running! LOL

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    Wahoo! Go, Grrl!

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STRIVER57 12/8/2012 6:24AM

    lol. sounds good. except for the garmin.

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ARNETTELEE 12/8/2012 4:38AM

  Yay for you!

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