JOHNTJ1   68,267
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

I was reading a coaching colleagues blog about creating effective marketing strategies yesterday afternoon. She suggested you make a list of 30 benefits your clients would derive from working with you. She went on to challenge us not to dwell on the obvious such as being more productive, getting a raise or a promotion. She asked us to look for the things we over look on a day to day basis.

It got me to thinking.........

I sat down last night and identified 3 benefits of pursuing a healthy life style. Whats different today than it was 3 years ago when I first came to Spark. After I wrote them down I printed them out so I can remind myself how well I am doing and will be doing.

I'm going to share them with you. Could you share them, add your own, and pass it on? I am sure there are benefits I've derived by making the choice to live healthy.

Here are mine:

1. I have more friends!!! Instead of sitting around at the end of the day and feeling all sluggish and tired from all the sugar that's in me, I do things, which causes me to meet people, which helps me make new friends.

2. My natural anxiety level has decreased by half. I still freak out but its an event not an occurrence. Regular exercise, meditation and good food have lowered my blood pressure and my penchant to become anxious. You might say I'm confident.

3. I'm exploring new food options. Some of those fresh veggies that have caused me to turn my nose up in the past have worked their way into my diet and............ I am cooking more and trying new things. I got a Wok for X-Mas!!!

Those are 3 benefits I've derived from learning to live healthy. I'd love for you to add to it and then pass it on!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOM20121 1/31/2013 8:58AM

    Can I add my three?
1) No heartburn
2) Stopped snoring
3) Body does not hurt.

There are several more things, but I will stick to these for today.

Great job.

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NASFKAB 1/25/2013 4:32AM

  great blog thanks

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ADELE66 1/25/2013 4:11AM

    Great blog as always. So positive!


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MOBYCARP 1/24/2013 9:42PM

    Hmm, don't use the obvious like avoiding risk factors for atherosclerosis . . .

1. I need less sleep than I did, and my waking time is higher quality.
2. I can see my abs. I never would have thought I'd be vain about my appearance, but I like how I look. That, and visible muscles impress some people.
3. My 26 year old daughter is proud of my fitness level. (Now, if she'd only get motivated to improve her own fitness level . . . )

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MARITIMER3 1/24/2013 6:19PM

    Another very insightful blog, John. Thank you.

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    I learn something new almost every day - things I can add to my toolbox to help me stay healthy.

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CRYSTALJEM 1/24/2013 11:19AM

    Healthy life style changes have made a big difference to me.

emoticon I haven't had an IBS recurrence in I've lost track it's been so long;

emoticon I have more energy and much fewer aches and pains;

emoticon My body looks better and it's stronger.

And that's just the start.

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REGILIEH 1/24/2013 11:18AM

    emoticon IDEA! I have so much more energy so I get so much more done and have more time for something else.

emoticon emoticon

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UPENDA 1/24/2013 11:10AM

    I spend more time with my children. I don't observe them playing, I participate. I'm more confident and outgoing now.
Better sex life (can I say that?)
More positive outlook in general.

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SHERIO5 1/24/2013 10:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CC3833 1/24/2013 10:20AM

    Nice I like this blog! So here goes a few for me:

- I am off my medications due to exercise and eating better.
- I feel more in control of my life, I don't wait til I get to the corner to worry about what's around the bend, I plan for it.
- I have become a more positive person and have begun motivating/inspiring others... I think that's my favorite one :-)

Now I have to blog about this :-) I want to spread that knowledge to everyone... Thanks!

You're doing great! Keep pushing on!

Comment edited on: 1/24/2013 10:21:32 AM

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CARTOONB 1/24/2013 9:21AM

    I'm trying new stuff. Wouldn't have hiked Table Rock without being healthy!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/24/2013 9:16AM

  Good blog John, as always. I need to think about the pros of my own healthy fitness routine a little more. I know there's more pros than cons. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOUISE6296 1/24/2013 9:00AM

  I love reading your blogs. No offense intended, but please use the word Christmas, not Xmas. Thank you for tolerating my sensitivities.

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BLUEROSE73 1/24/2013 9:00AM

    Love the idea. Thanks for sharing. I just might have to spend some time, sit down, and do this for myself too.

Have a great day

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DEE797 1/24/2013 8:46AM

    Love your benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I need to think about what I have learned. emoticon emoticon

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Letting Go

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I was driving down the road one day, doing battle with my fears when this quote popped into my head. I used this picture during a recent seminar. Thought I'd share it with you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 1/23/2013 11:38PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 1/23/2013 7:58PM

    Love it... let go to hang on. Thanks!

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MARITIMER3 1/23/2013 6:32PM

    So true - the things we "hang onto" aren't always the things that we need. Thanks for the reminder. A tiny example of that in our house, we have a utensil rack hanging over the store. I had a certain order for the spatulas, slotted spoon, soup ladle, solid spoon, etc. DH always put them a different way. I always re-hung them. One day I realized it really didn't matter. Not a big deal, but every little change makes for a more cooperative household.

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KATHRYN1955 1/23/2013 6:18PM

    I remember thinking that it is a good thing to learn to let go and "go with the flow", until I heard Sarah Palin say that "only dead fish go with the flow." So perhaps it is somewhere in between; we need to go with the flow, except with a bit of attitude!!
Take care,

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DOLLBABE56 1/23/2013 1:42PM

    Very nice John. You should use this as your book cover. I remember a few months ago you talking about writing a book. How's that going?

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/23/2013 1:05PM

    That's awesome!

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PRESBESS 1/23/2013 12:30PM

    emoticon I like that!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/23/2013 11:25AM

    I think this message was meant for me right now. It's a great quote and a great picture.

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SLIMLEAF 1/23/2013 10:31AM

    That's profound!

Thanks for sharing it. I'll try to bear it in mind for when there seems no way out.

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SHERIO5 1/23/2013 9:23AM


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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/23/2013 9:22AM


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DR8561 1/23/2013 9:18AM

    Very similar to a devotional I was reading this morning. Maybe Someone is trying to tell me something. emoticon

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REGILIEH 1/23/2013 9:09AM

    AMEN to that!!! emoticon

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CC3833 1/23/2013 8:57AM

    Wow... that one really hit many aspects of my life. Thanks for that!

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HDHAWK 1/23/2013 8:54AM

    Wise advice. Hard to do sometimes! Have a glorious day! emoticon

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Persistence & Its Cousin Perseverance

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Last week at this time I was scratching my head. I'd stayed within calorie limits, exercised, meditated and got enough sleep. I stepped on the scale and the proverbial tale of the tape showed showed a 2.8 pound gain. If you want the gory details you can read the blog.

The good news is I didn't panic. I didn't triple my cardio and subsist on bread and water whilst beating myself about the head and shoulders for being so fat!!! I stayed the course. I believed that if I did the things I should do to remain healthy, the weight would come off.

Still, lol, it bothered me until one of my dearest guardian angels whispered something to my heart. Recently, our insurance has required we fill our prescription via mail. We get a six month supply. One of my hypertension prescriptions was late getting here so I went four days without it. I realized this when it arrived and well to go further is TMI, lol.

"Ahhh," I thought. "Water retention."

I approached the scale this morning with a bit of fear. I hadn't really changed anything so I was a bit anxious. I'll cut to the chase, I had a 4 pound loss this week.

Patience is indeed a virtue.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 1/23/2013 11:37PM

    Woohoo....go John

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MOBYCARP 1/23/2013 1:10PM

    Alas, the concern about what is a "real" weight gain or loss doesn't go away in maintenance. Weighing daily helps me with this, because it's easier to throw out one day anomalies that way than if the anomaly happened to occur on an official weekly weigh-in day.

And yes, patience is required.

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NASFKAB 1/23/2013 4:52AM

  more than one reason for weight gain thanks for pointing it out

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CARTOONB 1/22/2013 11:12PM

    I love it when I understand what is happening and why. I'm glad you're able to understand at least this one piece!

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MARITIMER3 1/22/2013 2:29PM

    You're right - persistence and perseverance go hand in hand. Congratulations on not getting too discouraged by last week's gain, and congratulations on this week's loss. emoticon

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CC3833 1/22/2013 12:11PM

    Congrats! You make me want to keep trying...

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CATHYHASSPARK 1/22/2013 10:57AM

    I needed to read that,,, I so feel like that alot of the time ecspecially this week, and I get those same panicky thoughts!! I have had a cold since last weds and been on cold meds, ibuprofen etc,, and I know thos attributed to my gain but now im back in good health and no cold meds!!

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/22/2013 9:55AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 1/22/2013 9:48AM

    Aha! Mystery solved! emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 1/22/2013 9:42AM

    Hurrah! Good news indeed!

I'll try to take a leaf out of your book about not panicking when the scale number goes up despite me doing all the right things.

Your blog is very encouraging. Thank you.

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BOOKAPHILE 1/22/2013 9:25AM

    It's taken me a loooooong time to just keep to the plan and not panic when the scale doesn't behave the way I think it should. When I do keep to the plan, the weight eventually comes off.
Congratulations on your evidence of success... But you were a success all along for doing the right things.

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    I'm not sure who your insurance company is but they are endangering your life by causing you to go 4 days without your blood pressure meds. Totally unacceptable.

Congrats on the weight loss!

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ANDYINBC 1/22/2013 9:22AM

    Patience tempered with wisdom in this case!

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REGILIEH 1/22/2013 9:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 1/22/2013 9:14AM

    lol, we always need a logic reason emoticon congrats for finding yours. I have a great respect for the water retention fairy. I can gain to 10 pounds in a day without having a clue why. congrats for this week's loss emoticon emoticon

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NUNZIATA43 1/22/2013 9:03AM

    Congrats on the -4 negative swing John. Stay the course - YOU CAN DO IT!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/22/2013 9:00AM

    Mystery solved! Way to go! The scale isn't moving much for me either. Probably for reasons caused by me and not meds!

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FUN2BAROUND 1/22/2013 8:55AM

    Good for you! Its too easy to throw in the towel when we think that we're not "in control". Keep up the great work!

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

I received a Spark mail late yesterday. The author said that they really enjoyed my blog about how I spent part of my day they weren’t quite sure what it had to do with weight loss, health or fitness. They took great pains to tell me how well I wrote, how entertaining I am, so I knew their request was a sincere one. So, if one person was wondering maybe more were wondering. Joan often tells me that I live in a world where information is disseminated by osmosis, mostly from my brain to the rest of the world. Truth be told, I am stumped and puzzled when I have to explain things, I mean, don’t you know!!! LOL

So………… Here is my explanation.

All of my detailed activity was simply that, activity. It meant I wasn’t sitting in front of my IPad or TV molting and morphing into an even larger pile of fat. I was engaging all those internal systems that revved up my metabolism. I was active which meant eating didn’t come from boredom or emotion. I was too busy sniffing metaphorical garbage cans.

Activity doesn’t find us, we find it.

Sorry this is brief. The dog is asking to be walked.

Thank you Spark letter writer for pointing that out to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATHRYN1955 1/22/2013 9:17AM

    John: I just went back and read that blog, and I must admit, that it would have never occurred to me that it was anything but an enjoyable read. It felt like you have truly mastered the art of "being in the moment", at least for that morning!!
This whole weight thing is simply a symptom of a much bigger (pardon the pun!) issue and learning the art of be totally present will go a long way in affecting a cure.
Take care, and don't change a thing!

Comment edited on: 1/22/2013 9:18:50 AM

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SHERIO5 1/21/2013 10:15AM

    Movement, any movement, is a great thing! It reminds us that we are alive! To do so with minimal pain and discomfort is emoticon

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HLPRATT 1/21/2013 9:59AM

    There's only so much you can write about your activity and your diet. Our lives are much more interesting than that and I always enjoy your blog- as do alot of other people. That person is certainly in the minority.

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AJDOVER1 1/21/2013 8:59AM

    John, I thought your blogs were written just for me. emoticon

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ADARKARA 1/21/2013 8:49AM

    I don't care what it has to do with weight loss. I would get bored on Spark if everyone talked about weight loss constantly.

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CRYSTALJEM 1/21/2013 7:13AM

    You're blogs always have some morsel for me to take away, even if it's nothing more than a smile. It all makes for a better day all around. This journey is about life. Food weight and exercise are only 3 ingredients of many.

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MOBYCARP 1/21/2013 6:58AM

    My sister explains that she writes blogs for herself. If they happen to help other people too, that's great; but the point is she writes to help her own journey.

There's nothing wrong with that, and I've loosely followed the same philosophy. I kind of assume (by osmosis, if you like) that most people do the same. So if writing the blog helps you, it's OK if I don't see what the point is. If what helps you is far afield from what's useful to me, I don't have to read your stuff.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/21/2013 6:12AM

I think people should lose their butts...and their buts. (That was really great, BUT.....) emoticon

I think that person misses this point also....there is a LOT of time to kill in this journey we call weight loss!!

You can perseverate over this, wratcheting your stress level up and thus making weight loss even harder (ever heard of cortisol?) or you can...relax (breathe out) and (breathe in)...just (breathe out)....LIVE (breathe in)...LIFE....


Keep sniffing the metaphorical garbage cans...and the real roses! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/21/2013 6:21:39 AM

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NASFKAB 1/21/2013 5:39AM

  love reading your blogs you are great

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LYNMEINDERS 1/21/2013 3:51AM

    Enjoy walking the dog....your blogs are awesome everytime

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ALLISON145 1/20/2013 5:42PM

    Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I've seen way more judgement than I like coming from fellow sparkers lately. If they don't like a blog, they should move on. If they can't be supportive or genuinely helpful, they should move on. I've seen some comments (and received a spark mail myself) recently that really grind my gears!!

Write about basket weaving if you choose - this is your space and it is not your job to educate or entertain us... Even though you generally do.:-)


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SLIMLEAF 1/20/2013 4:57PM

    and there was I thinking that your blog HAD been about healthy eating, weight loss, exercise and making good choices!

Perhaps it's all in the way we read it?

Either way, thanks for sharing part of your day with us. I enjoyed it.
Today I went to church at 9am and took part in a snowy but also very muddy cross-country running race. Once I got home from that I locked the door, turned on the central heating and vowed to spend the rest of the day at home in the warm! I've done a Spark exercise video though.

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DEBRITA01 1/20/2013 2:14PM

    Personally, I enjoy the occasional blog that isn't related to fitness/diet. A person's mental state, emotional being, or daily living is just as is laughter. Reading your blogs always tend to make me smile or laugh...and that's aerobic exercise for my inside. Keep blogging about whatever you're's your space and no explanation necessary. emoticon

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_MOBII_ 1/20/2013 1:45PM

    This is your space on the interweb..use it however you want! I love reading your blogs!

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    Our blogs on sparkpeople don't have to be strictly related to weight loss per se. In fact, some of the best ones are those that are humorous. They put us in a good mood, thus relieving stress. Stress reduction aids weight loss. Your blog put me in a good mood yesterday. I found it amusing and I enjoyed it. To be honest, I found it much more helpful than listening to plenty of people whine about gaining a couple of ounces. Sorry, just the truth. My truth. If someone doesn't like it, they can ignore me. That is what I do with blogs I don't like, instead of critiquing them negatively. Give us a funny blog sometimes, John. We need it.

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MARITIMER3 1/20/2013 1:10PM

    Thanks, John. Good blot and good reminder that fitness doesn't find us, we find it.

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SEAWAVE 1/20/2013 1:01PM

    Absolutely agree, plus you've given me a new mantra: Activty doesn't find us; we find it.


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POPSY190 1/20/2013 12:59PM

    Weight loss or gain is all part of daily life, it is not a discrete activity. People make a mistake when they think it is a thing apart.

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ANATASHIKI 1/20/2013 12:37PM

    why does it have to be about fitness and blah blah? best blogs are about every day life , how to keep your sanity and have a good life while doing all these. as long as nobody discovers the secret of instantaneously losing weight I'm very pleased to read yours and the other sparkfriends' blogs about simply living emoticon

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REGILIEH 1/20/2013 12:36PM

    Gosh, none of my blogs have been on weight loss or exercise but I did get feedback that they were liked. I like EVERY single one of your blogs! Keep 'em coming! emoticon emoticon

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/20/2013 12:36PM

  I enjoy hearing from you, no matter what you write about. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/20/2013 11:51AM

    I don't think every blog has to be about fitness, weight loss, etc. It was very entertaining. Enjoy your walk!

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All About Eggs, Shoelaces, Kids and Sports

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Once a month, on a Saturday, Joan goes shopping with our daughters. They leave early and return late. That leaves me to my own devices. I’m kind of like the dog that walked out the back gate that’s left unlatched. I wander up and down the alley of my life, meandering, reflecting, and generally enjoying the fact I don’t have to be anywhere or do anything in particular. There’s an implied sunshine during his day and I warm myself with it.

My first stop was breakfast. I always order two eggs, over easy, fresh pineapple, wheat toast and an unsweetened iced tea. I usually bring my IPad so I’m able to catch up on blogs and newspapers and the like. When my breakfast arrived one egg was over easy and one was hard. It didn’t really upset me, it just sort of perplexed me. How could they get an order half right? Two possibilities crossed my mind. Like that pair of socks you’re wearing that don’t match there’s another pair at home in the drawer. Someone who ordered two hard eggs was processing the same conundrum. The second possibility was a crazed chef who was taking great delight in knowing that this would bother me the rest of today.

I went on to Sam’s Club to pick up some fabric softener. The lady watching the You Scan line approaches me and asks if I’d mind her “getting into my personal space.” Initially I thought maybe my zipper was not zipped and I was equally glad that Joan wasn’t with me because, well it just wouldn’t have been very pretty. I was intrigued so I assented. The lady looked at me and said “Your shoe lace is untied!” Apparently that’s very personal and apparently people get really irked if you inform them they are about to fall and potentially break their necks. I guess they’d rather die with dignity than be informed they can’t keep their shoes tied. The lady looked really relieved when I gave her a very sincere “thank you.”

I sauntered next door to Home Depot to pick up a flexible dryer vent since ours had a rather large hole in it. I was trying to separate two carts when a young mother, tussling with three kids said to me, “Here’s a cart and look it has a child in it. It’s all yours.” The kid didn’t think it was funny but most eight year olds don’t think much is funny. I know this because when I get really crabby Joan tells me to quit acting like an eight year old.

My final stop of the morning was my gym. I was looking forward to a leisurely swim. Like every Saturday morning, Mr. Miller was in the pool and looking for someone to talk to. Mr. Miller is 92 and his mind is as sharp as a tack. He likes to talk sports, mostly from the 20’s 30’s and 40’s and I can hold my own with him because that was my dad’s generation and he used to share a lot of those things with my brother and I. Mr. Millers eyes light up when he gets an audience and for me I was able to exercise while chatting and it helped make the time go quicker.

That’s been my day so far. What about yours?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/31/2013 8:57AM

    You have such a way of making the most mundane events into the most interesting stories. You have been blessed with such gifts AND you use them.

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ADARKARA 1/21/2013 2:12PM

    sounds like a great day!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/20/2013 9:29PM

    Reading this a day late, but still enjoyed it immensely! DH and I hiked a bit of the Buckeye Trail on Saturday. It was 53 degrees (in Northern Ohio)

Today was high of 23 degrees. Glad I enjoyed the reprieve yesterday!

Hope today was good for you too!

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NASFKAB 1/20/2013 5:03AM

  great job all the best

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LYNMEINDERS 1/19/2013 9:50PM

    What a brilliant day you have had so far....

My day is going is Sunday for me and church this morning was awesome....hubby preached a really good message.....
Home chilling and catching up on spark and off to the 2nd part of a series tonight.....

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    My eggs were perfect. I fixed them myself. It's something my dad taught me. If you want something done right then.................. well, you know the rest. Personally, I think over easy eggs are gaggy.

Must be a city slicker thang as no one here thinks anything about invading your personal space. If your fly is undone you will be told in any number of rather amusing ways pertaining to cows leaving barns, Elvis leaving buildings, cucumbers leaving salads, etc. Shoelaces are easy - we just tell you straight out. Tie your shoelace, you dummy.

I'm always very careful not to get anywhere near mothers with litters because a lot of them are trying to give away one of their "pups". Anyone who has ever had one knows the routine - 21 years of luxuries like being used as a teething ring, cleaning up massive quantities of cool-aid puke, having the inside of your $30,000 vehicle gutted, replacing the floor in your bathroom every 2 months, etc.
No thanks.

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NEEDBU66 1/19/2013 9:14PM

    Yeah the poor kid. Served that mother right if you'd have looked the kid up and down a minute, then said, "sure" and drove off with him. That would have set that poor mother back a step.

Not that I hadn't thought the same thing she did and more than once when mine were that age.

Glad your day went well.

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POPSY190 1/19/2013 9:13PM

    Laughed about the child in the cart!

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_MOBII_ 1/19/2013 7:52PM

    That sounds like a fantastic day! Thank you for sharing it! emoticon

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CRYSTALJEM 1/19/2013 7:22PM

    Your day sounded great. I enjoyed watching my son play basket ball and was glad my daughter was well enough to attend her drama practice. Enjoying the mild stiffness from my last 2 workouts. Now enjoying a movie with family and thinking about getting busy tomorrow.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 1/19/2013 6:26PM

    John, I love your day share.

My laces (double-knotted) TWICE came loose today. Did anybody warn me that this lady was in potential peril? No.
My conundrums: Were they hoping I would trip and harm myself? Did they even notice? and what kind of people would they be if they did wnat me to harm myself or paid that little attention to a fellow human being? Would I even want to know a person that delighted in a minimum wage working mama of five to injure herself?
I think I hate shoelaces. I'm moving back to velcro and my inner eight year old wants the blinky ones...all eight year old like light ups.
ROCK ON, Brother!

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DOLLIE6 1/19/2013 5:44PM

    People are a hoot, aren't they? Glad you had a nice relaxing day nothing too stressful. emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/19/2013 5:36PM

    You have the most interesting things happen to you John. Hmmm, finished cleaning the house (my hubby did part of it yesterday:), reread some articles on teaching reading comprehension to kids with autism. That's what makes my mind swirl with ideas. Now, how to get it all done!

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REGILIEH 1/19/2013 5:26PM

    I'll take your day! I'm packing up Christmas decorations!!! But I did enjoy them so I'm really not complaining.

I have an uncle that will be 92 in August, he sometimes is sharp as a tack but he is always happy and such a gentleman and such a sweet soul. He was a lead bombardier in WW11, he dropped the first bomb on Berlin and received the Distinguished Flying Cross in person from President Roosevelt. He is such a sweetheart. He has 2 sons but chooses to live us, we are blessed.

I hope the rest of your day is great! emoticon

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CARTOONB 1/19/2013 5:10PM

    You didn't take the kid?!?!? emoticon

I've done laundry, gone to the gym and made candy.

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ANATASHIKI 1/19/2013 4:17PM

    lol , nice day ! mine? first pre birthday party, I'm celebrating my birthday 4 days emoticon

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/19/2013 4:11PM

  Yours was a lot more interesting than mine, that's for sure. emoticon emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 1/19/2013 4:07PM

    I enjoyed hearing about your day !
emoticon for sharing !

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