KAREN608   44,320
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Sleep schedule

Friday, July 11, 2014

My husband's summer job has him leaving home at 4:30am, so at 3:30am we both get up to the alarm, get dressed, make some oatmeal & coffee. Then I turn on the outside hose, to spray the truck windshield to clean it for the day. I pack his lunch the day before and put an ice block in it in the morning.

What a routine! He tries to go to bed by 7pm but it is later so he is getting tired. I get a nap to get my 8 hours in but admit I don't feel my best as my back pain has flared up. Had a chiro adjustment and waiting on relief!

Husband's calves are itching at night, and we don't know the cause of it. I looked online but a dozen causes seem to pop up. This wakes me up as he sometimes has a muscle cramp in one calf as well. He drinks plenty of filtered water while working and at home. Stumped why he is having these night time problems.
I used to have bad calf cramps at night but haven't for several years now.

Life goes on. I am doing strength exercises but not getting much walking in. I lost .4 of a pound so feel I am on the right path for me. The crazy work schedule is what it is and glad I can nap to get my rest.

If my back pain will improve I plan on getting more steps in. My neighbor a half mile away got a flex fitbit and was saying to me yesterday I have to march in place again. I sure like her encouragement. They don't visit much but did bring some fresh green beans from their garden. Only two rows of them but a good year - first picking was a full wheel barrow of them. She cans them, and will be busy! She has a roomy kitchen.

So even with it's challenges, it's been a good week.

I am on week five of a summer challenge.
It is interesting to be in a group, and see how we all deal with life and adding healthy changes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MOBII_ 7/17/2014 9:20AM

    You always do a great job no matter what! I cannot imagine having to get up every day at that time, yuck!
A few things I noticed with leg cramps and pain are hydration, potassium, and the more aspertame I use (Equal sweetener) the worse my legs feel.
Also when I was on Lipitor for cholesterol, I had all sorts of issues with my legs.
Has he changed medications or anything in his diet recently?

I hope your back gives you some relief soon, I have a big yoga ball (they are cheap at Walmart) that I use to stretch my back on and also gentle bouncing on it is good for releasing some tension if the pain is from sciatica.

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ZANYGIRL1 7/15/2014 11:12AM

    You're doing great, keep on keepin' on!!!!! emoticon

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IMEMINE1 7/14/2014 10:43AM

    I also heard a lack of potassium can cause leg cramps at night. i hope that's it. emoticon

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EABL81 7/11/2014 10:24PM

    Getting up in the middle of the night is rough. It's hard to make up that sleep, even with a nap. I sure hope your back is better soon!

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    Perhaps the doctor should look at your dh's ankles. It could be many things.

Your doing great!

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LINDAK25 7/11/2014 5:33PM

    Yikes! That schedule is tough. Sorry you're having back problems. Me, too. Hope your back starts feeling better!

Yum, love those green beans! I like freezing them instead of canning--less salt that way and less work.

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MYTURNNOW2013 7/11/2014 4:48PM

    I have learned for myself that back pain usually improves with walking. Has your DH been tested for restless leg syndrome? I think there is info about it in the health info A=Z on this site.

Ah yes, crazy schedules. You are waking up just as I am going back to bed after waking at 2 AM for my DH's meds and breakfast. We are the willows, we wives, we flex and bend as the wind blows and changes directions.


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    Like the others said, Potassium is probably the key...I can really empathize...check out my blog on my leg cramps here:


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GARDENQE2 7/11/2014 11:30AM

    My brother was a truck driver for 20 years. He had cramps and itching. They had a theory that it was from sitting so long in one position.
He started going for long walks, and taking magnesium and potassium suppliments. He slept better with the suppliments as well!
So I started taking them, and they seem to "cure" my winter blues.
Something to research!

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MTN_KITTEN 7/11/2014 10:50AM

    Hubby may need to get in some potassium ... bananas.

Stay the course.

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STARLITNIGHT 7/11/2014 10:43AM

    Congratulations on a good week! I hope you get some relief from the pain, and your husband as well. Here is to a good strong 5th week! emoticon

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KAREN-IS-HERE 7/11/2014 9:34AM


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Husband on his tractor

Saturday, July 05, 2014

My husband on his hand crank old John Deere tractor (green one!), Fourth of July parade in our home town.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 7/14/2014 10:43AM


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_MOBII_ 7/7/2014 10:17PM

    Great pic!!!!!!!!!

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AALLEY2 7/7/2014 8:35PM

    emoticon looks like a fun day!

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GRLTAZ 7/7/2014 4:58PM


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GRETA242 7/6/2014 10:48AM

    There's me on the other side of the street waving to both of you :)

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ZANYGIRL1 7/6/2014 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOMINE 7/6/2014 12:07AM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing!

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STARLITNIGHT 7/5/2014 10:42PM


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EABL81 7/5/2014 10:28PM

    What fun!

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LINDA! 7/5/2014 10:15PM

    emoticon Great idea.

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LINDAK25 7/5/2014 10:15PM

    What a great tractor! Looks like you had a fun 4th of July.

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IDLETYME 7/5/2014 9:57PM

    How fun! Thanks for the picture!!! emoticon

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    Is he in the red or green one?

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LINDA7668 7/5/2014 8:59PM

    Cool! Have you ever been to the John Deere museum at their headquarters? It's pretty interesting.

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MYTURNNOW2013 7/5/2014 8:46PM


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HOLLYM48 7/5/2014 8:27PM

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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DIGIT00 7/5/2014 8:15PM

  Looks like fun!

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Didn't hear a thing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

There has been one top piece of metal roof on the old barn that was sticking for for a month or so.

This morning a storm came in, and winds that I did not hear, being so tired from working gravel.

We got up at 4:30am to get a lunch packed for hubby and as he drove out he rang me up, telling me to get the plastic cat carrier out of the ditch.

So in a light rain I did that, and saw long tin strip on south side of barn. I walked to see the north end of the roof, and yup rafters. Only one piece but so high up there. Is the wood rotten? It will be soon in the weather. So will discuss with hubby later. The expenses of two acres sure is a problem. We just bought more gravel so we don't sink into the mud driving in and out.

So another chore to my list: hurry up the inside work of barn: household things/craft boxes and sewing machine... I was half done and now need to hurry it up. I wanted to have a yard sale of the stuff and make some money with it, the things I don't want. Makes sense to me. But I need a room done at the old house to set up for the sale. Barn is so dirty it is not useable: loft drops old oats, dirt and the pigeons/mice.

Now more of a hurry as north end will water everything now. Glad I am far along in it and the northern stuff in the big middle alleyway is less boxes and more things like shelves, sewing machines ... so hope it goes faster than first part.

Today maybe more raking the fresh gravel where I need it in the long driveway and some out of the grass where hubby bladed it by accident.
This is no show place. And just got a bit more tattered.

With ground wet it would be a good time to spray north of the tin garage as well. My chores are like a full time job some days.

The north side of barn is very weathered yet hubby would not do anything about it. It would be a massive project.

It is not a hip roof barn but still hate to see it get wrecked. Yet putting tons of money into it may not really be the right thing to do. Morton type buildings are more in demand and the cement slab will be there for future owners. But for now it still is mostly useable. Windows taken out by pigeons in the loft. It really, in three years, is going downhill.

The little kitten is fine as I draped an old sheet over the cage and weighted it down, and he has a narrow box to hide in. He came out this morning instead of hiding and ate the new cat food. Next he will get fresh water. Our town water is having some problem so not the freshest and needs changed daily. Will be glad when that is resolved.

So hopefully no other damage around the place.

My mind did think about all the ones that lost everything due to tornadoes and fires. I can't complain much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSHINE5268 6/21/2014 4:20PM

    wow thank god you and the family are okay, hugssss

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_MOBII_ 6/20/2014 8:45AM

    Glad you, hubs, and kitties are safe!
A couple of acres does sound like a LOT of work, I never realized just how much. My aunt used to live in an old farm house, complete with a silo and a barn. I was really small then and have always loved that place....it is still there but you can tell that the owners don't keep up with it, everything seems to be drooping. It makes me sad, but I try to remember that my memories of that place are over 30 years old!

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LINDA! 6/18/2014 7:21PM

    Glad that you and hubby are safe. Sounds like a lot of work, though.

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LINDAK25 6/17/2014 8:29PM

    So frustrating! Sometimes it just seems like everything is falling apart. I have a husband that can fix everything. It would be nice to just have someone come in and take care of it instead of waiting forever or worrying that he might get hurt.

Glad your cats are okay!


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    Karen when your DH married you he got a lot in the bargain. Cook cleaner, clothes launderer, help mate, etc. I think you should get paid!

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STARLITNIGHT 6/17/2014 1:51PM

    Glad you are all ok there!

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KAREN608 6/17/2014 12:16PM

    It happened before anyone was up, and in the country I rarely see people! I wonder what the cats thought of it. This morning DH says: oh I can fix that. I am like what? You lose your balance standing in the kitchen.

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ZANYGIRL1 6/17/2014 11:18AM

    So happy to hear that everyone is safe!!! emoticon

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LIZSPRINGSTEEN 6/17/2014 10:49AM

    Hope you can get it fixed soon!

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SENIMMO 6/17/2014 9:03AM

    Sorry to hear about the damage, but I am VERY glad you guys are safe!!

When your barn needs to be taken apart, you could try contacting one/some of the artists who use vintage wood for their pieces (paintings on old board pieces and/or furniture and yard art built out of them) I know a lot of them pay good money for authentic material. Just a thought.

Have a safe week. Big hugs!

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LINDA7668 6/17/2014 8:50AM

    Glad no one was hurt. I slept through a tornado warning this morning. Gotta love the weather in Iowa, don't ya? lol

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IDLETYME 6/17/2014 8:41AM

    Lucky the roof parts didn't land on anyone! You are doing a great job!!! There are lots of opportunities for fitness minutes but take care of yourself most of all! Sending hugs your way!!!! emoticon

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TOOTERFISH 6/17/2014 7:49AM

    good morning,
yours is the blog just before mine today, so i thought i would stop and offer a 'hug' message to a fellow sparker.

a few years ago i lived in an 'old man' of a house. It was built in 1805 and also had a 3 story barn (2 floors + basement) and workman's shed on the property. All structures had been ill cared for and time and weather took over.
I related to your blog, remembering the tasks that we dealt with just trying to keep all the spaces functional -- while dealing with storms, critters, and age.
I know of your struggle. I see myself in your story.
I send a tender hug to the capable, strong, creative and resourceful woman that you are.
Thank you for being a sparker.

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MYTURNNOW2013 6/17/2014 7:39AM

    Wow glad the tin roof piece didn't land on anybody! You are definitely racking up fitness minutes with all that hard work.

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Food needs more tweaking

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

For the beginning of the year I focused on getting used to staying in my range. Now with the second half of the year on me, I can see by the tracker I need to eat more protein, more calcium, less salt, more fiber.

I am doing this a step at a time so I get used to the changes, as the changes are for the rest of my life. Some people can suddenly change, but I do better with a step by step plan.

Since I do not have any nasty health issues that need quick fixes, one step at a time is working for me. It makes it much slower, but I can live with it.

Still having trouble with husband buying some of the worse things like fatty sausages, potato chips, and super processed danishes.

I remind him we can do our own baking, controlling what is in the product, and still have blueberry muffins and he will not do without anything, it will just be different than store bought.

It was a high salt week, and I can see I need to stop that.
Some habits are hard to break. I know adding seasonings is the key to more flavor without salt. Any suggestions of what worked well for you are appreciated as I journey on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MOBII_ 6/12/2014 10:42PM

    Keeping a running list of things to tweak is a good thing. One step and then the next gets you where you are going!

I always have a list of changes going on, it is a flexible list also because I may plan on getting one thing changed one week, but end up making some other change depending on circumstance...or just my mood, lol!

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    That is a good idea doing slow changes Karen. Rather than eliminating all the foods that you are used to and replacing them with food that you don't really eat much or at all.
It is hard to "be good" when someone in the house buys fattening foods.
Stick at it Karen, you are doing well. emoticon

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LINDAK25 6/11/2014 8:56PM

    I like your step at a time process. It's a great way to make a new habit stick! It gives you time to play around with different strategies and find what works well for you.

I have to limit sodium, so I'm very aware of how much I'm eating. I've found that dairy, particularly cottage cheese, has lots of sodium. Salad dressings, sauces, soups, and gravies, too. If you make your own, you can use less salt. Breads can be high in sodium, too, especially whole grain and whole wheat breads. I make my own tomato sauce using no salt added canned tomatoes and no salt/low sodium tomato paste. You'll notice that the less salt you use, the more you get used to it. If you don't have to stay under 1400 mg a day and are just looking to stay within the 2300 mg range, then enjoy the salt in something you love and eliminate the salt by avoiding overly processed foods. I've also found when baking and cooking I can generally half the salt (baking) or eliminate (cooking) it altogether. The more whole foods you eat, the easier it is to avoid salt.

I'm not thrilled with salt substitutes. I have found that adding lemon and lime to things make them taste saltier. And Judy is right, spicier tastes saltier, but curries usually have salt added to them, as do chili powder mixes.

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CLASSYLADYMAY 6/11/2014 11:08AM

    You can do this. !! At least your seeing what you need to stop eating and what you should be eating. !! Keep going !!

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GRLTAZ 6/11/2014 9:52AM

    Karen, just keep doing what works for you. Glad to see you reevaluate your plan & goals. I use spices, garlic, cumin, ginger, red pepper flakes, cilantro, basil, and mrs dash now has wonderful blends. Roomie still adds salt or garlic salt to everything I cook but that is his norm and as long as his cardiovascular system is not showing problems, I do not nag him. Keep sparking !

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MYTURNNOW2013 6/11/2014 7:54AM

    While I don't typically add salt to anything (the box of salt in my kitchen cupboard is over 10 years old), salt still sneaks in packaged foods and canned goods. I look for no salt varieties of canned green beans and other veggies. If those are not available and I need to buy the regular kind, I drain them in a colander and rinse under cool water for about 15 seconds to flush off as much salt as possible before popping them into the microwave.

Gradual changes vs sudden changes are a good plan as it helps you build strong healthy habits. Those who go all out cold turkey often are the hardest to fall when they have an off day and hardest to get backup again.

I like your new bejeweled panthers :)

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    I have to add salt but I use the natural healthy-for-you Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. I don't use table salt which is death! LOL I also don't eat processed "phood" which isn't worth consuming and can't be utilized by the body. That being said, how about adding greens to your eating program?

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STARLITNIGHT 6/10/2014 11:42PM


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RX_2_RV 6/10/2014 10:41PM

    Protein and calcium are two of my challenges as well. I usually do greek yogurt or cottage cheese at least daily, since they give me a morning protein boost that gives me more energy and helps me meet the protein goals for the day. Since I have been doing that, I rarely go below the minimum for my range. If you don't like dairy, think about a protein powder to throw in smoothies. I just ordered some from Amazon to try it.

If you decide to go with a calcium supplement, calcium citrate is better absorbed than calcium carbonate (cheaper, must take with food.) Calcium citrate is Citracal, more expensive, and doesn't matter if you take with or without food. I take Vitacost (online) calcium citrate capsules, since I think they dissolve a little faster.

Hope that helps!

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EABL81 6/10/2014 10:04PM

    I love salt and don't limit myself. However, I have very low blood pressure (100/60), so don't really have a reason to worry about it. I have noticed, though, that when I eat foods with more spices, like curry, I'm far less likely to reach for the salt shaker. I don't know if you like curries, or make them, but they're fairly easy and reasonably cheap, too. Good luck finding something that works for you!

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Husband home nonstop five days

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Oh the 24/7 routine, cook, clean, cook, clean...

I am staying on track and in range. He is eating things he brought home like potato chips, dip, and chocolate bars. Me: snack is a measured amount of raisins.

Today is a rainy day so he is parked in front of the TV with ME TV and wo doggy westerns. Yee Haw!?

I got the hamburger stew done, and extras put away. LOTS of veggies in it and low salt. He is enjoying all the home cooking. For supper I will make tuna patties since I am having such a craving for those.

So pleased to report I am on track even with a big eater in the house. No paycheck next week, but plenty of hubby. He is getting bored I think as he is sighing often. Rain, rain go away, he wants to drive his tractor around.

Our outing was a short drive to the neighbor house to feed cats, and look at their deck plants. One is top heavy, so I brought along some twine to secure it to a metal deck chair. Now the rain can do the watering for me. She has a huge Jade plant that I enjoy seeing. One light yellow cat was meowing and acting lonely, so spent time petting and reassuring it that the owners are just away and everything is good.

The humidity is insane this week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRLTAZ 6/10/2014 8:32PM

    Staying on track is a thing to be very proud of. Congrats !

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ZANYGIRL1 6/9/2014 7:57AM

    It's hard on me when my hubby comes home for the weekends......his eating is nothing like mine! But we will get through this!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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_MOBII_ 6/8/2014 10:22PM

    Hehe, I can deal with my beau eating whatever he wants....what I can't deal with is ME not working for more than 2 days in a row!!!!!

You are doing a fabulous job with your cooking and eating, just sorry you have to listen to the guy-tv, lol!

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LINDAK25 6/7/2014 10:56PM

    I don't know how you do it. I find it difficult to be around someone who is constantly eating. When my husband has his nightly snacks, sometimes I have to leave the room.

Sweet of you to help out your neighbors. At least it got you out of the house.

We've had a bit more humidity this week, but nothing like we'll be getting for summer. All too soon the humidity will be over 60% and the dewpoint will be above 65 or 70 degrees. I'm definitely not looking forward to it. Our last house we had window air conditioners, it makes a huge difference having central air conditioning. I love it.

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GAILANN48 6/7/2014 9:39PM

    You always have interesting "doings." Thanks for sharing your days! :)

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    Great for you for staying on track!!! So proud of you!!!

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EABL81 6/7/2014 8:32PM

    Good for you for staying on track, Karen, even with all that temptation around!

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MTN_KITTEN 6/7/2014 8:03PM

Have fun with hubby.

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MYTURNNOW2013 6/7/2014 8:01PM

    LOL I say my DH watches "man operas": Dog the Bounty Hunter, Operation Repo, Orange County Choppers, Walker Texas Ranger and WWE wrestling.

Lucky for me there are two tv's in the house. I spend more time on the computer or the Kindle anyway.

Hamburger stew sounds good.

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LISA579 6/7/2014 7:27PM

    good for you for sticking to your plan

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STARLITNIGHT 6/7/2014 4:34PM

    I hope you enjoy your time with him!

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    Does DH have a weight problem? How about health issues?

How is your weight loss going? You are putting forth the effort. Well done!

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