KIERAE   177,778
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"Online Friends vs "Real life"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have been actively online for several years now. Basically when I saw the "writing on the wall", aka I was going to be classified disabled and not work anymore, I knew I needed to find a social outlet. Hello - I am a social creature considering I am an antisocial person (antisocial in the sense of alternative lifestyles/thinking, protesting, want to smack Bush amongst other types). I found my outlet online through various communities. Primarily I am a gamer girl. I developed a set of acquaintences through the online games I played. These are folks I talked to every day and yes, we talked about more than just the game. It didn't take much time to expand those relationships. I am a psych nurse by trade. I enjoy talking to people and can read them pretty well - even if it is via "words". I developed relationships with several of my gaming friends. I began to plan vacations around gaming conventions or "gatherings" where we all got together to just hang out and "geek" out. My family initially thought I was nuts, only because I was choosing to go to Indiana, Minnesota, Houston, or Vegas for my vacation versus say Hawaii (okay so I was questioning myself at times too but what the heck). For some of these folks, I now see at least a couple times a year. I usually have a couple folks come spend a long weekend with me in the summer (because hey that is when you want to hit the Pacific Northwest). Our families are now entertwined. I have been to funerals, births, weddings of these friends. We celebrate the joys, the depression, and the frustrations of life

So I find it ironic when my family (aka not my household but say my dad for example) asks me how nuts am I to meet these people? Well the answer is you can establish just as strong, if not stronger relationships with people online as you do with your blood related members. Quite honestly, some of my friends online know me far better than my dad could ever know me. He sees me for usually 3 hours about twice a year. Some of my best friends (which I do consider some of my online buds) see me in person for 4-5 days solid and talk to me daily. Who do you think knows me better?

So every once in awhile we get a reminder of how close we have become to an online friend. When you find yourself crying at your computer because of something they have written, experienced, or some potentially life altering event that has happened. And you are reminded just how small the world is and how much you love your friends. Whether you have met them or not. They are loved by you and you can only hope that the next day comes along and the world is all right for them..and you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIMESLICE 7/29/2008 6:04PM


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GUTBOMB 7/17/2008 11:36PM

    Have to tell you I met my hubby online when I was doing an internet marketing internship. My family thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to move to Oregon from NJ. Yet it was the best move I ever made.

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KYLIEMC8 7/14/2008 8:33PM

    I'm glad we're all friends..everyone needs friends, no matter where they are or how far or if you see them or not..we're all here for each other! emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 7/14/2008 5:19PM

    I have a nice mix of in-person friends and online friends. I probably communicate more regularly with some of my online friends since you can do it on your own time through posting and email. I have met several online friends face-to-face over the years. I don't think you are crazy but rather blessed to have been able to connect with others of your ilk. As you get older, it's harder to meet new friends. Thank God for the internet!

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SAYRAH-M 7/14/2008 4:23PM

    As soon as I got health threatening news I wanted to find a computer and ask for support from my dear dear friends. I know they do know me better than many of my "friends" or relatives in real life. And some of them, you included Kierae, are my dearest dearest friends.
Thanks for this blog today. It makes me feel very hugged!

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    Those of us who are online sometimes share more with our friends from the safety of our keyboards than we are comfortable doing in person or on the phone. Once we know we are accepted online, it becomes so much easier to share "for real". Hubby and I were best friends online for about six months -- and yes, even choose dates for each other from online dating sites -- before we ever met and, well, the rest is history. I'm looking forward to chances to meet some of my Spark Friends in the future. You included, Kierae! I count you as one of my favourite people, online or off. Thanks for all that you do.



Comment edited on: 7/14/2008 1:02:57 PM

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BINEMELLES 7/14/2008 5:57AM

    yes. oh, yes.

i think what makes it difficult to understand for people like our dads (yeah, mine too) is that those guys who are not part of an online community, or sometimes not online at all, don't know the difference between a real, working online community and that kind of chat rooms that you frequently read about in newspapers, where people disguise their identity to trick people or to create a more exciting or fulfilled virtual life for themselves than they actually have. but most of us are actually looking for buddies, contacts, people who think like we do.

i am glad i have found "my" crowd, and i am glad i found you! or did you find me? emoticon

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MICKIR 7/13/2008 11:44PM

    Beautiful insight.

I'd bet that you are a wonderful person to have as a friend. It would be so nice if there were more of people like you in the world.

smile and know that you bless others with your friendship as they bless you with their's.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 7/13/2008 11:32PM

    Ahem sista! My online friends have been my bigest supporters the last couple of years and I have met several Spark people in person--All wonderful folk.

And quite honestly I don't have time to find real people to have fun with most of the time between full time work and graduate school.

emoticon to online peeps who support you like no others in your life!

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MSEMBERSTORM 7/13/2008 10:44PM

    Excellently said! This is so true.

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Garlic Scapes

Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's that wonderful season where all kinds of new produce is hitting the markets. I picked up some garlic scapes. I tried these last year for the first time and decided I wanted to experiment with them some more while in season. Garlic scapes are the shoot of a hardneck garlic plant. The flavor is mildly garlicky but without the bite that fresh garlic can have. You can slice the stems and eat it raw or saute it. These are also good steamed with a similar consistency to asparagus spears. What is fun is you can eat the flower pod portion too. I have steamed them, roasted them, and added them to stir fries so far. I want to try them roasted and on a pizza and I plan on making a version of this recipe:

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 lb. scapes
1/2-cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Puree scapes and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and lime or lemon juice and season to taste. Serve on bread, crackers or pasta.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


  I love garlic and that pesto recipe sounds awesome!

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MAMAGOSS 7/8/2008 1:07PM

    Wow I never even knew these existed . Kierae you're always opening my eyes to new veggie wonders.


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OSHELLYBEAN 7/7/2008 12:54PM

    That sounds awesome in a stir-fry!

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KIERAE 7/6/2008 10:29AM

    You can find scapes in farmer's markets and whole food type stores. Good stuff!

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    Wow, what a beautiful plant! From Pike Place or just a local grocer? I'll have to ask for it here in Detroit!

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MSEMBERSTORM 7/6/2008 1:26AM

    Wow I didn't know there was such a thing. That is cool. Thanks for the info!

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DIET_FRIEND 7/4/2008 2:07PM

    I don't have access to very many exotic veggies. Sounds intrigueing!

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BINEMELLES 7/4/2008 5:42AM

    wow, these look great! i never saw them here. hmmm ... can i come over for some of that pesto?

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    I don't think I have ever seen garlic scapes at the grocery store. I'll have to look more carefully next time.


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KIERAE 7/3/2008 7:50PM

    You can eat them raw but they are definitely better cooked up!

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KYLIEMC8 7/3/2008 7:29PM

    Do you cook the scapes first? Sounds very good! Thanks!

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You know you have a dog when...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

* Your pants pockets contain a combination of keys, receipts, plastic poop bag, chapstick, gum and smashed up doggie treats
* You begin to drop your R’s and L’s. “Whos da widdle doggie who weally wants a tweet!?!”
* Other people’s dogs are not very interesting anymore
* Coming back from a farmer’s market with a bag of fresh vegetables in one hand and a poop bag in the other hand feels normal.
* The squeak from a squeaky toy doesn’t annoy you
* You want more squeaky toys
* Standing in one spot and throwing a ball over and over again is entertaining
* You never have to sweep the kitchen floor
* Peeing with a head in your lap doesn’t seem weird
* Pig ears end up on the grocery list
* You trip over animal bones on the living room floor in the middle of the night and smile about it
* You want to go home right after errands instead of meeting friends for happy hour
* You have a blog category titled “dog days”

Did I forget any? Oh wait - when you have to go discuss with the neighbor's how their BIG dog (great dane) hurt your dog's feelings (Abe got his backside handed to him in a lesson of dominance for the neighborhood and he came to me, put his head in my lap and cried - I was crushed!)

Oh another - you buy a 350 dollar 3 year let's replace the laptop fee for the dog who is undoubtedly going to drool and short out the mofo at some point clause! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    My brother has a new vizsla puppy - can't wait to forward this to him! Love the drool clause for the laptop! You are a practical woman! Have a great weekend!

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MSEMBERSTORM 6/23/2008 7:00PM

    OMG this is so true! How funny. I thought my dog was the only weird one to go to the bathroom with me. Scary! LOL

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PUPPYWHISPERS 6/14/2008 11:56AM

    I also laughed at the peeing...I really thought my dog was the only one that did that...

You did forget the lint remover that you carry to remove dog fur from your clothing though.

Great blog, and I'm just in love with Abe!

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    I LOLed at the peeing bit. Been there. Do that.

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UP4MORE 6/13/2008 12:27PM

    hahaha I love this!! OMG this is great - nice nice post!! emoticon

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SUZY6281 6/13/2008 11:11AM

    - When you find yourself spending at least 15 minutes greeting your dogs when you get home from work and then just give your husband a peck on the cheek. (He does the same to me) :)

Our furry children never talk back, never seem to have a bad day and are always happy to see us.

Have a great day!


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HUGS2015 6/13/2008 11:11AM

    Yes, Oh, Yes! Thanks for the big smile this morning. I am totally gaga about my dogs. I see Abe has you under his spell too. I am so glad that you have him. Doggie Love is a very good thing! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAYRAH-M 6/13/2008 9:59AM

    I have three dogs that sleep with DH and me every night. When I stay overnight in a hotel I have to surround myself with pillows and will wake up petting the pillows. Oh my! Love your list. I am so glad you have Abe!

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SEEKER3423 6/13/2008 8:34AM

    Ha!! you just brightened my day!!

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BINEMELLES 6/13/2008 6:18AM

    aaaaah - this is LOVE!

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HONEY422 6/12/2008 10:31PM

    That is so funny! My boyfriend is always pulling plastic dog bags out of coats and pants...and usually it is when we don't even have our dog around emoticon

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BINGOSMOM 6/12/2008 10:17PM

    Sounds just like me!

Doggies is just da kwraziest peoples!

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KYLIEMC8 6/12/2008 9:37PM

    You are just too cute!! emoticon

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Sand Dollars

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Today we had one of the lowest tides in several years. Abe and I hit the beach to do a 4 mile walk. There was plenty of folks out beachcombing since the tide is usually not this low. Abe has discovered that some crabs are dead, some are alive (he got snapped at) and guess what - there is crab meat inside! He came running up with a side of crab legs hanging out of his mouth. He wouldn't give them to me but instead he ran out of my reach, plopped down in the sand and started crunching his way through the shell. All I could do was laugh as he spit out the shell and pulled out the meat. Of course now he checks every crab that he finds. He also discovered that geoducks spit water up if you step on them.

What I have found fascinating is the sand dollars. I have grown up on the Pacific beaches and have always seen the white sand dollars here and there when the tide goes out. When sand dollars are alive, they are charcoal black (white = skeleton). Well on our beach we have thousands of live sand dollars. They seem to settle into channel like patterns on the beach. When we were walking, I thought we were stepping on shale. I started to look closer and realized that there were layers and layers of these sand dollars, up to a couple inches below the sand. Many of them wedge in sideways so they can feed as the water moves through. I looked up and realized this whole channel in the distance was sand dollars. It was a trip to see all of them. Of course now I feel horrible for walking in that area and we definitely stay clear. I don't need any bad sea critter karma! I would put them on my rescue mission like we do the stranded crabs that we find alive but there are just too many to do anything but flip them over onto their legs and wish them luck.

Pic is of Abe hunting for crabs and all that rough looking area is sand dollars.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSEMBERSTORM 6/23/2008 7:02PM

    Wow. It sounds like a really cool day.

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UP4MORE 6/11/2008 9:40AM

    How cool!!! Oh I am so envious of you and your doggy!! Abe is so great looking and I bet his personality matches it - sand dollars - there is a story behind them - my grandmother sent me a clipping as a child - I will try and remember it now - and if I can't I will google about it - but the story was really cool.

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MUPP1970 6/6/2008 6:40PM

    Loving your blog... felt like I was there too!

Thank you for sharing!

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AMYIS200 6/5/2008 4:08PM

    You just inspired me...I've only walked the beach once this year, so it's time to get out and do it some more! I absoultely LOVE the area you and I live in!!!!! Except for the sound of the chain saw out near my backyard...somebody is out near the greenbelt having some dead trees cut down...everytime I hear one pop, the dogs go nuts and I flinch, hoping who ever is cutting doesn't fell one right into my livingroom!

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BLONDEGIRL10 6/5/2008 10:17AM

    Sounds like a wonderful time at the beach! Thanks for sharing it with us!

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KIERAE 6/5/2008 9:46AM

    Ohh Bine - that is too cool looking! Very beautiful!

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SAYRAH-M 6/5/2008 9:35AM

    How fascinating. Thanks for sharing the information and Abe. He is really growing in my heart!!

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BINEMELLES 6/5/2008 6:24AM

    lookie here - isn't that beautiful?

BR>sorry i can't add a link, but you can copy and paste it!

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HEARTOFCHRIST 6/4/2008 10:27PM

    COOL!!! I never knew that life sand dollars are black. Wow. Actually I knew but never KNEW that sand dollars were alive at all lol The sand dollar is one of my favorite shells EVER. I wish I could walk the beach with you.

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HUGS2015 6/4/2008 10:26PM

    Wow, That sounds awesome. My state is land locked so I have never had any experience with the beach. It must be neat to have the beach waiting for you ever day. Thanks for sharing the beach with us. Abe looks like he is loving his new life. Ha-ha doggy crab leg treats. Yummy!

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    Wow. After reading this, Kierae, I miss living on the Pacific Ocean. I will until I hear that the rainy, foggy fall season has set in and then I'll be happy to be a prairie girl again. Thanks for your blog.


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DIET_FRIEND 6/4/2008 10:18PM

    It does sound like a cool experience! TY for sharing.

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KYLIEMC8 6/4/2008 9:34PM

    How wonderful it must be to live there! And how fun for your dog!! Hugs, Kylie

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I have not been able to exercise until recently due to my arthritis and having a joint that needed worked on and then rehab. When I got the doc's okay, I decided to try the Leslie Sansone Walking Away The Pounds series - figuring I could manage to at least do one mile. I had no expectations of being able to do more. Heck I haven't been able to do ANY exercise in the last 17 years. So I popped in that dvd and found out two things: hey I can do more than a mile (did 2 miles the first time) and whoa, I do sweat! I found myself pushing the miles up and noticed that I was definitely getting an endorphin rush off of doing the exercises. I may feel like crud prior and drag my backside on starting but once I start I find that by mile 2, I am feeling really good.

Now this week I haven't been doing the watp dvds but actually walking my neighborhood. Abe needs regular walking since he was use to running loose on a farm. So every morning I take him out for a 45 minute brisk (way to brisk for this old body..hehe) walk. We also go out every afternoon around lunch for at least an hour. And then we follow up by an evening hour plus at the beach which is both of our favorite walks. I live in an area surrounded by hills which all lead down to the beach. So getting aerobic has not been an issue and I find myself hitting it fairly early in on the walk.

Things I have learned: I have leg muscles that hurt and Abe is REALLY strong. He pulled me off my feet at the beach and I flew! I also learned I CAN pick myself up off the beach by myself - wet clothes and all. If that had happened two years ago with the extra weight, I would not have been able to get up since my artificial joints couldn't handle the stress.

Abe and I may be taking a doggy class in the future since the only thing that should be flying is his darn ears! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSEMBERSTORM 6/23/2008 7:04PM

    Abe is so beautiful! I am so glad you got him. It really sounds like he has filled a void in your life. Keep moving forward. You are rockin' it woman!

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BLAZEGRRL 6/6/2008 1:03PM

    How wonderful that you live by the beach and can walk with your pup there. He's a handsome dog. Thanks for dropping by and giving me a sparkgoodie and have a great weekend!

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UP4MORE 6/2/2008 9:25AM

    Cute blog!! And good for you for doing it! I know Abe is going to help motivate you to stay active - this is a wonderful friendship I see happening!

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KMARIE0218 6/1/2008 9:27PM

    Good for you! You gotta start somewhere! I also started with WATP and WalkSlim DVDs from Leslie. SO much more fun than walking on the dreaded treadmill! It's so great when you're done with a DVD and realize you walked 2 or 3 miles, in 45 minutes! Eventually I got a little bored with the DVDs and decided to join the Y. I'm happy with that decision - I've been taking all sorts of classes there and I love it!

Keep on walking! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/1/2008 9:25:51 PM

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BLONDEGIRL10 6/1/2008 2:28PM

    I am so Happy for you!!!! WATP and BEACH WALKING... er pulling? That is awesome exercise! I am smiling ear to ear for YOU! It must feel wonderful!! You are such an inspiration!!

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PUPPYWHISPERS 5/29/2008 6:40PM

    Kierae, I HIGHLY recommend getting into a good dog class. Not necessarily obedience, but more of a dog/owner training. I started Sadie in puppy kindergarten and we worked with the same instructors through to her Canine Good Citizen/Therapy Dog titles. Especially with a larger dog, it's important to get the loose leash walking under control pronto, so that you take Abe for a walk, rather than Abe taking you for a walk. For the bundle of energy that Sadie is, she is remarkably well behaved when she's on leash.

Please give Abe a big hug and kiss for me!

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    You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! emoticon
Cograts on learning, growing and DOING!


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REDHOTDIVA 5/29/2008 12:36PM

    OK, first and foremost, Abe is soooo cute! Love his big floppy ears & goofy doggy grin!

Good for you - I love the Leslie Sansone videos! Coming out of having a severe case of vertigo, I was so happy to find exercise I could do without losing my balance, and I've kept doing them over the years. I'm glad you're finding your inner athlete (we don't all have to be olympians - just movers). Take care!

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SAYRAH-M 5/29/2008 11:54AM

    Oh this blog makes me smile so big. Kierae and Abe on the beach and endorphines and ears flying!! YEAH

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UP4MORE 5/29/2008 11:38AM

    That first step is always the hardest! I am glad you have Abe to keep you company and motivated!

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KYLIEMC8 5/29/2008 9:28AM

    Great exercise I cats don't go too fast..ha!! emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 5/29/2008 7:37AM

    Ahhhh....I can't wait for school to be out so I have more time to walk my dog! Glad it is a rewarding time.

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BINEMELLES 5/29/2008 6:31AM

    woohoo! nothing more delightful than a good endorphine rush! good news about your endurance - but be careful about your bones! if abe is a little wild doggy class sounds like a good idea to me.
have a great time on your walks - sounds like you'll get LOTS of exercise with abe!

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QUILTEDCAT52 5/29/2008 3:12AM

    WooHoo! Awesome for you! I have several dear friends who've had knee replacements. The one's who walk and get their exercise in on their bikes are doing great! They can play tennis, golf and hike. The one's that didn't follow through are still having trouble. The exercise makes all the difference in the world. I wish you miles of fun walking with Abe. What a great time for both of you. He is such a beautiful dog. I just love his coloring. You sound SO happy since you got him!


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CHERRYDOLL 5/28/2008 11:32PM

    GOOD FOR YOU!! emoticon On all that you CAN do.

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