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A Quick Look Backward ....and Then A Look Ahead

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This weekend was my younger sister's birthday weekend. It nearly threw me totally off course, but I did recover and did better than I would have a year or two ago, so I'll chalk alot up to a learning experience, and congratulate myself for the wise choices I DID make and will look forward eagerly to this next week.

First, I let myself get very disappointed because I went out of my way to get Tim McGraw concert tickets for my little sister (who LOVES country music) for her birthday. Now, she can be a bit odd and hardheaded at times, so, when she found out what I had done, she flat out refuse to go to the concert. Not with me, my other sister, any of her friends....flat out wouldn't go....nor give any reason why not. She then, because she was already in one of her "moods" refused my offer to take her to see Harry Potter (another of her faves). That officially used up all my loving and giving spirit, so, for her birthday, she got a 99cent card from Walgreens with an I-tunes gift card. Instead her wish for here birthday was sto make the annual 1 1/2 hour pilgrimage to Dog N Suds (picture old time drive-up with car hops and burgers and fries and root beer). So, yesterday, that's what we did. Four hours to get up there , eat, turn around and come home. I chose the corn dog - the healthiest item on the menu...even with the fries and coleslaw, stayed within my range. Then, however, we got ome and she decided we needed to go get ice cream. I fully intended to have the lowfat chocolate yogurt cone, until I saw that they had their premium dark choclate back (and it is seaonal). Still I only ordered a one scoop cone - way better than the banana spilt or sundaes that my sis's were eating, but when they brought the cone to the table, it was in actuality more like two scoops. That threw me over a bit....especially since I had the Dog N Suds which is not particularly low fat. The whole sequence of events was making me feel otally out of control nd off kilter, so, I looked back and did a quick review of some of my blogs beginning with the first week of my journey here on Spark and several along the way to where I am now. It really opened my eyes to how far I've come on this journey, and what I need to do to keep moving ahead, and not let outside forces drag me back down.

Today was much better day. I got to enjoy a beautiful morning of worship and community with my church family - they keep me sane. Then when I got home, I went to my sis's other favorite - actually a family tradition. Red Robin. This time I checked out the menu in advance. Chose VERY wisely the chicken Ensendada - with fat free Ranch dressing and salsa - which for fat free was actually good. Had two french fries from my sisters plate just to not deprive myself and two jalepeno coins and two clam strips. All in all was well under my totals, but wanted to make sure that "desert" would not throw me off again.

For dessert, I planned ahead and made a "Banana Split Ice Cream Cake". Not exactly a fruit plate, but I made it healthier by omiting the oil in the cake recipe and using mashed banana in its place. Then I cut the two layers in half to make four layers -then I alternated layers of cake with ice cream layers. The ice cream layers, I reduced the fat by mixing the following - one layer I mixed 1 part ice cream with 1 part mashed banana, the next layer was 1 part ice cream with 1 part sliced strawberries and the next layer 1 part ice cream with 1 part crushed pineapple. After it was all frozen hard I decided that it looked good enough to not need to add icing, just a few small spritzes of reduced fat whipped cream with strawberry garnishes. It got rave reviews and saved me $30 on an ice cream cake that would definately have ruined another day food wise for me.

Ah, so now that is over....life can go back to semi-normal. I got zip for fitness this weekend, so it's a good thing that I got in so much last week (6 hours total). Tomorrow, since it is so hot and I don't have to go in until late, I plan to swim in the morning, then try to get to the fitness center for a class and then home to get ready for work. After work, I'm meeting my favorite girlfriends for a light dinner....hopefully I'll be wise enough to opt for the fruit cup or yogurt parfait.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYCHARLENE 7/25/2011 10:47PM

    What love you display! Wish I was your sister. LOL

She doesn't know what she is doing so I know you forgive her, but I am sorry for her rejection of your loving gift. Someday she will understand what she does by rejecting others attempts to show love.

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MIMIKK7 7/18/2011 12:03PM

    Small little bumps in the road in your healthy decisions is to be expected along the way. What makes you great is that you made some good decisions and you are able to pick up where you left off with your healthy lifestyle. I am flabbergasted at your sister. Sometimes people can be so challenging in our life. Have a awesome week! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BACKTOTEN12 7/18/2011 10:39AM

    Put it behind you and carry on! I will try to do the same after way too much ice cream and frozen custard (traditional vacation fare) on vacation last week. Wasn't going to get on the scale, but did, and found I had gained 1.8 lbs.It could have been worse if I hadn't opted for lots of fruit instead of chocolate! lol! Today will be a tracking food day and staying at the low side of my limit. It's so hard to change our "traditions" but as long as we return to our more healthy ways, I don't think a bit of deviation hurts us as long as it's short term. Have a greaat week! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAPHNE_RUNS 7/18/2011 10:06AM

    Sometimes you need to take a trip down memory lane just to see how far you have come. Congrats to you for making healthier choices and knowing that although it would be great to eat the banana split like your sister, instead have a scoop of ice cream was just as good.

Sorry to hear your sister had a bad reaction to you offer for the concert tickets. I hope she decides to accept them or you find someone who will buy them from you.

It is nice to read your blogs and see how you are progressing. I did not get a chance to leave a comment on your blog about your clean bill of health so I want to say now, keep doing what you are doing because it is so paying off.


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SLIMLILA 7/18/2011 12:59AM

    Love your ice cream cake recipe..... sounds Yummy... Sorry you tried to hard but couldn't make your sister happy.

So, we're not the only ones who make a long trip just to eat. DD saw there was a Pizza Delight about 75 km from here and supposedly the only one in Western Canada and decided that was where she wanted to go for supper tonite. At least, we drove around the little town afterward and then stopped at Walmart for a bit. She said she really enjoyed it. I can't get over basically paying $50 for pizza.... it was the garlic fingers she said!!

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ERLYWA 7/17/2011 11:13PM

    I am still stuck way back at the beginning where she flat out refused to go to the concert. Huh?? Well, I hope YOU make good use of the tickets and have some fun!

And way to go, finding ways to just to the best you could with what was thrown at you unexpectedly. This journey is not about being perfect, it's about doing what we can when the obstacles show up.

Way to go! :)

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I Survived the Long - Long Run! and lived to tell about it!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So, last night I totally splurged. I ate an ENTIRE DQ Chocoholic blizzard...all 1050 or so calories. Not the wisest food choice I've ever made...in fact, probably one of the worst, but, I don't do it often or even rarely, so....back to the point.
Today is a day off of wok and the weather is GORGEOUS!!! Not too hot, not too cold, not raining, just perfect for a long run. I usually do my long runs on the weekend, but since one of my running buddies is on vcation this week, we hit the trail early and went for a run. Now, she is 15 years youner than me and has been running for most of her life, and she is quite a bit faster than I am, but has never run more than 3.5-4 miles, but I warned her, we're running slow....my pace and we're running long. I had planned on about 8.5 or so miles. Well, like I said the weather was perfect nd we hit the pth that runs alog the Fox River in Batavia. She had NO problems sticking to my pace and even at times I felt that I was holding her back. My long runs I usually stay around 11 min miles, but today ten something just felt perfect. Since I had not run this distance before, I was not familiar with the path to cross the river and apparently we missed it thinking we had a bit further to go. We wound up running through Batatvia AND Geneva and into St. Charles and finally crossed the river at about 5.5 miles. That's the thing about running a river path. If you miss your turn, it could be a ways to the next one. We ran the ENTIRE thing (which was a huge surprise to us both) except for when we had to stop briefly at one stoplight to cross. All in all iour little run wound up being 11.22 miles (in 1:55) - that's a 10:19 pace....barely slower than my 5K pace. For those interested the splits are listed below! Feeling alot more confident about those half-marathons this fall now! Gonna do it again in two weeks and go for 12+. I'm sure that the hoopla of the race will carry me any further distance if necessary as long as I keep with the pace.
Splits: Mile 1=10:59, Mile 2=10:04, Mile 3=10:08, Mile 4=10:19, Mile 5=10:12, Mile 6=10:30, Mile7=10:43, Mile 8=10:13, Mile9=9:39, Mile 10=9:12, Mile 11=11:01 Total avg pace 10:19 .... I'm still in shock. Bet I'm gonna hurt when the shock and endorphins wear off!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZARAH140 7/23/2011 9:28AM

    I alsolutely love that bike trail!!! Good run.

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IZZYBEBOP 7/18/2011 11:17AM

    WOW! You did amazing!

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COMPUCATHY 7/15/2011 8:34PM

    Wow...that is awesome and inspiring! Way to go! You must be so pleased with your achievement! Thank you for all your encouragement! I hope you have a TERRIFIC weekend! Enjoy! Celebrate your blessings! Spark on! emoticon

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GREYLOCKES1 7/15/2011 3:12PM

    Way to go. Sounds like one of the days all runners look forward too. Your were in the zone. Just remember the next one may make you wish you never took up running emoticon. I hope my next one is soon as I haven't had one since last fall. Keep up the good work and don't do a blizzard too often.

Comment edited on: 7/15/2011 3:13:29 PM

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SIOBHANKNITS 7/15/2011 1:12PM

    Way to go!
I love blizzards and will now be tempted before every long run!! hahaha!
Good you could pace yourself but also have someone to challenge you! I normally run by myself, so I'm always surprised how much energy I get when running with someone else. If she isn't used to running distance I'll bet she's feeling it more than you two days later...

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MIMIKK7 7/15/2011 8:51AM

    Wow! That is very impressive! That chocolate blizzard was very motivating! emoticonGreat job! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LKEITHO 7/14/2011 10:31PM

    Great work! If you can do this, you will have no problems with the half!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 7/14/2011 9:51PM

    Congrats to you. As we were talking about on one of our teams....it's all about the pace for the long runs.

You rock.


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GIRLBIO 7/14/2011 7:05PM

    Congrats. Sounds like you were able to work off the guilt and calories from the blizzard. Good luck on your up coming half marathon. I am working on a 10k for October, and then hopefully the Rock n' Roll half marathon in Seattle at the end of June 2012. Keep up the good work.

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KANSASROSE67 7/14/2011 5:16PM

    WOW...that is so impressive! I love the idea of fueling with a DQ Blizzard! LOL.

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KKINNEA 7/14/2011 4:05PM

    Nice run!

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RUNNER12COM 7/14/2011 3:58PM

    That is completely awesome! You running machine, you!

emoticon emoticon

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KERRYG155 7/14/2011 2:45PM

    Great job! I took one bite of my grandson's chocoholic blizzard and that was more than enough for me!! Keep up the good work emoticon

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LOGOULD 7/14/2011 2:21PM

    Maybe those Blizzards will have to become my pre-long run/endurance event food.....okay, sounds good, but probably not the best idea I've ever had!

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BEYONDLIMITS 7/14/2011 2:10PM

    I admire your determination. I'm so glad you indulged in that chocolate blizzard. Who knows, possibly it helped energize your running.

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BAILEYS7OF9 7/14/2011 12:44PM

    wow, that is emoticon

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Fitness Minutes - Every Little Bit Counts

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Today I passed 18,250 fitness minutes since joining Spark. Thank you to everyone who commented on my activity feed. I guess I just don't really look at that stat much. I remember my first few months on Spark seeing the activity feeds of other members who had thousands upon thousands of minutes. It was inconceivable to me how they could have amassed totals like that, much less that I could ever do it with all the other things I have on my daily plate (no, pun intended there). But, none the less, everyday I did (and still do) what I can. Some days it's a great big goose egg...but those days are few and far between. Somedays it's all I can do to get in 10 or 15 minutes, but that's better than nothing. Then there are the 30, 40, 60, even 90 and 120 minute days. Day by day, week by wee and month by month, those minutes just keep adding up and one day you read that a member or two or ten have commented on your activity feed and lo and behold......18,250 minutes!!! WOOHOO!!! That over 304 hours or twelve and a half days....well, I like the sound of 18,250 minutes better. The point is that every little bit helps....it does add up. It will show up as a big achievement somewhere down the line if you just stick with it, make it a habit, just do it and you'll amaze even yourself.

P.S. Since this time last year, I am actually up two pounds in weight, but my waist is 1/2" smaller and there is definition in my arms and my calves, which have always been muscular even when I was heavier are now 1/4 thinner and have GREAT definition. As one of my dear friends puts it...."you have 'boy' leg muscles". One of the sweetest compliments I think I've ever received!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOULOFADANCER 7/12/2011 8:56PM

    I hear you I am a size 4 again and they are getting loose but I havent really lost much more
I even think my goal might have to change as my bidy might now have a nw set point

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BEYONDLIMITS 7/11/2011 6:27PM

    Your fitness minutes are impressive. I too am awed by people who have amassed so many. It's good to know that you are losing inches. Not everything always shows up on the scale.

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    emoticon on adding up those minutes by moving your body! And isn't amazing how those minutes transform the inches. Great Job! Keep moving...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DRB13_1 7/10/2011 11:07PM

    Congrats on adding up the minutes, and reminding us to do some activity every day! Happy you are noticing the areas you ARE making progress - losing inches means losing excess fat, and that is a real victory! emoticon

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LKEITHO 7/10/2011 10:46PM

    Great job!

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HELLO_KITTY_ 7/10/2011 10:18PM

    Wow that is amazing!

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HELLAS2 7/10/2011 9:33PM

    Keep up the awesome job. I agree every little bit counts.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZORATH 7/10/2011 9:31PM

  awesome - shows huge commitment, perseverance and COURAGE!! Well done you!!

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More Great News! And It's Available To YOU Too!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Today was my follow-up visit for the clinical trial that I signeed up to be a part of. I got back all of my test results and they couldn't have been better...well, they could have been a little better, but not much and for a 50 year old woman they were....to quote the clinician....OUTSTANDING!

For most of my life, I have beenout of shape, overweight and heading toward ill health as the majority, if not all the women in my family are to one degree or another. Then I found Spark. Habit by habit I have been working on changing my lifestyle to incorporate more and more healthy eating, drinking, fitness, sleep, stress management etc etc etc...and it has paid off BIG TIME!

According to the clinician, Aside from my hormone levels, my test results came back at the levels that they expect to see in someone 30-35 years of age! No signs of osteoporosis-(that would make me only one of two women in my family that can claim this...the other being my baby sis who is a physical trainer and body sculpter)...and my calcium which should have been 8.6-10.0 was actually just a little high (10.2). I guess all this tracking and micro management of my dieet has had somepretty drastic effects on my overal health. No signs of ANY dificiencies. Blood oxygenation in the top 10%....and that from someone who smoked for DECADES and only quit within the last three years. I just can't believe that given my family history, that the changes that I have mad had such an effect, but I'm not taking this lightly. I want it to stay this way....so this Spark program is for LIFE....LITERALLY! The only area that I can say I would like to see improve, and they don't see a problem is my LDL of 174. I am going to look into ways to reduce that now and shoot for under 150.

I think I may frame the report! That means soooo much more to me than any number on the scale. The weight loss is now a bonus!

For those of you who are new to Spark....stick with it. All this in just 18 months! AND YOU CAN HAVE THIS TOO! Be the BEST YOU possible!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 7/10/2011 8:46PM

    Congratulations! I pride myself on being the only woman in my family over the age of 35 (I'm 50) who still has all my body parts! Everyone else has had a hysterectomy, gall bladder removal, knee replacement, full dentures, appendectomy, etc. I'm right with you -- working hard to stay healthy!

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LKEITHO 7/8/2011 10:12PM

    Fantastic! Congratulations on your great results, and your great efforts that achieved them!

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MERRYLYN 7/8/2011 9:59PM

    You are amazing! I am so proud of you. All of your hard work has paid off for sure. I have been so 'Summer busy' that I have mostly been following but not commenting, but this deserves a big emoticon I would take your LDL number anyday..if you ever find something that works to get the numbers down, please let me know. I think I am dealing with a heredity issue.. arg
Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to me and what I want to be. emoticon

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KKINNEA 7/8/2011 1:50PM

    Awesome news!!

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BLESSEDMAZARS 7/8/2011 10:33AM

    That's wonderful news!!!! See what a little "Spark" can do!!!!

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WEEZIE30 7/8/2011 10:07AM


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ERLYWA 7/8/2011 9:47AM

    What an incredible health report!! I am so proud of you for all of your hard work that led to this, and you motivate and inspire me to work harder and keep going!

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MOMMA48 7/8/2011 9:10AM

    emoticonand emoticon on sharing such wonderful inspiration to us all!

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MIMIKK7 7/8/2011 8:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonFantastic news! I so agree that we are so much more then what is reflected on that darn emoticon emoticonon all of your accomplishments emoticonYou are an inspiration to many! Rock on! emoticon emoticon

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RHONDALYN10 7/8/2011 8:27AM

    WOOHOO! Congrats! What an outstanding report!! And to get an age differance like that - you go girl!

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CYCLINGSANDY 7/8/2011 2:37AM

    emoticon That is fantastic news!! You have done it, gril! I can say that since your body is really only 30-35! emoticon
What an excellent example of what changing a lifestyle can do for us too. I know you will continue to motivate others.

Sandy emoticon

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ABSOLUTZER0 7/8/2011 1:28AM

    All I can say is, "WOOHOO!!!" I am inspired by this post!

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DEVORA4 7/8/2011 12:53AM


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PRIMALMICHAEL 7/8/2011 12:09AM

    Yes! Do frame that! I always say that scales can't measure success and here is what I am talking about!

Rock on!

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ZORATH 7/8/2011 12:00AM

  Hiya I have only been a member for a few days - and you were the first to inspire me. This BLOG from you is INSPIRATIONAL. As an ex-smoker myself and also on the wrong side of 50 I can really relate to how outstanding your improvement has been! Thanks so much for sharing - and for showing us the way!!!

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SHASSYSUE2 7/7/2011 11:41PM

    I agree the affects on our health, is the true measure of success.. I have only been on Spark since Feb, and since then have gone from 150 units of insulin per day, down to only 50 per day, and that was only in 4 months!! My goal is to be completely off of insulin by Christmas!! Good for you!!!

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TEAPOT57 7/7/2011 11:40PM

    Wow I am so Happy for you keep up the good work.
Since I went off my cholesterol medicine about three or four years ago. I have been taking Bayer Heart Health Advantage it contains Phytosterols which helps with lowering your Cholesterol. My blood work came back excellent also the last time I had it taken. Plus my LDL was good . The only thing with me is losing this weight it drives me crazy that I can't get it off. My GYN keeps weaning me down on my hormone patch I am almost to the lowest dosage after September there will only be one lower dosage. I am not starting that one until I finish the prescription I am on now the nurse said the lower one I might get hot flashes seeing it summer. I have enough to get me though the summer months I just renewed my prescription before they called in this lower dosage.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Lorraine

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CINDYCHARLENE 7/7/2011 11:21PM


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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

My last vacation was 20 months ago, and that was seven days to take care of my sis during and after her last back surgery. Today was my day off and totally out of character for me, I slept until 7AM and since it was about the most beautiful day off that I've had in a while, I decided to give myself a mini-vaction. I enjoyed breakfast and coffee outside and just was quiet for a while thinking of everything that I could do on my vacation....and then, remembering I'm on vacation, I just sate and listened to birds and garbage trucks for a while. Then, I put on my swim suit and swam a little and watered plants and weeded some planters and swam some more and finished a book and enjoyed a short nap in the sunshine. Around noon, I came in and set out food to thaw for dinner, changed into my workout clothes, had some lunch, caught up on some more reading and e-mails and had a nice long workout and dinner. After dinner, I gased up the car for my trip to the clinical trial location tomorrow after work and stopped at McD's for a Vanilla Yogurt cone for dessert and home....now to bed. I'm ready for tomorrow. And that's how I spent my summer vacation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYCLINGSANDY 7/8/2011 2:39AM

    Marvelous, darling, simply marvelous! That is just the kind of vacation I like too.

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LKEITHO 7/7/2011 11:02PM

    Sounds like a great day! Good for you!

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KANSASROSE67 7/7/2011 5:43PM

    Love it...sounds like a perfect vacation to me!

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KKINNEA 7/7/2011 10:47AM

    Sounds like a great day!

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WEEZIE30 7/7/2011 9:18AM

    Sounds like an awesome way to spend your vacation! I'm jealous!

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MIMIKK7 7/7/2011 8:42AM

    Wonderful and relaxing day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 7/7/2011 1:16AM

    You sure packed a lot of vacation into a single day.... good for you!

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ERLYWA 7/6/2011 11:55PM

    What an absolutely delightful idea, to take a day and treat it like an actual vacation! I love it!! I think I will take at least one per month and do that, just give myself permission to do whatever feels nice in the moment and relax and enjoy myself.

It sounds like you had a wonderful day! :)

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