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When I count my blessings, Spark People is near the top :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you here at SP! If you're not American and celebrating tomorrow, take a moment anyway and give thanks with us and maybe have a slice of pie in our honor. :) For all of the wonderful folks who created this site and keep it running, and keep it free, I am grateful. And I am thankful for the many wonderful friends I've "met" here during the past 2 years. Without all of you, I'd probably still be that 230 lb woman who had little chance of ever being anything less than obese.

My husband and I are going to be having turkey and all the trimmings at Cracker Barrel rather than cooking it ourselves. I'm getting lazy in my old age, lol, and this way we don't have a ton of tempting leftovers to deal with for a week. What are your plans for the day?

1 Chronicles 29:11-13
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name." (KJV)

In these times when it seems like we are doing our best as a country to remove God from all we do, I love this quote by George Washington. What a reminder of where we came from and who we owe it all to...

"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor."

Happy Thanksgiving!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUGLOVER1999 10/18/2014 1:02AM

    I'm really late reading this blog, but it's almost Thanksgving 2014, and what you said is ALWAYS true!

I'm thankful you are my friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINDYCHARLENE 1/8/2013 12:40PM

    Wonderful Blog.

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CJMOK1121 12/7/2012 8:47AM

    You know Karen, Thanksgiving Day has passed for 2012, but its NEVER to late to say emoticon emoticon emoticon. I am Thankful for this Spark People site and the fact that its free. I'm really grateful for all my spark friends.

Thank You again for a wonderful post and for using God's word.

CJ from OK. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAL1512 11/28/2012 9:45PM

    We had Thanksgiving with our oldest boy and his family. While they got the house ready for the feast, we drove up north to pick up our daughter-in-laws grandmother. That saved them a lot of time and we had time to visit during the long drive without the little ones interrupting us. Grandmother Dottie stayed at our condo and then the next day we drove to our son's home for the feast. It really felt good for all of us to be together.
Sally emoticon

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JULIAOAK 11/27/2012 4:02AM

    I know its a bit late but Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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D-ABBY 11/24/2012 1:03PM

    emoticon and AMEN!

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SORTIZA99 11/24/2012 1:02AM

    Happy thanksgiving. It's indeed glorious to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS.

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JUMPINJULIE 11/23/2012 4:50PM

    Thank you for the reminder it does feel like the haters win but sometimes that is the struggle to overcome and sometimes the good guys win. emoticon

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LIVING-FIT 11/21/2012 5:26PM

    I'm British, but I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! emoticon

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COOKINGSTARS 11/21/2012 4:26PM

    Happy Thanksgiving!! emoticon

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SUNRISE14 11/21/2012 4:22PM

    We are going to a buffet in our town. Don't like to travel and it's just going to be us two. I also like cracker barrel but we are about 50 miles to the nearest one . I two thank the Lord for sparkpeople and know if it wasn't for this site i would lose site of keeping my weight down. I enjoy your blogs ! emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 11/21/2012 4:12PM

    Enjoy your wonderful meal. Cracker Barrel's food is terrific!

I too am so very grateful for spark, my friends here and that the site is free. Otherwise I would still be the very depressed, shy, anxious person that I was nearly 3 years ago now. I've grown in amazing ways I never thought possible! Not to mention the 20 lbs lost!

Many thanks for your new friendship here as well!


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MARYJEANSL 11/21/2012 4:01PM

  I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! We are doing the same thing - a small group this year - my mom, myself, my daughter, and my brother-in-law. We will eat out. But it should be very nice, and I am just enjoying being back home and not having to drive right now.

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DAWN14163 11/21/2012 3:52PM

    Happy Thanksgiving Karen! It's not a holiday we Brits celebrate, but we do give thanks at Harvest Festivals which I guess is a smaller version! Enjoy the turkey.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WIZKEY 11/21/2012 3:50PM

    Happy Thanksgiving and congratulations on your successes!!

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Fall Foliage - Pics from my morning walk

Sunday, October 28, 2012

These were taken earlier this month here in upstate NY. Many of the leaves have fallen now and in another week the trees will be mostly bare. This is one of the reasons autumn is my favorite season. I'm blessed to live where I have such a nice place for my walks...

Enjoy! emoticon

Thanks for looking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 1/2/2013 4:25PM

    Lovely pictures. I love Fall that was the month We got married 51 years ago. Is that a bridge or you added it in there .The fifth picture?

Just a minute ago. I just found out some kids last night cut the wire to the wolves place. A tourist place all Seasons.

What next. So I guess now they will have the police patrol looking.

What a real damper now on the public.

Now I am afraid the country is getting destructive as the City happenings Scary.

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SAL1512 11/22/2012 8:34PM

    Fall is my favorite time of year for hiking and walks!
So glad you shared those pictures!

Sally emoticon

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JULIAOAK 11/19/2012 12:06PM

    fantastic pics! emoticon

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LINDA! 11/11/2012 8:01PM

    Beautiful pix. That is what I miss about the north, since I moved to Florida. The beautiful and colorful trees.

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WIZKEY 11/10/2012 1:21PM

    Such beautiful photos!! My husband was stationed in Plattsburgh, NY many years ago and I think fall was my favorite season back then!! Thanks for sharing!!

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MISSLORI5 11/10/2012 12:39PM

    What beautiful scenery!!!!!! I lived in upstate N.Y. for 3 yrs. and grew to love fall there! Here in Wa. it is beautiful, but nothing will ever be as gorgeous to me as fall in the Northeast! Thanks so much for bringing back those wonderful memories! emoticon emoticon

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HAKAPES 11/10/2012 6:54AM

    Wonderful pictures! Thanks for the comments on my main page!

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BREW99 11/7/2012 1:11PM

    So gorgeous! Reminds me our house in VA. emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 11/2/2012 2:11PM

    What a beautiful place!! emoticon

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PATRICIA441 10/31/2012 8:36PM

  Gorgeous Pictures. Thanks so much for sharing!

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JUMPINJULIE 10/31/2012 5:54PM

    So Pretty. emoticon

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YELLOW09RED 10/31/2012 4:45PM

    WoW! Karen,
they all are beautiful. I love this time of the year. We have families in Pa. we try to go home to see the trees in Oct. when we can. Thank you for sharing your pic's.
Have a Happy Halloween evening,

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D-ABBY 10/31/2012 4:02PM


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TX.PATRICIA 10/31/2012 1:50PM

    Beautiful place to walk!

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SNUZSUZ 10/31/2012 10:15AM


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FALLNTENN 10/30/2012 8:19AM

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. The path you walked is very beautiful.

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LINDA! 10/29/2012 7:14PM

    Beautiful photos.

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TXMEMAW6 10/28/2012 9:48PM

    These pictures are beautiful. We don't have such beautiful Fall leaves here in the southern part of Texas. Thank you for sharing with us.

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    Wish I had such a beautiful path to walk/run!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 10/28/2012 8:45PM

    Thanks for sharing.
We didn't get much in the way of colors this Fall thanks to an end-of-September wind storm that shredded and pulled all the leaves off our trees, so it's nice to see those beautiful Fall colors.

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LINOVER 10/28/2012 8:33PM

    Great pics! I too like the bridge!

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HOLLYM48 10/28/2012 8:28PM

    I loved your pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them! I love the one with the bridge the most. Gorgeous! emoticon

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NANDA82 10/28/2012 8:21PM

    Beautiful pics! Fall is so gorgeous. emoticon emoticon

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LUVS2BIKE101 10/28/2012 7:55PM

    Oh, how beautiful! Yes, we did have a picturesque autumn this year, didn't we? I'm in Orange County, NY and your pictures look very familiar. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm glad you had a wonderful walk with that pallet of colors all around you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FENWAYGIRL18 10/28/2012 5:47PM

    thanks for sharing I love the Fall.... emoticon

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SUNRISE14 10/28/2012 5:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 10/28/2012 4:37PM

    How gorgeous! I could take walks like this every day!

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2-years at SP, update on my daughter, and more...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Today marks 2 years here at Spark People for me, and even better, a total loss of 71 lbs. When I started here, I weighed 230 lbs and was morbidly obese, was pre-diabetic, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and felt tired and miserable much of the time. I now weigh 159 lbs, am 1 lb away from being out of the obese BMI range, have a normal glucose reading, have been able to reduce the BP meds to half, and my cholesterol readings are all within the normal range. I've gone from being a couch potato to walking 2 to 3 miles 5 or more days a week, and enjoying it! I no longer need the anxiety meds I was on up till 1 year ago. I feel better than I have in many, many years. Thank you, SparkPeople, and all of the wonderful friends I've made here! I owe so much to this site and to ALL of you.

Some of you know that my daughter, Stacy, has been in the hospital for the past week but for those who don't, a little background info. Stacy is 36 and 4 years ago had her colon removed after years of dealing with ulcerative colitis and reaching the point where that was the only option. After going thru several surgeries, infections, and almost losing her at one point, she made an amazing recovery and had been doing so well. She'd started running a few months ago and was planning to do her 1st 5K next month along with her husband and their 8-year-old daughter. Then a few weeks ago she got sick with what at first seemed to be a stomach virus. She seemed better then got worse and ended up in the ER a week ago where a CT scan was done that showed an intestinal blockage in the reconstructed "pouch" done 4 years ago. She was admitted and has had a tube in her stomach pumping out fluids, etc., in the hopes it would decompress the pouch and clear the blockage which they've decided is scar tissue from previous surgery. It's been a bad week with lots of ups and downs, but thank God, she is finally beginning to feel better as of yesterday. If this didn't work, she'd need surgery and that was looking likely as of Friday but yesterday she showed some improvement and we're hoping the blockage is gone. She's still got the tube and is in a lot of pain, but if all goes well, the tube can maybe come out tomorrow and they can start her on a liquid diet and see how that goes.

It's been a long week with trying to be there with her, and then having our granddaughter here with DH and I so our son-in-law can be at the hospital. SIL took last week off but has to return to work tomorrow so DGD will be staying with us from here on out so I can get her on and off the school bus, etc. and SIL can go from work to the hospital. We're all exhausted but hanging in there, and would greatly appreciate your prayers for Stacy's continued recovery.

With all this, I've been a bit off-track diet-wise but am managing to get some walking in most days so that is at least something. Will be glad when life gets back to normal.

I'm doing the 5% challenge as a Casual Traveler and that is helping to keep me focused and accountable here. I've lost 2 lbs so far with that - 6 more to go to reach my 5% goal.

Thanks for reading! Hope you all have a great week! Love you all!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEESPARKLE 1/2/2013 4:30PM

    I just prayed for you as I sit here and for your daughter.

God is able again to restore her to healthy .

emoticon for your two pounds loss. emoticon

Your another encourager for me.

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JULIAOAK 11/19/2012 12:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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D-ABBY 10/31/2012 4:05PM

    emoticon emoticon Hang in there. This too shall pass. Hugs!

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OLDERDANDRT 10/25/2012 5:41PM

    Prayers for your dtr. and super congrats with your Casual Travelers!!!!! I'm a CLOVERLEAF! Enjoy the challenge! Soon all will be back to normal ( I have faith your dtr will do fine, now). emoticon

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LINDA! 10/23/2012 9:39PM

    I am continuing to keep your daughter in prayer. Good for you for the weight loss! emoticon

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JENSDAY1012 10/23/2012 10:52AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! You're doing amazing! I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. You both will be in my thoughts. I hope she continues to improve. emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 10/22/2012 5:58PM

    I will keep your daughter in my prayers. I'm glad she is starting to feel better. I hope everything goes back to normal as soon as possible.

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SUNRISE14 10/22/2012 8:03AM

    You are in my prayers GOD ANSWERS PRAYER MY FRIEND ! emoticon

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YELLOW09RED 10/22/2012 7:50AM

    Good morning Karen,
I will pray for Stacy. I hope she is feeling better today.
Hugs for all you do for your health. WooHoo for your 2lbs gone.
Have a nice Monday,
emoticon emoticon

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SAL1512 10/22/2012 12:20AM

Congratulations on coming this far!
So sorry about your daughter! Hope she continues to make progress!

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COURTNEY055 10/22/2012 12:12AM

    Congrats on the loss! That is great! emoticon

Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way for your daughters recovery...My best to you and your family during this difficult time.

You are an inspiration to peeps like me who are losing slowly but surely. I love hearing the success stories from people who have been on here and DONE it..just by being here and following the advice and tracking and MOVING! Moving and shaking that butt and burning those cals. I love a good success story. Thank you for sharing.

All my best..Your fellow sparkler, Courtney

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DETERMINEDJANET 10/21/2012 10:00PM

    Prayers for your daughter's recovery.

Congrats on your success at SP!

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IMELECTRIC 10/21/2012 8:47PM

    I hope everything continues to get better. You are a trooper.


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4_MY_LIFE 10/21/2012 8:09PM

    Prayers that your daughter continues to improve!

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County Fair Ribbons! :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

For those of you who were interested in the results of my county fair entries that were pictured in my previous blog (
), here they are:

The blue ribbons are for the tablecloth, the pineapple doily, baby bib, and the baby blanket.
Red ribbons (2nd place) are for the baby booties and the blue and white doily, and white ribbons (3rd place) for the tote bag and baby bonnet.

The tote bag also received an award of a $25 gift certificate from a local yarn shop for the best use of color. That really surprised me since I'm not that crazy about the colors of it personally.

Anyway, that's the results - several had asked for an update, so thought I'd share. I'm very pleased with how it went and am already thinking about what I want to make for next year's entries.

Thanks for looking. :)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congratulations! Well done. What an honor!

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SAL1512 9/1/2012 11:40PM

    Well done!
Sally emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 8/26/2012 2:24PM

    Wow! Sounds like you carried off all the ribbons!! Nice work!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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D-ABBY 8/25/2012 3:49PM

    WooHoo! WTG! Well done. I am excited for you. Hugs!

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JULIAOAK 8/25/2012 3:24AM

    fantastic - well done you! emoticon

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PURPLEPEONY 8/24/2012 10:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OLIVIANIGHT 8/24/2012 10:45AM

    Wow that's a lot of ribbons! emoticon

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JEANUT 8/23/2012 9:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CROWLEY123 8/23/2012 8:38PM

    How awesome! You must be very proud!

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SUNRISE14 8/23/2012 3:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSB8604 8/23/2012 1:44PM

    VERY cool!

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CARESINGS 8/23/2012 11:30AM

    Awesome! and so cool to see Erie Co. Fair ribbons, since that's where I grew up!

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County Fair Entries (pics)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

As some of you know, I'm an avid (obssessive may be a better word, lol) crocheter and have been working since January on items to enter in our county fair. Several friends have asked for pictures, so here they are. Each item gets entered in a different category and is eligible for a 1st place blue ribbon, 2nd place red, or third place white, along with small cash awards for 1st and 2nd. The fair starts Aug. 8th and is one of the largest county fairs in the country, which makes for lots of fun and competition.

Hope you enjoy these. :) This first one is a pineapple doily done in size 10 thread.

Another doily...

A small pineapple design tablecloth done in thread...

Baby booties done in thread...

Baby bonnet...


Baby blanket done in size 10 thread...

Tote bag in nylon yarn

And a dishcloth...

And in case anyone is wondering, yes, this is diet-related. :) I spend a lot of time crocheting rather than eating, and it's hard to do both at the same time.

Thanks for looking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    These are exquisite. You are very talented.
My grandmother, who taught me to crochet, used to make doilies, tableclothes and even bedspreads with thread.
It reminds me how long it's been since I've picked up a crochet hook. I used to crochet up a storm, especially things for baby gifts.

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OLIVIANIGHT 8/22/2012 8:15AM

    They're so cute! I love the bag! How did the fair go?

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JULIAOAK 8/8/2012 3:58AM

    they are beautiful - I especially like the bib and the tablecloth! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHARJOPAUL 7/31/2012 8:33AM

    beautiful work!!!

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CINDYCHARLENE 7/30/2012 7:08PM

    emoticon emoticon Beautiful! You've inspired me to get back to one of my favorite hobbies. And I love the pineapple pattern as it was my grandmothers favorite pattern too.

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VERONICA722 7/30/2012 4:51PM

    What a treat!
The first one gets emoticon from me.
(I know its a checkered flag. I couldn't find a Blue Ribbon
or a tub of margarine!) emoticon

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SNEVIL1 7/30/2012 4:30PM

    Beautiful! I started making granny squares when I was around 17 years old. My goal was to eventually make a blanket. The squares are in a bag somewhere lol. Maybe one day I'll turn it into a blanket.

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OLDERDANDRT 7/30/2012 1:14PM

    These are really quite wonderful!! Good luck at the fair! If it were up to me, I'd be giving you a blue ribbon for each of them!! Nice work staying busy with these beautiful things to help keep you from mindless snacking! Fabulous idea! Keep crocheting!! Good for you having such a great hobby!

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SPARKL3 7/30/2012 11:46AM

    WOW!!!!! emoticon I am totally in awe of your crocheting skills!!! I just do simple stitches with plain old yarn. I don't think I could work with thread and those teeny tiny crochet hooks to make such teeny tiny loops! I tried my hand at it once, and I soon learned that I don't have the patience for it. My crocheting skills are severely lacking, too!! LOL

emoticon job!!! I hope you get many blue ribbons! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CROWLEY123 7/29/2012 9:25PM

    Gorgeous...each and every one of them.

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D-ABBY 7/29/2012 7:28PM

    Very excellent! All I can say is, if you don't win something, the others must be really good. It has been a long time since I have done anything with small yarn. You pics tempt me to do some doilies again, see if my hands can handle the yarn. Let us know how you do. When is it? I know you have said, but I slept since then. Hugs.

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SUNRISE14 7/29/2012 4:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon BEAUTIFUL WORK ! I WISH I COULD CROCHET LIKE THAT BUT I'M JUST NOT GOOD AT IT . I do cross stitch and draw . Not real good at them but enjoy them. Thank you for sharing ! emoticon emoticon

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    Oh, these are just lovely!
I love to crochet in thread, and my knitter friends think I am crazy. LOL

I am slowly learning Irish Crochet and loving it.

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LINDAK25 7/29/2012 3:44PM

    These pieces are spectacular! Good luck a the county fair!

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JUDYAMK 7/29/2012 3:36PM

    They are so beautiful & you are so talented. When I had my bridal shower years ago I received the pineapple one. It looks beautiful on my cheery round table.

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ARNETTELEE 7/29/2012 3:31PM

  What beautiful work! My daughter loves to crochet, and she's learning to knit too. She makes little dolls, cats, cupcakes, mermaids, and other things. Maybe I'll post some of her pics one of these days.

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LUVLTTR2ME 7/29/2012 3:15PM

    These are beautiful I never got the hang of crochet. but my mom loves it. you did a great job. Wishing you luck on august 8th.

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