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Secret Santa...and my best gifts ever.................

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

Here at the college where I work we are in the midst of our Secret Santa week. Everyone is welcome to participate and we are to buy four gifts that cost between $2-3 and one final gift that costs around $20. (On a side note, we used to do this in university back in the 1980's and the four gifts were to cost no more than $1 each....how times have changed).

I enjoy this week for many reasons. The shopping is a lot of fun because everybody sort of competes to see who can be the most creative with their limited money. You'd be surprised at some of the things you can find! Then there this is the "gift delivery" as nobody wants to be caught in the act. We've had elaborate schemes over the years that have involved clues hidden throughout the building, students acting as delivery people, etc.

The fun, in my humble opinion, is way more important than the actual gift-giving and receiving. Case in point: yesterday our rather uptight librarian received some children's party favours yesterday and his note said he had to be seen in the library playing with them. You talk about funny! Here he was with one of those exploding sphincters that shoots out streams of paper and he was acting like a kid! He absolutely loved it and I loved it because I got a chance to laugh (like I need an excuse!!!!) as did all of the students! I've never seen him enjoy himself more and I've worked with him for almost 20 years...so it was great!

Okay, now on to the second part of my blog. I decided to tell you about the best gifts I've received and given over the past years.

1. My engagement ring from my husband on Christmas Eve in 1998...or was it 1997? oops!

2. A hammer my now husband gave me back in 1994. Yes, he gave me a hammer and I was really upset about it until I heard the reason why. He had just bought an very old fixer-upper house and he said it was his way of telling me he wanted me to share my life with him. I always retell this story around Christmas and most women say, "and you believed that stupid story?". I did believe him and still do because that is just the way he is.

3. The whole WillowTree nativity set that my father bought for me his last Christmas alive. He said he wanted me to put it up every Christmas and think of him. I put it up a few nights ago and shed a few tears in his memory but then became thankful for having nothing but beautiful memories! As it turns out my father-in-law built me the most beautiful creche that Christmas and so I have both of my "fathers" in mind when I look at it.

4. My last Christmas with Peaches. She was still ripping open presents and even got herself stuck in a gift bag! She was always so nosey and just loved bags of any sort. We managed to get a video clip of her walking across the floor stuck in the bag and all you could see was her tail!!!

5. A DVD my dear cousin did for all of us in which she had random pictures of all of us set to Christmas music. One of my favourites is a picture of my father (taken in Saskatchewan). He was on board the Via rail train and is waving to me and I was just outside for some fresh air. It looks like he is saying farewell and I just bawl like a baby when I see it. But then, later on I laugh because there are some mighty funny pictures put on the DVD as well.

As for my favourite gifts...I'm not really creative but I do have one particular gift that I gave that means to most to me:

A few years ago, when my grandmother was 96 and still living in her own apartment, my cousin and I spent hours with her going through recipe books. Nan was quite the baker in her life and we all have wonderful memories of large family gatherings where there was more food then their were mouths to feed. We didn't really tell her what we were up to but we gathered them all and got contributions from other family members and made up a 100 page family recipe cookbook! We had them sent to various family members (including my brother in Australia) with the instructions that nobody was supposed to open it until the same time on Christmas Day. We had also sent along teabags (such a Newfoundland thing to do) and we all sat back at 9:30 a.m. and shared a cuppa with each other even though we were all miles apart. We were were overwhelmed with the thanks we received for doing it and everybody treasures the memories the cookbook brought back!

Anyway, thank you for reading! Any good stories about Christmas out there? I love the responses I get when I ask questions!

xo Susan

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Sounds like lots of great memories.

I have one that sticks in my mind, when I was a teenager we had a one room shack that was on the banks of the Murray River (a river in Victoria) It was just a holiday shack and we had another family holidaying there with us. There were camp beds all over the floor, you had to climb over each other to go outside. Breakfast was a production line system and we'd all go outside and jump in the river or swing from the ubiquitous rope swing into the water. We had one of those CSI Miami boats you know the ones with the big fan thing on the back, it sounded like a helicopter taking off.
I had a lot of pictures of that one Christmas together but alas they burned in the fires. Thank heavens my memory is still working I can still feel what it was like being young and doing all those stupid things.

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OUBACHE 12/14/2010 8:03PM

    What a great blog. I used to work in a department where they did Secret Santa and I enjoyed it. The our office split into separate divisions and moved apart, and the new group is really too small for SS to work.

Thanks for sharing your memories. This time of year is a little hard and I have been missing some loved ones a lot lately. Your stories remind me how important it is to keep them alive through our happy memories instead of just focusing on them being gone. Thanks.

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HOPEFULANGE 12/14/2010 12:59PM

    Your husband sounds like a wonderful man! I love your stories - keep them coming!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 12/14/2010 11:57AM

    In a lot of ways I don't really enjoy Christmas all that much, but I enjoyed your stories.

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    I love the Secret Santa idea! I wish it would take off here in OUR library at the university where I work! I'm afraid it would become a negative issue with some of the participants, given their personalities, and that is really sad! It's worth a try, though! I'm planning on doing this next Christmas! Thanks! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/14/2010 9:05AM

    That Secret Santa is a fabulous idea! Lots of fun! Never had anything like that when I was in school.
My most precious gift was any beadwork from my talented Cree grandmother. She had a completely paralyzing stroke when she was only 72 (lived, unable to move, in a nursing home until she was 92) She passed away 13 years ago, it was a relief as she suffered so much. So we don't have very many pieces of her work. What Mom and I do have is very cherished. She also did some amazing birch bark baskets. I really think we should donate them all to a museum instead of passing them on to the next generation as then they would be well preserved and looked after instead of packed away in someone's basement getting mold and mildew.
Our family hasn't bothered to exchange gifts the last little while. My sister said don't bother as we were all going through tough financial times. My brother works two jobs to support his family (his wife had emotional problems and couldn't stick with a job until finally she tried childcare at home and that helped out some). My sister's farm had crop failures three years in a row, so gave it up, sold some of their land and rented the rest out. He does hauling jobs, she works as a janitor now.
I really don't miss the gift exchange at all. I am just happy to get to see my busy brother and sister at all. It happens only once or twice a year..

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BARBARACT 12/14/2010 8:38AM

    Those are wonderful stories! Thank you so much for sharing. I have to really think about that question myself!

I really enjoyed reading this. Sounds like some wonderful Christmases.

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Twenty pounds down....time to reflect and rejoice...for women only!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Morning to you all and I'm certainly happy this mornng as I've officially lost 20 pounds as of today. I know this should be making a big difference in my clothes but to tell you the truth it isn't. I think I've become accustomed to wearing my clothes loose that anything smaller makes me feel like they are too tight.

I know many of us have the same issue with clothes but I have to share my bra shopping story. I really needed some new bras so off I went. I have always (or since I gained weight) taken a 42C. I've noticed the cups were getting a bit big but figured they were stretched. Anyway, I tried on a 44B and it fit better in the cups. But then, I wanted a "pretty" bra and ended up with a 44C. Therefore I've decided that sizes are just numbers that somebody out there picks and doesn't realize the emotional attachment most women have to them!

On a funnier note, I did try on several pairs of dress pants as I am in desperate need. Size 18 is too big and size 16 is too tight in the waist. Talk about muffin top! It wasn't pretty. I did buy a skirt (size 14) which I immediately "think" is too small. I tried it on yesterday and thought I looked okay but then I checked the size and as soon as I saw "14" I immediately said to myself, oh, that's too small. Funny how your mind works, isn't it? Aarrgghh!

It is simply beautiful out this morning, here on the "rock" . It was -10 when I left for work and the sun is out so it is a gorgeous day to be out for a walk. Yesterday, we took our "mutts" for their usual romp and they saw another couple of people walking on "their" trail. They rushed up to them with tails wagging and Lou grabbed a stick to tease them with. The next thing you know, Lou whacks Maddy in the head and Maddy falls to the ground. We honestly thought he had a concussion! Oh, the trials and tribulations of having two dogs!

Okay, I've blogged enough nonsense for today! Have a great one!

xo Susan

P.S. Maddy is none the worse for his ordeal.

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RIMAJO 12/14/2010 8:26PM

    What a GREAT achievement Susan!! 20 pounds, gone.. emoticon

As for clothes, I too am between sizes now, but making due. Personally, I'm thinking about investing in a pair of suspenders that can hold my britches up while also being hidden under my tops (if its at all possible) & letting the tops get bagger, its the norm in winter anyway. Come spring - WATCH out world, it'll be time to let the shopping begin! emoticon

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HOPEFULANGE 12/14/2010 12:41PM

    emoticon SUPER CONGRATS on the 20 pound mark!!! Keep up the great work!

I love your dog stories! Too funny...well, as long as everyone is ok!!! emoticon

As for the skirt...yeah - I bought a sweater at the store the other day and now it's home with the tags off and doesn't look any good. Aarrgghh is right! emoticon

Spark On!

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LESLIES537 12/14/2010 11:21AM

    Congratulations!!!!! YOU ROCK! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYDE53 12/13/2010 6:15PM

    Congratulations on hitting the 20lb mark!! Great job!! Know what you mean with clothes; I think it's partly the way they're made these days. Glad your Maddy is ok, we have 2 dogs, and it can be like a circus sometimes!!! Have a great week! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 12/13/2010 3:54PM

    Your avoidance of the size 14 surprised me. It would have been my favorite of the batch. Yes, I AM one of those gullible women who can be flattered by a meaningless size label. And they truly are meaningless. I sew and I have some patterns in size 14 that give body measurements of 34, 28, 36 (?) Now, I've had those patterns for years and years; I'm wearing size 10 in ready made clothes. And that size 14 pattern would not be big enough for me. Totally meaningless numbers.

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JHADZHIA 12/13/2010 2:58PM

    So glad Maddy was okay, that would have scared me big time to see that happen :(
Losing 20 lbs is a great big deal, WAY TO GO!!
I have too much to say about women's clothing sizes. In a nutshell, it makes NO SENSE. They are all different numbers, etc. from brand to brand. They have size 0 now, like what is that? Its crazy!! To me, baby sizes will always be 2-6X. Adult females should be something else. No wonder I like men's clothing. You will get the same size of pants no matter what brand or place you shop at. I recently tried on two women's work clothing pants, labeled 29 waist, but one fit, and the other looked horribly baggy in the legs, but was tight at the waist!! There is just no standards on it.. At least bra sizes seem to be more standard..
Keep up the great work!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 12/13/2010 12:45PM

    Glad Maddy is ok!

I am often between sizes on pants -- it can be beyond frustrating, I know!

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MOMWANTSNOWAIST 12/13/2010 11:29AM

    Good for you,Susan!! Twenty pounds was my goal{I say was--Lost the wt. in 4 mos. and have been maintaining for 6 mos.!} and believe ME it makes a difference! I got a normal cholestrol count,body fat is down by 3-4% , BMI is 24%{healthy!} and my metabolic rate is 1819 cals. I burn just breathing,eating,walking,etc. emoticon!!!!and keep up the good work!---betsy emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 11:31:56 AM

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PUMKINPIE72 12/13/2010 11:27AM

    Congratulations on 20 lbs wow awesome, I would feel great if I could do that, and I know what you mean about the size between 16 and 18 because that is where I am and it's a pain, my 16's feel too tight and my 18 are baggy. craziness, keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRAYINGSUZIE 12/13/2010 11:15AM

    Way to go on the 20 pounds!!! I realized a while ago about the number game that clothing designers do to us women! I try 2-3 different sizes of the exact same thing just to make sure that it fits right. I love the blog!


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THATS_LOVELY101 12/13/2010 10:29AM

    I too have lost 20 lbs and feel much the same way. I can't really afford to get new clothes right now so it's frustrating that nothing fits right. But I do have quite a few "before" clothes that are just a size lower than what I should be wearing. It just makes me that much more motivated to loose 5 or 10 more lbs to get into them! Congrats on the loss. Way to go!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/13/2010 10:21AM

    Whew! emoticonI'm glad you added the p.s.! emoticonStay warm up there in freezingland! emoticon emoticon

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NEWFIEGIRLHERE 12/13/2010 9:51AM

    Susan, I just have to say that I love reading about your furry babies. I had two of my own. When my ex and I split up 11 years ago I lost custody of both of them and only visited them a few times when I realized that I would have to walk away for good because of the "drama' from the ex. Anyway, they were so much fun. I will have to dig out some pic to show you since you are such a dog lover. I think you would get a good laugh from some of them.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks. emoticon

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BSTELLING 12/13/2010 8:31AM

    I had some of the same reactions recently about the 20 pounds lost. The reality is that I do look thinner, my tshirts are too loose now, my jeans need a belt sometimes to stay up. But in my head, I don't feel like it's made any difference. Why is that?

I have two dogs with me right now, mine and my sister's. They are such fun, and do such silly things. I'm taking my sister's back today so I'll be down to one again. I'll miss the other one, she's just a puppy really and so full of mischief.

Have a wonderful day!

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Dorkdom....Part II

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Well, I certainly have great Sparkfriends if the admissions of "dorky" moments are anything to go by. I've decided to continue on with some hiliarious moments in my life because all of your stories made me split my sides from laughing......let's see....where to begin.....

1. I once received a phone call from a woman who was inquiring whether or not I would consider volunteering for the local literacy society. I honestly thought it was my grandmother who was always carrying on over the phone. The woman's voice was so high and squeaky that I burst out laughing and said, "Okay, Nan, I know it is you. You can take your fingers OUT of your nose now and talk normally". I don't know what possessed me to say fingers out of her nose instead of off her nose (I thought she was pinching her nose with her fingers) but I apologized as much as I could, but really what could I say?! Nan and I still laugh at that one.

2. I once left McDonalds with a guy I was trying to impress. It was bitterly cold and so when I went to put my key in the lock it wouldn't work. Thinking it was frozen I went back into McDonalds and asked if anybody had a lighter which would de-ice the lock. We were in the midst of doing that when I happened to notice my car several spaces over in the parking lot.

3. The next story doesn't involve me but rather my older brother who is super intelligent. He was just after receiving his PhD and was attending a world conference of people in his field. This was the same time the Australian Steve Irvin was killed by a stingray barb. Since Gary lives in Australia, this was really big news and the leader of the conference actually stepped to the mic to announce it. There was complete silence in the room and when Gary blurts out, "leave it to the media, the poor man has just been killed and they've named the stingray Barb"! Luckily for my brother everybody thought he was joking and applauded his humour!

4. A few months ago (since I started Spark) I was at my local Tim Hortons and our friend's little boy wanted an apple fritter. So I was trying to keep everything straight and when I got to his i actually said, "and my little friend here wants an apple frigger". I laughed and laughed and laughed even more especially when the clerk didn't so much as crack a grin.

5. How about the time I flew back from Australia? I was travelling by myself and I had only been in Toronto's Terminal 3 one time before. Keep in my that I'm from a really small place and that the nearest airport is about 100 km away. That airport is so small it might have two departure gates! Being used to such a small airport, I assumed I would see the crowds getting ready to board but I somehow got it all mixed up. I ended up falling to sleep in the airport and nearly missed my secong flight! I don't think the flight crew were very impressed!

6. Okay, my last dork story that I'm sharing tonight took place at our vet clinic. I had brought Peaches in because I noticed a few sore spots in her fur. She was quite elderly and our vet is a real sport so she asked me where the sores were. I pointed them out and they were all looked at carefully. Then I piped up, "oh, there is one more" to which Leslie said "okay, it is probably nothing but let's look at that one too." She asked me where it was and I said "on her fluffy"! I thought the whole clinic was going to die from laughing...I mean who but me would call a dog's privates "her fluffy".

7. Changed my mind....here is the final one. My very first job was at a very outdated pharmacy. I was 16 and as naive as they come. One night the pharmacist left for supper and said if anybody needed something other than a prescription that I could go behind the pharmacist's bench and serve them. Didn't a young fellow come in and asked me where the condoms were. I told them they were behind the pharmacist's counter and that he could follow me there. I think my face was growing redder and redder but it darned near exploded when I asked, "well, what size were you looking for" The young fellow was kind of cocky (no pun intended and said, "extra-large of course". I was clearly humilated and added to it when I blurted out, "no, I meant what size box" (meaning package size) and he burst out laughing at me! Everybody I tell that story to just about dies from laughing. Remember this was back in the mid 1980's and I was pretty naive.

Oh dear, I hope I've made some of you crack a smile! Have a great night!

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OLDERDANDRT 12/12/2010 4:42PM

    These are fabulous!! Talk about splitting a gut!!! I think, tho, that "fluffy" had me completely in tears!!! emoticonI really needed this just now! Just got done with Christmas cards and realy tense. Thanks for tickling my funny bone!!

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DRGOMTI 12/12/2010 2:22PM

    LOL!!! your the best!! thanx for the funnies!! emoticon donna

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 12/12/2010 9:05AM

    glad you included # 7 although that was the fella's dorky moment more than yours emoticon

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NEWFIEGIRLHERE 12/12/2010 9:04AM

    omg.. emoticon emoticon emoticonaaawe, that was funny.
you are a riot my dear. I laughed so hard at the fingers up the nose...that would be me 100%

ok, so in light of sharing I will give you one more. This happened to me about 5 years ago. I was still pregnant with Rebecca. I was working one day and a man came up to the register to buy a pop and wanted to know if he could pay for his ONE other item at my register. We are not supposed to do this but of course I said yes. So I scanned in the two items and the total game to over $40.00
emoticon I was shocked and by the look on my face the man knew it, I thought there is just know way a small box like that could be so expensive. It was about the size of a blister pack of cold medication, which if you bought it out of the Natural Value section I could almost see it being that expensive. Anyway, he says I know it is expensive, I responded, well I sure hope it works for ya and he says it certainly does and I say I am so glad to hear as I am reaching for the item to put it into a bag, and he responds back not as glad as my old lady(meaning girlfriend?wife) so as I look down to put it into the bag I notice that this item IS from Natural Value section but it is NOT cold medication it is for MALE ENHANCEMENT. You have no idea how much effort it took for me to get myself into the fridge( 5 feet away) and I bust...It took me about 10 minutes to gather my composure to be able to explain myself to the other employee because I laughed that hard I was crying and they all thought that he had something to hurt my feelings.
I will NEVER forget that day!! emoticon

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JLITT62 12/12/2010 7:46AM

    Oh yeah, lots of smiles. I think I purge my dorky moments from memory, but I know there have been plenty of them!

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ROFLMAO you are a charater..

I used to do all sorts of embarrassing things back in the day when I was young and drank too much, the best thing about that is

a There was no youtube then (thank goodness)
b I must have been drunk enough not to remember most of them emoticon (ditto on the thank goodness)

I did have an embarrassing time at the vet when I took one of my dogs in for his checkup. I had just adopted a cat and hadn't called him anything yet so called him Puss or Pussy. The receptionist blurted out in the crowded reception room that my pussy needed it's check up.

I totally cracked up and the receptionist was mortified, everytime I see her we both laugh, which is just as well as my cats name is now Pussass, just as well my Pussass doesn't need its check up!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/11/2010 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for sharing more of these :)) Enjoyed!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/11/2010 11:30PM

    Oh! My! Gosh! #7 has to beat them ALL! Girlfriend, you are GREAT! I am so glad I read your BLOG!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 12/11/2010 10:13PM

    All of them are pretty hilarious. I especially liked #7. I can see myself walking right into that one, and I am way past 16 and my first job.

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HOPEFULANGE 12/11/2010 8:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Oh my god you're too funny! I can just picture that poor little boy at tim horton's not knowing why you were laughing so hard!

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I'm such a dork!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday to you all!

As I write this it is nearing dusk on Friday afternoon. John and I have been for our walk with the dogs and I managed to "shuffle/jog" for 8 lots of 100 steps. I am really hoping that this will help me along with the strength training I've started. It was a bit cool today. -3 degrees c with a light wind but at least the sun was out. When I returned home my face and hair were almost the same colour red!

Maddy and Lou really enjoyed the fresh air and today they met up with a friend of ours who was walking their Rhodesian Ridgeback named Blaze. The bigger dogs really enjoyed chasing each other and Maddy loved chasing them but not so much when they turned and chased him. Then he would run back to his mommy and whine. He is such a little torment!

Okay, so you all want to know what I did, this time, to call myself a dork. For starters, I freely admit that I'm a dork and I have the greatest gift of all in that I can laugh at myself. It is a good thing because I do a lot of stupid things!

This morning I got up extra early and spent my time fiddling around with odds and ends before getting ready to leave for work. I left the house and pulled up to Tim Hortons (a Canadian coffee house) and went inside to line up like all of the other caffiene addicts.

There was quite the line up so I casually glanced at my watch underneath my coat sleeve. It was about twenty minutes to 8 which was early because we live in such a small town and it takes me about five minutes to reach work for 8:00 a.m. So there I am chatting away with somebody, in absolutely no rush to get to work when I finally decided to leave. When I got in my car I glanced at the clock in the dashboard and it read 8:10!!! Yikes! So I looked at my watch again and sure enough I saw it was 7:40......

I'm ashamed to admit that it took me a second to figure out how it still could be the same time when I left and when I went in but I stole another look at my watch as I was pulling out of the parking lot. No, the watch hadn't stopped!!! I had put it the wrong way around! Just try it and see how confusing it can be. Oh please, just try it and pretend it is confusing so I don't feel so silly.

Well, I laughed at myself so hard on the way to work. I was practically cracking up. The worse part is it is now Christmas exam week and I had students lined up waiting for the library to open! Oops!

I hope you are laughing! Please share your inner dork stories if you can!!!!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 12/11/2010 11:54AM

    I love these dorky confessions. My latest dorkiness wasn't particularly funny. I had a date with my daughter last night for a concert. I thought my timing was just perfect, until I got several blocks from home and realized that I'd forgotten the tickets. Very, very close call.

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WILLOW-WALKING 12/11/2010 10:35AM

    I remember once going on holiday, got to the airport and we were politely informed by airport officials we have missed the flight!!
On the surface not an unusual occurrence but by 24 HOURS DUH!!!
My husband couldn't stop laughing..
If you have to mess up then why not do it in style, in my defence I did get the time right if not the day emoticon

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NEWFIEGIRLHERE 12/11/2010 8:43AM

    Ok I am the biggest dork among the dorkiest...LOL...I mean that with much love !!
So as you know I have a four year old, and not sure how much you know about kids but as soon as you get on the phone that is when they start needing something or they want to talk to you. Well Rebecca is having a hard time with not interrupting while mommy is on the phone. Anyway I was on the phone talking to my boss and as we were getting ready to hang up when Rebecca starts saying I need you mommy, I need you. So as I am trying to hush her with my finger and say good by to the BOSS, I blurt ok...
" Ok I'll see you tomorrow, I LOVE YOU" emoticon

The worst part was I didn't even realize I had said anything wrong until I heard on the other end..."excuse me???"
Boy was my face red!!!

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JLITT62 12/11/2010 8:30AM

    I have put my watch on backwards more than once -- but I do usually notice it right away, I must admit. Definitely good that you can laugh at yourself!

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Hey I've put my top on inside out many times, even did it once when I went shopping, thank heavens I figured it out before I went too far. We all do dorky things just some of us don't admit it.

I can identify with the beet face, mine goes like that everytime I work outside, not a good look I can tell you.

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HOPEFULANGE 12/10/2010 11:15PM

    Ha ha ha - that's an awesome story! My most recent episode of dorkiness was last week when I was trying to flash my lights at a car signalling him to merge ahead of me. While I was berating him for not going ahead, my husband was dying laughing because I was actually flashing the windshield wiper fluid at him!!!

Congrats on the jogging! Keep up the good work! We went for a walk on the snowy roads here in Paradise - very icy out! But it's so nice with everyone's Christmas lights on! emoticon

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GAYLE-G-63 12/10/2010 9:25PM

    LOL I'm a total dork. So, you're in good company!!!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 12/10/2010 7:05PM

    I've had a shirt on inside out - and I am forever trying to get into the wrong vehicles.

I love being dorky!

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    LOL! emoticonWhy, I have NO earthly idea what you are talking about! I have NEVER done ANYthing dorky in my LIFE! I mean, I would NEVER go to school in my pajamas with my coat over them! No WAY! And I'd NEVER take the coat off and let everyone SEE my jammy top! Not me! emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/10/2010 6:49PM

    Numerous things come to mind. Number 1, putting a shirt on inside out and not noticing it at all until it came time to take it off at the end of the day (and not one person said anything!!!). I have also had T-Shirts on backwards.
Rushing to arrange transportation for a Dr. Appointment, getting there and discovering I had the wrong day!!! I have very, very tolerant relatives!!
Stubbing toes. ALL the time. So I have learned to always wear foot coverings at all times, and to wrap all desk and bed legs with foam. It may look ugly, but I have not had a bleeder or a split in a very long time now ;)

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LESLIES537 12/10/2010 5:03PM

    emoticon I thought at first maybe you were a member of the "Dork" Spark team here.

As I was trying to comment on this blog right now I was distracted by a phone call, (yes I'm sparking at work lol) and I answered the phone "Good morning." emoticon Does that count?! LOL

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PARKERCM 12/10/2010 3:56PM

  Such a gift to be able to laugh at oneself. I am also a dork--though nothing comes to mind at this moment. Have a wonderful day and weekend and a Blessed Holiday season.

Chris emoticon

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What is and what isn't working for me:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Happy Thursday SparkFriends!

Wow, where does the time go? Does that expression make me an old fogey? I could use some cutting edge "youth-speak" but I don't really know what half of the words mean and I'm afraid of offending somebody! Ha! Funny, how when you work with young people you feel young yourself until you see them out in public and think to yourself "were we ever as young as that"?

Anyway, I've decided to write my blog today about what is working and perhaps, more importantly, what isn't working for me.

When I joined Spark I threw myself into it! I was constantly logging in, updating, reading, responding, running reports, etc. It all became too much too soon and I decided to follow my gut instinct and only do what I thought would work for me.

On a side note, I am a bit of an obsessive/compulsive person so this added to my growing frustration. I was finding I was spending more time on Spark than I was doing anything else!

So I gave myself permission to have a inner reality check! Although Spark encourages us to make small changes, I was trying to do everything at once! So here is my list of what I am concentrating on and what I've sort of let slip by the wayside!

Working for me:

Logging in daily
Keeping in touch with a few good Spark friends
Walking (even when I don't want to!)
Drinking 8 glasses of water each day
Making more informed meal choices
Eating at least 4 pieces of fruit/vegetables a day
Letting myself be me!

What didn't work for me:

Obsessively checking into SparkPeople
Having too many SparkFriends
Joining too many SparkTeams
Concentrating on SparkPoints instead of exercise
Being anal about what I ate
Focusing on what I didn't do as opposed to what I did accomplish

I realize my weight loss has been slow but it has been steady. I'm starting to really enjoy the way walking makes me feel. Now I've decided to up the ante and I've started my version of jogging a few steps every time I'm out for a walk. I've also started very simple strength training.

Most of all, I've discovered that I can do this! Again, thanks for reading about me and my thoughts!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



You just can't keep up with everything here, that's a fact. No matter what you'd like to do you just have to prioritize. I'm glad you've stayed on our team and very glad that you are my Sparkfriend.

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OLDERDANDRT 12/9/2010 5:48PM

    emoticon Sounds like you have managed to figure out a bunch of stuff!! Now, down to it and let's get a move on!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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S3XYDIVASMOM 12/9/2010 3:46PM

    While I love Sparkpeople, I've found it necessary to back off. The point of all this is to improve my life, not to replace it. I have deleted some friends, too. I felt guilty about it: it seemed like a personal insult, but I'm betting they didn't even notice. Both of them literally had hundreds of friends. My contributions were not significant, and all their activity was totally cluttering up my friend feed. I'm glad that I remain on your list.

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    I so know the feeling, I sadly had to delete some friends that no longer serve a purpose with me. I loved it while I was friends with them and we helped each other out alot but the time had come where we no longer needed each other...and that's just fine. For a reason, for a season or for a lifetime, that is what I have to remember.
I have a small circle of friends that I am connected with and that works for me. It is not how many sparkfriends I have but how we help one another and support one another that is important to me. I left some groups because I did find it too much. As long as I come on here and do what is necessary to fulfill my goal then it is all ok.
Good job with the running to. I am so proud of you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 1:20:25 PM

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GAYLE-G-63 12/9/2010 12:04PM

    I'm very proud of you for something that words for you. That's the reason why I've been as successful as I have been. I don't know why diet experts don't express this philosophy more often. No one is the same, so why should all diet and exercise plans be the same?

Keep up the good work. You're doing GREAT!

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LESLIES537 12/9/2010 11:44AM

    I love your plan! It's all about the baby steps! Each day that you have accomplished something you wouldn't have before you embarked on this journey is a SUCCESS even if there was a couple of bad choices. Focus on the positives and what you ARE accomplishing and don't worry about what you aren't. YOU are doing this! Slow but steady is key to not falling off the wagon. Keep on, keeping on! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/9/2010 10:34AM

    I couldn't agree with you more!! I have some of those traits right now. My unwieldy friends list keeps me hopping, and yet for all the time I spend constantly commenting on activity feeds and their blogs, I get very little in response. I feel so honored when someone ads me as a friend, but when they don't reciprocate its kind of a downer. I am simply getting far too many people adding me as a friend for no reason that I can see. My main purpose here is to track my food and just keep a handle on what I am eating..
You have a very healthy attitude about it all and are doing well!! I lost my weight very slowly too. I don't concern myself at the speed at which others lose. It took me two years to lose 78 lbs whereas my sister took only six months to lose about the same weight, but we are two totally different people and she has no health problems.
We can only do what feels right for us!
Well done rocking your program!!

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SWEETJO11 12/9/2010 9:02AM


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DAWNDMOORE40 12/9/2010 8:50AM

    I was the same way when I joined SP last January. I had one goal in mind and that was to fit in my wedding dress! I accomplished that goal, but I do feel you can get burned out if you try to do much and you set too big of goals for yourself! I feel the best advice I can give to people that are just starting out, is to make realistic goals like working out for 10 minutes once a day. I was always very committed to exercise, but just wasn't eating the way I should. I had half the battle won! I have learned so much from being here, so even if I do get that last goal accomplished, I am still going to want to help others to achieve the same success! I have lots of SP friends too, and honestly I can't keep up with half of them. It used to be that there was a button on your spark page, that would let you send email to all of your spark friends. Do you know where that button is now? I can't seem to find it. Have a blessed day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOPEFULANGE 12/9/2010 8:41AM

    I can relate completely! I joined a team in September that had weekly challenges and I honestly found it more of a hindrance than a help. I need to do what works for me, not someone else.

I'm glad you've realized what works for you and are happy doing that alone. There's no reason we should be frustrated with this journey!

Congrats on starting jogging! I haven't tried this, but supposedly there's a good program out there called Couch 2 5k that can start you on the right path. However, it might be better just to do it at your own pace!

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Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 8:42:12 AM

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    I think you are very smart! I like your blog! Totally sensible! I'm narrowing my SparkFriend list, too. I will keep them as friends, but my goodness, some of the one sided relationships are going to have to go! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 12/9/2010 8:07AM

    I lose weight slowly. Very slowly. Stuck on a plateau forever. But that's ok, cause I am happy with myself, and that's the name of the game.

Just cause someone adds me as a spark friend I don't automatically add them. I'm not here to just get a quantity of friends, I prefer quality (like you!), so I'm choosy. Sometimes it can be hard enough to check up on my friends as it is!

I stopped logging my fitness here for a long time cause I no longer cared about the points. I only recently started again when I realized I could do it easily from my Ipod.

Do what works for you, forget about the rest!

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