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Day 1 of "60 Day Summer Challenge"

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I must be the undeclared Queen of Fooling myself category! I decided to join a team last night which is basically a sefl-directed 60 Day challenge which will take me up to Labour Day.

In preparation, I had to weigh myself and have pictures taken of myself. Oh, dear lord, both were bad! I am now up to 218.2 pounds (so in essence I've regained 18 pounds) and am just 7 pounds from my original start weight!

I really feel gross about posting my pictures but that is probably why I should post them.....get them out there for all to see. Can I do it?

Drum roll please.....warning they are not pretty!

I really feel like throwing in the towel when I look at them and I see what I've let myself become. AAARRRGGGHHH

Anyway, my goals for my challenge are quite simple as that is what worked for me in the past:

1. Eat three meals a day plus snacks and stay within my calorie range
2. Track everything
3. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
4. Exercise in some form for 10 minutes a day
5. Walk 12 km over each week
6. Weigh weekly
7. Blog and be an active Sparker


P.S. I'm still working on that list of food/items I want prices checked for! Thanks for all the interest!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 7/6/2011 10:26PM

    I posted a swimsuit picture last summer and the honesty of it all was almost unbearable. My objective was a little different than yours but it was nonetheless painful. So, kudos for the courage it took to do this. I think you have lovely legs, smooth, curvy with daintily turned ankles. Remember that in an exercise like this it is important to give yourself credit for your assets as well as recognizing your faults. Good luck with the 60 day challenge.

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    You are AWESOME! You will succeed - I KNOW!

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HOPEFULANGE 7/6/2011 5:54PM

    Great going Susan!!! emoticon

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    I am so proud of you! Though I would like to see your face. emoticon

I like that you furry friend stayed in the pictures!

I know you can do this, give a shout out if you need anything at all!

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CODEMAULER 7/6/2011 1:43PM

    Love the fuzzy, four-footed friend in the photos!

Yeah, I'm not keen on posting pictures of me, either, but I have to wonder if that's where motivation and accountability are hiding.

And no throwing in the towel! You wouldn't go rob a bank just because you got a speeding ticket... so don't go off the plan simply because you strayed off the path a ways. Reach out and dig deep; you'll be back to good habits in no time!

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    WTG!!! -fellow-teammate, Michelle

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BOVEY63 7/6/2011 1:13PM

    Best of luck with the challenge - I'm going to do it too!

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KAMAPERRY 7/6/2011 12:30PM

    You did it, so proud of you! I will be posting new pics of myself on Monday.

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KANSASROSE67 7/6/2011 12:22PM

    So glad you've joined this challenge too! I've never posted (or taken) really good before pics like this. I just haven't been able to do it. I wish I were as brave as you!

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JLITT62 7/6/2011 12:15PM

    Great goals! I know how hard it was for you to post those. Let's make them motivation when you have a smaller body!

I am SO proud of you for staying with us.

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    YOU DID IT!!! emoticon

I am so proud of you for stepping up to the challenge of a better YOU!

Susan, I know you can do this, and so do you. emoticon

You follow your goals, and you're off and running! emoticon

I really am proud of you for taking this step and overcoming your reservations! emoticon

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LESLIES537 7/6/2011 11:11AM

    Simple yet doable!! I love it! And I love YOU! emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 7/6/2011 10:42AM

    Your goals are simple - but smart! These are exactly the steps that you need to take to lose weight & get healthy.

I remember the first photo I posted on my blog. I felt a wave of shame flood my body - flushed, sick stomache, teary eyes, shaking hands. Why do we feel so bad about our bodies? We're so harsh about our own body & so much more forgiving with other people's bodies.

When I look at your body, I see upper arms that I would kill for (mine have so much excess skin that won't go away with weight loss) & you have shapely, gorgeous legs. Really, you should never wear anything but skirts & shorts!

Your tummy is your problem area - just like a lot of us! It's larger than some & way smaller than others. It's where you are at right now. That's all. I'm even a bit jealous of your tummy - again, it's an excess skin issue that leaves me with a droopy belly.

This judgement you're placing on yourself, that I used to place on myself, it's just useless crap. It doesn't get you any closer to where you want to be. In fact, it's that wicked internal voice that always tries to beat you down. I know this because it doesn't make you want to push harder, it makes you want to "throw in the towel". Any time that voice tries to make your life worse & not better - ignore it. Better yet - argue back like you defending the body of your very best friend.

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HEART_N_GRACE 7/6/2011 10:31AM

    Susan, You are amazing!!! We can do this together!!


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MOSTMOM1 7/6/2011 10:04AM

    Good for you, Courageous Sparker!! You can rock that challenge!!
PS: Your dog is extremely cute. :)

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SHARON2014 7/6/2011 9:52AM

    Kudos to you for this post. I have measured, but, like you, a bit squeamish about the photo! I am looking forward to the 60-day challenge and have added you as a Friend. emoticon

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I need some volunteers from varying geographic spots around the world

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Yes, you are all probably wondering what I am up to. First of all, I have an idea for which I need some of you to volunteer your time. After reading an American magazine that included prices for various products I started thinking about how it would be interesting to do a little check and compare.

I'm going to come up with 10 items or so that should be universal. I want you to check the prices at your local store to see how much you pay in your area. Gas should be an interesting one. I will try to pick items and sizes that we all can relate to.

If you want to particpate just respond here, I guess. But, I would like to know where you are from...not exact street or towns but at least what state, province, or country.

Some ideas are:

Oranges - a dozen
Eggs - a dozen large
Toilet Paper
Skinless/boneless chicken breasts
Lemons (each)
Kiwis (each)

These are just some random ideas so just let me know if you are interested and I will compile a simple list and we can report the regular price you would expect to pay.

P.S. The Gros Morne Challenge is going great. I'm about 3/4 the way with my km and 1/5 of the way there with my uphill steps.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 7/8/2011 12:41PM

    Kiwis and lemons= $0.99 (US dollars)
Bananas= $0.79 a lb
Dozen oranges= $3.50
Dozen eggs=$0.99
Gallon of Milk= 2.99-3.99
Gas= $3.49 a gallon! CRAZY!

(Kansas City, MO. US)


Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 12:42:41 PM

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CALGARYNEWF 7/7/2011 11:34AM

    I'll get back to you with Alberta prices Susan.


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MEMARE 7/7/2011 8:07AM

    Question... there are different grades of gasoline.
From regular up to high octane...
Are you going with the lowest level?
Same with eggs, different grades, different price ranges...

Just a thought... emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/6/2011 10:04PM

    This sounds like fun. I'll get on this within the next day or so. I just went shopping today and the only thing that was on your list was eggs. I paid a dollar for a dozen at Walmart. Sounds like a bargain. I bought kiwi's last weekend @ 3/$1. Again a bargain, but I bought them because the price was right. (Utah prices)

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BOVEY63 7/6/2011 1:12PM

    Prices in Northern Minnesota

Gas - $3.59/gallon
Oranges - a dozen - $1.69/pound
Eggs - a dozen large $1.29
Milk - $3.89/gallon
Toilet Paper - $2.00/4-pack (double roll) of White Cloud
Skinless/boneless chicken breasts - $3.99/pound
bananas - 54 cents/pound
Lemons (each) - 50-60 cents
Kiwis (each) - 35 cents

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CHELLES_BELLS 7/6/2011 10:36AM

    I just went shopping last night (and bought everything on this list), so I thought I'd help you out! These were the prices using my Dominicks and Jewel/Osco discount cards.

Chicago (as in, in the city, not suburbs):

Gas- 4.54/gal
Oranges- .99/pound
Eggs- 3.99 for organic, 2.50 for generic
Milk- 3.49/64oz carton
Toilet paper- 7.99 for 16ct.
Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts- 9.99 for a bag of 5 (Perdue)
Bananas- .69/pound
Lemons- roughly .59/each
Kiwi- roughly .49/each

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MESEATURTLE 7/6/2011 10:17AM

    Will definitely get back to u !!! I
I've in India.. This should be interesting!!

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TEMPEST272002 7/6/2011 9:54AM

    I remember being really surprised at the price of bananas in Australia. This should be really interesting. I'll take the list tomorrow when I go shopping.

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Let me know and I'll be in on it. You would fall down to see how much bananas are costing here at the moment, you need to pension off a kidney to buy one.

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KAMAPERRY 7/6/2011 12:41AM

    I can do this, this weekend!

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AUNTIELES53 7/5/2011 11:46PM

    i will check on these things also :) get back to you soon :)

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LESLIES537 7/5/2011 10:53PM

    Oh, this sounds FUN! Great idea! I'll compile a list and will get back to you on this. Promise! emoticon

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    Northern Arizona

Gas ~ 3.32
Oranges - a dozen ~ ?
Eggs - a dozen large ~ 2.29
Milk ~ 1.79
Toilet Paper ~ About 3.00
Skinless/boneless chicken breasts ~ 1.67
bananas ~ .59
Lemons (each) ~ ?
Kiwis (each) ~ ?

Now that the garden is producing, I haven't been to the store for a couple of days. Just grabbed apples and ran, so I have no clue on the prices for the oranges, lemons or kiwi.


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GEORGIAK25 7/5/2011 3:55PM

    Gas $ 1-45 a litre
Oranges about $3-30 a kilo
eggs anything from 2-5o to 7-00
Milk a dollar a litre
Tolet paper about $4 for 8 rolls
Bananas $14 a kilo due to the crops being destroyed during our cyclone season.
Kiwis about 90 cents each

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    Good luck with your project. My husband is the shopper, and I confess to having no idea what things cost, except gas. Last time I checked it was $3.45, here in Maryland. That was last week though. I don't use a lot of gas and I only look when I fill the tank.

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Gros Morne Mountain Challenge

Saturday, July 02, 2011


One of the leaders of our Newfoundland SparkPeople team came up with the idea to start a "Climb Gros Morne Mountain Challenge". So far there are only two participants but that is fine because it a personal challenge with no official start and end date. Both of us started on June 30th.

I've included a map of sorts to let you all know where this mountain is. It is located in Gros Morne National park which has to be my favourite place in all Newfoundland! Now, while this mountain seems tame to some I've seen, it is a challenging climb. I climbed in for real back in the early 1990's with my then boyfriend, John, who I vowed I would marry if he got me down off that blessed thing. We went in October and it was so beautiful but we weren't really prepared for the thirst, nor the temperature changes, nor the desire to toss each other off the side when the going got tough. I can vaguely remember threatening to trip him up if I caught up with him which is probably why he stayed ahead of me for most of it!

Anyway, I digress! I have to find the exact number of kilometres and uphill steps (HOPEFULANGE has them recorded on the challenge page) but I'm making progress. It is such an attainable challenge that I feel like I can do it. Maybe next challenge will be to walk the Newfoundland trailway or the trans Canada highway. Who knows...at least I'm walking!

Here is a picture I found of some of the scenery around Gros Morne

I have pictures of my own trip somewhere....will have to dig those out for us all to have a laugh about! Those were the days! Anyway, the weather has improved......yeah.....if I didn't know better I would say the fireworks last night cleared the air. It is now 24 degress and sunny........

I'm still trying to catch up.....xo Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALGARYNEWF 7/5/2011 2:55PM

    I just joined your challege (a little late!!! Looking forward to it!



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_LINDA 7/3/2011 1:56AM

    Gorgeous place!! What a memory you have of it though, lol. What you should remember with fondness, is that you actually made that climb, which is fantastic! This virtual climb is a great idea! Ready, set, GO!

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BECCAJ98 7/3/2011 12:02AM

    Beautiful!!!!!! Can't wait to hear how your challenge goes!

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KAYDE53 7/2/2011 11:47PM

    Beautiful scenery!

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HOPEFULANGE 7/2/2011 9:23PM

    I'm glad you like my challenge! I agree that it's attainable - I wanted to start off small. I'm part of another team called Operation America, where we track long distances, and we actually started across NFLD. Because the distance was so huge, the organizers cut down the actual miles to "pretend" miles...and it just doesn't have the same feeling of accomplishment. The idea of the NFLD Trailway is great! emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/2/2011 4:46PM

    That is a beautiful place. Maybe doing the virtual hike will inspire you to do the real thing sometime. I do uphill steps every time I go out the door, but I never have really thought of it as training. Hmmm.?

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LESLIES537 7/2/2011 2:57PM

    Beautiful! emoticon


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BOVEY63 7/2/2011 2:33PM

    I can see why it is one of your favorite places - absolutely beautiful! Great challenge too.
Loved the story of the previous climb!

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    That looks amazing! I think that this is a great challenge!

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JLITT62 7/2/2011 1:37PM

    That looks amazing!

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TEMPEST272002 7/2/2011 12:47PM

    I'm hoping to get out to NFLD next summer. Fingers crossed! Grose Morne looks stunning - maybe we'll hike it together. Promise not to trip you and send you sprawling over the side.

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MOSTMOM1 7/2/2011 12:09PM

    You're so funny, Susan. That sounds like a GREAT challenge! I just know you can do it. What a beautiful place, too.

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Happy Canada Day

Friday, July 01, 2011


I would like to wish all of my friends, especially my fellow Canadians, a very happy Canada Day!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

That is all for now....short and sweet!


P.S. I'm feeling much better!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 7/2/2011 11:27AM

    Hope you had a wonderful Canada Day!
Happy to hear you're doing better.

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_LINDA 7/2/2011 1:16AM

    So glad you are feeling better! Enjoy Canada Day!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 7/1/2011 11:08PM

    Hope you had a super happy Canada Day!

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GOGIRLOLDER 7/1/2011 8:24PM

    Woo Hoo Happy Day and glad you are feeling better! emoticon emoticon

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BECCAJ98 7/1/2011 2:02PM

    Glad your feeling better! Shave a great day!

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    I am glad that you are feeling better!

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JLITT62 7/1/2011 12:40PM

    Enjoy your holiday!

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CODEMAULER 7/1/2011 12:12PM

    Make it an awesome day!


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LESLIES537 7/1/2011 11:39AM

    Happy Canada Day, my friend!! emoticon

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ALICIA214 7/1/2011 11:08AM

Back atcha. emoticon Have a Great day everyone

Comment edited on: 7/1/2011 11:09:28 AM

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/1/2011 11:05AM

    Have a wonderful holiday!

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Hives, flea bites, shopping and a whole bunch of other stuff

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I went to bed last night with very itchy legs only to wake up this morning with hives on my upper thighs. Have no idea what caused them but a good friend suggested they could be flea bites?! My dogs are both on regular flea treatment but yesterday I was out to a less than clean dog "spa" to pick up the last of the belongings for our humane society. It got me wondering but I think these are just common enough hives. Mind you, I have no idea what has caused them! Tonight they have spread a bit and my eyes and nose are very itchy. I took some Benadryl earlier so I'm hoping the itch will stop soon.

Today, a plus-size store opened its doors in my hometown. Now, I should be happy, right? I had to drive one hour to get to one before so this is convenient but I think it is a little too convenient! I want to get out of plus-sizes and not be lured by availability. Of course that is my own doing, isn't it. Nobody is forcing me to be a plus-sized girl.

Anyway, I went there with my mom (who used to wear a size 3x but now can wear a regular size 14) with me. I didn't even try on anything as there were just too many people there. We then went to a shoe store. I think we went there because my Mom was ashamed that I was out wearing the most beat up (yet most comfortable) pair of brown leather Clarke loafers! I've actually had them thrown out twice and both times took them back out!

I ended up with another pair of Clark shoes which are very similar in style to Sketchers and a pair of Birkenstock sandals. I have two pairs of the latter already but they are 15 and 7 years old respectively. Mom bought me both pairs (yeah for moms everywhere!) and I'm glad they both seem very comfortable.....they have to be or I simply won't wear them! I'm contrary like that. I refuse to wear anything on my feet that looks good but hurts!

Didn't walk today but did manage to get some things done around the house that I've been meaning to do. That always makes me feel good. The dogs were out twice today and are like lumps by my feet now. Except for little snortles they aren't making a sound....until someone goes up the road and then look out!!!

I am still trying to catch up with all of you. I think I am about halfway there. Here is a funny picture I found of two dogs being patriotic for our upcoming Canada Day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 7/2/2011 11:30AM

    Hope the itching has cleared up. Have a wonderful weekend!

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TEMPEST272002 7/1/2011 4:26PM

    Happy Canada Day to you too!

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LESLIES537 7/1/2011 11:47AM

    Cute picture! I hope your legs are less itchy and that your hives are all cleared up! emoticon Take care!

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MISS_VIV 6/30/2011 12:04PM

    I love CLARKS and I love BERKIES even more. I have several pairs and I refuse to throw them out. Newer is nice, but older is better............


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OLDERDANDRT 6/30/2011 11:02AM

    emoticonHappy Canada Day tomorrow!!!

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METALLICAT1 6/30/2011 9:55AM

    Yeah for the new shoes! I'm like you, where 'em till they fall apart! I also bought a new pair of wedgies/sandles. Now all I have to do is find a nice sundress and I'm set.

Though I don't have to wear a Plus-size, I still like to go into those stores and check out what they have. I like to where my shirts big anyway and sometimes they have the nicest shirts/tops/sweaters that the "regualar" stores don't have.

Yes moms are the BEST! It's nice you go shopping together!

Happy Canda Day! The doggies are cute.

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    Oh, I hope you stop itching soon! Yuck! emoticon

Hurray for new shoes! I had to get some shoes for serious walking the other day, and the price tag nearly did me in! I got them, though, because I am worth it! emoticon

Hurray for your Canada Day! emoticon

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JLITT62 6/30/2011 5:37AM

    I think if you had flea bites you'd know - they're the most horrible itchy things.

When we lived in TX, the fleas were becoming resistant to the meds & i'd get bites sometimes.

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_LINDA 6/30/2011 2:05AM

    Wearing comfortable shoes is an absolute must, that is for sure, glad you stick up for your feet! That being said, eventually, the support will wear out and it will become time to get new ones..
Hope your hives ease up soon!
Cute doggie photo!!

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THETURTLEBEAR 6/30/2011 12:21AM

    The thing about hives is that they never seem to have a reason. Hope it's better soon!

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MOSTMOM1 6/29/2011 11:47PM

    Sounds like a good day, my Spark Friend!

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 6/29/2011 10:23PM

    It was so hot here today that both my dogs were just happy to lay in front of the fan! Kinda blocked my air flow, but what can you do.

I love Birkenstocks!

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DRGOMTI 6/29/2011 9:13PM

    I'm going to go right out n get my mom outa assisted living n take her shoe shopping!! I'd love a pair a Birkenstocks n Clarks!! Love the picture n wish I could come up n celebrate Canada Day! We have to go to the DC area where my daughter lives. it's crazy there n the people DO NOT know how to DRIVE!!! RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! If they ever came thru Chicago, they'd never survive!! : )) I'm sure gonna LOVE seeing our precious Grandson tho!! He's 1 1/2 n so much fun!!!! see ya when I get back. I'm gonna try to get on here during the trip, but my daughter keeps me pretty busy!! emoticon
Happy Canada Day!!! emoticondr

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