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A Little Bit Nervous

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My substitute teacher is all lined up and is someone I know and trust. I have left her detailed plans for the day. It is difficult, though, to leave my class at this time. There is so much to do in terms of rehearsal for the musical, putting finishing touches on the flats and props. etc. Our musician will in in the afternoon, as will a parent who will come in and work with some of the children on a tap routine to go with one of the songs, and another who will help with the flats and props. So, at this very moment, I need to let go and believe that everything that needs to get done will still get done in my absence.

My endoscopy is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I've had an endoscopy before, and it wasn't terrible. A little drug induced nap and it was all over. So, I really wasn't worried about it. But... I had release papers to bring home to sign and bring back. They, of course, tell about what a safe procedure it is, and then go on to explain about possible complications including perforation, dropped blood pressure, and even death. This does not instill confidence. It's hard not to get a little bit anxious about it.

I think I need to take a poodle walk now and get a little sun and exercise.

Slow deep breaths.

Slow deep breaths.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOALIEGRANDMA3 5/14/2011 10:51AM

    Good thoughts going your way for the procedure.

And, as a retired teacher, we do worry when leaving the class with a sub. Sounds like you have a real project going there, but also sounds like you have it well planned.

Bless you emoticon

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    Enjoy the nap!

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WATERMELLEN 5/13/2011 7:16PM

    Ohhhhh, how did I miss this? No wonder you were worried: "informed consent" can be taken to the point of terror-inducement!! Wishing you well now in your recovery . . .

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GOLIGHTLY344 5/13/2011 12:18PM

    Hope your morning goes without a hitch! emoticon

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MARY1313 5/13/2011 10:53AM

    I'm glad you went on a Poodle walk! Relax and let go, that is a good thing and something that is hard for you (and me too I'm afraid) to do LOL!!

Thoughts and prayers for you today!


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    Look forward to someone saying you will be able to be repaired!

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IUHRYTR 5/12/2011 11:11PM

    Let's be confident all will work out for your best health. emoticon -- Lou

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VALERIEMAHA 5/12/2011 8:57PM

    Look at you, dear you, buoying me up and supporting me in my time of a mere emotional meltdown and you are dealing with beaucoups health issues and over-the-top school "stuff" and..and...and!!!

I wish I were there as well to spend some serious quality friend time...in ALL YOUR SPARE TIME.

I know you have a well-developed friend network there, but do know that I'm here for you as well, Chris. I'll be sending up metta mantra for you:

May Chris be safe.
May she have physical ease.
May she have mental ease.
May she have emotional wellbeing.
May she experience the healing she took birth for.
May she be free.

Bowing in gratitude,

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MEOWSNEWPAGE 5/12/2011 7:58PM

    A poodle walk is a relaxing thing.
Prayers for you tomorrow.
take care

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OLDERDANDRT 5/12/2011 6:28PM

    Yes! A poodle walk, sunshine and breathing are the best medicine for a little anxiety. It'll be ok. *whisper* tell Stella all your troubles.........she can really put you at ease if you let her!*

emoticon emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 5/12/2011 6:27PM

    You're gonna do great.... emoticon

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Camping With 19 Children?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My dear Spark friends are reminding me that I was supposed to be doing less, not more, but there is no helping it at the end of a school year. There is just so much to do, that even cutting back does not really make much of a dent. Between today and the end of the school year:
end of the year testing, endoscopy, play rehearsal, set building, prop making, costume making, graduation, 1 bar mitzvah, two HS graduation parties, preparing for camping, and camping. In two and a half weeks, I will have time to breathe, relax, play music, exercise, and be fully me. Not too far away - doable, actually.

I have been thinking about the camping trip. One thing I find is that my wiggly kids do better on the camping trip than they do in school, they tend to love being out of doors and busy. I am planning an even more nature based education program next year than this year because so many of my current students thrive on that. There is so much children can learn, just from being out in nature on a regular basis and through the seasons.

I'll have my camper along on our trip. The children sleep in tents, but my camper is home-base. I store food, children's medicine, first aid kit, etc. in it. I don't get to spend any time in my camper except at night, unless it is pouring rain, but it is my haven when the children are all tucked into their tents for the night.

Home base with my little picnic table. The table is made out of two sheets of plywood and fully collapsible.

I have an entire living room to relax in. I keep wildflower and bird reference books in my camper so we can look up birds or flowers that we don't already know. This year I'll bring my kindle for my evening reading.

I also have a bathroom with a shower, which can make all the difference in the world at the end of a day. We camp primitive so I will not have AC,

Stella loves o go camping and is already antsy as Mike and I get the camper ready for the end of the year camping trip. Mike doesn't join me, but he does help get the camper ready and pulls it up to the campground for me.

I always bring my meditation corner with me.

Between directing the play at the theater, walking the children to the park for lunch during theater rehearsal next week, hiking with children, boating, and swimming, I'll be getting plenty of exercise over the next two weeks. I'll bring my guitar along and at least 3 ukeleles so we can have some music.

Camping should be fun, and summer is now right around the corner.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/13/2011 7:17PM

    "Stella loves to go camping" . . .!! Look at that smile!! What a smart dog!!

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IUHRYTR 5/12/2011 11:15PM

    You are such a fun person. I am sure the little campers will create fond memories that will last them many, many years. Loved the pictures. Have you started making the miniature camper yet? -- Lou

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ETWOLIE 5/12/2011 5:57PM

    Those 2.5 weeks are going to FLY by for you. Try to enjoy as many of the things you are doing (not sure an endoscopy could be enjoyable but hopefully the results will be great) and get some rest when you can.

I'll be home mowing weeds every chance I get, enjoy the variety in your life. Have a great time doing all things!

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MARY1313 5/12/2011 5:16PM

    Wow Chris, it's the same every year at the end of the year! But here you are already planning what you will change for next year's kids. LOL

Stella looks like she is waiting with baited breath! I wish I was going I would bring my guitar and sing sing sing!


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AQUAJANE 5/12/2011 10:55AM

    You do look relaxed in the photo. Stella also looks like a happy camper. I don't know what she'll appreciate most--the cuddle time, walks or herding the kids! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 5/12/2011 10:49AM

    Sounds great!! But, please tell me you have other adults there on the camping trip with you and all those kids!!! Makes my head spin!! Have fun!!!

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MAWRTIAN 5/12/2011 12:50AM

    I too would love to join you!!!!

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MEOWSNEWPAGE 5/11/2011 9:44PM

    you're crazy but probably the best teacher the kids will ever have. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

this is what I take camping emoticonand my emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/11/2011 9:45:12 PM

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CELLOSONG 5/11/2011 9:41PM

    Can't wait to hear how it goes! I loved reading about last year's trip :-)

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    I want to go too!

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JATHUENER 5/11/2011 6:42PM

    i so enjoy that kind of stuff growing up and i got to enjoy things like that so i hope you have a wonderful educational relaxing time in the nick of nature. I would enjoy that myself now as well now but i guess just a get away just to be away would be nice

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VALERIEMAHA 5/11/2011 6:39PM

    I read ALL your blogs dearest friend...and LOVE them...and it's had to believe that I just don't have the (inset word here) whatEVER to post much of the time lately. But I couldn't pass up this oportunity:

"We camp primitive so I will not have AC."

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/11/2011 6:40:33 PM

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It's All About ME!.......er, I mean Stella.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stella is undeniably Queen of the House!

"It's ALL about ME" ~ Stella

Meanwhile, in my life as a mere peon....

First, I want to apologize to all of my friends for not being very present recently. This is my busiest month. I have to have the spring musical whipped into shape by next Friday, graduate my seniors (6th graders) next Wednesday, then pack all 19 off to our 3 day end-of-the-year-camping trip.

How DOES she do it???

Well, by making myself sick, apparently. I had my second acupuncture treatment over lunch break. This time she focused on my digestive system. My stomach was so tense that she had a hard time determining what was the end of my breastbone and what was the beginning of my stomach. By the time she was done, my stomach was relaxed and I felt a great deal of relief. However, by the end of the school day, it was a knot again. Another indicator that this is likely stress related.

I went to the gastroenterologist yesterday. He wants me to get an endoscopy right away, so I have my appointment this coming Friday. Good thing I'm not superstitious.
emoticon Friday 13

I am looking forward to the GOOD fortune on Friday of finding out what is going on and finding the most effective path to healing.

Wishing you all well,

Queen Stella and Chris

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BADASSBLONDIE 5/11/2011 6:03PM

    *hugs* I hope you have some answers soon.

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HANNAHV 5/11/2011 9:58AM

    Holding thumbs all goes well on Friday, emoticon

what a life.....her highness, Stella queen

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    I thought I read somewhere you were going to rest?

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LMB-ESQ 5/11/2011 4:59AM

    Wait.... are you saying the dog SHOULDN'T be queen of the house? But... I thought that was the natural order of things!! LOL

Good luck on the endoscopy, and emoticon for finishing up another year at school! You did it!

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CAROLIAN 5/11/2011 2:55AM

    Hope all goes well medical wise lovely dog she looks very regal lol

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MARY1313 5/11/2011 12:03AM

    P. S. WOW Stella's paws are as big as April's little tiny poofy head! LOL

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MARY1313 5/11/2011 12:02AM

    Ahhhh Stella is a lovely Lady for sure!

I think you are right on track getting the endoscopy. as aggravating as that is, it may show if you have pre ulcers or some such ailment brought on by the high stress of your life. You would think that at least at a school there would be enough help to continue your quality of teaching but I see that you are short handed I believe you said this year by 3. And that forces you to be a super woman because you don't want any of the kids to miss out on all that you do.

I wish I could help during these times as you are my friend. But really, all I can do is try to support you from afar and love you for who you are!

I have the utmost admiration for you Chris, and I so hope that summer hurries so you can get some rest and relaxation!


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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 5/10/2011 9:29PM

    "They also serve who only stand and wait"!

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MEOWSNEWPAGE 5/10/2011 9:24PM

    AHHH! What a life the dogs have! the lap of luxury while you stress over schedules deadlines costumes and getting pinned like a new shirt from K-mart.
I will say a prayer about the endoscopy and hope that there is nothing wrong.

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WATERMELLEN 5/10/2011 9:23PM

    Stella is adorable.

And you are waaaaay too stressed. Time for some serious re-evaluation, right? Because life is too precious for sustained endurance of enough stress to make you ill.

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JAZZMINE 5/10/2011 9:09PM

    I hope all goes well on Friday.


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IUHRYTR 5/10/2011 9:04PM

    Hope you begin to feel better soon, Chris. -- Lou

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JSPEED4 5/10/2011 8:34PM

    Well, you KNOW why your stomach is in knots!

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    I can so relate!

Stella is beautiful.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 5/10/2011 7:27PM

    She really does look regal doesn't she? As great as Stella is, well I like you too! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 5/10/2011 7:24PM

    My dear Queen Stella, Your Highness,
I sincerely realize that you are of the highest degree royalty and deserve all that comes with the title, but you need to try to help mommy if you can!!! Her has belly aches and stress and needs all the help she can get, so Queen Stella,......... please to be silly to make mommy laugh and please to be cuddely all at the right times and for the proper lengths of time with your mommy to help her feel as good as possible as she strives to get through this, her busiest time of the school year.

Thank you for your indulgence in this unworthy one's plea.

SP subject Jayne

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    Thanks for another great pic of Stella. She's so regal! I just love seeing pics of her.

Hope you feel fantastic soon! Breathe... emoticon

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0309COOKIE 5/10/2011 7:02PM

    Aaawww, I love seeing pictures of Stella. It brings back fond memories of when I had a standard poodle named Guiseppe. They are such smart, lovely dogs.

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Baby Bluebird Update 5/9/11

Monday, May 09, 2011

At least 4 of the five chicks have hatched and are thriving. I count 4 beaks, but there could easily be one more baby in that pile of babies. They look so cute with their giant beaks and the beginnings of downy feathers.

In case you missed the earlier blue bird photos, they are here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 5/21/2011 9:40AM

    Oh, my! Far from offended, my dear. It helped me see that little head in the middle. All of the babies have fledged, so I am hoping that I will see them flying around this summer and that some may come back to nest next spring.

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GBSLIM 5/21/2011 9:12AM

    I apologize. I did not mean to offend anyone. I was merely excited to see that ALL the eggs had hatched and thought others would be too. I too look forward to watching them grow and Thank you for sharing.

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IDLETYME 5/11/2011 8:56AM

    I enjoy watching the birds with you. I don't have Blue Birds at my house. Thank you for sharing yours! emoticon

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    I will enjoy watching them grow, We have no bluebirds here.

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IUHRYTR 5/10/2011 9:04PM

    Whatever the number, many of us look forward to seeing them develop and grow. Thanks for the update. -- Lou

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GBSLIM 5/10/2011 7:52PM

    I count 5! emoticon
Two on the left, two on the right, and a tiny little head right in the very middle.

Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 7:54:57 PM

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STARLASUE 5/10/2011 6:40PM

    They grow so fast too!

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MARY1313 5/10/2011 3:27PM

    Awwww how cute is that!!!

Mary emoticon

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MAWRTIAN 5/10/2011 11:54AM

    YIPPIE!!!! emoticon

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0309COOKIE 5/9/2011 9:02PM

    Isn't that precious. Thanks for the update.

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OLDERDANDRT 5/9/2011 8:49PM

    Awwww!!!! HOw sweet!! We have 4 baby robins in my DS's bedroom window sill!! My biggest concern for them is that when they fledge. that straight down from their nest is the cellar way which is concrete steps and landing! Hope they can get some lift before they got their down!!! They are really growing out of the 4 of them living in that little nest!!! hehe.. Thanks for your photo bluebird update. They are great!!!

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RIKKI572 5/9/2011 8:33PM

    Totally awesome. Thank you for sharing!

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    emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 5/9/2011 7:41PM

    These are wonderful!! Thank you!!

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Mother's Day Tribute

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mom was an extremely creative person, and had a very colorful personality. She wasn't always easy to live with, but she enriched my life is so many ways that I still marvel at all she did.

Mom married Dad right after he was released as prisoner of war and had recovered from malnutrition, illness, and injuries. They loved each other dearly, both were artists and shared a love of nature and animals.

When we were growing up, our house was always filled with animals, both domestic and wild. These included, but were not limited to an otter, a baby possum, snakes, lizards, turtles, dogs, cats, hamsters, etc.... although not all at once. There were baby animals that got rescued and released; a snake who the cat caught that wore a band-aid on it's tummy until it healed and scared away one of our babysitters when it crawled out from under the couch; the doberman's they raised; the baby raccoons who ransacked our house on my brother's birthday; and the alcoholic chicken my dad brought home from the bar when its owner's wife said that either he or the chicken had to go. Fauna abounded and thrived at our house!

Mom was an artist extraordinaire, but her biggest pallet was her gardens. Unfortunately, I do not have any great photos of her gardens on my computer, but you can see them peeking through the windows. The entire yard was surrounded in beauty.

These are the traditional Christmas cookies Mom would bake each year at Christmas, for the family and to pass out to friends. She had quite a cookie production going on each year and passed the tradition on to my sister and I. It has been my pleasure to pass the tradition on to my daughter-in-law.

Mom taught art in public and private schools, at a school for severely handicapped children, and at a Center for the Arts. This is some of her own artwork. The wildflower water color painting in the background, the two puppets, and the piece of jewelry on the owl. She was quite an accomplished jeweler, a skill she passed on to my brother.

This is one of her fairy garden paintings. We always had a fairy compound that we worked on in the woods when we kids were growing on. Hmmm - now I have uncovered the background to the fairy house I am building.

What I can't show is her integrity of character, and her fierce protection of human rights. Mom was a civil rights activist all of her life, and in her later life worked hard to educate veteran's and their wives of their rights and how to get their due benefits. Long before it was an issue in the news, she was an ardent protector of the environment, refusing to buy over packaged goods, reusing anything that could be reused, and paying close attention to our impact on the environment in our every day lives.

I miss you, Mom. and thank you for all you have contributed to my life, which is immense.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms and grandmas! Thank you, too, for all you have done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIKETOHEIGHTS 5/10/2011 7:33PM

    That explains where you get your lovely & artistic qualities Chris. Victoria

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VALERIEMAHA 5/9/2011 8:47PM

    Amazing woman; amazing legacy; you are definitely your mother's daughter! Mesmerizing story.

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    A nice tribute. You seem to have many of her passions.

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IUHRYTR 5/8/2011 10:35PM

    Chris, you are a reflection of your mother -- caring, creative, positive, compassionate, dedicated. I am sure she would be proud of the person you grew up to be. Her cookies reminded of ones my mother made at Christmas. They were called "Half-way" cookies. They had a light tan top and bottom with chocolate in the middle. Hard to describe so I'll just say they were delicious. We waited for Christmas with eager anticipation, as you likely did for yours because that was the only time of the year she would make them, for some unknown reason. Thanks for the memory and for honoring your mother. I liked all of the pictures but the one of the two of them together is special. emoticon -- Lou

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WATERMELLEN 5/8/2011 9:28PM

    "What I can't show is her integrity of character": Huh??

You do, of course. You do. You model it every day, it saturates everything you write and every project you undertake.

What a lively and interesting house you were raised in! And what an amazing legacy you inherited and have passed along to so many people!!

That's a tribute, indeed!!

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BARBIETEC 5/8/2011 6:45PM

    Thank you for sharing. I loved this post!

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MEOWSNEWPAGE 5/8/2011 1:18PM

Something tells me that your mother's daughter's turned out to be a pretty good mothers themselves!
Pass that on to your sister

Those cookies look familiar, and delicious.
"alcoholic chicken" o boy already marinated!
or are you just ruffling my feathers? emoticon

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MCGS62 5/8/2011 12:40PM

    That is a great tribute to your mom . The snake with a band aid on it belly is a priceless image.

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IUHRYTR 5/8/2011 12:21PM

    She would be proud of the fine woman you have grown to be Chris. She sounds like someone I would have enjoyed meeting and spending hours talking with. So glad for you that you have such happy memories of her. emoticon -- Lou

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MARY1313 5/8/2011 10:20AM

    that was a great tribute! wish I had known her!

Happy Mother's Day Chris!!!


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0309COOKIE 5/8/2011 9:58AM

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Thanks for sharing.

Hope you have a Happy Mother's Day!

Comment edited on: 5/8/2011 10:01:19 AM

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LMB-ESQ 5/8/2011 9:45AM

    She sounds like a wonderful woman... I'm sure you miss her very much. It's amazing how we don't recognize everything they've given us until we get way down the road of our own lives.

I'll give my mom an extra hug today, since you aren't able to hug yours. And here's one for you emoticon Happy Mothers Day, Chris!

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