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Made My First Spark Cookbook Recipe Today - Photos Included

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Green Chicken Curry

As many of you know, I have been fighting the flu, so I was craving something spicy, hot, and soupy. The meal I selected from my new Spark Cookbook was the Green Chicken Curry, on page 187.

First I placed a little more than half a cup of cilantro in my blender, and added the juice of one fresh lime and enough water to blend it together.

Then I sauteed diced and skinless chicken breasts. They were Amish raised chickens, organic - no hormones or antibiotics. I added onion because I didn't have shallots, and substituted a mix of mushrooms instead of peas. Asian mushrooms are supposed to enhance the immune system, so they seemed like a better choice this time. I omitted the yellow and green peppers because I am allergic to them. I think their freshness and crunch would be delightful in this recipe, for the green pepper eating world.

Once the chicken, onions, and mushrooms were sauteed I added Thai green curry sauce and coconut milk, bringing the mix to a simmer.

While the green curry chicken was simmering, I heated a package of precooked brown rice I got at Trader Joe's for times when I do not feel like or have time to cook brown rice. I placed the brown rice in the bottom of the bowl, added the lime/cilantro mix to the curry and ladled the curry over the rice.

I garnished it with a slice of lime and some sprigs of cilantro.

Then served it with a side of cucumber and avocado slices, which I drizzled a little of the cilantro lime mixture over.

If you have never had green curry, it is VERY different from the Indian curry normally associated with 'curry'. While it is spicy, it is much lighter in flavor. I like both curries, but I am especially fond of green curry.

The recipe was delicious and Mike absolutely loved it. I was pleased with the addition of the Asian mushrooms, and did not miss the peas. The one addition I would make to this dish next time is galangal, a Thai ginger that adds a freshness and zest to Thai curry dishes.

According to the recipe, a serving contains 248.6 calories, 31.4 g protein, 5.1 g total fat, 19.9 total cards, and 4.4 g dietary fiber.

It was the perfect dinner for me tonight, hot, mildly spicy, tasty, and nurturing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ISMILETOO 1/2/2012 11:54PM

    Thanks for sharing. I love soups!

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 12/24/2011 3:12PM

    Gumption! That's what you have, gumption! Not for just cooking while not feeling well, but for taking such nice pics!

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MELINDAM85 12/20/2011 6:33PM


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SHERRY257 12/19/2011 9:45PM

    Fantastic! I love the pictures and may have to buy the recipe book! Thanks for sharing this. I hope you feel better. emoticon

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SEAJESS 12/19/2011 2:08PM

    Wow, your photos are great! Your explanations drew me through to the very end where I found myself wanting to make your recipe for myself. Yum!

Thanks for the info about precooked brown rice. Think I'll make some for myself for those hurry-up times. (I already stock some canned beans for when I'm in a rush... just never thought of a similar technique for rice.)

Thanks for this blog.

Oh, and your iced animal cookies on your page screen are AMAZING! Who could ever eat such artistry? You've developed zero calorie cookies!

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COLLEENMC1 12/19/2011 2:04PM

    sounds yummy, I'm going to make green curry from tj today :)

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RUNNERRACHEL 12/19/2011 1:38PM

    Wow, looks delish!

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GEMINISUE 12/19/2011 11:36AM

    OMG! Your pictures are fantastic, everything looks so real, like it is right there! I could imagine the taste and wish we had scent strips to smell. lol Looks like it would warm you up with every bite. YUM!


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AMARILYNH 12/19/2011 11:08AM

    Wow - sounds awesome!

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CAROLYNINJOY1 12/19/2011 10:54AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GRAMMAP1 12/19/2011 12:27AM

    This sounds and looks so good. Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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HOWLERMOM 12/18/2011 11:35PM

    Looks wonderful - I've always been a bit afraid of curry - had a nasty experience many years ago - but maybe I should reconsider?

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CRAZYSTEPPER 12/18/2011 8:04PM


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MSROZZIE 12/18/2011 5:46PM

    Liked the step by step photos. Will give this recipe a try. Looks YUMMY! emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 12/18/2011 3:05PM

    I love soup. It really does make us feel better, even when we feel fine.

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JIBBIE49 12/18/2011 2:12PM

    emoticonWonderful to see you featured in THIS MONTH'S BEST BLOGS. What an honor!!

emoticonMerry Christmas and Happy 2012 New Year. We will make this the best year ever! emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 11/19/2011 1:55PM

    I adore green curry, it is a staple of ours. I often serve it on a bed of frozen thai veggie mix, just heated in the microwave, and skip the rice but eat it with a spoon to catch the delicious juices. This looks like a great recipe., your photos really bring it to life.

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MARY1313 11/18/2011 2:36PM


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ANJELIA1968 11/18/2011 8:56AM

    Sounds yummy and the pictures look so appealing! I've never tried green curry (or curry of any kind) but I'm pretty tempted based on this! I definitely like the idea of using mushrooms rather than peas. May have to check this out. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Feel better!!!

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MCGS62 11/18/2011 8:45AM

    That sounds good !! Thanks for reminding me to pick up some brown rice

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DDOORN 11/17/2011 2:28PM

    Definitely sounds like a keeper!

Thx for sharing!


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BADASSBLONDIE 11/17/2011 2:10PM

    Nom nom nom! Love it!!!

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MARZIPAN22 11/17/2011 10:02AM

    Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post the photos. Sounds like a great way to take care of yourself in a delicious manner! emoticon

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0309COOKIE 11/17/2011 12:35AM

    That picture of the finished product is mouth watering. Now I am hungry!

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MEDDYPEDDY 11/17/2011 12:29AM

    Interesting serving with avocado slices - would never have thought ablut that but sounds yummy!

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/16/2011 9:35PM

    I must go get this cookbook! Yum!

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TRULYVISIBLE 11/16/2011 9:32PM

  The pictures and presentation was FABULOUS! I want to run out and buy the ingredients. I don't like peas but love mushrooms so glad to hear you substituted and it came out fine. Green curry I never heard of. I am not a curry fan but think I will try green curry. Funny, I have that same brown rice from Trader Joe's in my freezer.

Thanks for sharing and providing the page number as well.

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CAROLJEAN64 11/16/2011 9:06PM

    Looks great. I've never tried geen curry... I will have to.

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SATYAGRAHA 11/16/2011 7:59PM

    Looks delicious! emoticon

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EGGBASKET1 11/16/2011 7:31PM


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Geneva, Seeing Eye Dog Update

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Geneva is a future seeing eye dog named in honor of my parents, Gene and Neva. I will never meet her, but I enjoy getting updates on her training and progress. A family friend won the chance to name a seeing eye dog puppy last year, and chose to name her after my parents. She gets regular updates on Geneva and passes them on to my sister and I.

Geneva is a gorgeous dog and she always looks so calm. She seems to have the perfect disposition to be a seeing eye dog.

She is now vested and has done very, very well on her tests. She will make someone a wonderful companion.

I really wish I could eventually meet her, but I know that won't happen. I have to be satisfied with getting updates on her training and photos of her growing up. Once she is situated with her lifelong companion, I doubt I will hear any more about her.

My parents would have loved knowing that Geneva was named in their honor and would have loved getting updates about her progress. They were dog lovers all of their lives and raised wonderful, intelligent (and very sweet) dobermans.

In many ways, Geneva reminds me of my beloved German shepherd, Rudy. I trained Rudy to be a therapy dog and we volunteered for many years in nursing homes. He was a gentle giant who brought joy to many people facing the fears and loneliness of illness and old age in a nursing home.

This picture was taken in 2005, Rudy's last Christmas. He died of liver cancer caused by contaminated dog food the following April. Do you remember that, when carcinogenic ingredients were added to premium dog foods? Poor, kind, faithful Rudy was a victim of that horrific scandal.

It is especially poignant to be honored with glimpses into the fresh, young, intelligent energy of Geneva, even though I will never have the opportunity to know her personally.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZID 1/15/2012 7:11PM

    Thanks so much for sharing. These dogs add so much to the lives of people who need them and are wonderful, gentle animals.

I am so sorry for your lost and yes, I do remember this. My heart goes out to you... I have a Dalmatian/setter mix, named Jazzi (girl)... I love her so much. She will be 12 years old this year and I know she will not be with me forever. I have had many pets before her and I know the lost well...

Thank you for doing the work that you do... ~ Dee emoticon

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IUHRYTR 11/20/2011 5:40AM

    Quite an honor. Hoping you continue being able to keep up with your doggie friend. Aren't dogs amazing animals? -- Lou

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IDLETYME 11/18/2011 10:54AM

    She's beautiful. What a nice tribute to your parents! emoticon

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BNSUHAS 11/17/2011 9:51AM

    Those pictures of Geneva and Rudy are beautiful!! What a wonderful thing to do to honor both your parents and Rudy!

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MEDDYPEDDY 11/17/2011 12:34AM

    I often think about my german shepherd Jack that I took care of when he was three and who was the most wonderful dog ever...He lived until fourteen and I I could be guaranteed that I could have a dog very much like him I would have gotten another germans shepherd - but I never met anyone like him.

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VALERIEMAHA 11/16/2011 9:56PM

    Awwwwww...what a beautifully "penned" story and lovely photos. I just realized I was miserably behind in reading your blogs, when I saw (and read and DEEPLY ENJOYED) the whole slew of them.

You're such a gifted and sensitive writer. Thanks for your varied and dynamic offerings!

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WATERMELLEN 11/16/2011 8:19PM

What a lovely blog!

It's wonderful to get the Geneva update! She looks like a terrific dog. And this is an entirely suitable tribute to your parents.

We lost a beloved and totally incorrigible dog very young to liver cancer too (Rufus, basset, age 6): had no idea it could have been related to carcinogens in his dog food (always the best for Rufus, of course!)

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MARY1313 11/16/2011 4:55PM

    What a beautiful thing for your friend to do in honor of your parents.

I hate that about Rudy. Manufacturers don't care about our pets, just their pockets. I feed little April Blue Buffalo and she seems to be safe.


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DDOORN 11/16/2011 9:22AM

    Our pets can just win our hearts so...! What a wonderful tribute Geneva is to both your parents and Rudy!


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AQUAJANE 11/16/2011 9:21AM

    Thanks for sharing. Rudy sounds like a great dog. Geneva has big paw prints to follow and seems to be progressing nicely. emoticon

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0309COOKIE 11/16/2011 7:59AM

    I am so sorry to hear about Rudy's demise. I can't imagine how horrible that must have been for you. That was a terrible, terrible thing. Rest in peace, Rudy.

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CHALLENGER15 11/16/2011 6:25AM

    Thank you for sharing. They are both beautiful dogs and their service is/was a wonderful thing to read about.

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LMB-ESQ 11/16/2011 6:05AM

    She's gorgeous. What a beautiful tribute to your parents!

I'm so sorry about your Rudy. Yes, that was a terrible thing they did with the dog food. We were also very concerned about it, and felt very fortunate not to have any problems.

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Back to Work and Got in a Hike - Not Bad for Flu Lady.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I decided I would rather be not feeling so great at work rather than not feeling so great at home. I am not a good sit-still-and-be-sick kind of person. I did that for the duration of my fever, which lasted from Friday evening through Sunday evening. I am not worried about bringing my germs to work since I got sick from swimming in the germ pool of my students sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. Flu was already there to be had for the taking.

The science teacher and I had already decided not to take the class for our Monday afternoon walk because there was an 80% chance of thunderstorms. It turned out to be a windy, but warm November afternoon, and the children asked if I might reconsider. After looking at the radar, we decided that we would be able to get a good hike in before any storms moved in, so we packed up our journals and hiked to a location that would be easy to hoof it back to the school quickly if a thunderstorm started rolling in.

I remembered to wear my step counter today; I am trying to get back in the habit of doing that. Between my quieter, less active teaching day, and our walk, I logged in 7588 steps so far today. That makes me feel a bit better after a weekend of reading and napping. I am still trying not to overdo it, though.

I am glad I went to work today.

I had a chance to look through my Spark Cookbook this afternoon after returning home. I found several recipes I want to try first, and wrote a shopping list for the ingredients I don't already have. I think the first recipe I want to prepare is the green curry chicken, which sounds like a dish that both Mike and I would really enjoy. I'll take photos and write a review of it after I cook it, which will be sometime later this week.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OLDERDANDRT 11/15/2011 12:18PM

    emoticonGlad you're feeling better! emoticon

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DDOORN 11/15/2011 9:40AM

    Nothing like getting outdoors to help boost your healing! :-)


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FIFIFRIZZLE 11/14/2011 8:48PM

    Glad you're feeling better.

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TRULYVISIBLE 11/14/2011 8:34PM

  Beautiful Pic. Can't wait to see the pictures of the meals you are going to make from the cookbook since I have the same one but have not tried any recipes from it yet. Glad you are feeling better.

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IUHRYTR 11/14/2011 7:23PM

    I sound like the proverbial broken record but I do envy your students and admire the creativity and outdoors lessons you share with them. Hope you continue feeling better. -- Lou

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WATERMELLEN 11/14/2011 7:17PM

    You are so dedicated: I'm glad that being at work went well for you!!

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Got My Spark Cookbook and Tech Support For Husbands

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thank you to the people who responded to my question about whether the Spark Cookbook was too laden with nightshades to be worthwhile for me to get. My book was delivered sometime yesterday evening, but I didn't get it until today. One of the things I have been doing to entertain myself as I sit miserably on the couch with the flu, is reading through some of the recipes. I am planning my Thanksgiving dinner and some new food to try next week.

Before Mike brought the mail in, I made up a lentil soup in the crock pot. Lots of flu fighting chicken broth and garlic. I roasted the garlic and the onion first, then mashed up the garlic and chopped up the roasted onion. Along with lentils, I added carrots, kale, and some corn that I cut off the cob. I also added cumin for seasoning, and half a lemon. I think this should be good flu voodoo.

I am not good at being sick, I have to say. I have a fever and absolutely no energy, and am trying to stay low. But it gets tiresome! I have made soup, been on Spark - reading and commenting on blogs, read my book, read the cookbook, played solitaire bananagrams and sudoku, then started all over again.

I plan to go to work tomorrow come hell or high water just to have something keeping me busy.

Someone sent me this - I thought it was entertaining. emoticon

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as
Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as

NBA 5.0,
NFL 3.0 and
Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?



First, keep in mind,
Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.exe, try to download Tears 6.2, and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.
If those applications work as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.
Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program. This is an unsupported application and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend
Cooking 3.0 and
Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck!
Tech Support

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRULYVISIBLE 11/14/2011 12:01AM

  Hope you feel better soon! It just shows you are basically very healthy that you can't stand being in bed. Loved the tech support letter, that was great! I am sending it to some people who will appreciate it.

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IUHRYTR 11/13/2011 9:16PM

    Hope you feel better soon, Chris. I can imagine how frustrating it is for you to be still when you are used to being so active. emoticon

(What are nightshades?) -- Lou

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LINDAJ0621 11/13/2011 7:29PM

    Thanks for my laugh of the day...LOVED "Dear Tech Support"!!! emoticon emoticon
Hope you feel better soon. The soup you made sounds like it should ward off all evil! It also sounds delicious. emoticon
Rest emoticon Drink plenty of liquids emoticon Take your medicine emoticon and you will be fine before you know it! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/13/2011 6:33PM

    Too too funny: how do you keep on laughing when you're so miserable with the flu? Gotta be healing, and your soup sounds amazing.

But: do you really need to go to work tomorrow? Really?

Can you persuade yourself you might still be too germy and just stay home as a "public service"? Any craft project that you could get stuck into to keep you distracted? How about a tiny grey poodle for the fairy house?? And a Siamese cat??

Just saying!!

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LMB-ESQ 11/13/2011 6:16PM

    LOL that's hilarious! Thanks for my laugh for the day!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 11/13/2011 5:15PM

    I am going to CONCUR on this one!

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BADASSBLONDIE 11/13/2011 5:15PM

    HAHAHA love that tech support thingie! So funny!!!!

Nom nom nom on that soup. I hope you have fun with the cookbook!

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0309COOKIE 11/13/2011 4:53PM

    Wow, where do you get that energy? That soup sounds outrageously delicious! Wish I had the energy to make some. Hope it makes your symptoms lessen.

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KAYOTIC 11/13/2011 4:25PM

    Thanks for the chuckle....hope you feel better soon!

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PHANTOMSMASK171 11/13/2011 4:23PM

    I can't wait until I get my sparkpeople cookbook.

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Flu :-(

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Argh, not the way I wanted to spend my weekend!

Looking at the positives:

emoticonAt least I have the weekend to do nothing but rest and nap.

emoticonI can usually only sleep well if I am sick, and have been catching up on my Zzzzs.

emoticonMike is over his flu, so he is well enough to be helpful.

emoticonI lived on enough hot toddies yesterday to be bold enough to post a video blog.

And joys:

emoticonMy little granddaughters, who live too far away.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARY1313 11/15/2011 5:47PM

    Oh no! Well, I have pneumonia! I hate being sick. Hope you feel better soon Teacher!


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TISHTOES 11/14/2011 1:50AM

    Beautiful granddaughters!

At least you are sick now so hopefully you are over it and can enjoy family at Thanksgiving time.

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IUHRYTR 11/13/2011 9:18PM

    I got my flu shot a few weeks ago but last week something low-grade grabbed me and won't leave -- queasy stomach, headaches, fatigue. Here's to getting better emoticon. -- Lou

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PUDLECRAZY 11/13/2011 7:57PM

    emoticonHot chicken soup

emoticonHot toddy

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CHALLENGER15 11/13/2011 7:19PM

    emoticon emoticon hot chicken broth and hot tea

Feel better soon!

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BADASSBLONDIE 11/13/2011 10:18AM

    I feel ya, although I have a cold not the flu. I hope you feel better soon!!!!

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LMB-ESQ 11/13/2011 9:53AM

    Awww.... feel better soon! Your granddaughters are beautiful. Here's to hot toddies and resting up. And your video blog from yesterday was great!


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EJHEINRICH1 11/13/2011 9:44AM

    Sorry to hear that you are under the weather. I hope you are back on your feet real soon!

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