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Friday, September 23, 2011

Mount Kinabalu is a prominent moutain on the island of Boreneo, located in East Malaysia.

My quilt ~ Kinabalu is like the Malaysian mountain for which it's named, this quilt has an unmistakable richness of color and form.

I often refer to the similarities between quilting & weight-loss. Just like in weight-loss, us quilters have tools ~ a mat to lay our fabrics on, a ruler to measure our strips and a cutting tool to obtain the desired widths.

When I started this quilt pattern, I broke it down into smaller - more attainable steps. I cut the center squares and strips one and two, then stitched them together. Each day I would tackle a few more strips until I completed thirty-six Log Cabin blocks.

One of the magical touches of this quilt are the fussy cut triangles.

These triangles are cut from a 'signature border print' designed by Jinny Beyer. They really add an unexpected touch to that classic simple block.

Some days I was more anxious to see results and I pushed myself a bit more than the day before. This is so true, even with my healthy journey ~ the more effort I put forth, the better the results I obtain each week.

One morning, I started my day out on a positive note ~ I took the plunge and whacked four corners, attached my triangles and then stitched the center blocks together. It's like those light-bulb moments we have...when we realize with a bit of effort, we CAN accomplish and be surprised by the outcome.

While some days....it's hard to stay focused on the task at hand. I make some progress towards the desired results.

I remember reading on someone else's Spark page ~ there is no TRY in this journey, either to DO or you DONT. This really hit home with me and is helping me stay focused with both my healthy journey and in creating quilts.

Here's a preview of border #one....

As for the rest of the quilt....you will have to be patient, the best is yet to come.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COLEENCOLE 12/3/2011 8:10AM

    I must have missed this blog. A great analogy. And back to the quilt. Did you appliqué the diagonal of the triangle?

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MEOWMAMA3 9/27/2011 6:27PM

    Gorgeous quilt and interesting analogies! I'm so impressed by your work. I've been fascinated by quilts and quilt patterns since I was a kid. Since moving to PA I've been to Amish country many times and I'm always amazed by the brilliance of their work, in such stark contrast to the drab colors they wear. Can't wait to see the end product!

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GEORGIA_KAY 9/27/2011 8:37AM

    Oh, Annie--all your quilts are lovely, but this one is breathtaking! You truly are gifted!
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SUNBEAMJANEAL 9/25/2011 10:35PM

    It is so beautiful all ready. Thank you for sharing your progress with us...and your journey! Can't wait to see the finished product.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 9/25/2011 3:17PM

    That is so stunning, and I loved the parallels to our health journey. Would you mind if I copy your idea? I never pictured something so fancy looking would be so basic to construct. I just went to a "Jelly Roll Race" on Friday night. If you haven't heard of these, there are videos on you tube. I used the Bali Pop Set called "Sangria" and I loved the results. The woman next to me had batiks from India that were so different and stunning, with larger scale motifs. Well, I am stalling...I am supposed to be mounting a quilt on my frame. Keep us posted with the quilt pictures!!

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DIFROMWYOMING 9/24/2011 8:43PM

    I can't imagine the patience of creating such a lovely piece of art, you are amazing, Annie!

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ELSEEBEE 9/24/2011 10:37AM

    Log cabins are my passion and this is the most beautiful one I've ever seen! Can't wait to see the finished product! You are one very talented quilter!

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GCHUNG 9/23/2011 11:19PM

    Wow I love the addition of the corner - it really changes the entire design. I've heard the term fussy cut before but never really knew what it meant. The results are stunning.

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4DOGNIGHT 9/23/2011 10:17PM

    That is very beautiful! I love the log cabin offset like that with that square border pattern! Lovely!

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    Um excuse me but that belongs on MY bed LOL Beautiful work QB!

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SAMI199 9/23/2011 8:15PM

    That is absolutly beautiful & a real work of art! You are very talented,my friend.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm having many food frustrations of late....

Since I'm high-risk for Osteoporosis - I get yearly exams for bone density. The nurses always emphasize that the foods that are good for bone health are dairy products and your dark leafy greens.

Dairy products have slowly gone by the wayside, as I have gotten older I've become intolerant to these products.

The Nutritionist has a huge list of foods to help me on this healthy journey, like: dark leafy greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, parsley, romaine lettuce), broccoli, cauliflower, green peas, carrots, etc.

Then we interject Lymphedema ~ an incurable disease. I have problems getting rid of the protein enriched fluid in my legs. It can be managed, but lately it's more "out of control" than it is managed. I belong to a Lymphedema Support group and posed the question about what is healthy for us "Lymphers". A low carb, high protein and low salt diet is best.

I was surprised to find out they thought Chicken was not the best choice and that tomatoes could cause inflammation. Of course, the Omega-3's topped the list with Salmon, mackeral and tuna. Once again it was suggested your dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, cherries, brown rice, barley, bulgar, Brazil nuts and a few others that I can't remember. LOL

Then to really screw things up ~ because I've had past complications with blood clots, I will always be on Coumadin (an anti-coagulant medication). And the foods that you should avoid..........you guessed it, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, kiwi, grapes, green peas, carrots, cranberries, etc. All those healthy foods that I have once again learned to love & appreciate.

I'm beginning to question everything that comes out of the mouths of the medical professionals. And after they remove all the foods that are high in Vitamin K...what's left over? Fish & rice??? Ohhhh.....yummy.........NOT!!

So, we Eat healthy, we exercise...And still none of us will make it out alive...........LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 8/25/2011 7:55PM

    I hear you...you are doing your best.I didn't know there is a diet for the Lymphedema-I'm heading over to see what I missed.


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STLOUISWOMAN 8/23/2011 10:14AM

    Hi Annie. I don’t blame you at all for being frustrated. Sometimes dealing with medical professionals can make you wonder if they know any more than we do…………….and that’s not much. I don’t really have any advice for you………..just friendship and support…………..any time you need it.


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NETTIEDEE 8/22/2011 7:18PM

    OMG HOW FRUSTRATING! I am so sorry that things are so complicated.

Regarding getting calcium, have you tried low-fat raw milk? The process of pasteurizing and homogenizing the milk changes the chemical composition of the milk. They increase the "stuff" (love my technical terms? LOL) that are hard to digest and decrease the stuff that helps you digest the hard-to-digest stuff. A few of my friends who were "lactose intolerant" have found that they were "processed-milk-intolerant" instead! Raw milk gives them no troubles.

Every state regulates raw milk differently. In CA, where I live, you can get it from authorized dairies or if you own a cow (as in a co-op, which some people buy into in order to get raw milk). Perhaps you can do a bit of research to see if this is a good option for you? I'd start with


and go from there.

Best of luck with everything!

Comment edited on: 8/22/2011 7:22:20 PM

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COLEENCOLE 8/22/2011 12:08PM

    I hear you. How frustrating.

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GCHUNG 8/22/2011 11:53AM

    Man - sounds like a vicious circle - and you're getting different answers. I hope you find someone who will give you advice you can ACT on.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 8/22/2011 11:52AM

    That last line really cracked me up. Keep that sense of humor!

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4DOGNIGHT 8/22/2011 11:49AM

    Does present a problem doesn't it? The whole premise is if you could lose weight a lot of your problems would go away. So how to lose weight. Eat lose and eat more of the stuff you aren't supposed to eat? Walk more and eat less. That is the key I guess. Protein shakes?

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Emotional over-eating.......

Monday, July 04, 2011


Trust me, this is NOT just about the negativity in life. It's also about celebrating the good things that life throws your way.

Think about this....

How many 'work meetings' have you attended where they did NOT provide food or drink?

How often do you gather with friends or family and your time together is NOT centered around "what shall we eat"?

My negative emotional eating blocked my pain, sadness, abuse, discomfort, boredom, loneliness and insulting comments.

But I also dealt with positive emotions, like: celebrating a raise, getting a promotion, starting a new job, having another birthday, reaching a milestone, the sun shined, the wind blew, I received a compliment....

I think you get the point I'm trying to make ~ I ate and I didn't know how to stop!!

While home-bound this past winter, my best friend was bringing me groceries. He never questioned what was on my list, until that one day when he noticed the bag of cereal I had ordered from the previous week had been consumed.

He commented, "that bag had 15 servings and it's gone?"

I replied, "you've known me for over 30 years and you never knew that I was an emotional over-eater?"

OMG ~ what did I just declare? Not only had I acknowledged my problem, but I said it OUT LOUD???

It truly was a baby step forward onto my healthy journey. I recognized my fault, acknowledged it and then shouted it from the roof-top!!

Let the healing begin....

At that moment I realized I didn't have the temptations involved with grocery shopping ~ you know those little tidbits that always manage to jump into your cart, but are never on your shopping list.

I seized the opportunity and the next list did NOT contain: crackers, pizza, or sugar-coated cereal. Gradually the list grew to include: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and healthy meat like chicken and fish.

On one delivery he even mentioned "how proud he was of me" and I didn't automatically shove food in my mouth. I just blushed and said, "Thank you!"

FEELING EMOTIONS ~ what a new concept!!!

I have no tricks up my sleeve or any magical tips in over-coming this emotional side of eating. There are many times that I reach for food ~ especially when I experience mindless eating.

A big part of my success ~ I don't set myself up for failure. I don't have the temptations that I know I cannot resist. If I'm going to shove food in, to comfort an emotion, my choices are apples, pears, nectarines, cantaloupe, carrots, green beans, pea pods, fish or chicken.

I still get bored, am lonely, am happy and will always be challenged with mobility issues. But I'm also seeking other ways of dealing with those emotions ~ like volunteering my time.

Genealogy and quilting are a BIG part of my life! Through quilting, I'm providing quilts for children with cancer and newborns in need.

With my genealogy, I've been volunteering my time with Familysearch.org in providing new resources ~ the current project: 1940 Federal Census - will be available in 2012.

I will often help others with their family trees ~ I just LOVE the hunt & search!!

Now I sometimes get so wrapped up in an activity that I forget to eat ~ too bad THAT scenario didn't happen more in my lifetime!! LOL

I'm not certain I will ever be cured from emotional eating.

But each time I can "fill the need" with another activity, the hurdle becomes less challenging and I look forward to the day when it is just a bump in the road...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE2U2 1/17/2012 9:08AM

    Great blog. I am also working on not eating emotionally & also not eating for several hours at night watching tv. They are hard not to do when you have done them all your life. It does help not to have the "junk" foods around to tempt us all the time.

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4DOGNIGHT 7/9/2011 10:07AM

    Very good blog!

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STLOUISWOMAN 7/7/2011 8:04AM

    Annie, sounds like you just took a major step forward. I'm so glad that you have a best friend that cares so much about you. I also want to thank you for making the quilts for the children with cancer & the newborns in need. That's an amazing substitute for 'mindless eating.' I also appreciate your genealogy skills, having been someone who benefited from them.

Thanks for all you do.


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_KATHY_ 7/5/2011 12:18PM

    Great job getting to know yourself Annie. I'm finding all those things to be true for myself as well. Feeling your feelings has got to be a major reason for not having to eat over those feelings. What is the worse that can happen if we just allow ourselves to "feel". We won't break. So, instead of piling that particular feeling on top of other unfelt feelings, we just feel it and let it go. Then we go back and take a stored feeling and deal with it and let that go. The mountain of feelings (for which we overeat) diminish one by one. Well, that's how I look at it anyway :) Actually, that's a Genene Roth teaching.

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SRHALLIN 7/5/2011 11:51AM

    Ah, yes. The bane of many a day. Emotional eating/over-eating is a frequent cause of obesity. But, there are alternatives; and I think you're onto them with the quilting.

I took up sketching, inking, painting, photography, dance, stand-up comedy - anything and everything that I could think of to turn the urge to eat into something creative and beautiful to share with others.

And, you've chosen such wonderful beneficiaries of your loving labors. You have much to be proud of, and I know that you will find new and ever-more inventive and appreciable ways to redirect the urge to eat.

Pain, joy, boredom - these can all be transferred into a creative and kind outlet to make ourselves and the lives of those around us better. So, please, continue to choose healthy alternatives when the urge is too great - and to pursue quilting and any other artisitic endeavor that will help you to turn those feelings inside of you into a source of joy and happiness for you and for others.

well done. And, of course, best wishes.

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COLEENCOLE 7/4/2011 11:43AM

    Great blog. Awesome insight. I am also an emotional eater. I am slowly becoming a former emotional eater.

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DIFROMWYOMING 7/4/2011 11:20AM

    I know my own struggle with emotional eating is that when certain things happen that really leave me unhappy or distressed I still choose food because I can't seem to find anything else that works yet...I love your idea to allow those times to be what they are, but to choose healthier choices instead of the usual bad ones. Thanks, Annie!

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EACHDAYAGIFT 7/4/2011 9:37AM

    My take away from this blog is the "fill the need with another ACTIVITY". I've been thinking that I shouldn't need to divert myself from my emotions and telling myself I need to stop. Well, I am 56 and have been doing this all my life. Maybe instead of telling myself I need to stop, it will be more productive and fruitful for me to acknowledge that this is my knee jerk response, that I personally need a little help to calm myself when things get intense, for good or bad. And then focus on the activities I enjoy and substitute one for frantic eating. Get moving, get busy, get immersed in something that feels "safe". Food for thought...oh, it always comes back to food for me, LOL!

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    Great blog! I'm so happy for you. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, the more automatic it will become. Keeping temptation away is key for me. I get angry at my roommate when she puts sugary cereal in the cabinet. I tell her to keep it in her room. lol. I can really empathize with you on feeling your emotions. It is usually painful for me, even good emotions.

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JLEE123 7/4/2011 5:19AM

    Like how you are using grocery lists to control your environment. Can't eat what ya don't have? Got the waist on your trousers tightened or buying new? J

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MYCUTEGIZMO 7/4/2011 12:28AM

  I am too..so controlling my emotions is the key to controlling my eating..

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SAMI199 7/4/2011 12:19AM

    You are taking all the right steps & not one of them is easy!!
I share your struggle & I know that this is something we have to do every single day-it is a battle-no doubt about it-BUT it is worth the fight! We can do this!!!!!!

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The Woman Within Me...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

There is a secret buried deep within the crevices of my being. Many years ago, I built a sheltering wall around me. Food was my "tool of comfort" and any time I experienced negativity, frustration, rejection, abuse or sadness ~ I slipped deeper and further beneath another layer.

Years passed by and those "walls of protection" were also keeping me from the things I desired the most.

The year that my best girl-friend and grandmother died, was when I slipped into deep depression. I didn't really care if I lived or died...life moved on around me at lightening speed and I stood still and motionless.

My doctor enrolled me into group therapy and for 10 months I hid in the shadows, not really contributing to the group. Then one night, a young man shared how he had just lost his best friend. With tears streaming down my face, I stood up, crossed the room and put my arms around him ~ hugging him as he wept on my shoulder.

It was a turning point, I slowly began to break down that sturdy fort I had built around me. In talking about my past, I was slowly starting to find that woman buried deep within.

Thirty years have passed by and that woman hasn't fully emerged to the surface. But I'm gradually starting to see the light of day break through the crevices of my armor.

Many months have gone by since joining Spark People. But one of the biggest accomplishments I've made on this journey was admitting that I am an emotional over-eater!

It's another baby step forward, towards my healing process as I have started to FEEL my emotions, instead of eating through them.

While challenging myself to improve my life, I'm learning to appreciate, trust and use my intuition. I am heading down the path of my healthy journey ~ one hurdle at a time.

"And out of the gentle wrapping of that which lived within the cocoon, came the very magnificence of the butterfly. The transformation was slow, sometimes filled with painstaking moments. But the growth, the beauty and the glory of the shedding of that which bound her tight was worth the one moment...when she burst forth into the world." ~Cougar Wisdom

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 7/4/2011 12:14AM

    I have tears in my eyes-I am so happy that you have found the "Woman Within"-she deserves to be free!

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SRHALLIN 7/3/2011 5:00PM

    I can only imagine the courage that writing such a candid and open blog must have taken.

You've taken some of the most difficult steps in becoming a healthier person. This is one of those things where healing from the inside out makes an enormous and dynamic difference in one's life.

Be very proud of yourself for the progress that you have made, and please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel you are walking along; and of course, that you are never alone on that journey.

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DIFROMWYOMING 7/3/2011 10:07AM

    Oh Annie my friend this is a wonderful blog and a testament to your determination and inner strength. I have already seen so many changes since I met you here, your colors bursting forth in little ways. I think if you went back two or three years here (how long have we been here? lol) and looked at older blogs you would also be amazed and happy about the progress! You amaze me all the time! emoticon

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PLSMOM 7/2/2011 4:28PM

    I love this blog. You are an amazing woman...don't ever doubt that. I never really thought of it that way before...about there being another woman inside wanting to get out and live the life I've deprived her of for so many years. Thank you for making me think about that.



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EACHDAYAGIFT 7/2/2011 3:14PM

    What a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably with us. I have been an emotional eater since childhood, and I find that I will react that way to positive as well as negative feelings. Anything that feels strong, i have an impulse to quickly numb before I have the chance to really experience more than the first hint. How do you just sit with emotion without trying to escape? Do you have any things that have helped you learn to do that? I would appreciate any advice you could give. Keep up the brave journey.

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_KATHY_ 7/2/2011 1:24PM

    Very touching blog Annie. We do make our own prisons when we choose to remove ourselves from the life that hurts. Then, with much hard work, as we learn to live in the hurt and understand it, the prison walls come down. We begin to have day passes :). then more and more, we live in that world. Enjoying that world and dealing with the crap that may have once caused us to retreat. I'm still working on day passes myself. But I like what I see outside those walls and I want more. I know you do as well. This is just my silly thought process of the moment LOL But the bottom line, I think, is to be good to ourselves and live our lives in the most positive way we can, each and every day.

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GCHUNG 7/2/2011 5:25AM

    Annie - congratulations on another step forward. I hope you continue to retain the fortitude of taking those steps even when some of them are difficult because it gets you ultimately to your end goal.

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    I am so happy for you that you are discovering the woman within. I can't wait to get to know her. emoticon

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FUTUREHOPE49 7/2/2011 4:26AM

    What a wonderful story you have to tell! Thank you for sharing! You have come a long way! Keep up the good work! I love you bears on your background. They are beautiful!
Hugs Ellen

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I can see....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tuesday afternoon, when the anticipation of pre-surgery jitters hit....I called a couple friends. I actually FELT my emtions. This was a HUGE step for me....instead of comforthing myself with food, I reached out and talked about my feelings. I kept busy, trying to keep my day as normal as possible.

When I walked into the hospital Wednesday ~ I had a good nights rest and felt confident it would be a "good day". Another big first....my anxiety was at it's lowest.

From the time they rolled me into the operating room ~ till I was returned to my room, less than 30 minutes had passed. It was by far one of the easiest surgery I have ever experienced.

I was given a small dose of Valium to "take the edge" off, yet I was awake through the whole procedure. My doctor was by my side talking to me and telling me the whole procedure, as she was preforming it. Her voice was very soothing and quite comforting.

This morning, I headed into the doctor's office to have the pressures in my eyes checked. The technician also checked my vision. That old fuzzy 'big E' of yesterday, is now very sharp and clear. After only 20 hours of surgery, my vision is 20/25 and should continue to improve (as my eye is still dialated).

I always thought my left eye saw fairly well, until I woke this morning and was sitting at the kitchen table. I have bird feeders just outside my window, last week my birds were just flashes of brilliant colors and today I can describe them in detail.

I was anxious to talk to my doctor. I told her what an awsome job she has! Not only does she have the knowledge of being a doctor, she also possesses the ability as a surgeon to restore someone's eyesight. What a thrill that must be when you have results, as positive as my own!!

This was truly another positive step forward in life's journey.....

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone...
I can see all obstacles in my way.....
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind...
It's gonna be a bright, bright sun shiney day!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 5/22/2011 11:12AM

    I am so glad it all went well for you! I applaud your attitude to the op! Well done! It's so wonderful that you can now see the birds in all their glorious colours. Your quilts will look psychedelic now! It will be much easier to do them. Perhaps you could try something else! You will soon be out in the sunshine and rarin' to go!

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SAMI199 5/17/2011 6:48PM

    I am so happy for you!


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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/12/2011 11:35PM

    Woo Hoo!!!! Awesome that you are already seeing so well. To manage it without using food is truly praiseworthy...I wish I could say I was there now but I am not. Enjoy your bright, sunshiney views and keep us posted!

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GEORGIA_KAY 5/12/2011 8:13PM

    Oh Annie honey, how very very very happy I am for you!!!

God really is so good to us!


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ELSEEBEE 5/12/2011 6:56PM

    Isn't it amazing what doctors can do for us? When my mom brought my dad home from having his first cataract surgery he got all excited because there was a tree growing the yard across the street! Mom had to laugh and tell him it had always been there!

Your attitude is an absolute inspiration to all of us! You are an amazing lady!
emoticon on turning to friends instead of food when you were nervous!

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PATTYCAKE17 5/12/2011 6:09PM

    Keep singing that happy tune! You're quite a trouper. I'm so grateful for your wonderful blessing.
Seeing the birds at play is such fun, isn't it; a special reward. I have a large shrub outside my window with a nest in it and those little birds keep me company on their flights in and out of the nest, and dive bombing my window!LOL
All the best to you; God bless. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KJWILSON211 5/12/2011 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TOWHEE 5/12/2011 5:05PM

    Thank you for your blog. It helps to put MY mind at ease.

I'm so very happy for you. Since I am going through the same thing I certainly understand how excited you are to see clearly.

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GCHUNG 5/12/2011 4:42PM

    So this should influence your quilting too!! I can't wait to see what new prizes you'll create.

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ELLEN0407 5/12/2011 4:39PM

  you had an amazing week. congrats on all you have

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