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Wonderful Trip

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The trip down memory lane met every expectation I had. My mom remembered a great deal about her childhood, showing me the farm she grew up on and even the farm where her mom grew up. She told me some great stories I hadn't heard about her family and some of the stories I had heard over and over meant more when I saw the locations in which they occurred.

We spent some time at a lake my grandfather helped to "build," with 11 other men, all dredging with their teams of horses to make a dam around 1932. It is beautiful. We visited distant cousins on her mom's side and her dad's side. There are only 2 of her generation left and we saw them both. We visited several of her classmates and saw schools she attended, as well as the school I attended from kindergarten to fourth grade.

I did not enjoy the driving. Living in Florida I'm used to straight, flat roads and when I'm on the interstate I know which lane to get in and where to turn. My mom's old homeland is rolling hills, with twisty roads. It was beautiful, but I couldn't always look as I was trying to get us to where we were going in one piece. Getting around the airport in the city was challenging, too. Nonetheless, it was all worth it.

One bonus was that we got to see the leaves changing without having to endure any really cold weather. It rained a few times, but even on days it rained, the sun came out for part of the day and it was just gorgeous. I don't think it got under 50 degrees the whole time we were there. I got to walk every day, usually in a spot of great beauty. Unfortunately my cough was bad throughout the trip and I decided not to run. Hope I can shake the cough in order to train for my next 5K in 2 weeks and 10K in 6 weeks, but I'll just do the best I can. I suspect I really need to study immunities and make an effort to build mine as I've had 3 colds this summer that has really messed with my exercise plans.

I felt very good about my eating 9 of the 12 days, and not bad 2 more days. One day I really blew it, letting myself get too hungry and then having no good choices. I think I'll wait a day or two to step on the scales to let any sodium weight dissipate and then I'll see what action, if any, I need to take.

I sure wish my mom didn't live half a continent away, but I sure am glad we shared this very special time together.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 10/4/2011 5:23PM

    That sounds like an awesome trip for both your mother and you. I call it "building memories on memories". Now you know a bit more about your heritage. You can now share more with your own daughter and granddaughters. That is priceless.

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BLUESKY_321 10/3/2011 2:01PM

    Sounds like a wonderful trip!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 10/3/2011 11:13AM

    how wonderful you still can visit with your Mom!

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/3/2011 9:46AM

    What a blessing to be able to share this with your mother! Hope your cough goes away soon ... If it's hanging on for 10 days, perhaps you need to see the Dr?

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FROSTY99 10/2/2011 7:05PM

    Sounds like a wonderful trip and something you will treasure in the coming years.

Don't work too hard if you don't feel good-a lot of stuff going around. Several friends have been pretty sick and now DH has a cough so hoping he isn't getting sick.


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WILD4STARS 10/2/2011 5:56PM

    Sounds incredible! What a gift you have given your Mother.

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WATERMELLEN 10/2/2011 3:40PM

    Welcome back: glad you had such a great trip, sharing and building memories with your mother.

And: time to ensure that you're getting enough rest/vitamins to sustain optimum immunity . . .

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JOYINKY 10/2/2011 1:55PM

    What a gift to both your mother and yourself! I'm so glad it was a great trip; sharing old memories and making new ones; it doesn't get any better than that!

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AMANDAJCD 10/2/2011 1:09PM

    It sounds like it was a great trip :) I'm a true flatlander myself -- I love mountains, but the embankments further north (not to mention hairpin turns and dropoffs of a thousand feet on the other side of the guardrail... yipes!) just give me the willies.

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PARKERB2 10/2/2011 12:08PM

    Glad to hear your visit was an awesome one. Take care. emoticon

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_LINDA 10/2/2011 11:29AM

    Welcome back!!
Sounds like a fabulous trip!! So glad you had the opportunity to share this special time with your Mom!
That is of concern you are getting sick so frequently.. Do make sure you are getting enough C in your diet, should not be hard where you can enjoy such fresh fruit..Make sure you are getting plenty of rest and sleep and not running yourself down..
Nice to have you back!!

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FITCOFFEEMOM357 10/2/2011 10:57AM

    what a great trip. The lasting memories you both made together.

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DONNABRIGHT 10/2/2011 10:56AM

    Just awesome that you could do this with your mother. So glad you enjoyed yourself.

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I'm Packed and Prepared for a Sentimental Journey

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tomorrow I take off to visit my mom. I fly from Florida to Arizona, join her, and together we'll fly to Cleveland, Ohio. She's 84 years old and in good health. She says the first thing to go is your confidence. It's hard to think of her without confidence. She is a retired college professor and always seemed to me to be the epitome of confidence. I thought she had all the answers. I can hardly remember a time she didn't seem to know - absolutely and without struggle - exactly what to do in any situation. But we originally planned this trip to meet in Ohio. Then she cancelled the trip. A couple weeks later she asked if I'd be willing to meet her and for us to go together. Guess it is time for me to have the confidence for both of us.

One thing I do feel more confident about is the healthy living part of the next 12 days. WATERMELLEN, my great SparkFriend Ellen, suggested I review the Beck chapter on traveling. I just did that today. Beck recommended making a plan and reviewing it every day until and then during your travels. I realize I had already done that and even had a conversation with my daughter about how I would manage my weight and fitness. Last time I took an extended trip with mom, over a year ago, I was not as confident. I took quite a few of my own foods and turned down a lot of what she wanted to feed me. This time I plan on concentrating on the fact that I am pretty successful ordering in restaurants. When we are in relatives' homes and not in control of the selection, I still have total control over portions. I have workout clothes and shoes with me and plan to get some exercise every day, and more when convenient. I think I can do this trip without a gain, but if I come home a few pounds heavier, it won't be the end of the world. I will be able to get back in range quickly.

We are going to Ohio because that is where my mom was born and grew up. I was born there, too, but we moved to Florida when I was young. Some distant relatives are expecting us; we may surprise others. We'll visit the old family farm, schools she attended, the landmarks of her life. I expect it will be a beautiful way to celebrate my mom's beginnings and her amazing life. She calls herself the "little farm girl" who earned her doctorate and got to travel the world!

PS I felt confident posting this info because my hubby will be at home. No empty house here!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EILEENV3 9/25/2011 7:42PM

    Hope you've been having a great trip.

One nice portable thing for working our is a small 1L water bottle with handle. Two of them make good weights or you can use them on a walk. emoticon

Look forward to seeing you when you get back.

Eileen emoticon

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VTORIA3 9/24/2011 4:15PM

    I just love this blog. Your mom sounds like a very progressive and accomplished woman. Your closeness to her, makes me feel very sentimental and mushy for my own mom. We were the best of friends; she was a wonderful blessing for me.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. I can tell you have your mom's determination, grit, self assurance, and love for life and family. Enjoy this time with your mom. emoticon

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JOHAL52 9/24/2011 12:44PM

    Enjoy, enjoy!!

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AMANDAJCD 9/19/2011 10:27AM

    Have fun, Marsha! My mother was born in Bucyrus :)

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_LINDA 9/19/2011 1:13AM

    I LOVED to hear this!! This will be such a wonderful time for the two of you. I enjoy hearing about other people and their Moms. Will so look forward to the blog and photos all about it!
We all know you will keep your weight in range, you have learned so very well how to be disciplined!
Enjoy your trip!!

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FRAN0426 9/19/2011 12:05AM

    Marsha, have a great time and I know you will be doing the best you can with exercise and portion control. You are a great daughter to change your schedule so that your mother is comfortable with traveling to her growing up hommstead, I'm sure she is looking forward to spending a great time with you and revisiting many places from her youth. What nice memories the two of you will be sharing of the past and time together.

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DWKINSEY 9/19/2011 12:05AM

    Have a great visit with your mom and family! Have a safe trip.

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AQUAGIRL08 9/18/2011 9:03PM

    Have a wonderful time with your mom!

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WILD4STARS 9/18/2011 9:00PM

    What a great trip. Keep a journal and take lots of photos.
Travel safe!

Sorry for the duplicate. Everything locked up, when it unlocked there were TWO !!

Comment edited on: 9/18/2011 9:02:22 PM

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WILD4STARS 9/18/2011 8:43PM

    What a wonderful trip! Keep and journal and take lots of photos!
Travel safe!

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FROSTY99 9/18/2011 8:13PM

    What a wonderful things to be able to do. I am sure you will do fine and this is vacation, so enjoy yourself and don't stress out over everything. I lost my mother at 19 so I envy you still having your mother.

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IAMWINNING 9/18/2011 6:23PM

    I hope the trip is eventful only in the respect of enjoyable things - and I do hope you have lots of enjoyable events! The memories of this trip will bring you much pleasure in the coming years. How lucky your Mom is to have to do this with her, and how lucky you are that your Mom is well enough to travel. Have a SUPER good time!

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    Safe journey Marsha - enjoy your Mom - you are so blessed to still have her!

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DONNABRIGHT 9/18/2011 3:07PM

    You are so lucky to have your Mom and to be able to make this trip together - have a splendid time together.

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WATERMELLEN 9/18/2011 2:27PM

    This is a wonderful trip to take: and you've got the planning absolutely nailed down!

We will miss you on line, but you're doing something very special with and for your mother.

I do think that it's difficult to be a child of highly successful parents with respect to that whole "confidence" thing: would you agree? So sweet that your mother is able to be candid with you about needing to rely upon you now . . .

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TMW54812 9/18/2011 1:45PM

    What a wonderful trip with your Mom! I am sure you will make many new memories as you revisit old ones. When my Mom was 75 she wanted to visit Ireland where both her parents were born. Me, my brother, sister and spouses all went for a two week trip we will always treasure. That was 24 years ago, my mom passed 9 years after the trip and my brother this year. We have 3 hours of video and an albumn full of pictures. You can imagine how much they mean to me and my sister.

I hope you take many pictures and share with all generations of your family. Have a safe and joyous journey!

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Party a Success, But No Pictures Yet

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The party was great! I was a little worried about it. When I agreed to do it, I expected it to be on a day I did not keep the kids, but it got moved a day earlier, to her actual birthday when I did have the kids long hours. I usually have leftovers or easy supper on the days I have the kids through supper time. But it all worked out. Natalie and I iced the cake together with 2 knives and it turned out surprisingly good and reasonably attractive. She also helped with the deviled eggs, popping the yolks out into a bowl, helping to stir, and to fill the empty halves. She sat the table and I didn't even worry that the forks were on the right and the knives and spoons were on the left. It looked pretty good.

Very good news is that I really enjoyed. I wasn't stressed. I even got to talk to my niece's fiance and welcome him into our family. It was the first time I'd seen him since their announcement. I have a very good feeling about them as a couple. More good news is that I enjoyed a slice of honey baked spiral ham, half a biscuit, some lima beans in butter sauce, a couple spoonfuls of stewed potatoes, a couple celery sticks, a deviled egg half, some broccoli mix, and a big piece of yellow cake with chocolate icing. I bet it had been 6 months since I had cake. We made it with canola oil which I think made it taste better as well as be a little healthier. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite. Like I said it was good news. I weighed in a Weight Watchers this morning and was down from my weigh in 2 weeks ago.

The little one could not have been cuter enjoying her party, her presents, and her cake. My daughter took plenty of pictures, but has not downloaded them yet. When she does, I promise to share a couple with you.

Hope everyone has a joy-filled day!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 9/18/2011 8:58PM

    What a wonderful "Old Mom" you are Marsha! If I ever have grandchildren, I hope that I'm as good with them as you are. You really created a birthday filled with many memories!

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_LINDA 9/18/2011 12:24AM

    Awesome day and that Natalie could help out too! You deserve a treat, you have been working hard! Can't wait to see the photos!

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MONTY68 9/17/2011 9:55PM

    Hi Marsha

What a awesome day for you and your family.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/17/2011 8:28PM

    What a treat! Fun for all!

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DONNABRIGHT 9/17/2011 7:01PM

    Sounds like a wonderful party.

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WILD4STARS 9/17/2011 4:57PM

    Grandma's making memories. It doesn't get any better than that. They are so lucky to have you.

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AMANDAJCD 9/17/2011 3:59PM

    It sounds like it was a great party -- and the cake and deviled eggs sound wonderful!

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WATERMELLEN 9/17/2011 2:46PM

    Very fun! And great memories for Natalie!

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FITCOFFEEMOM357 9/17/2011 2:34PM

    Sounds wonderful and heavenly all mixed up. What a great memory you made with your dgd.

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One Year Old Today!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Little Gwen turns one year old today. She is a dear! We'll be celebrating this evening with a party of extended family at my house.

As soon as I finish this blog I'll go start cleaning house and start cooking. It'll be fun. I would write more, but I need to get to it!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 9/16/2011 11:42PM

    Wow Marsha
It is hard to believe a year has gone by. I just know that there was a wonderful party for Gwen. A Happy birthday to her.


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MIRAGE727 9/16/2011 9:36PM

    I love then so much at this age...and they grow up so fast! Enjoy and Happy Birthday to the Baby Girl!

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AMANDAJCD 9/16/2011 9:34PM

    Hooray -- happy birthday to Gwen!

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AQUAGIRL08 9/16/2011 9:13PM

    I can't believe Gwen is a year old already! My SIL's birthday is today too. I hope you all had a great time!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    How quickly the year went by!

Have fun!

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FITFABME2 9/16/2011 3:37PM

    How fun - have a great day celebrating with her! Sounds like you have a lovely family...


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WILD4STARS 9/16/2011 2:13PM

    What a fun and lovely family you have. Happy Birthday to little Gwen.

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 12:55PM

    Happy birthday Gwen!! Enjoy your time with family!

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TBRANCH2 9/16/2011 11:43AM seems that she was just born! I guess I am having too much fun?? cuz time sure is flying!!!

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GATOR12 9/16/2011 9:47AM

    Happy #1 birthday, Gwen!!

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HAWKEYERANT 9/16/2011 9:42AM

    Hope she has a great birthday!

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DONNABRIGHT 9/16/2011 8:45AM

    Have fun - we'll look for pictures tomorrow!

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MYRUN4THEROSES 9/16/2011 8:44AM

    Enjoy the day!

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Long Term Problem Solved!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today I got something in the mail I have been wanting since April of 2008. I finally received my major medical insurance card and policy. I had been denied repeatedly for ridiculous and spurious reasons after my husband was laid off and I lost insurance through his employer. (This last time the reason given was that my doctor recommended a "left" breast exam and I hadn't done it, when in reality my doctor had made a routine recommendation for regular "self" examinations, and the medical records reviewer misread it, totally overlooking the normal mammogram done just a couple weeks before).

I had expensive COBRA insurance for 18 months and then for about a year I have been covered on a short term health insurance policy by a company no medical provider has ever heard of. It would have expired before I became Medicare eligible and I worried that I might have no coverage at an age that you really don't want to be without.

It is just great to once again have standard health insurance. Now I don't feel threatened with having to find work with insurance coverage. (The little nonprofit I worked for and could go back to does not offer health insurance.) I can see myself taking care of my little granddaughters probably until they enter school.

I believe I'm about as healthy as any 62 year old American woman, now that my weight, cholesterol and blood pressure have been normal for more than two years. I feel a tremendous injustice has been righted and a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Hallelujah!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 9/16/2011 8:49PM

    Sometimes I just don't understand the games the insurance companies play just to avoid paying legitimate claims. It makes me think of the movie, "The Rainmaker". (From the book by John Grishom) Congratulations on having an injustice righted and having all that stress lifted!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 9/16/2011 1:20PM

    So glad this burden has been lifted from your mind! Like Ellen says, we are so lucky to have free health care in Canada. Can't imagine where I would be without it...
I don't see you ever needing it, unless the stresses of being a Mom and caregiver again full time wear you out..

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WILD4STARS 9/16/2011 4:11AM

    emoticonHealthy aging is too much fun to be hampered by some idiot insurance company. Glad you have that worry off your radar and can keep enjoying those grandkids!

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DWKINSEY 9/15/2011 11:40PM

    At last!! Hurray!!! I'm happy for you that your struggle is finally over. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 9/15/2011 9:35PM

    Good for you! We Canajuns are totally spoiled with our healthcare system here: but I for one am constantly grateful for the quality of medical attention I've received over the years without having to worry it will be there when needed.

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JOYINKY 9/15/2011 9:21PM

    I'm so glad for you! What a stress reliever! Congratulations!

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AMANDAJCD 9/15/2011 8:03PM

    That is wonderful, Marsha -- congratulations!!!!!

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TBRANCH2 9/15/2011 7:33PM

    Great news!! If you don't fight for yourself, noone else will!! I don't know what we would do without our wonderful insurance! It is provided through hubby's job....thank God!!!

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MISTYRIVER64 9/15/2011 7:10PM

    Wonderful news~ so glad everything has worked out.

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MNNICE 9/15/2011 5:41PM

    There's nothing more stressful than having to worry about getting medical care because we can't afford it. And some insurance companies seem to find any reason they can for denying coverage to "Seniors". I'm so glad that burden has been lifted for you - and at the same time hoping you won't need it anyway!!

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