SPEEDY143   139,142
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Getting back to my ticker weight…

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Year, same goals... healthy living and a happy heart.

BRING IT.... 2012

Clichés for sure but those are my mantras for a successful 2012… oh, those and getting back to my ticker weight =] One more pound and I’m back on track. Yep, I enjoyed the holidays with all their “once-a-year” indulgencies. Single serving Trick-Or-Treat-treats…’lil devils. Didn’t have them in the house but the grandkids were more than willing to share. The my personal favorite… Thanksgiving, and it was delish!!! Didn’t send enough leftovers home with the guests so it was the feast that kept on giving and giving and giving. Before I knew it was time for Christmas cookies, candy, fruitcake, gingerbread, our wedding anniversary with lots of treats and finally New Year’s Eve/Day celebrations all traditionally delivered on a platter with fancy toothpicks and rolled up in some sort of sweet or savory blankets. Once the tree came down I thought it was over… NOOOOOOOOO here comes DD with treats from her hubby’s side that she forgot to give us and since DH and I were de-toxing from months of chocolate, that tin seduced us within seconds. By then the scale was up four solid pounds and it was time to put the desserts away and get SparkSerious again. It took less time to take three of the four pounds off than it did to put it on and with one more pound to lose my weight tracker will make me an honest woman once again. I’m actually proud of myself because I didn’t let the holidays or weight gain derail my journey. In the past I would have continued over eating until I put the 73 pounds I’ve lost back on and then some. Not any more. I’m healthier and wiser thanks to Sparkpeople and all my SparkFriends. I’ve watched and learned from others success and failures. We are all the same and yet so different. One man’s meat IS truly another wo-mans poison. Finding what works for YOU is a huge part of the process and mixing it up when we get stalled keeps us moving forward.

What's the trick???

I started out doing this for my family. I wanted to be around to watch my grandkids grow up and be fit enough to help my mom. I wanted to participate more in daily routines and get off my heart medications and not be in so much pain. I never thought I’d feel as good as I do or be able to do all the things I’m doing today. It’s my own little miracle and I thank God every day for giving me the strength to stay focus and my dear husband for his unconditional support and appreciation. Now I do it for me because I deserve to feel good and enjoy my life.

Nineteen months and counting… I’m very excited to see what I can accomplish in the next five months when I’ll celebrate my 65th birthday and second SparkVersary. I know my limits... but I’ll never stop trying to exceed them as I gently remind myself to.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNS4 1/30/2012 7:03AM

    Great attitude and good advice. Working on it one day at a time.

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IOWAGRAMMA 1/27/2012 9:02PM

    emoticon Like you, in the past I've always let myself get totally derailed when I'd go slightly off track, but also like you, for some reason that isn't happening now. Bad day? Move on! Bad meal? Get it right next time! I guess I've learned that it truly is not all or nothing. So happy that you're doing so well and that you indeed do have a happy heart! Also love the "never quit unless you're dead" poster!! emoticon emoticon

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FRANCO1230 1/27/2012 1:19PM

    Always, always, always love your inspiring blogs...I especially love the 'Never quit...unless your dead' picture. Priceless! ...and, oh, so true!

Your holiday "food journey" sounds much like mine. Thoroughly enjoyed it, totally over it, time to move on!!! Way to go on your great success thus far...your physical AND mental awakenings. What a great outlook you have set for yourself as we set off on this new year & headed towards year-2 on SP....can't believe how fast it's gone!
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MISSY455 1/27/2012 1:26AM

    You are doing emoticon I love your determination, and focus! You are obviously finding what works for you.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 1/27/2012 1:23AM


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JOANOFSPARK 1/27/2012 12:54AM

    awesome blog and mantras!! good for you for not letting the holidays derail you.....and I am so proud of you for already losing 3 of those nasty pesky sneaky pounds that snuck up on you... emoticon

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JILL313 1/27/2012 12:45AM

    Earlier today I left a long comment on your page but now I'm tired. . .I loved your blog and your determination to get the weight off once and for all. I have no doubt you will do just what you set out your mind & body to do. Your are doing it for yourself and all your loved ones.



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KAYTIE22 1/26/2012 10:19PM

    You are always an inspiration. This is a great blog and very uplifting for me to read. I hope to get SparkSerious again SOON. I really admire your positive attitude, commitment and your way of attacking your plan head on. Good for you. I know that you're going to finish what you started with flying colors!

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RFJSJ50 1/26/2012 7:49PM

    When will I reach your level of wisdom, my friend?
I've had so many ups and downs that I feel like I'm building a staircase - guess I just need to consider it a staircase to success!

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    Great advice.

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JINLYNN 1/26/2012 5:33PM

    Great blog - full of determination, commitment and a wonderful positive attitude.
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Rest In Peace 2011…

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bidding 2011 a fond farewell for it was an awesome year of growth for me personally. Yes, the year was far from perfect. The world is in turmoil, as it has always been. The media makes sure we hear about it even if the facts are skewed… hey, they have to pay for those $500.00 suits they wear on air and give those bonuses to the 1% who really do need another vacation home as millions struggle to put food on their tables. We suffered financially along with so many in 2011. In fact we haven’t had a paycheck since June. If you have any experience with being self-employed there are years that you have no time and lots of money and some with lots of time and no money. Living off our savings, 401K and our equity line makes for more than a few sleepless nights but then what are those lifelines for if not to grab onto when needed. I know from experience that this too shall pass and life will go on. And if you have your health… you have everything.

In the past I’d have eaten my way through the stress… but not this year. I faced my stuff instead of stuffing my face and ended the year in better shape than I started it. Normally I’d be up a few, if not several, pounds by years end. This year I’m tickled to have lost another 30 pounds!!! That’s a half a pound a week. I’ve gone from a size 5X to XL, loss more inches than I’ve kept track of and have a renewed sense of self-worth. Life is good and worth living again. I’ve always been a positive, happy person. My bane of existence is pain. I’ve had arthritis since my twenties and the extra weight didn’t help my knees or hips. My back hurt, my neck, my wrists… my FEET!!! Every thing hurt. Pain is very debilitating both physically and emotionally. And when you start having more bad days than good the future looks a bit bleak. And if you fall into the habit of letting the bad days over shadow the good ones that zest for life is diminished. So what do you do in your mid sixties to reignite that Spark?

Well, I joined SP and made a lifestyle change. I know diets are temporary. I’d lost 125 pounds in 9 months when I was 33. And I kept if off through 2 pregnancies and for about a decade. Then the pounds came back because life is stressful and food is comforting. And when you don’t feel worthy you stop loving yourself. When you stop loving yourself you stop taking care of yourself. I didn’t know how to love myself more than food until I made my health and well being a priority. Yes, it takes time and effort to make changes and turn ones life around. For me portion control is the key, water is the fountain of youth and exercise empowers me. So I track my food to watch my calories but I eat every thing. Nothing is taboo. And with that attitude I’m living in the moment… not looking forward to “cheat days” or the weekend or once I reach goal. I eat to live not live to eat. I’ve become a picky eater too so I make sure my calories are satisfying and fall within range of my needs. I drink a minimum of 15 glasses of water a day and when it comes to exercise I K.I.S.S…. “Keep It Simple SWEETHEART.” I have more stamina now that I’ve lost over 70 pounds but my knees and hips are still shot so I don’t run 5Ks or use a treadmill or even break a huge sweat when I exercise. I do strength training three times a week and I walk all year and swim in the summer… but I also do all my own housework and yard work and clean for my mom and actually go shopping now instead of ordering online. I play at the park with my grandkids and we are camping again. I don’t beat myself up for not being able to do what others can. Nor do I choose to do nothing because I am limited. I’m gentle and kind and forgiving when I want to lose myself in a box of See’s candy because I’m human and I make poor choices. But not to the extent that I use to. If I over eat or don’t exercise I start again right that moment… not tomorrow, not next week or next month.

Sparkpeople motivated me to change my life and as my healthy life style becomes a habit the future looks bright!! I’m excited to continue this journey into 2012. I CAN do this the rest of my life… one day at a time…. so

BRING IT… 2012 emoticon

Happy HAPPY New Year Sparkfriends emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHATTIEGIRL 1/24/2012 2:29AM

    Hi Linda;

Sometimes we forget that we are just human beings and can do what we can with our limitations. People look at me and wonder how I do what I do but I will never stop until the day they put me in the ground. I love life and live it for all it is worth. So go as far as you can and stay as healthy as you can, love life. Learn something new every day. God cless you always.

Smile Joyce

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DESERTBLUECAT 1/21/2012 6:17PM

    Thank you for your inspiring words! I'm bookmarking this page so that I can find it when I need to get back on track or just remember how to successfully work this program or be kind to myself when I'm not perfect. I especially like "Portion control is the key, water is the fountain of youth, and exercise empowers me." A simple phrase to live by daily.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 1/1/2012 11:12PM

    Great blog! HAPPY NEW YEAR to you as well
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FRANCO1230 1/1/2012 7:13PM

    So much to take away from this blog! I wish you much continued success in 2012, and I know you will be great. Being kind to yourself (I am slowly learning with age) is key! Sounds like you have definitely found yourself on the right path. Whether you walk, run, or, at times, even have to crawl, stay on that path...and, as always, BRING IT!!!

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JINLYNN 1/1/2012 3:27PM

    What an inspiring blog - Thank you for sharing so honestly and from your heart. Your positive attitude and the successes you have had this past year are outstanding and such a source of motivation for me.
As we begin a new year it is good to look back for the past one and see how far we have come. My last year was not perfect, but it was certainly better than most of the 50 odd years before that.
I wish you continued joy, happiness, and success as you tackle this new year.

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MISSY455 12/31/2011 10:35PM

    Congrats on completing a very successful year! I know with your awesome attitude 2012 will be great!

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RFJSJ50 12/31/2011 7:43PM

    Oh, Linda! Your words mean so much to me and have provided me with a much needed "kick in the rear!" I am adopting your attitude and hope to write a comparable, positive, inspiring blog at the end of 2012.
I need to relearn to love and accept myself to move forward. I need to quit listening to the "negative Nellies," both the internal voices and the friends with their never-ending advice and scorn.

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JOANNS4 12/31/2011 7:42PM

    Happy New Year and keep the great attitude. I am wishing many good days for you in 2012. emoticon

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CJMOK1121 12/31/2011 6:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Thank you Linda, What a AWESOME blog, I'm learning slowly to take it easy on myself, I've been at this loosing weight and a healthy lifestyle for many years now and always end up wrecking myself. I'm learning at 67 that I can really do this and not to be so hard on myself when I make bad choices. I'm so thankful for friends like you and the rest of my sp friends. HAVE A GREAT 2012.

YOUR SP FRIEND: CJ from OK. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Those back bends are my favorite, they make me smile. I use to do them. 60 yrs ago. LOL

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IOWAGRAMMA 12/31/2011 6:19PM

    emoticon Well done! I, too, am looking forward to 2012 as continuation of what I've started this last year. When I saw my nurse practitioner yesterday she asked me what was different this time. Hard to put into words, but you have the essence of what I told her right here in your blog! Happy New Year, dear friend!! Jeannie

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KSNANA2 12/31/2011 5:32PM

    Happy New Year Linda! I think you have done a great job and are doing it with a wonderful attitude! You are already a success, but here's hoping 2012 will have more good things in store for you.

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ESILBO 12/31/2011 4:30PM


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PAWKETS 12/31/2011 3:47PM

    Keep up the good work and the awesome attitude
Happy New Year emoticon

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SANDYZEE 12/31/2011 3:26PM

    CONGRATUALTIONS, I would say you are a sucess!

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Wish you more and more good days.
Sandy in Ca.

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Happy Birthday Jesus

Sunday, December 25, 2011


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVS2BIKE101 12/26/2011 5:53PM

    Precious video. And the picture of Jesus is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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MAGA99 12/26/2011 5:14PM


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JILL313 12/25/2011 10:36PM

    Thank You Linda for sharing this. I really hope your Christmas was wonderful and spent with family and friends. Mine was blessed and I will cherish the memory of it. God Bless you and your beautiful family.



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2ABBYNORMAL 12/25/2011 8:00PM

    Such a beautiful picture! Thank you for sharing.
Have a Blessed Christmas and New Year.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

…the brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr part sure has been true this year. We are freezing emoticon Well maybe not FREEZING but it’s been darn cold, wet, & windy along the sunny Southern California coastline. Lows in the high 30’s at night is COLD for us and since we don’t have any drapery up at the windows (I love the views) Old Man Winter emoticonhas been breathing down our necks *shiver* literally…. so I’ve been exercising emoticonto keep warm and it actually works emoticonAnd with exercising first and Sparking second, I’ve continued to lose inches emoticonand gone down another two sizes as we bid a final farewell to emoticonAutumn and welcome the 1st day of Winter emoticonas I celebrate my 18 month Sparkversary today emoticon emoticon emoticon

I’ve had a lot of fun this month with my daily status titled “These are a few of my favorite things.” Now I have a few visuals to share with my SparkFriends as we slow down and envelope ourselves in the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas, so please enjoy some more of my favorite things….

My beautiful mother and all our children and their husbands and wives.

My DH and me with our five grandchildren on Grandparents Day, September 2011.

Our oldest grandson at 2, he's the middle Wiseman bearing gifts.

The best brother/sister act around... they keep us hopping.

4 years old and only 30 pounds she is our precious Tinkerbell.

The spitting image of his daddy he takes me back 38 years.

HO~HO~HO... our youngest little angel all ready for Santa.

Least we forget the reason for the season...........

As Shepards watch.

And for those of you who struggle with the question… “Is there a Santa?” Here’s one grandmother’s answer to her grandchild.

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. “Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95. ~Author Unknown

May you always have LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Merry Christmas SparkFriends emoticon

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OCTOBER2842 12/30/2011 8:26PM

    Beautiful Story, have a Happy New Year

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TXMEMAW6 12/22/2011 9:18AM

    What a beautiful family and a truly heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing both with us. Merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

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BELSNICKEL 12/22/2011 5:46AM

    what a great story.

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MISSY455 12/22/2011 2:31AM

    Thanks so much for sharing the pictures of your beautiful family, and the awesome Santa story.

It has seemed much colder too me here on the central coast as well this year. I kept complaining to my hubby that our bedroom was at least 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house, LOL, he finally checked yesterday and the heater vent was closed in there!

We definitely get zero sympathy from our family about our "cold" winter weather. Most of them are dealing with snow and the temperatures that go with it. We have much to be thankful for here for sure!

Congrats on the inches lost...that is great!

Happy Sparversary too!

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JILL313 12/21/2011 9:13PM

    Linda, you and your family are all so beautiful. . .What a blessing you and DH are to your children and Grandchildren as you are to them. This is a touching a beautiful blog from the heart and it touched me. Keep as sweet and fun as you are and I'm lucky to have a special friend like you.

Love & Hugs,


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HEALTHYMEEMS 12/21/2011 8:23PM

    Love the photos of your angels! And the sweet story. Happy Sparkversary and may you have many more!


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FRANCO1230 12/21/2011 8:12PM

    Happy Sparkversary (to us--heehee!)!!! I am so inspired by you and your continued success, especially during this holiday season. I agree with the cold (SHIVER! SHIVER!) I've been bundling-up a lot more than usual. Although, I know in other parts of the country they are laughing at us to call this cold.
I LOVE the story you shared about Santa. Made me cry to think of all those "Bobby Decker's" out there who just need the kindness of others to make their Christmas a little bit better. It doesn't take much. My DD12, Grace, questioned Santa a couple years ago, and although she may still have her doubts, she doesn't let on. One, for the sake of the twins, who really "get it" this year, but also because I told her if she stopped believing, Santa would stop coming...LOL!
But we make sure to show her what it's really all about, too. Instead of buying Xmas gifts for my DH's family this year, we made a donation in their name to a family-friend who is going through costly cancer treatments. My heart swelled this past weekend when we presented it to the family just because I knew it was SO the right thing to do. Nobody needs another sweater, pair of earings, etc., more than this person needs the gift of life. Just one of those moments when you know you "done good".

You've obviously done good, too....just look at that gorgeous family and your adorable grandkids. You are truly blessed! May the spirit of the season be in your heart always & may you and your family be blessed with goodness in the new year!

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IOWAGRAMMA 12/21/2011 7:06PM

    Linda, this is a really special blog. Your Santa story is precious, and I'm so glad to hear that you are getting plenty of exercise trying to stay warm! LOL! Two sizes...that is just plain awesome!!! Your family is very special, so thank you for sharing them just a little bit with us. Sending you many blessings and warm hugs!! Jeannie

P.S. That does sound cold for sunny California. I hope it warms for you. We've been pretty lucky so far this winter and have only had single digits one time so far. emoticon

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Monday, November 21, 2011

My gift to all of you this holiday season emoticon


Blessings this Thanksgiving and every day emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JINLYNN 11/23/2011 8:10PM

    Beautiful - thanks for sharing this link!

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VTMAID 11/23/2011 11:29AM

    Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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RORYLYONS 11/23/2011 5:30AM

    Absolutely beautiful & so moving...A wonderful lesson for one to appreciate what we have & cherish it.. We have so much to be thankful for...Blessings sent for a Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 11/22/2011 9:38AM

    Thank you for sharing Linda.

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving.

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CLAVINOVA 11/22/2011 9:08AM

    Very catchy title to draw me to your blog - wonderful gift to share with us. Thanks and have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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TUBLADY 11/22/2011 12:57AM

    Linda, that was lovely, thanks for sharing.
Have a wonderful holiday.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYTIE22 11/22/2011 12:40AM

    So many lessons to me learned here. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is beautiful just like you.

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MISSY455 11/21/2011 10:16PM

    A very good day! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! The photography, and words, were beautiful. We do have so much to be thankful for!

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JAK106 11/21/2011 5:09PM

    That was incredibly beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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FRANCO1230 11/21/2011 4:58PM


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IOWAGRAMMA 11/21/2011 4:42PM

    Linda, thank you for sharing. I loved it--very touching and humbling. Hugs, Jeannie

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TXMEMAW6 11/21/2011 3:28PM

    Beautiful. Just shows me again just how awesome God is and that He is in control of everything every day. Thank you for sharing it.

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ESILBO 11/21/2011 2:59PM


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