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The Week Flu By

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Despite having faithfully bared my arm for a flu shot at the very first opportunity, last Saturday's long-awaited visit with my sister was accompanied by sniffles and sneezes for both of us. Which developed over the past week into aches, sore throats, barking coughs, nausea, chills -- the full panoply of flu symptoms. I made it into work every day (but not for full days): and kept my self as isolated as possible from staff/clients while stamping out urgent fires only.

Sleep, fluids, more sleep, more fluids. I'm seeing some light at the end of the tunnel -- my sister reports the same by email this morning.

Hmmm. Sometimes the only way we permit ourselves to slow down a little is to get a little sick. Although we're successful in concealing it from the world in general, my sister and I do share the same triple type A personality.

I'm impatient with all the time that has fluwn by. There's so much stuff I need to get at. My mission is to be back in full fighting form by Monday!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 11/24/2010 9:55PM

    Feel better soon.

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PHEBESS 11/21/2010 11:17AM

    I hope you're feeling better by now - and remember that REST is an important component of fighting off illness and healing. It really is okay to take a day of sick leave!

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PUDLECRAZY 11/21/2010 10:22AM

    Darn! I think that is what happened to me a few weeks ago. Perhaps this particular bug wasn't covered in this year's shot. I hope you feel better soon!
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Chris

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DBCLARINET 11/21/2010 12:41AM

    Wow, sounds like your body really wanted a vacation, if you could call it that! I hope you feel 100% soon.

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TRYINGHARD1948 11/20/2010 5:38PM

    Take care my friend and love yourself. Hugs.

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MSSNOWY 11/20/2010 5:13PM

    Take care of yourself. Obviously your body knows how to slow down, even if you don't. Though I think I would prefer a less drastic means of doing so. Hope you get much better quickly.

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KALIGIRL 11/20/2010 5:09PM

    Sorry you and your sis were down with the grunge.
Glad you are feeling better and hope you'll be 100% by Monday!

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WALKINGANNIE 11/20/2010 4:50PM

    So sorry to hear you've been ill.

Sending best wishes for a speedy recovery and hope you're soon fully fit.

Take care.

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HAPPYNSMILING 11/20/2010 4:28PM

    Sorry to hear you are sick!!!
Hope you get to feeling better very soon!!
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JHADZHIA 11/20/2010 2:19PM

    Geez, a whole week of that, so sorry :(( Feel better soon! Hope you have a good weekend and can enjoy it at least!
I got the flu shot too.

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VENISEW1 11/20/2010 2:06PM

    Hope you & your sister feel better soon. I hate getting sick too. No one has time for it emoticon

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FLOWINGWATER 11/20/2010 1:08PM

    Ugg! Sorry to hear that you've not been well! Take Care, get plenty of rest, and get well soon!

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REILLYGIRRRL 11/20/2010 11:19AM

  Hope you feel better soon.

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Depodging Progress:PGX

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Clothes are feeling a little more easy through the waist band: I had on my size eight pure wool (no stretch) black and white check pants this week with comfort all day long. There are still a couple items in the wardrobe that I know won't work for me right now, however . . . including the fave black leather pencil skirt which is my standard "test" item!! I just eye it and leave it hanging there . . .

So: what am I doing? In addition to the "broth" trick on returning home from work, I've been enjoying hot V8 juice. And experimenting with fat free Greek yogourt which is providing great creamy texture and more protein then my usual brand (although a few more calories as well . . . ). I have been able to stick with the lower end of my SP calorie range . . . no slip ups, daily tracking.

I'm quite a big fan of PGX supplement to help sustain a feeling of satiety. By acting as a carb blocker PGX assists with evening out blood sugar levels. It's a mulberry-derived fibre product developed through research at University of Toronto and the Canadian Centre for Functional Medicine. PGX comes in capsules, must be taken with liquid (which helps me with my water intake, always a problem) and also takes the edge of hunger before meals. Webber Naturals and WellBetX both offer the product. Not a miracle cure by any means, it requires diligence with diet and exercise (nothing new about that). But I've used PGX before and always find it assists with "weight creep" and easing back down into maintenance range . . . before things get out of hand.

In addition, because it's hard to get complete nutrition at the lower calorie range, I have been taking 1000 UI Vitamin D (days are shorter, not out on the sunny golf course, Vitamin D deficiency associated with cancer recurrence) plus 1000 mg calcium and for added insurance, an all round multi-vitamin. And I've been monitoring my caffeine intake and my sleep.

Another week or so and I'll hop back on the scales, but I'm feeling optimistic. This maintenance gig is always so much tougher for me than weight loss -- really it is -- and I have to learn over and over again that eternal vigilance is the name of the game. Way too easy to delude myself that I'm being careful enough -- until the pants get too snug. Always has been, always will be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TKADEEPBREATH 11/10/2010 8:47PM

    I'm with you on this matter. I really don't care if it takes me the rest of my life to loose the last 6/7 lbs. Getting of the 20 was really the great part. But you're right, it's sooo easy to slip back into the "bad habits" or too much of a good thing (like almonds, I love them . . . ). Hot V8, I'll have to try that. It's a staple around my house. I'm going to fix some rigt now .. . . have a good night!!

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TRYINGHARD1948 11/7/2010 5:48AM

    I so know where you are at Ellen, it is a case of consistant vigilance, if not minute to minute, at least week to week. You ARE doing it!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 11/6/2010 5:45PM

    Glad to hear about the vitamin D especially with winter setting in. V8 juice used to be my go-to 'healthy' food until I found out how much sodium it contains. I've substituted raw veggies and hot tea as my after work treat.

Can't wait to hear about that fabulous leather fitting!

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WALKINGANNIE 11/6/2010 5:09PM

    You're so right Ellen - keeping podge at bay will be a lifelong mission and we have to be vigilant. You are doing a great job and the leather skirt is a good guide and motivator.

Thanks for sharing the hints and tips.

This challenge is easier when we know that others are on the same mission.

We can do it. We ARE doing it!

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VALERIEMAHA 11/6/2010 1:05PM

    Your diligence, vigilence, and discipline are impressive...as well as your creativity in searching out resources to assist you in the ever-challenging maintenance quest.
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Maha

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JHADZHIA 11/6/2010 11:00AM

    That is for sure about the weight creeping back on. Tracking has been working for me -and never missing my exercise. I always do something every day and I get to eat normal calories (1560-1960) as a result. I do take 1000 mg calcium to as required by my Dr. because I don't drink milk, just soy beverage. As I eat lots of fruits and veggies (low calorie), as many as 11 a day I have no problem with nutrients, but take a mulitvitamin anyway as I am vegetarian. I make sure I get enough protein with every meal so I don't feel hungry later on. Cottage cheese being the big go to protein for a low calorie choice. Its better then most things out there -1/2 cup 15 g!! Every now and then I do use a protein supplement, but prefer natural foods.
Size 8 is great! I am only in a 10! Keep up the great work!!
Have a special Saturday!

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PHEBESS 11/6/2010 10:43AM

    Ah yes, weight creeps up so easily. Sounds as if you are doing well, depodging!

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FLOWINGWATER 11/6/2010 10:29AM

    Boy, do I hear you about maintenance being tougher than weight loss. I agree!!!

It sounds like you've got it down, though - keeping an eye on things and stopping any weight creep before it gets out of hand. Well done! Keep up the good work, and I'm glad to hear that you're making progress.

As you say, constant vigilance is really the name of the game in maintenance. At least, I find that to be true for me, as well.

(I eat nonfat greek yogurt daily. I LOVE it!! And, as you say, it's a great source of protein.)

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Feeling a Little Podgy

Friday, October 29, 2010

Adopting WALKINGANNIE's approach to weight loss maintenance, I've been avoiding the scales and judging my maintenance by how my clothes fit . . .

And, I decided a couple days ago that things were getting a little snug!

Snug, despite what I've thought had been diligent nutrition tracking, and very seldom exceeding my SP range.

So, I'm going to be tracking even MORE diligently and keeping things at the bottom of my calorie range for the next while just to see how things go in the waistband department.

Going to be using all my best tricks, too, such as:

1. Heating up a cup of broth and heading right out of the kitchen when I get home from work (too many spoonfuls of peanut butter? and some of my other delicious nut butter experiments?)

2. Concentrating on getting enough sleep.

3. Gym time: I can never exercise enough to eat what I'd like, but at least when I'm at the gym, I'm not eating!! Seeing how hard I have to work to burn even 400 calories on the cross trainer also helps to keep my eating "mindful".

Nope, not going to go crazy, here -- I don't think there's too much to worry about. Yet. But, I can tell when things are even a little bit "expansive". And, I have to be diligent. Eternally.

And after a couple weeks of renewed diligence, I'll be venturing over to those scales again . . . just to be sure.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 11/4/2010 7:21PM

    Great self awareness, hot stuff. I love how you stay on top of things. Great work!!

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KIMDONN 11/3/2010 7:45PM

    I can't wait to have this problem, but I am so far away from goal because of falling off the wagon so many times, UHG!! I think you are doing great and I should take a page out of your book!

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PHEBESS 11/3/2010 7:17PM

    Ohhhhhhhhh, podge as in pudge as in chub! Not modge podge (or was it mod podge?). D'oh!!!!!!

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DBCLARINET 11/1/2010 11:40PM

    Oooh, broth is a good idea.

I've been trying to go without weighing myself regularly, too. I actually made it a whole month, then found out my weight when I went to the doctor. It was pretty liberating!

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FROSTIERACES 11/1/2010 10:44PM

    I have a confession: I stepped on the scale about a week ago! Just curious and thought maybe it was lower than ever...but it wasn't! Sometimes it's so hard to tell...esp when water weight and muscle tone are factors. Watching the scale around the holidays is wise I think for me too...but I wish like you do, that we belonged to a gym. I really want a professional trainers opinion sometimes! Thx for the comment! We can do this!!

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KALIGIRL 10/31/2010 8:57AM

    Love your idea about the broth and leaving the kitchen. I've been making a cup of tea upon arrival and the warmth seems to do the trick.
Here's to our successful maintenance!

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/30/2010 11:51PM

    I so know what you are talking about. Maintenance is a case of ever vigilance - too many temptations in life - and I do try to keep the cupboard clear of them. Wishing you every success for the week ahead.

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WALKINGANNIE 10/30/2010 4:43AM

    I guess that the trick is to recognise when clothes are getting snug as you have done. The same thing happened to me last month when I reduced caffeine. I don't know why I feel more in control when I'm dealing with whether clothing fits than I do when I rely on the vagaries of the scale where there are so many variables involved - but I do.

I also realise that weight is important and I'm not anti-scales, just not in thrall to them any more. 2lb here or there is OK as long as my clothes fit and don't get too tight.

It's great that you have your "best tricks" and this is definitely the time of year for broth! Keep us posted on your progress.

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BETHBEE2101 10/29/2010 6:38PM

    Just keep at it... it will happen for you. It may take a few months or a year to see the results... but one day you will look in the mirror and say (hey I look daggone good!!) but more importantly you will feel better physically. emoticon

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LUNADRAGON 10/29/2010 6:37PM

    The broth is a great idea. One I intend on trying, since I got some sodium free broth recently. I feel your snugness, my temporary maintenance is getting harder right now.

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Nutty About Nut Butters!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I loved Coach Nicole's recent blog on homemade nut butters; here's the link if you want to take a look for yourself:

http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=
going_nuts_for_flavored_nut_butters

Peanut butter is one of my all time faves -- and yes, I prefer the not-so-good-for-you kind with a bit of salt and sweetener. Skippy reduced fat is generally the number one choice (occasionally good old Kraft chunky). I would love to try the Trader Joe's reduced fat peanut flour which you mix up as required to the thickness preferred: but haven't seen any source for that locally just yet.

But other than peanut butter, the more exotic nut butters (almond, cashew) are so expensive. And often to my way of thinking just too too oily as well.

And: Nutella (which I love) is something I almost never permit myself to buy because the list of ingredients is so scary: mostly vegetable oil and sugar, tiny amounts of hazelnut and chocolate. Not really a nut butter at all.

So now following Coach Nicole's lead I'm inspired to experiment with my own nut butter versions. Tonight it was toasted walnut with a little real maple syrup: easy to make (just toasted the nuts for 10 minutes at 350, cooled slightly, whirled in food processor for longer than I would have though necessary, added a tiny bit of walnut oil and about 3 tbsp syrup and a tiny bit of salt): delicious! Had two tablespoons spread on slices of Honeycrisp apple for dessert after my Thai coconut curry soup. It was a great supper.

And next up: I'm going to try a proper chocolate hazelnut that's mostly hazelnuts and cocoa (or maybe Lindt 85%). Anyone have a good recipe to share for that? I'm happy to experiment: imagine it's important to rub off the hazelnut skins . . . maybe with a tea towel after toasting??

I'm finding that adding a bit of fat to my diet is helping with satiety particularly now that the weather is getting cooler: and the nut butters may be just the thing (in moderation, of course: in moderation! Two tablespoons of the walnut butter clocks in at just over 200 calories . . . ).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TKADEEPBREATH 11/10/2010 8:53PM

    Since I'm such a "nut" for ALL nuts, these "butters" in the pantry would be a hugh temptation for me. Still want to try it though.

Great blog .. . . .

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PENNYAN45 11/5/2010 1:25PM

    I also love peanut butter -- and eat too much of it. I almost don't want to try another nut butter. Why add another food to the mix that I will wind up eating too much of?
LOL.



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FROSTIERACES 11/1/2010 10:50PM

    I LOVE peanutbutter!!! Tempted to now get out of bed, go down to kitchen, grab a TBSP and reach for the Skippy! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STEPFANIER 10/25/2010 1:21PM

  Nice blog post, but that wasn't Coach Nicole's blog. It was mine. ;)

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WATERMELLEN 10/23/2010 1:07PM

    From: DANCINGGARDENER!! I will be trying this one out -- and also trying not to eat the entire batch in one sitting . . . .

You asked for it....

A recipe for Gianduia
(Hazelnut Praline or "real nuttella")

2 oz dark chocolate
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp peanut oil
1.5 oz hazelnuts

Heat an oven to 300

Roast the hazelnuts for 7 minutes and then roll them together in a dish towel to remove the skins, if they don't come off, you may need to bake them a little more but do not burn them, it is important to get almost all of the skin off the nuts.

In a coffee grinder or a blender, grind the nuts until you have a very fine powder.

Add in the oil and powdered sugar and blend thoroughly.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a microwave at 50% power stirring every 30 seconds or so until it is completely melted.

Add the hazelnut mix to the chocolate and stir in thoroughly, keep in the fridge...

(if you figure out the calories... it's somewhere around 625 calories for the entire pot)



Comment edited on: 10/23/2010 1:07:31 PM

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FLOWINGWATER 10/23/2010 9:24AM

    Nummm! Maple walnut DOES sound good! I like your idea of making home made Nutella. I have to say, Nutella has become a staple in our house and I'm starting to feel like it needs to be replaced with something healthier.

I have found, too, that good fats (like nuts) really do help me stay satisfied for a long time! A full serving of all-natural peanut butter keeps me full for HOURS! Now I try to include some fat and protein with every meal, so I'll stay full longer.

I used to love less-healthy peanut butter (Jiff), but I made the switch and though it took some getting used to, now I love my natural brand. (I used to add my own salt and sugar to it, lol, but I don't any more.) You might give Maranatha brand a try. It's one of the best natural peanut butters I've tried. Get the salted version - it'll be closer to what you're used to.

Another bonus to nut butters - they are tying more and more health benefits to monounsaturated fats, and are even saying that a diet high in them promotes weight loss! Food for thought...

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BRIGHTSPARK7 10/22/2010 9:04PM

    Maple walnut sounds delish!

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DREMARGRL 10/21/2010 8:08PM

    OMG! You have my mouth watering! I got addicted to peanut butter and was eating wayyyyyy too much.....mixing it with Cool Whip and putting globs of it on sugar free Jello Chocolate Pudding that you cook. MMMMMmmm. I find that if I find something I like that well, I eat way too much of it. It's all/ a lot! or nothing for me, but enjoy your butters, darlin'. I loved reading your blog. XO MaryAnn
LIVE STRONG!

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PHEBESS 10/21/2010 7:25PM

    Sounds yummy!!!!!

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WALKINGANNIE 10/21/2010 3:21PM

    Mmmm. Never thought of making my own....

I'm wary of peanut butter because of my problems with fat and sugar but I do love the taste. I might experiment with small amounts.

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KALIGIRL 10/21/2010 9:04AM

    I too love chocolate and nuts - waiting (semi-patiently) for your recipes!

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DBCLARINET 10/21/2010 12:42AM

    Hmmmm, I skipped over that link in my e-mail. I guess I should have read it -- I love nut butters! I usually just make my own in the food processor with a little bit of oil.

I've seen some recipes for homemade Nutella (I'll admit, I love it too but will never buy it). You're right about toasting the hazelnuts and then removing the skins with a towel. The recipe I saw used just hazelnuts, cocoa powder, and coconut oil. I'm sure it's flexible -- you could probably use melted dark chocolate, too, or a different kind of oil, or maybe add some sweetener or something. I've never really tried it myself, so I couldn't say. I'm scared to, because if it turned out good, I'd probably eat all of it in one sitting!

One of my favorite treats ever was Artisana Cacao Bliss coconut butter. Oh. My. Goodness. I haven't bought it since because it, like peanut butter and Nutella, is more likely to get eaten in one sitting than spread out as normal-size servings. And it's just too darn expensive for that!



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TRYINGHARD1948 10/20/2010 10:57PM

    I love peanut butter too, but have never tried to make any nut butters so can't help with a recipe. I agree that having a little fat in the diet is good. Hope your experimentation works out well. emoticon

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IMREITE 10/20/2010 10:20PM

    I have never made my own nut butters. they sound really goof thought and being made at home, there is no need to add all the artificial stuff.

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SERENE_ME 10/20/2010 10:05PM

    I, too, prefer the less healthy varieties (Kraft smooth - my favourite!) but the walnut sounds superb! My brother is drying some black walnuts for me from the tree in his yard (so superior to the store bought kind) - I'll definitely try the maple walnut when they're ready.

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BELLABANANAS 10/20/2010 9:45PM

    Sounds delicious!

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Ooey Gooey BBQ Ribs

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Went for a walk in the woods (with Charlie, crunching through the leaves) and then out for smokehouse BBQ tonight with my husband and son (Charlie not allowed) to a new restaurant in town -- which is the best BBQ I've tasted since last fall's trip to Austin. We all have backyard BBQs pretty much (for steaks, burgers) but this kind of smokehouse falling off the bone BBQ place is not particularly a Canajun kinda thing, so the new restaurant is a nice addition to the local market.

I was pretty moderate -- three ribs, a handfull of fries, a quarter cup of baked beans, less than that of coleslaw: but it was delicious, and I enjoyed every mouthful. Also enjoyed a (rare rare rare for me) diet Coke. Kept well within my daily calorie range while I watched with astonishment just how much my tall and rangy son can actually pack away: no doubt he'll finish off the ribs we brought home in the take-out container before morning.

I'm thinking that the smokehouse should consider cooperative marketing with the carwash around the corner: all three of us had BBQ sauce everywhere!! And although I've scrubbed my hands repeatedly, I can still smell that smokey sauce: mmmmmmmm!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 10/19/2010 8:40PM

    I think our local Texas BBQ adds something to make it addictive. Really. I always get the chicken, DH gets the brisket - and we just crave it sometimes. Soooooooooo good!

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LUNADRAGON 10/18/2010 8:34PM

    Once in a while a treat like that is perfect. The whole game is knowing that the key is once in a while. It sounds like you had a lovely time!!
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KALIGIRL 10/18/2010 9:41AM

    Sounds like a fun and wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

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WALKINGANNIE 10/17/2010 11:46AM

    Mmm. I could almost smell the smell!

I love the term 'Canajun'. Haven't heard that before and it quite tickled me.

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DBCLARINET 10/17/2010 1:21AM

    Mmmmmm... barbecue. I didn't realize how spoiled I was in Texas until my mom asked me to find a good place for ribs in Cleveland that wasn't a chain restaurant. I found out you either get ribs here at an expensive steakhouse or at a cheap pizza place. Boo. Should've eaten more when I had the chance, although it's probably better that I didn't!

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/17/2010 12:05AM

    They maybe do that deliberately so that your senses will cry out for more, an insidious scheme, don't you think. Sounds just the thing for those Autumnal evenings, glad you enjoyed.

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