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Going to USA and Go, Germany!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I had quite a scare last week. My boss at the language school decided they couldn't do without me and denied my vacation request after I had already booked my flight (July 22 to August 21) and Orlando hotel (July 27 to August 1). This is the first time in 15 years that I've ever had a vacation request denied! Since we merged two schools last summer, there is a much larger volume of work and some special courses that not everyone can teach.

LOTS of prayer went up (thanks to those of you who joined in!)! I wasn't just concerned with the trip and all that involves, but also with my attitude and how I would handle presenting my case to him.

I was able to stay calm, my boss was understanding and they've found a solution. It looks like we'll all have to make our vacation requests much earlier from now on. I've already applied for 4 days in October to go to a retreat!
Exciting weekend with the big football (soccer) match between Germany and Argentina in the World Cup happening tomorrow evening. I was cheering for the underdog USA in the quarterfinals, but I've been a bit of a German National Team (DFB) fan since 1990. It should be a good match, not a snooze fest like Holland/Argentina the other night. If Germany wins, it will be their fourth World Championship title:

My knee is better, but still giving me a twinge, as is my left wrist. I guess it will just take awhile to heal. In spite of that kink in my exercise routine, I'm down two pounds since the beginning of the 5% challenge. (Go, Firecrackers! emoticon)

I've always been a big advocate of tracking and still am, but this past week, my mindset has been different. I'm eating my 3 meals a day and keeping the snacks to a minimum, but instead of thinking about what I'm going to eat next, I'm thinking more about NOT eating. And I'm especially focused on NOT eating in the evenings. This is good practice for the US trip when tracking will be difficult. It seems to be working!

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DUSTYPRAIRIE 7/20/2014 4:55AM

    Glad it is working out. God is so good to us, his children.

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TERESA159 7/16/2014 1:49PM

    Wow, close call! If it had been me, I'd have been bawling my eyes out in his office. Glad you handled it with aplomb. Where will you be visiting in the US? And what it the goal of the trip?

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FRANNIEDID 7/14/2014 4:27PM

    I haven't been on for a couple of weeks because of work commitments, glad you got to go on your vacation!

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68ANNE 7/13/2014 8:47PM

    Oh yes, getting that vacation time can be tricky with some places. Glad it worked out for you. Have fun and enjoy

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KATELJM 7/13/2014 9:08AM

    First of all, I am glad that your knee and hand are improving.

So glad that your vacation was approved, finally. When I was still working, I had a heavy September workload, and waited until I had things under control to request leave for a reunion. I was not allowed to go, and it cost me.

For the U.S., not only will you need to watch snacks, but make sure you know portion sizes. Most U.S. restaurants serve double portions. If eating at a franchise restaurant, most of the dinners might be pre-made and frozen. But if you dine at a restaurant that has real chefs and real food, you can order what you want, even if it isn't on the menu.

Since I visited Sea World last year, they have opened an Antarctica exhibit. I bet it is amazing!

Comment edited on: 7/13/2014 9:08:50 AM

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 7/13/2014 12:09AM

    Glad to hear you are doing better and healing. I'm also glad that you are able to take your vacation. That reminds me I need to put in my request as well. I want to take a couple of weeks at the end of the year.

Have fun!

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AALLEY2 7/12/2014 10:54PM

    Very glad your plans worked out for the best. I think I'll try what you are doing and see if it works. Have fun in Orlando!

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MARILYNROBERT 7/12/2014 9:06PM

    Glad your vacation worked out emoticon

I think it's good to shake things up in the way we do them at times. Even though tracking helps me a lot, I also like to know that I can get by with not tracking when it's best not to try to track at that time. emoticon

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RURAL3 7/12/2014 3:27PM

    so glad it all worked out for you Michelle. Not sure how I would have handled that. Keep up the good work.

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PATTISTAMPS 7/12/2014 12:37PM

    So glad you are going to be able to take your vacation! Still hoping for us to meet up! 2 pounds - WOO HOO!!!! My scale barely budged this week... but better than a gain!

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EJOY-EVELYN 7/12/2014 12:11PM

    I hope your solution did not involve too many sacrifices. Your strength in the Lord is admirable. You set a fine example on how we grow in the ways of the Lord. Tracking is also essential to me, but I have learned that eating three meals a day or snacking healthy while going outside the ranges we set are somewhat counter productive. May our walks with God bring us all growth. Hug, hug - Evelyn

Comment edited on: 7/12/2014 12:12:43 PM

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LAURAKATE76 7/12/2014 9:58AM

    So glad your vacation is going to work out!

I don't know quite who to cheer for in the World Cup final. I was cheering for the USA, obviously, but also Costa Rica because that's where I went to school. I don't really have any attachment to Germany or Argentina. My husband lived in Germany for many years, but I suppose, as a Spanish teacher, that I ought to root for Argentina.

I don't know...I'll probably just watch and enjoy. :)

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VISUALLYRICS 7/12/2014 8:56AM

    emoticon Excellent mindful eating Michelle! ....I need to work on evening eating too. The summer schedule has us eating dinner at the oddest hours...Lol. But I'll figure it out.
So glad you get to have your vacation emoticon after all and that your body is healing if ever so slow( I know all about slow). emoticon emoticon

Have a great weekend, ....many blessings to you! ~ Laura emoticon

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JAROL7 7/12/2014 6:44AM

    Way to go.

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CIPHER1971 7/12/2014 5:59AM

    Glad you got your leave approved.

I will be cheering Germany on in the footie, to be honest if the Holland / Argentina match is any thing to go by then Germany will win.

Have a great day

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GHOSTFLAMES 7/12/2014 5:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Green Beans to the Rescue

Monday, June 30, 2014

Saturday evening, during half time of one of the World Cup soccer matches, I went for a walk. I had been stuck inside most of the day because of the rain, and wanted to get in a spot of exercise and fresh air. I walked a big circle around my neighborhood. It's familiar and generally well-lit so there should have been no problem. But on the way home, I tripped over a curb that I didn't see and fell hard. I walk fast and I fell fast. This was at 11 PM!

I was a little shook up when I got home, but nothing was broken. Both wrists and my right knee hurt pretty bad, though. Ice! I only had about 4 cubes of ice in my freezer, along with a cool pack that I use for my lunch box. AND a bag of green beans! The bag of beans ended up being the best ice pack ever for my knee while I used the ice cubes for my wrists and chilled a couple of gel packs to continue icing overnight.

Yesterday I was still quite sore but there was hardly any swelling. Today, the pain is even less. My left wrist is definitely sprained and my right knee is a little sore but I only feel that when I do stairs. This shouldn't put much of a kink in my exercise, so today I am thankful for that bag of green beans. Who knew?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATELJM 7/2/2014 10:21PM

    Sorry you sprained your hand! You remind me that at some point in our life, we need to realize that we need to focus on what we are doing, be totally in the present. When we are young, we take for granted so much.

A month ago, we were heading home late in the evening and saw a neighbor lying at the corner. It turns out he had overindulged, but DH and I tried to help him get up. He was too heavy for us to lift. We needed additional help from a 20-something male who lives across the street from the corner who thought that a passing ambulance had stopped to assist. The 3 of us helped him make it home. It was a fluke that we passed that corner at that hour.

I'm not implying that you were under the influence! I only mean that our parents tried to teach us common sense, but sometimes it takes a "come-uppance" for the reasoning to become clear and compelling to us.

I hope nothing was broken!

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JERSEYGIRL24 7/2/2014 3:54PM

    Oh dear!! I hope you are feeling better. I can certainly relate because I do a lot of walking at night. Right now it is very hot and humid, and for that reason it is the most comfortable time of day to walk.

I sometimes think that maybe it isn't the smartest idea. I am not too concerned about personal security, but I am definitely a little concerned about falling. I have a neighbor (a man a few years older than me) who used to walk a lot after dinner, but I think he has quit because he has gotten hurt a few times. One time apparently he forgot his cell phone and fell pretty hard. A stranger ended up driving him home. I frequently walk to the local elementary school (about 45 minutes round trip), but lately I have been looking for different routes because I don't like the roads.

Seriously, I am glad you are ok. And heads up for thinking about the green beans.

And bummer about the USA!!! But I am still proud of them. My son was a soccer keeper, and he trained along side Tim Howard at one point.

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68ANNE 7/1/2014 5:42PM

    Aha, and here I expected a blog about eating green beans. Glad things are healing

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 7/1/2014 12:55PM

    Thank goodness for your frozen vegetables and that you are not badly hurt. Take care and have fun!

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LAURAKATE76 6/30/2014 8:03PM

    Frozen veggie bags are the BEST ice packs! Glad you are ok. emoticon

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JOANNKW 6/30/2014 4:35PM

    Ouch! I'm glad it wasn't any worse. I've got a ziploc bag w/ rubbing alcohol and water in the freezer. The alcohol prevents it from a hard freeze so the ice pack shapes to the injury. If you have room in your freezer, it is a great thing to leave in there!

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LUCYCAN7 6/30/2014 4:17PM

  Oh no!Hate to hear that my dear friend,a sprain hurts badly as well.Sending
prayers your way.I put ice in zip loc baggies different size ones,works great.
Also you can put water in them and freeze the water. emoticon emoticon Take Care

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FRANNIEDID 6/30/2014 1:30PM

    My mom used peas when I was a kid! Glad it was not worse!

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PATTISTAMPS 6/30/2014 10:32AM

    Thank goodness you were not badly hurt. You can now join my official Klutz club, of which I am the founding member, LOL... Seriously, you should probably pick up a couple of ice packs and keep them in the freezer. Green beans are great, but they probably thaw pretty fast. And carry your cell phone when you go out at night!

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MTNGRL 6/30/2014 9:23AM

    Veggies to the rescue! Good thinking! I used a bag of peas when I tripped over the logs a few months ago. Glad it wasn't worse, and pray things continue to heal.

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EJOY-EVELYN 6/30/2014 9:07AM

    Ouch, indeed. Hope you're feeling better and so glad you didn't break anything. Love those fresh and frozen beans.

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VISUALLYRICS 6/30/2014 8:56AM

    Ouch! So sorry about the incident..love the frozen bag of beans! I have done that before with frozen peas...Lol. emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 6/30/2014 7:47AM

    So glad you weren't hurt worse. Hope the pain subsides soon. Yes, I've heard of people using frozen veggies for injuries. emoticon

Nancy (Firecracker team)

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GARDENCHRIS 6/30/2014 7:40AM

    glad nothing was broken. emoticon

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SJHARRIS53 6/30/2014 6:54AM

    I've heard that bags of frozen veggies can substitute for ice packs in a pinch, but have never used them. Glad to know it worked well for you and you are on the mend!

Comment edited on: 6/30/2014 6:55:03 AM

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CIPHER1971 6/30/2014 6:28AM

    That would have been a hard choice for me - I love green beans.

Glad you didn't hurt yourself badly.

Take care


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TWEETYKC00 6/30/2014 5:58AM

    See, when you go green you can't go wrong!

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STEPH-KNEE 6/30/2014 5:35AM

    You poor thing! Glad you didn't break anything, feel better soon! emoticon emoticon

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PICKIE98 6/30/2014 5:28AM

    Wow! I am so glad you did not break anything! !Wrap your wrist and take care!

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1 Guinea Pig Down and 3 Elephants to Go

Saturday, June 21, 2014

...and about 4 to go if I'm going to reach my 5% challenge goal. The weight loss is important, but it's even more about firming up my healthy habits and routines. I'll especially need them when I travel to the US this summer.

I had three goals for this past week and only partially met two of them. I did lose another pesky pound, I did ST twice instead of three times, and I tracked except for the day-and-a-half I was away over the holiday on Thursday. There really was no reason NOT to track, I just didn't wanna. No more donwannas if I want to reach my goals for the challenge, and if I'm going to be successful during my travels!

I have three MAJOR ELEPHANTS now - non-weight-loss-related projects that need to be worked on this weekend, so I need to get at 'em and FOCUS!

Book translation - finish Chapter 4.
Prepare the lesson plans for both classes I teach on Monday.
Gather paperwork for the lawyer concerning the final deadline for ddad's estate.

Wish me well and have a good weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANNIEDID 6/28/2014 12:11PM

    Congratulations on the loss! We can't expect to be perfect and have to accept that, you are doing great. I am trying to motivate myself too, you are my inspiration for sure!

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DDOORN 6/28/2014 9:08AM

    Lovin' your focus and determination! :-)


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68ANNE 6/27/2014 9:05PM

    Recognizing the issue is a huge part, keep acknowledging it and you'll get ahead of it

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 6/23/2014 5:01PM


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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 6/23/2014 12:28PM

    Hope you got it all done and had some fun time too.

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TERESA159 6/22/2014 6:29PM

    First step in tackling anything is realizing you have things you need to change. Kudos to you for being able to identify them. Best of luck in the new 5% challenge!

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STEPH-KNEE 6/22/2014 7:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARILYNROBERT 6/21/2014 6:21PM

    emoticon It's good when we are honest with ourselves and admit that sometimes it didn't get done because we didn't want to do it. emoticon

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JENGRAMMER 6/21/2014 5:57PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are a real consistent person who never gives up
Those elephants don't have a chance emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/21/2014 5:58:19 PM

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CIPHER1971 6/21/2014 4:46PM

    emoticon on the loss, and I am sure you will get those elephants out of the way.

Have a great weekend


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MTNGRL 6/21/2014 3:49PM

    Good luck on all your weekend projects and congrats on the pesky pound loss.
I'm up a bit from the end of the last challenge so I really need to get on track!
Have a great challenge!

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KATELJM 6/21/2014 11:58AM

    Yes, you'll want to lock in good habits before coming to the country of over-eating! I know you'll do it!

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PATTISTAMPS 6/21/2014 10:10AM

    Good luck with your projects! We are going to kick this challenge! keep that spark burning! emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 6/21/2014 9:59AM

    Wishing you the emoticon emoticon

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LUCYCAN7 6/21/2014 7:35AM

  Wishing you well my friend ,you are doing great!Have a great
weekend! emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 6/21/2014 7:24AM

    Congrats on the loss, and you are right--the lifestyle is even more important than the scale. I'm still trying to get my feet back under me when it comes to the healthy lifestyle, I confess, so you are not alone at that struggle!

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Losing a Guinea Pig

Saturday, June 14, 2014

(Source: http://www.guineapigcorner.com/weight)

Once again, I have lost that pesky pound that takes me below 70 kilos and down to 153 pounds. I'm determined NOT to gain it back again. And I plan to take off at least one more before the 5% challenge starts up again a week from today.

I thought it might help to visualize what a pound looks like, so I played around on google and came across a list that told me that one pound is the equivalent of a guinea pig. "Don't trust everything you read on the internet!" I reminded myself, and went hunting for more scientific information.

Guinea pigs, it turns out, can vary in weight. As you can see, this average-looking little guy clearly weights around two pounds. So, by next Saturday, I will lose a guinea pig. (Probably a good idea because I am highly allergic to the RL version!)

Just three focused goals for the week ahead:

3 times ST.
Track everything every day and stay in ranges.
Avoid snacks except for planned ones, and preferably fruit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEL27P 6/19/2014 7:42PM

    Thanks for the smile! It is good to visualize what you want. This time around I am visualizing myself in size M clothing. I have a very nice outfit hanging out where I can see it. Also, I am only going to weigh in on Tuesdays. In the past I drove myself crazy weighing every day. I want to lost this weight slowly, and for good!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/17/2014 1:59PM

    Love the visual. You can do it. Thanks for a smile.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 6/16/2014 5:21PM

    WOOHOO! Sounds like you have a good goal to keep you motivated. I love that you have a plan to keep you moving. Like Zannachan I thought at first you'd lost a pet. This is way better.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/16/2014 8:14AM


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MARILYNROBERT 6/15/2014 7:36PM

    My Spark friend Susan (who is joining us in the Summer 5% Challenge), counts her weight loss by Houdini's...that's the name of her cat. emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 6/15/2014 1:45PM

    I am so not a fan of rodents, so will be happy to lose mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and any other rodents! I think there is a guinea pig right on top of my beautiful firm abs. Maybe 2. (In other words those abs are well hidden!) Your plan for the week is EXCELLENT. Kick butt!!!

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FRANNIEDID 6/15/2014 9:23AM

    Good for you! emoticon
We have definitely lost hamsters (those little buggers can get out of a cage so fast!) but I never thought of it in quite that way!

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ZANNACHAN 6/14/2014 11:04PM

    Cute! I'm so glad that you were using that as a way to visual weight loss... I thought at first you had lost a pet. Losing a guinea pig's worth of weight is WAY better!

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FITKAT62 6/14/2014 9:58PM

    Cute! I always visualize my weight loss in lbs of butter or potatoes.

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SHERYLP461 6/14/2014 6:44PM

    love the analogy!

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GRACEOMALLEY 6/14/2014 5:53PM

    I LOVE your creative imagery! Good goals and yes - tracking everything is so important. You go girl!


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LUCYCAN7 6/14/2014 5:32PM

  emoticon emoticon

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CIPHER1971 6/14/2014 5:12PM

    Great daily goals, and that is an interesting image, my daughter wouldn't be too happy if I lost her guinea pig tho' emoticon

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Heat Wave

Monday, June 09, 2014

Yes, even in southern Germany, we can have heat waves! In fact, I haven't been outside today except to take out the trash. I've been working on a book translation and prepping meals for the extremely busy week ahead. It's 8 PM and it's still too hot for a walk, so I'll wait another half hour or so. According to my weather app, it got up to "felt" 98 today!

Folks, I'm almost afraid to say it, but my motivation is coming back. I've had some time off this past week and it's helped me to regain some focus on WHY I want to lose weight. Pentecost Monday - today - is a bank holiday here and I've had some time to get caught up on projects that have been niggling at me.

No major epiphany, just re-prioritizing going on. Two things that I think have helped, though: I booked my flight to the States for July 22 for a thirty-day stay. I guess that means I'm really going. AND, the weather making it clear that if I don't lose weight, I won't have anything to wear, because I am NOT buying any more clothes in the size I'm wearing now. That's it. I'm done.

Anyone read Seth Godin's blog? Today's was about two kinds of being busy. It really spoke to me. If the kind of busy you're in isn't working for you, you need to try the other! sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/201

Okay, I'm taking the plunge - going in for a week full of long days of lessons with new students including kids-on-school-vacation-learning-English! I'll see you when I come up for air!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

68ANNE 6/11/2014 6:48PM

    I love that last part.
Take the plunge and I'll see on the other end

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 6/10/2014 1:42PM

    Glad your mind cleared of some of the stuff running around. WOOHOO! VACATION! Sounds lovely. I hope you have a wonderful time.

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PATTISTAMPS 6/10/2014 1:25PM

    Sometimes it really helps to sit back and think about things for a bit. I am glad you are feeling motivated. Time to kick this extra weight to the curb!

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FRANNIEDID 6/10/2014 12:02PM

    We all need to get our motivation back for sure! It is not nearly as hot here but I am definitely having issues with motivation. Let me know how it works out for you!

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2BEHEALTHY2014 6/10/2014 11:00AM

    We've been very fortunate so far this summer. We've had a few days in he 80's but it's been in the 70's lately.

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SJHARRIS53 6/10/2014 7:23AM

    Pentecost Monday - now that's an interesting name for a holiday!
As for the kids learning English during their vacation; are they eager or reluctant students? A few times while I was teaching, I opted to teach summer school and found that some of the kids were really motivated to learn, while others just watched the clock.

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RURAL3 6/9/2014 11:06PM

    We had 80 today. That's good enough for me. And its down to 60's tonight. Perfect for sleeping. Keep your heat. Move Move Move emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon on the motivation.

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LUCYCAN7 6/9/2014 8:32PM

  I live in Kentucky and our weather has been cooler than usual this time
of year.Good to hear you are getting motivated again,that is great.
Hope you will have a great week. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CIPHER1971 6/9/2014 6:06PM

    Have a great week and I am glad you found your mojo.

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LAURAKATE76 6/9/2014 2:45PM

    Stay Cool! It's been hot here, too, but yesterday and today have been downright chilly!

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DLG0505 6/9/2014 2:26PM

    Hi! Saw you stopped by by SparkPage the other day - which I am horrible at checking. So good to hear from you. I'm glad your motivation is coming back!

Stay cool! My air conditioner motor went out last Thursday and fortunately it cooled off over the weekend or I'd be really grumpy right now.

Have a great week!

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