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Getting Unstuck

Friday, November 11, 2011

You haven't heard much about my studies lately because I've been stuck. One root of the problem is fear: when I do finish, some big changes are likely to take place in my life, and these could happen quickly. Although this has been my heart's desire, it's also scary! I think there's also a fear that I might be disappointed or that I might disappoint those who have been so supportive.
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Another source of the trouble is that I don't presently have the funds to pay tuition for my last two projects - both the exam process and my "practice project" require the same amount of tuition as a regular course. I could borrow the money from the school, but I haven't wanted to add to my debt.

I've also been thinking about the holidays, missing Mom, and wishing I could be in Florida to help Dad with his upcoming art show. At 87, he still goes to work every day, but the day-to-day tasks of life seem to be getting a bit overwhelming for him. (I have to practice the serenity prayer every time I get off the phone with him!)
So I allowed myself to get stuck. emoticon

That "stuckness" tends to spread to other areas of life. I got discouraged about my future plans, and have been letting the stress and concern get to me.The scale is stuck, too. Is that any suprise?! It doesn't help that I've been fighting a cold and asthma cough for the past three weeks, and have been doing a prednisone taper the past few days.

But some powerful prayers must have been prayed lately, because progress has been made in the financial side. I received a generous offering toward my tuition and I've been encouraged to take further steps that will help raise the needed support. My health is coming along. I think I had a big backlog of sleep and rest to catch up on.
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I'm thankful for the prayers and for the One who answers them!
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Just a few hours ago, I went for a nice, long walk (air miles!) with my mp3 player and listened to a good sermon that talked about the Lord being our source of peace in difficult times. Perfect timing! I sense the power in those words and, although that teaching is nothing new, it's fresh to me.

The Bible talks about the "washing with the water of the Word." The water of the Word - not only is it cleansing, it's also got lubricating properties, like when water is added to clay to make it soft and pliable. That sermon is working that way in my spirit. I'm getting unstuck!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/17/2011 1:49PM

    I'm sorry you have been going through a period of "stuckness"....I'm thinking that just blogging about it is helping you to become "unstuck".

I pray that by the time you read this that you have had more solutions to your problems with tuition and knowing where to go and what to do when you complete your exams and practical experience.

Walking and listening to good music is a wonderful way to meditate. I like contemporary Christian music so much....it's so uplifting.

Hugs,
Kay

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FRANNIEDID 11/14/2011 1:03PM

    You could be writing my song! Stuck is such an appropriate word, I am going to try and use your blog to become unstuck. Unfortunately the scale is unstuck in the wrong direction! Maybe stress, but I really think that I am using that to give myself permission to eat what I want! I am working on it again!

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LIGIRLATHEART 11/14/2011 12:11PM

    Thanks for the inspiring blog.... I hadn't considered downloading sermons for my MP3 player before..... I am going to look into that!

Wishing you many blessings.....

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REBECCAMA 11/13/2011 6:06PM

  All good things take time. I'm sure you will find the answers you need to complete your studies soon.

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DDOORN 11/12/2011 9:59PM

    Great to hear of your bounce-back...our spirituality can offer such tremendous gifts and blessings!

Don

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MOMMY2TWO07 11/12/2011 5:13PM

    Glad things are becoming unstuck. I know that stuck feeling all too well. Pray that God keeps blessing you !

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HAKAPES 11/12/2011 4:27PM

    I loved this sentence: "So I allowed myself to get stuck. " :-)

My experience is that sometimes, just embracing what there is, is enough to move on. It's quite of a paradox. If I accept, and am aware of that I am stuck, somehow this mobilizes energy to move on.


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ASMPP1 11/12/2011 2:25PM

    emoticon emoticon We are a work in progress. emoticon

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CAROLYN0107 11/11/2011 10:29PM

    I know the feeling of being stuck. I'm glad you're getting unstuck. I have certainly enjoyed downloading podcasts on my Itouch, messages, encouraging words that I enjoy listening to almost every evening. Keep WALKING and keep LISTENING to those sermons to help you keep unstuck!
Oh, and I also have asthma. So sorry about you having to need the prednisone.. HUGS.

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ALICEART2010 11/11/2011 8:21PM

    God Bless You

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MTNGRL 11/11/2011 7:25PM

    We should never under estimate the power of prayer and rejoice in the One who hears them. I am so glad you have faith and a prayerful life.
Glad progress is being made on all fronts! Hugs!!

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VISUALLYRICS 11/11/2011 4:05PM

    I too am thankful for the prayers and for the One who answers them! emoticon

What a precious blessing for your father to continue working! ..and an artist!! My grandmother is 88 this year and she still teaches grades ( K-12th) to sing! She has been a choir director for over 60 years!!! I LOVE her to death. She will always be active...me too!

I am sorry your last few weeks have been tedious...so glad prayer changes things...changes us.
He's still working on me. Lol! emoticon

love you Laura

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NEWNAC304 11/11/2011 3:15PM

    I'm glad things are falling in to place for you!

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Hello, Level 18

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's rather anticlimatic. I was having internet connection trouble last night with only 30 points left to go. I had some exercise to track, and, with only a few message board and huddle posts to make, I would have arrived before midnight. But I finally gave up and went to bed.

So here I am the next morning at Level 18. The view from here is great! And, even though there are 19,999 points to go before I reach Level 19, if it's up to me, I'll be here to celebrate that mini-victory, too. Thanks, Spark People!



The new trophy isn't as "sparkie" as the Level 17 one. I guess at Level 18, we are expected to be more dignified and queenly in our fancy jeweled crowns?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMPEARL 10/31/2011 3:41PM

    emoticon I think the queenly looking crown suits you well :) Nice and 'spark'ly!!

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FRANNIEDID 10/28/2011 1:32PM

    As we grow in our wisdom we need to assume a more dignified air! Way to go!!!

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ELIZINJAPAN 10/22/2011 8:57PM

    Wow! Congratulations from down here at Level 9!

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NEWNAC304 10/22/2011 8:40PM

    emoticon

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JOANNKW 10/22/2011 2:04PM

    Congrats! I figured you had made it. That crown is pretty darn fancy.

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/22/2011 1:34AM

    Congrats and enjoy your dignified and queenly presence. emoticon

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ASMPP1 10/21/2011 9:07PM

    Congrats! The sparkles shine more at level 20.

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PLAINJANELLEN 10/21/2011 7:25PM

    Congratulations!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JERSEYGIRL24 10/21/2011 7:02PM

    emoticon Zella! I just crossed 85,000 points before posting this reply to your blog. At the rate I am going, unless I really speed up or slow down, I will cross 100,000 sometime in the spring. It's exciting.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next level.

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MTNGRL 10/21/2011 5:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NDTEACHER1 10/21/2011 11:18AM

    Awesome!!!

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VISUALLYRICS 10/21/2011 8:52AM

    emoticon Michelle!!

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NIKI778 10/21/2011 8:45AM

    Yeah!!! I like the level 18 trophy, but I like to think that I am a princess, so that must be why I like anything with a crown.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/21/2011 8:31AM

    LOL, great accomplishment. I'm definitely lagging behind.

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ZIPCONTROL 10/21/2011 4:51AM

  emoticon

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BONDMANUS2002 10/21/2011 4:26AM

  good job

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ARNETTELEE 10/21/2011 4:09AM

  Wow.... way to go!

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Farewell, Level 17

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I need fewer than 200 Spark points to get to the next level, so I should get my new trophy tomorrow if I work at it. So if you see me posting everywhere and anywhere, you'll know why!

Bye, Bye, Level 17!



Hope the new one is a purty one!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 10/20/2011 4:45PM

    WooHoo, emoticon are about to happen.

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NDTEACHER1 10/20/2011 1:08PM

    Good for you!!!!!!!

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PURPLELVR7 10/19/2011 7:55PM

    emoticon

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KALISWALKER 10/19/2011 7:03PM

    Congratulations you are on your way!

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CMPEARL 10/19/2011 6:11PM

    emoticon

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CMPEARL 10/19/2011 6:11PM

    emoticon

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ASMPP1 10/19/2011 5:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CYCLINGSANDY 10/19/2011 3:09PM

    I don't even know my number. I guess I need to look.

Good going for you! emoticon

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 10/19/2011 2:28PM

    woohoo! way to go!

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JOANNKW 10/19/2011 1:40PM

    I peeked! Level 18 is definitely a fancy one!

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PLAINJANELLEN 10/19/2011 1:31PM

    I just made level 13, so I've got a long way to go.. Congratulations!

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HAKAPES 10/19/2011 1:26PM

    Oh my, you are doing so awesome!
But don't worry, I catch up in no time!

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VISUALLYRICS 10/19/2011 11:16AM

    Lol!!! emoticon ....I thought to myself, "Level 17 might be a new team."- when I saw your bog title.

You will pass today into the 18th sphere of Spark land....I have no doubt! emoticon

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NEWNAC304 10/19/2011 10:07AM

    I love getting new trophies!

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NIKI778 10/19/2011 9:49AM

    I just recently made it to level, 14 and I was so happy to see a new trophy. Good luck reaching level 18!!

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VIVIANJ5 10/19/2011 8:11AM

    Ooh, I'm jealous! I'm only at level 10! But then again, you've worked much harder than I have recently...congrats!

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MTNGRL 10/19/2011 8:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Snowy peaks

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I got back Friday from a 4-day retreat for missionaries in the Swiss Alps. This has become an annual thing, but the American couple who organize it are getting up there in years. That means that each year's event is made even more special because we never know if there will be another one next year. I had what I would call a breakthrough in my spirit and have come back with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement about what the future will hold for me when I get my studies done.

Some photos! I tried uploading yesterday but my browser crashed twice. So I'll post a few today and maybe more tomorrow.

On Wednesday afternoon, three of us took the cable car up to the top of the mountain. The plan was for two of us to walk back down like we did last year. However, the path we took last year was too dangerous. This is the first year I've been up there when there was snow.

So we took an alternate route down but still had to slog through the mushy stuff for the first half hour of the two-and-a-half hour hike - and this in running shoes. It was pretty treacherous and our feet got soaked, but it was worth it. Perfect hiking weather, sunshine, amazing views, and good conversation with a dear friend who I only get to see once or twice a year.

This is the view from the bottom of the rough part of our trip. Yes, we walked down that slope - VERY slowly and carefully! I won't forget my Nordic walking poles next trip!


These mountainbikers took the same path.


Then we had to decide which trail to take - the skiers route or the "easy" way. We took the easy way! Got to see a lot of rockclimbers in action on the cliffs above us. That was very cool to see, but they were too far for my little camera to get a good shot of the action.


You can see some other hikers and climbers in this pic, but probably only if the photo is enlarged and they'll still look like ants!


I "posed" for this picture by the side of the trail, but it gives you an idea of the terrain.


The trails in Switzerland are always so well marked! This was about halfway down, as we started to get out of the snowy altitudes. Jackets off!


Thankfully, we're having the same kind of weather here back home, so I'll be going out to enjoy the beautiful, but less dramatic, autumn views in this part of southern Germany this afternoon. Enjoy your days!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SJG1953 10/21/2011 1:56AM

    Beautiful pictures and praise God for the Spiritual blessing you received!

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SPARTAN40 10/18/2011 9:58AM

    Great pictures. Great trip. Your breakthrough in my spirit sounds exciting.

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NTSOHLTHNT 10/17/2011 7:22PM

    Awesome pictures ! Thanks for sharing.

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DDOORN 10/17/2011 3:35PM

    What GORGEOUS terrain!

Thx for sharing the pics! I'll bet you "felt" those hikes afterward! :-)

Don

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HAKAPES 10/17/2011 12:09PM

    Wonderful photos!
Makes me remember to the times I've spent in Switzerland, such a beautiful country - best place for a retreat.
And congrats for the outdoor activity! :-)

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JERSEYGIRL24 10/17/2011 11:22AM

    So nice!! I was in Switzerland only once, about 40 years ago. Loved it!! Great to see it again.

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NIKI778 10/17/2011 9:09AM

    Amazing Pictures!!! Sounds like a great hike and a great retreat. Nothing better than to come home rejuvenated and recommitted to your efforts.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/16/2011 8:08PM

    very pretty. I'm glad you had such a good experience with your retreat. The mountains looks so beautiful.

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HNTSMOM 10/16/2011 8:06PM

    Beautiful! Sounds like a wonderful trip.

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ASMPP1 10/16/2011 6:50PM

    emoticonThanks for sharing!

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/16/2011 5:16PM

    Absolutely stunning photographs, thank you for the beautiful scenery.

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VISUALLYRICS 10/16/2011 3:18PM

    Praise the Lord for renewal, Michelle!! How refreshing for you! What a special journey to Switzerland.
Thank you for sharing... ~ Laura emoticon

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KALISWALKER 10/16/2011 1:51PM

    Beautiful pictures! You are in great shape to hike down the mountain. What a great way to visit with your friend too. Thanks for sharing!

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ZIPCONTROL 10/16/2011 11:16AM

  Wow !! Cool !!

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NEWNAC304 10/16/2011 9:23AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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Things That Are Red

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Hearts! emoticon
I went back for my physical follow-up and got my blood test results. I'm not real happy about my cholesterol levels. Just read a good article that helped me understand the lab report. My doctor did explain it to me, but second opinion, ya know! www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Ch
olesterol/AboutCholesterol/What-Your-C
holesterol-Levels-Mean_UCM_305562_Article.jsp


My "good" cholesterol level (HDL - think H for happy) is quite high and that's good. My "bad" level (LDL - think L for Loser) is also "borderline high." The "bad" number is up a bit from 2009 (I didn't get a complete physical in 2010) and a bit more from 2008 when I was at goal weight. All the more reason to get back there, no? However, the ratio between the two is also important, and that number is good. The EKG was also AOK.

My Suitcase and the Swiss Flag: emoticon

I'll start packing for my trip to Switzerland today. I'm going to an annual missionaries' retreat in the Alps. I've been able to go most years for the past 15 and I always look forward to it as a special time with friends and with the Lord. Depending on the weather, I'll be able to go hiking in the afternoons. One of the people who has already arrived in the mountain town posted a pic on Facebook today and there's a light dusting of snow. That makes packing even more interesting.

And back to my suitcase. I've once again learned that expensive luggage can really be worth it. Actually, I got a super deal on my Victorinox bags a couple of years ago. Macy's in Florida had a luggage sale, and a weekend sale, and I had some kind of coupon on top of that, so I ended up paying about 75% of the original price. But the best thing about Victorinox (a Swiss company, by the way) is that you get a lifetime guarantee. So when the handle on the trolley cracked awhile back, I took it in to the local department store here in Germany, they sent it in, and two weeks later, I got to pick up a brand-new replacement bag and paid "rien" for it. Voilà! (The retreat is in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, so excuse me while I practice!)
Tomato Sauce and Apples: emoticon emoticon emoticon

Tomorrow is the annual flea market in our little town. Our church has a stand to sell pizza as well as coffee and cake. The proceeds benefit our partner church in the Ukraine. Today, I need to bake a cake and I've been blessed with apples, so apple cake it is. Then, tomorrow, I'll be working on the stand in the afternoon. Sometimes it's my job to cut the pizza. I like that - hacking into those pizzas with a big knife is a good way to get rid of aggressions. emoticon emoticonSometimes I'm the sauce-spreader which is a little bit more meditative. We'll see what my assignment is.
The Spark Goal Met Emoticon: emoticon

I lost a pound this past week, my challenge goal for the week, so I'm back to the weight I was at the end of the Summer 5% challenge. The Firecrackers and other teams on the Fall 5% Challenge are on their way to Athens. Think we can do something about the Greek economy while we're there?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 10/12/2011 11:32AM

    I enjoyed your blog. Wow you are going to have a great time hiking in the Alps. With cholestrol, fiber is your friend. I look forward to your next blog!

Lynn

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SJG1953 10/12/2011 12:01AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! I pray you'll have a great and blessed trip also! Sounds like your cholesterol numbers weren't too bad either, so that is good! God bless you and lots of hugs, Shirley

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DDOORN 10/11/2011 5:04PM

    Alps...! What a wonderful trip that must be!

Speaking of red...apples are so IN around here...been to the orchard a couple of times. 38 CENTS a pound for U-Pick! Can't beat it! Been eating a couple every day...making applesauce, yum!

Thx as always for stopping by my blogs and for your ongoing support!

Don

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FRANNIEDID 10/11/2011 12:14PM

    Have fun! It sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time. I do agree, somethings are worth the price!

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JERSEYGIRL24 10/10/2011 5:14PM

    Have a great time in Switzerland, and emoticon on your weight loss this past week. emoticon

Hugs,


Leslie

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ASMPP1 10/9/2011 5:43PM

    Have fun on your trip! A therapeutic way to not eat it the pizza!

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HAKAPES 10/9/2011 4:58AM

    Congratulations for the loss!
Make us some beautiful pictures in the missionaire weekend!

What can I say more.

Schönes rotes Wochende!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/8/2011 7:25PM

    You've been very busy! That's a great story about your luggage!

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/8/2011 5:51PM

    It's good to get blood work to find out where we are. Now, if there is some way to increase the good and decrease the bad kind. Thanks for the H for happy (good way to remember) and L for loser ways of remembering the good and bad cholesterol. I always forget.

Retreat sounds wonderful. Enjoy your trip!!

PS Thank you for the goodie! Looking forward to the 5k tomorrow.

Have a wonderful time. Make good use of that nice luggage of yours!

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/8/2011 4:40PM

    Have a lovely time, it sounds divine, in Switzerland. Congratulations on the weight loss and we'll look forward to your return and perhaps the recipe for that apple cake. Yum, I can smell it from here.

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SUNNY332 10/8/2011 2:23PM

    Great Post. Have a wonderful time in Switzerland with your Friends and the Lord.

Blessings, Sunny

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NEWLIBRARIAN 10/8/2011 12:19PM

    I always love your blogs!
Have fun in Switzerland.

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CYCLINGSANDY 10/8/2011 11:05AM

    Michelle:
I expect God to bless you with His goodness and glory during your trip to Switzerland. My first trip like that was in July. I loved it in the summer, but I bet it is gorgeous in the winter too.
Enjoy the fest in your village. I pray your church raises good funds for the Ukraine church. Don't eat the pizza too much since you are concerned about cholersterol numbers. Although it would be tasty on this cold day. My numbers were up this spring from one year ago. But I was not told the actual numbers. I agree losing the weight will able us both to reduce those bad numbers.
Have safe travels!
Sandy

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ANGELBELIEVER 10/8/2011 10:36AM

    Hi Michelle, Thor and I enjoyed reading your blog. You have a lot to look forward to on your trip. That is so good that you can do that mission for all these years.

emoticon on losing that pound. That's great news.

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VISUALLYRICS 10/8/2011 9:29AM

    What a lovely blog, Michelle!!
...Your life seems FULL of all good things wrapped up in a bright package! emoticon
I would have a hard time cutting that pizza & NOT eating it. emoticon
That luggage sounds luxurious - so glad you have it! I am so happy for you about your upcoming trip - what a blessing it will be for you and I know you will be a blessing to others!

emoticon on kicking that pound to the curb!

love you ~ Laura

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