ZELLAZM   101,873
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Caption, please

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 4/10/2012 1:08PM

    Pleeeease release me, let me go!

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NEWLIBRARIAN 4/6/2012 9:28AM

    This is a baaaaaaaad situation

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HAKAPES 4/6/2012 2:56AM

    I love Christmas!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/5/2012 7:07AM

    It's BAAAA....D news week, for lambs.

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DDOORN 4/4/2012 12:27PM

    "You all ARE vegetarians, right?"

Don

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VISUALLYRICS 4/4/2012 11:27AM

    You gotta be kidding...."this" is my new home? emoticon

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FREELADY 4/4/2012 9:23AM

    Come baaaack and scratch behind my ears!

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RUNNINGOMA 4/4/2012 8:44AM

    Let me out AFTER Passover!

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ZELLAZM 4/4/2012 7:12AM

    It's a lamb - you guys are making me LOL!

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MIPPY265 4/3/2012 10:46PM

    is it a goat or a lamb?? If its a lamb the caption should b.. "hope Im not someones Easter dinner!"

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 4/3/2012 8:41PM

    I have a nose for these things....

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MTNGRL 4/3/2012 6:53PM

    Let me out, it's time to Spark!

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CHICKEYBABE 4/3/2012 4:43PM

    What the heck? A cute little goat? Mmmmmmmmmmm goat cheese!

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Egg Therapy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just one more week of March and it looks like I will survive! My schedule at the language school eased up a bit due to some cancellations. Having the 5% Challenge as a focus has also helped - my team, the Firecrackers, are great encouragers. We had our first weigh-in yesterday and I'm happy to report that I lost the kilo that I gained shortly before the challenge started. Now to attack those kilos that are more settled in!

I haven't made as much progress as I wanted to on my master's project. But I have a vacation day on Tuesday and plan to dedicate that time to writing. I write best when I have a bigger block of time for it. I may even take the day off from the internet that day --- with the exception of posting my air miles, of course!

The photos shows what I've been doing in my "spare" time - when I probably should have been doing other things --- but I find it very relaxing to doodle a little with paint, and these are the results. Most will be gifts but I think I may sell a few. "Buy an Egg - Send Michelle to Albania!?" What do you think?



As for travel plans, I've decided not to go to the States this spring and will likely wait till summer when I can combine a visit to ddad with my denomination's biannual conference. I told Dad today and he sounded a little disappointed. I am, too, but with time and financial commitments the way they are, it's just not feasible to visit twice in one year.

So I'm a little sad, but also relieved to have that issue resolved. I reread a good quote today (thanks CAROLYN107!): "You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time." (Pat Schroeder) I'm afraid I'd been "wringing my hands" over the decision and it's been making it hard to make progress in other areas.

Good new week!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 4/30/2012 7:50PM

    What beautiful eggs!

I understand very much so, about tough finances. Praying for God's blessings in your life, including financial.
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SHARON10002 4/3/2012 6:25PM

    Everyone deserves a break now and then - especially if you're writing your thesis! emoticon
Beautiful handiwork; you are so talented!


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EBLOOMING 4/3/2012 3:01PM

    Beautiful handiwork on the eggs. They are all so pretty, I could not decide which one I loved most. I wish you well on finishing your master's project. I know it was difficult to decide not to see you dad and choose to buckle down to finishing the project. Making that decision was a good thing. Blessings from the Lord.
Have a very blessed Easter! emoticon

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HAKAPES 4/1/2012 3:48AM

    What masters program are you enrolled in, and at which stage are you now?
Alles Gute aus Österreich!

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REYNJANET 3/28/2012 11:49AM

    I love your eggs too! Very, very pretty

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FRANNIEDID 3/27/2012 11:32AM

    I love the eggs, they are so beautiful! You needed to make a decision and you did. You have to try and do what is best and though your dad is disappointed he will still see you!

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/27/2012 4:42AM

    Good to have things resolved and I love your eggs, so artistic.

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MAMASUDS 3/26/2012 2:40PM

    Beautiful! I especially love the white ones. Yes, I definately think you could sell them. Unfortunately, I think it would take more than a few dozen to pay for a missions trip to Albania. Sorry.
Praying that God will give peace to everyone affected by the decision you had to make.

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RUNNINGOMA 3/26/2012 1:38PM

    What talent you have!
Hope you have a very productive day tomorrow.

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CHICKEYBABE 3/26/2012 11:49AM

    I love the eggs! If that is what you call doodling then I don't know what I do.

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ARKPLE 3/26/2012 11:48AM

    What incredible talent. I also like to dabble in arts & crafts. So relaxing and keeps the hands away from snacking! Great job on the blog and on the eggs. ~~ Barbara

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DOWNPORT 3/26/2012 11:08AM

    Love those eggs! So pretty! emoticon

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NEWLIBRARIAN 3/26/2012 10:12AM

    Pretty pretty eggs. How do you make these?

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MTNGRL 3/26/2012 9:48AM

    I know putting off the trip is not in your heart but you are making a wise decision financially. Must mean you are a grown up!
Love Carolyn's quote.
Your eggs are so pretty, I think they would sell very fast!

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DDOORN 3/26/2012 9:38AM

    Nice quote! It's tough when we can't travel as much as we'd like to spend time with family. Not that my family are QUITE as far as yours, but financially they are a long way off! Hoping for some times with them later this summer though.

Gorgeous eggs...what a talent you have!

Don

ps...thx for stopping by my blog!

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LIGIRLATHEART 3/26/2012 9:38AM

    I'll take a half-dozen, please. Truly gorgeous!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/25/2012 8:34PM

    Your eggs are BEAUTIFUL!! I'm very impressed!

Sounds like you made a wise decision about combining trips. Travel is getting so expensive.

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NEWNAC304 3/25/2012 8:24PM

    I'm sorry you're not able to see you Dad this Spring. The eggs are beautiful!

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EJOY-EVELYN 3/25/2012 5:45PM

    Your eggs are gorgeous. You're very talented!

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SALSIFY 3/25/2012 5:34PM

    I love your eggs - so pretty!

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CTEMPLE 3/25/2012 5:27PM

    Sounds sensible dear M. And lovely eggs!
XX
Claudia

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VISUALLYRICS 3/25/2012 4:37PM

    What gorgeous eggs! emoticon
I'd Love to buy an egg, Michelle....truly. I can send you my info through an SM.

How beautiful....& what a lovely use of time.

Enjoy your Tuesday Off!! emoticon

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ABETTERSOUL 3/25/2012 4:30PM

    Your eggs are so pretty! Such talent!
Way to go on your weight loss!

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Survival Mode in March

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

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I have a super-busy schedule at the language school for the next 4 weeks, working 6 days. My work is part-time but some of the days are quite long. On Wednesdays, I leave the house at 6AM and get home at 10PM. I'm not teaching all the time, but there's not time to come home in between lessons, and the train ticket is pricey. I've been known to stretch out on the floor of an empty classroom and take a nap! Some of the students also have special requirements that mean more preparation for me outside the class time. For example, I just read Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" over the weekend so that I can tutor a 16-year old Mexican girl preparing for her English classes at the local international school.

I'm working on my final master's project but need to get some things settled so that I can move ahead on certain parts of the task. I also need to make plans to visit the States sometime soon - but when? Decisions to make! Finances to raise! Meetings to schedule! Notes and Journal entries to type up! Newsletter to send! Lions and tigers and bears...!

I feel fat! I've been eating too much in the evenings again, and not being very faithful about tracking. I'm exercising but not at a very high intensity. I feel so good when I get out and run but my energy levels have been low and it seems to take me longer to recover from my workouts. Might be spring fever...the weather keeps yoyoing up and down and the old body needs more time to adjust.

On the USA home front, I'm feeling the need to check in with my dad who had a mild TIA a couple of weeks ago. Also, my 94-year-old grandmother took a fall last week and, although she's doing well in rehab, I'm concerned. I haven't been able to reach her by phone - apparently it's in a hard-to-reach place so my aunt is taking her our email get-well messages when she visits.

I was contemplating hanging out the "On a Spark Break" sign till the Spring 5% Challenge starts on March 18, but I'll try to hang in there at least for the rest of this week! If God be for me, who can be against me?! Grateful for his sustaining power, wisdom and guidance in ALL these things!
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By the way, if you're looking for a good way to kindle or rekindle your Spark, join that 5% Challenge. It's a personal challenge to lose 5% of your weight within the 8-week challenge period, but also a team competition to earn "air miles" (exercise minutes) that count toward reaching exotic destinations. The team I'm on, the Firecrackers, is a SUPER group and there may still be some spots free: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=55250

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Gold stars to everyone who just read that LONG blog post!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWNOMWE 3/10/2012 12:27PM

    I complain about being busy, after reading your blog, I have a lot of time on my hands.
I hope that your dad's and you GM healthy improves. The spring challenge is getting very close only a week away. I am sure your will do great to achieve your goal.
Yes, "YOU CAN"
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HAKAPES 3/10/2012 10:49AM

    Michelle, you're doing really great managing all these things! And I just go tired reading all your blog. So much to do. Keep it up!

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VIVIANJ5 3/9/2012 4:10PM

    Hi Michelle,

Okay, you convinced me! I asked to join the Firecrackers! I need a kick in the tuckus to get moving again, and you've motivated me to take the challenge.

Thanks again!
Vivian

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 3/8/2012 12:09AM

    One busy lady!

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EJOY-EVELYN 3/7/2012 4:24PM

    Spring break is a lot like keeping the Sabbath holy. Whether it is one day a week or a few weeks a year, we all need to re-energize in the way that works best for our bodies. Rest is an integral part of regeneration and I believe God can work through us -- during these brief respites -- a bit more effectively. I may just join you in my own unique way. Hug, hug!

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FRANNIEDID 3/7/2012 10:54AM

    Sounds like life is challenging right now! Hang in there, it is sure to get better. I definitely fell off the wagon when my mom came to live with me but am doing better now. The stress really plays a number on you but I know you will get back on track soon! I hope your grandmother feels better and that you are able to go visit your dad soon.

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MAMASUDS 3/7/2012 7:44AM

    Thanks for my gold star. I enjoyed getting a glimpse inside your teaching life. Thanks. Glad you are sparking with us, but we will all fully understand if you take a week off before the challenge. A little rest and time apart is good for us in so many ways - as long as you promise to come back. I am looking forward to making sparks with the Firecrackers this spring.
Soak up plenty of sunshine. That will help your body bounce back after the goofey winter we have just had.
You might try some "after workout" recovery helps, for example: taking your vitamins directly following a workout, a nice warm pH bath, a protein shake, a foot bath, 10-15 minutes of stretching, Family Education website recommends a glass of fruit juice within 30 after a workout, potassium rich foods, make sure you are getting enough iron in your diet, and drink 1 liter of water for every hour you spend working out.
Stay strong! You can do it!

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RUNNINGOMA 3/7/2012 7:30AM

    Grace - just for this day. There will be more tomorrow!

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SJG1953 3/7/2012 1:40AM

    Your busy schedule is indeed busy Michele. I have a lot of the same right now. Your blog was really what I needed to Spark ME up right now! I have been 'feeling fat' lately too for some of the same reasons as you. Thank you so much for sharing. You never know when something you share about yourself really helps someone else not feel so alone in that..... but God does know. I am going to check out that 5% Challenge thing which I have never done. I SO share your belief in the scripture you quoted also.

Although we have such different lives, you bless me with your enthusiasm in your blogs. I love reading them. Prayers going up for you and your family my friend. God bless you richly on your continued journey!
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LAURAKATE76 3/6/2012 9:38PM

    Hang in there. It sounds like you have a LOT on your plate right now, but you're still making an effort! I hope your family's health improves and that you can get home to visit soon!

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AEO_SUNSHINE 3/6/2012 5:47PM

    Hope your grandother and your father recover quickly.

Your schedule is really hectic but make sure to be good to yourself along the way!
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MTNGRL 3/6/2012 4:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

A mini Spark Break might just be what you need to get things taken care of. You know we will be thinking of you even if you can't Spark much before the challenge starts.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon to you for working with those students, they are lucky to have you!!

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/6/2012 4:44PM

    You are one busy lady, do take care.

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NEWNAC304 3/6/2012 4:02PM

    You do have a lot on your plate. Focus on one thing at a time and you'll be fine.

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VISUALLYRICS 3/6/2012 3:49PM

   
You speak emoticon loudly for ALL Firecrackers, Michelle!

Well said! "If God be for us, who can be against us?" I've been rehearsing that over & over with my situation this past week too. Lol!
I think I saw your SPARK clear over here in Texas!

Thank you for your dedicated heart for your students That's Grand!

love you, Laura emoticon

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CTEMPLE 3/6/2012 3:49PM

    Sounds busy dear M, great to have a plan.
Claudia

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TWNOMWE 3/6/2012 3:40PM

    Keep saying Yes I can and you sure will be alright. Hope that both your dad and GD are well.
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M77355 3/6/2012 3:10PM

    We're pulling for you!
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DDOORN 3/6/2012 2:41PM

    Whew! Looks like you're going to have to pull out all the SPARK you can muster to push through your challenges!

But we know you are UP for it! :-)

Hang in there...things are bound to settle down for you!

Don

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The Scream

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yesterday I was looking for a suitable photo to share on my blog. I did a google search for "scream" and there were a bazillion choices, dominated, of course, by Edvard Munch's famous painting (waving at Claudia!).

I thought this was more appropriate, though, for a Spark scream. And, even better, because of my personal photo shoot, I was inspired to get in an extra portion of fresh veggies today.



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 3/4/2012 6:07AM

    emoticon

Funnnnnnyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

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DEBBIEDAY 3/3/2012 11:21AM

    LOL....cute! Think I'll make a pepper 'scream' and gt it sliced for a snack later this afternoon!!!....

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MAMASUDS 2/28/2012 4:46PM

    Now, if I cut my bell pepper open and it was looking back at me, I think I would be the one screaming!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 2/28/2012 4:37PM

    Love the photo....very appropriate!

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SPARTAN40 2/28/2012 1:06PM

    cute photo

Comment edited on: 3/1/2012 9:54:44 AM

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STRIVER57 2/28/2012 4:23AM

    plus it's my favorite veggie (well one of) ... brilliant.

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LILLI56 2/28/2012 1:10AM

    too cute


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EJOY-EVELYN 2/28/2012 1:07AM

    Beautiful photo . . . one red pepper has 300% of your vitamin C for the day. What a great fruit!

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SUSANFREE54 2/27/2012 5:20PM

    Love it!! How funny. emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/27/2012 2:09PM

    Love it!

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FITMYPANTSO9 2/26/2012 5:25PM

    lol emoticon

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CTEMPLE 2/26/2012 4:10PM

    V funny!

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RUNNINGOMA 2/26/2012 3:50PM

    Now that is an awesome screem!
I checked your food and you got some yummy ideas there!

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NDTEACHER1 2/26/2012 3:48PM

    emoticon

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JUSTAGIRL45 2/26/2012 2:21PM

    emoticon
Love it!

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MTNGRL 2/26/2012 1:44PM

    emoticon emoticon

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M77355 2/26/2012 1:44PM

    Funny!

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JOANNKW 2/26/2012 12:10PM

    I love it!

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CHICKEYBABE 2/26/2012 11:08AM

    I love it!

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DDOORN 2/26/2012 10:05AM

    LOVE my red peppers...always have a stash on hand...YUM! :-)

Don

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VISUALLYRICS 2/26/2012 9:50AM

    That was a healthy high pitched scream....I heard it across the sea! Lol!!
Love that Spark scream. emoticon emoticon

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SOXYINMO 2/26/2012 9:42AM

    Sweet!

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NEWLIBRARIAN 2/26/2012 9:16AM

    Hey it works. My first thought was really and than I got it.
I was looking at a pepper not a scream to start with.

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HOMEBUNNY 2/26/2012 9:08AM

    emoticon

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5-Minute Blog

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm off to go Nordic walking (may be in the rain?!) and then to the grocery store on the way home, so this will be short.

I've recommitted for the XXXXth time to tracking food and to staying under 1600 calories. Started yesterday. Hold me accountable! My tracker is public!

Monday I'll be weighing in for the first time in a couple of weeks, so don't be alarmed if you hear loud screaming from my direction. ;)

(OK, so it was a ten-minute blog because I got side-tracked in an unsuccessful search for a suitable illustration.)

Happy Weekend, all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 2/28/2012 4:41PM

    Good for you....I keep going back and forth about tracking my food.

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CTEMPLE 2/25/2012 6:24PM

    Will do it together dear Michelle I have the same goal. We'll exchange notes next week? I'm sure you'll make it because you like exercise not like me!
Claudia

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 2/25/2012 4:33PM

    So funny.

I want the Nordic walking poles, they're on my future to buy list, after I get a job.

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DDOORN 2/25/2012 2:29PM

    Nordic in the rain...? I'll take my treadmill and tunes, thank you...! Keep 'er moving! :-)

Don

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RUNNINGOMA 2/25/2012 1:23PM

    Hats off to you for just keeping on. I probably should make my food log public too. I will look at yours because you might have some helpful things that I can copy being that we have access to the same kinds of foods.

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JERSEYGIRL24 2/25/2012 1:19PM

    You and me both!!! Just want you to know that I know we haven't "spoken" in awhile but I think of you often and hope you are doing well. We can do this!!!

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VISUALLYRICS 2/25/2012 12:32PM

    LOL!! I distinctly heard a ScReAm!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon ...just kidding. But I'll be tuned to your direction. Lol! =))

emoticon Brave Michelle....so brave of you to make your tracker public! Wow!

...keep me laughing, Laura

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JODIRICHARDS 2/25/2012 12:15PM

    How was the walk? Did you buy some healthy food choices to stock your fridge with? Would love to hear more details about your plan for success. I'm working on mine too, maybe I'll have to join you in the screaming on Monday, I was thinking I'd postpone until March 1st but the scale should return today with DH. God is so good, He graciously helps us up and so no matter how many times it is, He's ready to help if we just ask, let's be victorious in HIM!

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CHICKEYBABE 2/25/2012 12:12PM

    Go Girl! Success can be defined by doing what is good for you and you are there. emoticon

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AEO_SUNSHINE 2/25/2012 11:50AM

    Welcome back - I am with you on the recommit thing - trying to stay within the calorie range if hard. I think the only way I will be doing that is the plan meals at the beginning of the day and have planned snacks (and stay out of the kitchen after supper!)

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REDRUNNERMOM713 2/25/2012 11:04AM

    Hope you have a great walk. Good luck with the food tracking. I'm terrible at that myself so I am inspired by anyone who can do it. And you CAN do it!!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 2/25/2012 10:31AM

    good luck!!!

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CAROLYN0107 2/25/2012 10:18AM

    emoticon on the Nordic walking. I plan to do some of that soon as the weather in Omaha is getting better. It HAS been a few weeks since the last challenge started. March is coming for that Spring Challenge so I imagine it might start next Saturday. I've not yet heard.
HUGS.

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NEWLIBRARIAN 2/25/2012 10:05AM

    I doubt I will hear a scream all the way from Germany. I am glad to see you're back blogging. I always enjoy your blogs!
Go with the Nordic Walking.

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CHUM48 2/25/2012 9:38AM

    Thanks for the laugh! Have a great day!

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