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8/30/14 2:34 P

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Happy Labor Day weekend!!!

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8/13/14 1:42 P

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HI guys!

Betty -- I love the name of that festival. What big fun!!! More soon. xx

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7/29/14 2:22 P

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Hi Nancy & Paul!
We're got home yesterday afternoon from our trip to the RAP (Red Ants Pants) music festival. We camped in a pasture outside White Sulphur Springs, MT, with our two Montana kids (& SIL) and some of their friends (and a few thousand folks we didn't know) and had a wonderful time. The music was great ... headliners were Charlie Pride, Brandy Carlile, Josh Ritter and Jason Isbell ... but there was lots of talent there. The weather was a little cooler than last year (most of the weekend) and we had a really good time.l

You two are putting me to shame with all your exercising and healthy eating ... I really need to buckle down and make some healthier choices!

I need to go unload our trailer. We were so tired when we got home yesterday that we just picked up the dog, picked up some Chinese food, and vegged until bedtime. We work up to some lovely cloudy skies and a little rain this morning. Now, I must get busy!

xo Betty

Betty - Idaho

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7/27/14 12:10 P

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Hi Paul,

Well if it's any consolation, I'm still struggling with the five pounds I gained over Fourth of July. Like you, I'm fairly vigilant these days about my meals. Thankfully it hasn't been that difficult because of all the Farmers' Markets going on these days. Also, when I go out to eat, I literally eat half of the meal. That seems to work well too! (Darn! If it didn't, I could stop doing it!)

Wow -- that's great about the running. I just finished a book (Confessions of a Fat Marathoner) about running. I do dabble in running a bit and really do enjoy it. That's likely something I should re-start. DC is so oppressively hot & humid, I really only run in the fall and early spring here.

Your message made PERFECT sense. That week back from vaca is always so darned rugged. I'm glad you're back into the groove, more or less.

Today I'm hoping to really buckle down and get into some of the newer stories I had hoped to tackle (essays!). We'll see how that works out. When Wayne's home on the weekends, I tend to goof off more than a bit. I would have loved to have kayaked this weekend, but he had a crazy week so that clearly was not in the cards. Perhaps next weekend we can give it a go again.

As far as Martina -- she's great. You know her husband is a famous sound engineer and (obviously) works all her shows. It's so clear he adores her and they make a great team. It's wonderful to hear about a long-term couple that still feels that way about each other (I sometimes feel that we're a dying breed!).

Thanks so much for the note! Look forward to hearing more! Nancy

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7/26/14 4:09 P

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Hi Nancy & Betty,

Well I made it through the usually mentally hard, "work week after vacation". Hope that sentence makes sense.

My weight has been creeping up, so I figured after vacation would be a good time to start again. I'm about 10-15 pounds over where I would like to be again. So I'm eating better, we'll see what happens. emoticon

My wife Kathy and I are going to run a half marathon in October. The "Urban Cow" in Sacramento. I did it a couple of years ago, so it should be fun. I'm starting my training for it, today my long run was a little over 5 miles.

That's really cool about covering Martina McBride, I actually have her greatest hits CD. She seems like a regular person who just happened to make it big.

More later,

Paul




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7/26/14 10:56 A

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Hi Betty & Paul,

Whew -- it was a crazy week for work but a good one. I think I told you I spent last Saturday with Martina McBride. Lucky me, I got to cover her tour for Country Weekly magazine. It was such fun but I must admit it was a bit tiring (I'm old!)

It looked like I was going to do that AGAIN today with Darius Rucker BUT ended up not moving ahead with that (long story). I am SO GLAD.

What I must admit I'm most happy about, though, is I'm fully back on track on both diet and exercise. I feel so much better when I don't make up for stress with my formerly bad habits.

How about you guys? What's going on with your week?

Wayne and I are just going to "chillax" today -- as the kids say -- and perhaps grill out. Maybe we'll even fire up our wonderful chiminea tonight -- it's blissfully "cool" in DC.

As you see, it's still life in the fast lane!



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7/24/14 9:53 A

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HI guys -- Sorry I've been such a slacker writing! Busy, busy, busy at work.

The kayaking was excellent. We both had such stressful weeks so that was just what we needed. I don't have a lot to tell you about the trip -- it was just a river trip -- except the day was perfect!!!

Fencing Betty? Wow! You go girl!

Paul -- I'm so happy to hear you had a wonderful time in Maui. Did you get to a luau at all? I did one there and just loved it (although the young people dressed in traditional garb -- to lead the luau -- looked SO uncomfortable!)

I wish I had some amazing stuff to tell you guys. I'm still up 5 pounds but working hard to get it off. I'm back to kettle bells and, of course, swimming. And now, one more cup of coffee and then back on the treadmill desk!

Love your notes and want to hear more.

xx

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7/20/14 11:55 P

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Well I'm back home. Somewhat rested and hoping I don't break my alarm tomorrow morning. The week after vacation is always hard for me.

Betty you sound like you are ambitious working on fencing. So you are going to a RAP festival?
Have fun.

Paul


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7/20/14 11:23 A

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Good morning Paul & Nancy!

Your vacation in Hawaii sounds great Paul! Happy to hear you've had such a great time! Hope you've gotten your batteries recharged and made some wonderful memories and will be happy to get back home and back to work. ;)

Nancy, did you enjoy your kayaking adventure? The photos you posted made me very envious! Looked like you were off to cover a concert afterward. Tell us all about it! (BTW I noticed I misspelled Gardiner, MT, in my last post ... just in case you are interested in staying there.)

John and I tackled the job of getting linseed oil on a couple hundred feet of fence along one side of our yard yesterday. It took us six hours. We started early, but the heat caught up with us before we finished. Good to have it done and checked off the "to do" list though.

This afternoon we're going to concentrate on getting the trailer loaded (except for groceries) and ready to go on Wednesday. We're going as far as Bozeman, MT, that day and then on over to the RAP festival on Thursday. I'll get the food plans sorted out and taken care of Tuesday. Chaco will be staying in the Pet Lodge while we're away.

Looking forward to hearing about the latest adventures from both of you!

xo Betty







Betty - Idaho

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7/18/14 6:02 P

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Hello Ladies,

Tomorrow is my last day on Maui. We've been here since last Saturday and it has been wonderful. Been doing some sight seeing, running, hiking, swimming, playing games, eating and drinking. My brother and his family are leaving later today.

Sounds like everyone has been having a good time . I'll check in in a couple of days.

Like the new bike rider. emoticon

Paul

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7/18/14 1:09 P

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Happy Friday back at you Nancy (& Paul)!

On your Yellowstone Nat'l Park trip Nancy, you could stay in West Yellowstone or Gariner (MT) ... they are both located right by a Park entrance and have lodging and dining options. West Yellowstone has an IMAX theater and a few more amenities than Gardiner. You'll need a rental car to get there and I think that's the best way to explore the park (they'll give you maps and a Park newspaper at the gate). You can also stay in Jackson, WY, which is located near the Grand Teton Nat'l Park entrance. If you enter there, you'll get into Yellowstone a little further along the way. All those towns are tourist towns. Cody, WY, would be a good place to stay also and has a great museum (I'm told), it just takes a little longer to get into the Park from there. [And I haven't even mentioned the north entrance where you can drive over the Beartooth Pass to Red Lodge, MT. Gorgeous country! A little more remote.]

We're gearing up to head for the Red Ants Pants (RAP) Music Festival next week. This will be the 4th annual festival and will be our third time to attend. We're really looking forward to it.

I spent a few days with my card-playing girlfriends up in Island Park this week. This summer is zipping by ... we've had a lot going on.

Have fun kayaking today! ;) xo Betty

Betty - Idaho

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7/17/14 5:52 P

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Happy Friday Eve :)

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7/12/14 9:06 P

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CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is wonderful!!! You should be so proud! I'm proud of you!

I have never done anything like a 5k so I would love to hear about it. How did you go about preparing for it? I'm guessing you walked but I'm wondering if some folks walked and jogged or how that worked. Did you wear a pedometer or anything? I'd love to hear how many steps that you took. Congrats again!

Thanks for the great info. on Yellowstone. Thanks for the housing idea too. Do you have any thoughts on where I should look just to get other options for a good place to stay? Also, any special tours you'd consider?

I'm guessing we would fly into Salt Lake and drive, but we have't gotten that far in our planning yet. I can guarantee, though, that we will not be going in the summer. We are off season people!

Congrats again!!! So happy for you! You MAY have just inspired me to try one. xxx

emoticon

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7/12/14 7:15 P

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Hi Nancy & Paul!
I did it! To my amazement I finished the 5K walk in 54:28.9! I really thought it would take me over an hour, so I am jubilant! Unbeknownst to me, all the participants over 50 years of age had been entered into the Senior Games and I ended up getting the bronze medal for my age group (well okay, there were only three females in my age group... but hey, I got a medal!). That was my first 5K ever. I've always been standing on the sidelines and yelling encouragement; it was a good feeling to get in there and do it myself!

About Yellowstone, Nancy, I don't know where to begin! It is a fabulous place. What time of year would you go? Like most (all?) national parks, it is really crowded during the summer months. September would be a good time. And, how would you get there? Your could fly into Salt Lake City and drive up to the West Yellowstone (WY) entrance (driving right past Pocatello on the way); or fly into Jackson, WY, and go through Teton Nat'l Park into Yellowstone; or fly into Bozeman, MT, and drive to the Gardiner, MT, entrance (Gardiner is where our daughter lives). There's also the north entrance up by Cooke City, MT, which is a little less accessible to an airport and the east entrance is from Cody, WY. The scenery is beautiful no matter which way you go.

Park headquarters is in Mammoth (near the Gardiner entrance). There are lodging accommodations there and at several other locations inside the Park ... most are pretty pricey from what I've heard and require reservations long in advance. We've only camped in the Park or stayed with our daughter when she had a little shanty (as she called it) at Lake when she was working on the Lake Trout project. Old Faithful has a hotel and lodge and lots of boardwalks to wander along.

There is a grand loop that circles through the heart of the Park that takes you past many spectacular places you can stop and walk around. There are trails you can hike (you'll need bear spray!).

Those are the things that come to mind right away. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. ;)

Well, I've rattled on long enough for today. Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

xo Betty

Betty - Idaho

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7/12/14 7:04 P

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Hi again guys,

I'm glad to report that I got my new SP tracker today. I lost my other one way back in April and can tell I'm not as active as I was with it. All fingers crossed this boosts my motivation!

Happy Weekend!

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7/11/14 9:37 P

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HI guys!!!

Betty -- before I forget -- I really want to get your advice on visiting Yellowstone. That is on Wayne's next vacation list item and I'd love to do it. We know next to nothing about it so if you'll let me impose on you for some info, I'd sure appreciate it.

GO GET 'EM yourself on that 5K! Wow -- that's fantastic. I am now reading the Kindle Book "Confession of a Fat Marathoner!" and she underscores it doesn't matter how slow you are. You DO it when some people won't even walk around the block!! So please don't worry about that AT ALL!

Sounds like you have some wonderful plans. ENJOY.

Oh this weekend for us -- R&R. I'm still exhausted from the kayaking, etc. last weekend! Clearly my stamina isn't what it used to be.

All is well here though -- swimming, working and so forth.

TGIF!!!

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7/11/14 11:53 A

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Happy Friday Nancy & Paul!
I'm happy to report that we've gotten up and out every morning this week (M-F) and walked our neighborhood route (a little over 2 miles), so I'm ready to walk the 5K tomorrow. My time will be laughable to serious 5K'ers (like Paul), I'm sure it will take me a little over an hour, but I'm looking forward to it.

Tomorrow afternoon we'll go with friends to the annual salmon BBQ that is a fundraiser for the Search and Rescue folks, so we've got a busy Saturday planned.

Next week is our annual 3-day "girls" trip up to a cabin in Island Park (near West Yellowstone) ... six of us laugh, play games, eat and drink. No wonder I'm not losing any weight!

Hope Paul is having a fabulous time in Hawaii. Stay cool Nancy! ;) Betty

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7/9/14 11:15 A

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HI guys!!!

So wonderful to hear from you.

Paul -- what island will you visit in Hawaii? I've been to Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. Believe it or not, I went for work each time (and it was craziness -- but wonderful). How fun is this! Are you flying, cruising or????

I really hope we can go for our 25th wedding anniversary (in two years) but we shall see.

Betty -- it sounds like you're doing just great! Thank God the healing process has been so terrific.

Let's see - for the holiday we went to Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. We met friends there for hiking and kayaking. DC was like a blast furnace when we left so suffice to say I LOVED the cool weather there (it was almost 100 degree in DC and mid 70s at Deep Creek).

You both put me to shame with the 5K! Good for you! I've dedicated the rest of the summer to getting healthy again (I'm up about 10 pounds!) and just replaced my SP tracker (now if they will solve the online glitches they are having this week so we can use 'em. Sigh -- )

Much love, Nancy

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7/7/14 12:38 P

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Hi Paul & Nancy!
We had a nice holiday weekend too. Friends came up from SLC and we just hung out here at home watching some soccer and tennis and playing some games. We did get out for a bike ride on Saturday.. They left yesterday afternoon and a colleague of John's who was in town from Boise came to dinner last night. It's kinda nice to be back to just the two of us today. ;)

We got out for our walk first thing this morning and decided we need to get up and out earlier tomorrow so we can get more done before it heats up too much. We're signed up for a 5K walk Saturday morning. My knee surgeon invited his joint replacement patients to enter the Joint Jaunt event as his guests. They offer 2.5K, 5K, and 10K (walk or run). I am not a runner but I can't certainly walk the 5K (may be the last one in, but that would be okay). John signed up and will walk with me.

Your trip to Hawaii sounds like fun Paul! I've never been there either. Hope you have a fabulous time!

Keep making those healthy choices! ;) Betty

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7/5/14 9:07 A

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Well it was a nice relaxed 4th of July around here. Watched a movie in the afternoon, took a nap. Did a little bit of work on my backyard project and grilled some steaks.

I'm on my way to work soon. So I'll check in later.

Paul

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7/4/14 1:01 P

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Happy 4th of July!!!!

Just ran the Roseville Crimestoppers 5k this morning. It was nice to get out early and run. Slowest time in a while.

I've been super busy at work, long hours trying to get a project done. So haven't had much time to check in. Also haven't had enough time to finish my back yard project!!

Going on vacation in a week to Hawaii. Never been there, but I'm really excited to get away.

Hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend.

Paul

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6/30/14 2:26 P

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Hey Nancy, good to hear from you! Hope you're doing some fun stuff along with all your work this summer!

I smiled the other day when I noticed the FB posts about what sort of person you are ... I thought you definitely were intelligent for surrounding yourself with nurturers (Maria, Terry and me). emoticon

June has gone by in a blur for us, but we're going to be home more in July. Our friends from SLC are coming to spend next weekend with us here. Our 38th anniversary is Thursday. Our deck is nearly finished and looking good (I didn't think it would take over a month when the project started; guess I'll never learn!)

Life is good! Post when you get a chance. xo Betty



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6/29/14 10:52 A

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Yes I'm still alive!!! Again, I'm a daily habit or nothing at all girl. Will do better!!! xx

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6/23/14 12:19 P

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Good morning!

You've had a lot going on Paul, it all sounds great (except the 105 temp!). Your anniversary road trip and hike sounds very pleasant. John and I were out through that area a couple of years ago. We stopped in Sacramento and rode our bicycles on a nice trail that started in a park and ran along a river there.

Wish the USA/Portugal game would have ended a little sooner. :)

Nancy, hope you're enjoying some pool time and not working nonstop (although I know you like to be busy). Anything exciting going on with you?

John rode over to Jackson yesterday and spent the night. This is a work trip even though he's retired. LOL He's meeting with a couple of men he's collaborating on a fishes book with and they are collecting some fish today. That gives me some time alone to get caught up on things around the house. I miss him though. It sure is quiet without him here.

Guess I'll take Chaco for a walk. Have a lovely day! Betty

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6/22/14 7:01 P

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Hi Nancy & Betty,

Been a while since I checked in....

The graduation and the graduation party went well. It was 105 the day we had the party, glad the air conditioning held up!! Had about 30-40 people here so it actually worked out better than I thought it would.

My boys stopped by on fathers day, they are 25 & 22. They're getting old!!

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, so Kathy & I went for a day road trip with a really nice 3 hour hike thrown in. We live near to Sacramento, so it was either go to the ocean or go to the mountains. The mountains won (and are closer) . We had a real good time, made it as far as Truckee (about 25 miles from Lake Tahoe).

Currently watching the USA / Portugal soccer game. Go USA!!

Paul

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6/21/14 2:52 P

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It's so good to be back home. I do love all these trips we've been taking, but it is really nice to be back home for a while! Good to hear that things are going well for you Nancy! Summer has finally arrived and it is a beautiful day here today!

Hey Paul, hope that graduation party was super fun! Are you doing lots of running now that the days are nice and long?

We did a day trip out on Spooky (our CanAm Spyder) ... did a big loop up over the Teton Pass and into Jackson, WY, then back down the Wyoming border area and home. We were out eight hours and I still had a smile on my face when we got home, so maybe we will venture over to Mt Rushmore on Spooky before the summer's over.

This last trip was up to McCall, Idaho. We stayed at a beautiful state park (Ponderosa) ... the weather wasn't perfect, but we had a great time.

Our deck in down to the final stages. The contractor should finish up on Tuesday.

That's all our news. Hope you guys are healthy and happy! ;) Betty

Edited by: SMILEYBEE at: 6/21/2014 (14:52)
Betty - Idaho

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6/20/14 9:53 A

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Just have to say I hope you guys are well. All's well here. Just busy as a bee (thank God! We self-employed people live for that). DC has been hot and steamy but the pool has been a lifesaver (and I am worshipping the air conditioner).

Went to Ohio for a wedding, going kayaking in western Maryland over the 4th of July.

Looking forward to your news! Nancy

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6/17/14 9:25 P

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Hi guys -- It's your slacker friend. It has been crazy this month with work and family stuff but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Will write to bore you with it all tomorrow. xx

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6/3/14 2:39 P

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Hi Nancy & Paul!
Good to hear from you two!

Congrats on your writing jobs Nancy! I'm so happy for you that things have worked out the way you wanted them to! (Glad you told Paul about the name thing too, I was having a hard time deciding what to call you.) emoticon

What an accomplishment on refinishing your cabinet doors, Paul! We have some friends here who have been in that process (plus re-aligning drawers, etc.) for a couple of years, so you are really doing great! Did having the graduation party spur you on? John and I notice we seem to get a lot more done when a deadline is looming.

We did a big remodel a couple of years back that involved moving walls and new cabinets, etc. That took around three months (a contractor did the work). We started in August and surprised the kids when they came for Thanksgiving.

We have the same contractor replacing our deck now. John has done a lot of the tear down and prepping of support structure boards (treating and painting). The new deck should be done in another week or so.

We're heading to Bozeman, MT, for the coming weekend. We'll be visiting our other son and doing some biking and stuff with him. He drew my name last Christmas and this weekend is his gift to me.

We have so many trips coming up that our home is beginning to feel like a docking station. All fun stuff though.

Sending happy and healthy thoughts your way. Hope June is off to a great start for you!

emoticon Betty

Edited by: SMILEYBEE at: 6/3/2014 (14:40)
Betty - Idaho

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6/2/14 9:13 P

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It is SO WONDERFUl to hear from both of you. I think we should make a pact not to apologize to each other for absences though! Busy lives.

Happy birthday again Betty! Wow -- you sure don't look your age lady! You GO girl! I'm so glad you had a terrific birthday (which I'm sure was even better since you made such a rapid recovery).

And Paul -- WOW on those cabinets. We had our whole kitchen (which is small - we're in a townhouse in alexandria, Va right outside of DC) gutted and redone. I know something about how disruptive that is to your life! I so admire you guys doing all of that work. Our house had a hard life before we bought it so there was no redeeming the el cheap cabinets we originally had.

Well last week was a happening week. I did finish my course, took a job (freelance for now - likely will go full time) as a national music critic for the Washington Times Newspaper and then signed a freelance contract a s regular contributor to USA Today. Suffice to say things have been crazy busy for work! And that's a positive. candidly, I'm on cloud nine for TWT. It's one of my favorite papers so Im delighted to join them.

BTw -- you guys can call me Nancy. Paul -- I had a stalker on here years ago when I first started. I won't bore you with the whole weird story but this person moved on from here about a year ago and I think I can use my real name. But Nikki is a pen name I use (No I don't write "adult" content -- sometimes when I write a lot for a magazine they want to use different by lines!) so either is fine.

GREAT to hear from you both. And yes, Betty, the fire in Sedona are awful!

xx

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5/31/14 12:18 P

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Hello Ladies,

Great to hear about your big birthday Betty!!

Sorry to be MIA around here lately. My wife Kathy and I have been refreshing our kitchen cabinets. 'They are about 20 years old and the finish just looked really bad. We started working on them 7 days ago and today we will be finished. We have a relatively small kitchen, but there are still 20 doors and 10 drawers and the cabinets. We used a rustoleum product and there are 4 steps to finishing it. Strip, paint, glaze and seal. It is amazing how much work there is to do. Anyway all I have to do today is hang the doors and put the drawers back in.

The graduation party is next Sunday (in 8 days) so there is still more cleaning up to do.

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Paul

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5/29/14 1:33 P

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Hi Nikiki and Paul!
It is a gorgeous day here in southeastern Idaho! Sunshine makes me so happy! We had a wonderful long weekend in Montana with our daughter and her hubby. They recently bought 6+ acres on the Yellowstone River just outside Gardiner and we camped there with them for their first overnight stays. They hope to start building their home in a few months. It's so nice to be able to share in their excitement.

There was so much going on over the weekend ... horses trailing through town, BBQ and dance, HS graduation, rodeo ... plus some sightseeing in Yellowstone Park ... it was go, go, go! Our daughter coaches the cross country teams (boys and girls) at the high school and so she was involved in their send-offs. She is also an EMT and was on ambulance duty during the rodeo (thankfully the ambulance was not needed). Those are both "extra" things she does. She and her husband are both fulltime National Park Service employees in the Park. [You may be able to tell that I think she's pretty special.] ;)

We celebrated my 70th birthday there too (although my BD was on Tuesday). I can't believe I'm 70. Funny how that used to seem so old to me, and now my perspective has changed! ;)

Paul, I hope your daughter's graduation and party were great fun (or will be, if they're still coming up). Got any other fun things coming up?

Nikki, congrats on finishing up your classes. I bet you were watching that fire in the Sedona area recently. I know you love that part of the country. I haven't seen much news lately, I hope the fire is under control or out by now. Our cell phone coverage was very sketchy over the weekend and I'm still catching up now that we're home.

This coming weekend we're headed to Salt Lake City for another birthday celebration with a longtime friend of mine/ours on Friday night and then going up to Park City on Saturday night to visit with our son and his family. We'll be back home on Sunday afternoon.

Sending positive vibes to both of you for healthy, happy living as summer approaches.

Keep up the healthy choices! ;) Betty

Edited by: SMILEYBEE at: 5/29/2014 (13:36)
Betty - Idaho

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5/29/14 10:16 A

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Happy thursday gang!!!

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5/26/14 11:42 A

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Hope you're both having a great weekend!

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5/22/14 8:13 P

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Hi guys!

So nice to hear from both of you! Well I'm bringing up the rear today! I have a good excuse though -- my bus from NYC to DC ran late (it's a commuter bus so there aren't any stops along the way) and I didn't get home until 3 a.m.! I think I did a pretty good zombie impersonation today! I did take a nap and am trying to rally but wow -- these old bones aren't made for that kind of action anymore.

Everytime I go to NYC I feel I should like it more than I do! Funny how that works. The good news is that I always get a lot of walking in there. I walk instead of taking cabs (except at night) and it pays off a bit. Usually when I go (I've been going each Wednesday for the past month) I do a quick kettle bell work out (25 minutes) before I leave. I skipped it this week and was sort of glad because I think I would have been a mess with the extra late hour.

Paul the Fitbits are great. I had a SP tracker and loved it (and lost it!). I have an UP Band which I'm not that wild about but will likely start wearing now. My husband (he lost 100 pounds on SP when I did) does what you do -- really ramps up the exercise. he was down to 145 but it up to about 155 now (wants to get that 10 pounds off again - He's 5 foot 7 -- my height -- the doctor told him not to lose more weight -- I try not to be bitter!!! HA!).

Thanks for the kudos Betty but I really do need to lose these last pounds. Wayne (he's my husband, Paul) has done SO WELL but I obviously fall off the wagon (and eat the wagon) more than I care to admit. We have buckled down (again! Of course he never stopped)! I'm feeling pretty good with how we're doing this time (it's only been a few weeks since we went hard core again -- at least hard core for me!) so we'll see.

Betty you've had a LOT going on! I'm just beyond thrilled the surgery/recovery went so well and you are healing. Thank God. Now that you're getting stronger, you'll gradually build back up, I'm certain.

So great to hear from both of you. Any plans for the weekend? We're sticking close to home -- we have some house renovations we're doing so this is Home Depot weekend.

xxx

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5/21/14 2:45 P

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Hi Ladies,

Hard to believe that we've almost made it to the 4 year mark!!

I don't track my food anymore, although I did it for about 2 years. I'm down 15 pounds from when I started (185# today). I was at one point down to 170# and I'll get there again.

I found the main thing that helped me was to get active, I'm sort of a number geek, so I got a fitbit in August of 2011. Anyway went from doing about 2,500 steps a day to over 10,000 steps a day.

Oh yes and today was waffle wednesday!!

I'll try to check in more often - at least 2X a week.

Paul

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5/21/14 11:00 A

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Good morning Nikki and Paul!

Wow N, you are doing so great on losing weight and maintaining your loss ... 111 pounds is awesome! I'm currently just down 23 from when I started SP four years ago, and I seem to be stuck at that point! (That means I'm back up around 15 pounds from my low point on SP.) I'd really love to get that scale needle moving downward again. Alas, I am not using SP effectively these days and my exercise level is significantly decreased since my mid-March surgery. I believe I"m ready to get back into a regular (daily, I hope) exercise pattern. ;)

Paul, all that running you do is really paying off for you! Congratulations on your success in the healthy living department.

Are you guys have waffles today? Is this another waffle Wednesday? Can't believe I miss that crazy little huddle feature so! ;)

Have a fabulous day and remainder of the week! Happy Memorial Day indeed! Betty

Betty - Idaho

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5/20/14 10:15 A

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HI Betty!!

You were sorely missed. I think you, Paul and I are the last Indians standing which is fine with me! It's quality not quantity.

Wow -- you have had some travel going on. GOOD FOR YOU!!! It sounds wonderful. I love hearing all about the activities by your kids. I have been not quite as active as they are (HA!) but working out hard. If it ever warms up here, I'm going swimming.

This is the summer of 1. going down another 20 pounds and 2. Moving into the essayist role so I'm excited and motivated (some days more than others).

Look at you healing so quickly! Now I must ask -- how does it feel? Can you tell a difference in your knees? I'm so curious to hear about it and so thrilled that you've healed so well.

As far as SP, I'm still a regular because I want to dump that extra 20 pounds I've been holding onto. I actually "lead" new classes til they're up and running on here. It's nice because the new members are SO enthusiastic and when someone does step up to "lead" when I cycle off, they are so excited.

Happy Memorial Day and safe travels! N.

Edited by: NPDSLEUTH at: 5/20/2014 (10:19)
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5/19/14 11:34 P

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Hello team mates!
I've had lots going on lately and haven't checked in with SP for a while. We took a trip up to Montana to our daughter's home over Mother's Day weekend. For the last few years, she's been the organizer of the Park to Paradise triathlon held in Gardiner each May (this was the 35th annual event), and we go up to help her out and join in the fun. Our son won the men's solo ribbon this year and our son-in-law's team got 2nd place in the rec men's group. The weather was a little wicked (rain, snow and COLD), but it was fun. They start out boating down the Yellowstone River (kayaks, canoes, or one guy was standing on one of those surf board looking things this year) ~ seven miles; next they run up through Yankee Jim Canyon (around five miles); and the last leg is mountain biking around 19 miles on dirt (mud this year) road back into Gardiner.

We got home from that and then headed out with the local Travelin' Sam chapter on the first group campout of the year. That was our first trip with them and we had a lot of fun. The weather was much warmer and sunnier here.

We're heading back up to Montana to our daughter's house for the Memorial Day weekend. This time we're taking our camp trailer. She and her husband recently bought a few acres on the river and we're going to camp with them there. They're planning to build their home there next summer. We'll be celebrating my birthday; I'm going to be 70 next Tuesday. I can't believe how the years keep flying by!

We have plans to be out and about quite a bit this summer, so I'll be pretty hit and miss on Sparking. I'll hope to see updates from each of you when I check in.

I had my last physical therapy appointment today. My therapist says my recovery has been way ahead of most of their clients. He attributed that at least in part to my having the surgery before I got too run down. I still have stiffness and soreness. He says that will last six months to a year, but I just need to get out and build up my stamina.

Congrats on the upcoming graduation Paul. Is that your daughter who's graduating?

And way to go on getting so many classes knocked off Nancy! Glad to hear you've got good weather and life is good!

John is in the process of tearing our deck off. A contractor is supposed to be here tomorrow morning to help with the rest of the deconstruction and reconstruction. The folks who lived here before us apparently didn't keep up on the proper maintenance and there were lots of rotten places on the boards, so we're biting the bullet and replacing it.

Keep up the healthy living! ;) Betty

Edited by: SMILEYBEE at: 5/19/2014 (23:37)
Betty - Idaho

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5/19/14 12:52 P

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Happy Monday guys! I'm working on the deck today enjoying the warm weather!

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5/18/14 10:24 A

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PAUL!!! It's so great to hear from you!! I heard from betty and she's doing well. And promises to return soon. She's on a camping trip and hasn't been "plugged in."

Wow on the HS graduation. That's wonderful! What are her plans moving ahead?

Well I've been to NYC three times now for the classes I'm taking. I must admit I'm a bit worn out but still enjoying it. Two more classes to go and then I'm done! I've been driving or taking the bus back in forth which truly is not as grim as you might imagine. Just trying to get their quick without the hassle and expense of flying.

It's cool in DC but warm enough! i hear you on the household chores Paul. I did a lot of yard work the past several weeks for the exact reason you said.

Today we're grilling -- sweet corn, veggie and cornish game hens!!!

Happy Sunday!!! Nikki

Edited by: NPDSLEUTH at: 5/18/2014 (10:24)
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5/17/14 5:00 P

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Hello Everyone,

Still getting used to not having a huddle anymore. Still a bummer.

Anyway, been working on some projects around the house. Painting kitchen and bathroom. Putting up a retaining wall in the back yard. Getting stuff done before it gets too hot!!

Gracie graduates from high school in a couple of weeks and getting the house ready for a graduation party.

Hope all is well.

Paul

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5/10/14 11:21 A

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Happy Saturday!!

It's a gorgeous day here in DC and Wayne and I are taking it easy. We had breakfast on the deck, which was lovely. He's in getting things ready so we can grill out today. I'm so happy spring has finally sprung.

Boy, this travel stuff has wreaked havoc on my SP activity. I can't allow that to happen! I just went through and filled in how much I ate this week (scary) and my exercise. I've got to shoot for more moderation as I move ahead. I am falling into the "eat like a pig, then exercise like a crazy woman" mode. That's bad.

NYC has been a really positive experience. For the first time, I rode one of the commuter buses they have that run about 10 times a day straight from NYC to DC and back. It wasn't bad and the price can't be beat -- $15 each way!

The course I'm taking is very intense but hopefully I will get some decent results i.e. publication in a big magazine or paper. All fingers crossed.

So any plans with Memorial Day? Wayne's mom was going to come here but decided not to do so. She just had eye surgery so that's probably a good call. We do have plans to kayak in Maryland (long story) over July 4th! I can't even believe it's summer now! Heck our community pool opens next week!!!

So how about you? How's everything??? Do tell! Love, N.

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5/9/14 10:52 A

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Hi guys! Well the good news -- Work is going wonderfully. And it's spring! The bad news is that I feel like I've been running a marathon! The trips to NYC -- even t hough it's only four hours each way are grueling. But it's gonna be worth it. Things are starting to really take shape.

So tell me how you are??? Dying to know! xx

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5/8/14 9:54 P

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Hey guys,

Wow I go away for a few days and everything has changed!!! Miss the huddle too but I don't think it was that popular with other groups (you'd think I'd know being the "leader" but --

Anyway, sorry to disappear on you. Lots of great things happening which means I have been in NYC a LOT. I have been taking public transportation (big MegaBus) which is exhausting but so worth it.

I PROMISE to write tomorrow. I'm back honest! xx

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5/7/14 12:09 P

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Well, this seems to have fizzled out. The huddle change must have done us in.

Reminds me of the old saying: If it's not broken, don't fix it.

So long!

Betty - Idaho

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5/4/14 11:20 P

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Good evening Paul!
Nice to hear from you! I see you added me as a friend and I added you just now. I'm sure Nikki will be checking back in soon. She had a trip to NY and has had lots going on.

Hey Nikki, hope you had a great trip and are safely back home. How was your weekend?

John and I went out our our first camping trip of the season over the weekend. We just went to a State park not too far from here. Two other couples were there with us. We had a nice weekend. The weather cooperated nicely! I road a few miles on my bicycle. That the first time on the bike (other than an exercise bike) since my surgery. Made me a little nervous, but everything went great.

I'm ready to call it a day but wanted to check in before heading to bed.

Let's get this week off to a good start! Goodnight! Betty

Betty - Idaho

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5/3/14 8:45 P

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I miss the huddle!!! But I'll be here instead.

But you didn't lose me Nikki and Betty!!

Have a great weekend!!


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4/30/14 12:22 P

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Good morning NPD!
Looks like they've done away with the huddle. That's fine with me except I guess that means we'll lose contact with Paul. Maybe he'll post something on the team board (or whatever that was).

Hope you're having a lovely day in NY. It is a gorgeous day here. The weather is supposed to be sunny and springlike through the weekend now. ;)

My knee does not feel normal yet. It still feels sort of stiff and achy at times. It is still a little swollen. The doctor said it will take six months to a year for it to feel "normal" again, but that it should reach that point. It does feel much more stable than my old one. It's pretty stiff when I first get up each day, and feels better the more I'm out and about walking (within reason, that is). I feel like I've probably been extremely fortunate and I'm at the high end of the recovery curve on timing. I suspect that is because I didn't wait until I desperately needed the surgery. You remember I was somewhat indecisive about whether or not I was doing it too soon. At this point, I'm very happy that I went ahead with it. Another great benefit is that all the medical costs, except prescriptions, have been covered 100% between my Medicare and BC/BS Fed. I've paid around $200 on RXs. I think that is remarkable!

So, even though I'm released to do anything, I'm not really strong enough to do some things now. I just need to work on building my strength and stamina.

Well, I have a big list of things I need to get accomplished today, so I need to get busy.

Have a lovely time in NY. I'll be waiting to hear about it when you get a chance to write.

Love, Betty

Betty - Idaho

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4/29/14 11:15 P

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Hey Ms. Healthy!

Congratulations on the terrific health report! WOW! You must be so excited that you bounced back so quickly. I am sure it does seem fast to YOU but wow -- rapid fire. I'm so very happy for you! Now I must ask -- how does your knee feel? Does it feel different in a way i.e. is it noticeable to you that it's done? Or does it feel as normal as possible? Wow.

Thanks for your nice note about my tumble. It was scary and you should see my wrists -- I never had black wrists before. I'm just so blessed that I didn't break a bone or something! Gees. It is always something.

Believe me, I'm taking flat shoes with me for my NYC trip. That's tomorrow and promises to be a busy day. I'm ready for it though. I just want to get there, get this story reported (and, of course, go to my wonderful course) and get back.

I will have the iPad with me and do my best to get on here tomorrow. I usually take my computer (it's practically glued to me! HA!) but with my wrists sore I though I'd leave it home this trip. I should be able to get on though (I hope -- if not, I'll write you on FB).

So it's pouring rain here tonight and very gusty wind. At least I know tomorrow I won't be too warm in NYC (it's colder there than here and it's only about 50 degrees here)!

I will think of you and hope you're having a wonderful day. Keep a good thought for me!

Nancy xxx

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4/29/14 4:23 P

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Hi NPD!
The doctor was very pleased with my progress. I can do anything I want to now ... as soon as my leg feels strong enough. That means I need to be out and about and building strength. WooHoo!

Hope you're having a lovely day!

:) Betty

Betty - Idaho

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made. -- Wayne Dyer


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