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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/24/14 9:56 P

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Good Evening !

Our homeless friend, Danny, came over this afternoon and took a shower and shaved. I washed his clothes and Johnny gave him a nice IZOD shirt to wear as well. I cut Danny's hair outside on the patio. He cleaned up really good. I made chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce, mayo, or mustard sauces to dip them in. Then Danny headed to The Fisherman's Shack (a local bar) for the evening. He just LOVES to hang out there ! (Johnny and I have only been there once). We gave him a blanket and he's just been sleeping under the stars in the woods. But we have a tent that we're going to give to him. I'm glad that we can help Danny out. It's my "calling" to help out homeless guys. But we're not going to have a roommate again like we used to. Our privacy is too precious.

My son, David, visited yesterday. I am super-proud of him. He started a new job at the Walmart Distribution Center. He had worked at SAM'S CLUB for 5-6 years. He got a $5 an hour raise transferring to the DC ! He said he liked his new job so far. He's doing computer work shipping freight.

Next month he moves into his new house. It is 2 bedroom concrete block house on a medium size river. He is getting a 30 year mortgage but plans to pay it off in 8-10 years. He is unbelievably great with money. He saves lots of money. Paid $5000 cash for his car. Never pays interest on his credit card with a $10,000 limit (pays it off every month). Always gets cash back rewards on his Discover Card. Has NO Debt except for this house he's buying for $76,000. The house is really cute and neat and clean. Perfect for a single guy. He has lots of plans to paint. He bought a chair and a chest at a garage sale yesterday. His hobby is photography and kayaking - - which he'll be able to do right from his back yard. I am just SO EXCITED about this house. Johnny and I are going to spend a night over there. That will be fun.

Well, Constantine is starting at 10. A new series. I think it will be good.

Have a great weekend.
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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CHRISTINE1623's Photo CHRISTINE1623 SparkPoints: (13,666)
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10/22/14 8:28 P

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Valerie,

I completely understand your take on "gay sex" on tv and movies. We are considered "old school" and it doesn't come natural to us to see that. Unfortunately, the younger generations will find this common place and wont think much about it!

I'm getting so old that "normal sex" on tv is uncomfortable to me! lol !!

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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/20/14 11:46 P

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Good Evening Lovely Ladies ! emoticon

I'm finishing up Day #6 AF ! emoticon

We had a picnic at the beach this evening. emoticon

It was so "lovely". Surreal actually: children playing on the rocks looking for "critters", old couple walking hand in hand on the boardwalk, young couple on the 2 person swing, old shrimp boat going out into the Gulf for the night haul, 2 couples having a picnic of their own complete with a tablecloth and wine. sun setting into the Gulf . . . . Waldorff salad from the Deli . . . .

Proud of myself that I drank lemon/lime seltzer water. emoticon

We watched a taped episode of "How to get away with MURDER". The show is extremely fast-paced and really good - BUT the gay-sex really upsets Johnny. I have to admit - it is VERY SHOCKING ! Still - the rest of the show is great. We talked about quitting watching the show because of the graphic gay sex - but we're kinda hooked on the story line now. We've got to see how it turns out.

Getting tired. Talk to you tomorrow.
Nite Nite
Valerie



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/19/14 10:35 A

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Good Morning Lovely Ladies !

emoticon Brenda for the temperature conversion. 90 F = 32 C. Yes, I'm not exaggerating. we are above 90 degrees F for about 6 months of the year (May - Oct ). It's TERRIBLE ! But then we have beautiful weather for the rest of the 6 months when you are freezing up north - so it's a "trade off" I guess. Personally, I wish I had never moved to Florida . . . but then I never would have met Johnny . . . and he makes me so happy . . . hard to believe I'm so "in love" at my age . . . lol . . .

Another disadvantage of renting in an apartment building. Our neighbors are constantly borrowing stuff from us. We all live so close together. This morning before 9 am, a neighbor knocked on our door and our dog started barking like crazy, and we woke up, still in bed, and he wanted to borrow some coffee. I lied and said we didn't have any . . . (through the window). . . because we have to put a stop to this guy bothering us all the time to borrow stuff. He was in the hospital last week for a whole week and I took care of his dog. She was a good dog and I enjoyed it , , , BUT I think he should have given me a few bucks for my trouble. He barely said "thank you" and hasn't given me a penny. In his defense, he borrowed $40 from us and he DID pay us back. . . . but still. I think he should give me something for taking such good care of his dog. I even used my own money to wash the comforter the dog was sleeping on. I wonder if he even noticed that it was washed ?

Then there is that friend of our who just got out of prison. The seat was stolen off of his brand new bicycle. So Johnny gave him his old bike. Now he lost his phone. He only had it for 2 weeks. We're waiting for him to show up this morning to watch Joel Osteen with us. I can't call him. Yesterday, he did some yard work for somebody and he found a really cute "tea kettle" that looks like a "rooster". He gave it to us. I cleaned it up. I have it on my stove. It is so cute. That was a nice little gift for us. People are constantly giving us things. We are so blessed in that regard.

Friends gave us a new mattress last week. Johnny loves it. But it is too FIRM for me. I wake up with stiff and aching hips. We gave away our old mattress so it too late to go back to using that one. Johnny thought it was too soft for him. I was comfortable. I guess we need one of those "sleep number" beds so his side can be "firm" and my side can be "soft".
We did "christen'" our new mattress, however. It was good for that !

I'm on day #5 alcohol-free. I'm doing well. We got a new monitor for our computer yesterday and last night, Johnny and I, played videos off of YouTube and listened to music for hours together. We listened to songs that we listened to when we were "dating" 8 years ago. It was so romantic. We had such a GREAT TIME. I'm also proud of myself that I didn't drink. It was very tempting to have a bottle of wine with the music and romance and kissing, etc. But I'm really happy that I can have a good time without alcohol.

How are you doing, Christine ? Went to church today ? How's Michaela ? How's your other daughter who was having relationship problems and moved back home ? Is she still living with you or did she get back together with her boyfriend ?

Hope to hear from you both . . . and anybody else out there ? Elle ? Are you around ? Miss you ! emoticon

Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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JUST_BRENDA's Photo JUST_BRENDA Posts: 1,751
10/18/14 2:26 P

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Hi Ladies!
Yes, renting does have advantages... When we moved into our current house (15 years ago), we went to price appliances and a "friend" gave us a great deal so we purchased the stove, fridge and dishwasher he recommended. I had no idea how good his advice was. We still have the stove even though the timer and clock don't work anymore; months ago we gave away the dishwasher even though it was functioning perfectly the racks were losing the vinyl coating; and the fridge got a new compresser UNDER WARRANTY when it was 9.5 yrs old and is now in the garage as a "back up" fridge BUT it is more reliable than the new fridge which we've had to call in $$$service men for (only 1 yr warranty). Anyhow...
Val, 90F=32C... that's dang hot for me!!! I'm not fond of the heat or cold so this (fall) in one of my favorite seasons of the year.... spring is the other.
Christine, have fun at the HW party! You sound like you are doing well at making goals and sticking to them! Ok, I'm envious... but I only have myself to blame. I think I eat and drink my stresses...I'm not proud of my behaviour.

Hubby found very cheap hockey tickets for tonight, and while I couldn't care less, I'm going with him. I figure I can "people watch" for amusement... he loves hockey. The bonus for me is that we can go the Costco near the arena before the game. I no longer have a membership but I found out I can shop there with a $10 gift card (and pay the balance with debit) so I'm stocking up on those well priced items: kitty litter, supplements, almond milk, etc.
Yep, my life is pretty boring if that is my highlight.

I'm wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!!!

Brenda


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/17/14 12:37 P

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emoticon emoticon emoticon Christine and Brenda !

You're right ! Our weather is BEAUTIFUL now ! emoticon 70's F ! Loving it !

You're also right about home ownership ! When our refrigerator/freezer died, our landlords gave us a new one. Then our stove/oven died and we got a new one of those TOO. Renting has its advantages ! emoticon

I was drinking when I went on-line looking for houses. That house that I thought was "such a good deal" - well the price was actually what they wanted for "down payment" lol I should have realized that. When it seems too good to be true - it usually isn't what you think ! lol emoticon

But here's a disadvantage of renting : There are always people in our building who are "dealing drugs " ! They get scripts for prescription pain pills and then sell them. There is so much traffic coming and going. I have NEVER taken a "narcotic" ! Johnny used to be addicted to them but he quit several years ago - and I'm so proud of him ! Now he only drinks beer and smokes cigarettes. (I SO WISH he would quit smoking - but it doesn't look like that will ever happen. I bought him the electronic cigarette and he didn't like it. He got patches and that gave him pain in his arm. He tried the losenge and he couldn't drink when he was sucking on one so that didn't work either. He should at least go outside to smoke - but then I can't visit with him easily because he just stays outside . . . lol . .) But anyway - we hate seeing all the drug traffic right outside our door. These are not good people.

Well - keep on working on your goals !
Take Care and God Bless
Valerie



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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CHRISTINE1623's Photo CHRISTINE1623 SparkPoints: (13,666)
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10/15/14 8:27 A

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Hi Valerie and Brenda! I agree with Brenda, pretty soon us " northerners" will be complaining of snow and cold and Val will be living the dream!

I've been busier than usual lately which is good because it helps keep me out of the fridge!

Top things going on with me right now

* staying on track with diet and avoiding alcohol until the 24th, when we are going to a bar for a.
Halloween costume party.
* working extra and keeping up with Michaela's volleyball schedule and other activities.
* our fridge is on the fritz and freezing half our food. We need to replace it and we don't have much "wiggle" room in our budget right now. The joys of home ownership! (Keep that in mind Val...lol)

It's nice to hear from both of you! Take care and keep your goals always in mind

Christine


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/15/14 1:30 A

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emoticon Brenda.

I don't know what 20 degrees Celcius is like. I "think" 25 degrees Celcius is like "room temperature". I can't remember. Anyway our 90 degrees Fahrenheit is SUPER HOT ! It probably NEVER gets that hot in Canada. You asked why I didn't ride my bike. Well, I didn't want to be all hot and sweaty when I went to the OB/GYN so I was going to take the bus there. But then it was Columbus Day (a holiday) and the buses weren't running. So I called a friend for a ride. She gave me a ride and said I could call her for a ride home, -- BUT I really felt like I needed to get some good exercise - SO I walked the three miles home. I had to take two little rest breaks. It was SO HOT ! I was really proud of myself for walking that far. I bought a bottle of water at a convenience store. That helped. They were giving away FREE COFFEE (any size or kind) so I took a big one, but then it was too much to carry and I left it on the bus bench when I walked by. Hate to waste "food" but, oh, well . . . Anyway, it took me an hour to walk 3 miles so that's good (20 minutes per mile).

Now it's Tuesday night (in the middle of the night) and it is 76 degrees outside. We have the windows open and a fan blowing the cool night air into our apartment. It is 79 degrees in here and I'm still HOT (72 degrees is room temperature).

I was looking at little houses in our little town tonight on the internet. I think Johnny and I could get out of this apartment into a little house of our own. Probably rent. But there was a house to buy for really inexpensive. It must have "mold" or a "sink hole" or something it was so cheap. It didn't have carpet or any appliances. It would be SO MUCH FUN to fix this place up. It really seems like a "GOD THING" ! A BLESSING ! I really want to buy it. I am SO EXCITED ! I'm going to call the real estate agent tomorrow. Maybe we'll be moving !

Well it's getting really late,
Take care and God Bless,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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JUST_BRENDA's Photo JUST_BRENDA Posts: 1,751
10/14/14 10:01 P

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Well today, here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, we had untypically mild weather... in the mid 20's (celcuis). However everything ends and we're getting rain starting soon (for days) and a HIGH of 17 celcius.
Val, you certainly won't want our weather (cold emoticon cold) in Nov thru April!
Hey, why didn't you use that beautiful new bike of yours instead of walking yourself into a sweat?

Brenda


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/14/14 12:10 A

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Thanks, Brenda ! Johnny and I really believe that we were "meant to be ". And YES, you're right, it really is good to be friends before you become intimate. Johnny said he wanted to "woo" me ! lol

So great that your daughters were both home ! emoticon

Had an appointment at the OB/GYN today and it went super well. She said that the "atypical cells" on my PAP smear were probably only inflamation and prescribed a cream. I got blood work done to confirm "menopause" and had a mammogram. Then I walked 3 miles home. And it was HOT - like 90 degrees HOT ! I can't believe it's the middle of October ! And still 90 degrees. Come on ! When is this going to end ? ! I'm envious of you up north. I want cool weather !

Well, good night lovely ladies !
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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JUST_BRENDA's Photo JUST_BRENDA Posts: 1,751
10/13/14 11:34 A

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Val, that sounds like you and johnny were "meant to be". Your story evolves over an extended timeline and so many different things had to happen. It's nice that you were friends before you were intimate. I think that can make lots of difference in the longevity of a relationship.
Well, I'm getting kinda sad that the long weekend is ending to a close. I still need to go to the gym to workout, and my eldest daughter will be leaving again until Christmas. It certainly was great seeing her again. I'm really happy that she and her twin were able to reunite! They really are best friends.

Brenda


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CAPECODBABE's Photo CAPECODBABE Posts: 5,453
10/12/14 9:33 A

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Great story. emoticon
I had heard most of it before, but there were parts I hadn't emoticon

xoxo elle~


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/12/14 12:31 A

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Thanks for asking how Johnny and I met. Gives me something to write about tonight and I love to tell this story - but it is a little "shocking" to some people.

In 2003 I left my 3rd husband of 9 years because I finally realized that he didn't even "know" me or LOVE me ! So I walked out of the nice house I had purchased 2 years before, let him keep it, and moved into a double wide trailer in a poor neighborhood because it is what I could afford by myself. It was across the street from a 50 acre patch of woods. Johnny lived in the woods with a bunch of homeless people. Melinda was his girlfriend who I mentioned before. She is super NASTY ! I would see Johnny and her walking down the street and Melinda would always be barefoot. She limped. She was always carrying a beer. And she smokes. Found out later she is addicted to narcotics. But her gravely hoarse voice and foul language and the terrible things she says is really the WORST.

Johnny was tall, thin, blonde hair, dressed nicely, and shaved. I always thought he was so cute and couldn't understand why he would be with such a TERRIBLE woman. I planted a rose garden in my front yard and would often be watering my roses. If Johnny happened to be alone, he would chat for a minute when he walked by. I asked neighbors how old he was and when I found out he was 10 years younger than me, I thought he would never be interested in someone my age. Yet I always thought to myself that he deserved better than what he had - a mean woman who nagged him all the time. I thought Johnny wasn't your typical homeless person and that I could make him happy. But I thought I was too old for him.

So fast forward 3 years to July of 2006 - I had hooked up with another homeless man, JOE.
for a few months. He preferred to sleep on the couch even though we were intimate. One o'clock in the middle of the night, my dog started barking, and I woke up in my bedroom and started walking down the hall to see what the commotion was. I heard a voice from the living room, "Don't worry, Val, it's only ME" I recognized the voice - Johnny ! I switched on the light and asked him, "Johnny ! What are you doing in my house in the middle of the night ?" He explained that he was actually running from the cops. He had had a fight with Melinda, who owned a trailer behind mine, and he owed "child support", so when the cops showed up, he had jumped the fence and ran. By a miracle, I had forgotten to lock my door that one night, and Johnny had just walked right in. A normal person would have been "mad" or "scared" I suppose, but I guess I'm not normal, I was happy that I could help Johnny. I said, "I think you could use a "SHOT" ! He was thrilled that I had a bottle of vodka. We sat up drinking and talking and laughing in the dining room. Joe finally got off the couch and joined us. At 3 or 4 in the morning we finally went to bed - me to my bedroom, Joe to the couch, and Johnny on a pile of blankets on the floor in the living room. I felt bad that Johnny had to sleep on the floor but the guys said, "That's fine ! He's used to sleeping in the woods !" I laughed. Oh, yea ! Silly me !

The next morning I made Johnny a big breakfast and he left. Two weeks later my live-in lover, Joe, took off. He hitch hiked out of the state. I was SO UPSET that Joe had left. I was really infatuated with him at the time. I was alone and miserable. Then Johnny knocked on my door and asked, "Since Joe is gone. Would I be able to sleep on your couch for $10 per night ?" I didn't hesitate for a second. I welcomed the company. He said he had broken up with Melinda. He had been living in the woods for weeks and it was raining every day (like it does in Florida in the summer). He couldn't take it anymore.

So Johnny moved in, sleeping on the couch. Every evening we would sit in the dining room talking and drinking. Johnny made me laugh so hard, I would "pee in my pants" ! This went on for a couple weeks. Then when I sat down on the couch one evening, Johnny sat down beside me, put his arm around me, and kissed me for the first time. I still remember that kiss ! We fell in love !

A couple nights later, Johnny said, "From now on I'm sleeping in YOUR bed" I was thrilled.

So actually, Johnny and I were "living together" before we "hooked up" ! Funny, huh ?

We didn't end up in the woods until the winter of 07-08. There were a lot of twists and turns and break ups and getting back together, and moving around in the first 2 years of our relationship from Aug 06 until Aug 08 when we moved into our current apartment. We've been here over 6 years now and we are very settled down and happy.

But we plan to get a 2 bedroom house just north of here in a nice neighborhood that has a community pool. Some day !

I really believe God brought us together. We are so in love.

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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JUST_BRENDA's Photo JUST_BRENDA Posts: 1,751
10/11/14 10:36 A

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Val, you definitely have heard and seen a lot. I'm amazed you actually choose to live in the woods for months even though you had a better alternative. I would pick a heated, lighted, dry place over roughing it any day. I don't even camp in "rough style".
It's really unfortunate that particular non profit agencies have people corrupting the organization and they aren't caught until thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars are gone. I just read about a local one in the paper this morning. Too sad. I hope the organizations that I donate to are better managed... then again, there was a scandal at the Salvation Army where thousands of toys went missing and of course, another fat cat had swallowed the mouse.
Maybe I'll actually stop and talk to the begging man and ask what kind of sandwich he'd like. I know he recognizes me because although I don't make eye contact he says "thank you" as I walk by. I usually do look at these people in the eye and mumble some kind of apology as I don't give. The idea is to show them some respect as they are still people.

My childhood home looked great from the outside: respectable parents, decent income, even church going at one point. I didn't realize it then, but do in recent years, it wasn't quite what I thought. My parents didn't mean bad but there were instances of abuse: emotional and physical. I was definitely one of those people with "emotional gut rot" which lead to acting out behaviours and substance abuse. I'm definitely one of the lucky ones as I have a loving family that I've created (ie., choice of husband and our 3 kids). Unconditional love is underrated!

Val, how did you and Johnny meet?

Brenda


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,392
10/11/14 2:03 A

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I have a terrible cold. I am so congested, I don't want to try to go to bed because I can't breathe properly. I have sleep apnea and use CPAP so anyway, I'm going to write about a few homeless people I've met . . .

Richard was married and expecting their first child when his pregnant wife died of a brain anuerysm. Then Richard got hit by a car on our dangerous US Hwy 19. He got settlement money but he sold it for a cash-lump-sum to a company that tricks people out of their settlements (J.D. Wentworth) He then "BLEW" all his money on drugs. He lived with us on and off for most of 2 years. He is an alcoholic now. I don't think he can afford to buy drugs. He moved to the next town south of us so we don't see him anymore.

You asked if most of the homeless are men. Most of them are men - but that's because the women can "hook-up" with a guy who provides for them. So the woman aren't homeless for long. They can always find a guy to stay with.

For example Melinda. She has never worked but she's addicted to pain pills, beer, and cigarettes. She know how to "play" the guys to buy her what she wants. Right now I know of 2 boyfriends - Wes and Ray - who I wrote about in my last post. They both support her.

Another homeless woman I knew was Kay. She said she had been a truck-driver. Now she was begging and "turning tricks". She slept on my couch for about a month. She "married" a homeless man, Bill, and they lived together in the woods. He wanted her to be "exclusive" with him but she continued to have sex with other men. She hooked up with a guy named Mike and moved to his home state of Kentucky. Bill was a severe alcoholic and died. Kay tried calling me several times from out of state tying to scam me into sending her money - but I didn't fall for it and told her to never call me again. She hasn't.

There has been a homeless woman hanging out on the sidewalk near our apartment building. She is clearly mentally ill and/or high on drugs. There was a storm approaching last week and I told her to take cover under the overhang of a big building across the street. Apparently she was "so messed up" that she didn't know enough to get out of the rain. (Even a dog knows that. lol)

Today there were two homeless men hanging out on the "sewer lift station" ( a concrete platform with a pump for the sewer) across the street. I could see them out my window. There is a sign "No Trespassing" but they don't care. Surprised the sheriff deputies don't run them off but I guess if no one complains, they just let them sit there.

Danny, the guy who got out of prison last week, had a rough childhood. His mother committed suicide when he was 11. She died by carbon monoxide poisoning in a car. He had a child when he was only 16 and dropped out of high school to get married and support the baby. That probably didn't last long. He said he used to deal in antiques and collectibles. He bought an antique cedar hope chest from me for $100. He hooked up with Holly who I have never met but sounds like a really bad alcoholic/druggie. She claimed he "tried to strangle her". She probably said something REALLY NASTY to him and he "lost his temper". But that's no excuse. He went to prison for "battery by strangulation". Danny said he never touched her. But Danny is definitely a HOT HEAD, so I don't believe him. I told Danny that if he was innocent, he shouldn't have pleaded "no contest" but rather taken it to a trial. We got into a big argument over that. Luckily Johnny was here or Danny might have attacked ME ! He definitely scares me. He slept on our couch for 9 months in 2012. Of all the guys - he scares me the most. But Johnny says I should be the most afraid of Richard because some homeless women in the woods have claimed that he raped them.

Then there is good old "Barcode". His real name is Jerry but they call him "Barcode" because he has a barcode of his birthday tattooed on his forehead. He's lived alone in the woods for probably 20 years or more. He begs for money every day. I have no idea what his story is. He is really hardcore homeless. He's been in the newspaper. Kinda famous for his unconventional lifestyle. He's content with his lot in life, I guess. I gave him $5 a couple weeks ago when I passed by him at the post office. I know he'll spend it on beer. But Johnny and I are doing so well - I wanted to help him out.

I would rather hand the money (or better yet - a hamburger) directly to the person instead of giving it to an organization. We have a supposed "homeless shelter" called the Holy Ground which I found out is really just a "get rich" scam. The owner keeps all the money for herself and her 3 sons and the homeless people get almost NOTHING ! They go to work and have to give her their entire check. Greg and Melissa lived there with their two kids and had to pay a lot of rent to the owner. How can you call that a "homeless shelter"? It's just a trailer park. There is nothing "HOLY" about the "Holy Ground". It's a SCAM. When you give the money or food directly to a homeless person, you KNOW you are helping someone. If you give it to an organization, how do you know they really are helping anyone? Maybe they're taking a big salary. Who knows ?

Anyway, I'm tired. Thanks for posting Christine and Brenda. It's so nice to know that I'm not totally alone on this team ! Luv U Guys ! God Bless,
Valerie
emoticon


"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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10/10/14 7:14 P

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Thanks for your interest in the "homeless" ! For four years Johnny and I had a homeless person sleeping on our couch (and taking showers, and eating, and washing their clothes, charging their cell phone, etc.). We put an end to it 2 years ago - and have loved our privacy ever since - until Danny showed up last week and we let him spend one night. I believed it was my "purpose" in life to help these guys out but it was a strain on our "marriage" and we decided to stop.

Every guy is different with a different story of how he ended up homeless - but almost all of them "had it going on at one time".

Wes was a marine for 18 years until he got into a fight with his superior and was discharged. He struggled for 20 years until he recently got retirement money from the VA and is doing well now in a nice upper flat.

Ray was actually a millionaire with his own tile business. He even owned a second house that he rented out. His wife of 28 years, who is seriously mentally ill, lied and got Ray sent to prison for 5 years for domestic battery. When he got out a couple years ago - he had lost both houses and his business and work van and EVERYTHING ! He lived in the woods in a tent for a couple years. He's working again in the floor tile business and has a place to live now. He hooked up with a woman who is an alcoholic/prescription pain pill addict and is really BAD NEWS so I can't say that Ray is doing "well" - but he's not homeless anymore.

Johnny was homeless for several years when I met him. He had a good life once also. He was married for 12 years and had two children and lived in their own house. But his wife got addicted to crack cocaine, cheated on him, and took off with the kids. Johnny lost EVERYTHING also. Johnny had a very difficult childhood - raised by a single mother who was an alcoholic and a grandmother. They both died within a year of each other when Johnny was 15-16 and he was left all alone in the world. He dropped out of high school and went to work. If it wasn't for me (and my retirement income) Johnny would still be living in a tent in the woods. He can only work for minimum wage which isn't enough to pay rent. He also owes child support so they take that out of his check and he's left with almost nothing. I've always had a good income - and a place to live - but I lived with Johnny for 3 1/2 months in the woods "for the experience". It was by choice. (I owned a double wide trailer I could have lived in.) I'm glad I did it. That experience taught me so much. I learned to REALLY appreciate the little things like "running water". And living in the woods together with nothing REALLY BONDED us together. We are "mated for life" (seriously)

I would say, from my experience, that all the homeless people I have met have mental illness and addictions. They are all alcoholics. (with the exception of Ray's X-wife who I heard on the bus claim she has never drank alcohol. But she's crazy - so I'm not sure if I believe her.) Most of them are drug addicts as well or at least, they used to be and now have stopped using mainly because they can't afford it. The drug of choice around here is prescription pain pills (narcotics). Most just swallow them but Johnny told me that some melt them down and inject them. I was shocked. Johnny used a lot of drugs when he was young but never used needles. Today he only drinks beer and smokes cigars. He won't even smoke pot if it is offered to him. I've never tried any drugs of any kind. I've been a good influence on Johnny. (and he appreciates me - lol)

All the homeless people have suffered abuse as children. Of this I'm quite certain. It varies between physical, verbal, sexual abuse, etc. But I"m sure they all had rough childhoods. If they had been raised right - they would have gotten an education and held down decent jobs and lived in nice places. Here, again, I was raised in a good Christian home and have never been abused so I have a hard time understanding what these people have been through. They turn to alcohol and drugs to "dull the pain". They have short tempers and get into physical fights like children. They lie, steal, and cheat. And end up in jail. That's another thing they have in common. They have all been arrested. (I never have, of course). The usual charge is "domestic battery" on their girlfriend. Then they are on "probation" and can't pay the fees or get to the "anger management" classes they are required to go to (and pay for). So they ALL get a VOP (violation of probation) and go back to jail to complete their sentence. When they get out all they have is the shirt on their back. They find someone's couch to sleep on or an abandoned tent in the woods or a overhang behind a building . . .

Well, I'm tired. AND SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE A ROOF OVER MY HEAD ! LOL

God Bless you,
Valerie
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"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
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10/9/14 11:51 P

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I agree that Val does attract much "drama" in her life because she is such a kind caring person, and unfortunately, an easy target to those who use that as an alternative profession in their lives. I'm one of those naïve people too.... I've been taken a number of times, but in recent decades have been socializing with a "higher" level of society, due to neighborhood and profession. (geez, this does sound ominous)
It was recently brought to my attention that many of the homeless are mentally ill... and that makes sense. I would imagine that it is very difficult to separate mental illness/homelessness/addiction. They seem to congregate around each other.
To help these people I choose to donate to agencies that help them: the Food bank, the Ottawa Mission for the homeless. I work downtown and see many "beggars" hanging out on the street corners with hats or cups out. I usually don't give directly to them, but have done so during the frigid winter when even I, drapped in coat, could hardly stand it.
One thing that was an eye opener for me is a particular man who begs at a particular spot and a specific time: when I gave to him he truly looked pathetic, contorted and twisted up like a dying man.... but on another occasion I saw him he was "setting up his stand" and had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, grabbed a free newspaper and was contorting himself upon it.
I do understand that he has difficult times and is far from well-off, but this deception bugs me... more reason for me to continue directing my donations to the agencies that serve the homeless...

Brenda


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10/9/14 8:00 P

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Valerie, I believe you could write a book with the strange happenings that occur in your life and the people you encounter. You have such a kind heart for the homeless because of your past but you also seem to have a strong understanding of how they tend to operate. You also seem to be very patient until you see you are being played, which is a good thing! You are past the stage of being taken advantage of. I honestly do not have any experience with homeless people. Are the majority of homeless people, homeless because of unfortunate financial situations or because of addiction? Or a combination of the two? Do most homeless people tend to be men? I think that many people seem to try and ignore the homeless. I think it's out of fear and ignorance. Ignorance in the sense that they don't understand how the got into that position and they cannot see the homeless as other people just like them.

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10/9/14 6:30 P

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The only "diet" I have ever tried is the SubWay Diet. I would walk to the Subway about a mile away and buy a Veggie Sub for lunch. Then I would have a little regular dinner. It was working. But money was very tight at the time and I didn't want to keep spending the $5 every day for the sub. I really liked them however. I think it is a very healthy way to eat. Now I buy all the veggies and cut them up in little covered bowls, ready in the 'fridge, and make my own veggie subs. I use spicy brown mustard - no mayo. I usually have tomato, cucumber, red onion, green or red bell peppers, shredded carrots, shredded lettuce, pickled banana peppers out of a jar, and sliced black olives on a roll. I love them.

I've never tried any pills or gimmicks. With SparkPeople, for the past two years, I have lost 40 pounds by limiting alcohol, eating my veggie subs, and walking. (Unfortunately, now I have gained 10 back. But still - I look on the bright side - I'm 30 pounds lighter than I was !)

My son's mother-in-law had Lap-Band surgery and has lost 100 pounds.

Tuesday, our homeless friend, Danny, that just got out of prison last week showed up and "swore up and down" that he had a ride to a 90 day REHAB in Orlando on Wednesday, so we let him sleep over for his last night "free". Well, of course, like I suspected he didn't make it to REHAB yesterday. We wouldn't let him sleep on our couch another night so he locked up his bike at our place, walked down to the corner ice cream parlor which was closed (around midnight) and called 911. He claimed he had "chest pains" and is now in the hospital. I had heard of homeless people lying just to get a bed to sleep in but now I witnessed it firsthand. It is wrong to take a bed from someone who really is sick. I'm surprised the hospital fell for it and admitted him. He does have "stints" in his coronary arteries and has had "heart attacks" in the past so it isn't a "big" lie, I suppose. Still, it isn't right. This guy is just a MESS ! Last week when he got out of prison, he bought a cell phone and lost the charger within an HOUR ! I gave him another charger. Now he lost that one also. He bought a bike and a lock - BUT lost the key to the lock ! He lost his reading glasses and his sunglasses yesterday. I gave him some photos of Johnny and me and our pets - and of course, he lost them too. Yesterday he said he bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and he didn't get to eat it - it got left in the woods. I'm sure the raccoons had a nice dinner. I said to Danny, "Why didn't you bring it to our place to sit down and eat ?" He didn't have an answer. I guess he thought he couldn't eat it in front of us. idk. But now it got wasted. I hate wasting food. I have been so stressed out since Danny showed up at our door last Wednesday. You never know when he's going to show up with another sad story of how he lost this or that or that he doesn't have a place to sleep or how he couldn't get a ride to REHAB, etc. It goes on and on.

Danny is in the hospital tonight - I just called him, so I guess Johnny and I can have a nice quiet evening together. Unfortunately, my sinuses are really bothering me. I feel like I'm getting a cold. I'm dog sitting for our neighbor, Brett, and he's in the hospital for pneumonia. I hope I didn't catch his virus by going into his apartment to take care of his dog. I'm not feeling very well. Darn it !

Going to watch a new show tonight that is really good "How to get away with MURDER". Anybody else watching it ?

Take care, lovely ladies ! emoticon

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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10/7/14 2:53 P

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My mom has struggled with her weight most of her adult life. She did "Medical Weight Loss" years ago with success and decided to join again. She was shocked to find that the program (which lasts 10 weeks, I believe) will cost her about $2000. Despite the cost, she decided to go ahead with it.

Isn't it crazy when you realize the huge amounts of money and extreme measures we go through to lose weight....

I myself have tried: Weight watchers, various exercise programs, diet pills both prescription and over the counter, low carb diets, low fat diets, slim fast, the infamous cabbage soup diet (nasty) plus many other gimmicks!

Honest story~ I had a friend, whose mom had her jaws wired shut to lose weight! She figured out how to "unwire" them to over eat then would "wire" them back.

What is the craziest thing you have done or heard of to lose weight?

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10/3/14 4:03 P

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Val, I think you are very wise to set boundaries on welcoming others. Sometimes helping "too much" ends up as a message that it's okay to take advantage of you.
Glad to hear about your bargain! Going to Thrift stores is like a treasure hunt. I've never done it too much but I just had a consult with a young lady stylist (for lack of a better description) and she suggested that I go there for costume jewelry and scarves. I don't have too much patience for clothes shopping even when it's in the retail stores that have the same items in several sizes.
Glad to hear that your dog is getting better. I hate it when one of my cats gets sick or needs something as it's a guaranteed $100 just to see the vet. Never mind about treatments. Oh, and the sell up on the "vet approved" food. I did that with a previous cat and he mysteriously died (under my daughters bed) at only 5 years old. Heart failure? So much for that investment (okay, that's the accountant in me talking emoticon )
Ah, although I really do like my job, I think I would really enjoy retiring. I know I loved maternity leave: getting paid to stay home and start raising my kids; but with retirement leave I can pick how I want to spend my time!!!

Brenda


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10/3/14 1:58 P

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A homeless "friend" that we used to let sleep on our couch, got out of prison after a year, and showed up at our door Wednesday the 1st. I helped him apply for food stamps on my computer. We didn't let him sleep over however. We're done with that. We've been alone for over 2 years now and "we'll never go back" to letting guys sleep over. He's here right now watching the LIVE-AID concert on DVD. He loves music.

Johnny and I are having a "date-night" tonight. Looking forward to that ! I rented a movie on DVD "The Other Woman" a comedy with Cameron Diaz. I had rented it the other day but we didn't get to watch it so I'm trying again.

I got in a Long walk yesterday - at least 3 miles or more. That was good. But it is STILL SO HOT down here in FL. It's 87 degrees out there right now. We're supposed to cool off Sunday. I can't WAIT ! (By cool off - they probably mean down into the 70's lol)

My dog has an abscess on her face under her eye. We've been worried about it BUT today it broke open and started to drain. So that is GREAT. It will heal up I'm sure. Getting to a VET and paying for a VET is really difficult for us right now. I hope we can avoid that.

I stopped at a Thrift Store yesterday and found a big beautiful shell to use as a centerpiece on our patio table. I put a candle in it. Very pretty. It was heavy to carry home, however. I'm glad I made it.

Brenda - my sister is an accountant also ! Good job ! I was a Medical Technologist and worked in a laboratory at the VA. I used to really enjoy my job. But I'm glad I'm retired.

Take care
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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10/2/14 2:55 P

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I'm so sorry to hear of the situation. The kids totally suffer for it. It's not their choice what kind of environment they are raised in yet it can affect them so deeply and profoundly. Very sad.
In my younger years I had entertained being a social worker but decided against it. I just know myself and I would get too emotionally bruised by all these difficult situations. Instead, I chose to work with NUMBERS! (I'm an accountant).

Brenda


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9/30/14 12:26 A

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You are so right, Christine. I am tempted to call Child Protective Services. Melissa has an 8 year old boy, Cole, and I think DCF (Dept of Children and Families) has investigated them several times already. She doesn't make good decisions. (Why did she decide to stop taking birth control pills and get pregnant on purpose when Greg had been unemployed for 3 years ?) She doesn't stand up for her son either. (Greg berated Cole on and on until he cried ! I kept waiting for Melissa to say, "That's enough Greg ! Leave him alone !" But she kept silent.)

They were renting a trailer at a homeless shelter and then moved to a trailer park and now they are planning to move AGAIN into a different trailer ! The kids have NO stability. They have moved dozens of time during Cole's 8 years.

Friday, Melissa was in court and signed papers that Cole would visit his father (MIKE) EVERY WEEKEND and ALL SUMMER. Mike supposedly IS HOMELESS ! I think he takes Cole over to the grandparents when he has visitation. Then Melissa called me crying on the phone the next day because she was SO UPSET that "she gave away all her time with Cole". Why did she sign the papers if she didn't agree with the arrangement ? Another bad decision.

I really AM worried about these kids. I'm not a professional . . . And I don't have any proof of anything . . . .it's just my observation that I THINK Greg is taking drugs. I KNOW for a fact that back in March Greg was drunk on tequila and drove with the baby in the vehicle. I wish I had called DCF immediately that night. Now it's just my word against his.

Johnny says we should just CUT THEM OFF COMPLETELY, and refuse to let them use our apartment as a place to hang out. I should add that MELISSA didn't drink any alcohol and didn't seem to have taken any drugs when they visited us with the kids. I helped Melissa do a load of laundry and feed the baby applesauce and give the baby a bath in our bathtub. She does seem to be a very attentive mother with the baby. I forgot to check to see who was driving when they left. She probably let Greg drive home ! Another bad decision.

I babysat for Cole once (for free just to help them out) and the grandmother called DCF supposedly because she didn't know where Cole was and they came to OUR apartment and questioned ME ! I wasn't drinking and had nothing to hide. Then they questioned Melissa for an hour or two. (This was before she was pregnant with Lucy.)

Melissa's mother, the grandmother, won't have anything to do with Greg, Melissa, or the baby. Melissa called her mother the "C" Word ! The grandparents, however, love Cole and want to continue their relationship with him. I'm sure the grandparents have called DCF a "hundred" times !

It's really a mess. I wish I could tell Melissa to stand up for her kids and protect them. She needs to leave Greg and go hide in a Woman's Shelter. She is SO under HIS CONTROL ! Greg would HUNT them down if she tried to get away from him ! She would not be safe if she tried to leave with the kids. She would need professional help to get away from him. She couldn't hide at my place ! that's for sure. Greg would be here like a "fly on sh. t"! Melissa tells me that Greg does not listen to anything she says. She said that if she says anything, it just makes things worse, so she keeps her mouth shut. Very sad.

I can't message Melissa on facebook because Greg gets on there and pretends to be HER. The only way I could talk to Melissa would be on the phone when Greg is at work.

I"m getting really tired.
I definitely will keep praying for Melissa, Lucy, and Cole.






"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/29/14 12:05 P

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Valerie, I am very fearful for the safety of Melissa's children. Does Melissa, Greg and the children have a home? I know for a while when the baby was born they were homeless. It's incredibly sad that Melissa cannot see how toxic Greg is for her and her children. I hate to see a mother get her children taken away from her but if she cannot make good choices for them, she might lose them. I can't make a judgment because I am an outsider but Valerie pray on this and see if you feel like you need to report Greg. Can you imagine how you would feel if one of those children got hurt by Greg (unintentionally or intentionally), You would have a heavy burden to carry. This is a horrible situation.

I agree on the name....how ridiculous. Does Greg think he's a celebrity or something choosing a name like Flavia?

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9/28/14 11:36 P

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Christine -
Sorry about the heartburn ! emoticon

The bonfire sounds awesome ! I love a nice fire ! emoticon

We were watching TV this evening and Greg knocked on our door. I opened the window and talked to him through the screen. He was holding the baby and he was barefoot. I could tell he was on drugs as he was "swaying" and by the way he talked. He said Melissa had run to the store (probably to get money to pay for the drugs) He said, "Don't you want to open the door and give Flavia a kiss ?" Melissa calls her Lucy. I hate the name Flavia. It sounds like a female body part to me. Anyway I told him we were busy in the middle of a TV show, and sorry, and I closed the window. He went away. I had told Melissa on facebook that we didn't want Greg over here "in that condition". She said she would tell him. I wonder if she said anything to him and he ignored it. It is not safe for the baby. Also Greg told us that he is sleeping with the baby and that she bit him on his nipple in the middle of the night ! Melissa admitted she goes to sleep on the couch. I am upset. It is not right that Greg is sleeping with his daughter. I don't want anything to do with them ! But someone needs to stand up for the kids. Terrible situation. emoticon

Johnny fixed the flat on my bike this morning. emoticon He was working on it already when I got up. Very happy about that. Need to go to the doctor's office in the morning and pick up a copy of my lab report of my PAP smear. I'm going to take it to a real OB/GYN. I've already got an appointment in October. emoticon

Did four loads of laundry today. That was great to get out of the way. emoticon

Was hoping to go out to lunch with my DS and DIL tomorrow but they can't make it. Hopefully next week. emoticon

FIVE days alcohol-free ! Hopefully I'll lose a couple pounds by my Wednesday weigh-in. emoticon

Have a lovely week ! emoticon

Edited by: GREEN-EYED-LADY at: 9/28/2014 (23:45)
"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/28/14 6:39 P

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Last night we had some friends over for a bon fire and drinks. It was a beautiful, clear night and we had a good time. I didn't go over board on the booze but I did eat OFF my diet. Chili, cookies, just plain junk and sugar. I woofed down a couple of cookies right before going to bed. Anyway, I woke up at 2:00 am with severe heart burn. It was horrible. I was even having hot flashes and thought I was going to throw up! WTH ? As luck would have it, I had no tums in the house (we usually don't suffer from heart burn). I had to sleep sitting up. Fortunately, when I woke up around 7, I felt much better and was able to go to church. Last year, I went to a birthday party and had Moscato wine and a big piece of cake with buttercream frosting. That had the same effect on me. I don't think I should mix alcohol and large amounts of sugar !! Hope everyone had a good weekend!

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9/26/14 9:33 P

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Hi Valerie,

I'm really glad you made an appointment with a OB/GYN for the atypical cells. I will keep you in my prayers that everything is alright. Regarding your neighbor, sometimes I think that we as women are "too nice", I know that I am guilty of it. We believe strongly in helping others. However, this makes us easy targets to get taken advantage of. I would say, no more loaning your phone out (unless he wants to make a call while you are standing there). I am also very concerned and scared about our nations safety. It is a known fact that there is a lot of information that the government does not tell us to avoid panic and hysteria. All we can do if pray and keep our guard up.

I'll catch up when I have some more time! Take care and God bless

Christine

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9/26/14 11:54 A

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My new neighbor who has a bad leg and uses crutches borrowed my phone yesterday. Then he KEPT IT OVER NIGHT ! I didn't expect that. I thought he would use it for one call and then return it. This morning he was outside with his dog so I asked for my phone. He said he fell asleep last night and STILL needed the phone to get his car repaired. He asked, "Can I borrow your other phone ? " I told him I was going out and needed a phone as did Johnny so that we could call each other. We need two phones. I agreed to let him keep the phone for another hour until I was ready to go out shopping. Well, he still hasn't knocked on my door to return it, so I guess I'm going to have to knock on his door and request our phone back. This guy is becoming a pest. I mean, "really !?" Keeping my phone over night !?

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/25/14 9:20 P

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Johnny actually walked with me to Burger King (less than a mile). I was so happy because we never go anywhere. Seriously. Unfortunately our sandwiches were cold as were the onion rings. But the worst part was that there was a very suspicious guy sitting alone in the BK. He was obviously Middle Eastern with black hair in a pony tail and a black beard below his chin. He had dark skin and was of small build, probably in his 20's. He wasn't eating anything - just using a tablet computer. I've never seen a Middle Eastern person in our little town before although we do have Indian Hindus. (Running a couple convenience stores and my doctor) He threw out his drink, went to the bathroom, and then sat back down to use his device again. I know I'm "racial profiling" but he could be what they call a "Lone Wolf" who can become radicalized on the internet and then engage in some terrorist act. Or do we have a "terrorist cell" here ? He made Johnny nervous. So we left pretty quick. THEN a couple hours later, Johnny got sick. Food poisoning ? The best thing was the strawberry/banana smoothie. Quite yummy.

After ISIS beheading 3 men and then terrorists in Algeria beheading a French tourist, and there was a plot in Australia to kidnap random people off the street and behead them, are we safe anywhere ? Iraq's president said there was a threat against the subways in NY and DC. This is a scary world we live in. Terrorists could be anywhere.

Stay safe people. God Bless,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/25/14 11:23 A

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Good Morning !

Had a PAP smear done at my primary physician's office by a nurse-practitioner and there were atypical cells (but negative for HPV). So I made an appointment with an OB/GYN in October. Hopefully when it is repeated, it will be "normal". I'm concerned - but not too worried. I might have to have a procedure done to "freeze" the abnormal cells. We'll see.

Got a coupon for $7.99 for lunch at the OUTBACK as a gift for donating blood 2 X during the summer. Hopefully one of my sons will be able to drive me there to have lunch with me. It's kinda a long drive for them . . . but hopefully one of them will want to go out to lunch. We'll see about that too . . .

Want to go to Burger King today with Johnny. There's one in the neighborhood that we can walk to. He loves the Big King and I love the FISH sandwich. They have 2 sandwiches for $5. Can't beat that deal. We'll see . . . lol . . . (It's hard to get Johnny to go ANYWHERE)

Going to shop at Dollar General on Saturday cuz I have 2 $5 coupons off $30. Need dog and cat food, laundry detergent, dish soap, hair dye, razors, etc. etc.

Don't have much to do today. Maybe I'll dust and vacuum. Organize my finances. We'll see. . . . ha . . . I'm saying that a lot . . . .lol

Have a great day,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/22/14 8:00 P

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So happy to see you post, Brenda ! I had read about your Biggest Loser Challenge In Real Life in a blog, I believe. It sounds like a SUPER idea ! I wish I had a group of ladies to do that ! Do you know them from work? Money can be a good motivator, right ?

I've been wanting to have a friend IRL and now I have Melissa, BUT I wonder if I can be friends with her and not let her husband, Greg, visit. When Greg finds out that he can't hang out at our place - he'll definitely FORBID Melissa to be friends with me. He maintains CONTROL of her. It's terrible. Hopefully she will bring her baby over during the day while Greg is working and we can take a walk to the beach together. idk. I refuse to let Greg hang out at our apartment while he's high on drugs. I have never used illegal drugs of any kind. It was dangerous for the baby. Melissa laid the baby on the couch and was feeding her a bottle. Greg immediately picked up the baby, dropping the bottle, and almost fell into our glass coffee table. Johnny and I both jumped up and steadied him. Melissa let Greg take the baby outside on the patio (which is concrete) and was "nodding out" while he held her. PEOPLE ON DRUGS SHOULD NOT BE TAKING CARE OF A BABY !

TTYL,
Valerie


Edited by: GREEN-EYED-LADY at: 9/22/2014 (21:41)
"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/22/14 6:44 P

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Hi Val and Christine,
Sounds like you had a great balanced weekend Christine. That's always good when that happens!
Val, sorry to hear about your disappointments with Melissa and company. It sounds like a sad situation... so much poor judgement.
Good for you for passing up a FREE bottle of Tequila. I don't think I could have done it!
I'm not spending much time on SP or this board. I'm trying to focus more on "real life" (which, unfortunately, includes my TV addiction then that mandatory full-time work cr@p).
Still, I do peek on the boards to see what's happening... well, this team and Cutting Down the Booze.
I joined a real life Biggest Loser Challenge group. We're about a dozen ladies who are over 40 years old. We have pitched in $10 each, and will pay $2 for each week we gain weight or do not attend a meeting. On Dec 12 (by the way we're having a potluck that day) the person who lost the most body weight (%) wins the money.
I did pretty good the first couple of days but absolutely binged on Sat AND Sun! I'm trying to get back at it, but it doesn't feel natural to me. Currently, I'm fighting off the urge to go upstairs and have a chocolate chip cookie! emoticon

Brenda


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9/22/14 12:08 A

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Greg and Melissa came over today and I got really upset. Greg was really "messed up" on drugs ! I don't want him around when he's on drugs. He was emotionally abusive to his step-son who is 7 I believe. He kept saying "LOOK AT ME ! LOOK AT ME !" The boy started crying. I felt really bad for the little boy. It wasn't right. Melissa acted like she didn't understand why Greg was so "messed up" when SHE is the one who went to get money for Greg to buy the drugs. I don't think we should be friends with them anymore. Instead of "blowing up at them" I decided to take a walk and left and then Johnny told them to leave before I got back from my walk. Johnny was GREAT. I have NO PROBLEM with Johnny. But this couple is TOXIC. I was very upset. I want to be friends with Melissa. But I don't want Greg around. And she "stands by her man.". I've got to talk to her and be honest with her.
I'd like to be friends with YOU and your kids, BUT I DON'T WANT GREG AROUND ! She probably will be upset about that. She seems to "worship" Greg . . . . . .

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/21/14 1:18 P

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So glad that you got to reconnect with Melissa and that your friendship can continue. I will keep her in my prayers. You will be a great influence on her spiritually and health wise.

I've had a really good weekend. Great weather! I got my fall décor out, did some closet cleaning and organizing, went out to lunch with hubby, worked out and relaxed. Ready for a new week!

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9/20/14 10:03 P

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Thanks Christine ! It WAS difficult for me to pass up that bottle, as I happen to LOVE tequila. I'm glad I said NO quickly before I changed my mind. But last night friends showed up unexpectedly with beer. I lost my resolve. I think I drank 6 beers over the course of the evening. Mad at myself. But I'm SO HAPPY that I am friends with Melissa again. Melissa was driving and didn't drink a drop. You saw a picture of her kids on facebook and "liked" it. Thanks. Johnny had fun talking to Greg. We had had a problem with them about 6 months ago and hadn't hung out with them since. I had been feeling so bad that I didn't have any friends IRL (in real life) and now I have Melissa again. YAY ! She needs to lose 100 pounds and I suggested she join SP. But she doesn't have a computer - only a phone. I'm not sure if she can use SP on her phone. She said she does facebook that way. idk. But hopefully she will drive over to my apartment often and we can walk together. She's having a lot of health issues. I love to talk about stuff like that as I have a medical background. She just got blood work done and waiting for the results. She has colities and might have colon cancer. Please pray for Melissa.

Have a good night,
Valerie



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
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9/19/14 6:57 P

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Valerie, you should be SO proud of yourself for resisting the temptation of taking that tequila. You are an inspiration. Although I don't like tequila, I would have a very hard time passing up something else that was free and being handed to me. You rock!

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9/18/14 9:08 P

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Good Evening ! emoticon

I'll check out your facebook page ! I'd love to see your costumes.

Wow ! 6 trees ! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon If you've got room for them - why not ! lol I'm not sure where we're going to fit the one tree we bought. Our apartment is very little. Johnny keeps saying "don't worry about it !" lol I bought blue and silver ornaments today and silver garland and a star that really "twinkles" for the top (battery operated) They were just putting the Christmas stuff out on the shelves today at the Dollar General Store when I grabbed what I wanted. A lady at the store said to me . . . "Christmas stuff already ? ! It's not even Thanksgiving yet. Wait, it's not even Halloween yet. lol ! " "I said, "I know !, but I've got my heart set on "blue and silver" and I've got to "GET IT WHILE YOU'VE GOT IT!"
Johnny loves Christmas. He's so excited about this tree. This is the first year we've actually bought a tree together. We've been together for 8 years, but we had old trees given to us.

I ran into my neighbor Angel, in the laundry room/mail room and asked her if she liked the make-up box I gave her. She acted surprised. "Oh, that was from you ? !" She was thrilled with it. Then she came over with a bottle of tequila to give to us in return. In the past we would have LOVED that - - but we're trying to avoid hard liquor (and I'm avoiding alcohol all together). I said "No, thanks ! We don't want that around to tempt us !" I wrote a blog about that temptation. emoticon

Going to pop some popcorn now and watch EXTANT.
Have a great day tomorrow,
God Bless,
Valerie



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/17/14 9:23 P

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Hi Valerie!

Your Halloween costumes are going to be great! Maybe you can get more use out of your boots other than just for Halloween....wink, wink~ lol. My husband and I love to dress up for Halloween too. If you get a chance look at the pictures on my facebook page. I have some of our pictures; The Flintstones, Smurfs, Heat Miser/Snow Miser, Mrs. Butterworth and a waffle! Our third Halloween together we were Shrek and Fiona. It was great! Please make sure to get some pictures, I want to see. I'm glad you guys are getting out, it will be fun! You are such a good person to try to make amends with your neighbor. A good Christian, I should say! I think silver garland would be beautiful with blue ornaments, don't you? I am a Christmas freak...ha ha. I put up four big Christmas trees and two small ones (yes, it is excessive I agree..lol). It takes me two days to fully decorate the inside of my house.

I'm feeling better today, actually got on the elliptical for 30 minutes and 10 minutes doing the weight bench. I hate trying to sleep at night with a head cold, I anticipate sleeping better tonight.

Blessings!!

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9/17/14 12:35 A

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Good Evening Christine !
I guess we're the only two "hold-outs" left on this team. That makes me sad but . . . anybody out there lurking . . . feel free to join and jump right on in !

My bike has 21 speeds - 3 gears in the front and 7 in the back - 3X7 = 21 BUT - I really don't change the gears ever. I leave it on the middle gear in the front and #4 in the back so that's just right - not too easy and not too hard to peddle. Florida is really flat. I don't think I need to change the gears. I should have Johnny teach me how to do it just in case I need to for a hill.

We ordered Pirate costumes for both Johnny and me for Halloween this year. They are coming in 3 deliveries. lol Today Johnny's sword, my boots, and his treasure map arrived. My skirt and top are coming separately. The 3rd delivery should have his telescope, eye patch, bandana with skull and crossbones, and earring. Johnny already has raggedy jeans, white shirt and black vest. We are going to look great ! Johnny really liked me in boots today. Thought they were very sexy. Who knew boots turn him on ? lol We're going to walk down the street to the open-air bars by the water and Johnny can have a beer. I'm trying to be AF for the 12 weeks of this challenge - and maybe longer. We'll see.

I don't have any fall or halloween decorations. I think I spent enough money on the costumes. We did, however, order a new artificial Christmas tree with white lights. We're going to get blue ornaments and gold or silver garland. Which do you think would be better?

I think that's GREAT that you buy your clothes in thrift stores ! I've got you beat. The churches around here give away free clothes - and I find lots of great things. The only things I buy are bras and underwear and socks. EVERYTHING else I have has been given to me ! lol. I found Calvin Klein cordouroy pants that fit great which I'll wear this winter. I have a nice pair of LEE jeans which I'm hoping to shrink into. I've had to get rid of a lot of clothes over the past 2 years after losing weight. That is really a good feeling when your pants are WAY TOO BIG NOW ! I LOVE it !

We cleaned our bedroom today. I washed the sheets AND the comforter. I cleaned out everything from under the bed. We cleaned out the closet. I had a really nice make=up box but I didn't need it so I gave that to the woman next door. I tried to be friends with her for about a year but then we had a falling out and now we don't speak. I knocked on her door to give her the box but there was no answer so I just left it on her patio. She'll know it was from me. I only gave it to her because Jesus said, "Be kind to your enemies". I'll never really get over the things she said to Johnny and me - but . . . that was a long time ago. Although a tiger never changes their stripes !

Have great day tomorrow,
God Bless,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/16/14 9:29 P

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So glad you got your doctor's appointment done! Wow, that is really scary about your sister, please keep me posted. I know you will get enjoyment out of your bike! Especially for you not having a car. Does your bike have speeds? Mine doesn't, which makes it a little more challenging!

I have had a cold the last couple days. boo. I have started packing up my summer clothes and bringing out the winter. I usually jump the gun on doing this every spring and fall because I get sick of my clothes and want a change. lol. I have ALOT of clothes. About 90% of them are from thrift stores or garage sales. Every time the ladies at church see me in a new skirt or something, they like to guess how much I paid for it.. $2.00... $3.00 ? They are always amazed at my shopping abilities. I am just really cheap! lol. I think this weekend I will get out my fall/Halloween decorations for inside the house. I have several totes of things I have collected over the years (again, items mostly from garage sales and thrift stores..ha ha). I might hold off until the end of the month to get pumpkins, corn stalks and mums for theoutside. My flowers still look good and I hate to pull them out! I will keep the outside looking like "summer" as long as I can!

I hope you can get to the dentist soon! You are so right, at least you are not in pain!
Take care and God bless~

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9/15/14 11:35 P

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I finally got my PAP smear done today after 4 1/2 years ! It's about time. There is a new wonderful nurse practitioner in my regular doctor's office and she took care of me today. She is just an angel.

I rode my new bike to the doctor's office. It rides so effortlessly ! I was upset I had to ride through a puddle and got my new bike dirty. lol I really love my new bicycle.

I need to make an appointment to go to the dentist. Part of a filling fell out and I have a big "hole" where food gets stuck. I hate that ! Luckily I don't have any pain. Instead of "luckily" I should say THANK GOD !

Have a good day tomorrow,
God Bless,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/14/14 11:05 P

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WOW ! A mustang ! Johnny loves those !

Maybe you should change your profile picture to show your new haircut ! ? You are such a beautiful lady. Why don't you show it off ? !

I like that name "Michaela". Very pretty.

My sister was flying out of Africa when 2 1/2 hours out, they asked for anybody on the flight with medical training, and then turned around and went back to Africa. Sure hope the sick lady on the flight didn't have Ebola ! Hopefully it was some other medical condition. My sister is home now, but the incubation period for Ebola is up to 3 weeks, so she could have been infected and not showing any symptoms yet.

I have a doctor's appointment to get my pap smear (finally). They have a new young pretty nurse practitioner at my regular doctor's office, who said she could do it. I haven't had a PAP smear in almost 5 years I think. The OB/GYN I used to go to died of a heart attack. I had a couple appointments with another OB/GYN but I would have had to take the bus and I never made it there. Then my last appointment with my male primary care doctor - I was waiting and waiting, undressed in the room, and got uncomfortable and got dressed and walked out. I'm so glad that this new woman has started working with my doctor. Last time I was there - she said, "You are really taking good care of yourself" That made me feel so good. I'm proud of the fact that I've lost 30-40 pounds, lowered my BP, and lowered my triglycerides, cut down on alcohol, etc. I AM doing really good. I mention things to my mother and she NEVER gives me any praise or kudos. She was an elementary school teacher and you'd think she'd give encouragement to me - but she never has. Never will. I wrote a blog about it. Seems silly that at MY AGE, I still want approval from my mother ! When will I get over that? lol

Have a great week,
God Bless,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/14/14 4:38 P

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Valerie: You got a bike! How awesome. Have fun! I love riding my bike. Yesterday was busy. Michaela had a volleyball scrimmage in the morning then I went to my daughter Courtney's salon to have my hair cut. Michaela had two friends stay the night. Michaela was tired from school all week and volleyball so luckily they didn't stay up all night! lol. Michaela is a night owl and stays up all night in the summer (hubby and I are the opposite). My step son Hunter got a new car on Friday, a 2006 Mustang! Beautiful car. He is on cloud nine! He's a good kid and it's nice to watch him experience the joys of life. I went to church this morning but I feel like I am getting a cold so I haven't done much today. I probably won't even work out tonight (I will take any excuse I can get...ha ha).

We also live close to a large air force base (Selfridge, about 20 miles). Yes, yes, yes I feel the exact same concerns you do! At church this morning, we prayed for our country and the turmoil in the middle east.

Wishing you (and anyone else out there) a good and successful week!

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9/13/14 9:36 P

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Good Evening !
Zumba sounds fun. I wish I could go to that. They have an exercise class at our local church 2 X per week but I haven't been there for almost a year . I want to go but I never get up and get myself there in the morning. Now that I have a new bike, I think I'll be more willing to go. The weather should start to cool off soon, also, (I hope). I used to feel so good about myself when I would exercise. On Mondays it is "balance, and stretching, and elastic bands, and little balls for your hands and arms, etc." On Fridays we lift weights and then do crunches and then a cool down. I still have my umbilical hernia so that has made me hesitant to go to exercise class as well. I'm going to "give it a go" and see how I do.

I know what you mean about going to DC. My sister just went to South Africa for a photo safari and with "ebola" and all the turmoil in the world - I didn't think it was a good idea. But she's back now. Hope she's okay. Still in the incubation period for "ebola" so she could actually have it !

We live 50 miles from McDill Air Force Base in Tampa which is Central Command for the operations in the MidEast - so a prime target for terrorists, I imagine. Today 2 air force jets flew over our apartment going super fast. Johnny took a picture. We were worried there was something going on. Maybe they were just flying a "training mission" but Johnny admitted he was scared that there was a terrorist attack or UFO or something. He has also seen BIG BIACK MILITARY helicopters which he has never seen before. Life is scary these days. Although maybe we should feel safer that they are patrolling the area along the Gulf coast.

Tomorrow Johnny is going to take a picture of me with my new bicycle and I'll write a blog. That will be fun.

Hope you have a good day.
God Bless,
Valerie


Edited by: GREEN-EYED-LADY at: 9/13/2014 (21:38)
"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/11/14 1:42 P

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Valerie, glad to hear that your BP is down. Wow, a banana for breakfast and a pear for lunch! I wish I could eat that light. I would be starving! lol. We watched the President's speech last night also. My daughter is going on her 8th grade class trip to Washington DC September 19-21. I have to admit that I am a bit worried about her going to the Capital with all this turmoil is going on.

Well, I have Zumba tonight. So far this week, I have a little over 3 hours of exercise in. I would like to get in a total of 5 but we'll see.

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9/10/14 8:15 P

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Good evening !

Today was the first day of our new Thanksgiving Challenge emoticon
Tomorrow is September 11th so I bought a new flag to fly on our dock. emoticon
Our old one was quite frayed. It was just a "printed" cheap flag. Johnny said to get another inexpensive one - but I splurged and bought an embroidered 3X5 flag for $30. Thought it was cool that they don't charge sales tax on American flags.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
So I got a little walk in going over to the hardware store to buy the flag. Maybe one mile - but it's better than nothing. I also watched what I ate today. I was going to roast the turkey breast but decided to make that for tomorrow the 11th Patriot Day. I ate a banana for breakfast and a pear for lunch and some leftover beef stew for dinner. Not bad.

My blood pressure is FINALLY down to normal after a whiskey and 7 UP binge over last weekend. Johnny, too, had really high blood pressure for 3 days after drinking a lot. I wonder how many people realize that alcohol really affects your blood pressure (the day after). emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Tonight the president is speaking. We will definitely be listening.
We've been talking about the "Crisis of ISIS" - horrible barbarians murdering innocent people like the two American journalists that they beheaded. Beyond words.

Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/8/14 9:09 P

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emoticon Alison ! So sorry you were sick for so long ! Glad you're feeling better ! I sure hope you don't decide to leave us ! But I understand you have to do what is best for yourself. When I quit drinking last year, I left the "cutting down the alcohol" team because I wanted to just "put it out of my mind" and not talk about alcohol all the time. It worked for me. I had an alcohol-free streak of 107 days, and other 30+ days streaks since then. I did better on my own instead of reading how the other ladies had "slipped" and drank a bottle of vodka ! You know what I mean ! But that being said, there is no pressure on this team. Everybody has their own goals and program. I sure hope you stick around to offer advice to others. It really impressed me how you could have just one glass of wine each day. It's nice to know that some people are truly "moderate" drinkers. I think that is rare. I want you to know that you have been an inspiration to me !
God Bless You,
Valerie



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/8/14 1:45 P

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Hi Alison!

Glad you are feeling better! Wow, it really hit you hard. I completely understand what you are saying about finding a healthy balance especially when you are at or very near your goal weight. I also feel like I am constantly thinking about my weight, food, calories, exercise..ect. I sometimes wish I could put it on the back burner. I hope that when I hit my goal weight I find that maintenance isn't so thought consuming! Good to hear from you again.

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9/8/14 12:04 P

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Hello, hello, hello Everyone!!! (especially Val and Christine who seem to be regulars :)

Here I am, finally back in the cyber world! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was sick with the flu and the residual effects of being sick for about three weeks. I still don't know exactly what was going on but basically, after the initial pain, body aches and headache, I was feeling dizzy and nauseated whenever I would try to DO anything! It took SO long for me to feel halfway normal and it wasn't until last week that I began to start living my normal life. I worked a bit and felt fine so I guess I am finally over it (whatever "it" was ;)).

My computer shut itself down for some reason and just when I was thinking that I was going to have to buy a new laptop, it just started up again! Thank goodness, because DH and I don't really have the money right now for new technology.

Anyway...I had lots of time to think about my life and specifically my weight loss/maintenance journey. Since I couldn't go online easily, I didn't log in to Sparkpeople or track my food or activity (not that I did much). I also didn't weigh myself until this morning. Looks like I am pretty close to my goal. I know that I lost a couple of pounds when I was sick but it looks like things are balancing out again now that I am eating.

So....one of the things that I am trying to figure out is whether or not I should spend as much time as I have been thinking about, tracking and talking about my weight. I know from experience that tracking, weighing and being a part of a support community are, statistically proven to be part of being successful but...on the other hand....I feel like this is ALL that I think about....Obsess about. I want to find some balance. How to be mindful and self controlled but not to make my whole life revolve around my physical body? I haven't made any decisions but it might mean that I won't be around every day. Maybe not....I really don't know.

I hope you guys are all doing well. I haven't had time yet to read the older posts so I don't know who is up to what but I will. Have a great day (week?) :).



Edited by: ALISONCHRISTIAN at: 9/8/2014 (12:07)
"Nothing happens without a dream."


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9/6/14 12:55 P

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Volunteering at the hospital is an excellent idea! Is your church within walking distance? If it's a big church maybe they have different committees/groups or gatherings you could go to.

How has Johnny's health been? Has he been taking the medication to stop the seizures? I keep forgetting to ask you....

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9/6/14 1:02 A

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Interesting that you named the bunny, Penelope. David had a hedgehog with that name. lol Popular name for little "sweetie pies" ! emoticon
emoticon to your daughter for making the volley ball team ! I played in 8th grade as well (but I wasn't very good. It was a very small school and all the girls got to play.) emoticon
I've been looking for more to do lately. Kinda bored. We don't have any friends. We don't have a car so we don't go anywhere. My sons visit just once a month. . . . .
Johnny's been suggesting for years that I volunteer at the local hospital. I think I might just do that. I need to get out and talk to people and DO SOMETHING. I'd rather get my lazy butt to the exercise class at the local church. I never seem to get up and go. I'm really not a morning person. (Here I am on the computer at 1 am !) I would feel so much better about myself if I would go exercise or volunteer or SOMETHING !



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/5/14 8:23 P

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Good for David! I forgot to tell you that my daughter got a rabbit over Labor Day weekend. My husband built a nice hutch. It's outside now but we are going to move it into our garage when the weather gets cold. We found a breeder by us that had one available. It is a gray and white Mini Rex. Super soft fur and a sweetie. Her name is Penelope. The breeder will have more available in November so we will probably get another one. Although we found out that the hutch will have to be divided into to two halfs. They do not like to "live together" and things could get really ugly! lol. Also, my daughter made the 8th grade volley ball team. She is happy. I was worried about her facing the disappointment if she didn't make the team. Unfortunately, disappointment is something we cannot shield our children from!

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9/4/14 10:15 P

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I'm super excited about David buying a house. I think his girlfriend really doesn't want him to buy it because it is so far away from where she is going to college and where she does volunteer work. He made a comment about her getting a real job that she gets paid for and she got upset. She takes care of babies while their teenage mothers go to class. Pinjai said something like , "I LOVE MY BABIES ! I can't give that up !" David informed me that HE was buying this house on his own - but then SHE kept saying things like . . . WE need to get that fixed. "I" need to negotiate a better price. etc. I understand he has already put $1000 down and made an offer . . . so I think it is too late to negotiate a lower price. I got a little confused. They didn't seem to be on the same page ! They said she would probably only live there 3 days a week - and then with her mother the rest of the week when she has classes. Doesn't sound like it is going to last with this girl. BUT - back to the house - it sounds PEFECT for David. He'll move out of his Dad's house and get on his own and he'll have PRIVACY and INDEPENDENCE. He's going to LOVE it. He'll be a lot happier. That's all I care about.

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/3/14 7:39 P

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Val~ How exciting about David buying a house! Good for him. It sounds like he is responsible...you raised him right! I agree 100% about the rudeness of people being on their phones instead of interacting. Last year I went on a girls weekend. During lunch at a nice waterfront restaurant, I looked up to find ALL 6 other women looking down on their cell phones (facebook, instagram...what ever), I just thought, "WOW, Seriously ?". Honestly, I think that it has become so "common place" that people just don't realize it anymore! We are"old school and we know how it use to be! lol

Anyway, to answer your question from before...no, I do not have a cleaning lady! lol. We cannot afford that luxury but even if we could..I don't know. I would be the type to clean my house before she came over so she wouldn't judge me! ha ha. We have a big house now. I know that someday in the future, after we downsize, I will be "How the heck did I ever keep up a big house like that?" It's a labor of love..for now! lol

Please keep me posted on David and the house. Take care!

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9/3/14 12:02 A

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Christine -
Lexington, MI sounds lovely !

I totally agree about having things organized and neat and clean. We have a little apartment but I try to keep everything "in it's place". We spent Labor Day cleaning our apartment ! lol Johnny took down the light fixtures from the two ceiling fans and I washed them. We also washed the light fixture over the dining table. I cleaned the bathroom. Johnny cleaned the glass dining room table and the glass coffee table. (He's really good with glass) We vacuumed. Etc. Etc. I can't stand clothes lying around or dirty dishes in the sink. Our apartment may be small - but we have it nicely decorated and keep it clean. Makes such a difference. Both of my sons keep their environments neat and clean but my daughter-in-law tends to be a "hoarder" - just way too much "stuff" ! Drives my son crazy.

Tomorrow I have to take the bus a couple miles to the bank. Then I'll probably walk home to get some exercise. Wish it wasn't still so darn HOT here ! September can still be 90 degrees every day. I don't think we'll have any cool weather until mid-January (and that will only last a couple days - LOL).

Visited with David and his new girlfriend for a couple hours today. Pimjai played video games on her phone almost the entire time instead of joining in the conversation. I thought that was pretty rude - but maybe she thought we needed mother-son time and didn't want to "butt in". idk. Kids these days ! They are always staring at their phones. lol ! I sound like an old person. But, my two sons don't do that. They carry on a conversation with me. David is buying his first house. It's exactly what I hoped he would find. A little 2 bedroom concrete block house on a river so he can kayak in his back yard. He wanted to find out what I thought about it - wanted my advice. That made me feel good. I said, "Go for it !" I really hope he buys it. I'm so excited for him.

Take Care and God Bless,
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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9/2/14 2:53 P

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Wow, Valerie! That is so awesome. I'm going to see if I can get that book at our local library, it sounds good.

My weekend was pretty boring. The only fun thing we did was on Sunday we took the 18 year old and two 13 year olds to a nice beach in Lexington, Michigan. Lexington is a quaint tourist town with a nice harbor, beach and pier. It's about an hour north of where we live. We went out to lunch first then had ice cream after...bad calorie day! lol

Yes, our house has a separate one bedroom apartment above the garage. That is where the second kitchen is. When we first moved into the house my 21 year old daughter lived in the apartment. It didn't go well...lol. She is a horrible housekeeper and was never home (I know that doesn't make sense...but she was NEVER there yet it was trashed ALL the time..lol). After about six months she moved in with her boyfriend, I did some trash removal and deep cleaning and we regained ownership of the apartment! I have my sewing/crafts area set up there and my own little kitchen to use if I don't feel like going downstairs. The bedroom in the apartment has been a storage area for her "extra" things but now that she moved back it is her bedroom. She usually keeps her bedroom door open and I can see the messy room! lol. It sorta drives me crazy. I'm not obsessive neat by any means but I do like things around me neat and organized! Which is odd because that's how I raised her. *sigh* oh well....ha ha

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8/29/14 11:53 P

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I've read a book called "How to Change Your Drinking - a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol" and then I went on the free chat room to talk about it. I wrote that I had been following the ideas of the book for the past 2 years without even realizing it or knowing what it was called. Then I wrote that I had been thinking the same things as was written in the book and that I wished I had written the book. THEN - I realized I was chatting with the AUTHOR of the book ! LOL ! I wrote, "OH, WOW ! AWESOME ! Can I have your autograph ? LOL ! He responded SURE and wrote his name "Kenneth Anderson" and gave me a "funny face " ! LOL That was the first time I had ever been in a chat room and it was quite exciting !
I recommend the book.

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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8/29/14 11:36 P

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Oh, my goodness - You have 8 kids between the two of you - and 7 grandchildren. That's a lot of "offspring" LOL. You're right - not EVERYONE can move back home ! But the house really does sound fabulous ! I'm assuming you have a cleaning lady, right ? We have just a one bedroom apartment with one bathroom but it is just PERFECT for the two of us. It's enough for me to take care of ! I can't believe we used to let homeless men sleep in our living room on our couch. We had NO PRIVACY then ! But for just us two - it's all we need. And I LOVE my kitchen. For me the kitchen is the most important cuz I love to cook. Mine has lots of storage. It has a big counter top for cooking on. It is just the right size - big enough for everything but small enough that you don't have to run around between the stove and the sink and the counter and the fridge, etc. (A handy work triangle) I can't imagine 2 kitchens !! Is it like a separate mother-in-law apartment with it's own kitchen ? Maybe your 21 year old daughter could use that ? Would love to see pictures of your home. God has truly blessed you ! Wonderful !

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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8/29/14 8:15 A

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My husband and I moved into our home exactly two years ago. Our house is big, about 3500 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms (even 2 kitchens..seriously). When we bought this house only my daughter (11 at that time) lived with us. Last March my then 17 year old step son moved in with us. My 21 year old daughter has been on the brink of breaking up with her live in boyfriend for a few months. She sent me a text last night saying she was breaking up with him and crashed here around 1:00 am. At this point, I'm not sure if she will be moving in or what. I've always told her our door is open and she has a place to live!

Anyway, I am learning that there is a reason why God blessed us with this big, beautiful house. A big house needs to be filled. However, I have 3 children, my husband has 5 children and 7 grandchildren....not EVERYONE can come back! LOL !!!

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8/28/14 10:39 P

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Thanks, Christine ! You are so right. I have YOU and Alison and Elle! Maybe it's not the same as have a girlfriend IRL but in some ways, maybe it's BETTER ! We can write ANYTHING we want online, pretty much. And we can wear whatever we want - you can't see me ! lol And if you're drinking alcohol - well, it's not going to tempt ME ! I DO cherish having you to write to. Just wish we could go out for a bite to eat.

That would be awesome if David would visit and bring his new girlfriend. I'll have to message him on facebook and see if he can make it. I have burgers, hotdogs, Italian sausage in the freezer. Just need to get some buns.

Good luck to your hubby in constructing a rabbit cage. My first hubby did that for me oh so long ago. . . .Ah, memories. !

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend ! I'll be here if anybody wants to "talk",
God Bless,
Valerie



"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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8/26/14 7:34 A

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Although you might feel lonely and friendless now at least you and Johnnie have each other and your life seems less "complicated" now that you no longer welcome guests into your home. I often feel that technology and social media is the demise of our country, however; there is good that can come of it. 25 years ago you would not have been able to meet people from around the country online and have supportive and positive interaction. Hey, I know its not the same as "real life" interaction but sometimes we have to take what we can get, right? Hopefully you will be able to get together with your sons over the weekend. Maybe you will get to met David's new girlfriend.

With that said, I'm not sure what we are going to do this holiday weekend. My husband always has projects going. He is super ambitious (which I love). He cannot sit still and is always working on something. This weekend one of the things is building the rabbit cage for my daughter and finishing mortaring the stone on the outside of the pole barn. As for me...hmm, I'm sure I'll find something to do...lol

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8/25/14 8:40 P

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Do you have plans for Labor Day next weekend? We don't. Actually we don't have any friends. We used to help a bunch of homeless guys, that we called "friends", but we realized that we needed a "better class of losers" to hang out with ! LOL We had someone here everyday, getting something to eat, taking a shower, or hanging out drinking beer. Six nights a week for four years we had someone sleeping on our couch. I used to cut their hair. I used to wash their clothes. It kept me busy and I felt like I was "helping" BUT Johnny and I didn't have any privacy. We could never talk to each other without interruption. Once a week, we'd have a "date night" when we'd tell everyone to stay away and Johnny and I could make love. Now we're all alone - which is wonderful - but a little boring and lonesome. Joe died of liver failure. Danny is in prison for 18 months for battery on his girlfriend. Richard moved away I guess. Bill died. We told Wes not to come around here anymore. We won't let Greg and Melissa set food in our apartment anymore. There were others. They're all gone now. It IS better for Johnny and My relationship. I just wish we could find some decent friends to have over for a barbecue. We should really go to a church to meet people. "No car" is a problem on Sunday mornings. We never want to walk to church - although there are several churches within walking distance that we could go to. That's really no excuse. Who wants to wear sneakers to church and be all sweaty when you get there ? I guess Jesus wouldn't care. HE walked everywhere he went ! LOL

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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8/23/14 11:20 P

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Good Evening !

Made two trips to the Dollar General today (very close by) and used 2 - $5 coupons off $25 each. Got a bunch of things we needed like cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, air freshener, vitamins. I love D G. They have almost everything I need handy and at a great price when you use the $5 coupons. Do you shop there ?

I was really tired after shopping (and after drinking beer last night) so I napped a long time this afternoon. Then we sat down together to a nice chicken dinner. We often don't sit down to eat together as Johnny and I don't usually eat the same things. I'm a grazer - munching on fruits and veggies all day. He likes really "fattening" things like mozzarella cheese sticks and pizza rolls and steak um sandwiches. I can't eat that stuff or I'd weigh 300 pounds. Johnny is SO SKINNY and he lives on that kind of frozen snacks (but he doesn't eat a large quantity - just a little bit once a day.)

My sister is on a photo safari in South Africa. She and her "honey" were in London for a day on the way there. She sent me 50 pictures of London via email. That was cool. Modern technology ! Photos of her vacation the very same day she's there ! I hope she has a good time in Africa. I'm concerned about Ebola and Malaria, and parasites, etc. Personally I wouldn't go to Africa where I'd be exposed to all those diseases. But that's me. Never been a risk-taker. She DID have to get a bunch of vaccinations before going over there. That's good.

Tomorrow is Sunday - our day to weigh. Hoping for a good number ! But I shouldn't let myself be defined by the number on the scale, right?

Talk to you tomorrow.
Valerie

"Learn from me. . . . and you will find rest for your souls."
-- Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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8/22/14 12:14 P

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Valerie, that's great news about David having someone special in his life. It is definitely common for couples to find each other online these days! Congratulations on staying AF. I'm sure you will reach your goal!

I've had a good week. Eating clean, working out, avoiding alcohol. I'm taking my daughter and her friend to 8th grade orientation this afternoon. This weekend will be fairly low key, which is fine with me! Looking forward to weighing in on Sunday in hopes that my hard work will pay off!

Have you seen that ASL ice bucket challenge on fb? I certainly hope nobody nominates me...lol. My 13 year old daughter did it. I hope that all the celebrities that have been doing it also donate!

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