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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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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CHRISTINE1623's Photo CHRISTINE1623 SparkPoints: (13,473)
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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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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JUST_BRENDA's Photo JUST_BRENDA Posts: 1,741
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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." Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
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



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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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8/22/14 2:06 A

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Finished up Day #9 alcohol-free even though we had a "date night". Happy about that. Bought a 2 liter of ginger ale which was good. Made a really nice chicken dinner too. Johnny gave me a wonderful back rub - loved it ! I'm really happy that I can have a good time without alcohol.

How is everybody else doing ?

Valerie

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


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8/21/14 1:39 A

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Chatted with my son, David, on facebook this evening. His new girlfriend, Pimjai, lived in Thailand until she was 6 and has now lived here for 18 years. She is 24. David is 26. She is going to college now. Not working. But he said she was in the military. He was very vague about that. I apologized for asking so many questions, but he said that was okay, I had a right to ask. That made me feel good. I told him I was just "happy that he seemed happy !" And he replied that Yes, he was very happy ! I'm so glad he seems to have found someone special. He hasn't had a steady girlfriend for several years since he broke up with a girl named Sarah that he was with for 3 years I believe. I'm really looking forward to meeting Pimjai. David is blonde but I have no problem with him dating a Thai girl. I think it bothered my mother. But she is 83 and old fashioned. David said he met Pinjai online. That's the modern way, isn't it !?

I'm finishing up day #8 alcohol-free. I want to lose 7 more pounds in the next 21 days - before Sept 10th which is my 2nd Sparkiversary. That would bring my weight down to 159. I'd break into 150ville ! I would be thrilled. It's going to be difficult. I'm going to drink lots and lots of water. emoticon

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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8/20/14 1:13 A

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Woke up this morning with a sore throat and earache, so I postponed the lunch with David. Talked to him on the phone briefly and found out his new girlfriend, Pimjai, is from Thailand. He seems really happy. I'm happy for him ! I wonder where they met. I need DETAILS, ladies ! LOL !

Had a new microwave oven delivered today. It is really nice. Since we don't have a car, it is so much easier for us to buy things online and have them delivered. Purchases over $50 at Walmart are free delivery and the microwave was on sale for $55 so Perfect ! I love it !

Still not feeling very good tonight so I should probably get some sleep. How are you feeling, Alison ?

Take care ladies,
God Bless,
Valerie




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


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8/18/14 11:34 P

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So sorry you're not feeling well, Alison ! emoticon

I had problems with my computer also. Now using an old monitor that I had saved as a "back-up"

Tomorrow my son, David, and I are going to lunch at a seafood restaurant called "Get Hooked". I plan on having a grilled grouper sandwich but want to substitute a salad or cole slaw for the fries. David (26) has a new girlfriend that I want to find out about. I saw her name and picture on facebook. Her name is Pimjai and she might be Indonesian or Indian/Oriental -- I'm not sure. I'll find out all the details tomorrow. All I care about is that my son is HAPPY !

I'm finishing Day #6 alcohol-free. I walked to the doctor's office this morning to have blood work done. I'll find out the results next week. My weight is coming down. I was 166.5 today. My short term goal is 165. So close !

Going to read devotions with my sweetie now.
Take care everybody,
God Bless,
Valerie

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


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8/18/14 9:42 A

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I have the flu, girls :(. Been sick since just after our company left on Friday night. Also....something is wrong with my laptop and it won't turn on. I will check back in when at least one of those problems resolves!

"Nothing happens without a dream."


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8/17/14 7:51 A

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Val, awesome on getting AF again. I'm still working on that one. It's become such a habit!
Alison, glad to hear you are enjoying getting back into the routine. Structure can be a great thing for us. I know I benefit from it.
I'm in my workout gear, waiting for a few more minutes before I leave for the gym. I skipped out yesterday. I find I need to go to the gym 4-5 times a week to meet my strength training goals. That is a lot!
I still need to cut back on my calorie consumption. I was actually thinking of going to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. Still thinking...
I was on facebook and I saw a link to my estranged sisters website for money mentoring. Geesh, I would rather not see any sight of her. I'm upset about how nasty she has shown herself to be. She mentions how money can ruin relationships but fails to mention how she has chosen to terminate her relationship with her own siblings, especially when one of them was facing a critical illness. Oh well, I can't change the world.

Brenda


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8/16/14 11:03 P

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Completing Day #4 AF.

Johnny confided in me today that he SO FEARFUL of having another seizure and has great trepidation of leaving the apartment. He wanted his script filled for his seizure medicine. He had previously said that he could live without it. The script for a month was only $50 - - but the problem is that you can't STOP taking the medicine abruptly. It can trigger seizures that won't stop. Therefore we'd have to go see a neurologist to get refills on the script which would be hundreds of dollars for an office visit. Johnny is no longer covered on my insurance. I'm thinking of putting him back on it during open season this fall. I don't know how we are going to afford going to see the doctor to get refills. Johnny said, "Let's just take it one step at a time". I really love Johnny, . . . but I have to admit that I really don't like that he has health problems. I don't say anything . . . but I don't like being a "nurse". I want him to be "strong" and full of "vitality". Getting him to eat a little something once a day is like "pulling teeth" ! LOL He is SO SKINNY ! I have to admit - - I'm always worried he'll have another seizure also.

Well tomorrow is Sunday - our day to report on our Challenge. I had one night of drinking - and I think I'm going to be upset with my weight in the morning. We'll see.

Talk to you tomorrow,
God Bless,
Valerie

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


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8/16/14 1:00 A

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Hope the dinner went well, Alison. What did you serve?

I finished Day #3 alcohol-free today - which is great - BUT I ate a lot of mixed nuts AND popcorn, too, so I'm worried about my weight in the morning. Doesn't do a lot of good to cut back on the alcohol calories if I just replace them with food calories ! LOL ! Oh, Well. Nuts have the good-for-you fat and I make the popcorn on the stove with canola oil which is good too, so I guess that is some saving grace.

Monday I get blood work done. Last year it was perfect. Hope that is still the case.

I bought a blood pressure monitor and my blood pressure was slightly high after my Tuesday night drinking. I'm sure it will return to normal if I remain AF.

Johnny and I played RUMMY together this evening. We hadn't played that in at least a year - maybe two. It was fun. I won. But Johnny was a good sport about it. I was surprised that he played quite well after 3 seizures last month. I've noticed some memory loss now and then. He's a singer/songwriter with his guitar, and he forgot the lyrics to some of his songs. I think he sings "off key" now as well, although I'm no expert, and I haven't told him that I think he is singing "flat" now. He doesn't perform so I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him that the seizures seem to have given him "amusia" which is the loss of musical ability caused by brain damage or genetics. Hopefully his "pitch" will return. idk
I'm happy that he goes to the store every day now. For the first week or so out of the hospital, he was "afraid" to leave the house for fear of having another seizure. I talked to him about that - that I felt he was becoming agoraphobic - and he has pushed himself to go out. That is good. He quit his job of taking care of the lawn here at the apartment building, however. That was a big job with little pay anyway. I can see that it would probably be too much for him in this Florida heat. With all the rain we've been having, the grass is really tall and thick. I doubt that the junky push mower the landlord provided will even be able to cut it ! oh, well. Like an old friend of ours used to say, "Not my problem".

Hope to hear from Christine and Elle. (may have had flooding) and Brenda - How are you doing ? How are your girls ?

Take care,
God Bless,
Valerie

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


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8/15/14 10:21 A

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Just a quick check in this morning from me. We are having company for dinner tonight and I have to go into town to buy some groceries and then, clean my house. It has been a good week for me getting back into my normal routine. I will try to remember to post on the challenge thread on Sunday....looking forward to hearing from others who have made progress.

Hope everyone has a great weekend....what is everyone up to?

"Nothing happens without a dream."


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8/15/14 12:28 A

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Had a busy day today. I returned bra to the store that I decided was too small. Then I walked to the post office to buy stamps and mail a picture of myself to my 83 year old mother. She had requested one. She doesn't have a computer and hadn't seen me in several years. I've lost weight (40 pounds) and got new glasses so I'm sure I looked quite different than she remembers me. Then I walked over to the grocery store and bought a special deal. If you bought 4 boxes of cereal or cookies for $2.50 each, you got a gallon of milk to go with it. I used to be "lactose intolerant" but I've got over that by slowly re-introducing dairy into my diet, and now use real milk instead of soy milk. I like that it is "real" and "natural" without additives, and preservatives, etc. I had a veggie pita sandwich for lunch and a banana and an apple for snacks. I cleaned my fish bowl today too. Looks so much better. I took a nap this afternoon. I had baked Tilapia for dinner. This evening we watched "Seal Team Six" about the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden. It was an exciting movie - like a documentary. We really liked seeing actual "history". Tomorrow morning is my exercise class - but I doubt that I will make it there. We're staying up late these days and sleeping later and later in the morning. Oh, well.

Hope to hear from Christine and Elle. Worried about flooding in their respective areas (Detroit and Cape Cod).

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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8/14/14 12:46 A

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Alison - Happy your husband made it home safely and you two are reunited ! That was a LONG walk you took together ! Have you posted pictures of your quilts on your Spark Page ? I'll have to take a look.

Brenda - So sorry about the "hit and run" to your tent trailer. Darn it !

Elle and Christine - Have you had problems with flooding? Hope you both are okay.

Let's really finish out the week STRONG !

Valerie

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


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8/13/14 11:54 P

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Thank you Alison ! That made me SO HAPPY ! I feel a "renewed vigor" to keep our little team afloat.

I am starting over with another alcohol-free streak. I made it 35 days - and then used the suicide of Robin Williams as an excuse to buy a bottle of wine. I drank WAY too much. 3-4 large glasses I think. We played special music as a tribute to Robin Williams.
"Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson
"Send in the Clowns" by Judy Collins
"The Rose" by Bette Midler
"Rockin' Robin" done by The Jackson Five
"Long Black Train" by Josh Turner

Very sad he was in so much pain. He was a beautiful person. I especially loved the movie "What Dreams May Come". Anybody else ever see that movie ? It is about Heaven and the after-life. Very poignant considering the circumstances.

Take care. Keep Sparking !
And God Bless,
Valerie

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


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8/13/14 12:09 P

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Hello All!
Sorry that I have been MIA for over a week...I went down to Houston to visit with my daughter, Sarah and her husband Joel (and of course my precious little Bumblebee, Ada) and I just got home on Monday. DH, Tom, had been gone since before I left on his trip to Seattle but he arrived home too so I have spent the first part of this week trying to get back into my "normal" routine. Val...I hope that you don't disband this little group. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be the only one posting and feeling like no one cares. I have been a part of a number of Spark teams and I would say that it is normal for it to only be a few people posting. It seems like people like to join teams but they don't really keep up with them. This is the only team that I check in with every day and I try to post most times. I like it because it is so small. It would be nice if our members checked in a little more but I appreciate those of you who do and especially our valiant leader, Val, who spends so much time and energy trying to motivate and educate us. So....Val....I understand if you want to quit but I, for one, hope that you don't!
I will post in the challenge thread about my successes and failures but I am within a couple of days of ending my "Dog Days of Summer Personal Challenge" and I can tell you right now that I am not going to meet my goal of losing the weight that I've gained over the past 6 months. :( I guess that I will just have to make myself another challenge and keep at it!
We are enjoying some lovely cool days around here and I love it. On Monday, Tom and I walked around Lake Fayetteville (5.3 miles) and then went out for lunch. He didn't have any work lined up since he just got home so it was nice to spend a day together.
I finished the quilt that I made for Rose and took it down to Morrilton before I left for Houston. Her Mom loved it! I sold another quilt on Etsy last week...yay! Now, I have to get busy and make some more to add to my store.
Looking forward to getting caught up with everyone!


"Nothing happens without a dream."


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8/11/14 6:50 A

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Hi Val,
Glad to hear you had a great day! It really sounds like a good time. Very pleasant surprise.
Honestly, I'm in a bit of bummer right now. We've been trying to sell our tent trailer, even though it's kind of late in the season for that. We decided to go camping this weekend. Now that the kids are much older, they really lack enthusiasm, so Bill and I have less "reward" (and, I more tolerate camping rather than enjoy it). Anyhow, on the way home yesterday, the tent trailer gets hit by another vehicle which keeps on moving. So we file a police report -- which means waiting 1.5 hours in the hot sun. When I call the insurance, I find out we are not covered for collision. Bummer!
Just another pain in the butt thing to deal with emoticon
Oh well, things could be much worse.
On the upside, we can take military daughter home for two nights starting the first Saturday in September. She's having a hard time with the physical requirements: running, pushups, etc but she says there are many other officer cadets that are totally out of shape too!
Here's to a better day!

Brenda


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8/10/14 8:33 P

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Good Evening Lovely Ladies,
Well Christine and Elle both posted today on the Challenge Thread and Alison probably will soon also, so I'm feeling encouraged to keep our little team "alive".

Johnny and I had a really good day. We were invited to lunch with an elderly couple that recently moved into a retirement home. I expected a cafeteria and we got a "five star restaurant" complete with chandeliers, cloth napkins, fresh flowers on the table, menus, waiters and a chef in a big hat. It was awesome. I ordered fried fish and fresh fruit with cottage cheese. The fruit was excellent with even black berries ! What a treat ! For dessert there was a big "sundae bar" with lots of goodies to choose from. Afterwards, we hung many pictures in their apartment. She had one large beautiful painting of a "shell" in green and blue which she didn't have room for - - so she gave it to US ! We hung it over our bed and it looks WONDERFUL ! She also paid us generously for the work we did ! I hope we get to go to lunch with them again. We had so much fun.

We celebrated 8 years together this weekend also which was GREAT ! We listened to Josh Turner who we were listening to when we first "hooked up" and hadn't heard since then. He has many romantic love songs and a deep voice. He's also very cute ! We loved watching his videos on the computer. (We also have new speakers for the computer which sound awesome).

BUT - I didn't have a drink ! I don't know how I resisted ! 34 Days Today ! emoticon

Johnny and I love each other more and more every day. We are so happy together.

Hope you all have a good week. Christine's is going to be super busy with a big graduation party and house guests. Elle probably has to work - but I believe she likes her new job. Alison - How was Houston? Did you give Rosie her quilt ? Is your husband still out of town?
Brenda - How is your daughter doing at military school ?
Anybody else ? Please post. We want to know you're out there !

Take Care and Keep Sparking,
Valerie



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


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8/7/14 10:36 P

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Well, I have to admit I'm getting kinda lonely on this little team. I'm the only one posting. I've joined a Christian team called "Dancing to the Beat of God" and it seems like a great team of wonderful women. It is very active. So, Christine and Alison, since you are the only two who ever post on the "Lovely Ladies" Team, would you like to join me on the Christian Team and we'll just let this team go to "Team Heaven" ? I'll send you both emails. I don't want to be a quitter and give up - but no sense beating a dead horse either, right? LOL Let me know what you think.
God Bless,
Valerie

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


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8/5/14 12:35 A

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I had a super busy weekend and remained alcohol-free. Friday I did a bunch of shopping at Dollar General for things we needed and saved 3 - ($5 coupons off $25 each) plus $6 in other coupons for a total of $21 off $75. Woo-Hoo ! I love it when I save money! Then I took the bus 2 miles to pay a bill and walked home, stopping at the grocery store to buy a peach to eat on the way, and then at the Thrift Store where I found some plastic divided plates which should come in handy for eating on the patio. Then I did 3 big loads of laundry. After that, I dyed my hair and it turned out great. Friday night Johnny wasn't feeling very well so we postponed "date night".

Saturday Johnny and I walked 3 miles to do some banking and took the bus home. That night we had a lovely "date night" but I still didn't drink !

Sunday, after watching Joel Osteen, I walked to the blood mobile at the WalMart which is 1-1/2 miles away and donated blood. I was happy my hemoglobin was high enough now after taking iron pills for a month. My blood pressure was perfect also (112/74) which surprised the tech after I told her I had walked there in the Florida Heat. They gave me a $10 gift card for WalMart which I used to buy 2 pair of sterling silver CZ earrings. Then I walked home so I got 3 miles of walking Sunday also. We watched a Tom Petty Concert that we had recorded and were really surprised when Stevie Nicks was the guest star and sang several songs. I love her. The concert was awesome.

Today I really took it easy other than buying a pair of sunglasses at the convenience store on the corner.

Alison - how was your trip to Houston ?
Brenda - how are your twins doing ?
Christine - how was your weekend?

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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7/31/14 12:10 A

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Just_Brenda - Hoping your twins are both okay. I'll keep them in my prayers.

Thanks for asking where I get the "strength" to stay AF alcohol-free. I bought myself a bracelet from Christianbook.com that has the inscription "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" This is a quote from the apostle Paul in Phillipians 4:13
Seriously - I really don't have the willpower on my own to avoid alcohol. I admit I love it. And once I start drinking, I don't want to stop. It is only with prayer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that I can resist that first drink. And if I avoid the "first" drink, I won't be tempted to have another and another. After a while, the cravings really starts to diminish. You realize that you're not thinking about having a drink all the time and the days start to add up. I'd really like to celebrate Friday night cuz it's my "payday" but I just don't want to get started down that path of drinking every evening again. I would just gain the weight back that I've lost. I guess, basically, I want to be THIN MORE than I WANT to DRINK !
Also check out what Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:18 "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you." (New Living Translation). I agree with AA about that - You need to draw on the strength of a Higher Power. But I refuse to say "Hi, I'm Valerie and I'm an alcoholic" The medical community doesn't even call it alcoholism anymore. I prefer to say, "Hi, I'm Valerie and I have an alcohol use disorder"

God Bless,
Valerie



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


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7/30/14 6:55 P

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Hi all! It is raining here! Wow...that is SO unusual for this time of July. I love hearing it on the roof and thinking about my vegetable garden soaking up the moisture.
The quilt is almost finished. With Tom away, I could work on it as much as I wanted so I have been focusing on it for the past three days. The only thing left is the hand sewing which will take a couple of hours. I am taking a break tonight but I can do the rest tomorrow night while I watch TV. I am pretty happy with the result...it was difficult in places but I don't think anyone who doesn't quilt will notice the imperfections. Maybe I will try to post a picture of it when it's done (if I can figure out how ;).
Good to hear from everyone. My heart goes out to Brenda...it's tough when our kids make choices that limit our contact with them. I love my kids but they are scattered all over the place and sometimes it feels like most of my energy, money and time goes into trying to stay connected with them.
Val...you are doing so awesome! You must be over the moon about losing those 8 pounds...that is a LOT!!!!
Christine....I like your bunny names ;).


"Nothing happens without a dream."


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7/30/14 5:05 A

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Val, no call last night but I checked my other daughters phone. Both (the one at RMC and the one still at home) had rough days. emoticon I'll see if I can find out details later.
You're doing wonderful at being AF!!!! What do you use to tell yourself you have the strength? I think I don't believe in my own ability to be AF so am not... the same for losing weight...

Brenda


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7/29/14 11:53 P

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Christine - I SO WISH we could be friends IRL ! You are a wonderful, beautiful woman !
Alison, too - you are an awesome lady !
And Just_Brenda - terrific mom !

This team may be small - but THIS TEAM ROCKS !

Christine - love the names for your bunnies - Faith and Hope ! Perfect !

Alison - How is the quilt coming along ?

Just_Brenda - How is your daughter doing away at military school ? Has she called again?

Anybody out there lurking? Please post !

Valerie

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


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7/29/14 9:12 P

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Brenda, I completely understand the loss you feel about your daughter leaving. At least she is taking a positive direction in her life. I think we can all agree that being a parent is full of joy and heart ache.

Valerie, if we lived closer, I would be your friend IRL !!

Alison, I would love to see some of your quilts. I bet they are beautiful. About 15 years ago, all the women in my family (my Dad's side) use to get together every couple months to quilt for an entire weekend. We made several quilts for different family members. My aunt passed away and the tradition did also. I miss the memories! I have the quilt we made for me and a couple other quilts my Grandma quilted decades ago!

I want to name the rabbits (when ever we get them) Faith and Hope! I think Michaela might be agreeable!

Edited by: CHRISTINE1623 at: 7/29/2014 (21:13)
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7/29/14 12:32 P

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Hi Just_Brenda ! So good to hear from you ! It must be VERY ROUGH for you to have your daughter leave for military school ! Like you said - it's a "grieving" process. I'm sure you are very worried about her. But you raised her right - and I'm sure she will be okay ! I will certainly pray for her safety and happiness and for you to have faith and strength to get through this time of missing her. God Bless !

Johnny is doing so much better this morning. I never said anything about his appearance - but he decided to shave and put in his dentures anyway all on his own. He's looking great. He's using his electronic cigarette and I made ice tea for him to drink. He's not complaining (Thank God). We've got to make it till Friday. (3 more long days !) We have the Christian Radio station on and I just noticed he's reading a paperback novel. This is really GOOD. Now I guess I'll go shave my legs and wash my hair and clean MYSELF up a little bit since Johnny made the effort.

I have been AF for 3 whole weeks. My weight has dropped from 177 to 168 ! Woo-Hoo ! I'm thrilled ! Friday will be the TEST to remain AF ! I'm going to pray constantly for strength. I've got my bracelet on "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" I never take it off. It reminds me to stick with my plan.


Alison - keep quilting. You WILL get it done !
Christine - did you buy your daughter any bunny rabbits yet? Decided on names ? Your husband probably needs to make the cages first. Exhausted from your trip to Nashville ?

Have a Wonderful Day and God Bless,
Valerie


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


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7/29/14 6:03 A

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Good morning ladies!
Val, sorry to hear that Johnny isn't feeling well. Hopefully that'll pass soon.
Alison, I guess you won't be doing too much Sparking with all that quilting ahead of you emoticon
Christine, great to have to travel for a happy occasion.
I had a rough day yesterday --- and Sunday night. We dropped off our oldest daughter to College on Sunday afternoon. I feel like I've transferred "ownership" of her. She now belongs to the military and they dictate her schedule. Luckily, they are being easy on her for the first week, and she was allowed to call for about 15min the last two nights. Plus, she's sneaking some text messages in. She sounds like she's doing well so far. I'm just going through a grieving process because I do like her and enjoy her company- we get along pretty well. It hasn't hit her twin sister yet, but I'm there to support her when it does.


Brenda


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7/29/14 12:14 A

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Wow, Alison ! Big job to sew a quilt and less than a week ! ? You Go Girl !

I feel bad complaining about Johnny this morning. Actually I'm VERY HAPPY that he is smoking the electronic cigarette instead of real ones. I bought the starter kit months ago, hoping he'd switch, and he was very reluctant to do so. So FINALLY, he is using it. I'm not saying it is "safe" but I believe it is "better". He still gets nicotine. But no tar and smoke. When he was in the hospital 3 weeks ago, they did a chest X-ray and his lungs were perfect. He wants to keep them that way. Everyone was amazed since he has smoked for over 30 years. I'm sure this is a big adjustment for him. AND he's not drinking beer (because we are broke) I made lemonade and ice tea. He also ran out of his seizure medicine. I'm going to buy the script on Friday the 1st when I get some money. So without beer and cigarettes and no meds - all in all - it's understandable that he doesn't want to "clean up" I guess. At least he's not complaining. He's just been quiet and watching TV. He has been known to have "temper tantrums" in the past, which I REALLY hate, so I should be thankful he's remaining calm. Can't wait till Friday !

I'm finishing up 3 whole weeks alcohol-free ! I'm proud of myself for that. Lost over 8 pounds so far ! Woo-Hoo ! The not-so-good part of being alcohol-free is that memories of embarrassing moments, traumatic events, people, etc. are coming flooding back. I would rather not remember most of what is popping into my head. When I drink, I feel warm and relaxed and happy. I miss that. Lately I've been rather bored. And, amazingly, even though I'm not drinking, I get very tired. I take one or two naps every day. I wish I had more energy. But it's so hot outside, I don't even want to go for a walk. And I have very little to do. We don't have a single friend left. Everyone we knew was an alcoholic, drug addict, loser. Some have died. One is in prison. Others we have told to "not come around here anymore". Some moved away. We wanted to get rid of the "bad" people we knew, but now we have no one to talk to other than each other. We need to join a church and make some new friends. Johnny and I run out of things to talk about. We're together just about 24/7 ! Well he has gone to bed. I should join him there shortly.

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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7/28/14 12:03 P

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Just a quick "hi" from me this morning....I need to get sewing. I am going to try to finish Rose's quilt by Saturday so that I can take it with me when I go down to Morrilton for her sister, Lily"s, 4th birthday. I am also leaving for Houston on Sunday. I had to rent a car because Tom took our reliable car to Seattle and my Pathfinder is not safe for long drives. Yikes...expensive but not as expensive as flying ;).

Hope everyone has a great Monday. Christine....glad to hear that you are back safe from Nashville. Val...sorry to hear about Johnny...do you think that he is a little depressed?

"Nothing happens without a dream."


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7/28/14 10:53 A

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Glad you had a great time in Nashville. Was the wedding wonderful as well ?

We have one of Kid Rock's CD's with the song "All Summer Long". An X- friend of mine, Jenny, loved that song and every time she visited we would play it - and all sing along of course. She doesn't go anywhere without a beer in hand. In Florida we have "summer" all YEAR long ! LOL That's one of only a few good memories of Jenny. A few weeks ago I texted her "Don't ever contact me again" and she listened to me and I haven't seen or heard from her since. After several years of not talking to Jenny, she had come back into my life for about a month, and I had gotten all "stressed out" and "upset" about her. She really drives me CRAZY ! Now that I haven't talked to her again, I've calmed down and feel a lot better. She really is TOXIC to me. I don't want her in my life. Ah ! I'm getting all worked up just thinking about her ! LOL

Well, I don't have much to do today. The new sheets I ordered should arrive by UPS today so I can make up a fresh bed. Johnny isn't feeling very well, so he probably won't be up to "trying them out " LOL Darn it ! We're broke and he doesn't have any beer or cigarettes. That makes Johnny into a very "unhappy camper". He's drinking lemonade and coffee and smoking an electronic cigarette and watching TV. He hasn't shaved in probably a week. He also hasn't put his dentures in his mouth for days. He really looks like sh-t ! LOL I love him so much - but I have to admit I'm disappointed that he has let himself "GO". It would make me so happy if he would take a shower and shave and put in his teeth and get dressed. Johnny doesn't have a job. He has no income. I certainly don't ask for much ! LOL Just fix yourself up a little !

Oh, well. I think I'll go clean the bathroom. That sounds like FUN ! LOL

I'm on Day #21 alcohol-free and have lost 8 pounds in that 3 weeks ! WOW ! I'm THRILLED about that ! I'm ON A ROLL, Ladies ! emoticon

God Bless and emoticon
Valerie

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


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7/27/14 7:47 P

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Hi Ladies!
Nashville was great. No celebrity sightings though! Val, I loved the story about Wes meeting Alan Jackson and not knowing who he was! I have never met a celebrity. Probably because I usually don't leave my small town in Michigan! lol. Although, Kid Rock is from Romeo, Michigan, about 30 minutes from where I live and people have spotted him around here before!

Alison, when we get our rabbits, they will live in a cage in our garage. One of my 3 dogs already sheds bad so I don't need any more fur! My daughter has tried numerous times to talk us into getting a mini pig! lol. I think they are cute but I'm not completely sold on the idea. My husband insists that we are not having "swine" living in our home! ha ha

Once again, I have to get back on track with diet and exercise! I've lapsed a little. Val, you asked about tracking calories. I do it on my spark page. I like it and its easy. It tracks my calories, carbs, fats and protein. For me, I'm not able to successfully lose weight if I don't watch my calories.

Ladies, have a happy and successful week!

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7/25/14 10:56 A

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Yes, Christine, Nashville sounds exciting. You never know who you will see ! I love country music ! Tuesday August 5th, there will me a Country Music Award Show on TV. Johnny and I always watch those. They are so entertaining ! A X-friend of ours,Wes, talked to Alan Jackson at a truck stop and didn't know who he was. Wes thought he was the truck driver of the big rig that said "Alan Jackson" on it and asked how he could get a job like that ! Wes had never heard of Alan Jackson ! Wes is an idiot. He must live under a rock ! Mr. Jackson asked him if he had ever heard his hit song "Southern Man". Wes thought he might know it. but not sure . . . .anyway - I Love Alan Jackson ! Love all the Country Music Stars.

Oh, and have a great time at the wedding, too ! LOL

Alison - Hope the visit with your mother-in-law goes well. Praying she recovers quickly.

The landlords are supposed to show up today to check on our HOT apartment. Hope that goes well, also. I know they won't want to buy us insulation for our ceiling - but that's what we really need.

Funny that Alison and her husband used to raise pigs and Christine has a picture of 3 piglets as her profile picture . . . . just a coincidence I guess . . . LOL. . . never been fond of them myself . . . . but my son, David, LOVES bacon ! LOL

Have a Lovely Weekend both of you - and anybody else lurking ? ! (if you are - please post and let us know you're out there. )
Valerie



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


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7/25/14 10:32 A

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Have a great time in Nashville, Christine! We have a young, musician friend who lives there part of the time and he says that he sees country music stars ALL of the time...so I don't know why you couldn't see some too ;).

I understand that rabbits are good pets for kids but I clean a house where one lives and the fur is EVERYWHERE! I think that they belong outside...just my opinion :) . My husband and I used to raise pigs for a living so if you ever decide to go really big....pigs are the best!!!

I am continuing to enjoy my time alone. I have lost the two pounds that I gained while we are at the Lake House so I am feeling really good about my plan. Tom's mom broke her hip last Sunday and was finally moved to a rehab hospital yesterday so I am planning to go into town this evening to visit her. She is a difficult person but with Tom away...I need to represent our family.

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

"Nothing happens without a dream."


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7/24/14 9:33 P

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Val, that's funny that you said that about Paula Dean being accused of being a racist because my daughter said the exact same thing! Thanks for the cute rabbit stories. I will keep you posted on the whole rabbit situation.

We are leaving at 4:30 in the morning to go to Nashville, Tennessee for the weekend. Although my husband is not from Tennessee he has siblings who live there and we are going to a wedding Saturday night. Tomorrow night we are going with some family to the bar scene in down town. Who knows maybe I will run into Tim McGraw and Faith Hill?!? lol..ok, probably not.

Good night ladies. Be blessed and be a blessing!

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7/24/14 9:33 A

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Christine - raising rabbits sounds like a great hobby for your daughter. I like the names you are thinking of except I think Paula Dean has a bad reputation after the racist scandal last year. idk. We always name our pets after bands or musicians because Johnny is so into music. We have a blue parakeet names Metallica, a blue beta (Siamese Fighting Fish) named MUSE, and a tiger-striped cat named Zeppelin. lol

I have a funny story about rabbits. I had a female rabbit that had babies and then died. I called a friend and left a message on her answering machine that "my rabbit had died". She called back thinking I meant I was PREGNANT ! lol

I had another rabbit that I let out of her cage to run around the living room - and she nibbled through my husband's computer wires. He wasn't too happy about that. I gave the rabbit away.

Once I offered to take care of a friend's rabbit while she was on vacation. She didn't know if she had a male or female. We put her rabbit in the cage with my female - and MY female rabbit jumped on top of HER rabbit immediately ! That was confusing ! ? I guess she was just showing him how to do it. lol Anyway her rabbit was a male, got the hang of it, and my female got pregnant and had two babies (but they died unfortunately.) My rabbit was too old, I'm sure.

Long story short - your daughter will have a great time with her rabbits, whatever their names! God Bless !

Valerie

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


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7/23/14 2:42 P

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Alison...I can understand your thought process in eating right when Tom is away. I buy some "crap" food for the rest of the family, that is in the house. When I have a weak moment, I KNOW where the crap is! lol. My thoughts and prayers are with you in making positive changes in your life.

As far as the weather in Michigan...yesterday we had a high of 95 and today is a high of 72. Seriously. I was sweating to death yesterday at the fair and today I am wearing a hoodie and long yoga pants. That is Michigan .Valerie: You live in the paradise state six months out of the year, so hang in there!!

My daughter loves 4H and wants to do more. She gets a real joy and happiness out of this and I support her. She wants to show rabbits (actually she wants to show larger animals but we live in the country but NOT on a farm..lol) . My husband is totally on board and has offered to build a cage/pen by September 1. So now we are thinking of two female rabbit names. My top two choices are Oprah Winfrey and Paula Dean..ha ha. Any thoughts??

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7/22/14 7:47 P

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Alison - I'm praying your husband, Tom, has a safe trip. You have a good attitude - he's in God's hands and you can take this time for yourself. I'm looking forward to your blogs about changes you want to make in your life. And you can eat whatever and whenever you want.

I hear you about the heat ! It is 90-95 degrees here every day. Since we no longer have any insulation in our new ceiling, our little AC can't get our apartment below 85 degrees all afternoon and evening. Right now it is 87 degrees INSIDE ! This is terrible. If the landlords won't put insulation in the ceiling - I'm going to pay for it myself. I get cranky when I'm hot ! LOL If that doesn't help, we're going to have to think about moving somewhere with better AC. Hopefully we would have a pool as well. That would really be nice. Problem is - moving is very expensive and our budget is VERY tight. I can't wait for December ! It hardly cools off down here before then. It can be 80 degrees in January !

I'm not getting any exercise because of the heat. I don't even want to lift weights in the bedroom. One good thing - I don't have much of an appetite either when I'm HOT.

Well, enough complaining. Johnny and I are going to sit outside on our patio for awhile. Hopefully the sun will go down soon and maybe there's a little breeze.

TTYL,
Valerie



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


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7/22/14 10:28 A

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Tom left this morning super early for his trip out west. I have been up since 4:30am since I couldn't go back to sleep after he left. I hope and pray that he has a safe trip. I don't like the fact that he will be driving so far alone...he is not as attentive as he used to be so I worry that he will have an accident. I'll just have to trust God to keep him safe.

I am taking advantage of Tom being gone to "press the reset" button on my eating. I initially lost my weight on the Curves plan so I went back on that this morning. It is easier when I don't have to cook for Tom. If I stick to it...I know that I can lose the weight that I have regained over the past few months. I am also going through the house and throwing away anything that would tempt me to overeat.

I am excited to have the next month to do some soul searching in every area of my life. A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about needing to make some changes in my life. I am going to use the next month to figure out how to move forward in some of these areas.

It's TOO hot here today so I am thankful for AC. Hope everyone has a great day!

Edited by: ALISONCHRISTIAN at: 7/22/2014 (10:30)
"Nothing happens without a dream."


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7/20/14 10:07 P

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Good Evening !
I changed my ticker to reflect my days alcohol-free rather than my weight. It just seemed more significant. Besides my weight had gone up ten pounds from my low of 163. I also used a different quote from the Bible - one that I read years ago and is very applicable to my ticker. Check it out !

I made a really nice Sunday dinner today - lemon/pepper chicken, stuffing, chicken gravy and French style green beans. Johnny has been eating a little better since he got out of the hospital. Unfortunately he is also drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. I thought the seizures would be a wake-up call to quit. In fact, he did try quitting smoking - made it 5 days - but took it up again. He'll never change. Well I shouldn't say "never". You "never" know. LOL.

Years ago, when I would listen to Joel Osteen - he would give me hope that I could lose weight. It seemed impossible. I had tried so many times unsuccessfully. Then I found SP and lost over 40 pounds (I know I've put over 10 pounds back on - but STILL, I'm thinner than I used to be !) He was right. "With God, All things are Possible" Matthew 19:26

It's not too late to join our "Kick Your Own Butt Challenge". You design it specifically for YOU so you can start whenever you want ! Check out the challenge thread.

Johnny claims that he really appreciates life after have 3 seizures. He says he "thinks differently" now. He's also scared to do things like take a shower, cut the grass, ride his bike for fear he'll have another seizure. He's taking anti-seizure medicine. I don't know how we're going to afford to buy more. He wants to keep taking it. He even said he'll give up beer to buy his meds. That's a good thing.

Well, I'm going to visit with Johnny for a little while. Hope you all had a "lovely" weekend.
Valerie

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


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7/20/14 8:39 P

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True Fact: The battery in a smoke detector will never die during the day, only at night when you are sleeping! LOL. At least at my house anyway!

Val, at least your smoke detector dilemma helped you to get some exercise in!

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7/19/14 11:20 P

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Good Evening LL !
Our smoke detector went off at 7am this morning waking us both up. Luckily it was a false alarm. So I went to Dollar General to buy another 9V battery but the detector was "dead". So I walked to WalMart to buy a new smoke detector. I got in a long walk in this Florida 95 degree heat. I walked 1 1/2 miles to WalMart and back - a 3 mile walk. Believe me I was dripping with sweat by the time I got home. But I was proud of myself for doing it.

I'm also proud of myself that I'm finishing up Day #12 alcohol-free. Tomorrow morning I'll weigh and report on the Challenge thread. I think I've lost 3-4 pounds, maybe 5 pounds, in 2 weeks of not drinking. We'll see.

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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7/18/14 12:46 P

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Alison -
The dusty rose quilt for Rosie sounds absolutely lovely ! Really precious !
Tom gone for a whole month! Wow - that seems like a long time, but it's great that you're going to take advantage of that time to eat healthy and walk. Just think how great you'll look when he sees you again after a month ! Now that's motivation !
emoticon
Valerie

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


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7/18/14 10:43 A

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Hi all!
Tom and I are headed to Morrilton this afternoon to spend the night at his daughter's place and to visit with our granddaughters. It is about a 3 hour drive but it will be nice to see them. On the way, I am planning to stop at a little quilting fabric store to look for some fabric for my newest grand baby's quilt. Her name is Rosie so I am looking for fabric that has dusty roses in it. I found some online but I always like to support a local business if I can so hopefully there will be something there that works.

I am doing good with my personal challenge. I have followed my walking plan every day. Unfortunately, the scale is saying that I have gained weight :(! I guess I am going to have to cut back more on my food and alcohol. Next week, Tom will be leaving for a month to visit some friends and family in Seattle and BC. I am planning to take advantage of him being gone to eat simply.

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend! Christine...have fun at your 4H, doggie show. Val...your patio sounds nice...hope it cools down in your apartment. I will be back on Sunday to check in on the Kick Your Own Butt Challenge thread :).

"Nothing happens without a dream."


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7/17/14 10:16 P

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Good Evening !
Sounds like both of you, Alison and Christine, are having busy summers ! Alison with friends and Christine with her daughter's 4H Group and niece's wedding in TN ! That's wonderful !

Today Johnny and I didn't have anything planned and we ended up re-arranging and cleaning our patio and taking care of all my plants. We really work well together and actually have lots of fun making our living environment better. The patio looks so much bigger now and really terrific.

While we were working outside, we heard a "crash" next door and then had to lift the disabled neighbor lady off the floor and get her back into bed. I also put a bandaid on her leg. Johnny swept up the broken coffee mug. I swear this place is becoming an assisted living facility ! We're not getting paid to be caregivers. But I suppose it is the neighborly thing to do to. But when "Margie" started making racist comments about our president - - I had to just walk out. She had mentioned having me clean her apartment, but after the things she said, I don't want that job. She sends me to the store occasionally to buy her cigarettes. I don't want to do that anymore either. Johnny can do that for her. He has lots more patience with her than I do. He made her laugh today. When she was sitting on the floor, unable to get up, she said, "I know I'm just dead weight". Johnny said, " Not DEAD weight ! You're still alive aren't you ! ?" LOL That was pretty funny.

Tomorrow I've got to walk over to the pharmacy to pick up my medication. That's about all I have planned. But stuff always comes up. You never know what project Johnny and I will get into.

It has been SO HOT in our apartment - 86 degrees INSIDE every afternoon. Terrible ! It makes me "cranky". Outside it's been 95 so I guess that's the best our little AC can do !

I'm doing really good on not drinking, however. Today is Day #10 in a row alcohol-free ! I'm proud of myself for that.

My younger son, David, (26) is in Orlando for 3 days/3 nights to party. He said they have a big video arcade for adults when you can drink. He is always traveling and partying. He doesn't have a steady girlfriend, but a large cirlce of friends that he hangs out with. I'm glad he has a fun life - but I do wish he could find someone special to settle down with. Isn't that just like a mother to say ? !

Well, It's after 10 pm and the thermomether reads 84 degrees in here. Unbelievable ! But outside it still reads 87 so . . . . Still - I would love to be in the 70's again ! Hopefully before Christmas ! LOL

Enjoy all your summer fun and I hope you're having good weather !
Alison - are you walking every day ?
Christine - are you tracking your calories?

Have a Wonderful 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: (13,473)
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7/17/14 4:03 P

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Hi Everyone! Alison, it sounds like you have been having a nice time visiting with friends! Good for you. Valerie, I hope you are back online and things have been alright with Johnny's health. As for me, I am having a busy week. We had a community potluck dinner/discussion at church last night. Saturday is my daughter's big 4H dog show. We have to go to the fair grounds tonight to help set up the agility course. Tomorrow night we will go back for practice. After the dog show Saturday evening, I am going to a Memorial service with my mom. Tuesday night we are back at the fair grounds to work the concession stand for our 4H group. A week from tomorrow, my husband and I are going to Nashville, TN for the weekend for his niece's wedding. I usually don't have this much going on....lol. The 4H fair and all the happenings are one of my daughter's favorite times of the year. I get my joy out of her happiness (as mother's, don't we all). Anyway, I have been staying on track with my goals. So far, so good. Take care~

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ALISONCHRISTIAN's Photo ALISONCHRISTIAN SparkPoints: (12,844)
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7/17/14 9:52 A

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Hi Everyone! I am have a fairly quiet week. Last night I got together with some girlfriends for mimosas and finger food. I did okay with my intake of food and alcohol. This was a birthday celebration for one of the gals who lost her husband a year ago at only 53 years of age. We didn't celebrate her birthday last year since it was so close to her husband's death but we wanted to do it this year. This is a small group of 4 ladies (including me) and we have been friends for about 10 years and have been through a lot together. We only get together every 6 weeks or so but it is precious time.
Today, I am having lunch with a young friend who just had a baby. She is Turkish and I really enjoy hanging out with her...she is so sweet. She and her husband used to be part of our house church and she and I have been meeting weekly for a couple of years. Even though the house church is no more...we still get together to discuss books, raising children and just life.
It has been unseasonably cool here in NWArkansas and today, we are expecting rain. That is good because my garden needs it desperately!
I hope everyone has a great day!

Edited by: ALISONCHRISTIAN at: 7/17/2014 (09:53)
"Nothing happens without a dream."


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
7/15/14 9:47 P

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Sorry I haven't been around. The plumber was here yesterday and he accidentally cut the Verizon internet cable when he was digging in the courtyard - so no internet for 24 hours until Verizon came today and laid new cable. Ah ! Great to be back ! It drives me CRAZY when I can't get online.

Glad you survived camping Christine ! Johnny and I lived in a tent in the woods for almost 4 months together with no running water or bathroom - talk about roughing it ! We DID, however, have a generator than powered my CPAP machine at night for sleep apnea and we even had a little black & white TV with rabbit ears (back in 2007-08 you could do that still). Needless to say, I've had enough of camping and have NO DESIRE to sleep in a tent in the woods again! LOL

Hope you had a good time in Maryland, Alison. And you sold THREE quilts ! WOW ! Wonderful !

My son and daughter-in-law came over for lunch today and I made Chinese. Chicken and Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry, Pork fried rice, egg rolls with duck sauce, egg-drop soup with chow mein noodles, and ice cream and fortune cookies for dessert. My fortune: Smile and Rejoice, fortune is smiling on you. I like that ! Everything was great. We had a good time.

My apartment is SO Incredibly HOT this summer. I think the AC needs to be cleaned. It is 86 degrees INSIDE in the afternoon. This is just NOT ACCEPTABLE ! Granted it is 95 degrees outside but STILL ! This is a new AC. It should cool it off at least down to 80 degrees indoors - which I know, still sounds HOT to you all up north, but I could be comfortable at 80 when it's 95 outside. The landlord is on vacation right now. I'll talk to him when he gets back.

One good thing about the internet being "down" yesterday - Johnny and I decided to have afternoon delight - which really was DELIGHTFUL ! I'm feeling so much better about Johnny now, LOL ! He's drinking beer and smoking cigarettes but at least he hasn't touched hard liquor since the middle of March and he's eating better now. Johnny was really malnourished (super skinny) and dehydrated. I picked up anti-seizure medication at the pharmacy today and I'm sure that will help as well. I have been alcohol-free for 8 days now and doing great. Just-Brenda is right that we can only really change ourselves - not other people. I'm not drinking - and the weight is coming off.

So happy Christine and Alison have joined our "Kick Your Own Butt Challenge!" Alison has her own personal name for her challenge - but that's fine ! This is a personal challenge designed by YOU specifically for YOU ! How about you, Just Brenda ? Check out the thread at the bottom for Challenges. You pick ONE or maybe TWO specific things to work on and set your own GOAL. We post every Sunday (if you can) with a report of how you're doing. It's Never too late to START ! I'm alcohol-free - 5 days last week and going for all 7 this week. Christine is working on her calorie range for the day and Alison is going to do the Leslie Sansone Walking Program. Please Join Us. And anybody else lurking out there ! What do YOU need to work on ? Design your OWN challenge !

We CAN DO IT, Ladies !
Valerie

Edited by: GREEN-EYED-LADY at: 7/15/2014 (21:50)
"Learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls." Jesus in Matthew 11:29


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ALISONCHRISTIAN's Photo ALISONCHRISTIAN SparkPoints: (12,844)
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7/14/14 3:11 P

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Just wanted to say "hi". Tom and I got home from Maryland last night so I have been spending today getting back in the groove of being home. I sold three quilts on my Etsy shop while I was gone so I had to get them ready to ship and in the mail. That always takes a long time! I stepped on the scale this morning even though I knew it would be a downer. After a week of unmonitored eating and drinking, I expected to gain weight. It wasn't too bad. I gained 2 pounds which won't be difficult to lose if I get back to tracking and moving.

I hope everyone is doing okay. Sorry to hear about your troubles with Johnny, Val, and I hope and pray that things get better soon!

"Nothing happens without a dream."


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JUST_BRENDA's Photo JUST_BRENDA Posts: 1,741
7/14/14 12:34 P

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Blah, blah, it's Monday again. Although I start out complaining I admit that I do like the structure of the work day. As long as there aren't too many of them!
Christine, I'm glad you had a good time camping. We've camped many times! However, I find it's much less fun now that the kids have grown up. The older two are too busy to come and the younger one is much less interested. Oh, the other thing is that, as I'm approaching the big M, my inner body temperature can become insane very unexpectedly. So I wonder why I should leave the air conditioning!
Valerie, sorry to hear about your anxiety levels. It does sound like Johnny's untimely death is inevitable due to his lifestyle choices. You are smart to recognize your own pattern, but the question is what can you do about it now. I would suggest checking out a local 12 step group --- Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous. We can't change other people, only ourselves.

And, speaking of changing oneself... I'm getting back on the SP bandwagon: tracking food intake (as best I can) and exercise. I'm also going to work on cutting down the drinking. Way too many calories especially since I'm over indulging in coolers these days.

It's never too late to start, right?

Brenda


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CHRISTINE1623's Photo CHRISTINE1623 SparkPoints: (13,473)
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7/13/14 6:03 P

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Valerie, you certainly have a lot on your plate!

I'm back from camping. Had many laughs, good conversation and made some great family memories. Camping is WORK! lol. I have been doing laundry all afternoon and my laundry room floor is still not visible....clothes, towels, blankets, pillows....you name it.

I am on board with the "Kick your own butt" challenge! Love the name. I definitely need the motivation and support.

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CAPECODBABE's Photo CAPECODBABE Posts: 5,418
7/13/14 10:45 A

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emoticon Val

xoxo elle~


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GREEN-EYED-LADY's Photo GREEN-EYED-LADY Posts: 1,275
7/13/14 10:07 A

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My computer/internet connection is working GREAT today !
I lost 3 pounds in a week by being alcohol-free ! (I know it's probably water - but STILL !)
Two reasons to be really happy this morning -
But -
After seeing Johnny have 2 tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures last week (and a 3rd at the hospital) , I am living in constant trepidation (fear). When I wake up in the morning, if he is still asleep in bed next to me, I have a moment of PANIC that he might be DEAD ! I check to see if he has a pulse and is breathing. During the day - I'm constantly staring at him to see if he's okay. If I'm in the other room and I hear a loud noise, I come running to see if he had a seizure and fell down. I hate feeling like this - always nervous.

I'm also ANNOYED. My previous husband also had seizures related to alcohol and nicotine. I'm upset that I am going through this AGAIN ! I picked another alcoholic. Isn't that typical ?! You end up with the same kind of guy you were with before. My father was an alcoholic so, of course, I would pick an alcoholic to be my partner. Not once. This is my 3rd one ! CLASSIC !

So now what do I do ? You made your bed - you lie in it, right ? I'm upset. More with MYSELF than I am with Johnny. I should have know better. I knew Johnny was an alcoholic. What did I expect ? I've been with 2 alcoholics before. They both died. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out !

Johnny is going to die young. He's 10 years younger than me - but he will undoubtedly die before me and I will be a widow again for the 3rd time. He said the seizures were a "wake up call" and that he would change - but he is drinking and smoking just like he did before. The only person I can change is MYSELF. "I" need to make some changes. Johnny needs to go to REHAB. I will get him back on my health insurance and then INSIST that he goes to rehab. (before it's too late).

Going to watch Joel Osteen on TV now. He always gives me HOPE !
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: 1,275
7/12/14 4:57 P

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Good Evening Lovely Ladies,

We're having lots of problems with our free Verizon WiFi in our apartment building so I haven't been able to get on line much yesterday or today. I'm finally able to post something this evening. If you don't hear from me for a while, know that it is just technical problems with the internet connection. I'm NOT ignoring you ! LOL It drives me crazy when I can't get online or my connection freezes up. It's so frustrating. I'm going to post this before my computer has another STROKE ! LOL
Miss you,
Valerie

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


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