Ending the year of 2008 with a Big sha-BANG!! *%$!  

Monday, December 29, 2008

Okay, so most of you that follow "Shop Notes" - thank you! =D - have watched my absurd struggle with Life this year with mixed emotions. Whether it be a curious, can't-look-away, interest as one might show a highway accident, or felt the kinship of sadness in the losses that seemed so much a part of this year, or even hope, in that all would turn out okay eventually, I have felt a strange bond with everyone that has happened along. Somehow, the journey seems less lonely and the outcome more optimistic, when you have someone to travel with you. The internet has afforded me many kindnesses in the friendships formed and in even the strangers that offered their quiet presence, to the newfound opportunities that sit on the horizon ready to greet the dawn of 2009. I'm very grateful to find this new outlet to a rather quiet, solitary existence.

I can say one thing for sure though, without the Internet and my new friends, I probably would've hidden in my bed through most of it!

This year was nothing though in comparison to 2006, when I lost my sister. That was and still is something I will never get used to, and in most ways, have yet to accept. Since she lived far away and we had fallen away from each other through my stupidity and stubbornness, it's easier to think she's still there and I'm still trying to figure out how to apologize and get us back on track... It's probably not normal, but it's the only coping mechanism I have for such pain.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand...
2007 was crap, 2006 was crappier, but 2008 was just confusing, hectic, sad, and well, absurd! I found out a lot about myself; I'm not as wonderful a person as I want to be, I procrastinate to
disaster, I've become a very lazy mother, I blame most bad things on something else besides the fact that I did it, I sell myself short a lot, and I'm not a good friend. The actual 'list' is many pages long, but I'm trying to focus on something more obtainable and less 'all over the place'. All things that, by this time next year, I hope I can say the opposite of!

So how do I start remolding myself? Have you ever asked that? Where in the he** does one start on such a mess of a blob of cells?!?

Well, here's my plan;

  1. Stop criticizing myself and focus on the good points - hard, yet do-able, I hear! :)
  2. Tear up the sign I made in 1986, "Don't do today what you can put off until tomorrow" - really, I did print and hang that stupid thing!lol
  3. Focus, focus, focus - get rid of mile-long lists and start working on the workable. Don't get distracted by all of the wonders of the internet. Work on things that can be done, don't try to perfect everything, and don't worry about being perfect myself!
  4. Shoot for realistic goals - only look at what I can actually achieve and don't run into blaming others for my failures or shortcomings.
  5. Schedules do work, if they're realistic - but be flexible so I don't have a stroke!
  6. ASK others for help or advice - I'm not a superhero or a 'one-woman-show'! Right now I'm like a guy that can't ask driving directions; fixated on being able to 'do it myself' - this makes life so much more difficult than it has to be! Find out what others have done to work things out and realize that I'm not alone!
  7. Prioritize - this is one of the things that cause me to lose focus; I'm putting all the wrong things at the top of my lists! I've completely moved my family and friends to the bottom and then off the list... wrong, wrong, wrong!
  8. Establish some "me time" - I'm not even in the same notepad as my priorities! I rarely take time to even eat properly(if at all!) because I have "so much to do"!
  9. The Big One; balance - Balance work, life, home, and business. Home life(family) should have 50% at least on the scale of time used, Business/Work should be a 35%, and Internet Misc, a nice 15%.... that's how I'm going to split it up for now and see how it works :)
  10. Everything is adjustable - there's nothing set in stone in Life. Don't panic if I missed a lunch date or didn't get the front room cleaned up on the day I planned - I've been so hard on myself and all that has resulted from that is the feeling of failure, disappointment, and self-doubt and yes, loathing! That's pretty harsh, but there's no other word to describe the self-digust I feel when I screw up all over the place, or don't meet a deadline because I've procrastinated!
  11. Enjoy life! period. Too short is what I've learned these last few years - I could go tomorrow and what would I see when I look back at my life? I want it to be a good reflection! If all you have is regret, remorse, guilt, and the feeling that you could have done so much more, or done It so much better, then you have failed the game "Life"! I've always preached to my children to make sure they can live without regret, yet it's all I can look back on for myself. Physician, Heal Thyself!
  12. Be Thankful! For what you have, don't have, will have. Be Thankful that you have the chance to 'make it right'. Be Thankful that you have this one life to do amazing things and be an asset to yourself, your family, your friends, and the world at large!
So here's to the new year - 2009! - a year full of hope,
promise, and a chance to "do it right!" Now, I know we've all said that before, maybe we say it every year? But for some reason, unknown to me right now, it feels different this time - something new is in the air!?

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Merry Christmas & a VERY Happy New Year!!  

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I am so happy tonight =D Xmas is done and I squeaked by another year!lol I honestly did not get to do any shopping until last night and, man, it was hectic and frustrating, yet, I pulled it off again and all my little men are happy campers tonight! Whew!! Thank goodness I received a check yesterday and it all just fell into place!
I managed, just barely, to finish up the last two of the local orders I had out there and got them delivered and then, off to town with Austin (we had a "date"!).
I found out, once more, that that little guy has a LOT on his mind!lol I was certain that he would sleep on the long trip home, as I'm sure he was just exhausted from all the fun we had!, but no, he found the strength to carry on and keep me working on answers to his many questions and ideas! =D
He's such a great guy, and I was so proud of him as he struggled to maintain the fact that he was shopping for others, not himself, and I knew there was so much he saw that he wanted!! What a wonderful little trip - we even got to have a nice lunch at his favorite restaurant, "Big Daddy's" and he was so gentlemanly as he reached his little hand out to mine to help me out of the car and how he insisted on sitting next to me in the booth, instead of across from me! It was fun getting him to myself for this special occasion =D
We got home rather late, and I was so tired. The older boys started working on the ready-to-cook pizzas I'd brought home and Tyler and I plotted how we would get everything wrapped and still grab a few hours of sleep before Santa's bounty would be discovered - I think I did manage a few hours, but I was ready when morning came.
Austin did have a slight melt-down this morning as everyone put off the unwrapping for a hot cup of coffee and wake up time! I told him just a few minutes and it ended up more like 30 and you can bet he was beside himself when we finally got to it!lol Poor guy!
It's really funny, but I've always maintained that clothes were not something you get for Xmas because they're a necessity and as such it's something one has to get their children all year - but being broke and needing this type of thing, I broke down and purchased a few articles of much needed threads - they were very happy with what I gave them and Austin wore his new warmly-lined hoodie all day! Yay! I guess there's always a first time for everything!?!
I think we all made out like bandits though and I feel very blessed that I'm loved so much that my babies would work so hard to spend their own money on me and actually desire to see my happy face more than their own! It's very special to see them grow up and find out how they will handle such things - I couldn't be prouder =D
It seemed that everything everyone got was just what they needed, nothing more, nothing less - so well ends another Holiday and I'm glad it went well...
So, mostly I just want to wish you all a peaceful Xmas night and that you stay safe and warm for New Years =D Let's start 2009 off right!!
{{{hugs}}} and much love to all of my friends and family :)

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Duke the Wonder Dog - Part 1  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our newest addition to the crew; Duke the Wonder Dog!

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Contest Winner Announcement!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

After much thought on how exactly you do such a thing, we HAVE A WINNER!! Tammy of "Tammy's Treasure Chest" has won this beautiful ornament and I'm very excited to make it just for you, Tammy!
Tammy had 12 comments for the time period, which I believe helped to give her the winning edge =D
Thank you all so much for all of the comments, well wishes, and friendship - the internet is such an amazing place!

{{{hugs}}} and

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

Results - Research Randomizer

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Contest ends tonite!  

Monday, December 15, 2008

Finally! Things are beginning to feel normal tonight :) I have had a weekend from - well, can't say "Hell" 'cuz it's been below zero up here the last few days! lol - but I'm going to be positive, right?!? So, here are the positives;

  • Saturday was the craft show; hummm - I met other artisans, which is wonderful, but it was very tiring - constructive, but tiring...
  • Came home and Austin had crashed my laptop - the one with all of my life on it!!! :( Yikes! I learned so much from that experience though - the part where my computer-genius son couldn't fix the poor thing - and it turned out I wasn't as computer illiterate as I had previously thought, was an invaluable lesson!lol
  • I learned that using your virus scan software is useless unless you go through their steps to fix the problem; after going around the long way to download the new definitions, everything just reappeared like magic! It was incredible!! Needless to say, I have restore points and backups now!lol
  • I was almost done with the face mask for Kay's Bronco Helmet when I found out that my pattern had printed out too large - so much for hours of sanding! lol But I learned to use my rulers and my analytical mind =D oh, and take notes when I create a pattern!!!
  • I found out my scale isn't working anymore and learned how to weigh packages against jars of jelly, bags of sugar, and tins of raviollis! :)
  • I learned that 'house-trained' puppies still pee and poop on floors when you least expect it and that socks don't absorb liquid very well :(?
  • I found out that I'm a creature of habit and when someone messes with my habitat my mind ceases to function!?! (see next bullet) lol
  • We put the woodstove back so I could get my office space back together - Wow! you can't even imagine the mess that created for me in my mind! I was actually being forced to watch t.v. because of having my laptop in the front room! ugh! That was tough! Especially when Roger had to watch hunting - which is 24/7 pretty much :(
  • oh, and I found out that I'm attractive to the same sex!?! teehee Now, that was a weird experience!!!!! lol
  • and lastly, I found out if I read too long I fall asleep :( I'm an avid reader, so that's a problem!!
See I told ya, it was a very educational weekend! =D
I also sold a couple of things online as well as at the craft show, so we were able to stock up on a couple of items - yay! =D

Now, as you may or may not know, the last day for posting a comment to be entered into the special ornament drawing is today - until midnite my time(mountain time) you can still post comments and get a chance to win this gorgeous ornament! So get to it! lol
Looking forward to seeing who gets it =D
Until then,
Thanks for "stopping by the shop!" Freida

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Once more, for the hell of it...  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well, it's sure been a week - everything happens around here at the same time.
I was helping Jim Monday with arrangements for Mary, which seemed somewhat easier being on this side this time. Jim did well, and I was proud of him. The funeral director lady was a little too pragmatic for me, but I tried to keep Jim busy through her mantra about bodies and dates of arrivals etc... it was weird.
When we went back to Jim's he showed us a book that Mary had written in 1989; Hortense and Gertrude. I have heard that title before and found myself quite intrigued to find out she had several more volumes of children's stories she'd written. He might let me publish them and I'm easily thrilled by the idea of carrying on her legacy! :) I wish I could do something about her home - the walls are covered in beautiful eagles she's painted and little kitschy stuff everywhere - very eclectic but warm and homey - a style that is very close to the very core of me! What a creative and talented soul she was!! Maybe something good will come of all of this?
I had planned the next day to go see Denita. It started snowing but I found myself still happy about the journey to see my friend. I realized that she may not even know I was there, but still I would be by her side for a little while.
It continued to get colder and the snow deeper, but whatever - I can usually do what I put my mind to, so what's a little snow!?
The next morning I awoke to around 9" of fresh frozen snow - the wind was picking up and I was beginning to seriously wonder about my decision. I heard the phone ring, but I was rushing around getting orders ready to post, so I didn't realize that anything important was going on until Roger's words stopped me in my tracks, "Denita died last night". He was so monotone that I thought I may have misunderstood so I kept standing there waiting for him to clarify his statement. I hadn't heard wrong though. sigh... He had told Vivian that I was out working and would call her later. I guess he was hoping that by his telling me that it would be easier to take. In a way it may have appeared so, but in truth it just made it seem more surreal. I didn't cry really, and haven't until tonight.
We had a Christmas concert to go to tonight - running down the mountain on icy winding roads is enough to keep me distracted from the dreaded dark of night! When we got to the concert though and all of the unknown faces greeted me, the reality of this loss kind of hit me right between the eyes. After all of these years I didn't see more than 3 or 4 people, besides teachers and faculty, that I actually recognized?
It's not like Denita would've been there - her kids graduated with mine pretty much - but it dawned on me that all of the people that made this a community for me in the past were gone. Whether they've died, moved on, or just had kids that grew out of the school doesn't really matter, they're gone just the same. Blah, what a crappy feeling - I need to find my smile tonite. My face feels like I've had a bad dose of Botox! :(
Anyway, Kay kind of brought everything in perspective the other day when she said to not feel bad for her, we're the ones that are left to feel the loss and she won't be in pain anymore. I could tell that that was how she really felt and wasn't just trying to cheer me up. She was so silly about it all that it just really made me look at death in a whole different way - I sure do love that woman! :]
So with that, even though even the local doggies seem to be passing away from obscure diseases and I have only a handful of friends left, I vow to carry on - no more dark posts, no more will the stale pall of death and loss overshadow me! I will do as Kay has bid; live with everything you have, enjoy every moment, and pass from this world knowing you've left something behind that's worthy of remembering you by!
Done and done - now, I'm going to go be with my babies and new puppy and breathe in the air that carries the hope that only holidays like Christmas can give - life doesn't stand still for anyone, and it is our choice what we do with what we have....

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What are we doing?  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sent to me by my big sister today - how appropriate! I love this and hope you'll pass it on, link to it, share it, say it was your idea, whatever - just get this out if you find it useful =D

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession :

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham 's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina ) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem ( Dr Spock 's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves..

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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ah grief, my old friend  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First off, I want to acknowledge again, all those that sent prayers and well wishes for Jim and Mary - it won't be forgotten and I can never say how much it meant to me personally. I've been putting off this post because I know I'm going to cry, but I thought since I am already, I might as well get this done.
Mary's gone. 5:19pm - they removed her ventilator and she only survived for 3 minutes. It was peaceful, but oh, so sad. Jim is okay, he's strange right now - but I recognize that strangeness, been there, done that. When my husband passed, I'm sure they thought they'd have to hospitalize me, but I made it. Even though it's been 16 yrs, I still think of him every day and I'm sure that Jim will do so as well - it just never goes away, it gets milder, but never forgotten...
Tomorrow I'm going with him to help with funeral arrangements. It's been so long that I'm not sure I remember what needs to be done - I was a mess and probably couldn't remember much anyway, but I'm hoping I can help him.
Roger has been by his side for most of the time - he went up to see Mary the day before. When he joked with her, as he used to always, about dancing(she was wheelchair ridden since her stroke) and that she needed to get up, her blood pressure actually went way up! She also moved her hand in his, so we know she knew that he was there and it sure did make Jim's face light up. I know when they shut off the vent that he was straining trying to will her to survive, but it just wasn't meant to be.
He's been trying to accept it and throw himself into the logical side of preparing the funeral arrangements and notifying everyone, but Roger finally took over that part as you could see the strain in his eyes from the pain of it all. Her kids that live close wouldn't come up to see her, and even the one daughter that lives near where they will lay her to rest says she can't come to the funeral unless Jim sends her money. That seems to be all that they all want, and it's so hurtful to Jim. Roger wants to punch out her son, but out of respect he won't of course, but why does it have to be this way?
I'll never forget everyone at Lynn's arrangements talking about what they wanted and how hurt they were that he took his own life. They had no idea the pain he was in and didn't want to feel for him, just themselves. I, being only the wife, really didn't get any respect in that I might know what was best for him or such. The only say it seemed I had was in his coffin. I remember telling the director that I just didn't want him to be in an old pine box. I was too poor to have much say, but he didn't put him in an 'old pine box' - it was a new pine box covered in grey felt?!? :( I still hate that. He was a veteran and deserved far more!
But anyway, I also have to help with the clothing and I wished I knew her better - all I can do it seems is write stuff down and help with the shoulder. I can feel his pain and hope that I can be strong for him - he needs that now.
So, that's that - the sun was shining so bright and warm today - seemed like it all was so out of place? My old friend is back, the pungent taste of grief and pain... strong in my memories

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2008 Year in Review  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for a great year =D

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Another done...  

Here's one of those 'warm up' projects I was talking about; before I cut something really important I always work on a piece that I can practice my cornering and quick turns... Sometimes I just end up with "Designer Firewood", but I'd like to say that this is a useful piece! =D

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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Just Finished =]  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I hope Kay will be happy tomorrow when I finally deliver her Dolphin's Helmet! I know I'm glad it's done and I think it turned out much better than my previous helmets =D As it's supposed to be; everything gets better with experience! ;)
Feeling satified doesn't come until she gets it and is happy though, so tomorrow will be a good day I hope :)
Hope everyone is doing well - don't forget to comment on the blog so that you will be entered to win a beautiful and exclusively collectible wooden ornament, designed by Volker Arnold!! Click here to read about the amazing sale, going on now, at my shop! :)

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do you ever feel that you're in some sort of dream that you can't wake up from? It's been like that all of my life and I can't help but feel even more dazed and confused as I watch the scenes from snippets of dark movies flash blurringly all around me.
Day before yesterday I ran into my friend's daughter at Walgreen's. After a few moments of catch-up she asked if Roger had told me about her mom. I said he hadn't mentioned anything and she hesitated for a moment before revealing that Denita was in the ICU and wasn't expected to live through the holidays.
I couldn't help the tears as she related how her condition had so rapidly advanced and she was now a mere 56lbs and delirious.
Denita's been sick for quite a few years - nearly ever since I've known her. A type of leukemia that she seemed to have in control. We had talked a few times about what might happen and the time frame involved, but it just never dawned on me that she could go so quickly, and without so much as a whimper. I saw her last in Walmart, so skinny, toting an oxygen machine and driving around in a motorized cart. She didn't look good, but she was saying that they just didn't have her meds right... I always take for granted, I guess, that my friends and family will be around forever and don't pay attention the way I should. But she was busy, being with her daughter, whom she'd had so much trouble with. It was nice to see them together and that is what I was focused on. She really didn't seem to 'need' me like before and I felt that as soon as the drs got everything 'straightened out' she'd be her same old self... too late, always :(
I'm hoping that I will get caught up on orders and get to go see her in the next couple of days. Surely I have some time still?
I think they're all getting a little tired of my sadness and the 'impending doom' look I have when I see them. Kay is so sweet, but I know when I talk to her that she gets annoyed at my tears - of course she'd rather have some quality time with her friend than this!
I'll be seeing her tomorrow, but she has to wear a mask and such so that if I have any germs she won't pass from the exposure I could subject her to. I'll probably stand on the porch and talk to her through the screen door. Another reminder that life is WAY too short! :(
And now, Jim is waiting for Mary's kids to arrive to say goodbye, before they let her go. She hasn't regained consciousness and the doctor said today that half of her heart has died. He's beside himself in grief, but is trying desperately to put on a strong face for everyone. I have such a hard time trying to figure out how this could've happened. I know we're not supposed to question the wisdom of God, but I really don't feel this is something of a benevolent God's doing!
So I asked Ryan tonight why everyone around me is going away? I don't know if it's that I'm older and therefore everyone else is older, and that's what you inevitably go through with an older circle of friends.
I'm not sure what is going on, but I really don't like it - not one bit!!

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Tagged! by "The Magic Sleigh"  

It's fun being tagged! :) I know a lot of bloggers say it's a hassle, but it makes me feel kinda special! :)
Wonderfully talented Ms. Pam of The Magic Sleigh tagged me this morning, so I shall do my best to fulfill the 7 "About Me" items;

  1. If you split open my skull, you would not be able to find my brain for all of the clutter.
  2. I forget what I'm saying in mid-sentence.
  3. I put things in 'special places' so I won't lose them and then forget where that is! (Someday I'm gonna find a heck of a lot of things I've been missing!!)
  4. My hair is naturally red, but I'm turning into a candy cane; red and white stripes
  5. I have always hated my name - until my mother told me it was in honor of her baby sister who died as an infant - I'm learning to accept it now...
  6. I just wrote a book about my fellow Intarsia artists but didn't think my work was good enough to be included.
  7. I want to decorate the world with wood! (As nature had intended, of course!)
I hope that my chosen 7 will accept this assignment in the spirit in which it was given - you're only on my list because I truly want to know more about you - not because I need to tag someone =D
Of course, if you're understandably too busy, pass it on - I'm good with that...
  1. http://frankinthemind.blogspot.com/
  2. http://doxallodesigns.blogspot.com/
  3. http://binasblog-sabina.blogspot.com/
  4. http://tammys-treasure-chest.blogspot.com/
  5. http://smilemoonwoodworks.blogspot.com/
  6. http://shellyrodriguez.blogspot.com/
  7. http://akacontrariwise.blogspot.com/

Here is how it works, for those of you unfamiliar with the game:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

That being said and done - Pam of The Magic Sleigh is amazingly talented and incredibly kind :) She's making an ornament of my mom's doggy and has bent over backwards, sideways, and every which way to make sure I'm going to be very happy with the piece! I can't wait to get it and see my mom's expression - it's going to be... priceless! ;)
Will post photos as soon as I get them - you should really check out her shop; she creates custom critters in porcelain and I can't tell you how impressed I am by her work! Only $20 for a CUSTOM PORCELAIN PET!!?! I had to double-take on that one! She loves what she does and is truly a kindred spirit on pricing - obviously she too, just wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to own one of her designs!

Thanks, as always, for "stopping by the shop!"

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update on Mary's surgery  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

hah! She made it!! =D Jim was audibly relieved! They took out 3 ft of large and 5 ft of small intestine that was pure black! I sure wished they'd listened to her when she was complaining about the pain :( But, although not out the woods by far, at least she survived this part so far - thanks so much to everyone for their prayers! =D
I just finished cutting a quarter panel of a very large large puzzle and it only took me, ummm, 4.5 hours? Dang, no profit here, eh!?! Never is though... anyway, just glad I'm finally getting my 'stride' on this one - started out r-o-u-g-h!! I hate to go to bed, as I'll have to 'warm up' all over again :( Getting a lot of 'warm up' pieces done though! lol Will list them soon...
So I guess I better try to sleep - it's 1am and I'm a little wound up from cutting and the news on Mary, but I'm sure I'll nod off as soon as I get there :0)
Thanks again - I really believe the prayers are the most helpful right now, and all of you that are still doing so, I can't thank you enough!

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Prayers needed - please! now more than ever!  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I appreciate all of the wonderful folks praying for Mary and Jim - thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Mary was doing so well after they moved her up to Colorado Springs and, in fact, fixed her throat so that she could talk!
Everything was looking so good, but she was still having pain in her stomach and even though she complained about it, they just told her it was because of the major surgery she'd had.
I guess she knew better - today they sent her to another hospital for emergency surgery on her colon - the lower part of her intestines is dead and needs to be removed. They don't think she's going to make it out of surgery.
Jim is beside himself and told us in a broken voice that he just doesn't understand what happened? This is so unbelievable to me!
But I only ask that you will join with me to pray for her - she should be out of the o.r. very soon I hope and will let you know - but please, please, please pray - it's the only hope

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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A Question of Sharing Info  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I just received this Etsy 'convo' from a woman that wants to know how I do my line-art for my Custom Portrait Keepsake Boxes so that her friend can input her designs into her laser cutter and cut them out.
What do you do when you get such a request?? I don't know whether they consider me stupid, or if they're just being innocent/naive about trade secrets and such? I mean, really, what would you do? What do you think I should do?
I've always been a very generous person, but this kind of thing has me bumfuzzled(forgive me that one!lol) - I don't like to tell people no, but I work hard to make everything by hand and to cut something using a laser, is cheating to me... I know, what a stuckup purist! lol I'm not really. Just very passionate about 'handmade'!
I have so much to tell you all, but I have to get orders out - hope to update very soon with some great stuff, so please hang in there! =D

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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Getting it done...?  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I guess I'm pretty bored with the theme I'm using for the blog - it's just black and feels cluttered. I would sure love some feedback on this - your opinion matters greatly to me!

I was looking at changing to a Word Press run blog, or use one of the themes at the least, but after doing some research on what makes a blog look like something you'd want to read, I've come to the conclusion that black, brown, white, or red, they just don't seem to matter. Could it be that readers truly are content hungry instead of looking for an aesthetically pleasing layout or color??
Maybe it's my content that needs some plastic surgery, and not my site!?! btw, so many thank you's! to all of my readers and followers - you are very important to me!!

Okay, so in the meantime, I'm still bored with the site and want to make it better and easier to read and find interesting subjects. Stay tuned for the new and hopefully, improved, DMWAShopNotes! ;0)

I've had a difficult time trying to work the last couple of days - if Roger doesn't get some work going and get out from under my feet, I'm going to go nuts!!lol He can think of more things he needs me to do or help with when he sees I'm busy working, and after one of his 'projects' I have a hard time getting going again :*< style="font-style: italic;">naturally, where all of my inside work is done and wood, sanding tools, and papers are splayed out everywhere! That's going to take some work!! Sure, it will improve the house, but my gosh, man, I'm trying to work!!!! Why am I the only one here that can do anything? Why are my things the only stuff in the way?? It's just craziness! acch!

Yesterday I sold the little Intarsia Penguin Ornament =D I am giving out bonus ornaments to everyone who buys something from me until Dec15th and was trying to figure out which one to make for her. I always do a little investigating on my customers to figure out what they like and don't like and I think I've found the perfect ornament for her! Yay! Love that :-)

I'm cutting today, no matter what else happens around here, and I'm just giddy with excitement! I have so many gorgeous ornaments to cut and I'm just digging givin' them away!
You have no idea how badly I wish I could give everything I make away! One of the things that make me feel so warm and fuzzy is making things for my family! I love what I do =D Did I already say that recently?? Well, I do...

Finished up the one puzzle last night - it's always weird taking them apart and putting them into the boxes! I work so hard to keep them together for so long during the creation process that this step makes me as nervous as a cat on a hot-tin roof! lol Pretty silly, I know. But, all of the pieces laying so neatly in the box just made me so happy! I hope she'll love it =0> I have to do a little 'research' on her too to see which ornament to send with the puzzle - oh joy! I'm really getting into the Christmas Spirit!! =0)

Oh, and one more thing! I found out something really cool the day-before-yesterday; I usually write down everything I need to do that day and end up with more than two pages sometimes! Needless to say, the list never gets completed and I end up not even wanting to check it during the day :*( I decided to try the reverse of this and it's actually working! and feels a lot better too!!!
So, instead of making a 'to-do' list, make an 'I've done...' list! You feel better, are actually more organized, and you don't end up rolling the list over into the next day because you didn't even get close to completing the tasks on it!
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think! okay? :0)

Time to brave the utter cold and get some work done before the boys come in...
Have an awesome day and don't forget to enter the contest from yesterday's post!! =D
Thanks for "stopping by the shop!" Freida

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Sale at Deer Mountain Wood Art! Giveaways and Contests!  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today starts the "Santa Shop Hop" sale at Deer Mountain Wood Art! The sale lasts from Nov.20th until Dec.10th and is good for 20% off of any one item(in stock only) in the store!
To take advantage of the great savings all you have to do is mention"Santa Shop Hop!" in the 'notes to seller' at the bottom of the checkout page and wait for the revised invoice before submitting payment - that's all!! One lucky buyer will be chosen by randomizer.com from all of the sale buyers to receive a 33% discount instead of the 20% and will be refunded the difference as soon as the sale is over! Recipient's name will be posted on this blog...

As an added bonus, all orders between now and Dec 10th will include a special, hand cut, wooden Christmas ornament - an $8 plus bonus! Piece varies and some will include the 2008 date on them for an extra special keepsake ornament :0> Picture is only a very small example of what you might receive!

From Nov.20th until Dec.15th we're also offering a chance to win a very special ornament, hand cut from 1/4" solid maple - an exclusive pattern by Volker Arnold that was awarded to myself from his partner, Tom Sevy - a $22 dollar value! To enter, merely enter a comment to any post on the blog - easy peesy! =D *Only one entry per person please* This is a separate contest from the T2T Team "Santa Shop Hop"...
Winner will be announced December 16th here on the blog, as well as a personal email - winner chosen by randomizer.org...

So have fun, do some shopping, and save a bundle - everyone's a winner at Deer Mountain!

Good luck and have a very Merry Handmade Christmas from all of here at Deer Mountain Wood Art!!

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!" Freida

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Tweet your plants!!?!  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Okay, now I've seen it all! lol No, really, this has got to be the thing for the Twitter addict these days! I think Twitter has gotten a little bigger than it was meant to, or believed it would be! Everyone's got the app running and the twits are 'Tweeting' all over the place, about everything!! Why should it just be for the human masses?!?

The Plant Twitter Kit is a mere $99US and this little device sends a 'Tweet' if your plant is dry or otherwise unhappy - now that's gotta be the most twitterlicious gadget I've ever laid eyes on =) Don'cha just want it bad!!?!

I guess next they'll be putting one on our dog's collars so they can 'Tweet' too! =D

I love 'ThinkGeek.com'! It's chock-full of this type of geeky gadgety love and it just never gets boring - I would love to someday have the green to get to shop here for Tyler - he turned me on to this site many years ago, being the geek he is (and proud of it, damnit!) and it still has a beloved place on my desktop =D After all, who in their right mind wouldn't want a t-shirt you can play drums on??!?

Okay, enough of that!! =0)
Tammy and I were talking about Christmas shopping - well sorta - and it reminded me of a little 'flaw' that most men seem to have; "oh no, don't buy anything for me! I'll be mad if you do..." and other such placations to hide the fact that they really do look forward to gifts as much as any little boy, or grown woman, would! lol

My hubby did that once, and I believe he will forever be sorry for the one year he didn't receive anything! It was his 59th birthday and he had said to not buy him anything - he didn't need anything, didn't want us to spend the money on him, etc... so we didn't.

He pouted the whole frickin' day, and was still commenting on it years later! Every year since, he sits expectantly waiting for the "big moment" - he's always disappointed, but at least he has something to look forward to! =D

So, guys, don't say this stupid comment, or you just might get what you ask for, nothing!

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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Kinetic Sculptures by David C Roy - "True Wood Art" Artisan Series  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This morning I thought I would start a new series on art, "True Wood Art", showing all of the different beautiful truly artistic wood art and artists that I run into here in WebLand.

The artist featured this morning, David C. Roy of "Wood that Works", has been around since 1975 producing these awe-inspiring Kinetic Sculptures and even has video showing how they work - yes, work!

They are fluid, beautiful, created in natural wood, and are an amazing display of human engineering. There's a reason for the price tag they carry, and gee, I wished I could have one!!lol

I rarely say that, especially about something that is border-line abstract, but goodness! Take a look for yourself! =0)

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at a great wood artist and as always,

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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To Do's, Tah Dahs  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I went to bed at 9:15pm!?! after my hubby caught me trying to work out here on my 'puter... I guess my head was about 8" from the floor, but my hand was up on the desk still holding my Wacom pen!! Gosh, ain't I dedicated!?! lol Can't say that, though, when this happens, as it's usually something that is happening after I've tried to get some work going and just ran out of steam, and consciousness!lol
Yesterday I was trying to finish up on Tammy's Elk so I could get it in the mail and Tyler was 'harassing'(can't think of a better word for what these kids do when they want something from me!!lol) me to take him to town so he could pay off his fine, which would enable him to 'get off of probation', by taking out a signature loan.
Since I had to pick up the mounted pictures for the custom puzzles I had in the shop, I obliged, but in the meantime I totally screwed up the backing on the Elk picture! :0( Only happens when you need it not to!!! So, another thing I'm behind in now. Okay, "... I can rebuild him, make him better...!"
If you can believe it, I didn't make it back home until 8:30 last night and was just exhausted!?! I didn't even get laundry done! Oh well...

So, it's a new day - full of hope and promise! It's clear and cold, and the damnedest frost that ever fell, but I'm rarin' to go! Here's what I'm working on today;

starting one of the 2 custom portrait puzzles
fixing Tammy's Elk
filling out business lisc. forms
filling out the CHP+ health care form for the boys - should've been done a hundred years ago!!
working on bills during breaks...

It's going to be a full day, and I've already replied to a request for another custom portrait puzzle so I am awaiting their order.

Something really cool yesterday! We had to get a printout from S.S. for Tyler for his loan and the woman that was taking the request was new. After talking to her for a minute I found out that she's the wife of one of the school teachers at Cotopaxi - and the wife of one of my very first customers!lol Small world! ;0)
Anyway, her husband had bought one of my very first intarsia pieces that was an Eagle on a branch and he wanted it customized for his granddaughter by inlaying her name on the branch. I asked her if her granddaughter still liked it and she said, "Oh yes, it's always on her wall above her bed! She loves it!!" That was so awesome to hear! =0) But then she proceeded to ask me if I might have an elk! Yay!! I might have the Elk sold, and that would sure be a shot in the arm!! So I'm going to run that by her house tonight after school - think good thoughts! =D

Here's a few photos of what's on the shop table lately.... Christmas ordering is almost at an end, so I hope everyone that wanted something this year has gotten their order in, or will be within the next week or so!

Hope you have a great day - remember to please pray for Mary and Kay (and me, too! :0)) - and as always,
for "stopping by the shop!"

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I Interupt this Post to Say, "I'm an idiot!"  

Monday, November 10, 2008

I was sick all weekend - yuk! :( I did manage to reach over to my keyboard here and there and try to breathe some life back in my limp and fevered body, but only with limited success. I told my husband, "I'm dizzy". He replied, "But you're not blonde!?" Shame on him! For the bad joke as well as making fun of my plight!
I feel a modicum better and am hoping that, as I attempt to pick up where I left off before the strep grabbed me, literally, by the throat, you will forgive again my lapse of fortitude! I'm getting older, and things seem to hit me harder these days :(

I really wanted to blog last night - it was a definite withdrawal situation! I had so many things I wanted to write about! Especially this; "How to Change Your Hobby into Your Business". It's funny that I couldn't muster the strength to do so, and very fortunate at the same time! I realize now it was the Big Guy's way of keeping me from making a serious idiot of myself, and can only say, "Thanks BG!" in return for the divine intervention!!
At various times through the day, as my fever broke, I would try to get on here and send a quip or two and conduct a little 'business'. All the while I was trying to imagine what I would say about this topic.
It was strange how I would get distracted by everything I saw on here and fail to write "The Post"? I had great intentions of helping others, but at 2am it washed over me - the knowledge that I lacked the experience and know-how to write such a post!!
How uppity, how totally self-involved and conceited I was to think that I could write to you about how to start, grow, and maintain a truly successful business! If I know so much about it, why don't I have one?!!!?

I have been allowed, although, the vision that maybe it will be more informational/entertaining if I ask you to go along with me on my journey to moving my, slightly more than, hobby/business into a full-fledge entrepreneurship and hope you will advise, critique, and help mold me into the successful woman I would so love to be! Will you go with me on this journey? I would be honored if you would! =0)

Okay, so onward and upward!

I wanted to update you all on Mary's progress this morning; She's taken a backward turn again, falling prey to obscure, rare infections that were received during surgery and her subsequent tracheotomy. Jim told me the two names for the infections she's fighting, but I certainly can't remember even vaguely what they are, but they are serious he says :0(
Jim is staying by her side, night and day, and when I told him that he was beginning to gain so much medical knowledge that he probably knew more than the doctors, he confirmed as much by telling me of the massive amount of papers strewn across the table in his conversion van that he's been trying to understand and keep up with. So much for being "too old to learn new things"!!
I'm overwhelmed with compassion for him as he sounds so beaten and exhausted, but optimistic, as Mary is still conscious and tries to speak to him.
Last night as he was getting ready to go out to the van to await his next 30 minute session, she wrapped her arm around his neck in an attempt to have him take her with him. She's tired, and tired of being there. I can only imagine what it's like! Being able to think and feel, but not really communicate! How awful!! So I'm hoping that you will continue to pray diligently for this couple as I believe it's working!

Friday I called Kay to talk about her Broncos helmet I'm making her for one of her Christmas presents this year and heard that she is incredibly ill - I hope that you will pray for her as well as her doctor told her on her last visit to "get in contact with Hospice"! :0( I'm losing everyone I care about and it's mind numbing :0(

Kay started out as a client - she wanted a scene on the entertainment center her husband was building and is in love with mountain lions. I can't remember how she found me, but I'm glad she did!
I seem to always end up being friends with my clients but Kay has always been special. Every year she makes sure that I create her gifts for her sons and nephews - football pieces usually - and loves it when I make her a "good deal"!:) This year I'm making a Dolphin's helmet and a Bronco's helmet.
Anyway, I called to ask whether she wanted the 'old style' Broncos helmet or the newer, simpler, design, as well as to check up on her. She has rheumatoid arthritis and is getting more and more housebound. This year she found out she has COPD and wasn't really sure what all of that meant until she came back this last month with the news that she has emphysema and her lung capacity was at 38%. She totally 'got it' then - I don't understand why the doctors didn't explain it to her so that she could've helped herself to not get worse with the COPD? She doesn't either - she says they never once told her to quit smoking or change anything she was doing? Now, it's too late. But she did quit...
We talked about how, when one of her nephews died suddenly last year, we would want to know in advance if we were going to die so that we could 'set things in order' before we went. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but Friday she told me that it's not good to know; everyone's watching her all of the time, and her husband is overwrought with stress and anxiety, fearing that he'll wake up one morning and she'll be gone. She's not sure she's even going to be here for Christmas and it's the hardest thing in the world, I think now, to know you're going soon! :0( All of this over the last few years has really had an affect on the way I think about death, friendship, love, and the truly important 'stuff' of life...

After all of the miracles with Mary, I told Kay that I would ask you for prayers - she said she would be so grateful for any help you could send in that department! I believe in miracles and the power of prayer - I don't know of any other way for the impossible to become possible!

So I always have a lot to say, but I know that you may not be able to handle having to read a novel during your busy, busy day, so I'll close with {{{hugs}}} and a [Thank you!] for all of the help, encouragement, and prayers you send! I need it, love it, and appreciate it, more than you'll ever know!

Thanks, as always, for "stopping by the shop!"

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It's Official!?!  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yep! I'm finally making the 'big bucks!'

As you know, I run a few ads here with ProjectWonderful and Entrecard - I try to keep them at a minimum as I don't want to inundate you with ads, but a girl's gotta try to make a buck when she can!! =D
So when I checked on pending ads in my ProjectWonderful cue I was surprised to see that I am not losing money anymore on my ads!

Officially, at 7am this morning, Project Wonderful stated that "At this exact moment, you're bidding at $0.17 per day, and bids on your ad boxes are earning at $0.19 per day"! Yay!! (Is that really how you spell that??lol)
So, I guess you could say that I've finally 'arrived' at the status of 'money-making bloggers'!! Suhwheet! =D
Thanks to all of my lovely advertisers and you, my wonderful readers, who click on them and cause advertisers to believe I'm worth running an ad on! =D Thank you! Thank you! [bowing and blowing kisses - end of Blogger Award speech]

hummm, Entrecard is also a fun way to discover new blogs with good reads - I highly recommend it for that reason - it's not going to make me a fortune, but at least it's pretty much free(unless you want to buy EC credits?), and it gets you plenty of views :)
Most are what they call 'drop and run' viewers, but if you have engaging content, they can't help but stop for awhile! I find more great things to read and learn about while 'dropping' my Entrecards - it's pretty awesome :0)

Okay, I have a ton of serious stuff to tell you this morning -

  • there's an update on Mary; they had her sitting up yesterday!!! WOW! I can't believe it - isn't the good Lord awesome!!?! I know it's all the prayers that were sent for them - THANK YOU!!
  • Roger's been getting steady work! Thank Goodness - I'm at risk right now of losing my home unless we can raise the $762 due for taxes :( Been a rough few months! So with him working and my work, we probably will scrape by, like usual! lol
  • I'm going to be getting serious about DeerMountain - licensing and all - finally after 5+ years!lol I have a lot to tell you about 'getting serious' with your home-based business! I will be dedicating an entire post just to that subject within the next couple of days, be sure to check it out - it will have lots of information that you will really find invaluable! I promise!!
  • We traded an old van Roger fixed up(one of those Conversion type vans - the big ones that were so popular with dating in my generation!lol) for the remaining payments on my car - so it's free and clear!! Yippee!! That should help a lot! :0)
  • Work is going well - finally getting time to get everything done! That's a big task; trying to balance family, work, and me-time!! whew!
  • I was asked to join a local gallery yesterday but it's $30/month and that's a risk I can't afford right now - I mean, what if nothing sells?!? How does one have enough faith in their work to take a chance like that?
  • And finally, if you're disabled and you're considering 'going legit' on your work/art then you need to contact me right away! I have some information you need - seriously!! You wouldn't believe how many disabled folks are running their own businesses from home! Or how many artists you know who are in this category!! It's mind blowing! So you really do need to get in touch with me - now!!!! if you fit this description! :0) Click here to go to my Etsy shop and then click on the top where it says 'conversations' - I will get back to you asap with the info you need... I really believe you'll be glad you did!! =D
On the home front, Ryan's coming home this weekend :0) So you know I'll be silly happy! lol Even though he will make me do more deep cleaning! I need to and it feels great too :0)

Okay, that's just not fair!!lol During the small amount of time I've been typing this to you my ProjectWonderful ads changed their money-earning ratio and I'm no longer Queen of the Net!!!?? I even had to add a question mark at the end of my title!!!
Here's what it says now, "At this exact moment, you're bidding at $0.17 per day, and bids on your ad boxes are earning at $0.11 per day" - dang, that's a bummer!! lol
Oh well, goes to show the fickleness of marketing, eh?! I think that since it's finally went to a 'profit status' it will again more easily now, so I'm not worried - or should I be?lol

Thanks for "stopping by the shop!"

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The Kitchen Sink  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Well I finally got to see Dr. 90210 (you remember, I mentioned in on the BlockHead talk radio program last Monday night?) and am just delighted that they are going to work through their problems! See, divorce, not always the answer!! =D
I was thinking about my oldest being gone in college and I realized that that is what has me down lately. Everything, except for financially (you know about that too, eh?!), is going really well right now - but I'm overwhelmed by a very dark shadow anyway!?
But I realize now that, even though he's not far away and comes home often, not having Ryan here has been like having a death in the family! He's not here and I cannot talk to him when I want, hold him when I need a hug, or be subject to his long heavy legs lying on my lap while we watch a movie. I have told myself many times to put it out of my mind, and I've lost many that I loved and remember telling myself the same thing during those times. It was a cold and lonely air of recognition; my old 'friend', grief, that washed over me at that moment.

So how do I change it? I still have Tyler and Austin here, and they are still very dependent on me, so why this hole in my soul?? and how do I fix it so I can get back to my old self and be there for my other two boys as well as my husband, friends, and clients?? Something I guess I'll have to try to put some extra effort into to change...
Roger got to work with Jim today and said it was the best day the two have had in a long while. Jim was cheerful, fun, and a pleasure to be around. All that said, as soon as their work was done, Jim was flying down the road to see Mary.
I haven't heard from him yet tonight, but I sure hope it will be a good visit for them!
I got to tell him this afternoon, before they quit work, about all of your well wishes and prayers and I'm quite touched by the tears that welled up in his eyes. He really is a sweet person and I know that he would be amazed at all of the emails, comments, and convos I've received for him! I intend to print them all out for him to see =D and I'll let you know what he says!
Well, in between all of the homey interruptions, it's only taken me 3 hours to get this written!lol So I will close with a fond adieu' for now and send wishes of peace and happiness your way - until next time;

for "stopping by the shop!"

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