Are you a collector of other things?

steph98May 30, 2007

I was just reading one of the recent postings and noticed how many people commented that they were collectors of things besides hostas. A lot mentioned antiques. I, too, must confess to being a big collector of antiques.

Methinks the collecting gets into one's system!

What do you collect, besides hostas? What is the largest collection you have?

For me, I collect antique lanterns. My husband would say I have waaaay too many of them.

It's nice though because he seems to share my love of our latest collection: hostas!

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soccamutha(z7 VA)

Used to do the Beanie Baby thing. We shall never speak of this again.


Some daylilies. own and others'.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:04PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Yeah....old stuff here too....
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:47PM
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LOL, Becky--"mums" the word, here, from me! I'm having a good time on this forum, tonight! I've laughed
at several posts I've read!

Let's see, I've collected various kinds of things in the past, but find I have no more room for "one more thing"!

So, I now collect "dust" on all the things I collected before! :o)


    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 10:57PM
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westy1941(Boulder County, CO)

Ilex horns and small Bavarian deer horns (Roe). I don't know a soul who also collects them. They're hard to find - got started 25 years ago. The Roe is a miniature deer and the horns are so expensive that many people collect 'carvings' of the horn and the head or skull. These are often thousands of dollars. I don't have those!The 'bug' bit when I picked up real Ilex (african) horns (they sort of 'spiral') from an estate sale - the founder of Caterpillar Company - his relatives in Peoria sold stuff they had no idea the value of. They're all hanging in my living room. I want a real moose head with a rack but my daughter would never speak to me again. Btw, it's become very trendy in interior design to use carved deer heads with racks - beautiful wood. Also expensive. Can't afford those and hostas too!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 11:09PM
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Besides all my Hostas I collect older hand painted rose plates and large serving bowls with hand painted roses! I have them all over my house. I go with pinks and reds mostly but do have quite a few white rose plates.

Some have flaws so I was able to get them at a reasonable price. From a distance you can't tell. LOVE them!!!!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:09AM
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I collect Depression glass and mixing bowls. I've got waaaaay too much of the stuff!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:30AM
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Good question. I collect daylilies-(I would guess I have over 5000). But even better...I collect friends, who make my life worth living. Bob

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:44AM
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i did the beanie baby thing too....NOW i will TRADE beanies for hostas...

also have almost all of the "Ivy and Innocence" collection...

hubby collects g.b. packer, badgers, and brewers diecast...


    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:11AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

conifers ... trollies .... any variegated plant ... ken

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:14AM
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I don't collect bluebirds, but I watch them! Currently have five little babies in the nestbox. I feed the parents mealworms, so have plenty of those in the fridge. LOL

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:20AM
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I collect David Austin Roses...and hair products! You can never have too many kinds of gel, mousse, shine enhancer ect! I think I have a problem!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Crinums, canna and daylilies in addition to my hosta addiction!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 1:02PM
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Books, cats (real and otherwise), pre-colombian artifacts, vases and pitchers, frogs, turtles, shells..... I've learned to do mosaic so I've got mosaic tables, vases, wall hangings all over. I'm presently switching from liking antiques to southwestern items, wraught iron, strong earth colors and designs (gold, orange etc.) rather than pastel florals. Of course I still have the antiques. I haven't learned how to get rid of anything. I especially love Janice's comment on collecting dust on the the things you've already collected! Have you been to my house when I wasn't looking?!!! McT

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 1:03PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

I collect books--gardening, organizing, vegetarian cookbooks and learning-to-speak-Spanish books.

I also collect daylilies, up to 509 cvs so far. Wow Pollinator Bob!! I really like phloxes of all species and I guess I could say I am collecting them, and trilliums.

My Dad is a serious antique collector but they don't interest me unless they were family heirlooms, then I like them.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 3:29PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

(I didn't realize I was going to write a novel, but this question really struck a note in me. Warning: LONG!)

I've really had a revitalization in my thought process.
I had over 4000 books. Cookbooks, Science Fiction, Quilting books, History, you name it.

We had a fire, and since it was smoke damage, we didn't lose a lot of posessions. What was left (all the books, thank goodness) was taken away, cleaned and stored for a year.

Upon its return, all 100s of boxes of posessions, I realized that books are nothing if they're not shared or read. I gave away all but probably 50 that I either use or are special. I gave away "collections".
I sent probably 500 Cookbooks to a Yahoo cookbook collector's listmistress. She's using them for prizes.
I gave away Science Fiction to a young boy who was an escapee from a domestic violence situation. I gave computer tech books to a new network admin, who was testing for Microsoft Certification.
I gave away my grandfather-the-lawyer's ultra conservative books and commentaries to a new citizen from Yugoslavia, who wanted to learn about "The System" and was conservative himself.
And so on.

I sorted and gave away 9, very large boxes of 30 years of quilting fabric that was just hanging. The aforementioned boy's mom, who left their situation in their pajamas in December, was a quilter, who cried because I had many of the same fabric pieces and 1/2 finished quilts she'd been forced to leave behind.

I gave away 3 sets of dishes I'd been compulsively collecting, and only continue to look for Fitz & Floyd's Total Color Spectrum Cinnabar (Round and Octagonal).

I gave away over 70 baskets to a woman starting a gift basket business. (70? Who needs 70 baskets -- although I used them!)

I gave away two, F-250 truck beds' worth of clothing, stacked so high that it had to be strapped down. Suited for Change took every speck. Who needs that much clothing, when I don't even work? Before it went out of style, it needed to help someone start a new life...

I gave away several sets of pots and pans because I don't bother to cook much -- but liked the pans.

I also went on Welbutrin a month after the fire and evidently with the thick, muddy depression I had after the fire, (we lost 3 kitties and our Golden, who were are sweet babies) it also lessened my obsessive need to collect. If I had one of something, I had to have them "all," (she laughed manically).

I put over 70, silver, Celtic knotwork charms back up for sale on eBay. I've been selling off a TON of jewelery, that took up a whole dresser. I don't wear it; who needs it?

I gave away 25 (or maybe more) scarves and shawls. The wonderful paschima, some silk, some velvet, etc. Took them to the yoga studio where I work and you should have seen the excitment in the ladies' eyes as they pawed through them and modeled them. Yoga teachers are usually broke, so nice things are an extra treat.

Ironically, my garden collecting became more reasonable. I don't have to have all the hosta in the world (or so I tell myself), but I do buy the unusual ones I like. Rather than continuing to collect:
Japanese Maples (132),
heuchera, tiarella & heucherella (30 or so),
crape myrtles (48, gave away 17),
every sedum I can get my hands on,
Crocosmia (11),
Kniphofia (7),
Wigelia (5),
red maples (17),
physocarpus (5),
buddleia (11, but I gave away 6),
ornamental grasses (23, but gave away and divided many),
More that escapes me, but you get the idea?

I seem to be able to focus on just the things that really strike me. I have no compunction about giving things away, once I've collected them, but it seems that in itself has become an obsessions. Luckily, I have been given the gift of seeing that everything we share comes back to us many times over in ways we really need, vs. what we might think we really want.

The gift also told me that people care about me/us and I really do have friends. I'd always felt rather isolated, but being forced to accept help taught me that in itself is giving someone else the opportunity to give and feel like they're offering something to help another out. The shock was that people I didn't even know knew who I was, came out of the woodwork to at least call, and some donated money to our vet to help with the $17K we had for the 3 kitties and 2 dogs my husband saved.

So with that, yes. I collect other things. And, as Bob said, the most valuable collection are my friends, because I am happy to know that in the face of what do I grab and get out? It was easy to look around, check that my husband was out of the house with the babies, and listen in shock as the thought, "There's nothing here that matters" ran through my head.

I went outside to my husband and watched as the firemen stomped and chemicaled my gardens to get to the fire. But nature goes on and so did my gardens with the help of my friends.

Geeze. Made myself cry.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 7:11PM
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Wow, Christine. I think you're going to make everyone cry. That was very powerful.
Thanks everyone for sharing!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:51PM
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All I can find the words to say is "Oh my goodness!!!!!!" Christine you have really had a tremendous plateful!!
Losing the "stuff" wouldn't hurt nearly as badly as your precious pets, and I see that is just how you feel!

You have learned something that few of us do very early in life, "You can't take it with you" and that it is much
more fun "to give than to receive!"

How heartwarming to hear how others came forward to try and meet needs you had and you have to
know they were and are so blessed in caring and reaching out to you in your great difficulty!!

I'm still stunned! Your post is a lot to take in and I know it had to be gut-wrenching to relate it all!!

My heart goes out to you, dear!!!! Thank you for making us stop and think about the obsessions we have
and how they line up with what really is important. I hope none of the rest of us have to experience
what you did to see what is most important to "collect"!!!

I still love collecting hosta, but I am starting to see there has to be a moment when I have "enough"!!
I can't wait to get to the point where I can share what I've enjoyed collecting so much!
Right now, there are few that are "there yet"! :o) But, I'm hopeful it won't take too many more
summers to have scads to share--that is if we don't have another Spring like this past one!!!

Thank you, Christine, for sharing what has to be very exhausting to pull together again, in your mind,
a very painful time and lessons learned and blessings received from others!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 10:16PM
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Oh my, yes, I do. DH and I can't turn away a stray cat that is hungry or injured.

Computer keyboards - I can't imagine why but I really have a thing for my keyboards. Every kind of IBM, 4 kinds of wireless logitech, Tactile Pro, Tarantula, the list is insane.

Eyeglass frames - I really like the ones from Denmark these days! I think I am up to eight pairs.

Shoes - I'm female - it's a birth right.

Ivy - If I see a type of ivy that I don't have it must bring it home with me.

I used to collect down comforters - I don't even want to think about all the realestate that took up in my house. I am glad I got over that.

Cameras, cameras, cameras....every size shape and format.

Oh, the most hysterical one - my husband is addicted to Febreeze Scent Stories Discs! They are discontinued so he has a stock pile of about 90 of them!!!

I was really interested to see what everyone else is collecting. I feel slightly - just slightly - more normal.

Thanks, Dawn

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 10:20PM
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In spite of the fact that I don't actually "collect" anything, I seem to have an awful lot of stuff.

I am a rug hooker so I have stacks of wool to make rugs with. I am a jewelry maker so I have lots of tools, rocks, beads and boxes of materials. I'm a musician so I have lots of instruments sitting about. I'm a knitter, so I have baskets of yarn everywhere. I'm a writer so I have lots of books, dictionaries, reference materials.

Oh, I just remembered, I do have many species and cultivars of various ferns, lilies and dwarf conifers, so I guess I collect those, and of course have to have all sizes of glazed, blue pots and the gardening paraphernalia that goes with such a collection.

It's all fun. So much good stuff, so little time to enjoy it.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 10:38PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)


Bless your hearts. :) I was a little embarrassed after coming back and reading my post, but well, it is what it is!

Dawn reminded me I gave away 9 full computers and 4 boxes chocked full of parts, several boxes of cables alone, the keyboards, mice, monitors, and ... printers. These went to someone who created a charity building computers for service people's families here in the states.

Lainey reminded me I gave away a shoe box full of beading materials that was so heavy, it broke on the way to its new home. I did, however, keep all the silver Indonesian and Bali beads, which I plan to weigh out and sell on eBay.

Guys? Keep it coming. [G] This has helped me remember that even with so much crap around me, it's much, much lighter.

Someday I'll tell you what I did with the insurance money....

Lainey, I jsut got into confiers and shrubs last year. I am very into them!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:27PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Great post, Christine! wow!

I used to collect a lot of stuff but got tired of all of the STUFF in my now:

Rio Hondo Pottery, specialty conifers (not to ken's level), ninebark shrubs (not multiples, just one of each as new varieties come out), Holt Howard Kozy Kitten pieces (done now :)....and homeless people. lol

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 11:39PM
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aahostas(z5 central Il.)

I collect Slugs, voles ,deer and tears. Works out perfect with my Hosta collection!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 3:56PM
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Christine, don't feel bad about your post. It just shows that you are slightly (at the very least) above average. Most of us couldn't deal with with that kind of tradegy and talk about it - let alone laugh a little.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 8:55PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Thank you, coszworth.
Laugh, live a walking wound, or die.

There is always, always something that could be worse. In absolutely every situation. I, and many others are living proof. You just pick it up and move on.

That very next morning after our fire, I found myself standing there in the STENCH of smoke, synthetic housing material melt-down, and soot, looking out one of the remaining windows at my smashed-yet-hopeful gardens. I was telling a friend on the phone that we were SO lucky and I was so grateful because Rich saved the other 5 and we still had a structure with which to rebuild.

I admit to shocking myself with that, but as a yoga teacher? It was a revelation to find myself actually walking the talk without thought, vs. always wondering if I was parroting philosophy that was simply unrealistic idealism that offered an opportunity to come up short. But that's another type of discussion, isn't it? [S]

Then I took the insurance money and a home equity loan and put 32 solar panels and a solar water system on the new roof. Someday? I'll maybe put in a kitchen. Maybe heat? How 'bout gutters and a driveway? Oh, windows would be nice because I enjoy the 4 we could afford. [ARrrrrrrghhh GGGGGG] Nonetheless, we are lucky and if you can't find something to laugh about? You're missing the point. That's why God made the red-butted monkies, don't you think?

At least in my opin-onion! :)


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 2:12PM
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Christine, how long ago was the fire? It sounds like you are living elsewhere while you are working
at getting your place back up-to-speed!

And, yes, red-butted monkeys are hysterical if not somewhat *just wrong*!!!!(Did I do that right? :o)lol

I know God doesn't make mistakes, so that one must have been, as you indicated---"just for laughs"!!


P.S. I've been working in the yard all day, trying to pull things together after all the enlarging and
remaking of beds etc. and I found out that I'm obviously collecting the black plastic pots that my
hosta and other plants come in! They actually do come in handy but just how many pots does a
person really need!!!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 3:26PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Oh, wow. I forgot about the pots! I was proud that this year I managed to get them either into use or into just a very small pile. I find what my collection is lacking, are the medium puts to put all these new hosta into. The root systems I've been getting are incredible. Bigger than the leaves! Anyway, I can't let those pots go, either. There are good pots, good shaped pots, nice colored pots, throw-aways for local trades, and big ones I could climb into, then the tiny growing seed pots. Pots = good. More pots = always being ready.

The fire was December 3, 2005. We lived in temporary housing until July of '06. (If you don't have Erie Insurance? Get 'em. You always wonder what you're paying for and now I can tell you. They didn't hesitate. They were there every second of the way.)

We are living at home, but with my husband being a general contractor... you know that thing about shoemaker's kids not having shoes? Well ... If it's done in my lifetime, I'll probably fall over dead before I can enjoy it. My husband is also a perfectionist, so hiring someone? Oh, please.

God made those monkies to prove s/he has a sense of humor. And the males' butts are the brightest red. Says something, doesn't it? I don't know what, but something.

*Yes!* you did that right. You're too funny.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 5:25PM
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No antiques here. I did the beanie baby thing. Now beanies for hostas sounds like a good idea Jill!

I do however, have a rather decent size Wizard of Oz collection. No trading any of that for hostas (well, at least not yet anyways - LOL). :)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Annette Holbrook

Hmmm, now that's a loaded question!
I have collected hedgehog stuff since I was a child. My mother was from New Zealand and every time we would visit, my grandfather would catch a wild hedgehog for me to have as a pet during my stay. I don't have alot of hedgehog things, but about 10 really special items.
I collect antique quilts, antique chenille bedspreads, antique enamelware and English Corningware. I also collect car stuff, especially having to do with MINI Coopers or post WWII microcars.
I guess you could also call me a chicken collector, not items but the real thing, I currently have about 40 chickens of about 25 different breeds. Like hostas they all very different and beautiful and I would have a hundred if I had the time.
That's about it for now.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:39PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I love chickens. They have such odd dignity!
I, too, have antique quilts. didn't give those away.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:50PM
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Annette Holbrook

Christine, if you can find a way, get a few hens for your garden. (If you only have hens, and have 3 or less they are considered pets, just like parakeets).
I usually find the time every day to just sit out by the coop and watch the flock, it is a lesson in nature and a very zen way to spend some time. I always feel relaxed yet cheerful after my time spent with "my girls". My husband makes sure to put the dinner leftovers aside for me since he knows how much I appreciate the time spent watching them sort through a leftover salad or grabbing leftover spaghetti (their favorite) and running with strand streaming from their beaks.
I'm glad to see you kept the antique quilts, for me I feel like I'm preserving them for some reason. I love to imagine the woman who made them, who they made them for and where they got the fabrics, etc.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 11:24PM
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Inside:child's tin litho tea sets, Red & White Stores tins, tin litho candy pails, blue & white stoneware. Christmas(esp.santas), Easter (rabbits),patriotic (we are a 3-season house).
Outside:hosta,daylilies,lilies,heuchera,ferns,clematis. And lots of gates,benches,old iron pieces,primitives for the flower beds.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 2:18AM
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Roosters, I want the real thing but I keep getting told the dogs will get them, sadly he's probably right not that I would admit it, and speaking of dogs there are the dog collectables. Mostly Doberman stuff with a touch of Akita, Collie and Chow thrown in. Carousel horses but don't buy as many of those as I used to, got to save the money for hostas.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 11:35AM
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lisasmall(7a NoVa)

Books, but I'm trying to quit.

Tarot decks, but that means one every three years or so. I used to be more acquisitive than I am now.

Blankets, but again, I've pretty much stopped. But I'm not giving any of them away. I collected them because I'm cold! We have two electric blankets, and one of them travels from room to room with me all winter.

Shiny rocks out in the yard. No, not diamonds or jewels, just...shiny rocks. Magpie genes, maybe.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 4:10AM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Bocron, I'd love to have chickens. We used to have a rooster who hung out in our yard. We named him Buster. The next year he brought over a little black hen we named Jane. She roosted under my Haicynthia and laid 11 eggs. She was darling.

A year later she disappeared and the owner said she stood on his dogs' fence and fell in. Buster's crow was less, and he hung out under our pine tree for a while. Then Buster was gone, although the neighbor had no idea where.

We have dogs ourselves. Once one chewed off her lead and mauled my sweet kittie. After several long surgeries not only did she survive, but she still has her tail that speaks louder than words.

We also have fox out here in the country.

It would break my heart (again) to love the chickens with their inquisitive dignity and lose them.

Instead, I put small chicken figures in my garden. There is one under the Haicynthia in honor of Jane.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 8:19AM
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goldedger(z5 Ontario Canada)

Well........Christine you certainly put things in perspective, I appreciate your strength in moving through the "wreckage" and getting on with the business of living. I believe in living in "an attitude of gratitude" and something tells me you do too. No matter what life throws at you if you look for it, you will find, something to be thankful for (sometimes it's just being on this side of the earth!!!) Life is amazing! You're right that there usually is (and should be)something to laugh about - my cats are the prime suspects there - one of the 4 of them usually manages to make me laugh (or at least smile) when I'm feeling blue.

Annette's post of her hens running with long strands of spaghetti made me laugh. It also sounds very nice and relaxing to sit by the coop and watch "her girls".

As for being a collector - ummmm - guilty - although I do it quite unconsciously, I seem to have amassed a lot of stuff, like books ( I love books), cards (I have birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentine's, Anniversary, cards from all occasions for many many years), craft materials (I love to make stuff, refurbish treasures found in the dumpster, fix stuff), unusual containers for candles (old lamp pieces, light fixtures, car parts) I love candlelight!!! Vintage tablecloths (I use them inside and outside) & napkins. The only things I ever really looked for and collected were dinner bells and milk glass pieces.

When I really like something I tend to want more of it, friends, cats, the stuff listed above, good thing I only want one DH!!!

:) June

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 1:19AM
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They say that anything over two is a collection, which means I'm really guilty of collecting. But I agree with Christine, at the end of the day its all "stuff" and if it were gong tomorrow I'd miss it, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

I collect a lot of things, but I'm addicted to hostas.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 9:20AM
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