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update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Posted by tracyvine 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 24, 07 at 13:10

Hello and Happy Autumn! This will probably be the final posting for the Make New Friends: Sounds of Summer Exchange. Most of our Windchimes have been received by all of our Silver and Gold Friends! Some are still enroute and are anxiously anticipated! Please remember to post on the forum once you have received your package from your Secret Sender so they know that it has arrived safely. I am looking forward to playing with everyone in the Make New Friends: Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun Exchange!

All My Best!
Tracy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

I received a very nice set of chimes from Hermit today. I will try to post a picture later, as soon as I hunt down some batteries for my camera!!! :O)

Happy Monday!!!!! :O)


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

And Da Bun will get two more too... but that will be in a second box - so don't wrap things up too quick!

I cried when I got my box from Kalena67... well, not when I got it, but once I got into it. Since chimes were the focus, I will tell you all about those first... Kalena sent me a set of Feng Shui chimes designed by Garry Kvistad and made/marketed by Woodstock Percussion/Chimes. They are the "Peace" chimes - and exactly what was needed around here with the recent events/losses and so much sadness... I remain in debate on whether I should keep them hanging indoors or if I should hang them from the boughs of the Oak where the Rotties' graves were made and them laid to rest. There's irony and coincidence here you see. Many, many years ago when I first got my hands on this land, I chose that little spot on the property as "my quiet place", "my place of peace", and Kerridwen was with me daily as I began laying things out (in the landscaping, moving rocks, following the natural lay of the land down/back there)...at the time I imagined that I would sit in that place and find peace and reflect... at the time I didn't know that it would become "the place" where I would choose to lay, each in their time, the dogs to rest.

I don't normally hang many windchimes out in the elements - I usually hoard them in the northwest rooms of the house (my territory) or out on the deck (covered/roofed). But these? These I think I might suspend from one of the bowing branches of the old Oak if only for a peaceful reminder - instead of me spending time down there only hearing my own bawling.

Kalena also included a poem she found online and slipped in the photo of Abaddon - my husband begged me not to read it because he knew I would get tore up, but I read it anyway - several times over - and I spent several days unconsciously purging a great deal of grief reading the poem and being almost equally teary-eyed over something that she found and included that is incredibly unique and very befitting for me.... because of what it combines. Kalena found - who knows where? - an "ornament" of sorts that is a teacup (part 1 - since I'm a tea-fanatic and also collect cups) suspended from its handle with a fine blue ribbon, with a Rottweiler figurine sitting just inside the cup. It came with a stand to suspend it from, but I'll be honest, I currently have it and the chimes suspended from pegs on the wall just above the head of my bed so they are "right there" as a sweet reminder. (because normally Abaddon would be in here, unobtrusively taking up space - though not hanging from a peg). I'm going to transcribe the poem below.

Also included - and this is just TOO CUTE - is a little box that says HERBS on it and inside the box, three packets of different herb seeds with copper-looking plant stakes already labeled. The design of the box is really neat because at the bottom, if you remove a little sticky bit you can slide out a miniature book that goes over some basic herb info and has pages dedicated to specific herbs with photos and illustrations. Kalena nailed this one too - because I don't think I previously mentioned that I was also a book collector. :) It's a perfect little gift set though, especially with the darker months around the corner that will find me reading and doing indoor-gardening of, what else, herbs :) (amongst other things)

Now let's see if I can transcribe this poem... it's not the Rainbow Bridge poem, by To My Master(s) by John Quealy, and it was just the reminder that I needed that the decision I made was for the best... I might stop beating myself up about it after a time...

The day you laid me down to sleep
you prayed to the Lord; my soul to keep
I know you had to send me on my way
but you sent me to a new; better; and much brighter day

You sent me home; to heaven above
where I'm cradled in God's arms; covered with His Love
I understand what you did; you did out of love
and I'll return that love; from my new home above

My sickness is gone; and I'm free here to roam
I run and play in the meadows; here in my new home
We play here by the Bridge; from morning to night
there is no rain here; just warm sunlight

I know you all miss me; I miss you all too
but I'll always be with you; whatever you do
Please wipe the tears; from your weeping eyes
by remembering the good times; from days gone by

When you look out into the dark of night
I'll be that bright star; your guiding light
We'll meet again at the Bridge one day
when we'll walk in the light; together to stay
****

Okay, so I'm back to bawling again, so pardon me quickly saying THANK YOU - most sincerely.... and I'll be back when I've dried things up a bit....

Hermit


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Oh, Hermit, you've got me crying too. You just keep moving your chimes wherever you need them. The Poem is beautiful.

Karen, that was the most beautiful and special set of gifts and chimes. I think that you are Hermit's Angel. Perfection.

Tracy


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Bunny Chimes

Yay! Congratulations on getting your chimes, Miss Bunny! Can't wait for the pictures! Happy Monday to you too!

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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Karen that was an awesome box you sent to Hermit. Hermit, I am crying with you. Its just absolutely beautiful!!!! No more words are needed I am happy.

Melissa I can't wait for the pics either. I am happy you got a smile from Hermit!

omg today is MONDAY???? SHEESH.... oh well its almost Tuesday!!!

Smiles,
Pixie


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Whew! Thank goodness! Now it's Tuesday! Let the going away party for Monday Begin!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Hey All! Don't know if anyone else is daylily crazy like I'm becoming,but.....just bought daylilies off ebay for 2.49 each plus FREE shipping. They are named but you won't know what you get till you open the box.I like suprises so I went for it.Let's hope I didn't just buy a box of Stella's! LOL! You could get some without the name tags for .99 ,but I want to trade them someday so I went for the tags.Let's hope the mailman delivers them to MY house! Thanks again for all the help yesterday Tracy.
Later....April/dirt_under_my_nails


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

April, that sounds great! I love daylilies too...hubby hasn't seen any bloom yet, so he doesn't know what it is I'm so crazy about. He's like..."they're all orange, right??" ! which is funny, b'c that's exactly what I thought until earlier this year!!! LOL
I hope you didn't get a big ol box of stella or fulva! That would reek!!! (and be SO not fair!!!!) lol
Let us know what all you get!! I am so thrilled for you!! YAY!!!! :O)

Yay! Again! YAY! Monday is OVER!! Wooo-hooo!!!! Monday totally stinkied, in my neighborhood. UGH, What ELSE could have gone wrong yesterday??? :O(
The one bright spot was getting Hermit's box. THAT rocked. And I got another surprise in the mail, too.. But other than that..............

Hooray for Tuesday! (please please PLEASE be better than Monday!!!!) :O)


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Hermit I am so glad you liked your box! Although I didn't intend for it to bring so many tears!! The poem brought tears to my eyes also, and so I debated about sending it, but I just thought it related to what you were going through so perfectly. The chimes and herbs box I had already bought before knowing who my partner was going to be, so yes, I thought it was meant to be! :) Hopefully it won't be long before your gifts bring you more smiles than tears!
Karen


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It made it!!!

YAY! My box from Michele got here today.
SmileyCentral.com
Inside there was my totally cool chimes,whipped body oil,lavender sachet,cider spices & my favorite thing in the whole wide world COFFEE!!! Thanks again.
April/dirt_under_my_nails


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Yippy! Yahoo! The Post Office Boogie Brought Dirty Girl Her Box of Goodies! WOO HOOOOO! All of those sound like really great things April! If I am correct, that means that we only have one box left!!!!!

I would like to let eveyone know a little secret...

TOMORROW IS HAZELNUTBUNNY'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

WHOOOHOOO We have a

Seek Codes
MySpace  Graphics
MySpace Graphics

Can't wait Melissa!!!!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Eeeek! You weren't s'posed to tell, Tracy!!! lol
Now everyone will know that I am going to be .... older. Yes, that's it....just older. :O)

No, really. I'll be 29 (my kids keep checking my hair daily for grays...).
Ya'll just remember. I'll be 29 for the next 10 years or so. Ok??? LOL I plan to skip my 30's entirely and get right to the 40's. The 40's rock, or so I hear!! And by then, I should have grandbabies. YAY!! :O) And the mortgage will be paid...and ... and....OH lordy. I FORGOT!! That's when my daughters will be TEENAGERS!!!! Oh NO!!!

Ok. New plan. Forget the 40's too. I'll jump right to 50. That's it. That's what I'm gonna do.

Yep.

:O)


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

lol I'm 29 too, (really, born in '78), and I'm ready to jump to 55 any time now (I'm retiring with hubby, rather than work the 11 years he's off). My modest lil retirement plan is chuggling along, so no stress there.


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Tee Hee! LOL! I gotcha! Told them all! Bunny is getting a little older day by day, just that tomorrow is the day that the digit finally flips! LOL! I am laughing at the idea of the kids picking through your hair looking for the grey ones. LOL! Probably looks like you are being groomed by a bunch of monkeys! lol!

Don't skip any of those years you two! They fly by so fast, and you will love all of those terrible teen stories, especially when you get to torture the kids by telling those stories to their kids!

Smooches!
Tracy


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happy early birthday!!!!! :'}}}}

Don't let anyone fool ya!! 30's are fun!! i finally feel like and adult!! it took me lets see.....18yrs to feel like one! LOL so that puts me at...hmmm
so i'm glad your happy april!
talla thinks she desrves cappacino, after she stabbed tabor w a fork. geez she's a little hell raiser at home. she kicked the heck right outta him! i'm really gld she didn't beat that boy up! they'd been calling me!!
man i was bawling reading that poem, that was good!! hope ya all have a great day!! :'))


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

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Lol, pretending its 12 am! Have a good one hun!
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Lol! A toast to you! Hugs girl! lol

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Hugs girl and have the best one ever!
Sassy
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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Sassy! You are too much! Way to go on all of the Happy Birthday's to Melissa! You are too cool baby! I'm doing the count down, it is currently 11:59 pm. One more minute to go. Woo hooo Happy Birthday Melissa!!!!!!!


glitter-graphics.com


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Hazelnutbunny's Online Birthday Party

Ok, we are all ready for a full day of Birthday Partying! Come on in, grab a drink, make yourself at home! Remember that Melissa has never had a Birthday Party before so let's make this one special!!!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!



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Miss Bunny!

You look so pretty in your tiara! What? No chocolate Cake? LOL


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Here's your Present!

I had this imported from Scotland for you, I hope you like it!

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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Tracy, you so cwazzzy! I'm sure Nutbunny would love to get up under that hood! Whoops, I meant if she could, she would prolly love to get up under that skirt!

:))
Sassy
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Men in Kilts

She was peaking the last time I posted him in his kilt! LOL! Bad bad bad sassy! lol!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Mmmm, yessss Sassy. Sure gotta check under the hood to make sure things are running right!!!! LOL No loose hoses or anything......!

Do ya mind if I take my birthday present for a test drive, Tracy??? I'll be careful with him, I promise!!! :O)


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Take him out for a Spin Miss Bunny!

You break him you bought him! lol! make sure all the junk is in the trunk! lol! Vroooooom! Vroooooom! ooh, she took off fast! Must be in a hurry for that test drive! lol!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Loose hoses?

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I'm sure you could tighten' it up purdy quick MS BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!! lol *giggles*

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LOL, I know..........
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE AND MELISSA/NUTBUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Happy Birthday, Melissa!!! Enjoy 29!!! After this you won't be 20 something anymore! I hope you have a wonderful, fantastic day!! And please tell Aubri happy birthday too! I hope you girls have a great day!

Happy Birthday, Darlin'!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Happy Birthday HNB:
Age is just a state of mind. I was just invited to a 60th birthday party and the invitation said "It's not the age, it's the attitude."

Keep your "attitude" and age will be easy. Also, do not wish your life away, you will be forty, fifty soon enough (believe me), enjoy being 29.

Have a wonderful day.
diene


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Good Morning, Birthday Princess! Here is your breakfast in bed! If you notice there are two of everything so scoot over, I need my coffee and juice too ya know!

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I hope you are having a great day so far!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Yummy! Thanks, Tracy!! I'll be a sweetie and let you have the apple!!!! lol :O)

Okay, I have had an emotional day so far. Who'd have thunk that 29 would be a tear-jerker number?? I certainly didn't see it coming! Of course...it could just be that special time of the month thing, too....I always get weepy for a few days then.....Perfect timing. NOT! :O)

YAY! I finished a novel I've been working on since last week. The ending caught me by surprise, so sad... and I've been bawling ever since!!! I HIGHLY recommend Nicholas Sparks, if anyone likes romances. His are very deep (emotionally) and have a little mystery too. No bodice rippers, though....they are very clean (which is great, no blushing in front of hubby or the kids!) :O)
But they always leave you needing a box of kleenex....so be forwarned!!!!! :O)

Thanks for all the Birthday Wishes, girls!!!!
I feel so lucky to have such great friends!!!! :O)

*Hugs*


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Thanks for the author suggestion, Melissa!! I haven't read him - I'll have to check out his books! My biggest author reccomendation is David Baldacci. I love his books!! There is a new one coming out in November, and up until that one, I have read all of his. I actually won a trip to meet him this winter - Dave and I were supposed to fly to Washington, D.C. for a two day trip, where we were supposed to take a tour of the Library of Congress with David and then go out to lunch with him. We were all ready to go, when we got a terrible ice storm (the one where we lost power for several days.) We couldn't get to the airport, because the roads were covered in ice, and our flight was cancelled anyway. Then, we lost power, and there was no way we could leave at that point. My sister was going to stay with the kids, but we certainly weren't going to leave her here with no power! So, we had to cancel. It was very sad, but definitely the right decision! Anyway, if you haven't read his books, I would highly reccomend it!

I am so sorry you are having such an emotional day, Melissa! I know how that part of the month goes - always teary for me, too! Hope it gets better!!

Becki


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

I just had an idea. What if we send some books along in one of these winter swaps? Hmm, what do you guys think, I am an avid reader in the colder months. Love a good mystery, murder, mafia, even some historical novels. I have nearly all of the James Patterson Novels, John Grisham and a few Romances too!

Just finished reading 1776 by David McCullough. It is a book of the Revolution all told from Diary exerpts from the soldiers and officers at the beginning of the Civil War. It was amazing getting the first hand accounting of the War from the men and some of the women who were actually there.


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Tracy - If you love Grisham, you would love Baldacci! I really didn't read much at all, up until the past year, since high school. Just hadn't taken the time to do it. Now, I don't read a lot, but I try to read a book every now and then. Baldacci's books start out a little bit hard to get into, but by the middle, it's one you can't put down. So, it usually takes me about a week to read one of his books - I start is pretty slowly, but after a while, every free moment is spent with book in hand! That would be great to send along some books!! Does everyone here belong to paperbackswap? I LOVE it! I have gotten SO MANY great books from there!! And often they are hardcover too - a bonus to me! I am now the proud owner of all the Baldacci books (VERY cheaply!!!) I actually read more non-fiction books. I got a while back, "The Complete Tightwad Gazette", and I highly recommend that as well! Jam packed with great ideas and information!! Anyway, yep, love the book idea, Tracy!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

I am hooked on romances and cozies, myself! :O) I love the cozies, b'c I can get through them fairly quickly, and there isn't a heavy plot line to keep up with. Diane Mott Davidson is a great author (death by chocolate is my FAV by her!) and Joanne Fluke (chocolate chip cookie murder! Yummy!) is good...both those authors have recipes in their books.
For romances, I absolutely love Lynn Kurland. She is the BEST. She does a lot of time travel & paranormal romances....and does it very believably. Definitely recommend her!


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

MMM - those books sound tasty!! Okay, so when I'm reading a romance novel, I kind of like the bodice rippers, though! I know, terrible, huh??

Well, I finally went to the doctor for my heel. What I was doing at home just wasn't helping enough. He says it is what I figured, and gave me a cortisone shot. My husband warned me that it would hurt like crazy to get the shot, but I didn't think it was nearly as horrible as he made it sound. I actually had one in my shoulder before, but he didn't believe me, as I said that one didn't hurt all that badly either. Don't get me wrong - it didn't feel good, but it wasn't like some of the pain I've had (i.e. childbirth - or even the nursing whilst the baby is looking across the room!) But... now it hurts like the dickens!! To put any weight on it hurts! Hopefully it will feel much better in the morning, but the doctor said for full relief, it will probably be a week or so.

Hope everyone is having a great day!!

Becki


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

lol, becki, I used to read the bodice rippers too! Used to love them until I got into the mysteries. Then all I wanted was a good suspense, thriller to get my blood pumping! LOL! Must be my 30's talking. Hee hee! I think I have 2 baldacci's around here, I may have borrowed them from my SIL, can't remember now. Hmmm.

I love the twists and turns in the thrillers. I like a challenge. I've gotten to the point that I need to figure it out before the revelation. Too much fun for me!

I am so glad that you went to the doctor, the cortizone should help a lot! I've had 2 now, one in the shoulder and one in the tail bone. The tailbone was awful, definitely a 10 in the richter scale, the shoulder just made me say Oh Boy! LOL, not nearly as painful. I think it may just depend on how irritated the area is at the time of the shot. It took 4 days for the tailbone to start feeling a little better, then after a week or so it was immensely better. I hope it is quick for you, sweetie! Use some Ice, it will help a little bit.

Michele got her Chimes, Fishy!!!!

Her internet is acting up again. Here is what she wrote in the email she sent to me "i
got my chimes and a cute little bird feeder thing! i totally love
them!" Hopefully she will be able to post for herself, but if not I will do that for her.

That officially closes the MNF: Sounds of Summer Swap! Thank all of you for sticking with us after some odd occurences. I really appreciate everyone's help and catching my couple of woopsies! I think we really have a great group of girls here and I love playing with all of you! Thank you for establishing this group, Diene! I think you had a great idea and we all love it! You're the best!

Smooches to all of you!

Tracy


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~*+*~Medontdo Mail~*+*~

Fishy, This is to you! from Michele

awesome! we totally loved the chime! tabor loves it! talla loves the
pink sunflower looking birdfeeder! i have the idea me putting them
outside! well i won't the chime! i'm gonna put it go my kitchen
window! Lol :~) thank you so much fishy! tabor wants to thank your
boys! so you'll prob be getting an email from him. Lol :~)


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

I'm glad it got there. My kids picked them out.


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RE: update: mnf: sounds of summer #9/10 wrap up!

Bad Hermit, bad Hermit....

First, I need to make an apology - unless my forgetfulness had me forget that I already mentioned this? Karen - I think I forgot to also thank you out here in front of everyone for the OTHER set of chimes as well? I was really struck with them (but I think I forgot to mention them because I got all mucked up in the overflowing emotions - but that's not a bad thing, I really did need a plug-puller to get the bulk of those emotions OUT - but I feel bad that it might have caused my forgetfulness in respect to the others).... Karen also included a lovely earthenware or pottery-type chime (a friend of mine is a sculptress and she'd whoop me if I didn't attempt to define between china, bisque, earthenware, ceramic, pottery, etc.) that is bell-shaped, glazed a nice - how to describe this hue? - a muted purple - not vivid, not bright, but neither is it pastel... almost an earthy yet distinct purple glaze WITH a Dragonfly raised motif on the surface. (the irony here is that awhile back one of my twins got me a dual-glass/one set inside the other - votive/tealight candleholder that is green with dragonflies - on the inside, the outside cup/holder is frosted glass - looks really neat when lit up) Part of my forgetfulness was because the moment I saw this bell-shaped chime - and duly noted what appears to be a brass "hammer" that moves to ring the bell, and is weighted with a grean ceramic leaf suspended from it - I knew instantly that it and the candleholder my daughter got me should go "together", so they both got placed in the "garden tub" (of a trailer/mobile home - not so upscale as my dream garden tub - but I'll get there!) - the candleholder went onto a cedar shelf I have in there and the dragonfly windchime I suspended from a wire "planter" that I've never lined for plants but instead mounted on the wall to suspend my favourite "relaxing" things from and put various bottles holding bath-related "stuff" in.... so each time I kick back for a hot soak (which is frequently with my screwed up back), I get to set the chime in motion and slide down into the hot water and it is suspended in just the right position where I can visually focus on it with ease and relax. I wish I could explain how "perfect" the colours are - and the tone - it's not flashy or glaring and the tone doesn't "demand" from the ears - it's just the perfect meditative piece. A little additional irony is that while I don't think I mentioned it while intro'ing myself or in my other babbling on the ongoing threads for this swap, I do "dig" dragonflies. :) It's pure coincidence that when our first Rottie passed, while I had "just the gazing globe" already ready, the first 'stand' I picked out for it was one with dragonflies and chimes suspended inside it - unfortunately it didn't fit my globe (smaller globe) and never got to be used before I discovered the stand/pedestal was too cheaply made to endure the elements here. So - across the board unconsciously - dragonflies and chimes have also been "tied into" things with the dogs... perhaps because of all the times I used to spend with them down at the creek "chasing" dragonflies of different types trying to get a good zoom/macro "perfect" picture (to no avail - I'm convinced dragonflies are a creature of this world best enjoyed as they come and go and without trying to capture them live or on film - some pix turned out okay, but just never had that brilliance that dragonflies do to the naked eye).

You all have to promise me that you won't "close up shoppe" on this thread until photos are posted AND until I get Melissa's second parcel sent to her! I really want you all to see what Karen sent me - and for the same reason Melissa/HNB has not yet received her second box from me - I haven't gotten photos taken. I had been, if you will pardon the phrase, sick as a dog for awhile now. I thought I was getting over it, but I either relapsed or got a new strain or it mutated on me. I get "the crud" every year - I'm usually sick as a dog in bed every Thanksgiving since 1984- there's only been three exceptions 1) the year I had my twins - they were due in October but I had them in September and that year I got sick 2 months earlier than usual 2) the year I had my youngest (who was born just under an hour before it officially became Thanksgiving that year) I got sick in late September thru early October, and 3) the year my beloved Kerridwen passed, I started getting sick in October and had just cleared it mostly by the time she whelped ON Thanksgiving and we lost her just after midnight that night. Sooooo... suffice to say, I'm hoping that getting sick "early" with "the crud" this year isn't a portent of anything (definitely no more childbearing on my part) good or bad and just coincidence that the kids were exposed to medically confirmed stuff from a cousin/family they spent a good bit of time with combined with hubby now being "exposed to the public" with the work he's picked up (yes, he got a job! Once we get caught up it should pay the bills, but his humour is dry when he commented that he worked himself up to six-figures a year all the way back down to almost minimum-wage - mind you, the job he got, is with a man/company that knew him back when HE was in high school and some of his coworkers are from his "old friends/acquaintances" category from back in the day) and after two years of being really-really isolated from the public "germ-pool" he's no doubt bombarded with stuff we haven't had to contend with for a long time. ANYWAY, I haven't been keeping up with the messages or even my own personal email on a regular, much more daily, basis because I really have been "that sick" - like sleeping anywhere from 12, 14, 16, all the way up to 36 hours, not eating (no appetite combined with not being able to REALLY smell food, much more taste anything - it all seems the same and that doesn't do anything for building an appetite, ya know?), off/on fever, and well, I'm sure you all are familiar with one variety of another of "the crud" that just sucks the life-energy right out of you, ya know? My biggest meals have consisted of a half-cup of yellow/saffron rice with a 'jerk sauce' that has scotch bonnet peppers in it (pro-capsicum for anything sinus or bronchial) or crackers with some peanut butter (protein) and apricot preserves dabbed on for flavour, or four cubes (1"x1") of chicken sauteed in butter with tons of garlic (go garlic as a cure-all! well, it works better if you actually have more intake of it... but at least I could taste the garlic). Sad to say, I haven't even had more than a cup of tea over a period of every four days. That "blah". Sleep, sleep, and more sleep seems to be the only thing really helping to combat this strain, strains, or mutation(s) of "the crud" this year - but on the plus side - and not to gross anyone out - at least the mucous involved has remained normal in colour - no sign of infection.

Again, ANYWAY, Melissa/HNB - I had every hope of having your second parcel en route to you no later than two days following your birthday, but it just didn't/hasn't turned out that way. I didn't forget your birthday. In fact, it was at the forefront of my thoughts once you told me in email while we corresponded with my other delays for just getting the first one out to you. I do hope that it was a very good day for you on some level. As for grey hairs... don't look for them. :) I saw my first WHITE hairs when I was like 27... for sure anyway, I suspect they were there at 26 but I easily overlooked them as platinum blonde at the time since they cropped up in an area on my head (top/forward but further back that "forelock" or "bangs") that at the time got a lot of sun exposure and areas like that my hair naturally sun-bleached out for the platinum blonde strands/individual hairs to mingle in with the natural mix of other shades in my 'mane'. I didn't cry when I saw them WHITE though. I actually thought it was pretty cool. To-date, I still don't get grey hairs, one by one strands just totally lose all pigment and go stark white. I keep hoping that given where most of them are showing up, maybe I'll get one or two of those really cool streaks where I'll have solid white locks on either side/towards the front and I can flaunt my white. Of course I'm utterly convinced that my white hairs are a direct result of stress... like the stress that comes on because of typical life with having/raising kids :) And the flipside is, for every stark white hair I get in front, I get an equally and totally opposite undeniably BLACK strand from the opposite area of my head (sides but towards the back or from "underneath")... Maybe I'll get to be "salt and pepper" like a Miniature Schnauzer? The only downside to the white strands is that I see a parallel with the "not feminine" whiskers emerging on my chin and the once platinum blonde, fine body hair that was once "normal" and "natural" and "not even noticed", has decided to darken over my upper lip and some of the emerging whiskers on my chin prove to be just as tough as Rottie hairs. Hrmm. Maybe I'll turn into a Rottweiler? :)

For what it's worth though Melissa, whether it's a whisker, a darkening of hair where once-feminine begins to resemble a masculine mustache (I haven't yet worked up the nerve to wax it - too afraid it will grow back twice as thick, ten times as dark, and really become a self-consciousness issue for me), or some new stark white strands riddling my mane when I brush it back and put it up in a ponytail - I find I notice several to many more things around me - in the natural world - for each one of those things, that are I never noticed before that really take my breath away. I kinda stopped celebrating my own birthdays a long time back after other people (immediate family namely) pretty much forgot "it was my birthday" and then that got me into the mindset that as a mother, a wife, and a caretaker of animals in need, and plants, and all that... that my own birthdays are "just another day", BUT, I like to wish other people a happy birthday (or belated or early, depending on what all is going on in my own life at any given time) and try to, well, embrace the milestone in life... it is just a day, but at some point or another, I hope that "happy birthday!"s to other people will get them to take pause to maybe see the wonder(s) around them on any other day and perhaps even make it a habit, so that every day is special and from there every moment unique. I figure for most people it either takes really tapping into spirituality (not necessarily religion, but for some they go hand in hand), a taste of mortality or knowing one's number is about up, or simply with age, because it's never too late to start to really (and pardon the cliche) "stop and smell the roses".

Space aside HNB/Melissa, the reason I sent you that windchime before the other (commercial) one (the custom one will speak for itself) wasn't so much because of the chimes - because it's sound is limited - but because of the symbolism and I really really hoped that given your colour preferences and that particular chime, you would have the opportunity to see how the mirrors and "beads" (with their different shapes and colours) would catch the (natural) light as we were right on the verge of the Autumnal Equinox (when it was sent) and I hoped that you and your family would be able to enjoy the changing lighting effects of the Sun as relected and refracted as we move into this time of the year... Spring sunlight is nice, but still smacks of Winter, Summer sunlight can be overwhelming - even if we have plants that thrive in it - but the sunlight of Autumn? And those colours... well, I hope you and your family get the chance to enjoy them and they warm your heart and souls.

As to the cocoas - I couldn't resist the ones with Bunny Marshmallows! I hunted high and low for a permanent marker/sharpie because I wanted to write Hazel Nut above the "Bunny" much more blatantly. I thought your kids would enjoy those though. I was so totally "stuck" though on others - I personally *adore* the White Chocolate cocoa 99.9% caffeine free, so it's not a cocoa that will wind you up when you're trying to relax and it just feels so smooth in the mouth and going down. I didn't know if you liked DARK chocolate or not though - and I can't remember if I included a "Dark Chocolate Sensation" cocoa for you or not??? If you like Dark Chocolate and I didn't send you at least one of those, please let me know and I'll include one in box #2. I knew you liked coffee - but that doesn't necessitate liking dark chocolate. I tried, to no avail, to find a particular coffee for you that my few coffee-drinkers around here like (we don't get it often, they like coffee but don't drink it on a regular basis) - hopefully I'll find it available before box #2 goes out. The other cocoas - Let me know which ones you like and which ones you don't? BTW, do you like Raspberry/ies or the flavour at all? Was it enough teas? Were some of them totally redundant to what you've already had in the past? I just didn't know! But at the same time I didn't want to send too much or too little... sometimes it takes more than one cup to decide... like whether to have it with sweetener or milk or lemon, hot or cold... OH, and there's another tea that I debated on heavily but ended up not sending, because I didn't know if you had any gall bladder or gall stones? It's an herbal tincture ("tea") that my eldest (who is so totally not into infusions in general - he keeps things on the simple side) SWEARS by as a remedy for his version of "the crud"... but I just wasn't sure if I dared send any or not - I didn't want to make anyone sick or complicate a pre-existing condition since I wasn't copying ingredients for every single infusion/tea...

I know this is probably confusing for others here since you're getting "mixed swap boxes"...

I did get some "root" plants in there though, even if they weren't bulbs per se. Provided there is room, I do intend to send you some more (for that mostly shade/2 hours-of-sun area) that was talked about in email. If that Purple Obedient Plant doesn't take for you - please let me know and I will do a better dig for you. It's mixed in with a Rice Paper Plant that was one of only six to survive for me - but didn't thrive - so I will be digging that RPP for transplant into a container for the winter anyway and when I do that, I will have better access to the Purple Obedient Plant's rootstock, i.e. being able to get to more substantial rootstock to send to you.

Well, it looks like I have written a lot - but "not much" again... so I'm going to get this posted and try to use what wee bit of energy I've got left (wanes as fast as the sun in late afternoon here these days) to try and do a little domestic task I set for myself today.... if I can keep these two new-to-us cats out of my business. Thankfully the female of the two that are residing in our room, her kittens aren't old enough to be out wandering and getting into things yet. The mama-cat is a real lover (and the people told us she was totally NOT a housecat - this mama-cat has excellent indoor/household manners! And green eyes - just noticed that for-sure with good northern light to check by - green, not yellow or gold, but green eyes... cool, thought it was artificial lighting misrepresenting her eye colour before) and the other one... he's, we estimate, coming up on 6 months old and has a penchant for the laptop - he quickly discovered (and is quite proficient) at using the "pad" on the laptop in lieu of a mouse - complete with scrolling up and down... he thinks this laptop I'm borrowing is his personal toy and when not a toy, his bottom-heat spot for sitting or sleeping...

Hermit - who has confused herself


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