All quiet on the home front . . .

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I haven’t said much about weather for a while, so here are two pictures of our building, taken from the bus stop as I was going into town last Friday. Mum’s suite is the top floor facing west over the street (on the left of the second picture). You can see that the snow appears to be gone . . . it was up to +11C today, but we have temps in the minuses again forecast for the weekend, with a good chance of up to 4 inches of snow. So good thing I didn’t get too excited . . . My FYS had a birthday at the end of March, which reminded me of how fast time goes by. Seems like just the other day I was packing him everywhere; then it was the violin, and during that time he got his first skateboard and that was history made . . .

12 yrs old  skater  Jude skate 01

At 12 or 13 with his first skateboard and cute attitude! (and the then-obligatory poncho a la one of his skating heroes) The next photo was in a skater magazine and taken later (in his 20s I think) skating in Vancouver, BC. He always makes it look so easy!

Jude photog 01 Jude photog 02

His is an excellent photographer and sells to a variety of skateboarder magazines, but I like these pictures of him getting close up and personal. He’s an avid fisherman these days, too, making his own flies and mostly doing catch-and-release. But he doesn’t really care if he catches anything; he just loves being outdoors.

Jude fishing 01

IMG_5823 This morning, I got up early to wait for the balcony inspector and felt like being productive, so made a batch of the Feather Buns. I got the recipe from my friend Mrs. Crafty on our last visit. If anyone wants it, I’m happy to share. The original called for white flour, but I used about 40% whole wheat (ran out of WW, so the rest was white). I should have taken a picture of it all risen in  the bowl, it was magnificent!IMG_5824

The pans being readied.

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I proofed the buns and two tiny loaves in the oven so they would be ready first.

IMG_5828 IMG_5829 Mum’s lovely old bread bowl. I’m pretty sure Narfie7 has one like it, too.IMG_5830

Ready for the oven!

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Mum’s large bowl with the smaller one inside. I love these!

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Three big loaves ready for proofing.

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To slow them down, I covered them with a tea towel wetted with cold tap water. IMG_5836

Later . . .

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These were first out of the oven . . .

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When I was in school, Mum baked several times a week (well, 9 kids and a husband who worked hard in the bush or in a welding shop . . . ). We would get home from school and she would have timed the buns so they were just coming out of the oven. So hot, we just poked a thumb in one side, dropped in a bit of margarine and then some home-made jam. I still think of those buns when I smell fresh baked bread . . .

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So for the sake of nostalgia . . .

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You can see how fluffy these are . . . and just as yummy as they look, too!

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It took me over an hour to find Christi’s recipe for her Family Casserole, Soup and Baked Chicken. Might have been because I misremembered the source and was searching on Wendy’s blog. Am I getting older or what? Don’t answer that, ok? 😉

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Didn’t have all the recommended herbs/spices, so here I am pounding some rosemary into submission (I ground it down with love, though . . .)

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The chicken breasts and back simmering away with onion and flavourings in the lovely Le Creuset stockpot my youngest sister gave me a while back . . .

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A random set of photos of the loveliest sunset a couple of nights ago.

I wish the colours translated as they were seen. Just gorgeous!

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 The soup, now nearly a distant memory 🙂 . . . and the amazing, very meaty casserole. All gone as of yesterday. It’s quite a bit of meat, but most tasty. Of course, I messed around with the recipe (don’t tell Christi . . .) Mum can’t eat really spicy food, so instead of the pepperoni, I used the mild Italian sausage that I buy once every few months. Lots of flavour, not too much spice. I also left out the pasta and Mum had potato with hers. I added shell pasta to the soup, though. This recipe makes a LOT of casserole, but I bet it could be frozen if you didn’t want to eat it every day as I did. 🙂

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Yes, that’s more white stuff . . . sigh . . .

. . . but a couple of days later, guess what?

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Yep, the doors are open to the balcony. You can laugh now . . . I left them open most of the day for the past three days (including today) and was reminded of one thing I dislike about living  on a main street: apart from the dust (to rival Narf77’s, truly), there is a LOT of noise: emergency vehicles at all times of day and night; rush hour morning and night and then the motorbikes. I’m not sure why they don’t have to have mufflers that work and also why they feel compelled to rev the engines mightily just as they pass our building . . . oh, well, at least it’s been warm for a few days. So noise is a small price to pay, I think. And the extra sunshine is so nice . . . I wake up early now and have become energized (more on that in another post), so have been spring cleaning, a bit more every day. Very satisfying.

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The last bit of the casserole. Mmmmmmmmm………….

I need to mention, too; starting tomorrow early, I’ll be staying with my Aunty again, as my cousin has found a new job. I’m not sure how long he’ll be away. Likely a couple of weeks; that seems to be standard. I’ll be upstairs a couple of times a day to continue the spring cleaning and to check email, etc. So much easier on a desktop than on my phone . . . I have lots more to post about, but am waiting for that Happy Mail to make landfall in New Zealand. Wouldn’t want Pauline to have any hints . . . 🙂

What I’m listening to today:  Runrig (what else?) in their Mod for Rockers concert.

and . . . The Apache Relay

and . . . Mumford & Sons

and one of my old favourites: Janis Joplin

See you all soon, my friends.  🙂

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40 thoughts on “All quiet on the home front . . .

  1. Hi Linne,

    I realized yesterday that your posts aren’t showing up in my bloglovin feed. I also went to reply to some comments you left (yesterday was my catch up day) but I couldn’t find them. So, I’ve popped over here to say hello and to thank you for the comments I know you left…somewhere, someday they will resurface.

    I didn’t realize you were one of nine children. It’s any wonder you are so resourceful. I’m late to the table here, so I’m a it confused on this living arrangement. Does your Mum and Auntie live in the same building that you do, or are you taking turns living with them and offering support?

    The image of you arriving home to warm buns as a child is wonderful. Poking in a finger, then adding butter or jam reminds me of my own childhood, but with biscuits. Mom was a great cook, but sadly I did not inherit her interest or her skills. I like eating though!

    I hope spring continues to allow for open windows.

    • Something there is that doesn’t like a post . . . or so said R. Frost (didn’t he?). You are welcome. No idea what happened.

      Yes, Alys, I’m the eldest of the nine and my sister who lives here in Edmonton is the youngest. I’ve always been grateful for the training my childhood gave me. My life was so different from that of the other sibs. My Aunty has lived in this building on and off for abour 40 years. I was living with Mum in her house for a few years. When she sold it, we decided to move here to be near my Aunty (she’s Mum’s older sister). Then I had a flood in my place, so was staying with Mum while repairs were done. Then I was laid off. So the couch surfing became permanent. Good thing I’m an old hippie who can survive anywhere . . . When my cousin is working, he works out of town in an oil camp; I stay with my Aunty but take breaks upstairs. I do shopping, heavy cleaning, laundry and library runs for Mum and some shopping for my Aunty. They are both very independent and feisty, so it’s only recently that I’ve been doing most of the cooking for my Aunty. Until now, she made her own breakfast and lunch even when I was with her.

      We had biscuits, too, some days. I still love them, too. I think the skills are easy enough to come by; it’s the interest one needs in the first place. You should live near Narfie; she loves to cook . . .

      It’s been too chilly for open windows since then, except maybe an hour or two in the late afternoon (Mum’s place faces west). Soon, though . . .

      Hope your spring and garden work are going well. Creativity coming up soon, eh? ~ Linne

      • Thanks for sharing your story, Linne. It must be nice to be so close to both your Mum and your aunt, and to have a place to stay in between jobs, too.

        They must love having you nearby as well.

      • Alys, I love being near both of them, too, although it’s not without a certain amount of stress. I first began sleeping on Mum’s couch about 2.5 years ago, when the building was sprayed for bedbugs and had planned to move back in January, but then an apartment several floors above me flooded and caused tonnes of damage in mine and other people’s, too. So I stayed at Mum’s. The repairs weren’t finished until that September, but in May I was let go from my last job, so it was stay on with Mum or look for that cardboard box . . . well, not quite, but closer than I like to think about. It’s been challenging, with both of us having so much creative supplies for so many arts and crafts. I moved much of mine out into storage units, but there’s still a lot here. If the storage were close, I’d put more into it, but I never know what I’ll want to work on or need to do, so it’s all still a work in progress. I’m thinking of giving away some of my yarns, though. But it’s hard to do. Oh, well . . .

        Since I’m retired, I doubt I’ll be working again, at least not in an office, but I expect to stay busy forever!

      • Staying busy forever sounds good to me. There is certainly more to do, then there is day or week or month!

        I’m sorry to hear about the flood and then job loss. Life tends to pile on at times. I admire your resilience, Linne.

      • Yes, I’d rather be busy than just sit around waiting for the Grinning Reaper to walk in my door . . . 😉

        Those events were just two of the more recent in a fairly long string. It does make us resilient, though, doesn’t it? That old adage that what doesn’t kill us makes us strong . . . although there are days when I’d just as soon settle for being a fragile femme . . . sort of . . . 😉

        Thanks, Alys. I admire yours, too. Short-term challenges are always easier, though it may not seem so at the time. ~ L

  2. I LOVE that old bowl and your amazing bread Linnie :). I have 2 bowls like this but mine are reproductions. My sister has my grandmothers old bowl and uses it regularly, hers is original. I love the way that you can tip them on their side to beat without having to hold them as they are very heavy. I use my smaller one (about the size of this one) for just about everything and the larger one is used for batching up my kombucha and making my 8 day batches of sesame and date milk for making kefir. I love my bowls 🙂

    LOL on the chook recipe…I have been known to head to the wrong blog ;). “Old is, as old does” according to Mr Forest Gump and going to the wrong blog isn’t “old” it’s inventive 😉

    I have rain on the roof as I sit here typing. It’s lovely (especially as it is Steve that has to brave it to do the fortnightly shopping today and not me 😉 ). As I won’t be walking the dogs this morning (Earl doesn’t “do” rain 😉 ) I have the luxury of being able to put on the kettle to make another cup (bucket) of tea I don’t usually do 2 mugs as otherwise I barely make it back from our walk with crossed legs ;). With the rain that we have had lately our dust has been deposited square in the Tamar River (where it belongs! 😉 )

    Love Mumford and Sons and Janis will always have a place in my heart. Such a troubled mind in such a talented body. Enjoy your sunshine as much as I am enjoying my rain. No doubt we will both be complaining about our new (most novel) situation within a few weeks but for now, lets just enjoy it 🙂

    • Aren’t they gorgeous, Narfie? I had two of the large size ones, both old and both with cracks in them. Eventually each broke and I forced myself to throw them out (mostly to keep other people from bugging me about keeping ‘everything’; I still wish I hadn’t . . . I could have used them for mosaic or planted in them; something . . . these days my concerns about others don’t run things so much. I love that squared off bit of the bottom, too; I like to stand them on a damp teatowel when I tip them, then they are pretty much ‘non-slip’ . . .

      LOL I always think I’ll remember, and I do, sort of . . . yes, it was on a blog; no, not that one . . . funny me, eh?

      Nice you got rain, too. I love sitting inside when I can hear it on the roof (except a heavy rain on a metal roof LOL). As to getting back from walks after two buckets of tea, you just need a long skirt; at least then you can crouch with a bit of dignity. Well, not right next to the road, likely . . .

      Glad your dust season is over for a bit; we get dust year-round. Drives me crazy, but not crazy enough to become a fanatical duster . . .

      I love that some of our musical tastes cross over . . . Janis had an unforgettable voice . . . I was glad to see that M&Sons are back after their hiatus. I always worry that groups will break up and we won’t have any more loveliness from them. Sean McCann just left Great Big Sea, but it looks like they will go on . . . the sound and performances will change so much, though . . . I’m so grateful that the older Runrig members figure they are ‘too old to do anything else’, so will continue to write and preform so long as they are having fun . . . May they have fun longer than I’m around 😉

      Isn’t it funny how we can always find something to whinge on about. at least a bit? So much for mindfulness and ‘living in the moment’, eh? For me, at least, whinging takes some of the edge off; it also reminds me that, really, nothing’s as bad as all that . . .

      so yes, let’s enjoy . . .

      • I have to share this with you Linnie…my idea of how to drink as much tea as I like without having to worry…

        I think that Billy Connolly should be listed as a world treasure 😉

      • The link didn’t come through, Narfie . . . 😦 Do try again, eh? Hugs. ~ L

        followup: I just checked and now it’s come through twice! Go figure . . . as to that message, I’d have to say,
        “In the end, it all Depends . . .” lololol

      • I think that blogs throw links into the trash now as they are seen to be suspicious…I will try again, if you can’t see it this time, please google “Youtube, Billy Connolly incontinence pants” and prepare for the best laugh you have had in ages 😉

      • ROTFLMAO . . . so now you know what you need for your walks, Narfie . . . should be fun on the way back . . . LOL Thanks! laughing is good for everything. ~ Linne

      • Damned RIGHT laughing is good for everything 🙂 Even if you aren’t “happy” it has been scientifically proven that if you smile and you find something to laugh about your mood will improve and life will look better even if nothing else has changed. A smile is as good as a turnip to a blind Russian. I just made that up. I reckon it’s going to be a classic 😉

      • OK, you made me laugh again . . . I’ll share that saying, I think. Maybe on Facebook . . . hahaha

        Funny how smiling produces endorphins, isn’t it?

  3. So lovely to have you share some photos of your son – don’t the years flash past! Our kids have a bad habit of reminding us of times changing faces that our [or mine any way] hearts don’t see!
    I was watching my YD hang a blind in my lounge yesterday. admiring her strong, sure movements on the step-stool and out of my mouth came the sentence “Isn’t it amazing to think that this gorgeous tall body was once in my womb!” And then we both roared with laughter at the thought 🙂

    It is really wonderful that you can have your door open – hurrah for warmer weather! It certainly seems to have been Winter in your world for as long as I have known you! The sounds of the city have a rhythm that is hard to get attuned to if you are country girl at heat. I have discovered this too with my latest home in urban-ity! 🙂 Constant traffic, voices of random passing youth and kids and sirens and even lonely doggies…… I am learning to let it keep me connected to the life that is outside my windows while I dwell in my own inner silence.

    I love your bread making forays – as I no longer eat bread, those days are over for me for now. [Never say never!]

    Hope your days are filled with springlike warmth and activity Linne – Enjoy!! xoxo

    • They sure do go, don’t they, Pauline! It didn’t help that mine were active from the beginning, standing at 7 mo, walking at 8 mo, running by 9 mo and climbing by 10 mo (ES)and standing at 6 mo, walking at 7 mo, running by 8 mo and climbing by 9 mo (YS). I didn’t walk ’til I was 9 months old, myself . . . It was a good thing we lived in the country so much; they could run, climb trees and all that (as well as have to walk 4 miles to the highway, then hitch into town and walk around there for hours before doing it all in reverse to get home) LOL. At least when they slept, they slept, and they burnt it off outside, so could sit and create or read indoors, too.

      I have that thought often, too, but don’t know what my sons would say if I voiced it. LOL

      Sometimes it feels like a never-ending winter . . . on the coast some years we didn’t even have snow; when we did, we were lucky if it lasted more than a week or so. So this seems quite extreme . . .

      I like your approach to dealing with city sounds. I need to be more accepting and forgiving some days . . . I’ll see how your attitude works for me . . .

      . . . and how you say ‘for now’ instead of ‘forever’ . . . I use that sort of language, too (no point fencing myself in, eh?) I like to say, “I rarely drink much or often”. Think about it . . . LOL

      We had a lovely day of all-day steady rain yesterday and I loved it! Had to go out unexpectedly to the mall, so took the longer outside way and got my hair nice and wet . . . Good thing I’m ‘drip-dry’, isn’t it? hugs and love to you, Pauline

  4. Wow… I can almost smell the bread.. and it looks so good… The Views of the Sunsets must be something from way up High… .. And you must be really proud of your Son… Time just seems to fly by as we dig out those old photos… Thank you so much for sharing.. I really enjoyed this post.. Love and Hugs.. xox Sue

    • It was good, Sue. I’m down to the last tiny loaf as of tomorrow. but I’ll make more the week after.
      Yes, Mum gets some lovely views. Her suite is on the 9th floor facing west.
      Yes, both my boys were into alternative sports; the elder one (my FES) was a pro foot-bagger (can’t call it ‘hacky-sack’; he’d kill me! It would be like calling the game of basketball ‘Spaulding’ LOL. He makes his own footbags and used to sell them, so it was/is a big deal for him)

      Yes, it’s hard to believe he was a babe in arms not so long ago . . .

      Glad you enjoyed it, Sue. Love and hugs back to you. ~ Linne

  5. Ok, showing my ignorance here but what does FYS mean. I am presuming this is your son? Nice to see these Linne 🙂 My youngest son was also a great skateboarder so that bought back good memories for me 🙂
    Your food looks delicious, my soon to be daughter-in-law is American and she makes Feather Buns, what a coincidence to see them here because I just tried one 2 weekends ago and it was delicious.
    You are still getting odd snow? Hopefully that all ends soon, goodness, it seems to have been snowing there forever!!
    AHHHH!! A big Janice fan here – though it’s only 6.15 am and I am sitting up in bed bleary eyed and fear it’s a little early in the morning for even Janice so I will listen to that another time soon. Roger will often come home from work to hear Janice being played… very loudly lol.

    • Ah, Wendy, I meant to explain and then forgot . . . Favourite Youngest Son. LOL I have a Favourite Eldest Son, too . . . 😉 But only one of each.
      My kid was a sponsored pro back in the day; paid to ride, nice gig, eh? Sometimes paid in boards, trucks (wheels) or clothing, but still . . . and he never said a word, but a few times I picked up some skater hitching rides upIsland and when I mentioned my son’s name, they all knew him. I heard so many stories of how he helped younger skaters, gave them boards and clothing, etc. It was lovely. And he had photos in all the skater mags back then (well, quite a few these days, too), so people knew him from those, too. I used to buy the mags that had photos he took in them; it soon became a pricy proposition, so I had to quit. I still have about three boxes of skater mags . . . some with stories about him in them, too.

      I hadn’t heard of Feather Buns ’til the last time I was at Mr. and Mrs. Crafty’s home. I’ll be making more next week, I think. I’m on the last of the tiny loaves now. But next time I’ll cut the recipe down; it’s going to be too warm to store food on the balcony soon, 🙂 How nice your DIL to be makes them, too.

      Yes, the snow does seem like forever here . . . sigh . . . but last year the last was in mid-May, so if we’re at the end of it now, I can’t complain too much.

      I love that you love Janis Joplin! I shall post more in future, then . . . Don’t know if you heard the story, but when she was at a Uni in Texas, she was once voted “Ugliest Man on Campus” . . . I was so shocked to hear that, and I could see how that sort of thing would have contributed to her lifestyle and ultimately her death . . . we lost a lot of good music when she left us . . . maybe you need earphones?? 😉

      • OHHHH! I have one of each of those too 🙂 🙂

        How lovely that is, to have all those photos and have heard all those lovely stories of him. What a treasure he sounds.

        I didn’t know that about Janis and that’s terribly sad, people can be so cruel. Just heartbreaking when such talented, lovely people are so wounded really and leave the world so early 😦 Sad for anyone but when one brings so much joy to others it’s just such a shame – we need people like that!

      • What a lovely bond; all of us having those bowls. The large one here is Mum’s and the smaller one I bought for her. She wants things she was given to go back to the giver one day, so I’ll have one, at least. And treasure it . . . Now, I think, those in this village who don’t have a lovely cream and gold bread bowl will need to start looking for one . . .

        Yes, he is a treasure; glad you enjoyed the bits about him. The other is very different, but a treasure also. Wish I had some photos to share, but I have few and not recent.

        Wasn’t that a sad story? I felt so badly for her when I first heard it, shortly after she died. I don’t know how anyone recovers from something like that. just ’cause she wasn’t a Barbie lookalike; sheesh! I always thought she was lovely, just not ‘pretty’ in the conventional style. And that voice . . . I always feel sad, thinking of the music we have been deprived of; not only from her, but from a long list of others, too. Phil Ochs, for one.
        We need people who sing out, and who sing for something, not just “la la la and pay me now!”

      • 🙂 I need to remember that, like me, most people don’t have time to read every post I write and to explain the cryptic bits when I use ’em.
        I’ve been playing a lot of my ‘lost’ favourites these past few days, for some reason. Phil Ochs, Luke Kelly, Roy Williamson, George Harrison. I’m so, so grateful Pete Seeger stayed with us for so long. When musicians die young, I can’t help wondering what we have all missed.

      • I have been listening to lots of music too Linne, especially after reading of Spotify on Fran’s blog – I have been reviving the music of the 60’s non-stop and loving it!!!!

      • I’ve still to check out Spotify, but it’s on my list. I have an app on my phone that lets me listen to radio, so I might be able to use it that way. I love so much of the 60s and 70s music, too. Not the pop stuff, generally, but the songs that heralded or created change. Nice to share that ‘page’ with you! 🙂

      • Yes, I never tire of music, although some days I’m into one thing and other days something else. I’m fairly moody . . . 😉

      • Yes, the site said she nailed it on the first take, so really, it’s like sitting in a room listening to her play . . . I grew up with homemade music and it was a feature of my life often after that, so to me that’s the best. I don’t care about perfection much (I do appreciate music that’s been worked on and refined, though); just hearing someone play and love doing it, that’s the thing . . .

      • I love to listen to hearing someone play in the room too 🙂 My son plays guitar and I love to just sit and listen. As kids my parents had lots of parties, not so good in some ways but there was lots of singing, accordian, we all were taught how to play the spoons lol. When Mum died last year we were all together in the evening and decided to get the spoons out for old times sake. Our adult kids all thought we were bonkers and took a video, gosh it was fun lol. My son’s guitar is definately better 🙂

  6. We have a reality TV series here called Masterchef, Linne, and I’ve no doubt you’d beat them all with your cooking, hands down. Your food looks so yummy! We are moving into casserole weather now – and that one looks superb. So glad you are getting some signs of Spring – having the balcony door open is a very big step in the right direction. Many moons ago I lived in the city and the trams and sirens were very trying at first – but somehow I ended up getting used to all the background noise. Now we live in “the sticks” I notice every single noise loud and clear!! So great to see pictures and read a bit about your FYS. Thanks for sharing and take care. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    • Dani, that’s a hoot! I’m no chef, believe me (not to mention that I don’t rush, don’t swear, don’t yell while I am preparing food 🙂 )
      My food only looks good when I follow the recipe (well, more or less lol). It’s very meaty and yummy; I expect it could be modified for vegetarians or those who like less meat in their diets. Yes, nice to have had a couple of spring-like days. Then yesterday we had a day of steady downpour, which was good, and today mostly cloudy, with perhaps more rain this evening. Haven’t seen any yet, though.

      I’ve lived in cities before, but never on a main thoroughfare, but even then was never quite used to the noise. I grew up in the country and have lived well out whenever possible. Out in the Sticks (we call it that here, too) I do hear the wild noises, but I like them, so it’s more comforting than anything. I enjoyed sharing about my Favourite Youngest Son (and my only one, as he likes to remind me); I always enjoy seeing other people’s posts about their families, too. Yours are always lovely, with the scenery and all the fun things they get up to. Wish I had photos of my FES, but nothing recent. And he’s very leery about pictures of him or his family being on the ‘net. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo back to you, Dani. Have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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