Friday, September 26, 2008


My friend, Beth, inspired me with her post yesterday about the things she is thankful for. She is right it does make you feel better to ponder your blessings.

I would start by being thankful to God, our creator, for the miracle of our uniqueness and that of the creation around us. How wonderful it is to be able to experience life with all the senses given to us and the emotions as well, good and bad. Then I'm grateful for my family, beginning with my parents and their families and the love, laughter, and support I've always felt in our family circle. To my Dad for his sweetness and his sense of humor and my Mom for her "ahead of the time upbringing" which encouraged a love of classical music, books, and art. I've also been blessed with wonderful brothers of whom I'm very proud and know that I can call on them if ever I need to.

Then for my husband, my opposite in almost all things, but somehow, together, we compliment each other, so that where one is weak the other is strong. Who, even not the most romantic of men, can still surprise me sometimes with a thoughtful gift or home-cooked meal. I appreciate his faithfulness both to me and our family and to God. Of course, I'm forever in awe of the blessing of my 2 daughters. They are a joy to my life and such wonderful, special people. Beyond a mother/daughter relationship we also share a friendship that I'm thankful to have. Now we have the blessings of the son-in-laws who have joined our family. Such great young men who are also funny, warm individuals. To see my daughers loved liked they are by these guys is awesome.

I'm glad for our home, the house that my husband and I mostly built with our own hands. I'm thankful for our jobs. In my job, I'm blessed with friends, who even though we may have our differences, when the chips are down will stand right beside you and with whom I can share laughter and sadness. Then there are the friends of my church family, who I know will pray for us in both the good and bad times. And in this amazing age we live in, there are now friends made through cyberspace, some of whom I've met, while others not yet, who I know would also be there with a prayer, a kind word, or a shoulder to cry on if I need it.

I'm sure I'll look back at this later and think of many other things I could have mentioned, because I have been very blessed. Thanks, Beth, for the urging to spend time being thankful.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Halloween stuff

Here are the 4x4's I talked about earlier. They are all a little different, so I just scanned them all. The reason for that is I have scrap paper on my work surface to catch paint, inks, etc. and often use it because of the interesting accidental papers that result. In this case, I had used an old calendar for my work paper which ended up with some great Halloween colors, so I decided to use those for my backgrounds. Each piece was different so I kind of worked with what was there to create a background for "Little Miss Muffet", the one scan showing the theme for the pages-"after extensive counseling, Little Miss Muffet overcame her fear of spiders". I had come up with this phrase in my head and just had to figure out how to get it on paper. The girl is from a drawing I did in the past, taken from a magazine photo. I used this same drawing in a prior skinny book page swap that was all white tones and still had some copies printed from that project. When I was thinking of what image to use, remembered these and just "gothed" her up some by darkening her hair and giving her red lips. Then added bat wings and a witches hat, some glitter, rubber stamping here and there on the background, and sometimes some extra drawing depending on what I saw in the scrap paper coloration. For the last one, I had to collage scraps together, there not being a piece with the right tones big enough to use. I had to doctor up the colors sometimes, too, but mostly just went with what was there.

Before I mail, I will have to get my personal info on them and I want to get my hostess gifties together.

Also here are photos of my last year's Halloween decorations. This is my dining room table and the mantel that is propped up in there all the time to add some extra personality. The dining room is the room you enter from the front door. Normally the miniature dress form is on my dresser, but I moved her to here and added the spider for added effect. For the bird eggs in the nest, I put a few of those black decorative stones. The dogs are a pair of book ends bought at a flea market. They originally had a coat of white paint on them, which I removed. Not sure, if that was the way they were supposed to be, but I like them better like this. Most of these items are thrift store finds, including the Victorian house trivet tile and the haunted house candle holder(looks hand done, but not sure of the maker). Like I said, I need to get them out soon. Will take more pictures, if I end up doing this differently this year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Taking a break from working on my 4x4 pages for a fall-themed swap. Mine are going to be Halloweenish. So with Halloween on the brain, I tweaked a photograph I took last spring of a dead tree in the pasture adjoining our land. Sadly there is another dead tree in the background. That one was struck by lightning. The neighbor's cows often took shelter from the sun under it. It was funny to see them all huddled together in the shadow of the tree, often only just big enough for the bunch of them. The entire area around us doesn't look this bleak. I just zeroed in on the fallen tree specifically for doing this type of photo. Thinking it would be a good background for some type of Halloween art. Now I just need to learn more about how to use the photo editing software I have. I have Adobe Photoshop software on my laptop, but I've not really got into using it much yet. I usually use the basic, obvious functions of the easier programs I have on my desktop.

I'm almost done with the 4x4's, but don't have them scanned yet. Fairly pleased with how they turned out. Maybe when I get home this morning, I'll have time to scan them and post. I would like to do a few more Halloween or fall decorating craft/art projects. I have on my computer at home(right now I'm finishing up a post I started earlier, but I'm at work) some pics of my Halloween decorating last year that I'll try to post later on today, also. It is about time to get those back out, I guess. We don't have trick or treaters, living too far off the main road, but I guess I decorate just for me. Certainly my dh wouldn't notice if I hung a skeleton from the light fixtures for decoration. Very unobservant he is.

Also along the lines of Halloween there is a great giveaway here
from fat jack originals. You could win a customized art creation. Go check it out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A few words on Monday

Not much going on here, but Holly has reminded me that I haven't posted in 5 days. I have done very little art stuff lately, but they were atc backgrounds only for a background atc swap. I forgot to scan them before I sent them on cause I was in a hurry. I have some other projects I need to work on, hopefully tomorrow.

My oldest dd, Emily and her hubby came for a visit over the weekend. It was great to get to see them and the grand doggy, Coal. Bama was glad to see him go home, though, as she spent most of the time they were here under our bed hiding. We didn't do much except watch ballgames and grill some burgers. Mostly just relaxed and talked. I forgot I did manage to get Emily to help me clean out a few drawers of stuff that were hers. I hope to get both girls to do a little at a time when they are home to get rid of the things they don't want to hold on to and to get the stuff they want to keep either sent home with them or put into storage bins for safekeeping. Small steps, small steps!

One of the pics for today is a page I did a while back for a postage stamp page swap. The other is one of a late summer rose. Most of these roses have been eaten by Japanese beetles this year, but the beetles are gone now and there are a few blooms here and there.

Like I said I hope to get some more art done tomorrow and Wednesday, so maybe something new to post about. I went to Mom's today to do some more yard work, trying to get some of her flower beds cleaned out and shrubbery pruned back.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This week's thrift store bargains

Went by there one morning after work. Since gas is so high, I'm trying to combine trips. Only spent $7.50 total. The books were 50 cents each. There is one more, a low carb cookbook, that missed the photo op. The rabbit was $1 and is really heavy, filled with gravel or beans? Looks hand-crafted, but not sure. I may redo it or just take the head, arms, and legs off for my own creation. The material it's clothes are made of is really 80's looking to me. I bought the little snail figurine for $1 to possibly use in some kind of decorative vignette. I've been seeing some on flickr that are really cute done on top of painted/collaged boxes. The material on the bottom is some kind of triangle-shaped beach coverup and was also just a buck. Loved the colors and design and got it for the fabric. There is also a Limited camisole which was only $1 which will be good for wearing under lowcut tops, etc. On the right is a really grossly dirty wooden wall organizer purchased for $1. Also on flickr I saw one of these painted white with the fronts decorated with scrapbook paper, ribbons, flowers, and trims and it was so pretty! So I wanted to show this before so if I ever get around to the after you can see the difference. It is going to be sanitized first I promise.

The purple flowers are some I have planted in a small flower/herb bed behind the house. Everything planted there does really well because it's on the south side of the house and protected in the winter. Also it's close to my water spigot so it gets watered when I run water for the birds. I planted rosemary there and it's an ideal spot for it. I planted these flowers, but don't remember what they are. Was hoping some one out there would be able to tell me.

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby after work. I have been really good and not bought anything from there in a couple of months at least. Mom gave me some money for my birthday so that's where I headed to spend it. At Crazy Art Girl's Musing, I'd seen the Bind-it-All system recommended as a good, relatively inexpensive binding system. (BTW, she has a really cool blog, so check it out while you're there) It was in my mind to order one from the place she mentions using my birthday money, since there was free shipping. But while in Hobby Lobby, I found one for $59.99. I used my 40% coupon and so I got it for $36 plus tax. I've been wanting something like this for making up my own journals from the scads of ephemera I've got, using stuff like National Geographic pages, old advertising brochures, envelopes, just whatever paper stuff put together to journal on later. Here is an example of what I'm talking about kind of at L.K. Ludwig's blog (another one I visit often for inspiration). There are also several pages from chunky page swaps I have that have never been bound. Been planning on just punching holes and using rings, but now I can use this. Guess where they make the most money from you is when you have to go back and buy the O wires, but they are not too badly expensive.


When leaving work yesterday, I noticed a scrap of paper blown against the curb by my car without even realizing that I was noticing. As I opened the door to my car, my brain connected with what I had seen. I'm a little slow, you see, especially on 3rd shift. Hhhmm, I think that was a fortune laying there. Being the hunter/gatherer that I am, I went back to look. I was thinking wouldn't it be cool to find a fortune randomly like that and see what it says. Sure enough, that's what it was. When I read it I couldn't believe what it said. Maybe I need to follow the direction to see if it comes true. Wouldn't that be nice!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Emily's painting

Here are the promised photos of my birthday present from Emily. It's hard to take a good picture of something under glass. These are a little dark, but I think you can still see how beautiful the painting is and what a good job she did for her first ever watercolor. Emily said she knew she wanted the painting to be of a bird, because I love birds so much and when she found a photograph of a bluebird she picked that because blue is my favorite color. I thought she had probably copied another painting until she explained her process to me. Em also knew that her Mom would most treasure the first painting she did and, of course, she is very correct. I think the painting is beautiful just from a technique standpoint, but that she took the time to think of what I like makes it that much more special. Thanks so much, Emily!

Monday, September 15, 2008

And the winner is

I decided to use the time-honored Name-in-a-Bowl method for this drawing. There were a total of 35 entries, 4 people having multiples. I want to thank each person for visiting my blog and taking the time to post. I called in a totally impartial judge, Bama, who presided over the proceedings with much dignity, ensuring that everything was totally above board. I closed my eyes and reached in the bowl to draw out a name and it was HOLLY! I'll get with Holly and see what type of extra stuff she might be interested in, as she doesn't really do collage or fabric art, but she is going to be a teacher, so it might be more like art supply type things.

I've got some pictures taken and ready to post of Emily's painting, but need to go get ready for work. I had to go by Mom's this morning to help her with a few tasks, so that is why I'm just now posting the giveaway winner. I'll post the pics of the painting tomorrow.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Old Girl

This is my Mom's cat who is about 15 years old now, I think. My Mom and I realized recently that she has no photos of Callie that she can remember in all that time. So I took my digital camera over there last week and tried to get some good pictures of her. Only problem was she didn't like the camera and kept leaving or turning away. So these 2 were the only decent shots I got and they aren't the greatest. She looks kind of mean in them and she's not. Callie was a kitten to one of my cat's along the way and Mom was wanting a cat. She is the light of my Mom's life and totally rules the roost there. Callie is very strong-minded and is an inside/outside cat which means she only wants to come inside if the weather is cold or really stormy. She's a great hunter even now and brings Mom frequent presents of often live game. Just last week, she caught a baby rabbit. We think she may be part French because she loves to eat frog legs, unfortunately while the frog is still alive. Ok, maybe she is a little mean! I don't know what my Mom is going to do when Callie is gone. There will definitely be a large hole in her life.

I'm showing her picture cause Callie's not the only old girl. Today I turn 48 years old! This is my week to work, so no big hurrah. As a matter of fact, I'm about to go to bed. Both of my dd's have wished me "Happy" and I got a card from my Mom yesterday, but I really won't get to see any family. Kerry went down yesterday to see the girls and watch the football game on pay-per-view. He brought back my gift from Emily. She had told me that she was buying some paints to begin to teach herself and ended up buying watercolors because they were the least expensive. Her gift to me was her first painting which is very good! It's of a bluebird sitting on a branch. Has an Oriental feel to it. When I get time I'll take a photo of it and post, but I'm too sleepy right now. I will treasure it always!

Today is the day I'm supposed to do my drawing for my giveaway. I might get it done this evening after I wake up or I may wait until tomorrow morning. In any case, I'm still getting my act together on it. I worked on some atc's the last couple of days between work and sleeping and about have those done. They have to be in the mail this week. Before that I was trying to get the charms done I posted about last time. Now I can concentrate on the giveaway stuff. Posting has been down lately, so there won't be that many entries. I guess I'll leave the contest open so that any posts by 9 am tomorrow will be included. That will give me time to get home from work and get the names and number of times posted, etc. ready for a drawing. Remember, your name gets entered once for each day you post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finished my charms for ovarian cancer

Will be getting them off in the mail tomorrow. I've been concentrating on getting those done. Next I need to do some atc's for a swap in one of my yahoo groups. I have been working on my giveaway stuff, but don't have it all finished yet. Here is the main item I've been working on and it still lacks the final touches. It's a faux paper mache waxed pear. I collaged book text strips onto a plastic pear, then did washes of color with glazes, and the finished it off with a coating of beeswax and added the velvet leaf to the top. Plan to add a ribbon, button, and perhaps a tag. These colors will be the theme of the giveaway then. There will be paper, fibers, and other items of these colors, including a couple of oriental themed paper tags and other surprises.

For the charms, these are for the Ties That Bind doll that will be auctioned later on to benefit research into ovarian cancer. Please click on the banner on my side bar to go see the wonderful art that is being submitted for this great cause. I was committed to make only one charm, but ended up doing 2. Teal is the color that represents ovarian cancer, like pink is for breast cancer. That color brought the ocean to my mind, as it has others. I thought then of shells and searched through my collection for ones that had damage to represent cancer. My thoughts on that were that I would show flowers to symbolize growth and healing over the damage to the shell.

The one with charm "Live" on the bottom has parts of a passage from Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness". Not all of the passage is there only parts of it. The flowers are a vintage earring to which I added pearls for women and also for how the pearl is formed. They are wired in place over a broken hole in the shell. The word "live" to remind us all to really live, not to wait until cancer reminds us of the value of life. Also, for the hope for a full recovered life for those with cancer.

The winged charm has at it's centerpiece a tiny shell that had small holes. I painted teal-colored flower petals around the holes and then inserted rhinestones which mean to be indicative of diamonds that are made in the earth under extreme pressure. These, as stated before are for growth and healing as are the butterfly wings. This charm started out with a wooden heart to which was glued some marbled green paper. I embossed with clear embossing powder so that it looks like drops of water. Sorry, I'm not really good at taking pictures. They look better in person than in the photos.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Give away reminder and recent bargains

Just to remind everyone that all posts until Sept 14, my birthday, will be an entry into the giveaway. What are you giving away, you might ask? And well you might since I've yet to post a picture or anything. Hhmmm? Well, I don't know for sure yet, lol! I am working on it, I promise. Keep changing my mind, but think I've got a theme in mind and I hope to start tonight getting my act and the prize together. Like I said before there will be at least a couple of hand-crafted art items, probably more, a collage/craft pack including paper and fabric items, and whatever else I find to go with the theme. More details soon, I promise!

Today's pics are of the items found at the Salvation Army today. The rabbit print was so sweet and only $2, most likely because the mattes have water damage. Overall size is 11x14, so I think I can take it apart and would be able to cut some off if the print is damaged and rematt and reframe. The artist's name appears foreign, like German or Swedish. For $2, I'll have a glass to reuse in another frame, though this frame could be prettied up with gold paint. Found a small glass ginger jar, that I think is Princess House since it has the etched flower design on it, and it was only $1. The cookie cutters were only a quarter each. One is a bat and the other a star. Figure they can be used in crafting for polymer clay or as patterns, since I don't bake that often(maybe when grandchildren come along there will be an excuse). Also found a gorgeous woven red and white cotton tablecloth in perfect condition, made in India, for $5, that is large enough for my dining table. The embroidered linen table runner was $5 as well. It has a White Barn Candle Co. label. Five dollars is pushing my limits for the thrift store but they were so pretty and like new, so I gave in. Got a bag of drawer pulls for only $1. These come in handy when you sell vintage/antique furniture, but could be used in assemblage pieces, too.

See the precious blue and white teapot in the background. It was free. The friend who gave me the pin collection(BTW, I think I forgot to tell ya'll that was not even all the pins the Aunt had. Her daughter had taken a couple of boxes with her to N.C.) gave me teapot because she said it looked like me. It's marked Made in Japan. I have a question concerning it. There are some darkened spots on the lid from where something stained under the crazing. Seems like I read somewhere you could soak an item in milk to fix this. Anyone heard of that? We don't drink milk, I'm ashamed to say, so I don't have it on hand, but will buy some if this will work.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Making you look at more photos and more good news

These are a few of the ones I made today. I had stepped out into the backyard and noticed how the garlic chives were in full bloom. The bumblebees and a few wasps were enjoying a feeding frenzy so I ran back into the house for the camera. Also one tiny butterfly or moth, I'm not sure which. And for Kim's benefit from Kim's Treasures, who hates spiders, a closeup of the spider which is living on the door from my bedroom to our back deck. I'm leaving it alone because I hope it is catching lots of flies or mosquitoes and we don't go out on that deck much in the summertime anyway. It's on the south side of the house and just entirely too hot until it cools off. The other is one experimental shot trying to capture the light from the sun as it would break through the leaves of one of the black walnut trees. You can see some of the damage from Japanese beetles if you look closely at the leaves.

For my good news, I entered the giveaway mentioned a couple of posts back at the blog, A Charmed Life. I can hardly believe it but I won a prize. I didn't win the CarryAll, but Cate decided to have a second prize of goodies since she had so many entries and I won that! I have truly been blessed lately! I'm pinching myself!

Few pics to share

from the ballgame last Saturday. Tyler is one of 4 drum majors. The bottom picture is of him high-stepping out onto the field for the band to do the pregame show. Another shows my youngest dd, Holly, and Ty before the game when he first got his uniform on. (my oldest, Emily, was elsewhere during the day with her hubby and some friends visiting them from Texas). Then there is one with Ty and Tad, the twins, and their sister, Lee. Also one of Ty at the pep rally before the game and then one of him directing at halftime, where he was all the way across the field from us so the picture is not as good. He did a great job and I was very glad to get to see it all in person one game. They almost never show the bands on TV, especially not the half time show. That's a pet peeve of mine, but I guess they figure that football is what is generating the revenue and interest. Not for my part, though!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Link to a great giveaway

at A Charmed Life. This is for a great tote carryall filled with lots o'stuff. I found this yesterday on another wonderful blog Crazy Art Girl's Musing. This is one I visit frequently. Belinda is very generous in sharing information about products, books, techniques, and she does a lot of really cool art! I'm also in the yahoo group she runs, Mixed Media Art Friends, where right now I'm primarily a lurker.

I was fortunate to be in a skinny book swap where Belinda did one of the pages. This is the one I've mentioned previously where I did the all shades of white page with the little girl's drawing and is the only skinny book page swap I've done so far. That one happened right about the time my Dad's had some health issues and my Mom had her stroke. It ended being hard to get all the swaps done I had going on then, especially that one cause there were 26 all orignal pages to make,so I've been reluctant to join any for fear of failure to have the time. Recently have joined a few small ones to get my feet back in the water. I find that if I'm doing swaps it challenges me to try new things, plus it is great fun to get the finished product back. Maybe I'll be able to just do a few here and there.

No pictures yet today. We were late getting in this morning from Tuscaloosa and the ballgame. Enjoyed the day and seeing my nephew in the band. I have some pretty good photos that I'll try to get ready to post so you can see him. Might be tomorrow. BTW, the football team won, too, which was an added bonus, but it wasn't pretty.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Have my new glasses!

I have to say that so far I like them. It's so good to be able to see up close again. There is a slight moment of blurriness when looking from down to up or side to side, but it's not bad, and I just got them a couple of hours ago, so I'm thinking I may get used to that. Haven't tried any sewing or up close art work yet. Will let you know how that goes. These are the no line kind upon the doctor's recommendation. Even though I hate having my picture made, I am showing a closeup from the side so my dd's can see what the glasses look like. My apologies to the rest of you. Please feel free to ignore the photo, as a matter of fact please do, lol!

That's all for now, I guess. Went by the bookstore and bought the new Somerset Studios and Cloth, Paper, Scissors. So think I'm going to veg for a few to look them over.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vacation prize package arrived!

The mail lady came to the door yesterday after blowing her horn. Just happened to be home. This is what she brought, the goodies from Jeanie's vacation giveaway! I took one picture of how she had everything packaged so prettily, making it more fun to open each bundle to see what was inside! The other shows all the goodies! Jeanie explained that the flip flops, cards, shells are from Myrtle Beach; the note cards and pencils from Banner Elk, NC; the quilt card from West Virginia, and of course, the beautiful "Moments" ocean-themed atc was made by her. The folk art card set has lovely colored envelopes to match, very nice, and the star quilt card is pretty enough to frame! She included in the wrappings some sparkly purple fabric and lace and ribbon that will be saved for future projects. Aren't the wooden colored pencils and the little flip-flops too cute! Thank you so much, Jeanie! Now I kind of feel like I got to go on a little vacation, too! You will too if you visit her blog, The Marmalade Gypsy. Jeanie is a great photographer and writer who shares her adventures on her blog along with some good recipes and art to boot!

Apologies for any typos that I may miss. I had a very determined cat in my way until just now. Bama must need something besides attention. I need to check her food and water, I guess. Or maybe she wants to go outside. The bad thing about her getting near the keyboard is she sheds so badly and I have to clean the cat hair out of the keyboard and off the desk. I've never seen a short hair cat shed like she does. Anyone have suggestions for food or anything? I thought about Purina One, I think it is, that I've seen advertised on TV, that is supposed to improve your cats health and coat. It doesn't look like Bama is going back to her real Mama anytime soon, so guess I need to try something.

So I also need to get off the computer after I finish checking my mail and get some things done. It's kind of a gloomy cloudy day here, remnants of Gustav, I believe. Speaking of that, we ended up with evacuees here in Cullman County, Alabama. There were over 1000 people from the New Orleans area that were sheltering in the coliseum of our local community college, Wallace State. Some who were sick were seen at the ER where I work this week. Think they might get to go back to their home today. So glad that this time they will have them to go back to, hopefully.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A slight touch of fall in the air

so in honor of that, here is another of the calendar pages I did last year for the month of September. Used a vintage school book picture and text with other embellishments on scrapbook paper that looked like a chalkboard. Little Susan added some more words to the board with her giant pencil and was awarded the "dunce cap".

Just finished up my 3rd week working of my 7 on/7 off third shifts. This week was much less busy than the first two were, thankfully! So not nearly as tired as I was coming off the other work weeks, which were terribly busy.

I hope to get some art stuff done during this time off. Seemed to be gone most of my last off week. My first week off, I was sick and trying to get work done around the house.

We will be going to a football game in Tuscaloosa on Saturday to see Alabama play somebody, but I'm not sure who, since I'm not going to see the team play really, lol! My nephew is one of the drum majors of the University's band, which is a pretty big deal. I'm really proud of him. This is more remarkable when you realize we live in a rural area and our children attended smaller high schools. Kids who make positions like this are more commonly from bigger more prominent city schools. He has worked very hard to realize his dream. Tyler is one of identical twins and plans to be a band director. His brother, Tad, also attends the U. of Ala. and is majoring in industrial design, I think it is. Tad is the one who most gets the artsy stuff I do(beside my dd's) and we enjoy talking about things like that. Their older sister, Lee, is a former Miss University of Alabama. She's now married and about to be a nurse practioner. As a matter of fact, all my Mom and Dad's grandchildren have attended or are attending this same University, except the youngest grandson who is a senior in high school this year. He's not sure yet where he is going. My oldest dd, Emily and her husband graduated from there and my youngest dd, Holly and her dh are seniors this time. It goes without saying, I guess, but I'll say it anyway, that I am also very proud of my dd's. They have both turned out to be such lovely, sweet considerate young women who truly treat others well. That is in addition to being very bright and interesting people. Warms a Mum's heart, it does!

Guess thinking of fall reminded me of school and children, then led to pondering how mine are so grown up and of time rolling by. Sigh! Facing birthdays and BIFOCALS has helped lead to that thought process as well, I'm sure.

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