Thursday 23rd February 2017

A Pet Story. #LifeThisWeek 8/52. 2017.29.

A Pet Story. #LifeThisWeek 8/52. 2017.29.

I wasn’t (and probably still am not) a ‘pet’ person. I was brought up without pets. Oh. Wait. Mum had a pet bird, a budgerigar for a while. I didn’t like it when it was out of the cage.

Then as a married couple “we” ventured into pet ownership by accident and by choice. The accident was the cat who turned up one day on our isolated property house where we rented and stayed. We named her Cookie. From Sesame Street which we loved and was about 4 years old back then. She turned feral when we brought home our baby daughter and we “asked” her to leave. She did. No, she really did.

The one by choice was a dog, a  golden labrador. We named him Diggity (you know, from the song?) and he was a delight but oh so naughty. Who knew he would dig up the buried garbage, pull washing off the line AND bite into the new baby’s stroller…baby was thankfully inside the house…and ruin the lining. My mum who’d gifted us that was not a happy lady! He was far too unhappy when I was back at school and there was no-one to play with…so he’d follow us all the way via dirt roads and risk his life. We needed to be kind(er) to him. Off to a boisterous family of kids he went.

45 years ago!

We also had a cat for a while when our daughter was a pre-schooler. No photos but it was a cute black and white cat. It was a cat which found us..again…in a small rural place.

In the mid 1980s a cat turned up at the door of our Sydney house. With 2 kids keen to have a ‘pet’ and no idea of her origin, her first feed meant she became named and loved. In fact, Sandy was much loved. Still an outside pet and no trouble with all that either back in those days. Sadly, despite the most loving care, she was found dead under the house thanks to what might have been a slowly developing kidney condition due to food intake.

Favourite spot near the back door.

Do fish count? We had fish from time to time. Again, not good at keeping them alive for the long term because it was always up to me..and I got quite annoyed at how often that fish tank needed cleaning.

So, no more pets, right? Wrong. Moving to a newly built house that was very special for us, we succumbed to the “oh can we have a dog NOW, please?” from older and younger teen. We did have a fenced back yard of reasonable size and we did end up buying a dog no-one seemed to want. Her make was part kelpie and part lab. She had a heart, no idea of being disciplined and a great LOVE for our son. We named her Loopy. I am not sure why, but the name may have influenced aspects of her behaviour.

Favourite vantage spot. “looking and listening” for people/dogs in park nearby.

Eating, drinking, sleeping, waiting for our son to come home.

We spent money on getting her ‘trained’ via Bark Busters so she knew we were the pack leaders. It worked. Mostly. She loved escaping from our yard IF we accidentally left the gate open and then would be very deaf when called. But we did enjoy her and she moved on with us to our last house in Glenwood. That was until 2004. The yard was smaller at Glenwood and we did need her to occupy a smaller area as grandkids came into our lives. She could overwhelm little kids due to her boisterous nature. When our son moved out, she stayed. It was the fairest thing to do for her as she aged and he visited often. But, sadly, she became very unwell mid 2004 and despite the best treatment from a local vet, she did not survive. Loopy was buried by her loving family in the backyard…and there her remains stay.

It was more of a shock to my system when she died than I realised it would be and I wanted to honour her memory as she had been part of our family for over 10 years. I had some photos enlarged and framed and did a painting. I am still touched by how much I was able to create her look and I believe she was helping me do that!

Love you Loopy.

And whilst I say ‘never say never’ we are not intending to be pet-owners again.

So, that’s more than ONE pet story! I hadn’t quite realised how much pets had been part of my life.

What’s your pet story?

Denyse.

NEWS from #LifeThisWeek.

Can you believe next week is Week 9/52? I am using each Week 9 in 2017 for a Taking Stock post. Pip has a template over here for anyone wanting to use this popular post material. This means…that after next week there is a NEW set of prompts. They are already done and on the HOME page for your perusal..and use I hope! 

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Taking Stock”.



Joining with Alicia for Open Slather here and with Kell for Mummy Mondays here too.

 

 

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Love.#LifeThisWeek 7/52. 2017.25.

Love.#LifeThisWeek 7/52. 2017.25.

I selected this prompt LOVE because of the date being close to Valentine’s Day. 14th February.

Then I have wondered ‘what is love?’ And I got many answers but in the end I have decided to take a varied approach to this prompt and instead of making only a declaration of LOVE to my husband (of course I love him) I would also post some memes and quotes I LOVE.

Valentine’s Day.

On occasion I have given my hub (and kids) cards. I have also made crafty things with classes and grandkids but my belief is that love needs to be appreciated and shown each day. I did some research though, about Valentine’s Day if you want to know more.

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you

The modern cliché Valentine’s Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784):

Hearts.

I associate these with love as do many people. I liked these images. I tend to see hearts in nature and make a heart shape when I am doodling in art. Neither are my images, sadly.

Self-Love.

I’ve been struggling with aspects of this and I am certain I am not alone. I researched some quotes and liked these ones as I saw them apply to me. By the way, self-love for me is about self-acceptance…no matter what is ‘wrong’ or not going well, so this is my learning journey!!

Love of and for  My Husband.

We talked about this earlier as I was preparing to write. I fell in love with him, and vice versa, over 46 years ago. Love HAS kept us together when many things went wrong. I have struggled to like aspects of him from time to time as he has with me, but we both agree that LOVE has never changed and it is WHY we are still (and will be until parted by death) in LOVE. This poem from many a wedding we have attended is wonderful. It was not part of our ceremony but the essence of it was.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ntmTJIuJpcA/UvvsisXDewI/AAAAAAAADjk/nBY7zJKqpzs/s1600/

 

I wish you LOVE….today and always…thank you for reading this blog, commenting and linking up too!

Denyse.

 

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “A Pet Story”.



I always link here too on Mondays: Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays. Do you?

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What’s Enough Money? #LifeThisWeek 6/52. 2017.21.

What’s Enough Money? #LifeThisWeek 6/52. 2017.21.

I am someone who thought she never had ‘enough money’ for quite some time. Decades.

It did not matter that I worked full-time in a professional career, and we were paying off a lovely house and car, could buy most things I needed when I needed them, could assist our family in a financial way if necessary.

This was because I continued to compare myself to others.

Especially others who I believed were doing better than me, who had more than me and were obviously well-off financially.

It has taken around the past 2 years for me to edge this belief to the kerb, and whilst not quite kicking it down the gutter, my mind set has shifted for these reasons.

  • gratitude to have a healthy and happy relationship with my husband
  • thankful to arise each day to a new day where I remain well in most respects in accord with my age
  • grown up family members who are settled and caring for themselves and no longer need our input in any respect
  • a comfortable house which we rent until we are ready to buy and this is giving us time to determine where our permanent home will be
  • a day to day existence that is relaxed, pleasant and we have enough to keep us safe, fed, sheltered, learning  and amused
  • we can afford health insurance, insurance for belongings and cars, items such as gifts although we have dialled back the spending there considerably,  some spending for a short holiday but neither of us want to travel so that satisfies us, money for art supplies and hobbies such as music and woodworking
  • there is a back-up plan of savings for what might be needed but there is no longer an obsession that it is not enough

There was a time in mid-late 2014 when it was not this pleasant. I had to finish work and our mortgage payments could not be sustained but more than that…we were actually ready to sell and move on but it took both reasons – I wanted to finish work and we had to get some money behind us to leave Sydney – for us to do so.

The relief from the house sale going through in mid January 2015 was marvellous and I celebrated not with a champagne but an icy pole gazing at the waters at Ettalong.

Keeping it real. And from then on, the attitude shift has evolved.

We have enough money.

How is this for you?

Everyone is different of course.

We have been married for over 46 years and one of us receives a lifetime pension and both of us some government benefits based on our age. It is enough.

Denyse.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “Love”.



I always link here too on Mondays: Alicia for Open Slather and Kell for Mummy Mondays. Do you?

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Back To Routines. #LifeThisWeek 5/52. 2017.17.

Back To Routines. #LifeThisWeek 5/52. 2017.17.

Yawn!

Str- e- tch!

Oh, here we go, back to routines!

Is this how it is for you right now?

I chose this prompt for this week as it is, for most of us, back to whatever routines form our lives.

We have, in many cases, had some time off from the usual routines and now it’s back to real life!

In our case, it’s actually been interesting NOT to have to get back to real life because we are retired from paid work, family responsibilities now our kids have well and truly left home and needing to be anywhere, somewhere by a certain time.

However there are days where we need to attend appointments and in my husband’s case perform his volunteer roles but we can take our day at a more leisurely pace. I know I needed routine in my life as a mother and a professional and it was via lists, preparation of meals and clothes ready to wear and generally having a running diary both in my head and on the fridge calendar.

Now, there are some routines I need to follow: eating meals, going for a walk, doing the blog and so on but it is less-timetabled and more free. It has taken me some time to become used to it all but now…love life with fewer routines!!

This sums up me in quite a few ways! The old me really.

I am someone who enjoys helping others and I also did some on-line research about the value of routines and agree that they are good for consistency and a smoothly operating family life…as best as can happen! I love this site that is Australian based and has many, many more helpful ideas for families.

Why routines are good for parents
Routines take some effort to create. But once established, they have lots of benefits:
* They free up time for you to think about other things while you work.
* Regular and consistent routines can help you feel like you’re doing a good job as a parent.
* When things are hectic, routines can help you feel more organised, which lowers stress.
* A routine will help you complete your daily tasks efficiently.
* As children get better at following a routine by themselves, you can give fewer instructions and nag less.
* Routines free you from having to constantly resolve disputes and make decisions. If Sunday night is pizza night, no-one needs to argue about what’s for dinner. Source: here.

What does “Back To Routine” mean for you?

Have you had a break from routine?

Do you find you can keep to a routine most days?

Can you give yourself permission to vary the routine and have some extra fun?

Denyse.

 

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week. Next week’s prompt is “What’s Enough Money?”.


I link up here with Alicia on Mondays and here with Kell too! Pop over and link up too!

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Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.

Tips For Living In A Shared Household. #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2017.13.

This week, 47 years ago, my parents drove the 6 hours from Sydney to Barraba with 20 year old me, my luggage, teaching needs and more to check out where I would be teaching and where I might live!

I was more excited than nervous. This was me, getting ready for what I couldn’t wait to do! Teach. The school was located about 30 minutes drive from where my boyfriend of 3 years had just started his new job after graduating with his Ag Science degree, and we would likely meet up most weekends! Even though I didn’t have a car.

Sweet! But, where would I live? In those days single teachers often found accommodation in a person’s house as a boarder but I was not 100% taken with that notion. The school was open and that I got to meet the DP who was getting ready for school starting that week and asked him about accommodation. He mentioned the teacher share house just down the road from school where there was a vacancy. We drove to the house (see photo from screen shot!) met the already arrived 2 teachers (one was yet to come) and I was offered the place. All in the space of an afternoon.

Looking back, and speaking to Dad only recently about this whole experience, apparently Mum found it all pretty traumatic leaving her daughter behind. I recall her helping me get the bedroom sorted (my part of it as it was a shared one – the front room seen in the pic) and just being ‘Mum’ about it all. She cried on the way home Dad tells me. Oh. I found the truth of how that feels when my daughter left home aged 21.

This post one year ago is about my first school as a teacher.

Back to the topic! I had NO idea what it would be like to live in a shared household with 3 somewhat older women. We were all on the same staff of the K-12 school. However, I was the spoiled only daughter who had a social life as her priority rather than anything else to do with chores so I think, over time, I did not do well as a contributor to the house.

I learned to cook spaghetti bolognaise as we did have a cooking roster and I got some help there.
I did keep my room tidy. I used to save up my washing and take it home to Mum’s when I drove down to Sydney for a weekend every fortnight or so with the DP who would make me drive part of the way (and back) as he was visiting his fiancee.

My relationship with the boyfriend fizzled in Term One, so I became much more interested in socialising and holding Saturday night parties! The other housemates were generally away on the weekends. Once I met my now-husband in the final term, I did nothing. Except be lovelorn when he wasnt there and we married by the following year. I learned that I was a NOT a good household sharer. Marriage though was a BIG lesson!!

Thanks for my Facebook friends for their tips!

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6199/6059949428_226b92144a_z.jpg

Tips for Living In A Shared Household.

  1. Don’t live with Denyse when she is young and in love (my tip)
  2. Work out from the outset whether you’re going to do shared meals or fend for yourself.
  3. Allocate cupboard and fridge space accordingly. If doing shared meals, allocate a budget and draft meal plan.
  4. Use your words. Literally.Don’t get in a huff with your house mates when they don’t do things your way.
  5. Spoons in the sink when there’s a dishwasher two feet away can drive you mental.
  6. Hold regular house meetings.
  7. Work out who is an introvert and who is an extrovert. Make plans accordingly. In one share house I lived in, where people were incredibly busy and social, we instituted a weekly no guests night.
  8. Live alone.
  9. Some people suck at grocery shopping. Train them.
  10. If you own anything precious, don’t keep it in shared areas. It will likely get broken.
  11. Oh God, just don’t. The stories I could tell about my nightmare 4 months.
  12. Set ground rules – who does what, and what items are shared and which are your own.I think talking about things as they come up is great, so they don’t become bigger problems.
  13. And do fun things together – like house dinners and nights out, because they’re your new family. I loved my share house experiences for the most part!
  14. If you find yourself house sharing in middle age, as I have, share with a man. Living with another woman was too stressful and it’s never fair when both are set in their ways. The dramas were awful. Never again. My last two housemates have been men and it’s worked really well for all of us.
  15. Make them clean. Don’t just clean because no one else is doing it and it’s driving you slightly mental. You’ll just get resentful that you’re the only one who cleans anything.

So, have you ever lived in a shared household?

How was it for you?

What tips would you add?

Thanks for sharing!

Denyse.

Here are the rules for the link-up “Life This Week” is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for until Thursday at 5 p.m.during that week.
* You can link up something old or new, just come on in.
* Please add just ONE post each week!
* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.
* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!
* Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right!
* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine!
* THANK you for linking up today! Do come back next week.   Next week’s prompt is “Back To Routine”.



 

I also link up here with Alicia and here with Kell on Mondays.

 

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A Favourite Post in 2016. #LTW1/52. 2017.2.

A Favourite Post in 2016. #LTW1/52. 2017.2.

Welcome to Life This Week 1/52.

I like to have a numbering system of sorts, and this one will work as Life This Week will run for the year of 52 weeks!

Little blurb about my post numbering system:

I am someone  also needs to know which blog post was done when and in 2015 it was ‘easy’ with one post a day for 365…my system was 1/365 and so on. 2016 brought me a change of order of numerals, and because of the leap year I went with 366/1. Good. Now…this year. I am numbering the posts with the date then a dot. Why? Because to me, 2017/1 looked like I was going to post (potentially) 2017 of them (no, not likely!!) …and if I went with ’17…then that just looked strange. So, bear with me and this longish explanation of someone who can confuse even herself.

Now, where was I?

Prompt: A Favourite Post in 2016.

I reviewed back to the middle of the year (give or take) and found a post about gratitude. It needs another airing I decided because we all know that with a bit more gratitude, the world becomes a nice place! I wrote a few posts on Wednesdays – my day for Health and Mindfulness topics – that  generated fewer comments, so I am nominating it for new reading and some bloggy comments to kick off the first week back of LIFE THIS WEEK.

About Gratitude :  Here is the link. 

Whether you have written to the prompt or not, thank you for reading, linking up and commenting!

Next week’s prompt is about your word for 2017 if that’s something you are into, or your thoughts on the year ahead…or your intentions. I wrote about my new idea for this yesterday.

Denyse.

Happy New Year to my blogging link-up friends Alicia here at One Mother Hen for Open Slather each Monday and to Kell, a busy mum and traveller, who blogs here at All Mum Said and on Mondays hosts Mummy Mondays! Go visit them too. Make new bloggy connections!


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Appreciation. #LTW16. 366/341.

Appreciation. #LTW16. 366/341.

This is the last post in the “Life This Week” LINK UP series for 2016.

It’s been great having so many blogging friends, old and new, join in each week.

I appreciate you all very much!

Today’s post is about my appreciation for the man I met in 1970 and married in 1971.

He is a modest person so I did have to ask him if it would be fine by him for me to write this and he agreed.

Our long marriage has seen us deal with many wins, struggles and more. Most do! However, I am concentrating on more recent times.

From the time in early 2014 he could see I was no longer wanting to work, through to selling the house at year’s end 2014, moving away from Sydney in early 2015, renting a place we hated for 10 months in 2015, and moving again in late 2015 to where we are more settled now…even though we are renting. One day we will buy!

These last three years have challenged me emotionally and have given me cause to feel more stressed about my life. Over time it has affected me and of course, my relationship. Major life shifts and changes can do that to a person. Especially one like me who needs her security and her sense of who she is and what she does.

Throughout all of the time, there has been one person here for me and ready to listen, advise and offer his love and security. I am a tough person to like when I am feeling insecure and sad. I push away because I am embarrassed by how upset I become.  I lost a sense of independence for a while and the notion of who I am.

So my list of appreciation for my dear husband B comprises:

  • his gentle patience displayed no matter how many times I ‘lose’ it over whatever emotional issue I am dwelling on
  • the ready cuddle or hug IF I need solace after my tears..sometimes I have even rejected that because I am actually mad with myself
  • his reminders that I have the skills and energy inside me to keep on keeping on
  • his kind and listening ear and he gets what I mean and then helps me see the ways in which I can get through this
  • words of encouragement  as he senses how well I am doing now compared to how I was doing
  • shared chats, laughter and repeated viewing of my old favourite Downton Abbey to enjoy the experience together
  • his understanding that there are some days/nights where I still need reassurance I am doing OK in my healthy life change
  • and when he agrees to an annual photo of the two of us then I am even more appreciative of his warm hug, gentle smile and loving demeanour.

 

The Two of Us. December 2016.

The Two of Us. January 1971.

Thank you B. I love you!

That’s my post on appreciation.

Did you write a post this week or are you linking up an older one?

As it’s Summer and Christmas Holidays in Australia I do not expect many bloggers to link up this Boxing Day!

Those who do, thank you!

Denyse.

Alicia is having a break today but Kell is running her link up here.

The ” Life This Week” prompt list from 2 January 2017- 27 February 2017 is on the Home Page and listed here too.



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This Time Next Week. #LTW15. 366/338.

This Time Next Week. #LTW15. 366/338.

This time next week it will be Monday 26 December and for us in Australia (and elsewhere!) it’s Boxing Day.

The day after Christmas Day. Called Boxing Day because of one tradition I believe which stem from the English one where presents were in boxes and handed out on the day after the religious day that was 25 December.

The focus on Christmas Day was the gathering of family for church services recognising the birth of Jesus Christ and then eating a meal together at home.

So…what are some of the current and past Boxing Day traditions for me and many?

credit: http://worldsoccertalk.com/2013/12/25/an-american-soccer-fans-ode-to-boxing-day-video/

In no particular order they are:

  • waking to a quieter and less busy day than Christmas Day and knowing that the fridge is groaning with leftovers, yet funnily, you can still be hungry and you are glad you over-catered! But, eventually you tire of the ham and you seek this for help….

credit: http://savingsroom.com.au/category/events/boxing-day/

  • if you are a keen shopper (read: LOVE specials and crowds) then you will have jumped in the car, arrived in a closed up city to find the SALES are not only crazy but they are not always specials you want..but you enjoy it for the heck of it.

Credit: http://stylewithcindy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/boxing-day-sales.jpg

  • Around the middle of the day, it’s time to put the TV on…or to find a vantage spot around Sydney Harbour if you are a fan of the big sailing event called The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It is serious stuff. The vessels come in all sizes and crewed by many men and women. Where I grew up we could walk to Dobroyd Head and watch the fleet leave Sydney harbour, and head south. To Hobart. Of course, the wind would determine a fast or slow race. A safe one too.

 

credit: http://outrageoussports.com.au/australian-sports/sydney-hobart-yacht-race/

  • In THIS household here is what will be happening at around 10.00 a.m. The comfy recliner chair will be occupied by my husband. The TV will be on to Channel 9. The announcers will welcome everyone to the Boxing Day test in Melbourne. Then for the next 4-5 days this will be the custom for all cricket fans and it’s meant to be good for the refreshing of the soul and the body after a BUSY year. I pop in and watch from time to time.

The Age Sport Cricket
Picture by WAYNE TAYLOR 26th December 2008
MCG boxing day test Australia v Sth Africa. Day 1.

  • Of course I cannot confirm that this is a true account of what happens everywhere on Boxing Day..but I had to include it!

credit:http://www.teatime-mag.com/magazines/109-de/

So, what’s on the agenda for you, this time next week? Hope you have joined in the link up with this {optional} prompt.

From 2017 I am dropping the {optional} from the prompt because it was too wordy but the OPTIONAL bit remains by inference!

The first 9 prompts for 2017 will be up on Thursday…for those of you who are planners like me!

I hope the week ahead is not too busy and stressed.

For us it will be quiet but we are expecting 3 grown up grandkids to visit us for Early Christmas and I am doing to same by driving to Sydney to see my Dad before the crazy on the roads Day! We are a practical family.

Denyse.

P.S. The link up continues without a break for holidays…because I am not on holidays…I am retired.

Monday link ups I like and join are here: with Alicia, Kell and Sue! Thank you ladies.

 

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