Monday 20th May 2019

No (ONE) Word Of The Year For Me. 6/2019.

No (ONE) Word Of The Year For Me. 6/2019.

Dear Readers,

In my earlier post here, I gave a rundown on my success/lack thereof with recent “words of the year”. I said I would be back with what I have in 2019.

Here I am.

I have no (ONE) word of the year at all. I have many and I need to share the story more.

Thank you,

Denyse.

If you have ever wondered why it is hard to come to a decision about something? I have been like this with the notion of a word/intention for 2019.

I have asked myself MANY times why and the response is usually because I want to cover all I need for me in 2019.

This is impractical so I will share the range of words here in this post.

Last year as I went through two surgeries for re-construction and re-modelling inside my mouth after my oral cancer diagnosis in May 2017. In doing that I had a significant need to remember to be B.O.L.D. that is: Be Brave Optimistic Loving & Learning Determined Denyse. It was (and still is engraved on a small bracelet chain I wear day and night. I could ‘touch it’ or read it to remind me of how I wanted to be even in the hardest of situations. Some of these included being told a 4th surgery was necessary and would be a much longer time for me to wear a stent inside my mouth to allow the space to stay open.

I kept my practice going of wearing an outfit, having a photo taken, going out for a coffee and sharing what I got up on Instagram and the on-line support was a boost I always appreciated.

Of course, I did not only rely on the bracelet and already had so much knowledge and experience from the even more emotionally hard days well before my cancer diagnosis. Even though I did not seem to be able to live as I would have liked then I was sowing the seeds within. Many of these titles were listened to in the car and in my then art room as I made patterns and mandalas (another coping mechanism for my anxiety pre-cancer) and meditate along with some of these mindfulness teachers.

I believed I was going well in many aspects as I could face the hard things which I wrote about here and here. I also had greater understanding of what it is to be human! We are not alone at all. My meditation practices helped. Not always. But anything which slowed down my critical voice and over-active mind was a good thing!

In August 2018 the event I had waited over 14 months for occurred. I had the new upper prosthesis of teeth screwed into my new jaw and gums. At last, I could eat more again! So exciting. It was (and still is) and work-in-progress as the mouth I use to eat is so very different to one that has natural teeth attached to a natural jaw.

3 months difference! I like to recognise special days

But I loved trying new foods. Until in the last few months my weight changed. Up. I am continually torn between eating for fun/enjoyment and for nourishment. Sigh. So, not being disrespectful to my professional team at all, I need to take personal responsibility for my eating. I am not 100% confident with that yet (again!) as I have had issues with being very overweight (related to using food for needs other than hunger) and I confessed all that here.

I value honesty and truth-telling and I know some people who read here tell me that they think I am being brave. Well, that maybe the case but I cannot hide. I tried that a long time ago and it does not work. So I must accept my truth is that I am vulnerable and sometimes look to food to be a salve for what I cannot fix. I actually do not want to be like this anymore. I am needing to find the words to help me through and they seem to be based in:

  • self-care
  • self-kindness
  • self-compassion

But even before I can do this well, I have to accept what my ageing body is doing (70 this year) and normalising that is hard! I thought managing cancer was all I had to do. Nope.

  • I have to manage my IBS symptoms when and if they appear,
  • I need to be aware of my regular skin checks, eye sight (I had a wee scare late December which turned out to be floaters),
  • my feet cannot embrace many shoes so I need to care for them better
  • manage my weight. Oh I was so hoping I would not HAVE to go there
  • acknowledge that some foods add weight & were what I used to calm me then I need(ed) to be able to embrace those emotions that are stress/anxiety/worry based …
  • and, in owning up to them, let them arrive, and let them go of their own accord.

This is what I have also learned in my mindfulness, meditation, podcasts and more.

So many wonderful people speaking on these CDs and each has helped (and continue to help) me.

Calm is my latest and the each 10 minutes has something of value to me to shift my attitude and be more at one with myself.

A word popped into my head two weeks back as I considered this topic (where were we….ah, Word or Intention!) and INTEGRATE stayed. I now have this word on a second bracelet and it may look a teensy bit over-done but as a visual and sensory reminder, with the tiny heart bracelet in between I reckon they will help me return to calm(er) waters.

The bracelets don’t stay like this of course but each faces me so I can see them and remember!

What now?

I continue to face what I need to do to live honestly and to embrace the emotions I dislike.

  • To this end, and because I had been learning lots about self-compassion, I have just started on the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kirstin Neff PhD & Christopher Germer PhD. I shall share progress on this in future blog posts.
  • I remain committed to something creative each day and am exploring different ways of using my small and medium art journal and finding that excellent. I am returning to mandala making. I have, to a greater extent, ruled out Tarot cards. I just am not in a headspace for that right now.
  • I think too, that I have been pretty distracted since Tuesday 8 January 2019 where I had an unexpected mouth check as more skin was growing and it came as a shock that it was done in case it was cancer. THAT in itself is another post. I had pushed cancer to the back and I was jolted back to reality when my surgeon said “I’m a cancer doctor”. Oh.
  • He also mentioned the possibility of further and extensive in-mouth surgery if the lip continues to have reduced room between it and the teeth and when he outlined what they might involve, I was pretty shocked. HOWEVER, nothing is decided yet but it’s there, hovering.

Every 7th week now on my Monday link-up the optional prompt will be Self-Care and I have added this for me and for anyone else who wants to share their self-care. 

I have written a lot and still there is no conclusive one word or an intention  but this is how it is for me in January 2019.

Thanks for reading!

I hope it’s been of interest to you.

It has helped to write it out.

Denyse.

Linking up with Sue here and Leanne on Wednesdays for Midlife Share The Love link up.

On Thursdays I link with Leanne and the crew at Lovin’ Life here.

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Goodbye 2018. 1/2019.

Goodbye 2018. 1/2019.

It’s goodbye, so long, farewell to 2018.

Already it’s 2019 and I am not feeling any different. But wait, what’s that? You are going to be 70 this year?! OH.

But, hey, so what? Many people would envy that, so moving right along!

This is a post I am writing to get me back to the blog in the week before I kick off my #LifeThisWeek series and link-up each Monday. Reminder:

1/51. Hello Again. 7/1/19

2/51. “Word/Intention/Nothing” 2019. 14/1/19

3/51. Best Gift Ever. 21/1/19

4/51. What Is Hope? 28/1/19.

5/51. Share Your Snaps #1. 4/2/19.

6/51. Your Worst Purchase. 11/2/19.

7/51. Self-Care. Share Your Story.#1. 18/2/19.

8/51. Your Favourite Decade. 25/2/19.

9/51. Taking Stock.#1. 4/3/19.

I am sharing the photos I took in the last few weeks as I prepared for the end-of-year posts and beginning of next year. I like to walk on the beach for keeping my mindfulness practice up and the wonder of being by the sea.

 

I also like to visit the bridge near Mackenzie Reserve at Budgewoi to do some reflecting. It has been out of action while they s l o w l y repaired this beloved footbridge and attached new sleepers to the bridge itself.

I love time to reflect, to appreciate, to practise gratitude and also to get out into the wider world. It does me good.

Every.Single.Time.

Let’s move on, with life as it is and with what’s to come, and welcome in 2019.

 

 

My best wishes to you all in 2019.

Denyse.

Leanne at Deep Fried Fruit is leading the Link-Up start to 2019 here on Thursday 3 January 2019.

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We Made It! 52/52.#LifeThisWeek 2018.134.

We Made It! 52/52.#LifeThisWeek 2018.134.

Thank you all.

Yes, we made it. Each Monday to come here and read, join in with a blog post link up and comment.

Some of my blogging friends have had big changes in their lives: I know there have been travel experiences far and wide around this world of ours. I do also know that some of the bloggers have struggled through life transitions of job changes, moving house, starting new courses, having health issues to overcome and losing loved family members. Sadly.

There is no doubt in my mind, this community here, and ones where I also join in here, are living, breathing and caring ones and I am very grateful for the connections. Always. In 2018 a much loved link up ceased…so I for one am hoping these lovely link ups continue into 2019.

Open Slather with Alicia http://onemotherhen.blogspot.com.au on Mondays and Mummy Mondays with Kelly http://allmumsaid.com.au

Midlife Share the Love Linky on Wednesdays with Leanne: http://crestingthehill.com.au Sue:  http://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au

Lovin Life Linky hosted on Thursdays with Leanne http://deepfriedfruit.com.auand friends

 

Now, for the round-up of blog posts for 2018 on Mondays for Life This Week. I was going to use my teacher-voice and call it an award…but it’s not. I looked at the posts from each month and checked the comment numbers as an indication of higher engagement via the comments…as you know Denyse Whelan Blogs To Connect!

January 2018.

Intention or Word for 2018. 16 links.

Sign Above Where I Blog.

February 2018.

Taking Stock 1. 17 links.

Night before 3rd surgery I walked up to COBLH.

March 2018.

Out My Window I See. 15 links.

HAPPY me, with a smile I almost recognise…in my art room.

April 2018.

School Holiday Memories. 11 links.

The signpost…to where we used to live 1971-1972. House is gone.

May 2018.

My Biggest Fear. 16 links.

Writing this in the sand did not reduce my fear but it did make me think about why I was/am fearful at times.

 

June 2018.

What I Will Never See Again. 14 links.

Loved my art-ing times with my pre-school aged grandkids

 

July 2018.

Taking Stock. 23 links.

Spreading the news of Beyond Five & Head & Neck cancer awareness with my local Federal MP.

 

August 2018.

Famous People I’ve Met. 18 links.

Photo with then NSW Governor Marie Bashir. Taken by former NSW Premier, Barrie O’Farrell.

September 2018.

Have You Ever? 12 links.

Excited not only to be part of #celebratingwomen but to be quoted in the book!

 

October 2018.

What I Have Learned Lately. 15 links.

What a wonderful experience it was to be able to smile again!

 

November 2018.

Share Your Snaps. 15 links.

Waves. The Beach!

 

December 2018.

Taking Stock. 18 links.

My ‘word’ for 2018.

Thank you all for visiting, commenting, reading, viewing, following and linking up in 2018.

#LifeThisWeek starts for 2019 on Monday 7 January:

1/51. Hello Again. 7/1/19

2/51. “Word/Intention/Nothing” 2019.. 14/1/19

In the meantime I will be making up some new prompts.

The GOOD news is Share Your Snaps will continue every 5th week

And, good old Taking Stock, around each 9th week.

See you there!

Denyse.

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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

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

Next Year’s Life This Week commences on Monday 7 January with: Hello Again, as the optional prompt.


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Share Your Snaps 6. 30/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.64

Share Your Snaps 6. 30/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.64.

And just like that we are in a week for sharing our snaps…i.e. photos.

In an effort to be as wordless as I can, I offer a quote that I loved and a photo from the balcony/little flower bed garden here.

Enjoy.

 

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/luther_burbank_277482?src=t_gardening

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/marcus_tullius_cicero_104340?src=t_gardening

 

 

 

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

Alfred Austin

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/gardening

A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.

Luis Barragan

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/luis_barragan

The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. No one would desire not to be beautiful. When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming.

John O’Donohue

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/gardening

Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.

Oscar de la Renta

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/gardening

Flowers are happy things.

P. G. Wodehouse

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/gardening

All gardening is landscape painting.

William Kent

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/william_kent

I think this is what hooks one to gardening: it is the closest one can come to being present at creation.

Phyllis Theroux

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/gardening

I like gardening – it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.

Alice Sebold

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alice_sebold_521834

I wish you all a week ahead filled with flowers, lovely words and kindness.

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 31/52. If I Could  30/7/18.

#lifethisweek 30/52.


 

 

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Taking Stock 3. #LifeThisWeek 27/52. 2018.55.

Taking Stock 3. #LifeThisWeek 27/52. 2018.55.

When each 9th week comes around I sit for a bit before completing Taking Stock. I like to do the prompts all at once.

This snapshot was completed on Friday 29 June 2018.

I never look at previous ones before completing the current one as I do not want to be reminded.

I will do that perhaps after this is published as I do like to see my changes and also what stays the same.

Thanks again to Pip for her prompts. She blogs here.

 

 

Making: plans for creating 100 mandalas in one book by the end of 2018.

Cooking: fried rice – a family favourite by itself or as a meal accompaniment.

Drinking: coffee – double shot 3/4 small latte has taken over from the piccolo

Reading: Kylie Ladd’s The Way Back. Kylie is an Australia author who I support 100% and have met twice.

Wanting: cancer treatments to be D.O.N.E. but understanding not for quite a while yet.

Looking: outside and up…to the sky. I love clouds

Playing: Four plus – on the Ipad. My husband has a record of over 1300…me, just under 700. We are NOT competitive. Much.

Wasting: time on the phone to News Ltd and Fairfax to let them know their new delivery system by a private contractor is NOTHING like the one from the Newsagency.

Sewing: I actually did some sewing when a woollen thread on my new cardi got caught in my purse. My husband snipped it free, which then unravelled that section. Found the sewing basket and some thread and pulled it together but it’s now a ‘wear at home cardi’. A before-shot.

Wishing: that everyone with cancer is cured and the cancer is long gone as a disease. Doing my bit to contribute to those patients who are gifted a Big Hug Box by making bookmarks. Want to know more? Here’s the link.

Enjoying: my drives to wherever when I get to play my music, my podcasts or audible books

Waiting: for a parcel to arrive. If I dared go out, it would arrive, right?

Liking: this time in our lives

Wondering: how my 19 yo granddaughter will go surviving a full Winter seasons where she is working and living now with her boyfriend

Loving: life. It’s alright isn’t it?


Hoping: that more people are kinder to everyone they meet because as it is said “you never know what battle they may be waging.”

Learning

Marvelling: the resilience of my plants and flowers. Just a bit of water and some sunshine, along with some pruning and away they go again to delight me.

Needing: to remember how much I am loved and cared for, always.

Smelling: betadine, under my nose, where the teensy tiny hole is still there in a minor way (after 4th surgery, a stitch was placed there with the skin graft, and the first change of stent back in May, pushed the stitch out and small fissure appeared. We are hoping it closes by itself or it means… 5th surgery.

Wearing: my faves of jeans, navy striped top and navy lace ups.

Following: Hannah Gadsby’s story. I saw her Netflix performance and was “blown away”. Links here.

Noticing: that I can have the most wonderful and generous friend in Linda who sent this to me…overwhelmed by her generosity and thoughtfulness, let alone the hard work to get this to completion.

Knowing: I have lots of people who care about me and for me and it is just great.

Thinking: I need to get some more freckles (see coffee pic if unfamiliar with this Aussie choccie) today as they have become my latest comfort food

Feeling: That the anniversary of my 1st Surgery coming up on Friday will be a great reminder to me of how far I have come.

Bookmarking: Chris O’Brien’s book “Never Say Die”. I read it ages ago and gave it away, now as a patient in the hospital he dreamed of but his wife, Gail saw it come true I want to read it again so have it as a library copy.

Opening: mail. I still love opening mail.

Giggling: more smiling broadly (without top teeth) at our sweet granddaughter who face timed us with her Dad on her fifth birthday. We will celebrate with some cake in the school hols.

Have you taken stock recently or this week for the link up?

It’s always fine here to add an old post or new, on or off prompt too.

All are welcome!

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather on Mondays too.

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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 28/52. My Home Country 9/7/18.


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Share Your Snaps.4. #LifeThisWeek. 20/52. 2018.41.

Share Your Snaps.4. #LifeThisWeek. 20/52. 2018.41.

I wanted to do this post before my next surgery on 16 May but I also needed a theme.

Like many in Australia I have been waiting, waiting, waiting for Autumn to arrive and STAY for the supposedly 3 months of:

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

But no, Mother Nature had other plans so she continued with SUMMER temperatures and conditions well into April. Would WINTER just push in and leave AUTUMN out? I hoped not. On Sunday 6 May I drove along Alison Road Wyong towards Yarramalong (I’ve done this drive a few times to see the rolling green hills and country living) and I was rewarded. Thanks Mother Nature. Happy to see these, alongside the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this little trip in the country!

What snaps have you shared this week here?

Thanks for joining in.

Denyse.

P.S. After this little drive, later in the week,  WINTER snuck in just like that…..

 

Linking up with my friend Alicia here for Open Slather too.

Life This Week 20/52. 

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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 21/52. My Biggest Fear. 21/5/18. 


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The A-L of Me. #LifeThisWeek. 19/52. 2018.39.

The A-L of Me. #LifeThisWeek. 19/52. 2018.39.

I’ve been doing a ‘clean-up’ of old posts. Some drafts from waaay back in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 have been trashed. I do however keep some posts in draft form to give me an idea of what things were like for me when writing here back then. I came upon a 4 year old post called: The A-Z of Me. I read it and determined, that with some additions it could be copied and pasted for this prompt.

What I found interesting is how I have not really changed much at all. Some of the updated life circumstances have been added to what makes me Denyse now, but essentially I have remained pretty much the same.

I wonder about what others might say about themselves, so I am looking forward to seeing who blogs using the optional prompt this week for A-L and for the M-Z week.

Art-lover  I really love to make art, look at art and appreciate the ART of others.

Blogger who uses this space, and Facebook,  to connect, share and communicate her passions

Caring person about people I care for, those who struggle in life from time to time and about issues which are really meaningful for me. I add for Cancer too as once diagnosed, it is ‘part of me.’

Dramatic in my moods, from highs to lows at times but often “over” them much faster than most people. I’ve added Determined in 2018 too.

Excitable with a side of tension, yet more of joy mixed with happiness, and often like a little kid!

Fat is not a word I like, but I embrace that it has been a descriptor of my outward appearance for decades. Whilst I do not diet to change it, life’s health circumstances have changed as I am a different size to my first edition. Maybe, Fabulous? Ha!

Generous to a fault — and the fault may be that I am not generous enough of time or energy for me. Sadly I add Gums: for that is where my cancer was found.

Helpful is my “middle name” not Jennifer, but again, I can ‘over do’ this and it become UNhelpful to me. A balancing act needed here.

Intelligent and so grateful for this genetic gift as it has given me opportunities in life and career, and now in retirement years to continue to learn and enjoy sharing knowledge.

Jealousy is hard to admit but yes, I am jealous. Of some opportunities I’ve missed & others have had, of having ‘enough’ money just to name a few. I am not proud to admit this one, and I am also ‘better’ at dealing with the ‘green eyed monster’ than I was. I am more prone to joy these days too.

Knowledgeable of trivia, such as my BFF birthday even though I haven’t seen her for 45 years, and of all sorts of news and family details. Oh yes, am often a walking encyclopedia of ‘stuff’.

Left-handed and proud even though the world we inhabit is made for the right-handers, it also sets me as a little bit different and for a usual-conformist in nature, this makes me ‘special’.

Interesting shots I have found from around the time of writing this original words and to now, adding just some.

I am very interested to read your A-L of Me if you completed the prompt.

Thanks for joining in or commenting.

This space here is always appreciative of readers, linking bloggers and comments!

Denyse.

Linking up with my friend Alicia here for Open Slather too.

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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 20/52. SHARE YOUR SNAPS 4. 14/5/18. Unbelievable…it’s 5 weeks since the last one!

Life This Week 19/52. The A-L of Me.


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Share Your Snaps. 2. 10/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.21.

Share Your Snaps. 2. 10/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.21.

Saying goodbye to February was easy for me. It is not a favourite month as I wrote here but I also know for many of my readers it is one they love.

Summing up February in photos for Share Your Snaps is here:

 

That’s my lot: Sharing My Snaps. Of course I had a bajillion more but this was plenty!

I look forward to seeing your snaps too.

This photo-prompt is every 5 weeks here on #lifethisweek.

Thanks for joining me here this week!

Denyse.

Joining Alicia here for Open Slather on Mondays.

Life This 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! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week is the optional prompt’: 11/52.  “My Last Meal Was.” 12/3/18.


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