Sharing My World 77

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Share Your World – December 4, 2017

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I half-assed hate all of them.  Vacuuming (and sweeping and washing and polishing) floors is brutally hard on my back.  And even when it isn’t I will complain that it is.  Cleaning bathrooms is puke inducing.  Laundry is just an annoying pain in the ass.  I guess it’s ass day here at Breathing Space headquarters.  Sorry.

Okay, if I absolutely hate it, it’s probably something I never do, like washing walls or cleaning blinds.  It’s insane to ever do something you absolutely hate doing.  Nothing insane about me!  My daughter dusts my blinds.  It’s just one of the many reasons why I love her.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Right after I retired and really, ever since to some degree.  Except I’ve calmed down a tad lately and no longer wake up every morning screaming in my brain OMFG I DONT HAVE TO GO TO WORK TODAY OR TOMORROW OR ANY OTHER DAY EVER UNTIL I DIE!  And not even after that, as far as I know.  I guess going to work was a chore of which I was less than fond.  Not that my job was horrible, it’s just that being the boss of my own time is infinitely better.  I certainly roll my eyes a lot less.

I have passionately pursued my art and redecorating and decluttering since retiring.  Along with sleeping in.  That is a popular one.  Now I believe I’m in a transition phase, although I have no clear vision of where I’m transitioning to.  Hopefully it’s not permanent couch potato status.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

Zero.  We are stuck in a house bound rut.  I just counted on my fingers sixteen different places I’ve lived, but don’t quote me on that because my math skills are less than stellar.  Our next move, should we choose to get off our asses and make one, will be to something smaller with no stairs and minimal yard work.  Preferably self-cleaning.  My mother-in-law, in her nineties, still lives in the two-story, laundry-in-the-basement home W grew up in.  I don’t know whether I should call that amazing or just down-right dangerously nuts.  Well actually I do know, but I try to be polite and mind my own business most of the time.

I hope we both are smart enough to know when it’s time to down size and simplify and give up doing things like cleaning out eaves troughs and trimming trees and driving vehicles and operating machinery and going up and down stairs and cooking eight course gourmet meals.  (Already ditched that last one, if it’s possible to ditch something you’ve never actually done before in your life).

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I love that my grandchildren are growing up and heading ever closer to adulthood and even though every one of them faces difficulties and issues and growing pains, it’s okay.  Because I’m not the one who has to deal with it.  Haha.  Yeah.  That IS a selfish bad grandma attitude despite the fact that of course I’m here if I’m ever asked for help or advice, but I’m also perfectly happy to stay out of it.  Our parents had confidence in us to deal with our kids without interference and I have the same confidence in mine.  So the inspiration for that little rant came from a weekend visit and conversations with my son and with my daughter-in-law.  Yes, kids, we talk about you when you’re not around, but you are in good hands.  Just don’t be assholes.

I’m running out of ways to incorporate the ass word in this revealing share, so I see no point in going on.  Plus I’ve taken the “sitting still” thing to its maximum limit for today.  Oh, who am I kidding.  There is no agreed upon limit for that.

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Weird Things

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(from Facebook, not sure who to credit, but somebody deserves a lot of it)

I don’t remember where this list came from, but “weird things about me” is a prompt I found hard to resist.  Is that weird?

I suppose the real weird part is having it sit in my drafts folder for six months.  So “hard to resist” may not mean what I think it means.  Anyway, here you go.  Feel free to copy and paste the questions so we can compare weirdness.
1.  Do you like blue cheese?

Absolutely cannot get past the appearance and smell to put it in my mouth.  So I guess that means no.

2. Coke or Pepsi?

Not sure (in a blind taste test)  if I’d be able to tell the difference.  I think I prefer Pepsi but I’ve been buying Coke Zero.  A lot of things in my life are confusing like that.

3. Do you own a gun?

Nope.  Although there’s still a couple of shot guns in the house from W’s trap shooting days, complete with permits.  They are locked away, separate from ammunition.  We are good law-abiding Canadians who will have to fend off intruders with kitchen knives and random blunt objects.  I don’t really have a clear plan.

4. What flavor Kool-aid?

Never touch the stuff.  Raspberry Crystal Lite is pretty good.  I prefer making my own lemon water with Truvia.

5. What do you think of hot dogs?

I think it’s bizarre that white bread with mystery meat and a pile of condiments can taste so good.

6. Favorite tv show?
7. Favorite movie?

I refuse to answer questions containing the word “favourite” especially when it’s spelled incorrectly.

8. What do you drink in the morning?

Water to swallow daily meds and coffee to improve my disposition.

9. Can you do a push-up?

Not likely.

10. Favorite jewelry?
11. Favorite hobby?

Leave me alone.

13. Do you wear glasses?

Yes, when I’m driving.  Otherwise I squint a lot at things in the distance and may appear to be rude and stuck up when I don’t recognize your face at twenty paces and ignore you.

14. Favorite cartoon character?

Cartoons are stupid.

15. Three things you did today?

Went to our accountants office to sign some papers.  Ate a McDonalds breakfast.  Whipped off an email to my baby sister to wish her a happy birthday and let her know her card will be late because I’m a procrastinating moron.  That last part she knows already so I didn’t have to actually point it out.

16. Three drinks you drink regularly?

Coffee. Times three.  And LOTS of water if that counts.

17. Current worries?

Why is life so expensive?  That’s about it.

18. Current hates?

Politics.

19. Favorite place to be?

Home.  Drinking coffee.

20. How did you ring in the new year?

Blissfully unconscious.  Probably snoring.

21. Where would you like to go?

Back to Ontario.

22. Favorite color?

Red. COLOUR.  I know, I’m being anal.

23. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

No clue.  But the slipperiness might be weird.

24. Can you whistle?

Very badly.  One barely audible note.

25. Where are you now?

On the couch in my living room. From here I can observe the approach of intruders, assuming they choose to gain access through the front door.

26. Would you be a pirate?

Probably not a very good one.  Not a fan of ships and oceans.  Or looting or swords.

27. Favorite food?

Not blue cheese.

28. What’s in your pockets?

Air and lint.

29. Last thing that made you laugh?

The news.  It also sometimes makes me cry.  And the picture at the top of this post. OMG the look on that cats face.

30. Favorite animal?

Stop it.  Okay, it’s that cat.

31. What’s your most recent injury?

I have a huge bruise on my left leg at the knee.  Must have bumped in to something.  Can’t give you any more details than that.

32. How many tv’s in your house?

One.

33. Worst pain ever?

Crushed disc in my lower back pushing on a nerve.  I spent about eight months on muscle relaxants and pain killers before surgery to remove it.  That’s how long it took to get a proper diagnosis.

34. Do you like to dance?

Not. At. All.  Because AWKWARD.

35. Are your parents still alive?

No.  I miss them.

36. Do you enjoy camping?

No.  Camping is even more stupid than cartoons.

Happy Thursday!  If it’s your birthday today the card from me is gonna be late, sorry!

This all ended up considerably less weird than I expected.  I’ll try to do better next time.

Places I’ve Called Home

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Way back in the day before color when farms were in black and white and sepia.

I almost called this list ‘Places I’ve Slept’ but thankfully saw the problems with that almost immediately.  Titles are hard.  Unless you don’t give a hoot about accuracy.  Anyway, here we go, a list of the various locations I’ve been referring to whenever I’ve said “let’s go home”.

    1. From birth to about age six I lived on a little farm in Ontario down the hill from my maternal grandparents farm, close to Lake Huron, beside a stone and cement bridge which spanned a raging creek.  I was little.  It looked raging to me.
    2. More permanent farm number two, about 8 miles from Port Elgin, the town I decided to call my hometown because I went to high school there.  This is the home I kept coming back to for most of my adult life, the place where my parents lived most of theirs.
    3. The Orchards house in Stratford where I boarded (a shared bedroom with a tiny little balcony) while attending Teachers College.
    4. A two bedroom apartment in St. Catharines shared with 3 other working girls.  I was a substitute teacher, on call to fill in anywhere in the city.  (This is when I met W at a residence party at the university) (it wasn’t all about work)
    5. The Wilkes house in St. Catharines where I boarded in a little smoke-filled bedroom while attending Brock University.  I was the one supplying the smoke,  convinced it helped me concentrate while writing boring English and Philosophy papers.
    6. A tiny little garage sized house in a backyard in Kenora, our first home as a married couple, close to one of W’s aunts who liked to feed us.
    7. Basement apartment in Dryden on Charles Street,  close to one of MY aunts who also liked to feed us.
    8. High rise apartment in Guelph where W went back to University and I worked at the campus bookstore, all in the interests of one day being able to feed ourselves.
    9. Basement apartment in Guelph for married University students.  Our daughters first home.
    10. Government house in Cambridge Bay, N.W.T.  Our sons first home.
    11. Row housing in Inuvik, N.W.T. The old ones close to the hospital, not the new ones on the other side of town.  We had utilidors and board walks.  And dust and mud and the scrawniest Christmas trees in the history of the world.
    12. Government house in Pond Inlet, N.W.T., right beside the Arctic Ocean.  The view from our front window was of the mountains on Bylot Island and random icebergs floating by or trapped in the ocean ice.
    13. Government house in Yellowknife on Bromley Drive, a paved street!  We were on our way back to civilization.
    14. And here we are, (and have been since the late 1980’s) in our very own mortgage free abode in sunny Alberta, the province my kids call home.

I’m glad we stopped our wandering ways.  I always worried that our kids would turn into little nomads with no roots.  Both of us had parents who stayed put even after we moved away and I wanted that stability for our kids too.

After all these years and all these places I still consider Ontario home and have vague dreams about one day going back there to end up somewhere close to the place I started.  I don’t know if it will ever happen, and really it doesn’t matter.  Home is just a thing you take with you wherever you go, leaving little pieces of your heart behind in every place you’ve ever been settled and happy. Nothing is forever, and we got good at packing up our memories and moving on.  I expect that skill will come in handy again one fine day.

 

Sharing My World 61

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The new and improved art studio because I was not loving the first version. I like to curl up in a comfy chair to sketch and draw, and the chair was already paint spattered. Win/win.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 37

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

There are likely rocks on our property, below ground, because I’ve never hit one with the lawn mower.  Our neighbour has some little rocks beside his fence that spill on to our side.  Are those mine now?  I let the grass grow around them and am leaving it for W to take care of with the whipper snipper apparatus from hell when he gets home. I hate that thing.  And how far below the surface does ones property actually extend?  I should ask the property tax people.  They probably have boring days which could do with some livening up.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?

The ability to zone out in a crisis.  I don’t know if that’s a strength or a weakness.  I think it could be either one.  Usually I will go into panic mode later when it’s all over.

What makes you feel grounded?

Well that’s a hard one because I’m pretty grounded most of the time.  I feel very ungrounded away from home and familiar things.  What does grounded even mean?  I’m relatively sensible and understand what’s important in life.  I’m not a teenager or an airplane.  If this was an exam question I would have just failed it spectacularly.

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?

Since I am amazingly lazy in the kitchen, cold food suits me just fine.  Eating stuff right out of the fridge saves a lot of time and energy.  I’d miss hot soup though.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

W is on his way home today.  He did some galavanting en route, stopping off to visit friends.  “Galavanting” is a word my mother often used to express mild disdain for a person who wasn’t exactly grounded and went off in all directions doing dumb things.  Well, I kind of made that up, I’m not sure exactly what she meant when she talked about someone off galavanting around but it didn’t sound like she found it admirable.  W’s galavanting on the other hand is fine with me.

Anyway, wow, that was a ridiculous way to introduce the fact that I watched the tv show “Galavant” on Netflix.  It’s a musical.  Galavant is a knight.  The main reason I clicked on it was because of the word Galavant. I’m grateful I did because it was quite well done and funny.  You would not believe how crazy this little blurb is driving my spell check. It does not like the Galavant word one little bit.

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my sister and her family!  I have no idea what to feed them because they have various dietary issues!  Maybe they would all like to just eat out of my fridge!!

No, I will get my act together shortly. I have a week. W can help me.  But first he better ooh and ahh about this redecorated house before he starts complaining about where the hell I put all his stuff.

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Sharing My World 50

Coffee Wars Front Runner in Action

Coffee Wars Front Runner in Action

SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2016 WEEK 7

What are you a “natural” at doing?

If natural abilities show up in childhood with a minimum of encouragement, perhaps mine was related to music.  I never had much of a singing voice (my sister got all the talent there) but I had an ear for music and perfect pitch and could sight-read pieces and play them on the piano with ease.  In teachers college when I finally showed up to try out for the special music class they asked me what in the world I’d been waiting for.  Not much ever came of all that talent.  I haven’t touched a piano in years.  I get supremely annoyed if someone sings off-key or hits a bad note.  I like to listen to classical music and jazz once in a blue moon, and sometimes switch the sat radio to tunes from the 1940’s  They’re so bad they’re good.

Now I’m a natural at making soup.  It’s a much more useful ability.  My mom must have passed on to me part of her talent for throwing a bunch of stuff together without a measuring cup in sight and ending up with something delicious.  No recipe, difficult to duplicate, always a surprise.  Edible music to warm your soul on a cold winters day.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

The house you need/want/prefer is constantly changing as your life and circumstances change.  As much as I have always loved the idea of living in a six-story castle with turrets and ballrooms, I’m afraid all those stone staircases and drafty halls would kill me now, never mind the responsibility of servants and groundskeepers and film makers wanting to use it for a movie set.  A grand old three-story mansion with an attic would probably do me in as well.  I’m too old for haunted spaces and fireplaces with dead birds stuck in the chimneys and entire rooms made in to dusty old libraries.  I’ve also given up my dream of having a cathedral ceiling with windows everywhere and a cozy artists loft.  Even our three bedroom bungalow is feeling too big for the two of us these days.  I’m ready for something smaller with no stairs anywhere, not even up to the front door.  Flat as a pancake and easy to clean.  Sturdy shelves for my books and a corner for my art supplies and a kitchen almost too small to turn around in, but big enough for soup.

What was your favorite subject in school?

You might expect me to say art, but I didn’t love it because it was so structured then, with too many rules and often disappointing results.  I did love English, or Language Arts, and composition.  I hated how we were made to do book reports though, dissecting everything to death.  It was like explaining a joke until it was no longer funny.  In high school I thoroughly enjoyed Latin.  That was like having a love affair with words.

Complete this sentence: If only the rain..

…..would soak the world with joy and wash away all the pain and hurt and hate.  And maybe sweep some obnoxious mouthy morons down a sewer grate.

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It is getting easier every day to know what I can and cannot eat to keep my diabetic readings stable.  Last night we dined out.  I had Chicken Parmesan, sweet potato fries and five ounces of Merlot.  Perfect.  Except for the blatant absence of vegetables.  But sometimes I make a meal of nothing but vegetables, so it all evens out.

We have packages of coffee, both beans and ground, that we are trying half heartedly to use up by brewing a pot of coffee in the morning.  It’s coffee brewer vs. Tassimo, and Tassimo is sneaking in a lot of wins.  It’s just so much easier than measuring out water and scoops of coffee and having the coffee sit there and get stale and then poured down the sink and spilling the filter full of wet grounds on its way to the little green compost bin.  Life is just so hard when you have nothing of consequence to do with yourself.

There is this one thing though.  W has asked me to do one of my collage pictures with a fishing theme.  He wants to hang it up at camp, although where exactly is a mystery because the walls are already covered with photo boards and other fishy things.  I said ‘what if you hate it?’ and he said ‘I’ll hang it up anyway’.

I’m grateful he has shown an interest in my work, other than to ask me what the hell I’m planning to do with all this shit.  So that’s my next project.  When we move to our tiny little pancake house we will be having one hell of a garage sale.

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Rainy Tuesday

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

Today is Tuesday and today it rained.  My dad used to answer our pestering-kid questions wanting to know WHEN something was going to happen by telling us “a week from the next rainy Tuesday”.  This answer always made me sigh and roll my eyes and stop asking, but it also made me promise myself that I would keep track of the days of the week and note when it rained and thus be way ahead of the game.  Of course I never did, and if that Tuesday from the last rainy one ever did roll around I would have long forgotten what the question was anyway.  Which was no doubt his intent.

So that’s what I was thinking about this morning when I got up early and went out in the rain and off to the lab for my 8:15 a.m. appointment with the doctors requisition slip for fasting blood work stuffed in my bag.  I had eaten nothing since about 7:00 p.m. the day before.  Unfortunately I had also had almost nothing to drink.  Perhaps somewhere in the back of my little pea sized dehydrated brain I got the prep rules for this mixed up with those for surgery where you can’t even have water.  And because it was earlier than I usually take my meds and I would probably be home in about twenty minutes, I did not take my diuretic.  And I had no coffee.  And the last thing I did before leaving the house was use the bathroom, because mom always made us do that when we were going somewhere, whether we needed to or not.  Obviously my parents were both very influential people.

Can you see where this is going?  I swear there were no check marks at all in the little urinalysis box on that paper, but after I happily gave up three vials of blood the nurse handed me the dreaded styrofoam cup with my name on it.  Saying I didn’t think I’d be able to do it just got me that mom look.  So I asked for some water and headed off to the bathroom.

I was in there for a good twenty minutes.  I drank enough water to drown a horse, until it made me gag.  Then I started to sweat because it was damned hot in that tiny room with my hoodie on, but why take it off when I’m going straight home, right?  Who the hell ever thought peeing in a cup was a good idea?  I couldn’t do it.  I came out with the empty cup in my hand and told them I was going to sit in the waiting room for a bit.  They said they were wondering what happened to my sample, and would I like some water?  Double gag.

Alternately reading emails on my phone and watching the clock from 9:00 to 9:30 with still no urge whatsoever to urinate, I felt like a complete failure.  Asked to do ONE SIMPLE THING and unable to get it done.  Not knowing if giving up was an option.  Would they let me come back later?  Would I have to get another requisition?  What would happen if I smashed the damned cup and told them all they were ridiculous?  I was definitely not living in the moment, and fervently wishing to be somewhere else.

Finally after another fifteen or so minutes of extreme discomfort from all that water and embarrassment for being there so long and senseless frustration with myself I had some small degree of success.  I wonder if that might have been the most minute urine sample ever submitted for testing, but opted not to stick around to find out.

I drove home in the pouring rain, took my medication, drank two cups of coffee and then headed off to the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions and do some shopping and pick up the mail and guess what?  Could not wait to rush back into my house to use the bathroom.

The moral of this story is to always be prepared for whatever is happening being the opposite of what you thought you wanted to happen and have faith that everything will work out exactly right a week from the next rainy Tuesday.  And this Tuesday, even though it is indeed a rainy one,  doesn’t count because the rule is it has to be the NEXT one.

Glad I got that all sorted out.  And you wonder why I don’t like to leave home.

Sharing My World 28

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This used to be my world. A basement apartment in the early seventies complete with wood panelling and posters. And bare feet. And long hair. And strange things dangling from the green tulip pole lamp.

 

Share Your World 2015 Weeks 17, 18 and 19

Lately, for whatever reasons, I have seriously neglected to share my world.  So today I will share the heck out of it by answering a whopping lucky thirteen questions.  I will try to be brief, but when has that ever happened.

What type of pets do you have or want? Or do you not want pets?

We always had dogs and cats when I was growing up on the farm but I preferred the company of cats. They slobbered less.  The dogs loved my sister, not me.  My husband had a black lab, and then we had two cats for close to 20 years.  After that I killed a Japanese Fighting fish.  It was no match for me.  I like other people’s dogs and cats, but I’m not a great animal care giver, so I don’t think we will have any more pets in our lives.  It’s a big enough challenge looking after each other.

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

I really kind of hate the cartoons we used to watch on tv.  Although maybe hate is too strong a word.  But they always did stress me right out.  Walking off cliffs, getting blown up, having things happen to you that should result in fatal head injuries.  People and animals being insanely rude to each other.  How is any of that funny?

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Bare feet are the happiest feet.  Except when you get dry, rough, cracked heels.  Or drop heavy pieces of furniture on them.  I still think the risks are worth it.

Are you a traveler or a homebody?

I am the biggest homebody that ever lived.  And yet I have gone places.  The things we do to ourselves.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Coffee brewing while bacon sizzles in the pan.  Tomato plants.  Clean laundry fresh off the clothes line.  The sweet smell of new-mown grass.  Whatever that smell is after it rains.  That one is hard to beat.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

My mom gave me dutch boy haircuts until I begged her to let me grow my hair long enough for a pony tail.  Then I chopped it all off super short, but grew it back long and straight in time for fitting in to the long-haired hippy sixties.  W said when he met me my hair was down around the hem of my mini skirt.  That’s an exaggeration.  Although those skirts were pretty damned short.   I loved my long hair, but there comes a point in your life when all it does is drag your face down with it.  So now it’s short again, and likely to remain that way as long as there are scissors in my bathroom.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I go along with whatever someone else has planned.  That way I can blame other people when I don’t have any fun.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Seriously?  Sitting in a lawn chair with my sunglasses on and my eyes closed.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

Multiple levels are ideal when you’re young enough to run up and down all the stair cases without collapsing in a wheezing heap of broken bones.  When we moved in to this house, W took the hand railing off the basement stairs to make it easier to move furniture down there.  He never got around to putting it back, although I have nagged him about it on and off for years.  Late this fall he is going to have hip replacement surgery, and his beloved tv is down those basement stairs.  Stay tuned for further developments.

If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

Well, speak of the devil.  I like it downstairs where I can’t see or hear it.  Especially when W has the remote control.  But I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching Netflix and other stuff on my I-Pad.  The difference is not having to wear my glasses to read the subtitles, and not having to listen to commercials.  Plus watching any stupid thing I please.

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time? Explain your answer.

This is turning into a ‘complain about W’ post and he’s not even here to defend himself.  I turn lights on and he turns them off, so I have to turn them on again.  I especially like to leave the lights on at the back door where the railing-less steps go down to the basement.  If I’m going to fall down there and kill myself I’d like someone to be able to see the results.  But he’s away now, so lights are on in all the normally low-light places.  They will remain on until he comes home.  Or the bulbs burn out, whichever comes first.

What’s your favorite room in your home?

I like all the rooms in my house, but spend most of my time in or around the part of the living/dining room that’s been morphed into a little art studio.  I used to spend a lot of time in the bedroom at my computer, but found myself struggling to do things in the living room on my I-Pad instead, even though it took twice as long.  Then I turned my computer desk away from the wall so that it faces the window.  Now I like it here again.  But not as much as where the art is.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that W finally got everything packed up and ready to go and should be reaching his destination in North Western Ontario sometime today.  I am grateful that I can leave all the lights on now, day and night, and cook things for myself that would cause him great anxiety if he thought I wanted him to eat them.  I’m only looking forward to doing my own shopping because I can now buy turnips without being harassed.

Well!  That’s over a thousand sharing words.  What’s new in your world?  Are you wearing shoes?  Be careful on those stairs.

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