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All these stories of butterfly experiences bring huge smiles to my face. There's magic in those beautiful creatures and it's never more apparent than when someone talks about their experiences with them. It's no wonder I've always thought of them as fairies. I've never been a serious watcher but now that we live where they migrate through and/or spend their winters, I've started learning more about them. I need to get an identifier app on my tablet since that's what I take out to the patio with me.

I'm moving gingerly today since we're getting the rain from the most recent Pacific front. I can usually work thru stiff joints, but not the ones so swollen that they won't bend at all so today will be a quiet one. The good news is that all the Christmas decorating is done both inside and out; my shopping is finished, gifts are wrapped and under the tree; stockings are filled; baking is done, packed in tins and distributed to neighbors/co-workers; the floors are vacuumed to clean up the decorating-wreckage; and all that's left is to make menus and a grocery list for two very simple meals. Truth be told, I've enjoyed this Christmas season more than any in a long, long time. I can't do all the things I used to do, but since I've accepted that and changed my mindset about what I *can* do, life got a lot more fun again. I started decorating the day after Halloween so it's taken some time but I've savored every second of it. There is much to be said about learning how to live in the moment.

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Those moments fly by faster the older we get Deb, and only God knows how many of them are left for each of us, so enjoy and savor each one. I'm up and on this side of the dirt, and everything that worked yesterday still works today, so it's going to be GOOD day! Errands later, but the weather looks pretty so far.

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Sorry, no butterfly stories here.... but Kelly-what a wonderful experience!

I'm doing another day of last-minute Christmas shopping this evening. Got a couple of things on Monday night, and will hopefully be able to get a chunk done tonite. Unfortunately, I have to wait until Saturday to go to the hobby shop for my son's gift. The shop is closed by the time I get off from work. My son has decided to take his HO train sets with him when he and his wife move to Florida, so I thought I'd find him a new transformer and maybe get some additional landscaping stuff (besides what I can scrounge from my own stash). Sure would be fun to have one of my kids into minis with me! :D

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I wish I was done with Christmas things but I've not really started yet. Without being able to drive yet, I've not been able to get out and shop or poke around for stocking things. Before my surgery, I thought I'd be driving in 2-3 weeks so I didn't plan ahead as I guess I should have. This stinks for me. It's made me the Scrooge of the century.

Well, guess I spread enough joy for the day. Guess I'll move on to working on the books for our business and riding my exercise bike some more.

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Dearest Selkie, there's no way you could do all the things you normally do at Christmas so soon after surgery! The best gift of all is that you're there and you're here.......no material possession or decoration or even homemade cookies can replace that. You'll make up for it next year. I know how it is not to drive and how frustrating it is to depend on someone else to take you places. Once they release you to drive again you'll start feeling all kinds of better. In the meantime, come snuggle with me on the couch. We'll put on warm, fuzzy socks, hide under a quilt, and tell each other silly jokes.

Jackie, that's awesome that your son is getting into his trains again and what a great enabler mom you are to encourage him like that! Sometimes kids put aside their childhood passions when they get "grown up" only to realize later that they're still just as in love with them as they used to be. I hope that he feels the same and that you and he get to have some quality time over minis.

Those moments fly by faster the older we get Deb, and only God knows how many of them are left for each of us, so enjoy and savor each one. I'm up and on this side of the dirt, and everything that worked yesterday still works today, so it's going to be GOOD day!

<nodding in agreement> In the past few months I've worked hard at empowering myself to take back my happy and it's made a huge difference in every single part of my life. I've noticed that even Bruce is acting happier so the domino effect is working well too. Happiness is contagious...........spread it around.

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I wish I could help you Selkie! I haven't been out shopping because besides our ancient Walmart there is no place to shop. I did a lot of mine Point and Click and the UPS man brings it. Sometimes living out in the wilds isn't that bad!

Right now its snowing and I just baked some Snowball cookies. Chores all day while I look out the windows at the snow falling.

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I so much like the roof line on that house. It's so beautiful. And what a wonderful cart! I'd love one. Very nice.

Me, I tend to jump first and then look for water. And... I got back into miniatures without one single thought as to where I'm going to put these things. I have NO WHERE to put them! I've a decorative corner in front of my beach/palm tree screen that I can fill up with a house. It's gonna look like... icky yuck, for sure, and will have to be on the floor. Other than that, there's not room. Well, I guess I can forego the second aquarium and balance a house on that stand. Other than that, there's no place. I've no idea what I'm going to do, but lack o'space ain't gonna stop me!

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Lawanda, I've three cats and two Puggies. Not a good formula for a mini house on the floor, but I truly have nowhere else. I was just in the kitchen/workroom and noticed the microwave. Ittiz on my washer and doesn't work. If I get rid of it I could put a dollhouse there! Yeah, I know. The kitchen is probably the worst place for a dollhouse as it is for an aquarium. But whatcha gonna do?

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We ran errands on the Alabama side today, and found a new lunch place: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/833124-cafe-acadiana-silverhill and got to meet and chat with the chef/ owner. We also hit a few thrift stores including a brand new one I won't ever go back to; they had one of those scented plug-ins going and I got SO sick! I thought of you, Kat!

My new favorite thrift store in our area is the one the Catholic church in Robertsdale runs. Today I found most of a Disney castle, no clue how to replace the batteries,, but I don't care; ll I have to do is find some little plastic nights and I'll be happy. I found a cookbook one the Acadian companies' employees put out, at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

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Lawanda, may I ask how big the microwave cart is (specially the top) and where you got it? I could squeeze one between the warsher and the recycling! Too, it would work hunky-dory for mini storage.

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MK, I beg to differ about the kitchen. If you take the door off the oven, you can put one in there (it's even got back lighting then) and of course one on top of the stove. Get rid of the broken microwave and get a new one. The top of the fridge is also a good spot. Also take the door off the dishwasher - another spot for a house. Instead you use paper plates and takeout. It's win-win. Don't overlook the back of the toilet for a house. And if you scoot your bed forward away from the wall, you can put a board on the headboard and put a whole row of houses up there, then use the space below for clothes and that frees up the whole closet.

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LOL Deana! I was just standing in my work area wondering where I could possibly put another house. Its getting hard to find a spot but the top of the fridge...........ha ha you made me laugh! Spoken like a true miniatures builder! :)

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Deana, you forgot about the cabinets. Since paper plates will be used, there will be no need for dishes. Take the doors off and move the shelves up to accommodate the houses. The upper shelves can be used for villages or 1/4" scales houses.

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MK, I beg to differ about the kitchen. If you take the door off the oven, you can put one in there (it's even got back lighting then) and of course one on top of the stove. Get rid of the broken microwave and get a new one. The top of the fridge is also a good spot. Also take the door off the dishwasher - another spot for a house. Instead you use paper plates and takeout. It's win-win. Don't overlook the back of the toilet for a house. And if you scoot your bed forward away from the wall, you can put a board on the headboard and put a whole row of houses up there, then use the space below for clothes and that frees up the whole closet.

I have been shown the error of my ways. I was not able to see the homesteads for the trees. Blind as the proverbial bat. Dense as a box o'rocks. Now why didn't *I* think of these places?

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MK, my kitchen is approximately 42 sq ft. Here's how I plan to make more space (besides hanging things from every conceivable piece of wall space):

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Premier-20-in-Top-Shelf-in-White-TS120W/202988088

I believe they also come in 24" and 36" widths. They're supposed to be microwave shelves - big and strong enough to put a microwave on. If you get one, just make sure to do two things: order it locally so you can return it easily and measure the space between your stove and the bottom of the cabinet above your stove to make sure it will fit. They also come in black.

I was also going to get the McCormick 24 spices spice rack, however, last week they were selling for about $65 on Amazon. This week they're going for something like $199.00. Phooey.

I promptly found some spice jars I love, but naturally, they're from the 60s and expensive when you can find a set. So I found 13 of the little bottles that I can buy individually without their rack and I guess those will be my spice jars and I'll put my own spices in them.

I am absolutely exhausted today. I went in for what I thought would be a half hour pre-op in Seattle this afternoon. When I was finally on the ferry (the 11:10 ferry), I looked at the other pages under my info sheet and realized there was no map there like I had hoped. Instead, I had THREE appointments today. At least they put them all together - it's about $30 to go over and come back from Seattle, whichever way I do it. Anyway, I got out about 3:30pm, just in time for the commute on I-5. Then I decided to stop at Long John Silver's, since it's the only one in Washington state and I don't get there too often. Naturally, I took the wrong exit and drive around for another 20 minutes or so before I found the place, which is now in a KFC. KFCs used to have Taco Bells in them. If this one adds a Taco Bell to the Long John Silver's they already have, I'm moving in.

So then it was 5pm and dark, with rain. And I just finished walking in the door at 6pm tonight. What a day. And I hadn't eaten all day because they needed to draw blood. I am typing and chewing here at the same time - another reason for me to never get a web cam!

And then I get on the computer to find out that Amazon has already credited me with a return I mailed to them on Monday, but the order they cancelled last Wednesday still hasn't been put back on my card. God's gonna get you for this, Amazon!

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Lawanda, may I ask how big the microwave cart is (specially the top) and where you got it? I could squeeze one between the warsher and the recycling! Too, it would work hunky-dory for mini storage.

I ordered it from Sears. I just did a search until I found one that didn't have a top shelf and was in my budget. Top is 23X 191/2. I had to assemble it. At first I thought, well I'll have to wait until he gets home, then I remembered, I build HOUSES, I can put this thing together. Two hours later DONE. It was easy and no power tools required. It is heavy though

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oh whoop tomorrow I get to be fussed at by the cardiologist...

What did you DO? My cardiologist usually pats me on the head and says "atta girl", and jokes about how I'm wearing out my pacer before its time (not that it's a joke that some time this coming year Ill have to go under the knife to get a replacement, a year or two early!)..

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