June 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I spent a wonderful few days with family in Kapuskasing last week. A long trip, but well worth it. Lois was the driver, did a good job (except for tailgating a few times), but as she said, it wasn’t her fault as she had it on cruise control and the other vehicles just weren’t going fast enough! Kelly came from London to journey with us which was an unexpected pleasure.

We left Burlington at 7 on Wed, June 18, nine and one half hours later we were at Susies in Kap. Lunched at North Bay at Auntie Janes, a place recommended to us by Sue and Scott, but not recommended by us to any one ! May be the staff was just having a bad day and we arrived at a bad time.

Susie and Scott had been in Sudbury for a doctor appointment but arrived home around 8 p.m. Maureen had brought my darling little great granddaughter, Abigail Sidney over to meet us all. What a doll, at an age where she can amuse the old folk ! She never touched the floor all the time we were there.

Susie fed us so well its a wonder we could waddle out to the car at the end of our visit. Blueberry cobbler, blueberry pie, lemon pie. lasagna. pork and to top it all off—–fresh pickerel deep fried and served with French fries. I took a Zantac just in case!

One evening we played Farkal, but mostly just sat around and chatted and played with the baby. Lois took a lot of photos of all of us. Four generation photos are always nice to have for posterity. Abbey wont remember but she can look at then later in life.

Left for home after lunch on Sunday and stayed in North Bay that night. From Kap to North Bay we played old CW tapes. Lois and I had fun singing along with all the old songs. Poor Kelly just put on her head phones and ignored us! Never knew what she was missing. Kelly got to see one of her friends she had gone to school with also took her to a restaurant where they served really good Wings which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Such a great way to spend a few days, with family—–and I still have Gaspe to look forward to. Life is beautiful.



February 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it is the life in your years”

Today I have had the good fortune to celebrate another birthday. My father often told me about the day I was born. It was raining, he went for the midwife with horse and buggy instead of sleigh which would have been normal for that time of year, I was born about five o’clock in the afternoon , so just about now I am 83 years and one half hour  old !!

The morning started off very well, not an ache or a pain in my body, pretty good for my age I think. Of course not every morning starts off this way but at 83 you take one day at a time and revel in ones like this morning. Then the phone started to ring—-Mariette sang Happy Birthday to me, talked to Greg, Susie, Maureen, Ruby (a cousin), Lois, Fred, Gerry , my step son Rob, my good friend Doda and I know that my friend Phyllis will call as she always does, could have forgotten others. Went out for lunch with Jackie ,Lisa, Glenda and Cathy. When I got home there was two gorgeous bunches of flowers waiting for me. During the week every day brought many cards of good wishes and Facebook was full of them. The next door neighbour arrived with delicious looking (tasted that way too!) cup cakes for me. This all makes me feel very humble and at the same time special , if that is possible.

It is also a special day in my life as Tom and I were married 23 years ago today, in Florida. We had a very small wedding , with three other couples but it was very nice . Tom suggested we get married on my birthday and then he would have only one day to remember, so far , with a few reminders along the way, he has done fairly well !

The past  year has been a wonderful year ,the crowning glory was my new great grand daughter, Abigail Sidney born Nov 26 and such a sweetheart, looking forward to meeting her in March when she will be coming to Burlington . Now I am looking forward to another year surrounded by family and so many wonderful friends.  




September 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

———–and I said to myself, “What a wonderful world”.


Our travels, this year, took us to France. The main reason was to be in Nice to greet Gerry and Tom’s son, Rob when they finished their long bike race. This race started in Geneva, Switzerland, ending in Nice, 7 days later, on the Promenade des Anglais. I can’t quote the number of kilometres or the heights they climbed, but it is advertised as the Toughest cyclosport in the world. 600 riders participated, Gerry & Rob were happy with their placing—–I think it was near the 120 mark. We were just glad to see them arrive all in one piece!

We flew to Nice on August 20th where we had an apartment rented. I use the word “apartment ” loosely  as it was extremely small. I kept waiting for the owner to open another door as in the pictures it seemed to me there should be a living room . The “bedroom” was the size of a bed plus 6 inches on either side, with no door. The bathroom was well equipped but if my rear end had been any larger I would not have been able to bend over the sink and shut the door at the same time! The cupboards were well equipped with kitchen utensils and with micro-wave, stovetop and fridge we survived. We had no phone or computer so when things went wrong we realized just how isolated we were.

Rob’s family arrived a few days after we did and we were very glad to see familiar faces——-and someone with a phone! Rob’s wife, daughter, her boyfriend and his parents were all there to greet the weary cyclists. We had a great time with a nice bunch of people.

Weather , in Nice, was HOT——we never have travelled in Europe in August and there is a reason ! My energy level is not too good at the best of times, in heat it just goes downhill so I spent every minute I could snatch, on the bed. We did manage to walk quite a lot–saw the Old Town and of course went to the beach where people watching is great.

We moved onto Nimes, where Gerry lives. Had a lovely room in a hotel which was convenient for us to explore  Old Nimes (always the most fascinating place of a city in Europe). The weather was some what cooler here so we were able to do a lot of walking. Gerry took us to an interesting place every afternoon. It was great to be with him for a few days. One evening we met up with Rob, Debbie;Gerrry’s friend John and his wife for a lovely dinner in the Old City. Every one eats outside , in the summer, and the streets are full of diners and people walking around. So different from North American cities.

The fast train took us to Paris for our last three days. We were close to the Eiffel Tower. In the evenings we walked to see the Tower lit up, a beautiful sight.  Hundreds of people had the same idea, picnicing or just walking and kids playing everywhere. We just sat and watched the people until the lights came on. We discovered a very good restaurant many years ago on a bus tour, so we attempted to find it again. After a long walk and some discussion (a nice word for argument!) we found it and had a delicious salmon dinner. It was worth both the walk and the discussion !

So once again we are back to our “normal” routine with many pleasant memories—–now if we can only recall them !Takes the two of us to make a memory (age has caught up with us)  and we spend many hours sorting it all out, but a journal  I keep helps to settle discussion! We really must be getting old as we have not planned our next trip yet——-Scotland maybe?????

Gaspe. Quebec.

September 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“There is nothing half as pleasant as coming home again”

Once again I was able to make my annual trip back to Gaspe. There will come a time when these yearly trips will have to stop, I suppose, but when I saw that Mr. Joe had gone back at 103 I have hopes mine won’t be stopping any time soon.

This year was one busy time, from the time I stopped off the plane and went to Ron’s for lunch, until the day I left. “Sid’s Kids Place ” was really hopping. For the first time since I left Gaspe, in 1978, I was able to attend a Church Guild Sale and also got to see York’s new Hall. I saw so many people to talk to just in the parking lot it was half hour before I got inside. I kept staring at every one as I thought I should know every one as I once did. Lunch was delicious as it always has been.

First to arrive for a visit was Richard & Dinah MacLeod (Scottie’s sister and brother-in-law). Such a delightful couple, a pleasure to be around. Dinah  became our “washer woman” and made sure we always had clean clothes and towels. Richard was my official “quality control man” when I started baking for Elaine’s memorial reception. I love to bake and the time I spent in the kitchen was a labor of love for a special person. Getting the finished product from oven to freezer, for safe keeping, was a task as besides Richard I found several “tasters” appeared when things came out of the oven.

Pioneer Days were on at Fort Haldimand, always a good place to meet people. The Kitchen Band evening was great. Marsha MacLeod sang a Gaspe song she had composed and her son, Cohen, performed a spectacular display of step dancing. Christine Miller’s son, Nathaniel, sang beautifully—-such a find young man. The music was toe tapping, a joy to listen and dance to.

The salmon dinner put on by Pioneer days committee , was fabulous, the best I had tasted for many years. Although the serving was more than generous, I ate it all. Home made pies were to die for. The company at our table, friends for many years,made the dinner that much more enjoyable. After the dinner I attended the party to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Barry & Vernice Dumaresque, in the Legion Hall. Another great evening.

One sad note to the great trip was the burial of my sister-in-law’s ashes. But out of sadness came great joy at having all the family together, very heart warming. My brother Francis, his daughters, Jeannie (Gary); Melanie (Mark); Denise (Doug), grandchildren, Adam (Christen); Krista (Jason); Kurt; Karly; Jessica; Michelle and Christina were all near by. This meant lots of company at our house for us to enjoy. My brother Edgar, sister Phyllis (Cecil) and two children, Debbie (Bruce) and Lena, along with my children Susie (Scottie);Lois(Gary); Fred (Judy) and daughter Kelly and me rounded out the numbers to 30 family members.

Scottie and Susie put on their annual fish dinner (featuring Pickerel from the cold, cold, lakes of Kapuskasing) for 14 people . This is always a grand time with every one telling stories. Like fish stories, we are not sure if all are true, but it makes for a good evening of fun with special people. On another occasion 25 were served barbequed hamburger and sausage with fresh corn on the side. I was determined that I was going to try and recreate a hamburger like we used to eat at Phil’s restaurant, so I fried up a pan of onions, and although it could not come up to Phil’s standards, it sure was good and brought back lots of good memories. The dinner ended with Susie’s delicious carrot cake , lots of beer and wine and TALK !!

Remembering the days when our house in Gaspe was never empty, it was like old times. Only Down Homers know the feeling!


Old Age

September 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as I thought” Emily Dickinson

To Me –old age is always  ten years older than I am ”  Anon


These two quotes describe the way I thought of old age until our recent trip to Europe. The first one hit home quite quickly and the second one turned out to be just a dream!

As this was to be a trip we took without help from an agent, it was up to me to do it on the computer. To be quite frank, me and the computer do not always see eye to eye and without help from Lois and Gerry nothing would have been accomplished. This is where I first found out that old age was MY age and not ten years hence. To make a long story short—–I finally got plane tickets to Nice, and a place to stay also. Tom was not so sure we would have either one but had no one to trust but me. So, after much work it was all settled (at least I was confident!). When a person is young you just never think there may be things you will not know how so it is a blow to ones confidence when these things happen. One hurdle over !

Old age brings on many ailments and for those one has to be prepared so packing for all eventualities is quite a process. Blood pressure pills, pills for macular degeneration, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, blood thinners, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, on and on.  Elastic knee and ankle brace, Ben Gay for arthritis, Tylenol extra strength for aches and pains—–hardly room for clothes!

A few years ago (well, maybe more than a few!) I could climb any amount of steps, but this time I looked at “248 steps to top of Arch d’Triompe ” and decided that it was too many! Of course I KNOW I could have done it but I doubt if the crowds would have wanted to wait for me to stop and breath every 30 steps or so. Old Age is all about remembering the things one could do at one time ! Another thing about Old Age is that  you make a lot of excuses—-seldom every admitting you really can’t do it ! Well, I really didn’t want to see Paris from the top anyway!

Our landlord ,in Nice, met us at the apartment and told us how everything worked, but he told it all in about fifteen minutes and we did not understand much of it. He gave us his e-mail address and phone number and went on his way—knowing full well that we had neither phone or computer !! First thing that went on the blink was the over head fan and as we had no A/C this was not a good thing. Then the TV would only give us French channels even though the landlord had said there were 21 English stations. We went looking for a public telephone (they are few and far between as most YOUNG people have cell phones or whatever they are called )and when we did find one it would only accept cards. We had no idea where to buy a card so we went home and waited until the younger generation arrived to help us out. It was all sorted out in a very simple manner and made us feel even OLDER !

Eating out, for seniors (that’s a nice pleasant word isn’t it?) , can be a problem too. At home most of us are used to eating bland and not too fatty food—-keeps us regular and fairly healthy , we are told. But in Europe their ways of cooking differ greatly from ours so we had to TRY and find fish or chicken or pasta (of course cooked our way!) Not an easy task. The plates were loaded to capacity and people eat at 8, its a wonder we are not dead ! Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining , just that OLD AGE dictates certain ways of eating and if you deviate then you have to take some of the pills that are packed in your suitcase !

Then on to some thing more personal. Waterworks  rust out, valves don’t work and there is no replacing parts. No matter how funny Whoopi Goldberg makes it sound when she says. “I leak”, ain’t  no laughing matter. Does not do much for your image!

Oh, well ! No use bitching as many would like to be as healthy as I am (or appear to be!). Although OLD AGE has hit , and that I can not dispute, I still enjoy life and am not ready for the alternative yet !  There is no use trying to pretend it will never come your way, just hope you live long enough to experience it and laugh your way through it all.


September 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My grandson, Ryan Palmer and Vero Cantin were married on August 18. When we first got the invitation for this event, saying it was to be at a park in Northern Ontario, all I could think about was mosquitoes !! I knew that I would go regardless of where or in what conditions as these are two lovely people and would not have missed their wedding for any thing. So I went out and bought long pants and long sleeved top and made sure my daughter would  provide me with Watkins bug repellent and I got some After Bite, all in preparation for the big day. The weather man took all my worries away when he announced there was a cold front coming in for the Big Event.

The wedding was to be near Hearst, an 11 hour drive from, Burlington. Lucky for us Greg & Mariette offered to drive us as to old folks like us eleven hours behind the wheel sounds very daunting.  They even said they would pick us up , saving us a harrowing drive through Toronto.Of course I am speaking for myself,Tom probaby felt quite confident about all this driving, but I, as his passenger had a different perspective. As it was   Tom was unable to attend so it was great that we had made other arrangements.

It was a hot morning when we drove away from Burlington and I was looking forward to getting cooled off after so much heat all summer. Every stop we made the weather was changing and I thought it was great—–until we hit North Bay and stopped there for lunch, with the cool wind blowing hard, I can truthfully say I was getting cooled off. By the time we reached Kapuskasing the weather was cold and also some rain and I was wishing I had listened to the warnings and brought warmer clothes. Stayed in Kap for the night and Maureen and her little dog Charlie was waiting to greet us. We had a nice visit with Maureen had supper and went to bed early as everyone was tires.

Saturday morning we drove onto Hearst about an hour from Kap, booked into our motel, ate lunch and then hurried to catch the bus that was taking us to the wedding site. This site was about another hour mostly off the highway, into a camp ground. It was a nice site, near a lake (much too cold to take a dip!) with a bunk house, kitchen, toilets and a large open pavillion.People were beginning to arrive, the groom was already there waiting for his bride.

The ceremony was held in the pavillion which had been nicely decorated for the event. At 2 p.m. Vero arrived on the arm of her proud father. The bride was all smiles and very lovely in her dress of white which was trimmed with brown and gold. Her short jacket and shoes matched the trim on her dress. A Justice of the Peace performed the marriage ceremony and the bride and groom made their vows (which they had written themselves) to each other. These vows were very touching and I heard that they brought tears to some grown men’s eyes ! Ryan’s friend, Mike, was his bestman and Vero’s sister, Annemarie, was the matron of honour.  Little Evan, Vero’s nephew ,was the ring bearer and did his job very well. While  people were being seated, John Pope, brother-in-law of the groom played the guitar, during the ceremony he  played while Maureen sang to the newly married couple. Two grandmothers and Ryan’s sister Maureen gave some advice to the bride and groom on how life will REALLY be from now on.

Time for picture taking and for people to get up and move around as it was getting a bit chilly from sitting. Some of  us sat by the camp fire, near the lake and were entertained by the roving guitarists, John & Randy. They even played for us to sing “You Are My Sunshine”—thanks guys , you made my day !

A delcious buffet dinner was served, there were also snacks and drinks (even hot chocolate to warm our souls) on hand all afternoon and evening. Hot buttered corn was a favorite , along with the delicious cup cakes, made by the groom’s mother, all disappearing in no time flat.

Music by friends of the bride and groom was very nice.. Ryan had composed a song which he sang to his new bride, very touching. When the boys all got going with their music the floor was crowded with dancers. The dancing star was Aidan MacLeod—–he had more moves than Micheal Jackson every thought of—–and he seemed to be really enjoying himself.

Friends took me back to the motel about 10:30. late enough for an old lady to be out, but the party kept on until the wee hours of the morning so I am told. It had been a very enjoyable afternoon and evening and even the cold weather could not dampen spirits, everyone was enjoying seeing two very special people joined in marriage.


September 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Gaspe visit

August 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

” It is great to have friends when one is young, but indeed it is still more so when you are getting old. When we are young, friends, like everything else, is a matter of course. In the old days we know what it means to have them”

A few weeks ago I took my annual journey back to my home town of Gaspe, where I still have many friends who grow more precious every year. 

This year I was in Gaspe during the Pioneer and Irish Week. These events give one a chance to see many friends that otherwise one many not see and this was the case this year. What a  pleasure to see so many familiar faces.

As I attended different functions I realized how VERY old I was——- I went to the Gospel Hour in York Church, thinking I would be able to sing along with all the songs I love————–well, there may have been two that I recognized, very disappointing but I have to realize that the world belongs to the young and all the new songs invented since I was a choir member. The choir was fantastic as was the director, no complaints there, it is just ME feeling older than I like to ! I am thinking of starting a Club for us old foggies where all OLD things are new again, any takers?? The Oscar Night was great  the energy the choir put into their acts was invigorating——Darlene realy outdid herself, what a nun, just as good as Whoopie ever was! The Drody’s was a class act of fiddle and guitar music, all familiar, my feet were itching to dance, and for an hour I was young again! A delighful week of entertainment, a really great show of talent and hard work .

My daughter and son-in-law had done a lot of work at out “store” making it look very nice. We now have a screen tent in which we spent a lot of time, enjoying the warmth, but not the bugs. Our summer place is in the most beautiful of locations, close to the river where we saw geese, ducks ( one female has a day care centre with several little ducklings ),a heron and over head the eagles soared. At the Pioneer Silent Auction, we bid on, and bought a cedar bench that Dennis Palmer had made, it has a place on the bank, looking over the scenic view of York River and beyond.I lived there for 47 years and never appreciated all the beauty around me until I moved.

Three of my children were in Gaspe while I was there. We always enjoy each others company—lots of talk about the old days, some arguments when the memories don’t coincide but nothng serious. My first meal in Gaspe is usually bologna, fried of course, Susie & Scottie had their annual fish dinner serving the pickerel that Scottie caught before he left Kapuskasing, always delicious and lots of fun with delighful people. I made bread—–it disappeared very quickly, don’t know why that surprised me as I should have remembered by gone days. No bread quite like Mama’s—-or so I like to think. Scott picked some raspberries that ended up in a  pudding, served with sweet white sauce, fit for a Queen! Why is it that when I go “home” food seems so important??

Friends dropped in always a pleasant time, I did get to visit a few but times passes so fast when I go to Gaspe that there are always things left undone—-next year will be different—can hardly wait !!1


June 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Friends ae the most important ingredients in the recipe of life”

I had a great “vacation” this past week.

Son, Gregory, picked me up and took me to his home in Havelock for a few days. Always a nice time  as we play cards—this time added Scrabble, a bit more challenging for me—-of course I always lose but enjoy playing. Usually we play for money  but this time it was just for fun.

On Friday we drove to Williamsburg to attend the Gaspe Golf Tournament. This is a  yearly event , one I have attended several time to meet friends. Golfing is not my forte, but tallking is, at this event I get lots of practice.

After we registered and got settled in our room I headed for the lobby so that I could see everyone as they came in.This year the first ones I saw were my “old” friends, Doda & Berton Miller from Gaspe. We always have lots to talk about so we settled in the lobby where we could meet mutual friends. What a  pleasure to see so many people I have known for years, but seldom see any more. To me there are no friends on earth like the ones you have know forever.

We enjoyed a delicious Chinese buffet, then it was time for meeting people and going from room to room. As we had a large room we ended up having quite a gang there for the evening. At 11:30. my grandson , Ryan decided that his Nanny was tired, so he tucked me in bed and led the gang out ,  maybe to another party. The older generation was very scarce at the Tournament this year so the ones who were partying were mostly my children’s friends. As most of them had spent time in my house in Gaspe it was a pleasure to see them all around me again. A grand evening.

Next morning we headed to the Golf couorse, again to talk! while the hardy ones headed off in the rain to golf. The rain was just a drizzle at first, then a down pour, but turned to a drizzle again and most were dried off by the time they got back to the club  house. No one complained and all looked happy so I don’t think the rain dampened spirits at all.

There are always quite a few who just like to sit around and shoot the breeze, men and women so there were plenty of people to talk to. My good friend, Phyllis,joined us and we went out to a cosy little cafe for lunch. It was thanks to Shirley Boyle that we had found this place last year and the food is very good and well served. Back to the Club House to wait for the golfers and a few who come from nearby just for some socializing and the meal. After the meal., prizes were given out and there were several very nice door prizes plus the 50/50 draw. a lot of happy people.

Saturday night most were tired so the partying was low key. I went to bed with a book and was asleep early.

My brother, Francis and his wife Elaine, were missed as it was the first Tournament they had not been able to attend. Willy Palmer missed his first too, a sign that we are all getting old ! Berton and I were almost the oldest ones there, but we did get a glimpse of Russell Miller  so he would have been the oldest I believe.

Sunday morning after a breakfast at Tim Horton’s I drove home with my daughter Lois and her friends, Susan Adams, Kathy Sams and Lolly Miller. It was nice to be with them to catch up on their lives, an enjoyable way to end a pleasant weekend. My husband is always glad to see me back—-is is because the cookie jar was empty? Dosen’t matter why, just nice to be appreciated !!   Ruth

Happy New Year

January 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Here’s to the New Year and a fond farewell to the old. Here’s to the things that are yet to come and to the memories that we have.

People worry about what they eat between Christmas and New Year’s, but they had better worry over what they eat between New Year’s and Christmas.


Both these quotes are anonymous but appropriate I think. At 80 I remember many more New Year’s than I will live to see and so I relive them instead of looking ahead. Some will say this is living in the past, but to me it is very pleasant, I do not know the future but I know that the past has been a very rewarding experience , so why not remember (and always remember only the good times) and not worry about what may come tomorrow.

Before I threw away mycalendar, for 2011, I looked through it as it was full of things to do. I started off with the resolve to walk    10,000 steps every day as this was supposed to keep you in good shape. On Jan  27 I note that I was hurting —-so there went my good intentions!  I did keep walking but never got to the 10,000 steps again. I will remember that I tried and not worry about not succeeding!

On my 80th birthday we had dinner at the Mandarin restaurant with several family members. I will remember how much I enjoyed it, being with family and all the good food,also gifts and good wishes that were given to me.

One notation was, fiddle  music. This was at the Legion hall in Waterdown with some of my Gaspe friends. A most enjoyable afternoon  , bringing back many good memories of times of days gone by. One regret—-I had no one to dance with and my feet were itching to go.

Renew Passport—–now that was an important date I could not miss as without a passport my travelling days would be curtailed. To many a  passport means very little, but to me its the means of going on a holiday outside Canada and it is an excellent piece of identification in any situation. I remember all the advantages it brings me and not the tedious time I spend waiting in line to get it.

My brother, Graham, died in July and another brother and I flew to Edmonton for his memorial service. In stead of dwelling on the sadness of this occasion, I will remember how nice it was to see the family and  spending time with people I had not seen for many years .

In Gaspe I had a most delightful party to celebrate my 80th year. It was amazing to see 150 people turn out to be with us, when I have been away from there for 33 years. These people were, are and always will be my friends and I will never forget them. All my Gaspe trips have been great but this was the greatest.

My grand daughter, Maureen was married in Sept. It was a great wedding, everything went according to plan, the weather was  perfect and so was everything else. I will remember all the beauty of the occasion and not the 10 hour drive to get there !

In Novenber I was diagonosed as having a heart problem and spent a night in the emergency room of our local hospital, in some distress. What I shall remember of that night was the caring nurses and doctors who were there to help me and make me comfortable.

By worrying what I ate between New Year’s and Christmas I managed to lose 15 pounds. Then I did not have to worry between Chrismas and New Year’s, but have not dared go near the scales yet ! I will remember that I have lost those pounds!

I had all my children together in August for a week,  some thing that does not happen often, unfortunately.That I will remember until we can all be together again.

Now I must get busy  marking my new calendar with things to do in the New Year, even though my blog sounds as if I live in the past!

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