“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

8.25.2014

Sweet Nothings - A Bella Grace Giveaway


i've said for years that the universe tosses you gifts daily, that you just have to hold out your hands and catch them.  most of those gifts are overlooked moments; we get busy or tired and we just miss them. we expect them to be big and wrapped in silver paper, a red bow on top, and i'm as guilty as everyone else; i get lazy and don't want to peek into the shadows or even under my pillow, but that's where they live, these gifts.  the sweet nothings of the everyday.

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the first day you spy cherries at the grocery store.
ditto clementines.
sweet sweet ordinary magic.
both days.

full moons.
crescent moons.
all the moons in between, even the ones on stormy nights, hiding behind nighttime clouds.
magic, each and every one of them, without costing you a dime.

outside tonight is hot and still,
and as always i have a door open and bare feet propped in front of the fan.
that cool air is a sweet nothing.
a small magic.
just ask my toes.

ordinary magic comes with good times and it comes with the hard. when my mother was dying, i mentioned on this blog that my phone never stopped ringing with bad news, or with relatives checking in, and suddenly into my open hand a gift was dropped - an online friend began to call every day and leave a voice mail for me, the small and ordinary stories of her day.  sweet nothings to which i never had to respond.  another online friend messaged if i needed anything, she was only 3 hours away.  another gift.  more small magic.



heart shaped leaves and newly painted walls, white linens, lazy pink tulips.
the flight of owls through the darkness. crows on fence posts. early morning robins.
dark chocolate. well done steaks.
back porches and candlelight and friendships with no need for conversation.
gifts, each and every one.  ordinary magics.
just hold out your hand and catch them.

movies watched for the hundredth time, books falling apart for the very same reason.
stripes and polka dots and pale blue cotton.
campfires. starlight. cowboy boots.
cello music.
the sound of sleet against the windows.
fallen flower petals.
granny smith apples and auld lang syne.

it's about building your life where you are.  it's about at last using the tablecloth you bought on that trip to florida, the one that said ignore the winter cold, take me - the one you've never used no matter how much you love it, the color saying summersummersummer ocean beach heat.  it's new shoes and old shoes and pink rainboots that keep your feet dry when the creek overflows and you are knee high in water fast flooding your yard.  even the almost annual flooding becomes a magic.  an adventure. will the house flood or won't it?  no matter.  watching the creek rise brings a smile to your face. mother nature kicking up her heels.


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And now Bella Grace.  A new magazine by Stampington that believes in all those things, embraces all those things and magics and moments and sweet nothings.  It is unlike any ordinary magazine you've seen before: ½" thick, full of images and poetry and stories and interactive spaces and places.  I am honored to be a part of this new venture, celebrating life and adventure and the magic in the ordinary, and honored to be among many of my favorite writers and photographers. As part of the Bella Grace blog hop/magazine giveaway, I've been given a copy to give away to one of you. Just leave a comment below - I'd love if you told me one of your sweet nothings, but it's not required.  With the magazine, I'm also including a canvas print of that painting up at the top, in the hopes it will remind you to just open your hands and catch that everyday magic.


Remember, just whisper a sweet nothing in my ear down below in the comments.
I'll draw a name on Sunday, August 31, and announce the winner on Monday, September 1.

You can keep up with the blog hop,
with even more magazine giveaways, and wonderful people to meet,
with this link right here.
Stampington will be updating the page daily.
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above painting: when emma still believed in magic / d smith kaich jones
flood image: robert langham

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74 comments:

  1. Driving fast on country roads, late summer. Windows open, the smell of the whole world passing you by - damp green woods, dry golden sun baked grass, a cow or three, exhaust, hot pavement. At night it's a darker mystery: trees sighing in their sleep.

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    1. all of these. yes. i drove fast on country roads all weekend. and stood on hot pavement for a picture. the hopping around made me laugh. :)

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  2. I love that opening image and all the magic you embrace . . . Congrats on being featured in this new magazine, way to go.

    As for my sweet nothings . . . leaves dancing in the wind, the smell of the sea, mossy woods, birds circling in flight, cat nose nuzzles, dog smiles, unexpected letters in the mail, snuggly blankets, music that moves you to dance . . . .

    PS I thought I was the only one who liked my steak well done. :)

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    1. ha! i thought i was the only one. and unexpected letters are the best. the best! xoxo

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  3. The way you listen to all of these sweet nothings, the way you describe them, paint them--here--has always been one of my favorite things about your blog. You make ordinary magic a religion (so to speak).

    My sweet nothings this morning: a cedar waxwing perched atop the pine tree, trilling in the rising sun. Words finding their way to a page that keeps filling. An avocado, perfectly ripe, saved for lunch.

    (p.s. no need to enter me in the drawing)

    xoxo

    and ha, i am part of the well-done steak club as well!

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    1. words finding their way to a page is a gift i will take every day. and the steak thing! there are more of us than i knew - i am always the only one to order it well done. i slow down everyone's meal. :)

      and ps - i love that word trilling. i wish i could trill.

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  4. I loved reading about your online friend that left a phone message every day ... I wonder about the urges people have to do things like that, and what prompts them, and how we often can never know, completely, how the things we give are received. I could go on.

    Sweet nothings: the first cup of coffee-absolutely. The first sleep on fresh sheets. Taking the bra off at 5:00. Any of the pets in sleep mode. Any rack or stash of clean, blank notebooks. Any used bookstore. Wait, I think I'm getting bigger... Seeing personal mail in the mailbox. Huge fuzzy shouchy house socks. Oh, dear; I am not as poetic as I feel I should be. Signing off now...

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    1. taking the bra off!!!! how could i have forgotten that? oh man, yes, yes, yes! LOL! and i love your list. poetry - every bit off it.

      that message a day was something i looked forward to - i have no words to describe myself sitting in the hospital parking garage, listening to those voice mails. sometimes more than once or twice. she would giggle at how "boring" her day was, and i was so longing for boring at that time.

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  5. A good cry. A belly laugh, even better when it comes from one of my kids. A project finished. A teenager hanging out in the kitchen to talk. The quiet in the morning. The quiet in the evening. Weinachtmrkts and gluwein

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    1. a belly laugh - a real good big can't-keep-it-in belly laugh. a true piece of magic. i have no idea what weinachtmrkts and gluwein are (is?), but i'm gonna goggle it up and find out! thank you so much for stopping by!

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  6. love,love, love this post & your list of "sweet nothings of the everyday"
    they are what I call "the lovely~ness of daily~ness"
    the gorgeous canvas ... such beautiful colours & Bella Grace ~ such a lovely giveaway ♥ thank you.
    My "sweet nothings" ... the sparrows in my garden xo

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    1. oh my. thank you for the kind words. sparrows in the garden. sweet nothings singing sweet songs. of course. sometimes they fly through the open doors and windows of my house, which is always a crazy moment or two, but makes me so happy. :)

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  7. I have been enchanted by your writing for years now and it just keeps getting better and richer and more spellbinding. Thank you for the gift of your words, your spirit. And congratulations on being published in Bella Grace :-)

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    1. as i have been enchanted by your writing. thank you so much for still being here after all these years. xoxo

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  8. oh lovely - everyday magic - yes!

    the walk to the gelateria, the kiss of sun on skin, the breeze tickling the nape of my neck and the smile of a loved one.

    what a great reminder!

    thanks!

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    1. i just want to say gelateria over and over. even the word sounds delicious. and sun on skin. always, always. thanks for stopping by! :)

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  9. my sweet nothing is turning toward the breeze, closing my eyes, and letting it caress my face

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    1. one of the best, isn't it? just you and the breeze - no thinking, just pleasure. <3

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  10. Your song of everyday lovlinesses has softened my heart even more on a day where I have been gifted with softnesses to fill a queen's coffer. Thank you, as always!
    My every day lovlinesses are my dog leaping up, paws on desk, cocking her head at the computer screen when videos of dogs barking are playing, my bedraggled & comfy chair on the porch at 10:00 every night & the voice of my 93 year old friend as we trade the days' happenings, & pillowcase, cool & lovely, on my face, greeting me into sleep.

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    1. i laughed at the vision of your dog because i love it when that happens. and nighttime on the porch. you and me both. xoxo

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  11. A perfect post.... I kept scrolling back and back....and back. To own that painting & a copy of that lovely compilation. Well...yes... that would be magic.

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    1. thank you so much! so nice to have you drop by!!

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  12. Hearing the manly voice of our 32 year old son & remembering him at 2 years old...listening to birds sing in the magnolia tree...watching the dogs & cats playing together...eating hot buttered toast & coffee

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    1. i almost listed hot buttered toast. cross my heart! :)

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  13. What a divine magazine Bella Grace sounds like.
    Puppy dreams, our resident owl flitting around the lawn at dusk, a hug from my husband.

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    1. the magazine is amazing and gorgeous! and big! all the stuff you want. :)

      and you have a resident owl! isn't that fabulous? we have a pair of barred owls in the wayback magnolia trees, one of whom will even "talk" to my landlord. used to be we had screech owls who would return every year and raise babies, but they've moved somewhere else, leaving this spot to the bigger birds. the whoooosh of their flight is just the best.

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  14. The painting is beautiful, and so are your words and images. My sweet nothing at this very moment? Hot tea with honey, Cosmo, my lovely marmalade cat, curled up asleep beside me, morning birdsong, and sunshine filtered through the pomegranate tree outside my window.

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    1. now i want a pomegranate tree, lol! how fabulous that sounds. especially with a marmalade cat and hot tea. i am in love with this image. <3

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  15. Coffee and a muffin. Simple, but sweet.

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  16. Another fabulous Stampington magazine, that is indeed a gift! As are morning birdsong, especially in the spring after a long, cold winter, and the sound of cicadas singing in the sun or a blue jay's cry, the soft pat of my cat Maggie's paw on my face as she wakes me in the morning, those nights when all four felines sleep on my bed, and of course, the sound of every cat's purr, lemon tarts (preferably eaten somewhere in France), an unexpected rainbow sighting - oh my, the list is long indeed but as you say, so often we forget to notice or take them for granted. Thank you for this reminder and generous giveaway - that painting is gorgeous and the perfect way to remind the viewer to simply open their hand and receive.

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    1. thank you. and agreed - all the stampington magazines are gifts. standing in a long line at some store yesterday with the boyfriend, scanning the magazine covers near the checkout, i reached down and pulled out one i could barely see. stampington. i turned to him and smiled. see?, i said. it's the pretty one. :)

      and lemon tarts eaten somewhere in france? i can only imagine. xoxo

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  17. Love your message and glad you were chosen to be published.

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    1. thank you so much for such kind words. and for stopping by. :)

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  18. My sweet nothing this morning was waking up to lovely purple morning glories that had self sown themselves. I remember them as a child climbing vigorously up the string my mom placed next to our back screened in porch.

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    1. i love love love morning glories. self sown ones even better. love this.

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  19. A sunrise. A sunset. The smell of autumn in the air. The smell of the earth after a spring rain. Holding a child's hand. A child holding your hand. Holding a sleeping baby. Meeting up with an old friend. Saying I Love You every single time you talk to your Mother and wishing you could say it still. Sweet nothings go on and on and on. I'm so grateful for every one.

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    1. you made me smile. all of these. all of these. meeting up with an old friend made me think of old songs, and how used to be, once upon a time, before everyone had a/c in their vehicles, it was possible to pull up a stoplight next to a car whose radio was playing an old forgotten favorite song. it still happens once a great while, and it too always makes me smile. the world is full of sweet nothings. thank you.

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  20. My sweet nothings are early morning risings, holding a cup of coffee and writing in my journal, some quiet reflections and watching day break. A walk in the woods. Eating dark chocolate. Daydreaming. A new knitting project on the needles. Thanks for the chance:)

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    1. karen. you made me laugh. one of my sweet nothings is sleeping late. :) however, occasionally i do get up early and i always wish early rising was easier for me. it always feels like peace. thank you so much for stopping by and playing along.

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  21. One of my sweet nothings is the taste of fresh baked zucchini bread that melts in your mouth. In fact, I just made two loaves tonight. It's one of my summertime rituals.

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    1. i've not yet eaten breakfast this morning - i can just smell and taste this bread. what a wonderful summertime thing to do. :)

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  22. It's nice to meet you D! What a fun way to meet people like you who can really express with words so delightfully…. I can relate to how you capture everyday sweet nothings into ways of seeing life as beautiful graces. I'm such a dreamer but rarely find others whom dream like I, until now. I will be back to read your delightful blog. Congratualtions

    Warm regards,
    Karla

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    1. thank you so much. be sure to check out the bloghop list for other bella grace authors and photographers and poets. you'll love them.

      here's the link! just click here.

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  23. Sweet nothings? Babies' laughs. Blue skies. My kitty's purrs. Here's one I bet you won't hear from someone else- I work in a paint department and when we aren't too busy to notice, some of use like to pay attention to the way the colorant ends up in the can of white paint base. The designs are beautiful- sometimes they are abstract and swirly, but we've seen distinct shapes too- hearts and ladybugs and yesterday I saw a music not, an eighth note, to be precise.

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    1. i LOVE that! love it! thank you for sharing! all the exclamation points mean i am smiling really really big. that's just great. :)

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  24. Hiding in plain sight, as they say: Stacks of fresh clean paper - quill pens and fountain pens - skeins of soft yarn - the first bloom on the Christmas cactus after its summer sleep - baby birds trying their wings in the late spring - leaves skittering across fields in the early fall - and even the gas tank filled all the way up, which I think is not only magic, but a rare and joyful treat these days! New T-shirts and post-it notes!

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    1. a wonderful list. i will add to it blue legal pads and that one particular pen i use to do crossword puzzles, the name of which i forget. and i will nod in agreement about filling the gas tank all the way up, having just done that. i am grateful. thank you so much for this. now i need to add a christmas cactus to the pomegranate tree - y''all's sweet nothings are making me want even more sweetness.

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  25. Every day I check our cucumber plant to see if there is a brand new crispy beautiful generous lovely cucumber! A sweet precious nothing that brings a huge grin to my face, as if I had anything to do with such Creation.

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    1. of course you did. do. you check on it. i found out today that's an important thing. :)

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  26. My sweet nothing's.....the smell of smoke from the grill on my husband's clothes----the softness and warmth of towels fresh from the dryer---roasted tomatoes covered in basil and mozzarella cheese---watching the wren who comes to my porch the same time every evening----a soft breeze on my face---the sound of cello music, esp. the deeper notes. The list could go on and on. I enjoyed your writing.

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    1. warm towels from the dryer. man. that makes me want to run home and just throw some in the dryer and heat them up. never mind that it's hot here - inside we have a/c and oh, man. warm towels and blankets! i love your list. thanks so much. and thank you for the nice words. :)

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  27. The soft neighing if my little mare Splash, saying "come feed us!"

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  28. The sound of the pencil sharpener, handful of bright yellow pencils, clean blackboards, newly decorated bulletin boards, laughter and chatter filling the halls.....school days begin, and oh how the light filters through the kitchen windows at the end of the day!

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    1. this actually makes me want to be a student again - i want a new notebook to only write important things in, and crayons, and, well, just everything. i even remember the light at the end of the day. childhood autumn light. you've taken me back to when days were easier.

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  29. My sweet nothing is sitting on the 2nd level deck off my studio office and watching the sun rise over the mountain with the warmth of the sun as it peeks through the trees.

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    1. that sounds like a fabulous way to welcome the day. it does. i admit to a bit of jealousy. :)

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  30. I love the quiet. Especially outside at night when the only sound you hear is the wind or an animal rustling in the bushes. Thank you for being part of Bella Grace.

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    1. the quiet is the best. right now it is nighttime and quiet, if you don't count the loudness of the cicadas, we tend not to around here, although there is that moment when they all go totally silent at once and the night truly becomes quiet. it feels like an exhale.

      thank you for reading and for your kind words.

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  31. Just so beautiful, especially that top blue image.
    My sweet nothing is this, this right here, right now ... the tiny changes in the weather and in the air, waiting for another Fall to come.
    and you can add me to your well done steak club,!

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    1. thank you so much - it's a painting i did years ago, a painting that will go to my niece when she is all the way grown up. she's just about there.

      when i was a child, i was aware of the weather, but nothing like i do now - i understand it when you talk about the tiny changes in the air. there are moments you can feel the changes begin. i love that.

      and another well-done steak gal! it makes me laugh - who'd'a thunk it? :)

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  32. Good morning..... I think my reply wandered off, I'll try again.

    I discovered your bog through Bella Grace magazine. I searched you out the morning

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    1. Sometimes the replies do that. Even my own. I'm glad you tried again. I appreciate that.

      Bella Grace. What a fabulous magazine. How nice of you to search me out. Thank you!!

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  33. My sweet nothing's..is my dog that gave me kisses to wake me and rub his belly, he put his head in my lap to let me know it was time to get off the computer and take a walk.
    What a wonderful prize your offering, TFS.

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    1. awww . . . nothing like a sweet pet to wake up. and yes, mama, he says, time for a walk. pets are family.

      and thank you! :)

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  34. ice cream, chocolate, flowers, coffee, books, books, bookstores, new journals and office supplies, the smile on my grandboys' faces, the new one- walking (I've always hated exercise and now, discover that I love to walk!)

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    1. oh man. new journals. i never want to write in them and mess them all up. and walking - always fun to find something that we thought we didn't like is something we do like. and even love. yay for you!!! thanks so much for stopping by!

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  35. The smell of Fall coming. The breeze through your hair. The smell of a book, old or new. My children's laughter throughout the house.

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    1. the smell of books. yes indeed. i remember the old downtown library from my childhood - gone now, replaced by something more modern just across the street. i especially remember the smell of books as i'd walk through the front doors. it was the smell of magic and adventure and mystery. still is, but that old library wore the scent better.

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  36. books beside my bed. a pen. a paper. notebooks. paints. canvas. more papers. succulents a growing. eggplant ready for harvest.smiles.hug.i love yous.

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    1. books beside my bed. me too. :) sometimes i feel like there's not enough room. thank you!

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  37. We have a winner! Deb from Posted From Home - it's you! I've sent you an email notifying you - yay!! Thank you to everyone who played along!!!

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  38. my most recent sweet nothing: stepping out of the shadow of the woods on my morning walk, sleeves wet with rain caught off the branches of the bushes, turning to the west and seeing, across the open meadow, a big bright rainbow hovering there. actually, that was a sweet something.

    i know the contest is long ended, but i'm reading back through your posts and felt like leaving a comment here. just discovered you yesterday. i'll be back.

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come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .