Thursday, December 31, 2009

It’s New Year’s what?

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What’s that you say? New Year’s? What’s that? The start of another year? The start of another decade? Hey, I’m fine with that. I will do my best to celebrate the incoming year surrounded by the remains of belated Christmas gifts and the promise of more tasty treats in the coming days if only I will sit. The peoples around here look rather like me at the moment. But that’s okay – I understand. A nap in the middle of the floor does a body good.

This blog post brought to you by our current and temporary furry visitor who prefers the delicate balance of quiet evenings by the fireside and exciting romps through the house.

inyw_3 inyw_2

Monday, December 28, 2009

Still Celebrating

Yep, we’re still celebrating. It goes like this. You see some family sometimes and other family at other times. Our son and his wife will arrive in a couple of days so - guess what???? More celebrating! We’ll be glad to see them and the furry one too. They live half way across the country so visits are something of an event.

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What to do until they arrive? Something just for fun – a bit of a break from the ordinary. We’ve seen a couple of movies but I see some mohair on my table that is beckoning me. It’s got that come hither look. Oh, you didn’t know mohair can give you that look? It can if you like working with it.

We have another person in the house at the moment too. Our daughter is on Winter break. What does an aspiring artist do for fun? While I have been eyeing the mohair, she found this photo.

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She decided she wanted to draw it in ink. So she did. Some people have the patience for such things. She’s one of them. I’m not. I have patience for embroidering noses and pin pricks and fuzz floating in the air. She, on the other hand, can make teensy weensy teeny tiny dots with a pen point so small that I need glasses to see it. Here is close-up of some of the detail.

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Here is the entire drawing.

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And when she was finished with that she returned to knitting a pair of socks.

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Since I haven’t yet learned to knit socks and I don’t draw with any degree of accomplishment, I think it’s time for me to pull out one of my patterns and see what kind of mischief I can make with mohair.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Blogland Christmas

I must confess that I am not quite certain what a Blogland Christmas looks like since this is my first one. I am reasonably certain that it would be fairly diverse. Why it might not even be Christmas for some. It could be another holiday or none at all. Even so, I would like to take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate and to say thank you to the rest of you. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comments, suggestions, and most of all the grins.

I promised you one more Christmas card yesterday and I am going to stick to my word. I sorted through all the ones I have not yet shared and picked a special one that says something that I think is appropriate for this time of year – the holidays, the end of one year, and the beginning of another and most of all - friendship.

Here is the photo from the card that is dated 2004:

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and here is the text:

A thousand words. A thousand words. Isn’t that the going rate for a picture? Where would you start with this one?  Do you see what I see? Do you see big and small? Short and tall? Fluffy and plump? Slim and trim? Do you see what I see? Do you see black and white? And brown and gold?  Do you see snow and trees and falling flakes in the background? Do you see what I see? That shapes and sizes and colors and all these things matter very little. Do you see what I see? Do you see what each bear holds in his paw? Look again. Do you see what I see? That a thousands words can be reduced to only three?  Love one another.

With all the very warmest wishes
from my family and me to you and yours

Time for a couple more . . .

I have been tying up a few loose ends. Loose ends to ribbons and bows! With Christmas day just around the corner, I think I have just enough time to share a couple more cards from the past.

This card is from the year 2001 – the year of 9/11. I thought that I would include the text for this card because even though I wrote it eight years ago, the sentiment is timeless to me.

This is a teddy angel created from the palest of blue mohair. She stands about 11 inches tall and wears a snowflake dress with a sheer snowflake covered overdress. I called this one “Angel Snowflake”.

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Here’s the text:

What will you remember about this year? Will you endeavor to remind yourself about the helping hands, the spirited embraces, the heartfelt smiles? Will you be able to recall the warmth of a hug or the feather-light touch of a cool breeze on a summer day? Maybe remembering the punch line to a joke is nearly impossible under the best circumstances, but can you remember how you laughed until your side hurt?

What will you remember about this year? I’ll remember the days when we were so obviously united as a nation. I’ll remember the words of comfort and concern sent to me by my friends overseas. I’ll remember how every conversation started in the middle because everyone already knew how it began. I’ll remember how ordinary people became legendary heroes and how throwing the first pitch in a baseball game took on more significance than ever.

What will you remember about this year? A year when Peace on Earth seems so far away? A year when Goodwill Toward Men was brought about by unimaginable events? A year when Joy to the World seemed only possible in fairy tales? What will you remember? What will I remember? I will remember that freedom isn’t always free. I will remember that liberty is cherished, not only by the people of this nation in which I live, but by all mankind. I will remember that a long, long time ago a baby was born in hopes that all people everywhere would know Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men, and Joy to the World.

May this holiday season bring you a share of all these things with hope for the future when all of us might know

PEACE

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Back in Time on Friday

This is what is on my desk at the current time -
TIP (teddy in progress).

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Earlier today we had lunch

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at a friend’s home.

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Her whole house was decorated

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with teddy bears.

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For each of us there, the love of a teddy had done so much.

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Because of them, we are all friends of the very best kind.

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She even lets us share her dog – if we are good.
And we are all very, very good . . . for the most part . . .

Friday, December 18, 2009

After the big night . . .

It was the year 2000 when I created this Santa bear and took this photo for my Christmas card. I was showing him to my sister and she said, “He’s tuckered out.” It was the perfect description for him. This is Santa after his big night traveling the world delivering gifts. And even Santa keeps the good company of bears. The elves have gone off on a vacation to the Caribbean and Mrs. Claus has put a closed sign on her kitchen. The mail will arrive tomorrow bringing a postcard from his helpers saying, “The weather is here. I wish you were beautiful.” It will also have a bunch of smiley faces at the bottom. Those funny elves must be having a great time. But Santa will be sleeping when the mail is pushed through the slot in his front door. He’s nice and cozy in front of the fire with his two little bears. Life is sweet.

atbn“Tuckered Out”  2000

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa is supposed to come down the chimney, right?

But then there are all these questions that kids seem to have about that mode of arrival. For instance, if he is delivering a bike, how does he get it down the narrow chimney? Or what if there was a fire earlier in the evening, how does he avoid landing on hot coals? Or what if they have no chimney? I can understand their concern. Really, I do but the obvious thing to me is how does that jolly man get himself down the chimney? I know these burning questions have you stymied like me.

That brings me to this.

Over the weekend, my husband and I sloshed through wet streets and off and on drizzling rain to take a candlelight tour of some historic homes here. It is an annual event that we finally succumbed to last year and had such a great time; we decided to go again this year.

What does this have to do with Santa getting down the chimney?

I’ll tell you.

When he lands in this neighborhood, I think he takes one look at the front door and thinks to himself, “Well, I’ll be! That is such a fine front door – decorated so wonderfully for Christmas, I must let myself in that way and stay out of the flue.”

Now it may not seem obvious to you, since you weren’t there, but the conditions for taking photos were not optimum. Not that I needed an excuse to go back you see, but well, sunlight is so much better at showing details in some instances. So we returned in the sunshine and travelled up and down the streets admiring (and photographing) the decorations. If you want some ideas for next year, there are plenty here to inspire.

I ought to add that if you are ever in the neighborhood this time of year and you like that sort of thing, you know, peeking into people’s living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms . . . (it’s part of the tour – don’t get any strange ideas), you simply must go. I’ll go with you. You might need a guide after all.

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Notice that these are double doors.  How will Santa get in?  This wreath is split in the middle and each side moves with the door it is hung on. 

ssc_2I think the skates hanging on the front door with the sled leaning nearby are a lovely touch.

ssc_3Most of these homes are from the late 1800’s and have gorgeous porches on the front.  Many have fences around the front too.

ssc_4This home stood out because of its color.  I have just now noticed the understated message on the banner.  Sweet.

ssc_5 I think you are going to have to click on this one to see it larger to be able to fully appreciate the greenery.

ssc_6I liked this one for its simplicity.

ssc_7On the other hand,I liked this one because it was elaborate. 

ssc_8 They decorated the fence here, which it kind of cool.  We saw several fences decorated.  I like that they are flying two flags – one for the USA and one for NC.

ssc_10 Last one.  See how the roping coordinates with the garland over the door which coordinates with the wreath?  This house is for sale.  It can be yours for the right price.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two More from the Past

The last Christmas card that I posted here a few days ago was from 1994. I’m going to skip ahead a few years because Christmas day is drawing near and there are several more cards I would like to share.

This first one is from 1997. I called it “Snow Angel” for obvious reasons. The berries on her wreath are jingle bells and she has buttons sewn down her front. This little bear stood about 6 inches tall, if I recall correctly. It made me think of when I was kid and we made snow angels in real snow. Did you, or have you ever, done that? It is a chilly experience if you make too many!

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This second card is from the next year: 1998. I don’t know how I managed to create this scene. For some time, I have thought I have gotten crazier with my projects as I get older, but thinking back to this one, maybe I was crazier back then! This window is a creation of an alternate reality. In other words, it ain’t real. Well, the window is real but it isn’t in a house. I took this photo in my back yard, in the daytime. Doesn’t it look like it is nighttime? I don’t know how I did that to be honest. This was titled “Friends”.

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I have some cards that I will include the text as well. Those are coming up soon, I think. In the meantime, this year’s cards were mailed at the first of the month. I just got an email from someone who received theirs and it made me laugh out loud. Here is what it said:

“Every year I look forward to getting a card from you. I hope I'll get one every year until I croak.”

And you know what?  He shall!

Monday, December 14, 2009

So Much to See

I know someone who has spent the last few days in NYC. It must be quite the sight this time of year with the store windows decorated and people bustling about town doing holiday tasks. I might have to add seeing NYC during December to my ‘someday’ list.

For now, there is a lot to see right here where I live. Here are three photos. The first is my favorite. I saw this porch today and thought it was a lovely, warm and welcoming sight. I just might have to borrow this idea. I love these lanterns. And I do have a porch. Hm-m-m-m.

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This is our State Christmas tree on the grounds of the State Capitol.

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If you were standing where I was and turned 180°, this is what you would see:

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the newly reopened main street downtown Raleigh. With the lights in the trees and the wreaths and bows on the lampposts, it is really beautiful this time of year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Do You like YouTube?

I do not have a lot of time to poke around YouTube and find my own entertaining videos but I do enjoy it when a friend sends me a good one to watch. Here are two that had me amazed and entertained. I also thought that you might like them too.




Gifts at the Blog Door?

Let’s just pretend that I was away when the delivery man left these lovely gifts at my blog door. Or perhaps I was not really away, but I was in my pj’s when the doorbell rang. Or perhaps I had flour on my hands from rolling out Christmas cookie dough and I could not answer the door. Yeah, those sound like pretty good reasons to me.

The only thing is they aren’t very accurate. You see, I’ve said quite a few times before how really grateful I am for the awards as you can read here. And the problem of ‘no follow through’ still exists. I guess I overpaid Dr. B for his services. So, I am right back where I started from.

I received this award from both Elanor of Shantock Bears and Heather of Little Bearries. Both are very lovely bear people who were so generous to give it to me.

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And then Cheryl from Bingle Bears added these too.

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Wow! It’s seems like Christmas or something around here. Oh, it nearly is, isn’t it? These are very special because they come from people who are just absolutely wonderful blog friends. So, if you want to do a little Christmas surfing, go and visit these fine folks and see what kind of mischief they get into over the coming days. In the meantime, I am going to see Dr. B and try to get the charges to my account reversed. I really don’t think I should pay for therapy that did not solve my dilemma, do you?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Noelle Arrives Home

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Just in time to celebrate the holidays, my little Noelle Kringle from my most recent giveaway has made it to her new home. Doris created a sweet little post about her arrival. It just warmed my heart to see that Noelle landed safely and has been warmly welcomed. You can check it out here if you would like to see how she fared on her trip overseas.

Thank you Doris for sharing the photos and for giving Noelle a lovely place to live!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Teddywreath – 1994

This photo is another from my Christmas card collection. It seems like only yesterday that I was in my back yard taking this photo. If I recall correctly, I made ten of this teddy bear with his red and green striped nose and furry wreath tummy with jingle bell berries.

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Today I thought I would also share the text from this card because it reminds me of my children when they were much younger than they are today. (I was too but that is quite beside the point now, isn’t it?)

Here’s the text from inside:

“Of all the things I love at Christmas, I guess the colored lights are my favorite. Growing up, our porch was trimmed with a single strand of colored lights. I always wanted to go outside and stand under them as if their glow could drench me with Christmas magic. Each evening after everyone had wandered off to bed, I would stay behind mesmerized by the tiny halos of the twinkling lights on our tree. Time has passed, but we continue the tradition at our house. Each evening at dusk our son hurries on a special mission to make sure “We’re on!” and my daughter does her little fairy dance up and down the street as if the glow from those lights just might hold some Christmas magic.”

If you read the post below, you know we’re still keeping the tradition. There is something really neat about coming home in the evening from Christmas shopping and being welcomed home with twinkling lights.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 
                                                                    ~
Matthew 2:10

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just a few photos . . .


our porch at Christmas

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our solitary glider waiting for Spring

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along the walk

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and in the rain

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Henry’s Bed and Math

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Henry and I had a great time at the tea on Saturday. He really zonked out in his bed that night. Speaking of which, I thought you might like to know something about Henry’s bed. Henry likes to pretend that he is an old bear but he’s not really.

His favorite thing is to retire early with a good book and snuggle under the bed covers of his very own bed which he ‘claims’ is as old as he is. I will tell you a little secret. I know this is not true. Math is not my strong suit, but maybe you can help me with the numbers.

This bed was purchased about 75 years ago from a lady who was 90 years old. The doll bed had belonged to her children. Now if the lady was 90 years old 75 years ago and her children played with the bed, how old is this bed? Can you help me sort out a guess?

I have had too many cookies and too much tea to think straight. I am still a bit worried about Santa being a wanted man over at Joanne’s blog tea party, AliĆ©nore recovering from being kidnapped over here and all the mice and bears on top of that hill over at Elanor’s. I think I can take some comfort that the left behind toys over at A Stuffed Life had a happy Christmas but even so, I cannot think too hard about doing sums.

If you would like to venture a guess or help me with an estimate, Henry and I would appreciate it. I can make a note of it for posterity and Henry can use the information to further delude himself.

Thanks from both of us!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Tea for all the Toys

pday 
Welcome to my very first blog party!  Come on in and have some fun.  When you are finished enjoying tea here with us, please visit all the other blog tea partiers and enjoy their hospitality.  Their links are listed on my sidebar under “Christmas Tea Partiers”.
Have fun!
__________________________________________

Henry’s Invitation

This is a story about Henry.

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Henry is a bear that has been well-loved. In fact, he has been so well-loved through the years that he has never missed a tea party. He wears the evidence of nearly every one, too; from the cookie crumbs that tumbled down his chest to the tea that tipped over one year.

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Thankfully, it was not hot or poor Henry would have been in quite a fix. But he is a bear and bears tend to weather these things fairly well. Just look at Henry.

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With all the things that he have happened to him over time, he still has that youthful ‘Oh boy! I cannot wait until the next tea party!’ look about him.

When he heard about the Christmas Tea for All the Toys he had hoped he would receive an invitation. You see, not every tea is for every bear. Just because he had been to every other tea did not mean that he would be invited to this one. He was a little worried because not only did he not have frilly clothes, he had no fancy hat either.

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Everyone knows that you cannot go to a tea party without a hat or so he had been told. No, those things had been a part of his past, discarded when they became too cumbersome for a bear. Still, the word among the bears and dolls was that it was a Christmas Tea for All the Toys and he felt certain that all meant everyone - every single toy – even him.

He could just imagine sharing tea with other toys - some big, some little. The table would be festively set with red and white. They would sit together at a table just the right size, drink tea from snowmen teacups, and eat Christmas cookies.

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He would be among friends - doll friends and bear friends with red hats that matched. Yes, he could just imagine it. That is if he had a red hat.

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Or perhaps they would sit picnic style on a cloth covered in snowflakes. They would be served snowflake cookies on blue glass plates while they drank warm tea in tiny sized cups.

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They would sing “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” and look warm and cozy in their snowflake hats. That is if he had one.

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He dreamed of the tea and cookies that they would have.

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They looked so delicious he began to get hungry just thinking about it, but only one thing spoiled his dream. He had no invitation. An invitation would mean that he was wanted, that he had friends who enjoyed his company and that it did not matter if he had a red hat or a blue hat or any hat at all.

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If only he had an invitation . . . if only he had an invitation . . . if only he had an invitation . . .

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

Henry was confused. “Where is that sound coming from?” he wondered.

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

He looked around and everything began to get fuzzy.

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

Then he opened his eyes and realized he had been dreaming - dreaming a dream of tea parties and teddy bears.

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He was in his own bed with his own quilt.

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Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

He looked toward the end of his bed and saw a small red bird sitting there.

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“Hello little bird. Have you come for a visit?”

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

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“Oh, you have something for me? Is that mail in your beak? Oh, my little friend, you are a welcome sight indeed. Come and let me see what you have there.”

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The little red bird hopped a little closer and Henry wondered if it might be an invitation to tea.

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“Oh my!” he exclaimed as he examined it. “I am going to a tea party after all!”

Henry was so excited that he did not bother to put on fancy clothes or even a shiny ribbon. He was going to visit his friends and they would love him just the way he was, as he had always been.

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The tea party was even better than he had imagined for this time the tea and cookies were real. This time he knew he was not dreaming. Why he even has cookie crumbs in his creases to prove it. Henry asked me to share these photos of his perfect day at the Christmas Tea for All the Toys. Enjoy!

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This is a picture of the table before the goodies were gone!

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There wasn’t much room at the table, but everyone squeezed together.

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Here are some of Henry’s friends . . .

cmasteatoys_21 at the red table wearing their red hats.

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Henry had such fun with his friends.  If you wanted a hat to wear there was one available.

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There was an international contingent at the party.

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Oh look!  There’s Henry sitting on Minni’s lap.

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He did not want to miss all the fun at the blue table so he ventured over to see what was going on there.

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There’s Brownie still going strong after all these years.

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They wore snowflake hats just like those in Henry’s dream.

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It’s nice that they had a choice between hot tea and iced tea.  It must have been a ‘southern’ Christmas tea.

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It looks like it really was a tea for ALL the toys – big ones and little ones too.

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There Henry is again!  He secured a very good spot at the blue tea party too.  Raggedy Ann looks like she’s really enjoying herself.

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Henry loves this photo of himself in his blue snowflake party hat.  It seems he had quite a good time with all his friends.  I’m sure he will sleep well tonight.  He might even dream about dancing sugarplums. Maybe you will too!

The End.
__________________________________________

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas Tea
from all the bears and Henry and Me.

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