"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunday, 15 December 2013

My daughter and I put this nativity set together but I glued Joseph's face on upside down

When I look to God I see genuine committment, love beyond reason and grace I cannot comprehend. I thank God for providing for my daughter and I so that I can be a stay at home mom for even though I work to sustain us I am able to bring my daughter with me. Although we appear to be alone we are not for He is with us. "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to bring you good not harm." Jeremiah 29:11 "He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22
"As your days so shall your strength be." Deut. 33:25 I love you Jesus. Thank you for your loving care. Happy birthday! And thank you reader for reading my blog. We are leaving the island and will be back in a few months.
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Saturday, 14 December 2013

The finished hat

Now it is time for mending. Last night Babygirl woke up at 2:45am. We lay there together eating chips and she was drinking from her sippycup. Then in the near black night she put her face close to mine and said hi and then she burped. I laughed and then she laughed to.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The hat that is no more and the hat with a hole (same yarn)

I got this gorgeous mohair and silk blend that I'm knitting a winter hat for Babygirl. I found a cute pattern with "ears" in one of my vintage books. The pattern itself was of little use as it was only written for 6-12 month olds, the gauge was wrong for my yarn/needles that I wanted to use and it had a button closure. (I prefer ties. A button closure is more likely to stretch.) I threw all caution to the wind and cast on and got started. This is my idea of risk taking. By the fifth night I knew it was to small and I should have done a gauge and I was singing the baby blues. I pulled it out and started again with the correct amount of stitches. Mediocrity is never acceptable when you haven't done your best. The hat was coming along nicely until last night. A spark flew off my match when I was lighting a candle and landed in the centre of the hat. Before I could throw my cup of tea on it I smelled burnt wool. I pulled it back just past the hole. Misfortune is not an excuse to give up on perfection.

Monday, 2 December 2013


Babygirl is night weaned. It went smoothly. No crying, little fussing, and no sleep. In fact last night was the first one in months that while I woke up several times briefly it wasn't long enough to make me get up. And it was this morning that I noticed that for the past several months I have been washing my hair twice with shampoo.....Still there is one feeding left - bedtime- but I'm taking a break and we will enjoy the last bit of breastfeeding a little longer.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ripple Afghan

This afghan is a gift. Knitting it took forever but it went perfectly. I never broke or lost a needle. I never ran out of yarn. Never spilled my tea on it or missed a row in a pattern repeat. Nothing went wrong. And even the day I completed it and took it outside the cabin to photograph the lighting was perfect.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The night

The elderberry leaves fell today. The lime yellow leaves tinged with green covered the gravel path from the gate to the covered porch. Life like leaves last only a season. An island friend passed away.....As I write this Babygirl is sleeping and I am sitting at my desk with my battery led Lamp. A beeswax candle burns brightly nearby on a shelf. I don't mind not having electricity. It encourages me to rest and contemplate. On the coast winter nights are dark as the sky is obscured by clouds. Last night it cleared off and the moon shone through the curtainless windows. It woke me up and then I drifted back to sleep content to imagine the great beauty of the forest beyond the window.

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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The silence

is beautiful. I sit at the kitchen table looking out at the bare armed maple tree. Rust coloured leaves adorn young evergreens and sword ferns. As I write this it's plus five and raining lightly. I don't feel inclined to be outside anymore. After insulating the loft and even with the stove burning interminately during the day it is enough to keep Babygirls hands warm. Still it's nice to go outside just a little. The other day I went out walking with an island friend I hadn't seen since spring. When we were first reunited in the whirlwind of joy Babygirl dropped her sippycup and by the time I noticed and retraced our steps it had been blasted into a million pieces under a tire. Probably by another friend who had gone to rescue my friend whose truck had run out of gas on her way home when the fuel gauge quit working. As for the sippycup when you are 42.00 dollars from town and half a days worth of time you try not to be careless and make errors like this. Babygirl is drinking from a cup albeit messily but life is messy. Why do we expect life to be perfect? Is this a reflection of the selfishness of the human heart? Is it sometimes necessary to change our expectations? Is the spiderweb so beautiful because we know how ugly the spider is?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Ending middle of the night nursing

I've decided to continue the weaning and eliminate night time feedings. For the last week or so I let Babygirl nurse for four minutes and now we are on three minutes. She is taking it very well. By the end of the first week she was unlatching herself around the four minute mark. However, it's been disruptive to my sleep and I am frequently overtired. Did I mention I am frequently overtired? I'm glad it's easy for her and more importantly it means she's ready.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The end of night time comfort nursing

It all happened easily (for Babygirl). One night when I unlatched her from my nipple she fussed a bit and when I rubbed her back she went quiet and fell asleep. That was a month ago. It hasn't always happened so quickly. Sometimes she needs a cracker first, or a back rub and always a snuggle. For me it isn't so easy to fall asleep again and I am frequently overtired. When a baby is ready to wean they may or may not wean themselves but with a little encouragement and redirection it will come easily. I'm thankful for rice crackers they don't leave crumbs in the bed.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The owl that never was

I laid down with my daughter for bed and was quite tired when I heard what sounded like an owl on the other side of the glass. Feeling concerned for the safety of my sleeping feathered friends in the eaves I shined the bright beam of the flashlight at the tree on the other side of the window. That's when I realized the sound was coming from BabyGirl's sippy cup....later in the night I did hear the owl....far away..in the morning the leaves were falling. Babygirl is learning new words like firewood. I've decided all I want for Christmas is a 3 lb ax. When I take a break from splitting firewood I've done some burning. I love the popping and hissing of leaves and needles. I like the cool air that's turned green leaves gold and the blazing heat that's like a hot summer day on my bare arms. Poking a fire is sheer delight.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Mittens for little hands

At 19 mos Babygirl isn't real crazy about mittens. I had her try one on for size while I was knitting it and she smiled when she realized that I was knitting for her.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Let your heart be broken

I see brokenness in the sea glass, bits of shells, and clay shards washed upon the beach. It's the broken tops of trees anchored to the island and mountain tops on the horizon. It's the wind torn sea as waves break upon the shore. Like the blanket of fog I wrap the quilt of solitude around me and ask is the gift of brokenness tenderness? Is it strength like mountains and breaking waves and the beauty of sunlight on sea glass? What else could be the purpose of loss, heartbreak and sorrow?

Thursday, 3 October 2013

What motherhood has taught me (so far)

1. Love is service. 2. Love is patient. 3. You can never give enough but you can try. 4. There will always be cheerio's stuck in the kitchen chairs.

Friday, 27 September 2013

After a very long time which included losing my cable needle (please return if you find it. It's multi-coloured wood and medium sized) whittling a new one with my pocket knife and despite a waning interest somewhere in a sleeve I did complete it. It was patterned after my favourite, worn out machine knit sweater minus the cables which was my addition. The yarn is a blend of wool, alpaca and camel. If I find it a bit big after I am finished nursing I will felt it a tiny bit and that will remedy things. Sometimes determination is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

How should one relate to a cruel person? I've been reading Anne Franks, "Diary of a Young Girl." What we know of Anne's life was found in a diary abandoned on the floor of her family's hiding place in Amsterdam. For two years she lived in fear of being found by the Nazis. For two years this young girl wrote in her diary until the family was betrayed. Anne's life ended in a concentration camp three months short of her sixteenth birthday. In one of her entries she said," In the long run the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit." Is kindness developed by watching flowers bloom or by personal suffering?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Still nursing

September has been filled with outdoor work, firewood, toddler walks, and stroller rides. All inside work lies neglected. Soon enough it will rain and our lives will be defined by cabin walls. Summer is a great time for distractions and at 18 months Babygirl is busy. She doesn't seem to miss daytime nursing and I don't remind her although she wants boobies at nap time and half a hour before nighttime and of and on during the night. In a way I'm looking forwards to the end of nursing but in another way it will be sad. It's been an incredible beautiful journey and I have been blessed.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tea time

Playhouse has wrap around counters and is lined with salvaged cedar boards. It needs a stool but for now an upturned flower pot will do.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The mommy built playhouse

I built out of scrap wood and cedar I removed from a cabin slated for demolition. Babygirl was a big help and practiced her sharing by handing me nails. I still have to shingle the roof but I have to pick up the right size roofing nails in town. At eighteen months she loves her playhouse. Mothering always means trying your best at everything.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Round two

I've got this lush, silky yarn that is a blend of wool, camel and alpaca. I started a lace sweater and half ways through decided that no the yarn would look that much more lovelier in cables. So I hurriedly pulled it out before I could change my mind. On top of it I decided to be a daredevil and bypass the swatch. It's not that I wanted to save time as much as I know I'm hopelessly behind in my knitting schedule but I just wanted that adrenaline rush of constantly wondering whether I got it right or not. I'm using a favourite non cabled sweater as a pattern. I've got the body and neck done and tried it on to find it a bit small. This is one of the great virtues of wool. So I blocked it and its drying in the sun on a sheet of stryofoam right now. Everything is fine. Now for the sleeves.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

How long does it take robins to build a nest? I came back after spending the day in town and found a nest about six feet away from my deck and eight feet up in a young tree. Did the bird want company? The Woodstove is blasting out to much heat.
But I needed a hot fire to burn diapers. There's a pot of white beans on and bread in the oven. I hear wind in the treetops. Maple leaves flutter like caught butterflies against a blue and white speckled sky. The rain is over and the lightness of the day is intensified. Speaking of light last night I fell asleep early nursing Babygirl. I woke up sometime in the night and although I could not find my headlamp I found my way around and even poured a cup of hot tea from the thermos I keep on the kitchen counter. Light. It means I can see the cheerios on my kitchen floor. It also means with observation, reflection and prayer I will find my way.
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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Open studio

My studio will be open July 2 from 9 am to noon. If your on island please come by. I would be happy to meet you.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

My cabin stairs

I look forwards to the day when all there is to do is housework. I built the stairs 8 weeks postpartum and the railing I put on today. Still missing some spindles but I need to go to the beach as I want driftwood to match with the rest of it. It's not perfect. It's not even done but it sure is a pretty sight to me.
I read a national post from last summer and came across an article on the decline in the bumblebee population. The researcher searches dozens of previously known sights in Ontario looking for the rusty patched bumblebee. She found one bee in 2005 and another in 2009. She kept them and currently they reside permanently in a collection for the dead in the lab.
In our area the western bumblebee (bombus occidentalis) is difficult to be found. My guess is their all in the lab.
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Saturday, 15 June 2013

My eye followed the flight of the pale swallowtail butterfly floating from bush to bush sipping nectar from Sahal flowers. It's flawless beauty that happens only with time. I heard some cheeps and saw a young robin standing on the edge of the nest. The bird could not see us standing behind the woodpile. The youngster with its speckled breast hopped slowly around on the Sahal branches. Faster and faster it went until it leaped off a branch and fell end over end into the swordferns below. Do young birds ever feel discouragement? A birds flight like a butterfly's does not happen overnight. Aren't most things connected to character building the same?
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Saturday, 8 June 2013

"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it" L.M. Montgomery (this includes wreaths made with rusty wire)

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Girls and there boots

They are sitting on a newly woven rag rug. Mine are size eights and baby girls are three's.

A simple wreath

I don't like it! The rusty wire which is really quite exciting- I can't see. When I get time I'm going to take it apart and try something else...

Friday, 7 June 2013

Friday, 31 May 2013

Earthen pot tomato

A friend delivered this to my door this week. The earthen pot is composed of two twenty gallon buckets inside of each other. Halfway up the bucket on the outside there are small drainage holes in it to indicate when the pot is full. In the inside bucket there is a cup filled with soil that acts as a wick to draw up the water which is poured through a funnel into the black pipe which goes through the inside bucket into the outside bucket. The black plastic helps to retain moisture and heat up the soil. Of course the central idea behind this is water conservation.
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mourning Cloak

The butterfly only exists because it has undergone metamorphosis. Until then it is only an egg or a caterpillar or a chrysalis. Only after it has undergone these other stages does it become the epitome of naturally beautiful. At some point will the hardships of our lives create a metamorphosis within and release an inner butterfly of great beauty?
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Friday, 24 May 2013

I caught this picture of a milbert's tortoiseshell in between its mesmerizing butterfly dance. The side of an old cottage provided a warm spot where each of them collected more heat from a fading sun before dancing on. The unison of their movement is breathtaking. Do they ever collide?

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Thursday, 23 May 2013

From my flower garden

Columbines do well in my woodland flower garden. I have dark purple and white (tall) and short pastel pink and pastel pink/white. I will swap seeds with anyone who is interested. I am particularly interested in drought tolerant flowers.
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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Remembering dad

Dad would want to know that although we miss him terribly Babygirl and I are doing ok. He would want us to celebrate the beauty of life and so we are. There is a rufous hummingbird nest high up in the cedar by the shed. Tonight we stood under the tree and listened and we filled up all the feeders together. The yard is alive with our feathered companions. I am thankful for the kind, loving father he was and for the years we had. And when I wake up in the morning although I will be sad I will thank God for all the blessings I have.
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Thursday, 16 May 2013


I used 141 grams of acrylic red heart yarn. The color I used was called spa blue fleck. This is a gift for a girlfriend next winter. I made it out of a favorite cable pattern of mine combined with rope cable and seed stitch.
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Saturday, 11 May 2013

I think these two are thinking "Hey there camera woman where are the worms?" Baby robbins have such wonderful expressive eyes. What do you think their eyes are saying?
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Friday, 10 May 2013

Bye bye

Its a empty nest now nearly overgrown with greenery. I haven't seen the young birds as their parents keep them hidden in the sea grass. When we pass by the parents make their usual fuss and do their injured bird act until we are well out of the area. Late one morning I saw a raven up in a tree. Maybe the parents saw him maybe not. (they were busy making noise at us and a dog) The raven flew around to several trees perhaps to get a better vantage point and sat in each one for a bit before leaving the area. Because of the tree limbs I couldn't really see what it was doing but in one I did. The raven idly took out a few fir cones with its beak. Perhaps it had another agenda which didn't include baby birdies for lunch.
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Sunday, 5 May 2013

I wish I was a better person. Lately I've become so adept at seeing my shortcomings that I struggle with what to do with them when they seem so blatant and ongoing to me. Sure there is self forgiveness but is it reasonable to give to oneself what seems like endless grace?
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Friday, 3 May 2013

Kill deer babies

Late afternoon the same day I returned. This time both parents were very protective. It makes me think there has been some bonding of the bird-type going on. Looks like their about ready to explore the beach. They were very alert but quiet and so still that not even their eyes moved although they were looking right at me.
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The sun had just come up over the low hills of the mainland when babygirl and I headed out the purple door to go check on things at the killdeer camp. Baby bird is looking all fluffed up. Mama (I'm assuming) was more protective of her offspring than ever before. The little bird sat very still and quiet with only its eye blinking. Because of all the noise she was making we were only there long enough to take this picture.
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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Kill deer birth

The late afternoon sun felt warm on my back as I pushed the baby jogger down the road to the beach. One egg has been missing. I've been checking the 3 remaining eggs daily as the anticipated hatching time has approached. (24 -30 days) Turns out it was 29 days. The tide was coming in and the resident ravens were not seen or heard so after a bit I approached. The baby was tiny, wet, and blinking an eye at me. It raised its head and chirped several times. Its well developed feet were impressive.
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Sunday, 28 April 2013

4 things you can do with a box and a baby (from baby's point of view)

1. Mommy can put it over her head and play peek-a-boo with me. 2. Mommy can put my toys in it and I can take them out. 3. Mommy can put me in the box and slide me around on the kitchen floor. 4. I can chew on the box. That was months ago. Now the list looks like this: 1. I can get in and out of the box by myself. 2. I can put my toys in the box. 3. I can pull the box around with my toys in it. 4. I can chew on the box but I'd rather not. I've already done that.
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Friday, 26 April 2013

Order among chaos

When I look at this pebbled beach the ocean has moved the larger pebbles higher. It reminds me there is a order where there seems like none. One march day I watched through my binos the surf scoters (a large black and white sea duck migrating north) I timed them on my wristwatch; forty second dive, followed by twenty seconds up. These seven ducks repeated this rhythm for at least the half an hour I watched them. As I contemplate the subtle patterns that have emerged from beach pebbles and feeding ducks a line from Christina Rossetti comes to mind, "Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: but when the leaves hang trembling, the wind is passing through."
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Monday, 22 April 2013


There are many reasons to knit and hand knit socks is one of them. I'm fine tuning my pattern...although it could have helped if I would have found my latest revisions before I was done. Sigh. O well guess its another reason to make another pair. I got a couple of other ideas I would like to try....
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Friday, 19 April 2013

Its hard to wait

Everything is fine at the killdeer camp. When the sun is out it keeps the eggs warm but the pair is always around the beach watching. For whatever reason they stick it out. They do not give up on their eggs which are on their own schedule and cannot be hurried. Waiting isn't something most of us do very well. In our world we want everything now. We expect instant results and instant action. We want people to understand now. We want people to change now. We want answers from God now. But if a bird can have that much patience then why can't we?
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Monday, 15 April 2013

11 degrees sunny day with east wind

I just finished reading The Mommy Book by Karen Hull. I found my copy in a thrift store. It was published in 1986 and it's a nondenominational christian book with advice from 40 plus mothers and fathers. The book focuses on infancy to age three. One thing not mentioned is the value of singing to your baby. I started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (all 5 verses) when I was six months pregnant. Very quickly after birth I learned more lullabies, children's songs, and anything else I could think of. The singing comforted her and it probably has helped me at times to. This spring on our way back to the island I was driving a heavily loaded truck. I had been driving for about ten hours and we were on a busy freeway in fast moving traffic when suddenly a windstorm hit us. It was all I could do to keep the truck on the road. Babygirl started wailing. I started to sing Jesus Loves Me in a loud and strong voice above the roar of the storm. She got very silent and when I could I glanced worriedly over at her. She had fallen asleep. Not everything in the book I could agree with but there was enough in there that I found myself marking pages that I wanted to remember and refer back to.
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Monday, 8 April 2013

Killdeer nest

With the necessities done we were on our way, with the wind as our companion. Stopped to find the kill deer's nest ~take pictures and show them to Babygirl. If there is a season closest to heaven it is spring.
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Friday, 5 April 2013

Building a birds nest

I made this living wreath out of wire, moss, viola's, sahal sticks (a beautiful red) and grass with a piece of dead bracken fern. The free nest is currently available for occupancy.
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Thursday, 4 April 2013

Periwinkle blossoms...... there was some hanky panky going on with the killdeer... its neat to know there will be a speckled egg somewhere on this pebble beach tomorrow. I hope she has an umbrella, there is lots of rain in the forecast.
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Monday, 1 April 2013

The air is filled with birds and spring. I am outside all day. My hair smells like wind and warm sunshine. I ask if daffodils were any other color would they have the same effect? I watch my daughter picking up cones and dropping them into her blue bucket and I wonder what she is thinking and and does she feel it to?
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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sunny 11 degrees east breeze

We were down at the beach tucked out of sight of a group of six common mergansers. They were on the beach next to the water. We were a short distance away up on a knoll. Babygirl was happily playing and when I stood up I could see them. The two males were preening while keeping watch. The four girls were sitting facing the water with their backs to the land and to the sun. Its the pace of their day I noticed. They rested awhile but when a big wave came they took it. The girls have such pretty red tufted heads and the boys with their dark heads and white bodies look like miniature icebergs against a dark sea. Their passing by on there way to parts north and will breed inland on freshwater. Isn't it amazing how lightly they live? It seems there perspective is all they carry.
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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Knitting projects

I knit this ruched cowl which I have found so practical. As cowls don't have the loose ends like a scarf I find them baby/toddler friendly. In the picture I'm standing in my kitchen and behind me is a driftwood board wall collected entirely from the beach. That bundle you see on my right is Babygirl doing acrobats in my arms. For Babygirl I knit a cable and lace scarf. There are bobbles between each cable. Both of these neck warmers were knit in acrylic yarn. Babygirls scarf pattern is my own. The cowl pattern is called Wish and it came from a book called: knit and wrap 25 capelets, cowls and collars by Nathalie Mornu. A fine book and I may wish to knit another from it someday.
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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Flowers aren't just found in gardens.....

Two little girls is a poem written by Claudia May Seal. I think the author had two of her own but I see no reason why it couldn't be called One Little Girl. "Two little girls painting pictures of flowers and smiles of their dreams. The girls faces are happier than ever with their bowls filled with red, white and green. They act like professional artists swishing their paint brushes round. Their mothers watch them painting and marvel at their creative hand. Although someday their paintings of flowers and smiles of their dreams fade away in time their memories will never cease. The girls will grow older and have children of their own then they will watch them painting of flowers and smiles of their dreams". My little girl turned one and now I am the mommy with the cake. As I held it singing Happy Birthday and watched her beaming face I felt a connection to the circle of life in a way that I had never felt before. I made a white, layered cake with a vanilla glaze and garnished with fresh, edible flowers. I also made egg sandwiches from my freshly baked bread and cinnamon buns, carrot sticks and homemade grape juice complements of my mom. Happy birthday Babygirl!
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Sunday, 17 March 2013

I found these primroses at my gate today. Its been sunny... I hope to see the stars tonight.
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