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My own little world.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've been confined to pottering in the garden this last couple of weeks as I've been feeling poorly but I was bewitched by all the wonders of nature that I have right here in my own little world and decided a little blog that has nothing whatever to do with losing weight was just what I needed.
Soooo...here are a few pictures taken in my own backyard.....enjoy!



Shades of yellow
a hoverfly visits the ligularia in the bog garden


Cultivators
Black garden ants milk the honeydew from the greenfly aphid herd they've gathered together


Autumn hues on the rowan tree


a teasel head silhoutted against the sky


Yellow plum tomatoes 'sun baby'....yummy!!


Rosehips adorn the south fence

Tomatoes 'tumbling tom' in my hanging basket, strategically placed for picking and eating as I walk down the garden path!!


Red valerian or 'kiss-me-quick' brightens a border


Alliums and pink valerian jostle for space


pretty 'rosa rubra' on the back fence


a hummingbird hawk moth sipping red valerian nectar...he hovers like a hummingbird, never settles and really hums!


a trio of peacock butterflies sipping nectar on my new buddleia 'Ruby Red'


a garden spider wraps a tasty bluebottle for lunch


sunlight plays on the ligularia flower

a hoverfly sips from a watermint flower



























































































  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STILLPOINT 8/26/2010 11:44AM

    This is your garden????????????? Wow, it's incredible. Sounds like a beautiful place to be confined. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures.

Mer emoticon

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GOLDFISHLIZ 8/21/2010 7:18AM

    Brilliant pics! I wanted to getthe butterflies on our buddleia, but the weather has been awful when I had the chance. I'll maybe try later - sun's shining today.
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LILSUNFLOWER 8/19/2010 7:17PM

    Fantastic! And these are all taken in your back yard?
WOW. You are good.
LSF

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HOPE2BE 8/19/2010 9:17AM

    You should enter those pictures in a contest. They're divine.

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MOM2ACAT 8/18/2010 8:08PM

    Beautiful pictures, and I love the detail you were able to capture!


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SPIRITSEEKER2 8/18/2010 7:25PM

    I hope you feel better... beautiful pics

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AFM-SPARK 8/18/2010 7:22PM

    Nice photos! (Sorry you aren't feeling very well!)
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-A

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KAT573 8/18/2010 9:57AM

    so nice to see these pix; my garden is grey darn it; is valerian perennial? I need more perennial color! deeper into summer!! HUGS and thanks for sharing!

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HAVALOVER 8/18/2010 9:05AM

    What a lovely universe you have!
It's all in the capacity to see the beauty that surrounds us.
Are you feeling better?
Hugs, muy grandes,
Mirie

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DOLLBABE56 8/18/2010 8:05AM

    Beautiful pictures Martha-Ann! You are quite a good photographer. Thank you for sharing!
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LAURALAUGHS 8/18/2010 5:50AM

    Absolutely Beautiful!!! Just what I needed for a Wednesday! You certainly have a gift for gardening (work ethic, patience, love). Have a fantastic day!!! emoticon

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Walking the walk...

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

We walked the ancient Millington Pastures and Wood of Lily Dale, starting down the valley with the sun on our backs and a gentle breeze in our faces.

The inquisitive kyloe calves grazing the steep valley sides with their mothers ventured to the fence as we passed, though not quite close enough to be touched, whilst the bull with his magnificent horns kept his beady eye on us from behind the barbed wire topped fence.....he'd have broken it like a piece of ribbon if he'd decided we were a threat!

We crossed the trickling stream looking back up to the small lake surrounded by masses of pinky purple herb robert flowers waving gently in the breeze.
Insects hummed about the water cress plants and a moorhen and her two chicks chittered to each other as they dabbled around the margins.

Passing in to Lily Dale through the rough hewn gate we entered the cool dankness of the wood which covers the valley sides.
The rusty charcoal burner had recently been emptied and the smell pervaded the air mixing with the subtle scent of the dying garlic flowers.
Birds sang, butterflies flitted to and fro and the sunlight filtered through the canopy making soft sunlit pools among the undergrowth and setting the dust motes dancing in it's rays.

It was a gentle stroll along the valley floor at first but we soon began to ascend getting ever steeper as the slopes gave way to wooden steps leading up to the rim of the wooded valley side.
Strategically placed wooden seats greeted us every now and again, each one a welcome respite and a viewing vantage point.
The occasional walkers hove into view, smiling and nodding at us as we passed on the narrow traverse.
The air was damp and cool and the track stoney as we undulated crab like along the sides of the valley to reach the summit where we sat quietly taking in the wonderful views of the countryside spread out before us like a giant patchwork quilt.

Then the long descent down by a different route, undulating gently, descending steeply or step by step down the wooden steps some mysterious miracle workers had installed to bring us ever nearer the valley bottom.

We caught tantalizing glimpses of it through the trees growing ever nearer until at last we were down and a gentle walk brought us back to the track and a short walk to Millington village where the Gait Inn was hosting a fun day and buffet to celebrate Yorkshire Day.

Bunting flapped gently in the breeze, people talked and laughed, ate and drank and we quietly escaped, dropping down the gentle slope of the valley back to where our transport sat patiently awaiting our return to the carpark.


this young kyloe bullock stuck his tongue out at me!!


the pinky purple flowers of Rosebay Willow herb


the rusty charcoal burner


some of the steep wooden steps leading up the valley side


sunlight filters through the trees


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

QUIETCUPOFTEA 8/4/2010 9:24AM

    this makes me want to hop on a plane right now and go! it sounds like heaven to me. thank you for such a beautiful blog! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 8/4/2010 7:43AM

    How beautiful! Sounds like you had a lovely day! I have never heard of a kylo bullock. But he sure is cute with his tongue sticking out! emoticon

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MARTHA-ANN 8/4/2010 5:44AM

    Thanks everyone, it was a good walk even though my leg muscles are still protesting...LOL...it was all those steps!! emoticon

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HAVALOVER 8/3/2010 11:54PM

    Thanks for the ride, and the zoology lesson! I've never seen -nor heard of- a "kylo bullock" before! It looks like a rocker bull or cow... with an attitude, hahaha...
Loved the walk.
hugs,
mirie

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SHELLB39 8/3/2010 11:11PM

    Oh I love the photos! the Kylo one is wonderful as are the others. Thanks for sharing. The steps remind me of a state park south of where I live. They are half a mile in length along the side of a bluff that borders the Mississippi River. Thank goodness the view is beautiful just as yours was, distracting from the difficult labor of the accent to the top. And herb robert - I don't recognize. Is it edible?

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DEBHAPPY2B 8/3/2010 9:37PM

    Sigh...I feel so relaxed now. Thank you for sharing!

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MOM2ACAT 8/3/2010 1:15PM

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us; that kylo is cute!

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NEELOJ 8/3/2010 1:07PM

    A wonderful journey we just took!! Thanks for taking me with you!!
Your words of description took me right along!!
The pictures are neat too! I love the first one of the calf and his tongue!

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MARILYN1260 8/3/2010 12:35PM

    A magical day. So happy you were able to enjoy nature at its best.

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BIKERBABE2BE 8/3/2010 12:09PM

    Looks a beautiful walk. Thanks for sharing!

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Scarecrow Festival

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good morning, some of you were asking about the Scarecrow Festival I went to yesterday so I thought I'd do a little blog with a few pictures for you.

The festival has been running for many years now and is held in Muston, a little village in Yorkshire and is quite famous, attracting visitors from all over Britain and abroad.
The original idea was to raise funds for the village and it seemed to snowball. Since then other villages have latched on to the idea but Muston is still the biggest and best.
During the week long festival the village is covered in scarecrows of all shapes and sizes, all made by the villagers.
It's amazing the work and effort that goes into them, the attention to detail and the ideas for them are wonderous.
Usually life sized, they are well made mostly of papier mache and can be very witty.
The scarecrows are displayed outside the villagers homes, in their gardens, up trees.....you never know where you'll see one!
There are ice creams, drinks and plant stalls around the village, the Church is open, there are flower displays and the village hall serves delicious homemade baking and teas.....yes I had some!!! but I reckon we walked a couple of miles or more!
It's fun and I had a lovely time.

This is just a small selection of pictures that I liked.



The Crow Bar.



Traditional Morris Dancers...see the moles underfoot, they were all around the village green poking up from the soil. The dancers were life size and all had witty names like Morris Minor(a car!), Morris Gibb, Morris Chevalier...



Beatrix Potter characters Peter Rabbit, Miss Moppet and Jeremy Fisher.



The Vicar and his flock...



Moles.



Mr Bun the Baker.



Peppa Pig and her brother George.




Reading the ewespaper!
Very witty headlines like..... 'Evening Ewes', 'Sheep scientists clone human', 'Sheepdog found guilty at trial', 'Muston Woollen Mill sale now on', 'Lambs flock to see Ben Shepherd perform at Woolpack'.....



Border Control....very topical!! Love the in and out entrances!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLDFISHLIZ 7/26/2010 6:11PM

    I love your pics! We went to one in Bassenthwaite village a few weeks back - same sort of idea, but I think the groups you saw were very witty - and so much work - the Morris Dancers were wonderful! Great fun.
We went to the same one (they do it every other year) four years ago. As we walked around I saw a scarecrow with a curious way of attaching the head, so I went up to examine it more closely - and it wished me good afternoon! You could hear my shocked shriek a mile off! The bloke inside the costume laughed immoderately, as did DH. emoticon emoticon

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SHELLB39 7/26/2010 9:24AM

    Love the witty-ness of the displays and how great that it invites the people of the village to walk to see them! I continue to be enthralled by the quaintness of this area you reside in Martha Ann! It points out to me how much American suburbia is lacking in so many ways! Our neighborhood, in the past, has had block parties where we come together for an ice cream social or potluck. Your Scarecrow Festival has given me a wonderful idea to encourage families to be creative together and then to walk the streets and visit the homes at some point during our gathering. What do the villages use the raised funds for?

Thanks for sharing...my favorite is "The Crow Bar"! emoticon

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LILSUNFLOWER 7/25/2010 1:03PM

    What a fantastic dea. Love your pictures. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. The stalls and displays sound just perfect for an outing. How large is the Village?

It's humid, but we just don't seem to get the rain. Horribly dry - crops aren't doing well. Unless we water, we'll lose everything. I feel sorry for farmers.
Have a great sunday. Guess it's evening by you. Just 1pm here. DH is requesting lunch. Mustn't disappoint.
Bye for now.
LSF

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KADD1011 7/25/2010 7:07AM

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing with us. At times I miss England and it is the events like this that I do miss. We have nothing like this down here in North Carolina. In Connecticut, we had some: fall type events. I do miss the mild climate in England. Unfortunately my husband got really bad asthma when we were there so we had to move stateside. Sad, though because I really liked the place (we were aobut 30 miles East of Cambridge.)

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Life's wonderful treasures

Friday, July 23, 2010

This morning got me thinking.....

For almost thirtynine years, on almost every day he's been at work I have kissed my husband goodbye and then waved him off from the front room window..... there's been the odd missed occasion when I've been ill or something similar but this little act means a great deal to me.

But this morning when I was upstairs he just shouted he was going and left!!

It sounds very irrational, and I'm not an irrational person, but I felt devastated...it quite spoiled my morning!
I rang his mobile and asked 'Why?'.
He said 'I thought you were busy so I just went, I didn't mean anything by it, I thought it would save you coming back downstairs'.
We ended up laughing and I'm fine now but it got me thinking about life's little gifts to us.

It seems to me a lot of life's most precious treasures are free.

Personal treasures like a smile, a hug, a kiss, a caress, a wave, a kind word, a little kindness to someone else.
These gifts can give such happiness to others as well as ourselves.

And then there are beautiful, miraculous, God given happenings like the golden sun rising and setting with it's wonderful colour palette, a blue or cloudy sky, a green field, a pretty flower, a gentle breeze.....
Birds, butterflies, insects, animals in all their varied and colourful forms.....

We take a lot of our treasures for granted and it takes something like this morning's little episode to give us a reality check.
I'm reminded of my favourite hymn, O Lord my God.
Ruth, our Chapel organist, always plays this one to welcome the congregation in for worship and it couldn't be more fitting.....

O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hand has made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee.
How great though art.
How great thought art.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee.
How great thou art.
How great thou art.

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing softly in the trees.
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.'

.....Just a part of the hymn but it's beautiful isn't it and aren't we just the most blessed!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOBERRY 7/27/2010 4:36PM

    I totally understand I always tell and hug and kiss my hubby and kids goodbye I even go to the picture window and wave to them goodbye if I don't I fell lost just that something isn't complete. Hubby asked why I go to the window you just gave them a hug I don't know why I guess I just want to make sure they got off ok. Brenda

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DEBHAPPY2B 7/24/2010 8:57PM

    One of my favorites as well! What a small world.

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GOLDFISHLIZ 7/23/2010 1:29PM

    I love singing that hymn. It uses the word 'awesome' in its proper context too! ( a little hobbyhorse of mine!)
Thank you for reminding us of really important things.

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NEELOJ 7/23/2010 12:41PM

    Great blog! I have always loved the idea of "little things" in nature that we miss.
This is why I love Macro photography! Even I am surprised many times by the things I have managed to snap a picture of!
God is amazing!
And good friends are too!!!!!
JO

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XME501 7/23/2010 9:55AM

    What beautiful words!! One of God's creations that continues to amaze me are the trees. I lived most of my life in Southern Oregon where there is much green - my favorite color. Here in NE Oregon there is much brown. Looking out my windows there is a row of big, green trees along the river. Beautiful!!!
Martha-Ann, you continually encourage me - Thank you!!
Barb

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HOPE2BE 7/23/2010 9:09AM

    Wonderful blog Martha.

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SHELLB39 7/23/2010 8:57AM

    Thanks for the reminder to see the small gifts in daily routine. The hymn included; moved me into singing right in front of the computer, causing the Gus boy to look up from his morning sleep spot and wonder right along with me! It was my Father and Grandmother's favorite and always reminds me of them when I hear it. They were big gifts in my life and I'll always treasure their loving influence on me and extended family.
I do find it rather admirable of you to send your DH off almost each morning like you have consistently for so many years! Perhaps if mine didn't have to leave before dawn I would do the same, rather than the night before when we call it a day and wish the other a good one tomorrow. Here's to being more fully aware of the free gifts in today's moments! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/23/2010 8:10AM

    What a beautiful hymn. You are so right, we do take so much for granted. Why must we be in such hast that we miss what is most valuable?

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LOOZINITNOW 7/23/2010 8:03AM

    I completely understand. This is the way my hubby and I part in the morning also. He also sends me a good day email every morning when he gets to work. When he forgets or doesn't, I feel lost and devastated. Very silly I know, but it is just a habit that is worth continuing.

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Awesome us.....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm in awe of how our bodies work.
They put up with abuse, neglect and general disrespect but they don't take offence, they bounce right back, they even repair themselves, it might take years but it does get there in the end. It might not be quite what it was before but it'll do its very best to replicate it.

Three and a half years ago I had to take early retirement from work due to bad earache and pain in my neck and shoulder. It made me deaf, not just in the ear that hurt but both of them.
When I began treatment it was found that one ear had had limited hearing for quite a while due to impacted wax and when the other one started hurting it showed up the deafness in it that I already had so after three 'hoover' treatments one ear was cleared and I could hear again.
The other ear was diagnosed with an infection of the middle ear which was treated with antibiotics. It cleared up slowly but it didn't last, the pain was still there, the infection recurred three times over the next few months and I still couldn't hear.

Whilst all this was going on I began getting a lot of pain in my right side and was referred to hospital where I was diagnosed with uterine polyps.
After two were removed I still had a lot of pain so went in to hospital for an internal scan, this revealed my right fallopian tube was enlarged which meant an exploratory operation.
They found a large grapefruit sized mass which was removed and sent for examination. They also did a scrape of my uterus as the lining was thickened.
The results for both came back as cancer so next I had a hysterectomy, double salpingectomy, and double oophorectomy plus removal of my cervix and cervix cuff. Luckily it seemed to be enclosed and hadn't spread further so I only needed radiotherapy which they let me self medicate in the form of tablets.

When I awoke from the operation I couldn't sit, stand, turn over without awful pain, mostly in my lower back and buttocks. I practically laid on my side for almost five weeks and struggled to walk and sit. They decided I'd trapped my sciatic nerve where it crosses my back. It runs through two large muscles called the piriformis and they'd swelled and trapped the nerve. The pain was across my back, down my right leg and under my foot, right to the end of my toes and it was agony! You Americans quite rightly call this syndrome 'a pain in the butt' and believe me it sums it up exactly.....it felt like I was sitting on two boulders!
I had three intense courses of physiotherapy and was told it could take two years to disappear but eventually it would.....it didn't feel like it would at the time!

Anyway after a few weeks treatment when I was beginning to hobble around I went back to see my ear specialist who discovered I'd a tumour on my eardrum so I went in for a little operation to remove it.
I was terrified of the operation, not of what it was but because it was the operating table which had caused my bad back and I didn't want it getting any worse when it was just beginning to feel a little easier.
The operation was a success.

While other ailments came and went, a sprained knee ligament, a broken toe, a burst eardrum due to infection and another small operation to remove some scar tissue which was causing pain, other ailments appeared and have stayed, Psoriasis, Gilbert's Syndrome, Morton's Foot and osteoarthritis in my right knee and ankle.

But now..... three and a half years later I've finished with all my treatments and most of the medication, I've got the cancer all clear and though I still have the Psoriasis, Gilberts, arthritis and occasional liver tests to contend with everything has settled down and repaired itself very nicely.

I feel fit and well, I'm walking regularly again, exercising to my limits and after three and a half years of wandering around in the night sixteen nights ago I began sleeping straight through the night again, eight hours of unbroken sleep without even bathroom breaks!
Why.....I don't know but I do know sleep has made me feel so much better than I have for a long, long time.
And I'm happy.

Our bodies are amazing.
Their capacity for misuse but also for healing are phenomenal and I, for one, am in awe of it.
Are you in awe of yours?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLDFISHLIZ 7/23/2010 1:32PM

    What a lot you have had to contend with. Well done for remaining so positive amidst it all.
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MARTHA-ANN 7/22/2010 5:09AM

    Thank so much for all your lovely comments, I didn't really intend this to become a medical list but it sort of ran away with me...LOL...I really wanted to show how we and our bodies work together towards healing.
It's so good to have you all as my friends, I feel very blessed emoticon

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DEBHAPPY2B 7/20/2010 6:25PM

    You inspire me, Martha-Ann. I am so proud to have you for a Spark Friend. What a wimp I have been! Blessings to you.

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AFM-SPARK 7/20/2010 2:10PM

    Sorry you had to go through so much, but glad you are doing so much better!

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-A

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NEELOJ 7/20/2010 11:19AM

    I agree with what everyone has said!! You are terrific!! Doctors are great but you and your body worked together to do the "real" healing!
Yes, I am in awe of my body. Just last week I had a small accident that caused a slice of skin to be torn from my finger. It amazes me to watch how the skin can regrow over the wound. And as you said, amazing all that the body can do!!

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SHELLB39 7/20/2010 11:03AM

    I Celebrate with you, across the tides Martha Ann! Thanks for sharing.

Your body has certainly showed you it's ability to heal! I'm sure there was more than just physiological work at hand here!! SLEEP...we all need it to not only function, but to maximize our physical and mental health too! So happy that you are reaping the benefits of uninterrupted rem!

I can so relate to your back pain you described and for me I see that my healing occurred with time, strength building, and most significantly some divine intervention! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/20/2010 8:05AM

    Martha-Ann you have certainly had more than your share difficult health issues. It makes me realize how lucky I have been. Thank you for sharing. I am so happy for you. And, a good night's sleep is soooo important.

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MARILYN1260 7/20/2010 6:11AM

    Hello Martha-Ann,
I'm totally in awe of........YOU. Your wonderful attitude was as much a part of your recovery as your medical treatments. You live your life to the fullest, you take time to inspire, comfort and encourage others and you rise above your problems, believing you'll overcome them and you do. I treasure our friendship.
Hugs, Marilyn

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