89 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-12-16

  1. Good morning.
    I am at my sleep study. It was a rough night for me–lots of vivid nightmares and I awakened at three with a severe migraine….the worst part is I’m not allowed any caffeine and have to stay until four this afternoon… I normally drink quite a bit of coffee–so I really miss it.

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  2. I mentioned on yesterday’s R&R that Elvera said it was a nice day.
    One thing we did was go to see the singing Christmas tree in the mall. Three churched joined to have a huge tree-like structure with lights, etic. But there were people in the tree. All you could see of them was heads. They sang carols. And a guy gave a short – maybe couple of minutes, gospel explanation. I’m sure some people new the top had precarious footing.
    It was nice. Never saw that before.

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  3. Saturday night Angie sang the following song and I was going to post it anyway this morning. We had a discussion not too long ago about people not liking that most of our European masters had portrayed him as a blond, blue eyed man. Then I logged in and saw the Nativity from Kathaleena and it fit even better.

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  4. Good Morning…lovely nativity up there โค
    Erlanger Baptist Church always had a Living Christmas Tree…my sweet MIL was the church organist and was always practicing with the choir…it was a big attraction in the town for believers and non alike….
    Praying you get through the sleep study with minimal frustration Ann…and that the migraine subsides quickly!!
    And……HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANICE!!!!! Someone needs to bake this lady a cake….I'm not too good at it on here!! We celebrate our Lord's beautiful creation of YOU today!!! โค

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  5. Advent – Day 12: This is a traditional Urdu Carol from Pakistan. Although it has been passed down through generations, there does not seem to be any translations of it into English. The most I was able to get from Google translate was that the first line was saying, “Jesus came to earth from heaven.” Enjoy the eastern musical style, the flute player especially is very good.

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  6. Kim @9:01, thatโ€™s a beautiful song. One line says โ€œsome see him with almond eyesโ€. That reminds me of when my Dad lived in So. Korea years ago. His colleagues wanted to honor him, so they commissioned a portrait painted from a picture. I have it now. Itโ€™s a large portrait—about 18×24โ€ The painting is fairly like, but the eyes have an โ€œalmondโ€ slant that he does not have. We smile about it now saying they slanted his eyes because they wanted to beautify him and make him look even more attractive according to their own standard of beauty.

    We do the same with Christ. We canโ€™t help it. But I believe that when we do see Him we will not be all that surprised regardless of how off our perceptions here have been. Because as deep calls to deep, spirit calls to spirit; and It’s our spirit that really knows Him anyway.

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  7. Kathaleena – Is that tree to the left covered in various nuts? Seeing that reminded me that my mom had a tree like that (if that is what I am seeing).

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  8. Our Government at work…
    My insurance is going to be $412 per month or $4,944 per year.

    Care to guess the penalty if I risk it and go without insurance????

    $695 No I did not forget a zero. Why would any healthy young person pay for insurance when this is the penalty? BRILLIANT!!!!!

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  9. I saw the singing tree once at a Lutheran church but had forgotten about it until Chas mentioned it.

    Ann, hope you feel better, it’s awful to have even a regular headache and not be able to take anything for it.

    Happy Birthday Janice!! I so enjoyed your story about Bosley in the Christmas book ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done.

    Beautiful header, such a pretty and meaningful time of the year. I caught a bit of a very recent movie made about the birth of Jesus last night which actually wasn’t bad.

    This is my (busy with the house) week off but today I just have to get Tess to a 10:45 vet appointment. Tomorrow I need to stick around for a bathroom delivery (bead board). And sometime today or tomorrow I need to pick up the 2 gifts I need for my Angel Tree kid, they need to be dropped off (wrapped) at church by Wednesday. I lost track of the deadline, apparently, thinking I had until next Sunday to do that.

    Anyone know anything about Minecraft? He requested that as his ‘toy’ and I haven’t had time really to look it up to know what exactly to buy. Is it a video game?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel for you all having to pay so much for health insurance going forward, let’s hope there’s some quick fix for that. Our premiums for our employer sponsored plans actually went down a little bit this year, though that’s in lieu of having to pay a lot more out of pocket for services, appointments, procedures, that might be needed during the year under our new plans.

    This year’s plans also include the option to have a health savings account which I signed up for — they take money out of each check that can then be used to help pay for some of those out-of-pocket expenses.

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  11. That is a nut tree. It was given to me by an friend. I bought a Styrofoam cone once to make another, but never did get to it. It is stored away with the set, so I never think of it until just before Christmas. I always loved the tree and find it works well with the nativity set.

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  12. I saw a singing Christmas tree just once, as a little girl. I was ten at the most, but I’m guessing I was quite a bit younger, maybe just five or six.

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  13. Kim, the idea of penalties is simply wrong, anyway. If a person chooses to operate without insurance, that is their right. Of course, there is a problem when they then develop a disease they can’t afford to pay for, but society sees health care as a moral right. Kinda like when rural areas have fire departments that cost something to each house, and some homeowner chooses not to pay the fee. Then when his house catches on fire, the fire department comes and watches to be sure no person will die in the fire and the fire doesn’t spread beyond his house. And he is livid with rage and demands they put out the fire. But honestly it isn’t fair to those who have been paying the fee all along, if he knew that he was outside their protection and he chose to be outside their protection.

    I have very mixed thoughts about what kind of health care ought to be available to those who opt to go without insurance. I’m fine with doctors and hospitals offering huge discounts, and I’m fine with people taking up a collection to pay the medical costs for their friends. But it seems to me that charging an ongoing fee that the patient has to pay (even sacrificially) for ten years or so is fair enough. And it seems to me fair enough that medical people could refuse to treat patients who can’t come up with anything, not even a token payment.

    If I were in a position of paying $800 a month for insurance, for example, I think I’d be inclined to check out the alternative systems and see if I qualified for any. But if I did not, then I think I would take that $800/ month and put it into savings, instead. That’s close to $10,000 a year. If one has surgery two years later that cost $20,000 after some negotiation, the cost can be paid (without a decuctible), or if the surgery costs more than $20,000, then the patient can agree to a down payment of $10,000 and payments of $500/month for the rest of it, and still be continuing to putting something into savings. No medical treatment will require payments as high as $800/month, so why pay that much “in case” of medical need? I don’t think I would do it. (I would do it if I already had a chronic issue that cost more than that OR if getting into the insurance market later would be impossible if I had pre-existing conditions. But as it stands now, where pre-exisiting conditions can’t keep you out, for someone who pays less than $5,000 a year for medical needs, an insurance that costs $10,000 and has a high deductible is just not beneficial–that money can be better put aside to pay for potential costs in the future, and then if the money is never spent, it will be there as part of the estate. If you have a simple procedure, say $5,000 or less, you can pay cash, and if it is more than that, no doctor will refuse to treat you if you can pay $10 or $20,000 cash up front and make payments for the rest. And if that starts being impossible because medical expenses start being more than the $10,000 year insurance cost PLUS the deductible cost, then it can definitely be the time to get on insurance, then.

    If I were young and healthy (with no pre-exisiting conditions, or ones that are unlikely to cost much money), I’d join a Christian sharing plan and stay on it, and then there is no risk of those $500 and up medical expenses. (In our household, I qualify for such a plan and our younger daughter does. My husband has pre-existing conditions that would make it not a good deal for him–he’d have to keep his other insurance anyway–and our older daughter had some that have been corrected, but by the time we were sure they were corrected, she was getting married and joining her husband’s work plan. But our younger daughter only pays $45/month for the “lowest” plan, and I pay something like $200 for the top one–for our household, it is far and away the best option. I was on the middle plan for a few years, but it doesn’t pay for things like rehab after a hospital stay, and so I switched to the top one since I was getting older. Women who might become pregnant need the top one, too, since the others don’t pay for maternity coverage. But a young and healthy single person can sign up for the cheapest plan, with the idea of switching to the others later, if necessary, and even the highest price is cheaper than most of the other market options today.)

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  14. DJ, on your question about Minecraft, yes, four of my small relatives play the game. Eldest Niece has grown out of video games for the most part (after attaining a skill level in Mario games which left us adults in the dust) and now only plays at the request of her younger brothers. She used Minecraft as an educational tool. Minecraft is all about building and creating, and one thing that people can do is create in game programming in order to produce new materials in the game, so Eldest Niece learned to write computer programming through playing the game. She laments, however, that since the Minecraft franchise has been sold to X-box, there isn’t as much opportunity to be so creative. Eldest Nephew dreams of being an engineer, so he loves to build cities in Minecraft, and pours over books that show some of the amazing cities other people have built in the Minecraft world. Yes, he could spend hours on there if his parents let him, but his personality, which is dreamy and introverted, would do the same with any leisure activity which appealed to him – I think it is more constructive for him to build on Minecraft than to simply kill imaginary enemies in other video games (there is some warding off of enemies when playing Minecraft in survival mode, but it is not the main point of the game). To him, Minecraft is an affordable way of constructing things, since Lego and model trains (two other things he likes to build) cost a lot of money.

    His younger brother, Second Nephew, is as extroverted as Eldest Nephew is introverted. He likes Minecraft well enough, but he would prefer to be playing with the neighbour boys. Third Nephew, the younger brother of the first three, is just starting to master video games (Eldest-sibling-in-law is a video gamer, and since he is a successful career man with a Ph.D. and a good husband and father, he and Eldest sibling don’t have a problem with their children playing good video games), but he is different again, being introverted but having a zest for going and doing things which prevents video gaming from becoming too much of a draw. Youngest sibling and her husband are very conservative when it comes to entertainment consumption, but they both have played Minecraft and have sometimes played with Eldest Siblings children. So, on the whole, I would say, if children will play video games, Minecraft is one of the better ones.

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  15. Kim- I read somewhere that the penalty is per month, not per year. So that $695 gets multiplied by 12 ($8,340). But Cheryl’s right. The penalty should not even be collected by Uncle Sam. I really hope the Congress repeals the mess and puts it back to the free market program we had, only adding that insurance can be sold across state lines.

    Mrs L is on one of those Christians helping Christians program, where every month she gets a letter with an an amount to send to a specific person to help with medical costs. I think the most she has had to send was $300 one month. The only problem is that it is not s fixed amount, but varies depending on what people need.

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  16. Cheryl, I am not a risk taker. I can’t really afford $412 per month, but what is something does happen? OH and I have a $6,500 deductible. So really right now I am paying for nothing. THAT doesn’t seem fair!

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  17. Happy birthday, Janice!

    Hope you get relief soon from your migraine, Ann.

    Debra, 10:22, well said.

    Kathaleena, beautiful nativity.

    I set a poem that is in the public domain to music last week, and added a chorus of my own. I’m not 100% satisfied with the chorus lyrics, and may change them, but here are the words of the poem, written by Charlotte Elliott and entitled Watch and Pray:

    Christian, seek not yet repose,
    Cast thy dreams of ease away;
    Thou art in the midst of foes;
    Watch and pray.

    Gird thy heavenly armor on,
    Wear it ever night and day;
    Near thee lurks the evil one;
    Watch and pray.

    Hear the victor who o’ercame;
    Still they watch each warrior’s way;
    All with one deep voice exclaim,
    “Watch and pray.”

    I wrote the music in the key of D (harmonic) minor, but included a couple of chords that aren’t in that key (F minor in the bridge, and A-flat major in the chorus) for some harmonic interest. The chorus, 4 measures in length, is sung after verses 1 and 3, and the bridge, a lyric-less 8-measure section of shifting harmonic patterns that I especially enjoy, follows verse 2.

    There’s one part of the chorus harmony that doesn’t sound “right” to me, but I don’t know what to substitute in its place, so I’m leaving it as is for now.

    I am trying to set aside a little time each day for composing, but that’s usually in the evenings, and sometimes I just don’t get to it if the earlier part of the day unfolded differently than expected. Such is life. I enjoy the challenge of composing, though, and have branched out beyond solo-piano-only compositions, which has largely been what I’ve done in my earlier, more sporadic years of composing. It’s good for my aging brain, and for expressing myself creatively, which I’ve had much more of a hunger for lately.

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  18. Peter, the program I’m on has a fixed amount, and we send it to the company (it’s an automatic deduction for us, not a check we have to remember to write and mail). They also list medical needs that are outside the parameters of the program (e.g., a pre-existing condition) and people can choose to send money for those, but they are optional. And since the maximum they pay is somewhat low, they also have a plan where you can pay to increase your maximum, and that price varies per year, but I think it’s only about $60 per year. These numbers might be wrong, but the lowest plan may have a $100,000 maximum, but if you pay the $60 a year, then it will be $200,000 the second year, then $300,000, and so on. I have a more costly plan and a higher limit, but we pay the extra for me and leave it to our daughter whether she wants to pay the extra for herself.

    Kim, obviously you don’t need to answer on here, but if you don’t have pre-exisiting health concerns, you could lower your amount tremendously and do something “different” with the deductible. (The plan I’m on has a lower deductible than that, but the deductible is per incident and not per year. For instance, if I break my foot but the same year I’m diagnosed with some illness, they are two separate things. But I think–I’m not sure–that ongoing treatment carrying into next year would then be ongoing treatment, not a new deductible. So the deductible may or may not be lower–it probably is, but depends on the situation.) Some pre-exisiting conditions might still be worth switching over, if, say, the worst-case scenario is that you might need a $3,000 treatment at some point, then you would just pay for that out of pocket if you needed to. And it’s great for large families, since you only pay for the first four people, or maybe it’s six, and you cover the whole family.

    I think if I had to come up with $400 a month, I’d somehow do it. If I had to come up with $800, I couldn’t–not without going into town and getting a part-time job on top of my current responsibilities. But I wouldn’t get a part-time job to “throw it away” in such a way–that’s more than I paid for my mortgage, property tax, and insurance in Nashville! Instead, I’d do something like what I suggested, if the bill was that high. (Peter, I don’t think it’s an $8,000 fine. It would be impossible to collect an amount like that from most households, and numbers I’ve heard have been far lower than that.)

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  19. I asked this over on the News/Politics thread, but I’ll put it here, too. . .

    Recently saw on Facebook a rant lambasting Paul Ryan for referring to Social Security as an entitlement. It went on to say that workers paid into SS, & they are owed it (of course, I agree with that part).

    Am I missing something? Has the connotation of the word โ€œentitlementโ€ been changed? It is supposed to mean something that a person has a legitimate claim to. Are people now using it in the sense of something people think they are entitled to, but donโ€™t really have a claim to? Or is it just the writer of that meme who is confused?

    It seems to me that I have seen the word used as something that some people think they are entitled to, but are really not. Am I the one confused?

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  20. I tried making a cake for Janice before, but it wasn’t going very well, so I Xed off of it and thought I’d leave the job to someone more capable. Thanks, Mumsee. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. Happy Birthday to 3rd Daughter, too! It seems every time someone has a birthday on here, there’s also a birthday son or daughter at the Nest, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  22. Cheryl – Can you not be on your husband’s insurance? Or maybe it’s actually cheaper for you to be on the cost-sharing plan?

    We were so thankful to be able to be with Christian Healthcare Ministries for a while before Hubby got this job with health insurance. We decided to go with the insurance because although it is more expensive than the CHM plan we were on, it also covers more, so it was worth it.

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  23. Well, so long as Minecraft isn’t of the devil …

    The boy is 8, we have a local store I’ll check into and get some more specific recommendations there, hopefully. We have a $20 limit on that + a $20 limit on the clothing portion.

    On SS, did I read where people generally get more back than they pay into it? In other words, government pitches in a portion? It will need to be tweaked, at least, going forward, I’d think — one way is extending the retirement age (which already has been done) and perhaps looking for other ways to fund the program. But basically we can’t have a lot more people collecting it than are paying into it, obviously.

    Tess’ ear is good, although there’s a little bump on it that the vet is watching. She said she’s “99%” sure it’s benign, but she suggested a return appointment in 3 weeks or so, after the holidays — if it’s still there — to test it for my peace of mind, if I’d like. In the meantime, she said to come in if it gets red, but right now it’s nice and pale which indicates a more benign source.

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  24. hope Mumsee gets that baking done soon, she is making me hungry.
    Just realized that I have everything, especially ripe avocados, to make quacamole and need something to take for our class party. If they don’t eat it, I will.

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  25. Karen, yes, the word ‘entitled’ has taken on a negative connotation in recent years. Entitled does indeed mean that one has a right to something (by law, or inheritance, etc.). However, it is almost solely used now to express the idea that someone falsely believes that they are entitled to something until people seem to have forgotten that entitled meant having a right, and to think that ‘entitled’ always means the lack of a right. So now, ‘entitled’ is an insult, thrown at anyone who is asking for something you think they shouldn’t have. The change in use has happened so quickly (within the past decade) that someone who is older could well use ‘entitled’ in its proper sense.

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  26. Happy birthday to 3rd daughter as well…I’m wondering what the end result is going to be for whatever Mumsee is cookin’ up!!
    So far we have not needed insurance….no doc visits…we have MediShare…close to 500 a month for the three of us…10.000 out of pocket first…then I think they are suppose to cover a percentage of what we file…all I know it satisfies our mandated by the govmint healthcare….eerrggg!!!!

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  27. Happy Birthday, Janice!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    vanillaicingvanillaicingvanillaicingvanillaicingvanillaicingvanillaicingvanilla
    chocolatecakechocolatecakechocolatecakechocolatecakechocolatecake
    raspberrylayerraspberrylayerraspberrylayerraspberrylayerraspberrylaye
    chocolatecakechocolatecakechocolatecakechocolatecakechocolatecake

    No secret ingredients, at least, that you can see…..

    Liked by 6 people

  28. You have to watch that Mumsee, she has hid onions somewhere in some of the recipes, thinking I wouldn’t notice.
    But she wouldn’t do that to a cake.
    Would she?

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  29. Little Guy is currently “building” something with various couch cushions & pillows, & a large dog bed that was Kane’s, & calling it Minecraft. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (He doesn’t have the video game, but is familiar with it.)

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  30. I have to laugh. BG wanted floor mats for her car for Christmas (told you she was changing). I ordered them from a Toyota place in Ohio, but asked her dad if he would pay for them. He mailed me a check that I received today along with the email I had sent to him. The check was for an amount more than the mats. I had to did to see that I also paid shipping. He covered part of the shipping but wrote the check for $64.08 instead of $68.04. I understand that he probably just transposed the numbers but part of me wants to chuckle and think—He thinks he beat me out of $4!!!!

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  31. Roscuro – I’ve seen how the connotation has changed somewhat, gaining a negative twist, but was surprised at that complete turn-around.

    The meme was made by Occupy Democrats, which is one of those sites known for being short on logic & accuracy, & very liberal. But it was shared by one of my most conservative friends, & I’m guessing he really didn’t think it through before sharing. (One who, although a vocal Christian, doesn’t pay attention to the truthfulness of the things he shares.)

    Occupy Democrats is the site that put out a meme a while back with a photo of Obama, claiming that openly disrespecting & defying the president, & hoping he fails, is treason. Some of us shared that after the election, asking if they still believe that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  32. BG was in a wreck. She will need a new bumper. Three people including the guy she hit told the policeman it wasn’t her fault. Luckily only her car has damage. The guy she hit said he was fine and his truck is fine. He tried to fix her bumper so she could drive home but something else was scraping. We par k ed it at a flooring company that locks their gate at night. They said it was ok. We will deal with it tomorrow. She is ok and that is most important.

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  33. Whew, glad she’s OK, Kim.

    I enjoyed a rare weekday visit to the dog park late today, talked to a young owner of a now-1-year-old Husky who’s tearing their house, furniture, Christmas decorations, garden hoses to peaces.

    Beautiful dog, though.

    So main bathroom work probably now will have to wait until after the holidays, it’s getting too close to Christmas to line workers up.

    Meanwhile, I mentioned to real estate pal that the window restorers suggested any foundation fixes be done before they do what they do (which includes realigning the windows for a snug fit), so foundation work may get moved up on the list for early in the year. I was kind of afraid that piece of all this was getting lost, but this now makes sure it will get done sooner rather than later, I hope.

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  34. One of regulars broke her hip Sunday and is in the hospital — she’s the wife of a U.S. diplomat, so I’m sure they have good insurance & $$, but apparently they’re telling her now she’ll have to be in a rehab facility for up to a month which is not good.

    Took a fall w/their dog, Angel, a pampered Irish setter, at one of our cliff-top parks with exposed tree roots that are too easy to trip over. Ouch.

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  35. I was just coming to see if there were any peaces of cake left. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Actually, it was to say I finally got that harmony the way I wanted it in my song chorus. (Well, I didn’t know exactly how I wanted it in that one measure, but I knew I didn’t really like the original.) I decided to use a scalar passage rather than chordal, and that helped.

    There was another spot, in the verse part, where I thought the harmony could be improved, too, and I tweaked it tonight to something I liked better. Didn’t change the harmony, but did a different order of the broken chord tones in the second half of the measure than I had in the first half, and that helped, as it was a very exposed spot with the melody sitting on one whole note for the measure. The harmony needed something different to keep that measure from being boring, which it was before a little inspiration hit tonight. To God be the glory.

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  36. I think they stay in — another guy at the dog park, though, said he broke his hip when he was 16 (car racing) and they took the pins out after a year because he was still growing

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  37. Back home after a 9 hour drive. We had a good Christmas celebration at my sister’s home.

    Happy birthday, Janice! I think I missed the cake, but I don’t really need a peace since I’ve been eating Christmas treats all weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

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