Monday, February 27, 2017

Timeless - a special anniversary. . . . . . . . . . . .



On this day, ten long years, ago I sat down at my computer and penned a little blog
 post, my first ever. It became the beginning of a new and exciting part of my life.
 My first blog I named Across The Pond, a title I liked as I believed it would resonate
 with any readers who might somehow discover me. Having come across that wide
 Atlantic Ocean many years before, and making a new life here in America, I was
 hoping to share not only my life here as an expat, but now and then throw in a
 few stories of my life growing up in England. . . . . . . and of my visits back and
 forth over what is now fifty plus years. 


After three years nurturing that first blog (still available HERE - see how bad
 my photos were back then!) I was forced to start another thanks to problems with
 the Google/Blogger gremlins! 
So, since 2010, A Breath of Fresh Air has been my window to the world, and my
link to kindred spirits. What an astounding world it is.

I especially have enjoyed meeting several of my blog friends in person, both here in
 North America, and across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in several countries.
 Those of you who follow me, whether you leave generous comments or just
 read and run, I appreciate you all so very much. I know blogging takes time and
 we're all busy. There are now numerous fabulous blogs to follow out there
 compared to when many of us started years ago.

For me, this blog is my personal creative outlet, a way for me to share my
 photos (a now favorite hobby which, by the way, has been impacted greatly by
 blogging), especially those taken on my travels to places near and far on all
seven continents.

But, even more special, is the fact that my blog has brought me to
your blog, some for many of the past ten years, others more recently. I do so 
enjoy reading of the lives of others in their special corner of the world.


Some of us mention now and again that we are considering giving up blogging 
for one reason or another. It does take time, especially if you like to write 
a wordy post, prepare your photos, and do that several times a week, perhaps
 even daily. I admit to having had thoughts of quitting. Just think of all the other
 things I could be doing, such as making lampshades like the one above, yes I used
 to do that when my eyesight was better and sewing was a big part of my life.
 But now I really enjoy getting out with a camera, and coming up with something
 to write about which I hope you will read and enjoy.
Yes, blogging and I are planning to keep going a while longer. . . . . .  as long as
 I am able to fit it in along with all the other things life has a way throwing at us.
 I will be traveling internationally again this Spring - to a few new to me
 beautiful places - more on that later!

So here's to this day next year when hopefully we can celebrate yet another
 anniversary together. . . . . . . . .many thanks again for stopping by and
 sharing your time and your words with me here. You are certainly a very 
special group of great friends, and I'm thankful for each and every one of you.
Big hugs.

51 comments:

  1. Happy Blogoversary, Mary!! My 10 years in the blogosphere will roll round in 2019. Unlike so many others, I have not yet considered quitting. My blog matters to me - it is a mix of diary, book-keeping (really about books, not about numbers!), recipe collection and travellog.
    Like you, I have made friends this way and come across many more interesting, fascinating and entertaining blogs than I have the occasion to read. Every now and then, I notice someone's blog not being updated anymore; sometimes I know why, but most of the time I guess people just lose interest and direct their attention towards other hobbies.

    Your blog always has great photos, and although we may never meet in person, you come across as a very kind lady, with a way of life very exotic to me but not so "far off" that I wouldn't be able to relate to it.

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    1. I'm really happy that you have no intention of quitting your blog - it's always a bright spot in my day when I stop by to read.
      We have a saying, "never say never" - perhaps there's a German version too. Who knows, I may come back to Germany, I loved it there so much on my 2015 trip, and we may meet up. I would love that as I know we'd have much to chat about, books, clothes, country walking, life!!!!
      Thanks for being such a lovely blog friend.
      Hugs - Mary

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  2. You write so eloquently...it's only rivaled by your stunning photography. I believe we grow creatively with blogging. It involves so many of our interests and talents, some we never knew we had. And the friends...I feel the same way about the special ones I've met along the way. (big smile here).

    Happy Blogiversary, Mary.

    Jane x

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    1. Well Jane, what can I say except that you and A are considered dear friends now that we've met up several times and had such fun together. Without our blogs that would never have happened!
      Here's to the next time x

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  3. Congratulations dear Mary - your posts are always such a great read and a delight to the eye with your very own distinctive, artistic photos - I am so pleased that I found you.
    As I looked at this post your pretty flower picture stood out, it reminds me of a Vernon Ward painting?
    I feel the same as you re: blogging - people have drifted away in droves, particularly during the last couple of years, but I too enjoy my camera and the act of putting the images and words together, and the great connections with so many people around the world.

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    1. Rosemary, you are always so generous with your words and I hope you never disappear from blogland. Your stories and accompanying photos are always absolutely stunning. Your posts are eye candy without all the calories, and they bring color and joy to the day.
      Here's to a lovely spring in the Cotswolds.
      Mary -

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  4. Ten years Mary....fancy that and congratulations! I come and go due to pressing responsibilities, but I always love to come back to you and see what you are up to. Please keep on because I love your blog! XX

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    1. Thank you Jane. You know how I love your corner of the world so share more whenever you can squeeze in time.
      Mary -

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  5. Well done Mary! I always enjoy coming to see you. Like you, I wonder how long I can continue writing with not much happening in my life to write about!

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    1. We do go back in time thanks to our blogs don't we dear Barbara. Sharing your years in France was special - it was a lovely spot. Now back in Cornwall I enjoy hearing about living in England again - and do envy you a bit because I'll never not be homesick I guess.
      Take care, and know I think of you both often.
      Mary x

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  6. It is unbelievable, this thing called blogging. Since I started my blog in 2008, I too started out posting often and now try to once a week. I do enjoy the friends I've made and all I have learned. I too have thought about giving it up, but not yet. Your blog is a favorite and I would miss it so. Congratulations and that lamp is gorgeous.

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    1. Donna, you are one fun lady and I hope some day I come your way - or you come mine - because I just know I'd love to sit and chat with you! Art, antiques, birds, gardens - we'd have plenty to keep it interesting!
      Thanks for your comments, I always have a chuckle.
      Mary -

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  7. You made that lamp shade? It is stunningly lovely...I am in awe.

    Now you've struck a chord with this post. I read with interest...

    Congratulations on ten wonderful years of blogging, Mary!

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    1. Sweet Vee, up there in freezing Maine which will always be my favorite New England state. I have mostly Summertime memories, the beach at Ogunquit was our weekend place with the children - we'd drive from NH, and then MA, even if just for the day!
      Yes, all the lampshades in the cottage were made by me many years ago - and I had a little business for a while. My mother taught me how to make them - that pink one is swirled silk chiffon over a satin lining - one of the more difficult styles to make.

      Hope it starts warming up your way soon.
      Hugs - Mary

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  8. Happy Blog Anniversary Mary! I am grateful to have met you through blogging and so happy that we have become friends and get the chance to see each other in person once in a while!

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    1. Hi back at you dear friend. What fun times we've had together Penny - and even our hubbies get along, haha! Seeing you and K in all those lovely homes has been interesting - you two are just amazing fixer uppers, you should have a TV show! Hope the new house will be underway soon - know you are chomping at the bit waiting to get those builders moving!

      Hope to see you later this year when we come west.
      Mary X

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  9. Well done indeed. I enjoy your photos and always read your blog. 10 years of posts makes a great record of what you have done and places you have been.

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    1. Yes Ali, this blog is definitely a way to write a journal for me. I love going back when I want to recall trips, dates, places of interest etc., and where else would I put all those photos without my blog?

      Hope life is good in your beautiful corner of New Zealand - and that I can come there again some day.
      Mary -

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  10. Happy blogging anniversary, Mary! I'm glad you're not giving up blogging. I love seeing what's going on in your life with your beautiful home and good food, and of course, I truly enjoy living vicariously through you with all your travels! I was going to ask where you had found that beautiful lampshade and then I read you made it. Wow! It is stunning.

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    1. Thanks Mel - your generous comments are always appreciated. It's lovely having you as a blog buddy!
      Mary -

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  11. Happy anniversary, dear Mary! I have followed along with you for quite awhile. Oh how I loved getting to meet you and share an adventure in Oregon with you a few years ago. Blogging does change our world for the better. Yes, I wonder about continuing too, but it keeps me taking pictures and creating stories.

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    1. Yes, we go way back dear friend! Our lovely time with you and J in Portland is recalled often, you certainly made us welcome - and you bake a fabulous pie!
      Let's try to keep on blogging - and also let's hope we catch up again in person one of these days.
      Mary -

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  12. Congratulations, Mary. Your blog is a very special one and I am delighted to hear that you wish to continue writing your blog. Your everyday life, your home, your birds, your travels, your photos are all so worthwhile and I enjoy the pleasure of your company. Thanks for taking the time and effort to continue with your blog.
    Farm Gal in SW VA

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    1. Although we've never met I feel we'd have plenty in common to chat about in person. You are so kind to read my posts and often leave lovely comments - even though you don't blog. Many thanks for continuing to follow me, it means a lot and I love that you enjoy my posts.
      Mary -

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  13. Happy Blogging Anniversary, Mary. I'm so glad I found your blog, how, I'm not certain. I went back to look at my archives and it will be 10 years for me next month. I put my foot into the blogging water very tentatively at first, and my blog has changed over the years (better photos, I think).
    I always enjoy hearing about your take on daily life, your travels, and whatever you post. Your lampshade is so beautiful. What a talented person you are. Perhaps you will come to our island for another visit sometime and we can meet up for tea.

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    1. Dearest Lorrie - yes we've followed one another over the years - and you almost ready to celebrate 10 years too - back and forth, through all the seasons of each year. I feel I know you well from your always lovely blog posts with excellent prose and photos. Yes, we do hope so much to come back on a much overdue trip to your beautiful island. Keep your fingers crossed - perhaps we need to give up the ship trips, well other than the ferry across to Victoria, haha!!!
      Hugs - Mary

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  14. Dear Mary
    Well done on 10 years of amazing posts!
    Each post is like a new chapter in a book of your life.
    From the first time I discovered your blog I felt a connection!
    And now when I pop in and read your posts it feels like I'm catching up with one of my old friends!
    As we move through the seasons of each year, I look forward to your news of the beautiful families of birds who make their home in your lovely garden! I always enjoy your mention of the sweet squirrels and the accompanying photos - we don't have them here... sadly!
    Travel is such a big part of both yours and Bobs lives - I feel privileged to have travelled to so many amazing countries with you both, via your stunning photographs!
    Africa in particular as I'm sure I won't ever have the opportunity to that! I have a friend who married a South African girl and now lives on the edge of Kruger!
    You know how much I've always enjoyed your trips to Suzanne's - if only I lived closer and we could do it together and meet your gorgeous GD Jas when she is there!

    I could go on and on, there is so much about your blog I love - and I feel you've got years more adventures just waiting to be explored, photographs to rake, recipes to share and books to tell us about!
    Blogging wouldn't be the same without "A Breath of Fresh Air" and your updates on what you and Bob are up to!
    Congratulations on 10 years Mary and love to you both.
    Shane xxx🎉🎈🎊

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    1. Dearest Shane, you always take time to leave me such generous comments and I do thank you. The saddest part of our long distance friendship is that I didn't have a chance to meet you that one day when I was in Auckland to embark the Orion for the sub-Antarctic expedition. Fingers crossed I will get back to NZ - it's on the list - and have much more time on land including meeting up for a relaxing lunch or dinner (or both!) so we can really have fun.
      Thank you for this really lovely complimentary comment Shane, you are so special.
      Mary x

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  15. Congratulations on your ten year blogging anniversary, Mary. I am so glad to have discovered your blog along the way. I always enjoy my visits. It has been a pleasure to travel the world with you by way of your beautiful photographs and I especially enjoy your gardening posts as they provide inspiration for my gardening in the same zone.
    The pink lampshade is just gorgeous. I am so impressed to know that you made it. Your talents are many.

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    1. I'm so glad you love traveling with me, in a virtual way, dear Kim. Your garden is certainly always magnificent - I know what a lot of work it is to keep it so immaculate. . . . . . . . in fact mine pales in comparison! I need to stay home more and find a younger gardener as it's becoming hard for us. We do love it though, even the now much wilder part in the back yard, as it brings us all those lovely birds and a few 4-legged friends too!
      Glad to know you are well and keeping busy.
      Hugs, Mary

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  16. Ten years of blogging calls for a special celebration. I am glad to have 'met' you. I love to come here to look at your beautiful photos and travel with you to places I doubt I will ever see for myself.

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    1. Loree, I love visiting your blog too, especially to learn more about Malta as you are the only person I know living there!
      Thanks for stopping by - it's always nice to hear from you.
      Mary

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  17. Aww, Mary, that write up really touched me and you are certainly one of my longest blogger freinds, dear and far! I truly love visiting your blog but try to do it only hen I truly have the time to read the post, digest it slowly, like a good meal, reading your choice of words, well written sentence structure and lovely photos to behold as well.

    I am amazed you know to the day when you started on this venture, and in some ways, 10 years doesn't seem that long ago, does it? Yet, look how far the web has gone since those initial blog offerings! While perhaps more are indeed blogging, a lot of people have since left it and blogs have seemingly become more specialised. Yours is one that has consistently grown in its expression over he years since i first stumbled upon you when "Across the Pond" (A title, btw, which I usually STILL refer to you as when talking to, say, Alex --"Mary, from Across the Pond left a lovely note. Did you see it?" and so on!)

    So, in honour of your 10 years, I am taking your comment advice left a while ago and attempting to make baked veggies (carrots and zuchinni) exactly as you suggested. :) I will let you know how it turns out! I'm aslo making spaghetti squash --something else Ive never done before! Rather than prepare some spag tomato sauce, since I can't have too many of those, I will add some light cheese or jsut butter and salt, maybe even throw in some crushed almonds. That's dinner tonight, paired with a glass of milk! (We are almost exclusively vegetarian these days, minus salmon now and then.) Anyway, thank you for always inspiring me and truly being someone I consider a good friend. I really feel like I;ve come to know you in some way through your posts and definitely don't take it for granted anytime you invite/allow us in to your home, of sorts, through your lovely photos as the above also show. Your cottage, garden, and thoughts are lovely, and your travels, exquisite. I can't imagine where you are going next if somewhere you;ve not been to before but I am sure the posts shared from such a venture will be wonderful too.

    And yes, blogging (And instagramming too for me) truly do allow one the platform to pay more attention and get into photography. I love that, even if only using my phone! :)

    Thank you for all your support, no doubt some prayers tossed in along the way, and everything else. I wish you another year of many happy and exciting returns! Oh, and finally, wow! What a lamp! Can;t believe you made those too. Beautiful. You are truly a woman on many talents. your hubs and family and grand/children are blessed to have you and I'd say, Bob, is certainly a good catch himself apparently for you!

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    1. Michael dear, I'm just blown away - you are such wonderful blog friend, and for many, many years. You have ALWAYS written such wonderful comments on my blogs - you are my 'main man' you know, well after Bob!!!
      Alexandra you picked a winner, as did Michael when you two tied the knot! Love you both, and will try hard to make Colorado a stop on our next cross country road trip - which Bob is trying hard to get me to agree to! Road trips are a bit harder than cruise ships at our age.
      Hoping the dinner turned out well - carrots and zucchini are always good, and spaghetti squash is fun and healthy.
      Thanks so much for going the extra mile here - don't know that I'm anywhere near is fabulous as you have painted me - and you a real artist of such talent - but I accept your lovely words with a giggle, and a broad smile is painted on my face as I read them!
      Love you guys - perhaps we'll be sharing a cuppa and biccy one of these days.
      Thanks from the heart - Mary xx

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    2. Hehe, you can bring along CAssie and crew too. If you evr do pop out this way, I'd love to take you to The house of Commons Tea Shop in Denver, run by an also long long time ex-pat, Jessica, who actualyl was once a psychotherapist for years before turning her had at the tea shop. It's a long way to go, about an hour's drive to the big city but is really the only place to get an authentic clotted cream scone and jam, let alone a good pot of tea! Oh, the price one pays to desperately hold onto the lat few vestiges of the old country! :) Thank you.

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  18. OH, haha, must add one more thing: YOU have certainly exposed me to a whole new world of feathered friends I would have never likely seen otherwise. Thank you. I love seeing those chuffy lil' birds you photograph from out your window, especially those ones caught whilst it's snowing so firecley outside. It always seems so cosy! AND, ok, more more thing, I LOVE your winter holiday posts --always making me want to turn on a a fireplace or something. :)

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    1. Glad you enjoy 'my birds' - they are probably the main thing which keeps us here in the cottage right now! If we do find the perfect condo - later according to Bob - we would miss the wildlife outside our windows.
      Mary -

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  19. Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Mary. I am certainly glad to have found you in Blogdom and have followed with great interest and pleasure for many years. February marked my entrance into Blogdom as well and I had a quiet little 'Happy Ten Years Pondside'. The greatest pleasure in blogging is the other bloggers, and I certainly count your blog a great pleasure!

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    1. Yes dear H, you have been a faithful friend and I always enjoy your sweet comments. Congratulations to you also reaching year 10 - we've certainly seen many changes in our lives since we started blogging, happy and sad, good and bad - but I guess that's life!
      Thanks for always stopping by - and hopefully you, Lorrie and I can catch up in person one of these days. . . . . Butchart Gardens perhaps, what fun that would be!
      Mary x

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  20. I am so late dropping by, Mary, but could not let this post go by without commenting. I LOVE your blog, always have. I find myself going through the list of new posts each day looking to see if you have posted and then head right over. Your photos are exquisite and your style is beautiful. I often leave here after viewing photos of your home and start to rearrange and tidy up the mouse-house. A girl can dream, right? Every-time you post your beautiful dining-room hutch I am in heaven. Your garden and bird photos are so inspirational. And, like all your readers, I have enjoyed tagging along as you travel the world and gift us with such stunning photographs. I hope you never tire of blogging, Mary. You would surely be missed by many. hugs, Deb

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  21. Thanks so much for all your lovely words Deb. You are a special lady and I hope we can meet some day - when you're not buried under snow of course!
    Hugs - Mary

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  22. I truly believe the words you've written are appropriate to all of us bloggers. I know I cherish the friends I've made across the world during my 7 1/2 years of blogging. And, it is absolutely a creative outlet, sometimes it's a way to rant, as well. My true self is expressed on my blog pages, so all of you may know me better than some of my personal acquaintances. I cherish every single comment you make on my posts, Mary. And, I KNOW we share many of the same tastes and experiences. sending a big Texas hug to you, my precious, friend...
    w

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    1. Thank you dear Marsha, and I agree that many blog friends may even know me better than my family, haha!
      I always love your posts too - you keep me on my toes regarding elegance, lovely clothes and beautiful accessories - things I hope I will always have at least a little of despite the flying fast years! I don't ever want to be dowdy, haha!
      Mary -

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  23. Congrats on your 10 years of blogging, Mary! I've enjoyed visiting you visiting the beautiful places in the real world! Your pretty pics and detailed commentary make it seem that I'm always just a step (or two!) behind you.

    I know how time consuming blogging can be, but the passion and dedication to posting something that one is excited about, hoping that their blogger buddies will feel the same, makes it all worth it in the end, doesn't it? It's been fun getting to know you and your posts are always a breath of fresh air!

    Poppy x

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    1. Yes, you are right Poppy - friendship can make so many things all worth it in the end!
      Hugs - Mary

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  24. Hi Mary. Congratulations on 10 wonderful years of blogging. I started following you at "Across the Pond" when your photos caught my eye and I have enjoyed visiting here for a number of years now seeing your sweet cottage and following you on all your world travels. I am one who has considered closing my blog but still keep at it although not as frequently as before. It's a wonderful place to share, learn and meet special people like you. I'll look forward to the next year ahead with your posts of your travels and all that is going on in your life. Thank you for sharing! Blessings and hugs. Pam

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    1. Pamela you have been a staunch and lovely blog friend for so long, thanks for always being here and sharing life from your corner of Canada. Don't give up - I for one would so miss you.
      Hugs, Mary

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  25. Dear Mary, You have taken me around the world several times. I have marveled at your excellent photos and have enjoyed coming along with you on your many adventures.
    I do appreciate the time and effort you have put into your very special blog. I know that it takes a lot of time and effort to even write one blog post. And I am not surprised that all of us bloggers consider not continuing.

    I have learned so much and have loved becoming acquainted with you and so many other dear friends from all over the world. Have even visited some of them and found them to be as charming and lovely as they appear in print.

    So, here is to, at least, another ten years of blogging and Congratulations on your 10th year anniversary dear friend.

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    1. . . . . . .and you dear Gina, across the miles in beautiful Utah, always so upbeat and gracious, kind and thoughtful! I'm so glad we are friends and I hope we can get together soon.
      Thanks for your friendship and sharing your amazing home, land and art.
      Love, Mary

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  26. Mary, I am just tonight catching up on my favorite places to stop and visit. Congratulations on ten years. I always enjoy reading you posts. I hope to return soon, and I look forward to reading more of lovely posts. Thanks for these past ten years. Hugs!

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    1. I so appreciate you naming my little old blog one of your favorite places Bonnie - and for sticking with me so long! Hope to see you on your blog more this year - you always write such inspiring posts.
      With thanks -
      Mary -

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