The “off season” (Oct2017-Feb2018)

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Some highlights from our “off season” when we really cannot “farm” per se. πŸ™‚

October 2017
10/01-What in the world is THIS???
10/12-Welp, we are now the “proud” owners of a tree stand, thanks to some poachers who are now “tree-stand-less”. πŸ™‚ Maybe they’ll learn this time.
10/13-watched hocus pocus for first time
10/16-Reagan is not feeling well. We are starting to really worry about his health and what’s going on. The one vet says there’s no cancer but we’re starting to wonder.
10/18-Warm flannel sheets on a chilly Fall morning! Warm pumpkin bread topped with creamy cheese frosting!Pumpkin spice lattes with mountains of cream! I woke up singing Sound of Music after only 2.5 hrs of sleep. Fall is THAT awesome! (Or I’m crazy.) …..(or both.) LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL!
10/20-Circus time!
10/23-I love my fishies!!! πŸ™‚
10/27-Trunk or treat, mandatory fun time

November 2017
11/10-Homeschool sick day means “Film Studies”. LOL LOL LOL! I.e. The best 80s movies EVAR! Starting with Space Camp, Top Gun, Princess Bride, Willow, Pirates of Penzance, War games, etc. Yeah, great day! Now to get rid of this dumb migraine for good today.
11/11-Veterans day. Some free meals, if I can manage to stand the pain long enough to go out and do the “people-ing” thing.
11/12-It seems a bit like cheating. We scheduled and then paid the dentist $250+ to pull some baby teeth out of Bug’s mouth. Which then prompted her first tooth fairy visit. This seems like Double Jeopardy. Lol! The tooth fairy is making faces about how expensive these teeth are. Lol! AND it seems that ALL of her baby teeth will need dentist extraction. Oy!
11/19-Oh I forgot to post pictures of the finished blanket I was crocheting for a while. I finally finished it during the rare times the migraine meds make me halfway coherent. Lol. It’s an oversized king sized blanket. 10 squares wide by 9 squares long. That SHOULD prevent Mr. Cover Stealer from leaving me with just a sheet by morning. Lol. We’ll see. Lol. I need to medicate and sleep. Good night all.
11/20-Oh, and a photo for one of the gorgeous shawls that I made for some of my dearest friends for Christmas. πŸ™‚
11/22-The last war criminal of my war is found guilty! Finally!

December 2017
12/07-I just said I want a piano. Dylan asked me what in the WORLD would I do with a piano. I responded appropriately with “chopsticks” and “fur elise (the mcdonald’s song)”. LOL!!!
12/13-Our new “model” is all dressed up and ready to model my yarn work. πŸ™‚ Now to finish the spare room. πŸ™‚ Baby steps. Gotta start selling my yarn work to buy more yarn. Lol!
12/15-This waking up at 4am every day after falling asleep just a couple hours earlier is getting old. Le sigh. My heart is racing and pounding SOOOOOOO hard. :'( Plus, my head is throbbing at the same rate. Not cool. πŸ™ I’ve also decided, the heater is trying to kill me (set to 71, but it’s heating to 74…why????) AND it’s got the humidity down to 20% right now, so it’s a migraine nightmare. The last hvac had a feature that prevented this problem but the guys didn’t switch that over with the replacement. πŸ™ Goes to show a fancy high end system is not the best one if it will make you sick for months. Blarg. Now I need to find the/a humidifier for the short term and get my better half working on some kind of solution for it. And somehow make my heart stop racing and pounding when I have to lay here and wait until he gets up. Le double sigh.
12/16-Took the kiddos to make gingerbread houses. I laid on the couch or sat in a chair while they had a blast. I hate being so sick.
12/24-Watching Charlie Brown Christmas. :). This migraine is killing my Snoopy dance though. Lol.
12/25-A peaceful and wonderful Christmas!
12/28-With enough NyQuil all things are possible…Or at least a few more hours of sleep.
12/29-oooooh, we found a gazebo at Sam’s that is GORGEOUS! I’m trying to figure out what type of “farm” use I can claim so that my husband has to let me have one. lol! I’m thinking grapes! lol
12/31- Happy Who (oh, I mean, New) Year! πŸ™‚

January 2018
01/01-The sparkling grape juice is flowing. We just turned on the antenna for a few minutes of Dick Clark’s New year’s Rocking Eve. Almost time for Snoopy dance!
It’s been crazy today. The morning started with a frantic call from my husband as he was headed off to work. He said I needed to hurry and get up and check on the pond. Apparently in these single digits temps the waterfall had created an ice dam and lost nearly all the water and what was left was frozen. No idea how many, if any, fish are left but the kids and I hurried to get it squared away as quickly as possible. It took a couple hours. I hope the changes we made today make a difference tonight. It’s already 7 degrees. Stupid cold. I want snow not ice! Lol
01/04-We are WOEFULLY unprepared for a snowstorm! We have NO sleds, snow suits, snow boots, ice skates, etc!!!! We need snow preparedness stuff. (I’m not talking about BORING stuff like rock salt, snow shovels, or ……my beloved snow blower. LOL)
01/05-Listing off all the stuff in the freezer trying to figure out dinner…a tiny voice says, “I vote chicken cacciatore!” That tooth she’s been working on is all twisted and ready. She’s trying to get it out before we eat. Lol. She’s stop giggling first, though. Lol. It’s a lot of grossing us out by pushing it all the way forward with her tongue. It’s time to tie the dental floss to the tooth and yank it out on “2” (Never on 3, Daddy! She’s expecting it on 3. DUH!)
01/12-To the person that invented lemon zesting……….Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole family! Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, dis….. And the same for juicing lemons. It was a LONG night last night.
01/12-I come upstairs and hear, “Give me that tooth! Give me the tooth, and nothing but the tooth! YOU CAN’T HANDLE the tooth!”…………. and “Ampu-tooth!” Apparently the two front teeth missed each other and wish to be reunited immediately. Lol!!! I’ve got the slip knot in the floss already prepped. Lol. She thinks she’ll wiggle it out herself, though.
01/13-Migraine meds will kill you faster than the migraines. Ugh. The chest pain is off the charts, heart pounding so fast and hard and skipping beats. That’s the downside of taking a huge amount of caffeine in the Excedrin and sodas with Imitrex, which according to all doctors & the manufacturer & the government & Google is one of the most powerful vasoconstrictors available. All to stop the pain for a couple hours so I don’t give myself an amateur lobotomy. Ugh.
01/15-This sounds so much better when I sing it in Spanish in the car. Lol. I don’t remember much of my first language but this I’ve got down pat. Lol.
Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Sing and do not cry
Because singing cheers up,
Pretty little darling, our hearts.
01/16-Our greyhound is the biggest couch potato ever!
01/17-S: Mom, I don’t think I have enough money to buy my own Girl Scout cookies.
S: Hey, wait, they’re only $4 and I have $23!
Me: Right! So you can afford FIVE boxes! SIX if you get that loose tooth handled!
S: Be right back!
LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL
No motivation like Girl Scout cookies to get to working on that loose tooth she’s been working on for a few days now.
01/20-So…….we ordered some stuff from Duluth Trading Company. Their packaging is HILARIOUS! We accidentally had it sent to our PO Box so my husband had to stand in line to pick it up. Needless to say there were many giggles in the post office that day.
01/22-Reagan still isn’t feeling well. We are starting to talk about next steps and when we need to call the vet. He’s snuggling with me on the couch, which is super rare.
01/23-Bug: I want to watch Full House instead of Full-ER house because I don’t get some of the jokes.
Me: I used to watch Full House when I was a kid. It was pretty cool. I’ll see if I can find some online or on DVD.
Bug: Is it going to be, you know, like, a black and white kind of show, like the old Doctor Who?
Me: …………………………………………
Me: …………………………………………
Me: …………………………………………
Me: WHAT?????? NO!!!!!!!!!! That’s ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!! LMBO!!!!!!!!!!! How old do you think I am??? TV was in color LONG before I was born, kiddo! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
01/29-slumber ball. Oy! Got a slumber ball at 60+% off for our grey. Got her on it, walked to get my phone for a pic and she was off to the kiddos couch. Got her back on, and she’s off again. On, off. Lab got on, had to entice him off. Grey didn’t fall for moving the first blankie. She refused to get off kiddos couch again. Finally with the second blankie she got back on. Then the Lab tried to get on with her….. Nearly getting me bit since I was in between. Yikes. Ridiculous puppies! Hopefully she stays put as I walk away after she dozes off. Lol and nope, off again. Oy!

February 2018
2/3-These mangy kids. They’re all, “Do you need anything, Mommy?” But when I say, “a new brain” they’re all “NOPE! Not gonna do that for you.” LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL. But they keep me well supplied in ice packs and freezie pops. Pretty awesome kids. Despite their refusal to supply me with a brain that doesn’t get migraines. Lol. Ok back to zombieland for me. Pain-gon, take me away…… (Crud, now I want a hot bath) Kevin said that whole, “to have and TO HOLD IN SICKNESS and in health” does NOT mean I can make him snuggle in bed with me when I don’t feel good. I disagree. LOL LOL LOL! I shall hold him in sickness! MUAH-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
2/4-The scene in our house…
Me:. I’m not dead! I’m not! I’m getting better! I don’t want to go to bed! I feel fine! I think I’ll go for a walk! I feel happy! I feel happy!
Kevin: You’re not fooling anyone, you know! Get back in bed!
Awwwwwwwwwww. :'(. Stupid storms! :'(. I have a phone that I can use until the meds kick in! MUAH-ha-ha-ha-haaaa—- *unconsciousness*. Blarg.
And um…….I might be “cold”. I’ve piled so many blankets up on my side that my husband walked in and asked who was sleeping in the bed. lol!!!
2/9-Small victories. Reagan hasn’t been eating and drinking but last night he finally ate a couple of boiled chicken breasts and drank some water. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I hope that means he’s in the mend. He’s not out of the woods yet but it’s a start. πŸ™‚
2/9-Tue night (2/6) the tooth fairy became poorer. She’s bleeding this tooth fairy dry!
2/14-Chocolate makes me very sick and the smell of roses give me a headache! I want CHICKENS for Valentines! LOL! But, my better half says, “No way, Jose!” *pouty, sad face*
2/15-Girl Scout Cookies!
2/16-You know Girl Scout Cookies have arrived when dinner plans consist of a certain teenager bartering cookies he bought to pay for eating out! LOL LOL LOL! #GSCookiesHaveArrived!!!
2/22-This weather needs to make up its mind. The hot-cold nonsense and the storms are killing my brain. Lol. While I’m kinda stoked to have nice weather for a hot minute so I can start farming early (if I can make my brain stop throbbing)……. And all this warm weather means there aren’t enough cold hours for our fruit trees to fruit this year…. Again. :(. Hopefully I’ll wake up in a few days from this medication induced “coma” and see normal weather. Lol.
2/24-Our poor trees are so confused. Hopefully, they’ll straighten out in a couple of weeks. My beloved also worked on building my new “farm desk”! It’s 6’x3′ and should be large enough to spread out all of our plans for this year and still fit my computer. πŸ™‚

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2017-09 – Lemongrass, a little more citrus, a little less….nella??

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Brandi Cox GoT is WRONG….FALL is coming! YAY!!!!!

Every day is a struggle for me. I do my very best to stay positive and upbeat. But sometimes I just shut down. September seemed like a quiet month overall. I was definitely not at my best.

Fall Is Coming

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Oh, check out our new aprons. πŸ™‚

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With the heat sensitivities, I haven’t been able to do much at all outdoors this summer on the farm. It’s been driving me nuts because we have so many grand plans. Finally, we are starting to see a handful of cooler days (less than 90 degrees, some even less than 80 degrees)! As it cools down I can be outside on my good days and we can finally begin making progress! πŸ™‚ I’ve hated this year, we missed winter (90 degrees in February???), there was no spring to speak of (alternating between 90 and 20 degrees every few days is not spring!). The strange summer temps in the winter and spring caused our fruit trees to bloom just in time for freezes to kill them off. Annuals were behaving like perennials since it was so warm. So weird!

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Once a month cooking! Ok, well, once a quarter? Twice a year cooking? We’ll see! lol. Cooking over 120 meals almost at once. I’m beyond worn out.
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I’ve decided, I now want this and all associated accessories available in the world. lol
Kitchenaid

Lots and lots of essential oils!
My Melaleuca page

My Doterra page

Random volunteer zucchinis! Yikes, what do I do with all of these zucchinis!?!?!?
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Prepping for fall. I’m so glad that we’re only doing medicinal herbs. Most are perennials. Heck, most are weeds! lol. And weeds grow like…..weeds! πŸ™‚ Planting in the fall and we’ll see what happens. The worst thing would be having to order more seeds in the spring. lol!
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So, the title story…
The scene: In the car on the way to market one Saturday morning.
Kevin mentions that he grabbed a couple of extra ounces of Lemon Balm for a customer that requested it specifically. He says he also was going to grab Lemongrass grass.
I mention I like the smell of Lemongrass but don’t care for the Lemon Balm as much.
Kevin says they’re almost the same.
Me: “Lemon Balm smells like citronella. Lemongrass, smells a little more like citrus, a little less….nella??”
Luckily we were at a red light.
Kevin looks over and just STARES at me with that snarky smirk. You know the one. It’s a mix between “Is she SERIOUS?” and “You’re an idiot!” lol!
He just says, “A little less nella, you say.”
I break into uncontrollable hilarious giggling and cackling for about twenty minutes while he just keeps repeating, “Less nella. Right.” LOL!!!!! I crack myself up. πŸ™‚

I’m giggling like crazy just typing this. lol. I’m a comedienne! πŸ™‚

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2017-08 – Hospital stays are no fun! But, total eclipses ARE!

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Brandi Cox OOH! I got a nifty cool new treadmill on Craigslist. $60. It’s pink, so Bug LOVES it. Brand new, the owner had only assembled it and never used it. πŸ™‚ Pretty great deal! Now I can be getting my steps in while binge watching Netflix on my good days! πŸ™‚

Farmers Market day! We’ve made some changes to our booth. I hope the changes help boost our sales!
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First day of school. Homeschooling is awesome! Although, this is certainly not the “fancy clothes, posed photo” that most people post for the first day of School! lol! Bug already finished Math for the day and is now learning about Michelangelo. He has FOUR names, just like she does! Her first art project is to create her own “Sistene Chapel” type canvas. πŸ™‚
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Me: We’re running out to fetch a couple of steaks from the grocery store. We’re having steaks, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts for dinner.
MY amazing kids: YAY!!!!! That’s an awesome dinner!
I love that my kids love vegetables that other kids hate. πŸ™‚

So, uh, I went to the VA for my regularly scheduled appointment. When I got there I was feeling so awful that I said something. They immediately rushed me to triage, where they commenced to stick me on an ambulance to the nearest hospital. It turns out that bleeding ulcers are NO fun! I was in the hospital for 3 days. πŸ™ Apparently, the sheer quantity of the migraine meds are making it so that I’m just getting worse and it’s gotten to the point of bleeding ulcers….again. :'( BUT, we found out that Valium makes me WAY less stressed about doing under anesthesia! lol!!!!

Market day!
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Snuggling with Reagan, our black lab. The vet feels like he’s on borrowed time at this point. I’m hoping she’s wrong about his diagnosis. I can’t really justify the hundreds of dollars it would take for scans and biopsies, so instead we’ll shower him with love! We already did, but now we’re just a little more lovey. lol
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Ok, so, the pediatric dentist is kinda cool. Very bright and colorful. They gave her sunglasses to keep the light out of her eyes. They gave her headphones….which are hooked to the TV that is hanging from the ceiling above her. She sat there watching half of Disney’s Tangled before we were out of there! LOL!
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Market Day! I’m loving these!
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Kevin insists I post what just happened.
Backstory: I hate my meds because they make me feel awful, I haven’t taken them in a couple days. I feel AWFUL-ER. (my new made up word of the day!)
Me: So, um, I have a confession.
K: Are you misbehaving? What are you doing over there on the computer?
Me: Nothing. But……I *mumbling* kinda, sorta feel a lot better since I took my meds a couple hours ago.
K: What?! No! Who’da thunk it? That the doctor that prescribed the medicine for the diagnosed problem you have, the one that’s causing ALL of the problems, MIGHT have known what he was talking about?!?!?!? Who’da thunk it???
So, apparently, I’m now cleared for eclipse events by my beloved chaperone.

The eclipse was AWESOME! Kevin had taken the day off, so we packed the truck FULL of fun stuff, went out there and set up the chairs, table, etc. Had a great picnic lunch, some great music (Bug and I are LOVING the BYU Noteworthy album!), played yard games, and had a blast! We patiently waited for the “good part” and the kids and Kevin kept putting on the glasses and checking to see how close we were. For totality, we all sat in our chairs and just watched. No photos because there just wasn’t enough time. Totality was only like 2.25 minutes. It was the coolest thing ever! It was so dark outside, the bugs and animals all went into “night mode”. Even the mosquitoes came out to participate (yuck!). It’s amazing how even the slightest sliver or speck of actual unblocked sunlight provides “daylight” instantly. The instant totality was over, it was almost nearly full light outside even though nearly the entirety of the sun was still blocked. But, at that point we packed up and headed home. It was a pretty great day!

Bug’s 8th birthday. She had a great baptism and birthday bash. πŸ™‚ She picked out everything and I just did the logistics. πŸ™‚
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Wow! We might have some green beans. This is our third harvest, but the first two were not nearly so big. Bug was an amazing helper and climbed in there between the rows to get the beans growing against the fence. She didn’t even mind the huge spider. She’s fearless!
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And then Bug got to “Bridge” from Daisies into Brownies!
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All in all, a great month barring the whole ulcer thing. lol!

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2017-07 – Vacation!

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Brandi Cox So, we had a major bee swarm. It’s been sitting here for a few days already in our grapes. We’ve called someone to come and get them for free. I’m hoping they stick around long enough!
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Dropping the puppies off at their temporary home for the week. πŸ™‚
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VACATION!!!!!!

Uh……Bug has donned Kevin with a fancy headdress. I’m not sure which “tribe” this one is from. LOL!!! And she LOVES her cool “bubble catching gloves”! Dallas took some great photos during the trip. This was an awesome pic of Bug!
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Kevin and I had a really awesome day visiting Biltmore. I wish it weren’t so hot! I need to go back in the fall/winter when it’s a reasonable temperature and I don’t get heat stroke in the “castle”.
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Some items from my favorite store in Cherokee! BearMeats Indian Den Their Facebook page also links to their website. Feel free to “Like” and “Follow” them!
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Elk butt! I love getting up before everyone else at the cabin. It’s so quiet and peaceful. And the elk come right up to the cabin!
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Doing a quick farm walkthrough to see what’s happened in the past few days. πŸ™‚

We have some pesky poke growing everywhere!
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Farmers Market day!
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2017-06 – Green beans, Wild Lettuce, and Our First Farmers Market Day!

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Brandi Cox So, it’s decided. The bees have to go. :'( I’m so sad, but we can always try again in a few years.
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Bug learned to make crepes from a professional chef! I love Girl Scouts!
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We went and saw Wonder Woman. Pretty awesome flick!

My teenager is already 19!!! What’s happening?? It’s too fast!

We’ve got tons of wild lettuce growing natively. I can’t wait to start selling it!
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We sneaked out for a date night at the Melting Pot since they had a great Veteran’s discount. πŸ™‚
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We also put in almost 200 green bean seeds for a type of bean that’s not grown anymore. Mamaw wanted that particular kind of bean so we’re bringing it back. πŸ™‚
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Our okra is slow but steady. The kiwi plants are looking great!
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I kept yelling that the lawnmower is NOT a 4-wheeler! Heck, we HAVE a 4-wheeler that noone uses so it’s up for sale on Craigslist! lol Bug had a BLAST driving herself around the property, though. lol
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Our first Farmers Market day! I had an awful migraine but with enough medication and my Cefaly, I survived.
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Happy Father’s Day to the most amazing father in my life, my beloved husband!

Happy Anniversary!!!! Busy weekend. Kevin did most of the work since I’m still in pretty rough shape. We visited family, went shopping for a tiny farming supplies trip at Lowe’s. Then relaxed a bit and played video games while watching reruns of MacGyver. Nice dinner at our favorite diner. Kevin built the green bean trellis because the beans are already getting huge. And then he put in the wild lettuce drying rack system from scrap wood and twine so we can harvest the wild lettuce since they’re finally flowering and ready to harvest. πŸ™‚ We put in more peppermint. And Kevin’s excited that I’m back to officially being a church genealogist and he wants me to start opening it up so we can do genealogy right away! lol He’s so hooked, I love it!
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Lots of wild lettuce already hung and drying! πŸ™‚
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Bug had a Girl Scout trip at the Ijams Nature Center. She loved it, but I only the one pic. We were having too much fun!
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