Friday, May 17, 2013

Special Delivery

Thought for the day:  The worst feature of a new baby is its mother's singing.  [Kin Hubbard]

And oh baby, am I ever singing. If I weren't afraid of breaking something, (like myself) I'd be doing a lot of  happy dancing, too. And banging the tambourine and yelling OPA!!!!

Ya see, my baby was delivered yesterday.

Wanta see the cute little tyke? Whattayathink?  I think he has my smile...


Here, let's move that blanket out of the way, and let you see his... MY... heart.


Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, is it? Is it? YES, it is. It's a bouncing baby...  BOOK!!!

Delivered naturally, too. (Okay, so I may have had a  glass of wine... or two... to celebrate his arrival.)

 Psst! Know what happiness is? Hearing my man Smarticus laugh last night... while he was reading  MY BOOK!

Okay, I had a whole 'nother post ready for today, but since the stork the postman delivered my baby yesterday, that means launch day is getting ever closer, so instead of taking y'all on a virtual tour of South Dakota today, how's about a visit to Dundalk, Maryland?


That's a suburb of Balmer. (Or Baltimore, to the uninitiated.) Where I grew up.Where Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade takes place.

That's Dundalk shopping center in the picture. The picture was taken much more recently than when we lived there, but even though the occupants of those stores have changed many times over, the buildings are pretty much the same. A picture taken in the '30s would show that same string of buildings. However, it's entirely possible the cars would look somewhat different.

In the prologue, Pearl remembers going to Arundel's Ice Cream Parlor with her father. At one time, the parlor was located about halfway down... in that first corner building, if I remember right. Doesn't matter, but I'll bet you can remember a place just like it from your home town. The BEST ice cream sodas, shakes, and sundaes in town. A great place for teenagers and families to hang out. Rich frothy root beer floats, and strawberry shakes so thick with strawberries, they kept getting stuck in the straw. BIG shakes, big enough for two to share. The fella would sit on one side of the table, and the gal on the other. With their knees barely touching under the table, they slurped on their straws at the same time, while making eyes at each other, and listening to the popular music playing in the background. Do you remember a place like that?

The Strand movie theater used to be located at the far corner of the street. For fifty cents, you could escape into the air conditioning, watch a double feature, cartoon, coming attractions, newsreel AND have popcorn and candy. On Saturday afternoons, the place would always be jam-packed with kids. Rambunctious kids. It wasn't at all unusual to get whopped in the head with popcorn or worse... sticky candy. From my experience, I'd have to say wet jujubes and milk duds had the most sticking power, but I'll plead the fifth as to whether or not I ever engaged in such shenanigans. However, I will admit to making obnoxious noises by blowing into my empty milk duds box. (Hey! That's circumstantial evidence!)

Enjoyed many a date at that theater, and quite a few of them were with Smarticus. And very often... the evening would be topped off down the street with a root beer float or strawberry shake.

Now, the movie theater is no more. For a while, it was some sort of sports center, but now, I think it's a Dollar Store. (sigh) Just like the other local theaters. The old Carlton is now a funeral parlor, and the Abbey Lane is a Salvation Army store. Time marches on. Are any of the old movie theaters in your home town still movie theaters?

Here's Pearl's church. St. Rita's. It's located on the opposite end of the street from the movie theater.

It was built in 1922, and is one of the few constants in the area. Which is one of the reasons Pearl loves it so much. Like her, it spits in the face of change.

How about your town? Is there anything left that's been able to hang tough through the years? And you? Is it easy for you to accept change?




Okay, enough. I know what y'all reeeeally want to know. You want to know who the heck won Dianne's book, doggone it!


Inside of that cap (AF4FO is my amateur radio call sign) are little slips of paper. One for each of you who commented on the last post. (Except for those who opted out.) It was my intention to procure some able feline assistance in drawing one of those slips, but as you can see, Dot was a little dubious about the whole thing. Dash? She was busy taking a nap.

No problem. I procured the able assistance of my better half Smarticus.
So without further ado, (insert drum roll here) the winner of the Kindle version of Dianne Salerni's book The Caged Graves IS... (ta-DA!)

                                                                     Beach Bum

                                                    CONGRATULATIONS!

Sorry, all you guys and gals who were hoping to win this terrific book. But, hey! You can still BUY it. PLUS, you still have a shot at winning MY baby. (Um, not one of the two-legged ones... the BOOK. Signed, even.)

                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

[Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Morguefile, and the Dundalk Public Library.] [Oh, yeah! And ME!]


95 comments:

  1. Your little one is certainly gorgeous. Good luck with introducing it to the world!

    Congrats to Beach Bum!

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    1. Thanks! We moms always think our babies are adorable, but it's a wee bit scary when it's time to introduce them to the world's more critical eye.

      No problem: I'll still sing it a lullaby: "And I will always love yooooou..."

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  2. Congratulations are in order. To you for producing a fine bouncing baby (and the very best kind) and to Beach bum.

    Happy dances are happening on this side of the world in honour of you, and your baby.

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    1. Yep, the best thing about this baby is... no dirty diapers! (And THIS mama used cloth diapers and a nasty diaper pail, so I'm especially grateful to escape that particular facet of "motherhood".)

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  3. I'd love to win your baby book, but I'll take one of the two legged kinds too. :)

    Congrats on the book and thanks for the tour of the setting.

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    1. Um, I don't think you want one of MY two-legged babies. Our boys have a mess of gray hair... and a mess of their own kids... and our daughter is probably your age. Then again, she and her husband are both pretty good cooks...

      Thanks a lot.

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  4. Congratulations. The excitement level at your house must be through the roof.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, the excitement level is high, but it isn't the roof I'm worried about. It's the floor. All this bouncing around I'm doing is severely testing its structural safety.

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  5. My friend this calls for a congratulations!!! You should invite all your blogging friends over to celebrate!! haha.

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    1. HA! Sure... come on over. I should be able to squeeze a couple more glasses out of this bottle of... uh, never mind. Give me long enough to make a run to the package goods store, okay?

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  6. What a beautiful baby! Congratulations, Susan. It so very real now. :)

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    1. Thanks. I know!!!! Very real. And scary as hell. (Luckily, I'm a tough old broad.)

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  7. What a beautiful book! Congratulations!

    Loved all the nostalgia in this post. Reminds me of a lot of the places (now gone) that I used to frequent growing up. Although, as I mentioned in a post, we do have a nearby movie theater that hasn't changed much since its days as a nickelodeon.

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    1. Thank you so much!

      It's super that your nearby theater has managed to buck the changes of time. (Except for the amount of money it takes to get into the place!)

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  8. 'Delivered naturally, too. (Okay, so I may have had a glass of wine... or two... to celebrate his arrival.)'

    This made me laugh. And I love the idea of Smarticus laughing as he reads. Did you know that's one of Stephen King's 'secret' joys. He listens to his wife read his drafts to hear when she laughs. :)

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    1. I'm glad you found something here to tickle your funny bone.

      Neat tidbit about Stephen King... I understand the sentiment, but I've rarely found anything in his books to laugh about. Shudder? Yeah. Squeeze my eyes shut for a sec? Oh, yeah. Sometimes. But laugh? Not so much.

      Anyhow, my hubby finished reading the book. Not only did he laugh, but much to my amazement, he got emotional at some parts! At this point, I'm not worried about anyone else's reaction anymore, because his reaction made me feel like I won a Pulitzer. And yeah, I do realize it's entirely possible that his reaction stemmed more from his bias toward the person who wrote the words than it did from the words themselves. But ya know what? That's okay, too.

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  9. Susan, congrats on the new 'delivery' and best wishes for your success! :)

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    1. Thanks. I do appreciate it. I'd offer you a cigar, but I think my hubby already smoked 'em all.

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  10. Congratulations on the safe delivery of your bouncing baby book! I can't wait to read it. :D

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  11. Congratulations, Susan. That's very exciting! I'm going to assume your new angel is a girl and tell you she's a beauty!

    xoRobyn

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    1. Thanks. (shhhhh) I'm beginning to suspect the little beauty is asexual...

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  12. Congrats indeed at your feed. And my what big eyes the kitty has, surely not sure on it haha

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    1. All your good wishes
      Are surely delicious,
      And as for my cat?
      Big eyes, it's true,
      But I'm telling you
      That baby cat is... fat.

      Delete
  13. Congrats on your speedy delivery! You have a beautiful bouncing bundle of joy! It was fun seeing where you and Pearl grew up! I just know that everyone will enjoy Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade as much as I did!

    Julie

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  14. Congrats!!

    She has your eyes. :)

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    1. Thanks.

      Ya think? Maybe so, but my vision is better. (No more cataracts!)

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  15. There is no feeling more glorious than that of being the proud parent of a brand new bouncing baby book. It was well worth the labor pains. Congratulations!

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    1. Indeed. I'm still celebrating. (But darn it, I haven't lost the extra weight as easily as I did after my other kids were delivered...)

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    2. Hey, cowboy! Where the heck did your blog go?

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  16. Congratulations, Mom. She's beautiful.

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    1. Thanks. The other kids look more like their father, so maybe this one will look like me.

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  17. I hope, I hope, I hope I win your book! I promise to love her and take care of her forever. I guess the town where I lived from the age of 8 till I was 20 is my hometown. I haven't seen it in quite a few years, but the last time I was there it was very, very different. It doesn't have a downtown anymore, other than state office buildings and a few restaurants to serve the people who work for the state. All the big department stores that were downtown have closed and gone out of business, or they're in a mall. The big, plush downtown movie theaters closed. The movie theater to which we could walk became a 1.00 theater, showing second run movies. Do you speak Balmorese?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Funny you should ask about me speaking Balmorese. I hope I don't. I think I don't. One of my elementary school teachers made me aware of how "improper" some of the local dialect sounded, so I did my darnedest not to pick it up. That teacher actually worked with the class on elocution. Amazing, huh? Teachers today sure don't have the time for such things.

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    2. They're too busy preparing the students to take the state-mandated tests. Everything revolves around those tests.

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  18. LOL! I love that very subtle reveal! Congratulations on your new arrival and to Beach Bum for winning what I'm sure, will be a glorious read. :)

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  19. Oh, Susan, congrats!!! (it looks just like you) LOL

    I went on Amazon but I couldn't find it. When can I buy it?

    We actually have a Strand theater on our boardwalk. It's kind of cool.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you picked up on the resemblance.

      It should be available on Amazon before the end of the month. (woo HOO!)

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  20. Hooray! Hooray!! I can't wait til it's on Amazon! I love that I have friends who've written books!!! Congratulations Susan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!

    And yes, there are still 2 movie houses left of the 4, though they've been cut up into multiplexes (I can't imagine how small those "viewing rooms" must be). And Wilson's Soda and Ice Cream shop is gone, as I believe is Hinsch's now, too. In some ways, we were blessed with the best of times.

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    1. Thanks... you sound as excited as I am!

      Yeah, you're right. Life seemed safer and more secure back then, and not nearly as hectic. Unless you consider the proliferation of fall-out shelters, and the scary drills at school "preparing" us for a nuclear attack. And kids hitting the ground when a military plane flew overhead. (Um, yeah, my friends and I were a tad melodramatic.)

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  21. It's a bouncing baby... BOOK!!! Love it!

    So excited for you, Susan! Congratulations and all the VERY best! :)

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  22. Congratulations! And what a way to make the big announcement! I just love that baby! You are one creative woman.

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    1. Thanks so much. Creative? Maybe. Some people just call me strange. HA!

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  23. awwwwwwwwwwwww what a cutie, Congratulations !
    What a fun Baby Announcement.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. HA! Thanks. At my age, I never expected to make any more baby announcements...

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  24. Oooo!! What a great thing to get in the post. Happy dance, indeed. I lived in No. Va. for many years, but haven't been back there for some time. I love the title of your book.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. If you haven't been back in a long time, you'll really be shocked by all the changes if/when you ever visit there again. (Unlike US... we look exactly the SAME. right?)

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  25. Love the title of your book. Brilliant.

    And your flower banner, it's fantastic. A picture I would have liked to take. Very nice. Love it.

    Happy Weekend :-)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you like it. Fell free to "take" the picture... back to your blog, if you'd like.

      Happy weekend to you, too!

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    2. Um, that should be FEEL free...

      Sheesh.

      Delete
  26. Congratulations! If you are fresh out of cigars, I'll just have to go to the fridge and get some wine to celebrate.

    And congratulations to Beach Bum for winning Dianne's book. Fingers crossed I will win yours. And if not, I'll just have to download it.

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    1. Thanks. I have a feeling you're someone I'd really enjoy hanging out with. We can light up a cigar and sip wine together... (Play Pinochle????)

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    2. Pinochle...I think I played once or twice, eons ago. For hanging out with you, I could learn again.

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    3. How sweet!

      The German side of our family played Pinochle all the time, and I learned as a kid. Thought maybe it mighta been a "German thing". HA!

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  27. Oh Boy! Girl? Book. BOOK! Wonderful!

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    1. Yes... wonderful! And no smelly diapers to change, either!

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  28. Champagne for a month?

    Yup, things change here too; back in about 1300 they added a spire to our church. It's just not the same!

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    1. We DO have a bottle of bubbly at the ready, but I think we'll save it for next Friday. (our anniversary)

      HA! You saying changes aren't quite as in your face there, huh? Good for you. Parts of our old town are barely recognizable.

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  29. I am so pleased for you......... You are now immortal

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    1. Thanks. Immortal? Oh, now there's a scary thought! Kinda like a roach.

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  30. Congratulations! How exciting for you guys, Susan, and the thought of your husband laughing as he read your book made me smile.

    The downtown of Eugene has changed so much since I was little. I enjoy two FB pages of "You Know You Grew Up in Eugene" and a similar one, where people feature photos and memories of the old days.

    During the 70's, "Urban Renewal" was the hip thing and they turned the whole thing into an outside mall, which kind of killed our downtown for a lot of folks. At the same time, a big indoor mall was built in another spot, and that is where the big stores moved to.

    I miss our old downtown though. The movie theater is still there, and I remember spending many a Saturday morning there, were we traded Williams Bakery bread wrappers for free admittance.

    I am looking forward to reading your book!

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, without a doubt, seeing Smarticus (who doesn't ordinarily do much reading AT ALL) devour and enjoy my book was better than winning any award. I figured he'd be a super tough audience, especially since I consider my book to be more geared toward females. Eh, what do I know?

      It's kinda neat that you're still living in the same area where you grew up, so you've been able to keep up with the changes as they occur. (Doesn't necessarily mean you had to LIKE 'em!) When we visit Dundalk, it's always surprising and surreal to see some of the things we remember so well lost in the middle of so many other things that are alien to us.

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  31. Ooh, how incredibly exciting! Congrats!

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  32. Congratulations, Susan. Really pleased for you.

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    1. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. (I'm purty durned pleased, too.)

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  33. Congratulations on your new baby, that's awesome and certainly worth singing (and dancing too!).

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    1. Thanks! I'm doing plenty of singing and dancing, even if it's only in my heart and imagination.

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  34. That is the cutest baby smile! :) Congrats!!

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    1. Isn't it? And she doesn't cry at all!

      Thanks. I do appreciate it.

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  35. Congratulations on the arrival of your book! Beautiful, isn't it? Don't you want to frame the cover and put it on the mantel right next to the pictures of your actual children?!

    And I'll keep an eye out for your launch. I'd like to have you swing by my blog for an interview this summer!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, yes, YES! And funny that you should mention putting it on the mantle... after my hubby finished reading it, that's exactly where he put it!

      Thanks. I'd be honored!

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  36. Wow! Beautiful and exciting! Congratulations!

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  37. Hey Susan,

    Today, I promise that this will not be one of my long, rambling, nonsensical comments.

    Just a huge congrats on the arrival of your baby and I love the title of your book. I'm an even bigger starstruck fan of yours!

    Gary :)

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    1. Thank you, Gary. (I'm starting to miss your long rambling pun-filled comments... maybe next time?)

      Take care.

      Delete
  38. Really, really nice cover! Congratulations on the ba- Ah, I mean the BOOK! Well done!

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  39. Have you allowed the nice feline to sample the new book?

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    1. I wouldn't say I "let" her, but I did catch her licking it the other day...

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  40. Hahaha, I shouldn't have made assumptions about gender/sexuality - especially in this day and age. My bad. =)

    Thanks so much for your supportive comment, Susan.
    Keep enjoying your new blessing.
    xoRobyn

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    1. HA! I'll forgive ya. (The baby doesn't care, either.)

      You bet. I've been thinking about you today. I hope all went well. XO

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  41. Congratulations to Beach Bum!
    I bought my copy and started reading it as soon as it landed in my Kindle. I'm really enjoying it.
    Is Hot flashes and Cold Lemonade available as an ebook?

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    1. OH, good! Sorry you didn't win, but I'm glad to hear you bought it and are enjoying it. (Not surprised, though!)

      Hot Flashes will be available both as an e-book and paperback... in about a week! (Yipes!)

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  42. Yay! Congrats on your delivery, and best of luck on your release!!

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  43. How cool is that, your very own book to love! Congrats, Susan :)

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    1. Very cool. It doesn't even need its own room. (Thanks, Marcy. Right back atcha.)

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  44. Congratulations, Susan. I have a feeling you are about to become the next Erma Bombeck.

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    1. Thanks, Arleen. I appreciate the feeling, but I'm not even in the same league as Bombeck. She's Yankees, and I'm sandlot little league. But that's okay; I LIKE sandlot little leaguers!

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  45. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog to see my animated book covers and for sending me virtual flowers!
    And congratulations on YOUR bouncing baby book!

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    1. Hi-ya, Rachel. Thanks so much for stopping by. I do appreciate it.

      And thanks for the congrats, too. (Right back atcha! Good luck with your new business.)

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