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Last Visit 2016-01-27 22:19:11 |Start Date 2006-03-13 17:01:07 |Comments 62 |Entries 34 |

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01/05/07 08:25 - 51ºF - ID#37547

2006

    

2006 Year of Letting Go
Category: Podcast

Bathed in blue light the scene outside my kitchen window invokes an eerie sense of imminence unknown. I can hear the silence. It's crackly like the static on a television station lacking reception as the angels or non-physical entities raucously clamor with enthusiasm at what's gaining momentum to be. I am but a pawn in the grand scale of things, yet at once a King destined to lead on this side of the veil. The conclusion of yet another calendar year brings about longing for reconciling the past together with an eagerness to mold the future spinning upon the potter's wheel. Without further adieu here's the much anticipated recap of 2006, the year of letting go and letting God...



A cold, blustery winter's night has a way of inspiring one to hole up inside with a warm beverage and perhaps something to read nestled by the fire. Yet, going out into it brings such a sense of primal satisfaction, a liberation from otherwise self-imposed confinement. It is especially so behind the wheel of a massive 4 ton 4x4 truck with a 9 ft. plow blade dangling at the bow. I loathed my first time out in the Ford F550 that I came to call "Big Red" for obvious reasons. I wanted my mommy. It brought up many fears including safely operating such equipment with virtually no training and completion of my route in a timely fashion so as to appease my customers. But above all, it brought my fear of being alone right up in my face. Just me, icy roads and a truck in the darkness would require a degree of self-reliance I had yet to know in this life. In the pre-dawn of a brisk winter's morn, other than emergency personnel and a stray traveler, the roads are vast and empty like a distant corner of the galaxy.



By the end of winter 2005-06 I was a pro at snowplowing, but not without some bumps along the learning curve so to speak. On one occasion I managed to slam my head off the windshield after miscalculating the location of a concrete parking curb while stacking up a mountainous pile of wet snow. If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough. Later in the season, in the same damn parking lot no less, I clipped the rear end of a Honda Civic just barely grazing the trunk while backing up hastily as Korn or perhaps it was Tool blared from the radio. When 4 tons of truck meets little better than 1 ton of car even a grazing will result in damages over $1,000. I earned a carpet call by Rich for that one, and understandably so as he pays out of pocket rather than make a claim thus inflating his premium. On another outing I was on the phone with my friend Michele, who accompanied me on several outings by phone. I recalled hearing a noticeable thud as I pulled away from an intersection on some back county road, but paid it no mind gabbing away on the hands-free. I arrived at my next property and realized something was missing. By the time I made my way back to the intersection a county sheriff had been on the scene with his patrol lights piercing the darkness scratching his head at what to make of the machine laying in the road. I eagerly retrieved the 5.5 horsepower Toro, thanked him for keeping vigil and sped away to keep pace with the demanding nature of my shift. I was delighted to discover that it started right up at the next property, although the handle was slightly mangled.

It was by far a gentle and mild winter in 2006. There could have been nary a better winter to be a rookie snowplower and learn the ropes, the current winter season notwithstanding. All told we went out maybe 15 times, about half the outings during a normal season so I'm told. It's definitely not my favorite thing to do, although there is a feeling of power navigating the roads with such a dominating vehicle, dualy wheels in four-wheel drive won't be deterred. My main complaint about it is the hours. Due to the nature of the business and terms on contract we have to be out all night clearing the white stuff so by the time people are up and out the door for work we're finished. I know it's a service that many take for granted and I've a new appreciation for the public works employees who operate the big rigs clearing roads and highways. I'll always look back upon my days as a ploughman fondly, if not with a slight regret in longing for those silent nights behind the wheel.



Rich, owner of the landscape and nursery company where I'm employed kept us busy in between plow events with various tasks and projects. He had Frank and I exclusively on nursery detail making modifications and necessary upgrades as we settled into our second season at the new location. We maximized use of the small space by reducing a planting bed alongside the building and installing a drainage channel out front for the nursery stock. Most days the weather was cooperative, save for one bitter cold day in late February when he had us installing a new poly cover for the hoop house wherein perennials and annuals reside with extra protection from the elements. By the time the beginning of the landscape season arrived we were well prepared to go full on.



Less than 2 weeks into the season I was contending with a very painful inflammation in my right forearm. Toward the end of the preceding season I had worked through a lingering pain in my left leg, repetitive physical exertion combined with emotional challenges resulting in tweaked nerves and over-extended sinew. Over the winter season I had approached Rich on several occasions seeking a promotion into a sales capacity. His vague response had left me certain that it was a foregone conclusion. I thought it made smart business to promote from within, especially considering I started working for him way back as summer help while in college. So I watched as several faces appeared for interviews following the release of the architect he had acquired via a head hunting agency the year before. Things were beginning to rev up and he still hadn't found a replacement. When I told him I'd need some time off to rest my ailing arm he finally acquiesced and informed me that I'd be a sales assistant one or two days a week. That quickly turned into a full-time appointment. Here I was ready to quit my job and risk the new truck, 2006 Honda Ridgeline- Motor Trend Truck of the Year, which I had leased just weeks before the season started. I did not expect such a response at all on his part. Clearly, it was meant to be.



My biggest fear stepping into this new role would be working with the crew in the new role. I was concerned that one or two guys in particular might be pissed off that they weren't given the nod. I've been friends with a couple of the guys for many years. While in my new role I would have no explicit authority, I would certainly be interpreted in my new position accordingly. I considered it awkward. I of course had little trouble establishing myself with the newer people on the staff whose respect had been granted from the outset. I detected some tension from the more senior among the ranks, including a couple comments in comparison to the previous guy whom had gotten the ax for insufficient performance. He had been nicknamed "fraud Bill" by some of the guys who complained of his costly mistakes for an entire season before Rich lowered the hammer. I distinguished myself immediately and did not allow egos to rule the day. And in the construction trade egos can be really big when boys will be boys. In the final analysis, I had everyone's support and respect.



I wasn't long into it when I realized that working alongside Rich would be yet another lesson in self-reliance. I was looking to him for guidance and training, although he was not very available outside a quick run-down on pricing or contract terms. One day I found a post-it note on my desk with the words, "Sell hard." Hard-selling has never been nor ever will be my forte. I don't believe in it. Sales are a service provided what you offer your customer is of greater use value than the cash value received in return. In Rich's view, it's the opposite, and so while he has undoubtedly established for himself a profitable business entity, I'm not so certain that he's left the best of impressions on his customers. There'd been more than occasion where I found myself playing public relations specialist between he and a customer while working in the field. I quickly realized what I had intuited, that my idea of running a successful business and Rich's idea we're in stark contrast.



I made it clear to Rich from the outset that I saw myself as a partner in the business, although my compensation did not include a share in the bottom line as requested. When he asked me to go get him a coffee one morning I refused. I wasn't about to become his lackey. I knew he had the last guy doing things like washing his truck and picking up groceries for the family. I wasn't about to be anybody's bitch. The only thing that provided job security for me was what mattered most- positive cashflow. I was able to book quite a few jobs throughout the busy portion of the season from April through June driving around town in the 4-door king cab Chevy like a big shot. I have to write a thank you letter to Anthony Robbins and Deepak Chopra for a CD, which I listened to repeatedly in my travels. It helped keep me going despite the pressure of adapting to the responsibilities of my new position.

I passed on several contracts either because I did not feel comfortable bidding on them, or in some cases, because I just knew it would be a nightmare job for the crew. It's hard enough putting in long days as it is and I know from experience that some jobs are best to walk away, even if lucrative. Nonetheless, given the volume of inbound calls we receive, I was able to sell better than $50K in work while bidding on perhaps 3 times that amount. I was also busy seeking ways to grow the business through advertising and networking, but that fell upon deaf ears whenever I made any mention to Rich. Had I been better prepared for the position and properly trained by a mentor who shares a similar philosophy there's no telling what I might have accomplished. But I was plenty content with the results I'd attained.



Things always slow down in the landscape business during the heat of summer. We we're able to keep enough work coming in to keep the guys near full-time hours, but it was an opportunity to slow down and re-group after a hellacious start out of the gate. I enjoyed playing softball a couple nights during the week in a co-ed league with my sister and brother-in-law. We we're competitive, but it's more about the beer, chicken wings and camaraderie at the bar following the game. The other league was a team put together by Rich sponsored by the company. We weren't so competitive and by the end of the season I couldn't wait for it to be over. However, I did have the pleasure to make a wonderful fated acquaintance following a game one night and a trip to a local tavern. I have kept in touch with Mary Beth ever since. She helped to set me up with a girlfriend of hers that would later in the year catalyze profound change in my life. Last week I visited the home that Mary Beth, her mother, husband and children are building in the upscale escarpment subdivision in Williamsville. I'm looking forward to a pool party when the custom designed estate is completed. I may even get to design her landscape.



Just as we we're moving out of the insanely busy part of the season I took a week's paid vacation destined for a cabin on the lake in the Adirondacks. It was originally planned as a group outing organized by my boy JP. We weren't able to find anyone willing and able to tag along during the dates that the rental was available. Just a few weeks before the booking he too bailed saying he couldn't afford it. I had already mailed in a non-refundable $200 deposit with another $200 pending. I was little upset at first and then realized instead that I'd treat myself to a sabbatical. And so I ventured out onto the open road in my Honda all packed with gear looking forward to 4 nights and 5 days to decompress and rejuvenate solo style. Had I known I'd be confined to my quarters for the first 48 hours during torrential rains that instigated flooding and wash-outs throughout central NY I might have remained home, but alas I didn't and I'm the better for it. What transpired during that time on the lake impacted me deeply. I felt like Thoreau on Walden enjoying the bounty of natural treasures. I made friends with locals and got invited out kayaking. I walked out into 7th lake as thunderheads clapped reminding me of the previous summer's sabbatical in the desert of Arizona. On the final evening I got word that my cousin's mother-in-law had passed away. I sped home the next morning attempting to make the funeral in a show of loving support as family mourned the loss. I was cited for 70 in a 55 by a state trooper who had been lenient. I was going 85. I slowed down and took it as a lesson from the sojourn to stop and smell the roses. Life is what's happening when we're too busy rushing around to notice.



By the end of the summer as we neared the next busy leg of the season I found myself losing interest in the position I had at one point greatly desired. Having Rich micro-manage me and employ tactics toward his employees and customers lacking ethics was taking its toll. I began to recede and spend time on the crew with the boys. I missed working with them and I missed working with my hands to create beauty. Around this time we had lost our general foreman who left for a new career opportunity. Matt's been a good friend of mine for over a decade and he was invaluable with the skills and knowledge set he had to offer. So we we're shorthanded and I knew it meant a return for me to the crew full-time. Rich asked me what I wanted to do and I responded as if the star player on the team to his coach, "Wherever you need me." The next day I traded in my polo shirt and khakis for carharts and boots. It felt like an upgrade.



As if my demanding position with Grabber and Sons, Inc. hadn't been enough I was also running a part-time marketing business that began shortly before my promotion at the day job. My buddy John in Toronto brought me on board as a wholesale sales representative with an Oregon based company with the intention to open new accounts in the northeast U.S. leading with our featured product E3 Live! the only fresh, liquid form of AFA algae on the market. I was excited and champing at the bit to rep a product line I had personally endorsed. I had noticed alleviation of many physical ailments within days of using the products and figured it would flow to turn others onto it. I was put on a monthly salary flat commission and combined with my compensation at Grabber I was earning more income than I ever had in my life. I quickly opened the area's largest health products retailer Feel-Rite Fresh Markets where I'd been employed years ago in the deli and produce departments. John was elated that I'd got out of the gate landing a major account straight away.



However, I would find little else to cheer about for months to come as I was met with apathy by many small independent stores. It appeared dead in the water until John gave me a contact that promised new hope. He had approached Karen a year ago with the proposal to rep E3 Live! in her existing stores, over 500 in 5 states in the northeast. Her company, Top Line Marketing, had been too busy with current product lines and so she respectfully declined. John suggested I follow up with her and so I did with spectacular results. I reached her as she was boarding a flight and our brief chat concluded with her requesting me to contact her by email. We corresponded for several weeks before anything of substance evolved, which ultimately would have put me in charge of opening accounts with a finder's fee and a percentage of the residual to compensate her in return. I was getting excited with anticipation that it was my big break. I would be able to leave my job and do something I loved. But it was not meant to be. The company president, Michael, did an about face and rather than support me in going forward instead pulled the plug. He was infuriated that I had been on the payroll for months with little to show for it. We engaged in a couple phone conversations that left me disenchanted and distraught. I felt abandoned, and it wouldn't be the last time I'd feel that in '06.



I got over it figuring that being a pond scum peddler was not my destiny anyway. A few days later a climatic event visited western New York that would change the landscape of this already beleaguered city forever. The city and its suburbs got slammed with 2 feet of heavy wet lake effect snow in less than 12 hours. Trees, many of them still holding their leaves crackled, snapped and popped depositing debris that would take weeks for proper disposal. I was up first thing that morning as Rich picked me up so we could prepare a few trucks with snowplows and get to the task of digging people out from the surprise storm. Most of the other guys stayed home blowing off the call to action. I was all fired up and ready to serve. I worked better than 20 hours over the course of 2 days witnessing a scene that looked like something out of a nuclear aftermath. In just a few days the snow would melt, but the clean-up had only just begun.



A couple weeks prior to the storm I finally took the opportunity to meet Jen. I had met Mary Beth out for lunch one day for the sole purpose of meeting Jen at the restaurant where she works as a server, hostess and manager. But she wasn't on shift that day and it would be some time before it lined up. My feeling on the fix-up going into it was simply something for fun, a fling perhaps, although MB was pitching it as a potential long-term match. I've never been a fan of fix-ups as it is. Mary Beth eventually gave me Jen's number and so I called her to introduce myself. We spoke briefly and proceeded to keep in touch by text messaging for the interim. I met up with Mary Beth for a glass of wine when we were certain that Jen had been on shift. I was sitting at the bar socializing and nursing a glass of red knot when she eventually appeared near the end of her shift. I was delighted by the sexy lil blonde seated before me and felt an immediate attraction, albeit purely physical. Our initial meeting didn't last long as she excused herself abruptly. I later found out why the sudden exodus, if only I'd known then, but it all went down the way it was supposed to.



It wasn't until 4 weeks later that we'd meet again in person on my birthday no less. I got a voice mail from her wishing me a happy birthday and so I returned her call. She was hosting a pumpkin carving night with the girls at her place. I inquired if it was girl's night out and invited myself over, to which she was receptive. I should have known I was in for it when I picked out a stencil of an owl, a Native American symbol of death, to carve into my pumpkin. Jen was giving me plenty of signals that she was interested including pressing up on me while attending to the messy table. I kept focused and spent better than an hour hollowing out the orange fruit. When we're through mine was voted the best of the group as Jen and I sifted through the pumpkin goo to separate out the seeds for a roasted snack. Her friends departed and I remained for awhile to visit her alone. I was sitting on the sofa as she bent over in front of me cleaning up around the table. After about 30 seconds on display she remarked playfully, "Stop checking out my ass." I was busted. I noticed on the calendar in her kitchen that she'd written in my birthday as a reminder to herself. I was falling for her and didn't even know it. I was vulnerable.



I had been telling myself from the outset that there's no way anything long-term could transpire between me and this girl. Clearly, we're on different paths. Yet, I allowed myself to take a detour and explore a romance in part out of lust, but more so out of a longing for companionship. I was going into it with fear of being alone and I'd leave it with utter terror in self-fulfilling fashion. Before long Jen and I were referring to each other as "babe" and all lovey-dovey. I would pick her up from work at the end of her evening shift at the restaurant. She didn't have a car at the time and so it was especially helpful. I had her over to watch the Sabres' games at my sister's place on two occasions and I even invited her to dinner at my parents' house. I rarely bring girls home to mom and dad, maybe one a year at most. In the short span of 2 weeks I'd gone from casually interested to head over heels quickly heading for crash and burn. The strenuous days of storm clean-up and late nights over at her place really took a toll on me. I hurt my back causing me to miss a couple days at work. I finally hit a point of no return and proceeded to inform her in no uncertain terms that, "The honeymoon's over." It was the kiss of death. Jen was up all that night puking while I slept soundly in her bed. I hadn't a clue what was going on. I was delirious from fatigue and romance.



A few days later I picked Jen up from work and was rather grumpy. We went home, ate whatever she brought home from the restaurant and went to bed. She left the room as I passed out. The next morning I kissed her on the cheek commenting, "Thank you for having me," as I made my way to work. I'm still not sure where those words came from. It's as if I knew it would be the last time I'd see her. That day at work I felt so depressed and I couldn't understand why. I spoke with her a couple times that day and opted to stay home to get a good night's sleep. The next day I felt much better. I opted to stay home for a second straight night to rejuvenate. I had spoken with her earlier in the day and she admitted that she was in a bad mood. That was the last time I'd hear her voice. Rather than call her before retiring to bed I sent her a text and turned off my phone.



The next day we had a short day at work due to the rain. I sent Jen a text inviting her to lunch to which I got a reply that she'd already eaten. So I called her and no answer. A few hours went by and I didn't hear from her so I called back and left a voice mail. A little while later she sent me a text saying that she was working and would call me later. I went to a fundraiser that night and sent her a text asking if she wanted me to pick her up at the restaurant. I didn't get a reply. I was starting to get upset, which is perhaps what she was seeking to elicit in me as payback for my behavior the preceding 2 days. It was incredible how she went from spoiling me with gestures of affection to a classic case of silent treatment. It was a reflection of what was taking place inside of me. The next day I called and still no answer. I sent her a text asking if she wanted to spend the night with me at my place as per our plans and she replied that she was too tired. The next day I called and still no answer. I stopped by her house but nobody was home, or so it seemed. I left the dish she had sent me home with leftover eggplant parm on her doorstep. That would be the last time I'd be at her door.



The next day I reached a point of peace about the matter and sent her a text. She replied agreeing with my statement that neither one of us has had much success in romantic relationships. In the message she said she'd call me after work, but alas I never heard from her. I became upset again feeling that dreaded feeling that something was wrong with me. My self-esteem plummeted further as I gave my power away to the circumstance. I did everything I could to muster up enough strength to keep going with my life and persevere through the long days at work dragging limbs through muddy yards. I was dying inside, but really it was a rebirthing, and there's always pain before the child is born.



Thanksgiving came and went still no word from Jen despite text messages and emails asking her if she'd like to talk in person. I leaned on my family and was grateful for their presence. It wasn't until a tele-seminar with Bijan that I was able to turn the tide emotionally. I had received notice of the spontaneous call by email the day before it was scheduled. I knew I had to be on that call. And sure enough, his words of wisdom together with the life-sustaining vibration he has to offer pulled me out of a major spiritual rut. I was still thinking about Jen and second-guessing my actions in hindsight, but I was no longer spiraling down below the line into negative emotion. I was coming back to life after a perilous fall which had much more to do with inherited pathology than any woman, or employment predicament or a marketing venture gone awry. This was a cleansing on such a deep level of consciousness that my life would forever be altered for the better.



Jen's fear of being alone and abandoned caused her to flee. It likely goes back to her relationship with her father. I have similar issues, like attracts like after all. I abandoned myself in the process of courting her. But the abandonment began long before way back into my childhood, going back even further into past lifetimes perhaps. What I didn't realize was that she held lingering feelings for the guy she had been seeing before we met. Incidentally, he's almost twice her age, with children and going through a divorce making him a totally emotionally unavailable partner to her, which makes it a match. It's really quite simple how the law of attraction operates to bring us that which we put our focus upon, whether it's out of fear or love. And we're at the turning point now in our evolution as we grow out of our fear into love. The only way past our fear is through it. Royal courage and faith must be our guide during this time of transition as we bring in a new consciousness of peace, harmony, prosperity and joy, or "above the line" as Bijan would call it. I consider myself a pioneer in this respect.



Shew, that's quite a memoir for one year and there's so much I didn't even touch upon. But you get the gist of it. I forged many new connections in 2006, including Mary Beth, Lydia, Tara, Maranda and Shawn to name a few of the most notable. But as with anything, it all begins in relationship to one Self. And this is where I'm at right now. I am devoting my life to Sean and it feels so good. Does this mean I am closing myself to a union with a woman? On the contrary, my devotion to Self ensures that I will attract a mate who is equally self-devoted. Together we can be something way beyond the co-dependant as we raise our vibration. It has taken years of practice just to arrive where I'm at and it will require a lifetime of continued devotion to raise my vibration to new levels of conscious experience. In the meantime, I am so very excited to be alive in 2007, the year of gratitude as it's come to be dubbed. Thank you for being here with me at this time to receive the many gifts of Life. We are the people we've been waiting for.



One Love

Sean

"In my life I've loved them all..." The Beatles In My Life


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Category: fashion

01/03/07 06:06 - 43ºF - ID#37526

Men at Work

The litmus test that will reveal whether or not those in your company are truly enlightened, SEAN, is whether or not they treat everyone else as if they, too, were enlightened.

Best to assume they are, if you get my drift.
All bow,
The Universe

It would be easy enough to dispense with my co-workers as among the unenlightened, but I know better than that, and besides, I treat all beings with respect and decency, a la the Golden Rule. Today we worked on the woodpile remnants from the surprise storm dicing up large chunks of mixed hardwoods splitting these into firewood size pieces to be sold next year. We definitely kicked some ass yet barely dented the massive collection harvested in the wake of an unprecedented climatic event. I was none too pleased to have been called in for my labor, especially after 5 days off over the holiday weekend. But by the end of the day I felt better as the sunshine and exertion does a body good.

I've opted out of the cleansing program I had been preparing myself for mentally the last several days. I figure its best to wait until a spring cleaning and instead keep the focus on developing and maintaining an overall regimen that will attract increased peace, health, prosperity and ultimately happiness into my life. The path to doing so is none other than gratitude and I made sure to give thanks today, even as my muscles ached after too long a layover since their last exercise. Bending over with the chainsaw and hurling logs, some weighing better than 50 pounds is a workout I'd challenge any fitness pro to attempt. I did it for 2 solid months this past autumn gaining a degree of physical strength that enabled me to scale trees like a monkey. I'm getting primed to return myself to top form after the lazy holy daze concluding the calendar year 2006.

So where to go from here? So many roads tease my soul, the crackling voice of a strung out Jerry Garcia echoes in my mind. He's dead now and along with him many more of the famous and unknown dearly departed. This energy shift we're encountering is truly one for the books. Peeps are going to be affected in a variety of ways from sublime to in-your-face. That schoolboy in Tacoma who shot and killed a fellow student falls into the latter, along with many others who are unable to manage their emotions in these times of heart-chakra expansion. And there are those among us who've taken up the spiritual warrior path and have been negotiating its often tenuous twists and turns for many years now. Still for others it's just the beginning of a brand new existence. One thing's for sure, 2007 will be distinctly remembered in one of two ways, as either the year that it all came together, or the year it all fell apart. And either way it's okay and perfectly the way it is supposed to be. I intend for myself personally to manifest the former, but if it were to be the latter I could deal. I've been there before, torn down only to rebuild. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. I don't know about you but I'm going the distance, et vous?

One Love
Sean
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01/03/07 03:20 - 43ºF - ID#37525

One Love Hopi





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01/02/07 08:55 - 35ºF - ID#37516

King of myspace

Okay, I do intend to blog here on (e:strip) on a semi-regular basis, for I so love blogging, in the meantime come visit:

One Love
Sean
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01/01/07 10:55 - 45ºF - ID#37489

The Secret

Basically, SEAN, getting what you want is most efficiently accomplished by pretending you already have it. All of the time.

So, how do you like your beautiful home with lots of space to entertain, SEAN?

The Universe

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03/13/06 05:24 - 58ºF - ID#23170

Intro to e:strip

Hey fellow (e:strip) bloggers and doers, this is my first appearance here, shout out to Laura Jean and the buffalo tribe for turning me onto this community site. I've been addicting to blogging since Y2K, but originally my blogs were logs written on ms word, but I think it still counts. Anyway, I look forward to plugging in here and making new connections. I've been blogging at a couple other sites including myspace and blogger, here's the link:

One Love
$ean
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paul said to tinypliny
I miss you too!...

tinypliny said to paul
Oh I see the sheep are there too. Is this the entirety of your flock? :D...

tinypliny said to paul
Haha, I remember when Basra used to love these. :)...

tinypliny said to paul
How many of these dolls have you hoarded? More importantly, where do they live and what happened to ...