Magic Marker Best shot Monday

Hosted by “Tracy” at “Mother May I,” but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

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It's just another ordinary day. The sort of day that is really no different from any other day, except that it isn't.

“Yes dear?”
“I am need.”
“What do you need dear?”
“I am need……….make a few invention that is never been made before.”
“Oh……that could be a bit tricky. What did you have in mind?”
“Yes for my new drink or maybe soup?”
I look at my son who does not drink soup and to date only drinks water and chocolate milk, if it is exactly the right temperature.
“Ah. How can I help?”
“I am get a bowl for my new invention.” I glance at the clock, two minutes home from school, three minutes until we leave for therapy.
“Maybe we should do this later, after therapy?”
“No. Get me.”
“Get you what dear?”
“No I am be get myself.” He flies to the fridge, a domestic appliance that is not on his radar. He heaves open the door to peer and mutter, “now let me see…..ah yes! Dat is what I am be needing.” I watch as he grabs the gallon container of milk. I do not believe he has ever held a container of milk before. He removes the cap, demonstrating superb fine motor skills and a heretofore unknown enthusiasm as he sloshes a cupful or two into a very large soup bowl. The fridge remains open as he selects orange juice and does likewise. He does not drink orange juice nor has he ever held a carton before. I watch mesmerized as he flies back and forth from fridge to counter adding mustard, ketchup, chocolate sauce and mayonnaise. He uses no protection. He uses no tools to avoid physical contact with any of the substances.
“What it is?”
“Dis fing dat I am using for my cook.”
“Mayonnaise dear.”
“Ooo dat is right, gotta love dah mayo.” Be still my beating heart. These are condiments that have been un-nameable and untouchable. He does not wear gloves. “I fink it is be needing dah one more fing.”
“Indeed,” I sputter blanched.
“Ah! I am be having dah whipped cream.” With the dexterity of the finest chef de patisserie he flicks off the top, inverts the can and sprays six inches of piped cream, a floating island of wonderfulness. “Carry!”
“Um… be carry it to dah table for dah decorations.” I lift the soup bowl and bear it towards the dining room table, in the centre for all to admire his creation. “I am be get dah latest fing.” He skitters across the room brandishing a jar of Maraschino cherries. I watch as his digits dive into the red syrup to retrieve a single stalk with a plump fruit to plop into the pillow of cream. He grins hugely at his feat, “an dat my fine friends, is dah perfick!” I feel a prick in the corner of my eye, because I know that eyes lie and my vision is untrustworthy. My brain is too wormy to manage coherent speech as his dad arrives to whisk them away to therapy. “Quick mom!”
“I am need.”
“What do you need dear?”
“A container.”
“Why love?”
“I am be take my ingredient soup drink to therapy, for Janis, so she can be dah lucky taster.” I pour and slop the soup, snap on the lid and pass it over. As the garage door slams shut I pause, lean against the counter and consider. I may be the middle of the day but it is definitely the middle of the night, a dream, unreal and surreal. My daughter appears, “aren't yah gonna clear up that disgustin muck Mom?” I look at the counter, covered in disgusting muck. It is definitely mucky and there is a void in the middle where the container once was. I touch the muck, just to check that it is really wet, that it is real and it is.

Lucky Janis.


p.s. If anyone doubts the dedication of therapists, I am happy to report that since Janis is such a jolly good egg, she did indeed sip the concoction.  Her assessment was whilst it was not exactly to her taste it was a thoroughly powerful brew.  Yeah Janis!

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Perfect Post Award for October

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The Original Perfect Post Awards 10.08

The perfect post award is hosted by Lindsay at “Suburban Turmoil” and Kimberley at “Petroville.”

These days most people have at least heard of autism. The subject seems to be in the news media every day and there are always those stories of Autistic Savants with their staggeringly unique talents. Otherwise, the news tends to be of the 'one off good time touchy feely' type of story or the 'gloom, doom and despondency' woefulness that shoots fear into the hearts of the general public.

The every day kind of autism, doesn't get quite as much attention as it is not considered 'newsworthy.' That said, there are any number of families all over the world who live with the day to day nature of special needs and autism. Most of these tales cover the tiny huge experiences that are of no great consequence to the world at large but are of pivotal significance to those in their orbit.

One such tiny huge tale was written by “NiksMom” over at “Maternal Instincts – Flying by the seat of my pants.” “NiksMom” isn't whizzing around in her undies, but rather keeping it all together in her trousers, as illustrated by her posting called “Taking Root, Taking Wing,” for which she receives October's Perfect Post award, in recognition of what most parents of special needs children attempt to achieve, hopeful growth and inspiration to others, I hope.

So don’t be shy. Maybe during November you’ll also read something that you might nominate for the Perfect Post Award =

The perfect post award is hosted by Lindsay at “Suburban Turmoil” and Kimberley at “Petroville.”

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“Mary the Teach” over at “Work of the Poet” has very kindly given me this award! Thank you so much for thinking of me. This was exceptionally well timed after four consecutive nights of the nocturnal!

I’m happy to pass this on to “MOM-NOS” at “MOM – Not Otherwise Specified,” in the hope that this will encourage her to give us a few more, or maybe more frequent lessons. Her family life has changed considerably since we first ‘met’ and I appreciate that her time is severely sandwiched with numerous pressure and responsibilities, but we can but try!

Also to “Casdok” and her sterling new blog which puts the faces to the ‘label’ of autism, in all it’s many facets, here at the “Faces of Autism.” This is particularly heart warming for me as although I think I know all the bloggers featured to date, many do not post pictures of their delightful children. I think each and every one deserves a bravery award for illustrating just how truly delightful all our children are, if everyone would just stop with the stereotypes……although I am the most guilty when it comes to typecasting!

Then to “Sharon” at the “Family Voyage,” as her political insight that keeps me abreast of what’s ocurring back home, the general trend of opinion as well as her family doings, help keep me grounded. I won’t mention the homeschooling aspects as that’s just far too intimidating for people with little brains like me.

Alright, I admit it, I am in awe of the homeschooling mob, er….sorry…I meant blogs. I have a hard enough time finding time to blog, I cannot imagine finding the time if I were homeschooling too, although to be fair, just the thought of homeschooling makes my yellow back stripe glow neon. So I feel it’s only fair to note a few of those tremulously strong women who also homeschool, such as “Mrs. G” at “the Homeschoolnet”, “Kaber” who blogs at “All About my Boys” and “Frog’s Mom” at “4-frogs.” These supremo parents sometimes post their schedules, enough to make the mind boggle I can tell you, and they certainly make me think and teach me more than a thing of two!

“Joey’s Mom” at “Life with Joey” has very kindly given me this delightful award.

I’m happy to pass this along to “Lori” at “Spinning Yellow” who always makes me hunt her down due to a lack of RSS feed!

Also to “Laa and Family” at “Mom Embracing Autism,” which sort of tell you all you really need to know, but more importantly adds to her growing list of very well deserved awards!

Then to “The Bishops Wife” who also blogs about some spectrumy issues with verve and class, but with a title of “The Pentecostal Pariah” how could we resist!

Also to “Osh” at “the House that Osh Built,” where her family enjoy the same ups and downs as the rest of us, with a healthy dollop of good humour, without sentimentality and a realistic approach to the curve balls that hit us all. [usually in the head when we’re least expecting them!]

Then to “Rhemashope” at “Autism in a Word,” where she ceaselessly adopts a positive spin on the complexities of life with a rare cheerfulness and perspective.

Also to lovely “Linda” at “Are we there yet.” Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on quite why you warm to a particular blog. Linda’s life and mine have little in common. She works full time and her children are older. She’s in a different State and experiences weather and seasons. It could be that Linda’s is one of the first blogs that I felt comfortable commenting upon. I know that whenever I turn up there I will enjoy what I read, what she has written even though her posts run the gamut. Linda is my soft spot to fall.

Dear “T” from “Send Chocolate” very kindly gave me this, “Kick Ass” award. This was especially timely for me, lost in the fog of Vicadin, searching x-rays for my new implant and in a state of more general confusion than usual. I always love visiting her blog, partly due to the content, since I’m obviously biased in that department, partly because the chocolate reference reminds me of heady days when I was just starting a business called “Tamsin Truffles” and partly because she always evokes such interesting debates where her readers actually participate!

First to “Mama Mara” at “Mama of the Edge,” which would have been my own alternative title I sometimes think. This is another mum who tells it like it is, pulls not punches, the rough and the smooth, the expansions and contractions, the frustrations and joys.

Also to “Sheila” at “Ma Vie Folle” [That’s “My Crazy Life” in French,] who acts on her words, puts her words into practice and is doing a fine job of achieving the goals that many of us aspire to. She also taught me the importance of clicking on the sponsorship links, but some of us learn more slowly than others.

Then to “Michelle” at ““Life of Riley, full soul ahead!.” I would especially recommend that everyone follows her link on this post called “Who does she think” Click on the link in that post and I promise you’re in for a real treat. I’d like to make it compulsory for all female bloggers, but I try and suppress my tyrannical traits! Suffice to say that if ever you are inclined to throw in the towel and give up completely then this may provide a little welcome battery boost to the ever so slightly jaded creative juices! I’m going to pop it in my sidebar because navigation is always a challenge.

Lastly, I should like to pass this smidge of an award to “Lime” at the “House of Lime.”


I was dreading checking out who the 100,000 visitor to my blog might be. It is a little known fact that I have a considerable number of visitors, searching via google, on the term ‘babes in the wood.’ I fear that they are all sadly disappointed. Hence I was delighted to learn through my Vicodin fog, that the 100,000th visitor was a familiar pal, also a familiar pal that was kind enough to comment. Be assured that if you have the time to nip along and visit her blog, you will always be greeted with a warm welcome.

Cheers dears

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Tackle it Tuesday – Try it Tuesday – a gallery of awards

Try This Tuesday
You have nothing to lose by going green


Everyone needs a pat on the back sometimes. As the nights draw in and the schedule comes under pressure, it can be hard for children to stay on track. This is where motivation is key. We all respond well to praise, recognition and rewards and this is a way of helping our children realize that we not only notice their efforts but we appreciate how hard they're trying.

First it's important to narrowly taylor your reward to your particular child. For example, many struggle with homework. It may be that you want to award them for completing their homework in a timely manner over a period of time, such as a week or a month. However, that may be setting the bar too high. Maybe an award for their best efforts is more appropriate or perhaps an award for remaining calm and having a better attitude towards homework time.

The awards can be configured to fit your family, different ages abilities and talents. The most important element is that each child should be able to achieve a realistic goal, otherwise the whole exercise will bring further disappointment and discouragement.

Once you have narrowed down who will be rewarded for what, it is then time to make the awards. It may be that you can encourage your children to take part in the creative process so that they are more involved if they participate positively. Hopefully, making the awards will provide a crafty play time for at least one of your children on a rainy afternoon and perhaps a little one on one time.

Currently, everyone is strapped for cash and some of us are trying to 'go green' at the same time. Whilst it would be fun to see if we can create our own green backs and get away with it, it is probably safer to stick to materials that we already have in our possession.

Under no circumstances should you go out and buy anything new, instead troll through the piles of broken toys and tat that you already have piled up in every corner of your home, or maybe that's just us? You may, however, buy additional supplies of glue.

Assemble your creations and add a blob of Velcro to the back. Aim for lightness so that they will be able to remain in place in a vertical position. Attatch the opposite Velcro blob to a sheet of poster board and arrange your awards. Fix the awards board to a wall in a prominent position at a child's eye level.

The beauty of this project is that you can include private family jokes that mean nothing to the population in general but will tap into your own child's perspective adding an extra layer of insight. For instance one of my sons is very keen on drawing Y-fronts on his figures. No matter what he draws there is always someone lurking in the picture sporting a pair of Y fronts.


I do hope you get the chance to try this one out and reap the rewards yourself!

Cheers dears


It is difficult for a parent to actively treat children differently in some situations. For example, when a child has achieved a new goal it is natural to praise them, you can't help yourself. However, some children react negatively to praise. Some children are so enraged when they receive praise that they destroy the object that they created.

The reasons for such a reaction are complex. Some people, myself included, find it very difficult to button a lip and not praise the achievement, especially when the praise flows to the other children. Such differential treatment seems absurd. I would note that this is not the sometimes fatuous praise, a general touchy feely, no content kind of praise, but a specific identifiable praise in the nature of 'you did a great job with that straight line,' 'I really like the colours you chose,' 'his expression is really funny.' Since positive words provoke a meltdown, I've learned to curb my words, remain silent and bite my lip. I could expound at length but I have yet to find someone with similar experiences.

Your award ceremony can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose. For us, the weekend is the best because I am better able to pick a time when they are more receptive.

Involvement and active participation is key but also difficult to engineer. We need a time where there is nothing else more interesting competing for their attention so that they are better able to engage in the here and now. Joint attention to one communal activity is more likely to be successful when other needs are met, other distractions have been eliminated and there are no other impending interruptions waiting in the wings to derail their attention span.

As with all things around here, this project has been brewing for a long time and was broken into small steps. Preparation in advance was primarily concentrated on 'this is what will be happening in the future / this will be fun.' Some children take longer to adjust to new concepts, they cannot be hurried or harried, they need time to adjust. The 'gallery' transition was in the summer. The awards appeared over two months ago. The 'ceremony' was a last week.

Scatological jokes are always appreciated.

Once the awards were made, we placed them in a prominent position for a couple of weeks, discussed, examined and handled them until they became more familiar. We would admire their gallery of pictures and debate which award seemed most appropriate to which drawing. This was in part to gauge their own expectations to see if they had already decided which picture matched which award. By being better able to match their expectations it became more likely that we would able to pick the correct award for the right picture during the 'ceremony.'

This helps address another on going hurdle, the issue of choice. Without getting buried in the details, every positive choice necessarily means a lost opportunity, if you choose one, you lose the other[s]. Choice therefore induces stress and anxiety. It is one manifestation of OCD and perseverance over missed opportunities. Or, to put it another way, the pleasure of one positive choice is wiped out by the stress induced by all the ones that you have not chosen which might be better. Hence an extended exposure to the new thing, makes it less new, less valued and therefore sometimes easier to choose as the 'cost' of making a mistake is lessened. The trick it to time the exposure so that the new thing does not become so familiar that it merely blends in with the wallpaper and has no value at all.

Of course some other children would experience a long period of exposure as more anxiety inducing, longer to agonize over, longer to perseverate upon, as there is usually an equal or opposite effect with any one issue.

Since words can still be a little hit or miss, physical involvement, eye tracking and the kinesthetic connection helped reduce stress, increase their personal investment and advance them to a point where it was possible to try out the ceremony. For our children, we kept this as low key as possible because around here, quite often, actions speak louder than words.

What, if anything, might this mean? For me, this gives me some perspective.

When my children were first diagnosed, the kindly experts told me that they were unable to give me an accurate prognosis for the boys' future. Being of a fundamentally pessimistic nature, I took this to mean that the future was dire. Being of a fundamentally contrary nature, I also set out to prove them wrong. As a direct result, I have actually inadvertently proved that they were right.

I should have listened to my pal, “It’s all Okay,” not “look through a glass darkly.” Suffice to say that this is a tremendous leap forward.

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Lights award

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“Angela” over at “Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy” has not only designed a new award, super photo shop spotter that she is, she also offered it to me! Isn’t it just the winkie dinkiest thing you’ve ever seen? Imagine being able to make something like that without getting a knitting needle stuck in your keyboard?

Anyway, as I begin to ramble, it’s my turn to pass it on to some other people.

Of course there are “rules.”

Here are the rules:-

‘For those who have warmed my heart with their stories (You either a. made me laugh out loud or b. made me cry my eyes out.)…I made you this:

‘You know, the blog world is very unique in the sense that it has opened up such a huge community outside of our local surroundings. In doing this I really feel like those who touch our hearts have the ability to be seen by many for their actions, rather than so few when it’s in person. There isn’t a single person on my list that I feel expects recognition despite the potential huge audience in the web. In fact, many on my list don’t even use their real name so even if someone who knows them in real life knows their deeds, they still will not receive recognition.

So here it is…those who have blessed me with their words, those who have lifted people up with their prayers, those who have given insight into their own lives in order to make it easier on those who are facing the very same challenges. I am passing this very well-deserved award to those who have shone their light on the rest of us.

This award is for those who have touched your heart. You do not have to be a recipient to pass it on, nor does a recipient need feel obligated to pass it on. I do hope that if you do pass it on it will be given with the same amount of reverence and love in which it was given to you.’

Pretty liberal if I do say so myself!

Anyway, I thought about it for a while and I decided that I would award it to the first commenters from a long while back who encouraged me to keep blogging, coz it’s pretty scary when you first start!

1. “I Am Nasra”

2. “Pecos Blue” at “Now West of the Pecos River.”

3. “Lisa/Jedi” at “Lisa-Jedi.”

4. “Jerry Grasso” at “My Autistic Boy and Other Adventures in Fatherhood.”

All on my first ever post called “The Dreaded Telly.”

For me I find it especially interesting that apart from ‘Anon’ [sorry anon] and “Jerry” appeared to have any connection with autism. And you know what they say…….”There’s no point in preaching to the choir!’

Cheers dearies

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Proximidade Award

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Thursday 13 = Homework strategies

“Kristie” over at “Life with My X Men” has very kindly passed this delightful “award” to me. Thank you so much for thinking of me! I shall be consulting “senior daughter” regarding an accurate translation for persons such as myself who are linguistically challenged. After 18 months in Mozambique, speaking nothing but “Portuguese” we might be in luck. I wonder what I can bribe “her” with? Actually that quite easy as she’s the only one who responds very positively to food!

I don’t think that there any rules with this one, anything for the easy life! So this one goes to “Mama MPJ” over at “A Room of Mama’s Own,” although I’m hoping she’ll consider sub-lets.

Moving on……..

“Mama Mara” who blogs at the very aptly named “Mama on the Edge” has very kindly given me this award, ‘Sharing the Love.’ This was originally created by “Memoirs of a Mommy” for a very specific purpose which I feel unable to match, or even come close.

So who? That’s quite a tall order and then I remembered that woman that we all love, even though she has a tendency to whisper, “Vicki” at “Speak Softly.”

Moving on.

“DJ Kirkby” over at “Chez Aspie” has passed along this delightful award, just my kind of kick.

I am delighted to pass this on to “Mary the Teach” at “Work of the Poet,” and I am sure she will use it wisely.

Cheers dears

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A Recent Jolly Good Comment

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I meant to post this last week, but time ran away with me.

I still struggle to juggle, hence ‘comment of the week award.’

Sad to say that Ricky has had to go as he was crashing everyone’s computer. [some kind of bug] Hence this rather dull replacement. I shall try and spend some time removing Ricky’s bugs from all my sites. Humble Apologies

[Inspired by “Scribbit.”]

This week it goes to “Jade” from “The Mixed up Thoughts of a Jaded soul” for her comment [on the old blog = when will she ever learn!] on the “Photo Friday” post which for some reason best known to someone that I do not know, accidentally became posted on Wednesday! Oopsie.

She says that the baby-rattle-whistle:-

‘It could also be used as a spouse repellent! LOL blow it and shake it enough and they’ll keep their distance! hehehe’

and somehow that just tickled my funny bone!

Poor spouse!


Meanwhile, you could always nip along to “Trixie” on her post “here” to make her feel truly ancient. Just say something in the comments box to the effect of ‘many happy returns of the day oh ancient one,’ she’ll never know it was you.

Go on, you’d be doing her a favour, or possibly me?

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Recipe Award [s]

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Additional little deviations.

First of all many grateful thanks to “Angela” from “Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy” the button making genius for creating these buttons for me in the first place.

I love them both and couldn’t decide which one to use and then I thought, delegation! Someone else can make the decision for me, much easier, you get to choose.

To “Michelle o”Neil” at “Full Soul Ahead” for “Baked Pears / Riley’s Dessert.”

“Melinda” for her “recipe” for cookies and who also hangs out over here for special diets “gfcf Mama.”

Then to “Bipolarlawyercook” for her post called “Spinach pear and chicken apple sausage salad,” the picture is enough to make you slather!

Then “Your Vegan Mom” because she is just wonderful when you’re in a fix, which I usually am. Try out this recipe for “Pizza Sandwich” but only if you can dislocate your jaws of course.

“Michelle” at “Zanes Milk Machine” for her post “Mich cooks snowballs.”

For “Empress Bee (of the High Sea)” on “Muffin 53” and her post “Snickerdoodles.”

And to “Hammer” from “When your Only Tool is a Hammer” for his recipe called “Hammer’s Wing Recipe” which strangely has nothing to do with flying.

Lastly to the “Antiwife” for a very interesting and alternative “recipe” indeed!


1. If you have time you may wish to link to the originators [Ooo, that would be me I suppose? No that would probably be “Angela” on second thoughts. Can you tell that I pinched these rules from someone else?]

2. Whizz it off to seven other blogs that you like, ideally to a perfect and specific recipe.

3. Tell the awardee that you have awarded them [because lots of people will never know otherwise because they have no way of knowing unless you tell them, unless they’re higher up the blogging learning curve than I am!]

4. Sit back and enjoy the glow.

Cheers dears

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Knitting Award

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Yes, a little deviation but I have been wanting to do this for a very long time.

First of all many grateful thanks to “Angela” from “Memoirs of a Chaotic Mommy” the button making genius for creating these buttons for me in the first place.

First to “Anne” from “Anne’s House,” funnily enough. You can see some of her work on her post called “how was your weekend.”

Then to “Crazy for Yarn” at the “Yarn collectors anonymous” although I can’t link to a specific page if you scroll down [past cats and squirrels……[see why I like it?] then you get to see the knitting.

Then to “knit and Tonic” loads of brilliant idea here to suit all comers as well as lots of helpful hints.

Also to “mini knitting lessons” because I need the visuals sometimes.

Then to “Emma” at the “Middle Knitter.”

Also to “Wendy” at “cat knits” I mean! What a perfect combination.

Then to “Amy” at “Live Learn Knit,” a multi- tasker if ever there was one!

Last one, a new one for me and possibly the solution to the Webkins clothes dilemma for “Carol” from “Go knit in your hat.” It’s bad enough saving to buy the Webkinz. I absolutely refuse to save to buy clothes for the little blighters.

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An Astute Comment of recent note

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Still struggling with the juggling a bit here, hence this is an alternative to the ‘comment of the week award.’ I hope that normal service shall be resumed shortly or if not that, then longly.

[Inspired by “Scribbit.”]

I couldn’t resist this one from “Frog’s Mom” over at “4 Green and Speckled Frogs,” when she commented on this post called “A Pouf of Ponchos” and said as follows:-

Connection to God, in the service of Humankind,
Restructuring seventh layer,
strengthening field,
charging field,
Wealth, security, ease

It sounds like a great color for a Poof to me!’

If by any remote chance you have not visited her site before, then you may wish to start here on her post called “A Frog of Discriminating Taste,” which indeed she/they is/are!


As an addition, maybe you might like to pop over and visit “Osh” at the “House that Osh Built.” If this is a new site for you, I would recommend that a good starting point might be over here on her post called “Vacuum cleaners and cats.” I’ve picked this one because it suits all comers. Those who hate cats will see it as just desserts. Those who love cats can report the owners to the Humane Society. For those who hate vacuum cleaners, I offer safe sanctuary. Those who love vacuum cleaners are beyond help, seek professional treatment dearies.

P.s. a pal of “mine” mentioned that the animator above locked their computer. Has anyone else had this experience as I feel I may need to axe the lil guy!

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