Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year....and Happy Birthday to me!




Well, here it is December 31, 2013, the end to another year. It's always a new beginning for me, New Year's Eve, because it is also my birthday. This year I turn....49.....GASP!   I've been contemplating my resolutions this year......every single year, LOSE WEIGHT always tops my list --- my up and down relationship with weight loss is an exhausting roller coaster.  But this year I feel more committed to it.  Next year at this time, I will be facing 50 years old.  That's a BIG number.  I've not always been too worried about hitting the milestones -- they've always been fairly easy, because most of my friends had already hit them (when you are born at the end of the year, you are always the youngest child in your class). But that's not really the case anymore.  Many of my friends are now younger than me.  50 just seems so daunting - but I don't really have any alternative, and I want to age gracefully, not fighting it.  So I have one year, 365 days to become the person that I want to be.  I can look at this situation as the glass is half full --- I'm entering the 2nd half of my life (well, let's hope at least another 30 years!)  so why not be the best "me" I can be.  I'm going to start personal training in January, get back to yoga, continue with Weight Watchers (which I've been following fairly well for a few months, but not really blogging about) and basically spend the next year crafting the me I want to be.  I'll start by reconnecting with the Weigh In Wednesday bloggers, I used to find that a great way to motivate myself and make new bloggy friends in the process.

And, on a business note, another resolution is to put more effort into listing items at Limefreckle.  I have so many new items ready to be listed and photographed I just need to schedule some time to work on that.  I'll continue with my Etsy shop, and I've been contemplating the idea of starting up a complete stand alone website, so will investigate that option as well.  I want to participate in more craft shows this year, hopefully I can find some venues that will work for me. 

So, to celebrate my birthday, I'm putting everything in my shop on sale --  50% off for the next 2 weeks, in honour of my big day!  So if there is something you've been eyeing in my shop, head over there now and order it before it's gone.  Simply enter the coupon code HAPPYBIRTHDAY2013 at checkout.  The code expires on Sunday January 12, 2014.

So share with me, what are your New Year's resolutions this year?


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The aftermath....

Well, it's over. All the weeks of shopping, packing, wrapping, stressing.....all leading up to one day! Well, 2 if you include Christmas Eve...3 for us Canadians, we get boxing day as well. It all went by in a whirl... We came North to visit my parents, and luckily didn't stick around Southern Ontario to experience the ice storm, and up to 30 hours without power that some families in the GTA experienced. In fact, I think from what I've heard, some people are still without power...we picked a great year to celebrate Christmas at my parent's house, instead of ours.   We loaded up the car, I don't know what we would do if we have more than one child, we couldn't even see out the back window the car was so filled with gifts!  So much for 3rd row seating in the back!


As we were driving along the highway, I spotted 2 large huskies walking around their car with their owner, who looked suspiciously like my longtime friend and former roommate's husband.  I thought to myself, "wait a minute, she has 2 large huskies!". I texted her and asked if they were travelling today (we are from the same Northern Ontario town) and sure enough, they were.  We ran into each other (sort of, because I did text her and say where we were going to stop for lunch)  in Sudbury.  We used to travel up North together frequently, and always find it amusing when we ran into someone that we knew.....and here we are, 25 years later, running into each other!!

She has 3 kids, and 2 large dogs, and they managed to get everyone up there in the same vehicle....I think I need to work on my packing skills!

The trip up North was great, no bad weather, we totally outran the storm.  My brother arrived at my parent's house about 30 mins. after we did, and our Christmas vacation began.  We caught up with everyone around the fire, and the next day my Dad's oldest friend (they've known each other since grade school) and his entire family came out to visit.  Limefreckle Jr. is the only boy in the group, they have 5 granddaughters, and he loves to spend time with them.  They are like family to us, it's always fun to catch up with everyone, and to watch the kids play.

The next morning my brother spotted these visitors in the yard....


Cue the deer!



Christmas Eve we spent with my Aunt and Uncle, and I visited with cousins I haven't seen in years.  It was just like old times, except now we all have our own little kids running around.

 
 
My mom is an amazing decorator, this was her tree.  Most of these gifts were for Limefreckle Jr.  He had the most fun, as usual, every Christmas is more and more fun.  He announced Christmas morning "Christmas is a time for giving - the more you give, the more I get!".  Yes he is spoiled.....
 
Here he is, already to start his latest film project....
 


 
I got some great Sorel boots that unfortunately are a bit too tight, need to exchange them when we get home.  Also got a new Garmin, and apple TV! Mama was spoiled too, guess it runs in the family....
 
Today is a beautiful sunny winter day.  We are heading into town to meet my cousins for some tobaganning, and some more visiting, then tomorrow we head back home.  It's been a very quick visit, but lots of fun!
 
Hope your Christmas vacation has been filled with lots of laughs and visits with family and friends.
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Monday, December 16, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We finally got some snow this weekend, and Limefreckle Jr. couldn't be more thrilled... I have some pictures, but I can't get that stupid cloud to work on my pc, and I'm too lazy to email them from my phone to myself.....I need to get an apple laptop to make blogging easier....

Anyhoo, so I woke up Saturday morning bright and early, I had the last craft show of the season to attend.  It was STORMING!  I loaded the car with my jewelry, table etc. and headed out to drive down the only clear lane on the highway, barely able to see, thinking "if I get into an accident, this wil so not be worth it!  The highway was pretty empty,  and I made it to the venue.  About 1/2 way there it occurred to me that perhaps the show may be cancelled, and I was doing all this for naught.

Well I arrived safely and the show was indeed, going on as they say.  I pulled into a spot, opened up the back of my car, and turned to say hello to the person next to me, instead of paying attention to the rubbermaid containers that shifted in the back during the drive.....my container that holds my jewelery, on stands, fell out, and all my earrings fell into the snow.  Yes, I could have cried.

Instead I grabbed the blanket that I keep in the back, and wrapped everything up, and headed into the show.  I had PLENTY of time to clean everything up, and go through all the jewelry.  Plenty of time, because if the show drew 10 visitors I would be surprised.  It was a total bust, but I did still sell a necklace and a wrap bracelet......other vendors ended up roaming around looking at everyone else's things.  I have a rule when I do a show that I don't buy anything, because I'm not there to shop, I'm there to sell....but I couldn't help myself, a girl had the cutest homemade ornaments, I couldn't resist -- perfect for stockings.

We all packed up a little bit early, and when I got home, I saw Limefreckle Jr. in the schoolyard behind our house, trudging through the snow.  Mr. Limefreckle was out shovelling for the 2nd time that day (he did it one more time that night before it finally ended).  Now we have a nice amount of snow, enough to make it really feel like Christmas.

Sunday we went to a neighbour's Christmas open house.  This is a new neighbour that moved in a couple of months ago, so it was nice to get to know them a bit.  I also met the neighbour that lives across the street from me, who I had never met before....we've been here 3 years.  I really need to get out more.  We also have new neighbours next door, who I've gotten to know a bit, and I really like, they are such a nice couple.  I had hoped that maybe someone would move in with a son Jr's age, and unfortunately that didn't happen, but we got some really nice neighbours instead, so that's all good.  After talking with some of the ladies they inspired me to have a jewelry party in the new year.....it gives me a chance to showcase my jewelry, and it would be a great way to get to know each other a little bit more.

After the party we picked up Jr. who was hanging out at a friend's house, and went for a drive to look at the Christmas lights.  We were going to head to downtown Toronto to the distillery district, where they have a Christmas Market, with carolers, big trees, shops, cider, I thought it would be a wonderful Christmas experience.  Jr. said he would love to drive downtown, but didn't plan on getting out of the car.  He wasn't interested in going out for dinner, McDonald's drive thru was what he wanted.  Here I was expecting to have a Hallmark moment with the family, but sometimes that's how those things go, and driving down the Lakeshore to look at Christmas lights instead turned out to be the next best thing.  Best laid plans and all...

So this week I'm cramming everything in because the last day of school is Thursday, and I want to be all ready by then.  Wish me luck!


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our annual Christmas card

Is it just me, or are you feeling stressed that you aren't ready for Christmas? Every year, Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier. There was a time that people that decorated for Christmas on December 1st were the early birds...now I'm feeling like if I don't start directly after Halloween I'm late. I have a million Rubbermaid containers sitting out since Sunday, and I've barely cracked them open - I got the nativity scene set up, and one tree (I put up 3...I know, I have a problem). Just the tree is up mind you, no lights or decorations. Instead of decorating, I find a hundred other things that seem to require my attention. I'm happy to report that I did finish all of my shopping for Limefreckle Jr. That is at least one thing I can cross off my list.

Tonight I sat down at the computer and created our annual Christmas card.  Every year I use a program called Scrapbook Max that I bought a few years ago, to create our card.  I bought it in order to create the yearbook for Limefreckle Jr.'s school, which I do every year, and it has been a fantastic program.  My only complaint about it is I wish they had more embellishments that could be added.  Every year I like to mix things up with the yearbook, and I wouldn't mind having more options.  You can use your own digital embellishments as well, I just like things to be laid out nice and easy for me.

I used to order our Christmas cards from one of the many online providers, until it dawned on me that Mr. Limefreckle is in the printing business, so why not just create our own card.  I saw this saying somewhere, and thought it would be perfect for this years card.


the finished card has our names printed along the bottom. It was pretty easy to do, the hardest part is picking out pictures that represent the past year.  I'm not sure if I'm going to bother doing a Christmas letter, because, let's face it, my life is pretty much an open book, with Facebook etc. there isn't really much everyone doesn't already know about our year.....our entire lives for that matter!  Plus, that's just one more thing to add to the to do list, which is already way too long. 

This is what I did for last years card:


Limefreckle Jr. is so much bigger this year, he's taller than I am right now!  I can't believe how much he has changed in just one year!

Tomorrow a girlfriend and I are heading downtown to go to the One of a Kind Craft show after we drop the kids at school.  It's the biggest craft show I've ever been to, I would LOVE to display my jewelry there, but it's a huge time commitment, and a huge investment to participate in a show like that.  Someday maybe.  For now I'll just go and admire everyone that is in this year's show.  And hopefully pick up some stocking stuffers while I'm there.

If you haven't already entered, head over to my friend Jodi's blog today for a chance to win a Limefreckle wrap bracelet.  Check out Jodi's blog, she's a fellow Canadian blogger, we've become good blogger friends. I always look forward to reading her posts, she has two GORGEOUS little boys that make me long for the toddler days.  Although there is something to be said to having a pre-teen too.  Life is certainly a lot easier than it was back then. 
           
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Monday, December 2, 2013

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend....

I'm so exhausted, as I write this on Sunday night, I'm longing for it to be Friday again!  Not that it really means THAT much to me, it's not like I have to get up too early tomorrow and go to work.....but I wouldn't mind having at least one extra day without having to drive anywhere or do anything!

Friday night my mother in law came over for a sleepover, so she would be close for our 2nd annual Christmas Craft Show at Limefreckle Jr's school on Saturday.  My MIL bakes all week, along with many of her friends, and she brings everything over to the school on Friday, while we are setting up for the craft show.  This is the 3rd show we have had, one last Christmas, and one in the spring, and it's a wonderful way for us to raise some money for the program, and to raise awareness about the school, a wonderful program for kids on the spectrum.  A couple of years ago I was looking for Christmas craft shows to participate in, and it occurred to me that maybe WE should try running a craft show.  We always earn about $2,000 from the table fees, bake sale, raffles and door prizes, etc. I handle all the advertising and coordinating the vendors, my hubby prints flyers and signs for us (he's in the printing business) and the staff at the school organize everything else.  My mother in law runs the bake sale, she's quite an expert at it, has been running them for years at her church and a local senior's centre.  It's a lot of work, and I always stress way too much about things that always tend to work out fine in the end, and I always leave the school that day with a million ideas running through my head about how we can do it better next time.  It's so satisfying to be able to do something that helps the school, the program coordinator and the teachers at the school have done so much to help my son and our family, I would do anything to help them and the school.  But by the time it's all over, after spending all of Friday at the school setting up tables etc., and then getting up at 5AM to get to the school by 7, so that vendors can set up, I'm usually pretty exhausted by the end of the day.  Saturday night I got home, crashed on the couch and slept for 2 hours!

Sunday we spent the whole day pulling out all of our Christmas decor, which is stored in the garage, and putting up the decorations outside. Usually Mr. Limefreckle and I have our annual fight about the Christmas lights, but this year we did it quite well, working together with relatively little arguing!   I hung a garland only to discover that although I bought garland just last year, it's light's were burnt out already.  I made 2 trips to Canadian Tire, couldn't find what I wanted, then finally just ripped off the old string of lights that it came with, and wrapped it with my own.  It really burns me to have stuff die out so fast, we only got one season out of those lights!!!  I think I need to buy one of those light tester things so that we can find out easier which light is the problem. Why, in the year 2013, this problem hasn't been addressed?  Next year I think we just need to hire someone to come and do the whole house!! That would be soooooo much easier.

Limefreckle Jr. volunteered me to bake cookies for a contest that is happening at the school on Monday --- and he mentioned it to me Friday.  I whipped up a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and made him help me, although he was resistant.  He has huge eating issues, and doesn't really like touching or smelling different foods.  But he did so well, he put all the ingredients together for me, and I had him smell everything before hand.  He was nervous to get egg on his hand, but he did crack the eggs for me.  And he even tasted the cookie, which is always a victory, to get him to try something different.  So it was a great teaching opportunity for us -- and the cookies turned out darn good, if I do say so myself.

Now I'm surrounded  by boxes and containers filled with all our Christmas decor, and just not ready to tackle all of that just yet.  I got the nativity scene up, and some mini trees, but that is it.  This week I'll slowly tackle all the rest, and hopefully by this time next week, it will all be done!  I'm in no mood to cook tonight, so it's a good time to go to a movie, and have dinner there -- Limefreckle Jr. is anxious to see Disney's "Frozen" so we are heading there in a couple of hours.

And, to top everything off, my good blogging friend Jodi (a fellow Canadian) at Love and Crayons is having a giveaway tomorrow featuring one of my wrap bracelets.  Head on over to her blog and check it out, you can enter there to win.  Or you can order one yourself here in my shop



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Friday, November 29, 2013

Autism Speaks - Please don't speak for me...



I've never been much of a fan of Autism Speaks, one of the most recognizable charities that purports to help people with Autism. Recent statements by co-founder Suzanne Wright pretty much cemented what I've always felt about the organization -- they certainly don't speak for me. I think the idea of a national organization designed to champion the rights of people with Autism and their families is a wonderful idea....but I don't believe that Autism Speaks represents that organization. Sadly, they are the most widely recognized and I would suspect that the average person, who has little involvement in the world of Autism, may think that donating to them would be a good thing. Sadly, apparently only 4% of their fundraising goes to programs that may benefit Autistic individuals -- the vast majority of fundraising goes to research. Not that I'm against research, please, research away, it would be interesting to me to know what causes Autism (I suspect there are SEVERAL things that cause it, not just one) but mostly I like to support organizations that offer real support and assistance to families and individuals living with Autism. Research can mean all sorts of things.  It's sort of the same way I feel about organizations that raise money for "autism awareness".  I've never quite figured out what that means.  Where does the money really go?

This particular statement doesn't appear that bad on the surface.  I agree that the government needs to do more to help these children.  And I guess the only way to get the government to dole out funds, is to paint an unimaginable picture -- which is what she has done.  I mostly take exception to the part that says that the families of autistic people aren't living.....just existing.  Life is lived in despair --- what a sad picture to paint to the world.  This goes against everything I feel about how I would ever want autism to be represented to the world - as if it is a horrible burden that we are saddled with, and that must be eradicated.

A recent blog post by John Elder Robison sums up this recent controversy regarding Suzanne Wright's statement  much better than I can, he is an individual on the Autism spectrum, and had a personal relationship with the organization.   He recently decided to severe his association with the organization.  I also highly recommend his books "Be Different" and "Look me in the Eye" two books I've read on my journey as an "autism Mom". 

I've been involved in this world of Autism for about 10 years now, since Limefreckle Jr. was diagnosed at age 2.  I've met, many, MANY different types of people along the way, some that have become fast friends, some that I wish I had never met.  One thing that I have learned above all else -- Autism is a VERY. WIDE.SPECTRUM.  No two children are alike - similar yes, but rarely the same.  This of course makes it very difficult to find the right treatments etc. to satisfy everyone. I've also learned that family members of people with autism (of which the founders of Autism Speaks are - their grandson has autism) can be very passionate about their journey with autism.  Some people handle this whole journey with grace, dignity, and humour.  Some rage against it, and hope for "recovery" for their child.  Some paint a dismal, horrible picture of living with autism.  Some prefer to focus on the humour and lighter side of life.  Like the spectrum of Autism, everyone's response to living with it is different.  I've seen families deck their children out in t-shirts proclaiming their autism, stickers covering their cars, in an "I HAVE AUTISM AND I AM PROUD" kind of way.  Personally I've always been a bit uncomfortable with that.  I didn't want to drive around with a multi coloured ribbon on my car (until Limefreckle Jr. announced that he wanted one, and then I said "who am I to argue?" and we slapped one on the car till it fell off in the car wash).  I have made Autism Awareness Bracelets because jewelry is my preferred way of expressing myself.  One family we know has a "handicapped child" sign outside their front yard, I'll never forget the day Limefreckle Jr. and I pulled up in front of the house, and Jr. said to me, "WHAT?  Matthew D. is handicapped???"  I've laughed and laughed about that ever since.  It was an awkward conversation to have with him, because he knows he has autism, and he knows that Matthew D. has autism, but never in his wildest dreams did he consider that to mean that he is handicapped in any way.  I just told him that some people consider autism to be a handicap, and he seemed to accept that and not mention it again. 

I wish there was a national organization as widely recognized that really represented the interests of ALL people with Autism, and that really worked to help the individuals living with autism and their families.  I would much prefer to hear words of encouragement, hope, and real support, rather than words of doom, gloom and fear.  I find that is a much better way to live my life.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

It's important to have an "I Can" network in your child's life



This recent Ted Talks that was circulating Facebook really spoke to me - -brought me to tears even.  I can so relate to his mom, I've sat there, in front of many experts, listening to what my child CANNOT do.  Thank goodness I didn't listen to them, and instead surrounded myself with my own "I Can" network.  If you have a child with any special needs, I encourage you to do the same...there's no telling what they can achieve with the proper attitude



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Friday, November 22, 2013

Mom's can always fix everything....

This morning started out like every other day....actually, no that's not true, usually I have to drag Limefreckle Jr. from his bed every morning, this kid is hitting the "teenage years" a bit early, and he HATES to get out of bed in the morning.   He complained recently that his bed wasn't "soft" enough, so after listening to my Mom's recommendations regarding flannel sheets, I went in search of them.  Instead I found some polar fleece sheets....and I have to say, I've crawled into his bed, and I don't want to get out - no wonder he won't!!  I'm thinking of picking some up for myself, they are absolutely the softest sheets I've ever encountered (I got mine at Walmart, but saw them at Bed, Bath and Beyond as well). 

Anyway, to make a long story much longer....Jr. has been setting the alarm on his ipad lately, getting himself out of bed, in return for a couple of apps each day for his movie making endeavors....a very wise teacher once told me if you are going to buy him something anyway, make him work for it -- so I came up with the idea that he would start to get himself up in the AM in return for a new special effect for his movies.  Today was day 3, and it's been working like a charm.  Actually, it worked a little TOO well this morning he was up at 6:45 and had to come in and wake me up. 

He barrelled into our room and announced that his ipad wasn't working.  A fear that I've been dreading for awhile, that kid films CONSTANTLY using his ipad, and I've often thought "what happens if the ipad breaks down".  He's not much for waiting for things to be fixed, and although I have an ipad that he can borrow, it doesn't have all his apps and movies loaded onto it.  This morning was a lesson....ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR WORK!!   So I checked out his ipad, and all the sounds were distorted.  I feared the worst, and spent the morning panicked, worried that all his hard work over the past few days would be lost.

I managed to convince him to go to school, because seriously all he wanted to do was crawl back into that cozy bed and stress....I wonder where he gets THAT from?  His autism does cause anxiety, but I think he comes by some of it honestly.

I got home and got to work.  I quickly googled "ipad sounds distorted"...THANK GOD FOR GOOGLE!  Truly, that should be their slogan.  I found a few message boards, and figured out that the problem was likely caused by my recent ios upgrade...why did I upgrade?  At what point do the newer apple upgrades just not work on the older apple products?  I happened to have an appointment booked at the genius bar at my local Apple store for my ipad, so I'm going to bring his instead tomorrow and see if there is any other problem that should be looked at.  I love me some Apple products but I absolutely hate having to make an appointment in order to get help with your items.  For now I think we've figured out a fix.....and I've learned a valuable lesson to download his movies more often so that we can save anything that might be lost.

The other thing I learned was that although he had a problem with it all, probably more so than a neurotypical child, he handled it all WAAAAY better than he would have a few years ago, and that shows progress!!  He still looks to Mom to fix everything, and if I can't he just doesn't know how to process that information -- and truth be told, I pretty much bend over backwards in order to do everything I can to fix things for him. I wonder, would I do that if he didn't have autism? I don't know, I only have one child, I can't compare, but I guess it's not really all that out of character for a mom to want to make her child happy.  Perhaps I'm doing him a disservice by always being there to jump in when things go wrong....I don't know, but truthfully, I don't know how to be any other way.  My Mama Bear just comes to the surface when he needs help.  He did have to wait all day to find out if I was able to get things working for him, that would have been next to impossible for him to do a few years ago, but he handled school pretty well today.  Step by step, he's growing up, learning skills that he just wasn't able to do in the past, and progressing.  That's all I can really ask for....progress!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend fun with the girls

It's Sunday morning as I type this, my favourite morning of the week.  We don't have to hurry up and go anywhere, I can enjoy my coffee in total peace and quiet, and catch up on my favourite blogs. 

Its been a lovely weekend here in Southern Ontario, you could hardly tell it was November! I grew up in Northern Ontario, where it wasn't uncommon to have snow for Halloween, but living here in the "south" is much nicer. Winters are milder, for sure. Limefreckle Jr. isn't liking any of it, he wakes up every morning hoping to see a blanket of snow on the ground! I don't know where this kid came from! My close friend Sandie had a jewelry party at her house on Friday night, so we had a lovely time visiting with the girls. Sandie and I met when our sons attended the same school, and although her son has moved to a different school, we are still very close, as are the boys. Limefreckle Jr. came along so he could play with his buddy (they are both aspiring movie makers so they spent the night working on his latest "project" as he calls it). Sandie invited a lot of really nice ladies, most of us with kids on the spectrum, Autism truly does seem to dominate our lives, but it is so great to be able to unload, brainstorm and laugh with other mom's that truly "get" our day to day struggles. And I sold a few pieces of jewelry too, which is always nice!



some of my older designs

my latest designs


my current obsession, leather wrap bracelets

this statement necklace suited her to a T. 
 Now if I could just carve out time to get more of these lovelies listed in my shop!  Can't decide if I should work on that today or pull out some of the Christmas decor and get started on decorating the house.  I have 3 craft shows coming up in the next few weeks so lots to do, it would be nice to have a jump start on the decor, and now that Halloween is over I'm actually ready to jump right into Christmas!  I guess I'll wait and let the weather unfold today, that will determine if I want to work inside all day, or maybe get outdoors and have the annual "fight over the Christmas lights" that my husband and I look forward to every year!  I swear we CANNOT work together!  He won't take direction, and I won't give up control on creative matters! Sometimes I am tempted to just call one of those companies that install your lights for you, and get our house kitted out, Clark Griswold style!  Maybe I'll work on the interior decor instead!  Either way, it's shaping up to be another great day here, hope wherever you are is beautiful too!

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Friday, November 15, 2013

My creative juices are flowing!

What a busy couple of weeks it's been here at the Limefreckle household!  About 3 weeks ago, I hurt my back in hot yoga.  There I was, feeling like a rock star, all bendy and ballerina like, doing yoga every day, totally zen, when suddenly, after a class in the changeroom, I bent over to remove my pants and YOUCH!  That familiar pain in my back returned with a vengeance.  A few years ago I herniated a disc, and have had numbness in my right leg ever since. I still remember when it happened, I was vacuuming out my car, twisted a certain way, and suddenly I felt like a rubber band snapped in my back, and it almost felt like a liquid ran down the inside of my leg.  Ever since my leg has been partially numb.  Consulted with a surgeon, nothing much to be done.  Have tried massage, active release massage (ouch!), acupuncture, spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic visits, pretty much everything I could think of, but nothing has relieved the numbness, I've just learned to live with it.  The pain fortunately, went away fairly quickly, but the numbness has not.  A nerve is obviously being pressed, and I'm not sure if I will ever get the feeling back totally. 

Fortunately it doesn't really interfere with my life.  I don't run anymore, but I never did like running anyway, so there!  I don't do any really heavy duty workouts like I used to, and I think, at my advanced middle age, that's probably a good thing.  Yoga is the exercise I love the most anyway, so I've been concentrating on that.  Since school started again and my days have been my own, I've been going to classes 3-5 times a week, and LOVING IT!  But since I hurt my back 3 weeks ago, I haven't gone ONCE!  The pain was gone pretty quickly, thanks to a massage the day of the injury (had that booked already, wasn't that lucky timing!), a chiropractor visit, and Volturen emugel (have you tried it? Works wonders!  It's a cream that doesn't have the heavy scent that some do).  But somehow, I've just lost my mojo, and everything else in my life has taken precedence to yoga.

But I'm trying not to be all anal about it, I'll get back to it next week, and although the next few weeks are pretty busy too (who am I kidding, Christmas is approaching, I'm going to be busy from now till the break) I'm going to try and let go of my all or nothing attitude, and get there when I get there.

One thing I HAVE been throwing myself into lately is jewelry making.  I have a jewelry party at a friend's house tonight, then 3 craft shows that I'm involved in (actually 4 shows, one is selling craft supplies).  I decided that it's time to get back into the "show circuit" and get out there  in front of people.  I have mixed feelings about craft shows.  I'm not sure they are as popular as they once were.  I do feel that because my items are a bit higher priced than some products at some shows, I would probably be better off getting into the higher priced shows.  But unfortunately I just don't have the time to devote to those types of shows.  It's too hard to spend a whole weekend at a show, Mr. Limefreckle usually works at least 1 day on the weekends, and Limefreckle Jr. isn't really interested in hanging around a craft show with me all day long.  So I look for small local shows that aren't too expensive to enter, and cross my fingers that they will be successful.

We are hosting our 2nd annual Christmas show at Limefreckle Jr.'s school this year on November 30th.    Our last Christmas show was a big success, I sold a ton of my bracelets (although I also had a lot of friends there, they are my best customers!)  I'm hoping this year's show is another success, I help with organizing all the vendors, it's a lot of work, but so much fun, and if nothing else, it's a great way to promote our school to the community.    This year Limefreckle Jr. has agreed to help Santa greet the kiddies.  We tried to talk him into being an elf, but so far he's not going for that....but he might be a reindeer instead....he can just wear the hat he wears every day in the winter....

can you notice the antlers?  I love this hat, it suits him to a T!

I'm doing a jewelry supply sale on November 23rd, and 2 more Christmas Craft shows, December 8th, and December 14th, but they are both first time shows, so I'm a little nervous about that.  I'm going to try to just be positive though, they weren't super expensive to join, and it's a great way to get back out there and get some exposure!

In the meantime I just can't stop making jewelry!  I was on a real roll making bracelets, they are perfect to do while watching TV (and I watch A LOT of TV).  Here's everything packed up and ready to go to my jewelry party tonight (sorry for the poor quality of the pic - taken on my phone)


I felt like I didn't have enough necklaces, I've been concentrating so much on bracelets, so I whipped up a few new ones...






 The rest of my new necklaces were packed and ready to go to the show, I'll photograph them tonight when I set up.  I'm hoping that on Saturday and Sunday I can get some proper pictures taken of everything and start adding items to my etsy shop.  The absolute hardest part of selling online is photographing and listing everything, it is VERY time consuming....and I'd rather be creating!




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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This or that....

How perfect, I couldn't think of anything to blog about today, then visited one of my bloggy favourites Jodi, and saw this link up.....I love a good link up! Which would you rather do?



This week's topic is parenting.  Which would you rather deal with?

1.  A night without the kids, or a night with well behaved kids?  No question, a night without the kids (or kid, in my case).  I love my boy, but come on, we spend soooooo much time together, it's good for all of us to spread our wings!

2.  Full on tantrum in the grocery store, or tantrum in the movie theatre?   I've had the pleasure of dealing with both, Limefreckle's early autism years were absolutely crazy.  I don't do tantrums in public very well, I feel like all eyes are on me and my poor parenting skills....but I think I would prefer the grocery store.  I remember one tantrum in the theatre quite well....it was the first Madagascar.....we had to carry him out of the theatre and we left early....he broke out of his car seat in the car on the way home, wow he was mad! That kid was strong while in tantrum mode.....thank GOODNESS those days are behind us!

3. Runny nose or Runny bum?  Another easy one.....runny nose....I've got to go through all the link ups to see who picked runny bum! LOL

4.  Self Done haircut or self done sharpie tattoo?  I think the tattoo would be easier to handle....he's always putting those rub on tattoos on himself, so it would probably not be in too obvious of a place.  Although I tried to trim his bangs the other day.....let's just say he resembled Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber. Then his school calendar came home and said picture day was next week!  Needless to say we had an emergency trip to the stylist this weekend!

What a fun link up!  Thanks Jodi and all the girls, will start looking for this on Tuesdays


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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fall friend swap

I signed up for the Fall Friend Swap hosted by Britney, Alicia and Jodi because I thought it would be a fun way to get to know some new bloggers.  I've been following Alicia and Jodi for awhile now, and have become online friends with them, and hope to get to know some of the other bloggers that signed up for the swap.  Oh how I miss the summer holidays, when I had so much more time to spend online.....

 
I was paired up with Kati, and these are the goodies I received.....



A leaf pin, some yummy Godiva chocolate (which I devoured the afternoon I got the package!) a pumpkin spice Yankee Candle (I love Yankee Candle, and you can't find it everywhere here in Canada) and some pretty fall dish towels.  Thanks so much Kati, and I hope you enjoy the package I sent in my swap.  I'll give you all a hint...what would a jewelry designer send out?  It was a fun thing to do, and I look forward to joining in a swap again!!  Thanks girls for organizing it!

Sue


 

Friday, November 1, 2013

But it's just a wafer thin mint....

I swear I can't eat any more Halloween candy. I have had too much over the last few days I see a Monty Python skit coming on.....Mr. Limefreckle packed up the remainder last night to bring into the office, but forgot it, and I woke up to see it on the table, haunting me... Limefreckle Jr. came home and sorted the stuff he likes (plain chocolate, plain chips, smarties and suckers) and the rest of the stuff HAS to leave!!  Can't even imagine how many WW points I consumed last night (but I had a big lunch and skipped dinner, so maybe that offset things a bit.

We have had some pretty mild weather this week, but of course, as the 31st rolled around, the rain and wind picked up.  Our grim reaper almost didn't make it, but fortunately he was parked near a tree and we were able to secure him for the evening.



 I love this Grim Reaper inflatable.  I found it last year at Walmart, along with a few new headstones, a strob light, the skeleton stakes, and a fog machine (we didn't use the fog machine this year.) Everything was 75 -80% off after Halloween last year, I think I paid about $25 for this great inflatable....gonna head over there today to pick up some more things for our collection.

 Our cemetery --- it grows a little every year, but it was so windy last night, I'm surprised I didn't lose any pieces....we didn't, but I ran out after everything quieted down and pulled it all up in case the winds increased over night.

 
Do you know who Limefreckle Jr. was?  It's Mordecai, from the Regular Show.  Most adults just thought he was a Blue Jay, which everyone thought was pretty cool (The Toronto Blue Jays are our team after all) but a couple little kids followed him around like an entourage for awhile yelling "hey Mordecai!".  Limefreckle Jr. loved it!  He did so well trick or treating, he's really growing up into such a great young man....but he's soooooo tall, he doesn't look anything like a 12 year old!!
 
It was a fun night, my parents were in town, and our friends came over with their son so the two boys could spend the evening together.  They had fun, we all had a glass of wine or 2 after the festivities, and the rain didn't hamper our neighbourhood fun.  This neighbourhood goes ALL OUT at Halloween, many adults are dressed up and handing out candy on the front step. It's crazy busy.  The boys didn't really care if they hit too many houses, neither one of them were really in it for the candy, just the experience (when I was a kid, I was in it for the candy....we were out there for hours!!) We were quite happy to head back home a little earlier than normal, because the weather was so crappy.  The boys played in the basement and worked on their film (they are constantly filming something....) and the adults had a nice visit.
 
I saw on the news yesterday that there was a woman in Fargo, North Dakota, that planned to hand out letters instead of candy to children she deemed to be obese -- the letter basically said something to the effect that she wanted to be part of a village.....her part in being a "villager" in raising a child was to point out to parents that their child was too heavy, and she hoped that they would go through the candy and limit sweets etc. to their child.
 
I.  HAVE.  NO.  WORDS..............
 
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?????????
 
I hope her house got majorly toilet papered last night!!!
 
When we got home my mom pointed out a post on one of my favourite blogs that I pinned immediately.....great to use next year.....
 


 
check out Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff.  She is HILARIOUS, I love her blog, she always has great ideas, and this one really ranks up there!!!
 

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

A little of this, a little of that....

I can't believe how I've neglected this poor little blog as of late......in the summer it was so much easier to keep at it, but now that school has started again, I just find my days filling up, sometimes I don't even come back home till after I pick up Limefreckle Jr. at 3.....and the blog has certainly taken a backseat. I haven't even had much time to keep up to date with my favourite bloggers, today I need to spend some serious surfing time!!  I've been really busy lately getting ready for a jewelry show that I plan to host at a friends house, and an upcoming craft show at Limefreckle Jr.'s school, so it will be all about jewelry for a little while around here.  I've finally perfected my photography, thanks to a friend that came over that knows a WHOLE lot more than I do about DSLR shooting, she helped me get the right settings on my camera, and now I think I've got a good handle on it.  I have SO many pieces of jewelry that I want to get listed on line....but there just aren't enough hours in the day......it's much more fun to just make the stuff......

Here's a good example of the difference.....here is a before shot of one of my bracelets, I took this outside, to take advantage of the outdoor light, but it's not easy to shoot outside in Canada....much easier to do it all in my basement, where my craft room is.


This certainly isn't that bad a shot, it gives a pretty good idea of what the bracelet looks like, I wasn't too disappointed with it...

But this is the new shot...

 
Much better I think! Shows more detail, I like the background better. It's the first time I've been completely happy with the shots I've taken for my shop. I've also opened up a shop at Zibbet, a new Etsy type marketplace.  I don't know how much you know about Etsy, but recently they have changed their rules regarding handmade.  It used to be a very unique spot to find totally handmade items, but those lines have blurred lately, they are now allowing drop shipments, and outsourced manufacturing.   That is not handmade in my opinion, and I think it's going to totally change the face of Etsy, especially in the jewelry department.  I can't compete with items manufactured in India and China, and more importantly I don't want to.  So I'll get working on building up my shop at Zibbet, and keep my Etsy shop too, while I see how it all unfolds.  In the meantime, if you like this bracelet, you can find it here

So those are my lame reasons why I haven't been around much.  I really need to set up a schedule for blogging, should probably start doing it in the evening instead of in the morning! I promise to try and do a better job of keeping up to date!

I'm keeping it really low profile today, I hurt my back in yoga on Friday.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hot yoga, have been going at least 4x per week since September.   It's a place where I feel completely comfortable, and sometimes I feel like my body isn't really my own.....I feel thinner, younger, more like a ballerina and less like an overweight middle aged woman.  But then I go and move the wrong way, and my herniated disc screams out "who are you trying to kid??? You are NOT younger, OR thinner!!  STOP IT!"  The trouble with this disc injury, everything feels great while you are doing it, it's not like I'm able to ever pin point which exact move it was that caused the injury to flare up...but then later in the day, it starts to ache.  I'm going to try to get in to see my chiropractor tomorrow, he has a decompression table that helps a lot, and I think this week I should be back to normal.  But in the meantime I'm taking things pretty slow right now.  We have to get the halloween decor up this weekend, I'm hoping I can recruit the boys to do most of the hard work while I supervise.

Oh, and I finally talked Limefreckle Jr. into getting a haircut. He had a faux hawk that went out of control, with a "ponytail, rat tail" kind of thing that he took great pride in, but the rest of us hated. 




She kept a tiny rat tail, because as he said to my stylist "I'm bringing the 80's back"....oh please, let's hope this doesn't catch on again!!!  Can you believe this kid is 12????


Monday, October 7, 2013

What about Bob?

Don't you love that movie? Bill Murray is still one of the funniest people to come out of Saturday Night Live.....every season, not just the originals.... But I'm not really talking about his movie....I'm talking about my NEW BOB!! My long hair was starting to get boring, and was DRIVING ME CRAZY at yoga when I had to blow dry, and blow dry, and blow dry, just to put it back into a clip because I was too hot to stand in front of the mirror any longer and style it.....so Thursday I went to my stylist and said "I know that for the past 4 years that I've been coming here, it's been all about growing my hair, but now it's time to cut it" And this is the result...

 
I curled it over the weekend, and I love it even more, but didn't get anyone to take a picture of me, so will have to save that for another day.  It feels so much better, and is so much easier to style after yoga!  I had to make sure it was still long enough to put into a clip otherwise yoga would be way to hot and I'd have to revert to an even shorter cut, which I still may do one day, who knows.  It felt a little sad to let go of my long hair, but I do feel this is a lot easier to handle...and when long hair becomes too frizzy, and all you ever do is wear it up, well then really, what's the point?
 
The weekend was fantastic, Friday night I went out for dinner with an old friend I haven't seen in at least 4 or 5 years.  You know that a person is a true friend when you get together and start talking like you just saw each other last week.  We sat in a nearby restaurant talking non stop for 4 hours, then suddenly she said "what time is it?" and I looked at my watch (yes, I'm over 40.....over 40 people still look at their watch....younger people look at their phone) and realized it was midnight.  We looked around the restaurant and we were the only people there, the staff was cleaning up, and I think maybe they were closed!   It was sooooo good to catch up, and we promised not to let so many years go by the next time!
 
Saturday Mr. Limefreckle golfed in a golf tournament that he and his friends held in honour of their buddy who died far too young  (over 20 years ago....he died shortly before Mr. Limefreckle and I met).  It was another night of catching up with people that I haven't seen in a long time, and another late night for me.   I'm in bed by 10 most nights, so these late nights took their toll!  Sunday was "nap day".  I crashed on the couch upstairs, Mr. Limefreckle and Jr. went downstairs to watch a movie.  Limefreckle Jr. came upstairs and said to me "he's sleeping like a baby...."  It was nice to see my husband just relax for a change....he's normally at work every Sunday, so I was glad to see him take a day off and do nothing!  His type A personality doesn't usually allow him to do that, but a body needs to just be still once in a while!!!
 
So back to routine today....it's a grey, rainy day, my favourite day to go to hot yoga!  Then I've promised myself I'm going to get some product shots of my jewelry so that I can list some more of my leather wrap bracelets in my shop!
Happy Monday everyone!
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Favourite Day....

Now that we are totally back into the swing of school, life has picked up a much busier pace, and I'm loving it!  I finally have the days to myself again, and I've been taking full advantage by going to yoga every chance I get.  I find that when I go to yoga as many days in a row as I can, my whole attitude changes.  It really helps me to feel centered and more focused.  Lately, I don't know why, but worry has started to enter my consciousness a bit more.....I'm a person that tends to lean on the anxious side of life....I can easily let my mind wander to the "what if" scenarios, and I hate that.  Yoga definitely helps me to get that under control.

This tendency to worry has been with me all my life, when I look back...but really started in earnest when Limefreckle Jr. was about 18 months old, when we started to suspect that he wasn't developing normally.  At that time, I also was pregnant, and I lost that baby (my second miscarriage, I had one before Limefreckle Jr. was born).  I remember back in those days worrying non stop, over EVERYTHING, and it was EX.HAUST.ING!!! 

Early days when Limefreckle Jr. was in school didn't help, more constant worry and constant stress, I can't believe I survived it all with my mind intact to be honest, thankfully I had (have) great support with my friends and family, and they pulled me through those "dark days" as I think of them now....

So here we are, Limefreckle Jr. is thriving, life is good - why am I worrying?  Lately, now that Limefreckle Jr. is in grade 7, I'm starting to think about the future.  Once he's ready for high school, we have to move on from our very protective, lovely bubble that we are in right now, back out into the real world!  Fortunately we have lots of options to investigate, there are a few private high schools that I've heard about, that are wonderful when it comes to dealing with children with special needs, and of course I will investigate the public system again, we are now in a different city and hopefully these school boards here might have a better attitude towards kids that are different than the school board we formerly were dealing with, so logically I know that we have options.....but the worrier in me sometimes fights to get out!!  Fortunately, I'm much better at stifling her, yoga really helps me with that!

Yesterday's practice was led by one of my favourite instructors, she often has an inspiring or interesting quote to start the class.  This one went up on our chalkboard in the kitchen (that reminds me, I have a new message centre that I put up over the summer, will photograph it this weekend and share it with you next week). 



have a great day today, my favourite day!!!
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Milestones....

This weekend we celebrated a big milestone in the Limefreckle household....Mr. Limefreckle turned 50!! We did it up big, rented a room at a local golf course, hired a band, and invited 60 some of our closest friends and family to come and help us celebrate! I asked Limefreckle Jr. if he wanted to greet people as they came in, and show them the seating chart, so they could find their tables. He was excited for the task, and took it very seriously. I watched him introduce himself to everyone (many people hadn't seen him since he was a baby or small child, he didn't know so many of the people he went up to) He would extend his hand for a handshake, introduce himself, and help them find their way in. It was so touching to see this young man put himself out there! Mr. Limefreckle asked that in lieu of gifts, our guests make donations to Limefreckle Jr's school. When he gave his speech, he talked about our journey in this world of autism, and how finding this school has been such a lifesaver for us. It was very touching, I could barely look around the room, because I was in tears.... And then Limefreckle Jr. decided to give a speech. It was very impromptu, I had asked him a couple of weeks ago if he wanted to speak at his Dad's party, but he never really answered me, and I forgot about it. But he decided he wanted to say something, so he headed up to the podium. I asked him if he wanted me to come up with him, in case he was nervous...he wasn't interested. He paused a little bit when he started, and I wondered if he was a little nervous, but I think he was just gathering his thoughts. He thanked his Dad for all he's done for him, for bringing him to this school, how they have taught him so much, they've taught him to "spread his wings so he can one day leave the nest". He threw in a few jokes, and of course, announced the completion of his latest work, "an interesting project" as he put it, the movie that he created for his Dad's birthday. The kid is a whiz on imovies! He ended by saying "this is heartwarming, I think I'm going to cry!" So many people came up to me after to tell me how they were in tears during the speech, even our waitress and the bartenders! I have NEVER been so proud of our young boy!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm home!

Limefreckle Jr. started school yesterday, and as we pulled into the parking lot, he exclaimed "I'm HOME!" I am so very grateful that he loves this little school so much!   He strolled through the front doors like he owned the place (after the obligatory, in front of the school photo that I make him pose for every year) and proceeded to measure himself against his teachers (he's grown at least a couple of inches over the summer, and is quite proud that he is taller than all the female teachers). 

 
He met his new teacher, who was a co-op student at our school last spring.  He immediately hugged her, and told her that he had missed her.  ANOTHER reason I love our little school - hugs are plentiful, with no one looking or acting uncomfortable, and no politically correct rules.  LOVE IT!! I remember one time being in a store, and seeing a young girl bump into someone that she hadn't seen in a long time, it appeared to be a teacher, and the girl clearly was on the spectrum.  The girl tried to hug her "teacher" and the woman wouldn't allow it, pulled away, told her that they didn't need to hug, personal space, blah, blah, blah.    After the teacher walked away, the young girl was questioning her mom, asking her what she had done wrong.  I'll never forget it because Jr. was just a young boy at the time, recently diagnosed, and it made me so sad.  I hate to live in a world where hugs are not
 
Anyway, I digress...back to our first day.  Limefreckle Jr. rode in the backseat of the car, saying these words, sounding just like Adam Samler....
 
 
To futher illustrate what great teachers Jr. has, I received this in my email tonight...
 

 
He has the most creative group of teachers I have ever met! 
 
I skipped out of the school, and  FINALLY got back to a hot yoga class.  I could barely keep up, I felt so stiff and out of step.  That's what taking a summer off will do for you!!!  She had a great playlist today, "The Dog Days Are Over" was the first song......how appropriate!  My goal is to get to a class each day this week....hope I can do it!
 
How did your kids fare on their first day back to school?

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I woke up this morning and summer was over!


I can't believe that it's time to go back to school! I swear this was the shortest summer on record! We seemed to be soooo busy all summer, I think I need a vacation from this vacation!  It was a summer filled with swimming, eating, summer camp (Limefreckle Jr. went for what was supposed to be just a one week, half day program, and ended up spending the rest of the summer there - mornings only) and even though it wasn't the best summer on record, weather wise, it was jam packed with activities.  Limefreckle Jr. also took sailing lessons, and enjoyed himself very much....

This weekend we headed up North to my parents once again, for a family wedding.  This is the first wedding Limefreckle Jr. attended.  I was very nervous about it all summer, originally I wasn't even planning on bringing him, because I just couldn't picture him sitting still through the whole ceremony and dinner, speeches etc. 

Turns out, like many things with Limefreckle Jr. lately, I had absolutely NOTHING to worry about!!  The two biggest obstacles I had with him were:

1) what was he going to wear.  This is a boy that will NOT wear zippered pants, only shorts and sweat pants, and ONLY t-shirts, a collared golf shirt is a challenge for him.  He is SO sensitive to how clothes feel on him.

2)  What will he eat?  French fries are pretty much the ONLY thing he will ever order when we go out to dinner -- not usually on the menu at most wedding venues!

Well it turned out, French fries WERE on the menu, the bride arranged for him to have a double order (and they actually even came and gave him a refill).  And as far as his outfit, the bride also made us so comfortable, she told us if he wanted to wear shorts and a t shirt, that was completely fine with her.

I posted about this worry earlier in the summer, and a commenter suggested I buy chinos at Lands End, they have them in his size, with an  elastic waist kind of like sweats....he balked a bit, but he wore them.  I ordered a collared golf shirt, but at the last minute my cousin found him a "tuxedo" t shirt and that just seemed to be the PERFECT thing for him and his personality!!

with the junior bridesmaids, all nieces of the bride, and although not related to us by blood, they are our family....When Limefreckle Jr. heard they were all going to be at the wedding, he insisted he needed to go, he loves these girls!
And the venue of the wedding couldn't have been a more perfect place to hold a wedding with kids.  It was in a bushplane museum, planes were all around us, and the kids were free to explore the whole building as they pleased!  They ran around the place all night long, until the dancing started, and then they were all on the dance floor.  Speeches were short and sweet, he sat through those with no trouble at all.  I don't know why I worry about him so much, he has grown up SO much, and sometimes I seem to forget that his troublesome meltdown years are behind us for the most part.  I'm so glad that I didn't let my anxieties about the occasion hold us back from having him join us in such an important family event.   A good time was had by all, and it was a wonderful way to end off the summer!


the venue. The huge hanger doors were open all night to the nearby lake, it was GORGEOUS!!
with the beautiful bride...
my handsome son!


 


my feet in my gorgeous sparkly silver shoes, that were comfortable, but by this point of the night, in the car on the way home, they were ready for some soaking!  Limefreckle Jr. and I danced the night away!  Mr. Limefreckle can usually be dragged out on the floor for a slow dance or two, but Jr. was out there all night long, dancing with everyone! 


 
 
 

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