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If you’re reading along, you are no doubt shaking your head, rolling your eyes, and probably sighing, thinking, “Here we go again. Will she never stop? Someone needs to do an intervention.” 😆

Ya, I know I’m addicted. It’s just not a “problem,” as far as I’m concerned. 😉

Last Monday, I added silkie chicks to the brooder. 😆 Can you see me doing the happy dance?

A pusher friend of mine knew I was going to order silkies, and suggested she knew a feller that had some silkies and regularly had them hatching out. She contacted him, and sure enough, he had 4 silkies- 2 white, 1 silver, and 1 black.

You may remember me ranting about wanting white silkies, which is how I ended up with my 2 boy Sultans when I came home with 5-toed bantams last year and 4 buff silkies. Turns out, we totally fell in love with our buff silkies, too.

This year, I had planned on getting buff silkies, in addition to blue, black and white. I was going to order them from the hatchery, and they would be here mid-June.

Then, my friend told me about this gentleman, and I thought, if I could get them locally, that would be better. Plus, I wouldn’t have to get as many. 😀

Because he charges more for the blacks and had silver hatching, I thought I would substitute the silvers for the black silkies. So. He let me know what he had, and I dashed off to go pick them up.

I came home with 2 whites and 1 silver silkie chicks. Squee! 😆

These chicks hatched, as I understand it, within days of each other. Here is one of my white ones. You can already see her crazy hair. We named her Mo. 😆

mo1

 

You can see her black skin peeking through; one of their unique, defining characteristics.

 

mo2

 

mo3

 

I love that round little poof!

This next fluffy baby is Silver.

 

silver1

 

silver2

 

According to the American Silkie Bantam Club, “The colors which are recognized by both the American Poultry Association  and the American Bantam Association are White, Black, Blue, Buff,  Gray, Partridge and Splash.” I’m trying to track down which category my silvers fall into. Two things I’ve learned about silkie genetics are that I don’t know anything and they’re confusing. 😆

He said he’d have 12 more hatching out in the next two weeks. Since I wanted 6 and came home with 3, I would wait for 3 more.

Yesterday, he let me know he had 2 more white and 1 more silver hatch. We made arrangements, and I went out to get them today. I didn’t bring the 2 whites home because I want an even number of each color, to up my chances of having a girl in each color. That means I have 1 more silver one to get, if it hatches out next week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Even though I won’t have buffs this year, I am thrilled to have the silvers!

I can’t wait to round out my silkies! I will say- things are starting to feel more “normal” instead of “new,” and most of that, I think, is due to the peeping coming from the brooder. ♥♥♥♥♥ 😀

 

 

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Obsessed.

Strange.

Cuckoo.

Bizarre.

Insane.

Uncouth.

Demented.

Sick.

Nuts.

Happy. 😀

Euphoric. 😆

Bitten.

And those are just the single-word descriptions. I may have to make a new category. Because, you see, even though I *know* this happens every single time, whether I plan it or not, I continue to repeat the deed because I am, quite simply, addicted.

I am pretty sure if someone was mapping my brain at those times, the pleasure center would be lit up like a Christmas tree, and you could see those neurons firing the message to send out some oxytocin; maybe even some prolactin. {And it might be contagious, too, so watch out! 😀 }

Wednesday afternoon, I headed to Tractor Supply to get a stock tank and horse feed since they were out on Tuesday. They told me they were getting bantams on Friday, so on the off-chance that they got some silkies, I figured I’d get a stock tank since the brooder didn’t make the move. 😥

The stock tank would be fine, and we can reuse it for the horses when we’re done. It’s a good stop-gap measure.

So there I went, mostly to get food for the horses. You know you have to walk by the chickens, yes?  😆

I spent close to 2 hours there, talking to people about chickens. There was a very nice lady who had just gotten some, and she was taking pictures, trying to figure out which breeds she had gone home with. We started talking, and pretty soon, we had covered all kinds of things, particularly coop design and the space requirements per chicken. {A good rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per chicken; large fowl.}

I talked to some gentlemen, as well, and suggested they all go the Backyard Chicken website and forums. The forums have all kinds of sections, including starting chicks, breeds, predators, and coop design. Really. If you are thinking about chickens, start there. SO many people are willing to share their plans with you it’s not even funny. You won’t regret it!

I spent all that time jabbering and then realized Hunny was going to be coming home soon, so I needed to skeedaddle.

I was in the parking lot on the way out when I realized I had forgotten to get the stock tank. *sigh*.

So, Thursday, I headed back to get the stock tank. And, I wanted to check the time that the bantams for sure were going to be getting there. Turns out, they had literally just gotten there. They let me come back an hour later, after they had time to get warmed back up, and pick through them.

No silkies. 😥  😥

BUT. They did have other, four-toed, feather-legged bantams. Tractor Supply has a minimum of 6 chicks to take home……..

You can see where this is going, can’t you? 😆 You might think I would be thinking, “I just ordered 40 large fowl and 15 guineas the other day. I know I can order the 8 in the breeds that I want and get them here in June.”

Ok, I admit I was thinking that. 😆

Louder than that voice, though, was the one whispering, “You haven’t had these kinds of feather-footed chooks. Look, aren’t they cute? Look at how small they are! Awww, they’re so fuzzy! Aren’t they cute? And there’s only 6 of them…….”

Because we haven’t built anything yet, I thought, what they heck- let me text Hunny and see what he says. I explained to him that I would have to end up with 12 bantams total because I’d have to get 6 more; or if they didn’t end up getting any in, I’d have to order 12.

I could hear him rolling his eyes. 😀

I did mention, though, that bantams are so small that you really need 2 of them to make 1 large chicken, so you could get more with the same space.

Struck down again by chicken math! 😆

So we dug through and picked them out. 😆 There were exactly 6 feather-footed bantams.

I had no idea what they were. Naturally, when I got home, I got down to business, researching to see if I could identify them.

I think I might have a clue what these cuties are.

chick 1

chick1.2

chick1.3

I think {and certainly, I am no expert} that this is a Black Cochin chick. I think I have maybe two them. One I’m real iffy on, because he’s somewhere between this one and the other suspected Barred Cochin chick. I’ll show pictures of them last.

chick2

chick2.3

chick2.2

This little cutie I think is a Buff Brahma. If feather sexing works on this breed and is the same for others, this baby is a girl. I only have one of them, but she is pretty zippy and is very, very active and busily trying to fly and get into everything. Her tail feathers have grown since yesterday. What a riot!

chick3

chick3.2

Rounding out my set of 6 are these plumpers. You can see how they have a fuzzy yellow tush and more yellow on their bellies. They all have a similar wing pattern, tipped with yellow. These actually look a lot like our Barred Rock chicks did.

The one I question is not as yellow-y as this little bug, but is not quite as solid as the chick I suspect of being a Black Cochin.

At this point, it’s a waiting game until they start feathering out and we can really tell what they are. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have chicks again! There is just something about hearing their little cheeps that brings a smile to my face.

I’ve also continued to be amazed at how fast they grow! You can literally see them growing tail feathers and getting their other feathers. You can see their egg tooth when you first get them, and watch as it gets picked off or worn down and disappear. And I have to laugh at them digging and scratching; doing all the “big kid” behavior, when it’s not something that’s been learned by watching other chickens.

Already, we’ve had some races {where they race and try to fly but end up just zipping all over} and we’ve had some hockey, when they thought a piece of shaving was a bug. They are hilarious- it really IS ‘chick tv!’

It’s been another unexpectedly busy day. At this point, I’m just tired. 😀

So now you know. I’m _________. 😆

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Yep. I think I might be certifiable. chickencuckoo

I spent yesterday in bed. I am pretty sure old people like me are not made to bounce off the ground. I’m going to be really bruised, but the upside is that I didn’t break a collar-bone or an arm or a leg or my spine.

I can say that not only am I not cut out for getting bucked off horses, I may not even be cut out to ride them. We’ll see.

We did a change in strategy over the weekend. I just didn’t have it in me yesterday to fight.

So, because I didn’t sleep last night worth a hill o’ beans because I was too sore, I did what most people would assume I would do: I went for a run.

After nearly 6 months off, I figured I was so pea pickin’ sore that I might as well tackle it now, so the new soreness will be absorbed by the stuff that’s already here. I’m pretty sure the turkeys across the road could have lapped me had they wanted to, as slowly as I was going.

Nonetheless, I got 3 miles in. While I’ve had a have a hard time lifting my arms the last two days, I figured my legs should be ok.  Any new aches I’m going to get will just have to join the others……………

Ya. Pretty sure I’m crazy. 😯

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2012 in review


I’m lazy, I know. I’m going to let the WP monkeys do this one. I’ve got another one coming, I promise! 😀

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Yep. I am. Now I’ve said it out loud and you know.

I really didn’t intend to end up like this. I’m hoping I don’t stay this way for long, either.

I have entirely too much do and I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of painting to be done. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of blood spatter in this house. Seriously. {Kids, this is a prime example of why not to do drugs- you’ll lose your house and the new owners will be totally grossed out when they clean and paint it to make it livable……..}

I haven’t really run since we left. I feel like it’s a guilty pleasure that I can’t allow myself to indulge in when I have so much other stuff that needs to get done.

Honestly, I’d be happy to stay curled up with a book and look out the windows……

I did, however, make my son some curtains. He was tired of having to change his clothes in the closet because he didn’t have curtains. At some point, I’ll take pictures of the whole room, once I get the last set of curtains made and he’s gotten it painted. In the meantime, here they are:

curtains3

curtains2

curtains1

You may remember me complaining about the bird nesting happening when I was making my girls their sundresses last spring. I’m glad I didn’t pitch my machine. It worked just fine. Hmmph. I’ll have to diddle with it some more when I get back to the dresses.

Once we get things painted, I am not sure how much time I’ll have to be online. Life is changing, and in a really good way.

Have you ever been somewhere where you know that’s where you were meant to be? Like deep down in your soul you knew you were where God wanted you to be?

Ya. It’s like that here. If I have to be buried somewhere, I’m changing my mind. I’ll forgo Tin Cup, Co, for being buried on the farm here somewhere. {Which is legal here, too- one of these days, I’ll write about that, because it’s fascinating!}

Anyhow. What’s taking up my time? Life is taking up my time; mostly in the form of creatures.

We had been here for about a week before we realized that the 5 horses in our front yard were only being fed by neighbors, sporadically. And they had no water.  th_rant

You can see where I’m going with this…… not only are we feeding them, we’re rehabing the mama horse that was near death from starvation. Turns out, she’s a champion barrel horse. As in, big $$$$$. Out of the 5, she’s the only one saddle broke{n}, so we’re starting with her.

She’s an {American} Quarter Horse. There’s another out there that we know he paid $10,000 for and never broke. Ya. She’s an American Saddlebred- you know, the high-stepping show horses? Ya. 😯 Her son is a Saddlebred as well, and then the foal {colt} and the filly are both a Quarter Horse/Saddlebred mix. Boo.

One of these days, I’ll write the whole thing up, with pictures. Mama is now as happy as a clam out there, with her blanket on and in a separate pen so she can eat undisturbed. Baby is eating solids and is weaning, so that’s good.

Besides the painting (seriously, I have gotten two bathrooms finished, and that’s it- while 12 ft ceilings with crown molding is beautiful, it’s a pain to paint…..), we’ve got chickens to set up for, in addition to our own horses {yes, you’re reading that right} and still get things unpacked.

Kitchen appliances came. Turns out, the ovens are too tall, so the cabinet guy needs to come back out. I didn’t get any Christmas baking done. I’m hoping he can come and get that done so I can get some of my breads made soon.

There are SO many loose ends at this point. I lose an entire day going into town for shopping. So far, I haven’t been able to not make two trips in every week, because there is always something urgently needed. Yesterday, it was horse food. Today, it’s groceries, since the big winter storm blew through and it was pouring rain so I just got horse food and came back home before the worst of it hit.

There’s a schedule to keep to, too. Horses are fed at 8 am and 5pm; mama gets lunch as well until she’s gained the last 300 lbs; and most days, I take the girls to feed over at our “neighbors” house in exchange for their weekly riding lessons.

And then, there is the steady stream of visitors. I’ve decided that I’m going to give it another month, and then after that point, we’re going to start handing out paint rollers to visitors. 😀 We absolutely LOVE the company, but it’s not conducive to me getting the painting done.

On top of all of this, we’ve got a new puppy. That means someone needs to supervise her until we can count on her to go to the door every time she needs out. I had no plans for more pets, of course, but when a friend posted a picture on FB of a purebred border collie pup who was being given away because as the runt, she was going to be too small to work with cattle, I couldn’t say no. 😀

Big dog, you may recall, is a{blonde/red merle} border collie as well, so we are very familiar with the breed. Had this been any other breed, I would have passed, because we don’t have time right now to deal with stubborn doggies {like little dog, for example, who we LOVE to bits and pieces, but is really quite stubborn :lol:}.

But, having lost out kitty a month ago, and seeing her cuteness, I couldn’t resist. So, here is our little Oreo.  oreo1

When I can get out of my slacker mode and get more painting done, I’ll be back to write some more. In the meantime, don’t forget me! 😀

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Tears of release;

Weep with relief.

God On High be praised;

Peace in my soul renewed.

His handiwork shines;

And reminds that it is all Him……………………….

*sigh*

I don’t remember a mortgage being quite like this; ever. If you’ve been reading along, you will know I’ve been doing some head banging. Ok, well, not really. I haven’t just been doing some head banging- I’ve been doing A LOT of head banging. So much so, that I’m pretty sure I have a sizable dent in my forehead.

The requirement changing that I referenced in one of my last posts was just one of the bumps in the road. You may {or may not} be aware of the factors that are taken into consideration for mortgage approval.

One of the things they most look at is what’s called “debt-to-income ratio.” In a nutshell, they want to make sure you aren’t overextended and can actually PAY for the mortgage.

You may think this sounds like common sense, and really, it is. You may be surprised, though, at the number of people who go into mortgages not having a clue what they can really afford- which is NOT the same as what they can qualify for- and then {in the past, before the new regulations} would totally over-extend themselves.

Before the housing bust and collapse, a certain amount of “high risk” mortgages were mandatory. I’m pretty sure that’s come back to bite them in the butt.

SO many people were upside down in their mortgages, and couldn’t sell because the property was now over –valued and wouldn’t appraise. Then, many of those same people had either balloon payments coming due or had an ARM {adjustable rate mortgage} mortgage and had been paying basically the interest on the mortgage with the lock-in-rate coming due.

Many people had planned on having a low payment {or one they could afford} for 5 years then using the equity in the house to refinance at the end of the term, which would allow them to not pay PMI (mortgage insurance). Some people planned on selling the house {with all that extra equity} before their mortgage was set to get locked in; using the profit as their next down payment, and getting a regular monthly payment they could afford.

But the market tanked; home values went in reverse, and a lot of people wound up in houses with regular long-term locked-in monthly mortgage payments they couldn’t afford. When that happened, houses were foreclosed if the bank wouldn’t accept a short-sale, or they couldn’t get the house sold despite listing as a short-sale and still ended up in foreclosure and losing their homes.

Now what we’re seeing are regulations that are super, super stringent. I have heard horror stories of people who were self-employed with histories of consistent income with enough in reserves and other accounts in addition to funds for down payment and closing costs that couldn’t qualify because they couldn’t “prove” where their income for the last 5 years came from because they didn’t hang on to hard copies every single incoming penny.

I have heard all kinds of stories about people who have had closing dates and then couldn’t close for some odd-ball reason; I’ve heard about people who actually did close but then the bank didn’t transfer the funds to them which then delayed their move-in date.

It’s just been strange.

The point here being that all kinds of things are unusual trying to get mortgages these days, and it’s my opinion that it’s particularly so when you don’t have your other house sold. 😀

To keep our debt-to-income ratio where we wanted it to be for the two houses, we went ahead and got rid of a monthly payment. For the last few years, I’ve been paying this account electronically {as I do all my bills} and it *always* clears and is credited to my account in 2 days. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Except this time. Nope, this time- you know, the ONE time I NEEDED to have it paid on time- they completely lost the money.

Yep. They sure did.

And it wasn’t just a regular-monthly-payment amount of money. *sigh*

A week after it still hadn’t posted to my account, I started getting mad. My bank showed it had been paid and cleared my account. But the receiver of the money had no record of it.

That resulted in considerable phone calls back and forth with my bank so they could trace the money; and also numerous calls back and forth to the other place.

Then there were faxes. Paperwork needed to be sent to them with requests to different departments on the receiving end; all of which had to be signed. They needed “proof” from my bank that showed they had received the money. Because I don’t have fax capability, that meant that Hunny had to take time out of his massively busy schedule to do it. Blarg.

This one little piece of the puzzle was going to screw up everything else! And by that, I do mean everything.

What hinges on an on-time closing? Let me tell you….. The day we close (Thursday), I have my floor guy coming in to begin refinishing the floors. That won’t allow for carpet to get in until the following Thursday. That’s arranged, too.

The carpet takes two days (Thursday and Friday) and the semi with my furniture comes Saturday.

Because my house is getting loaded {and has some remaining packing} and delivered here, that means someone has to be there to let them in and supervise. That means 2 plane tickets back- flying there on Saturday and then flying home here on Wednesday. Oh- and a car rental.

Do you see all the moving parts to this? 😆

It’s what I call the “domino effect.” Have you ever tried to stop falling dominoes? What happens? Things get knocked all caddywhompus and it’s near impossible to straighten them out.

If I don’t close on time, I can’t get my floors done on time. If the floors don’t get done as planned, that pushes carpet back. If carpet gets pushed back, my stuff will have to sit on a truck, if they let us.

Why else am I so concerned about my timeline? Well, gosh, if you haven’t heard- there was a hurricane. While it didn’t hit us directly {although the Outer Banks got hit pretty hard} because we’re about an hour and a half inland, that means that availability of supplies could be an issue if we are delayed.

And then that might mean another few days in the campground, because our month will be up. Those extra days are paid at a significantly higher price. We’ve talked about moving the trailer to the house and plugging in there, even though we can’t get in because the floors can’t be walked on, but the sticking point is laundry.

We’re doing numerous loads during the week. It’s nice doing them here because we can get them started and just check back, instead of having to literally sit there all day.

We found the local laundromat- they call them “wash houses” here. Not only do most of the machines not work, but they don’t have any hot water. So, laundry is an actual concern. Hunny wants me to get an rv washer/dryer combo, because we have two sets of hookups in the house {even though the bottom floor hookups are in a spot where the floors are being redone} and we may go that route, although I’m not sure how that will work when during the week they are redoing the floors.

In the midst of all of this, I have the cleaning that I can get to, and getting ready to paint. The plan is to get most of it in one fell swoop so we don’t have to make repeated trips 25 miles away, one way. Lots and lots of organizing; lots and lots of trips for supplies need to be orchestrated; working around contractors.

Next week, I need to get all my utilities started. I very much feel like this is the calm before the storm. I’ll be relieved when the whirlwind is over, but this definitely falls into the ‘the only to get to the end is to go through it’ category.

Tomorrow, we blessedly get to do something “normal,” as we’re going on a homeschool field trip to a farm. They’re giving a tour of- you guessed it– a chicken coop. 😆 I am seriously hoping my kids won’t hijack the instructor. 😆

It’s the last little relaxed day of fun before things seriously get wound up. Hang on to your hats!

Yesterday, I had Gaga {Lady} running through my mind.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeWBS0JBNzQ%5D

This morning, after getting news about travel arrangements, this was the song that came to mind: Shout to the Lord {Hillsong/ Darlene Zschech}.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi3qA_iPfp8%5D

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Yep.

Well ok. Not really. But it sure feels like I am.

Go get some cheese, ‘cause I’m bringing the whine. 😆

I’m paying $30 a month PER DEVICE for internet. Right now, we’ve got 3 devices. As soon as my son gets the parts to fix his laptop, it’ll be 4. And that’s not counting my Kindle, which I’m too cheap to pay for, and still too lazy to download to my computer because it’s just going to be a royal pain given the download rate. For crying out loud, I can’t get anything to stream for any length of time.

This is not endearing satellite internet to me even remotely. I have no idea why it’s so crappy, except to say it’s a shared signal at a campground. Seeing as it’s still relatively early, and there are not a lot of people here, one would think it wouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Well, it is. And I am trying not to get really annoyed. If it was free, I wouldn’t be complaining. Even if it was $10 a month, I wouldn’t be so ticked off. But this is enough of a pain in the rear that I’m not keen on even using it, and I’m paying through the nose! *Sigh*

I know I’m picky. I admit it. But there is something to be said for paying for a service and actually getting something for it.

In addition to the nearly non-existent download rate, I am having a royally rotten time of even getting to WordPress. I can’t log in 99% of the time. You may have noticed that I’m not liking and commenting as I usually do. Well, you can totally blame the satellite internet/WP combo for that.

I have literally been running in circles, fighting myself. Seems WP somehow doesn’t recognize me, and it’s always timing out my log-in attempts (because somehow it won’t cache me, either), except it may not be WP; more like it’s the satellite connection timing out. I can do some on my phone, but I’m not loving that, either, because it seems to have a mind of its own much of the time when it comes to words, even when I type the whole thing out. Yes, I could turn off the auto complete, but then I lose the spell check.

There is no clear answer here.

What has been made clear is that this is as good as it’s going to get until the house sells and we’re in the next one.

We went and scoped out the other campgrounds yesterday. The one with free wi-fi and cable is nice, if you like a parking lot. It’s got good buildings, but it’s not geared towards kids. Anyone under 14 is required to be accompanied at all times (including riding bikes, it seems). Not to mention- there is zero shade, no grass, no real playground, and did I mention it’s a parking lot? I have no idea where I would park.

The killer though, was the laundry price. It’s twice what I’m paying, per load. Now, while that may not seem like much, when you have 4 kids and are doing laundry a lot, it starts to add up. Combined with the additional gas because it’s at least 15 minutes further, it really will add up quickly and more or less negate the arm and leg it costs for dismal internet here.

The second place we checked out was in the city we anticipated settling in. Well. Not only are we not going to get set up there because of distance, I am very sure we’re not even going to consider living there, unless we can’t find something here. It’s just too darn far away!

Hunny would be looking at least a 30 minute commute one way, in traffic, which could vary his travel time considerably from day-to-day. It would also completely eliminate the option for him to come home for lunch if he could.

What’s interesting to me is that many people out there live in that town and don’t think a thing of commuting that distance. In fact, one of his managers drives 45 minutes one way and doesn’t think a thing of it. It’s just a mindset I don’t really understand. Maybe it’s a school thing-maybe his kids are in a good school or started out somewhere and he changed jobs. I don’t really know.

What I do know is that I’m only concerned with schools as a point of resale. And I have no intention of being that far away unless I can’t help it.

Hunny is getting rid of his motorcycle, and I completely see why. The roads and highways are busy- so much so that riding won’t be enjoyable in the least, and dangerous, so there’s really no point in hanging onto it.

What’s also interesting to me is that people are not interested in living in the country; particularly in the smaller towns. While on the one hand that’s good for me- less competition for houses out in the country, that also means inventory is really low and really not much to choose from. Did I mention that we’re kind of picky and have specific needs with a house? *sigh*

And yet, despite all these little things, I know this is where we’re supposed to be, and I’m standing on the promise of what’s waiting at the end of this part of the change.

So. If you don’t see me commenting or liking, don’t think I’m gone. Just try to keep in mind I’m fighting with myself and doing what I can with what I’ve got. And that it’s temporary {God willing}.

In the meantime, if you’re inclined to pray for a solid, quick sale, or if you know of anyone in that area that’s looking, please keep us in mind. We’d appreciate it! 😀

Because life is a soundtrack, this is what came to mind this morning: Fighting With Myself; The Invisible

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bruF7tedwnU%5D

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