The Milestone …

 

The day had finally arrived:

 

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I had tried my best to Honor my Journey up to this day with my Living 49 Project , revisiting a Lifetime of Memories on my Instagram ( Scroll down, you’ll see the pics ), Journaling, Visual Journaling, and making Art ( perhaps I will make a Zine Issue out of all of it ).
I did feel Special because it was in a City that held a Lifetime of Memories for Me, I was Blessed to have walked this Earth for 50 Years, and I feel I had lived all the Experiences  (Bliss Filled, n o t so Bliss Filled, and everything in between) that God had gifted me with, to the  F U L L .

As I woke up to a ‘ Happy Birthday ‘ from my Cousin and a hand-full of wishes on Social Media, I got ready for my Day.

First, Breakkie in the Restaurant Downstairs:

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Then took an Uber to the only Mural I wanted to take a picture in front of:

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Shoreditch Birthday Angel …

While taking the picture in the Rain, a kind Gent walking by said ‘ Model that Photo ! and My Cousin commented, ‘ It’s her Birthday today! ‘ … He joyfully said ‘Happy Birthday! ‘ To wit I answered, ‘ I’m 50 today! ‘ He then threw back over his shoulder, ‘ Keep looking 17!’  SO touched I shouted back ‘ Thank You, Love!’ …

Perfect Birthday Moment.

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We went to the  Mall near the old Olympic Stadium ( I know ) to get Snow Boots because it was Winter in the UK and I treated Myself to an Instax Camera because I needed a new one!

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Bought my own Birthday Cards as well.

After finally getting a cab in the snow  + regrouping back at the Hotel, we did a bit of Touring via an Uber on the way to Westminster Abbey: 

 

I had been to the Abbey before, but returning as an Adult on my Birthday seemed, Appropriate:

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As stated earlier, this was a Whirlwind trip. Lots of getting in + out of ubers, cabs, and trains but when I had Bliss filled moments, moments of intention and purpose, they made up for all the hurried – ness in spades.

I had about 5 of these types of Moments through out the trip and being at Westminster Abbey was the first.

We weren’t allowed to take photos in the Abbey, but I did sneek in one:

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It seems like a bit of a Metaphor for the trip, for my Journey into 50 … the light at the end of the Tunnel.

From the moment I walked in, I felt an enormous sense of awe, peace, home.

I can’t adequately put it into words …

It was like closing my eyes and tilting my face towards the sun.

And then I cried.

As I lit a Candle for a Loved One, I had a bit of an Epiphany.

I was supposed to be here, at this exact Moment, on my 50th Birthday, and I will not let this Gift go, lightly …

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Thank you God for 50 Years of Life.

We Toured a bit on a Bus we paid a l o t for:

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Had snack before My Birthday Dinner ( Right? It was cold + we were hungry ):

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Crossed Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen off my Bucket List:

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Best Bit One: The Gin

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Best Bit Two: The Last Course of Bone Marrow

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Best Bit Three: My Handmade Chocolate

Thank You Soph for My Birthday Dinner! xx

Somewhere after Dinner, on the way to find Christmas Lights in Minus 12 Degree Weather, I bought myself some Birthday Bits:

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And this happens on my Birthday sometimes, I got a bit Sad.

Maybe because I was turning 50, but mostly because Loved Ones that I thought would Call, Text, or leave a Message somewhere on Social Media, did not … and it hit me a bit hard.

I shared this with my Cousin, and she said ‘ I’m here ‘ as she grabbed my hand in comfort.

I will always Love her for that.

I cheered up considerably when we finally found Carnaby Street ( where we were the night before, we just didn’t turn the right c o r n e r ):

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Click link if the above Video Bit doesn’t play!

 

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As the above video bit states, good thing the shops were all closed or we would have had no money for the rest of the trip!

Back at the Hotel I took some more pics to honor the day:

38762154105_2344a5f2a7_oScanned B + W Instax

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Snapchatting

I called my Parents, We packed + had our last night in London.

Not nearly enough time in London, I missed going to an Art Museum, the Sunday Markets in East London, and seeing my Friends.

London will always be a magical place for me, but somehow on this trip it was different.

I will go back to explore on my own, and I can’t wait!

London will always be the place that I turned 50.

Next Blog Post: Avebury, Lacock Village, Bath and Oxford!

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling …

 

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It’s been awhile!

 

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Out with the Old, in with the New …

 

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And I will live this Year in honor of Rodney.

Rest in Peace, Thank You for being a part of this Life, and watch over our Stephanie

XXX

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And 50 is here: Fabulously full of Blessings, full of Lessons.

It all started with a trip across the Pond to the UK, my most favorite part of the World, to honor the Milestone. If anyone truly knows me, knows how much of a full blown Anglophile I am. England has my heart, it has my soul. It was the only place to turn 50 and I am finally sharing this Journey in upcoming posts!

My life long love of England started at an early age: My very first visit to London was when I was 12 on a Two Week, 7 Country Tour.

This is my most fave pic of the trip because I have camera in hand. I will scan those pics one day:

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My Second Trip in 2003 was for an Art Show at Truman Brewery , fell in Love with East London and Brick Lane , and did lots of walking and taking Random Photos:

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The Third Trip in 2005 was for a Second Art Show at The Bridge , more falling in Love with Brick Lane, and playing with Street Photography:

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The recent Trip was the starting point of an 8 Day Journey through 4 Cities to honor the Birthday and to Explore.

It must be said, I do love an Airport and a Plane Ride:

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… Then you magically arrive and the Adventure begins!

First, a bit of a Layover in Dublin ( Cross that off my Bucket List ) + my first Stamp in my New Passport:

 

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Then we finally landed in London: Excited, Tired, and I felt completely at Home.

Thank YOU Sis Cuz Sophia for Documenting the following moment in our very expensive Cab Ride, Documenting numerous other moments on the trip, and making sure I wasn’t on my own when I turned 50!

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We stayed at a Funky Hotel in my East London:

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And seriously, the best Key Cards ever:

 

 

We tried to fit in as much as we could into 3 nights + 2 Days.

Walked a lot in the Rain + Snow …

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Accidentally ran into St. Paul’s Cathedral :

 

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Randomly got off at this Tube Stop ( Tower of London ):

 

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Click this Link if Video Bit doesn’t play!

And we typically took the Tube, got lost on the Tube, made Friends with people on the way to the Tube.

 

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Then if we wanted to make the most of our time, we rode Cabs + Ubers, and sometimes the Music hit me, right there.

 

 

But most times I felt like Linda McCartney , taking photos out of moving Vehicles.

I was creating my own Documentary:

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We finally made it to Brick Lane, a place that epitomizes c r e a t i v e  e n e r g y.

I had wanted to spend the whole of Sunday meandering through the Markets, smelling Curry admist the Graffiti, and reminiscing. But sometimes in Life, you can’t go back.

I experienced what I was supposed to.

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Meandered out of the Snowy Cold and into this Market at the Truman Brewery:

 

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THIS is my London, Folks like him.

Then I randomly stumbled upon, THIS COAT. It took me all of 5 minutes to try it on, find out it fits me p e r f e c t l y, and fall in love with it ( that is the face of H A P P Y below ). The SO sweet booth owner ( should have given him my business card, but at least I introduced myself ) told me it was a 1944 British Red Cross Trench Coat, and with that, it became the b e s t ( 50th ) Birthday Present ever:

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LOVE LOVE LOVE IT.

It weathered the British Rain, Snow, and my backpack heavily laden with Photo Gear for the rest of the Trip.

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These guys.

The conversation + their dandy – ness was the Cherry on Top ( actually my Wood Brick Lane sign was ) of the best Shopping Experience of my Trip, a trip that wasn’t about shopping.

Then out onto the street to Document:

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Yes, I’m back and in front of where I had my first Art Show in London, at The Truman Brewery!

And just a taste of the Famous East London Graffiti:

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In My Element.

Next Blog Post: The Birthday

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 PS Endeavour Season V starts on Sunday, just in time for me to Blog about my new love, Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Christmas …

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Wadham College Chapel

Oxford, Oxfordshire

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Carnaby Street, London

Wishing all of You, A Joyous Holiday Season!

Back from my 50th Birthday Trip + Ready to Shaaare:

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With My Vintage 1940’s British Red Cross Trench + My Vintage Brick Lane Sign + Scabbed Knee from falling in the London Snow

 

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With my Wadham College Scarf + Vintage Scottish Newsboy Cap

Downloaded pics, over 2k DSLR Pics ( not bad considering I have 2 other Cameras + my iPhone ): but we will see what makes the cut!

But I did edit a few for my new Mates Overseas:

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Tom in Oxford

 

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Proud + Cheeky Bagpipers in Edinburgh

Stay Tuned for more!

G xxx

… And we’re OFF …

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Tonight we leave for my 50th Birthday Adventure to the part of this World that has all of my Heart + Soul …

London + Oxford + Edinburgh + Dublin here we come!

Living 49, Thank YOU for all the Blessings + Lessons,

You made me Humble, You made me Happy.

Living 50, I can’t wait to Fill You U P!

G XXX

Inspiration Wednesday …

What a rough three days it’s been:

Las Vegas is still in pain …

Joe_Monteagudo

Just found out someone who I went to Grade School with passed away today.

Rest In Peace Joe Monteagudo xxx …

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Via Google Image Search

And  Tom Petty passed away …

With so much sadness,  I chose to embrace life and look at my own for Inspiration for the Future.  I am most alive when I am putting back into the World.

I used to be a Social Worker.

I Supervised a Group Home with Autistic Adults:

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Ran a Homeless Shelter:

 

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Ran a Homework Center in a Public Library:

 

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Taught Art in Libraries:

 

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Taught Art at The Crocker Art Museum:

 

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I was a Curator for Phantom Galleries and I had some minutes of fame, my Interview click here.

 

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I even helped curate some of Russ Solomon’s Tower Ephemera for The Center for Sacramento History :

 

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My life has been nothing but eclectic.

As long as I’m alive, I will continue to see Inspiration in every damn thing.

G xxx

Motivation Monday …

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Via Google Image Search …

 

Here I sit feeling like the entire world is   b  r  o  k  e  n. How do you wrap your head and heart around something like Las Vegas?

The random senseless violence, the loss, the raw pain.

At the end of the day, I finally turned on the news and a floodgate opened.

I went outside with my camera and did the one thing that comforts me:

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This entire year has been a rough one for the World at large: how do you place yourself in all of that? How do you feel? How do you help? How can you not think that we need to

l     i     s     t    e    n

… the Universe is trying to tell us something.

And if you’ve been following me through this last year of my 40’s, all this totally fits into my existential journey:

 

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I’ve gotten back to being inspired, grounded, at peace.

I’m trying to stay on track with my Living 49 Project .

I’ve made a Career choice that fits me, just right.

And it hit me, is it wrong that I’m so happy and the rest of the world is falling apart?

But as today is Motivation Monday, I realized that even though there are so many  atrocities that happen everyday, everywhere in the World, it is my God Given gift of  life that I will not waste.

 

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I am still alive for a reason and I will try my hardest to find it.

I will not be afraid to say ‘ I Love You ‘ because that is the greatest gift you can give someone.

I will dream hard and work hard for my dreams.

I will strive to help others every second of every day, in some small way.

I will use my Muse to honor, inspire, and put light back into the World.

It may not make a difference in the big scheme of things, but it’s all I have to offer.

In Peace + Love, G XXX

+ I’m going to be blogging more on my Photography site: click here for my recent heartfelt post on Photography.

+ And just in case you missed it , how I came out of Summer into Fall, click.

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Being Having a Human Experience …

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First, my Heart + Soul goes out to all those effected by Hurricane Irma + Harvey.

Please h e l p if you can, click here.

ALL MY LOVE + PRAYERS are with those of you that are Rebuilding your Lives + all those who are Helping you Rebuild.

 Summer has ended and Fall is right around the corner.  It’s the perfect time to take stock of my Journey so far this year.

This Summer I didn’t use my Passport (that’s what Instagram + Facebook are for), I didn’t sit on a Beach, I didn’t take a lot of Road trips.

I traveled inward and discovered long hidden parts of my Soul.

I had a Summer Romances with God, Myself, hand-full of my Beloveds, and Sadie Dog.

I sought out ( currently seeking  ) new opportunities + ways to lose my Inhibition.

I took care of Sadie Dog ( Tumor Removal +  Collapsing Trach ). She’s much better now + her Spirit will not be broken!

There were days that I felt accomplished, motivated, contributing to the World.

Other days, I was disappointed and felt no forward movement at all.

It’s been moments of pain + beauty, of Blessings + Lessons.

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Then somewhere in between the Charlottesville Riots and my ‘ Purge + Keep ‘ before 50 …

I discovered something.

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I am at an Existential Crossroads.

I’m pretty sure it’s because of the aforementioned Birthday in December, but with all that digging around in my Soul, it was inevitable.

My Human Side (Rational, Thinking, Pragmatic) is in a tug and pull with my Spiritual Side (Faith Filled, Feeling, Visionary).

And I find myself right back where I started when I was in my Teens.

I want to embrace the whole damn World and see all of it.

I know I have to m a k e a living but I also need to create, give back, to help others.

Which road do I take? Do I have to chose just one?

Many days, Many Journeys.

Then somewhere Mid August, things got simpler … and I remembered:

I    t    ‘    s         a     l     l         A     R     T

It’s the merging of Spirit + Humanity that has underlined everything that I stand for in this life.

It’s why I have always sought out the Poem, the Song, the Still Image in random moments.

It’s the path I’ve always taken, It’s the path I’m always on.

And maybe because of these discoveries or said Birthday …

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I have been on the Edit: literally + emotionally.

Living in the same magical place for 13 years with 40 (OH GOSH) years plus worth of S T U F F,  it felt empowering  to recycle, donate, throw away bits that I don’t need going into the next half of my Life.

The bits that made the cut, it felt good to organize them.

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30 Years of Film Pics + Photo Albums …

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14 Years of the Ex in one Plastic Bin ( Sadie + I are both happy about that ). Because in the end, aren’t we all just Stories (Thank You Dr. Who)?

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30 Years worth of Paper Bits for Art + Visual Journaling into two Plastic Bins.

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30 Years of Magazine Pages into Morgues …

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A Lifetime of Cards + Letters …

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The First time since I made this room Pink, it truly feels organized. These are the Essentials, like if I had to move tomorrow, these would be packed.

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… and then the streamlined Cupboard with almost 50 Years worth of bits.

Inevitably with all this unearthing + organizing, I’ve decided to add a few more Projects ( I am the Project Queen ) to my whole Living 49 – 50 Journey:

One. Writing a Third Issue of my Zine, Life As Art.

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Issues One + Two …

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Cover of Issue Three?

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Two. Making a ( Huge ) Art Piece on my Current Journey: I have Reused this Canvas Three Times ( a charm ).

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Three.  Scanning Old Film Pics +  Blogging semi-regularly on my Photography Website  .  I hope to share musings on my life long obsession with Photography!

Four.  Sharing ( in general ) my wealth of life long bits.

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Instagram has been my chosen Mode of sharing lately.

In sharing these bits, I’ve discovered that I have done a lot, seen a lot, made a lot, and have done my best to give back to the World.

Here’s to another 30 plus more years of doing the same!

Five. Realizing I have SO much British Bits/Memories/Photos ( 36 Years! ) that …

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L    O    N    D    O    N         I    S         A    L    W    A    Y    S         C    A    L    L    I    N    G  and I need to get back there soon + often ( a life long Project, aheem )!

Six.  I’m starting a Bucket List before 5 0 ( I know a bit late ) but in doing so, I realized that most of the things on my list are seeking out those that I want to make amends with + forgive + move forward.

Lastly, it’s my hope that I can get back to my daily Living 49 Project + Motivation Monday Et Al Posts + Vlogging . But, as I’ve mentioned in another Blog Post, n o t feeling Inspired is also part of the Journey … so I will do my best!

Rest assured, when I do share, it will be full of intent + straight from the deepest parts of my Heart.

What more can I can hope for going into Fall, Winter and the beginning of the second half of my Life?

Always BIG LOVE, G xxx

+ If interested go here for Summer Pics!

+  Here for Living 49 Pics!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Summer …

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Amen!

 

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Freedom Tree

 

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Starting something new

 

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Shutterfly for Promotion

 

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Best Ensaymada ever.

 

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Daddy’s Plums: The best ever.

 

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Mom gives me Magazines + Dad gives me tools!

 

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Bit of Filipinina

Bits from my Tardis:

 

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Snoopy Backpack

 

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First Bit of Art

 

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Oh Savings!

 

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Fave Grade School Lunch Box …

 

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Today: Game of Thrones Season 7 and a Female Dr. Who!

G xxx

 

Motivation Monday …

 

Finally finished my Go Fund Me Account for my Trip in December!

justyawpingtotheuk, click!

As promised, Daily Bit from my 49 Years of Life Closet aka My very own ‘ Tardis’ :

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Scanned Visual Journal Pages from 2002: Not much has changed other than the justgenie.com

Onto the next =)!

G xxx