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I'm not dead! (Although I should be.)

Okay, I'm going to have to call commenting amnesty, because I just don't know when I'll be able to sit and reply to 100+ comments, I'm so sorry. Don't take it as an insult, or anything like that, I'm not "privileging comments" over yours. I'm just, you know, a mother etc. etc. and don't have time. I appreciate every comment, every person that spoke up about themselves on Those Posts. So please let this be my "thank you for commenting!" comment. :)

I'm feeling reeeeeaaaaaaally stretched thin, like I've got way too much I'm doing and I'm not doing any of it well. Mostly that's because I'm doing too much and because it's the end of the school year, blah blah. Vacations are coming up, and that should go a long way to letting me feel like I can drop my shoulders. Oh, and I got a bee in my bonnet over finishing up some garden tasks, and y'all should know by now that I'm insane when it comes to my landscaping. Big pics under the cut!

When we bought our house there was only a huge swath of nasty common Bermuda (not the pretty, fine bladed type like Tifway - HEY-O I'M A PLANT NERD) and many pounds of thistles. Lovely? Not one blooming plant. Two mostly dead trees. That was it, on 1/2 acre bit o'land. o_0 I started digging holes and realized why nothing was growing. We have the worst soil known to man, and loads of garbage under the sod. (You moved the headstones but you left the bodies! And the beer cans! And the tarps! And good hell, why so many bricks? And is that a FULL beer can? Just sitting under the sod? REALLY?) Ugh. True fact: the type of soil I'm sitting on is what HIGHWAYS are made of. You know, where huge trucks drive over in lovely stability? Try digging in that some time. Now dig up 35 square YARDS of it. WHEE.

Back to my awesome garden. Lol. The land is very sloped, btw., because I live in Flash Flood land (see: highway for soil - where does the water go? Not down but in horizontal torrents!) This is what it started out as (once I dug out three sickly holly bushes) in the beginning:

Pretty sad and pathetic looking, huh? Those are three wee pine shrubs under the window (I want a 360 view - not just a street view, btw.) and my beloved weeping Japanese maple (the one cut in half by the roofers, sob) and the beginnings of a stacked stone wall. It's wonky, but that's because I didn't get my level out initially.

Later, I made the bones to a walkway to our back gate and put in a blue point juniper and some grasses (gulf muhly) and let it rest all winter.

Not that great looking, I know. But the key here is to get beds refilled with good soil and let them mellow for a bit. It's hard to be patient.

Here's the first spring. (The white blossoms against the wall are mock oranges, and HOLY CRAP do they smell delicious. It's almost overwhelming, like a combination of gardenia and honeysuckle. Mmmm.)

Well, I ended up pulling out the border by another good foot [that was when I hired those roving landscapers to finish digging up and hauling off the concrete-grass] and dug out a solid three feet to the right of the stone path. Which meant that I needed to take out all of the stones, try and control the slope a bit, then re-do the steps, make them wider, and make sure they were perfectly level.

(I want them to match the front walkway.)

Here's the front walk in transition from the spring blooms to summer blooms.

Here's a view of the new part looking to the front.

Still left to do (but probably not today): add more day lilies (the thick grassy looking plant on the left) to the new side of the border, see if anyone has any more bluebells to add to the new side as well, add a few more grasses to the left to make it match. You can't see now, but at the bottom are two gulf muhly grasses that will get huge and full with pink wisps floating above in fall, the grasses in the new section are smaller Mexican feather grass, and I love how they look with the slightest breeze.

I need to add another cubic yard of soil/mulch to the sides to help shore up the steps and wall. The slope is intense there, and I just don't want to haul off any more caliche soil, I'd rather go up than down. Also needed: the last two flagstones up against the house and more blue stones (Mexican river pebbles) to finish it out. One day I'll hire an electrician to put a grounded outdoor plug on that wall so I can put landscaping lights out there as well, but not today.

It's still a baby garden, and I'm impatient for it to look full and lush already. I still like how it's looking, though. And given that NO ONE ON MY BLOCK has anything remotely close to a flower garden, it's pretty impressive in person, if not in pictures. Mostly by association, lol.

In other news, I wore a racer back sports bra and a spaghetti strap tank while working out there, and evidently didn't get sunscreen in the middle of my back where my shoulder blades are. So now I have a sunburn that looks like a butterfly. PRETTY. Um, when I go shopping later for a sun dress for a wedding this weekend (the one where my MiL informed the groom's mother that I just might be late, because I'm an idiot that can't find my butt with both hands? GAH.) I'll look for one with a higher back, I suppose. NOT PRETTY.

In other, other news, I don't know how I felt about last night's House. I know that I love me some Hugh Laurie, though, and his dirty scruffy sad face does things to me. Also continually hot from season to season: Chuck's Zachary Levi and good lord, I want to wear him like man pants. Tall, lithe and nerdy? YES PLEASE. That is my kryptonite. And the conclusion of The Pacific had me realize just what is wrong with the Baby Boomers: they were raised by dads with PTSD. NO WONDER, GUYS. NO WONDER. (Yes, evidently I missed the whole point of The Wonder Years, shut up, I was only there for Olivia D'Abo and her adorable over bite.)

Here, have some tacky weddings. (Clowns? REALLY? Clowns. You are going to regret that when you're older, trust me. Even the waltzing screaming clown of Cirque du Soleil is looking askance, chica. EVEN THAT GUY.)

[ETA GOOD LORD] Holy shit, you guys it is WHY APOSTROPHE ALL. Y'ALL. Not YA'LL. What the hell is that?! YOU + ALL - OU = Y'ALL. Quit screwing up the words of my people. (Would you spell it do'nt? Then you're an idiot.) Also: tump, cattywhompus, and kitty-cornered. Also acceptable: catty-cornered. Y'ALL!!!!!!!! Jesus. And again, there is definitely no "a" in definitely. Two i's bookended by two e's. NO A.


( 85 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 18th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Your garden is gorgeous!
May. 18th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you!
May. 18th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
Pretty pretty garden. I do indeed have a bit of plant envy.

Oh, I totally dug last night's House. I love his scruffy ass and I love Cuddy too. I'm so sappy lately.
I am begining to find myself annoying. :-)
May. 18th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
If you saw my bruises and sore body, you might not be so envious. Oh, and I was so filthy yesterday after spreading compost, mulch, etc. that my dog wouldn't even sit with me until I showered.

Those last 5 minutes had me filled with a little fanservice, I won't lie. But then, I saw the kissing and kinda made some moaning noises. LOL. Ungh, Hugh Laurie you are hot. (crazy smart, musically gifted, and FUNNY? Lord help me.)
May. 18th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Like I have said before: your house. Do want. Too bad that because of my chosen profession it will take me years before I can afford even a small apartment in Spain.

Sigh, I should have just gritted my teeth and become a surgeon.

Anyways, what is the soil type? Dwarf Fortress has lately renewed my interest in geology.
May. 18th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Well, Texas is a pretty inexpensive state to live in here in the US. :)

You can still join the mafia/organized crime outfit. I hear they make good money, although the life expectancy isn't much.

The soil is caliche.
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May. 18th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Beautiful house, beautiful garden. And your MIL is an idiot.

And I so agree with you about Zachary Levi. He's probably young enough to be my son...
May. 18th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU.

He's young enough to be my lover. Lol.
May. 18th, 2010 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, it is so pretty. I am very impressed!
May. 18th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! *flexes biceps*
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May. 18th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)

Ooooh, I like that. Maybe I can duplicate the burn on my sternum for matchy-matchy good times?!

Agreed on the serial killers liking clowns because who the hell likes clowns!??! The best "Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy" is the following: I don't know where my fear of clowns began. Maybe it has something to do with me being a child and going to the circus and a clown killed my dad." LOL.

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May. 18th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC)
... Southrenese y'all aren't doin' it right

Lovely pictures btw. Good luck finding a lovely sunburn covering dress.

May. 18th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
HI BB. And thanks!

Oh my god, I keep seeing "ya'll" everywhere and WHY ARE PEOPLE DOING THAT?!

May. 18th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Garden, yours, WANT. *sigh* Sadly flowers make me sneeze, so unless I'm medicated to the gills, I couldn't sit out and enjoy them.

Agree with the assessment of Zach. I began watching Chuck cause of Adam Baldwin, stayed for him and Zach. Mmmmmmmmm.
May. 18th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks! And I'm SO SAD that you are sniffly around plants, that's the worst thing I've ever heard.

Seriously. He's DELICIOUS. And I'm a big fan of Baldwin's, too. He's a manly man, rawr.
May. 18th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
I read somewhere that some people write ya'll because they're doing a YA + ALL thing. In which case, I would think y'all would still work and would bring much needed consistency and harmony.

"Y'all" makes me go weak at the knees. I'm having a semi-flirtation sort of relationship with a Texan at the moment, and he doesn't sound remotely Texan but brings it on randomly so I can swoon.

Your garden makes me swoon. I want to take pics of mine, but mine's done by professionals so I don't have any feeling of accomplishment (that caliche soil! holy cows! your shoulder muscles must be caliche after working with it!). And also I don't know how to download pics from my phone.

*massages your shoulders*
May. 18th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Wait, I do not understand. WTF is "YA?"

Mmm, lemme tell you, we raise some hot men here. KNow where else the men are redonk to listen to? Mississippi or the Carolinas. it's that old school drawl of hot sex. Get your Texan to call you "darlin'" or "sweetpea." WEAK IN THE KNEES. :D

Oh, pish and tosh, I want to see your garden! I love gardens, regardless of who digs them. Can you email pics from your phone? That's how I transfer them, because I'm usually pretty dumb about other ways.

OoooOooooh, I could use a massage. I have a 2 hour massage scheduled on Thursday, so I have to be done with digging/stone hauling by then.
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May. 18th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
DUDE! You are a miracle worker. Seriously. I am so impressed! You could also do some guerrilla gardening in your own yard too and hide some nice herbs in there. I used to live at a place that had all sorts of herbs tucked in between the flagstones. It was wonderful.
May. 18th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oh I have LOADS of herbs, what? Rosemary shrubs that are getting on 5 feet, parsley, basil a'plenty, sage, thyme out the yin-yang, chives, tumeric, cilantro... Loads of veggies, too, they're just on the other side of the house. The side you're looking at in these pics is the North side, so it's almost complete shade with the exception of morning sun and afternoon sun on the steps.

Check the "gardening" tag up there if you want to see some of the other beds. :D
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May. 18th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
You have such a pretty yard! I'm totally jealous. Hi, by the way, I'm one of the new folks lurking around.

When I saw your ETA, I had to go back and upload the "y'all" icon I found years ago. : ) It's always been 'catty-cornered' to me, I laughed the first time some yank was down here and said kitty-cornered -> it sounded so weird.
May. 18th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Your icon is a thing of excellence.
Hello! And thank you very much!

I've always said "catty-cornered" as well as "catty whompus" but some folks (I think Arkansas? That area?) say "kitty." Eh.

But there is NO EXCUSE for "Ya'll." That's in the same boat as definiAtely - WRONG WRONG WRONG. :D
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May. 18th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, the garden is looking so purty! Your hard work is certainly paying off! Our soil sucks and it's so hard to work and there are ginormous boulders just inches under the thin, thin clay-y top soil. I suck at gardening and it's so difficult it's easy to get discouraged. You're an inspiration.

I've given up on House, but I am right there with you on Zachary Levi. That boy makes me happy.

I am definitely a catty-cornered kitten!

Shrek wedding! Flinstones wedding! Aren't the big white dress and tuxedo costume-y enough, people?!

May. 18th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! And seriously, the only way to garden in that white clay is to dig it out and build up with new soil. If it's gumbo (black) clay, that's full of good stuff, you just have to loosen it with loads of organic material. (My current fave is at Home Depot, their "soil builder" bags that are 2.50 a bag. Good stuff and easy to haul. Compost and mulch all together in a 40 pound bag.)

I still like the medical mysteries, plus I'm a Hugh Laurie fan from the "Fry and Laurie" days, so I have to tune in to keep my fan badge. But Zachary Levi. Holy cuteness.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. I couldn't have said it more succinctly or cleverly than that!
May. 18th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Y'ALL!!!! Thats how I've always said it. Anyway, very nice garden! I do not have a green thumb and the house we live in, we're renting so I don't have to worry about making the grass look pretty! Theres a lawn service that comes and does it for the houses in the area. Yay for renting! But things break more BOO!!!

Just a curious question. Do you live in the same city as me? You don't have to answer here. You can look at my LJ info and then say yes or no.

I COMMAND IT! *shot*
May. 18th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
That's THE ONLY way to spell it! So see? You've been doing something right all along. Lol.

And thank you very much! And oh, no. I'm in North Texas, although I looooooove San Antone. Even if there is no basement in the Alamo.
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May. 18th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Hahah at the Gigantor-breast dress. I'd seen that pic before, but it doesn't really get old, does it? And the clown wedding looked kind of like a blast. Except for the whole....clown MAKE UP. *shudders* Pennywise does not approve!

Oh yeah, Zachary Levi is niiiiice. AND he can SING! Not sure if you've seen it, but he recently did a duet with Katherine McFee and it sounded pretty good. http://www.vevo.com/watch/playlist/must-love-kats/144885#0
May. 18th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Yeesh to the clown makeup on the BRIDE. IDK, I'm kinda in favor of looking pretty and not like a serial killer on The Big Day.

Whoa whoa whoa, WHAT?!?!!? Dude, thanks for the link, off to listen now! <3
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May. 18th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
The moles have overthrown all my dry laid brick borders (anyone who wonders why they're not mortared has never tried weeding quack grass stolons out of mortared walls) and I trip over random bricks every time I try to do anything in the up-hill beds. I need to find that locking-end recycled plastic tongue-and-groove they sell to make raised beds, I guess: not perfectly lovely, but since there's four feet of drop between the pasture fence and the house, I have to use something.

About us boomers: not just our fathers, but pretty much any man we came in contact with as children could have PTSD in greater or lesser degree; my father drove fuel trucks off ships onto the beaches of Normandy in late June 1944, and up into Germany through the Bulge, which was scary enough, but his younger brother, my crazy drunken randomly abusive uncle, was one of four men to come off an island in the South Pacific (he was 18 at the time). My fifth grade history and math teacher had head trauma, to boot; he crashed a jet in Korea; sort of an early adopter of military injuries. Our dear neighbor had ptsd of the hypervigilant protective sort plus some sort of gut injury which put him in the hospital for months at a time and repeatedly freaked out the entire neighborhood over his impending death (he finally died at 90).

Another thing you can't underestimate was the degree to which growing up in the depression gave the "Greatest Generation" all sorts of weired issues, especially about food and about material possessions. Clothing, god, the issues my parents had about clothes for my sister and me, especially damaging school clothes or shoes.

Julia, of course my parents were extreme cases (utter poverty, great big families), but even my inlaws, who were from much better family economic conditions, used "in the depression" as a cudgel for such things.
May. 18th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the people here with mortared brick walls.... UGH. That's a lot of work to change up (and let's face it, I'm going to change my garden beds every few years.)

Oh, I'm all over the Depression instilling craziness in a generation, see: my in laws. My grandfather was another one, but then, he was born in 1892, so he had all sorts of other things happening, too.
May. 18th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'm new. Came by via the Twilight Sparkle...thing. ^^; *waves*

re: Y'all

My mother is Texan, and I approve of this message.

re: Paula Deen

Now, my mother LOVES her. Me, I can't listen for more than a few minutes without wanting to strangle her with her own y'awwll. Guess that proves I'm a damn Yankee.

re: Zachary Levi

Oh gods, yes.
May. 18th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Hello! Oh, I get embarassed for Paula Deen big time. Mostly because she's so "Y'awl, lookit me ova hear with sum buuuuutter and awl." And the flirting, GOOD LORD WOMAN.
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May. 18th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
LOL, so I just got back from the garden center where I bought more Mexican pebbles (the blue liner rocks?) to the tune of about 150 pounds. One of the guys that worked there came over and asked if I needed help, I smiled and said no thanks, flexed my bicep and he did a double take. I HAVE GUNS, YO. Hahaha.

And THANK YOU! Sometimes I wonder if it's just looking like a nasty jumble, so I appreciate it. <3 (Also, how are YOU?!)
May. 18th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
One of the things that people on jf hatememes have made fun of me about is spelling definitely wrong. I am of the opinions the the word is spelled incorrectly in the dictionary as it is pronounced def-IN-ahnt-lee.

In other words: your face.
May. 18th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)

Also, I have to tell myself that there is no ass in occasion so I get he double right. Also, ask anyone that's beta'd for me, I switch "that" and "which" all the time. HUH?

ZOMG, why are you not praising my hard work, woe. This is lush for Texas!
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May. 18th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
I dun made a post about clowns as a comment to a comment but wanted to add,...

Y'ALL!! Woo! At last, someone who understands! I have always spelled it y'all, and I hate when someone corrects me, especially a non-native speaker!!!

And then there's the plural possessive, y'all's, =-D That allus gets spelled wrong, too!

Re; garden, I has serious garden envy!! I live in a verdant swamp and raise a hobby herd of Fallow deer. The potential for Teh Most Ay-mazing Deer Park with boarded walks and so on is surely there if I would just get off my lazy ass and do it,...
May. 18th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
You've always spelled it that way because you've always spelled it RIGHT. :D

If something belongs to the group, then agreed: it's ALL Y'ALL'S THINGS. Lol.
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May. 18th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I so covet your stairs and walkways. I know I could do that stuff if not for my tendon/rotator cuff problems that begin to squawk loudly if I do too much INSTANT MESSAGING, let alone buildy type things.

Also, I tumped over with laughter about the tacky weddings. ILU!
May. 18th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
Dude, my back is waving the white flag BIG TIME, and I lift weights. It was a LOT of work. (But I'm glad I did it. And I'm not ever doing that again. <-- famous last words)

Those tacky weddings, AREN'T THEY HILARIOUSLY AWFUL??
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May. 18th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)

YOUR GARDEN IS RAD. I wish I had any pix of my old house in Spain with our lemon and orange trees and the Terrifying Summer of Courgette Doom. *sigh*
May. 19th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I really think that's the worst one, too. WTF, why would you paint your FACE like that? (And it's not even painted WELL. Fucking Juggalos.)

THANK YOU. And ooOOooOOoooh, lemon and orange trees en Espana!(tilde) I have a deep love for Spanish architecture and the beautiful landscaping that I've seen. I bet it was DREAMY.
May. 18th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
One) God, do I love your garden. I have no green thumb whatsoever, but when I can and am able, I love futzing around. And lilies of any kind are my favorite of all flowers. Give me them over roses any day of the week and I'll fall all over you. Seriously. It's my weakness. I even buy the cheap lilies from Krogers when I'm sure my cat won't eat them (which, not often).

Holy shit, you guys it is WHY APOSTROPHE ALL. Y'ALL. Not YA'LL. What the hell is that?! YOU + ALL - OU = Y'ALL. Quit screwing up the words of my people. (Would you spell it do'nt? Then you're an idiot.) Also: tump, cattywhompus, and kitty-cornered. Also acceptable: catty-cornered. Y'ALL!!!!!!!! Jesus. And again, there is definitely no "a" in definitely. Two i's bookended by two e's. NO A.

Yes. Thank you. I hate it when people misspell y'all. It's not "ya all". It's "you all". If you're gonna mimic, then do it right for goodness sake. Sheesh! I say catty-cornered since I was raised by my godmothers born in the 10s and 30s, and then I have to demonstrate it because it seems other people have never heard of it either.
May. 19th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
1) thank you! I LOOOOOOOVE lilies. They're super easy, too. (Well, here where we have no moles.) I have loads coming in, and they make me super happy, too.

2) I just don't get where people think that's how it's done. Like, it doesn't make contraction sense. would'nt? NO. The apostrophe goes where the missing letters were, durr.
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May. 18th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
You have done well, my child!

You should get a glitter pen and outline your butterfly cancer burn to make it sparkly pretty like a vampire.
May. 19th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
Fanks! I just put the last of the mulch, stones, and border up, and it's DONE. And then a dog walked by and pissed on me.

Oooh, glitter burn!
May. 19th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
Tall, lithe and nerdy? YES PLEASE.

Add in "good with a gun" and "protective only when needed b/c he respects her independence" and you have my dream man. *sigh* Now if only I could find him. He's bound to be out there somewhere, right? :)

Oooh. Sunburn. *winces* My sympathies.

And the garden is gorgeous! I'm always ever so slightly jealous of people with pretty gardens. It's just not part of my skill set. Of course, I took after my mom...I can kill cacti. lol
May. 19th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
He's just dreamy, that Mr. Levi. And Bartowski.

Cactus are actually easy to kill, I know that ruins your scenario, lol. (Overwatering is the #1 reason plants die, tru fax.)
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May. 19th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
Dear Stoney,

Please come over to my house and play in my garden.


May. 19th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
If you provide the dug holes, I will happily stick something in t-

Well, now there's no way I can finish that without it sounding dirty. ;) (Are you near a Redenta's? Or North Haven Gardens? THEY ARE MY FAVORITE. Also, they're staffed by Master Gardeners. SCORE.)
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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