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Webster community mailbag

19 Jan

I ripped many of these items from the Town of Webster’s weekly newsletter. If you don’t get this emailed to you or check it out on the website regularly, you might want to to that, because it’s always packed with great information.

Try a winter hike

Winter is one of the most beautiful times of year to take a hike. The Friends of Webster Trails got you covered.

The Friends’ first hike of the year will take place this coming Saturday Jan. 22, at 9 a.m. at Whiting Rd. Nature Preserve. It will be about 3 miles long and is rated “moderate,” with some rolling hills. You’ll want to RSVP by signing up for the Meetup.com event, so you can get more details and updates. It will be held in snow, rain or shine, so make sure to dress appropriately!

P.S. The hike is absolutely free.

What events would you like to see in the village?

You know the Webster Business Improvement District … or at least you know their events. This is the group behind a lot of the special events we have here in the Village of Webster, including the Trick or Treat Trail, Wine Walks and Family Game Nights. It’s an organization comprised of village business owners, dedicated to promoting village businesses.

If you’re a village resident or business owner, would like to find out more about the BID and perhaps put in your two cents about the events you’ve seen or would like to see, here’s your chance: the first BID meeting of the year will be held Monday Jan. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Drive.

The meeting will be more a social gathering than anything else. It’s a great chance for village residents and business owners to get to know more about the organization and exchange ideas on how best to help promote village businesses. Food and drink will be provided.

And … here’s a teaser … I know that the BID will be announcing a really neat new event at this meeting, so it will be a great one to attend!

Please RSVP by Friday Jan. 21, by emailing info@websterbid.com. And if you’d like to find out more about the BID visit www.websterbid.com.

Grab your sweetheart and dance the night away

Challenger Miracle Field is hosting “A Night to Shine” Valentine’s Prom for children and adults with special needs on Friday Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. It’s a chance to gather with old friends and meet new ones. Singles and couples are welcome.

Suggested donation is $20 and includes a buffet dinner, dancing, a photo booth and more. Registration is required by Feb. 1. Click here for more information and to register.

When will more test kits be distributed?

Yes, the Town of Webster will be distributing more COVID tests kits, but they don’t know when.

A new supply is expected, but there are no specifics right now as to when that might be or how many the town will be getting. You can sign up for Town of Webster email alerts here to stay up to date.

Remember, however, that as of yesterday, every household in the U.S. can order 4 FREE tests from the government, delivered in the mail. Here’s the link to sign up.

A reminder from the Town

Finally, some important things to remember now that we have a lot of snow on the ground:

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

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Happy news from the Webster BID

14 Jan

You might think that when the Village’s Business Improvement District holds special events like the Wine Walk and Beer Walk, it’s all just for fun and games.

There’s a lot of fun involved, definitely. But rest assured, the money that you’re plunking down for these events is always earmarked for donation to a local charitable organization. There’s just not a whole lot of hoopla when the check is handed over.

That was not the case on Thursday, however, when Mike Grenier, president of the Webster Community Chest, received a very large (literally) check for $900, representing the proceeds from the BID’s first-ever “Hops and Stops” Beer Walk held at the end of November. (It was a terrific event; you can read about it in my blog here.)

Grenier was presented the check by Kevin Finn (of Finn’s Garage) and Laurie Read (of Woodland Silkscreen & Embroidery).

Based on the event’s success, organizers are planning a second Hops & Stops later this year. They’re looking at maybe doing it a little earlier, however, like during October. Perhaps they can combine it with the village’s Oktoberfest?

What events would you like to see in the village?

The BID, which put on the Beer Walk, is the group behind a lot of the special events we have here in the Village of Webster, including the Trick or Treat Trail, Wine Walks and Family Game Nights. It’s an organization comprised of Village of Webster business owners, and dedicated to promoting village businesses.

If you’re a village resident or business owner, would like to find out more about the BID and perhaps put in your two cents about the events you’ve seen or would like to see, here’s your chance: the first BID meeting of the year will be held Monday Jan. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Drive.

The meeting will be more a social gathering than anything else. It’s a great chance for village residents and business owners to get to know more about the organization and exchange ideas on how best to help promote village businesses. Food and drink will be provided.

Please RSVP by Friday Jan. 21, by emailing info@websterbid.com. And if you’d like to find out more about the BID visit www.websterbid.com.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Looking back at the year in blogs

31 Dec

As another challenging year comes to a close, I took a moment the other day to look back through all the blogs I wrote in 2021. It was a fun tour and I was a little surprised by the sheer number: 248. I really thought there’d be fewer than that, given that we were still dealing with the pandemic, schools were still ratcheting up from remote learning and many regularly-scheduled special events were scaled back or postponed entirely.

But it turns out I still had a lot to write about. For that matter, the largest percentage of those blogs were about special events that continued to be held despite COVID, or returned this year after being put on hold in 2020. They included Village events like the Trick-or-Treat Trail, White Christmas, the Family Games nights, Beer Walk, and the holiday summer parade. But several other Webster events also got my attention, including the St. Rita Fiesta, Waterfront Art Festival and the XRX Radio Club Field Day.

I wrote a lot about businesses, especially highlighting the new ones that opened this year despite the pandemic. And there were several of them: Whimsies, Crafty Christy’s Boutique, Village HandWorks, Cobblestone on Main, Polar Freeze, To the Core Pilates and Nourished. I wrote about the new owners at Diamond Collsion, yoga classes at Welch’s Greenhouses and anniversary parties at my two favorite pubs, Barry’s and Knucklehead. I lamented the passing of The Music Store, and explored a long-time village business, Village Mall Video, for the first time.

I spread positive news from our schools about the Webster Marching Band’s Autumn Fanfare and State Championship; the schools’ musicals and dramas, Plank North and Schlegel Elementary Schools’ Tour Around the Lakes; and the creative ways the PTSA found to help the Class of 2021 feel special.

I highlighted local organizations that create the fabric of our community (most of them several times), including the Chorus of the Genesee, Webster Museum, Webster Public Library, Friends of Webster Trails, Miracle Field, the Webster Theater Guild and Bella’s Bumbas.

Then there were all those blogs which I can only characterize as snippets from small-town life, the kinds of simple things and wonderful people that make living in Webster special.

I shared photos of many of our village’s beautiful gardens, charming village porches and Christmas decorations. I told stories about neighbors helping neighbors: the Curtice Park homeowner who hosted a COVID-friendly Easter scavenger hunt for kids; a porch concert on Park Ave.; and the kind person who’s created a wild animal sanctuary on the Hojack Trail. I especially liked giving shout-outs to kids doing great things, like the young artists who created a chalk garden on Baker Street, and the six-year old who sold lemonade on South Ave. to benefit St. Jude’s.

I’ve met many wonderful people through this blog, and shared many of their stories with you. Like “Webster’s Mrs. Claus,” Florence Kinney; Brandon Schafer, the “North Ave. Artist”; and the new director of the Webster Library, Adam Traub.

Finally, I shared some personal stories, and wrote others just for fun (like the recent one about the hit-and-run at the Irondequoit Rec Center).

I got a proclamation for outstanding community service from the Town of Webster in August, and displayed many of my blog photos at the Webster Public Library. I shared both of those accomplishments with you all. I introduced a new website, Afterthoughts, and a few enhancements to my Webster on the Web site, links to local services and a village directory.

And finally, there were the mysteries you worked through with me: Who lost that GoPro in the lake? Who WAS James Carnavale? Who was that man who painted the Holt Rd. sign?

Whew.

I know a lot of you are still reading this blog, three or more page scrolls down from where it began. I know that because you are the folks who’ve been with me all year.

You’re the reason I write this blog. Because even though I enjoy doing this, it would get pretty old if I thought my words weren’t making a difference.

So thank you all for being faithful readers. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2022, and I look forward to continuing to spread good news from our hometown.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Village hosts holiday scavenger hunt

17 Dec

Here’s another great reason to head into the Village of Webster this last week before Christmas — aside from all of the terrific finds for your last-minute gift needs:

* * * The 2021 Village Holiday Scavenger Hunt * * *

Great prizes from Kittelberger Florist and other village merchants await several lucky winners of this fun and easy scavenger hunt. All you have to do is visit each of the merchants on the list below, and write down the word printed on the Happy Snowman located at each business. Using the words, complete the holiday phrase below, and email your answer to info@websterbid.com.

Entries are due by Wednesday Dec. 22.

Here’s the list of businesses:

  • Beyond Cuts
  • Village Hall
  • Finn’s Automotive
  • Golden Boys Restaurant
  • Jeff’s Computer Service
  • Lattimore Physical Therapy
  • Martino’s Pizzeria
  • Manes Beauty Lounge
  • Nest Things
  • Rubino’s
  • The Savage Chef
  • The North Bee
  • Webster Interiors
  • Webster Museum
  • Yesterday’s Muse
  • The Village Quilt Shoppe
  • Lala of Webster
  • Professional Nutrition at Holistic Health Center

And here’s the mystery phrase:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _    _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _    _ _ _    _ _ _ _  …
_ _ _ _ _    _ _ _    _    _ _ _    _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _ .
_ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _!

Good luck!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Knucklehead is celebrating 7 years

15 Dec

Eight or nine years ago, when I was still working at Webster Thomas High School, a friend and colleague of mine, Kathy Dummer, shared some exciting news with me. She told me that her husband Len was hoping to take over the old Seitz’s grocery store/post office at the corner of Old Ridge and Bay roads in West Webster, and turn it into a brewpub.

She knew I’d be interested because I wrote a Webster blog. But she also asked me to keep the news on the down-low in case it didn’t happen.

To Webster’s great benefit, Knucklehead Craft Brewing not only came to be, but has continued to get better and better every year.

Knucklehead Craft Brewing, at 426 Ridge Rd., turns seven years old this month. The Dummer family has planned an appropriate celebration to mark the occasion, complete with music throughout the day, food specials, and a few extra special beer selections on tap.

Webster’s own craft brewery has grown up a lot since it opened in 2014. There have been a lot of little improvements along the way, like updating the lighting, freshening up the paint job and featuring regular live music. But it’s the big things that have really made the brewpub a regular stop for much of Webster: more parking, a huge kitchen upgrade, addition of a beautiful beer garden, and expanding the dining/drinking area into their huge back room.

Of course, their craft brews are pretty good, too.

Check it all out for yourself this coming Saturday, from 1 to 10 p.m. at Kucklehead Craft Brewing, 426 Ridge Rd., West Webster, at the corner of Bay. I understand there’s going to be a “secret” beer on tap….

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

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Collision shop’s new owners very community-oriented

12 Dec

One of the things I like best about community events like White Christmas is that I get to see a lot of old friends, and meet a lot of new people.

Like the Mastrodonato family, the new owners of Diamond Collision at 54 Donovan St., who had set up a table in front of Tom’s Garage on Main Street during the White Christmas Parade of Lights. They were serving up free hot chocolate for anyone who wanted a warm-up on what was a rather chilly evening.

I asked if they were taking donations in exchange for the treat, but was told that no, they just wanted to do something for the Webster community.

I recently exchanged a few emails with Carly Mastrodonato, one of the owners, to find out more about the new business. It became immediately clear that while paint and collision work is their main focus, their commitment to community comes in a close second.

Their community involvement began pretty much on day one, when they held a grand opening party with food, raffles and live music. They donated all the proceeds from that event to Miracle Field.

Since then, the Diamond Collision owners

  • carved pumpkins for the Webster Recreation Center’s Pumpkins on Parade in 2020 and 2021
  • participated in the Village of Webster’s Trick or Treat Trail
  • try to buy local as much as they can, like using McAllister Signs for a lot of their signage
  • and, of course, handed out hot chocolate and candy canes at the Parade of Lights

Carly explained,

It’s important to us to be a part of the community for two very important reasons. Number one, without the community we wouldn’t have a business. It’s the local community that allows us to run a successful business. They put their trust in us, so this is the least we can do. It was a small way to show thanks.

The second reason, we want to be recognized. We don’t want to just be some small collision shop on Donovan Street that no one has heard of. We want people to see Chuck and say “Hey, there is Chuck from Diamond Collision.” My father, like many others, has worked very hard his whole life and is just so happy to finally be a business owner and make this very important decision to be a part of the community as much as we can!

I think it’s important to understand that we truly enjoy this involvement. This is a part of who we are as Diamond Collision and as a family. It brings us joy to be able to give. Even if it is as small as a cup of hot chocolate. I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time at the Parade of Lights and had so many great conversations. That’s what it’s all about! These are the moments that last a lifetime.

On Friday Dec. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m., they’ll host Rochester artist Doug MacDonald and his Art for Sickos van at their shop in Webster. “We are very open and supportive of small businesses,” Carly wrote, “and we want to do everything we can to help and support.”

The Mastrodonato family only took over ownership of Diamond Collision in October, which makes their list of community accomplishments that much more impressive.

“We look forward to being a part of more events within the local community,” Carly added. “It brings us joy to meet people in the community that allow us to be Diamond Collision.”

May I be the first to say, welcome to the village.

Diamond Collision is at 54 Donovan St. You can check them out on their Facebook page, website, and on Instagram at @diamondcollision_webster.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Friends and fun at village beer walk

29 Nov

Hey, Webster BID: Great job on the “Hops and Stops” Beer Walk Saturday!

Fifteen businesses signed up as stops for Saturday afternoon’s walk, which guided almost two hundred beer lovers from one end of the village to the other. My husband, several of my closest friends and I were among them, traveling as a pack and popping into one shop after the other for a beer tasting and/or snacks provided by the business owners.

We picked up our sampling glasses at Finn’s Automotive shortly after the event began at 3 p.m., and I really didn’t expect we’d need the entire three hours to complete the tour. But I also didn’t expect the generous beer “samples” offered at most of the stops (the Filling Station poured pretty much an entire pint) or the frequent opportunities we took to socialize with each other and friends we met along the way. We landed at our last stop, Barry’s Old School Irish, just before 6 p.m. It turned out to be the perfect amount of time to enjoy all the afternoon had to offer: friends, beer and food. We simply had a blast.

Of course, one of the best parts of the cleverly named “Hops and Stops” was that it highlighted so many of the Village of Webster’s small businesses. It was scheduled, not coincidentally, for Small Business Saturday, and for many of the participants, it served as an introduction to many businesses which they’d never before been in, or even knew about.

Thank you to all the businesses which participated, and to the BID for another great event highlighting our beautiful village.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

New village store embraces the whimisical side of shopping

27 Nov

Today is Small Business Saturday, and there are so many cool things happening with our village merchants, you’re going to want to block off most of your day to check them all out.

The most exciting is that a brand new business, Whimsies, has opened on East Main Street. Whimsies doesn’t have a sign outside yet, but you’ll find it right next door to Lala of Webster, at 32 East Main St. (in the former Chandeliers Boutique). Whimsies is actually kind of an extension of Lala’s; or as owner Lisa Schlonski describes it, a gift shop operating under the Lala umbrella.

Lisa is still unpacking and organizing her merchandise, but really wanted to open her doors by Small Business Saturday. When everything is in place, the new store will be stocked with some of the more whimsical and “snarky” items that you can find right now at Lala’s, and will also feature a wide selection of vintage and “penny” candy.

The new shop already looks great, even though it’s not where Lisa would like it to be quite yet. You’ll definitely want to check it out today, because everything in the store (and in Lala’s) is 20% off.


Checking out the new Whimsies is just one good reason to head into the village today. Not that anyone should NEED an excuse to support the Village of Webster’s small businesses, but in honor of Small Business Saturday, you’ll find that pretty much everyone has specials going on. Here’s a sampling, from some of my favorite village shops:

Crafty Christy’s Boutique is our village’s newest small business (aside from Whimsies). At 7 West Main St., it’s kind of hidden down in the back parking lot across from the gazebo, but is getting a lot of attention. Anyone who wanders down there to check it out today will find some extra special surprises.

Christina Barnum is offering shoppers buy one/get one free Christmas earrings, and the chance to sign up for three craft classes for the price of two. Christina is also also accepting clothing donations for HOPE House, and will give a free gift to anyone who makes a donation. (Click here to see the current HOPE House wish list).

The North Bee, at 27 North Ave., is actually celebrating its 3rd anniversary today. In honor of the anniversary, you can get buy one/get one free CBD products and check the Facebook page for a 30% coupon good in store for any one item.

Village HandWorks is another fairly new business. It opened in September at 19 East Main St., next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe. Owner Jenn Ratcliffe has so many percentage-off specials that I can’t really include them here, but suffice it to say, if you’re looking for gifts for someone in your life who loves to knit or weave or appreciates hand-crafted winter-wear, you’ll want to spend some time at Village HandWorks.

Jenn, by the way, is super-dedicated to supporting — and giving back to — our town and world community. Not only does she offer products from local artisans, but she also stocks items from companies like FAZL. Their mittens, hats and socks are crafted by women in India and 30% of the profits will benefit Indian orphanages.

PLUS, if you buy anything at Village HandWorks or Nest Things (right down Main Street), you can wrap it for free at Village HandWorks.

I also heard recently from the Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 East Main, where Vanetta and Monique are offering 30% off all full-priced merchandise, and a few very tempting gift certificate specials. And Jonathan at Yesterday’s Muse bookstore, 32 West Main, emailed to tell me all about his shop’s brand new website and coupon offerings. You can see them for yourself here.


Whew. That was a lot of information, and it was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the great small businesses we have here in town that deserve our support, today and every day.

I hope you noticed — for EVERY ONE one of those businesses I wrote about today, I was able to tell you the owners’ names. That’s because the folks who choose to open businesses here in Webster are not just merchants. They are Webster residents and our neighbors. They help make up the fabric of our community. They participate in our holiday events, support our sports teams and feature products from local artisans. They do things like give back a portion of their proceeds to Indian orphanages.

You won’t find those things in any big box store.

Please show your love to small businesses today. They’re great places to find unique gifts and stocking stuffers.

As for me, I don’t know for sure how much shopping I’m going to do today, but I did stop at the bank yesterday to prepare ….

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Santa’s visit to Bella’s Bumbas workshop: a follow-up

26 Nov

You may remember a few weeks ago reading a blog about how Santa himself visited the Bella’s Bumbas workshop here in Webster to help build a Bumba for one very lucky child in Connecticut.

During his visit, Santa was assisted by several young elves, who showed him how to craft one of Bella’s Bumbas’ miniature wheelchairs from the wheels up.

I’m happy to report that the special Santa-built Bumba has been received by Tate, the young man for whom it was being built. Check out the photo below; it’s easy to see how delighted Tate is with his newfound mobility. What you can’t see is how Santa and all his elves signed it underneath the seat.

Click here to read the blog I wrote about Santa’s visit to the workshop.

While Santa was there, he also signed another Bumba, specially built for young Josué in Mexico. Josué has also received his autographed Bumba.

Bella’s Bumbas is run by Webster residents Marty Parzynski and Rebecca Orr, dedicated to building miniature wheelchairs for children with a wide variety of mobility issues. In the four years since Marty built the first Bumba for their niece Bella, they’ve shipped close to 2000 chairs to children in more than 50 countries, often adapting the chairs for each child’s individual needs, and charging the parents only for shipping.

Their efforts are changing young lives all over the world.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

The holidays in Webster Village: beer, shopping, Santa and a parade!

18 Nov

It’s getting cold out, but the holiday season in Webster is heating up, with a cool NEW event and some great improvements on an old favorite.

For starters, the village’s brand new “Hops and Stops” beer tasting event invites participants to not only enjoy some great craft brews, while also visiting many of our small businesses for some early Christmas shopping.

Hops and Stops will be Saturday Nov. 27 (not coincidentally Small Business Saturday). Glass pickup is at Finns Automotive, 44 East Main St, beginning at 2:45 p.m. Cost is $20 (tickets here). Please bring proper ID and you can’t pick up anyone else’s glass since they’ll also need to show an ID.

The beer walk itself runs from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be craft beer at some stops and food at others. These businesses will be participating:

  • Bernardi & Co. CPA
  • Webster Interiors
  • Woodland Silkscreen and Embroidery
  • OHHH, LORDEE! Everything Sauce
  • Village Vape or Smoke
  • The Modified Collective
  • Carl’s Pizza Kitchen
  • Crafty Christy’s Boutique
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • The Coach
  • BC’s Chicken Coop
  • The Cobblestone on Main
  • Barry’s Old School Irish
  • Lattimore Physical Therapy
  • Filling Station Pub & Grill

Kudos to the Webster BID for coming up with this great idea to get people out and shopping on Small Business Saturday!

Click here for more information and to get tickets.

White Christmas is Back!

Last year’s “reverse” Holiday Parade of Lights was fun, but I think everyone is excited to know that the REAL Parade of Lights will be returning the evening of Saturday Dec. 4. The parade is the highlight of a whole afternoon of holiday entertainment and activities planned during the Village of Webster’s White Christmas celebration.

This year’s event will feature something really fun: the gazebo in Veterans Park will be transformed into the North Pole for the day, complete with twinkling lights, elves, candy canes and much more. Santa will be there to greet the kids from 3 to 5 p.m. Kids can bring their letters and give them right to Santa or deposit them in his North Pole mailbox.

The Parade of Lights will begin at 6:30 p.m., winding its way from Phillips Rd. west down Main Street.

All of your White Christmas favorites will also be back this year, including carriage rides, hot cocoa, cookie decorating, storytime with Jason Poole from the Webster Public Library, caroling, and much more, including a “Toy Land,” for which everyone is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.

Put this one on your calendar, folks. (Maybe we’ll actually get some snow this year.)

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.