Happy holidays to all.

Hey, it’s the end of the week and I haven’t blogged for a while. Didn’t mean to blow you guys off, but I was wrapping presents and working my way through “High Maintenance,” my new favorite HBO show. Those of you who have a subscription, start with the web series of shorts, then start the main, 30-minute episodes. They’re wonderful.

I don’t really have much to say other than that. We’re off to Ohio and then back to Michigan, and as I pass by some of you, I send you greetings for whatever holiday you are celebrating. We’re past the solstice, so hey, longer days!

Here’s a Christmas photo, from the Santa Speedo Run a while back. One mile through downtown and back to the only gay sports bar in Detroit, and in fact, the only one I’ve ever been to, period. While I was there, they were showing years-old MMA fights on some of the big screens, and Janet Jackson videos on others. My kinda place:

Stay warm! I’ll be back next week.

Posted at 3:19 pm in Housekeeping, Same ol' same ol' |

44 responses to “Happy holidays to all.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 23, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    May the growing light of longer days increase your hopes for better days to come. Have yourselves a merry little celebration of year’s end and new beginnings from cradles to dreidels!

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  2. Deborah said on December 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Holiday greetings from Abiquiu. I hope everyone has a great weekend of good food and spirits with family and friends and/or peaceful solitude.

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  3. beb said on December 23, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I could never run a speedo race. First, I wouldn’t pass the cuteness requirement. Also,at my age I can’t run…

    Have a safe drive. We’ll keep the light on the bar for you.

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  4. Dorothy said on December 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Safe travels to you – and everyone else – this weekend etc. We will have our son, his wife and sweet Olivia over most of the day tomorrow. I haven’t been this excited about Christmas in years! In the interest of my own mental health I’m going to try to avoid news for a week or two. I can only see positive vibes for that choice.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on December 23, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Let me join the chorus and wish everyone a good celebration. Sarah has drafted us all into reading and singing for the Christmas Eve service; hope it doesn’t feel like The Robinson Show.

    On Christmas day we’re celebrating with the other family members down here. We’re doing one of those exchanges where you can steal someone else’s present, with books instead of white elephants.

    And then we can finally go see Star Wars!

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  6. Suzanne said on December 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Enjoy your holiday! I just enjoyed a tasty piece of pie which is always a great way to start the celebration. And wine!

    Merry Christmas one and all !

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  7. Dexter said on December 24, 2017 at 3:06 am

    We had family Christmas at the rehab hospital…some of you with Facebook saw a couple photos and my granddaughter dancing her silly dance for her grandma. The little pizza party and then Saturday’s gift exchange picked up my wife’s spirits.
    Saturday night I watched this rather high-brow funny movie…some of the impressions the guy do while eating gourmet meals are a bit dated, and some are obscure, but I like Coogan’s style. Netflix: The Trip to Spain (2017) – Rotten Tomatoes
    Rating: 82% – ‎91 reviews
    Movie Info. After jaunts through northern England and Italy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter. Over plates of …

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  8. alex said on December 24, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Bracing for the impending storm. Just turned on the heat cables on the roof. Making gumbo this morning and crackling scones this afternoon. A faint snow is starting to accumulate already and we’re supposed to have five inches by evening followed by an Arctic blast.

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  9. Mark P said on December 24, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Happy days to everyone. We’ll drive up to see my brother and family on Christmas Day. I’m making bread pudding. I lost my good recipe and the one I made last night isn’t as good. Plus, too much brandy in the sauce, if you can believe it. I’m making another today.

    I am also feeling the urge to read our ‘A visit from Saint Dogolas’ blog to all our animals, as is our custom.

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  10. Judybusy said on December 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    A most merry Christmas and New Year’s to all.

    Friday was immensely delightful. We me up with a friend who was my very first social work intern. She’s now a social work professor in Windsor, married with a delightful daughter. Melissa had bought a stuffed toy giraffe in Rwanda, and we gave it to this 4-year-old. She played with it the entire time at dinner, tearing up napkins to make clothes. And oh, it was so wonderful to see our friends.

    While my wife spent time with her 13-year-old niece stand-in yesterday (no actual nieces or nephews for her, so this girl, daughter of her best friend, gets the honor, inlcuding a trip to Europe when she graduates), I finally saw Murder on the Orient Express. I loved it! Dorothy had heard it’s slow, so I went with lowered expectations. Well, it’s a Christie. The crime happens, and Poirot spends the time putting the pieces together. The scenery shots are spectacular, and well worth seeing on the big screen.

    Spurred by last weekend’s play, Christmas at Pemberly, we are now watching the 6-part BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. Colin Firth just has to pretend his face is made of granite, and he does it very well. We made challah French toast and watched the first episode over breakfast. As always, we’re looking up the actors to see what else they’ve been in.

    May everyone have safe travels and all of your food turn out magnificantly!

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  11. Heather said on December 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Merry Christmas and season’s greetings to all. It started snowing in Chicago today so I went down to the lakefront to do some cross-country skiing. Unfortunately the binding on one ski broke, but it was nice while it lasted! I am now enjoying some cocoa by the fire. My friend who lives down the street is having a holiday open house, so I’ll stop by there for a bit, but I plan on just staying in tonight and making some gingerbread for gifts. Tomorrow I’m headed to my cousins’ in Kenosha for our family Christmas–the roads should be cleaned up by then.

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  12. alex said on December 24, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Wishing everyone a faboo Festivus from the Fort!

    Looks like we’ve got company! Neighbor with a snowplow, yay!

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  13. Sherri said on December 24, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Merry Christmas to all! It looks like we’re going to have a rare white Christmas here. We’ll be going to the late service at church tonight, if it doesn’t get cancelled due to the snow, and tomorrow, we will get together with friends and share a seafood chowder and games and puzzles. I call them friends, but I was realizing that for my daughter, they might as well be family, because she’s spent more holidays with them than she has with family.

    I’m good with that. Less stressful than the holidays I remember growing up, when often someone seemed to be mad at someone else. Plenty of history, much less drama, still lots of love.

    May all of you enjoy love this Christmas!

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  14. Dexter said on December 25, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Oh yeah, we have snow alright here in Bryan, Ohio. The drive up Rte. 15 to the hospital is exactly 10 miles and the traffic was safely moving at 45 MPH so no complaints, except after 4 hours bedside with Mrs. Dexter (Carla Lee), when I exited the place my van doors were frozen. I jerked one that finally opened but oh boy, winter’s here.
    I have mentioned I have been trying to get a decent deal on a fairly new used car, but the feeling wasn’t there, meaning my super-sense told me these used car lot guys just don’t make fair deals anymore, they want too big a piece of the pie for their pockets.
    Tomorrow I’ll spend longer hours bedside…for now, everyone have a joyous day.

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  15. Joe Kobiela said on December 25, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Come over to Auburn and try Sanderson, talk to Todd and tell him you know me, his lot is across from Ben Davis Chevrolet.
    Hope everyone has a very merry Christmas.
    Pilot Joe

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  16. ROGirl said on December 25, 2017 at 6:53 am

    The guy behind the Christmas gift to Steve Mnuchin:


    I’ve been invited to the potluck dinner at the Unitarian church a friend belongs to. I’m bringing a nice bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s and some crunchy chick peas, olives and veggies. There’s a present exchange, food gifts under $10. I will have to shovel out the driveway after yesterday’s snow, at least the roads will be pretty empty today.

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  17. David C. said on December 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Dexter, I got my latest used car this spring at a decent price by using CarGurus. I had to drive 100 miles to Madison to get it, but I saved a good $2000 from what I could find at local dealers.

    Merry ChristmasHappy Holidays, all. And God bless us almost every one.

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  18. alex said on December 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I second David C on CarGurus, Dex. I used it a couple of years ago and found it to be a great tool for comparison shopping and for assessing whether someone’s offering a fair deal. It’s also great for finding out who’s got cars in stock with manual transmission if that’s what you want (I’m a devoted fan of manual).

    Just plug in the make, model and year you want and the geographic radius in which you’re willing to travel from your own zip.

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  19. BethB from Indiana said on December 25, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all from one who rarely comments but visits several times every day. I rely on you all to keep me sane. This is my go-to place for rational discussion, interesting/provocative/educational links and lively conversation. I feel like I know each of you even though we have never met.

    I have been in a funk since the 2016 election, and this is the one place that keeps me from going to the dark side. Having a progressive disease like MS, an aging and horribly stubborn husband, AND a totally FUBAR federal government to boot, I need nn.com to remind me that there ARE intelligent folks out “there” who give me hope for a better future.

    Thank you all for being here.

    Beth Backus

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  20. alex said on December 25, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Just came back from family dinner. This year, instead of “A Christmas Story,” my parents played Jean Shepherd’s “Phantom of the Open Hearth.” Evidently he found the leg lamp gag so precious he was determined to reuse it one day when he finally had a decent budget to work with. I don’t know if I can sit through another one of his early efforts and would be more than happy to suffer “A Christmas Story” again same time next year.

    My Hungarian crackling biscuits were a smash. I get my labs drawn again in three weeks and doubt I can recover my A1C and cholesterol between now and then even if I eat nothing but salad with vinegar and oil for every meal.

    Back to work tomorrow. I had erroneously assumed that we had the day off and would have been a no-show had I not overheard staff bitching about it.

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  21. Dexter said on December 26, 2017 at 2:27 am

    oh…thanks for the car advice…everything went screwy driving home tonight in that van, gauges, something burning up under the hood…van is heading to the crusher ASAP…

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  22. Connie said on December 26, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Mostly what bethb said. Our inlaws Christmas get together in the Flint suburbs was a no go for us, we made it about a third of the way when we turned around due to no visibility, and due to our daughter being at a total standstill on the freeway which we were soon to get on.

    And Alex I am at work.

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  23. Deborah said on December 26, 2017 at 8:43 am

    We spent Christmas Eve with LB in Santa Fe, she had friends over, it was fun. Before the friends came we had our little family gift exchange. LB and I gave my husband a battery powered chain saw, his request, so he can cut up all of the dead piñon and junipers we have on our land in Abiquiu for firewood in our little wood burning stove. He gave me 2 more vases for my collection of pieces designed by Eva Zeisel (I have 3 now) he actually gave me those in Chicago so they wouldn’t break in transit. We gave LB a 23 and Me ancestry test kit. And there were some books and small items from London exchanged too. We had gifts for the friends when they got there, as well. LB made pasta bolonese which is our tradition for Christmas Eve.

    We went back to Abiquiu for for Christmas Day and LB went to a friends house for an all day food extravaganza.

    The weather here has been lovely, sunny and in the high 40s low 50s during the days and high 20s to low 20s at night. Unfortunately no snow but some on the mountain tops.

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  24. Deborah said on December 26, 2017 at 9:24 am

    That should be pasta Bolognese.

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  25. Peter said on December 26, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Our Christmas was eventful.

    Yesterday I saw three, count ’em, three car accidents; all of them within 1/2 mile of our house. What was strange is that the streets were clear with no ice and the weather was fine and clear.

    One accident was a car getting off the expressway and another car not yielding the right of way; the second was a car that was in a ditch past the intersection – the car was on it’s side and the wheels still spinning; the third was a car that plowed head on into a railroad bridge (and you know those barrels they place in front of the bridge – they work! the bridge structure wasn’t even scratched!).

    What was even stranger was I didn’t witness any of the accidents, but apparently I was one of the first cars to drive by, because I called all three into 911.

    What made my holiday special was what the 911 operator said to me when I called the third accident in: “YOU AGAIN??? Mister, maybe you should look into improving your driving so other drivers don’t have to swerve to miss you…”

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  26. Andrea said on December 26, 2017 at 9:43 am

    A belated Merry Christmas to you all from Cincinnati, which only has a light dusting of snow. Today we drive to St. Louis, to see my FIL, and then on Thursday back home to Chicago, with a quick stop for me in Springfield. I have interviews with two candidates for an open position — my policy director is leaving us 4 days before the legislative session starts, which is considered pretty rude in this field. Hard to find a good legislative affairs person at this time of year. Summer is usually when all of the deck chairs get re-arranged in this profession. I imagine it is similar to a teacher leaving mid-year.

    I gave the whole staff the week off, but for myself, I have quite a bit of work to do, unfortunately. Oh well, it is nicer to do it in slippers at home than in the office, I guess.

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  27. Judybusy said on December 26, 2017 at 10:18 am

    BethB, it’s not only us just yakking. There are millions of people who are working diligently to defeat the awful agenda. There is still plenty of reason to be concerned, but we aren’t taking it lying down.

    Peter, what a story! Love that you got the same 911 operator each time.

    For the most part, the weekend was enjoyable. My poor wife ended up with a moderately bad cold, but we still enjoyed our fancy tournedos rossini Sunday evening.

    Christmas was spent at my mother-in-law’s. She means well, but is very talkative and tangential, and my wife finds it super annoying at the best of times. Neighbors–complete strangers to us–got invited, and they arrived in the middle of gift opening, so that was awkward. But, dinner was yummy–steaks on the grill (grill was inside garage, as the WC was what, -20?) and scallops. As usual, I provided a salad and was very happy I found Comice pears for it.

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  28. Deborah said on December 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    We get pears from Harry and David every Christmas from my husband’s sister and just about every year they go bad before we get around to using them. One year my husband grilled prosciutto wrapped pear slices and they were delicious and I think one year LB made a pear tart with them. It’s just that there’s always so much going on and none of us like pears enough to just pick up and eat by itself.

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  29. Connie said on December 26, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Harry and David pears are way better than every day pears. We got two assorted boxes this year and are slurping them down. We occasionally drive to the H and D store at the outlet mall just to buy those pears.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on December 26, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Sarah’s Christmas Eve service was beautiful, and my song was the warm-up act for Matt filling the whole chancel with O Holy Night. I’m generally not fond of clapping after music in church, but he really blew it out of the water, and when people spontaneously burst out in applause I didn’t mind.

    One thing I haven’t mentioned is that he’s been picking up gigs singing at nursing homes and assisted living places. He’s really enjoyed exploring music of the 40’s and 50’s, and they seem to love him. Although his voice has strengthened and matured, it still has a sweet tone that I feel very tender about.

    The new Star Wars was just okay. I got talked into seeing it in Imax 3D, and while I didn’t get sick from it like before, I’m unimpressed with 3D. Hubby loves the big screen, and often it’s the only place to get that. And boy do they blast that music.

    Whoa, I sound old and cranky. Should I tell you about the awful bathrooms at the theater next? I actually went looking for a manager to complain, only there were none, which is no doubt why they were filthy.

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  31. Sherri said on December 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I liked The Last Jedi a lot, once I got over being sad that Carrie Fisher had died. (I didn’t see it in 3-D or IMAX, because I find those distracting for most feature films.)

    Here’s an interesting take on how Disney’s storytelling is evolving (TLJ spoilers in the article): https://medium.com/@stokescolin/the-last-jedi-may-save-civilization-d3c62768900c

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  32. Julie Robinson said on December 26, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Great article, Sherri. Our son was saying many of the same things, especially about Rey’s parentage and *SPOILER* whether or not the force can only be hereditary. He thinks this movie represents where our politics need to go.

    Incredibly, there are people circulating a petition to remove the movie from official canon and film a replacement. Dudes, it’s just a movie!

    Our niece works at ILM and told us there was never any pressure for a happy ending to Rogue One, despite the loss of sequel possibilities originally planned.

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  33. Sherri said on December 26, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Of course there are fanboys unhappy about The Last Jedi. It’s a Star Wars movie that puts women front and center, and even worse, lets them actually be women instead of men with breasts. It’s a movie about loss, and cares more about developing characters than adhering to every single piece of Lucas canon. It’s not a fanboy movie. Alas, the next one is back in the hands of JJ Abrams, so it will probably be a fanboy movie.

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  34. Dexter said on December 26, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Did you see where Erie, PA got 53 inches of snow? One place had 54 inches. Right now we have 0 F degrees and will struggle to hit 12F by noon. We got the same snow depth nance received, so here, no problem at all. Our bossy, pushy grandson arrived unannounced at 2:00 AM today; he spent the day dissing our house, our cars, my “stubbornness” not to move closer to one of the daughters…man…he’s a royal pain in d’ass. He also degraded me because I walk quite slowly with two canes…this young man is an asshole. We went to visit his grandmother in the hospital, and there he began criticizing the constant parade of nurses and techs coming in to take care of Carla Lee, in the bed. Finally one of them just ignored him when he demanded to know what meds she was giving my wife. She had had enough. He’s supposed to go back to D.C. at noon…oh no…he called in sick to spend ANOTHER day here, making life hell. My wife said to put up with his bullshit until he leaves, but patience is a virtue I have little of right now.

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  35. adrianne said on December 27, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Wrapping up a visit to king of Prussia, going to museum of the American revolution in Philly today. My mom is tearing thru Hamilton book by Ron Chernow that I bought for my husband. It’s excellent. Hope all had a good Christmas.

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  36. Suzanne said on December 27, 2017 at 9:02 am

    The Hamilton book is excellent, but I did not tear through it. It took me months! -4 degrees when I got up this morning. Have I mentioned lately how much I truly hate winter. Hate, hate, hate.

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  37. Deborah said on December 27, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Wow, Dexter, your grandson sounds obnoxious. My husband’s daughter (the born again one) texted to say that it wasn’t looking good for them to come to NM like they had planned on the 2nd. She gave no reason but said she would text us later in the week to give us the final scoop. We just hope she lets us know soon so we can get a refund on the hotel room we have for them since our cabin is way too small for guests as well as the apt in Santa Fe. This daughter is a battle axe, and all she talks about is Jesus, so I’m not unhappy if they don’t make it, but we will miss seeing the granddaughter.

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  38. Minnie said on December 27, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Y’all are making me glad that my husband and I are only children whose amiable parents have been gone a long time. Our patience with obnoxious relatives doesn’t have to stretch too far. Dexter, hope your grandson grows more gracious with experience. Deborah, I don’t foresee that possibility for the one who claims to be born again.

    Here’s hoping for a new, improved year.

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  39. Minnie said on December 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

    ^^^ and childless ^^^

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  40. Heather said on December 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Oof, sorry about your grandson, Dexter. Maybe time for some “in my day, young man, we had respect for our elders” speeches? I had a nice Christmas. It snowed so I got to do some cross-country skiing on both the Eve and the Day, went to a friend’s down the street on the Eve for a holiday open house and a huge spread of food, then to my cousins’ in Kenosha for the day itself. It was a relatively small group–just my two cousins, their spouses, their kids, and me–and was a lot of fun, much laughing.

    Now it’s super, super cold in Chicago (just looked, -2 degrees right now), so no skiing for me in the next couple days. I’m holed up with the cat and my gas fireplace, working from home a lot this week. It’s very cozy.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on December 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Lordy I’m glad I’m in Orlando right now but going home is gonna be rough. I too hate winter, cold weather, ice, and lack of sun. We’ll be retiring here but it’s still 3.5 years away. Too long!

    Dexter and Deborah you’ve both got some real pills in your family, and you have my sympathy.

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  42. basset said on December 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Just got back from up-north Michigan, took Basset Jr’s intended with us to meet the immediate family & all went well. Snowed on the eve and the day and both nights, eight below when we left Cadillac at dawn on the 26th with the goal of getting home to Nashville that night. Did it in one jump on the way up, 13 hours, wasn’t happening this time though… roads were slick all the way to Indiana with many cars off in the ditch, took us eleven hours to get to Indy and the snow was getting bad again so we pulled off and dragged ourselves home this morning after calling in to miss work. Usually 12 or so hours in the summer, 686 miles door to door, this time 17 1/2 on the road.

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  43. basset said on December 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Pulled off and got rooms, I meant to say. Dunno what happened to the edit button.

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  44. LAMary said on December 27, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I don’t have any born again relatives but I have lots of Republicans in my family. My conversations with them range from zero to superficial. I am not going to argue with someone who truly believes that Trump and the GOP are doing anything good.

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