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Happy Spring!

Spring is here, and it feels more like the beginning of a new year for us than New Year’s Day did.

It’s so nice to hear the birds singing and see the daffodil, narcissus, and crocus flowers all opening.

The kitties are asking to go outside to explore,

and to take baths in the sunshine.

The ducks have come back up the hill, after spending the winter on the pond.

And I…I am at the Apple Store, almost every day, taking classes!

I even beat the Easter Bunny there on Saturday.

You know you’re up early when you beat the Easter Bunny to work.

One more day, hopefully, and we will start our new adventure, with a new computer, new software, and soon, a new blogging platform. I’ve held off on switching to WordPress until we switch to the Mac. Pretty exciting.

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Study hall

We’re waiting for our new computer to arrive, and I’m taking classes on how to use it. Most of my time is going toward making the switch right now. Our old computer isn’t up for the job of getting all our photos edited, and so they’ll be a bit of a delay in getting our new work up online. Hopefully, I’ll be able to jump right in and get things moving along again soon.

I’ve still got to address the move to using WordPress as well. I expect the ride will be a little bumpy at first, but I’m actually looking forward to taking off in a new direction, or two new directions, as the case may be. We might have waited and taken on one thing at a time, but our computer had other ideas. It’s still running, thankfully.

It looks like our country might be taking a step in a new direction as well. I hope people will eventually calm down about the idea of health care reform. I’m sure there is a long way to go, but I’m hopeful it will turn into a good thing. I get a bit disheartened that so many people are so negative about any change, after having, myself, been in situations at both ends of the health care spectrum. I know from my own experience, that you can become incapacitated by illness when you don’t expect it, through no fault of your own. I also know that insurance has been something that could be taken away as soon as you could no longer pay for it, making even “affordable” catastrophic health insurance useless, if you couldn’t continue to work. That is often the case when you’ve reached a point where you need to use catastrophic insurance. Insurance has also been taken away from people just for being sick.

I know no one likes the idea of mandatory anything, but you don’t get too many choices about getting sick either. I don’t think people realize how precarious everyone currently is, whether you are insured or uninsured, healthy or sick, rich or poor. I’m sorry some of the aspects of the reform package have been removed, and I’m concerned about some people’s insurance costs being increased, like the cost of Medicare Advantage insurance plans for seniors. I’m encouraged by there being subsidies for the middle class and the poor, to help them afford insurance. I’m also hopeful that competition to attract new customers, will lead to the creation of new insurance companies with competitive prices. I’m just hoping that affordable, useful health insurance, that you get to keep when you need it, is the end result of all this debate.

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Posing with slugs and one lone toad

I’ve finally settled on slug sizes that I’m happy with. I was going to just have two sizes, but I kept the small, 7 inch size, and just added a 9 inch, and a 12 inch slug size. I’ve readjusted their pricing to be proportionate with the new sizes. The custom-made slugs are currently available in 9 or 12 inches, and I have a bunch of ready-made 7 inch ones. You can still name your own slug, either way.

I’ve got ten new sluggies to put in my Etsy shop. I added a “Hug Me! Slugs” category to make finding them easier.

I’ve also added a “Sock Animals” category. I will get all these guys and girls in there as soon as I can. Unfortunately, our old computer is having fits of despair, which is making all my work go much more slowly. I think this may be the weekend we finally opt to get a new computer. I’ll have to learn how to use it though, since we’ll be switching to a Mac this time.

I talked my mom into photographing me holding slugs yesterday, so you all can see what the sizes really look like in comparison to a person. Looking at them all by themselves doesn’t give much sense of scale.

It was the end of the day, and I was pretty tired when we took these. I tried to smile, but even the corners of my mouth were tired!

Hopefully these will give you an idea at least, of the new sizes. I’ll add them to my listings as soon as I get a chance.

I sure hope editing photos will be easier on a new computer. I’ve been here all day, just trying to adjust these to sort of match each other. It’s been exasperating. I guess that will make me all the more happy to have a new computer, once we get one.

I need to expand my toad collection too!

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So much to do, so little time to blog…

Last weekend, my cousin, Steve, his wife, Erin, and their kids, Benjamin and Sophia, were in town for Erin’s brother’s wedding. I got to visit with them, which was great fun.

Their new cousin, Eliana, Ben, and Sophia are so amazingly energetic. You can’t help but enjoy yourself around them.

I even got ambushed…

I was too large to be carried however.

Sophia tied my legs together when I said I was going to be on my way. After securing me, she decided to let me go.

I also made it to the web design group I hadn’t been to for about two years. The nice WordPress theme developer, who was giving the presentation, gave me lots of tips for our web site migration. I was very happy because he was able to answer some questions I’d been trying to find the answers to for two weeks.

Right now, I think I am mostly trying to get up my nerve to make the change. I know that the navigation will not work just right until I’ve got the whole site moved over, and I’m nervous about that. Plus, I keep debating over whether or not I want to put the blogs on the home pages of our sites, or on their own sub-page. At some point, I will just jump in.

In the meantime, the Ruffing’s blog is not active, although it is still up. So, here is our latest offering, “Matilda the Tuxedo Kitten”, an original, one-of-a-kind art doll figurine by Max Bailey. You can read more about Matilda by clicking here to go to her web page.

We are also debating over computers right now. We need a new one, and we’re trying to decide which Mac to get and when. We also need to learn to use a Mac, which adds a little extra excitement. We need a desktop to edit photos, but I’d also like a laptop, to make myself more mobile. I know you can hook the laptop to a monitor, but I’d like the option to take trips or work elsewhere for some variety. The desktop we are looking at is kind of intimidating. It seems like a TV set to me. So, another plunge to take.

Oh, and “Beatrice and Beulah” the lop rabbit folk art dolls by Max Bailey and myself, are up for adoption on eBay this week. The auction ends tomorrow night. You can check out Beatrice and Beulah’s eBay page by clicking here. Once again, I’m putting announcements on our Ruffing’s Facebook page. Please join us there.

I’m also finishing up a small pile of Hug Me! Slugs and a Hug Me! Toad or three. I’ll be putting them up in my Etsy shop as soon as I can.