New blog

on Tuesday, October 06, 2009

In addition to My Italian Life blog I have started another new wordpress blog offering writing assistance to ESL students.

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Tribute

on Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I've posted a tribute to my sister-in-law on my new blog, come on over and check it out on my new blog.

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New post and photos

on Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A new post and photos can be found on my new blog here.

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Vacation 2009

on Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've posted some photos and post about my recent trip to the USA on my new blog. Check it out here.

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New post

on Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I've written a new post on my new blog, come on over and check it out!

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Unsure

on Monday, April 20, 2009

After transferring everything over to my new blog on Wordpress, I discovered that Wordpress.com, for the free blogs, does not allow the Entrecard widget on Wordpress blogs. For the most part I enjoy Entrecard and I am grateful for the traffic and new actual readers to my blog. So giving up Entrecard at the moment is a tough decision. I think that I will for the moment keep the two blogs, start spending less time on Entrecard and concentrate more on quality content on my blog. I have been spending way too much unproductive time recently on the internet when I should be concentrating on items of importance, on and offline.

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Change of Address

on Sunday, April 19, 2009

I am in the process of moving my blog over the Wordpress. My new blog can be found here, so please update your links accordingly. I've had my Blogger blog for sometime now, I wanted a cleaner template and I'm no expert when it comes to HTML so I figured why not give Wordpress a try. Please excuse the mess while I transfer everything.

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Twitter

on Friday, April 17, 2009

Do you use Twitter? If you do, why?

I haven't been on Twitter all that long and am starting to get the hang of it, still learning the ropes though. I am still learning how to fully exploit, in a positive sense of course, everything Twitter can offer. I am using Twitter to meet new people and make new friends/connections all over the world.

If you use Twitter, what do you enjoy most about it?

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Earthquake in Italy

on Monday, April 06, 2009

Just to let everyone know my computer technician and I are okay. If you haven't heard the news, a earthquake hit near the city of L'Aquila this morning. At this point in time there are at least 150 dead and another 1,500 injured, 100,000 homeless. The earthquake measured in at 6.3.

According to an article on CNN, there was also another earthquake near Bologna last night. Again, we felt nothing here in our area, thankfully.

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Great News for Riace Italy

on Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A couple of days ago I mentioned about wishing there were more stories out there that were positive. First thanks to everyone who commented with their own personal good news! Second, today I stumbled upon an article posted on an Italian news website in English.

Immigration has been a hot topic for awhile now here in Italy, like many places around the word, especially in today's global economic crisis. There is a lot of hostility felt towards immigrants, for example those that are coming from Romania and other Eastern European countries. Some people feel that the wave of immigration, whether legal or illegal, has caused an increase in crime. Whether this is true I do not know. I honestly think that the media is concentrating too much on the crimes committed by foreigners therefore making it seem as if the crime rate in Italy has increased.

There is a positive side to this though, immigration. There is a small seaside town in Calabria, Riace, which is located in southern Italy, that seems to be going against the norm in regards to hostile feelings towards immigrants. Thanks to immigrants, Riace is still on the map.

The Calabrian regional government is funding a project to help immigrants by providing housing, training and jobs. Thanks to the project, several crafts workshops have opened in Riace, helping preserve ancient craft traditions. Workshops specializing in for example glass, pottery and fabric.

Riace's population has steadly diminished over the years. People fleeing in search of work. So these new residents of Riace are helping save this little village of about 400 people from a possible extinction.

This project has been so sucessful that the regional government of Calabria is now working on a law that could help place new life into towns that are fading away throughout the south.

Go Riace and Calabria! May you set an outstanding example for Italy, the world and humanity!

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March 2009 Entrecard Top Droppers

I would like to Thank my top droppers for the month of March. I hope you stop by and check them out and give them some drop love.

In March I was not able to drop on Entrecard as much as I would have liked, due to getting my new baby, my new 20" iMac and also for awhile my Firefox was really dragging. I hadn't emptied my cache in who knows how long so therefore really slowing down Firefox. My computer technician was so kind to empty it for me. I now how to do it and am back to dropping like before.

I Learn Online Marketing
Life's a Pizza Pie
A Simple Life
Mommy's Little Corner
Computer Aid
The Modern Mom
The Way I See It
Big Boys Have Toys Too
moms...check nyo
Back to School For Grownups

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Good News

on Monday, March 30, 2009

Have you read or heard any positive news stories recently? It seems all we are bombarded with from the various media sources are negative stores. Whether the stories are about war, the economic situation, crime etc. Of course hearing such negativity constantly on a 24/7 basis is enough to bring anyone down, maybe even to the point of depression.

Let's put a stop to this! Please share your good stories!

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New iMac 20"

on Monday, March 23, 2009

I am obviously back online, with my new beautiful iMac 20". My personal computer technician brought my new baby iMac home Thursday night and was pretty much done installing and transferring everything by Friday evening. He's such a doll! Don't know what I'd do without him. He is such a good computer technician, I am not saying that just because he's my husband. My desktop photo is a photo outside of Death Valley California that I took on last year's trip to the United States.
My new 20" iMac is an incentive to quit smoking as I've mentioned in previous posts. In January when I first mentioned about trying to cut down on smoking and getting my new iMac, I was able to cut down to ten cigarettes a day. Then I fell off the bandwagon and was back up to a pack a day. Over the last few days, each day I have been smoking less and less. Today so far I have only smoked 6 cigarettes and it hasn't been so bad.

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Offline

on Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Over the course of the next few days I will be offline due to receiving my new iMac on Thursday evening while my computer technician husband transfers everything over from my old computer to the new computer. We haven't fully given up smoking, in fact increased a bit since the computer technician made the original offer about if I gave up or drastically reduced smoking he'd get me a new computer. Well, have started again reducing smoking. Especially also since cigarettes, at least for Camel Lights, have gone up to 4 euros (about $5.20) a pack. Good time to stop smoking before the government decides to increase the price again!

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Economic Crisis in Italy?

on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This morning I had run a couple of errands, the grocery store and pharmacy. Ok not a big deal, but what was kind of eerie was the fact that traffic was next to nothing, even considering the time of day and day of the week. The supermarket had some people, but again considering the time of day, is usually busier. My first thought is maybe that the economic crisis is starting to hit home a bit here in Italy. Busto Arsizio Italy seems almost like a ghost town at the moment.

Last week was the same situation at the supermarket and also with the traffic, so today is not a one-time occurrence. Personally speaking as of today we're doing not so bad. The computer technician's business has slowed a bit, but nothing to worried about, yet. I've actually picked up 3 new students in the last couple of weeks and have been averaging 20 hours a week. People in general here, at least what I've heard from my students, are a bit nervous about keeping their jobs. So many of them are making sure to continue their English lessons in hopes that "keeping up" their language skills will be a plus for them in regards to keeping their jobs.

The world wide economic crisis is only bound to get worse before it gets any better. In two months, January & February 2009, 370,561 Italian workers have lost their jobs according to a headline on Italy's newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Realistically speaking, tough times are ahead for Italy, for everyone worldwide for that matter, financially speaking. Over the last years credit has become easier to come by in Italy, taking after the United States. People in Italy aren't as maxed out so to speak (no pun intended) on credit card debt compared to the United States, but many people do have mortgages, car payments, payments on furniture (it is expensive in Italy to furnish an apartment) and find it difficult to make it to the end of the month. This is before the global economic crisis hit.

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Selby England

on Monday, March 02, 2009

The main sanctuary of the Selby Abbey. The Selby Abbey is an Anglican parish church in the quaint town of Selby, North Yorkshire, England.
One of the at least three small "chapels" in the Abbey.

Front entrance to the Abbey
Selby Town Square right in front of the Selby Abbey. Selby is a small town, around 13,000 people and found it was a very clean town and people friendly. When we went to visit the Abbey, church services and tea had just finished. The priest was just leaving when we entered and told us "You JUST missed tea and cookies, we would have loved to have you join us.". How nice!

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February 2009 Entrecard Top Droppers

on Sunday, March 01, 2009

I would like to say a big thank you to all of my Entrecard droppers who've stopped by, especially my top droppers. They are for the month of February:

My Note's

Septagon Studios Inc. News Blog
Computer Aid
Back to School for Grownups
All Blogspot Templates
ThemeLib
Guilty Pleasures
Dunia Soer
A Simple Life
Online Social Networking

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Stonehenge England

on Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Last Thursday we visited Stonehenge. It was very interesting to see, but we were a bit disappointed in the size since we were expecting it would be bigger than it actually was.
The day was rather cloudy, cool and windy. Ok we weren't expecting tropical weather, especially considering we were in England and a couple of weeks before it had snowed six inches.

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Back from England

on Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We arrived last night from our little trip up to England. It was SO nice being computer and cell phone-free for five days. Usually we're a Macintosh household but the computer technician had bought a little Acer Aspire laptop to bring along for the trip, using it as a "navigator" versus bringing along the TomTom (he discovered big mistake), check email etc. Friday he ended up downloading a virus and disabled the laptop for the rest of the trip. I told the computer technician, maybe it isn't such a bad thing, not being constantly attached to the pc 24/7.

Last night we flew into Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport on Ryanair from Liverpool. The plane was packed, mainly of supporters of Manchester United Football team. Manchester United is playing against Inter this evening in Milan. Evidently the supporters started drinking in the airport and after the seatbelt light was off on the plane, a good share made their way to the bathroom. One supporter sexually harrassed one of the flight attendants, the police where waiting for him when we landed in Italy. The entire one hour forty five minute flight consisted of the Manchester United supporters singing and talking loudly. I even tried listening to my iPod, volume full blast and still couldn't drown out their voices. I reall felt sorry for the flight attendents for what they had to put up with last night.

This week sometime I will be posting more about my trip to England along with some photos.

On a different note, I've mentioned in the past that I have tried to remove the nofollow code from my blog, but evidently my blog is still nofollow. I'm not "fluent" in HTML, could anyone help?

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Vigevano Italy in photos

on Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is in Vigevano Italy, taken back in 2002 shortly after I moved here. Again, with my grandfather's old 35mm camera which I still have to this day.


Don't you just love black and white photos?!?!?



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My Photo Portfolio part 1

on Friday, February 13, 2009

I love Black & White photos. I took these photos a little over ten years ago in an old 1880's village west of Murdo South Dakota along Interstate 90 with my grandfather's old 35 mm camera. This was before digital cameras where in-style so to speak.
I have not retouched these photos in any sense, with the minor exception of putting my blog address on the photos using Adobe ImageReady and reducing the size so the photos would fit onto my blog.
I have no "formal" photography training, with the exception of when I was in high school, my junior year, I was in photography club and also some help/training from my grandfather with black & white film. Black & White photography was a passion of my grandfather. So much so he had his own little dark room in the basement to develop his photos.
I want to develop, no pun intended, this skill into a job. Would love to actually get paid to travel the globe and take photos. My experience you ask? I have plenty of personal experience traveling around various parts and of course hiding behind the camera photographing my memories.
Wednesday the computer technician and I are off to England for five days and of course at least one camera if not two will be in tow. While I'm gone and away from the blogging/internet world, enjoy the photos. I'm going to be scheduling some posts while I am gone with more photos. So check back often!

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AC Bellinzona

on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The football/soccer season in Switzerland has started up again after having a Christmas break. Sunday was the first match of 2009, AC Bellinzona played FC Sion and won 1-0. In all honesty I have really never been much into watching sports, but we started going to AC Bellinzona matches almost a year ago and enjoy going to see the matches. At the moment AC Bellinzona's website is only in Italian, I am working on the English version now almost as we speak.




As you can tell from the photos, Sunday was a nice sunny day. Was a bit windy but frankly I did not mind, was thankful for the sun, blue skies and stunning view as always from the Bellinzona community stadium.

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Italian Cuisine

on Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Italian cuisine is one of the most famous, if not THE most famous cuisine in the world. Right up there with Chinese cuisine. But does this mean that here in Italy a person does not have the choice to eat dishes other than Italian?

Well, evidently authorities in Milan and Lucca are wanting to crack down on ethnic restaurants. The ethnic restaurants that are allowed to have their doors open, according th Luca Zaia, the Minister of Agriculture and also member of the political party the Northern Legauge (Lega Nord in Italian), should only use Italian ingredients according to an article in The Times Online.

Italian cuisine is not a "unified cuisine" like some may think. What you may eat at the Olive Garden is just Americanized Italian Cuisine. When in actuality the cuisine is broken down regionally, even provincially or even down to a city level. So a typical dish in Milan, like risotto for example, will be totally different compared to a typical dish from Naples.

Another thing, some things that were thought to be Italian were actually imported. For example the San Marzano tomato, the main ingridient of Italian pasta sauces, was actually imported from Peru to the Kingdom of Naples back in the 18th century. It is rumored that Marco Polo brought spaghetti to Italy from China.

What could cause Lega Nord to try such a thing? Maybe it is because Lega Nord has voiced concerns about crime and immigration. Maybe it is because of the ever increasing numbers of kebab restaurants popping up around the country along with other ethnic restaurants opening up shop. Milan has seen a 30% increase of ethnic restaurants in one year alone.

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January Top Droppers

on Saturday, January 31, 2009

I would like to thank all of my Top Droppers for the month of January. You guys are all a great bunch!
Picture to People
The Way I See It
14-Year-Old Tech Guru
Computer Aid
My Note's
A Malaysian Abroad
Dunia Soer
Online Social Networking
Bingo Sites Online for Women
The Virtual Dime Museum

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Joint Blog Anniversary Give-Away

on Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mira over at Random Thoughts is having a Joint Blog Anniversary Give-Away Contest in honor of her one year anniversary of blogging. Thought I would jump on the bandwagon and enter. What do I have to loose? There will be a total of 12 lucky bloggers winning in total thousands of Entrecard credits and cash along with other great prizes. For more information about the rules and if you want to join in on the fun, visit Mira here. Here is a list of prizes:




1st PRIZE
$25 - c/o Random Thoughts
Customized Blog Layout (blogger platform) c/o My Web-Blog Designs
1 Swarovsky Bracelet c/o Yen's Handmades [Click here to see the ITEM]
$20 + 2000 EC credits c/o Windmill on the Hill
$10 + 500 EC credits c/o My Life's Journey to Success
$10 + 500 EC credits c/o Things I Did Not Know Before
$10 + 500 EC credits c/o Unique Ideas For Your Beach Weddings
2000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Night Clicks
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o NetFreeSource
3000 - EC credits c/o Random Thoughts
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Dashing Beauty
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Tales of a Pinay Single Mommy
1 Photo Pop Art Make-over c/o Sweety Tots

2nd PRIZE
$20 - c/o Mira's Web Journal
2500 - EC credits c/o Mira's Web Journal
2000 - EC credits c/o A Moment to Exhale
20GB Web Hosting c/o http://angelic-melody.net + 500EC credits
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o My Countryhome
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Live Love Pink
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Samantha's Own
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o 1716 South
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Garage Sale
1 Photo Pop Art Make-over c/o Sweety Tots

3rd PRIZE
$15 - c/o A Moment to Exhale
3000 - EC credits c/o Big Boys Have Toys Too
2000 - EC credits c/o A Taste of Both Worlds
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Kharlota dot Com
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o A Girl for All Status
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o A Fil-Am Journey
1 year text link ad c/o http://glamorous-heart.info
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Symphony of Love
1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Sweepstakes Girl
1 Photo Pop Art Make-over c/o Sweet...Pretty...Naughty

4th PRIZE
$10 - c/o My Barefoot Journey
2000 - EC credits c/o Mommy's Little Corner
2000 - EC credits c/o My Online Paradise
2000 - EC credits c/o Kinda Life of Mine
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Just About Anything
1 month text link ad Thomas Travel Tales
1 month text link ad Great Finds and Deals

5th PRIZE
2000 - EC credits c/o Wife of a Warrior
3000 - EC credits c/o Life's Sweets and Spices
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Simply Irresistible
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o My Sweet Haven
1 month text link ad Work At Home Jobs
1 month text link ad Erlinda‘s Wandering Thoughts

6th PRIZE
2000 - EC credit c/o The Solitairy Love
1500 - EC credit c/o My Barefoot Journey
1000 - EC credits c/o My Kitchen Table
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Kalidadis
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Cooking is Fun
1 month text link ad CompTechGadgets.com
1 month text link ad Healthy Living and Lifestyle

7th PRIZE
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Simplement Belles
1000 - EC credits + 1 month 125x125 ad space c/o Moi et mon univers!
1000 - EC credit c/o Scrappy Mommy
1000 - EC credits c/o Dashing Smiles
1000 - EC credits c/o Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink
1000 - EC credits c/o One at a Time
1 month text link ad Thomas Web Links
1 month text link ad Bohol Paradise

8th PRIZE
1000 EC + 1 month 125x125 ad space from My Daily Sunset
1000 - EC credits c/o My Kitchen
1000 - EC credits c/o My Life and Family Journey
1000 - EC credits c/o My Whole New World
1000 - EC credits c/o Definitely Maybe
500 - EC credits c/o I Thought So
1 month text link ad Batuananons

9th PRIZE
1000 EC + 1 month 125x125 ad space from Lovely Pink
1000 - EC credits c/o Small Side Bits
1000 - EC credits c/o In His Steps
1000 - EC credits c/o Moments of My Life
1000 - EC credits c/o My Crossroads
1 month text link ad Filipino Online Community

10th PRIZE
1000 EC + 1 month 125x125 ad space from Hobby and Such by Carlota
1000 - EC credits c/o My Life's Adventure
1000 - EC credits c/o Wonderful Things In Life
1000 - EC credits c/o The Joy of Life Forever
500 - EC credits c/o Life's Journey
1 month text link ad from Nita's Random Thoughts

11th PRIZE
1000 - EC credits c/o Medan Daily
1000 - EC credits c/o Wiehanne Lounge
1000 - EC credits c/o Simply WP
1000 - EC credits c/o Everything Under the Sun
1 month text link ad from Nita's Corner

12th PRIZE
1500 - EC credits c/o A Moment to Exhale
1000 - EC credits c/o My Barefoot Journey
1000 - EC credits c/o EastCoastLife

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Congratulations President Barack Obama

on Saturday, January 24, 2009

Congratulations President Barack Obama in your victory and inauguration as 44th Presidents of the United States of America and for being the first African American elected into such an important position. You bring hope to a country and also the world that is in need of drastic change. My fellow citizens of the United States and of the world are watching and demanding that much needed changes are actually made. The economy, jobs, health care system and education just to name a few.

During the election campaign, many people here in Italy would ask my opinion. Who I thought would win, who I voted for etc. Italians were very curious to know, in a good way. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made the comment about President-Elect Barack Omaba that he was "intelligent, young and tanned". Things that make you go mmmm.

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Marsa Alam Egypt

on Monday, January 19, 2009

Here three photos from one of two trips that we went on to Marsa Alam Egypt. A local mosque in El Qusier Egypt
Low tide along the beach in front of our hotel. Yes this is the Red Sea, look how clear the water is! The little boy was the son of a German couple staying at the resort. He was such a cutie and oh so well behaved!
My personal computer technician and yours truly standing next to a 4-wheel scooter and its owner in El Qusier Egypt. Basically it was a normal scooter with big "training wheels" in the back.

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Quitting Smoking

on Monday, January 12, 2009

I am trying to quit smoking. I am down to half a pack or less a day, started this last week. Consider that I used to smoke a pack and a half a day. The computer technician has also greatly reduced how much he smokes a day. Then again, he's been fighting a nasty cold the last couple of weeks so needless to say he has not had much of a desire to smoke. The computer technician said that if I am able to quit completely or GREATLY reduce how much I smoke that he would buy me the newest version of the iMac. Yes this is a good incentive for me to quit, but at the same time I am happy with my current iMac, which is about two years old. The new iMacs are nice, with a bigger screen compared to what I currently have but I do not like the gray and blac design. Other than that there are no differences between the new iMac and what I have, at least in my opinion. Then again, I'm not the Mac expert my other half the computer technician is.

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2009 New Year's Goals

on Sunday, January 04, 2009

I've made some goals for 2009. I prefer the word goals versus resolutions, the word resolutions does not seem as "serious" as goals. What are your goals for 2009? Mine are rather simple and short:

- Actually keep in touch with friends. I have been such a slacker in that regards and I am going to improve.
- My computer technician husband and I finding new jobs, but not here in Italy, within Europe and not in the United States.
- Healthier lifestyle.

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December 2008 Top Entrecard Droppers

on Thursday, January 01, 2009

Would like to thank the following people for being my "Top Droppers" for the month of December. Thanks guys for a great month and to everyone out in the blogsphere, Happy 2009!
Picture to People
The Virtual Dime Museum
Back to School for Grownups
MJ's Rambling Thoughts
Moshi & Kibo's Dog Blog
Bryan Karl - Everything Online
The Way I See It
Juliana's World
Photography by KML
San Diego Backroads

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