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alyburns' (aka sideburns & alyjude) Hiding Place
If you spoke faster than David Hewlett you’d travel back in time: Michael Shanks
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Yep, you read that right - Garett is in a new play in Los Angeles called, "Niagara Falls" . Maybe he's putting one toe back in the water or just wanted a break from his brilliant woodwork - but whatever the reason, I plan to somehow go as a slightly early birthday present to myself since Its official opening is Feb. 20th. The theater is called, Theater of Note and at the site, with the list of actors. It doesn't look as though he's the star, based on his location in the list, but who cares? HE'S ACTING and he's doing it HERE! So celebration time!

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I've received a few emails asking about my TS holiday stories (and SG1) because they were worried "...now that you're gone from 852 and 852 is at AO3" - so just this quick answer - all my TS stories are at AO3 under alyjude/sideburns and yes, they include all the holiday stories. Same with SG1. A few of them are also at my fiction journal, alysbasement, with cover art. Hope that helps. Oh, and yes, Silent Night is at both my fiction site and AO3.

Your regular programming is now resuming...hope you're watching something good! :)

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It's been so long, I hardly recognize the place! And I haven't even decorated for Christmas yet! Shame on me. Oh, well. I figure I ought to decorate my apartment first - then worry about my journal! LOL! Speaking of my journal - has anyone fainted yet to see me posting again? Or do you need to remember who I am first? *G* Yeah, it's been that long since posting!

Man, I've missed this place *looks around with interest*. Missed friends.

I got over a couple of humps on the 30th and 1st with no serious mental injuries. Instead, just a bittersweet smile in fond remembrance of Lucy, my beloved poodle, who passed away eight years ago last Sunday, and of course, my mom, who passed ten years ago yesterday.

I can't believe it's been ten years. Seriously. But I've made my peace and have only the good memories she left behind - and there were many. As for Lucy, well, I know she's in Abby. *nods knowingly* Too many similarities, especially when you figure there should be none since one was a dog, and one, a cat! LOL!

In a few months, it will also be ten years since I stopped working. I had a dream about that last night - the kind I haven't had in about five years. The kind where I think being off on disability was the dream, and working was the reality! I was positive I wasn't dreaming. My office was already decorated for Christmas (and Chanukkah!), the lobby was dressed up beautifully - with the usual twinkling multi-colored lights and the large - and real - Christmas tree in the corner, presents already piling up (from the Secret Santa almost the entire yard took part in) underneath. Oh, and even the bright red trash can; the one I bought back in '99 specifially to hold toys - was in its corner and already filling up with Toys for Tots, thanks to my generous employees. It was so darn real, you know? I could feel the carpet under my feet, and smell Elsa's (one of my Dispatchers) special Pozole cooking in her crock pot on our counter in the main office. I'm not kidding, I really could smell it - and it paired beautifully with the scent of the real balsam wreath on my office door!

When I finally woke up - which was hard because I was still arguing with myself over what reality versus dreaming and which was which - I realized that while I've come to terms with my PTSD, and that I may have it forever, and that my dreams of becoming the first female VP in my old company are long gone now *snickers at the absurdity of that dream*, I have not come to terms with the selfish part of me; the part that misses the Christmas season at work. Misses the party I threw for all the employess (at all four sites); all the fantastic food they'd bring from home; all special family/holiday recipes. The long tables dressed in red and full of colorful platters, bowls, baking dishes, and pitchers full of brightly colored punches - and of course, egg nog. Then, at the far end of the tables would be - yep - the DESSERT table. And not a store-bought dessert to be found. Nope, all homemade. Cookies, brownies, pumpkin cakes, rolls and pies. And - FUDGE - tons of fudge (because my staff knew that was my favorite holiday favorite *g*). Oh, and Mexican rice pudding. *thud* And OMG, the chocolate goodies were almost all made with Mexican chocolate, and I could always taste a hint of cinnamon. *licks lips*

Now, you have to know one would miss being 'the boss', right? I mean, come on. You get all the gifts and treats, right? My desk would look like Christmas morning at the Rockefellers! So YES, I admit it! I MISS THAT! See? Selfish. :) I miss every box of See's candies (and my employees always knew - cream centers for 'the boss', no fruit centers, thank you very much!), every loaf of pumpkin bread, every pumpkin roll, and every plate of fudge they'd bring in on that last day before Christmas break. Then there were the vendors. Oh, yeah. You know how you treat customers at the holidays, right? So while I was treating my customers (school districts) with hams, gift baskets, etc., my vendors were treating me.

Oy,
the gift baskets. Who invented them, anyway? Whoever they are, I want to send them the very best gift basket possible, because for many years; many Christmas holidays, those gift baskets were so much fun for me and my mom. She loved it when, on the last day of school, I'd come home loaded down with presents from employees - and those gift baskets. She loved opening them and discovering each new treat nestled in colorful streams of straw. :) And yes, okay, I loved it too! And it didn't end then. Oh, no. In the first week of Winter break, my drivers would stop by and drop off more gifts and food, and See's! And in the second week, well, I worked hard to ensure the 30th (if the 31st fell on a Tues-Friday) would be our last day by shutting down all new purchases (of tools, stock, etc.) as of the 26th of December. Thus we could do year-end inventory in two half-days and take the 31st OFF! The vendors knew this, so on the 30th (or whatever), they'd start arriving around 8am, dropping off even more gift baskets - one for all of us, and yes, one for me. *sigh*  The smart vendors would arrive around 11am - knowing full well we were having our own New Year's party and there'd be a table full of food in the main office! My vendors were no dummies.

Yep, I miss that terribly. Silly, huh? But somehow, all that gaily wrapped cellophane, the big bows, the delving into the secrets within...and then the holiday-wrapped See's boxes...and yes, the fudge...were all a big part of the holidays for so many years, you know? Big squares of chocolate fudge, with and without walnuts; some made the old-fashioned way, some in the microwave, some with the marshmallow cream...and so many "...this was my grandmother's recipe..." that heralded a great new dish that demanded the recipe, and finally... employees who'd come shyly into my office to offer a gift, often made with their own hands (beautiful scarves, etc. and even a beautifully carved Santa one year); these all meant the real start of Christmas.

But I guess what I miss most of all, and what I experienced in the dream (besides how festive everything looked), were the faces I knew so well, and haven't seen for so many years now. Smiling, full of holiday cheer, glad to have two weeks off, but still kind and thoughtful enough to stop by during their time off to drop off yet more gifts, while introducing me to their children and/or their mother and father. Good people. Great school bus drivers.

I miss my staff, too. They always tried to surprise me on the last day of work - and usually succeeded - with a special gift they'd all 'chipped in on', and yes, a plate of homemade fudge and another box of See's! LOL! Sure, there'd be fights and arguments during the year, with our 'weekly' staff meetings often taking on the shape and sound of a world-class prize fight, but come the holidays, hatchets were buried (and not in backs *g*), all was forgiven, and we were not only one big happy family, but on the same wonderfully festive page too. Our half-days were packed with work, sure, but always with holiday music  in the background - and good food. Oh, and the desks! Did I mention the 'desk decorating' contest I ran each year? With the drivers invited in to vote? Oh, man, talk about fun - with each staff member trying to outdo their 'desk neighbor'. My Admin. Asst. and Payroll Administrator always went a step further; they decorated their entire office too! And usually won! Who could not vote for a Winter Wonderland, or Santa's Village with a stuffed, life-size Santa to greet everyone? Oops, maybe I should explain: we had one main large office separated from the lobby by one of those doors sliced in the middle so the top half could be open, you know? Anyway, the main office had my Charter Administrator, Operations Supervisor, and the Routing Department, with four offices opening out onto the main one. Admin. and Payroll had one of them, I had one, natch, and the two largest were for Dispatch and Training. And like...who cares now anyway? *slaps self* *G*

Wow, talk about a walk down memory lane. I guess we do that a great deal this time of year, don't we? And almost all of us have loved ones for whom only memories remain - and thank God, photos. I know it's difficult accepting the fact that memories will be it, but now, I've finally realized how much those memories enhance holidays; with a richness we could never have anticipated. Remembering a loved one; maybe by retelling a funny deed, or remembering a special, private moment between you; or a way in which they helped you in a time of need...or just remembering their laugh...these things don't take away from our holidays. I've learned that now. They enrich them. You might be celebrating slightly differently now - as I do - but the 'now' and 'then' somehow mold together in a wonderful way. And I never thought that would be possible. But it is. And it's...cool. :) And I'm most grateful for wonderful friends who have become my family now. Yeah, very cool. *g*

And now, on an entirely different note: The Big Bear Alpine Zoo!

So, they finally received approval from the San Bernadino Board of Supervisors - back in March - but still have not picked a contractor! That means NO ground breaking any time soon, unless weather is drastically different this year - as in no snow up there. And that means a Grand Opening in 2016 is highly doubtful since they've estimated buidling the new Zoo will take at least 18 months. Which means, coordinating the "final" auction with the Grand Opening and the 20th anniversary of The Sentinel - ain't gonna happen. BUT: we WILL have a full auction in 2016 because it is the 20th anniversary for our show. That gives you over a year and a half to get ready. :) We fams might be spread all over Social Media now, but we senfen are still out there, and still number high. We just have to pull it together. *g* So pass this info on.

As for 2015, there will be the Animal Adoption and the Special Donations part of the charity event. No bidding, just donations for a set price (set by the individuals who donated the item/story/art etc.), and for either a set number of people ("...to the first 'X' number who donate 'X' $.") or open for all ("...to anyone who donates 'X' $."). But there will be more about that in early 2015. :)

You know, I think I need to make a promise to myself to write in this journal more often now. Like at least once a week. Or month. Or year. :)

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Welcome to my Journal

This is where I jabber, blather, ramble, rant and comfortably insert foot in mouth as often as humanly possible. You may also find posts with art in the form of icons, wallpapers, banners and story cover art, thanks to discovering Photoshop a few years ago. I love creating fandom artwork almost as much as writing. Everything else you need to know about this journal or me can be found under the cut (including samples of my 'artwork' in the form of icons, banners, cover art; which are also links to the stories, and even samples of a few photo restorations I've done). You'll find more samples at my photo_fixer journal.

My stories (in The Sentinel, SG1 & SGA fandoms) are archived in several places, with one link under the cut while the others are on the left side of my journal under, appropriately enough: LINKS *g*.
That's about it, so continue on - at your own risk!

Don't forget to click on the lj cut!

Oh, and we have a fandom "Phone Tree" list (to help notify people when we lose one of our own) and if you'd like to be on it, you can find the info here.
everything you ever wanted to know...or notCollapse )Moonridge Banner samplesCollapse )



Story covers and Fandom banners/iconsCollapse )Samples of my Photo restorations/FixesCollapse )


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I'm not sure how to explain this...see, I don't do the post office anymore, haven't been able to for about three or four years, and no, I'm not going to fill up space explaining why - other than to say the reason is why I've depended on a couple of folks over the years to do my heavy mailings, like packages, etc..

Right now, I need to find two people who purchased items from me when financial needs meant selling possessions of a fandom nature - and non-fandom. Here are the two items who have owners that thought they'd never see them:

1) A Daniel Jackson Plaque I won at a con several years ago - it's a wooden plaque with a photo of Michael Shanks, in full Daniel mode, and protected by an acrylic covering. It's signed by Michael as well. Someone bought it from me, but I just don't remember who. So if it was you, yell out so I can send it out again. Fortunately, the plaque was not damanged in any way.

2) A John Shephard action figure. Also undamaged.


So what happened? I mean, you're reading this and maybe you're one of the above and you want to know  - or maybe you can spread the word, and maybe you're  curious too - or not *g*, either way, here's the story; one good enough to have been an episode of "Everyone Loves Raymond":

Around 11pm last night,  I received a call from one of the friends I used to rely on for mailing (she moved a while back, to Santa Barbara, which put us out of easy reach). Anyway, seemed the daughter and son-in-law that used to live with her, were in the process of selling one of the family's two cars. Now you're asking why Mags would call about this, let alone at 11pm, right? Well, seemed they'd just finished cleaning it OUT - as in hours to empty it and sort through the trash from the 'not' trash. Apparently it was the car, "...my dear son-in-law..." used for his job, which had kept him on the road, so was treated like...yeah, home. To give you an idea of how cluttered it was, Mags told me they found a wallet her son-in-law thought had been pick-pocketed three years ago. They also found a bunch of mail - old mail, as in the kind you "Scream bloody murder" when you discover the guy forgot to mail  - repeatedly. They found old bills, letters, even Christmas cards - and of course, packages, all destined for the PO, but all lost within the confines of his 'man cave on wheels'. And yes, amongst them were some that Mags had taken for me; items she'd in turn given to her son-in-law who, I guess, had been heading back on the road with a planned stop at the PO anyway. Did I mention the daughter's job? She did glass work which she sold online - and HE mailed out (yes, she found a few of those too, all supposedly 'lost in the mail'; items she'd had to recreate because they never arrived at their destination).

Anyway, most of the packages/mailers found in the car (heaped on the floor in the back seat, in the trunk, and in the 'hide-away' and no, I have no idea what that is), had to be opened because the labels were either missing, scarred, torn, or faded beyond recognition. That's when Mags discovered some of packages were mine, most of which I'd sold here on LJ, but a couple of them were Christmas presents I'd given her to mail; presents destined for friends in England. :(

Other items of mine had labels with enough remaining names and/or addresses, that, on the phone last night, Mags gave me, thus allowing me to figure out who bought them, thank goodness. But the two mentioned at the top - nope, nothing to help, no hints, not even the usual note I put inside packages. And no memory at all of who bought them from me. :(

I seem to have the worst luck when it comes to mailing anything other than items in regular-sized envelopes (which I can do myself downstairs) - and it always seems to be husbands who end up becoming my downfall. I just wish I could blame MY husband because that would mean I HAD one. *rolls eyes*

Anyway, I hope the fans who purchased the above items are still around and still on LJ! As for the other packages - obviously I need to figure out the best way to handle since the items are in Santa Barbara. Neither Mags nor I have any idea how much money I gave her for each, to pay for the shipping, but what I do know is everything will be taken care of and mailed by Halloween. Husbands need not apply to mail!

*embarrassed beyond belief, scuttles off and back to the basement - which is, sadly, empty nowadays*

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We interrupt your scheduled programming/surfing for this PSA.

There's a great deal of evidence suggesting that the above 'chemicals', in fact, all parabens, can increase the risks of developing breast cancer. Further more, many researchers believe they can cause cancer because these parabens mimic estrogen, one of the hormones involved in developing breast cancer. In the many studies conducted in trying to find a cure, something like 99% of biopsied breast tumors had significant amounts of one or more paraben, thus placing the chemicals in the "Must Avoid" category for women. You can type 'parabens and breast cancer' in your search engine and you'll find tons of info confirming this.

So why bring this up? Well, first, parabens are in almost everything out there, from our shampoos and cosmetics to our food, and the danger of parabens is now widely known within the medical community. The good news is many corporations that create our shampoos, etc., have gone to great lengths to remove parabens from their products. The bad news is A) it's still remarkably difficult to find replacement products, and B) the information has been remarkably slow in reaching us as in we, the women who buy these products.

Recently, I needed a body moisturizer (who knew as you get older, your skin gets drier?? Grrrrr), and being aware of the dangers of parabens, I spent a good deal of time reading the backside of tons of moisturizers - almost went blind reading the list of ingredients. Also became depressed at how many of them sounded so good...only to discover they had both methyl and propyl parabens (the two most dangerous to us) in them. By my estimation, about 80% of what I looked at still had parabens in them. Fortunately, I finally found a very good one (I mean REALLY good) completely paraben free and with mostly organic and safe ingredients. AND it was less expensive than the others I'd been looking at. I've had little difficulty in replacing everything and anything in my home that had parabens (of course, it meant reading every ingredient on everything).

So now the reason for bringing all of this up. The reason I'm posting this:

Suppose you had a friend with breast cancer. Probably not hard to imagine since the disease has touched so many of us. Now suppose she had an open wound on the breast with the tumor - and the wound required bandaging - and maybe has a nurse that comes out to clean/re-bandage it. With me so far? Okay. Now, the nurse uses a cleaning agent on the wound before bandaging. Duh. And after several visits, she finally leaves a bottle of the cleanser with your friend in case she needs to do a new bit of bandaging herself. The day finally comes when she does, so she takes out the bottle and uses it...continues to use it for weeks. Now there's more to this story, but it's not important, so I'll skip it and get to the punch line. The provider changed the 'home house call' agency which resulted in a new nurse being assigned, and she used something completely different. She left a bottle of the cleansing agent right away, so now your friend has two different 'solutions' to choose from. Can't help but ask herself; "Which one is the best?" I mean, come on, if you have breast cancer and an open wound - or one that's 'in recovery', you don't want just anything to clean it, right? Right. So she read the ingredients on the bottle the first nurse left her and had been using for weeks - and guess what one of the leading ingredients was?

METHYLPARABEN

I suspect your friend would FREAK THE FUCK OUT. *nods* And the second nurse? What did she use and leave for your friend?

SIMPLE SALINE

Yep, saline. The one 'agent' most recommended for wound cleansing. And of course, no parabens.

Can you imagine how your friend would feel, knowing that for weeks a chemical that mimics estrogen, that has been proven a probable hazard to women when it comes to breast cancer,  had been used on her breast??? The one with the tumor???? And it was given to her by a medical professional????? Yeah, *ANGRY THUD*

So what have we learned? WE need to be our own advocate - and we need to be on top of our bodies, what we use on them and put in them. So start looking at everything you have; your deodorants, shampoo, facial cleanser, all types of moisturizers, your toothpaste (seriously) and mouth rinse, your foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, lip balm... and of course processed foods of any kind...do I need to go on? When you do, you'll be both shocked and surprised - and you'll need a large trash bag.

The good news is replacing most of those products will cost you less in the long run.

So ends this PSA.

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For anyone who has tried to read "A Lifetime" (an SG1 novel) over at AO3 and discovered a chapter repeat, the missing chapter (2) has been restored and a few other corrections made, so the story will make sense now. :)

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Yeah, I know I haven't posted in a long time. *looks around at the changes to LJ and pouts* Anyway, there's something weird going on with me, fandom-wise, and I'm wondering if other authors and/or artists have - or are - experiencing something similar.

First off, I should say simply: I can't write anymore. Period. My muse didn't just take off for awhile, to Tahiti or anywhere else. Nope, it died. Had a funeral and forgot to invite me. I think it officially began to die back in...'06. But its exact TOD? *shrugs* And yes, a person knows whether their muse is simply on vacation - or dead. I understood awhile back when opening some of my WIP's in order to try - again - to finish them. I was unable to even write a sentence. There was nothing, nada, zip, zero. Hell, I couldn't even remember what I'd planned for the stories, let alone what words were supposed to come next. If your muse up and died on you, did you figure out why? And no, that's not my weird problem but it would be help to know. I did finally figure out why mine died.

When I started writing, it was not only a creative need or outlet, fueled by this terrific show called The Sentinel, but it also proved an easy and fun form of escapism. Not from a terrible life or anything, just the normal 'get away from it all' for awhile. I could go into my room - and later, with a real computer, stay in the living room with mom - and, for awhile, escape into the world of Jim and Blair (later, Jack and Daniel and later still, John and Rodney) that existed in my imagination.

We know life is full of changes, right? And we try to be ready for them, adjust accordingly...as best we can, anyway, and mine was no different, but in 2004, well, I went through far too many changes that eventually left me as someone...else. Kind of. Then, a few years ago, I lost my "Jake" muse when a loved one; a cherished loved one, put up a wall between us, for reasons I still don't understand completely. With that...well, I could no longer write anything related to the "Jake Universe". It was that 'event' that led me to finally understand why my muse died. Life had become, well, too real and all to inescapable.

Now, don't misunderstand, this isn't a pity party, and having my muses die, isn't the 'weird problem'. The problem is...with their death, I can no longer watch TS, SG1 or SGA. And that's what I want to know from other fandom authors and artists.

See, watching episodes always included my imagination playing in the background. I watched, as did some of you, through 'slash-colored' glasses, and thus, stories were born; born from what was missing in each episode and built on what we were given. A few weeks ago, in a last ditch effort to fool myself into believing my muses were just on vacation, I decided to go on a TS binge, followed by an SGA binge - but I never made it past the first episode of TS. It was so painful, I had to turn it off. Same with SGA. There was absolutely no imagination playing in the background, no voice priming the writing pump with scenes to jump-start a new story. There was nothing. Not even enjoyment. :(

I think the last time I watched The Sentinel, prior to my planned 'binge', was with a couple of good fandom friends *waves at caarianna and magician_113 (aka, Marilyn and Regina, respectively *G*). We had a spirited discussion afterward (I was my usual pushy self), but while watching the show, I'd been uncomfortable. At the time, I had no idea why but remember chalking it up to my brain having turned into a quivering mass of frightened Jello in the last several years! LOL! But of course, now I know.

So. Cutting to the chase: Authors...and artists! Has this happened to you? Not being able to watch a show after losing your muse?

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First off, Happy 4th to all my US friends. :) Second, this quick update on our Zoo.

new moonridge banner

As previously posted, the Zoo was finally given the approval required by the Board to actually start building. This has given us new hope once again with 2016 being the target year for the move to the new Zoo and of course, the Grand Opening. With that in mind, and knowing how hard it is for our talented authors and artists and everyone else who donates items, to create, find, and try to get their donations to the winners, there won't be an auction until a few months prior to the Grand Opening. This will give folks time to write, create, sew, find, save up, and even finish those brilliant stories your wonderful - and patient - readers have won in past auctions. *looks at self in mirror*

One part of our Annual Benefit that will be maintained is the Animal Adoption. Right now, it's planned for later this summer - and remember, adopting an animal can be done easily and only costs $25 to help the Zoo care for the animal of your choice. Every year, I'm asked why certain animals seen at the Zoo aren't up for adoption. The answer is simple: Only those animals who can't be released into the wild, and thus will spend the rest of their lives at our Zoo, are in need of adopting.

And finally, a senfen and great fan of both the Zoo and TS writers shared a great idea that allows you to 'give' to our Zoo all year long; namely a site called Goodsearch. I heartily encourage those of you who shop online to click on the link and join. "Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo" is already one of the charities, as you'll discover when you type in the Zoo's name. Just remember not to type in Moonridge!! *G* It's the Big Bear Alpine Zoo now, remember! Once you've done that, you've joined, so simply go through the site to reach your shopping webpages like Amazon, Overstock.com, etc.. This will allow all of your purchases to count toward money for the Zoo. Kind of like eBates. :)

Oh, and you might pass your thanks along to magician113 who told me about this nifty way of helping our Zoo throughout the year!

Stay tuned to this page and/or gmfor_moonridge for more information on the upcoming Adoptions for this summer. and any and all other Zoo news!
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::PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL INTERESTED PARTIES::

photo for FAQ Garett and Cascade 4 twitter

IT'S FINALLY HAPPENING!

I have BIG news regarding our beloved zoo, guys! As you may remember, everyone at The Big Bear Alpine Zoo have been waiting for over a year for the San Bernadino Board of Supervisors to approve the new zoo - and in April, they finally did it!!!

YAHOO!!

The Office Manager for the Zoo believes they'll actually break ground and begin the excavation process this year, with construction continuing through 2015. She further shared with me there's a good chance the new Zoo will have its grand opening by either summer or early fall of 2016 and yes, she also said it would be great to tie in the 20th anniversary of The Sentinel's first episode with the Grand Opening!!

Reminder: The Sentinel premiered on March 20, 1996, hence 2016 will mark the 20th anniversary of our beloved show.

So start saving now, guys. Save for the biggest, greatest Auction in our history (we'll run it two months prior to whatever opening date we're eventually given), and for, perhaps, that dream trip to California in 2016 to join in the Grand Opening festivities?

Please pass this one to all our TS senfen as well as any other fandoms who have joined us over the years in the auction and in the love and care of what will be, for us, the Moonridge Zoo! :)

alyjude & the Moonies

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