There's No Place Like GNOME... part of the FAIRY TALE MAGIC BLOG HOP

This is Dani Harper's stop on the
Fairy Tale Magic Blog Hop!

See the LINK at the bottom
to over 80 participating sites.
Hi, my name is Dani, and I collect gnomes. There, I said it. (Gnomes aren't the only thing I collect, but that's another story...) The point is, I didn't intend to collect gnomes! I didn't plan to have any gnomes at all. Gnomes were not part of my overall landscape design or my home decor plans or even something to send to my mother (who is obsessed with garden figurines in general).


My mom gave me
my first gnome
And then my mother gave me one. You know the one, the little guy that promises you'll never have to roam alone... Mom had never heard of Travelocity, she just saw him and thought he was cute.

Admittedly, he WAS kind of cute. But he looked so lonely amidst the flowers all by himself. Being a bit of marshmallow heart, I decided to get him a friend. Just one, honest! And then I figured they probably needed some shelter from the sun and rain and so forth, so I got them a big ceramic mushroom. And before I knew it, there were more gnomes. And more mushrooms. And gnomes, gnomes, gnomes. The long and short is that I now have an entire gnomish civilization at the side of my house.  

At first, I was certain that the grandkids would be delighted by the whimsical community of pointy-hatted citizens. Instead, they walked right by them. No guests have ever acknowledged their presence, no visiting neighbors have ever commented. And then suddenly I understood what was going on. NOBODY CAN SEE THEM!!! My innocent-looking garden gnomes have cast a S-P-E-L-L. Why would I come to such a conclusion? Because historically gnomes have both magical powers AND the tendency to use them.
This couple makes me think of my
sweetheart and me


GNOMES IN MYTH AND LEGEND:

Gnomes form one of four groups of Elementals, according to the 16th century writings of Paracelsus. 
A gnome is an earth spirit and immortal, and there are many cultures around the world that have stories of similar mythical creatures such as the tomte of Sweden, the duende of Mexico, and the coblyn of Wales. The word gnome comes from the Greek genomos meaning "earth-dweller."

Said to be able to swim through soil and rock like a fish through water, gnomes come in several types such as Garden Gnomes, Farm Gnomes, Forest Gnomes, House Gnomes, and even Cave Gnomes. 


Most gnomes are benign*. Many are even benevolent and take an interest in the wellbeing of their surroundings --- for instance, ensuring that the soil is healthy, that plants and trees grow strong, that dwellings are clean and tools repaired, and that both wildlife and livestock are looked after.


*Disclaimer: Like humans, not all gnomes are friendly or well-intentioned. But that's a story for another day...

One of my favorite gnome figurines.
The magical powers of gnomes are similar to those of all faery tribes. They can protect or punish at will. A farmer who doesn’t take care of his animals could find himself the target of severe pranks! On the other hand, the aid of gnomes might be solicited by leaving food for them. 

In fact, some wineries in France have been rumored to take gnomes very seriously! Traditionally, the little guys looked after the vineyard soil. 


Cave gnomes are said to be particularly sympathetic to miners, and there are stories dating back to Roman times of gnomes knocking on the rocks of tin mines to warn the slaves of approaching dangers such as tunnel collapses. (Mind you, other stories tell of gnomes guarding the treasures of the earth and trying to lure miners away from them!)


Victorian England embraced
the garden gnome (but still didn't
smile while having photos taken)
HISTORY OF GARDEN GNOME FIGURINES:

Most of us are familiar with garden gnome figurines – after all, they date all the way back to Roman times! But the modern version became popular in Germany and other European countries in the early 1800s.

Replica of
"Lampy"
Victorian England embraced the gnome in the 1840s after Sir Charles Isham brought 21 terra cotta gnomes from Germany to Lamport Hall, his home in Northamptonshire. 

One of those original gnomes still survives today! “Lampy”, as he is called, is on display in the Hall and is considered the oldest garden gnome in the world. He is valued at about £2 million or $3,252,900 in US currency. 



The Griebel family still makes traditional gnomes
Although wooden gnomes had been made in Switzerland much earlier, it wasn't until the the 1800s that a handful of German companies began making them out of clay. One of those companies was started by Phillip Griebel in Thuringia. 

The other manufacturers have fallen to history but four generations later, the Griebel family tradition continues. A descendant, Reinhard Griebel (shown at left), creates gnomes at the very same location. The company boasts an impressive gnome museum too!


GNOME TRIVIA:


The Gnome Knows…
French wine label 
The Royal Gnome!
International Gnome Day is June 21st. The occasion began in 2002 and is now observed by a dozen countries.

The Gnome Knows... is a wine label from vineyards in the Languedoc region in the south of France. 

According to an official list published by Buckingham Palace, Princess Anne of the Royal Family received a garden gnome as a gift in 2013.

The German word for gnome is Gartenzwerg, which translates to garden dwarfCurrently there are about 25 MILLION gnomes in Germany alone, and at this time of year, many people will be starting to take them indoors for the winter. It's traditional (and often considered lucky) to display the gnome in the home if possible, or at least give them a dry shelf in the garden shed. 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - 

Book 2 of the Grim Series
Book 1 of the Grim Series
The books in my new
Grim Series 
are bringing ancient 
Welsh faery legends 
to modern-day America. 

In my upcoming release,
STORM WARNED,
one character has an unexpected affinity for garden gnomes - lots and lots of them!

Watch for future announcements!

Dani Harper's Giveaway is open to International 
as well as USA entries!

LINK TO PARTICIPATING SITES:

Herding Cats And Burning Soup is the host of this blog hop.
Below is the list of over 80 participating sites, each one with a fun giveaway to enter. Happy hopping!





93 comments:

  1. I love garden gnomes. I always imagine them partying hard when no one is looking.

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  2. It might seems funny but I started collecting gnomes for my future garden heh :) Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Planning ahead for a gnome habitat is a good idea!

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  3. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I lurrrrrrrve GNOMES! I have a lawn brigade outside that the squirrels always get drunk, plus there are the zombie gnomes who are currently focused on eating the fairies brains, and the squirrels are trying to distract them all the time.. Oh and I have a herd of red shirts ... my mom got me hooked on gnomes when I was a very young girl and my grandmother used to tell me stories all the time too

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    1. My current favs are a gnome thats being carried away by gargoyles, and several being eaten by Godzilla..... I'm looking at a flamingo slayer gnome at present, LOL

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  4. I LOVE GNOMES! In fact, I love all (well, even the ones I am afraid of, like changelings) kinds of fae! I even translated some books on them now, and am translating another one (I work as a book translator here in Brazil). I solo want to win this prize *____________*

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    1. What an interesting occupation! Are there many garden gnomes in Brazil or do people put something else in their gardens?

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  5. I've actually been very fond of gnomes since I was very, very young. As in... I don't remember ever not liking them. Part of it was that my great grandparents lived in a trailer park (a very nice one) when I was little and many of the elderly folks there didn't have lawns because they couldn't care for them so they would have 'rock gardens' all around their homes filled with lawn statues. Gnomes were very popular. But my nana also had a copy of Wil Nuygen and Rien Poortvliet's GNOMES (I still have no idea where it came from after all these years) that I would spend hours looking at.

    Yep. I am quite a fan of gnomes. :)

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    1. Oh, I LOVE that book. I gave a copy to my mom a few years back. The illustrations are so charming!

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  6. I have one garden gnome, but I do love him. Really enjoyed this post.

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    1. As an "only child", your gnome will get much more of your attention ..... LOL

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  7. i don't have gnome here....sometimes i see gnome on movies or when i home stayed in australia..
    but here in indonesia, i never see gnome even ene..
    thx u for the chance :)

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    1. Do Indonesian people decorate their flower gardens with other things?

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  8. I don't own a garden gnome. My neighbor across the street has a couple on her front porch, sitting on either side of the steps going into the house. I think they are cute, and I would definitely serious about getting me some for my back patio.

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  9. I've never been a big fan of gnomes but I did get one for Christmas a few years ago. It's an Alabama Crimson Tide Gnome and it's so cute!!

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    1. My husband wants me to get a Seahawks football gnome!

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  10. I absolutely LOVE gnomes! They're so cute! I have a few of them scattered throughout the yard. My favorite one is our hometown baseball team themed one. He's swinging a bat ;)

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    1. Sports gnomes are really popular --- My dad would definitely have wanted a Toronto Blue Jays gnome!

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  11. Bwahaha that is awesome Dani. So very awesome. lol Thanks for joining us in the hop!

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    1. Thanks - I had a lot of fun writing it. And I have enough material left over for Gnomes, Part II

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  12. I find garden gnomes a little creepy ever since I watched the Phineas and Ferb episode where they rained doom upon the beach party.

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    1. Hahahahahaha! I remember that where they all came spewing out of a volcano like missiles! Gnome-aggeddon!

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    1. Me too --- they've definitely grown on me or else they've used their magic to make me their ally.

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  14. Yes, I have a few garden gnomes and I love them. I think I can see them watching me from the garden.

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    1. Can't see any of mine from a window, but when I'm outside, I tend to talk to them as I go by.

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  15. I have not become a fan of the garden gnome..although we do have a few gnome that sit along the sides of the waterfall, which is kinda charming. I DO write about gnome in my ya fantasy novels…so that accounts for something doesn't it? GREAT info by the way…loved it..you should write a book! Enjoy the hop…nice meeting you. June

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    1. *waving* Nice to meet you too! Checking out your Benjamin McTish novels -- you've got some great reviews!

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  16. I'm not a big fan..LOL I feel about them like some people feel about clowns..lol
    I did enjoy this post about them tho :)

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    1. I'm one of those folks who get creeped out by clowns, so I totally understand! My daughter has a Bart Simpson shirt that says "Can't sleep, clown will eat me".....

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  17. Replies
    1. Warning --- I started with just one as well.

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  18. I like gnomes, but my husband thinks they are silly, so don't have any.

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    1. My hubs laughed too until I got the sweet little gnome couple pictured in my post, and informed him that they reminded him of us. Now he thinks they're cute.

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  19. I love garden gnomes! They have so much character to them. They also remind me of the 7 dwarfs from Snow White!

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    1. Some people have criticized Disney for modeling the seven dwarves after gnomes!

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  20. I don't own any gnomes...my mom has that book about them and she has two hand carved wooden gnome molds from Germany, I think. I once wrote about gnomes in a RPG set in a fictional town. They had razor like teeth and ate people who messed with them

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    1. Love it! I'll bet you'd like the zombie gnomes I've been eyeing.....

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  21. Haha! Yes, that explains it; they're invisible. I can totally relate to starting a collection that I never set out to have. I don't have any gnomes in the garden, but I wouldn't be opposed to the idea. The history you researched was fascinating to read, thanks!

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    1. I'm really glad you enjoyed it -- it was fun to research! You'll have to watch for Gnomes Part II

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  22. I find gnomes adorable, not even afraid of them or have ever disliked them. I like the gnomes that are on the RPG I play called Runescape, they are very plentiful!

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    1. I've got to check out this game --- I hear it's a lot of fun!

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  23. What an interesting post! I enjoyed the facts about gnomes and love your sweet gnome couple. They are so cute and I think I will get some for my garden too.

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    1. The gnome couple definitely have some magic since they melted my hubby's heart towards gnomes in general.

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  24. I love that you have gnomes. I started collecting them in the garden a while ago and will admit at first it was to creep out my son LOL Then it was addicting. Thank you for this wonderfully informative post, I am looking forward to hearing more about Storm Warned - I think I am going to like it a lot :)

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    1. There's a fine line between cute and creepy when it comes to gnomes. I like both! And you can see in the prizes that I'm offering a handbook to help out if things turn violent.....

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  25. I love gnomes! I think they are so adorable! I used to have one that guarded my TV until my roommate broke it one night.

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    1. Nooooooooo! I hope you find another gnome pal to guard the TV again.

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  26. I love gnomes and have a few in the garden. I also have the Gnome books that were so popular a few years back.

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    1. Now that I'm addicted to gnomes, I might have to get the books too!

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  27. Gnomes are so adorable! My mom use to have gnome salt&pepper shakers.

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    1. That's really neat -- I'd never seen any until I found the ones I put in the prize package.

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  28. i have 2 base ball nome were given to us at the card game they love the fllower tabel out side and then my bird like to sit and chat with them

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    1. I was looking at a football gnome yesterday, wondering if I should put it in my hubby's christmas stocking .....

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  29. I think they're adorable, and I find it hilarious that my girlfriend is afraid of them.

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    1. Gnomes have never bothered me much, but old dolls and masks do.

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  30. I like gnomes! I think they are super cute. If I had a garden, I'm sure I'd load it up with them lol :)

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    1. We have a LOT of garden space now (after having none for ten years) so I'm afraid how many gnomes are eventually going to be roaming the premises!

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  31. I like gnomes, and have a couple in my garden. Working on getting more!

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    1. I've discovered that they seem to find ME!

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  32. I love garden gnomes! I do not have any, I should remedy that!

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    1. Ebay is one of my best sources for affordable gnomes. For extra special ones, like the ones from Gnomeo and Juliet, I go here: http://www.gardenfun.com/ They have an INCREDIBLE selection.

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  33. I think gnomes are cute
    Michelle shellbell_k@yahoo.com

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    1. The ones that make me laugh appeal to me the most.

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  34. Most are cute, but sometimes they can be creepy. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. I find it's the older ones that tend to weird me out --- something about their faces just bothers me.

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  35. Sometimes they kind of creep me out but some of them are okay. lol

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  36. Not all gnomes are created equal! As I mentioned earlier, the older ones tend to have the creepy faces.

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  37. I liked them much more before those commercials. But even then, I tried not to look too closely at them or I'd get creeped out. :-)

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    1. I'm going to have to devote part of a future blog to the creepy effect gnomes can have on people --- it's turned up in several comments. Maybe I should do a poll in that post too.

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  38. I like gnomes. I live in an apartment but when we move to a house in a couple of years I have a Travelocity Gnome I won in a contest that I will be putting outside.

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    1. I loved the Travelocity gnome commercials from the beginning. My mom didn't know that when she presented me with one for my garden!

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  39. They scare me a little, I feel like they watch my every move :( in my town, EVERYBODY have gnomes in their gardens!

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  40. gnomes are cool we will be having some in the yard when we get are new place.

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    1. That'll be fun to look forward too. They're like mascots for your garden!

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  41. I have two zombie gnomes in my front yard (it is a boy and a girl). I planned on having an entire zombie army of gnomes, but when I find ones that I like (usually on etsy) by the time I am ready to order them they are sold out. I also want a zombie flamingo (I live in Florida, so it fits) but that is another story.

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    1. There are some terrific zombie gnomes out there. Good luck in your search for the perfect ones!

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  42. I loved this post. I don't have a gnome, but I do love them. I've read a book with a gnome as the main character and have seem movies with evil gnomes (they were creepy to me, while others found them humorous). I like the idea of having a magical creature protecting earth and animals and punishing abusers. Collecting gnomes sounds fun to me. It's more original than many other items I've heard people collecting, and the gnomes can be placed strategically. They are also quite lovely. The gnome on the wine label looks rather scary to me, so I'm not sure I'd want to drink the contents. The company might want to think about that in their marketing. He looks as if he's not thrilled about sharing his grapes.

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    1. I have to admit, the flowers on our property have been unusually spectacular since the gnomes moved in!

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  43. I like gnomes. Some are really cute. I dont own any though. I would be afraid of making them angry. lol

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    1. I never thought of that. I wonder how a person would go about annoying a gnome. Maybe by not watering your flowers?

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  44. I like them but don't have any.for some reason I have gargoyles in and around my house started one Halloween and I kept on getting them.

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    1. Oooooo, I like gargoyles! There's a charming old farm near here that has big gargoyles on the gateposts of their white picket fence. It's like Norman Rockwell meets Notre Dame!

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  45. I Gnome a good garden to place all Mythical Creatures and Gnomes.

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  46. We have one gnome in our yard at home, and I tried to get a gnome of my favorite baseball player, but I unfortunately had to miss the game that they gave them away at!! My dad has a small Philadelphia Eagles gnome inside the house.
    I never thought they were creepy or anything. They're just there. Like you don't question the flowers or the birdhouses, if that makes sense.
    Gnomeo and Juliet is one of my movies with my boyfriend, which made me go from "hey, gnomes, they're cool" to "GNOMES!!!!!!" :D haha

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    1. I absolutely ADORE Gnomeo and Juliet! I have both of them in my garden, plus Juliet's mother, Lady Blueberry!

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  47. I kind of thing gnomes are slightly frightening, but I like the look of those salt and pepper shakers, so I'm entering to win and get over my fears! ;)

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  48. I don't have a garden gnome but I think they are cute. I absolutely love those salt and pepper shakers!! So adorable!! :)

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    1. I love the salt and pepper shakers myself ---- it might be hard for me to give them up, LOL!

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Love your comments and read every one of them! Thanks for taking the time to write!