Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hugs and Kisses on Mindful Wednesday - New Word Chain

Hello there!
Many thanks for choosing to spend a little time with me today!

Wednesday’s blog is where we get together and take a look at how crafting helps us de-stress, calm our racing minds and generally relax into the here and now.

It is fast becoming my favourite day to blog actually, 
because it feels like something much bigger than card making and crafting is evolving here...

This Wednesday, I want to talk about a group of kids we bumped into outside the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco when we were visiting our lad Mark in June

I found them refreshingly inspiring, 
and decided to share them with you today.

I was hovering around underneath the clock tower, 
waiting for my lovely boy to come loping along, 


and I noticed this happy bunch of kids trying to give people roses.
This intrigued me, so I stepped up to see what the gig was.

“Would you like a free hug?” beamed this lovely girl.
“Absolutely!” I responded, without hesitation, and got/gave a big unreserved hug.

Then I asked the question,
“Tell me, why are you offering strangers free hugs?”
I think I knew the answer, but nonetheless it was brilliant.

“People who receive and give hugs daily, 
are happier and healthier.”

Wow. So I went round the whole group and got loads of hugs!


They were psychology students on a field trip.
I spoke to their teacher, and asked her whether they had met with much resistance and mistrust.
She said it was shocking how many people mistrusted the kids; they figured there must be an angle, a hidden agenda.

So this got me thinking, and I decided to do a little reading around the power of hugs.



Apparently, when you hug someone, you are offering 
a form of social support and receiving some in return. 
The supportive gesture actually reduces stress 
and releases  the “ feel good ” hormones, dopamine and seratonine.

I have always been a bit of a hugger myself.
I just put it down to the fact that I come from a very affectionate family, so it is very easy for me to hug people I don’t know.

Had no idea it was good for the soul and even my health!
Whether it’s a bear hug or just a little cuddle,
this physical contact has been proven 
to lower blood pressure, 
alleviate fears,
release tension,
send calming messages to the brain and
reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol 
produced in our bodies.

Does hugging animals work? Yes.


Ask Dave!


After we met the students in San Francisco, 
my brother Steve decided to join in and hug Dave 
every 3 hours on the hour.
I suppose blokey blokes sometimes struggle 
with hugging each other, 
but after a week of every three hours I think they were really starting to feel the benefits!


A friend of ours, Sue Marsden, always insists on hugging the opposite way to how most of us hug - 
so that hearts are touching.
It’s a little strange, and you tend to head butt each other 
on the way in, but according to Sue, 
the benefits far outweigh the occasional nose bleed!

Another thing which makes me feel good is laughter, 
even if I have to chuckle at my own lame humour!
Go on, smile. That’s better!

Today I had an idea, too.
Since we are having a Word Chain Sale this week,




It occurred to me that we should have a Word Chain to celebrate HUGS and KISSES.

So here it is.
Brand new,
freshly baked today by yours faithfully!



and although it’s brand new, I have added it to the sale.
So why not treat yourself?
If you fancy, make a Hugs and Kisses card, 
and send it to the office.
Then when we see on facebook, 
that somebody could do with a hug
I can send them one of our Mindful Wednesday cards.
And don’t Poo Poo it!!
You never know.
Maybe it will be YOU who needs a hug. 

Got to go. 


sending you lots of hugs,

90 comments:

  1. Super blog, Barb hugs to you xxx

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    1. Hugs to you too Debby xx

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    2. Hug for you and Gill - hope you remember me
      Anne (Reading)

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    3. Anne of course we r ember you, it was great seeing this year at Ally Pally.

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    4. Anne, are you going to the Retreat again this time? xxx Maggie

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    5. Yes cannot wait going on 22/23 - only dates I could get off work

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  2. Hugs are great, they make you feel wanted and transfer positive power between the people cuddling. I'm up for a national cuddle day Barb, what say you? Xxxxx

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  3. Love this idea, I always hug people, my hubby thought it very strange when we first met as his family 'don't hug'! I bought him round so now he does the same lol!

    Love & hugs

    Jacquie J xxx
    http://jewelscardcraft.blogspot.co.uk/

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  4. Hi Barb and everyone else. I am loving mindful Wednesday and am spreading the word to everyone about being Mindful. This one today for me is the best of a terrific bunch so far! Fantastic and oh so true.

    SENDING MASSIVE HUGS TO YOU AND EVERYONE WHO READS THE BLOG. HUGS IN PLENTIFUL SUPPLY. VANESSA OXOXOX

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  5. Wonderful post, I'm a very tactile person, I love a good cuddle. My hubby said I was made to fit him when we cuddle lol ( well it is our 15th Wedding Anniversary today). Thank you for your generosity xx

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    1. Happy anniversary, sending you a hug xxxx

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    2. Thank you Diane, sending one back xx

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  6. Oh boy I am a hugger I had no idea it had such benefits. I will carry on with this pleasant pastime with that in mind. Hugs Jackie

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    1. Hi Jackie
      Sending you a hug, haven't seen you for ages xxxx

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  7. There is nothing like a good hug to make everything seem a whole lot better...so a huge hug to all of you! xxxx

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  8. Love hugs and a super new wordchain. Hugs.

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  9. Love the Wednesday blog. Am feeling a bit down today. Asthma bad on second lot of steroids. The blog has cheered me up. Love and hugs to everyone xx

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    1. Hope today's hugs help you and you feel better soon xxx

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  10. Hi Barbara, well I can totally back you up with everything you say here. Me being someone who doesn't get any human touch from anyone, and who craves it so much, I know exactly what the benefits feel like from human touch and what it feels like to have to go without. The last time I had a hug, almost a year ago, I asked Nicola if I could give her a hug for giving me the best two days of my life taking me to the Commonwealth games. And yes hugging a pet can help too, but the pet needs to want to be hugged, which Daisy never does, I've got to steal really quick ones while she wriggles to get free!!!! And laughter, most definitely keeps you healthy and young, even laughing at yourself which I frequently present myself with the opportunities to do!!!! That's very generous of you to put a brand new word chain set in your sale, thank you. And what a great idea sending cards into you that can be then sent out to those in need, bet that's going to put an awful lot of smiles on faces and warm feelings inside just when it's most needed :-). Sending big bear hugs back to you, to everyone on here and especially to Donna who today of all days is in desperate need of them, love Brenda xx

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    1. Put you arms around yourself by covering your chest and reaching as far s you can then pat yourself . Your receiving angel wing hugs from me . Joy now jan

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    2. Angel wing hugs received :-) Thank you Jan xx

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    3. Hi Brenda your post has brought tears to my eyes (but don't you be getting upset
      about that) it's just that I wish I could come and hug you to bits, you will know where
      I'm looking in the future when we are not here to give the hugs and love.
      I'm just so happy I came here to meet someone like you you help me understand so much ....I pray one day I can hug you for real ....love Dot...xx

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    4. P.S. How lovely was that from Janice..x
      and come in Donna we have a lot of hugs to give you our friend......xxx

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    5. Aww thank you Dot, that makes me feel that warm feeling inside :-). Don't be feeling upset. I do think and feel 'why me' at times, why do I have to have this life when all I've done is try my hardest. But then I think - well if it wasn't me it would be someone else so it's better that it's me. And there are people in the world far worse of than I am. And now I have Barbara and all you lovely people here And Nicola too, trying her hardest to find a way to improve anything within her power for me xx

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    6. Hi everyone hope you are all receiving your hugs today xx

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    7. Hi Donna, good to see you here :-). I won't ask about today, don't want to pressure you into saying, but I'm listening if you would like to talk? I hope you are feeling all your hugs too. I was sending you my psychic bear hugs throughout the day, don't know if you felt any, with my head thinking you're Phoebe, I guess they did a detour through her before reaching you!!! Maybe now it's over you'll be able to start to heal soon. Loads of bear hugs love Brenda xx

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    8. Hi Donna so good of you to blog on such a difficult day hope you had lots of hugs to help you through xxx

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    9. Hugs back to you Sheila xx

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    10. Well there's just been a massive very angry thunder and lightning storm here, with jagged lightning and extremely loud thunder one after the other, and it must have hit somewhere as the power went off all over here and all the car alarms started. Very scary, even more so with me being terrified of the dark too, although all the lightning helped it not be totally dark and helped me to find my torch! that'll be me up all night then, now I'm so freaked out and shaken! But at least I won't now have to water the gardens!!!

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    11. Brenda sending you a virtual hug, as Dot said be lovely to do it for real one day. I hope the storm has passed and you managed to settle and get some sleep, we had a huge storm here too with really high winds and forked lightening but it hasn't cleared the air, it's still very hot and humid. Xxxx
      Donna sending you a big hug today, I will say no more but just send you this big hug xxxx
      Dot and Sheila sending you both hugs too xxxx

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    12. I don't know what's happened Donna but sending extra special huge hugs your way, sounds as tho' you need them xx

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    13. Brenda, your comment really touched me, I know you don't know me but I'm sending you a virtual hug xxx

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    14. Aww thank you so much Diane and Julie, hugs received :-). I think if I do ever get to meet you all I'll be smothered in real hugs!!! :-) Hugs back to you too xx

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  11. Hi Barbara how hugs help us through your mindless Wednesday has open up so much for us clarity blog followers we all need hugs even when we are not together a message with a hug can make someone's day I love my hugs and love to send my hugs to others one of my dearest friends needs a special hug today so I sent her many .big hugs to each and every one of us and I love the new word chain . I received my clarity members sale parcel today that deserves a hug xxx

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  12. Replies
    1. Hi Jan how lovely are you your comment to Brenda touched my heart....xx

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    2. Hi Dorothy so many lovely people on this blog I don't think Barbara realises what she has created a wonderful clarity crafting family thanks Barbara big hugs xxx

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    3. Hii Shelia I have a feeling she does or me and you myy wee owlet would not be here......xx

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  13. Fantastic idea about the cards & I'm also going to go off now, find that special someone that lives here with me & give him a little squeeze !

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  14. Hi Barbara
    I'm so glad you've made a Hugs & Kisses word chain and will be off to order mine as soon as I've finished writing.I believe in the power of a hug it does make you smile and feel good.Enjoyed reading today's blog made me smile so thank you.

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  15. Lovely blog and word chain. and now I am not feeling so blue. Looking forward to a hug at Crowborough.
    Best wishes
    Anne (Reading)

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    1. Hope to see you at Crowborough for a hug, Anne. May even meet up in the hotel garden again, perhaps. xx Maggie

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  16. Hello Barbara. I am the best hugger in the whole world. I love hugging - my Mum, my husband, my girls, my friends and even strangers. It's the best medicine and means more than laughing. So a huge HUG to everyone who'd like one and I hope we can reach out to many who need them. xx Margaret Col.

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  17. I agree that giving and receiving a hug has got to be beneficial but it doesn't come naturally to a lot of people. We met up with a couple of our relations today and we did in fact hug each other when we met and also on saying goodbye, so I think we British are thawing out somewhat ..lol. Thank you for your Mindful Wednesday thoughts Barbara, and thanks also for the new word chain which you have added to the sale. x

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  18. I totally agree that hugs can work wonders no matter how bad your feeling a good hug helps! What a great idea to do this word chain And a lovely idea to have cards sent in for you to send out To someone who needs cheering up. Wxx

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  19. I always love hugs, the more the better. I have friends who hugs both ways each time, just to be sure.. I also used to put hugs on the back of all my cards, the pictures coming from the Little Book of Hugs. xxx Maggie

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  20. Hi Barbara your blog today made me feel warm inside ! I m a hugger and I love hugs in return ! 8 years or so I lost my mum and was totally devistated as we were close and she was such a part of every day family life - my husband was wonderful and very supportive - he gave a little book of hugs to keep me going when we were not together or if I just felt the need. It took me a long time to come to terms with her passing and I think about her all the time especially this time of year as she loved her garden and I see her in my garden in all the flowers ! Thank you your blog spot is lovely and I don't miss a day xx

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    1. Ross sending you a lovely big hug, I know how you feel, lost my mum 19 years ago and still miss her and lost dad 13 years ago and miss him too. After dad died I went to a family party and one of dad's brothers gave me a hug, I made a comment it was like hugging dad again. He never said a word but always made a point of giving me a hug every time we met and said goodbye. He sadly died last year but I know he knew how much those hugs meant to me. It's lovely to remember your mum when you look at the flowers in the garden, you can talk to them too and it's like talking to your mum- nobody will think you are mad. Love and hugs xxxx

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  21. I to love Hugs and kiss so important does make you feel cared about belonging etc send you all cyber hugs for know xxx

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  22. Hi Barbara, what a great blog you've given us today. My family and I are great hug givers, when we greet each other and when we leave also thought out the day we will say oh give us a hug and our youngest grandson asks for hugs and tells me that I'm the best at given hugs.
    Your new word chain will have to pop into my basket! I agree with Saz We should had a national hug day. I will send a card in once I get the stamps. Xx

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  23. Wow you've really touched a cord today! I saw a youtube clip a while back of a young man dressed as a cuddly bear who was offering hugs for free on a high street, and everyone responded really well to him. When he took off the costume, he had a disability and trouble with communication which meant that people didn't respond to him in the same way as in the costume, so it was his way of engaging more with the general public and having physical contact - some of the comments just made me think of him today.
    I'm a big hugger, and luckily so is my other half, so we'll both send hugs to everyone who needs them today. The biggest and most heartfelt hug goes to Donna, who must have had one of the toughest days in her life today, Susan X

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    1. Susan what a lovely person he was to go out on the street to hug people we all need our hugs thank you for telling us his story xxx

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  24. Hello Barbara

    Oh how I agree with you. I would rather have a hug, a really good hug than anything else. My cousin's son, all six and a half feet of him gives the best hugs. A real 'bear hug' but gentle with it so he doesn't crush you. Lol.

    Love (and a hug)
    Roz.x

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  25. We are definitely a family of huggers! Even the sons-in-laws who weren't used to it partake quite freely!. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we all hugged more often! Great blog Barbara! Hugs to all xx

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  26. hugs and kisses back at you. everybody could do with loads of those. and the happy chemical is serotonin, hugs xx

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  27. Hi Barbara
    I whole heartedly agree with you. Hugs are great. i am an 80 year old, but I still enjoy having hugs with my daughter Dawn and husbsnd John, although I think John feels a little embarresed, and always has to include a back patting into the hug. I also hug my teddy, who sits on the bed during the day,but is relegated to a chair at bedtime. He is quite a big teddy and always snuggles into my neck when I pick him up. My eldest daughter lives away and doesn't get would be very often, so the Hugs and Kisses wordchain will be ideal, I can make and send her cards so that she doesn't feel left out. Will have to get my order in before Friday.

    Hugs and Kisses
    Margaret xxx

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  28. I love reading your Wednesday blog (well I like every day - there's just something about Wednesday's). I agree that giving and receiving hugs really hits the spot. Live the new word chain too, might just have to get it!! Huge hug back to you xx

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  29. We're a very huggy family too Barb....it's so good for the soul and yes plenty of the happy hormones get released. Keep hugging and crafting but perhaps put down the ink first...it could get messy...lol x

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  30. Hugs are my all time favourite thing! Remember last year at the open days... WOW, I got and gave so many hugs I was positively glowing at the end of both events. Added bonus, most of those hugs have turned into very unexpected and wonderful friendships. Now if that's not an added benefit I don't know what is!

    Love and hugs xxxx

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  31. I never leave my family without a hug someday God willing it will be their last and I need them to remember that..... I miss so much the hug that I had for nearly 40 years but sometimes I still feel that hug from heaven....xx

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    1. Now I've got tears in my eyes too...
      Wish I had had someone like you in my family xx

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    2. Please don't be sad Brenda you mean so much to me more than you will know sometimes it's easier to talk on Barbara'a blog than anywhere but that's maybe just me and our Wednesday blog posts thanks Barbara do you realise how much this helps people like me and our friends on here.
      Thankyou you are much more than a craft helper so don't you ever give this up Ive just ordered the hugs woedschain can't wait to try it big time....xxx

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    3. Oh Dorothy keep feeling them hugs to help you through your such a thoughtful person hugs xxx

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    4. Sheila my friend he is with me everyday...xx

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    5. Sending you a hug from me Dorothy, that's a lovely thing to say that you feel a hug from heaven, I'll think that too when I'm missing my Mum xx

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  32. Wow, I agree with the power of a hug! I love the thought of people giving complete strangers hugs, making them both feel better. Very apt for me today. Xx

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    1. Hello my friend I've allways thought that at times like this there are no words that really help.... there is only a feeling that know I could not loved you more my DAD...XX

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  33. sending everyone who reads this a big hug..
    Linda

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  34. I love a hug so BIG HUG to all XXX Chris

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  35. So pleased to read this after spending the evening on the phone and emailing my union. Really, really need a hug tonight. Think my employer must have no hugs in his life is all I can say.
    My children love getting cards from me because I always sign them 'lots of love, hugs and kisses' and now they always write that in their cards to me. And although we are miles apart, it is the first thing we do when we get to see each other and the last thing when we have to say goodbye again.
    Lots of hugs from me to you xxxx

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    1. Sending big virtual hugs your way Jeanette xx

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  36. Thank you so very much for leaving all these heart warming messages. Donna, I hope you're ok , and I hope everybody sleeps well tonight! I am so happy to know that this blogspot where we all meet and chat is valued. Hugs and love to all.

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    1. Hi Barbara,
      I have brought my boys up on my own for the past fifteen years, and hugs are a big thing that I have instilled in both of them. Whenever they meet a family member they always give hugs, and they still always come and give me a hug and a kiss whenever they have been away from me. They are 15 and 18 now and are not embarrassed at all by it.
      I do believe that hugs make you feel better. Thank you for mindful Wednesday's.
      Lots of hugs to you,
      Amanda xx

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    2. Hi Amanda what a wonderful parent you are you deserve a big hug and your boys must be very proud of you too xx

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  37. Lovely blog. This reminds me that I've seen this in Oxford - a group of hungers that is. I'm not a big one for hugs but I'm getting better at it. It seems to me that youngsters these days greet each othernwithnhugs even the men. Even when leaving. We never did that when I was younger - at least the my group of friends! I think that is a lovely gesture though. I hug the cats when they let me and hubby of course! Will have

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  38. To try harder (continued from above) ! Powered chain looks great and I'm looking forward to Sundays show too xxx. Come on England lionesses am watching them as I type !

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  39. Hi Barbara
    What a great blog today it really made me smile, especially the a Dave and Steve manly hugs. Hubby and I both hug a lot and have always hugged our daughter but when I read your blog she said she finds hugging awkward, but always wants one if she's feeling down or just before exams. How strange, I hope she will become less awkward as she gets older. Love the new word chain set and what lovely idea with the hug cards. Sending you a warm hug.
    Love Diane xxxx

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  40. Hello Barb, what a lovely blog post, really makes you think. Hugs are just the best thing in the world. Love the new word chain - well love them all really. Take care and hugs to all. Bx

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  41. Hi Barb,
    What a lovely post today. I agree that hugs are wonderful things. When I was little probably around 3 or 4 I used to run into the house from playing outside and give my mam a big cuddle saying " I love you Mammy" and then run back outside to play again! How I wish I could have those cuddles again and those from my dad and aunt. Now I make do with friends and rest of family with special cuddles from my Dave and of course Scamp the cat! Love the new word chain will be ordering this straight away and looking forward to the Christmas ones. Thank you, love Alison xxx

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  42. What a lovely post Barbara, well I am smiling. Love the New Word Chain too - when I order it you couldn't slip me a little "Art" in there could you I have lost mine - no just the word!!!!!

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  43. What a beautiful blog post Barbara, sending love and hugs from me too xxx

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  44. Really lovely blog post. Sending hugs to everyone. Suex

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  45. I think its just a ruse to get a hug from (several - if I'm very lucky!!) fit young men!!! But yes, it does work. If you are really tearful a hug can unblock the tears, if just a bit mizz it can make you laugh - and if you are really really lucky you might get a kiss on the cheek too! My OH and I always hug - he has lots of health problems and sometimes a hug is just enough to say "it is what it is, we are together and that's what matters" However - after splashing the cash on the Groovi stuff last month I had promised myself a Clarity free month - spending wise! Didn't get far did I? ordered the word chain, plus the framer stencils that I forgot from last time and some more parchment paper. Off to our caravan next week to make a start on Christmas!! And I'll certainly make some hugs and kisses cards to send to you - always good to have a stock of these just in case! If anyone on this blog is still needing a hug - here's one coming your way!

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x