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 The Singing Bird Lane
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By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Saturday, February 13 2010 @ 03:43 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Discovery of Canada
The earliest discovery of the New World was made by Norse seafarers known as Vikings. The vague accounts of their exploits are drawn from their sagas, epic stories in prose or verse handed down by word of mouth through many generations. In AD 985 Norse seamen sailing from Iceland to Greenland were blown far westward off their course and sighted the coast of what must have been Labrador. The report of forested areas on the strange new coast encouraged further explorations by Norse colonists from Greenland, whose settlements lacked lumber.

In AD 1000 Leif Ericson became the first European to land in North America (see Ericson). According to the sagas, this was the first of many Norse voyages to the eastern shores of the continent. A colony was established in what the Vikings described as Vinland, identified in 1963 as being on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland. Recent investigations have cast doubt on the once-popular theory that the Vikings also penetrated Hudson Bay and reached the upper Great Lakes region by overland routes. Discoveries of "Norse" relics in that area have been exposed by scholars as hoaxes. The Greenland colony died out during the 14th and 15th centuries, and the Norse adventures in Canada must have come to an end well before that time.
Merchants or robbers?
he name "Viking" was first used by foreign authors in the 11th century AD. Its origin is probably the Swedish word for bay, "vik". This shows the close connection between the people and the sea, of which they were totally dependent for their livelihood. They had a mythology of their own. Their gods were called "asar", The Vikings are often considered wild, drunken, merciless robbers. In fact, their main occupation was farming and trade. The Viking expeditions were mostly trade expeditions that sometimes degenerated to looting. But to be honest, there were also expeditions whose main purpose was to loot foreign coastal regions.
The Swedish Vikings
here is a distinction between "Swedish" and "Danish/Norwegian" Vikings. The Danish and Norwegian expeditions went westwards, concentrating on Western Europe and England. The Swedish, on the other hand, went mostly eastwards into modern-day Russia and further on to Byzantium and the Caliphate. Runestones and archaeological artefacts found in eastern Sweden and on the island of Gotland show that the trade exchange between eastern Sweden and the Near East was very intense at this time in history. These expeditions often started from trade centres like "Birka", situated on an island in Lake Mälaren, not far from modern-day Stockholm. The Vikings also settled in the Russian town of Novgorod, which they called "Holmgård". As time went by their influence on the economic and political life grew and became decisive. According to a chronicle written in the 12th century AD, the Swedish Vikings were the founders of Russia. Although this is not very likely, the influence of the Vikings is still visible. The name Russia for instance, probably originates from one of the names of the Swedish Vikings, "ruser".
The way towards a state
uring the Viking period (circa 750-1060 AD) the Swedish state began to take form. At the beginning of the period the power structure in Scandinavia was built mainly on small chiefdoms, where small local chiefs ruled over a limited area, often not more far-reaching than a large farm or a village. These chiefdoms grew in some areas and became more extensive as time went by. In what was to become Sweden two "tribes" or local "nationalities", "Göter" and "Svear" became the most influential and formed two "states" with kings as leaders. Later in history these "states" merged and formed Sweden. Even today we talk about "Götaland" (the Land of Göter) and "Svealand" (the Land of Svear).
The Gods
ccording to Nordic mythology the gods lived in "Asgård", the humans in "Midgård, and the giants in "Jotunheim". These places were situated in the world tree, the ash tree "Yggdrasil". The most important god was "Oden", the lord of gods and humans. After battles, he took the fallen Vikings to "Valhall" on his horse "Sleipner". Other gods were "Frö", the god of love and fertility and "Fröja", the goddess of love and fertility. The perhaps most famous among the gods is "Tor" the mightiest warrior of them all. He was the god of thunder and had a hammer called "Mjölner" which, like a boomerang, returned to his hand after he had thrown it.


By: vickrb (offline) on Saturday, February 13 2010 @ 05:48 PM EST  

waveHello Jean - glad to see (hear) you.

Have you got the new Puter?

Great information on the Vikings. A lot of research and long types to post. I certainly await the con't part.

Vicki - since 30 April 2009

God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into its nest.


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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1002

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By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Saturday, February 13 2010 @ 10:39 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download Happy Valentine Day Feb14th 2010 From Jean
F rom Jean Valentine day 14th Feb. 2010
Valentine’s Day is a special day observed on 14th February every year that celebrates love and affection. On this day people send greetings cards called ‘valentines’ to their sweethearts, friends and even members of their families. Many valentine cards have humorous pictures while others contain romantic verses. Many cards have common phrase as, “Be my valentine.”

Valentine’s Day is associated with St. Valentine, believed to be two martyrs of the early Christian Church. However, very little is known about these two martyrs except the fact that the Roman history of martyrs mentions about two saints named Valentine who were martyred on 14th February. Scholars have found it quite difficult in finding the authenticity of the legends associated with St. Valentine.

There are few legends that associate the name of St. Valentine with love and affection. According to one legend Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. When the Emperor of Rome, Claudius II planned to have a powerful army, he felt that young unmarried men would become better soldiers than those who had wives and children. Thus, the emperor issued a decree prohibiting marriage for young men. Realizing the injustice of the decree, Valentine continued to perform marriages of young lovers in secret, thus defying the royal decree. When it was found by the emperor that Valentine was violating his decree, he ordered the execution of Valentine.

According to another legend, Valentine was in fact the first one to send the 'valentine' greeting to someone he loved. It is believed that while in prison, Valentine fell in love with a young girl, probably one of the daughters of the jailor who used to visit him during his imprisonment. Before he was put to death on the orders of Emperor Claudius II, it is said that Valentine wrote a letter to the jailor’s daughter and signed it as 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.

Another story says that Valentine was an early Christian who made friends with many children. When the Romans imprisoned him as he refused to worship their gods, the children missed Valentine and tossed loving notes through the window of his cell. This story explains why people exchange messages on the Valentine’s Day. Another tale narrates the fact that Valentine restored the sight of his jailor’s blind daughter.

Though there is no historical proof behind these legends associated with Valentine, with the passage of time the legends popularised the name of Valentine as the one who was sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure. As the legend of Valentine grew, St. Valentine became one of the most popular saints in France and England during the medieval period.

There is no unanimity among different scholars as to how and when Valentine’s Day originated. Some trace it to an ancient Roman festival called ‘Lupercalia’. Others link it with one or more saints of the early Christianity. Still others connect it with the old English belief that birds choose their mates on 14th February. Most probably, Valentine’s Day came to observed due to the combination of all three of these sources. Besides, spring is considered as a time for lovers.

Many believe that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'Christianize' celebrations of the Roman pagan feast ‘Lupercalia’ festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which was celebrated on 15th February was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or ‘lupa’. The priests would then sacrifice a goat for fertility, and a dog for purification.

Following this ritual, the boys would slice the goat's hide into strips, dip them in the sacrificial blood and move around the streets gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goat hide strips. The Roman women welcomed the gentle whipping by the boys as it was believed that the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. According to legend, later in the evening all the young women in the city would place their names in a big pot. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the pot and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. It is said that Pope Gelasius declared 14th February as St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D.

The earliest records of Valentine’s Day in English tell that birds chose their mates on that day. Geoffrey Chaucer, an English poet of the 1300’s, wrote in ‘The Parliament of Fowls,’ “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, /When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.” Shakespeare, the famous English play write also makes a reference to St. Valentine’s Day in his play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

By the middle of the eighteenth century in England, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Readymade cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland of Worcester in Massachusetts became one of the first in the United States to manufacture valentines in 1847 after seeing one from England. She began to make samples of the valentines and took orders from stores. Later, she hired more hands to produce valentines on a large commercial scale. Since then handwritten valentines have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards and Valentine's Day has become the second-largest greeting card-sending holiday in the United States after only Christmas.

Many valentines of the nineteenth century were hand painted. Some of them featured a fat cupid or showed arrows piercing a heart. Many cards had satin ribbon or lace trim. Others were decorated with dry flowers or other fancy items. From the mid-nineteenth century till the beginning of the twentieth century many people used comic valentines called ‘penny dreadfuls’ as these cards were sold for a penny and featured certain insulting verses. Modern Valentine's Day symbols include the heart shaped outlines, doves and the figures of the winged Cupid.
With liberalization and globalization since late twentieth century, Valentine's Day celebration has caught the imagination and fancy of people in India, especially in urban centres among the young people. Though the tradition bound Indian society sees this phenomenon as an adoption of western culture, there is a growing number of people who appreciate the meaning and feelings behind this beautiful and romantic festival.

The Indian youth, like in several other countries also celebrate Valentine's Day by exchanging cards and gifts and attending Valentine Day parties. The hype created by the television, internet and print media has resulted in the commercialisation of Valentine’s day on a large scale as other social occasions and religious festivals. The gift shops make a kill by selling valentine cards and gifts of various kinds catering to the taste of every type of valentine. Shopping malls in metropolitan cities organize fun-filled competitions and distribute discount coupons to lure the consumers.

In cities and towns young people throng to the restaurants, discos and pizza parlours as couples celebrate 14th February as the day of togetherness. On this day people also express their love and affection to their friends, brothers and sisters, parents and teachers. Other than cards, Valentine Day gifts and greetings include fresh flowers, chocolates, soft toys and candies.

As Valentine Day celebrations on 14th February has been catching up with the Indian youth, there has been a sustained campaign against the observance of this day in India by certain fundamentalist Hindu groups such as the Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and Ram Sena. They argue that such practices of expressing love and affection in public places is against the Indian culture and tradition. It is western influence that corrupts and pollutes Indian culture and hence its celebration has to be discouraged and prevented, if need be by using violence and intimidating the people who venture to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Rather than educating and motivating the young people not to celebrate the Valentine’s Day, as they believe that it against the ethos of Indian culture, these fundamentalist groups have been targeting shops and malls selling Valentine Day Cards and gifts or intimidating young couples who were found together either in parks or restaurants. There was an incident earlier in which these ‘moral police’ had beaten up a brother and his sister as they were walking together on the Valentine’s Day.

There have been reports that in many parts of South India, couples who were found in parks and other public places were immediately forced to marry on the spot by these fundamentalist groups, especially Ram Sene. As Valentine Day approaches the law enforcing agencies are on tenterhooks as they had to see to it that the situation does not spiral out of control.

While writing this report, the TV screen splashed the news that some young people have blackened the face of Mr. Pramod Muthalik, the leader of the Rama Sene for once again threatening to disrupt Valentine Day celebrations. In retaliation, the Rama Sene has called for bandh in Karnataka.

Though the name of St. Valentine with whom the special day to celebrate one of the supreme emotions of living beings-love and affection is associated shrouded with legends and myths, the fact remains that there had been this practice in different countries of Europe since the early medieval age and gradually spread far and wide with the expansion of Europe through exploration and colonization. Whatever the origin and from wherever it has spread, emotions of love and affection are universal and without moorings in any particular religion or culture. So, let us give up hatred and violence and promote understanding, love and affection towards one and all.

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Sunday, February 14 2010 @ 03:11 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to downloadWe took the cutest set pictures of Heidi eating her birthday muffin. Something we never do was let her sit at the table with a cushion on the chair.The one candle in the muffin was lite and did she ever go for it.I was there to see she was ok. We never have done this but being she is 12 to-day what the heck she sure had a ball.and such a good dog all these years.. I will send the pictures as soon as Gabe sends them over here, neither one of us knows how to do this yet ( gloom) Jean Happy Birthday Heidi our beloved miniture Dachsund a Merle colour meaning silver and grey with some brown on her muzzel and chest...she looks after us very well too. a bit bosy at times but we love her anyway. Left thumb up.Goes out in the bitterest cold days to do her toilet has NEVER ever missed in all these years... I think that is a record for cleanliness.....

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Sunday, February 14 2010 @ 07:24 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download It has been one awful day I want to forget. Love Jean

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Monday, February 15 2010 @ 01:34 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download I just had to put this picture on. Our son Daniel after "Joining the Royal Canadian Legion." He was in the war Desert Storm and came home safely. He is married to Jennifer and they have two beautiful granddaughters Rebecca and Stephanie ( for us) haha. He was in the airforce now retired and working as a guard at a Penetenutary, which he really likes doing. Lots of amazing stories on that some so unbelievale it would make our head swim Chin.MOM

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Monday, February 15 2010 @ 02:26 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais


Very Interesting Hisory
James I

In 1603 King James VI of Scotland became James I of England. He began a new dynasty - the Stuarts.

James I never had the same charisma as Elizabeth I and never enjoyed the same popularity. However among his achievements he ended the long war with Spain in 1604. He was also responsible for a new translation of the Bible, the King James Version, which was published in 1611.

However James came into conflict with parliament. The cost of government (and of fighting wars) was rising but the government's income did not keep up. Rents from royal lands could only be raised when the lease ended. Parliament was therefore in a strong position. MPs could refuse to raise money for the king unless he bowed to their demands. So the king was forced to look for new ways to raise money.

The situation was complicated by disagreements over religion. Many MPs were puritans. They wished to 'purify' the Church of England of its remaining Catholic elements. Although he was a Protestant James disagreed with many of their views.

Furthermore James believed in the divine right of kings. In other words God had chosen him to rule. James was willing to work with parliament but he believed ultimate authority rested with him.

James I died in 1625. He was 58.

Charles I

Like his father Charles I was firm believer in the divine right of kings. From the start he quarrelled with parliament.

At the beginning of his reign Charles I married a French Roman Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria. However marrying a Catholic was very unpopular move with the Puritans.

Charles also fought unsuccessful wars. In 1625 he sent an expedition to Cadiz, which ended in failure. Parliament strongly criticized his policies and refused to raise extra taxes to pay for the Spanish war.

Charles angrily dissolved parliament and raised money by levying forced loans. He imprisoned, without trial, anyone who refused to pay.

In 1627 an expedition was sent to La Rochelle in France. It was led by the king's favourite the Duke of Buckingham and it ended in failure.

By 1628 the cost of wars meant Charles was desperate for money and he was forced to call parliament. This time MPs drew up the Petition of Right, which forbade the levying of taxes without parliament's consent. it also forbade arbitrary imprisonment.

However king and parliament clashed over the issue of religion. In the 17th century religion was far more important than it is today. It was a vital part of everyday life. Furthermore there was no toleration in matters of religion. By law everybody was supposed to belong to the Church of England (though in practice there were many Roman Catholics especially in the Northwest).

In 1629 William Laud was Bishop of London. He was strongly opposed to the Puritans and Charles supported him wholeheartedly.

Parliament criticized Laud and Charles called it impertinence. (He did not think parliament had any right to do so). In return parliament refused to grant the king taxes for more than one year. Charles sent a messenger to parliament to announce it was dissolved. However members of the Commons physically held the speaker down until they had passed three resolutions about Laud and religion. Only then did they disband.

In 1633 Laud was made Archbishop of Canterbury. Laud was determined to suppress the Puritans and he sent commissioners into almost every parish to make sure the local churches came into line.

Furthermore the Puritans had their own preachers called lecturers. These men were independent of the Church of England. Laud tried to put a stop to these preachers - with some success.

Most of all Laud emphasised the ceremony and decoration in churches. These measures were strongly opposed by the Puritans. They feared it was the 'thin edge of the wedge' and Catholicism would eventually be restored in England.

Meanwhile for 11 years Charles ruled without parliament. This period was called the eleven years tyranny. Charles had various ways of raising money without parliament's consent. In the Middle Ages men with property worth a certain amount of money a year were supposed to serve the king as knights. Under this old law Charles fined their descendants for not doing so. Furthermore all wasteland had once been royal land. In time some landowners had taken parts of it into cultivation. Charles fined them for doing so. Using these dubious methods by 1635 Charles was solvent.

However matters came to a head in 1637. In 1634 the king began levying ship money. This was a traditional tax raised in coastal towns to enable the king to build ships when more were needed. However in 1635 Charles began levying ship money in inland areas.

A Buckinghamshire squire called John Hampden refused to pay. In 1637 he was taken to court and although he lost his case he became a hero. Ship money was very unpopular with the propertied class.

Worse in 1637 Charles and Laud enraged the Scots by proposing religious changes in Scotland. Laud and Charles tried to introduce a new prayer book in Scotland. There were riots in Edinburgh. In February 1638 Scottish nobles and ministers signed a document called the National Covenant.

Charles made two attempts to bring the Scots to heel. Both were humiliating failures. The first Bishops War of 1639 ended with the peace of Berwick but it was only a breathing space for both sides.

In April 1640 Charles summoned parliament again, hoping they would agree to raise money for his Scottish campaign. Instead parliament simply discussed its many grievances. Charles dissolved parliament on 5 May and it became known as the Short parliament because it met for such a short time.

The Second Bishops War followed in 1640. In August 1640 the Scots invaded England and they captured Newcastle. Charles was forced to make peace with the Scots. By the treaty they occupied Durham and Northumberland. Charles was forced to pay their army's costs.

Finally in August 1641 Charles was forced to abandon all attempts to impose religious changes on Scotland. In return the Scots withdrew from northern England.

Meanwhile, desperate for money, Charles was forced to call parliament again in November 1640. This parliament became known as the Long Parliament.

Parliament passed the Triennial Act, which stated that parliament must be called every three years. A Dissolution Act stated that parliament could not be dissolved without its consent.

Fining people who had not obtained knighthoods was declared illegal. So was fining landowners who had encroached on royal land. Ship money was also abolished

Parliament also took revenge on the king's hated advisor, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. They passed a special act declaring Strafford was a traitor. The people of London took to the streets demanding his execution. Charles feared for his and his familys safety and he was forced to sign the act. Strafford was executed on 12 may 1641.

Unfortunately parliament then divided. Opposition to the king was led by John Pym but many began to fear he was going too far.

In November 1641 a list of grievances called the Grand Remonstrance was drawn up but it was passed by only 11 votes. Pym then demanded that the king hand over control of the militia. For many that was a step too far. They feared that Pym might replace arbitrary royal government with something worse.

Meanwhile parliament and the country split cover religion. Some wanted to return the Church of England to the state of affairs before Laud. Others wanted to abolish bishops completely. The country was becoming dangerously divided.

In January 1642 Charles made the situation worse by highhandedly entering the Commons and attempting to arrest 5 MPs for treason. (They had already fled). No king had entered the Commons before and his actions caused outrage.

Once again Charles feared for his safety and he left London.

In March 1642 Parliament declared that its ordinances were valid laws and they did not require the royal assent.

In April 1642 king then tried to seize arms in Hull but he was refused entry to the town.

Meanwhile in London parliament began raising an army. (Although most of the House of Lords went over to the king). The king also began raising an army and he set up his standard at Nottingham in August.

The English Civil War

However most people were reluctant to take sides in a civil war and wished to stay neutral. Yet gradually people were sucked in.

From the start parliament had several advantages. Firstly it held London and the customs dues from the port were an important source of money.

Secondly most of the Southeast and East of England supported parliament. In the 17th century they were the richest and most densely populated parts of the country. Wales, most of northern England and most of the Southwest supported the king but they were poor and thinly populated.

Thirdly the navy supported parliament and made it difficult for the king to receive help from abroad.

The first clash of the civil war took place at Powicke Bridge near Worcester. It was only a skirmish but it ended in royalist victory. The first major battle took place at Edgehill near Banbury. On 23 October 1642 the parliamentarians started by firing artillery. Prince Rupert, the king's nephew then led a cavalry charge. They chased the parliamentary cavalry off the field. Then infantry then fought but neither side could gain the upper hand. By the time the royalist cavalry returned to the field it was growing dark so the battle ended indecisively.

The king advanced towards London but he was stopped at Turnham Green on 13 November 1642.

In 1643 things went better for the king. His army won victories at Adwalton Moor in Yorkshire in June 1643. They also won battles at Landsdown Hill near Bath and at Roundway Down in July 1643. However in September 1643 the first battle of Newbury proved indecisive. However the parliamentarians won a victory at Winceby in Lincolnshire on 11 October 1643.

Then, in September 1643, the parliamentarians persuaded the Scots to intervene on their behalf by promising to make England Presbyterian (a Presbyterian church is one organised without bishops). A Scottish army entered England in January 1644.

On 2 July 1644 the royalists were severely defeated at the battle of Marston Moor in Yorkshire. Following this battle the parliamentarians captured all of Northern England. (although the royalists did win a victory at Lostwithiel on 2 September 1644.

The parliamentarians then decided to reform their army. In December 1644 they passed the Self Denying Ordinance, which stated that all MPs (except Oliver Cromwell and his son-in-law Henry Ireton) must give up their commands. Early in 1645 parliamentary forces were reorganised and became the New Model Army.

The New Model Army crushed the royalists at the battle of Naseby in June 1645 and at Langport, near Yeovil in July 1645.

Afterwards the parliamentarians slowly gathered strength. Finally in May 1646 the king surrendered to the Scots.

The Scots eventually handed the king over to parliament. That left the problem what to do with the king? Most people did not wish to abolish the monarchy but it was difficult to keep the king but limit his power. Charles made things worse, as usual, by being obstinate and refusing to compromise.

Meanwhile following civil war radical ideas flourished. In November 1646 a man named John Lilburne, one of a group of radicals called the Levellers published a tract called London's Liberty in Chains. He demanded a republic and the abolition of the House of Lords. He also said that all men should be allowed to vote and their should be religious freedom.

Furthermore the army fell out with parliament. By the spring of 1647 the soldier's pay was heavily in arrears and they were not happy. In April 1647 parliament voted to disband the army and give them no more than 6 weeks pay. However the army refused to disband.

The Second English Civil War

Meanwhile in December 1647 Charles made a secret agreement with the Scots. They agreed to invade England on his behalf. However Oliver Cromwell crushed an army of Scots and English royalists at Preston.

A royalist uprising also took place in Kent. However the royalists failed to capture London and instead they marched to Colchester where they were besieged and finally defeated.

The army now felt that parliament was being too lenient with the king. They occupied London and Colonel Thomas Pride ejected about 140 members of the Commons. This action was called 'Pride's Purge'. It left a 'rump parliament' of about 60 members.

In January 1649 Charles was put on trial for treason. He was found guilty on 27 January 1649 and he was beheaded outside Whitehall on 30 January 1649.

On 17 March 1649 parliament passed an act abolishing monarchy and the House of Lords.

*** The Vikings had something to do with the British weremade to keepmoney called The pound.

By: Anonymous: Jean Dagenais () on Monday, February 15 2010 @ 03:42 PM EST  
Anonymous: Jean Dagenais

Click on image to download This is a picture of Elizabeth the ist. Isn't she pretty,


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