Introducing Scott Brick
Reader of the Month

June is "Audiobook Month", so I thought it only fitting that I feature my partner, Scott Brick, one of the most prolific audiobook narrators in the world, as my June Reader Of The Month.

If you listen to audiobooks, you may have heard Scott narrating popular titles such as Money Ball, John Carter (A Princess of Mars), The Bourne Trilogy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sideaways, Atlas Shrugged, Blade Runner, I Robot, Mystic River, Helter Skelter, Patriot Games, In Cold Blood, the Dune Series, Ender’s Game, The Graduate, Frankenstein, Somewhere in Time, Fahrenheit 451, and many many more.

He has recorded over 600 titles for top authors such as Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Stephen J. Cannell, Nelson DeMille, Brad Meltzer, Harlen Coben, David Baldacci, Gregg Hurwitz, Orson Scott Card, Joseph Finder, Stephen R. Donaldson, Steve Berry, Philip K. Dick, Dennis Lehane, Douglas J. Preston, Lincoln Child, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson, among others. To date, Scott has won over 50 Earphone Awards, 2 Audie Awards. Yes, I am very proud!

If that isn't enough, 2012 has been even more amazing! Publisher’s Weekly named Scott their Audiobook Narrator of the Year for the second time, and he and his fellow cast members were nominated for a Grammy Award for their work on the multi-voice recording of THE MARK OF ZORRO with Val Kilmer. Scott also finished writing two books this year -- his first novel, a supernatural thriller based on an 18th-century murder in New England, and NARRATING AUDIOBOOKS BRICK BY BRICK, to be released later this year. You can see Scott interviewed about this on VO Buzz Weekly. 

I must admit, June is Audiobook Month is just a lovely excuse to feature my favourite person in the world. However, Scott’s personal journey with food is fascinating and inspirational, and I wanted to share it with you. When I met Scott, he was living on highly processed foods, coca cola, and a cocktail of over-the-counter drugs. Not the diet I would have expected from a Type 1 Diabetic! He was a walking heart attack waiting to happen. 

Enter Denise Chamberlain, or "Lady D" as we like to call her. I connected with her the day I met Scott. She and I were like sisters separated at birth, as we sat there sipping on our green smoothies and talking about alkaline living. I said, "Oh, you must have read the PH Miracle! That book changed my life. If I ever met Doctor Robert O Young I would lose the power of speech!" To which she smiled and responded, "Well, hold onto your heart, because Dr Young is my friend and neighbour. You will just have to come down and meet him!" After squealing like a giddy school girl and catching my breath, I started imagining what I would say to this man. I didn't have to wait long. I met him a week later at a presentation at the Beverly Hills Library. After meeting many Type 1 Diabetics that had eradicated their dependence on insulin after just 10 days of eating Dr Young's vegan alkaline diet, my mind started spinning. I had to get Scott down there!

With the force of thunder, I landed on Scott's doorstep at midnight like a woman possessed, with a signed copy of Dr Young's book, The PH Miracle For Diabetes, and a desperate plee to "save his life!" After I calmed down, and Scott read the book (!!) we were driving down to the PH Miracle Ranch in California, spending the week with Robert and Shelley Young, and Scott was beginning his life as a vegan alkalarian. What an inspiring journey it has been, and continues to be. We met so many people with cancer, diabetes, and other degenerative disorders who had returned to optimum health at the ranch. I was fortunate enough to spend the week in the kitchen with the alkaline chefs learning and soaking up the knowledge. What a treat THAT was! 

Anyway, I could go on and on. But, I will let Scott tell his story. All I will say is that I am blown away by Scott's willingness to open his mind to a new way of life, his relentless commitment to this new path of health and wellness, and the extraordinary power of live foods! Scott is almost insulin-free, and we dream of the day he doesn't have to "shoot up" every day, as he calls it. Scott, you are the smartest, kindest person I know, and I would be lost without you. You are the best friend I have ever had, and I am so grateful for your wisdom and generosity of spirit. Thankyou for sharing your story here. I love you........

Oh! One more thing.......As foodies, it may interest you to know that Scott narrated many of Michael Pollan's books such as, The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Botany Of Desire, and In Defense of Food, three of my favourite books about the ethics and politics of food. We must credit Michael for starting this process for Scott.

When he told Michael he had finally become a vegetarian, and directed him to my website, I practially kacked myself.

Reader of the Month Scott Brick

I didn’t have a nightmarish childhood by any means, but there was its share of hardship.  Job loss, divorce, that kind of thing; nothing traumatic, but I nevertheless took solace in food.  The idea of comfort food hadn’t been invented yet, at least in the pop culture lexicon, but food is definitely how I took comfort: lunches in high school were purchased in the snack bar, NOT the cafeteria, and was typically two of whatever was made by Hostess (Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, Fruit Pies, what have you), washed down by either Coke or Hawaiian Punch.  A hearty American meal, right?

So maybe it’s no surprise I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when I was nineteen years old; rather, I think the surprise is that it didn’t affect my eating habits all that much.  For a year or two I was good, I was even what you might call strict, but eventually I learned how to handle what I considered a normal sugar intake on insulin.  Plus, I had two doctors tell me the same thing: we don’t care how much sugar you eat, just make sure you’re eating a low-fat diet, in order to stave off long-term side-effects that in older generations typically resulted in the amputation of fingers or toes.  (Seriously, telling a diabetic that you DIDN’T CARE how much sugar he eats…?  I don’t blame them, I blame ME, but still, c’mon, have an ounce of common sense why don’t you?)

Still, for the first twenty years of my life after my diagnosis, my health was pretty decent, as was my weight.  However, about four years ago, my work life started having an effect.  I’m an audiobook narrator, so as you can imagine much of my life is spent sitting in a chair.  I work with thousand dollar microphones that can hear it when you bend your elbow, so trust me when I say there’s NO movement involved in my job, no healthy activity that might conceivably pass for exercise.  And I’m blessed to be in demand in my chosen profession, so I found myself working more and more hours.  Well, the more hours you work, the poorer your eating habits become, isn’t that a rule or a law somewhere?  And the more tired you are from work, the less you exercise, isn’t that a similar regulation?  Well, if not law, it was certainly the practice in my life.  In a year when I found myself working ten or twelve hours days, six (but more like seven) days a week, I suddenly found myself about thirty pounds heavier than I typically was.  Having spent most of my life at about 180-190 pounds, I suddenly found myself hovering at 216.  Oy.

I decided to try something new at New Year’s 2010 – I decided to try a fruit and vegetable cleanse.  Three weeks of living on basically only one category in the food pyramid was a wake-up call for me, but I survived, and lost sixteen pounds, putting me right at the two century mark.  Great start, I thought, but there was still work that needed to be done.  Well, 2010 was also the year I met Tess, a year that saw a wonderful amount of change in my life.  Dating a vegan was not something I’d expected to ever happen, yet I’ve always tried to embrace change rather than fear it, so I dove in feet first.  (Thank God I’d had that trial run of three weeks with only fruit and vegetables, it made my upcoming transition bearable, and far less of a shock.)

Tess introduced me to Dr Robert O Young and The pH Miracle, the vegan alkaline diet that is devoid of any type of food I’d been stuffing myself with for years, and extraordinarily effective with Type I diabetics, many of whom ultimately stopped taking insulin. I started out giving up meat; I was a vegetarian for several months before going "vegan."  It was an easier transition, I thought, less culture shock.  Then came the shift to being vegan, which wasn’t easy, I have to admit.  There were days when I was so exhausted that Tess said, “C’mon, let’s go to a restaurant and get you some fish.” I felt like an addict weaning myself slowly, rather than facing the agony of withdrawals.

And really, that’s what I was.  Food is by all means an addiction, as is any learned behavior.  I had to break myself of mine, and it hasn’t been easy, I’m the first to admit that.  Rather than craving meat, I found myself dreaming of grains, of rice or bread or please God just a handful of Wheat Thins.  Still, the body learned bad behavior over time, it can learn good behavior as well.  And without even trying to lose more weight, I lost a ton.  I got as low as 166, literally fifty pounds lighter than I’d been at my heaviest.  Weight was dropping off me like hot fudge off a sundae.

There finally came the day this past December when I found myself at the Southern California ranch of Dr. Robert O. Young, whose book THE PH MIRACLE has had such a profound impact on both Tess’ life and mine. I was excited to meet Dr Young, and I’d planned on being there a week and was really curious what kind of an impact the diet and exercise regimen would have on me by that end of that time.

A week? Not even! Within two days, I was down to a single unit of insulin a night, when my previous dosage was 25-30.  And that night’s dosage was taken more for comfort than out of necessity. Again, learned behavior; I was more comfortable dealing with the devil I knew than the one I didn’t.  Embracing change doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t scary.

Now, these many months later, I’m not off insulin completely; but I remain on a MOSTLY vegan alkaline diet, and I’m much happier.  Whereas my breakfasts used to consist of cereal and milk, or bacon and eggs, or doughnuts and orange juice, or a combination of all the above, my mornings are now spent blending something along the lines of spinach, cucumber, an avocado and two limes into a vegetable smoothie in our Vitamix and drinking it down.  Lunches at the studio, which used to be grilled cheese, hamburgers or burritos are now typically vegetable soups, salads, or the (very occasional) veggie-burger patty – no bun.  Dinners, which were never quite as bad as the Cheetos and beer I joke about with Tess – though yes, there were a few nights when it was popcorn and Coke – are more likely to be vegan salads, soups, stir-fried veggies, or even the occasional salmon salad or vegan fried rice! 

It’s so hard to recognize my life anymore.  I mean, who knew that the Junk-Food Kid’s splurge meal would suddenly become a salmon salad?  (Thank you, California Canteen, I am a convert!)

Tess often introduces me as a vegan, yet I feel guilty claiming to being such; so many vegans have made their choice based on passionate feelings about their fellow living creatures – the so-called Meat Is Murder vegans – while I am not that person.  I’ve made my decision because of health reasons, and am more addicted to fish than ever. In all truth I’d have to label myself a pescatarian with vegan tendencies. I will get there.....in time. Still, it’s a long way from the junk food junkie I used to be.  And it never would have happened without Tess. Not just her encouragement, but her example, and her website.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to it to make my life easier. It never would have happened if I’d had to do it all on my own. I am also so grateful to Dr Young and his staff. His knowledge really opened my eyes to a new way of living that I will always be grateful for. I look forward to recording the audiobook of The pH Miracle, and continuing my work with him. 

If you’re someone who’s considering making such a change yourself, I won’t lie to you and say it’s been easy, or that it continues to be easy.  Yet I will tell you I’m grateful every day that I made the change. I remember the way I used to eat and all I can think is, that way lies madness.  And obesity.  And heart disease, tooth decay and an early grave. Thank God for Tess. On so many levels.

Fabulous intro, Tess!  Scott sounds wonderful!  Beautiful picture of the two of you together.  Scott has an amazing story and one that many can relate to and be inspired by to make the change too.  The both of you are inspirations!  I am sharing this story out NOW!  Love you much!

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Thanks Kibby.
Yes, Scott’s story is really inspiring and I hope it will help encourage other people.
Thanks for the love xxx

Thanks Kibby! Yeah, that’s our favorite photo. It’s MY favorite ‘cuz when it’s not cropped you can see how thin I am. <grin> I usually refer to it as my After Photo.

Thanks for sharing your inspirational story Scott and Tess! I hope it will inspire others to change and prolong their lives. Life is too great to spend feeling crappy, lethargic, sluggish, and bloated! We should all feel happy, light and healthy! LOVE YOU TESS! Keep doing what you are doing. xxx

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Thanks Stef! I TOTALLY AGREE!
YOU are such a wonderful example of healthy living!
I need to feature YOU!
Thankyou. LOVE YOU xxx

Thanks Stef! You’re right, life is too short. And many a friend who’s lost weight has told me, No food tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Thank you Tess and Scott for this inspirational and very personal story.  I too am a Diabetic (Type II) and have struggled.  After reading this I have a renewed sense of mission to take care of myself.

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Thanks Jonah,
Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you on that journey.

Absolutely Jonah. Diabetes is a pain, too often an injection one. Like Tess says, any help we can provide, just ask.

Wow, what a fabulous Piggy Pick!!  Scott your story was truly inspiring…. but mostly I have to thank you for loving my dearest friend…..  wishing you both lots of love and good health.  Love ya !

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Oh….You are SOOOO sweet!
I LOVE YOU and I CANNOT believe we are going to be hanging out in your house in Seattle in TWO DAYS!
Two more sleeps until I can wrap my arms around you and those beautiful babies!
Love you xxx

Thanks Wenz, but no thanks required, loving Tess is my pleasure! Hope you have a great time in Seattle this weekend, take care of my girl!

Scott and I have been friends for well, a REALLY long time.  And we’ve shared the junk food adventures along the way.  But he’s right, he’s never been happier.  The change in his life over the past year is beyond remarkable.  I wish I had his courage, to take the leap and live healthier, hopefully someday soon.  Tess is so amazing - she is not only a superb cook, she is the most encouraging person I’ve ever met.  Scott has finally met his match and I couldn’t be happier for both of them.  Well done, my friends.

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Oh….thankyou Gina….
We just could NOT do what we do without YOUR help organizing EVERYTHING for us!
ThankYOU. Love you xx

Yep, it’s been mumble-mumble years, hasn’t it? Funny thing is, in so many ways I feel better than I did when we met back in high school or college. Thanks for all the lovely comments and wishes. And yes, what Tess said!

Wow- truly inspiring. The discipline you and Tess have shown is amazing. You are proof that most things can be changed with a new outlook and the right advice. And you look amazing!!!!!! I am inspired to make more of Tess’ recipes- ha ha ha

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LOL! Scott IS inspiring and his story is incredible. He DOES look AMAZING doesn’t he! I can’t really take the credit. Even though I would like to.
He He He…..
Love you xxx

Thanks so much! Well, if Tess won’t take the credit, then I will! Haw! If only that were true…

I watched Scott’s transformation past year and what a strong will he has! He looks amazingly healthy!!!  I know Tess played a big part in that transformation. I am so happy that Scott is much healthier :-)

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Oh…thanks Mika.
It was really ALL Scott and his commitment. But yes…it is WONDERFUL!
Thankyou for all of your support and special catering for us at all of the game’s nights! Love you!!!!

No, it’s not just determination, that would ultimately fail. It’s always the support from others, like Tess and like you. Like she said, you were always helping to provide alternate things to eat at our get-togethers, which was always appreciated. Thanks so much for the kind words, love you!

Two inspiring stories!  How wonderful that Scott and Tess have found each other and are bringing so much love, joy, good health and contentment to each other’s lives.  As individuals you are amazing ... together, you are truly a force with limitless possibilities.  I am so honored to call you my friends.  Love you guys!

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Oh Stace….
I love you soooo much.
We feel EXACTLY the same way about you and Chuck! VO BUZZ WEEKLY rocks!
We are SO excited for you and can’t wait to see what you do next!
So glad that we are all friends and can share all of this wonderful stuff together.
Can’t wait to see what happens next for ALL of us!
Dumplings when I get back from Australia!

Wow, you always know the right words to say, don’t you? I think that’s your superpower. Well I’ll take that part about being a force with limitless possibilities, that rocks as much as you do! And yes, dumplings all around when Tess gets back. Much love to you and Chuck. (WTFS!?)

Scott you are such a huge inspiration! Not only are you totally gifted as a narrator (I am still in awe that you don’t read the book ahead of time and you are able to create voices with such perfection) but your battle/victory with diabetes is truly remarkable! And to see you take on the new diet this past year with the same passion you take on your work is ‘award winning’ admirarable.

Sure, everyone that even rubs elbows with Tess is rained on with blessings but you my friend have been showered. I am happy to see your health become as strong as it is….we need many more years of great performances from you!

Part of your fan club,
Dean

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Wow, Dean, your comments are so humbling, thank you so much, that means the world to me. I have indeed been inundated with blessings, for which I thank God every day, Tess being only one (though chief) among them. Thank you for your kind words. I shall do my darnedest to provide those years, sir! Great seeing you tonight, as always, and I look forward to the next time. There’s always a seat open for you in my studio.

Oh Dean…..you are SO lovely….
I am SHOWERED with blessings because of YOU. We are so blessed to have you in our lives and we love you very much.  Thankyou so much for your support.
Love you xx

Tess, you both look so healthy, I can’t stand it! When are you going to start running workshops in Melbourne? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the markets clutching one of your recipes, determined to find the right ingredients to make a few changes to my family’s diet. There always seems to be something I can’t find and I come away disheartened. Then I read your inspiring piggy stories and I feel that strong desire again to be at optimum health for the sake of my beautiful children. I don’t know where to start. I have told myself I will try again after the birth of no. 3.  Thanks for the inspiration.

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Inspiration is Tess’ superpower, Robyn. It’s uncanny, her ability to inspire everyone around her. Congratulations on Number 3!

WHAT? You are having another baby!!
Congratulations!!!!! I am SO excited for you. Let’s talk about healthy eating when I come home next week. xx

Just read this post - 3 times.  Scott and Tess, I don’t think I need to tell you what an inspiration you’ve been to me.  Scott has made a MAMMOTH impact on my career, and just being in the same room with Tess provides an inspiring energy boost!  I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life - and fully recognize the addiction that foods and sugars are.  I’m sick of it, and ready to make a major change.  So Tess, I’ll talk to you when you get back.  Thank you both for everything - you’re both a tremendous blessing and it’s an honor to be your friend.

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John…..you are so sweet and we cherish you. We are SO excited for how well your audiobook career is going and can’t wait to celebrate the next chapter with you.
Yes! We will talk when I get back from Australia and we will get you on a program for SUCCESS! Love you xx

John, you’re a heck of a guy, and we feel the exact same way about your friendship. You’re a blessing to both the audiobook industry and our lives. Very much looking forward to seeing you at VOICE this coming week, and yes, we will make sure to make some time when Tess gets back to talk food/health stuff. Thanks for your kind words, they mean a great deal.

Hey Scott - congrats on everything: doing this, sharing this, and being so determined!  Looking forward to our next dinner…you guys ROCK.

xo

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Thanks Julie!
Yes. Can’t wait to see you when I get back from Australia :)

I can’t believe I’m only seeing your comment now, Julie, so sorry. Yes, with my little sabbatical in NY it’s been even longer than anticipated, but we will eat again soon after I return. Looking forward to it!

Hi Scott,
You really are a remarkable person!
Imagine having to be so disciplined and go without solids and to completely change your lifestyle almost overnight.
However, it is sooooo much preferable to being insulin dependant to say nothing of the long term outcomes of diabetes.
If only the entire diabetic world could read your story and get on the band wagon!
Surely this story can inspire others to take up this healthy lifestyle and reduce the incidence of diabetes or reverse it in those already diagnosed.
You really have intestinal fortitude and enormous strength.
Do you exercise now as we constantly read that exercise is an essential component in the treatment and management of diabetes?
Congratulations and keep us informed. I look forward to hearing when you are insulin free
Annabelle

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Thanks Annabelle.
Scott IS exercising more and more (the last piece of the puzzle)
I can’t wait to tell you when he is insulin-free!
Thanks for the support.

Hi Annabelle, thank you for your lovely comments, they’re truly humbling. And to finally answer your question, yes, I am exercising, though I admit that’s the toughest part of the equation. I’ve always heard that good diabetes management is a three-legged stool that consists of food, medicine and exercise, and as we all know, stools can’t stand with only two legs. And I’ve found that to be true, even when food becomes a far larger leg than medicine. Still, when I am in LA I typically go hiking three or four days a week, but here in NY at the moment, exercise is a lot harder to come by; typically it amounts to climbing subway steps. But I persevere, as always. We’ll be doing a health update early in the new year, so we’ll let you know how things progress. Thanks again for your kind words.

What a wonderful story!  You two make a gorgeous couple!  Glowing with health and love!

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Thanks so much Elaine, we really appreciate it! Though really Tess is the gorgeous one; I’m the lucky one. <grin>

You two make a beautiful couple!

What an amazing journey you’re on! I’ll have to relay this story to my boyfriend in the hopes of inspiring him.

My boyfriend, Chris, has a non-fatal form of leukemia called Polycythemia Vera coupled with Undifferentiated Connective-Tissue Disease, an immune disorder. He has a very hard time with any kind of change, so he has been resisting the idea of changing his diet too much. Not to mention he eats for comfort. His appetite has been extremely poor, so I’m happy when he eats at all, but I’d be thrilled if he’d ever consider the PH Miracle!

Thank you for sharing your story!

Congratulations on your successes.

By the way, a couple of months ago, I downloaded a collection of Sci-Fi audiobooks and I Robot is next on my list to listen to. Now I’m more excited than ever to listen to it! :)

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Thankyou.
Yes, Scott is very talented. You will love his narration of iRobot.
I really hope you can inspire your boy to jump on the whole foods journey :)

Dawn, thanks so much for your comment. I do hope it served as an inspiration for your boyfriend. I’m very sorry to hear about his illness, and can understand being reluctant to make changes. Tess and I have been learning a great deal more about the high-alkaline life in recent months, as well as its effects on various types of cancer. We’re going to be doing an update on my health shortly after the New Year, and will be sharing as much of that as we can. Hopefully there will be something in it that might be applicable for your boyfriend. However, in the meantime, I hope you’ll get in touch with any questions or concerns you have, as we’d be happy to be of any help we can be.

Scott,
I just finished I, Robot and I absolutely loved it.

You’re a fantastic narrator! I was riveted to every word and every story.

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Oh. you are SO sweet to take the time to write that lovely comment about iRobot.
Isn’t he a wonderful narrator?!

He is! I listen to a lot of audiobooks and I think he is one of the best narrators I’ve heard. With other narrators, I sometimes find myself drifting in thought because their voice just doesn’t capture me, I’ve had to work to pay attention… I didn’t have that problem with I, Robot! 

Actually, his voice sounded familiar, but I have yet to place where I’ve heard it before.

Yes! That’s why he is widely considered the best narrator in the world. He really is great….Thanks for listening, and taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. He is going through a challenging time right now, and this will make his day! xxx

Yes, Tess was absolutely correct, your comment did make my day! It also made me blush. <grin> Getting to do the work I do has been a privilege and an honor, so to hear that other people enjoy it is a huge blessing. Thanks so much for listening.

Thanks so much, Dawn, I appreciate you getting back in touch to share that with me. I’ve been a lifelong fan of Isaac Asimov, so being asked to narrate one of his most favorite books of all time was an absolute thrill. Every day of working on that book was a joy for me.

Sounds silly, but it makes my day to hear that I can make someone else’s day a little brighter :)

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Yes….that is a great feeling isn’t it?! xx

Mission Accomplished! Thanks again.

Hey what a hot couple. When are you two going to make little vegan piggies!!

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HA! You are SO funny Kim. I MISS YOU! We are hoping to make little piggies next year. Stay tuned…

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