It all started back in the summer of 2001. I had been traveling down south and had stopped in a Cracker Barrel resturant for dinner. After dinner I went up to pay my bill, and while I was waiting I noticed a display of these Ty Beanie Babie trading cards. The cards had been marked down to a price of fifty cents per pack. I thought to myself, Heather would get a kick out of these since she loves animals so I bought 10 packs of the cards.

When I got home I gave the cards to Heather, and watched her open them. It was quite fun looking at the different cards and reading all about them. Later that night after Heather had went to bed I got on the internet and did a search to find out more about these trading cards. In no time at all I was hooked ! First I found myself calling every Cracker Barrel in the United States to see if they had any of the trading cards left in stock. If they did, I was suddenly traveling out to that area anyway so I might as well just stop in and buy some of them. I will never forget the surprised look on a sales persons face when I asked if I could buy all seven cases of the cards that she had left in stock. I couldn't even wait to get home to start opening them. I would pull into a rest area and grab a box and start opening the packs to see if by some chance I had gotten one of the very special and rare cards.

After I had purchased all the cards that the Cracker Barrel stores had I was doing more research on the internet when I came across this wonderful place called Ebay. It was here that I found out that I could purchase just about any card that I had not been lucky enough to find in all the cases that I had purchased. In no time at all I had just about every common card from every series. My ex mother in law lived in England and when she found out that I was collecting the trading cards she started sending me some from the UK series which are very hard to find over here in the US. So I figured that if I had all the series from the US and UK ones I might as well go ahead and get all the Canadian ones too.

I had known about the little Beanie Babies since they had first come out, but I figured that I was too old to start collecting stuffed animals again since I had had lots of teddy bears when I was younger, but I had given them all away to my nieces when I got older. Besides that I really didn't have any room in my apartment for a big collection of them. So the cards were really neat in the fact that they didn't take up alot of room. Yeah right !!!

I kept telling myself that as soon as I got a scanner I would be able to scan all the hundreds of unwanted trading cards and sell them on Ebay. Then after I got the scanner I told myself that I didn't have time to scan the cards right then, but in the winter months it would make a great project to keep me busy. Then came the winter and I did manage to sort and box all the cards up into groups, but I never got around to scanning any of them.

Just before Christmas Larry had taken Heather down to florida where they went to a flea market. Larry had let her buy me a Beanie Babie since she knew how well her mommy had started to like them. I will never forget unwrapping my little purple (one of my favorite colors) Princess Beanie Babie on Christmas morning wondering where should I put her. I had a coffee table on either side of my TV in the living room. So I decided to put my little Princess on one of the tables. It sat alone for almost a month until I took Heather to a Hallmark Store to buy her dad a birthday card. We were walking around the store and happened to pass a display of Beanie Babies. Heather fell in love with one of them and begged me to buy it for her. To tell you the truth I thought that it was cute too so I bought two of them. I figured that Heather would just rip the tags off hers, but I could put mine up with my Princess, and that way when Heather got old enough to take care of them the way that collectors take care of their items I would give her mine.

That was a year and a half ago and since that time I have collected over 200 of the Beanie Babies and 10 of the larger Beanie Buddies. Everytime I see another Beanie Buddie that I want, I have to remind myself that I have no room for them. I realized very quickly that I could have 12 Beanie Babies in the same space as only 2 of the Beanie Buddies.

So now it has gotten to the point where I find myself at the Hallmark store on the first week of every month picking up one of every new Beanie Babie that have just come out. Heather and I have made it a game to put the tag and tush protectors on each new Beanie, and then we place it in the display case and stack it carefully amoung it's new friends on our Beanie Wall.

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