Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ancestors and Ghosts

The dead an be anything you want them to be. They can be perfect, flawed, a sinner, a saint, a scapegoat, or beyond reproach. The dead can judge you or approve heartily of all you do. With enough time between you and the death of your loved one, they can become whatever you need them to be.

This season of the year makes me think a great deal about my mother. In September of 1993 my mother was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. It was by choice that the cancer had progressed so far. She knew something was wrong, had a good idea of what it was, and chose to put off treatment/diagnosis until she couldn't manage the pain on her own. By the time a doctor was involved, there was no question of death, just how long it would take. This began three months of my life that would change me forever in profound ways.

A week after the diagnosis my brother was driving a car and had an accident that took the life of his passenger. He landed in intensive care and nearly died of a secondary infection. Once he recovered, he went from the hospital to jail, to be held there until bail could be met, which it wouldn't for many months. This left me and Drew as the sole caregivers and bill payers for my mother.

We were 25, married for less than a year, and dealing with a house that clearly needed major work. I was a park secretary, Drew was a technical writer, money was tight. My mom needed us and there was nobody else to help. There was never any question in our minds what we needed to do, she needed us, and we were there. I went to half-time at work and got to the full-time business of managing my mother's health and welfare.

It is important to note that my relationship with my mother was complex to say the least. We had come to some peace since my grandmother's death five years earlier. That didn't mean it was smooth sailing all the time. We fought, called names, wouldn't talk for days, but found common ground we never expected when I was growing up.

My mother was an alcoholic, someone severely depressed who self-medicated with booze. Throughout my life this was a fact, I can't remember a time when she didn't battle it. My reality always included that personality-altering habit. It made her small, petty, and mean. She had words that could wound, and frequently backed it up with arbitrary punishments- months-long grounding, rage-filled calls to friends parents that tried to make made them think the worst of me, hair pulling, slaps. It made me rage against her authority over me, made us hurt one another. I rebelled, fought to be my own person, made sure she knew how little I respected her. The peace we had found was hard won and quite surprising, a gift beyond measure.

Those last months with my mother were so hard. I didn't want her to die. I feared helping her through it. I wanted her to see me have children, I wanted to get to know her better. She was so resigned to dying and even expressed a desire for it. She was so sad in life, I guess she saw death as peace and freedom from all that hurt her. It was the ultimate in self-medication.

Thanksgiving was the day she mentally checked out. The cancer had progressed and she was in kidney failure. Her mind was going and she was set on seeing one more Christmas. She wanted a Christmas like her childhood ones. Drew and I searched high and low for the special candies, the special ornaments, the special things that would give her happiness. Ever day she would ask if it was Christmas, and we would have to tell her no. We even hung an Advent calendar to help her keep track, but when we left for the night, she would move the marker to December 24th.

Just a few days before Christmas she finally became to sick for me to handle at home. We admitted her to St. Francis Hospital for the end of life care I couldn't manage on my own. She was so made that she wasn't at home. She was convinced the doctor's were trying to kill her, and in a way I guess she was right. Her will to make it to Christmas was so great that she refused to sleep for days on end, equating sleep with death. She would get so weak she could barely stand, but she wouldn't sleep. The morphine the doctors were administering were easing her pain, and weakening her ability to fight Death.

I visited every day, sitting for hours trying to get her to eat, making sure she was comfortable, trying not to cry when she yelled at me. On Christmas Eve morning I arrived to find her largely unconscious and having trouble breathing. Not much longer now the nurses and doctors told me. So I sat with her, chatted, smoothed her blankets, brushed her hair. Finally I gazed out the window and miracle of miracles, it was actually snowing in Delaware on Christmas Eve. "What a gift" I thought. I leaned over to my mother and told her that she sure was a stubborn mule but I loved her. I told her the Universe had love for her too. I whispered to her that she had made it to Christmas and that is was actually snowing, just for her perfect Christmas. Then I told her she was free to go, she had done what she wanted. If she relaxed and let go, she would be with her parents for Christmas and have that holiday she remembered from her childhood. I told her I was ok and I would be alright, I had Drew to take care of me. She actually twisted her mouth into a small grin and gave little self-satisfied grunt, her own little "Ha!" Visiting hours ended, she was asleep and I left for a few hours. She died that evening as Drew and I rushed in trying to get to her before she left. We missed her by moments. But I think that was her choice, just like getting that last Christmas.

So now this time of year is colored by that year for the rest of my life. While most people are nostalgic for loved-ones this time of year, I relive her last weeks in my mind. It is hard. Each year I wonder what she would have thought of the events of the last year, how she would behave. When Liam was born and died I was grateful she hadn't had to live through that. When Connor was born I wondered and dreamed of how she would have been with him.

If the dead can be anything you want them to be, my mother would have stopped drinking, stopped smoking, gotten therapy and found some peace in life. She would be here, be engaged in my life and that of my child. She and I would happily spend days together, enjoying life and each other. She would be proud of how I went back to college and graduated, the first in my family to do so. Her face would explode with joy when she saw Connor, and he would run to her calling out "Grandma" so happily. She would make the meals I loved and share them with Connor. She would rejoice in our triumphs, be proud of our accomplishments, and be a happy part of our lives.

I know reality would have been different. My heart aches for the pain my mother felt so deeply that she numbed herself to all the joy in the world. Maybe my gift to her is to redeem her in my life now. I will imagine her all as I hoped for her to be: loving, happy, confident, and healthy.

I hope that in those last moment, she saw her parents and they greeted her for that Christmas she so wanted. I hope that all the peace denied to her in life was granted to her in death. Maybe by imagining her as I frequently do, that is peace for her soul.

Merry Christmas mom, I miss you and wish you were here to share the holidays with.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I feel like... "A one-armed paper hanger," "A one-legged guy in an ass-kicking contest." Do you get the idea??

Don't know why, but lately I feel very busy and pressured. Lots to do and no time to get it done; Errands, cleaning, laundry, dishes, sweeping, yard, porch, basement, ground floor, second floor, activities, medical concerns, church, holidays. Seems crazy and I never feel caught up.

For a while as fast as I checked items of the list, three were added. Thankfully even though the list is still growing, I am finally feeling like I might be catching up.

I've given this some thought. Guess with the house construction (recovery from the pipe break in January), and the additional duties at church and in my community, I am just juggling more than usual. I'll get the rhythm, it just might take some time.

A vacation would be in order, just a few days someplace different from here. Someplace without laundry machines, without toy boxes to fill, without a stove to cook on, maybe even without a phone. Some quiet and a place that just forces the three of us to slow down and enjoy each other.

Looking forward to Christmas- 2 weeks of being a family and no work pressures. A schedule all our own.

Until, I will keep hanging paper and kicking asses.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009


So I missed a day of posting yesterday. So much for 30 posts in 30 days, huh? Well, I'll give myself a pass for yesterday and a break for today. We have spent much of the last week getting ready for a large party in our home, which was today. It went very well. I find myself bone-tired and not very philosophical. good-night

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Burning the past

Just spent a couple of hours feeding old legal documents into our fireplace. It was nice that papers that once filled me with fear and turned my veins to ice, are now burning to oblivion and are warming me up in the process. If only it was always that easy to leave ugliness behind.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Progress around here continues to be made, though it feels like it happens at a snail's pace. We are hosting a party on Saturday and things need to happen. Funny, it isn't the food or drink that has me stressed, it is construction.

You wouldn't know it when you first walked in, but we are far from put back together from the painting and floor installation. Oh, everything looks good at first glance. Then you notice we have no switchplate covers, the tv console still needs to be switched for one with no damage (thanks Mahogany and More!), Several bags of belongings still await sorting and distribution.

I sweep every day, I straighten several times a day, I am getting laundry done, loading/unloading the dishwasher, and trying to tackle a new chore every day. I look around and see many things half done. ACK!

Ah well, Saturday is about friendship and connections. As long as we can get the downstairs bathroom operational for the first time in more than a month, I'll be fine!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seasonal Lonely

This is a season of family, of home and hearth, of big meals, and gathering of loved ones. All the magazines give you hints and tips for the "perfect" holidays, all of them filling with articles and photos reminding us of this fact. It surrounds you in stores, on the tv, in the movies, and everywhere you look and go.

Nothing wrong with this, but this is the week every year since 1993 that I begin to feel all alone in a life of strangers. In 1993, on Christmas Eve my mother died at the age of 52 of cancer. From 1994 to 2006 my father and I were virtual strangers due to a falling out over my mother's estate and we didn't speak. For much of that time period, my brother was in jail, and then I was afraid to re-connect with him. So, from the holiday season of 1994 to present day, my holidays, my birthday, my everyday events are celebrated not with my family and those that knew me growing up, but with my husband's family.

Don't get me wrong, these are wonderful people I have come to love. I want them there, and I want to be with them for family events, but oh how I miss my family. Imagine what it is like to attend every holiday as a guest. These aren't the homes you grew up in, the food you ate, the voices you heard. These people didn't see you as a very small child, didn't hold your hand when you were afraid, or take care of you when you were sick. Siblings and parents to your spouse, they are just one step removed from you and as kind and loving as they are, they are not your parents or your siblings.

Yep, this is the time of the year when I struggle to bring my family traditions to my child's life. I want so much for some of what I remember. I him to remember some of my foods, my traditions, my decorations, the things that made the holidays so happy and secure.

There are new people, new traditions, new connections. All these things I am profoundly grateful for and I realize that Connor won't feel cheated, for him this is his tradition. As happy as I am to look around and see all the people that I love during the holidays- and this is dear friends and family, I yearn to see or hear some of what I knew as a child.

It is so hard to explain, so hard to understand, but as surrounded as I am by people and places and thing I love, I still feel alone. Thank goodness for the wonderful people in my life, I can't imagine the emptiness without them.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Beginning to wonder if challenging myself to post once a day all through the month of November was a good idea. Most days it is a welcome moment in my day to stop and marshal my thoughts or reflect on something. Today it is a pressure hanging in the air.

My day has been long, the first day of what has the potential to be an incredibly long week. I have so much to do, so much to get done, so much to organize and clean before Saturday (hosting a party).

Going to give myself a break today and leave the post here. Maybe that should be my message to myself for the week- "Give yourself a break."

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Chores never end do they? When I was little, chores had a defined beginning and end. I had a list, I completed the list and the list didn't come back for a week. Whew. This created a skewed vision of life and the place chores occupy.

My list has no beginning and no end. It has lasted for decades and shows no sign of stopping. Oh, there are breaks, to be sure, but the list is always there waiting and growing. There are many crossed off items, things accomplished, handled, addressed. But oh so many new things are added.

Lately I have felt so overwhelmed by chores. The chores that are everyday like straightening and laundry, errands, and cooking. Then the chores that are seasonal like clearing the gardens, packing up the porch, and prepping the yard for winter. Don't forget the holiday chores, since once again I am cooking Thanksgiving (one chore I actually enjoy). This year we added major house renovation chores like furniture moving, painting preparation, scrubbing, and hoisting. And I added to my list committee work at church and in my village.

I feel like I do some chores every day, something even if it is small. There are days when I work on a few things and see no progress or difference. There are days where I trundle from chore to chore to chore and end the day looking around in some triumph.

But still, the list gets no shorter.

I need a day, a weekend, a something to take some time off. A full day where there is no counter to clear and wash off, no dishes to load and unload, no laundry to manage, no meals to cook. I need a day out of the everyday life to just be, just relax and enjoy my family, my life.

Maybe even a brief time everyday that forces me to be in the moment, not thinking of all that needs to be done. Wait, maybe that is part of what this blog is for. A time every day to remind myself of the bigger picture. I'll take that moment every day and blog, but I still really want a full day (or more) to relax.

Vacation, a blissful week between Christmas and New Year's Day can't come fast enough. We won't go away, but we will take that time and forget the chores for a few days. Why, oh why did we think becoming grown-up would free us from our chore list?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cold weather and heating

I'm stubborn, I'll admit it. I'm stubborn about plenty of things, but I am terribly stubborn about turning on and turning up the heat in our house. Every year is a challenge to see how long I can go before I give in and turn the heat on. Then the challenge is to keep the heat as low as I can and be comfortable.

This year I have yet to turn the heat on. Yep, November 6th and our furnace is still cold and silent. Not that it hasn't been a temptation a couple of mornings. Thank goodness for our fireplace, blankets, and lots of cat warmth.

So what is my hang up? I've thought about it. I think much of it stems from my youth. I lived with my grandmother during the oil crises in the 1970s. She lived through the Depression. The president was asking all Americans to turn down the heat. Don't you remember that it was supposed to be 68 degrees during the day and lower at night? When it got cold in our house, you put on extra socks, a sweater and maybe a robe on top of that. The beds were heavy with real wool blankets and thick comforters. Not only did it save money, it was patriotic.

I remember one Christmas vacation when I wore two pairs of socks and a thick robe over a flannel nightgown. My grandmother and I curled up on the couch under a blanket to watch movies every night. It is one of the coziest Christmases I remember.

When it snowed, we threw blankets and towels on the radiators to warm them up- so nice when you get out of the tub or come in from playing in the snow. Our coats laid on a trunk next to a big radiator, so they were always pre-warmed too. We would bundle up, play in the snow until we were numb and then come in to blankets and robes and hot chocolate.

When it got cold outside, we wore sweaters, sweatshirts, LONG SLEEVES. It is crazy to me today when I look at "winter" fashions and see tissue-thin fabrics, short sleeves, bare chests. How are you supposed to keep warm? How ridiculous is it to crank your heat (burn those fossil fuels) and wear clothes you would be comfortable in on a 75 degree day?

So here I am, another heating season upon me and the game begins. When to give in and turn on the heat, how warm to set it, how low to go at night, and how comfortable can I be? Last year I used less than 200 gallons of oil all season, and never felt deprived. At our house we will throw another log on the fire, add some socks, pull on a sweater, and keep blankets handy everywhere.

It makes this the cuddliest of seasons and that is ok by me. Sometimes I swear I can feel my grandmother curled up in the dark and watching movies with me, still sharing her warmth. Someday, maybe Connor will feel the same when cold weather comes and he pulls a dryer-fresh blanket out for his children and tells them how I did it for him. Yep, I don't mind if it is a bit brisk in my house, it just makes me warm inside.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Red Lights and Running Late

This morning I had a meeting. Not something that happens more than a couple of times a month, so you would think it is no trouble to leave the house early and have a leisurely drive in. You would think and you would be wrong.

No matter how carefully I plan, how early I set my alarm, my morning spins out of control and I am rushing like crazy to get to this meeting and not be late. Yes, I did stop at Dunkin Donuts, but if I hadn't I might have passed out from lack of caffeine. Seems like giving myself nearly 25 minutes to drive 5 0r 6 miles and make one brief stop should be reasonable. What I never allow for and never really anticipate are the red lights.

Does some kind of radio signal emit from cars driven by frantic late people? Do we unwittingly send out psychic energy that lets EVERY traffic light know we can't afford to stop? Clearly, this morning I must have been because I caught every red light between me and the meeting.

Each time I approached a light I started mentally begging it to remain green (or change green before I had to stop). Perhaps this was where I went wrong. Maybe if I had hoped for delays these contrary yet inanimate objects would have sped me on my way. Regardless of the right or wrong of my begging, each heartless light would change red and render me helpless to get to my goal. I tapped my foot, drummed my fingers, and tried not to keep looking at the clock.

How did it end? With me sprinting in to my meeting with little time to spare, but close enough to count as on time. Take that oh spirits of the traffic lights!

Next month, I will leave with more than enough time. But just in case, I am going to start planning a route with fewer traffic lights.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today I set out to get a little more of my house cleaned up. It has been 10 months since the pipe break, nearly a month since the major repairs were complete, and I am ready for my house to be straightened up and presentable.

I started downstairs, which is largely straightened out and clean. I needed to sweep the new hardwood floors and kitchen, dust the furniture, put away some toys, and clean the kitchen counters. Not to tough, and would give me a boost of optimism to tackle the second floor, which looks like a bomb has gone off- repeatedly.

As I swept I found some spots on the hardwood flooring that needed some spot cleaning. Not enough to break out the mop and bucket, but had to be addressed. I whipped out the sprayable Murphy's Oil Soap, some paper towels and started spraying and wiping. This activity proved to be irresistible to Connor and he wanted to "help." This help consisted of crawling around to find dirt and spraying said dirt with cleaner and sloppily wiping up, while I scurried behind doing the real cleaning. Cleaning accomplished, and Connor taught a valuable lesson about helping out. Yeah mommy!

On to other tasks I went, grimly climbing the stairs to tackle the hall bath, our only real operational bathroom for the last month. I decided that bleach wipes and crawling on the floor were the only way to go today. As I swabbed the decks so to speak, I would occassionaly hear Connor downstairs yelling "Whoa!" and hear thumping. I guessed he was sliding in stocking feet, but asked to be safe. His response... "I'm cleaning the floor and now it is slippery." Hmmmmm... I guess the Murhy's Oil Soap is making the floor slipperier that I anticipated, oh well, I deal with that later.

After many more minutes of wiping down the bathroom, I headed down to see what needed to be done to address that slippery floor. Turns out that Connor had sprayed nearly a quarter bottle of floor spray in the Family room, ran out of paper towels and was now sliding around in it with no pants on. awesome.

So now he is in the bathtub, taking an unplanned bath, I have crawled on my hands and knees drying the floor downstairs that wasn't dirty to begin with and trying to remind myself that he was helping. Bless his little heart.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Date Day

Today was one of those flawless Autumn days. Crisp, clean air, vivid blue sky, just impossible to resist getting out of the house. Never mind that there was a mountain of laundry to be washed, dried, folded and/or put away. Don't look at the kitchen that needed cleaning, or the basement playroom that screams for straightening and organizing. Just get dressed and run out the door without a backward glance. This is just what Connor and I did today. We had a "Mommy and me date day."

We started with a tasty lunch at Connor's favorite restaurant. Not McDonald's, Pizza Hut, or any of their ilk. Nope, my boy chose the Hunan Inn, a local Asian cusine spot. We got our regular- Pad Thai, Crab Rangoons, Won Ton Soup, Crispy Noodles, and a pot of tea to share. YUMMY!! Connor poured the duck sauce, I poured the tea. We both mentioned that we wished Daddy were there with us and promised we would do this with Daddy during Christmas vacation. After a tasty lunch, and with crrab rangoon safely stowed in my purse for a snack later, we were off to one of our favorite places.... Longwood Gardens!

We have had a Garden Pass for over a year now and we just love nothing better than being able to wake up and say "Let's go to Longwood." It happens 2 - 4 times a month, year round. We have the set things to see and do, and there are always new installations to explore and enjoy. What a treat!

Today was a typical Fall visit. Enter the Main Visitor's Center and take a bio-break. Hand the gate people our pass for scanning and beeline it to the Garden Railway display (they seriously need a permanent Garden Railway).

We chit chat and wander on our way there, saw the ice skating rink being installed for the Christmas shows, and then the whistle called and Connor was running ahead to see his beloved trains. Moments like this fill me up with emotion. He is so small, and so big all at the same time. I can't believe he is 5 years old, and wonder where the time has gone. He is so remarkable to me, all energy and enthusiasm, love and curiosity. How lucky I am to have him in my life.

Now we are at the Garden Railway and we do a few circuits, checking out which engines are running, what freight cars or coaches they are pulling, see who is on which track. I notice some flowers that have been changed out for a fresher display, late summer bloom replaced with colder weather things. I even get a moment to sit on the bench and read while Connor tears around, racing and watching the trains.

Once this activity loses its shine, we are off to the Conservatory, which is just as well because I am getting chilled. I figure we are going to do a lap of the Conservatory- Main halls, Mediterranean Garden, orchids, Tropical, Cactus... Today we start in the Children's Conservatory and for the first time Connor gets thoroughly soaked in the fountains. He asked if he could, and I saved his sweatshirt for something warm and dry to change into. I watched the pure joy in his face as he splashed and plunged his arms in the deeper fountains. I also watched the other mother's irritation as their children yearned to do the same and they said no. I felt a little guilt, and then put it on the shelf. Too bad if they weren't prepared, I was and Connor wasn't breaking any garden rules.

After a quick change into his warm (and dry) sweatshirt we played explorer and wandered around the Conservatories, pretending we didn't know where we were. To be honest, we approached some displays new ways and they looked so different we really were discovering them. We watched venus flytraps eating a hapless ant, saw the gardeners pruning the water lillies for the winter, and admired a pomegranate hanging from a bonsai tree.

What a delight when you throw responsibility to the wind and live a day like this. Just a moment in time to be with your child, to look at the world through his eyes, to take the day at his pace. Those moments when he is tired and I am carrying him and we are whispering secrets to one another. That glorious moment when a smushy wet kiss lands on my cheek and he tells me he loves me and that I take such good care of him (warm, dry sweatshirt!). The sun shining, the breeze blowing, the slap of his feet on the pathways, the gleam in his eyes while watching the trains, the warm weight of him as I give him a ride- How do I bottle these all up and hold on to them?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

True Love and baseball

Tonight I got the wonderful treat of seeing my son and husband in absolute bliss. They were playing baseball in our backyard. Now you had to be here to see why this particular night showed such true love.

First of all, our son has been determined to play baseball with his father in the yard for several days. Weather, work schedules and sunset have conspired to keep this from happening. Yesterday he requested that his father set up some really powerful lights to light up the back yard so they could play in the dark. Yes, my son wanted a lit field.

Tonight, at the moment he stopped work for the day Drew and Connor hit the "ball field" in our backyard. Light was fading fast, but the enthusiasm was big and not to be denied. Connor likes nothing better than playing with Daddy. I watched as the first inning or two unfolded in the lingering dusk. The ball was getting harder to see, the plays getting harder to call. Suddenly, they trooped in to the house and made a beeline for the basement. Game called due to darkness? No....

Up from the basement came my child, giggling with glee, and my husband carrying his large double utility light. This is the light and stand that is usually reserved for rooms being painted, work in areas with no electricity. This was the light that gave my son his wish for the week... a fully lit playing field in the back yard. Game On!!!

The game progressed from there and fun was had by all. There is never any doubt that Drew loves his "Little Man" but tonight was a special example for sure.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Imposing Order

Earlier today I posted a new status to my Facebook profile. "Terri is imposing order on another section of the house." Sounded good, but got me thinking all day about the concept of imposing order.

I don't generally consider myself to be an orderly person. I am not a neat-freak, not good at keeping things straightened. It is a struggle to keep the house neat and tidy, my car not looking like I live in it, and important papers somewhere I can find them. However, I do enjoy that brief moment when the house is orderly, the car looks like I just bought it, and I triumphantly place my hands on paperwork the moment I need it.

Now, I could blame my ongoing struggle on my son (who is five and loves clutter and chaos), or the three cats (they do contribute a great deal of dust bunnies), or the life that happens every day in and around our home. This would not be fair. to be fair, they all contribute to the disorder, but I don't generally raise a fuss when Connor is deep into his busy world of toys and "stuff" and I wouldn't give away my cats or close my door to those I love to make my house more orderly. If closing myself off is the price for order, I'll take a little chaos for the joy it brings in my life.

All this having been said, it should be noted that in January of this year we had a major household event that has caused a constant state of chaos and disorder in our home. We had a hose bib freeze and break, which flooded our ground floor, drained to our basement and has necessitated many months of insurance appraisals, negotiations, contractor bids, sorting and storing, trashing, and cleaning. The month of October found all our ground floor belongings stuffed in one room while repairs finally happened. To say the house has been in disorder is an understatement.

So now we try to choose a section of the house at a time, one room, one area a day in which we seek to restore order and serenity to our lives. It isn't always easy, but always worth the effort. To look up and see things back where they belong, the walls all one color (don't ask), the wood floors glowing with fresh finish.... it is restorative.

This brings me to the new blog. Is this my attempt to impose a little order in my disorderly mind? I have thoughts running around all the time, a dialog, a monologue, a commentary that never quiets. Clearly I have things to say. Instead of wading daily through the clutter of my thoughts will it restore me to place them down and see them glowing neatly on the computer screen? If it blows the cobwebs out of the corners and gives my mind some space and peace it can only be a good thing I think.

Here I go, trying to impose order on another section of my life. The trick is to remember that some clutter and chaos are fine, just signs of life lived well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


So how was I supposed to know that November is "National Blog Posting Month" and the challenge is to post 30 times in 30 days? I love a challenge, and this seems like a good way to get into a habit of blogging regularly, so I think I will go for it.

My problem will be that I blog wonderfully in my head at night, in bed while trying to fall asleep, but those entries are lost in the harsh light of morning. How to take what runs undisciplined in my mind and corral it will be my real challenge.

So, here it goes.....