Monday, December 19, 2016

Be Still

Pete in the Middle


When last we met Buttah was the featured feline planting himself in the middle of a project. Not to be outdone, here is Pete smack dab in the middle of a different project. Pete, unlike Buttah, isn't about offering any advice or wisdom. His motivations are: 1. feed me and 2. crank up the heat. He cares not what is going on unless he has determined the goings on are interfering with 1 and 2.

Pete, Buttah, and their canine counterpart, Cinnamon impact operations; most every task, most every project. How little or how much depends on the energy emitted into the atmosphere. The dynamic of the trio of fur has shifted in the last few weeks. We are still working through the newest normal. Winter (even unofficially) is not our signature season.



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Monday, December 05, 2016

Still Life

The last couple of weeks have been full of a mish-mosh of events, emotions, and more. While there are many things to say, I find myself devoid of fitting syntax to relate any of those things except this: wherever there is a project to be done, there is Buttah offering his sage advice and guidance.



Monday, November 21, 2016

POST E . .



My daughter's election day text, "seeing his name on the ballot blows my mind" perfectly illustrates the state of my mind every day since. It isn't just that he won and she didn't but . . . well, you know what all came next and what is likely to continue.  

I read a graphic some weeks ago: picture ear buds with the text, Listening to 5 to 10 songs a day can improve memory, strengthen immune system and reduce depression by 80%.  While listening to my 5 to 10 I re-discovered, "Land of 1000 Dances" and was instantly thrown back to my childhood, to one of the pockets of pleasure, and mom trying to teach some of the dances mentioned. 




The music does help soothe. But to brighten a body needs more. Well, this body does.

We have already read about and / or witnessed the unleashed hate.We have already had some previews as to the direction this new regime would angling to lead this "great" country. And we already know there will be people, groups of people who will need the help that organizations like Planned Parenthood, The ACLU Legal Defense Fund, The Trevor Project, Center for Reproductive Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center (to name a few) seek to service. Additionally, there are also petitions, protests, all manner and measures of support that may be offered.

So, in the spirit of being the change, this body is dancing to the tune of helping when and where I can.

                                                                     
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Monday, November 07, 2016

And the Winner Is

Some weeks ago I made an off-hand suggestion that daughter and I attend the 3rd annual Mac and Cheese Fest as it had been some time since we'd had one of our mother-daughter (good friends) outings. The $65.00 per ticket price knocked the possibility out of contention. And then, a couple of weeks ago, daughter mentions, not so off-handedly that her employer was going to participate in the festival, that we could get a deep discount on the tickets, and asked if I (still) wanted to go. For The Win. 

 We, along with hundreds of other visitors tasted offerings from caterers, restaurants, culinary institutes, and the like. We were asked for vote for our favorite/s. After the votes were tallied, the winner: Autumn Asiago Mac and Cheese (as pictured above) was announced.


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Chef Lex (in the white coat, here with her wife, Lindsey) and the team took the first runner up trophy from 2015. And this year, For. The. Win. bringing home the coveted Golden Noodle. Yay Team. 

My daughter's words: It's funny how life works out. I had a job offer to leave Chicago and then I got the offer from Amazing Edibles and after being with them from Late spring I grew with them, and I didn't just like my job I loved my job. And making decisions is apart of life but this choice to stay and working with Amazing Edibles has been hands down my best choice since deciding to pursue culinary. I wish everyone could have a supportive, knowledgeable, loving, caring work environment. I'm so happy they chose me and I chose them back! Thank you ladies for always dealing with this silly Dani even at 6am!

Congratulations to an incredible team who contribute to make Amazing Edibles amazing.  FTW.

More Monday! 
  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Game Faces


The Boys decided to keep me company while I watch one of the three World Series games our Cubbies played over the weekend. You may not be able to tell but they are simply overcome with the excitement of it all.

Seriously.

They are.

I'm not a big baseball fan. But it is hard to sit idly by while the city is so pumped.  Rooting for the home team.


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Monday, October 17, 2016

It's Official! Re-boot.

Dani wih Chester Chicago Pride 2008 


You may remember a mention some weeks ago of an opportunity my daughter had that was going to take her to Colorado and then Wyoming for the next two years. She was slated to leave early next month to report to the Colorado site within the next three weeks.

While extremely happy for and proud of her I don't mind telling you the prospect of saying good-bye (if even temporarily) was causing me some amount of anxiety. But, I stood strong for her sake. On the surface this was a grand opportunity.

In the days after the the announcement daughter worked (hard) to earn the fare. She made plans and decisions about how she would travel, what possessions to take and what to leave. All while emailing the company representative trying to get some definitive information on her assignment and more specifics about the set-up.

The information she was seeking was not forthcoming and as the days and then weeks leaked by she grew more and more anxious. The baseball season (her primary job was with the group that operates restaurants at US Cellular Field-Chicago White Sox) was drawing to a close and she was afraid of an employment / income gap. So she updated her resume and began to set up interviews.

To make a long story short (too late --a "Clue" reference) she isn't going to Colorado (or Wyoming).The part-time / independent contractor gig she was working with a local catering company offered her a regular, full-time, year-round job.

She is, in a word, stoked. And while a little sad about not traveling, she's pleased the the netting fell apart before she broke the bank moving out of state. And she will travel. And she will move away when the time and circumstances are right.

In the meantime, we celebrate the new job We celebrate the kitchen and business training she will receive.

My little girl (as my mother would have said) had a birthday last week. It was shaping up to be a hectic, bittersweet affair. But, it has turned into one of the happiest she's had in a few years. I am excited to bear witness to the next career and life steps.

For she's a jolly good daughter.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Four Words

Seventeen. August 1st 1976, the day after my 16th birthday, the beginning of my seventeenth year. That August meant preparing for my last year of high school and trying to figure out a post high school life.

Life was, in a word, hectic.

Seventeen. August 1st 1977, the day after my 17th birthday. High School graduation done. First day of the first year of college fast approaching.

Life was, in a word, hectic.

Family life was in shambles with two out of control brothers. I was working three jobs to earn the money to begin school (and to get away which is what I wanted most in the world at the time).

A close, valued relationship came to a crashing end.

Life was, in a word, hectic.

If I were to have a conversation with my 17 year old self drilled down to 4 words those words would be:

Leave now, take charge. 


   See more HERE. 


What 4 words would you say to your 17 year old self?
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Dancing With The Universe

"However, Michael P’s delivery of the monologue in response to Lula’s indictment of him as an African-American man is nothing short of theatrical surgery. He is skillful and precise. And the ending stitches you up so well, you’ll never know you were under the knife."  NEW CITY STAGE

"The universe is a stage on which your mind dances with your body, guided by your heart." 

My heart, mind, and body dances with glee whenever I see my son on stage. Even in a difficult (where his character becomes angry and more . . ) role. The run of this play has ended. The next play is cast, research work will begin soon. 

Queue the universe. Queue the music. 

MORE !! Go. Read. 




Monday, September 12, 2016

Beginning the 'Ber Months


Last week, holiday aside, was a long, exhausting week. Due in part, to the resurrection of memories brought on by the anniversary of my father's death (and his birthday). Last week also marked the 58th birthday of my other brother to whom I haven't spoken with in over a year.

The first days of September are fraught tangled emotions and memories crashing upon themselves wreaking haoc on the status quo of day-to-day.

My younger brother called last week with chit-chat, news of a family death, and a request permission to pass on my email address to a cousin on our father's side who is looking to get in touch. I said sure, eventhough we'd been down this road before.

The first few days are now behind me stabilized by celebatory notes; happiest of happy birthday wishes extened to an aunt and two dear friends.

Welcome to the beginning of the 'Ber months.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Bud Out


My relationship with my co-workers is pretty cordial. In fact, the human resources / compliance director commented in my review that I got along with everyone. It isn't difficult as I like most of them. Most are pleasant and cordial in their own right.

Then something . . 

Last week a co-worker sidled up to my workstation with a pretense of making chit-chat about tea. A couple of seconds in, she pass me a note. My ears started burning for I knew this was BS in the making. The note began, "I don't mean to be nosey. . "

Why do folks open with the gambit when that is exactly what they intend?

In her note the co-worker wanted to know if I'd received a raise in conjunction with the recent review and if so, if I was happy with it.

Once  the urge to flash her my, "are you kidding me?" face passed, I replied, as gently and cordially as I could, "I am not comfortable with this topic." Co-worker cobbled up her note and toddled along back to her own workstation

We've worked together for over a year with little more than cordial greetings passing between us. If not for recent circumstances (company lost a large client forcing a couple of lay-offs. Others have resigned due to unhappiness with reassignments forced by lay-offs) I believe we could have gone weeks, months, beyond in a similar fashion.

Recent events notwithstanding, I was still taken aback.

Yet, I will endeavor to maintain my equanimity. I hope she and anyone else she may have shared some version of this event with does the same.


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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Threes of Me (2016)


A "getting to know you list: in sets of three: 

Three names I go by: 

1. Deborah 
2. Ma 
3. Miss Debbie 


Three jobs I have had in my life: 
1. Medical Biller 
2. Bookkeeper / Office Administrator 
3. Recruiter 


Three places I have lived: 
1. Franklin Blvd.  
2. Parnell Ave
3. Ridgeway Ave


Three Favorite* Drinks (author's note: not necessarily in this order.): 
1. Banana Basil Milkshake
2. Pineapple, Blueberry, Banana Smoothie

3. Martini (vodka w/habanero stuffed olives) 

Three TV shows that I watch (in real time) : 
1. Scandal
2. How To Get Away With Murder 
3. American Ninja Warrior 


Three TV shows that I watch (OnDemand)  : 

1, Rosemary and Thyme 
2. A Chef's Life
3. Black-ish

Three Places I have Been: 
1. Las Vegas, NV 
2. Dyer, IN  
3. Houston, TX  


Three people who e-mail/FB me regularly: 
1.Danielle 
2. Addie 
3. Rose


Three of my favorite* restaurants: 
1.Nando's Peri Peri 
2. Kinderhook Tap  
3. Melting Pot 


Three sets of 3 things I hate: 
1. criminal acts, injustice, speeders 
2. beets, black eye peas, okra 
3. losing things, wasteful acts, inadequate coverage of women's sports 


Three of my favorite cars (that I've owned): 
1. Toyota Camry
2. Dodge Lancer
3. Oldsmobile Delta 88 


Three favorite* websites: 
1. Elixher 
2. Mail Me Some Art 
3. Longreads

*I am not a fan of favorite anything;.using the term under duress and / or for the sake of efficiency.

Tell me 3 things about you (from the above list or random). 

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Monday, August 08, 2016

It's Official!


My "little girl" as my mother would say, is leaving. 
After deciding on culinary arts as a career, a year of school, 
and a nother couple of years of trying on a number of hats 
in and around Chicago, 

she has applied for, and has been accepted entry to a 
work / study program that will take her to resorts in Colorado 
and then, Wyoming. 
For the next two years. 


She will report to the Colorado location by November 7th. She will be there five months. 
She will have 30 days before she has to report to the Wyoming location, a moth home
and then back to Colorado.  . 

Except for a brief stint during her teen years 
and small vacations, my daughter has not ever 
been away from home.  

WE are excited (and nervous) in equal measure.
No, more excited than nervous. 
Danielle has prepared for the opportunity 
and is ready for this challenge. She is ready to 
take the wheel and steer the course of her career
and her life.    
I am sad at the prospect of her leaving. I am happy
she is getting to earn while she learns at not one, but two resort properties. 
I am proud that she's developed the confidence to 
take this leap. 
We have three months to drink it all in. 
Cheers! 
Congratulations to my only daughter!

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Monday, August 01, 2016

Birthday Weakend

Obviously, mom was a big part of every one of my birthday celebrations until . . . 


And obviously, she is missed. 

After three years it isn't necessarily easier, but it isn't any harder.  
The memory of her enthusiasm and her smile carried me through. 

I am now beyond the half-way mark of the fifties.  
News of a big change was delivered this weekend. .  
Boom. 

It shall remain hard to say goodbye to yesterday. 

#MicroBlog Monday 
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

One and Done

miss my what da duck shirt


The FB "On This Day" feature popped with another note from 2009. Folks were forever tagging me to complete some kind of, "facts of your life" Q and A. Some I completed. Most I let walk on by. The deal with One and Done is: one word responses.  So, I give you 07/19 One and Done 2009 responses in black bold and 2016 responses in red. 

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket  Charger 

2. Your significant other? gone  Memory 

3. Your har? curly Short 

4. Your mother? debilitating  Died 

5. Your father? solved Buried

6. Your favorite? omlette Fritatta

7. Your dream last night? forgotten Broken

8. Your favorite drink? changing Chilled

9. Your dream/goal? renovation Solvency

10. What room you are in? living  Bed

11. Your hobby? stuff  Printing

12. Your fear? drowning  Bridges 

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? aware Present

14. Where were you last night? home Condo

15. Something you are not? angry Chipper

16. Muffins? fat Flavorful

17. Wish list item? power Fixtures 

18. Where you grew up? around City

19. Last thing you did? t-y-p-e Drank

20. What are you wearing? duck Socks

21. Your TV? on Warm 

22. Your pets? hairy Conspiring 

23. Friends? golden  Interesting 

24. Your life? evolving Rumbling

25. Your mood? improved Pensive

26. Missing someone? affirmative Completely

27. Car? bus No

28. Something you're not wearing? perfume Shoes

29. Your favorite store? Goodwill Discount

30. Your favorite color? blues Purples

31. When is the last time you laughed? presenYesterday

32. Last time you cried? yesterday Today

33. Who will resend this? someone Nadie*

34. One place that I go to over and over? grocery Laundrymat

35. One person who emails me regularly? Rose Danielle
36. My favorite place to eat? home: H-O-M-E

*Spanish for no one . 

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Just One of the Thirty Things


On July 16, 2009 a blog friend who no longer blogs tagged me in a note on FB: 30 Things No One Knows About Me. The "On This Day" feature on FB reminded me of the post--which was the first time I'd re-read the responses. I reflected on the answers then and thought about how I might answer now and found that in most cases there was no change in my responses. In at least one case, there was. Question Number 30

30. Do you believe in angels and demons? 2009 No. 

2016: Well, not in the the heaven and hell sense of angels and demons. However, I do believe there are supremely good forces at work in our universe. If there is good energy there must also be bad. The energy these past several weeks has been supremely bad. It is time to turn. May the good energy force be with us.  



#MicroBlog Monday.  click for more :-) 


Monday, July 11, 2016

Earwor Symphony


Hello yeah, it's been awhile
Not much, how 'bout you
I'm not sure why I called
I guess I really just wanted 
to talk to you. 

And I was thinking maybe later on
We could get together for a while
It's been such a long time 
And I really do miss your smile 

So, this song  has been in my mind off an on over the past several weeks, surprised to realize I even knew the lyrics after all these years. I don't remember liking the song (especially) when it was popular. 

What song is swimming about your head these days? 

Anyhoo.... here's to Monday. 


#MicroBlogMonday

Monday, July 04, 2016

At What Point . .


 . . . does staying indoors as a result of being an introvert become something else like . . hermitism?

Or what does the beginnings of agoraphobia look like? Feel like? My mom suffered from agoraphobia. The manifestation was extremely present during my teen years. She was unable to go outdoors for the most part and suffered severe bouts of anxiety at the prospect of same. When did that begin? Or was it always a thing that got progressively worse?

Medications and therapy quieted the anxieties to a point where she was able to function. But of course, being anxious was always part of her being.

While I am not feeling particularly social these days, I am also not feeling particularly anxious at the prospect of being outdoors, among people, in social interactive situations. Nor am I feeling particularly anxious over not feeling particularly social and deciding to stay in over taking myself out to a movie, or brunch, or even the grocery store.

Is what I'm experiencing the introverted me being spent over the daily social interactive experiences by the time the weekend rolls around?

Or . . . . ?

just kinda thinking outloud

           
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Day Before, Day After, Each and Every . . Pride

My First Parade Image Capture

A year ago yesterday, the White House and other sites were bathed in Rainbow Lights in celebration of the Marriage Equality ruling. How sweet that memory is in light of the news over the past year, especially over the past couple of weeks. 

My daughter, who has recently come out as bi-sexual, wrote me a card . . 

June 2016 
" . . . . I want to wish you a Happy Pride! Being yourself is so important in the whole scheme of things! I'm happy that you're happy and taking Pride in who you are, . . . "

Chicago's Pride parade was yesterday. One Million expected attendance meant there would about 999, 990 too many bodies for me, so mine wasn't there and because of work, my daughter wasn't there. 
Still, our  

Pride Runs Deep

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Melody Spoke


T O D (aka Middle Girl) and I have been spending a bit more time together. It is still exclusively weekend days for now. But soon, hopefully a weekday or two can factor into the mix.

It feels good to be able to help T O D get her rolls on. Though I do feel like she's struggling to achieve a nice and easy rotation, a glorious glide. A few more times out should help that. Right? I'm hoping. I do so enjoy being out and about.

Our little jaunts have taken us to the library, post office, parks, and a grocery store. It is the grocery store I take issue with. Well, not the store,.they were nice and caring enough to install a rack for the two-wheelers. but look, just LOOK at how some person parked their . . Billy? Jack? I didn't know his name, but LOOK at THAT!?!

I admit, I was angry for a moment but I recovered and found a spot to nestle my frame there, on the end. It was fine. I didn't even mind the sun as there was a pretty nice breeze. T O D came out with more bags than I thought I cold carry. But, I did swell. It turned out to be a glorious outing.

Here's to rolling along.

#MicroBlogMonday 

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Hazy Days


Three years ago this month I was laid off from my job, still reeling from my mother's death a few months prior. I'd been with the family of companies since 1979. In that time I married, had (and raised) two kids, got divorced, came out as a lesbian, had relationships with two women, came out as atheist, sat with my mother during her last week, last seconds....

In other words, lived a life. And then part of it, a big part, was suddenly over. Well, not so sudden, I'd read the writings on the walls. The company had fallen on hard times and ownership mis-manged away all of our futures.

So, a shift was in order. A re-building, re-branding. The last three years have been among the most challenging of my 56. And let me tell you, I've had some challenging years. But, having said that, I sit here today . . .

Photo: Facebook
"When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you."  ~author unknown. 
able to say, able to be . . stronger.  May peace be with the family and friends (and all of us, really) affected by the Orlando massacre.  
Equality Florida established a donation site. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

June: Not Too Soon

 The first full weekend of June has come and gone without much fanfare. The weather was mostly agreeable, some chore were done, some Melody time was had, some rest was achieved  . What didn't occur this first weekend in June was the journey to Chicago's famed Hyde Park neighborhood for the world famous 57th Street Art Fair. 

bygone days sketchbook

I look forward to this fair every year. I had the calendar marked, I had an alert set.  I love the event for the location, the eclectic and charged atmosphere, the fact that it is early enough in the season where it isn't too hot so the walking is mostly agreeable.In many ways it is the event of the season.  

Yet, I didn't go. Despite the excitement over the idea, even as I had a pang of nostalgia for a visit two years ago and I discovered she didn't have work, even as art fairs is one of a few venues I don't mind attending alone, I didn't go.

And for the first time in quite some time, I didn't beat myself up for missing an event that I had planned (even if loosely) to attend.  I wake up this Monday morning feeling satisfied over the amount of chores completed and the balance of fun and relaxation achieved this weekend.

The season has just begun and there are many fairs on the horizon. Some I will make. Some, I won't.

And it shall be fine. There is always a plan B (or C, D, etc. ) I must continue to embrace the moment, listen to my body, and take special care.

Happy Monday All.

#MicroBlog Monday   click the link for more.




Monday, May 30, 2016

Then There is That

A few days ago I read a blog post that got me thinking about when a friend suddenly and without explanation became a former friend. I recall being hurt by the silence. I reflected on continuing to be hurt by that silence. It brings to mind my father's silence for so many years of our existence. There was even a time when he came to town without nary a word to me. I found out after the fact that he had been so physically close, yet

didn't have time.

I don't have many pen pals (I wish there were more) but of those, while I may be disappointed if they were to come to town without notice or time to meet, I don't think I'd been mortally wounded or moved to terminate a relationship that I presume, as penpals is at least cordial and companionable.

There is still no clue as to why the former friend froze me out of her life. Even if it hurt, I would prefer knowing why. My father did (eventually) explain why we couldn't meet during his trip. I didn't buy it then, but I recall appreciating the effort. That effort led to our being able to bridge our gap before he died.

A few days ago I read a blog post that got me thinking . . .    letters

#MicroBlog Monday ::more, ya heard?::

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Seventy - Six



My mom would have been 76 today. Of all the posts 
celebrating her birthday since she died, the first  
one said what I need most today. 


Monday, May 23, 2016

TidBits

*


#The biggest challenge in turning over this new leaf toward healthier eating, has been the impulse to lean into easy (lazy) behaviors. It is much too convenient to pick up a bag of chips, a couple of cookies, a candy bar, the dreaded quick service or something out of a box. Planning and prepping: impulse busters

#Several of my co-workers snack on sunflower seeds (with the shells). None, I  believe, eat the shells. They all seem to build mounds of sucked on shells, leaving them on their desks (resting on a dish or paaper towels) until the mound is dumped in the trash. Some, must take sunflower seeds into the bathroom. I never expected to see a sucked on shell in the bathroom, not in the trash.  

#It apears that unnatural hair colors are trending. Pinks. Blues. Magentas. Folks dyeing their hair from the box of 64 crayons, buying pieces, weaves, and wigs, that widen the spectrum even further. A couple of fellow commuters "had words" over expression of this trend. He said she had Now and Later hair. She wasn't as upset over the specific critque as she was over his nastiness in expressing his opinion.

#My mom's birthday is Thursday. I'm trying really hard to lift up the cheer-filled, happier moments. Feeling fairly confident that the effort was going to prove exhausting, I've already requested Friday off. Now, to just get through the 4 days . . .

#We had two (count them, two) days with temps touching 70 and the sun being our friend. Yay!


*don't mind the date on the photo--different camera, didn't reset--photo taken Sunday morning.  

#MicroBlogMonday click the link for more. :-) 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ready, Set, Go! Again.


I am knee deep in endeavoring to keep more weight away from my waist (and hips, and arms, and . .well, all of me.) But even more, I am endeavoring to improve my my overall health; that entails eating healthier, exercising regularly, and not crossing the street against the light or other not so prudent acts that may result in massive head trauma or broken bones.

I've been down this road before. I've been successful before. I am trusting that I can be successful again. But, more than reaching a weight loss goal, or achieving multiple (consecutive) days of healthful eating and hitting exercise targets, I am looking to achieve a lifestyle shift toward a health-filled existence.

Every journey begins with a step. I celebrate the steps taken to date, and the steps yet to come.

#MicroBlogMonday. (click the link to see, read more)    


Monday, May 09, 2016

Flashbacks

My Grandma "Big Mama" (w/my kids) 

My Grandmother (w/my dad) 


My mom (with my daughter) 
As you may imagine, yesterday was a bitter to sweet kind of day.  I spent much of the day alone (well, the dog and cats were about, but you get my drift) and as often happens when I'm with myself my mind flashes to times, past and present, good and bad.

Through music, FB tributes, other blogs, my scrapbooks of notes and photos, I walked through our histories, my memories. I am because they were. I miss them, I love them. I am grateful to have been and to remain part of them and to have them with me, now and forevermore.

#MicroBlogMonday