Saturday, October 23, 2010

A sweet distraction

As you may know, Christine is getting married and the preparations have begun. Location: check. Groom: check. Priest: check. Awkward discussions about whom should be invited: check. Budget: check-ish. Dress: CHECK.

We drove to Staten Island to the "Brides Against Breast Cancer" wedding dress sale. Couture and non, all for sale. Lovely volunteers with sad and triumphant stories to share. And all the proceeds go to breast cancer research.

I had taken the day off from work. The weather was perfect; slightly chilly, but the sun was shining. We followed the Google directions which led us through historic towns (who knew) and stereotypical neighborhoods. The Renaissance, where the sale was held, looked like something out of My Big Fat Greek wedding- pillars, back lit Greek busts, faded carpets, silk flowers, grand staircase.

She could take three dresses in to the very public dressing room, but after the first batch, we took in many more. So many pretty and atrocious dresses. Having gone shopping once before, I didn't have high hopes, but having many more options available gave me hope. There were some that were fabulous on her (let's face it, having an hour-glass figure makes shopping much easier). Some that were OK, some that had one flaw that kept it from being "the one." We've watched TLC and seen "Say Yes" but I didn't expect it to be like that- where there is that moment when you know she's found it and you know this is what she'll be wearing next year when she walks down the aisle. But she did find it. It fits perfectly. Wedding dress: check.

Now on to the invitations, the hotel accommodations, the rehearsal dinner, the after wedding party, etc. etc. etc. bring it on.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why Calligraphy?

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful lettering. From the Greek word...Blah blah blah. But what is it? And what is it to me?

I have always loved to read and write. Letters and the power they wield when turned into words. And words made lovely by twisting and turning a pen, a pencil, a brush, a strip of cardboard. Using ink, chalk, paint or water. I not only sound better when I sing in the shower, my fingers create the most amazing letters on the shower door. There, the sides of my fingers and a smidgeon of my nail sweep across the glass, and an "S' becomes magical. A hint of a shadow, and unintended swirl.

This artform can express so much. Anger, joy, peace, tension. And within each project I disappear. Paper after paper, I experiment with words and thoughts that need to be told.

So I teach these classes to help other people express themselves beyond the verbal. To stand in front of a chalkboard and feel the sweep of your arm as it forms the letter "a." Stroke 1, stroke 2, now stroke 3- aha. Larger than life. You learned this letter when you were so tiny, but now it feels as if you are writing it for the first time. But let's perfect stroke 1. Sweep, sweep, sweep. Feels like a rounded check mark, doesn't it? Check, check, check. There is a rhythm. But don't rush it. Not yet. Let us perfect the motion, the balance. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. So come and play with me during my class. I have books, and toys, and worksheets. It's a fun and quick two hours and you won't mind doing the homework. I promise!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Lease

I have this incredible desire to....nevermind. Another day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just because

Just because I am sitting here at the computer, and there was a reason I got on here, but I don't remember what that was so I got on Facebook and saw pictures of my friend Sandy from elementary school and saw that she had a million friends already, so I looked at all the people she had as friends which led me to look a this one person's page who I was never friends with and their they were- the pictures of the popular people having fun in high school, going to parties, laughing, always smiling, like nothing ever bothered them because they were beautiful and athletic and popular and it seemed like they all came from rich families with older parents, and I know this all seems silly, but there is something about Facebook that stirs up the loneliness of high school (for me, the awkward weird girl), and it's interesting because some people have looked me up and shared stories with me that I would never have expected to hear, but am honored that they feel they can share them with me, so I guess Facebook can help the unconnected feel connected, remind us of how fabulous/sucky high school was and make me glad I am a grown up and can choose who I play with. the end.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I have to say this.

I grew up in Indiana. Northwest, in Hobart, next to Gary. I thought I grew up in the state of Chicago. We were south of Lake Michigan and had the Dunes National Lakeshore nearby. When I was younger, I was embarrassed by the corn fields and "the Midwest" stereotype, and couldn't wait to leave. Typical for young people. The grass is always greener, etc. But now I know better- because people in the Midwest are content, they are honest and they are loving. Not all of them, but the ones I know. My family, my friends. Not perfect, but I know them. I trust them.

Growing up in Indiana- I was not deprived of culture. I cannot stand when people assume that if you're from the Midwest you are somehow "lacking." How dare you. How dare you say that if someone stays in the Midwest it means that they don't know any better? That they don't have the benefit of your wisdom, your knowledge, your...whatever. What is it that they think we missed in Indiana? Art? Had it. Education? Had it. Diversity? Had it. Music? Had it. Scenic landscape? Had it. Water? Had it. Sports? Had it. I cannot think of what was missing. Snobs? yeah- they were there. Racism? Yup. Liberals? Yup. Conservatives? Yup. Religion? Yup- all of them.

I have lived all over the country and there are commonalities- the rich, the poor, the ignorant, the well-meaning, the shallow, the bigoted, the martyrs, the drunk, the lazy, the hard-working, the people I wish I could be more like.

Was my life perfect in Indiana? No. Would I move back there? Absolutely. It's not an option for me, but given the chance- I would. The smell of the corn in the summer, the apples in the fall. The bitter wind in the winter and the sound of the robins in the spring. I would go back.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Christine gives me a hard time for not posting enough. So here is a quickie before I get ready for work. These were the blogs written in my head this week:
Feeling peaceful.
Being angry.
Losing confidence.
Frustrated with "art."
Love my job. Hate my job.
Loving Matthew: Christine- turn your head. I stop at home between meetings and Matthew asks if we are alone. I say- only for a minute. He asks-do we have enough time? I say- not enough to do it properly; to which he responds: I'm ready to do it improperly. I love this guy.

I'm trying to do something nice for his parents' 5oth next weekend- even though they are unaware (I think). Grace is cleaning out her room and donating clothes. Heavy sigh. I'm trying to keep my job, but my paranoia is rearing its ugly head. My eldest is 25 today. Rosie had a job interview. Emily is far away. Life keeps moving, but I'm frozen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ok. Ok.

I've been reading blogs every day while on vacation and not posting anything. Well, not posting anything physically. What you need to know is that I do all of my projects and blogs and chores in my head. There, they are complete. I may seem like a slacker for not finishing things, but they are complete- in my mind. I write a blog everyday. I finish a painting or a calligraphy piece- every day. I am actually quite busy in my little brain. Putting it down in physical words or on canvas seems redundant. I have already written this. So it seems insincere and not spontaneous when I type it. I like to write things once. It flows out of me and onto the paper or into Word, and there it is perfect. Leave it alone. If you edit it, I am offended. There is a reason it is written that way. Rarely has someone made significant changes that I agree with. I know this sounds rather obnoxious and "prima dona" but the words and their arrangement is mine.

Vacation has been interesting this year. We are 16 people in two condos- next door to each other, yet it seems like we are on separate vacations. Normally we rent a house in New England and we are all together- though we were on different floors a few years ago. Still, it felt more unified. The family is growing and new members have joined us. There are babies to accommodate, young adults who get bored. They are too young to go to bars, and too poor to do anything but hang with the family. When they wander away, I have this image of Natalie Holloway, and the press judging me, "How could you let them go off on their own? You are a terrible mother and this is your fault."

We know next year we will go back to New England, but there are pluses and minuses to everything. There is spectacular golf for the men-folk. The ocean and beaches are so much nicer here. But it is damn expensive. Holy Christmas! Groceries, dinners, clothes, tours, etc.

We did go into Savannah for the day. Gorgeous. Hot, humid, but gorgeous. The architecture, the history. I can see Matthew and me going there for one of our little anniversary excursions. But not for a few years. We have some major expenses projects coming up.
Onward and upward.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother of the Bride

While my head is trying to focus on the fundraiser (which should be a blast- when it's over!), I am distracted by my daughter's engagement. People have asked me if she's going to be a Bridezilla, and I just smile. She has her father and me to thank for her anger and impatient disposition. But I know she wants to keep this simple and affordable. And she's relieved to finally be engaged- not that there was a question of "if"; just "when."

So, after it was officially announced on her fiance's Facebook page, and people started weighing in, I put the information on mine as well  (several days after the proposal). Oops. MOB mistake number one. I hope that's the last one, but 15 months is a long time to go without making a mistake. We'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, we're preparing for the fundraiser, and prom, and an engagement party, and a graduation party- and my baby's graduating.... all in the next four weeks. Is that enough time to process all of this? Did they do this on purpose so I don't have time to stop and think about these transitions? The oldest engaged? The youngest leaving the nest? No more PTA meetings? Bake sales? Concerts? Permission slips? Even though the house isn't empty, two of my children will be so far away. Hard to believe. Just yesterday (literally, yesterday) Christine and Grace were hitting each other in church. For years I have been rolling my eyes with embarrassment, and now... I can't imagine not having them sitting there, next to me, driving me crazy. Thank goodness for chatting, and texting and Skype- Emily can still give Rosie a hard time- all the way across the country. And they'll all be home for Grace's graduation. But that's it. It's really happening. That transition where families are only together once or maybe twice a year. That is so strange to me. For twenty five years we have all been together, all the time. Should I have done a better job at alienating them so this would be easier? Ah well. They're independent AND they like being around us. Who could ask for more?

MOB Promise #1: I will not post the details of the wedding on Facebook without permission.
Promise #2: I will offer advice when asked; I will make faces when I am not.
Promise #3: I can't guarantee I will always agree with you, but I will offer you a margarita to change your mind.
Promise #4: I will not be part of the stress of this event. (see margarita above)
Promise #5: I will make more promises as they become necessary.

Monday, May 3, 2010

too much and not much

Moments: Trip through Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Saw Uncle Jim, Aunt Jan, Nora, Jessie, Pedro, Alex and Leo; then Grandpa Wilson, Aunt Peg and Uncle John, Laithan (I never spell it right), and Joann; Brother Tom and Tish and Lilly and Sam; and then Grace's second mom Mary, Doug, Ian, The Abaffy's, and a bunch of people we used to know.

Preparing for DCAD & the Renaissance. Some days you want to walk out. Other days you're making wacky trophies or voodoo dolls in the gallery. Not enough time to get everything done, but tis the season of the hamster wheel.

Two weeks where the yard was perfect- the dogwood and red bud trees were in bloom, renegade tulips appeared, creeping phlox I had planted a few years ago, irises that were never transplanted from a pot, but bloom anyway. Then heat and rain and heat and rain- enough to make the shrubs go nuts and the weeds on the patio explode. Argh. But we have a plan of attack for the yard. The fountain is in, and MJ cleaned the little pond. There is already a lily getting ready to bloom- with no effort from us. Kind of like the kids.

Trying to not start thinking about Grace moving away, Emily being gone and Christine's big day (though it's very hard not to look at dresses).

Still reading Ellen Langer's books about mindfulness. This one is about being an artist and how ANYBODY CAN BE AN ARTIST!! How I hate the rules surrounding art. And I doubted myself when someone asked how my piece would be considered art. I said that it wasn't. I said that it wasn't!!!! But it was. I knew I wanted to create something fun and romantic. I gathered my favorite things- paint, gel medium, shells, glitter, stencils. I started with a color reminiscent of a beautiful platter MJ bought me- it was made with crushed mother-of-pearl, so it sparkled. A lovely shade of green- a little yellow, but not much. I covered the canvas with the green paint, then morphed into aqua, and finally into a deep teal at the bottom of the canvas. I painted and swirled and pushed the paint. I used a beautiful Moroccan-esque lacy stencil at the top -in gray. I put a few touches of German-glass glitter and jewels in specific spots on the gray. I added an argyle stencil on an angle towards the bottom. It reminded me of schools of fishes. I covered the bottom with shells, and stars and glitter, but very tiny ones, and incorporated a bit of handmade Japanese lace paper into the corner. It definitely mimicked a net. I went back and added Botticelli's Venus rising from the water. Very subtle, but as a Virgo, I tend to love Venus images. I felt her freedom, just as I had with the Renaissance theme this year- not being held back, and allowed to create my vision of an event. I finished with three small canvases that had a beautiful Dylan Thomas quote about loving like the depths of the sea. I attached them to the large canvas. So my whimsical, decorative canvas actually did have meaning and depth. It brought me joy while I was creating it. That is art. It is art. And it's my art.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day One- first half

Easter morning, Matthew woke up an hour earlier than he intended. His digital alarm clock was purchased before Congress changed the dates for changing the clocks. So, instead of getting up at 4 a.m., he had gotten up at 3. Mass was at 6, and we were leaving at 5:30; in the grand scheme of things- whatever.

Mass in the darkness of St. Anthony in the Hills was interesting. Years ago, we tromped through the hills of Southern Ohio on someone’s property who had the most Christmas lights in Ohio. Carrying baby Grace, we all stopped to look at each Christmas scene and admired the plastic baby Jesus. But then the scenes turned into the life of Christ, ending with a very bloody Jesus on the Christ. Just in case we had forgotten the “reason for the season.” Merry Christmas, girls. Try to erase that from our little heads.

The outdoor amphitheatre was huge and we all sat on promotional seat cushions so we wouldn’t be in direct contact with the cold cement. A blow up Jesus with a tiny head was laid out, before burial in the tomb. From that point on, it was actually nice. The Scripture was read by a narrator and the characters waved their arms to indicate that Jesus was over there, but not over there. The gospel was the same Scripture and the homily was given by a very senior priest with a thick accent. He retold the Scripture. But he did say that this was the single most important event in human history. Whether you believe or not, it would very difficult to argue with that statement.

We headed home for breakfast. Eggs benedict, 4- cup salad (I didn’t have marshmallows), polish sausage, etc. We had a chocolate cake with Vienna torte frosting for Rosie’s birthday, and we gave her a mandolin for her present. Clean up, final packing. We were on the road.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sybil? Sybil?

     I was reading a series of books by Ellen Langer, an Ivy League psychologist who runs experiments on people about perceptions and writes books about "being mindful." She started painting and found much joy in just creating. No training. No MFA. Just pure enjoyment. But when she painted the same item more than once, it lost its charm. Its spontaneity. Before she was aware of the feeling of putting the brush to canvas. It explains why I like to do things once. After that, the fun is gone. There is no more discovery. Doing multiples for craft shows was a chore- not a joy. I had cleaned out my studio a few weeks ago, and started buying more books (it is truly an addiction) and found one about crowns. I made ONE several years ago, but the paper and glitter and ephemera in the book made me want to get up and make something.
     So I did it. I painted a canvas and added glitter, shells, more glitter and (ready?) more glitter. So much fun. Two days of painting and gluing and glitter. SO fun! No expectations. No guilt. And a bit of  "in your face" to those who "define" art. And frames.
     And as frustrated as I am with work, little victories help. Checks that come in; a pledge over the phone; a cookie bake-off; an egg drop. Michael Kaiser (?) from the Kennedy Center said that to keep staffs happy you have to give them reasons to stay. I'm not sure if anyone in leadership is going to make this happen, but I know my co-workers/conspirators can keep us moving forward. Most people don't leave right before a big project- they are invested in it and want to see it through. Well, in nonprofits, there are always projects to see through. A lot of projects. And a lot of guilt. I'll push through as Christine and Roberta recommend, and dream on my own time.
   We are preparing for Easter and for our trip. First, Rosie is heading to the store for the fourth time. We're going to sunrise mass and then coming back here for Easter/birthday breakfast. I must say, I spend more time preparing for colored eggs and breakfast than I did on Lent itself. We're making her birthday cake in the shape of a lamb, but with the vienna torte frosting. I think I'll hot cross buns too. Never seem to get them done for Good Friday, but maybe Holy Saturday?
     Matthew, Grace and I will leave around noon for Tennessee- Nashville, Murfreesboro and McMinnville. Grace had convinced herself and us that this is where she needs to go to school. So far away. But I think for her this is a good thing. A big university, close to the music industry; the "real" college experience. Of course, I'm panicking because of the alcohol and rape cases on campuses today. Did you know that if you say "I'm sorry. I'm an alcoholic and I need help," that the school will feel sorry for the rapist and not kick him out? How is it that if you're drunk and set a lab on fire, or rob somebody, you can't say "I have a drinking problem," and get away with it? But you can kill a young women's spirit/soul/being and all is forgiven? Coed dorms. Alcohol. Drugs. One in eight girls are abused on campuses. So scary. And she will be so far away.
     Focus. So Monday, we get a tour of the school. Monday night, we get to see Uncle Jim and Aunt Jan and their home. He said the dogwoods are blooming. Tuesday is Nashville. Wednesday we'll go see my Grandpa in southern Illinois. He said Poplar runs north and south and Main Street runs east and west, and he's on South Land Street. Haven't seen him since Tom's wedding. Wednesday night, we head to Tom and Tish's new house in northwest Indiana, where I grew up. Friday we visit Grace's second mom, Mary, in Chillicothe, Ohio. We lived there for almost 11 years before coming to Delaware. When I landed my first "real" job (it was politics, so Matthew never considered politics "real" jobs:), Mary took care of Grace. Mary and Doug were wonderful friends, and I can't wait to see them!
   Now I must shower, bake and pack. The sun is shining, so I have some energy. The homes around us have beautiful flowering trees. The forsythia is in bloom, as are the daffodils. I think we picked a good week to travel.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Not really. But I have to get real. The honeymoon's over. The day-to-day is soooo mundane. I need to fall in love again----with my job. Development directors have an average shelf life of 17 months. That's two full fundraising galas, two grant writing cycles, and the reality of boards and nonprofit life. God help us all. We want more than to survive. We want to thrive. But when you bring in new ideas, nurture them, defend them, recycle them, sell them and measure them, you start to get very tired. Burned out. How many of us have stood in heels and plastically smiled while the chair thanks us for doing OUR JOB, and only a few hours later, kick off the heels and drag garbage cans and tables in our skirts. I'm exhausted. Nervous about this year's goals. Nervous that my office may soon have padded walls. Nervous that there may be no growth or advancement opportunities. Nervous that people will find out that I'm not brilliant. Or perfect. Or sane. Or in love. I need to push through. I've bailed and seen many people bail when this feeling comes over us- like boredom or denial or frustration. We shut down and look for the next good thing; the next fix; the next idea rush; the next person who massages our bruised and ignored egos. But this time, I'm going to stick it out. I'm going to figure out how those other people manage to stay with an organization for years. How they stay committed, focused, engaged, and able to continue to inspire others. Once I solve the mystery of the creative Sybil syndrome, I'll report back. There just might be a cure.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oooh! Spring?

Wow. 2010 just won't slow down. The last few days have been Springtime gorgeous! It makes me so happy. Today? Not so much. A rainy nor'easter. Who knew?

I did walk in the Master's ceremony on Jan. 31 and skipped the undergrad. I got to carry my own sign (Management with honors). Mom and dad and Matthew got to go, and the girls tried to watch on the computer. Apparently it cut out when I got on stage. My sister and her husband came in from Connecticut and my in-laws came from Long Island.  It was a very nice day.

The next weekend was supposed to be the Family/Alumni Weekend and DCAD, but we got hit with a good ol' fashioned Noreaster. Delaware gets some snow in the winter, but we were hit with back-to-back storms. Matthew was out shoveling at 2 in the morning. He got quite a work out. The weekend of Grace's musical (Footloose) we were hit again. Lots of days off for everyone.

The big weekend was postponed until March 5-7. We had over 225 people attend the Student Exhibition closing, and 279 people broke the Guinness World's Record for most people painting simultaneously. It was amazing! All those people of all ages painting intensely for three minutes. Dad was there keeping the stopwatch with Matthew, while Mom tried to rescue all the poor paintbrushes crammed into the cups of water while unknowingly chastising my boss (she knew she was chastising, she didn't know he was the president) about the brushes. Board members showed up with their friends and families. I haven't had a chance to write thank you notes yet because...

I came into work on Monday with my desk overflowing. Time to get the Sponsor and Patron packages out for the fundraiser. Tuesday was my co-worker's shower and I made two yule logs and place three little gumpaste bluebirds on one of the cakes. So cute. Wednesday, pull down the artwork in the gallery so we can photograph it, ask students if we can sell it, and then create the artwork catalog. Today I'm supposed to submit my 2010-11 budget for discussion. Rosie's musical Urinetown is this weekend. Both families are coming in. I need to get to the grocery store (Barbecued Shrimp and Corn Cakes, salad and Tropical Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting). I need to get to work and put my scribblings in to the computer. I need to get my entry done for the Graceful Envelope Contest.

Matthew's on a wacky shift schedule for his school, and weekends we have the families here. Our 25th Anniversary is next week, and we're putting off any special trip for now. The girls are having birthdays, so we're just about to hit 22, 23, 24 and 17. Everyone's lives are so busy. I get to see my friends/co-workers/co-conspirators every day, but my other friends are an occasional comment on Facebook. I need to change that. I need to make 2010 count for something. I need 201 to SLOW DOWN.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Killing time

I'm obsessed with checking my transcript on Wilmington University's website. My Master's has not been conferred due to a substitution that was made for a required class. The substitution was authorized by the head of the department (and my thesis mentor) because the required class was not in the catalog at the time I was registering. But he has not told the auditor yet. Argh.

If I don't get to walk in Sunday's grad ceremony, I have to leave the family and friend luncheon to go walk in the Bachelor's. Or maybe turn it into a bruncheon instead. I really don't want this to happen, BUT I have a co-worker who hated that I was in school, left early for school and enjoyed school. She said she was sick of hearing me talk about it. This will allow me to talk about it for another 5 months- until I can walk in the May ceremony. How delicious.

5 minutes have passed. I have to check again.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I write a blog every day in my head. I paint pictures in my head. I clean every room. In my head. This is pretty indicative of me. Start something. Learn the technique. Get bored. Move on.

But for once I have finished something. I started it so long ago. I went to college, as planned. Theatre major. Had opportunities, but was too naive to understand what was happening. Fell in love. Quit school. Chose a path of wife and mother. Volunteer. Coach. Talked myself into believing I didn't need to finish.

Each time we moved, I felt myself looking at the local colleges. But young babies and a military salary don't allow much time or money for school. Plus, what would I study? I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I got close a few times. I enrolled at Ohio Dominican, but was disappointed with my options. I was accepted to the Columbus College of Art and Design but knew that driving to Columbus and the hours needed in the studio would be nearly impossible. I enrolled at Ohio University, but Matthew and I decided to move to Delaware, so I "unenrolled."  I always felt unfinished. I wanted my girls to know that I needed an education and so did they. I had bosses tell me that they couldn't pay me a full salary because I didn't have my degree. Twenty years of volunteering, working and parenting. Constantly reading and studying and learning- outside the classroom.

In 2006 I decided I had to try again. I talked to a counselor at Wilmington University and started the Fusion program- finish your Bachelor's in 18 months. Spring 2007, I hit the "delete" button and eliminated all the classes I had signed up for...and I sobbed. I decided to pay for a chiropractor instead of tuition. But by Fall 2007 I couldn't take it anymore. I enrolled full-time. I was writing and reading and discussing and loving it!

On Sunday, I will walk in the graduation ceremony. I will receive my Bachelor's and my Master's. I finished. Not at the top of my class, but with Honors. My thesis on a non-profit management curriculum has the possibility of being implemented at the school someday. I finished that, too. I look around my house, and it's not done. I haven't written in my blog every day. I can't even get IN my studio to paint (though I bought a new canvas). But I am happy....content. I have mentally beaten myself up for twenty five years because of unfinished projects, stories, dreams, weight loss, etc. But I finished my degree, and added a second for good measure. Don't mess with me. Don't pay me less. I am a powerhouse and I am on a roll. Watch out closets and cupboards and paint brushes. You're next.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Let's try this again....2010

So, at the beginning of 2009, my co-workers and I gathered in an unused studio classroom, and created resolution tags. Jane always has these great mailing manila tags, and we brought magazines, pens, stickers and glue sticks to embellish the tags. I can't remember the few that I made- which is pretty sad because they hang on a chandelier above my office desk. But I do remember the main ones: plant flowers (nope), get healthy (still no), and university (either get a job at one or finish my degree). This one I can honestly say I half accomplished. After 24 years, I finished my Bachelor's and Master's. I also surpassed my salary goal. It wasn't a resolution, but having had a disappointing salary issue ealier in the year, I was happy to be making an adult amount of money.
     Now it's the beginning of 2010, and I'm not any thinner or healthier. I never gardened. But I wrote lots of papers and worked with a lot of classmates on team projects, and it really opened my eyes to new ways of solving problems, dealing with different personalities, and digging deeper.
    What's on tap for this year? I'm really not sure. I really have to lose weight. I have to unclutter the house. I want to paint things. I want the girls to find jobs, and schools and happiness. But right now I just want to enjoy. To relax on the weekends with Matthew, go to a movie, read the books I've started, and cook. Savor 2010.