Looking Sworn

We wander in a fog
No soldiers deploy
Say a humble prayer
Do not let us sink
Pry him from his throne

Don’t the dead horse flog
Ignore the decoy
Avoid hidden snare
Take the time to think
Dodge the hurled stone

Lead away the dog
Hidden threats destroy
Take truth over dare
Pull us from the brink
For past years atone

I promise I’m not going to swear. But it has crossed my mind on several occasions. Today democracy works. At least that is the plan. Our nation is in trouble. We have lost standing in the world. The only countries that like us are the ones that benefitted from the policies of last 4 years. We are still in a pandemic crisis. Racism is out of the closet and strutting down the street. Our economy is shaky. President Biden will have lots of hard work to do in the next 6 months. It will take time, herculean effort, and all the talent President Biden has to be able to rebuild the bridges that Trump burned down. There is lots of work to do to bring this country back to a shining example of what a democratic republic should and could be. There are still those who, in a cult of personality, would follow Donald Trump into fascism. They would willingly destroy the constitution and burn this democracy to the ground. Why? Because they think that they would share in whatever new world riches would be gained. It frightens me to think that there are neighbors who believe that Trump is looking out for them and their interests. I am terrified that so many are “one position” voters. They are willing to embrace a man who has flaunted and defiled all the ethics and morals they claim to hold dear because he spoke at a Right to Life rally. They support him because he has tried to restrict access to birth control, prenatal care, and safe abortions. They turn a blind eye to the families ripped apart at the border, the children in cages, the children now missing, the destruction of the educational system, the deaths and permanent disabilities due to COVID. They are willing to overlook his adultery, his multiple divorces, his litigious nature, the misogyny, even his prostitutes. But the moderates in the GOP have gone silent. Possibly they are now embarrassed by the violence, sedition, and betrayal of the rules of law that they so recently pointed to as separating “them from us”. Now they are trying to back-pedal away from their positions as Trump supporters. We are not a perfect nation and we are not a perfect people. But the people have spoken and it was not in favor of Trump’s America. As this posts, I am holding my breath. There have been threats, rumors, rumblings, and warnings from the FBI that violent protests are scheduled to interrupt the inauguration. There have been suggestions that assassination plots are brewing. This is the most uncivilized and treasonous course of action. I pray that the day will unfold in safety and calm. I pray for the incoming President and Vice President. I pray that the security forces are prepared to defend against any and all assaults. I just pray.

As a note the above poem is a Rima Dissolutas. It is French troubadouric verse popular in the 12- 13th centuries. There is no end rhyme within a stanza but each stanza has the same end rhyme for each corresponding line. There is no required meter but the number of syllables in each line should be equal. The stanza lengths should be uniform…

Looking Iconic

Calmkate asked on her Friday Fun about icons. This was niggling at my brain for a few hours and then I slept on it. Don’t you know my subconscious went into overdrive. Here’s what I came up with:

I tend to think in symbols, at least when I’m considering doing art. It then is no surprise that when rendering things related to my father I head to the acorn. It is a barely edible nut yet is a valuable part of the food supply for many animals in North America – everything from chipmunks to deer. The acorn is the precursor to the oak tree. Which if you are not familiar, is a very large hard wood tree that has a long life. It holds onto its dried leaves well into the winter. To characterize it as tenacious would be a slight understatement. Once the acorn germinates it puts out a tap root that goes deep. Very deep and very quickly. These trees once the tap root has embedded itself into the soil are nearly impossible to pull out by hand.

But how does this relate to my father? He was tenacious. He had an iron will. He was stoic and weathered many storms. He didn’t complain when jobs evaporated. He didn’t complain when he became ill. He endured dialysis for 10 years. He was diabetic and didn’t cheat on his diet, followed all the doctor’s orders, and never whined or complained. Even when he was dying he was thankful and kind to the nurses and doctors. His faith was where he drew courage and strength. And the acorns he dropped? We are the acorns that have grown into smaller versions. We have a strength that is not always apparent and iron wills too. We have deep roots that tap into faith that doesn’t waver…

So this post is to provide that icon that symbolizes my father. I also was able to put the acorn detail into the post from the back of the book of poetry I made for my mother. She sent me the photos she took of the book. The front and back are just as I had posted but she included a couple photos of the book opened… so here they are:

Looking Under the Bed

Things that lurk
Hide beneath the bed
Stealing socks
Grabbing toys
Breeds dust bunnies with spiders
Waiting for nighttime

Things are lost
Never seen again
When they fall
Off the bed
Held hostage by the monsters
No ransom note sent

Unseen things
Frighten grown ups too
Silent threats
Poison gas
The death of democracy
Don’t turn off the light

I know you all want an explanation. So I will oblige. This is a Shadorma which is a Spanish poetry form consisting of at least one stanza of 6 unrhymed lines. The syllable count is 3/5/3/3/7/5.
What? You want a little commentary? Okay. As a child I had a fear of the dark. I was especially afraid of spiders and the dark space under the bed. As an adult I am also afraid but not so much of the dark but the darkness that seems to fill so many hearts. So I was reading a blog of someone I followed on Xanga. It was one of those innocuous posts that are the earmark of this blogger. But sandwiched between the photos of children and animals was a remark that made my head spin. “God is making a way and shining His light on us, as evil is being exposed. I would really recommend Parler for truth in news.” Parler has recently been in the news as one of the social media outlets that has been removed from the Google App Store. I was not familiar with Parler but learned plenty about it. It is nothing more that a FB wannabe except they pander to the alt-right, neo-nazi, KKK/Proud Boys, and their ilk. It is rife with conspiracy theorists especially those who have been banned from other platforms. But most importantly they pointedly DO NOT fact check or vet any of the news content. Most of what is posted is opinion and ramblings of some very disturbed people. I was surprised but not shocked. This person is a rabid Trump supporter and has been for the last 4 years. It just made me feel very afraid that so many seemingly “good” people have bought into the nonsense. One should never underestimate crazy. Crazy is now on the loose. Although Trump maintains he will leave (and not attend the inauguration- typical for a pouting baby), I’m not so sure that the 45th President won’t require an eviction by force from the White House!

Looking Bound

This is not about bondage so just cool your jets. I compiled a book of poetry for my mother for Christmas. It was a labor of love. Now to be fair I had started a different compilation in 2019. It was part of my goals for last year but it was destroyed in the great flash drive crash of 2020. The rebuilding of the poetry compilation commenced but with a different focus. I was winnowing through decades of poetry and in a flash (not unlike that of a stun grenade aka flashbang) hit upon the title for my book.

Because my mother is 88 and her eyesight is not what it was, I had it printed in a very large font. That resulted in the number of poems per page to drop to one. In turn that made the number of pages increase to 58. The limit for free printing through the library is 25 pages of paper. I probably could have printed it in 2 sessions but I decided that I wanted it done as double sided copies. Because I have an inside source, I was able to get all 29 pages printed at one go.

After watching about 6 hours of DIY tutorials on book binding, I decided to give it a try. I rigged up a book press using 2 wooden boards and 4 giant C-clamps that Sparky had laying around in the garage. A trip to the craft store netted some special glue. With all the confidence of a DIY newbie, I lined up, clipped together and then pressed the pages between the boards. I applied the clamps. Then I applied 3 layers of glue waiting 8 hours between glue applications. I was getting impatient (not like me but I was anxious to get it done and in the mail so that it would arrive by Christmas). While the glue dried, I began making the cover. Let me just say that none of our legal pads currently have cardboard backs. It took multiple tries to achieve success. I had attempted to use a beautiful floral fabric for the cover. It was a disaster. The fabric was too thin and the glue seeped all the way through and stuck it to my craft table. Which wouldn’t have happened except I needed to weigh the cover down so that it would dry flat (all that glue was making the cardboard warp). Anyway after additional failures, I was down to the last 2 pieces of cardboard. I made it work!

There were a few issues that were nearly the end of the project but I rescued the last cover. I had always planned to have a fabric cover that didn’t need any additional embellishment so I was not prepared for the final step. You see I had to use a plain tan fabric and it had a few spots from the binding/gluing process that were marring the front and back. I decided that my best bet would be to cover the imperfections with a little art. I was smart enough to try out my ideas on the little extra fabric that remained. First water color was NOT going to work. Second, acrylics were also a no go. The fabric paint was likewise nixed. I resorted to Sharpie® markers. Their invention is without a doubt one of the finest examples of human brilliance.

The back cover (with an acorn covering a nasty spot) and the front cover (can you guess where the big boo-boo is located?) showing the gnarly old tree.

Any additional book binding attempts will more than likely be much easier since I am “in the know” for all the pitfalls – having fallen into all those pits!

Looking at Snowflakes

It is winter and we have snow. We will get more snow. I used to think of snow as singular. Logically I know that it is plural. Snow is made of a multitude of individual and unique water crystals. I know that a snowflake by itself is a beautiful creation. Yet when accumulating as a group it loses the individual beauty. Many people relish snow. They enjoy skiing and making snow sculptures. Some take advantage of the cold to skate on frozen lakes and ponds. Others look forward to ice fishing. The one thing I enjoy about a good heavy snow is the silence. Snow muffles the noise of this modern society. When I wake up and there is silence, I know we are covered in a deep layer of snow. That muted world appears calmer, slower, more introspective. In my mind we are snowflakes. We are unique or at least with enough variation to consider ourselves as such, yet we are all the same in essence. Whether you think of yourself as male or female or something entirely outside those parameters, regardless of your race, color, creed, or nationality, we all hurt. Tears are clear despite our outer appearance. And like snow when we come together we are a force to be reckoned with. A singular force. A single snowflake. Bound with others that can quiet the sounds of derision, bigotry, division, racism, hatred, violence. Snow just is. By its presence it blankets and cleanses. Let’s be snowflakes. Let’s come together and be snow.

Looking at a Train Wreck

Have you ever seen something so horrifying that you wanted to look away and couldn’t? Have you ever covered your eyes but still looked between your fingers? Yeah, me too. I knew it wouldn’t be a smooth transition from this Presidency to the next. I expected the petulance and whining (or whinging as the UK bloggers would say) from the 45th President. I knew Trump wouldn’t make it easy. Yet I wanted to believe that decency and honor would come to the fore. Never would I have thought he would stoop to acts of treason! I was mistaken. I admit it. I was wrong. That a mob would storm the capital and actually gain entry to the building is beyond comprehension. I don’t know about you but the last time I was in D.C. you couldn’t even get near the White House fence! The fence – to take a photo! The security was tight. When there were protests in D.C. the military deployed and surrounded the capitol building. They were armed and they meant business. And when I say armed, I don’t mean guns with rubber bullets. They had lethal rounds and were prepared to shoot, shoot to kill, AMERICAN CITIZENS who were protesting as is their right.

However, when Trump called for his base to rise up and protest and disrupt the proceedings to accept the electoral votes, the military was conspicuously absent. Trump announced that the National Guard would be deployed but that turned out to be only for traffic control! Security of our Nation’s capitol was left to a municipal police force (no doubt they are trained and competent to handle city issues). Fortunately the Mayor of Washington, D.C. had the presence and forethought to call states bordering on the city and request assistance from their police and state guard. Thought it was a help, it didn’t arrive quite in time. The D.C. police tried unsuccessfully to halt an organized and militarized mob from going into the capitol building. The security forces within the building were not able to withstand the onslaught. The doors to the senate were barred. The security officers within the chamber had their guns drawn and were the last line of defense for those persons still in the room. It was horrific. It was sedition. It was unamerican. Where was the show of force to maintain “order” that was deployed for Black Lives Matter protests?

In my head I think that the persons who illegally entered with guns and bombs intent on harming US lawmakers should have been apprehended and tossed into jail. They should be charged with acts of treason. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear. In my heart I want justice, and mercy, and forgiveness, and righteous retribution and I figure that should come from God. But right now, my brain is saying that if our government agencies can figure out who sent a threatening letter to the president based on the postmark, the DNA from the envelope flap and using a handwriting expert, then by golly they had better be able to figure out who the guy was that posed with a gun and a Trump flag in the Rotunda and posted his photo on social media!

I’m outraged. I’m saddened. I’m flabbergasted. And I’m tired of all this stupidity! January 20th can’t get here soon enough. Also I apologize for the rant. There are a few things that get me riled and this level of insurrection is one of them. (Gah! I am my Mother’s daughter!)

Looking at Epiphany

Today is the twelfth day of Christmas. It is the day which marks the end of Christmastime. In the tradition of our family it is the day when all the decorations come down. Decorating usually takes several days but the take down is swift. I am very organized so there is a box and a place for every ornament and every decoration. The only 2 items I do not do (as in refuse to be involved with) are the lights and the tree. We are methodical and all the ornaments are removed first, then the angel or star (we alternate with the star on even years and the angel gets the odd years) is gently removed and safely packed away. With the tree nearly naked, I beat a retreat while Sparky tackles the lights and tree disassembly. While he is fuming and sputtering, I quickly and easily pack up the 4-6 nativity sets, remove the garland, take down the stockings and remove the wreaths. Generally this is completed before Sparky has the lights off the tree. This year I put up the weihnachtspyramide that my sister bought for us way back in 1984 when she and her husband were in Germany (he was stationed there in the Army). It takes a little more time to pack away since I have to be very careful. Still I am done before Sparky gets the tree put back in the box. It is a bittersweet event. I love Christmas and the house always looks a little forlorn once all the sparkle and color is packed away. Still it is nice to put things back in their places. The loveseat and library table will be moved to allow access to the living room from the dining room once more. The photos and art that were displaced by all the Creches and Nativity sets will be returned to their rightful places. And of course I’ll be vacuuming up garland bits that fell off for at least a month.  So in honor of the putting away I have written a little Decima – a 10 line poem with 8 syllables per line and a rhyme scheme of abbaaccddc.
Christmas decorations undo
Pack up the weihnachtspyramide
Unplug lights from the power grid
Box ornaments red, green, and blue
Take down stockings for me and you
Remove the garland that’s the plan
Careful to fold angel’s wingspan
Put the nativity away
And the door wreath that carols play
Next year we’ll get them out again

Looking at Fine Cuisine

Sometimes you want something special. During this COVID-19 era, I’ve not had the luxury of eating out very often and usually it is carry-out. The current options are pretty slim. So when I wanted Cachapas, I had to make my own. When I wanted Pho, I made my own. When we wanted Fried Rice, we made our own – the same for sushi, chicken korma, butter chicken, and barbecue ribs. Usually we’d go to a restaurant but that’s not an option. So when my sister mentioned that she had made this dish, I started to drool. The more I thought about it, more I craved it. It is not haute cuisine like the French duck confit. It isn’t exotic like romazava or ugali. It is a very simple and delicious comfort food that hails from Canada. It is unique but its popularity has spread to the northern parts of the Midwest where dairy operations are plentiful. But what have dairies to do with this dish? And what dish am I even talking about?

The dairy operations in Wisconsin are key to my being able to make this dish. One of the major ingredients is cheese curds. To make this dish properly the curds must be fresh. A fresh cheese curd will squeak when you chew. I had been to Meijers and yes they had fresh curds!! They were a little expensive but I splurged and bought them anyway. I then put together one of the most perfect comfort foods ever dreamed up – Poutine.

Steak fries

Cheese curds (white cheddar, yellow cheddar or a combination)
Brown gravy (I used the onion gravy but only because the shelf was bare and that was my only choice)

Bacon (cooked crispy – I cheated and got the pre-cooked stuff)

You can either bake or deep fry the steak fries. I baked mine in the oven which made them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I prefer to bake since it minimizes the grease. While the fries bake, I portion out the curds on the individual plates I’ll serve it on. I opted to use shallow bowls to make it more contained! Heat the gravy so that it is very hot but not boiling. At this point you can either fry the traditional bacon until crisp or microwave the cooked bacon until crispy. As soon as the bacon is done, cut or chop the slices into bite sized pieces. The tricky part is assembling the Poutine.
1. Place the hot fries into the bowl or onto the plate.
2. Add the cheese curds to the fries sprinkling them on top. If you want you can put a few on the bottom before adding the fries.

3. Pour the gravy over the fries. Use enough to create a small puddle.

4. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and serve immediately!

Last but not least, eat! The heat of the fries and the gravy will cause the curds to get all stretchy and gooey.

This is delicious! Granted this is a high calorie meal but I only make it once every 2 years. It is a real treat and so very tasty!! Thanks Canada!

Looking Hopeful

As I peer into the future, I’m wondering if this year will be better, worse, or a continuation of this last dumpster fire of a year. I’m not alone. I picture a colony of Meerkats all facing the sunrise staring with an intensity unrivaled. Each individual keenly focused in an attempt to catch the slightest indication of danger. Sadly this last year has made us into a nation of pessimists, even defeatists. I don’t do resolutions. I do goals. My goals from last year are mostly unrealized. None of the travel goals got traction. Some of the exercise goals were sidelined. Lots of the goals that would put me in contact with other humans were aborted. BUT this is now a new year and there is an air of possibility with the availability of a coronavirus vaccine. So I’m going to take a leap of faith and make some goals.

(yes another bulleted list only not with crosshairs)…

🐭 GeoWoodstock in Canada was cancelled. It was supposed to be the 20th anniversary of geocaching. I was very excited. We got passports. We made reservations. We were going to go and couple it with a cruise to Alaska. It came to naught. It is supposedly on for this year. I’m ready.

🐭 We anticipate that son#2 will be able playing viola with the Elkhart Symphony and we will be able to attend. I really want to hear them play Holst’s The Planets.

🐭 I’m going to redo my address book. As I was looking over the addresses to mail Christmas cards, I realized that many of the people were no longer with us, some have multiple addresses due to moving all over the place, and a couple have had name changes that are not reflected. This is a task that will be tedious.

🐭 I was going to complete a poetry book for my mother. I even came up with a catchy title. It was lost in the flash drive crash of 2020. I recovered the poems and was able to give it to her for Christmas. But I’m thinking I’d like to make it available to a wider audience. So my goal is to get it printed this year…

🐭 The driveway. We were going to replace it this last year. We painted the house instead. This was mostly because the schedule for cement work was booked. We are supposedly on the list for an estimate…

🐭 I am working on completing my 365 day challenge for Geocaching. As of today I need 23 days in January, 21 days in February, 10 days in March, and one day in April to complete the grid!! I can do this!!

🐭 I have some canvases that were unwanted. I’m thinking I will play with them and some paint and maybe do some collages or mixed media creations. Who knows? I might release my inner 2D artist…

🐭 To make one new recipe a month. And by new recipe I mean a main dish. Sure I could do desserts and that would be fun but Sparky isn’t too much into sweets. (He’d be happy if made soup or spaghetti every day.) I have a big venison steak in the freezer that needs to be eaten. If any of you have recipes for venison I’d be interested!

🐭 I’m planning to make a NPM challenge available again. Although 2020 was awful, my NPM challenge saw some participation with outstanding poetry produced. I’m always excited to write poetry. I hope some others will put up a couple of month long challenges as well (maybe in May or June) just to keep it going!

As a way to start the year off on the right foot, I give you my January 1 poem – a Jisei, a Japanese traditional death poem written as a tanka with 5 lines with a strict syllable count of 5/7/5/7/7. Is generally serious but can be humorous.

Twenty-twenty dies
Watched it gasp a last short breath
Not a tear was shed
No life saving measures done
On its grave we dance for joy

Looking at When Push Comes to Shove

I had tried (but the pandemic interfered) to make Advent and then Christmas Day a less rushed season. Usually I have the majority of my shopping done by Halloween. I then concentrate on decorating, baking, and gift wrapping. This year was not going to cooperate. I had already tossed the expectations aside by Halloween. Still I was clinging to the notion that all would be done in an efficient and calm manner. I suppose it is silly of me to have thought that clinging to an anvil on a sinking ship would save me. So in no particular order I give you the “in the crosshairs” list of disaster:

⊕ The Christmas lights that worked last year wouldn’t light. I even went through them bulb by bulb making sure they were seated properly and all accounted for. No luck. I had to resort to the old lights that are short strands and tangled and blink uncontrollably which annoys the bejesus out of me. Sparky finally found the blinky light bulbs and replaced them, which pushed them over the edge. They died. We had to use the outdoor lights that are a big woven net designed to toss over shrubs. It is ugly. It worked but hanging the ornaments was a new kind of difficult.

⊕ I bought gifts online despite last years fiasco (the shoes that never arrived until after Valentine’s Day). I went so far as to have envelopes ready to stuff with some cash in case the gifts didn’t arrive. They did make it before Christmas but I had to wrap in a hurry. That meant stuffing them into gift bags – never mind that they were the leftover bags from a kid’s birthday party…

⊕ Speaking of gifts, I bought the wrong cable for a phone. What I got was a charging cable. What I needed was a data transfer cable. Who knew there was a difference. I had to take it back. It was a nightmare even with a receipt and an unopened package. Of course there were none of the right cables available. This resulted in a flurry of phone calls to locate the proper one which resulted in part of the above.

⊕ I decided to bake some cookies I’d never tried before that were featured in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Yeah. No. I suppose I could have sent them to neighbors with infants/toddlers as teething biscuits. Even dunking them is milk wasn’t enough. It was suggested that I could line a large compote bowl and add some pudding and refrigerate for a couple of days in hopes they would soften. I opted instead to toss some out for the crows and squirrels. They sat there for a week and finally after a rain and a little snow they disintegrated.

⊕ The above cookies were for the church cookie sale. I made different cookies. I burned the first sheet, then the second sheet, then I got the 3rd sheet to come out. By then I had run out of time to participate in the cookie sale. My sons came over for dinner and polished off the remaining cookies. I seriously thought my cookie mojo had fled 2020. Then saintvi came over for our annual cookie baking frenzy. She made pfefferkuchen and snowball cookies aka OMG cookies. Her cookies were delightful. I made gingerbread cookies (not as good as hers) and tried a Red Velvet cookie coated with Oreo crumbles. After the first batch I got the hang of it and they actually taste good!

⊕ I finally got a flier for my retirement gift (date of retirement 6-30-2019). I poured over the items and looked blankly at Sparky. Asked his opinion. Still couldn’t decide. I narrowed it down to the 2 pc. Samsonite luggage set, the Kenneth Cole leather messenger bag, or the Mammoth cruiser 20-qt cooler. I decided to go with the messenger bag. I had to order online (of course) and the messenger bag was no longer available. This caused some additional gnashing of teeth. I finally selected the Samsonite luggage – which was not available. Ended up getting the 3 pc Elite luggage. Amazingly it was ordered and arrived in 6 days. I am pleased!

⊕ I received 3 masks from the university. I really liked them. I had to repair the ear loop on one. Then I lost another. The last mask was my least favorite and don’t you know I misplaced it too. So I was down to just the one. As I was moaning about it I discovered a missing one in the pocket of a sweater. Still didn’t have the one I liked best. Then as I was walking in the parking lot at Goodwill I found one just like the one I lost. Well, not exactly, the one I found was muddy and one ear elastic was broken. Since I know how to replace the elastic I now have a full set again (after washing on hot and drying on hot too)!

⊕ I let Sparky use my sewing machine. He wanted to make his own design of mask. It is ridiculous. It has big padded triangles on each side of the nose, in a cross between a regular mask and a neck gaiter. That aside, he completely discombobulated my machine. He released the pressure for the feed dogs and tightened the thread tension to the point that the needle was bowed. I’m shocked that the needle didn’t snap off. He is now banned from touching my machine. I had to unwind thread from the bobbin assembly after cutting it out of the machine and extracting the loose bits with tweezers. I know this is a first world issue but it was still annoying as all get out!

⊕ My last disaster was my failed attempt to recover all my files from the crashed flash drive. Sparky and I with the help of several professionals spent days tried to recover data from the flash drive. Instead I worked like a dog to find any copy of my poetry. I managed to copy them to the cloud. All 13 years worth. I recovered a couple stories I’d written. But the poetry compilation that was supposed to be done for my Mother for a Christmas gift was gone, gone, gone.

⊕ I have red hair. I’m Irish. I lost my temper. It usually takes a lot to get me to my flash point. But when I get there, it is like tossing a lit match into a barrel of gasoline. I suppose it is okay in a way. There were no casualties and more importantly, no witnesses (other than God). I got it out of my system and like a good belch, I felt better immediately. Yet I have residual shame for my lack of self control for losing my cool over (ready for it?) defective toenail clippers. I attribute this to the train wreck of 2020.

Yet. When push comes to shove I am thankful. My litany of disappointments, tribulations, perturbations and little catastrophes is just that a list of trivial events. The big stuff is still wonderful. I have my Sparky who is devoted and loving (even if he is a danger to all sewing machines in this hemisphere). I have my sons and extended family who are safe and well and being prudent. The work I’m still doing is enough to keep me occupied but not so much as to interfere with my nap time. I have food, shelter and toilet paper. I’m hopeful for 2021. There is opportunity and possibility around the corner. All in all life is good. And when push comes to shove, I’m grabbing my rose colored glasses and enjoying what is, what I hope will be and giving thanks for what was.