The Artist’s Way

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is one of those books I have heard about from just about every creative guru, from writers to painters to belly button lint weavers. It’s like the Bible for artists or something.

So of course, I never read it.

It came out in the early 90’s, which was probably a little too early for me to have picked it up and read it, as a 12-year-old who had no serious time constraints or difficulties with her creativity yet.

It wasn’t until sometime in the mid 2010’s that I acquired it, along with another book of hers, The Right to Write. I didn’t get past the very beginning of either book then because I had six million other things going on and wasn’t ready to devote the time to it.

Fast forward to late summer 2022, and there I was, pondering the next steps in my currently calm and stress-free lifestyle. I happened across a blog about creativity, and the author mentioned how The Artist’s Way took her from being a mediocre artist and blogger who no one read to someone who now runs a really sweet online business teaching people how to create cool stuff.

I’m only about a third of the way through the book so far, but already she has hit on a number of things that resonate with me. One is the experience of telling someone you’re a writer or an artist or a musician, often the very first response is something about whether you’ve been published, exhibited or gone on tour.

In my case, I feel like people always immediately ask if I have a shop or anything for sale. I guess it’s the polite thing to ask, especially if you really are interested in buying something to support them. I’ve certainly done it to other people, it’s almost a reflex when someone tells you they do ______. You ask to see evidence of it.

The downside is that if you are an artist who hasn’t had your work published or shown, or you don’t have a shop, it can feel really invalidating to not have concrete evidence of success. Like you’re not a real artist if no one knows your name, or can’t peruse your writing or art online somewhere.

Another thing that really resonated, perhaps even more than my first point was this struggle with juggling what you want to put your energy toward on any given day. I have often put myself in a stalemate trying to figure out what to do with a free chunk of time.

Should I write, work on my stained glass, paint, draw, or design more garden beds? Speaking of gardening, I should probably go outside and pull weeds or plant seedlings or harvest tomatoes, or something productive. If it’s a rainy day, I should probably do something productive inside, like sort out my closet or organize the pantry, or something! I end up feeling guilty if I’m not doing ALL THE THINGS at once.

One of the things she talks about in the book is just letting yourself have the space to putter around and “moodle,” which is a new word for me. It essentially means giving yourself time to daydream and let your mind wander, with no expectation of results.

That kind of blows my mind. I’ve been a moodler my whole life, but I never knew it was a thing. I just love puttering around doing random, meaningless little things and getting lost in my imagination. It’s part of why I love gardening so much, I can just daydream and imagine as I am pulling weeds or raking or digging, or whatever. I basically daydreamed my entire way through middle school and high school. It worked well for my creative writing and art classes, not so much for math or science, though.

Anyway, so since I began reading the book about a month ago now, I have been doing daily morning pages, which is the first order of business in The Artist’s Way. As soon as I wake up I grab my notebook and write three pages of whatever comes to mind. It’s pretty great to have a brain dump before I even get out of bed. It’s definitely improved my mood in the mornings and helped me wake up a bit more before I get up and start doing stuff. (I am not a morning person.)

So far, there have been no startling revelations or epiphanies, but I already feel more satisfied with myself for devoting the first waking moments to my creative self, as opposed to telling her that I’ll get to it later, after I’ve done this, that, and the other. And then many days never getting there, because too many other things have gotten in the way.

It is my hope to begin to blog more again. I don’t have aspirations of fame or anything with the blog, but it is fun to have the occasional reader comment on something and say that it’s been helpful to them somehow.

I’ve also been making more effort to give myself unstructured time to just be. Whether it’s going for a wander in the woods, or lying on the bed petting Reeses and looking at the sky through the window, I am trying to un-train my brain from the need to constantly be productive in some way. We’ll see how it goes!

Things I still feel guilty about 20 years later.

As I’m sure most people can relate, I’ve done some dumb things in my life. Sometimes these moments are laughed off, sometimes they go down in the record books (see my umbrella story) and other times they just haunt me forever.

This particular story haunts me because I am ashamed to have been the bigoted person I was back then. I guess I can be glad that I’ve changed since then, and that I would never behave this way now. But still… I shudder when I think of it.

The scene: Provincetown, Ma. Summer 2002.

The backstory: Still teetering on the edge of my decision whether to leave Christadelphia or not, one of my siblings and I decided to spend a few days on Cape Cod with a Christadelphian couple who we were close to at the time.

One afternoon, we went up to Provincetown or “Sodom and Gomorrah”, as my friends referred to it. If you are not familiar with Provincetown, or P-town, it has long been a destination and safe haven for people in the LGBTQ+ community.

At the time, I was unaware of my dear sibling’s queerness. I mean, I had my suspicions, but because of how I’d been brought up, and the people I hung around with, it wasn’t something I thought about much.

As we were walking down the sidewalk in P-town, a tall, broad-shouldered individual walked toward us wearing makeup, heels and a sundress.

I side-eyed them as they passed, and as soon as they were behind us I began jabbing my elbow into my sibling and going “that was a man, baby!” in my best Austin Powers voice. I felt excited about it, like I had just spotted a rare specimen that I’d heard so much about but had never seen with my own eyes.

My sibling did not react as I had expected. Instead, he shoved off my elbow, scowled and told me to shut up. I was used to his surly attitude in those days, no doubt caused in part by my idiotic bigotry being on display at random moments. In my excitement, I don’t think it really dawned on me how utterly rude I was being.

Maybe it was a small turning point in my awareness. I didn’t know it then, but my sibling would come out as trans just a few years later. Of course I would never want anyone elbowing their friends and trying to discern my sibling’s gender based on their body size or shape, or any other physical feature.

In the years since that gross display of cishet privilege, I have pivoted completely. I do my best to be an ally to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. Of course I would still notice someone who was presenting in a non-binary fashion, but rather than freak out and make a big deal, I would just treat them as kindly as I’d like to be treated myself.

Apocalypse Nope

In 4th or 5th grade, we read Z for Zachariah — a story about a 16-year-old girl surviving a post-nuclear-apocalypse world on her family’s farm in a sheltered valley. This story stuck with me for a long, long time. It was a vast departure from my usual fare of Little House on the Prairie and Sweet Valley High books, but it made me want to learn enough about basic survival to assure myself I could manage to withstand a nuclear holocaust too.

Then, while I was still way too young for this subject material, I read a Christopher Pike novel called Whisper of Death, in which a couple goes to have an abortion and somehow end up in a deserted world with a few of their friends. I think this was the book where I got the idea of breaking into abandoned stores to grab all the food and drinks and supplies I could ever need. Talk about convenience!

Later, I’d read Steven King’s The Stand and I could picture myself as one of the characters (Frances Goldsmith, naturally), managing to steel myself both physically and emotionally as I survived this brave new world.

In my teens and early 20’s, I imagined myself being knowledgeable and skilled enough to make it in a post-apocalyptic world, in part, thanks to the tips and tricks I’d picked up in the aforementioned books. I was a strong, independent woman, and I did not need civilization in order to thrive!

It was probably about the time that I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road that I began to doubt my stamina for life after civilization as we know it. What exactly, would be the point of fighting to survive, when the world that is left is just a terrible, crappy place and everyone that remains just wants to kill you?

As I got older, I gradually realized just how high-maintenance I actually am and how difficult it would be for me to continue thriving without access to things like air conditioning on hot days, my ear and eye doctors, plus all the eye drops and eye lube I have to use to keep my eyes healthy. Not to mention, if most or all of the people I love were suddenly, tragically eliminated in a catastrophic event… I don’t think I’d have much desire to go on living at that point.

I think it’s good to come to the realization that we’re not invincible, and that’s okay. It makes each day all the more sweeter when you understand how temporary it all is.

Growing up as a Christadelphian, there was always this sense that we had forever ahead of us. Almost like we didn’t need to express how much we loved each other, or to worry about losing anyone because there’d always be the Kingdom! Since leaving that world, and after going through several traumas within our family, (mini-apocalypses, if you will), I’ve learned to appreciate every moment together and to do my best to keep my relationships with my loved ones as open and honest as possible and never take the future for granted.

I do still enjoy reading post-apocalypse or dystopian future stories and living vicariously though the characters, but I no longer imagine that someday I too, will thrive in such environments. I’m content to live right here, right now, taking each day as it comes, and not worrying about things beyond my control.

Got any good books to recommend in this genre? I’m always on the lookout for quality reading material.

John from Cutco

When I was a kid, our Meeting only had a handful of people. It was 3 or 4 families with kids around my age, two sets of grandparents and a few single folks. It sounds weird now that I think back on it, but it was totally normal at the time!

We would hold public lectures from time to time in hopes of recruiting new members. It was extremely rare for anyone from the public to actually join us, but we did recruit John from Cutco.

I only really remember two things about him. The first thing I recall is that he was the first person I witnessed being baptized.

Our Meeting was held in a historic house from the 1700’s (The Richardson House in Langhorne PA, if you want to know the deets). The large main room was where we held memorial services and lectures, and the back room was a large kitchen, complete with an enormous fireplace. (This has no relevance to the story, but I always thought the building was really cool).

A large trough was acquired, set up in the kitchen and filled with water. We came into the room and stood around in a semi-circle to watch the baptism. John sat in the water in a white robe. Two of the men from our meeting kneeled beside him and said a few words and then *splish splash* he got dunked. My friend and I were disappointed that it was so quick. I had expected them to hold him under a bit longer to make sure to wash off all the sins, or that he would come out of the water in a more dramatic fashion.

The second thing I remember about John was that he sold Cutco knives. We had weekly bible study gatherings at each other’s houses, and he would bring along his cutlery displays. Being a child, I wasn’t particularly interested in it but it wasn’t long before everyone I knew had a Cutco knife set displayed in their kitchen.

John from Cutco wasn’t a part of our meeting for very long. I don’t know if he went through the baptism stuff before or after he sold everyone the knives. It seemed like a lot of effort to go through just to make a few sales, but perhaps he enjoyed infiltrating obscure religious sects and indoctrinating them on the the merits of good quality cutlery.

The eyes have it

Last week I gouged myself in the eye with the tip of an eye drop vial. You know the single-dose kind with the twist off top? You’re supposed to throw it away once you’ve used it. Or, if you’re me, you put it in the medicine cabinet because you can get another dose out of it before you trash it, but that’s neither here nor there.

It was morning, I was in my usual sleep-coma, and I groggily tilted back my head and went to put some drops in, and OWW! I couldn’t believe how bad it hurt. But I soldiered through, put some more drops in, and proceeded to put my contact lens in.

Everything was fine… for a while. Later in the day, I noticed my eye felt like it was burning. “Oh god, I have pinkeye,” was my first thought. I kept looking in the mirror but everything looked fine.

That night when I took out my lens, my eye hurt like it had been freshly poked. “Shit,” I thought, “I’m going to have to call the doctor tomorrow.”

I’d been through this before, although it had been a very long time. In the summer of 2003, I woke up one morning and I thought I had a cat hair in my eye. I rinsed and rinsed, held my eyelids open and looked at my eye for a long time but couldn’t find anything.

Back then I had to lay low for about a week while constantly applying lubricating eye drops, antibiotics and ointment to get it to heal. I really didn’t want to have to put my life on hold for a week this time, or have to wear an eyepatch, but I also knew that if I didn’t do something, I might really regret it. Plus, this time it was my ‘good’ eye that was scratched, and I did not want to risk damaging it.

I guess 18 years makes a difference, because this time, the doctor confirmed that I had indeed gouged myself, but she put a bandage contact lens in my eye to help it heal. I did still need to do the antibiotic drops and an anti-inflammatory drop, but I could forego lying in a dark room with cold compresses on my face.

Today I went back for a follow-up, and she took off the bandage lens. She said it’s healing up nicely but that it’s still delicate so I have to be careful not to poke myself in the eye again anytime soon… d’oh!

Here’s hoping I can keep it healing and not cause any further injury. I find it silly that after all the time I’ve worked with glass and always wear my safety glasses to protect my eyes, I go and stab myself with an eye drop vial.

It’s been a long, long, long time…

Hiii! Oh my, it’s been a dog’s age, hasn’t it? Where do I even begin?

A lot has happened since I last wrote: my lil baby nephew is a big honkin’ toddler now, Dave and I bought a house and moved to the other side of the state, we said goodbye to our beloved Autumn-cat, we survived Covid (although our senses of smell are still not quite 100%), we got vaccinated, and now life is returning to normal… sort of.

I’m one of those people who actually loved the time of quarantine, social distancing and masking in public.

Aside from the initial anxiety that came with the whole global pandemic concept, once I got past that, I was like, SOCIAL DISTANCING IS MY FAVORITE. No more people standing too close to me in the checkout line, no more crowds, no more social events I didn’t really want to go to.

Of course, I did miss some aspects of social life. It was sad and frustrating to not be able to see my family as much as I would have liked to, especially said nephew, who was growing like a weed and who I creepily observed from afar via photos, videos and FaceTime calls.

I missed traveling and being able to explore other parts of the country and the world, but I’m a true homebody, so I just went back to my childhood method of traveling in my mind by reading books and watching documentaries and whatnot. And through social media, of course.

I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging in order to keep my writing juices flowing. So hold on to your hats! More content to come soon!

Beautiful Boy

Hello from this time of corona-isolation-will-we-ever-be-normal-again days!

I’ve got a post in the works about emotional struggles with life at the moment, but I first must share the sparkling, wondrous, amazing news of the birth of my nephew, Cade Emerson!


He is one month old today, and we have yet to see him in person (thanks a lot, coronavirus!), but thankfully his parents share photos and videos of him every day. Usually toward the end of the workday I will hear a pleasant chime and know that fresh Cade photos are available. It’s a welcome sight! Thank goodness for technology.


My Glass Journey

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and that is (partly) because I have been focusing on learning the art of stained glass! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen plenty of my posts over the last 6 months or so involve glass in some way. Here’s the back story:

At the end of last summer, I was feeling like it was time for me to try something new. I get this urge from time to time, when things in my life are feeling stagnant, or I am feeling creatively stunted. It is what motivated me to take pottery lessons so long ago, to get my degree in landscape architecture (an expensive foray), to take the master gardener certification course, and to get involved with Toastmasters.

I’ve always had a thing for glass. Perhaps it’s not really glass itself, but light. Glass is a medium that changes appearance depending the light source, intensity, and movement. I guess what I really love is light itself. I love light.


Ahem, back to my story. So late summertime, I’m looking for my next creative adventure and it hits me – GLASS! It is one of those things I always wanted to try, and I’m at a time in my life where I can easily afford to take a class and buy supplies, so why not? I googled “glass studios” and found a place about 20 minutes from my home. I also found that a local art center was doing a one-night class to make fall leaves. I asked my dad to join me and we made our very first stained glass pieces.

The stained glass classes at the glass studio were offered in 6-week sessions. I wasn’t able to sign up for a session right away, so in the meantime I took a couple of the one-day classes they offered on Saturdays. I asked my friend Stacy to join me.

Slumped Vase 

The first class was pretty minimal work. We had to select a piece of glass that would be slumped over a form in the kiln to create a vase. We could trim the edges of the piece however we liked. After we left, the studio owner would fire the piece for us, and we could pick up the vase the following week.

Although I had done some cutting to make the leaf mentioned above, I was still getting the hang of it. I found the glass cutters offered at the studio were a challenge for me to hold. I watched as the instructor held the cutter in his hand. His index finger extended down to the cutting head while the rest of his fingers gripped the handle. Well, that didn’t really work for me, since I was working with two less fingers.

Learning how to cut curves.

Nevertheless, I persisted and was pretty happy with how my finished piece turned out. Unfortunately for Stacy, her piece broke when they attempted to drill through the bottom so she could use it as a lamp shade.

The Cutter

After that first class, I emailed the studio to ask if they had different cutter styles I could try out, since the pistol grip style was clunky and hard for me to control. It turned out they had a couple of options. The next time I went in, I tried a pencil-style one and one that had saddle-shaped handle. The saddle grip worked best for me, as it allowed me to grip close to the tip with my fingers and use the pressure from my palm to push the cutter.

I ended up buying a really cool cutter that has an adjustable grip handle. It has made cutting the glass so simple and fun!

Fused Wind Chimes

The next class we signed up for was to make wind chimes. We were given a wide array of fusable glass to choose from and allowed to go wild. Stacy went with an aquatic theme for hers, but I decided to make abstract leaves for mine.

Once again, we had to leave the items behind for the studio to put into the kiln, and then we could pick up our work the following week. I was really happy with how mine came out, although I think the stick I hung them on is a little too big, so I may re-hang it later.


Fused Ornaments

As the holiday season approached, the studio offered fused ornament classes pretty much every weekend. By this time, Stacy and I had already started the stained glass course, but I figured the ornaments would make really unique Christmas gifts for the family.

Stained Glass Butterfly

The first night of the 6-week stained glass course, I had no idea what I wanted to make. I’ve never really been interested in the cookie-cutter stained glass designs you see in people’s front doors or in bars. I wanted my piece to be funky and artsy and different. The first night, I began sketching out this crazy spiral design that I’d been doodling in my notebook for weeks. It would look so cool, but as I drew it larger, I was intimidated by the complexity of it.

The following week was Thanksgiving, so there would be no class. Plus, Dave and I were going to Costa Rica, so I’d be missing the class after that as well. That bought me some time to think about it and come up with an idea. While in Costa Rica, we saw lots of blue morpho butterflies, which inspired me to do a butterfly pattern.

Blue Morpho at La Paz Waterfalls, Costa Rica

My first thought was to do a realistic rendering of the blue morpho, but as I searched online for stained glass butterfly patterns, I came across a drawing of a celtic knot butterfly, and I knew that was the one I had to do.

Little did I know, as I began that project, just how hard it was going to be to cut out the curvy shapes. I broke several pieces before the instructor informed me that they had a saw that I could use for the especially curvy parts.

Even with the saw, I left a lot of extra glass on my pieces, which meant that I had to spend a LOT of time using the grinder to get my pieces down to size. At first I found it very hard to hold onto the small pieces, and my hands were cramping up. I asked if they had something to hold the pieces with, and it turned out there was! Once I used that, it alleviated the strain on my hands and made for a more pleasant experience.

By week 3 of cutting and grinding, I was feeling somewhat downhearted about my project. I confess, I’m an instant-gratification kind of person, at least when it comes to learning new things or creating something. In my artistic experiences, I tend to prefer projects that can be completed in one sitting. I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing something. Of course I am aware that working on something over time can also be gratifying, but I was really getting tired of grinding the life out of my glass pieces.

It took me most of the 6-week course (actually 5, since I missed a week while I was in Costa Rica) for me to complete the butterfly. I did learn a lot through the process, mainly that I should cut much closer to my pattern lines so I wouldn’t need to spend hours grinding.

The Octopus

Once the butterfly was finished, I wanted to try my hand at a slightly larger piece. I had a couple of octopus drawings I’d done in the past that I thought would be cool to modify into a glass piece.

I redrew the design on a larger piece of paper, and then traced over that with tracing paper to create my new pattern. Originally I wanted my octopus to be bright orange with pink undersides like the drawing, but I couldn’t find a bright enough orange in the selection of glass at the studio. I settled for a piece of glass that reminded me of the inside of a seashell. It was mostly beige in color, with hints of purple and green and an overall iridescence to it, like abalone. For the underside I found a piece of glass that was swirled through with bright orange-red. And for the skirt, as I called it (I guess really it’s the armpits? ha ha), and the eyelids, I chose an iridescent white. For the water I just laid low and went with a clear cobalt blue.

By now I was much more comfortable cutting the glass, and did not have to spend nearly as much time grinding, which was a huge relief. Also, by this time the new year had rolled around and the studio had put fresh grinding bits on all their grinders so that also made the grinding process less annoying.

I’d come to grips with the fact that this was going to be a multi-week process, so I was feeling less angsty about the time it was taking to get my octopus put together. It ended up taking me about 10 weeks from start to finish. I made some more rookie mistakes in the process, but I am happy with how it came out!

What’s Next?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been putting together a small glass studio of my own. I am keeping an open mind as to where it will take me. I have no shortage of ideas for future projects, and perhaps once I’m more confident with my skills I can start taking commissions. We’ll see!

My glass studio in it’s infancy!


Dave got us 23andme kits for Christmas. You’ve probably heard of it before, but in case you haven’t, it’s one of those DNA testing kits where you provide a saliva sample and send it to a lab that analyzes it and tells you where your ancestors came from and if you carry any genetic markers for disease or hereditary conditions.

I’ve long been interested in learning about ancestry and genetics, but had been somewhat hesitant to provide my genetic material in this way. I’ve seen arguments against it saying that by giving a corporation access to your genetic code, insurance companies could potentially buy and use that information to deny coverage for conditions you’re genetically predisposed to, or maybe to harvest your organs for a wealthy person who has a similar genetic makeup (I don’t know, we watch a lot of post-apocalyptic and sci-fi movies in this house).

I thought about the above scenarios but decided that, at the rate my hair falls out, my genetic code could easily have fallen into the wrong hands by now. Plus, I blog about my medical condition on the internet, so it’s not like I’m keeping any secrets about that either. So, I decided to go for it. My urge to know how much Viking blood really flows through my veins outweighs any concern over my medical privacy.

Are you my 10x Great-Grandma?

The first step of this whole process, after signing all the virtual paperwork is collecting the saliva sample. Let me tell you about that. As you know, if you or a loved one has EEC, we tend to be rather dry-mouthed folks. I’m pretty much never caught without a water bottle in my hand or a pocketful of hard candies or gum, because left to it’s own devices, my mouth would be as dry as the Sahara in minutes.

The instructions for collecting the saliva sample explicitly state that you have to wait 30 minutes after eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth before you can spit into the vial. Other than while sleeping, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve gone 30 minutes without putting something in my mouth, so that in itself was a challenge. Then came the spitting part. Dave, the healthy-mouthed person that he is, was able to fill his vial in less than 5 minutes, with 3 or 4 spits.

Meanwhile, I swept my tongue around my mouth, from cheek to cheek, silently summoning my saliva glands to produce. My spit was very bubbly – more air than saliva – but I kept at it. I stuck my nose in a bag of Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies to try to stimulate the juices. I sniffed lemon juice, as suggested by the 23andme instruction card. I massaged my cheeks (also suggested by 23andme). I kept looking at the clock as my tube filled up with bubbles. The sample had to be collected within 30 minutes and time was running out! Finally, just as the last minute was slipping away, my saliva reached the fill line on the tube. As a reward, I ate a cookie and had a glass of water.

Dave and I dropped off our samples at the post office on December 28. We anticipated the process taking about 6 weeks, but were pleasantly surprised to get an email about a week later saying that our results would be done by January 16th.  Then, on Saturday I checked my email and discovered that mine were already ready! Of course I couldn’t wait to look at them. For some reason, Dave’s results are still not done, but I’m hoping that he’ll get his tomorrow.

Unsurprisingly, my ancestry results show that I am 100% European. I was a little surprised by the French/German part, as culturally, there is absolutely nothing French or German in my recent family history. But I also know that these results just show where your recent-ish ancestors descended from, and I think they are really just comparing DNA with people who live in those regions now.


The other fun factoid that 23andme will tell you is how many Neanderthal variants you have. Apparently I have a lot compared to other 23andme participants. I’m not sure what that says about me, but it’s fun to know.


There is so much more to explore in the results. A lot of it is just fun, silly stuff, like how your genes affect hair color or other physical traits like finger length or freckles. There’s also an DNA relatives part, which shows you which other people out there (who have also used 23andme) are related to you. My results list a second cousin – turns out she is my grandfather’s cousin. There are a couple of other second-to-third cousins, but the majority of the results are 4th cousins or beyond. Still, it is kind of mind-blowing to look at the map and see how many people out there are descended from the same ancestors as I am.


I was curious to see if the report would pick up anything related to my EEC. It did not. But that was another reason I wanted to participate – so that I could provide my DNA and tell them I have EEC, and perhaps eventually others could be helped by it. An optional feature of 23andme tests your health and carrier status, so it tells you if your genes carry variants for particular diseases. Of course 23andme reiterates that their tests aren’t meant to diagnose any genetic conditions, and that you should see a doctor if you think you are really at risk of some thing. I was pleasantly surprised that my genes appear to be pretty good. I carry one variant for celiac disease, but apparently it only *slightly* increases my risk of developing celiac disease. Amazingly I carry none of the variants that could negatively affect my offspring… too bad I don’t plan to produce any offspring. (But duh – EEC is heritable, so there is that.)

I can’t wait to see what Dave’s results are. He was born in Bogotá, Colombia and as far as he knows, his family had always been in Colombia. But South America was colonized by the Spanish for like 400 years, so there would have been mixing of multiple cultures. I’m thinking his map will be a lot more colorful than mine.

I’d love to hear if you’ve done 23andme or or any other DNA-testing to find out about your genetic building blocks. Did you find out anything you didn’t expect?

2018: A Visual Montage

Going through my photos from 2018 has reminded me of how many good moments we had throughout the year, and how much I have to be grateful for.

The year kicked off in a dark place with Mom’s cancer diagnosis, but after chemo, surgery and radiation (and now oral chemo), we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The experience, plus some other incidents this year, taught me that no matter how much you may try, you’re never really in control of your destiny. An illness or an accident can so quickly end or derail whatever you’ve got going on. Worrying about that happening doesn’t do any good either – you just have to swing at the curveballs life throws at you and hope for the best.

This year I got out and did some exciting things – I marched in marches, and I ran in 5k’s. I learned how to cut glass, make a slumped glass vase, make fused glass ornaments and I am currently working on my second stained glass piece. I travelled to Vermont lots of times to visit Mom, Indianapolis for a work trip, Maine for a family get-together, and the grand finale of course, was our impromptu trip to Costa Rica!

So, despite whatever bad things happened in  2018, they were far outweighed by good things and positive experiences. I’m sure 2019 will be the same – while you might not be able to control your destiny, you can certainly control your attitude along the way.

Here’s to a fantastic, healthy and happy 2019!

January 2018
January 2018 – Hartford Women’s March

February 2018
February 2018 – Zentangle Retreat

March 2018 – Hanging with Mom after chemo

March 2018 – Watercolor Zen

March 2018 – Winter on Lake Champlain

March 2018 – 4 weeks on WW and 5 lbs lost!

March 2018 – Hartford March for Our Lives

March 2018 – Hiking in Roxbury, CT

March 2018 – We learn how to make our bodies less hospitable to cancer

April 2018 – 10 lbs lost on WW!

April 2018 – 5K # 1 – The ACS Fun Run in Indianapolis

April 2018 – The cats still hate each other

May 2018 – 5K # 2 – The CT Breast Health Run in New Britain, CT

May 2018 – I get new glasses!

May 2018 – Tornado strikes near us! (While I was trying on my new glasses…)

May 2018 – We start a raised bed

June 2018 – I’m the life of the party at work

June 2018 – Sunset on Lake Champlain

June 2018 – Road Trippin’ with Kris

July 2018 – DC trip

August 2018 – Autumn encounters a watermelon

August 2018 – Enjoying the fruits (veggies?) of our labor

September 2018 – Truckin’ in Maine

September 2018 – Visiting mom after her mastectomy and building cairns on the shore.

September 2018 – I try my hand at glass cutting!

September 2018 – the results of my labor

October 2018 – 5K #3, Wallingford CT (I stopped running the minute I crossed the finish line! haha)

October 2018 – Hartford Habitat for Humanity 30 Year Anniversary Dinner

October 2018 – Dad and I make stained glass leaves!

October 2018 – I make a fused glass wind chime (and struggle to photograph it decently)

November 2018 – Dave and I go to Costa Rica again!

November 2018 – Wherever we wander, it’s always good to come home.

December 2018 – I make fused glass ornaments for the fam!

December 2018 – Christmas with the bros

December 2018 – I try a larger stained glass piece…



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