Monthly Archives: November 2013

More Than ……

…… grateful.

We had a full apartment yesterday. More than full. But even though we were full, I was missing two very important people.
My two Texans.
Son #2 and Son #3 were both back in Texas, working/attending class.
And I missed them.

But in spite of that, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Four of my children were here. Plus 2 friends for the week. And 3 friends for Thanksgiving day.
And, here’s the great part …… Daughter #3 did ALL of the cooking.

A couple of months ago I made a pasta dinner for the three of us (Daughter #1, Daughter #3 and me).
From scratch.
It took 3 hours.
No kidding.
And my kitchen is the size of my closet back in Texas.
With almost no counter space.
Which is hugely aggravating and highly exasperating.
To say the least.
The day that I made that dish …… I decided that I would not be cooking ANYTHING for Thanksgiving. I made an announcement to the two daughters. Daughter #1 seemed fine with that decision. Daughter #3 …… not so much.
She said that she wanted to make Thanksgiving dinner.
All of it.
Yes, she is insane.
I told her that we would be ordering the turkey …… and the rest of the meal. But she objected. Strongly.
So I gave in …… and told her that she could make whatever she wanted …… as long as she knew that I would have no part of it in that tiny kitchen.
And she was ok with that.
But I told her that we would be ordering the turkey.
And we did.
Kind of.

We purchased 2 fully cooked turkeys from Trader Joe’s (they were on the small side and we weren’t sure how many one would feed …… though in retrospect one would’ve been enough) so all we had to do was heat them up for a couple of hours.
But she, being the trooper that she is, made everything else.
Everything else was …… salad, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, asparagus, rolls, stuffing …… and two pumpkin pies.
I don’t know where she came from.
But my mother should be very proud.

The dinner was amazing.
It was a good day.
We ate. And ate. And ate.
And then we played some video dance game, which was hilarious.
And then we played “Heads Up”, which was even more hilarious.
And competitive.

After that our company left. And Son #1 and Daughter #1 and I went to see the latest Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire.
It was one of her birthday gifts. Her birthday was Wednesday.
In case you haven’t kept up.
The movie was pretty good.
I read all of the books …… so that’s high praise.

Today Daughters # 2 & 3 and a friend and I went to have brunch at the cafe where Meg Ryan went to meet Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail”, only she didn’t know it was Tom Hanks. And he was a total ass.
But it’s called Cafe Lalo and it’s a cute place and the food was very good.
After that we went downtown. THe girls hung out at the library while I went back to the dr. I had seen on Tuesday for a TB test. I had to have the test read. And I passed …… with flying colors.
I met back up with them outside the library, which is at Bryant Park, which I posted pictures of a few days ago. You know, the place with the ice skating rink.
Then we walked a bit and did something I have never done before: we shopped on Black Friday.
I know.
We went into a Gap, where everything …… and I mean EVERYTHING …… was 50% off.
Then the girls wanted to hit the nearby H&M, so we went in there. I sat near the exit and read a book on my cell phone while they shopped.
They scored.
And then we went home.
And decided to watch “You’ve Got Mail”.
Another friend came over and we ordered dinner and finished the movie. And “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
It was very exciting.
To say the least.
Oh, and we ordered Mexican food.
Which was pretty dang good.

Tomorrow morning …… at the ungodly hour of 4:00 and 5:45 A.M. …… Daughter #2, Son #1 and a friend (more commonly known as Daughter #4) leave. And that makes me sad.
But Daughter #2 and Son #1 will be back on December 22nd.
Unfortunately …… Sons #2 and #3 were not here for Thanksgiving …… and will not be here for Christmas.
And that sucks.
A lot.

It will be the first Christmas that we haven’t been together since …… forever.
I hate that they won’t be here.
But Son #2 is in school …… and for some insane reason he’ll be in class on Christmas day (as he was on Thanksgiving) and Son #3 is working as much as he can over the Christmas break …… so they will remain in Texas.
Neither one of them has a love for Christmas. Which is totally understandable …… given the fact that their father died the week before Christmas 6 years ago.
That kind of puts a cloud on Christmas.

But I have to admit …… that for the first time in these 6 years …… I was looking forward to Thanksgiving …… and am looking forward to Christmas.
No kidding.
The first time.
Since 2007.
And I think that’s huge.

I’ve ordered a real Christmas tree (thank you Groupon).
And I’ve ordered all of the ornaments, lights and stockings.
And I’m …… for the first time in six years …… looking forward to Christmas. Just as I did to Thanksgiving.
And that is huger than huge.

I know that it mostly has to do with being here …… in NY. And I’m ok with that.
In fact, I’m great with that.
As most of you know …… and many of you have commented …… I love it here.
I beyond love it here.
This is home.
This is where I want to be.
And where I want to be …… full time.

Jim would approve.
Jim would be happy for me.
And proud of me.
If he were here.

But he’s not.
And so I move forward …… deciding what is best for me now.
Our children are grown. And are making their own decisions.
So now it’s time for me …… to decide for me.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve thought of just me.
But it’s time.
And thought it’s taken a while …… I’m good with that …… now.

It’s time.
And for that, I’m grateful.

I hope that each of you had a peaceful Thanksgiving.
And that each of you had at least one thing that you were grateful for.
Just one.
Sometimes …… one is all we can ask for.

Happy Friday, Peeps.


















Lots of Pictures ……

…… of the last few days.

And I do mean …… lots.

My apartment is full.
Very, very full.
There are 7 of us here.
Daughters #1, #2 and #3. Son #1. And 2 friends.
Tomorrow 3 more friends are joining us.
We are full to the brim.
And maybe overflowing a bit.
But it’s great.
Really great. 🙂

Daughter #2 and a friend arrive last Friday. I hadn’t seen #2 in a while so I was thrilled to hug her and have her here.
Son #1 and a friend arrive Saturday. It seems they left Dallas just in the nick of time. On Sunday DFW was closed due to an ice storm that hit Big D.

Sunday night we went to church and then came back home, with three extra friends, for some Tai food, wine and a few rounds of Heads Up, which is a very fun game! Get the app now. It’s from Ellen Degeneres. The Daughters and friends played it on the subway Monday night.

Monday during the day we (everyone except Daughter #1, who had to work) went to the Guggenheim. It’s nice to go to a museum that you can see in one afternoon. I enjoyed it.
After that we walked around the city and stopped at Serendipty 3. We were told there was a 45 minute wait, so we put our name in and then went to visit Dylan’s
to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Which was pretty redundant, since we were going to Serendipity to get their famous frozen hot chocolate.

We also spent some time in Macy’s, where I may or may not have zeroed in on the shoe department so I could get some black warm boots ……. that were on sale.

Then we decided that we’d go ahead and have dinner at Serendipity, which was a pretty good decision since our wait was more like an hour, plus change, and it took them over half an hour to bring our order. I think we were there for almost 3 hours.
Then Son #1 and I decided to stay in for the night (it was pretty dang cold by then) and the girls went to an improv place.
We were all happy with our choice.

Yesterday I went to a training session for Jump Start, where I was accepted as a volunteer to read to preschoolers. Well, I was accepted …… as long as my background check goes well.
We shall see.

I also went to a doctor’s office so that I could get yet another TB skin test (I just got one in TX a year ago, but couldn’t get my records as soon as I’d like). I had to have it for the Jump Start program.  Or rather, for NY public schools.
That was interesting.
The doctor didn’t use a nurse. When a patient was called back, he was the one who met them and took them back into the exam room. He seemed nice enough.
For a TB test.

Then I walked the 2 miles back to the apartment (as it snowed off and on). The rest of the group had gone out for lunch, shopping and meeting up with friends. So I had the apartment all to myself.
For about 10 minutes.
And then they returned.
But everyone crashed soon after so it became very quiet again.
Then the girls went off for dinner and to see “Big Fish”.
Son #1 and I stayed home until about 7:20 and then went to see “Pippin”.


Which we loved!


Today most of the group headed out to go have lunch at Shake Shack, but Daughter #3 and I stayed behind to veg a bit.  Then we left to meet them at the Museum of Natural History.
Big mistake.


It would seem that every other person in the city had the same idea.
No kidding.
There were so many people at that museum that they kept shutting down the entrances, not letting anyone come in. Somehow, Daughter #3 and I got in the doors that you see above. With no bag search or no one telling us to turn around and leave.
When we finally made it to the main lobby where the tickets were being sold, and the “will call” kiosks were, there were hundreds (I’m not kidding, HUNDREDS!) of people in line. We made our way to a kiosk with mostly no line to pick up our tickets. And then we attempted to find the rest of our group.
The funny thing was (not funny “ha ha”, but funny “strange”), we had no service on our cell phones in the museum. And no map. And no idea of where we were, exactly.

This is the one picture that I took:

Pretty, right?

Well, that was all the pretty we saw. After trying to contact the others for almost an hour, we were done.
We were beyond done.
So we tried one last text and phone call before heading out to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons being blown up.
Which was WAY more entertaining than squeezing our way through that museum.

Note to the museum:
I paid for our tickets on line, even though the cost of getting in is a “suggested donation”. And I was charged a service fee. Per ticket.
So the next time I come to your museum, I shall not be making a donation. Of any kind.
Thank you very much.

Now for those of you who have hung in here through all of this boring stuff …… here are the balloon pics.
They were totally worth it all.























So there you go. Three days in NY.
Oh, and by the way, today is Daughter #1’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old she is because frankly, I can’t freaking believe that she ….. and I …… are that old.

I hope that you all have a nice Thanksgiving. I wish you peace, joy and warmth.
And I hope that you can all think of at least one thing that you’re thankful for.

I have at least 20 …… and you can find them here.

Happy Thanksgiving, Peeps.

I May Have Spoken ……

…… a wee bit too soon.

You know …… about that whole “liking the cold” thing.
I just took this picture:


I know.  You can’t make out anything other than CNN.  I’m not sure why that is.
Other than maybe my cell phone was freezing up for the 3 seconds it was outside my window.
I’ll tell you what it says. 2:00 a.m. and 28 degrees.
Yep. Twenty eight.
But here’s the rub: according to …… and my body as I walked home from the subway …… it feels like 15 degrees.
Ye gods!

It snowed earlier tonight. Here and in New Jersey, where I was.
Why was I in New Jersey, you’re asking.
It certainly wasn’t to watch my awesome OSU Cowboys tromp all over my-almost-as-amazing Baylor Bears (I sent an equally amazing amount of money to that school. I figure that they can be my #2 team. Especially since it’s more than likely that the money I sent for tuition probably went to the football program.)
And tromp those Cowboys certainly did.
But I digress.

I’ll start at the beginning. Of my day, that is.
I awoke to a yowling, pain-in-the-neck-cat. While we have company, Oliver is staying in my bedroom at night.
Because I’m just that nice of a hostess.
But when dawn breaks, Jack sits outside my bedroom door, taunting and teasing Oliver. And Oliver falls for it. Every. Single. Time.
So, being the good cat owner that I am …… I put Oliver in my bathroom and shut the door. And went back to bed.
Muffled yowls are better than un-muffled yowls.

After another 30 minutes or so I decided to get up.
No, it didn’t make much difference, in the end.
But I got up on MY terms.

And walked into my living room with suitcases that seemed to have exploded overnight (Daughter #2 and a good friend arrived yesterday afternoon).
And I enjoyed the sight.
Of course, tomorrow morning Son #1 and Daughter #4 (no, I don’t really have 4 daughters, but she’s been a room mate of Daughters 2 and 3 for so long that she’s now #4) arrive. Adding more suitcases to my living room.
We’ll see how much I enjoy it by Tuesday.

At around noon, my friend Beth arrived.
And we all set out to meet my friend Kelley at the Brooklyn Flea Market.
Which, on line, looks like this:


But in reality looked more like this:
It was quite a let down.

So we decided to have lunch, which was really good, at a place called Burger 67.
And then we decided to go to the flea market I visited last weekend, where I bought this:
Photo on 11-17-13 at 9.06 PM
Mostly because I discovered a couple of missing lids so I thought I’d check with the guy who sold the set to me.

Now, on line, this flea market looks like this:
But today, looked like this:
That’s because last weekend was the last weekend.
For the year.
Go figure.

So, after that fiasco, Beth and I took our leave of Kelley (the daughters and friend had splintered off to shop for warm clothes on the way to flea bust #2) and headed to New Jersey to see her daughter’s dance program.
Once we arrived we were welcomed by this sight:


Which made me laugh right out loud.  Because see that white bar, hanging from the ceiling, and yet sitting on top of that guy’s cab?
Well, these two words were painted, quite largely, on that bar:  “TOO TALL”.
I guess that guy didn’t really know how tall was “too tall”. So of course I had to go back and take a picture before he moved his truck. A guy walking by congratulated me on getting a good pic.
What the what?
I don’t know. I’m just blaming it all on the fact that I was in New Jersey.

So, we went to the dance program, which was a very modern take of “Swan Lake”.
Here’s Beth’s beautiful and very talented daughter, pre-show:

She did a great job and the show was very interesting. And good.
Though I may have checked my ESPN app more than once to keep up with the football game.
And Beth’s son, who sat next to me and whose phone was fully charged (unlike mine which had about 10% by then), kept me updated on the game …… and every single touch down.
He rocks.

After the show Beth drove me back to the train station (about an hour away).  We sat and visited and watched the snow, which looked like a blizzard at one point, until about 10 minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive.
Nature was calling and I figured I’d tend to that before the train arrived.
I figured wrong.
It seems that the lovely state of New Jersey closes that train station, and it’s toasty warm waiting room, and it’s rest rooms, at 9:00 p.m.
Even though trains continue to arrive and leave until well after mid-night.

But, the train arrived (after a 10 minute delay) and I spent the next 90 minutes reading a book that Beth had brought for me.
And checking my quickly dying phone for updates to the game. Whoop!

After about 3 stops, a truly irate, foul-mouthed lunatic got on the train. And walked into the car I was in.
And then proceeded to yell and curse and curse and yell at everyone in that car.
I may have slunk down in my seat just a bit.
Because the car was mostly empty and I really didn’t want to end up in the headlines of tomorrow’s today’s newspaper.
I averted my eyes and tried to concentrate on the book.
Eventually, he became even more irate that no one was responding to him so he decided to scream his way into the next car.
Lucky them.
Luckier us.

I made it to my stop and walked up the stairs, only to come outside and find that the temps had continued to drop and the wind had continued to pick up. In fact, I received wind warnings on my phone, saying that Manhattan was being severely beaten about with extremely high winds.
And they weren’t kidding.

I was very relieved to make it to my lobby.
Where the warmth and Christmas spirit was awaiting me.
Because this was done yesterday and today:

There’s another tree on the right side, but out of the picture.
It’s quite lovely.

OK, it’s now almost 3 a.m.
I’m pooped.
And you’ve been as entertained as you’re going to be at this hour.

Thanks for reading.
And remember …… always know the height of your car/truck before entering a parking garage.
You never know who’s blog you’ll end up being on.

Happy Saturday/Sunday, Peeps.

Four Small Words ……



…… that I never thought I’d say.   And that those who know me never thought they’d hear/read.

I.  Love.  Being.  Cold.

I know! Go figure. But trust me, at this point in my life, and some of you know exactly what that point is, being cold feels great. No, I’m not having hot flashes. I don’t seem to have those. I just seem to “run” a whole lot warmer than I used to. And I mostly hate that.
But …… I must say that if this is where I’m going to live …… then God knows exactly what He’s doing. (Big surprise. Not).
It wasn’t all that long ago when I absolutely abhorred the cold.
And “cold” was anything below 50 degrees.

As you can see from the picture above, it was in the 30’s this morning. And I took that picture just as I started out on a 2 mile walk to my new book club. It felt great.
I find it so hilarious to see people bundled up from head to toe, literally, when I’m barely finding the need to wear a jacket.
Yesterday it was in the 40’s when I went out in jeggings, and no socks. Unfortunately, I know that I stuck out like a neon light.
Fortunately, I didn’t care.

So the lunch on Monday was fun. I met 12 women that day, and I wasn’t the only newbie. I had a great time and now have a new restaurant in Tribeca to recommend.
Some of those women were at the book club meeting today. Where I made even more new friends.
And I didn’t even read the book.
(Just so you know, the hostess invited me on Monday, and said it was perfectly ok to come without reading the book. And I wasn’t the only new one who hadn’t read it.)

Later this afternoon I decided to go see a movie. I looked up what was showing and found that the next movie was “Thor”. I only live about 5 minutes from an AMC and the movie was supposed to start in 5 minutes. Now, I’ve been to that AMC a few times and I happen to know that they show previews and commercials (ad nauseum) for at least (and I’m not kidding) ….. 20 minutes.
So I knew that I had plenty of time.
And I did.

I made it to the theater and found only one other person sitting in there. Which was no great surprise. I mean, it was “Thor”.
I sat down and started watching commercials.
And commercials.
And commercials.
And more commercials.
And then people started to wander in.
Old people.
Old, female people.
Two, three and four at a time.
Talkative, old, female people.
After two of these people decided to sit in my row, I took stock of my surroundings.
And surmised that I HAD to be in the wrong theater.
Because …… really??!!!

So I went outside to check the marquee.
And it read,”The Book Thief”.
I walked around the lobby, trying to find the right auditorium (or whatever it’s called in a movie theater), and couldn’t find it.
Double arghhhhhhhhhhh!!!
By that time it was about 30 minutes past the start time and I knew that, even here, I had missed the beginning of “Thor”.
And if there’s one thing I hate (one?), it’s missing ANY of a movie.
So I decided that “The Book Thief” was the movie I was supposed to see today.
And boy was it.
I loved it.
In spite of the tears.
Dang it.

Funny thing. Even though I had looked high and low for the right theater, and hadn’t found it, it was right next to the theater I had gone into. I saw it as soon as I walked out of the theater.
Go figure.

That’s not the only thing I saw.
When I went into the AMC I noticed that they were setting up for a red carpet event.
A movie premiere, ya’ll.
Like ….. big time.

I looked around inside to see if I could figure out what movie was premiering, but I couldn’t, and then in the confusion of what movie was showing where, I forgot about it.
Until I left.
And then the lobby was packed with press and people dressed in black.
Which, if you’ve ever been to NY, or seen any movie set in NY, should come as no surprise.
But still.
The press was there in droves. And there were several tables set up for people to check in.
I paused for about one nano second, or maybe two, to wonder if there was any chance that I’d be able to think of a name …… and check in, but I decided that I really wasn’t dressed appropriately.
Or in enough black.
So I left.
And that’s when I saw even more press. There were vans from all 3 major networks, plus FOX, plus WGN, plus a ton of other networks (except for ESPN. I think.)
I took a quick picture of the red carpet set up …… they had it encased in plastic because of the cold.


Yes, if I were a really good blogger who thought only of her readers, I would’ve stuck around and snapped some pics of celebrities …… all for you.
But it was cold.
And getting colder.
And while I love me some cold …… I’m not insane.


A Sunday ……

…… by myself …… in New York.
I.                                                                                                                                                         Love.                                                                                                                                                   It.                                                                                                                                                       Here.

Today I took a tour of Grand Central Terminal (which is better known by its incorrect name, Grand Central Station).  I love history.  Always have.  So I was excited for this tour.  It was called, “The Secrets of Grand Central”.  And yes, I learned quite a few very interesting, though mostly-unknown-to-the-public facts.

And I took a lot of pictures, which I will now share.                                                                         Be warned:  this is probably like someone showing you their vacation photos.  Totally boring.  Except for those of you who are living vicariously through me.  You know you who are. (as do I!)
I hope they don’t bore you too much.  If they do, please feel free to go check out Pioneer Woman’s blog.  She rocks.  🙂

Just as we started the tour, I saw this couple and thought I’d snap a picture.  Or 5.


This was a couple who were practicing some kind of stunt there.  Why?  I have no idea.


But they were in the background (here debating their next move) behind the happy couple.


Who weren’t really all that happy to have them in the background …… falling.


I love taking pictures of things (people, curves, angles, colors, whatever) of things that just catch my eye.  Not anyone else’s.  I’m ok with that.


This is a large alcove off of the grand staircase and entry room of the Grand Central.  Due to the degree of the curve (geometry makes me hurl) you can stand in one corner and whisper to someone in the opposite corner and they can hear you as clearly as if you were on a phone.  It’s SO cool!  And very, very strange looking.


More pictures of things I liked.





Look who showed up again!


We moved the tour outside, to see the statues and things on the building.


It was a wee bit overcast today.  This building goes much higher than what you can see here.


The clock on the outside of Grand Central?  It’s the world’s largest clock made out of Tiffany glass.  I know!!!  🙂


After the tour I decided to walk around the city.  I found myself in Bryant Park (you know, the capitol of “Fashion Week”, whenever that is).  And low and behold, right smack dab in the middle of everything was this:


There was also a Christmas market going on, all around the park.  This end is right behind the NY Public Library …… that huge building in the background.  I LOVE me some library.


This was a statue outside of the library, decorate for Christmas.  I don’t know who it is, but maybe I’ll find that out one day and let you know.


I have no idea what this building is, all I know is that I think it’s very cool.


More evidence of the clouds:


And, last but not least, a carousel.  What could be better than that?  Especially when you have an ice skating rink right beside it.  Score!


So that was my day.  Oh, wait ….. I almost forgot.  I googled “flea markets near me” and found quite a few.  I decided to go to one that was close to my apartment.  I was looking for dishes…… specifically plates, since there will be 9 people in my apartment for Thanksgiving.  And I don’t have 9 plates.  Or should I say, “I didn’t have 9 plates.”??

Because now, after scoring hugely at said flea market …… with these:

Photo on 11-17-13 at 9.06 PM

Dishes from an entire 12 piece set of china.  How hugely was my score?  I’m glad you asked.  Are you ready?                                                                                                                          $40.00.                                                                                                                                               I know!  I couldn’t believe it, either.  That’s what happens when you go to a flea market at the end of a cloudy, somewhat rainy day.  You score!!  I think I have enough dishes now.  Forever.  🙂

That’s it for my Sunday.  Tomorrow I’m going to lunch with the …… (drum roll please) …………….. Manhattan Women’s Club.  I’m a new member.  Don’t ask too many questions, because I don’t have very many answers.  It’s a group of women who love Manhattan and try to experience as much of it as they can, from theatres, museums, restaurants, tours, shopping, books …… you name it, they do it.  My friend from college, Jeni (who also goes back and forth from her home in Houston to here) is a member and gave me the info for it.  So I’m doing lunch with them tomorrow and I need to finish the book they’re doing for their book club (Garlic and Sapphires). But I have another couple of weeks for that.

Oh, and then there’s my homework for the standup comedy class that I’m taking.  Yes.  Yes, I am.  Daughter #3 is taking it, too.  We’re performing at a comedy club here in NY on December 15th (which I try not to think about because I truly feel like hurling at that thought).

On that note, I’m done.  Thanks so much to each and every one of you for contacting me and wanting to be here, reading what I write.  I think you’re a bit insane, but then there’s no accounting for taste.  Right?

Happy Sunday.                                                                                                                                From New York.                                                                                                                                 🙂

Life Goes On ……


…… as does blogging.

Sometimes it starts with a new place.  As it has with me.                                                            And this blog.

I’ve moved from Texas to New York.  If anyone would’ve told me 5 years ago that I’d be living here, in NYC, on my own, I would’ve told them that they were crazy.  After Jim died, I knew that I would never leave Texas, never leave our community.                                                               It’s funny how time changes things.  And people. Some for worse.  And some for better.        I’ve been through both.  On many levels.  But now, in my second Part A, I’m seeing mostly better.

So I’m living in NY.  Mostly.  I still have a home in Texas and so I have to go back there periodically.  But I don’t stay long.  I don’t miss much about Texas.  It’s a very bittersweet place for me now.  My husband and I lived there for 16 1/2 years.  And it was mostly wonderful.  I never wanted to live in Texas.  In fact, I told him that I would live almost anywhere, but not there.                                                                                                                                            God has a big sense of humor, does He not?

Not long after telling Jim that I wouldn’t live in Texas, he was transferred there.  And so we moved.  And I hated it.  Hugely.  For the first year.  It took me that long to know that everything would be ok.  One full year.  That would later be a guide for me.  The “one full year” ruler.  If I could survive for a full year, then I knew I’d be ok.  Not that I used that ruler after Jim died.  I knew better than that.  I wasn’t foolish enough to believe that I’d be ok after only a year.  No way.  No how.                                                                                                                                      It took more like five.

And here I am …… almost six years out, and I’m ok.  In fact, I’m more than ok.  I’m really living.  And living as fully as I can.                                                                                                             Jim would be very proud.  I know I am.                                                                                         Not that life is perfect.  No life is.  These past 6 years have taken a toll on me, my children and our family.  But it was what it was.  And it is what it is.  Children are still growing up.  And maturing.  Sometimes that’s a very, very hard road.  For everyone involved.  Add to that a dead parent, and the road is almost impossible to traverse.  I know this much …… it’s impossible to come out of it unchanged.

I am changed.  My children are changed.  Our family is changed.  I never saw any of this coming.  I never pictured our family looking the way it looks today.  Thankfully.                         But it is our family.  For good and for bad.  It’s my family.

So again, here I am in NY.  And I love it.  Very, very much.  I’m starting the second part of my life here.  I don’t know how long I’ll live here.  Or if I’ll ever live here full time.  But I do know, that for now …… right now …… it’s where I want to be.  This city has been described as resilient, energetic and optimistic.                                                                                                                 So it’s the right place for me.                                                                                                        Because now …… 6 years later …… so am I.