Day 224-Motivational Monday-What if You Fly?

Morning everyone and how was your weekend?

I’m not sure who penned this particular quote, but I love it!

I guess we all deal with this fear at some point in our careers, the fear of failure/success. We fear we will fail, even after all our hard work or we fear we will succeed and then the pressure will be on and can we keep up? At least that’s how my mind works anyway.

If you don’t do something, you will fail. Plain and simple, right? For me, my something was to write every day, whether I wanted to or not. As that became a habit, my speed and daily word count grew.

My fear is that I will get clients that want my work and then I won’t measure up or be able to keep up with all the work that’s expected. Thing is, you don’t know if you don’t try. Plus, none of this happens overnight. Little by little, you notice you are getting things accomplished, and the next thing you know, you have a system in place. You figure out what works for you and stick to it. Stay focused and driven and you will fly to new heights of success!

I’m not there yet, However, I intend to keep at it until I am. Once my 365 blog a day challenge is over, I will have come up with a new plan, (that’s my hope at least) that will get me closer to where I want to be in my journey. What about you? What are your hopes, dreams and plans for the future? Do you consider yourself a success or a failure? I’m interested and want to help however I can. I want to help you live a healthy life. What do you want to learn more about? Paleo lifestyle/diet? Essential oils? Medical marijuana? I don’t know what it is, you’ll have to guide me. Maybe it’s none of those things but something completely different.

Leave me a comment or shoot me an email, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Join me tomorrow for my next essay and don’t forget to come back Friday for the next part of the series Angels of Arvada. Not sure what I’ll talk about Wednesday, maybe y’all have some ideas or input on that? Let me know and have a terrific Monday!

Day 223-Free Days-Dinner & A Birthday

All my birthday cards displayed on my mantel

It’s been a lovely, albeit, cool day for my 56th birthday and I have enjoyed it very much. David cooked me a spaghetti dinner and Bubba & Connie brought wine and cheesecake…from the Cheesecake Factory-Red Velvet! Claudette brought salad and my Dad brought an additional bottle of wine. No, I didn’t sit around and get smashed, there’s wine in the fridge and I had my spaghetti sauce over zucchini noodles. I will admit, I could not pass up the cheesecake, but could not eat a whole piece. It was heavenly, what I did eat.

I took a selfie with my Dad while we were playing pool, it was our first and he giggled a bit when I took it.

My Dad and I

He gave me a heartfelt card and some money (always appreciated) and we played several games of pool with my brother and the boys.

My brother Kevin

I got a call from my son in Ohio (not prompted by his Dad in any way 😉) and that was nice. My sister-in-law brought me a gift card and some bath bombs, Dad and Sean gave me cards and money and Chris, Claudette and Kevin brought me nice cards. My friend Michelle gave me a card and a beautiful bracelet from James Avery. What wonderful friends and family I have. I appreciate it all and couldn’t ask for anything more.

I think I’m still in shock from yesterday’s news about the death of my former boss and my thinking is not clear yet. I hope I didn’t leave anyone or anything out. Oh, I got many well wishes and happy birthdays on Facebook too! My hubby and I sat around in our pjs all morning and then went to the store to buy spaghetti fixings along with our regular weekly provisions. We enjoyed drinks and snacks last night and I would say my birthday weekend has been very nice all the way around.

I’m hoping my focus will be laser sharp for tomorrow’s post,  join me then will you?

Day 222-Free Days-The Icing On The Cake

My first check as a published author

Today has been a great day running around with my husband, and then getting this in the mailbox was the icing on the cake of my day, the day before my birthday. It is the check from the article I wrote for VitaBella Magazine- A Tiny Seed With Big Promise.  My hubby immediately took a pic of me with it and posted it to Facebook. He’s a keeper! Anyway, it was not the amount I was paid but the fact that I did get paid for a writing job that is important. It gives me validation and confidence to expect payment for writing jobs in the future.

Tomorrow my hubby will make me spaghetti for my birthday dinner and the family will come over and celebrate with us and I will be another year older. I am blessed to have another year in the books, it’s been a sad year in many ways for lots of my family and friends. Tonite, I learned that my former employer and friend, Laurie Casson passed away on Thursday. His wife BJ has been so overwhelmed with everything I guess she didn’t think to call me until now. I never got to say goodbye, and that saddens me and upsets me as well. They always treated me like family, yet no one let me know he was deathly ill and in the hospital. I can’t imagine all she has been going through, dealing with his care, trying to get the house ready to sell, moving herself…I had no idea any of this was going on. I worked for him and their company Lifequest on and off for several years, he was quite the character.  I will miss him and his English accent, dry humor and quick wit.


day 221-Flash Fiction friday-Angels of Arvada Part 2-Isolation



Luckily, Amanda was a work from home mom, doing some part-time transcription and working on her novel when she had time. Still, life was going to get pretty boring and lonely for the next few weeks, with no place to go and nothing to look at but each other and the inside of this cabin.

She pacified Ethan with a drink and a coloring book while she sat at the breakfast nook to figure out a plan for the weeks ahead. She tried to stay calm and not panic at the thought of the complete isolation, her best friend lived thirty minutes away, maybe she could at least call her for some company. Not right now though, she poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down with her planner.

As she tried to devise a schedule, her mind drifted to the last time she actually had company, it had been awhile. She and Ethan made due just fine most of the time and she was used to the schedule they worked from. Once a week, she got a break when he attended Mommy’s Day Out, a program at the church they went to. She usually didn’t even notice the lack of company or the fact that hardly anyone from her family or Anthony’s ever came to visit. She didn’t understand why Anthony’s folks never came over, Ethan was their grandchild after all. Maybe it was too soon, Anthony had only been gone six months now, and Amanda herself had not grown accustom to the fact he was really gone.

When Amanda had gone into town, she saw some of the preppie moms shopping at the same places, they always stared at her like she was a troll or something. While she was no model, she did have long, shiny black hair…it was the American Indian in her, high cheekbones and great skin. She never needed makeup, had an olive skin tone and actually stayed pretty fit, even though her job required a lot of sitting. She didn’t need them anyway, she just needed her friend Kate and her boy and she would get along just fine. That’s what she told herself anyway.

She realized she hadn’t written a word and got busy, figuring what the meals would be, based on what she had just picked up from the store. She also needed to try and pick up another client, her funds were getting pretty low. Anthony had not left her much to live on and bills to pay, but at least she was managing ok so far. If she could just pick up another writing job of some kind or a transcription client, she would have no trouble making ends meet. Maybe she could pencil in more time to work on the novel too. Once she got that written and published, maybe all their dreams could come true.

She doesn’t worry too much about being indoors for a while because she loves their little cabin, she is crafty and has it decorated just to her liking. She loves Mexican pottery and art, and utilizes all her space with shelves and seating, brings the outdoors in with plants and usually has something wonderful smelling diffusing into the air. When she’s creating, she likes to have the smell of bergamot, it helps her feel worthy and calm. When she is working hard, or working out, she wants to feel invigorated and diffuses lemon or peppermint…this is how she and Ethan stay well too. She can’t afford for him to get sick, it is too far to town and the nearest hospital is fourty five minutes away. Besides, he is accustomed to the smells of the house and knows no different. Lots of the essential oils she diffuses have medicinal, cleansing properties, like eucalyptus and frankincense…they haven’t been sick in years.

Amanda actually finds herself calming down, now that she has found a purpose for the next few days, her planner done, she decides to tidy up the kitchen and take things out for lunch, she’ll make some comfort food for Ethan and settle in for a very secluded few days. Grill cheese and soup, he will love that she thinks, but then Ethan wanders in and asks what can he do to help. Such a sweet child, they really had raised him right so far. “Can you check the fire and let Mommy know if I need to add another log?” “Sure Mommy.” By the time he re-enters the room, she has made their lunch and decided to call her friend later and let her know she’s ok at least. She looks at Ethan and says, “Lets go eat lunch, read a story and cuddle on the couch for a while.” Once he’s down for the evening, she plans on a glass of wine and her phone-a-friend, it might just be the lifeline she needs right now…

What do you think so far? I’d love your feedback and/or questions. Stay tuned for the next installment next Friday. 🙂

Day 220-Throwback Thursday-School Records

Did any of you have one of those cute little school records books when you were growing up? You know, the kind with a pocket for each page for storing your pictures, report cards and other important memorabilia? Lucky for me, I did. Since I have such a horrible memory, it is good for me to have something with names and dates that cannot be disputed on it.

I was thumbing through mine this morning and decided to pick a grade and see what was in the pocket. I discovered an invitation to a birthday party at my friend Donna Dilks house, all of my report cards and my pertinent information on the pocket cover, written in my own hand. Without that, I would not have remembered my height, weight and age in the 7th grade…would you?

School memory collage

I also noticed by checking out my report cards that (as I figured) I excelled in reading, spelling and choir, but not so great in the other subjects. I held a steady C in Tx history, B+ and C in math, B+ in English and mostly S’s across the board in conduct, but what is really sad is that I don’t remember my teachers except for choir-maybe if I saw a picture. I remember jr. high being a transition period. Not a baby anymore, but not yet mature enough to be considered “worthy” or credible. It was an awkward, scary time…but fun too. I started making friends (and one enemy-that I know of), found out girls can be bullies and other girls will always have your back.

I couldn’t tell you what happened in each class or each grade of jr high, but having my little record book may help jog another memory or two. Do you recall your school years with clarity? I’d love to hear your stories. I’m going to be turning 56 this weekend and the fact that my memory is so awful already has me wondering if I permanently damaged my brain when I was younger and spent a couple of wild years in the Army, if I have early onset Alzheimers or just poor recall. I think there are some kind of exercises you can do to sharpen your recall, I may just have to look into that. What I have heard that helps is rosemary, I should go get my bottle and take a whiff, or go pinch some off of my plant on the patio, maybe it would help! You can get some from Veriditas online or wherever they sell it in retail stores.

Well, I hope you all have a great Thursday, I have been working on my story for the next in the series of Angels of Arvada, I will see you all tomorrow, on the patio!

Day 219-Wednesday's Medical Minute-What Causes Gas?

There are those who would say farts are funny. I would have to agree, depending on the circumstances. There are times though, when flatulence is a real problem, it may cause pain similar to a heart attack and it might be helpful to some of you to get to the root of your gas problems. Maybe you don’t realize that gas is a symptom sometimes of something more serious than eating Grandma’s cabbage, and there are ways to lessen your discomfort, if you just knew what to avoid.

Gas is caused by many factors including:

  1. Lactose Intolerance-The inability to fully digest sugar (lactose) in dairy products
  2. Food Intolerance- Digestive problems that occur after a certain food is eaten
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome- An intestinal disorder causing pain in the belly, gas, diarrhea, and constipation
  4. Celiac Disease- An immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye
  5. Gluten Sensitivity- Sensitivity to gluten

The symptoms of each factor are similar and can include; passing excessive amounts of gas, bloating, cramps, belching, discomfort, flatulence, fat in stool and urgent need to defecate.

Well some things just can’t be helped, like after eating some high fiber foods like fruits and veggies, or you may burp after accidentally swallowing gas while eating. But what if your symptoms are telling you there are more serious problems going on? Would you want to get to the bottom of it, maybe change your diet or check with a doctor?

If you experience excessive gas, it may also be a symptom of another health condition such as diverticulitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease, or a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine from conditions such as diabetes. If you use artificial sweeteners, they may also be the culprit, many folks just can’t tolerate things like mannitol, and xylitol which are found in some sugar-free foods, gums and candies. I learned this the hard way, not knowing how mannitol affects you, I ate three pieces of a particular brand of sugar-free chocolate candy one time. Not pretty!

Ok, there are obvious ways to reduce the amount of gas your body produces, like stop eating the offending food, or drinking soda which has bubbles, but what if you aren’t sure the cause? If you experience persistent pain, you need to check with your doctor. He will schedule tests after an exam, like a blood or breath test and possibly specialized x-rays to determine the cause(s) of your excessive gas.

We all have and pass gas, and sometimes, it’s just funny. But when you can’t stop, or find yourself hurting no matter what you eat, or what otc medicine you try, please go get checked out and make sure something more serious isn’t going on.

Luckily, I have never been much of a milk drinker, when I started eating a more Paleo diet, I switched to almond and/or coconut milk. I notice if I slip or cheat, I get excessive gas. No ice cream for me I’m afraid, unless I make my own from coconut milk, bananas or cashews. If you check out my Pinterest board on Everything Paleo, you will find a delicious recipe for Coffee Cashew Ice Cream which I pinned from Do You Even Paleo. You might even find something else you like while you’re there, go check it out!

Plus, there are ways to minimize the gas your body creates on a normal basis;

  1. If you drink about 30 minutes before your meal, instead of with it, your body will digest the food better.
  2. If you ate and drank slowly, you would swallow less air, which means less gas.
  3. You could try taking a digestive enzyme like Beano to break down the sugar from beans and other vegetables.
  4. You could try activated charcoal, found in pill or liquid form, which helps reduce gas and creates firmer stools.
  5. You could try not drinking through a straw, and chewing gum (guilty on both counts) which may cause your stomach to fill with air. So does smoking. (not guilty, I vape)
  6. Avoid certain artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, and mannitol. Read the labels if you aren’t sure. I use Stevia which is natural.

I hope this has helped you identify some of the reasons you may have gas, simple or excessive, and that you go get yourself checked out if you are experiencing more serious symptoms like prolonged pain, bloating or frequent belching. Ask me any question on the subject and I’ll try to find you the answer. For me, eating natural healthy foods is going to produce it’s share but by not eating gluten-which I make it a point not to, I reduce my occurrence of stomach discomfort, diarrhea and constipation. If you want to know more about the Paleo lifestyle, check out Mark’s Daily Apple and  Dr Axe websites that explain the best ways to heal leaky gut and eat for optimal health. Enjoy your day and see ya tomorrow, on the patio!

Day 218-MET-(My Essay Tuesday)- My Sertoma Cruise

My Mom never got to hear about my first (and so-far last) cruise which I went on with my Sertoma group. I knew I was going before she passed away, that’s how far in advance you have to book them, she would have loved to hear about all the things I saw and how much fun we had. The cruise was a Godsend really, a pick-me-up after a year of grieving,  I did almost everything I wanted to ensure I got the most out of the four day getaway. It was a significant life event, one I will never forget.

We all have a bucket list, I guess, and this cruise allowed my to accomplish at least two things on mine. The cruise itself, since I had never been on one, and swimming with dolphins-an experience that I will never be able to compare anything else to. My four days at sea and the excursion to Cozumel was so uplifting and good for my soul, I even felt I deserved it after working for a whole year to get healthy and be able to proudly don a bikini. I struggle constantly with body image and wanted to feel good about myself, so I adopted a Paleo lifestyle and by the time of the cruise, I was twenty pounds lighter.

When we moved to southeast Texas in 2010, the first group I became involved with was Sertoma. Now these ladies in my group, for there are many chapters, are a hoot-so much fun to be around, while at the same time true to their goal of serving mankind. I took the role of social director for the first two years, and we talked about a cruise, but it wasn’t until Linda Borel became social director that it happened. I was happy regardless and the planning began, down to ordering specific shirts for particular events once we boarded the ship. We were known as the Sassy Sertoma Sisters and boy, that describes us to a T! I’m pretty sure we had quite the reputation as seekers of fun by the time we sashayed off the ship.

Day one was hectic as we boarded the ship and got through security, long lines and short patience didn’t help, yet we were all excited and filled with expectations of good times ahead, so we didn’t complain…much. Certain members of our group snuck some contraband on board and that added a sense of nervousness. All went well however, and soon we were being shown to our rooms. I actually made notes in case I wrote about this some day, so I know for instance, that my room number was 6284 and I shared it with Dedie Orta. I was one of the lucky ones that only had two to a room, it’s quite a squeeze to fit three in, yet some of our group had to. That was an advantage of booking early, I got to pick my roommate and the fact that it would just be us two. Having never been on a cruise, I was determined to have fun while sticking to my budget, so I wrote down everything I spent so I would know how much I had left on my card. (You put a certain amount on a spending card they give you at the start of the cruise). That first night, we donned our special T-shirts and had dinner in the dining room at the rear of the ship. It was so beautiful, I had to take a ton of pictures of how gorgeous the water looked. Determined to stay busy and get the most out of my experience, I went to a couple of shows after dinner and then ventured into the piano bar. That became our favorite destination for the duration of the cruise-at least at night. I also went ahead and booked my excursion from the ship, it was the best price that way, which was to swim with the dolphins once we got to Cozumel. Later, I enjoyed my first appletini-it was my first sticker shock of the evening at $10.65! Some of my  “Sisters” were kind enough to share their alcohol allotments with me, so I would not have to buy all of my drinks. They really wanted to make sure I had a good time, and they had been on many cruises before. I tried a pomegranate martini at another point in the cruise, which seemed to be more to my liking.

Day two I was dubbed the lucky cruise virgin after winning the grand prize at a jewelry seminar I attended.  It was a tanzanite necklace valued at about $300 so I was very excited and hooked on more chances to win stuff. Which I did! That was between breakfast and lunch-after which I attended another seminar for the diamond company we would be visiting in Cozumel, and won another piece of jewelry. This time, it was a pretty bracelet made of Larimar Caribbean stones. That evening was the semi-formal dinner and we all wore our bling and best outfits. So fun! That was followed up by more clubbing and another visit to the piano bar where we met the greatest people from New Braunfels-I still talk to them this day! After meeting them, every time we walked into the piano bar and they spotted us, it was like we were rock stars or something. They made a big fuss and made us ladies feel very special.

Day three was finally the day we landed in Cozumel and I was so exited to go on my excursion. I was also slightly nervous, never having been to that part of Mexico and unsure of the rules, how we would get where we were going, if I would have to swim far to get to the location, and on top of that, my friends that were to accompany me were so hung over, I was afraid they wouldn’t make it. They drug themselves off of the ship though, and by the time we were entering the dolphin pools, they were right as the mail (as Doc Holiday says). One cannot describe the feeling of swimming belly to belly with a wild animal, let’s just say it was exhilarating and all I wanted it to be! I wished we got to stay longer but we were soon off to experience some beach we weren’t supposed to, and then go shopping like a boss! Some of us had purchase valuable coupon books on the ship and now was the time to run from shop to shop, redeeming coupons and shopping for the best deals we could find, all in about one hour! You only get 5 or 6 hours once you land in Cozumel, so its a whirlwind of activity if you had booked a four hour excursion. I bought a cool pair of sunglasses from Del Sol that change colors in the sun, a color changing T-shirt for David, also from Del Sol and picked up a few more (free) jewelry items. I purchased some things for the kids and proceeded to join the ladies for an authentic margarita at the club closest to the ship. The water was indescribable, so blue it was turquoise and I took pictures ad nauseum which should be a crime. I took so many pictures, I even got sick of them, so I will only include a few. I took my pictures off the computer and these were all I could find. 🙁

A few favorite pics from my Carnival Cruise to Cozumel

The last day was an anticipated art auction, Dedie attended with me and you won’t believe this but…I won something again!! It was the top prize of champagne and two paintings, I just could not believe my luck. I was allowed to pick two from an assortment previously chosen by the auction directors, I only had to pay for the shipping and framing. They are displayed proudly on the walls of my new home and mach my decor perfectly. The last evening was enjoyable with dinner and a fantastic show called The Big Easy, later we closed down the piano bar and I just have to say, we were all pretty lit by that point. I remember the next morning having breakfast on the Lido deck, we were all feeling pretty rough…all except Dedie- she has the good sense not to drink, therefore she was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Like I stated earlier, I was determined to have the time of my life, and I can safely say it was all that and a bag of chips. I will never forget it and I’ll always be grateful to my Sertoma sisters for showing me what a good time can be when you are with friends that care about you and your well being. I can’t wait until the next one!








Day 217-Motivational Monday-God Loves A Cheerful Giver


This morning I realized (after doing the math) that I only have 4 months to go to be done with my 365 day project on this here blog o mine. Ok, maybe a few days past four months, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, me! Anyway, once I get to that fabulous victory, I’ll need some feedback from you guys about whether you are still exited about getting a post every. single. day. On the one hand, posting daily keeps me writing daily, keeps me accountable and makes me stick to a promise, so that’s good. Yet, on the other hand, do you get tired of seeing my blog in your inbox day after day? Maybe I could cut it down to 4-5 posts a week, figure out the features everyone likes and/or add some new ones. I trust you will let me know. I’m hoping some things will become clear to me as to the direction I should go, once my courses are finished. I’m really learning lots of useful information, tips and tricks in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, as well as the blog it comes from, Making Sense of Cents.  I was thinking something like Tutorial Thursday where I show how to use a product I love or review a company that makes a product I use might be more useful than showing old pics of myself and /or my family.


Today’s scripture comes from 2 Corinthians 9:7- “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”


I stumbled across this scripture this morning while looking for one, it was in a pamphlet from my brother’s church-Bear Creek Bible Church- and I just loved it because it really exemplifies the life of a caregiver, nurse, doctor,  or even blogger- don’t you think? We give because we want to, not because we are made to, and we do so without complaint because God wants us to give freely of ourselves.

I hope you all find inspiration in this scripture this morning and that you al enjoy your Monday! It will be very warm here today, and that I am looking forward to, after a drizzly, cool, and cloudy weekend. Join me back here tomorrow for MET and be on the lookout for the next installment in the series I’m writing Angels of Arvada, coming Friday. Have a good day!


Day 216- Free Days-A Sunday Visit to Cahill UMC

Inside Cahill UMC
Inside Cahill UMC

Good Sunday everyone! Today we decided to go visit our old church in Alvarado, Tx- Cahill UMC

Man, it was like going home again! We had not been back in over 7 years, yet as soon as we walked in, we were greeted as usual by the sisters that always sat in the back, Mickie and June. I could not believe they were still there and it brought a tear to my eye that they remembered us and were exited to see us visit. Also, the organist Lynn was still there and several others in the congregation we had come to know when we used to live in Alvarado. It was such a joy to see old acquaintances still in attendance, even if the preacher has changed. He was a nice fellow, honestly I have to admit I missed AJ being there but things change and we move on.

While we were on that side of the world, we had brunch and drove back by the old homestead. We had lived on a three acre property at the end of a mile long street, right next door to a beautiful horse ranch. I miss it out there, yes, it’s a ways from the city we live in now, but I could live out there again. I miss the quiet of the country and the ability to go get lost in my own backyard ( the back couple of acres was just woods). We used to build a bonfire and sit out back watching it burn while our dog chased the goats around. Ya can’t do that in the city. The house looked exactly the same, across the street however, a new house was being built. I had to wonder what changes, if any, had been made to our old house. Since we have remodeled almost every house we’ve lived in, I’m always curious to see if people like it, or change it (after all that work we did)!

Now I’m off to tackle some homework and maybe paint my nails, if I have time for both. I hope you all have a great Sunday and get some relaxing done. I’ve relaxed enough and need to get something done, so I’ll see you tomorrow for another quote or scripture and your dose of Monday motivation. Before I go, I thought I’d share a photo of a piece of jewelry I made way back when I first started. I never completed it, it started out being a bolo tie, however, I could never find the right cabachon for the concho, so it sits in it’s bag, waiting for the day I finish it. (Which may never come.)

One of the first pieces I ever made
One of the first pieces I ever made

Day 215- Free Days-The Rainbow Bridge


It is with a heavy and sad heart that I have to report the passing of my Mom’s dog Sophie, whom my Dad and son Sean have been caring for since my Mom passed in 2014. She was a chocolate lab, crazy eyed and shiny of coat-digger of holes and eater of rocks-loved and loving til the very end. My Mom got it in her mind that she had to have a chocolate lab, so we got her one for her 75th birthday. She was a beautiful pup, and Mom loved her, although she couldn’t do much with her. She loved playing with my brother’s dog Sushi-also gone now- and together they delighted in tearing up my Dad’s back yard, digging holes and eating persimmons off of his trees. I swear that dog would eat the brick off the house if you let her, still, they loved her-we all did, and it was a sad job, yet we were willing to take her and spare my Dad and son that pain. Dave and I stayed with her as the Dr relieved her of her painful existence, petting her head and reassuring her that she was loved. She was eleven years old, crippled and riddled with cancer…we did the right thing. Bless her heart, luckily it only took about twenty seconds for her to cross that rainbow bridge, and as the tears streamed down my face, I thought that now she will be happy again, running through the fields of Heaven with Sushi and Chloe and all the other dogs we’ve had and lost, as that is the circle of life. Do dogs get to be with their people that have passed on? I don’t know the answer, but I’d like to think so. I can just picture Mom in her chair, Sophie with her head in her lap and Chloe on the other side of it,  Sushi laying at her feet, and all being right with their world.