So Long! Farewell! Auf wiedersehen! Goodbye!

So long, farewell

For now, anyway. The three of us started this blog at the beginning of a big adventure – re-imagining what it meant to be married, be committed, be a family. We were staring into the unknown and really needed a forum to get our thoughts on paper and test out some of the ideas we had. With a larger and more public group than our close friends and each other!

In the year and few months since we have settled into a very comfortable and in many ways, quite traditional, place. We are all working at jobs we enjoy- that are challenging and fulfilling. The kids have adjusted to the new living situation, new schools and a new neighborhood. We have settled in to a routine that suits us all – I tend to the kids during the week (as I get home the earliest) make dinner and organize food related chores. Ellaria and Jack take the reins on the weekends when I go upstate to spend time with Harry. And New York City is a fantastic background for our adventures! Living here feels like home.

Harry has been in New York City a lot over the holiday and it made my heart burst to see how loved he is by everyone and how beautifully he slides in to our family. There is nothing better than sitting down at the dining room table and looking around at the faces of my family – whom I love so much. We recently went to New Orleans – just the grown-ups – to celebrate my birthday. (44 – thank you very much – can I get a “woot!”?) and got along so well. It’s not just anyone you can live with and then WANT to go away with – especially 3 other people. But my partners are such great company – why would I NOT want to be with them?

Of course it is not perfect all the time – what relationship IS? The kids fight, they complain about sharing a room, they have issues at school, we don’t always agree on discipline, there’s a lot of WORK that goes into a household of 5, we don’t seem to have enough time to talk or be together on a regular basis and life is just…busy. But I do think we are proof that this kind of relationship CAN work – CAN thrive – and is do-able.

Of course, we are not all sleeping together – we are sexually monogamous with our primary partners. But we are all polyamorous in that we love each other and live partnered up as a family. I have learned that there are many ways to reinvent oneself, to reinvent traditions, to reinvent institutions – like marriage – we take for granted.

And now we take leave of the blogosphere. Blogs, like any narrative, require conflict to be interesting and we don’t have any. I love my partners, I’m in love with Harry, everything is going well and I don’t see it ending soon. I didn’t think I would be happy again so soon with just one man – but I am. Being with Harry fills me to the brim. So what do we blog about – being happy? Making dinner? Hanging out? I feel calm, happy, centered and more myself than I have felt in years. My year of discovery has been wonderful – and public. And now it’s time to keep on growing and changing and loving…privately.

Thank you, readers for offering encouragement – in “likes” and comments and sheer numbers. I always loved knowing you were out there!! Who knows what the future brings – perhaps we will meet again. In the mean time: be happy, be well, embrace the possibilities and be brave! Good things will come. XOXOXO

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What a difference a year makes! Blogiversary Time!

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Yes, I know – it’s been awhile. Life has me too busy to blog! I am not back to work yet – so I am happily running all things home and hearth related, looking for work, spending most of my weekday evenings with Ellaria and Jack and most of my weekends with Harry. I feel very,very full!! But I realized it’s been a year since we started blogging – a bit more since we started loving like we do…and maybe it’s time for a re-cap. I just love a numbered list – so here we go!! The year in review!

1 – A year ago I had my first date in 19 years!: And there were many more after that. I really am a great date – smart, funny, attractive, and then there’s the fact that I cheerfully ask if we can have sex after the dinner and drinks. Those dates gave me confidence and I really needed that a year ago. Reentering the dating life is sort of like learning to ride a bike: everybody else can do it…so why does it feel so scary?…can’t balance…falling over….I’ll never GET this… It got way more comfortable as I realized the first (and second and third) guys were not a fluke and then the training wheels were off and I was rolling along!!

2 – A year ago the three of us started fantasizing about living together in New York City: And here we are! In a classic 6, no less, on the Upper West Side! We, together, made that happen and I am proud of us. It was a huge change for the three of us AND the kids. I can’t say that the process was stress free but the result has been. I love living with my best friends, I love having people around, I love the busy bustling life we have, I love that we all pitch in to do the work of running the house and raising the kids. I love it!

3 – A year ago I was head over heels in desire: And I still am. But this time it’s in a relationship with someone who I love (and trust completely) and who loves me back. Last year I was all about the Catalyst – and I really needed someone like him. He is the one who gave me a sexual jump-start. I had completely forgotten how it felt to be overwhelmed, blinded, drooling, distracted all the time, be wanted, be thought of as a sexual object, be made crazy by sex. And he helped me remember. It was short and sweet and hot as hell. He also made me think about what I wanted in a boyfriend – think hard. And you know what? I have those things now. He was the right man at the right time – thank you Catalyst!

4 – A year ago I was a running machine: I have since switched to yoga – a fractured 5th metatarsal will do that. But more importantly, I am no longer manically exercising. Last winter I ran 3, 4 or 5 miles every single night. I was so keyed up I needed to do something. There were nights I would go out at 10 pm for a run, after drinking a lot of wine and eating a huge plate of pasta! My body just could not stop.I was also doing yoga AND riding my bike to work everyday. On my birthday in January Ellaria and Sandsnake came up to us (on a school night!) to be with me. I spent the evening drinking wine and eating cake and talking…then was so edgy and keyed up I announced I was going for a run at 10:30. A little (make that very) crazy. I am still very fit, probably stronger, less keyed up and definitely happier!

5 – A year ago I concentrated very hard on living in the moment: And I still do. It has given me so much peace to free myself from the weight of the future and the expectations we all seem to pile up about it. And the burden of the past and the mistakes I feel I made. I dream, I plan to make those dreams happen, I listen to feelings of disquiet or unease and try to uncover what is really going on inside. I remember what has gone before and try to learn from it. But I don’t hold on to negativity – towards myself or anyone else. I don’t wallow. I don’t anticipate the bad or the good. I just try to be alive and let the joys and sorrows unfold. And I let myself feel them – and go on.

6 – A year ago I didn’t want to think about being in a real relationship: And then I did. I thank Mr.Monday for that. Though we had something completely non-traditional and very unemotional it was still a relationship of a kind – with a smart, sexy, handsome man. The start was a bit rocky, but it developed into something really nice. In a totally dom/sub, kinky, anal way of course. But being with him, and our talks after sex about the ordinary things two 40-something people talk about, made the idea of a real relationship seem less scary.

7 – A year ago I was adamantly opposed to falling in love: And then I did! Little did I know…when the timing and man are right there is really nothing you can do to prevent it. I had been in lust, I had been in infatuation…I had a very thorough refresher course in being swept off my feet and in “like” as well as all the ways you can be misunderstood and hurt. It was like a sped up version of dating in my teens and early 20’s! And Harry is the culmination of my year of exploration. He has all the personal qualities I feel are important – funny, sexy, smart, kind, masculine, independent and outgoing (to name a few) along with the external qualities I knew would be important – Ellaria and Jack think he is wonderful, the kids love him and he has no other partners to focus on. I want him to myself – and we ARE exclusive. I am happy this way. Very, very happy.

8 – A year ago I was unsure about the outcome for Jack and I: And now I know we’ll stick together. I think this way of living suits us both. The funny thing is, I think we are more solid than before, but in a different way. We are comfortable old friends who know we can rely on each other. And the weird thing is, I actually feel like I need him now in a way I didn’t when we were more traditionally married. He was always upset that I would say, “I choose you” rather than “I need you”. Well, Jack, I choose you AND I need you.

9 – A year ago I could imagine what it would be like to live with Ellaria full time: And now I know the reality – and it’s great! Though the two of us have many things in common, we are also very different. And different is good. We don’t step on each others’ toes around the house, we don’t get upset about the same things, we have different relationships with Jack. We are both very respectful, laugh all the time and love to talk. Her enthusiasm about things inspires me and her wise counsel anchors me down. She gets Jack and me to talk about things we would rather not – and that’s good. She is the center of this whole enterprise – it would fall apart without her.

10 – A year ago I didn’t think I would blog for a year: And here I am! There have been ups and downs, sadly emotional times and hilarious ones. I have grown and stretched and changed and my life is completely different than it was 18 months ago – completely!!! Amazing. And now I have reached a point of stasis. I’m happy. I’m content. I’m busy. I’m blogging less because I don’t think my happiness is very interesting. Substitute “relationships” for “families” in Tolstoy’s famous quote and really, happy relationships are all alike. Harry and I went to Montreal last weekend and had a marvelous time….but there isn’t much to say other than that, unless this becomes a travel blog!

And obviously, Ellaria and Jack have not been blogging. They’ve been living, and working and deepening their relationship and very, very busy! So, like all things, this blog might change…who knows how, or when. But it has been a fantastic exciting year and I look forward to the next one! Thanks for reading everyone!!

Purrr….WOOF!

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So we almost have three months of living together under our belts and it’s going very smoothly. Mostly, I think, because we spent so much time talking about things before we moved in. We’ve all given up something to get something more and are grateful for the more we now have. For me anyway, more is the steady companionship of Jack and Ellaria. We three are always up for a chat, a glass of wine, a “Look at this outfit” a “You wouldn’t believe this!” a “What do you think?”. We were just talking the other night about the TV we are missing because we would rather sit and chat at night than turn on the tube. We three think we are WAY more interesting than fiction!

For all that we compromise on, though, there are those things that require 100% consensus: like choosing the apartment. We agreed we all had to love it – and love it we do. Another factor that requires that kind of consensus is pets. We moved into the apartment with Ellaria and Sandsnake’s cat, Virginia. She was 18 years old in July when we moved and had been looking tired and peaked for awhile. The move did seem to unsettle her, and she rapidly went down-hill health wise. She stopped eating, stopped peeing and spent most of her days in the bathtub. Ellaria asked Jack to bring her to the vet, which he did, and they diagnosed severe dehydration, with the remedy being overnight vet care and IV fluids. And even that might not work.

Jack brought her home and he and Ellaria tried their best to get fluids into her. They administered clam juice and tuna water with an eyedropper around the clock for a few days – along with oceans of love. If desire alone could have kept her alive she would still be with us, but she passed a few weeks after we moved in. Unfortunately Sandsnake was not there when she passed on and she was absolutely devastated.

So talk has turned to new pets. Sandsnake and Ellaria would like another cat. Max and I would like a dog. Jack is on the fence. I have never been a dog person, but Ziggy, Harry’s dog is so wonderful (awesome awesomeness, as Max phrases it) that I have been thinking along doggy lines. I know they are a lot of work, I know they require care and attention, but heck, I am giving a lot of care and attention out these days, so the dog can join the crowd. New York City is actually a great place to have a dog as there are tons of dog friendly establishments, dog runs and parks. Our apartment is big enough and the kids are almost old enough to chip in.

But, we are waiting on 100% consensus. Also, I think if we are going to have a cat AND a dog, we should get them at the same time so they can grow up together and get used to each other. In the meantime, I have a fantasy dog. His name is Ralph. He is a full size golden doodle – about 90 pounds. Big and soft and curly. I will wash him in the bathtub regularly with Ellaria’s shampoo so he will always smell good. When Harry isn’t in town he will sleep on my bed and cuddle up alongside me to keep me warm. I will take him for long, rambling walks in Riverside Park and he will have an adorable pink tongue and a big smile on his doggy face. He will, of course, be very smart, and obedient and I will have him certified as a therapy dog so we can help others together.

Ralph is the perfect pet for right now – until we get the completely agreed upon, all on the same page, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” cat and dog. Who I think we should name Accord and Agreement.

Can I get an amen? “Woof !”  “Meow!” “Yes!”

Christening

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It has been a few months now for TTM and me. We had our first date, for lunch (at the same place Mr.Monday and I would meet, funnily enough) on April 18 and finally consummated things in May. Since June, we’ve been exclusive and since late July, well, we’ve said we loved each other. It’s unconscious the things I blog or don’t blog about sometimes and that was something that I wanted to keep close for awhile. Not that I didn’t know on some level that he was feeling that way. I already was, but was certainly not ready to say anything. What if I was wrong? What if I got rejected? What if he laughed at me? What if? What if?

He is a very smart man. He had been sending me texts that said “Adore”, and every time I saw one I would get fluttery inside and start smiling uncontrollably. But that kind of text does not require a response – which was perfect! I could just bask in the adoration, and not have to reveal myself. And then one day we were sitting in his home office and he turned around and said, “There’s something I need to tell you” and he told me that he loved me. And it was an almost physical relief to say I loved him back. He said he had a dream about this declaration just slipping out of his mouth at the end of a phone call and he didn’t want it to come out like that when he told me for the first time. I confessed that I had been so hoping he felt that way because I was definitely falling for him, and he said, “what did you think ‘adore’ meant?”. Yeah. Well, I can be a bit slow that way.

And things have been proceeding beautifully since! Wonderful weekend after wonderful weekend. And weekdays when he comes to see me. And Ellaria and Jack like him very much, and the kids enjoy him and absolutely go crazy for Ziggy the dog. He is really becoming part of our lives together and not “The Third Man” at all anymore. I have been thinking lately that he needs a name change and really struggling to think of something. It was easy to come up with names in the past because those men were like characters in my personal play. I could easily categorize them by a physical attribute (The Beard), their profession (The Librarian) or some other distinctive quality (The Catalyst). TTM is a featured player! And he is so much more than his profession (attorney) his appearance (leonine) or any of his distinctive qualities (too many and fabulous to list).

Since he has become so important to me and will making regular appearances on this blog I decided to let HIM come up with a name. Ellaria and Jack came up with theirs, so it’s only fair that TTM have some say. And so…please say farewell to TTM as he shall not return. I would now like to introduce you to my boyfriend: He is a friend to the triad and the devoted owner of Ziggy. He is also smart, funny, social, enthusiastic, full of energy, overflowing with opinions, sexy as all get-out and his blog name is….Harry.

Welcome to the blog Harry!!! So absolutely glad you’re here!!! XOXOX

Perfection

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I am not a perfectionist. I am usually more than happy with the “just OK” or “good enough”. I’m not a brain surgeon – and believe me when I tell you there are very good reasons for that – including my daydreaming, lack of ability to focus on anything for more than 30 minutes, permanently shaky caffeinated hands and most importantly, a complete inability to locate the amygdala. With all that being said, though, I have an almost Victorian fascination with perfecting myself.

Perhaps it was a childhood obsession with “Little Women” that started it. I loved that book, and to this day I count it among my favorites. I dip into it at least annually to read some of my favorite parts but the last time I picked it up I was really struck by the characters relentless drive to be better and better people. They reference “Pilgrim’s Progress”, they take notes from Marmee about how they can improve themselves and they are wracked with guilt when they misstep. I didn’t think this kind of thinking had such a hold on my psyche, but little did I know that this book, coupled with a Catholic upbringing would lead to hours (probably MONTHS when aggregated) of soul searching and self doubt.

My latest project? Being a better partner in a relationship. I have been trying with Jack. Slow steps, but I have tried to be less harsh, speak more thoughtfully and make time to spend together every week, even if it’s short. I think it’s going well. And then I have TTM. Since that relationship has started from scratch, I thought I could make it perfect from the START. No mistakes, all blue skies. OK. Stop guffawing. And yes Ellaria, I mean you. I honestly thought that because  I’m smart and I know I have made mistakes I don’t need to make them again. I have been genuine in trying to mend the mistakes I made with Jack and since now that I know what my issues are – my controlling attitude, my lack of communication my inability to speak honestly and and my belief that being in love means able to read another person’s mind – I can avoid those pitfalls with TTM. Right??

So…..No, apparently is the correct answer. TTM and I had a long week apart. Sometimes they go by so fast I feel Friday like I saw him just 2 days before. And sometimes…well, sometimes it seems as though time itself has stopped mid-week and made 5 days the length of 10. This week was like that and it was not made better by the anticipation of some fabulous, slow, lubed up anal sex. Which of course requires substantial preparation on my part. So in my head, I had the whole thing planned out: I would go to his apartment clean and ready and he would immediately take me in his arms, throw me on the bed and do unspeakably delicious and naughty things to me until we dazedly came back to planet earth and hung out and ate late night snacks and went to sleep.

So Thursday he calls me in the afternoon and asks what I would like to drink cocktail-wise this weekend and lets me know we will not be staying at the resort, we’ll be staying at a friend’s house because of construction on his apartment. And as soon as he tells me this he says he has to go and frankly, so do I because I am picking up Max.

WHAT???? Is my first reaction. Doesn’t he know how things are supposed to go??? He is completely fucking with my fantasy here!! How are we supposed to get right down to it when we’re house guests and need to be polite? I seethed. I sulked. I grumbled. I messaged Ellaria “I hope he texts me so I can IGNORE HIM!”. I complained and pouted and stomped my foot. I refused on principle to contact TTM.

He contacted me that evening to let me know the number at the cabin he was staying in. I pouted in text. I grumbled in text. I was bitchy and nasty and spiteful – yes, in text. TTM wrote that “We’ll do what we have to in order to manage expectations. Yes?” And I screamed back (yup – still texting) that my expectations didn’t want to be managed, they wanted to be satisfied. Then TTM called.

I then got to be spiteful, bitchy and pouty on the phone. But in truth, it didn’t last too long. I have trouble staying mad and nasty when actually confronted with the person who I THOUGHT was the object of my anger. It doesn’t take me too long to realize that I am (usually) not angry at them, I am frustrated at the situation. But, that doesn’t stop me from blaming them for not making it better, not making me happy, not reading my mind. TTM explained that he wanted me to be contented and comfortable and that is why he made arrangements to stay with his friend. The apartment at the resort had no hot water, and he didn’t think I would appreciate this fact the morning after.

Oh. OK. So….he is doing what I always say I want. Taking care of me. Making the arrangements so I don’t have to think about them. Taking control. And here I am, pushing, pushing PUSHING. This was something Jack complained about – and rightly so – the fact that he felt I wanted him to take control but when he did I criticized him for it. I thought I internalized that and I have consciously tried to be better, but here I am doing it all over again.

I felt small. I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough. I felt like I was tested and failed.  TTM made me feel better by both telling me not to worry about it, he understands how I would be disappointed AND stating that next time he will let me in on all the facts from the beginning. If I had known that there was not hot water from the beginning I would not have reacted so strongly – I would have been properly grateful.

But the truth is, the experience made me realize how much work I have to do on my imperfect self. And confront the fact I might never achieve 100% success. I think that this might be my next self-improvement project – coming to grips with the fact I might never, no matter how hard I try,  achieve perfection.

It’s OK though, because I’m going to be the most self-actualized, non-perfection seeking person ever!

My First Day of School

sad-kidOk, ok – not MY first day of school, but the first day for Sandsnake and Max. Sandsnake is a middle school student for the first time and Max a third grader this year. Both of them are attending new schools because of the move, but Sandsnake’s school had a week of orientation for the new students earlier this summer. What a great idea! They got to meet each other, learn the ropes of middle school and feel some basic level of comfort with new people and a new environment. This being a big city and middle school being “choice” rather than zoned, they are ALL new to one another, so they are ALL looking to connect. She had a great first day, met some new people and generally was the belle of the ball.

Max, on the other hand, had a completely different experience. He said things were “OK” when Jack picked him up after school, but when I asked him about his day later he was on the verge of tears. He said nobody talked to him, he ate lunch alone, they played a math game and he didn’t know the answers and in general he felt rotten and stupid. When we lived in small upstate city he had attended the same school since kindergarten and he was desperately missing his friends, familiarity and a sense of belonging.

I tried to reassure him that things would improve, that the first day is ALWAYS hard, that even for grown-ups the first day at a new job is stressful and lonely. He was eventually soothed a bit and ended up having a good evening, but of course I was kicking myself – for moving, for being “selfish” for dragging him away from everything he knew, for throwing him to the NYC wolves where he would be eaten up and his bones spit out onto West End Avenue.

Jack calmed me down – of course. He reassured ME things would be OK, that Max would make friends, that time takes time. I know he’s right. And I know Max is only 8, and as Ellaria said, this is the first of many psychic injuries and slights, but man, does it hurt to watch your precious child, eyes welling with tears as he tells you how he felt left out and sad. As a parent, you would endure anything to NOT EVER see your kid in pain – but I know that is silly even as a write it. How else do we grow strong, become resilient and thrive despite challenges if we never encounter any adversity? We don’t. Max needs to get through this, and he will.

And I will too. And I will learn that the older he gets, the less I can easily make things better with a cookie or a distraction. But I can still hold him and hug him and snuggle him up and reassure him that Jack and I think he is the best kid ever, and if we had a choice of any other kid that ever was or ever will be born we would still pick him – because he is the perfect kid for us.

And that’s what I did. And we both felt better.

I’m Baaaaaack!!!

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I know, I know…it’s been awhile! August was a blur of busyness, and happiness and settling down. I have been able to be off from work all summer long, just as I planned. As a result, I have been able to spend lots of time with Max The Great-Triad and Sand Snake and it has been just too much fun!

We rented a house on the grounds of the resort where The Third Man (TTM) works for 4 days and I was able to spend my days (and nights!) with him and the kids, which was just wonderful. They got to know him a bit better, and he them. And he has a dog, who I don’t know if I have mentioned before. Let’s call her…Ziggy. The kids just LOVE her and relished every minute they got to feed her, walk her and give her treats. Max swears that he proposed to her and she accepted, so a wedding is in the works. It is at times like that I wonder if perhaps we are a bit TOO liberal in our definition of relationships!

Being with TTM and Max for the week was good, and really brought up a lot of issues between us that needed to be discussed. He said that it FEELS like Jack and I are divorced because we don’t do things with him anymore. It’s either Jack and Ellaria or TTM and me. He also said he missed his dad and wished he could do more with the two of us. Not doing more of that is a consequence of an unbelievable workload for him and Ellaria – the same issue as so many families have. As the month went on, TTM has integrated more and more into the triad and has spent substantial time with Jack, Ellaria and I all together.  I think that this has helped Max to see things are not quite as separate as they seemed to be.

After almost a week at the resort, we rented a house in a nearby (famous) town for the weekend and Ellaria and Jack came up for a few days. It was Ellaria’s birthday weekend and we relaxed, ate pizza and took it easy. Good thing, because on the following Monday I loaded Max and Sandsnake into the car and the three of us drove to Michigan to visit with Jack’s brother and his partner, two scientists – I’ll call them…Brain (Jack’s brother) and Bug (Brain’s partner).

They were lovely, welcoming and fun. Their house, a new one to me, was lovely and they graciously and willingly opened it to us for 3 nights. It was interesting getting their perspective on our situation. Brain says he understands, but really doesn’t. He is a very conservative person, and can’t quite wrap his mind around how this could be OK. Jack has been feeling blue – work, mid-life and lots of change coupled with his slightly broody personality. Brain kept up bringing up “your situation” as the possible cause. As in “maybe he’s upset because of your situation?”. Uh…Jack would be the first to tell you his home life is sometimes his only happy place.

Bug was more measured. He said that he was absolutely comfortable with the whole thing, as long as I didn’t expect him to really “get it”, because he just couldn’t. That’s fine – there are lots of things out there I don’t “get” but as they don’t affect me at all – go for it! One of the things that did come up in discussion with Brain and Bug is that Jack has not yet had a discussion with his parents, and they are starting to question Brain about what is going on. Not in an angry, judgemental way, but Brain said they are feeling disappointed that Jack has not confided in them. They are VERY accepting people and also good at keeping their own council so I don’t anticipate any backlash. Heck, I told MY parents – my father asked if I had someone special too. I said yes. Without batting an eye my dad asked, “Is it a man or a woman?”. That was a bit of a surprise for sure! The last time I saw him he said that he hopes that the man I’m seeing realizes what a smart, beautiful, funny, capable woman he has and treats me well because it’s my happiness and well being that’s his major concern.

So, we still have some work to do in terms of the parents, but all in all, we are pretty settled down! School starts on Monday for the kids, and they are very nervous and excited. I am looking for a job and have had a few interviews. Ellaria is tearing it up at work and everybody loves her there, which comes as no surprise to me. Jack has an exciting new work opportunity coming up that will be an incredible, long awaited and wonderful change for him. Living together has exceeded my expectations. I do love being with my partners – we have so much fun together. There are the issues that come up in any roommate situation – moods, who does what, varying definitions of, say, tidiness – and issues that might be unique to our situation. Like, Ellaria and I can’t figure out why Jack keeps confusing our underwear. He has seen us both and knows that our panty styles are very different: frothy lace thongs for her, cotton bikinis for me. So why does my underwear drawer explode with lace? A mystery.

Other than that? Things are good. Unfortunately, contentment makes for boring blogging. I do recommit to writing at this time of new beginnings and promise to be a more timely correspondent!