Surrender 101: Happy Birthday Tosh

Today marks another birthday in my family, and offers the opportunity to celebrate another person. Natosha, known as Tosh among her family and friends, is the wife of my nephew Eric, and mom to Aralyn, stepmom to London.

I felt inspired to look up Tosh’s name, which is of Russian origin, and I love what I found on one of the sites I came across:

Natosha, you have a vivid imagination that can bring inspired messages to the world. You like to enjoy the pleasures of life, and when self is overcome, you can rise to the heights. You have an ability to avoid trouble – that is why you often fail to learn from experiences. You are restless, sociable, people-oriented, a lover of change, and a seeker of adventure and new thrills.You are bold, independent, inquisitive and interested in research. You know what you want and why you want it.

You find the best contentment in life when you own your own home and provide well for your family and loved ones. You have a great sense of responsibility and duty. You are comforting, appreciative and affectionate. Your desire in life is to hold to justice and truth, and you can find great happiness and satisfaction.

Those words describe Tosh well, and fit in perfectly with the characteristics that she displays.

Her natural instinct to “seek adventure and new thrills, to be bold, independent and inquisitive”, make her ideally suited to be the wife of the police officer she is married to. It’s not an easy profession, and Eric is blessed to have a woman who stands by him, supporting him and encouraging him, as he pursues a high-stress career.

Tosh joins Eric in having fun adventures apart from work. They enjoy cruises and concerts and family times together.

And the next paragraph is equally true about Tosh. She does find contentment in creating a home for her family, for her husband and the girls. Tosh takes the responsibility of being a wife and mother seriously, which doesn’t mean she is a stranger to fun. It means she performs those duties at a high level and holds them as sacred.

As I was thinking about Tosh, in preparation for writing this blog post, the thought came, She knows what she wants, and how to get there. When I looked up her name, there was a nearly identical sentence contained within the text, which brought confirmation of that deep truth.

Tosh does know what she wants, and as she is journeying through life, I have no doubts that all that she desires will come to be. As with all of us, she is somewhere between the dreaming and the coming true, the woman she currently is, and the woman she is becoming. What a beautiful journey, for a beautiful soul.

Happiest of birthdays, Natosha…Tosh. I love you!

Surrender 100: The Most Frequently Pinned Recipe on Pinterest

During my afternoon of prepping food for the week, I threw most of the ingredients for this slow cooker meal into a gallon storage bag and popped the bag into the freezer. I looked forward to trying the Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies, touted as the most frequently pinned recipe on Pinterest, with nearly 70,000 pins. 

This morning, after thawing the bag overnight, I added the contents to the slow cooker and included fresh baby carrots, tiny red new potatoes and an hour before completion, fresh organic green beans. 

Here is the recipe:

Cook on low 7-8 hours. Add green beans during the final hour. 

I’m with my sisters this evening, with some of our grandchildren, having a sleepover. I ran home to fix a container of food to take back with me. A tantalizing aroma greeted me as I entered the house. 

I understand why this recipe has had so many pins. The chicken was tender and flavorful and I loved the fresh veggies, seasoned by the sauce. I’ll enjoy this delicious meal again over the next couple of days, and definitely add Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies to my list of favorites. 


Surrender 99: Gramercy Ghost

What a great way to end the week, and kick off the weekend, attending a high school play. My grandson Dayan and I slipped into front row seats at the Carl Junction Performing Arts Center, for the performance of Gramercy Ghost. I was excited, as I knew nothing about this production. 

Gramercy Ghost, by John Cecil Holm, was originally published in 1951. Described as a comedy in two acts, the play takes place in the living room of an upstairs apartment in an old house, located on Gramercy Park in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The time period is the 1950s. The Carl Junction production was directed by Carry DeGruson. 

Nancy Willard (Kathryn Martinez) has just returned to her apartment after the funeral of her dear friend, the 103 year old woman who owned the ancient house. She is accompanied by Margaret (Sophia Day), who cared for the older woman for years. The pair is quickly joined by Nancy’s fiancé, Parker (Xander Eck), who intends to take Nancy out for dinner and a play later. 


Before Parker leaves, there is a surprising visit from lawyer Augusta Ames (Megan Richins). The day takes an astonishing turn. The house has been willed to Margaret. And Nancy learns that she has been given Nathaniel Coombes. Who…or what…Nathaniel is, no one knows. 

Just when Nancy believes that she’s alone at last, she has another surprise visitor. Charley Stewart (Alec Hoffman) is a handsome young reporter, seeking a story about Nancy’s now deceased friend. There’s an instant connection between Charley and the pretty Nancy with the bubbly personality. Charley runs out to replenish the bar in the apartment, and Nancy finally discovers what she has been bequeathed. 

Nathaniel Coombes (Cade Hensley) seizes the opportunity, in the now quiet apartment, to make his presence known. He was a soldier during the Revolutionary War, killed while trying to get a message to George Washington. His failure to deliver that important message has him earth bound, doomed to stay in the place where he was killed. 

Before his death, Nat buried a horn, with the note inside, near an old oak tree growing next to a stream. The stream is long gone, and the house in Gramercy Park has been built on the spot where Nathaniel fell. If the message can be delivered to the descendant of the person who was to carry the note to Washington, then the banishment will be lifted and the soldier can continue his journey to heaven. 


Rounding out the cast is Officer Morrison (Blake Willoughby), a funny and easily excited NYC policeman who ultimately wants to help. And Irv (Daniel Reeves) and Rocky (Darian Wilson), comrades of Nathaniel’s who were also casualties of the war. They appear to let their friend know that they are pleading his case in heaven, so that he may join them. 

But now that Nat has introduced himself to Nancy, and discovered that she can see and hear him, he doesn’t want to leave. Like Parker,  and more recently Charley, Nathaniel loves Nancy and desires to be with her. 


It’s a hilarious night of ghostly encounters, blossoming romance, and accusations of insanity as Nancy deals with three suitors and her unexpected inheritance, who has a mission yet to complete. 

This was a delightful play, performed to perfection by the Carl Junction Theatre Department. I loved that this was actually a ghost story. The additional elements of romance, mystery and humor made the production highly entertaining. 


I was so impressed with these high school performers. Each made a crucial contribution to the play and they were all a joy to watch. The chemistry between Nancy and Charley is a tribute to the actors’ abilities and to their actual relationship off of the stage. These two have promising futures ahead should they choose to pursue the continued exploration of their creativity, as do the rest of the cast members. 

I’m grateful that Dayan invited me to attend Gramercy Ghost. I laughed, so hard I snorted once, and clapped with earnest appreciation. And thank you to the Carl Junction Theatre Department for bringing such joy to my Friday evening. Well done. 



Surrender 98: World Health Day

I love it when events connect without me arranging them. I ate the last prepped meal for lunch today, signaling the need for another afternoon session of meal planning, grocery shopping and preparing food. 

Today happens to be World Health Day, with a theme of Beat Diabetes. What a great opportunity, as I spent time preparing healthy meals for Week Three, to learn more about how what I am doing to increase my level of health combats diseases such as diabetes. 

The World Health Organization launched World Health Day in 1950, choosing April 7 as the yearly date to bring awareness to a subject of major health importance. Events are held around the globe. 

Preventing and beating diabetes is this year’s focus. This disease, which is preventable and treatable, is on the rise. Simple lifestyle shifts are effective in preventing diabetes. These include maintaining a normal weight, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. 

I’m delighted that the shifts I’ve made not only contribute to my overall well being but help to prevent diseases such as diabetes. The past two weeks I’ve followed a daily routine that includes hot lemon water followed by celery juice in the mornings, then a healthy already prepped lunch. I finish up the day with a dinner that was prepped before hand and focuses on whole foods. 

This week’s prepped dinners include:

White Chicken Chili, bagged and chilling, is in the freezer. I can pop it into the slow cooker and add chicken broth for a simple delicious meal. 

Also prepped and in the freezer is Honey Garlic Chicken, the most frequently pinned recipe on Pinterest. When it’s time to complete this meal, it will go into the slow cooker with fresh carrots, organic green beans and tiny red potatoes, which I have on hand. 


Western Beef Casserole was prepared first today and simmered in the slow cooker while I completed the assembly of the rest of this week’s meals. It’s a hearty combination of lean beef, onions, kidney beans and corn. 

Lunches this week will consist of Chicken Walnut Salad or Chopped Egg Salad, on beds of Romaine Lettuce. I have tuna in the cupboard should I need it. 
I’m encouraged by the results I’m experiencing from the changes I’ve made. I feel better than I have felt in quite some time. The celery juice, supported by a no sugar, no gluten, limited dairy diet, has eliminated aches and pains, including the sciatica I’ve been experiencing. People are commenting on the absence of a cane and lack of a limp as I walk. 

My hair and skin look healthy, my digestive system is no longer sluggish and my body feels balanced and lighter. I have high energy during the day and sleep deeply at night. And I love how prepping a week’s worth of meals is saving me time, money and energy. 

World Health Day…preventing and beating diabetes…caring for myself by preparing and eating wholesome nutritious foods. I’ve got this! 


Surrender 97: National Tartan Day 2016

As an American with Scottish ancestry, I’ve looked toward to celebrating this holiday again. I had fun wearing the plaid last April 6, and this year, I wore my tartan scarf once more as I was out this afternoon. 


This holiday was established by a resolution in the US Senate in 1998. The date of April 6 was selected in honor of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, which was signed on this date  in 1320.
The Declaration of Independence created for the United States was modeled on the Scottish document. This isn’t surprising since nearly half of the American signers were of Scottish descent. 


The purpose of National Tartan Day is to commemorate the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath and to recognize the achievements of Americans with Scottish heritage. 

The tartan is a pattern of criss crossing bands in various colors. The first tartans were made of wool. Each clan in Scotland is represented by their own unique tartan. 


As a Lauderdale, I am a member of Clan Maitland. Maitlands have lived near the village of Lauder, in a castle, for centuries. There has been a long line of Earls of Lauderdale living in Thirlestane Castle, although the current earl lives in London. A Maitland that immigrated to America in 1690 took the last name of Lauderdale. 

I have a clan chief, and there are clan members scattered around the world. The Maitland tartan is private. As a clan member, I am allowed to order items made from the official tartan. That is an intention of mine, to purchase a Maitland tartan shawl and eventually a skirt. 


It’s been a fun day, wearing my plaid, checking out various sites to see how other tartan sporting American Scots are celebrating, and in general, having a raised awareness of my heritage and the country that I love so much. 

It has now become a tradition to capture a selfie commemorating National Tartan Day. I’m grateful for my Scottish ancestry and for this yearly opportunity to celebrate my family roots with the wearing of the plaid. 


Surrender 96: The Winds of Change

This day, which turned out to be the warmest one we’ve had so far this year, was the perfect invitation to bring out the spring décor.  I opted to start the transformation on the front porch, so I could savor the warmth…80 degrees was the high…the sunshine and the breeze. 


Breeze is too mild of a word, actually. To quote Winnie the Pooh, it was a “rather blustery day”! I loved it though. The fresh, and strong, currents of air carried to me the fragrance of a nearby lilac bush in full bloom. And the breeze excited my wind chimes hanging on the front porch, so that I was serenaded as I worked. 


Puttering is a form of creative expression for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time this afternoon, removing and cleaning the items that had served the past couple of months on the porch. Then unpacking spring items to use outside and throughout the house. 

I like to mix things up a bit, every time I reset an area or change a vignette. So I never know how the competed project is going to look, until I’m done. New this spring is a great wooden sign with the suggestion to RELAX. The little metal bucket and red berries are a carryover from Christmas. 

On the other end of the table is a grouping of chippy white items with a bird theme. An empty birdcage was my symbol in 2014. I like reusing these items, and remembering the significance that they held. I’ll add a small plant to the birdcage, when I purchase flowers to freshen up my red vintage box. One of my favorite signs completes this area of the porch. 


Dragonflies, another symbol from a previous year, adorn the little side table that rests next to the porch swing. The spring pillows replaced the winter ones on the swing, and I swapped out the area rug. 


Today was an excellent start to spring cleaning and switching over vignettes and décor to the lighter colors of spring and summer. 

The wind never ceased to swirl around me. I thought of the movies Mary Poppins and Chocolat, in which the wind plays an important part in the story, signifying change. That seemed an appropriate symbol on a day that I chose to put away the old and bring out the new. 

Greg sent me the cute meme, about letting go and enjoying the ride. Again, a windy day is depicted. Those repetitions and symbols are significant to me. This year is all about letting go of control and being in the flow, trusting as I journey. 

Toni Morrison agrees. She wrote, “If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.” I am surrendering. The wind is all around me, teasing me, stirring memories, inviting me to let go and play. Today it blew in a change in décor. I am open to the other invitations that the wind might carry to me. 



Surrender 95: Room

Tonight I had the opportunity to watch the third of eight Best Picture Nominated Films. Although I had intended to select Brooklyn for movie night, it wasn’t available. So I came home with Room. I admit I was a bit apprehensive about watching this movie, being familiar with the premise. But I didn’t want to back down from watching any of this year’s nominated films. I’m glad I surrendered to the moment, and to the movie. 


Room stars Brie Latson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Joan Allen, Tom McCamus and William H Macy. This drama, based on the best selling novel Room by Emma Donoghue, was directed by Lenny Abrahamson. It is rated R for language and has a run time of 1 hour and 58 minutes. 

Room was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress, for Brie Larson. She won in that category. 


Joy (Larson) is Ma to her five year old son, Jack (Tremblay). She does her best to protect him, nourish him, and educate him, reading him stories and playing games with him. They watch tv together, and sleep cuddled together at night. Jack and Ma exercise daily, cook together and observe a schedule. 

Jack is a bright and imaginative boy, articulate and curious. Their lives are familiar, in many ways. Except that life unfolds, daily, in an 11×11 foot room. 

Joy was kidnapped when she was 17 years old, by a man she calls Old Nick (Bridgers). She has been held captive for seven years, calling the shed that she lives in Room. She tells Jack often that he saved her, by being born. She does her best to create an environment that Jack can thrive in. 

But Jack is getting older, and the blurred lines between pretend and reality are creating confusion for him and desperation in Ma. 

Ma plans a daring escape, dependent on a boy who has never seen beyond the skylight in the ceiling and can’t imagine that anything exists outside the walls of Room. The plans works, and Ma is reunited with her mom (Allen) and dad (Macy), bringing her little son home at last. 

But the world has changed, while Brie was confined. Her parents are no longer married. Joy finds a new man named Leo (McCamus) in her mother’s life and home. And Joy’s father can’t bear to look at Jack.

For Jack, Outside is a confusing place, full of noise and bright light and Other People. His mother isn’t happy. She’s angry and sad and has Gone Days. Everyone is in a hurry and there’s not enough time. He misses Room and the safety of the familiar schedule that he and Ma followed. 

For Ma and Jack, their greatest difficulty may not have been escaping from Room. It may be living in the real world. 

This was a beautifully done film. I feared it would be heart wrenching to watch. But the difficult part wasn’t the life lived in Room. As horrible as that situation was, Ma created a haven there for Jack. She guarded his life, and his heart and mind. Of course, as a viewer, I wanted them to escape and I was relieved when they did. 

For me, the hardest scenes to watch were those depicting the struggles that Joy had coming back into a world that had moved on without her. She grieved for the life she lost. She became angry at her family for teaching her to “be nice”, feeling that led to her kidnapping. And she felt guilt, for keeping her young son with her in Room, rather than attempting to convince Old Nick to take him to a hospital after birth. Brie Larson well deserved her Oscar for a role full of protectiveness and imagination, angst and self doubt. 

It is little Jack, whom Jacob Tremblay portrays brilliantly, who is the heart of this story. I love how he inhabits his world completely, not realizing the smallness of it. His inventive language and his daily rituals are charming and heart touching. He misses his old life, while gingerly feeling his way into a much bigger reality. And in the end, he saves his mother a second time. 

The deeper message is evident in this film. We all have a Room, a safe place we have created to inhabit, in the midst of the challenges we have been given. We don’t notice the smallness at first, how limiting that space is, how confining. But once we choose to leave that space, leave the Room we’ve so carefully arranged, the world opens up to receive us. 

It can be scary, leaving Smallness and living  in Bigness. But there is no going back, as Ma and Jack so poignantly discover at the end of the movie. What once seemed enough and safe, becomes too small to live in, fully. Like Jack, we will know when it’s time to say goodbye to Room, and hello to a world of new experiences. 

If you aren’t certain which space you are currently living in, watch Room. 


Surrender 94: Wizard World Comic Con St Louis Part II 

The word that best describes what Dayan and I initially felt as we walked onto the floor of our first comic con was “overwhelmed”! The large convention building was packed with vendor booths, a large gaming area, a celebrity section and a photo op area. There were people everywhere, many in fantastic costumes. Dayan was actually in costume as well, as the 11th Doctor, sporting a fez and bow tie. 


Being newbies, we immediately sought out the show volunteers, easily identified by their lime green shirts! Dayan and I purchased VIP tickets for this event, which included photo ops and autographs with David Tennant and Matt Smith and first access to discussion panels. However, we didn’t know what to do with all of our tickets and where to meet at the appropriate times. I’m grateful for the kind people in green! With their help we figured out schedules and put together a time line for the day. 

After an early lunch, which turned out to be our only opportunity to eat until late that evening, we hit the convention floor in earnest. First lesson learned: grab food to eat while standing in lines. There was so much to see, so many amazing people to gawk at, that I’m surprised our necks didn’t hurt from all of our head turning. We found a replica of the TARDIS from Doctor Who to step into, talented artists selling beautiful artwork, authors of fantasy fiction, metalwork, and shops full of merchandise dedicated to specific shows. Dayan bought a Doctor Who case for his iPhone. 


 Photos with the W emblem are from the Wizard World Facebook page. They captured better photos of what was happening in St Louis than I was able to! 

Music boomed overhead, with theme songs from various movies playing frequently. And little dramas and scenes were enacted as people in character bumped into each other. Some of my favorite cosplays included a Mad Hatter and White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, the Joker, and Wolverine. Every sci-fi and fantasy movie was represented and it wasn’t unusual at all to see Cinderella walking alongside Darth Vader and the 10th Doctor. 


We only had an hour and a half to walk the floor. I know we didn’t see everything and unfortunately we didn’t make it back to booths that we wanted to inspect closer, such as a Scottish shortbread and wares shop. There wasn’t time. Second lesson learned: you need more than one day at a comic con. We did, however, get a great overview of what’s available from vendors. And walking down the celebrity row, we got our first peek at Matt Smith and Billie Piper. Also signing autographs were actors William Shatner and Lou Ferrigno. We ended up at the photo op area, where our first scheduled event was about to take place. 

 In line for our photo op

The photo op allowed each of us to have our picture taken with Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, and David Tennant, the 10th Doctor. We were excited…giddy might be a better word! This was the moment Dayan had been looking forward to, meeting his two favorite Doctors. Hundreds of other people were looking forward to the same experience. I have to admire the actors who handle these situations with such grace and good humor, as person after person steps before them for an autograph or squeezes in for a photo. I never saw their smiles waver. 

The process ran efficiently too, with the line moving smoothly and quickly through a tent where Tennant and Smith waited with the photography team. I watched, delighted, as Dayan stepped between the two Doctors for his photo. Matt reacted with glee that Dayan was dressed as his character, while David playfully swatted at Matt, in acknowledgement. The result was a perfect picture of the three of them. I’m so happy about that photo. 

Dayan exited the tent and it was my turn. I stood between these two amazing actors, an arm around each one, their arms around me, and just before the shutter clicked, I quietly said “Two of my favorite guys…” They laughed and David immediately quipped, “Two of your favorites? How about your top two favorite guys?” I laughed too and changed my remark to “Okay, my top two favorite guys…” said as I walked toward the exit. The photographer called me back, saying a bit tersely that we were talking during the photo and she wanted to retake it. “When I say ‘Ready’, stop talking,”she said. Which made us laugh harder, but I found myself back between these two fun guys, and this time, we stopped talking when the photographer said “Ready”. 

I thought I looked goofy in the photo, caught mid sentence, but what a fun moment. Dayan later said that while he got the great photo, I got the great story! Fortunately, I ended up with two photos, with the latter one, shared at the end of the blog post, being a better pic!



Dayan and I headed to our next event, autographs by Matt Smith, while the photo op concluded. We discovered that standing, or sitting, while in line, is a great opportunity for meeting fellow geeks and convention attendees. They are a friendly bunch, with stories to share. 

As we stood before Matt, 8x10s in hand to be signed, Dayan experienced another great moment. Volunteers write down your name and attach it to your choice of photos to be autographed. Dayan has an unusual name. Most people pronounce it wrong. Dayan and I waited to see how Matt would pronounce it. Matt peeled off the name sticker and as he held his sharpie ready, said, “Let’s see, this is Dayan”. He looked up at my astonished grandson. He had pronounced the name perfectly. As Dayan gave a little cheer, I informed Matt that what he had just done was rare. As Matt signed a photo for Dayan, I told him that he was Dayan’s favorite Doctor. Matt replied with a smile, “And he’s my favorite fan.”  

What a happy teen Dayan was in that moment. As Matt signed my photo he looked up and grinned. “We just did a photo shoot together,” he said. We laughed again about having to do two takes. 


Next on our schedule was a Q&A forum with Matt Smith, immediately followed by one with David Tennant and Billie Piper, who played Rose in Doctor Who. It was wonderful to sit down for a couple of hours! This gigantic ballroom was packed out, standing room only by the time they closed the doors. I was grateful for our VIP passes, which put us up near the stage. 

What a wonderful two hours of listening to Matt, and then David and Billie, as they answered questions and told stories. We laughed. We cheered and clapped. We teared up. This opportunity allowed us to see more deeply into the hearts of these three beautiful people. Each one related so well to the audience. And David and Billie have a lovely friendship, their fondness and respect for each other evident in their interactions. I felt like I got to know Matt and David and Billie, beyond being actors who have played some of my favorite characters. I learned who they are and what they enjoy and how they view life. 


Our fun day was drawing to a close. Our last event was an autograph session with David Tennant. I estimate there were four hundred or more people waiting in line as David took his place at the table. Because of the group we were assigned to, Dayan and I were near the end of the line. We stood for an hour and a half before it was our turn, and to speed the process up, David wasn’t personalizing the photos, just signing them. And yet, tired as he must have been, he still took time to speak to each person who stood before him. 

I told him how much I appreciate him and that Dayan and I have Scottish ancestry. “I’m grateful that you, as a Scotsman, so beautifully share your gifts with the world,” I said. The look on his face was priceless. He reached his hand out to me and said thank you. I turned to walk away and suddenly realized that I was still clutching my photo. In my fan girl moment, I forgot to hand him my photo to sign. He was laughing as I turn back around and said he wondered what I was doing. He signed with a flourish as we also talked about our funny photo shoot earlier in the day. In a full Scottish brogue he handed me my autographed picture and said with a smile “You go and behave yourself!” I was the one now having a very happy moment. 

 Lithographs that we received as part of our VIP packages.  

 And comic books too! 

What a great day. We were very tired, and hungry, and full of chatter as we left the comic con, which had closed as we waited in line for autographs. We created wonderful memories today,  in the further Adventures of Dayan and Yaya. I cherish that my grandson and I had the opportunity to experience comic con and the meeting of the Doctors, together.

I feel like I got the hang of comic con. I know now how it flows and what to do, and I know what to expect. That’s good, because I have other grandchildren and great nephews and nieces who, in a few years when they are a bit older, will enjoy visiting a comic con and meeting their favorite actors. And Dayan and I will do this again. Even after he starts college, we agree that it would be fun to meet in cities such as New York or even London or Edinburgh to attend comic cons together. I can’t wait. I hope the Doctors will be there. 



Surrender 93: Wizard World Comic Con St Louis Part I

I’m going to do something I’ve not done before, in my blogging. I’m posting an introductory piece with a couple of pictures tonight. Tomorrow when I’m fresh after a good night’s sleep, I’ll post a follow up with more stories, pictures and highlights from my first ever Comic Con. 

I shared previously how my 16 year old grandson Dayan and I set the intention to attend a comic con, after he was unable to go three years ago. He found out about the event late and tickets were sold out. Because we are Whovians, fans of the BBC show Doctor Who, we were interested in seeing cast members from that particular show. 

Shortly after we released the outcome of that desire, I saw that the 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant, was going to be at the St Louis Wizard World Comic Con. Billie Piper, who played the 10th Doctor’s companion Rose, was also scheduled to appear. We were excited! St Louis was close enough to be very doable. 

And then, incredibly, Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who, joined the line up. This was so amazing because Matt is the Doctor Dayan wanted to see three years ago. While I’m particularly fond of the 10th Doctor, I like Matt’s portrayal of the character too. Our excitement was boundless. 

We left Joplin at 6:30 this morning and drove four hours to get to St Louis. I’m very grateful that Greg drove us to the convention center and dropped us off, giving up his Saturday to chauffeur us.  

It was with high anticipation that Dayan and I walked into our first comic con. I’ll share about our experiences tomorrow.  We are headed back to Joplin with an ETA of 1:00 am. It’s been a long day, and Dayan is already asleep in the back seat. Oh, but the day was worth the time and the money to get here. What memories we created today! 


Surrender 92: Advice From the River

Today was one of those days where things happened, and I was swept along with the current of momentum…happily so, never quite knowing what was around the bend. It truly was a go with the flow or fight the current kind of day. 

This gorgeous Friday was bookended with events in which two of my beautiful grandchildren participated. 


The morning began with an award ceremony. I got to be present to watch Aubrey receive a SOAR award for Showing Respect…the S word in the SOAR acronym. This bright and curious child never fails to bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. Way to go, Aubrey! 

And then I had a predicament. Last night Marco the cat brought a baby rabbit home. He didn’t hurt him. He simply carried him home, much to baby bunny’s displeasure. The little guy was still young enough that his eyes were closed. I had no idea where his mother had her bunny nursery hidden, so I couldn’t return him. I called him Clive. 

Wrapped in a towel, Clive allowed me to snuggle him and eventually drank almond milk from an eye dropper. He stole my heart. And survived the night burrowed between the layers of a folded towel. However, I have to be out of town all day tomorrow and I knew he would need to eat frequently. 

I am so grateful for Main Street Pet Care. I called them and explained my situation. To my relief, they have a wildlife care program, especially designed to nurture wild animals and then release them when they are able to fend for themselves. It was a grateful but sad goodbye to Clive. 


Work claimed a good portion of my afternoon as I worked to get a listing back on the market,  after the contract on it failed to close. As a realtor, I’ve experienced such situations before. I don’t like to have a transaction fall apart, as that is very disappointing to my clients and to me as well. 

However, sometimes something good falls apart, so something better can come together. In an extraordinary way, a new contract on the same property came together in minutes this afternoon. A better contract, in every way. 

I am grateful. My clients are happy. The other agent and the buyers are thrilled. It’s a win/win all of the way around. Into that space of high energy, another contract on another property came together, in another spectacular arranging of events. My evening suddenly shifted. I would be at the computer tonight, as I am leaving for St Louis very early in the morning. 


Which meant, I was unable to attend grandson Jonathan’s talent show tonight. I was excited about the double contracts this evening, and yet bummed to miss Jonathan’s performance. This boy is a natural and gifted performer. Singing, dancing, acting…he embraces it all, with a mix of old world charm and very modern technology. 

I am very grateful that my grandson Dayan recorded Jonathan’s performance as he sang “Christ is Risen,” and the fourth grade class rendition of Evolution of Dance. It touched my heart to watch both videos. I cheered Jonathan on from home. While not the same as being present, at least I had the privilege of watching as this talented child shared his gifts with the world. 

I love what I learn from days like today: surrender, trust, stay open, stay flexible, flow, love, laugh and listen…to those around me, to my heart, to the Divine. And I remember that there is more, just around the river bend.