A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Monday, April 25, 2011

Springtime Gifts...

...and lessons learned.

I got a hint of a lesson over my winter break, and tested the hypothesis during this spring break.  It tested out as truth.  For me, anyway.

The sure way to make sure a break flies by - for me - is to waste the time.

I haven't really watched television in over a year, maybe closer to two.  Yeah, I'm in the dark during lunchroom conversations about talent shows or survival shows or the latest goings on in some office somewhere.  I loved sharing Heroes (first season) with my son.  In fact, when he suggests something I usually do love it.  Have the first season of LOST to catch up on  (but somewhere I ran across the finale secret and it kind of took the fun out of the show).  He also loves True Blood  and I got into that.  I think I'd like to finish that series this summer when I have more discretionary time.  When he learned that I am a huge Ricky Gervais fan he bought me a short-lived series called Extras.  I watched one episode and found it amusing (though not hilarious) and would also like to watch that over the summer.  But although the television is constantly on in the family room, it seems to be permanently stuck on CNN, MSNBC, sports or forensics shows.  No, thank you.  I am building a great big life, and there is no worse way to watch time pass me by than by plugging my brain into that drain.

So, as a reminder to myself of what a satisfying spring break felt like (a truly restorative break that felt like much longer than a week), here's how I spent my time:

Saturday:  Every other Saturday for the last four (or is it five?) years I've spent Saturday with my mom and my sister at my mom's house in a neighboring town.  We might work on scrapbooks or Mom and I might work on embroidery.  Sis usually uses the time to sort through the flotsam of her personal and professional lives (mail, paperwork, photos and so on).  There's always the group perusal of Mom's weekly cache of catalogs.  But mostly it's just a time for the three of us women to get caught up, get advice and get support.  It has been a dramatic year on several levels and so, for me, the time has been especially important.

The first day of my break was Saturday the 16th.  I used the time to finish a wallhanging that had been hanging over my head (figuratively speaking) for a few years.  It's done and hanging in my sanctuary.

Temporarily, since I have no more wall space, but I enjoy it from my bed when I wake up in the morning so it will stay on the cabinet for a while.

I also changed out buttons on a couple of blouses that had been riding around in my car for a year (to remind me to stop at a fabric store).  Of course, the blouses are almost too big (yay, me) to wear now, but I'll get some use out of them here this spring.  Then I'll take the gorgeous buttons off and put them on something that is my new size when I finish the healthier me project.

As we returned from the fabric store, my sister-in-law drove up and parked in front of Mom's house.  She seemed a bit flustered, and once settled around Mom's big dining table (operation central for these Saturday events) she explained that she had been reading this book

and had decided it was my book.  Later, after a few chapters, I wrote to her that she was so right, and I was loving it.  (Actually, what I did was post "Yes." on facebook.  She knew what I meant.)  Later she said (or rather, posted on facebook) that she'd never had such a strong knowledge - from the first sentence to the last - that a book was meant for a particular person and it was all she could do to hurryhurryhurry finish it so she could hand it over.  By the end of the next day I had ordered the other she recommended by Lamott, Bird by Bird, for my kindle.

Sunday:  Into the garden.

I was able to spend both Sunday and Tuesday in garden therapy.  Our letter carrier (he's been our carrier over thirty years now) came by and saw me working for the second day in the flowers and  said, "Debi, don't you get to have any fun on your break?"  I could only smile and say, "This IS fun for me!"  I guess it's impossible to explain to a non-gardener what it means to play in the dirt.  What does it say about me that I love to weed?  That I find it, at the same time, sensuous and empowering.  And the feeling of victory to watch plants flower and set seed all over my yard?  Indescribable.

Brugmansia in bloom again, hydrangeas almost there.  Potted several into larger pots, then fed, so am hopeful for a good show here by summer.

I bought this passion vine at Annie's Annuals (via mail order).  She "said" that it would cover a trellis this size in two years.  Last year it was a baby in a four-inch pot.  By the end of that summer it was one stem about four feet long.  This will be the third different variety of passion vine I've tried on this trellis, and I was not too hopeful after that first season that it would actually survive.  But, I guess it is living up to the old saying about perennials:  First year weep, second year creep, third year leap.  In fact, it's doing a bit better.  This is its second year and it's doing the third year leap thing.  I'm hopeful for fritillaries this summer.

As I am hopeful about this vine.  Barely visible on my left view of this trellis is a Dutchman's Pipe vine, host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail.  This butterfly is pretty rare in these parts, although if you're going to find one in SoCA, it will be around here.  I bought this vine last summer in a 1-gallon pot.  I don't know if it went dormant over the winter (still in its pot) or if it was just pouting.  I planted it (just a stick with one bloom, actually) a few weeks ago and it is taking off.  It may make it to the top of the trellis this year.  Pipevine Swallowtails are gorgeous butterflies and I will be dancing through the fairy garden if I am able to attract one.

Monday:  I had a nearly perfect day at Disneyland.  Got a late start so had heavier traffic than usual, but every time I needed a space, a big one would be there for me.  In the parking structure I got to park next to the escalators.  No wait for trams, no wait for security and only a tiny wait for admission.  Got my picture taken with Mickey (already shared that) and saw my favorite show, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, from the second floor.

Had a great Pizza Port salad and iced tea for lunch.  By then I had walked from Space Mountain to Toon Town to Frontierland and back to Space Mountain.  My hip is giving me problems again and the pain shot from hip to ankle, so I tucked in at the Refreshment Corner with lunch to listen to some great piano.

It was at the end of the day that I learned an important lesson.  A friend is not secretive.  A friend does not obfuscate.  A friend is not hypocritical.  With the definitive click of a tiny key in a tiny lock, I said goodbye to someone that I thought was a friend but who was, in reality, all of these things with me.  But a guide can still give gifts, even while being all of these things.  And this guide put me on a lovely path, for which I will always be grateful.  And because the day had gone so perfectly, I accepted this final act in a weird (for me) life play as the appropriate conclusion.

And walked away at peace.

Tuesday:  More lovely hours in the garden. 

Apricot Chiffon CA poppy.  First bloom this season.

 Geum "Totally Tangerine" and "Blazing Sunset"

 Rose "About Face"
Wednesday:  Spent a couple of hours back in conversation with Mom.  Then, when she had to leave for her social activities, moved onto her embankment for some heavy-duty weeding.  Fortunately, my SIL came over to help and the time flew by as we grabbed and gabbed the rest of the morning and early afternoon away.  We did as much as we could (all the garden waste receptacles were full), then she returned home to work as a tutor.  I cleaned up a little, changed clothes and tucked into the empty house for an hour of silent bliss.  I read for a while, then allowed myself to doze, then read some more.  When Mom got home she treated to pizza for dinner, then I came back in time for the intermediate session of my clogging class.

Thursday:  I only see my ophthalmologist every two years, but last year my father's death by cancer pushed that appointment right out of my mind.  I felt lucky that they were able to squeeze me into a 7:40 AM appointment.  The good news is that my eyes are healthy and stable.  And I guess it's good news that my cataract in my right eye hasn't gotten any worse.  I would not have minded having surgery to get rid of this "dirty" business, but he says I'm not ready.  Since I trust Stuart Winthrop completely, I will tolerate this.

After that appointment, I was dropped at Barnes & Noble for a couple of hours.  I've already posted my adventure there and will only emphasize how lovely it was to have time to browse and wander and be excited about what I was able to find.  More by Anne Lamott.  I'd been reading Bird by Bird on my kindle in between piano sets at Disneyland, but ended up buying my own hard copy to that I could highlight and tab.

Once home I puttered around The Sanctuary (a name my sister gave to my lovely, restful room) and started reading Traveling Mercies, another Anne Lamott that I got at Barnes and Noble.  So far, two-and-a-half books in, her books have restored my faith in "just one more chapter."

Friday:  Friday I did some cleaning.  I had invited my SIL and a friend to lunch and a garden tour.  I'm trying to let go of the idea that every surface has to shine before I can have friends over.  Because, the reality is, with that as my standard, I never have friends over.  So, I did some cleaning.  Swept Dodger's dust elephants from the baseboards and ran the electric broom on the bare floors.  Vacuumed the sanctuary and hallway.  Did dishes.  Cleaned the stove.  Then went shopping for groceries for lunch and Easter.  managed to keep quite busy without wearing myself out.

Later that afternoon, I found the post for "Paint your toenails pink 4/29/11" on facebook. I am incensed at the furor over this sweet little picture, but mostly because "their" message is that it's somehow not OK for each of us to live our lives happily as ourselves, whoever that self turns out to be.  Painting a boy's toenails pink is not going to "turn" him into anything (except maybe a happy child who remembers that fun day that his mommy painted his toenails to match hers and they had a good laugh together).  On the other hand, a transgender boy is blessed if he has a mom who lovingly accepts "her" as she is and will teach "her" to paint her nails. 

Anyway, I wanted to show my support by painting my toenails pink.  This required another trek to the drugstore for polish (I rarely paint my toenails and when I do, I have a great red that does the job for me).  Once my toes were painted I took their picture and posted it.  At that moment my "baby," almost 30 and 6'6" of straight male, showed up on facebook.  "Hey, may I paint your toenails pink?"  He wanted to know what was up, and after I told him he went to do his own homework.  As incensed as I, he suggested we re-create the photo.

We did our best and had a blast doing it.  Posted it and it seemed to make some folks happy, so it was worth the effort.  Later he posted his own picture of his size 14s with pink toenails with the caption, "Ah, shit - now I'm transgender."  I love this guy!

Saturday:  Replaced the broken toilet seat in the morning, did a tad more cleaning, then settled in for the fun of company for lunch.  Got to enjoy showing off my guests to my flowers, then ate a delicious (albeit mis-cooked) quiche and salad lunch.  GREAT conversation was the best part.

They left a little after 3:00, and I found myself in the delightful (and rare) position of having a whole afternoon and evening ahead of me with the housework and yard work done.  Studiously ignoring the fact that I had not been to the gym all week, I decided to take a nap.  Not a falling-asleep-at-the-computer nap.  Not a reading-until-sleep-overtakes-me nap.  This was a go-get-a-blanket-and-snuggle-in nap.  Zonked for over an hour with birdsong outside the window.
I was still feeling pretty mellow that evening, and after a dinner of leftover green salad and chocolate Easter eggs, settled in with some handwork, facebook and Pirates of the Caribbean (not too romantic, not too violent, not too heavy, great music) on dvd.

Sunday:  Easter is so much fun when your kids are little, but I figured my baby (with the pink toenails) was pretty much over it.  Until he and his girlfriend settled in Sunday morning to color eggs while I put together my contributions for the potluck Easter dinner scheduled at Mom's.  We had a great dinner and visit (and too much dip and chip and chocolate for me to be comfortable with WW coming up on Thursday).

I got home early enough last night to enjoy my international friends on facebook for a while, then tucked in early with Lamott's Traveling Mercies until I fell asleep.

Today I have paperwork for school to do, so in a way I'm easing my way back into work.

My only complaint about having such a terrific spring break?  Now I can't wait for summer! Seven weeks.  Some fun stuff coming between now and then, including a fun day at Disneyland on Saturday (this time with Mom, sis and nephew).

This time last year I had already suffered some wallops by life, and we were well into my father's death.  By the time he went to the doctor for back pain (which he had battled all his adult life) he was in stage four pancreatic cancer that had already metastasized throughout his body, including to his brain.  It was a horrible time that led me, eventually, to what will turn out to be the best time of my life.  I've been feeling odd about that perception.  Then, this morning, I read this in Traveling Mercies It turned out that this man worked for the Dalai Lama.  And he said--gently--that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born--and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.  I don't think Ms. Lamott has written enough to satisfy me, but I look forward to the journey through what she has produced.

Something is being born.  It may be me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


...a finish.

This has been languishing for years needing only binding and a hanger.  I am DETERMINED to finish projects this year.  What had been holding me up on this one was that I couldn't find any more of the barnwood fabric - or anything that would go with that weird greenish-brown color - for the binding.  Then I took the time to carefully go through my stash and found some leftover pieces of it from when I made the quilt.

 Pattern was from Bee Creative Studio - Nancy Davis Murty - but I just checked the site and she doesn't seem to be offering it now.  I'm happy with this finish.

Now, if I only had an empty wall to hang it on.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


in Barnes & Noble.

This morning I was left alone in the Barnes & Noble. Trapped for two hours.  With feelings and words blowing through me like a balmy spring breeze.

With a credit card.

I went soul shopping.

My sister-in-law, who enriched my life Saturday when she handed me Anne Lamott's Grace Eventually, delivered her stack of Lamott novels on Wednesday.  And I had already finished reading Bird by Bird (which is, according to SIL - a writer herself - in the top three books for writers) on the kindle. 

Sometimes it's frustrating being so kinesthetic.  I'm grateful for the kindle words, but my skin screams for paper nap and the faint fragrance of ink and paint.  So I am delighted that I was able to put my sensually deprived fingers on a hard copy of Bird by Bird.  I can't wait for the re-read with highlighter and sticky tabs.  Also added Lamott's Traveling Mercies and Plan B to the stack.

At this point I was starting to feel pretty emotional about the day.  It was about 10:00 AM and already I had scored good news at the ophthalmologist in Santa Barbara (healthy eyes, stable vision, good conversation with the man who has been caring for my eyes for thirty years now) and my heart's desire in the bookshelves.  I headed downstairs in B&N to go see if they had a copy of my favorite cross stitch series from the UK and again struck gold.  The current issue (at least here in the States) of Cross Stitch Favourites is devoted to baby designs.

By now that spring breeze of emotions and words had picked up velocity. I was craving something to write in.  I headed over to the journal section.  Nothing expensive, mind you.  Just a tablet, really, something to tuck into the cafe with for the duration of my imprisonment.  Just something cheap to dash a few words onto.  That's all I wanted.

Until I saw this.

from The Spirit of Flight by Josephine Wall (Paper Pauper Press).  Journal available at Barnes & Noble.

I recognized the new myself.  The new me that fills sometimes with joy and thrills with life.  The me that feels that energy from around me blow through, dropping words and feelings and images off on its way.  I recognized my space, filled with butterflies and dragonflies and faeries fly.  And birds and other things with wings.  (Like the ladybugs who have decided that my overgrown front yard is the perfect place to raise their young.  The city may send us a nasty letter, but ladybugs come first.)

This is a yes journal.  I picked it up and the deal was sealed when I felt that it was embossed - front and back covers.  The eagle. The butterflies and dragonfly and faeries fly.  Leaves and flowers.  All a gift to the fingertips.

She is mine.

I think most of the people who know me would be surprised that I have all that color and movement and delight inside me.  I come across as pretty quiet.  Looking at her, there in the bookstore, I was reminded of a friend at work.  We share our struggles with weight.  Her story is not mine to tell, but I will note that she has her reasons for hanging onto her excess weight just as I had mine for most of my adult life.  We share a frustration with others who don't bother to look past our size to see all that is inside.

I celebrated my first day of Spring Break at Disneyland, and made a point of going to get a photo taken with Mickey.  I celebrated a weight loss milestone.  50 pounds lost, halfway to my goal.  I had given myself three years - at 30 pounds a year - to get down 100 pounds and I'm halfway through the journey.  Some progress photos for myself, but you are welcome to check them out, too.

Ready, set...


Getting there.  Feeling so much better.  More energy.  More stamina.  Back to clogging, which I didn't think I would ever be able to do again.

 50 pounds down!

 For what it's worth (and it's worth a lot to me), the key was figuring out that I wasn't unhappy because I was fat, I was fat because I was unhappy.  I used The Artist's Way to get to the why, and continue to write to work my way through it.  It's not always fun and it's not always easy, but it's always enlightening and empowering.

 Progress amazes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lost: Friend


So, I lost a friend Monday.  For once and for all.  For good.  Irreversibly.  Forever.  Finis.


This doesn't happen much.  Actually,  aside from one boyfriend who dumped me for another girl who would put out when I wouldn't, I don't think anyone has ever not been my friend anymore.  Oh, I've grown apart from friends.  Moved away and lost touch.  And I've had people get mad at me (as I have with them), but we've usually been able to work our ways back together eventually.

For the most part, people think I'm nice.  I have always been nice.  So nice that another boyfriend let me keep the watch when I tried to give it back.

Which is why this loss is more confusing than anything. I have no idea what the real problem is.  I mean, when someone is telling you on one hand that you're nice and they like you, and at the same time they are practically making the sign of the cross with their index fingers, it's hard to figure out the comings and goings.  And when they alternate said sign on one encounter with cordial conversation on the next, it's impossible to interpret.

I do know this, however.  I hurt.

How did I deal?  I pulled spring grass and planted gerbera daisies and lobelia and violas.  I deadheaded the roses.  And filled the hummingbird feeders for the first time this spring.  Poor babies.

And I wrote. Writing has helped the most.

I finished Artist's Way recently, and one of the last things Julia Cameron said was to do the mending.  I replaced buttons on a blouse and am mending the garden.  But I wondered if mending the clothing was a metaphor for mending relationships, and I tried with this one.  It didn't work.

This, too, shall pass.

Part Two

Want more.

I love it when this happens.  I have finished Anne Lamott's Grace Eventually.  (See prior post to learn how it came to me and how this is absolutely my book and thank you, Ms. Lamott, for writing this book just for me.  I don't know how you support yourself and your son on what you make creating books for one person at a time, but I am appreciative.)

What I love about this happening is that there are already more books out there for me to read.  To catch up.

I couldn't wait, though.  I ordered this one...

...for my kindle and took it to Disneyland with me yesterday.

Yes, can you imagine?  I spent the late afternoon and as long as the light held (because the kindle does not have a light) between ragtime piano sets reading.

The Magic Kingdom is open to all the various forms of magic, you know?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


in literature.

My sister-in-law loaned me a book.  She said it is perfect for me.

This is scary.

I love my SIL.  In many ways she is my best friend.  My champion.  We have much in common, not the least of which is a life-long love of reading.  But our reading (and movie) preferences are much different.  I hate it when I don't like something she recommends, or when I recommend something she doesn't like.

After all, when we recommend a book to someone, aren't we saying, "I loved this.  I want you to love it, too, and then we can spend delicious hours in conversation about what we loved."

And so we're disappointed when it doesn't work out.  Kind of like a blind date gone wrong.

I have an added fear when someone recommends a book.  I seem to be losing my ability to become immersed in what I read.  Nicholas Carr writes about the phenomenon in his book, The Shallows.  Or maybe it's just adult onset ADD; I will look forward all day to crawling into bed early - 9:30 PM, 9:00, 8:30 - so that I can read for a while.  Within paragraphs my mind wanders, flitting from the latest cross stitch pattern to the flowers blooming in the Fairy Garden to the school papers still to be graded to plans for the weekend.  Hours later I wake up with the book still propped in front of me, light still burning.  I check the page to see where I left off and realize I lost it after only two or three paragraphs.


Imagine my delight when - relatively done in (having only had a few hours sleep the night before, thanks to my idiot dog) - I picked up my newly borrowed "perfect for me" book to put in my usual two paragraphs before dropping off and found myself saying "Just one more chapter" for the first time in years.  And then, on a glorious SoCA spring morning with the siren's call of a happy list (the length of my forearm) of garden chores echoing through the room, I found myself heeding the other echo instead.

Just one more chapter.  And then another.

And the winner is...

Maybe there's hope.

Here's the stack from the nightstand.

Summer reading?  The next several summers, probably.  There is, still, that tempting garden.  And the gym.  And the road.  And people I love.  Music to hear, fun to be had.

But the stack sings its own song.

Someday I will post how the dominoes of synchronicity toppled and led me to Deepak Chopra's The Way of the Wizard.  For now I will simply say that because they fell as they did, Mr. Chopra will be next after Ms. Lamott.

Choosing from the rest will be a challenge.  Some were begun, loved and interrupted.  Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle will be among the first, I think.  All the Julia Cameron books are workbooks for me, to continue the journey begun so happily through Artist's Way.  Gregory McGuire (of the fabulous Wicked) caught my $$$ as I browsed the first three paragraphs of The Next Queen of Heaven, only to lose me to strife-of-life issues; it may be time to see how her majesty is doing.  Some on the stack - like The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak -  are recommendations that I would love to love so that I can enjoy those conversations.  I bought Sam Houston by James L. Haley to learn why his marriage to his first wife was so short-lived, only to fall in love with the man;  I would like to finish that biography.  But, it's hard to resist the colorful Calamity Jane.

On top of the stack is my kindle, a device I never wanted but was a thoughtful and generous gift that I am learning has its advantages.  Its portability can't be beat.  It's loaded with classics that I am just now, as I approach a milestone birthday, starting to appreciate.  All the poetry of Emily Dickinson, essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the novels of Jane Austen (I've read Pride and Prejudice a dozen times, but none of her others.)  Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson was recommended by a respected friend and I'm loving it.  My Cameron-to-go is God is No Laughing Matter.  And now Ms. Lamott's Bird by Bird nests there, ready for my next unexpected pause on the run.  The nice thing about the kindle is that I can have in my purse at all times something that will suit my mood.  If Austen doesn't, perhaps Anderson will.

So, what would you choose?

Saturday, April 16, 2011



If you take the time to watch the Eric Whitacre TED video I've just posted you'll get the joke.

I missed this when it went viral on youtube.  In case you did, too, here it is for all of us.

I think this is what hope for our world looks - and sounds - like.  I like it that the geeks will be the ones to save humanity.  (Tip to Matt Harding, too.)

Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong | Video on TED.com

Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong | Video on TED.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reflections on my brain...

and the joys of the internet.

I was a silent child.  It was in the days when "children should be seen and not heard," so I was considered perfect.  Just ask my mother.

For most of my life I have preferred to listen rather than participate.  I've checked it off to being incredibly shy.  But recently I've come to another conclusion.

Education is in a crisis around the world.  I tend to focus on what's happening in my own district, but when a friend in France talks about what is happening in her children's school district it sounds eerily familiar.  Recently I overheard our special education teachers talk about new certification that will be required of teachers who wish to work with students with autism.  Because of the expense and time required to get this certification, most of the SPED teachers are saying they will not take the coursework.  Amazingly, regular education teachers - like me - do not need this certification.  So, students with autism can, apparently, be removed from the smaller SPED classes and placed in larger regular ed classes with teachers who have NO training to work with them.


In an attempt to get some clue to how to help these kids if they are so "fortunate" as to be assigned to my class, I went on an internet hunt to learn about autism and ran across an article about adults with (high functioning) autism.

It was describing me!

I was actually quite relieved.  It has always bugged me that I'm no good in a word fight - my brain just shuts down.  Random thoughts bounce around inside my skull and I can't  collect them together.  I've learned that some people with autism react by bursting out inappropriately, but my response is to shut down and retreat.  Oh, give me a few hours, a few days, and I'm ready to get back in the ring (as long as my opponent stays on my script).  But unplanned verbal altercations?  Uncle.

And I have not been able to conquer my shyness.  Am completely socially retarded when it comes to mixing and schmoozing.  Am much happier by myself than in crowds.  Let me loose on something that appeals to me for an hour and I may come back in five or six.  And I love to organize - it's one of my strongest gifts, in fact.

I'm better than I was, thanks to friends.  One of my friends turned me onto Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and I've written myself into a much happier place.  Put me into a stress situation, however (like reading in front of a couple of dozen future Pulitzer winners in writing class) and it feels like all the wiring is short circuiting in my head.

The article said that adults with autism prefer writing to verbal conversation.  Are more comfortable with email and text messages.  yesyesyesyes.  Which is why I'm addicted to facebook.  My friends and family are there and I can "visit" in a way that gives me the few seconds I need to organize my thoughts into something coherent.

I've been amazingly lucky to build friendships with people who have been willing to overlook my social awkwardness long enough to recognize my good points (yes, they're there).  I am well-loved and am so appreciative.

I went hunting for an image for this post (I like colorful blogs) and had to snag this one.  For one of my writing class assignments I wrote about growing out of the box (I've listed some of the blogs of people who are helping me continue this process).  Clearly I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Don't know...

...why this.

But, choose it I did.  A little progress tonight.