What it Means to Be A Team

I’ve been part of team in many different capacities. Whether it was as a member of a sports team or as a member of a team working on a group project in school or work, I learned some of the most valuable life lessons working as a team.

In sports, I was on a team as a player and as a coach, each very different experiences which I learned valuable lessons. The most incredible part for me was watching young athletes learn and develop their skills and watch the confidence build inside them. I coached girls’ lacrosse for six years when my daughter was in elementary school and they were some of the most rewarding days of my life. I loved working with those kids and watching them grow not only in the sport but as individuals too. I think that exposing children to being on some sort of team is important. It teaches them how to work together which is a valuable life lesson. It doesn’t have to be a sports team either since there are many opportunities in school where you have to work on a group project for academic classes.

Being on a team teaches people crucial skills about cooperating, communicating, and connecting with other people. It doesn’t matter whether its a two-person team or a team with 22 people or more, members of the team have to be able to listen to one another, be willing to be open to new ideas or ways to accomplish the team’s common goal. There’s a beauty in watching people work together, whether it’s on the athletic fields or the workplace.

The Washington Monument
Washington Monument

This stands in stark contrast to the teams of politicians which is our government. That’s not pretty to watch at all. Our government should be run more like a team, all working towards one common goal. Instead they act more like they are on opposite teams rather than on the same team, failing to listen to each other, or the American people. Perhaps if they were able to cooperate better with one another, communicate better with each other and check their egos at the door (a good place to start would be to stop calling themselves leaders when they are actually our representatives); they’d be able to connect better with each other and get things done.

Currently, sports teams across the world on every level are on the sidelines quietly waiting as the world’s attention is turned towards the teams of medical professionals fighting the virus which has paralyzed our world. These are the teams that on a daily basis work together to save lives. They did before the outbreak and they will continue to afterwards.

It’s too bad it took a pandemic for the world to pay attention to these all too important teams. These are the teams that are performing acts of heroism every single day to no particular fanfare other than from those families they may have touched individually. If I was still living in New York City or Boston, I would be one the people who every night at 7pm – raise up their windows and applaud and cheer for the heroic teams of today, the teams of medical professionals who are the front lines of this battle. These are the teams that I admire the most in today’s world. These are the teams that we should all be so thankful for their tenacity in working towards accomplishing their one common goal – to save lives. To save our lives and the ones we love.

We Clap Because We Care

This post is post in response to Discover Prompts: Day 27, Team

Three Things Challenge: Silent, Evening, Eerie

The streets of every major city in the evenings are usually bustling with life. People filling the sidewalks on their way home, stopping for drinks with a friend or colleague, grabbing groceries on the way home to cook that night. Buses and taxis used to be filled with passengers slowly making their way through the trafficked arteries of every city. You could hear the heartbeat of the every city – loud and clear.

But now there is an invisible threat that has set upon everyone of us around the world. A virus that has separated and isolated us from one another. The rural areas are quieter than they once were. Towns and villages equally reticent now. But the most noticeable are the silent streets of cities like Athens, Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Never before and hopefully never again we will witness these eerie scenes of emptiness devoid of life.

This my entry for the Pensitivity 101 3 Things Challenge writing prompt.

Slick

We sat 12 feet apart having our coffee together this morning in the workshop where he’s in quarantine. I looked out the window as he fetched his phone from the music studio where I dragged a bed into last week. He wants to tell me about an article he had read earlier. Usually these conversations would be had next to each other in bed with my head on his chest and our legs entwined. We were unavoidably separated last week – he was home now – thank God.

Marley and Mark, the morning patrol earlier in the winter

The grass looked frosty, I thought as I brought the mug up for another sip. I was already on my second cup of the day and it was only 6:45am. The driveway would be slick when he and Marley head down to open the gate later. Icicles had formed overnight on the bird feeders. I thought the rain sounded more solid than liquid last night as I fell asleep listening to the tink, tink, tink on the window.

This is my entry of the Ragtag Daily Prompt for Monday, March 30, 2020 – Slick

Dear Future Grandchildren

Dear grandchildren, You are not even glimmers in your parents’ eyes yet; however, I’m sure you are there somewhere. I’m an optimist, although I think some of our family members would laugh that I think so.

I’m sure it’s very difficult for your parents right now as we are weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope your generation won’t ever have to live through one. They are scary and overwhelming – even for the grown ups. Who sometimes don’t always act so grown up in trying times like these. However, history has a way of repeating itself, so sit up and pay attention and read your history and learn from it! Just be careful of your sources , there is so much disinformation out there, at least right now in this moment in time.

There are a few things I would like you all to keep in mind going forward and share with my eventual great grandchildren and so forth.

  1. Life is hard and can be unfair at times. You do your best.
  2. Listen to people when they are talking to you. Listening is a valuable skill and do not think about what you’re going to say next while they are talking – that’s not listening! and it’s rude! That includes “multitasking” while listening to someone, like checking your email or playing a game while someone is talking to you. Don’t be rude.
  3. If you still have cell phones -turn them off at home and pay attention to your family – cook together, play games. Your parents have me playing Hangman during our quarantine and it’s really fun!
  4. People can be stupid, even intelligent people.
  5. Learn how to weld, sew, cook and fix things with your own hands.
  6. Read for enjoyment and read to learn.
  7. Be a good friend and treat them the same way you want them to treat you. If they don’t treat you the same way you treat them – they aren’t worth your time.Move on.
  8. Be polite, use your manners.
  9. Be kind but be vigilant in life. Unfortunately, not all people are good and have kind hearts. Some people are evil and have bad intentions which brings me to my next point.
  10. Always trust your gut. Your mind and your heart can send you mixed signals and sometimes lead us in the wrong direction. But your gut is usually spot on.
  11. Keep a well stocked pantry and freezer at all times. You never know when there may be a storm or in our case pandemic that keeps you inside for long periods of time and can’t get to the store the way you used to. Which brings me to my next point…
  12. Know how to grow your own food. it doesn’t have to be all of it. But the more you grow on your own the less you’re dependant on the food chain. I learned a long time ago when I was a research analyst how vulnerable our food chain is. I have the highest respect for our nation’s farmers. They are No.1 in my book but if more people grew some of their own food, it would be some much better and safer in my opinion. It’s simple and easy to do. You don’t need a lot of space even. I should know that’s what I decided to do after covering all those agribusiness stocks when I worked as a research analyst. I’ve been teaching people how to start growing their own food for 8 years now with your Great Opa. We have enjoyed working together in all the gardens, teaching people of all ages how to start their gardens and maintain them. Your Great Opa likes to call us Garden Coaches. I hope you are not all living in the city, however I’m sure one or two of you have been enticed by the big city life. If you are you should still grow some of your own greens. You can use a Tower Garden with lights – it takes up no room at all and I’m sure by your generation they will have so many more designs.

Family is so important. which brings me to

13. Cherish your family but know that sometimes you may find yourself in situations where you may have to get tough and even possibly walk away forever from a family member. There’s a fine line and again this is where your heart can lead you astray and why I you need to pay attention to #10.

I grew up in the city. I was born and raised there and my heart breaks for the 517 New Yorkers in the 5 boroughs who have lost their lives so far and their families. Some whole families have been lost to this invisible threat and worldwide today so far 652,079 cases with 30,313 deaths with 121,117 cases here in the United States with 2010 deaths thus far. I won’t continue with all the details but suffice it to say I don’t believe the worst is over yet. Time will tell as it does so well. I assume by your generation you will be dealing with another new viral threat which is also why I thought I should pass along these pearls of wisdom.

I used to think it was Charles Darwin that said “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” As it turns out a business professor named Leon C. Megginson who was interpreting Darwin’s work, “On the Origin of Species”. A perfect example of how the internet can repeated repeat inaccuracies and falsities. Check and recheck. Don’t be part of the problem. Regardless, I believe you should remember the lesson the words teach us. The ones who survive are the ones who are able to adapt.

14. Things change – that’s part of life and it can be a good part of life. But sometimes it can be not so good either. You make do with what you have and I’m not just talking about material goods – like the ones I mentioned earlier in your hopefully well stocked pantry. No, I mean you have to accept that life will constantly put hurdles in your way. Personally, professionally, or in our case globally. Whatever the scale. You must be flexible and adapt to the the new landscape before you. You may have to bob and weave a few times as the initial changes are being made and worked out, but remain flexible. Your life will depend on it.

15. Take care of your health -it’s really the key to having a good life. Stay active but be safe. Don’t take it for granted. You don’t know everything – this is especially important if you are between the ages of 16 to 25, maybe 30 for the boys. You’re bodies are also not invincible and anything you do in your younger years, you most likely will feel in your older years. That is unless medicine has advanced so much as to be able to regenerate our deteriorated and torn apart areas of our bodies.So stay in good health. That includes your mental health which is why I also recommended #18 and 19 also. People have a way of taking things like their health for granted. People unfortunately have a way of also taking other people for granted which isn’t good. That would be #16 – don’t take friends and family for granted.

17. Be your own best friend first that way you can be a good friend to others. Learn how to spend time with yourself , be able to entertain yourself.

18. Keep learning new things no matter your age. Whether it be learning how to paint or speak a new language. Just open your mind and keep learning.

19. Spend time in the woods with the trees and the rocks. They have been around much longer than us and will remain long after we are all gone. Feel them, touch them, smell them. Listen to the wind in the leaves. Meditate out there. Hopefully the mountain house will still be in the family for you to enjoy. If I hope you have a place for from a city that’s heavily populated. Which brings me to my next point.

20. Always have options. It’s best to give yourself has many options to choose from in this life. Sometimes our options are limited but plan properly (#21) and don’t procrastinate (#22).

21. Take care of the land and the environment around you. Our generation has struggled with this – my prayers are by your generation we will have done a better job of figuring things out. Particularly given our collective timeout we are all on. Live sustainably and don’t be wasteful. Compost your food scraps and use them in your garden.

Currently it’s like Mother Nature has put the world on a collective time-out. I used to put your parents on a time-out when they were little and misbehaved. Covid-19 was first prominent in China in December but I read one report that said the first report could have been as early as November 17th. As more and more people get sick, entire countries have had to shut down businesses with orders to Stay At Home. Many people are able to work from home but many are not. It’s a scary time for people.

On the flip side the canals in Venice have cleared in the weeks since they have had to stop the commercial boating traffic that used to congest the Grand Canal on a daily basis. China’s air is cleaner too according to satellite imagery. So as the Earth heals, the humans continue to sicken. The invisible threat weaving its way through societies across the world. Unfortunately many thousands have died and we have no idea when we will turn a corner.

Unfortunately, some people don’t listen as well as others and some people have unknowingly spread the virus. That’s why I repeat #2 Listen and also why I mentioned #4 some people are stupid.

22. Open your heart to a dog (or cat – although I’m not a cat person at all) but to each their own. Having a fur friend to take care of helps you live a better life. A dog is always happy to see you when you come home from a hard day and that can make a world of difference to your mental health. Let animals into your world – dog, cat, rabbit, goat, pig, horse, bird. Pets can teach us so many different things about ourselves and life in general.

23. Always be honest. It’s crucially important for you to be honest. First and foremost always be honest with yourself. It may sound like a ridiculously simple concept but there are so many people who swim in the waters of denial.

24. Have friends and meet new people – all the while keeping a vigilant eye.

25. Open your heart to another and love. Find someone whom you can share your life with – the good and the bad. It’s easier when you have someone to help take the weight when it gets too heavy. Find someone who makes you a better version of who you already are. Someone who compliments you and I don’t mean your ego, but there is that too on occasion.

Well that’s all I have for you right now. Remember the lessons in this letter. Live them. They should serve you well.

All my eternal love, Your Yaya Xine

p.s. No. 26 Travel when you can- but do so safely. We have so much we can all learn from one another and from other cultures. But be aware when we travel that we can spread disease. So my final lesson I leave you with No. 27 practice safe hygiene. It can and will save your life and the lives of others.

This is my entry for Saumya Agrawal’s Let’s Write Letters

A Little Something

There is something in all of us which drives us. Driving us forward each day of our lives.

We aren’t always happy, nor are we sad. We just keep going forward. Something drives us forward. Some may be able to pinpoint that little something and be able to put it in to words. Others just feel it.

Curiosity drives us forward, propels us up and down paths we never knew existed. Scientists are driven forward to find the answers. They are curious beings constantly driven to discover and understand more. Thank God for the scientists. I am not a scientist.

Engineers work towards building the instruments and tools needed to further the science. They got us to the moon and back and beyond now. They’ve done what we never thought possible – yet. Something inside someone drove their curiosity forward. Thank God for the engineers. I am not an engineer.

There was a little something inside Jonas Salk which propelled him forward with his research to find a cure for polio. Thank God for people like Jonas Salk. I am not Jonas Salk.

There is a little something inside the people of Italy – besides the horrid coronavirus. A little something which will propel them forward, over the bell curve. A little something which can be seen in snippets on the internet of a country. People standing on balconies and hanging out windows singing, playing music, coming together despite having to be all be in isolation. Resilience.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

There is little something inside all of us and hopefully that little something will help us all get through these wild, weird and difficult times. Whether dealing with a daily family crisis, global pandemic or both, there is a little something inside each of us, we just have to dig deep. Perhaps, some may have to dig a little deeper than others to find that little something, but it’s there. If we just keep digging, we’ll find it.

Stay healthy everyone!

This is my entry for Ragtag Daily Prompt:  https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/rdp-sunday-something/

This is also my entry for Putting My Feet in the Dirt March 15 Writing Prompt https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2020/03/01/march-2020-writing-prompts/

Quest

During our lifetime, we are all on some sort of quest or another. A search for something. From the time we are born our very first quest begins, the quest for knowledge. What’s this? What’s that? What does this taste like? What does this mean? What does that mean?

The word ‘quest’ originates, according to Dictionary.com, back 1275-1325 Middle English. It was a derivation from the Old French word ‘quester’ which emerged from the Latin ‘quaerere’, meaning ‘to seek’. We are constantly seeking something.

There have been quests undertaken by mankind throughout our short history. From the knights and their quest for the Holy Grail to the men and women of NASA who successfully achieved their quest to explore our moon. Their successors continuing to explore further into our expanding universe in that ultimate and never ending quest for knowledge that we all have to know what’s out there and are we alone.

We are curious beings. We want to know more about everything. Our thirst for knowledge unquenched is one of our most powerful quests constantly driving us.

Life can be difficult. We are all on a roller coaster which we don’t control the steep highs and lows and velocity of speed at which things are thrown at us. We just have to hold on. Some people like to have their eyes open – others shut tight. I keep mine open – WIDE OPEN. Trying to see what’s coming ahead so I can prepare myself somehow. The quest for control as powerful the one for knowledge. The two go hand in hand, knowledge is power and power helps give you control.

A few years ago we moved from living in Connecticut full time to living in New Hampshire. A huge change in our daily lives, it was the perfectly timed step back we needed in our lives. To some it seemed sudden, but I had started a new quest quietly online two and half years before we made the actual move. Almost daily would take out my iPad and scour Realtor.com searching for our next step home. Vermont? Maine? New Hampshire? I researched and read about this town and that town, loving every minute of the journey to what ultimately would be my dream. I just had no idea at the time what that actually looked like or where that would be.

Another quest I have been on that any others are also on, is one that will give me not only knowledge but some control as well. My quest is that of being able to achieve a calmness within myself. We live in a chaotic world and there is so much that we can not control that it can get overwhelming at times. Whether it’s your kids having a problem that you are trying to help them overcome or suddenly facing a global pandemic which threatens the lives of every individual on the planet. Life can be very scary at times. Thus my quest to learn the ability to achieve a state of calmness in the face of a storm. This is an ongoing quest which I feel will probably be a lifelong one as well. I have picked up certain tools in my arsenal which have helped my along my journey and I will continue to keep my eyes wide open for more to help me further me in my quest to help me reach my ultimate goal – inner peace.

This is my entry for the Word of the Day Challenge March 14th, 2020.

Morning Chore

Every morning and sometimes evening for the last four months I have gone out to our wood furnace to add wood to the fire. This is the last of our wood supplies for the season before we kick back to our oil furnace. Somewhere between 4 am and 6am every morning, I make my way outside with the dogs to our furnace. Some mornings it’s snowing, some mornings it’s below zero with gale force winds. It may sound crazy but I love going out to the wood furnace.

Early in the season we retrieve the wood that’s stacked around the shed and chicken coop to feed into the fire. This season since November I would pull wood from the stacks sometimes covered in snow and load into either the wheel barrow or sled depending on how deep the snow. Inside the woodshed, four cords plus cords of wood are stacked up next to the wood furnace for later in the winter. We use all the wood on the outside first this year since we had a stack of seasoned wood outside leftover from last year among the green wood that we needed to use to initially get the fire started. We use green wood so that it burned slowly. You don’t want dry wood like you would use in your fireplace. If you used that all the time you’d be loading it all the time and burn through more wood overall.

We harvest some of the wood we use from our own property – a mixture of downed trees from storms to a tree that needs to be moved so we can get the gator through our trails we have on the homestead.

The smell of the smoke billowing from the chimney fills the air with scents of rock maple, ash, beech and oak. I breathe it in – I love the smell of a campfire and it initially filled me with memories of childhood camp outs but now that is mixed with newer memories of living in New Hampshire and being out with the dogs. I find it cathartic in ways – going through the routine of feeding the dogs in the morning, donning my purple work overalls, followed by Sorrels which have cramp-ons attached which I never remove. I have found having boots with cramp-ons to be a necessity to get through the rough New Hampshire winters. After the boots, I put on my purple Carhartt work jacket zipping it up before putting on my leather work gloves and heading out the door into the elements.

Despite some of the harsh conditions I have never once thought, “Ugh, I have to do out and deal with the fire.” I look forward to breathing in the cold, crisp air; listen to the wind blow through the trees, or the dogs barking at who knows what. My morning exercise bending to pick up to 20 pieces of wood, weighing anywhere from 5 lbs. to 25 lbs. ,throwing them into the firebox of our wood furnace. My upper arms have firmed up over the last four years between what we do to prepare for the winter in harvesting our wood, splitting and stacking 9-10 full cords of wood and my morning chore.

The coming weeks my morning routine will be in transition as I wait for the warming of my raised garden beds to that I can begin the spring/summer morning garden chores where the dogs and I with coffee in hand patrol the garden. Today, however was the last of our wood and I am always a little saddened by the day the wood runs out. No more evenings, after he does his fire check before crawling into bed will Mark smell like smoke – mmmm…. And even though it signals the end of the rough cold winter and the approaching days of spring and increasing light, I will miss the routine which has become so rote four months in. Until next season, just 8 months away.

 This is journal entry is also my entry for Lillie-Put blog 2020 Home Photo Challenge.

Concussed Again

I can’t focus on my work right now, focus on what I should be doing which is writing about gardening or photography for one of my blogs or writing another chapter of the book I’m working on. There are plenty of things I need to be focusing on, but I can’t focus.

She can’t focus on anything because her head still hurts from the fall she took snowboarding last weekend. She hit her head, not once but twice – on two separate but consecutive days. She is my daughter, a young single woman living with her mini aussie shepherd, Blue — two hours away from me. She now has sustained her third lifetime concussion equaling the amount her brother has had in his lifetime as well.

My Grand Dog, Blue – @adventures_of_blue

You may be thinking my kids are klutzy. They are not. They are athletic and coordinated, albeit probably a little less so now. You may be thinking who gets so many concussions, sure possibly a professional boxer or football players but neither of my children are either one of these. Actually, it isn’t uncommon at all to receive another concussion after you have sustained your first.

March is Brain Injury or Concussion Awareness Month. I was made very aware of concussions and the chaos that can ensue as a result of this seemingly invisible injury.

My daughter was in high school when she got her first concussion. A varsity lacrosse goalie, starting on the team in the 8th grade – she defended against girls initially much bigger than herself but was always up for the challenge. She was fierce in the net, she wasn’t afraid to take a hit.

Unfortunately when you get hit in the head, contrary what one might think, you don’t always know you took a hit to the head. She didn’t know that she took a hit to the head until a few days later when she was found “lost” in the hallway at school by a teacher and she had no idea where she was or where she should be. We had to circle back to her teammates to find out if anyone saw something. Someone did but didn’t know to say something. I also found out that at half time my daughter took some Advil because she was complaining about having a headache. Again no one thought – hmm, the goalie has a headache – did any one see her get hit? I was not at the game that day, so I didn’t see the hit either. You shouldn’t take and aspirin or ibuprofen if you suspect a concussion as they increase your risk of bleeding.

A few days later while trying to rest she smacked the back of her head on the windowsill while trying to lay down on her bed which it was pushed up against. BONK! Remember your are 3x more likely to get another hit to the head after a concussion since you’re foggy and you’re reaction time has slowed. Your vision may be a little off to and you misjudge the distance between your head and the windowsill. Her headache returned that day but luckily her symptoms left after a week of staying quiet. and she was able to return to school and the net without incident.

People who have been fortunate enough to never deal with concussions, have no idea that even the small taps to the head can cause damage. You don’t need to lose consciousness to experience a concussion. Although when that happens, you know the blow happened at such a force that it was lights out for even a few seconds.

TBI word cloud on a white background.

The doctors describe to you what happened to your son or daughter’s brain when it takes an impact like this: picture your brain is a fragile egg inside your skull. You take a hit from the left side and what happens is that your brain takes that hit on the left side and then moves slightly and bangs up against the right side of your skull now causing some damage to the right side too.

My son’s second lifetime concussion I watched from behind my video camera get hit – he never saw it coming – he had his eye on the ball arching his way in the clear blue sky. Lacrosse again – a helmeted sport, thank God. Except for girls’ lacrosse only the goalies where full helmets, but even helmets don’t keep you from getting a concussion.

My son was unconscious for 9 seconds, 9 of the longest seconds of my life. They suggested I take him to the ER right away. We sat and waited in the ER for hours for the doctor to simply say “He has a concussion. Go home and rest”. He told us about other concussion symptoms which may arise like nausea and vomiting. This is all they told us back then in spring 2010. Three days later, my son was puking all other and his head was pounding. Three days later all the symptoms the ER doctor told us to look out for presented themselves. There was no question – concussion.

For a couple of weeks, he “rested” but to no avail – the headache wouldn’t stop and he was feeling very foggy. Somehow, and I don’t remember how exactly I found a doctor in the county that specialized in treating patients with concussions. Dr. Michael Lee of Southport, CT would become an integral part of taking over treating my son’s concussion. He administered an ImPact test which is an FDA approved medical test to help access and manage concussions. I’d never heard of it before but would become very familiar with ImPact testing between the two kids during their high school years.

Dr.Lee also introduced us to the ‘dark room’, the place where you stay in bed in the dark for days on end hopefully sleeping. Sleep as much as possible. No stimulation from the outside world at all. My son was in his dark room for weeks before we could slowly start to introduce outside stimulation. Shutting your brain down is extremely difficult.

When he finally returned to school after missing three weeks – teachers didn’t understand that he was still injured. He looked fine, he could laugh with his friends after all. But as soon as he tried to focus or read, it would be difficult to impossible and headaches would return. There’s no bandage that they wrap your head in that announces to the world I HAVE A BRAIN INJURY HERE PEOPLE! It wouldn’t be for another 5 months before the November 10th, 2010 Sports Illustrated’s cover article discussed concussions in football and made the the world aware of the damage concussions a.k.a. traumatic brain injuries were doing to our NFL athletes. This was just the tip of the iceberg.

I want to bubble wrap my children but they aren’t kids anymore but full fledged adults, albeit young adults in their mid twenties. I still want to bubble wrap them both.

My daughter recently started a new job and has had to miss work already because of her injury. She’s scared she’ll lose her new job. She worried they may not understand- most people don’t unless they’ve had a concussion themselves or have a close family member who has had a concussion.

When my son suffers his third concussion he was a freshman in college. A ski accident which left him with a partially punctured lung and a night in the hospital. Three days later he was driving when he skidded his car on ice, bumping his head when the car hit the curb. Your reflexes are slower when you have a concussion. He shouldn’t have been driving. He was concussed but his symptoms hadn’t presented themselves yet. He was lucky nothing worse happened. He ended up taking a medical leave of absence for the rest of the semester. He returned a year later to be sure his brain could take the strain of studying. We were thankful to have the option of a medical leave and we thought it best to take it since you have no idea how long it will take to heal. And it takes longer to heal when you have a history of previous concussions.

The concussions have left behind in their wake problems with sleep and depression. He struggles with staying focused more often than he used to too. He’s done biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy to help him with some of the problems that he struggled with after his concussions. It helped a little. He’s sleeping better but we have also started using CBD along with the melatonin the neurologist recommended he start using while he was still in recovery.

Now my daughter, an adult has her third concussion and is trying desperately to shut down her brain. Her place in Maine is bright and sunny despite blinds being drawn. Dark it is not. She tacked up a blanket over the window but it still looked pretty bright in her bedroom from the photo she shared with me. I’m frustrated that there’s nothing I can do to help her heal faster. When you have a concussion you can feel foggy and very unclear. Dr. Lee used to liken it to having a computer virus which makes your computer run slow and improperly. You need to shut down everything so that you can reboot.

In today’s high tech world where we are all in front of some kind of screen – and things seem to happen quicker than they used to – disengaging from stimulus is challenging. My daughter is a freelance graphic designer who uses her computer all the time. Her part time job has her up and down and can’t be on the more physical side. Plus she coaches girls’ lacrosse. So all I can do is hope and pray- doesn’t seem like much of a strategy – that she will be able to return to her normal activities soon – after she’s given herself time to rest.

Links to some of the resources we’ve used:

Dr. Roseann

Management Recommendation Report by Dr. Micheel Lee

Weight blanket to help sleeping issues

In the Blink of an Eye

[Note to the reader: This is a post which I update from time to time. The original post was in 2013]

In the blink of a eye…it’s 2019…We have been living in New Hampshire on the side of a mountain 1500 feet up with a spectacular view for a little over two years.  A simpler life, yet we work all the time, trying to build our two businesses. Our puppy Marley is now 5 years old and all our beautiful Brittanys have passed away – God bless their souls. They all lived long and wonderful lives, Winston and Artemis being able to come and enjoy our new home in the mountains. Now our two mini-goldendoodle brothers, Boomer and Gunner are going to be turning 2 in May! Where did the time go?!  


Left to right:
Gunner, Boomer, Kona and Marley


Yesterday I hugged my 25 year old son and his 3 year old goldendoodle before they left to head down to the Connecticut house. He has been living there for the last 15 months after leaving college in Vermont. It wasn’t working out for him – he is still struggling to get on the right track.

Baby Blue on his way to his new home


In the blink of an eye…it’s 2018…yesterday I watched my daughter receive her college diploma and make the Dean’s list. It seems like yesterday I dropped her off for her first day of school and drove her to endless hours of tutoring.  Now she’s living with her one-year old puppy in Portland, Maine and trying to find that first foothold in her graphic design career.

There is no waving the Mommy magic wand and making things all better for them – they are in the big, bad, world now and I can’t protect the from everything like I once was able to. I tried my hardest to give them the skills to fly on their own – I pray I did enough. I probably did too much – coddling to make up for the divorce. I hope I didn’t do too much. That would be a disservice to them ultimately. It’s a fine line we have to walk as parents.


Baby Kona



In the blink of an eye…it’s 2016…yesterday I hugged my son and his new puppy goodbye after setting the up their new apartment in Burlington. I pray he is able to move forward from the tragedy and get his life back on track in this new environment. 

In the blink of an eye …it ‘s 2015…I hugged my son’s 21 year old girlfriend good-bye after seeing Dead & Company with them on Halloween night. She wasn’t feeling well and was coming down with an ear infection. A perfect storm of a bacterial and viral infection in her inner ear would cause sepsis.  In a blink of an eye – 11 days later – she was dead. 

In the blink of an eye…it was 2013….Yesterday was my son’s 20th birthday. It amazes me how certain things seem like they were yesterday but at the same time it was a lifetime ago.  Twenty years ago I lived in Rochester Hills, Michigan; I was married and a brand new parent to baby boy. I had a Shetland sheepdog and I was approaching 30.  Today, I live in Connecticut, I am divorced almost for 10 years, have two grown adults for children. I have four dogs, all Brittanys and I am approaching 50. I also live my boyfriend of three years. Yet it seems like yesterday I was in Michigan having my first born. 

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” Winnie the Pooh Peace – Xine S.