coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I understand cynicism. Really, I do. I just don't happen to like it.  It seems...cowardly.

You know, like when there is a spirited election coming up and the two candidates have radically different approaches to solving public problems.  There is always someone who will smirk and say "All politicians stink, that's why I don't bother to vote."  When someone says that to me, what I actually hear in my head is "I don't know right from wrong, I don't want to think about the issues, so I am just going to act like nothing matters. I hope you think I'm cool"  I don't.

It is easy to be distrustful and negative. Life is simpler if you tune out the noise of the modern world. The hard part is listening to all that noise and trying to make sense of it.
The truth is, life is complicated and requires a certain amount of intellectual rigor to figure out right from wrong. Mainstream American culture encourages citizens not to think. The more passive we are, the more compliant we will be.  Don't fall for it.

This is why we are thrilled by heroes. They seem to have thought long and hard about right and wrong. They are incorruptible and keep going when the going gets tough. They take a stand. They DO things. They give us hope, and inspire us to be our best selves. Doesn't everyone want to be a hero? If not, why?

Here's a sweet little piece from an Emily Dickinson poem to help us all recharge our batteries:

We never know how high we are 

Till we are called to rise; 
And then, if we are true to plan, 
Our statures touch the skies—

Okay, I needed that. Now I am going to go plant some seeds. 

Friday, June 16, 2017


I am feeling a little overwhelmed these days, aware of all the people in my life who need to be loved. Their need is palpable. I give what I can. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pulse of Orlando

Today is the one year anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting.  Since I live nearby, there is a lot in the media to memorialize all the people who were killed or hurt in that terrible event.  This is my favorite memorial, a photo of Angel Colon, who was shot but survived that day.  I love it when people refuse to hate. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My sister-in-law, Jane

I just got back from a trip to Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan to see family. The reason for the trip was to attend a memorial event for T's sister, Jane. She died over the winter; however, her husband and sons wanted to wait until the warm weather to have a large barbecue/party in her honor. They live on one of the many small fishing lakes in Michigan. It was the perfect setting. The party was like having a wake without bothering with the funeral or any of the tortured nonsense that death culture usually requires. It was the perfect memorial for her, she would have loved it. Her presence was everywhere. It was lovely, as these things so often are.

Jane and T's maternal grandfather was, among other things, a funeral home director. Their house was the funeral home, and they lived on the top floor. There were usually dead bodies on the main floor in one form of death and preparation for burial. Jane and T's mother, BJ grew up like that. Sounds weird, doesn't it?  In fact, BJ had little fear of death. She passed that on to her children. 

Jane had suffered most of her adult life with Scleroderma, "or systemic sclerosis, ... a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases."

However, she died from lung cancer.  She never smoked. Go figure.   

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Looking for change

When I was young I fancied myself an artist. After I became a mother, I lost my passion for art. Still, I always thought I would sketch and, perhaps, paint in retirement. So far, I have not.

Then I started working outside the home. I discovered I could be creative in other, non-visual ways. That was an eye opener! I made the most of those years, and I was fulfilled and satisfied in return. I loved working outside the home, and I learned so much about myself in the process.

Quilt design and hand work were my passion for a time. Unfortunately, my last job was a snake pit. I was there for the final 8 years of my work life. It was a problem solver's dream, but it was all consuming and left little energy for personal projects. When I was home I only wanted to rest and recover. I lost interest in quilting. I figured I would get back to it when I retired. Nope, not yet!

In NYS I was an absolute fiend for perennial gardening. Florida is not a perennial gardener's dream. I lowered my gardening expectations. I dabble now for color and ambiance. I am not "really" passionate about gardening in Florida. 

During the 40 years I worked outside the home I was passionate about my job. Work defined me. I am grateful for the jobs, and the people I worked with during those middle years. The role I played became who I was. I eventually lost my passion for the job, too. Then I retired. 

It was harder to retire than I anticipated. I kept thinking I was on vacation and would eventually go back to work. I came to realize this was no vacation; this was my life. Doing nothing became tedious. However, I did NOT want to go out and find a job. I needed to reinvent myself.

Now I write here. I also started contributing to a new feminist blog collective (more on that another time). I continue to moderate for
a large, political Facebook group which is part of the great political awakening of women in the U.S. since that unfortunate election. Becoming politically involved has been a game changer for me in retirement.

We moved to Florida to become a meaningful part of our grandchildren's lives. We gave up home, jobs, gardens, and friends to move to a wild swing state filled with alligators and bugs.
I find grand parenting immensely satisfying. I also find myself loving Florida. It has all been worth the sacrifices.

Reinventing myself is fun. As long as I am lucky enough to wake up each morning, I have time and plenty of it. I still imagine one day I will thread the damn sewing machine, or sketch a still life. 

Let's go out in full glory, okay?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bizzaro World

It feels like summer now to this northern transplant, but it isn't. Summer is yet to come. Summer is a whole other kettle of fish in Central Florida.

After my Mother's Day post, I cannot stop thinking about my mother, especially in this heat. Mom hated the heat and humidity of summer. I can just see her in my mind, sighing and sweating. She preferred the cold, northern winter. I am the opposite. I hate the cold. It chills me to the bone.

However, I've said this before. From June through September it is too damn hot to be outside in the afternoon down here. Our lives are very different since we moved to Central Florida. Now we hibernate in the summer rather than the winter. I am absolutely not complaining. It is neither better nor worse. It's all good! I am simply marveling at how different one place can be from another.

We DO have two vegetable planting seasons. How cool is that? Mom would have loved it. I do, too. She always had a veggie garden, and she used Rotenone like it was going out of style. She was of the "why weed when you can spray?" opinion. I figure that is why she developed Parkinson's Disease. Sigh. There was no telling that stubborn woman anything she didn't WANT to believe.

One planting takes place in October, for things like beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, radishes. Everything else we plant in late February or early March. We have been eating juicy tomatoes from raised beds since late April. 

We grow basil almost all year round (lotsa pesto!). Our perennial herbs are always available. Hmmm, I don't think Mom ever used or grew fresh herbs, except when she made dill pickles. I can picture her kitchen table covered with mason jars, cukes, and sprigs of dill weed. It was one of the things she and my Dad did together. They also made grape jelly, sauerkraut, and put up innumerable quarts of tomatoes. Food was important in my mother's house, and we ate well.

Living in this beautiful, relentlessly sunny place is almost like living in bizzarro world, or in upside down land. However, I'm goin' with the flow. The politics sometimes stink, but every day is beautiful. I am grateful to be right here experiencing big changes in my life, at my age, in these times. No matter how long one lives, life is too short. I try to live my life with joy, and I do NOT use Rotenone. I like reaching into the earth and yanking a skanky weed out by its roots. It feels like a personal victory.

Here are some things in our small veggie garden this morning:

Orange grape tomatoes - they always make me happy

Zucchini blossom, such a tease

Japanese eggplant and parsley
Basil, patient and true

Sunday, May 14, 2017

In My Mother's Day

This is my second Mother’s Day without my Mom.  She had her weaknesses, as we all do; but now I only remember her strength. She was often resourceful and independent.

In March 1964, when I was 12, we moved back to Northern Indiana after a 3-year interlude in the Pacific Northwest. My Mom wanted to go "home" where she had family. There were 6 kids in 1964, and none of us wanted to leave. However, we had to go. My Dad flew back ahead of us to begin work at his new job and get things settled for our arrival. Mom single-handedly packed and shipped our belongings, and we set out in an old 1958 Ford station wagon for the Promised Land.  My oldest sister was a senior in high school with only 3 more months to finish. She stayed with a friend’s family until after graduation.

My Mom drove 2,225 miles from Seattle, Washington to Northern Indiana with 5 kids between the ages of 2 and 14, and a cat, in that car. The two youngest were still in diapers. We drove down Washington State to Oregon, eastward to Idaho and Wyoming, through the Rocky Mountains. After that we traveled through the flatlands of Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. Northern Indiana was home. My mother had always been fearless, but never more than on that epic journey when she took us home.

We didn’t stop at restaurants - too expensive. Back then, people didn't really eat at restaurants as casually as we do now. We stopped at small groceries and ate sandwiches at rest stops. Once, when we stopped to eat, the cat got out of the car and ran away into the farmer’s fields that were ubiquitous along the highway. We loved that cat, and looked long and hard. Eventually, Mom said we had to go. We were shattered as we silently drove away. However, a couple miles down the road Mom inexplicably turned the car around and went back for the cat. It was a heroic decision, and this time the darn cat had the good sense to come when called. We were more careful about keeping her safe after that.

Large chain motels didn't exist in the early 60’s to my recollection. Instead, motels were small and unique, “Mom and Pop” businesses. I remember staying overnight at one motel with a series of small, one-room cabins lined up next to each other. We all stayed in that one room. It took us 7 days to get to Indiana. The car broke down in Plainview, Nebraska. We stayed at a motel for two days while it got fixed. It was fun. We were not in school and it was mid-March. That felt strange in the middle of the semester, knowing that kids all over the country were in school leading normal lives. I felt like an outlaw on the run. It was a bit disconcerting, but exciting.

Towards the end of the trip, we started running out of money. There were no ATM’s or credit cards. Mom had a certain amount of cash, and that’s all we had to get where we were going. One night she decided to save money by not renting a motel room. Instead we all slept in the car: toddlers, tween, teenagers, mother, and cat. She parked late at night in a gas station parking lot, intending on gassing up the car when we woke the next morning. It was a cold night and, dontcha know, the car engine froze up. Early the next morning the car would not start. The owner lived above the gas station’s garage. We banged hard and long on his door to wake him up so he could come out and help us, which he did. At first he was angry, but when he saw the sorry lot who woke him up he softened. He helped us, and he didn’t charge a dime. People can be so kind. It is important to remember that.

I remember feeling like a vagabond. At that moment, we did not belong anywhere except in that old station wagon, traveling with our brave mother. She was our home. Eventually, we arrived at our destination and went directly to my paternal grandparent’s house where we were loved and celebrated.

My Mom was amazingly strong during that trip. She was confident, determined and never complained despite the many hardships. I guess one might say she persisted. I believed she could solve any problem that came our way, because she did. I trusted her in a way I have never trusted another human being since. It was a grand adventure that provided experiences and memories I would not trade for love or money. For many years, she was everything to me. I hope I told her that. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Back from the abyss

I can't remember the last time I had the flu, it has been that long. Today is the 12th day of sickness for me. Although I have been up and around since day 7, I am still not 100%. Even now, I would rather lie on the couch than sit up at the computer; but that just makes my back hurt. Too much of a good thing...

Liv wrote earlier this year about her own bout with Influenza B. I remember reading her blog post and thinking, "Damn, it just doesn't want to let her go!" Indeed, B is a greedy, gluttonous bitch. She enfolds you with cadaverous arms, sinks her raggedy-ass teeth in you and sucks all your vitality out while you alternate between fever and chills. After that all you want to do is sleep, apparently for weeks.

The good news is that we went to St. Augustine on day 7 of "B", once I had been fever free for 24 hours. We came home yesterday (day 11). Our daughter and her family rented a small house on Crescent Beach and we went to hang out with them. We have gone there many times in the past. It is one of my favorite places. There was no boogie board frolicking in the ocean or baking in the sun for me this time. However, I could gaze hypnotically at the ocean from the front porch, where there was also a cool ocean breeze and shade, glorious shade.

My husband, T, and son-in-law MV, both had bad head colds this week. My sweet little grandson, N, was seized by that withered bitch, Influenza B, on Monday. Our poor little man is spending his vacation on the couch in the cottage. It was the vacation house of sickness, I'm afraid. However, good times were had in spite of all that sick. What better place to be ill than at the beach, breathing the salt air?

The boardwalk from the cottage to the ocean, surrounded on either side by salt marsh plants

The moon rising over the ocean, behind a saw palmetto

A Gopher Tortoise.  There were also snakes and bunnies living in the salt marsh

I was amazed at how many different varieties of plant life could survive in the salty sand.
This sweet little cactus gets a yellow flower on top
Blanket flower (Gaillardia)?   There were also yellow beach flowers up towards the beach. I wish I had gotten a picture of those, they were lovely.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I'm sick

I have influenza B, haven't been this sick in donkey's years.  I can't really write a long post, but I wanted to let you all know why I am relatively quiet this week.  I think I feel a little better this morning.  We'll see. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017


I'm feeling blah. I am way too focused on political stuff, and need a break. However, political stuff is all I want to focus on. It is a conundrum.  

I did take a long bike ride yesterday with the man. I only left my computer and my online moderating gig because he forced me to. This is why I keep him around. Oh yeah, and because I love him.

Here are some things one might see when one turns off the computer and leaves the house:

Red winged blackbird

Cormorants or anhingas? - they are always on this tree, or what is left of it

An osprey looking inscrutable and feigning indifference

The historic pump house at the end of the Lake Apopka Loop Trail
A big old alligator just trying to take a nap, s/he got angry I was taking this picture (from the bridge...) and got up and left.

Here S/he is, disgusted and leaving.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Toxic People

I have a few toxic individuals in my life. You know the type. They are super needy and always perpetuating self-centered drama. Their emotions are often out of control. They zing you with sly criticisms and put-downs designed to make you look bad and them look good. You know they hate you, but they pretend they don't?

It is best to avoid them, of course. I certainly try to. But sometimes you can't. Sometimes they are co-workers, neighbors, or members of your family. Any thoughts on how to emotionally detach on those unpleasant occasions when you are unable to physically escape?

I am so tired of BS

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sleeping In?

In some ways I still have not totally adjusted to this retirement thing. For many years I got up at 5:30 a.m. I sleep until between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. now. When I imagined retirement I expected I would sleep in luxuriously for much longer than that. Unfortunately, I still retain the working woman's anxiety mindset. When I wake up, I feel like I must GET up. I tried to stay in bed, awake, for at least 15 minutes. That was fun, but I got bored. I also tried napping a few times. Then I couldn't get to sleep at night. Let's face it. I just can't sustain the effort it takes to relax. 

Does anyone know what the flowering plant in the foreground is called?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Semi-wordless Wednesday

I don't have much to say today.

A Blue heron on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Palm leaf after a controlled burn, Wekiva Springs State Park

Palm Tree some months after a controlled burn.  Still growing.

Heron on slab at Lake Apopka Wildlife drive, crooked neck

A turkey taking the high road at Sand Lake, Wekiva Springs State Park

A palm leaf that continued to grow after a controlled burn, Wekiva Springs State Park

Turtle on log in Sand Lake, Wekiva Springs State Park, note spider web over his/her head
The swimming area at Wekiva Springs State Park.  Swimmers are supposed to stay on this side of the bridge. The water area on the far side of the bridge is for canoes and kayaks. There are alligators on the far side. A couple of years ago a swimmer swam out there and an alligator attacked her. She lost her arm. True story. The swimming area is shallow, so you would be able to see an alligator if it came there. They don't, though. I'm not sure why not.

Lubber Grasshopper on red leaf, Wekiva Springs State Park  


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Respecting anger

Oh, I don't know. I guess I am just getting old.  I used to be a hell raiser, a loud mouthed dame ready to take on the world. I'm still ready to take on the world, but I have less energy. These days I am trying to cultivate a different approach.

I have mentioned before that I am hot-tempered. Anyone who knows me will concur. I have a decent sense of humor and I try to be affable.  However, I also have a very short fuse. Once sparked, I am off and running. That is the way of it for me. I am not bragging, I'm complaining.

People (in my real life AND on blogs) are often talking about anger right now. It is interesting how connected we are by reality. Truthfully, it is hard not to be angry in April 2017.

Let me explain the way I feel about this current reality in mytho-poetic terms: The world has run amok. Trolls and ogres have found a crack in our shields. They claw their way into this dimension driven by the demons they serve. A battle for sovereignty is being waged... Thanks for indulging me, I hope it was as fun for you as it was for me.

n these times of bad manners, political strife, and acrimony I feel like I am overusing anger. More to the point, I can't help but notice when I lose my temper, I lose the fight.

I'm trying to chill and use my words instead of my temper. Because I like to win.

Bad ass baby alligators

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Change is hard

In March 2014, we left New York State and started the long drive to Central Florida. Had things gone as planned, it would have been incredible. There are people for whom things go as planned, but T and I are not of that ilk.

We spent the winter downsizing, organizing, packing, and getting the NYS house in shape to sell. We went to Florida twice to find a house to buy. We put an offer down and it was accepted.  We were simply waiting for the closing, originally scheduled for late February. We put the NYS house on the market and it sold within a week.

We booked movers for March 24, before the snow melted. Over the years, we had created one beloved perennial bed after another on that quiet property, bordered by state lands. That was the hardest part for me, leaving the land. I thought it would be best to leave while the flowers were dormant and the beds were covered by snow.

Had we closed as planned, it would have been a fun move. Unfortunately, we were buying a foreclosed short sale from Fannie Mae. At the end of February they ominously postponed the closing for a month. 

Towards the end of March, two days before the movers were to arrive, we got a tearful call from our Florida realtor. Fannie Mae "just" discovered they did not have clear title to the property and they were CANCELING the sale.

We had already sold our house, all our belongings were boxed up, and we were set to get out of town before the snow melted. At THAT point we were still excited and ready to rock and roll. We decided to leave as planned (minus a clear destination) and rent a cat friendly place while we started the house search again from scratch.

We spent one week in what my husband fondly refers to as the crack motel, then moved into an old travel trailer in a RV resort. All our belongings were in storage. We stayed in that cramped little space for 3 months. W
e nearly lost our minds before we finally bought our house.

Here it is, three years later. I found my mind.

I will always miss the land and the endless variety of colorful flowers that grow up North. However, Central Florida has a different kind of beauty; subtle, primal, and wild. We have alligators, for crying out loud! It feels like home.

Some of our garden beds in Central New York

The quiet, natural beauty of a state park in Central Florida

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My faith has been tempered in Hell.

“My faith has been tempered in Hell. My faith has emerged from the flames of the crematoria, from the concrete of the gas chamber. I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man's meaning.

Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil.  It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness.  But if what is human in human beings has not been destroyed even now, then evil will never conquer."

--Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Girl Culture

I recently accompanied my daughter, M, to my 13 year old granddaughter's middle school where E is in rehearsal for a play. M is the parent in charge of costumes. She has a crew of 13-year old girls to help with sewing, carting things around, etc. There are lots of teaching moments where the girls learn to sew and to problem solve.

I sat back in a corner and observed. I don't have mad sewing skills so I did not have much to offer.  Also, as an older person I find my presence often makes younger people uncomfortable if they don't know me. They feel like they have to behave. So I tried to fade into the woodwork. No need, as it turned out.

The crew was designing padded "parts" for a female character in the play. All these girls are twigs, and the character is supposed to be large.  They were hilarious flouncing around and bouncing off each other with the fake body parts. I couldn't help it, I laughed loud and long at their hijinks. It was like being front row center at an old time Vaudeville show. How glorious they were in their bawdy innocence. They were boldly comfortable with the shared silliness. Most of all, they were happy, young, and goofy.

It was comforting to know that when girls are in what they consider a safe space, they will still act like the children they are. I hate the pressure our society puts on young girls to grow up too fast.

Each one, a joy unto herself

Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Grandmother's Ghost

My mother saw her own mother’s ghost. I think that is why Mom was reluctant to speak of her mother. Grandma (Veronica from my post Enduring Love) died in November 1950. Mom was pregnant with me, about a year later, when she woke up in the middle of the night to see her mother standing in the doorway of the room. Veronica had on her favorite blue coat, and her ribbon hat (apparently a popular style of the late 1940’s). She was trying hard to communicate with Mom. Although her lips were moving and she was urgently trying to speak, Mom could not hear what Veronica was trying to say. She sat up in bed, leaned forward and said “What?” to her mother. At that point my father woke up and the apparition disappeared. 

Many years later (in the late 1980’s), I went to a Spiritualist church for an adventurous night out with a group of friends.  I am not a member of that church (or any church), but sometimes my friends and I would go to a meeting or two at the Spiritualist church each summer. Like many locals we would go for the fun of it when the church hosted open "spirit readings" for non-members. They were good at it, too; very spooky stuff.

In preparation, I concentrated hard all day on asking my dead grandmother to send me a message telling me what she had been trying to tell my Mom that night so long ago. It must have worked, because later that night the Spiritualist minister pointed me out in the crowd and told me that there was a grandmotherly spirit standing right behind me. He said the spirit wanted to give me her message herself rather than relate it through the psychic preacher. He instructed me to concentrate and meditate over the course of the next few weeks so that the “materialization” could take place. "Holy shit," I thought.

He must have seen the look of terror in my eyes, because he took great pains to reassure me there was nothing to be afraid of. Yeah, right. I was absolutely terrified at the thought of seeing a ghost. I thought, “OK, no problem – I won’t concentrate, I won’t meditate, and then nothing will happen.” I only wanted a freakin' message, I did NOT want to see a ghost.

I'm a big chicken about things that go bump in the night. Like a little kid, I was too afraid to sleep. I dozed fitfully, sparingly, and nervously for the next 2 nights. I was afraid to close my eyes because of what I might dream, and afraid to open my eyes because of what I might see! It's funny now, looking back on it. However, I was sincerely scared at the time.

By the third night I was exhausted. I fell deeply and peacefully asleep. I dreamed of my maternal grandmother. I clearly remember seeing her in that dream, and I know she took a long time to tell me many things. When I woke up I could not for the life of me remember anything she said, except for one message I was to give to my mother. She told me to tell my mother not to let her feelings get hurt so easily. 

I called to convey the message to my mother.  She seemed surprised and shocked with what I called to tell her, but she didn’t say much. It was a short phone call. Later I discovered that she had been fighting with her sisters for weeks because she had taken offense at something one of them had said to her, and she was nursing a serious case of hurt feelings.

I wonder if this is the ribbon hat?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Traveling on fire

Not only am I NOT a good traveler, I am a red hot anxiety-ridden mess. Sure, I love being other places and I always have a great time. I just don't like traveling to get there and back, especially by air. As I was reminded during my recent trip, air travel consists of a series of hurdles one must silently endure without losing one's mind:

Will my alarm go off? Did I remember my pills, my phone charger? How early does one get to the airport, and what is the traffic pattern on the way? What if I get in an accident?  Aaaack!

Do I check my bag or try to stuff that sucker in an overhead bin?
How heavy is it anyway, 'cause I'm no spring chicken. How long are the security check lines? Why did that alarm go off? Oh no, did I forget to take my cute little Swiss Army Knife out of my jeans pocket? Damn! I LOVE that knife.

Will the plane actually leave on time, or at all? Will we make our connection? Should I buy a Bloody Mary to calm myself down? Is the lounge even open at 8 a.m.? Do I have time to go to the bathroom? Why are bathroom lines so long?

What zone am I in and does that mean I'll board last?
Will there be overhead space left by the time I board? Why am I the only one who can't figure out the in-flight wifi? Should I buy snacks from the flight attendant even though I'm not hungry? Will the proper lady sitting next to me judge me harshly if I order that Bloody Mary NOW?

When the plane lands and the seat belt sign goes off, do I jump up and try to wrestle my carry-on bag out of the bin, hoping against hope that I still have enough upper body strength to guide it smoothly to the aisle floor? Or should I sit patiently like the proper lady next to me, trusting people on the other side of the aisle to let me out?

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here to give you a break. Nope,
I don't trust the world. Some people assume everything will go right. I assume the opposite. If I travel with others, I often get on their nerves. Surprised? Oh well, at this point I probably won't change. I am more likely to roll with the punches than go with the flow. Taking a deep breathe now and letting it all go. Ha! As if.

I am happy to be home where chaos can be a good thing.