Saturday, November 20, 2010

And so, Thanksgiving-palooza 2010 Begins!!!

Tori's home! Up in her room, in bed, sleeping. Lucy is snoozing on the sofa beside me, and It's Academic is on the TV. If Urbana weren't playing, it would be a perfect morning :)

Today will be a hang around home day, then "It's a Wonderful Wreath" at Daybreak Adult Daycare this evening and maybe some gettin' wild with Anne from up the street after that. Tori may be headed up to the Mount to visit Maggie, and I'm sure these next few days she's going to try to catch up with as many friends as possible.

Wednesday bright and EARLY, we head off to catch the MegaBus to NYC!!! YEEHA! A once-in-a-lifetime few days to see the Rockettes, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and The Big Apple on Black Friday. Starting to think I am insane to have even planned this, but it's done now. No turning back!

So, here's to kids home from college, houses full of love & laughter, and road trips! Stay tuned.... !

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Treasures found while cleaning my scrapbooking space!

I am finding all sorts of "lost" items while organizing/cleaning my spaces this weekend. Probably the most fun item is a paper I wrote while a Senior at Hood for my course in "The American Presidency" with Dr. Elfin.

The paper is titled "Significance: It Was Time for a Change" - and it has additional significance to me now, at this point in my life:

  1. I was working on writing this paper when I met Bruce. I turned it in on December 12, 1984, and I met him on December 1, 1984. I distinctly remember talking with him about the subject matter - the Presidential race between Adali Stevenson and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. It's when we knew that we were, at least, compatible on the level of politics!
  2. As I read through my work, I am blown away by the similarities between how the US was dealing with issues such as wartime (Korea), the economy, and blatantly ferocious "patriotism" being bandied about by the conservative right in order to make the left look unpatriotic.
  3. Stevenson lost by a landslide to Eisenhower. I am praying that during the next Presidential election, history does NOT repeat itself as it seems to do over & over again. Whoever said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again but expecting a different result must have been a soothsayer - We, as a people in general, are truly acting as if we are INSANE!
I got an A- on the paper. It is yellowing within its plastic report cover, and was typed on a Selectric typewriter rather than on a computer. It features hand-numbered pages and a handwritten chart on the last page of the Appendix highlighting the percentages of the populous who voted for each candidate, broken down by gender, race, education, occupation, age, religion, political party, and region of the US. It is extremely interesting, if I do say so myself!

Here is my concluding paragraph - I had to laugh when I read it-26 years haven't changed me much!

"As I began to put together an overall picture of the campaign and election in my mind and on paper, I began to feel that the American people had been cheated out of a very fine, intelligent President in Stevenson.....I have come to realize throughout The American Presidency course and through writing this paper that politics and the political road to the Presidency are one huge game of chance, luck, money, and personality - I saw that this year in the Reagan/Mondale race and my ideas were enforced by my research on the Eisenhower/Stevenson race of 1952."

And here are Dr. Elfin's notes on my work:

"I like this paper and rate it well-researched & presented. I would, however, have emphasized (another contrast-compare with Reagan/Mondale) the ferocious patriotism and negative quality of the GOP campaign which soon turned into McCarthyism."

WOW - see where we're headed? If McCarthyism doesn't scare people and wake them up/help them become less insane, I don't know what would!!! And see why I loved studying Political Science at Hood? I loved Dr. Elfin, Dr. Lewis (God rest her soul), Dr. McKnight, Dr. Latkovski, and my other PoliSci/History profs. God, how I loved Hood in the 1980's!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Making Progress

I can tell I'm moving forward toward my fitness goals. Tonight, on a 2 mile walk with Lucy, we climbed an approximately 20 degree uphill route out of Unionville - had me huffin' and puffin' a bit as I tried to keep my pace at a decent clip. As we leveled out, I saw a rather nice downhill, maybe at a 35 degree drop, just ahead of me. The old me, even just two weeks ago, would've said "forget it - I've done one hill, I'm tired, I'm turning around!" But the "new" me said "OK, I'll go down this big hill plus a bit further, even though it means I'll have to climb the incline to head back home." I pushed myself further than I thought I could go, and when I turned around and approached the base of that 35 degree hill, instead of whining about it, I chanted "the hill is my friend" over and over until I reached the top. Then, baby, it was all downhill from there! SUCCESS!

Poor Lucy was panting, her tongue lolling out the side of her mouth. But she seemed overall energized by the exercise, too. My legs didn't feel numb or heavy when I was done, either. So I'm more confident about tomorrow night's workout now that I challenged myself a bit and survived.

I'm starting to see this challenge as a metaphor for my life post-divorce and only child off to college. I am not just going to survive - I am going to thrive. I am not going to let sore muscles, wind sprints, or hills defeat me, damn it! I am going to conquer my fears and my attitude that I am too old, too out of shape, to become healthy. I am going to WIN!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Frederick Wellness Challenge, Week 1

So, the 2010 Fall Frederick Wellness Challenge began on Saturday, September 11th up at Upward Enterprises on the grounds of the Bishop Claggett Center. We went, we saw, we conquered the steep woodland trails, the meadow-based team sprints, and, finally the zip line (and the hike back up that damn steep woodland trail - again!). I hadn't known to expect such an intense physical experience, which is a good thing - I doubt I'd have signed up if I had!

Session 2 with Evy, our trainer, I had to miss due to electioneering for Michele on Election Day. When I got to Session 3 this evening at Baker Park, it was raining a steady, cool rain. I was the 3rd person to arrive, and the other two people were talking about how sore they were from Tuesday. Grrrrreeeeaaattt....I thought. And they're both fit-looking. Crap. Am I going to be able to do this?

As others arrived, all were talking about how much pain they were in. Their quads, their calves, their backs, their abs....hurting. I started to panic. Seriously, what was I DOING there?!??! Evy arrived, and confirmed that yes, we would be exercising in the park in the rain from 7-8 p.m. No crybabies allowed (she didn't say that, but I knew that to be true!).

Sure enough, we started with a warm-up walk in the rain, around the perimeter of Baker Park. Many were running, some jogging. I started out trotting, and finished up walking at a race pace. Then time for wall squats and jumping jacks. Oh joy. Then over to the tennis courts, where the REAL fun began. We had to do sprints, in teams of two...but then, we had to lay down - YES, IN THE PUDDLES IN THE RAIN! - and do planks. We were all soaking wet, and my glasses were impossible to see through. we continued - squats, squat side shuffles (football style), push ups, and lat push ups. I couldn't see anything at all and I was pretty damn miserable. BUT, I was doing it!

We finished up with a walk back to the bandshell all around the park as a cool down, then some stretches. It was probably the most miserable hour of exercise I've ever completed, yet somehow I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. My hair was dripping, my clothes were sopping wet, and my ego was drowning because I saw just how behind the group I am in terms of keeping up. But I was out there. I WAS OUT THERE!!!

On my drive home, I had to give myself a major pep talk. I know I'm going to be wicked sore on Saturday morning when the next workout is scheduled. I know my bed is going to be awfully comfy at 6 a.m. when I will have to get out of it to head to the 7 a.m. workout. I know that I am going to be cursing Evy up one side and down the other. I know I am going to still feel intimidated by the abilities of the others in the challenge.

I also know, and I am telling myself every 10 seconds, that I AM NOT GOING TO BE A QUITTER ON THIS!!! I have quit so many things. I have a reputation in my family and among my friends as someone who starts a lot but finishes few things. Quitters don't reach goals. I am going to succeed during this challenge and finish it. I am NOT going to quit!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

some observations

Driving through Virginia & North Carolina last Friday on my way to Myrtle Beach, I couldn't help but notice several things:

  • There's a church every 10th of a mile, I swear. I have to agree with my friend Martha's son who opined, when they moved down to Florence, SC 6 years ago, "Mom, the Christians here must not get along very well since they have so many different churches - can't they just worship together?!?!?"
  • People down there drive fast - REALLY fast! And very recklessly. People were passing me on double yellow lines on two lane roads with blind spots. Scary!
  • The best route, as noted by Google Maps, really is through some of the most quaint little towns I've ever seen - it was a beautiful drive (when I wasn't in fear for my life from the insane drivers!)
  • Myrtle Beach is a looooonng way from home, but every mile became more than worth it when I got hugs from Manny & Martha!
Good friends are absolutely the best tonic for what ails you. We laughed, reminisced, looked at old photos Manny had the forethought to bring along, took lots of new photos with three cameras AND three camera phones, and drank lots of wine & tropical drinks - but never got drunk!

I also came to the very sharp realization that what I miss about having a spouse, what I miss about being in love, about being in a relationship, is affection. I miss someone looking at me with love in his eyes. I miss knowing that if something happened to me, I'd be mourned by the person with whom I am more close than anyone else on this earth. I miss cuddling while watching a DVD, sweet soft kisses, and the anticipation of reuniting when one of us has been away for awhile. All of those things had been missing for so very many years during the last half of my marriage, at least. How sad that is, now that I see it in black & white.

That being said, the realization of what I have was just as jarring - I have friends with whom my relationship, despite many years apart, has blossomed and bloomed as beautifully as ever. I had that last summer when George reunited with Sam and me for our MSG reunion, and I experienced it again in living color this past weekend. My friendships, both long-term and newer, are my salvation.

I have friends of all ages, ethnicities, spiritual beliefs, body types, and orientations. I have friends who give THE BEST HUGS in all the universe! I have friends who love me for who I am, despite the fact that I'm 100 lbs overweight and I snore monstrously at night (and Martha managed to share a room with me for three nights!). I don't need a spouse who scorned me because of these things, who abandoned me when I wasn't the 23 year old girl he married. I don't need to feel guilty for being me. My friends love me no matter what. What a relief! What a blessing! What a gift!

So, though I miss romantic affection and some of the trappings of a serious romantic relationship, I don't miss love. Because it surrounds me, always, near or far. If you're reading this and I am fortunate enough to call you my friend, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Phone call from a candidate for Delegate!!

I just got off of the phone with Ryan Trout, a very enthusiastic candidate for Delegate in District 4A here in Frederick County. He told me about his platform, which can be seen on his website at

Think about voting for him if you want small businesses to prosper, our children to graduate from high school with a strong foundation and confidence to pursue the career of their choice (be it a trade or a field requiring a 4-year degree or more), and accountability of elected officials to the people who elect them.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

of organizing, cleaning, and lawncare

such a boring topic, you say? Oh, to the contrary...

Organizing: I have a lot of crap. A.Lot.Of.Crap.!!! And a very small house. Much of the crap has to go (hence the yard sale scheduled for 9/25 - come buy my crap, and my brother's!). I've spent time over the past few days sorting stuff out and throwing a lot away. It's amazing how much I "needed" when I purchased it vs. how much I need it now! The purging of nonessential stuff feels very purifying. I like it!

Cleaning: UGH! I am having to learn not to fear spiders or earwigs - there are a plethora of both in my basement! Over the past year, I've had a stockpile of boxes gather in the corners, and they are now broken down and in the recycling bin where they belong.

The big surprise when I went down to the basement this morning: A garment rack that's been by the basement door for storage/hanging of jackets & sweaters was in a heap on the floor, with various & sundry large items of clothing in said heap with it. And the aforementioned boxes added to the mess. What the....??? Someone obviously broke the damn thing and neglected to mention it to me. I believe that someone is now safely ensconced in a dorm in Harrisonburg, VA, now safe from my yelling. Or in a Salisbury apartment. The basement door was locked by the knob, which I have never done for fear of getting locked out. This means that someone who does not have a key left via that door after the carnage. Again, points to a teenager.

I've now dismantled the rack (which was going to be used for yardsale, dammit) and cleaned up the clothing. Swept - and found a boatload of creepy-crawlies. Had to squish a lot and keep on going, despite the fact that my skin was crawling and I still feel as if I have bugs crawling up my neck. Ugh. But I feel a major sense of accomplishment, which brings me to....

Lawn: My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew were here yesterday and got my push mower working again. God Bless Mem, who weeded the back pavers and helped get stuff hosed down. While Matt & Mem took a truckload of stuff to Kit's, Kevin mowed more of my lawn and I used the now working leafblower to get all of the various and sundry dead grass, leaves, and sticks off of the deck, driveway, and pavers. Then I round-upped the weeds in the cracks. My house doesn't look like the blight on the neighborhood anymore!!! Yay!

So, I will go into a new week fresh and focused on making it to Friday and Myrtle Beach - Here's to getting things done and reclaiming one's environment!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

God's hand and changes

Well, today is my first day as an empty-nester. Plus I spent an hour at my lawyer's office this morning finalizing my divorce, which will be truly, truly final in about 30-60 days. The legal process takes time, even when things are mutual and uncontested, it seems.

So, on the way home from running errands, I got behind a schoolbus. It was about noon, so I figured it was either empty on its way to wait to get the HS students around 2:30, or it had 1/2 day preschoolers aboard.

sure enough, the flashers went on, and the bus stopped. A young mom with a toddler in her arms approached, camera in her free hand ready and aimed at the bus doors. A tow-headed 4 year old launched herself onto the driveway from the bus steps and ran toward mom and brother. Her enthusiasm and excitement were so evident. Her backpack was nearly bigger than she, and she was practically bouncing up the driveway.

I burst into tears. Wasn't it just last week I was greeted by Tori off of the Kindergarden bus in a similar fashion? It can't have been 13 YEARS ago! Funny, but I felt the hand of God once again, reminding me to savor each moment, as the moments go by so quickly. My tow-headed 4 year old is now a raven-haired 18 year old beauty. She hugged me goodbye yesterday outside of Shorts Hall at JMU and I told her how very proud I am of her. I didn't cry then, and was very proud of that, as I didn't want to get her upset. I made up for it this afternoon!

Now for a nice, relaxing nap!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

changing my mind, changing my body

Went for my first chiropractic adjustment ever today. Dr. Rashidian went over my x-rays and thermal scans with me, and I have a lot of nerve interference in my neck and in my lower back. So much so that four of my vertebrae, two in each area of my spine (upper & lower) are in danger of fusing, which is NOT good thing.

So the adjustment immediately took the ache out of my neck. Amazing. I am now a believer. Over the long term, I'm hoping it helps my exhaustion, my appetite, and my overall wellness to improve. Big downside is that my insurance doesn't cover it. So I have to figure out how to afford it in my tighter budget. But I'm going to have to figure it out.

Wellness Challenge begins on September 11th, and I'm gearing up. Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

moving forward

I went to see Dr. Rashidian this afternoon and his comment when seeing my self assessment form - "wow - you've checked a lot of things off as health issues!" I was embarrassed, but also relieved that maybe I am going to get some answers. After a series of x-rays, thermal scans, and range of motion tests, I feel as if maybe I'm moving forward on the road to wellness at last. I go back in on the 19th to get the results. I'm nervous, but also hopeful.

After I left his office, I stopped into a cool new store (well, new to me - they've been there almost a year!) in downtown Frederick, Accessories of Old. Owner Andrew Mainz was there and he was very charming and funny. I bought some really cool paper flowers with antique buttons & crystals in their centers for cards & scrapbook pages, but didn't buy half of what caught my eye. So many cool pins, old-style hair barrettes & clips, and cloth appliques that resembled those that used to adorn my sundresses and jumpsuits back when mom made some of my clothes. It really is a cool shop - I strongly recommend that, if you're creative or crafty at all, you stop in the next time you're downtown. You can visit their website at He has a blog, too!

So I have an unplanned evening this evening, which is really, really nice! I do have a lot to get done, such as laundry, but I don't feel much like being productive....we'll see what wins - laziness or productivity.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Being Whacked in the Head by God

OK, so....

I am always wanting to do things and then not doing them because I'm too tired, too stressed, too something. But after a very rough two weeks in my personal and work life, I decided to actually do two things that I wanted to:

1) Go to Friday at Four, a networking opportunity at Danielle's restaurant sponsored by Frederick270 Magazine & other local businesses.

2) Go see "DonQ" at the MET Saturday night, to support some of my favorite local thespians (notably Karli Cole & Wilson Seltzer, though I found that many other kids I love were also in the show!)

At Friday's event, in addition to the typical networking, there was a 15 minute presentation by a local chiropractor, Dr. Amir Rashidian, on stress and how we can gain control over our negative reactions to it in order to improve our over-all wellbeing and lives. He made a lot of sense! He also offered a free wellness screening to anyone there. Afterward, I signed myself up to see him on Tuesday, 8/17 and get an honest, real picture of the damage I've done to my physical self over the years. It's going to be scary, but I have to know in order to move forward. I've never been to a chiropractor, but he seemed to honestly know what he's talking about and I had an immediate trust in him.

I left there feeling as if there was a very distinct reason that I actually made the time and effort to attend that particular networking event when I've blown off so many others. I felt the hand of God in the whole thing, and left feeling empowered, hopeful, and thankful.

Then, I knew that I wanted to go see Karli & Wilson in DonQ at the MET, but I was flagging in energy and motivation. For some reason, I forced myself to buy tickets and Tori and I went Saturday night, to the final performance. Well, again, I found myself believing that God had led me to that show. You may know the story of Don Quixote of LaMancha, and this was a local woman's adaptation of the story. It was a beautifully-done show. Wow. I totally bought into the message in the first Act, but it was during the second Act, when DonQ was talking to Mike about his leadership of LaMancha, the need to understand what our role in our world is, and our ability to make our lives what we want/need them to be that I actually broke down and sobbed. I heard the message loud & clear. I can blame stress, I can blame a challenging period at work, I can say I don't have the time or the money, but the more excuses I make the less well I will be.

So, I embark on a new journey. Kit is settled on his own at Edenton and Tori is about to head off to college. My divorce will be final very soon. I have the power to make my life what I want/need it to be, or to float along having little to no energy and live a mediocre life. I am choosing wellness, I am choosing energy, I am choosing LIFE.

Thank God for His wisdom and grace. Thank God for my amazing friends and colleagues. Stay tuned to see how this all works out!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Laura Ingraham makes my skin crawl!

OK, so this morning on The Today Show, Laura Ingraham was plugging her new FICTION book, The Obama Diaries, by telling viewers that the book is not a fictional account, but a telling new way of looking at the Obama Administration. Really? REALLY?

This woman is dangerous and should not be allowed to grace the airwaves. I'm not proposing censorship, because I don't believe in that. Rather I'm proposing that people not watch her and, thereby, render her blather ineffective. I'm proposing that we not give credence to lies and make-believe, vitriol and hatred that she espouses.

I am not thrilled with how things look today politically or socially. I, like many, am disappointed that this Administration has not done more to solve real problems rather than spout rhetoric and put band-aids on things.

  • This Administration INHERITED the deficit - the W Administration caused catastrophic spending and got us into two wars in which we're still ensconced.
  • This Administration is at least trying to rejuvenate social programs which will make a difference to more Americans
  • I agree that we need jobs, but not at the benefit of corporations - I fear that the business community will use this economy as a golden opportunity to further rape the people who so badly need jobs now, paying sub-standard wages and not providing benefits, all in the name of corporate financial hardship - yea, right.
That's all I have time for this morning....God help us if Laura Ingraham is the harbinger of truth she professes to be!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

summertime, sweet summertime!

June 1st is here already - amazing, isn't it? Post Memorial Day means more laid-back attitudes, less traffic on the roads (even less once school lets out for non-Seniors in a couple of weeks!), flip flops and vacation at the beach on the horizon. Yay!

Lucy is enjoying her summertime haircut. I wish my Bug's AC didn't cut out, but that will be fixed soon enough, I hope. Not much to contribute to the blogosphere today except to say I'm here, I'm happy, and I'm enjoying summertime!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On BP, the oil spill, and government regulation

OK, so for the past month plus, oil has been pumping into the Gulf at an alarming rate, endangering wildlife, environment, beaches, and ultimately the world's population.

What the hell?

If BP and other massively wealthy oil companies were properly regulated to begin with by our Federal Government, and had been mandated to have drilled relief wells at the same time as they drilled the primary oil well, this would never have had the impact it has. But no - industry has such powerful political lobbies that they scream "too much regulation! Government has no right to tell us how to run our businesses!" and the idiots who vote for the politicians they buy scream the same bullshit. So, OK, BP, Exxon, other hugely wealthy oil companies - if it will appease you, keep you donating to our campaigns, and get the consumers the oil and gas that they crave, we'll let you drill a huge oil well thousands of leagues under the ocean with no failsafes.

Smart move, whichever Administration allowed the original drill to be put in place.

In my opinion, the leaders at BP and the share holders should be paying every penny of clean up costs. They need to quit going on tv defending themselves, claiming to do all they can do, and start fixing things. They need to be held accountable.

After all, if I created a disaster at work .5% as serious as this one, I'd be pounding the pavement looking for a new job. Hell, I'd probably being sued out of house & home. But I'm just a lower-middle-class grunt. Screw me. Thanks.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the answer to when it would all hit me... a ton of bricks.

I have been wondering when the reality of my baby, my only child, beloved daughter, growing up and away would hit me, and I found out on Friday, her 18th birthday.

She was showing me a lovely gift that her friend, Cassie, had given her of a set of cosmetic bags...telling me how helpful it will be to have the set in college, at JMU. All of a sudden, I got this sick feeling in my stomach - she's going away.

It hit me. Wow.

Going away to college! It seems like just yesterday that I was making preparations for my own college career at Hood. Of course, it was a whopping 29 years I totally understand how excited she is, how she's anticipating life on campus, classes, shows, friends, late-nighters, college traditions, sports games, late-night Denny's (or wherever JMU kids go) runs.

I continue to be happy for her, and so excited for all she's about to experience. Yet still, I am starting to realize how very much I'll miss her.

It's the natural order of things, it's how it should be. It will be harder than I once believed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I have an idea...

....what if businesses paid living wages and fair benefits to all employees, and people stopped thinking that certain types of jobs are "beneath" them - hmmmm....then we may not have such an issue with people coming into the country illegally to work for the same entities who are supporting Arizona's archaic immigration law! What a concept! I know it's a generalization, but I'd wager a bet that most people who support that law would never consider taking a $5hour job harvesting our farmers' crops, slinging burgers, manning our multitude of convenience, liquor, and other service sector businesses, etc....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My brother, my friend, my stand-in father

Christopher Anthony Murphy, Jr...or Kit to his family. A man who has probably THE biggest heart one can have. And I am the sister who has been the beneficiary of his love for 46 + years. And also of his torturous sense of humor...but I digress...

Kit has always been the quiet one, the serious one, the SMART one. He should have gone on Jeopardy many years ago, and we've told him so countless times throughout the years. He's a fountain of trivial knowledge. He has worked with/on computers since they took up entire rooms at the Social Security Administration complex in Woodlawn.

Only 61, he is now hospitalized at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore. Facing surgery tomorrow for rampant infections in his feet. I've been uttering silent and not so silent prayers all day that all goes well and he is healed. He has been such a good and deserving servant, and is such a special guy. He deserves a good outcome.

So, my MOBAC if you are reading this - get well and we'll get through this together. Matt, Claudia and I love you more than we can ever tell you. We are here for you.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moving onward and upward

Resiliency is amazing. While still stung by recent rejections, Tori is thinking about greener pastures, looking at other schools with an open mind and an open heart. Prayers are being answered - God is good. Many, many thanks to all of my friends and followers who have taken a few minutes to ask Him and any other Higher Powers they believe in/talk to to help us through these auditions! I know she's going to land where she's supposed to be. I just know it!

Dealing with rejection

Well, we're home from Pittsburgh and our visit to Point Park University/Conservatory for Tori's audition. Again, she felt as if she did very well; but, again, she did not make the program. This is probably the most difficult thing I've ever had to endure. Harder than my cancer diagnosis. Harder than my own college and grad school course work. Harder than the dissolution of my marriage. To see her so devastated, questioning her talent and her worth so mournfully - this is truly a parent's challenge.

I know she is destined to perform. I KNOW she is among the most talented. The question is, can she take the heat of all of the rejection she's yet to face in that field, no matter HOW talented she is? It's not about ability here. It's about what they're looking for. Whatever that is. Who knows? But all of the pep talks in the world, all of the talk about it not being her, it being them...all is falling flat because she is hurting so.

So she has 3 more auditions/campus visits scheduled. Three more opportunities. We're looking at other schools that she can apply to, but the clock is ticking. Truly stressful. But this, too, shall pass. I still believe that she'll land where she's supposed to land. She will be OK in the end, but we have to get through all of this to get to that place. Dammit, this is just so hard.....