So I’m doing a Master’s online. I plan on counseling fellow survivors and creating a safe space for individuals who have experienced medical trauma to heal emotionally. There’s a lot of work involved, a lot of writing about counseling and human development and my own perceptions of what it takes to help people move through their issues and come out stronger on the other side.

That kind of homework is not what this post is about.

It’s about taking time to indulge your creativity and have a little fun. It’s about the homework you do to make your house a bit more yours.

Every year I’ve tried to come up with more interesting and spooky Halloween decorations. I love fall, and the way the air shifts to the cool as the leaves start to turn and sever themselves from the trees. I love perfectly cozy sweatpants and thick socks. I love all the things we do and see and feel on the way to winter, and one of the things that I’d like to do this season is turn my house into a contemporary version of Grandmother’s House from “Little Red Riding Hood.”

This year I have grand plans that involve a bunch of sticks, some yard lights, transparent thread, wispy webbing,  and the soundtrack to one of my favorite horror games EVER. Progress pictures are forthcoming so you can see how my garden grows.

Tis the season…

Leaving Monte Rio

Tom Waits is in my head.

I’d heard of him long before I discovered him. My husband has a habit of making sure there’s new stuff to listen to all the time in our house, and I’m grateful because there are so many times I’m in a specific headspace, in need of musical immersion, and nothing I find in my personal queue seems to be right. And then I dive into the media folder and float away on a lyric or two.

Hold on.

So of course I read the news. It hurts sometimes, especially when it’s something that reminds me why I’m going back to school. I’m afraid for everyone. I’m afraid of the collective trauma response that’s going to rise up and overtake us when this is all over.

Hold on.

Today I’m listening to the utter transcendence that is “Frank’s Wild Years” and basking in the power of his audacity. I want to be that free. I want to be fearless. There’s a small scared thing inside me that cowers in the face of judgment and shame.

Hold on.

In a few hours I will drive to my family’s arts conservatory to help them out with the summer recital. I do not want to listen to the news on the way there, but I will. Hiding from the reality is what gives it power. Nothing makes sense today.

But on the way home, I will listen to Tom Waits.




something that makes things visible or affords illumination

an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon

the radiance or illumination from a particular source

the love and care that we all need to get through this life