Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So He Said . . .

Very short post.

We were talking about the book American Gods. He was astounded I had read it.

“I’m gonna say something,” he said seriously, “and it’s big. You’d better a hold of something.”

Well he’s a bit of a smartass, so I thought, yeah right. “I’m sitting down,” I replied. Which I was, sitting on the porch.

“Okay, here it is: I’m in love with you.”

Just like that, he took my breath away. I was suddenly glad I was sitting. I knew what I should say, but I wasn’t ready yet. I just kind of sat there in stunned silence.

“Wow,” I said. “That was unexpected.”

“I know you have to digest it for a while,” he said. “Words are very important to you. When you say it, I know you’ll mean it.”

Thing is, I knew it for a while now. Because we spent so much time saying every word but “love”. So I knew that he was aware of how I felt.

We talked for a few more minutes. Then we were getting off the phone.

“I love you,” he said again.

“I love you, too,” I said nervously.

I’ve said those words before, and it ended disastrously. I’m a little afraid of them. But this is different, as I later explained to him, by orders of magnitude. This feels predestined in so many ways.

I wanted him to know I actually meant it, not just saying I love him because he said it. I wanted him to feel special too. So I texted it to him.

He said it first, but I texted it first. And he made it Facebook official.

I feel like there’s a lot to live up to now, but I’m also very freed. It’s interesting. I am his, and yet it frees me up, this belonging. You’d think it would be stifling but it’s not.

I just wanted you to know.


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So There’s This Guy . . .

I really want to talk about a guy I met, but I’m afraid of boring my readers to death.

Like I said in my last post, we met on Facebook Dating. We’ve known each other about 2 weeks now. We started talking on Tuesday the 30th, and our first in person meet up was that Friday. It went well. We really clicked.

We talk multiple times every day. I’m absolutely over the moon about this whole thing, but it seems so fast. I mean, we are each other’s first call of the morning and last call at night. Often we send texts if we wake up in the middle of the night. The level of communication is astounding.

He talks about long term things. I think about them but seldom speak them. I am a little afraid to, as if I can jinx it. Too much, too fast, but it keeps working. Both of us are looking for the point of contention and so far there isn’t one.

He told me how much he earns. I didn’t ask, he wanted me to know. I don’t fully understand, but something about financial security in there. I don’t think he was bragging, he just wanted me not to worry. We ate out several times and I am conscious about money because I have so little of it. He paid. He also bought me a book. I love presents and I love books, so that made me quite happy.

We dance around the idea of love. I think, we are already so attached. We can just hang out and we can undertake projects. I said, “I want to be like those old people, still holding hands at 85.” He replied, “I’m in!” And we assume we will know each other at that age. We talked about, he likes to cook so he can cook and I will clean up, sort of planning a life together. But it seems too early for an emotional commitment, even though I wonder if we have already made one.

He says I make him happy, and he makes me happy too. I just grin into the phone like a damned jack-o-lantern, gap-toothed and all. I don’t know what to say half the time, I just want to hear his voice and feel connected. He’s got a great voice. It melts me when he speaks, except those times when we get excited about yet another similarity between us, because then I am too energized to appreciate his voice.

I would spend all day with him, just watching TV or working on our separate projects. I’m content to share space. In fact, I would probably run the video chat all day long, as if we were in the same room.

So this is me right now. One foot in the hot water, the other on a banana peel, trying not to fall in.

But I think I’m gonna fall. And I’m not bothered by that.


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Facebook Dating

Lately it seems like everyone around me is coupling up.

Now I’m happy for my friends, but it makes me a little melancholy. I get tired of being alone. Friends are busy with their new love and I am left to my own devices.

So I got curious. What were they doing that I wasn’t? Was I fundamentally flawed in some way, or was it something I could do differently?

I asked K. She said she met her guy on Facebook dating and they hit it off right away. They had only known each other a couple of weeks when Covid became an issue. They decided that they wanted to be quarantined together and they’ve been together ever since.

I asked V. She said she also met her guy on Facebook dating. They shared many interests and values. She was nervous to meet him in person. They’ve known each other a month and already have decided to get married.

I’m not looking to live together or get married that fast, but there seemed to be a pattern. These were real matches not just hooking up. I can get laid if all I want is sex; I want a connection with somebody. This seemed like a promising route. I filled out a profile and went to work.

Now I’m a little picky. I have a physical type I prefer so I was able to rule out some people who simply didn’t appeal to me. I hate being that shallow, but I know that I like a tall man with some meat on him. Facial hair is good though not a requirement. I like long hair on men, but really, by my age (over 50) long hair isn’t always a good look. So smile at the pictures of 30 year olds but scroll past. Age was a factor. I want someone with whom I can have a conversation. Under 53 years old I mostly skipped.

Next I am profile picky. Please say something about yourself. Blank profiles don’t interest me. Three-word profiles don’t say much about you. Now some things say a lot about you. If you tell me in your profile that you are anti gun control or pro Trump or God fearing, I know we are a poor match. You might be hot, but I would be so frustrated with you! I like to see several pictures, not just head shots. I also think the questions are useful because they give you something to write about.

I chose a few guys to “like” and waited to see what happened. Most of them don’t have the skills to keep my interest while texting. I’m sure they’re great guys, they’re just not MY guy. But nobody was creepy and it was fun. I didn’t expect true love, maybe a dinner or coffee at some point. So it was a semi successful experiment.

And then.

And then I ran across this one profile. They guy seemed a little goofy and somewhat geeky, which is pretty much my wheelhouse. He said he was good at making baklava and he was interested in hypnosis. I like baklava. He said Doctor Who was his favorite show. I like Doctor Who. Interesting.

I looked at his photos. Middle aged guy, blue eyes, various facial hair, some with a shaved head some with hair. He played with filters in some of the pictures so I knew he was a little goofy.

What the hell. Like.

It wasn’t long before I got a reply. We texted. Within an hour, he asked if he could call me. That was interesting. I said yes. He called, I expected some banter and maybe phone sex. We talked a while, then we talked some more. A lot more. And when we got off the phone, we were done with Facebook dating.

We met in person on Friday. We went out for Mexican food and a little flirting. Who am I kidding? The food was good, the time together better. We kissed a lot. We went to Andy’s for ice cream, and I let the thing melt. I love a Snow Monster, and I was instead captivated by the man sitting next to me. We went to a park and made out like teenagers.

Saturday I went to a pool party. I passed within 10 miles of his house (we don’t live near each other) so I called. We got together again. He greeted me with a hug and whispered in my ear, “Take me with you.” Proof that even if you love your family, you can have too much. We went to a little restaurant with a bar and closed the place. We sat in front of his house for a long time. Eventually I got thirsty and we ended up on the sofa in his home office. No sex but such fun.

It’s been a week since I’ve seen him. We talk every day for too many hours about a wide range of topics. We are very similar without being identical. I’ve known this man a week, and we wish we could be together more. He’ll come out on Saturday so we can spend the day. We have a weekend planned in a couple of weeks.

I saw him for lunch today. Barely half an hour, but so worth it. We split an entree at Chili’s and dashed back to meet my boss. It was so good to see him. We sat side by side in a booth with our legs touching. I was so conscious of his knee next to mine! He put his arm around my shoulders. It’s the little things and those stand out to me.

So really, if you’re looking for dating, I can recommend Facebook dating app. All those years of gathering data on us have paid off in a tremendous way.


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Breakfast at K’s House

I have had a good day today.

I slept in until 8:30, which is pretty late for me. I take one of the residents to work for 8:00 in the morning on weekdays so I am up around 6:30 which is early for me. Now I have a hard time staying up late on the weekends for that midnight curfew.

But I slept in today, so that was good. And I hope to sleep in tomorrow.

Then I went to visit my friend K and her other half. When she was single, we used to hang out sometimes twice or 3 times in an average week. Then several things happened at once: She got a promotion. She started dating. She moved. I ran into money issues. I moved. And, oh yeah, Covid 19. The universe just conspired against us. I actually thought for a while that she was one of those women who drops all her friends when a man appears. She isn’t, it was just a perfect storm of circumstances, and I never said anything to her about it. I had stuff going on too.

K made breakfast bake for us. She spray greased an 8″ x 8″ casserole, cubed 4 slices of bread into it, added browned ground beef, then a layer of spinach and a layer of shredded cheese. She scrambled 10 eggs with about 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and poured it into the pan. Finally she topped the whole thing with sliced tomatoes and baked it for 20 minutes. It was yummy. And I had 3 cups of coffee, so I felt quite full. Fruit salad rounded everything out.

Mostly it was just good to connect with a friend again.

I am seeing my friend B tomorrow at Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum. They have a patio with outdoor seating. B wants to do things again but several years ago she had cancer so she is taking extra precautions with Covid and prefers to sit outside. I’ve never been there, but one of the waitstaff is my daughter’s roommate.

After I see my friend, I might go visit my old roommates, F & L. I haven’t seen them since I moved out and it’s been like 6 weeks. It’s mostly because I owe them money which I hate. I can’t wait until I can pay it. F doesn’t say anything but I know he thinks of it. Plus I want to see Momo kitty. I miss him, but he is doing so great there, I am very happy for him.

I haven’t had a weekend this busy in a couple of months. I’d say it’s due to Covid but really it’s the lack of money. I don’t go out much these days because I can’t afford even a coke, and I don’t want my friends to feel obligated to pay for me.

Not withstanding, I have posted my peer-to-peer payment information on Facebook in case someone wants to buy me a cup of coffee.

Here are my various contact information:

Venmo = @Allison-Leonard-23
CashApp = $AllieSunlion
Zelle = 9724807770
Patreon = Allison Leonard
Paypal = Kiss5Tigers

In case someone would like to contribute. Because unemployment is kind of a bitch and I’m not getting paid by them at this time.


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Cafe Brazil

Cafe Brazil is maybe my favorite coffee place. Oh, sure, Starbucks and Dunkin’ are on the list too, but they are chains and this is a local place. Well, still a chain, but only like 8 stores, not nationwide. My aunt, who is a flight attendant, swears by McDonald’s coffee, so, you know, something for everybody.

But today I celebrate Cafe Brazil. Finally open again 24/7. I have been waiting for a place I can hang out and use wifi to reopen. Usually I use the tables at Half Price Books but they have put the chairs upside down on them which is clearly meant to discourage people from congregating. I think the coffee shop might even be shut down.

So clearly I am going to have to pay to occupy space somewhere. I could go to Denny’s or IHOP but they generally don’t have wifi or a place to plug in my computer and work. Cafe Brazil it is.

The walls are painted bright lime green and cerulean blue. There is a border painted near the ceiling of palm leaves, flowers, parrots and pre-columbian heads. The walls are usually covered with art that is for sale. This particular shop had only about 5 pieces on display at the moment. With huge windows on 3 sides, there is a lot less wall space than many locations but often there is more art. Maybe I should bring some down, see if it can be sold here.

Mostly today I had coffee and wrote 3 letters. I have one more to write before bed tonight but that can be any time. I also had nachos. I really like the nachos here. The appetizer size is a meal for one so that was tasty. I even ate a few of the jalapenos.

I remember the first time I had jalapenos. I was about 8 years old. We had come to Dallas from my native Boston to visit my dad’s family for Christmas. My mother’s brother, who was in the air force, was stationed I believe at Lackland AFB so since we were in the state, we drove down to see that part of the family too. My uncle took us across the border to Mexico. My mom, my aunt, my cousin and I went shopping, and the men went to a little cantina and were enjoying cerveza and nachos. My uncle thought he would play a joke on my and gave me a nacho. It was a crispy corn tortilla wedge with cheese and a single pickled jalapeno in the center. I think he believed I would freak out, but my first solid foods were pickles and corned beef, so you can guess I like things with strong flavor. I loved the nachos. Dad was oddly pleased and let me eat as many as I wanted. It was literally a decade before I went to Chi-chi’s restaurant in Boston and had nachos, and had that whole episode flood back into my memory.

Well, my boss has called and I need to take care of something. But today was a good day. I got poetry written and letters written and talked to my daughter, and oh yeah, Cafe Brazil is open again. Life is good.


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Moving Forward

In so many ways it feels like life has come to a complete halt but in other ways it’s still moving forward.

It’s spring in Texas. Bluebonnets are out along the highway and I saw a lovely patch of Indian paint brush the other day. I haven’t seen anybody stopping to take the obligatory annual bluebonnet photos that are a Texas tradition, but that is likely to be due to rain as much as social distancing.

Pumpkin the cat has had a litter of 4 kittens. Daughter now has 14 cats in her house: 2 of her own, 1 of her boyfriend’s, and 4 that belong to her roommates plus 2 litters of kittens. One litter is actually old enough to go to new homes but the person who wants them lives in another state and travel is restricted right now.

We had a meeting at Dunbar House with a potential client. She seems like she could really benefit from 3 – 6 months of assistance while she gets her feet under her. And she seems pretty motivated to move her life ahead. The drawbacks are that she has a dog which she simply could not bring with her, and she has a significant other who she would like to stay with. We can’t take in a couple. In fact, I said to V today, we should let it be known that there is no dating within the household. I just see that being a bit of a problem.

I am still planning to move on the 18th. I picked up boxes from a friend today. It was so weird, both of us with masks and afraid to actually chat about anything because of risk of exposure. I just totally appreciate the boxes. I should be able to finish packing now.

I am finding all kinds of cool stuff in my bedroom as I pack. I mean, I knew I had it. I just didn’t know where it was exactly.

I need to do much laundry in the next week. Charli the kitty has been peeing in my laundry again so I need to get that handled and packed. If I can just wash and pack that will be easiest.

I have no idea where I’ll be putting stuff once I move. So much of it is art supplies. I need to actually use art supplies instead of just buying them. I hope to have an opportunity to make some art once I move.

So yeah, things are difficult and strange, but on the other hand the situation is changing even as I write this. Slowly but still shifting. Slow is not staying still, so that’s good. Hopefully things will be different before too long, in a good way.

I feel pretty optimistic today.


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“Plague Trip”

Took a little road trip with the roommates today. It’s interesting to get out in the world after being at home so much.

First stop was Fiesta for a money order. While L went in to take care of that, F and I went to McDonald’s. McDonald’s was a bit of a clusterfuck, though there was worse to come. In spite of the fact that the app says you can get 40 nuggets for $10, the lady insisted you could only get 20 for $7.50. F became very frustrated but settled for the 20. I got a sweet tea and a McChicken. The lady at the payment window didn’t have half the order so we had to verify it again. The chicken was dry and had obviously been cooked a while ago. Then we went back and picked up L.

I got to look at the scenery while we drove along. Usually I am driving myself so I don’t get to look around much. I was struck by how many big trees there were. We passed a golf course surrounded by a stream. A man and a big buff-colored retriever were walking along in the water. There was a group of black kids in black clothes, except one in a purple hoodie that seemed so bright in contrast. But on the roads there were almost no vehicles. The lack of traffic is what really feels apocalyptic. Gas prices were down to $1.34, though they are 20 cents higher closer to home.

Next stop was CVS for F’s meds. One of them is a controlled substance that is not kept in stock. I understand that because I go through this with my psych meds from time to time. F’s script had been submitted on Tuesday. Today is Friday. He called CVS to be sure it was ready, and the local CVS said they didn’t have it in stock, it was at another CVS 2 towns over. When we got there, they told us they didn’t have the prescription. Apparently when it’s a controlled substance they can’t electronically transfer it, the doctor has to submit a new script. So the choices were, order the drug which will take over the weekend to arrive, IF the manufacturer ships it, which is an ongoing problem not related to Covid-19; or have the order cancelled and get the doctor to send new orders. F opted for waiting over the weekend, though he did say that if the drug wasn’t there on Monday, he would have to contact the doctor. He wished the lady a “happy plague” when we drove away.

Then we went to pick up some items L had loaned a friend. I stayed in the car. The friend did come up to F and hug and kiss him, so I hope she was not infected. While we were waiting for L, we saw an old lady with really unfortunate hair. I told F, if my hair ever gets that kind of thin, I am going to shave my head and go with wigs. I have thought of doing that anyway, but the cost of wigs is off-putting. I actually have sympathy for the woman. We talk about male pattern baldness but nobody talks about women’s hair thinning as we age.

Next stop was Eatzi’s. I love Eatzi’s but I can’t really afford them. I had to pee so I went in with L to use the restroom. L bought me a coffee, so that was a treat. She also bought good bread, pizza and cookies. We ate the Mexican wedding cookies while we waited for the pizza. Yup, desert before dinner. The cookies went really well with my coffee. The pizza was freshly made and hot. The crust was thin though I think it could have used a little garlic or butter to be perfect, and I really liked the cheese.

Final stop was Dallas Tamale and Tortilla Factory. F wanted pork tamales but this late in the day all they had left was beef and jalapeno. I probably won’t be eating any of them because jalapenos don’t like me. L bought the last ones, and the lady that came in after wasn’t able to get any. I bet she was kicking herself for not going in sooner, since she was already there when we pulled up.

Then we went home. We didn’t stop for mail, which is fine, I’ll just take a walk tomorrow to get it, unless it rains. And my belly is full of snacks, though I will want to eat again before going to bed. It’s been a good day.

Now to write some snail mail.


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North Texas Irish Festival 2020

I volunteered for North Texas Irish Festival this year.

For me, it’s a good deal. I get access to the show when I’m not working, I get a t-shirt, and I get beer tickets. Totally worthwhile.

I love the music, though I must say I was a little disappointed in one group that played Willie Nelson music, and Jolene, and other pop songs. I mean, I can hear pop music anywhere, I go to Irish Fest to hear Celtic music.

I worked the information booth, first at one of the entrances, then at the Shannon stage, which is the main stage. I got to find out where all the events were. It was fun to interact with happy people and give suggestions about where to eat and what to see.

Here is a list of people watching observations:

People who don’t dress up themselves, will dress up their dogs. Many of them of course had green bandannas. Several had green tutus. One was actually dyed green.

People dyed their hair, but surprisingly few dyed it green. I saw more people with pink-and-blue Harley Quinn hair. Purple was the most common single color. One lady had her hair colored in layers, bleached white on top of violet, very cool.

I really enjoy a good kilt. Only one man was wearing the whole nine yards, and there were a lot of Utili-kilts and Kommando Kilts. I particularly like the ones that are black on the top of the pleats but when they open, they are plaid on the inside. Not at all traditional but a great effect.

There were so many natural redheads!

Lots of people in renaissance garb, both male and female. Fewer than in past years though. I remember when Irish Fest was the first ren event of the season in Dallas, but now Sherwood Forest Faire is the premier event.

For men, the look was basically t-shirt with jeans or kilt, renaissance garb, or some really good steampunk. Only one couple, though, were both steampunk. Usually steampunk men had modern women.

Hats were a big deal. One girl had a great felted strawberry had that looked like something a faerie would wear. Several men had oversized caps. I saw a few women with witch hats, which were very cool with their decorations. Baseball caps of course because Texas. And brimmed hats with hat bands.

Women seemed to fall into two categories: crazy t-shirt ladies, maybe with fun earrings or hair accessories; and corset girls. Many women wore kilts, which I’m not sure about. I get wanting a cute plaid skirt, but I thought kilts were for men.

I like Guiness. I miss dressing up. I like free t-shirts. I enjoy volunteering. This was a good weekend.


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Sioux Falls

I am staying in a Holiday Inn Express, which is a pretty good hotel. I usually stay at a Hilton, but this one is about a mile from my work location so that’s pretty cool. I could almost walk to work, if the weather were just a bit warmer.

I find it’s not the temperature that gets me, it’s the wind. It’s hovered around 35 degrees F (for you C people, that’s just above freezing) and I would be good in just my hoodie and scarf if the wind would stop. Plus, it’s like summer in Texas, you just don’t spend that much time outside. You go from a heated hotel to a heated car to a heated office.

I have made some friends. There is D who was very chatty and I missed her Friday because she was sick. There is K who is the wild one. She’s the one who can probably get me into trouble. And there is A, who I know from another deployment. Assuming we are here at Christmas, we have plans to spend the holiday together.

Having friends means having a social life, so I have used the company card A LOT. I can’t begin to imagine how much I owe for food and drinks. I have also consumed more alcohol in the last 3 days than in the year before that. I need to slow down. Once I get paid, I can stop using the company card and go back to using my own money.

Yesterday we puttered around downtown Sioux Falls. It was very cute. We stopped in at Woodgrain Brewing Co for a quick drink and to make our game plan. I had a milk stout that was very good. A had a much paler beer than I like and K had wine. All local. I like to try local food when I get to an area.

We headed up Phillips St and the first thing we noticed was all the sculpture on the sidewalk. Apparently they were having a sculpture walk. There was everything from byper-realistic to surreal to assemblage. I would have liked to be able to look more at the pieces but the temperature made that difficult.

Now Phillips St is the part of town that is all little shops and restaurants. We went into several shops. One was called Urban Archeology and it had some cool antique and vintage stuff. The thing I wanted — that I will buy if I am stationed back in Sioux Falls — was a vintage 1800’s crazy quilt that was $50. It was amazing. But as much as I love it, I have pee-pee kitty who marks all my laundry. I would probably resell it.

We went into a store called Spice and Tea Exchange which smelled incredible. It reminds me of Penzey’s back home only somehow more quaint. I found several things I would get for friends. There were the tiniest measuring spoons, local salt rubs and seasoning, and merlot salt which was an amazing magenta color. A checked out the teas and said there was a great selection, but I don’t know, it looked small compared to the spice section.

We went into a little florist shop that I forget the name. It was a tiny crowded shop that had everything from hand embroidered tea towels to fudge. Oh yeah, and flowers. I had a sample of the penuche, it was amazing.

I made us stop at Zandbroz. It was a most intriguing store to me. It had jewelry, bath goods, books and stationery. I found a ton of stuff I’d like to own. It’s also the only place I went that had postcards. There were pretty costly at $1.50 each, but if I get stationed back here, I will for sure buy a bunch. Some of them would make great collage backgrounds.

We ended the night at Turks & Caicos Cabana Grille. The food was amazing. I had the huli huli chicken which was 3 big pieces of chicken thigh and spam fried rice. Very Hawaiian to me. I had enough to bring home, though I have no idea when I’ll get to eat it. A had the steak tacos; K had salmon. But I was quite pleased with my choice.

Reminder: the photos go on my Facebook page, and you can look me up. Allison Leonard. I’m the one with the colorful A, though that may change.

Today is laundry and a short trip to check out the local area. A’s granddaughter is a rock hound so we are on a quest for some local specimens. When we get back, time to pack and Monday is a travel day.

Now it’s time for breakfast so I’m off.


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Feeling Productive

I called Michael’s today because I had no idea what my hours are. This week I am working Thursday and Saturday. The 2 days I was hoping not to work are Thursday and Saturday. Oh well. Thursday I asked M to facilitate the group. I need to remember to tell him what page we are on so he can prepare. I’m a pantser, I fly by the seat of my pants. Saturday I had plans with my daughter, so we moved them to Sunday.

I finished the fingerless gloves and matching hat. I’ll post a picture later. I’m working on another bucket hat. I love the yarn colors so much, I am wondering about doing a blanket. But the yarn is a little stiff, craft yarn more than garment yarn, so maybe not. Or maybe a car blanket.

I watched a documentary on microdosing with psychedelics. I’m thinking, if I could find a drug trial for LSD, I’d apply in a hot minute. I could use getting some gunk kicked loose in my brain.

I viewed the video of Marney Makridakis‘ class “The Muse vs. Monster Mash”. Enjoyed it. I admit, I did not do the art activities in the real world, but I did imagine them and think about them. The Monster of course is the thing that holds you back and the Muse is the impetus to be creative. My Monster told me he wants me to be traditional. My Muse said to follow my dreams. She says the purpose of life is not to be safe, but to be fully myself.

I went to group today. We talked about creativity. I have so much to learn about being creative. The biggest thing for me is, don’t quit on projects. Keep going to the end.

It’s already November 5 and I haven’t started my NaNoWriMo yet, so I think I’ll just let it go for this year. November is a hard month for me to do this, August would be better. I might just try it in August, actually, the only real difference would be that there is no community doing it with me. I can live with that.

I took out 5 bags of trash today. I got the bathroom, kitchen and F’s trash. Then L asked me if I was taking the trash out of the other bathroom. I hadn’t planned to but that sounded more like instructions than an actual question so I got that one. And F asked me to get the confetti bits out of the shredder bin. So 5 bags. Hopefully back to 3 next Monday.

Tomorrow I am hoping to go to morning group then come home and make art. There is a possibility of being in an art show and I need some art to show. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an exhibition before.

Oh, it’s my birthday on Wednesday. If you’re just dying to give me a present, I have a wish list on Amazon and one on Yozocraft. Not that I expect you want to buy me stuff. I’ll settle for a donation to Heifer International.

Looks like a good week, all things told.