One could go on and on forever talking about anything, but I'll just touch on it here.

Saturday, December 26, 2020


Christmas is over. Maybe that's a relief to you. Maybe it's a sharp pain in your heart to think about a long winter ahead behind closed doors. Maybe Christmas was the one day this year you felt joy. Maybe it was the day this year that hurt the most. 

It's a literal dark day here, this day after, with the sky covered over and rain and snow taking turns falling down. In my little corner of the world, Christmas was bright. I have the luck of family and a child who, though he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, believes in magical moments that really do stand out during the holidays. The beautiful day that was Christmas is still sparkling today even though the world outside is grey. 

I wish to share some sparks with you, to help you hold on, to let you know that you can fire them into the void if you need help, and to ask you to believe that they will be seen. You will be heard. But how? We lead up to Christmas with outpourings of kind acts, goodwill gestures, messages of hope. What happens after? If you were hungry before, hurting before, lonely before, chances are you will be still. What sparks of hope can I offer? Anything that comes to mind dies before it touches my lips because it's just words. What good are words?

Sometimes the real prayers are the wordless ones. So here I sit, typing words but feeling silent prayers. I don't have a quote for you, a Bible text, a greeting card, that can make everything right. I open my hands and see emptiness. My heart is full but I am at a loss.  

The funny thing about the time after Christmas is that it is also the time before Christmas. What we waited for is over but coming again. A happy thought for me, a dreadful thought perhaps for you. But, if this time is also the time before, then it should still be the time of giving. There should never be an off season for generosity. 

We look to January, every year, as the new start that can be better. I have no idea what will happen this time around, of course I didn't know last time either, but my only goal is to keep praying those wordless prayers so that I can be quiet to listen and open to giving.   


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day: A How-to Poem for America


Enjoy the little moments like the last glow of the moon in the morning, the sip of hot cocoa or coffee to start your day, the breath you take, in and out.


Laugh with someone, a friend or a stranger on the street, as you smile at a loose puppy running to greet you or a small child jumping in the leaves.


Exercise, even just a little, do some stretches, take a walk, take a break from the screen or the dishes or the duties that must be done.


Choose compassion. We all need an extra dose.


Try to see the good in others


Ignore the impulse to judge someone whose life you know little about.


Open your ears and listen; sometimes that's the best way to be compassionate.


Neglect the news as much as you can so that all the above may be possible on this day. 


Dance like no one is watching.


Allow hope to guide you.


Yes, we will make it through.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Woolly Bears and Flying Tigers

"There's an all black one just down the trail. You know, they say that these caterpillars can predict if we are going to have a bad winter." 

The kind woman continued on her way as Geddy and I watched a fuzzy caterpillar crawl through the dead grass on the side of the pavement. He had just assisted this one to safety, not willing to see it die by squashing as many bicycle tires zoomed past. It curled onto a stick after gentle coaxing, and then released its grip, moving without hesitation or any apparent fear, as if children with sticks were a natural mode of transportation. 

We mounted our bikes again, using our "I Spy" eyes to spot several more daredevil multipeds as we pedaled through the autumn day, unexpected rescuers of these tiny meteorologists. Geddy was pleased to take on the role, though we spied many who had no chance of recovery. 

I'd seen these traveling critters before and forgotten their name, so when we reached our destination for rest and a treat, I Googled them on my phone. Woollybears. Yes, that sounded familiar. Then I saw that they transform into a type of moth. "Hey, bud," I called over to Geddy, who was hopping about on some giant rocks and snacking on his chocolate chip cookie. "These bears turn into tigers." 

How can something so small carry the weight of such ferocious names? It's all about the coats and colors they wear. The burnt orange band in the midst of a black body of fuzz foreshadows the orange wings to come, with black markings very tiger like. And, like bears, the caterpillars are supposed to hibernate through the cold weather, so perhaps, though they should be awake mostly at night, they are out in droves storing up calories for the long winter coming. I tried to decipher the message in their colored bands. Were they narrow stripes or broad? Wide means a mild winter and narrow means look out! Snow's coming. But we saw a variety, including the all-black one, so I guess we can't rely on these weather forecasters to give us any certainty.

That's a shame, because I'd like to know something about the near future. I don't want all the answers, but it'd be nice to plan a little. I'd like to be prepared for something, instead of how I've been going each day over these last seven months wondering when the other shoe will drop, and will it be a heavy steel-toed boot or a light flip-flop? I'd plan to duck and dodge one and let the other glance off my shoulder, no big deal. Instead, it's like being a caterpillar. We go across the path not knowing if we'll get smashed or if someone will carry us to the other side. 

Here's what I really wonder: Do the woollybears know that they will get wings? 

There's a beautiful story called Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus, about a dissatisfied little caterpillar named Stripe, who got stuck in the hunt for "more" and forgot who he was and who he was meant to be. He ends up doing what he sees every other caterpillar doing, because they seem to have forgotten as well who they are and they climb caterpillar pillars, stepping on one another as they try to reach the top, but getting nowhere. They want meaning, they want more, but their actions day in and day out are meaningless. What makes the story beautiful is that Stripe, thanks to his friend, Yellow, finally gets it, and leaves the pillar to become a butterfly. 

What would Stripe have done with his days as a caterpillar, had he realized all along that soon he would transform into another creature and fly? Would he have lived in fear, because it's kind of a big deal to go through such a change? Would he have waited impatiently, longing to reach his "better" self? Would he have actually been more content? 

I don't know what will happen next. I see no sign of wings where my shoulder blades are. So much really is meaningless. Maybe that shoe will drop and hit us and hurt. Maybe I don't want to know. I can't live for the "what might" any more than I can for the "what was." I guess I'll just be here, crawling along, trying to see what's right in front of me and reaching out to hold it close. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Apple Seed

 The Apple Seed

He pinches the apple seed,

rescued from the core.

Pokes it into the soil of the flower box,

pats it down with confidence.

No more trips to WinCo for apples,

he assures me.

“I’ll climb our apple tree and pick them.”

This faith, that if he plants it, they will grow.

Squirrels ignore this seed in its shallow nest.

It sprouts and thrives on sunlight, 

a boy’s hope.

He passes dreams to this new life:

Soon, surely this year, you’ll be mighty.

It rises 

a foot above the box,

a promise grows 

to feed our family for life.

Soon, surely this year, apples 

will weigh down its branches.

As tall as my child,

the leafy sapling fills out,

soon surpassing the height of his daddy. 

The boy creates a sign:

“Water my tallest plant Monday Wednesday Friday.”

I think he forgets all about it. 

But no. 

The boy sees; he knows.

Soon, surely this year, he’ll be climbing.

And I worry. 

Will it die? 

Where will we place an apple tree,

when our yard crowds with maples?

I plant it in a bigger pot.

We wait.

I wonder with my boy.

Soon, surely next summer, apples. 

Add Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels

Monday, August 24, 2020

In Training

 I'm a serious soul. Chit chat drains me. Hot days sour me. Below the tip-of-the-iceberg is where I like to dwell in thought and conversation. I'm drawn to the darker days with a cool breeze because they brighten my mood. The book or movie that turns me into a rain cloud of tears moves me because I feel deeply. (But don't label this English major as a fan of Wuthering Heights. No. Just no.)

Still, I often entertain ideas of being a stand-up comedian. I like a dry joke that brings just a twitch to the corners of my mouth. Those parent tweets of the week? They crack me up. And in my house there's a certain small person who knows how to make me giggle. For whatever reason, however, I'm too often somber and mired in a muddy trench thinking about THE BIG PICTURE. It isn't just age that has brought me here. Five-year-old me thought frequently about the woes of the world. It's just a little much, you know?

Perhaps that's why Geddy, my perceptive son, has made it his mission in life to have Mommy smile and laugh. If he stumbles onto something that gets my eyes twinkling, he knows he's struck gold and he keeps it up. It's a rare treat. Whether it's pulling faces, dancing around the room, or saying hilarious quotes, he'll do what he can to center my smile in the moment. 

The latest tactic involves a much more physical participation from me. Geddy calls it "training." We each grab a pillow, he gets the biggest, and face off near our giant bean bag. Then we run at each other. I usually twist to the side and smash him into the bean bag, but he's gotten some new moves where he circles around and sometimes, sometimes he catches me off guard and down I go. Down I go laughing. That's really what it's all about. I know he loves the action, the jumping, the bouncing, but he told me we were in training for the laughter. Mommy laughter.    

It's so good for me. For us. This smokey, hazy, dreary, sickly everything surrounding us right now is definitely not bringing me joy. The busy season has begun with school, work, and the ever-present chores, but we'll be taking training breaks around here. And telling jokes. And pulling faces. And remembering that the big picture is made up of all these little colorful pixels of life. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

First Grade in Our One-Room Schoolhouse

Geddy started first grade today, and it was both strangely familiar to my first day of school in the 80s and wildly different at the same time. Let me elaborate.

When Geddy entered kindergarten, it was a whole new world for all of us. Kindergarten for me had been learning at home from my parents and sister, without a formal curriculum but with lots of books. We had computers, don't think that we didn't, and I remember playing memory games on the Texas Instruments. But I wasn't really "going to school" that year. I spent a lot of time watching old shows on our tiny black and white TV and running errands with my mom. For Luke, he attended a part-time kindergarten taught by his grandmother. There were a few other students included, but even though it was a little more school-like than my experience, it still wasn't formal. Geddy going to kindergarten meant a big public school with a non-relative for a teacher and multiple "specials" classes taught by more adults he'd never met before. It was every day, with bells ringing, lines for entering and leaving the school, and announcements over the intercom. The sort of business I had only witnessed on TV or read about in books when I was a kid. 

This year was supposed to be the same, only he would spend all day at school, and even ride the bus once a week! I bought him a lunch box and wondered if he needed a new backpack. I wondered how he would do away from home for so long. I wondered how I would do. I guess I'll keep wondering. 

Today, we started school at home, in the basement, in the former guestroom that we converted into a classroom.

In many ways it felt like "playing school" when I was little. We had all his supplies ready, just in case. A notebook, pencils, crayons, glue sticks. We stared at the map of the United States we had tacked to the wall. The globe on the little table sat ready to be spun, though it doesn't light up like mine from my childhood. During the day he read to me and I read to him. We had recess in the backyard, shooting hoops. He even did some learning activities on his computer. Of course we connected to the internet instead of clicking a cartridge into a slot above the keyboard. The only parts missing were watching black and white TV and going to the store. 

Oh, but did I mention he and 25 other students signed into their computers to meet their teacher in a virtual environment? No bells, no lines, no cafeteria, no playground hijinks. No need to pack a lunch or a backpack. No fear of heading out the door too late. Instead of putting on shoes he put on a headset. And if any student talked out of turn, all the teacher had to do was press the mute button. Online school is not new, but it is not what we planned.

Though strange, it's kind of cool to look around our little one-room schoolhouse and realize that I get some more time with my son at home. I'm excited, too, that I can be present in his classroom every day (sorry, teacher!) and know what he's being taught. Some might wonder why I don't just homeschool Geddy, but we want to keep him connected to our local district so that he can more easily transition back when it is safe to do so. He's a social guy that needs other kids and grownups to interact with and learn from. For now, school at home is homeschool, just with an extra grownup. The only drawback to this semester is that no matter how much snow we get, there will be no snow day. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Just Keep Swimming: When the only open pool is a parking lot


Merriam-Webster provides a definition of resilience as "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change."

This word keeps popping up lately. The counselor lesson for the final week of school in Geddy's district was resilience. We sat and watched online as one of the school counselors read The Hugging Tree: A Story About Resilience, by Jill Neimark. A tree grows on a cliff, facing storms and dangers, but stays strong and determined through it all, largely because of the kindness of a young boy. The same day we heard this book, I signed into a Zoom session my friend, a speech language pathologist and professor, was presenting about stuttering in children and how to build their resiliency. I had signed in for the chance to "see" my friend and get a glimpse of her in professional mode, but I was surprised as she dove into the topic. 

Her focus was on helping children who struggle with confidence and self-esteem because of their stuttering, but what hit me was that we can teach children, and even ourselves, how to become resilient. Sure, I'd kind of known that. Therapy, church, meditation, prayer, exercise, friendship-all these are about helping people feel loved and strong and work through their mistakes and handle stress. But how often do we either neglect teaching resilience or get it terribly wrong? How often do we casually throw around the phrase "children are resilient," as if to imply that kids will just automatically bounce back and they will be fine regardless of what life throws at them? How often do we rush in to say, "don't cry," or "buck up," thinking that burying the emotion in the moment is the way to get over the bumps in life? 

In the past, most of the time I heard "children are resilient," it sounded like the wrong notes in a familiar song. I would think, sure, maybe some children are, but there are some scars on the soul that never fade. Why are so many adults screwed up? They have moments from childhood from which they didn't recover. When I became a parent, suddenly hearing, and even saying to others, "children are resilient," became an immense comfort because I didn't (and don't) want my mistakes to mess up my kid. (I sure hope he's resilient, because otherwise he's screwed!) 

It eats away at me to dismiss children's feelings and tell them to "just get over it," when I, as an adult, don't want anyone saying that to me. I can't imagine any adult wants to be told that. 

This whole pandemic thing, a likely reason resiliency is a hot topic, makes me want to watch what I say in regard to helping my family or friends through so much sadness and change. I'm not going to say, "buck up," but what if even saying "it's going to get better!" is the same as a slap in the face? What if I spew out, well-intentioned but ill-timed phrases such as "at least you didn't lose your job," or "at least your family is healthy"? I don't think that would teach anyone how to be resilient. 

I think I'd rather join Dory, my favorite animated fish, and sing, "just keep swimming." Just keep going, don't give up. That's not much of a tool, especially for those of us who never learned how to swim, but it's positive without assuming anything or preaching. I mean, it could still be the wrong thing to say, but maybe if I can figure out how to wear the attitude-teach myself resilience-I can better share it with others. 

It turns out that this week a bunch of children (innately resilient? explicitly taught by loving adults in their lives?) modeled resilience in a very literal Dory way. Though neighborhood swimming pools should be getting ready to open for the summer, our city has announced that they won't open at all this season. COVID-19 is cancelling a lot of fun, and it just keeps going. But as the city also spent the day flushing water lines, they inadvertently flooded a parking lot that has a clogged drain. As Geddy and I were heading out to play ball in the park, we noticed the massive man-made pond. Three kids, siblings, were already splashing away, and Geddy raced to join in. Soon, a father and three kids showed up in a car. Then another father and two kids rode up on bikes. Two more kids on bikes were followed by three others. Shoes came off, clothes became drenched, and parents waited on shore, shouting advice for keeping distance. My son shouted his excitement that he got to have a pool party for his birthday week. Two kids went home and came back with goggles and swam under water, the width of the lot. Yes, the water was dirty. Yes, some kids had trouble keeping that social distance. But there was joy. There was a moment in time that could be remembered not for what was canceled but what was created. It was hope. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

As a Bird

Up the trunk, following Geddy who narrates, “Step here, and here. This might be hard for you, because you’re in your older years.”

I, at 40, laugh but sigh: some truth to that. He knows that I used to climb trees as a child. For a moment, my eyes close and the river damp floods my nostril memories of Russian Olive, Weeping Willow. Where’s the sweet scent of horse’s nose, searching for the girl stretched out on a branch, dangling her legs in open air?

My eyes return to my son, crawling along, finding his footholds, finding his triumph at climbing so high.

“Is this the highest you’ve ever climbed as a parent?”

I turn my head about, gaze below. “Yes, I think it is.”

“And now we have our picnic,” he smiles.

We snack on granola bars, not minding the crumbs tumbling down to ants and whatever else hides in the weeds.

I see the people, sometimes two by two, moving along the dirt trail near us. It might be a regular weekend. Then some walk by in cloth face masks. Others give the next passersby a wide berth. In this tree are we safe from everything but falling?

I wish to stay all day, like the birds who continue nesting and singing, ignorant of panic. Or do they know? Do they know that all around them the humans are hoarding? Do they shake their feathers, sad at our fear? Matthew comes to mind.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (6:26). 

But I am not a bird. I don’t have that trust, though I’ve known my entire life that I should. When have I been without?

We climb down, explore around the fallen tree, finding more hiding places for spiders and snakes. Another snippet comes to mind, though I forget the poet’s name: “It’s never the edges of the world that worry.” I feel like I’m on the edge and worry is all I see. We’re all afraid we’ll disappear, like in a magician’s trick, but he won’t be able to bring us back.

Down by the river’s edge, we stumble along on the rocks, trying not to splash the toes of our shoes in water or muck. Geddy makes a game as we avoid touching any wet part of the rocks, moving down the bank, ducking under branches. The Canada geese are nesting near. The mallards swim about in twos. They keep going, ready to raise their families, even as the world feels stuck in a time loop.

A heron flies over the river, graceful giant, off to the rookery to attend to its own nest. This parent must go “shopping” daily for food, hunt it down, and take it back to its offspring. I cringe to go to the grocery store where even in a time of empty shelves I find enough to feed my family.

Before long, Geddy and I return to our home, our roost, with warmth and water and beds. With snacks and games and books. He shares the excitement of our adventure with Luke, telling how I climbed, too; delighting in the look of horror on his daddy’s face while watching the video of the snake we saw.

I imagine fluffing my feathers, tucking my son under my wing, knowing that tomorrow’s troubles are for tomorrow. Are we safe here? Safe for today.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Creating a Final Exam In the era of Covid-19

(Guest post by Luke Hindman)

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a lot of changes to the way I teach and interact with students in my courses. Working from home these last six weeks has added its own unique set of challenges. It has also resulted in a breaking down of some of the barriers between my professional life and my personal life. What follows is a snapshot of trying to update the Final Exam for CS121 so that students will be able to take it at home.


Morning department and committee Zoom meetings beginning at 9:00a. Meet with other instructors teaching CS121 at 10:30a. Four instructors teach six sections. After an hour of discussion, come up with a plan.


I actually don’t know what happened on Tuesday. Maybe there was a time warp and this day was skipped???


Meetings with students, teach over Zoom, office hours, email… Beautiful day so a quick 17 mile bike ride to Lucky Peak. No time to work on the exam.


Zoom meetings all morning. Start working on the exam in the afternoon and realize there is no way that the plan we came up with on Monday will work. Send the course coordinator a text explaining why our plan won't work. Ask if we can have a Zoom meeting for later that night to discuss it after kids are in bed.

Get out of shower around 8:35p, see that I received a response from the coordinator at 8:30p saying we could meet at 8:40p. I check the time and it is now 8:38p. I text a quick response “Works for me!” I finish drying off and grab a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt from the closet and am still drying my hair when the Zoom session begins. In a moment of panic I quickly check the shirt to make sure I didn’t accidentally grab my DNS is Sexy shirt.

Quick tangent here… It is amazing to me how my attire for Zoom meetings has changed over the last six weeks. Business Professional slid to Business Casual, then Casual, and now At-Least-I'm-Dressed. Sheesh!

Thankfully I had grabbed my Commodore64 T-shirt. Breathing a prayer of thanks, I jump into our discussion. Fifteen minutes later we have a workable plan. We spend another 15 minutes catching up on life and then return to our evening plans. One to “Good Omens” on Amazon Prime and the other to “Tiger King” on Netflix.


Begin working on exam questions, but have trouble focusing. Text the course coordinator. She has a similar struggle and is not making progress either. I go dig dandelions. I’m just getting settled down to start working on the exam again when my 6-year-old son begins complaining that he is bored. I offer him a dollar to pick the heads off all the dandelions in the front and back yards. He counters with 50 cents for just the backyard. I consider that a win and accept the deal.

Go back inside and write the exam overview and review guide. I send a copy to the course coordinator for her feedback. She is frustrated at creating exam questions. I suggest we pull a few questions from our existing quiz pool and only create a few code reading questions. She loves the idea.

At this point I feel really good about my progress and it is a beautiful day, so I bike to Lucky Peak.

Feeling satisfied with the ride and all the progress I’d made on the exam, I grab coffee on the way home so I can have a burst of energy to wrap up the exam questions.


While drinking the coffee I receive an email from a friend asking about how professors create final exams. I feel this is an important question that requires serious consideration. When I get home I write this blog post describing the process. I check the clock, realize that it is nearly 5:00p, and decide to call it a day. I'll finish the exam on Monday!

And THAT is how a final exam is created in the era of Covid-19.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Look at What We Have

“You’re going to say no, but I have an idea.”

He stood before me, so tall at almost seven years old. I looked at my phone: ah, how-to-avoid-going-to-bed thirty. Right on schedule. I looked into my son’s negotiating blue eyes and decided to listen before opening my mouth.   

“You change into your pajamas, and Daddy changes into his, and I change into mine, so if you say no, I will be ready for bed. But I’m not going to tell you what we’re doing yet, ‘cause I don’t want you to say no yet.” My boy kept eye contact, presenting his plea. 

Getting comfortable in my pjs sounded reasonable. After a long day in this new stay-at-home era of social distancing, and trying to clean the house and corral a boy through rewards and promises into “doing school” at the dining room table without interrupting Daddy in his office; we all needed some comfort. 

Once we convinced Daddy to change, our son revealed what he had in mind.

“So, we’re going to the backyard and we’re going to take out some chairs, and pillows, and blankets, and we’re going to look at the sunset and the stars, and look at our beautiful big tree and our park, and our house.” 

I did not want to say no to what sounded like a take-it-all-in and be thankful moment. No screens. No news. No work. No thoughts of what we couldn’t do or where we couldn’t go. 

I arranged two dining room chairs on our back porch and returned with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. Daddy came quietly, in pjs and coat, and Geddy brought out another blanket. 

Daddy and I sat down in the chairs and Geddy said he wanted to sit on my lap first. I opened the hand-knitted blanket and wrapped him right in. His long legs reached so far, my lap could hardly hold his length. But he who dislikes kisses and says I tell him I love him far too often, he wanted to cuddle up with his mommy, so I offered no complaints. 

We watched a neighbor family of four play pickleball on the tennis court in the park. The echoing ‘plock’ competed with my thumping heartbeat. Three quiet dogs stalked each other in the grass, running about then dropping to their bellies and crawling, somehow not breaking into sound. Pink clouds stretched their fingers, holding onto light. The hint of yellow-orange glow amongst the trees and the houses sheltered above the horizon.

Geddy spoke first, directing our attention. “Look at our big tree. Now look at our house.” We turned our heads. “Look at our garden beds. I can’t wait til spring.”

“Spring is here,” I murmured.

“No more winter?”

“Well, it could still snow, but basically no more winter.”

I looked at the bulging buds on the tree branches and the bright green of new grass shoots. Spring dared to venture out of hiding.  

Our backyard started yawning toward evening as we kept looking around, snuggling in the blanket. Then my boy got up and said it was time to snuggle with Daddy. I felt the absence of his warmth and weight, like the time of his birth, when nesting him safe inside me had ended. 

In the fenced yard, time waited with us, but darkness frowned with impatience. 

Then the goodnights began.  

“Good night, trees.”

“Good night, slides.”

“Good night, moon,” said Daddy.

“Hey, that’s a book!” Geddy chimed in.

I said, “Good night, slugs.”

“Slugs!” Roared Geddy. 

And then we blinked. The light had faded; the blush gone from the sky. We carried the chairs and dragged the blankets back inside. Then our boy climbed his ladder to his loft bed. We tucked him in and prayed “Thanks,” and “Please.” And we whispered, “Good night, Geddy.” And we paused. And I thought, Look at what we have. 

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Sunday, April 19, 2020

In Quarantine With the Seven Dwarves

My husband's sneezes shook the room. Yes, he appropriately covered his nose and mouth, but nonetheless I wondered if another earthquake had happened. It wasn't moments before that the house was also startled by a loud crack when our son slammed his bedroom door. I sat in silence after the storms, watching our cat sleep peacefully in the chair across from me. Then it hit me: I am in quarantine with the seven dwarves.

I know, it's just three of us here, well, four, counting the cat, but somehow this home confinement can make it feel as if we have a crowd. All the emotions keep coming out and bumping into each other. Sometimes Happy can be hard to find, though we take turns being him. If there was a Weepy dwarf, he could be me when I watch another good-news story about kindness and helpers. Although, the allergies affecting my husband bring out more than just the Sneezy in him. I've always been Bashful around people outside my family, but I suppose he isn't present much when I'm stuck at home. Our son can change from Happy to Grumpy with the blink of an eye. I sit here hoping he can switch back just as quickly.

If the cat is Sleepy, then where does that leave Doc and Dopey? Well, those fall to my husband, too. He's brainy as always, not letting this time of uncertainty diminish his creativity. There's the rocket launcher he built the other day. And he's a professor, working tirelessly from home to teach his students online. The Dopey side comes in with part allergy-pill-popping and his quirky sense of humor. Case in point: As I just finished telling him about all the dwarves living here, he flashed a sly grin and said that if he's going to be a dwarf, he's got dibs on Sexy.