Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello Monday . . . 
Hello Gypsy's eyes. I can see them now that she's been properly groomed.
Hello new hospital. Paul is scheduled for round four of chemotherapy this week, in a new hospital (better situated to taking care of him, we hope).
Hello school visit. Clara is going to check out an alternative school on Tuesday. Not sure she'll change schools, but it will be interesting to check it out.
Hello soccer boys. The first organizational meeting of the year is tomorrow.
Hello October art projects.  I'm going to start a new sketching class with Alisa Burke. I plan to focus on fall sketches and also sketches which fit the "Cabinet of Curiosities" theme at The Sketchbook Challege.  I also want to create art for Dias de los Muertos, and, from a journaling perspective, I'm going to participate in a meme called "The Art of Remembering," where each Sunday, a memory is recorded of someone who has passed away. You can read more about it here, but I won't start for another week because this weekend, I will say
Hello Storytelling Sunday looking forward to Sian's monthly gathering, and I already know what my story will be! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Monthly Make: Operation Write Home Cards

This weekend I'm getting together to craft with a group of friends at an annual crop we call "Scramp Camp."  The organizers have asked participants to contribute cards to "Operation Write Home." So, this morning, I pulled out a whole bunch of card fronts and stamped images I found the last time I organized my stash and started making cards. I ended up making about 20 cards in just a few hours! I'm calling this my "monthly make" for September. It was great to get these things out of my stash and into a usable form.  Do you have a stash of images or card fronts lurking in your stash? If so, when was the last time your turned them into cards?
The "monthly make" is sponsored by The Felt Fairy.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I should remember to do this more often . . .

The other day I had a free morning to myself, alone at home, and I decided to create. I thought about sketching or working on a painting, but in the end, I pulled out my art diaries/art journals. I laid down some backgrounds and added some images.
And then I journaled about the various things on my mind. The top is about the challenges of parenting and the second one reads "a woman's work is never done."  
I'd forgotten how much I enjoy working in these journals and how therapeutic it can be.  As much as I've enjoyed developing my painting, drawing and sketching skills this year, and as much as I love photography, I should remember to do this more often.
This lesson was inspired by Shimelle's prompt to remember "something you shouldn't forget." Is there something you need to remind yourself about this weekend?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

PPF: Welcome October!

It's been way too long since I've played along with "Paint Party Friday," and I've missed everyone! Here's my entry for this week - it's an art journal page to welcome October.  The quote around the sun from Samuel Butler reads: "Autumn is the mellower season and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruit."  The journaling in the flowers is part of a nursery rhyme, and it says "October's the month when the smallest breeze gives us showers of autumn leaves. October is red and golden and brown."
Got any favorite autumn quotes to share?
For more painterly goodness, check out this link to Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

LSNE Mid-Month Catch-Up (2/2)

I'm sharing another big batch of pages from my Learn Something New Everyday album.  You can see more pages and read about the project by clicking on this link.  On Saturdays, Shimelle is encouraging everyone to learn a new skill. I chose the "skill" of making photo cards on various websites, with the plan to create cards to give as Christmas gifts.  So, my lesson for September 15 was "It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas presents."  Day #16 marks my visit to the Union Cemetery in Redwood City to find a historic landmark for the Photo Scavenger Hunt. As I mentioned in this post, I was a little disappointed with the cemetery as a cemetery. My disappointment eased when I realized that there were lots of wonderful fall photos to be taken there instead!  My lesson learned: "Change your perspective when you feel down."
A few fun lessons for the next two days: #17 "Some days it is really nice to stay in your pajamas." and #18 "Each time I go to the gym, it is more likely that I will go again."
The art work on this pair (and the next) is simpler, as I was getting a bit behind in creating pages and wanted to get caught up. Lesson #19 reflects a Wednesday when I had a particularly good class at school. I was teaching new material, so I really had to work on it. I realized, once again "Preparation is always a good thing."  And the next day, I realized how important it is to keep talking to the kids, even when you're not sure they're listening. Lesson #20 is "You never know when someone will actually hear what you're saying."
And my final pair for now.  Lesson #21 is more about parenting: "Pay attention to what's important." Lesson #22 has a fun story to go along with it. We asked Clara's physical therapist what kind of exercise she could be doing while she is building strength in her leg/ankle, and the therapist suggested riding a stationary bike. I wasn't going to go buy one for her, but I had a brilliant idea. On Facebook, I posted "Does anyone local have a stationary bike we can borrow for a few weeks while Clara rehabs her ankle?" In less than 24 hours, one of our friends had delivered a bike to our garage! It just goes to show, "It never hurts to ask."
What have you learned this September?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

LSNE Mid-Month Catch-up (1/2)

This September, I've been keeping up with Shimelle's class "Learn Something New Everyday." Everyday I read her prompt and think about it.  Some time during the day, I will usually come upon my lesson for the day, and then every few days I sit down and create a few more pages in my album. You can see my other LSNE posts by clicking on this link. I'll be sharing my most recent pages today and tomorrow.  Today starts with Lesson #9 "Right now I really miss being able to talk to my mom and dad." I'm not sure when or why this hit me, but  as I struggle with my current challenges, I wish they were still around for me to lean on.  Lesson #10 is a bit more hopeful: "Each day - a new beginning." Definitely something I've learned dealing with all Paul's health-related issues.
Lesson #11 is "Sometimes you do get a second chance," and you can read the story behind it at this post.  Lesson #12 is "No one understands my kids like I do, and no one could love them more." Just a reflection on helping the kids through the challenges of the first few weeks of the new school year.
The next two lessons reflect events of the day. Lesson #13 ("There's great beach glass at Cowell Ranch beach.") occurred on the day I went beach combing with friends. Lesson #14 ("You never know what the new school year will bring. Best to be flexible.") marks the realization that Clara would not be able to take P.E. this semester and will end up with a study hall instead.
I really do enjoy making the mini-collages for these pages. It's a fun, creative task that I can do in front of the T.V., and the process I have for keeping up with the class has worked for me. If you're doing the class, what's your process like? Do you create a page every day? Or do them in bunches? 
More to come tomorrow!

Monday, September 24, 2012

September Moment

Thursday, September 20, 2012, 8:35 a.m.
The house is quiet. Or what passes for quiet around here.  The Fox Soccer broadcast of some Champions League group stage game is on in the background, and the formerly "whisper silent" dishwasher emits sounds similar to whale song.  The house is quiet in the sense that everyone else has gone. Paul is off to get his millionth blood test; the kids are at school. I'm reading blogs, eating leftover lentil spaghetti for breakfast and thinking about what I need to do this morning. No time for the gym (good thing I went yesterday). I need to finish picking up the floors, as Tony the carpet cleaner is coming soon. Definitely need a shower. Then we're off to run errands and have lunch while Tony does his thing.  Still have to grab a photograph of myself with something "American" - a flag, a baseball, something - and then get the Scavenger Hunt Roundup on the blog for tomorrow.
Outside, the sky is hazy blue. We really get the best weather in September. 
Now I hear the pounding of hammers and occasional buzzing of saws. The neighbors, Eric and Babz, are doing something to their decks. The work is invisible - hidden behind the tall hedge. But the sound of the staple gun tells me they're still at work over there.
Still in my jammies - well, an old HMB Pirates t-shirt, my soft terry cloth polka dot robe and my Uggs. Not proper pajamas, as I haven't managed to fold laundry yet.  All the clothes are finally clean, just not folded. It's so hard to keep up to date on all the household chores these days. Sigh. 
I have too much on my mind - worry mostly. About Paul's health, Clara's development and Henry's college. My work has definitely taken a back seat, as has my community service/volunteer work.
The animals are lounging about. Gypsy sleeping under a chair by my feet. The cat is curled in the middle of the empty floor. One seeks the shelter of a den. The other the freedom of the open space. Both are content - they have so few cares in their lives. Maybe I should try to learn something from them. 
The recording of this "moment" is inspired by Alexa's new meme, "Simply a Moment." To find out more about it and to read September moments from other bloggers, check out this post.

Winners of the 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

Thank you all so much for participating in the Scavenger Hunt!!!
It made me so happy to see posts from all over the world featuring the 21 items I chose way back in June. At last count, there were over 50 people who participated, and most of you found all 21 items.  I'm giving away two prizes this year.  Winners can choose one of the following six photography books.  The first two are real books:
Beyond Snapshots by Rachel Devine. This book focuses on taking your DSLR off "auto."
People Pictures: 30 Exercises by Chris Orwig.  This book is a lot like a class-in-a-book. It has 30 exercises for taking portraits.  I have this book and hope to work through it soon. So, if you choose this one, we can work through it together.
Or, choose one of these four e-books from Digital Photography School (they are all described at this link):
iphone photography
The Art of Self-Portraiture
Natural Light: Mastering a Photographer's Most Powerful Tool
Transcending Travel: A Guide to Captivating Travel Photography
So, without any further ado:
The winner randomly chosen from those 38 participants who got all 21 photos is 
Jane of Jane's Journal.
And a second winner, chosen from all 54 participants, is
Ladkyis of Ramblings of a Little Old Lady.
You two should email me at with your book selection and your mailing address (if you choose a real book) or you email address (if you choose an e-book), as I will have them sent directly to you.
Thanks again to everyone for taking part. And, yes, I will definitely be hosting the Hunt again in Summer, 2013!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Touch of Autumn

During my recent trip to the Union Cemetery in Redwood City, I took lots of photographs to mark the beginning of Autumn. I used PicMonkey to create this simple collage. Is it starting to look like Autumn where you are yet?
p.s. If you participated in the 2012 Summertime Photograph Scavenger Hunt, you have until tonight to leave a comment on Friday's post (click here) in order to enter the random draw for a great photography prize.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Photo Scavenger Hunt Final Check-in!

Today, Friday, September 21, marks the "official" end of summer and, so, the end of the 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. Here's my final picture . . . a self portrait of me with something that symbolizes my country. What's more American than baseball?
I had so much fun with the scavenger hunt this year.  I think my favorite find was my bride, mainly because I stumbled upon her with Sian (and I had thought it would be the hardest item to find).  You can see all (or nearly all) my finds by clicking on this link.
So now it's your turn, if you participated in the hunt, leave a comment on this post letting me know how many of the items you found during the summer. You get extra imaginary bonus points if you direct me in your comment to your favorite photo or if you publish a post today about the hunt and direct me to it.  Participants have until Sunday night, September 23 to leave a comment. I will be giving out two prizes: one chosen at random from all those who found all 21 of the items and one chosen at random from all participants (so definitely leave a comment, even if you didn't find all of the items). The prizes will be photography-related  Let me know if you have any questions!
Just in case you think my featured photograph is a bit of a cheat, here's one with me and my passport, so you can see my smiley face:

Can't wait to see how many folks participated and see what you have to say!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Picks and Pans

The 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is almost over!  On Friday, September 21, I will publish a post asking all participants to comment and let me know how many of the items you found during the summer.  Participants will have until Sunday night, September 23 to check-in. I will be giving out two prizes: one chosen from among those who found all 21 of the items and one chosen from among all participants. The prizes will be photography-related and randomly chosen. See you on Friday!
It has been so much fun this week to see people posting more scavenger hunt finds.  I made this collage with four of my "pans" for the Scavenger Hunt: a horse; a heart shaped rock; a border; and a trail.  What's wrong with them? They're all beautiful photographs, BUT I took them a few days before the Scavenger Hunt official began! So, I couldn't include them.
Here's a few shout-outs to Hunters who have posted recently:
Heart, Hearth, Home posted this fantastic picture of herself, but the story she posted to go with it (click here) is even better. Go read it. You won't be disappointed.
Julia found a swing which resulted in this:
You can read her post at this link. Nathalie found a very atmospheric clothesline:
Find out where by reading her post here. Ginger found a four leaf clover:
Deb completed an album with her photos. Here's a sample:
You can see the rest at her blog.  Linda Mann (last year's winner) posted this beautiful shadow and a few other finds here:
Jim Jams has a terrific butterfly shadow, group of colorful musicians and this bride in her post:
Sandi put hers all together in a collage in this post. There are so many others I could include, like the blogger who found a wedding chapel in a mall or my friend who posted a picture of the chapel in which she got married. But I'll just leave you with this photo of Scrap Happy Love's rather attractive husband:
Oh, and there's a historical landmark in there, too!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beach Stones (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

The 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is almost over!  On Friday, September 21, I will publish a post asking all participants to comment and let me know how many of the items you found during the summer.  Participants will have until Sunday night, September 23 to check-in. I will be giving out two prizes: one chosen from among those who found all 21 of the items and one chosen from among all participants. The prizes will be photography-related and randomly chosen. See you on Friday!
The other day I went for a walk on the beach looking for sea glass. I didn't find much of that, but I did collect a whole bowl full of beach stones.  I took them home and created some still lifes. 
The first one is organic:
The second one is more arranged:
And, for the third one, I let my muse take over:
Got a favorite in today's offering? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Historical Landmark

The 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is almost over!  On Friday, September 21, I will publish a post asking all participants to comment and let me know how many of the items you found during the summer.  Participants will have until Sunday night, September 23 to check-in. I will be giving out two prizes: one chosen from among those who found all 21 of the items and one chosen from among all participants. The prizes will be photography-related and randomly chosen. See you on Friday! 
I enjoy visiting cemeteries to see what interesting photographs I may find there.  So, for item #6 on 2012 Summertime Photograph Scavenger Hunt (a historical landmark), I decided to visit this very old cemetery which includes graves of soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
Other than the area where these soldiers are buried, it's a fairly unassuming cemetery.
Although it is home to the only working old-fashioned windmill in the county:
I also found a very sweet grave where two unrelated couples chose to be laid to rest, together. There's something about that which really touched my heart.
And I took two photographs that I think I can use for Sympathy cards.  This one:
And this one:
It was an interesting cemetery visit. But what I really enjoyed was finding my first signs of Autumn:
More of that to come, but not until summer officially ends on Friday. . . 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hello Monday

The 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt is almost over!  On Friday, September 21, I will publish a post asking all participants to comment and let me know how many of the items you found during the summer.  Participants will have until Sunday night, September 23 to check-in. I will be giving out two prizes: one chosen from among those who found all 21 of the items and one chosen from among all participants. The prizes will be photography-related and randomly chosen. See you on Friday!
Hello Leg!  Clara got her cast off last Thursday.  She's on crutches for another week, though.
Hello Physical Therapy twice a week for three weeks (for Clara).  She's also saying hello to "Study Hall" and good-bye to P.E., as it will be too difficult to make up all her absences this semester. She'll be back in P.E. next semester and taking on-line P.E. this summer (insert appropriate joke about on-line P.E.).
Hello Husband . . . Paul is back from the hospital after round 3 of chemotherapy and feeling stronger than ever.  He's also saying hello to new doctors this week with more experience treating his particular form of cancer.
Hello Last Week of Summer and last week of the 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.  If you participated, be sure to check in on Friday.
Hello Sketching . . . I signed up for Alisa Burke's Sketchbook Delight, Part 2 class. I'm looking forward to finding time to getting started with it.
Hello In-Laws . . . Paul's parents and sister are coming to visit.  They want to see him and make sure he's doing okay.  While I understand their desire to do so, I'm not looking forward to the need to cleanup and entertain. I hope that doesn't make be a bad person . . . 
Hello Gym . . . I'm finally getting back into the habit of going two to three times a week. I need it in so many ways!
What are you saying hello to this week?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt News

I have had so much fun hosting the 2012 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, and I am sad to say that it is almost over. It officially ends on Friday, September 21.  On that date, I will publish a post asking all participants to comment and let me know how many of the items you found during the summer. I will also ask you to direct me to your favorite photo if you want (although that's optional).  Participants will have until Sunday night, September 23 to leave a comment. I will be giving out two prizes: one chosen at random from all those who found all 21 of the items and one chosen at random from all participants (so definitely leave a comment, even if you didn't find all of the items). The prizes will be photography-related  Let me know if you have any questions!
And keep hunting! Earlier this week, I went to one of my favorite out-of-the-way beaches in the hopes of finding my penultimate item (a historic landmark). There was no landmark where I expected it to be, but I did find a whole bunch of heart shaped stones, just in case I can't find it before Friday.  I still have #21 left as well, but I'll be posting that one on Friday.  Are there any still eluding you?
See you all at the end of the week (if not before).  In the meantime, I want to share a comment on the original scavenger hunt posting which really touched my heart:
THANKYOU so much for encouraging me to get out my camera and use it for fun. I work as a professional photographer and only usually get my "big" camera out for clients. I usually do all our family snaps on my phone and or point and shoot camera like everyone else. However last weekend I took out the BIG camera for photos for the hunt, I had such fun and got super portraits of my son, daughter and husband that I'd be happy to buy off myself! I have posted the first images on my blog and will seek to upload the rest before 21 Sept. So grateful to have been kick started to do some photos for me.  And her first post (a roadside stand) is a hoot! Check it out here. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

One Little Word Check-In: Home

Every year Ali Edwards encourages people to select "One Little Word" to help guide them through the year.  I chose "Home" as my one little word, and I resolved to focus on three different aspects of the word:  my house (our physical home); my family relationships (which are the home for my heart); and my artistic home.  It's been a while since I've checked-in on my OLW, but you can see my earlier posts by clicking on this link.  All-in-all, my OLW has been a powerful touchstone for me this year.
I have been very productive at going through the house, room by room, cleaning and decluttering. I conquered the bathrooms, the laundry room, the front hallway closet, my walk-in closet, a lot of my crafting supplies, the dining room, the living room, the backyard storage sheds, the attic and about half the kitchen.  I need to finish the kids' rooms, my craft stuff and the kitchen and then conquer the garage. But I feel like I can do it by the end of the year. I've been following along with Organized Housewife 20 Day Challenge, and it's been a good way to revisit those rooms I took care of earlier this year. 
As for family, I've put in a lot of time trying to understand my teenage daughter and figure out how to help her find her way through adolescence and into adulthood. It's been a rocky road that has definitely required me to be mindful, but I feel like we have made progress.  And she's doing really well so far in High School. Paul's illness, for all its awfulness, has definitely brought us closer together and forced us to focus on what is really important.
Finally, with respect to art, it has been a good year.  I've worked hard on learning to draw faces and how to sketch all kinds of other things.  I've really enjoyed painting with water colors, in addition to acrylics. Although I haven't taken any photography classes (and have not brushed up on photoshop), I have really enjoyed my new DSLR and have taken some shots of which I am proud. I have done fewer art journal pages and mixed media collages this year, but I am happy that the ones I have done incorporate more of things created by me (drawing, painting, photographs, etc.). I have done a little scrapbooking, and I have taken very few photos for scrapping.  Not sure how I feel about this last point, but I think it's probably okay.
So, that's where I stand with my one little word.  I like how it has helped to guide me through this year.  How has your "word" been influencing you?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Finger Painting Nature

I'm still working through the last few prompts from the Ode to Nature class.  One of these was to finger paint an abstract.  I created today's art journal page to capture a field of wildflowers near the Harbor. I made all the flowers with my fingers, but I filled in and added layers with a brush.  It felt unfinished before I added the text (which is about the difficulty I have creating abstracts.  Here's the page in a smaller format, alongside the photograph on which I based it.  
Finger painting with acrylics was fun, but I'm not sure if I'll do it again.  How about you?  When was the last time you fingerpainted?
I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday.  For more painterly goodness, check out this link.

"Liberate Your Art" Blog Hop

The Amazing Kat Sloma organized a massive postcard swap for the second year in a row.  Titled "Liberate Your Art," the goal was to reproduce your art work and distribute it to others around the world.  I made two post cards (you can see them here) and ended up with two spots in the swap. I blogged about the first batch of cards I received in this post.  Today, Kat is hosting a blog hop for participants, and it's a great opportunity to share the rest of what I received.  The "Love" postcard is from Teena; "Plant a Smile" is from Jenna Kannas; and the poppies are from Elissa.  Each one had a special meaning for me - the to one had a message "I pray that Love and Kindness enfold the story of your life" - which really spoke to me. The sunflower reminded me to garden. And the poppies - oh how I love poppies!!!
I also received two beautiful photographic postcards:
The top one is from Kat herself! And the second one is from Michelle. They are both so peaceful and dreamy.
If all goes according to plan, you should be able to click on this link to hop around and see some of the other participants in the swap. There's also an amazing video featuring all the postcards at this link ! It's definitely worth checking out. Thanks Kat!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ghosts in the Field

A couple of years ago, I blogged about regrets I had about photos not taken. . . those images seared in my mind when I had thought. "I wish I had my camera . . ." or "I should come back tomorrow with my camera."  One of the images I was thinking about were scarecrows in the agricultural fields near where I live that bore a strong resemblance to Easter crosses.  There was a wooden frame, wrapped in white linen which flapped in the breeze. 
The image struck me because I write about the plight of farm workers in my "real" job as a law professor. I approach their plight as an issue of justice and human rights, with a religious/ethical undertone to my critique.  So, the cross imagery spoke to me in a very deep way. 
But, I never stopped to save the image, even though it was right around the corner from my house.  And it has bothered me ever since. 
Fast forward to this fall, and different scarecrows appeared in the same field.  These ones are different, but still speak to me.  
So, this year, I grabbed my camera and went and took the pictures.
I can imagine this one as the cover to the book I am writing on how we treat certain workers as not fully human. . . just like these scarecrows which resemble humans but are merely ghosts, doing their job without recognition.  Perhaps as the season goes on, the overalls will fray and the hats will blow away.  Perhaps the scarecrows will once again resemble Easter crosses.  If they do, then I promise myself I will grab my camera and go capture that image, too.  Because, today I learned an important lesson.  Sometimes you do get a second chance.

Monday, September 10, 2012

LSNE Days 5-8

I'm continuing to make progress on learning something new everyday in Shimelle's September class.  Wednesday, Sept. 5, was a busy day for me - I taught class, held office hours, attended a work meeting, made a bunch of phone calls and then went to a school event. It was the most activity I had done outside of the house since we got back from Europe. And it felt great! To have a normal, busy day. Lesson learned: Sometimes a busy day is a good day.  The prompt for Sept. 6 was to think of something for which you are grateful.  I wrote "I am grateful for new recipes, home-cooked meals and my morning cup of coffee."  The first two items reflect the gratitude I feel towards my friends who are bringing us dinner once a week. Not only is the food a tremendous help, I have learned a few interesting recipe ideas (both the kids loved the homemade macaroni and cheese; I loved the idea of adding diced chicken and/or broccoli to tortellini in pesto). I also tried and loved Stacy's Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad.  Super yummy! As a bonus, Clara likes it, too.  As for the morning cup of coffee, every morning for over 25 years, whenever Paul is home, he brews a pot of coffee, so that I have a cup ready for me when I stumble out of bed. So grateful for that!
On Day Seven, I was reflecting on how I spent my time. And, I realized that the 20 Days to Organize and Clean Your House Challenge is working well for me because I laid so much of the groundwork for it this year by doing a lot of organizing and purging early on in conjunction with my "One Little Word" for 2012.  I'll be checking in and blogging about my OLW soon.  The journaling reads: "It takes a lot less time to clean a room that I've already organized.  Finally, Sept. 8 brought a challenge to learn a new skill. As I mentioned in this post, I learned how to make photo collages in Pic Monkey. 
I'm continuing to really enjoy this project. It's fun to use up some of the little bits I have in my collage containers. As you are no doubt realizing, I have a HUGE collection of stuff. I'm trying to add a little bit of consistency by having all the artwork be bits of paper that I cut and paste (no drawing, painting, etc.); by always featuring a round circular embellishment from the same company (I have to figure out where they came from so I can share it); and by including the day's number in the collage. One of the things I really like about this project is that, in addition to forcing me to be mindful of life's lessons,  it is also a subtle chronicle of what I'm doing this month. How's your LSNE journey going?