31 Day Blog Challenge

31 days blog challenge!

I have wanted to do something like this for a long time.  My co-blogger over at The Eclectic Bookworm is featuring the blog challenge on her page.  The original post that inspired her is here.

Introduction and recent picture:

You can check the “about section”, but I’ll go into more depth here.

I’m 31, a mommy, a wife and a nurse.  I was born in Austin TX, was raised in Pittsburgh, PA for 25 years, and I moved back to Texas when my first marriage ended.

I have a wonderful, fantastic, fun, intelligent, funny little girl who I call “Sunshine“.  I prefer not to use her real name on my blog.  Being her mommy has made me a better person is so many ways.  She teaches me so much about life, love, patience and myself.

Our first "selfie" of 2014

Our first “selfie” of 2014

My (second) husband and I have been friends for 17 years.  We met on AOL when we were teenagers.  We lived about 300 miles away from each other, so our relationship prior to 2009 was mainly platonic.  We both married other people and had kids and then our marriages imploded.  He moved down to Texas nearly 5 years ago and we were married in the summer of 2012.

He is my rock.  My best friend.  We have so much fun together.  I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

I’ve been a nurse for 11 years.  I’ve done pediatrics, ICU, pain management, public health.  Most recently I was a hospice nurse for a number of years before my latest round of chronic illness exacerbation.

I haven’t worked steady in about 18 months because of my health.  Our financial situation became perilous about a year into my diagnosis, and we are now living with my parents.  It’s rough.

I am a huge sports fan.  I love hockey and football.  I’m a die-hard Penguins fan (even BEFORE the dawning of Sidney Crosby) and Steeler fan.  I was born into it.  It’s like a religion.

I do miss Pittsburgh sometimes, especially my friends.  But Texas has always pulled at my heart-strings.  I always wanted to live here and raise my daughter here.  Life isn’t what I expected.  I guess it never is.  But I keep on keeping on.  Hopefully this New Year will bring good health and a better living situation.

Oh and if you know anyone who needs a nurse, let me know…

Happy birthday Sunshine!!


These are the cupcakes I made for her “kid” party.


Sunshine turned 7 last week.

I am just now recovering.

I am thrilled that everything went well for her (and us).  People behaved for the most part.  Sunshine behaved and was a gracious guest.  Her friends were wonderful.  I’m so lucky to have wonderful friends who helped as well.

She had a spa party.  Four little girls here for five hours.  Wow.  That was fun.

She loved it.  The woman that did it was absolutely fantastic.  She was very friendly, very patient, even when the girls decided to have each hand/foot painted with different colors of nail polish.  Some wanted specific patterns.  And the lady was so fantastic.

sunshineShe brought EVERYTHING with her, including a table, all the craft supplies, and even chairs for the girls to sit in during their manicures.  That is what I wanted.  I wanted to do this for Sunshine, but with my health, I couldn’t commit to doing it all myself.

Sometimes with chronic illness, you have to sit down and decide what is more important:  saving money, or saving your health.

And I am incredibly happy that I hired someone to come in and do this.

I just watched her do her spa party thing.

I also had one of my friends come over to help referee the girls.  But it wasn’t needed, the girls were so well behaved.

And afterward, one of the moms stayed over for awhile and chatted.  That was so nice.  And I didn’t have to clean up a huge mess.  I am so happy I did this.

The next night, we had family over for cake and appetizers.  It was so nice.

I did text Sunshine’s birth father.  Not to have him contact her, but more to remind him that she exists.  For some reason, that is important to me.  I still haven’t had an actual phone conversation with him in 18 months.  He doesn’t respond to any of my texts.  I occasionally send him pics of her.

I just feel that he has a right to know how half of his DNA is doing.  I know I’m being way too nice.

Sunshine is doing better with that issue.  She is still seeing a counselor.  She asks occasionally if I have heard from him.  I always ask if she wants to talk to him, and she says no.  She is mainly concerned because she got to know her stepsisters and half sister, and that contact was abruptly cut off.

She wants a sibling so bad, so I understand her desire to have a connection to them.  She speaks with her stepbrother on the phone regularly.  And they spend every summer together.  But the idea of having “sisters” is so appealing to her.

It’s been seven years, and I am still in awe of her.  As she has grown, I am impressed more and more with the lovely little lady she is becoming.  She is smart, friendly, happy.  A bit sassy.  She understands things way beyond her years.  She is so kind.  I am so lucky to be her mama.

Sometimes I just look at her and it brings tears to my eyes.  I can’t imagine my life without her.  She has changed me in so many ways for the better.  By being her mom, I’m a better person.  I’m more patient, I’m less impulsive, I really don’t care what others think of me.  I’m fine being silly with her at the park or at the mall.

I love the conversations I have with her.  I love how she tries to figure things out.  I love being witness to how her brain works.  And she is hilarious.  She isn’t afraid to be herself.  She isn’t afraid to be silly, to pretend to be a cheetah (or hyena, or wolf, or lion) in public.  She isn’t afraid of being a “tomboy”.  She likes to make a mess, to laugh at fart jokes, to wrestle with her daddy and brother.

I hope she never loses that part of her that isn’t afraid of what others think.  I know the years ahead are fraught with image issues and friends and gossip.  I just hope she retains her sense of identity.  Stays grounded to the person she is at her core.

I hope that I continue to be an awesome mom.  That I say the right things at the right time.  That I make sure she feels loved and cherished every day of her life.

So happy birthday, Sunshine!!!






It’t that time again.

Honestly, I’m thankful everyday for what I have and who I have in my life, but sometimes it’s good to write it down.

This year, I am exceptionally thankful for my husband.  It has been a very dramatic, traumatic first 17 months of marriage.  We are just starting to crawl out from under the ruins of the last year.  He recently got a new job (with benefits!) and he is still working his second job.  I am truly thankful that he takes such good care of me and Sunshine.  I am thankful that he tries to understand my medical issues and also advocates for me.  He never hesitates to tell me to take it easy, to rest, to avoid a certain activity that he KNOWS will result in more pain or a migraine.  I am truly blessed to have such an amazing partner in life.

Of course I am thankful for Sunshine.  She is growing into the “sassy” stage, and even with her talking back, it is hard to keep a straight face sometimes because she is so darn cute!!  She is so loving, so warm.  I love watching her grow and learn.  She has such a good heart and loves everyone.  Today she said “Mama, you know what I’m thankful for?  You.  And that you are getting better”.  Melt my heart.

I am thankful for my friends.  I have some amazing friends that have  been tremendous over the past year.  I have had people that helped me with Sunshine in the morning, friends that make sure I’m getting out of the house, friends far away who just call to see if I’m ok.

I am thankful for my parents.  Even with all that is going on, the daily chaos, we would seriously be without a roof over our heads if they decided not to let us come and live with them.  They do try to help me with Sunshine and are wonderful grandparents.

I’m thankful for the internet.  Through blogging and FB, I know that I’m not alone in this.  That there are other people out there who have what I have and graciously share their knowledge and experiences.  They listen when other people have stopped.

And I’m thankful to still be off of chemo and steroids.  Its been six months for the methotrexate, three months for the steroids.  And despite the fibro symptoms, I feel pretty good day to day.  A year ago I could barely get out of bed.  Now I’m exercising, cooking, taking Sunshine places.  I hope to be able to stay off of those horrific meds and to continue to improve.

What are you thankful for?

Positive vibes

I’m not a particularly religious person.

I grew up Catholic, but I no longer believe in the basic teachings of that brand of Christianity.  The new pope has made me hopeful that I can one day return.

I consider myself more of a spiritual person.  My work with the dying as a nurse has cemented a belief in some higher power, some sort of afterlife.  Things that we can’t see with our human eyes.

On FB, I don’t ask for “prayers” for a difficult situation.  I ask for positive vibes to be sent in my direction.

And I need them now.

The living situation is unbearable.  I can’t do anything right.  I’m  a horrible mother.  I have to take the verbal abuse without question (she actually said these words to me).

My parents are splitting up.  My dad is just content to wait out the end of the lease.  Which is in March.

My mother seems hellbent on forcing some sort of conclusion before that time.

The everyday pokes, jabs, verbal sparring is taking a toll on my health.

Which only fuels her fury more.  I’m lazy.  My daughter is being forever harmed because she is seeing the effects of chronic illness first hand.

Just the way she provokes me is starting to trigger some really really bad things from my past.

So I lock myself in my room and cry.

I’m still mourning the loss of my relationship with my mom.  That essentially came to an end the day my grandfather died at the end of December 2011.  Her callousness, her lack of compassion for my family and especially my father showed me that she is not the person I thought she was.

I have processed that event, that realization in therapy.  It is just hard.  She’s my mom.

So I’m asking for positive vibes,  a prayer if you are so inclined.  I really need it.

365 days

I started blogging a year ago today.


Interesting year.

I’m thrilled that I have recovered to the point where I can work, even on a very part time basis.  I’m off of steroids, I’m driving.

But there is a price.  And that was my financial solvency.

We finished cleaning out our apartment yesterday.  I really liked living there.  Very bittersweet.

But, we have a room over our heads, food in our bellies.

My parents house is very quiet.  They live in the very back of an upscale housing development.  Its about a mile from any busy road.

With our apartment, it was right ON a very busy road.  So the quiet is a nice change.

My parents also have a house.  Much, much bigger than our apartment, even with 5 people, two dogs and one disgruntled cat under the roof.

And there is a backyard, and walking trails.  So in a sense it’s an upgrade, but with the trade off of living with the parents.

Healthwise, I am much better than a year ago.  My only major issue right now is pain and fatigue, mainly from fibro.

I’ve been overextending myself (again).  Yesterday after dropping off my husband at work, I came home and took a 1.5 mile walk before the sun came up.  That was really nice.  But I’m paying for it now.

My left shoulder has been KILLING me.  I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday with searing pain stabbing into the top of my shoulder.  I broke down and took ibuprofen (which I really shouldn’t take) because I couldn’t find the Tylenol.  I iced it and had to resort to meditation to get me through it.  It was intense, probably an 8 or 9/10.  I couldn’t move my left arm.  But I finally got back to sleep, and when I woke up, it was gone.  I’m chalking it up to the mysteries of fibro.

Yesterday during my predawn walking fest, my left shin hurt on the front where the muscles attach, right below the patella and above my ankle.  I breathed through it, and was able to complete my walk.  But it was hurting so bad last night that I had to take tramadol.  Again, when I woke up, it was gone.

I tried to explain this to my husband.  He says that I will know when I go too far in my workouts because the pain of actual structural damage is pretty distinct.  But I disagree.  This mystery pain that comes and goes leads me to outright ignore it.

I generally have  a rule that if something hurts more than five days, it probably isn’t fibro.

Money wise, we are much better.  We actually went for dinner at a restaurant that doesn’t feature golden arches on Friday night with Sunshine.  She was so excited to go on a “date” with her parents.  We are contributing to the household finances, but we also get a chance to save a ton of money.

Relationship wise, it couldn’t be better.  My husband has lived up to his marriage vows and has stayed by my side through this entire ordeal.  He has stepped up and taken over the breadwinner role with working 2 jobs. I am amazed at his strength and devotion to making this work, because it isn’t easy.  It can never be easy when someone feels like hell 99% of the time.  Or when there is so much uncertainty in the future.  Or when the doctors really don’t know what to do.  He has always been my advocate, making sure I’m getting good care, making sure I’m taking care of myself, and I am eternally grateful.

Sunshine wise…she is doing fantastic, as always.  She loves her teacher, she was elected leader of her group in her classroom, she is growing a “grass head” for Girl Scouts.  Her tantrum issues have quieted down since the move, and I know she is feeling much better with the overall tension around her dissipating.  There aren’t as many younger kids around here as there were in the apartments, but the kids that are here are a much better influence on her.

Overall, I am in a much better place than one year ago.  I had just started methotrexate and was still on high dose steroids.  I didn’t know if or when my eyes would clear up.  I didn’t know if I would be able to return to work.

Now the future (the immediate future at least) is somewhat certain.  I’m going to complete this work assignment.  I’m going to see how my eyes are before I seek out more permanent employment.  I am seeing more floaters, but the doc said they might never go away.  So I’m determined to hold on until my next regularly schedule appointment at the end of October.

Nothing quite like a major health disaster to make you appreciate the little things.  I’m actually getting my hair cut this week.  That’s something I haven’t been able to afford since I turned 30 (in March of 2012).  I’m able to meet one my besties for lunch this week.  It isn’t at a steakhouse, but just seeing her..alone…without husband/kids/parents is great.

I’m glad to be in a better place.  Hopefully in another 365 days it will be even better.


Build-A-Bear and other devices of torture

Yesterday I went with Sunshine to her “Build-A-Bear” party for Girl Scouts.  I endured walking through the mall, going to Gattiland (its like Chuck E. Cheese without the annoying mouse) and attempting to socialize with the other moms.

I feel so out of place with this crowd.  Sunshine goes to Girl Scouts in the area where my parents live.  Its the same town, but my parent’s street has several million dollar homes on it (not theirs).  So the kids that are in Girl Scouts with Sunshine are wealthy.  And the moms rarely talk to me.

My mom is the one who usually does the Girl Scout stuff with Sunshine, but every once in awhile I have to take her to meetings or activities.

Most of these women have no clue what it is like to struggle.  The majority don’t work, they aren’t sick like me, their husbands make enough money so they don’t HAVE to work.  Must be nice.

But Sunshine had fun.  The party was funded with their cookie sales.  Sunshine sold over 100 boxes of cookies.

Sunshine made an all white kitty.  With pink high heels.  She named her “Sweet”.  Absolutely adorable.

I was horrified at the costs associated with making a teddy bear.  The girls earned enough that they could get a bear with one accessory or outfit.  But we had the option to buy more.  Which I couldn’t help with due to the whole “we might get evicted” thing.

There were girls that easily spent $100 dressing up their teddy bears.  I saw one “my little pony” stuffed animal that was decked out in rollerskates and a cape.  Seriously.

Although I feel bad that I can’t provide this for Sunshine, I’m glad that I am home with her everyday.  I couldn’t do that if I was working.

And she doesn’t notice the differences in finances.  She just knows that mommy is sick and because she is sick she can’t work and that when you work, you make money.

I hope when she grows up she remembers that you don’t have to have tons of money to be happy.  We do activities that are cheap or free.  We often take our own food because eating lunch or dinner out is very expensive.  We appreciate the times in which we are treated to activities we wouldn’t normally do or places we normally wouldn’t go because we know that without someone’s generosity (usually my mother’s) we probably wouldn’t be going anywhere.

Positive thinking:  Sunshine is learning that money isn’t the end all and be all.  She has a mom that is home with her instead of working her ass off trying to chase money.  She has a wonderful bonus daddy that is willing to put his dreams of becoming a nurse on hold so that he can get a full time job and take care of her mother.  She observes the way a healthy marriage operates every day of the week. I couldn’t buy this type of exposure for her.

I survived Field Day 2013!!


I feel like getting a shirt with this printed on it.

It was a blast, though.  Sunshine had fun, her friends had fun, the teachers had fun.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have things like this.  I was totally blown away by all the work and effort that went in to making a wonderful day for the kids.

There was obstacle courses, bounce houses, waterslides, games, popcorn, cotton candy, bowling, water balloons, a dunk tank.  They could make jewelry, paint a mural, and get their faces painted. So much fun!

They operated on a token system.  The kids received a token or two for doing physical activities (the obstacle course) and could use the tokens to do the “fun” things, like face painting, water slides, etc.  Kids learned that they had to work for the opportunity to play.

And how the school pulls it off is amazing too.

They break the grades up (PreK, K, and 1st) have the first round.  They can play for nearly two hours. Then 2 and 3, and finally 4 and 5.

The PTA asked that parents volunteer for the time period their child was NOT participating.  So I volunteered for the 2 and 3 grade round.

I did the dunk tank.  No, I wasn’t IN the dunk tank, I just stood by and made sure that the kids behaved, and that the kid in the dunk tank was ok.  The 5th graders were also allowed to volunteer to run some of the events for the younger kids. I had several 5th graders helping me with collecting tokens, handing out the baseballs to throw at the trigger on the tank and to keep the younger kids straightened out.


The problem? I was walking around with Sunshine for two hours during her play time. I spent the next two hours on my feet at the dunk tank (and the water balloon pool).

I collapsed when I got home. I needed two Tramadol for the throbbing pain in my legs (and shoulder/arm from manually triggering the dunk tank when the kids hit the target, but not hard enough).

Another 2 Tramadol last night.

And this morning I am beat. Absolutely exhausted. I think the fibromyalgia is flaring, but it has been difficult to tell with the autoimmune disease on board.

I’m thinking its going to take me a few more days to get over it.

But it was worth it. Just seeing the beaming smile on Sunshine’s face was worth it. Just seeing how much fun the older kids had in a water balloon fight was worth it.

And I’ll probably do it again next year, although I might take a chair…

Sunshine’s nose is growing


We have now reached the age where Sunshine is learning the difference between lying and telling the truth.

And true to form, the child is learning the hard way.

Recently she has been telling minor “fibs”. She outright lied to my mom a few weeks ago when she was told to put her clean clothes away. My mom found them on the floor in another room. When Sunshine was asked about this, she said that my Dad did it. Interesting..

Yesterday she was playing dress up with one of her friends. She has a nice collection of dress up clothes and those horrific plastic high heels. She asked if they can go out on the porch. Because I live on the second floor I told her she had to stay on the porch. I really didn’t want to take the child to the emergency room when she tripped down the stairs on those horrible shoes.

No later than five minutes passed before my neighbor downstairs (and a few apartments over) texted me a pic of Sunshine and her friend, in full princess costume complete with the dreaded shoes, smiling in her living room.

It gets better.

When she got back up here, I asked her if she left the porch. “No Mama, I listened, I didn’t leave the porch”. I asked her if she was telling me the truth. She stuck with her story three times. Then I called her over and showed her the pic.

Her face was priceless.

And she was grounded for the rest of the day.

How are you? And other useless questions…


I started down this rabbit hole again when Facebook asked me a similar question…”what did you do this weekend?”

Very quickly I thought to myself “the same thing I do every weekend: inject poison in an attempt to prevent blindness”.

I was really proud of myself for thinking of something somewhat witty so quickly.

I didn’t post it, because I do not want to be the person that posts to FB with every little complaint and worry.

That is what this blog is for.

Rottenecards_79656837_z5hmw3365qBut I do tend to use FB as a soapbox sometimes.  If it isn’t about chronic illness, its about PTSD, sexual assault, domestic violence, the nursing profession and very seldom, my political leanings.

I separated out my other writings and book pages as to not inundate my poor friends and family with upwards of 10 posts per day.

But after days like today, after a month like this, I just want to post something about what is REALLY going on when I see the lovely questions posed in my status bar posed by Mr. Zuckerberg (or at least, his employees).

Here are some examples of the things I felt like posting (but never did):

How are you? In pain, nauseous, itchy, cranky, and tired.  All at once. Oh and there are permanent black spots in my vision.

How was your day?  Let’s see, I had horrible, horrible nightmares and woke up screaming.  When I woke up after hours of torture, I could barely move.  When I did finally start moving, I had pain somewhere in my body.  I was dizzy and literally fell INTO the bathroom.  Doing my morning blood pressure yielded less than stellar results.  I tried to eat something healthy and wholesome for breakfast, but the carb craving kicked in and I had Froot Loops again (two bowls). I had to take a ton of medication that doesn’t taste good even in pill form.  Then I went to the doctors, was told that I’m not getting better, I might actually be getting worse, and received an injection TO MY EYE.  It soon began to bleed and cause a lovely shadow to the periphery of my vision.  The doctor promises another injection to the other eye “if things don’t improve”.  I’m ecstatic.

What are you up to?  I’m trying to distract myself from the relentless fatigue and pain.  So I’m just ducky.

What are you looking forward to tomorrow?  Being alone because these medications make me so damn irritable, I can’t stand to hear another mammal breathe (this goes for the cat too).

But other than pointing out how difficult my current situation is, Facebook actually has some redeeming qualities.

1) It keeps me in touch with friends and family 1500 miles away.  After I picked up and moved to Texas four years ago, I have still been able to maintain a fairly steady presence in the life of my best friend.  So much so that she came to Texas for my wedding, and I was the first person she called with news of the birth of her children.  Although we would still be friends without it, Facebook has managed to keep us in touch with each other after being busy with various life events and marriage and children.
2)  I love to post pics of Sunshine.  Not to show off, but because she brings me so much joy.  I just love sharing her smile.  And if it can cheer ME up, perhaps it can cheer up others.  Also, I love seeing pics of my friend’s kids and how they are growing (due to the whole 1500 miles thing).

I don’t post pics here and try to remain at least somewhat anonymous because of the custody issues with her sperm donor.  I know that he has stated he wants nothing to do with her, but he is extremely unstable, and I don’t want to invite trouble, should he stumble upon this blog and tie it to Sunshine.

3)  If it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t know the latest trends and fads!  i would think that the Harlem Shake is a type of dessert and Gangnam Style is the name of a clothing line for gang members.

4) It really does make your birthday that much sweeter when 73 people take time to type out  a message to wish you a happy birthday (really, it does).Rottenecards_8348971_c2jpz6n4q9

5) Humor.  FB has given me hours of amusement.  From the funny videos that people post to the little signs and the stories, it truly helps.  And because it is all on one site, I don’t have to go to another website to find something to make me laugh.

6) And most of all, I have found two groups that truly make me feel that I am not alone in all of this.  I have belonged to a group about moms that have fibro for a number of years.  Recently the moderator made it a closed group, so if I truly want to complain, I don’t have to worry about MY mom reading it. And since FB changes features regularly, I never know when I am safe to post something caustic.

I also found a group for pars planitis, and the fact that there are only 37 members worldwide just shows how this is a rare disorder.  Granted, they are probably only the 37 people that speak English and have pars planitis, but given that 1 out of 12 people on this earth have a FB page, and there are hundreds of millions of people in the English speaking world, that is still a small number of people.

Rottenecards_38391240_9vz62t56dkYes, I get alot of support on wordpress, but sometimes I just want to quickly vent about something that is going on right that second, and I don’t want to log into WP to post it (I think it should be reserved for longer rants, like this one).

I can also access FB on my phone and Kindle.  I can do that with WP too, but for some reason it isn’t updating, and I haven’t gotten around to uninstalling it and reinstalling it.

Also, reading the every day complaints of others helps, especially when I have the same symptom or issue with a medication.  It helps me realize that there are others struggling with the exact, same things.

And no one can truly understand what it is like to take a needle to the eye unless they have actually experienced it.

So that is my latest Facebook rant.  I feel better after posting it.


Ah, yes.  A wonderful time of year.  Here in Texas (at least in the area I live in) all the school districts have a similar calendar.  Including the colleges.  So both Sunshine and my husband are off this coming week.  My mom teaches as well, so she is off.  And its my birthday this week.  Oh and SXSW is going on.

I would have loved for something like this to occur when I was growing up.  “Spring Break” referred to the two days I got off from school right before Easter.  But if it was a bad winter, most of those days were “make up” days so that the school district could get 180 days of school in before June 30th (as per law).

Sunshine had an entire week off for Thanksgiving, nearly two and a half weeks off for Christmas, and now spring break.

She is already enjoying it.  She has been outside most of the day today.  And she came back from my parents house with shoes that were still oozing mud.

I just hope my health can improve so that I can do things with her this week.

I’m still couch bound.  But that’s an improvement from bed-bound, which is how I spent my morning.  With my legs elevated.  My blood pressure bottomed out.

I understand that medications (especially in my body) are pretty potent.  I just don’t like the blood pressure yo-yo.  I feel awful.

I have been through childbirth (assisted with an epidural).  I have fibromyalgia.  I have a 17 year history of migraines.  But nothing was like that wicked headache I had last week as a result of my blood pressure.  That was such intense pain.  Not in my usual migraine areas.  I swear I still feel the effects of it.

Its like a never ending loop.  I feel awful so I can barely navigate through my apartment, let alone exercise.  I gain weight as a result of the meds.  I also have lovely side effects like tachycardia and hypertension.  But in order to (naturally) deal with those issues, I have to exercise.  And lose weight.  Grrr!!

Ok.  Positive thinking.  Sunshine.  Just watching her interact with her friends, with my husband…its such a treat.  She is quite a mighty little human, and she will definitely be a force to be reckoned with as she grows.

The things that come out of her mouth are priceless.  Just seeing the way she thinks, how she goes about solving problems or analyzing a situation is incredible.

She blows me away almost every day with her intellect, her sense of humor and her zest for life.  I am truly blessed to be her Mama.

My goal this spring break is to relax and have fun with my family.  I’m sad that I will probably have to skip SXSW because of my health.  But maybe I’ll get a boost of health later in the week and I’ll be able to at least wander downtown and find some great music to listen to.

And I’m grateful there is no snow on the ground 🙂