Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's Been A Strange Saturday

I am all out-of-whack and significantly off-schedule as I sit down to write this blog post at almost 10am my time! 10am!!! (Just in case you don't know, 10am is VERY late for me - I am an early bird and am usually writing these posts between 4 and 6am, not at 10am.) I've already done lots of things this morning, but none of my regular Saturday morning-type things.

There is something quite liberating in breaking away from expectations (especially your own expectations). 

I am now sitting down to write about music, therapy, and me.

Music? My clients spent the week singing with me. Some new songs, some old, some spookified by changing the mode, some games, some just to sing. We listened to music by Muddy Waters, sang our own Cloudy Day Blues (written by Blythe LaGasse when she was a mere practicum student many moons ago), and spent some time working on learning more about music. There was even a karaoke session.

Therapy? I continue to feel the lack of opportunity to interact with my clients in a more individualized manner that I am allowed to do these days. It is difficult to spend lots of quality time with each client when you have 60 minutes to keep them all engaged in musicking. This continues to frustrate me, but I will be very ready to get back into a more regular routine as soon as I am allowed to do so by my doctors. I'm reading about music therapy, I'm planning and strategizing, and I am studying everything I can right now in preparation for the day I am considered fit enough to be fully certified and safe!

Me? I thought I was getting my copy of Inside Out at the post office today, but it turned out to be other movies from the Disney Movie Club - some for me, and some for my sister for Christmas. Hers are all educational. Mine are not. Mine almost complete my Avengers line-up - I'm just missing Ultron and the Hulk movies. That was a happy surprise. My head hurts, just a bit, in my right temple. That should blossom quite nicely just in time for Trunk or Treat tonight. I have my 1000+ pieces of candy ready. I am hoping that I will have some leftover for AMTA, or I will be shopping for more (I always offer treats at my presentations these days!!). I have this pressing need to find my camera bag - I need to charge my camera battery for this evening's festivities, and I cannot remember where I put the camera bag. It is not where it is supposed to be - darn it!

This day is going to work out well. It will be what it will be. In addition, things will happen the way they need to happen. The rest of today will be spent getting ready for Trunk or Treat, printing off things for AMTA (did I mention that I have donated a basket of goodies for the Take-A-Chance Drawing? Well, I have!!), and laminating a bunch of fun things for use in sessions!

It's been a strange Saturday, but it will be a good one. I hope yours is the same!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday: Sending Subliminal Messages

I was talking to my friend yesterday while she was working on nametags for one of her groups. She had an entire stack of puppy nametags and one monster nametag. She wrote the name of one of the most difficult to like clients on the monster nametag and the names of all of the others on the puppy nametags. She handed me the stack and asked me if I noticed anything amiss. I immediately picked up on the not-so-subtle message included with the theme. 

I think we often send such messages to our clients - sometimes purposefully, sometimes less so. I talk to folks all the time about sending out "I Don't Trust You" messages and how those types of interactions can really harm relationships. How can a person really sink into an interaction when the message from the other person includes conflicting messages of "do something, but only the way I want you to do something, not your own way, but my way" - how can a person feel trusted?

Okay, I'm projecting quite a bit here, but there is something about being asked to do something and then having someone else come around behind you and "do it right."

I'm guilty of this. I ask clients to help me and then I correct what they do right in front of them. That doesn't signal that I am in a good space - I have to make things right, not see how someone else does the same task in their own way.

This week was a good example of how much I have to control my environment. We used the drum set in most of my sessions (not all of them - some of the high school girls were LESS than interested). I was using the set assembly task as a cooperative task, executive function skill development task, and social interaction task. I made pictures and set up an instruction book. Kids took turns moving drum set pieces to a central location. Then, they drummed. After the drumming was over, they "helped" me put the drum set back into the corner.

Now, my music therapy space is not large at all. I have to put things into a very small space and then compress them even more so everything else can fit. So, when people put pieces of the drum set in the corner, there is a pattern to it so everything can fit into a small piece. It's a puzzle. I know this puzzle really well, but my kids don't really demonstrate an understanding of my needs during the process of putting things away. The drum set is never put away the right way when someone else does the job. The kids spent time putting things away. They were excited to help me, especially since my knee is broken, and I'm not supposed to be picking things up and moving them. They put the drum set pieces away in the order I had asked them to do, but nothing is tucked away into the corner the way I need them to be tucked away. (Here that "I need" part? Why do I "need" the drums in any specific way? Just my own thoughts and silly requirements.) It took all my strength to leave those drums just where they were.

If I had gone over to the drum set during the music therapy session and repacked the drum pieces the way I need them to be packed, my clients would have noticed that what they did was not good enough for me. That's an "I Don't Trust You and I Don't Value What You Do" message - not something a therapist should be sending out into the world.

The drum set is spread out all over the music room this morning. I'll spend some of my lonely light duty time in placing the pieces together in the puzzle so that the instruments don't take up valuable client seating space and so that the drum set is not as available during group sessions to wandering fingers. When my clients return to music therapy on Monday, they may notice that I moved things around, they may not.

The student whose nametag is completely different from the others may notice, but knowing him, he'll decide that it is a compliment rather than another message completely. It's important to understand the type of messages that each of send into the world, especially when we are working with others or trying to foster growth and group interaction with others.

Think about your messages - subliminal and overt. How are you interacting with the other people in your life? Are you clear about your expectations and willing to let others complete them in their own way? I still struggle with this, but I am working on it with every moment.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 29, 2015


This has been a busy type week. Yesterday's sessions went pretty well. Only two major meltdowns during the "difficult" group yesterday. The rest of the groups went well. Clients seemed to enjoy the session plans and worked together well on assembling the drum set and then waiting patiently for their turns to play. (The paraeducators that I work with HATE drum set week!!) I've been a bit disappointed with other situations that have occurred this week - like being told I cannot be CPR certified since I cannot kneel on my left knee due to my work-related injury and having to rearrange my schedule in order to accommodate changed plans (of course, no one bothered to check my status until the day before the training, so I wasn't really ready for my sessions yesterday, but that's just my own grumble).

Anyway, today is starting off to be an emotional upheaval type of day. Everything I read right now makes me either cry or rage. Innocuous posts about the World Series (which, believe me, is ALL I am seeing around here these days) are just plain old ANNOYING me. I have little to no interest in most sporting events and this is just taking time and resources away from my students. (There - that's the grump taking over. Lots of people like sporting events, and I shouldn't spend my time faulting them for liking something that I don't care about.)

I really want donuts this morning.

Bella, reading my blog post - Do you think she approves?
The cat has arrived for her usual morning check-in on what I am doing. Her usual habits of sitting in front or on top of EVERYTHING that I am doing are annoying. It's about time for me to acknowledge that today will be an emotional day - and not in a good way. I just think I am descending into a funk of emotions. 

It is Thursday.

My Thursday schedule is comprised of four group sessions. That's all. Only four sessions. I hope to spend some time taking care of the ever present tasks of a music therapist - documentation, reading, and trying to arrange my session plans for the next week. I have some ideas, but I am still not completely finished with the planning. I have to save something for the endless, lonely stretch of time that is Friday. Maybe I'll take my personal computer to work on Friday. I can work on TMEs and my sing about songs project. I probably won't since I am a bit hyper sensitive about intellectual property and keeping my personal business stuff away from my work placement, but I will need a plan for tomorrow. I think that is part of the frustration of Thursday for me - the endless expanse of Friday.

I'm off. I am going to arrive about 45 minutes early, but that's typical for me. I will finish yesterday's documentation this morning and then start the therapy day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Music Therapy Mistakes, and How to Make Them

First of all, let me set this up from the very beginning that I am not encouraging you to make mistakes, but am encouraging you to acknowledge that you will make mistakes in your music therapy life and resolve to learn from them. 

A friend of mine indicated that she had some less than stellar moments as a music therapist yesterday. She also stated that she took those moments as a reminder of humility and constant growth. Her friends responded with empathetic comments. One stated, "We don't really talk about our music therapy mistakes that often. We should" (or something like that - I may have misquoted the friend...). I completely agree with the sentiment of that discussion.

Mistakes are going to happen. 

I've made them. You've made them. We will both make more mistakes. That's what happens when you are a human being. What we do once the mistakes occur is what defines us as therapists. 

Whatever the mistake, you have to acknowledge it, own up to it, and follow expectations. 

Nothing is worse that trying to cover up something that happened and then having to justify the cover up. So, don't cover things up. If something happens, acknowledge it. Report it.  Accept the consequences. Act within the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Clinical Practice. Report it to your supervisor (if you have one) and seek outside guidance.

As always, document, document, document!

Mistakes don't have to be the end of the music therapy world, but they can be if not accepted or worked through in an appropriate manner.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have made bad therapy decisions. I have set up situations where a client became injured (I have never injured a client, however). I have made mistake after mistake after mistake in my music therapy life. I strive to learn when I've made a mistake, and I apologize for things that occur when I am in charge.

Don't be afraid of making mistakes, but don't go out to make them. When they happen, again, acknowledge them, deal with them, and learn from them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TME Tuesday: Organization

 It is Tuesday again, and here I sit. I've written several songs already this week, but they are not in Therapeutic Music Experience (TME) format yet - just on super-sticky post-it notes within reach of my hands during sessions - when I need it. One of the themes for this month is "Stranger Danger." It's REALLY difficult for me to turn that concept into effective TMEs without scaring my clients. They are often extremely literal. I'm focusing on the aspect of staying with people you know for my stranger danger songs.

I'm veering from my intended post today. Since I don't have my newest TME finished, I thought I would show you a bit of my TME database. I organize my ideas (and the ideas from others that I have learned over the years) into a large database. It is formulated in Excel, and contains the columns you see below - Title of TME, Keywords, Author, and Source (if not Author). Titles with blue printing have hyperlinks to other files in my TME file. Titles with black printing are cards or small pieces of paper stuck into my TME file boxes.

As you can see, I organize by keyword. For me, that means primary and secondary goal domains. These first several songs all work on number recognition, sequencing, and entrainment to an external beat. When I spend the time to complete the TME outline (that I posted here), I can identify some of the things I can do with the music. There are always others, and that is the beauty of an electronic format... the ease with which I can add information. 

What you do not see here (because I didn't ask permission to publish any of their names) is that my interns have contributed greatly to my TME list. I am very careful to source my materials as completely as possible. (Someone took very public credit for a song I wrote once - I will NEVER do that to another music therapist!) Their work, their credit! It was difficult to find a snippet of the TME database that did not include at least one TME by one of the amazing interns that I have worked with in the past several years, so I took the first little bit.

My next goal is to go through my music therapy idea books and add the TMEs there into this database along with the bibliographical information for each of the books. This goal will take me forever, but that is also the beauty of an electronic database. As this is my personal database, I get to set it up the way I want to and use it the way I want to, so off I go!

How do you organize your ideas? Do you organize your ideas? Am I the only one who does this type of thing?? Let me know in the comments!!


Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

There's A Cat Between Me and the Keyboard This Morning

I honestly think that she is trying to keep me from blogging in order to spread her purr and her nuzzles and head boops with me. I love it. While she is sitting in my way - between me and the computer - I have a chance to just bury my nose in her fur and revel in her cattiness.

I am trying to be a bit more mindful in how I approach my days. Now, I am not an expert in mindfulness, but I am learning. I am learning to slow down and observe myself - again. 

According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is defined as "a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience."

Another definition of mindfulness, from Berkeley, is "Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there's a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment."

Not judging is one of the most difficult things for me when it comes to me. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to judgment. 

"Should I really be spending time cuddling the cat instead of finishing up some tasks?

"Can I justify this nap? I really need to work on the next sing about song packet."

"What should I be doing right now?"

This. This is what I should be doing right now. No judgment. No emotional requirement. Just living in the moment. Today's moment? Cuddling with the cat.

What are your mindful moments? When do you feel most like yourself? When do you engage in experiencing the world around you? 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Supplemental Sunday: The "Make-Your-Own" Kit

Sundays are the day to post about the visual aids (AKA supplementals) that I make to enhance my therapeutic music experiences (TMEs) to assist my clients in understanding what we are doing (especially the visual learners). 

Now, I have always been of the mindset that there is nothing that we can't do, so I am always interested in showing others how to do things instead of just displaying them. So here we go - a bunch of stuff that is useful when you are making visual aids.

Paper - cardstock and regular weight paper in a variety of colors is important to have at hand. Creativity comes in strange ways, so it's best to have lots of paper around for when those creative urges start up. In addition to cardstock and solid color paper, scrapbooking and patterning paper is something really useful to make things sparkle!


File Folders - I make everything to fit into a file folder so that I can easily store them and transport them around. Did you know that they make all kinds of patterned file folders these days? Gone are the days when you can only use manila (though I keep them around for prototypes before I use pretty folders).

Other stuff - I collect stickers, small die-cuts, index cards, mini file folders, bulletin board letters, and teacher items in my scrapbooking boxes. I have lots of markers of various types - permanent, not so permanent, metallic, thin line, thick line, and all sorts of stuff. I also have colored pencils of all hues and types. I love my watercolor pencils more than anything else and use them on lots of my visuals.

The last thing that I have in my "Make-Your-Own" kit for visual aids is an occasionally judgmental Bella-cat. Here she is sitting on a stack of zippered pencil cases that were waiting for small visuals. She shows approval (that's how I choose to interpret her behavior anyway) by sitting right dab in the middle of selected projects. I know to keep going with those.

If you are ever interested in making any of the supplementals that I feature on my blog, contact me through the website. There are kits and patterns available for a fee. In addition, I have some "how-to" instruction sheets for free. Let me know!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Life Interfering

I did something this week that I absolutely hate! I skipped two days of writing, and I really hate that. I try to write daily so that it is a habit. This week, my other lives interfered with my self-care and business blogging routine. Thursday was full of emotional angst, long thoughts and attempts to write an email that would completely illustrate my view while still emphasizing what was wrong, and on Friday, blogging just went completely out of my head. I remembered blogging halfway to work and felt deeply that something was missing from my life. It's amazing how a simple routine can enrich your life.

Anyway, here I am, back again.

This was a good music therapy week. All of my sessions included students doing things they have never done before (in any setting, and all positive). I improvised several songs that had great response - and then I forgot all of those songs - typical. I was approached by several teachers about IEP goals. I spent quite a bit of time just sitting. I finished several tasks that needed to be done, and I will be finishing several more this morning after I blog!

The cat is here, rubbing against the computer screen and trying to distract me from my work. Fortunately, she is too late for the big task I had to do this morning - OCMT presentation votes are finished!! Huzzah! The rest of the folks at OCMT will be contacting presenters with the results in the next several days. I am glad to check that task off my to-do list.

Today I need to finish a presentation for the International Perspectives session at AMTA. I have 8 minutes to talk about OCMT. I can finish an 8-minute presentation in about 30 minutes. Then I will go buy candy for Trunk-or-Treat next week. I will buy an extra bag (or two) of candy that I like for my various AMTA presentations and meetings. IF (and that is a BIG if) I have some left over when AMTA is over, I will have some candy for myself during my surgery recovery. If not, at least I will know that I will have given some people a treat during that very busy time.

You know, I can feel much of my stress of the week coming into perspective. It is amazing how much I have come to rely on this daily practice of writing. Sometimes it's gold, often it's crap, but it's all me!

New music therapy challenge thought - I went to an equine therapy place on Thursday - it was going to be my post topic for Friday. At the end of our time there, several of my peers engaged in a relaxation/mindfulness exercise with the horses. There was Native American Flute music playing, my peers were instructed to close their eyes, breathe, and pay attention to how the horse felt under their hands. About three minutes into the experience, I looked at the horses and all of them had their eyes closed. I asked the leader if they used the same music each time. They do. I asked the leader if they used the same horses each time. They don't.

Here's the question. Do you think the horses were reacting to the music or to the relaxing humans who were reacting to the music? I have my theory, but I also am curious. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


I've been watching lots of superhero television lately. You know, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash, Arrow are all part of my watching regimen. I've always been attracted to this type of entertainment, both movies and television, but I've never really spent the time with the comic books - the lexicon and the center of all of these mythologies. I feel myself more and more drawn to these stories as more and more of them arrive, but I want to know the backstories and how to understand what is going on with the characters a bit more.

My fascination with superhero stories (especially the ones about "normal" people doing extraordinary things) may stem from my tendency to help others. I am not a superhero by any means, but I think that any person who chooses to focus on the benefit of others is a hero to many.

You, music therapist, are a superhero.

You spend your day thinking about others. You spend free time and money getting things and making things for others. You share your talent and expertise with people who don't always understand, but that appreciate the things that you do. When you make an effort to reach out to those who do not know about you, you have to explain your reason for being over and over again. Yet, when you think about it, you make a difference in the lives of many people every day.

There will be trials. There will be tribulations and obstacles in your path. People will not understand your passion and your direction, but you will continue nonetheless. There will be days and weeks when the role is a struggle, but there will be those times when you will feel conviction in your choice - when you will know that music therapy is what you were meant to do.

Be a superhero for someone today. Be an example, be a leader, do what you do.

You may never know what role you played in the life of another person, but you will be a hero today. I know that.

Have a wonderful day, Superhero!

(My superhero name? Here is a generator that will give you one! Here's mine...

Your superhero name is:Storm Girl 

Struck by lightning as a child while trying to escape the deadliest twister to ever strike Kansas, you fell into a coma and awoke with strange new abilities!  

Weather Control - Your powers give you access to the elements of the air, and control of weather - from torrential rain and hurricanes to lightning, hailstorms and snow! 

Now, you protect Dogtown from malevolent aliens, while also battling the evil plans of Lord Mechanika!) 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

TME Tuesday: Gonna Carve a Pumpkin

'Tis the season for pumpkin-type things. Personally, I don't like anything about pumpkins except for their shape, but many others love pumpkins, so here is a pumpkin-themed Therapeutic Music Experience (TME). Enjoy!!

Therapeutic Music Experience
Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC
Gonna Carve a Pumpkin 

Purpose: To address recognition of emotion; discussion of emotional states; holiday reference

Source: © 2008 by Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC. Inspired by Meredith Cairer, SMT from UMKC, Fall 2008.

Materials: Pumpkin visual aid with variety of pieces to use to display emotional affect; OPTIONAL: guitar

Environment: Variable – all group members able to see visual aid

X                      X                   X                         X         X                 X         X
Gonna carve a pumpkin that matches my own mood. Two angry eyes, a big,
              X            X         X          X             X          X             
smiling mouth, and a nose that goes right here.     This pumpkin shows you my

Procedure: R = Reinforcement opportunities; C = Redirection/Cue opportunities; A = Assessment
1.      C=display the pumpkin visual aid with all of the pieces to group members
2.      C=start the chant, using body percussion to provide cue for engagement and entrainment
3.      A=assess whether group members are displaying entrainment behaviors such as movements or words coordinated with the beat
4.      R=reinforce group members who display entrainment behaviors, who chant, or who are keeping the body percussion beat
5.      C=demonstrate the goal of the TME by placing eyes, nose, and mouth onto the pumpkin
6.      C=ask group members to identify the emotion indicated by the facial expression on the pumpkin
7.      A=assess whether group members can identify the correct facial expression.
8.      C=If they cannot correctly identify the emotion, ask group members to explain why they chose the emotion
9.      R=reinforce all responses concerning emotions. Redirect any comments that are not part of an emotional response
10.  Repeat steps 2-9, inviting group members to take turns with the visual aid and expressing their own emotions
11.  Continue until group members show s/s of boredom or time runs out

Therapeutic Function of Music:
Music provides the structure and framework for the entire TME. The holiday theme offers a hook into the attention of group members. The lyrics offer the directives for how to successfully complete the TME. The pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and timbre can be easily adapted to engage the attention of group members.

None – chant format
Variable to engage attention of group members
Steady beat – quarter and eighth note patterns
Variable to engage attention of group members

Variable to engage attention of group members – Best to use moderate tempo (70-85 bpm) if group member chanting is desired
Variable to engage attention of group members
Predictable with ability to personalize based on group member responses
Chart adapted from Hanson-Abromeit, D. (2010). A Closer Look at the Therapeutic Function of Music. Presentation at 2010 American Music Therapy Association National Conference: Cleveland, OH.

·         Show group members specific emotions and ask them to make the pumpkin look like the targeted emotion

  • Change music to illustrate different emotions – ask group members to make pumpkin look like the emotion conveyed by the music

Monday, October 19, 2015

5:09 On A Monday Morning

There are lots of things that go through a person's mind when they are up early on a Monday morning. Things like, "what am I going to do with my students today?" to "ice cream CAN be part of a well-balanced breakfast." I need to ponder that last thought for a moment...

...and done.

There are times when my mind becomes so busy that sleep is not possible (that didn't happen last night). There are times when my mind flits from topic to topic very quickly (that is happening this morning, for some reason). When this happens, I try to channel some of the thoughts into productive tasks and outcomes. Right now, I am attempting to fix some of these thoughts sliding through my mind onto this blog.
  • I have several time-framed things to do in the next 3 days - finish up a form for AMTA (I'm donating several books and visual aids to the Take A Chance Drawing this year - ooh, and a subscription); a CMTE proposal for the Midwestern Regional Conference; helping out with a proposal for the European Music Therapy Conference for next year; and an 8-minute powerpoint presentation for this year's AMTA Conference... I should be able to knock out some of those tasks today.
  • My home needs some deep cleaning, one little bit at a time. I think today's task should be the cat's food area. She likes to push the nondesirable bits off her plate onto the floor. It needs to be cleared. I can do that when I get home tonight as I am feeding her. She'll LOVE that!
  • I need to order food for this evening since I haven't made anything recently.
  • My Christmas pile is growing, but I don't have anything for my mother, brother, or oldest nephew yet. I've got to spend time thinking about what to get for everyone. It has to be completed by November 25th so I can send everything out since I won't be home this year.
  • I don't have to agree with everyone about everything. If folks don't like what I have to say, they don't have to engage with me (in any way, at any time).
  • Life is too short to engage in petty arguments. Agree to disagree and move on. There is value in being around people who have different ideas than you, but there is also value in choosing the ideas that provide you some sort of satisfaction, support, and challenge.
  • I have a bunch of laminating to do today. I like laminating with my machine. Gone are the days when I had to wrestle with Contact Paper!
So, the plan for today is to go to work, figure out something to do with my clients, do those things, spend time thinking about my current work tasks, and then come home. Once home, I will clean the cat's food area of extra kibble and organize the shelving right next to her plate. I will order either pizza or chinese food for dinner. After that, I'll do some work on the proposals. Then I'll go to sleep.

Now, at 5:44 (I spent quite a bit of time in contemplating the concept of ice cream), I have a plan, my brain is slowing down, and I feel that I am about ready to move into the day.

Happy Monday, friends!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Supplemental Sunday: Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to make things. I make all sorts of things, but my music therapy-related passion is making visual aids (or supplementals) for therapeutic music experiences (TMEs). Here's a simple one that has had a great response from my clients - it's the dog!

On a side note, all of my visual aids are original artwork - I draw them all, often over and over again until I like the way things look. Sometimes they are completely scrapped several times before I come up with a design that I actually like. 

I don't have a picture of the back of this folder, but there is a copy of the song on the back of this folder so the therapist can read the music while displaying the picture to clients. 
The dog's ears move.

I use this while singing Do Your Ears Hang Low? Since the ears move, we can sing all of the verses while demonstrating and practicing our direction words - up, down, sideways, etc. 

What this dog doesn't have is a name. Hmmm. I'll have to ask my clients to name him sometime soon. 

Anyway, this is an example of a very simple supplemental that can enrich a song by giving clients a concrete visualization of a concept. Some clients need something to manipulate, see, and engage with in order to understand. This simple visual aid seems to help them understand a concept of direction. 

If anyone is interested in patterns or a completed version of this file folder, let me know on the website. You can contact me through the contact us page.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Finally Friday

This has been a long week; a week full of grief, intestines, pain, and 12 hour work day challenges. It is over. 

I have a day off today.

There are things I need to do. I need to do chores around the house, get my medications from the pharmacy, do some Christmas shopping, and work on a bucket of materials for the AMTA conference - I put my stuff out there - yay, me! There may be some new music to listen to. I need to buy a new shredder to keep up with the shredding that needs to be done. Lots of need to dos today. Not many want to dos today, but that's the way life balances out at times.

I started the day off right, in my opinion! I slept in. I woke up at the normal time, but was able to convince myself that staying in bed was better than getting up. Fortunately, the cat agreed, so we snoozed for another TWO hours! I had some disturbing work-related dreams with lots of schedule disruptions (gives me a shiver just to think about it right now), but arose to get this day started with a smile on my face.

I have a plan for the day, and it is time to get things started. See you tomorrow, faithful reader!!