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The Face I Love

With each passing day, I see, in His face the changes that are taking place in Him.  Physically, He is healthier day by day, and the years that had begun to etch deep lines around His eyes have started to drop away.  Emotionally, He is happier and there is joy and lightness in His smile, and a knowing twinkle in His eyes. 

I've told Him, over and over, that the changes are visible and remarkable and wonderful.  He has been unable to see and comprehend them for Himself, and it is as if the mirrors in our home do not show Him what I can see. 

Tonight, we took a couple of pictures as we got ready to share the wonderful (sugar free) birthday cake that T made, and I think that, finally, in the photos, He got a glimpse of what I've been seeing.  Take a look at the face of the One I love...


Happy Birthday, My Darling Man

Whoda thunk that when I had a blind date on Thanksgiving weekend of 1998, I would be here today wishing you the very best 62nd birthday.

We have had some life, so far. And the best is yet to come.

Tonight we have dinner, cake and gifts.....but the best gift of all will be that our family is all together.... Celebrating.

I love you mores and mores,


The Spanking/Switching Event

We were up late last night -- well, sort of.  We tried to stay awake to watch our Cincinnati Reds play baseball in St. Louis, and that game (which was supposed to start at 8:15 PM) was delayed for more than two hours by wild weather.  I know I slept through most of it, and I suspect He napped on and off as well.  When we finally dragged ourselves off to bed, after the predictable loss, it was well after 2 AM.

Perhaps, not surprisingly then, we slept soundly until about 8:30 this morning.  We might have slept later than that except that we were awakened by barking dogs outside our bedroom window -- part of the condo complex's ongoing efforts to keep the Canada Geese away from our ponds and grounds.

Once awake, He seemed to be in a soft and cuddly mood.  It was clear that He was feeling turned on, but He didn't seem to feel any sense of urgency, and we snuggled and scratched and rubbed, murmuring softly to one another.  In time, our conversation began to turn to the subject of THE BIRTHDAY SPANKING.  At the mention of that, He went straight to the very young, very innocent, very sweet sounding persona that I see more and more of these days -- the one that I imagine is the young boy that He was before life took Him down the path to anger and fury and addiction.  That sweet youngster, is charming -- especially in the face of a spanking.  He blushes and squirms and giggles shyly.

For my part, I was full of questions --
  • Now? or Later?
  • One spanking?  or Two?
  • Shared between T and I? or Separately with each of us?
  • Implements?  or Just my hand?

I found myself contemplating that, in this instance, and for the first time ever, I was about to take on the role of Top without a corollary submissive/service orientation.  I could feel myself preparing to spank Him AS MYSELF -- and I was clear that He wasn't driving my actions and decisions.  There was no sense that He was Topping from the Bottom, and no scintilla of Service Topping on my part.  He was exactly Himself, and I was exactly myself, and we were together very gently and delightfully in the quiet of the rainy spring morning.

And so, He rolled over, and I spanked Him just so.  With my hand.  For His birthday.  With 62 smacks plus all the requisite extra "ONES" to grow on and for luck and happiness and ...  When it was done, His cheeks were a lovely soft pink -- and my poor hand was the brightest shade of red!  Ouch!  LOL!  What a delightful way to start our new year...

Happy birthday, My Love, My Sir, My Imp, My Master.  I love you so much.  Always and all ways.



Tomorrow is His Birthday--And Spanking

A confirmed spanko, Master has always insisted that birthday spankings are to be taken seriously.  It is a matter of seeing to one’s future.  Skimping on the traditional birthday spanking leaves a person vulnerable to a rash of bad luck, in His very traditionalist view of things – an ill-advised failure to see to the future.  His belief on the subject, by which I’ve lived for years, can be summed up like this:

Hundreds of years ago, spankings were given for each year of the birthday child's life. Beyond that number, a child received another spanking to grow on, one to live on, one to eat on, one to be happy on, and yet another spanking to get married on … It is the belief that the spanking is necessary to ensure good luck in the coming year.  A birthday spanking assures good luck, and the more intense the spanking, the more luck one might expect …

Well, tomorrow is His birthday (He will be 62), and He is in the throes of His new found switchiness.  It may be that it is the year for Him to be the recipient of a birthday spanking intended to assure good luck.  We sure could use a "good luck" year after all that has happened in this last year.  We are just under two months away from His scheduled shoulder replacement surgery, and good luck would be welcome with that as well.  

I've always been on the receiving end of the birthday spankings around here.  I've never actually given a birthday spanking -- it wasn't something that was part of the birthday celebrations for my children.  T and I have gifts to give Him, and T has, of course, planned a wonderful birthday feast.  We have plans to meet His son for dinner over the weekend, and that will add nicely to the festivities.  So all that remains is to plan for and administer the traditional birthday spanking...  This should be an event.



Healthy Relationships

One of the things I've learned, as we've gone through these months, is about the relative state of the health of our relationships with one another.  It was crystal clear, when everything came crashing down back in that September to January passage, that we had some relationship issues, and that we needed to start looking carefully at our  emotional and intimate underpinnings and start working to fix what what was broken.

There's a real store of information about what works and what doesn't work between intimate partners.  A simple Internet search will yield a wealth of information, and while some of it is contradictory, the fact remains that there are clear theories and tested practices that can enhance and improve the quality of our personal relating.

We've been working on a whole number of issues and dysfunctions -- both as individuals and as partners.  It seems that, as I work to recover and heal, I am becoming aware of problems that have been woven through the fabric of our lives together over the years.  Becoming aware gives me the opportunity to make the choices about "fixing" the broken places and learning new and healthier ways of being together with my loves.

This recovery process is just chock-full of "inventories," and so it has become commonplace for us to take inventories of our lives in one context or another.  This is no different.  I am slowly working my way along, looking at all the various facets of this oh-so-important part of our lives together.  Jack Rinella, author of a number of books about our lifestyle, provides a good, concise checklist in a blog post called Liberation:

"signs that indicate a relationship is healthy: honesty, openness, empowerment, liberation, authenticity, enjoyment, peace, affection, understanding, and stability."

 Here's an overview of where I am; of what I've discovered so far --

honesty -- BDSM lifestyle partners, like us, are supposed to be experts at being honest with each other, and I think we believed we had this handled through all the years we've been together.  I've found that there were plenty of places where I wasn't entirely truthful with Him -- about what I thought, what I needed, what I feared, what I wanted, and who I really was.  I got very far down the path of saying "yes" when I meant "no," and vice versa.  Sometimes, I simply went along to get along, and in doing that, I hurt myself and our relationship.  I am working, through rehab and therapy, to learn better ways to talk with Him; better ways to listen and respond to the things He shares with me.  In what I say and what I do, I am working hard at being as honest as I can be. 

openness -- Open arms, open doors, open eyes, open heart -- openness makes me available and vulnerable.  I have, over the years, become habitual and unconscious about closing myself off as a way to protect myself.  Increasingly, I've chosen to respond in ways that cut off conflict and avoided confrontation.  I would welcome the easy and happy feelings, but would close off when anything difficult or painful arose.

empowerment -- In the best relationships, partners empower each other to be the best they can be.  This is as true in BDSM relationships as in the more mainstream sort of partnering.  Even as we play with the balance of power between us, we ought to be working to lift our partner up within the context of our loving.  I missed the mark here, especially at the end.  I let myself be frightened and pushed into a codependent and enabling role, and in doing that I abandoned my responsibilities to be the best I could be, and I was therefore incapable of supporting Him in being His best self.  What a tangled up mess it got to be.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that I do know how to use my power to build us up and make us stronger -- it is time now to brush those skills off and put myself back to that work. 

liberation -- When He and I are at our best, we set each other free.  Together, we are perfect.  Together our unique sexual orientations complement and affirm each other.  The fact that we live as strangers in a much more "ordinary" world fades to insignificance when we are in tune with each other.  The connection we share tells us that we are really good, right, and perfect just as we are.  When I let myself go to battle with Him, lose my faith in "us," I lose my center and I find myself locked down -- too afraid to move or risk or grow.  I want to go forward with courage and optimism.  I am tired of being afraid all of the time.  I can choose.

authenticity --  I am really, truly, authentically His.  It isn't about trappings or rules or protocols or rituals.  It isn't about what anyone else does or thinks.  It doesn't have its genesis in His issuing orders and commands, it has nothing at all to do with whether I wear His collar; it is not about how much pain I can endure, it isn't about how long my chore list might be.  It is, simply about remembering to live out the truth that I know.  I believe that when I am authentically the woman I was born to be, He will respond with absolute authenticity from His own reality. 

enjoyment --  I knew this once.  This thing we do is supposed to be fun.  It is meant to bring us pleasure and joy.  We were created for joy and it is within our grasp because we are lucky enough to have found each other.  I let myself get screwed down in my mind; mired in anger and frustration and a sense of hopelessness.  I lost sight of all that is good and wonderful about our love for each other, and I came to believe that it was all horrible and ugly and miserable.  That was not the truth and it is not the truth.  I will live in joy.

peace --  He has been, over the years, the safe harbor for my heart.  When life seemed stormy and scary, I could always curl up in His embrace and rest easy.  Then I stopped feeling safe, and I lost my refuge.  I am determined to learn again to see the goodness, the strength, the love that He brings to my life, and sail back into the peace that I find in being His.

affection -- He loves me.  I love Him.  Through all my long life, there has never been anyone that I have felt so at one with.  He smiles and makes me happy.  He touches me and brings me home to my own body.  It is a wonderful, beautiful, rare gift. 

understanding --To understand someone is a layered skill.  To hear.  To see.  To feel.  To recognize.  To acknowledge.  In these last years, I've fallen into patterns that made it seem "right" to dismiss Him as "just drunk."  I've tended to disregard and disrespect Him because, in my mind, I saw Him as unreliable and undependable and unavailable.  Now that He has committed to the hard work of changing, being sober, meeting life cleanly, I have the corollary obligation of affirming the change and honoring Him with the respect and regard He deserves.

stability -- Stability gives us a place to stand.  I can settle down, be that reliable, dependable, predictable, rock solid partner for Him.  Just as I hope to find safety and security in His love for me, I need to give Him those gifts in return.  If I can find that stability, then I believe we will find, in each other, as sense of calm and security.

We have the tools, and we have the foundation to build a strong and healthy love together.  We've been good with each other before -- for lots and lots of years.  We nearly got washed away in the tide of addiction, fear, frustration, blame and anger.  Instead, we were saved by some sort of magic that we only vaguely comprehend.  We've been given another chance, and I intend to not waste it.  I want us to grow old wrapped up around each other.  The work is well begun.  We are moving forward.



The Imp -- The Imp Got Spanked

I teach 6th grade.  when the school year starts, most of my students are 11 years old, and by the time the year draws to a close, almost all of them have turned 12.

Twelve-year-old girls are right on the verge of becoming young women.  It is possible to see the women that they will be just a few years down the road.  The boys, however, are almost always younger seeming, still a year, or sometimes two, from making the transition to adulthood.  A twelve-year old boy is a delightful mixture of mischief and innocence and curiosity and charm and incipient knowing and almost visible potential coming into view. 

Living with Master these days is a little like having one of those boychicks right here in the house.  With each passing day, He wakes up from a years-long separation from the wonderful boy he must have been so very long ago.  With each day that passes, He seems to feel better and be clearer -- and it is as if He is new born. 

One of the most intriguing parts of this whole passage is the look in His eye these days.  He is so young-seeming, with a burgeoning awareness that seems to surprise and amaze Him.  His eyes gleam with delight and a mischeivious glint that just tickles me.  There's a sweet and endearing playfulness to it all -- He is such an imp, and it is clear that He has rediscovered His switchy side.  He has a renewed interest in spanking and He has a renewed interest in being spanked.  He wiggles and giggles and blushes so endearingly.  I just love seeing Him so entranced and so happily amazed by His own wonderful sensuality.  It is so joyous and so light and so good. 

And yes, the Imp did get spanked.  This morning.  Not terribly intensely -- enough to give Him some stinginess and a bit of pink warmth.  And then we switch and He spanks me, and the two of us revel in the pure, simple pleasure of knowing this about each other again.  It is the very best thing ever.  Ever.



Never -- Yet

It was just a few days ago, talking about "pet peeves," that kaya wrote:
People who crow about how they would never do [insert whatever shocking thing here], how they can’t comprehend anyone doing ‘it’, that they are just too good/special/moral/enslaved to stoop to such levels and how those who DO do ‘it’ are missing something, some secret that only those who are too good/special/moral/enslaved are smart enough to get.

Now, to be honest, I don't actually know what THAT bit refers to.  I would guess that there is probably some gossipy, judgmental,  self-righteous, nastiness going on at Fetlife, but I really can't be sure.  I don't get around the blogging circle much anymore, and I never have had the time or patience for Fetlife.  

Whatever it is that got kaya going, I'm relatively sure that the specific bit of gossip she referred to isn't about me or us.  However important and life-changing our problems have seemed to US lately, I'm aware that most will have simply found it all dull and tiresome.  If there are people making judgments about the things we've dealt with and the choices we've made along the way, they are opting not to put those opinions out here in front of us.  It could be that there is back channel talk happening -- people chit-chatting all about what they would or would not do/tolerate/put up with/accept, and on and on and on.  It is possible that there are those "true" slaves who are convinced that they would have done much better at a number of turns along this path; people who have it all figured out nice and neat and tidy.  I can well imagine that going on -- and in my head, I can hear myself respond that it is really just a matter of not enough life experience.  If there is one thing I have discovered along 56 years of living it is that I really don't know a lot of things:
  • I don't know how much I can endure.
  • I don't know how deeply I believe what I believe.
  • I don't appreciate the distance I will go to help and support someone who needs it.
  • I don't completely comprehend the power of love and trust and hope.
  • I don't fully credit my own courage and determination.
  • I don't always notice how optimistic I am in the face of challenges.
 Most people who state categorically that they wouldn't EVER do, could NEVER do, just can't believe anyone WOULD do ... whatever it is, have just not lived long enough to understand that the most likely end of those statements is probably, "YET."

YET is the ultimate linguistic nod to the reality that the future is an unknowable, unpredictable, uncontrollable vastness.  YET concedes that we will all grow, change, adjust, and adapt as circumstances move us from moment to moment.  We will live and we will learn and we will come to find the people we are in the doing of that.  We each must, in living day to day, leave the past behind, live every single moment, and move on to what comes next.  So to those who are feeling superior, smug, or judgmental -- I understand.  It is easy to judge when you haven't learned who you are YET, when you don't know what you are capable of YET, when you do not YET know what you don't know.  It simply isn't time for you YET.

I don't think that it is really possible to package up our life's lessons and hand them off to someone else.  I am pretty seriously convinced that everyone has to go out and learn their own life's lessons, but for what it is worth, here's what we've learned in this last passage:
  • Never is a long time.
  • Now is all we have -- any of us. 
  • We can't know what the future will bring; can't control it however much we might hope to do that.
  • None of us know what we are capable of; what strength we might find in the face of trouble; how sturdy our will might be; how durable our hopes and dreams.

We've hit some pretty major bumps, and it seems we've survived.  We are different, changed from what we once imagined, but still together, still in love, still finding our way day-to-day.  For those who would look askance at our trials and tribulations; who would see our faults, failings, weaknesses, and imperfections; and say to themselves that they would NEVER find themselves in a similar circumstance -- I'd say "yet."  Not "yet."



Oddest Feeling

We've begun to spank again.  There's a little suspicious voice that jabbers away in my head, warning me to be cautious about even saying that out loud and perhaps jinxing it all.  More than that, I find that I am simply reticent about the fact of that.  I can't really pinpoint the source of my uneasiness.  I really never expected to feel so shy about our SM connection, and I am a little confused by the whole thing.

Part of it, I think, is that it feels like we are beginning down the path to defining a new relationship for ourselves.  What was is no more and what is coming into being is still so new and so sweet and so tentative.  I don't know where we are going to end up, and I am feeling very protective of it -- and of us.

Readers of this blog and of its predecesor, The Swan's Heart, know the two of us as an established partnership, already pretty well sure of our roles and connections when we first appeared out here in the blog world.  We weren't new when we started writing about our lives.  Those tender, early, getting to know you days of our relationship were already years gone by that time -- we'd known each other for three and a half years.  It was June 25, 2000, when I first poked my head up on the 1 Household Discipline listserve, to direct a question to a man who called Himself "Cincytop."  From that very first, almost confrontational salvo, through to coming to know one another as friends, play partners, lovers, and collaborators in an intensely erotic power exchange, we moved along our own private trajectory -- and we did that in private.  It wasn't until we were solidly who we eventually came to be together, that we started to write.

All these years of blogging, we've been out in public, sharing the ups and downs of our lives.  We've been pretty consistently open and revealing of who we are, and we've played out the dramas of our lives without shielding very much.  I don't see myself as particularly shy, bashful, or prudish.  My parts and pieces are spread all over this blog, and that's really just fine.

This, however, feels pretty intensely precious to me, and I find that I am reticent to lay it all out like a butterfly pinned on a specimen card.  I want this, and I want it for myself.  I find that I am holding it close to my heart, cradling it close, listening to it breathe softly and sweetly, hour by hour.

It is the oddest feeling.  Can you see me, shaking my head?



Welcome Springtime

Nine years in Cincinnati, and I never lose my sense of amazement at the advent of spring.  Some of that is, I am sure, due to my years spent in the west where spring (what there is of it) is harsher and less apparent to the casual observer.  At a mile above sea level, in the high plains, the calendar may insist that it is spring, but the visceral experience is far less certain...

Here, in the southern reaches of the American Midwest, springtime comes to us sweetly and softly; drenched in rain; with colors that creep into view from the ground up.  It is like being surrounded by an ongoing, real time impressionist painting in the making.  First there is just the whispered hint of green, not really visible but implied everywhere.  It is that sort of greening that cannot be seen if you look at it straight on, but turn your head and your brain will assure you that you are being stalked by verdant spirits.

After the winter we've endured, the springtime is a welcome thing.  I am ready for warmer days, for lively breezes, for green and light and color.  I don't imagine that the changing of the seasons will fix all that has been amiss for us, but I cannot help but believe that the return of the light will do us more good than all that cold and blowing nastiness.  Welcome Springtime!



Well.... Color Me Tickled!

Tom has been on a gifting spree. Sue got boots. She LOVES her boots. I think her boots are swell and perfect for her. Neither of us are "jewelry-type-women". Oh, sure, jewelry is pretty, but both of us are pretty hard on our hands, neither of us have pierced ears, and necklaces give me a headache. So boots are PERFECT for our Sue.

On the other hand..... I am a kitchen gadget freak. Tonight I got presents. I got a GLORIOUS Chef's Saute Pan from Scanpan, a BEAUTEOUS Tanto Chef's knife by Kershaw, and a new teapot to replace the spittin' whistle-less pot that has been sputtering all over my stove.

I am beside myself tickled. I carried my bounty over to my side of the condos and did a little dance while hauling my loot. I almost had to ask for help because this Chef Saute Pan is a monster. Resembles a Paella pan with a glass lid. Tom, of course, is most taken with the Tanto Chef knife. It is very lovely in it's own leather sheath....which I have already sliced putting the knife back...yes, it is THAT sharp!

But I have to say, the teapot touched me the most. It means he really heard me fussing about the pot I have used for the past few years. It has spit water for over a year and because it still works, I have not replace it. But he heard me. And when it came time to find me a present, he remembered. I am not sure that he would have noticed my pain-in-the-ass teapot this time last year. But he heard me and gifted me with the most beautiful teapot in the world.

Thank you my darling man. You do my heart good.

I love you, mores & mores.



Conjugation of the English verb to spank

After a 5 1/2 month long hiatus, during which He and I have had nothing going at all in the SM realm, things have begun to revive.  This week, we've made a beginning at resuming the sadomasochistic ground of our relatedness.  It feels fragile and tentative, but good.  We are switching with one another.  I spanked Him on Monday night, just a bit and very lightly -- and He spanked me last night (a good bit more intensely).  I wish I had something profound to offer on the occasion of our "rising from the ashes," but this conjugation of the verb, to spank, is the best I can offer:


Simple present

I spank
you spank
he spank
we spank

you spank
they spank

Present progressive/continuous

I am spanking
you are spank
he is spank
we are spank
you are spanking
they are spanking

Simple past

I spanked
you spank
he spank
we spank
you spanked
they spanked

Past progressive/continuous

I was spanking
you were spank
he was spank
we were spank
you were spanking
they were spanking

Present perfect simple

I have spanked
you have spank
he has spank
we have spank
you have spanked
they have spanked

Present perfect progressive/continuous

I have been spanking
you have been spank
he has been spank
we have been spank
you have been spanking
they have been spanking

Past perfect

I had spanked
you had spank
he had spank
we had spank
you had spanked
they had spanked

Present perfect progressive/continuous

I had been spanking
you had been spank
he had been spank
we had been spank
you had been spanking
they had been spanking


I will/shall spank
you will spank
he will spank
we will/shall spank

you will spank
they will spank

Future progressive/continuous

I will/shall be spanking
you will be spank
he will be spank
we will/shall be spank

you will be spanking
they will be spanking

Future perfect

I will/shall have spanked
you will have spanked
he will have spanked
we will/shall have spanked

you will have spanked
they will have spanked

Future perfect continuous

I will/shall have been spanking
you will have been spanking
he will have been spanking
we will/shall have been spanking
you will have been spanking
they will have been spanking



I would/should spank
you would spank
he would spank
we would/should spank
you would spank
they would spank


I would/should be spanking
you would be spanking
he would be spanking
we would/should be spanking
you would be spanking
they would be spanking


I would/should have spanked
you would have spanked
he would have spanked
we would/should have spanked
you would have spanked
they would have spanked

Perfect progressive

I would/should have been spanking
you would have been spanking
he would have been spanking
we would/should have been spanking
you would have been spanking
they would have been spanking


Years and years and years ago, I bought a simple pair of Bass boots.  They were a soft brown leather, flat heeled, ankle-high, easy and comfy to wear.  For the longest time, I wore them nearly everyday through the fall, winter, and early spring.  Rain and snow, cold and damp, in all kinds of weather, you could find me in my trusty boots.  I wore them with skirts and with jeans.  They were my favorite shoes for just about every occasion short of that dress-up, cocktail party, girly sort of affair.
The problem is that years of wear have taken their toll on my wonderful old boots, and they have gotten increasingly ratty and shabby looking.  Every time I put them on, I could hear Himself cringe.  The scuffed, cracked, worn out leather didn't particularly bother me -- after all, I'm not as young as I was when I bought them, and I am showing signs of wear too, but He has come to just hate them.  He grabs them every chance He gets and polishes the heck out of them, and it helps some, but they are what they are, and a coat of polish isn't going to hide the fact.
Today, when I got home from school, He told me he had a surprise for me, and there, fresh and new, was a brand new, spiffy, wonderful pair of Frye boots!  FRYE BOOTS!!!!  Wow!  They are the neatest, most comfortable, (and most expensive) pair of boots/shoes I've ever had.  They aren't exactly like my old boots, but they are close and I really like them.  I promptly put them on and dropped my old ones into the box they came in -- now, it is finally OK to let them go.  I feel like a five year old; tempted to walk around looking at my feet in my new boots.  I am just thrilled -- they are perfect.  Just perfect! 

Thank you, Sir.  I love you and I love my new boots.



Shock and Sadness

We had sad news yesterday.  A man that helped Master during the most difficult of our difficult days -- helped in ways that were way beyond what anyone might have expected; helped in ways that may have been life saving; helped in ways that seemed to us to be mysterious and wondrous and awe-inspiring -- has succumbed to the siren call of his drug addiction.  He overdosed just a few days ago and very nearly died.   He barely survived, but is alive and back in jail, in solitary, awaiting a new court date and facing almost certain long term imprisonment.

We are full of questions that all seem to boil down to "why?"  We are shocked that this man who was such a gift to us when we so needed him could have done such harm to his own life and future.  We are hurt and saddened -- not surprised but still a bit caught off guard by this turn of events.  It seems such a waste of a promising future...

Master will go tomorrow morning to visit him; to be there with him in the very limited way that is available; to give him the only thing we can give him at this point -- a familiar and friendly face.  How does one shake this sense of wanting to turn back the clock?



Signs of Spring

April 1, yesterday, was the opening day for The Cone.


The Cone is a long-standing local business that specializes in soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt.  There is a fat-free, sugar-free, vanilla frozen yogurt that works great for Master and for T.  I can't eat it because it is sweetened with aspartame, but I love their swirled chocolate/vanilla "zebra" cones.

During the season, we are regular patrons of The Cone.  It is a small treat that we enjoy, and there is just some sort of funky community feel to visiting the place that we get a kick out of.  But The Cone is a seasonal venture, and around the end of October, it closes for the winter.  We go through sudden withdrawal.  We've scoped out the area, and there are just no substitutes for The Cone.  It is what it is, and we are all hooked.

The good news is that The Cone is open again, and not only that, but yesterday, between 4 and 7 PM they were having a special -- buy two get one free!  A triad special!  Really!  That is something that NEVER happens.  NEVER.  Specials are always two for the price of one, tailored to our paired up society.  So a buy two get one deal seemed like a message to us from the universe -- "Get in the car and go to The Cone right now!"  Between the message from the universe, and T's Edith Ann pouty face, we had no choice but to pack up after dinner and make a field trip.  So, we have had our first fix of summer goodness from The Cone; spring is upon us; and life seems better and brighter.