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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Natures Hope

This was a picture challenge over at Legacy Writers Of Harmony Pub
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Natures Hope


Sun rays glint
rain drips
from her golden gates
The moss that flows
from your upturned palms
pulsing with life
Dreaming of morning glories
entwined in your hair
Breath and a smile
Awaken and feel
warmth and serenity
A peaceful hope


Angela Minard 2008

Hope For The Hopeless

rainbow

I'm up early and the house is quiet, so quiet it hums. I'm looking forward to today. I have some good, productive energy going on! I plan on tossing toys in the trash. My boys have grown up, so now our basement needs to do the same. Dave and I are getting together with our best friends, Angie and Ben later tonight for a barbeque at their house. It has been awhile since we've hung out, so I'm excited about seeing them and having some laughs.
My youngest son, Roman went to The Lake Of The Ozarks with a friend, and won't return until Monday. I really feel his absence and miss his company very much. I know he is having an absolute blast though. He will be boating, tubing, fishing, making smore's... I can't wait to hear all about it!
I just feel so good right now, and I want to hang on to it because I haven't felt like this in so long. I feel like laughing and crying at the same time, and more alive than ever. I think it is called feeling. Imagine that! It makes me realize just how numb I was.
I have hope:)

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Breakthrough Session

eyes
Sometimes all it takes
is new eyes
or just to take a moment
to close your own eyes

to see...

I had a breakthrough emergency therapy session yesterday!
Without going into details, my therapist led me through a visualization exercise, and it was an amazing journey for me. I have felt such a sense of peace ever since, and just typing this brings tears to my eyes. There really is nothing else to say. I just wanted to share the moment!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Morning Birds

biiirds(:
Morning Birds

Morning birds
tell their secrets
to the sleepy houses
one by one
a light flickers on
for coffee making
groggy eyes
scooping the bitter grounds
pouring the water
with an unsteady hand
Percolating in rythym
to the Robin's and Finches
chirping and chattering

The rest is just silence
barely breathing
to go through the motions
of another day
listening to the soft
feathers that float
from your mouth
The light and airy
lies you tell
so well

But this time
no other day
will pass
You will go away
Only the secret
morning birds
will stay

Angela Minard 2008

Nurturing The Inner Child

Scared Inner Child
I wrote this e-mail to my therapist a few days ago, as I'm really struggling with food and feeling hunger. It has been so long since I actually have felt the physical sensations of being hungry, and now that I'm once again feeling them, it is quite terrifying.

"I want to get as far away from myself as possible. All of this eating and trying is like a bad joke. Each day that passes leaves me in more of a mess. I can't stand myself! *Claudia needs me to go too. I'm so tired of feeling like this. These feelings of hate and rage, no one else to stand up and take the pain. Always me. Eating makes the pain so unbearable...the rage and disgust that I feel knows no bounds. Only emptiness."

*Claudia is my eating disorder

I'm so afraid of the hunger that my first reaction is to try ignoring it and restricting my food, but eventually I give in and feel like a failure. It is a vicious cycle.
I talked with my nutritionist, and she said to think of food and nutrition as self- care and nurturing for my inner child. It does help to think of it that way... that I would not starve or deny a child it's basic need for nourishment. I'm going to try.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Dog And The Rat

The dog decided to go and sniff the cage of the rat. The rat decided to bite the nose of the dog. The dog is now afraid of the rat!

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Sleeping Dog(Phoebe)
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Sleeping Rat(Emery)
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Cute Dog(Phoebe)
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Cute Rat(Emery)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Affirmations

A friend of mine that I was in treatment with at Renfrew wrote this poem
tape measure

Affirmations

Measuring self-esteem
Is never done accurately on a scale
Of pounds and ounces
Kilograms and grams
Nor calories and miles
So lose your tape measure
And stop checking your bones
Let go of the sick jeans
And photographs embracing emaciation
Say goodbye to that porcelain god
Withholding regurgitated meals
Vomitron and Starvathons are over
Mirrors are not meant to answer questions like
Who's the fairest of them all
It's okay to be healthy
It is not my duty to be ill
I deserve happiness
Life
And recovery
And that is exactly what I'm pursuing
Fully aware that there will be slips
Bad days
And triggers in seemingly innocent affairs
But I am more than willing to take the risk
To let go of this disease
Because I would rather have the chance to be happy
Than live one more day in sharing my life with my eating disorder
I have nothing to lose

At The Circus

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I dream in distortions
a fun house mirror
of horrors
awake sweating
swearing
never to eat
again
too much of myself
to loath
I feel my body
move
beneath the sheets
sinking
heavy limbs
unable to run
from who I know
I am

Friday, May 23, 2008

Last Day ~2007-08~

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Today was the last day of school. Classroom cleaned, summer school boxes packed, kids hugged and hugged again. I will see most of them again in a week, and even the ones that I won't see in summer school, I still plan on seeing. It was a precious class this year, and next year the dynamics will change with four new kids, and two students not returning. The end of the year is always bittersweet. This group, put together was extraordinary, so I will miss it.

I packed Emery "the rat" up in her to go cage and brought her home today. She is officially a member of the family for the summer. She is getting big, but still pretty darned cute! She nipped Phoebe on the nose a bit ago though, so I'm not sure how cute that she thinks she is. I'm sure that they will be great friends soon enough {I hope:)}

There is just so much to think about. My oldest will be a senior next year, I will have one starting highschool, and one starting Jr. High. Only one grade schooler left for one more year. When did they all grow up on me so fast? I'm just not even ready, but I had better get on the ball here. We need to start researching colleges for Christian. He is into graphics and 3d communications. I get nervous even thinking about it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

An Eating Disordered Rant

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I sit in my waste
disgusting sloth
beautifully dressed
in ballerina clothes
A quiet disguise
to fool the fans
I peel my scabs
loosening the skin
hoping to find
the new underneath
this body
sick and tired
of feeling
the rolls of flesh
that feed
Everyday wanting
more from me
Wanting nothing
but more, more, more
and where
is my control
to stop these feelings
of hunger, rage,
huge gaping holes
of need
that threaten
to take over
what has
always been
mine

Painting The Poet

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I try to hide
in your branches
of gold
You paint
my words
my soul
in primary colors
so bright
unable to
be concealed
in shadow
or light
Naked I stand
illuminated
Your brush strokes
bold and sure

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Autism Art

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Happy Anniversary Flowers

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Misplaced Memories

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Remember how I kept locking my keys in the car?
Waiting for you to come and rescue me.
I'm doing it again.
Maybe I think that eventually
you will tire of scolding me.
Abandoned in an empty parking lot
trying to look as if I belong
Leaving things
misplaced keys, phone, an earring
All replaceable
like me
because you tell me
never to leave my keys in the car
Why don't I listen?
My mind is so loud
that I can't hear a thing
So loud
tripping over my own feet
while walking in the park
Did someone see me?
It hurts
but no one can know
No one can know
that I hurt

Angela Minard 2008

Is This Vindication?

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Last week
it was your birthday
and I think it strange
that I know this
That when I look
at the calendar
and see the date
I know this
basic fact
about you
A flash
of anger
that is new
finally
directed at you
and not only
at myself
Anger
for caring,
for remembering
when you could
never
be bothered...
That

was always
mine

You could
never
even miss me,
and so
I didn't matter

I

have made
you
invisible
the way
that you
made me

feel
for so

very long
I wonder...
Is that
how you feel?
Is that
what I want?
Petty
and
vindictive
yes
maybe...
but

still
I don't
want you
anywhere
near
my life


Angela Minard 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blogging For Human Rights~ Eating Disorders And Health Insurance

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This is something that I wrote a few days before I was admitted to Renfrew Center, which is an in-patient eating disorder treatment facility. It was also the night that I almost committed suicide due to the stress of insurance and health care issues.

Today I am just trying to take each moment as it comes, but still, the emotion overwhelms me. I went this morning to have my lab work done. I have spoken with my supervisors at work, and now we are just dealing with the money and insurance issues. It is very hard not to feel like I'm a burden. This is going to wipe us out financially. I feel hopeful and hopeless all at the same time, which is very strange and frightening. I also feel such pressure from myself. My therapist says that there is no way that I can fail, but it is very hard from where I am sitting to see it that way. I do think about just ending all of this. I have never been in the place where I either want recovery so much, or I just want to give up. I don't have an in between place anymore. The middle is purgatory. I'm so tired... My heart is skipping... I need for it all to stop...

That night I was seconds away from taking a handful of pills when my oldest son happened to walk down the stairs just to tell me that he loved me. I felt such horrible guilt over our financial situation. I didn't want to be a burden. For so long I had been slowly starving myself to death and was finally able to reach out for help, only to be told that I wasn't sick enough.

Insurance would only cover a 21 day stay even though I was medically unstable and it was recommended that I stay for 60 days of treatment. Throughout my stay at Renfrew, it was a daily occurrence for young girls and women to be sent home against medical advice. Eating disorders are considered a mental illness, and of course, this country is not going to help the mentally disabled. How many people do we see living on the street who could live happy and productive lives if just given medical treatment?

For more information on eating disorders and medical treatment, go to
Caringonline or Renfrew Center .

no health care needed You shouldn't have to fix it all by yourself.

Wordless Wednesday

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Mad Doodle

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The last day of Doodle Week has arrived, and I'm so glad that I participated!
When I was in the 1st grade, a teacher told me that I was not very good at art, and ever since, I have stuck with music or writing as my creative outlets. It was fun to draw, and even if I'm not that great at it...
Now, I'm getting too damned old to care!
So, to that 1st grade teacher, "Screw You!"

The Rosary

Rosary
Last evening Dave and I went to the Rosary service and visitation for our friend Kelly, who passed away last week after a long battle with breast cancer. It was difficult to say goodbye. She had such a bright, warm spirit and light about her, and to see her body without the radiation of her soul, was painful. I'm really not a fan of the open casket for that reason, but I also understand how some people may need to see the actual body so that they can process the loss.
It was a Catholic service, with a saying of the Rosary. I am Catholic, but my husband isn't, so it was all new to him.
(The Rosary is divided into five decades. Each decade represents a mystery or event in the life of Jesus. There are four sets of "Mysteries of the Rosary" (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious). These four "Mysteries of the Rosary" therefore contain, a total of twenty mysteries. The Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries. Public recitation of the Rosary (two or more people), requires a leader to announce each of the mysteries before the decade, and start each prayer.) I had not recited the Rosary since I was a child, so I was surprised by how soothing and meditative it was to participate. I had really struggled earlier in the day with even going to the service at all, but then I remembered what my therapist had said about allowing myself to grieve. I suppose that I think of it as self-indulgent, so my first reaction is to stuff it down and hold it in, which I'm beginning to realize is not a healthy thing to do. I felt a lightness and relief after saying goodbye which also comes with knowing that her pain and suffering is over. I signed her on-line guest book with these words, and a poem that I wrote.

~To Kelly~
May you rest in peace and fly among angels.


A Chance To Fly

Pink tipped clouds
shaped like wings
streaking through
the darkening sky.

The soul
breathes in,
then out.

A sigh…

Longing for
the chance
to fly.

Angela Minard 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Abstract Doodle

Inspired by Sydney

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Monday, May 12, 2008

I Wonder...

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I Wonder

How is it
that in a day,
something
so devastating
can happen
that changes
your world
forever,
and yet
for a moment,
it can be
forgotten.
You catch
a smile,
a laugh,
the fleeting joy
of being alive,
dissipating
with the remembrance
of all
that has been lost.

Angela Minard 2008

Doodle Daydream

This is a talking on the phone doodle:)
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A Lost Poem

Writing.
My 200th post came and went, and I forgot to celebrate! This is my 212th post on this blog, and the need to write is still very strong. I have begun carrying a tiny notebook in my purse to write down my thoughts and ideas, due to a lost poem a few weeks ago. I had this poem swirling around in my head, but nothing to write on or with. It was very frustrating for the words to continually slip in and out of my mind, unable to hold on to them. Maybe it wasn't meant to be at the time, as I don't really believe that a poem can truly be lost, but only postponed until the right moment. Still, the notebook and array of colorful gel pens riding in my purse are an extra bit of comfort for those times when the words feel like they must get out.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This Mask I Wear

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This Mask I Wear

Only revealed
in shadow
with steady gaze
the bare reflection
guarded
flesh
pale and colorless
vacant eyes
fake a smile
and pretend
focus on
the application
fingers dipped
in shimmers
of light
paint, gloss,
to hide
the features
covered
and lost
in the mirror

Angela Minard 2008

My Boys

~My Boys~
(L to R) Justice#3, Roman#4, Christian#1, and Logan #2
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My sister-in- law gave me this beautiful pastel portrait of my boys on Mother's Day six years ago. They have grown and changed so much! Being a good mother is one of the accomplishments that I am most proud of. Yeah, sometimes I screw up, but for the most part, I do okay. I am so very blessed!

Happy Mother's Day~ I Love You, Mom!


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In honor of Doodle Week,
here is my flower doodle.
It is for the most amazing
and courageous woman I know.
My mom.

Mom,
I love you
more than words
can ever say.
I'm looking forward
to our time
spent together.
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Unimaginable

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A friend of mine passed away yesterday after a 10 year battle with breast cancer. I just found out this morning, so today I have been filled with a huge ache. Her husband and two young daughters must feel so lost without her. Why does it seem like it is always the good people who have to leave this world so soon. She has left her pain behind, and now it is up to her loved ones to carry on and share the joy that she brought to this world. It is unimaginable to visit that place...and so for now, I will attempt to stay in the present, where I belong.

A Saturday Game

Roman played a great basketball game today.
Way to go # 5!

#5 goofing around before the game.
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Getting ready to start the game.
Guess this is called, "tipping the ball."
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While waiting for the game to start, the little sister of one of the players said,

"In case anyone gets hurt, I have an icepack in my purse."
So cute, I had to share!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Poetry Doodle~Doodle Week 2

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The Evil Caterpillar

Before the Carnage
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I'm having quite a bit of anxiety over our backyard. Our house backs up to a greenway that is seperated by a small creek, and beyond that creek, another subdivision. It used to feel very private behind our house until a giant Caterpillar came through, eating everything in it's path to make room for a bike/hiking trail. Now I feel wide opened and exposed. I hate it! People keep walking through our yard to check it out, and it is surprisingly upsetting to me. I'm afraid when it is dark, and I put our dog out on her leash, that someone is going to jump out at me. It just feels really spooky. I hope that we will be able to get a fence soon, although I know that if someone was going to be evil, they could do it with or without a fence. My world feels unsafe at the moment...

After:(
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Doodle Week~Day 1

I'm sharing the doodle of my 11 yr old son, Roman.
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Emery The Rat

Meet the newest member of our classroom.

Emery the rat~ Isn't she cute!

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One of our students, Bianca, just loves rats, so when she found out that the rat in the student naturalist class was having babies, she begged and begged to have one. She already loves it so much. Emery is too small to live in the big cage yet without squeezing through the wire, so for now she is in a small cage.
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Today Bianca took the cage into our little tent and sat inside, talking and cooing to Emery like a new mother- in- love.

We only have two more weeks of school left, so Emery will be coming home with me for the
summer. My youngest son, Roman is especially excited. My husband on the other hand, is not.
I really can't understand why. Just look at that face!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Calm And Peaceful Place

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It is 4:00 a.m., and I am mentally tired of being me. I cannot seem to find a calm and peaceful place, at least not for longer than a moment. Sleep comes and goes, but mostly I run on nervous energy, filled with unexplainable fears that turn my mind over and over until all that I want to do is cower into a dark corner and disappear. I had what I thought was a panic attack on the school bus at work on Monday afternoon. My heart began to race, and the bus felt as if it was moving at three times its speed. Everything was so loud, and racing by so fast. I literally wanted to crawl under the seat of the bus. What would the students have thought of that? This lady is in charge of us? Great! I just kept taking slow, deep breaths, and holding on to the serenity charm that my therapist gave me. When I called to tell her about it, she said that it sounded more like a manic episode than a panic attack. My meds are being adjusted right now, and all I want is to be normal, whatever that is! She thinks that I may be a little bi-polar. Is there such a thing as a little bi-polar? My list of craziness is growing~ ptsd, depression, bouts of ocd, anorexia, dissociation, panic attacks, and now, manic episodes which could indicate that I'm bi-polar...Jeesh!

My husband just came downstairs to check on me because he is worried, but his worry feels more like anger. It all just makes me feel so guilty for putting him through all of this, and if I could control it, I would. Anyway, that is my crazy morning rant for the day. I would still rather be this way than depressed and sleeping all of the time. Really, all I want is to be calm and steady, without the racing thoughts, but to still have energy. Writing seems to be the only way to sort out what goes on in my mind. Of course without the writing, my house would probably be spotless like it used to be! Oh well... Time to get ready for work.
On that upbeat note...


Hope everyone has a wonderful day:)

Everything

Sun Moon Stars

Everything

You ask of me
"What am I to you?"
Don't make me say
out loud
As if only
I could shout
Sun, wind, stars
Mother, Father, friend

You keep
the panic
from creeping
up my throat
like wayward
vines
that threaten
to choke
And in
the darkness
of my mind
your voice
finds me
softly
Soothes me
when I fear
I've lost
my way

So, when you ask,
"What am I to you?"
as I stare
silently
at the ground
Take my hand
and feel
what I
can never say
Sun, wind, stars
Mother, Father, friend
Everything

Angela Minard 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

All-American Girl

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All-American Girl

I read about her
silent perfection
in the library
at lunchtime
Filled with
laughing girls
The crude
language
of boys

Behind
opened books
a dark mind
She, who has
everything
held
in her
pristinely
manicured
fingers
that tremble
with
jumbled colors
bouncing
in the palm
of her hand

Because
all she can
ever hear
is Fur Elise
ringing
in her ears

Angela Minard 2008

Angela Shelton Interview

I love Angela Shelton!

I still cannot read the part in this interview, about the seventeen year old girl who committed suicide, without bursting into tears.

Suffering in silence can be deadly.

I highly recommend this book!

Angela Shelton
This is an interview with Angela Shelton that I found on http://dosomething.org
Angela is such an inspiration, so I thought that I would share.

Do Something: You didn't start the Finding Angela Shelton journey thinking the main theme would be about abuse - your own and so many other Angelas' - did you?

Angela Shelton: No. As I was traveling, I connected with the Angelas as victims of abuse and violence. I knew then that I had to talk about child abuse (in the film and book), especially sexual abuse, because it's an epidemic. Violence and abuse breeds silence, but the self abuse that often follows is totally silent. I see that a lot in teens. I see self-mutilation, substance addiction, sex and love addiction, all in an effort to fill the void.

DS: This happened to you too: After you were sexually and physically abused by your father, you began to hurt yourself.

AS: I put my self through hell, all because of what someone else did to me. I know it makes no sense but it's what so many do, so I wrote about it. The hope is for every survivor to stop the self abuse and break the cycle. That's how the abuse continues - victims marry abusive people, then their kids get abused, and then these kids marry abusive people, and so on and so on. If all survivors heal, we could make a huge shift in society.

DS: How did you plan for such a project?

AS: It did not go as planned. A: I ran out of money. B: I was faced with my own abuse and I wasn't prepared to deal with all of it. It got really intense. I realized I was going to have to confront my dad, my abuser. Then I learned that it was scheduled for Father's Day. I planned it for that day not realizing it -- I never celebrated the holiday.

DS: Why did you decide to write the book and take such a deeper personal dive?

AS: As I was traveling, I found that people wanted to hear my story. So many of them were just like me; we connected as victims of abuse and violence. I knew then that I had to talk about child abuse, especially sexual abuse.

DS: What was the most surprising part of this experience?

AS: Definitely the movement it created. It's totally out of my hands now. If something happened to me today, it would still continue. That's the whole point of the brand that Angela Shelton has become - it's not me, it's just my name. It's about inspiration and empowerment. To this day, every time I visit a college or lecture somewhere, people tell me Searching for Angela Shelton saved their lives. They stopped self-mutilating or decided not to kill themselves. They began to heal relationships.

DS: If you could say something to all the teens in the country, what would you tell them?

AS: Stop judging each other. Stop the whole clique thing, no more gossiping. When I visit schools I always tell a story I heard about what many consider the "perfect" all-American girl - blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect prom queen. I mean, really perfect - she got a new car on her 16th birthday, rich parents, rich life, rich everything. She killed herself when she was 17. In her suicide note she wrote that her piano teacher had been raping her since she was nine. She never told anyone because she was perfect; her coping mechanism was perfectionism. She had no one to turn to because everyone judged her. They hated her because she was just too perfect, but the reality was that she had this deep, dark secret. Her parents published her suicide letter in the local newspaper and six more girls came forward that had been raped by the same piano teacher. No one ever knew that was happening to that girl because she didn't feel like she had a safe place or person to go to. I tell teens they all have a story. I tell them about how I actually hated myself and was obsessed with trying to be beautiful. I self-mutilated and abused myself, and I was a fashion model! I was paid for being beautiful. So it doesn't matter where you come from or what you do, it can happen to anyone.

DS: How did you come up with Report It Now! - Angela Shelton Day?

AS: My original idea was "What if we all reported abuse on the same day -- "Would that make a difference? Would that create tension?" It grew into more than just reporting a violation. People started showing up at their county courthouses. And those that can't report because the statute of limitations lapsed fill out an online form. I was raped when I was 15 and have no idea who did it so I'm filling out the online forms. (For online form click here)

DS: How can young people get involved in Report It Now! Day?

AS: They can visit reportitnow.org and find ways to start a Report It Chapter. They can involve their schoolmates in the movement. It's very similar to Take Back the Night - everyone gathers in one place and tells their stories. The difference is we encourage people to report the abuse, but we don't want to force anyone to go to a police station. We're just starting the conversation, saying it's time to start thinking about reporting it, so hopefully they'll ready themselves to report their perpetrator.

DS: Is there an organization or hotline they can contact if they aren't ready to share?

AS: Oh yes. There's Rape Survivors Anonymous and Survivors of Incest Anonymous. There's even a link on my site where people report a rape or assault anonymously.

DS encourages you to talk to your parents if you have been abused. If you don't feel ready, contact the anonymous groups above and you can also report the abuse anonymously by clicking here.

Report It Now Day is NOT about your confronting your abuser. It's about reporting the abuse to a safe authority so be wise and please be careful.

Need more info on violence against women and girls? Click here. Want to get take action for women? Click here for ideas!

What's In A Name?

angela
Ever since I found out about my friend Peter changing his name when he was a little boy, it has me thinking about the signifigance of a name, and how it shapes who we are. It also reminds me of my own name change around the age of six, when for a short period of time, I insisted that my friends call me Victoria because my mother had mentioned that the name had been considered, before deciding on Angela. Victoria sounded much more regal and befitting of the princess that I wanted to be!

I thought that it might be fun to write a name poem. If you try one of your own, I hope that you will share. Here is mine~

A My Name Is...

I'm rarely an Angela
Ang, Mom, Honey
Miss Angie
to name a few
My Noni called me
Angel
and of course
she knew!
but what
is my name
really?
deep inside
my soul
Hmmm...
Let me think
awhile
and then
get back to you

"A name should be taken as an act of liberation, of celebration, of intention. A name should be a magical invocation to the muse. A name should be a self-blessing."

Erica Jong

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Day To Celebrate

My girl came to school today,
and it was so great to have her back!
The other students missed her just as much,
if not more, than I did.
They all let her know
in their own special ways!

pinata
We started the day by celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a pinata. The kids took turns pulling the strings to find the one that would free all of the loot, but of course, those strings never work, and we were still forced to beat it to death to get to the good stuff. It never hurts to begin the week by releasing any pent up aggression, and a pinata does the trick. I definitely recommend it!
It was a good day.