Laughing Like Children, Living Like Lovers.

Do you ever get the November Blues?

I think I’ve gotten it nearly every year of adulthood, except for maybe the two Novembers after Scarlet and Des were born. In those cases, I was too distracted to fully notice the land getting gray, overcast and barren. Maybe I was too shut-in, with my baby bliss (and sleeplessness) to notice the onslaught of colds and flus. Maybe I just didn’t care. Babies keep you warm, right?

the blues

As my dear friend Eli says, it can be difficult not to notice days getting darker, skin needing lotion, and noses needing tissues. Wasn’t it just yesterday, that we prepared our yards and our children and our hearts for the outdoors? For these wonders?

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When November hits, you just might need a little help – someone to give you the thumbs up a little more..

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The November Blues, as I call it, can present itself in a number of ways. At its worst, I can be genuinely sad, anxious and struggling. As Mel from Stirrup Queens once told me, going through an anxious or otherwise rough time in November is like knitting on a bumpy train, rather than in control in your own rocking chair. (shall we call that May?) You’re still going to get the same end result – a beautiful and whole blanket. It just might take you the long way to get there on that bumpy train.

November is my bumpy train. It takes a little more work to stay healthy and whole.

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Even though the November Blues in the least, is just that the living is a little harder. More lotion, really.

More excuses for togetherness. Warm fires, hot soup, and tons of laughs. We need those.

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Then there’s the medium version of the November Blues, in which I get a case of the gimmes. Give me more of everything, please. I have the November Blues right now, in which nothing is enough. The days are shorter, but longer too. When I was a true stay-at-home-mom years ago, I had it really bad. I would just sit and wait for something to happen. And I have no idea what that something was, but it was probably to be discovered for greatness. Even though I was doing nothing to get there.

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It’s not like that now, because I’m not a stay-at-home-mom. I’m a work-at-home-mom. And I have worked so hard to get here, but I have so much more work to do. Endless. And coupled with long, cold, dark days, I forget everything I have done, and everyone I have met. That’s how it gets me. It’s the remnants of November’s pasts. It’s the ghosts. It’s me remembering a day when I would wait for my inbox to fill, with even one email. It’s wanting attention. It’s never being full enough, or having had enough water. It’s having an insatiable appetite in all aspects. I always say I don’t have an addictive personality, which mostly rings true, but in November I want more. More chocolate. More soup. More connections. More cheese.

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I find myself waiting for things to happen, only they are happening. Everywhere. And I know that, mostly. I can’t keep up with my inbox. The phone just rang from a new client and I emailed proofs to another. Even though I have photos from May that I still have to edit. (hint: every photo in this post? From May.) Even though I’ve been to Disney World and back, and I’ve gained a new baby and three pets since those dark November days. So many adventures are unfolding. I’m scared I’ll lose my grasp.

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Sometimes I can’t get warm. I can’t get enough sleep. I don’t even feel empty. I just remember feeling it once.

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Ok, a lot more than once.

the blues

There are seasons of my life in which all the good and all the bad pours down my face. Sometimes I’m just tired & numb.

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And I want to know..

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Are there consequences from eating too much cheese?

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Do you ever worry you will have nothing interesting to say ever again?

Do you sometimes find yourself waiting for an email, a phone call, or anything at all to remind yourself that you’re alive?

Do you eat too much cheese?

Are you afraid that what you have taken so long to build, will collapse in seconds?

Are you afraid you have lost your touch?

Do you worry you will never take a compelling photograph again?

Do you keep a drawer full of chocolate in your desk?

Is it still not enough on a really cold day?

Did you nod along to one or more of these, or am I the biggest nut in this house?

What do the November Blues mean to you? Or any month that gets your goat.

What does get your goat mean?

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“Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better”

— Elton John in “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

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About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter and son in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

Laughing Like Children, Living Like Lovers. — 130 Comments

  1. Oh hell yes I am so not fan of November and this time of the year, except I made the mistake of saying that I loved summer the best in front of my fall/November baby (Lily), who proceeded to ask if I did like her birthday since it was not in summer, but in November and fall. Well trust me I felt like a world’s worst mom on that one and completely back tracked. Just hope she believed me, but still between the two of us totally have a bit of the November blues for sure once again this year!

  2. I actually love November, from the buzz of Halloween, then Thanksgiving and the anticipation of the holidays. But then sometimes I’ll get the holiday blues. I get this a lot because my birthday falls so close to Christmas, so really, it’s like the forgotten birthday, or the birthday people somehow have to squeeze into their already busy schedule. I handle this by shortening my holiday season and simplifying my birthday plans (this year, as last, it’s just me, hubs and kids).

    • I actually really love all of the holidays. I don’t mean to sound like a grinch. It’s just early November that is so hard with the transition to the darkness and cold!

  3. I eat way too much cheese! When Emmy was a baby, she ate too much cheese also and it made her constipated. I can’t say I’ve had the same problem. I hate November when the time change makes the sun go down early and the leaves disappear from the trees, but it is Lily’s birthday month and Thanksgiving, and I love both. So yes and no to the November Blues!

  4. I hated March and November for years but since having children, I have learned to love even these two grey months. Last year I asked Nana what her favorite month was. “November” is what she said because she loved her birthday and Thanksgiving. Now, I love November for it gave me my first love, my mother.

  5. Winter in general is like the bumpy train ride – in my opinion. And this coming from a man who used to love and thrive for being outdoors in the wintertime to go snowmbobiling 2-3 times/week. I absolutely eat too much cheese…bring on the Tillamook medium cheddar. More please. That is the first close up I’ve seen of Athena to completely see how mesmerizingly beautiful her eyes are, Tamara πŸ™‚

    • Yes!! Her eyes are fantastic. And medium cheddar sounds perfect. There are certain cheeses that I really hate. I hate stinky cheeses. Blue cheese. Feta cheese. Goat cheese. Yuck.

  6. As you know, I’ve written about experiencing the blues this last month. I am not certain what is. I’ve noticed so many struggling this past year and I think part of me wants this year to come to an end. With that said, I am still trying to find the joy in what is, instead of what isn’t. Hugs to you, Tamara.

  7. Seems like you wrote this post for me. I hate November because of what happened in this month. Even though there are birthdays to celebrate, there is also a death that I still can’t get over. It’s a struggle and one that I hope to get over. btw Madison would tell you that you can never eat too much cheese.

    • Most of our birthdays are in spring and Summer, within my extended family and my family now. So that’s interesting. A lot of deaths in those months too, though.

  8. Have you seen the Dilbert cartoon, “And these are just a few of the benefits of an all cheese diet”. This is why you should come and visit Arizona. I had to wear a sweater this morning because it was in the 60’s, brrr. then it warmed up to a high of 78!

  9. Reading your most enjoyable blogs and Ask Away Fridays are helping to make November not such a bad month after all Tamara. I like November. There is always Thanksgiving Day with family and friends and the four day weekend to look forward to, and every November I get to be a whole year older. I’m really okay with that. I might to as well be. I can’t go the other way. Perhaps February is the month that I would be most prone to feeling the doldrums. Even though the daylight hours are increasing, by February I’m feeling a little winter weary. By then I’ll be reading your “pick me up” blogs over and over again Tamara.

  10. Yes, yes, and yes. I swear sometimes I feel like you’re inside my head, writing out my thoughts. For me, the blues hit in January and February, when the holidays are over and it seems like there are endless gray, rainy days to get through before Spring. As far as I’m concerned, there can never be too much cheese…or chocolate. BTW, did you get the moose pictures I emailed you?

    • No!! What email did you use? Tamarakle@gmail.com? I would definitely have responded to you.

      I get it about January and February but for some reason when they hit, I feel like we are over the hump. Probably because the solstice has passed and it does get a little lighter.

  11. I don’t mind November, but I get the winter blues in January. I don’t eat too much cheese, but I do feel cold and a little empty and sad. The warmth of the holidays is gone, and Spring seems so far away. No, you’re not the only nut, but if I kept a desk full of chocolate, I would be in big trouble.

  12. Ooh yes definitely found myself nodding my head to many of those–eating too much cheese, worrying about things falling apart. Though I get the blues more in January and February, when it’s really cold and winter seems to be dragging and the excitement of the holidays has worn off. But maybe we’ll take a short trip somewhere warm then!

  13. I don’t like it getting dark so early – never like this time of the year!

    like where I live now though not as much snow – so I’m happy. except it’s pretty cold here right now brrr….

  14. I’m an indoorsy gal who loves a warm drink in front of the fire. I love to listen to the rain and I’m in the best mood because I don’t have to make up reasons that I’m not outside. It’s raining here and the temps have fallen to 60! Granted I’m not sure if I’d feel the same living up north. I hope you find ways to cope with the November Blues because it’s a beautiful season!

  15. Yes. I’ve been afraid that everything I’ve built will come crumbling down. And sometimes I eat too much cheese. I love Mel’s perspective. Sometimes the ride is just bumpy. Or cold. And a little dark. But the end result is pretty spectacular if we stick it out. Now if you will excuse me, I need to bundle up and take my husky for a brisk walk.

  16. No, you are not totally random. Yes, I believe there is such a thing as too much cheese, but my kids would beg to differ. I have no idea what “get your goat” means. And yes, November is a hard month for me. To be totally honest, the hardest part is the huge focus on thankfulness and me having to spend the day with a group of people I don’t really get along with. It makes me miss my family that much more and I usually end up crying at some point during that day.

  17. Who says ‘get your goat’? Lol You can never eat enough cheese. True shit. Yeah I feel more tired and worn out in November – it starts creeping in October but by November the cold weather drains me physically and emotionally. My bf doesn’t get it, he thinks I’m being “girly” – I told him, nah lots of folks feel the weather change this time of year and it’s draining. I just black out at night – I don’t recall ‘falling’ asleep – I hit a wall and everything goes black. Sleep gooooooooooooooooood. It’s too cold today, I don’t like it – at least I get free pizza at work for our meeting. Eh free food makes everything OK. Happy Hump Day love hope you feel better soon!!! -Iva

  18. This year I’ve had the October/November blues in a big way. Usually I don’t have issues until January/February. I think it’s the culmination of lots of things and yes I wish a lot of the things you said. I’m sad that I don’t have any soft chocolate (Reeses or 3 Musketeers would probably work) in the house right now because I need some but my mouth hurts and I can’t eat the only chocolate we have right now (Whoopers).

    • Thank you! I usually get better around now because I love Thanksgiving. And I have adjusted to the darkness.
      I actually like March, despite it being mud season up here. It’s a nice and hopeful month.

  19. November and Fall in general are tough times for me. And “yes” to most of your questions. Yes, I do worry I will have nothing interesting to say ever again. Yes, I do sometimes find myself waiting for an email, a phone call, or anything at all to remind me that I’m alive. And, yes, yes, yes, I do keep a drawer full of chocolate in my desk. Well said and beautiful pictures, as always.

  20. Well, those pics have cheered my November up. The dog photos are fabulous and put a huge smile on my face. YES. I suffer from November blues since, always. The rain, the short daylight hours, the darkness…did I mention the rain? Although this month hasn’t been as rainy as usual and we’re enjoying more sunshine and cool temps. I kind of like those sunsets. When I lived on the Prairies for 22 years, I would get the blues in November when the snow came. I knew the winter had officially arrived and would last 4ever.

  21. You know . . . I’ve had a blah month. Eating too much. Too much internet. Too much silliness (not the good kind). Loved your pictures. Good pick me up! Love your daughter’s pure joy looking up into the sky.

  22. im torn between being a bit moody (living up to my last name) and loving staying cozy inside while it snows outside. love those photos. I want to pet that cute dog of yours!

  23. My first baby is a November baby, so I am partial to this month! πŸ˜‰ I actually love the fall and find it really comforting, but that is because I absolutely hate the heat of summer. Hope you can find some cozy jammies and maybe a nice warm cup of hot chocolate to boost your spirits! :)-Ashley

  24. Well as a matter of fact, I ALWAYS have chocolate within arms distance of my desk at work so what does that tell you? I love the holidays, but I do have post-holiday blues in January. After spending lots of time with family, it is kind of a let down when it is all done.

  25. About the cheese: it can make you constipated if you eat too much of it. As least it does for me. And gassy. My husband does not like it when I eat a lot of cheese.

    LOVE the mowing pictures. Too cute.

    Now I want some cheese. You should try the cheese fondue at The Melting Pot. I do not eat it neatly. I shovel it in my mouth. It’s so good.

    • You are cracking me up!

      Surely, there are side effects eating too much of anything and definitely cheese.

      I love The Melting Pot!!! We used to go all the time in New Jersey. There are none up here that I have found.

  26. first of all, excellent use of song for the Elton John selection.
    Secondly: November is the threshold. It’s the month of waiting.. anticipation of something better on the way. The dirty, dark brown filth of late Autumn giving way to fresh, crisp white of a snowfall. Rotten, lop-sided mouth jackolanterns for twinkling Christmas lights. The Holidays. Food. Family. So much festive.
    But now – it’s just blah. But I know: the YEAH! is on it’s way.
    And I want nachos.

    • Hey, you worded it perfectly. Are you sure you’re not a November expert as a profession?
      That yeah is definitely coming. I would say it’s already here, but everyone in my family still a little sick.

  27. Now that song is stuck in my head…

    November doesn’t bother me, it’s usually the late cold days of January.
    However, I have felt myself becoming more antsy lately. Things aren’t going how I dreamed they would, things are up things are down, and yet I want more up.
    I don’t want to become radical so I step away….

    November, makes me sleepy, hungry, and thankful.
    I wish I could eat cheese πŸ™
    XOXO

    • I’m so sorry! Can you eat any dairy? I think I remember you talking a lot about this.

      And yes, this song has been in my head for the whole week.

      January can be tough because it’s a long month and it’s often the coldest. And still so far from spring, and after the holiday hubbub.

      • I can eat *some* dairy as long as I take a lactose pill. However, there are days I would just love to dive into a pan of fondue…. nice cheesy yummy fondue. :::sigh:::

        Exactly! January is cold, and all the lead up… gone πŸ™ plus breaking resolutions…
        XOXO

  28. Driving home from work tonight, I had to ask myself why I was feeling so sad. I was on my way home which is a happy place, to get the wrap-around hugs from my little boy that I know I will one day miss, and have to just blame it on the too-dark, too-early nights. My husband is also getting surgery on Monday so our Thanksgiving week is sure to suck… so there’s that, and well some other stuff w/ my step daughter… I love your photos and song lyrics though. So much.

  29. I definitely want more chocolates. I love the message that each season brings, even when we don’t have all 4 seasons here. It’s hard to believe, I’ve been following your blog for almost a year now! I know the first few photos I saw from you were those from winter. I’m kind of excited for December & Christmas though!

    • Wow! Almost our year anniversary. I’m looking forward to the holidays too. Just a week from today is Thanksgiving and then Christmas season more officially starts.

  30. Leaving in a non-seasonal country, no month is particularly special or stand out for me. Except for the months my children are born. I’m sorry you’re blue. I hope all the warm, yummy Fall things fill you with comfort. xoxo

    • Thank you! Usually the blues melt away around Thanksgiving. They would’ve already done so, but we’ve all been sick.
      How strange for me to think of a life without four seasons, but I did live in San Francisco. It had its own four seasons.

  31. Is that what my flurry of emotions is? Or am I just being overly hormonal? Either way, I felt all of those and more, and found myself nodding to every last question you posted towards the end. Please tell me it’s followed up by cheer!

    • I don’t know because pregnancy can definitely affect emotions, right?
      What’s funny is that I’ve always been pregnant with my first trimester in November. I think that’s also hard. Even though I feel fine, I remember feeling sick through two Novembers.

  32. Cheese will make you constipated and you know my love for November *if you’re nuts and you know it shake all six bottles of anti-bipolar medications*
    I worry of all those things and for each of those I write three things that either disprove them or make it positive. If that makes sense.
    For example: I am afraid of losing my touch…recognize that it is a “worry” not a reality…then replace it with “look at how much I’ve learned and how I’ve applied myself in the following ways…I will continue to learn and grow as I change”
    ….see…reframe them shit thoughts
    Xoxox

    • That is not a bad plan! I’m so used to feeling like I might be a piece of crap, so it’s been kind of nice to reframe those crappy thoughts.
      I just remember ice cream. And air-conditioning. And not having 4 sick family members. Magic.

  33. Oh girl, those are a lot of questions! Not sure if I can answer them all! But I can tell you the November blues are real but for me in a different way. I am not a fan of layering because I think it hides our hearts too much. Now I’m not a fan of nekkidness either but you know what I mean. We just have to as be strong as we can and ride out the two that are the hardest and for me that’s January and February (which is short!) after that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Spring will be here before we know it.

    • That is so cool, your reasons for not liking layering!
      I can see that January is really tough. I guess I like it because we often go away then, and it’s after the solstice, so the nights are officially getting lighter.

  34. I am a fan of November in general, because it’s my birthday month and I love decorating for Christmas – but it’s also usually the first month we get a cold snap and that just paralyzes me. Literally. When the thermometer hits 0, I just can’t function for a day or two, until I surrender to the Canadian winter (and buy a lotto ticket to escape it. No luck so far).

  35. Perfect. This is just perfect. EXACTLY how I am feeling… overwhelmed and at the same time completely enthralled with life’s blessings and yet? Anxious about holding on to them, and can’t quite hold on to them all. Too much. Too many things, people, inbox emails… countless weights burdening me and yet those are the very things that lift me. Ironic. Heavy loads… loads are heavy… long days short… light in the loads and in the long days…. but I must get out from under the pile to see it.

    I barely can breathe.

    Suffocating from the pile… but the pile is what gives me breath.

    Oh, the dichotomy.

    • Thank you! I think my balance is coming. It’s just the initial descent into dark and cold is hard, and we all got sick. Next week will be a nice Thanksgiving.

  36. I think February is the hardest month for me. Will winter never end? But I have a feeling this November will be hard. My grandpa has been in the hospital for a week and he’s not doing well at all. They’re hoping to get him home with hospice tomorrow. Our family always gets together for a big, fun Thanksgiving meal, and I’m just anxious about what this year’s Thanksgiving will hold.

  37. I often want more(of everything), but I also feel like I don’t have time for more. I fill like my days are crammed full of stuff, so their isn’t much time to enjoy more.
    For me there are consequences for eating to much cheese….lol

  38. My hard month is January. It’s hard to accept that all the holiday craziness is over and spring is still far away. What is there to do? November is my stressed out month, between all the birthdays, Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas, November flies by! I will come back and read this post mid-January when the blues hit me!

    • For all intents and purposes, January is terrible. It’s long and cold and it’s after the holidays and it is still far away from spring.
      I think I don’t mind it as much because there’s always the chance that we will go to Florida in January!

  39. So of course I have heard that Elton John song, but I guess I never really listened to it, because the lines you posted are perfect. I would love to eat too much cheese. I hope there is wine to go with it. When I was little, I used to call my November feeling the “same old thing” feeling. It’s just that – waiting for something to happen and going through so many motions. It happened in all the other months, too. But, it does go away, or maybe it doesn’t, but other things happen and you kind of forget it’s there…at least for a while!

  40. It was funny to read your comment on my blog this morning because as soon as I opened the computer, I thought – I have to see what Tamara is up to. I’m going to go read her blog. πŸ™‚

    Well I’m pretty sure you read my sunk-in-depression post(s) from a couple of weeks ago, so you KNOW I can relate! And that picture of your dog’s eyes with the reflection of the sky is just magical.

    • That is so awesome that we were sort of on the same page. And I’m glad that you were not as gloomy as I have been. We have been fighting a cold for two weeks now. With four family members having it at scattered times, it’s a joy. Not.

  41. Too much cheese? Never!!!! I think my version of November probably happens around March…when the winter just keeps getting colder and I feel like I will never feel sunlight on my face again (ok, I’m being dramatic, I don’t live in the Arctic, only New York, but you know what I mean?!)

  42. 1. That phase Scarlet is in in that lawnmower picture? I remember Marie there the most. I’d tell her, “you’re tiny. And you’re mostly hair!” It was true. Tiny leggings and always the need for a hair band.

    2. You know how I feel about cheese. I won’t even attempt to pronounce too much … too mosh … ch … ch.. ch …

    3. November for us is loaded with birthdays and tournaments, and I think it keeps us from feeling blue, mostly. But there are those in between times and conversations that bring it out. But then, there’s changing leaves and warm sun through cold air and the rustle of leaves that keeps things in check, mostly.

  43. I usually have the entire Winter blues. I was nodding my head to almost all of these, and you can never have enough cheese πŸ˜‰ I feel less inspired in the cold months and always question the quality of my work or wonder if I can do it at all anymore. I can’t count how many times I’m at a loss for words, but have a lot to say at the same time. Just try to remember that these “blues” are just temporary (that’s what gets me through), and endless cuddles with my little one! By the way, love that Elton song. I started singing it and my daughter asked what song it was, so I had to play it for her on iTunes!

    • Aw!! Did she like the song?
      And it’s so nice to see you here. I definitely remember that they are temporary, and I can get rid of them even without spring coming!

  44. Wow, I can’t believe you’ve seen Rocky Horror Picture Show so many times. I think I’ve only seen it in its entirety like once. Other than that I’ve seen bits and pieces of it on VH1 during random oddballs times of the night or on the weekend.

    Ugh…winter! Can we just skip over it, with the exception of the holidays! I’m convinced the world would be a better place if we did. πŸ˜‰

  45. Are you sure you are not a Scorpio? We’re known to have addictive personalities! I enjoy November because I’m further south so it stay warmer (except right now brr), and my birthday is in November. But after my b-day and the shorter days and the stress of Christmas shopping I think…when does this rat race end? Am I ever going to get ahead? The question remains unanswered.

  46. Amen! To not just one or two on your list, but – ALL!

    Do you ever worry you will have nothing interesting to say ever again? *absolutely*
    Do you sometimes find yourself waiting for an email, a phone call, or anything at all to remind yourself that you’re alive? *yep*
    Do you eat too much cheese? *ahem, yep, cheese fondue last night and crackers in a few moments*
    Are you afraid that what you have taken so long to build, will collapse in seconds? *Yes! Not that I’ve built up that much, but e.g. I haven’t really looked at my blog and comments in a week, because I just did not have time. And now I am thinking about what would happen if I took lets say a month off for real? Bad idea*
    Are you afraid you have lost your touch? *I think I am older than most in my blogging world, plus I am German, which both sets me apart a little a.k.a. out of touch ;)*
    Do you worry you will never take a compelling photograph again? *always. There are phases when I don’t take a camera (as opposed to iPhone) photo in weeks and I start thinking ‘wtf is wrong with you, you love it, why don’t you do it?!*
    Do you keep a drawer full of chocolate in your desk? *shhhht – don’t tell David :D*
    Is it still not enough on a really cold day?*you mean, like now?! I think I need to light the fire*
    Did you nod along to one or more of these, or am I the biggest nut in this house? *I think I have just answered this very clearly, not?!*
    Hope you’re have a warm weekend!

    • Thank you for that comprehensive list!
      I can promise you that you will take many compelling photographs.
      Do you ever go to the melting pot restaurant? I used to go when I lived in New Jersey. I think it was in Somerville. I pretty much want to take a bath and the cheese. Isn’t that gross?

  47. I get the November blues too. When everything starts to turn grey and the leaves are gone and it looks like winter. Only I want less more than more. Less doing, less busy, less bustle.

  48. Yes to all those things! Especially the cheese!! Love the light in those pictures and the picture of Athena is perfection. But most of all I loved this…”but it was probably to be discovered for greatness. Even though I was doing nothing to get there.”<—-gave me chills. So many people feel and experience this.

    • I wonder if you see that a lot in your work. That we want to be discovered, but we just wait for instead of work for it. And then you kind of want to hit them upside the head and say to work.

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