The "Family Emergency"

It is finally public so I can share with you.

To visit the full obituary website please CLICK HERE.


Obituary for Paul Joseph O'Malley

"Paul Joseph O'Malley, beloved husband, loving father and grandfather, passed away at his home on October 8, 2021 at the age of 62. He was born August 12, 1959 to the late William O'Malley and Edna (Nowakowski) O'Malley in Scranton.

"Paul is a high school graduate of West Scranton High School, during which his extracurricular activities included playing on the football team, playing the clarinet in the band, and working as a caddy at the elite Scranton Golf Club.

"In 1982, Paul graduated from Marywood College in Scranton, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in visual arts and a minor in psychology. Beyond his college education Paul engaged in a number of computer training courses at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and other specified instructional classes directly related to software and techniques used in his professional career.

"Paul was a regular attendee and later became a member of Open Door Christian Fellowship Church, Buckhorn.

"As a creative thinker, designer, illustrator, copywriter, innovator, problem solver, and visionary, Paul put these myriad of skills pursuing a lifelong career in advertising, marketing, communication, and development for companies such as Keystone Automotive Incorporated, Exeter, Don Bennett Advertising, Plains, Schmid Advertising, Bloomsburg, Sargent Art, Hazleton, Creative Enterprise, Bloomsburg, Diamond Auto Glass, Kingston, Astriva, LLC, Wilkes Barre, Diversified Packaging, Mountain Top, and most recently, Kee Equipment, Orangeville.

"In addition to his professional career, Paul felt it important to utilize his creative talents by serving his community. These included designing and creating the original interactive coalmine display in the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum and building a commissioned hands-on educational sculpture held in the entrance lobby of the Central Columbia Elementary School. Paul also designed the layout of the original Kidsburg playground in the Bloomsburg Town Park. His creative innovations continued as an attendee of Wesley United Methodist Church when he designed the beautiful stained-glass picture of the nativity scene in its sanctuary as well as painting ceiling to floor sized banners for the annual Easter Sunday worship.

"Paul was integral in his involvement in the startup of AGAPE: Love From Above To Our Community organization and the organization of JourneyMate Ministries Wesleyan Church when the church purchased its present location in Lightstreet.

"His notable professional accomplishments include annual awards for design and advertising creativity since 1986. These included numerous regional ADDY, as well as a nationally recognized Creativity Certificate Award in 1989.

"Paul was supportive and active in a variety of charitable, church related, and nonprofit organizations and activities. These included serving on the Board of Directors for the Bloomsburg Area YMCA and JourneyMate Ministries, involved in the building of the Kidsburg Playground, Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, Your Loving Choices, We the People of Columbia County, and World Vision.

"Paul was dearly loved, greatly admired, well respected, and will be profoundly missed. We are truly joyful that he is home with God, his creator, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Paul is survived by his wife, Kimberly A. Nearhoof O'Malley; his daughters, Megan O'Malley, Kayle Cobb and husband Skylar, Kate O'Malley and husband Patrick Yorks, his three adorable grandchildren; Elliotte Cobb, Drexel Cobb and Declan Yorks, a sister, Judith Rhue and husband Tom, and a brother Mark O'Malley and wife Kathy.

"The family wishes to thank their family in Christ, Open Door Christian Fellowship, for their love and support during this difficult time. They also extend heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Kimberly's sister, Nicole Nearhoof, whose selflessness and dedication at the family's time of greatest need will never be forgotten. Additional thanks to the staff, nurses, and doctors of Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital for their exceptional professionalism and quality of care, and to Allen Funeral Home for both services provided and continued empathy.

"A time of visitation for family and friends will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm at Shiloh Bible Church, 123 Church St. Bloomsburg. Paul's Celebration of Life Service will follow at 1:00 pm with Pastor Peter Albrecht, officiating. The family respectfully requests that masks be worn as appropriate. Disposable masks and hand sanitizer will be provided at the door for those in need.

"The Allen Funeral Home, Inc., 745 Market at Eighth Streets, Bloomsburg is honored to be serving the O'Malley family.

"Memorial contributions in Paul's name are suggested to: Open Door Christian Fellowship Church, 291 Mall Blvd., Bloomsburg, PA 17815, The Bloomsburg Children's Museum, 2 West 7th St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815, AGAPE: Love From Above To Our Community, 19 East Seventh St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815 or Your Loving Choices, 904 Market St., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.

Since it was not included in the obituary, I would like to add that my father passed away from complications caused by COVID.

Any questions or comments, please feel free to use the comments section here.
I will not be offended to hear your thoughts and feelings.

Thank you.

Tootsie on Tour: Houston, TX

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

Due to an ongoing family emergency, there are times where I may post less regularly or with less content.
Thank you for your understanding.


The venue: Hobby Center

(stock photos)

Covid Tests to Date: 19


TL;DR: Here's a TikTok summary.

TikTok by @tromboneontour

Monday, I woke up around 6:45am to have breakfast before packing up and boarding the charter bus.

We had a nice relaxing ride with an hour break in the middle for lunch, and arrived in Houston around 4pm.
This hotel is a bit unusual, it's a smaller chain so we weren't sure what to expect. Our route sheet had specified that there were no refrigerators or microwaves in the rooms. I was prepared with a list of nonperishables just in case: canned tuna and chicken, peanut butter, no-refrigeration-needed fruits and vegetables, soup, bread, pre-cooked rice. Stuff like that.

As it turned out, some of us did have mini fridges in our rooms, and I was one of the lucky ones.
After finding this out I wasted no time in hustling to the nearest grocery...or rather, groceries!

First I stopped at a specialty grocery only a few blocks away called Phoenicia Specialty Foods.
It's a family-owned chain that has mostly Mediterranian foods, a lot of which they make on-site.
The baklava...the authentic hummus...and the BREADS.

Most of the breads are made right there in the store. There were so many options, it was a hard choice!
I chose a bag of three "simit" breads. Simit is a circular, somewhat flat bread encrusted with sesame seeds. It's not too different from a bagel, only it's not parboiled to get the chewy exterior and it's much more flat. In Turkey and Greece it's an extremely cheap bread that's traditionally eaten for breakfast or lunch. I've always wanted to try it!

It's softer than a bagel and with more flavor from the sesame. Looking forward to including it in my meals here in Houston :)

In addition to the simit I also picked up some small pieces of turron (a nougat made of egg whites, sugar, and nuts) and some duck jerky of all things! I love to try new and exotic foods! I suspect I'll be back to Phoenicia again before the week is out.

Then I walked to a more "normal" grocery called Randalls, which is a chain I've never heard of before.
Here I got my standards for the week like egg whites, Greek yogurt, lunch meat, veggies and fruit. In the fruit section I was excited to find white sapote! A relative of citrus fruits but with a texture similar to an avocado, it looks like a quince and has a white custard-like pulp that tastes like vanilla or banana or peach, depending on who you ask. I've always wanted to try one! I picked one out and also two persimmions since they're in season. The rest of my groceries were pretty standard.

On the way home I stopped at Common Bonds cafe for a spiced pear and Earl Grey scone.
This cafe was originally going to be my source of local bread, but as it was the end of the day they didn't have much left and they also did not sell half-loaves. The scone was amazing (no picture because it looked quite boring despite the amazing taste!)

Back at the hotel I put my groceries away and unpacked. It's a very satisfying feeling once you've completed your setup for the week. A full fridge, a bowl full of fruit, fresh bread waiting to be enjoyed...NOW it feels like home!

Since the laundry at this hotel is FREE (wow!) I did a load, then got a lovely hot shower and decompressed for the rest of the night.
Jameson and his Dad were in Chicago for a Genesis concert, he sent me some photos (I was originally supposed to go with). It looked like an AWESOME time!


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Tootsie on Tour: NOLA

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

Due to an ongoing family emergency, there are times where I may post less regularly or with less content.
Thank you for your understanding.


The venue: Saenger Theatre

(stock images)

Covid Tests to Date: 17


Monday. I woke up early. I always wake up early on travel days even if we're leaving late, because I'm EXCITED.
Same thing used to happen on the circus train. You'd hear those air brakes come off early Monday morning, and your heart rate would increase just the slightest bit. On to a new city and a new adventure.

I packed my luggage differently than usual, cramming more of the things from my backpack into my suitcases and keeping a tote bag out. All this because we'd been told we'd get to the hotel before our rooms would be ready, and I wanted to have everything I'd need to explore for a few hours without having a backpack full of junk I didn't need.

The bus came for us around 9am and we piled on, fighting traffic to Orlando International.
Our flight was more or less on time and very smooth, lovely weather for flying.
The pilot (or perhaps one of the flight attendants) was a big Broadway fan, so they announced on the plane that "The cast of TOOTSIE is flying with us today!" and made everyone clap for us. It was kiiiinda awkward, but also kinda sweet.

We arrived slightly late but not too bad, then once we'd retrieved our luggage it was a fight through traffic to get to our hotel, just one block off of Basin Street. Right in the middle of the action.

If you're a night person, you will LOVE downtown New Orleans. Bars and live music and ghost tours and booze and restaurants galore.
I am not a night person, and I'm very much an introvert. Plus, I've been here before with the circus and have done quite a lot of sightseeing at that time (those posts can be found HERE if you're interested). There are still things that I want to do and see here, just not at night when there are rowdy drunks all around. Not my scene.

So we got to the hotel, and as predicted they did not have all of the rooms ready. I was able to stash my luggage with the bellhop and--impatient and hungry, without waiting to see if anyone wanted to hang--went right back out the door and into the busy street.

See, this is why it's hard for me to make friends.

I walked to the nearest place where I knew I could find a muffuletta, which at that time of day was Cafe Beignet on Decatur Street.
I had breakfast at the airport, but now it was almost 2pm and I was very hungry!
Muffuletta isn't something I would normally crave. It's a sandwich made with a special 9" round bun topped with toasted sesame seeds. Inside are ham, salami, mortadella, mozzarella, provolone, and an olive salad (pickled olives and misc veggies). I usually try to avoid overly salty, fatty foods. But, only live once, and I wanted to try it!

It was better than I expected! Sure it was salty, but not excessively. And the olive veggie blend on top really was something special. It gave the whole sandwich a tang and crispness that elevated it so much. Although I probably wouldn't eat these frequently, I'd certainly eat one again the next time I'm in NOLA.

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LJ go Boom

Welp, it looks like LJ is all messed up this morning, so I don't know if the entry I was working on ALL WEEK will be posted. I can't even see it in this mess on the site right now.

It's scheduled to go up at 8am so we'll see what happens. Thanks for reading.

Tootsie on Tour: Orlando, FL

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

Due to an ongoing family emergency, there are times where I may post less regularly or with less content.
Thank you for your understanding.


The venue: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

(stock photos)

Covid Tests to Date: 15

Monday seemed to take FOREVER. I just wanted to see my boyfriend!!

But we had to wait until noon for the bus, and then the bus ride involved a bathroom break, and some traffic, and also driving past the exit to Jameson's house, lol. Then getting to the hotel, unloading, and finding an Uber to take me the 40 minutes home. Jameson could have come to get me but that would be almost 90 minutes round trip, and he had a LOT of work on his plate this week.

Finally I barged into the door, spilling luggage everywhere and squeezing my boyfriend. YAY!!!
The last time I saw him, he was in a lot of pain and discomfort.
Today he looked tired, but GOOD. Better. Healthy. I'm SO glad. So so so so glad, beyond what I can describe.
It's been a very hard month, for both of us. I was just glad that one thing at least has gone right, and that's the fact that we're both OK.

We got caught up on this and that--we've been texting of course, but some things are better in person.
We ordered dinner (and got someone else's order somehow, had a good laugh over that) and watched Holiday Baking Championship and Great British Baking Show. I watered my indoor plants and vacuumed, did a load of laundry, switched some things out from my luggage, and riffled through my mail. All of it was spam except the packages: I got some silicone booties to put over my sneakers for when it rains, a black long-sleeved shirt for layering, and three graphic T's because it's been a DIFFICULT month and they've been on my wishlist for over two years now.

The things I switched out from my luggage were my tortilla blanket (I love it but it takes up too much space for how little I use it), a few shirts (I plan to swap shirts on every break to keep from wearing them all out), some jeans (too bulky, getting yoga pants instead), my over-ear headphones (no roommate = I never use them), and the programs and other little scraps of paper I've collected so far. Other than that, I've been happy with everything I've brought with me on tour. Everything serves a purpose, and everything has been useful. Good job, me!

I found my trombone stand and "snake" (a cleaning tool) which I will bring to the theatre and store in the band box.
Then I went to the grocery for a few food items for the week, followed by an attempt to find yoga pants at Target (failure) and a trip to Skechers for some black sneakers because it seems those are acceptable in the pit and currently I only have one pair of black shoes. Tomorrow I will do some cleaning, try Walmart and Ross Dress for Less for the yoga pants, and then hopefully still have a little time to relax before the evening show.


Tuesday, I woke up excited to enjoy a day at home!
First I made breakfast, which was nice.
Then I decided to check on my plants. Surprises awaited me!

The biggest surprise was the roselle plant, otherwise known as "Florida cranberry" or "Jamaican sorrel".
When I planted it, it was a tiny cutting about a foot tall.
Now it is a sort of TREE or SHRUB, with a huge thick trunk!
Apparently it must have bloomed while I was gone, because it is covered in juicy red calyces!

This plant is called "Florida cranberry" for a reason: the calyces have a flavor similar to cranberry or rhubarb, and can be used in all of the same ways you would use cranberries. This plant is covered in lots of big fat calyces...will I have time to make use of them before the week is over? Perhaps I could whip up a jam really quick!

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Tootsie on Tour: Tampa, FL

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

Due to an ongoing family emergency, there are times where I may post less regularly or with less content.
Thank you for your understanding.


The venue: Straz Center for the Performing Arts

(stock photos)

Covid Tests to Date: 13


TL;DR: an abbreviated version of this post via TikTok, I know people are opposed to reading so here ya go.

TikTok by @tromboneontour

For those who read:

We all woke up early for our flight to Tampa.

While getting to the airport was easy, we hit a few small snafus along the way.
Travel troubles are inevitable and should be expected, especially when traveling with a big group like ours. Our second flight was delayed. Then upon arrival in Tampa it was raining (welcome to Florida y'all!) and we had to wait a bit for the rain to die down so we and our luggage wouldn't be soaked. Finally, the hotel was not ready for us when we arrived, so there was a bit of a campout in the lobby as the rooms got sorted.

These are all really minor snags, everything worked out just fine in the end. I'm mentioning them not to complain, but to illustrate that traveling to a new city and a new hotel every week is not always the romantic, carefree adventure that people envision. Stuff happens!

Also, it's the bumps in the road along the way that make for the best tour tales later on :)

Once I was settled into my room and had a look at the fridge (another small square unit) I walked to the Publix only 1/4 mile away to get my groceries for the week. This time I was a little smarter about vegetables. Libby's vegetable cups can be stored without refrigeration, come in convenient single-serving cups, and won't go bad like fresh produce. I also bought less meat because with the grocery so close I can go back partway through the week, avoiding spoilage and allowing for more variety. And I got a full-size jar of almond butter, because I eat enough of it that it's worth making room for it in my luggage.

After dropping those groceries at the hotel I went looking for local bread, but was unable to find it where Google Maps had told me it would be. Turns out the bakery had moved, so that would be a project for Tuesday morning. Back at the hotel I overheard someone getting a microwave delivered to their room! Ohmigosh!! The skillet is great and all, but a microwave is SO much more convenient! I requested one right away.

The rest of my evening was spent relaxing, watching TV and checking on family.


Tuesday I woke up too early, and did not sleep well. No particular reason.
I had a very slow morning because I was just not in the mood to go anywhere in the Florida heat.
I had a nice relaxing breakfast of yogurt and oatmeal with raspberries, then did some family stuff and made travel plans.

Around lunchtime I walked to the theatre for my first covid test of the week.
We are being tested by both the theatre and the production company, so there will be some extra testing!
I don't mind, if it makes us all safer and protects my job, let's do it!

This was the little testing booth. I checked in at security and in no time at all someone came out to help me do my rapid test. It only took a few minutes, and afterward I was given this vaccination card that is good for 48 hours.

Then it was time to find my local bread!
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Tootsie on Tour: Durham, NC

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

Due to an ongoing family emergency, there are times where I may post less regularly or with less content.
Thank you for your understanding.


The venue: Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

(stock photos)

Covid tests to date: 9


On Monday morning I got up super early to eat breakfast and finish packing.
Around 8am we all dragged our luggage down to the waiting charter bus.
It's been fun Buffalo, but now it's time to hit the airport and get this tour on the road.

We had two flights with a short little layover in between, which made for a pleasant trip.
I've never flown Southwest before, the planes were nice. The whole "open seating" thing was a little weird, but it did seem to me that everyone got seated a lot quicker, so maybe it works.

During the layover I checked in with family and with Jameson.
Family was doing "ok" today, for what seems like the first time in a while.
Without going into detail, I was very grateful to get updates from my sisters and aunt.
Jameson was loading into the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theatre for the first time for his production of RENT. He was understandably very nervous! There is so much to coordinate to put on a show--sound, lighting, staging, the pit, the set, the acting, the rehearsals--as a pretty basic pit musician I can't even fathom it. Jameson is capable of so much, it boggles me. I can barely think past the tip of my trombone slide, and here he is running a show himself. Is it obvious that I'm super proud of him, and excited for him? :)

If you happen to be in Orlando next week, consider going to see his show. Link is HERE.

After landing in Durham we gathered our luggage and rode a charter to the hotel, which is basically attached to the Durham PAC.
We checked in and checked out our rooms. Once again I have a lovely big room. But this time, no microwave and no full-size refrigerator.

Here is where the experimentation begins. How many groceries to get? How to cook things? Where should everything go?

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Tootsie on Tour: Buffalo, NY

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

Due to a family emergency, there are times where I may post less regularly or with less content because I will be helping my family during a difficult time.
Thank you for your understanding.


I want to thank everyone who has reached out during this difficult time.

I've decided to more or less continue writing here for now.
It feels like everything in my life is upside down and out of control, and I'm just trying to grasp at any small piece of normalcy that could help me to weather each day. Writing is therapeutic for me, talking things out and sharing with people near and far makes me feel better, and continuing to recognize that life is beautiful even in the face of grief and sadness is, I think, important.

If you have any problem with the fact that I'm going to continue writing here during a family emergency, you are free to stop reading or to do whatever you need to do to make yourself more comfortable. Thank you.

Also if we are friends on social media you are welcome to PM me or call/email/text to ask about what's going on. We do not want it all over facebook, that's all.


Sunday was Opening Night. Or Opening Day, I suppose!

We had a matinee at 1:30pm and an evening show at 6pm. I was surprised at how full the theatre was, it's been a while since I've seen an actual large gathering of people indoors. But everyone was masked, and everyone had to show proof of vaccination at the door. That made me feel a lot better about putting on a good show that everyone could safely enjoy.

Tootsie is a comedy musical. And the audience LAUGHED. For both the first and second show, I delighted in the reactions from the audience. It's really fun to hone your ears in on that one person who is just in hysterics over every joke, or the one person who claps extra-long for a scene they liked. And it's interesting to find that different groups of people will react differently to the same joke. For example the morning show was only mildly amused by a suggestive back-and-forth between two characters, but for the evening show the actors had to pause between lines to let the laughter die down in the same spot. It's just really cool to observe.

And honestly, right now, being part of a show that makes people laugh and enjoy themselves for two hours is WONDERFUL. I need it just as much as the audience does. It makes me feel like I'm part of something good, and fun, and needed.

Performance-wise, our first show went better than the second. In the circus we always used to joke that the second show was guaranteed to be a mess, although it's never really clear why! Maybe because the first show goes so well that we all get complacent or something. Anyway, there were more slip-ups among band, actors, lighting and sound alike. One of the actors forgot his lines, another tripped over their tongue a bit, our trumpet player dropped a mute, our guitarist stepped in a musical "hole". Stuff like that. Most of the audience would never even notice.

And while this was "opening night", these were also still "preview shows", meaning it is understood that the show is still in rehearsal and a lot of kinks are still being worked out, especially in lighting, sound, and quick costume changes. It can be really fun and interesting for audience members to see mistakes and how they are handled, too.

As mentioned in my previous post, Shea's Buffalo Theatre put together a beautiful little gift package for us! (see pic in last post)
I think this theatre in particular opens a lot of tours due to proximity to NYC (close enough for travel and cheaper than rehearsing and opening in actual NYC). The items included in the gift bag show a specific consideration for people who will be traveling for a living. I thought that was really cool, and was very grateful to receive something so nice on opening night.

In addition, our management team got us some massive chocolate chip cookies, a cute little "gag gift", and some official TOOTSIE National Tour jackets! Wow!

Here's the gag gift: "Happy Opening! Break a leg in your 'Tootsie Rol(e)' ". Get it? Lol.

My jacket, and me wearing my jacket.

Getting stuff is nice, but what I'm most grateful for is how approachable, professional, and just overall awesome this touring company has been so far. I don't feel like I deserve ANY of this. I feel like a trombone princess! And especially right now with what's going on in my family, I can't express enough how grateful I am to be working where I'm working right now. There really aren't words.

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Tootsie Rehearsals Week 2

**Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects my own personal views, opinions, and experiences.
This post does NOT express the views or opinions of my employer.**

This week I had a family emergency, which I do not want to discuss at this time so please do not ask.
I wrote this post BEFORE that emergency occurred.
Due to these circumstances, I may be posting less often for a few weeks, or with less content because I will be helping my family during a difficult time.
Thank you for your understanding and please know that at some point regular posting will resume.


Monday was my first day off on tour! Woohoo!

My friend Molly, a drummer that I worked with on the Ruby Princess, lives in Buffalo and came to get me for brunch!
Of course neither of us checked to see if the cafe we wanted to hit was open ^^; lol
But Molly knew of several other good cafes in the area, and it didn't take us long to find another!

We went to Tipico, which had a great selection of coffee and a pretty exciting menu of tasty treats to try.
There were a lot of vegan options, and since I'd had my heart set on a lox bagel I opted for the "vegan lox", which was large carrots sliced, cooked, and marinated in a variety of sauces and spices to taste similar to smoked salmon. Served with sprouts, avocado, dill, capers, fig cashew sauce, and pickled red onions on toasted sourdough. It was delicious!

While we ate we caught up with each other. Molly wanted to know all about tour life, and although there's not much to tell yet I shared what's been up so far. She told me about what she's been up to, considering secondary careers mostly, just like the rest of us who learned very quickly that the arts could not weather a pandemic very well. We talked about the other members of our Ruby Princess all-female band, what we'd heard from them lately and how we wished they could be there with us today :)

After brunch we walked around and explored some of the local shops. It being Monday, a lot of shops were closed, but we enjoyed browsing the ones that were open and that had local crafts and goods on display. In one shop we were greeted by this dapper young man in a tie. How professional!

Along our way Molly pointed out some places she recommended for meals while I'm in town. I took note of a ramen bar, and a hot dog place, and another great coffee shop. It's unlikely that I'll be able to visit all of these without gaining 500lbs, but I certainly want to enjoy what Buffalo has to offer as much as I can! We stopped in a local organic grocery and both got big giant cookies.
Here we are getting ready to chow down!

Too soon it was time for me to return to the hotel so I could deal with some non-tour issues that had come up during the day. We promised to meet again for wings next Monday. Man, it was so good to see Molly in person!! I'm so glad she made time to visit with me today!
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