Alive Day: A celebration of Life from an unlikely source

I sat down today to write about being ethnically ambiguous.  That is what I am considered to be as an actor and what roles I am submitted to play.   I sat in the waiting room today at an audition surrounded by other dark-ish ethnically hard to place actors who were paired together as husband and wife.

I struck up a conversation with a girl who I thought looked Hispanic, and an guy who was pretty obviously African American.  The girl said she was once instructed to “get a tan” in order to book a role in West Side Story because she wasn’t dark enough to pull off Puerto Rican.  The guy chimed in that he isn’t “black enough” for most of the roles he goes out for.  “Everyone thinks I’m Jewish,” I interjected, to which they both nodded in agreement, “or Italian.” I concluded, to which they also gave the nod of approval.  I am neither Jewish nor Italian.   I can play both on TV, however, as well as a mom and a bitch and a bunch of other things that I’m not,  and in this industry that’s really the only thing that matters.

That being the extent of my inspiration on the ethnically ambiguous, I moved my computer to the bedroom, climbed upon my raised day bed, clicked the remote, and turned the channel to ABC.

“People don’t know what to do”  Oprah compassionately expressed to a man in a soldier’s uniform and the concerned woman by his side.  The soldier had a large scar across his shaved head and each of his eyes pointed in a different direction as if he was unable to focus.  The topic of the show: The Bravest Families in America  I visited the Oprah website to get up to speed.  “While serving with the National Guard in 2005, Corey and his outfit were hit by a roadside bomb. Three men were killed and Corey was gravely wounded. Doctors initially told Jenny that Corey wasn’t going to make it, but miraculously, Corey survived.”

“I heard that you celebrate the day he was hit?” Oprah cautiously inquired.  The wife responded with a smile that yes, they do indeed celebrate it and refer to it as “Alive Day.”  The other 3 people hit that day all died, and Cory, although blind and suffering from major irreversible brain damage,  was alive.  Cory’s wife stated that “Soldiers move on.  It’s what they do.” Cory and his wife and their children appeared to be doing just that in the best way they knew how.   I now had tears in my eyes.  I thought of my brother who served a year in Iraq and the friend of his who lost his legs in a road side bomb, and his other friends who lost much more than that and about their families.   I thought about my sister who is a Navy pilot and about the friends she has lost and about their families.

Then I thought about a man interviewed on KCRW this morning in Japan who lost his house and his boat and his lively hood and all his belongings but who was laughing and smiling.  “We all lived” he happily stated, referring to his family and friends.  “There are more important things to think about than what was lost.”

Is whether or not I look Jewish or Italian or like a Mom or if I write my blog or if you read it even important at all?  Now that I’m thinking about global issues it all seems pretty inconsequential.  Is it narrow of me to write daily and not mention the enormous catastrophes happening around the world.   I searched my conscience.

I don’t think the point of allowing ourselves to connect to the stories we hear is to then belittle the things that mean something to us.   I’m assuming that if you are reading this,  you weren’t blinded in Iraq by a roadside bomb and that all of your life’s belongings weren’t lost in the Tsunami.  Even if they were, you are here now.  If you are here with me now, then today is “Alive Day” for both of us and THAT is worth celebrating!   It is also worth spending the precious time we have with purpose and positivity.   After all, there are more important things to think about than what has been lost.

I hope that you take it all in with a light heart, give what you can, stay positive, and pass a smile along to someone you encounter today.   I’ll do my best to do the same 🙂

Love and Light,


That’s my cat O’Joe who brings me great joy.

Posted in Editorial Blogs | 6 Comments

Ben Harper and “Forever”

Yesterday on The Bachelor “After the Last Rose” Brad turned to his estranged Emily and longingly pleaded, “Give me your forever.”  I immediately thought of Ben Harper’s song “Forever” from which that exact lyric is derived.  I’m not sure if Brad Womack was making a reference or just a genuine request, but it got me thinking about the concept of promising someone that you will be with them forever.

Ben Harper makes it sound not only sane, but beautiful to request from someone their “forever.” It has always been one of my favorite of his songs and I’ve always felt that it holds a childlike truth.  We all want to believe that the love we give will be accepted and reciprocated.  We certainly don’t want for others to put a cap or a time limit on the love they give us.  I mean, if you fell for someone you thought was pretty amazing and finally decided to express your truth to them and in a moment of vulnerable clarity said, “I love you!” the last thing you want to hear is “I love you.  I mean,  right NOW, but I can’t make any promises babe.  Love comes an goes.  You know? But stick around.  We’ll see.”  That would suck.  Nice people don’t say that.

I’ve never wanted to get married.  Even as a little girl, I never fantasized about it or gave it any thought.  People, and more specifically most of the guys I date, think that’s weird.  Some even attempt to argue with me that I’m not a healthy person because I don’t want to wear a white dress and spend $20,000. on a banquet hall and fancy steak and declare my forever to someone in front of 100 or so people I may or may not know.  Other people avidly argue that I just haven’t me that “right” person who I’m willing to declare my forever to.  I haven’t looked up the statistics, but the divorce rate is pretty high.  It seems to me like promising someone forever doesn’t hold the same clout as it used to.

I’m no relationship expert.  With that said, here’s my take on a better way to go about getting someone’s “forever” if that’s what you really want.   Give loved ones the full extent of your love right now.   I’ve always said, “Forever is just a bunch of moments strung together over ‘time’.”   If someone is expected to stick around forever, one would expect that they should be having fun and enjoying their time.  I can’t think of a better way to spend time with someone than staying in the moment with them.  If both people are having fun and enjoying their time won’t all of the moments they keep deciding to do that together eventually add up to forever?  If and when the fun ends and endless unsolvable drama ensues, isn’t it healthier to lovingly let someone go?

I am admittedly obsessed with the The Bachelor.   I am absolutely fascinated by it.  In watching season after season I have noticed a common theme.  When a girl begins to get heady with the bachelor, it takes the guy right out of the moment.  The second that one of the girls starts focusing her thoughts and conversations around the future, or the other girls in the house, or her insecurities about being hurt in the future, almost across the board the bachelor will soon eliminate that girl.  The bachelor always seems to end up with the girl who has fun with him in the moment, that he is at ease with, and feels that he can be himself around.

But then again, those couples usually get divorced too.  I was going somewhere with this.   Remember, I’m no expert and I might be wrong.   What do you think?  I appreciate your comments and whatever conversation follows.

Be Silly.  Have Fun.


Posted in Music Blog, Video Blogs | 4 Comments

The Bachelor

Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or may be thought to be.[1] In its widest definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible.

*Don’t like to read?  Scroll to the bottom of this blog to see my Video Blog link.

I can see directly into the window of the apartment across the street.  There is a blue canvas hanging on the white wall across from the bed.  Burgundy curtains in the adjacent room are pulled slightly open relieving a splash of red on a canvas against the wall.  The brunette that lives there just walked from one room to the next fully clothed.

I’m sitting on my bed at window level.  My curtains are drawn, the lights are on, O’Joe (my Tonkinese cat) rests upon my arm, and Brad Womack is rambling on about love from the 15 year old tube television that rests atop an aged teal dresser once owned by my Grandmother.  Reality.

Brad’s challenge is tougher than mine.  All I have to do is think of something interesting or clever to write about and make sure I convey it in a way that keeps your interest for the time being.  Hopefully I inspire you to visit my blog again, perhaps bookmark it, or share it.  Brad Womack has to ask a woman that he has never known in realty to marry him, lest he come off as arrogant, bi-polar, gay, or whatever other perceived reality onlookers will derive from his estranged behavior.

An interesting trick of reality TV editing, if you watch attentively, is that before and after every segment a good deal of time is spent going back over what you just witnessed and teasing you with an exciting revelation you are about to watch next.  “What you just saw was so incredibly engaging and it means that you are privy to information that will now change everything you ever thought you knew”  and then, “Next up you will witness the most incredible, surprising exciting stuff, as seen in this teaser clip, but in slightly longer clips that will reveal only slightly more information. Stay tuned!”   This is a trick also used on entertainment news shows like TMZ and Entertainment Tonight.   Have you ever noticed it?

This method of stringing us along is something we do to ourselves all day anyway.   It’s the human condition, really, and the kind of thinking that prevents us from living in the moment.  I spend a good portion of my day reflecting upon events from the past.  “That audition I had today went pretty well.  I wonder if I looked scared instead of excited.  I should have made sure not to do my scared face.  I look kinda constipated when I do that face.  Oh no!  I hope I didn’t look constipated.  Maybe that’s why the casting director was short with me. There were so many things I would have done better if I would have known then what I know now.” Although my mind tends to project into the future even more often.  “I wonder if I will book that job.  That would be so great.  I could pay off my Mac and get a camera.  That would be cool.   I could make a web series with a camera.  If I had a successful web series I bet I would get more auditions.  Auditions….I have an audition  tomorrow.  I should work out.  What can I eat.  How much did I eat today?  I’ll do better tomorrow.   Tomorrow I’ll do everything the way I’m supposed to.”

The girl across the street just closed her curtains.  Lights flicker in the Hollywood Hills and the reflection of the TV appears hovering in the window.  Brad just chose a wife (although he already did months ago) and Chantal is riding off in a limo with makeup streaming down her face not yet able to grasp what just happened to her.  I am eating leftovers from my Groupon dinner.

Getting back to the moment.  Again and again and again.  Straying away and getting back to the moment.  Reality.  Typing words on a computer is what grounds me in reality these days.  I hope that taking a moment out of your busy day to connect to my words does the same for you.

Finally, at the after the final rose ceremony show where Emily and Brad are reunited it was revealed  that Emily has been struggling quite a bit with their relationship since the airing of The Bachelor and her experience watching her “fairytale” romance unfold on the show.  When questioned about it she replied, “I guess I’m just trying to decipher between reality TV and MY reality.”

May you be present with a light heart 🙂


PS.  My friend suggested I do a V-Log and here is the silliness that ensued:

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I was on the phone today with Apple in a 5 hour long process of trying to purchase a Refurbished MacBook Pro.  I have been told by many very trustworthy sources that refurbished Macs are just like new ones if purchased from the trusted Apple Store. Besides, the one in my shopping cart actually had more GHz  so it may actually even be better than a new one.  That’s what Britney Spears on Apple live-chat told me she thought.  I referred to her like that because that’s who I envisioned every time the live-chat status told me “Britney S is typing”

Ironically, the purchase never went through.  Three high tech customer service representatives and hours of live chat with Britney S could not figure out how to make their new system facilitate the 0% financing for 1 year option on my order.   And so Apple lost my business, at least for now.

Then I went out to dinner with a friend.  Upon entering the large wooden doors we were instructed to wait and that we would be seated shortly.  Apparently everyone in Hollywood was also taking advantage of their soon to expire $30 Groupon and at 8pm on a Sunday night, the Korean BBQ place that was supposed to close at 9 sizzled with beef and conversation .  We sat at the bar restlessly waiting next to 4 other groups until 45 minutes had passed.  At last we were lead to our table at which time my friend decided that since we couldn’t both use our Groupons (they have a 1 coupon per table limit) it wasn’t worth it to stay.

He wanted his Groupon all to himself so he could order $30 of food.  Furthermore, an hour had passed and he had plans to entertain a lady friend.  As he walked away from the deal I was left to eat and redeem alone.  Being left alone at a restaurant straddles embarrassment and liberation.   It did offer me an opportunity to eavesdrop on everything that the party of 4 at our large shared table had to say.

The woman, who manages properties in Hollywood and rents a studio for rehearsals (she didn’t say what she was rehearsing) said that she just bought a refurbished Mac something something and was thrilled with how much she saved.   “Interesting,” I pondered “I bet that’s a sign that I should buy that refurbished Mac.”  Then she went on a tangent about how she used a Groupon once for a restaurant that charged $12 for a plate of olives.  One of the other guests, Richard, agreed that that was ridiculous and unacceptable and went on and on about how overpriced everything is everywhere really.  They all got excitedly on board that conversation which began to erupt just as the check arrived.  I then witnessed them dissecting the bill like scientist down to the penny taking into account the $30 Groupon and how much Bob owed Richard and who paid the $10 for valet and finally resolving with the server anxiously interjecting “Are you ready with that?”

Under the intense pressure now applied by the restaurant closing they prematurely sent the waiter away with their payment.  They spent the next 15 minutes splitting up the bill verbally now taking into account that the Groupon only costs $15 when you pay for it, so someone had actually underpaid and he was now to give each of the others $2.

Now, I don’t make a ton of money so I’m pretty frugal.  But, I began to wonder, I’m not THAT bad…am I?

As my table mates got up and left, the waiters and other staff members bustled about cleaning off tables and closing up remaining checks.  I slurped up one last taste of my rich dumpling soup out of the to-go container it was now in and asked for my check.

The check arrived and it was $35 minus my Groupon of $30  plus tax=$5.49 plus a $7 tip for a total of $12.49.  “That’s a good deal for a yummy dinner” I thought as I thanked the owner and waiter and began to walk home.  As plugged along down the empty Hollywood sidewalks I began to think, “OH, I forgot that I already paid $15 for that Groupon.  That means that I almost paid $30 for dinner.  I never pay $30 for dinner.  I didn’t even eat that much!”  It didn’t seem to be that great of a deal once I started thinking about it.  If I had gone without a Groupon I would have only gotten the soup plus tax and tip which would have been only $14.

I ordered enough food for 2 people.  I had to in order to spend the total of my Groupon.  If I had invited someone else I would have only spent $6 if we split the bill.  But wait, if I had invited someone else that means THEY would be taking advantage of MY Groupon.  Well, I suppose I could deduct the $15 I already paid from what I owed on the bill and then I wouldn’t have paid anything.  Now that would have been a better deal for me!  I would actually be owed money.  Lets see: $12.49 total bill and I already paid $15.  Yep! My imaginary dinner companion would have owed me $2.

And there’s my answer.  Yes, I am those people.  The Groupon mentality has one common denominator: Saving.  The real question: is saving $15 worth doing all that math?

Bon appetit 🙂


Be Silly.  Have Fun.

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Every Day or Never

I just made a really bad dinner.  Honestly.  I feel like tossing it down the sink.  Ironically, I was going to blog about the recipe, which I slightly modified,  and include pictures.  Maybe the lesson is don’t modify a recipe until you’ve made it as instructed first.  This was all inspired by my friend Ben Mandelker’s “B-Side Blog”.  He makes blogging seem so effortless.  He blogs about his dinner and about how he has never had a shamrock shake and about various happenings in pop culture and what’s going on around town.   Simple right?  A blog.

But what if all I have to write about right now is my crappy dinner?  And why should I try to make my life look perfect or more interesting or better just because I blog about it.  As a matter of fact, I’m going to go take a picture of my crappy dinner and post it.

There it is.  My crappy dinner.  Actually it doesn’t look as bad in the picture, but I assure you, it was flavorless and funky and I think the vegetables I used were old and the peanut butter may have been expired.  Bad.

I have, however, committed to blogging daily, as instructed by Ben.  His success does warrant adhering to his advice.  “Oh my God!” he said to me “You will be totally addicted to it!”   Great.   An addiction.  Just what the doctor ordered.

I have this theory, or mantra or whatever that I call “Every Day or Never”  It goes like this: Certain things in life you have to do daily, like brush your teeth, for instance.  Other things you probably should do daily but don’t always have time for, like experiment with a new recipe for dinner, for instance.

Then there are those tasks that in your mind you always promise yourself you will begin to do daily some day.  Maybe “Monday” or “tomorrow.” Like work out, eat better, or start a blog for instance.  Well, for those hard to do tasks that I promise myself daily that I will begin to do some day, I apply my mantra.  “Every day or never!”  Basically, I strive every day to do these things because I realize that if I don’t do them every day I will fall out of the habit and all of the efforts of my mind can not will my body to follow so the missions that I should be accomplishing daily that make me feel better anyway go right down the drain like my crappy Pad Tai dinner.

What if I don’t get to one of my “Every day or never” duties?  Well, it’s alright, because in the “Every day or never” mindset I tend to get right back to it the next day.   And so I sat down tonight with nothing to blog about except my lack of cooking skills and out of it came the inspiration to share my mantra with you.

The moral of my after dinner story is that if you honestly try to do something “Ever day or never” you might be surprised how often you actually do it.  And the bigger lesson is, when you REALLY don’t feel like doing it….DO IT ANYWAY!   I did just now and I’m on track and I feel much better 🙂

Now I’m gonna go get something to eat!  Off I go…


Be Silly.  Have Fun.

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New York

The County of New York is the most densely populated county in the United States, and one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a 2008 population of 1,634,795[2] living in a land area of 22.96 square miles

When you meet someone new in Los Angeles one of the first things they are almost guaranteed to ask you is, “Where are you from?”  I am always a bit slow in responding to which people say, “Well, where were you born” I was born in MN and my parents moved when I was 9 months old, so I’m not from there really.  They moved to Chicago where I lived for 2 years, to Cleveland for 7 years,  then to TX for 10 years.  Then, on my own, I lived in Santa Fe for 1 year, Ohio for 4 years,  NH for 4 months, then I traveled around and THEN I moved Hollywood.

When I travel it’s easy!   My consistent reply is always “Hollywood, California.”  This is, after all, where I have lived for over 14 years, more than any of those other place I lived that never felt like home anyway.

This story is about a warm fall day when I was asked, “Where are you from?”  while celebrating fashion week in the west village.   My response, of course, was “Hollywood California” to which I was then told “HONEY! You are in NEW YORK CITY! You DO NOT need to say California. Everyone knows where Hollywood is girl!”

“But there is also a Hollywood in Florida” I softly replied.

“Florida????? Girl, please!” was his firm response.

At any given moment there are hundreds of thousands of people walking the streets of Manhattan both residents and tourists alike.  That night I went to visit a friend at work.    The restaurant he works at sits upon the cobblestone streets of the historic and recently renovated meat packing district.  He was still busy and it was my last night in town so  I wondered away down the street hoping to find a sweet shop still open.

I was alone. The shops were closed. There was barely a taxi in sight.  This was not a typical night in New York.  Then I noticed a  couple acrossed the street dressed in plane clothing, looking up at street signs and seeming a bit confused. They were not locals.  They crossed the street and approached me.  The man asked “Do you know where the meat packing district is?”

“It’s actually here…I mean, you are kind of walking away from it, but it is back there where the cobble stone streets are.” As I spoke the woman sized me blue ruffled dress, Madonna lace gloves, the small tobacco box that I carried as a purse. She said, “Oh my gosh I love your style! My daughter would just love your outfit! Where did you get that box?”

I told them about the flea market in Brooklyn built into an old bank vault that I had visited earlier that week and how I found such joy in shopping in New York and how I wish I had visited that shop from Sex and the City while I was there but couldn’t find the time and how I really couldn’t understand why nothing was open and that I just wanted to eat something sweet before meeting my friend.

She stared at me for a moment.  “Where are you from?” she asked.

For the first time I paused and responded simply “Hollywood”

“Oh My God!” She shouted as they both became noticeably excited, “Hollywood Florida?!!!”

“No” I chuckled “Hollywood, California”

“Oh my gosh! We are from Hollywood Florida! Isn’t that something?”

And I thought…in a city with a population of millions, on a Sunday night on a now quiet street on the last night of my trip and at the last moment I will most likely be asked “Where are you from” YES…indeed, that IS something.

What exactly is up for interpretation, but something indeed.


PS. May all of your dreams come true 🙂

me on that day

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Act Natural


–adjective 1. existing in or formed by nature

I walked in and signed my name on a white sheet of paper attached to a clip board.   The girl behind the desk looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, “Hi! How are you?  Do you have any bank conflicts?”  She was happier than most casting assistants.  Enthusiastic?  I wouldn’t go that far, but she was warm , friendly and relaxed.  “Hmm,” I thought, “maybe she’s new.”

She handed me a dry erase board with my name, height, agency name and number.  I was lead into another room and instructed to stand on my mark (a piece of tape on the floor) smile naturally with no teeth holding the dry erase board at chest level.  I was instructed to “Just act natural.”

Behind the photographer who snapped away as I attempted not to act but to be natural, a team of clients sat at a table in the back of the room staring at me, at their computers, at their cell phones, at each other, until my last image was grabbed and I was dismissed.  As I left the room the casting director said, “All of your actor training comes down to that doesn’t it?”

“Is that true” I thought?  “Does all of my training come down to that…all of my training and my college degree and my years hustling and all of my life experience and all of my sweat and tears and laughter and blood and frustration and celebration and positivity and defeat and time and energy and thought and practice and…..does ALL of it come down to that?  Just act natural?”

What does that mean anyway?  If I’m acting natural is that acting?  Furthermore, why is it such a challenge to act natural?  Isn’t it supposed to be my natural state of being to be natural?  This doesn’t just apply to actors either.  In the workplace, at the super market, at the gym, out at the bars…isn’t it a better world if everyone is just acting natural?   It didn’t seem like a challenge for the casting assistant who signed me in.  Why was it so easy for her to act natural?

I forgot to mention that while I was signing in there was a baby left untended by his mother (who was there to audition) running down the hallway with a pen in each hand.  The casting director grabbed the baby and began to scream “Who’s kid is this? He’s running down the hall with these pens…WHERE IS HIS MOTHER?” Until at last he reunited the child with his confused actress Mom who was excused from the casting.  There was a lot going on and still the assistant naturally welcomed me and asked me to sign in.

I think that the key to booking work as an actor and one of the keys to success in life and to happiness and freedom is maybe that simple.  Life is good when you figure out your natural balance in the world and exist in that place.   Everything is at peace when you make peace with what is around you.  No amount of naked unattended babies running with loaded pens could shake that casting assistants natural balance.  As a result, my experience there was improved.  Because I had a good experience I took that positivity with me throughout my day.

Imagine if everyone found a natural state of inner peace and calmly went about life with intention and positivity.  Imagine if we all stopped the incessant thinking in our minds and actually tapped into what is naturally happening around us.

Another way to put it is “Just be yourself!” Motherly advice that seems to translate into every facet of life.   I guess it’s time to put some effort into finding out who we are so we can get back to just being ourselves and just acting naturaly.

For me, running always seems to get me there.  Off I go….


PS. Be Silly. Have Fun!

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the system of principles, procedures and terms related to naming – which is the assigning of a word or phrase to a particular object or property.

Thank goodness my Mom gave me the middle name Ashleigh.  I rejected my first name (which I won’t mention) as early as I understood that that’s what people were going to be calling me for all of my time on Earth.  I later found out that my first name was one of my Dad’s high school sweethearts, so I never feel guilty for whatever suffering I caused in renouncing it.  For a while I made everyone call me “Kimberly” which my Mother explained was just confusing and selfish.  She suggested I go by my middle name, Ashleigh.   “Ashleigh” I told her “that’s pretty” I quickly stopped responding to Kimberly and strictly only responded to “Ashleigh” or “Ash” I kept the initial from my discarded first name and combined that with my Dad’s last name and  “C. Ashleigh Caldwell” became my name.

Four years ago I answered an add on Craiglist seeking a ride share to an art festival north of Reno, NV.   He was leaving the next day and for the first time in my life I was actually packed early and ready to go.  Without giving it too much thought, I agreed, showed up at his apartment, and then spent over 24 hours sweating off the summer heat in the passenger seat of his borrowed 1970’s Dodge RV which he referred to as “The Cosmic Bee.”   Spending that much time with a stranger sometimes results in “what was I thinking” but it was obvious, at least to me, that this is a man who seemed to understand me or at the very least seemed charmed by my endless stories and attempts to keep him entertained on our long journey.

When we arrived at the festival, he began referring to me as “Hollywood.”  He had, after all, just heard my whole life story and all of my experiences living in Hollywood for over 10 years.  Maybe he knew better than Mom and Dad just what I should respond to.  It felt fitting to me…I mean, I live in Hollywood.  I manage an artist community in the center of Hollywood.   I work in Hollywood.  I LOVE Hollywood.

He introduced me to new arrivals as such and he insisted that I camp with him and his friends.  We spent a subsequent 12  days together and another 24 hour drive home.  Ashleigh slowly faded away with the desert sun and was replaced by “Hollywood”

At an art festival where people go by names like “Ramona Mayhem”  “Admiral Pain Joy” and “Captain Nice Guy” the name “Hollywood” was never questioned and so I met and befriended 50 or so friends who knew me only as such.

Back here in Hollywood away from the dizzying heat of the Nevada desert my new name was rejected by a few, but at the end of the day enough people felt that it’s tongue and cheekiness fit me.  So now I respond to many names: “C” “Ashleigh” “Ash” “C. Ashleigh” “Hollywood” and now a shortened version of my nickname, “Holly”

No matter what you choose to call me, I’m glad you are here and I look forward to sharing my stories and life experiences with you.   Now it’s time to be silly and have some fun!  Off we go…


Picture of me at said art festival running my “Free Store”

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