Starting from scratch...’s what we need to do most of the time, isn’t it? 

Before I realized that making sourdough bread was a “COVID” thing, I was already well on my way to “perfecting” my loaves. Flour, Salt, Yeast, and Water. Although four simple ingredients are all it takes to make bread, it’s not that simple. It never is.  The sourdough starter alone can take up to 10 days to ferment, which involves two feedings a day (equal parts of water and flour), patience, and a fair amount of doubt that the starter will even work. 

Early in the writing of Ten Days With Dad, I knew I had to create my writing platform: basic website, some social media accounts, and emails from friends and family. That also seemed pretty simple. It wasn’t. 

Website options are voluminous and time consuming, so I hired Melanie at to build it, though I still had to spend hours getting her the written and digital assets. For social media, do I create new ones for the book or expand my existing ones? Wait, I need email software? Can’t I just do bulk emails from my Outlook account? (The answer is no, unless you want to get tagged as a spammer.) Which email address will I use to communicate to my audience: personal, work, or one dedicated to my writing. (The answer is all three, depending on the intended audience, though serves as the primary “contact me” email for anything book related.)

But then I realized: starting from scratch is how I’ve tackled every major moment in life, from my first college application to my first book. Yes, for sure, I’ve had help along the way. Anybody who claims they are “self-made” are full of themselves or unaware of how selfish that sounds. If it comes easy to you, then you’re an elite individual, but it still requires you to put time, energy, and resources into your endeavor, assuming you are seeking elite results. 

My definition of an expert is simple: once you’ve been in the trenches of your particular subject, issue, or domain, then you’re entitled to call yourself an expert. Thus, I’m an expert in making sourdough bread. After many failed attempts and hundreds of hours spent handling flour and yeast, I can now produce bread that I would comfortably serve in a restaurant or to VIP guests. I’m not saying my bread is elite; but I have confidence and belief in myself and the product, which is not easy to attain, no matter what you’re making.

Unfortunately, I’m also an expert caregiver, specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Again, not elite, but I’ve been in the trenches; the places that teach you the most about yourself, the patient, and nearly anything related to caring for a loved one with a terminal disease. Ten Days With Dad isn’t a white paper on dealing with Alzheimer’s or caregiving. It’s not a guidebook, either. 

To be continued…