My New Qwirklet!




I saw my young friend Kyli a few weekends ago, and she presented me with a new Qwirklet, to replace the one that fell apart. I’m so happy to have it, and am so grateful she made it for me. It feels right to look down at my wrist and think of her. (I also think of her big sis Taylor, and their mom and dad.)


As far as updates go on Kyli’s health, I can only tell you she looked super-sassy when I saw her. As I understand it, she’s doing better, but still has to battle some unknowns. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’s off-the-charts healthy. That’s my wish, anyway.


Kyli’s a strong kid. A strong human being. There’s a sophistication in kids who battle illness. I don’t know why or how. It just seems that a lot of kids who go through things no child should ever have to experience, do it with a dignity we adults could only hope to maintain. It’s heartbreaking, to be sure. And it’s inspiring at the same time.


Wearing my Qwirklet leads me to pray for Kyli more often than I would were I not wearing it. And those prayers then lead me to pray for other kids I know who are fighting their own bodies, just so they may be kids. Just so they may be. Here’s to each and every one of them.

Uh… B-What?



While waiting in line at a checkout stand yesterday, I overheard a conversation taking place betwixt a couple of clerks. It went something like this…

Clerk 1: I swear, if you downed a couple of beers and squinted, you’d think it was the actual Beatles playing for you.

Clerk 2: Uh… Uh…


The poor gal – Clerk 2 – was gobsmacked. She just didn’t know how to respond to mingo Clerk 1. Nor did I.


I can only think this: it would take a heck of a lot more than a couple of beers and squinty eyes to make me think any cover band was the real deal. And the Beatles? Uh… Uh…

Monday, Monday



There have been times in my life when any given Monday was my least favorite day of the week. Coming down off the weekend was depressing and the energy-drop felt like an inescapable dark cloud.


But that was then. These days, I relish an ordinary Monday. Take this past weekend, for example. Concert on Friday. Gallery opening on Saturday. Afternoon chick party and evening Beer Clug on Sunday. Yow-za! And please know this: all these things were awesome, in and of themselves. It just added up to a lot of commitments and doing.


Maybe it’s age. Honestly, I don’t care what the reason may be. I just know I appreciate the quiet predictability of Mondays. The chores, the tasks, all of it. Beautiful!


Here’s to Mondays, y’all!

How Cute



Mister and I were out on the town, dinner and some live music. All my expectations were reasonable. Average even. I thought we’d enjoy some food, then walk across the street for some good music. Nothing more, nothing less. Like I said – reasonable expectations.


But sometimes life has a little something extra in store. And we can’t know this until the moment occurs. I was blessed with one such moment that evening. It went like this…


After being seated at the Hollywood eatery, Mister ordered an iced tea and I ordered a cocktail. Our server turned to me and asked to see my ID. I almost didn’t hear him, because, y’all, that question just didn’t make the mental list of possible server replies. Mister noticed it first, and said, “Her ID? How cute.” I then looked at our server and asked if he was serious. He was. As I fished out my ID, our server said that he was certain he was older than I and that yes, he needed to verify my legal drinking age. When I told him I was certainly the older of the two of us, he didn’t believe me. I handed him my ID, he looked at the birth date and his eyes about bugged out of his head. He said, “I’m shocked!”


Cut to a few moments later, and I was enjoying my delicious cocktail. Mister said the P90-X work was clearly paying off and affecting me positively. I said it was good makeup. I looked at Mister and told him that would probably be the last time I’d be carded. And then I realized that we don’t always get to know a “last” when it occurs. Last kisses. Last good-byes. Last travels. Last arguments. Last laughs. These things happen with no fanfare, no announcements. They just happen, and we don’t realize they were the “last” until much later, if we realize it at all. That’s just life.


So while my last time being (sincerely) carded may not rank with other life lasts, it is a last, just the same. And I think I’ll make a note of this one in my calendar, as it was a nice, little, unexpected moment. It could have slipped past, without my noticing. I’m glad I caught it. I’m glad I lived it. Sincerely.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time



Yesterday I suggested – to myself – that I should just go for it, and tackle any old job, so long as I’m actually doing something. So that’s what I did. It seemed like a good idea at the time.


I don’t remember if I’ve shared this or not, but every time I begin a new painting, it sort of looks like something a 4-year-old might do. It used to stress me out, but I’ve accepted this as a part of my process, and I know that I eventually end up with a canvas that looks like something a glebredthy-year-old does. For some reason, yesterday I forgot this is a part of my process and I sort of flipped. Now I’m going to have to remedy this danged ceiling situation I’ve made for myself. And I will, mind you. It’s just going to take a little more planning and a lot more patience.


Worst-case scenario: I paint over the entire ceiling. And after all, it is only paint, y’all. But I’m not giving up just yet. I think I can salvage this ceiling and make it into something I like. In time.


I’ll keep you posted, and take deep breaths. Promise.

…The Ultimate Result of All Ambition


” To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition…”

Samuel Johnson

(1709 – 1784)



The new pad is basically a never-ending list of projects. And I admit, I’ve had moments of feeling overwhelmed by this. Those times aren’t fun, and when I’m stuck in that clueless goo, I can’t seem to get my feet to budge.


Don’t get me wrong – I love having this gi-normous project. I love getting to do these chores. Home is more than a destination. It is a blessing. And right now, Mister and I are blessed in spades.


Well, we’re blessed in to-do lists. And I’ve decided that the only way to beat the not-knowing-what-to-do feelings is to just do something. Anything. Need to caulk a patch by the sink? Just ding-dang do it. Thinking of painting a sky on the bathroom ceiling? Grab a brush and go. Eventually, one little project will be checked off the list. And yes, I know it will be replaced with seventeen-eleven-ty other projects. And that’s okay.


When we’re lucky, life keeps chugging along. Most of the time, I fail to notice this. And that’s too bad. Because it really is grand just to wake. Just to be alive.


Life. Yes, please.

Way to Go, Mingo



As I drove south on the 405 yesterday, I was nearly taken out by a mingo (that’s an idiot, friends) in a low-rider suv. For reals. That kid was clearly a middle-school-dropout, as he mistakenly believed 2 vehicles could simultaneously occupy the same lane space. As I swerved to avoid certain death, I glared at him. And at his gauged ear lobes, filled with giant plugs.


As this particular mingo was dangerous, I got away from him as quickly as possible. And though I’ve never once thought this about another person before, I was glad he had stretched his ear lobes beyond ever shrinking back to what would be considered normal. That idiot deserves saggy lobes. Way to go, mingo. Way to go.




I’m in a crowded room with about 50 others. Only a few moments ago, I was outside with about 50 others. It took us a while to hear the helicopters as they blared warnings to seek shelter. Get inside. Bolt the doors. Stay there. Lockdown.


This wasn’t part of the plan. This was supposed to be a gathering. A bunch of musicians getting together. Jamming. Making up songs. Sharing some beers. You know – a party. That’s what it was supposed to be. Supposed-to-be is a dangerous place.


I was supposed to be about a jillion different things. But I ended up being me. I didn’t know it would go the way it did, and I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. It’s just that it’s easy to get wrapped up in supposed-to-be, resisting what-is. I’ve fallen prey to my own version of that game so many times, I’ve lost count. It’s uncomfortable. And I should apologize to myself. For I’m truly sorry for my behavior during those times.


But back to lockdown. A call was made to the local police, and it turns out there’s a burglary suspect in the immediate area. Maybe in this very building. Armed. Dangerous. Probably frightened and desperate. I don’t know how long we’ll be here. I’m told someone will call the police in about 45 minutes, if we don’t hear something sooner. I expect those 45 minutes will be long ones.


Many of the people here are musicians. They’ve put together a jam. To take our minds off the situation. It appears to be working for some folks. As I look around the room, there are more than a few other faces that look to be unaffected by the music. Like me, they seem to be thinking of the people waiting for them. At home.


I could text Mister, but I don’t want to worry him unnecessarily. At the same time, I’d like to hear nothing more than his voice right about now. He’s the soul who calms me. He’s the soul who strengthens me. Right now I’m feeling neither calm nor strong. But my desire to keep him calm is bigger than my need for comfort. Maybe.


Lockdown. It’s a word I’ve heard. A word I’ve used. But it isn’t anything I ever imagined going through myself. But there you go. That’s life for you. And since there’s no use fighting the situation, I think I might as well go with it. Someone’s singing a spicy Latin song. The rhythm is stirring. The vocals are saucy. I may even take a turn on the mic myself. If I do, I will not sing about lockdown.


Okay. Here’s what I’ve decided: I’m going to text Mister, telling him I’ve had a bit too much to drink. I’ll say I need to hang out at the party a while longer, so that I can sober up for the drive home. That should let him know why I’m not there yet and ease his mind. It doesn’t matter that I’ve not been drinking at all, or that I’m not allowed to leave. He doesn’t need to know all that. I’ll tell him the truth later. Once I’m home. If I get home.


The music is getting a bit more frantic now. It feels like our collective situation is creeping into the melodic distraction more than any of us prefer. At least, it feels that way to me. And I’ve decided I don’t want to take a turn on the mic after all. It wouldn’t be sincere. And I’d probably just start singing about wanting to get the hell out of this party-gone-wrong.


Lockdown. If I get out of here, this word will never again be flat, lifeless. For now I know just how curved and edgy it truly is. And I am reminded of how very much I love being alive. How I wish I were home right now. Home – with all its flaws and chores. I can’t imagine a more perfect place.


Note: This went down several weeks ago. Clearly, I survived – without incident – and all is well.

My Life Has Come to This?



I was a little early for an appointment, and was looking through a magazine as I waited in the lounge. In the mag, I spied with my little eye all kinds of things. Things I want to remember. Things I’d like to try/replicate/incorporate/acquire. But did I frantically search for my phone so that I could take photos of even one of those things? Noooooo.


I did, however, get all excited when I spotted a bourbon cocktail recipe. And I did make sure to photograph that recipe, in its entirety.


My life has come to this? Yes. Yes, it has. And for the record, that bourbon cocktail was none too shabby, yo.

Hello, Muffin



I am not a complete woman: my shopping gene is curdled.


Though I’m a great enabler and will help friends shop until the cows come home, I don’t enjoy shopping for myself. It isn’t fun, and I don’t see it as a recreational activity. This is the main reason I wear my clothes until they fall apart. (If shown a photo from a decade ago, I am often wearing the exact same thing then as I am while looking at the photo presently. Capiche?) It’s pitiful, I know. But that’s just the way it goes.


The exception that proves my defective gene theory is my enjoyment of shopping about once a year. This particular desire pops up without warning, and can last anywhere from a day to a week. I don’t recall it ever lasting longer than that. And just because I actually go into boutiques and department stores during those jags, there’s no guarantee I’ll buy anything. There’s also no guarantee I’ll keep something I do buy. I am big on returns, as I just don’t see the point in having unused items taking up space in my life.


Anyhoo, I’m coming off one such period and had an interesting experience during an outing. I was at a gi-normous Macy’s, in the shoe department. At this particular store, ladies are serious, y’all. They are in full hunter mode and they will take you down if you get in their way. Not only are they armed with every conceivable form of payment, they are also strong, with hyper-fast reflexes. If they see someone with something they want, they will shadow their prey, hoping the coveted item will be placed aside or ignored long enough to be poached. They’re looking at merchandise, but they’re also looking at each other. I tell you all this in order to set the scene. I want you to understand that a gal can’t wander through that shoe safari unnoticed.


So there I was, casually seeing what was on sale. As is my wont, I had left the house soon after P90X-ing, and was wearing my ratty workout clothes. I wasn’t self-conscious about this, and didn’t think anything of it. In fact, all I thought was how comfortable I was and how much I was enjoying myself. I even thought about how nice and cool it was inside the store. Super cool. In fact, it felt a little too cool. That’s when I looked down and noticed my tank top had crawled up around my abdomen and my belly was just hanging out and greeting the world. I swear, I looked like a hillbilly reject.


What can you do in a situation like that? Not much. I pulled my top down, kept on trucking through the shoes, and pretended it never happened.


I have to admit though, I wish I were the type of gal who just didn’t give a flying flip. Because y’all, it really did feel nice and cool in that store, with my top pulled up.