Basil Burglar



Something’s been eating our basil. Not I. Not Mister. So what?


When you grow food, it takes not only time and energy, but also patience. And water. And expectations are set. You start imagining all the pesto you’re gonna make. And eat. And you think of caprese salad. And you get excited! Because, come on! It’s fresh food!


When something starts eating away at the food you’re growing, and therefore eating away at your food dreams, it’s annoying. Sometimes even depressing.


I told Mister that if the basil plants are keeping the unknown culprits away from our tomato plants, we should at least be grateful for that. And he agreed. To an extent.


I think Mister’s plans for that basil are far dreamier than mine.

Sunday Supper – With Wine!



Just wanted to share a snap taken just before dinner last night. Yes – the food is out of focus. But the wine…


The wine! I got to have wine with dinner, y’all, and it was snappy!

Where to Begin?



Okay. Deep breaths. Keep it together, Mikki…


I’ve been cleared to drank! Hallelujah! Hand to God! Preach on, brother alcohol!


Actually, I’ve been cleared to drink, not drank. I have to keep a rein on the old drinking pony. Don’t want to undo all the healthy good that’s been accomplished.


But for now, I’m wondering where to begin? The bar is my oyster!

The Weekend!



It’s the weekend! The sweet, sweet weekend! I don’t have to put on my filthy painting pants!


Actually, those pants have served me well this week. And they’ve endured so much dirt, they’ve pretty much developed a life of their own. By Friday I was able to simply whistle and they marched themselves right over to me. That’s filth, y’all.


And who am I kidding? I’ll probably be doing some touch-up work this weekend. But that’s not nearly as messy as using a paint roller. Who knows? Maybe Mister will get in on the action. He’s missed all the painting fun so far. Then again, maybe that’s been his cunning plan all along. Hmm…


It will take a while longer, but once the Rumpus Room is all finished, I’ll share some photos.


Enjoy your weekend – no matter how you spend it!

Putting Out Fires



The fireplace dude is working away and really making progress. While he’s tackling that project, I’ve been painting. Yesterday I decided to paint the laundry area. That meant pulling the washer/dryer out and cleaning every freaking place and then taping (my poor, poor fingers) and painting. After all that craziness, I pushed the washer/dryer back into place. Only I pushed it just a wee bit far and it jostled a water pipe. Next thing I knew, water was leaking from said pipe directly into a power box.


I don’t know much, y’all, but I do know that water and electricity Do. Not. Mix. So I immediately grabbed a small bowl and placed it over the power box. Then I jiffy-quick found the number for a plumber who did some work for us a couple of years ago. He said he happened to be in the neighborhood and could come right over. He did just that, soldered in a new section of pipe and the crisis was averted.


After I’d paid the man (because the man always has to get paid), I went back inside and drew out a little idea. I had thought about putting a brick or two behind the washer/dryer, so that I could never again inadvertently push the appliance into the temperamental pipe. After consulting with Mister’s Daddy, I took his advice and built myself a gadget out of wood. Now, even if the washer goes wonky and spins itself all crooked, it won’t be able to move back any farther. True story.


The laundry area looks bright and clean, by the way. A little paint sure does go a long way.

Painter Hands



I have painter hands. Which is not to say my hands paint. For although they do, they’re not usually affected adversely. Holding a brush for oil painting is so utterly civilized, I could very well have a bone china cup of tea in my other hand while working. In fact, oil painting is downright lilty and airy.


Painting the walls of one’s rumpus room, on the other hand, isn’t lilty at all. It’s dirty and rough. My fingers are so raw from taping and sanding that all traces of my prints have disappeared. Perhaps now would be a good time to embark on my career as an international jewel thief.


Of course, just because I have no fingerprints doesn’t mean I’m invisible. There’s paint in my hair and embedded in my skin. And last night I somehow managed to bang my elbow and shove a loaded paintbrush into my mouth. I had to gargle for a full 5 minutes after that one. And make no mistake, friends, it takes real skill to get paint in your pie-hole.


Anyhoo – the rumpus room will soon be painted, except for the fireplace wall. And the worker dude is chugging away on that, so I should be able to tackle that wall next week. And though I’m sore, tired and my fingers ache, I do feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment.


Does anyone know how long it takes to recover feeling in one’s fingers after the prints have been worn away? Just wondering.

Well That Just Happened



Last week, on Tuesday I believe, I was walking down a sidewalk when I stopped and had a radical thought: I’ve turned the corner. I’m well. I don’t know what prompted it. I don’t remember what I was thinking about before that thought. I just felt it somehow, and knew it was true.


A couple of days later I told the Healer about the experience and she was quite supportive. She loosened the reins on my restrictive diet and told me I could have a little salad here and there (I’ve been off all raw vegetables for quite a while now). She also said I could have a wee bit of sugar once in a while. You know – like a birthday doughnut. She did say I shouldn’t sit down to a baker’s dozen or anything, and I assured her I wouldn’t. I agreed to continue with the other dietary restrictions (no fruit or fruit juice, no alcohol, no soda), even though I somehow knew I was well. We scheduled a couple of maintenance visits and I headed home.


That appointment took place last Thursday. Today is Wednesday and I am here to tell you my intuition was dead-on! I am well. I just am. I feel it. I know it. My body is behaving like, well, my body. And that’s that. Those salads I’m eating are scrumptious and greatly appreciated. I’ve had very few sweets, but I’ve enjoyed the heck out of those, too. After I see the Healer this week, I’m hoping some other heretofore banned food/beverage will be back in my diet. And pretty soon, I hope there are no restrictions.


I’m beyond happy that whatever the hell kind of virus I’ve had has finally kicked the bucket. And I will never, ever, ever go on a Princess Cruise again, thank-you-very-much, as all signs point to that being ground zero of my physical troubles. (I guess ground zero can occur at sea. Go figure.)


I can also see some good that came out of this nearly 5-month illness. I have a new-found appreciation for health. (Boy – do I appreciate it!) I recognize and respect how it feels to be in working order. And I have learned to actually care for myself when I’ve needed it.


Perhaps the greatest good I’ve gained during this illness is the gift of not judging myself harshly. It has taken a lot, granted, but I’ve stopped beating myself up about my appearance, or my hips, or my curves. In the past, I’ve worked out and counted calories and deprived myself (or not) and still I was disappointed in my physicality. Being sick took that out of me. It was hard to criticize my weight when I couldn’t eat anything or do anything due to illness and weakness. Somewhere along the line, I guess I just stopped the self-criticism. And I haven’t gone back to that old, ugly habit. (I pray I don’t backslide.) I mean, I want to be healthy and fit, and I want to feel good about myself and think I’m doing alright, but I also want to motivate myself toward those feelings with positive thoughts. Tearing myself down serves no useful purpose whatsoever.


So that’s where things are. I’m much, much better. And I truly appreciate hearing from so many of you. It’s been awesome having your support and good vibes. Not only have you called and checked in on me, you’ve also sent me little notes and made darling gifts to perk me up. Never underestimate the power of friendship. I certainly don’t.


As for my magical moment on that random sidewalk last Tuesday, I can only tell you how it went down. It was simple and there was no thunder bolt. No one else on the sidewalk even noticed me there. But I was there, and it was magic. Knowing I’m better and feeling it in my very soul is a precious gift.


Good for me!

Drink Bacardi Like It’s Your Birthday



Today is my birthday. Let me try that again. Today is my birthday!


Instead of going out for lunch with friends, instead of drinking Bacardi like it’s my birthday (as I’m still on the wagon), I’ll be hanging at the homie. There are some worker dudes tackling the hole in the wall that is fireplace face. (Yippee!) And while I’m not the most distrustful gal around, I’m also not the trustful-est, either. So I’m at the house, keeping an eye on things and trying to learn a wee bit about what these guys are doing. I’m also tackling other projects while fireplace face gets a much-deserved and overdue lift. The old gal has surely seen better days. I can relate. I can also relate to just how stunning she’s going to be once she’s been cleaned up and tweaked. A little tweaking is good for the soul. (Notice I didn’t say a little twerking is good for the soul, because that just freaks me out, y’all.)


Anyhoo, I’m hoping Mister remembers to bring me a birthday doughnut since I won’t be going out to get it myself. I’m fairly sure he will. About 37 or so texts and emails ought to be enough to remind him.


Otherwise, I’m pretty content. My health is improving (more on that later this week), the new pad is getting some attention and it’s full-on Spring. It will feel like full-on Summer in a couple of days, but I can bitch and moan about that then. For today is a good day for a good day. And it’s my birthday! So much promise…





Yesterday there were street closures in The Valley for what’s called CicLAvia. When this happens, L.A. streets become wide open for folks on bikes and on foot. Cars are banned  and there’s usually a pretty big turnout. In the past, CicLAvia has taken place on the other side of the hill. This was the first event to cross over into The Valley.


I was out and about, running errands, when I found myself at a red light. About a jillion riders crossed in front of me, making their way to the closed-to-cars streets. I was laughing at some of the garb and managed to grab my camera and snap a pic.


I didn’t head over to Ventura Boulevard, where the thousands of bikers roamed free. But I did battle tremendous traffic, as all those cars had to fit somewhere. And y’all – it wasn’t nearly as pretty as that dude’s hair.





My friend Betro was telling me about an old buddy of hers and how they drifted apart. She said that her friend had started over in a way, and was living a new life. Although Betro had been a positive force for her friend, she, like the friend’s former life, was left behind.


Have you ever experienced something like that? Have you had a friend who just sort of stopped being your friend, for no good reason? I certainly have. More than once. And in a few instances, I’ve desperately wanted to understand and to feel some sense of closure. But that’s not the way things have gone down for me, so I’ve felt a sense of limbo where a couple of relationships are concerned. I’ve not known how to deal with it and I’ve not liked it, either.


Anyhoo, after Betro told me the history with her friend, she said she understood. She didn’t like losing her friend, but the understanding is what got me. Betro said she figures that she had been a part of her friend’s former life. And that when said friend started over, he needed to break all ties and really start over. To truly forget the past. Including Betro. She thinks that as someone from his former life, she might remind him of the pain from that time. And she doesn’t hold it against him.


Wow! I sat listening to her, rapt. And I suddenly understood why at least one of my friendships ended without any input from me. My friend, from what I understand, is living a new life. And of course I want her to be beyond happy. If I’m part of her past, her painful past, well, I can understand her choosing to let go. And I cannot hold it against her.


Of course – there is a chance Betro’s life lesson has nothing to do with any of my experiences. Maybe I futzed up things with my friend in some irreparable way, and simply have no idea what I did. But I like to think of my friend out there in the world, making a beautiful, new existence for herself. And I like to think of her smiling. With new, fabulous friends and new, fabulous joy. So I’m gonna stick with Betro’s wisdom and leave it at that.


Finally – I feel peace where my old friend is concerned. And you know what? I’ll take it.