books, confession, entertainment, family, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, list, marriage

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Surprisingly, despite only posting here an average of once per week, and with the many ways that blogging (and blog reading) have changed and morphed into something different, I still manage to have a fairly high number of subscribers and daily visits. When I logged in this morning, however, my landing page notified me that I had no visitors on Wednesday. As in ABSOLUTELY zero.

I think this news was supposed to alarm me, or make me sad, or something… Instead though, I literally grinned from ear to ear. While I am not the world’s biggest Valentine’s Day fan, (I believe we should be generous with our love every day of the year, not just on consumer driven ones) it made really happy to know that you guys were all way too busy loving to check in here! Of course, the second half of the day’s absence was probably more accurately because of the horror that was unfolding in Florida…

While I realize the whole point of these Friday posts was to share a bit of awesome/fun/cool/*insert other positive adjective here* stuff so that the heaviness of life did not drown us completely, and therefore the idea of using a Friday post to talk about those heavy things may seem a big off- I just have to say one something…

As human beings, absolutely every decision will boil down to one of three things. (Even doing nothing IS a decision.) We can choose:

  • Action
  • Inaction (no action/apathy)
  • Reaction

Let’s be honest- saying “thoughts and prayers” regarding a horrific tragedy does not mean anything. It does not count as action. Actually praying, actually using thoughts to help discern how we can better a situation, make an impact, ease a hurt (etc) IS taking action. Emotionally lashing out, threatening, and marching forward without considering/caring about the consequences or how your choice will affect others- THIS is reaction. This is the seed terrorism is grown from. So if you’re going to talk about how your thoughts and prayers are with Florida, make sure those prayers are being fervently prayed and your thoughts are geared towards HOW to make this better. If ONE person can cause so much hurt and have the entire country talking about him, then absolutely ONE person can make things better. Two can make them doubly better, and all of us who want a better world CAN work together, (stop being apathetic and stop reacting in offense to absolutely every grain of everything that isn’t inline with our own feelings) to make things better. Change is necessary- and this isn’t just about guns. People who want to hurt others can do that without guns. We do need reform, but we also need to change how we deal with each other, what we turn a blind eye to, and how we (as a society) are far too wrapped up in ourselves.

That’s all, about that. At least as far as this post goes.

Beyond the tragedy in Florida, my week here was a pretty quiet one. Elenor was spayed last Friday, and other than a major hiccup which had us back in the vet’s office for a small bonus procedure, things are going well. Lots of reading, some writing, a few movies and an assortment other quiet activities have been on the agenda. This will probably be reflected in the list of my week’s things to share with you.

  • Hopefully this is something that isn’t ever needed, (for those of you with dogs anyway) but just in case it is- I’ll share. The Comfy Cone has saved us NUMEROUS times. While it isn’t exactly a new thing, to me, it has been a saving grace this week. As much as Elenor didn’t love it at first, she’s grown used to it to. Compared to those disgusting, destructive plastic shields, this is a MUCH better alternative!
  • I acquired this oil book, over the weekend. While I have several really great books on essential oils, this one surpasses them all! I learned more in an hour of skimming sections than I have in most of the classes and educational meetings I’ve taken.
  • I cannot even tell you how much I loved this movie. Even having seen the trailer several times, so many things about it surprised me. It is as much sweet as it is empathy building. Overall just a lovely, relevant film.
  • I shared this book here awhile ago but I’m sharing it again because my awesome husband gave it to me on Wednesday. It is lovely and well written and absolutely everything I hoped it would be!
  • Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely devastated that I can not share a link with you here. The very BRIGHTEST point, in my week, was when The ShibSibs did their  Team USA Free Skate. I have watched it dozens of times, throughout the week. Chw will laugh at me when I play it again, (it stays cued up, on my DVR) but then he sits down, mesmerized by it, each and every time. He points out (again) his favorite parts, and I follow with the three parts which send chills racing up my spine, no matter how many times I have seen it. We both know what the commentators say leading up to the dance, during and after- by heart. If anyone were to ask me what piece of art moves me the most, I would HANDS DOWN say it is that skate. (I know they have skated that routine before, and I also know that it has never been anything close to as moving and raw as this particular time was) Even so, I’ll link you to their youtube channel, because they are adorable and so gifted.

Here’s to a weekend full of action following what our lips promise, which leads to hope and encouragement and comes BECAUSE of love…

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It’s Friday, I’m in Love…

As you’re reading this, our sweet little Elenor (in case you’re new here… She’s an 8 month old Golden Retriever) is going under the knife today, getting her lady-bits taken care of. It’s sad, I agree. There are times when he coal-black eyes stare up at me and I nearly say wait, let’s think about this! She would make beautiful, snuggly little puppies…

But, the problem arrises when the reality that I would want to keep all of the puppies, exists. Plus, I would deserve to keep them because I would have been the one doing most of the care taking, birth coaching, crying over complications, etc… And then, while so enamored by all of the puppy love I would be LIVING, I would have to face the facts that:

1.) Elenor tests my patience and drives me crazy on a regular basis.

2) this ONE girl is far more puppy than anyone my age needs.

3) we live in a small apartment and logistically this would be an all out nightmare. (NIGHTMARE)

So, today Elenor says goodbye to the puppy-filled future that could have been.

Moving on… Well, Michigan, how about that weather? Well, America, how about that Super Bowl? Well, world,how about those Olympics? Yep, like I said: Pretty big week. Without further ado, here’s my personal top 5:

  • It was a great game, on Sunday. So good! (and I’m not a big football lover, but still. SO GOOD!) Less than cool, for me, what JT’s halftime show. It just wasn’t awesome (in my opinion.) He’s just not my favorite, but hey- the boy can move, and I do really (REALLY) love the bromance he and Jimmy Fallon have. Beyond that- Meh… Anyway, being an 80’s child who loved Prince along with all other 80’s girls, that beautiful city turning purple and bestowing Prince’s symbol was beyond moving. (also, to clarify, I do NOT hold JT responsible for one bit of that.)
  • After the Super Bowl was a pretty significant episode of one of my all time favorite shows, This is Us. (If you think I am going to say that finally knowing what we know was a highlight it wasn’t. In fact, the whole show was gut-wrenchingly miserable.) That being said, this week had two beautiful and moving episodes of this show, which I love so deeply. It, its beautiful development and writing, and it’s stunning multi-layered characters are very dear to my heart. (along with the hearts of millions of others, I know.) Spending two hours with the Pearsons was really good. (Also, if you’re caught up (so NOT my daughter) and feel the need for a good, balming and someone lighthearted approach to this week’s heartache, read this. It was a favorite read, this week.)
  • I devoured this book, like a true literary addict. Is The Wife Between Us the best book I’ve ever read? No. It doesn’t have to be. It was really a great February read. There are many things I could say, but they would only make sense to someone who has read it. (that would be your cue to read the book already, so we can chat!)
  • We have a small countertop and cabinet area, in our little kitchen, that is always dark. No matter what time of day it is, or how many lights are on, this countertop is always in darkness. The real complication here is that this countertop is the most practical work space for food prep. This is where we keep the coffee pot, which we use daily. This is where we prep breakfast and make daily smoothies. This is the place… And it can get super frustrating. (thankfully, no one has lost a finger!) This week we added these and I have to be honest- it was BRILLIANT decision. Since we are leasing and here temporarily, we couldn’t really do anything permanent and this was an inexpensive and awesome decision.
  • My husband LOVES Noodles & Company. It’s so weird, really. I mean, N&C is fine, I guess. To Chw though, that boy LOVES to eat there. On Sunday we somehow ended up grabbing a quick meal at N&C. As we are standing at the counter, ordering and checking out, (just like every other fine dining establishment- ha!) our eyes fell upon the small display of Rice Krispy treats and we unanimously said That sounds so good… And it was. I know this, because we shared one. We decided to stop by the supermarket on the way home and get supplies to make a gigantic pan of them. By the time our afternoon was over however, we both agreed we had been thinking in the moment and did not want to do that after all.

Then, on Monday I asked my love if he would stop by the store and grab some sour cream that I had overlooked in the recipe I was making for dinner. His response (via email) was that sour cream seemed like an odd ingredient for Rice Krispy treats. Of course he was joking, but we both realized they still sounded good, (which isn’t really like us, as neither of us have ever particularly loved RCT) and that must mean we were supposed to make some.

While dinner was in the oven, together we whipped up a pan of these treats (we made a few modifications involving extra butter and vanilla) and these were (truthfully) a high point in both of our week. Yum.

And there you have it… Highlight’s of the week to tickle your senses! What about you, what was a highlight in your corner of the world?

 

beautiful, books, chronic illness, confession, depression, entertainment, family, food, friendship, gifts, gratitude, holiday, home, journey, Lately, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys, it’s February! How?

Last week I received an email from one of you lovelies, and I loved it! It’s author was having a bit of a rough season and said:

I really enjoy getting in to the office on friday mornings and finding your post in my inbox. I often find new favorite songs, things I have to purchase as soon as humanly possible, a good chuckle or a reason to tear up. There is something so human about your sharing and transparency. Some days though, like today, I just want to sarcastically list the top five things I really don’t like about this week, in reply. That’s pretty transparently human too, don’t you think?

I DO! We had a nice back & forth exchange, over the weekend. The truth us, sometimes I do slip things that I might be disappointed, or am struggling with, into these Friday-Five posts. Life is not perfect. I do not want to give that Fake-Facebook illusion that my life is picture perfect. There are weeks so overwhelming that I really have to grasp to fill these five slots. While I do have a list of five ready to go, for this week, I could probably come up with a list of forty-five “bad things” almost instantly. Like, do you know what I don’t like? When my husband’s business trips get extended. When it feels like I spend less hours/days with him home than not, and all of the side issues that accompany that, and this particular season of ours. Do you know what I really, REALLY don’t like? When it is dark outside, and I’m walking the dog (close to home) and she stops, alarmed, and then follows something (with her eyes) as though there was actually something there, which there isn’t… Creepy dog. I DO NOT like that. And also, nearly crashing my car into the back of someone. (although I do really like that it was a “nearly” and not an actually.) Adding to the terrible list, cucumbers. Gross.

That is kind of the point, I guess. For most of us, it is super easy to find, list out and dwell on the bad. So I (try to) intentionally focus on a handful of things I love a little (or a lot, sometimes) to share with you guys, whom I also love.

1.) Let’s chat about wish lists for a second. I keep a running wish list for a few reasons, but the two biggest would be that A.) my husband will ask, come birthday and Christmastime, and I ALWAYS come up with nothing, when put on the spot. Also there is B.) the fact that my memory is pretty worthless and sometimes I see really great things that I might just want to buy one day… Even so, while I am known to ask a child what they’d like for Christmas or birthday, I try not to make any occasion super materialistic and consumer focussed. It is a pretty fine line, at those times, but what about the asinine Hallmark holidays? I have always prided myself on being the low maintenance Valentine wife, content with a bouquet of Costco flowers and cheap little date. Or not. That’s how easy I am. (Though between us, my heart always hopes I’ll secretly be surprised by a bouquet of peonies, because they are my absolute favorite. I can say that because Chw doesn’t give two hoots about this blog. I also know myself well enough to know that once I saw the amount spent on such an indulgence, I’d kick both of us and then go back to being just fine with Costco roses…) That being said, there is this book releasing which I absolutely want to beg my husband to buy me, and inscribe it with something heartfelt and lovely.

Who am I kidding? I already showed him this book, about a month ago. It sounds so delicious, doesn’t it?

2.) Speaking of my husband… The guy is a BIG fan of Emergen-C. (So much so that sometimes it almost seems like the Windex thing from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…) I’m not above taking it, if I am actually sick (or feel strongly that I’m getting sick) but I am not a masochist and so I have to mix it with orange juice. (or, best of all is several juices together so that I can pretend it is a mimosa or cocktail.) When we ran out, this month (GASP!!!! The Horror!!!) my husband managed to find the Army supply size at Costco, to purchase. I only half rolled my eyes though, because let’s face it- the guy is hardly ever sick, so he may really be on to something. To my surprise, on the side of the box there was a smoothie recipe.

Mind blown… Why hadn’t I ever thought of that?

This week I made my normal smoothie recipe, (forget theirs, their product already tastes like dehydrated floor cleaner, I don’t care to try their smoothie recipe) and added a packet of Emergen-C. I can honestly say that it was incredibly tasty, and I would do it again! (also, I’m not sick! which, I wasn’t actually feeling sick, but still, I’m not sick and we can pretend that my magic smoothie is why!)

3.) No link here, sorry. While at Costco, over the weekend, stocking up on our seven trillion packets of Emergen-C, I stumbled upon Cauliflower crust pizza, in the freezer section. What really caught my eye was that the toppings were Roasted Vegetable. There used to be these delicious Lean Cuisine personal pizzas that were Roasted Vegetable and i LOVED them. (Think pre-economy tanking, back when Godiva also sold the most perfect ice cream ever, in the freezer section of all supermarkets. Man, those were the days… Can we spend a second in silence, remembering gas that was well under $2 a gallon?) Even though I love cauliflower, I’ve been a little slow to embrace it taking over the world, but the Roasted Vegetable appealed to me and so I brought it home.

This is the best pizza ever.

Seriously.

Is EVERY Cauliflower pizza like magic, in your mouth? Is it just this one? Honestly, I am a little panicky about the whole thing because things I love at Costco have a habit of being temporarily available, and then I never see them again.

4.) I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone. Do you remember home phone days? When a phone bill would be around $25, and then long distance calls might bring it to a hundred dollars, on a really bad month… In those days I never would have imagined monthly phone bills of the cell phone variety. As I stated, I pay a ridiculous amount of money to have a cell phone in which I text people and they text me, and I occasionally play Disney emoji. And sometimes I think it is ridiculous that I have this phone, and then an afternoon comes along when one of my oldest, dearest and truest friends and I spend four hours talking. In those four hours, the distance between Michigan and the West Coast shrank a little, and my heart was full. (and now I’m set on actual phone conversations for a good, long while.)

5.) I don’t watch the Grammy’s, they are pretty much not my bag o’ fun. I am sure there isn’t a person around, however, who hasn’t heard about the amazing performance Kesha gave, of her song Praying. Already deeply moved by the song, her performance (as seen absolutely everywhere, all over the internet) moves me to tears. Every. Single. time.

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I identify with every ounce of it. Even with the conflicted feelings I have regarding the #metoo sensation of right now, I feel the message of this anthem (I am totally calling it an anthem!) is EXACTLY the one we need to embrace. Empowerment involves many, many things. It is a layered process of several facets, but being a victim and cloaking one’s self in pity is not among them.

I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name

 

It is on a somber note that this week’s post is ending, and that’s ok. Sometimes somber can be beautiful too.

beautiful, chronic illness, depression, entertainment, family, fibro, food, friendship, gratitude, home, journey, list, marriage, music, self care, Uncategorized

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

 

I am a little surprised, looking back, that music doesn’t make this list more. I get that I’m picky, but I am constantly falling in love with new music, so it’s a little out of character. This season in my life, especially, has me seeking out new tracks to listen to. I’ve found myself slightly less interested in venturing out to a movie, and more inclined to lose myself (for an hour or two) in my headphones… Perhaps the dreary Michigan winter is responsible. Maybe the premise of many films disinterest me, these days. At any rate, I am sitting here typing away, with a parade of really great songs streaming in my ears. I keep an ever-changing playlist, and if you’d ever like to check it out, here’s the link. I have pretty great taste. (well, to me anyway.)

How has your week been?

I can honestly say the chuckle I had with the Michigan apocalypse jokes has faded a little, this week. Last week, I’m sure you knew we had a “meteor” which followed really bizarre lights. Earlier this week, our water turned the color of dehydrated urine. It wasn’t even gradual. It literally went from slightly cloudy water to the color of Yellow Drink. (that, of course, is an OITNB reference…) It was starting to feel downright plaguish.

The middle of my week was marked by a day spent at the University of Michigan hospital, with my mom. Alzheimer’s is no joke, and there are times (like Wednesday) when my head starts pounding so hard and I think that I could just go home, take a 12 hour-long hot shower, and then fall into bed until june. Draining… (shout out to my husband, who was a ROCKSTAR!)

I’ve intentionally stayed aware this week, trying not to disappear in sadness or an overwhelmed depression. I have laughed more at the frustrating things the puppy does. I have tried to be more tolerant of the grumpy, old lady things our 6-year-old Aussie does. I have tried to hold hands with my husband more, prepare more wholesome, intentional food at home (requesting fewer runs to Chipotle) and be deliberate in all things. I failed a lot, this week. I think I failed more than most months, but that’s ok. I’ll learn, right?

So many small things happened, and I’d think THIS! I want to add THIS to my list… But in reality, I wanted things in the list which I could pass on to you. Small life things aren’t those sorts of things…

But these things have been on my mind this week too…

1.) My word (well, you know what I mean) for the year is Let Go. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but it was in my January newsletter. I  am not a regular journaller, by any stretch. This year though, with the goal of this mantra, I’ve decided to keep a LET GO JOURNAL. Every time I realize I need to let go of something, I write it in the journal. Sometimes this is followed by a quote, sometimes it’s followed by a verse from the Bible, or something prompting someone said, and sometimes it is simply “Let go of…..”  I LOVE this book. I am a little sad that I didn’t do it in the past, but that’s a silly thing to be sad about. I need to just let it go. :)

2.) For a few years now, I have marched into my doctor’s office every month to get a shot of B-12. I can’t tell you why, exactly. I know that I definitely felt better in the two weeks that would follow the shot, and then slowly it would fade. I don’t know the science of it, BUT I do know that I don’t really have time to do that. Sure, the actual visit is just a few minutes, but the drive, the wait and the fact that last time I had to stay for 50 minutes to dispute a charge that occurred because they billed the wrong code to my insurance. At any rate, on a whim I bought these. They taste so good, I really want to sit down with a jar of them and a good book, wasting an afternoon. Of course, I won’t. But they are decadent, as far as vitamins go.

3.) Chris and I are pretty much NEVER looking for new shows to watch. In comparison with the majority, we really don’t watch that much television. I don’t even think it is something either of us we really love doing, (unless it is blustery outside and there’s a cozy fireplace, and popcorn, but anyway…) but we both have  a good appreciation for things like downtime, checking out from time to time, clever entertainment, etc… And so, though we aren’t in the market for new shows, we do occasionally find them. (I shared about 9-1-1 a couple of weeks ago.) Anyway, the show The Resident came on our radar this week. Have you watched it? We really love Matt Czuchry and so we were eager to tune in. We both really liked it! (though I won’t lie… My LEAST favorite type of movie or show involves first responders and hospitals, so both of the shows I’ve mentioned recently are a big stretch for me. I like them a lot, but it’s like I have to psych myself out, and really brace myself for it. Geez, what is wrong with me???)

4.) On Wednesday, Chris and I left the hospital for a quick-lunch. We figured the downtown parking, second valet fee (hospital) and our lunch total would still be significantly less than what a hospital lunch would cost, AND be a lot better. We ended up trying this amazing little vegan place in the Kerrytown district of Ann Arbor, called the Lunch Room. It’s located in this marketplace that we both instantly fell in love with. (If we could find a sweet little flat, with character, near this market, I would finally feel like Michigan was someplace I’d be find living forever. Of course, this would also be because Ann Arbor is just like Boise, and Portland, and Seattle. It speaks my soul language and gets me, so yeah…) I know it isn’t super fair of me to post local links, since Ann Arbor isn’t really a possibility for the majority of my readers. That being said, it was such a fun little micro-adventure. We plan on going back when we have more than a couple of hours, to escape. (Plus it was Chw’s first dive into Vegan food and, if you missed the post on Instagram, I had nachos and he had macaroni and cheese. They were both amazing and he LOVED it!)

5.) My mom Julie (non-biological) passed away going on 12 years ago. Honestly, I can’t believe it has been 11 years. It feels like maybe, 4 or 5. Then I see photos of my sister Joy’s daughters, who were born the spring after Mom died, and the reality hits me. It is rare that something big, or hard, or sad happens when my first instinct isn’t still to call her. I remember in the first few years, a friend said that it would get easier. She’d lost her mother, and even though Julie wasn’t my birth mom, she was the only real mom I’d ever had, and she had “Mommed” me through every major life moment, until 2006. Now, over a decade later, I realize that the heart to reach out to her probably won’t change, and that’s ok. While I may not like the pain of losing and missing her, and I may cringe at the canyon left in our world because of the absence of Julie Peterson, I do love remembering her. I love the biggest parts of my journey, where she was there. I was so fortunate to know her, to love her and be loved by her. I was so incredibly blessed to be chosen by her, included by her. Her wings, as a mother, were vast and comforting…

This past fall, my friend Angela lost her father. This month she published a book about that journey, and I wanted to share it with you. We have all experienced shattering loss, to one degree or another, and it can be so hard to find any home or sunlight within those dark seasons.

 

I hope this last little big of January finds you each well and loving the small things, along with the bigger ones. Next week will be February and, hopefully, with February will come a little rodent’s guarantee that a beautiful spring is just around the corner!

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It’s Friday I’m in love…

 

Isolation is not a friend to most. Even the most pure of introverts will whither without actual connection/interaction with others. This week cloaked me in isolation. Much like the image above, yet tragically minus the mountains, this was my life. Bleak, blustery and utterly alone. And cold. The husband was traveling, my car is still out of commission and the snow/cold temps settled in around me. It was bleak, but honestly these very things are exactly how I think of January all year, so it also felt like a descent fit. (minus the car situation, but let’s be honest- aside from a possible jaunt to Target, I wasn’t going anywhere. It’s JANUARY and this PNW girl is not a fan of Michigan Januarys…)

I wrote. I read. I organized. I deep cleaned,  and I did laundry. I began every day the same, with hot coffee and thick smoothies. I listened to music I love, the sort that fills my heart with joy, but more on some of that later… I did not have the television on much, but when I did it was only really to watch a series I loved 20 years ago. I played with the dogs, I grew frustrated with the dogs. Here we are, on Friday morning, and the dogs and I needed a nice break from one another. (Additionally, I survived the Michigan meteor, which is pretty great too.)

This week’s favorite things are of the more simple nature, which is pretty ok, don’t you think?

  1. Chw and I LOVE Saoirse Ronan quite a lot, and are proud to say we DO know how to pronounce her name! (In fact, shout out to Amazon, because Alexa also knows how to pronounce her name!) She seems like such a good sport about no one really saying her name correctly, which is pretty sweet. During awards shows this season, the pronunciation of her name has been the thing I was MOST KEEN to pay attention to. (hey, don’t judge, It’s the little things.) At any rate, this video is pretty cute. When you can’t beat em’, join them… (Bonus: I was once a big Glee lover and this is where I was first introduced to Melissa Benoist. Now, Chw watches Supergirl (I don’t) and so I am vicariously following her career a bit. This video is pretty funny (and really, James Corden is kind of the best) and I’m happy to say that I have ALWAYS pronounced her name the french way. I am confused as to why they would do anything but that way! And I had no clue that she does not say it that way.)
  2. I was up late last Friday night, and the TV was on in the background when this guy came on. Seriously- I DIED. So funny. This is the EXACT act I saw and it was so perfect. Chw and I spent a big chunk of the weekend video stalking him online. Instant big fans!
  3. I know it’s starting to feel like this week’s post is brought to you by YouTube. I want to be sorry, but I am sort of not. And also- it’s January… Anyway, I realize Christmas is over, but while we were watching videos on Sunday of Treiball* dogs, we stumbled upon this video. I watched it several times, (in a row) and have to say I learned three distinct things about myself: A.) I am entirely too untrusting and skeptical. Had it been me, I would have grown suspicious as soon as I pulled out the items which only apply to a corgi owner. B.) I am apparently a total bowl of unset Jello when it comes to anything involving a dog and a surprise, or trick, or _______, on YouTube. C.) I love Corgis. I knew this, BUT this little puppy with its sweet little legs and that hat… I did not realize, before this, how much I adore them. I am pretty sure I do not have a Corgi because my heart would melt into a tiny puddle every time it ran after a toy. EVERY TIME. (#teamcooper) (also… YOU GUYS! While getting the link for you- this came up. Serious puddle of salty tears here. So happy for the two men in these videos! Also love how happy THEY are about their dogs! That’s it, let’s make the world THIS happy… Puppies for everyone! (well, everyone but my dog Emma, who hates puppies, and my friend Sarah. Everyone else though- PUPPIES!!!) (Maybe this will be Oprah’s first act, as president) (*If you aren’t familiar with Treiball, here you go.)
  4. Party of Five. Like I mentioned, before the barrage of YouTube links, I have been re-watching a show I loved 20 years ago. As a still-then teenager, and a young wife from a very broken childhood, I really loved this show. I remember identifying with so many aspects of it, and can honestly say it is probably the very first TV show that I really connected and grew emotionally invested in. Now, as a new empty nester, in an entirely different stage of life I am watching it again. I don’t really know why, but I am glad that I am. I am seeing it with new eyes and gaining insight that I am grateful for. (also, THE CLOTHES! The clothes are awesome. Could we not just go back to that, and stay there? And the music…)
  5. It was with a huge grief filled heart that I learned about the death of Delores O’Riordan. In the way that mentioned Party of Five and the nostalgia of it above, the Cranberries were the first group whose music I really allowed myself to be lost in. I remember the very first time I heard them… I was a passenger on a road trip, weaving throughout an Arizona mountain range. The radio station was coming in and out, (as they did before streaming music and satellite radio) and her voice kept cutting through. I remember feeling like some internal floor that I hadn’t known about, just gave way. Who was this voice? What was this song? (also a dilemma of times past, as now we have apps for that) Eventually, (although for days I scoured every channel, almost around the clock) I learned that the band was The Cranberries and she was Delores O’Riordan. Not much older than me, and with a voice like none other. Over the years, her music (their music, her voice) would walk with me through all of the dark times, and most of the bright ones. Her death did not make this list because I was happy about it. It made the list because she was important, not just to me. Her art was art that made a difference and touched people. Her transparency about her childhood abuse, her struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide reached people. Delores was a gift, and as heartbroken as I am over her passing, I am so unfathomably grateful to have known the small piece of her she shared with the world. I listened to her sing this week, often. With each track I felt filled with even more thankfullness and love. Thank you, Delores…