• talk to strangers tattoo
    How To,  Random Thoughts

    Talk to Strangers

    Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the citySmilin’ at everybody she sees?Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment?Everyone knows it’s Windy The Association, 1967 I am a huge extrovert. I’m often told that my laughter can be heard in a crowded room (sorry, not sorry!) and I absolutely love talking to people, any people. I’m from the Midwest which means it’s in my nature to say “Hey there! How’s it going?” as I walk past strangers on the street. Sometimes they smile and answer back and sometimes they don’t, depending where I am at the time. Sometimes I even surprise myself with who I talk to and where those conversations…

  • 230428170714 king charles portrait copy

    King Me, King Me, King Me!

    What better reason to live-blog the coronation of King Charles (I don’t know if I can ever get used to that) than the fact that I live-blogged the weddings of both Princes William and Harry? Also, I haven’t posted anything new here in six months, which is a new record for me. So…why not? A little background: I watched the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 at a friend’s house. I remember that we woke up because her mom was getting up to watch it, and we went down to the family room in the basement, where the television was. Her mom sat…somewhere. I can’t remember where. It must…

  • November leaves 2022
    Random Thoughts

    The Perfect Sign on a Perfect Afternoon

    It was the most excellent kind of November day: sunny and mid 70s. I finished work early and decided to make the most of the weather by going out for a car wash and a grocery pickup. But first, a long drive. Driving my red Mustang convertible the long way on a gorgeous day to get to where I’m going–or even to no place in particular–is my favorite thing. (Okay, one of my favorite things.) I thought about where my errands were and drove in the opposite direction, weaving my way through dappled sunshine along back roads that were lined with all the fall colors. I pulled over several times…

  • forsythia
    Confessions,  Random Thoughts,  Something That Could Change Your Life


    Every year at this time, I see explosions of yellow-flowered branches springing from forsythia shrubs. The bright color alone is enough to bring a smile to my face; spring is coming, after all. More than that, I go back in time with these particular blooms. Years ago when I walked my little boys to the little elementary school around the corner from our house, a line of forsythia shrubs lined the fence between the school playground and the backyard of the home next door. Often the dog that lived there would bark and run along the fence as kids walked by, something that adds even more texture to an already…

  • tiny cross stitch 2 1
    Confessions,  Pretty Pictures,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    On Occasionally Persisting

    I am not a quitter. My therapist would say that this is due to my unrelenting standards and sure, she would be correct, but I am who I am. In spite of that personality trait, over the years I have gotten much better at releasing things (and tasks) that no longer serve a positive purpose in my life. Today I’m talking about in-progress craft projects. After having worked at Lee Wards Craft Store (a precursor to Michael’s) and using my employee discount with gusto for a few years and after Jim and I moved from a two-bedroom townhouse to a three-bedroom townhouse before we ever had children just so I…

  • Field of American flags

    9/11, a Tradition, and a Question

    In 2012 I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance, which I’ll get to in a minute, after I add a personal take on this 20-year anniversary of 9/11. A couple of months ago, Jim and I visited Naperville, Illinois. It was our home for more than twenty years, and where we were living twenty years ago today. Naperville has a 9/11 memorial adjacent to the river, downtown. On our recent visit, Jim and I took a walk and visited the memorial. As we approached, I noticed that the plaque described the reason for the memorial, to honor the approximately 3,000 people who died on 9/11.…

  • Dads ring and bracelet
    Confessions,  My Dad Has Mad Skillz

    Eight Months and Two Days

    Today is the day my dad’s cremains will be interred at the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. It’s been eight months and two days since he died of COVID-19 complications, and just typing that out, “eight months and two days,” makes me bristle. Under normal circumstances, his funeral would have been within a week and not two-thirds of a whole year later. Under normal circumstances, he would most definitely still be alive today. Several hours after the honors ceremony at the cemetery, we will have a Celebration of Life dinner at a Holiday Inn, the location being my sister’s brilliant idea to honor a man who managed hotels, mostly Holiday…

  • Road
    Confessions,  Favorite Things

    Road to Nowhere

    I have difficulty living in the moment more than the average person. I’ve always been a planner. I used to schedule certain things down to the minute, though I’m much better now. I often worry about things that haven’t happened yet, and I often worry about things I’ve said, because maybe it didn’t come across the way I intended to the person on the other end of the chat. I try to script out future conversations in my head sometimes, which probably sounds almost as ridiculous as it feels to type. I’m that person who can be having a great time and then suddenly will realize that it’ll be over…

  • social distancing
    Random Thoughts,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  UGH.

    One Year Since Everything Changed

    We’re all starting to recognize that it’s been a whole year since our entire world turned upside down. One exact date doesn’t fit all; each of us has our own markers. Soon the internet will be flooded with thinkpieces about this still unbelievable and in many ways devastating anniversary, and while I wouldn’t normally choose to add to the clutter, I couldn’t imagine not writing about it, especially this week. For me, this week marks a year since I last worked on-site with my team. This week marks a year since I last went out into a crowded bar to listen to live music and dance with a bunch of…

  • Thank you 1 e1612041613269
    Amazing People,  Blessings,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Thanks, Healthcare Workers! (or, Here’s a Template for a Thank You Note)

    “You were all already heroes in my eyes way before this tragedy struck my family, but now that I know what I know from experiencing it, I am truly in awe of all of you.” I wrote a thank you letter last week, as did my mom and sister. I delivered them to the hospital staff who sit at a table just inside the ER doors, taking temperatures and evaluating people who want to enter the building. Those gatekeepers would deliver the thank you notes to the Nurses’ Station on the COVID floor for me, just like they delivered various things my dad, mom, and sister needed from home when…