4.28.19 Even Then … Only Slightly



Lately I feel like my life is a little bit out of control. There is too much going on and I can honestly say that when we go through phases like this … seasons like this … that is when the most ill-timed circumstances find their way to me, becoming grand interruptions I don’t have time for. “You do it to yourself,” you might say. “You’re too busy!” Well, that might be so, but it isn’t the busy so much as the nothing-goes-smoothly-like-it’s-supposed-to that gets ridiculous!

Cormac McCarthy once said, “You never know what worse luck your bad luck just saved you from.” That is a sage piece of advice, but when you’re going through it? It sounds like something I’d like to see sewn onto a pillow so I could punch it! Right now, besides my husband and I working full time, our children are in a theater company and their first play is this coming weekend. Our daughter is in two different dance groups (both about to end, but about to and over are very different things). Then, our son is a travel soccer player. That’s not to mention regular things like school … or piano lessons. Or PETS! Don’t get me started!

You know how when you are going through a rough patch of luck, you look back on it later and it’s kind of funny? Well … I’m not there yet, because even then, even in retrospect, it’s only slightly amusing. At this moment though, I figured I’d share my luck so you could laugh and relate with me. If I knew someone was laughing with me, maybe I could push past the near-tears and laugh too.

Here we go –

We just cleaned our entire house! (Spring frenzy style!) We put all of our unwanted pieces in the garage, and when we called the company 1-800-Got-Junk to come and pick up the items we wanted gone, our garage door broke! We couldn’t get it open and needed someone to come fix it so the junk people could get the items out! That was a costly adventure.

My husband just put brand new dark mulch all around our house. Our white Great Pyrenees puppy really loves it. She also loves to dig. She also loves to rip the new drain pipe from the side of the house and carry it around like a trophy in the backyard. At six months old, she weighs fifty-six pounds and I had to hoist her up and carry her like a sack of potatoes across the house so her muddy feet couldn’t mess up my newly washed floor.

Our kids said they had a “little” homework left before bed on Sunday night. I said, “Okay but I want you in bed by eight because you have your play this week and will be out until past nine every night.” At 9:40 my nine-year-old is still at the table “finishing” her book report! ARGH!

This week I had to take our two cats to the vet for their annual check up. I also had to take the puppy to get her nails trimmed. Well, on the way there, one of the cats threw up. We found out one cat was severely underweight (Thyroid) and one cat was severely overweight (fat). The trip cost over three hundred dollars! Oh, and then the dog puked on the way home.

The pièce de ré·sis·tance? Well … Spring has finally come here in the Midwest – only not really. On Friday it was glorious and in the sixties with sunshine. We have flowers planted, and all is starting to bloom. On Saturday, we had a freak six-inch snow storm. My husband wasn’t home and asked me to find a way to protect the flowers, so between a tarp and a well-placed umbrella … we’ll have to see if they make it.

My friends … I am exhausted … and I realize that these are trifles in the grand scheme of things. And I know that someday (way in the future of next week) they might even be funny, but even then … only slightly.

All my love,


4.20.19 Choose Both



The hardest decisions are the right ones …

it’s not the right versus wrong, 

but the right versus right that lead me to pause

and ponder

and question whether 

reminding me 

that two versions of “whatever may be” 


and fight for my attention 

These are the decisions proving what I’ve long suspected –

that this singular, 

precious life, 

is simply not enough … 

laden and lit with choice after choice

voices complex and competing 

calling and coaxing me 

from the ease of leaving things the way they are

to the fickle, fragile place between 

here and there

I will or I won’t

what is and what could be

Could I choose the perfect song

if I only had time for one?

Would I desire psalms or sonnets if given ultimatum?

Which musing or whim is worth filling a golden hour? 

What sun-lined path is the best choice 

if they’re both less traveled? 

One life

a hundred years

give or take

isn’t enough

for all of the decisions that are

and could have been

I want to see tandem versions 

of right then

and right now

because both is my only chance at gratification

Time and space are grasping and greedy

there is no altruism offered to those of us with 

open hearts and open minds

left wishing that we could always 

choose both

4.12.19 The Beauty of Slow



Today I was asked to guest blog about “The Beauty of Slow” for Jamie whose blog is https://asnailsspace.blogspot.com so please visit me there, and while you’re there, check out this lovely soul! You’ll see a short introduction about how she found me, and then my piece (also found below) will be featured! Happy reading darlings!

The Beauty of Slow

There is a beauty to being slow … and it is a beauty that took me some time to appreciate. Slow, to me, is an acquired taste, and in younger years it was only bitter – not sweet. I remember so many instances where time was my enemy – every minute a wrestling match for what I could get done next or cross off my never-ending list. At that time, I wasn’t so much a human being as a human doing, and while I believe we were given hands and feet to do … more and more I am coming to understand that we were also given minds to reflect, lungs to breathe, and a heartbeat … slow and steady … with which we were meant to keep time. 

What a difference my life would have felt, and still would feel, if I only paid more attention to that heart – to that beat. When I do take the time to listen to the parts of myself that speak quietly, I hear a great deal of questions … questions I don’t know the answer to, but I want to. Like when someone asks me to tell them what I did in a weekend, I have to start backwards or I literally can’t remember. Why is that? Or when I was a little girl, I used to sleep like a starfish – open and free – limbs tossed this way and that haphazardly. Now, I sleep curled up on my side. What happened to that little girl? What am I protecting myself from? Sometimes I have a sense of urgency to accomplish more, and I run myself ragged from the first rays to the last, only to exhaust myself for those who want the best of me. Why do I waste those best parts on a thankless  day, instead of a precious night? 

As you can see – I’ve not genuinely figured it out yet, but I’m thinking, and I’m trying, because when I do get it right … the beauty of slow seeps in and enchants me. Slow looks like watching the sleepy dreamer beside me, whose chest rises and falls in peaceful rhythm to his unconscious reverie. Slow feels like stretching every limb to its limit as I walk, and hike, and run to explore the hidden magic of nature. Slow sounds like hearing the words behind the song – becoming a part of the melody itself as it reaches the deepest parts of me. Slow tastes like the sea-salt air, the lilac wind, the damp dew of grass, the whispered sweetness of lilies. 

It is the afterglow – the lullaby hum – the perfect contentment of still. And I may not have figured it out yet, but there’s one thing I know … there is never such beauty, as the beauty of slow. 

4.3.19 Oops.



“Caffeine. The gateway drug.” – Eddie Vedder

Four years ago I couldn’t sleep. Or, let me rephrase that … I could sleep, but I’d wake up between three and four in the morning with my heart pumping full of adrenaline so much so that I almost assuredly could have outrun a marathoner. Well, that’s what it felt like at least.

I was convinced, of course (being the semi-hypochondriac that I am NOT proud to say I am) that I was dying. My husband took me in to the E.R. and after several x-rays, and cardio tests, I found out I was not having a heart attack, a stroke, or anything else immediately life-threatening. Nope … I was just having the tremors of life.

At that time, my husband was in graduate school, our kids were even younger, and I was teaching, writing, and mommying full time without much interest or ability to put myself to sleep on time. I said yes to everything and ran myself ragged.

It’s amazing what our bodies say no to when our minds and mouths refuse. My body, after months of self-sacrificing habits simply began to refuse. After conversation with my doctor, he assured me that my life was not in danger, as long as I was willing to change it. Now, I only drink decaf. I go to bed (most nights) in time to give me around eight hours of sleep. I exercise so I don’t lose my mind. I read and write and play in order to more fully live the life I was trying so hard to squeeze every last experience out of and simply exhausting myself in the process. Lavender helps too. Lots of lavender.

So the other day, I was a bit manic. I was checking things off my to do list like a fiend. I wrote a ton of emails. I did some writing. Reading. Correcting. I had chats with colleagues. I made needed-to-make phone calls. I was on fire! I felt super twitchy though. My heart was a little fast. I felt like I needed to rest, but my eyes were wide and my breathing was fluttery. That was when my flicker-fast brain whispered, “Look it up.” You see, all day I’d been nursing a gigantic matcha green tea frappuccino. It was AMAZINGLY delicious. And the funny thing is … I knew black tea had caffeine, but guess what? When I googled, “Is green tea caffeinated,” it said: “The thought that green tea is naturally decaffeinated is a myth.”

That would explain it! On a high note (literally, Eddie Vedder was completely right about caffeine being the gateway drug) I got a whole lot done. But as my daughter said, “Mommy, every time you find something you like, you find out you can’t actually have it after all.” Call it the curse of a food allergy princess like me! Ha, ha. Sadly, my sweet husband can eat straight coffee beans and not feel any effects. Me however? It would seem I cannot.


Here’s to all my fellow forced decafers out there! Much love, much sleep, and slower progress to us all.