My Main Wedding

“I have found the one my soul loves.”

It was the happiest day of my life, like a dream of a fairytale, but was reality. He is mine and I am his. My best friend, my confedante, my partner, my love. For the first time in my life, I know I truly have a partner, unconditional love, and someone for whom my heart does not want to be without. He is the most patient man I have ever met and teaches me Grace every day.

And I was blessed to marry him this past weekend, in the eyes of God, on a 27 acre estate, with our friends and family present. Life is bliss.


Good Taste

There are many fun things about planning a wedding. Things like getting the dress, getting pictures made, picking out the decorations, flowers, venue, and deciding an the wedding party. But by far, one of the most things about planning a wedding…the tastings! Oh. My. Gosh. I didn’t know such delicious things could even exist.

So far there has been the wedding cake tasting, the bar tasting (where they mix up whatever drinks you may want), and the catering menu tasting. And they have been delicious and fun. Next will be the cupcake tasting. And this girl loves a good cup cake.

While there is still a ton to do before the date, things are slowing being checked off the list, and both of us are getting more and more excited.

And that is the thing about life, that you should be present, truly present and engaged if you want to get the most out of every moment. We forget that sometimes, as we constantly check our phones and watch Tik Tok videos. We forget that there is a whole other life out there, waiting for us to step into it. Enjoy it. LIVE it.

I remember when I was taking care of one of my nephews, and I made him put his phone away and stop playing video games for a day. You would love thought I shot his puppy. But at the end of the day, he understood. Because during that afternoon, he looked up and laughed, stepped out of his comfort zone, had new experiences, met some new people and even learned a few things.

Technology is great. But sometimes no screen time is the best time. Pu the phone down. Turn the video game off. Walk away from the computer…and LIVE. Actually talk to people, ask questions, laugh. Make memories that aren’t Instagram ready. After all, some of the best things in life are not only free, but non online.

The age old question of if a tree in the forest falls and no one is there to see it, does it really exist? The answer is yes, And if you need any proof, just look at everything that happened and everything mankind was able to accomplish before all the social media. Indeed, people still fell in love, had families, ran businesses, took vacations, they still lived life, even when there was no internet, Facebook, MySpace, (OR SpaceBook as I call them) Instagram, SnapChat, Telegram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Reddit, YouTube, etc.

Life is short. Put down your phone and taste the cake.

Ex’s and Ghosts

There are moments when you realize just how lucky you are to be with your partner. When you understand with perfect clarity why it didn’t work with any others and how blessed you are to have love of your partner. While I realize this every day, how incredible blessed I am to have my man, I was reminded again recently.

There have been many articles written on the whys of ghosting, from both points of view of the “ghoster” and the “ghostee”. Personally I have never understood why people ghost others. Unless your life is in danger, there seems to be no reason other than cowardice honestly.

Part of being a mature adult is having those uncomfortable conversations. And whether it’s the “It’s not you, it’s me” or “We’re in different places,” or whatever, talk, it should be done especially if you have been dating for a fair amount of time. And it should be done face to face if at all possible. If you are not mature enough to handle the breaking up part of dating, then you are not mature enough to date.

I have been both broken up with and the one ending the relationship. And neither is pleasant, but you do it because you are a grown. You do it because that is the right thing to do. You do not chicken out and taken the coward’s exit.

Having said that, we all have those ex’s that surface every few years, for…whatever reason. I have only been ghosted once, and that was enough. The man and I had been dating almost a year. Everything was fine, there were no issues of which I was aware. He offered to cook dinner for my friends and I, but bailed at the last minute because he “needed to mow his lawn,” (not joking). I never heard from him again. Until today, 5 years later.

Linkedin is a professional site, so I was surprised to find a message from him saying hello and that he hoped I was well.

After I recover from shock, to be polite I respond that “I am fantastic, hope you are too,” thinking that would be the end. No, the ex felt compelled to catch me up on the last 5 years, right down to what his kids were doing.

Thinking Linkedin is a wildly inappropriate please to reconnect with an old flame, I respond simply that I am very happy and getting married. That is usually a signal to most men that they should move on. This was not the case. Instead, this ex that ghosted me 5 years ago responds in a way that is pure arrogance, “I am happy for you! He is a lucky man. remind him of that, often.”

One of the blessings of being older is you really don’t care who you offend, or how you are perceived. So I remind him that he ghosted me 5 years ago, bluntly asking him why he was contacting me, on a professional site and what did he want?

Apparently he was rather upset that his bad behavior was called out and the door was slammed in his face, because he incredibly defensive and told me he was blocking me.

Life is short. Too short to deal with arrogant narcissists. Ladies, if he slides into your DMs without an apology, or explanation…have a good laugh then slam that door so fast, so loud, and so hard, that he will have to pry that doorknob out of his arse. That’s what he gets for disrespecting you in the first place. And be thankful when you find a real man who knows how to treat a woman and a lady.

Say Goodnight Gracie

It’s always hard saying goodbye to a pet. Especially so soon after such a recent loss of another. But that is where I found myself this past week.

Gracie. Miss Gracie Girl, to be exact, came to me almost 9 years ago. She was a rescue kitty who had come from a horrible situation where she was in a house with dogs that were kept in kennels 22 of 24 hours. Those dogs eventually started busting out of their kennels, and in fits of energy and kennel rage, would chase the cats in the house and kill them.

Little Gracie survived those conditions by hiding, and not ever coming out really. I cannot imagine the fear and trauma those conditions would cause any animal, imcluding the dogs.

She lived in my guest bathroom, under the sink for the first 3 months she was with me. I put a comfy bed under the sink and she had plenty of room to stretch and decompress. Food, water and litter were in the bathroom, just outside of the cabinet. I have no dogs, so she never had to hear barking or fear death.

At 4 months she crept out of the bathroom and lived in the guess bedroom, mainly underneath the bed. I would spend time with her every day and take naps in the room to get her used to me. At 6 months I started picking her up and placing her in the bed with me, for snuggles, pets, and treats. At first she would run back to her safe place under the guest bed. But slowly she began to trust and would stay and socialize, accepting scratches and pets.

Then her personality really came out. She was playful, sweet, affectionate and loved exploring, especially outside in the fenced yard, where she came to feel safe, knowing she could come back in whenever she wanted. She would chase bugs, lay in the grass, and do other happy cat things.

And so the years with her passed by. And she moved with me to Texas. Once here she became more and more friendly, coming out to say hello to guests. She would frequently sing to her favorite socks that she carried around, her song interrupting many Zoom meetings as my coworkers stopped mid word. I would reassure them that she was not being tortured, nor was she in any pain, she was just singing. Loudly.

She was diagnosed with hyperthyroid at the ripe old at of 16. And for 2 years I gave her medicine everyday to keep her from losing weight. And after 2 years, hyperthyroid finally caught up with her, as it always does. She was 18, and getting weaker every day. She was having trouble swallowing and was skin and bones. But she ate and drank every day, even though her condition would often make her throw up. So I made the decision to call the vet to come to the house.

It was the right call, but never an easy one. When we adopt a pet, it is a promise to love them to keep them safe, healthy, and to do the kindest thing so they don’t suffer.

Miss Gracie Girl was rare- a female orange tabby. And she knew it. And I will miss her little spirit. Life is short, especially with pets. Always love on them when you can.

The Best Things in Life

There is a saying that the best things in life are free. I do have to agree. And the best thing in the entire world? Love. Loving others and feeling loved is a wonderful thing. And this month, my birthday month, seems to be an extreme expression of being loved. This past weekend I did a first for me – through myself a birthday party. Complete with a theme (the 70’s, in all of it’s disco glory), catered food, costumes, and good music. I invited friends that I have made in the short 3 years that I have been here in Texas. And it was fabulous.

In addition to my friends here in Texas, one of my best friends flew in from Atlanta and my “sister from another mister” flew in from South Carolina to celebrate with me. Everything, from the moment they arrived, to decorating, to the party, to a tea at St. Regis, to a fabulous dinner, to them flying back out was a reminder of how much I am loved. And that is not to brag, it is actually quite the opposite actually.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives, and the rat race, and everything in between, that we forget to look up and look around at all of those who love us. Sometimes we are too busy, too unassuming, or simply too un aware, of all the love that is around us. And it is a beautiful and wonderful thing to be reminded.

And I was reminded in spades, as my friends arrived to celebrate with me. As my in-laws helped decorate (there were disco lights, disco ball balloons, lava lamps, beaded curtains, and glow bracelets). And as my friends came to eat, drink, be merry, and celebrate me. And everywhere I looked there were smiles and fun being had. And then I saw my wonderful man, who had been pretty quiet about his costume, as he came out in full 70’s disco, complete with groovy round sunglasses, 70’s wig, paisley shirt unbuttoned half way down and a peace sign necklace. He went all in. As did several other friends.

There were people talking and laughing everywhere, inside, outside, and even some kids in the pool.

And my heart was thankful and happy. When I moved here three years ago I was pretty broken. Coming off the death of both parents in less than a year, all the family drama associated with being the executrix of the will, and having had a relationship end shortly before the move. I was heavy with grief and sad in my soul. The move to Texas was a new, fresh start after devastating loss. And as I looked out at my birthday party, at the smiles and laughter, at all of my friends who had come to celebrate, including those who flew in from out of town, at the love of my life having a fun time, I realized things have come full circle. And this year is going to be the best one yet. Because of all of the love, that wraps around me like a warm blanket and provides a soft place to land.

Life is short. If you are unhappy where you are, or if you just need a fresh start – move. You are not a tree. Go where you can rebuild yourself and your life. Go find your self again, find your purpose, and your joy again. And when you get there, celebrate yourself and others will celebrate with you. The best things in life are truly free, because friendship, love, making memories, and sharing a good life are priceless.

The Birthday Month

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living it well. – Voltaire

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. — Lucille Ball

Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter. — Satchel Paige

Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come. — Lucy Larcom

Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it. — Brigitte Bardot

Oh it is that time of year again, my birthday month! Oh, how I love it. The holidays are over, and just when you think things are gong to slow down a bit…it’s time to have more cake and celebrate another year. And to be honest, I have always considered my birthday to be the start of the new year for me. I It’s not really a new year until I have celebrated my birthday. Then, I can start all of those resolutions.

And thought it is not a popular opinion, I do love getting older. Always have, always will. There is just something magic about it. About how we change, our bodies change, our lives change thorough out the years. The things you learn and unlearn. The adventures and experiences. May I never sit still and be an old lady, no. While I do want to grow old I want to do so gracefully. And bee unabashedly unashamed of my age. No Botox, fillers or filters. And while other ladies are living up for such things, I’ll pass.. First that stuff freaks me out a bit, second I am proud of my fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve hard for them.

It is also important to realize that growing old is not a luxury not afforded to everyone. And maybe you realize that more as you get older. But also the last few years have taught me this in spades. I said that to a good friend over the summer after he was complaining of getting older and gaining weight. He actually died about a month later.

I went to a someone’s birthday party in November, and she was sobbing almost the entire night she was so upset about her milestone birthday and the fact that she was getting older. I almost wanted to slap her. Getting upset about it doesn’t do anything – time is still going to pass. You are still however old, and time isn’t topping – unless you die. So why get upset about it? At least she was alive and had friends and loved ones to help her celebrate.

So on this milestone birthday I will also throw a party, which is something I have never actually done. I usually just go to dinner with friends or my man. But this year, this wonderful year that all these amazing things are going to happen, there will be a party to celebrate. Indeed friends are flying on (if airlines and the FAA don’t have another major malfunction), the cake and catering are ordered, the theme chosen, and the pool is heated. Because I am alive, and here, and loved.

And this celebration will continue the entire month, as it does every year. But for some reason this year is special. maybe because of all that is coming this year, all of the celebrations, and changes, and people and everything. I remember when I was younger and I would wonder what this birthday would be like, what I would like like and what my life would be like. And while it looks much different than I thought it would be, it is the best life that I could have ever dreamed.

Life is short. We only have this one life. We are only here for such a short period of time. Let or birthdays be reminders to celebrate not only ourselves, but our lives as well. Don’t worry about those little wrinkles, or if things are drooping a little bit. Look around, and see all the good that is in front of you, surrounding you. Appreciate every moment, every year that you have. And celebrate it, every day.

The Review and the New

The beginning of the new years is a time when many look back and reflect upon the past year, and what they want for the next 265 days. Maybe it is human nature, maybe it’s part of being self aware, maybe it is our quest to always keep searching and improving. But whatever the reason, none of us are really immune. And as I think back of this past year, with it’s mix of ups and downs, and ins and outs, I am sure that I have much for which to be thankful.

My career was fantastic during the past year. And while there were challenging clients, for the most part, all of my projects were very enjoyable with amazing teams. And I have learned that accomplishing high goals means consistency, perseverance and excellence. If people know what they can consistently get from you, then they trust you, your word, and your work.

I had to say goodbye to several dear friends this past year. One owned a distillery, one was my first director on stage, and one was a good friend from high school. And I also said goodbye to a dear pet. These losses taught me once again not take take a single day with those you love for granted.

I have learned about Grace and patience as my wonderful man has both of these in spades when dealing with me, a red haired, strong willed, spitfire of a woman. Every day this man amazes me, and I am beyond blessed that he is mine. Every day, he embraces me with truly unconditional love that I had only read about in books and fairy tails. He is as steady as the Earth herself. He teaches me about God’s love, and how to be a better person every day, and he does it by example. And every day I am thankful that he is mine and I am his.

This is reinforced as hear I bits and pieces about the lives of various exes that made me cry over the years. The ex-finance ex lost another job and is selling another house to relocate who knows where, again. Another ex continues to chase the youngest and easiest in Brazil and other countries known for trafficking. One laments online how ever girl he meets is a sociopath. Still others seem to walk from one disaster the next. I see all the bullets that I dodged over the years, and how many times those unanswered prayers were truly a blessing. It is true that God hears conversations you don’t you, sees things that you don’t. I have learned to trust this over the last year.

We made the new house a home in 2022, settling in quite nicely, unpacking, hanging, organizing, repairing, entertaining as we have friends over, and swim a lot. There were gatherings and conversations, laughter and a few tears. We have made this space a place we love, and a place where our friends feel warm and welcome.

I have also learned the power of being inspired, and having a reason to achieve beyond your own desires. It is different when you are working toward something. And it is gratifying and fulfilling to work together, as partners, in achieving what my man and I both want. We discuss our goals on a regular basis, and we work toward them together. We move as one unit, in mutual respect and support.

I have also learned the value of health. I started 2022 in physical therapy after ignoring an injury that got increasingly worse. Now it is much better, but still something that must keep up. As it turns out, exercise doesn’t just keep you in shape, there are actual tangible health results that I had not had to experience before, because I had never been injured.

I’ve learned the power of relaxing and downtime as well. I can be a bit of a work-a-holic, and working from home doesn’t always help. So my man getting home form his office forces me to stop and change direction. Balance is a struggle for most and we are no exception. How can you get everything done? I have found the secret: First, make peace with the fact that you can’t. Second, have a schedule that includes time to relax. While that may sound counter intuitive, for me it seems to be the key to me not getting exhausted and overwhelmed. And if I can stick to somewhat of a schedule, then I can breath.

And so I say goodbye to this past year 2022. It seems it was a bad year for many , but it was quite a wonderful year for me. It wasn’t an easy year, but they never are completely. However, it was a great year, filled with great lessons, conversations, trips and moments. Mostly because, all because, of love.

Life is short. And now that my life is calm and wonderful and filled with so much love, I can see the tattered landscape of the past. And I say goodbye to that as well. It is a new era, a new year. But saying goodbye does not mean that we forget or let go of the good stuff. For me, it means that I cleanse myself of the bad, but hold onto the lessons and wonderful memories. It means that I carry all the good of them in my heart and use them to enrich the year ahead. And that is what I wish for you.

The Exciting New

It comes every year, with parties and people, and resolutions, and new beginnings. It is the new year. And as I look out over rim of the past year, I feel my heart smiling. Indeed this year has been about building up, settling in, being present, and enjoying all of the everything that has come to fruition.

Indeed, there have been notes and letters, websites, contracts signed, and peoms scribbled across napkins and envelopes. There have been books read, and left open, meals cooked, eaten, and cleaned up, glasses of wine consumed and copious amounts of love made. And for the first times in so many years, there have been more smiles than tears, more laughter than frowns, and more hugs than I could count. There have been promises and proposals, trips, plans, drives, and adventures. And yet…

And yet I have a feeling that this next year will be even better. Because there is love, there is family, there is all that I have ever wanted and never knew existed right before me, begging to contain my heart. Because this year, we have worked hard and laid the foundation on which this next year, and many, many more to come, will be built. We have planned and discussed and are moving as one in our lives and goals.

And so for this reason, and this man and our lives together, I am ridiculously happy and perpetually excited to see what amazing advenutres we will have together.

Life is short. So raise a glass, have a tpast, and ring in the mew year, with all of its promise and mystery. This year can be whatever you want, whatever you make of it, because it’s a blank slate.

Some random shots of the year we leave behind as we bring hope to life for the new.

Lit Up

It seems that after Thanksgiving and before Christmas is the busiest time of year for many people. Work, family, shopping, decorating, parties, and just a general rushing around before the lull after the new year keeps everyone extra busy. And my life is no exception. This year has been an wonderful mix of everything and the kitchen sink. But it has been glorious. I don’t think I have ever been so happy about being so tired and overwhelmed but so happy.

And that is the thing about this time of year, it is crazy, joyful. sad, overwhelming, hard, soft, and everything in between. As we get ready to let go of the old and ring in the new while holding down the fort, decorating the tree, and wrapping it all up, it’s easy to need a moment of quiet reflection to take it all in.

Work has been crazy with starting a new contract and wrapping another one up, and there have been very long hours, little sleep and dark circle under my eyes. But the work has been meaningful with a wide audience. And then there is all the decorating. My wonderful man loves Christmas and the more Christmas lights there are the better. We only had time to put the trees up last years because we moved in 2 weeks before Christmas. So this year we had to make up for lost time.

The yard is fully lit, as in we don’t even need to turn on the outside security lights. We could pull up a chair and read a book it is so bright. And it is beautiful. The inside is just as bright with the garland and lights up the staircase, down the banisters, along the hearth and on mantle. The decorations are everywhere, wreaths hung, and every trip to the store is a “oh, this would look good…”

But the best thing for me, is looking at my man’s face as he looks around at our home, and he smiles and lets out a contented sigh. “It feels like Christmas,” he says, beaming from ear to ear, unable to hide his child-like enthusiasm for the holiday season.

And so we launch into the social aspect. This past weekend was the neighborhood Sip,n Stroll, where houses set up tables of drinks for adults and children, along with snacks, music, as other neighbors have a chance to walk around, sipping and meeting your neighbors. It rained but that didn’t stop us or our festive visitors who came with coats and umbrellas, eager for some spiked apply cider and good conversation. It was glorious and fun. We were going to have a blow-up movie screen playing A Charlie Brown Christmas, but the wind lifted the screen up and sent it flying down the driveway, with me chasing it in the rain. Another time, on a still night, then.

Celebrations continued the next day with a Christmas party for friends that went from 1-11pm. Everyone was there to eat, drink, and be merry, as we opened gifts, laughed, and enjoyed being with good friends that are our chosen family. Indeed the event was full of surprises and an over abundance of love.

And that is the thing about being with someone who loves the holidays as much as you do – you get to have a great time, even when exhausted. Because you are making memories and creating a home. The truth is, the holidays are still a little hard for me after losing so much of my family. I still miss my parents and always will around this time of year. And that’s OK.

One of the things that I realized over the last few days is that in addition to loving my man very much, I am also very thankful for him and his family and friend oriented view of life and the holidays. I love the fact that he loves celebrating Christmas for all of his friends and family, and now we get to do it together. His has a life – giving way, meaning that he gives and loves with all he is and all he has, which is similar to myself. And when two givers get together, magic happens.

The holidays were hard the last few years of my parents life because they were so sick and I was the one who did and created the holiday magic for the family. And I always felt like I failed at it a bit because I wasn’t as good at it as Mom was. And I was creating from a deficit as Mom and Dad were so weak and siblings weren’t really interested beyond collecting gifts. It was exhausting to do myself, to bridge the deficient. After the family was gone. I created out of desperation. I didn’t want to be alone, so I invited everyone I could and tried to establish as many “new traditions” as possible since the old ones were gone. The thing is you really cannot create that way and you can’t force it either.

But now we are creating from a place of love, peace, and abundance, and it makes all of the difference. Everything is multiplied and nothing is forced. It’s all easy and flows from our hearts to those whom we love and back again. And that love, our love, lights up the sky, lights our hearts and lights our path as we make this life together. It lights our life and makes celebrating effortless. All the work is worth it. And maybe that is the secret of life and love, find someone who makes it all worth it, even when you are tired.

Life is short. Celebrate it. Decorate it. Share it. And make the most of it. Because we only get this one little life for a short time. Make it spectacular. Make it lit up.

The Untraditional Grateful

Thanksgiving is a very traditional holiday, filled with family, friends, and lots of the traditional foods. But this year was a very non traditional, at least for me. My family was extremely close growing up and the holidays were an especially happy time. Mom would start cooking days in advance, and all of our favorites would be on the menu. In addition to turkey and fixings, there were always yummies like cheese balls, sausage balls, Fantasy Fudge, the Burch family World Famous Cheesecake, pineapple upside-down cake…The list goes on and on.

I loved our Thanksgiving dinners. Afterwards we were all in a food coma, Dad napping and us girls chatting while sipping wine.

Since my parents have passed, it has been a mix of new and old traditions. Everything from Day before Turkey Day Tacos to driving to see family, to lots of food, and after dinner Zoom calls with loved ones. Last year it was last minute, as we had planned to go to Georgia to see my family, but had to cancel due to the house (finally!) closing the day before. It was Chinese food left overs, wine and lot’s of love at the table with my almost in-laws. This year we were planning to see my cousins, but they had their first grandchild born a few days before, so we made other plans.

We still went to Georgia, but we saw friends I had not seen since before moving to Texas. We were invited to eat with one of my best friends cousins whom I had not met before, but who welcomed us into their home with warm smiles, hot turkey, and cold drinks. Then back to my friends farm where we spent time catching up and feeding the animals. There was also time to see more friends in Atlanta, those who I had missed and had not been able to see for years.

And even as Thanksgiving will never be the same as when I was younger, and many of those traditions will not continue, there is plenty for which to thankful. There is plenty of joy. And that is the thing about life, we are constantly rebuilding, developing, and creating our lives. Just because the holidays will never be the same because loved ones are gone, doesn’t mean that we cannot still find the joy of the season. We just have to find new joy in our own time.

And that’s OK. Because our lives are ever-evolving brilliant works of art, a best selling novel with twists and turns even we don’t see coming. For me, I have found joy in celebrating with those I love and who love me, be it friends or family. And there are always things for which we can be grateful, if we look hard enough. Chances are we really don’t have to look that hard. And if you have lost a loved one, and don’t feel like celebrating, that’s OK too. Take time to cry and reflect. Take time to miss them. But know that they would not want you living in sadness and grief for an extended time. You can smile through tears and laugh through heartache. And eventually, you will feel joy again.

Life is short and so is the holiday season. So look around and find what makes you smile, what gives you joy, and pay attention to who you are with when your heart is full. Take lots of pictures and make the time to connect, because we never know what might happen in the year ahead. If you can’t do old traditions, do you best to make new ones, or participate in someone else’s traditions. Why not? Life is what you make it. So celebrate now and worry later.

The Crispy

Summer changing to fall and winter happens a little later in the year here in Texas The leaves start to have the slightest color of red or gold creeping across them, the nights go from being 89 to a nice 80, then eventually down to 75. And slowly the water in the pool goes from a nice 95 to 68 and COLD when you first get in. And the breeze starts to get just a little cooler. Even now in December, the highs are int he low 80S, the lows at night in the 60s, maybe low 70s.

The change might be undetectable to some, but I pick up on it immediately. And it is perfect. After a ridiculously hot summer that went from winter, to a week of Spring, to triple digits in May, the cooler temperatures are more than welcome. Even the plants in the gardens are responding to it being cooler – everything is growing. The garden is suddenly bursting with life that was simply scorched in the heat of the hot summer sun.

And to me this change in temperatures also signals a change in pave. A slow down where we can catch our breath a bit, Indeed, work has been fast and furious with many tight deadlines, long meetings and late night writing sessions. While I am so blessed to have a full plate of work during the recession, the start of the holidays has been a nice break from the hectic.

there have also been many home projects that have added to the chaos. Having plumbers out to prepare and connect the pool heater and generator, and inspectors to make sure everything is up to code. New HVAC systems and discovering a few leaky places in the roof, and having roofers diagnose the cause and cost of repairs and replacement. Getting a new water filter, softener and reverse osmosis system put in which came in handy during the boil water order. And let’s not forget the chimney inspector and the news that the chimney needs to be rebuilt for safety. All that in the same month.

So now I am ready for the longer nights of cozy weather, warm blankets, fuzzy socks, hot tea, Hallmark movies, and cuddles on the couch. I am ready for the slowdown and hibernation of the season, as the decorations go up, the lights some on and the AC goes off (eventually). I am ready for the crispy in the air and the bowls of chili and delicious creamy soups.

As good and blessed as this Summer has been, I am ready for all the Fall and Winter brings and all the wonder that they hold. The Christmas lights and decorations are already almost complete, Christmas shopping is all done and life is good.

Life is short, so enjoy each season as it comes. They all have something wonderful to offer, and I am looking forward to the slowdown from all the hustle and bustle of the summer and the Crispy of this winter.

Stay For a While

It’s been a minute since my last post. Somehow life gets busy with everything, then everything in between. And I have found myself my often this passed 6 weeks or so with so many ideas of what to write, but too busy or tired to take the thoughts down. I hate when that happens. Writing for me is such a natural form of expression – a joyful noise, silently existing on the page, waiting to be read in the colorful descriptions of black and white words.

And yet in the crazy business of work deadlines, searching for and obtaining new clients and contracts, neighborhood social gatherings, and endless home projects, I am exhausted and tired of looking at the screen all day to even think about a post. It’s on those days that sinking into the couch, watching tv, or curling up in bed with my man and the cats is the most wonderful thing in the world.

And so my mind wanders to the idea of balance. Indeed, working, exercising, reading, staying hydrated, completing the ever growing To Do list, travel, keeping in touch with friends, and trying to catch my breath…can all seem impossible at times because where is the time to do it all?

And there en-lies the question that begs for an answer. And the truth is, I don’t know. It seems that something has to give sometimes, because we simply cannot do it all. And maybe that is the answer, simply knowing and understanding that it will never all get done. Because our lives are a constant work of art in progress. So maybe the secret is the counterintuitive and to just slow down. If we can’t get it all done, then why not slow down enough to breath, and enjoy?

Maybe the key to balance is accepting the TO DO list will never be done, because we have a new task for each one that is crossed off. And that’s ok. Why are we in such a rush then? We are only competing against ourselves.

Life is short, too short to stress out, overwhelmed by everything. Breathe, take a few steps back and play as hard as ypu work. You’ll be glad you did.

The Happy Bliss

Sometimes in life we get to a place where we are so happy, and so fully living in the moment, that we have no choice but to drink it all in, every moment, every second. And this is my current position. Life is bliss.

And there is a happiness to all of the busy that I am. And even when exhausted, after a busy day of working and goal setting and reaching, there is such a level on contentment that has never existed until now.

Life is short, so let it be blissful. Stay tuned.

The Other Side of the Tracks

There are always two sides to every coin, and two sides to every set of tracks. And this past weekend was a prime example. And on the other side of the tracks, away from the bullies, we hosted a wonderful dinner party with amazing neighbors that are fast becoming friends.

Part of making a house a home are the memories you make there. We want a house full of good times with friends and family. We want our house to feel warm and welcome to those who enter, so that they feel relaxed and at ease. We want conversations by the fire, drinks on the patio, and smiles all around as we build ties that bind.

It makes a big difference when you know your neighbors and when you don’t. I’ve lived in both, and the former is much better than the latter. And in an increasingly digital world, many don’t talk to their neighbors, which is a shame because your area can be your community. I think the best way to fight loneliness, which is especially a problem in the senior community, is to know those close to where you live. Your neighbors are part of your world, they are the ones who can help out in a pinch or check on pets when you are out of town. they ae the ones who can offer support when you need it and have wine with you as children play together. My last neighborhood was like that and they are still some of my best friends even though I moved. And I am lucky enough to have built relationships like most everywhere I have lived. Indeed, some of my best friends over the last 20 years have been my neighbors.

Our new ‘hood has a dinner groups, where everyone is assigned a group and takes turns hosting. It’s a great way to get to know those in the subdivision and have some delicious food. Each one we have attended has been fantastic and this past dinner was our turn to host.

And so my man and I spent a few week getting the house ready, as we are still decorating and deciding how we want our home to be, look, and feel. I took care of the house, my man took care of the food and garden. It was a flurry of activity as we excitedly checked things off our to do lists. In the end we didn’t get everything done but it didn’t matter. We make a great team together and it showed.

Our guests showed up one by one, for cocktail and hors d’oeuvres out back. The weather was beautiful, the company great, and the conversation interesting. We are blessed to have such a great mix of people in age age and interests. It is a joy getting to know them. It is a joy to live where people are so friendly and eager to learn more about each other.

The people of Houston constantly impress me with their kindness and hospitality. I have only been here a little over two years and in the neighborhood 10 months, but I know that I am home. I realized, as I looked at my guests in that moment, that this is a space where memories will be made and a life full of wonderful will be lived. I am truly excited and I have everything for which I have prayed and my life is full. I am beyond happy here, I am blissful.

Life is short. Soak up every minute, be thankful for it, even for the not so shiny parts. It’s all part of building an amazing full, well-lived life.

Neighborhood Bullies

“I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure.” – Shay Mitchell, Canadian actress, model, entrepreneur and author. 

“Bullying is so common that it’s viewed as almost ‘normal,’ but it should never be.” – Choi Si-won, UNICEF regional ambassador for East Asia, actor, and singer

“You can’t be against bullying without actually doing something about it.” – Randi Weingarten, American labor leader, attorney, and educator. 

I think bullying n general is for cowards. – Eddie Alvarez, American mixed martial artist Lightweight Division One Champion

These days it seems that every group has bullies, which is something I will never understand. And it seems especially prevalent with women. There always seems to be a group of nasty “mean girls” who take pleasure in knit picking and making sure everyone one else is miserable. They love to be catty and cause drama, Those people get on my last nerve. And I don’t play well with bullies because I can’t stand them.

Unfortunately our wonderful neighborhood has these bullies as well, who showed there asses over the weekend. Anytime someone makes comments that they disagree with, these rabid hyenas pounce, aggressively dominating the conversation and gaslight anyone dares challenge them. They will be nasty then criticize others for responding. I don’t cotton to that well.

There have been small discussions on our group neighborhood chats over the last few months when they jumped on innocent comments like being willing to donate to certain neighborhood funds, or just anything in general. I really can’t find a pattern. I am new to the hood and they smell fresh blood, so they better establish their dominance with me and make sure I fall into line. Except I don’t. And I didn’t.

Our neighborhood is fighting off three apartment complexes that developers are building because we don’t have the infrastructure to support the increase in population. These developers are not paying any taxes either, so there is no money being put in for the needed infrastructure improvements. About 97% of our neighbors agree to fight these developers, the remaining 3% are the bullies. Unprovoked, they started bullying everyone about how fighting the apartments was not the right thing to do because it would make no difference and more people in the area would mean better stores for their shopping. I, along with a few others disagreed, and boy did they get ugly insisting that they were right. The main girl was so bad, even one of her own was actually brave enough to suggest that “maybe she was coming across a bit aggressively.”

But the real ugliness didn’t start until the next morning, when I relayed their view points to others who did not understand the hold up on certain efforts concerning them. Wow, you would have thought I accused them of murder. I didn’t share their view points maliciously, just as a matter of fact since all of them were so adamant and the discussion was out in the open on that channel. The bullies didn’t like at all because apparently they have been misrepresenting a few things. The result? Many attacks against me, them calling me names, and being kicked out of a social media group the main bully runs because I didn’t back down (I’ll try to overcome my tears of dismay). And more than a hundred messages of support from other ladies in the neighborhood who had been also bullied by them.

So why do people, especially women, bully others? I honestly don’t know. Maybe it is insecurity, maybe it is a controlling nature, maybe they have been bullied on their own lives. Or maybe they are just low evolved, petty bitches with nothing better to do. What I do know is that they create toxic environments where no one but other bullies can survive, unless you are extremely quiet and have no back bone, none of which apply to me. I am a very live and let live, mind-my-own-business type of person. And I’ll will help anyone in need. But try to bully me…and you get what you get.

Life is too short to deal with or tolerate bullies. Don’t seek them out, but don’t allow yourself to become their victim either. It will cause some unrest and some loss of friends, but that’s OK. Trust me. Some short term strife caused by standing up for yourself against bullies and getting them away from you will actually make things more peaceful in the long run. And trust me, once they find out they can’t run over you, they will extract themselves from your life. In that respect the trash will take itself out. And you can get on with the businesses of having a fabulous life.

Adventures and Balance

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” – William feather

Sometimes you have to step away from the desk and saddle up for an adventure. We all need to play as hard as we work, and we all need some adventure to remind us that we are alive, that there is life beyond our daily grind at our desks and Zoom calls. And so the Human Spirit calls for exploration.

I have long said that one must always remain curious about life and the world around us. As a write, it is my inquisitive nature that leads to many adventures. I am constantly looking to see what is in this room or around that corner. I just want to see. And there is where we find the magic.

This past weekend it was another visit to New Orleans to see friends from Belize. A quick trip to see them, see new things, and try new food. A quick trip to remind us that there is more to life than work and planning. The recent loss of friends has made me even more aware of this fact. The term work hard, play hard has taken on new meaning. There are things to accomplish, for which I am working extremely hard, but there must also be balance to be healthy. And I think that is one of the biggest secrets to happiness – balance. Something for which I strive but often come up short. Which is one reason I think that I haven’t been writing much as of late, which hopefully will change now that there is ore balance, more fun and more hard play to balance the level of work.

Life is short. And balance is key to insuring we keep our curiosity and sense of play in tact.

I Hope You are Well

Someone posted on Linkedin that with all that is going on in the world, they feel disingenuous starting a message with “I hope you are well.” This was my response:

I don’t think it is disingenuous at all. Is it not kind to hope that someone is doing well? Can we not still be happy? Can we not still have gratitude for our lives? Can we not still appreciate the little things, which in my opinion, are even more important to pay attention to right now? Are we not allowed to celebrate milestones and things that make us smile? … I hope you are well. I hope you find something, no matter how small, that makes you smile every day. I hope you have a life that fills you with gratitude, because no matter how bad it is, someone somewhere always has it worse. And I hope that there are so many things in your life that make you smile, make you happy, and make you celebrate, that you go to bed every night with a thankful heart. And I hope that these things, these wonderful things that add so much depth and breadth to your life, also expand your capacity to feel empathy and compassion for others. And that is what I mean when I say “I hope you are well.” And I really do.

You Can You Will

A few emails have landed in my inbox from readers who are going through a bad time. And these eails have me thinking. When you are going through the thick of it. the bad times, it just seems overwhelming. Especially grief. It is as if you are moving through mud and everything takes effort, even sometimes just breathing. But that is when you have to work the hardest. You have to concentrate on life, and making a decision to be happier that day, a nd every day afterwards. Oh, it is hard at first, but it is worth it. And at first it may not seem like the needle is moving at all…but keep doing it because it has to build enough momentum or get you unstuck.

There are some people though who like being miserable and they will stay right where they are at, because it is comfortable and gets them sympathy. Don’t be one of those people, because eventually the sympathy will run thin and they will find themselves alone. And you cannot help those kids of people either. So don’t waste your time. Time is precious and finite. IF you help others, make sure that you help those who will actually make the necessary changes.

In this day and age of high gas prices, inflation, Covid, Monkeypox and ridiculous grocery bills, how can we find the strength to get up and be happy even when we are at our worst? I don’t know exactly, but I can tell you what worked for me. And you have to go really deep, down where the soul meets the heart, and things get quiet in at night in the dark. That place where you can hear your own breathing. And you have to make a decision to get out of whatever situation you have found yourself – a bad job, career, relationship, marriage, whatever.

You get up every day, take a deep breath, and pay. Then, you take another deep breath and decide that today will be better than yesterday, even if it’s just by a little. And you work at it, even when you are tired, even when you are discouraged, even when you think you can’t, you make an excuse to work on it anyway. And you take baby steps. And one day, when you look back you will se that you have traveled miles because those baby steps add up to a great journey, they journey that is your life and your story. And when you have gathered the strength, you leave, you change, you do whatever you need to do to get out of what is making you unhappy and you leave.

You must be patient with yourself, because it may not happen over might. Or maybe it will. I woke up one morning and decided to move to Texas anyway, regardless of what anyone did, thought, or said. And it was the best decision I made in my life. But before that morning, there were a hundred days or getting to that point, of dealing with family, death, bad people and my own unhappiness. But I did it. And you can too.

Life is short. And precious. And you cannot afford to waste time were you are not happy, where you are not loved, where you are not thriving. You can change at any time, it’s neve too late. You are the writer of your own epic novel of your life. You decide what adventures you have and what chances you take. Forgive yourself and move on to the next happier chapter, even if it takes several chapters to get there. If I can do it. so can you. 🙂

Picture Perfect

The days are good and the nights are warm. Life has settled into a good rhythm with fulfillment at the helm. Our goals are coming to fruition, and everyday we wake up thankful that we are together and working to build this, our wonderful life.

This is the love I have waited to find, and I pinch myself every day because I can’t believe this is my life. We thrive and thrill on seeing each other happy. I love working in the garden, but he loves it even more. And when I see him, planning and planting, watering and caring for the things growing, and I see the amount of joy it gives him, my joy multiplies ten fold. That is just one example. When two givers get together it is truly magical. I have always found takers who took advantage. But two givers truly thrive on the joy of their partner and it is magnificent.

And my mind wonders back a few years, when I was still in Georgia. I was heartbroken with grief over the loss of my parents and siblings, and in a horrible relationship with an emotionally abusive and manipulative alcoholic. I picked up what was left my heart and moved 1,000 miles away to start a new life, my life, on my terms. I wanted to be where there were no bad memories of death or loss. And I knew, I prayed, that I would find my heart. And indeed I did.

And now here I am, with the love of my life, living my best fabulous life. So no matter where you are, or what you have been through, or what you are going through, there is a better life waiting for you. You just have to pack up and go get it. And you can. Because what you seek is seeking you.

Don’t listen to the anxiety and those people or thoughts that tell you that you can’t do it, shouldn’t do it. Yes. You can. And don’t listen to those who criticize you. An ex told me I was moving to Texas to get back together with him, following him. Nope.

The moral? It didn’t stop me. Who cares what he said and even told others? Don’t pay attention to any of that extraneous noise. Do what you know will give you the best life and move forward without guilt or care. Do what will give you peace. Because what gives you peace will bring you happiness. There is a saying that you should follow your bliss, but i say follow your peace.

I did. And my life is better than it has ever been and I am the happiest I have been in my life.

If you are searching for answers, be still, get quiet and pray. Listen for God’s voice whispered in your ear. You will know the right decision, if you listen.

Life is short. Too short to be unhappy or live in bad relationships with sub par people. Get up and move. You are not a tree and you can change your circumstance. It’s worth it. Trust me. I thank God every day that this is my life.

The Time of the Klenex

It is summer and life is good. My world has been full of backyard conversations by the pool, making plans, laughter, music and planting the gardens to make the yard beautiful and in bloom. And work has been especially busy as well. With so much on my plate life has been moving at a fast speed, and to be quite honest, as wonderful as things are, I have ben feeling a bit exhausted, run down and burned out. I know that I need to slow down, but it’s so hard to do when there is so much to do.

Life has a funny way of slowing you down when you need it. It started out as maybe some allergies. Then a bit of a cold, then developed into a sinus infection. And when I still didn’t listen, it morphed into a sinus infection on steroids, going into my eyes and ears. The was it, I threw in towel, not that I had a choice. I looked as sick and as run down as I felt – I looked like Rudolf’s pale, gooey-eyed, glowing red nosed cousin, but probably not as attractive. Coughing, blowing my nose, rubbing my eyes. Oh yeah, sexy.

A visit tot he doctor and I was told to rest, drink fluids and take my meds like a good patient. And I didn’t argue. For the first time in a long time, I obeyed the doctors orders. I went home and went to bed. And I spent the next week and weekend taking it slow as well. Going to be early, sleeping late, getting rest. I spent my downtime inside watching TV or reading a bit instead of trying to accomplish everything. But it should not have taken me getting sick to force me to take care of myself.

That is the thing about us extremely stubborn women, it’s hard to stop and rest until we have to. I am extremely goal oriented, but sometimes we need to make slowing down and taking care of ourselves the goal. The result is that not only do I feel better physically, but I feel refreshed mentally and emotionally too. Imagine if I rested and took care of myself on a regular basis?

I don’t know if it’s part of our culture being women, or just part of our wider culture in this country, but slowing down to take care of ourselves is often seen as lazy and we feel guilty about it ,especially women. Why is that? I am honestly not sure. My friends and I are all feeling the burned out in one way or another. My wonderful man and I have talked about it and he feels that way too. We have just been so busy with work and life. And it seems that a lack of time seems to be the new currency in which people measure their importance and flash their clout. After all, if you are so busy that you have no time for yourself, then you must be an important person. But at what cost? And important to everyone but yourself?

As a child I remember my parents being proud that they never saw doctors, because they never needed them. And many of my friends have been that way too. But the fact is that seeing a doctor for regular checkups is taking time for yourself and care of yourself. Because by the time that there is something wrong, it’s usually too late to be caught early. But you have to take the time to make the appointments, then take the time from your life to actually go.

But then you might have to miss that meeting. You might have to miss that assignment. Or you might have to miss picking that up, or going here, then there. Why have we been conditioned to put things like that off? Or feel guilty for taking time for you health and well being? I don’t know, but it’s something I do as well. And this year I have placed my health as a priority, even though it is easy to get caught up in the fast pace of life.

My man and I are turning off, unplugging, and relaxing soon. Taking the time to relax and take that break. Life is busy and stressful, but we can step away. And so can you. You just have to look at where your priorities are. And you should always by your own priority.

Life is short. Take the time. Take the time to slow down before you get run down and burned out. Take the time to get the check ups. Take the time to just breathe and relax a bit.

The Song of Summer

Summer is synonymous with fun and relaxation, vacations and good times. And this summer is shaping up to be just that. Pray hard, work hard, play hard is coming to fruition in teh next months and personally, I can’t wait.

Sitting out by the pool, listening to music, sipping some tea, or maybe some wine, enjoying to vibes. Maybe relaxing after working in the yard, or getting the house ready for guests, or finishing up writing projects. There are plans to make, trips to take, and lots of anticipation. And there is much for which to prepare. Indeed, between war, inflation, gas prices, supply chain issues, a bear market and whispers of recession, can we even celebrate this summer?

Yes, indeed we can. In fact, it is more important now than ever before. It is during the stressful times that we must find an outlet, a place to smile in the sun, to give ourselves a break from the daily routine of work and worry. And the summer is just the time. Longer days, warmer nights, clear skies, and music can sooth the soul, even if the vacation is just to the back yard. And if there is a trip, or tow, or three? Even better.

Because no matter what is going on in the world summer is always on time, and this is the time to relax a bit. This is the time to break away, and breath, splash in the water, and let our souls feel the sun as we set the world on fire, our world.

For the two of us, it means enjoying the fruits of our labor earlier this year. The flowers are blooming in the garden, we are settled in the house, and enjoy evenings out by the pool. We are enjoying the neighbors and neighborhood and always keeping in mind how blessed we are. And at the end of the day, just as when I rise, my heart is happy.

Life is short, so step outside and let your worries go. Worry won’t change anything, but taking care of yourself and taking a break will. So listen to the song of summer, and dance. Dance in the sun and dance in the moonlight. Delight yourself down to your soul with the simple pleasures in life. Enjoy!

Choose Wisely

Sometime when I was younger, someone told me to be very careful of the partner I chose, because that would affect the rest of my life. And when you think about it, how could it not? Whom you choose to spend the rest of your life with, live with, share with, grow with, strive with, build with struggle with, celebrate with and so much more. This is the person who will know the most about you and will be in your home and bed. Chose wisely, and it can be an amazing life. Choose poorly, and you will be miserable at best.

All one need to do is watch 5 minutes of the Depp/Heard trial to see a wonderful example of bad choices for partners. They both made each other miserable and continue to do so. And think of how many friends we have that have horrible ex’s that they still have to deal with because of kids?

Who you choose can make you rich, or drain your finances. They can help build your life, and partnership, or they can break you down with abuse and manipulation. One of my best friends was married to a man who constantly over spent, regardless of how many bills were due. He wreaked havoc on their finances and credit scores. But e didn’t care, and even blamed her. My last ex was a raging manipulative alcoholic, and life with him would have been miserable had I chosen him. There are thousands of examples.

And then I look at my parents, and they were great partners. They had the same goals, dreams, and values. They helped each other build a great life and a wonderful family. There are many great examples as I look around. And maybe that is why it took me so long to settle down with someone. I have wonderful examples all around, and I knew I had to find the right partner. Someone with whom I am equally yoked.

And now I understand how important the choice of partner is even more. Because we are building an extraordinary life together. We talk about and write down our goals, and we work toward them every day. We cook together and dance in the kitchen. We are silly with each other, making faces and using different voices. We plant the garden and water the flowers together. And we work hard at communication and being good to each other. Because relationship are hard work, but having the right partner makes all the difference. When two people are constantly at odds, that energy is spent fighting instead of building.

Life is short. Too short to be with a bad partner. So choose wisely and spend your time building your dreams.

Portraits of Self

I wrote this a few years ago. Enjoy!

In light of all the doom and gloom that has been going around lately, here is a new note. If one person can laugh at my clumsiness, then my work is done… 😉 Enjoy and have a good chuckle…

It sounds sexy – the idea of taking provocative photos for your spouse/significant other. However, reality often times is not as glamorous as our imagination. Welcome to my world, the world of a clumsy girl trying to be a little bit sexy.

I fixed my hair, put on make up, a fantastic outfit and great shoes. I looked hot. Then came the ardent task of setting my little point and shoot camera up on the back of a chair because I have no tri-pod. Then trying to figure out the zoom level, the timer settings, and the flash. Then it seemed that all was ready. Somehow, when I imagined this in my mind, it did not include all the back and forthing, tripping, falling and general misadventure. The shooting session went something like this:

Set the 10 second timer, run to the spot in 5″ stilettos, figure out a pose, only to have the camera take the shot when I was moving. Run over to the camera, look at the fuzzy, awkward shot of me not ready, delete photo. Reset the camera and timer, run back to the spot, try the pose again. Run back to the camera, look at the shot (Jeeze, Am I really THAT pale??). Notice the bad angle and delete. Again. Reset everything and trip over the cat running back to spot, twist ankle in the shoes. Take photo of me flailing, on the way down to the floor, with an expression of pain and panic. Limp back to camera, reset shot. Again.

I decide to reset the flash this time to decrease the pale pasty look of having no tan for 20 years….and end up flashing myself in the eye and am blinded as I stumbled back to the spot. Do manage to smile for the shot…and am blinded by the super bright flash once again. Walk back to camera, trip over piece of floor due to blindness, fall on face and cause delicately balanced camera to fall off the back of the chair and onto the back of my head. Ouch.

Get up, spend 10 minutes resetting camera position, flash, and timer. Decide to just shoot the pics and check them out afterward. So, take several shots and am very pleased with myself. I let my inner Tyra Banks out to play. I was FIERCE. Yes, I have the hang of this. I. Am. Sexy. I own it. Check the camera only to find my cat in every shot. How did I not notice she was about 3 inches away from me, with her rump facing the camera in full view?

Erase all pictures, put camera away, and drink bottle of wine.

Party of 75

It was two months of planning in secret. Secret calls and emails, incognito communication and code words. It was finding a venue, looking over the menu, picking the band, ordering the cake, getting the decorations, and coming up with a story. And it was all done by my wonderful man for his father’s surprise 75th birthday party. And it was marvelous.

My man came up with the idea and it was a big hit. He contacted friends from 20 years ago or longer, all the way up to the most recent. He poured over every single detail, making sure it was all in place and on schedule. It was fun to be his little helper, doing the things he needed to make sure his father never knew..

And it was getting the house ready for all of the company. So many boxes were still unpacked, and family was coming from out of town to stay for the weekend. Fifty boxes of books to be unpacked, sorted, place on shelves. Pictures were hung and furniture that remained was moved in to fill the spaces and rooms. And it was marvelous. And exhausting. And inspiring. And all that work has been the spring board for the plans we have now.

And then the family came into town. And there was laughing and conversations, and showing the house, and cooking and eating and getting to know everyone better. And anticipation of the party. As I fixed and put out snacks and hors d’oeuvres, I used my mother’s dishes, platters, plates and snack forks, I thought of her. I missed her greatly in that moment. There were always gatherings growing up, and she always made sure she had the proper things about. She would have been proud of me, I think, zipping around, with all the delish treats, using the things she gave me. And I hope she was smiling.

And then it was here. And his father was overwhelmed with surprise as he smiled and hugged those he loved but had not seen for many years. and there was more laughter, and drinks and dancing, and cake.

And that is the thing when you have a family man in your life. There are always gatherings, always love, always relatives close by, always sharing.

Life is short, too short to be isolated and never have any one over. Too short for lonely nights with no family. So celebrate every moment you have with those you love. Make it loud and fun and memorable.

The Buzz of Spring

Today there is a buzz in the air. As the days get a little longer every day, the temperatures also start to rise. and slowly, nature wakes up from her Winter slumber. It is Spring and there is an excitement in the air that is tangible. It is the promise of the new, with warm days and cool nights. It is the promise of buds growing from dormant brown stems, reaching up to the morning sun and stretching into the afternoon.

And for me this Spring hold so much about which to be excited. There is everything with the new house, concerts, trips to see family, birthday parties, time with my love out on the patio, making plans and discussing life. There will be conversations and laughter by the firepit drinking wine, and smiles with friends while sharing stories. There is planting and garden with new flowers and vegetables and herbs, to make the yard a fragrant place of life, color and wonderful scents as blooms shine in the sun. It is the promise of hard work and good times.

Why is it that this time of year inspires such gentle excitement? Maybe it’s because everything is waking up from hibernation and starting new. Maybe it is all the fresh life around us that makes us want to smile. maybe it’s the warmer weather setting in so we can spend time outside in the fresh air, after being inside for the cold. Maybe it is the signal of growth before the summer, when the sun peaks out and we know that the seeds we plant to day, whether it’s a garden, or studies, or for our careers, it will pay off and grow during this season.

Find what excites you the most and makes you feel the best about each part of the year. Find what makes you smile and what makes you feel most alive. This is especially true if you are going through a bit of a tough time, because as corny as it sounds, finding those little things in each season will help because it gives you something to look forward to, even if just a few moments. A lifetime can be lived in the moments, and the moments in between.

Life is short. Feel the buzz and find the magic of Spring.

In the Wake of…

In the wake of being busy and getting things ready; in the wake of cleaning and prepping and talking and doing; in the wake of cooking and watching and snuggling and living; in the wake of anticipation and hanging and decorating and laughing, I haven’t been writing much. Its not that I have nothing to write about, quite the opposite. It’s that for the first time in many years that I am too busy doing happy things to sit by the computer and type.

But, in this wake of this realization, it is bittersweet. Because I love writing, I love being a writer, and I love putting thoughts down into relatable stories.

In the Wake of…

What has been going on in the world, and watching the news and listening to leaders around the world; in the wake of seeing the footage and hearing the stories and talking to friend that have families where bombs are dropping; in the wake of looking at balances and planning for what’s to come, I hold my loved ones a little tighter and sniggle a little more. I take more time to talk to friends, really talk, about how we are all doing. I appreciate this life I have been given. with all of these amazing blessings, and I just want to freeze time, just for a moment, to imprint these memories in my mins so as not to forget a single second. And I pray, oh how I pray, every day, every morning, every night, every afternoon.

In the Wake of…


5 to Life

Hi Dad, It’s me.

Today marks 5 years since you died. It’s so hard to believe it’s been that long since I have hugged you, seen your smile. heard you funny jokes. But here we are. So much has changed in my life, and in the world, since you left. I wonder what you think of it all when you look down and see? I am sure you laugh at all the silly things I do. But I hope you are proud of the life I created since you and Mom left.

I am happy and have created a wonderful life full of love and amazing people. I wish you could meet them, one in particular.

Today is a day I will try to celebrate instead of being sad. I miss you so much, but will celebrate that you are with Mom and that is always only where you wanted to be, with Mom, the love of you life. I will celebrate that you are with the Lord, to whom you prayed and faithfully worshipped. I will celebrate all that you taught me. I will celebrate our wonderful memories, of which there are many. I will celebrate that I had such a wonderful father, who loved me enough to last my entire lifetime. And when tears run down my cheek today, I will remind myself to celebrate that my father and I loved each other enough for me to miss him when he is gone.

But most of all Dad, I will celebrate you, and your life. Love you so much, and miss you always. Hug Mom for me. And please visit me in my dreams.

Me Repost

A poem I wrote a few years ago in 2017. Enjoy!

To Be Me

I am a woman,
Real, live, not imagined
Magnificent, amazing, dark
You cannot imagine the depth of me
Or the breadth of my smile
Or the source of my strength
Or the very essence

A woman, phenomenally me
I am real in the flesh
And you cannot control me
With remote, joystick or otherwise
I do not obey, and you cannot
Dampen or darken this light
Inside me; it is God-given

I will not be controlled
But I will blow the rules
Rock the boat,
Tell the truth and,
Call you out on lies
Or shortcuts on character
And misquotes and more

I am not here to please
Or pleasure or serve.
I am here to pray
And flourish
And throw my head back
In laughter and joy
And honor the live given to me

I am here to love
With my whole heart
And not settle for half done tries.
I am here to breath fire
Into this life and
Make it dance with the
Brilliance of my soul

I am here to be me.

Ada Burch 2/19/2017


One of the best things about being in a new neighborhood is meeting all the new neighbors. And it seems that every time My Love or I go out front, we are meeting more people and it’s wonderful.

Tonight we went to check our mail a d walk around when we saw a group of neighbors and their children out in a front yard, so we headed that way, drinks in hand.

4 couples, 6 kids, and lots of conversation. Names, who lives in which house, whose kids are whose, and such. There was talk of the neighborhood dinner club, the ladies group and the neighborhood Maudi Gras parade, where everyone decorates their golf carts, or even pull wagons if kids want to join, and throw out beads and candy. We will be spectators this year, maybe participants next year.

And Hurricane Harvey came up, as most people lived here during and tald me what it was like. This area flooded, not because of the storm, but because the corps of Engineers let the water out and I tentionally flooded this area. At 2am. When everyone was asleep in their beds. They talked about how horrible it was because the Corps didn’t warn them, or give them any time to get out, grab their possessions, pets or move their cars. Most had to be rescued out of Herr. And in the aftermath, all of them became close.

I cannot even imagine the terror they felt when those waters suddenly rushed from the release of the damn. There are still lawsuits being filed over it. It made me grateful for all I have now, and for these new neighbors as well.


There is nothing like physical therapy to show you how out of shape you have become in the wake of Covid. Indeed my PT guys have made me aware of how weak I am and how much weaker one leg is after an injury. I think back to the days I used to workout – running, boxing, and sit ups were my main activities. More recently my activities have been going up the stirs in the ongoing commute fro. The bedroom to the office. And physical therapy.

gout that is changing. My Love and I got up at 5am (cooooooooffeeeeeeee) to work out upstairs in the area I refer to as “Our Gym,” that consists of my yoga mat, weights, workout bands, Piyo instructions and a rowing machine. Amd we workout for at least an hour. And it’s wonderful. Except in is early and I am not a morning person.

And then I think back to the quotes and images that remind me that you must step out of your comfort zone in order to accomplish anything great. Because growth is uncomfortable and change is unfamiliar.

And I smile as I drink my coffee, and start again on those 50 sit ups.


I was excited qhen we first had our cameras installed for the security system. It’s a great system amd now we can see everything around our property. And I discovered something quite wonderful the first time watching…all the little visitors throughout the day and night. Especially at night.

From qhat I can tell, there are 3 raccoons that stop by nightly for drinks and eats – PegLeg, whose back leg has been injured so he clumsily hobbies around, Gimpy who had an injured front hand or paw, send Blondir, who hands out with the others. There are also two cats, but I haven’t names them yet.

Every morning I view the camera feed to see qhat they were all up to the night before. And when it’s cold I do leave food out. None of them even remotely look starving, but I do this anyway. Just one of many things I enjoy in these woods, in this area.

I blessed and ridicouslt happy.


Anniversary of Two

It was two years ago that I loaded up a rented van with personal belongings, 8 huge potted plants, 5 cats, 1 litter box, a good friend and left Georgia in the rear view mirror. I had been planning this move for two yeas. The family and estate issues had finally been settled, I had done my time waiting for everyone to get situated, and now it was time to move forward, by driving and not looking back.

I asked many people about where to live in Texas, and settled in the suburb of Cypress after visiting a few times. It was familiar, it was convenient, it was similar to the suburb I was leaving in Atlanta and it was perfect.

I have always believed in doing what scares you, and leaving my home state terrified me. But I wanted a fresh start, somewhere new, where I could leave the past pain behind and build the rest of my life on fertile ground. So, I looked online for a house to rent, said a prayer, paid for it and signed the lease sight unseen. My friend who drove with me down to Texas asked about the house and the only thing I could tell him was…I hoped it looked as good in person as it did online….and depending how it went after opening the front door, this would either be the most brilliant or the most crazy thing I had ever done.

Spoiler alert: It was the most brilliant.

I loved the neighborhood and the neighbors even more. They were wonderful and we all soon became good friends. They were and are my people. I found my neighborhood bar, favorite shops, grocery story and everything else needed to make a home. And I met the love of my life. And then we bought a new house that we are making a home. Texas has opened up it’s arms and welcomed me. And the love is definitely mutual. I have flourished here more and better than I have in many years, if not ever.

There have been good and bad moments (mostly good), drinks, laughter, friendships, adventures, so much good food, and filling every moment with all that is good and wonderful, and magnificent. Every day I am thankful for the decision to leave Georgia and move Southwest to the Republic of Texas. Every. Day.

Some people thought I was crazy to move 1,000 miles away from my home state. Some people thought I was crazy to move into a home that I had only seen online. My asshole-ex-finance-executive even accused me of moving just to be to be close to him (because a woman cannot possibly have her on thoughts, ambitions, and plans…). But I knew this was where I needed to be, regardless of anyone else or what they thought. I moved for me, for my life, and for the fresh start to make my life wonderful.

And so here I am, blissfully happy, living my life, fully, wholly and completely. Was I scared to move? Terrified. Did I have doubts as to whether or not I should? Yes. Did I have doubts as to if I could do it? Yes. But I did it anyway. And I am all the better and happier for it.

Life is short. Take the risks, make the chance, and do it anyway. You won’t regret it.