• Showing Up For Myself

    Sunday, May 20, 2018 No tags Permalink

    When my son was growing up, I made certain that I managed my priorities very carefully. Yes, I had a full-time job and a home I had to take care of on my own, but spending good, quality time with him each and every day was my priority. I never forgot it. The most precious gift you can give anyone is your time. Spending time with someone you care about is an investment and it the benefits you reap from that investment are immeasurable.

    But lately, I had been forgetting to make myself a priority. I’ve been working too much and dealing with too much negative stuff. I’ve been forgetting to have fun. People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, all life for happiness. I’m not going to do that, I am going to live now. So, in the past few days, I have been remedying that. I joined a friend for an evening bike ride and a stop at the beer garden for a post-ride drink. I can’t think of the last time I saw a movie, so yesterday we went to see RGB. It was great, by the way. This morning I took a walk and then went to brunch. It’s been lovely, much needed, and so overdue.

    Summer is my favorite time of year, and I’m making the most of it. Some of my summer plans include:

      • The N.I.T.E Ride  Riding around downtown Indy at night is going to be such fun!
      • Symphony on the Praire- I got tickets for my birthday from a dear friend and we are going to pick out the best shows and go.  I pack one fantastic picnic basket!
      • More bike rides.  I’ve started riding 4-5 times a week and it’s been great.
      • More farmer’s markets. I have a friend who loves them too, so we’re planning to meet and eat our way through. 😉
      • Re-learning how to swim. I love the water, but I’ve somehow forgotten the freestyle stroke. I found someone who will teach me again so I can get back in the water.  Yay!

    What are you doing to make the most of your life, here and now?

    Reclaim your mornings. Start a morning ritual that gives you space to take care of yourself before you have to take care of the world. Start with just a few minutes of one of the following activities:

    • Write. Make a list of what you are grateful for or jot down what’s filling your mind.
    • Meditate. Sit quietly and pay attention to your breath, or use a guided meditation app like Headspace.
    • Drink your tea or coffee slowly.
    • Stretch. Reach for sky. Reach for toes. Twist and move around.
    • Read. Choose a book over email or the internet.

    Choose other activities that fuel your body, brain, heart and soul and slowly build your morning routine.

    Edit your to-do list. We can’t put off what we love in the name of our never-ending to-do lists. Ruthlessly cull your to-do list. Take a good hard look at what’s on it. What can wait? What can you delegate? What’s never going to happen? Edit your list until only the things that really need to happen or really will happen remain. Only leave what’s important on your list so you can get back to love and peace of mind.

    Make some space (just a little). You don’t have to declutter your entire home to create a sense of calm. Create a small minimalist sanctuary by decluttering one small space in your home. Start with a kitchen counter or your nightstand. Creating a minimalistic sanctuary in your home will inspire you to transform more of your space. The state of the space will also be a good reflection of how calm or crazy your life is. When papers start to pile up, it might be time to address what is piling up in other areas of your life.

    Make some time (just a little). If you are trying to figure out what’s best for you or what the next best step to take is, here is the most meaningful gift you can give to yourself right now: carve out five minutes each day to sit quietly and ask yourself the following questions (perhaps add this to your morning ritual).

    • What matters most today?
    • How do I really want to spend my time?
    • What do I need to do to take really good care of myself and the people I love today?

    Calculate your debt. Getting out of debt will change your life in ways you may not be able to imagine. It’s not a little change but every big change is the result of hundreds of little ones. Get started by simply calculating your debt. Create a clear picture of your finances. Don’t use that information to feel scared, guilty, or worried. Instead, use it to help you decide what the next step is. And don’t forget to congratulate yourself for taking the first little step. You stopped hiding from the truth. That’s a really big deal.

    Show up for the people you love. This may seem hard sometimes, but it isn’t. It’s probably the easiest little thing you can do to find your way back to love and peace. Showing up is different than being in the same room When you are with people you love, put your phone and other digital devices away. Look your loves in the eyes. Listen to their words. Be present. That’s it, show all the way up for the people you love.

  • Happy Father’s Day!

    Sunday, June 18, 2017 No tags Permalink

    I was a daddy’s girl growing up. I thought my father could do just about everything.  I still do. 😊

    When I was 4, my dad’s head was as big as the world! I rode on his shoulders, clasping his forehead with my tiny hands and laughing as we ran through the grass.

    Together we were taller than God.

    My dad held my red Schwinn bike as I balanced my first solo trip, and ran alongside before letting me go to pedal into a new world.

    I remember whisker rubs and “serious talks” and standing on his feet to dance around the kitchen.
    He tied my ice skates double-tight, and there was always love- large and raw and imperfect.

    When I prowl through all the prayers in my heart, and in certain photographs in a special kind of light, I can see my dad’s face inside my own, saying “Stick with me kid!”


    Continue Reading…

  • On Children

    Monday, May 22, 2017 No tags Permalink

    “Over the past two years I’ve become increasingly concerned that we’re raising children who have little tolerance for disappointment and have a strong sense of entitlement, which is very different than agency. Entitlement is “I deserve this just because I want it” and agency is “I know I can do this.” The combination of fear of disappointment, entitlement, and performance pressure is a recipe for hopelessness and self-doubt.” Brené Brown

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  • Weekend Plans

    Saturday, March 25, 2017 No tags Permalink

    Yes, this looks good to me. I just need a “Snoopy” to cuddle with and I’m all set. ☺️ I’m not feeling my usual weekend surge of “let’s get stuff done”.  I’m not feeling bad, on the contrary, I feel relaxed. That’s what enough sleep and plenty of fresh air will do for me.

    Continue Reading…

  • Nativity

    Saturday, December 24, 2016 No tags Permalink

    The image below reveals what the nativity scene would look like if all Jews, Midldle Easterners, and refugees were scrubbed away from the birth of Jesus. Spoiler alert: There’s no one there, save for a few animals.

    Christians need to remember that hate is not a Christian value and Jesus said “Love one another” not “Love one another only if they’re the same race, ethnicity, and religion as you.”

    On a much lighter note, I just found a few pictures of me and my older brother and sister from Christmas of 1970. I was trying to figure out why two are in color and one in black and white. My grandfather was still alive then, and he was an avid photographer. He even had his own darkroom and developed all of his own photos.

    I still make this exact facial expression, and my brother still has this big, goofy grin  

    Continue Reading…

  • Roots and Wings

    Friday, December 23, 2016 No tags Permalink

    My children each year ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give them my real answer:

    What do I want for Christmas? I want you. I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your spouse, your kids. I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

    I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how, and I’m not bragging, but I did a pretty darn good job. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work, I’m pretty proud of it.

    Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    I want you to spend your money making a better life for you and your family, I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Christmas, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.

    I am bragging, because I think I really did do a good job with my son. He started his Christmas break from work yesterday. He knew that this is always an extremely hectic work week for me, so he surprised me by stopping by my office to say hello and bring me a latte. And earlier this week I had a flat tire, he kept checking on my thought the day,seeing if I needed help or a ride. In short, he thinks of those around him instead of thinking that the world revolves around him.  One day he’s going to make an excellent husband.

    One of my favorite photos of him on this day in 2008. I know it wasn’t December 23, 2009 because I was having back surgery on that day and definitely not crawling around on the floor with my camera! 

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  • I Can’t Put My Arms Down

    Thursday, December 15, 2016 No tags Permalink

    I felt just like Randy from the movie A Christmas Story this morning. Too. Many. Layers.

    That’s one thing I really dislike about winter– clothes.   😉 However, I dislike being cold even more than I dislike clothes.

    This movie always makes me laugh.  Plus, it’s set in northern Indiana in the 1940s, so it’s very reminiscent of my parents’ childhood.  My dad loves to tell me the story of his childhood Christmases, and how he and his three brothers would get just oranges and mittens for presents. A few years ago I read a hilarious book by Havel Kimmel, who also happened to grow up in Indiana. In the book, she wrote this about her father:

    “all men of a certain age tell this story, and they give themselves away by always using the same fruit. I have yet to meet the father who will look his child in the eye and say, “I was happy just to get some seedless grapes.” But”
    ― Haven Kimmel, A Girl Named Zippy

  • Tempus Fugit

    Thursday, December 8, 2016 No tags Permalink

    image image

    I came across these photos the other day and noticed they were taken 10 years ago this month. In my mind, my son still looks like this to me, except, well… taller. A lot taller. 😉 He just got back from a trip to NYC with his dad, and while he was there he sent me photos.


    When this photo came through on my phone, my first thought was, “Why did he send me a photo of his dad?” And then I looked closer and realized that it wasn’t his dad in the photo, it was Ian. I’m often struck by just how much they look alike now that Ian is an adult. Wow, are my genes ever recessive! Luckily for him, he did get the height from my side of the family. 😊

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  • When the Birds Sing the Blues {Poetry}

    Tuesday, August 30, 2016 No tags Permalink

    He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


    The trees sing lullabies,
    but my heart closes its ears to them.
    The night is broken-winged
    it twitches like a shadow.
    Once, the birds were there,
    and now they’re not.
    I spend all my poems
    looking for the end of the tunnel.

    A train passes by and my picture frames ratttle.
    All those tired travelers looking out their windows,
    not knowing that they were heard.
    That someone, somewhere,
    waits for them.

    Once words,
    and now,


    I meant it when I said

    When I said
    some days,
    it feels
    the whole world wants
    my silence.

     Today would have been my baby sister’s 37th birthday.  I still remember the day she was born.  It was the first day of 4th grade for me, and my grandfather came to school to tell me that I had a new sister.  I always joked that it was amazing that I wanted to have children of my own after seeing her as a baby– she was a fussy, cranky child– and I adored her.
    I don’t know if it will ever make sense to me that she is gone.  I do know that losing someone close to you who is younger than you makes you really face your own mortality.  When my son was growing up, I worried what would happen if I died.  Legally, he’d have to live with his father, and I knew he never wanted to do that.  Now, I just have somewhat morbid thoughts like, I’d better put away my laundry now so in case I die today, no one else will have to take care of that.  I think a lot about what we leave behind when we die.
  • Continuation

    Sunday, May 8, 2016 No tags Permalink



    I love how the author Cheryl Strayed summed up Mother’s Day: I know Mother’s Day is a joy to many of you. I know it’s a giant suckbag of sorrow for others of you. I know some of you are indifferent to it. I know some of you have wonderful mothers and you get to pick out the perfect card for her and take her to brunch and give her a bouquet of flowers and others of you are alone and weeping while watching your monstrously sad faces in the bathroom mirror, wondering why your mom had to die or be a drug addict or be mentally ill or be such an inexplicable evil shit to you. I know some of you desperately want to become mothers and can’t and aren’t and will never be and some of you have zero interest in becoming mothers and you feel sickeningly suffocated by a world that equates womanhood with motherhood and some of you ARE mothers and you love it and you treasure this day because finally someone picked out a card for you and took you to brunch and gave you a bouquet of flowers. And some of you are mothers but your children are dead. Or lost to you in another way. I know, for most of us, it’s a holiday that will change in meaning to us over time. Whatever it is, I want to say I know it’s there and it’s real and it’s true because it’s YOURS. I’m with you, wherever it is you are, in heart.❤️

    I’m so blessed to have a good, loving mother who is still living and a son with whom I have a close and wonderful relationship. I do my best every day to appreciate that fact.

  • If I Wanted a Boat { Poetry}

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016 No tags Permalink


    I would want a boat, if I wanted a

    boat, that bounded hard on the waves,

    that didn’t know starboard from port

    and wouldn’t learn, that welcomed

    dolphins and headed straight for the

    whales, that, when rocks were close,

    would slide in for a touch or two,

    that wouldn’t keep land in sight and

    went fast, that leaped into the spray.

    What kind of life is it always to plan

    and do, to promise and finish, to wish

    for the near and the safe? Yes, by the

    heavens, if I wanted a boat I would want

    a boat I couldn’t steer.

    -Mary Oliver

    Each time I try to take control, steering and holding on too tightly, I get lost. It’s so easy to want to steer every moment, every direction in life, to feel safe and secure in where we are headed. Or even, for the more relaxed among us, who steer our life more generally, allowing for a few false starts and leeward winds – to fix our eyes unwaveringly on the distant goal, the aim, the ever-moving target.


    Meditation is a practice in letting go. In meditation, a thousand things arise, and we let them go Or at least we try to let them go. 😉

    Why practice letting go? Polly Young-Eisendrath made the following point about practicing mindfulness, but it applies to letting go as well:

    “The reason for learning… is not so that you can sit around and meditate. It’s like when you learn to drive a car in a parking lot. It’s not so you can drive that car in parking lots. You learn in the parking lot because it’s a restricted, safe area. When you [meditate] it’s like learning to drive in the parking lot. Then, in time, you take the car out onto the highway…. Practice is cultivated in order to get around in life….”

    Continue Reading…

  • Throwback Thursday

    Thursday, February 25, 2016 No tags Permalink


    I came across this picture recently and noted on the back that the date was 1996.  In my mind, the 90s weren’t that long ago. And then it dawned on me that it was 20 years ago. Twenty years?! How can that be? Honestly, when I look at Ian now, I still see this little boy, just a lot bigger. 🙂 it dawned on me that maybe my own parents still see me as the little girl I was, and that helps me understand them so much more.

    I count myself as so lucky to be this cutie’s mom. The doctors told me that I would most likely never have children. I love kids, and would’ve had more if I could have.  My son and I were both lucky to have survived his delivery, and the doctors said I may not be so lucky the next time. So, I count my blessings and thank God every day for my son. Maybe, just maybe, someday I’ll have grandbabies. Hey, I’d be happy with step-grand-babies.  It’s weird to think that my son is the same age as I was when he was born.


  • Strong Women

    Monday, December 28, 2015 No tags Permalink

    A beautiful article by Cat O’Connor. To all the strong women I know, love, and admire. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Be patient with a strong woman, it’s worth the effort

    Yes, she is strong.

    That strength born from facing fear, heartache, challenges and countless obstacles along her path; strength awakened as she found her own way through the storms.

    This strength, built over a lifetime, has become something which defines her — a quality others see and admire, a quality available within all women, within everyone. A quality, and yet, also a defense mechanism, a tool for survival.

    Not everyone finds that strength within, not every woman chooses strength as their tool.

    Other women turn in various directions, draw upon various tools, and may, at times along their journey, allow themselves to break.

    Those others are also her.

    Because she is strong, yet in that strength is weakness.

    Her strength came through the cracks of her brokenness. Behind the mask of strength are more masks — masks of fear and doubt, vulnerability and pain, uncertainty and insecurity.

    The strong woman doesn’t always want to be strong. It can be a heavy weight to continually carry.

    Expectations come with this strength, both from within and from the world around her.

    Know that she’s looking at times for a soft space to land; to let go without judgment, without being told she needs to be fixed. Without being condemned or looked down upon.

    Without being made to feel like she’s failed simply for showing another side of herself.

    Be kind to this woman.

    She’s spent so much time and energy working to build herself up, dig herself out and help herself up that sometimes she’s tired. Sometimes she feels weak. Lonely. Spent.

    She’s become so used to wearing her mask of strength, holding herself up and pushing herself forward that it will take tremendous effort to let it go, to drop her guard.

    Protecting her heart and persevering through have become so second nature to her that she may not even realize that letting go, tapping out, and giving in is what she wants and what she truly needs to do.

    An inner struggle arises: I need to be strong, but I’m afraid to be weak. What will happen if I allow someone in? What will people think if I ask for help or let myself go or allow myself to rest?

    The strong woman’s mind runs wild with those demons she’s been standing strong against. Opening up to vulnerability and uncertainty takes a whole new kind of strength — a form of strength that requires letting others in.

    Letting her walls down and allowing herself to be real; it means actually facing the demons, rather than simply building walls around herself to keep them out.

    Please be patient with a strong woman who crosses your path or joins you on the journey. It may not be easy to love her, but it will definitely be worth the effort. That strong woman will love you fiercely, faithfully and unwaveringly.

    Allow her to let go, and be sure to hold her softly as she lands.

    Continue Reading…

  • Christmas

    Thursday, December 24, 2015 No tags Permalink

    drink the red

    Honestly, I like red wine better, but I’ll drink either one. Best of all is Champagne! I have a great bottle in my wine rack right now, but I won’t be opening it tomorrow because none of my Christmas guest like Champagne. How is this possible? I know my son won’t touch it because he hates anything carbonated. Anyhow, once the bottle is opened, you have to drink it all or it will go flat, and not wanting to waste a $40 bottle, I’d drink it all.  (Also, I adore Champagne!) A glass and a half in, I’d have the giggles. 🙂 Champagne always makes me think of this little ditty by Dorothy Parker:


    “Four be the things I am wiser to know:
    Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
    Four be the things I’d been better without:
    Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
    Three be the things I shall never attain:
    Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
    Three be the things I shall have till I die:
    Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.”

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  • Holiday To Do List

    Thursday, December 17, 2015 No tags Permalink

    imageHow about make love and make cookies?  I love cookies, especially Christmas cookies. My son and I have a tradition of making my grandmother’s sour cream sugar cookies each year. Actually, we eat a lot of the raw dough, until we have a stomach ache. Salmonella be damned! 😉

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  • Formulate an Equation

    Monday, December 7, 2015 No tags Permalink


    I used to be a wee bit obsessive about decorating my Christmas tree. We used to have a 12 foot tree, not pre-lit. It would take my son and I the better part of a day just to string the lights.

    When we moved to a house that didn’t have a two story living room, we downsized to a 9 foot tree.

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  • Thanksgiving

    Thursday, November 26, 2015 No tags Permalink


    My first Thanksgiving. This holiday has always been a huge affair in my family. This year was no different, and now I’m happy to be back home. I’m going to put on some comfy clothes,  pour myself a glass of wine, and queue up some Netflix.


    May Your stuffing be tasty,
    May your turkey be plump,
    May your potatoes n’ gravy,
    Have nary a lump,
    May your yams be delicious,
    May your pies be the prize,
    May your Thanksgiving dinner
    Stay off of your thighs.


    Here’s a sampling of family conversations over the holiday:

    My mom: Did you hear about the murder in Indianapolis?

    My son: You’ll have to be more specific, there are lots of murders in Indianapolis.

    But I already knew which one she was talking about. The victim was a white female, pretty blonde, pastor’s wife, and originally from the area where my parents live.

    Me: The media is only reporting on this because she’s white. Otherwise, they don’t care. –to which I got blank stares from my parents. Sigh.

    Also, now they’re more convinced than ever that I’m going to be robbed and/or murdered.

    Yeah, I think  I need to decompress for a few days. 😉


  • Do It Now

    Monday, November 16, 2015 No tags Permalink

    do it now

    A year ago today my baby sister died.  If I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that you should tell people how important they are to you. Not because they could leave at any moment, but because they’re here now, and it’s worth saying something.

    Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.

    “The Hopi, an Indian tribe, have a language as sophisticated as ours, but no tenses for past, present and future. The division does not exist. What does this say about time?”
    — Jeanette Winterson, from Sexing the Cherry

  • In Blackwater Woods

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 No tags Permalink
    Look, the trees
    are turning
    their own bodies
    into pillars
    of light,
    are giving off the rich
    fragrance of cinnamon
    and fulfillment,
    the long tapers
    of cattails
    are bursting and floating away over
    the blue shoulders
    of the ponds,
    and every pond,
    no matter what its
    name is, is
    nameless now.
    Every year
    I have ever learned
    in my lifetime
    leads back to this: the fires
    and the black river of loss
    whose other side
    is salvation,
    whose meaning
    none of us will ever know.
    To live in this world
    you must be able
    to do three things:
    to love what is mortal;
    to hold it
    against your bones knowing
    your own life depends on it;
    and, when the time comes to let it go,
    to let it go.
    – Mary Oliver

    Continue Reading…