Sunday, March 20, 2016


Palms waving madly, bright robes thrown down along the path trod by a holy man on a humble donkey, people shouting with joy. I think of that ancient scene whenever I see bright green fronds against the blue sky. Symbol of peace, triumph, heaven.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


One of the most important things to know in life is how to cheer yourself up, a skill set that will come in very handy during times of transition, ennui and directionlessness (um, hello middle age, empty nest, self-doubt, grey days on end). It's a hybrid of self-care, creativity-seeking and just plain muddling forward by faith. And it's best tailored to individual preferences: what is effective for me may not do the trick for you and vice versa.

Begin by employing the senses. What do you love to see, hear, taste, touch and smell? Maybe it's a combination of Matisse cut-outs, Louis Armstrong, cappuccino, a dog's silky coat and a just-cleaned house. Right there is plenty there to jump start this process. Next, get moving. Stretch, go for a walk, jump a rope. This dovetails with getting outside, filling up on fresh air. Now, feed your brain with a poem or a puzzle. Then make something. A picture, a potholder, a pie. Doesn't matter what, just dabble on it for a while. Finally, conjure up the faces of the people you adore and let yourself feel their love for you. Send them loving thoughts and maybe even the potholder.

Friday, March 4, 2016

the kids next door

So the house next door is now a rental property. It's where my bestie Dr. Mac lived for decades until his death in 2011. We've been super lucky so far with fine people moving through, but it's been vacant since Christmas and the emptiness was really starting to get me down. Then, I came home one sunny, spring-like afternoon this week to find the most adorable family with two (!) children having a picnic on a blanket in their new backyard. Since they're moving from Florida and it's still pretty grey here, I thought they needed some Suarez Bakery flower cookies as a harbinger of things to come. Then I saw the rainbow dinosaurs, which captured how I felt even more. So I got both.