Category Archives: RANDOM THOUGHTS

Stand Up

I’m having a hard time focusing today.  My first child leaves for college in two days.  My son turns 12 in two days.  And my President makes me want to crawl into a corner and cry.   But I can’t crawl into a corner.  Or say nothing.

To watch all those white men march with those torches and surround those brave Americans around a confederate statue chanting “Jews will not replace us” or “White lives matter”  makes me sad and sick to my core. How can this be?  How can our President not speak out against that?  How can he say both sides are to blame?  How can anybody?

I can’t say nothing.  I can’t crawl into a corner.  We know the history of Nazi Germany.  We know about the history of slavery and racism in America.

This president is dangerous.  He fosters hate.   Our stock market might be climbing and our unemployment rate may be at lower than it’s been in years, but he cannot bring our country together.  It’s not even in his plan.  He thrives on division. And it will get worse before it gets better.

There is a line in the sand.  To say nothing is a stand.   Racism and religious persecution has no place in America.   Now is the time to speak out.   If you want it to stop, then speak up.   Racism has been around long before Trump arrived, but he’s given a hall pass to haters.   It’s time to put them in detention and kick his ass out of office.

Our country was born when we stood up against tyranny.   People from all walks of life stood up and fought for our freedom.   When the South decided slavery was worth fighting and dying for, we fought again and won.   When Germany thought it should rule the world (not once, but twice), we rose.   When Martin Luther King Jr. led a movement that led to Civil Rights for all, we rose.

We must rise again.  Hate has no place in America.

Maybe now, I can help my daughter pack for college.


Finito Benito

Life is a Puzzle

Every summer, I complete a massive puzzle.  I break out the card table, dump the 1,000 pieces on top and begin the process of sorting and connecting.  In those moments, I am a puzzle zombie.   There’s only a certain amount of time I can dedicate to the hobby, but while I’m there, I’m nowhere else.   It’s just one of many reasons why I love summer.  I hate the ridiculous heat, but if it were not for summer, I’d be moving in a constant state of speed, rushing, rushing, rushing.  Heat slows things down.      And so I build it, piece by piece, enjoying the quiet of a hot afternoon or late night or morning.

I’ve come to learn a few things about life through this process.  In the beginning, the puzzle is hard.  You are not familiar with the big picture yet.  Over and over again, you must return your gaze to the puzzle box to understand where the piece you’re holding, belongs.  It can feel chaotic.  Frustrating.  So many pieces that fool you.

IMG_5770It’s easy to walk away after a few minutes of not finding one match.   You know when you’ve had too much.  So you take a break.   Breaks are necessary.   All muscles need rest and our brains are no exception.    We are no good when we overdo it.  You have to know when to walk away only so you can come back, ready to solve that puzzle.  Over time, the puzzle begins to take shape.

IMG_5769You must open your mind and see that each piece is unique and the one you are holding may not necessarily fit another in the way you expect.  Sometimes the piece connects upside down or sideways.   Or it’s yellow and it still connects to red.  Surprise!  You cannot believe you  know better or more than the puzzle.  You must follow its lead and open your mind to all of the possibilities of connections.   Kind of like life.  That magical moment always comes.   Suddenly the pieces fit, one by one.  You’re caught off guard because you didn’t see that piece fitting the other like the way it did.  Over and over again, this happens.

You have to keep trying new ways of seeing and doing things.   The moment you stop believing there is nothing more to learn is the moment you stop growing.   There are times when you have to step back and breathe in another avenue of happiness, but in the end, it comes down to keeping an open mind.

I think that’s where true happiness lies.  We cannot lasso and control life. It flows as long as we understand we are shaped by our ability to accept it isn’t supposed to go exactly as we planned.  As we do that, the puzzle begins to take shape.  The pieces become more and more familiar until you get to the point where you pick up a random piece and, without thinking too much about it, your hand naturally moved toward the exact spot it belongs.   It’s as if all of that dedication has begun to pay off.


And that’s because you’ve earned it.  Your mind stopped trying to overthink, to make it work.  It’s a beautiful process.  And a good life lesson.  Slow down, recognize that there’s more than one way to see and do things and allow joy to spill into your space.

Forest Gump was right, but life isn’t just a box of chocolates, it’s a puzzle, too. 🙂

Why Your Home Matters

“When you’re building a room, you’re building character, and character is the strength and wisdom of a home.”  -Rose Tarlow  

It’s not about the decorations.  It’s not about the Jones’s next door.  It’s about choosing happiness and joy.  It’s about self-care.   Our homes can make us or break us or leave us suspended in a state of perpetual procrastination….”I’ll hang those pictures or paint those walls next week, month…”

I do what I do because I live it.  Just like you.  But I also know there’s always a solution to that problem and I like to work on it, one room at a time.  Right now, it’s my master bedroom.  It’s been a slow process, but steadily it’s coming together.  I cannot wait to share the room makeover.  Been promising for eons, but today, I am pleased to report that one of the final missing pieces came together.  I’ve hated that nipple light over my bed.  I don’t mean to be offensive, but the description should give you a good visual of what I’m talking about.   Today, I found the perfect chandelier to replace it.    It’s going to need to be cleaned and I’ll replace or paint the white base, but this is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.

Found it!  A vintage glass and crystal chandelier from Habitat for Humanity Resale.  $75!

Look for that post…very soon…hopefully my next one.

I’ll be sharing quotes like above each Wednesday this fall.  Mostly from interior designers, but it could be poets, musicians or anyone with a great quote about making the most of your home and why it’s so good for us.

Next week’s quote is actually from a famous group of singers.  The idea is for you to make a connection to your home and live an easier, happier life.    You’ll find all of them under “Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom”.

You can check out Rose Tarlow’s website here.

There’s always room for change.   Even if change means ouch because change always equals growth.

What room gives you a headache?  Isn’t it time to march in there and take stock of what’s bothering you?

I know a designer…:)


This seat is taken

Puddle Revolution

It’s hanging on for dear life.

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Such determination.

I’m not complaining about the rain.

Yes, it’s been raining nonstop over the holidays and we’ve had flash flood warning alerts on our smartphones all week.   And it’s a real pain to walk the dogs in torrential downpours, but today made me think about it differently.  Since the rain seems intent on staying with us, the possibility of adapting to it seemed like a wise choice.

And I think that’s just what happened on this morning’s walk with my dogs.  Now, normally, I’m not so keen about cold drops of water smacking me in my face, but as I turned the corner and walked into the wind, the sensation of each drop actually began to feel quite lovely.  It’s hardly cold outside.  Getting my face sprayed my face with water droplets felt exhilarating.  Way better than I thought.

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They do look so pretty catching the light on a cloudy day.

It was when I turned another corner and lost the wind that I realized I wanted it back.

But the dogs were not as enthusiastic as me.  I had to get them home.  So I dropped them off, turned around, and gleefully charged outside and into my first puddle.

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I highly recommend it.

Join the puddle revolution with me!

Happy New Year, everyone.

I hope you jump in a puddle when you see one.  🙂

Surviving Christmas

It’s been a few days since Christmas and I’m just beginning to return to normal.  Not quite back yet, but baby steps lead to bigger steps.

It starts out innocently enough.  If you’re lucky, you’ve already got a stash of gifts hidden or at least under your radar.

Then Thanksgiving ends.

We’re thankful and riding high from the love of family and friends, eating, drinking and being very merry…but, secretly lurking underneath that momentary bubble of happiness is the promise of a ticking time bomb tick tick tocking away until Christmas morning.

By the time that day arrives, we may be on the brink of collapse.  I almost had a meltdown when I realized my shortcoming here:

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I have a feeling I’m not alone. In fact I know I’m not.  I reached out to my BFF, Steph T and sent her this picture  on December 23rd.

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I can’t wrap anymore…

This is what she sent back 10 minutes later.

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“Hey Steph, is that flour on your face?”

Yes, she is wearing a poinsettia in her hair.  Clearly, she has lost it, too.  That’s why I love her.

All the days of trying to find the perfect gift for the 20th time for my three cherubs have come to this defining moment.  Whatever is done is now done.  Like it or leave it.

Time is up.

But they better damn well love their gifts. Let this mom collapse in the pleasure of knowing that she succeeded in finding her way to the hearts of each child she so lovingly thought of each and every day.  Damn it.

With anticipation, I grab my tea, phone, bifocals and record that special moment….will they like it?  Will they love it?  Will they remember I tried to be fair?  I think I spent the same amounts, but  keeping track of everyone’s gifts and hiding them for four f*#@ing weeks in my jam-packed closet may be all  it takes to send me over the cliff now.  I can’t go back out there.

Time is up.

It all paid off.  Another Christmas success story and  I can carve another notch in my curriculum vitae. IMG_4531

What did I do on the day after Christmas?   Sat down with a big glass of red wine and watched The Lawrence Welk show.

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It was fantastic.

Happy New Year, everyone!

2016 is going to ROCK!