Splendid

Good Sunday to you Travellers,

I thought before I hit some heavy topics this week, I’d come back for something I think is always important. The thing that balances us, saves us, floats us along and creates buoyancy in our souls.

The tiny little life boats that we need in our life.

IN FACT, I want to challenge you in the next week to take a mental tally of all the little things that made you smile or warmed your heart or made you laugh out loud. These things that are the bread and butter of life. Everyone has them and in times like these, they become all the sweeter.

Let’s begin with a small victory of mine, THIS SONG. If you open it as a second link, you can listen while you read this, which would be lovely. Or if you would rather, just promise promise promise to listen to it after you are done reading my words.

This song was the closest thing to “our song” that Dave and I ever had. After the divorce, I had to put it away, which is fucking criminal, because Sade is easily one of the greatest singers of the past 30 years. It just made my heart hurt so much to hear it then.

But now, now that he’s gone. Gone gone, it’s like a link to something good that once was and will forever be. I remember telling him when this song was playing when we were first dating, that he was a gift to me. And no matter how the story has ended, it still remains true.

No matter how much pain his suicide has caused, the memory is still as it was.

The best part though is the end, when she introduces her band. There is just so much love and warmth and comradery in her words. It’s just the best. Listen. You’ll see what I mean…

Ok, and the fact that virtually no one is holding a cell phone is this video. I have secretly hoped that this viral pandemic would bring us all back to the value of being present in reality. Nothing is better than the real, even in pain. It’s real. Reality is still the sexiest filter.

Three things this week that I can’t show you, but want to mention in terms of just being sweetness.

First. A good friend came over and hung out in my hammock Monday night. We talked for about four hours, and he’s one of those people who is on a path to change his life and I feel lucky when he gives me glimpses into who he is. And he also enjoys things like hanging out in hammocks under big trees, so it was awesome.

Second. Last year we met a stranger when we were walking in the early morning hours. The best kind of stranger. The ones you say hello to and exchange a few kind words and then reencounter occasionally. The kind that feel reassuring in a way I can’t put into words.

This one is a man who I’m guessing is probably in his 80s, possibly over 85, he’s pretty spritely. He has a walking stick. He jokingly asked if I was walking the dogs, or were they walking me. We may have encountered him half a dozen times last year. Tuesday morning, I saw him walking our way, and he said the same thing. And there is a sort of happiness in seeing older people thriving and surviving that is different than seeing my peers or younger people. It always make me smile. It makes me less afraid of aging.

Third. Lou has a hot spot, which if you’ve had a dog you probably know what that it. The part that really made me giggle was when I gently wiped the spot, and then dried it before we put the ointment on it. I said to her, “Now bend your elbow and hold that there so it dries.” AND SHE DID. I don’t know if Lou is just extra smart or extra perceptive. I don’t know if it’s the dog in me or the human in her, but she just does these things. And it’s the best in a very distinct way.

Now, lemme show you some things:

It’s called Tatsoi. It’s a veggie for salads. I’ve never had it before or even heard of it till this year. I bought it on a whim and a recommendation from a new nursery I went to. It reminds me of Bok Choy in it’s texture and taste. And it’s just lovely. Trying new things is the best.
So this is Charlie’s new thing, the lazy leg hang in the air, just don’t care. It’s whatever lies beyond fully relaxed and it makes me smile so big. I can’t help but feel at times that he may be more comfortable with only one front leg instead of two. Because he can move in so many ways that four legged cats can’t…
The last chocolate chip cookie. I’ve written a few posts on here, but THIS ONE has always stayed with me. Read it. My words about how I was lucky to have me for my cookie baking abilities after my divorce. It was the first time I ever thought such a thing about myself. In my whole life. But this photo is actually about the smell. I’ve been smelling my food alot lately before I take a bite, especially sweet things. Homemade things. People seem to just inhale food in this day and age, I say take it slow. Stop and smell the cookies. This bag smelled like heaven.
LILACS. Do I need to say more? Speaking of using your nose wisely. Lilacs are the quintessential smell of warmer days to come. The floral gatekeepers of summer. They look like teeny little purple parasols, just barely opened. And the scent is BIG, WAFTING and just says WELCOME.
I have a terrorist squirrel in my midst. He has twice destroyed and consumed my baby chard. I guess it could be a girl, like a mean girl squirrel. But this squirrel has met it’s match! I got this flower yesterday to plant in the hole that little demon made, and I made myself laugh when I saw it in the sink like this…I thought wouldn’t that be wonderous to have flowers growing up from your drain. Just randomly. I know it’s not practical, but it would be grand.

I’m sure you have these little strange moments too. I can’t imagine we are not all equally gifted each day, but you have to be present and pay attention.

Go pay attention to your life. Look. Feel. Roll these things around in your mind, or put them in your mental pocket.

This is how we survive.

And lastly, I just want to send some kind of hope to those of you who are in India. I’m not sure if the news is accurate, but it’s heartbreaking watching from afar to what’s happening. We feel your fear as we have felt it too. God speed to your safety, recovery and whatever world lies beyond this for all of us.

The Miseducation of Strawberries

Happy Monday Travellers,

It’s been a minute, how are we doing on this fine Monday?

I’ve decided to do a whole 30 days writing every single day journey again. Because I’m trying to reassemble my life in a way that makes me feel good about myself. I decided it’s time to give all the effort that I have inside me. This is the first morning I got out of bed at 5am, walked the ladies with the sunrise and now I’m here. This is me resetting my life. A life that I wholly want for myself.

I cleared and planted my garden a week ago. And once again, it’s a never ending source of just feeling goodness and joy in a way that only a garden can. I kid you not, I smile just typing those words. It warms my soul to say those words and to stand in their presence.

There is something about us, as in humans, that I genuinely 1000% believe needs to have that kind of connection to the Earth. Putting your hands and feet in dirt is the best. And I think if we all grew our own food it would change the way we eat. Nothing ever tastes as good as something you have grown for yourself. And I think widespread communal gardens could change the world. I know that’s a bold statement, but I’m dead serious. Everyone working together side by side with the common goal of nourishing ourselves and our families. Just think about it.

I believe there is a whole world living with us that we have forgotten. And in forgetting that we are neglecting something inside of us…

Lemme show you a little something I learned recently…

Look at that lifeless, dehydrated, sad, once was a lively green plant. It looks dead right? Down for the count. This is one of my two containers that had strawberries last year. I didn’t have the idea for this post until I came to second container and in order for you to appreciate the next photo you had to see this one first…

How does seeing that make you feel?

Take a moment, I’ll wait…

Now look at this…

This is not a new plant.

This is what grows underneath.

LIFE.

Life tenaciously continues beneath the surface of death.

This is the other container, which was even more of dead mess than the photo above, but look at those little guys.

Just look at ’em. Never have I been so happy to see life.

Those dried up layers formed a crunchy blanket for the vines to bundle up inside of as the winter raged on. And we had a two week spell here in Kansas with nights of 20 degrees below zero. There should be no survivors. But there are.

The first few years I grew my garden I cleared all the containers because I didn’t know better. And in truth, I don’t like seeing the little carcasses of my once glorious greeneries. It makes sad to look our my kitchen window and see all the dull brown where there was once vibrant chlorophylled community. And in truth, it makes me uncomfortable to see my little garden all decrepit and broken.

What’s more interesting is last year, one or two little berries offshoots appeared in that second container. Somehow they made their way through that winter and the berries that they grew were the sweeter and more luscious than any first generation berries. I daresay they earned it.

Now take everything I’ve just said and shown you and apply it to life. Your life. I’m not gonna tell you how, because that would rob you of the sweetness.

Let’s cue up one of the greatest albums of my lifetime, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” because when the sun comes out and the weather slides into warmth, it’s what I’m feeling right now…

Thanks for sharing your time with me. Please let me know your thoughts. Do you indulge your inner gardener? Are you believer in the come back? Do you see the relationship between death and life as the dance we are all dancing and yet we continue to fight the rhythm?

And are you ready for all this summer yumminess?

A scoop of Neapolitan

Buenas Tardes Travellers,

Did you ever eat Neapolitan ice cream as a child? As an adult, I can totally see the genius of that idea, 3 flavors in one spoonful. Perfect for those of us who cannot decided what restaurant to eat out no matter how long we debate about it…you know who you are…

Stawberry, vanilla, chocolate.

I never liked it much as a child. I thought those 3 flavors together sounded grossly wrong. I also did not like banana splits. Same reason, too many things mixed together. And you couldn’t separate them very well, no matter how very carefully you tried. There was no dissection technique or distillation that would get the strawberry off the other flavors, was there?

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V.A.C.#11- Dear Santa

Good late evening Travellers,

I have just had a Christmas miracle!! Or at least from my perspective…I have just discovered how to get blueberry stains out of clothes thanks to Epicurious…Let me back up, I bought myself this fabulous pink hoodie on a substantial sale from the Gap for Christmas. It’s the men’s style, in a size small, it fits like no other hoodie I have known..Truly, I am so very fond of said hoodie, poetry could written about this hoodie, you should go get yourself five…

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V.A.C.#10- Read ‘em & weep

Happy one day closer to your weekend Travellers,

Here’s one for the sentimental nostalgic souls out there…Little door #10 of our virtual Advent calendar opens to reveal a tiny little person reading a tiny little book while curled up in a blanket…

And before you think, just read a book? That’s all you got today?…NOPE. It’s so much better…

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A single turkey walks into a bar…

Good morning Travellers,

We have arrived at the first major milestone holiday for me as a single girl. Okay, technically my birthday was the first, but this in America is a BIG one. Or not. It’s come to my attention in the past few years that many people do not really celebrate this day beyond a simple acknowledgement. And while I’m certain some patriots consider that blasphemy, I find it comforting. Not just now as a single person whose family is far away, but because I think each of our lives is our own and why should anyone dictate what our days mean to us.

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Damn, it’s blooming…

Buenas Tardes Travellers,

Last Friday afternoon at work, I noticed something most delightfully unexpected…Wait, let’s back that up…If you will recall, I had a glorious outdoor table garden this summer. Veggies, strawberries, tomatoes, flowers, cacti and one little survivor of a blueberry bush. That little guy was an act of serious faith when I repotted him in April. He appeared to be near dead, all brown sticks, no signs of returning life, but I thought why not try…and he grew so big. SO BIG, like five pant sizes.

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Fascinating Fridays

Good morning Travellers,

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m gonna say it again: I think a blog is great place to experiment with all kinds things, it’s like the Wild Wild West of the Internet. Or at least mine is, so today we’re gonna try something different. Because I always wanted to be an outlaw, didn’t you?

Do you ever read something or hear something or eat something or really any kind of stimulation through any of your senses and think to yourself…is anyone else aware of this? Or even better I feel abit like Elliot on Mr.Robot when he says, “Are you seeing this too?” Like the whole world should know this thing…

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“O” is for One, Opera, Ollie The One Eyed Octopus and a Real Mirror

Good evening lovely Travellers,

How did you fare today on this fine Monday? It’s abit overcast here and gloomy and windy and chilly and well, Fall. First day I’ve adorned myself with a sweater. And there is a chill drifting over the hard wood floors in the house, which means there’s only 5 months till we are back to Spring!!

Let’s talk about “O”…and by the way, in case you have just stumbled into this space, on Mondays we wear pink! No, on Monday’s we use our imaginations to invoke fun and frivolity. We remind ourselves that the world is filled with all the joys of our childhood if we just take a moment and pause to engage that part of our minds.

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“J” is for Joy, Juicy and flying about in a Heli-J

Happy Monday Travellers,

Are you feeling rested yet? It’s always most unfortunate to arrive at Monday morning and be exhausted from your weekend. Do you know what I mean? Maybe you’re just exhausted from your life, because that also happens and Monday somehow takes the blame. I haven’t really greeted this morning in the finest of moods myself, but we walked under a sky that only Monet could have painted and gladness planted a little seed inside my soul. Pretty sure that’s called hope…

Let’s be good sports here and ease our minds and weary souls with a little imagination exercise…in case you are unfamiliar with this situations, please see the past Monday’s posts, here, here, here and here  just for starters… E-I can be found trailing not too far behind with some browsing…

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