My Five Favorite Shows (to watch while it’s too cold to go outside)

While the weather outside is oh, so frightfully cold, I’ve found myself spending much of my time watching television. Here are my five favorite shows that I’m watching to pass the time:

  1. Life in Pieces– Currently in its third season, this comedy is perfect in so many ways. It is a half hour show, so when commercials are removed it’s around 22 minutes long- making it a quick watch. Each episode is broken into 4 separate scenes or mini- episodes (lasting 5-6 minutes each) that often have a recurring thread. The ensemble cast plays well together and it’s hard not to feel like you are watching a real family, like maybe your own. I found this series on Netflix while hunting for something to watch with Kris last year. If the voice of the character, Greg, seems slightly familiar its because the actor is Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks. (He also bears a resemblance to his famous dad.)
  2. The Americans– This FX series is beginning its sixth and final season. It is centered around two Soviet agents who are spying on the American government while posing as a married couple. It is a drama, and it drew me in from the first episode. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble into Matthew Rhys, portraying one of the Soviet spies and who had previously played Kevin Walker on the show- Brothers & Sisters. I’ve been watching this on Amazon Prime…taking my time since I know the show is ending, just when I found it!
  3. Grey’s Anatomy– Season 14 is in progress now. 14! Although I had heard of the show (you would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about McDreamy!), it wasn’t until I found myself with a newborn for a constant companion less than three years ago that I discovered Grey’s. What can I say? It was love at first viewing. I converted my husband into a fan and Kris is my latest victim. I can’t get enough of this show- and I can’t resist getting a small thrill knowing that the creator- Shonda Rhimes- is a fellow Midwest girl! I was hooked on ER back in the day and apparently I’m just a sucker for hospital drama. This one is another of my Netflix staples, never failing to make me laugh or cry.
  4. Friends– This comedy never grows old for me. I watch it every single night on Nickelodeon. I’m pretty sure I never stopped watching it from the time it first aired. Yes, it has it flaws but hey, who or what doesn’t? You can binge watch it on Netflix but it can also be found on cable stations as well. I have my favorite character- Chandler (I think I relate to him on many levels)- and favorite guest characters- Richard (Tom Selleck)  and David (Hank Azaria), my favorite story lines- Ross and Rachel’s relationship, Chandler and Monica’s courtship, “London, baby!”
  5. Property Brothers– (or almost anything else on HGTV.)  When I tire of comedy and drama, I head over to HGTV and dream about remodeling my house into the home of my dreams…. or meeting the cute Property Brothers- Drew and Jonathan Scott! I love house hunting from the comfort of my own home and it has inspired me to spruce up my surroundings!

What do you think? Have you seen any of these shows? I have a pretty healthy watch list on both Netflix and Amazon Prime but I’m always open to suggestions- am I missing something binge-worthy?

Stay warm (if you are part of the deep freeze that has been taking over parts of the country)!

-Kat

 

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2017 Favorite Photos

Good morning! As I’m settling into a new year and trying to begin that transition back into everyday life, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from the past year.

Weekly Photo Challenge: 2017 Favorites

Have a great day!

-Kat

A Wish for 2018

“...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

-Neil Gaiman

Wishing you all the best as we begin a new year!

-Kat

Tonight is Christmas

…. so no, it really isn’t Christmas- obviously. I’m a little late with this one but here is my third Christmas song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past.

The country band, Alabama, released their first Christmas album in 1985. I was working in retail at the time- open to close almost every day of the week for the month before Christmas, and I had the distinct pleasure(?) of working near the electronic department….where Christmas music was blasted at top volume from open to close. And Alabama Christmas was the music of choice….. By December 26th, I hoped to never hear any of the songs on this album ever again but in time, this became some of my favorite Christmas music.

Tonight is Christmas is a moving song about Christmas, peace and love.

“’cause tonight is Christmas, tonight is love
Tonight we celebrate god’s one and only son
Tonight there’s hope for peace on earth eternally
Tonight is Christmas and the world’s in harmony”

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Hope your Christmas was peaceful and happy!

-Kat

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Colors that begin with S

This week’s letter for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is S using photos that are colors beginning with S.

sandy brown
Sandy brown horse
saffron
Saffron- is this saffron??? 

And silver-

cee's fun foto badge

Stay warm!

-Kat

Catching Up

I did finally make it out of Target in time to celebrate Christmas. Two of my kids were not with us this year so we will be celebrating with them soon. Their absences left a huge hole in our day. Lucky for us, our little guys were with us and there’s nothing like the excitement children have for the holidays!

We shared good times, good food and a cozy fire with some loved ones. And that mischievous elf, Jack, stole my camera and attempted to take a selfie!

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, safe and warm!

Love, Kat

Still Here

Wondering where I’ve been? I lost track of how long I was in the store when, after hours of frantic last minute gift shopping and desperate food shopping, I realized I needed something that was clear across the store…. I lost hope of ever getting out of here when sales associates began grabbing bags of Hershey Kisses off the shelf, ripping the bags open and offering them to the grid-locked shoppers, in hopes of raising spirits…..or blood sugar. When the shopper in front of me in line couldn’t get her app to work to get her discounts and left the line (and the conveyor stacked with her purchases) to search out a WiFi connection- at the cashier’s suggestion!!!- I couldn’t even react other than to smile sadly (I really hope it was a smile and not a scowl) at the exhausted but helpful employee. My hope is to be home for Christmas!

If you don’t hear from me, odds are great that I’m still here in line and if you pass a woman by the entrance walking around holding her cell phone at odd angles, then you know I’m still here.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday!

Kat

Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me A Link To Your Blog

Can you help my friend, Hugh, over at Hugh’s Views & News raise money for The Dogs Trust by leaving him a link to your blog?

Hugh's Views & News

The Christmas tree is up, but something is missing. There are no gifts under it, and I need your help to put that right.

#charity #appeal #christmastree #christmas

For this year’s Christmas charity appeal, I’m asking you to help me raise up to £365 for The Dogs Trust.

The Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the well-being of dogs. Click here to go to their website.

Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to do.

  1. In the comments section of this post, leave the name of your blog and a link to it. This can be a link to your ‘about me’ page, a favourite blog post you’ve published, or the home page of your blog.
  2. If you’re an author, you’re also welcome to leave me a link to any books you have published. So, for…

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Crossing Tracks

Yesterday I drove over railroad tracks that I go out of my way to avoid. It’s something I’ve been doing for four years and I’ve been pretty successful finding alternate routes that aren’t too far out of my way.

One morning four years ago I woke up to news that a pedestrian had been struck by a train. I didn’t know that I knew him until a few hours later. And it wasn’t until even later that his death was determined to be suicide. He left behind a wife and three young children.

The last time I saw him was a few months before his death and he had appeared to be the same as always- friendly, cheerful, upbeat, positive. At that time, I was still unfamiliar with the faces of mental illness.

Four years later I have gotten a much closer look at mental illness and the impact it has on the person, as well as their loved ones.

Like so many illnesses, it is not always visible to the casual observer. Sometimes it’s hard to see no matter how close you get to the person. Unlike other illnesses, mental illnesses carry a stigma that is hard to shake. While people are quick to understand the ravages of cancer, they are skeptical of the legitimacy of an illness that shows no easily identifiable symptoms. And the obvious signs- sadness in a person suffering from depression- is thought to be in the person’s own ability to control. Unlike other illnesses where, if neglected, a person will end hospitalized or at least, under a doctor’s care, a person suffering from a mental disorder might not reach that place until they attempt suicide. (And as I’ve found out, deny their intention and not accept a mental illness diagnosis.)

It’s sobering. eye opening. challenging. heartbreaking. sad. The following video, courtesy of NAMI- National Alliance on Mental Illness ,talks about the signs.

I know this isn’t in keeping with the holiday spirit we are all embracing these days but mental disorders do not take a holiday. The mom with three children, at least one too young to have memories of his father four years later, will have an empty space in their Christmas. When my family celebrates the day, there’s a good chance that mental illness will impact our day in some way, as it does every day of our lives.

For two years I’ve stayed mostly silent, vaguely referring to someone who was struggling. Yesterday I pulled up at the stop sign. I knew that just out of sight past the line of trees was the train track that I avoid. I could turn that way, which would be the quicker route, or go out of my way, adding at least ten minutes to my travel time. But I knew that it changed nothing if I took the long way. Either way, that pedestrian that I knew from that long ago news story was in my thoughts.

I turned toward the tracks, and as has always been my routine, I slowed down and looked both ways. I closed my eyes for a split second and sent up a prayer and heartfelt message that he knew that he would never be forgotten, that he had touched so many lives and continued to touch them, even in absence and that my hope continued to be that he had found peace.

As I continued down the road, I realized that not writing about this was no longer an option. It has taken my writing hostage and I have truly felt silenced.

Mental illness has come to our family.

We will be as supportive as we can. We will do what’s best for everyone. I’m sure we will continue to learn and grow.

And as we already learned through Kris’s gender identity journey, regardless of what we do, life goes on and so do we.

Much peace,

-Kat

 

 

Linus and Lucy

My second festive song for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past is Linus and Lucy. Although not really a holiday song, it is featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas and is often associated with Christmas.

Recorded in 1964 by Vince Guaraldi Trio, this jazz piece has been the opener for several Peanuts movies and is a standard Christmas classic.

The song is named for Linus, Charlie Brown’s best friend, and his sister, Lucy, Charlie Brown’s nemesis. I tried digging into why this song was named after Linus and Lucy but was unable to find anything.

This song always fills me with energy and I have to resist the urge to break out into a very clumsy (and horrifyingly humiliating) Kat dance. In my head, I like to think I look like one of the twin girls who mirror each other, but in my heart I know I just look ridiculous and like I’m having some kind of fit.

The kid in the orange shirt doing the shoulder shrug dance move is the coolest by far. The guy doing the zombie walk in the back is another favorite.

And dare I mention the ending with Snoopy dancing his heart out and upon seeing the expression on Lucy’s and Schroeder’s faces blushing and slinking away….

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

Hope you are getting into the holiday spirit!

-Kat