F is for Friends #AtoZChallenge

“After all, one can’t complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before that Rabbit bumped into me and said ‘Bother!’. The Social Round. Always something going on.”

eeyore/ a.a.milne

When I originally chose this quote from our grumpy friend, Eeyore, I did not see what followed that first two sentences. It made me laugh because there are times that I might sound too much like Eeyore. I’ve always been socially awkward, horrible at making friends, and lousy at making plans. But I can’t complain because I do have friends. Some really awesome friends!

#AtoZChallenge- F

Here’s to friendship and better Social Rounds!


Unlikely Friends

“Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.”      -Elie Wiesel

photo a day friendship 1

Everyone needs friends- even headless Lego guys! 

photo a day friendship

Ari makes a new friend!

Photo a day- Friendship

Have a great day!


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)!



Thankful Thursday

dandelion on patio 7.2.17When I sat down in front of my computer today, my mind skittered around in an attempt to decide on a post. I wasn’t prepared for any of the photo challenges- at least not quite yet. A quick scroll through pins on my “In the works” board on Pinterest didn’t spark anything. I felt my spirits droop and an unwelcome thought entered my mind. “Why does everything suck?”

This made me sit up in my chair and do a quick examination of my life at that exact minute. As my thoughts darted around my head touching on this issue or that area, I quickly realized that I could only think of one thing that could be categorized as sucking.

As I ran down my laundry list of usual problem areas, it dawned on me that things were pretty darn good and truthfully, I had so much to be thankful for. I gave that “sucky” thought a kick in the pants and settled down to share my thankful list with you:

  • My two college kids are in good places- both of them! They are both finishing up their last year of undergrad studies. Despite a little adversity, both are facing these obstacles in a more mature manner. And they are thinking past graduation! Score!!!
  • My dear friend, Hugh, who writes Hugh’s Views & News so kindly shared a post of mine that he enjoyed- Yesterday Once More. What makes this act so special to me is that I was feeling a bit vulnerable writing it. I’ve been playing it safe for awhile now and when Hugh’s own post inspired me to write mine, I was hesitant to hit that “Publish” button. Every insecurity I have as a writer rose to the surface. Hugh sharing that post was the gentle nudge I desperately needed and I’m eternally thankful to him for this.
  • I met new people through my blog at a time when I’ve been feeling quite cut off from the world both behind the keyboard and out. It’s been so much fun!
  • The infernal heat broke and it’s a breezy 70 degrees here in the Midwest- absolutely perfect!
  • I’m feeling more pulled together than I have in a long time. Being in limbo can be draining and scary and frustrating but today I don’t feel so disconnected.
  • I chose (and purchased) a paint color for my front door that was referred to as a “bold” choice by the cashier and although she said it in a way that implied it was over the top, it only confirmed to me that I had, indeed, picked the perfect color!

What are you thankful for today?

“I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy, happy and I am loved.” -Reba McEntire

Happy Friday Thursday!




A Little Teapot

My dearest friend, Ivy, collected teapots. I didn’t know this until just about a year ago when she was preparing to pack up her house to move. The move was bittersweet because she was not only leaving the house where she had raised her child, but also her childhood home and neighborhood.

It was not her choice but she was moving into a smaller place. Therefore, she had to make the heartbreaking decision of what to keep and what to give or throw away. Her house held not only her own precious items but those of her parents, who had been gone for awhile.

Ivy was hurting, sad, in a dark, lonely place and I wanted to do everything and anything I could to help her. One thing Ivy was not- was weak. She was a fighter and she was tough and she did not ask for help. She had been this way since the first time I met her 14 years ago. And remains so today even after what has to have been one of the roughest years of her life.

Packing up a lifetime of memories and making those hard decisions that were forced on her were painful to watch. I wanted to take her pain away but I knew I couldn’t. Sometimes in life, people you love have to go through really trying times and you have to let them. It was difficult to keep it all in balance- the desire to help her with the realization that this was something she was going to have to handle on her own. Like I said, Ivy is tough, so just getting her to let me help was a major challenge. I did what I could and tried to be nearby in case she needed me. I hovered so closely that I’m sure I tried her patience.

Ivy tells me that I’m very complex and private, that there are many layers to me and I’m very particular who I let close. I think everyone is like that to some degree and at this time, Ivy, who lives out loud and whose emotions I can read a mile away, closed up shop and shut herself away. I understood.

She was at a turning point in her life. The biggest yet. And she was scared, hurt, worried, tired, angry, and more emotions than I could list. But as I watched her pack up her life and give away, donate or throw out possessions, I was concerned. She reached a point where she was getting rid of everything. I’m all for new beginnings and fresh starts but I feared she was going to regret this. I knew it. I offered to let her store things in my garage, which she turned down. Everything had to go. Even if she didn’t realize what she was doing, I did. She was punishing herself. See, Ivy blamed herself for arriving to this place. What she didn’t want to understand is that none of us lives in a vacuum and she hadn’t gotten there alone. But she was and remains very hard on herself. Ivy is the most loving, caring person I know. She would literally give a person the coat off her back, no questions asked. She is always thinking of others and she’s so outgoing that she has no problem making everyone around her feel her love with her words, looks and hugs. And she beats herself up, mercilessly at times.

And that’s when I found out that she had collected teapots. She asked me if I knew anyone who wanted them. She expressed sorrow that the collection had to go. I offered to store them until she confirmed that there was no place in her new home for them but she refused. She asked if my daughter-in-law might like them and if not, she was donating the lot to Goodwill.

I wasn’t sure how important these teapots were to her. (I had never seen her drink tea once in all the years I had known her.) But I knew that I had to take those teapots. She might want them back one day, even though she insisted she did not. (And maybe she will never want them back.) While she packed up her collection, she gifted me with her most special teapot and I placed it in my kitchen, where I think of her every time I see it. I also took possession of her collection and stored it in a safe place.

And then last week I was browsing around my local thrift store and I saw teapots on a shelf.

Ivy came to mind and I felt a familiar twinge of sadness at the sight of someone else’s teapot collection sprinkled throughout the shelves. There’s always a story behind the items on these shelves and I often wonder how they came to be there.

And then I saw it. It was hidden behind the bigger, flashier teapots. It was actually a sweet little white teapot. Not at all Ivy’s type. But then again, her favorite teapot that she gave me isn’t my type so I hope when I give it to her this Christmas that she will remember that.

She can categorize it as Christmas and pull it out once a year. She can store it in the corner of a cabinet. She can donate it. Or she can spray paint it some cool color, because I’m itching to do it myself before giving it to her. (Can you tell I discovered the many wonders of spray paint and want to paint just about everything?)

I hope she will accept this teapot for what it symbolizes. I hope she realizes how much I love her. How proud I am of her. How much I am in awe of her. I hope she knows that I wish her happiness and joy for the rest of her life and that I hope to be part of it-that I’ve hurt every step of the way along side her but there were times when she had to go it alone. I want her to know that even if it hurts, it’s okay to keep things from the past. Less is not always more. Sometimes that item represents something so much more.

She once said that if she decided to start collecting teapots again that she would start fresh. I don’t know if that is something she will ever do or if the teapots represent a part of her past, a part of who she no longer is.

I do know that life goes on and one day we will look at that teapot (or just talk about it) and remember this time when we were SO in this moment of our lives that we thought this is what it was going to be and we will realize that we had no clue. Just like we didn’t have a clue when we met all those years ago when our kids were so young.

I will do anything for Ivy and her child, and I know she will return the favor. I’m not pretty sure nor do I feel a false sense of security. We have been to hell and back together and I KNOW that we will always be friends.


I hope she likes it!