Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Okay. Forty .

Forty. That is approximately 14,624 days on this earth.

Forty things I love. My Monkeys. My Mom. The Pug. The Senile One. The Grumpy Lumpy Lucky Humperdink. Writing. The New York Times (especially the inky real edition). Pottery. The smell of a freshly printed book. Kale. Coffee with a shit ton of real cream. Lavender plants. Succulents potted in funky containers.  Letters from my dad. Scrapbooks. Peppery Cabernets. Tree pose. Pigeon Pose. Airplanes descending. My Mema. Cinnamon Girl. Feather Pillows. Mountains. Saltwater.  Sand between my toes. Scrunchy faced kisses. Real cotton. Ballet flats. Cowboy boots. Mirrored sunglasses. Nests. My pink piece o'shit bike. Forgiveness. Old campers. Sleeping bags. Hammocks. Flip flops. Six ounce running shoes. Figs.

Forty things I want to do. Be the light. Run a half marathon. Then, run a marathon. Travel 25K this year. Start a list of fourteeners. Take a cooking class from a chef friend. Get Lasik. Volunteer with a favorite charity. Make bread from scratch. Learn another language. Pay off debts. Take my monkeys to Europe. Teach my girl to drive a standard. Master chess. Plant my own garden. Buy more flowers. Get a nose ring. Get a tattoo. Beat the monkey up the incline. Watch the sun rise from Red Rocks. Put my toes in the sand. Be my own boss. Write the book that has been percolating on the back burner. Publish the book that has been percolating on the back burner. Forgive. Write more thank-you notes. Visit my Mema. Sleep more. Be authentic. Eat more sushi. Replace coffee with green tea. Be the last one to let go in a hug. Love harder. Laugh louder. Experience discomfort more. Speak my truth. Design a new blog/website. Sleep under the stars. Build a little free library. Learn something 'homey' like laying tile or running a snowblower or a lawnmower.

There. Forty. Forty things that I love and forty things for a bucket list. Let us never speak of this forty nonsense again.

XOXO, Peace and love and figs and 14,625 sunrises.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Marking Shoplifting Off of the Bucket List

Alright, Miss Karina.

I read your 'turning forty' blog, and I have written and re-written about forty responses about turning forty in three days.

None of them ring true. Some have little resemblances to the truth, or echoes of the truth, but they aren't authentic.

Truth. I am tired. I am forty years of exhausted. I have this sammich generation of heavy worries on my back. I fall asleep worrying, the weight of my world sitting firmly on my chest. I wake up with an incredible lightness, until all of the realities come crashing and crowding back down onto my chest, and I have to think about actually just breathing in and breathing out.  I am forty fucking years of exhausted. That bone-tired exhaustion where sleeping for days, waking up and not knowing what day of the week it is- that sounds aaah-mazing.

So forty years- forty years. Karina, I thought I would have it all together. If forty years has taught me anything, it has taught me that I can control my responses to the world, but I can control nothing in the world around me. If someone is sick, I cannot fix it or fix them. If someone is hurting, I cannot heal them or their hurts. If someone wants to heap all of their blames or hate onto me, I cannot stop them. All I can do is control my response, tuck in so that I am not hurt, and recognize the "serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Forty years as of Thursday, and my big takeaway is recognizing the waves crashing around me, and that I can just dive into them and let them wash over me.

That being said, I am still thinking about my bucket list. I am always late, so I figure it is apropos if I just start working on my bucket list for forty. Early bird gets the worm? Who wants a fucking worm? I start my bucket list now.

First thing to mark off my bucket list?

Shoplifting. Besides that unfortunate and accidental time in 1983 when I took Industrial Sized Razor Blades from the Strike-It-Rich Grocery Store, I have never shoplifted. I have an outsize sense of right and wrong, and taking something that is not mine would never be an option. Until this....

Kinda hard to see, but see that adorable black flower headband perched on my noggin? Yep, that one. Totes shoplifted it. I was enjoying lunch with my bestie, when she started staring slightly above my eyes. She said in a stage whisper, "Don't Panic."

Anytime anyone says "Don't panic", I panic.

She is staring across our plate of olives and papitas bravas, slightly above my line of sight and to the right. I hear "Don't panic" and think one of two things. Either there is a huge frikking spider crawling across my head or there is a wild-eyed knife-wielding man standing over my shoulder. Either way, I have enough pent-up rage to take them both out. As I am preparing to ninja chop something, she again stage whispers.

"Did you pay for that?"

My hand goes up to where the spider was supposed to be crawling. Nope. No spider, just a cute handmade fair-trade rose. Which I totally yanked from the boutique next door, as we were birthday shopping.


We finish our birthday lunch, go back, and I say that I would like to pay for my headband. The (new) woman is confused. I am wearing it. Already. I have to explain, and rather than explain that I was so FRIKKING mentally exhausted that I accidentally stole said fair-trade headband, I just tell her that I have now successfully marked shoplifting off my Forty-Year-Old bucket list, and I need this headband.

Voila. Now, I work on my grownup bucket list, which hopefully includes a really long nap. I look forward to being friends when we pass the eighty year mark, Karina. And you can totally borrow my headband.

XOXOXO, Peace and love and naps and fair-trade headbands.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Au then tic i ty.  /oTHen’tisitee/ The quality of being authentic.

Au then tic. /o’THen tik/  Real or  genuine, not copied or false.

Keeping it real, authentic, cupcakes.

I confess. I make New Year’s Resolutions. I know it is encouraged to make fun of and mock people who make them; we are a jaded bunch of jerks when it comes to mocking hope. But I confess that I make them. Something about Day One of a new year is like fresh fallen snow. I want to be the one to sink my boots in and make tracks. Even if my tracks only go a few hundred feet, I want to sink into the new.

Fresh snow.

My resolutions are quite different than the norm. I know I will screw up the “losetenpoundslosetwentypoundsquitcursingeatmyveggiesorganizemyhouse” resolutions, so I intentionally drop an F bomb, eat chocolate chips,  and load extra creamer in my coffee on New Year’s Day. No, I make funky resolutions. Run a race a month with my monkey. Hike to our favorite spot every other weekend and take a selfie. Not in a duck-faced selfie kinda way, but to see how our favorite spot and our faces change over the course of a year. Watch a TED talk a day. Be authentic.

Friday, January 3, 2014


*Blinks eyes and looks around*

Wow. 2014 is here already? Where did 2013 go? Although I cannot say I will miss 2013, as she was a bit of a snarly thing.

Peace, carved into the water at our favorite hiking spot. 

We all make resolutions every New Year's. Even those who outwardly poo-poo them secretly vow to do more or less of something. Drink less. Curse less. Exercise more. Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. And on and on and on.

Two of my favorite people in the world recently quoted Mark Twain about their resolutions. One, who vowed to curse less, sent me this at five in the morning...

"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."

The other, a timely quote as many were waking up. bleary-eyed and puffy from too much champagne swigged before the clock struck midnight.

"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving Hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. To-day, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformations to the wind and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion."

Wise man, that Mark Twain. I resolve to have more peace. More authenticity. More openness. More loving the ones I love, squeezing their necks and calling and just loving them.  Less sadness. Less walking on eggshells, worrying about what others think. Less thinking I only deserve a crumb or a nibble. I also resolved to lose ten pounds and cut out sugar, but that went out the window when I grabbed a scoop of dark chocolate chips as the monkey was baking chocolate chip cookies earlier today. Damnations.

There goes the cursing resolution too.

XOXO, Peace and love and F-bombs and effort!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My List

November's Thirty Days of Thankfulness.... Ummm, yeah, I forgot that one. I can appreciate how awesome everyone else's lists are, but some days are a challenge for me. No one really wants to hear that I am thankful no one puked on my floor, or that I am grateful my banana didn't have any black spots. So I may not have a Thankfulness List, but I have a LIST! I am working on any or all of these at at any given point, so I have a list that I can even mark things off of. There- I am THANKFUL for lists.
  1. If you don't want your Mema and your monkeys to see it, don't post it.
  2. Don't ever speak badly about your job or your boss on any social media site. It is forever.
  3. On that note, the picture of you on vacation with a bong and too much cleavage? It is also forever. Don't post it, or better yet, don't do it.
  4. Get enough sleep. You'll be nicer for it.
  5. Be nice. But really be nice. If you cannot be nice, it is okay to retreat to your pillow fort for the day.
  6. Tip well. Waiting tables/Barista-ing/Being a hairstylist- these are hard and brutally under appreciated jobs. So, round up and tip well.
  7. Vote with your dollars. Your money probably matters more than your check on a ballot box, so recognize where every dollar goes.
  8. Grow something. Whether it is an extravagant vegetable garden, a windowsill of herbs, or an impossible to kill succulent, grow something. Getting your hands dirty and keeping something alive are good reminders that we are a small part of something big.  
    Grow something. ANYTHING....
  9. Call your grandmother. Call your mom. Call your old neighbor. Even if you only have five minutes, let them know that you are thinking about them. That five minutes might not be much, but you are not guaranteed five minutes tomorrow.
  10.  If your dog or cat pee on whatever you are growing (see number eight...), try again. A good reminder that shit happens, or in the case of my favorite plant, dog pee happens. Thank God for second chances.
  11. Be nice to yourself. Talk to yourself like you would your dearest friend, and be kind. You are going to mess up, forget to feed the lizard, step on someone's toes, stick your foot in your mouth, forget to pay the phone bill for two months, but it is okay. You would not beat your BFF up over honest mistakes, so don't beat yourself up.
  12. Drink more water. Wine and vodka don't count, but drink more water. Why? I don't know, just do it.
  13. Put your phone down. You are not so important that everyone needs to know what you are thinking in 140 characters, where you are on foursquare, what you are eating, or what is playing on your Spotify. So put your phone down, and actually enjoy what you are eating, what you are listening to, or who you are with.
  14. Apologize. When you have been an asshat, own it. Give a real apology, not an "I am sorry you feel that way" apology. When you show regret and own up to being a jerk, it is a sign of strength. And it is hard. Do it. And if you do it awkwardly, try again.
  15. Hug people. Hug their necks, hold their hands, peck their cheeks, pick them up and twirl them around. Whatever works. It is all about connection, and it is fleeting. So grab it while you have the chance.Unless it's the workplace, and then, try to avoid a lawsuit. A firm handshake or backslap might work. 
That's all, cupcakes. Peace and love and hugs and Potting Plants. XOXOXO

Sunday, October 27, 2013


The monkey and I have been hiking every chance we get lately. Autumn is upon us, and winter is coming (Hello, George Martin...), so we are trying to get in as many hikes as possible. I think we can both tell you every inch of our favorite well-worn trails. Exactly how many turns before you hit the first reservoir. Where someone inexplicably put a spigot into a dying pine tree. The most likely place to see a fish. The peninsula that you have to tiptoe across a log to get to. The boulders that the monkeys love to scramble up, even as I cringe.

And then there is this new sign. Trail closed.

Hmmmm. I know it is probably closed because of all of the rains. There are probably boulders poised to roll down with the slightest breeze, so I am happy to obey the sign.

It's actually been stuck in my mind lately, though. Trail closed. Sometimes one way is closed. The way that you are accustomed to is suddenly shut off one day. It doesn't mean that you sit down by the sign or turn back around. It just means you find a new trail. That's all.

Monday, October 14, 2013


20130228-P2282416 by everydayjill

Damnations. I thought I was going to get it right on Day Fifty.

It's Day Sixty Three.

I am still drowning. Drowning. Damn it.

I keep meaning to start over each morning, to live each day to the fullest and love to the mostest because I get the chance to. And instead, I just end up trying to breathe. Living fully and loving- fat chance. I am doing well to inhale and exhale. And sometimes, I actually forget to breathe. Catch myself gasping, because I literally forget to frikking breathe.

I try to count my blessings- I know I have a lot. Best friends, the monkeys, their best friends, mountain trails, autumn air, pumpkin smoothies, pug kisses. But this, this sadness- it is a strong tide pulling me down deeper.

I am fighting it, but pulling yourself out of drowning is hard work. Harder than real estate or insurance or digging fencepost holes or catering. I am exhausted- mentally and physically. I never knew that drowning in sadness could actually truly hurt. Note to self, sorrow aches. Like running or squats or burpees, but without a single calorie burned. Cruel joke.

That is all, buttercups. No big epiphanies. Except that sorrow sucks. And I know I am not alone, but it still sucks.