Tuesday, December 21, 2010


by K. Mossinghoff

as in gone-in-a 
the place where time stops
a smile 
a sister that blinks

can I tell what that was
that flew past my eyes 
a bird, a plane
not superman, well maybe

the space between then 
and now 
the shock of waking up 
out of a bad dream

the time on vacation
or the naked butt of a child 
on the beach 
or not a child, but naked

the blinding glow 
of a celestial body
that seemed to move
and draw a crowd to a stable

the span of a young man’s life 
gone so quick 
thousands of years ago
and we still do not understand

the time that it takes to live
and to breathe the real air 
the movie of a life on fast forward
in the last seconds between here

and there. 
hold it. say cheese.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finding myself or at least my glasses

The notion of finding oneself always seemed funny to me as a child.  Why don’t people just look in a mirror?, I thought.  Not such a bizarre idea. How can you find yourself when  you are always there, inside the body, the vessel that holds together your innards? At mid-life, the vessel I call my body doesn’t look so familiar. I don’t take very long looks like I once did.  As a child I spent hours making faces or practicing hairstyles or glopping green eye shadow and mascara to try to look older. There’s a foreign concept.. trying to look older.  
I need glasses now to read and I rarely have them on when I am getting ready for the day. In fact, right now I can’t locate any of the four pair that I own...
I get a shock now and then when I do have them on and really see the crevasses forming on my face and the drooping of the skin on my neck. Then I take them off and feel and look better..  I don’t worry about it too much and I’ve never been a very fussy person about my appearance (except in high school when I HAD to have the Calvin Klein jeans and wore giant rollers in my hair for an hour at a time to straighten my hair.)
Luckily, my husband’s eyesight is much worse than mine and I feel that this works dramatically in my favor. I had thought about asking Santa for one of those light--up, magnifying mirrors for Christmas, but after testing a few at the mall recently, I decided I like the fuzzy, unlit version of me way better.
Maybe nature’s weakening of the eyesight works on other levels, too. Maybe I see more gray now and a little less black and white.  I like the perspective that aging gives me.  It was fun being young and stupid, but I like getting older and wiser. When I ‘find myself’ in the mirror I see a person that likes to laugh, loves her family and friends and wishes all people had a more blurry view of life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Harvest photo

I goofed getting this in the other post. I am still learning this artform...

The Harvest

Thoughts of Harvest

I am happy that my family did not have to rely on my garden’s harvest for Thanksgiving or for any meal for that matter. I will post a picture of what was surely one of the most pitiful returns for what seemed like a ton of labor or at least a ton of Black Cow manure and other bags of “good” garden soil.

I had many false starts with all of my plantings. I had to move my blueberry bushes because I planted them too early and didn’t realize that they would be shrouded by the surrounding trees after their leaves fully exposed themselves. After I moved them, some beasties found the dominant bush and ate all of the leaves off of just that one and not the other. I am not sure if the other bush felt relieved or offended that it was not worthy of the furry one’s meal. I had to shift the cucumbers I planted in pots but at least that was an easy move - even though it was ultimately not successful either. I had visions of them climbing up a trellis I have in the yard. It’s a good thing we have imaginations...

As the last of the frost finally faded into the arms of what had been a very cold winter for us I was eager to dig my bare hands into some soil and grow some delicious food. I bought a fine, untreated lumber, square garden corral. I painted it with linseed oil that I was supposed to be using in my oil painting and I wasn’t using it at all on painting so why not put it to great use preserving the garden’s woody walls? I staulked the sides and back of the house to find where I thought the sun would be the best. The perfect spot would be at the side of the house at the top of the hill next to the driveway...so OF COURSE I didn’t put the garden there, I put it at the bottom of the hill where it was a bit less Clampety for the neighborhood and unfortunately a good bit more in shade. This and a few other factors would prove to be fatal mistakes.

I when to the garden store (lowe’s!) and hauled by myself three sacks of cow manure (do you know how heavy that stuff is??) and eight bags of soil. I schlepped the whole mess into my lined, linseeded, garden plot that was planted too much in the shade. I planted tomatoes, squash, peppers and carrots. I planted herbs in pots and shuffled them around until I found good spots for them. The purple basil was my best crop of the year. The down side of that is that I am the only one in my family that likes pesto!!

I had a tree trimmer come make a little more sunshine for me by giving one of our giants a long overdue limb cut. I watered. I swatted mosquitos. The sun shone. The earth shifted. I swatted more mosquitos. (I swear I fed the mosquitos heartily on a daily basis...) The squash and peppers and tomatoes bloomed and I was happy. But alas, the peppers did not come from the flowers. No squash came for the squashblossoms (who in the &!## can’t grow a zucchini??). Turns out we had no bees. Ah, that will really screw up a garden. I was not so happy. And the mosquitos kept biting as I kept trying to get something to happen. I guess if I ever do another garden (not blinkin’ likely...) I’ll have to have an apiary nearby or learn how to pollinate.

So, feast your eyes on the bountiless bounty of my labors. I did get a handful of tiny tomatoes that were tasty morsels, but I am not sure that made it all worth it. I guess it got me outside and taught me a few things:

I am more grateful than ever for the veggies in my house that someone else grew and grew so well, for the tired and labored hands that planted all of it and for the even more tired hands that picked it and cleaned it and got to my little or not-so-little grocer.

Plant gardens in really sunny places.

Watch for and encourage bees to come by any means.

Wear long pants and long sleeves even when it is 100 degrees outside so you don’t get 40 bites a day... (20 on each leg..)

Take pictures of the kids when they are excited about pulling even the most disgusting looking carrot out of the soil..

Sometimes gardens are a victim of circumstance (bunnies, drought - we had both!).

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A challenge to write 1000 words about socks: Go!

Is it possible to write a thousand words about these knitted, stretchy little items of clothing? I am going to try to fulfill a writing challenge and see if I can do it.  
What can I say about these helpful, keep-your-toes-warm on a cold morning, beauties? Probably in the caveman days people had hairier feet. I suppose the early days of socks involved some kind of animal skin wrapped with strips of more animal skin.  Someone figured out weaving at some point and decided to make something useful for the feet.  What a great day that was... Although I know some people who don’t like them and don’t own any.  They wear Birkenstocks year round. I know  one person who actually never wears shoes.   I can imagine explaining that to the bride’s family... “Well, he doesn’t actually own ANY shoes...”  So, get married on the beach--what’s the problem?  I wonder if going shoeless makes it easier or more difficult getting through an airport... It’s nice not to have to mess with the on/off business but you might get pulled aside for seeming so weird.
Going sockless
I think from a laundry perspective and as a parent of children with closebutnotexactlythesame sized feet, going sockless would make the laundry process quicker and easier.  I always save the “dregs” or socks for last. With every batch of laundry I do, I have lone soldiers.  How does it happen every single time?  I have an ever growing bag of unmatched socks.  About once a month I dump it all out and see if any matches can be made.  
Ode to the Lost ones
Have fun on your hayride, your waltz to Neverland. Don’t mind me. I am just the putz whose job it is to figure out what to do with what is left of your mate.  You go on your cruise to the tropics on that wave of  laundry rinse cycle water. I didn’t really like you anyway. Okay, I really did.  I hate to see couples separate. It is always a sad story and the children pay for it all with their chilly toes and their crying out in the dark morning “MOM, I can’t find a pair of socks!” Oh whoa is me...  All the ones that are solitary and left behind begin to collect...all piled up with other misfits in the bottom of an old Walmart bag. How humiliating. I may never see you again. Or you may pop out of the corner of a folded sheet or show up in an old unpacked moving box.  If I matched all of you with the extra buttons sitting in envelops inside the drawers and suitcases and bathroom cabinets, I could make enough sock puppets to outfit the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  But they don’t want them.  Nobody really wants or needs a bag full of unmatched socks.  Maybe, if you only had one foot for some reason, but this would be a rare thing to find someone that had such a need, and if I knew of such a person they would deserve NEW SOCKS and not some wretched batch of leftovers from an unorganized laundress from North Carolina.  
So again to the ones that got away...  Are you padding a nest of a nocturnal creature?  I am sure stranger things have been found in a squirrels nest.  In the gutter of some roadway far away as the torrents of rain carried you out of the yard and into the beyond? Shoved between mattresses during a hurried “clean up your room” session? 
Thrown to the very bowels of the back of the closets where no one wants to look or go?
Pulled off while in the grocery store and tossed to the frozen orange juice section? In the car, in someone else’s car? At a friend’s house? Might be time to report you to the Bureau of Missing Socks.  There was supposedly a real outfit in the Civil War that issued socks to soldiers but they needed to save money and made the men turn in an old sock to get a new/repaired one.. I am not sure you can believe everything you read on the Internet.
If you have a dog of any reasonable size, he or she could take a toll on the sock population in a household.  I have been told that some big dogs eat socks, not good Rover...I think this can be fatal.
Once upon a time a fearless knight appeared when my washer started emitting a foul odor and he took the opportunity to completely dissect the machine in front of my innocent but curious eyes.  I just knew that when that wash basin was removed that all of the mysteries of the universe (or at least one) would be resolved and I could reunite the lost ones with their bored and waiting partners back in the Walmart bag..  I waited for what seemed like millennium as the handy person meticulously chose tools and took apart the big white beast that had churned out seventeen years worth of wash loads.  Surely the thing was completely clogged with tons of missing socks and that was causing the problem. It was like being in a operating room but with mechanical parts and implements. As the inside guts were revealed..... deep breath........ NO SOCKS! Not one single, stinking, sour, stupid sock.  Nothing was lodged anywhere, it was free of debris.  Did I feel relief? Sadness? Disappointment. The man told me, after he put all the parts back together and shoved the thing back into place,  ‘You need to get some lemon powdery DISHwashing soap (Sunlight or whatever brand you can find) and run that through the machine a few times.’  It gets some yucky build-up out of somewhere and makes the machine smell better. That glimpse into my machine and the advice cost a dandy $125.00.   He also told me something else I will share with you: if you want to freshen up your dishwasher and clean up the gunk in its innards you need to use TANG drink mix (do they even make the stuff anymore??). So there. Spread this advice around for me. It will make me feel better.  
I digress...one thousand words about socks.  My best advice has to do with prevention. If you buy each family member uniquely different socks (brand, color or just mark their initials with permanent ink) and FORCE them to stuff all their dirty socks into their own separate mesh bags that hang on the doorknob of their rooms or bathroom. You might not spend as much time searching for the lost ones, sorting the ones you CAN find and getting them back onto your family’s feet.
I did it! My counter just went over 1100 words! Good night!  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What to do with a little more time...

Now that the goblins have gobbled the best of the candy and the witches have switched back to their good- old-girl selves, we can get on with the fact that it is now NOVEMBER! How did that happen? Time is so strange in that it can seem so long or so short.  Time seems to speed up in my world. The closer it is to "bus time" the faster it goes. I always seem to be scrambling to finish up something.

This coming weekend will provide an extra hour as we change our clocks back.  I think we could come up with some interesting options for what to do with that extra hour.  Probably the most popular option I would guess is sleep.  No one I know gets enough sleep except for my dad who is 89 and well, there just isn't as much to do at that age.  If you have kids this profoundly affects what happens in the night. I know plenty of households where no one wakes up in the same bed as they started. I also know someone who really promoted the family bed idea and it was such a success that their teenaged daughter was still sleeping with them when she was in high school..  I don't sleep well at all with my kids. My radar goes on overdrive with all their sniffing and breathing.  I wake up with a backache because I usually end up with someone mashing on my spine!

Here are some possibilities for my extra hour:
Take a long walk, bake a cake, play a board game with the kids, spend an entire hour just playing whatever the kids want to play, visit a friend, organize the pantry, drive somewhere that takes a half hour then turn around, write a letter, write the blog..., iron (ew, no way), call my mom, or my sisters, get a jump start on Christmas shopping, get nails done, watch a Madmen rerun, go out for breakfast, paint, help with kid projects, fold laundry (gagging sounds, no), rake a pile of leaves and jump in.  When you take the ribbon off and take that extra hour out of the box what will you do with such a gift?

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Boooooooo! Did I scare you? I know some people don’t like Halloween.  Maybe they have bad memories of it or don’t like dwelling on “evil.”  Not too many people even think about the origins of Halloween or All Hallows Eve anymore. Halloween is now the second most lucrative holiday for retailers and I see it played out in my own neighborhood.  I have never seen such elaborate Halloween decorations in my life! I would have loved to have all this around when I was a kid.  I would feverishly draw “scary” goblins and ghosts in crayon and display these in the front windows on the day of Halloween.  Many of the houses around here brought out the goods on Oct 1 and continued to build on their themes all month long.  It is amazing and so much fun.  
Facing fears is a difficult concept. Halloween can show kids that they can be a little scared (or a lot!) and feel the safety of home or parents nearby.  Or feeling brave in the face of a scary ghost or goblin can be a powerful thing to a child.  “See I’M not scared..!”  I can hear myself say to my best friend as we dug our hands into a bowl of spaghetti ‘brains’ at a haunted house when I was 10.  I am mostly a big chicken really, not a big risk taker, but what fun to be able to dress up as a skydiver or as a fairy princess or a ghoulish creep or anything and pretend to be something or someone else for a night.  
I see Halloween as a great time to be creative and to be silly and get dressed up and get tons of sweets that I don’t want any of us to eat.. It is amazing how “alive” the streets are with the excitement.  My kids are no exception, they will want to get their costumes on at the earliest possible time... I don’t let them eat breakfast in them..but they would if they could!
Our neighborhood starts off with a hotdog potluck supper at one family’s house at 5:00 and then everyone strikes out in all directions and the merriment continues until well past “dark-thirty.” 
Our pumpkin is carved. The decorations are repositioned after all this wind we’ve had... The weather looks promising.  The basket of goodies to hand out is by the door (minus a few choice morsels...I am such a snitcher.) We are ready when you are!
Trick or Treat?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stretchy jeans

I put on a pair of jeans today that fit right at my waist. Not Mortimer level, just comfy. Nothing flopping over the top, no granny panties sticking out that I have to hide with the appropriate top.  No belt necessary to compensate for the expansion of the "stretch" fabric.  I try to look a little bit cool, but not really all that hard.  I taught preschool for a number of years and didn't need high fashion or anything TOO nice because it would likely be used as a dropcloth, hanky or napkin at some point.  I have tried to "update" my look on occasion and have bought some of the lower-waisted pants/jeans etc.  I am always trying to pull them up, because they always feel like they are falling down.  Or I pooch my stomach out to make them feel tighter and that is just not very cute...  I have bought the lower-waisted underwear too and bigger belts to fit my hips rather than waist.  It just never ends. I found some stretchy jeans that seemed fine at first but after a few washings, the waist was all "wee-wonky" as my kids would say.  I don't get it.. well, I do. The fashion gurus have to keep us gyrating around so they can sell more and more stuff.

 I totally skipped the bullet holed, run-over  jeans and the ones that looked like a horse dragged you for miles through rough gravel.  Now jeans are so long legged that you are supposed to wear those eight inch heels with them or pay extra to have them hemmed and then they look weird.  No one really wins but the people at the top of the fashion food chain.  We keep voluntarily biting the worm and getting the hook.  I recently went into the very popular Anthropologie store and tried on a pair of their jeans.. First of all they were $168. Second - they were European-sized which messes with my head. Third the sales person said "Oh! Those look SOOOO great on you, you MUST get them.. "  I guess she did not see that I was turning purple because they were so tight, AND I felt like I was wrapped in elastic bandages.  I was having a hard time walking.  I mentioned that maybe I should try the next size and she said "Oh no, honey, you don't want to do that, they are the stretchy kind and after a few wears they loosen up and drive you crazy!"   but I should buy the ones that make me feel like a living mummy and pay how much? And still have to pay to hem them?!!  I left without buying anything and I think I even cried a little on the way home at how ridiculous the whole clothing world is for women.  I can't even talk about "jeggings" - jeans/leggings... maybe another day for that one.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What spooky things are under your bed?

I am trying to make some progress in getting my house organized. Trust me. I am on a steep climb upward here, but I try to pick some corner to work on each week. On the list recently was the task of cleaning everything out from under my bed. Even I was shocked at the things I found, and I am not sure what it all means except that I shove a lot of weird stuff under my bed!  Are you ready for the list? I am just glad my mom is not a computer person and unless my sisters show her she will never know the horror..

Here goes:
22 pieces of art (two watercolors of mine and lots of other mixed media of my girls), a sock (I couldn't believe there was only one), three metal decorative pieces that I don't know where to hang, a roll of birthday wrapping paper, two gift bags, a crucifix (look out Dracula!), a Yahtzee game,  an Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader game (and no, I don't think I am!), a paper clip, a dust rag (hmmm), dust bunnies to go with the rag, an exercise band, a pen, my high school diploma (I am NOT kidding) and nine empty picture frames. I have to say it is embarrassing, but I feel good about tackling that particular beast.  I am not sure what I am going to do with all the art. That is an ongoing dilemma for another blogtherapy session at a later date.

I would love to hear your stories about what you have under YOUR bed!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quasimodo impersonation

I do not  understand why I do this. I, frequently, despite the fact that I own laundry baskets, try to grab with just my two scrawny arms, every piece of laundry out of the dryer and carry it to a remote location, littering the highways and biways with underwear, socks. towels, etc. I call it the Quasimodo. What makes me do this so often that I have a name for my action...?  Aside from the fact that I am a little crazy, one reason comes to mind...maybe last week's laundry is still sitting in the laundry baskets. Maybe my children have turned the baskets into some form of their imaginary universe.  Sometimes the laundry baskets get filled with the "dregs" of the day at the end of it when I am too tired to really put things away.  I shove whatever has landed on my bed into the basket - sometimes on top of the folded or unfolded clothes. Then I wonder why I can't find my keys, prescription I picked up the day before, glasses, current book club selection, matching socks, school papers that need to be signed and returned RIGHT NOW...

I need to be better organized.  Is there a pill for that? I am jealous of my type A friends who would tell me that I should just fold and sort the load as I pull it out of the dryer. A big fat raspberry to that...I am too claustrophobic to do that and then I could not watch all the obnoxious HGTV people organizing and decorating themselves into a frenzy while I try to sort socks, or I would miss Ina Garten's (is that really her name?!) artful breaking of eggs into a bowl for her fabulous anniversary quiche for Jeffrey.  I hope Jeffrey knows how lucky he is...

Time to dive into the washer and look for loose change. Happy Sunday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The changing of the closets

Ah, nothing like a little cool air in the morning to set the stage for the quarterly changing of the closets.  All of a sudden we really need to find pants (that still fit) and transform the drawers that are full of shorts and swim stuff to sweaters and cozy things.  I usually have a few plastic bins that are emptied and then refilled after the culling process has been completed.  I don't mind the chore this time of year because I LOVE fall. I love the cool temperatures and the fact that I can now completely cover up all body parts and tuck away my neon white legs for a few months.  I love the fall colors and curling up under blankets, picking leaves out of my hair... My girls can't wait to drag out the Halloween stuff.  On the radio today, I heard a Christmas commercial....now I know it's October. Isn't it weird that we dress our kids up all crazy and let them wander around and beg for food on Halloween? And then they get home with a giant sack full of candy that we don't want them to eat? Back to the reality of weeding out the closets.  For mine, I'd like to just bulldoze it and start over. Better get to it! Now where are the keys to that bulldozer...?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cleaning frenzy, red velvet cake and a laundry tip...

I had twenty guests in my house on Saturday evening!  I love having company over every few months because it causes me to clean and to see things oddly placed in my house and get them back to their appropriate places.  For example, the Advil bottle in my kitchen window sill is now in the med cabinet.  The odd assortment of toys that collect on the surfaces in all the rooms of the house are in some kid room - well, they were before the party.  Now I can see the redistribution of some of the things that were put away.  I am not a fussy housekeeper. I’d rather do anything else, but I do love to have a clean house every now and then.
I was working myself to death all day baking and cleaning, I don’t remember eating or if anything tasted good.  I do remember that I didn’t have enough lemonade for the kids.  After the party I went upstairs and realized that I’d left all kinds of cleaners out in the bathroom and hadn’t “finished” what I started up there.  I also had pulled out a wad of grossness from my vacuum and put it on a table and forgot to get it to a trash can. So, that made a nice decoration...
I made a red velvet cake for the first time this weekend, and it turned out okay, but I am a little freaked out that it took two entire bottles of red food coloring.  Can that really be good?  I made the cake at the request of my daughter who turned 11 and wanted to serve this cake at her birthday party.  It looked and tasted fine - the cream cheese/marshmallow frosting was wildly good!  I am just not sure I will make the cake part again. 
Laundry tip!
In all the madness I tried a laundry tip that worked great so I have to share this with you:  My daughter had a buttery grease stain on a dress (she loves to help in the kitchen!).  My first attempt with a regular stain remover didn’t work at all. Then Mom told me to try some shampoo - I rubbed some on the stain and washed the dress again and it totally got the stain out! I used Pert.  If you try this, tell me if it works for you and what shampoo you used.  There goes the buzzer. Why don’t dryers have a more pleasant way of alerting you - why can’t there be ring-tones that you can pick??  More on that later...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The day after

Sept 30, 2010
The day after birthday...back to not being queen.  Laundry to do.  Life. Or how about shopping instead!  I had a great time with a righteous fashionista friend at the mall today and spent all my bday money and then some.  I am not good with clothes.  I would do well to find a grown-up version of Garanimals (does that still exist?). I have shopped the bargains for so long, I have a closet full of things that don’t go together very well.  And mostly I wear jeans and basic tops.  I have been wearing the same basic style since fifth grade.  I don’t have a need to spend top dollar for clothes to schlep around to the places I go, but as I am getting a little older I want to look a little more put together - at least some of the time...  Why I think that Anthropologie will do it for me, I am not sure... but I love their Bohemian aura and I sort of want that. Okay, I could spend a fortune in there if I had it, but today I splurged and truly spent all of my bday money on three things.  I feel a little weird about that but I really love what I got and now maybe when and if I ever want to exude that vibe of “I am not ready for chico’s baby, I can look cute and stylish and not look like I have given up on myself...” I will have the right outfit for that occasion.
So, many thanks to the awesome shopping goddess that went with me and helped me so much and made me laugh a lot. 
On a completely different note:
We have had such cleansing rain for the past few days that when the blue sky finally appeared I thought there was something wrong with my eyes the color was so intense.  I hope you got to see it too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Threshold

The Threshold...
Do you know that feeling you get when standing on the threshold of something? If it’s a party you are about to enter, the feeling could be of excitement or anticipation or stress depending the circumstances.  Starting something new in your life can feel like the steep ascent on a wickedly tall roller coaster.  You might have chosen to do this to yourself or maybe someone talked you into it and if you don’t vomit on them when it’s over you may want to kill them.  Or it may be the best thrill of your life.  I am finally able to call myself a writer. This is a big step for me. I feel like I have walked through the door and I am ready for the party.
I am hoping to share some useful things I have learned within this patch of the on-line universe and maybe satisfy that need of mine to get over the top of that first climb on the scariest coaster ever... discovering who I am and learning to make the most of my life while I have the chance.  Welcome to my world...
When I was little, my mom  would read to us (me and one of my sisters) on Sunday afternoons. After the roasting pans were cleaned and stored back in their rightful places and the smell of the roast and potatoes still lingering, but before the second piece of pie which would be our dinner... we would gather in the living room.  
Mom would sit in one of her danish-modern armchairs and crack open a book.  Always one of her choosing and always one of comedy or humor. I guess it was a kind of therapy for her and for us too.  This is the only memory I have of her actually sitting down and doing something relaxing - no hemming, mending, reattaching buttons.   The stories she read to us were not the usual classics of Shakespeare or the Bronte sisters, they were of even wiser scholars of the world such as Erma Bombeck and Phyllis Diller.
At the ripe age of 10,  I felt so wise hearing how people really dealt with life, kids, running a household and lots of other topics - some very light and some really heavy.
I hope to share some thoughts and some tips as I find them.  I find out lots of information that would have helped me more had I known it sooner.... Some of this space will be devoted to laundry, actual laundry. And some space will be devoted to life’s laundry.  I hope you enjoy the space with me and share comments and life/laundry tips with me too.  The longer I live the less I seem to know..
What’s up today?
Today is my birthday. I started the day with a great big hug from my older daughter who turned 11 yesterday. She was the greatest B-day gift ever!!  Both of my girls led me upstairs to the “surprise!” moment of the day... their beds were made!! Isn’t that a great gift?? It was so genuine and so perfect.  I had a great lunch with a great friend and shopped a little.  All fun stuff! Tonight we are ordering chinese food!  I refuse to cook on my bday! 
I hope you will join in my journey now and then. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.