Thursday, December 31, 2015

Yep, my earlobes

For several weeks now my sleep has been incredibly deep.  When I wake up in the morning it takes me awhile to figure out where I am, who I am, and even then the sleeping world hovers just above me, ready to envelope me if I drop my waking guard.  I'm usually a deep sleeper, and while I can't fall asleep if there are any noises, even gentle snoring, once I'm asleep I only occasionally hear the alarm clock, and I'm sure if a full orchestra were to sneak into my bedroom and play a marching song it's entirely possible that I may not wake up.  My dogs even know this and almost always go to Robert when they need something in the middle of the night.

This new deep sleep is a little different.  It feels like I'm consumed by it or transported away from the world and then thrown back rather hastily.  I've even been falling asleep fairly easily.  Even last night, after eating a late-night cupcake, I fell asleep even before I consented to it.

Falling asleep isn't usually so easy for me.  Sometimes it can take hours.  I'll lay there consumed by all sorts of anxieties until I can stand it no more.  Then I get up and have a glass of milk.  Every once in awhile I take a bath if the milk doesn't calm me, and on a handful of occasions I have consumed two or three glasses of milk and taken a bath before finally drifting off to sleep.  I also have the terrible habit of eating something like ice cream or a cupcake before bed and then spending a few restless hours consumed by macarena-like jitters.

My earlobes are always the first indicator that I've had too much sugar.  What?!?  Yep, my earlobes.  I like to sleep on my side, and if I've had too much sugar what always jerks me awake is the realization that my earlobes are inside my ears.  I feel this giant wave of panic which I usually mitigate by lots of rearranging. Just as soon as I'm comfortable and my earlobes are flat I can feel them inching back into my ears again.  I try lying on my back but then my head falls to the side and there go my rebellious earlobes, right back into my ears.  This can go on for hours.  

But thankfully, I've been sleeping really deeply, so deeply in fact that I wake up with my hair in my mouth, my head and limbs at odd angles, and yes, usually an earlobe all up in my ear's business. Doesn't even bother me.  I'm not really even sure who I am, let alone what crazy nonsense is going on with those dangly things.  

Monday, December 28, 2015

I am the color of boom

This time around I thought I’d share my top 5 favorite albums from this past year with you.

Because I mention several songs I am only going to include the video for my favorite song of 2015.  I reserve the right to save a few albums (Sara Groves! Adele!) for my 2016 favorites list because I have not had time to listen to them. 



Furious 7 soundtrack

·         I know this is a soundtrack, and not only that, it’s from a movie I’ve never even seen.  But it’s the triple chocolate molten cake of albums this year.  It’s incredibly indulgent hip hop with a great variety of exciting people like Iggy Azalea, Wiz Khalifa and Lil Jon. 

·         I listen to this when I hit on the backboard, sure.  But I also listen to it when I write.  When I’m working at the library.  I even listen to it when I’m in the tub reading my literary journals.  I have taken the music from this album and permanently absorbed it into my body.  You hear that?  That’s Turn Down for What coming out of my sweat. 

·         Of course See You Again is my favorite song on here, and I recognize that it was on a few albums this year, but this album kicks all those other album’s asses, and See You Again is just the lava on the cake.

·         Also, Iggy Azalea didn’t have an album this year so we Iggy fans had to take what we could get.  She kills it on the song, Go Hard or Go Home.  That juicy beat is irresistible to begin with and then Iggy comes in and makes that beat her bitch. 

·         Whip is another great song on this album.  Even though it’s ripe with filthy language, it has a great beat and really strange noises including a fast car zinging around.  This makes sense because Whip is code for a pimped-out car, like my Matrix when I decorated it with fortune cookie slips and bedecked the driver’s seat with the faux-llama seat cover I found at Wal-Mart.


Meghan Trainor: Title

·         If I need a little fun I listen to Meghan Trainor.  While picking my favorite albums of 2015 I discovered that I must have had a lot of fun last year because I listened to A LOT of Meghan Trainor.  Like if my Itunes was a teeter totter with my 5,000 + songs on one side and Meghan Trainor's songs on the other, her songs would be sitting squarely on the ground. 

·         I like how she’s brought that 90s fun, sugary, bubblegum vibe back and added a little bit of kick ass to it.  I’m talking about that Aqua, Real Mccoy, Ace of Base, B*Witched, Cleopatra vibe.  AND SHE’S DOING IT ALL ON HER OWN. 

·         Plus she raps. 

·         And she’s gorgeous and gregarious.  Any time she’s on television I am always mesmerized by her.

·         All About that Bass is of course my favorite.  It’s a great girl power anthem that even dweeby girls like myself can belt out and sound great doing it.



·         These two ladies have that silly sexy factor that creates the feeling of flowers blossoming in my soul. 

·         They are also extremely connected and in sync with each other, which makes sense because they’re twins. 

·         Tribal drums, piano and a stellar voice all support some very thought-provoking and powerful lyrics sung in both English and Yoruba (I had to Google this). 

·         Ghosts is my favorite song.  It has incredible lyrics: ‘My ghosts are not gone.  They dance in the shade and kiss the black core of my heart making words, making sounds, making songs,’ lots of peppy rhythm and a voice that juts out very softly and with great command, especially with the ‘should we just let it be’ piece. 

·         Whether I’m reading, sewing, writing or sitting in peace, this album builds a little world for me that I can disappear into. 


Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors

·         This is #2 because of one song, Polaroid.  Sure, the other songs are great.  But Polaroid is extremely special to me.  It reminds me of my brother Scott, especially the lines, ‘I am the color of boom,’ and ‘I’m a rollin’ freight train.’

·         I have always looked up to Scott.  One of the things I most admire about him is his free spirit and the whatever attitude he has about anyone who doesn’t understand this. 

·         The “Oh, how did it come to this’ part almost always makes me cry, and when I’m not crying I’m singing to it. 

·         This is also a song I listen to when I write.

·         It’s a rollercoaster of a song, and it makes me incredibly happy.


Derek Minor: Empire

·         Smooth, joyous rapping.

·         Super positive.

·         The beats are easy to match with my footwork when I play tennis on the backboard.

·         A little bit robotic, with a nice balance of techno and digitalized spiritual shouting.

·         Very motivating.

And my favorite song from 2015 is…


Sunday, December 27, 2015


I've been asked how the remodel is going, and I have to say that it's been going very well.  Demo of the downstairs is nearly completed thanks to Robert and a handful of helpers. Robert has been doing a lot of research and we've been picking out lots of things, or rather, narrowing things down.  

Robert and I are also moving into one of our rental properties that just came open.  We decided that the remodel could go faster if we were out of the way and the costs of losing a renter for a few months will be mitigated by the time we save.  Or at least that's what we're hoping : ). 

We were planning on moving this weekend, but it looks like we have some wacky weather moving in today, so it's up in the air, but we plan on getting out in the next week.  

Until then, it's more of this: 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

She blew kisses!

We had several holiday surprises yesterday!

A friend of ours, Hunter, made not only breakfast, but also dinner too (I'm devouring leftovers as I write).  Plus, we finally got a chance to play the game Rummikub.

My dad called and we had a nice chat.

I facetimed with my family who live in Tucson, and my niece, Harper, acknowledged my existence and didn't seem to be terrified of me : ).  She blew kisses!

I received some fancy tea from Scott (brother), 23 different bottles of bubble bath from Robert, two very unique textile pieces and several other things from my mom, and...

Probably the biggest surprise of all was this:

Robert's mom, Audrey, has been secretly making us a rug, and she's going to make it even bigger!

It was a great day!  I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday as well.   

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Oh, friendliness!

While walking with my dogs to work this morning we witnessed more neighborliness.  Up ahead in the dark we spotted movement.  Rose and Ella weren't concerned so we continued our peaceful pace. Suddenly the movement we had seen in the distance was upon us.  Before I knew what was happening a runner sped by with furious speed, shouting good morning and Merry Christmas as she passed.  Of course we returned the greeting, me with my sleepy voice, and Rose and Ella with a flurry of wild tails that silently shouted, What was that?  Oh, friendliness!  Yes! Hello friendly blur!

But she had already disappeared into the dark by the time our greetings surfaced.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

the sweater

While I was in Arizona just a couple weeks ago to say goodbye to my grandma, my mom and I took a break from the hospice and went to the house to shower and do some laundry.  While we were there my mom showed me all the Christmas presents, which were in my grandma's closet.  A sweater caught my eye and I asked my mom if it was new because I hadn't seen grandma wear it.  My mom said my grandma didn't like the sleeves and didn't really care for it.  I nabbed it with the intention of asking my grandma if I could keep it the next time she woke up.  

I took the sweater home with me and wore it yesterday.  I didn't wash it so it smelled like her.  But the true magic happened about an hour into wearing it.  I found a couple Sophie & Zuni hairs (mom and grandma's dogs) and had a few chuckles while picking them out in the restroom at work.

A few hours after finding the dog hairs I felt a sharp prick in the left sleeve.  After several pokes I went back to the restroom to investigate.  I dug around and found a little twig.  Thankfully, not a cactus spine, but a mighty sharp little twig, about an inch long and cream-colored.  Who knows where it came from, but I feel strongly that in addition to the grandma smells and a little dog love, the sweater also brought a bit of the desert to Kansas.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rose vs. book fort

I needed to duck outside for just a few minutes, and because I was coming back I left my book fort in the middle of the couch.  

When I came back I saw this:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

meditative & joyful & magnanimous

While walking the dogs to work this morning I spotted another lady just ahead of us walking her two dogs.  Surprisingly, they weren't walking as fast as us and as we caught up to them I noticed that they weren't walking down the sidewalk in a straight line. Instead, they kept walking up and down driveways, where about halfway up, the lady dropped the leashes and left her dogs while she darted to the porches.

Ok, I thought, maybe she's distributing fliers even though it's just after 6 in the morning, and a bitterly cold morning at that, with wind chills just below 20 degrees.

But then I noticed she wasn't going up every driveway, sometimes even skipping two or three houses before walking up a random driveway.  As I caught up to her, a streetlight kindly lent its assistance and spotlighted her retreating silhouette as she walked up another driveway, picked up today's paper and took it to the porch.  

I contemplated helping her out, but I was on my way to work and therefore in a bit of a time crunch.  It was also clearly a meditative and joyful task not only for the lady, but also her dogs who thumped their tails loudly and happily each time she dropped the paper on the porch and hurried to pick up their leashes.  

As I passed them I did turn around to watch for just a bit longer because the task made me happy as well and quite jazzed up about being a part of this life and city and witnessing the thoughtfulness of this lady and her two helpers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

shit goblin

Dear Citizen Who Didn't Flush Their Business And Left Poopy Toilet Paper Bombs Throughout The Bathroom Like Some Kind Of Shit Goblin, 

Was your doody so terrifying that you ran away from it before you could even throw your T.P. in the toilet and flush?  Were you trying to get away before the smell climbed into your face and killed you one smell molecule at a time?  

And why did you leave all the scary toilet paper sculptures leaning every which way like abdominal snow monsters frozen in poop and time?

Actually, no, I change my mind.  No need to answer any of these questions.  I'm just going to back out of the restroom slowly, make a circle of Purrell around myself and whisper the incantation that will mercifully erase the memory of this ever happening.    

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Fred Rogers variety of golden retriever

We spent a happy morning at the dog park.  We saw several dogs, including an English cream golden retriever who greeted and leaned into every human on the trail.  Totally put my golden retrievers to shame.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

very happy sprinkled donut

I celebrated my birthday recently. 

I began the day alone in the library.  I needed to make up time so I arrived extra early and spent a peaceful hour pulling nonfiction books for send item, which is one of my favorite things to do at the library, and the nonfiction section is a popular favorite.  

I really like to see what people are requesting and also what's trending.  Sadly, when a poet dies they are suddenly popular.  But happily people reach out to books for guidance when catastrophe strikes.  Send item is often the only thread that connects me to world happenings.  When several books on the same subject are wanted by different people at different branches my interest is always piqued.    

During send item a coworker showed up with birthday donuts.  So I added a very happy sprinkled donut to my send item cart for spontaneous nibbling and donut dancing.  

I received lots of birthday cheer from loved ones and friends throughout the day.  I came home to cupcakes, Pitch Perfect and a surprise gift from my brother, Scott: 2 library-related books and a fart dictionary (naturally).  

I finished the day with a little sewing and music before crashing.

I celebrated again with my mom and Scott at a brief dinner full of laughter and silliness at Noble Hops.  

It was a damn near perfect birthday.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


This is a happy blog, a place of gratitude and reverence.

My grandma passed away yesterday.  Prior to her passing she spent several peaceful days in hospice. Robert and I were very fortunate to be able to fly down to Tucson to say goodbye to her and be with family.  

I'm thankful that a special coworker and friend, Caitlin, was with me when my brother Scott called me at work to tell me I needed to get to Tucson as soon as possible.  And thank you Scott, for calling me just in time.  

Thank you to Robert for thinking of taking an earlier flight to Phoenix which put us in Tucson an hour and half sooner and gave us the opportunity to shoot the shit one last time with my grandma and brothers, Rusty-James and Scott.  It was a conversation bursting with joy and memories and ordinary everyday chit chat.  

Thank you to Hunter, another special friend, who rushed in to take care of Rose and Ella and pamper them with kitty water, Christmas music and even a playdate with a lab.  

I appreciate the generous attention and comfort the hospice gave to grandma and how easy they made it for our noisy family to stay with her every hour until she found the key to set herself free.  

My grandma lived a long and vibrant life.  She was not only there for me during every big moment in my life, she was also there for all the small moments that filled the chinks between the big moments.  She took care of me every time I was sick.  She taught me how to cook and take care of others.  She gave me warmth, loyalty and buttloads of humor.  When I wronged her she always forgave me.  All the countless games of Skip-bo, holidays, every family birthday and the many Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk are memories that will always live with me.  Thank you, grandma.  

While all of my older pictures of grandma are packed away due to the remodel I did find many favorites.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

calmer and sunnier

Though reminders of recent family visits still lurk, blaring bittersweet memories, and I have been doing my best to walk carefully through the heaps of drywall, plaster and dirt that await me at the bottom of the stairs, it has been a lot calmer and sunnier at home.  

Robert is feeling better.  After stepping on a nail, and a big ol' splinter too - found at a doctor's visit today - he also managed to get the cold that my mom and I had. He's up and moving around now though, down to one crutch and his beatific smile is back.  

Demo has paused, however, but on my next day off I plan on jumping in again.  I'm more than ready to do some of the fun stuff that comes with remodeling and the walls must come down before all the fru fru nonsense.

It can be easy to take it one day at a time when I'm removed from the mess, but as soon as I crunch my way through the debris in my boots I am both overwhelmingly exhausted and maniacally energized by my need for some sense of order and progress.

I will tell you that on the one day I participated in demo I was maniacally energized, and it completely disappeared the first time I picked up a sledgehammer.