Wear Your Sparkly Hat

Greetings, dear readers!

It’s International Women’s Day and I’m thinking about women who stand out. Especially the ones who didn’t really intend to – not really… but. But there was something meaningful they just needed to grab onto all their courage and stand up for. You know what I mean – there are some things so important you are willing to wear the sparkly hat and go public, because people need to know about that, do something about that, remember that, and you don’t care what you look like doing it.

I bet you’ve done it. You’ve stood up, maybe on shaky knees because you don’t like being noticed, but something inside said, this is too important to hold back. You got out there to that public forum, that 5K, that fundraiser, that microphone, and did what you don’t normally do because there are some things too big for your inside voice.

Shout it. You got this. We all have our sparkly hats. You’re rockin’ yours.


PS. My sparkly hat moment is an annual walk to raise funds for breast cancer research and survivorship. It is close to my heart because more than one woman close to my heart has been touched by breast cancer. So shy me, the person who won’t even wear nail polish or bright lipstick, gets her sparkly on – in public and all over her person – for a cause.

What’s your sparkly hat moment? I’d love to know – drop in a comment and share the awesome causes that make you step in front of your fears!

Comments are moderated and always much appreciated.

PPS – Guess what? This is post # 100 on this blog. It took a while to get here and I am grateful you are here with me.

These Gifts

Have you ever had a day when all the gifts around you are suddenly in focus?

It’s not the big things I mean here – new jobs or new homes or new love. Not those. Those are awesome – and they don’t happen everyday.

I mean the gifts that do – the person who looks up and smiles when you hold the door for them; the goofy way your dog acts like she won the Oscar when you give her a treat; blue skies on a sunny day; a chance to chat with a colleague you don’t see very often. Every little thing.

They’re all gifts. They all count. And they’re all around us every day.

Your presence here today, dear reader, is a gift to me. I am grateful. What gifts have you found waiting for you today?

N.B. – I know that some days feel like ugly dark no-gift days. If you’re having one of those days – I am sorry and I wish you better days ahead. Just because your day isn’t all sunshine and pickles doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it right. Maybe the gifts are waiting for you another time; maybe you aren’t ready to receive whatever gifts might be there right now. They’ll be there when you are.


Yes – I’ve been away awhile. And I am here now. I’m glad you are, too. I promise to be back again soon.

Amuse Pooch

Greetings, dear readers. I know – you’re probably thinking, “What the heck? Amuse pooch?”

Actually it’s “amuse pooch”, as in the French. Like “amuse bouche“, those tiny little nibbles to start a meal; only it’s for – oh, yes – the DOG.

Here’s the story: My little Chiquita (AKA Pogo Shark, Miss Chickie, Kiki-boo, The Terrierist) is a Jack Russell/dachshund mix. She is small, adorable, ferociously energetic, smart, loyal, loving, and funny as all get out. She is also a slightly picky eater. Well… she is somewhat picky around her own bowl. Around anyone else’s – she’ll dive right in. So, even if she is hungry enough to sneak my food, cat food, or Olive’s food, she will curl up in royal repose and ignore her own enticingly prepared bowl of kibble mixed with the yummy, squishy, strong-smelling canned stuff they love.

In the effort to get her to eat on time one evening, I got some of the canned food from the spoon onto my finger and extended it toward her nose. She lapped it up and trotted over to her bowl. And, thus, the amuse pooch was born. Now she almost always waits for me to present her with this little pre-treat before she will show any interest in her food. So I do it every day, twice a day, when it’s time to feed the dogs. I fix up the bowls, I give her a little taste, and she happily chows down. Olive, on the other hand does not need enticement. She will happily apply face to food any time she gets the chance. Yes, I am crazy about my critters. How could these faces not be worth it?

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Yes – I’ve been away awhile. And I am here now. I’m glad you are, too. I promise to be back again soon.

Oh, Hello!

Greetings, dear readers!

Thank you for being here – I know I have been off wandering this month. I am here now. I am so glad you are, too.

While I’ve been quiet, I have been busy at the other bits of life. I have been paying attention to some things that needed it and letting go of some things that didn’t. Spring cleaning of a sort, you might say.

In the course of all that, I came across a sentence that I keep coming back to, a little surprise hiding in the pages of a beach-read novel*, that gave me a jolt of the “Wake up!” kind.

Here’s what it said:

Smaller life quote

Oh, hello! I sat straight up when I first saw it and just stared. And I kept going back to it, rolling it over in my mind like a beautiful stone you just don’t want to put down.

In the days since, it has served as a reminder whenever I am tempted to shrink back or go for less, that there is another way. It says to me: Step up. Step into the life you want. If you trip, you’ll get up. If you find you’re on the wrong path, you’ll seek a new one. Too small doesn’t fit – go as big as your dreams.

I am grateful I read the book that gave me that message and let me share it with you. Wishing you happy days and the joys of Spring!


*The book that contained the above quote was “When Never Comes” by Barbara Davis. It’s a novel about a woman reestablishing her life after big changes. I know I’ve seen similar quotes; I don’t think I’ve seen it put this way before. It hit me just right – so thank you to Ms. Davis for that wonderful wake-up call!

It is not your imagination that things have been quiet around the heresaquarter quarters. Sometimes the round-robin rodeo of work and home obligations makes it harder to keep up with everything (or anything!) I have some new ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

Namaste

Greetings, dear readers.

Like you may have, I have dabbled with yoga off and on for some time. As I have admitted before, the fur fam adds a degree of amusement not usually encountered in formal classes. Bending into funky poses while clad in comfy spandex is still fun. Today I was struck by the word always spoken at the end of the recorded flow I use: Namaste.

Do you know what it means? I didn’t so I looked it up. Namaste, roughly translated, means “the sacred in me recognizes the sacred in you”.

The word went off in my head like a piñata meeting its match. Can you imagine if more of this went about in the world? What if every time we thought of another, we called on that spark of the sacred? OH. Wow.

namasteMy thoughts went spinning, with the conversation in my head going something like this: There’s that political figure on the news – I don’t like that person’s policies, or their actions, or even the smug look on their face. And I recognize that there is a spark – somewhere – of what is sacred in that person, too. I can decry the policies and the actions and the smugness; what is sacred is not to be denied. No matter how difficult it may be to recognize under the circumstances.

As fraught as politics can be, the thought brought a little grace to the moment and eased some of the angst I felt around that particular news item. It felt so much better than just getting peeved and stomping around for half an hour. Or half a day because it kept coming back every time I got on social media. Eesh! Let’s not go there!

So maybe a little more “Namaste” is just the ticket. I’m going to give it a try. I won’t pretend I’ll be perfect at it. I am likely to forget as regularly as I remember when something ticks me off. When I do remember – there will be that much more peace in my head and heart. The world can always use a little more peace.

Namaste, my friends. Namaste.


It is not your imagination that things have been quiet around the heresaquarter quarters. Sometimes the roundrobin rodeo of work and home obligations makes it harder to keep up with everything (or anything!) I have some new ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

March Madness

Greetings, dear readers.

March hares, mad hatters, March madness – this is wild little season. The weather here in the lower midwest is patchwork of “ahhh” and “OH NO!”. We have daffodils blooming,
2018-02-25 12.52.43and still get snow or freezing rain every three or four days. It’s been almost 60 one day and almost 20 the next. I wear every coat I own in rotation and don’t even try to figure out which one will be needed next. There’s been enough rain that my backyard has standing water, now lovingly referred to as Lake Muddy Pup for the frequent result when I let Olive out there. She does not understand why this is not also my chief joy.

Muddy paws also mean muddy carpets, no matter how carefully I try to wipe those feet. That means Kenmore gets regular workouts. Not that he wouldn’t, anyway, because having four fur-bearers in the house means that the spring shedding season is ACTIVE, to say the least. (Dust bunnies around here look more like wooly mammoths.)

And then – there is always the surprise of a sunny morning. It’s bright and the dogs bask together on the porch bending my heart to see them curled together. The cats sit happily in a window and birds flit in and out of the feeder, stocking up before whatever comes next.

The run up to Spring is as sweet as it is unpredictable. Cheers to whatever is next!


It is not your imagination that things have been quiet around the heresaquarter quarters. Sometimes the roundrobin rodeo of work and home obligations makes it harder to keep up with everything (or anything!) I have some new ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

Apparently…

Greetings, dear readers. It’s that time again… Yes, that one. I’ve been thinking and I’m going to share these oddments of thought with you.

Here, in no particular order, are things that have occurred to me lately:

1. Apparently, when jobs experts say to dress for the position you aspire to, they do not mean “lone auteur working at home in sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt”.

2. Apparently, none of the advice to consume brightly colored foods actually includes
these beauties:

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More’s the pity…

3. Apparently, neither ‘fashion statement’ nor ‘statement piece’ means an article of clothing with a clearly stated opinion on it.

Annnnd – last but not least:

4. Apparently, there are people who think dogs don’t have thoughts or personalities. They have never been treated to this – the Ollie-Dollie Pupside-Down Happy Girl Special. img_4612-1

You’re welcome.

(My dogs are also perfectly capable of expressing boredom, jealousy, hunger, and the undying need to go out back to stomp through mud and bark at deer. And the cats? That’s a whole ‘nother story!)

Here’s hoping your day includes a smile.


Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

No words

Greetings, dear readers.

It’s been another one of those weeks. Another of too many. Someone with a pain they didn’t know how to manage caused more pain than we can manage. People dear to me live within a few minutes of the high school where seventeen people lost their lives. All seventeen were dear to someone. My heart bends to them.

Broken-Heart-Picture1One we lost was a heroic 15-year old who did all he could to shelter others. He was a member of ROTC and was awarded admission to West Point for his bravery. Peter Wang. Sweet and brave and still a boy. The accolades are deserved and not enough.

Cadet Wang will not walk with his classmates. Not into West Point. And not at high school graduation. And that is heartbreaking and shameful. We have work to do. It is now left to us to honor the memory of all seventeen who died in Parkland, and the 58 before that in Las Vegas, and 49 before that in Orlando, and, and, and … all the way back to the heartbreak of Sandy Hook. And before that, too.

Too many. Way. Too. Many.

Thoughts and prayers are well and good, but they are not a solution. We are the only developed nation in the world with this kind of gun violence. And we are better than this. Time to pray with our feet and do what needs to be done. Peter Wang’s classmates are; it is time for the rest of us to stand up, too. Use your outside voice on this one, folks. The kids are not waiting on us, but they can’t vote and some of them can’t even drive; they could use some reinforcements.

Go get ’em, peeps.


There are lots of ways to be active on this issue. Here’s an example from someone I admire so much. She is using her outside voice.

Brene Brown blogging on guns and speaking truth

Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

Morning forecast

Greetings, dear readers. This year the winter weather has put my area on a roller coaster from deep cold and snow to ice and freezing rain and now to a week of cold rain that has us facing flood watches. We always want to be able to predict the weather – our wardrobe and plans and sometimes much more depend on it.

Do you remember those sayings? The ones about morning and night? Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Turns out that’s not always true, but it works often enough to stick.

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I was sitting in my home office the other morning and glanced toward the window to see a vibrant purple sky. My first thought was “ooo, pretty!” And then I wondered what it “meant”. Standing at the window and watching purple and pink blush across the sky and then fade into daylight, I decided maybe that didn’t matter. “Pretty” was enough to start the day on a sweet note.

Are there things you notice that forecast the morning for you? The little signs that this is going to be a good day? Or the ones that say this is a good day to pick up a large coffee on the way to work and hole up in the office for a while – like, until Wednesday? You may not even know why your mood feels like a storm coming on, and the truth is, you don’t have to. Your feelings are yours and you don’t have to justify them. What you do in response – that’s where some choice comes in.

I have those days, too.  Who doesn’t? And while we can’t do a whole lot about what Mother Nature is serving up, I find I can sometimes work a little magic on that internal weather, especially on those “see you Wednesday” days. Probably my favorite magic is Fruit Fairy.  (I heard that! I have not lost it – I just put it somewhere safe and now have no idea where that is…) I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s not rainbows-and-ponies magic. It really is just a bag of fruit.

On a day when you start out in a mood that can melt lead – first, be kind to yourself. It’s hard carrying that around. Next, stop at the store on your way to work. Go to the bagged produce and find what’s on special. You can usually pick up a bag of oranges or apples for five bucks or less. (Get yourself a nice carry-away lunch, too, if you want. Just because you’re on Fruit Fairy patrol doesn’t mean you have to hang around the coffee pot if you need some solitude.) Take it all to your workplace, and go to the break room or kitchen or wherever your common area is. Leave the bag of fruit with a note that says “Help yourself!” Most days I like to do this anonymously, so no one is quite sure who the Fruit Fairy is. Then watch the faces of your colleagues when they find this small gift. The surprise and the smiles are sweet return. That’s usually enough to start blowing the black clouds out of my mood.

It doesn’t have to be fruit for the team – you might stop for coffee and decide to bring your office admin her favorite beverage. You could snip a rose from your front yard and leave it on the desk of a colleague who loves flowers. Or just give a genuine compliment to someone you meet on your day. Small things all. But small things with good energy in their wake. And who couldn’t use more of that?

Wishing you sweet weather for your day.


Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

“The 17 things….

Greetings dear readers. I’ve been thinking about something recently. (Uh oh – now we’re in for it.)

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You’ve seen those articles, right? The ones with the title that says “The 17 things the most <exciting adjective> people do daily”… uh huh. Right. I saw that title and thought, unless they have a giant checklist on the wall and the only things those <exciting adjective> people are ever doing is those 17 things, I’m sensing taffy distribution here. (That’s what Mark Twain called it in “Letters From Earth”, a book so funny I laughed till I cried reading it as a college sophomore and those lines STILL crack me up – brilliant!)

I don’t know about you, but there are days I’m lucky to get 2 things done, let alone 17. And those two might require a lot of grunting and several trips to the store. Unless these 17 things include things like breathe, eat, and bathe, then I’m pretty sure by the time the <exciting adjective> people get to  number 4, their time and attention are waning. And after number 10, all bets are off.

Let’s face for-realz here folks, if I had to face doing 17 things everyday, in addition to actually having a day, I would probably just stay in bed. Maybe those 17 things work for the folks who write those articles, but I finally just got over the 17 things. Or the 30 things. (Yes, I saw one with that number, too. Seriously??) Or even just 10 things.

There are no ten – seventeen – thirty – whatever number things. There’s only one – DO YOU. The rest will sort itself out. Really. If something moves you – smile. That one thing can lift your day. And you don’t even have to “remember” it.

Sending some love your way, dear readers, however you are spending your day.


Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!