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Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie  About fifteen years ago, I read the book Tuesdays with Morrie .   Fifteen years ago I was a different person. In my early thirties, raising two young sons, and getting a grasp on the writing career I still wanted despite my schedule being more about my boys, I thought this book was interesting. Just that. Interesting. It sounds banal and annoying to say I thought it was interesting. But, it was. Because while it struck a chord within me (a soft one) that the story was sentimental, heart-warming, and heartbreaking, there is something to be said for life experience that changes a person. I guess I was banal and annoying back then. The book didn't mean much. But life experiences change a person. I suppose we are all naive in our early years. Which really means we're all insensitive. I take umbrage at that description for myself but after reading the book again, that's the only way to put it.  Now that I've gone through fifteen more years of more pain

Minimal Living

I suppose I've been a minimalist for years. Maybe not in all things, but in quite a few areas of my life. My brain works best when there is less around me (i.e. a clean desk to write) and because of that, it's trickled into other areas. I've been a "neat" person since I was born, and that's just how I am. A place for everything and everything in its place. But, when did it really begin? When did the "less is more" concept take over my life? I think my minimalism mindset kicked in hard when I turned to vintage as a career and a way of life. I've been selling vintage clothing online for over thirteen years. That alone changed the way I viewed clothing and how horribly our entire world manages this "need." We have become a throw-away society, and I'm not just spouting what I've read. This is 100 percent true. I am in thrift stores at least three days a week sourcing for my shop. About 99.9% of this clothing is probably within five


My dog ran to the empty bathtub, hopped in, and looked at me from behind the shower curtain. She wasn’t budging. This was going to be a very long 4th of July. I used to love Independence Day. And truthfully, I still do. I’m as patriotic as Uncle Sam; happy to revel in our independence from the British empire. The 4th is a beautiful day to celebrate freedom, love for our country, and all the barbeque we can eat. Not to mention, the fun fireworks. What I hadn’t understood in the past was how poorly a lot of animals adapt to fireworks, or rather, don’t adapt at all. Growing up, my two dogs didn’t take much issue with fireworks. It wasn’t a problem. The booming sounds didn’t disrupt their calm. So, naturally, it didn’t seem like a “thing” to have anxious dogs on the 4th. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My husband, our sons, and I got our rescue pup over a dozen years ago, and as soon the 4th was upon us, I understood one thing: that whole concept of happy critters on the 4th – like us hum

The Bird

There is a bird who lives in our backyard that has been a nuisance for the last three years. For starters, I don't even know what this bird is. No clue. I tried to Google it using terms like "bird with annoying screech" and "kicks up dirt and leaves scrounging for bugs and worms." Those searches didn't work. Weird. From Google, I received names like finches and woodpeckers, shrikes, and larks. If I could take a picture of the bird, I'd post it so you could see this miscreant in action. But, he's too fast for me. So, I'm no help there. Nor is he. This bird has a black head, white body, with red on its wings. He’s quite beautiful in spite of his annoying personality   The good news about researching local "Sacramento birds" is that I now know the identifying name of our resident owl. It's a Western Screech Owl. Yes, we have a resident owl. This adorable owl has made a home out of our old cable dish (and accouterments) that we had pla

Lessons I Learn From My Dog... Every Day

I learn something from my dog every day. Every day. There are usually a few lessons that rotate through my life, lessons I'm still learning, so every time I see one of these "lessons" in action, right in front of me, I realize how far I need to go to grow in my wisdom to be a better person; a dog-wise person. The biggest lesson my dog has taught me is gratitude. Yep. Gratitude. My dog is the happiest person I know.  I realize my dog is not actually a human being, but she is such a part of my family and is so crucial to teaching me things (things that I just don't seem to want to learn), that I've deemed her human. So she is the happiest and smartest person I know.  Back to gratitude... she exudes this daily.  Great book. Get it here! She's thankful to wake up to see me. Every day. She's thankful when I come home from wherever I was. Every day. She is thankful for food (most of the time...but especially if beef is involved.) Every day. She is so thankful t

The Same Old Same Good

It's funny how things go in circles.  I remember, over three years ago, telling myself I needed to do something else... something else, mind you, other than being a full-time mom, full-time wife, freelance writer, and vintage clothing seller. No -- I needed to do something else so I could feel like I was really doing something. Really working. I remember pulling on my boots one day and tying them while in tears thinking, "I have too much time on my hands." I need to do something productive. Looking back, I know now that these thoughts were insanity. I think I was just out of my mind for a few months and really needed someone to slap me and say, "Lady, you are doing more than enough. You are enough just as you are." But, I needed to be really working . Why would I say this? And why would I even think to ask myself this? Wasn't I already working? Wasn't that enough? So, I added a part-time job to my schedule.  Then a year later, added another one. There

Miracles and Gratitude

Get your copy here! Today is Thanksgiving Eve and it so happens that my workload is just a touch light and I have a moment to write something.  I write pretty regularly, whether it's for work or my writing, but this blog gets ignored. Rightly so. It's been on the back burner for a while as I juggle three or four jobs. But as I said earlier, the workload is lessoning, and come the new year, it will be even a little bit lighter. Which is good news, really. It means back to more writing time for myself, which is what I want.  Sometimes we have to walk away from what we think we love, to find out that it is indeed our passion and true love. Writing for myself is that perfect true love (with wearing, finding, and selling vintage clothing a very close second.) I was lucky enough to be published by Chicken Soup for the Soul , a fourth time now, last month. It feels like a dream every time they publish something of mine. It took me a good ten years to get them to say "yes"

Writing and Living the Dream

Every day I wake up and thank God I get to do what I do. Here are those three things: writing, selling vintage, and being a mom. While the mom thing is permanent, and I'll be that for as long as I'm alive (and I'm so glad I can), the vintage and writing are choices I make every day to do because I want to. I write all the time. From articles for the magazine I work for to articles and stories I submit freelance, to middle-grade fiction (I am working on one...I promise. It's nearly done), every now and then something gets published and it makes my day. Selling vintage is a whole different world and genre, so feel free to go to my other blog for that. ◄ But that is just as amazing for me. Just a few days ago, I was published once again by Chicken Soup for the Soul , and this time, in their latest book Kindness Matters .  At my desk...where all the magic happens. This is my third time being published by them and let me tell you, that euphoric feeling with the acceptance le