My Monday Inspiration
Joy is contagious.
We performed at a friends party this past weekend.
After a year of quarantine, it feels weird to go to a party, let alone perform in public.
But when we walked in the door, we were met with hugs and smiles. I’ve never had to second guess an embrace, it felt weird, wrong even, but really, really right. While we’ve all been vaccinated, it’s completely safe to smother people again, but those habits of the past year have stuck around more than I thought.
After we were done performing, snapping blurry pictures, dancing, and remembering this moment, my daughter called.
I was laughing when I picked up the phone to say hello.
She must have sensed my joy as her voice sounded like it had smiled back. My daughter was feeling low, as a close friend had just moved away. But that’s the thing about joy, it’s contagious, it takes the low and says “everything is gonna be alright. And if it’s not, then one day it just might be.”
Happiness. Being with people you like, you respect, and who are filled with joy.
After being apart from friends for more than a year, going to a party seemed a bit overwhelming, but the warmth, the laughter, the friendship and the pure joy of the evening was balm for the soul. Energy is transferable. Even through a phone call.
My Monday Inspiration
It’s been weird living my life so transparently lately. I know we are posting quite a lot about what Doug and I have been doing this past year. Partly because we are so proud of what we have done, and partly to hold us accountable to growth. If you compare our first song with our latest song, there is worlds of growth. Sometimes I can fall into the trap of thinking that I shouldn’t have released our music while we were so green, but if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow.
It’s hard to share. Especially when it makes me feel vulnerable and it opens ourselves up to criticism. But with all that openness, we have been learning and growing. And to be able to say that we are learning and growing during this stage of our lives is pretty remarkable. So, yes, I am proud. And yes, I feel vulnerable. And yes, I will keep sharing, each stage along the way.
To those of you who have encouraged us, I truly, truly appreciate you. It helps us to keep growing, keep creating and it helps to build the reserves for those days when I fall back into the trap of negative thinking.
My Monday inspiration
A friend was living vicariously through me this past weekend. She asked me to “Send pictures, tell me what you love…”. The answer to that question was easy. I sent her this picture of Doug immediately.
I knew she wanted photos of the adventures we were having this past weekend; the beautiful ocean photos, the cool bookstores we stopped in, the bike rides we took. And I, being a tad snarky, sent her this photo. It was the immediate reaction to her question. The moment I was in.
This man. This moment. This is what I love.
If any of you know our story, April is a hard month. Getting through the anniversary of the death of Doug’s wife is rife with emotional landmines. I try to be supportive and present, but I also try to make plans afterwards to distract and bring us back together. Love isn’t easy. Love isn’t smooth sailing. Love isn’t only the good days. But sometimes love is just love. So, if you ask me to send what I love, you will probably get another picture of this man.
What would you send? And not what you would send every day, but what picture would you send in this moment? Post it in the comments, I would love to see it.
My Monday Inspiration
Water Balloon Fights and Laughter
I was out on a walk this weekend and came across both. What a wonderful sound to hear. One of my neighbors had some company, they were sitting in chairs in their front yard while the kids had a water balloon fight.
Yup, it was warm. In the 80’s. But the sound of children’s laughter was warming all on it’s own. It brought a smile to my face while I tried for my 10,000 steps.
We are slowly coming out of our caves. I am so grateful for the vaccination against Covid. I know that there are states and counties that the numbers are rising, but in our neighborhood, for the day, it felt healthy and happy.
I wish you health and happiness and time with those who love you. Oh, and water balloon fights with laughter
I’m too old for pigtails.
This is the second sunday in a row that I put my hair in pigtails, and while I was braiding my hair, I remembered something from when I was 17.
I was working as a waitress at Sunnycroft Dude Ranch. My weekend high school job that introduced me to my best friend and my first serious boyfriend (lovingly known as my Cowboy) The groups would show up on Friday and stay till Sunday, and we had our tables that we served breakfast lunch and dinner to. There was a woman at one of my tables who put her hair in pigtails, and I remember saying “Wow, she is WAY too old to be wearing pigtails”. Oh, the judgmental certainty of youth.
I am probably WAY too old to be wearing pigtails as well, but you know what? I am also old enough not to care.
Here’s to doing all the things you are too old to do,
and here’s to not caring.
My Monday Inspiration
We celebrated with eggrolls.
Thank you all so much for making us feel special. We held our second Facebook Live Event on Saturday Night, and we are both so happy with how it came out. It makes us feel connected to all of you and it makes us feel so blessed and supported.
We continue to tell our stories through songs, through posts, through videos and it can feel unimportant or like no one is listening. Then we get texts like, "We were so excited when you sang one more and then one more and again one more” or "Beautiful and thoughtful songs. Your love for each other is contagious.”, and it fills our hearts.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for reaching out to let us know you are there. It means more than you will ever know.
It truly doesn’t matter what we celebrate with, but it does matter that we took the time to celebrate.
All my life, I‘ve seen hugs in everything. Clouds, plants, the way tree branches weave together if you lay on your back and look up at them. Lately, I’m seeing them even more, like these rock formations.
To me, this looks like a mom’s hug and I’m soo ready to share more of those.
Also! I just received my second dose of the Covid Vaccine on Friday! Hooray!!
The first day was a day of celebration, a walk on the beach and lunch with my vaccine bubble.
The second day was a day in bed sleeping it off. I ran a slight fever and had some body aches and my arm hurt. And I slept, slept, turned a movie on and slept some more.
The third day I woke up clear and refreshed. Hooray again!!!!
But through it all, my goal has been the same. To hug. I miss hugs. Two more weeks and I can hug more than just Doug. Mind you, I love hugging Doug, but I miss hugging others. Sharing my appreciation in being near friends and loved ones.
Be careful when you are finally fully vaccinated, cause you are going to get hugged.
I have been collecting thimbles most of my life.
I love sewing. My mother wouldn’t let us touch her sewing machine until we took a home economics class in school. I instantly fell in love with those classes. My mom would take me on special trips to New York City to the Fabric district. We would be on the hunt for special fabrics, trims and little details that I could use to make my projects more fun, more “me”.
I loved those trips, and I still think fondly of some of those fabrics with a smile on my face.
To this day, I still love shopping for fabric, and will try and hustle my way on a side trip to the fabric district when we visit the city. (My family always knows where they can find me)
I mean, we all have our passions and I could literally spend hours looking through fabric just for the fun of it. The patterns, the colors, the feel, are all so inspiring. My little piece of heaven.
Recently, my friend was meandering through stores in Paso Robles and found this thimble (pictured). I revel in the thoughtfulness of others who keep my own passions in the forefront of their thoughts. She got it for me, and while I am secretly jealous of her wanderings, I’m equally thankful for her thinking of me. It’s truly the little things.
My Monday Inspiration.
No. Doug is not hurt. This is from a few years ago.
My daughter told me a story when she got back from her trip to Israel. A Rabbi told her to “Judge Favorably” and I think of that line often.
I think in this time of stress it is easy to get angry and short with others, but we don’t know what they are going through. It is not always advertised as easily as a cast is. Some hurts are not able to be seen.
So today, may we be more kind, more thoughtful, and don’t forget to “Judge Favorably”.
May you all have a wonderful Monday
Can’t live without em.
I have been hibernating for a year now, and the thing I find myself missing, more than anything, is women. Very specific women, mind you, but this can be pushed a bit to include women in general.
I miss the laughter. The conversations. The comfortable silences. The trips we would take together.
Tonight I am going to dinner with three girlfriends. We will be seated outdoors, spaced just a bit further apart than before. We won’t hug hello but we will greet each other with smiles, love and laughter. We will dream and plan for the day that we can once again travel together, hope together, just plain be together again. And I miss this all so much.
We are celebrating a birthday, then I realized it was international women’s day. And yes, we will be celebrating that we are women. That we need each other. That we can support each other in so many ways, and one of those ways is to just turn up. To be there for each other is so important.
My Monday Inspiration All of my photos lately have been getting lost in the details of nature. The green that is popping up everywhere. The flowers that are peeking out, or in full bloom now. The bees that are busy exploring this new environment. After a long period of isolation, it feels like things are in bloom again. And I love the moments I am able to get lost in nature. Saw this Spider web and had to take a second look. It’s dew draped on its silk web. It took me by surprise and also left me stunned. Nature, the seasons, the growth, newness, it’s a refreshing sight to a long season. Reveling in the simple and extraordinary lately, spider webs and all.
The Hills we Climb.
Occasionally, I don my mask, grab a friend and go for a walk.
I had surgery on my knee last year and it still isn’t 100%. I can’t play tennis the way that I used to. I can’t run very well. And I probably should be doing more physical therapy on my leg, but I stopped going to PT when lockdown started last year.
But I do work out at home, and again, I occasionally go for a walk with my friend.
We were walking and talking and suddenly she turned to me and said “You walked the whole hill without stopping”. It’s been a while. I always stopped partway up the hill to breathe, but that day, for the first time in a long while, I made it the whole way with out stopping.
It was such a needed reminder that
somedays the hills we climb, are just hills. And somedays you make it to the top without even thinking about it. Keep going my friends.
We have Valentine’s Day oranges.
I didn’t realize this, but Doug did.
When I moved in with Doug almost ten years ago, he had an orange tree. It never produced any oranges. He didn’t think that was unusual because for the ten plus years that he lived in the house, the orange tree didn't produce any fruit.
We realized the Azalea growing under the Orange tree was crowding it. So we moved it to another spot in the garden.
One year later, Doug and I were surprised that we had three oranges! We were so eager to taste the Oranges, we realized we may have plucked too soon since it was incredibly sour. This seemed to go on for a while as it was hit or miss on whether you would get a sweet orange or a sour orange.
One day Doug mentioned to me, "We have Valentine oranges." As he elaborated, he pointed out that every time we tried to eat from it too soon, it was sour. But once we gave it time to mature to its intended taste, it was some of the best oranges we had the pleasure of experiencing.
It makes me think a lot about timing. We as humans tend to get so eager for just about anything, that we jump too soon or try to get to the top of the mountain as fast as possible. From the outside it all looks desirable, but only when we seek patience, understanding, and waiting, it's in those moments that we grow and mature to be the best versions of ourselves.
There are always going to be obstacles in the way to getting to where you want to be. Did I mention that orange trees have very long and sharp thorns? Sometimes the thorn is worth the hurt, it's the only way we get to the good stuff. Even on Valentines Day.
Wanted to share something so close to my heart and a little activity this week if you’re feeling like self-baking.
Recipe to cope
a pint of love
a cup of hope
1/4 cup of trust
a tsp of tears
Mix these together while you desperately try to shake off your fear. Add friendships and fierce advocates, while you slowly rise. Toss in strength and mix gently while you are held together by those who love you.
Fear and baking.
It’s funny how stress, anxiety and fear can cause you to want to focus elsewhere. Anywhere else. Some pour their energy into exercise, some into new projects, and some into playing video games. But there is a woman I know who pours hers into baking. When the decisions you are making will decide if you live or die, if you can retain your self identity of being womanly or not. If others will react to what these changes will mean for you and your body.
This woman is my most favorite woman in the world, apart from my two girls of course.
I felt unsure to share this, but I’ve been in deep thought and wanted to share my hearts findings and the things that made it well up with feelings.
The last, the very last. So richly brightly dazzlingly yellow.
Wednesday was Holocaust Remembrance day. I visited the Holocaust Museum the last time I was in DC and the impression it made has stuck with me.
Occasionally, it comes back in full force. I was on a walk yesterday, and saw this bird in a tree. Yellow. Beautifully bright and oh so fragile. It reminded me of a poem that I learned when I was a child. And it brought tears to my eyes.
I try not to take my comfort for granted, but I do. I have a clean home. I have clean sheets and a soft bed to sleep in. I have clean running water that comes into my home. And I have a partner whom I adore, and get to share these comforts with every day. I am lucky. Butterflies live in my world.
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow. Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing against a white stone...
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here, Penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found my people here. The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut candles in the court. Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one. Butterflies don't live in here, In the ghetto.
Pavel Friedmann 4.6.19
My Monday inspiration.
It all comes back to this. We’ve been vocal about not seeing our girls in a while, they didn’t come home for the holidays and that was hard for all of us. But this past weekend they came home. We hugged them, laughed with them, watched movies and just spent time together as one unit again. Though we have limited our interactions to outdoor activities,the moments together have been so wonderful. And so impactful. Our family. The ones I love the most in this world. Finding new memories to make and moments to cherish so that we have something to hold onto in between the absence.
Weekly Monday Inspiration -
Originally, this picture inspired me because of the moment it created. The musician played beautifully, and in a sea of Las Vegas chaos (we ended up there during the Nevada primaries), it was a moment of calm and focus. Many nurturing experiences involve music for me, it continues to nurture me still, even in all the craziness going on.
However, now it reminds me of our last vacation before Covid spent with our two beautiful daughters. We did not spend the holidays with our girls and miss them tremendously. It is hard to imagine being in close quarters again with thousands of people swarming all around. And this is a reminder to stop, and focus on the moments. Music can bring me there, it always does
So I skipped a year. Ok, maybe two years. Could be even three. I lose track.
I made a gratitude jar. Cut up little slips of paper, and when I was feeling grateful about something, anything, really, I wrote it down and put it in the jar. Then, on New Year’s Day, we would pull the pieces of paper out, one by one, and read them.
I love reading about those moments. “Family home for the holidays”, “calling in and checking on my girls and they are both doing well”, “I’m grateful for reminders of why I love Doug so much. He sees ME and loves all of me.” “For having a partner who loves my girls.” “For the need to cut more strips of paper”.
All of these moments add up and fill my heart. They are full of friends names, of silly little moments that brought a smile to my face and become an inspiration to continue the tradition.
First Monday Inspiration of the year
Here we are, at the start of a new year. This year is scarier than most. Many of the moments that occurred in years past have not been able to happen this year. No family holidays, no vegas girl trips, no last minute tennis parties. We may be sneaking into this year a little more quietly, but I have hope. And a gratitude jar waiting to be filled. Again.
There are many times in my life that I say the most horrible things to myself, but sometimes, there are days when you wrap yourself in your own hoodie. A hoodie born out of your own and others’ creativity, and you say,”Damn, I’m cute”. We compare ourselves to the perfection in others, and we fall short. Being kind and loving matters so much when the recipient is yourself. Today, I'm gonna love myself and squeeze myself all over in this hoodie.
Also, if you wanna squeeze yourself in comfort, this hoodie is over at https://buff.ly/3psw1AP
A little Monday Inspiration.
Getting ready for Christmas is bittersweet this year. I am not able to spend it with my two beautiful daughters. Right now, one of them has Covid-19, while the other is busily preparing to make their Christmas special, even though they can’t come home. I am blessed, knowing how well they take care of each other, knowing that they possess a strength born out of love, and knowing that, soon, I will be able to wrap my arms around them and squish the bejeezus out of them.
Love on your loved ones near and far this year!