This time on this Earth

I know this much is true: I feel grateful every, single day for all of you in my life. I am grateful for this life; no matter how hard it has been at times; I am truly grateful.

I am grateful my lungs take in air, my heart pumps my blood and those things allow me to be a person on this earth. Somedays I forget to be grateful of these facts, other days, something amazing happens allowing my gratitude to be compounded by 1,000.

I love the compounded by 1,000 days. Those days when the elements of my life come together in an amazing gratitude vortex ; I walk around with a silly grin on my face.

I am so stinkin’ lucky be alive.

Those days are my elixir, a tonic for harder days.

Happily, as I get older, the compounded by 1,000 days show up more often. Perhaps I search for them more, perhaps the nuances of my life allow me to see them a bit more clearly.

Last summer, I rafted the Grand Canyon with my Hubs’ family. This was not my first trip down the Colorado.  15 years prior, I rafted half the river and hiked out of Bright Angel with my mom, stepdad and brother.

It’s hard not to fall in love with that area. The beauty is raw, untouched and dangerous. Canyon walls touch the sky exposing billion of years of our earth’s evolution. One floats through 75 miles of canyonland, small, realizing how fleeting life can be.

My brother fell in love with that Canyon, like he does with all wild lands. I think he was a bear in his past life.

Last summer I was looking forward to my trip but like everything gets in the way. I landed from a business trip the night before we left, packed in a rush and monitored my business email as we drove towards Utah.

My brother wrote me an email:

“Sis, don’t forget to explore the Little Colorado, stop at Elves Chasm and hang on at Lava Rapids! Look up! Look down! Have a great time. I loved the Canyon!”

I read this and got tears in my eyes. My brother bear can no longer do this trip because mitochondrial disease is a sick, selfish ass.

“Stop,” I told myself as I was frantically trying to answer another work email.


“Remember this time.”

“Be in this life.”

And so I left my phone in car and jumped in a raft.

The River Crew! I am the shortest person in the group!

The first night I woke up to an amazing roar. It was the Colorado, charging down the canyon. I looked up to a cascade of stars framed against the black of the canyon walls. The Milky Way actually looked Milky! There were so many shooting stars, I ran out of wishes. I laid in my sleeping bag feeling infinitely small against this amazing universe.

And I started to cry.

Hubs woke up. “Are you okay?”

“It’s so beautiful. It is so beautiful. We’re so lucky to be here.”

He patted my leg.

“I am just so grateful for this life. To be here, in the Grand Canyon. With you.”  

Sooooooo schmaltzy, right??? But so true. There are not enough words in this language to explain the overwhelming sense of love and appreciation I had for that moment. That moment that is my life.

I am so stinkin’ lucky to be alive

Loss has made me appreciate what is left. When what is left is nurtured, fed and loved, it grows into its own beauty. The beauty will never be what was anticipated, the beauty will always house the loss. But it is beautiful, unexpected and rare in its very own way.

Look around at your table tomorrow; the beauty of a meal, being fed, surrounded by Loves, or maybe surrounded by Likes, make a Like a Love.

And think for a quick moment, I am so stinkin’ lucky just so lucky to be alive.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Beauty and the Grief

I love pretty things.

I do.

As a little girl, I loved dressing up. I loved make-up. Playing with my Grandma Dodie’s lipstick. When I was three my Papa and Dodie bought me a new dress with pink ruffled undies. They took me out to dinner. I ordered a Shirley Temple and proceed to show off those amazing pink undies.

I tapped around that restaurant in my patent leather shoes like I owned the place.

I still love patent leather shoes. Because they are sooooo shiney.

I wore a tiara in my hair when I got married. I loved it so much I wore it the next day to brunch.

Because I could.

I love pretty. I have battled with pretty. I went prematurely gray at 22. I have varicose veins that look like someone shoved a hose in my leg and I have a speckled face from skin damage. Mohs surgery and a bad accident with Ultimate Frisbee didn’t help any of that. Life has not been kind.

But I still want to be pretty.

It is especially hard to be pretty when grieving. I didn’t dye my hair when pregnant with Jack. When we lost him, I marched into a Fantastic Sam’s and told them to cut my hair as short as they could to let the rest of the grey grow out. The poor hair stylist did this with trepidation and then apologized as I sat in her chair and sobbed. I looked as sad as I felt. I should probably write that poor woman a thank you note.

When Samantha was sick, my only concern was to make sure I didn’t stink.

Breath? Check

Pits? Check

All is good. Bring in the doctors. Pretty is an after thought.

This week I signed up to be a consultant for a skin care line called Rodan and Fields. I have been using their product for two years and I really like it.

It makes me feel…….pretty. My poor face doesn’t look so grievous and dehydrated.

I write this with my new favorite word; trepidation. Being almost 49, my time as Miss Universe has probably passed 🙂 But all of us, no matter what we have gone through, deserve to feel our very best- grieving or not. Crisis or not, we can still be our very best.

And wear our tiara 🙂

You can find me peddling my wares at:

Or shoot me a message- I will send you samples. And maybe a tiara 🙂

I am now going to enjoy a Shirley Temple. Happy Thursday all.


Kindness and Your Place in the World

Tomorrow is World Kindness Day. I have a crush on this day. As I sit here and type, I am thinking of ways I can be kind tomorrow and perhaps incorporate acts of kindness into my life beyond tomorrow.

I have been the recipient of many acts of kindness and it has made all the difference. In my deepest, darkest times, I have felt unconditionally loved and that…..that has made all the difference in how I have bounced back from tragedy. YOUR act of kindness has been support and acknowledgement; creating a truth I have clung to; that I am loved and I will be okay.

Acts of kindness, reinforcement from an amazing community, a strong family, all of this creates resiliency to move forward in our darkest times.

Isn’t that what being kind is? Acknowledging another as a worthy person?

I see you, random car behind me at Starbucks. I see you. And I will buy you a coffee.

I see you person running up the stairs to the office and I will hold the door.

I see you team member at work and I will announce to my peers what a good job you are doing.

In holding a door, in buying a coffee, in acknowledging a co-worker, we may give a bit of ourselves, we give time, money, our status at work but more importantly, we show another we see them.

I see you.

In this world we are so busy. We glance at phones, look for likes, ignore what is in front of us.

For one day…..In honor of World Kindness Day.


Hold a door. Look someone in the eye. Give a dollar. Say good morning. Buy a coffee…..with the expectation that nothing may ever be reciprocated.

Just for one day.

Tomorrow I am channeling my inner Mr. Rogers. I will proudly wear my red cardigan and prompt you to be my neighbor. I’ve always wanted a friend just like you.

Mr Rogers Dance GIF by Won't You Be My Neighbor - Find & Share on GIPHY

In the words of this man, The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.

Happy World Kindness Day. You know what to do.


Zombies vs. Calavera- Perhaps this is what’s wrong in our culture

Happy Dia de los Muertos! Or Day of the Dead for those of us who did not do well in high school Spanish 🙂

I love this holiday. Celebrated all throughout Latin America-celebrating our dead, a celebration of love and respect for our family members who are no longer with us.

What a cool day. Because let’s face it, the only two constants in life are death and taxes.

In contrast, we have Halloween. I’m a so-so fan of Halloween but I’m not a big fan of super spooky things.

Halloween is spooky and marked with fear. The Celts began a festival called Samhain 2,000 years ago. It marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter- a time when us humans are vulnerable to cold, disease and an absence of food. For one night, October 31st, the ghost of the dead came back to earth and caused mischief, damaged crops and terrorized the poor Celts. Animals were sacrificed, crops were burned; all to keep these mischief makers away for the rest of the winter.

And today- our dead are menacing. They come out of the ground, all decayed and stinky, they eat our brains and the only way to ‘kill the undead’ is to crop off their heads and burying them deep in the ground where they can never come back again.

Gruesome. Right? Don’t mention the dead because they are bad and they will eat your brains.

Perhaps this underlying stigma is why those of us who grieve; search for a way to grieve and honor our loves without losing brain matter.

On Dias de los Muertos, alters are built in homes to invite loved ones back into the realm of the living. Water and food are offered after such a long journey. Marigolds are scattered in the household. And to date, not one person has been eaten by a zombie.

Not one person!

I know my Loves are around. I feel them in a pink sunrise, I smell them after a Spring rain. How lovely to have a day to celebrate the people we love with color, joy and song instead of shoving them back into the ground.

Happy Dia de los Muertos! I challenge you on this day to look around and remember your Loves with joy and celebration. I challenge you to ask one person about a Love they miss. My Grandma Dodie loved a good, dry martini; perhaps today we will have one together 🙂