Thank U.

Total Gratitude Tuesday: Volume XXX

As I’m sure many of you were expecting, this volume of TGT is devoted, for the most part, to Prince. 

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I’m grateful for so many things.

I’m grateful for 38 years of amazing, innovative, provocative, straight-up great music.

I’m grateful for his showmanship and his devotion to his fans, which I was blessed to experience live twice in my life.

I’m grateful for his attitudes on sex, religion, charity, love, peace, unity and the spiritual side of life.

I’m grateful that he came into my life at a time when I needed someone to make me feel like there was nothing wrong with not “fitting in”.

I’m grateful that he was always, from beginning to end, totally and completely himself and never apologetic for it. 

prince-music-21apr16

I’m grateful that he was the kind of idol that actually lived up to my adoration. 

I’m grateful that I still have his music to listen to. In the last decade or so I’ve pretty much given up on a lot of

commercial music, but I could always depend on his music to lift me up. That hasn’t changed with his passing. 

I’m grateful for his playful side (Can we talk about that passport photo, “New Girl” and “Shirts vs. Blouses”?) and for 34 years of him being the sexiest thing in 3-inch heels on the planet! 

prince_hair

I’m grateful for the long, lonely nights when his music made the difference between going on and giving up.

prince-party

I’m grateful for so many wonderful memories of enjoying his music and his movies with friends. 

And I am endlessly grateful to all the people that reached out to me over the past few days, knowing how losing him would affect me. I heard from people I haven’t talked to in 15 years or more, who still remembered me as that girl that was obsessed with Prince. I’m grateful to my friend Louise from St. Paul who, while not a huge fan herself, has been kind enough to save newspapers and clippings for me and has called, texted and emailed me updates from up there. Thank you to my friends Jessica, Jennie, Alan, Robert and so many more for keeping my spirits up and listening to me while I went on and on about my grief. I’m grateful to my friend Tom who somehow, when I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have any way to listen to my old vinyl albums anymore, had the exact same record player I had when I was a kid (and gave it to me so I could listen again!)

record player

All it’s missing is the stack of pennies I had to put on mine to get it to play right. And yes, that’s my original copy of “Purple Rain” on the turntable. 

And thank you to my husband, my kids and my best friend Amanda not only for comforting me while I cried and not making me feel weird about it, but for spending their Saturday night seeing “Purple Rain” with me on the big screen. 

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So Prince – I hope you’re up there enjoying the entire world being lit up in purple for you. I hope you were able to feel the adulation and love while you were here with us. I hope that you knew what you meant to your millions of fans. There will never be another like you. I’m in agreement with Awesomely Luvvie right now – 

We can’t just get on with our days like nothing happened. The Purple One died, y’all. HE GONE. How am I supposed to carry on like usual? Give us a couple of bereavement days where we will act out.

And in tribute to Prince and his extraordinary life,  there’s this: 

here's a thing you can do for prince

Thank u for providing the soundtrack 2 my life. I wish u Heaven. 

Much love. – Michelle

all gender

Do Your Business and Mind Your Business

I don’t normally deal with political issues on this blog. But really this isn’t a political issue and it never should have been. It’s an issue of compassion, human decency and equality. Period.

I’ve been pretty much buried in grieving Prince for the last few days so I don’t know how unisex bathrooms got to be a hot button issue all of a sudden, but all I can say is: get over it.

First of all, do I really need to point out the total wrong-headedness of equating transgender folks and gays with pedophiles? Because I sure as hell hope I don’t have to. I hope that we’ve come far enough that we’re able to realize the distinction between homosexuality, pedophilia and being transgender. Look here – when someone is a heterosexual, they aren’t attracted to every single individual of the opposite sex on the planet. That’s not how it works. Homosexual people are not attracted to every single individual of their sex, either. So get over yourself. All heterosexuals are not pedophiles, so why the hell would anyone equate homosexuality or being transgender with being a pedophile?

Let me tell you something. someone very near and dear to me is transgender and I love him like a brother. I know the struggles he’s gone through in his life. I know his heartaches and I know his suffering and I was blessed to be around to see the absolutely amazing transformation he underwent when he was finally able to start living his life as a man. HE IS A MAN. Period. I’ve known him since birth and he has always been a man. So yeah, this is a sensitive issue for me because I can’t stand to see him living in more torment and fear because of people with narrow minds.

And stop bringing up the sexual assault angle. Just stop it. If someone is bent on sexually assaulting someone in a bathroom, a swinging door and a sign with a stick person in a skirt isn’t going to stop them. And your children are safe, trust me. Stranger danger is a tired old myth. Child abductions by strangers or slight acquaintances make up one one-hundredth of one percent of all missing children. And up to 90% of sexually abused children are abused not by strangers, but by family members and other people they know. Your children are more in danger of meeting a sexual predator online or in their own home than they are in a public bathroom.

And once transgender people get into the bathroom that they actually belong in, what are they going to see? Well, if they’re identifying as a male and have a penis, then they’ll use a urinal just like every other guy. If they identify as a man and don’t have a penis, they’ll use a stall. Problem solved. If they identify as a woman and do or don’t have a penis it won’t make a damn bit of difference because there are no urinals in women’s restrooms. Seriously – when was the last time you saw anyone’s genitals in a restroom except your own? Everything private you need to do is done behind a stall door or else you’re doing it wrong.

Be honest – it’s uncomfortable. It’s new and it’s weird and it’s not the way things have been done before. I get it. Change is uncomfortable. Every time I get a new cell phone it takes me six months to figure out how to use the damn thing. But it’s not okay to discriminate against a group of people because you think something is icky. Look at the way things are headed and realize that change is inevitable. Gay people are going to keep being gay and they’re going to keep falling in love and getting married. That’s a fact of life. And transgender people have been using the bathrooms all along – you just didn’t know it because nobody was making a big issue out of it and making you feel all scared about it. So instead of digging in your heels and resisting equality, why not examine exactly what your real fears are about and think about whether they’re rooted in reality or if they’re just knee-jerk reactions because “the way things have always been done” is changing? I can assure you – they just want to pee just like you do!

I know this might piss off some of my readers, and if it does, well…I’m not going to say I’m sorry because I’m not. This is something I’m passionate about and I’m going to fight it until the day I die because it’s what’s right. But before you disregard what I’m saying, I want you to read these statistics:

  • Transgender people are four times more likely than the general population to be living in extreme poverty (making less than $10,000 a year). Many are forced into the sex trade just to be able to survive.
  • Almost 80% of transgender people reported having experienced harassment in school as children.
  • 72% of anti-LGBT murders were committed against transgender women.
  • Transgender people are 7 times more likely to experience violence at the hands of law enforcement than non-transgender people.
  • 90% of transgender people report having experienced discrimination or harassment on the job.
  • Nearly 20% of transgender people report having been homeless at some point in their lives.
  • 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide at least once. The rate among the general population is under 5%.

Not all transgender people are as lucky as Caitlyn Jenner. Most live in constant anxiety, terrified they’re going to be “found out” and someone’s going to react violently. And they’ve struggled harder than just about any other group of people just to be accepted and treated equally with other human beings. So let’s stop making issues where there are none, okay? And here’s something I really hope catches on:

you're safe

 

I hope that this catches on. If you’re in Ohio and you want to use the bathroom you belong in, ladies – I’ll go with you.  You’re safe, love.

Much love. – Mama Bear

 

RIP

Nothing Compares 2 U

I’m still in shock. Prince, of all people, bigger than life – should’ve been immortal. How is it possible that he’s gone? How is it possible there will never be another blistering guitar solo? Never another incarnation of him? How?

prince collage

My love affair began around 1982. I was in junior high and hanging out one summer afternoon with one of my girlfriends when one of the cool older guys – Petey – drove up in his car. I don’t remember the model, but it was sleek and it had “Horny Toad” in script on the back. I’m pretty sure at 12 I had no clue in hell what “Horny Toad” even meant, but you know how it is when you’re that age – you know it’s vaguely dirty but you don’t know why. He was playing a song from the “Controversy” album and it was just so damn sexy. I wanted so desperately to fit in I pretended that I knew what it was.

About the same time – my very best friend in the whole wide world always had a bitchin’ Halloween party. And for whatever reason, 1999 was on the playlist at the party that year. And y’know, at that point, 1999 was soooo far in the future. But I just could not get enough of that song.

Not too long after that, I started catching Prince videos on MTV every now and then. And once I *saw* him, it was over. He was so different from everything else that I’d ever seen up to that point in my life. And he was so damn dirty. But then he was also religious. It was the first time I ever woke up to the idea that maybe it wasn’t wrong to feel sexy and to explore your own sexuality. Here was this guy telling me that sexuality was a gift from God, and that appealed to me on so many levels, as I was already someone who had rejected so many notions of what constituted a “sin”.

Prince and Wendy SF May 23, 1986

This photo was taken in San Francisco on May 23, 1986 – my sixteenth birthday. 

From there, it was spending every dime I had on the latest single, teen magazines, posters, buttons, t-shirts – you name it. Anything with his Royal Badness on it. And blasting that vinyl with everything I had in me. My parents hated it, but by that point, it was an obsession. When “Purple Rain” came to the little town I live in, me and a couple of my girlfriends crossed our fingers and hoped to hell the clerk at the theatre would let us in (they did). I sat for a full two hours absolutely mesmerized – soaking in every note, every dance move, every glance. By the time school started again, my friends and I had the whole Abbott & Costello routine between Morris & Jerome memorized word for word. At one point when life got really rough for my friend Julie and I, we actually had a half-serious plan to run away to Minneapolis and try to be a part of his entourage. I mean, we could sing and dance better than Vanity and Apollonia, so why not? And I started to be known as the Prince girl at school. Hair swept back on one side, black eyeliner, trench coat and Prince t-shirts. Because this man KNEW. He knew what I was feeling. He knew what it was like to have emotions swirling around inside of you and whole other worlds in your mind. He was just able to bring them to life in ways I couldn’t. Every bit of my high school life is set to a Prince soundtrack. By the time “Around the World In a Day” came around, I was ready for that spiritual awakening – ready for “The Ladder”. And I was seeing all the things Prince was singing about in “America”. “Pop Life” – yeah we all got a space to fill. “Parade” – that was all for a guy that I had a major crush on at the time. He was Prince and I was Sheila E. “Sign O The Times” – I was hitting junior year and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life and in a “Strange Relationship” of my own. And then “Lovesexy” – that was when I met my future husband. So it was late nights singing “Alphabet Street” and making out to “Anna Stesia”. By the time “Batman” came around, I had our first child and strangely enough, he’s loved Batman almost from birth. And he came to love Prince in his own time, too.

I didn’t get the chance to see Prince live until 1997. And the second song into the show was “Purple Rain”. I can’t even tell you what that did to me. It was a religious experience. And I saw him again in 2004 for his Musicology tour. Same experience – just complete transcendence. And that time, my husband and I bought tickets to his after-show at a bar downtown in Cleveland. We waited for an hour or so for him to show. Now, being 5’2″ on a good day, I wasn’t in a position to see much, so when he popped his head in the door behind the stage and then back out again, I heard the crowd around me go crazy but I never saw him. But I felt him.

prince rip

When the first reports came out that there was a death at Paisley Park, I prayed so hard that it wasn’t him. I felt awful wishing that it was someone else who had passed, but I just couldn’t imagine a world without him. I still can’t. I’ve taken a lot of shit over the last 34 years for being such a hardcore fan, and I bore it gladly. I knew the truth of his unparalleled talent, his golden heart, his beautiful soul. I knew that he was a once in a millenium artist. I knew no one could ever compare. I knew the story behind many of his songs, knew how many other artists he had helped, knew about his charitable works. Knew things like the fact that when he was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and was told that they’d be playing a tribute to George Harrison with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, he didn’t know the song, but learned it overnight and delivered an absolutely masterful solo. I knew that he played over 23 instruments and was self-taught. I knew that a portion of “Purple Rain” was improvised on the spot and that the version that made it into the movie and subsequently onto the album was recorded in one take and was the first time the band had ever played the song. I knew that he gave generously to a number of charities and never asked for any recognition for it.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that I love the man. I do. And I always will. For his talent, for his heart, for his contribution to my life and to the lives of so many others. And for saving the life of an awkward little white girl from a small town in Ohio so many times. The facts of his death are immaterial to me. He is to me what he will always be – my Prince, my first love, my idol, my savior. And the sorrow that I feel is as real as it would be if he were my friend. Because in so many ways, he was.

I know for awhile I’m going to cry when I hear his music. I’m going to feel sorrow when I remember all that he’s meant to me. But I will also go back and listen to the songs I haven’t heard in years, and I will remember all the good times and all the wonderful memories of which he was a part. And I will dance, and I will sing and I will be thankful for everything that he gave me.

I hope u lived 2 c the dawn.

Much love. – Michelle 0(+>

Note: None of the photos are my own and no disrespect is intended. I’ll be more than happy to give attribution wherever necessary.

 

comfort zone

Total Gratitude Tuesday: Volume XXIX

It’s Total Gratitude Tuesday and here’s what I’m grateful for this week:

We got to go to opening night of “Angels in America” in which my oldest son played Louis Ironson. I was so excited to see him acting again after taking a break for a couple of years. He really has a natural gift for it, and “Angels in America” is one of his favorite plays, so this was a dream come true for a lot of us! And he did an absolutely amazing job with a very difficult part. The dialogue is so fast-paced and difficult, especially when Louis goes on his rants and Louis is such a complex and emotional character and he brought a depth to the character that surprised even me. The entire cast was absolutely stellar. I was so nervous for him but he’s wonderfully at ease on stage. We were able to attend with the whole family and after talking to everyone, I found that it really hit home for several of us and we all were caught up in the emotion of the evening. It did everything that good theatre is supposed to do – it made us think, made us laugh, made us cry and brought characters to vivid life right in front of us. And some of our son’s old friends from his theatre group from years ago were there to cheer him on. It was a magical night!

I also got the chance to reconnect with an acquaintance from high school. Back then we didn’t really travel in the same social circles, but she was always quite friendly and so I was very happy to reconnect with her a couple of years ago on Facebook. And recently she messaged me and asked if I’d like to get together for lunch, and I am so glad we did. We talked about so many things – life, kids,marriage and everything in between – and found that we have quite a lot in common! She asked several times why we didn’t ever hang out in high school and it made me realize how foolhardy it is to assume that we know who someone is based on the superficial parts of their lives that we see. You’d think I’d have learned by now but sometimes I forget that even when it looks like someone has it all, we all have our struggles and our issues in life that we deal with, and there’s no greater gift than finding someone who’s been there, who understands, and who can look at you and say, “Yeah, I get it.” So I’m really grateful for deep connections with others who aren’t afraid to be open and honest about who they really are. That really is one of the greatest joys in life!

And I’m grateful for pushing outside of my comfort zone a bit. Social situations can be a nightmare for me sometimes, especially when I think there’s going to be large groups of people and I’m going to be forced to engage in small talk. I love talking about deep things, the things that keep you up at night, the real marrow of life. But casual conversation is rough for me. So when I had a vendor event for KEEP Collective this weekend, I was honestly dreading it. I love showing my passion for the company and for our products but social anxiety always manages to convince me that I’m going to flub it somehow when I have to talk to strangers. But I pushed ahead and did it anyway, and I’m glad I did. The more I push forward when my anxiety is bad, the more I learn that if I don’t fight my way through it, my world just gets smaller and smaller. But when I force myself to step out of my comfort zone and take a chance, it almost always pays off, if for no other reason than to make me a bit more confident!

So here’s to great theatre, authentic connections and taking baby steps outside your comfort zone!

Much love. – Mama Bear

It's a good day to have agood day!

Total Gratitude Tuesday: Volume XXVIII

First of all, it looks as though I should apologize to everyone for my premature celebration of Spring a few weeks back!I think I jinxed us. I don’t know what the weather has been like where you live, but we actually had snow and a brief bit of hail over the last week or so! (Did I point out that I live in Ohio, though?)

This has been a really, really good week for me! For starters, I was featured on a wonderful blog called BeYouTiful Beauty for her “Self-Love Saturday” weekly article. Every week the author, Jessica, features a different blogger and outlines exactly what self-love means to them. Jessica really goes above and beyond and takes the time to read her subjects’ blogs and gets to know them better and it definitely shows. My feature is here. And please be sure to check out and subscribe to Jessica’s blog!

oscar wilde

And it was a great week for me in my venture with KEEP Collective! For starters, I got my first team member – a fellow blogger and all-round badass, Jessica (not the same Jessica – just a coincidence). I couldn’t be more pleased; Jessica’s a perfect fit for the kind of team that I want to build. Check out Jessica’s blog, “BadAss Business Assistant” for tips on time management and so much more! And I have three socials booked with some absolutely fabulous hostesses, all in time for the first part of KEEP’s summer line to debut on April 19! I have to admit, I’ve had my doubts; not about KEEP – I have total confidence in the company and the products – but in myself. There’s a little voice in my head always telling me I’m not cut out for sales because I’m too introverted and I’m not assertive enough. Basically I look at the way others work their business and because I don’t think I’m like them, I don’t feel successful. But I’m realizing more and more that there are as many different ways to be successful as there are successful people! A lot of people talk about “formulas” for success but for me, the only ingredients that I feel I need to be successful are confidence, consistency and authenticity. And as long as I adhere to those three principles, I’m guaranteed to be successful! And this week I’m feeling on top of the world!

summer items

Here’s a little sneak peek at some of our summer items! Click on the photo to be taken to my KEEP website!

I think there’s a bit of a theme running here. Over the last few months, ever since I began blogging and joined KEEP Collective, I’ve made a lot of friends in both circles and the support and information I’ve gleaned from my relationships with all of them is absolutely invaluable. I’ve always been a sort of lone wolf; more comfortable getting by and doing things on my own, in my own way. But I’m finding that having a supportive circle of sisters who are in the same business, trying to do the same things and having the same struggles, is a great source of comfort and inspiration. And I’ve been really blessed that I’ve found really generous women in both arenas – always willing to share their knowledge and their secrets to success with those of us who are still finding our feet!

And my oldest son’s play is coming up this weekend. He’s playing Louis Ironson in “Angels in America”. The whole family is so excited to see him in this play; it’s a project he’s wanted to do for years and I miss seeing him in plays. He became a bit of a local celebrity this week when he and another actor in the play were featured on a daytime news segment for the local TV news station! It was a live interview (which would have terrified me to even think about doing) but they both did a wonderful job! We’re so proud! If you’d like to watch the interview, you can catch it here.

I’m not sure why, but things seem to be moving into position for everyone around me right now. I love when things are calm and everyone’s doing well in their jobs and in their personal lives. It feels like the planets are aligned properly and things are lining up just as they need to be for a really good summer. I hope everything’s going swimmingly for you, as well!

Much love. – Mama Bear

 

 

Daily Quotes

You Call It Luck, I Call It Hard Work

If you live a good life, you’re eventually going to run into someone who thinks it’s all just a matter of luck. The heavens have somehow blessed you in ways that they haven’t blessed someone else. And yes, I’ve heard it a lot. It used to really irritate me but now I realize it’s more a reflection on the other person than it is on me.

Because in reality, what they call luck is mostly just hard work.

From the outside, I’m sure it looks like I’m a lucky woman. I have an amazing husband, a good marriage, kids that I am crazy proud of, and I’m happy. So it’s gotta be luck, right?

WRONG. 

Nobody who has a happy marriage got where they are through luck. It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to learn and grow with your partner, among other things. And I didn’t luck into marrying my husband. I walked away from the bullshit and dysfunction in other relationships I’d been in and recognized a good thing when it was in front of me. But we haven’t always been as happy as we are now. There were plenty of long nights of tears and arguments and silence and slammed doors until we learned how to argue the right way (yep – that’s really a thing) and figured out that since neither of us was going anywhere, maybe we should try to work on figuring out how to make this whole thing better!

And my kids? That’s taken a lot of hard work, sacrifice and time and attention from both my husband and I. Don’t get me wrong; we sacrificed a lot but wouldn’t have it any other way. It meant decades of living on one income, long hours at work and at home, and giving up a lot of other outside interests to foster a deeper connection as a family. And homeschooling, which has been one of the best decisions we ever made as a family, has also meant that the schoolwork and learning never stopped. When it comes to our kids, my husband and I are all in. It’s not to say there haven’t been hard times. I’m pretty sure raising kids is never easy. But above all, we treated our kids with respect and tried to set good examples for them in the way that we treated them and one another.

And yes, I’m happy. That’s been the hardest part of the whole deal, believe it or not. It has taken a lot of hard work and time looking at the parts of me I really didn’t want to see and making a concerted effort to change them. I’ve had to get out of my own way and recognize the ways in which I was contributing to my own unhappiness. It’s meant picking at old wounds and opening them up again to finally deal with what caused them to begin with. It’s also meant learning to love the parts of myself that were pretty good, and working to stop giving a fuck about what other people think of me (still struggle with that sometimes). All the heartache and hard work paid off because I’m happier and stronger now than I’ve ever been. But I’d be lying if I said it was a straight path or that it was easy.

your life does not get better

So look – I get it. There are people that look like they fell bass-ackwards into everything they have. They got the cushy job because they know somebody. They were born gorgeous so life is just a series of open doors for them. I think most of us look at successful, happy people and think they must just have been in the right place at the right time. And  yeah, some people are born into wealth. Some people are born beautiful. And maybe you’re neither of those things. But the first thing you have to do is reset your definition of success. While you may never be a billionaire or a supermodel, you definitely will never be successful if you don’t go into everything with an attitude that success and happiness are at least possible for you. And if you chalk it all up to someone being lucky, you’re off the hook for ever having to put forth any effort to change your own life. It’s a cop out.

right place right time

Think of it this way – even the things that on the surface appear to be nothing but luck have at least a tiny element of effort to them. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t play, can you? So yeah, you’re lucky if you hit it, but if you don’t play, you’ve got zero chance of winning. (No, I’m not advocating blowing your paycheck on lottery tickets; I’m just using it as an example.) I caught some good-natured ribbing when I won a $600 Sephora gift card recently in an Instagram loop, but even that required some effort. I had to spend ten minutes liking and following about 30 different Instagram accounts and (the hard part for me) keep track of it all. Was that hard work? No. The lucky part was my name being drawn, but if I hadn’t taken the steps and followed the rules of the contest, I would’ve had no chance at all of winning.

Even when you look at reality show stars (not mentioning any names) who look like they just fell into their millions by being famous just for being famous, there’s some effort involved there. They have to constantly and consistently chase that attention and keep themselves in the public eye and invent new drama to keep the focus on them. I’m certainly not suggesting you go out and make a sex tape or get drunk and pull crazy shenanigans in public, but my point is, there is at least a small amount of effort involved. Not really sure that I’d call that lifestyle “lucky”, but I know plenty of people admire their success.

Everything of value in life requires effort. And sometimes it involves taking a good hard look at what you’re doing in your own life and shifting your priorities and behaviors a little bit. And that can be quite uncomfortable for us. It’s hard to admit that maybe you haven’t been putting 100% into your marriage, your family, your job. But letting go of the excuse that someone else is lucky in ways that you’re not opens you up to learning new ways of doing things and new ways of being successful. The biggest lesson is being open to the idea that you can be successful, realizing that you deserve it, and finding a path to get you there.

So yeah, call it luck if you want to, but I know the truth.

Much love. – Mama Bear

 

 

spring-05

Total Gratitude Tuesday: Volume XXVII

Tuesday’s almost over! Can you tell how crazy my day has been? Yes, I realize I could write these ahead of time and have them post on Tuesday but where’s the fun in that?

To start with, I’m grateful my daughter’s finally feeling better from getting her wisdom teeth removed last week. She had a rough way to go at first, but is doing much better now. I don’t think there’s anything worse than seeing your child in pain and not being able to help them! But I know she’ll feel so much better once she’s all healed and able to eat solids again!

I got a letter in a swap yesterday from Swap-bot that put a smile on my face. My swap partner happened to mention that I shared the same last name as one of her favorite poets – Robert Frost. She said she loved his poem, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”, which isn’t as well-known as “The Road Less Traveled”. Now my dad was not the kind of guy who’d appreciate poetry, but there was one poem he loved, and wouldn’t you know it – it was “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”! I can actually remember him reciting the lines from the poem when I was a girl. I hadn’t thought about that in years until I got this letter from my swap partner.

Yesterday, I saw a lady leaving the store and before she did, she tied a chiffon kerchief over her hair to keep the wind from messing it up. It reminded me so much of my grandma. When she got dressed up, she put on red lipstick (the only time she ever wore it) and her outfit wasn’t complete without either a head scarf or if it was raining, a plastic rain bonnet to protect her hair. Another thing I hadn’t thought about in years, but took me right back to childhood and made me smile. I miss both of them so much, and while the grief of missing them never really goes away, I love getting little reminders of them. I don’t think we ever really get over loving someone we love that much, but it’s good to be at a place where the memories bring me smiles rather than tears.

rain bonnet

Does anyone else remember these? 

I’ve finally gotten a bit of my energy back and I’ve spent the last two days doing some heavy duty spring cleaning in my craft/spare/laundry room. Nothing makes me feel better than organizing (but for some reason I hate cleaning). It’s good for clearing my mind and helping me get my priorities in order and also, clutter makes me crazy! I’m trying really hard not to be too sentimental about the things I’m getting rid of so that maybe I can clear up some mental clutter along with the physical stuff! And it helps to hum the “Spring Cleaning” tune from “Rocko’s Modern Life” (anybody else love “Rocko”?).

All in all, it’s been a busy week but a good one! And I’m looking forward to a couple of vendor’s events for KEEP coming up over the next couple of weekends, and also my son’s play, so it’s going to be a good month! I hope yours is going just as well as mine!

Much love. – Mama Bear