Honey, what’s your new normal?

We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Barbara De Angelis

The road less traveled…

During these scary times, I think it’s safe to say that we have all learned a lot about what we’re made of. We’re on the road less traveled, and sometimes, it’s fine, and sometimes, it’s very uncomfortable. We’re in the process of creating a new normal, and that is always disconcerting, and, dare I say, exciting at the same time. Mr. G and I were talking recently about what we’ve learned through the Covid-19 crisis, and what that would mean for our future.

One of the things we’ve talked about it that we are “high-risk”. I really don’t like that description, and yet, there it is. We have to watch ourselves. Ugh.

In this new, transitioning into something else normal, we have learned that we don’t have to go some place everyday. This sounds stupid-simplistic, but as a newly retired person, it’s what I did. I went somewhere every day. It was rare that I was home all day. In fact, if I was at home all day, I was probably a little under the weather. Not so, now. And, Mr. G has learned that working from home is possible, and maybe even more productive. His most constant interruption is Annabelle, begging him to throw the ball, and he can close the door to the guest room (where his makeshift office is) if she gets too persistent!

Speaking of working from home, will more people opt to work from home if given the option? I would say yes. I know a few people who really function better in a team environment when they can actually “be” with their team, but many people are just fine working from home. I really wonder how all this will “shake” out? (I daydream about huge corporate offices sitting empty, except for the deer and raccoons rummaging through coffee lounges!)

Another big change – we can’t believe how much money we haven’t spent! Our most consistent places to go these days are the grocery store and the hardware store. That’s it. In the beginning, there were several panicked Amazon purchases, but after the initial hysteria, we’re really quite fine.

Following up on that, we haven’t been eating out. (True confessions – we have gotten take-out food 3 times in 12 weeks, and I plan to do it at least once a week from now on. It’s a treat!). Before the virus, we ate out maybe once a week together, and I ate out for lunch a couple of times per week. Now, I have “socially distanced” bag-lunches with a couple of friends. It’s fun! The point is, you don’t HAVE to eat out to visit with friends.

I really like to cook. Mr. G has complimented me many times on dishes I have created during our confinement. To that, I say, “necessity is the mother of invention”! Have there been days that we had pita chips and hummus for dinner because I couldn’t face the stove? Absolutely. However, I kind of like the challenge of coming up with a meal on the fly. Making a game out of creating a meal with what I have on hand is sort of fun. So, there’s another thing I’ve learned… there usually IS something to eat in the house…

Have you noticed how clear the air is? When I’m walking with Annabelle, I can’t believe how the quality of the air has changed. It just feels better to breathe. And, there’s not near the noise of traffic and airplanes! Wow.

I’m wondering, when all this passes, what the new normal will look like? Will we be in our cars constantly, making up for lost time? Somehow, I don’t think so. I hope we are learning from this crisis. One thing we’ve all learned is that planning can only get you so far… there are some things that disrupt our plans, and we have to adapt. Maybe adaptability is the takeaway here…

I think many of us have looked around at what we have, been very grateful, and have reduced the size of our kingdoms, as it were. There’s a whole world outside, just in our own backyards or patios, that maybe we didn’t know that well before the virus. There are birds that visit the feeder every day, and I can’t believe how much I look forward to that. Being outside has been my salvation, and I know that many of you feel the same.

What I can’t wait to get back to? Family dinners. I miss our adult children and their spouses so very much. I want to hug them. So very much! For that, I remain impatient. Until that time, virtual hugs to you all!

Honey, Let’s talk about racism… (part 2)

A riot is the language of the unheard”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is a special post. My daughter is our guest blogger today and is sharing her thoughts and research on how we can be part of the fight for racial justice in our society. Welcome, Daughter G!

Hey Honeybees – Daughter G here, reporting with the first guest post of the season. Thanks for letting me crash the party, Mrs. G.

This post is for white people like me. There’s a lot that we can talk about together, especially about the civil unrest across the nation, but I’d like to take a moment to talk specifically about recognizing our role in the active Black Lives Matter protests, and how you can help. 

By now, you’ll have read the first installment in the “Honey, Let’s talk…” series, and had the opportunity to sit with your feelings about systemic racism and police brutality in this country, and how we might help remedy that system of oppression. 

You may be seeing videos in the news or on your social media feeds about the peaceful demonstrations across the country begging our leadership to recognize the conscious and unconscious racism that black people and people of color (POCs) face every day, and the danger that creates. For those of you who haven’t seen footage on the ground from the protests, I’ve included some links here (warning: graphic, but important). 

You’ll have seen long lists of names, like the one below, of black citizens needlessly killed by police country-wide, and you’ll have seen protestors on the street.

Partial list of names of black people killed by the police since Eric Garner’s death in 2014. Image by LA Johnson via NPR

You may be seeing friends and family who are saying things like, “Of course it’s horrible that George Floyd was killed, but this rioting/looting/protesting needs to stop.” Little hints that tell you that the value of the message, of the lives that have been lost, are less important than property. Little hints that these loved ones are starting to feel 1% of the fear that people of color are feeling in their everyday lives.

You may be asking “…but what can I do?” or, even better, “How can I help?”. 

The good news? The best time to help was years ago, but the second best time is now!

Below you’ll find a list a lot of resources, and link to a lot of places to give of yourself. Before throwing a wall of links at you though, I would beg of you 3 moments.

A moment to sit and recognize what is going on around you, the horrors in your America, and the incredible loss of life due to racism.
A moment to wonder why it took until now for us to listen and rise.
A moment to encourage yourself to step up and use your privilege and gifts to be, as Mr. Rogers calls them, one of “The Helpers”.

Now that you’ve taken your 3 moments, let’s talk about how you, personally, can change the world. 

I would beg you to consider committing to 3 (or more!) actions from the list below :

Ways to Get Involved1


– Attend protests – if you are able, go make your voice heard. If you’re white, listen to and protect your fellow protestors who are POC, and elevate the voices of POC leaders. You can use google to find scheduled protests in your area.
– Use your social media platform – let everyone you know know what side you’re on. Amplify black voices and make sure your white friends and family are seeing footage from police killings and protests on the ground.
– Initiate the conversation with those you’re closest to – they’re looking for a way to talk about this. Create a space to make that happen.
Go “full Karen” – White ladies, we’ve been training for this our whole lives. Ask to “speak to the manager” : call/write/bombard your government officials, city leadership, etc with demands for change. Find your representative here, and take a look at some concrete demands to amplify to the powers that be here and here.
– Sign petitions – Sign petitions demanding justice from our elected officials. Petitions are circulating everywhere, but the racial justice category on change.org is a good place to start.
– If you only have a second, you can text to sign these two crucial petitions :
• Text “JUSTICE” to 668366 to sign MoveOn’s petition for George Floyd
• Text “ENOUGH” to 55156 or sign this petition to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
– VOTE – for the love of everything good, please please please vote in all your elections. Research proposed laws and amendments etc, and all candidates for every election. Let your informed vote be heard, and stick up for the vulnerable in your community.


Educate yourself about current events and the history of racism in America and abroad. We have a long tradition of white-washing history in schools and communities, and a lot of what we’ve learned has been purposely misleading and sometimes false. Do the work and research yourself – take the burden off of others to educate you.
List of things you can watch, read, listen to to help educate yourself to be anti-racist :
Reading List from SFPL
List of Films to Watch from Time.com
If you can only watch one film, I would also recommend the the Netflix Documentary 13th.

Educate the younger generation (children, grandchildren) about the same.
List of resources you can use to talk to your children about race and how to be anti-racist :
Reading List for Kids from SFPL
Sesame Street’s Town Hall on Racism, which aired today (Sat. June 6th, 2020), can be streamed for free from cnn.com


Money makes the world go ‘round. Who are you funding?
In Daughter G’s house, we have regular monthly donations set up to Black Lives Matter, NAACP and the ACLU. We are also donating money to the Minnesota Freedom Fund and other more local bail relief organizations (if you can’t risk going out there, bail out the folks who are).

Some organizations that need your help :

Black Lives Matter
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
I would also encourage you to look in your network or Google around to find other worthy organizations to donate to.

If you can’t protest, please consider donating to one of these bail funds : 
Bail Funds and Legal Help by City (be patient, this one loads slowly)

You can also suppport Black-Owned Businesses in your area!
In Silicon Valley, we recommend downloading and referencing the list from BAOBOB directory.

What 3 actions are you taking? Let Mrs. G and Daughter G know in the comments below!

1I have aggregated this list from multiple sources : friends, articles, facebook groups and other people who have been putting in the work. Notable sources include this list put together by a friend, blacklivesmatter.com, change.org, articles from npr.org, time.com, adhoc.fm, timeout.com, and fastcompany.com.

Honey, Let’s talk….

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King

Color of their skin/Content of their character… I realized this week that I’ve always focused more on the “color of their skin” part of this statement than the “content of their character”. I’ve been focused on the racial part of the equation. But, what I’ve come to realize, through watching and trying to learn as this tragic (and repeated) lesson plays out, over and over and over, is that the content of character is the key here.

If we have worthy content of character, everything else falls into place. When you have leadership based on values, morals, and the desire to do the right thing, you strive for what is right until you get it right, or at least improve it, step by step. When you have a societal structure that does not share a set of core values, and a lack of agreement of the most basic human rights, chaos will result. We have a structure in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – our job is to honor that structure. We need leadership that puts human beings and quality of life for all above all else. This is a first step to recovery in a society that is not at peace. As my daughter says (quoting from the movie “Remember the Titans”), “Attitude Reflects Leadership“.

I learn a lot from my kids. They have always been my teachers. I look at the way they live their lives – intentional and thoughtful, with the code they have chosen to live by matching the value system they have chosen to embrace. They are not sheep… they question, they read, they are well informed, and make conscious decisions about who they will support, what they will donate to what worthy causes, what ideas they can get behind. It’s inspiring. During this time of confinement (really, is there a more strange time in our history?), we’ve all had to figure out and face who we are and what we are made of without a lot of the distractions that have taken up much of our time in the past. The content of our character is shaped by what we read, who we listen to, what we spend our time doing, and where we spend our money.

As a white person who will never understand what the life of an average black person in the U.S. is like on a daily basis, I’ve decided, through observation, reading, and a resolution to continue learning, that the best thing I can do is to work on the content of my character. To really think about what shapes my days, my thoughts, and the arc of my life. To really think about what I can do when there is injustice, how I can help, where I can “put my money where my mouth is”. I think working on the content of our character can only help a nation and society that is bereft at the moment. I pray for brighter days ahead. Let your values guide you.

Blessings to you all.

Honey…. here’s a new recipe for you!


Good afternoon, my friends! I have not been very active on the blog, which is odd, because I have more time than usual. Finding it hard to concentrate on much! However, I’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian meals, and created a recipe that I’m really enjoying! Thought I would share it with you. Here goes!

Corliss’ Chickpea/Brown Rice Salad

  • 1/2 English Cucumber (chopped)
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 Medium Red Onion
  • Mint (handful – 1/4 cup chopped)
  • Cilantro (handful – 1/4 cup chopped)
  • Cooked Brown Rice (I use two Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice packets)
  • 1 Can Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), drained and rinse

Mix all of the above together (really hard!!) Then toss in this dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup light oil (Canola or Light Olive Oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sweet hot mustard
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 T. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4-1/3 cup feta cheese

Shake well to combine and toss the dressing in the salad. Then, scatter the feta through the salad. This is REALLY good! Easy, and lasts for several days in the fridge. After sitting in the fridge for a while, you might want to add a little more dressing (or at least vinegar) for more zing!


“You talking’ to me?”

Until next time, my friends! Hoping your days are filled with sun and you have peace!

Honey… we’re using up, wearing out, making do or doing without!

How are you faring during this weird, scary time? I am doing mostly well, with occasional moments of panic and anxiety. My sister and I were just talking about how strange it is to be both bored and panicked at the same time. These are emotions that don’t normally go together. I also realize that there are many among us (and thank you, thank you, thank you) who are most definitely NOT bored, but are most definitely panicked most of the time. To those of you who are in those positions of keeping us alive, functioning, eating, and a myriad of other essentials, I thank you and revere you. I pray for you that you may find peace and relief from the stress that you must feel.

I think the thing that most of us get frightened about is that we don’t have a timeline. We don’t know when all this will be over, and, will we be ok at the “end” of it? How long is it really going to be before we can hug our kids, our friends, before I can hop on a plane and visit my parents? These are the things that haunt me during the day, and especially at night.

In the meantime, I have become quite the “home economic” expert. I’m meal planning like never before, watching our TP consumption, and trying very hard to be pleasant and keep myself busy. How many of us are “baking our feelings”? I know I am – and that can be stressful, as the flour shortage has not let up yet! And, as I’ve stated in a previous blog post, I never thought my hoarding of craft supplies would come in this handy. Now, in this new age, I’m not a hoarder… I’m prepared!!! What a concept! I am actually enjoying some moments of what for me, in my circumstance, is a simpler life – I’m crafting on a regular basis, and that is something that for some reason I felt a little guilty about in the past. I always felt that I should be doing something more useful or productive in an outward facing sort of way (the result of being in a service-oriented profession for many years before retirement, I would guess). To craft something for the sheer joy of creating is something that I am indulging in again, and it’s wonderful. Whether it be in the craft room, the music studio, or the garden, I’m seeing some lovely results, and that is sustaining me (and filling my hours with a feeling of accomplishment). I thought I would share with you the “goings-on” at our household, both inside and out…

Here are some of the wonders that the garden is bringing lately:

Double Delight never disappoints!
Isn’t this a beauty?
A little drama!
Such an interesting color…
These little beauties are so delicate and small… only about 1.5″ across! Lovely!
What a show!

And, the next thing on our agenda…. Can you guess what this is?

BZZZZZZ…. Yes, Mr. G. is installing a new neighborhood in our backyard… BEES!

Meanwhile, inside….

The “Spring” side of the reversible table runner!

And, last, but not least…

Remember when I talked about recording Beatle’s songs? It’s happening! First up? Golden Slumbers…

I am hoping that as we head into yet another week of uncertainty and fear, you all can take a moment and reflect on what makes you happy, and get to do whatever that is. Or explore something you’ve always wanted to do. Anything to help us all feel less isolated and soothe ourselves. These are scary times, but we really are in this together.

Please gift us with any insights you have. Until next time, my friends…

Honey, How do you Hygge?

Hygge (hue-gah): the ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Friends. Family. Graciousness.”

Hunkering down…

Hello, my friends. We are in a new phase of the human experience. There’s much anxiety as we struggle to understand the ramifications of COVID-19, and how it will affect us through the next weeks and months. I am learning the new normal, and have been in my home for the last 6 days with only one outing, which was to the grocery store yesterday, after our county was ordered to “shelter-in-place” (home). Big mistake. The grocery store was mobbed, and Mr. G. and I elected to leave, as we have food for at least another week, if not longer.We are both over 60 and have our own health challenges, so we are learning how to be at home for an indeterminate amount of time, just like everyone else.

I’ve decided that during this time, we’re going full-tilt hygge. (If you’ve been out of circulation for a while, you might have missed the “hygge” movement – the Danish philosophy of a good life.) And, anything I can do to make life pleasant (and not have to go out to make that happen), I’m doing. The best part? My legendary hoarding of books and craft supplies is really paying off! So far, I’ve read three novels, made a pillow and am working on a table runner. I’ve decided that now is the time to light the scented candles, play the spotify lists, and enjoy the simple life at home. And, you know, I like it. It’s soothing. Yes, I have some anxiety, as I’m sure you do, but we are managing. We watch our Netflix and Amazon, and last night we had a “virtual” movie night with two of our daughters. We watched “Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker” “together”, just by pushing play at the same time (we Face Timed to coordinate and counted down!). It was so silly, and yet, so necessary for us. It’s hard to be near your loved ones, and yet not be able to be in the same physical proximity.

Table Runner in progress…

While sewing, I’m listening to podcasts and Audible books. It’s so pleasant, and I have to say that it is very self-soothing. Learning to self-sooth is a good thing in this time, and since most of my self-soothing up to this point has been with food, I feel like I’m going in the right direction!!!

Please don’t think I’m making light of the struggles everyone is going through. I understand, and am anxious myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we, at this time in our history, are called to make the best of it – whatever “it” is. I wish you all the best and much love and light to you. I’ll keep you posted on all the on-going craft and reading projects, and would love to hear how you are managing this new normal. Please share with us how you’re adapting, and what you’re doing during this time!

Honey, Let Me Tell You… let’s talk about vacation!

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Maya Angelou

Yes, my friends, the spirit of Aloha lives on in me, although I am now back home, knee deep in the daily structure! (Is there anywhere more beautiful than Hawaii? I think not!)

I have been thinking about how vacation means so much to all of us. As the quote above states, we all need those days of rest, relaxation and renewal. I have had the pleasure of going away for vacations, and having stay-cations, and they all end up having a similar effect on me. I come back to my daily life revitalized, ready to tackle everyday problems, with more inspiration and innovation than when I left. It is imperative that we all switch off sometimes, get some new perspective, and take a more detached look at our lives.

It all starts, for me, at least, with the glory of being in a new environment, and a sense of discovery about my home away from home. As the week (or whatever time period) goes on, I become more introspective, and think about the life left behind, and what I’d like to build on, change, or keep the same. And, there are other perks… seeing whales breech off the coast, sleeping in the middle of the day (yep, did that!), eating consistently wonderful food, walking 16,000 steps each day (easy to do on vacation!). (Aren’t blisters are a part of the vacation experience?!)

I think, no matter where we go to “vacate” our normal life, the key is to immerse ourselves in that new environment. I find that I notice so much more about my surroundings when they’re not familiar. My brain is more actively taking in all the scenery and smells, and I feel more alive. Things I might not notice at home are front and center on vacation (I think we all have the issue of clutter, mess, etc., becoming part of the landscape at home if not dealt with quickly. It is nice to go away and come back, and to see our own life with refreshed eyes, with the energy to do something about what we don’t like.) Yes!

Hawaii is an expensive vacation spot. We save all year for it. However, I’ve had similar experiences in Ashland, Oregon, for a few days of plays at their renowned Shakespeare Festival. (Ashland is an amazing town in Oregon that has built their whole economy on both the works of Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights and the presentation of these dramatic works. At any one time, there are multiple plays happening at their many theaters. It is an amazing celebration that goes on 9 months out of each year). Much less expensive, and no less renewing. I’ve also had similar experiences in Atlanta, visiting my folks, and seeing old friends and observing how they live. And don’t even get me started on London and Dublin.

But, here’s the broader view: the key is really seeing how other people live! Whether in Hawaii, London, Dublin, Ashland or Atlanta, it’s so eye-opening to see how other people spend their days. We can learn so much by becoming less and less provincial. Travel opens our eyes to the realization that people, no matter where they are, are just like you, and yet, not like you at all! I love it, and always come home ready to instill the things I’ve learned, with great hope and enthusiasm!

Is that a whale I see?

So, where’s your favorite spot of inspiration? What place or places feed your soul? I’d love to know. Even more than that, I’d love to put it on my bucket list! Life is good!

Until next time, my friends…

Honey, here’s what I know this year…

That’s a powerful blaze!

Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.”

Miles Davis

Every time I take a friend or family member out for a birthday celebration, I try to work in this question to the conversation: “What do you know this year that you didn’t know last year?”. The question stumps people sometimes. And, sometimes, they answer immediately. I recently had my own birthday, and I’ve been pondering the question myself. I always consider my birthday a time of reflection and I try to think about how I want the next year to look. I think about my daily habits, what needs to change or needs work, and what I’m proud I’ve accomplished. I also think more and more about the people I spend my time with, and the impact they have on me.

I’ll address the “people” part first: I am blessed to have a wonderful family. I have a loving, kind, and supportive husband, who is just the best person I know. I have a lovely sister, brother-in-law and their children, and my parents are both still with us. I have amazing kids, and their spouses are equally wonderful. I don’t take that for granted. It is an embarrassment of riches. A huge thank-you to them for all they mean to me in my life, and how they influence me for the better (I like to think of my kids as “Corli 2.0” – they’re so much more evolved than I was at their age – here’s to evolution!).

I think of my friends, old and new. There are so many of you to thank (another embarrassment of riches!). Whether we’re getting together once a year because we live far away, or we see each other on a regular basis for walks in the park, lunches, crafting afternoons, bookclub meetings, evenings out for a show – I thank you for your kindness and friendship. No one is an island, and I am so grateful for the tribe I have.

I think about what I want my life to look like next year. Here are a few areas I want to develop:

  • I want to get my weight back down to what it was last year. This should take about 4 months to achieve. I’ve established a list of “rules” that I will follow. So far, so good.
  • I want to spend some time playing the piano again. I don’t play regularly any more. I have decided to put practicing on my calendar at least 3 times per week. Excited about this! I also want to start singing on a regular basis. After retirement from being a church Music Director for 20 years, I took a break. I miss it. I’m working on some stuff that may really end up being fun!
  • I want to start recording again (see above list item!). I have a home studio, and one of my goals has always been to record all my favorite Beatle’s songs (I have transcripts of all their works – every part, from french horn to strings). I’d love to do some recordings with my family of these gems!
  • I want to get better at sewing. I sew in a “crafty” way. I’m not making garments, although, who knows about the future? I’m happy to make a small quilt or a tote bag. I so enjoyed the Christmas stockings I made this year. I want to build on that. I also want to spend more time doing punch needle and embroidery. These hobbies really make my soul sing!
  • I want to take better care of my skin. This sounds odd, I know, but I am lazy at night, and sometimes all my face gets is a warm washcloth and a promise to do better tomorrow. I’d like to have a simple routine that I follow every night. I’ve been reading a lot about Parisian women’s skin care routines. Most take excellent care of their skin and wear little or no makeup. This sounds like a good strategy to me. This may require a few purchases and possibly a trip or two to the esthetician. Getting that organized. (Any good recommendations for skincare products? Please share here, on the blog!)
  • I want to continue my walking routine (I walk 1.5 – 2.5 miles per day), and add some strength training. I have 1 and 2 pounds weights. Simple, but effective over time. I just need to do it!
  • I really enjoy cooking. I want to get in the kitchen and tweak some recipes to make them more friendly with the rules I’ve established for eating. I think it will be a fun challenge.
Plan it out, and write it down!!!

I will keep you posted as to the progress of my year. I’d love to hear about your plans. Share with us here on the blog!

Until next time, my friends!

Honey, Let’s Have a Plan!

A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
All sorts of possibilities!

I’ve done a lot of ruminating in the last 9 months. I’ve come to a few conclusions. I’d like to share those with you now.

The weird thing about retirement is suddenly you have a lot of open space in your calendar. Your days are not blocked out for you. The first few months I was traveling a lot, and it was sort of like being on vacation all the time. Not that I’m complaining! However, during the “vacation time” and now that we’re settled down a bit, I’ve observed that I’m not near so disciplined as I used to be. I think when I was working outside the home it was imperative that I be more organized about every aspect of my life. Christmas shopping? Done on Labor Day weekend. Vacation planning? Used my credit card miles, and those miles were attained strategically. This year? A different story all together. Last Christmas I was the most disorganized and the latest I’ve been in years when it came to shopping and planning. Now, everything got done, and I can’t remember a Christmas I’ve enjoyed more, in that I was relaxed. If things didn’t go perfectly, I didn’t get upset. It was what it was, and we had a great time. What a gift! Thank you, retirement!

However, there is not the same rhythm to my days as when I was working. A certain amount of routine is welcome, I think. For instance, I’ve gained back half of the weight I had lost prior to retiring. I really worked hard at losing that weight. But, if you’re home much more than you used to be, and you’re incredibly happy and relaxed, you’re easily distracted by the fridge since you walk by it many more times a day! I’ve realized that I don’t really have a plan for my days now. And, if I get a little bored… Sure, I usually take the dog for a walk. I sometimes have lunch with a friend. I certainly unload and load the dishwasher. The laundry is done. But, I’ve enjoyed my freedom so much that I’ve let some things go.

So, deep breath. I’m going to try to have a little more structure to my days. And to start, I’m going to come up with a plan of eating again. I’m going to tackle this part of my planning regime first, because I want to undo the damage I’ve done to my previous plan. It’s depressing that I have gained back some of the weight, no matter how happy I was when I was doing it! My new plan is to get back to meal planning and having a more specific list when I go the grocer. And, tracking my meals. Yep… that definitely needs to happen!

Have any of you been through this? You know exactly how to do what you NEED to do, but you get distracted and suddenly, you’re not doing it! I’ll keep you posted. I appreciate any and all suggestions from you, my friends. Maybe we can help each other achieve whatever we are working on? I’m in! Share with us any pearls of wisdom you may have. I’d love to glean wisdom from you all!

Until next time, start planning whatever it is that floats your boat! Just thinking about it gets me excited for the future!!!

Honey, an important movie review…

I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

First of all, a disclaimer. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is my favorite book of all time. It was a Christmas gift from my mother when I was 7, and is the consistent marker of my childhood, my teenage self, and I have carried it with me as a talisman throughout my adult life. High praise, I know. Jo March is my patron saint, so each time a movie based on the book comes out, I break out into a cold sweat, thinking dark thoughts, absolutely SURE that it won’t do the book or the character of Jo justice. I was sure that Winona Ryder could not do the job in 1994, and darned if she wasn’t brilliant. I heaved a great sigh of relief.

Fast forward to the new movie just released a few weeks ago. I was not in a hurry to see it. I needed time to look at the trailers (honestly!), and see if I could bear it. Saoirse Ronan playing Jo? Okay.. we’ll see. Well, I summoned the courage, and accompanied my dear friend to the theater yesterday, and put Miss Saoirse to the test, and….she was brilliant. REALLY brilliant. It was a wonderful experience to watch her BE Jo March. She was perfectly irreverent. Her performance made me love her.

Was the movie perfect? No. Did it stick faithfully to the book? Mostly. Was Timothy Chalamet the perfect Laurie? In personality, yes. However, in physical stature, he seems too young, a bit slight. (I loved him anyway). Was Florence Pugh perfectly Amy? Yes! She had a “bold as brass” quality that Amy always possessed that made me laugh, and I think she really captured that. How was Emma Watson as Meg? Lovely. Laura Dern as Marmie – Yes! Meryl Streep as Aunt March? Perfection. Eliza Scanlen as Beth? Fine (Not Claire Danes, but good). James Norton as Brooke? Pure Heaven, (but I’m a big fan!). Louis Garrel was new to me as Mr. Bhaer, and he was wonderful. One thing I can say without spoiling anything for you is that the spirit of “place” was alive and well in this movie, and the spirit of family was the driving force in the film, as it is in the book.

I do have a few observations about the vision that Director Greta Gerwig had for the movie. I was struck during the film that this version was incredibly timely. It spoke to the plight of women through the ages, at home tending while men were out on quests, some noble, some not so much (and Jo had very progressive parents who were encouraging of her talents!). It spoke to a woman’s struggle to be seen, educated formally, or to step into the career arena. It certainly was difficult, if not impossible, for a woman of that time period to “have it all”. And, today we still struggle. We juggle. I kept shaking my head while watching the film and thinking that some progress has been made, but certainly not as much as you would expect in 150 years, and that the only way things are going to continue to change is if we, the women, change them. Men are not going to do that for us. Even if they wanted to, the job requires a multitasker, and we are, as a gender, quite good at that (hence the tending). Don’t get me wrong. I’m a “tender” from way back – it’s in my nature, and that’s fortunate, because in the life I chose, I needed to be the one tending all things familial. I’m incredibly fortunate – I have a father who always told me I could do anything I wanted, and a husband whose only demand in our entire marriage is that I do that very thing. I have done exactly what I wanted to do. And…. it’s still been a struggle sometimes.

I’ve heard a few guys say that they didn’t really care to see this film (I think the title is, unfortunately, a deterrent). However, we all need to see it. Because, gentlemen, it may be a “woman’s film”, but it is most certainly NOT a “chick flick”. Go see it. Tell me what you think. I love nothing better than to discuss my favorite book, and now, one of my favorite films.

Until next time, all! Blessings….