I basically can’t live without

You know you did very well in gifting when your child shares with her nearly 10K followers on her business Instagram account  that which you gifted her.

Seriously, this bag is pretty awesome. All the more awesome is her Pinterest board because she really is hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, she gets it from her mama! But this last year I gifted her well. Thank you Pinterest and Hollie pinning all the things.

I just might need a bag like this because, like my darling daughter, and pretty much anyone, there is absolutely a bunch of shit I basically can’t live without.

  1. like my favorite face wash because the oil slick that is my face keeps waiting for the dry, flaky, crepe-y skin that is all part of the joy that is menopause. Sure it might feel like a certain body fluid, as someone I know compared it to, but it works very well for me…and that is all that matters.
  2. Sunscreen! All the sunscreen because ginger girl problems are real.
  3. This lip balm because more sunscreen and because I am always licking my lips so why bother with heavy lip color?
  4. My latest favorite Acoustic Chill playlist on Spotify because the drive to work is too stupid and too real

    Honestly!
  5. My old, well-worn, gray sweater I got from Costco years ago.
  6. Eyeglass cleaner because the glasses I wear every waking moment are always smudged and dirty and I just might be obsessed about cleaning those glasses of mine.
  7. This whiteboard calendar which just might be ridiculous if I were to carry it in a bag.

    Then again, I am not the only one living under The Big Top who basically can not live without it which is why everything and everyone on the calendar is color coded.
  8. My blackout curtains because I am Vampira, the night shift nurse.
  9. Coffee, nectar of all the nurses.
  10. My Amazon Prime account
  11. Dental floss. I blame my dentist for lecturing me about gum disease while deep cleaning for what has become an addiction.
  12. My cameras…Canon 60D and iPhone because I am indeed the Mamarazzi
  13. My favorite pen…don’t ask to borrow it…ever.
  14. My Moleskine notebook
  15. a bottle of Coke Zero, just one, for my lunch break at work
  16. My ASU ball cap to hide the epic bedhead when I take my son to school in the morning. Not that my son’s principal would ever call me out for the bedhead or the pajama pants I might be wearing (if I’m not wearing scrubs) because she isn’t nearly as judge-y as Kate Chisholm and because at least I am wearing a bra. There’s that!
  17. My Caffeine and Kilos ball cap for when I can’t find my ASU cap.
  18. A good bra.
  19. My water bottle. I blame Jodie and my membranes rupturing at 26 weeks while pregnant with her for my ALWAYS carrying a water bottle and ALWAYS drinking all the water.
  20. A Sharpie marker…you never know when you need to mark something permanently.
  21. Altoids, you are very welcome Day Shift!
  22. My Asics
  23. My favorite Scünci hair ties…they are discontinued which would explain why I am hoarding them.
  24. My favorite hair clip because thick hair can be a problem, even thinning, menopausal, thick hair. But hurray for the fact that my hair is long enough 20 months after my latest pixie cut to twist up into an undo with my favorite hair clip…it’s the little things that make me happiest, really.
  25. Scarves…I have no idea how many I have. That might be a problem. But who cares because I basically can’t live without them.

What shit that you basically can’t live without would you stuff that duffel bag with.

possibly the end

Years ago during what was maybe an El Pequeño Niño, I gave birth on a windy, rainy, blustery evening. Having as many kids as I do the odds had to be in my favor at least once that this would happen. And because it was the days of drive-thru deliveries, baby Abigael and I found ourselves coming home scarcely 24 hours after we met face to face for the first time…on another dark and stormy night. My darling husband easily stepped over the giant 3 foot puddle that he parked my new minivan in front of to get our new baby safely buckled in for her first ride. Naturally, I stepped right into the middle of that puddle of cold, brackish rainwater with my fuzzy socks and Birkenstocks because I had just pushed a 7 pound baby out of my vagina just 24 hours before and I was still bruised and swollen enough to not be as flexible as my darling husband imagined that I must be because

weren’t you doing all kinds of crazy downward doggie-warrior kind of yoga-y stretches right before we went to the hospital yesterday morning?

Because I was in labor, BACK LABOR and I might have hurt you were it not for that distraction!

Oh. So I guess puddle jumping is hard for you right now.

Just a little.

Maybe rain boots would have been better than Birkenstocks then.

Maybe.

Somedays he’s lucky that I love him so. That day was one of those days.

Looks like we are having a proper winter finally here in our neck of the woods. Yes, Jonas had his way with the Eastern part of the United States which many have yet to dig out from. I’ve seen all the Facebook posts. Hang in there y’all. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and I promise you that I had experienced more than my fair share of epic snow storms of the century to dig out from whether or not the snow ploughs came by to clear the main road and block our street and driveway…and of course school was not cancelled because as long as the school superintendent can get out of his driveway it’s all good. Still I am thankful for winds and the rains and the snow piling up in the Sierra because we need all the precipitation, all of it.

So while the rains came down, down, down in and all over Northern Cali this past week I set about to be prepared because El Niño finally is here!

This just might bring on the end of El Niño.

God I hope not because I want nothing more than to jump in some puddles while wearing these sweet boots.

Peeking ahead at the extended forecast I just might get my wish.

finally Fall

Designers want to dress me like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm, red Autumn.

~Marilyn Monroe

After a long, hot as balls, dry Summer here in the Central Valley, it is finally Fall y’all! Sweaters and boots weather at last!

Someone please remind me of this day when I start whining in a couple of months.

NaPhoPoMo

celebrating resilience

So I treated myself, because I deserve a treat sometimes…as we all deserve a treat every now and then…in moderation, always in moderation. But yes, I treated myself.

The packaging alone is enough to make me smile…and feel pretty…even if I didn’t bother to put on makeup or fix my hair or wear jewelry.

And then I opened the box and put on this lovely called Resilience.

I bought it because it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I bought it because 20% of the profits of this cuff will benefit The Noreen Fraser Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breakthrough research that advances precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers.

I bought it because as it delicately encircles my wrist, it reminds me of my own resiliency; my own remarkable ability to bounce back from some really crazy, awful, no-good, horrible, very bad things over the last half century…literally…stretched, bent, compressed and stretched in ways I could never imagine that I could come back from…and yet I did; no matter the direction life has taken me. Someday I might have a long heart to heart with some of the crazy side roads Life took me on, especially when I was too young to have any control but for now I will look at this lovely delicate cuff and remind myself just how strong I am.

I will also pause to think about and celebrate people I know who right now are proving their own resiliency as they are coming back from some pretty fucked up things:

  • starting over with a family who depends on them as they leave a dangerous, abusive situation strengthened by a tribe of people who love her
  • taking the chance to try again after living through the most unimaginable loss that you never get over…again surrounded by family and a circle of people supporting with so much love and so much encouragement and so much prayer
  • finally figuring out what education and career path is the one you want to be on after a few starts and stops and fails along the way…again surrounded by family and friends cheering you on because they believe in you and cheer for you…especially when you stumble and when you get back up to try again.

Not every resilient person finds themselves surrounded by unconditional support and love…at least at first glance. Still we survive and we thrive as we embrace our ability to handle whatever direction life takes us…in spite of the pain, the unbelievable grief and every other shitty roadblock along the way…because there is also a lot of love and blessings too.