Zip it.

I can remember when now 24 year old Jasmine was a pre-teen, she would get so aggravated when she heard someone talking bad about another someone.  Her basis was basically this:  “What he or she chooses to do, say, wear…doesn’t affect your life, so why do you care?”  Another Jasmine goodie to the ever constant criticism of professional athletes. “If you can do it better, let’s see it.”

So, I TRY to let people do what they want. Wear what they want. Say what they want. It is, indeed, their life and they (whoever they are) have made it this far without my never-so humble opinion(s) shaping their existence.  Who am I to judge? I can almost hear Jasmine reminding me that I have done, wore and said things that horrify me to this day. And I thank you for not reminding me of them, or holding them against me. (I do a pretty good job of that, myself.)

And speaking of passing judgement. Ugh. That’s just plain DUMB. Because as near as I can tell, everything I’ve ever passed judgement on has shown right up at my front door. And that’s awesome. (or not.)

Now, that’s not to say I don’t get mad. React when I get stung. Swear (but you already know that about me) like a sailor – even directed at others – when appropriate.  What I try not to do is make it personal.  And if I do ever fall in that gutter, I have a good man who reminds me that’s not where I live, and pulls me out, and dusts me off.

Again, I’m not playing high & mighty – I wish I could say I never did it, or never do it. I’m just saying I feel GROSS when I do, and wish I didn’t.  So it’s a process, and one I intend to keep working on.

I once heard the mantra:

“I spend so much time on the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others.”

That’s really where I want to live.  So, in the moments when I’m tempted to jump on the bandwagon and just rip someone apart, I usually get quiet (yes, it can happen!).  And in that quiet I am working hard on showing restraint, and probably digging deep for some inspiration like:

“When they go low, we go HIGH.”

 Or get high, but that’s another blog, altogether…


In the end, it’s hard work being a decent, kind, non-judgemental, gossip-free Princess.  Especially when I’m out and I see someone in shoes that just DO NOT work with that outfit … Wait!? Did she just go there??

You Heard the Lady,


Those Were the Days, Huh?

flat screens

And is it any wonder she has that rockin’ bod? I mean, she had to get up and change the channel, get up and raise the volume, get up and lower the volume, and get up again to turn it off.  It was a lot of work, and kids today just don’t understand.

Now, I just use my “clicker.” Or, tell Alexa to do it.

This suddenly makes me feel like one of the slugs in the movie Wall-E. Which I can probably find playing somewhere on one of our hundreds of cable channels,  if I could only find my clicker.

“Alexa!…”  You Heard the Lady,






BirthMasVacaVersary Day (My Ideal Day Best Day Ever!)

It’s like a combo of my best days of the year, with my favorite activities pulled out of those days, and all wrapped into one (seemingly very busy) day!

Birthday:  Flowers delivered to the house, and no cooking or cleaning. All three meals OUT.


Christmas: Gifts! Lots and lots of gifts! For me, and FROM me. I want to dole them out and follow Jasmine’s strict rules on the opening order. Yes, yes, yes. And extended family. Parents, siblings, children, niece & nephew, boyfriends & girlfriends all present for the fun.

Oh, and let there be games: PooPoo on Your Neighbor’s Lawn (don’t ask), and Rummikub – Jasmine and Tim refuse to play with me (Harumph!) SO, they would feel that they would have to play – it is after all, MY day, and they would be forced to enjoy it. If not, a good card game with the crowd.


Vacation: Breakfast: Hmmm – I’m envisioning us at a nice hotel, so I’ll want to decide that day if I feel like getting going and heading down to breakfast or just slower moving and order room service. Regardless, there is coffee. And Bacon.

What's on Your Summer Reading List?

Let there be a massage, followed by time at the pool/beach with a book, OH! And a server to bring fish tacos & cocktails for lunch.  Must be WARM.  Then, a bit of shopping. After a shower and nap, let’s get dressed and go to a NICE Dinner OUT. With live music. And wine.

Anniversary: Since I kinda dig my hubby,  he has to be there and we will spend the whole day together. And since this is MY made up holiday,  we get to do MY things. His list, I can assure you would be very different.

Mothers Day: Each year on Mother’s Day, our children become cheap labor. Ah, who am I kidding, it aint cheap, it’s FREE. And since it’s in May, it’s always been about planting around here. But since BirthMasVacaVersary Day doesn’t have to be in May, I guess that equates to the minions – err, I mean the children – doing some other favors/chores for me. Whatever I want to point to. Or snap at…

By the looks of things, I’m totally exhausted (and stuffed!) after my very full, very fun, all about me, most special best day ever.

What does your ideal day look like/entail?  And what do you call it? Whatever it is, I hope you get to enjoy it in the very near future. I’m starting to plan mine now. (And I can feel my husband rolling his eyes…)

You Heard the Lady,


What’s Your Favorite Season?

For me, it’s always been fall.

great fall

I remember weekends in Brown County, IN.  The leaves, the crisp air, that horse.

Grabbing a Sweatshirt .  For me the one that comes to mind is aged, well-worn and no longer suitable for public since my cousin Michael put a hole in it with a cigarette – or wait, maybe that was my dad’s favorite armchair – I digress.  That DePaul sweatshirt may be nasty, but it is still my favorite.

Pumpkin spice. I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. I love it on some things and others I think we’ve just gone too far. (That pizza, with pumpkin puree? Nope. Nope. Nope.)

Caramel apples.

And Jasmine and I have a tradition of making Halloween Cookies. It’s a big project, we make a mess, we laugh, we make some delicious and some interesting looking cookies. Sometimes we even include guests. (Sofia – we miss you!) And then, I clean it all up. Okay, let’s be honest – Tim usually cleans it all up. THE MAN IS A SAINT.

The decorations. The costumes for the kidlets. The annual debate about how much candy we really need to have on hand for trick or treaters. There really should be a science to this.

For Halloween I always make homemade Calzones.  Barbeque Chicken and Cheeseburger, to be exact.  Those, too, are delicious. I don’t know if anyone else really looks forward to them as much as I do, but … it’s my thing.

And I sure do miss the days of my kiddos laying their loot out on the floor and trading and swapping for their favorites…I cherish those memories.

The not so favorite schlepping and shifting of the wardrobes.

The oh so favorite shifting to sweaters and boots.

Yes, we are sad to put the boat into hibernation, yes, my hottub temperature needs to be increased, yes, its dark so darn early and I’m fighting to stay up until a socially acceptable hour to retreat to my bed. And yes, the countdown to the holidays begins, and all of the hustle and bustle that comes with that.

But for now,  I’m taking it all in. And craving an Apple Cider Donut.

You Heard the Lady,





I’m Not Crying, YOU’RE Crying!

I guess I never asked my parents, if I cried a lot as a baby. I should do that, it might help me get to the bottom of why the hell I cry so much as an adult.

Cute movie. You can probably SEE me crying.

Sad movie. You can probably HEAR me crying.

Someone wins the Big Game. Good Job! (I’m crying.)

Someone loses the Big Game. The Worked So Hard! (Still crying.)

I’m proud. I want to tell people this ALL THE TIME. Only I can’t get it out right, because … I’m crying.

I’m hurt. Physically – Try not to, but, it’s inevitable. Crybaby Central.

Emotionally – yep, how could you? The Ugly Cry.

Frustrated. Check.

Overwhelmed. There Might be Tears.

When I’m moved. (Not physically, as in, dragged across the room “moved”, but when I’m touched, when you’ve surprised me, or really gone to lengths to do something special) – Alligator Tears. (What does that even mean, anyway? I mean I know it means BIG tears, but why? Where does that saying even come from?)

Laughing.  Well…  Let’s just say I can’t play Cards Against Humanity With Joey anymore.

Wedding or funeral. Done. And why, pray tell, do I just never think ahead enough to bring a Kleenex? (Or toilet paper, for those of you who religiously follow my blog…) World Emoji Day: 15 popular emojis ranked from worst to ...

I’ve even cried when I was hungry.  Shocking, I know.

But here’s the kicker:

I especially cry when I’m mad, which really gets me, because it is usually then that I want to express myself clearly and directly. Emphatically and well, profoundly.  And then it just happens.  The thing of it is that then my adversaries might mistake it for weakness, or sadness, when really I’m just straight up PISSED.  Cue up the number of times I’ve lost it in a business setting, even though I knew I shouldn’t. Actually, please don’t cue that up. I try to keep those repressed, because just thinking about it makes me – ah, never mind.

Now, I consider myself to be a strong woman. I think others do as well. So, it’s not like I’m blubbering my life away, and can’t function because I’m too busy crying.  I once read an article that said those who cry a lot are actually more intelligent. (Kidding – I just totally made that up.)

ALL THE FEELS = I’m crying.

Want to know when I don’t cry? When I spill milk. Then, I just swear. Which is even more attractive, I know.

So here is my “HOW NOT TO CRY” Tip. I read that if you take a sip of water when you are about to cry it suppresses that, and it’s impossible to cry.  LOVE IT! GREAT! SO SMART!  Then why is it that I NEVER HAVE A WATER BOTTLE HANDY when I need one?? So in actuality, my tip only works when you are PREPARED for it, as in actually expecting that you are entering a situation that just might make you cry.

Which come to think of it, is the point of this entire blog post.  If everything makes me cry, then shouldn’t I always have a water bottle handy – just in case?!?


Someone grab me a water bottle or I’ll give you something to cry about! Yes, that feels about right.

You Heard the Lady,



Wait! I Gave That Away Too Soon…

I am the exact opposite of a hoarder. To a fault.

A few years back my husband (Tim) and my bonus son (Patrick) build me a shoe closet. I quite love it!

There are shelves and there are slots. I can fit 62 pairs of shoes, and 12 pairs of boots comfortably.  I do however have several slots that can (and do) house a few pairs of sandals or flats, which increases the net shoe capacity to approximately 82. But who’s counting you ask? Patrick. That’s who.

When the build out was complete, he had a “great idea!” that entails me having to never exceed this dedicated space.  In other words, if at full capacity, and I bring a new pair of shoes home –you guessed it – another pair has to leave.

By leave, that usually means it goes to Jasmine. If she takes a pass, my sister, my mom, my niece, and my godmother get a go at them, and if still no takers, off to the resale shop or Goodwill they go.

It’s the same pattern with clothes. Once my closet gets too tight, out some things go. Every time I change seasons in my closet, out some things go.  Bring in a few new sweaters, out a few sweaters go.
And once I get in the purge zone, all bets are off. I start tossing things aside like crazy. I have lived for years under the motto that if you haven’t worn/used this in the last year (UNLESS it is formal and for ultra- special occasions) out it goes.


And it’s great. Until it’s not.

There have been numerous times when I am looking for something – where did that black dress go?
Did Jasmine take it and not ask permission? She SWEARS I gave it to her. I SWEAR I didn’t. GRRR.

Or better yet, I see something on my sister that looks darling. I gave it to her. Now I want it back. Why in the world did I give that away in the first place? GRRR.

indian giver

Home Décor, Jewelry, Makeup, anything that starts to build up – read: clutter – GONE! I can’t even take it when I can’t find something easily. If you use it, put it back where you found it, Tim. I mean, Jasmine. I mean EVERYONE! If you borrow something, return it. In a timely fashion. And for goodness sake, just take the few extra minutes to DO IT NOW.  You will be so glad you did. At least I WILL BE SO GLAD YOU DID. And well, you know the saying “If Mama aint happy, aint noboby happy!”

Which is a spoiler alert for a blog in the hopper on procrastinating. But I’m going to put that aside for right now. (Did you see what I did there?)

So go clean out a closet. Condense! Share! Donate! PURGE!  And don’t ask me for that sweater back when I’m rockin’ it this fall.

sweater fight
You Heard the Lady,

How Do You Wrap Up Your Week?

It’s Friday. Fri-yay!

Which means, its the end of another busy week and while preparing for a family-filled weekend, I’m working through my list and getting closer to closing up shop.


Closing up the week, for me,  has including a long-standing ritual of sending thank you notes. Hand written cards of thanks, appreciation, gratitude. When I first heard this suggested by Jack Canfield 20 some years ago, he suggested at least 5 each week and I remembered thinking it would be a challenge to stay on top of that. It’s not. In fact, it’s a highlight of my week.  I love stationery, I love handwritten notes, I love reviewing my week, and I love saying thank you. (I don’t always love that I ran out of stamps again, but I’m grateful for the self service 24/7 machines at the post office. Who can I thank for THOSE?)

Which reminds me of a daily ritual Guinness (my big, adorable dog) and I have, and that is going to get the mail. It’s not really “going” since it’s really just at the end of the driveway, but it’s still a thing we do. And if your daily delivery is anything like ours, it is usually pretty unexciting.  Several company mailers – most with coupons! – and a random bill here and there.  Getting the mail really only gets exciting when it’s obvious there is a check enclosed, and/or when it’s a handwritten note or card!  I don’t know if the rest of the world loves the personal notes and cards like I do, but either way it’s okay. I enjoy the process of thinking them through, writing them out, and sending them off. It brings me joy, and allows me to spend more time in gratitude.


So,  I’m closing out my week. I’m sending off my cards. I’m going to the mailbox with Guinness.  And, I’m happy.  Hope YOU are, as well.

You Heard the Lady,


Better Late Than Never

Back in May, I started this little blog of mine, and vowed to publish one every Friday.

Today, it almost didn’t happen. But, I like to be true to my word – and although I doubted that anyone would have protested if their Friday edition didn’t arrive this week, I decided that I would make it happen. Late as it may be.

I’m learning alot these last few weeks.  About myself, and about others. Some people have surprised me in a good way, and others not so much. And others still remain steadfast and true, as they always do. And I’m grateful.

My friend Jenifer often reflects about her spiritual journey, and I listen in awe, as I remind myself that stabbing people is bad, and I have to wear pants.  I know I’ve grown during this stressful, trying and exhilarating week – and it’s not just from the Fritos, the lunch meetings and the cancelled walks with my friend Linda.  I’m growing because I’m stretching. I’m growing because I’m fighting. And I’m growing because I’m learning.

Sleep is overrated. Fritos are the bomb. And man, do I love my circle.
I promise I’ll be back to my old delighful self before long. Look out world!

You Heard the Lady,


Get to the Point Already.

Ever take a Personality test?
In a career built on building relationships, I have.  Many times.

Today, my “D” was in full force.

Direct. Decisive. Determined.
FULL FORCE, people.


I got shit done.

(And to those that I may have rushed off the phone, or to finish my haircut, or to also GET SHIT DONE, I am sorry.  I can be a handful. I know – but how great is it to be a “Handful That Gets Shit Done?!”)

Now, before I am tempted to add one more task to my plate, I am going to turn it off, step away, and join my “S” (Stable. Steady. Sweet) Husband, and my “AFHKLJGEGWHLERIUB” houseful of children and turn on my “I!!!!” (I did that on purpose, an “I” would TOTALLY use that many exclamation points!!!!)

(Read: Fun) / (Also read, “I” think I’ve earned it!).

Enjoy your weekend, all.
You Heard the Lady,


“Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week To Stop …” (Lloyd Bridges, Airplane)

Smoking. Drinking. Amphetamines. Sniffing Glue.  If you know the movie, you know the scene. Suffice it to say, he’s had a rough week.

Me? Sniffing glue?? Naw, it’s been a FULL week. Changes, challenges and emotions galore, but I’m ever impressed by the kindness and tenacity of others, and the lessons that come out of the hard days.

Here are just a few of the pieces of advice, suggestions & thoughts I received during this less than pleasant week:

 Don’t Let Temporary Emotions Make Permanent Decisions.  Love this all the time

And it’s companion: Don’t Trust Your Tongue When Your Heart is Bitter.  Easier said than done, my friends(See last week’s post about SWEARING!)

Jasmine and I have a thing about butterflies.  It comes mainly from my friend Jana Stanfield’s song, BUTTERFLY.  This week I had butterflies showing up in random places. I had to say out loud “Okay, I see you. I get it.”

“Sitting alone on a hillside, confused about what to do
My choices where all complicated, it was time to think things through
Spotted a striped caterpillar, stretching her face to the sky
Dragging her cumbersome body an inch at a time
I was feeling the pain of slow progress, when a friend of hers fluttered by
I leaned close as the caterpillar spoke with a voice as soft as a sigh
She said…

Butterfly, please tell me again it’s gonna be alright
I can feel a change is coming
I can feel it in my skin
I can feel myself outgrowing
This life I’ve been living in
And I’m afraid, afraid of change
Butterfly, please tell me again I’m gonna be alright

I’m like my friend caterpillar, afraid of that dark cocoon
Wanting to hide in the tall grass, when change is coming soon
But all of the things we long for, are borne on the wings of change
And losses can lead us to blessings that we can’t explain
Butterflies remind us, there’s magic in every life
And we can become what we dream of, if fat, furry worms can fly!”

Listen here:

And from my friend, Gunnar,  a new Mantra:

“When a changing wind blows, the weak build walls and hide while go getters go build windmills.”

Finally, the ever important reminder, from one of my husband’s favorite Go To’s:
“If We All Put Our Problems in the Middle of the Table, and Had to Pick One Out – We’d Pick Our Own Every Time.”  In other words, think about others who have it SO.MUCH.WORSE.

Yesterday we buried my uncle (my family reunion game & competition partner!) after his long, hard fight, and I got a call looking for help at the hospital for the sexual assault volunteer work that I do.  Sigh. SUCKS. SUCKS. SUCKS.

my partner


I’m tired. A little battered and bruised. But me and my windmills and butterflies are all good. I bet you are, too.

You Heard the Lady,