Friday Five- Random Fact Edition

Tagged by internationalorange

1. I have my ears pierced 5 times, 3 on the left, two on the right. The second hole in my left ear I pierced myself when I was in 7th grade. I got the idea for both moves from books I read at the time. I always wear the same earrings, little diamonds & hoops.

2. While I’m talking about jewelry, the stone in my engagement ring was my great grandmother’s. She and my great grandfather (both died before I was born) got married in the very early 20th century- can’t remember the year, but it was before 1908. My great grandfather was an engineer on the L & N Railroad. They took the train from Kentucky to New Orleans for Mardi Gras for their honeymoon. What that must have been like- Mardi Gras in the aughts?

3. And while I’m on the topic of great grandparents, their last name was Joyce, my middle name. Technically, my great uncle Johnny, who died in 1997, was the end of the line, but I like to think that I am.

4. Names & heritage are important to me. I never even considered changing my name when I got married. Luckily, my husband was cool with that, but it’s not really luck, but design- I married a man who doesn’t cling to old fashioned customs.

5. And to close with family heritage & to borrow from one of internationalorange's responses- I get my thick, some might even say luxurious brown hair from my mother & her side of the family. I'm often frustrated by it and don't spend much time with it & forget about it. The other day at work, someone remarked that it grows so fast; that they were jealous. Made me think about someone slinking behind me with scissors. It's just hair, man.


From @kaitawake: “Findlay really wants to go for a bike ride…” #catsofinstagram [source: ]

Love it!


From @kaitawake: “Findlay really wants to go for a bike ride…” #catsofinstagram [source: ]

Love it!

Fall, falling

Fall swept into town yesterday, and it’s either here to stay or here to stay with a few last gasps of hot air before it truly takes hold.

I’m not ready for it, these changing seasons. Too bad, humm, as the seasons come, regardless of our readiness, as does change. Change sweeps in too. Sometimes you get warning, sometimes you don’t. The only constant in life is change, and the seasons drive this notion home.

Fall is a season for ruminating. Verdant summer and all its spoils drop to the ground, turn brown, curl up to slumber over winter. It’s hard to watch all that. The long days, the warm air- there’s just something about summer that makes you feel carefree. Come winter, I understand the notion of hibernating, and envy the species that can hole up until it’s over. I don’t want to wish time away, but rising in the cold dawn to rush outside into the frigid air to rush from the cold, gray parking garage, to the cold, gray office building- well, that just becomes a matter of endurance, is all.

I don’t know what it is about this winter that causes me dread. I don’t want it to come. I guess I am ever so wary of time passing. I will be 40 next year, and I know it’s just a number, but it looming there on the horizon- if winter doesn’t come, then I can hold 40 off. I can halt the march of time. There is something about the darker months, too- they bring about a keener awareness of time, of memory, rumination. How often do we sit by the fire and gaze past it- through it- and think about days gone by? Age brings a sense of nostalgia, and I was always that way to begin with. Age also brings to me a high, anxious state when I think of the time. There isn’t enough, it’s running out, and have I done what I’ve wanted to do? Do I have enough time to do what I want to do but haven’t yet done?

We don’t get to know all the answers to all those questions, I know. It’s best to bloom where you are planted, to enjoy what you have, to live in the moment. It’s easier to do that in the spring, the season of rebirth, the season of my birth. Meanwhile, it’s not cold yet, the leaves, the sun- they are still here, and I am still 39. In the dark of the night, it behooves us to hold tight to what we have, while we have it.

Friday five

1. Today feels and looks like fall. The air is chill, the skies are gray, my feet are cold in their summer sandals and I pulled out a fall sweater to wear. I like the fall weather, I like the changing leaves, but it makes me melancholy.

2. I started writing novel bits early this year. I’m trying a different tactic, not writing linearly. I haven’t done much, except write a few scenes where I developed the main and a few secondary characters. I wrote a new character into the story this week and now I really have the itch.

3. Always remember that when something gets done, it’s usually because of the effort of many, not one. I’m used to my efforts being glossed over, because I am a backstage player; always have been. Recently, I watched someone take the credit for something I had nothing to do with, and I was even more frustrated for those backstage people than I get when that is done to me. No one gets anywhere without the help of others. Honor those who help you. I always do.

4. I went to purchase a new litter box to replace the one I bought nine years ago when we got our first cat. The old one had a crack in it & I got tired of cleaning pee off the floor. It’s hard to believe we’ve had our kitty for nine years, our younger one for seven. Such love I have in my heart for these sweet pets.

5. Spent a lot of time this week thinking about how to bloom where I am planted, professionally, how to be thankful for what I have, and where all that balance is. It’s difficult. Sometimes you don’t get what you want- you get what you need, in the immortal words of The Rolling Stones. But it’s not good to stop dreaming, either. Sometimes the best fruit is just out of your reach.


I showed him my notebook
the underside of my soul released
in scribbles on pages
he smiled and held my hand

I knew that he would see
for he dreams of touching beauty, too
there has to be more than the work day

he’s painting houses
he’s painting houses for awhile
then home to his canvas
coming to life

I write in my notebook
with feeling that takes me by surprise
and thoughts that I don’t know that I have

they’re hidden by useless facts that I
compile at the office where I work
where there is no time for feeling anything

you see I just work there
to finance the real life that begins
with scribbles on pages
and thoughts of how and why

museums on sundays
whenever we can we both go
and stay there for hours, feeding our spirit

where beauty is still free
beauty is not exclusive
beauty is ours to touch and to know
touch and to know

and don’t you think there’s more
I really have to know
don’t you think there’s more to life?
don’t you think there’s more to life?

-The Innocence Mission

How to Graciously Say No to Anyone

…saying “no” gets easier with practice and repetition.

And having the right script—a starting point, so you’re not starting at a blank screen—can make all the difference.

Here’s a universal script that works for just about any scenario:

Hey [name],

Thanks for your note. I’m so proud of you for ___—and I’m flattered that you’d like to bring my brain into the mix.

I need to say “no,” because ___.

But I would love to support you in a different way. [Offer an alternative form of support here]

Thank you for being such a wonderful ___. I am honored to be part of your world.

[A few closing words of encouragement, if you’d like]

[Your name here]

Good advice. I need to tattoo it on my heart & remember it. I say yes all the time and my middle name is doormat.

(Source: austinkleon)


Seven is for luck, seven is for faith and trust, seven is the number of years I’ve been married to my husband. Seven, though we have been together for twelve. Neither of us are into quick decisions.

Seven is for luck, and I am lucky, but you know we make our own luck. Love is two hands linked into one, and it’s the 21st century, so we are both wearing the pants. When we were first together, we were both raking in the loose non-profit change, and when I’d had it with the workaday, he carried the load and kept the fires burning and the lights on while I found my way. Now, we both carry the load, but I have great pride that I could carry the load for both of us now, if I had to.

Seven is a partnership. My soul wound with his, but I don’t smother. We don’t smother. We walk our own paths, but we walk together. We put up with grumpiness, with bad days & we enjoy the good. Seven is for a system of honor and loyalty like I’ve never known. We may get cranky once in awhile, but we never fight. If our voices are raised, it’s both of us venting about some universal frustration or injustice (politics, religion, people drinking the Kool-aid, you know).

This is how you know, how you know it’s right. I will love and support this person until there is nothing left of me. I will bask in the sunshine of his love and care and patience with me.

Home is where the heart is, where my cats are, where my comfort is, but it’s also where he is.

Seven times seven times seven is how long I hope this love and light last. Forever and forever and ever.

I haven’t read these since high school- need to revisit them.

I haven’t read these since high school- need to revisit them.