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Dear MKL,
Thank you for all your love and support and for surviving the holiday season with me. It’s always more than a joy to see you, and I feel like a piece of myself is missing when we’re not together. You are my car guy, my intrepid honey-doer, my partner, and my heart. I love sharing drives, snuggles, germs, laughter, martinis, pool, and adventures with you. We will get this whole house situation figured out, in one state or another, and live in our House of Dreams before we know it. You make me feel loved, beautiful, respected, valued, appreciated, treasured, and safe, and I hope I make you feel the same. I’ll live every day to make sure that you do.

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Today’s quote: “When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.” — Sheryl Sandberg

#yearoflove

 

 


Dear Gus,

Yes, we were strangers. Yes, we followed you. Some could almost call it stalking. And when we parked behind you, we asked ourselves, “Are we creepers?”. And we answered ‘yes’. But when you got out of the car, we knew we’d done the right thing. Your amazing white floof, your giant paws, your Newfie face, and your Great Pyrenees disobedience, combined with the pats and love you allowed us to lavish on you, made it all worthwhile. I hope you enjoyed your time in Odd 13, because we certainly adored meeting you and your so-cute humans.

A quote for today: “You know, a dog can snap you out of any kind of bad mood that you’re in faster than you can think of.” — Jill Abramson

#yearoflove

Today’s love note goes out to my daughter.

Dear One,
There are too many things to thank you for…it would take a lifetime…but I’ll just stick with today. Thank you for coming to my rescue in the dreaded mouse affair, and for switching roles with me, comforting me after my bad dream. I did feel a little bit bad for the mouse, but thinking about Mr. Man using it as a plaything in the bed in the wee small hours drastically reduced my sympathy. I love the empathy that shines through your soul, and I will try to tough out any future rodent encounters, thinking of your strength. I expect there will be more, as Mr. Man seems excessively proud of his mouser skills, and the winter is bound to get colder. All my love.

Today’s quote: “Any cat may stare into a fire and see red mice play.” — George R.R. Martin

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#yearoflove

Today’s love note goes out to Rachel.

Dear Rachel,
Thank you for coming to brighten my home over this New Year’s. Your laugh lights up any space that you’re in. Your enthusiasm for surprises made helping deliver those surprises all the more fun. I wish we’d had more time to watch movies and hang out and just talk about everything. It’s wonderful to see how happy you make my wonderful little person, and I appreciate you letting me act like a Mom to you. I’m cuddled under the turquoise llama blanket that you and your actual Mom gave me, and I hope you make it home safely tonight. Looking forward to sharing tulips with you again in the Spring.

#YearofLove

Today’s love note goes out to Dr. Grey.

Dear Dr. Grey,
While medical nonsense is about my least favorite thing on earth (and don’t get me started on the bills), you have renewed my faith in the helping nature of the profession. During our interactions in the last month, you’ve shown just the right amount of compassion, a willingness to listen to my thoughts, and the humility to admit that you don’t know everything, and sometimes, we just have to work together to figure out why things — like my heart — don’t always do what they’re supposed to do, and what my “normal” is, even though in my case (big surprise) my normal isn’t exactly normal. I trust you, and that’s not something that I say often to another person, especially not a doctor. Thank you, from the bottom of my long QT. I’m glad you’re on my side.

A quote for today: “A good heart is better than all the heads in the world.” — Edward G. Bulwar-Lytton\

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#yearoflove

 

A very long time. But let’s try this again, shall we?

Inspired by a fellow blogger, I’m trying the Year of Love. Small love notes to people who make a day special, people whose paths cross mine, even if they are strangers.

Sometimes, you’ll get photos. Sometimes, you’ll get daily quotes. Sometimes, you’ll get daily gratitudes. Like I used to do. The only certainty in life is change, and with change comes wisdom and beautiful surprises.

And so we begin 2019.

A Love Note to Michelle:

As you stood in front of me in the ice slide line, I felt a lovely chilly kinship with you. Two middle-ish aged women, clearly feeling younger than our years, encouraged by our kids to take a short, fast risk. I am grateful to you for acting as my comrade in overcoming our trepidations. We both did it – swooshing through the frozen rainbow tunnel – and both emerged gracefully, proud of overcoming our hesitancy, and having crossed one thing off our respective bucket lists, even though it was a thing we didn’t know we had on them.

XOXOXO

#YearofLove

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If wishes were stars, we would escape, just now, and run away back to the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica, and have our little house with the shower full-facing the jungle, the howler monkeys in the trees, iguanas and armadillos in the yard. I would bring Severigne a skull from somewhere in the West, and ask her to teach me how to cut mangoes and papayas. We would read and bask and recover. We would explore new beaches. We would have wine with dinner under planets and constellations, and go to sleep in the unexpected cool of the beach/jungle night in each other’s arms. And it would just be us all the time.

If wishes were stars.

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Playa san Miguel, Costa Rica.

Quote of the day: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allan Poe

Daily gratitudes:
Incorporating sorrow into life
Holding onto faith
That Champ is coming home tonight (I think)
Talks with Kelsea
Loving MKL so much, which equates to missing him so much

You are sitting there, quietly, when suddenly, you know. Death is at your shoulder. Again. All of his other visits swirl through your memory. Why is he a he? I have always thought of death as a male, and birth as female. The female part, I understand. But the male part is a mystery. He has yet to make a claim, but he is there, waiting. Animal or human, death is the same. In the long run, the hurt is the same. The loss is the same. A sensitive soul like me, or a pragmatic soul, like my ex, still feels the ache. The new/old soul like our daughter feels it all the more, because she is far away, and may not get a chance to say goodbye.

Champ’s age is debatable, but that he was adopted as Kelsea’s dog is indisputable. That he is preparing to depart is also without question. I sat for hours on the floor of the vet’s office with him laying between and against my legs, snoring gently and chasing things in his dreams. I know he will be free of the burden of his body over the Bridge, and that he will be waiting there for us. I have shared similar sentiments with three friends who have lost fur family in the last few weeks. It’s no comfort. There is no comfort. I so wish there was.

The feeling of grief before a death is, some might say, premature. But I know it to be very real , and inescapable. Once Death is in the room, there is nothing I can do but sit beside him, in uncomfortable silence, and wait.

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Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Dogs are always good and full of selfless love. They are undiluted vessels of joy who never, ever deserve anything bad that happens to them.” — Steven Rowley

Daily gratitudes:
A good vet
Clouds
Getting along with your ex
Video calls
The mixed blessing of feelings

 

The only thing better than baby goats snuggling each other is me snuggling baby goats. We have photographic documentation of that somewhere, courtesy of MKL.

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Berthoud, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” — George Orwell

Daily gratitudes:
Distant thunder
Clean dishes
Snuggly Mr. Man
My Peak Challenge
My new weight bench

 

But not as happy as me doing Goat Yoga on a beautiful Sunday morning.

Happy Goat
Berthoud, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I want to go about like the light-footed goats.” — Johanna Spyri

Daily gratitudes:
The long-haired german shepherd playing in the dancing waters at Union Station
Sore muscles
Smoked oysters
That the view from my bedroom makes me feel like I’m deep in a forest
Baby’s breath on the bookcase

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