The Cinco de Mayo Dilemma..


It was pretty chaotic… three of us squeezed into a tiny dorm room last week packing up and trying to move out. I was sitting on a box folding piles and piles of clothes and layering them into bins for transport. Every so often, my daughter’s roommate would let out a sigh and comment about how much stuff she had accumulated and the need to get rid of some things..specifically shoes. I nodded in total agreement.

“This is actually a great example of having too many clothes” I said as I shook out a balled-up,  wrinkled,  ‘Happy Cinco de Mayo’  T-shirt to show to my daughter.  “OHHH, there it is!!” she wailed, “I was looking all over for it and couldn’t find it in time!!”


“But honey” I declared, “you’re making my point exactly. You have so little space for storage and every square inch is so stuffed to the gills you don’t know, or can’t find, what you do actually have… why would you take up one ounce of space in a tiny dorm room for a shirt you can only wear once a year???”

“I LOVE my Cinco de Mayo shirt mom!! I got it for free at Taco Bell last year..DO NOT throw that away!” she warned.

I rolled my eyes (again), dutifully folded the shirt and put it into the bin.

My eldest daughter used to be a clothes hound too, and her dorm looked just like this. Now, her closet resembles a small, super-organized, airy boutique, (no overcrowding) so I know..I KNOW… there’s hope for my youngest.

Because at some point you transition away from accepting chaos to craving clarity..

You’ll know you’re getting there when you give your unopened Clinique “gift with purchase” to the local women’s charity and start tossing all those dang free T-shirts.


Iron Maidens


My hands were deep into a sink of dirty dishes and before I could get done- I got hooked.

I never watch (or play) golf, but the US Open was on TV and as I scrubbed my way through the stack of sticky pans I had used for brunch yesterday I found myself getting drawn in..not so much by the game, but by these talented young women with nerves of absolute steel.

Two of the ladies, an American named Brittany Land and a Swede, Anna Nordqvist ended up in a “play off” where they both shot equally as well until Anna was penalized for some super-crazy, sand-trap penalty and ended up losing to Brittany.

Like I said, I’m not a golfer, but what struck me was not only the women’s calm demeanor under extreme pressure, but their graciousness both in winning and losing.

When they interviewed a clearly disappointed Anna after the game was over, she discussed the major penalty in matter of fact terms and simply stated at the end “that’s golf.”

In a world that seems drawn to hyperventilation and chaos, self-centered drama and total lack of personal control, it is so refreshing to see people who maintain a firm grasp on their own behavior and a keen sense of “life-context” ..especially when the going gets tough.




“You’re good.”


When I moved to the US at the age of 16, one of the things that took some getting used to was how friendly strangers would be. The cashier, the taxi driver, everyone kept asking “How are you?” Of course I figured out over time that most questioners really didn’t want a full on, long winded, honest answer – especially at let’s say, a busy  Burger King …

“Oh, thanks for asking, I’m doing well except for some lingering sinus congestion and that C- I got on my chemistry exam and…”


“How are you?” was less a question and more of an extended greeting- but still, I liked it..I thought it was sweet.

When I moved to North Carolina a few months ago at the age of 53, one of the things that took some getting used to AGAIN..was how friendly strangers could be. “You’re good” is a term I hear at least five times a day- and I’m also really starting to like it. Never before have I been reassured about my state of “goodness” as much as I have been in Charlotte.

“You’re good” is the encouragement you hear if you are ever concerned about being in someone’s way, sitting in the wrong seat, wondering who’s next in line, where to put your bag or asking if something’s OK. It’s just one more charming attribute of Southerners that has endeared them so to me.

The entire concept of “you’re good” got me thinking…

Couldn’t we all benefit from the sense that “we’re good;” that we’re fine and safe and positionally where we should be today?  You can’t clearly forge ahead with plans for tomorrow if you’re situationally unsure of where you are today. Knowing where we are  at this present moment gives us the ability to chart the course ahead. Even if things are hard personally or professionally right can still be “good” if you know you are taking steps down the path you’ve laid out for yourself.

As I surveyed our town home that was completely torn asunder last week, I had to keep telling myself that we were still “good” and almost nearing completion with our downstairs remodeling. When life gets chaotic it takes some reminding that all things are working together towards a desired outcome. Below is a photo of the one room I can say is completely finished except for maybe a picture on the wall. This is our downstairs powder room that for some reason had a shower in it.  We turned the shower into a much needed closet, painted the walls, bought new fixtures, the barn door and of course laid new flooring.

TP basket- Pottery Barn, Mirror- Ashley Furniture-lighting, barn door- Home Depot, new faucet..I forget where I got somewhere.



So… when it comes to our downstairs bathroom…“YA’LL…WE’RE (finally) GOOD!”




photo credit