Um…what was I saying?


Good morning, friends. I woke up to sunshine and a stack of birthday greetings, so I’m currently fortifying my brain and bones with coffee and preparing to meet myself at age 70 before the day’s over. It feels odd to own that milestone, but my primary emotion is thankfulness – I’ve outlived my mother by three years now, and I like not dying yet, so here we go…

Kim’s playing PickleBall for a couple of hours in NoLaw, and when he’s home and showered we’ll walk through the alley to The Roost so I can have potato pancakes like my mom made. This evening will be dinner at Basil Leaf, with serious fasting between the two birthday meals. Some industrial-strength healing is in order as well – over the weekend Kim narrowly missed getting slammed by a bronchial event, and yesterday I picked up where he left off. It’s been years, I have no idea how many, since I’ve had a cold or flu, but this thing is trying to kick my butt. Razor-blade throat, cough that won’t quit, head full of gack. My stubborn intention is to feed it, drown it in good coffee, sleep it off this afternoon, and otherwise ignore it to every extent possible.

I have projects to finish and about a million books to read, so Job One is to stick around and do life right. There are people to meet, family to embrace, music to cry over, beauty to fully appreciate, and love to hand out like candy, so I hope I get to stay here with all y’all a good long while.

Experience is worth everything and I happily own the lessons it’s taught me – I’m genuinely liking this part of life from 65 to whatevs. Things have kind of smushed together by now and squeezed out the excess baggage, so I mostly deal with only what really matters, and that works super nice.

Hey, I’m feeling better already. An excellent week to all, and come talk to me. ūüíč



What we need…


Feels like a slow roll toward the weekend, a quiet HumpDay providing the fulcrum point, rain on its way in 4…3…2…maybe. At the moment it’s 80¬ļ, 83% humidity, no breeze. We can all say *sauna*, I know we can.

Kim came home from 7am PickleBall in the park a big ol’ sweaty mess, which always heightens our appreciation for a shower with actual running water. Just yesterday we were reflecting on everything we have to be thankful for while celebrating our wedding anniversary – thirteen years of genuine happiness so far, with everything necessary to keep it working. Neither of us expected to live this long, let alone together, so every bit of it is gravy and we’re absolutely grateful.

We threw together a few ground rules for A-Day before it got here:

  1. Nothing fancy
  2. No gifting each other with anything possessing monetary value
  3. Only fun stuff allowed, no stressors
  4. Make it up as we go
  5. Come home when we’re tired

So that’s how that was. Kim played PickleBall and then we went furniture shopping in Kansas City, which turned out to be a nice little thermometer for the relationship we’re celebrating. We don’t always head down the same path when it comes to home decorating, but yesterday’s discussions contained no whining or angst, just a clear-eyed look at what the possibilities were. In that spirit, we bought a ceiling fan we both liked, and came home to further research ideas. Slice o’ pie.

Speaking of which, lunch at Granite City was simple, tasty, and fun, and the Bloody Marys were positively ambrosial. We watched DVR’d stuff in the afternoon and both fell asleep in our respective chairs, are you feeling the pathos here? The thing is, if we’re “old,” we’re happily so – life is SO much less stressful when you’re not in charge anymore. We woke up in time for a vodka toast or two, popcorn, and another KC Royals win. It was a good day, or what we refer to around here as Tuesday.

And now the rain is here and our Wednesday is complete before noon. I hope if you need rain in your week you’ll have rain. I hope if you need the sun to shine there will be nothing but that.

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need…”


There comes a time…


nothing replaces

doing the actual work

dream all you want to

JSmith 03/15/2016


March on…


feels like spring is here

Mother Nature might get bit

she will not be pleased

JSmith 03/01/2017

Best of all, March means more Jayhawk Basketball, for which we are mad, I tell you.



Keep peace in your soul …


self-care is hard-learned

after all options used up

rest has to happen

JSmith 02/15/2016




clear out the cobwebs

brain engages as it will

worth the good effort

JSmith 02/09/2016



Hello February…

February pinned on noticeboard



Three Things



It’s an eating-ice-cream-from-the-carton kind of HumpDay, even though I made a beautiful list this morning, in my best handwriting, fully intending to accomplish more than making the bed.

So far I’ve made the bed.

This is turning out to be a fibro day extraordinaire, plus social media is a swirl of innuendo and intrigue, bringing emotions to the fore and threatening friendships and family ties, things better dealt with in a less vulnerable state of mind. In truth there’s so little any of us can do to influence events, or even to order our own small worlds, it’s easy to get discouraged and walk away.

I’m pretty resigned, at this point, to the philosophy contained in the graphic up there – resigned but not discouraged.

Life teaches us¬†that everything indeed changes. Buried in the fine print is the disclaimer that some things never return to us, and we don’t get out of here without knowing that, in there where we feel it. We’re abjectly powerless to stop change, so accepting that it simply IS is what we’ve got available to us.

From there it’s a short existential hop to knowing that everything is connected. Life doesn’t take place in a vacuum, so everything that happens affects something else, on into infinity. A lot of what happens out there in the world around us does not add up to¬†a positive effect for our benefit. A lot of it hits us hard and keeps right on trucking. Which brings us to our final point:

PAY ATTENTION.¬†It’s what keeps us out from under trucks and buses and the random despot, and if we’re too busy to pay attention the hits are not going to be kind to us.

For¬†now I’m exhausted from the effort required simply to pay attention, so here’s the deal… I can only pay attention for myself, and I lack the energy and drive to help anyone construct a mental/spiritual house they’re comfortable living in, or to validate that construct by never doing anything that would cause¬†them to examine it too closely. If things I write cause¬†you to fidget and make faces, just remember that I can’t see you out there in the world, through some magic mirror that shows me and the TV audience your inner heart and thoughts – so it could just be your own reflection.

It’s almost 5pm now, so screw the list for yet another day, I’m moving in with Kimmers where the fire’s cozy and the vodka sours are cold. Happy Hour with sweetums is an effort I can get behind…




2017 encroaches…



lull before the storm

gather your wits about you

flight is an option

JSmith 12/28/2016



So just be real…

I read a story today, shared by a friend whose granddaughter dictated it to her daddy, and was struck by how on the mark this small girl is.¬†You’ll see what I mean:

“We flew on an airplane to Albuquerque to see Ian and Jordan and Ashton and Uncle Doug and Aunt Jill. Will got diarrhea.¬†

Then we flew to Chicago to see Aunt Beth and Grandma and Uncle Billy and Josiah and his sister and the dad of the baby and those two with a jacket and glasses. Then we flew home. Grandma threw up.”



Her story illustrates important tenets of writing:

  1. Tell it like it is. If people want us to write kindly about them, they must learn to be behave well.
  2.  Engage your readers by telling them things they would not otherwise learn.
  3.  Illustrate with plenty of pink.

So simple, really, and once again a little child leads us.



By golly haiku…

pooled our ignorance

and got it done

old not daft

JSmith 6/22/2016




For Patreekia The Birthday Girl


never content with

the long littleness of life

the ladies who lunch

JSmith 6/8/2016




Emergecy, emergecy!!

Not a typo, a quote from my baby nephew back in the day. ¬†It’s a thing, friends.

Pre-retirement, Kim crawled home from his soul-killing job as a service writer one day, burst into the house, and yelled “Read me something from the Bible, quick, before I go back and kill somebody.” ¬†¬†Yes, darling, I feel ya’.

Today is that day again in Smithville, so I’m asking y’all to throw me a bone, a carp,¬†ANYthing. ¬†We talked about books the other day … now I’m asking for your go-to when you just can’t even. ¬†Do you rage, cry, throw things, hide out in a book, drink, talk … what works?? ¬†I¬†mean¬†WORKS. ¬†NO PLATITUDES or I will rage, cry, and throw things at you after drinking and before hiding¬†in a book.

I’m usually pretty good at the Zen, the calm, the considered, the adulting, but sometimes I’m not, so sue me. ¬†When you wake up pissed, everything hurts, idiots are still getting away with murder in all its iterations, the music in your head is relentless, the construction asshole who’s been tearing up the parking lot with the big honkin’ telehandler against all admonitions is still at it big as life and twice as natural, and people need your help but you have nothing left in reserve, WHAT DO YOU DO? ¬†Please. ¬†Dangle a rope if you have one.

But first:

  1. ¬†I understand nothing lasts forever — I’m about as old as God this morning and I’ve been there.
  2.  Things are never as bad as they seem.  (See #1)
  3. ¬†You’re blessed, fed, clothed, housed, and people love you, dammit.
  4. ¬† Look at all the people who¬†have shitty lives but aren’t complaining.
  5.   Okay, whatevs.  Did you never, ever, at any time wish you could turn in your human card?

Just give me whatcha got, I’m not fit for man nor beast until the storm blows over … and the Flying Monkeys are clamoring to be unleashed.





To the bone …

This morning I’m feeling inordinately proud of my skeleton. ¬†I’ve had doubts about it in the past, but this time, when slip came to slide, my little boney bits marched right into formation and got busy. ¬†They were treated to a¬†photo shoot yesterday and the films are gorgeous — all the shattered pieces are¬†in place and getting chummy with each¬†other — what Dr. Pro calls¬†*sticky.* ¬†Sans cast or surgery those little guys shouldered (eh?) the job¬†and did what had to be done. ¬†Part of my personal staff:



It’s been a sobering month at our house; therefore,¬†good news is primo, and when is it not? ¬†So on a sunny day in February it’s fun to know I’ve still got it, even if it’s on the inside where you can’t see it. ¬†You know why old people are grouchy? ¬†Because they hate getting old, end of story. ¬†We try to grace it all up and pretend to be philosophical … mature, ha!¬†… all the while feeling slightly bereft¬†that not very many people can hear or see the eighteen, thirty, forty-five-ish, never-gonna-grow-up¬†real soul that is us. ¬†We’re having such a good time! ¬†How could the ride be so far down the tracks already?



That’s why we can’t have nice things and the reason we say shit like “Get off my lawn,” and “You’re one smartass comment away from being bitch-slapped so hard Google won’t be able to find you.” ¬†We mean well.

I just realized today is Whinesday, which explains everything, sorry not sorry. ¬†Enjoy the sunshine — it’s always out there somewhere.


Thank you, Ben Franklin.

Marriage between humans is heavy-duty stuff. ¬†We jump into it thinking we might know things, only to learn¬†early on¬†that we were ignorant beyond belief — and then the OTJ¬†training either makes or breaks us.

This isn’t my maiden voyage — I was married for thirty-four years the first time, at least half of them happy. ¬†Steepest learning curve was WHAT NOT TO DO and it did almost break us. ¬†So second time feels a lot like this:



It’s about the really important things.

Which is why I tried to take Benjamin Franklin’s advice from day one: ¬†“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterward.”

And¬†why it took me¬†eleven years to catch on¬†that Kimmers is OCD, not just “picky about certain things.” ¬†I thought¬†it was his upbringing and his white-glove education in the Navy showing up. ¬†Or as our friend Seth says, he was potty-trained at gunpoint.

Seems instead to be the real thing¬†and he got the memo the same day I did, not that I helped him out with hints and/or pantomime. ¬†Fortunately, his version of the disorder¬†presents not as repetitive behaviors like hand-washing and obsessive counting, but as vigilance against dust and … um … disorder. ¬†We live in a loft with 14ft. ceilings, exposed¬†ductwork, concrete, steel, glass, wood and tile. ¬†It’s cozy, but there’s always something needing attention. ¬†Enter Mr. Clean, who works his magic on at least one area every day, never letting it get ahead of him. ¬†It’s excellent that¬†we¬†downsized to half the space we used to have.

He also, as you may know, handles all the grocery shopping, cooking and clean-up, and keeps his kitchen in shiny order. ¬†So when he grabs a glass¬†I just set down and rinses it in the sink even though I’d planned to refill it; or stashes something¬†in a place I’d never think to look for it; or gets a little frantic¬†about having a dirty windshield¬†— it’s a no-brainer that I CAN’T LET IT¬†MATTER, although I confess we were reaching¬†Exasperation¬†Level before the light came on.

My husband’s attention to detail and willingness to speak up has saved me countless times, and he’s helped other people who’ll never know that, because he did it by planning ahead, anticipating, juggling, understanding in advance where things were going. ¬†If you’ve been on the receiving end of his thorough help and wanted to smack him¬†before it was over, you can be sure¬†it was because of how much he cares about you, loves you even. ¬†It matters to him what our immediate environment feels like, and I matter to him most of all (he’s told me) and there’s a lot I need a surrogate for, so this¬†“disorder” thing turns out to be fabulous¬†for me.

If you’re curious about what it is *I* do here, that would be the laundry, bills and banking, a little writing, social media, and Maddie … also, I color pretty pictures in my free time, which is defined according to¬†mood. ¬†And I do what I can to help Kim preserve a semblance of order along with a large helping of peace and quiet. ¬†Works for me, too — so sometimes it’s fine¬†to be¬†selfish.

I agree with the divine Babs¬†…

‚ÄúWhy does a woman work ten years to change a man’s habits and then complain that he’s not the man she married?‚ÄĚ

-Barbra Streisand 


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