do over.

Have you ever had one of those days where you realize that your head is fuzzy, your ears are plugged up and your throat hurts? Have you envisioned the dishes in the sink and the dust on the coffee table, knowing full well that you just didn't have it in you to care? Have you stood behind the vacuum cleaner with the best of intentions, but over the course of the next forty seconds found yourself sitting on the carpet, then laying on the carpet, then crying on the carpet?

I know, right!

Have you kicked yourself for saying no to a whole day spent watching the peonies wilt grow?

Have you ever wished for a do-over?

Me, too.

Here's what you do. You just wake up the next morning and you do the dang thing over. But with a twist. You stack the deck in your favor, because when you're outnumbered by life's everyday, you're the only one who can. You think hard about the best case scenario. You understand that some things are still in your control. You know you're still the Boss of you, so you can run off anytime to check out the latest styles from Vera Bradley. Or, peruse the MAC counter at Nordstrom's. You can lock the bedroom door and get lost in The Language of Flowers, with a bottle glass of wine. Listen, maybe you can't go out for sushi again. You just can't. You did that for the last two nights and no one wants to be that girl, so maybe you can find last minute inspiration and make an on-the-fly Nicoise Cobb.

You can kick the schuckies in the ever-loving teeth and give yourself some grace, because you might not be perfect and the darks might be wrinkled past redemption, but you are still able to see the beauty that is your life.

Yes, I am all jacked up on pretend power over here.

 Being prone to dramatics as I am, I feared for a moment that it might all be too much. I share these things to ease my own mind. and maybe yours too. I thought the sharing was the help. I somehow didn't know to feel the love from all corners. I mean, I knew it was there. I was probably just too blue at times to remember. But when I do, it makes me better. less troll-like. less prone to surf Dr. Phil's website at 2 am.

Be honest, are you more worried about me than ever? Do you think I've gone round the bend? I understand. I do. I wonder myself sometimes. But then I remember that we are allowed our bad days, dude. We are also allowed a hearty wallow. Tomorrow's a crap shoot. It could go either way and that's okay. Because right now, in my lip gloss and yoga pants, I feel like I just might survive.

So I know that I'm not alone in the crazy. I. Know. It.

But when a sun filled day hits me square in the face, I like to see it for what it is. I hope I will grab on to it and...enjoy. Duh. But then I also hope that I will hold it up to the light and dance around with it a little. I hope I'll hold it to my heart and notice that it helps. helps me push through.

Today was an ordinary day.
Today was a beautiful, ordinary day.

A few weeks back,  another tragedy. yet I still believe this world is so full of goodness. It can be easy to focus on the problems and the torments. We get nervous about tough guys with tattoos hair that's too long. We might even start to believe that teenagers are hopeless. We've started locking our doors during the daytime even though we didn't have to when we were kids. There's raunchy music and reality TV and Justin Beiber may have fathered a child.

But the sky hasn't fallen yet. It's still blue on a good day, gray on the in-betweens. It's still there and we're still here and the goodness is all around us. It's waiting to be seen. It's not just in the faces of the people we love, who we do our best to shelter from the threat of a threat. It's in the face of the waitress at the diner and the driver of the bus. It's everywhere we expect it to be and all the places that surprise us.

We already know about the evil that lurks in the corners. We know how it makes us feel. But right now, it's nice to remember how joy makes us feel. I'm sitting in the still near-dark morning with my mis-behaving hair, looking out at a pink-streaked sky. I'm caught in between start of today and the end of yesterday, with my smudged eyeliner, and my earrings still in. I am wearing goodness like a shawl. So, I hope I've adequately proven my point. My heart's all askew today. My edges are blurred and faded. It happens with surprising frequency. You might as well know.

Here's something that I've decided about myself in recent days, Life is just so much better since I learned to hunt down goodness and put the dang thing on. It's not something you are born with. I don't think I always had the good sense to reach out and take it. I may have been born glass half-full, but life is more than half-better when you go the extra. so just try it. look for the goodness. Shake out the wrinkles and button yourself up in it then tell me if I'm wrong. It may take a little practice, but one day, you'll be twisting your hair into an oddball ponytail and it will hit you, I love this life. One more thing, I spent a week at the beach!!! the sun was out every day for the entire time, smiling all kinda shy like! I'm not gonna lie, it broke my heart clean through because I realized, once again,  how much I love it.

Just slay me now.
I marched around every day feeling the warmth. I know that life is made of different seasons, strung together by the sun and the moon, and it is amazing. Try it. have a do over, and just like that, you'll know that it's true.

You'll officially believe me.

At least about this one little thing.


Tomato and Corn Salad with Feta plus Marjoram

This salad is eminently scalable, one of the things I love about it. As written, I consider it lunch for one.  Simply double, triple, etc. to serve a crowd. I like marjoram and sweet oregano equally here; if your oregano is the spicy sort, go with the marjoram.  None of either?  Try fresh thyme, ordinary or lemon.  Different, lovely.  Needless to say, this is no salad for December.  Pin this one under High Summer Happiness.

1 large-ish tomato
1 plump ear of corn
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice or 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 packed teaspoons fresh marjoram or sweet oregano, roughly chopped if leaves are large

Mince shallot, and settle into the vinegar (or lime juice) to mellow, 10-15 minutes.
Stand an ear of corn in a medium shallow bowl, stem end down, and run knife from top to bottom, allowing kernels to spill into bowl, until ear is clean.  Chop tomato into small-ish (1/2") pieces, and add to corn.  Add olive oil, crumbled feta, oregano (or marjoram), and vinegared shallots, plus a few good pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper.  Gently, with two clean hands, toss ingredients.  You want to combine and keep intact.  Pile onto a plate, with a few more feta crumbles and herbs, if desired, and adjust seasoning, as necessary.  Eat summer immediately.  Second helpings, when possible.


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