Wednesday, December 23, 2020

11th Annual Bob's 99 Cent Store Holiday Shopping Trip, Pandemic Edition (*spoiler alert for immediate family)

Our 99 Cent Store isn't doing the greatest job of keeping the place socially distant and only 20% populated as per the LA County Covid guidelines. We were going to bag it for this year, but then decided we would just have a change of venue. So.

Welcome to Bob's Rite Aid Pharmacy Holiday Shopping Trip. We went with a $5.00 limit per gift. Here's how it went down. 

Mr. Rosenberg - 34 Count Pack of Topps 2020 Baseball Update Series Cards "There was only one pack left. I think it was a sign."

Me - Glass Snowman Figurine "Mom, why are you looking? Do not look in the basket! I'm hiding it under this other thing! Stop peeking."

MeeMee (my mom) - A 6" European Cypress Live Christmas Tree "She doesn't have a Christmas tree in her place and she can't come to our house this year, so... We can put little lights on it."

Aunt Jill  - Large Pink Notebook "I think I got her a notebook last year but she probably really liked it."

Our Friend Suketu - 12oz Bottle of Frank's Red Hot Sauce "I seem to remember he likes spicy, hot things. Well, if he doesn't, Frank's isn't that hot."

Bajan (Jeff's mom) - Red and White Plaid Fuzzy Throw Blanket "Since we all have to be home all the time, she can use this to keep warm when she meets her clients over Zoom."

Pops - Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Filled Candy Cane "Duh. It's Pops. It's Reese's" * Note: Levi got into the Rite Aid bag and found the Reese's candy cane. He only ate one peanut butter cup so he's fine, but the whole plastic candy cane situation will need to be replaced. "Yeah, Levi's good. He only ate one. Since we'll have to get a new one anyway, Dad and I split the rest of the peanut butter cups."

Jen - Amaryllis Bulb "This one looks like it has a big bud ready to go. We don't want to give her a dud like the one you got for the house last year." 

Hoping your holiday isn't a dud. Merry Christmas. 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Ways to keep your mental health strong over the holidays.

Let's talk about living alone during the holidays this year.

The best Steve and Eydie holiday song.

An ode to aunties.

Intentional ways to reduce holiday stress.

What you can cook for the cost of one coffee a day.

About menus - using the menu of one of my favorite places in NYC as an example.

This Italian town has just two residents but they still insist on wearing masks.

And Wilbur the mayor.

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Minimalist tips to maximize the holidays. 

Alex Trebek made Jeopardy a sane place in a mad world.

How your brain tricks you into taking risks during the pandemic.

Get cozy with 25 books about home.

Could Stacey Abrams be any cooler?

Try these simple things.

Easy weekday habits that let you be lazy on the weekends.

French things i wish existed in the US.

Which of these time traps is eating up all of your time?

Don't be weird about cast iron.

The Juliet Club.

And a flock of starlings. 

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Stacey Abrams is changing the tide in Georgia.

Destress, calm down, and feel less lonely right now.

Stress cleaning.

How to be at home.

Little traditions to do each week to make quarantine more special.

These acupressure points can help instantly diffuse overwhelm.

Reminders from your mom if you're having a bad day.

Who wants to live in this old cafe in Paris?

And dogs are returning to the White House.

Happy Sunday. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

When your task list is overwhelming.

Distractions that keep us from fully living.

How to throw yourself a middle-age reveal party.

Staying in your own business.

I was in charge of the deck chairs on the Titanic and the absolutely needed rearranging. 

How the pandemic has changed our reading lives.

The pandemic DIY boom.

Your photos are irreplaceable - get them off your phone.

Remembering Robert De Niro Sr, one of the strange great secret painters of America.

Watch popcorn popping in super slow motion.

Meet the opossum lady.

And a baby cow and a hurricane. 

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

100 Items to declutter right now.

Books to read over and over again.

Beautiful Airbnbs for your next road trip get away.

Strategies to read more books.

A guide to Beirut's small shops and hidden gems.

And finalists of the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Smacksy Saturday Photo

Mr. Rosenberg made these gorgeous, plum hand-pies. I'm going to need more hands.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Brief reminders to help you declutter your mind.

There's a reason the pandemic has made our time perception feel off.

Work less.

On Jane Austen's politics of walking.

How clean, really, do our kitchens need to be?

These twins were everywhere this week and I love them.

The lost romance of the sleeper train.

And a hedgehog boat.

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Showing up even when you're not feeling it.

A list of hundreds of businesses led by black women. 

Experts explain why unplugging from tech really is that good for you.

Don't complain.

Breonna Taylor is on the cover of Oprah magazine.

Birds fly in a V.

Open a new window somewhere in the world. I could do this all day.

The release of The Great Gadsby prequel.

The inter-war glamour of the beach pyjama.

And facts about the tarsier.

Happy Sunday.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

The Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment and racial inequality in the United States. They provide legal representation to the most vulnerable people in American society, including prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes and prisoners who cannot afford effective representation.

Black-owned restaurants organized by city.

Black-authored cookbooks to add to your shelf.

This Poem:

Engage in the long, faithful work.
Surrender the need of striving
to be the best or always right
and focus instead on leaning into Light,
that reveals all things.
All that is good
and all that stands to be corrected,
and redirected.

And as you lean into Light,
be gentle with the word “darkness.”
For more than it merely means wrong or bad,
it is also the color of a full, starless night sky,
and actual bodies
of human beings
who have been overlooked
too many times.

Many, many words
hold more than one meaning.

Language on “light” and “dark” may have its place,
and this is also true,
this very language has been used to say,
“You are a threat. I am not. I am worth more than you.” It takes kindness to understand this, for
even though kindness is a beautiful word.
it does not mean that nothing gets disrupted.
Sometimes a way of thinking must be interrupted
in order for kindness to truly thrive.

For as sure as kindness
leans into what is good,
it also speaks about what isn’t right.
It is compassionate and gentle
when long histories are pulled from mourning into morning.

Engage in the long, faithful work
of awakening
with your heart and mind open to the possibility
that things are more complex than they once seemed.

And as hard as it is to hold all of this,
you are still free to dream:
you do not have to be who you used to be.
You do not have to think the way you used to think.
You are free to take hopeful, thoughtful action
in pursuit of better things.

So here’s to new beginnings,
knowing it is impossible to ignore the long history,
opening up to the mystery
that grace still finds you here.

And grace is unmerited favor
but it might not always look the way you want it to.
It will invite you out in the open
and it will also reveal what has been broken.
You might have to unlearn the way you thought things would be.
You might find that being undone
is the best way to move on, humbly, mindfully, wholly.

For how liberating it is
to pursue wholeness over perfection,
finding that grace is more than a beautiful word,
but a daily act of being undone, an awakening, a direction.

- Morgan Harper Nichols

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

I was in charge of the deck chairs on the titanic.

Searching for the superhero.

Cooking by women who lived within hard limits.

The family stories that bind us.

I can (and do) scroll this site forever.

And this bear takes a splashy bath.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Aw, Ted

Still just the tiniest bit clingy, bless his heart.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Another Graduation

I saw this little mourning dove hiding behind an azalea in the backyard.  She wasn't able to fly but did a good deal of hopping and flapping when she saw me. I thought she might be hurt so I consulted with The Google, and found out that she's a fledgling. Doves leave the nest at around twelve-days-old. Fledglings will spend about four days on the ground before they learn to fly. They are still fed by their bird parents, but are left alone the rest of the time. It's the fledgling equivalent of backpacking through Europe during their gap year. This hostel is a mess.

Fledglings are vulnerable to predators during this grounding time. I will keep an eye on her, and not let the dogs in the backyard for a few days, lest they see her as a fun, feathery snack option. I put a small saucer of water near her because she is a guest, and I her hostess. She denied the chips and onion dip.

I will check her out every couple of hours partly because I have a crush on her and partly because I have literally nothing else going on these days.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Smacksy Sunday Links

Here's how time works now.

But really how and why the virus is changing our sense of time.

Reading the classics during quarantine.

He gave the world electrifying fairytales.

A lovely song from Colin Hay and his family.

The comedy wildlife photography awards.

And this groundhog.

Happy Sunday.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Constant Ted

We think we're rolling along here doing a-okay, and I guess we are. Teddy, however, seems to be absorbing the low hum of something in the house. Anxiety? Uncertainty? Always-home-ness? Constant dish washing? Restlessness? Maybe all of that? Whatever it is, has parked itself in Ted's noggin. In short, my man is feeling off.

He'll follow me into the bathroom and attempt to scratch the door down if he gets left out. Same if I head to the back porch without him. He is my constant shadow in the house, aiming to stand between me and the sink and laying down in front of the washer when I attempt to do laundry. When I take a bath he sits with his chin on the edge of the tub. It's his thunderstorm behavior but the weather is sunny and warm.

I get it, Ted. I do. Times are weird and your people are weird and everything's weird. The best I can do is let you do your own weird thing, stuck to me like these quarantine yoga pants.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Time Is a Meaningless Construct

Time is just different now. Do you feel it too? Days are hours and months are weeks except when it's 3:00 AM when minutes are years.


With all of the weirdness of being locked out of my blog for ten days and the whole upside down time situation of the world, I ran right past my blog anniversary. Last Saturday, May 9,  marked eleven years of Smacksy.

Maybe you've heard me talk about how this space has been life changing. I've been introduced to friends I don't know how I could live without. I've generated a writing practice. I've had to notice the seemingly small moments and conversations of my life in order to find themes and topics to write about. My time is measured here in words and pictures.  It's all one big gift to me and I thank you for being a part of it, a part of my time.