Sunday, December 30, 2018


Angela’s Top Ten At Ten:

I don’t stay up late often. Mostly because I really, really love to sleep, also because kids under four…do not. But here I am, up late at night on the day I wanted to get this blog done because Benji would not nap today and Bill has abandoned me for sunnier pastures. (Or going back to work so he doesn’t lose his job, whatever).

So. Everyone buckled? This is the premiere episode of Angela’s Top Ten at Ten. (Pm.)

1)   Stop eating chocolate balls at 7pm.
2)   Stop eating mom’s super awesome coconut covered chocolate balls at 8pm
3)   Stay up late to visit with family and have a great time. I blame the chocolate-ball sugar-buzz.
4)   For real, absolutely no more chocolate balls after 9pm.
5)   Cookies are okay.
6)   Be grateful you have a wonderful family who bakes cookies and chocolate balls and buys you apple pie. And who tolerates you enough to want to spend some time with you too, eating afore mentioned sweets.
7)   Thank everyone around you for their patience while your two year old hurricanes his way around the room, head butting the dog, tripping over your families feet and falling out of chairs, off of benches, down couches, and for some reason rolling around from one end of the room to the other yelling ‘ROLLING!!’
8)   Check your eyes for ‘crazy-glint’ while you’re taking your four year old to go potty.
9)   Realize ‘crazy-glint’ is there but assume everyone’s attention is stuck on the black circles under your bloodshot eyes and don’t notice.
10)                  Put the kids to bed, crack open your laptop and write something. Anything. Because it’s fun. Because it’s the perfect way to end a beautiful day spent connecting to the foods (okay and people) you love.

This year was an adventure. I’ve been blessed in so many big and small ways and I appreciate them all. I cannot wait to see what amazing things are on their way right now. I hope everyone had a good Christmas and stay safe ya hear?


Monday, December 17, 2018



  1. There is no perfect gift. Let it go. 
  2. It really is the thought that matters
  3. The busier the day, the more important the quick early-morning meditation/prayer time
  4. Slow. Down. There really is enough time in the day
  5. Santa isn’t real. (I’m so, so sorry)
  6. You did forget to send that Christmas card
  7. It’s okay you forgot to send that Christmas card, they probably didn’t notice
  8. Chocolate is a temporary fix for stress, so is wine
  9. Chocolate and wine go together really well
  10. Finding your own Christmas happy will make other people happy too


  1. Bake cookies with your kids
  2. Frost cookies with your kids
  3. If you don’t have kids, bake doggie-cookies for your dogs while listening to Charlie Brown Christmas
  4. If you don’t have dogs, bake kitty-cookies for your kitties while listening to Charlie Brown Christmas
  5. If you don’t have doggies or kitties or kids…repot your plant and sing jingle bells
  6. If you don’t have kitties or doggies or plants…you’re a mystery to me but Christmas loves you anyway
  7. Get a massage
  8. Get a fancy holiday manicure
  9. Donate money to someone who needs it more than you (and I don’t care how much you make, there is always someone who needs it more)
  10. Sniff a pine tree

I’ll be traveling next Sunday back home to the frigid North for the holiday (yes I will be dressed in four layers of clothing and yes, yes I will still be cold). Christmas is on a Tuesday so expect a brilliant, well thought-out, probably melancholy, definitely joyful, really short, maybe too long, blog entry that will make you think, will whisk you away to a fantasy world of awesomeness, make you feel, make you forget to feel because you’re laughing too hard, and most importantly, fill you with the warm knowledge that everything will be okay. Or it will be dark and morose and lovely.

In short, MERRY ALMOST CHRISTMAS Y’ALL! ALL Y’ALL! Yes, even you Sebastian. Even you Manny. Even you Nancy. Love you all and I wish you all a very, very merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

The Greatness Of Our Fur Babies

A lot of people don’t know this but I got Toby in 2007 from who I thought to be a reputable breeder. Turns out they weren’t so reputable and although I don’t think it was a puppy mill per say, mom wasn’t on site and that’s always a red flag.

In any case, the day after I picked up Toby and refused to let him go again, he got sick. Really sick. I brought him to the vet right away and he was hospitalized for Parvo. Because of the dicey nature of the disease and it’s impressive kill rate on puppies I had to pay $400 up front ($50 more than I paid for him the day before) before they would even admit him.

About another $300 dollars later, some touch and go home visits, and Toby’s health settled down. With some extra lovings, careful feedings and sometimes giving him water to drink from a dropper, he pulled through. The vet told me not to expect him to live long or be very healthy. I said, yep, well he’ll fit right in with me then.

Eleven years later and Toby is as healthy as any dog we’ve had. He’s starting to get a little arthritis, his hearing is going and his face has faded from caramel to white, but he’s still the same goofy puppy I fell in love with over a decade ago.

He’s my buddy, and my most loyal friend. He’s seen me through four moves, two countries, and the birth of two babies. There isn’t a place in the world he likes more than cuddling up to me on the bed or the couch, wherever I am. Just thinking about his little paws running to meet me at the door when I come into the house makes me smile.

On Saturday I went in to the volunteer orientation session they had at the local animal shelter. I stayed after and walked a sedate, rotund Siberian-Husky-Corgi mix named Cade. He had beautiful blue eyes. Basically it was like a noble wolf gazing at me from the body of a fur-sausage. He led me out to the dog run; refused to play ball (lazy, much?) and then when he finished his business he went right to the gate to go back inside. I had to laugh – and I thought of all the older people out there who would be so happy to have a dog like this.

Anyway, apparently we’re not allowed to take them all home at once so don’t even try. But if you want a quiet older dog who’d rather share your bacon than your exercise routine, he’s at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter and he’s waiting for you to pick him up and carry him to your car. Because baby doesn’t walk more than he absolutely needs to.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. - Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, December 02, 2018

How High Is Your Dung Hill? Or, Being Grateful for Being 10% Happier

The sun is softer in winter. It doesn’t have the heavy heat of mid-summer when the sun obliterates anything but the strongest green survivors. Or cacti. It’s all cool breezes and warm sun-kisses on the bare branches of my willow tree.

The leaves are really dropping around here right now – the wind will kick up and hundreds of them will leap up into the sky and whirl around playfully. It looks like it’s snowing leaves. Then the sun will break through and set them ablaze with golden light and I swear in those moments I believe in magic. I feel like God is right there, smiling at me through nature, like a God-Nature-Hug. A GNH moment.

Ever have those moments? When you connect to the beauty around you and the rest of your life fades away to gray and time slows and you know, you just know, this is what really matters. These small, beautiful moments like beads on the thread of my daily life.

Another one just today, I was jumping on the Trampoline (gently) with Ellie and Ben and Ellie was laughing the way kids do, with their whole being you know? 

Down her toes and to the tips of her ears and I see another GNH moment happening and I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and love for her, for Ben, for myself, for the whole world really. She jumps up and her hair flies up around her head and her laugh bubbles up from deep down and I can feel myself laughing too and the way her eyes sparkle in the sun and I’m all teary, jumping around on the trampoline, just being stupid-happy.

Anyway, I started a gratitude journal and those were some of my entries, yesterday and today. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel this way all the time?

Where you don’t get upset when you feed the dog in the morning and the top comes off the container and you spill the whole months worth of food on the floor (Wed AM).

Where your two year old doesn’t wake up crying because his molars are coming and they hurt. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

You know, a day where you’re making play-doh from scratch like a good stay-at-home-mom and your two year old dumps an entire bottle of Tumeric on the floor? And then jumps down into it and runs around the house tracking yellow powder everywhere? (Friday).

Or maybe when you’re trying that curbside grocery thing at HEB and you get there too early and you unbuckle your kids because they’re getting antsy and screaming ‘INSIDE! INSIDE!’ and then your two-year old bites you, hard, when you take off his sweater because he’s hot because…molars. Then he climbs onto the backseat of the van and jumps. And hits his head on the ceiling because you can’t jump off the backseat on the van and not hit your head, even if you’re two. (Friday)

Anyway. Where was I? Gratitude! I’m not overstating the amazingness being grateful has done for my soul. It just replenishes the mommy-tireds and reminds me how really, truly, awesome my life is and how many blessings I have just overflowing everywhere, all the time.

Seriously, try it. Try it and try NOT to become at least 10% happier, no matter what is going on in your life. Someone once said, ‘no matter how high is the dung hill you sleep on, the blue sky is endless, the yellow sun shines, and the leaf turns golden when it falls.’

To close, I am really very thankful I am not sleeping on a dung hill. A hill of dung is not for me. The end.

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