Please Love Me

Sitting at the car dealership today getting an oil change, the woman across from me was crying on the phone. All I could do was give her a smile.

Another lady was reading a Nora Roberts book. One woman just stared oddly out the window the whole time.

The technician gave me my keys to leave and I had a panic attack.  You know my issue with cars if you’ve been reading for a while.  I can’t find my Prius in a regular parking lot, let alone a parking lot FULL of Priuses.*  I looked at him and asked if he could walk me to my car in the sea of Priui.*

*I have no idea what the plural of a Prius is.

As I sat in the dealership I thought about our neighbor’s house that burned down last night. They think that the outside grill was left on.  A friend from the news asked if I might do an interview and I declined.  I just don’t feel comfortable talking about other people’s tragedies (unless someone says “hey, please talk about my tragedy”)

Fire in Palm Desert Calfire

I watched a PBS documentary on the Amish last night. Something the narrator said struck me:

They are in our world, but not of this world.
They are pilgrims passing through.
They don’t get attached to this world.
They don’t get attached to the things of this world.

I wish I could get closer to that place. I mean I don’t want to convert to Amish-ism, but there is a part of how the Amish live that is very appealing to me.

And sometimes I just shouldn’t talk to people.  In trying to reach out to the owners of the burnt house last night I said “well….it was a house.” The owner did a half smile and said, “yes, and we are all safe, that’s all that matters.” But then I thought how much my comment minimized what had just happened.  Stupid comment. Of course it was just a house…but full of years of memories, photos, etc.

I stood outside after most of the crowd had left and watched the firefighters work. They cut the roof out with saws. It was just me and a policeman blocking traffic.

Fire in Palm Desert Calfire January 2014


“Ma’am, step away from the hose please.”

Calfire house fire in south palm desert

All I could think was: What are they feeling right now? What if it had been my house? What would I have saved? How do you start from scratch? They don’t even have underwear.

And I checked the expiration date on our fire extinguisher.  And I told another neighbor that if he ever saw smoke from our house to please rescue the dog if no one was home.  And it made me think about things that I hoard and how those items intermingle too much with the items that I would want to save, how they dilute the things that are of special importance like photos, Boo’s drawings, etc. And how many copies do I need of a single photo? Can’t I just throw out all the duplicates?  Everything that isn’t in albums….can’t that stuff just go away?  Yes, probably. And why do I still keep my wedding dress? To show Boo one day?  It’s not like it’s vintage….it’s c. 2001.  It cost $800….and overpriced at that. I wish someone would just come in and get rid of all the excess without me knowing. I’d probably never notice.

Here’s what I’m thinking today:  Things are just things….except for a few special things worth saving and protecting. And if, God forbid, I lost even those few special things, life would go on.

I think I’ve said this before, but when my grandfather died, there were all these trinkets in his drawers that he had obviously kept because they were sentimental. But no one had a clue why they were sentimental. I went through my jewelry box recently and got rid of almost everything….and anything that was sentimental I put in baggies with a note as to where they were from and why I kept them.  Part of me thinks: yay, when I’m gone someone will appreciate that I kept this….but the other part of me thinks: I have now made this a burden for someone because they will feel like they can’t throw it out. This is a problem. People own too many things now. We consume and we consume. Remember when people could fit all of their belongings into a single trunk?  I used to take a trunk to camp, it had almost my whole life in it!  Now I would need 4,893 trunks if I estimate off the top of my head…just for my books and paperwork.  Although, Mr. LBB and I did go through boxes and boxes of paper work the other day and sent six file boxes to the shredder. We are officially SIX file boxes lighter this week.  Congratulations to us.

I want more joy….not more things. Things take energy. I only have so much energy.

So, what do I do? I make more things, because that makes sense right?  More stuff.  Like some “Banksy” inspired art:

Please Love Me is what we are saying when we accumulate and accumulate. Because that’s the only thing we really need. Love. And that’s really our only assignment in life right? To love others. And when love is missing we fill it with things.


P.S. As I cleaned out my purse today I found this fortune at the bottom:

Fortune: your laugh and enthusiasm

Love and joy are pretty much the only things that can please people around us.



25 Quotes of Joy


25 Inspiring Joy and Happiness Quotes for The Year of Joy - Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #theyearofjoy #joy #happiness #quote


When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. -Tecumseh

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things. -Kay Warren

Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself. -Mahatma Gandhi

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. -Henri Nouwen

Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. -Tolstoy

Genuine happiness consists in those spiritual qualities of love, compassion, patience, tolerance and forgiveness and so on. For it is these which provide both for our happiness and others’ happiness. -The Dalai Lama

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. -Margaret Young

Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God. -Robert Schuller


Sunshine - Joy Quote #theyearofjoy #joy #happiness #quote


You can tell a lot about a person

Saw this in my Guideposts this morning and it made me laugh….then cringe.  I’ve had some mixed reactions.  But I have learned the key to travel: never check anything in your luggage that couldn’t be replace with a quick trip to the mall.  If there’s anything that can’t be replace: carry it on.

Maya Angelou quote via

A Place of Gratitude

I want to live everyday from a place of gratitude.  Sometimes I’m pretty darn good at it, and other days I fail miserably, but when the grateful days way outnumber the bad days I think that’s a good place to be. 

I want Thanksgiving to be more than just a day. The more thankful we are, the more joyful we become.  Choose it: You have enough. You are enough. Practice this every day.  We are always searching for it, but true joy can never be found without sincere gratitude. Sincere. Gratitude. The prayer I pray the most is thank you, thank you, thank you.

Gratitude Quote via

Boo: Are you going to make a turkey?
Me: Do you like turkey?
Boo: No.
Me: Me either. I’m not making a turkey.
Boo: Everyone else is making a turkey.
Me: I’ve never made a turkey.
Boo: The grocery store can make it for you.
Me: When you are old enough to make a turkey, you can make a turkey.
Boo: I don’t really like turkey.
Me: I’m not making a turkey.
Mr. LBB: Don’t make a turkey.

I’m thankful my family accepts me for who I am and I don’t have to make a turkey.

We ate at Ruth’s Chris instead. Steak, shrimp, chicken. Mr. LBB actually did order turkey. I was torn on supporting an establishment that was open on Thanksgiving and I asked my sister-in-law if we should boycott. She was working there today. She said they had 800 reservations today alone and she was happy to work because patrons are spending time with their families. The worst scenario would be to have to work and there not be a good turnout. We made sure every server we came in contact with knew how thankful we were that they were working.  I’m thankful for Ruth’s Chris.

We held hands and said the Lutheran blessing my grandfather always said:

Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed.


During dinner Boo helped us make a list of things we could be thankful for:

So much to be thankful for today and every day.

And from my family to yours:

Have a Thanksgiving full of gratitude and joy!


The Horizon

I drove from the desert until I hit the ocean tonight.  Stopped on the PCH for a moment to take a photo because it’s been years since I saw the sun drift below the horizon. In the desert the sun falls behind tall mountains casting long shadows…’s completely different.


i hope the days come easy via #quote

P.S. These made my day…..especially the fort….oh and flower man….and sleeping puppy…..and…..

P.P.S. Does night follow day? Or does day follow night?



Eleanor Roosevelt quote via

Make a Large Lightweight Chalkboard

Chalkboard Art: Make a Large Lightweight Portable Chalkboard via #diy #tutorial #chalkboard


You can make an oversized chalkboard for your home, business or school using this easy tutorial. It’s so lightweight almost anyone can lift it and move it around.  I wanted to make this large piece for a large blank wall in my studio…. it doubles as artwork and a photo prop.  I added two quotes to mine to fill up the space.   Total cost of materials was $35. CONTINUE READING

As If You Had Chosen It

I love that.  It just makes so many things that might at first seem difficult all the sudden: miraculously easy.

Little Ordinary Things

The sky was amazing today in the desert. I took these photos in the parking lot of Boo’s school/church this afternoon.  You can see the tiny cross way up on the hill in the background.  I didn’t notice the green sun flare in front of the cross window until I pulled this photo from Instagram this evening:

Seconds before I took this second photo, I opened my car door, and then Boo opened hers, and a huge gust of wind flew through and took EVERY piece of paper in the car down towards the wash (canal).  I’m sure none of it was too important……Boo did manage to recover a little slip of paper that my mother had written Romans 5:8 onto for her.




At the Present

Where am I?

The past few months I’ve been having more and more cognitive issues. It’s from the chemo. Cisplatin. I feel like I’m in a fog more often than not.  I can’t keep organized….I can’t remember how old I am…..I can’t tell you what I did 5 minutes ago. Oh and my hearing. You might need to speak up a little.

And so I just stay in the present…..a little slower than normal…..but I’m still here.

The past few days I’ve just been watching this little gal swim with my mother….



….and getting back on track with some writing projects.   The fun part is I’ve been rereading stuff I wrote a few months ago and wondering: what crazy person wrote this?


Me: Cognitive issues include social awkwardness and inappropriate behavior. Is that me?

Mr. LBB: No more now than you were before.

Me: Oh…ok….phew.


(I think he’s just being nice.)



thomas merton quote (The Cancer Chronicles) via



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