Monday, February 6, 2023

End of an Era Weekend Recap

Welcome to the new week, y'all!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I have to say, last week really drop kicked us, especially the Mr.  His work was being a flaming bag of rump holes and it went all the way until Friday afternoon.  We decided a trip to his hometown was in order as a reward for making it through hell week.  We chatted the whole way up under the ripply clouds so it made the few hours drive go quicker.


He always loves to get some of the donuts he and his dad loved when he was a kid and get some extras to freeze to have when he wants a weekend treat.  As we pulled up to the shopping center, the sign was gone and so was the donut shop.  


I was so sad for him; it was the end of an era.  This was a direct connection to his dad and while he always knew it could be gone one day and this was the one time we didn't call ahead for them to save us some.  Sigh, you never know when the last time will be the last time.  There was another branch in the next town but when we tried them before they weren't as good so we drove over to see if they were even close.  While they were out of his favorites, they did have a similar one to try and they will do over having nothing.  We hit all of the usual spots while we were there.  Unfortunately it was a little blustery so we couldn't get out much.  We visited his dad at the cemetery who was giving lots of signs all week to help him get through.  Then we headed home chilled the rest of the night.

Sunday the Mr did a grocery pick up and we took our coffee upstairs and watched SNL and Sunday Morning like the old folks we are.  My head was swirling with all of the things I needed to get done and finally we got up and I made lunch of grilled cheese and soup.  I got our insurance all paid after I made sure they didn't jack up our rates beyond an expected amount.  I thought maybe I'd get to taking this down:


That's right, it's still up.  A personal record for us.  If it also looks a little different it's because I took the red bulbs off and put on clear snowflakes in hopes it'd bring us some snow.  It has not.  Winter here has SUCKED.  But we had other stuff taking precedence.  The Mr pulled the baseboards off the wall and we got to using the acoustic sealant on the major gaps underneath in small hopes it would deaden some sound.  I will elaborate more on why in tomorrow's post.  Yep, a Tuesday post coming at ya and that'll happen on and off so make sure you check back if you're not following on Facebook for notifications.  I'll also link to all posts for the week at the bottom of the Friday links post in case you missed any and want to catch up.

I made our Einkorn banana muffins for the week's snacks since finding out we were eating heavy metal chocolate on the daily.  I swear man, you try to do something that every friggin' article out there says is good for you and you can actually enjoy but nope- we're going to kill you with 192% of the recommended amount of lead on the daily.  Jackasses.  We're trying to formulate a plan of some sort on the health front.  I have been completely unmotivated to plan out meals the day before like I used to and I'm getting tired of eating the same thing.  I was looking at some home dΓ©cor chick who lost 55 lbs last year just making some tweaks.  She said doing strength training 4x a week is what really put her over weight loss wise.  We're thinking maybe we're just going to have to jump on it.  We've never worked up to that much, always 3x week at most but it might be time.   We started things off with a new to us leg day from Kaleigh Cohen with a bonus of having not one but TWO pups in the video.  So while we're noodley today, it was worth it to watch some lazy pups.

How was your weekend? 

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Friday, February 3, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #5

It's Friday finally!  Woot!  We've flipped the calendar which seemed like it was never going to happen because January was a long year.  But then before you know it, it'll be August, people will be whining about Hobby Lobby's Christmas trees and Starbucks rolling out pumpkin spice and I'll be asking "where'd the year go?"  So maybe January is the only month where you can actually feel every day.  Maybe I drank shroom tea and can smell colors right now.  We'll just never know.  😏

Let's get to know:


"Eat Less, Move More" Doesn't Actually Work for Weight Loss, According to a New Study  (So nanny nanny boo boo to the a-hole docs that have spouted this crap like it's so easy because they need to check a box to say they had a talk with a patient about their weight.)

8 Shoulder Mobility Exercises That Will Help You Move with Ease  (My shoulders have been ridiculous lately so I'll definitely be doing these!)

Study finds spice containers pose contamination risk during food preparation  (You know, I rolled my eyes at this at first but then read it and I know for a fact this is happening because I've thought "oh, I need to wash that" after handling something and never get around to it.  Off to disinfect!)

New Study Links Poor Hydration To Increased Mortality Risk & Chronic Disease  (I've been filling my 25 oz water bottle every night and making sure I drink all or most of it before getting out of bed.  As a water hater, this is big but this study is friggin' scary!)

9 Tactics to Help You Overcome Procrastination (These are actually excellent, doable tips)

Decluttering Tricks That Don't Work and Ones That Do  (Why does it seem like decluttering is never ending??)

Easy Ways to Be More Adventurous in Everyday Life  (I won't be doing any open mic nights soon (ever) but I get what they're saying.)

Amazon will start charging Prime members up to $10 in delivery fees on grocery orders under $150  (Welp, guess we're done with that at the end of the month!  We've relied on this to pick up the slack when our local grocery was out of stock on stuff for the past three years.  It's laughable they're justifying doing this to 'keep prices low' when they're consistently the highest on many items and almost always out of stock.  A lot of the stuff we get is Whole Foods brands so I'm praying it doesn't affect WF.)

10 signs you're a genuinely kind person  (Good, this made me relax a little because sometimes I wonder!  LOL)

Today's 18-year-olds are like the 12-year-olds from a decade ago  (This popped into my feed out of nowhere and the results for the US are seriously eye opening.)

The Christmas 2022 Wind Storm from a Vermonter  (This blog from a sugar house next door to the place we stayed in 2020 for Christmas will give you another idea of what we went through over the holidays damage wise.  Completely heartbreaking.  Mr- this is why we saw the flashing lights up the road when we went over there.)

27 Dads Come Together In This Thread To Share Their Knowledge About Homeowning  (Some good tips (and reminders) about how to keep your stuff in working order.  ESPECIALLY the first one!  I was in that business but not the homeowner side and I never would've thought to list stuff out the way he tells you- should you ever need to!)

Miss some posts here this week?  Click below to catch up!


The Mr had a work meeting all this week so I'm sure he's glad to be past that.  Don't you love it when companies do in person what they can easily do on a video call in the name of 'team building?'   But honestly, it was good for us to have that time apart because when you're together 24/7 for basically 3 years, you get a little twitchy.  I know I will have to work on taxes soon which is always so fun.  Hopefully we've gotten everything we need by now because I want it over with and in the rear view.

Anything on tap this weekend to welcome in February?
 
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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Mr's Book Review: Born Giving Birth to a New You

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At the end of October 2022, I recorded the E.T. movie reunion on the Drew Barrymore Show for the Mr and I to watch.  Toward the end the mom Dee Wallace mentioned she was an author and had a book that sounded up the Mr's alley to me.  I vetted it and scheduled to send the kindle version to him at the beginning of the year for some new year reads.  (I wasn't going to include it as a Christmas gift because he didn't ask for it.)   He's finished it so now, for your reading pleasure, he's going to give you his book review!

***

I was gifted this book so I wasn't sure what to expect at first because I hadn't researched it and had no idea what it was about but I can attest that a lot of times in my life certain things happen or certain pieces of information I need tend to come at the right time - and this was no exception.  Let me explain.  I started reading the book just at the beginning of January and, to be honest, I was in a rough place mentally.  I call them funks but let's face it, it was depression and I was in about as negative minded of a zone that I could have been in when I started reading the book. 

The general premise of the book is along the lines of having a more open mind and a positive attitude and setting an intention about what it is that you really want from life.  Some might be familiar with books like "The Secret" and the idea of setting intentions to have the universe give you what you want.  I have read similar books and, to be honest, have always thought of it as a neat concept but one that I never knew how to put into practice.  Oh and just let me get one thing out of the way right off the bat here - Dee goes to great lengths not to step on any toes of religious beliefs in the book.  In fact she actually shares quite a few bible quotes and does a good job explaining how a lot of all of this stuff binds together.  My point there is that, as a person with 12 years of Catholic schooling in me, nothing was too "out there" or offensive to the things I had been taught.  Of course, that is subjective but overall I felt like she did a great job handling the various forms of religion and how they can all support the basic premise of setting an intention and manifesting what you want out of life.

I am also a bit of a science geek and she did an awesome job of covering that too.  In fact, she cites a few studies that interested me enough to go out and learn more on my own and some very fascinating things have come out of that for me and I appreciate any book that can do that.  For example, one of the studies she describes was a study about how our DNA reacts to our moods.  I think we all know this is true for each of us on some level because when you're just in a bad mood you tend to lack energy too.  Or think about why the placebo effect works at all even when we are told we're taking a placebo.  But one thing I did NOT know was that a study had been done showing that even up to 50 miles outside of the human body, DNA still reacts to a persons changing moods.  This is mind-blowing and delves more into the quantum physics realm which I find completely fascinating even if I am by no means an expert on that stuff.

The book does an excellent job of explaining the process of developing your inner voice to that of a positive tone which was especially helpful for me since, as I mentioned, I was in a bit of a funk at the time.  It is from that positive place that you can develop a daily mantra that helps you to start each day from a positive, centered place and start to create the world you want for yourself and your loved ones. Even if you're skeptical, there is nothing wrong with starting your day with a 10 minute meditation where you think about the positive things you want in your life, right?  If one of them happens to be a lot of money and it just happens to start showing up then win-win!  But for me it's not just about that. It's more about reminding myself every day that I am actually creating the outcome of each day by setting my intention, and I found that lately I have been setting negative intentions without even realizing it.  Trust me when I say that this has not done much for my mental well-being.  I have only been setting a positive tone by doing the things she describes in the book for less than a week and, while a pile of money hasn't shown up yet, I can say for sure that my mental health is definitely improved and I have already noticed the positive change in my attitude throughout the day.  I also have more energy and find it easier to get motivated at work than I have been in a very long time.  So if nothing else, the book really has changed major aspects of my life and was definitely worth the read.  I highly recommend it and hope you too will enjoy it and get something out of it too.

The Mr

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Revenge of The Room Weekend Recap

Tis Monday...again.  Did you get everything done over the weekend that you wanted to?  Me either.  I mean, I got stuff done that I was forced to do, not what I actually wanted to do and that's not fun.  "The Room" is rebounding on me saying "yeah, you're not done."  Last week was not great for sleeping.  I seemed to wake at 4:30 am every morning with no hope of getting back to sleep because of the gagging from the off gassing of God knows what in the room.  During my middle o' the night wee Thursday, I could swear I smelled vinyl pretty bad after we had used the fireplace.  (Not super strong but when I put my nose against the mural, I could actually faintly smell it which is hit or miss but I feel like after 2 months, it shouldn't still be doing that.

Some groggy panic Googling showed peel and stick wallpaper is pretty full of pure toxic crap that will off gas forever.  I initially found a decorators varnish that looked to be the solution I needed but all it took was one person's review of them applying it to their mural and it dried white and totally ruined it and that was all I needed to cancel the order.  Welp, ordering a vat of low VOC wax was going to be my hail Mary or have to consider taking it down.



Ugh, I thought I was done with you when I did the wood wall.  Clearly not.  Saturday I popped on some LMP and got to work.  I knew there was the possibility of slight color change but it was fine.


It just gave it a little more depth.  I made sure I got the seams and edges really well and then the entire thing.  I did one coat Saturday afternoon and the second coat Sunday morning before even heading downstairs.  It was tedious, made me sore in places I didn't know I had and all around sucked.  It will take 2 weeks to cure so I will give it the ol' sniffer test then to see if I need to waste two more days putting on two more coats which I think will have to happen so baseboard free is the life for me on that wall for a bit.  

In the meantime, I had sniffed the boards behind the bed and despite two cured coats of wax, it still faintly smells of stain.  Well, faintly x22 boards including the shelf sitting directly behind your head as you sleep and you waking up with your lungs coated and hacking out well, not pleasant things every morning basically tells you that you have more work to do.  I remembered I had an extra stained board in the garage so I had the Mr bring that in to let the Eau de Stain aroma build indoors.  I had a free sample of Ecos paints Air Purifying Varnish and I wanted to test it to see if it blocked the odor but wasn't optimistic aesthetic wise because it was a satin finish and I do not want to add SHINY to the list of things I don't like about those boards.  



After two coats over 5 hours, it was confirmed.  It blocks the smell.  

Shit.  πŸ˜‘

Okay, so poking around the interwebs, I go.  All I know is Ecos doesn't make matte in their clear coats so I needed to look at green building sites to see what was out there.  I found a matte varnish with low voc's when wet and totally odorless then dry.  It was half the cost of the other stuff so I ordered it before knowing if sealing the mural was the problem.  By Sunday morning, I knew it was the wood and hopefully that stuff will ship out today.  Am I happy that I'm going to have to clear under the bed AGAIN, move everything away from the wall and do two more coats on that bastard wall?  No but it's the difference between deeming the room uninhabitable and tearing it out or a day or two of inconvenience.  I literally feel like the room is poisoning me because after 2 hours with the door shut, it's enough to gag you out much less 7-8 hours.  Just a little giggle from the universe.  This stuff not working isn't an option so I just want it done.  I'm ready to move the hell on!!

Saturday night we were bored so I just threw on the new J Lo movie Shotgun Wedding on Amazon Prime.  While I had zero expectations, it was pretty dang funny.  Jennifer Coolidge, Josh Duhamel, Cheech Marin and Lenny Kravitz surprisingly are in it.  The Mr and I both give it a thumbs up if you're looking for a change of pace.  I know we're tired of watching the same crap.

Heads up to any of you who follow me on Facebook, the algorithm has changed AGAIN.  Reach has dropped significantly and I can't afford to pay for 'boosts'  ($14 per post).  So if you're wanting to still be notified of new posts over there, just make sure to like a post at least once a week.  I saw it's even affecting larger accounts like some of the Beachbody instructors I follow.  I also may post here other than M-W-Fri like I did last week so bookmark the page and swing by on the daily when you're scrolling on the toilet.  I am still trying to find a free solution to replace Feedburner for notifications through email but much like every single business out there, they all want your money and no one does anything out of the goodness of their hearts anymore.  So I don't know.  I am going to be potentially replacing Hump Day Polls with a new feature.  Those aren't really engaging and I don't know if what might step in from time to time will be either but I'm trying to shake it up a little where I can.  

How was your weekend?

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Friday, January 27, 2023

What I'm Reading This Week #4

It's Aloha Friday...no work til Monday!  (Man, do I miss hearing that song on the regular.  Pardon while I sing along for a second.)  Okay, now that I'm officially teary and missing the islands.  We've gotten really lucky on our park walks lately and saw little packs of deer here and there.  It's always so cute how they look up and stop- we look over and stop- they go back to eating and we take a few steps on our route and repeat with deer in headlights game.  I named this little weak one we saw after my grandma and told her it would make her strong and to go find a pack to take care of her.  I think I saw her in the pack of seven we saw on Monday.  She is wee but appeared stronger to me.  I hope that was her and that grandma is looking out for her.

In the overnight going into Monday, we caught a coyote roaming our yard at 1am.  I wanted to go out and ask him if he was a super genius.

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If you think my brain will ever NOT operate in Looney Tunes, you would lose that bet.

Now let's introduce:





The 3 Best Workouts That Can Help You Poop and 2 to Avoid  (Dude, call the one yoga pose what it is...FART POSE.  You basically say it without saying it.)

6 Calf Stretches to Release Tight Muscles  (I need to do these more.)

If You Want Your Gua Sha To Help With Fine Lines, Don't Do This  (Good tip!  I tend to do this with mine especially if I'm trying to relieve jaw tension.)


10 People on Why They Struggle with Certain Hygiene Tasks  (Ugh, the water down the elbow thing.  Same.  )

How to Have Assertive Communication Without Ghosting or Raging  (Very good tips and remember that "no." is a complete sentence.)

25 Small, Simple Ways To Be A Better Partner Right Now  (Some really wonderful reminders to keep the squishy vibes alive.)

7 Mistakes You're Making That Are Increasing Your Heating Bill, Experts Say  (Will have to remember the safe temp when we're away.  I'm about 8 degrees off.)

10 Iconic Unscripted Movie Moments That Turned Out Amazing  (Wow, didn't know that Empire Strikes Back and 40 Year Old Virgin which explains why the scene was so hilarious.)

Redditors Share 95 Old Person Things That May Reveal You're Getting Old Too  (See ya lil effers...it happens WAY sooner than you think!!)

Did you miss some posts here this week?  Check 'em out below:

Goodbye LMP  πŸ’”

I'm not sure if we have plans this weekend or not.  Nothing I know of but that could change, I suppose.  I wouldn't mind getting a real batch of snow so we could go real snowshoeing and not splash around in slop pretending to be snow.

What's on your forecast this weekend?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Gifts for Your Gen X Man




Do you know how many stupid lists I see come out year after year for Valentine's Day, Father's Day and Christmas that try to talk you into giving your man something for his grilling, alcohol or sports addictions?  Well, I do the grilling, he doesn't drink and he watches one college team so those lists are pretty much useless to me.  So what do you get a Gen X dude who just wants to be left the hell alone and maybe indulge in nostalgia from time to time?  Here's my suggestion list that is Mr approved for your viewing pleasure.



While I'm all for personal expression, a rug in the office of Han Solo in Carbonite or a full on Millennium Falcon is more for your man's room when he was 10.  What if we could express the love for Star Wars in a more fancy pants style that is better for the sophisticated Sith Lord he is?  Enter this Ruggable Dark Side Damask Area Rug.  The Mr has this and loves it.  When he sent a pic to his co-workers, they instantly knew what it was and loved it.  The fact it's Ruggable means when/if it gets dirty, peel the rug back and chuck it into the washer!




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The elite soldiers of the Galactic Empire have a new member in the form of the Mr in his stormtrooper garb from Hasbro's Selfie Series.  If your dude isn't feeling the Star Wars universe, he can be made into a Power Rangers, G I Joe, Ghostbuster or Marvel action figure instead!  It's not expensive and imagine the look on their face when they're immortalized in action figure form!  (Just an FYI, you need to download their app and it takes pics of their face from different angles so the idea will have to be the surprise- you'll need his cooperation and all sides of his face to get it ordered.)




Back in the day you knew why you needed to keep a pencil handy when listening to your cassettes, which scenes got rewound the most in your favorite VHS movie and the floppy discs were the future.  While they are relics and unidentifiable to today's youth, if you know, you know and you miss it.  This t-shirt is a fun way to remember how we all got started with our entertainment as kids.





If he's looking to get back into or break out his old vinyl collection, this record player is a great quality without spending audiophile bucks.  Nothing beats the rich sound of vinyl to take him (and you) back to your youth!




If he's a musician, this Marshall Bluetooth Speaker will speak to his heart.  In addition to being compact and super stylish, it packs a lot of sound into a small package.

And now for some practical stuff because...life.


Do you know how many times the Mr has settled down to drink his morning cuppa and then gets a Teams message "let's get on a call."  What should've been a 5 minute call turns into 90 minutes of people griping and now the Mr has ice cold coffee which was not what he started off with.  This mug warmer is the perfect way for your man to keep his morning jolt as piping hot as when he poured it and before his co-workers ruined his planned relaxing morning.






Did you know 1 in 12 men are color blind while only 1 in 200 women are?  Some men go their whole lives never knowing that they are color blind.  As a kid, the Mr was made fun of because he would color his tree trunks green and his leaves brown.  The nurse called his mom and told her he was color blind.  Well there was nothing she could do.  You can now!  These sunglasses have helped the Mr be able to enjoy the fall leaves and other vibrant colors that he missed out on until his mid-40's.  Even if your man thinks he may not need or want them, they are returnable so it would be nice to try them out first and return them if he doesn't but it could be life changing.




I'll be honest, when the Mr put this key organizer on his wish list for Christmas, I didn't get the appeal but you know what?  He friggin' loves it and that's all that matters.  He likes not having his keys be all noisy because isn't the world noisy enough?  







Getting older sucks and your eye doctor has no problem reminding you that your lack of being able to read menus even with contacts in is "totally normal for someone your age."  Instead of having a pair of readers around his neck, he can pop these babies out from the keychain and read what he needs to then go back to looking like the cool SOB he is.  I cannot tell you how many times the Mr has already used this in various situations in the past 6 weeks since he got them when in a pinch!




If any of you have a man with a beard, you know the struggle is real after they shave at the sink only cleaning the essential hairs HE can see and not the ones 98% of the population can if they went in there.  Enter this marriage saving Shaving Shower Mirror so he can let those nasty strays go down the drain and you can even use it too!



We discovered this soap in a little French shop in Niagara-on-the-Lake and it's one of those manly fragrances that you could just sniff and take hits off of for pure dopamine.  (Or will make you want to tackle him after his shower.)  The Mr and the bathroom smell so good after he uses it!  It's a totally relaxing scent that isn't overpowering at all and y'all know I'm sensitive to strong scents.  This might be more of a fun 'just because' or stocking stuffer gift so he doesn't get a complex.  

I hope this gives you some ideas for your Gen X man/son/dude in your life!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Goodbye LMP



Most people knew Lisa Marie Presley as Elvis' daughter and obviously so did I initially.  There was so much written about her in the rag mags back in the day (now every 'news source' feels a rag mag these days, doesn't it?) and therefore much mystery around who she was as a person.  I remember very clearly watching her clutching Michael Jackson's hand in terror as they walked out on the MTV VMA stage in 1994 looking like she wanted to be anywhere but there.  We were in Las Vegas on a trip with my family and had retired for the night and there were rumors about this appearance so we were glued to the TV.  Watching that kiss with the rest of the world, you knew it was going to cause a stir and then there came the famous Diane Sawyer interview with them where you actually got to see Lisa's personality.  You could tell she was likely told to act a certain way but man when her personality came out, it was undeniable.  She was feisty, snarky, a smart ass, funny and every other trait that was very similar to my own at that time.  We were soul sisters on some level personality wise.

When there was talk that she was writing music and recording an album, I couldn't wait.  I think everyone was waiting to see how she sounded so they could compare her to her father.  Would she 'live up' to her last name like that should even be a thing.  Children aren't their parents and should never be compared to them, famous or not.  What sealed the deal for me with her was her interview/performance on Letterman while promoting her album.  The fact that she went after he basically ragged on her for years and called him out on it within 30 seconds sealed the deal for me.  I didn't care if she sang off key and sounded like a cat screeching in an alley, I would support her and buy her records.  Luckily, she sounded amazing.  A wonderful singer in her own right that sounded nothing like her dad.  Her lyrics were raw and unapologetic and people picked them apart looking for who she could be referring to.  I didn't care who she was talking about, I just knew I hadn't heard lyrics so raw maybe ever.  Her first album To Whom It May Concern came out as we were going through my in-laws illnesses.  In the wake of my father in law's passing, there was a familial implosion and underhanded BS we had to deal with on top of his death.  Her lyrics would hit me at times as we suffered through people's lies:

You said it wasn't sharp but I cut my finger
You said it just wouldn't burn and I scarred my face
You said it just wasn't there when it fell down on me
Well I'm just a son of a bitch no matter what you say

To watching manipulation in a relationship I knew would come to a head one day:

Maybe the reason I got needy is because I never had real devotion
Maybe I criticized your loyalty because it wasn't given to me

***

And damn it if I didn't try to do everything that I was supposed to
And now what do I do now?
I don't know
Cause I'm still leaving
Now who's gonna save me next time?
Oh, not you for the first time
Somehow I'll be alright
Somehow I'll be alright

Her words reminded me of things I'd written in high school before I had any real idea of the heartbreak and uncertainty finding your true love can bring and all of the obstacles and feelings that can come along with it.

When her next album Now What came out, I could not wait and it didn't disappoint.  This album got me through the worst stress of my life between the crap that went down after his dad's death to the most absolute crippling work stress/anxiety I had ever experienced.  I would be in the file room or at my desk after an encounter with my manager who used to be my friend but an upgrade in position turned her into a vicious sea hag and I would turn Lisa's song Idiot on full blast.

I'm gonna tell you what I think about you in that unforgivable way I do
You're an idiot
And I hate your guts
I guess I'm about as happy for you as I would be a cockroach in my food
I know it's terrible
I really hate you though

I still have that song along with I'll Figure It Out on my anger management playlists when I want to punch the hell out of someone.  That song in particular hit when I was going through yet another adult rejection from my father and it was like my shield against him to get that hurt out of me.

It took me all my life
To finally figure out
That I'm not in the mood
To be anything like you
Maybe it's alright
Maybe not
I'll conduct my choir
I'll figure it out

She also has a hidden track at the end of the last song Now What that is a cover of The Ramones Here Today Gone Tomorrow.  I was so happy to find it because when you see there's still like 4 minutes left on the song that just ended, you know you're in for something fun!  Even though I hadn't heard the original, the Mr had so he was quite happy for this little Easter egg and I loved it on it's own merit as being hers.  Here's a fun but distorted video when Marky Ramone came out at one of her shows supporting that album.  

Her third album Storm and Grace went in a completely different direction and that producer made both her and Diana Krall's album sound almost identical.  It sounded more like his vision than theirs to my ears but both women raved about working with him.  We were lucky enough to see her on a small tour she did in support of that album.  I remember being behind the venue listening to her do soundcheck and I could not stop smiling.  I was so proud of her!  She funded that tour herself for her fans and we were all so grateful.  Sadly my camera at the time was HORRIBLE in low light and no pics were allowed so I had to snap a few crappy ones before security started hunting those of us who did sneak them in.  


She was so shy and reserved when she came out.  She talked to all of us like we were just hanging out.  After about two songs, she saw we were all cool and started letting her hair down, laughing and joking and just being a general badass.  I so wish we were somehow able to record that show.  It was truly such an intimate show and watching her do her involuntary Presley sneer was so adorable.  She even mentioned it later in the show how she was NOT trying to imitate her dad but people pointed it out to her when she started and she came to embrace it but she could also tell by the audiences faces when she was doing it a lot.  So adorable.  I will cherish that night for the rest of my life especially now.

While I didn't initially resonate as much with her final album because of its country undertones, that show helped change my mind. She wrote the song Storm and Grace about her son, Benjamin Storm Keough.

You are the most beautiful man
That I've ever known
Too much to offer
And too much held close to the bone
Just step on the breaks there
You got what it takes

You blow me away, yeah
Your storm and your grace
My heart can't seem to take it
Your storm and your grace

You have the most beautiful heart
That I've ever known
It kills me you can't ever show it
And a shell has been grown
Stop moving so fast there
Take your foot off the gas

You blow me away
Your storm and your grace
My heart can't seem to take it
Your storm and your grace
You blow me away
Your storm and your grace

You can see in her lyrics the intense love she had for him and it feels like she could sense he might not be long for this world?  When he died by suicide in 2020, I was scared she wouldn't be long for this world either.  I feared it was coming.  The fact that she hadn't yet died of a broken heart when she wrote this essay about grief almost 5 months before her own death made me feel like maybe she'd make it.  Maybe she'd found some way to channel her excruciating pain which is so honest and raw in that article into something to help others.  It seemed that was the direction she was taking in helping others from what some articles have said but it's hard to sift through all of that and know what's true.  If so, it's all the more tragic that once she was finally able to move forward in a way that could be of service to others she had that opportunity taken.  Anyone who saw her at the Golden Globes saw how unwell and frail she appeared to be.  I literally gasped when I saw her since it's the first real time I've seen her recently and I just hoped after the awards circuit that she would get the rest she looked like she needed.  Her death ripped through me and I am still in disbelief.  

Her memorial was so very much all facets I've seen of her when she was kind enough to share herself.  There were gospel interludes which she grew up on with Elvis, songs sung by her friends Billy Corgan, Alanis Morrissette and Axl Rose, and beautiful eulogies including one by one of her teen twins read by Priscilla, a eulogy from long time family friend and manager Jerry Schilling who did an absolutely stunning job of memorializing her and her personality which cracked us up, Sarah Ferguson - that's right, Fergie- who did a lovely job of eulogizing her 'sissy' and I could not stop laughing because of course Lisa was friends with the first black sheep of the royal family.  Perhaps the most moving and tragic was read by her son in law that was written by her first born daughter Riley who conveyed what it was like to be loved by her from a small child to two weeks ago on her couch.  In that eulogy, it was revealed that Riley gave birth to a daughter whom she hoped she could love the same way she was loved by Lisa.  Good on her for being able to pull off the ultimate eff you to the press by being pregnant and giving birth.  I pray Lisa was able to meet her and love her but my heart breaks that she will never get to know her grandma personally.  I can only imagine the absolutely beautiful hellion she would've been as Grandma Lisa.  

I don't know why someone I've never met means so much.  I can only assume as someone who has a low BS tolerance, searing comebacks balanced with empathy and vulnerability that I found a strong kinship with her.  Someone who if we'd become friends would've been a feared duo to anyone who saw us coming.  πŸ˜„  I loved her for her...not who her father was.  I loved her for her own merit, honesty, talent and truth.  The world is a little darker for me knowing she's not in it.  The only solace I and I'm sure anyone else who knew, loved or admired her is that she's with her beloved son again and that she and her daddy were finally able to duet in person instead of by technology.  The video for one of the duets is sadly a fitting memorial video for her.  (You can see others here, here and here)  I'd like to think they're sitting at the piano together again; they have a lot to catch up on.

I love and miss you Lisa.  Thank you for everything.  

***

If you want to skip to different parts of the memorial, I've got timestamps below.  Even if you weren't a fan, there were some wonderful performances.





Jerry Schilling's Eulogy (*highly* recommend watching this!  You will laugh and cry)




Blackwood Brothers Quartet Perform (wonderful full circle story told here- Lisa's grave revealed)



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