13 Things That Created Happiness in the Month of October


There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October” – Nathaniel Hawthorne


1)       The television show The Good Wife The writing is smart and suspenseful, the acting is phenomenal.  The pacing is frantically fantastic.  I am obsessed.  I elaborated more in another post, so I won’t beat a dead horse.

2)       I’ve read or listened to 17 book this month, which may be a personal record.  One book really stood out from the rest of the pack – I loved The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.  It’s an amazing grief memoir that’s helped me a great deal.  It’s also a National Book Award winner and I highly recommend it.

7815[1]3)      School!  The class I’m taking on memoir writing inspires me and makes me happy.

4)      Old friends.  Why is it that everyday life often gets in the way of seeing old friends, friends who live less than an hour away?  Sadly, it was a condolence call after Edmund’s passing that brought us together again.  I love the Savas family, who we met when Rich and I first moved to Atlanta in the late ‘90s.  Sybil worked with Rich, and her family was always very gracious and treated us like one of their own.

012  014

In fact, Rich and I once watched two of the big kids in the above picture for a whole weekend, as a “test run” to see if we were ready for kids.  So indirectly, they’re responsible for our little Smithies.  Sybil and Pete are wonderful parents who we’ve always tried to emulate.  After getting reacquainted with the adults who showed up at our house a couple weeks ago, we’ll try even harder.

Continue reading 13 Things That Created Happiness in the Month of October

Halloween 2013 – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Halloween 2013


Halloween was never a favorite holiday of mine.  I don’t remember it being a big deal for me as a child, nor can I come up with more than a few homemade costumes that I dressed up in: queen, cowgirl, and possibly a witch.  When we moved to Florida, it really went downhill, because costume choices were limited when the weather was still in the 70’s.  Besides, no self-respecting teenager would ever be caught dead trick-or-treating!   In college Halloween was a good excuse to drink and go to parties.  In my early 20’s, when I was waiting tables in grad school, I worked on Halloween night because it was always a lucrative night.  Once I entered the professional world, I’d usually opt to stay late, rather than deal with the insane traffic of parents rushing home.  It was only when I had my own children that I started to get it.  Thanks to my kids and their excitement, I now look forward to Halloween.

041 (2)

This year was bittersweet, because our seventh grader decided he was done with trick-or-treating.  Between (all of) you and me, I don’t think he wanted to stop, but was probably succumbing to peer pressure.  Middle school crap.  He volunteered to stay home and watch Barrett – and Rich and I jumped on that.  Traditionally, trick-or-treating with Barrett has been a challenge.  Often he’d just walk past a homeowner, into their house – to explore their pantry, use the facilities or check out what they were watching on TV.  Talk about mortifying!  Eventually it became part of the tradition and Barrett moments made everything a little more interesting.  Now an era was ending. Continue reading Halloween 2013 – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

CLP: The Grief of Glee

The Grief of Glee

Watching Glee has always put me in a good.  How can you not smile at the joy the cast radiates when they’re belting out a tune?   There’s nothing gleeful about grief, however.  Grief is the price you pay for love, and we all loved Finn – and by extension the actor who played him, Cory Monteith.  The actor’s death hit me surprisingly hard.  I should probably note that my little brother passed away in May.  At the time I heard the news about Monteith, I wasn’t even close to recovering from my own loss.  I’m sure this contributed to my investment in this episode.

I watched “The Quarterback” episode for the first time alone, because I was certain that I’d be emotional.   I also wanted to preview it, before deciding whether or not to let my kids (ages 12and 9) watch.   Continue reading at Chick Lit Plus…