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Welcome to the
Cozy Cottage Chronicles!

Give me more loving than I've ever had / Make me feel better when I'm feeling sad
Tell me I'm special even when I know I'm not
Make me feel good when I hurt so bad / Barely getting mad
I'm so glad I found you / I love being around you
You make it easy / It's easy as 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4
There's only one thing / To Do
Three words / For you
(I love you) I love you

1, 2, 3, 4
Plain White T's

Hey, folks!

I'm getting caught up in numbers lately. You, too? 

10 - months of being at home during COVID
7 - pairs of pants that don't fit me any more
6 - months since I've visited my extended family
0 - hugs I've gotten from my friend Jennifer, who gives the best hugs
20 - The age my second son turned this week (how is that possible?)

The numbers feel a little overwhelming right now, especially since I want to know a number that will answer the questions about the uncertain future. How many more days/weeks until my husband, a teacher, gets his vaccine? When can my kids go back to school? When can I see my Mom and Dad again? How many months until I can fit into my favorite jeans again? I'm looking for answers, but right now, I'll have to wait.

In the meantime, here's a mindfulness tip that helps me: Use your five senses and count down from 5, taking time to notice and name:

5 things you can see
4 things you can hear
3 things you can feel
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste

You can do this anytime, anywhere. You can do it while you drive, while you're at your desk at work, or before you go to sleep at night. Let go of the questions that don't have answers right now, and focus on what you can taste, hear, touch, feel, and smell right now. Right now is all we have.


Friday night, our friends' ten year-old daughter, Luci, played the scarecrow in an online production of "The Wizard of Oz." Our family "attended," meaning we bought tickets online, clicked on a link at the appointed time, and sat on our couch to watch over Zoom.

Beforehand, all I could think about was how I miss live theater, and how this wasn't going to feel anything like live theater. I was going to be in my living room on my couch, where I end up most other nights.


When the show started, my cynicism went away. There, on my TV were bright-eyed, talented young people who weren't feeling sorry for themselves like I had been. They were singing their little hearts out, dancing, trembling before the wizard, yelling at the wicked witch, ducking from the flying monkeys. Each actor was their own Zoom frame, performing alone in their bedrooms or wherever, and despite being in different houses, they all came together to make a show. They went all out with backgrounds, costumes, face makeup, even a real dog to play Toto! It made me so happy to experience a little taste of what I've missed so much about live performances. And makes me look forward to attending as many live performances as I can as soon as possible.

Art saves me over and over. When I'm feeling my lowest, it's music, poetry, theater, comedy … the act of someone creating something new and putting it out there to share with others — it makes me feel something, and drives out the cold stone in my heart. Art always finds a way.



Photo by Black ice from Pexels

Another number from this week: 25 years. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on January 27. This is us on our wedding day, in 1996. Every time I look at this photo, I think, "Who allowed those two children to get married?" Read "25 Years of 'I Do'" on my blog.
Visit my blog
Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter, "The Cozy Cottage Chronicles." I hope that over time I can send you love letters that reflect the incredible journey our family has experienced by downsizing to a much smaller house, the Cozy Cottage. Every day, I'm still looking to simplify our lives, reduce stress, eliminate debt, and leave space in our lives to enjoy the little things. I'd love to hear from you! Just hit "reply" and send me a note!

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