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Out of Darkness

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The kindness of strangers and friends alike has helped warm my heart over the past few days.

I am still processing the loss of Charlie Machete, as well as other unrelated family matters that I will not go into here.

Yet, even in dark times, there are reasons to rejoice.

A kiss from an old man, the squeeze of a sister’s hand, new life emerging on my doorstep – so much beauty abounds.

Joy to all on this spring Tuesday.

The Beginning of a Spring Transformation

There’s a room in my house that the dogs are obsessed with.

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A ghost or a Charlie Machete wanted in.

Actually, I have long tried to keep them out of the room with a closed door that also helped me avoid thinking about the disorganized mess within.

Officially, the room is my office, but it has always been more of a repository for stuff I didn’t want to deal with. Like paperwork and mail I couldn’t decide if I should hold onto or toss and clothes I couldn’t cram into in my primary closet.

But last weekend, my friend Shelley came over with the sole purpose of helping me turn this cluttered room into a functional space that would bring me peace and inspiration – without spending any significant money.

Truth be told, I was a little scared and embarrassed that the room had gotten so out of control.

But Shelley has a way of bringing out the fun in life.

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“Trust me,” she said. “We can fix this.”

Our project isn’t finished yet, but thanks to our progress so far, I’m now as eager as the dogs are to spend time in that room.

Every morning this week, I have even invited them to join me there as I get ready for work.

It is the very best way to start my day.

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I think they just love carpet.

Do your pets supervise your morning routine?

Happy birthday to a dear friend

Did you go somewhere special over the weekend?

Did you celebrate an accomplishment, milestone or the mere existence of your loved ones?

That’s what my weekend was all about – eating, drinking, laughing, loving and generally basking in the presence of one of my favorite people in the world.

My best friend Kenton turns 27 today.

The flight attendant ordered an “Aviation” drink at his birthday dinner.

That fact is hard to believe, considering I met him nearly two decades ago, on the set of a children’s theater production in Beatrice, Nebraska. Over the years, we’ve been through so much – as geeky kids, as wayward adolescents, as roommates and now, as long-distance friends.

Scratch that friend part. Kenton is family – not by blood but by choice.

Happy birthday, brother! I love you, and so do all of your dog nephews.

In fact, Scooby has a special message for you on this big day:

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Who’s part of your chosen family?

Come back tomorrow to learn about Remedy, the local restaurant I insisted on as the setting for Kenton’s birthday dinner.

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