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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Kat & Michelle 2Over twenty years have passed since the blossoming of my friendship with Michelle. Our friendship took root while working together at WYES-TV in New Orleans. I was a guest at her wedding and an attendee at her baby shower (and she attended my shower when expecting Andrew). We have remained steadfast friends despite living an hour away from one another. I love her adventurous spirit and the willingness to try new things, especially food. After all, she is the one who introduced me to Vietnamese food. We both like cats, reading, chatting, writing, and putting puzzles together. She also likes plants which is something else we have in common, except she has a better green thumb than I have even though she claims to garden by neglect.

Tall Love Leaf PlantBack in February when I visited Michelle, I noticed a few of her plants on her front porch while waiting for her to answer the door. They were unique looking (one looked liked a plant you would see in a Dr. Seuss story), and I had never noticed them before, so I asked her about them. She told me they were “Love Leaf” plants (Kalanchoe plant, indigenous to the West Indies) and that they grow from the leaf of the plant. She explained that when leaves fall off and are carried off by the wind, depending on where they land, they can grow into a new plant. A leaf had been blown into her fountain and roots had sprouted. I was fascinated since I had never heard of anything so amazing and asked where she found this plant. As you may expect, the story of how she obtained her “love leaf” plant is stemmed from LOVE.

Panama RickyMichelle explained that she discovered this plant 28 years ago while honeymooning with her sweetheart Richard. They went on a cruise and bought the leaf on one of the islands (Grand Cayman, Domenica, St. Martin, or St. Thomas). It traveled all the way back to the Louisiana encased in a sealed cellophane bag (plants can only be brought back to the United States if commercially processed). Love Leaf with BloomsWhen Michelle returned, she carved her sweetheart’s initials in the leaf and planted it (see picture at the bottom of post with “The Lore of the Leaf”).  She currently has 10-15 plants, not counting the “volunteers” that have sprouted up after landing in a spot they can take root. All of her plants have originated from the original leaf although the original plant is no longer alive. The plant does eventually grow bell-shaped flowers that will get a tinge of pink when they mature.

Michelle & Richard

Esneault FamilyMichelle and Richard celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary this month. They met their sophomore year of high school at a Brother Martin Drama Club meeting. Michelle attended Mount Carmel (all girls) and Richard attended Brother Martin (all boys). After a year of just being friends, they started dating and the rest is history. They are happily married with a brilliant and beautiful daughter who has recently graduated from high school. Their love for each other continues to grow like the “love leaf” plants.

Kat's Love Leaf

Kat’s Love Leaf Plants

Since Michelle planted that first leaf, she has shared the love by giving away many leaves and plants over the years. On that visit back in February, she gifted me with a couple of love leaves which I brought home, and my hubby planted them for me. My plants are growing terrifically. Each day, when I see my “love leaf” plants, they make me smile, and I think of Michelle. It is definitely a daily happiness boost.

Michelle's Love LeafGrowing this delightful plant is quite effortless. It can be grown inside or outside. You simply place the leaf on some soil and give it water and sunlight. My two plants are kept on the front porch. Occasionally when I’m expecting rain, I will put my pots out on the bricks of my flowerbed and they get watered naturally. If they are kept outside, Michelle recommends covering them in extremely cold weather, so they do not freeze and die. Additionally, when it freezes, she picks a few leaves to bring inside in case the sheets she puts over her plants do not protect them enough.

What a flowery expression of love that can flourish over a lifetime! I think we can all use more love in our lives, dear reader. My plan is to share more love, whether by sending a card, chatting on the phone, expressing it verbally or physically (hugs and kisses), or giving a love leaf. There are so many ways to express love towards your sweetheart, children, family members, friends, or fellow human beings in general. What are ways you express love? I’d love for you to share your expressions of love. Happiness!

 

“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

Love Leaf Lore

 

Note: Many thanks to Michelle for sharing photos with me for this post of her plants and of herself with Richard and her daughter Kaitlyn.

 

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Sophie Kisses

Sophie Kisses

Despite the sorrow that is lingering over me like gossamer since last Tuesday evening when my family and I said our final good-bye to Sonic, our beloved male German Shepherd, I am finding moments of joy. While I have temporarily abandoned healthy eating habits and have actively avoided the scale during the quarantine, I have maintained my walking streak. Walking has helped me stay sane, catch up on Levar Burton Reads, and develop a tan. Along with the tan, I also have very distinct tan lines. I look like I am still wearing my socks when bare-footed and that makes me smile.

Purple RainVisiting friends also makes me smile. I had seen a recipe on Facebook during the week for an adult beverage called Purple Rain and tagged my BFF Shelly. We live down the street from each other, but we have not seen each other in weeks. She texted me Saturday morning and invited my hubby and me over for Purple Rains while practicing proper social distancing protocol. Barry, Andrew, and I drove over to her house after dinner and had a delightful time with her family. And, the Purple Rain concoction was rather tasty thanks to her hubby’s bartending skills. I consumed two.

Andrew and JadeAndrew and I decided to adopt a Senior from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. We chose Jade, who happens to be Andrew’s friend, former art classmate, and fellow traveler to Ireland. I was extremely excited to gather items she enjoys to make a basket for her. On Sunday, Andrew and I set out on quite an adventure to drop off her basket of goodies. A twenty-five minute drive turned into an hour when my car’s GPS took us down a long winding gravel road with nothing but wooded areas on either side of the road. Needless to say, when the kind lady on the GPS informed us that we had reached our destination on the left and there were woods and no house, we knew we were lost. After going down another wrong road, meeting a very loud dog (that would not move, so I had to drive back down the road backwards before finding a safe place to turn around) and its deaf owner, and a brief phone conversation with Jade’s father, we finally made it to her home and delivered her gift. Andrew caught up with Jade while I visited with her parents. Thankfully, we made it home without any other detours. Seeing the smile on Jade’s face and her appreciation was a huge happiness boost for me.

Peace CardYesterday, I received a card in the mail from a friend who I love dearly, but I have not seen in person in many years. Helen and I have been friends since high school. She now lives in Colorado; thankfully, we keep up with each other through Facebook. It was a pleasant and joyful surprise to receive her card full of peace and love. The message on the front of the card and her personal message to me inside the card were a perfect way to set the tone for this week. And, when this COVID-19 pandemic decides to subside, and we can safely travel, I want to start making plans to visit Helen. It has been too long since I’ve seen her in person.

I was hoping the “stay at home” order would be lifted this Friday. Unfortunately, the order has been extended until May 15th; however, restrictions on certain activities appear more relaxed than when the order was originally implemented. It is confusing to me, dear reader, so I will continue doing what I’ve been doing the last five weeks to stay healthy and safe. In the meantime, I’ll find joy in unexpected ways and continue working on my tan. Happiness!

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu

 

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Dream Socks

New socks that I bought at the Audubon Zoo. DREAM BIG!

2019 is winding down which means it’s time to finish up this year and start thinking about the goals to make for 2020. I plan to choose a new word to guide the year and to create a 20 for 2020 list. Both of these activities make me happy and spur me on to be more productive. However, before I can even think about next year, I have to focus on finishing strong this year. Including today, I only have 17 days left to wrap up the loose ends on my 19 for 2019 list.

On Friday evening, my BFF Shelly and I had dinner with our husbands at Streetside Market in Hammond. It is a neat restaurant where you can experience the culinary delights of different vendors all under one roof. After dinner, Shelly and I waved goodbye to the guys, bought coffee at PJ’s, and headed to New Orleans to see Cher in concert.

CherWOW! Cher is 73 years old and looks fabulous. Her performance was captivating from beginning to end. Her song choices, the elaborate costumes, the artistic dancers, the detailed set design, as well as the talented musicians and backup singers created a fantastic creative execution. Not being a huge Cher fan, I didn’t really know what to expect. Shelly was the only reason that I went to the concert. She wanted to go, so being the awesome friend that I am and my love of concerts, I said yes when she asked if I would go with her. And, I am so happy I said yes because I was blown away not only by Cher’s performance, but also by her story that she shared with the audience. She has given me a boost of inspiration.

In Other News:

  • I bought myself a Cricut Maker Machine for my scrapbooking projects.
  • My hubby and I went to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans last weekend, and I finally got to see the baby orangutan Bulan and the new pride of lions (Arnold, Nia, Kali, and Zuri). I also bought myself some inspirational socks.
  • Unfortunately, I have NOT lost any more weight. I still have six pounds left to shed by the end of the month.
  • Andrew finished his first semester finals at SLU on Thursday. I’m eagerly awaiting to hear the final results. He’ll be spending winter break with us starting next week which give me a MASSIVE happiness boost.

Christmas is on the horizon, dear reader, so I will be squeezing all of what that season entails while scrambling to complete several tasks before year end. One Christmas item that I scratched off my list this year was putting up a Christmas tree. Since we have been remodeling rooms and the house is in a slight disarray, I decided to forgo adding more unnecessary stuff to the already existing mishmash. Happiness!

“Everyone’s got to have a dream…It’s not reaching your dreams that count. It’s going toward them.” ~ Cher

 

 

 

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Sesame StreetGood morning! Today is a most terrific day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the air conditioner is running, and I got Sesame Street stamps from the post office yesterday.  Happiness boost! It is also the birthday of one of my dearest friends on the planet…the fabulous Michelle. How fitting that I bought Sesame Street stamps the day before the celebration of her birth! Sesame Street is one of the many popular shows that airs on PBS.

WYES crew

Kat, Michelle, & Tiffany @ WYES-TV

Michelle and I met at WYES-TV (PBS) many, many moons ago, and we have been friends ever since. I’m grateful that she is a part of my life. Happy Birthday, my friend!

I am immensely enjoying my SUMMER! This summer has been about learning, growing, healing, committing, recharging, and loving life. It is not lost on me that I am blessed to have this time off. Having this time to myself has allowed me to invest in myself and set goals for my future. I was diagnosed with tennis elbow in June. I’ve been able to go to occupational therapy twice a week to try and fix this issue. My big toe is completely healed from the fall I had last month. My acting goals are falling into place, and my singing is improving. I hired a handyman this week to paint the utility room and the office in my house. I’m in the process of purging each room and closet in our house of all the unnecessary stuff. For me, a cluttered house equals a cluttered mind. Without sounding too dramatic, it is holding me back from living my best life.

Since I will be hanging around the house this week while the rooms are being painted, I plan to get some scrapbooking done. I’m still working on Andrew’s Ireland trip. My summer break is slowly coming to an end, so I want to make the most of the last couple of weeks before I have to report back to school. What have you been up to this summer, dear reader? I hope you have had the chance to invest in yourself. Happiness!

“Friend something better than chocolate ice cream… Maybe friend somebody you give up last cookie for.” ~ Cookie Monster

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