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On Monday, August 13, 2018, my husband Thomas and I found our seats in section 14, Row A at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The seats were strategically chosen in anticipation of a world-class concert and light show. We weren’t disappointed. In fact, we were both completely blown away.

The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) has had this “secret” place in my heart most of my life. I say “secret” because I mostly listened to them completely alone. It seemed like most people I knew weren’t “into” them or might have never even heard of them. Most of my single adult years found me in my apartment, late at night, with my favorite ELO records spinning as I fell asleep in complete , relaxed bliss.

My favorite album of theirs  is ” DISCOVERY.” It has my favorite ELO tune on it, “LAST TRAIN TO LONDON.”

I really have always felt such a connection to Jeff Lynne, the heart and soul of ELO. He is pretty much how I want to be, and actually how my husband IS. He seems kind, brilliant, not self-absorbed, so willing to work with others and lift them to be the best they can possibly be.

I found out my husband also loves ” LAST TRAIN TO LONDON.” I am so sad I had to wait all these years to see JEFF LYNNE, but it just wouldn’t have been as deeply touching and special if my husband wasn’t right there beside me. We have been through so many trials lately, and to have Jeff SHINE A LITTLE LOVE into our lives right now was perfect.

From the opening song til the rousing ENCORE, the concert went beyond our expectations-way, way beyond. I will never, ever forget this one. I am in what concertgoers call ” CONCERT HANGOVER” stage right now. This is where the music, the crowd, the FEELING of being there just stays deeply embedded in your heart and soul.

Thank you, Jeff Lynne, for a lifetime of bringing so much joy, so much love to all of us!




The Hedonic Treadmill

I really agree with what he has to say and have experienced this!

Abbie's Tree House

From Wikipedia:  The hedonic treadmill, also known as hedonic adaptation, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.

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Not Supposed To Do

Abbie's Tree House

This poem, excerpted from Art Garfunkel’s autobiographical What Is It All But Luminous / notes from an Underground Man ©2017, reminds me of the playfulness of Shel Silverstein:

Today I'll judge my books by their covers.
I'll watch a pot, count unhatched chicks,
I'll fix the unbroken, hold secret gods divine.

A thousand fine soldiers, resplendent in
  their jacket designs, are lined in shelves
        in my aerie--
All the noble sentiments quilled,
Cry for all the milk that's spilled,
Let the unaware buyer be sold--
If the book cover glitters, it's gold;
I'll make a Top Forty polled for pretty veneers,
  how the book appears, and how it feels
    to hold and be held the whole night
Today I'll do exactly what you're not
supposed to do.

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Slow Down the Inexorable Rush

Abbie's Tree House

Excerpted from the preface to E.E Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever, ©2014

Princeton poet Richard P. Blackmur said (E.E.) Cummings’s poems were “baby talk,” and poetry arbiter Helen Vendler called them repellent and foolish: “What is wrong with a man who writes this?” she asked.

Nothing was wrong with Cummings– or Duchamp or Stravinsky or Joyce, for that matter. All were trying to slow down the seemingly inexorable rush of the world, to force people to notice their own lives. In the twenty-first century, that rush has now reached Force-Five; we are all inundated with information and given no time to wonder what it means or where it came from. Access without understanding and facts without context have become our daily diet.

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Today is my birthday. It’s the weirdest day of my year, usually.  It is just easier to celebrate other people’s birthdays for me. I walk around on my birthday and it feels like I have a secret.

My Mom always made a big deal about birthdays. I was spoiled with love, affection and an infinite amount of hugs. I have no doubt that is why I grew up always living with cats.

Luckily, I also married Tom, the best husband in the world. He has a huge, amazing heart that he doesn’t mind wearing on his sleeve, like I do! I would not trade him for anything in the world.

We have both had a tough year. His Mom died April 19th and the time right before that and, of course, after, were heart-wrenching. I want her here. I want her back right now. I wish so much that my mom and Tom’s could have met. I figured they are in heaven now, trading recipes, hugging animals and sprinkling stardust over Tom and I to keep us safe.

All I want is all I’ve got. I say this year after year, day after day. I am 55 on the outside, and about 30 on the inside…some days, more like 15.

Many , many moons ago, while at college, I had the privilege of going to see Mike Farrell (from M*A*S*H*) give a speech. I was a mere 18 years old and thought I had ” lived”. I realize now I hadn’t even started!

The gist of the speech was really what he said at the very end. It brought tears to my eyes and a lump in throat. It still does to this day.  His message was simple and very clear.

What really matters most of all is LOVE.


Time, Time, Time; Look What’s Become of Me…

Abbie's Tree House

Excerpted from Toward One World: The Life of Wendell Willkie by Bill Severn, ©1967:

Another difficulty was his lack of any sense of time. When he was interested in something, time meant little to him and he found it hard to become used to the military day with activities regulated to specific hours. In later years he never wore or carried a watch, refusing to be made conscious of the pressure of minutes by any ticking device on his person. He said that if it was ever really vital to know what time it was, he could always ask somebody.

When you’re doing something with other people, scheduling becomes important.  If you get up early to go church at eight-o’clock, but the service doesn’t start until ten-o’clock because the pastor is engrossed in playing his banjo, you’ll be understandably (and justifiably) upset.

But there is a certain undeniable charm in…

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Love Is

Abbie's Tree House

Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

David Wilkie suggests replacing the word “love” with your own name.  Read it again; how does it sound?

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Unbalanced Force


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Newton’s first law of motion-the law of inertia. The law states than an object in motion stays in motion in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

That’s the way we live our lives. We speed on, happily or not, in the same direction until we collide into something that alters our destination. Sometimes that collision hurts, sometimes it doesn’t, but if we’re lucky, love is that unbalanced force. Love. There is no great force in the universe. ow if we’ll only learn to stop getting out of its way.


Excerpt from ” THE NOEL DIARY,” by Richard Paul Evans.


Richard Paul Evans is one of my favorite authors. My favorite books tend to be character-based, more than plot-based. I am always looking for what tugs at my heart.