It’s quite possible I’ve had so much to write that I haven’t written a thing. Okay, true story: I (almost) don’t know where the month of March went. I almost feel like the Beatles’ Here, There, and Everywhere. Oh, don’t get me singing. Just give me some sweet tea or coffee and I’ll calm down.

There was a chaotic beginning in March. Projects up in the air, should I do this or quit that? Bless her glorious heart, after a morning out as we’re sometimes prone to do, Mum asks, “Would you like me to come over and help you clean your house?” Now, Bedford Manor isn’t a messy place. Not usually. But let me throw a few words out for ya: Flu. Cats. Media. Work. Any of these pieces fitting together? So when Mum asks, I do the only thing a responsible, caring, independent, adult child could do. I cried and said, “Thank you!”

The next thing you know, the house is clean, the body is healthy, and I’m on my way to Seattle. Seattle, people! The Emerald City! The land of . . . Well, the land of my children. And coffee. And probably the sixth location mystery in the City Series. Yes, that’s already in the brain. Suffice to say, I picked a good locale for the story I need to tell there. But that’s a separate post and about three years away. [You can wait, can’t ya?]

I spent three and half days visiting Dot and her husband, as well as enjoying some of the town. I flew up on a Thursday, took the tram directly into downtown and walked myself up Capitol Hill and into my son in law’s work. Dot joined us shortly after and from then on it was go, go, go. Here’s the part where I profusely thank my daughter for telling me in no uncertain terms, “Get over your love of heels. Don’t wear them here. You won’t survive.” She was right. My Keds barely kept the kicks alive. And I’m pretty sure I burned calories from alien beings, that’s how funky the legs didn’t work after ten hours of this thing called walking.

Anyway, I digress . . .

From different Starbucks (I mean, that’s not a surprise, right? That’s as obvious as eating beignets when I visit New Orleans next year.) to unique cuisine to family time around the TV watching, you guessed it, Frasier on Netflix . . . It was the best non-working vacation I’ve had in years. [Okay, so the Frasier thing didn’t happen until after we visited the Space Needle gift shop and a saw a mug that said “Good morning, Seattle!” at which point we looked at each other and said “Ohhhhh, yeahhhh” then went home and watched it over popcorn.] [NOTE TO SELF: Get. That. Mug.]

It’s been difficult to narrow down my favorite moments to just five. Actually, I can’t even say these are my top picks. They just happen to be some of my favorite photos. The moments . . . Well, there’s far too many of them for a Five Things Friday post.

In any event, these are my five favorite Instagrammable moments:

  1. Nippers and I frequented the Willy Wonka of coffee places, the Starbucks Roastery. Here we are enjoying a hot chocolate made with real melted chips, not syrup, and a tiramisu topped with chocolate shavings. I might have been a little Type-A for a few hours after indulging . . .

    Nippers the Frog at Starbucks Roastery

    Nippers at the Roastery

  2. This amazing view of Mt. Rainier from the rooftop. This photo doesn’t do it justice. The beauty of the snow above the green above the city . . . And let’s be real: It’s name is Rainier. For my NOLA Swarm, you’ll know exactly why that excites me. Am I right?

    Mt. Rainier in Washington

    Mt. Rainier from the Rooftop

  3. Honey! Dot and I bought a handful of honey sticks from the Farmers market. These naturally sweet treats are good on their own, but we also love adding them to our hot teas. I bought the variety pack – like This Social Media Ninja Bee could pass up that opportunity.

    Honey Sticks from the Farmers Market in Seattle

    Honey! This Social Bee’s favorite tea sweetener.

  4. Seriously, potato pizza. Serious Pie, from renowned Seattle chef Tom Douglas, is a pizzeria with three locations including one in the Roastery. Dot and Her Man treated me to this amazing, I-didn’t-think-I’d-like-it-but-I-LOVED-it potato pizza the first night. The food and service were so good, when they asked where I wanted dinner the second night, I opted for different pizza, same pizzeria. That was not a mistake. And I’d do it again.

    Potato Pizza, seriously? Yes. At Serious Pie.

    Potato Pizza, seriously? Yes. At Serious Pie.

  5. My goodie bag is full of souvenirs from both the Roastery and corporate Starbucks where they work, the honey sticks, and, no shocker here, how could I pass up a book from the huge two-story Barnes & Noble? I couldn’t afford to buy the purse pen from Tiffany & Co. just yet, so I got myself the next best thing. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

    Seattle Souvenirs

    Seattle Souvenirs: Coffee, honey, and books.

And since I always love to add a bonus photo or video, here it is. I can’t take credit for this. Ten minutes after arriving at the Roastery I met Cyrus who was kind enough to share his Seattle insights, and noted I came on a good weather day. He then showed me this time-lapse video he took a few days earlier of a storm. I loved the video so much I asked if I could share it and he said yes. He also gave us suggestions of places to visit. I later discovered he’s a real estate agent in Seattle, so of course he has become my Go-To Guy for any touristy ideas I might have. I’m trying to convince him he should start a YouTube channel and share his Seattle. If you agree, drop him a line on his real estate Facebook page. Tell him I sent you. And tell him he needs a YouTube channel.

Well, there you have it. My not-only-top-five for Seattle. What are your favorite travel moments? Share them in the comments.

As always, with some love and a big gulp of sweet tea,
Happy reading.
~Molly Jo

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

Under the Hood.

Last month, I took Ursula to the shop. She’d not been driving right for a while but like a person without health insurance (hey, even in this day and age, it happens), we postponed the mechanic’s diagnosis until I was afraid the visit would be more of an emergency than a check up.

Diagnosis, please.

Diagnosis, please.

I was wonderfully surprised, then, when the call came that Ursula could come home with nothing more than a fluid flush and new power steering fluid reservoir. Sure, it wasn’t the band-aid price I was hoping for, but it was still a lot cheaper than, say, a transmission overhaul.

I was impressed with how much better she ran in such short a time. What had I been afraid of? She didn’t look any different, but boy, howdy! does this baby drive better. A little time, a little investment, and my nearly ten-year-old car received that much desired mechanic’s statement, “You have an excellent car.”

It right there and then squashed my desire to purchase a Chevy Equinox (although I wouldn’t turn one down as a gift. Just sayin’.).

Does that ever happen to you? You think you need a replacement, when all you need is a check up? A little look under the hood, a little TLC to get things back on track? Yeah. So, we’re not gonna count how often that happens to me, okay? Let’s just say this once was the trigger for something else.

I’ve been pretty disorganized for a while now. Pretty afraid to get into the dirt; afraid I might not make it out alive. I’ve been pretty chaotic now and then. At home, with the editing, with the writing. My peeps are always telling me I have too much on my plate. Aaron’s always offering to get me a new plate. Go figure.

MoJo Chaos

MoJo Chaos

In the back of my mind, I knew how to get things straight, but couldn’t make the leap. Happily, it happened a few weeks ago. One thing led to another and instead of rabbit-holing into more chaos, I discovered the one puzzle piece I needed to fit the others around.

It all started with moving my treasured cedar chest into the living room, and moving the computer desk out. I’ve designated about forty square feet in my living room as my writing space. There’s my writing desk and chair, reading chair, rug, bookshelf. I’m set.

MoJo Writes

MoJo Writes

I was inspired. As soon as the living room and writing space were complete, I realized how easy it would be to finally conquer the room that shan’t be opened the room formerly known as Dot’s. It’s been closed off since she left in February. Until now, I’d not been able to bring myself to go in there and clean it out. Sure, she took care of most of it before she left. But I couldn’t go into that half-empty room and face the reality that my daughter moved out and I was alone.

I could, however, face the reality that I had an extra room in my house to fix up the way I wanted. And that’s what I clung to. I opened the door, surveyed the not-so-messy mess, and got to work. With Mom’s help, in just two days, the Narnia Spar Oom and the room now known as the Peacock Room are in order. One is my library. The other is my crafting/activity/game room. The changes are subtle, but empowering.

So naturally it doesn’t stop there.

I’ve been controlling more of my schedule instead of letting things flow. This has opened doors for me to take on new projects and clients, as well as continue the work I’m already doing. Writing. Editing. Social Media. I can do it all, and do more of it, now that I’m organized physically and mentally.

But then there’s this.

I’d been unhappy with the Blog for a while now. Frustrated. And for the better part of three weeks, it wasn’t working right. I couldn’t post. I thought about just giving up and going with a whole new blog. Is this a midlife crisis about to happen? All this let-go-and-move-on-to-something-new way of thinking? Let’s hope not.

With guidance from my webmaster, I decided to take a look under the hood. I spent all of last weekend streamlining pages and categories and fixing photos. That’s no joke. 834 posts. A crazy amount of tags and miscellaneous input. After several restless months and seriously thinking of a change, I like love LOVE Frankly, My Dear . . . and don’t want to leave it.

Remember this?

Baseball on Pitcher's Mound. Frankly My Dear, If You Build It, They Will Come.

Field of Dreams

When my webmaster revamped FMD a few years ago, the response was staggeringly favorable.

And my looking under the hood this weekend brought back that original excitement. I like what we’re doing here. All we needed was a little check up.

So look up at the top menu. You’ll see new Page tabs, and new categories. We’re moving forward, but that doesn’t mean we’re moving. Just like cleaning up Dot’s room, a few things moved to storage. You can search “archived” for all the older, unrelated posts. Everything else has been reviewed and retagged for easier finding. There are a few new sections, too.

Sure, it doesn’t look much different. A little spit and polish is all. But the work under the hood? That makes all the difference in the world.

I hope you’ll stick around for another five years. And more. After all, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Am I right?

Keep moving.

Keep moving.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!