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It is the tail end of the season for our feathery lavender mistflowers. They provide a fall nectar source for bees and moths and butterflies. They reseed freely, and you can harvest seeds when you see them growing and toss them into the garden to sink or swim. If you have a favorable location, some swim!

If you work in law enforcement and you see flowers like this growing in the garden of a cafe in my town, I disavow all knowledge and assure you the resemblance is purely accidental. Plus they are remodeling that building, putting the flowers in jeopardy, which would make it a charitable act to rescue some seeds, which I of course would never do in case that would count as stealing. Glad we got that out of the way …

I learned something new about caregivers. About 40% of caregivers are men, and they are less apt than their female counterparts to seek help. I do not know the gender makeup of our readers at the Bossy Spa, but I would like to specifically welcome men caregivers. Love and forgiveness and laughter and support are for everyone, including you.

We have a serious writing exercise today. I would like to to forgive yourself in writing for something that bothers you. Write an affirmative statement about that thing, for example: It was a good thing I harvested seeds from the cafe garden because the flowers will not likely survive the construction project.



You may have noticed that the Bossy Spa icon when you share the web site is a tiny moth on a yellow daisy. I decided a moth makes for a better mascot than a butterfly for the Bossy Spa. Butterflies are sometimes so beautiful that they are intimidating in their perfection. Moths are friendly and approachable. You never feel dowdy next to a moth.

The role of caregiver is pretty much the least glamorous job in the world. You know this already, since you are reading this rather than an article onĀ Twelve Fabulous Makeup Techniques for Smoky Eyes. Your eyes will have a chance to be smoky if your patient leaves a pot on the stove.

Let’s agree that you are not going to win first place in the Caregiver Beauty Pageant. You will not have time to enter and neither will anyone else.

Today you are warmly welcomed into a community of moths, gray and brown and white, and nothing flashy. You can wear a polyester velour pantsuit from the 1980s and still fit in. No one will question you about weird stains.

There is even more good news. Your inner beauty shines through. Even when you are weary, warmth and grace and kindness pour out of you. You cannot tell this is happening, but trust me it is.



I got the gorgeous silver oak leaf and redwood needle ornaments you sent in the mail. I love the dangling acorn and pine cone, giving the ornaments some motion. Somehow, amid all the demands of your busy life, you manage to pay attention to the fact that I am collecting natural leaf ornaments plated in metals. The ones I have so far also hang from green ribbon, so yours will fit right in.

In Canada a few years back I picked up maple leaf ornaments. Later I found other leaves, the details of which I forget from year to year, remembering them anew when I open the Christmas box. I will tuck yours into the box too, and in a month when I bring it up from the cellar I will see them again and be reminded of your thoughtfulness.

I am writing with the first fire of the season in the wood stove. Temperatures are getting colder, and we may dip below freezing tonight. I have duct taped my beehive window shut to help the bees stay warm. The window warped so the latch doesn’t close tight, and bees need all the help they can get when the temperatures get cold.

Before we get to winter, though, we have Halloween. Our mother made a beautiful Queen Elizabeth for her costumed luncheon today. She wore the pink dress she got for your wedding and her veiled hat from the 1950s, complete with a pink silk peony and pearl hatpin. It is no wonder I made alterations to my costume including making a floral wreath for my hair this morning. Our family has learned something. Fun is for everyone, not just for children.

I keep my eyes open for oriental dragon ornaments for your dragon tree. Thank you for my leaves. You are lovable. Will you write that in the comments? Write “I am lovable,” more than once, if you wish.



I am typing this with only one good hand. The other hand got caught in a tussle between the dogs and an orange neighbor cat. I scooped up the scared cat and handed him to his owner across the fence, resulting in nine puncture wounds, fortunately just in my left hand. You wished for kittens, and they are turning up everywhere. I am watching for infection and hoping the injury will not get in the way of dancing. Meanwhile, I am just lowering my standards for what needs to get done.

Lowering my standards is one of the most powerful coping skills I know. How clean is clean enough? You guessed it. It is clean enough already. Lots of problems can be solved this way. How can I bathe and wash my hair with deep puncture wounds in my hands? Bathing is so yesterday. Voila!

After the injury I oddly decided to play the piano, which I don’t do very often. I wanted to gently move my fingers to keep them supple, so they wouldn’t stiffen up and swell. I can’t say that it worked very well, but it was fun to play for a while.

I have not only been playing piano. I have been playing period. Yesterday I played with fabric and dye. You know what I have decided about play? Play is productive. When I play a lot I am much more effective and creative in other areas of my life. Plus I am happier.

Do you have time for play? If not, let me know and I will send you my musical thumb gourd. You can play a song after ploinking on the gourd for about five minutes. If you play it every day for a week, you will achieve full mastery. It is mildly out of tune, but can be adjusted to be mildly out of tune in new ways.

What will you do for play that will impress me sufficiently that I won’t put the thumb gourd in the mail to you?



We are going to talk about things that are annoying. You know you can’t say these things to just anybody or they will tell you that you ought to be grateful that at least you don’t have a malignant pizza slice hanging off the end of your nose or some other such nonsense.

And it’s true. You always have reason to be grateful that things aren’t worse. That does not mean that you are required to be a complete idiot and not notice when people or circumstances are annoying.

When you are a caregiver, annoying things happen all the time. It’s no wonder you sometimes find yourself short tempered. Under the circumstances being annoyed is normal.

If you are the one caregiver in the world who never finds the situation irritating, you are unsuitable for this blog. Please apply for sainthood and proceed immediately to the hereafter, where you will undoubtedly be received with trumpets, cookies, and other fanfare.

If you are still here, allow yourself to kvetch a bit, since it is just us and nobody judging. Complete the sentence below, or even write a whole paragraph, but under no circumstances are you to criticize yourself for complaining. Today, right here, you can just say how it is.

It annoys me when …




Life as a caregiver is often unglamorous. Sometimes you wake up feeling like a fungus. You know those days. Well, when you are outside in nature, nobody cares about your hairdo.

If you were here, I would tell you we are going for a walk today. Yes, you can bring your dog. No, you do not need to comb your hair.

A few days ago on my walk I saw this lichen on a rock. I am posting it here so you can see that fungus looks good from my point of view. It is a nice bright yellow with an interesting texture. It does help to have some cute acorns beside you. Still, when you feel like a fungus, you still look beautiful to me. This is actually lichen, which is a combination of fungus and bacteria.

If you have time today, go for a walk, but don’t slap your feet down like your town has hired you to help flatten the pavement. That is just one more responsibility that you don’t need. Walk mindful of being gentle on your feet. They are what hold you up.

Maybe you don’t have time for a walk, but you may have time to post a comment to finish this sentence:

When I have time, I will walk …