I just thanked my employees, right? Because I’m mostly grateful to them these days. And to Dustin for helping make dinners. And to Anne for hanging out with me. My circle has gotten rather small. Good thing it’s full of good people.

I’m grateful for the quiet parts of the afternoons when I have time alone. I’m grateful for the moment every day when Dustin comes home and I’m not alone anymore.

I’m grateful for vegetables.

I’m grateful that all the elephants who have been staying on my third floor have been staying on nights when we have no second floor guests. (But ugh.)

I’m grateful for late night walks around a lovely and safe neighborhood.

Good night.

❤ Laura


Tanya & Lauren, who came to work anyway

Dear Tanya and Lauren,

I know you’re both overdoing it this summer, and that today was a particularly sleep-deprived, achy-muscles sort of day. Thank you for coming in anyway and getting through a slog of a day. I don’t think any of us won awards for our performance today (definitely including myself), but I’m so grateful that you got it and got through the list at all.

We’ll all have a better week this week, I think. We’ll sleep more, do our exercises, and be all ready for whatever these guests throw at us. You guys are the best.
❤ Laura


Today was a nice day. Dustin and Tanya took breakfast service so I got to sleep in. I didn’t sleep much, but I did get to lay around in bed a lot longer than usual, and a promise to myself that I would get out of bed by 8:30 worked, which meant I didn’t wind up pulling my usual recent trick of staying in bed until lunchtime feeling angry and sorry for myself. Take that, brain chemicals!

I got to spend a small mite of time in my garden, and although plans to spend a larger mite got derailed by guests arriving to check in at 9:45, that meant two fewer sets of guests to check in later in the day, which I’m a huge fan of.

I got a bug up my butt to set room rates for 2019 (a thing I didn’t do for 2018 until March of 2018, after spending four months whining about it). I spent an hour on it and got the whole thing done without even stalling to consider how much I dislike this project. (Insider tip: do NOT book any of my rooms for 2019 directly online. The reason it was so easy to set prices is that I set them all unreasonably high to avoid accidentally setting anything unreasonably low. Call me and I’ll give you a better-considered rate. 😉 )

Between that and four sets of check-ins, it was a pretty work-heavy day, but I got to spend most of it in Dustin’s company, which was nice. Tanya got all the (literal) dirty work done, and I am so grateful.

I put up my hail nets and this time they effectively prevented the incoming storm from dropping any hail on us. You’re welcome, neighbors. Friend Anne’s husband even made room in his garage for our car, for which I’m double extra grateful. He gets credit for preventing the hail, too.

For dinner, Anne let me have all the chicken out of her freezer, and Dustin cooked up a delicious feast while I made the slowest French toast in the world. He’s the best.

And now, to bed. I hope you have enjoyed this weird diary entry of a post.

❤ Laura

Andrew and Aysu, who made tasty Turkish treats

Dear Andrew and Aysu,

You came to us through WorkAway and were only able to stay a little time, but I am grateful for the help you gave us while you were here. Our porch looks lovely, thanks to your paint job. Maybe more than that, though, I enjoyed the treats you cooked up for us while you were here. The donuts (I’m sorry I don’t remember the Turkish name for them) were delicious. The enchiladas were so tasty. The coconut balls were the best treat, though. I love everything coconut, and those were both delicious and so different from anything I’ve ever tried to make before.

Thanks again, and enjoy the rest of your travels!

❤ Laura

Shannon Maxwell, my psychologist

Dear Shannon,

I guess you know better than just about anyone how rough a go this summer has been so far, and understand how it might be that I’ve missed more days of thank-you posts in the last two weeks than I did in the whole first six months of writing these notes. Yes, practicing gratitude makes one a more grateful and happy person… but. Things happen. Life and stress happen, and sometimes even a well-trained practice-er of gratitude comes up short.

Thank you for helping me untangle the whys and hows of all this, for the reassurance and practical advice. Thank you for listening to me so well and helping me gauge when and how I can help myself, and when and how I need to look beyond myself for answers.

I’m starting on Wellbutrin (anti-depressants) tomorrow, for the first time in my life. You warned me not to be further depressed that I need anti-depressants, but the truth is, just having the bottle sitting here on my nightstand makes me feel so optimistic. I have been so very fortunate to be surrounded by positivity about mental health for my whole life, and – while I can easily feel more anxious because I’m anxious, or more critical because I’m being critical, or any number of other bummer cycles – I find it no trouble to look at my current situation and think, “this really isn’t my fault. This is illness, and one doesn’t just get rid of illness by thinking harder about being well.” The chemicals in my brain are on bad behavior, and these pills could make them play nice again. These pills could give me back to the tools I need to get myself back to the fully-better place. I honestly can’t wait to start taking them.

I started seeing you two years ago after bouncing between a couple different therapists, and although I started seeing you because we thought a particular technique you work with might apply to one of my anxiety issues, we never even got to that because just talking to you was such a benefit. For some reason, one of my greatest fears in life is not being heard, and with you, I feel heard. I can’t thank you enough.

I graduated from seeing you once, last summer. I’m not thrilled that I’ve… what, relapsed? but I feel better knowing you’re not judging, that you’re there again when I need you, and that I’m going to be able to stop seeing you again – with your help.

Until next week, then: thank you.
❤ Laura


I am grateful for rain in the morning (even if it makes the whole day stupid humid).

I am grateful to guests who say nice things to me at/about breakfast. That’s a time of day when I really like to hear nice things.

I am grateful I got to hear the Chamber Soloists play this morning, even if it was in a room full of kids who weren’t listening, and I reeeeally wanted a drink of water. (I read a story while they played – Peter & the Wolf style. It was really cool.)

I’m grateful for cool sheets to wiggle my hot feet into.

I’m grateful the second backpack Zappos sent fits better than the first backpack. Mailing one backpack back is enough, thankyouverymuch.

I’m grateful for baby Ronan giggles and snuggles.

I’m grateful for all these tiny cupcakes Megan let me take from Garrett’s birthday party. I didn’t even share any of them.

G’night, moon.
❤ Laura

Anne Popejoy, my excuse

Dear Anne,

Thanks for moving into Matt’s house, two doors up from mine. Having you so nearby feels a lot like having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen: comforting and life-protecting. All the sudden, when I just have to Get Out for a bit, I have someplace close and friendly to go. When I need to talk to another human being who isn’t dependent on me for housing, food, or employment, you’re right there. When I just need to snug a happy, chubby baby – there’s Ronan! Dino-butt and all. When I need to pretend I wasn’t checking to see if my cat was in the neighbor’s trap, I can just pretend I was going to your house. Brilliant.

Thanks for being my friend. Thanks for moving into the ‘hood. Stop by for cookies and air conditioning any time.
❤ Laura


Throwing away an empty roll of dental floss makes me feel like a successful adult.

❤ Laura


Today I am grateful to have a safe, comfy shelter to sleep in every night. I’m grateful for sunscreen and Thai iced tea. I wish I could be grateful for cookies, but I ran out. Oh, but I am grateful that the guy came and repaired my oven so I can bake some new cookies. I’m grateful that tomorrow is a holiday and Dustin has offered to start breakfast so I can sleep in a little. I’m grateful for homemade sourdough bread. Meh.
❤ Laura

July, for arriving

Dear July,

You’re the middle month of the summer, which I suppose is why it feels like your arrival must mean the mid-point of my season. It’s not. It’s a big fat fake, but there is still a touch of glee at your arrival, whether the math pencils out or not. At the very least, I have made it to the heart of the summer, the busiest month, and I know once I get through you, I really am on the downhill slope.

So, nice to see you. May you be kinder to me than 2016 and should I be so lucky that you’d be as kind as last year.

And could you please do something about the height of my tomato plants? June really slacked off on that front, so if you could make up some of the difference, I’d be grateful.
❤ Laura