1.  I don’t know where you are but here it’s a balmy [AKA sweat-from-your-eyeballs] 90+ degrees.

2.  I’m holed up inside because the west is burning and that smoke has to go somewhere so we’ve got an Air! Quality! Alert!

3.  This might mean nothing to you. Maybe you’re Johnny Lumberjack rolling on through your day with a pickaxe and a song.

4.  But the fun of being me means breathing in fine particulates causes headaches and general ickiness.

5.  See also: cigarette smoke in all its forms.

6.  Yes, even outdoors. Even from a dozen yards away.

7.  Even if it’s just a hint of smoke seeping from your pores.

8.  I’m a good time, right?

9.  Now that I think of it I’m pretty lucky none of my close friends or family smoke.

10.  I sound super judgy, I know, but when I say the nicotine headache is blinding, well…

11.  It is what it is.

12.  Last Friday I tried my hand at good old fashioned fried chicken.

13.  Because she’s my trusted source for all things seriously southern I used the Spicy Crispy Fried Chicken from Divas Can Cook.

14.  First, DELICIOUS.

15.  Second, do not discount the “spicy” in this title. It’s got k-i-c-k. Adjust hot sauce accordingly.

16.  Third, it’s a time suck but totally worth it. Consider yourself forewarned.

17.  I’ve tucked myself away for a bit trying to sort some stuff out.

18.  I like to think I can process at home but sometimes I need fresh surroundings to get out of my own way.

19.  It’s taken a few days of work but I’ve finally turned a corner. Check it out.

20.  Arguing with lifelong patterns causes stress. Stop expecting a miraculous change if you’ve seen the same behavior for years.

21.  Some people will never accept me as I am. I accept myself; that is enough.

22.  My decisions are my own. How other people feel about them is irrelevant.

23.  I love myself unconditionally and choose to be with people who do the same.

24.  I will not make myself smaller to feel loved.

25.  Choose your dealbreakers and own them.

26.  Figure out what your stories are and break them down. (This has a lot to do with those “shoulds” we talked about.)

27.  So yeah, I’ve been a busy girl.

28.  On the upside I’m less spontaneously weepy.

29.  I sure do miss the fur babies, though. When I get home those nuggets are gonna stick like glue.

30.  Phoebe and Seven are a particularly talented tag team.

31.  Phoebe shoves herself against my leg and tracks me room to room.

32.  Seven thinks that’s the ideal time to catapult across my path.

33.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve lurched sideways and caught myself on the counter.

34.  Kind of a miracle I haven’t sprained something along the way.

35.  Plus “the dog and cat tripped me” sounds like the sort of story that gets a followup for domestic violence, for Pete’s sake.

36.  I’ve finished reading I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown and cannot recommend it highly enough.

37.  Also finished Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing: Essays by Lauren Hough. Brilliant.

38.  I’ve got a few more underway at the moment. We’ll see how they go.

39.  I was doing so good this week — lemon pepper tuna, egg salad, veggie omelets. Right up until last night’s Cookout run.

40.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t deny myself the occasional milkshake. But for the record, if I ever forget please remind me that the “huge” burger is called that for a reason. Blech. The regular is plenty big enough.