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‘On the Guest List’ is Not a Groupie Memoir

Published July 12, 2015 by Maryanne

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My  memoir “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

Even though the sub-title clearly reads “Adventures of a Music Journalist” I’ve had a few people assume this book is a groupie book. It’s not.

My synopsis on Amazon reads:

“On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is a fun, upbeat memoir about a girl who loves music and life in general. Maryanne paints a vivid picture of being a teenager in the 1970s and young woman in the 1980s — and how the punk, new wave and rock scene was from a young fan’s viewpoint. Life truly comes together for Maryanne once she creates a career for herself reporting on the music she loves, writing for publications such as The Aquarian Arts Weekly, music.com and Punk magazine. Unlike other music memoirs, there is no downward spiral into drugs and addiction. Nor is it a groupie “tell all.” “On the Guest List” is simply a compilation of mostly happy memories straight from the pages of Maryanne’s diaries — and of course, her heart.

I remember the first time I heard the term “groupie” in Creem and Circus magazines when I was 13-year-old, back in the summer of 1977. I looked up the word in the dictionary. It wasn’t there, but I figured out soon enough what it meant.

I was only joking when I wrote my ambition was to be a groupie in my high school year book. I hated my high school, so putting something shocking was my way of getting back at a place where I spent three miserable years (my freshman year was at a college prep school that I loved).

Even though I was never a groupie, the groupie books are good reads to me because they’re about music. And I’m sure a lot of groupies are cool, as I’ve met a few over the years and had a lot of fun hanging out with them. But for me, I never wanted to be out of control in a relationship. Whether something works out or not, it needs to at least start off evenly. Not only that, when I first became a diehard music fan at the age of 13, when you think of all these bands I looked up to and admired, the musicians were already in their 20s and 30s. And that’s damn old to a child!

At 15 when real boys came into the picture, local musicians were the ones who really excited me. First of all they were cuter then the big rock stars because they were my age. And because they went to my school (or another school) and weren’t in magazines, they were my equal. Plus, they were accessible. I didn’t have to chase after them like groupies chase after famous musicians. While there were times when I made the first move, more often the guy did.

At 15, I had a lot figured out already. For instance, once I met someone really cool and talented, it wasn’t enough to be mere arm candy. So when my first musician boyfriend performed a party, in my basement, it was important to me to introduce the band. That night I wore satin pants and a black beaded hat over my long brown hair, with blonde highlights. Then I took the microphone and got the party started. That made me feel like I was somebody too. Not a lazy person in the background who is identified by her boyfriend.

As a young go-getter I took all kinds of music lessons, but it was writing I preferred. Before I became a professional writer, I co-wrote and co-starred in an off-Broadway play. I always either worked for publishing companies or music companies. I needed to do something I believed in. A lot of people I dated admired me for this, others were jealous about it, so I’d have to leave them.

This is where most groupies miss the boat. They obsess over the object of their desire and lose themselves in the process. I’ve read too many groupie books that ended so negatively. The woman appears sad and bitter as she goes back to living the same simple life she did before she obsessed over the rock star, not knowing or ever experiencing her own worth. Some are married and still sounding regretful for being scorned by their former musician they stalked. It’s so sad and I feel bad for their husbands. Some even exaggerate the relationship and it’s so obvious they are lying.

That’s never the kind of life I wanted.

When I was 17, as I wrote in “Guest List” I was able to meet The Bay City Rollers when they were recording an album in New Jersey. Guitarist Eric Faulkner was a good 10 years older than me and hit on me that evening, asking me to come to his bedroom. We had our arms around each other and were face to face. He was really cute, super funny and very very nice. But I declined. Because if anything did happen, I knew I’d never see him again. Teenage romance is hard enough as it is, I didn’t need that kind of rejection.

Pamela Des Barres wrote in one of her books that her relationships didn’t work because she put these guys on a pedestal, they could only look down on her. And she was smart enough to figure it out and end up leading a happy life. As did many other groupies — the ones who were intelligent and able to move on.

My husband had a taste of success with his 1980s band Pharoah. They were signed, had a video on MTV and played all major NYC nightclubs. People like Jeff Beck, Gene Simmons and members of Metallica were in their audience (Jeff Beck at Club Nirvana and Gene Simmons at The Cat Club). I followed Pharoah around in their earlier years, before they got to that high status. I never knew that in years to come the bass player, Dennis Lords, would marry me. It was at a Pharoah reunion in 2005 that Dennis and I had a nice chat and realized how attracted we were to each other. Some mistakenly thought we were together in the past, but I never ever knew him that way before! I guess our chemistry is so intense, it seems like we’ve been together a lot more than our almost 10 years.

And as successful as my husband was with his music, I never felt like his inferior. From day one he was so impressed that I was a full time journalist. He still keeps the first business card I gave him in his wallet.

When we do something that’s related to his music career, I’m proud to be “Dennis’s wife.” When he does something that is related to my business, he’s happy to be “Maryanne’s husband.” We are a team … as it should be!

This was always my goal, aspiring to have a very happy relationship and marriage. And I got one because I never settled for being second best.

Maryanne and Dennis by Jeff

Maryanne and almost famous husband, Dennis Lords

Pharoah on “Late Night with Johnny P”

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) and “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/)

She’s also an award-winning journalist and public speaker.

To have Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta speak at your organization, email her at maryannechristiano@gmail.com for pricing and availability.

I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are!

Published July 3, 2015 by Maryanne

records 2The best girls are diehard music fans!

Big truth here (and what my husband says makes me special ♥).

Whenever there’s an event, other wives/girlfriends run off to smoke a cigarette, take selfies in the bathroom, check their smart phones …. whatever! But I’m happy being left behind with my very good looking husband and all the other guys talking about MUSIC!

An interesting stereotype right? But 90 percent of the time it is true.

I’ve been a diehard music fan since I was a kid. (It’s all documented in my book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X). And from day one, it was apparent that girls weren’t as interested in music as I was. One of my touchy little girlfriends scolded me saying I talked about Freddie Mercury too much. My mom said she was right.

I felt defeated until I realized, that’s exactly the kind of girl a guy likes — one who knows music. And for that very reason, I always had more guy friends than girlfriends. A guy once said to me, “Every girl wants to be told she’s different. But you … you’re really different!”

I wrote about this on Face Book yesterday and surprisingly, I got the “thumbs up” from quite a few of my female friends! It lead to an hour long conversation from one girl I was friends with in the 1990s. We took a walk down memory lane discussing all the bands we saw together and then shared the highlights of some of our favorites that we saw in later years. It was the most fun I had on Face Book in ages and I don’t see something like that happening again soon, as females bonding over music is rare. This is why, in my second book, “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/) I had two girlfriends, Janey and Valerie, being big music fans.  This way, the book could be more attractive to male readers who normally wouldn’t read chick lit.

Actor Scott Schiaffo, best known for his role as the Chewlies Man in Kevin Smith’s “Clerks,” endorsed “Love Cats” saying, “Maryanne’s zeal for life and passion for creativity shines through in all of her work. Here in her first book of fiction she gives us multidimensional characters mitigating love and growing pains as they manicure their pop culture lifestyle at the tail end of the ’80s. It’s romance — Gen X style! I could not get enough of Janey and Beck.”

I was thrilled that Scott enjoyed my little romance novel. Of course with so many musical references you can’t go wrong when it comes to hip guys from the Gen X generation! And that’s just it … guys who are big music freaks really are the best guys. I always found musicians and music fans to be the deepest, smartest, funniest, dedicated and most honest. Sure, there are some that fit the stereotype of being cheaters and assholes, but there’s definitely more that are not. In our circle, all the musicians and music lovers are super guys that anyone would enjoy being around. Hey, maybe that’s why I don’t mind being left at bar with them!

So, ladies, perhaps I can inspire you … when your group runs off to wherever for whatever, why not stay behind? That’s where all the fun is!

Now enjoy some cool tunes:

Trust is a Word All Lovers Know

Published May 12, 2015 by Maryanne

trustA few years ago I ended a friendship with a girl I couldn’t see eye-to-eye with on the issue of trust. She called the end of our friendship a “falling out” and in a classless manner trashed me openly on the internet (on another friend’s Face Book page).

That was not a cool thing to do, or an honest one on her part. What happened was not a “falling out” as I was open to someday becoming friends again — if she grew up.

Hear me out …

This girl was with a guy over 20 years, yet still had trust issues with him.

As her friend, I couldn’t handle that. Any normal person would want what is best for their friends, so they can learn, grow and be happy.

Plus, if a girl has trust issues with her own partner, how could I expect us to grow as friends? I couldn’t. I’ve had distrustful girlfriends in the past so I know firsthand, if they are questioning and accusing their partners, next thing you know they’ll be questioning and accusing YOU! And by me questioning the lack of trust in her relationship, it had her running from our friendship. There was no “let’s talk.”The friendship was over, just like that. Even after I wrote her a beautiful email trying to reason with her. No. She didn’t trust her lover. She didn’t trust me. She will be a friend to no one because she’s afraid to open her heart. She, like anyone who is in a distrustful “relationship” is just lying to him/herself. A distrustful relationship is not a relationship at all. It’s just a waste of time … and in her case, a waste of life.

Trust is the greatest gift my husband ever gave me.

Trust is the most beautiful thing in the world. To know that someone is your baby and that they will never hurt you, and they know you will never hurt them either,  it’s such a precious thing that we should all aspire to.

Trust is such a relief. To be in a relationship without constantly having to prove your love, just safely knowing it’s there is a miracle from God … a big one.

I remember, before I met my husband, some of the crazy distrusting men I dated. It’s the most awful feeling to be accused of something you haven’t done. To have someone throw out your CDs because he’s jealous of the lead singer. To have someone reprimand you for casually looking at your watch, thinking you have another date to go on. To have someone behave as if he owns you.

I could cry thinking back to all the hurt I went through as a single woman. The best thing about my past, though, is when there was distrust, I got out pretty quick. Because nothing says “I don’t really care about you” more than distrust. Distrust is ugly. It means jealousy, insecurity, heartaches and bad times. None of that is a foundation for a good relationship. Distrust doesn’t mean someone cares, it means they are co-dependent. They are using you, not loving you.

When you’re in an unhappy relationship, you’re constantly thinking of that unhappy relationship … is he/she gonna call? Am I doing the right thing? Will he/she get mad if I do this or that?

But when you’re in a genuine, loving relationship, you don’t have to think about much at all. You just enjoy it!

That is why, when seeking true love, TRUST should be above all else.

TRUST = SOUL MATE.

TRUST = TRUE LOVE.

TRUST = MAGIC.

I wish everyone a beautiful, trusting relationship. Because it’s out there waiting for you.

Be open.

Be happy.

Be YOU-nique!

 

Entitlement

Published April 26, 2015 by Maryanne

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I’m HAPPY!

(Deal with it!)

One of my biggest complaints in life, as those who follow my blog know, is when people begrudge others for being happy.

It’s just not fair when you’re doing what you want, in life, and others have steam coming out of their noses because of it. Oh yeah, that green-eyed monster rears its ugly head.

We all know our strengths and weaknesses and my biggest strength is that I’m a good person and a great friend. Morrissey has a song called “We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful.” Not me! I’ll be the one who cheers you on! Do you have great news? Give me a call! I’ll support you.

I’ve had people call to tell me they knew I’d be happy for them when their own family (or spouse) wouldn’t get it. People just can’t wait to share their good news with me, because I am genuine in being happy right along with them.

So, why is it wrong that I’m doing what I want?

Can’t you be happy for me too?

Sound familiar? It did to my husband when he was listening to the lyrics of “Entitlement” by Jack White.

My husband said, “You have to listen to this! Jack White wrote a song that you could have written! You can write a blog about this!”

I listened to it … and, yeah, sad but true, that’s how neglected I sometimes feel when it comes to other people. I’m so tired of people who are competitive and always trying to “one-up” me. I’m so tired of being quiet and downplaying my accomplishments around certain people because their jealousy is so apparent.

If you can’t be happy for me, like I am for YOU, you best believe I’ll be avoiding you as much as possible.

There is no shame in the fact that I’m happily married, that I love my work and never want to retire, that I live each day to the fullest, and that at 51, I am still confident, attractive and in shape.

I got all I ever wanted. And I am entitled.

The other half of it, is how many people feel “entitled” in a negative sense. Those who feel the world owes them something. Kids who want jobs, but don’t want to work … spending all the company’s time while they are on cell phones, texting.

A few days ago, I wrote about parents coddling their children as if they could do no wrong. These kids grow up believing they are always right and have hissy fits when they are corrected. I know, because as far back as seven years ago, when I was still in the work force, editors didn’t dare tell the young-uns who just got out of college their mistakes. They couldn’t handle the critique like the more seasoned writers could. You had to walk on eggshells. And this is the direction the world is heading towards: bowing down to the entitled.

Jack White’s song, clarified that.

Even in his superstar status — where he sits — he sees this new family way that we, as civilians, are enduring day-by-day.

It’s the way of the world, how some parents are giving the “tools of life” to their kids by entitlement — and not hard work.

Jealousy, an Ugly Disease

Published June 11, 2013 by Maryanne

jealous-women-04(Photo swiped from Google search)

I’m like an old shoe, I can be friends with anyone. I’ve been told by many that I’m the most loyal friend a person can have, that I always make people feel comfortable and that I light up a room when I walk in. I’m also the most forgiving and forgetting. I love to make people laugh and focus on the positive.

Over the years I’ve seen candid photos of myself with other women taken at parties — more than once —  where I was smiling like the blonde in the above photo; and the other woman was looking at me negatively, like the brunette is doing.

Some may poo-poo it and say that it was just a bad shot of the other girl, but I see it differently. You just know, deep in your heart, when someone has it in for you. And that is sad — to be truly a good person yet suffer as victim of that ugly disease known as jealousy.

When I was a little girl, my mother taught me, if someone has something you don’t have, don’t be jealous, be happy. I think that was the greatest lesson my mother ever taught me because I’ve grown into an amazing woman who is truly happy when others are happy. I dread gossip, back-stabbing, dirt and drama. I want to live in a la-la-la-land of everything my heart — and your heart — desires. I want nothing but good for all! I want to hear all your happy stories. I want to hug you and rejoice in your good fortune — again and again and again!

I am so blessed that I have the most wonderful girlfriends in the world who are like me and don’t have a jealous bone in their body … except, some admit, when it comes to men.

Being jealous in a relationship is just as bad as being jealous of other women — if not worse. Being jealous in a relationship means you lack the biggest thing that holds a relationship together — trust.

Since I met my husband later in life, when I was 42 and he was 46, of course we both had pasts. But the beauty of it, is that we met when we were both available! Two months prior I had broken up with one of the biggest assholes I ever dated and around the same time my husband’s divorce was finalized. It was such a gorgeous thing that we met when we were both FREE! No sneaking around, no lying, no feelings of guilt. We were free to fall madly, deeply, intensely in love — as we did! What a blessing! Neither of us will ever have to question: “If she/he cheated on him/her, will she do it to me?”

When I met my husband, I had more male friends than female friends. Some were exes. And my gorgeous husband was so cool, so trusting, that it didn’t matter that I stayed in touch with them. After dating quite a few (but in fairness, not all) jealous guys my entire life, it was completely refreshing to find someone who had so much faith in me and our relationship. That alone made me fall even harder for my husband.

My husband is friends with his ex girlfriend (not ex-wife)’s brother — an amazing guy who I love having in our life. If I was a jealous person and forbid my husband to be friends with his ex’s brother, I’d be missing out because this friend is one of the coolest guys in the world. (If there are any single girls in NJ that want a great guy, he’s available, I’ll hook you up! But you better be worth it!) I also had the pleasure of meeting his sister a few years ago and she is super great too. Her daughter is a great little actress and we saw her in a school play.

So, as I’m expressing my wedded bliss, I have to say I never take our non-jealousy for granted. Prior to meeting my husband, I’ve had so many ugly escapades with jealous exes and well as jealous female friends, I count my blessings every minute that I’m so happy, in a satisfying, drama-free relationship and that none of my girlfriends are jealous either.

Let me count the horrible things (in no particular order) I’ve experienced in my life due to jealousy of others:

1. The time I went to a record fair with a girl I thought was my friend. She was an aspiring writer, but was so jealous that we ran into a famous rock star who complimented me on my writing. The next day she wrote me a super long email telling me how she hates me and hopes I “rot in hell” because all she ever hears about is my writing career.

2. A psycho ex who DEMANDED I take down a poster of HIM lead singer, Ville Valo, because he thought I looked at it before I went to bed. This same ex threw out my D-Generation CD because he was jealous of the lead singer, Jessie Malin. This same psycho ex was so jealous he threw out my JUST FOR FUN porn collection (magazines and videos I had from the 1970s and a Forum Penthouse magazine that had Cher on the cover). HOW CAN YOU BE JEALOUS OF PAPER IS BEYOND ME! I also, after the relationship ended, found that several other CDs that he didn’t like were missing.

3. Another psycho ex who was so jealous he wouldn’t take me to a restaurant unless I wore jeans. I couldn’t wear anything pretty. I had to blend in. And because of his insecurity he was on a constant mission to call me ugly names to make me feel bad about myself. He thought he was such a big deal, but I was bored in less than two months.

4. I was so happy to have reconnected with a cousin on Face Book a few years ago. We were going back and forth with emails and even planning to see each other. Then when I announced my engagement, she totally cut me off, stopped answering my emails and I never heard from her again. (And I not only went to her wedding, but her sister’s too, as well as engagement showers!) Same thing happened with several other pseudo “friends” who failed to acknowledge my engagement or wedding because they were jealous. ENVY IS SO UGLY!

5. An ex who threw a fit after we went to a movie because during the movie I pulled out a pen and pad and said, “This would be a cool thing to write about.” I was supposed to be holding his hand the entire movie. Bad Maryanne!

6. The few people I’ve worked with over the years who cut me off whenever I spoke about my happiness with my husband. I wasn’t “allowed” to speak of good things with my love because they were having problems with their wives or boyfriends or f*ck buddies. NOT COOL!

So for anyone who thinks jealousy is a “good thing” and it means you care — it doesn’t. It means you have trust issues. It means you’re insecure and can use a major self-esteem boast. It means you have an inferiority complex. It can even mean that YOU have something to hide. (What’s that saying, a man will accuse his chick of cheating if he’s a cheat himself? Oh yeah, I see this a lot!)

The good news is jealousy can be fixed with hard work and good intentions. If you Google “How to Stop Being Jealous” there are many great articles that give excellent tips. Don’t let this ugly disease control your life and emotions.

And to anyone who has hurt me due to jealousy, I am more than willing to forgive if they come to me with an apology that I very much deserve — thankyouverymuch!

jealous

no-jealousy

“JEALOUS AGAIN” by BLACK FLAG

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Happiness Now!

Published June 1, 2013 by Maryanne

Happiness

While I always have so many exciting things going on in my life, it’s also important not to overlook the little things that make me happy from day to day. So here’s a little list of the “little” things that have been going on the past few days … in no particular order.

1. I think it’s so great that several people who aren’t on WordPress have created accounts to comment on my blogs (and some from several months back, which is so super cool to know someone likes your blog enough to go back and read previous months!) YEAH, go me!

2. Yesterday I was in a boutique and found a great outfit, including shoes and earrings, for a wedding on Sunday. I love boutiques — not malls. I love the personal touch. I love how in a boutique the owners will run around for you, scouting out the perfect shoe for your outfit. It makes you feel like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” every time!

3. Twice this week I was told — in person (not on the internet) that I  look younger than I am. Once I heard 29 (from a woman around my age) Another time I heard 35 (from a teenage girl). I am 49! So good health habits definitely pay off!

4. I FINALLY got around to learning how to give communion to the home bound. So — YAY — I am now officially part of the Caring Ministry! I also offered to make phone calls to the home bound who may be lonely.

5. MY CAT BILLY IS GETTING HEALTHY AGAIN! I am so happy!! Billy who is 19 was not doing too well. But thanks to some medication recommended by the vet, he is walking better, eating more and no longer hiding! This cat will definitely live to see 20. I am beyond psyched!!

6. I was so inspired by a 15-year-old girl who came to our door selling cookies and candles last night. She had a top notch personality to begin with and she seemed to really like my husband and I because she kept talking to us. One thing she said really touched my heart and soul. She said that she gave a free box of cookies to a mother of an autistic child and paid for it out of her own pocket. She said, “I know how hard life can be.” She also had asthma but was working so hard in the heat. She was such a little doll and so good hearted, I just wanted to adopt her right then and there. At the end of our conversation, I said, “I HAVE to give you a hug!” and I hugged her. Kids like that are the best!

7. I’ve said it before, and I have to say it again — my husband is just the best! It’s such a blessing to have someone constantly on your side, doing so much to make your life happy. He’s just too good! We never take each other for granted. We always call and email each other during the day and send each other pictures of cute animals, make up silly songs for each other. My heart still races when he comes home from work! I LOVE YOU DENNIS!

8. May 2013 was the best money-making “May” since I started my business in 2009! And 80 percent doing what I love best, WRITING! (The other 20 percent of my money was made managing my entertainers and one author). And the beauty of it all is, I’m not busting my ass either. I’ve had many days off, sometimes even four days in a row (not including the holiday weekends) which gave me some extra time to visit church and go to bible studies during the week. NICE!

I love all the editors I am currently working with and all my musical clients and the author. Life is just so perfect when you can work with people you love and respect, even when during times it’s not perfect.

9. Last night I dreamed my grandmother was alive again! She went to a scary movie that I recommended and thanked me for the recommendation. (The movie dream was so scary it woke me up — but then I was able to get up and do some work at 5 a.m. and I love the early mornings!)

10. It’s June and I have at least FOUR concerts to look forward to this month, starting with Jay & the Americans at the IZOD tonite!

There are a lot more, but I’ll stop here because the sun is shining so brightly in my office window and I want to get this wonderful day started!

 

Mid-Week Happiness!

Published May 15, 2013 by Maryanne

 wedding pictureWith my husband, who makes me happiest!

I just had an annoying phone conversation with a self-centered relative and have now made a vow to distance myself from that person because it’s always all about him. This person will go out of his way to aggravate in order to be right — even if he can’t provide an answer as to why he thinks he’s right, when I gave him the opportunity THREE TIMES to explain himself.

I can’t let this relative continue to hurt me — especially since he’s doing it on purpose without an ounce of remorse. (The term for people like this, I believe, is “shit stirrer.”) This is not good for my health, so the decision to avoid is a good one. Some people you can’t even confront or talk. I tried and he didn’t care enough to make an effort when I called him on his crap. Enough is enough. I am not a human punching bag.

So turning that frown upside down …

What I’ve learned, from my husband actually, is to focus on what you have in life, not what you don’t have. And what I don’t get from relatives, I get from friends, from church, from my work and of course from my husband and his family.

So this post I am writing is to show two things: 1. Even though I love my life, it’s not always perfect. Mainly because I never had the perfect family. 2. That no matter what bad things happen to me, I love to focus on the positive.

In just one day, today, many wonderful things happened. But the happiest thing of all is that my editor for Skinny News (the health magazine) praised my writing to high heavens and said what a pleasure it was working with me (over the phone, we never met in person).

I think my work for the week at Skinny News is complete. I have one more article to write for another publication this week and can definitely squeeze in time for mid-week church service and bible study on Friday — yay!

The second happy thing was that for the past week I thought I was having allergy problems again. Yesterday I suffered so much with burning eyes and eye pain — and my vision was blurry in one eye (SCARY!). Then I made the connection, I switched from one mascara to another last week and that was probably the culprit. So today I went back to the original one (Zuzu Luxe masacra  rules — it’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t test on animals!) and my eyes feel great and my vision is back to normal.

The third thing is that my husband is home today. As soon as I finish up I’m making homemade hummus and we’ll go for a walk on this gorgeous day.

The fourth thing is that I have an event very early tomorrow morning, interviewing students for another article. I love the fact that I’ll be getting up extra early and just having time to exercise and eat. I haven’t woke up without checking emails first in ages — so it will be nice to not face the computer until much later in the morning, maybe even noon!

And I shall stop now because my handsome husband just came in my office and smothered me with kisses.

Off to la-la-land I go!

Have a beautiful night, fellow bloggers. Know that some of you make me very happy too! xo