Favorite Things, Humor, Life, Nonsense, Pets, Soul Homework, What I Kept

What I Kept | January 2023

These are the things I kept on my phone in the first month of 2023.

Click here to read previous What I Kept posts.

Oh Roger…

My parents got us a tabletop fire pit for Christmas and on New Years Day we toasted marshmallows.

My friend sent this to me. Why is this so true??

Speaking of…


I’m either reading your lips so I can understand you, trying to figure out which of your eyes to look into and missing what you’re saying, or, if we lock eyes, getting so overstimulated that I have to look away! 😅 #crossculturalcommunication #actuallyautistic #neuroqueer #latediagnosedautistic #selfdiagnosissaveslives #autisticadult #audhd #squirrelgang🐿 #antiableism

♬ original sound – 🌿Quinn🌿 (they/them)
This is me….

When this song appeared in my Spotify feed the week I got my bird camera, it felt very universal.

Quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson

I’ve seen articles about this topic at least four times in the last month, so I took a screenshot of it. It feels as if the universe wants me to share it with you.

Here are two articles:

The Emerging Science of Awe and Its Benefits | Psychology Today

How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health – The New York Times

I’m struggling with this…

I love this so much.

No, but I will now…

We kept the projector lights from Christmas up in our front yard because they create a really cool show on our ceiling. They were really amazing this night because it had snowed and covered up the light. It was as if we were in an aquarium.

This is how a TikTok app sees me. I see my grandmother. My mother says I look like my great grandmother. I absolutely love that.

I am doing this.

My parents bought us this snow globe at Costco many years ago. I absolutely love this thing.

I love when he sleeps like this.

That’s a solid plan

Ella had birthday money. So, meet El and Max, our two new roommates (short for Eleven and Maxine). If you know, you know.


This one took me out. 😶

What’s cool about this is that it came from a used book store that my friend Melanie (not the same Melanie) recommended. These coincidences make me happy.

Since January 1, I’ve been taking a selfie every day. I’m not sure in what capacity I intend to share them. Here is one of them.

It’s been mostly cloudy all of January, but the sky was my favorite color of purple on this morning, and the background of my Apple weather reflected that.


been a while – the unforgettable pink sky

♬ fine line – –

I love this Martin Luther King Jr. statue.


Based on a meme I saw printed out in a book store.

♬ original sound – Zoë Tyler

Minus facebook marketplace, but everything else spot on…

This quote has been shared on so many of my favorite blogs this month. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH.

He’s not wrong.

When I go to my headache doctor in the city, I always try to stop at one of my favorite little shops. Fun fact- Joan Cusack is the owner.

This song is popular on social media, and the movie is one of our favorites, but I had no idea “The Ellie Badge” was the title. Our Ellie is so unique and brave that this song seems almost written for her.

I relate deeply to this. Inertia. Yes. From this book.

If you haven’t seen this viral video that’s been around for years, I’d like to share it with you because it makes me happy.

I can’t find any context other than it’s just two men fighting over The Wizard of Oz. I’m a sucker for random things like this.

Here’s an article that can help you understand it better.

And here is the original video:

The internet loves this argument too.

Just when I think there is no hope for humanity, I see things like this that make me believe we will be fine.

This post was born out of grief and continues to sustain me each month. Thank you for taking the time to read my words (and others). It is a privilege to share them with you. ❤️

47 thoughts on “What I Kept | January 2023”

  1. Ah, Kari. So much here. I wonder if the universe is telling you that you should get another bird? Related-but-not: That TikTok with the dog going to heaven gutted me. From out of nowhere. I can’t even write about it without tearing up again. Whoo. I am jealous that you have such a store so close, and of course it’s owned by Joan Cusak, one of my all-time favorites. She reminds me of a YA book I read once, where the main characters were the supporting characters to the supposed “real” story–except the “minor” characters had their own real story going, which was just as compelling. I’d like to see her in a movie that focuses on her character’s story for once. I love that you are taking selfies, and I’m pretty sure I would’ve loved Larry. I will think of him at the grocery store today, I’m sure. Thank you for all of these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you write that I should get another bird without seeing that we already had one? Actually, there are two. With so much info in this post, it’s easy to overlook.🤣🤣

      Joan Cusack’s store is similar to the one in You’ve Got Mail, except it isn’t a bookstore. It contains books, but it is not a bookstore. It’s absolutely lovely, and I discovered that her brother John has a private art studio upstairs. I’m not sure if he still uses it, but that means he could’ve been above me making art at some point, which is a nice thought.

      I’m sure I would have liked Larry as well.

      You are welcome, my friend. 😘


      1. OK, yes: I did miss that. How did I miss that? Mondays are always full, so I might’ve been reading quickly. At any rate: Yay! I’m so happy that you have TWO birds!

        Running a bookstore like the one in You’ve Got Mail is one of my fantasy lives. I love children’s books and warm, cozy spaces, and bookish people. I love/hate that scene where the space is all cleared out and she remembers her mother in it. Kills me. To have a private studio above it? Even without John Cusak in it, that would be…Yeah, fantasy life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They are in Ella’s room and her responsibility, so I am not as attached to them as I was to Joy. But it’s nice to have birdsong back in our house.

        In that movie, I hated Fox Books SO MUCH. In real life, this made me hate Borders and Barnes and Noble. Now when I see a Barnes and Noble, I get so excited. Capitalism is the devil.

        Right? What a life…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kari, that first photo of Oh Roger is STELLAR!

    My two favorite birds are Ravens and Crows. SO intelligent! And love their color – blue/black.

    ‘When this song appeared in my Spotify feed the week I got my bird camera, it felt very universal.’

    Isn’t it something about things happen like that. Yes…UNIVERSAL. By the way, that video song is GORGEOUS! I’m going to bookmark it on my computer and phone so that I can listen to it again and again.

    That @hannahrowrites piece you shared is brilliant. Inspiring and so true! And it ties is nicely with the quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson quote. Also true!

    Ironically, I stumbled upon a similar quote about “trying to be comfortable.”…sometime earlier this month while googling quotes for a post I recently shared about the uncertainty of life and how it can quickly change without notice; adapting to it. Ongoing life lesson for me,

    Such a cool lighting effect on the ceiling. Love the color too!

    That Tik Tok photo of you is so beautiful.

    As always, I so enjoy reading your posts, my friend! So full of fun and inspiring pieces of gold.

    Have a FAB week!

    P.S. I’m a fan of snow globes myself. In fact, whenever it snows and I’m outdoors, I pretend I’m inside a snow globe and twirl around in the street. People think I’m crazy. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roger had a little too much NYE.

      I also love Ravens and Crows. So does my friend Kristen.

      I absolutely love anything and everything Universal.

      I also enjoy finding quotes here and there, and these were excellent. I wish my mind could think like that.

      I, too, struggle with change. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, my friend.

      People think I’m crazy, too, my friend! 
      Have a wonderful week, Ron. I appreciate you. 💕


  3. Wait, I have never seen the Wizard of Oz video. I’ve forgotten everything else I was gonna say about this post because that was epic. Oh, I do remember that I really want to go check out that Joan Cusac store. It looks super fun. I need to get out more. The bird meme is hilarious. I’m not there yet – maybe it’s because you are a year older than me. Congrats on the 2 new birds. Is there a charcter named eleven on Stranger Things? Did I crack the code?

    Back to the Oz video. I have a video of Lad getting in an arguement wtih a cousin when they are both like 3 years old. They are eating at the table and arguing about whether an elf is real, or good or bad or something. It is dang funny and ends with one cousin swatting the other. I should post it and go viral. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that video fantastic?

      Her shop is filled with lots of fun things. You’d enjoy it. It’s in Old Town, close to many good restaurants.

      Yes, the extra year will attract ALL of the birds to your home.

      You figured it out!

      You should absolutely share it. People enjoy watching toddlers argue.


  4. I must be healthy af, I’m in constant awe of just about everything. As for separating cereal from the milk, I worked with a woman who did this. It was a feat to behold, not to mention how long it took her to eat one stinking bowl of cereal. Hadn’t thought of her in years…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The selfie a day project sounds so fun. I want to hear more about what you choose to do with them once you know!!

    I love these posts – you collect such lovely thoughts and things throughout the month.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lots to dig into here, but omg, do I ever want to dig into that granola/berries/chocolate chip combo!

    The tabletop fire pit is new to me, but those flames sort of freak me out indoors.

    Every time my son hears me talk about birds, he tells me how old I sound. Boo!

    Here’s an interesting common autistic trait that most people are not aware of: they do not yawn when they see other people yawn, which is a neurotypical trait for the rest of us. (My middle child is on the spectrum, so that’s how I know that fun fact, and we’ve tested her numerous times over the years.)

    We need to all do a blog post with scary, unsettling facts about ourselves, but you can go first.

    Your selfie is gorgeous. You look VERY young to me. GO YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been one of my favorite desserts. Greek yogurt, berries, and dark chocolate chips.

      The flame was a little scary, but it only lasted 30 minutes. To start the fire, simply use a little rubbing alcohol!

      Why are birds so fascinating to us as we get older?

      My youngest is on the spectrum as well, so I’m going to try that!

      I’m making a note on my phone….

      You made my week. ❤️


  7. This was so great, I loved it all. I love the idea of thinking of yourself as the ocean, I love the breakfast for dinner and the dewdrops outside the door. Love it all, but especially the selfie. I hope you share many of them, I love seeing your face!
    One of LM Montgomery’s characters was Emily Starr, and she got “the flash” which was like a feeling of awe, usually when she was in nature. I remember reading that when I was about ten, and feeling so seen. I often think about getting the flash.
    Thanks for this incredible post – so much to devour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll eventually share them! I’ve always claimed that I’m not particularly photogenic, but I was touched by how few photographs exist of some of my female ancestors, which saddened me. So I’m glad I started this project.

      I love that  you’re this devouring post.❤️


  8. “Please don’t pick up” is the refrain that runs through my head with every single phone call I ever make.

    Nice job on the cardinal capture! Now that we live someplace that actually has them, we are eagerly looking forward to spotting one against a backdrop of snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are great. I’m gonna take and save a lot more images to my phone. And it’s true about birdwatching – I realized yesterday I can identify all the local woodpeckers by sight and sound. Sigh.

    And I’m saving that “eat the cheese and sin.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That bird watching tweet is so true! So many great birds in this post!

    Love the cereal idea. I may share it with my kid. I don’t really like cereal at all, but definitely NOT wet cereal. Ew.

    The salmon as a color video made me giggle.

    Such a fun batch! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So much fun stuff in this post and so much I could comment on but I’m wiped tonight…I spent 2 hours in the dentist chair this morning. The stuff of nightmares, let me tell you!

    A few things…love how the lights are reflected on your ceiling. That is so cool.

    Did Ella get a pair of birds? 🙂

    That Joan Cusack store looks so cool. I would love to explore a shop like that. I had no idea she owned a store in Chicago!

    You ended this post by saying it was born out of grief. What’s going on? You can text or email me, if you want. Want to get together soon, even if it’s just for coffee?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the stuff of nightmares, my friend. I’m sending you a big hug.

      Every evening, we look forward to seeing those lights.

      She’d been talking about getting birds for a while, and when we saw these two together in a cage, we knew they needed a loving home.

      Melanie, you will absolutely love that shop. I think you and Brian should stop by on one of your Evanston weekends.

      The grief is over my childhood friend’s death. My first What I Kept post was published a week after she died. It has been my way of processing all of it. But I’d love to meet you for coffee soon. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Awe. I know, and I know. Love the new birdies, and of course, all the bird stuff speaks to me.
    The obituary with the shopping carts reminds me of Nicole and her shopping cart rants.
    So many good things Kari!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am so very glad that Ally Bean sent me, and that you shared everything from your phone. Some made me smile (I hate soggy cereal but hadn’t thought about 1 bite at a time). Some resonated (I resolved to take more pictures after realizing that I love the photos I used to hate) and “Until I thought of myself as the sea” is my new favorite poem. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve wanted to comment on the fabulous post since the day you published but Kari !!!! there’s tooooo much goodness here! I can’t write a short, pithy comment when every darn thing you list resonates with me! So I’m just gonna go with: SAME 🙂 And also: Kari u r awesome & find the best stuff ever.

    And finally, I’ve never read that Turning people into trees poem before but omg… I have turned people into trees my whole life lol. Maybe bc I grew up seeing trees as kind, generous people…soI just sorta flipped it! I can still remember my childhood tree friends around my house, at friends’ houses, the local park…. Can still feel their warm spirits and happy tree energy as we kids played under and around and within their canopies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you, Maddie! You are also awesome! Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. They always make me happy, and these posts are no different. I enjoy working on these posts more than any other, so knowing that they are bringing joy to others is extremely rewarding.

      I love how you’ve always transformed people into trees! I haven’t always done that, but I’m glad I do now. It’s been so comforting to see my ancestors and people I’ve lost in my life in the trees. I also love hearing stories of others gaining love and wisdom from trees. I love that you are one of those people. It doesn’t surprise me one bit. ❤️


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