Tag Archives: Plant a Kiss Day

Plant a Kiss, in Honor of Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal poses for a photo Aug. 1, 2016, in Chicago. (Image by Kevin Nance / Chicago Tribune, via Associated Press)

Amy Krouse Rosenthal died on Monday, and I’m still caught up in the confusion, sadness, and unfairness of that. I’ve lost two dear friends to cancer, Heather and Kelly, and both times I was struck by the way death just doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter how much good you are doing for others and the world, or how much you love living and have left to do, or how much you matter and are loved, it sometimes steps in way too early and says, “that’s enough now.” The only good thing that comes out of it for me is that these women — strong, smart, kind, creative, and funny — continue to inspire me to be my best self, live my fullest life, keep trying, never give up. Amy’s editor at Random House said, “Amy ran at life full speed and heart first.” Now that she’s gone, I’ll try to do the same.

In 2013, I took part in a “Plant a Kiss Blog Hop Party” in honor of Amy’s birthday. There were 18 bloggers connected with the project, each doing something we thought would spread a little extra joy, color, connection, poetry, or magic in the world. Plant a Kiss Day was created to celebrate the message and spirit behind Amy’s work and the whimsical book she created, Plant a Kiss.

My dear friend Sherry Richert Belul hosted the last Plant A Kiss Blog Hop Party. When Amy’s Modern Love column, You May Want to Marry My Husband, was published on The New York Times, Amy revealed in it that her cancer was back and that “I probably have only a few days left being a person on this planet.” The first person I emailed was Sherry, asked her if she’d seen the essay, if she knew. She was as shocked as I was, and immediately went to work planning another Plant a Kiss event to honor Amy.

My Plant a Kiss this time around: There is an elementary school very near to where I live, a bilingual school whose motto is “a Place to Grow.” I’ve bought a copy of almost every one of Amy’s kid books, including the two that have Spanish versions, and am donating them to their library. I emailed the principal to be sure the donation would be useful and wanted, and she emailed back, said she loved the idea, and even suggested I might come read the book to a class and share a bit with them about Amy. They are on Spring Break this week, so we are still working out the details, but it will happen soon. I’m also am in touch with the school’s family liaison to work out a donation to help supply a family in need with some extra groceries.

Amy described herself simply as, “a person who likes to make things.” She published over 30 children’s books, two memoirs and various journals; made several films; gave two TED Talks; and seemed to constantly be in the midst of a new creative project, many of them collaborative. Her longtime literary agent, Amy Rennert, said Amy “was the most life-affirming person, and love-affirming person.” Fellow author John Green, (who credits her with helping to start his career by asking him to write and record an essay for WBEZ) tweeted: “She was a brilliant writer, and an even better friend.” Green also has said her work shows that “If you pay the right kind of attention, the mundane becomes beautiful.” In The New York Times Book Review in 2009 Bruce Handy said of her work, “Her books radiate fun the way tulips radiate spring: they are elegant and spirit-lifting.” Amy herself said, “Invariably, I will have to move on before I have had enough. My first word was ‘more.’ It may very well be my last.”

In a world where there is so much conflict and suffering, helping each other, cultivating wonder, paying attention and being amazed are efforts worth making, even and especially when nothing else seems to make sense. And as for Amy,

May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love.

~from “The Death of a Beloved” by John O’Donohue

Gratitude Friday

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1. The breeze coming in through the window over the kitchen sink while I was baking cookies, and how my whole house smelled like vanilla and chocolate.

2. Plant a Kiss Missions. I am convinced that I got more out of the giving than any of the recipients got from the getting. I am seriously trying to figure out how I can become a professional love bomber.

3. Hanging out with a friend and her new baby. Walking around old town, running errands, watching him smile at her, sitting for coffee, making plans for world domination and personal freedom.

4. Sleeping in. Specifically waking up slowly, having that last hour or so where you are sort of awake, but keep saying “just a few more minutes, not yet” and maybe even fall back asleep. And as an added bonus, Eric walked the dogs for me, in the snow and on my day, so I could sleep in.

5. Peaches in smoothies. They make it creamy, tart, and bright–satisfying.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter, but even better–today is his birthday! He came to us at ten weeks old, and now he’s ten years old. My first double digit dog. The only things that have changed since those first days with him are that we are both older, his face is much grayer, and I love him so much more.

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Plant a Kiss Blog Hop Party 2013

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In the spirit of Amy Krouse Rosenthal‘s work, 18 bloggers set out to “Plant a Kiss” in the world on April 29. We each did something we thought would spread a little extra joy, color, connection, poetry, or magic in the world. Then we watched to see what would happen!

Plant a Kiss Day was created to celebrate the message and spirit behind Amy’s work and the whimsical book she created, Plant a Kiss, which is beautifully illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

I first encountered Amy’s work when I read Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, a truly original and amazing book, one of a kind. It’s the kind of book that makes every writer think, “I wish I’d thought of that!” (or maybe that was just me?). Everything Amy’s done since has inspired me, made me feel a deep confidence in basic goodness. I love having the opportunity to celebrate her work, and to do my own bit towards cultivating love.

Today the 18 of us who took part in Plant a Kiss day are posting about our experiences. My thoughts are below. Click here (http://www.simplycelebrate.net/plant-a-kiss-day-2013) where you can find links to all of the participating bloggers and hop around to see how each woman was uniquely inspired to celebrate Plant a Kiss Day.

Plant a Kiss #1: Send flowers to sweet Rachel. She is recovering from having her tonsils out and I wanted to cheer her up. I got a recommendation for a local flower shop from her neighbor, Mati Rose, who was spot on sending me the information for Arjan Flowers and Herbs. Designer Mina Bolouri put together a ridunculous bouquet of ranunculus, Rachel’s favorite, a riot of color and soft shapes.

Plant a Kiss #2: Deliver snacks to Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation Hospital. They have been taking such good care of Dexter, both with his ongoing physical therapy and his emergency visits, and I wanted to express my gratitude. I made chocolate chip cookies, and took hummus, crackers and veggies.

Plant a Kiss #3: Drop off donation for Animal House Rescue. This is our local (as in a few blocks away from our house) no-kill rescue, and also where we got our Sam. I took them paper towels, trash bags, bleach, folders, and dog treats.

Plant a Kiss #4: Love bomb the third floor of Eddy Hall, (the building where I work at Colorado State University).

Love bombing, in the most general terms, is when you anonymously leave notes or small gifts for people to find. It can be in a public space, such as a grocery story (like leaving notes that say “You are beautiful exactly as you are” in the diet food aisle), library (putting messages of hope from the Universe inside books about depression or addiction), or where you work (leaving notes that say things like “The way you smile and say hello always cheers me up” in someone’s mailbox), or it can be a private or more personal space, such as leaving cookies on your neighbor’s door step, ringing the doorbell and running away before they catch you, or putting a note on someone’s car windshield.

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For my Plant a Kiss love bomb, I put up tearable flyers in the employee mail room, both bathrooms, and one over the water fountain in the main hallway. This is the second time I’ve love bombed Eddy Hall, and only a few people know it was me. One person who still hasn’t figured it out posted on Facebook, “Somebody put up the motivational tear-away flyers in the women’s restroom with positive thoughts again! I love this, whoever you are! And there’s also a sign indicating employees should moonwalk out of the bathroom. English people (students? faculty? staff?) CRACK ME UP!”

*tee-hee*

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If you’d like to try a love bomb, (I highly recommend it, makes you feel good and cheers up the people who find them), some of my sources for flyers are:

Special thanks goes to Sherry Richert Belul for hosting this project (I adore you and your shenanigans, Sherry!), for the 17 other bloggers who helped me spread the love, and to Amy Krouse Rosenthal for being our reason.

And Happy Plant a Kiss Day to you, kind and gentle reader. As always, you have my love and deep gratitude. It makes me so happy that you keep showing up here. May you find a bit of love planted in your life today, or be able to plant a kiss for someone else who might need it. Don’t forget to check out the other blog posts, maybe get an idea and join us in cultivating even more love.

Gratitude Friday

1. Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation Hospital. They took such good care of Dexter this weekend, and for the past few months with his physical therapy. I feel so lucky that they are there.

2. Surprise flowers at work. I might not always love my job, but I work with some of the kindest people, one of whom bought me flowers because I was having a rough week.

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3. Green grass and blue sky, after a week of snow.

4. Sherry Richert Belul and her shenanigans. This time it’s Plant a Kiss Day, which I’ll be participating in. She is an instigator of joy, and I adore her.

5. Flexible paid work. With Dexter being sick, and then needing regular doses of medication and lots of company, it was so nice to have work that understood and allowed for my need to be flexible.

Bonus Joy: Even though it was a rough one, we had another week with Dexter. I’m so grateful he’s feeling better, not suffering. That’s all I want–not more time, not a miracle cure for his cancer, just that he is happy and well while he’s with us, and when it’s time to go, that he have an easy death.

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