Monday, February 29, 2016

On My Mind Monday

I finished Boys in the Trees yesterday.  I was captivated by the first third, trudged through the second third, and came to some kind of understanding with the last third.  Memoirs are tricky in that they are, by nature, self-indulgent.  The memoirs written by the noteworthy are tricky in that the authors often aren't gifted writers and they tend to do an awful lot of name dropping.  I started to see Carly Simon not as a bad ass rock star, but as a wounded little girl constantly seeking the approval of men.  I no longer envied her...I pitied her.  That was a little uncomfortable.  That being said, I wanted her to give me less of an accounting and more self- revelation. Sadly, I didn't get a sense of growth or maturity or peace.  The only nuggets I found were slipped into the last couple pages almost as an after thought.


"It always amazes me that we can look right past something that finally smacks us in the face.  That blind spot."


"Over the years, I've learned something that has made my life easier, more honest and satisfying: I've stopped trying to stop loving."

Friday, February 26, 2016

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

A date with my guy last night.  We tried a new restaurant on our way to see a new show.  The restaurant has been around for a long stretch and the show is 50 years old, but both were new to us. We enjoyed the wood fired Diavola pizza and also Cabaret.  It wasn't my favorite musical, but it was nice to have a night out with my husband.

A mid-week date with friends.  I looked forward to meeting up with them for cocktails, dinner and conversation all day long.  Catching up was long overdue.

An afternoon coffee date with Teddy.  It's our tradition to visit Starbucks after doctor appointments.  There's one in the same building as his pediatrician and one next door to his orthodontist.  Then we popped in the adjacent book store to browse and shop.  On our way home, we drove a little out of our way to the beach to check out the waves on the fierce windy day.

Fifteen year old sons.

Independent book stores.

Butterscotch lattes.

Broody lakes.

Workouts before work.  It sets the tone for the rest of the day.


Brain food.  This breakfast is called Math Test Fuel.

Fajitas and a husband who said yes when I asked if he'd grill all the peppers, onions and meat.  They were so so tasty.  Pretty too.

I remembered to turn the oven on Monday night when I put the roast in.  It was cooked perfectly and even better a day later in a crusty Sciortino's roll.

My dad seems to be ok after falling off his roof last weekend.  I'm also grateful that his house is a ranch.

Eight year old brothers. Playmates for life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dear Scumbag Neighbor,

I wish I could address you by name because then I'd know who you are, but it wouldn't change the fact that you are a scumbag neighbor, and likely a less than admirable human being.  Right now all I have is a picture of you and your license plate number so rest assured I'll find out.  My determination outweighs your stupidity I'd like you to know.  It's dogged.  My husband has a nasty goose egg and bruise on his shin from where you kicked him.  My daughter has a fear of being alone and an aversion to dog sitting since you pulled your car to the side of the road and approached her while she was playing with the dogs.  Had you gone on your way when she followed her intuition and said, "No!"  it's likely that would have been the very end of it, but you didn't.  You had already made a series of very bad choices that day.  It was only 3 o' clock so why stop? You advanced onto the property that was not your own (btw that's called trespassing) despite the fact that the dogs were going crazy and she was scared out of her wits.  You tried to convince an 11 year old to let you pet the dogs.  She held firm because she didn't know you, and sensed that something wasn't quite right. When you weren't budging, she hurried into the house, locked the door and called home.  You followed her.

I know this because my husband followed you.  After you drove off the road twice at the end of our road, screeched to a stop, jerked back and then peeled past our house at a high rate of speed up the street, he followed his instinct.  When he heard the dogs barking with alarm, he picked up his pace and rounded the corner in time to see you making your way up the driveway.  He shouted, "Hey, what are you doing?" Surprised, you started back to your car.  Once face to face with you, my husband smelled alcohol as he suspected.  That alarmed him, but much less than the fact that you were approaching his fleeing daughter.  Don't mess with his girl.

I arrived soon after.  I didn't pick up the phone the first 4 times it rang because I was working out and didn't recognize the number.  On the fifth call, I answered to my daughter in sheer panic, but safe.  I arrived on the scene to see my husband calmly detaining you in the presence of two other neighbors, who had called 911.  Next time my daughter knows she absolutely has permission to call that number herself so thanks for that lesson I guess. You were spewing forth a chain of vitriol.  You have quite the vocabulary. A bad temper too. You were the opposite of calm.  You were out of control.  My husband is king in a crisis and he never so much as raised his voice.

My daughter was in the back of the house unawares of the confrontation going on outside.  Thank God.  She told me what happened in between sobs and shakes.  She said, "The dogs sometimes bark, but never like this.  Something was so not right."  Dogs have intuition too dummy.

The police arrived soon after I did.  Do you know that one cop?  The older one?  The one who was mad that we took a picture, which is now the only evidence we have?  He came and you put your yarmulke on. How do you know him?  Is he the one who called your dad? That was your elderly dad who walked over with a concerned look on his face and had a clandestine conversation with your officer friendly?  You live close?  Close enough that your dad could be on the scene on foot in 5 minutes like it was just another Saturday afternoon? Whatever your dad said didn't work this time though.  There were too many witnesses and 4 squad cars in total so there was no way to make this one disappear I'm afraid. 

One officer told us that if you were who he thought you were, you like to drink, and that you have some mental issues.  He said this as if this information should reassure us and make us feel better.  Oh, he's done this before!  Great!  Well, if it's just your thing to get so drunk on the synagogue wine and get behind the wheel of your car in search of little girls to act inappropriate with then good for you.  He also told us he's had run ins with you before.  Oh goody, you're a repeat offender.  Special.

Finally, a field sobriety test was administered.  I'm not sure it was ever completed because you tried every trick in the book to botch it.  I actually laughed when you tried to convince the officers that there was no way you could walk a straight line on a slanted street.  What was your excuse for not being able to recite the alphabet?  You were quite adept at stringing letters together to form words that make even drunken sailors blush.

We left before you were arrested.  I know you were arrested because I called the PD the other day.  DWI.  I called to let them know that you threatened to come to our house.  Someone from the county mental facility was nice enough to call us at 4 a.m Sunday morning to let us know you were being released and that was your plan.  Seems like no one wants to deal with you.  Well, the Glendale PD know this now, and we've been advised if you so much as slow down as you pass our house we're to call them. But here's the probably think we live up the street where the incident occurred at least for now.  I'm really unhappy about the fact that we cannot get a copy of the incident report until the case is closed. Something about driver privacy yada yada.  You'll be able to get a copy and I believe my husband's name will be in it and then, of course, our whereabouts is only clicks away.  That makes me feel real good.  Twice victimized actually.  Where's my privacy?  The cops are trying to tell us that you're harmless.  Too late, harm already done.

Don't be surprised if you see me scouring the neighborhood looking for your vehicle.  No luck thus far, but it's only a matter of time.  You see I want to have my eyes on you.  Don't get me wrong...I hope to never come face to face with you again, but I'll be watching you scumbag. 

two day pass

the weekend was a busy one..exciting too.
at times, a little too exciting for my liking (see next post: dear scumbag neighbor).
friday lily and i very much enjoyed beauty and the beast at a local high school.
it was well-cast, witty and sweet.
oh, and 3 hours long.
yes, 180 minutes long.
the boys went to shop for electronics and eat wings.
it was a gender stereotypical evening for family wags.

saturday the air was sweet like spring.
we devoted much of the the day to chores and projects.
lily spent lots of time with her dogs and ted spent lots of time with his pillow.
when he woke, he left to hang with friends.
she left to have a sleepover at her aunt and uncle's.
mike and i enjoyed a night with friends.
charcuterie, blistered edamame and libations at casa wags before a turn at an area escape room.
we cracked the code with a single second to spare.
then we headed to a local cantina for tacos all ways.
more cocktails and ceaseless, comfortable chatter too.

sunday started with church.
well, actually with a 4:00 a.m. phone call from the county mental health complex letting us know that scumbag neighbor was getting out of detention and coming to our house.
good thing he doesn't know where we live.
unsettling is that we don't even know who he is.
mike and i had our weekly date at a bagel place this morning.
we met family soon after at the aquatic center for a swim meet about which lily was downright broody.
she wasn't pleased to be slated for the back stroke or the fly, her two least favorite strokes.
yet she took first and second, and also earned much confidence.
frostys followed by naps followed by dinner rounded out the day.
i rubbed the beef roast with a homemade spice concoction and was so excited to taste it.
i put it in the oven and set the timer, but i failed to turn on the temperature.
an hour and a half later it was still raw.
we laughed, but i sorta wanted to cry.
leftover pasta is so not sunday dinner.
but it was.
and the bonus was that monday's dinner was mostly prepped.
the last week of february is slated to be full.
that means that before i know it, i'll be back here recounting another weekend.

Saturday, February 20, 2016



a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection

Do you believe in accidents and happenstance?  Are you in the fluke camp or on the side of fate?

Most of my life I saw coincidence everywhere and all the time.  The funny thing is that the more you notice serendipitous moments, the more you have to at least entertain the idea that everything happens for a reason and not by mere chance.  Spirit, muscle, mind...we're made up of energy. Energy has pull and life force.  

A few months ago an old friend contacted me via social media on a site I rarely frequent, but felt compelled to visit on the day she reached out to me.  The very day.  It had been over a decade since I'd seen her and we last talked maybe six years ago.  We messaged back and forth a few times and talked about having coffee to heal old wounds.  A couple days later, I found myself in a store I have shopped only a handful of times.  It was on a whim that I ended up there, and it happened to be her first day on her new job there.  We walked right into each other.  Collided.  Random?  I think not.

Father Tim began the homily at my mom's funeral by singing An Irish Lullaby.  It was the song playing when Teddy was born, and my mom sang it to him countless times when he was a colicky newborn.  She swore it was the only thing that calmed him.  I let her believe that despite the fact that I thought it was the way she walked and bounced him, or maybe just the sound of her voice.  As Father Tim sang Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral, I felt peace wash over me for the first time in the week since her death.  Later I asked him how he knew to sing the song.  His answer: I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit.  Random?  No way.

The sermon on Ash Wednesday invited us to be eagles and not dodo birds.  Dodo birds are extinct.  The other day I spent all morning wallowing in the past.  I stood at the kitchen window waiting for a cup of coffee and an eagle flew first around my yard and then straight at me over the house.  I've seen an eagle maybe twice in the ten years I've lived here.  Random?  No possible chance.

Coincidence is a safe explanation for the uncanny experiences we have every day.  Experiences that may make us uncomfortable and accountable.  If that then so if the universe is talking, it is in our best interests to try and figure out what it's saying.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Mike's health.  His biopsy came back normal.

A date tonight to see Beauty and the Beast with Lily.  We last saw it at Disney when she was only five so she doesn't remember much.  I love when something old feels new.

The boys will have their own outing TBD.

A date with old friends on Saturday.  We have plans for an escape room and then Mexican food.

Keeping calm, cool and collected.  After work yesterday all I wanted was to get home, but my car wouldn't start.  I left the lights on and my battery was dead.  First I called my sil to see if she would pick Lily up from school.  She was happy to and even took  her for an after school treat at Starbucks.  We're lucky.  Then I called AAA and Dante came in record time.  It took him 30 seconds to get me back on the road.  There have been times in the not so distant past when I have flown off the handle in situations less inconvenient than this, but for some reason I took a couple deep breaths and did what I needed to do.  Then I came home collapsed on the couch, watched The Bachelor with Ted and ordered pizza for dinner.

These Anne Lamott words: Perfection is shallow, unreal, and fatally uninteresting.

I slept like a log last night for 8 solid hours and I feel like a million bucks today.

Lily's been dog sitting for Maddie and Louis while our neighbor is away.  I've taken on the early shift because school mornings are already dicey, but other than that she's been front and centering.  The dogs seem happy even though I'm sure they're a little lonely.

A bald eagle flew around and then through our yard the other day.  It was so majestic and beautiful.

I didn't sign Ted up for Snowstar this weekend.  It's 50 degrees today and all the snow is quickly melting.

Rotten bananas for banana bread muffins.  They lasted for about 24 hours.

A new router, and JJ for being a helpful technician.

Making store bought hummus taste like homemade.

Chicken Scampi this week.  It's a Casa Wags favorite.

Lily and I started Diana Nyad's Find a Way this week.  We haven't done a read aloud in awhile, and I miss that special time.

I finished The Winter Girl, but I almost didn't...couldn't.  It ended up being a sordid, disturbing story.  I have two books waiting for me at the library.  I'm going back to literary fiction with H is for Hawk and Everything I Never Told You, and I'm going back to reading reviews before I start a book.

Ted's proving to be quite a poet.  He recited a poem he wrote about a homeless veteran for all of us the other night, and we were impressed.  Touched too.

My family.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


yesterday was a painful day, and it was also a beautiful day.  I allowed myself to feel feelings I've been denying, stuffing, ignoring.  I went there and then I got here.  Here is the other side where there is forgiveness and joy and peace.  It's easier to smile and laugh here.  It's easier to give and receive love too.  It's easier to look back with a grateful heart instead of a bitter and bruised one.

I ended up there as soon as I cued up Carly Simon radio.  Carol King, James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell take me back to my childhood.  These were the artists my parents listened to on their turn tables, and they are singers and songwriters that I often find comfort in now.  Ah, but it was one of those days that the universe seemed to be sending me signs through the airwaves because the particular songs and the timing struck me as meaningful and deliberate.

I ended up with a box full of of old photos.  Hundreds of random snapshots, some taken decades ago and others more recently, heaped together in no order and for no apparent reason.  I looked through them.  I looked at each and every one, and I cried.  I felt grief over so many losses.  Everything felt untethered, damaged or dismissed.  Everything was cracked wide open.

I cried until I was out of tears.  I wrote until I had no more words.  And then the heaviness lifted.  The weight of the sentiment wasn't gradual or partial.  It was an immediate and absolute comeuppance. It was like the flip of a switch in the same way my downturn had been the forceful opening of the flood gates.

I looked through the same box of photos with Lily and Jessica later in the day.  I was smiling as I shuffled through them sharing the whos and whens.  We were still listening to the 70s.  Listening and singing along to the old familiar tunes.  

The moral of the story is to never underestimate the power of a good cry or an honest heart to heart with the past.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Can Handle The Truth

I heard Leaving on a Jet Plane the other day, and suddenly I was four years old again.  It was a sunny almost summer day.  I have short hair just like a boy.  I wish I could ask my mom what that was all about.  I'm wearing bell bottoms, a gauze flowered tunic and no shoes.  I know what that was about: it was the 70s.  The gold shag carpet feels groovy on my bare feet as I blaze a trail between my dad and my grandma.  I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad.  My grandma is visiting from Salt Lake City, but my dad is leaving.  Leaving not on a jet plane, but with a suitcase.  I'm not sure whether I've been told or just overheard that he won't be coming home soon, but he won't.  No, he is moving to a new home on Brady Street, but it may as well be Utah to me. 


The day my dad moved out is my very first tangible memory.  I see him walking down the iris-lined front walk alone.  I smell the yard filled with so many happy blooms, the acrid steely scent of the screen and something my grandma is cooking in the kitchen.  Stroganoff?  Chicken ala King?  I feel the cold mesh leaving impressions on my cheek as I press harder and strain to see my dad disappear from my view.  I also feel my heart breaking a little bit, and maybe some relief too.  And I hear this song.  Or do I?


I asked my brother about this Peter Paul & Mary number over the weekend.  Did it remind him of Mom and Dad?  Anything?  It doesn't.  To be fair he was only two then, but it got me thinking about memories.  They're so subjective and suggestive.  I wonder how much of that day was constructed after it occurred by stories and pictures.  I can barely recall what happened last week with any detail so I have little faith I can remember an event forty plus years ago palpably.  And yet I do.  I do. Does how I remember it matter any more than the fact that I do?  What I claim to know has affected who I am today, and at the very least it's part of my story.  An integral, often visited part.


There are so many stories I tell myself.  She betrayed me.  He broke my heart.  My friendship wasn't reciprocated.  I deserve better.  You deserve better.  I always wanted this, that, you.  I'm weak.  I'm strong.  I was right.  We were wrong.  There are so many things I am sorry for.  My life has been hard.  I am blessed.  There are times I wonder where the narrative ends and the truth begins.  And then I wonder...what does truth even mean?  Matter?


What do you absolutely know to be true?




Five minutes in my basement yielded this evidence.  It's a storyboard.  Random photos tossed in a box that come together to suggest my memory of that day forty-two years ago is at least somewhat true.

1. Family before.
2. Iris-lined lane.
3. Short hair, bell bottoms and screen door.
4. Gold shag carpet.
5. Family after.

Did I pick and chose to make a memory?  Enhance a memory?  Understand a memory?  I'll never be able to answer that, but I can say with conviction that I am sure it isn't important.  It's a defining memory of my childhood however it came to be.

two day pass

1 coffee date with my love on valentine's day.
2 movies. the weekend was bookended between good enough and philomena. one was good enough and the other great.
3 bottles of red wine.
4 eggs in the italian cream cake lily baked.
5 more boxes unpacked.
6 pizzas made to order on a valentines eve pizza party.
7 hours of skiing for ted on a cold day at cascade.
8 episodes of the affair consumed by me.
9 miles logged by me.
10 seconds...the length of time it takes a cat to find an available lap in this house.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

February Inventory

Reading I picked up Boys in the Trees a week or so ago excited to read Carly Simon's memoir.  About halfway through I find myself reaching for other things, but I will finish it even if I speed read and/or skip parts. I don't like to do that, but it's better than abandoning it all together. I read Gratitude last weekend.  It was short, but insightful reminding me to never underestimate little things.  This week I finished Brave Enough.  I love quotes and I'm a big Cheryl Strayed fan so, of course, I give it a thumbs up. I started Americanah late one night this week and fell asleep after a handful of pages.  I picked it up the next night and it had the same effect.  It is well reviewed and from what I can tell well written.  I think I'll need to let it take hold in the light of day because I know I am going to love it.  In the meantime, I read The Silent Wife.  It was a decent psychological thriller that I lost myself in for a good part of 24 hours.  Last night I started The Winter Girl when I wasn't feeling Simon's memoir or Adichie's novel.  Thus far, it's another light, but compelling page turner.

Wondering what I'm going to read next.  It's a sickness, but at least it's not harmful to my health.

Noticing the way the light is not only here earlier and later, but also the way the sun is perched high in the sky.  It's warmer despite the fact that the temperatures are much more frigid than they have been.

Watching the first season of The Affair over the next week and, hopefully, the original Point Break this weekend.  Next weekend Beauty and the Beast with Lily.  I love the music and the costumes for this show.  The spring theater/musical season is starting in area schools.  So excited to support these talented young singers and actors.

Listening to anything but the debates.  I wouldn't miss the first few, but at this point I'm in utter disbelief that the front runners include a potential felon, a socialist and a reality television star.  I'm praying for an act of God or else a serious come to Jesus for the independent voter.

Eating simply.  I haven't felt inspired in the kitchen lately.  I haven't felt inspired in my new kitchen lately. I know I know. Meals have been basic, but balanced.  The bean/corn/rice/queso concoction below was such a thing and I actually wanted to marry it.

Wanting to start making smoothies again.  I used to drink them almost daily.  Until I found out I was allergic to bananas which when frozen, were the perfect sweet and icy smoothie staple.  

Hoping Mike gets a clean bill of health from the oral surgeon, the stock market stabilizes, Donald Trump drops out of the race and Hilary Clinton is indicted, and everyone stays warm today including my son who just left for a day of skiing on the coldest day of the season.

Thinking that weekends should come with a pause button, and there is much truth to positive effects of getting up at the same time every morning.  I was up at 6 o'clock this morning.  I thought I'd go back to bed after seeing Ted off, but the sun is up and so am I.

Enjoying that we are all enjoying our new kitchen.  See evidence below.

Loving the free day ahead.  It's a good one for hunkering down at home in my kitchen.  I'll unpack a couple more boxes, make samosas and taziki, and bake an Italian lemon cake that's been on my mind.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Lent.  I feel ready for it this year. 

Ash Wednesday services and a sermon that will stay with me.  I'd rather be an eagle than a dodo bird.

Also my friend Candace for coming to church with me.

I almost skipped out because I was so engrossed in The Silent Wife.  It's been awhile since I've been able to lose myself like that in a book.  It was such an entertaining page turner that I finished it in 24 hours and I felt zero guilt over all the things (art museum, unpacking the kitchen, laundry, writing) that didn't get done.

A new reading lamp from Candace.

These singing nuns and my friend Candace (see the theme here? And she doesn't even read my blog) for turning me onto them.  Whether you are religious or not, these hymns are beautiful and uplifting.

The hard work Lily is putting into being a good student and classmate.  I attended her mid-year conferences last night and not one teacher had anything but glowing things to say about my girl, and her grades...they speak for themselves.

Mike is at home recovering from a procedure he had yesterday that went well. The only thing he could have eaten was ice cream, but he gave up sweets for Lent.  I almost stopped at Kopps to get him a shake, but I couldn't bring myself to derail him that way.

Squirreling.  It never gets tired.

Walks along the lakefront.  They never get old either.  I never take for granted where I live.

After school naps.  I love when these two are at rest.  They are the loudest in the family.  Teddy has so much energy.  He's always singing and shouting and slamming.  Peanut is our resident meower.  He literally carries on conversations.  Sometimes I ask them to be quiet because I like peace, but I also love them.

Prayers answered. I talked to my cousin this week and she sounds better physically and emotionally.

Getting up a little earlier in the morning so I am able to ease into the day.

A new habit of starting the day with a workout 2-3 times a week.  I have more energy and a better attitude throughout the day.

A long weekend ahead and snow in Sunday's forecast.

Double happiness. Valentine's plans to make homemade pizzas and watch movies as a family Sunday.  Mike and I will enjoy a night out alone together next week.

The kids and I will enjoy a day off Monday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

two day pass

i love friday nights.
we seldom make plans other than pizza.
we come home and decompress in any number of ways.
this week mike and i headed out for a walk.
it was seasonably chilly, but the same air sunday morning strongly hinted at spring.
teddy skipped saturday's ski trip and slept in.
i was still up early and unprovoked.
i enjoy being able to ease into the day with books and a warm beverage.
it's the calm before the saturday storm of chores and errands and projects.
truthfully, no matter when i wake on saturday, the day always expires before i can fit it all in.
lily enjoyed an early afternoon skate with her cousin downtown.
mike and i planned an impromptu spicy superbowl fiesta.
we met in the kitchen an hour before mass, and i knew we'd have to give up on hopes to attend saturday instead of sunday.
instead of being annoyed or inconvenienced, we were flexible and accommodating.
it was its own revelation.
he made a fan favorite chicken fajita soup for game day.
i made salsa and poppers and choriqueso.
then we cleaned up the kitchen and went out for a family dinner as planned.
the jackson blue ribbon never disappoints.
the food was good and the night was fun.
the games were all occupied, which turned out to be a blessing.
we made our own fun.
i woke early and unprovoked again sunday, but perhaps a little possessed.
i abruptly woke the whole house just after 7:00 for 9:00 mass thinking it was 8:00 mass.
i finished gratitude with a big cuppa.
the rest of my family went back to bed grateful for another hour of sleep.
we made it to church in time to sneak into the first row of the balcony as planned.
sometimes i like the bird's eye view, and especially when we are dressed to walk while the kids have sunday school.
the snow was melting as we made our way to the lake front where the chilly wind whipped off the lake.
the weather is a bit confused, but the sky was spectacular almost like van gogh's starry night.
mike made us chocolate chip pancakes and we had our first family meeting.
lily was scared and ted was amused.
there was nothing scary or funny about what will be our weekly ritual.
family arrived with wings and wienies and wine a little before game time.
i didn't watch a single play or care one way or another who won.
i was impressed by lady gaga, underwhelmed by the commercials and disgusted by beyonce.
i also was happy because it was a good and full weekend.

Monday, February 8, 2016

On My Mind Monday

There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever.  When people die, they cannot be replaced.  They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate - the genetic and neural fate - of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

I cannot pretend I am without fear.  But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.  I have loved and been loved, I have been given much and I have given something in return, I have read and traveled and thought and written.  I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

My Own Life
Oliver Sacks

January Outtakes

Friday, February 5, 2016

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Feeling compelled to approach this day with gratitude.  I've been in a down yo for a stretch.  This rut is characterized by apathy and world weariness.  I know the malaise is lifting when I start feeling grateful without prompt or prod.  Things are looking up.

My subtle change in mood may also be in part due to how I started my day.  I read the first essay in Gratitude. Mercury was beautifully written by Oliver Sacks at the end of his life when he was still very much celebrating living. I read his inspiring words aloud so that I could take my time and feel them, and I think I also embraced them.

A working kitchen.  Our stools even arrived this week and we all love them especially Peanut and Tigger. I've been taking my time unpacking.  The essentials have been unearthed and put away, but the periphery objects are still in boxes in the basement.  This is deliberate.  I'm being conscious about what we truly need and love, and than donating or tossing things that serve no functional or joyful purpose.  It's a draining task, but the results are liberating, and every time I see my kitchen, I smile.  And I didn't even finish Marie Kondo's books yet.

Jess for offering to help pick up the stools. It would have taken Mike two trips with our van.  They both loaded up and did it in one.  Then she stayed for our first "official" dinner: meatball subs served with a killer salad.

Last night Lily took first place in all three of her events.  It must have been that new swim suit.  She was proudest of herself.

My cousin is home after two stays in the hospital.  She still needs prayers and good juju, but she is feeling and sounding better.

Dave's Killer Bread especially toasted and served with avocado and sliced tomato.

Ted sailed through his first high school exam week.

Staying warm.

Feeling hopeful.