Monday, November 12, 2012

Gratitude 17

After a brief hiatus I'm back.  I was stressing myself out trying to fit in my daily gratitude and feeling guilty when I couldn't do it each day.  I decided to take a break from typing but still acknowledge to myself what I was feeling my gratitude for today.  Self checks are more simple, easier, yet less vulnerable.  (Plus I was really bent out of shape with all the lies being spread with the election.  I needed to protect myself a bit and slow down.)

This morning I was reading a blog I subscribe to that pointed out something I've been doing for a while now (and feeling better about parts of my daily decisions).  A few years ago I realized that sitting in rush hour traffic is something I just have to do.  I can't carpool, ride a bike, go at a different time.  I just have to accept the inevitable, and go with the flow.  I tune out the emotions of the drivers (and riders) around me and just move with traffic like it's a stream of water.  There's the occasional obstacle I keep my eyes open for and move around.  If I get stuck behind it, I wait.  Eventually I will flow around it.  Sometimes there's a dam.  I find a different route.  I may listen to the radio, I may call someone, I may just be.  It's SO easy to drive to work with this mindset.  The stressors from home are gone.  The stressors from work will be there when I arrive.  But in the car (or minivan) time just is.  Of course I fall off the wagon some days but overall, I have enjoyed my little bit of me time.

Now to have more personal success with other moments in my day...

Here's the link to the blog that I find particularly useful.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gratitude 16

Indi asked me to play hide-n-go seek with her.  How could I say no?  We played a few rounds (she doesn't know how to count past 13 yet) and I had to hide fast.  She walks around giving a play by play of the game.  So do I.  "Hmm.  I wonder where she's hiding.  Is it here?  No.  Is it here?  No."  She's still of the age where she looks where we hid before.  We had to quit the game because I think I scared her too much.  Each time she found me I yelled boo.  Learned my lesson.  Don't scare the toddler.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gratitude 14 & 15

This is harder to do than one might think.  I find myself looking back throughout the day to figure out what can I publicly declare my gratitude for and judging things that come to mind.  Or maybe thinking others might judge me.  Hmm.

Do I want to break down into tiny details why I'm grateful for something?  Sometimes.  Should I?  Maybe.  Probably.  Yes.

14:  I kept thinking about my oldest child's birthday which was on gratitude day 15.  Perfectionism was preventing me from saying anything about it on day 14.  If I get into some deeper thoughts on this I really am grateful my body was able to carry his body through the growth and development it had to do.  The external stretch marks are not that big of a deal.  Do I feel gratitude for them?  No.  What they end up being is a reminder of my children and sometimes a little poetic waxing of what once was.  I'm not so grateful for the internal stretching that took place and isn't really talked about.  ((shrug inserted here))  What can I do about it?  Physical therapy, surgery, nothing.  I'll use that another day.

15:  The day of my first born's birth.  I am deeply grateful for this person in my life.  He challenges me more than I thought possible.  I will fight for him when there's injustice and hold him accountable for his own misdeeds.  He's been the one I've "fessed up to" in my own shortcomings.  An attempt to let him know I'm not perfect and don't expect that from him.  He's made me a better person, and for that I feel gratitude.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gratitude 13

Colors.  Patterns.  Quilts.

Check out the feathers.


I went to the library looking for a specific book by a specific author on the shelf (and I can't for the life of me remember what book THAT was).  Instead I grabbed two books from that location and read them instead.

One book is called Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel.  It's just a silly girl novel.  The main character, Cat Connelly, goes to Rome for an escape from her life in New York City after her younger sister gets married.  Predictably, Cat figures it all out.

The other book is called The Year She Disappeared but Ann Harleman.  This was an excellent book.  It's in the great book category for 2012, in my opinion.  Dark, not too wordy, interesting characters.  The main character disappears with her granddaughter.  I don't want to give away more than the title gives you.  (I get bummed out when someone tells me a bit too much about a book ahead of time and I figure out the ending before it's done.  :-/ )    Read it.

I don't have the book in front of me but I haven't said much about another book I read last month that was pretty good.  It's called Gone Girl or Girl Gone (I can't keep it straight.)  I wouldn't put it on the list for a great book, but it would qualify as a good book.  No details.  I don't want to give anything away.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gratitude 11

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  

So in that fashion, I am thankful for flowers and bees.  I am sharing these photos to "show my appreciation."  

The yellow flowered goldenrod is such an interesting plant considering what most goldenrods look like.  Many have a very small flower amid a huge cluster.  It's a very pretty plant and has other attributes I appreciate, but the stiff leaved version has a special place in my heart.  The leaves are velvety soft and have rounded edges, unlike most other goldenrod genus.  And the flowers are huge.  Look at it compared to the bee.  The stamens are out so high it looks like little upside down fairy legs.  Words can't fully express the smile I get on my face when I find this plant.  
Stiff-leaved Goldenrod with bee
The pink turtlehead is another flower that I have enjoyed too much some might say.  The flowerheads are larger than a bee (unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the bees the day I took these photos as it was close to dusk and the bees tend to settle down somewhere warmer.  The turtlehead grow where the ground is damp and rather shaded.  The bees were up on higher ground settling in to sleep among the thistle flowers.)  During warm, sun infused visits to the turtlehead flowers I have witnessed the bees crawling into the flowers through the "lips" to get to the nectar.  When they go inside it's easy to hold the flower closed.  It usually takes the bees a moment to realized they can't get out and you can feel them buzzing.  The thrill of fear runs up your arm, you take a step back without releasing the flower and then let go.  The bee comes out quickly and flies to another flower.  The process starts all over again.  Now what really makes me giggle is while the bee is inside drinking nectar the flower "turtle head" appears to be eating the bee.  Silly, but the smile is genuine.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gratitude 10

The date happens to be 10/11/12.  How great is it that people get a kick out of numbers?  I happen to be one of those folk.  I also like the metric system...all divisible by 10.  What a gift.

This happens to be my tenth posting.  It's the tenth month of the year.  (Now imagine me waving one arm in a big circle while I say, "Full circle.  Did you catch that?")

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gratitude 8 & 9

I chose sleep over writing last night.  Sometimes you just have to go to bed.

I love my bed.  Well, love is probably too big of an emotion for my bed, but I like it.  And, I have gratitude for my bed.  It's cushy, the sheets are smooth and the comforter keeps me warm.  It's calling my name.

I also have gratitude for my toddler who continues to make me laugh.  Today she asked me why it got cold.  I spoke of autumn, the changing seasons, and the sooner-than-later inevitable snow.  She made such a face of disgust (which was the beginning of funny because why would a toddler not like snow???  Does she truly remember playing in it last winter or is her memory based on photos that pop up on the computer's slideshow of her eating snow in great big bites, snowmen in the front yard, and snow blowing the driveway?)  So I enthusiastically asked her what do we do with snow?  "We EAT it!" she exclaimed; smiling with her eyes sparkling in anticipation of that first taste of the cold stuff.  (Ha.  I knew she liked snow.)   I asked her what else might we do with snow and she replied, "Throw it at people."

That's my girl.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Gratitude 7

Laughter, second hand stores, ice cubes, and furnaces.

Gratitude 4,5 and 6

I forgot to post for night four.  I couldn't get onto the blog last night and I am just missing Sunday by one minute.  Here we go!

 I will just make a list tonight because there is so much to feel gratitude toward.

The biggest one is my health and the second is community.  We spent the evening at a fundraiser for a friend and her family.  She was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer almost two years ago and the strength I have seen the whole family exhibit makes my heart grow.  And the outpouring of support tonight for this fabulous family makes me feel so good inside.

Although my friend's time here with us will be shorter than most of us thought she is living her life bigger and deeper than most.  Maybe that's cliche but I think it's true.  It probably is more often than we realize.  And who knows how much time we really have?  Does this mean I will be more thoughtful of my own time?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe it's just the extra care for a moment that makes a difference.  

I am grateful for friends.  I am grateful for my body.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gratitude 3

I am thankful for my husband.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gratitude 2

I have a few details from my friend about gratitude365 and it's an Apple app.  I could track it down, but I'm going to continue with my version.

I have gratitude about the fact that there are people who understand the way I think.  And that I have a clothes washing machine.

The sun felt warm on my skin today.  I enjoyed it knowing tomorrow will be cool and windy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gratitude 1

Sometimes I find motivation to do a "thing" for a few minutes, a day, a few times a month or even just once.  A Facebook friend just posted that they have 100 things they're grateful for in the past 25 days along with the title "Gratitude365." I don't have details but thought I would give it a go.

No judging.

Tonight I feel gratitude for Carol Burnett and all the laughter she and Tim Conway have brought to me.

If I look back through my day (recognizing gratitude was not on my radar until about 10 minutes ago) I am relishing a nice long cuddle from Miss Indi, making Ella laugh when she really wanted to be ornery, and a couple of earned merit badges.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Recent books I've read

I am behind in recording my readings and pictures. I was returning a couple of books to the library yesterday and realized I need to do a better job of documenting. I started this blog as a way to keep track of what I'm reading. Over the years I had tried to keep track with lists on paper, paper in notebooks, documents on the computer and others that obviously didn't work because I can't remember. I even asked the library if they could keep track in their computer system and was told it's illegal. What? Apparently the government would know too much about us if the library kept track of the books we've read. I sense a conspiracy theory somewhere.

Well, I wrapped up two books the other day and was once again pleasantly surprised by non-fiction. One is called "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress" by Rhoda Janzen. I was laughing out loud at her sense of humor and thoroughly enjoying her perspective on religion.

The other book is fiction and I believe translated. It is called "The Keeper of Lost Causes" by Jussi Adler Olsen. It's a thriller and reminded me of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series without the sex and violence. Interesting story, crotchety main character you can't help but like. Murder mystery really, without the cheesy one liners like Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie (y or ie here?)I should probably give them both a chance too!

I did read the three Stieg Larsson books a month two ago. The first one was SO hard to get into but I stuck it out and it was good.  Tough to put down. Yes, there is a lot of violence, but not as much as in some. Not for kids, that's for sure. That's enough for now.

Pictures of cute kids coming soon.

Feel free to share any books you're reading and what you think about them.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Toddler as a Teacher

Things I've learned this week from a toddler who is almost 3 years old.

1.  You shouldn't drink water from the bathtub.  That's silly.  Only camels drink water from a bathtub.

2.  Puppies don't wipe their bottom when they go potty because they don't have hands.  Only paws.  And people don't have paws.  (And...puppies go potty outside.)

3.  Chocolate is good.

4.  After singing for an audience you should bow and say "Thank you."