Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

1. Farmer’s Market flowers in the bathroom. When I get a new bunch, I take what is still left alive from the week before, trim it down and put it on my writing desk.

2. Rain. It’s been over 90 degrees for days and days, so the big rainstorm yesterday afternoon was a nice break, and it was an extra bonus it didn’t include any hail.

3. Swimming. Y’all, I am learning so much! This week, while I was practicing, I swam in the lap lane. Let me say that one more time, make sure you really heard it — I SWAM in the lap lane! My favorite is wearing my fins and kicking across the pool on my back.

4. Practice. Sam helped me meditate a few times this week.

5. Peach and cherry season. When we go to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow, we are buying a whole box of Palisade peaches so we can cut them up and freeze them, still have them once the season is over.

6. Baby birds. We are a bit sad, because it seems there are only two left in the nest, not because they are big enough to fly away or be on their own, but because something not good happened to them (we don’t know exactly what, and found no evidence of anything, but there are only two left when there were four — and then three and now two).





7. Sam and Ringo. My best friends. It’s been hot, so there’s been a lot of lounging going on around here.

8. And this guy. He’s my very very very best friend. I love the pictures he sends me when he’s out with the dogs. Because of the heat, they drive around in an air-conditioned car in the afternoon more then they get out to walk, just to feel like they got to do something.

Bonus joy: teaching yoga, swimming lessons, aqua aerobics, Pilates, coffee with a friend, Instagram, good books (still reading Pachinko, a National Book Award Finalist, by Min Jin Lee but almost done, and I think I might get Children of Blood and Bone next, a young adult fantasy novel by Nigerian-American novelist Tomi Adeyemi), good TV (we started watching the beginning of the last season of The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and now I’m craving cake), good movies, going to the movies with Eric (we saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and “Oceans 8” last week), sleeping in, a cold glass of clean water, a good yoga music mix, getting paid for doing something I love.

Gratitude Friday

1. Flowers in the bathroom. I loved this bunch extra lots.

2. Morning walks. We still have to walk “in town” rather than by the river because of the mosquitoes, so there aren’t as many pictures to share to prove to you how lovely it is to talk a walk with my tiny family before many people are up and out. Sam has had a little bit of a set back, with the same issue he had with his back right leg manifesting now on the left. Hopefully we’ve learned something and it won’t get as bad this time around. No matter what, we’ll do everything we can for him and he has an awesome PT vet.

3. Practice. The drama with Shambhala leadership doesn’t change my devotion to my practice or the benefit I get from it. I’m still here.

4. Four baby dinosaurs, getting bigger every day.

5. My tiny family. I never get bored of just hanging out with them, doing practically nothing.

Sam “helping” me meditate

Bonus joy: Teaching yoga, insurance for our cars and our house stepping up and fixing stuff when a bad storm wrecks it, finding a good home for something I don’t need anymore, laughing with Eric, bumping into friends when I hadn’t expected to see them, our “new” fence, naps, good books (I’m reading Pachinko, a National Book Award Finalist, by Min Jin Lee), and good TV (Netflix just released another season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), and good films (I finally watched The Florida Project and the little girl who played the lead, Brooklynn Prince, is amazing), Palisade peaches, cherries, barbecue, swimming on my back across the pool, my new swim fins, ibuprophen, CBD oil, a cold glass of clean water, getting the laundry done, hanging out with Mikalina, texting with Chloe’ and my brother, the way Carrie gets enraged about the same things I do, good neighbors, meeting new dogs, dark chocolate with salted caramel, butterflies, a soft breeze, the ocean.

Gratitude Friday

1. The color of Robin’s eggs. Eric was able to sneak this photo of the ones in the nest in our lilac bush this morning. I love that something I planted is now keeping this tiny family safe and comfortable, and that there will hopefully be four more robins in the world because of it.

2. Morning walks. Even better, one of them this week was a hike, and Sam and I got to go along. I’ve also done two walks this week without my knee braces.

Post hike nap.

3. I can swim! During my lesson yesterday, I swam on both my belly and my back, with no props. I also floated, which I wasn’t sure I could do, (the secret is relaxing and letting go, duh). Today when we went to the pool, I showed Eric what I could do and was pretty proud of myself. I’m not gonna lie, for at least part of the time I’m still thinking “I’m going to die” but for some of it I can actually allow some joy.

4. My tiny family. This week I made sure to take pictures of Sam, which means I got a few more of him than of Dexter.

5. This tiny human. Her mom was also one of my very favorite babies ever.

Bonus joy: going to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant and eating so many appetizers that 90% of my actual meal came home with us and I wasn’t even hungry for dinner and then Eric and I split the leftovers for lunch today (that’s like three meals for the price of one), my coneflowers and lilies are blooming, after I’m done writing this post I’m going to get in bed to read and probably take a nap, going to the movies with Eric (we saw The Incredibles 2, Baby Jack was my favorite, that and the little kids in our row laughing hysterically), a big glass of cold clean water, air conditioning (it was 100 degrees here yesterday), my new race flippers for swimming, how quiet it is swimming on my back across the pool, Pilates, Wild Writing, being able to cross “clean out the garage” off the to-do list (until next time), meditating and writing in the morning, how cool it is in the morning with the whole house fan on even when it gets so hot during the day, how soft the dogs are after getting a bath, good books, good (and dumb so you don’t have to work too hard) movies, one of my favorite podcasts in season again (Put Your Hands Together, a comedy show hosted by Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher), Pop Tarts, good food and giggles with good friends.

Gratitude Friday

1. Farmer’s market flowers. I know I’ve said it before, but my goal is to have a garden like she does where I can make bouquets like these for myself all season long. Maybe this summer I’ll get up the courage to ask if I can come to her house for a tour. She’s an art teacher, and my theory is that’s why her stuff is so gorgeous — she has an eye for it.

2. Insurance. Sometimes it feels like you pay and pay for nothing, and then a single hailstorm comes along, lasts less than 20 minutes but ruins your roof and both cars and you are happy to have paid because now you need the pay out and the help.

3. The robin and her babies who are living in our lilac bushes survived the storm. One of those balls of hail could have easily killed her or knocked her nest to the ground, but she’s still there, sitting happily on her brood. Our garden got through this storm okay too.

4. Ringo and Sam. Somehow neither Eric nor I took a single picture of Sam this week, but here’s one of silly Ringo.

5. Eric. Two introverts form a mostly functional adult. Thank goodness, because this week felt like we were adulting all over the place.

Bonus joy: swimming lessons (this week I swam on my back, with the help of a buoy and some flippers, and it was actually fun), yoga, aqua aerobics, clean sheets, naps, rain and cooler days, morning walks (Sam is up to 3.5 miles a day!), texting, Wild Writing, clean water, a warm shower and a clean towel, good books, going to the movies with Eric, Pop Tarts (sometimes it’s exactly what you need), strawberries from our garden.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Sam is up to a 2.5 mile walk in the morning, so we’ve been going together more often, all four of us, then one of the humans takes Ringo a few more miles.

2. Blooms, in our garden and elsewhere. Decades ago someone made the decision to plant climbing roses below our front window. It makes no sense and every year, I cut them way back and swear I’m going to try and move them or just get rid of them, but then they bloom and I don’t have the heart to do anything but thank them. The tall white irises below were given to me by my friend Ann, moved from her garden to mine the summer before she died. It makes me stupid happy to see them thriving, coming alive and blooming every year. And my garden goal of having something blooming from the beginning of the season to the end seems to be almost fully achieved.

3. Practice. Saving my life, keeping me sane, calming me down, helping me to cultivate courage and compassion.

4. Sam and Ringo. Sam is slowly and surely getting better. I still can’t tell if he’ll go back to being able to run 10 miles, go on a 14 mile hike, jump into the back of the big rig with confidence, or if I’ll ever stop watching him so close, trying so hard to keep him from getting hurt again, worrying about him, but I’m so grateful that he’s not in as much pain and he’s able to get around like a regular dog. Ringo is a contradiction of sweet and crazed, and I love that about him even as he’s driving me crazy.

5. Eric. He’s the best. He made a pie yesterday, spends every morning watering the garden and weeding, takes such good care of all of us and makes me laugh.

Bonus joy: a robin made a nest in our lilac bush (see picture below), swimming lessons, aqua aerobics, napping, strawberries from our garden, an afternoon thunderstorm, Wild Writing, texting, reading, good TV, going to the movies with Eric, clean sheets, catching up with the laundry, a pay raise at work, butterflies, sitting in the sauna, going out to lunch.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. As I mentioned, they’ve been a different route because there are too many mosquitoes by the river. Ringo and I spent this week walking around the City Park Cemetery trying to find the nest with two baby owls. We haven’t found them, but it’s a nice place to walk — lots of shade from huge trees, quiet, and right now there are so many peonies blooming there.

The light though…

2. Peonies. We’ve had such hot weather the past few days that the season is almost over already, but I’ve been cutting them and bringing them in the house, have a vase in almost every room.

3. Practice. It keeps me from giving up, when so many sad and awful things are happening in the world and I’m so tired and don’t know what else to do.

4. Teaching yoga. I subbed three classes this week. I don’t want to teach that much all the time, at least not right now, but in a short burst it’s really lovely.

5. Strawberries. We are getting a TON from our garden this year. Eric even made a pie this week. It’s one of the things he’s the best at, making pie. Eating it is one of the things I’m the best at. 🙂

There really is pie under there somewhere

Today’s harvest.

6. My three boys. I love just being home with them, taking naps and hanging out.

Bonus joy: San Pelligrino Orange Sparkling Water (there’s something wrong with how much I crave this), Wild Writing with Mikalina and Chloe’ (although, not much writing happened today), air conditioning and a whole house fan, all the work Eric does on our garden and how well it’s doing, Sam getting better from his injury but getting old all at the same time, Ringo getting to make friends when he’s out on a walk by himself, swimming lessons (I did SO GOOD this week!), the privilege of summer vacation, clean sheets (which I’m heading to put on right now).

Gratitude Friday

1. My peonies are blooming. I love them so much. The two bushes with the least blooms are coming in first, and there’s at least 20 blooms each on the two bigger ones, so FYI: there are going to be lots of pictures until they are done.

The ants and ladybugs love them too

2. Morning walks. Because there are so many mosquitoes out by the river right now, we’ve been having to walk to City Park and the lake instead. It’s a nice walk, but I miss the river already.

3. Swimming lessons. I took my first one yesterday. I put my face in the water a bunch of times, and only panicked a little lot. I think once I can get past that part, the rest will be easier, more fun. I have a good teacher and the willingness to try, and that seems like a good place to start.

Me after my lesson and ten minutes in the sauna

4. Joyful movement. Aqua aerobics, Pilates, yoga, and walking with Eric and the dogs. For so many years, exercise was about what I should do, about punishment and discontent. I’m so grateful I found new things that I enjoy and feel good doing.

5. My tiny family. I really would rather be with them than anywhere else.

Bonus joy: strawberries from our garden that taste like sunshine, good books (I’m reading Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler right now – so good), good TV (I just watched the first two episodes of season three of Queen Sugar), sleeping in, napping, clean sheets, air conditioning, clean water, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, texting, not checking my work email.