Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday

1. Spring break. I barely made it, and I need it so desperately. I haven’t been this burnt out in a really long time.

2. Morning walks with Ringo. Sam is still restricted to going just around the block, so it’s been just me and little dude. The other morning, we were about 15 minutes from the river when the sky caught on fire. I thought for sure we were going to miss it, but we made it in time to get a picture of the tail end of the sunrise.

3. Winter sky. It’s always vast, but the colors and clouds in winter are extra special.

4. Physical therapy for Sam. That we can afford it, that it is helping him heal, and that he is such a good boy when we go.

5. Eric. All the ways that he helps me, loves me, makes me laugh and keeps me sane.

6. Naps. Ringo typically doesn’t let Eric take very long naps, but for some reason he’s willing to take epic ones with me, even if he fights it initially.

7. Flowers in the bathroom. I’m loving how long these last.

8. Practice. Keeping me from giving up, keeping me sane.

Bonus joy: Yoga, Pilates, aqua aerobics, massage, crisp crunchy Gala apples and peanut butter, good TV, good books, good podcasts, good films, blogging, my car which looks so pretty after Eric washed it, things turning green, birdsong, our old neighbor saying “hi” to Ringo, our “new” fence, barbecue, clean laundry, clean sheets, a warm shower and a clean towel, cuddling with Ringo, loving on Sam, pain meds.

Gratitude Friday

1. Laurie Wagner, my Wild Writing teacher and dear friend. Facebook told me that today is our six year anniversary of being friends on Facebook. The reason we became friends online is Rachel Cole told me about Laurie’s writing classes and I signed up for one. I’ve been writing with her on the regular ever since. A few years ago, too long now, I got to go visit her at 27 Powers three different times. Her home is magic, she’s magic, the practice we do together is magic.

2. Morning walks. I got to go this week. We saw a fox one morning, and the herd of white tailed deer another. The sky is so amazing, particularly in the winter.

3. Getting Sam in to see our favorite rehab vet, four days early. That’s the next step with Sam, doing physical therapy. We tried to get in to see our favorite person, but she was booked a month out, so we scheduled with someone else. Then yesterday, I got a call from her tech, who remembered us from when we took Dexter there, saying they could get us in this afternoon. Fingers and paws are crossed that this helps him feel better.

4. Dexter. Going to rehab with Sam reminds me of when Dexter was going. He hurt his knee the last year he was with us, but because he already had a fatal cancer, he wasn’t a candidate for surgery. In the end, he wouldn’t have needed it either way, got better with physical therapy. I miss him so much. He was so in love with Obi and so was I, and when we lost him, we turned that love on each other and it was a glorious four years.

5. Ringo. Let’s not forget him. Yesterday I took a sick day. I was so exhausted. He typically only wants to take about a half hour nap if he’s not in his crate, but he cuddled next to me for almost two hours yesterday.

The only dry spot in our yard right now

“Stop taking my picture, Mom.”

Bonus joy: chocolate chip oatmeal cookies the size of my face, meditating with a friend, yoga, Pilates, aqua aerobics, a tall glass of cold water, sweet potatoes, tangerines, bbq pizza, napping, clean sheets, reading in bed at night, sunshine (it’s gorgeous outside today).

Gratitude Friday

Snow at Lory State Park

Image by Eric, Lory State Park

1. Eric running with Ringo when it’s too cold to walk (pretty much anything below about 15 degrees, which has been most mornings this week), and Sam can’t go because he’s hurt, which means I miss the walk too but that’s okay for now.

2. Sweet Sam, who has had to put up with a lot of poking and prodding lately, and has managed to stay sweet. He went in yesterday, was sedated so they could do a thorough exam and take xrays. The good news: his knee is okay, won’t need surgery. The potentially bad news: it’s his back that’s actually hurt, making him limp. We are waiting for a second opinion to know if we can go to physical therapy and heal him up, or if it’s something worse.

3. Ringo Blue, who has been as nice as you can expect to Sam through it all. He gets to go hiking and running all by himself with the dad, so he doesn’t really mind all that much.

4. A flexible work schedule. Let’s be honest, I work my ASS off for CSU (was just awarded a Superior ranking for the 7th year in a row, in an evaluation that described my “high level of professionalism, competence, patience, and good humor”) and I very much appreciate that when I need to be doing other things, like take Sam to the vet or wait around until he can come home or hang out with him to make sure he’s okay, I can without too much fuss.

5. The weekend. I’ve been working and worried so much that I really need the weekend to rest. It sucks that I don’t get to do too much of anything else right now, but rest is the most important thing.

Bonus joy: Wild writing, aqua aerobics, money to pay the vet, Ringo being old enough now that I don’t have to watch him every second, good neighbors, snow, my moon nightlight, my Kindle, good books and TV and films and music, texting, being able to work from home, teaching yoga, a cold glass of clean water, wool sweaters, a warm hat, snow tires, a clean desk, avocado, birds singing.


Gratitude Friday

Art by Marisa Aragón Ware

1. Happy (Tibetan) New Year! From an email sent by Shambhala Publications: “The Tibetan New Year (Losar) 2145 February 16, 2018. This year is a Year of the Earth Dog.

According to Tibetan Astrology by Philippe Cornu, the dog brings idealism, justice, and reflection. The dog is all about honesty and loyalty, intelligence and conscientiousness. While it may become overly serious, alarmist, or pessimistic, it is generous and favors those who have good intentions.

The element of earth is all about crystallizing, working slowly and powerfully to stabilize things. It is fertile, abundant, practical, and prudent. Earth can be enterprising, selfish, and shrewd, but it can also be grounded and realistic, reaching concrete goals methodically.”

Sidewalk snow heart

2. Morning walks. They’ve been a little weird lately because Sam can only go around the block, but Ringo has been making the best of it, getting a human and all the treats all to himself for the longer walk.

3. Eric, and his kitchen counter love notes. He’s been holding up the ceiling for me when my arms get too tired, like in that poem, “A Marriage” by Michael Blumenthal.

You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.

But then,
something wonderful happens:
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arms up
to the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner’s arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.

Kitchen counter love note: special edition

4. Flowers in the bathroom. They had Charmelia again at the store last week. I love these so much, they last a really long time and remind me of sweet peas.

5. Ringo and Sam. If you could, please send Sam some extra love. His limp isn’t going away, is getting a bit worse. We took him to the vet, and from what she could tell from a quick exam, there’s reason to believe he might need knee surgery. Next week, we’ll take him in so she can sedate him and really get a good look, take some x-rays, but my gut is telling me the poor sweet dude is going to need surgery. I can’t stand to see my dogs suffer, so maybe send some love for me too. And then, only if you have some to spare, send some Ringo’s way cause the whole thing is just boring to him.

Bonus joy: the new swimming suit I needed was on sale AND I got an extra 10% off, aqua aerobics, Wild Writing, Pilates, getting stronger, knowing everything is okay even when nothing is, pain meds, Sam doing so good at the vet yesterday even though they messed with him so much and it was the last place he wanted to be, that even though my washing machine has been suffering from an electronic form of dementia for at least a year it keeps going and still works, getting all the laundry done on Friday, being able to gift my Andrea Gibson tickets to someone who really really wanted to go when it turned out I couldn’t, the way Ringo went over by Sam (who is hiding under my writing desk, because laundry) just now and laid down even though they were already in the same room — it was like he wanted to be closer, clean sheets, good TV (Catfish and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee) and good books (An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was picked by Oprah for her book club for good reason), and being able to work from home.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. They’ve been a bit unusual this past week because Sam has had a tiny limp that won’t go away (only happens when he first gets up after having been resting for a bit, and he only limps about 3 or 4 steps, so you barely notice it, but he’s 8 years old now and we have to be careful) so we’ve been making him rest. We have a vet appointment scheduled for next week just in case it doesn’t clear up. You might not know this about me, but anything like that makes me anxious, because I always worry that every little weird thing is the first sign of cancer, and not just cancer but fatal cancer, because it’s happened to us like that two times and I keep expecting it to happen again because so far that’s been our reality. So an extra gratitude linked to this one is that while I worry, in this case Eric isn’t worried and has been able to keep me mostly sane.

2. The sky and the bare trees. The winter can be cold and dark, but it can also be beautiful.

3. Baby Ringo, back when his ears were just starting to stand up.

4. Teaching yoga. I subbed twice this week. This morning was almost a disaster because even though I KNEW I was teaching this morning, I forgot somewhere between Wednesday and today. I slept in and was being lazy, totally forgetting I was supposed to teach. Luckily my phone was in my hand when the notification went off, “Yoga: I’m Teaching!” and I only live five minutes away from the gym where I was subbing.

5. Aqua aerobics and then ten minutes in the sauna. Just look at how happy and pink it makes me.

6. My tiny family, and an explanation — many times when Eric and I text each other, we say “How’s it going?” and then include a selfie of wherever we happen to be at the moment. That’s why there’s a picture in this post of me at Om Ananda as I was getting ready to teach, and me in the gym locker room after aqua aerobics and the sauna, and the ones that follow of Eric and I with the dogs.

Bonus joy: Wild writing, Friday !!!, homemade pizza, a crispy gala apple with peanut butter, a working furnace, warm water, clean sheets, texting, Ringo doing well in his Parkour class even though we hadn’t had time to practice, how much more spacious my schedule is next week, and this cutie…


Gratitude Friday

1. Where we live. There are lots of things to complain about or critique here, but the river and the sky and the trails and the snow and the foxes and how close they all are to where we sleep are not on that list.

2. Practice. Wild writing, meditation, yoga, being in relationship with other humans, letting go.

3. Flowers in the bathroom. A few weeks back, I got a bundle of these. The sign bragged that they would last for three weeks. It turns out to be true, and the more they open the more they remind me of sweet peas, which reminds me of summer in Oregon.

4. My tiny family. The way Eric and I check in with each other during the day by sending a selfie of where we are and what we are doing. The comfort of coming home after a long day. The hope that Sam’s tiny limp will right itself and he won’t get older too quickly. How good Ringo did in our Parkour class last week even though we’d missed the week before and hadn’t practiced at all. There are always more pictures of Ringo because he’s so photogenic, but Sam is still sweeter.

5. Snow. And snow tires, and snow shovels, and ice scrapers, and my icebug shoes with the spikes, and wool hats and shirts and socks, down coats and pillows and blankets, and a headlamp.

Bonus joy: getting stronger in all kinds of ways, chocolate, roasted sweet potatoes, clean sheets, a good thermal shirt that’s soft and warm, good friends, the promise of more space, breakfast burritos, an empty parking spot, Pilates, aqua aerobics, the sauna, good books, a new episode of Catfish, flocks of tiny birds, computer glasses, people who shovel their sidewalks, our furnace.

Gratitude Friday

1. My bed. After being gone over the weekend, it felt so good to sleep here again.

2. Flowers in the bathroom. It’s especially nice when they last a long time.

3. Food I can only get in Oregon. My aunt sent me two jars of marionberry jam for Christmas, and when I was in Oregon my cousin gave me four more, to which another aunt added a jar of gooseberry jam. I smuggled them all home in my suitcase, and they all got here safely. My mom also made a pineapple upside down cake while I was there and I had lunch at Burgerville in the airport before flying home. YUM.

4. Practice. Yoga, writing, meditation, and dog, all on the regular, saving my life every day.

5. My tiny family. I was only gone barely four days, but I missed them. They are my favorites, my normal.

Sam’s new bed is so big it almost makes him look tiny.

Bonus joy: aqua aerobics, Wild Writing, clean sheets, snow, morning walks, watching The Great British Baking Show with Eric (we watched all four seasons — what are we going to watch now? *sob*), two flights on which the planes didn’t fall out of the sky, good friends who will “go all mom on you” when you really need it.