Category Archives: Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday, on a Saturday (again…)

It happened again. It was another unusual Friday morning — it had SNOWED all day Thursday (campus was even shut down at 12:30 pm) and the sore throat that started on Monday turned into full blown crud. It was still snowing on Friday morning and I still felt yucky, so I decided that rather than working from home I’d take a sick day. I spent most of it on the couch, even accidentally slept through Ringo’s last nosework class of this session. I slept in the spare room last night so as not keep anyone awake with my coughing, and here I am using what will most likely be the only burst of energy I have today to write this post — then back to the couch for the day. Every one has been so sick this year, lots of strep throat and even pneumonia going around, and I’d been doing so good to stay healthy in that regard, but it finally caught up with me — the real issue is that I’m supposed to be on summer break right now but I’m working on a big project instead. It’s kind of like meeting someone running a marathon at the finish line and telling them in that moment of relief and collapse that they have to run another two miles to finish. I have nothing left, but I’m giving it all I’ve got anyway. That’s a recipe for disaster.

1. Sick days. And health insurance, a partner who will take the dogs out in the miserable mess, and dogs who are happy to keep me company even when I’m boring. Emergen-C, Advil, sinus rinse, Kleenex with lotion, a hot shower, clean pajamas and sheets, and even that two year old expired but I’m going to take it anyway cough syrup from the last time I was so sick.

2. Texting. For various reasons it came in handy this week, allows me to be connected even though I’m stuck on the couch or really really really far away from what’s going on.

3. Flowers in the bathroom. It’s a luxury, a privilege, totally unnecessary, but I love it anyway. Hopefully my peonies have survived the snow and the next batch will be from my own garden.

4. Sam and Ringo, keeping me company, being so sweet and well behaved when I can’t handle anything else.

5. Eric. Taking care of me, doing the stuff I can’t, worrying about me and loving me, texting me cute pictures of the dogs.

Bonus joy: Good tv, a comfortable couch, down pillows, being caught up on the laundry, the privilege of doing nothing, my good health (I haven’t really been sick since that last time two years ago), a weekend with no plans, healthy dogs, a healthy partner.

Gratitude Friday (a day late)

Trash day, i.e. let’s stand at the window and yell a lot.

Friday was a bit unusual this week. I went to my morning yoga class instead of sleeping in because my friend Mitch was going to be there, for one of the last times (he’s finally moving fulltime to his house in the mountains, selling his house in town so he won’t have a reason to come back). Then we didn’t have Wild Writing class because Laurie was in Boulder seeing her oldest daughter graduate from college. Even though I usually work from home on Fridays, I had to go to campus to interview a couple of people applying to be interns in the fall, and I had to stay after that to get a few other things done. After that, I came home and crapped out on the couch until it was time to take Ringo to his Nose Work class. I knew it was Friday, but I completely forgot to post until my mom sent an email today asking about it. Oh well. It’s never too late to be grateful.

1. Morning walks with the dogs. On Thursday morning, we saw two deer, two heron (or one, two times), THREE families of geese with babies, and ducks. With all the rain last week, the river is much higher.

Big river, little dog.

2. Kitchen counter love notes. It’s really kind of amazing that with all the ones Eric has made, he’s never done the same design twice.

3. Ringo. In his nose work class this week, he was a superstar, which made me realize the past two times weren’t flukes — he’s really really good at it. He went to the vet this week for his annual checkup and shots. He is such a confident dog, but when you take him to the vet, suddenly he’s terrified. He just wanted to hide under my chair the whole time.

4. Surprise gifts in the mail, just because. Eric sent me a card, and his mom and dad sent us a really nice food processor. At first we had not idea who it was from. It was a ordered through Amazon, addressed to both Eric and I, but it had no note. We had no idea who sent it or for why! Anyone who knows us well would know it’s something we want that we’d most likely never buy for ourselves, but we couldn’t figure out who sent it. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday or anything, and we couldn’t figure out who knew us well enough to know we didn’t already have one, would order something online to send, and had that kind of extra money to send such a nice present “just because.” Turns our our niece helped them get online and order it when they were over at her new house.  We sent them a surprise snowblower this winter, so that probably explains the why.


5. Aimee Mann. She released a new album earlier this year, and came to Boulder last week. I got to buy tickets early because I’m part of her fan club, so we were in the 2nd row! I think we’ve seen her about five times now, at least three of those in Boulder. I’ve loved her since I was 16 (the moment in the Voices Carry video where she’s in the opera hall and she loses it because she can’t take being told to keep quiet anymore summed up how I felt at that age), and I only love her more now, and am so lucky Eric likes her too.

Bonus joy: getting back to the gym, yoga with some of my favorite people, tart cherry juice, how sweet Sam can be, good books and the authors who write them, poetry and the poets who write it, good TV, podcasts, breakfast burritos from Mugs Coffee, the Ace Hardware store in Old Town Fort Collins, clean sheets, a cold glass of clean water, a warm shower, indoor plumbing — so so so much privilege, both access and means.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks with the dogs. It’s light so early now, and everything is that particular bright early spring green. There are even baby geese in the ponds and news of baby foxes.

Not a great picture, but since the dogs were with me I couldn’t get too close

2. An award. I was joking at our English department awards ceremony last week that I wanted my friend Aparna to give me an award. A few days later, this lamp that used to belong to my friend Leslee was presented to me in a sweet little unofficial ceremony, and is now officially the weirdest thing in my office, (title previously held by me).

3. Ringo and Sam. With Burg being sick (the final diagnosis is an aggressive type of leukemia, with a prognosis of two weeks to three months), and Dexter’s birthday being this week (he would have been 14!), I am appreciating even more than usual the company and good health of these two goofballs.

4. Women who are creative, smart, kind, and funny. The ones who came to my Storybowl, the ones who couldn’t, the ones who make music and poetry, the ones who write with me, the teachers and the moms and the artists, the ones trying so hard to heal and make things better.

My living room waiting for Storybowl to start. Some day we really will get our floors refinished.

5. Eric. Always my date, making me dinner, walking the dogs, sharing private jokes with me that no one else would understand or probably think were funny, laughing with me, itching that spot I can’t reach, letting me rant about the same thing for the millionth time, helping me clean the house and then leaving so other people could come over and enjoy it, texting me in the middle of the day to see how it’s going, leaving love notes for me on the kitchen counter.

Bonus joy: flowers in the bathroom, lilacs, fresh chives, clean laundry, clean sheets on the bed, Aimee Mann’s new album, good TV, so many good books, poetry, Wild Writing, yoga, physical therapy, the internet, a cold glass of clean water, how green everything is right now, blooms and birds, clean sheets (just noticed I put this on the list twice — I must really really like clean sheets), getting the laundry done on Friday, sleeping in, taking naps, crunchy apples and crunchy peanut butter.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks with the dogs. It’s getting light so early, I don’t even need my headlamp — although that also means other people are out earlier and we don’t have the whole place to ourselves the whole time. Yesterday, there was a heron out hunting. We ran into him along the river and then again at one of the ponds. He was hunkered down, so at first the dogs didn’t see him. See if you can find him in this picture and you’ll understand why they missed him at first.

Can you find the heron?

2. Colorado sky. It really is amazing. Don’t believe me? I present these next two pictures from our walk yesterday morning as proof.

3. Ringo and Sam. Ringo is getting just enough more grown up that I can leave him out during my Wild Writing class and he mostly behaves himself, and he can hang out in the backyard by himself without me having to check on him every five minutes. This is about the time with any other dog that I’d start leaving him at home alone without crating him — not this wild man. Sam is currently hiding under my writing desk because I’m doing laundry and he’s convinced the washing machine is trying to murder us. I’m so glad that he’s doing okay after his tick bite, all healed up and not even any side effects from the antibiotics. I’m feeling extra grateful for their company, their good health today, because someone I adore and her sweet dog just found out he has lymphoma.

Little dude, big ears

Looking for deer

4. Working from home. As an introvert and a highly sensitive person, after four days in a row in my CSU office, I’m fried. The only way I can get any work done on a Friday is to do it from home, in my pjs, with my dogs sleeping somewhere nearby, with a nap break at some point. I’m so lucky that my job allows for it.

5. Good food. Egg sliders with homemade biscuits and fresh eggs from a friend’s chickens, breakfast for dinner with more of the same eggs, spinach on everything, San Pelligrino orange soda, dark chocolate, carrots, and avocado.

Bonus joy: that what was wrong with the Highlander was a fairly minor fix (the Big Rig is 15 years old with close to 200,000 miles now, so any time it goes in the shop, we know it could be something that means we are buying another new car instead of fixing it), enough flexibility in our schedules that five days with one car was workable, the smell of lilacs, my irises blooming, good tv, good books, such good humans in my Wild Writing class, getting a big project at work close to done, pay day, clean sheets.

Gratitude Friday

1. Colorado sunrises. There is something particularly magic about the sky here, and I feel so lucky to be up and out early enough to be able to see the sun come up and the various ways it lights up the sky.

2. Morning walks with the dogs. It hasn’t been long enough for me to start to take them for granted yet. It’s still fresh in my mind the long stretches of time in the last few years when I was injured or hurt or sick and couldn’t go.

I also love having lived somewhere long enough, walked enough miles on the same trails to have favorite spots, favorite trees, places where what happened there that one time is still such a clear memory. When things are really green in the spring, this is one of my favorite spots on the trail.

3. Good food. We finished watching the whole Samurai Gourmet series, so I’ve been craving Asian food lately, in particular a bowl of rice with vegetables and teriyaki chicken. I skipped a meeting the other day and took myself to lunch so I could finally have some. It was good, but it made me realize what I really wanted was the same thing from Love Love Teriyaki in Salem, Oregon.

4. The lilacs are blooming, so there’s flowers in the bathroom.

5. My tiny family. Ringo always makes me laugh, even when he’s being a jerk. I feel so tender about Sam because he’s the same age Obi was when he was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and with the worry this week about his health because of his tick bite, I’m reminded that we are “tangled up in love, running out of time,” (from “In the Middle,” a poem by Barbara Crooker). And when I woke up this morning feeling like I was getting sick, knowing if I walked the dogs in the rain like I’d promised Eric that it would seal the deal, he walked them for me, getting rained on almost the whole time.

Bonus joy: A good book, finishing the laundry, teaching yoga, having people see me and say so, writing with my dream Wild Writing class, saying “no,” putting on clean pajamas even if I haven’t managed to take a shower yet, the prospect of fresh biscuits and a nap later, tulips, clean water.

Gratitude Friday

1. Beautiful weather. It sure was making it hard to stay inside and work the past couple of days. Today is starting off gray and cooler, so that will make work a bit easier.

2. We saw a fox!!!! This is a terrible picture of her, but I had the dogs so didn’t want to get any closer, especially since she’s standing right next to her den. This is very exciting news because some kind of disease wiped out our fox population and there haven’t been any for about four years.

We used to see babies every spring and it was one of my favorite things, so I’m really glad to see them coming back. Here’s a few of the babies from one of the last litters four years ago.
3. Sam and Ringo. Sam had a rough start to the week. We found a tick on him, which led to a vet visit and new drugs and anxiety for the humans. But, Sam did so good letting us take it off of him, letting the vet look him over, getting the bite site cleaned and taking medicine twice a day, and fingers crossed he seems to be doing okay. Ringo and I have been having a really great time in our Nose Work class. This time it’s “vehicles and containers,” and last week he amazed me by finding the hides so fast and waiting in the back of the car so patiently for his turn.

4. Eric. For kitchen counter love notes, cooking us food, taking my car to get the oil changed, washing and vacuuming my car, helping me stay calm even when he’s freaking out too, laughing with me.

5. Being able to maintain my sanity and my health. I’m so glad that with so much going on, I’ve been able to keep it together. I certainly don’t do this all by myself, have a ton of help and privilege.

Bonus joy: crispy Gala apples with peanut butter, good books, podcasts, everything turning green and blooming, being able to sit outside in the sun without getting too hot, this weird show Eric discovered on Netflix which makes me so happy (Samurai Gourmet), good people in good classes with me who are willing to show up and learn and practice, flowers in the bathroom, how brilliantly yellow the daffodils in my flowerbed are, clean water, getting all the laundry done, the internet, computer glasses.

Gratitude Friday

1. Walking with the dogs in the morning. Even when my glasses won’t stop fogging up, or someone has their “friendly” dog offlead, or we run into a herd of deer, or there is a racoon poking its head out of a storm drain, or both dogs won’t stop eating goose poop and horse poop and cat poop and something else gross I think might be poop, or Ringo keeps eating grass and wanting to pick up sticks and I have to say “leave it, drop it, don’t eat it” what feels like a thousand times, or both dogs have to stop and smell everything, or when Sam almost pees on Ringo’s head, or it’s muddy and wet, or someone is already in the little dog park so we don’t get to go in, or I’m so cold I can’t feel my butt anymore, or my knee hurts, or my back hurts, or I’m tired and just want to be home already — even then.

2. Colorado sky. So pretty, so variable.

3. Time with amazing women, who are creative, and smart, and kind, and funny.

4. Friday. Walking the dogs, working from home, doing laundry, Wild Writing class, lunch with a friend, Nose Work class with Ringo, the end of a long week.

5. My tiny family. They are my favorites.