Tag Archives: Gratitide Friday

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.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Because it’s been so cold and I went back to work this week, Eric’s been doing most of these for almost a full two weeks. I told him this morning how grateful I was that he’d been doing it, but that next week we need to get back on our normal schedule — I miss it.

2. Flowers in the bathroom. When we redid our bathroom a few years ago, it was so pretty all by itself that I didn’t actually decorate it. Two years later, there’s still nothing on the walls other than paint. I bought new bathmats and some towels, but the only other thing I do is keep flowers in there. It makes me happy.

3. Baby Ringo isn’t a baby anymore. He graduated to getting to have blankets in his crate when we aren’t home. He was so bad the first few years, putting everything in his mouth, eating and swallowing things that ARE NOT FOOD, that we didn’t want to risk leaving bedding in his crate with him when we weren’t there to watch him. We started leaving him with them last week, and he’s done totally fine, doesn’t even dig them up, just settles in for a nice nap. Good boy, Ringo.

4. Lineage. Three of my dogs have been rescues, and the next ones will be too. However, we got Ringo under special circumstances and he was born on purpose. Because of this, we know his parents. Peach, the dog top left, is his mom, and Spec, on the bottom left, is his dad. I’m so grateful to their human for cultivating a line of healthy, beautiful, smart, and even tempered dogs.

5. My tiny family. Besides Ringo, the rest of us are mutts.

6. I get to see these two love bugs. My niece had a baby just before Christmas, and my mom and I are hosting a baby shower for her in a few weeks. It’s in Oregon, but I’m going to fly out for a few days so I can be there. Can’t wait to meet the tiny new one!

Bonus joy: practice, deadlines — because once they come and go there’s nothing else you can do about it, Sam (because Ringo got all the attention in this post somehow) for being such a sweet dog, good books (I’m finishing up Jenifer Lewis’s book, The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir), good TV, podcasts, Emergen-C, aqua aerobics, the sauna, my new heating pad, clean sheets, soft flannel pjs, snow tires, windshield wiper fluid, sleep, writing, Burrito Del Mar breakfast burritos.

Gratitude Friday (on a Friday!)

1. Morning walks. Because Eric and I are both off work this week, all four of us got to go the other morning.

2. Living close to the water. In a perfect world, it would be the ocean, but having the river and a few reservoirs, lakes, and ponds near by is workable.

3. Holiday food. Stuffing, apple pie, cheddar cayenne biscuits, and apple cider. All the extra candy, cookies, and clementines aren’t bad either.

4. Christmas presents. I was obviously a very good girl this year, also very aware of my privilege.

5. My favorite Christmas pj pants. My aunt/godmother got me these Eddie Bauer pj pants for Christmas at least 10 years ago, probably longer. At the time, they were too big; now they fit just right. I’ve worn them to open presents every Christmas morning since, but they are reaching the end of their life. The hem and waistband are frayed, the fabric getting thinner.

6. My tiny family. So grateful that everyone is healthy and safe.

We tried to get a picture in front of the tree with the dogs before we opened presents, but the dogs weren’t having it.

Making an effort

We give up

Bonus joy: Writing and hanging out with Mikalina, aqua aerobics and the sauna every day this week, pay day, a clean car, good books (just finished White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, am processing it a bit more before I publish a review), good TV (Eric and I just finished the first season of The Great British Baking Show), napping, vacation days, texting, baby pictures.

Gratitude Friday (on a Sunday, and two weeks late)

I used to have blonde highlights in my hair. I like the silver ones better.

Have I mentioned lately how busy I am? Not exactly, because I’m so busy that I haven’t even been able to come here much to say anything about it, or about anything else. Work has been NUTS. So many big projects, so much extra effort necessary. Then there’s trying to get ready for Christmas, which includes Eric’s birthday (12-16). Last Friday I was at Shambhala Mountain Center at the Fearlessly Creative writing and meditation retreat with Susan Piver, and this week I got turned around about what day it was, so here we are after two weeks of no Gratitude Friday posts, and I’ve got plenty of stuff to be grateful for…

Shambhala Mountain Center

The view from my bedroom window my first morning at Shambhala Meditation Center

1. Fearlessly Creative with Susan Piver. This is the fourth time I’ve attended this retreat. I love it, the place and her and the practice, so much. Even though I write every day for a lot of the day, I can lose sight of being a writer. I know that must sound weird but it’s true. I think maybe it’s because so much of the writing I do is in service of someone else’s mission, and there’s so much writing I want to do that I just don’t have the time or energy for, and because of that what I’m not writing feels more present somehow that what I am writing. This retreat, three full days of nothing but mediating and writing what I want to and discussing those things, reminds me — this is who I am. This time there was an extra bonus — my room got upgraded to a junior suite! It was really nice.

I always bring a few things to make myself more comfortable, like my own pillow and blanket and some twinkle lights.

Rigden Shrine Room, Shambhala Mountain Center

2. Practice. After going on retreat, I feel reenergized, recommitted.

3. Good mail. Along with all the Christmas cards and notes, there have been a few special surprises. This mug came in the mail today from a big hearted friend, and I’m not even sharing it with Eric.

4. Christmas Vacation. We went to see A Charlie Brown Christmas on my first official day off from work. As a kid, I loved the dog, the music, the awkward characters, and thought it was a sweet story. As an adult, I’m also painfully aware how white and aggressively Christian it is. I watched a small boy sleep in his grandma’s lap for most of the show, the little girl in front of me spent the intermission dancing in the aisle, and at one point Eric was sneaking me Rolos. Tonight, we are going out for Chinese food, a Christmas Eve tradition that doesn’t happen every year but I’m glad when it does. We’ve also been spending a lot of time in the pool and sauna at the gym. I love our Christmas tree, and there’s a bit of snow on the ground.

5. Sweet Sam and Ringo Blue. A friend’s dog is really sick, and it’s making me extra grateful for how young and healthy these two are right now. This in-between doesn’t last for long, this moment when no one is a baby and no one is dying, and I’m doing my best to be present with it, appreciate it, and remember that like everything else, it doesn’t last.

Bonus joy: my niece had her baby (!!!!!), things went well and they are both healthy and of course she’s the cutest thing e v e r, Christmas treats, tea with a dear friend, brunch with another dear friend, plans to catch up with yet another dear friend, clean sheets, clean laundry, a warm shower, a cold glass of clean water, hot apple cider, snow tires, twinkle lights, Christmas trees, just enough snow to have a white Christmas, good tv, finding the power cord I thought I’d lost, warm toast with butter and honey, cooking, watching The Great British Baking Show with Eric (although it makes me hungry, makes me want to bake stuff), a clean bathroom (thanks, Eric!), clementines and oranges, down blankets, being able to have enough and then extra that I can share with those who don’t, the promise of unopened presents.

Gratitude Friday

It was so cold and my glasses were fogging up, but the sunrise was amazing

Apparently, I wasn’t just late with this post last week, I forgot altogether! I’m not sure how exactly that happens, except for it’s been a busy season and I had a different schedule last Friday that must have thrown me off. I was just as grateful, even though I didn’t come here and tell you about it.

1. Morning walks with the dogs. They were some cold, dark ones this week, but there was an almost full moon.

2. The play of the light. These next two pictures were taken from the same bridge at the same moment, only one minute apart, one looking east and one looking west.

3. Christmas trail trees. After Thanksgiving every year, someone decorates three trees along the trail. It makes me so happy.

4. Flowers in the bathroom and kitchen counter love notes. This week, they were extra fancy.

I’m not even sure how he did this — when he writes a grocery list, I can’t even read it

5. My tiny family. My favorites, even when the dogs are barking at garbage trucks for what feels like the fourth hour in a row and they won’t stop no matter what I try or Eric is in a bad mood it doesn’t even come close to erasing the laughter and the love, which is so so much bigger.

Bonus joy: getting holiday shopping finished (don’t get too excited, I still have to wrap and then ship half of it), texting, good TV, good books, aqua aerobics, my new infrared heating pad (it’s only been two days, but so far it seems like a miracle – it was an early present from Eric because the company he ordered it from sent it without boxing or wrapping it so I already knew what it was when I saw it sitting on the front porch), the sauna at the gym, massage, a bonus at work, dropping in on a yoga class I won’t be going to much more, our new bed (another one — we had to return the first new bed that was memory foam because it was too soft, like sleeping on a giant marshmallow), breakfast for dinner, a fun Christmas movie with friends, oranges, clementines, an apple with peanut butter on crackers which is apparently my go-to “I didn’t have time to pack a lunch and I don’t want to go anywhere” meal when I’m at work, Wild Writing, Get Together Time, Nosework class with Ringo, how sweet Sam is, laughing with Eric, Christmas lights.

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Morning walks. This picture is one of my favorites, and I didn’t even mean it. I was taking a picture of the sky (the one below) and I looked down and noticed the dogs looking too, so I knelt down and got them in the shot.

2. Colorado sky, especially the ones in the morning, which we’ve been getting to see a lot since the time change. The winter weather can make them especially glorious.

3. It’s my birthday! I turned 50 today, and will most likely write a post later saying more about that.

4. Eric has made this a really special one. He organized a dinner out with friends, is making a German chocolate cake, got me lots of good presents (one is a night light that’s a replica of the moon!), and earlier in the week, he ordered clam chowder from my favorite place on the Oregon Coast (uh, we live in Colorado!) and made a dinner that almost exactly replicated what I order when we go there.

When the box arrived, I had NO idea what it was

Packed full of so much good, and don’t forget the cheesy garlic toast

And pie, don’t forget the pie

5. Tomorrow is Ringo’s birthday! He’s going to be four years old, but I love him like he’s going to be 50.

He likes to steal my spot on the couch

6. Sam. Even though he’s probably going to have a tiny scar, he’s all healed up from the dog attack of a few weeks ago. He’s also almost finally adjusted to the time change and stopped trying to wake everyone up at 4 am.

Bonus joy: Facebook messages on my birthday, texting with my brother, laughing with Eric, Fall Break, Wild Writing, yoga, getting in the pool, clean sheets, a warm shower and a clean towel, a good night’s sleep, sleeping in, napping, good TV (the season finale of Better Things was so good), pulling together an article to share some good news, Pilates, a massage, French toast, roasted sweet potatoes, discounted gas, a free training session, my computer glasses.


Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. It’s that time of year where it’s dark for most of it, but so pretty when we get to see the sun rise.

2. That it wasn’t worse. Two hard things happened this week: Sam got bullied by a loose pit bull while Eric was out walking the dogs on Sunday afternoon, and I had to have an emergency root canal on Monday (after having a toothache all weekend). It made me grateful for so many things: that Eric and Ringo didn’t get hurt, that someone heard Eric yelling and came out and helped so they could get to safety, that Sam was limping and had a cut where the dog’s tooth punctured his leg but it wasn’t any worse, that we have an awesome emergency vet, that we have the money to take our dog to the emergency vet, that even though my dentist was out of town and couldn’t do the root canal until November 8th there was another office where I could go and get it taken care of that day and they were all awesome, that I have good dental insurance, that I could take the day off work, and that I could afford the portion my insurance didn’t cover.

Waiting to see the vet

Recovering (if you look close, you can see where they shaved his armpit so they could close the wound, no stitches necessary just some medical grade superglue)

3. Ringo. He’s been extra sweet. I can’t say he understands that Sam and I had a rough start this week and therefore is trying to be super good, and yet he’s sure been extra nice — especially all the extra cuddling with me and being patient with Sam.

On our walk the next morning, he was a bit wary, keeping an eye out for any trouble

4. Kitchen counter love notes.

5. My tiny family. I will be happy that we can all be together this weekend. Hopefully it will be a quiet, uneventful, relaxing time.

Bonus joy: vegetarian corn dogs and tater tots and lots of ketchup, pain medication, clean sheets, Wild Writing, yoga, aqua aerobics, a new swimming suit, down jackets and wool socks, waterproof Keens, something to stop the itching, being able to work from home, good TV, good books, good podcasts, good movies, good women doing good work who keep me from giving up because they keep showing up, texting with my brother, emails from my mom.