Saturday Gratitude Post 01/11/2014

I am full of grateful feelings today.  I am healthy, and happy, and feeling quite inspired.  My family is all doing well, as well — we are very lucky.

Tomorrow is Dad’s 80th birthday — Happy Birthday, Dad!  I give thanks every day that you are taking care of yourself.   Remember, you and P. promised to dance at my 75th  birthday party.  I am going to hold you to that.  What many changes you have seen in your lifetime!  Much love and best wishes. Continue reading

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Happily Giving Thanks

We live in a bountiful land, loaded to the gills with so many blessings, in the produce of the land, the variety of forests, the differences of the dirt itself, in color and chemical makeup.  We Americans live in comfort, for the most part; comfort that citizens of other parts of the world cannot even imagine.  We have access, and now more access, to health care, to the treatments and drugs we need to survive the many and various bacteria and viruses which are always with us.  We are blessed, and we have much for which to be grateful.

Shortly after I launched this blog, I announced a Gratitude Challenge which, as far as I know, two people have  accepted.  Maybe people don’t know how to say it, or write it.  With a short self-inventory, however, I believe anyone can come up with at least a couple of reasons to give thanks. This very act reminds me of how good my life is, and how often I squander it, when I get wrapped up in happenings of the day.  I am reminded, each Saturday, when I write this list, of how fortunate my family has been, (as I am the least healthy of us, and I am working on that.)  I wish I could convey the feeling of peace I find in writing that post every week.  Maybe if I could, more readers would be willing to take a stab at it.

This is not a religious act.  When I give thanks, I offer it up to the stream of consciousness, and to everyone and everything that is made up of a tiny fraction of the material of the universe.  We are the little pieces of the universe which it makes of itself in order to be conscious and to have effect on each other and the world, hopefully for good.  We are stardust, and that makes us and our thanks as luminous as every star in the sky.  On Thanksgiving day, when I see for how much I can be grateful, I say Thanks.  I am a very lucky woman.

Saturday Gratitude Challenge — 11/16/2013

With many thanks to Eldy

With many thanks to Eldy

I have loads of reasons to be thankful today.

Mom and I went out to run some errands this morning, and I was overwhelmingly grateful to watch her get into and out of her car with little pain or strain — an enormous change from the last couple of months.  I thank all of her doctors, and nurses, and Physical and Occupational Therapists.  Mom, I am so very proud of you! Continue reading

Gratitude Saturday — 09/21/2013

With many thanks to Eldy

With many thanks to Eldy

I am grateful for so much, this week.  I feel rested and refreshed, after Mom’s and my weekend in the White Mountains.  We shared a lot of laughter, and saw some lovely countryside.  I was very happy and thankful to spend some time in a mountainous area — that high horizon always appealed to me.  Thank you, Mom, for a wonderful weekend.

Lunch by Thomas Pond in Raymond, Maine

Lunch by Thomas Pond in Raymond, Maine

I got out of the practice of exercising while I was away, and I needed a few days to get back in the swing.  But I earned something like 40 marbles yesterday, and I started the day walking down, and then back up, the stairs.  I am confident that I am back in a pattern now, and I am grateful to be here, rather than sitting around thinking of what I should be doing, as I used to do.

I heard from a couple of far-away sisters this week; I’m thankful to be in touch with them, and to know that everyone is hanging in there.  Three of my sisters have birthdays in the next week-plus, on the 27th and two on the 29th.  September used to be a month of mourning for me, but no more — I’m feeling quite contented.

Mom’s knee replacement surgery happens on Wednesday, and I hope all of you in my reader family will wish her well on that day.  After the surgery, unless the doctors decide she needs rehab, she is coming home, where I will stay for most of the next month.  I believe she will feel a tremendous improvement, both in mobility and discomfort, when the knee is replaced.

I am feeling healthy — my blood sugar averages continue to fall.  I see the nephrologist on Monday — I am a little nervous about that, but I am sticking to the diet and watching my potassium and my phosphorous intake.  Hopefully my kidney values will be down a little from last time.

I am full of gratitude today, and thankful for every blessing in my life.  I am a very lucky woman!

Gratitude Saturday Challenge — 08/03/2013

Gratitude Saturday Challenge  Badge Courtesy: Eldy

Gratitude Saturday Challenge
Badge Courtesy: Eldy

On Friday, my friend Darreby and I went to The Christmas Tree Shop in Portland — a store that started as a Christmas store, and grew and grew and grew until it carries all kinds of odd lots, craft supplies, furniture, candles, lamps, even a full line of groceries.  I was in search of materials for my reward system — I choose habits I want to change, or changes in daily menus and schedule.  I assign a certain number of marbles to each task, and at the end of the evening, I remove however many marbles I earned or achieved that day from the big bowl, and put them in the tall vase.

Today's Marbles

Today’s Marbles

When the vase is full, I give myself a reward — not a Blizzard or a meal out, or even a day off my routine.  My first reward will be a trip to the big Goodwill store and buy new shorts, or a top, and/or pants, in the amount of $25.00.  Then I’m going to lovingly dispose of the 20+-year-old shorts I still wear.

The Whole Setup - Thanks, Darreby!

The Whole Setup – Thanks, Darreby!

This whole system was Darreby’s idea, and I am anxious to see how it works for me.  If I respond in the way I expect, I will continue this program up until our cruise in the fall of 2014.  I have other ideas as well, but I am going to concentrate on replacing some unproductive, unhelpful habits with more positive ones.

Today, for this new start, I am grateful.  The program is non-punitive — I don’t lose marbles if I don’t use a new habit, but I gain marbles every time I replace my old habit with a new one.  I plan on starting with a couple of exercises, and a couple of food habits.  Easy ones at first — climb up and down the stairs once every day, 45 minutes pedaling every day, no refined sugar, some others.  And also, at first, several marbles for each accomplishment, so my bottle fills quickly.  As these new habits become more, well, habitual, I will decrease the amount of marbles, and pick two or three more changes to make.

As always, I am thankful for my health, my home, and my family and friends.  My oldest niece is very close to the birth of her second child, and we are ready to greet little S., a girl.  In fact, I know all of the family — grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and my niece and nephew-in-law, parents, of course are grateful for this little miracle coming into our lives.

I feel good, and expect to feel better soon.  I am a very lucky, and a very contented woman.

Gratitude Saturday — 07/13/2013

N.B.  This post is a day late, but I needed time to get the photos in.  Some are not quite focused — my hands shake — but this remarkable camera compensates for much of that.

I am grateful today.  For the last few days, I’ve been down and up — more down, sadly.  But this morning Mom and I went out to breakfast, and then to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which were in full summer bloom.  The high temp was around 80℉, only 55% humidity, and a glorious northwest breeze, which was the icing on a lovely cake-y day.

The Gardens were very pretty back in May, when the early spring flowers were blooming, but today, we saw nasturtiums, roses, hollyhocks, and uncountable other kinds of flowers;

Miniature representation of a Maine Forest

Miniature representation of a Maine Forest

shrubs, and flowering plants rub branches with exotics from all around the world.  The Gardens are divided into several different small gardens, including a kitchen garden, a meditation garden, a children’s garden, a five-senses garden, and many others, all of which can be found on this map.

One lovely garden is the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses,

Looking across the pond to the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses

Looking across the pond to the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses

Map of Lerner arden of Five Senses

Map of Lerner arden of Five Senses

which is exactly what its name describes.  In this garden, a path meanders around a pond and through sections of plants colorful to the eye; those with great textures to touch; the sound of a fountain in the pond for the ears, along with birds and even a bull frog; flowers of all types with different scents; and lovely

Vertical Planter Filled with Thyme

Vertical Planter Filled with Thyme

herbs and edible plants for smell and taste.  After bruising leaves from basil, three kinds of oregano, fennel, thyme, chives,

A jumble of chives

A jumble of chives

and other, less familiar herbs, I noticed in the car that my hand smelled like an Italian deli.  Lovely stimulation for all of the senses.

As you can see, I took several photos of the plants and features of the Gardens, but tops on my list of favorites were the dragonflies.  They flitted around over the ponds, and put on quite a show.  A couple of them actually stopped flapping their wings and sat on grasses right in front of Mom and me so I could get them in detail in the pictures.

Dragonfly at lower left

Dragonfly at lower left

The bullfrog call was basso profundo close by as we sat next to the forest pond — I could feel my soul settle back down into joy and peace.  What a gift.

That is why I am so grateful today; even though I started the day in the dumps, my time spent with Mom, both at breakfast and at the Gardens, brought back my sense of peace.

Peace in my heart

Peace in my heart