~thankful thursday~ birds and bees

i have been making a daily gratitude post on facebook once again this year, (if you’re interested, here are last year’s posts) and once again i will transcribe them all over here on thursdays so that my friends who have had the better judgement not to join facebook may read them.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 1

i am thankful today for hummingbirds. i am once again entering november with an inkling that i could stand to realign my partly cloudy attitude with some gratitude. today i got a text from a friend inviting me to come and see the costa’s hummingbird visiting her feeder, which i will do tomorrow. when i got home after work, i took my camera outside to visit our own hummingbirds and realized this one would let me approach it quite closely for some glamor shots. i ended last november’s gratitude fest on providence, and i think it is not coincidental that this little harbinger of joy is returning to my awareness today. while i have a tendency to let thoughts weigh me down, these tiny beings show me how they alight here and there, without all that heaviness. they change direction as often as needed; they remind me i always have a choice to redirect towards joy. they guard fiercely, but dance joyfully, and choose to drink in sweetness. they surround themselves in flowers, hovering amid beauty, embodying lightness of being. i’m grateful for their help today getting me on the right vibration for this practice.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 2

both cats are on my lap leaving no room for my laptop, so i’m contorting my wrists to type off to one side of the chair, it’s late after a delightful date night, and i must head to bed soon. but guys, i got home from my costa’s hummingbird visit after work, only to have my husband waving me down to the edge of the forest, flashing the “bring your camera” hand signals, and we got to hang out with this amazing barred owl for a nice long photo session. he told the owl it needed to hold on until i got home, and of course, the owl listened. the conversation went something like, “who cooks for you?” to which he replied, “my beautiful wife… she’ll be home in just a minute and i’ll introduce you!” we’ve been listening to this owl and even spied it in the dark on one of our walk-to-the-mailbox dates, but seeing it in our trees with some daylight left for photos was an unexpected treat. i am very grateful that i get to be married to a guy who appreciates the magic of the natural world as much as i do.

~30 days of gratitude~ day 3

today (yesterday… posting belatedly what was on my mind) i am thankful for the ripple effect of this 30 day gratitude practice. i would never have started doing this if i hadn’t read wonderful gratitude thoughts from good friends of mine prior to last year. then, this year, it seems i have inspired another friend to give it a try. in addition, so many great connections are made by friends whose comments also serve to amplify the gratitude. selfishly, i have been enjoying my own gratitude posts from last year, thanks to the memories feature. while it may seem a bit circular to be grateful for gratitude, i realized when my post from last year about my amazing mom came up, for whom i am forever grateful, that every one of these i write is essentially extending gratitude forward through time to influence my future self to dedicate even more neurons to feeling grateful, where the ripple effect of blessings can compound the interest on today’s investment in the thank bank. i’m envisioning this little hummingbird flying back to me in another year, tiny saddlebags overflowing with blessings that have been packed into it today, special deliveries from this present moment.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 4

i am thankful for my family!

i was curious about last year’s 30 items for which i was grateful, so i made a list.

2016 gratitude list

  1. fiance, wood stove fires
  2. karate and yoga
  3. mom
  4. abundance
  5. quinn
  6. laughter
  7. best woman lau
  8. big ocean waves, perspective, impermanence
  9. words
  10. music
  11. community
  12. kitties, wood stove fires, safety pins, memory loss
  13. dad
  14. the farm
  15. wood stove fires, kitties, food, baths, whiskey, coffee, soft blankets, music, home
  16. siblings
  17. books
  18. joe biden and his work advocating for women
  19. outside time to work on my garden, board games with friends, grandma’s pie crust, kids whispering to each other’s faces, farmer’s market, etc.
  20. therapy, not needing get an A in gratitude, photography
  21. love notes
  22. nachos, dorkaversaries, chats with mom, chats with friends, library, nachos
  23. wood stove fires, music, friends, family, things that are bigger than my little circumstances and help me have perspective, kitties, playing games with my kid, nachos, books, and my fiance
  24. water
  25. our kids
  26. buyers of my future book, words beginning with q
  27. role models (barbara kingsolver, jane goodall, ani difranco)
  28. dolphins
  29. awareness, friendly reminders, long hugs, e.e. cummings
  30. providence

i know that last year i fluctuated between feeling like i couldn’t possibly fit all i am grateful for into a mere 30 days, and feeling like my gratitude gland was shrunken and all the wonderful things were distant and unreachable. it makes sense, because we all have good days and bad days. right now on the gratitude-o-meter, i am feeling extra thankful, and that probably has to do with spending a day and a half on back-to-back consecutive dates with my husband, and then ending today with my son back at home with us. kitties are snuggled near the wood stove fire, good food, friends, family, and live music have been involved in the various dates, and since being home i have been serenaded via both radio and you tube. quinn typed a zombie novel inside a minecraft book, and stuffed himself with grilled cheese and tomato soup and green cauliflower and ranch dressing. feeding my people well always makes me feel like i am doing a good job at life. maybe that is why i was disproportionately thankful for nachos last year (i still am). looking back at last year’s list, i had to laugh at how repetitive i was on some of the days i remember as being the ones where gratitude was harder to access… default back to kitties, nachos, and wood stove fires if all else fails. which is code for, i love these two people and the family we are together and the home, kitties, nachos and wood stove fires we share, with all of my heart.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 5

sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll ~dave matthews band

i am grateful for honey! today my honey drove us through the colorful maples and oaks of the valley to pick up our annual 4 gallon bucket of local honey, which will last us almost until this time next year. it will sweeten the pancakes and bread that will nourish us, and mix into the elderberry cough syrup i am going to make. it will feature in hot garlic and lemon beverages to doctor any winter colds. my wedding ring will keep making a happy clicking sound on the side of the honey jar every morning when i pull it out of the cupboard to add it to rich’s coffee, honey for my honey. (he sneaks into so many of these posts, that husband of mine! so grateful for him.)



~30 days of gratitude~ day 6

having sailed through most of this first week of gratitude with an apparent fixation on birds and bees, i would like to wish everyone a happy national nacho day! i am thankful for nachos, and you all already know that, but i can’t very well focus on something other than nachos, now that i know this is their official holiday! i am indebted to my friend for alerting me to this important fact. we dutifully ate nachos for dinner tonight. i realized i did not want to use a photo of nachos (which i haven’t taken, because i don’t find them all that attractive to look at, especially by dinner time in november when there’s no more light for photography), so i decided instead to post a nacho-related photo of summer. we traditionally eat a giant multi-family meal of nachos on our annual july 4th camping trip. i believe these kids, for whom i am grateful, may have just consumed said meal, because this is the way their hair lights up in the evening sun in july, and i am grateful for that, even though it’s not the way the light looks in the evening in november. if i could mother-may-i my way in large leaps towards the summer i would probably do so, but i think there must be a good reason i’m not allowed to accelerate through this part of the year. while i am waiting to learn how to embrace winter, i will spend these chilly dark nights thinking of those warm sunny days, in gratitude.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 7

today i am thankful for a beautiful sunrise.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 8

i’m thankful for apples today. when we got home from work and school today, quinn sat in the car and read his book. in spite of staying up reading by led candle under his covers past 11 last night, he still wanted to keep reading. i may need to have a talk with that rick riordan fellow. anyway, i decided i’d warm up some apple cider and poured some into quinn’s travel mug, and by the time i had it finished he was still in the car. i delivered it to him there, and went off to read a book and have a cup of cider myself, in the house.

our cider came from an annual gathering attended by the same families referred to in the 4th of july nachos post, and several gallons are stored in jars to see us through the winter. drinking in sweetness seems to be a theme for me this round of gratitude posts!

apples also make me think of my parents and their apple endeavors on the farm. my parents have spent the last few years rehabilitating orchards on the farm land, and my mom has become quite the expert on the local heirloom apple varieties. gratitude for apples makes me think of gratitude for my parents and the example they have set for me of a couple happily going on dates (via tractor and wagon to visit their apples) every chance they get, after 40+ years of marriage.

i think apples will always remind me of all of the connections among my friends and family members, many of which reached a new level of connectedness this summer during our wedding festivities. as quinn sipped his cider today, he mentioned how much he loves the dried apples his grammy sends him each christmas. that warmed my heart every bit as much as my warm cider.

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