Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday night grateful moment

Home from a day in the city. Home from a mixture of work and play and warmth and traffic and good food and walking and talking. And traffic. Did I mention the traffic?

So grateful tonight to be home. A couple of hiccups along the way (took a wrong turn, almost missed final boarding call, you know, those kinds of things) had me thinking for a minute or two I might not be so lucky, but I was. The picture above was snapped just after I deplaned. What a beautiful place to come home to!

I spent the morning with my fellow Trustees at CHSW in Seattle, a productive time indeed. In the collage below, the rainbow photo was in a thank-you note from a child who uses CHSW services in the King County area, and I just loved that at the spot I chose to sit, there was a rainbow note for me! It was karmically delicious. (Say that in a Lucky Charms rabbit voice, go on.) I'm grateful to have the opportunity to give back to my community.

The other color photos you see below were from my walk and talk with dear friend Kate, whose friendship grows to mean more as the years go by. She's a gem, and I'm grateful for the gift of her time on a busy work day! We went to all the usual girly places to look at girly, colorful things. Walking past a shop, she pointed to a bag and said, "Oh, I love that!" I looked, and agreed, adding, "That looks like something I'd have!" She said, "Me too!" So of course we had to go in and check out this magical handbag that both of us HAD to have. The humorous thing was, we were looking at different bags sitting next to each other in the window, and neither saw the other's bag, only assumed we were talking about the same one. If that isn't some window into projecting your view of things onto someone else... Ha! Anyway, the truth is, the bag I admired is so very me (bottom right pic), and the bag she admired was so very her (much more subtle).

I'm grateful for Walla Walla. On the way home tonight, I thought I had been transported to Huck Finn's world... there was a boy walking down the road with a fishing net over his shoulder, past a house with a couple of girls sitting on a porch swing, with cats in their laps (though why that was appealing in 80-degree weather at 9 p.m., I have no idea!). In the next few blocks I saw goats, a guy mowing his field in the dusk, and stopped and took more sunset photos. Positively idyllic. And feeling very blessed to live where we live.

The garden is coming along nicely. The rain of the past couple of weeks has of course turned out a bumper crop of weeds that husband attacked this afternoon, bless him. But word has it that there are red tomatoes to pick (so early, those Early Girls!), and the kale and potatoes just keep coming, with summer squash close behind. I am very grateful for farm-fresh produce! Husband asked tonight if we are getting close to gazpacho season? I believe we are very close!

I am so grateful for Husband. I was reminded of that today when telling some story or other about him, about how we met and became a couple, that I really did hit the kind and thoughtful jackpot. I appreciate so much his perspective and insights, and have learned a lot from him about contingency plans, planning ahead, being prepared, all things that do not come second nature to me!

I'm grateful it's the weekend, that tomorrow will be chill and family time, and Sunday may just be too hot to get anything substantial done outside after 10 a.m., so I guess we'll have to go to the movies! I love summertime and movie theaters. There's just something about going into those over-airconditioned rooms and needing to put on a light sweater because of the chill, and it's 100 degrees outside.

I'm grateful the rain seems to be gone, even though I did really enjoy the it while it hung around, mostly. However, nothing beats sunshine, for me.

The puppies greeted me tonight with their usual zest and pep. I am so grateful for their funny little personalities, and for their love and affection.

I'm grateful for the best son a mom could ask for. Sent him out on his first solo grocery shopping experience today while I was gone, and I think he did just fine. (No dripping ice cream in the kitchen, not put away, etc.! That's a success!) He's been getting into the summer job groove, getting more independent with the mobility having a vehicle available will bring. And he hosted a Magic the Gathering draft party last night; the sound of happy teenage boy laughter echoing through the house made me smile. Happy son = happy mama.

I wish you a good weekend! Recuperate well from the wears of the week!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday morning inspiration

Last night I was feeling a bit dreary that the weekend was over, that I hadn't gotten enough done, etc. etc. And then... we watched Pitch Perfect. I guess I'm not supposed to tell on the guys, and make it sound like I watched it all by myself, but that's silliness. Guys can be in the room when singing goes on in a movie, can't they? Of course they can. I am pretty sure I liked the movie much better than either of them, but it was a light little bit of nonsense, if you haven't seen it, and the music is just a bunch of fun.

I'm a big Rebel Wilson fan, since Bridesmaids, and her part was a hoot. (There's a barfing scene mid-way through this clip that you may not want to be eating while viewing. It's a little unreal, but thought you should be warned!)

And of course, you know the PS22 kids have a version of Beca's When I'm Gone audition song too:

Woke up to rain again today; it's like the Oregon Coast has come to us, since we're not going to it any time soon! Misty and drizzly and definitely a stay-at-home day... except it's not!

So I'll watch this video again, and be inspired to put a little urgency in my step today! Love the visual.

And for when summer actually does arrive, a few words for the occasion:

Let peace come to you, out from where it's hiding behind the sofa and under the bed. You have done enough for now. Let summer surround you. Let everything rest.
-Karen Maezen Miller

Happy Monday, I hope it's a great one for you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday night grateful moment

 How quickly the week has flown... I wish I could say that blogging (or the lack thereof) has been weighing on my mind, but alas, right now, it has not. I have thoughts and ideas about blogging, and on the weekend I actually cook (shocking!), but thankfully don't feel guilty about the lack of time to get it all down onto "paper." That time will come again... but I will not abandon Friday night!

I'm grateful this week that my family is safe--from my aunt who is in flooded Calgary, Alberta, but able to stay in her home without evacuating (so far); to my parents on their gallivant around Europe; to my brother and family in sunny California; to my beloved in-laws across the pasture. All safe and accounted for. This is not to be taken for granted, indeed.

Seth's home.

My husband bought me a flower. In spite of my dismal track record with orchids, I came home to a beautiful specimen this afternoon, and his thoughtfulness touched me.

Last weekend I spent a little too long in the sun/yard. Not in an overt, holy-cow-she's-sunburned kind of way, but just in a worn out, bedraggled fashion... I got really into it, and as much as it makes me smile when I think of my childhood yard-avoidance issues, I really love getting things ticked off the list. And, once you're hot and dirty, you might as well stay hot and dirty, right?! I am grateful for a fairy quick recovery during the week, and no lingering sun effects.

The rain came in and took over after the sunshine of the weekend. Odd to have rain to this extent in June... but rain it did, and plenty of it. The poor wheat has those trampled marks like a big giant has been stomping around in the field. I hope with some sun and less rain, it will stand upright again, but who knows. We went to bed in the rain, woke up in the rain, and looked out windows at rain during the day. It was weird, but refreshing.

I'm thankful for music. I had some fun in iTunes last weekend, getting ready for my big yard day. Music, podcasts and audiobooks always make my hours outside fly by. Straight No Chaser has a new album and I really enjoyed listening to most of it (got a little acapella fatigued by the last few songs...) as I bopped around the yard on the mower.

I'm especially thankful tonight for laughter. For the ability to see the humor, even in sometimes less-funny situations. It's a sign of my adoration for Jimmy Fallon that I find this video so very amusing, even though it has Brad Pitt (who I am somehow less fond of) in it. Who thinks this stuff up?!

I'm also thankful for tears. Tears are so, so good, sometimes. Like a mental clearing away of cobwebs. I'm not one of those chronic criers, by any means (a la Holly Hunter in Broadcast News), but every once in awhile... even an ad can set me off.

So this:

Can turn me into this:

I'm grateful that it's summer, and that these long days of light will go on for awhile longer. Since we are just solstice-ing now, it will start to tip back toward shorter days, sadly. But at least it takes awhile, and we can have beautiful sunsets and early sunrises and evenings by the firepit between now and the 4 p.m. darkness of winter. Love this time of year!

And I am grateful for all the usuals: the colors of summer, the flavors of summer, the sounds of summer. The birds are having a heyday in the twilight outside our open slider windows, and I love hearing them!

I'm ever-so-grateful it's the weekend. Sleep. Bliss.

My friends make me grateful; for their laughter and love and sharing, I am glad.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday night grateful moment

Grateful tonight for so many things...

For the peaceful scene out our bedroom window. Layers of green: trees, grass, wheat not yet turned, distant hills... (That's not quite my view exactly, above. But very close...)

For friend time this week--an overdue lunch, an almost-spontaneous pedicure, texts and emails, pop-by hellos. Thank you, friends, for the lift and the love.

For technology that allows me to follow my parents as they gallivant around Europe. From Barcelona to Sicily to Croatia and a few points in between, seeing their posts on Facebook and their texts as they catch up--while waiting for evening entertainment on their cruise ship!--I am delighted to know they are well and enjoying their time abroad.

For dear Seth and his thoughtful ways. He turned an end-of-year reward for a job well-done into a treat for some of his friends and it warmed my heart; his very first thought was to give. And his love and affection for husband made me meltm as we had a little pre-celebration of Father's Day too.

For growth. I am known as someone who likes resolution in all things, and as quickly as possible, thank you very much. That is not always possible, of course, and I have had more than a couple of situations in my adult life that caused me frustration by their very nature of not being easily resolved. Alas, that's life. I reflected this week that I'm doing better with that particular aspect of life, and not being as easily frustrated. Of course, as soon as I say that, something will come up that knocks me right upside the head and I will be wanting rock solid assurances of a path, an answer, NOW. Ah well, still felt like it needed to be said. I am grateful for growth, even if it's baby steps.

For this season, and all that means, flavor-wise: tonight my salad had figs and nectarines in it. Yes, you heard me correctly: FIGS! So early too. Usually we don't have them locally until July or early August, but I spotted them at a downtown lunch/deli spot this week and had to buy a pound on the spot.

For laughter. I've been on a Jimmy Fallon jag lately, I think he's just the funniest comedian, and I love the way he can't keep a straight face! I love to laugh along. Here's his clip from just last night, in honor of Father's Day. Here's to you, Pa!

Of course, I can't help but share the Mom ones too...

For our pups. They are both doing well, and I feel really lucky that the transition of adding General into the family has gone so well. Chief seems to be doing well, needing affection and reassurance, of course, and General is just a love. He can be barky with anything that is noisy, but I think he's getting used to me and my morning routines, which include the blow dryer, the blender, coffee bean grinder... (I'm a noisy one in the morning, apparently...)

Pups out for a ride, sharing a seat.

For assurances of my place in the universe.

For husband, who brings me joy and laughter, and whose thoughtfulness and dedication to our family always inspires me.

For the weekend ahead, and even the week beyond that. Lots of good stuff going on, and summer and sunshine always add to the happy.

For energy to tackle what each new day brings!

Hope your grateful list is long tonight, wherever you are, and the weekend brings you all the good stuff you need to carry on. Peace.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Midweek reminder: I needed to tell myself a long story about life

I learned to garden the way I learned to write--out of necessity. We needed vegetables and flowers, and I needed to tell myself a long story about life--I am still telling it--a kind of beanstalk that grows and grows, and I can climb it, both to escape the possibility of life at the bottom, and to find another world where giants and castles and harp-playing hens are still to be found.

Gardening, like story-telling, is a continuing narrative. One thing leads to another. Like stories, there is always something going on in the garden long after the gardener has gone to bed. The thing grows, unfolds, changes, develops a maddening life of its own. For me, as a writer, I go to sleep with an idea in my head, and it takes hold during the night. I open the back door in the morning, and the tulips that refused to look at me the night before, have opened in the sun.
-Jeanette Winterson

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday morning inspiration: Lottsa video

My weekend gardening stints are usually accompanied by some sort of chatter on the iPod, whether an audio book (I swear I just about typed "book on tape." How's that for admitting my age?!) or some comedy off Pandora, or a podcast.

Lately I've been alternating between Mitch Joel's Twist Image podcast, and the NPR Pop Culture Hour podcast. I highly recommend both, though of course they are quite different. Mitch is all about tech/social and interesting interviews, and the round table hi-jinks over at NPR can range from discussion about the passing of Jean Stapleton as it relates to the evolution of TV wife/mom characters, to the differences between the various Iron Man movies, and the universal appeal of Robert Downey, Jr.

Today on one of the podcasts I listened to with the NPR group, they referenced the following video, which I already had in my drafts to share as inspiring. This video really did have 223 takes, and they pieced the audio together--a mighty little feat. It's a great deal of fun, be sure to watch all the way through, the elevator scene toward the end is one of my favorite bits, as well as the outtakes at the end. Does OK Go ever disappoint? I think not.

I can't remember where I stumbled across this story, but it sat in a "to read" tab in my browser for a while before I had a moment to tune in. A powerful story of recovery and the human will. And a few other things, but those come through loud and clear. I would like to know where this guy is in five years, or 10. That article touches on some of the larger issues, but time will tell how running and faith and recovery all intersect for this man.

And lastly, this little guy. He's a dear one. Enjoy.

I hope your week is off to a great start after a fabulous weekend! I'm going to step out and say mine is! Just putting it out there, Universe. Make it so!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday night grateful moment

One of my favorite artists, with one of my favorite quotes, posted on my very favorite night, sitting beside my very favorite guy. 

Life is good here; hope it is the same for you.

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