Friday, April 30, 2010


#301 - The North Shore photos are going to have to wait because this tree is kickin it.

#302 - My Kind of Dessert - Filtered water, organic raspberry puree, organic evaporated cane juice, guar gum, xanthan gum, organic raspberry flavor, citric acid, concentrated beet juice

#303 - It Not Only Looks Good, It Smells Fabulous

#304 - I sent an email to friends about the community radio show that I will be on Sunday reading three of my poems. Chloe, a friend I haven't spoken to in two years, wrote she was, "psyched to hear it!"

#305 - It was because of this Blog that I turned the car around, took these photos and smelled the flowers

Thursday, April 29, 2010

North Shore

#296 - None of the Ticks I Removed From My Body Were Embedded - I stayed on the North Shore a few days after the DFL convention to go hiking. I do not take things from nature - rocks, shells etc. but this afternoon I saw that a tick was unaware of this policy and was crawling up my arm.

#297 - I'm trying to stay present and pick things from today to be grateful for.... but I keep thinking of my trip so I'll just go with it. Lake Superior

I can't figure beauty out. I have seen this lake many times before, but never been so struck by its beauty. Did the lake change or did I?

#298 - The Most Beautiful Place I've Seen - Earlier this week I would have told you Lake Superior is the most beautiful place I've seen. Right now I'd tell you it is the lush green foilage that has appeared outside my window - The Most Beautiful Place I've Seen Keeps Getting Closer

#299 - To Have A Few Stories - some simple beautiful things happened on my trip (many of which I wrote in my journal as gratitudes). I look forward to sharing them with Laura, or whomever, ends up listening. So I'm grateful for the stories and the Trust That I Have Someone Who Will Listen

#300 - Sharing Photos - the next week or so will probably all be photos from the North Shore, each of which could be a gratitude in itself.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Your Opportunity

My journal is where I am going to put my gratitudes for the next few days during which I hope not to be on a computer. (I am going to Duluth as a delegate for the state Democratic Convention.)

If by any chance you are addicted to gratitude, take this as an opportunity to write your own. AND If anyone feels inspired to share 1 (or 5!) gratitudes in the comment section here, I would love to read them next week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


#261 - While talking with my Dad about politics he said, "Life isn't fair," then, followed it by giving what I assumed would be a depressing example. At work my Dad told them not to give him a raise because a lot of other people need raises more than he does, and yesterday they gave him a raise anyway. This Was His Example of How Life Isn't Fair!

#262 - I'm So Grateful and Proud to Have a Father who Would Think That Way

#263 - I'm grateful to have a father has never talked about retirement because He Likes His Job.

#264 - That my 17 year old cousin, thinks my "bitácora" new word for me, "blog" in Spanish I guess, is very interesting. I would not have expected this!

#265 - That I dreamed a little in Spanish last night. (This is also in part in thanks to Krystal. I am reading Eclipse in Spanish, because she recommended the Twilight series. It had a long waiting list at the library so I requested it in Spanish and to my delight I am able to understand it.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


#256 - To Learn - I knew same sex marriage was illegal in MN, but I didn't know the specifics and that same sex couples that marry elsewhere will not be recognized here.

#257 - There were a few things today that really touched me. I felt a snippet of what it must feel like to be told your whole life that your love/relationships are less then other people's, and then (in the case of being married in Canada etc.) to be acknowledged by the state and therefore Be Affirmed and Seen For Who You Are

#258 - Also something I never thought about brother recently married a Japanese woman. It was a lot of paperwork, and I know it was pretty hard for them living in opposite sides of the world, but now they can live in the same country and share their lives/love. If he was gay and had fallen in love with a man from Japan. Then what?

#259 - My Best Lobby Day - I've never lobbied on this issue before. It is one of a zillion things I care about, and I happened to be at an event last week where the woman organizing it was...and I was truly curious how my rep and senator feel about the issue because I didn't know... so I signed up. I did know they were supportive of comprehensive sex ed and safe schools for all, which were two of the three things we lobbied on, but I didn't know their stance on marriage equality.

I was happily surprised to find that my Representative said it made sense to protect families... My Senator on the other hand....Ok here is the cool thing. Almost always (it seems) when you lobby you are not really influencing you are mostly supplying information (because they are expected to know everything and they obviously can't), and telling them what is important to you. But it's not that your legislators are going to change their opinion because of your conversation. However, this was not the case with my senator. She was comfortable with civil unions, but not quite at marriage yet. And so I got to simply listen to her talk through the process she is walking on this issue. And I genuinely felt that she was in a place of consideration uncertainty, and openness and that my gentle support and smile would be one of the many nudges that might put her in the equality direction!

#260 - On a lighter note... I wore shirts both yesterday and today that I thought, "I will never wear this," when I bought them. But it was the thrift store and only $2-3 and I felt drawn to they did end up in my closet. Today and yesterday I wore them and it felt wonderful because they were different than who I usually am and they felt right.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Red Fox

#251 - Red Fox - that I had the honor to see run across a residential street this morning

#252 - Animal Speak - a book that can help give meaning to sightings such as my red fox today

#253 - Since I now have those library items I mentioned yesterday. I have all the guitar (which in my case will be ukulele) chords for MR.A-Z. I already played Life is Wonderful.

#254 - Being well-rested and not rushed
, so I had something to give today when it was needed.

#255 - I have no idea where my writing is/will take me, but I always appreciate the encouragement that nudges it along the road. Today, the woman who I took a class with last fall asked, "
Do you mind if I use a section of your writing for my brochure and website?"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Important but More Present

#246 - This Flowering Tree in the Neighbor's Yard

#247 - Remembering how Funny my Brother is - when he is happy. I can't explain what he did today because it won't sound funny, but it was.

#248 - Library - this is pretty general but genuine. To be specific, I currently have 2 books, 2 CD's and 2 printed music items (for the ukulele) waiting for me to enjoy.

#249 - Emily sent me an Email - sometimes I think my friends are more important to me than I am to them (well maybe not important, but more present in my heart), because for many of them I take the initiative to keep in contact. It is such a simple joy to have someone reach out. I think sometimes we (I) hesitate because we have nothing to "say." But really do the words even matter?

#250 - Leftovers from the Pasta Salad - which I made yesterday, so dinner was homemade and easy

Sunday, April 18, 2010


#241 - "Why not be grateful for what you have and listen to what your longing is telling you?''
Roger Housden Chasing Rumi

#242 - Matt Nathanson's Some Mad Hope (CD)- I listened once, didn't get much from it, was going to return it to the library this morning, and came.

#243 - I'm grateful that #244 doesn't have to make sense and even if it doesn't make sense, I know reading number #244 will help someone, even if that someone is "just" me

#244 -

Some days your heart hurts
because you have no dreams.
Some days your heart hurts
because dreams are hard to find.
Some days your heart hurts
because the dream feels so real
you want to touch it, to hold it, to place it in your hand.

What do we do with dreams on their way
to fulfillment?
What do we do with what's left
before they come?
What do we do when tomorrow and today
merge together?

I am held, you are holding, we are bound
This life, this time, this question.
I see so clearly images, interactions, lives
Are these meant to torment, who creates them?
Who creates?
It's because I want to act, to take action, to follow-through, to force
I want to know - after yesterday, so certain,
it didn't matter.
Yesterday I knew it didn't matter, and now,
and now?

Some days your heart hurts
because it beats
and you're alive.

#245 -

"This much is enough was always true
we just haven't seen it yet"


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bridge of Dreams

#236 - This Blue Heron Nesting Island on the Mississippi

#237 - I grabbed my journal right before I left on a bike ride. I wanted someone else to ride with today, but I ended up being glad I was alone because I Needed to Write.

On the way back I went on the walking instead of the bike path and I came across this bridge (please click on the photo so you can see it).

#238 -
That's right, a few minutes after writing I came upon the Bridge of Dreams. At first I planned on walking across (there are steps on the other side, obviously not a bike path),

but then I realized once you cross the Bridge of Dreams you can't go back, so I took my bike.

The view from the Bridge of Dreams

Where would The Bridge of Dreams lead me?

Well, the first thing I learned is that dreams take you off the established path. The concrete steps just ended. There was a narrow grass pathway, so I followed. I walked in between a fence to my right and a creek to my left. I either had to push my bike through tall grass or walk in it myself, offering my sandaled feet to the possibility of ticks that love long grasses.

After a while I started to wonder if this bridge led anywhere? What it was built for certainly did not make any sense. Maybe I should go back?

Was I going to have to turn around eventually anyway?

"No, you can't turn back, once you've crossed the bridge of your dreams." I thought

and then "But would I?"

As I continued walking I realized,

"There is path here, unofficial as it is, because others have walked this ahead of me. It has to go somewhere."

I walked on.

It "ended" at a big hole (broken) in the fence with a "no trespassing" sign next to it. Hmmmm

My options -

#1. Go though the "no trespassing" hole
#2. Turn around
#3. Leave my bike and walk down a steep embankment with lots of trees/shrubbery and see if I could get anywhere.

I choose #3 and found I could get through. I went back for my bike and looked forward to seeing where the Bridge of Dreams led me.

My Bridge of Dreams led to a park with children playing. As I walked, by a small boy ran and up and wanted to ride my bike.

"It's too big for you honey."

He just started climbing on. I held the bike, not thinking he'd be able to get on, but he did. My helmet was hanging on the handlebars, he put it on (without the strap). He couldn't reach the pedals so I held the bike, slowly walked along, and looked to see if any adults were alarmed that I was taking their child. It was beautiful, and sweet and fun. His name was Davonn and he was three. Then other children ran up and asked for rides (at least 4), some of whom were big enough to actually ride my bike and who knows if/when I'd ever get my it back if I started that so I, unfortunately, said no.

So my Bridge of Dreams led to children running towards me for a ride.


#239 - Writing that Story

#240 - Meg Hutchinson - minutes 14:00-19:20 when she talks about Suicide.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010


#226 - Standing - This little guy's current favorite activity is standing (holding your hand). It requires no money, can be done anywhere, and will not produce trash.

#227 - Good Things by the BoDeans (the Live version)

#228 - I sent a letter with a request on tuesday to someone I don't know that well. She should have received it either yesterday or today. This evening I walked into a building to check out a poetry reading and the woman I sent the letter to was there! (I was hesitant about sending the letter in the first place, and I took this as a sign that I did the right thing.)

#229 - Her Gratitude - one of the young women who read poetry tonight was also fundraising to attend a gathering about spoken word and human rights. When I gave her money, her gratitude was so genuine, her whole face lit up. "This is what giving is supposed to feel like," I thought. It felt so good I truly wanted to give her more.

#230 - I started feeling a little guilty. She might not have realized I only gave her $4 (that was all the cash I had with me). I usually have more cash, "Why did I only have $4?" But then I thought, "If everyone in that audience gave her $4, she'd probably have $400."

"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something, and if everyone does something than everything gets done."

Source forgotten

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Assume Positive Intent

#221 - While reading my Biopsy poem in class today, I could see from a woman's face that I'd obviously Touched Her

#222 - "Daddy why did it start raining?" (an inquiring child I overheard)

#223 - Walking along a busy street I heard a loud honk beside me. Then I saw the two cars pull over about a block ahead, I thought, "What are they going to get out and fight or something?" Nope, they got out and in Excited Happy Faces Started a Conversation, obviously friends.

#224 - "In 2000 when I lived in Boston I didn't have a cell phone, but as a joke I found this old land-line phone that I pretended to talk on when I was on the subway- people would shift over to farther seats when they saw me do that- I thought cell phones were vain and silly at the time, and I was trying to do a sort of performance art."

This was Jed's comment to yesterday's gratitude #217. It made me laugh.

#225 - I'm grateful to have a friend who is brave enough to do such a thing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Please Will Anyone Try #217?

#216 - "Take a Deep Breath" - I overheard someone say this on his cell phone today, so I did.

#217 - The previous gratitude made me think "that was probably the first time I've been grateful to overhear someone talking on their phone." Usually I find it annoying - boring - or dramatic. Then I thought

What If I Got A Cell Phone and then Pretended to Share Poems with People on the Other Line!!!

This thought brought me great joy earlier today and it is making me laugh right now. I could pretend to talk to someone so everyone around me (on the bus for example) would have to listen to poetry! I have heard some pretty bad conversations that no one interrupts, so why would they interrupt a poem? If anyone feels inspired to do this, I hope to overhear you conversation in the future!

#218 - Like the previous gratitude, since so many of my thoughts are repetitive, I feel grateful when I think something new. So another new thought today, "I Wonder if People Will Evolve So That Their Eyes Only Look Straight Ahead?" (I was thinking about my mom telling me in the past to look side to side during my day - staring at computers, televisions, and the road while driving some of our eyes don't move much.)

#219 - Two Ducks Enjoying a Two Foot by Three Foot Puddle - behind a small rise in a schoolyard (I think they wanted to be alone :)

#220 - How Quiet my Thoughts Were as I Walked Home Through that Schoolyard

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rhubarb's Ready

#211 -
Patty Griffin singing Mary

#212 - When I was feeling frustrated and wanted to hurry up and get off the computer (but also wanted to do some things), instead of trying to go faster I remembered to Stop and Take a Deep Breath

#213 - My Brother Making Me Laugh as He Helped Me Install A Printer - I often get frustrated with this type of thing and then he gets frustrated and it becomes an unhappy situation

#214 - Kicking a Soccer Ball with Scott and Mayu

#215 - My 17 yr old Cousin Recommended a Book - A Separate Peace

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Celtic Dreams

#206 - A Man (who I felt completely comfortable with) asked me,

"Have you written your five gratitudes yet?"


Then he kissed me.

(He wanted that to be one of my gratitudes.)

This is the dream I had right before I woke up today. Yes!

#207 - The 5 Gratitudes have Penetrated my Subconscious into my Dreams

#208 - Feeling Motivated to Submit Poems to a couple Publications

#209 - Walking Along the Minnesota River Where the Floodwater Barely Receeded from the Path

#210 - Celtic Journey into the Mysteries - A Celtic Contemplative Service

Saturday, April 10, 2010


(A self-portrait taken by my cousin Ashley)

#201 - Singing and Enjoying the Sound - sometimes I think I have a horrible singing voice, sometimes, like today, I enjoy the sound.

#202 - The Ease of Speaking on the Phone with Julia - it doesn't matter if I last spoke to her a week or a few months ago

#203 - Finally proper terminology - AMEN!

"Hey… You on the Phone Blanket!

It’s very easy to instinctively reach for your phone in an uncomfortable moment. Most phones are equipped with multiple ways to grab and retain your attention. In social situations like being at a party, bar, or concert, when you are in between conversations, you don’t want to feel like the loser with no one to talk to so you pick up your phone...

In these moments you are not reaching for your phone, you are reaching for a security blanket. Your phone as a security blanket is called a Phone Blanket....

We reach for the Phone Blanket because we are afraid that we are going to miss something. Afraid of the awkward moment. Afraid of being bored...."

#204 - Wu Wei - it sounds complex to explain, but a simple beautiful Taoist concept

#205 - "Tammy, this is wonderful. Almost a poem in itself. Thank you."
I have mentioned I am taking a class where we are putting together an hour long poetry program for community radio. The instructor asked that we write our thoughts about what poetry is to intersperse throughout the program. I would have completely discarded this writing without her response. What I wrote -

Listening to a poem is water down a well worn path.
Writing a poem is kneeling before a God in disguise.
Reading a poem is a chance to disappear.
Listening to a poem is dependent on the reader.
Writing a poem is clever.
Reading a poem is kindness on a string.
Listening to a poem is turning your mind to a
different channel.
Writing a poem is time expanded.
Reading a poem is purposeful peace.
Listening to a poem implies respect.
Writing a poem can't stop pain.
Reading a poem is called poetry.

Friday, April 9, 2010

200 Gratitudes

#196 - Being able to Rest - I woke up this morning with a sore throat and on the verge of being sick, apparently, because I've slept much of the day.

#197 - Similar to #196 - Not having to Care for Someone while I'm sick (Kids for example. Of course having children is a huge gift, and I think when we don't have them it is important to see the gifts there too).

#198 - This Tea Feels Great on my Throat (and tastes good too)

#199 -Opening the Window Above Where I Rested - It is beautiful out so it's nice to at least take in fresh air

#200 - I've hit 200 gratitudes! - I was thinking about this last night and thought it would be cool to get to 1000. We'll see, I'm not going to make this into something where the goal is more important than the process. So if I feel inspired to go to 1000 great, if not, I still made it to 200.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


#191 - "I Love Chewing" - (random thought while eating steel-cut oats for breakfast, which I was grateful for because I think I usually eat too fast and don't chew enough)

#192 - Making up and Singing a simple song in Spanish - (during the last part of my bike ride, the first part my thoughts were repetitive, annoying and uninteresting. Thank God when something fresh came to mind.)

#193 - Yellow Submarine on the Ukulele - I've never been a Beetles fan, but their tunes are familiar so I checked out a book from the library with the chords. A song like Yellow Submarine I usually find annoying, but it is quite enjoyable to sing and play on the ukulele ;)

#194 - That I was able to make Laura Laugh

#195 - That my friend Jill is excited about Cucumbers

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Editorial Committee

#186 - Michelle Obama speaking on Childhood Obesity Prevention - again and again I find her authenticity refreshing.

#187 - Two Small things I got a little agitated/worried about today did not happen

#188 - Being a part of the Editorial Committee - my #77 gratitude was that I signed up for a writing class that scared me Poetry on the Radio: From Page to Performance. For this class we are putting together a one hour show for the community radio station KFAI. I am/was on the editorial committee and I am grateful for that new experience.

#189 - Being an Activator on the Editorial Committee - I mentioned the "StrengthsFinder Test" when I wrote about my "Developer" strength a while back. While people debated ideas on the committee, I found something else to do to move the process along. My Activator strength rising to the occasion.

#190 - Kirtan at the Loft - after class there was a poetry reading going on, as I walked near the auditorium I I walked closer and to my surprise it was Kirtan at the Loft. I didn't know why this was going on instead of poetry, and I didn't care. I went in, sat down and started singing. Usually I have to search out Kirtan - here it had just appeared. I liked the description the leader gave - "Kirtan speaks to whatever faith we have and tries to deepen it." Amen

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


#181 - "Many people spend their whole life waiting,
for their life to start"
Eckhart Tolle - Living From the Depths of Presence

#182 -

"The sun rises every morning is ultimately not true. The sun doesn't rise at all or set. It is always there."

Eckhart Tolle
Individual Choice

#183 - Speaking of soccer - "Researchers examined what happens when the referee whistles, and then that is the signal for the player to shoot. And those players who do not pause, who immediately shoot after they hear the whistle are much less likely to score, than those players who, when the whistle goes... don't immediately shoot. There is 3, 4, 5 seconds, even more, when they become still and then it happens and the likelihood of scoring is infinitely greater"

Eckhart Tolle
Sourcing Creativity

#184 -

"Remember from time to time to notice that you are breathing."

Eckhart Tolle
One Conscious Breath

#185 -

Monday, April 5, 2010

Social Renewal

#176 - My Aunt as Motivation to Watercolor Paint - because she will paint with me

#177 - Writing an Appreciation Note - I'd been meaning to for a few weeks

#178 - Musicians that Can Make Any Song Good (or so it seems)- When Jason Mraz plays Lionel Richie - I like it (which I listened to today). I've heard the Brothers Frantzich play many songs I otherwise didn't like, but when they played it, suddenly they were magical.

#179 - I just learned my friend designed his B.A. degree in '97 to be "Social Renewal"

#180 - "Whoever invented blankets that was wonderful"
- my aunt

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Clean & Bare

#171 - Clean Sheets

#172 - Improvising a Song About My Aunt's To Do List

#173 - this email -"Really inspired by your gratitude blog. Finding myself more grateful spontaneously, at least from time to time- that was/is a real ministry so to speak!" -Jed

#174 - The Clean Smell in My Bedroom from Hanging all my Bedding in the Sun

#175 - Bare Feet

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I wonder if this would be the first green thing I'd eat if we didn't truck in food from CA. Edible?

#166 - Lyrics - There are some songs I've heard all my life, but never knew what they were about. This may be obvious to most people, but Bob Marley really has some good lyrics as well as "Hey Jude" by the Beatles.

#167 - In the lobby of Orchestra Hall tonight there was a pre-concert band. Most people were just standing and watching, but one guy was really getting into it. It was so beautiful to see because he obviously wasn't trying to get attention or impress anybody, He Simply Loved Moving His Body to the Music.

#168 - I Moved My Body Too

#169 - "Tammy has an internal GPS."
- my brother

#170 - Driving home there is a small hill before turning left onto our street. Tonight, for some reason, I Found this Small Hill Endearing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Try a Backbend

#161 - Hanging off the edge of my bed to stretch my back - we constantly bend forward in life, I highly recommend this back bend.

#162 - I've been meaning to pick up a chord chart for the ukulele, but never do. Today, I was early going somewhere and I realized the Home Pickin Parlor (which I'd always been curious about) was 2 blocks away. I couldn't have planned this so perfectly.

#163 - Inexpensive Entertainment - the ukulele has not cost me a single penny until I bought the $6 chord book today.

#164 - I was late to the Taize service tonight because they switched the time from 8 to 7:30. I realized if I had known it was 7:30 I wouldn't have offered to baby-sit beforehand. So I am grateful to have had the wrong time.

#165 - Carlo (8 months old) Clearly Recognizes Me - He was afraid of my aunt and wanted to be close to me.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm Still Going

#156 - Being a Part of a Friend's Life - As I went to help my friend Peter move today, I thought about all the changes his life has gone through in the 10 years we've been friends. Like me, he has lived many places and done many different things. I think I've visited nearly all of them. It simply feels good to be a part of his journey.

#157 - Peter's Similar Values - They bought an old home (I like old homes) in a cool neighborhood near a park and the light rail, things that make sense to me.

#158 - Shifting Envy - After moving them in, I tried playing Kaydee's guitar - one chord. I felt the reverberation of the sound fill my chest. I started thinking, "My little ukulele does not compare to this", but then I thought, "No. The more I play the ukulele, the easier it will be to play guitar. So I'll enjoy it and then if I want to play a guitar one day, that can come too."

#159 - A Toilet - not the most pleasant thing to list, but I had some gastrointestinal issues today, and I seriously thanked God that a toilet was available.

#160 - This Group on the Light Rail I Couldn't Figure Out - There were four of them, sitting in 3 seats, so kind of on top of each other, obviously comfortable with each other. I couldn't figure them out. They looked like they might all be siblings, but they looked too happy, which I realized was a strange thought. Anyway, I couldn't figure out how they were connected or their various ages, but they were a group of four people in three seats, and they were happy.