Monday, August 30, 2010


#911 - I woke up early to take a quick hike before coming home from camping. The hike became even shorter because despite my long sleeves and pants, which were uncomfortable because it was warm and humid, the mosquitoes were relentless. I was getting crabby. Instead of fleeing from the campground (well I still did that), but it occurred to me to take a Quick Swim removing Sweat, Cooling me off, and Protecting me from the Mosquitoes.

#912 - I am Grateful to the Mosquitoes to Have Inspired the Refreshing Dunk which I would not have taken otherwise

#913 - Hardly Reacting - I know I was bitten yesterday. Once, I looked down at my at a small section of exposed skin and saw four mosquitoes in a 1 inch by 1 inch area on my foot. Today I can hardly tell and am not itching. Maybe it will come; it does seem that my body has built a degree of immunity though.

#914 - I received this Postcard/Ad from Sea Kayak Adventures last week. I became quite angry, any idea why?

I taught environmental ed for while on the coast. We had tide pools and took children there. They could touch, but definitely not pull off a sea star/starfish, that would be kind of like ripping off your feet. I started complaining about it, but since I don't like listening to complaints, I decided to write Sea Kayak Adventures a letter. After I calmed down a bit, I wrote that I was unfamiliar with their organization, but that I imagined they helped connect people with nature which is a beautiful gift. I was disturbed by the photo on their ad because as far as my understanding of starfish goes, it was probably being killed to appear in this photograph and would teach others that it's okay to do this.

I already felt better about it by just writing.

Today, I received their response,

"You make a very good point regarding our Baja postcard and we will not use that photo again. Occasionally our guide will bring up a star fish to show people better, but you are right, perhaps we can find a better way. We thank you for taking the time to contact us."


#915 - Jill's Beautiful post about her Home

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pack Leader

#891 - "Humans are the Only Animals who will Follow Unstable Pack Leaders." - Cesar Millan

#892 - Confirmation - Right after signing up for an event I listened to a radio show which mentioned the event. (The only other time I'd heard it mentioned was when I originally learned of it.)

#893 - I had some extra poems (mine and others) that I was going to recycle. Instead, I looked through my address book and just mailed them to random people I don't speak to much. A few days later I received an email that one of these people was visiting friends in MN and maybe we could get together.

#894 - That Friend is About to Arrive

#895 - A Crow Just Landed in Branch Outside my Window and is enjoying - I think is a Crabapple. I haven't witnessed this before.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All My Gratitudes

are about this 16 minute Video
#881 - Jill for Sharing it
#882 - Dr. Brene Brown - speaker who studies Courage, Shame and Authenticity
#883 -
Vulnerability as a Birthplace
#884 -
The Peace and Reassurance I Felt Listening
#885 - TED - for sharing such great speakers/topics

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bagging Groceries

#871 - NPR where I learned today it was the 90 Year Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote. Not even 100 years. What hotly debated item today, won't be even considered debatable in 100 years? My vote (besides the obvious gay marriage one) is the Rights of Nature. In 100 years people won't debate "protecting" it, because to not protect would be ridiculous - suicidal. That's obvious right? ;)

#872 - Dominique Green

#873 - Thomas Cahill for writing/telling Dominique Green's story

#874 - The Cashier who Made the Comment that Helped me Notice My Last Gratitude

#875 - The Man who Bagged My Groceries Today
- I felt cared for by the man who bagged my groceries today. This was not because there was a personal connection. He simply and genuinely cared for my groceries. I wouldn't have even noticed this, but the cashier at the next register called him a "gentleman" right as I was leaving. I started thinking about how he'd done his task: there was no hint of boredom, no hurry to go home (the store was closing in 15 minutes), there was no tiredness. Though I missed it because I was hardly paying attention, now I can feel what he put into his work, not it a blatant or hokey way, but in a subtle permeating way.

"Work is love made visible." Khalil Gibran

Today I saw this in action.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Say Yes

#861 - though the photo washes it out - the Beautiful Color of this Beet Soup

#862 - The fan on my computer agitated me, so when it stopped functioning properly the other day, I felt a little regretful that I'd found it annoying, at least it kept the computer functioning! However, my Amazing Father Who Can Fix Almost Anything found a replacement fan in a computer they were throwing away at work

#863 - But when he took the old fan out and tested it, it worked. So the problem might have been the sensor that tells it to turn on or something else... Anyway, this is the first time I've used it since it was replaced and it Seems to be Working, But I Can Hardly Tell Because This Fan Is NOT AGITATING!

#864 -Being Able to Say Yes - I just told a friend I wasn't free to do something on Sunday that I would enjoy doing. It made me realize how rarely I'm pulled in two directions these days, wishing I could do things.

#865 - I took the photo below a month or so ago at a flower garden. I kind of want it to stay at the top of my blog because it feels refreshing, happy, and vibrant. I'm not going to fiddle with it right now because I want to go to bed, but I am grateful for its Beauty.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


#851 - Seeing a Woman On a Blanket in Her Back Yard Reading, Two Houses Later A Man Doing the Same on His Front Porch

#852 - Watching a Woman Become Beautiful - She was on the bus and had that common lifeless look that people take on in public. Then the bus driver said something to her and she responded with a smile, full of life, and suddenly beautiful.

#853 - Lima Beans - I can't say I've ever bought Lima Beans, but I had some today and they were yummi

#854 - Reciting Two Bucay Stories by Heart and Having Someone to Listen to Them- I love the stories so much I want to keep them with me, inside. To have stories ready when needed. I tried telling them for the first time today without the book, and I think they came out pretty well. I'll keep practicing.

#855 - A Contract - I got an email today with a contract for one of my poems! If that weren't cool enough, it was the one poem that someone else submitted for me. A fiesty woman in my radio poetry class this spring decided my poem would be perfect, for an anthology that one of her poems had been accepted in. She actually wrote them and said they could replace her poem with mine because she thought it was a better entry and fit! Luckily they aren't replacing hers, and today I found out mine is in too. Of all my poems I believe in that one the most, so I am glad it will be shared.

I bet when the book actually comes out that will be a gratitude too, so I'll let you know ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hawk in the Neighborhood

#841 - This morning I awoke to the sound of crows, and a bit later a Hawk. It was then I realized why there was no singing that morning, just crows. The other birds scatter when a hawk is around. I am Grateful to Be Aware Enough of My Surroundings to Notice This. Besides being a high-five moment for paying attention to nature - this reminded me of stories I'd heard of animals fleeing to safety before the huge tsunami struck a few years ago. It's cool to pay attention.

#842 - That I think I'm going to Make it Through Two Days in a Row Without Playing Guitar (because my wrists started bothering me. I think they need a break, probably from typing too though).

#843 - Someone on my Soccer Team Organizing a Team Barbecue (even though I'll be out of town I appreciate the effort)

#844 - Feeling Peaceful about a Job I Applied for

#845 - Feeling Excited about a Festival I Read About

(The last two are written vaguely because I don't like to give details/talk much about things that may or may not happen, but I am grateful for the feelings in both, which did happen - already.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hair Color in the Sun

#831 -
#832 - A Man's Voice on the Radio Show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! (Jason - from Texas)

#833 - I've mentioned Smoothies before, but today's was Nectarine/Mint/Frozen Banana
#834 - Mayu Happily Listening to me Retell Jorge Bucay Stories

#835 - The
Onion does it Again - this article is brilliant, and I'm grateful to have remembered to share it

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Babies that Sleep in You

#821 - Because of the Challenge Card I mentioned a few posts ago, I went to 6am Yoga

#822 - La Ciudad de los Pozos - another story in Cuentos para pensar by Jorge Bucay

#823 - 5 yr old in his swimsuit, stops at the edge of a lake and calls back -
"Mom, is this Shark Infested Waters?"

#824 - Wading in those waters, I saw my shadow and then my reflection in a bubble on the surface - A Bubble Reflecting Me and the Sky

#825 - "God Bless the Babies that Sleep in You." - Mason Jennings

That line has always touched me, and instead of ending the song with it today (while playing the guitar) I just kept repeating - G,D,Em. The Energy of Blessing kept Flowing - New Words - Riding Mason's Momentum.

Ballad for My One True Love click on Birds Flying Away and you'll see it... (if you want to listen)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

El Buscador

#811 - El Buscador - the first story in Cuentos Para Pensar by Jorge Bucay.

#812 - My Friend Laura's Editing Skills - she was the one who suggested my tree poem be in the shape of a tree, today she helped with a cover letter.

#813 - The Point While Playing Tennis Tonight when I Finally Felt Connected to my Opponent (instead of being stuck replaying conversations in my head from my day etc.)

#814 - How Quickly a Cold Shower Cools Me Down and How Much Easier They Make it For Me to Conserve Water

#815 - I was thinking about a friend who is experiencing two things she is not used to - not knowing - and the possibility of going against society expectations - (and therefore the force to go with them). Even though these are not fun places to be, I think they are two necessary skills for any real change to occur. I'm thinking on a macro level now...if we always went with what we "knew" and if what society expected always felt right, nothing would ever change. Sometimes this is fine, but sometimes change is necessary and even vital. So being able to rest in not knowing, being comfortable with it and staying there, even when society wants to push you downstream, and pushes hard - I believe this takes immense strength, and to do it one must build up their muscles.

It's like how, in a way, it's always easier to not take full responsibility for your life. If you do what you are "supposed" to and things don't work out, you can always blame outside forces - the economy, your boss, your mother whose advise you followed, circumstances, whatever. But if you follow your heart and things don't work out, all you have to blame is yourself. That can be one of the scariest prospects in the world, because if you can't trust your own heart what can you trust? Maybe it's better to not put it to a test.

Anyway, I don't know if any of this is making sense or really related to one another, but I'm Grateful for Writing it Because it Matters to Me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

#801 - I was hoping to find a sign somewhere today about the primary

#802 - - Typed in my address and it tells the polling place and shows a sample ballotfor all the parties having primaries. Check it out.

#803 - Buying and Eating Cherries - I've thought about it for weeks, but I usually don't because they are expensive

#804 - The Fringe Festival show I saw today about 4 stand-up comics

#805 - The Warm Reception I was Given by a Friend of a Friend when I stopped by to Take Some of his Prolific Mint (Remember the mint in the smoothie? His yard was my source.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

National Poetry Slam

To the man who took us into the deepest places of his pain through the doorway of a poem -

while we returned to a roomful of noise and laughter
he had to stay there
we went inside and were awed by his bravery but now the show is done
and our lives move on and he
is back swirling
in the darkest points of his life

I want to place a blanket around his aching wounds
but when I see him standing outside
it's not only I, the stranger, who stand apart
there are no arms reaching
he stares at the screen in his hands
trying to shield something
he no longer could hide

792 -
To the woman who explained that she cried when she saw roadkill
and ended up relating that story
to the teenagers in her classrooms
who were not afraid to die
so many they had known already were there
unlike college
where they knew no one

793 -

To the pair who did a piece about slavery
listing the numbers, but filling it in
so it wasn't just numbers
at all

794 -
To the guy who started out leading us through his pathway of addiction
down a dark narrow road from which it was unlikely he would
ever emerge
into the alleyways of Wal-Mart
the addiction he was referring to was Wal-Mart
and he told us about each aisle

795 -
Unlike the poems tonight with weight and force
My poems are more like lullabies
rocking you to sleep
soothing away the bad dreams
But there are monsters and nightmares and places from which no one wakes
And when this slam lulls me into its rhythm
I am reminded of the resurrection of the phoenix
and how through poetry all people
all kinds of people
like all kinds of poems
keep rising

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Challenge Cards

#781 - The place where I do yoga is a locally owned business. The owner is there often, teaches classes and does creative things. For example, "Challenge Cards" where if one completes 15 of the 20 items you get 5 free yoga classes.

Some of the challenges are doing yoga at the studio. The other items though are just things that encourage you as a person. Some come really easy to me, "Take a nature walk" or "Bike/walk/run to yoga class 2x" etc.

Others I don't normally do. For example, "Mail Your Oldest Relative a Snail Mail." Well, I just picked one of the cards above and wrote my 91 year old great aunt. I wasn't sure what to say exactly. I don't know her well. Then I realized I could tell her that I've started playing music this year because of the ukulele which was laying around the house which was her brother's! Since her brother played music on the radio she would probably enjoy hearing that his granddaughter is now enjoying his instruments. So I am grateful to Mary, the owner of the studio, I never would have written this card otherwise or realized I had something meaningful to tell her.

#782 - To have all these Beautiful Cards Available - I used to make my own cards, but haven't for years. Taking photos for this blog re-inspired me.

#783 - Another item on the challenge card is "Read a Classic Novel." I love to read and so having encouragement to step into a genre where I rarely venture is exciting in itself. Then I was mentioning this to my sister-in-law and she said the only classic novels she knows of are Japanese (she is Japanese). Then I thought, "I could read a Classic Japanese Novel!" So I found one and requested it from the library and once again I am excited and never would have done this otherwise.

#784 - So I have to just give a basic thanks to Mary for Rewarding People Through Her Business, for Doing Simple Beautiful Things (like memorize poetry!)

#785 - My friend Lisa writing a Poem about her Last Nursing Session with her Child.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Relax - Cucumber

#771 - Cucumber Soup (something different for a hot day)

#772 - While doing an exercise today. Instead of counting 10, 9, 8, 7...or 1, 2, 3... I Suddenly Counted "10, 1, 9, 2, 8, 3, 7, 4, 6, 5."

#773 - My Sister-in-Law Played the Piano with a Song I'm making up on Guitar.
(It was really fun, my first glimpse of improvising with someone!)

#774 - In honor of the high quantity of cucumbers I consumed today, I decided to go on a brief tropical vacation (well moving the plant in this position was actually the photographer's idea).

#775 - Combining Gratitudes 763 & 764 - Two days after writing them Jill comes upon the Video/Poem How To Be Alone, highlighted on a blog she regularly reads.