Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flip It

#1066 - Feeling Motivated To Clean and Going Further Than I Usually Do I flipped my mattress and washed the bedskirt (possibly for the first time.)

#1067 - Out the living room window - the sun was setting so the Only Thing Lit was The Bright Colors on Top of Trees - Like a Spotlight on Fall's Beauty

#1068 - Having a Personal Dance Party with K'Naan

#1069 - Wanting to play along with a song on the CD - I picked up the Guitar and Tried to Figure it Out and I Think I Did! (At least a simple version that sounded alright - first time I've done that.)

#1070 - Eating Simple Yummi Veggie Burritos on the Back Step on a Warm Fall Evening

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hello Tammy

#1046 - My Soccer Team Played As A Team Today and I realized - We've been Playing Together for One Year Now Exactly

#1047 - As I was leaving soccer I walked past a referee for one of the following games. I said, "Hello."

He said, "Hello, Tammy. How are you?"

If I've spoken to him (I don't recall speaking to him) it would at the most be a coin toss at the beginning of a game. I've never told him my name, so the only way he would know it would be from hearing teammates call it. I was touched he had remembered.

#1048 - Laura Finding Bugs Flying in Sunlight Beautiful

#1049 - Seeing someone I worked with 6 years ago (and haven't seen since) in the co-op. I almost moved on, she hadn't seen me and I don't like small talk. I Didn't Though I Turned Around, Tapped Her Back and Gave Her a Hug.

#1050 - Finding/Searching for Meaning in Small Things - I do this all the time. In a fun way. In a life is a mystery way. Inquisitively thinking. "What Does it Mean that Woman Crossed My Path Today?" What comes to mind is that she is a a "real" artist. She was attending Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) when I knew her. The first thing I told her was that I did my first acrylic painting recently. (I will post a photo of this at some point.) The second thing that comes to mind is the work we were doing - political work. So she represent arts and political engagement.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Twister Discovery

#1036 - Twister - I always thought the picture of people tangled up on the cover of the board game was a lie. It never happened that way when I played. Today I played for the first time apparently actually following the rules and we looked like the cover. Now this game is actually fun thanks to Holly and Ashley.

#1037 - The Harvest Moon- rising at the high school football game and at least 3 other strangers I heard Commenting on its Beauty.

#1038 - Playing the Clarinet with Ashley - new instrument fun

#1039 - Watching Krystal Dance at Football

#1040 - At 10:30pm it is Quiet at my Cousin's House. (This has never happened at this hour.) Holly is asking me about my gratitudes. I read her the last ones and she was interested in Ingrid Betancourt and is asking me great questions about lots of topics.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

12 Hours of Sun

#1026 - Fall Equinox 2010 - Minneapolis, MN
Sunrise: 0700
Sunset: 1911

#1027 - The Woman who Reached out and Touched a Decorative Pumpkin as she Walked By (it had interesting texture)

#1028 - Ingrid Betancourt being on Oprah - (and the fact that I knew about it beforehand). I read Betancourt's book Until Death do Us Part : My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia right around the time she was kidnapped by FARC and held hostage for 6 years. To say she is a brave woman is an understatement.

#1029 - I've been listening to K'Naan's Troubadour CD. (I highly recommend it). Today I looked up the Chords for Wavin' Flag and Played Along. (I don't usually play with music so at first I was a little flustered that I had to follow someone else's pace, but fun).

#1030 - Glancing at my hand in a Mirror and thinking it looked Beautiful

Monday, September 20, 2010

Arms Sales

#1016 - Finally Making An Appointment to have the Piano Tuned - It hasn't been tuned in who knows how many years 20?, 30?, more?... I've been meaning to do this for 6 months. In general I am not a procrastinator, but sometimes/somethings there just seems to be a hold-up. I felt a sense of relief and energy when I finally took action on this today.

#1017 - Eating Dinner in the Backyard and Being Quiet Enough to Appreciate: the chipmunk whose mouth was full of bedding and surprised to see me along in his/her pathway, the breeze in the trees, and the red squirrel, clearly in charge, once again chasing a larger gray squirrel.

#1018 - Right After I Came inside a Friend Called to Read me Some Hafiz Poems - which required a quiet mind, sitting outside was good preparation

#1019 - Obama is Said to be Preparing to Seek Approval on Saudi Arms Sale... - this may become the largest arms deal in U.S. History. I heard about this on the radio recently and I'm reading a memoir where the woman spends some of her youth in Saudi Arabia. So I'm grateful because this blog made me do some research into this topic.

Let's talk a little about how women are regarded in Saudi Arabia. According to Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women cannot drive on public roads. Not only that but women cannot travel at all without approval of their closest male relative, this relative could be their son. Apparently they also cannot vote or be elected to office.

"Freedom of speech and the press are restricted to forbid criticism of the government. Trade Unions and political organizations are banned. Public demonstrations are forbidden. The Saudi Government is an active censor of Internet reception within its borders." Wikipedia

So this country is our top customer for arms.

I'm grateful to know enough about history to remember in the 1980's we supplied weapons to both the Taliban in Afghanistan and Sadam Hussein/Iraq.

Do I think it would be okay if Sweden was our top arms customer? No, but seriously... Does what we do with our money reflect the kind of world we want to live in?

#1020 - NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF for his New York Times Op-Ed (and my brother for sharing it with me)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

APB - Awesome Person Bulletin

In honor of an important birthday for my eldest cousin:
#1006 - I'm grateful for her existence. I was almost an adult before my first cousin was born, so I deeply appreciated and looked forward to her appearance in our family and I still feel this way.

#1007 -To know both sides of her.
She can be quiet/shy around strangers (like I am), but with me she has always been fiery and spirited.

#1008 - Her Ability to Articulate her Emotions.
There was one time (at least) in the past couple years when I hurt her feelings. Instead of pouting or lashing out or becoming silent...she explained to me how and why she felt hurt. I was honored and dumbstruck. I didn't start learning how to do that until recently, and here she was as a teenager already figuring it out!

#1009 - To Witness Her Growth - For example, summer of 2009 Krystal didn't want to dance at an outdoor concert with my brother, sister-in-law and I. This Summer she went Tango dancing with us and danced with complete strangers!

#1010 - The first time I took Krystal downhill skiing, she had gone once before. I had no idea how good/comfortable she was. As I watched her barrel down the first hill (clearly not in control), my heart flew from the confines of my chest. I wanted to grab her, hold her safe and tight, but she was speeding towards an unknown destination. All I could do was trust and pray.

So as her life continues to evolve towards unknown destinations, I pray that the force that got her down that hill keeps guiding.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

1000 Gratitudes!

#996 - Seeing three Women Swimming in a Lake on a Cool Day (well past when swimming areas are "closed" in MN)

#997 - Being Perplexed by a man thanking me for wearing a helmet when I biked past.

#998 - Carlo (1 yr old) not Wanting to Leave the Library. YES!

#999 - Using Calm Assertive Energy, My Latest Melody and a Gentle/Firm Lower Back Stroke to get Carlo to Nap (or maybe it was luck, either way he slept)

#1000 - 1000 Reasons to be Grateful

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


#986 - Finding People of Equal Ability to Play Doubles Tennis With - A Friend, My Brother and Sister-in-Law

#987 - That once you have the racket (mine I've had 18+ yrs) and $3 tennis balls, Tennis is Free. There are courts less than a mile away, and tonight when it got dark I could turn on lights with a switch - no quarters required!

#988 - Wanting to bring up replacing the tree my Dad had cut down in his front yard, (I think it looks pretty sad/sparse right now), but knowing he had to be in a good mood. I said a prayer that I could bring it up naturally. Then forgot about it (always required). Something triggered me Bringing it up Without Trying.

#989 - He Says to Make a List of Suggested Trees and He'll Look at It

#990 - That I've learned enough to know my only requirement - the tree be Native to MN

Friday, September 10, 2010

Purer and Purer Streams

#961 - A Friend Being Creative
#962 - The quote on the other side of this card - "It is Only by Expressing all that is Inside that Purer and Purer Streams Come." Brenda Ueland. This is so true. I look back on some older journals now and just think - yuck. What a bunch of crappy, exhausting, emotional angst. It needed to come out though - to make room - for things like this.

#963 - Planks - an exercise that I nearly always do with music. I pick two songs that will add up to 5-6 minutes. I use them as motivation, and as my timer. Today I programmed two songs off Jason Mraz's live album and I saw it added up to 10 minutes. Well, this was too long, but I just started and figured I'd stop early.

If you said to me, "Let's try to up the minutes on your planks." I'd say, "No thanks" (or "no way!") but with Mr. Mraz's positive energy, I actually got so into it I made 10 Minutes without even trying. (Well I was definitely sweating, but not "trying" to reach 10 minutes. It just happened.) Jill has been writing/thinking about goals lately, and these are my favorite kinds. The Ones I Exceed Without Even Setting.

#964 - Fresh Raspberries from the Garden in my Honey Nut Oats Breakfast Cereal

#965 - Elizabeth Harper's Power Meditation

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Is/What Could Be

#961 - I thought I lost my friend's Capo for her guitar. Well, I did lose it, but today I Got it Back.

#962 -
If you are not familiar with the mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker - well I rarely say this but - you're missing out. A couple ways to familiarize yourself include StreetFight a great documentary about his run for office, or the article about him in the Sept issue of Oprah's magazine.
Anyway, I felt Inspired to Write Him a Card Thanking Him for Who He Is and What He Gives.

#963 - Anais Mitchell - an artist I discovered last weekend. This moment her song Flowers.

#964 - My friend sent me a song to listen to, I'm grateful for what it evoked me to write in reply. Here is a section -

I've just started thinking for the first time recently maybe I won't have a child (I know you've heard me start putting "if" on that one) and then now "maybe I'll always be single." What if...I'm always single? For the first time in my life I can ask that question. It doesn't scare me. I'm not resistant to it, I don't want to push it away. Now I can simply ask it as, "What if...?" Hmm, what would that look like, how would that feel? Right now I'd say it feels pretty good, it feels pretty blessed.

#965 - Knowing that Accepting/Opening to What Is Also Opens Me To All that Could Be

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Thich Nhat Hanh

#951 - The woman who took her cell phone conversation beyond the lobby, beyond the vestibule, to the outside of the library and still spoke softly. (This could be in the "Unsung Heroes" section of the Onion.)

#952 - Local Fabric Store Urges You to Check Them Out on Twitter - The Onion

#953 - Identifing a few Trees using a book I picked up from the library (BoxElder, Buckthorn and Green Ash)

#954 - Picking up The Dog Whisperer 3rd season, disc 4. Just having it come today was a bit of positive energy.

#955 - Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh's words about treating one's anger or sadness like a small child, telling them we will take care of them. "It's okay anger/sadness, I am here I will care for you." Today I needed this and it made sense to me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Last weekend there were 100's of dragonflies flying above the beach at Father Hennepin State Park. I watched them briefly, then sat down to look at the park map. Almost immediately a dragonfly landed on it. Then moved to my bag.
Soon it hopped onto my skin. I placed my finger in front so I could take a photo showing how large it was.

Then, it climbed on.

It soon flew away. But by paying attention to that individual dragonfly, I became quiet enough to lay down and observe the beauty of the 100's flying above me. Sometimes I would watch them en masse. Sometimes I would pick an individual and try to follow it as it flew - back, then forth, then sideways, then down...

When I got back to my campsite I observed this scene. I assumed it was mating though it didn't look quite right. Eventually I found out one ate the other (only the tail, wings, and a bit of the eye remained). They were pretty clearly the same species and size as far as I can tell. I should have asked if there was a naturalist at the park to explain this, because the internet is not helping me. Nowhere does it list dragonflies as cannibalistic. Hmmm.

[I wrote this post ahead of time as I won't be on a computer Sunday, so my gratitudes today are in my journal. I wanted to share this experience though. Thanks!]

Friday, September 3, 2010

Caffeine and Music

#931 - I am reading Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Stargirl is a high school student that is very much her own self. She is very aware of others (observes them, sends anonymous encouraging cards etc) but she does not care what people think about her. Her classmates at times applaud her and then later in the book shun her. The main, character, Leo, starts dating Stargirl and through this starts becoming shunned/ignored too. Leo starts to realize how important it is to him to be acknowledged by other people. He calls out to one student, whom he has never spoken to before, "Hello" is ignored and suddenly needs this stranger's acknowledgment/validation.

Yesterday my friend Laura was commenting about how some people can't understand how she has energy when she doesn't drink caffeine. I was thinking about this today, how I don't even notice this because I don't drink caffeine either (occasionally I drink tea or have a root beer). This made me think about how hard it can be to be the "only" person you know who does or does not do something (even if that something is as trivial as drinking coffee).

And then Stargirl got me to thinking about how strong the need in us is to be acknowledged/validated. That sometimes (consciously or unconsciously) we simply do things the same as other people because we feel acknowledged by it.

Anyway, the gratitude in here is for this Chain of Thought and for Forgetting I'm in a Minority without Caffeine.

#932 - Receiving Jed's letter with a CD of his songs

#933 - Sometimes I search a little for my gratitudes - the timing of this might seem a little weird. But I landed on this music today, so here is some Heart Food from The Brothers Frantzich

#934 - Which leads me to some writing I did last weekend. I was asked what were some of the musical pivotal points in my life - songs or musicians that changed me. Here is what I wrote -

We Are the World/Ani DiFranco/The Brothers Frantzich

I’ve thought about Ani DiFranco. I’ve thought about Paul and Tim. What I didn’t think, didn’t know, didn’t see, was the progression, the connection, the chain.
The nine year old girl who wanted a pet and a swimming pool also wanted to save the world: the fish pulled off a hook and thrown back, the water with the oil slick, the mole caught in a trap, the worms on her street. She wrote a song, “There are people dying – oh can’t you see. They’re crying out, crying out, for you and me.”

That 9 year old girl became a 23 year old woman working her second year – as a full-time volunteer. She was trying to save that world – or at least a few of the children in it.

“God help you if you are an ugly girl

Course too pretty is also your doom

Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred

for the prettiest girl in the room

And God help you if you are a phoenix

and dare to rise up from the ash

a thousand eyes will smolder with jealous

while you’re just…flying past”

Ani DiFranco

Ani was saying things, yelling things, singing things – inside of her that needed to come out. She was my bottle opener, my corkscrew, my doorway. Her songs could stand alone as poetry - and I could write.

“I am not a pretty girl,” Ani said.

I am a powerful woman with opinions, and talent and sass. And I want to be seen. I want to be noticed. I want to be recognized.

And then I am, eight years later, by Tim and Paul Frantzich, while I recite words and they sing songs and we together create a memorial service worthy of a mother who brought me - HERE.

#935 - Which led me to We Are The World Haiti - 25 yrs later - this song still gives me the chills

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Locks of Love

#921 - Artistic Photos of this Dress - I take nature photos, but I would never spend time on shots like this if it weren't for this blog, and I had fun!

#922 - Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli - picked this up in the Spanish Teen Fiction Section. Instantly engaging.

#923 - One of the items on my "challenge card" for yoga is to donate shoe treats. (Sometimes they put a piece of chocolate or something in our shoe while we are in class.) I made a different kind of shoe treat. I wrote out 15 different poems (from Rumi etc.) so that instead of taking home chocolate, People can Take Home a Poem.

#924 - My friend Laura always has long long hair (since at least 7th grade - I've seen photos). Today, she told me she got a radically different hair-cut. She Felt the Inspiration and Followed Through. She also donated her 10+ inches of hair to locks of love. (I just went to their website for the first time and read, "it is estimated 80% of all donations come from children who wish to help other children." That is beautiful.)

#925 - This Dress Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. It's so silly it makes me laugh. Where/when will I wear it? I don't know, but the Thrift Store allows me to take risks. I am walking around my house, feeling like I could fall in a big hole and the dress would work as a parachute and my life would be a new adventure.