Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The symphony of silence

the gentle constant hum of the air purifier
the raspy intermittent snores of the pups
the crisp whisper of old paper as he turns the page
the sigh he makes as he crosses his legs while he reads
the tap tap of letters turning into words on my computer
the simple symphony of silence

Monday, August 30, 2010


I was watching a show called Plain Jane where they make-over timid girls so they can go on a date with their secret crushes...a mindless and adorable show. Anyway, they always make the girls confront a fear to show them they can conquer it, figuring that it will make asking out a boy they like not so scary in comparison. So in this week's episode, the girl was deathly afraid of the dark. To conquer it, she had to go to one of those trendy new restaurants where people eat in the dark -- but she didn't know it was a restaurant, she didn't know where she was and she was freaked. When she finally hear the host's voice, she found out that she was going to have to eat something that they put in front of her that she couldn't see. She felt the food and started to cry because it felt cold and slimy and she thought it was slugs. Finally after crying and balking, she finally ate it -- and discovered it was key lime pie -- her favorite. I so related to that girl -- often worrying that the unknown is full of slugs, being afraid of new situations or experiences because they might be bad -- but why not instead believe that it's going to be good, like key lime pie? When confronted with something that scares me, I am going to try and think from now on -- it could be key lime pie! And I love key lime pie. I hope I have a whole future full of it. I was very afraid to get some shots in my neck today because I thought they might hurt too much and I didn't know how they would make my neck feel --thankfully Ryan was there to calm me and I steeled all my courage and decided to go for it reminding could be key lime pie. And even though it hurt a bit -- I'm sitting here tonight feeling so much better, which is just as sweet as pie:)

Chubbles Got a Bath

Gatsby (aka "Chubbles" to his other owners two doors down) is usually a few different nappy shades of grey and leaves mini toupees of wiry hair in his wake wherever he cautiously creeps. To put it simply: he's disgusting. But no more! Apparently the neighbors decided they'd had enough of the grime and managed to get him into a tub (wish I could've seen it!!!). His white belly is actually white! His soft coat is a pleasure to stroke!

My hat is off to you, mystery neighbor. By cleaning your cat Chubbles, you also cleaned our Gatsby. Two cats for the price of one bath.


Sunday, August 29, 2010


I'm thankful today for Icy Hot...I've used a whole tube in the last few days and it feels so good on my sore, stiff neck. I'm thankful for smart people who come up with medicines and that I live in a time when I don't just have to bite on bark when I'm in pain! I'm thankful for America's Funniest Home video marathons, because laughter is still the best medicine -- and for my husband who watches it with me because it's more fun to laugh with someone you love. Posted by Kara

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Doing nothing

I'm thankful for the giant sliding glass doors that take up half of one wall in my bedroom and allow me to feel like I'm outside even when I'm lying inside on my bed. And I'm thankful for a whole day where it's okay to do absolutely nothing!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I'm thankful for a new doctor and new medicine and new hope today. I'm thankful that it's just migraines and not something more serious and I'm glad to have a plan of attack...I'm ready to fight back. I'm also thankful that my Doctor reminded me of Dudley Moore and made me laugh when I was feeling scared and even managed to be very good at listening.
I'm also thankful that when I came home to lie down in bed, When Harry Met Sally was on -- I freaking love that movie and I love quoting all of my favorite lines right along with them as they say them:)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cloud Battalion

a cloud battalion
wages war against the heat
great liberators

Old Man Pippin

It makes me laugh every day the way my dog Pippin seems to go through an entire life cycle in twelve hours. In the morning he's got a fresh little puppy face and turns in circles of excitment at the prospect of a new day. By the afternoon he's all barky and sassy like a teenager, running outside to chase the squirrel and causing a rukus. And every night he turns into what Ryan and I call "Old Man Pippin" his jowels seem longer, his eyes droopier, each step seems like an effort and all he wants to do is lie on the couch and watch TV. So we sing "Old Man Pippin" to the tune of "Old Man River" and put him to bed knowing tht tomorrow morning he'll be Pippin Puppy again:)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time to grow some peanuts

We have an obsessive compulsive squirrel who somehow has procured for himself an endless supply of peanuts. He loves to bury those peanuts. And then dig them up. And then bury them again. Sounds adorable, a squirell moving his peanut stash daily like a bank changing security codes so that no one can ever steal them -- but it is not adorable. It is annoying -- because his peanut safety deposit box of choice is our vegetable garden. We have worked very hard on that garden and it has rewarded us with delicious cucumbers and spinach and tomatoes and peppers. We are creating life out there on our balcony, so it seemed like the perfect place to put my 3 special rocks that say "Always Create Happiness." But yesterday when I went out to water, I noticed something was different...something was missing. The "Create" rock was gone -- and in it's place I found...A Peanut. Somehow that pesky little squirrel had stolen my "create" rock and replaced it so that when I looked down, my garden read "Always Peanut Happiness." I think he was trying to tell me something...:)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Slumber party

I'm thankful that you're never too old for a slumber party. With my hubby out of town it's fun to look at dumb magazines and watch movies and hgtv all night with Lindsay, and eat lots of popcorn. And I don't have to worry about her putting my bra in the freezer or toothpaste in my ear, which makes it considerably less stressful than the slumber parties I went to as a kid:)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ugh, mom!

I don't know why, but while I was driving to the movies tonight, I glimpsed a private little moment that just made me laugh. A mother and her 12-year-old son were waiting at the bus stop, he was wearing a tie and nice pants, obviously dressed up for something, and his mother took a look at him, licked her fingers and stuck down his hair. Of course he brushed her away and looked terribly embarrassed as only sixth graders can, but it was such a lovely little piece of humanity it just made me happy:)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

(More than) A Few of My Favorite Things

I was driving home today and the song "FAVORITE THINGS" from The Sound of Music came on and it made me so happy listening to it that I thought to myself how that song was one of my favorite things:) A few of my other favorite things: bright shiny high heels, the way Pippin's face squishes against the couch when he's sleeping, how Alfie says Ah-roo-roo-roo every single morning and never at night, playing charades with my niece and nephew, giggle fits with my sister when we're too hungry, seeing sappy girly movies with Lindsay, composing with Andy or just listening to him play, hugs from my dad and long phone calls about nothing and everything with mom, fresh flowers all over the house, hummingbirds and their iridescent feathers that surprise you in the sun when they change colors like magic, how Lisa's kids call me Miss Kara, late night email sessions with Aunt Char, Eskimo kisses and morning songs with my hubby, clouds that look like animals and the sound of the breeze in the trees, a dress that fits so perfect it's like it was made just for you, Dick Van Dyke's rubbery leg dance, Audrey Hepburn when she runs down the steps in FUNNY FACE and says "I don't wanna stop, take the picture, take the picture!" and another one of her quotes " all means Rome!" and how I know what she means when she says it, and pretty much every show tune ever written. I suppose I should stop there...I'm grateful for so many favorite things that I'll have to continue in another post some other time:)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

cool relief

An ice cold washcloth
relief for my aching head
thanks to my hubby

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Powerful quote about gratitude

"No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night. We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately."
- Elie Wiesel, from his Nobel Peace Prize speech

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Put on a Happy Face!

One of the greatest joys ever -- meeting two of my singing/dancing/acting heros, and finding out they were as wonderful in person as they are in their wonderful roles. Thank you Dick Van Dyke for all of your goofy charm and humor and to Shirley Jones for your beautiful voice that I've idolized since I was a kid -- you have brought me so much joy for so many years:)

Funny guys

I'm thankful for Will Ferrell and his ridiculousness that never makes any sense but always makes me laugh so hard my head hurts. I sure hope I get to make a movie with him someday...what a joy that would be! For now I am grateful just to have a good laugh after a long week:) Also, it's nice to see Michael Keaton on screen again -- I've missed his perfectly timed brand of humor (doesn't get better than Mr. Mom) for a long time...I'm glad he's still got it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I read online that tonight
there is a meteor shower
but the city lights
make it impossible to view
so I sit quietly in my room
turn off the television
and listen for the shouts
of cosmic joy
as the shooting stars
streak across the sky

Couldn't put it down

I'm thankful for books that I get so wrapped up in I stay up too late reading to write on my blog:) I reread Madeline L'Engle's book A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET (which I haven't read since I was 11) and I finished last night. Amazing it still held up after all these years...even more so because as an adult I could really understand the stakes and the deeper themes -- I actually cried at the end. I'm sure I've said it before, but I'm thankful for Madeline and the inspiration she has been to my writing and my life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rick Steve's new sidekick

I was sick last night and in bed, so I didn't get to write, but what I was going to write about was the fly that was in my room last night keeping me entertained. I was watching Rick Steve's on TV, and the picture was so beautiful, that fly kept trying to fly right into it. I think he actually believed he had traveled to France and landed happily right on the top of a medieval castle. And it made me grateful, first of all for a TV with such a nice picture quality, but also for TV in general -- how amazing that for people who could never see the 15,000 year old cave drawings in a tiny town in France in real life, you can get a pretty cool experience watching it from your own bed like I did last night:)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eating grace instead of just saying it

We ate our dinner mindfully tonight...meaning we didn't talk, and we didn't think about anythng, but we put our full attention on eating our meal and being grateful for it. And what would've been devoured and forgotten while watchng a House Hunters International was instead luxuriated over and appreciated. I actually couldn't help but write a haiku in my head about the crunch of fresh toast. I've forgotten it now, but in the moment it made me very happy. I tried to really taste my food, to think about how I would describe a green pepper to someone who's never eaten it...not easy! It's crispy and juicy, kind of like an apple, but spicier, but not really spicy, more like tangy -- finally I just decided that it tasted green. My tomato seemed to melt like earthy butter in my mouth which seemed to be a new experience -- I never really thought of tomatoes as melty. So many tastes and textures! Thank God for all of the wonderful food we have been given to eat and enjoy. It's nice to be reminded what a miracle a grape is.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two timing cat

My cat Gatsby is hilarious. He has huge saucer green eyes, waddles like an overstuffed goose and instead of a meow he says "meep!" He's been growing fatter for sometime now, and it didn't make one dent when I switched to diet food. He's gone most of the day, but always comes in for a good scratch behind the ears at night -- we always refer to him as our college kid, wandering restlessly all hours of the day and night, but always coming home for a snack and a hug when he needs it. We've been suspecting that he's been two-timing us for sometime now -- and tonight we got proof. Ryan brought him into the bedroom where I was working and he was laughing so hard he could only get out "look!" And that's when I saw the bright red brand new collar with a nice little name tag that read: CHUBBLES. HAHAHA!!! Chubbles the cat. It's actually the perfect name for him in her current shape. We called the number on the tag and as of this post, haven't heard back yet. Hopefully we can figure out how to put him on a diet between our two families. Although I'm sure that somehow Gatsby Chubbles will just find some other family to feed him if we do. Such a galavanting moocher, that cat!

Fashion appreciation

I cleaned my closets today...really cleaned: I put all my clothes in pretty arrangements according to color and fabric and all of my shoes in their boxes with the lids closed. The boxes are all so lovely, pink and red and purple and green...makes me want to open a shoe store -- one where I get to keep all the shoes:) It was hard work, but also fun to go through and see all the beautiful pieces of clothing I've gathered over the years and it made me very thankful that I have such nice things to wear. I've been on a spending freeze and it's actually been pretty cool to go "shopping" in my own closet, finding things I haven't worn in a while and giving them new life. I've always liked fashion, and today it was nice to appreciate it too.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Real to me

We were out late last night seeing TOY STORY 3 which is such a beautiful movie, well written, exciting, funny, sad and happy all at the same time. It was my second time and I still cried. It makes me thankful for all of my toy friends who were very real to me and who kept me company and carried my secrets and hopes growing up -- for Susie the pillow with a plesant doll face, for Peetie the blue bunny that Papa bought me, for Marshmallow and Rachel the pink and white bunnies I got for Easter, for Theodora the old fashioned teddy bear I got after I was sick to make me feel well, and for Herman the bear with the bow tie that I got for Christmas one year and who made the trip out to California with me to remind me of home. There were many more...but those guys were the first string, and I loved growing up with them:)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sit ups should be illegal

I'm thankful I made it through my first real work out in am I hurtin, but the pain is a good reminder not to put taking care of my body so far down on the priority list. Take care of your body and it takes care of you...neglect it and it will kick your butt! I'm really grateful to be able to have a wonderful trainer -- even lunges aren't so bad when she sings along with me to my ridiculous Show Tunes mix. The laughter almost makes me forget how much I'm sweating. Almost:)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Comfort food in comfort

I just have to say that dinner in bed is just as fun as breakfast in bed, even when you're not feeling well, it somehow makes it feel like you're celebrating:)

City Cricket

I love that in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, that when I get ready every night before I go to bed, I get a lovely lullaby from one very lost cricket, and it sounds like home. I don't know how the cricket got to Los Angeles, or how he somehow climbed up to our top balcony, or how on earth he has escaped both our cats, but somehow he has set up residence in our vegetable planter box, and it makes me smile. I keep wondering if he grew up in some little town watching Jiminy Cricket movies and moved out here to make his mark and spread a little magic like his idol. When you wish upon a star...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm thankful for the new Clapper (that thing that lets you clap a light off and on) that Ryan got me so I don't spill my water again reaching to turn off the light at night. I'm also thankful for the laughs it gives me with it's tempermental ways...sometimes it needs 6 claps, sometimes two, sometimes it turns off when I'm laughing or hiccuping or just walking across the floor in heels. Clap on, laugh off, snap on, stomp off, The Clapper!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A hummingbird's heart

I am thankful for PBS airing shows like Nature so I can learn cool things like that a hummingbird's wings beat 200 times per minute and it's heart beats 600 TIMES per minute. I can't even fathom it, but I love it because it's just another reminder of how miraculous and amazing nature is. I am in awe of how creation is even more spectacular and boundless than the imagination.