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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween delights

It was a joy to drive the neighborhood streets of adorable Westport, Ct tonight and to see the droves of children clutching their bags of candy and wearing such cute costumes:) We saw a Ghostbuster and several Princesses, the Hamburgler (old school!), Mario and Harry Potter and superheroes roaming in packs -- Batman and Spiderman and Superman all combining forces. It is crisp but not too cold and the leaves are still putting on their display of all the most beautiful fall fashion colors. Best of all, the sunset seemed to linger extra long tonight and as the sun set, in the last remaining moments before it was completely dark, I saw something I've never seen before -- as Ryan pointed out -- a CHOCOLATE SKY! A rich warm brown color in the horizon all melty and yummy was amazing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Toast and Von Trapps

I just invented a new snack (peanut butter toast with grape slices on it yum) and it makes me very happy as I watch the Sound Of Music 45 year reunion on Oprah with all the actors together for the first time since the movie opened which also makes me very happy. Oh how I love that movie and those songs and those characters! I'm thankful for the opportunity to take little moments to do little things that make me helps stoke the flames of joy in my heart when they start to fizzle. For some reason I also take joy in the word fizzle. It's fun to say:)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Walking in the Rain

It is an act of courage
to walk in the rain
ignoring the siren call of comfort
and the bed that whispers
"These days are best spent
Do not let it lull you
into missing your life
go out and find it
It is better to be wet
than asleep
Pretend to be a drop of water
winding your way
to the swollen river's edge
Be caught up by a stone
watch your sister droplets
dance on by
Make friends with the moss
and if you sit still enough
maybe it will cover you
like a blanket of citrine chenille
Climb the brawny boulder
play king of the hill
(you deserve to win one
every now and then)
Stop and listen
to the lone woodpecker
tap tap tapping lazily
Look up and let the rain
soft as snow
sprinkle your face
Record the whole thing
with a pencil you found on a rock,
an offering from God
It is sharp, but the eraser is wet,
so don't edit, just write
Haven't you learned by now
that imperfection is perfect
if it is true?

Jackie Martin

I am thankful for my friend Marty aka Jack aka Buddy aka Martimus aka Marty Smarty. And he is a brings me such joy to get a postcard from him because I know if is going to be something special. You see, he never writes about himself, but instead, makes up a short story based on whatever the picture on the front of the card is. Once I got a poem about Audrey Hepburn's onyx eyes, one time he wrote a story that made me laugh about a statue cleaner and a flock of birds, and today he wrote an entire life story in the space of a postcard that was so poignant and beautiful I cried. Well done, sir. I'm thankful that even though he is a world away in Korea, he's really no further than my heart and a couple of days postage:)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Old Tree

There is a lovely ancient tree
leaning right in front of me
her gnarled form so humanly
with two limbs lifted prayerfully

I can see from the cracks in her bark
she has surely been through the dark
now wounded she bears the mark
of the One who placed her in this park

I could learn from this old tree
standing split, yet sturdily
for the sun shines down and she
by grace sprouts brand new leaves

Retreat Haiku

Pink petals dripping
rain, sweet icing of the earth
the world is a cake

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Retreat, Retreat!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Kara has hied herself away on a writer's retreat this week, and will be incommunicato (lucky girl!). I'm sure she'll tell us all about her joyful writing experience when she gets back.

Monday, October 18, 2010

And one more thing...

I had to make another post today in praise of fresh popped popcorn! Ryan and I panicked tonight when we discovered we were out of microwave popcorn...but then I remembered the canister of kernels left over from when my sister was here and had insisted on fresh popped popcorn. It always seemed like too much trouble, so we never made it after she left, but there it was tonight...what joy, and it was perfect! We laughed that we made waayyy too much -- and then proceeded to eat the entire bowl. A light sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of real butter. Mmmm. Just the way that genius Mr. Redenbacher meant it to be:)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A rose is a rose...

But this was the BEST smelling rose I have EVER had the pleasure to fresh squeezed sweet summer lemonade. And there it is, right on my own back porch! I had to keep going outside to smell it all day...oh how I wish I could bottle it. Why is it that rose perfumes never smell like roses? Or the kind of roses I like, those slightly citrusy, sweet and somewhat fruity roses that must surely be the scent of heaven. Roses are wonderful at making you enjoy the present moment, fleeting as they are. Thankfully, for me at least, the memories of the really good ones lasts and keeps me happily expectant for the next bloom to come along:)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Easy Night's Day

I can't stop smiling, I just got to watch A HARD DAY'S NIGHT -- I can't believe it's taken me so long to see it! It is so fresh and irreverent and wacky and genuinely funny, I somehow feel like the Beatles are all good friends of mine now. Sweet, sad Ringo always getting picked on, charming Paul, quiet George, and free-spirited John with all of his ridiculous voices -- they were all so natural. And that early music -- I mean I couldn't help but actually get up off the couch and dance. It all just seemed like everyone was having so much fun that it made me have fun. I am certainly thankful for The Beatles and all of their amazing music that I can't help singing along with, and I'm thankful for out HD TV that made it possible to hang out with them up close without having to go through the trouble of chasing them down the streets of London:)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Garrison Keillors

I have a pair of bright red tennis shoes that I call my Garrison Keillors (named for the great story teller and host of Prairie Home Companion because he often wears red tennis shoes.) I love to wear them because they always seem to give me a little spring in my step, like I'm actually walking in the footsteps of one of my heroes. I can remember long car rides to Nana and Papa's house when Dad would turn on NPR and we'd "have" to listen to "dumb" Prairie Home companion, all the while I would secretly hang on every word, getting lost in the sentimentality and silliness. Now I listen every Sunday that I can, usually on my way to church, and the sound of his warm, grandfatherly voice just makes me feel like home, even in the midst of LA traffic. Now THAT is true storytelling -- to be able to captivate and transport your audience to another time and place so well that they don't even care about the bat crazy, honk happy, Rolls Royce driving masses in Beverly Hills. I hope to be like Garrison in that way some day - but for now I will just take joy in wearing my shoes that I've named for him:)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cue the trumpets

I've got a new song to pump me up before I go into meetings, or to sing to myself when I'm feeling puny...the theme song for ROCKY. Just listening to those trumpets blast makes me feel like I could run up those famous steps...and maybe I wouldn't punch giant sides of beef like he did (gross) but I can internally swing at the allergies and the migraines and all the other things that try to stop me. My brother and I used to shout at the world when we were kids "You can only hope to contain me!" and I feel that way now. I saw a card today that says we never really know how strong we are until we find out how strong love can make us. So true -- I feel the love from my husband, my friends, my family and my God making me stronger day by day -- just like a spiritual Rocky; you might not see the muscles, but that doesn't mean they're not there:) Bum bum ba ba bum ba ba bum bum bum...Getting Stronger!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Indian summer

The smoldering ashes of an Indian Summer sun
set slow and hazy, red sinking into purple
behind the mountaintops so black
they seemed to be cut from construction paper
like scenery for a school play
set in the old west
all we need are some tumbleweeds

Around the world

Wow -- I just discovered that this blog has a button I can push that makes a map pop up that shows me where in the world people are logging onto this website from -- and I am beyond humbled. I have no idea how people from Germany and South Korea and Canada and Singapore have stumbled upon my little offerings of gratitude and joy, but it makes me happy to think of joy spreading around the world ..maybe someday it could even spark a pandemic of peace. It appears that a joy shared truly is a joy multiplied! The perfectionist in me wishes these posts were a little more profound and polished now that I know people are actually reading them -- but I suppose maybe they are best in their raw form, like carrots and apples. The organic ones that are all lumpy and spotted but taste the best:) Thank you all for reading my ramblings and for joining me for the journey, I wish each and every one of you joy in your lives and I hope you too can find something each day to be grateful for. Tonight I'm grateful for my heating pad and how it can melt my tight and weary muscles after a long day. That makes me think of Charles Schultz's quote that "Happiness is a warm puppy." Yes, warmth is a good thing. And so I'm sending warm wishes to all of you now:)

Monday, October 11, 2010

So much to be thankful for

I am grateful to be feeling better day by day:) And I am grateful that when there are set backs my husband never complains ever even when I ask him to do a million things for me, sometimes I don't even ask -- he just knows what will make me feel better and that is a true gift.
I am also thankful for the gift of the beautiful words of a woman named Julian of Norwich who lived seven hundred years ago and yet walks along the journey with me as I read her books. Right now I am reading I Promise You a Crown A 40-Day Journey in the company of Julian of Norwich that has been particularly uplifting to me. I'm thankful that Gabri from All Saints put it on my radar!
I also love that Ryan looked up at the wisp of the moon tonight and called it an eyelash moon -- maybe I will make a wish on it:)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My dog the junkie

My puppy Pippin literally levitates when he gets to lick the bowl after I've eaten my yogurt. At least the front part of him does. Both legs just tilting up off the floor in ecstasy as he tries to get as much as he can from my cultured offering. It is bot hilarious and impressive. He's the only yogurt loving dog I've ever heard of...he goes crazy when he sees me take out the container and waits eagerly at my feet while I eat, his eyes bugging out of his head at the thought of just a taste. Ryan and I have often called him "Tweaker" because of his excitable personality -- but when he gets yogurt, he actually turns into a strung out addict. I'm hoping it's not a gateway to the harder stuff -- what's next? Frozen yogurt?? Then onto ice cream, and there's just no coming back from that. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Old Discovery

Today came the news
that Cassini has discovered
the molecules of life
hovering in the atmosphere
above Saturn's largest moon
once scientists believed
life came from the primordial ooze
a cocktail of molecules
swimming in earth-bound pools
waiting to become
or someone
but now Titan proves
the building blocks of life
probably sprang from the air
Life created from the Heavens
how ironic

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Haiku on a fall day

the silver sky shines
through the latticework of leaves
the rain has moved on

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Journey

I am thankful for the journey. I sometimes obsess about the peaks, the mountaintop experiences in life, wishing I could always be perfectly happy, perfectly healthy, perfectly...perfect. But the fact that I don't stay there, the fact that I dip into the valley and the desert sometimes, it just helps me to realize that I am moving, I am journeying means I am living. In a way I suppose the human spirit is like a must keep moving to live. And so as I journey though the valleys I look for the beauty -- there may not be astounding views and snow capped glory...but there is delicate deep green moss and sometimes there are even streams in the desert if you keep your eyes open. And soon enough I know I will come to another mountain to enjoy. Up, down, up, down -- life, all of it -- and I am thankful to be alive.


I'm thankful for Chinese food delivery and game night with Lindsay and Cole. And I'm proud of myself for learning a new game and for having a blast even though I lost miserably. Normally I am a very sore loser. Actually, normally I don't lose:) But it was quite freeing tonight to be so bad that I didn't have to be competitive so I could just be silly. Who knew losing could be liberating?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Keep Calm...

I'm happy to be home so I can keep up with my joy blog:) I'm thankful for a reminder to look for joy each day and the accountability to pass it on. Right now I am loving a poster I saw in a house in Connecticut that used to be a British poster in WWII -- It says "Keep Calm and Carry On." Yes! I will try:) It should be easy for me since I don't have to contend with daily air raids...quite a perspective giver.