Monthly Archives: May 2013

Hahaha! No.

  1. A sleeping baby
  2. A house full of friends
  3. One friend showing up JUST when I needed a cry and a hug
  4. New old things in the works
  5. This gratitude community. I can’t tell you how much I love and need you, especially now
  6. Feeling full of energy, switched on
  7. The cool air coming in the windows, foretelling the storm
  8. My daughter shaking her head “no” (like mama just did) and it was so cute I couldn’t help but laugh, so now she slowly, deliberately shakes her head and laughs
  9. I ripped the built-in shelving off the wall in the nursery, worried it would damage the wall, but you can’t even tell, and now the hideous shelves are gone! Yay!
  10. This, all of this

1. I am so grateful that I was able to spend some time with Ruth, and to meet her awesome husband!

2. It was extra special because Kylia was there. I was hoping she would be!

3. Wayne and Logan came with me and we ate lunch at The Barn…I haven’t been there in 20 years!

4. Reading old Good Lists! I’ve missed the chocolate lab that Crystal drew for me!!!

5. My dear friend Lucy. <3 She told me about Good List Daily…AND she suggested that I talk to Ruth about homeschooling.

6. I don't know if I can adequately express the profound gratitude that I feel for all that has transpired since I took that advice and messaged Ruth to ask her about homeschooling…That was April of 2010. I took Logan out of school and have been successfully facilitating his education. It has been pure bliss. It's been such a gift to have Ruth as a cheerleader, always there to share in our joys and to ease our fears.

7. Showing Wayne and Logan where I went to school

8. The way Logan understands and comforts me

9. Keeping anxiety in check for the long drive…

10. Coming home to a happy dog <3

Corsican Violets

  • Corsican Violet, a little purple flower native to the Mediterranean island of Corsica…grows well at our high elevations and even blooms beautifully in snow and sub-freezing temps.
  • Governor’s Cup marathon
  • Cookie, our shih tzu, boarded well at the Animal Center
  • Looking forward to a day of no rain so the grass can be mowed…it has grown fast and high:)
  • GPa having the studded tires taken off and the others put on…at no charge!
  • Military representation at our family gathering..Korea/Vietnam/MidEast
  • Temporary change of plans, operative word being temporary!
  • Ruth sharing her precious memories…
  • …bringing to mind a joyful trip with my Mom and sister doing the “girl” thing!

Gratefully Noticing

1.  a wonderful visit with my dear friend, Ruth

2.  the privilege of her gratitude journal here!

3.  driving through farm country

4.  so many cows — I love it when they’re just laying down and looking around

5.  the other day I looked a deer in the eyes for a long time — what a privilege

6.  being at Little League baseball games

7.  getting door prizes for Tom’s golf tournament

8.  watering the plants — gardening is so fantastic

9.  doing a Zentangle

10.  finding that purple turtle

The best things in life

For so many years, it was just the 3 of us.  Living with more month-than-money, cars that often failed, making do, getting by.  It did not define us   I am grateful for the all the moments of pure joy that we shared:

Volunteering at the Akron Aeros baseball games.  For each game that we volunteered, the Aeros gave each of us 6 free tickets for future games.  We all gained a love of baseball.   We would get a treat most times we went, buying a hot dog or a dish of Dippin’ Dots and sharing it.  Cheering like wild women, singing “Take me out to the ballgame” and “YMCA” during the 7th inning stretch, staying for fireworks.

Buying Sea World’s bargain family pass.   For less than $60, we had a full summer of fun.  Picnic lunches and all the great shows, again and again and again.  It never got old.

Buckett Hill Campground is filled with cabins.   What could be better than living next door to all your favorite people for a week?  Picnics, potlucks, water polo, hiking and fun, fun, fun.  With 50-60 kids being together from 7 am until midnight, each day, and not one argument or problem…. ever.  What a rare gift!

Our Christmas Eve tradition of lunch at Swenson’s drive-in restaurant, where Santa always gave us lots of free goodies from his pack, followed by a movie at the theater, dinner at a Chinese restaurant and then driving around looking at Christmas lights and singing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs, and endless giggling.

Jimmy’s cafe – a magical place that connected us with people from everywhere, and helped us find joy in every moment!   My oldest began working there when she was 14, and soon my youngest and I were helping out there as often as we could.  Music, food, conversation and a huge crowd of “regulars.”  Every inch inside and out was covered with paint, sparkles, mirrors, murals, photos, tassels, painted cotton balls, and mosaics.  Jimmy was an artist and nothing in the cafe stayed the same for long.  Magic is almost an understatement when you’re talking about Jimmy’s.

The Polar Express  – The 3 of us striding down Mill St in Peninsula to board the train each night, waving and smiling our biggest smiles at the engineer.  Boarding the train to create a magical night for every Polar Express passenger.   A month of absolute joy!

The countless classes and programs that we attended at the Cleveland Metroparks were so great, they are almost beyond description.  Each reservation (park) within the system is different and fascinating.  We knew so many of the naturalists and are so grateful for their caring and friendship.  We traveled on a Voyageur canoe (it’s huge), learned about CCC through a hands-on realistic workshop, had a tasty day trying about 60 dandelion recipes, touched and tasted helpful plants with the guidance of Dr. Wildweed, tried on Civil War soldiers clothes, plus programs about apples, raptors (my favorite), spring flowers, squirrels, bees and countless more.  I never had trouble getting either girl out of bed if we were going to a Metroparks program.  And they were free…

The many trips to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Before our first trip, we watched a video featuring Mike Hargrove, who was then the manager of the Cleveland Indians.  He explained that the art museum was NOT “his thing.”  But as he went through the museum, he found so many paintings and sculptures that he liked, and he explained what he liked about each one.  We spent our day searching for every piece of art that Mike had shown us in the video.  Excited shrieks – “There’s the one of the boxer!!!”

A dear friend of mine gave us a free time-share stay at a Myrtle Beach resort.  I wasn’t sure our car would make it that far, but it did.  Our suite was so luxurious.  We watched the brown pelicans swooping across the ocean, saw the sun rise, watched all the people on the beach, and treated ourselves to dinner at a beachfront restaurant. My younger daughter searched for shells and ooohed and ahhhed over every one, even if it was just a tiny sliver. It was rainy and cold every day, until the day we were to leave when the sun came out, and the temperatures warmed.  The  jellyfish arrived midweek… lots of pink squishy things on the beach. Don’t step on them!  And on the way home, we stopped to spend a few days with our wonderful North Carolina family!   We remember it as being one of the best trips ever!

Our first trip to Lake View Cemetery was amazing!  We went with a kids’ history club run by the Cleveland Metroparks.  So many famous people, tombstones in every shape and size you can imagine and the huge James A Garfield Memorial.  By looking at the diorama at the top of the building, we saw the story of Garfield’s life in pictures, and we learned that although he was shot while in office, he would have lived if the doctors had just washed their hands.  All the plants and trees that are native to Ohio are represented and labeled.  There’s a gorgeous chapel with pews made from the Cedars of Lebanon, and Tiffany stained glass windows. We have been back countless times and each time we see new and amazing things.  If I asked either of my daughters if they wanted to visit Lake View Cemetery, I would probably have to race them to the car.  Who knew a cemetery could be so much fun?

The world is a glorious place, and the best things are, quite often, free!


Thankful Thursday…

1. Planting tomatoes

2. Slow but sure progress

3. Being barefoot in the grass

4. My little Mantis tiller

5. The impressiveness of the sky

6. The first strawberries of the season…So good!

7. Two people stopped to compliment our garden while I was out pulling weeds. :)

8. Happy music

9. Logan gaining more independence…It’s bittersweet, but I’m so proud of him!

10. A fun tour of the local airport

Beauty has a name and it is Ruth

  1. Ruth’s smiling face
  2. A whole morning with her!
  3. Seeing her beautiful house, nestled in the beautiful country…a groundhog even came on the porch to check us out while we visited!
  4. Meeting her amazing husband, Dave. I knew he had to be special to be Ruth’s counterpart, but I didn’t realize how wonderful he would be. He’s so kind and loving, he emanates goodness.
  5. Hearing so many beautiful memories, the love of a mother for her daughters, the friends and family who touched her heart
  6. Being happy in the midst of heartache. It’s amazing to me how we can have more than one emotion at the same time.
  7. Talking about goodlistdaily after being away from it for so long…missing the illustrations, the homey feel. I’d like to bring that back, here on wlg.
  8. The way gratitude, however you practice it, makes things better, more beautiful, more open, more clear.
  9. I’m so grateful for every one of you, who practice gratitude and have chosen to share it here. We are an amazing group of people.
  10. This. This. This. This. Thank you.

Family Love

  • Road Trip with our daughter and son-in-law…
  • Appreciating and enjoying them!
  • Grandson’s high school graduation
  • 13 Valedictorians speaking briefly
  • Becoming misty during the processional… “Pomp & Circumstance”…
  • …and with hand over heart, “Star Spangled Banner”
  • Thinking about all of the graduates throughout the United States who will be making vital decisions for our country
  • The generous and lovely reception and celebration prepared by our son and daughter-in-law
  • Warm hugs :)
  • “We grow neither better nor worse but more like ourselves.” – Motto of Graduating Class


Broken Open

  1. Fierce, gritty gratitude that sinks fingernails under the dirt of life and brings up fresh, nourishing roots
  2. Understanding gratitude in a new level, just when I thought I knew it all (haha, silly ego)
  3. The pain of seeing someone else unhappy, bitter, resentful. Wanting to reach my arms out and comfort, hold, show them life in a less-painful light. My heart cracks open with compassion, and for this I am forever grateful.
  4. Remembering why I do what I do, and reaffirming my desire to help
  5. Holding love even in the face of ugliness and pain
  6. Friends with similar commitments to love. We are changing the world, dear souls!
  7. In microsteps, but steps nonetheless, caring less what other people may think
  8. Fitting in with myself
  9. This beautiful, blessed, sacred moment
  10. “You know,” Marion said, “I met a woman once when I was a teenager. I knew she had gone through a lot, but she was so strong, so compassionate. I asked her how she could be the way she was, and you know what she told me?”
    Hadley shook her head.
    “She said, ‘You can be broken, or broken open. That choice is yours.'”
    -Erica Bauermeister, Joy For Beginners

Something Better

  • My mom letting me help her with her makeup. I’ve wanted to do her makeup since I was little, now she finally wants me to do it!
  • Having a laughing lunch with my cousins in their 80s
  • My cousin Patsy, telling stories of the adventures she has with her cat, Pansy
  • Patsy’s birthday is this month, so my cousin Dean pulled her ear 79 times ..and one to grow on!
  • The many options at a salad bar, especially dessert
  • Saving fun memories for my future children
  • Seeing all of the baby animals on the drive to see my family.  Baby goats, cows, llamas and ponies.  The baby ponies are beyond adorable!!
  • The relaxing sounds of a ceiling fan
  • My friend Corrine being the perfect listener and sending the sweetest surprise texts to brighten my day!
  • Being open to all sorts of opportunity.  My mom always said when you ask the universe for something you should say exactly what you want “or something better”.  I’ve received countless “something better”s which were more than I knew were possible

Wishing you many “something better”s to bring you joy