All posts by Helen

emancipated playtime

Very Grateful for

God’s creativity

The 3 awesome bosses at my three jobs. Not one of them micro-manages

That brief time on summer mornings, right before the heat increases and scorches.


My patience with Windows Valdomort 10

Figuring out the shortcut for strikethroughs  in Google Docs

D. and K. safely traveling to Namibia

the emancipated playtime of the 7 dogs on our street right before dusk

Garrett’s wise advice regarding a job interview for me

Getting full on salad (who knew?)

“I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job… because he will find an easier way to do it.” ~Bill Gates

Hope and Zest

Very Grateful for:

God’s Love

*Ruby’s zest for life…”she’s young at heart,” said Lil’ Sam.
*our neighborhood and our neighbors
*working in air conditioning
*driving in air conditioning
*a virtual math meet-up between three U.S. states and two African countries today
*the awesome opportunity for me to listen to students discuss mathematical concepts in an intelligent, respect-filled manner
*eye drops
*ice cubes
*hope that tomorrow will bring happy news

The windshield is larger than the rear view mirror…Keep looking forward ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee

The natural colors that each day brings

Very Grateful for:

God’s waiting canvas

the way the blue colors of Dad’s eyes changes when we talk about his memories

our shared memories

taking time for morning stretches

the morning’s palette of colors- (what color is between orange and pink?)

the temperature lightness of this morning’s air

the way the herbs receive the morning water

my neighbors’ new and cool twirling sprinklers

soft-spoken people

coconut coffee blend


When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. ~Mary Oliver



The First 100-degree day

Very Grateful for:

God’s seasons

Our first 100-degree day … and I was working inside!

ice cubes

air conditioners

laughing really hard

zucchini spiral “noodles”

Honey Turmeric Chicken:

Not getting the nod for one job … and then getting an email about another one

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive ~Marcus Aurelius


Thorns, Pancakes, and Hugs

Very Grateful for:

God’s care for all of us

Amelia, taking Ruby to the vet for me

Ruby, not knowing why she is stiff in her spine, and being brave anyway. (How does a dog know and understand pain?)

Amelia, coming to work with me on her last day at home

air conditioning in the hot office

cool water

Finding out that Rachel was unharmed when her car was burglarized.

Pancakes, even a small one for Ruby

Dad’s hugs

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” ~Voltaire


Used To Be’s Do Count Anymore

Very Grateful  for:

God’s nudge (or push) toward change

realizing that I have changed what I value and need in a workplace environment

…the realization that I applied for a job for the person I used to be

…letting go

…moving onward

…new “AHA” moments

…this wonderful insight on attachment that Garrett tweeted (thanks, Garrett) :

…the happy changes in friends’ lives

…Dad’s hugs

To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling,
in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome
which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without
getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them,
in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.
It’s akin to letting your palm open to unhand something
you have been holding on to. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn


Wolf Spiders in the Morning

Very Grateful for:

…God’s intelligence working through smart doctors, technicians, and nurses

…God’s gift of rain this morning

…God’s creatures great and small

…the unsettling effect that a wolf spider had on my growing melancholy and apprehension this morning

…the focus it took to, um,  dis-invite this world’s largest spider from inside my front door shook me out of my apprehension

…the realization that if I could conquer the world’s largest spider, then I could show up and suit out for my medical tests today

Mary Ellen’s early morning email (thank you, Mary Ellen)

seeing a former work colleague before the procedure who then happened to be my nurse!

breathing into acceptance and trust in the process

“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.”
~J. R. R. Tolkien




Walking the Steps

Very Grateful for:

God’s constructing us for rest

a long weekend

for once, I did not go into work “to get things caught up while the office is quiet”

green tea with mint from the garden

MaryEllen’s encouragement

Granny’s sweet potato pie

12,293 steps yesterday!

time to read

time to watch the French Open – and drink French Press coffee

remembering my mantra

this wonderful place that Crystal nurtures

“It’s not what you start in life, it’s what you finish.” ~Katharine Hepburn

God’s Timing

Very Grateful for:

God’s timing

The significant news on each of the last 3 Fridays

that the concerning news followed the happy news of the previous two graduations

Sarah, who’s kindness and alertness got me a procedure appointment sooner rather than later

Amelia being at home after school

safe travels – 8 flights in 8 days

iced green tea


What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. ~Nora Ephron


Be Blessed Pay It Forward

Very Grateful for:

God’s Account Representatives in Virginia

glasses. (without my glasses, I grabbed the wrong bill denomination as I ran out the door)

the beautiful woman at the Food Lion check-out lane

her compassionate eyes when she saw that I didn’t have enough money to pay my bill

$1.14- the going rate for my tutorial in gratitude

her enthusiastic and quick fundraising from other customers and her manager

our community-team approach to closing the sale

“Be blessed. Pay if forward,” she said

the realization of my illusion of my own self-reliance

the opportunity to write this list and teach my grandiose little child a lesson  :)

Be Blessed, Pay It Forward