Tag Archives: northwest

Easy Lifts To The Darkest Days ~ A List Of Ten

As I write this the day dawns dark and rainy and Mr Dreamboat has been away for a full week. He will not return any time soon.

In the Northwest there are times it seems the sun is on vacation far, far away and we are left with an ill-suited substitute illumination. No one ever likes the substitute.

Adding insult to poorly clarified injury, on top of all of that I have a head cold. Or it’s allergies. Whichever it is, I suffer. Granted, I suffer ever-so-slightly, bordering on no suffering at all, but it is my opinion that once one crosses the suffering threshold, there is no reason to judge the severity of it. Suffering is simply suffering. Or at least it is mildly irritating.

Because I am not one to burden others with my pain, I offer you ten things. Ten nice, sweet, happy, non-suffering things:

1. I love giving dogs treats. I like how their tales wag and they don’t worry about savoring anything, they just gulp it down in unrestrained pleasure. We should try that more often.
2. Yellow daisies are so happy. I have never met a daisy that was anything less than downright cheerful. Would that I could be a daisy in humanity. I fear I am a dandelion. At least they can be cute too…
3. The perfect bite in the middle of a hamburger. You know the one. It has all the best condiments, there’s a perfect bun/beef ratio. Savoring encouraged.
4. Netflix. After a day out and about in the rain yesterday, I laid down on my couch and I unabashedly gulped down old episodes of Gilmore Girls. No apologies.
5. Compliments make me smile. I was at a dinner party the other night when a woman compared me to a “young and beautiful version of Liza Minnelli.” I like compliments, so that is what I will assume it was.

Give the puppy a treat...
Give the puppy a treat…

6. I like lattes. Hemp milk lattes. They are frothy and nutty and make me feel ever so slightly like a character from Portlandia. Probably one who resembles a young Liza Minnelli.
7. It’s sort of silly, but I like to give to the charities at the grocery store. I like saying “Yes!” to people who get too many “no’s” and I like a surprise opportunity to do just a little good in the world, even if it’s just 3 dollars at a time.
8. Inside jokes are happy. Vague references to obscure events in the past make me feel grounded and connected to the people I love.
9. Surprises, the good kind. I like surprise visits and activities. I like opening up the mailbox and finding something from the people in my life.
10. I like writing this blog post and thinking about the people that read it. I like to think about the people I know and those I wish I could know. I like thinking about you.

May your days be merry and bright and may you find at least ten things that make you smile today. I know I’m going to be looking for mine.

Like, share, comment, tweet and scratch an itch and give in to a craving.

A Blessing For The Weekend

As much as I love a good Monday, I love the weekend as well. It’s like your kids. You love them each as much as the other, but different. They have different personalities and you weekendlove them for that.

This weekend I begin early with a daylong workshop painting with friends in the Great Northwest. It is the perfect beginning to a weekend I believe will be full of happy chores and close friends and family. I am full.

I hope your weekend delights you and inspires you. I hope there are waffles with real, maple syrup and eggs with sun yellow yolks.

I hope you sleep in, or if you’re up early, I hope you are spending time in the magnificent outdoors with the people that you love doing things that delight you and surprises that inspire you.

I hope you sleep easily and with light dreams of your future that begin in your sleep and pick up when you open your eyes.

I hope you extend kindness to those around you with as little thought as you give your breath.

I hope your fears are eased and your hopes fly like giant flags on the top of circus tents.

And I hope the breeze smells like lilac and clover and when Sunday evening arrives, I hope you look forward to Monday and the week before you.

Ten People I’d Like To Meet ~ or ~ How To Stay Happy On A Rainy Week

And the rain continues to fall here in the Northwest. The calendar announced the coming of the new season and the weather embraced the news and has been giving us our fair share of autumnal bliss ever since. It is gray. It is wet. This definitely affects my mood.

The good news is that travel to sunnier destinations is not so far away. My phone, at least, tells me the sun will shine again here soon. Until that time, I will have to provide my own sun, my own happy thoughts and reasons to smile.

This is why I’ve been thinking about Ten People I’d Like To Meet:

  1. Dr Maya Angelou. She is brilliant. One of my favorite quotes by her is “I’ve never been bored in my life… If I were bored, now that would interest me.” That’s just the tip of the brilliant ice burg.
  2. I would like to meet Abraham Lincoln. I know there’s really no chance of this, even less than meeting Maya Angelou, but still. And what draws me to this remarkable man is a mind that was not only great, but kindness. I am inspired by kindness.
  3. At the risk of sounding shallow, a risk I take every time I open my mouth, I would like to meet Sandy Bullock. I call herImage Sandy because I’m sure we would be close friends. Which makes me cliche’, I know.
  4. Back to the no shows, at my famous-people-to-meet gala, I’m sure Henry David Thoreau won’t be attending regardless of how delightful the hors d’oeuvres are. But still he remains on my list. Actually, I’d love for him to bring along all his abolitionist friends and among them I hope would be;
  5. Robert Frost. I like to memorize poetry (I hope this neutralizes my shallow confessions) and Robert Frost is one of my favorites to memorize.
  6. Going for a two-fer with this one. I would like meet John and Abigail Adams. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind being clumped together. Years ago I read John’s biography written by David McCullough and fell in love with this ambitious, and brilliant team. I considered having more children just so I could name them John and Abigail, but decided against it. Too hard on the body.

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    They don’t look like they’re having much fun here…
  7. I would like to meet Matt Damon, but only if he’d pretend to be Jason Bourne while we were together. All angst-Iy and nervous. We’d have a hot beverage together and he’d count how many people were in the coffee shop and sweat nervously. He couldn’t come to the gala though. Too dangerous for the other guests.
  8. Since I’ve already done a presidential bundle, I’d like to meet President and Michelle Obama. For all the hate that’s going around out there, they are intelligent people who are dedicating their lives and their family to public service, whether you agree with their politics or not. I’ve set the two-fer precedent, they shouldn’t be offended.
  9. I think an afternoon with Oprah wouldn’t be enough. We’d need to spend some time together. I’m thinking a long girl’s weekend together. We’d do pedicures and talk about books. I’d have to redirect her choices a little. In my opinion she goes a little too far on the dark side sometimes.
  10. I’ve met them both before, but since we’re going into history and bringing back people like David Thoreau and John Adams, I’d just like to spend an afternoon, or two with both my maternal and paternal grandmothers. They were lovely women and I miss them.ImageImage

Just Passing Through

After a very long day of coughing and laying on the couch, I went to bed at 10 o’clock. By 5 a.m. my body had enough of the lolly gagging thing and there was no getting back to sleep. Around 6 a.m. I submitted to sleeplessness and got up, got a shower and found myself in a quiet kitchen.

It is after 7:30 and things remain quiet. I think Mr Dreamboat is up and getting ready for the day, but in a house that is bursting at the seams, I am enjoying a few blissful moments of peace.

The Scene: I am looking out upon a sunny day into a rose garden. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and hummingbirds flit by my window. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

And I am completely present in this moment. I am completely grateful for serenity.

And as I enjoy this time and this place, I recognize it for its temporary nature. I didn’t build this house. I didn’t plant those roses. And not too far in the future I will not be here enjoying them. We only borrow the space we occupy. We are all travelers passing through.

In order to be truly present, we have to accept that it’s all temporary. The joy, the pain, the successes, the failures. It’s all just a phase and we will move on to the next one sooner or later. In order to truly appreciate what we have, we must let it all go.

Road Tripping

Because my workout room is currently a guest room for my daughter Carrie and her partner, I Imageam forced to find alternative running options to my normal Lazy Girl runs. I LOVE to run, but the fact is that I’m a fair weather runner. Cold, rain, fatigue, laziness or lack of time, you will find me hanging out with the good folks of the Today Show, catching up on current news and events, display set to about 6 miles an hour and staying warm and dry with a convenient bathroom right next door.

But not now. Not until I can move my house guests out to the pool house.

Yesterday morning I was in desperate need of a good, hard run. There was nothing to do but to hit the pavement. As luck would have it, yesterday it rained, it was unseasonably cold and I enjoyed an early Spring snow shower. Later in the day there was a tornado. Fortunately I missed that part.

ImageSo I am a fair weather runner and I’m running in the cold and the rain and the snow, and it was magnificent. It. Was. Magnificent.

The cold air filled my lungs and puffed out in visible clouds. It made me feel alive and the chill on my face and the rain on my legs was nothing short of invigorating. What a blessing it was to be forced out of my normal routine.

But for a scant handful of times I have not run outside since November. And while I like to think that I am regularly stretching and growing, I think we all have a tendency to become a bit comfortable in our routines. It is usually a function of inconvenience that pushes us out of our normal, accomodating, dare I say boring? routines, and re-infuses our lives with the stuff that makes it all worthwhile.

Here’s to Freedom Fridays. Here’s to convenient inconveniences.

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And one thing more…

With the crazy travel schedule and the delight of a new grandson, I have been remiss in thanking my generous blogging buddies for some awards they have given me. While I am Imagebreaking away from the normal rules of the awards, I didn’t want to let another day go by without recognizing them and their generous spirits. My generous buddies recognized my blog twice for the Blogger Of The Year Award 2012, once for  the Most Inspiring Blogger Award as well as most recently for the Best Moments Award, and apparently there were two best moments:) I am honored to have the opportunity to bend your ears from time to time, and the fact that other bloggers would take the time to acknowledge my funky take on life is icing on a delicious cake. Thank you, my friends for the recognition, and thank you, my readers for checking out these awesome pages. You will find them informative, funny, smart and worth your time!

http://changeforbetterme.wordpress.com/

http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/

http://breezybooksblog.wordpress.com/

http://www.momentmatters.com/

http://gratitudeequation.wordpress.com/

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim

Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I marked the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Anatomy Of A Banner Day

Yesterday was a banner day.

And as I type the words I realize that all the normal hallmarks of a “banner” day were missing. It was not a “beautiful” day. In fact, the oppressive Northwest winter is upon us and it rained and stormed all day.

Beyond that, I had a two hour drive to and from my drawing workshop. As I drove out of Imagethe driveway for my class I realized not only was I late, but I’d forgotten my chair and there was a good chance I’d spend the three hour class standing if I didn’t turn around and get the chair, which would make me even later.

On the drive home, I realized I had a phone conference I’d have to take in the car (no worries, I have my blue tooth hooked up). Then I started thinking about the meeting and got all nervous and started fantasizing about having it canceled or possibly canceling it myself because I was really nervous about it.

And with all that, yesterday was a banner day.

As I drove out of the driveway and felt the stress of being late and driving in the rain and not being fully prepared, I realized that I love this workshop and my instructor always reminds us it’s like a vacation every Friday, so I decided to enjoy the ride.

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Our Lady Of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey

And as it turned out, I didn’t need the chair. I got to hear monks chant vespers and I spent the morning drawing with my friends who didn’t care that I was late. They were just glad I was there.

The meeting I was dreading that had to be taken in the car? It was excellent. It was spectacular. It was encouraging and exciting and worth every bit of anxiety I had poured into it. Can anyone say book opportunity? Yes!

I have this fantasy about how a perfect life looks. In it, my house is always clean, I am always thin and I always smell nice, even after I work out. Everyone likes me and every day is a good hair day. Magazines want me for their covers and I always take a great photo. Always. And even when I’m looking down into my phone-camera I NEVER have a double chin. Never.

It seems to me that we all stop sucking our thumbs at a fairly young age. We probably give up our security blankets before university. But there are some childish habits that are worse for us than these that are fairly innocuous. There are some things that keep us from true happiness and they come in the form of worthless fairy tales about perfection and they usually start with “I will be happy when…”

Yesterday was a banner day. It started with my weekly Mini Vacation and ended with dinner with friends and falling asleep in the arms of the man I love. In between there were adventures and joys that I hadn’t imagined. It wasn’t perfect, but it was mine and it was spectacular.

I hope today fills you up. I hope the sun is shining, at least in your heart, and I hope that you throw perfection out the window where it belongs and bask in the joys that are ours when we choose to see them.

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