30 Days Of Gratitude-The Photog Edition Day 6

20121106-151018.jpgAll morning, I knew…just KNEW my gratitude post would be about today’s election.  I get so insanely excited on this day, because it’s the day that you know you really matter in this country.  That your vote is every bit as important, as, say…Bruce Springsteen’s.

I ran 4 miles.  .37 miles to my precinct, where I saw that Roseanne Barr was on the Presidential ballot, and I laughed my head off.  I snapped a picture with the woman who gave me my sticker, then ran another 1.7 miles to Starbucks to pick up my Indivisible Bracelet.   You get one just for voting.  Imagine that!

As I ran home, I became incredibly grateful.  Because in this country, you get to live how you want.  Make decisions.  I looked at the section of the road where there was some neglect, and I thought, well.  We can have that if we want to.  I ran up to the local candidates’ posters, and couldn’t help but snapping one more picture.

I turned on Spotify to a patriotic themed set of tracks, and started running to the Star Spangled Banner, and then to the military anthems.

Lucky to live here.  Grateful for my country, and the ability to participate in the day.


30 Days Of Gratitude-The Photog Edition Day 5

20121105-151632.jpgI have these two amazing teenager people living in my house.  They are the boys that rock my world.  They are the reasons that I even know what true love is.  A mother’s love can’t be compared to anything else.

And, these two papers have been on my fridge since, well, since they gave them to me.  I may clean off the pics and report cards and graded papers, but these two stay.  I think they were given to me in their respective 4th grades.  I’m grateful for my boys, but I’m also blessed to have these tangible reminders of something that they made for me.

I have weirdly shaped ceramic bowls, and a ring holder made out of colored clay.  But these two items…The top one was given to me by my oldest, and I think it might have been the year that he learned cursive handwriting.  The bottom one was a gift that my youngest made in computer class, when the teacher asked him to write words that describe his Mom.

As I go in and out of my kitchen, I see these every day.  The days when I lose it or freak out about something, or discipline or cook and clean…these papers are  right in front of me.  Always there to remind me that I am the luckiest woman in the world.


30 Days Of Gratitude-The Photog Edition Day 3


Every day I can see our town’s clock tower from most anyplace I am. Yes. We are that small. It wasn’t always there. But I can see it from the track when I do speedwork, or the High School soccer field, where I am now. My kids are horrified because I have to stop most days and take pictures. It’s the pickup/dropoff ritual that we have. And it’s the price they pay for me chauffeuring them all over the place.

For me? The clock tower reminds me that I am safe and sound, in my little town. And for that. I am grateful.

30 Days of Gratitude-The Photog Edition Day 2


Recycling.  I struggled today to find exactly what I was grateful for, and then I noticed my wallet was slightly thinner.  And, I still have to get one boy to his Football Playoffs, and both to parties this weekend.  I didn’t realize, however, that I have several cans full of aluminum and plastic, and for this…I am truly grateful.  It may not seem like much to anyone, but for this weekend, it’s a lot.

30 Days of Gratitude-The Photog Edition Day 1


The Challenge:  Snap pics of daily blessings, and post.

Day 1:  I sit in my spa most every day.  I get to look out at these morning glory bushes, and though they strangle and choke any other living plant in its path, I still think this is my favorite flower.  I am lucky to be in a home for so long, even while I don’t have a job.  I make sure and sit here regularly, just so that I can take in this view.

PS-I’m not naturally grateful.  This will certainly be a challenge for me.

Summer. Almost Done.

With the advent of August, and feigning amnesia, I try to think that school is really not starting until after Labor Day, like most civilized and respected schools have been doing it since the 60s.  However, I live in the real world.  I start back to work officially on August 10th.  A mere 5 days away.

August is one of my favorite months.  People are getting ready for fall in 100 degree weather, magazines tout the latest summer peach pie recipe, and football previews begin even before the World Series is in sight…or even the playoffs.  August is one of those sociopathic months.  One can’t get a foothold on which season to celebrate.  But, for me…it’s the end of vacation…no matter when it ends.

Here’s my recap…most of which is already on the blog…but tonight I am retrospectful.

1.  Running:

  • Ran San Diego Rock N Roll marathon relay with my coach, Mike and Glenn, my favorite people ever.  Met many Twitter folk, ran with and played with and connected with…
  • Did the Udder Run 5 miler, in honor of the Hilmar High track team…a race I will always run, because unlike Rock N Roll, it’s small town, home town fun run…complete with annoying lady on the microphone…year after year.  And we keep coming back.
  • I ran the San Francisco Half Marathon, and have officially started training for Marine Corps Marathon.

2.  Dating.  Or Not.

  • Stepping my toes back into these waters after 18 years has certainly been eye opening.  Out of all the people I met and dated, I mostly lost my heart to a kiss on the east coast.  I had not done this in so long, that I was simply unprepared for the headiness of someone telling you you’re gorgeous, and can you please come back, and I think about you all the time.  I had dinners with others.  I emailed and talked and texted and phoned.  But I couldn’t shake the man…and then I realized it wasn’t the man…it was the feeling of maybe MAYBE falling into that *relationship* thing.  I lied to myself once again, saying I didn’t want that.  When in reality, I don’t want a relationship if I am the same.  And I am, as of yet…the same.

3.  Travel

  • San Diego for the race
  • Virginia for my uncle’s funeral and said mentioned kiss.
  • Bass Lake for my annual trek to my childhood.
  • San Antonio for the 75th AA International Convention.
  • San Francisco countless times for games, runs, friends.
  • Cambria with my youngest son, on a trip all our own.  To remember why I’m sober.

4.  Growth

  • My oldest son turns 13 years old on Friday.  I sent him to the Boy Scout Jamboree for 2.5 weeks, and he is coming back a teenager.  We painted his new room.  And I saw a text he sent to his little brother that nearly made me weep: 
    • Hey Buddy, take care of Mom and don’t forget to feed the dogs and I love you and I can’t wait to see you.
  • I painted a room for the first time.
  • I learned how to face down a mortgage company and win.
  • I discovered that I am not ready.  Just am not.  That I still have some of the major -isms that I had 31 years ago when I had my last drink.  That romance and finance are still ass kickers for me, and that I need God and prayer so much more today than I did the day I got sober.

August:  A wistful month.  Reflection and Hope.  Regret and Change.  Can’t decide whether or not to look back or look forward.  Which fruit to make in a cobbler.  How much weight I didn’t lose and all the miles I ran.  It’s Get Ready for Kindergarden Month, coupled with Cataract Awareness Month.  And it’s the last month, the last chance for your very favorite baseball team to get their act together.  August gives you lemons with the sugar.  Embrace it.

Nourishment for the Spirit.*

***Thank you BILLY for this YOUTUBE reminder!!!***


Words are food. 

They feed the spirits of the despairing and downhearted. 

They create happiness. 

They generate love.  They alter the nature of reality.

Therefore, be generous with your words. 

Tell the people you love,

and even the people who are strangers within your gates,

 the wonderful things you feel about them,

because when it comes to nourishing words,

the world is full of souls that are starving.

Thank you for your kind words on my race report yesterday.

*From 365 Days of Love, by Daphne Rose Kingma