All photos and content © Tanya Anguita.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

5/27/09 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #19

Today I am cranky. I had disturbing dreams all night, had a frustrating run in with a woman who I work with occasionally, have been chewing on the inside of my mouth in my sleep so I’m in pain and I’m just plain filled with crankitude.

Sounds like the Perfect time to remember what I’m thankful for today, yes? I think so!

So today my gratitudes include:

1) Deep calming breaths. They can really, really help.

2) Peter’s brilliant idea here: not sure where to go from here but think it is a great idea and I fully support anything that will fight H8 mongering!

3) Time spent with good friends. Rob and I went over to Cybele and Ryan’s on Sunday for a bbq and had a marvelous time with them. John & Karen joined in the fun and there was much laughter, swimming in a verycoldpool ™, Cybele’s famous crack-amole (guac so good it is addictive…hence crack-amole), Tonks the wonder puppy and her INCREDIBLE cuteness, a viewing of “Real Genius” and a ton of fun across the board. Rob and I spent the night and in the a.m. we had bacon waffles a la Cybele and hung out until early afternoonish. It was a great, great 24 hours and I’m so thankful to and for that time spent with them.

4) Tonks is one of the cutest, snuggliest, funniest little puppies I’ve ever been blessed to spend time with. She rocks my puppy socks. :)

5) Goat Rock Beach. (photos will be posted from home) I hadn’t been in ages and on a whim on the way home from Cybele & Ryan’s, we decided to drive towards the Coast and ended up going to….brace yourselves for this name….Dickmann’s Deli for sandwiches (no, I’m not kidding) and then going up to Goat Rock Beach to hang out for a couple of hours. It was so wonderful and so fun and exactly what the Tanya ordered. It means I didn’t “Get Things Done ™” but really….the world didn’t stop and I felt so happy and calm that I couldn’t care less.

6) Three day weekends are really wonderful things. They allow enough time to really start to wind down from the week and if you lose a day to a migraine you still have two left to have fun with. :)

7) Finding ways to develop good habits. In addition to taking photos most every day, writing these as often as possible and walking the two miles home from work most days, I’m trying to find a good way to make myself drink more water. I’m generally terrible at hydrating and I know that isn’t good for me on so many health levels that it isn’t even funny. My current game plan involves carrying a 48 oz thermosy thing with a splash of juice at the bottom and the rest filled with water. Yesterday I drank the whole thing and then more in the evening. That little splash of juice in the bottom gives enough flavour that I actually want to drink it without adding tons of sugary calories. It seems to be doing the trick. We’ll see. Today I’m moving a little more slowly with it, but I think it might be what I need to get it done. I like the act of trying to develop good habits though. It feels like I’m trying to take care of myself. Wish me luck.

8) Having lunch on workdays with Rob. We got to have lunch together yesterday and it was such a treat. It made my whole day more pleasant and joyful.

9) When I am in a cranky mood, I need to find a funny photo of myself and post makes me giggle and keeps me humble all at the same time. How can I be cranky with a turkey on my head? This photo makes me giggle every time I look at it. Peter took this photo. As a matter of fact many of my favorite silly photos of me come from Peter. Thank you, Peter.

10) Sometimes I enjoy mindless work. I like the satisfaction that slogging through a stack of it and knowing that I’m done with it brings. Mostly the being done with it brings me joy, but sometimes the mindlessness is nice too. *drool*

11) The ubiquitous work glove. One of the janitors leaves his work bucket outside of the restrooms with some regularity. He almost always leaves a work glove on the handle of the mop-wringer as well. There is something about the glove, and the glove’s varied hand positions, that makes me giggle most days.

2/3/09 -- The Ubiquitous Glove

12) Writing this at work in between other projects has been a great way to keep me focused on the positive and it guarantees that I won’t be writing it at midnight tonight. Maybe I can try to do this more often on days when work isn’t overwhelming. I like that idea. :)

13) Anni and I just came up with a new memoir title and it makes me giggle so I’m sharing… “Hook, Line & Stinker”… *grin*

14) Anni and I also established that are each other’s emotional bras. The comfortable kind of bra with only occasionally pokey underwires. *hee* This makes me giggle in so many ways. YAY Anni!

15) Bubble wrap is fun. Always has been…probably always will be to me. I’ve been putting certificate sin frames wrapped in bubble wrap. I have to keep myself from popping it all. *grin* This is not as fun as real bubble wrap, but I like that it exists:

16) Photos from Monique, John, Michelle, Robert, Drake, Layla & the Twins! family trip to Kauai. I keep looking at them and grinning. So glad you’re all having fun!

17) I find this fascinating and like the “we can fix this over time” thinking in it

18) Knowing when to quit. *grin*

I’ve written so much today that *I’m* almost overwhelmed by it all. I feel much happier now. YAY!
Photos will have to come when I’m home as I don’t have them on this computer at work.

Hugs to you all and Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

5/23/09 -- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #18

Probably my favorite of these signs!

Back in the saddle again….or something. Heh! Had to post the sign above because it is probably my favorite of the lot!

I find that writing and posting these always takes me much longer than I expect. This past week I chose going to sleep before midnight over trying to do these. I have to say that I’ve really missed this process. I just need to find a way to write my gratitudes AND get enough sleep. With my schedule that isn’t always easy.

Regardless, here I am. Ta-da!

It is Saturday morning (er…early afternoon…but it feels like morning still because I’m just now getting up..), and we haven’t yet left for our great, poorly planned, adhd, camping adventure yet. Honestly, I’m okay with that. I think I really needed a morning where I wasn’t hurrying to go somewhere and do something. We’ll go when we go and that will be fine.

So without further pre-gratitude prattling, my gratitudes include:

1) Being okay with doing nothing when I feel like I am supposed to be doing something. I’m very bad at this, and allowing myself the time to just be this morning is very, very good for me.

2) Lazy mornings really rock. Even when I have a migraine.

3) It has been a week of strange dreams for me. I’ve been a prolific dreamer ever since I was a small child. My mother used to ask me about my dreams every morning when I was little and I think this has contributed, over the years, to my having pretty good dream recollection. I’m thankful to her for doing that with me. Some of my dreams this week have been so odd as to be hilarious in terms of them succinctly combining all of my current major stressors into one succinct dream. I’m thankful that I am able to recall dreams and that I can find amusement in them.

4) I repeat the notion that Imitrex and caffeine are minor deities. I’m so grateful for them when I have migraines. I’m also wildly thankful for the many days I don’t have migraines. Phew.

5) I’m beyond thankful that I can read and write. Literacy is a privilege that is denied to so many people and I feel so INCREDIBLY lucky that I am literate.

6) Oatmeal with blueberries and honey just appeared courtesy of Rob. YUM! WOOHOO!

7) I’m thrilled to be at the beginning of a three day weekend. Simply thrilled.

8) Getting issues resolved at work = a huge relief.

9) Starting to seriously consider what I want to do with my work life is both wonderful and scary. I’m thankful that it is starting to happen, and it is bringing up all sorts of esteem issues for me. This is actually great because that means I get to work on those too.

10) is one of my favorite websites though I don’t utilize it nearly enough.

11) Dinner and a walk with Amy, Bill & Rob on Thursday = good and good for me. Such a joy.

12) The hilarious conversation I’m having with Anne as I type this about IM acronyms has me laughing aloud at my computer. Thank you, Anne.

There are many more things I’m thankful for, but my head is starting to hurt again so I’m going to stop.

Hugs abounding and have a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

5/19/2009 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #17

Here I am, sitting on the loveseat with Rob, watching “Notting Hill”, eating banana bread that I made on Sunday, and enjoying a quiet evening at home. It is a lovely, mellow way to spend a Tuesday night.

I’m finding it difficult to write these every day. Not because of a lack of gratitude, but due to a lack of time. I want to write at the end of the day when I have time to reflect, but often don’t have that time until it is so late that I am then torn between sleep and my “gratitudes.” Tonight I’m home at a reasonable time and so I’m writing earlier than usual.

I figure that I’ll just write these as often as I can and try not to feel too guilty for the days I miss. I find so much calming pleasure in the writing of them that I think I’ll just celebrate when I can write instead of bludgeoning myself when I don’t/can’t.

Ah the blessed gratitudes:

1) The kindness you all showed me yesterday with regards to my thoughts about returning to school. Your words were gracious, inspiring, thoughtful, supportive, gentle, and wise. I don’t know how to properly thank all of you, but I was incredibly touched by your well-spoken encouragement, your gentle wisdom and your humour and understanding. Truly, madly, deeply – thank you.

2) Last night was a quiet night with my mom and Rob and it was a thing of beauty.

3) My mom read me a bedtime story for the first time in years. She read “Diary of a Victorian Mouse” and “adapted” it extraordinarily humorously until we were literally crying with laughter and gasping for air. It was one of the most wonderful moments of the whole weekend.

4) Yesterday I had a fabulously reassuring conversation with my manager at work. He provides me a safe-haven of free speaking and kindness and I’m so thankful to and for him. He reassured me that my job is safe, that I’m doing well at it and that people in the department are pleased with me. He also offered to sit in on a meeting with my grand-boss if I want him too/need him to as he knows that my grand-boss isn’t very clear on the big picture sometimes. Thank goodness for Bill and his patient kindness.

5) Lee has not yet moved out but the anticipation of her moving is something I can look forward to.

6) My banana bread is really yummy. I make really good banana bread. Go me!

7) Movies with happy endings. They are heartwarming and joyful in the light of a sometimes difficult world.

8) I bought raffle tickets from children twice this past weekend. On Sunday I bought raffle tickets from a little boy who sings with the San Francisco Boys Choir. I’d so much rather give him $5 for raffle tickets that will help him to do something joyful and artistic than spend it on something silly. His mom, Winona, is a wonderful woman and she was telling me that she hoped this would be something he’d keep up as he grew so that it might help to get him into college some day.

Winona and her boys -- 5/17/09

Today I bought tickets from two ADORABLE little girls at the Farmers’ Market. They were charming and polite and gave me a great sales pitch. Again…would rather support their efforts than buy a smoothie or some such thing.

9) I’m thankful to Rob for taking this picture of my mom and me. I really love it. Thank you Rob!

Mom and me 5/17/09 -- Photo by Robert Doolan

10) I’m reading “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan and am so enjoying it. I’m excited that there are 4 more books in this “Percy Jackson & The Olympians” series. It is making me want to go back and re-read my Greek mythology. I need a brush up. Speaking of which I’m thankful for

11) “D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths” It was one of those books that I checked out of the library so many times as a child that the librarian told me that I had to leave it for other children to borrow. I bought myself a copy of it again not too long ago and am looking forward to reading it once again. I love the illustrations in it and the approachable telling of the myths.

12) Giving in to random photographic urges. Yesterday and today I decided to bring my little point and shoot camera with me instead of my DSLR. It has been really fun to carry around with me. Today I got a random urge to keep my camera turned on and to carry it at hip level and take pictures from there when the desire struck me. I ended up with a lot of junk, but took some fun pictures too. Plus it was interesting to see what I was getting. This is one of my faves:

From the Hip -- 5/19/09

13) I mentioned that Rob and I were extremely silly down by Crissy Field on Sunday. I’m thankful that there is photographic evidence. For your hilarity:

Sexy -- 5/17/09
Hawt -- 5/17/09

14) I love walking home from work on a sunny day. 2 miles of introspection and/or photography and/or read-walking. So good for my body and my soul.

Ok…sleepy time.
Hugs abounding! T

Sunday, May 17, 2009

5/17/2009 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #16

I’ve got a case of the I-don’t-want-the-weekend-to-be-done-Sunday-Night-Blues even though I’m sitting here with my beloved mother and Rob enjoying yet another viewing of “Over the Hedge.” I don’t know why it is so difficult for me to just sit in the moment sometimes. I’m feeling a sense of dread and anxiety and I don’t know how to shake it right now.

I had a really nice weekend. I had a lovely weekend. I had a lovely weekend and yet I’m still wandering around hip deep in stress tonight. I find it rather frustrating that I don’t know how to just sit here and be content right now. Ah well. As I keep saying to friends, and I obviously need to remind myself, “There is really no sense making myself feel bad for feeling bad” so I’m just going to accept that I’m not Princess Perky tonight and move forward.

Perhaps writing my gratitudes will help me to sit in what is good and joyful so here I go:

1) I’m thankful for another weekend in the presence of my beloved mommy.

1/13/09 -- My Beautiful Mommy

What a treat to see her two weekends in a row. I feel so lucky to have time with her. I wish we lived closer to each other because I’d selfishly like to spend much more time with her, but I’m thankful for the time we do spend. I do know that I’m incredibly lucky to have the relationship I do with her.

2) I was lucky enough to be raised by a group of wonderful women that were my mother’s friends and confidantes. These women served as my surrogate aunts and they hold an incredibly important place in my life and my heart. I got to visit with my surrogate Aunt Barbara today.

1/13/09 -- My Beautiful Aunt Barbara on her 84th Birthday

Barbara is 84 years old and is a beautiful, kind, funny, brilliant woman. I love her so very much. I’m so grateful to and for her presence in my life. She has always been loving and supportive and wry and fabulous. She has offered me gentle respite and perspective when I’ve needed it, and she is one of the few people in my “family” who shares my less than “safe” humour. She is an amazing woman. I’m very aware of her aging process these days. I have always felt lucky to have her in my life and these days I feel even more blessed each and every time I get to see her. Today was one of those beautiful and blessed days. I am thankful.

3) I got to see the new “Star Trek” movie last night in Emeryville. It was fun, entertaining, and really well done. I like it when a movie surprises me.

4) Rob and I spent some of today lazing about on the grass at Crissy Field and laughing until it hurt. It was so good. We both needed that. Thank you, Sweetheart!

5) Had a lovely brunch adventure with Holly, Rob and Joshua on Saturday despite the incredibly cranky, bad waitress. *wry smile* So fun to be in the company of such marvelous people. Hooray! More soon please?

6) Went to Sakura Sushi on 26th & Clement today while Rob and I were in the City and had excellent sushi. Michael, the Korean owner/chef, is a wonderful man and it was great to see him again and to have such tasty, fresh, yummy fish. The Sakura Special roll is wrapped in cucumber and it is beautiful as well as fabulously flavorful.

7) I made banana bread tonight. It was fun to do. I love to bake. My whole house smells like baking magic in action. Hooray for baking alchemy.

8) Rob just pointed out that I should be thankful for warm sunshine and cool breezes. I am. It was a very hot day but I was incredibly grateful for the ocean breeze once we got out closer to Ocean Beach. So yes, I am thankful for warm sunshine and cool breezes.

9) Yesterday Katie and Claudia came over on a rather impromptu basis to spend time with my mom, Rob, and me. It was really wonderful to be surrounded by so much love and goodness. So much intelligence and so much light. Laughter and good conversations ensued. Those are the kinds of moments where I know in my heart of hearts that life is inherently good.

10) Rob spoke with Lee (our macaw owning, crazy neighbor) and ostensibly she is supposed to move out tomorrow. I’m choosing to believe that this is going to be true and I’m beyond excited and thankful. If the macaws go tomorrow I will be more than pleased. I will be ecstatic. For now, I’m just excited by the notion.

Well…I feel a little saner and much more aware of the good in my life, though the anxiety is still present. I know that tomorrow is a new day and I can now go to bed and to sleep.

With gratitude,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

5/15/2009 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #15

Friday, Friday, Friday. It has been a long week somehow -- despite my only working 4 days this week -- and I’m very glad that the weekend is here. Rob and I are sitting on the couch watching a couple of episodes from the first season of “Amazing Stories” and I’m writing as I watch. I’d forgotten how charming this series is. We just watched “The Mission” and then “Alamo Jobe” and now I’m fading so I’ll write swiftly.

My gratitudes include:

1)The wonderful evening that I shared last night with Chris, Jen, Rob and Zak. Thank you all for much laughter, excellent food, and beloved company. What a blessed treat. I love you all. Truly.

2) I am so incredibly lucky that I get to have and keep my amazing friendship with Chris. Not many people I know get to have their ex-partners as one of their best friends, but I’ve been so incredibly blessed in this regard with Chris. He is an incredible man, a kind person, a bright light in my life and one of the people I love and cherish most in the world. I’m so deeply grateful to and for him. I don’t know how to find all of the right ways to thank him for being in my life, so this will just have to do for now. I really love you, Dear One. Thank you a million zillion times for being my friend.

3) Getting to know Jen. She is a true delight. She is warm and friendly and comfortable and gorgeous and funny and super smart. I think she is the bee’s knees and I’m so glad to have a new friend. *smile* Plus she makes one of my best friends really happy and that rocks. Witness their cuteness here:

Witness the Cute!

4) I’m thankful for the hilarity that was me collecting some of the last of my belongings from Chris last night. There was kindness and comedy involved and I’m thankful.

5) I reorganized the kitchen tonight to make space for said belongings and I’m so relieved to have everything in better and tidier order.

6) The anticipation of making banana bread tomorrow.

2/2/09 -- Banana Bread

Sounds a little strange, but I’m really looking forward to baking.

7) I’m vaguely entertained by the way my brain works with the process of learning songs and dances. It seems that I only get a song or tune stuck in my head until I know all of the lyrics/the tune/the dance it belongs to. Once I’ve actually memorized the song or the dance, I never get the song stuck in my head again. What this means for me right now is that I have several songs for Queen Anne’s Revenge (“The Red Queen” and “Fisherman’s Wife”) going through my head, songs from my voice lessons with Scarlett going through my head (currently “I’m Not That Girl” from “Wicked” and “O Mio Babbino Caro”), and that the medley they’re creating is something strange and fantastical. I do find it entertaining though that my brain works this way.

8) I’m so glad I have indoor plumbing. I swear! Hooray for hot water, showers and flush toilets. :)

9) The feeling of taking off my shoes after a long day. I can hear my feet sing with the relief of it all and it feels like relaxing from the ankles down.

10) Noticing silly things like this for my Highland Dancer friends and having my camera handy:

Hope that made you giggle a little, Anni, Charity, Krista, Teri, Dougie and Joshua! *grin*

Many hugs and now sleep,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

5/12-13/09 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #14

I’m several days from the last time I wrote one of these, and it is blazingly apparent how easy it is to slip back into my cranky, whiney, bad attitude. Talk about an affirmation that doing these is helping me and my outlook!! Wow!

I woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning, having spent the night waking up every 2 hours with anxiety attacks over work, life, etc. Nix that, I woke up on the wrong side of the HOUSE. Wrong side of the bed would have been easy! Subsequently, I’ve been cranky and out of sorts and grumpy and anxious and un-comfy in my skin and freaked out all day.

In an attempt to mitigate that, I’m here and already feel calmer simply for simply having started to write. Hooray for personal therapy in action. *grin*

5/13/09 – Accentuation Continued

Heh…well…so much for finishing yesterday. *blush* Shot this up in Mountain Ranch this weekend and thought it rather fitting:

I’m still kind of anxiously grumping along today so here I am writing. Catharsis is good, yes?

I had a wonderful weekend up in Mountain Ranch visiting my folks. Rob and I were supposed to go up Friday but it wasn’t convenient for Conrad (my step-dad) so Rob and I went and saw “Auntie Mame” at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland and drove up Saturday instead. “Auntie Mame” is made of awesome and I can’t wait to see it again! The writing and deadpan delivery are so amazing!

The trip up was delayed by a 1 ½ hour stop for an oil change and, as it turns out, a transmission fluid change at Jiffy Lube in Castro Valley. I found this pretty funny given the “come in, no wait!” sign. We eventually got to my folks’ house at around 2:30 and a weekend of fun relaxation ensued. Saturday we went to a presentation at the community center on the history of Mountain Ranch told through slides and it was fabulous and fun. Ran into an old teacher and someone I knew in high school. Sunday was Mother’s Day and after a lovely breakfast and some gift giving, we all took a nap, followed by my helping Conrad for 5 ½ hours with leaf raking, dragging brush and doing a burn. It was satisfying work and my body still aches a little from it. I took Monday off from work and spent the day up there. The first few hours of the day my mom was at a Book Club meeting and Conrad had already gone to work so Rob and I had the place to ourselves and we spent our time talking and lazing around. We went to Sender’s Market and picked up sandwiches and work gloves and weed eater line and headed back to the house just in time to meet up with my mom and have a lovely afternoon talking and hanging out. Oh … and hunting around for a tent which she loaned/gave to us. We got back on the road at about 4:30 and made it home swiftly and safely just in time for a fairly relaxed evening.

Boy…I’m babbling. How about I stop the litany and just say that my gratitudes for the past few days include:

1) Visits with my beloved parents. Good and good for me. I am so lucky. SO blessed and so lucky.

2) That I was blessed enough to be born to Margaret Rose Osgood Levasseur and that I can truly be thankful on Mother’s Day for that fact and for and to her. She is a wonderful, gracious, loving, generous, gentle, smart, beautiful and incredibly kind mother and woman. Thank you Mommy.

3) Learning flexibility isn’t always easy for me but deciding to go to see “Auntie Mame” instead of feeling sad and sorry that I couldn’t go home on Friday night was the right thing to do on so many levels.

4) Oakland’s Paramount Theater is beautiful. A fully restored Art Deco Movie Palace is something that shouldn’t be missed! Going to see old movies there is fun and only costs $5. This includes a raffle ticket that you can win prizes with. What isn’t to like?

5) “Auntie Mame” is a well crafted film with great humour and some fun lessons about what is and isn’t “acceptable” and I am so glad I got to see it.

6) Having a partner who also is a certified mechanic makes trips to the oil changer much easier. When they try to up-sell him he can genuinely tell if what they’re suggesting is necessary or not and move forward or not accordingly. Thank you, Rob.

7) Thank you also for paying for my transmission fluid to be changed. I hadn’t budgeted for that and I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing it. Mille grazie!

8) Being able to celebrate mother’s day with my mother. It was a wonderful gift to be able to do that and I’m so thankful.

9) Working with Conrad in the yard and knowing that what I was doing was genuinely helpful and useful to both of my parents. We got into a great groove together and got a lot accomplished. I’m proud of the work we did. I’m proud that I got to help just a little. (Yep...I raked all of the leaves on this hill and then I hauled them all to the bottom and helped to burn them all too!)

10) Thankful that we don’t have to buy a tent now. YAY!

11) Fresh strawberries bought from the field they were picked in. Nuff said.

12) The incredible quiet that exists at my folks’ house. There is something so soothing to my soul when the only sounds I hear are made by nature. No hum, no buzz, no horns, just quiet and crickets and squirrels, birds and the occasional bee. Oh…and how can I forget the humourous snorts and snuffles of the wild pig rooting in the middle of the night behind the building in which we were sleeping . *grin*

13) Sometimes anxiety attacks really can only be soothed by Ativan. I’m glad Ativan exists. I haven’t taken one in so long that my prescription is a month or two expired, but I took 1 last night anyway, and finally got some real sleep. Groggy all day, but well worth it.

14) Being groggy all day. It reminds me why I so rarely resort to Ativan or anything else of the sort and keeps me from using it more often.

15) Deeply thankful that I did not inherit my father’s problem with alcohol or any other substance. I just don’t find that any substance compels me to use/take/imbibe or otherwise abuse it. I thank my lucky stars for that fact on a very regular basis.

16) Chile Jalapeno on San Pablo Avenue. It is a wonderful Mexican restaurant recently purchased and overhauled by Abel & Carmen who are a delightful duo. Their food is excellent and reasonably priced, the service is great and the prices can’t be beat for the quality of the food you get there. If you want yummy food and friendly service you really should check them out. 6706 San Pablo Avenue. Yum Yum!

17) Friends who are both understanding and gracious when you have to reschedule with them because spending time with family is important. Thank you Ariyana!

18) The fun and camaraderie of a pleasant rehearsal is such a heart-blessing.

19) Rico’s continued sharing of his work on himself is such a beautiful and encouraging and brave thing. Thank you Rico! You inspire me!

20) Visiting and working with wonderful friends to help tear down space at Nimby last night was good for my soul and it helped me to get some muscle soreness to loosen a little.

21) Anni's incredible post about her mother. It moved me to tears and made all the more thankful for my life. I'm so in awe of you and your ability to express things the way you do, Dear One! Truly in awe!

22) Meeting Louellen up in Mountain Ranch. She's 85 years old and was born and raised there. I learned many interesting things from her including the fact that her son was responsible for one of my favorite trees. See below.

Also was touched by her warmth in inviting us into her home to show us all of her treasures, including this guitar that her grandfather made.

23) I deeply appreciate fun reminders from the Universe like this one that I found while walking through Campus:

Reminder :)

24) Being back on the Gratitude bus is a lovely thing..

Hugs to you all and sweet dreams!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

05/07/09 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive -- Lucky #13

For all of the wonderful Mom's out there!

So last night I was feeling unwell and there was going to be no staring at a computer to write while that was going on. Instead, I hibernated, didn’t go to rehearsal, and took it very easy at home. I slept on and off, and finally got 8 hours + of sleep. Hooray!

Today I feel mostly human, and despite the NASTY DEAD RAT in my walkway this morning, have had a very nice day all in all.

With out further ado, my Gratitudes include the following:

1) I’m thankful for the days when I am healthy. This also means that I’m thankful for evenings like yesterday evening because they remind me of how lucky I am to be healthy the majority of the time.

2) I’m thankful to Cybele (my director for Queen Anne’s Revenge, and beloved friend) for being so understanding about my not being up for going anywhere last night. I know how frustrating it can be to have cast members miss rehearsals and she was kind and gracious about it. Thank you, Honey. I really appreciate it.

3) I touched on this in my last note, but I’m really thankful to and for Scarlett Hepworth. She is my wonderful voice teacher/vocal coach and is rapidly becoming a wonderful friend as well. She is smart, talented, funny, super supportive, knowledgeable, hilarious, warm, generous, compassionate and generally delightful to be around. Plus she is helping me to work on my voice in a way that I’ve never been able to do before. AND I feel like I learn something every single time I work with her. I love that I’m encouraged to sing Puccini, Porter, songs from Wicked, and Folk Songs by the same teacher. Thank you Scarlett. You are a true delight in my life! Her website is here: I recommend her highly if you’re considering voice lessons!

4) I’d forgotten how much I love Jamba Juice’s Peach Perfection smoothies. Oh my how lovely and refreshing and tasty on a warm day. The only trouble with being reminded yesterday is that I’m craving one again today.

5) Today I’m thankful that Rob is finally home. I had the fabulous experience of time to myself, then got to experience absence making the heart grow fonder, then missing him, and now I’m just excited to see him home safe. YAY!

6) I love that it is 5/7/9 today! My weird little geek brain is tickled by this notion for some odd reason! Next one will be 7/9/11, then 9/11/13, then 11/13/15 and then I believe that is it for this century, yes? Too goofy and fun.

7) I found out today that our neighbor with the Macaws will be moving out within the next month and I’m so happy about this that I could and have done a little dance! Hoo-farking-ray!

8) I just this instant got the awful news that a young woman who was a friend of mine years ago only has a couple of years to live and I’m reeling from the news. I feel sick from the news and am incredibly heart sore. It is also making me recognize, yet again, the fleetingness that is our mortality. It makes me want to do these writings all the more so that I can find more ways to appreciate my life each moment of each day in every way possible. So I’m thankful for that wake up call in the face of such heartbreaking tragedy. Now I need to learn to live it.

9) I’m thankful for those spontaneous moments that occasionally arise with a co-worker that helps to make you both more human to each other. Yesterday I shared one of those and it was fun, laughter-filled and, in a simple way, very beautiful.

10) I’m going home to visit my folks this weekend and I can’t wait to go tomorrow. I’m so lucky that I actively LIKE my parents as well as love them. Going home is a huge treat for me. I cannot wait until I get to see them both again!

A flower for the flowers of motherhood!

11) And now, I get to go to bed and snuggle with my sweet man and that is something to be incredibly thankful for indeed.

I won’t have email access again after the work day tomorrow until Monday night, as getting online at my folks’ house is an exercise in frustrated dial-up futility, but I’ll do my utmost to write while I’m gone and post all at once when I return.

Much love and a very HAPPY Mother’s Day Weekend to you all!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

5/5/09 -- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #12

Hallooooooo! Here I am again. Writing the Gratitudes! Woohoo!

Some positive things today include:

1) Being sent a story of a difficult life that was told to a friend who is traveling. That story, which Stephanie shared today, put my petty woes into crisp perspective. I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you, Stephanie.

2) There is something so lovely about the song of church bells.

3) I love the word Wombat. Plus the creatures are so danged cute in their own weird way.

4) I had a great evening with Deb & Robin , working with Scarlett. Thanks to Robin & Deb for being willing and to Scarlett for her incredibly valuable coaching. Hooray for musical growth. Going for a cup of tea afterwards was lovely too.

1/11/09 -- Comfort

5) I’m entertained by some ad campaigns. I found this one today and thought it eye-catching, a bit titillating, and somewhat hilarious. What exactly do YOU think it is trying to sell? Certainly NOT jeans. LOL

6) Coming back to my camera after two days of non-use. I took it out of the case I mentioned yesterday and found out that my realization was true! Oh! It felt so good to click away. (Hey, Anni -- Clicky, clicky, clicky, wheeeeeeeeeeee! *grin*)

7) Silliness is one of the qualities that keeps me aloft in my sometimes turbulent brain. I do silly very well and with great pride. A good dose of the sillies goes a long way. Hooray for silly! And Wombats. Did I mention that I like the word “wombat” yet? Wombat, wombat, wombat! *giggle*

8) Can you imagine a dandelion this size? I remember being so amazed by this one that I found at my folks's house in 2007. So miraculous. I was delighted tonight to find the photo I took then which serves as a happy reminder of the existence of such a thing.

9) I had leftovers for dinner tonight. Leftovers are so fabulous because they are easy, yummy, and flavorful.

10) I’m thankful because I’m done writing for the night and can now go to bed. I suspect this one will repeat from time to time. *wry smile*

Hope everyone had a nice Cinco de Mayo today.

Sweet dreams!

Monday, May 4, 2009

5/4/09 -- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #11

Today I’ve been riding the mood pony around my psyche. It has been a bumpy ride. *wry smile*

In an effort to get off and stand on stable ground I’m writing my Gratitudes again. I find that it truly rights my soul to do this and gives me excellent perspective.

It is rather like making incredibly tasty lemonade from sometimes sour lemons.

Here we go again….wheeeeeee!

1) I’m thankful for the kind, gentle, whimsical support that I’ve been getting for doing this daily. It is very generous of you and makes me smile. Thank you.

2) Thanks to Doug for this article ( that supports this exercise. Brilliant. Thank you!

3) Sometimes absence from a loved one can be good in that it can truly make you appreciate that person/make the heart grow fonder. I miss Rob something fierce today and much as it aches a little, it is also a nice to feel the love wrapped up in it all.

4) I paid my car registration renewal today. It is the first time I’ve ever done it. It was easy and painless as I was able to do it online. Hooray for DMV interactions that aren’t painful. What a joy and a relief.

I promised Elizabeth another church sign from Mountain Ranch and thought this one would be good for this gratitude.

5) Tonight I felt really lonely and kind of sad when I got home. I’m thankful for that feeling because it reminded me of the fact that I rarely feel that way. I lead a people-rich life, and am often surrounded by loved ones. I am mightily blessed and I do not take that or any of you for granted.

6) Delivery Thai food from Plearn is on the way to my house. I’m hungry but haven’t been grocery shopping in a while and this way I’m guaranteed leftovers tomorrow for dinner. Mmmmm….pad thai….mmmm.

7) This brings me to a big Hooray for Grubhub is great way to find out what restaurants deliver to your house. It is an online ordering system and it is very convenient. You put in your address and the site lets you know what comes to you. Kind of great!

8) I’m thankful to finally be almost done futzing with my Northern California Pirate Festival 2008 photos. They’ve been a “for me” project so I haven’t gotten around to them. That being said, I’m almost done and I’m very pleased about that fact! YAY!

9) I’m incredibly thankful for the wonderful conversation I just got to have with Monique. She and I have been friends since 1990 and our friendship is one of the greatest joys in my life. She is family to me. She is friend, sister, co-conspirator, heart’s delight and confidante. I love her beyond words and years and time spent and limitations. Such a gift. Thank you, Nomique! I’m so grateful to and for you.

10) I made an important discovery these past couple of days. If I carry my camera in a case, it is more protected, but I do not use it as readily. Good for me to realize and to recognize.

I hope that the day has treated you with kindness and light!

Hugs to all,

5/3/09 -- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #10

I thought I’d try writing early this evening, in an effort to get some sleep tonight. I’m watching the 1995, BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice” and I want to get back to it *wry grin* so I’ll make this swift.

This evening my Gratitudes include:

1) Going for a morning walk in Marin with Eileen. It was a fortifying and soul-pleasing way to start the day. I am grateful for her graceful friendship, her excellent company and for the exercise. Afterwards we sat in a coffee shop and shared a couple of hours of cherished conversation. What a treat!

2) The freedom that having a vehicle of one’s own allows. I’ve had the car for just about a year now (thank you Kate & Sean!!!) and I really love it. She serves me well and I’m a proud owner, even when I feel a little guilty for joining the gasoline culture. Days like today though, mass transit would have been onerous and I was so thankful for my little four-wheeled beast.

3) My body using its alarm clock when my electronic one failed me. This morning my alarm didn’t go off when it was supposed to, but my body woke me up just in time to run out the door and meet Eileen. Thank you, Body!

4) BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” really makes me happy. It’s like comfort food in DVD form. Soothing and pleasing to my spirit. Plus there is the whole Colin Firth aspect. Mmmmmm…..Colin Firth.

5) I really like, enjoy, and am thankful to and for thrift stores. I grew up with little money, and, early on, I got very good at finding fabulous things at thrift stores. Now that I’m an adult, who still has very little money, I appreciate them all the more. I’ve never really understood paying high prices for clothing if I don’t have to. Today I spent $22 and bought a fabulous fuzzy purple coat, a velvety purse and a long silk, beaded Indian skirt at Out of the Closet on University Ave. Thrift stores are wonderful, useful, satisfying things. They are also more ecological than buying new. Such a bonus.

6) I’m thankful for the time I’ve had to think this weekend. I’ve had enough time alone that my brain has occasionally found a still, quiet place and it has been lovely….even if the thoughts I’m having are sometimes difficult.

7) Clean sheets are happy making. I love how they feel and smell.

8) (I love the person who creates these signs in Mountain Ranch. They have a great sense of humour! and I thought this particularly fitting given #9 which is:)

9) Difficult conversations that result in clear, loving communication and growth. Thank you, Rob. I love you very much.

10) The potential for creative solutions to ongoing problems. Very exciting stuff.

11) And because I can’t seem to make it through one of these without a food reference: Ginger Snap Cookies are scrumdillyumptious!

Ta-da – all done and it is only 9 p.m. YAY!

Hugs to all and here’s to a great week for everyone!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

5/2/09 -- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #9

1/19/09 -- My Mother's Garden Guardian

Rob has been gone since Monday. He went up to visit his family in Montague. He was supposed to be back on Thursday, but he, unfortunately, got food poisoning and has been sick ever since. Because of this, he wisely decided that sitting in a car driving for 6 hours to get here was not such a bright idea, and is still 380 miles away. Please send healthy thoughts his way. :)

What this means is that I had unexpected time alone in my house last night and tonight, and that what I thought today was going to look like changed into something else entirely. I so rarely get time here with me and I’ve really been enjoying it. Today I also got to spend a day with a dear friend and it was wonderful. Great conversations, brilliant sandwiches from Fredy’s Deli (Thanks Sarge! *grin*), some laughter, and the breathtaking comfort of seeing someone I haven’t gotten to see in a really, really long time. Perfection.

Without further preamble, today’s Gratitudes.

1) I give deep thanks for time well spent.

2) I can’t help but love the sandwiches from Fredy’s Deli down by Ocean Beach. If you get a chance to go there, do it. The sandwiches are yumtastic, the pickles are epic and the service is sassy and adored *grin*. I ate the ever-so-tasty sando at 3 and am only NOW at 11 getting hungry again. Yum, Yum, Yum! Thanks much, Miss Thang!

3) Having time in my own company. I really enjoy it. I’ve only started to realize just how much. I think I need to find a way to spend more time with me.

4) I also appreciate freedom to do whatever I like when I have “me” time. I’m terrible at carving out alone time but I sure do appreciate it when I get it.

5) Showers. Showers are wonderful inventions and I love them. They are comforting, cleansing, relaxing, and are a safe haven for my busy brain, plus they make it so I stink pretty. *giggle* They are one of the few places I allow any thought at all to come to the forefront of my mind. If it is a nice thought I allow myself to feel bathed in it, if it is an unpleasant thought I visualize it being washed down the drain. Hooray for showers.

6) Cashmere sweaters. Cashmere sweaters are made of fuzzy goodness. Soft, lightweight, soft, warm, soft, and did I mention soft? Wearing one makes me want to pet myself in a mostly non NC-17 sort of way. *grin*

7) Writing these posts. Despite the fact that my writings here are often poorly punctuated, and include some rather swift rowing through ye olde stream of consciousness, I have a deep and abiding fondness for writing these posts.

8) I love the feeling of my ears “searching for/stretching to find sound” when I go someplace truly quiet.

9) Saturday afternoons/evenings on 91.7 KALW. I call them noodley music Saturdays. It starts at 2 p.m. with “Thistle and Shamrock” (with Fiona Ritchie), meanders along through “Folk Music and Beyond”, “A Patchwork Quilt”, and “Bluegrass Signal” and ends with “Tangents”. I’m always so happy when I can catch any or all of it. The programming is so fine. And can be heard live at

10) Having so many things to be thankful for in little ways that I can’t pinpoint one. Er…okay…how about this: I love it when my hair feels clean and soft. (Typed, of course, after tired, hair fidgeting)

Okay…the randomness of that final bit there indicates that I’m no longer running on all cylinders and now needs must sleep. G’night all! Sweet dreams!

Friday, May 1, 2009

5/01/09 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #8

Happy Rainy May Day! In an effort not to let a case of the blues win, I’m writing my Gratitudes for the day.

1) I’m happy that I remembered to say “Rabbit! Rabbit!” this morning upon waking and prior to any other word being uttered. It is rare that I remember, but I’m always particularly tickled when I remember on May Day.

2) I’m thankful for more rain. We still need it and it makes everything feel clean.

3) I love the sound of rain on the roof and windows when I’m in bed. Can’t wait to hunker down under the covers and listen to the music of it lulling me to sleep.

4) Roses are magical flowers. I have two “Big Ben” roses and one “Peace” rose from my wonderful co-workers garden and my whole living room smells like them. I have always loved that smell. I have worn rose oil for much of my life, used to have a rose mortuary on my walls *grin*, and was teasingly called “The Rose Queen” for several years by a few friends. I’m not so fond of hothouse roses, though I do still appreciate their beauty. I really love fragrant, large bloomed roses and heritage roses. Mmmm….roses.

5) Delivery sushi. On a rainy night when I feel like hibernating, delivery sushi is like manna from heaven. Hooray for and all of their magical tastiness and convenience.

6) Paying down debts. I’ve been diligently striving to get out of debt and finished paying off the first of my personal debts to Chris today. It was such a satisfying feeling to send off that last $200 and know that I’d paid down that chunk of my debts. It makes me feel so proud of myself.

7) That leads me to why I was in debt to Chris to begin with. It is because he was incredibly generous and put me back on his health insurance last year from January – October of 2008. He told me not to pay for it until I got a job, insurance of my own, and the stability to start to pay him back. It was one of the kindest acts I’ve experienced and it really saved me more than once last year.

8) Getting complicated schedules sorted can be such an enormous relief.

9) Having a night at home to just sit and breathe. I haven’t had one in a long time and I really needed it.

10) May songs and morris tunes lilting and jingling their way through my head all day.

Not the most brilliant execution tonight but I’ve done it never-the-less. Hope this finds you all well and safe! Happy May to you!


4/30/09 – Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive #7

So I missed writing a second time yesterday and didn’t get caught up. I made myself a lofty promise that I’d get two of these done in one day in order to get caught up from the day before. Guess what? I didn’t do it. I favored sleep over the positivity experiment, and it was the Right-Thing-To-Do ™.

In the past, this would have stopped me from moving forward because of guilt, embarrassment, self-judgment, and a whole slew of other ridiculous exercises in self-bludgeoning, which have effectively gotten me a big, fat nowhere on the “hooray for me” scale. *wry grin* This time I’m not letting it stop me, and I attribute that to personal growth and to the New Year’s Resolution I made this year.

For 2009, I gave myself only one New Year’s Resolution. That was to take at least one photo every single day with my SLR camera. It will be May 1 tomorrow and I think I’ve probably missed about 15 days of shooting since January. That means that of the 120 days in the year thus far, I’ve shot at least one photo a day, and generally QUITE a few more than that, for 105 of those. Not so bad! Go me!

One of the many things that particular resolution/exercise has taught/is teaching me, is that the world doesn’t come to an end when I have to put something down for a day/don’t meet my own immediate expectations. From that I have learned that it is much better, and much more satisfying, to pick up the camera again the next day and keep going with the project/resolution/writing/whatever. I don’t need to punish myself for what I haven’t done, I need to be proud of myself for what I am and have done. Phew!

That is a Tough lesson for me to fully grok, but a good one never-the-less.

So, all expounding aside, current positives are:

1) Picking this up again and continuing on with it.

2) Starting to learn that it is both okay and actually good to look at what I *have* done instead of always looking at what I *haven’t* done.

3) I did not kill my neighbor or her f-ing macaws today. Sometimes it is the small victories, I swear.

4) Putting faces with voices on the phone. I work with a woman named Gabrielle who works for UCPD every day at work and after MONTHS of talking with her and enjoying her via telephone, I finally got to meet her in person today and it made me so happy to have an actual person to go with the incredibly pleasant disembodied voice. I remember feeling the same way about my friend Stacie. She worked for the travel agency one of my old companies worked for and we became friends on the phone over the years of working together. When I finally got to meet her and her husband some years later it was SUCH a delight. So yes, putting faces with voices rock.

5) The 1 ½ hour workshop I took yesterday called “Beyond Stress Management” which was given through the health center at UC Berkeley. It had some great reminders and some nice new ways of looking at things. I really appreciated both the materials and the way the speaker presented them. Food for thought is good. I did find it intriguing though that the class was all women except for one male participant and the teacher. So fascinating culturally/sociologically.

6) Being able to notice my cranky all day today. Not to just sit in it wallowing, but to really be able to notice it and stem the tide a bit so that it didn’t completely consume me. Deep cleansing breaths today. Many deep cleansing breaths. *laughing at self*

7) Instant messaging. I appreciate it most for long distance friendships, but also like it as a tool for checking in with people who are nearby. A big “for instance” on the long distance front is Michelle. Michelle is one of my very dear friends. She is an incredibly talented photographer (see her website here: or her facebook page here: ) who is raising a family and building a business at the same time and she lives in Colorado. We IM each other most week days when we both have access to AIM. Recently gmail made it easy to sign into AIM through google chat. I’m so thankful for that because it has allowed us to once again have our daily check ins with all of the wonderful conversations, support, mutual cheerleading, love and laughter that go with being able to “talk” regularly.

8) Trader Joe’s berry applesauce is full of yummy goodness.

9) Fuzzy, woolly, argyle socks. Nuff said. :)

10) Laura’s blog today was a great reminder about the importance of asking for help and being able to then accept it graciously. Thank you, Laura. I *really* needed that reminder.

YAY…time to sleep!

Happy Beltane. Welcome May. I won’t be dancing the sun up tomorrow as I have in years past, but I will be dancing all day in my heart.