Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

The huge horrible task of taking our very overgrown and wild yard down to bare earth and creating a fire-safe zone around the cabin is done. The last of the bags of detritus went off to the slash pile this morning. Oh there’s a spot here or there, I suppose, but for the most part we are ready to settle into some kind of routine maintenance.

Of course now that I say that, I think, “Oh but we have to put in pavers by the front walk and I wanted to lay down pea gravel on the parking berm and… and… and…” and the Captain looks at me dubiously, knowing that the list of things that start with, “Honey Please Help Me Do This…” is growing. And not that I blame him, you know. There is reading to be doing. Always. Pea gravel and pavers can butt into book time if you let them. The trick is not to let them.


We are in the process of demoing our back deck, which was rotten and squishy.  A little disconcerting to look out the back door and see an 8 foot drop. The cats keep running over and meowing anxiously at the window. “Hey guys? Uh. I hate to tell you this but, someone stole our deck.” Like the little plastic castle, it seems to be a surprise every time.


I have big plans for spring. New bird feeders and some bird baths, a stone path to the creek, and perhaps a little bridge up the daffodil hill where the fire pit lives. I am slowly creating what amounts to bird nirvana in our yard.


My birds are a source of unending delight. I will miss them when they move south for the worst of the winter.


The pace here is slower and quieter, but richer somehow.


There is more room for thinking and less noise to keep you from it. I feel like we are just now starting to get into tune with it and soon winter will be here just when I am starting to adjust to autumn.


As the year gets darker, I am grateful for the act of building the morning fire, of stacking the firewood,  and cooking dinner with the Captain… that rhythm is kind of like a heartbeat. The cats do their part, making sure I am laughing.


Living is different here. I like it. The other day was cold, so I put on my warm coat when I went out. I felt so grateful to have it, so grateful for the simple feeling of being warm. At some point I just started taking things like that for granted. There is a lot of gratitude. Not the deliberate practice of coming up with a list each day, just the sense of thankfulness that comes because you are genuinely glad that something is real or true or exists in your world. Small things, big things, things you can’t touch… I swim in it daily.


Darkness, messy yard, and all.

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Life requires change.

Window detail

Another holiday shot from yesterday’s photo jaunt around Old Town Pasadena. I loved this for the lettering and the contrast of the green trim and leaves against the black window and white wall. What I did not notice when taking the picture was the sparkly holiday lights inside mingling with the sunlight reflected on the glass outside.

I have not been doing much with fiber in the last week or so. After the frenzy of spinning and holiday knitting, I really just needed to take a break from it. I’ve been feeling a little bit ADHD, bouncing off the walls I am so filled with ideas for other projects and other crafts. I will probably knit tonight, I need some soothing and therapeutic yarn time.

I have a little bit of a conflict going on in my brain right now. I’ve been wanting to set up a dedicated studio space in my house for making art, jewelery and other stuff. The area I am the most drawn to doing this in has been my dining room. It makes sense to do this, it has proximity to snacks and other stuff that is needful, like tea. But for some reason, I have found it difficult to let go of the rigid idea that the dining room should be just that. A dining room.

here’s the thing.

we don’t dine.

Like seriously we never sit at the table and eat dinner anymore. Maybe twice, three times a month, if the Captain and Pantalones Jr. are having dinner with us. And I would kind of like to not waste that space, or that lovely scarred pine tabletop that is so perfect for craftiness but which sits empty or full of clutter, most of the time now… I’ve wanted to push it against the window, hang twinkle lights around and use it for something that brings me joy.

I am not sure why this has been so hard to accomplish.

Perhaps it is part of letting go of the idea that this house is a “family” space. It really isn’t, or rather it is but it’s a very different looking family than the one that moved in two years ago. Our #1 is gone and our #2 will fly the coop in another two years or so. Jeff and I have not resided together for almost 4 years now. Now it is two women and a lot of cats. We will always be a family, but we are no longer a family with a mom, a dad, two kids, all living together in a big chaotic house where we eat dinner together every night. We don’t have pancakes on Saturdays anymore. We don’t need a “dining room” anymore. It is sad, liberating, and weird. These are changes that are good, but sometimes hard to process.

I’ve made a bit of a start on it:
ARTspace weird view

The shelves used to hold cookbooks and china. Now they hold art supplies, paper media, ephemera, little bits of whimsy that delight me – some from their old lives, some new. They are cheery little shelves – I had fun repurposing them and painting them for the dining room when we moved in here. Now seeing them filled with paint and paper and tools makes me feel happy all over again. My folk art from Mexico hangs around, muertos, milagros, tin art, paintings from friends. I am charmed by this space. I need to set up another stack of storage for my jewelry making supplies. Maybe haul the sewing machine out from the back where it’s been languishing as my bedside table… it is a work in progress.

Life changes require change. And this is a huge, ginormous, big life change. Back to myself. Y’all, it is pretty terrifying.

And for my 11th Day of Gratitude?
I have not forgotten gratitude. I am grateful to have the physical, mental and emotional space available to me for this to be a problem.

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cafe flowers

while much of the country languishes underneath pounds of snow and ice, there is sunwashed brick and al fresco dining here in Pasadena, California.

The sunshine really only lasted for about half the day before clouds began rolling back in and we’re getting rain the rest of the week, but it was really nice while it was out. There was something about the flowers against the texture of the brick and the crisp white cloth that really appealed to me here.

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I am grateful for my ginormous collection of art supplies and for the internal permission to sit down and play with them. Seriously. SO grateful.

I am grateful that I am a creative person with a lot of outlets to express that, depending on my mood or inclination on any given day.


I am grateful for color. Without it, my life would not be half as beautiful as it is now.

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