Kickapoo: From Here to There

Living gratefully today, I appreciate meditation time and where it takes me. I also give thanks for the walls and windows of our stable home.

This weekend, we stayed in a cabin very near the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Though I had heard the word "kickapoo" before, I could tell you little about it. We chose to watch a video available in our cabin, titled "The Kickapoo Valley Reserve: From Here to There." Watching it brings more meaning to the place and space, as well as our time there.

Kickapoo is believed to be an Algonquin word meaning "from here to there." It's a fitting name for the river that winds through this area for about 125 miles before feeding into the Wisconsin River not far from where it feeds into the Mississippi River.

Settlers had lived in the area since the mid-1800's, displacing the Native Americans of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Nation who had lived there for many centuries. Flooding was a recurring problem and a dam was begun in the…

Simply Getting Away

Today I am grateful for safe travels and time away this weekend. I am also grateful for the physical capabilities that allowed us to take in a new area on foot.

It was nice to just drive a reasonable distance; no complicated travel arrangements, no need to leave at a certain time to make a certain timeline. Thanks for doing all the driving Darcy. I do appreciate it!

It was nice to see a new area and have new experiences. Darcy and I had some time to ourselves, enjoyed the scenery of southwestern Wisconsin and the solitude of a quiet stay in a comfortable cabin.

Less noise, little to no hustle and bustle, fewer distractions. We did some snowshoeing and hiking and were treated to ideal weather and sunshine. We played Zilch, Phase 10, and Yahtzee and watched an old movie on a DVD player. We hadn't used one of those in years. We enjoyed the warmth and ambience of a fireplace, and the quiet and nighttime darkness you only get away from suburbia.

The accommodations were simple, our agen…

Dear Mr. Valentine

Living gratefully today, I appreciate the love I have in my life and in my own heart. A special thank you today to my husband Darcy.

If you are paying attention to such things, you know today is Valentine's Day. It's also a Friday in February of 2020. And it's a fresh day that we each get to have. Expect less and accept more and it will likely be a good day with some joy, or at least joylets, in it.

I recently read Mary Louise Parker's book Dear Mr. You. Parker is an actress and was in one of my favorite movies--"Fried Green Tomatoes."  This was her first book, published in 2015, and it was recommended to me by a friend. She wrote letters to some of the men who had an impact on her life. Some she knew well and others left their mark in a short time. Well-written tributes to males who had made a difference, sometimes painfully, sometimes profoundly.

I aspire to getting my first book out there in my 50's, just like Mary Louise Parker did. Thank you for the …

There's More Where That Came From

Living gratefully today, I give thanks for my fingers and toes. They may be smaller body parts, but they do a lot for me and the rest of my body. I also appreciate the garbage haulers who always get the job done, regardless of the weather on any given pick-up day.

Here is the bulk of my post from February 13, 2018: 

Coming off a tough year in 2017 that saw much pain and many challenges for people I care about, and also brought me some job-related stress as well as minor, but noticeable, physical health issues, JOY is a good reminder, a good focus.

Some random thoughts on JOY:

*"Don't squeeze the joy out." Each day, each hour provides joy for the taking. Notice it.

* Joylets, as my sister Aileen calls them, can be as simple as the smell of fresh air or seeing the stars in the sky.

*The joy in forgiveness is real. Whether forgiving others, being forgiven by them, or forgiving ourselves, there is joy in the unburdening and the compassion needed to forgive.

*The joy in a bite of ch…

Traveling Lighter . . .

Today I am grateful for the meditation time I make for myself, at least on some days, and what I gain in that time of awareness and "being."  I am also grateful for warm socks for my feet.

Traveling lighter is what is on my mind this morning, in several ways.

Traveling lighter to and from work . . .
I just got a new school bag--the one I had was too big for my purposes. In this digital age, I often only bring my computer back and forth from work, my lunch bag, and my purse. My new bag is a backpack/hand bag and I really like it.

My lunch bag often fits in there, as do the necessary items from my purse. On many days, I am not grabbing several bags, just one. That makes it easier and less frustrating getting out the door at home in the morning and out the door of my office in the afternoon.

Traveling lighter with the physical stuff that needs to go to and from work, but also the mental baggage I am not bringing home. Caring less in healthy ways. Productive and fairly focused a…

A Winter's Night

Today I am grateful for the synergy created when I get to hang out with other recovering alcoholics. I am also grateful for wisdom that finds me when I need it. 
That winter's day I wrote about yesterday included a winter's night too. Day always gives way to night, and night to day. The flow of life. I find comfort and peace in that flow. There are many things I appreciate about the various times of day.
This is what awaited me Monday morning, after a fresh snowfall the day before and some overnight freezing fog. Stunning beauty that reminds me that something far more powerful than human is at work in the world. I find comfort and peace in that as well. 

The sound of the snow and crunch underfoot. The warm bed and heated house I had just left. The heart strings attached to the two guys still sleeping upstairs and the little guy walking beside me on our morning walk.

A winter's night gave way to faith, hope, and love in the early morning. It was a good start to a new day. …

A Winter's Day

Living gratefully today, I am paying attention to my muscles and joints and giving them some rest. I am also appreciating the ease of warm and clean running water.

It's heading toward mid-February and the days are getting longer and lighter. It hasn't been a tough winter in terms of weather, especially compared to what we had last year.

Here's a winter day that played out in a 24-hour period over the weekend:
-clear roads and trails and sunshine greeted me mid-afternoon Saturday as I went for a run

-the forecast was calling for a snowstorm, so I wanted to get a run in on clean roads

-over night the snow arrived, and by 8:00 a.m. Sunday I was shoveling a few inches off the driveway

-then the heaviest snow hit for a couple hours and it was fun to watch it out the window and         also to take a walk out in it, I have always liked walking out in snow, it's peaceful

-more shoveling--but I like that job and appreciate being physically able to do it

-the snow wound down an…