Showing posts from May, 2016

Iowa: 75% Vowels, 100% Awesome

Today I am grateful for rhubarb crisp and friends I trust.  I am also grateful to be a native Iowan. The words that make up the title of today's post were first seen by me on my nephew Carson's t-shirt when I was visiting home a few weeks ago.  I hadn't seen that one before, but you have to admit it's clever, whether or not you have Iowa blood. The biggest contingent of my family remains in Iowa, in the area my siblings and I grew up in. It's an area we get to visit several times a year. Our son Sam loves being out on the farm and Darcy and I appreciate the good company, card-playing, fresh running routes, and much more. Though I may be partial, the part of Iowa I hail from, northeast Iowa, is the most scenic in the state in my opinion. If you think Iowa is all flat terrain, you obviously haven't been to our part of the state. Rolling hills, thanks to ancient glaciation, give us stunning views and challenging runs. I wouldn't trade either. Woul

I Almost Forgot

Today I am grateful for the flowers in bloom in our backyard and for the recovery friends I got to spend time with on Saturday. I am also grateful for my husband Darcy and his efforts as a deacon in our church, including the good sermon on faith that he gave yesterday. A special thank you on this Memorial Day to all who fought for our freedom and those who continue to work to protect and preserve it. It was eight years ago yesterday, on a Thurs. afternoon, that my doctor delivered the words "you have cancer."  It was a phone call I took in the parking lot of a rundown strip mall after she agreed it would be a good idea for me to pull over. I almost forgot this anniversary date this year. Not really almost forgot, because I doubt I will, but thought of it less. That parking lot is now a new grocery store. And me? I get to be here too, living a full and rich life. I have so much gratitude to be healthy and able-bodied, to have no evidence of disease (NED). I don'

Turn Up the Radio

Today I am grateful for my husband Darcy and our marriage and for being able to hear birds sing and many other sounds. Yesterday on my way home from work I heard the song "Turn Up the Radio" by Autograph. That song takes me back to my drinking days and one of the bars I did some of that drinking in (actually quite a bit of that drinking). I won't name it here-to protect the innocent and the guilty-but some of you reading this will likely know which one I am talking about. The song came out in 1984, the year I turned 19, which coincidentally was the legal drinking age in Iowa at the time. We had some songs we played regularly on the juke box in this bar, and "Turn Up the Radio" was tune #139 if I recall correctly. It was a good way to get the evening rolling. From time to time, an old drinking song will take me back in ways I don't go back in very often. Yesterday was one of those times. It was Friday afternoon before a long weekend. The week was too in

DO Repeat This

Today I am grateful for laughter shared with colleagues and with my husband and son. I am also grateful for patio time this morning. Yesterday morning I planned to go for a run before work. Preferring not to run in rain, I ended up with a shorter time to run. I decided to do some speed work.  Now, mind you, the speed work I do at age 50 is a bit different than what I did at 15 or 25. It's important to keep this body guessing in ways and to shake up my metabolism. I can run for many miles, but sometimes it is more important to increase the intensity and shorten the mileage. So I warmed up for a few minutes and then did some hill repeats. We have plenty of hill options nearby, and I like to use a spot where there are 2 hills. I run up one, jog back down it and am ready to run up the the next one. I appreciate pushing this earthly vehicle of mine, this earthly vehicle that has hung in there for me quite well. Some things are NOT worth repeating. But hills for training ar

Daily Gratitudes

Today I am grateful for the ten fingers and ten toes that I have.  I am also grateful for the cooler morning air after a warm day yesterday. I appreciated Steve Foran's guest post yesterday and the insights within it. Like Steve, I have learned that if I am feeling too harried and hurried to pause for a little gratitude, then that is exactly the time that I need it most. That is also why I have woven practices like journaling and blogging in to my days. I keep refilling the tank so I don't run out of gas, so to speak. Inspiration and direction come in many forms and Steve's work has inspired me to do more reading of other people's gratitude sharing as well.   Here  is a link to Steve's "Daily Gratitudes" website. It is a great place to write and share some of your own gratitudes and also read those listed by others. It all adds to the positive stream of life, and reminds me that gratitude abounds if we just pause, pay attention, and look around and wit

Sharing Gratitudes: A Guest Post by Steve Foran

Today I am grateful for the soothing sound of the fountain on our front patio and for the ability of my ears to hear it.  I am also grateful for Steve Foran, fellow believer in the power of gratitude practice. Steve Foran was one of the first people I didn't know who commented on my blog. That was pivotal because I had reached beyond family and friends to people in other parts of the world. (I know, Canada isn't that far . . . but it is another country.) The Internet and sharing gratitude had connected us and we continue to grow that connection in this community of grateful beings. Effective kindling. These were his words on May 14, 2012: "Keep going and know that your blog is making a difference.  Every single post counts. Thanks, Steve"  These are Steve's words, four years later. Thank YOU Steve! Onward! I started reading Lisa’s blog, Habitual Gratitude, back in 2012 and have read every post since. Lisa and I have not met. We’ve never spoken on t


Today I am grateful for pillows and cool breezes. I am also grateful for the people in my life who show me love and support in a myriad of ways. I have always appreciated the following quote by Dr. Albert Schweitzer. In fact, I figured it had already shown up in one of my previous 1300 + posts, but a search said no it hadn't.  Even if it had, it is worth revisiting. "Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.  Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light." I appreciate all who have done the rekindling in my life. At times it may have been a random stranger with a simple gesture that made the difference. At other times, the other human being has been a near and dear friend or family member who has a knack to ignite my light just when I need to see more clearly. Not only do I get to appreciate those who help keep my path lit, I also get to help others rekindle.


Today I am grateful for a good training run yesterday with Darcy, for a nap, and for time with our grandson Leo. Last night we got to have a sleepover with Leo. We see him regularly, but this was the first time he spent the night.  We went for a walk, played in the backyard, did some reading, stacked blocks, went to the "choo-choo park" and more. At 15 months, he is really getting the hang of slides and he loves to climb stairs-both at our house and the park. We enjoyed the nice evening and had the ulterior motive of wearing him out to improve the chances of him falling asleep and staying asleep. It worked well. After his bath, it was bedtime. We had to (or should I say got to) do a little rocking. The first attempt to put him down didn't work but the second one did. Grandpa had the right touch. I was reminded of our son Sam's early years and the importance of bedtime routine. I loved that time as a mother. Reading to Sam right before bed was part of our r

A Winner in My Book

Today I am grateful for good music coming through good headphones and for smooth coffee. I am also grateful that I could watch our niece Ellie run at the Iowa girls' state track meet yesterday. She ran the 100 meter dash in her state debut as a freshman and did a great job! I would have preferred to be there in person, but watching it streamed live online was more than I thought I would see. Good luck to you and your teammates today in your relay Ellie! You are all winners in my book.  So is my sister Aileen. She entered the same poetry contest I did. I thought she had a good shot. She's such a good poet! But alas, she wasn't a winner either. Her poem deserves to be published though and it is my pleasure to publish it here: In Praise of Summer Fruit Each raspberry is its own little world of flavor, red continents clinging to a core, edible geography. Every strawberry has its own landscape of ridges and valleys, fruit geology.

Numerically Speaking, Self-Published

Today I am grateful for sunshine and warmer temperatures in recent days. I am also grateful that I can keep work things in perspective better than I ever used to. I would like to share a poem with you today. It is titled "Numerically Speaking."  I wrote it for a contest sponsored by Common Good Books and Garrison Keillor. The contest theme was gratitude, so I was compelled to put pen to paper. Truth be told, I knew this poem wasn't necessarily the kind of poem that Keillor would be drawn to. I still enjoyed the process of writing, revising, and more of each. I still enjoyed the anticipation of deadlines and winner announcements. It wasn't a winner in the contest, but I certainly don't regret the time and effort I put into it. Maybe there is something in it that will touch you today. That is one of my goals as a writer. Thanks for reading! Here you go: Numerically Speaking Twenty years Of diligence One day at a time Eleven journals filled