Gratitudinal Goodness

I realized recently that every culture has a thanks-giving celebration with their family  community/society to give thanks for what they have.   A ritual communal gratitude for their connection to other people, their ability to eat, and to exist.

At least once a year, we all have an opportunity to be grateful. I’ll take mine now.DSC00711

Dear God,

Thank you for the sun and the clouds and the beautiful artwork the two make in the sky. And for the trees that make air so I can breathe. And for my existence so that I was able to experience the miracle of my children. And their laughter. And for my fabulous husband who will always forgive me for not listing him first. And for everyone who loves, cares, and supports me because I am truly nothing without them. And for the really cool dinosaurs that came and left their bones for us to look at. Good enough.

Plants are like Friends

Plants are like friends, they’re here today and gone tomorrow.


You enjoy them so much when you have them.
They are part of the landscape.

The in-laws irises bloomed once

The in-laws irises bloomed once

And as seasons change and life choices are made, you suddenly realize that the plant/friend you used to see here or there just isn’t anymore.

And all you have left is a picture of when and where it used to be.

They went back there and are all dead now

They went back there and most are dead now

I lost my Gaillardia this year. Otherwise known as a blanket flower.

Common as it is, I still miss it’s happy colorful little  face spilling over the short stone wall at the end of the walk. I might be able to get another and replant it there but it will never be the same.

the blanket flower bed

the blanket flower bed

Thank you to all my friends past, present, and future for making my gardens and my life happy and fun places to be.

Your presence will not be forgotten.


Shalavee’s Two Year Blogaversary

Today is my second Blogaversary ! I’ve known this would warrant a mention…in a post…with streamers and prophetic words. But on my first attempt last week, I came up with a lotta nada. Hot air but no balloons. I had outlined what I thought I should say. But it wasn’t real. Creativity shrivels in the shadow of the shoulds.

Take two.

The Truth.

Back when I began this blog adventure, I was looking so hard at myself, I could barely speak. And I was petrified of using the computer. But I knew writing and publishing posts over and over would make a better writer of me, create a habit, and give me a body of work for potential employers. I kept the faith and kept doing something even if it was wrong. And I was right. I have continued to post on my blog every three days, save a few occasions. I discovered I could rely on myself.

The second greatest killer of creativity is seeing myself through the eyes of my critics and freezing there. So I took the imperfections, the misspelled words and the bad grammar, and threw them on the pyre as a sacrifice to the god of progress.mantel 2

I do appreciate the care for my misspellings and I even appreciate the “anonymous” hater who lambasted my character right after I found out I was pregnant in June of 2012 and had published my most controversial article to date. When I saw her at the grocery store recently, I wished  I’d yelled “Thanks for reading!”.

Because in the end, I’m nothing without my readership. You lovely wonderful quiet opinionated readers, without you I am not a blog. I am a silly girl talking to herself. In a small poll (4 people) I conducted of known readers, I discovered people read for the following reasons.

They know me and want to keep up with my life’s happenings.

They find me funny.

And they enjoy my honest opinions about difficult subjects. I tell it the way I sees it, that’s all.

parlor office shelf

How has my blogging experience rewarded me? I found my “voice“ and a sense of self-pride. I love my new blog friends from all over the world. Pen pals with pizzazz.  I applaud my fellow bloggers celebrating their 2 year blogaversary too and want to be jealous of their sparkly giveaways and shiny fun posts. But my voice is my vehicle. How I’d love to have you all happily seated in the back for my mostly gimmick-free ride.

What if I promise more pretty pictures to ogle ?
Free Popcorn?

Thank You Very Much For Reading. And believing. I owe you.

Love Ya’,



She’d Been Pregnant As Long As Anyone Could Ever Remember

Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out the way you and your sonogram technician have planned it. I thought she was crazy when she said I was due on February 27th. And today I wanted to apologize to her. I am now overdue for having this baby make his/her exit from my body.

I feel as if I’m living in some alternate universe fantasy land. While everyone around me frets about their schedules permitting the delivery date, I have no choice but to sit her and wait. And try not to feel nauseous.

I am completely done with being this way, of course. And rather tired of the line all are compelled to deliver. “Get yourself to the hospital and deliver that baby already, will ya?” If I could I would people. But baby delivering is one of those acts of nature that our wills have no apparent control over.

Seems everyone has a helpful hint on how they think I should hurry this process up. A kind Italian man offered today, “Make up a nice dish of angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil (region not specified)  with some oregano (not too much cause it can be strong) and then take a nice long walk.” The walk’s a perennial favorite. And has absolutely no effect on baby conjuring.

Only one thing can effect the onset of childbirth and it’s a special hormone the body releases when it’s decided the popper has popped. Physicians can also introduce that hormone to the cervix to “let the games begin”. That’s called induction and is what I’m scheduled for on Tuesday if this weekend doesn’t produce babe in arms. It would seem that the placenta has an expiration date.

And as one last act of craziness, I wanted to record a video of me in this unbelievable state. The first attempt was thwarted when equipment and software wouldn’t cooperate. On borrowed time, I re-recorded myself sharing the thoughts on this pregnancy and last year I felt were most important. And then a “fatal error has occurred to thwart me again. So visit my Facebook page here.

TURN THE SOUND WAY UP BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY as I talk softly in the beginning.

I appreciate you giving me whatever break you can here and know that I’m doing it all for the love of the art and the family.

Thanks for all your generous support and kind thoughts. I look forward to sharing the next chapters as they unfold.





My 2012 Gratitudinal Post

As of a year and a half ago, I still couldn’t see why I should join Facebook or communicate with people I hadn’t seen in a long while. I was living in a lonely dull shell that I was used to.   I thought, “What could I say that they’d want to hear?  So long and far away from our pasts, what did I have to offer them that they would want? And why would I want to make friends with people I couldn’t see? Worse, maybe they’ll all scorn my advances.”

This would be the deafening roar of low self-esteem. As I started to turn the volume down and began to reach out to people everywhere, I connected with old friends and made new ones too. And suddenly, where I was used to being a little cold and lonely, I’m now hanging out in a warm shiny happy room with a mutual appreciation club full of people. Community is there in that room that you create in your hearts. You furnish it with well wishes and compassion and care. And it nurtures the creative.

I am so extraordinarily grateful for this growing group of people in my life and I thought my New Year’s Eve shout out would be to everyone I’ve reconnected and befriended this year. To Sarah, Nalisa, Melissa, Sian, Gwen, and Dig, you all have been in my heart for a long long time. And to my new blogging and online friends and acquaintances Kathy, Amy, Amanda, Tania, Amy, Jane, Maria, Sandra, Jennifer, Wendy, Sheryl, and the kind people on Twitter who address me like I’ve got something to say worth acknowledging ( and anyone who I’m forgetting, you’ll pardon my brain), I am truly grateful for all your well wishes and wonderful support. I never knew what I was missing and you have crafted my definition of gratitude.

And thank you to the powers that be for gifting me with a belly baby to share with my family, friends, and the world. Hope is a mighty powerful thing.

Love and Happiness for the new Year,


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