• Just Life

    Choose | June 2021.

    Another month has flown by and once again it’s time to check in with my OLW. This month I’m revisiting gratitude. I’ve written about gratitude before (a LOT!) It was my OLW in 2008 and that year I made a little book and started filling one page a week with short, almost daily entries. The pages are filled with mostly little things about work, family (Katie was in college, Sara was in high school, and Marc traveled a lot), friends (including family who are friends), and crafting. I traveled a bit, too – mostly for work, and sometimes to see friends. One of those weeks was a simple entry written…

  • Food & Drink,  Just Life

    Choosing Thanks.

    I’ve had a version of this post knocking around in my brain since Tuesday. I spent most of that day prepping the food we’ll be sharing with Katie and her family this afternoon. Much of this year’s menu is new-to-us (Thanksgiving dinner is, for us, not about traditional dishes, and still, all about good food); the only thing I’m making for “not the first time” is cranberry sauce. Thanks to Sara’s great notes it turned out perfectly (also, the new not-a-le-creuset has now cooked a lot more than popcorn!) Before I started cooking, I printed out this year’s menuand all the new recipes. I made notes as I cookedand eventually,…

  • Just Life

    Back to Basics.

    Is anyone else amazed that September is nearly half over? yikes! It still feels very much like summer here, but there are early signs of a new season. The cherry trees are nearly bare of leaves, the grasses are turning, and the days are noticeably shorter. I’d been in a real funk on Thursday (empty house, nothing to look forward to … seemingly ever again 😉 ?!) and was surprised how just the simple act of reaching out to a tennis pro to schedule a lesson – have something to look forward to – changed my outlook. Saturday morning I listened to a podcast (The Next Right Thing episode 143…

  • Just Life

    TGIF | Gratitude.

    Oh my, I have loved the gratitude notes that Michelle popped into my inbox each morning this week. As a rule, I don’t check email before I begin my morning quiet time, but this week, I logged on briefly to snag a screenshot of her prompt. I logged a few comments with my morning journaling, then let the prompt sit … marinate even … and I was surprised – and delighted – with what all of that time turned up. My evening posts weren’t what my morning time envisioned. or some days even could’ve imagined. Is that gratitude at work? or time? I’d like to think it’s both. Thinking about…

  • Just Life

    Throwback Thursday | Thirty-four Years.

    On Sunday, Marc and I celebrated our 34th anniversary and he shared a few two-of-us throwback photos on Instagram. A few were actually new to me and I asked him to send them to me.  from the cover of our wedding album engagement photo – fall, 1983  November 19, 1983  2001 at Katie’s wedding – a favorite! this summer – and technically three of us 🙂 So this will be our 35th Thanksgiving together as a married couple. We spent our first Thanksgiving in Cancun (honeymoon) and I don’t remember much about Thanksgiving dinner that year except that it was a hotel buffet. The next year, though, we were in…

  • Just Life

    Three on Thursday | Grateful.

    …continuing with the theme: 1. Marc’s continued commitment to moving more. We went shopping on Monday for his second new pair of shoes this year. Walking 3.5 miles every morning wears out shoes! Here he is snapping a photo of the old and new pairs to share on Instagram (I love that, too!) 2. Those morning walks have been wonderful for our relationship, too. There is something about walking together that makes it easier to talk. Of course being outside – and away from the TV – is healthy too. 3. The encouragement and community around NaBloPoMo. I look forward to seeing all the posts in my feed reader ……

  • Just Life

    Three on Thursday | Grateful.

    …continuing with the theme I introduced last week: 1. Brighter mornings. I took this photo at about 7:30 Monday morning – no lamp light required! 2. Saying “yes” to something new. A friend texted me Monday to ask if I’d like to attend the book festival with her Tuesday afternoon. Both books sound like fun (and The Forever Summer has an interesting premise about the impacts of DNA testing on “family secrets” that might make for a great bookclub discussion). She also invited me to attend next Tuesday’s event when Nicole Krauss will be solo-ing. (I started reading Forest Dark last night.) 3. A slow morning. That’s me and my…

  • Just Life

    Three on Thursday | Grateful.

    Every day, as the last piece of that day’s journaling, I write down five things for which I am grateful. Partly to be intentional about gratitude. but also because it feels good to end each journal entry on a positive note. The Book of Joy lists gratitude as one of the Eight Pillars of Joy and devotes an entire chapter to it. I’m sure most of us reading the book are not at all surprised at how much joy comes from gratitude, but this: …people who focus on gratitude, by keeping a list of what they were grateful for, exercised more often, had fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their…

  • Just Life

    With a Grateful Heart.

    from my journal My morning devotion, from These Days, was based on Psalm 103. The first verse – copied above – sums up perfectly my feelings this morning. Yesterday was scary, but we are all ok: Mother’s power came back last night; Betty and her friend left early this morning to return to their homes in North Palm Beach. The sideways rain and wind showed up a leak in our porch roof that let water into our living room. And there are two big pine trees in the back yard that will hopefully be gone before we have another storm. Otherwise, we are just two tired folks (with one not-so-happy…

  • Just Life

    Slow Me Down.

    My neighbor Tom was moved to inpatient hospice care Friday evening.  Our little neighborhood is in a waiting place. Sunday afternoon in our neighborhood When I find myself failing to notice the beauty of a moonlit night, the abundance of harvests fruits and vegetables, the perfection of clouds agains a blue sky, slow me down and give me gratitude and reverence for all your gifts.  ~ from my Lenten devotion, p. 57 I started a shawl for my friend Renie (Tom’s wife). Knitting Kidsilk Haze on size 5 needles … is certainly slowing me down. I didn’t realize quite how perfect the project was until I read those words this…