Monthly Archives: September 2006

Daily Gratitude

I really do like Oprah Winfrey. She’s got a book club. She calls attention to social issues that need to be addressed. She calls out politicians on their bad behavior. She’s trying to make a difference in the world, and I can get behind that.

Oprah has put out a call for gratitude. Specifically, she wants us to start keeping Gratitude Journals. The point, as Ms. Winfrey sees it, is to:

“list five things that happened this day that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life. If you can learn to focus on what you have, you will always see that the universe is abundant; you will have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.”

This works for me.

Kizz was the one who clued me in to this campaign. She’s been running gratitude posts for the last few days and it’s been good to share my own five items on her comments. What I discovered today, though – when I found that quote – is that the things you’re grateful for don’t have to be huge, monumental things. They can be every day things. You can (and should, I think) be grateful for your toaster, or for the smell of a crisp autumn morning, or for the purr of your cat at your feet.

While I may not POST five things every day, I will certainly pause to reflect on them. Here’s what I posted on 117Hudson this morning. Play along with me – let’s see if, as I suspect, it really does work:

1) my gizzy (aka Sidekick II cellular phone). It has a lovely alarm feature that can be set to any volume (or simply to buzz) and wakes me very gently. Love that.

2) fuzzy socks. I bought a pair at Eddie Bauer Outlet yesterday and they’re just yummy.

3) this was in my last list, posted on Kizz’s site, but I’m really, really grateful for it: hot water in the shower. I’m headed up to wash as soon as I hit “log in and publish” here.

4) the new tv season. We watched the newest CSI last night (and WHY was there no mention of the whole Grissom / Sarah thing?! It’s what we’ve all been waiting all summer for!) and have the new eps of Grey’s Anatomy and ER on the TiVo.

5) my cats. I have four of them – Te, Bear, Toeses and Small One – and I love them all. With the advent of cold nights, they’ve started coming in before we go to bed and staying in all night. When I went in to love my sleeping babies goodnight last night, Small One was curled up with Punkin’ between her knees and an enormous stuffed dog that takes up residence at the foot of the bed. We were all safely tucked in. I love that feeling.

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Feast or Famine

So, while I was finishing my graduate degree, I didn’t make much time for fitness. I still taught my Sunday morning classes – one step class and one yoga class – and I did an occasional yoga class at the university, but that was the extent of my physical training. I also stress-ate. A lot. Anything that I could eat one at a time – M&Ms, chips, nuts, pretzels – nothing was safe.

As a consequence, my butt expanded and my cardio-vascular fitness level plummeted.

Having graduated – and not having found a job – I find myself with more time on my hands. I promised myself that I would start working out again once I finished school, and I have. In the last 12 days, I’ve taught seven step classes, three yoga classes, and one strength class, and taken three step classes. This afternoon, I’m going with a friend to the gym to take a strength class and a step class. Tomorrow, I’m going for another step class before the new employee orientation at the college.

I’ve stopped stress eating, too. Here’s hoping it take less time to work my butt OFF than it took to put it ON…

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The Magic Flute

As a fourth grader, Punkin’ Pie was invited to join the band at school. There was a band demonstration a week or so ago where the students got to see a band in action and to look over the instruments to decide which they might like to try. Punkin’ came home with a list of available instruments and instructions on where to go in our town to rent them (and warnings about buying instruments online – I guess there are a fair bit of counterfeit instruments out on the web). When Daddy looked over the list, he mentioned that, when he was little, he played the flute.

“REALLY?!” Punkin’ asked.

“Yep,” Daddy said. “As a matter of fact, I bet that Grandmom still HAS it.”

“REALLY?!? Can we call her? RIGHT NOW?!?”

SO, Punkin’ Pie is the new owner of Daddy’s flute – all cleaned up and properly fixed and ready to play. This post is written to commemorate the playing of her first “real” song: she’s been blowing “Hot Cross Buns” for the last half an hour.

I’m SO glad she didn’t choose the trombone…

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Zoom, Zoom!

Something big must be getting ready to happen. There’s be an AMAZING amount of hardware flying out of the former Air Force base, now Air National Guard base, nearby. Our house happens to be in direct line of the landing path, so all that metal flies over us on its way back home.

I can’t really tell you what all the planes are (because then, I’d have to kill you… no, not really) because I don’t know for sure what they all are. I’ve heard Husband spit out letters and numbers (Husband: “oh, that’s a P141 Starlifter.” Me: “Really? Oh. Okay.”) but I CAN tell you that some of those planes are HUGE. And I mean even up in the AIR you can tell they are ginormous planes. It makes one wonder how, exactly, those monstrosities of metal and fuel manage to stay up.

One plane that I DO know how to identify is the F15 fighter. As I write this, they must be practicing touch-and-go because they’re essentially running loops around my house. I’ll hear them take off from the base (10 miles away by road – a lot closer as the proverbial crow goes). Then they’ll TEAR over my house – I very often miss them going by because they’re moving faster than the noise they’re making and I can’t get to the porch in time. Five minutes later they’ll come by the house again, going in the other direction, on their way back to the runway, then they’ll do it all over again. And when I say “they,” I mean THEY – there’s rarely one jet at a time, though one just went by all alone – there are usually at least two, and I’ve seen as many as four flying in formation.

It’s difficult to describe the rush that I get when these fighters whiz over my home. I’m not overly fond of flying, myself, and I’m not sure that I would WANT a ride in one of the planes, though I would think long and hard before passing up the opportunity should it ever come my way. The sheer speed and power that they boast seems to find its way under my skin, though, and I feel my own pulse quicken as they roar overhead. I certainly won’t be one of the neighbors calling the base to complain about the noise, though I find that my running to the porch to watch the planes zip past is making it very difficult for me to get anything of substance done these last few days…

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Which Are You….


A “windows open, breeze in your hair” kind of person?

Or a “windows up, A/C on” kind of person?

Guess which kind I am….

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Snapshot of a Tuesday Morning

6:40 – Mommy wakes to the sound of the train passing through town. The whistle meshed oddly with a most unpleasant dream I was having about aliens and the election of a president who promised to send away the youngest child of every family.

6:57 – Mommy wakes girls and informs them of the general weather conditions and asks what they might like in terms of lunch for the day

7:02 – Mommy realizes that Beanie hasn’t brought home her lunch box. Discusses with Beanie the importance of bringing the lunch box home and decides what to do about her lunch arrangements for the day

7:09 – finally settle with Punkin’ Pie that she can make her own damned lunch as she answers “no, thank you” to every option that comes her way

7:19 – Beanie comes downstairs from chatting with Daddy while he takes his shower. Punkin’ Pie is busily making peanut butter cracker sandwiches (“HOW is this different from the sandwich I offered you?!”) and being generally fussy about what else to have for lunch

7:27 – Beanie decides on toast for breakfast, then realizes that today is her field trip day. Well, then! That means you CAN’T have lunch in the cafeteria now, doesn’t it? Mommy hastily puts together a half a sandwich, a container of yogurt, an apple and a box of juice and wraps it all in a plastic grocery bag.

7:32 – Beanie realizes that the pretty skirt she’s wearing is inappropriate for a field trip to a county fair to see animals, so she interrupts her toast preparations to change into pants. Complimenting her on her good thinking, Mommy takes over the toast.

7:34 – Punkin’ Pie is STILL making her lunch, wandering aimlessly around the kitchen wondering what else to have. Note that she still hasn’t begun to think of breakfast. Mommy takes over at this point, including a cup of yogurt and a juice box, while sending Punkin’ toward the cereal cupboard.

7:46 – while the girls leisurely munch on toast and Life cereal, the bus drives by. Daddy’s eyes, not unjustifiably, roll.

7:53 – finally shod and jacketed, and complete with lunches (such as they are) and backpacks (which, hopefully, contain all the necessary homework and accessories), the girls and Daddy begin their (unanticipated) walk to school.

sigh

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Weird

My lack of techno-savvy has rendered me incapable of altering the date on a post I started the other day. If you’re interested in a native New Englander’s musings about the coming of autumn, scroll down past the love note to the hot water kettle…

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