Category Archives: Being Grateful


In no particular order, here are ten random things I am thankful for.

  1. I AM UNIQUELY ME!  and I no longer feel the need to apologize for it.
  2. LEARNING  –  You will learn something new every day if you just pay attention.
  3. THE DIVERSITY IN THE WORLD –  As Ghandi said “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization”.
  4. READING – without knowing how, I couldn’t read books or music. I couldn’t make notes, I couldn’t order off a menu. The list goes on.
  5. DO OVERS – We learn from our failures, not from our successes (I believe I am paraphrasing Bram Stoker here).
  6. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS – humanity at it’s best.
  7. THE POWER OF MUSIC – This is something I have experienced first-hand this year with dementia patients. Music will light a fire, bring a sparkle to the eye, animate and wake up the soul. “Music is the literature of the heart, it commences where speech ends.” Alphonse de Lamartine.
  8. THE FIVE SENSES – sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing.
  9. MY MORNING RITUAL – every day starts with a bath and a book!
  10. MEMORY – working with those that are losing theirs, I am more aware than I’ve ever been how grateful I am for being able to remember.

Other random things I am thankful for are salsa, puppies, laughter, sunlight, indoor toilets for starters.

There are also what I call the “Fantastic F’s” of Gratitude – family, friends, freedom, faith, food, fitness (ok – I’m working on this one) and many more. Can you add any?

“Never stop dreaming, never stop believing,
Never give up, Never stop trying, and
Never stop learning.” Roy T. Bennett

And most of all, I am thankful for you!!!!!

What are you thankful for?  And I’ll leave you with this quote by Mary Oliver:





“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” Sylvia Plath

Nobody is sure where this holiday came from, possibly from the greeting card industry, but that doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate it.

Today, take a long bath! Baths go back thousands of years. Bathing in public facilities was a way of life in Ancient Rome. You might take a dip in the calidarium (hot tub), or meditate in the laconicum (sauna) and finish with a swim in the frigidarium (cold pool). Business was conducted in the baths, complete with easting and drinking. Some public bathhouses could hold as many as 6,000 people at one time. But, this was for a short period of time, as diseases spread by water. AND, early viaducts were made of lead,  so they were also toxic.

At one point in Europe, many believes that dirt protected you from germs – so people didn’t bathe and perfumes caught on to mask odor.

But, thankfully by the early 1800’s, water regained acceptance and was equated with health. In fact, healing therapies were used, epsom salts and minerals became an approach to health. Spas appeared all over Europe.

“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

Did you know until the late 1940s, the average American only bathed once a week. Today, a daily shower is pretty much the way to go. But, I think everyone should indulge themselves in a long soak occasionally. So, get your favorite bubble bath product (or make your own), pick out some soothing music, light some candles and relax. Or do what I do, READ. In fact, I start each and every day with a bath and a book. I read so much in the bath, I treated myself to crayons made for the bath (for kids actually) and write words I want to look up at a later date on the wall! Here is an example – I could make a picture come out – but right now – my tub wall says “Feelings are Magnetic” and the word TAMJAM to look up later (it is a Croatian word for incense).

What are some of the advantage of a hot bath?

  • Improve Sleep – bathing before sleep raises the body temperature. So, when you are out of the bath, the body cools. This lets you body know it is time to rest. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water.
  • Lessen pain – a warm, not too hot bath relaxes the muscles. There is evidence that adding some Dead Sea salt can help with arthritis.
  • Helps dry skin – Oatmeal is a great skin softener – it coats the skin and locks in the moisture. Use colloidal oatmeal, it won’t sink to the bottom as much.
  • Lessen stress – probably the best known side effect of a warm bath

Making your own bubble bath is easy, and it ensures there are no extra chemicals. Mix together 1/2 cup of mild hand soap or baby shampoo, 1 TBS honey or sugar, 1 egg white, and if you have dry skin add some almond oil. Put in a few drops of your essential oil choice, and add it with the running water, and you are good to go!


Bravo! I’ll happily raise my glass to that!



Almost exactly a year ago, I declared a quest to read a book by an author from each state (read about it here).  For Colorado at the urging of more than one of my readers, I chose a book by Kent Haruf, a native of Colorado who died in November 2014. The book I chose is  Plainsong, which is the first book of a trilogy.

“This ain’t going to be no goddamn Sunday school picnic” (quote from book)

The book is set in the fictional town of Holt Colorado, located in the eastern plains near Kansas and Nebraska. According to New York Times author Verlyn Klinkenborg, 

“Haruf has made a novel so foursquare, so delicate and lovely, that it has the power to exalt the reader.”

In fact, the title Plainsong refers to unaccompanied church music that is typically sung in unison.

The book begins with teacher Tom Guthrue. His wife Ella is lying in the guest bedroom for who knows how long. Their sons, Ike and Bobby (9 and 10 years old) watch their mother slowly disappear mentally, until she physically leaves them.

High school student Victoria Roubideaux finds herself pregnant and evicted by her own mother. She turns to Maggie Jones, who is also a teacher. Maggie takes her in, but her senile father frightens Victoria. Maggie turns to the McPheron brothers, elderly gruff unmarried cattle farmers who agree to take her in.  

The book follows these characters from fall until late spring. While the  language is almost minimalistic, it packs a punch. There is heartbreak, grief and anger. But there is also love, humor and  kindness – as well as  beginnings of new lives and new families. The characters are decent, somewhat troubled human beings that are going on with their lives.

I loved this book, and I have the sequel Eventide to read!  While the book is somewhat stark, it steers clear of melodrama and sentiment,  telling the story of characters I deeply cared about.

I was just disappointed to find out Holt Colorado is a fictional town!

Some interesting facts about Colorado:

Is home to the world’s largest rodeo in Denver, The National Western Stock Show

Has the highest suspension bridge in the nation over the Royal Gorge 

Pagosa Springs is the home of the deepest hot spring in the world

Colorado means “colored red” and is known as the Centennial State.

The US federal government owns more than 1/3 of the land in the state.

It contains 75% of the land mass in the US with an altitude over 10,000 feet.

The 13th step of the state-capital building in Denver is one mile above sea level.

There are 52 peaks over 14,000 ft.

“America the Beautiful” was inspired by the view from Pikes Peak

and my favorite fact:

The world famous Read Rocks Amphitheatre is located here – it took 300 million years to create!

Next up – Connecticut. I have to admit, my reading is ahead of my blogging – I had read through Delaware and have made preliminary choices through Hawaii. But – I’ll still take requests!!!! 


This blog is part of the Soaring Sisters monthly blog circle.  This month there are 14 women participating around the world – and each of us at posting about gratitude.  We are linked to each other, so after reading this – click HERE to read the post by Karrlin Bain.  This will begin your journey through the circle!

I decided to go through the alphabet with my gratitudes – so here goes.

ART – As Neitzche said “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude”.

BEING ME – I have to admit, being thankful of being me was sometimes a struggle.  I had someone tell me about 20 years ago to have a love affair with myself!  One of the best pieces of advice I ever had.  Just remember, as Oscar Wilde said “Be yourself, everybody else is already taken”.

CREATIVITY – This is one of the things that makes this world a wonderful place and keeps it from getting boring.  Being creative means taking risks, looking at problem solving a new way.  In fact, this would be a good blog topic in the future.

DREAM – You have to dream it first, and if you pursue that dream, anything is possible.  

ERIN – my niece.  She is doing a remarkable job of taking care of my mother right now – and I am thankful for that every day!  

Mom and Erin

Mom and Erin

FRIENDS – new and old, and those I have yet to meet. 

GOD – need I say more?

HEALTH – this is something my family and I are blessed with.

INTERNET – it may seem a little lame, but without the internet I wouldn’t be writing this and connecting with women around the world.  

JOEL – my husband is an artist too.  He is supportive of my art and he gives great critiques. We have such a good time together.  He also takes good care of the dogs – what more could I ask for?

KNOWLEDGE – I am thankful I grew up in a country where education is compulsive.  I am thankful I have a lifelong desire to learn as much as I can.  

LAUGHTER – one of the sweetest sounds on the planet!

MUSIC – I am thankful I was instilled with a love of music at a young age.  I believe Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is the most  perfect piece of music ever written – and it always brings tears to my eyes when I hear it performed live (along with Rhapsody in Blue and Carmina Burana)

NIECE – along with Erin, it has been a pleasure to watch Mallory grow into a remarkable and beautiful young woman.



OPTIONS – I am glad I have options, or choices, in the decisions I make.

PARENTS – on the basic point, without them I wouldn’t be here.  However, I was taught at a very young age that we are all created equal.  That is something that has stayed with me, so thank you so my parents for teaching me that.  I’m not better than anybody and they aren’t better than me.

QUIET TIME – it took me A LONG time to learn this, but quiet time is important to having a healthy body, mind and soul.

READING – I love books as much as I love art – well, books are a form of art.  I read EVERY day and I’m glad I have a love for reading, which is knowledge and learning.

SUNRISE and SUNSETS – I’m thankful for every one I see.  It is another day to experience life.

TIME – it is your friend – you have to learn to use it.  I am glad I’ve learned that and know it is something to work on.

UNIQUE – I’m glad and thankful that I never strived to be like everybody else.  Maybe being left-handed and having red hair taught me early I was unique.  It is learning everybody is unique is important.

VISION –  I am thankful for having a vision of my life – it helps me overcome obstacles when times are tough.  Having a vision connects me with my passions to live life to the fullest

WONDER – I sincerely believe this is what keeps you young.  Wonder about everything – today my wonder was how and when traffic lights began – i’ll google that.

X – tough one –  I considered X-rays.  But I decided the letter X is unique and that is what makes the world go around.

YESTERDAY – without memories, where would we be?

ZIGGY – need I say more – i knew the minute I saw him – we belonged together.


ziggy and waylon

ziggy and waylon


what are you grateful and thankful for?

This is part of an international blog circle – I copied this from Karrlin Bain’s blog to complete the circle.

Blog Hop Map

I got this note HERE:  * “This blog circle is an international group so it’s a bit of a challenge to coordinate the different time zones. If you find that the circle is not yet complete, please check back later today!”