Day 211 ~ There are 155 days remaining…

30 Jul

For little things that make life better, warmer, funnier, brighter, sweeter, richer, juicier, and more interesting. For all that makes up what is.

For the pieces of the past:

1. Today marks the start of the 30th week of the year; a new start is ahead, and our past has prepared us.

2. A trip home–the reminder of where I come from.

3. Time spent, and treasured forever in my recall.

4. For the times I stretched and found myself uncomfortable. It was then that I was growing.

5. For every opportunity I’ve ever taken to fly by the seat of my pants. The landing was sometimes tough, but it was always worth the ride.

6. For those who have frustrated me the most. They were masters. I see that now.

7. For the times I forgave myself and let go. With each act of conscious self-love, my load got lighter, while my life became richer.

8. For the patterns which can only reveal themselves through time. Look back, closely; you’ll see that, statistically speaking, everything is going to be OK.

For this one now moment:

1. Warm sheets drying on the line, in the breeze.

2. The smell of fresh bread baking in the oven.

3. The hummingbird that stares through my kitchen window…

4. Wind-chimes: The instrument the angels play.

5. Dogs, snoring.

6. Sharron Stroud. Happy Birthday today to one of the most profound human beings I’ve ever come to know, learn from, or love. A true master.

7. Children, laughing.

8. The chubby squirrel who eats from my Orange Tree and tosses the peals every which way..he is so cute.

9. Lunch with a Sister-Friend, anticipated.

For the blessings that are on their way:

1. Free choice–we’ve got power!

2. Tomorrows photo shoot for my new book with photographer, Karey Cottrell. I look forward to our time, and to moving one step closer to a finished product.

3. Thursday: You’re Invited!

4. That bread that’s baking is sure to be delicious..the scent that fills the house is making my mouth water.

5. Sun-Tea in a jar, sitting under the sun.

6. For Sundays. The whole day feels like morning.

7. For the endless possibilities that tomorrow holds. Endless..possibilities.

For the little things, we sometimes take for granted, that many others around the world JUST DON’T HAVE:

1. Clean Water.

2. A home.

3. Freedom.

4. Shoes.

5. Food for my children.

6. An education.

7. Choice.

8. Health Insurance.

9. Peace in my heart.

However, whenever..count your blessings.

Day 178 ~ For 20 Things I Know For Sure

26 Jun

For 20 things I know for sure…

  1. The hike to the top is tough enough sometimes without having to take absolutely everything with you.
  2. People will sometimes forget the things you do to support them. What matters in the end though, is that you walk away grateful for the exchange. And there is always an exchange. Call it, a gift exchange.
  3. At any point in time, we have the choice to turn our energy and focus to the light.
  4. We should not use the opportunity to look away “to light” as an opportunity to avoid looking at the life we’re living, and the contribution we came to offer. Let the world sting you–then remember that YOU have the power to change it all. Feel the sting. Let it move you..you’ve got work to do.
  5. You aren’t here to work alone. You are one magnificent wonder which is part of something even greater than our mind can imagine or our hearts can wrap around. You are an intricate piece of a master plan.
  6. Your purpose is not equal to your job, your family, your title, your position, paycheck or lack thereof. Your purpose can and will manifest through you, no matter the path you choose. Free choice is radical, and we are free to experience it ALL, knowing full well, and with absolute certainty that no matter where we are, who we’re with, how we earn our living or what others think, we are the living, breathing contribution..
  7. We don’t create Love–we ARE Love.
  8. People will let you down. Welcome to life.
  9. People will lift you up and save you, love you, embrace you, teach you and guide you. Welcome to life.
  10. Moonbeams don’t burn.
  11. The heart is always truthful. Follow your heart.
  12. It all means something.
  13. There is no faster, sweeter way to raise your own vibrational esteem than to love and be of service to others. This is a natural anti-depressant…talk to your Dr.
  14. You are no better than anyone else. However, you are the only one of you, and that makes you a perfect masterpiece. A one of a kind original, hand painted by God Himself.
  15. The people who hurt you, betrayed you, lied to you, lied about you, left you, bullied you, victimized you, tormented you, and shamed you need not be dragged with you to your highest peak. Let them go, and carry on. The view will be magnificent, and the clarity will empower you. Trust that. Free yourself, and move forward.
  16. You’ll never have it all figured out. Each of us are moving through a divine unfolding, all our own. This is Life–not a destination. Just be here. EnJoy the journey, and the gifts along the way. They’re everywhere, and they’re meant especially for you.
  17. Paying attention is a smart idea. (That’s all I have to say on that one..)
  18. Humor helps tremendously–again, talk to your Dr.
  19. We each came prepared with unique tools and talents. These tools and talents have the capacity to offer an endless tithe to the planet, should we say “yes”. We are born abundant~
  20. From rain will come flowers. Every single time. Like clockwork.

Life is good. You are loved. All is well.

Count your blessings.

100 Blessings on Fathers Day

18 Jun

When it comes to being my fathers daughter, this is just too easy..it’s every little thing about him. About US.🙂

1. For being chosen. I’m adopted, and under unusual circumstances, too..I’m grateful to be my fathers daughter.

2. For those who say “You’re so much like your Dad.” (I’m flattered!)

3. For magic circle hugs.

4. For birthdays that always made me feel like a princess.

5. Cards in the mail from Dad, “just because”..

6. Long stories told by Dad..the kind that draw me in, and make me forget where I am..I lose myself in the vision he paints with his words.

6. For honor.

7. For long lines of amazing people who preceded my father, and taught him everything he knows about being a man. (My God Im grateful for those examples who loved him enough to lead him.)

8. For the example he is to my sons.

9. For the example he’s always been to me.

10. For an exemplary father, who is MINE. He more than made up for the ones who walked away.

11. For the ones who walked away..they made space for my Dad to come in and embrace me, Love me, raise me, and accept me just the way I am, no matter what. *Because of him, I know it’s possible. He taught me Love.

12. For memories that make us laugh until we cry..

13. For memories that used to make us cry, that now we can finally laugh about.🙂

14. For Grandma Phyllis. Amazing mothers raise amazing men.

15. For mismatched socks. That always makes me smile.

16. For 450,000 ties to choose from.

17. For my Dads compassionate heart.

18. For his quick wit.

19. For his sound reason. God, he’s smart.

20. For the fact that he still won’t let me drive his car..too funny. (Parallel parking was a challenge of mine in my teen years, as were those pesky “One-Way” streets..Pffft. I’m better now!)

21. For radio shows where I get to the chance to tell the world how wonderful he is. Still grateful to Nancy Ferrari for the opportunity just a few weeks ago on Beach Cities Radio, AM 1680.🙂

22. For the escape of the beach house. Home is where the heart is..and where Dad is.🙂

23. For Home.

24. For the roar of the ocean-

25. Sea air from the balcony-

26. City lights from the hilltop-

27. Mac n cheese, made special. It was “Dads Mac n Cheese”.

28. For first bikes

29. First cars

30. First dates

31. Beagles.

32. A love for nature

33. A deep appreciation for planet Earth

34. A place in my heart for butterflies

35. A life immersed in creativity

36. Dads stories of adventure during his early days,

37. For his life. He was shot..and he’s alive! (He’s Superman. Yeah I might sound bias, but it’s true. Superman.)

38. For his humor. He makes me laugh until my sides and cheeks ache..😀

39. For his forgiving heart.

40. For his ethical ideals.

41. For his dedication and commitment to contributing all he can to the world, sharing, honoring and passing on years of research, knowledge, wisdom and generosity through his work, and now, his publications.

He’s an inspiration to me, and to all who are touched by him.

42. For his bravery.

43. For his rich life experience, and the lessons he’s shared with me..

Especially about Love, Patience and Compassion.

44. For Sawdust days.

45. Work at the booth days.

46. Help in the office days.

47. Beach days.

48. For a father who taught me to work hard-

49. Put family first-

50. Rest-

51. Pray.

52. For his perspective..

53. His open heart.

54. His “up to something” grin. : )

55. For nicknames that never, ever go away.

56. For the moment you realize that you love those nicknames because without them, the world might tilt..

57. For days like this.

58. For all the yesterday’s that brought us to today..even the tough yesterday’s.

59. For little gifts. He thinks of us, always.

60. For souvenirs.

61. For Christmas Tree ornaments, decades old..thanks, Dad.

And Grandma Phyllis.

62. For scars..Dad remembers where they came from. Especially the ones (plural) from when I slid down the driveway running after the ice cream truck..

63. For the honesty between us. He’s my friend..a best friend, even. Not just my Dad.

64. His perseverance showed me that all you have to do to get where you want to go is, keep going!

65. For the advice ill never forget: Don’t trample through the forest in a mad hunt..be patient. It will come to you.

66. Silly pictures-

67. Goober jokes-

68. A freezer full of his daughters homemade food in meal sized portions..

*DO THIS! Parents love it.🙂
Especially single, busy, or elderly parents. What an easy way to love..

69. (Seriously, 69, already? My Dad makes this too easy..)

69. That my Dad makes this so easy.🙂

70. Long car rides to se the wildflowers in Gorman

71. For ice cream cones..as quick as it hit the sidewalk, Dad was replacing it.

72. For Cowgirl Boots, brought back from the State Fair of Texas, just for me.

73. For Disneyland, every time.

74. For a love for the Sea, and the beautiful creatures who live there.

75. For his Love for my children. He is their Superman, too.

76. Sound auto advice-

77. Zero marital advice-

78. For his generosity of Spirit-

79. Unbridled support of my dreams-

80. Constant motivator, encourager, cheerleader.

81. “You never lose when you stand up for yourself in the light of your truth.”

Even if it feels like you’re falling on your a$$..

82. Dad has been EVERYWHERE. Name a place…he’s likely been there and can tell you local secrets.

From NYC to the jungles of Burma and Bali, he’s been…

Yeah, pretty much everywhere.

83. For his example of the value of a good education. My boys honor him..if he can do it, they can do it. They want to be just like him.

(They don’t want to be lawyers, but in many other ways, yes, JUST like him.)

84. For long emails that go on about the little things..

85. For short emails that say little but let me know he’s there, thinking of me.

86. I’m grateful he’s proud of the life I’m living.

87. Lizards.

88. A catfish who was like family

89. A cat named Henry

90. A bedroom in blue and yellow

91. A golden locket, around my neck

92. A heart and mind aligned with his

93. A night to reflect on abundant blessings

94. For divine order

95. For history, rich and deep

96. For the sanctuary of the Father-Daughter relationship.

97. For a day spent in the very best company a girl could ask for..my love, my dad, my boys, all in the same place. (Heaven on Earth.)

98. For the hours of Chutes & Ladders as a child, and for the HOURS I tied up the phone line as a teen..thanks, Dad.
🙂

99. For your steady hand, Dad..

100. And your tender heart.

(I love you, so.)

Happy Fathers Day, Friends!

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260 Blessings–in ABC Order

12 May

And because I seem to have had some successes with ABC order…

🙂

Gratitude for today, May 12th, 2012–10 Blessings per Letter in ABC Order

A

  1. Apples, green ones, with peanut butter.
  2. Artichokes.  I don’t care what they cost, I still buy them.
  3. Assumptions.  Looking back, they’re always hysterical.
  4. Anchovies.  Once when I was about 7 or maybe 8, my dad was SUBMERGED in studying for the Ca. State Bar Exam.  He studied, and studied..and I missed his “Magical circle hugs” and trips to 31 flavors.

I opened up the anchovies…I don’t even like anchovies…and sat at his feet underneath his desk, and I began to eat them.  I remember at that point that he realized I need more attention.   I’ve since had a deep appreciation for anchovies.  (ick.)

5. Angels.  They’re everywhere, and I’d be lost without them.

6. Art- and creative expression- the outlet in which to free the spirit of it’s voice when there simply are no words.

7. Alliance

8. Allegiance

9. Answered prayers—even when they seemingly go unanswered.

10. Anchors—in Love, in Faith, in Family, in Service.

 

B

1. Beaches

2. Birthday Parties (Birthday CAKE, especially..)

3. Balance.  Balance.  Balance.  Balance.

4. Blessings, in ABC order, at the table before meals, in conversation, or in prayer.  To count them, and feel grateful is such a powerful way to invite MORE of all there is to be grateful for INTO your life experience.  How blessed are we to have been given such a simple, nurturing tool, to use whenever we wish, as often as we feel like.

 5. Barley, my dog.  He’s 11 today. J  Happy Birthday BARLEY BEAR!  I love my fur-kid so..he’ll never know.

 6. Babies.  (I love babies so much.)

 7. Bicycling with my boys

 8. BOYS.  I think boys, young and old, are spectacular beings.  So compassionate, so loving, so tender.

 9. Baking

 10. Barbeques with friends and Family –baked beans, blue umbrellas, beach balls in the pool, and sun block…because babies burn! 

 

(Childhood melanoma is on the rise 3% EVERY YEAR.)

 

C

  1. Carrots (California grown organic, please.)
  2. Capes on little boys who are positive they have super powers.
  3. Caves-off to explore caves on horseback with my father next month—I love exploring, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to take this trip with him.
  4. Compassion
  5. Characters—everywhere, all of ‘em.
  6. Cartoons on Saturday mornings
  7. Caring friends
  8. Calm…most appreciated of course, after a storm.
  9. Carnations.  (Those flowers seem to live forever.)
  10. Candid thoughts, uncensored.

D

  1. Dogs..mine, theirs, yours and especially nobody’s.
  2. Dreams—big Dreams, Day Dreams, Dreams come true.
  3. Deliverance.
  4. Determination.
  5. Dad!  (I’m blessed to be my father’s daughter)
  6. Deer on the hill, eating wildflowers at dawn
  7. Dandelions.
  8. Divine Appointments
  9. Due Diligence
  10. Discovery—

E

  1. Ears to listen
  2. Eyes to see
  3. Envelopes with old Love Letter inside
  4. Endeavors of the heart
  5. Embraces of greatness
  6. Eleven-my favorite number
  7. Engraved lockets
  8. Enchanted hearts
  9. Envisioned possibilities
  10. Empathetic Humans

F

  1. Freedom
  2. Finish Lines
  3. Fire-flies
  4. Family ties
  5. Fleeting moments
  6. Future Plans
  7. Fairy-tales
  8. Forgiveness
  9. “Found” Signs
  10. Finger Paintings

G

  1. Go karts
  2. Gratitude
  3. Green Initiatives
  4. Gardening—in the garden, I feel Nana with me.
  5. Good Idea’s
  6. Go-Getters
  7. Green Tea
  8. Gifts from the heart
  9. Gracious Souls
  10. Gate-Keepers

H

  1. Hello’s from strangers
  2. Hugs from loved ones
  3. Holding Hands
  4. Harriett—
  5. Happiness, self-created, chosen, claimed and celebrated.
  6. Healing
  7. Hope.  I used to despise this word.  I saw it as clingy, desperate, and full of fear.  Today, I know that HOPE is what keeps us all holding on.  I know now that it was Hope that, at times, saved my life.
  8. Harmony
  9. Hula-Hoops
  10. Heaven on Earth

I

  1. Ireland.  (Someday, I’ll take the walking tour through the Castles…I’m so looking forward!)
  2. Irish Proverbs
  3. Island Get-A-Ways
  4. Insight
  5. Indulgence-in the wonder of possibility, the release of self expression, and the Spirit of the Self.
  6. Immediate recognition of a stranger
  7. Inspiration
  8. Innovation
  9. “I love you”
  10. “I AM” cards by Traci Carman

J

  1. Jesus
  2. June (Schools OUT!)
  3. Joy
  4. Jars—specifically “Love Jars”
  5. Journeys
  6. Justice
  7. Jazz Festivals
  8. Juicy Oranges
  9. Jeans that fit PERFECTLY.
  10. Jig-saw Puzzles.  (Unless I’m missing a piece.)

K

  1. Kites
  2. Keepers
  3. Kisses
  4. Kismet
  5. Kindle
  6. Kiddos
  7. Kindness
  8. Klondike Bars (I couldn’t help it, sorry)
  9. Kitties
  10. Kettle Corn

L

  1. Love
  2. Laughter
  3. Life
  4. Legacy and the option to leave one.
  5. Learning
  6. Luminous Light
  7. Lunch dates
  8. Low rates
  9. Legos
  10. Lemons

M

  1. Motherhood
  2. Marshmallows toasted over a campfire
  3. Mountains to climb
  4. Music to dance and sing to, melt into, move with
  5. Mornings
  6. Mud Masks
  7. Mellow days
  8. Mind over matter
  9. Mistletoe in May
  10. Mistakes…or rather, the fact that there really aren’t any.

N

  1. Nudges
  2. Noble deeds
  3. Nana
  4. Needlepoint passed down in dusty boxes
  5. Nightlights (Where there is light, darkness cannot exist.)
  6. Nests filled with fuzzy baby birds in Spring
  7. New Thoughts
  8. Next Steps
  9. Natural Instincts
  10. Neutral Heart-Space

O

  1. Opportunity
  2. Open Minds
  3. Orange Cats
  4. Overgrown flower gardens
  5. Ocean views
  6. Odd folks
  7. Options
  8. Old Shoes
  9. Old Books
  10. Old Souls

P

  1. Possibility
  2. Purpose
  3. Potential
  4. Promise
  5. Please and Thank you
  6. Play
  7. Peace
  8. Perfect imperfection
  9. People
  10. Preparation

Q

  1. Quick thought
  2. Quicker Wit
  3. Quail—the babies are so, SO cute in the spring.
  4. Questions..you don’t know until you ASK!
  5. Quiet.  An opportunity for a sweet escape, no matter where you are.
  6. Quitting time…or rather, knowing WHEN it’s quitting time.  J
  7. Qat.  A flower that grows from a cactus—a great word to know for Scrabble.
  8. Quarters made before 1964
  9. Quality relationships
  10. Quotes that inspire ACTION.

R

  1. Romantic gestures
  2. Reading aloud
  3. Rest
  4. Rallies
  5. Reminders
  6. Reciprocation
  7. Reflection
  8. Root-beer Floats
  9. Reunions
  10. Red Dresses. J

S

  1. Sons
  2. Sweet Dreams
  3. Sweet Tarts
  4. Sacred plans
  5. Silly Sisters
  6. Sack lunches on field trips
  7. Sure things
  8. Sunscreen….
  9. Strawberry Lemonade
  10. Service

T

  1. Truth
  2. Tails, wagging
  3. Tree houses
  4. Tire Swings
  5. Tea Rooms
  6. Tiny Dogs in clothes
  7. Teachers and Teachable Moments
  8. Trust—in the Self and in the Process
  9. Tile (on my mind as I shop for it and prepare to create a mosaic tile top kitchen island.)
  10. Treasures. 

U

  1. Umbrellas.   “To anyone chooses to rain on our parade—we’ve got umbrella’s!” ~Laura Marlowe, Author of Tommy the Throwaway Dog, and Soul Sister of my heart.
  2. Un-doing a done—not always possible, but not always impossible, either.
  3. Untamed hearts.
  4. Uncanny resemblances
  5. Unearthed treasure from within
  6. Undeniable adoration
  7. Unicorns.  (A long time ago, when the earth was green…)
  8. Up-hill Climbs.  We’re always stronger for them.
  9. Ugg Boots (warm)
  10. Unsung Heroes

 

 

V

  1. Vacations and far a way places
  2. Variety –of life, experience, ice cream and culture
  3. Victory
  4. Varandas
  5. Valuable lessons
  6. Valued mentors
  7. Vegetarian dishes
  8. Velveteen Rabbits in houses everywhere
  9. Valentine’s Day
  10. Ventriloquists’—I love this talent! 

W

  1. Wise Souls
  2. Wishes some true
  3. Walking the dogs
  4. Willpower
  5. Warning signs
  6. Windows with Dog Art (Nose prints, whatever..)
  7. Water Wheels
  8. Wind chimes
  9. Worry free days (which can be every day, by the way.)
  10. Wyland

X

(I can do it…I can find 10 things I’m grateful for that start with the letter “x”.  If I get creative…)

  1. Xi.  (I can appreciate the formality.)
  2. Xyst (I always love a good scrabble word and know many…I have no idea what many of them mean, BUT, I know there are these great words…)
  3. Xis.  (No letter of the Greek Alphabet could ever be left out, and this just happens to be the 14th one…)
  4. Xylem.  Trust me, without this, we’d have no plant-life.
  5. Xerox copies of smooshed faces
  6. Xylophones..hours of fun as a kid, and I’m sure that this instrument not only contributed to the healthy development of the right side of my brain, it  ALSO gave me a future “X” word  for challenges such as these…  Yep, I’m grateful for Xylophones.
  7. XO (That’s a kiss and a hug.)
  8. X-Factor. 
  9.     X    X

                0

            \_____/

 

(Totally getting creative here..)

10.  …X.  Just X.  For the versatility and fun, and challenge that X brings to OUR alphabet.  Sure, I could have said “X-Ray”, or X-Man, or (there was one more..), but I’ll just say X.  I always appreciate a challenge of my creative mind.

Y

  1. Yellow—ANYTHING!   Such a happy color. J
  2. Yard sales.  Not so much having them, but…
  3. Yarn…oh, the possibilities.
  4. You (thank you)
  5. Yearning
  6. Yes—I love “YES”
  7. Yesterday.  It brought me to today.
  8. Yen—yet another great Scrabble word.  (Scrabble is one of my ALL TIME favorite games…LOVE Scrabble.  Obviously.  That and “Taboo”..LOVE that game!)
  9.  Yearbooks-there to remind you it was real, and that you made it.  Moving around so much as a child, I was left with very few, but the ones I do have, I cherish.
  10. Yogurt—frozen, preferably.

 

Z

  1. Zebras
  2. Zoo’s like the Wild Animal Park
  3. Zippers…I’m grateful for zippers, aren’t you?
  4. Zappos www.zappos.com
  5. Zainy Critters
  6. Zanier people
  7. ZZzzzzz..(sleep..stay with me, I can do this.)
  8. Zapata’s
  9. Zee For Hair (My memory is LONG.)
  10. Zest, Zeal, and Zealousness!  Gosh, why not choose to feel completely MOTIVATED?

Count your blessings—no matter how and no matter how many.

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

 Image

Day 84 ~ “Oso” The Puppy

24 Mar

Blessings for today, March 23

1. For “Oso”…or should I say “Osito”?

2. For puppy breath.

3. For endless puppy pictures…I swear he gets cuter every 5 minutes.

I swear he does…

4. For friends who think of me after a rescue mission–I’m so honored, and so grateful.

5. For midnight “Potty Time” under the stars with my little bear (“Osito”).

6. For Barley.

He’s such a good big brother to baby Oso, and he’s so patient. I’m so blessed to be the mom to these two fur-angels.

What are you grateful for today??

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Days 53-83 ~ 30 Days and 150 Reasons to feel *Grateful*

18 Mar

The past 30 days have been a whirlwind, of which I’m grateful for the opportunity to recall in the form of 150 blessings…

*Unedited Gratitude:

My grandmother passed away, just days before my birthday in late February.  She’s mentally checked in and out (so to speak) slipping into Alzheimer’s  in these final years, and the journey was long–especially for my father, who cherished her with all his heart, and who provided only the very best in terms of care and support, but who rarely was even recognized, or remembered..

I always loved her.  She used to say “Oh, thanks, thanks”, twice like that.  Not “thank you”, but rather, “Oh, thanks, thanks.”  She used to snort a little when she got to laughing hard, and she smiled almost always (as Joy was her natural state),  and she giggled at almost everything, and found the humor in almost anything.  Her smile was radiant, and her energy attracted some of the most beautiful people in the world.

She was a Hollywood Movie and Television Actress…she starred in I love Lucy, The Ten Commandments, and the list goes on.

I never did ask her much about any of that, because whenever I tried, she shrugged it all off like it was no big deal, and changed the subject.

I think I’ve seen every I love Lucy episode, watching for Grandma Phyllis. 

She always came to spend Easters at the Beach House, and Grandma Phyllis and Dad were always just as eager as I was to head over to the high school for the annual egg hunt.  I’d ride with her in her car, because then I didn’t have to miss her company.  Her car was as immaculate, and well kept as she was.

She was stunning.

What a beautiful woman to have in my life for so many years.

Day’s before she made her transition, I went out sailing/whale watching with my Dad and boys–we saw more dolphins than we had ever seen before in our entire lives.  It was as if the ocean had come alive, as thousands of jumping, smiling dolphins danced across the water for as far as the eye could see, and right up next to our boat.  It was…likely one of the most…magnificent, and profound natural events I’ve ever witnessed.  We couldn’t believe our eyes…

We all wished Grandma Phyllis was there to see what we were seeing.  Her most favorite creature on Gods green Earth, was the dolphin.

1. I’m grateful for memories; the fastest, safest way to travel back in time to the brightest places.

2. I’m grateful for grandmothers–I had two of them, and was blessed to have them in my life well into my 30’s..how blessed am I.

3. For Grandma Phyllis’s freedom.  She is free now~free to swim with the dolphins.

My youngest heard me talking with my Dad about the Dolphins, and their freedom paralleling her own now, and later my 7 year old Man-Sprout asks me, “Mommy, did all those Dolphins come for her?”

4. For the brilliant mind, clear perspective and open heart of a child.

5. For her legacy–one of unbridled love, relentless trailblazing, humor and exquisite kindness.

6. For Reruns.

7. For the example of my father–what a kind, loving, and compassionate man.

8. I’m grateful for Edible Arrangements–Dad said the large bouquet of Chocolate covered strawberries actually DID help sooth his soul!

9. I’m grateful I opted against flowers, and instead sent chocolate covered berries, and made a donation in her honor to Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

AND

10. I’m grateful for a birthday spend on the water kayaking with my family, watching the sea lions bounce around the harbor, and the waves roll in with the grey clouds following close behind…

11. Fish and Chips

12. A Live Band

13. A strong hand

14. New places

15. Familiar faces

16. Souvenirs

17. Laughter through tears

18. for Blessings that rhyme

19. I don’t do this all the time!

Anyway…

I came across an old friend.

I found her Etsy site online—her last name was hyphenated, indicating I’d found my childhood friend, and reminding me that we were both now all grown up.

She’d become an artist, and was selling her ceramic jewelry online.  I loved what I saw, and one bracelet in particular, one with little butterflies on it, had clearly been made for me.

I purchased it, included a short note, and waited for my bracelet to arrive.

The small package arrived within days, and the bracelet was even more exquisite in person than it had been in the pictures, and I quickly put in on, and moved it slowly around my wrist, catching every detail of one of the prettiest, most perfect things I’d ever purchased for myself.  I saw the tiny butterflies, so intricately painted, and remembered us as little girls, running barefoot through the sawdust from my booth to hers, laughing almost always–

And,  I remembered her little brother, and wondered if he remembered me, too—I always have wondered what he remembered from that day…

I’ve never forgotten that day; not a single detail.

Inside the box my bracelet came in, was a note from Sierra, including her phone number, and an “if you’re ever here in Vegas” note.

While I felt like I’ve been everywhere else during the months that followed, I hadn’t been to Vegas, so I hadn’t called her, but I did wear my favorite bracelet quite often, and I always received compliments, and thought of her when I did.

One day, a woman in a restaurant walked by and stopped at my table to admire the piece of jewelry, and even moved it around my wrist, the way I did when I first saw it, taking  in every detail, and finally asking, “Wherever did you find such a unique piece of jewelry?  I love this!”

As I wrote down Sierra’s online information on the back of my business card for the stranger, I wondered to myself, “why haven’t I reached out and why hadn’t I let her know just how many people go crazy over the beauty she expresses through her art?

Later that night, I called the number in her little note inside the box my bracelet came in, but there was no answer; and I was unprepared to leave a message, so I hung up, vowing to try again another time.

Not even 10 minutes later, she called me back, and after 30 minutes of catching up through our familiar laughter, that day came up.

Her little brother did remember the day, and she remembered the day, too, although she’d forgotten about how it had been in the newspaper.  I think I only remembered that it was in the newspaper because the reporter stated that “2 boys had nearly been abducted at Bluebird Park”, but it wasn’t 2 boys.  It was a little boy and a little girl, and those children were her little brother, and Me.

We talked about that day, and what we recalled.  Her little brother remembered too, and she said, “in fact, not even 10 days ago, we talked about that…how weird.

Then she asked, “What happened?”

Sierra and I talked about the way it had affected us all in our parenting today, and about our children, families, work and lives, and reminisced over a childhood we both agreed was a gift in that dreamy little town.  The fun we had, the trouble we got into, and the smoothies we shared…it’s as if it all happened yesterday.

All you need to bring the beauty and joy of yesterday alive again, is an old friend.

Oh, and what happened that day??

Well…

We all, even her little brother, went to the Girls Club after school every day.

The girls Club sat nestled above Bluebird Park, and every day, a councilor or two would take us down to the park to play.  Sierra’s little brother was cute; I always liked him, and always felt sorry for him when he’d get left out.  On this particular day, he wandered off alone and up the bike path, behind the tall trees, and sat on the curb of the bike path to play alone in the dirt.

Across the path from him, and just up from the tall trees were some logs—like telephone poles, all placed strategically for children to climb on.  Leaning on the poles, across from where he was playing in the dirt, a man forced a “casual” lean, but his energy was anything but casual as he watched my small friend with long shaggy blond hair, play innocently and unsuspectingly in the dirt.

I immediately had a bad feeling about the man, and went to where *Sam was playing, and said, “come on Sam, let’s go,“ while the man stared on. 

I remember Sam arguing, and I remember him being intent on staying right where he was, and I remember getting upset with him and scared all at once. I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t leave him there alone…

I looked at the man, and his eyed locked with mine.  I remember the sick feeling in my stomach… the urgency in my chest.

“Come ON, Sam, let’s GO!” I demanded, and the next thing I remember was wondering how that man could move so fast.

I remember him coming at us, so fast, his arms stretched out wide, like an eagle honing in on its prey, as he reached out for us both, and I remember my scream…one continuous scream that surely all of Laguna Beach could hear, and I ran, screaming…

Terrified and running down the bike path, I looked back, hoping to God that Sam would be running right behind me—praying that he got away.

I saw the man, running up the hillside toward the parking lot in the distance, and Sam running right behind me, his look of sheer terror, and his shaggy blond locks bouncing with every step…

We got away.

And we never forgot it.

Where were we?  Ah…#20.

20.  We got away.

21. For old friends to take us back to the brightest places within the reach of our recall.

22. For lessons learned.

23. For my bracelet–I *love, love, love* my bracelet.

24. For unique and perfect gifts unto the Self.

25. For butterflies..

26. For those old friends who hyphenate their last name, making themselves easier to find!

27. For black and white mental pictures of yesterday, suddenly infused with color when ever so slightly reminisced upon.

28. Sawdust, Bare Feet, Baby Dolls, Butterflies, Sleepovers, and Smoothies.

29. And little brothers, too.

30. And for Dr. Seuss…he turned 108!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss,

Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday from Us,

And from Thing 1 and Thing 2!

31. For the Lorax–I loved it.
Check out the song, “How Bad Can I Be.” 

Brilliant.

32. For the truth, in riddle.

33. For the truth in song.

34. For Movie dates with a 7 year old who insists we hold hands.

Again I ask, is there a gift more grand than motherhood? 

As I prepare to launch my next book, I struggle still with my cover art.  SO, I decided to accept the challenge, and paint my own cover…

35. For second, third, and 45th tries.

36. For determination.

37. For art classes…

38. For the forgiving medium called, “Watercolor”.

39. For Inspiration~found absolutely everywhere, in everything, and inside of everyone.

40. For aspirations…good things come to those who dream.

For the 5 things I know:

41. It’s happening FOR you..not TO you.

42. Love IS the Answer

43. JOY is your birthright

44. UNITY ROCKS.

45. Gratitude heals.

(Thank God.)

46. For stirred pots and rocked boats.

47. For Girl Scout Cookies…specifically, “Thin Mints”.

48. For Project Forgive, created by my friend and EBC Council colleague, Shawne Duperon.  It’s one of the most powerful films being produced right now, and I have personally sponsored this project.

I have quite a bit of experience in the forgiveness department…

49. For my friend and fellow children’s book author, Laura Marlowe, author of “Tommy the Throwaway Dog”, who took my book, “What Love Is A-Z” to a school with her recently, and sent me a picture, and a recap that melted my heart…

I love what I do, I love the people work with, I love the children who inspire us all to continue doing what we’re doing, and I love that I’m living my biggest dream.

50. I’m grateful for the questions and comments from the students:

51. “Can I write “K” and “H” for kisses and hugs instead of “X” and “O”?

52. “I like the picture where the friend is helping a friend in a wheel chair”.

53. “Is Elle’s hair really that dark?” (a child asked, referencing my photo on the back of my book).

54. “I like the picture of the sleeping butterfly at the end..”

55. “Love is a dangerous game”, said one precocious – yet totally adorable – 7 year old.

For gentle reminders to the heart in Quotes:

56. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~Dr. Seuss

57. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

58. “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~Anais Nin

59. “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

60. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~J.K. Rowling

61. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ~Lewis Carrol

62. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

63. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~May Sarton

64. “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” ~Mitch Albom

65. “May you live every day of your life.”  ~Jonathan Swift

And for Writers Quotes~~~

66.

‘There is no test of literary merit except survival, which is itself an index to majority opinion.’

George Orwell

67.

‘F*** this, I’ve had enough of writing.  I don’t like the book world.  I don’t like most books, even.  I don’t like sitting on my own in a room for hours on end.’

Alex Garland on writing your second novel (which took him nearly ten years) 

HAHA!  Which leads me to the best advice I’ve ever been given as a writer:

68. “Write what you know.” ~Stephen Hobbs, Best Selling Author, World Speaker and Global Visionary

69. (Is this my 69th blessing already?)

For how easy, fun, inspiring and magical it is to sit and reflect on life’s magic–

70. And back on track..

‘Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.’

William Wordsworth

For a few of my favorite things:

71. Peanut butter on toast

72. 71% OFF sales  at The Mint Fashion Exchange (I LOVE THAT PLACE!)

73.  New shoes

74. Background Music

75. Fancy Shoe laces in converse tennies

76. For people who say, “Wow what bight shoe laces you have”, because then I get the chance to say, “As bright as your mouth is big!”

(OK, I haven’t actually said that out loud….yet.)

77. For For those who inspire me to write a book of etiquette.  I’ve been inspired for quite some time now…

78. For those who only reach out when they want or need something.  I don’t feel angry–I feel reminded.

79. For choice.  The perspective we embrace is ours to choose–how we feel is up to us entirely.

80. Fresh Squeezed OJ

81.  Clean Sheets

82. Hot water

83. Good friends

84. Big plans

85. Dreams come true

86. Open doors

87. Open Hearts.

88. Current humanitarian calls for action

89. Those brave enough to cross the lines and reach the masses

90. For Justice.

91. Truth Tellers

92. Way See’ers

93. Light Givers

94. Trail blazers

95. Heart Inspired Leaders

For the In’s and Out’s of Daily Life:

96. For my broken finger–I’m completely intrigued by just how fast I can type with just 9 fingers and a splint.

97. For the curling iropn burn on my forehead–a reminder that I am having a human experience here and that I need to slow down and take care…or keep burn cream on hand.

98. For the mail lady who brings biscuits to my Pup

99. For Printer Bees, printerbees.com.  Ask for Nicole, and tell her Elle Febbo sent you.  THIS COMPANY ROCKS!   Above and beyond in customer service, and their quality is DIVINE.  Now, the school children in the Alhambra School District will each have a FREE “What Love Is A-Z” Bookmark.

THANK YOU PRINTER BEES!

100. For 100 blessings sitting at the forefront of my heart and fingertips, aching to move through me, and attract even more of all there is to feel abundantly grateful for.

****

50 more?

Sure!

Onward–

101. For the people in my life who make it all worth while no matter how challenging the journey can become, reminding me of my divine tools and talents; reminding my soul that I have been perfectly and divinely prepared to live this life.

102. For Insight

103. clarity

104. Humor

105. curiosity

106. Forgiveness

107. Balance

108. Freedom to let go

109. Tenacity

110. Gusto

111. Prayer

112. Prayers answered

113. Time…

114. Boundaries

115. Rules

116. and the courage to break the rules–

117. 1st World Problems

118. 3rd World Masters

119. Compassionate leaders

120. For a Beta state of mind

121. Spring Break

122. Spring Cleaning

123. Spring…just Spring.

124. For the little boy cuddled up close to my right

125….for exactly where I am, right this second.

126. For homemade smoothies

127. Rented Movies

128. Rainy Days

129. Gabriel Meyers (Please Google this 7 year old messenger.)

130. For Hope

131. For Love

132. For Change

133. For those who speak for the voiceless, stand for the battered, and Heal the wounded

134. For the possibilities–equal only to the number of stars in the infinite night sky.

135. For Boggle for Books through RIFSoCal–will I see you htere!  Come play boggle with me!

136. For all who donated dresses, shoes, handbags and accessories to the Belle of the Ball event for the Orangewood Foundation.

Read more about this event and why I’m involved here: Entertainment News Express

To learn more about the Orangewood Foundation or Orangewood Childrens Home, visit http://www.orangewoodfoundation.org

137. For Dr. Rev. Sharron Stroud, Innerfaith Spiritual Center Worldwide, Palm Springs Ca.–her example, leadership and authentically loving heart leave me in awe.  I’m grateful to her for reminder to my Spirit that I have a story to share and should never be ashamed of being a former  foster child.  She is the mother of my heart.

138. For choice–and for every choice I’ve ever made.

139. For the divine unfolding of life.  The suspense is fantastic!

140. For the option of quietly letting go to what no longer offers room for growth

141. For Authenticity–the more I express it, the more I recognize it and appreciate it in others.  YES!

142. For invitations and opportunities when you least expect them

143. And for closed doors…if I have to struggle to open it, I’ll assume Gods got it locked up for a reason…

144. Antique, mis-matched coffee cups

145. Toenails painted by my 7 year old son

146. The death of yesterday, the anticipation of what tomorrow might bring, and the gift in this one Now Moment

147. The ability to dive deep within, or fall comfortably (and temporarily) into the role of the casual observer

148. For the self given gift of time and space to quietly reflect on all there is to feel grateful for

149. For those who are still reading…THANK YOU! 

I’m grateful for you.

150.  For Gratitude, in and of itself. 

 

What are you grateful for today?

Count your blessings!

Day 52 ~ In pretty quotes and pictures…

22 Feb

Gratitude for today, Day 52

Truth, Humor and Joy in images..

What are you grateful for today?

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