One of the saving graces in my life right now is a gratitude group that I’m a part of — a private, online group — sorry, you can’t join but you could start your own and invite others to comment with their own daily/weekly gratitude posts.
How does it work? Well, here was mine today:

  1. It’s a gorgeous fall day (by Friday it’s going to be wet and snowy and wicked cold overnight, but right now? It’s gorgeous with clouds and sun and wind and fall colors).
  2. One of my favorite blog writers has a new post about taking care of ourselves mentally right now — and not just a new post, but several others that I missed somehow over the past few weeks/months of being in and out of connectivity. She’s made me smile and nod with recognition, touched my heart with compassion, and made me guffaw over a dog story about the puppy in their house. I’m grateful for her writing and sharing of messy life.
  3. My cat is still alive and still healthy. (She is also annoying, constantly wanting to be in a lap and she sometimes yowls because she is deaf as a doorknob and that is lonely.)
Help! I’m being held captive by a sleeping cat!

And suddenly…


The zucchini we came home to on Friday night was one of the few we’ve been able to grow this year despite wonderfully warm and sunny days but WOW, was it a whopper!

Since I’ve only been walking with crutches for a few weeks, my personal experience of summer is that it just started. — so it was a bit of a shock on Sunday to discover that it was nearly mid-September — although that did explain why it was raining and kind of chilly. Tonight I looked longingly at the wood stove for the first time since early spring, and a glance at the candle holders made it blazingly obvious that I need to find where I hid stored the candles. In other words, it appears that autumn has arrived.

The neighbor’s treetops agree.

DSCN1592 (2).JPG websized




Dual Zone

There are lights on the tree…

DSCN8486  UP above the fireplace
…and leaves hanging from the mantel.
Dual Holiday Fireplace decor
The fireplace decor sums up the situation.  Honestly, though, it’s okay if it takes another week or two to get all gussied up for Christmas — after all, it was just a few weeks ago that I managed to put away the final few pieces of the Christmas decor from last year!





MTM: Tracking Autumn Views

On my way to work one day last month, I was stunned by the view of fall foliage looking toward downtown.

DSCN3455 Spokane vista in autumn, north hill looking toward downtown
DSCN3460 NettletonI knew immediately where I would go the next chance I had a few free hours with my camera — and then I cleared my schedule for the next afternoon.

There are a few places around town that still have streetcar tracks visible.  This part of the West Central Neighborhood includes Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor which I’ve blogged about before. It’s been 28 years since I lived in this neighborhood but I remembered the amazing canopy of leaves and the streetcar tracks.

DSCN3461 overcast, websizedThe sun was alternately shining through and obscured by the clouds.

DSCN3463 sunny, websized

I had to drive in circles for a while, but I found what I was looking for — before the incoming storm brought wind and rain enough to bring down the leaves.

DSCN3469 West Central streetcar tracks





In the springtime, blossoms fall
pink and white, yellow and purple—
like fat, flowery snowflakes—
each one different from the other.

In the summer, cold air collides with warm
causing thunderstorms. Lightning strikes
produce forest fires. Winds whip
and send ashes falling near and far.

In the autumn, leaves turn
yellow, red, and russet
and fall to the ground as surely
as their springtime cousins.

In the winter, the skies darken
and clouds release their moisture;
sometimes rain, sometimes snow,
but always falling to the earth.


So could someone please explain
that with all of the downward vertical activity
why only one of these four seasons
is called fall?


Leaf in Puddle 4x6, resized

Puddleglum is C.S. Lewis’ Eyeore.

After the rain 4x6

I’m trying hard to see beauty in the world today, but my heart is heavy and my mind finds it all rather futile. Fall is my favorite season, yet so far all I see is death and destruction… and the stubborn will of some to keep going despite the odds, to find beauty, to bloom where they are planted and to do so in adverse conditions.

4x6 garden rose, resized

Keep championing the cause for the downtrodden. Give hope to those who have no hope. The one who receives your encouragement might be struggling more than you know.

Even Eyeore and Puddleglum need a pep talk now and then.

October Surprise, square

MTM: The streak is over

How do you describe
the sound a raindrop makes
as it filters through the leaves
from the sky to thirsty ground
after 80 days without moisture?

The musical notes
of a babbling brook in the gutter
The percussion
on the roof (almost steady)
like the snare drums
of a 6th grade band

And the hollow emptiness
when those sounds slow to stillness
in the pre-dawn quiet
until all you hear
is the clock (tick, tock) calling
Autumn, Autumn


Kayaking, candles, and other assorted things


Last week I had the energy to head down to the river.


This is what we did for more than an hour.

house on the river

I wondered if I would be willing to move again, if I had the opportunity to live in one of these houses.

home on the river

We certainly wouldn’t have to hassle with getting to and from the river!

draining the kayak and packing up

But I like where I live. And I really wouldn’t like worrying about flooding every spring.


A few quick thoughts:

  • I’ve had a few days of feeling run-down. Not a big deal, just low energy. My husband has been feeling the same way. We are blaming the layer of wildfire smoke caught in our atmosphere.
  • The autumn light has a hazy effect, thanks to the smoky skies. Our air quality isn’t necessarily unhealthy (other places are), but it is significant enough to curtail my desire to photograph scenery right now.
  • I decorated for Fall on Saturday. The golden orange hues have a cheering effect for me. And while SuperDad was off hiking and camping in the mountains again with SnakeMaster, I spent a little money on some new scented candles: Spiced Pumpkin, Ginger Pumpkin, Amber Wood & Vanilla, and Cedar Patchouli are the options in my house this fall.
  • Yesterday was baking day. I made a green tomato pie, a rhubarb custard pie, and 2 loaves of pumpkin bread. Then I took a nap!
  • Today we headed to the AFB, which is my usual Tuesday activity (gym and shopping).
  • I swam laps in the pool (which was rather chilly so my heart rate went up, too — being immersed in cold water does that to me. I had to meditate during my laps to ward off feelings of panic).
  • What started as a quick stop at the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions became an opportunity to get a flu shot (my dh got his this week — I’ll get mine next week) and because I am such a party animal, I went ahead and got a Tdap immunization. Whooping Cough is currently at epidemic levels in Washington State and I couldn’t remember when I last had a Tetanus shot. (I only remember how much it hurts  afterward.)
  • I need to get back up off the couch and do more baking because while I was at a meeting last night, the people I live with ate half a loaf of pumpkin bread. Somehow they didn’t hear the message about those loaves being saved for a school event on Wednesday morning. I shouldn’t be surprised; after all, the kitchen did smell really good! Luckily, we have the supplies in the pantry to make more.