{thanksfully: 30}

Steinhart Aquarium 008

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a sucker for water. Not exactly agile on land (#MyNameIsNotGrace), I have always wanted a lake, a beach, a pond, a pool — something which reveals my inner graceful naiad. For now, I’m mostly content with my bathtub, though I keep my flippers handy, and keep hoping…


gravity drags down
a weighted anchor mooring,
earthbound, flighty fey.
but slip its surly grasp, brush
free the world above.

{thanksfully: 29}

Thunder and lightning this morning, just in time for errands – but I can’t even be annoyed about it. Sitting in traffic with the rain pattering down is almost meditative, if I’m in the right frame of mind. And, as often as one sits in traffic around here, one gets into the right frame of mind, or gets an ulcer!


red tail-lights blooming
a garden of impatience
as we stop-and-go
the wiper’s swish, hypnotic
lulls my mind into daydream

{thanksfully: 28}

My little brother’s birthday today… I wish his troubles were as easy as when he was two – a fear of trains, dogs, loud noises, and sitting still. Instead, he’s gone on to other difficulties, and has to plough his way through them, solo. Hard-headed, fuzzy-faced kid.


he didn’t want books
basketballs, what he preferred
sheepish, with a smile
turning down my little gifts
going his own stubborn way

{thanksfully: 27}

‘Tis the season for rehearsals every five minutes, and last night I watched my friend A. sing through her piece for our chamber group’s winter concert. Last year, I watched her do the same, heard her perform, saw her husband and boys proudly in the audience. A week later, her husband was dead.

I thought she’d not sing again so soon, yet there she was last night, singing her heart out, letting the sass and joy in her music shine.

A. probably would demur if I told her how much her spine steels my own, but it does. The woman is a phoenix. She has risen from countless blows to keep standing, and to pull her kids up to stand tall, too. Today I’m grateful for the silent examples of resilience we all have in our lives. May today be the day we say “thank you.”

View from Barry's House 26

sing down the sun

the bird sings alone
atop its 3 a.m. perch
nevermind the dark
it knows that dawn is waiting
just over the farthest hill

{thanksfully: 26}

I’ve been digging in with my Dutch studies since we returned from the Netherlands this past summer. It astounds me (READ: worries me; there WILL be a wall at some point, and I will hit it hard) how easily it comes. One thing I hadn’t expected is how studying language – any new language – improves the skill I have in other non-native languages. My French and Spanish have suddenly improved, because I have to think about neuter and feminine and masculine verbs. Even my German pronunciation – for sung German, anyway – has improved, all thanks to stepping outside of the English box. I’m so grateful for the world of words and my (brief) facility with it.


our language shapes us
delineating nations
man-made boundaries
on paper, inches apart
our worlds come together, inked

{thanksfully: 23-25}

Cooking With Scraps 1

with that which remains
abandoned ends and oddlings
we shall richness fĂȘte

I hate to fail. Normally I would have post-dated these posts and gone on with the pristine record of doing a gratitude post every day as I wanted to but… the truth is, I started having a Predator flare the night of the 22nd. I knew I’d be ramping up during Thanksgiving Day. I didn’t realize it would be bad enough that my brain would be filled with static, and I would be unable to get up Friday except to go to the massage table for Tech Boy to loosen my back a bit, and then get right back into bed… but that’s what happened.

my body served up
one more reason to say thanks:
the help of loved ones

I’ve tried to pretend that my autoimmune disorder doesn’t really affect my life that much. It does. I’ve tried to believe that because my labs were normal ten days ago that they’ll stay normal forever, and that the only work ahead is to get back stamina and strength in weakened muscles and body systems.


it is what it is –
this, both uncomfortable truth
and quiet comfort

Today I’m grateful for having both a heart and mind – one may rage, but the other overrules and allows me to be patient with my own limitations.

{thanksfully: 22}

Here comes the rain, da-da-da-dah, here comes the rain… This is a retread of last season’s autumnal hymns, and while we can’t see the moon just now – due to either smoke or clouds – it’s nice to know the season is turning, turning, and whirling into the next steps of the dance.

Pleasant Hill463

Autumn Announcement

Contrails streak skylines, white on blue,
Crossing guards heed the avenue,
Breath makes its halo misty cloud
Fog folds the land within its shroud.

Schoolyards burst forth with racous noise
Squirrels scold unheeding girls and boys
Bees labor long on winter’s hoard
While stores display their festive gourds

Landscape takes shades of orange and gold
Ocher and azure, tawny, bold
This serves as notice: time runs on
In this seasonal marathon

Bright as a coin, the harvest moon
Draws down the drapes of afternoon,
Last gasp of summer’s bright caprice,
Leaves pass out autumn’s press release.

{thanksfully: 21}

A company has figured out a way to sort of digitally reconstruct fading British castles. I… don’t love it.

You’d think imagery of restoration would be somehow encouraging, but it looks false, to me. Too tidy, for one thing – in a country where trees grow out from between bricks and moss and grass sprout from the rooftops. But what all the decay and ruins we toured in the UK said to me? We will go on.

Sometimes that’s all we have, that promise, etched into the earth, carved deep into the rings of the trees. Today is terrible. Tomorrow… will arrive. This too shall pass. I’m so grateful for that.

Oban to Inverary D 6


“we shall not be moved”
promise of an ancient earth
heard by ephemera:
trees with deep-watered roots can
laugh as lichen claims castles

{thanksfully: 19}

2018 Fruitcake 11

It’s fruitcake season

Not like the fruitcake we grew up with – this is moist cake, filled with cardamon and coriander, organic dried fruit (READ: nothing dyed bright red or green), and a buttery flavor which apparently comes from cooking brandy into it. It startles people on a yearly basis who believe they firmly hate fruitcake. I sure did.

holiday baking

reluctant givers
we sort through oven bounty –
“this one’s uneven,
this one’s a little too brown”
learning how to share takes time.