Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tuesday, 31 January 2006 - A photo worth 1,000 words

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a photo worth a thousand words.

There's a first time for everything. So, below is the first photo to appear on this blog.

It's Christmas Day 2005. My husband, S, our chocolate Lab, T, and I are taking a long hike in the Colorado mountains.

For me, the photo evokes memories of the day, reminding me of the beautiful weather and the adventures and misadventures we shared hiking along the trail.

One photo.
One moment of my life captured by the camera.
Where am I? What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Who is with me?
1,000 words of memories and feelings that will spark countless "do you remember when" conversations.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


T takes his mom for a hike in the Colorado mountains on Christmas Day 2005.
His dad, S, took this picture. Note that T proudly wears his "yellow kerchief" -
the canine version of the Tour de France's coveted maillot jaune.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday, 30 January 2006 - My garden, even in winter

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my garden, even in winter.

The gardening catalogues arrive daily, giving me something interesting to read while on break from work. My favorite catalogue is from High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I've had great success with their plants.

I flip through the pages, searching for extra special plants to add to my garden this year. I have limited space so I must be prudent with my purchases. My options are also limited by climate and soil conditions. The plant must be a xeric perennial that can survive a clay-type soil, deer and rabbits, very little rainfall and full summer sun. In return for its hardiness and beauty, I will feed it organic food and filtered Prill water, add fresh pine mulch at least twice a year, trim it as needed, pamper it throughout the year, and revel in its lifecycle. I would say that's a fair trade.

(Note for calendar: I watered the front yard plants and trees today. With this winter's meager snowfall, I'm sure they were very thirsty.)

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday, 29 January 2006 - Hope in a winter garden

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for hope that grows in my winter garden.

In the middle of winter the buds prepare for spring.
Thank you, God, for unceasing life.
The dull, brown stalks of spent hydrangeas mirror my spent spirit.
Yet green and blue and pink colors dance in my mind's eye for the spring within and without about to come.
I feel your presence in pealing cathedral bells, in insistent cawing crows, in intricate yellow petals of January forsythia, in new growth heralding coming spring.
Thank You, God, for hope.

~ Marian Wright Edelman

My garden in the middle of winter. No flowers. No lovely colors or heady fragrances. No butterflies or hummingbirds. No weeds to pull or grass to mow. Instead, tall spikey stems with tufts of dried leaves rise above the mulched and snow-patched earth.

I am not concerned. My plants are just doing what they do best in the winter - lying dormant while gathering strength and storing nutrients in anticipation of this year's spring and summer growth spurts.

Hope for new life.
Faith in a seed.
A new generation.

Creation, beauty, art.
All of this grows in my garden during the winter.

I am not the artist, merely the caretaker. Mother Nature will soon use my garden plots as the canvas for her annual masterpiece. This year, I feel that she will paint something extraordinary.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Saturday, 28 January 2006 - Environmentalists

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for those who will protect the environment from our high tech trash.

Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.
~Alan M. Eddison

Earlier this month, as my husband, S, and I surveyed the thousands of new electronic products on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one question kept going through my head: what are we going to do with the old equipment?

I asked this question many times during the show. As I expected, the company reps and techie consumers had no answer. Neither did the high-dollar consultants and analysts.

Anyway, I am going on the record with my concern. And, I continue to research companies and organizations that claim to be doing something about the tons of electronic and potentially toxic trash that Americans generate each year.

I pray that someone has the answer and will implement a workable solution soon.

In the meantime, S and I are not in the market for a new big-screen, high definition television or any other digital home gadget. Although we've worked in the high tech industry for many years, we are very late adopters of new technology.

Our 27" regular television works just fine (we are, after all, trying to cut down on the amount of time we watch TV). Anyway, we'd rather put the money into savings and think about buying things that add real value to our lives: a new road bicycle for S, a European vacation for both of us, art and gardening supplies for me, and treats for T.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday, 27 January 2006 - Choices

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for choices.

Sometimes, I think that my days would be easier if I didn't think so deeply and simply followed the crowd down the one-way street. But, I know that I was destined to stand apart from the crowd and follow my heart, i.e., not do what's convenient or popular or easier or cheaper.

Many of my choices have sent me down a difficult path, not the comfortable garden variety I once envisioned. Although I've struggled, I have also reaped the benefits of personal victory after surmounting great obstacles. I suppose, that's the way it's suppose to be. Challenges lead me to obstacles that attract interesting people who help create unusual events and rare opportunities for me, the ones that most people will never have.

It's not about luck. It's about breaking new ground, knowing that I have options and believing that I will make a bigger difference with my life if I choose this way over that one.

A journey of faith along the road less traveled, the unmarked trail, the undefined path.
The way of dreamers, poets, philosophers, artists and musicians.
My path, my destiny, my fate.

Warning: If you're lost and in a hurry, don't follow me because I don't know any shortcuts. I always take the long way around.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday, 26 January 2006 - Full work day

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a full work day and the prospect of a new client.

Whew! It's after 11 PM and I'm still working on a project for a client. That's good news (although I would rather be knitting). And, because of my workload, I haven't watched any television in three whole days (probably haven't missed much).

I am also pleased that we may be taking on a new client. The work will tap my area of expertise - marketing communications. I'm excited at the prospect of expanding our consulting practice and making some extra money to pay for the new windows our house desperately needs.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday, 25 January 2006 - A confession about shoes

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a confession about shoes.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, I am fasting shoes for a few months (maybe the entire year). My shopping habits must change if I am to shed the "very materialistic person" label tatooed on the foreheads of most Americans. I know that confession is good for the soul. So, here is my story - a sort of lighthearted confession with serious undertones.

I attribute the genesis of my addiction for good shoes to my parents (I take full responsibility for my spending habits). Although they did not have a lot of money to spend on our school wardrobes, my parents always bought my sisters and me expensive, name-brand, high quality shoes for school. My mother told me to buy the best shoes I could afford and to make sure they fit well. She warned that when your feet hurt, your entire body suffers (and she was right).

I didn't always own a lot of shoes. During elementary school, my parents bought me exactly two pairs of shoes each year: in the fall, sturdy oxford-style or saddle shoes made by Stride-Rite or Buster Brown and, in the spring, Keds cotton canvas sneakers (in the early 1960s, no Nike or Reebok or Adidas shoes existed for the common consumer).

I also wore rubber thongs (flip-flops) or, much to my father's chagrin, went barefoot, even in winter (Southern California winters were quite mild). In contrast to his five daughters, Dad always wore shoes with socks no matter the season. As a result, he suffered from chronic and severe athlete's foot. One year, we finally persuaded him to wear sandals during the summer and, voila, no more athlete's foot.

During my undergraduate and graduate years at UCLA, I bought a new pair of Famolare sandals (the ones with the wavy soles) at the beginning of the fall quarter and wore that pair every day. At the end of the summer, I tossed them in the trash (the soles had worn down completely) and bought a new pair for the next year.

My shoe troubles really began when I started working and wanted to wear a designer-look business wardrobe despite my meager salary. So, to save money, I sewed all of my suits, blouses and dresses and bought Ferragamo pumps on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

Nearly three decades later, I'm sitting in my Colorado studio - a work-at-home person who now prefers comfort to fashion (note the layers of Capilene and fleece separates, wool socks and Teva boots) while writing on her laptop computer.

But, I'm still a diehard shoe snob. And, you don't have to look far for the evidence:

1. The closet
My closet is brimming with beautiful Italian-made shoes and boots and a few pairs from France and Spain - most in classic styles with a modern twist like pointed or rounded toes or sculpted heels.

2. The rules
First, I buy designer brands at next to nothing prices at consignment stores or on Ebay, so my budget doesn't suffer too much. Second, I set an upper limit on my spending - e.g., $20 for the Cole Haan sandals or $50 for the Jil Sanders mules. Third, I always buy shoes in my size. One acquaintance buys shoes just for the designer label and then tries to make them fit her. What a waste of time and resources. Why buy the shoes if they won't fit me????

3. The tasteless remark
I once made this insensitive remark to a colleague about a pair of shoes I saw in a department store: They were only $69.00 (the tone of my voice implied that the shoes were cheaply made). I now realize that $69 was and still is a lot of money for most people to pay for a pair of shoes. That's why people buy shoes at Goodwill, Target, Payless and KMart. I, on the other hand, will pay $69 for a pair of shoes only if they're Italian-made and the original price was over $250. What a snob!

4. High maintenance
I take really good care of my shoes, even if I never wear them. After purchasing a used pair of designer shoes, I clean them inside and out and polish them carefully so they look and feel new. Then, I take them to Wes, my favorite shoe repairman, for new rubber heels (he only charges $3.00 a pair) and other minor repairs. After the shoes are finally in ready-to-wear condition, I find them a place in my crowded closet where they'll sit until I have a chance to wear them. If I don't wear them within the next year or so, I donate them to my favorite charity thrift store and claim the tax deduction. Since I don't work outside the home and our social activities are usually outdoors-related, I rarely get to wear the stylish pumps and dress boots that I love to buy. That's why I'm fasting shoes for the next few months if not the full year.

5. The husband.
My husband never complains about my shoe collection, although he once called me, Imelda. For the record, I own dozens not thousands of pairs of shoes. I have never owned a pair of shoes made by Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo (although I always look at their new designs). Plus, mine are not made from exotic leathers and fabrics and do not sport real gemstones. And, I never ever pay full retail price.

I do, however, have the potential to rival Imelda given a generous budget, plenty of shopping time and adequate storage space to display the shoes. If that should ever happen, then heaven help us all!

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tuesday, 24 January 2006 - Silk ribbons

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a bagful of hand-dyed silk ribbons - 100 pieces, each 7 mm wide and 18-20 inches long.

A friend who knows how much I like handmade art materials gave these to me. Of course, I glady accepted the gift. I'm thinking about tying the ribbons together and knitting a piece of wearable art, a small pillow cover or a wall hanging (not sure what that would look like).

I'm in no rush to start. I've learned that each of my projects has a life and timeline of its own. So, I need to be patient and let my subconscious begin the creative process. The recipe is familiar: a heavy dose of imagination, inspiration and possibility mixed with a bit of magic.

(Note: Sometimes, a deadline as in "my sister's birthday is next week" or "Mother's Day was last week" plays a factor. For most occasions or events, I am punctual if not early. My artwork, however, is often tardy. I'm glad that my family and friends understand.)

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Monday, 23 January 2006 - Will power

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a little will power.

I need to fast Ebay, yarn, handbags, jeans and shoes so I'm stepping out on faith for will power. I'm also praying for busy days working on marketing projects or writing my book so I don't have time to shop online.

Last time I fasted Ebay, handbags, jeans and shoes, I did all right. But, fasting yarn requires a higher level of commitment. I just can't resist buying another beautifully crafted fiber creation in a stunning colorway from one of my favorite artists. The hook that gets me everytime: the yarn is always one-of-a-kind. As you know, I have an eclectic stash already - skeins of truly gorgeous yarn that I could never, ever replace. And, like a true collector, I can't see where adding one more ball of yarn to my stash will hurt anyone or anything.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday, 22 January 2006 - A sense of humor

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a sense of humor.

I wasn't born with one. This much I know. I grew up in a household where children were to be seen and not heard. We didn't engage in lighthearted dinnertime conversations. My father sternly reprimanded us if we giggled at the table. So, I grew into a very serious and studious child with a boundless imagination and love of reading, writing and school in general. I never learned to tell a joke (still can't and won't), could never understand the allure of The Three Stooges and preferred the classics to comic books. I found certain incidents silly or stupid, never funny.

Then, I married S, an intelligent and very witty guy who has always loved the absurd as in Monty Python and SCTV. He made me laugh all the time. Initially, I thought I could resist his influence in the humor area, but I was wrong. Today, I, too, am an unlikely fan of Monty Python and SCTV as well as Red Green on PBS and Trailor Park Boys, Little Britain, The Office, Brilliant!, Creature Comforts, Goodness Gracious Me, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and The Kumars on BBC America.

I knew I was in trouble several years ago. Since my manager and I shared a large enclosed space for our office (we comprised the marketing communications department for a division of United Technologies), the engineers often visited us to mouth off about this and that. One day, I was chatting with Mike, the company controller, about my husband. I mentioned how wild and crazy S was. Without missing a beat, Mike turned to me and remarked, "Well, no wonder. Look who he married!" At that instant, I realized that, thanks to my husband, I had a sense of humor that others noticed.

So, here are my revelations.

1, You aren't born with a sense of humor (a good thing if you have humorless parents). If you want to have a sense of humor, you must develop and carefully nurture it (just like your intuition or sense of style).
2. Not everything is funny. Times and people change. Not everything that was funny is still funny. Good taste must prevail unless you want to be know for a vulgar sense of humor.
3. Your sense of humor should extend to laughing with and at yourself. I've learned this lesson the hard way.
4. Learn to tell at least one joke. Here's mine: Q: How do you circumcise a whale? A: With four skin divers. (Sorry, it's the only one I can tell without cracking up before the punchline.)
5. Use your sense of humor to make others feel better. Frank, one of my favorite sales reps when I worked for a biotech startup, loved to call me at the office when he was having a really bad day on the road because I always laughed at his jokes and stories. He even told my husband that I had a great sense of humor (imagine that!).
6. Laughter is good, cheap medicine. If you have a poor sense of humor and get very sick, you should prepare for the worst.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Saturday, 21 January 2006 - Antidote for a sad mood

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for an antidote for a sad mood.

Today has been a sad news day. The lost northern bottle-nosed whale that became stranded in the River Thames in London died. Rescuers found the bodies of two missing West Virginia coal miners. We still don't know Jill Carroll's fate.

In sports, UCLA, my alma mater, lost its basketball game. And, the whole state of Colorado (minus a few sane people like S and me) is going ga-ga beserk over the Denver Broncos and tomorrow's AFL championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I really need to hear or read something funny. My husband, S, who is a wit of wits, is jokeless today so I check my email for a funny post from my older sister, G, who lives in the UK. Nothing. I peruse the comics in the local paper for something to tickle my funny bone. Nothing. Even T, the king of canine comedians, is out of sorts and keeping a low profile.

Well, I guess I'll turn to the things that always makes me feel better - chocolate, puzzles and knitting. I'll eat a bowl of chocolate pudding, do my Sudoku and crossword puzzles and knit for a few hours.

There, now. The endorphins are kicking in. I feel better already.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday, 20 January 2006- Joy

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for joy.

I just finished reading an article that tries to explain what makes people happy. The authors cite these factors as sources of happiness: gratitude, hope, zest and the ability to love and be loved. (What, no chocolate???)

The list is interesting to me especially since gratitude is on the list. I'm not sure that being grateful makes me a happier person. Being grateful makes me feel more complete, more human, more introspective but not happier.

Actually, I don't think of my life in terms of "happiness" since happiness is a fleeting state. I was happy a minute ago and now I'm not. And, I don't know why I was happy, I just was.

Instead, I like to think about joy. The dictionary says this: Joy: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

That's it. Joy - that underlying sense of serenity, satisfaction and delight that my heart and soul embrace each day without guilt or second thoughts. Here's a list of some of the things that make me joyful:

1. Knowing God and Mother Nature and Jesus
2. Seeing the the stars emerge at twilight and the sun rise at dawn
3. Walking through freshly fallen snow on a brisk winter morning (I love the squeaky, crunching sound)
4. Spying a herd of deer roaming the foothills or a rabbit running down the trail
5. Writing a new poem, looking at family photos, reading a really good book, sharing my latest culinary creation with S, tending my gardens, knitting a one-of-kind creation out of unique handspun yarn, and joining S and T for a spin around the park or a leisurely hike in the mountains.
6. Singing aloud (very much off key - thank goodness only God is listening)
7. Discussing my dreams (big, wild and wonderful) with anyone who will listen (usually, T)
8. Planning our ideal vacation to Europe where we'll spend the summer in France (for me) and Italy (for S)
9. Working out really hard on the heavy bag and lifting weights
10. Reading aloud one of my poems at a poetry reading (God gave me the words so now I give them away)
11. Writing each entry of this blog (I hope I not only entertain but enlighten)

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday, 19 January 2006 - Four things

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for ...

1. School pics from my niece, R, and nephew, B, that arrived in the mail today from California. They're always my favorite gifts since I rarely see them in person. They're growing up too quickly! R is a high school junior and B just turned 12.

2. Snow. We haven't had much snow since T's birthday on 12.18, so today's northerly storm brought relief from the dryness. By mid-afternoon, my gardens rested quietly under a very thick blanket of heavy powder - a good thing since I didn't water the plants and trees while I was sick.

3. A morning walk around the park with T - my first in over a week (how time drags when you're sick with the flu). I would have enjoyed the outing more if it hadn't been so cold. I skipped the afternoon walk after S agreed to take T to the park in the middle of the blizzard. I watched them from my studio window. S turned and waved as he and T passed by along the eastern border.

4. Today's reader. When I began writing this blog, I imagined lots of interesting people reading my musings every day. In my dreams! Reality being what it is, I am now happy if only one person (other than me) reads this entry. So, whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you for stopping by. You matter greatly to me. Every writer, after all, needs an editor (hopefully honest and encouraging) and an audience (hopefully loyal and adoring).

For these blessings, I am grateful.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday, 18 January 2006 - My good health

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my good health.

I write this entry after suffering from the flu for the past week. Apparently, I caught a nasty, persistent bug somewhere in Las Vegas. To be honest, I have not been this sick in nearly two decades.

My miserable symptoms: high fever, no energy to take T for his walks (my husband, S, was my substitute), sleeping for 15-20 hours each day, no appetite (I lost those 3-5 vanity pounds quickly), terrible headache, can't read or write or do my puzzles because my eyes hurt, can't watch TV for more than an hour or two - you get the idea.

This morning, I awoke with a clear head, energy and an appetite. Miracle of miracles. Wonders of wonders. Being well and healthy never felt better - I swear it!

For this wondrous blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday, 09 January 2006 - Comforts of home

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for the comforts of home.

I missed the park. I missed my daily walks with T. I missed drinking Prill water. I missed taking care of my plants. I missed eating organic fruits and vegetables. I missed cooking meals in my kitchen. I missed all the ordinary, take for granted, "don't miss them until their gone" things that comprise my life.

Am I getting too set in my ways now that I am 50+ in age? Hopefully not. I think I just missed the comforts of home - all the things that say, "We live here. This is our space, our very tiny corner of the Universe."

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday, 08 January 2006 - Home

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful to be back home in Colorado.

We're back home - safe and sound, ready to resume a more normal routine.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Saturday, 07 January 2006 - Gambling

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful I don't gamble, smoke or drink a lot.

If I did these things, I would probably enjoy Las Vegas a lot more. And, from what I have seen while walking through the casinos, more time in Las Vegas would not be the best thing for my health or wallet!

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday, 06 January 2006 - Comfortable bed

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a comfortable bed and a good night's sleep.

I am one weary woman. Walking the trade show floor at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is simply exhausting. I'm wearing comfortable walking shoes but still feel the negative effects of walking six long hours on carpet covered concrete floors - achy leg and hip bones.

So, even though our hotel is of questionable quality and reputation, at least I can sleep on the bed. I actually awoke refreshed, ready for another grueling day at the Convention Center.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday, 05 January 2006 - The Grand Canyon

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for the Grand Canyon.

We had a perfect view of the Grand Canyon during our early morning flight to Las Vegas. The sun's soft rays warmed the desert landscape, now immersed in a quiet, introspective winter. Since our flight was well ahead of schedule, the pilot asked for and received permission to fly one big loop over the Canyon. And so, we enjoyed a spectacular, panoramic view of one of the earth's true masterpieces. Awesome. Breathtaking. Humbling, indeed.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wednesday, 04 January 2006 - R&R

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a few days of R&R in Las Vegas (even though it's a business trip).

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tuesday, 03 January 2006 - A strong back

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a strong back so I can carry my few but often weighty burdens.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Monday, 02 January 2006 - A diet plan that works

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a diet plan that works for me.

I am not overweight. At 5'2" and less than 110 pounds, I'm probably on the slim side in some people's opinions. I call myself "athletically trim" since I enjoy sports and have a mesomorph body type.

I also have a "fat complex" that began nearly 45 years ago when a stranger called me "chubby" (must have been my round face since I was a petite child). So, I've spent most of my life obsessed with food and my weight - scared of becoming fat (instead of being happy to be thin).

To those of you who envy slim people, I say, "Beware!" You don't know the whole story behind their "slimness" and, chances are, you could not successfully emulate their lifestyle.

For those of you who are interested, here's how I've managed my weight and diet for the past 20+ years (I turn 52 in March). As you will see, my plan is simple, but not easy to follow. To me, maintaining a healthy body requires incredible discipline, personal commitment and great passion.

1. Food has no power in my life. When I was 29 or 30, I openly declared, "Food, you have no power over me. Food, you have no power in life." Since that day, I've been able to eat just about anything without gaining weight. Note, however, that I usually make healthy choices and exercise daily.

2. I regard food as either medicine or poison. So, eating something that's not good for me means I've poisoned my body. You get the idea.

3. I eat "real" food, not "fake" food like meal substitutes. Real food satisfies my hunger while fake food does not.

4. I eat whole foods whenever possible so I get the maximum nutritional benefits.

5. I eat locally grown organic fruits, vegetables and meats whenever possible even if it means exceeding our food budget.

6. I never weigh myself. In fact, we don't own a scale. I judge my weight by whether or not I comfortably fit into my size 2 petite skinny jeans from J Crew or Banana Republic.

7. I exercise every day regardless of the weather or how I feel. Some days, walking 2-3 miles around the park with T is the only exercise I get. Most days, I incorporate favorite Pilates, Callanetics, yoga, weightlifting and boxing exercises into my routine.

8. I try not to eat after 6 PM. My main and usually only meal is lunch. I do, however, snack on fruit or popcorn. I drink hot chai tea or fruit juice for breakfast and sip lemon ice water throughout the day.

9. I no longer take commercial vitamin supplements. Instead, I make and take herbal formulas based on tried and true recipes from well-known herbalists. The herbs supply minerals, regulate my digestive processes, kill parasites, remove heavy metals, regulate my thyroid gland, and cleanse my blood, liver, bowels and kidneys.

10. I strive to maintain an alkaline pH of 6.5 or higher so my body can assimilate calcium and other minerals. Ever since I've done this, my teeth have regrown enamel on worn down surfaces. I'm sure that my bones are also stronger and healthier.

11. I still eat chocolate - the darker the better.

12. I cook nearly all of our meals from scratch. My concessions - using premade organic pasta sauce when I'm in a hurry or fresh tomatoes are too expensive, Hatch enchilada sauce and canned whole chilis.

13. I rarely drink alcoholic beverages - probably less than one drink per month. When I do drink, I prefer red wine.

14. I very rarely eat out - usually by choice.

15. I drink Prill water (helps alkalize my system) and organic teas (may be caffeinated).

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sunday, 01 January 2006 - A new year's vow

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful to begin the new year with a fresh start. I embrace the chance to be a better person and to live more generously, more compassionately, more creatively, more frugally, and more freely than last year.

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. ~John Burroughs

For this blessing, I am grateful.