Practicing Gratitude – November 15

In my never-ending score card of decluttering attempts, I am calling today a win. I spent hours in the garage this morning.  I packed a box of new toys and gently used books to donate to a program my city is sponsoring. I filled three bags to take to the thrift store to donate. I boxed up treasures to send to my cousin. She will be getting three large buckets filled with items I know she will find a use for. Some are gifts for her for Hanukkah. I love sharing and knowing if some items don’t speak to her, she will find someone who can use them. I am also sending two quilts I made for the grandkids when they were little.

After sorting things out and purging, I have some empty space in my garage cabinets. I dropped off the bags to the thrift store and went in to peruse the goods inside. I can proudly say that I left with only two items. I bought some ribbon for a project I want to do, and I bought some shower hangers. I am grateful that I am still removing things from my home. “Less is more,” is still my internal mantra.

My shower doors in the guest bathroom are broken. One almost fell off, so it was removed by my spouse. The second sliding door sounds like a screeching tire when you move it. I need to put up a shower curtain so the shower can be used again. The shower hangers were a perfect find today. Hopefully I can get a handy man to come and install new doors.

I did some grocery shopping after the thrift store. I was able to find most of what I needed. I was also on the great hunt for a car adapter for my spouse. I never found what I wanted so I shall look at Amazon tomorrow. I am grateful for Amazon prime. There is not much you can’t find there. My spouse is addicted to purchasing CDs on Amazon. If we do not have a delivery for two days in a row, I think he goes into withdrawal.

My afternoon was filled with lots of nothing. A little laundry, a little tidying up, getting out the winter comforter, and a little playing with the dog, made for a nice day. A yummy dinner of steak, potatoes, and veggies rounded out my day. I am grateful for finding foods that don’t bother my IC. I am grateful that I am eating healthier. I am grateful that my pain levels are tolerable.

I look forward to more days of lots of nothing much to do. I am grateful for the days I have low pain levels. I am grateful for my warm house. I am grateful for allowing things to leave my house that don’t bring me joy.


Day 162 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Surprises -There is always something to be grateful for.

I am not usually a fan of surprises. This weekend struck me as  one filled with them. Maybe not all surprises, but aha moments. I am grateful for dealing with some and even more grateful for the good ones. 

On Friday I did not get to talk with Kim. I totally understood why. So when I was grocery shopping early Saturday and got a message from her, I was pleasantly surprised. I managed to get my grocery shopping done as well as getting things (Easter treats)  for the grand-kids. I was surprised that I found some things that are not candy, that I believe they will like. 

I was not surprised that after my call my spouse wanted to go thrifting instead of doing our weekend chores. I was surprised that I agreed. We did not find anything amazing which was disappointing, but it was OK. We decided to go out for lunch but were surprised that the restaurant he chose was closed until dinner time. We found another spot on the way home and I was pleasantly surprised that they offered a corned beef sandwich. It was an unpleasant surprise that it was very lacking in quality and quantity.   

We returned home and I attempted to do my meditation. I was surprised by my silly dog barking and running through the house. There was no chance I was going to successfully meditate so I I thought I should try to nap. No luck. More crazy dog behavior.   

After completing a few chores I went through some mail and I was surprised that some pictures finally arrived. My mom’s dear friend had a birthday recently and I asked her daughter via Facebook messenger if I could have copies of the pictures to make her a scrapbook. She has been experiencing a hard winter and said it would be awhile before they came. I was happy to see them. It was also a surprise that she kindly wrote notes on the back of all the pictures so I can journal for her also. I enjoy gifting scrapbooks. I feel confidant in my ability to make a nice memento. 

I was surprised that I got to sleep at a decent hour. I was not surprised that I did not stay asleep all night.

As usual I woke up very early this morning. No surprise at all. I decided I needed to make myself a corned beef after the disappointing lunch yesterday. I did not want to make a large one because I am the only one that eats it.

I dropped off a St. Patrick’s Day gift for a friend and then went off to the store. I was surprised that the store was packed with fellow shoppers getting last minute dinner items. I was surprised that this store had so many Passover items. I am willing to bet that they have no idea that Passover is a month away. I will remember that when I am ready to get my holiday items.  I was sadly surprised that twenty plus people wanted to check out and there was only one cashier. 

I was surprised my spouse was still asleep when I returned so I spent time outside playing with the dog. I was surprised that she played for so long. Usually she makes it only five or six times before she wants to stop and get petted instead. Today she wanted to play fetch over and over and over again, until I was tired. I laid on the outside swing  and she wanted to cuddle so we did. I was surprised by this behavior on her part. We relaxed together for a short bit.

The weather was surprisingly warm today. It has been cold and rainy for what seemed like forever to me. I am spoiled living in Southern California. I decided to work on one of my bowling balls. I have the mahjong set I bought for my mom while I was in China in 2000. I decided that I should decorate one of my bowling balls with the tiles. I was sadly surprised that I did not have enough of the adhesive I need to fully decorate the ball. I was able to adhere twelve tiles before running out of the glue. 

I was pleasantly surprised that we got our chores done this afternoon. We are experts at procrastination. I decided to try and meditate again. I was able to sit quietly for my hour. My mind kept singing my new theme song, I Got You Babe .  This was not surprising to me. I was a little surprised that I just calmly kept focusing on dreams I had been having. 

I was plugging in my phone and I was surprised that Martha Beck was on. I missed a minute or two, but not the content. I love listening to Martha Beck. I admire her so.  It is a surprise that I do not schedule her calls in m phone so I don’t miss them. Somehow I usually end up finding them just in time. 

I was surprised that I managed to clear out a large recycle bag full of stuff from my “must gotta” do box. There is still more to do but it was a great start.  I was happy to be ready for my call with Maggie and Tanya. These calls are so good for my soul. It is no surprise that I feel such a wonderful bond with these women. I hope we remain friends forever.     

After dinner my spouse asked me to color his hair red as a surprise for his students tomorrow. He opened the box and prepared the solution. I applied the gunk and much to my surprise it was purple and not red. He had picked up a box I had purchased for myself by mistake. Too late to go back. His students will be very surprised tomorrow.   

After the coloring drama I decided to check my Facebook.  I responded to a few messages and saw the transcript from SARK’s call last Thursday. Then the biggest surprise of all. In fact the biggest surprise I have had in a very very long time. A dear sweet friend, Donna, passed the Love Light from SARK’s SWW to me. It is a gracious gift of accepting love and kindness from the community I adore. I am so grateful for this wonderful surprise. What a wonderful way to end my weekend.



Day 73 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Finishing Up – There is always something to be grateful for.

Today I am grateful for finishing things I have long needed to get done. For unknown reasons I have been procrastinating about the need to finish some things I started. I actually finally finished getting all my Hanukkah decorations put away. I washed all the linens and added them to my Hanukkah buckets. I put the buckets upstairs waiting to be added to the attic storage. It is a wee bit difficult to say goodbye to my holiday. Endings are often bitter sweet.  I had less time with loved ones than I would have liked. I am missing some who are not in this realm anymore. I am praying for others who are not around.

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While I do look forward to time off work getting to make gifts for others and reading for fun, it is also a sad time while everyone else is celebrating. I am not missing others’ celebration, just that mine is over. 


I read an interesting comment on Kveller a couple of days ago.  A gentleman was explaining that he lived in San Francisco in the late 70’s and almost everything was shut down on the 24th and 25th. The only things open were Chinese restaurants and movie theaters. He went to a theater on December 25th and there were only 15 people at the show, all Jewish.  “… Suddenly from the balcony came a very excellent voice sing out, “Hine ma tov u’ma na-im, Shevet achim gam ya-chad”. We all joined in for a chorus and then had a good laugh…”  The lyrics are the first verse of Psalm 133, which reads, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” I can so relate to his story. My spouse and I have gone out a few times on Christmas day just for the uniqueness of being the lone people exploring our surroundings. 

Today I have boxed and re-boxed  some gifts I still need to send out. I keep finding more things I want to add to the packages.  Friends and family have happily notified me that they have received many of my packages. It makes me grateful once I know they have arrived. Not that I have lost faith in the postal service but………… 

I have workedImage result for meme on lesson plans on three different plans for the last two days of the semester. I still don’t know for sure which one I will go with. I guess it depends on my mood tomorrow morning. For some reason I am not in the right place for definite decision making today.  I am grateful that I know what I am doing and I can have a great last few days before break.   

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I am grateful that this morning it wasn’t too cold and I was able to work in my garden. While I was weeding and removing the jacaranda pods, the dog decided she needed to be the planter with me. If you have never tried to pull weeds with a dog going under and over you, you have missed a hilarious opportunity for fun. 


I finally gifted a child’s picnic bench to a friend. My grand-kids have outgrown it and I wanted it to move on to another home. We have discussed it for a long time and I am grateful we finally delivered it. My friend told me of  another thrift store near her that I was unaware of. After dropping off the table we found more books for my aunt at the newly discovered store. 

It has been a busy weekend. I am grateful for finishing chores, completing tasks, and taking a nap when I needed to. I am grateful that I will be ready to drop off items at the post office tomorrow. I am grateful that I have just a few more days before winter break. I am grateful that my house has some assembalance of normalcy again sans all the buckets and boxes. 



Day 45 – LSS Attitude of Gratitude – Blog/Rehoming and Declutter – There is always something to be grateful for.

Today I am grateful for the ability to adjust to change, or at least to try to. From minor things to major things, it seems like I am in a state of flux.  I choose to focus on the positive changes today. The sad ones aren’t going anywhere soon, they linger. So I choose to look at the positive modifications going on in my life. I need good changes.


I am grateful that I am focusing more on self care. My body and spirit are improving with all I do.




I am grateful I have found some amazing people to follow on Facebook like Martha Beck.    She is so uplifting, she speaks to my soul,  and I share her political views. I can feel changes in my brain when I listen to her.

I am grateful for Maryann Rozas Udel. I believe she cares about everyone and the pain they go through. She makes me feel like most people are struggling with change and that is OK.

I am grateful that I have the wisdom to use this holiday to look in to some important plans for my future. Procrastination is my ally, at least that is what I keep telling myself. Perhaps it i my nemesis. So a baby step forward can mean a leap in the near future.   



I am grateful that we now have a new dog in our home. She was rehomed from my younger daughter who will be moving to a new place that does not allow dogs. It has been three years since our one-eyed-wonder crossed the rainbow bridge. I have never gone this long between having a furry companion. Myles (aforementioned one-eyed-wonder) passed away just a few months after my mom passed away and I was a complete mess emotionally. So this opportunity to help out the grandkids, my daughter, and myself just seemed like the right thing at the right time.  She is skittish and I am sure confused right now. I opted to take her now as I will be home for 8 days. She is learning to be an inside dog, to be around us all the time, and to use a doggie door. (She hasn’t mastered that yet without help, but I am sure she will.)  I see this change as a win win for all involved.

I am grateful for the purging I have done this year. This change was past due to occur. After the theft of so many of my things, I actually reevaluated having items around that I did not use. That probably only makes sense to me and that is OK. Over the summer I contacted all my staff and offered a ton of toys in my garage to be rehomed. I am grateful that they went to young teachers on campus with little kids, teachers and staff who are grandparents, staff member who donated to churches, staff members who have new teachers in their families, and best of all a family with many young children who a staff member knew needed help. I am grateful for the ability to give to others.  By changing the need to keep things not being used I was able make many others happy and I am grateful for that.  

I purged unnecessary items from my attic, from my garage, from my home, from my yard, and from my classroom. I am so grateful the majority went to good friends, then much to charity, and then when no other options to the trash bins. Whenever possible I really do like to recycle and reuse things. One man’s trash…   

595.-CLUTTER-9The change that has occurred from the reducing of “stuff” was a little frightening at first and now is so freeing. For the first time in my entire life I have empty cabinets in my classroom, an empty garage, empty spaces in my tool shed, and a reduction of clutter. Notice I never said the clutter is gone, just reduced. I am grateful for the reduction.   I am grateful for the change.


I am grateful for change and my forward movement in my life.