So with grey skies, a restless mind, and my ever-hopeful heart, here's a mish-mash of gratitude:
1. JB and I moved here a little over two years ago. The house had been owned by one family who built it in the 1950's and cozily settled in without modern updates. We've plodded and planned our way into our own version of cozy. JB and I achieved this 'before' and 'after' together: we remarkably and uncharacteristically painted and color washed these walls with hardly an irritating word to each other. I'm grateful for that alone!
3. . She's my best friend. She makes me laugh, she amazes, she challenges, she uplifts, supports, questions, reflects, and creates, sometimes all at the same time. I'm grateful to many deserving creative inspirational people in my life, but Ces is in a class by herself. So I am hereby and herein presenting her and her blog with the first annual Ces Class By Itself Award. I'm not sure it's proper to give this award since she is the originator of it and I don't have it myself to pass on, but as far as I am concerned, that is the smallest techniciality.
By the way, I could fill a book with my favorite Ces paintings and illustrations, but here are some of my top choices:
4. And speaking of friends, when JB and I moved to a new and unfamiliar community, we did not dare hope for the unfamiliar comfort of having good friends nearby. It's been a treat to see a warm smile at the kitchen door, stopping by for a quick cup of coffee or dropping off a bouquet of flowers from the garden. So meet Tracy: she is friend and a new blogger, with substantial talent. Here are her one-of-a-kind birdhouses handmade for JB's yArt Fair.
5. I am giving an to several people who deserve it day in and day out. Skinny Little Blonde never fails to write with simplicity, humility and optimism. She writes about love, family, her life, and laughs along the way and so often hits a chord anyone can relate to and learn from. Likewise, her sister, Singleton writes prose and poetry that says everything even as she always leaves something unsaid. I am also giving this award to Jessie, whose honest journaling and wonderful artwork always remind me I am not alone. And last, to Sidney, whose photojournalism of the Phillipines is the kind of action that can change the world one awareness at a time. I am grateful to each of these wonderful bloggers everyday for nugding me in the right direction. There will be more to come.
6. I'm having a bumpy ride these days, but the truth is I am gratefully living the simple life I've always wanted, even though until I moved here from the City I didn't know I wanted it. Here's how JB and I spent last Sunday afternoon: a ride in the country and pizza in one of the hill towns. The pizza place was just one small room with 3 or 4 tables.
This building is one of only four making up a small village square with no more than a post office, a town hall, and in this case a combination pizza place and hardware store. It was just a great place to eat a surprisingly good pizza. That's all. But on a lazy Sunday afternoon, that was quite alot.
7. We're just driving along and we come across this distinguished barn-of-sorts which sells stoves--all kinds of stoves. It sits on a back road route of farms and open space. Shortly after we pass this lone tree with a swinging tire and just up the road, we stop for turkeys, strutting along in the sunlight. JB reminds me to slow down, emphasizing that turkeys are not bright animals.
Click on the image to see the sweet tire and not-so-bright turkeys.....
8. Some time ago I posted the tarot short version of my current journey. The tale is still this: things can't be speeded up but even though I might be upside down there's no need to be uncomfortable; it's a burdensome weight but the effort is worth it; and third--the final result--
all will be blessedly well. OK, I'm ok with that.
9. I can't complete an inventory of gratitude without mentioning JB. She won't let me post her picture and she's not exactly a fan of my blog, but in and out, thankfully and lovingly, she is on and at my side.