Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mish-Mash: Gratitude

Here I am on a grey day, after a grey weekend, with a new blog format and a desire to lighten up. Often, one of the best ways for me to do just that is to concentrate on everything I'm grateful for and let that blanket everything else.

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!

2. Ryan......

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.

10. This is where and how I get to hang out.

This is where and how I spent my summer.

Well. It worked! I feel better. Yes I do. :)


  1. You have decorated your blog like your home KJ! I give you permission to give Ces the "Class By Itself Award", a fellow Awarded Class by Itself :) Ces can't protest, but I don't think she would and it's there for the giving! Your garden is looking spectacular!

  2. Really like the new look of the blog kj! :D

    Your garden looks amazing! And so does Mr. Ryan.

  3. kj....it must have been a grateful moon, because I was just footsteps behind you on this one! I love seeing what you all have done with the house....fifty years in the waiting to come to life! For the right people at the right time to feel the love!
    thank you sweetie,
    peace~love and we're so blessed....

  4. KJ, I could not be more flattered or pleased that you counted me amoung your blessings. That is more important to me than I allow myself to show. You are cracking the veneer of my safe little box where I keep all my feelings, and exposing me for everyone to see. How dare you! You are so special.

  5. KJ... what an inspiring post! I too feel a need for change and looking at your pictures, feel optimistic and motivated.

  6. first of all, guess who rearranged this post so the pictures were alligned and the layout was spiffy? hint: it is the same person who at first dared to decline the "class by itself" award, out of either modesty or the belief that i kj am not objective. hmmmmmpf! one can only hope this individual shows up here to accept her award with pizzaz.

    anon, thank you. thank you. but anon, a butter cream and sherbert blog? :)

    mench, thank you as always. is everybody healthy?

    singleton, just footsteps behind--i know! that made me laugh. don't forget to pick up your award!

    rm, consider yourself exposed!! ha!
    any breathing person would know you are a kind and feeling person. it's going to be fun to blog along with you!

    joy, glad to be of service, maam. you are doing some terrific work all around...

  7. KJ~ I love the pictures from your world...so very beautiful & lol, I see we have much in common in the physical world... the hammock, the bricks & the beautiful sunshine yellow wall paint! :) I love that stove shop... I am sure I could go bankrupt there in a heartbeat! You and JB have quite the peaceful place, both in your home & in your hearts and that is a beautiful thing. Thank you for the award...very thoughtful. I know I haven't been fluttering around the blog-o-sphere as much as I would like or have in the past, but please don't think that doesn't mean that I am not here. As always, peace & love.

  8. I love the new format! So warm and welcoming, like this blog's author. That pizza place sounds like my kinda joint. And the before and after shots are very cool -- I love to see home improvements and dream of ones I want to make.

  9. Loving this idea of focusing on the positive - its a sound strategy for surviving the crazy modern world! And youre certinally living in a lovely place, I understand how important ones home can be - Onya KJ!

  10. Buttermilk and sherbet are warm and welcoming KJ! Hhehehe Your guessing competition is too easy

  11. Thank you so much for the award! I don't think I deserve this but it makes me happy.

    Life is not easy sometimes but I hope those black clouds will move away quickly.

    You have a wonderful home.It looks like paradise to me!

  12. when, when when is ces coming to pick up her award?

    the fan base is pacing...

  13. Thank you very much KJ. I don't think I deserve it but I am delighted that you think of me that way.

  14. By the way, I love this post and I like what you did with the living room. You have a lovely home.

  15. You have a warm and welcoming home just like your blog KJ! PHEW! I have stopped pacing now :)