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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart Archives

day #30 in a month of Thanksgiving: one thing leads to another

Today is the last day of Thanksgiving month, although I’ll continue to keep my gratitude journal. While this past month has been public, I’ve kept a gratitude journal for years now.  It’s too rewarding a habit to give up now! What […]

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day #28 in a month of Thanksgiving: it’s the happily ever after thing…

Today I’m very grateful for all the little things my beloved does, every day. Things ranging from getting up to take the dogs out when they howl at 2 a.m. (maybe that’s a big thing…), to running to the store […]

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day 26 in a month of Thanksgiving: cranberries, turkey, and pie…oh my!

The pies are cooking for tomorrow. All the house smells of butter crust and pumpkin filling. In the 2nd fridge there’s a medium-sized turkey, with a ham still to be picked up. I’m fielding calls regarding what else folks should […]

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day 25 of Thanksgiving month: gratitude in the wake of #Ferguson

Today, in the wake of Ferguson, my beginner’s heart is breaking. There seems so very little to be grateful for. I wasn’t even going to write. And then I thought — there is one sad, terrible thing for which I […]

day 24 of Thanksgiving month: getting ready (or not…)

I’m not at the ‘in the pie pan’ stage yet, but I did make the dough today. My family is BIG on pie, and especially at Thanksgiving. (Countdown: 3-2-1…) I think my beloved could eat an entire pie by himself, […]

day 23 of Thanksgiving month: soundtracks

The other day I wrote about how much I love music, how it’s one of my everyday gratitudes. Which set me to thinking: what would my life’s soundtrack be? What would I like to exit to? You have to realise: I […]

day 22 of Thanksgiving month: the kindness of strangers

Today’s gratitude is slightly abashed. I’m grateful for kindness — even my own, actually. And abashed that it’s noticed so…noticeably…? Because if just joking w/ the Starbuck’s barista, and teasing her about breathing, nets me a heartfelt hand-hold and a […]

day 21 of Thanksgiving month

Today a very simple gratitude, but profound. Music. That ineffable language writers have tried to capture for centuries. Working to replicate its nuance, the way it creates dancing in the bones, melancholy in the heart. I’m crazy about music. A […]

day #20 of Thanksgiving month

 It’s an older picture, but still appropriate for today’s post. Because here’s my gratitude today: my grandson recognizes me! Before you think I’ve totally lost my marbles, let me explain. My grandson is only 18 months old next week. I […]

day #17 of Thanksgiving: drive, she said

Americans take our ability to drive ourselves wherever for granted. I’m probably the only person I know who didn’t drive until in my 20s. Yes, I ‘learned’ to drive. Took the test at 16 (the legal age when I was […]

day of Thanksgiving #16: tech support (and privilege)

My computer has been wonky for weeks. By wonky, read: slooow, hanging, programs crashing. A pain, in other words. Enter tech support, AKA my beloved. Who often can merely walk into the room and broken electronics start working. I’m NOT […]

day of Thanksgiving #15

Central heat. That’s today’s gratitude. Now, some folks may think that’s NOT an everyday kind of thing to be grateful for. But that’s my point — we use it every day in winter (those of us who are lucky enough […]

day of Thanksgiving lucky number 13: broccoli (and Aunt Bonnie)

I owe today to my Great-Aunt Bonnie. While she didn’t exactly teach me to cook, she certainly had a big part in teaching me to love food. I can’t remember a single meal she prepared (and there were many) that […]

day of Thanksgiving #12: temper, temper

It may not seem like an everyday gratitude, but it is, if you think about it. Anger, I mean. It’s useful as both a gauge and a valve, obviously — letting you know when things are past your comfort zone. […]

month of Thanksgiving #11: tea and chocolate

This was my dessert today, which is just the kind of ordinary gratitude I love. BUT… It also was FREE! Another everyday gratitude. AND it was eaten across the table from my smart, funny, pregnant niece (to distinguish her from […]

month of Thanksgiving #10 — a good book is bliss

As I’ve said as recently as this week, and just in general, reading is a big deal to me. So maybe that’s a big gratitude. But one book? That’s surely small enough to make the everyday list. I just finished […]

month of Thanksgiving #8: the New Yorker and its companions

I adore the New Yorker. Even when the stack of unread ones that accumulates from time to time reproaches me. Currently I’m reading (still) the Food Issue. MY FAVOURITE! Reading about food is almost as much as eating it. Seriously: […]

month of Thanksgiving #7: the cat formerly known as Hektor

This is Hector (formerly w/ a ‘k’, now w/ a ‘c’ to indicate he’s MINE). He used to belong to my sister. My sister has the landlady from … well, very hot climes. And said landlady, DESPITE my sister paying […]

month of Thanksgiving #6 (short but sweet)

Today was/ continues to be one of those blah days when good things happen, but you don’t always see them at first. Or, you don’t even have the energy to acknowledge them (how sad is  THAT?). So my gratitude is […]

month of Thanksgiving #5…the guest room

In my ongoing month’s effort to see the daily magic of my everyday life, I realised today that I overlook something pretty important: our guest room. It’s such a gift, this space for our friends & family to come & […]

month of Thanksgiving #4: let it rain…

It was raining when I woke up today. The deck was littered w/ scarlet & yellow leaves, vivid against the wet wood. In the sky, clouds hung low & heavy. Not a good day for the final moving in of […]

giving thanks #3

Today’s gratitude is brought to you by coffee, that magical drink of ages. You know, the one that also may have fueled the Enlightenment? This is what great coffee looks like — it brews up thick, and rich, w/ lots […]

day 13 of Thanksgiving (in praise of laundry)

I HATE doing laundry. I once told a friend that I would remember my child-bearing years as piles of dirty laundry. Really dirty laundry: hockey socks & pads, football jerseys, cutoffs from camp, towels that ended up mildewing under the bed… […]

the month of Thanksgiving

During November — which I think of as the month of Thanksgiving — I give thanks each day for one of my many blessings. Today it’s my grandson, with whom I am (of course!) besotted. I’m sure this is true […]

day 30 of Thanksgiving month: all you need is love ~

This isn’t the newest picture of my wonderful husband, nor is it my earliest. But it’s one I like, as it reminds me how much we have in common. When we metmany years ago, on a blind date, that wasn’t […]

day 29 of a month of Thanksgiving: sons

This is my favourite picture of my two sons, whom I adore. And for whom I give thanks daily. They are grown men now, my two blond children, and will shake their heads at their mother posting a picture of […]

the 28th day of Thanksgiving month (vertigo & other blessings) ~

I woke up in the middle of the night to a room awhirl. Seriously awhirl, as in the bed might well have been on a crazed merry-go-round. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant evening. Vertigo and I have […]

day 26 of the month of Thanksgiving: the threads that bind ~

Today I’m grateful for the ways lives bump into each other. Because it’s all connected. At least that’s what Buddhists think — you, me, the screen where the letters appear, the chocolate I bought at Target, the  leaves blowing against […]

day 24 of Thanksgiving month: seatbelts and nieces ~

My youngest niece (I have a bouquet of wonderful nieces :)) walked away this morning from her mother’s totalled Honda. Anne was wearing her seatbelt. So this my BIG thank-you today: Anne and her seatbelt. Buddhism, as the Buddhist writer […]

day 23 of a month of Thanksgiving: just quiet, lazy peace ~

I did right at zilch today. I didn’t cook, or get ready, or clean, or entertain. I didn’t vacuum or change the sheets or do holiday cards. There were leftovers (cold pie for breakfast! whoohoo!), and all they required was […]

day 21 of the month of Thanksgiving (a man who buys you diamonds for no reason…) ~

When I married my husband, we had zilch money. We got married quickly, so that I could go to Algeria with him, where his company had transferred him. Actually, we thought we were going to Morocco. A story for another […]

day 20 of a month of Thanksgiving (war & peace…) ~

As pictures of wounded children — and tiny body bags — cast long shadows across international media these past few days, I am so very grateful to live in a country free from war within our borders. I am grateful […]

day 19 of a month of Thanksgiving: old friends ~

Today I’m grateful for old friends. Perhaps because I moved so much as a child  and a young adult, I have very few friends from my adolescence. And none, really, from my childhood. No one who knew me in elementary […]

day 17 of a month of Thanksgiving: libraries ~

I’m exceedingly thankful for libraries. AND for librarians, who rank up there w/ superheroes (& heroines) to me. From my first foray into the bookmobile (travelling books?? what magic!), to the Việtnamese American Association Library around the street from us […]

day 16 of a month of Thanksgiving: medical technology (& insurance) ~

Despite what it may look like, this is NOT a torture device. And it’s not really a toe screw (which IS  an official instrument of torture).  Nope, this is what I’m grateful for today: my newest in a long line of weird […]

day 15 of Thanksgiving: everyday moments ~

the curve of a tree limb against blue sky a patch of yellow asters spangled with blue & black butterflies how fresh-ground coffee tastes on a cold damp morning the smell of November roses This is the kind of thing […]

day 14 of Thanksgiving ~

Today’s a bittersweet thank-you. A poet I love dearly — Jack Gilbert — died yesterday. Gilbert was one of the (many) poets who helped me shape my own craft. But even had I not also been a writer, I don’t […]

the middle of Thanksgiving ~

For many of us, Thanksgiving lasts a month. Each day I use Facebook to share something for which I’m grateful. It may be as small as the sunlight that hits the deck chair exactly right on a brisk fall day, […]

Previous Posts

unexpected treasures
This is a bat house. While this one isn't the one currently in my garage, awaiting its move to Virginia, it looks much like ours will look in a few years: ...

posted 1:15:47pm Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

making friends with (at?) work
Because of the upcoming move, I've scaled back on many activities I love, including several non-profits. Friday, the head of one I particularly enjoy asked if ...

posted 5:49:17pm Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

temper temper
I'm probably going to get a LOT of pushback on this, but at least in my family, men have worse tempers than the rest of us. And they don't believe ...

posted 12:36:21pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

In Praise of Teachers Under Attack, reprised
I am so sick of anti-teacher ignorance that I could spit, as my Aunt Bonnie would have said. “It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.” No. No, no, ...

posted 1:52:52pm Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

moving toward light: opening up and letting go
Photographers have a term for when there's not light to shoot a picture. It's called 'opening up': you increase the aperture -- the hole through which ...

posted 1:42:11pm Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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