Thursday, March 27, 2008

thankful thursday.

I'm a little behind (coincidentally working on a littler behind), but here are my top ten gratitudes for the week ... how about you??

1. *beautiful* springy weather (for as long as it lasts)!!
2. happy songs.
3. a tennis ball to lie down on whenever my neck/shoulders/back are acting up.
4. a "breather" work day to tie up loose ends & catch up (well, not all the way, but some).
5. the ability — however brief — to go with the flow.
6. baking.
7. sweet, unexpected messages from friends.
8. good foundation makeup.
9. Dancing With the Stars (go, Marissa!!).
10. Stacy Julian.

Monday, March 17, 2008

mid-march monday miscellany.

Another week gone — not terribly surprising, as I'm still feeling a little unsteady upon my figurative feet. I've just been listing and listing and working and listing, trying to regain some feeling of control over my life, its details and its direction. Some feeling of control because there's rather little actual control over this life, is there?

Philosophical questions aside, here are my top ten things to be thankful for this mid-March Monday:

1. Limited PMS months (which this one isn't for me, incidentally).
2. Weight Watchers (the simple beauty of it is if you do it, then it works).
3. A Monday mostly to myself.
4. Shopping as a representative for the Easter Bunny (God bless Target).
5. Clearing clutter — or, even better, clutter cleared.
6. A working wifi router (I shouldn't jinx it ...).
7. Salmon for supper (my kids *love* it — go figure!).
8. Thunderstorms.
9. Supportive, thoughtful friends who get me, who give me space while continuing to sweetly touch base.
10. Someone who says you look almost exactly the same as when they met you over 20 years ago.

Happy mid-March Monday, everyone — have a gratitude-filled, balanced and clarifying week!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

m-squared memories.

A whole week later ... I've been to Hell, Houston, Chicago — the suburb of Arlington Heights, really — and finally, home. We said our final farewells and buried my birthmom, Pat, in a fussy white casket on a dreary Saturday afternoon with the snow falling.

So this March Monday, I offer my top ten memories of Pat, all of which I'm ever grateful for.

1. The pleasantly lilting way she answered the telephone: "Pat Pepin" — like it was punctuated with a little happy face.

2. Our hours-long conversations, full of her smokey laughter.

3. All the other people important to her, of whom she talked frequently: Piotr, Teresa, cousin Shirley, best-friend Mary, Elliot, neices Deanna and Stacy.

4. Her many, many stories about Stelle & Stanley (dalmatians), KG (a recently adopted feral kitten), and all the uninvited critters around her South Florida home (possums, poisonous frogs, snakes, a whole colony of wild, inbreeding cats).

5. Her black-and-white obsession — d├ęcor, wardrobe and pets alike.

6. Her unlikely yet utter affection for and attachment to her mother, of whom she took exquisite care until the day Evelyn died (almost eight years ago).

7. The gold necklace with three-diamond drop, which she had fashioned from her mother's wedding-ring stones as a gift for me.

8. Her birthday gifts for Rachel & Will for the first five years of their respective lives — college tuition installments that lifted that huge financial burden from our future.

9. Her extreme thoughtfulness, generosity and courage — in all things.

10. Her wedding ring, which her husband of 26 years, Bob, gave to me as a family keepsake.

Aside from a few self-destructive habits, there was practically nothing not to love about Pat. Which is why all I'm left with at the end of our reunited 15+ years is love for you, Pat, and gratitude for our abbreviated time together.

To read Pat's death notice from the Chicago Tribune (3.5.08), click here.

To contribute to a wonderfully worthwhile organization in honor of a great lady's memory, click here to go to the donations section of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary & Hospital. Safe Harbor is a no-kill animal shelter located in Pat's last hometown of Jupiter, Florida. You can contribute any amount at all — for Patricia Franke, or for whomever else you want to honor or memorialize.

Monday, March 3, 2008

m-cubed gratitudes.

Top ten things I'm thankful for this March Monday Morning ...

1. The 15 years I knew Patricia Helfogt Dankert Pepin Franke, my birthmom (who left us yesterday — traumatically, tragically, oddly).
2. Dramatic weather you don't have to go out in.
3. Dove dark chocolates.
4. Polar fleece.
5. The Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo — another day.
6. Understanding clients and colleagues.
7. Laptop computers.

8. Chicago.
9. My relatively happy, healthy family, all safe & sound in our home on a blustery day.
10. Having our children's college tuition bought & paid for.

We love you, Nana Pat.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

celebrate the everday — march.

It's March, 2008. How will you celebrate being a woman?

Remember, where there is connection, there is power.

Where there is power, there is hope for change.
For ourselves, and for our world.

We are all connected. We are all powerful.
Until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.