Thursday, November 8, 2012

i am grateful.

lately, i find myself quite literally surrounded
by reminders of how my life,
despite its difficult challenges of late,
is essentially good & wonderfully worthy of abundant gratitude.

kitty-corner from us, we've got a dear neighbor
whose husband was killed while jogging last summer
by a hit-&-run driver, at the entrance to our neighborhood.
she's now a single mom raising their two young children
while dealing with overwhelming grief, & driving past the spot
where her beloved husband was mowed down several times a day.

our dear next-door neighbor struggled mightily with her mortgage
until she had no choice but to let the bank take over her home.
she spent the past six weeks selling off all of her worldly goods
& letting her house go to hell. she's now living in an rv in the next town over.

i've got another friend whose husband was just laid off
along with several hundred of his colleagues. he was given minimal severance,
& both he & his wife are now in their mid-50s & in search of work.

so despite the fact that we're in rather deep debt,
that we're scrabbling for cash flow,
that i've been battling bronchitis for weeks &
little boy's got walking pneumonia,

i'm grateful. so, so grateful.

i am grateful . . .

:: we're all still here together.

:: we're living in our dream house in a great neighborhood.

:: we've got three healthy, hilarious dogs to entertain & comfort us.

:: my work is picking up just in time for the holidays.

:: i've been successfully freelancing for ten years.

:: my dad just turned 80yo, & both he & my mom are doing wonderfully.

:: my cousin is cancer-free.

:: we've got great health insurance.

:: i'm feeling good emotionally.

:: autumn has finally arrived.

:: the election is over.

:: obama is still our president.

:: i'm about to spend a weekend reconnecting with my oldest friend.

:: teen girl's revamped room is spectacular.

:: teen girl still tells me she loves me, cursorily but daily.

:: christmas is coming.

:: i'll be handmaking many gifts.

:: i lovelovelove my happy green honda element.

:: for the everyday moments i see that make me smile,
make me laugh, lift my spirit ever higher.

'tis the season for thankfulness, y'all.
so, what are you thankful for today? do share.

image source: wish i remembered; sorry!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

american woman proud.

oh, what a night . . .
what a ladies' night!!

last night, american women — voters & candidates alike —
kicked some serious patriotic ass, & yes, gentlemen — we took names.

on election day 2012:

:: women made up about 54% of the electorate.

:: 55% of women voted for barack obama. 44% of women voted for mitt romney.

:: the total gender gap added up to 18% in president obama's favor —
an expansion of over 30% since his 2008 election.

:: the 113th u.s. congress will include 20 women senators,
the most ever in u.s. history [we're currently at 17].

:: 5 new women senators were elected — 4 democrats + 1 republican —
while all 6 democratic women incumbents were re-elected.

:: a record number of women candidates ran for both
the u.s. senate & the u.s. house of representatives.

:: in massachusetts, democrat elizabeth warren became her state's
first woman u.s. senator, winning over incumbent republican scott brown
in the most expensive senate race nationwide — at more than $70 million.

:: in new hampshire, the first-ever all-women delegation was elected —
their 2 women u.s. senators [1 dem, 1 rep] will be joined by
2 democratic women congressional representatives, as well as
governor maggie hassan, who will be the only woman democratic governor in 2013.

:: in missouri, democratic senator claire mccaskill won re-election
against republican representative todd akin, who infamously said
pregnancy rarely results from a "legitimate" rape.

:: in indiana, democratic representative joe donnelly won a senate seat
against republican richard mourdock, who infamously called
pregnancy resulting from rape "something god intended to happen."

:: in nebraska, republican deb fischer became her state's
first full-term woman u.s senator, winning over democrat bob kerrey.

:: in wisconsin, democratic representative tammy baldwin became our country's
first openly gay senator & her state's first woman u.s. senator,
winning over republican former governor tommy thompson. her house seat goes to
assemblyman mark pocan, also an openly gay democrat.

:: in hawai'i, democrat mazie hirono became our country's
first asian-american woman u.s. senator, winning over
republican former governor linda lingle.

:: also in hawai'i, democrat tulsi gabbard became our country's
first practicing hindu ever elected to the u.s. house, winning over
republican kawika crowley. gabbard intends to take her oath of office next january over
a bhagavad gita, a sacred text for followers of the vaishnava branch of hindu.

image source: women for obama.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

see the miracles.

it is a miracle if you can find true friends,
& it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat,
& it is a miracle if you get to spend your days
& evenings doing whatever it is you like to do,
& the holiday season — like all the other seasons —
is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles,
but also to think about the miracles in your own life,
& to be grateful for them.

~ lemony snicket ~

image source: lisa leonard.