You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

We have more snow up in the mountains than this picture shows, but as we know I try to stay away from the snow. Because it’s COLD. What is a beach girl doing living in the Rocky Mountain foothills? I ask myself that question every day. That said, once again, I’m going to try to embrace winter. When I am better, MKL and I will be trying ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Maybe I should say if I get better… now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find that lung I just coughed up.


Jackson County, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The first step to change,… is accepting your reality right now. Honoring your process. Compassionate self-awareness leads to change; harsh self-criticism only holds the pattern in place, creating a stubborn and defensive Basic Self.  Be gentle with yourself as you would with a child. Be gentle but firm. Give yourself the space to grow.”  —  Dan Milliman

Daily gratitudes:
How reflected headlights can look like fireworks
Chlotilde the Fabulous Pink Chicken
Dreams of beaches

Christmas was amazing. My stupid cold (are there any smart ones? I don’t know, maybe this one is smarter than me) is still here — 13 days and counting and NOTHING seems to touch it. The days are getting longer, which we greet with a happy “Woot!” It got up to 23 today. And I am ready to remember warm, green days.


Northern Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”  —  Rabindranath Tagore

Daily gratitudes:
Pigeons that plump themselves up to stay warm
Watching the ice skaters downtown
Napping on the bus
The pretty Christmas tree
Overhearing conversations on the shuttle

Garden of the Gods is a wealth of rock formation beauty.  The fires encroached on the area this past summer, but fortunately the park was spared.  It’s a wonderful place to hike, meditate, journey, and be awestruck. Time for a chilly hike soon!


Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Ever since I was small I loved feeling somebody comb my hair. It made me go all sleepy & peaceful.” — Sylvia Plath

Daily gratitudes:
My new little piece of art from Santa Fe
That we may have a white Christmas for the first time in ages
Fuzzy Christmas socks

Should I be posting Christmas pictures instead of other seasons? I don’t know. What I know is that now that we are past the most recent apocalypse prediction, we might just hope that we have a new world unfolding before us – a kinder, gentler, more beautiful, more tender, more thoughtful world. A new spring born this Christmas season.


Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day:  “I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings.”  —  Mahatma Gandhi

Daily gratitudes:
Wrapping paper swordfights in WalMart
Palm trees

I have been sick for what seems like forever.  At first it was a horrible cough, which I worked through until yesterday, when I was so sick I couldn’t work.  I was still too sick to work today.  My darling MKL came to visit tonight and brought me two perfect early Christmas presents to make me feel better – even though just seeing him was enough.  At any rate, this picture, or any picture of Anegada, is a tonic for my sick and tired spirit.  Sorry for the slightly crooked horizon, and I promise I’ll be back to my merry Santa-hat-wearing, holiday-loving self before Christmas.


Pomato Point, Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “Blessed are the cracked, for they shall let in the light.”  —  Groucho Marx

Daily gratitudes:
My chicken purse
Soft pillows
Naps when you’re sick
26 acts of kindness
Moments of silence

A Bad Christmas Cold Poem

The spirit of the season
Is bubbling like a brew
But its gift, beyond all reason,
To my body, is the flu.

Used Kleenex lies like drifted snow,
The orange juice is flowing
And there is no cure that I know
To keep my nose from blowing.

A fuzzy scarlet blanket now
Serves as my Santa suit
And cool cloths on my fevered brow
Keep me from looking cute.

Instead of ringing silver bells
You hear my hacking cough
Despite the Christmas cookie  smells,
All I want is broth.

I should be wrapping all those things
Or festiving the tree
But shoulds can fly on angel’s wings
I’m sick as I can be.

The holidays are almost here
And they may pass me by.
I’m full of snot, not Christmas cheer
As one this couch I lie.

I’m sorry I’m not full of cheer
I’m sorry that I’m ill
Hope Santa and his reindeer
Will bring a get-well pill.


Awaiting future feathered friends…


Beaufort, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships.  God has placed it all around us.  It is in everything and anything we might experience.  We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.”  — Jon Krakauer

Daily gratitudes:
Getting packages ready to go
The Christmas balls high in the neighbor’s tree
My scarf from Donna (and that she didn’t get hit by a bus today)
That MKL is feeling better

Today’s guest poet: D. H. Lawrence

On That Day

On that day
I shall put roses on roses, and cover your grave
With multitude of white roses: and since you were brave
One bright red ray.

So people, passing under
The ash-trees of the valley-road, will raise
Their eyes and look at the grave on the hill, in wonder,
Wondering mount, and put the flowers asunder

To see whose praise
Is blazoned here so white and so bloodily red.
Then they will say: “’Tis long since she is dead,
Who has remembered her after many days?”

And standing there
They will consider how you went your ways
Unnoticed among them, a still queen lost in the maze
Of this earthly affair.

A queen, they’ll say,
Has slept unnoticed on a forgotten hill.
Sleeps on unknown, unnoticed there, until
Dawns my insurgent day.


The weather people say there will be snow tonight. We have been incredibly lucky with our weather so far this fall/winter, with only one real snowfall. But the short days (which will be growing longer if we survive December 21st) are wearing and taking a toll on those of us with S.A.D., even with the warmer weather. I still need a reminder of spring.


San Francisco, California.

Quote of the day: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  —  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
That my Santa Hat makes people smile
My new cream swing coat
Christmas lights downtown
Having my three girls here tonight
That the lady at the convenience stand at the bus stop wouldn’t take my money for a Red Bull this morning, but sent me up to the top of the stairs where they were giving it away for free.

It seems to be a season for grief to pile upon grief. It makes me wonder if we should just forego Christmas this year. It is supposed to be a time of peace and family.

MKL’s cousin – second cousin, I suppose – was one of the police officers  shot and killed in Topeka, Kansas two days ago.  Police Officer Jeff Atherly was only 29 years old, and had been on the police force for less than two years. Law enforcement is a  long-standing profession in MKL’s family – I can’t tell you how many uncles and cousins have been professional lawmen.  Even his sister was a police officer for ten years. It is a proud and noble line of work for this family, and the loss of one of the younger generation has hit the family hard.

I am not from a large family, so MKL’s extended family seems huge to me. They still have a family reunion every year in Kansas, in a town that’s little more than a crossroad on the map. MKL had the pleasure of spending some time with Jeff there last summer.  This would have been my first year to attend, but we had some confusion on the dates, and I couldn’t make it.  Next year, I will go, even though it’s a little scary being introduced to so much new family all at once. (And here I want to take a moment to say that I am so very thankful that I have renewed contact with my own dear cousin Tamara.)

I appreciate the closeness of the family’s hearts and look forward to being a part of it. I’m sorry that I will never get to meet Jeff, for he must have been a very fine young man.  I am sad to think of his parents, his family, who will be without him this holiday and all those that follow.  Tragedy seems to be flowing so thickly through our country right now. This one that personally touches me and the man I love, on top of the little angels of Sandy Hook, seems almost too much to bear.

Perhaps this year, we need the spirit of Christmas more than ever, and the peace and magic that spirit can bring.

Photo of Officer Jeff Atherly

Rest in peace, Officer Atherly.

December 2012


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