Sunday, January 31, 2016


...three thirty five.

If there is any secret to this life I live,
 this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. 
& there is nothing more to it than that.

i cleared the deck of snow.
i enjoyed my coffee.
as i sat out there.
as i sat.
i enjoyed the moments of nothing.
the neighbors rooster crowing.
the eves dripping.
addison sitting on the deck's edge...
listening for mice beneath the snow.
the sun shining.
warming my face.
despite the temperature.
many moments of nothing for this morning.
that made for extraordinary moments.
of everything.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

...three thirty six...

in the end,
only three things matter:
how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let go
of things not meant for you.

it is the simple things.
like a fur baby.
jumping up onto the chair.
of your still life photo set up...
that makes you stop and smile.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Friday, January 29, 2016

...three thirty seven...

to be honest.
i'm just
winging it.
life, motherhood,
my eye liner.

when you show up authentic
you create space for others
to do the same.


~project happiness

two different inspirations.
that were back to back on my FB feed.
they kind of go hand in hand.
don't ya think?
just BE.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

...three thirty eight...

when people suck the life out of you...
wouldn't it be nice if they took some fat too??

just BE.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

...three thirty nine...

when you do things from your soul,
you feel a river moving in you,
a joy.

feel the river.
find the moments.
just BE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

...three forty...

the simple things
are also the most extraordinary things.

slow down.
take time to look.
you will see the abundance
of extraordinary things in your life.

it is all.
in the way you look.
at it.
just BE.

Monday, January 25, 2016

...three forty one...

Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will 
live along some distant day into your answers.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

my Christmas mantel is down.
i procrastinated this year in taking it down.
i loved the glow of the lights.
they didn't look the same without the greenery.
this is my moment today.
the clean.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


...three forty two.

i'm finding the simplest way
to happiness is to let myself
be happy with the things that
make me happy
also it helps to stop
wondering if i could be
happier with other things
i don't know about yet.
~brian andreas
impossible to know

find your happiness.
find your joy.
live there for awhile.
see what happens.
just a thought.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

...three forty three...

It is not that we hide from the small,
 cold things at the heart of us,
 but from the raging heat of a wild self that loves this world without apology
 & how do you live like that without setting your whole life on fire?

simple beauty.
in the back of a lived in chair.
oh the stories it could tell.
of the people who've sat there.
enjoy each moment.
just BE.

Friday, January 22, 2016

...three forty four...

Permanent To-Do List 1. Drink Wine...

enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

...three forty five...

"i do believe in an everyday
sort of magic--the
inexplicable connectedness
we sometimes experience
with places, people
works of art and the 
like; the eerie appropriateness
of moments of synchronicity;
of whispered voice,
the hidden presence,
when we think we're

Charles de Lint

up and personal with the eves.
a snow wall.
covering the icicles.
it is my moment.
of a hidden magic.
that might otherwise go unseen.
just breathe.
just BE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

...number 24...

Dear #35,
Growing up you don’t really think you will ever actually grow up. You spend years waiting until the day you can finally make decisions on your own. You get mad at your parents because they treat you like a child, and you focus on what decisions you can make -- the decisions you think are huge at the moment, but looking back they are the same decisions you laugh about and find the most irrelevant.
While waiting to grow up, I decided to follow my brother’s footsteps and play sports. I spent my childhood summers at the ball field watching my brother, following my dad around, or playing softball myself. For me and my friends, picking out our all-star uniforms was the best part about softball season -- something our mothers dreaded doing every year. Winters were spent watching my brother play basketball and having to play on a boys team because, apparently, most girls don’t play basketball in elementary school.
From the youth league basketball teams, I moved onto bigger and better things -- the seventh and eighth grade girls team, and from little league to the middle school softball team. Meeting new friends, getting new uniforms, and leaving behind the uniforms I once thought that I would never grow out of.

But, then, what seemed like took forever to get to, but really happened in the blink of an eye, I was walking the halls of my high school, wearing my jersey on game day. I felt so proud to be a part of the team I was representing. I no longer thought about the all-star uniforms, or the third-grade basketball team I had left behind, I didn’t think about how I was now “one of the older girls” I used to look up to. I just assumed that time was on my side, and that it wouldn’t slip away from me.
Suddenly, I found myself sitting in the stands, watching games like all of the other “has beens” had watched me, and I realized something. I realized that the youth league boys team, the little league all-star uniforms, the middle school championships, and now my years on the high school team were something I can’t ever get back. I realized that something I never thought I would miss, was actually the thing I took for granted the most.
I tell you all of this because I am sure your life has went about the same way. Always looking ahead to the next season, or the next sport, with only a few days off here and there, but never thinking about the things you used to be a part of. But you that you can’t do that anymore, because unless you’re really good, this will be your last team. So I want to tell you a few things about that jersey on your back and the number that they call before your last name.
As you wear my jersey, and play my game on my court, I want you to think about all of those before you and all of those to come after you. Think about the little girls just now learning to play the game that we have both grown to love. Think about the number you are wearing and those that have wore it before you. Because within that time that I let slip away, I was also claiming it all as my own.
The time that you spend in my jersey, in those halls, with the people you call your friends now, are times that you’ll look back on and remember just how easy life was. You’ll miss the bus rides to away games, listening to music and always sitting in the same seat next to your favorite teammates. You’ll miss the group you went with to eat before every game. You’ll miss the heart-to-heart conversations each of you had coming home from the furthest away games. You’ll miss the trips you took for tournaments when you got to stay in a hotel with your team. But most of all you’ll miss your teammates, their parents, their grandparents, their siblings, and everyone who helped you along the way. You’ll miss the family you became from it all.
So like I said, that jersey and that number, it was all once mine. Just like it represents your successes and your losses, it represents my own. I made shots, I missed shots, I had rebounds, and I let some get way. I smiled in that jersey as they announced my name to start before my first varsity game, and I cried like a baby in that jersey when I walked off of the court after my very last game. That jersey isn’t just a jersey, it’s a legacy and every legacy has its own story. As I watch from the stands, what used to be my team play, you should know that I am expecting a lot from you. I am expecting you to play better than I ever did, because even I did not do our jersey justice.

substitute the girl with a boy.
insert a dad.
he wore twenty-four.
so does his son.
the one he is coaching.
this is a moment.
that i chose to be lost in.
{with a kleenex to wipe the tears}
for a moment or two.
just BE.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

...three forty seven...

BE kind
work hard
stay humble
smile often
keep honest
stay loyal
travel when possible
never stop learning
be thankful always
and love.
also add.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Monday, January 18, 2016 three forty eight...

The Hand of Fatima is an ancient talisman that symbolizes feminine power. 
Originating from the Hebrew word hamesh, literally meaning five, 
the hand is worn as a defense against negative energy, 
deflecting the gaze of the evil eye away from the wearer.
 Believed to channel the forces of good,
the Hand of Fatima promotes healing and fosters miracles.

this is a bracelet.
gifted to me from my bestie of all time, janet.
it is from {alex and ani.}
love them!!!
the hand of fatima.
i needed extra help against negative energy today.
i am happy to say...
it worked.
that and prayer.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


because today it is ten degrees, with a high expected of thirteen.
i chose to share this moment...
as day, three forty nine.

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise,
It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."
but instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, And appreciate every second that's
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, Another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

an ah-ha moment.
how many do you think you can gather this week?
meet me here next week and share them.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

...three fifty...

It's a great honor for me to be the third member of my family to receive an honorary doctorate from this great university. It's an honor to follow my great-uncle Jim, who was a gifted physician, and my Uncle Jack, who is a remarkable businessman. Both of them could have told you something important about their professions, about medicine or commerce. I have no 
specialized field of interest or expertise, which puts me at a disadvantage, talking to you today. I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know.

Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first. Don't ever forget what a friend once wrote Senator Paul Tsongas when the senator decided not to run for reelection because he'd been diagnosed with cancer: "No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office."

Don't ever forget the words my father sent me on a postcard last year: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Or what John Lennon wrote before he was gunned down in the driveway of the Dakota: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

You walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume. I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job, if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So here's what I wanted to tell you today: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure; it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad.

Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted.

Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of the azaleas, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of live.

I learned to live many years ago. Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all.

I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.

I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back because I believed in it completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field.Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy.

And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.

Well, you can learn all those things, out there, if you get a real life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Here you could learn in the classroom. There the classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end.

No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office.

I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island maybe 15 years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless survive in the winter months. He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule, panhandling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, 
sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amidst the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Cyclone and some of the other seasonal rides.

But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now, even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them.

And I asked him why. Why didn't he go to one of the shelters? Why didn't he check himself into the hospital for detox?

And he just stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view." And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view.

And that's the last thing I have to tell you today, words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be.

Look at the view. You'll never be disappointed.
~anna quindlen

a friend of my husband.
retired after forty-one years of working.
just two months ago.
this week.
he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
he was given a month of life on this earth.
i took this picture from a different perspective.
 & i wanted to share this message today.
if not now,
one month.
 2,592,000 secs.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Friday, January 15, 2016 three fifty one...

sometimes the greatest effort we 
can make appears small. it matters 
not as much whether our endeavors live up
to someones else's standards but how confidently
we can say we stayed
true to our own. 
~christine mason miller

ordinary moments.
this morning there was six inches of snow.
on this crock.
warmer temps.
melting snow.
take the time to notice.
the little things.
enjoy the moments to.
just BE.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

...three fifty two...

Snow is not really the problem, he said. It’s that the world can hold way more snow 
than my mind does.


what is your moment today?
just BE.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

...three fifty three...

i give up freely what is no longer serving me.
i release it to create space for what inspires me.

this was gifted to me.
{panefull addiction: kim cowger}
by my sweet sister friend, tresa.
i love her for always.
she gets me.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

...three fifty four...

a storypeople picture gifted to me at Christmas.

if you listen.
to this song.
it is all chaos...until.
 about 3:05.
where it becomes calm.
where it then builds to a crescendo.
i love music.
i love life's moments of crescendos.
where you are moved to happy tears.
where you realize you are holding your breath...
and you let it out.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Monday, January 11, 2016

...three fifty five...

Walking into the sunlight filled field
With the weeping willow slowly dancing in the warm breeze,
The lake smooth on the surface even though
Underneath life flourishes,
Off in the distance there is a deer running back into the woods.
Always dreaming of the simplicity of that life,

Sitting in this picture perfect landscape thinking to myself.
Why must we make life so difficult?
Every once in awhile you need to stop and enjoy the scenery,
Because life isn’t about how much power you have
Or how many friends you have,
Life is about trying to find what makes you happy
And not getting caught up in the everyday nonsense.
This field put everything into perspective,
If you rush through life and never stop to look around
Have you ever really lived?

by Craig Wharem

my tree is down.
outside now, placed by my bird feeders.
so that the feathered creatures.
may take shelter from the wind and snow.
but i can't bring myself to undress the mantel.
i love the greens and light.
it will stay up.
i will breathe in the light.
i will enjoy the moment.
just BE.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


...three fifty six

Wrapped tightly against a chill wind she just remembered from a long time ago 
& no amount of current time & temperature can help this one...

the sound of the wind chime.
just isn't the same.
at twenty-three degrees.
and snowy, blowy wind.
but it is a moment.
for which i am grateful.
because it means.
i am.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

...three fifty seven.

Inez C. Byers
Gramma Byers to me.

this is what she wrote...
worked by pat byers
tustin, mi
december 28, 2001
in memory of Inez Christine Johnson Byers
august 14, 1914 to december 7, 1993
mother of ron, mary and ellen
wife of Herman Elmer Byers
married january 4, 1936
she was a wonderful woman.
always beautiful inside and out.
mom was beautiful even in her old barn boots, 
with a ragged old jacket.
tattered gloves and that goofy cap she wore
with flaps to cover her ears.
she will always be remembered for her ice cream cones,
 her gladiolas in summer, 
her one blue, one brown eye.
her laugh,
those crazy sandals she wore with no support.
her dedication to the augustana lutheren church.
and her family
her strawberry shortcake.
her liver pault, baked beans, rice pudding,
chocolate cake with white icing
and her laugh.
her tasty pies, her ice box cookies always ready in the frigerator.
the teapot always hot on the stove.
and her laugh.
what a privilege it was to know her.
i miss you mom.
but your memory stays alive.

even more precious than the front.
is what she wrote on the back.
i cherish each memory she spoke of.
beautiful moments.
roll into a lifetime.
of unconditional love.
just BE.

Friday, January 8, 2016

...three fifty eight.


in life,
there are no ordinary moments.
most of us never really recognize
the most significant moments of our lives
when they are happening. 
from the book BE

this sign hangs above.
 my computer table.
i intend to follow.
many of these house rules today.
especially the BE grateful.
BE kind.
and the laugh out loud.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

...three fifty nine.

If we do not afford ourselves the gift of silence, 
we shall never hear the message of the universe.
with the sound only of the woodstove.
and the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
this moment.
three fifty nine.
just BE.