Month of Gratitude: Day 30

I admit I am grateful this Sunday for Grandma Greta.

It was four years ago today that I met up with the graying gal at a holiday adoption event. The shaking four pounder ran away from me, and the store Santa, hiding out beneath feathered red and green Christmas cat toys.

I finally lured her out an hour later with a candy cane raw hide.

Greta was yipping in laughter as she recounted the story to her brother Tuck, the terrier, this morning. She was trying to console him after the vet pronounced that Tuck has now joined the ranks of my senior canine clan and is eligible for his own senior discount.

Tuck was not at all amused.

So Greta then offered Tuck her tried and true tips on aging from the perspective of her 100 plus dog years, barking them off loudly so he’d listen:

1. Naps are bliss. Like a zen moment, they’ll help you find your joy.
2. When life gets too stressful, just ‘shake it off’, or…
3. Pull a blanket over your head, or…
4. Twirl like crazy, while you still can. (Wearing a tutu, of course, or a maybe a tie).
5. You’re never too old to wear pink, or baby blue.
6. Keep traveling to new destinations, be it below the toy rack at the pet store, or chasing even smaller critters in a canyon.
7. Keep strutting your stuff. It’s all in that attitude.
8. Shriek, sing or howl at least once a day. Just to be heard, and because you have something to say.
9. If you bat those gray eyelashes, you’re sure to get a treat at the Golden Arches’s drive thru.
10. Always snuggle with family or friends as much as you can. You’ll stay warmer, especially in your heart.

And you’ll be forever grateful.

Upon hearing that last tip, Tuck jumped right up on the couch next to Greta and gave her a big sloppy kiss on the nose.

Month of Gratitude: Day 28


On this Black Friday, I stayed clear of big box stores and shopping malls.

Instead I chose to celebrate those gifts that keep on giving.

And I’m not talking fruitcake.

My friend Diane is a blogger and also an occupational therapist. A client of hers recently passed along some caps she’d knitted and asked Diane to give them to soldiers.

Diane blogged about it right before Veteran’s Day and suggested we all recognize soldiers past and present.

I loved the idea and immediately penned my own uncle a thank you for his years in Korea.

In her blog post, Diane also asked readers to leave a comment if they were interested in obtaining one of the caps. I left her a note of thanks and ended up being the first name drawn.

The cap is now on its way to a wonderful soldier I’ve met currently on duty in Iraq, along with a holiday thank you note.

The same day I received the package from Diane, I found another envelope in my mailbox. This time from another blogger I know named Deb.

Deb mailed me a bright and colorful pair of mittens, made from recycled sweaters, to keep my fingers “warm and nimble”.

She also included in her note much encouragement as I work to compile my writings on caregiving into a book that I hope will help others soon.

Like Diane, Deb warmed my soul with her kindness, along with my cold fingers.

I have to admit though I did put on my new mittens and ventured into one Black Friday event today.

It was being held at a shop benefiting those struggling in the community by selling donated new and ‘gently’ used merchandise.

I walked back out looking like Mrs. Claus with 6 lap size afghans a busy volunteer crocheted for the shop.

They’ll be gifts to warm my grandkids while reading their books in the chilly winter months as they sip their hot cider.

And the proceeds from my purchase will provide ample cider as well for the food shelf next to the store.

I’m am so grateful for these incredible gifts that keep on giving.

They’re gentle reminders of what this beautiful season really is all about.

Diane’s blog:

Deb’s blog: