TODAY I was thinking about gratitude and about all I have to be grateful for. My word for 2022 was

Gratitude is not a daughter of Happiness; instead, having gratitude brings happiness. This has been a roller coaster ride of a year so far. But, in spite of the way 2022 has played out and what it has brought, I am grateful for life in general…and happy.

One of the books I read early this year was Living Life as a Thank You.

I vaguely remember at least mentioning this book (or maybe reviewing it) on PWR.

Today, in cleaning out some old files I came across these notes from the book. Much of it is good advice.

  1. “…embrace the light that can be found [even in the] darkness.”
  2. Be grateful for simple pleasures.
  3. Pay attention to “small moments.”
  4. Pay attention to the extraordinary people in your life.
  5. Practice saying ‘thank you’ to those who join you in embracing gratitude.
  6. Give thanks to those who have made you smile.
  7. Appreciate family, friends, and coworkers.
  8. Wear a “gratitude bracelet.” Buy or make a simple bracelet and wear it on your right wrist. When you gripe, switch it to your left wrist. See if you can go the whole day with the bracelet ending up on the right. Once you have mastered this, try to go a week without switching; 21 days; a month.
  9. Take a midday break. Go outside and appreciate Nature.
  10. Establish a nighttime routine. Make sure you go to bed with a smile on your face. Think about all you appreciate in your life. Turn down/out the light. Breathe deeply and relax, thinking of what you are grateful for.

Books like this one I came to read thanks to my blogging friend, Deb Nance of Readerbuzz. In her study of happiness, she came across many books on being grateful and shared her list with me. A big shout-out to Debbie!



Some random thoughts on a cloudy, but thankfully warmish Thursday morning…

My “devotional” from Simple Abundance this morning deals with “Reordering Your Priorities.”

A definite source of joy for me daily

It begins as follows: “Most women I know have one conscious priority: making it through the day.” We expect rain today, and I am wearing a T-shirt I had made locally. It reads, “A rainy day,/Coffee,/ and a good book–my idea of Paradise.” I have had my first cup of coconut flavored coffee, followed by a 3X Vietnamese coffee that was a gift from a friend. Needless to say, my eyes are wide-open, and I am ready to roll. The good book is Writers and Lovers by Lily King,

Soon to be reviewed on PWR

I am ready for a rainy day. So…bring on the rain to water the new plants I put out yesterday to replace the dead, soggy mess of what was left of my old ones after the 14 degree freeze last week. My thoughts refuse to rehash the hardships of our Snowmaggadeon, but let me just mention that milk and eggs are still limited to two per customer. We only need one of each, but what about families with six children? Judging from the TV, there still are people without food, water, and the basic necessities of life in Houston and right here in Alvin. Donating checks to Farm Girls, a local charity and a local church, whose pipes burst and completely flooded, sets the tone for my priorities today. Looking forward…

I am scheduled for shots in my feet Monday and am really looking forward to the appointment. It means that soon, I can walk in my neighborhood for exercise, returning to a routine I had started before the BIG FREEZE when the arthritis and nerve damage in both feet became unbearable to the point where I had to take pain meds just to hobble around the house. Funny to be grateful for painful shots, but the results…

Enough meandering, enough musing, enough thoughts for a Thursday morning; I plan to spend until lunchtime reading books and friends’ blogs and enjoying the semi-retirement I am blessed to enjoy.

Set YOUR priorities. May they be as pleasurable and comforting as mine.


Recently, a friend asked for prayer after receiving bad news from her doctor. As I read through my “quotes notebook” for something appropriate to write in a note to her, I came across advice from Anne Lamott I had copied from one of her essays, “Wailing Wall,” which helped me write my own note and is helping me in my daily dealings with my friend.

“What can you say when people call with a scary or heartbreaking prognosis? You say that we don’t have to live alone with our worries and losses, that all the people in their tide pool will be there for them. You say that it totally sucks, and that grace abounds.  You can’t say that things will be better down the road because that holds the spiritual authority of someone chirping, ‘No worries!’ at Starbucks, or my favorite, ‘It’s all good!’ at the market. It is so not all good. And I’m worried sick.

It’s fine to know, but not to say, that in some inadequate and surprising ways, things will be semi-okay, the way wildflowers spring up at the rocky dirt-line where the open spaced meadow meets the road where the ground is so mean.  Just as it’s fine to know but not to say that anger is good, a bad attitude is excellent, and the medicinal powers of shouting and complaining cannot be overstated.”

Some thoughts to think on this Thursday evening…


I found this on Ritu’s “But I Smile Anyway” blog recently.

“Don’t you dare say I only work half a day.

Don’t you dare sneer at my ten weeks “off” a year.

Give me this , and I’ll give you my roll.

But I warn you , my friend, it takes heart, body, and soul.”   (Anon.)

This reflects my respect for teachers everywhere at all levels. As a veteran of 50 years of teaching junior high, community college, and university classes. I KNOW how hard it can get, and I KNOW how wonderful it can be.

Thursday Thoughts

1Today’s thoughts are on my favorite topic, literacy. These statistics which I collected from different sources recently made me stop and think.  I hope they do the same to you:

34% of children entering kindergarten do not have the basic language skills they need to learn how to read.

65% of fourth graders are reading below basic grade level.

Only 37% of high school graduates are reading at or above proficiency levels.

85% of kids who go to the juvenile court system are illiterate.



This was a short piece, a narrative I wrote in undergraduate school.  I found it when clearing out an old file folder, and thought it might be worth sharing.

We had taken inventory at Woolworth’s that night, and I was late coming home from work.  I dragged myself upstairs, prepared to face high school homework, and tiptoed through the room where my twelve year old brother was sleeping  and into my own attic bedroom.  Dad had divided the attic between us and had done a good job converting it to bedrooms. The paint on the walls was battleship grey, appropriated from the Naval Base, and the door between our rooms was a few inches too short for the frame, allowing heat from the register to heat both rooms.

I lay down to sleep and was immediately startled by a rustling noise that sounded like crumpled paper scratching across the linoleum.  The noise seemed to be coming from under the bed!  I had been terrified about the idea of mice ever since at the age of nine, one had tried to make a nest in my long hair in this very room. Turning on the bedside light, I searched quickly, not really wanting to find anything. My heart sickened as I lay down and turned out the light again when the noise resumed. This time I leaped far clear of the bed, unfolded the double bed spread on the twin bed, and kneeling peered under the bed itself.  I almost had my nose snipped off by an old snapping turtle!  MICHAEL MARION MASON, I yelled at my brother, come get your snapping turtle out from under my bed!

Mother said she heard us both barrel down the stairs, then Mike with no explanation to anyone, opened the side door and threw something frisbee-shaped out.  Poor me.  Poor turtle. Poor confused parents. Lucky Mike, for he received no punishment.