Favorite Thing Friday: Gratitude


After stuffing myself with Thanksgiving turkey and spending time with family, I can’t forget to take a moment to be thankful for all the little blessings in my life. Every year, I like to sit down and make a list of 22 Moments of Gratitude and this year is no different.

1. My husband. It’s been 15 years and I still find myself falling in love with him.

2. Moments when Grandpa tells a great joke.

3. Time with my mother, to write or to talk.

4 Fridays with my sister. I love how we laugh.

5. Both of my furkids are still wagging their tails. At 11 and 14 years old, I treasure every moment I have with them.

6. While I am still heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend, I am grateful for the memories that remind to smile.

7. Yarn on my knitting needles and a new stitch to learn.

8. Books that give my imagination a place to play.

9. My overactive muse, who never lets me sit still for very long.

11. Poetry in it’s many forms enlivens my senses.

12. The Cafe Mocha that soothes my soul and kickstarts my muse.

13. Refusing to become someone I’m not, no matter how much a situation tries to break me.

14. My editor. She helped me make my novel something I can be really proud of.

15. A small paycheck that always stretches out to be enough.

16. A crockpot that makes it easy to cook.

17. My readers, who fill my world with encouragement.

18. The natural world still moves me. I see the sun rise every morning and it always stuns me.

19. Laughing is still my favorite thing.

20. Finding empowerment in the choice to be happy, instead of relying on something or someone to make it happen.

21. The call to go somewhere new and consider a new start.

22. No matter what, I can always find my joy.

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Previous Moments of Gratitude:

22 Moments of Gratitude

22 More Moments of Gratitude

Yet Another 22 Moments of Gratitude

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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c.b.w. 2014


Favorite Thing Friday: Hand Turkeys


I haven’t thought of a hand turkey in years, but for some reason the memory of those ridiculous five-finger turkeys hit me this Thanksgiving. This wonderful memory made me laugh and brought back the feeling of childhood fun.  That fun feeling was so strong, I grabbed a box of crayons and got to work.


Remember these?
This amazing piece of art was created by: c.b.w.

I gave him some fancy feathers and imagined a reason for the turkey to gobble. Red, orange, and brown turned my turkey into an autumn leaf for a moment. But then, his beak and feet set the record straight. He looks pretty good, don’t you think?

Go ahead and make one. You know you want to. 😉

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2013

Yet Another 22 Moments of Gratitude


With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s time for another 22 Moments of Gratitude. I’ve made two gratitude lists, but there never seems to be a shortage of things to appreciate, even when skies get a little dark. This year has been one of change and challenges, but I managed to keep my focus on the things that matter most.

Once again, I’m hoping to add to the lists I’ve made previously without too much overlap. See my previous moments of gratitude by following the links . . .

22 Moments of Gratitude

22 More Moments of Gratitude

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1. Both of my dogs (a.k.a. furkids) are happy and healthy. After a couple of scares, this means so much.

2. My sister. She was there when I needed her the most and in the best way possible.

3. I know what it is to be scared of the future, but not enough to lose trust in fate.

4. More time with a treasured friend. You know who you are. 🙂

5. A bountiful garden. Despite tired soil, my garden grew wild with vegetables and flowers. Everything in it nourished both body and spirit.

6. Feeling the presence of my Grandma. She passed away almost a year ago, but I feel her smiling wherever I go.

7. A year of good books. In particular,  a series recommended to me by the treasured friend mentioned in #4. Maisie Dobbs rocks.

8. Baskets full of yarn and knitting needles. There’s something really special about wearing clothes I made with my own hands.

9. Poetry. Somehow I found my groove in the poetic realm and I am enjoying the journey.

10. I know what it feels like to have friends rally around me during a tough time. That kind of warmth was unexpected and overwhelming. I owe you all so much for keeping me afloat.

11. Remembering the joy and magic of learning. The challenge of teaching AP Art History has rekindled my curiosity.

12. A moment of calm, when I can simply sit and listen to the rain.

13. Going home to pick up the pieces of my soul that wandered off.

14. Money is tight, but love is plentiful.

15. Finishing a novel and having the guts to pitch it.

16. Fridays with Grandpa.

17. Watching my little pine tree grow. Its been a year and he’s still alive.

18. My muse never seems to run out of gas.

19. My readers. You all keep coming back, even when I don’t deserve it.

20. Writing with my mom. No matter how many times we share a table, it never gets old.

21. Coffee. Both the Tall Cafe Mocha from Starbucks and Hills Bros. Double Mocha Cappuccino. I only thought I appreciated my muse juice, until one day it was gone.

22. Despite the highs and lows, I am still me. And nothing can take that away.

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What’s on your gratitude list this year? Leave a link or post in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is filled with good food and the warmth of loved ones.

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c.b.w. 2013

22 More Moments of Gratitude


Around this time last year, I was inspired by Cindy Archer to create a list of 22 Moments of Gratitude. With Thanksgiving upon us, I’ve decided to revisit this idea and make another list.  I consider last year’s list to be pretty complete, but it never hurts to consider more things for which to be grateful.

My goal is to create an entirely new list that does not match anything on the previous list, which means some of the really obvious things might be missing (like family and friends).  Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the big stuff, it’s just on a different list.

22 More Moments of Gratitude:

1. There are more books on my shelf than I have time to read. What a beautiful conundrum.

2. My muse that hasn’t let me down all year.

3. I have the courage to experiment with poetry after years of being intimidated.

4. I got to experience the thrill of learning new things like photo editing and knitting.

5. There is a fire in the fireplace and plenty of extra blankets  – I am never cold.

6. I understand the beauty of staying at home and seeing the familiar with a new perspective.

7. How wonderful it is to teach what I love.

8. My shelves have plenty of blank journals waiting for my pen.

9. My determination hasn’t worn off.

10. Inspiration is everywhere and I am seeing it.

11. I am at peace.

12. My paycheck is small, but I don’t worry about money.

13. I still know how to be young at heart (and I’m not afraid to show it).

14. I know the feeling of love.

15. I no longer care how many calories or how much fat is in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

16. I am happy with how I look, imperfections and all.

17. Experiencing the moment of winning a chosen battle in an unexpected way, (See Reconstructing the Lennon Wall and Clearly, I Will Not Be Silenced).

18. Knowing the feeling of completing a second novel ahead of schedule.

19. Walking to work at the moment of dawn. Watching the sun rise is a beautiful experience, especially on a daily basis (each dawn is different and beautiful in a new way).

20. Watching an old dog play even when he’s tired. It inspires me to never give up on anything.

21. The feeling of hope is never far away.

22. My heart is still beating.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for this year?

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c.b.w. 2012

22 Moments of Gratitude


One of my favorite bloggers, Cindy Archer, recently posted a list of 22 Things about herself.  I found it so inspiring I decided to play with the idea.  With Thanksgiving approaching, I can’t help but list 22 things for which I am grateful.

  1. My family is filled with wonderful people who are always there when you need them.
  2. My husband is an amazing man and I’m truly lucky to be with him.
  3. Tuesday nights with my mother.
  4. Friday nights with my sister.
  5. My friends are few, but treasured.
  6. I have a job I love.
  7. I have time to write.
  8. My house is filled with the love of two dogs and two cats.  I don’t have children, so these are my babies.
  9. I don’t worry nearly as much as I did when I was younger.
  10. Every summer is an adventure in travel.
  11. There are always plenty of books to read.
  12. Music still moves my soul.
  13. Movies still stir my imagination.
  14. My muse sings on regular basis.
  15. There’s always chocolate in the pantry.
  16. I know the feeling of a rainy day in London.
  17. I can’t sleep, but I still know how to dream.
  18. My writer’s group is full of friends, inspiration, and encouragement.
  19. My blog connects me to readers and writers in a way I never expected.  Never have I been more motivated to write.
  20. Those moments of silence where I can breathe slowly and relish the feeling of being alive.
  21. Twinkling stars that never fade and trees that always sway.
  22. I’m happy.

For these things, I am truly thankful each and every day.

c.b. 2011