Grace Notes (#34 with Photos)

Grace Notes (#34 with Photos)

Grace Notes #34

This is a periodic blog feature I call “grace notes.” It occasionally captures my jottings of incidental gratitude. My hope is that this practice will make me (and you?) more aware of the constant flow of amazing good we are perpetually steeped in, which we are surrounded by all the time. It is here only asking to be noticed and amplified.

So now I am furthering my ongoing goal of appreciating such a continuous, overflowing abundance of random good. I’ve taken photographs of some of them with my iPhone, which you can see in this post.

So let’s start this gratitude list with:

  • Spring! I’m so glad it has sprung, and the mild weather, the leaves and blossoms, the rain and sun, the hiking resuming, and that the summer swimming days at the quarry are not so far off!
  • I’m grateful our older daughter was recently written up in a nice article here, by her college. I’m grateful for the meaningful work she’s doing for the State of California, and that it is being recognized by others. I’m grateful she’s happy with her nice boyfriend as well. I’m grateful to hear from her weekly.
  • I’m grateful our younger daughter finished finals with top marks in her Physics PhD program, and that she’s excited about her paid summer research, as well as her creative pursuits. I’m grateful she passed her qualifying exams last January and is not having to take them again, now, like some of her friends (who she is graciously helping). I’m grateful she’s happy where she is, planting a garden, bike riding, farmer’s market shopping, and cooking. I’m grateful to hear from her most days and for seeing her on lots of Facetime calls.
  • I’m grateful to have been juried into the Pastel Society of America! That first salmon salad in the photos was a restaurant meal from a celebratory dinner out the day that I heard.
  • I’m grateful to have gotten two art awards recently, the President’s award from the Connecticut Women Artists show, and an honorable mention from the Pastel Society of Maine. In addition to that, I’m in two other local shows this spring, one at the Carriage Barn, and the New Pond Farm show, which will open soon.
  • I’m grateful to be going to Maine three times this year! I’ll be going soon for a plein air retreat with pastel friends, then in early August with our youngest daughter, when we’ll spend 9 days in back woods lean-tos in Baxter State Park, and at the end of August, I’ll be an artist-in-residence again at Creative Arts Camp at Newfound/Owatona on Long Lake. Add to that plans to attend a 40th anniversary party in Alexandria, Virginia, and a wedding in October in Louisiana; I’m so glad to be out and about again!
  • It is sure nice to be back in person at church, while keeping our Wednesday meetings on zoom, which is a perfect balance for reentry– or for ongoing, since our attendance is better that way without people needing to drive at night.
  • I’m grateful to be working on new projects that will be unveiled by July. I’m grateful for those few close to me who are being so very helpful with this slow launch.
  • I’m grateful for new clients in my spiritual work. It is a pleasure to work with all these people and to support their growth and progress.
  • I’m grateful our last niece has graduated from college. What a blessing it is for all our extended family’s younger generation to have the privilege of completing higher education!
  • I’m grateful for a close, three-way relationship with my two sisters.
  • I’m grateful for all the teachers everywhere, who now have the summer off! Their devoted dedication is so very essential.
  • I’m grateful for all the healthcare workers, nurses, and elder care facilities. Your service is also appreciated!
  • I’m grateful for the flowers in our yard and my husband’s kind care of all these plants.
  • I’m grateful my husband’s international podcast, The Bible Speaks to You, is doing well.
  • I’m grateful for some new pastels to set up a portrait palette, while rearranging my usual pastel box in a fresher configuration.
  • I’m grateful for all sorts of Mother’s Day photos which I’ve included below, including a blog reader’s mother’s 100th birthday party, my husband’s 92-year-old aunt (the one holding the flowers; I’ve seen a video on Instagram recently of her beating her 24-year-old granddaughter at arm wrestling!), a friend who is a great mother, new mothers in our family, new grandkids and grand nieces for my friends, and two first year birthday parties. So much love! I’m so grateful it is love and mothering that make the world go around.
  • I’m grateful yet another family member is engaged to what seems like a good match; it looks like another Texas wedding is on our horizon!
  • I’m grateful for waking up to the fragrance of homegrown lilacs next to my bed, that it is watermelon season again, for a new subscription to Spotify, yarn bombing, for peach blossoms in our yard portending an abundant peach crop, for yummy top-of-the-line olive oil, for a new lovely dog in the neighborhood (named Pearl), for delicious spinach ricotta balls made by a friend, for trying Pibil simmering sauce from the Yucatan, for turquoise blankets for wearing around our house, for flowers brought in from the rain, for colossal organic strawberries, for a cleaned out, full refrigerator, for baby birds, hash browns, hot pink azaleas, sorted papers, lots of robins, geraniums brought as gifts to new friends, that libraries are finally open again, for getting paid via Venmo, for cookbooks to peruse, for great fresh fish from Costco, for Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, for bright clematis, for Adirondack chairs on the porch, for eating restaurant food again, for being satisfied in the endless task of reflecting God.
  • I’m grateful for all of you blog readers, for your reading, commenting, subscribing, sharing, and financially supporting this blog. Thank you for helping me make this a positive corner of the internet. I’m grateful to have met so many of you through this platform. Each and every one of you is a treasure!

Add some grace notes of your own in the comments!


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 3 years ago

    Your life is full of joy.

  2. Alice 3 years ago

    Looks like so much to be happy about, particularly your girls! Iris were my mom’s favorite- that warmed my heart.

  3. Dilys 3 years ago

    Such wonderful gratitude so beautifully expressed! Bless you, James and your family. X

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