Grace Notes (#42 with Photos)

Grace Notes (#42 with Photos)

Grace Notes #42 with photos

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:

  • our quarry swimming hole, see photo above. It is 5 minutes from our house and is a sanctuary any day, a great place to bring guests, of which we’ve had many lately, and the deep end is very deep, spring fed from below and oh so very refreshing.
  • that our younger daughter was able to work from here for 5 weeks this summer, and that my husband got to see our older daughter in California in July because of a speaking gig he did out there. Also that our older daughter will visit here this weekend from California, and that we almost daily talk to our youngest via phone or Facetime now that she’s back. So grateful for these relationships, and for the fact that our youngest and I recharge so well in one another’s company. That feels unusual for a mother daughter relationship, and I love it and don’t take it for granted. Since we had a “staycation” together this year, she’s already plotting and planning where we will go on vacation next year and the year after.
  • for the fabulous butterflies and hummingbirds we’ve got in the garden this year. My husband planted a flower cutting garden in the raised bed closest to the house and they are all over it! The monarchs (shown in photos below) have been particularly great to see after several years without them.
  • that I’m headed back to Maine next week to be an artist-in-residence at Creative Arts Camp on Long Lake. I’m busy imagining what I’ll paint, and looking forward to contributing to and basking in the community there.
  • that I get to go back to Maine in September to plein air paint with friends on Monhegan Island, and then teach an Adventures in Abstraction class there for pastelists. Both are fabulous opportunities that I’m grateful for and looking forward to.
  • for all of you who have purchased artwork from me, especially originals. I got a photo this summer of one of them in situ that you can see below. For the commission, too, that I’m finishing right now before I go to Maine.
  • that a friend is storing boxes of my kids stuff in her basement until they can pick them up. The two ducks below represent the hardest items to pack away. The fact that we got their stuff out of our house allowed us this summer to create a painting archive in one kid’s bedroom, and a guest room in the other. This all feels like a new lease on life over here. Our youngest is now the only one with a room in our house.
  • that we had my sisters and niece visit (from North Carolina and Ohio), our nephew’s family visit twice (from North Carolina on the way to and from New Hampshire), had my husband’s cousin’s family visit (from Texas), and a Sunday School student and her son visit from Germany. Grateful for some time here just the two of us too.
  • for the steady progress of clients in my Christian Science Practice. For new clients and clients I’ve had over many years. For people getting the help they need. For people doing the work. For walking the talk. For all those that endeavor to align with, manifest, and express their Soul.
  • for my painting set up outdoors in our driveway (see photo below)
  • for our local Huntington State Park where I walk fairly regularly.
  • for the success of my husband’s podcast ( and the fact that he’s learned how to do it more efficiently so it doesn’t monopolize his time anymore. I’m grateful for his new opportunities as a speaker and workshop leader that are naturally surfacing from this work.
  • For a new young soloist at church and for a smooth transition from not renewing the contract of one we’ve had for 26 years. So grateful for both the end result and for the way it was perfectly handled with kindness and largess.
  • for the farmer’s market and our CSA (community supported agriculture) share. Also for my husband’s produce. Check out his gargantuan garlic in a photo below. I love cooking with beautiful food, sustainably grown.
  • for my splurge of a new orange purse. I’m still mostly a fanny pack wearer, but this bag allows me to pop in my fanny pack along with my book, my journal, and my water bottle. It is perfect for me right now.
  • for my Instagram accounts: @PollyCastor, @pescatarianvegetarian and my new one @pollysreadinglist  I love the interactions and ideas I get from there. I follow artists and people I know on @PollyCastor, I follow foodies on my food account, and book people on my new reading account. This way I can dip into just what I want to see at any given moment.
  • for great hands in cribbage and for almost daily cribbage games, for food prepared by others, for the amazing Newtown Library Sale (photo below) where I purchased many generously fabulous Christmas presents in perfect condition for $25, for dentists and great dental care (I love a thorough teeth cleaning!), for walking downtown for terrific premium ice cream (see the flags waving last Saturday evening in my small town in the photo below) and for running into old friends there, that our youngest regularly did the dishes while she was at home, for perfect new shorts from Costco, for incredible lavender donuts with lemon drizzle (see photo below), for the free Likewise app that suggests new books you might like, for artichoke flowers, for a resurgence of energy, for interest expressed by others, for lime yogurt, for new flannel backed plastic drop cloths for painting, for harmony and syncopation, for not eating from a place of appetite, for earbuds, for friends who call to chat, for school starting up again, for the pandemic receding, for our faithful picnic table, for my sunny yellow prayer chair, for my reading chair on the screened-in side porch, and for our Adirondack chairs on the front porch, for comfort and enlightenment everywhere.
  • for each and every one of you blog readers! Thank you for sharing this happy, colorful, ever-progressing corner of the internet with me.

Add some of your own grace notes 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 2 years ago

    Your little girl is turning into a beautiful young woman.

  2. Loree 2 years ago

    Glad to be part of your store- you are such a big part of mine!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 2 years ago


  3. Dilys 2 years ago

    Love your Mondrian playing cards and your amazing cribbage hands!!

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