Grace Notes (#51 with Photos)

Grace Notes (#51 with Photos)

Grace Notes #51

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:

  • This dear man I’m married to (shown above). I’m grateful for his moral fibre, his excellent motives, his spirit of helpfulness, and his devotion to being a life-long learner. Also grateful that I got to be on his podcast last week (listen here).
  • I’m grateful both daughters were home for both Christmas and Thanksgiving. That our younger daughter finished knitting her complicated socks and that our older daughter got to go to Chez Panisse for her birthday. Also grateful that our older daughter and I were upgraded, while we were in Boston, to a hotel room with a harbor view. I’m grateful both daughters talk to me so often.
  • I’m grateful for some solid time working in my office/studio. I love January; it is such a good time to hunker down.
  • I’m grateful for lots of cosy evenings around our fireplace.
  • I’m grateful for families getting together.
  • I’m grateful for new babies that we’ll get to watch grow up.
  • I’m grateful for readers in our church, who just finished a three year term (we gave them roses). I’m grateful James and I (with the help of others) are taking on that mantle. I’m grateful we are splitting up that job going forward.
  • I’m grateful for all my art supplies, including my new pastels (shown below) that I got in December.
  • I’m grateful for the restaurant food shown below. I love eating at home, but cooking by others can be wonderful too.
  • I’m grateful for our sweet home, shown in a couple photos below. I’m especially grateful for my mom’s yellow chair (also known as my “prayer chair”) from which I run my life.
  • I’m grateful for the flexibility of my work schedule.
  • I’m grateful for having strong, harmonious relationships with my sisters.
  • I’m grateful to be looking forward to teaching several workshops this year, and not only my usual ones.
  • I’m grateful for all my books, for my book groups, for libraries everywhere, and for audio books too!
  • I’m grateful for spending time working in my artist journals.
  • I’m grateful for having finally eaten all that butternut squash my husband grew!
  • I’m grateful for summer produce put up in our freezer.
  • I’m grateful for our sweet neighbor who cut down our peach trees, so we can expand our raspberry harvest there instead.
  • I’m grateful for our new juicer.
  • I’m grateful for my New Year’s resolution, which is off to a good start.
  • I’m grateful for sunsets, for kindness, for organic sourdough bread, for roasted almonds, for Facetime, for poems, for community, for bakery breakfast sandwiches, for eggplant parmesan, for grace under pressure, for new opportunities, for job prospects, for generosity, for graciousness, for honesty, for friendship, for toilet paper, for shovels, for big birds out my office window, for wisdom, for shimmery ink, for our productive, indoor lemon tree, for journals and fountain pens, for Mediterranean rocks on my desk, for purified water, for cashmere sweaters and scarves, for vacuums, for the ceramic bust I made still going strong, for lovely produce available in winter, beautifully presented, for light bulbs, for being understood.
  • I’m very grateful for each and every one of you blog readers – the new ones and the long time ones alike. Thank you for being here, for letting this blog into your life to whatever degree. Thank you for subscribing to it, utilizing it to shine joy into your life, for sharing it with others, for commenting on it, and possibly even for financially supporting it. This blog would not exist without a readership and I’m so grateful for you.

Share some of your 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. Lisa Avery 5 months ago

    I am new to your blog and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Today’s installment is quite special for gratitude for our divine supply, provided by God, is important. I found you from your husband’s bible podcast. I REALLY enjoy them. They are so helpful.

    Have a terrific day!!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 5 months ago

      Wonderful! Glad to have you here and thanks for commenting.

  2. Isabel 5 months ago

    Be careful of the toxicity of wood burning fires. I love them, too.

    Love this post.

  3. Dilys 5 months ago

    Lovely, Polly!
    I’m amused that you are grateful for toilet paper! We all are of course, but rarely mention it.
    My husband grew up in a house that had no bathroom, in the north of England. It was post war and times were hard. The toilet was outside in the yard and their toilet paper was newspaper! His parents were able to move when he was about ten, to a more affluent area and enjoy indoor facilities!
    I have just finished a three-year term of Reader at church and am interested to hear how you and James are getting help with this. I’ve made great spiritual progress through this post. X

    • Author
      Polly Castor 5 months ago

      Thanks for reading! We decided to spread the blessing around. James is our new second reader. I am partial first reader, doing every other Sunday, while Wednesdays are split between 4 other people, so six of us are sharing that job. It is the first time we are doing this.

      • Dilys 5 months ago

        I will be interested to hear how this goes. It sounds a great idea!

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