Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I'm back. Only for a minute though. I've been wanting to finish up this blog and I truly just have not gotten around to it. I have loved my four years of "One Year of Opus." LOVED THEM. This blog introduced me to some great people. It gave me a forum. It let me tell the world, and myself, about my mom dying. It captured so many moments of my son growing up, my own changes, and things happening in the world. Now, I need to move on. It's time. I like change. I think I would like to start another blog. If you are reading this and would like to know what my new blog is called, send me an e-mail at

Catch up....
Since my last post, I have started an Art Gallery (, written a few poems, gone to Kansas a couple times and Jackson Hole, WY. My son is in the 8th grade, I'm teaching school, and Barry is throwing more pots. I teach poetry at the jail. I have, a hundred times, experienced things that made me think; I need to blog about this! But I didn't. I feel a little sad to bring this blog to a close. But it really was all about having a year to be creative, and to appreciate, and then having that year turn into a year of being present with my mom while she spent months dying. I am still so thankful for that year.

I also felt, at times, that I couldn't be free in my writing because I knew that there were people I didn't really want knowing my every move, reading my blog. I felt inhibited at times. Unsure. And that's not how I wanted to write. Like I said, it's time to move on.

On November 1st of this year, 2011, I started a FB post of gratitude. I'm including it here.....

Gratitude month. Day two. Car heater.
(Day one I posted on Maggie Carrillo's page...Opposable thumbs)

Gratitude month. Day three. Of course, my mom and dad. Even though they're gone, they have an impact on everything I do, everything I say, and the way I live my life. The two best people I've ever known.

‎"You know what we're gonna do? We're gonna live like we are telling the best story in the whole world."
—Penelope from the movie, The Brothers Bloom

Gratitude month. Day 4. My boy. A thirteen-year old that still likes me. Honest, funny, kind and occasionally sassy and annoying :)

Gratitude month. Day 5. Books. Real books that smell like paper and rustle when I turn the page. Ones that I can dog-ear and stack by my bed.

Gratitude month. Day 6. Bathtubs.

Gratitude month. Day 7. These carrots. They were nestled underground, beneath the snow, waiting for me dig them up today, tops still green, brilliant orange. They taste so good. I am amazed that from a tiny seed they became carrots.

Gratitude month. Day 8. Memories. I am lucky to have good memories. Oh, there's some yuck in there too, but I pretty much just stuffed those in a big fat balloon and let them go (metaphorically of course) (oh, and after I learned what I needed to learn) (oh, and often it took me a few go rounds). But yes, lots of good memories here.

gratitude month, day 9, poems.

Day 10. My blood family. John, Jayann, Suzy, Neal, Ann, Jerry, Jim, Jennifer, your kids and mine. We make each other crazy, but we love each other more. I'm very thankful to have been born into this bunch.

Gratitude month. Day 11. Sight. There is so much to see.

Day 12. Getting older, which I write in the context of knowing the alternative.

Gratitude month. Day 13. Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree chocolate bars and red wine :) Almost as much to fun to say as to indulge in. Almost.

Gratitude month. Day 14. Barry.

Day 15, coffee. Cup after cup after cup.

Gratitude month. Day 16. Okay. I have to admit this. Facebook. Here's why...I see so many names of "friends" pop up on comments or likes, and you know, I might not have seen some of these people for decades, but I like ALL of them. And suddenly, because of facebook, I kind of know them again, even in just a "hey, you're still out there" kind of way. It's warm and comforting. Thank you. Oh, and I'm also thankful when people on FB use your/you're correctly :)

Gratitude month. Day 17. Breathing. I love breathing.

Gratitude month. Day 18. Roly polies and lady bugs. I love these bugs. Something about them makes me happy.

Day 19. Flagstaff. What a place to live. Very thankful. Now, just so you know, that was not my first choice today. I realized I'd named most of the big stuff; friends, family, etc, and I'm now moving on to the other, everyday blessings. So my first thought was, man, am I thankful for regular bm's. But that, of course, might offend people. But, seriously? Thankful. So anyway, I spared you from that by choosing something else for my Gratitude day 19.

Day 20. Gratitude month. I can't believe I actually was thankful for regular bm's before I mentioned health. Holy cow! Health is one of my top one gratitudes. I am so blessed to just be able to walk and talk and eat and move about....and that's all health related. Good health is the greatest blessing.

“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.”—H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Day 21. Quotes. A good quote can change perspective and/or attitude. Give hope. Encourage empathy. Promote understanding.

Gratitude month. Day 22. The "rant and rave" section on Craig's List. Some funny stuff in there.

Gratitude month. Day 23. Brake repair shops that are kind and honest and quick and do a good job AND 380.00 cheaper than the first place that said I needed to get new rotors BUT I DIDN'T REALLY NEED THEM.

Gratitude month. Day 24. Thankful all around. For everything I mentioned on the last 23 days, and then for the safe, easy uneventful drive to San Luis Obispo today. Yay vacation!

day 25, in san luis obispo, thankful for starfish and sea anemones, 70 degree weather in november, and monarch butterflies migrating.

Gratitude month. Day 26. Thankful that I have a job. Actually a couple of them. Not getting rich but paying the mortgage.

Gratitude month. Day 27. Ahhhh. Vacations are good. Thankful today for the safe trip back to my Flagstaff. Also, olallieberry cobbler. Big yum.

Day 28. The cat, Margaret, who is sleeping on the suitcase. The dog, the super Stan man, who is a little nervous and barks at skunks. The guinea pig, Buddy, who has a silly face and makes wonderful noises when he's happy. The turtle, Herman, who does nothing but dig deep in his world and sleep for days at a time. The chickens, the ladies, giving us eggs and clucking.

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.”—Arthur Rubinstein

Gratitude month. Day 29. Gravity. Think about it.

Gratitude month. Day 30. All of it. The failures and the successes, the hope and the despair, the sadness and the unimaginable joy, the loss and the healing. I am grateful for the whole beautiful mess. All of it.

Grateful. Every day. Every breath.

Here too is my Christmas letter too (hahaha, getting it all in!)

Merry Christmas


Here's the News from 2011....

* I opened a small art gallery, Gallery 113, in downtown Flagstaff. I
love going to work! I’m still teaching at the community college too.
Check out the gallery
* Jay is a awesome. I’m a lucky mom. He is playing basketball, drums
and video games, getting good grades, being kind, honest and
loving, and is looking forward to the snow.
* Barry is teaching ceramics at the community college and working
in Extended Campus Advising at NAU. He finished our back patio
this year, along with about 10 other projects and he is NOT looking
forward to the snow :)
* Jay and I traveled to Kansas for a week, and Jackson, Wyoming for
a long weekend. We have so much fun going places. The train to
Kansas was great fun, as always, but he’s starting to consistently
beat me at dominoes so I need to sharpen up my game.
* We are going on a cruise January 1st. I’ve never been on one but I
hear they’re relaxing. I’ll be ready for it by the New Year.
* My entire family, all 30 of us, met in St George, Utah for a few
days and had a blast. One house, 12 bedrooms, talent shows, kids
everywhere, practical jokes, good conversation. Sweet!
* I still think about, and miss, my folks everyday. I think they would
be happy, and proud of all of us. I guess that’s a good measure on
how one lives their life.
* And finally, here’s a quote I’d like to share with you.......
“Life is short, live bold! Be heard, be you, dream big, take
risks, don’t wait!—Unknown

There, that's it.
So, if anyone reads this, know that I loved writing it. All four years. I am still a writer. I am still here.

P.S. I just got so excited that I can start a new fucking blog!!!

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