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Normally, on Thursdays, I post a painting about who my dad was before the dementia, but the next one isn’t yet complete, so I’m going to skip it. I’m also not going to talk about him today, because I’ve been in a very dark place over the last couple weeks, and things seem to be getting darker by the minute. This is not the normal time of year for me to get this depressed, so I’m not really sure what’s going on. Have had several loved ones get very sick, and I think it’s contributing to it.  But I have an exercise I do with a friend, Kristy, where, once a week, we trade emails with all the things we’re grateful for over the last week. It helps us each kick ourselves in the ass and stop focusing on the negative. It doesn’t always work, but I do think it helps me break the negative cyclical thoughts. And I find that reading the triumphs and little things that make her happy help to cheer me, too. It forces me to look at little things I might otherwise miss. I just finished typing mine up and sending them to her, and thought I’d try the exercise with you, dear readers. This won’t be a weekly thing, but here are some highlights of my gratitude. I’d love for any of you who are willing, to comment with something that you’re grateful for, to help me see the sunnier side of things.

– I’m starting a new project for the haunt. Will post about it once it’s complete, but for now I’ll just say that it’s way outside of anything I’ve done before, and I’m having to learn as a I go. I love starting new art projects because of the promise they hold, and I love learning a new skill in the process.

– I’ve started giving Satch B12 injections. I’m grateful that I’ve had enough experience with needles that I have no problem doing the injections. I’m equally grateful that they seem to be helping stimulate his appetite and find his purr again. We may not be able to prolong his life, but however long he has should be of a higher quality than before.

– This weekend, I was at work and was going stir crazy. So I called S and said, “we need to stop working right this instant and take the rest of the afternoon off like normal people.” So we went to Adventure Landing and played skee ball and miniature golf. I’m truly awful at both, but I got a hole in one! S got 3. I love that when we play we don’t actually keep score and make it truly competitive. I mean, we get competitive, but only in as much as we look for ways to cheat and sabotage the other person by jumping in front of their ball to block it, or using the club like a pool stick, or blowing on the ball to avoid one last stroke when it’s on the edge of the cup. We were laughing so hard and having so much fun, even though it was eleventy million degrees out. When we were done with the skee ball, we found a little kid and gave him our tickets so he could get a prize. I loved the look on the kid’s face. It was like I’d given him pirate gold.

– I love that, when I do the dishes, I can squeeze the dish soap bottle in just the right way to send bubbles floating around the kitchen. I also love that, sometimes, Dizzy chases them.

– I’m grateful that my god daughter squeals with excitement whenever she sees me. It makes me glow.

– My mom has been taking woodworking classes and is letting me design a coffee table for the new house we’re getting. I sent her rough drawings a few days ago, and she sent over the sketches with the dimensions last night and I’m so excited I might wet myself.

– Breezes. Because, yo, it’s hot.

– Big thick vines that wrap their way around trees. When I was a kid we cut the bases of a couple out at camp and used them as swings like Tarzan. When I pass them now, I smile and think about how much fun that was, sawing away with our pocket knifes and yodeling as we swung.

– Honeysuckle. It makes my walks smell wonderful and puts the song Honeysuckle Rose in my head. Here’s Patti Austen’s version, one of my favorites.

And just in case you’re missing me posting a little art on Thursday, here’s my newest still life of a veggie for which I’m ever so grateful:

Tomatoes with Stems, 12"x12" oil on board $360

Tomatoes with Stems, 12″x12″ oil on board $360

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