Tag Archives: gratitude

Giving Thanks For Small Pleasures

by Kimberly A. Cook

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. Food, family, food, friends and leftovers. Notice the pattern. It’s also a time for me to reflect on what I am thankful for at this time of year. Besides pumpkin pie.

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Spec Ops Cat letting me take a gazillion pictures of him.  Even though you can tell he is not amused. But he is ready for the holidays with his festive blankie.

So here is a quick list of some moments and small things that have recently made a big difference for me.

  • Five birdies having a great time in the bird bath yesterday
  •  Spec Ops Cat stalking the hair dryer cord
  • Reading the book “Soar” by T.D. Jakes
  • Hallmark Christmas movies
  • A hot shower
  • Laughing with family and friends
  • Two new kitten cousins, Thelma and Louise
  • Sunshine, rain, sunshine, wind outside
  • Reading in bed
  • Icy Hot, Tens machine, heating pad and massage
  • Dove Dark Chocolate
  • Donating furniture to homeless veterans program
  • Planning Christmas cookie baking
  • Holiday songs
  • Shopping in my Fire Mountain Gems bead catalog
  • Gathering leaves to dry
  • Spec Ops Cat cuddles
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Folks who read my blog – the best and brightest people on the planet

What is on your thankful list this year?

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


Filed under joy

Miracles Do Happen

by Kimberly A. Cook                       (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

When last we chatted Oregon was preparing for the fabulous eclipse. It was a great party. Since then, correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels like we’ve been playing a national game of disaster whack-a-mole. Hurricane Harvey, wildfires in Oregon and the West, then Hurricane Irma. Yowsa.

Whoever ticked off Mother Nature, apologize now.

But miracles do happen through the efforts of “ordinary” Americans:

The fire fighters who stood their ground and saved the historic lodge at Multnomah Falls by surrounding it in a wall of water all night while the flames burned all around and over them and embers flew across the Columbia River. No easy feat that save, with the fire coming within thirty yards of the wood shingled lodge.

The shelter dogs and cats evacuated ahead of Hurricane Harvey from Houston to Oregon and Washington, many have already been adopted.

The 1,700 food boxes packed and shipped by the Oregon Food Bank to Houston to help feed those in need. Know they will be packing more for Florida.

The curator and a staff of nine at the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida who rode out the storm with the fifty-four Hemingway cats and all were spared. Angels were above them all.

The news reporter who helped get one exhausted baby dolphin back out into the sea and helped with other volunteers to carry another stranded dolphin back out into the ocean.

The bystanders who quickly realized two manatees were stranded in the mud after the storm suck took all the water from the bay. With the help of Manatee Sheriff Deputies, they dragged the two manatees back out into the ocean a hundred yards.

There will be many stories of kind acts and we will grieve for those who have died. We will also rejoice in the team who went out in the storm to help deliver a baby. Baby’s don’t wait for weather.

Through all the damage and destruction, we’ve seen the best of our country while Mother Nature hit us with her worst. Maybe she wanted to let us know she was in charge after all, by blocking out the sun then hitting us with her best shots.

Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Oregon, California, Washington, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the East Coast, we’ve got your back. Huge hugs and thanks to all the law enforcement, fire fighters, U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, FEMA, federal, state, county, city, power company and gasoline employees working their butts off now and for weeks to come.

A special thank you to the men and women at the National Weather Service in Key West, Florida and the military personnel at the Key West Naval Station who stayed behind and did their jobs. You guys are rock stars!

Also gratitude to the American Red Cross volunteers and staff, the non-profit agencies, and all the animal rescue groups. The retailers who opened their stores and the restaurants who are feeding people now are all a big part of our USA team.

Our hearts swell from the volunteer efforts of the Cajun Navy to the monster truck drivers and the thousands of folks who helped their neighbors and the news crews who jumped in to help when needed.

This is going to be a long rebuild, but we’ll get through this together. What better way to honor the loss of the men, women and children on 9/11 that we honored yesterday, than to become a better nation after their and their family’s sacrifice.

With folks like the ones in the video below, USA, we’ve got this.


Filed under Personal Essay

Holiday Observations And Blessings?

by Kimberly A. Cook                      (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

This week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is always a time for me to think about what the past year taught me and what I might learn in the New Year. Part of that is because between all the cookies, cashews, pie and turkey I’ve eaten, I can’t move from my LaZBoy coma of watching Hallmark holiday movies with football thrown in for variety.


Spec Ops Cat is a Zen Master at relaxing and enjoying the moment. Watch and learn. 


I’ve convinced myself that thinking about exercise counts, but my jeans do not agree. The treadmill is waiting patiently for me to return, but it knows I will not be as nimble and light as the last time I jumped on it. Cookie weight. Hope it’s ready for 2017. May need to get a roll bar for it. Plus a Wide Load strap.

Family and friends are worth more than their weight in gold; up that to diamonds and platinum. The folks who put up with me each year should be getting Starbucks stock for their challenging duty. Thank you all for the support. Cuts the cost of therapy.

Dreams are for all of us. Especially when we think they are not. I’ve had more fun starting my Fairy Rock Garden in the backyard. Playing in the dirt can be the best idea. We all need time to play and dream and create. Fill up your creative well. Take time to be.

There are a lot of things that can be cured by a purring kitty snuggle or a doggie lick. Our four-footed friends are much better at living in the moment than we are. They also don’t carry smartphones and calendars. That must be a big part of their secret to relaxing.

This is a time for renewal. We get a new calendar! A time to start over and give it another shot. Life has bumps, dumps and sinkholes, but it also comes with joy, fun and laughter. I try to lean toward the fun side if at all possible. Being a cranky pants ends up annoying even me, besides others. I’ve always found the best antidote is to MOVE. Do something.

If I’m really upset, I clean. Not only does it accomplish something positive, it also poops me out and gets out some of that bad juju. I can’t keep that stuff inside, it will constipate me in too many ways. Medicinal dark chocolate is a good reward after cleaning too. Just saying.

Here’s wishing you new dreams and adventures in 2017. In the meantime go find a pet to cuddle, a person or a cookie. I’ve got my chips and dips for the holiday weekend. Let the parties begin!



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Filed under joy

Making A Thankful List?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Spending time with family and chowing down on turkey, stuffing and pie is always a winner. Each year I think about what I’m thankful for and make a mental list. The more vintage I get in age, the simpler the items on my list have become.


Nature views like this one by Suttle Lake Lodge.


  • A day off to relax.
  • Sleeping in.
  • Real whipped cream on the pies.
  • Mom’s famous lime Jell-O with pineapple and cream cheese.
  • Laughing with family.
  • Gravy.
  • Full tummy.
  • Stopping the rat race for a national holiday.
  • Kitty cuddles.
  • Nap time.
  • Claymation Christmas.
  • Leftovers.
  • Pumpkin pie.
  • Good health.
  • Cozy warm home protecting us from the rain.
  • Taking time to listen.
  • Grateful for the good fortune we have.
  • Remembering family members we have lost but reliving the fun memories.
  • Thankful for the military personnel around the globe protecting us while we relax.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Hoping for peace and goodwill toward all women and men.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Let the competitive napping begin!

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Filed under joy

Are You In A Summer Frame Of Mind?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Played hooky from my blog today. I blame the nice summer weather and escaping from the day job to get the brakes done on my car. Waiting for Subie to get her new shoes, I read one of my favorite romance books while the scent of rubber tires and popped popcorn drifted through the waiting area.


Who knows how to relax better than a cat? Nobody!

By the time I arrived home, all I wanted to do was continue to laze around in a summer daze. So that is what I did. Spec Ops Cat helped out too; he’s a pro at relaxing. Some days the best thing to do is to enjoy the summer breezes and slow down. Read, relax and recharge.

Are you in a summer frame of mind?

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Filed under Motivation

Got Gifts This Year?

by Kimberly A. Cook                    (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Fighting the mall traffic, the crazy weather and the to do list as long as a roll of toilet paper, we can forget the real gifts we’ve already gotten. So this time of year I like to reflect on what I’ve already received and am thankful for all year long.


Spec Ops Cat shows off his pre-cuddle exercises.

  • Kitty cuddles from Spec Ops Cat complete with free purrs
  • Laughter with family, friends and co-workers
  • Hugs from family and friends
  • Listening ears when I’m cranky and tired
  • Sleeping in my own bed
  • Heat
  • Hot showers
  • Massages
  • Good health
  • The colors pink, purple and teal
  • Books and reading
  • Digging for thundereggs
  • My Subaru getting me through the December monsoons
  • Faux fur blankets
  • Imagination
  • Tea pot collection
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Heating pad with timer
  • Elvis
  • Classis Christmas songs
  • The Minions
  • Taking photos
  • Daffodils
  • My writer friends
  • Oatmeal with peanut butter
  • Alpaca socks
  • Yarn
  • Home
  • Flannel sheets
  • Roses
  • Red sparkly nail polish
  • Daydreaming
  • YouTube animal videos
  • Cartoons
  • Raspberries
  • Garfield
  • Beads and jewelry pieces
  • Writing
  • Warm summer night breezes
  • Blog readers
  • Naked toes in sandals
  • Carnations
  • Purple glasses
  • The calls of frogs and crickets
  • The ocean
  • Bunnies
  • Hummingbirds
  • Hot tubs
  • Rainbows
  • Creative minds
  • People who do good things
  • USA
  • Squirrels
  • Sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing
  • Chocolate
  • Support

That’s the short list. This month I’m finishing my nineteenth year of keeping a daily Gratitude Journal. Because besides the tinsel, wrapping paper, gift cards and crazy, the true gifts we receive all year long are the most important.

Here’s wishing you all happy holidays and gifts all year long on your very own all ready gotten gifts list. We are all more rich than we realize. What’s on your 2015 gifts gotten list?



Filed under Motivation

Ready For A Holiday Time Out?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Between fighting the creeping crud the last three weeks, dark nights, wind, rain, holiday craziness, news nightmares, and a neighborhood zoning fiasco that would break Ghandi’s patience, it’s Holiday Time Out Time.

What do I do when the Grinch grumpies hit this time of year? I have a plan of attack. First I bake. Food therapy. Sunday’s treat of choice was a box mix of poppy seed muffins. Perfect. I used up some leftover milk and all I had to do was stir.


After tons of time watching the Barefoot Contessa on HGTV, I use the big scoop to transfer the batter from the bowl to the muffin tins. Works like a charm. Much faster too. I do the same for cookie batter except I use the smaller scoop. Tip: you have to push the round dough balls down for cookies. Took me awhile to figure that out, had cookie globes for a bit.

Next on the agenda is to move. While I may need to have the LaZBoy surgically removed from my butt after this siege and replenish my tissue stockpile, moving is the key to getting energy and endorphins.

I always like to start with what’s bugging me the most in the house. Sunday it turned out to be the toilet bowls. Yucky. After a quick cleaning I felt much better and happier. Sometimes it’s the  dishes, or vacuuming or piles of mail, but this time it was the toilet bowls.

Then I get on the treadmill for at least ten minutes. When you’re trying to get energy back you have to expend energy. It’s some stupid physics law, but it’s true. Always add my workout tunes – disco to movie themes – and that helps too. Grinchy moods don’t like music.

Then I work up to walking twenty to thirty minutes a day. It really helps having a treadmill in the Oregon monsoon season, since we have flood warnings this week I prefer to walk inside instead of using a scuba suit and rubber raft.

Third action on the Grinch grumpies be gone list is to create.  Anything. It can range from my holiday shopping list to printing out photos or gluing on the top bead to the mini Christmas tree that fell off. Wrapping a present works too.

Any hands on activity helps the left brain relax and the right brain engage. Another reason I’m taking my knitting back to the day job. Knitting also keeps me from eating since it’s hard to snack and eat at the same time as it mucks up the yarn. A good way to prevent too much holiday grazing.

Last but not least I review my gratitude list. Since I write down five things every night I’m grateful for, it’s always a good time to sit and ponder any time of day and reflect on my blessings. Some days it’s clean toilet bowls, kitty hugs, friends, family and sleeping in on a day off.

And today it’s knowing there are some fine folks out there willing to read my little blog and make comments or likes and communicate with me. Those are Big Magic Moments Thank you. And before I know it the Grinch grumpies are gone!

So my Grinch grumpies be gone action plan is bake, move, create, and gratitude. What’s yours? Got clean toilet bowls? Poppy seed muffins? 




Filed under Motivation