Tag Archives: Gratitude

Amazing quilting

Hi readers.

During the coldest months of last winter a friend from one of my previous lifetimes heard about my situation here and sent me a fantastic, warm, welcome gift. Judy Van Hooser was so long ago I’d have thought she had forgotten I exist.

judy quilt1
Beautiful work and it all appears to be hand-stitched.

judy quilt3
Every year Judy makes one of these and gives it to a veteran somewhere.

judy quilt2
Last year she contacted my ex-wife, Caroline, and said she’d like to give this one to me.

judy quilt flipside

I was both dumbfounded and ecstatic. It’s almost too fine to use as a quilt. But these winter nights don’t leave a lot of room for the luxury of using a warm quilt for a showpiece. This one does what quilts and blankets were always supposed to do.

Thank you Judy. You’ve earned a place in my gratitude affirmations. And every time I use that quilt I remember.

Old Jules

Being the luckiest man on the planet has a down side

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Those who read here, I assume, predominantly wish they could be me.  Most likely you think living the life I’m blessed with is all smooth sailing.  Figure all I have to do is remember to be grateful for the flat tires and 47 different ways to cook potatoes, 98 raman recipes, and clean the burrs out of the cat hair.

Sometimes I even think that’s true.  But the fact is, even the flood of blessings I enjoy in life become a trap.  Complacency slips in through the cracks and sometimes I forget to look for all the reasons those rough spots are actually a gift the Universe gives me, sometimes only as a reminder.

As an example, there’s a dragon lady in the courthouse in Timewarpsville who’s in charge anytime someone wants to try licensing or registering a trailer or motor vehicle.  I’ve found, if a person wants to get it done in fewer than three 100 mile round-trips he’d best find a time when she’s out to lunch and the other lady’s the one doing the business.

In the name of just doing her job that dragon lady can find more tees that need a 50 mile drive to cross and eyes that need dotting next trip any the average person who hasn’t experienced being Adolph Hitler could imagine.

But that’s okay.  That’s actually the Universe reminding me again I’m the luckiest man because, you see, I don’t have to be her.  Hells bells, I rarely even have to deal with her.  Don’t have to live in the same town, don’t have to have her for a relative, barely have to acknowledge such people are alive on this sphere and are part of the human species.

Sometimes I forget.  But that’s just the downside of being me.  Complacency.

Old Jules

Spang Blew It!

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Having a running vehicle I can just brush the cats off of, scare the chickens out from underneath and drive somewhere is surprisingly uplifting.  Not having to borrow Little Red wouldn’t seem to the disinterested observer to be that big a deal, but it is.

Got me feeling uppidy in ways I’m going to need to treat with circumspection and discipline so’s I don’t run myself dry buying gasoline for trips I wouldn’t have made in a borrowed machine.  But damn it feels good anyway.

Those trips to TimeWarpVille [Junction, Texas] trying to get something they’d accept at the courthouse as valid to transfer the title, trips to Kerrville trying to chase down the guy who sold it to me would have been frustrating teeth-grinding to me most of my life.  But they were pure joy, driving along looking at the country, looking at whatever, ignoring the 100+ F. wind blowing through the windows in favor of the freedom it represented.

So yesterday I thought of a reason to drive into Harper.  The day before I’d noticed a piece of the right front tire peeled back on the side, probably something on the driveway flipped up and cut it.  So I was being careful, occupying 30-35 MPH when it blew.  Got her stopped without ruining the rim.

Sweated blood and bullets getting the car up on the jack.  Crumpled a piece of the underbody before I found the secret, unlikely place the top of the jack has to go to lift it.  Discovered the spare is a wheelbarrow tire, which was under-inflated, but left part of an inch of inflated tire between the rim and the ground.  Inched that money-maker home at 2.5 miles per hour.

Gave me time to shoot gratitude affirmations for it all out to the Universe and Old Sol.  Because that blowout’s a major blessing.

When I pulled the tire off the brake disk rotor was exposed to me, badly eaten because there was nothing much like a pad.  Bare metal just grinding pleasant rings into the rotor.  A lot of people would probably replace that rotor, but I think I’ll try just buying pads.  No reason to get extreme, over-react, do anything dramatic. 

But if that tire hadn’t blown I’d never have noticed I had problem needed immediate attention, not to put off until the next Social Security pension check arrives to provide me a something for nothing entitlement [as these Texans are fond of calling it].

So today I’m going into Kerrville and buy me a spanking new tire, buy a set of brake pads, and even let the guys who sell me the tire put the new one on the ground.

Christmas.  It just don’t get much better than this.

Old Jules

Morning Gratitude Affirmations

A previous blog post from April 10, 2005

Hokay.  I try to think of five particularly communistic things going on in my life every morning, every evening, during the day, to find reasons for being grateful for.  It’s a ritual I try to practice constantly, but if I begin the day with it, it’s a lot easier to remember for the rest of the day.

Soooooo.

I’m going to let the numbers on the lottery draw last night be my first, even though it’s really easy.  Those numbers did good and I have a lot of good feeling about what hit last night.  It’s cheating, but I’m going to be grateful for that anyway.

Hokay.  Number two.  It snowed last night.  It’s April, everything was budded out, and it damned well snowed.  Maybe you think I’m not grateful, but I am.  If the frost gets those buds for a third time there ain’t going to be any apples, apricots, grapes, pecans, but there’s always another year, and we need the moisture, probably more than we need the fruit this year.  It’s been a long drought and the moisture deficit isn’t entirely made up, even with all the rain and snow this winter.  Yeah.  I’m grateful.  Yes, I am.  I can feel it, reluctant, squirming, fighting every inch of the way, but grateful is emerging.

Number 3.  Tres.  I’m grateful for these affirmations.  That’s an easy one too, cheating, but they’ve had an enormous influence on my life for the past decade, and sometimes I forget to be grateful for knowing how good they are for me.  And besides, it fills a slot, allowing me not to have to confide to you what some of the ‘really communist’ troubles I’m going to have to be grateful for before I get past these affirmations in my private mind, this morning.  But those are none of your business, so I’m going to try to keep this clean and well lighted.

Number 4.  Quatro.  Lessee.  A cat just took a dump on the rug over there across the room.  Knows better than that, but did it anyway.  It means, hopefully, that the cat was communicating to me the litter box is getting too full.  I’m grateful that cat reminded me of my neglect.  I haven’t cleaned it up, but when I do I will examine the stool and make certain the cat wasn’t telling me something else, something more important.  I’m grateful a cat will tell a person willing to listen what’s going on with it, what sort of health problems might be hidden there in that pea brain, wanting to come out but not knowing how.

Number 5:  Half an hour after daybreak and the wind’s coming back up outside.  I’m grateful for that wind, that howling and clattering of things loose on the porch, the rabid windchimes, the cold air whistling in around the old wooden frames of the windows.

Maybe you think I’m not grateful for that wind, but I am.  Here’s why.

Hmmmmm.  Hmmmmmm.  I am.  Just give me a minute here.

Ahhhh..  I’m grateful for that wind because it’s going to melt the snow quickly.  Maybe even soon enough to save the blossoms and buds.  Maybe that old wind will just evaporate enough of the snow, good old wind, temperature 37 degrees F, maybe it will have all that snow gone in no time at all and the new grapevines won’t lose their buds, the apples will be okay.

A lot of people mightn’t be grateful for that wind howling to blue blazes out there, me sipping my coffee here, typing, feeling the cold air on my bare ankles, but I am.  Yes, I am.

Old Jules

Amazing Instant Pain Relief

From a previous blog entry a few years ago:

Have you ever heard anyone say, “Wow!  I just put out my eye with a nail-gun!  Thank you Lord (Universe, Goddess, Higher Self, Coincidence Coordinators, or whatever the person happens to hold sacred)!”

Probably you haven’t.  Not many people know it’s a profoundly effective way of causing pain to diminish or vanish entirely.

I usually don’t even remember to pass it on, though my Y2K and since friend, Jeanne,  has seen it work.  She might use it.

Try it.

  • Go find a hammer, put your thumb, thumbnail upward, on the front step.
  • Draw the hammer over your shoulder and smash hell out of that thumbnail as hard as you’re able.
  • The moment your vision changes to a nuclear fireball, shift gears mentally and say, “Thank you Lord.”

Doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist or atheist.  You’ll be amazed.

See for yourself.

I don’t know of any better demonstration of the power of gratitude.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules: Ethics and Morals?