Monthly Archives: October 2016

Day 1400: Pick me!

Thank you for picking me and my blog, today.

Why did I pick “Pick me!” for this post’s  title?

Lots of reasons to pick from, including this photo I took yesterday:

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It looks like that pumpkin’s assertiveness is helping it get picked by that picky ghost. If I were going to pick a lesson from that, I’d say it’s good to ask to be picked. Why? Because you deserve to be picked, so why not ask for it?

I’m now picking this moment to cite another reason why this picky blogger picked  “Pick me!” for today’s title.  It’s the 6th anniversary of the day my boyfriend Michael and I picked to meet each other in person, after we had corresponded daily for over a month. I’m not sure why we both picked Halloween 2010 for our first date, but I’m so glad that he picked me and I picked him.

If you had to pick any of my other photos from yesterday, which ones say “Pick me!” to you?

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That last photo I picked, above, shows Michael, the picky guy I picked six years ago,  picking corn chowder as the recipe to share via cell phone with my son Aaron, who recently picked the University of Edinburgh as his college and residence.

What music should I pick for this “Pick me!” post?

I’m picking a song from The Spinners album Pick of the Litter — Just as Long as We Have Love.

If you’re thinking of leaving a comment for a blogger, pick me!

I’m glad I picked all those who helped me create today’s post and I’m very glad you picked this blog today.

Categories: anniversary, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1399: National ___ Day

In my nation of the United States of America, EVERY day is National Something Day.

If today is National Skepticism Day where you are, check out this link.

Yesterday, I saw signs for two out of the three National _____ Days listed for October 29:

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Today — which is National Candy Corn Day,  National Speak Up for Service Day, and  National Publicist Day — I am speaking up and publicizing all the other corny photos I took (in order) on National Cat Day, National Oatmeal Day,  and National Hermit Day:

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As you can see, we gave our cats some toys for National Cat Day,  and they celebrated like they do on any other day.

In anticipation of some upcoming national events here (including Halloween and Election Day), here’s “National Brotherhood Week” written and performed in the 1960s by our national treasure,  Tom Lehrer (who is still alive on this day):

 

Finally,  what day would you like today to be? I’m speaking  up — candidly, cornily, and publicly — and declaring today National Gratitude Day, as I express gratitude to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — to all my readers.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1398: Out of Order

Yesterday, at cardiac rehab, I saw this sign on one of the exercise machines:

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Here are my out-of-order thoughts about “Out of Order”:

  • In the past, out-of-order machines have made me feel uneasy and unsafe, because I’ve been relying on cardiac pacemakers to keep me alive since I was 10 years old.
  • My current  pacemaker is being recalled by its manufacturer, which has placed my plans to return to work next week after my September 21 open heart surgery out of order.
  • My Boston cardiologists have ordered an operation next week to replace my current pacemaker, because other out-of-order pacemakers like it have already killed two people.
  • I am trying to get my thoughts and feelings in order about all this by writing in this blog, talking to friends, and consulting with experts.
  • I shall now show you all my other photos from yesterday, out of order:

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Would I be out of order if I chose this Duncan Sheik song out of all the tunes titled “Out of Order”?

I am not ordering you to leave a comment about this “Out of Order” post, but if you do, that would probably help me put my thoughts and feelings more in order.

Usually I end every blog post with gratitude for all who helped me in the creative process and for all  my readers — of course! — but, instead, here’s another out of order photo (thanks to Mary Ann, a friend from high school):

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Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1397: Playful Spirits

Greetings to all you playful spirits, who have spirited yourselves here to read my blog!

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This playful spirit saw that sign, yesterday, when she was on a playful and spirited trip to the Fresh Pond Mall with her spirited and playful boyfriend, Michael.

Speaking of Michael, before I met him, I was afraid of spirits. Indeed, as I  described in this spirited post from three years ago, I used to stay up all night when I was a playful child, listening for spirits and trying to protect my family from them.  Soon after I met Michael, I was doing laundry in the basement and became convinced that there were hostile spirits around me. I ran up the stairs and told Michael about it. Michael listened to my  spirited fears and then non-playfully replied:

“Ann. You do realize that there are no ghosts, right?”

The clear and simple spirit of Michael’s statement was enough to cure my fears.  Since then, I’ve had no fear of spirits, playful or otherwise.

I still won’t watch movies or listen to stories about malevolent spirits, however,  because sleep is very good for my spirit.

Here are all the other photos I took, yesterday, with a playful spirit:

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Which of those photos show  the most playful spirit?

I playfully and spiritedly choose this YouTube video for today’s “Playful Spirits” post:

 

My playful spirit wishes to express spirited gratitude to all those spirits who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for your spirited visit here, today. That makes me …

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Categories: Halloween, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1396: Views

Here are some quotes about views I’m viewing right now:

Behind your view there are other views; to see them, you must first visit the view you see!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

“I think we each come out of the womb with some unique way of looking at the world and if we don’t express it, we loose faith in ourselves.”
― Gloria Steinem, Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem

“View every obstacle as a learning post.”
― Azim Jamal & Brian Tracy

“The proper conceptual view is attained only through introspection.”
― Akshay Vijayan

“Stubborness and staunch, they are both same things
from different point of view”
― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

“The forest stretched on seemingly forever with the most monotonous predictability, each tree just like the next – trunk, branches, leaves; trunk, branches, leaves. Of course a tree would have taken a different view of the matter. We all tend to see the way others are alike and how we differ, and it’s probably just as well we do, since that prevents a great deal of confusion. But perhaps we should remind ourselves from time to time that ours is a very partial view, and that the world is full of a great deal more variety than we ever manage to take in.”
― Thomas M. Disch, The Brave Little Toaster

“My father says that there is only one perfect view — the view of the sky straight over our heads, and that all these views on earth are but bungled copies of it.”
― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

Distance gives a clearer view. You can’t see the facade of a building while staying inside.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson, Master of Maxims

“Unfortunately in this world of ours, each person views things through a certain medium, which prevents his seeing them in the same light as others…”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

“We can view life as a meaningless journey ending in death or as an evolving spiral of life.”
― Joseph Rain

“Our eyes captures thousands of beautiful pictures everyday.”
― Pradeepa Pandiyan

After viewing that last quote, you might view the possibility of my now sharing thousands of pictures.  Not to worry; here are all the views I captured yesterday:

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I wonder how many views this post will get?  Maybe I can increase the views by including some great music.

 

Feel free to express your views in a comment below.

Finally, I view all those who helped me create today’s post with gratitude and love. And, of course, I view all my readers the same way!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1395: The Choice is Clear

Yesterday, the choice was clear that I needed to take this picture:

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It’s clear that nobody should choose to try to clear that  barbed wire fence.  Also,  the choice is clear in the upcoming vote of the next U.S. president.  But is the choice ALWAYS clear?

As I chose to write yesterday, when the choice is NOT clear, that can be painful. This morning, I choose to believe that unclear choices, over time, will become clear enough for me to choose well enough.

The choice is clear! I clearly need to trust my ability to choose, even if it takes me some time to clear my way to the better choice.

If I asked you to choose a favorite from the 30-something other photos I chose to take yesterday, would the choice be clear? And if the choice isn’t clear, what will  you do?

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Yesterday, the choice was clear for me to post that last photo on Facebook with this caption:  “Scarred for life and happy about it.”

Because I’m going to see An American in Paris  in a Boston theater tonight with my friend Barbara, my musical choice is clear today:

 

If you’ve chosen to read my blog before, it’s clear that I choose to end each post with thanks to all  who help me create it  and to you — of course! — for choosing to join me, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1394: What drives us

Yesterday morning, I was driven to write a post about my first day of driving after my open heart surgery.

Soon after I drove that post into publication, I noticed my friend Eleanor was wearing a drivingly appropriate t-shirt while she and I were both driving our heart rates up at a cardiac rehab program:

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For the rest of the day, I was a woman driven in many directions as I tried to make the drivingly best decision about whether to place a bid on a new home. It drove me crazy as I veered back and forth between “place the bid!” and “wait for another place!”

I don’t know about you, but when I am driven to make a drivingly important decision, I can be driven into paralysis, self-doubt, catastrophizing, polarizing ambivalence, fear, and other things that drive my self-confidence downward.

Why is it that one moment I am drivingly sure that a change is correct and the next moment I am as sure that it is NOT?

Here’s what helped drive me back into peace, yesterday.  Good friends let me know that I didn’t have to drive anywhere that I didn’t feel ready to go.  One of them drove a very helpful point home, with this text message:

I agree with Michael that there is no wrong answer!!! Also there are lots of wonderful houses that come on market every day so if you don’t put in an offer it’s not your only chance to move into a great place. These are things I tell myself when I’m worried about decisions/opportunities!

Here’s something that drives me: wanting the best for myself AND for other people , too.  Balancing my needs with other people’s needs is a driving goal for me, but sometimes it makes driving ahead complicated and challenging. As I drive myself to focus more on MY needs as the driving force behind my decision about placing a bid on the new home, here’s what’s driving my decision to pass on the house — its location is such that I would need to drive to get to stores, scenic areas, and other points of interest. Walking would be difficult because of the house’s location up in some hills. And in case I haven’t driven this point home throughout my blogging years — I am driven by my love of walking to interesting places.

Now that I’ve driven this point and this decision home, this woman driver now feels driven to include the other photos she was driven to capture yesterday:

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I love that statue of U.S. Justice  Louis Brandeis, where he looks like he is driving forward against the wind.

Here‘s another driving song for you all:

 

I hope this post drives you to leave a comment.

Every day, I am driven to express gratitude to all those who help me drive along this highway of life, which — of course! — includes you.

 

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1393: In the driver’s seat

I have gotten the go-ahead from my cardiologists to drive again, now that I have recovered sufficiently from my open heart surgery of September 21.

Now that I’m back in the driver’s seat, I have many places to go today, including:

  1. Cardiac rehab at a nearby hospital, where I’ll sit and walk on different types of exercise equipment with my usual drive,
  2. My dentist’s office, for a 3-month teeth cleaning (driven by  my real risk of endocarditis),
  3. A Boston hospital, to surprise people who are used to being in the driver’s seat,
  4. A real estate property in a nearby town within easy driving distance, where perhaps I’ll soon be driving and parking my car.

Here‘s one of my favorite in-the-driver’s-seat tunes, performed by the amazing and driving Bonnie Raitt:

 

I love my life with me and the boys — my boyfriend Michael, my son Aaron, and our kitties Oscar and Harley.

Here are some photos I was able to take yesterday because I was in the driver’s seat:

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When I see a product like Chinese Szechuan Chicken-flavored potato chips, I wonder who’s in the driver’s seat over at Lay’s.

What helps you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat?

When I’m in the driver’s seat, gratitude is often sitting in the passenger’s seat beside me, so here’s a driving feeling I want to express to all those who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what seat you’re in right now:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1392: Depends

What’s my attitude about life?  Depends on what’s going on around me, how I’m perceiving things, and people I depend on.

How am I feeling as I recover from my recent open heart surgery?  Depends on how much sleep I’m able to get, which depends on how much pain I’m having.

How do I answer questions from myself and from others? Depends on the question, my attitude, my experience, and what I know.

How  do  I come up with a title and topic for each of my daily blog posts?  Depends on what’s happened the day before, usually.

How do I decide which pictures to share here?  Depends on which ones I think you might like.

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How well do I quote other people in this blog?  Depends on my memory and what they have to say.  Yesterday, the dependably hilarious, brilliant, and charming Mel Brooks responded to a question from the audience as follows:

Question:  Boxers or briefs?

Mel Brooks:  Depends!

My choice of music for each post depends on several factors. Here‘s the theme song from Blazing Saddles  — the movie Mel Brooks showed and discussed yesterday:

 

Will you comment on today’s blog post?  That probably depends on what you have to say.

I depend on others to create every blog post and on you to read them, so many thanks to Mel Brooks, to my neighbor Karen for driving me yesterday to a realtor’s open house AND to see Mel Brooks, and to you — of course! — on whom I depend more than you know.

 

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1391: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story

To start telling this story, today’s post title is a quote from the musical Hamilton.

 

Who lives, on the day I’m writing this?

  • I do, against all odds and even though a team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic  essentially killed me* on September 21 in order to repair my heart before they brought me back to life.
  • Mel Brooks, thank goodness, even though he is 90 years old (and whom I’ll be seeing today in person in Boston).
  • Approximately 7.5 billion people, according to this link.

 

Who dies, on the day I’m writing this?

  • Kevin Meaney, suddenly at age 60, who was one of my and my son’s favorite comedians.
  • 151,600 people, according to this link.

 

Who tells your story?

I’ll tell you who tells my story —   it’s me, through this blog.  Perhaps because my story has included so many doctors and medical institutions from the moment I was born, it’s VERY important to me to be the expert of my own experience — the primary teller of my own story. Of course, I can’t control how others will tell my story after I die, but to quote Kevin Meaney about that, “I don’t care.”

Here’s how I photographically choose to tell my story of October 21, 2016, when I went to  one hospital for cardiac rehab and then to another hospital to get blood work to prepare for ANOTHER surgical procedure on November 2 and also to drop in on my  amazing cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem:

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And because we do need help from others to tell our stories, I want to thank my friend Carol, who is such a wonderful woman, for capturing the story of those last four photos.

Here’s the last photo that I took yesterday, to tell my story:

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Now, how would you tell a story in a comment, below?

I’ll end today’s story with live gratitude to all those living and dead who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — no matter how you tell your story.


* I’m glad you lived to read  this part of my story from the Mayo Clinic surgeon’s report on  September 21:  “The aorta was occluded, and 800 cc of cold blood cardioplegia was infused into the aortic root obtaining satisfactory asystolic arrest.” Doesn’t that sound like they satisfactorily killed me?

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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