Monthly Archives: May 2019

Day 2332: The little things

Five hundred and forty-two little days ago (but who’s counting these little things?), little ol’ me wrote a little blog post,  Day 1790: Thankful for the little things.  Yesterday, I was a little perturbed by many little things when I was writing yesterday’s little post, so  I sent Michael this little email:

Hello my darling,
I would say we have an infestation of ants .  This is based on many of them crawling on me this morning while I was blogging, which is a new experience for me here at Squanticello.  Let us research kind ways to invite them to leave.
Much love,

When I got home from work, Michael was more than a little freaked out at the not-so-little size of the invaders, which turned out to be carpenter ants. He said, “Usually I don’t think of insects as animals, but these enormous winged things are definitely animals.” Michael spent many little moments yesterday identifying the big ants’ little points of entry and applying spray that is kind to little things like children and pets.

I didn’t take any pictures of those little things, but I invite you to spot the little things in today’s little photos.


























I don’t see any little or large ants as I’m creating this little post, so I’d say that Michael’s efforts paid off, in a big way.

Here‘s “The Little Things You Do Together” from a little musical called Company:

Here are the great lyrics to “The Little Things You Do Together”  by that musical giant, Stephen Sondheim:

It’s the little things you do together
Do together
Do together
That make perfect relationships.
The hobbies you pursue together
Savings you accrue together
Looks you misconstrue together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s the little things you share together
Swear together
Wear together
That make perfect relationships.
The concerts you enjoy together
Neighbors you annoy together
Children you destroy together
That keep marriage intact.

It’s not so hard to be married
When two maneuver as one
It’s not so hard to be married
And Jesus Christ, is it fun.

It’s sharing little winks together
Drinks together
Kinks together
That make marriage a joy.
The bargains that you shop together
Cigarettes you stop together
Clothing that you swap together
That make perfect relationships.

It’s not talk of God and the decade ahead that
Allows you to get through the worst.
It’s “I do,” and, “You don’t,” and, “Nobody said that,”
And, “Who brought the subject up first?”

It’s the little things…
The little things, the little things, the little things

The little ways you try together
Cry together
Lie together
That make perfect relationships.
Becoming a cliche together
Growing old and gray together
Withering away together
That make marriage a joy.

It’s not so hard to be married,
It’s much the simplest of crimes.
It’s not so hard to be married,
I’ve done it three or four times.

It’s people that you hate together
Bait together
Date together
That make marriage a joy.
It’s things like using force together
Shouting till you’re hoarse together
Getting a divorce together
That make perfect relationships.
Uh uh
Kiss kiss
Mmmm mmmmm.

I’m greatly looking forward to all your little comments, below.

Gratitude for the little things helps me deal with all the little and big things every day, so big thanks to those who help me create this little blog and — of course! — to YOU.



Soon after publishing this post, I made up some new little lyrics for that song, more relevant for tall Michael and little me:

It’s battling ants together
Making sure you dance together
Keeping the romance together
That make perfect relationships.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2331: I’m a fan

I’m a fan of:

What are you a fan of?

I’m also a fan of gratitude, as I hope you know.


Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2330: Visitors may catch a glance

Yesterday, when I was catching a glance of millions of things, I noticed this sign:



It was not a summer’s day, but I’m always looking to catch a glance of snowy egrets, as you shall see at a glance.






I also caught a glance of this t-shirt but not the glance of the owner.


That t-shirt says  “Lonely Forever Club,” which caused me to catch a glance of other people on their own, at least for the moment.







While I was taking those photos alone, I caught a glance of an inadvertent change of filter, which I changed back.

Sometimes I feel like a visitor and sometimes I feel like I belong. The difference often depends on how I’m filtering what I’m glancing.

Visitors may catch a glance of ellipses, memorials, flowering trees, numbers, waves, stones, pets, weirdness, whimsey, money, health, kindness, a kite, a robot, resting places, the past, sweets, gardens, groups, a pug imitating Napoleon, connections, and different perspectives.


Did you catch that glance of Oscar almost making a break for it, last night? Here’s another glance of that.


I’m curious what my visitors are catching a glance of, here and now.

Today I’m going to catch a glance of a fund-raiser for group psychotherapy, spanakopita (which Michael is making for the fund-raiser), and the ending of Game of Thrones (even though I’ve just recently started catching glances of that series).

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube for “Game of Thrones at a glance.”

I then caught a glance of Emilia Clarke on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert show, describing catching a glance of death in real life and also the end of Game of Thrones.

Now I’m ready to catch all the glances of this new day.  And I look forward to catching a glance of comments, below.

Finally, here’s a glance of gratitude for all, including YOU.




Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2329: Millions of Ideas

Over my long life, I’ve had millions of ideas.

Some of them are private and hidden.

Some of them are inexplicable.


Some of them are rebellious.

Some of them are blooming.

Some of them seem random but aren’t.

Some of them are beautiful.

Some of them seem repetitive.

What do they all have in common?

Hope is what they all have in common. And I hope you share some of your millions of ideas, below.

I have some ideas about which music to share (here and here on YouTube).

Here’s another idea: music is like a time machine for me.

Millions of thanks to those whose ideas helped inspire today’s post and — of course! — to YOU, for all the ideas you bring, here and now.


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Day 2328: Where would you go in a time machine?

Yesterday, before I met my dear friend Megan and her wonderful daughter Kathryn for lunch and a stroll at a nearby beach, I was reading many of my past blog posts (including ones with Megan here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here and here).

Whenever I read my past blog posts, it’s like traveling in a time machine.  For example, when I was reading all those posts about Megan, I definitely traveled through time …. all the way back to 2013, my first year of blogging, and beyond!

This week, I’ve spent some time traveling in the time machine of memory to my May vacation week of exactly one year ago, during which somebody made me lunch and then travelled in a time machine to recount years of resentments.  Personally, when I travel in my time machine, I prefer to visit moments of love, not  times of resentment (even though my time machine goes everywhere, to moments of pleasure and pain).

My time with Megan and her daughter, yesterday, was truly a reparative experience, which I hope you can see, as you take the time to travel through my latest photos:








Throughout time, I’ve been sending photos of pugs to my friend Jenn, because she loves them.  Yesterday, I sent Jenn that photo of Megan’s neighbor’s dog, Ruby.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?  One place I would (and do) revisit is the first time I heard Pat Metheny play, at the Paradise Theater in Boston in 1979.  On that day, I heard and saw Pat and his group play music from the album American Garage and I was never the same again.  Here and now, I’m traveling in my  personal time machine to the FUTURE — next week, when I’ll be seeing Pat live, again, playing solo guitar.

YouTube is a kind of time machine, too, allowing me to travel back to 1979,  the year of American Garage (and, coincidentally, the year that Megan was born!)

Here’s a comment about that video of the Pat Metheny Group circa 1979, in which nctomatoman is time traveling:

1 year ago
My first Pat Metheny concert was in 1980 at the chapel on the UVermont campus in Burlington. He played this, Unity Village, Phase Dance, San Lorenzo – and an early version of As Fall Witchita, among other songs. Breathtaking – changed my musical life for good and I’ve seen Pat nearly 20 times in concert – Waltham, Philadelphia, Seattle, Raleigh….The Way Up, to me, is the peak of his art. I so hope that the PMG reunites, though the Unity Group is wonderful as well.

The last line of that comment and the word “wonderful” takes me back to yesterday, when I took this photo …


…. assuming, at the time, that the title for today’s blog post would be “Wonderful.”

So, my wonderful readers, where would you go in a time machine?

Now I’m going to travel through time to recall years of gratitude, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, for all those who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.



Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2327: Gifts

Yesterday, my life-long friend Barbara and I met for lunch and we gave each other gifts.  Those gifts included lunch, sunglasses,  great conversation, praise, appreciation, support, validation,  honesty,  hugs, and acknowledgements of the importance of our friendship.

I now offer you the gifts of the photos from yesterday:











Michael, who is a gift to me, gave the board members of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy the gift of those strombolis last night.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?  What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

I’m also going to offer my readers the gift of a guessing game.  The photos, above,  show my Mother’s Day gift from a family member.  You can give me the gift of your guesses in the comments section, below.

As I look forward to the gift of another day on this earth, here‘s the “Simple Gifts” section from Aaron Copland‘s Appalachian Spring, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

I end each post with the gift of gratitude.  Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to you, my readers (who are always a gift to me).


Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2326: Things, Life, and People

When I was doing a lot of things yesterday with one of the people I love, I noticed this sign at an exhibit about the art and life of Frida Kahlo at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts:


I really love that quote from Frida Kahlo:

I really love things, life, and people, and I don’t want people to die.  I’m not afraid of death, but want to live.”

I also love that today’s blog post title allows me to easily include any things or people I choose from my life, including this list a person made three nights ago when she couldn’t sleep:

Messages from the Internal Critic

That’s boring.

You’re repeating yourself.

Nobody cares.

You’re being foolish.

That doesn’t make sense.

You’re making people uncomfortable.

If you bother people, they’ll go away.

You don’t know how to take care of yourself.

You don’t know how to take care of other people.

You’re too selfish.

You’re not thinking enough about other people’s feelings.

You’re stupid.

That’s a stupid thing to say.

That was a thoughtless thing to say.

You should have known better.

You’re confusing people.

You’re taking too long.

You’re rushing.

You’re making things worse.

You’re wasting money.

You’re being cheap.

You’re doing harm.

You’re attracting harm.

You’re showing off.

You’re bragging.

You’re not being careful enough.

You make bad decisions.

You choose the wrong people.

You’re a pushover.

You’re too aggressive.

You’re too trusting.

You’re too paranoid.

You’ll get into trouble.

You’ll get somebody else into trouble.

If you do that, you’ll make somebody mad.

You’re making too much noise.

You’re taking up too much space.

I think all the things  internal critics say are taking up too much space in people’s life.  What do you think, people?

Here are some recent photos of things, life, and people:

Here’s some thing I hope people know: you can click on any of those photos to enlarge the life in them.

Because I’m silencing my internal critic, I don’t mind repeating the photo of these people,  whom I’ve been visiting at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts for most of my life:


Here are things about the lives of those two people:


Here are two photos that my friend Deb took of things, life, and people:



There are many things posted by many people about the life of Frida Kahlo on YouTube, but I choose  to share this video:

and this one:

People can share their thoughts and feelings about things, life and people, below.

One of my favorite things in life is expressing gratitude for the people who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2325: If life seems hopeless

Yesterday, after I heard about the death of a patient who seemed hopeless at times but who often gave other people hope in my therapy groups, I noticed this sign:


If life seems hopeless,  look for

  •  hidden treasures,




  • signs of renewal,


  • neighbors,





  • beauty that lives on,


  • attainable and satisfying goals,


  • humor,


  • comfort,



  • inspiring stories,



  • and good conversations (here and here on YouTube).

Gratitude helps, every day, so hopeful thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2324: Internal ____________

On this day in which I will be calling the Internal Revenue Service regarding an internally complex  tax issue, I am noticing internal dread, trepidation, and other discomfort.

As I’ve blogged about many times (including here, here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, and here), I have internal fears about dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, perhaps resulting from my early internalization of this message:

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

I’m having an internal response to that internalized message (which internally and eternally links taxes and DEATH, for cripe’s sake), which I will now externalize:


For example, it’s certain that this post will include photos.












I had many positive internal and external reactions to that incredibly delicious pasta concoction Michael made last night.

When I do a search for songs with “internal” in the lyrics, I find “Diet of Strange Places” by k.d. lang:

My internal clock tells me it’s time to prepare for my phone call to the Internal Revenue Service.

But first, allow me to externalize my internal gratitude for all those who help me express my internal thoughts in this daily blog, including YOU!


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

Day 2323: How do you not go mad?

Maira Kalman, in her wonderful book The Principles of Uncertainty, poses many pithy questions, including the question in the title of today’s blog.


How do you not go mad?  I do not go mad by

  • sharing my thoughts and feelings,
  • recognizing that “this too shall pass,”
  • looking for the humanity in others,
  • tolerating uncertainty,
  • sticking to my principles,
  • reaching out for help when I need it,
  • working with people who are considered mad by some and realizing that they are often not mad,
  • creating blog posts and songs,
  • doing what I love,
  • seeking shelter when I need it,
  • avoiding the news,
  • spending time with people I trust and adore,
  • pausing to take a breath,
  • moving forward,
  • not sweating the small stuff,
  • looking at the flowering trees in the spring,
  • following signs and directions as best I can,
  • reading wonderful books,
  • going on long walks,
  • listening to music,
  • calming down,
  • focusing on the funny,
  • letting go of worry,
  • recognizing that some mysteries will not be solved in my lifetime,
  • being in the moment, and
  • taking photos, wherever I am.


































Yesterday was my friend Jenn’s birthday, so I did not go mad by texting her those last three photos.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “how do you not go mad”:

One of my photos …


… inspires me to share my favorite Rolling Stones song:

Finally, I do not go mad by expressing my gratitude to all who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — to YOU!



Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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