life during the pandemic

Day 3209: What’s a perfect gift for you?

Last night, after a day of many gifts, I asked this question on Twitter.

My perfect gift of a friend and college roommate, Marcia, gave me those chocolates when she visited us with her daughter Ellen and her son-in-law, Tim.

My perfect gift of a husband, Michael, took those two photos. Spending time with wonderful people you cherish and love is always a perfect gift.

Earlier in the day, I received the gift of a text from our vet saying that Joan the cat’s skin problem was looking much better (but not perfect).

The vet suggested that we get this product …

… to spray on Joan to prevent her from licking herself there, so we could give her the perfect gift of removing her cone.

Joan thought the Bitter YUCK was perfectly tasty, so the perfect gift of throwing away that cone is going to have to wait.

Joan is the perfect gift, cone and all.

Do you see any perfect gifts in my other images for today?

Desserts and being free sound like perfect gifts to me.

Here’s “Gift of a Friend” by Demi Lovato, which I think is perfect for this blog post.

What’s the perfect gift for you?

Many thanks for the perfect gift of your visit here, today!

Categories: friendship, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 3207: Sports

Two notable and different sports events happened yesterday in Boston: (1) The Boston Marathon (usually held in April) and (2) the Red Sox, against all odds, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to advance in the American baseball playoffs. Here’s some reporting from ESPN about the unlikely Red Sox win:

I never played sports because of my heart condition, but as somebody once said, “If you can’t play a sport, be a sport.” Can you see sports in my images for today, many of which I took while going for a three-hour walk yesterday?

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “sports”:

Be a sport and leave a comment, okay?

If gathering and expressing gratitude were a sport, I’d be an elite athlete!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 3205: Catching a break

As Joan the cat continues to heal slowly, she’s been catching a break every day from the cone that prevents her from over-grooming the broken skin on her tummy and leg.

There she is, catching a break in her favorite tunnel toy. When we catch her licking the problem area again, we have to catch her and put the cone back on, which breaks my heart. However, Joan seems to be a lot cooler and more comfortable about the cone than I am. She can even catch mice (who can’t seem to catch a break around here) when wearing it.

There’s Joan with cone, catching a break while I’m catching up with my morning routine of writing this blog. I’m imagining that she is suggesting that I catch a break from my worry about her wearing a cone for so long. I know that soon we all will be catching a break when Joan’s cone comes off permanently.

Here’s our other cat, Harley, catching a break from Joan’s relentless efforts to play with him.

Is anybody catching a break in my other images for today?

We hope to be catching a break from our broken shower (which caused a lot of hidden damage) with extensive repairs, including getting new tiles installed. We were catching a break at Home Depot last night checking out the tiles there, including the ones that are already on the bathroom walls.

I’ve been catching a break by sending out tweets on Twitter.

It says a lot about the state of the world that I’m having trouble catching a break no matter how noisy or quiet it is. I’m going to try to catch a break and enjoy any quiet I can find today.

It looks like the Daily Bitch can only catch a break when she gets some pizza.

Is anybody interested in catching a break by singing along to this song?

I look forward to catching any comments you leave about this catching-a-break post, below.

There’s no catching a break from my gratitude, which never stops!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 3203: When and where?

Last night, when I had completed a very long work day (including facilitating two remote therapy groups where we discussed COVID, family issues, the past, the present, and the future), I tweeted this:

When somebody asked about my answer to that question, this is where I went:

When and where did I capture the other images in today’s blog?

We now know where the Daily Bitch is going, but we don’t know when.

When you looked at those photos, did you notice that Joan is now getting breaks from the cone? When her skin problem is healed, she’ll be where she needs to be to be totally cone-free!

I just took that photo in the room where I’m blogging.

Regarding the when and where of most of today’s photos: Yesterday I went to CVS and Marshall’s where I bought an ace bandage and a baby onesie for Joan. When Joan is without the cone, she prevents her skin from healing by licking where the problem is. When we tried the other solutions , Joan let us know where she is on this issue — she definitely prefers the cone!

This is the song that takes me back to when I was young and where there were transistor radios, a different kind of cone (ice cream), the sun, and the sea.

When and where might you leave a comment?

When you get to the end of my blog posts, that’s where you find my gratitude.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3201: What can we achieve?

My late mother used to say to me, “Ann, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.” I think she was exaggerating, as mothers do.

I’ve noticed, as I’ve aged, that there are certain things I can NOT achieve (e.g., liking calculus, reaching the highest shelves in the supermarket, diagnosing our cats’ ailments, athletic prowess, an understanding of how politics work, and perfection in anything). I’ve achieved acceptance about that.

I have achieved this: I’ve helped people disconnect their sense of self worth from achievements, so they can accept and love themselves without needing to constantly reestablish their worthiness based on their latest accomplishments. People can achieve more if they love themselves unconditionally.

Let’s see what The Daily Bitch has to say today about what we can achieve.

I’m not sure how we can achieve a world without assholes, so I guess we’ll have to do the best we can despite them.

At this point, we need to achieve a state of civilization where we are working together to save ourselves and the planet for the future, and I sometimes doubt whether that’s achievable any more. I expect I’ll achieve more hope about this, soon.

What can I achieve by sharing my other images with you today?

What can I achieve today? Well, I’ve got my eye on National Noodle Day.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “what can we achieve?”

What can you achieve if you leave a comment below? Let’s find out.

What can we achieve if we express gratitude to all those we appreciate? A lot, I believe.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3199: Find your happy place

Yesterday, when I was at a local mall, happy to be masked, fully vaccinated, and picking up my new replacement phone at the Apple store, I saw this:

I find my happy place at home, at work, on this blog, on Twitter, and, always, with people and other creatures I love.

Can you find happy places in my other images for today?

Believing that report about COVID from today’s New York Times helps me find my happy place.

Listening to this yesterday when I was taking my daily walk helped me find my happy place:

I hope you find your happy place in the comments section, below.

Gratitude always helps me find my happy place, so thanks to all who are visiting today’s happy blog post, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3198: Safe spaces

We all need safe spaces to heal, but what spaces feel safe these days?

I’m thinking about safe spaces, here and now, because today is National GOE Day in the USA.

Do you see any safe spaces in my other images for today?

Locally, we’ll be making our home into a safe space when we repair the extensive structural damage under the upstairs shower. I’m just glad that my used-to-be-boyfriend-now-husband Michael observed water leaking outside the house before somebody fell through the floor!

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “safe spaces.”

How do you create your own safe spaces?

I hope the comments section, below, is a safe enough space where you can express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences about safe spaces.

Thanks to all who help me create a safe space here, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 3196: Fascinating

It’s fascinating to me how much it improves my mood to title today’s blog post “Fascinating” (rather than “Afraid to Look” or “Big Setbacks” or other more negative titles I was considering).

If I can approach life with curiosity and openness to how fascinating everything is, I feel stronger, more hopeful, and better equipped to meet the inevitable ups and downs of existence.

Which of today’s images do you find fascinating?

It’s fascinating to me that today is National Black Dog Day, National Hair Day, Fire Pup Day, National Homemade Cookies Day, National Manufacturing Day, National Body Language Day, AND World Smile Day.

Here’s Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm“ as performed by Jacob Collier…

… and my lyrics for “Fascinating Rhythm” — “Vaccinated Women.”

It’s fascinating to me that when I wrote that, seven months ago, I had no idea how controversial the COVID vaccines could be. It’s fascinating that I had no hesitation in getting the booster shot as soon as I could, and yet people I love and respect are refusing to get vaccinated at all.

What do you find fascinating? I look forward to reading your fascinating comments, below.

It’s fascinating how much gratitude helps, so thanks to all who read this blog, including fascinating YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3195: What’s something that is actually getting better?

Yesterday, the vet told us that Joan the cat’s skin problem is actually getting better.

With that in mind, I asked this question on Twitter last night:

Some people had many ideas about something that is actually getting better; others couldn’t think of a thing. Someone who reads this blog actually made me feel better with this comment:

Something else that is actually getting better for me is my immunity to COVID 19 and its variants, because I got my booster shot yesterday. As usual, I’m experiencing arm soreness and a fever the day after, but I’m sure that will actually be getting better very soon.

Yesterday, my son Aaron, my husband Michael, and I celebrated my job actually getting better by visiting an actually better gelato cafe.

Michael thinks Aaron looks like Rasputin these days so he thought it would actually be better if I added a sepia tinge to a photo of him.

I took all the photos in this post with my loaner phone from the Apple store, which I have while my phone is actually getting better.

Are my photographic and blogging skills actually getting better?

If we observed National Love People Day, I believe this world would actually be getting better.

This post is actually getting better with the addition of this song

… and with any comment you choose to leave.

Every day is actually getting better whenever I express gratitude, so thanks to all who help my life get better, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 3194: Limericks

We’re all dealing with challenging times,

Disheartening, arduous climbs,

With problems so deep,

Disrupting our sleep,

Take a break and please check out my rhymes:

A pretty young kitty named Joan,

Helps this writer feel safe, less alone.

She’s got talents galore

Which she’s getting known for,

Caught a mouse despite wearing this cone!

A therapist/blogger named Ann,

Shares what’s helpful as best as she can.

Photos, thoughts, songs, some tips,

Acceptance for slips,

And delish dishes cooked up by her man.

A calendar — The Daily Bitch,

Occupies an interesting niche.

With thoughts bold and sassy,

Funny, not classy,

For me, she makes every day rich.

Each day I think there’s a lot

To celebrate, cheerful or not.

On this precious day,

What’s coming my way

Is a Pfizer COVID booster shot!

Because the negative sticks,

Staying positive’s a challenging mix,

With a hug and a kiss

Here and now I’ll share this,

Michael Palin reading his limericks!

This blogger, whatever her mood,

Whether she’s cheered or she’s booed,

When it comes to the end

On her you can depend,

To express her sincere gratitude.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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