Posts Tagged With: New England weather

Day 2259: Putting yourself out there

Yesterday, when people were putting themselves out there in a group therapy session, I put this out there on a white board in the group room:


What happens when you put yourself out there?  What out there gets in the way of your putting yourself out there more?

Tonight, I’ll be putting myself out there at an Open Mic, as I debut my latest original song, “What are other people thinking about you?” I’ll be putting a keyboard out there on the stage and putting, myself, out another blog post tomorrow with a recording of that performance.

Empathy involves putting ourselves out there into other people’s shoes.  What happens when I put these photos out there?














I’m putting myself out there to share that in yesterday’s therapy group, we talked about shoulds and transforming unhelpful shoulds like “I should exercise more” into “I could exercise more and I choose to do other things to sustain myself until I feel ready to exercise.”

I’m putting “Putting Yourself Out There” from the movie Eighth Grade out here in this post:

I’m putting myself out there to state that Eighth Grade deserved some Oscar nominations, instead of receiving none, which makes me very put out.

Please consider putting yourself out there in a comment, below.

As usual, I’m putting gratitude out there, for all who helped me put out this post and — of course! — YOU, for putting up with me.



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

Day 2249: Cold as ice

Yesterday, when it was cold as ice, I  ventured out only once, to try to start my little yellow car.  The car was totally covered in ice and it took me many tries to get one of the doors open.  I used the first tip in this online article — “How to Open a Frozen Shut Car Door” —and got the passenger side door open by pushing on the door first before opening it. Even though I’ve lived in New England my whole life, where the winters are as cold as ice, I’ve never heard of nor tried that method of opening a cold-as-ice car door.  It warms me when a simple fix to a seemingly difficult problem works so well!

This morning, my instinct is to stay inside, because it’s cold as ice, again. However, I have to get to work by 9, so I’ll use all the methods I know  — new and old — to make it on time without becoming cold as ice. Because my trip to work includes a twenty-minute walk, those methods include layering, layering, layering. Two people who are doing my therapy groups have quoted this  saying about living in weather that’s cold as ice:

There is no such thing as bad weather; there is only bad clothing.

The two people who shared that quote ascribed it to different countries, both of which have winters that are cold as ice.

Because of my cold-as-ice words in this post, I now have two songs running through my warm brain (here and here on YouTube):

Takin’ care of business in this blog includes sharing my recent photos, no matter how cold it is.









What warms you when something in your life (the weather, a person, etc.) is as cold as ice? I’m warmed by

  • people I love,
  • creatures I love,
  • food made with love,
  • fun movies,
  • enlightening books,
  • cool music,
  • fireplaces, and
  • warm memories.

It’s time for me to get ready for my cold-as-ice world.  See you on the other side of this cold-as-ice weather, tomorrow.

And it would be cold as ice for me to forget to thank all who helped me create this cold-as-ice post and — of course! — YOU, my warm readers.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2248: Bad news

Yesterday, when I was avoiding the bad news on the 24-hour news and weather channels, I found this as I was going through old mail:


When I opened that envelope, I found two letters bearing bad news about medical issues I was dealing with in 2016. (If you want  details about that bad news, see Day 1407: Enough and Day 1408: The News.) 

Then, Michael, who was having fun fun fun shoveling the bad ice and snow, came inside and looked like he had bad news.  Sure enough, he said,   “I scratched your car while I was cleaning it off. You’re going to be mad. It’s bad.”

I did immediately get mad, because the bad news is that Michael has done that before, with my previous car.  Eight years ago, he used a shovel and scratched the paint on the roof of  my beloved grey Mazda. This time, he used a scraper and scratched the yellow paint on the hood of  my adorable Honda Fit.  I immediately delivered this news, “Never try to remove ice from the body of the car! You don’t need to!  Just clean off the glass!”  I think this is news to Michael because he doesn’t drive and has never owned a  car.

Then, I looked at the scratches and even though they were new and bad, the good news is that I quickly stopped being mad. That’s because of all this good news:

  • scratches can be repaired,
  • Michael has a great ratio for  removing ice and snow from my car without scratching it  — he’s only scratched the car two out of a kashmillion times, to use the new word/number Michael made up a kashmillion years ago,
  • the scratches make  my car and me look tougher,
  • you can’t see the scratches if you’re far enough away, and
  • Michael was neither scratched nor otherwise physically damaged while working so hard on the very bad ice and snow outside.

Then, Michael and I watched some bad news for people who hate the New England Patriots and also this new skit from Saturday Night Live:

What news do you see in my other new photos?








Lately, I’ve been dealing with bad news –including how COLD it is around here —  by dancing with Michael.  Here‘s what we danced to last night:

Here‘s more news from Stevie Wonder, in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

Please feel free to share any news in a comment, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create this “bad news” post and — of course! — to YOU, no matter what your news is, here and now.



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

Day 1879: Do it right!

Yesterday, when I was doing it right with Physical Therapy for my torn rotator cuff,  I  right away noticed this ….


…. which was right on the top of this.


Do it right and prevent fractures, injuries, and other problems in your everyday activities.

Is that too much pressure, to be told to do it right?  Is telling somebody to do it right the right way to promote acceptance and peace, especially if different people have different opinions about what’s right and how to do it right?

My opinion is that these high school students were doing it right yesterday when they were taking it to the streets, chanting “Gun Control!” and “NRA is not okay!”


The New England weather wasn’t doing winter right yesterday with record high temperatures, but that was all right with me.

Did I do it right with these other photographs?








Somebody did not do it right in that last photo.

After I do something, I wonder, “Did I do it right?”  I do it right by telling myself I did it well enough and then think about how I could do it better the next time.

The Doobie Brothers do it right.

Michael McDonald  and music students do it right at Berklee College of Music‘s 2011 commencement.

Do I do it right when I ask for feedback?


Do-it-right thanks to all who help me do this daily blog and to those who do it right by reading it (including YOU).


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1832: I don’t want to

I don’t want to

  • go outside when it’s “historically” cold,
  • move my left arm,
  • cook,
  • clean,
  • over-eat,
  • over-commit,
  • waste time,
  • watch the news,
  • check my mail,
  • worry about the future,
  • dwell on the past,
  • offend people,
  • get hurt,
  • squelch feelings,
  • read,
  • do much of anything, or
  • complain (too late!)

I do want to

  • blog and
  • share my photos from yesterday.









No offense, but do cats — modern or otherwise — really need a lifestyle magazine?

I don’t want to be judgmental, but people who say “No Offense” are often offensive.

I don’t want to listen to music, but I will anyway.

I don’t want to set the world on fire, but we could all use a little warmth.

I don’t want to end this post without expressing my sincere thanks to the Ink Spots, to everyone else who helped me write this post, and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1534: Weather Report

The weather report, here and now:


Locations: The I-95 corridor of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Hazard types: Heavy wet snow and strong winds.
Accumulations: Snow accumulation of 6 to 12 inches.
Timing: Snow develops through 8 AM this morning and becomes heavy by mid to late morning. The snow will fall at 2 to 4 inches per hour before changing to sleet and then rain between 2 and 5 PM.
IMPACTS: The heavy wet snow and strong winds may result in tree damage and scattered power outages. Roads may become impassable with very heavy snowfall rates…near blizzard conditions for a short time and strong damaging winds. Travel is not recommended.
Winds: Northeast 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
Visibilities: One quarter mile or less at times.

In order to weather this weather, I’m not reporting to work today. Instead, I’ll weather whatever weather there is on Friday and work that day instead.

My internal weather report, here and now:

I’m weathering whatever weather there is, whether or not I feel strong, ready, or brave.

What’s the weather report where you are?

Here’s my pictorial  weather report for the day:












How’s your internal weather, after that pictorial report?

Here‘s one of my favorite tunes from Weather Report, live:


Whether it’s rain, shine, or snow, my thanks to all who helped me create today’s weather report and to you — of course! — for weathering it.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Day 1509: What pisses you off?

Last night, people in my therapy group (who do not piss me off) were pissed off about several things, including the weather, politics, useless meetings, insensitive people, pain, greed, and technology that doesn’t work right. As a result, we made lists of “What Pisses You Off?”



What pisses you off?

It pisses me off when I don’t take photos of people I love, including my wonderful college roommate Marcia  (who met me for dinner last night after my group).

Is there anything that pisses you off in my other photos from yesterday?






For some reason, this song pisses me off:

It pisses me off when people don’t express gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to my readers — of course! — who never piss me off.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1212: Purpose

On purpose, I took this photo yesterday:


What are your first associations with the word “Purpose”?

When I take photos, it’s more intuitive than purposeful. But I purposely have faith that each of the photos will serve a purpose in this blog.


One of my co-workers sent me those, on purpose, through the office mail. I think her purpose was to amuse me and to connect with our mutual love of cats and experience of the local weather.



I purposefully took that picture of my co-worker Megan’s white board.  Megan wrote that with the purpose of helping people improve their self-care.

I took those two photos with the purpose of documenting that THERE WERE NO MATZO BALLS in the hospital’s Matzo Ball soup when Megan and I went to lunch.



I purposely took that photo of a Mongolian Lamb Stool because:

  1. I’d never seen anything like that before,
  2. We’re going to the Sheep Festival this Saturday,
  3. I believed some of my readers might like it, and
  4. I thought it was funny.

On purpose, I just linked that last line to an old blog post, because that finally answers a question I posed two years ago, which nobody here ever guessed. Sometimes it takes a while to fulfill a purpose.


My purpose in taking that photo was that I believe we’re here to help each other, for free.


My purpose in taking and sharing that photo is that I like to  celebrate communities everywhere.

My purpose in taking those photos is to share some things I love seeing these days.


My purpose in taking that last photo of the day was to show that

  • things can happen — on purpose or not — to slow us down or even stop us for a while and
  • with purpose, we can overcome obstacles, especially with help from others.

I hope this post isn’t falling flat, because that is neither my intent nor my purpose.

On purpose, I now show this photo again


to purposefully introduce some music I was singing yesterday:

I’ve been including music by Prince in this blog lately, on purpose.

While it’s not my purpose to write this blog to elicit comments, I hope you express yourself purposefully in the comment section, below.

Purposeful thank to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what your purpose is for joining me here and now.



Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1138: Cards

Somebody at work, yesterday, talked about the agony of waiting to hear whether she’ll get a green card from the USA government, allowing her to remain here with her husband.

At my try-out for “The Voice” in Philadelphia next weekend, I’m hoping to receive a red card, which will get me into the call-back auditions.

My friend Eleanor sent me this card for my birthday:


Card-carrying meteorologists around here are predicting bitter cold for the next few days.

Here are some new photos I could store on a memory card:






The word “card” also means (according to those cards at Merriam-Webster):

a usually clownishly amusing person : wag <he’s such a card>

Some card created this video called Sad Cat Diary:

Any thoughts or feelings about any of these cards?

I’d like to send each one of you a thank you card for reading my blog today.

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 402: News (good, bad, and indifferent)

Regular readers of this blog know this:  I had my yearly check-up with my cardiologist, Dr. Salem, plus an important test of my heart, scheduled for yesterday.

Regular inhabitants of the United States know this:  The weather has been very challenging this year, and a snowstorm might have posed some challenges, yesterday, for my making this VIP — Very Important ‘Pointment.

Regular readers of this blog know this, also: I have limited time in the morning to write my daily post, which can be a challenge when I have lots to say.

And I do have lots to say, today.

So … how to organize this post, to promote clarity and good communication?

I’ve already indicated some organization — in the title. I also like to tell stories chronologically.

Let’s see how this goes, shall we?

Yesterday morning, after I finished my post, I decided to drive to work.  This was a risk, but a calculated one. With a lot of snow on my car, in the air, and on the roads, I chose a post-rush-hour departure time, to reduce the danger.

As I ventured out, I spoke to myself, like so:

Geesh, Ann!  Why are you (and other people) so afraid about snow?  I know snow causes accidents, but it’s beautiful! It’s light and fluffy, too. While you may have read how removing snow can cause heart attacks, you’re smart and experienced enough to figure out a way to get out of here that’s safe!

And once I felt safe enough, as usual, my sense of play kicked in.  And when I looked at my car and pondered ways to clean it off, I thought:

When you were a kid, you weren’t afraid of snow.  You enjoyed playing in it, and so did everybody else. So why not play with it now?  Don’t worry about looking like an adult, or “doing it the right way” as you’re cleaning off your car!  Just have fun with it!

And by:

  1. evoking good memories of my childhood and snow,
  2. imagining the fun I could have in the present,
  3. being in touch with my adult competencies and wisdom, and
  4. thinking about how I could share the results, at some point, with other people (including you, dear readers) ….

…. the result was: magic.

I know, dear readers, that I need to get to “the point” of this post: my afternoon cardiology appointment. But please bear with me, as I show you some photos of my morning.

I didn’t think to take a “before” photo of my car before I had fun clearing it off, so I will show you a photo of my downstairs neighbor Karen’s car:


… so you can get some idea of how much snow there was.  Here’s my car after (what felt like) a short amount of music-filled fun, playing with the snow:



Then, to get safely to work (and continue to have fun), I just needed to remember:

  • I DO know how to drive in the snow (I HAVE had lots of practice)
  • I have a fine little car, for that purpose: it’s a 5-speed manual, and
  • I’ve had lots of practice with that, too.

So, I figured, if I’m very careful, pay attention, get in touch with my driving skill, AND remember this:

You have all the time you need.

(in other words: “Don’t rush, Ann!”) … driving to work should be fine.

And it was.

Here are some photos I took on the way to work.  (I only took photos while I was waiting at lights I knew were very long, so I wouldn’t have to rush, in any way):





As you can see, there was very little traffic. When I got to work, and somebody asked how my commute went, I said, “It was one of the easiest commutes I’ve ever had.”  And because she had driven in earlier, she looked very surprised.

Okay!  Time to write about my afternoon cardiology appointment.

I was scheduled for:

  1. My yearly echocardiogram, which shows much important information, regarding the function of my very unusual heart.
  2. A yearly check-up, with my cardiologist, Dr. Salem (whom I wrote about recently, here).

Good News

Because of the snow storm, very few patients were there, so I got lots of extra time with everybody.

Starting out, I got extra time with a very helpful echocardiography technologist, whom I hadn’t met before, but who was kind and informative. As a matter of fact, for the first time since 1980 (when I first found out about my very unusual heart), I think I may really understand how my heart works!

My new understanding, after all these years, does not reflect poorly on my cardiologist or on me. No, not at all, since the way my heart works is VERY counterintuitive. My heart has two big “mistakes” which cancel each other out (as a result, the blue blood goes to the lungs and the red blood goes to the body, just as it does with your heart). However,  different parts of my heart are doing things that they are … just not designed to do.

Now, I don’t mean that the different parts of my heart are doing something VERY different. That is, my ventricles — which do all the important major pumping (which is THE job of the heart)  — are still pumping blood to all the right places. My heart ventricles are not trying to do something totally out of their wheelhouse1 — like write this post or drive a car.

However (and this should probably be in the category of “Bad News”), the ventricle that is designed to do the tough work (pumping blood to the body) is doing the easy work (pumping to the lungs) AND the ventricle that is designed to do the easy work (pumping blood to the lungs) is doing the difficult work (pumping to the body).

And therein lies the danger — the possible bad news.  My ventricles may fail, prematurely, because they are doing what they are NOT designed to do.

But, we just don’t know.

More good news:

I also got lots of extra time with Dr. Salem AND (unexpectedly) with my other cardiologist, Dr. Mark Estes, whom I’ve written about previously, too — here (credited) and here (uncredited).

Now, why am I SO SPECIAL, that I have TWO cardiologists?  Well, I AM special.  Deal with it.2

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes.  Good news.

Actually, I don’t know how to place a lot of the news I heard yesterday into the buckets of Good and Bad.

I’ll just tell you the news, as I understand it, right now:

  • The two indicators of my heart function MIGHT BE showing a troubling trend.
  • For now, my heart is stable.
  • My cardiologists are not psychic, but they are definitely on top of all the possibilities — that I may or I may not need valve replacement surgery.3
  • Valve replacement surgery had never been discussed as a distinct possibility, before yesterday.
  • My doctors want to switch from seeing me once a year to …. once every three months.  That’s new, also.

As usual, I am trying to interpret “the clues” to figure out how safe I am.

And it’s very confusing, people!

But here’s some good news I’m sure about:

  • My doctors will do anything they can, to keep me alive as long as possible.  After yesterday’s appointment, I “got” that, in an entirely new way.
  • If I do need a valve replacement, they will be doing their best to grab the best window of opportunity, to ensure the best possible results.
  • I asked Dr. Salem, at the very end of our appointment, if he expected to be celebrating my 70th birthday with me. He had read the post I recently wrote, which explains that question. And he said ….


So there it is, in one word: The good (enough) news I needed to hear.

Now, I need to wrap up this post.

I notice I haven’t included  a section for  “Bad News” or  for “Indifferent” in this post  (as I had originally planned).

I think the bad news, from my appointment yesterday, is scattered among the good news. And that’s just going to have to be good enough, for this post.

Also, I want to say this: the “bad news” is probably not as bad as I might fear. What is the bad news that I fear?

That I will die prematurely, and not get to see my child flourish in the world.

But that’s a fear that I probably share with a lot of other people, in one way or another, no matter what kind of heart they have.

And I have great people on my team.  Which is VERY good news.

So what else is missing from this post?  This part of my blog post title:


Here’s what I want to say about “Indifferent” right now.

While I may sometimes assume indifference from my doctors, due to old indifference I experienced from doctors and nurses when I was a child in the hospital in the 1960’s, that is NOT the case, in the present.

As a matter of fact, my current treatment team is the OPPOSITE of indifferent.

Hmmmm. So what IS the opposite of indifferent?


Ooops!  Gotta run. There’s a lecture on Narrative Therapy today, one of my favorite ways of working with patient, clients, or whatever-you-want-to-call those amazing people I get to work with.

But you know what?  Among the many lessons I (re-)learned yesterday is this: I don’t have to rush.

In other words …

You have all the time you need.

Thanks to Dr. Salem, Dr. Estes,  Diane (who did my echocardiogram), people who are different and/or indifferent,  and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

1 To use an expression I’ve been hearing WAY too much of, lately. Why, oh why, are so many people in the media suddenly using the expression “In (or out) of somebody’s wheelhouse”?  What the hell 2 IS a wheelhouse, anyway?  Is it a house made of wheels?  A place to store wheels?  That phrase is totally counter-intuitive to me, people.  I get confused. (Although, I do know what that expression means.)

2 I’m a tad cranky, to tell you the truth, right now. Why?  Hunger (as usual) and, honestly, it’s tough to make sense of all the information I got yesterday. I guess I’ll grab some more food and take a breath.

3  The heart valves are switched on me, also, so one of them leaks quite a bit, presenting all sorts of potential dangers.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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