Posts Tagged With: Petsi Pies

Day 1872: Silver Linings

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we talked about silver linings, which are

the hopeful side of a situation that might seem gloomy on the surface. The common expression “every cloud has a silver lining” means that even the worst events or situations have some positive aspect.

The silver linings we talked about in group included the dark clouds of traumatic events which had made people stronger, more resilient, and grateful for the gifts of the present.

I found my own silver linings in that group:  I couldn’t write important themes up on the white board because of my torn rotator cuff so one of the group participants  wrote those lines instead, which meant

  • more group engagement and
  • better hand-writing.


I was so pleased with these silver linings that I said,”Now I’m glad I hurt my arm.”  At first the group said, in unison, “No you’re not!” but that led to more valuable discussions about silver linings.

I want to underline this about silver linings:  I’m a person who can find a silver lining in my own painful injuries, but I can NOT find  silver linings in another horrific assault-weapon massacre in the U.S.  Maybe I can’t find silver linings there because nothing seems to disperse or lessen the  cloud of gun violence in the United States.

When my only child decided to go to the University of Edinburgh I easily found this silver lining:  no school shootings in Scotland.

What are your thoughts and feelings about silver linings?  Can you find any silver linings in my other photos?







I have a silver lining of hope that people will change their thoughts and change the world .

There’s  a “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley on YouTube.


Here’s my silver lining of gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.


Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 639: Easy/difficult as pie

There is a saying

easy as pie

which I’ve never understood, because I’ve never learned to bake a pie. It’s certainly easy to EAT a pie, especially as the weather turns colder.

My favorite pie, when I was growing up, was blueberry pie.

Here’s something I wrote in 2nd Grade, when I was about 7 years old:



That’s difficult to see, isn’t it?  To make those words as easy as pie to read, here’s that faded, long-stored-away, historical document transcribed:

The Roller Skate Who liked to eat blueberry pie

Once there was a roller skate

Who liked to eat blue berry pie

He loved it so much that

he would gobble it

up and he was all through,

so he grew up with

awful table manners.

One day a manner professor

came to the little rollerskate’s

house and just at that

time he was gobbeling the

pie down. The manner professor

arrested the little roller skate and

he spended the rest of his

life in jail.

The last time I looked closely at that piece of pie writing — over thirty years ago —  I was charmed at my easy imagination.  When I read it recently, after rescuing it from a long storage in a Boston basement, I thought

Geesh!  That’s kind of harsh punishment for bad table manners, isn’t it? I love blueberry pie, too!  If I were observed gobbling it up, might I be arrested and spend the REST OF MY LIFE IN JAIL?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately — as I daily write this letting-go-of-judgment blog and talk to people who want to heal and feel better — about

  • the harshness of our self judgments,
  • how we so easily condemn ourselves to the jails of Guilt and Shame, often for very minor crimes, and
  • how difficult it is to change those old habits of self-jailing.

Yesterday, at the end of a long but inspiring work day — as  manner professors, jails, blueberry pies, and roller skates were rolling around in my tired head (among many other things) — I thought:

Eureka!  I’m going to improve the moment  and find the Best Pies in Boston (as opposed to the Worst Pies in London).

So I googled “Best blueberry pie Boston” and found this:

When it comes to pie, we like our hand-pressed crusts substantial and loaded to the brink with butter. So too does Petsi, and the Somerville and Cambridge shops augment their expertly sound pie foundations with just-as-serious fillings—blueberries with a big boost of cinnamon, say, or a bourbon-chocolate-pecan combination that makes for an irresistibly decadent wedge.

So, I gave myself a Mission Possible, which I chose to accept.

(I found that YouTube video here)

To find, secure, and deliver home the Best Blueberry Pie in Boston, braving numerous  dreaded dangers, including:

IMG_0119 IMG_0121 IMG_0122

Mission Accomplished!!!

On the scale of easy-to-difficult, I would rate that experience …

Hmmmm. I’m having difficulty judging that right now, I have to say.

On the one hand,  the traffic was ridiculous (or, at least, worse than I’m used to), there was no legal parking in sight, and it took a lot longer than usual to get home.

On the other hand, because I was focused on a mission, I enjoyed every minute of it. AND I defied my internal manner professor and PARKED IN AN ILLEGAL SPOT. And — I’m happy to report — I am NOT spending the rest of my life in jail.

So, getting and eating the pie — all in all — was easy. And delightful.

Further into the evening, things got more difficult.

I belong, on FaceBook, to a group of people who have my very unusual heart (called congenitally corrected transposition of the great vessels or LGTA or lots of other things) or who have children with my very unusual heart. Last night, in a continuing attempt to keep learning useful and new things, I watched a recommended Webinar titled

Aging with Congenitally Corrected Transposition 

I was hoping for some easy-as-pie or — at least — some achievable tips on self-care and other useful things.

Instead, I found myself listening to an expert doctor making the case that it was difficult, if not impossible, for people with hearts like mine to reach my ripe old age of 61.

At least, that’s how I heard it.

I have to admit that my son and my boyfriend, overhearing bits of the webinar from another room, recognized how difficult-as-pie this was to listen to and they both told me to do something as easy as pie: turn the friggin’ thing off immediately.

Which I did.

Then, the three of us spent some easy-as-pie moments together, saying all sorts of hopeful things, including:

  • You’ve already beaten those odds. — My son, Aaron.
  • Stephen Hawking was told when he was 20 that it was impossible for him to live even another few years … and HE’S IN HIS SEVENTIES. — My boyfriend, Michael
  • This reminds me not to worry about all those petty things that can clutter my mind, because that’s JUST RIDICULOUS.  — Me.

Then, I had another piece of pie, this time with chocolate ice cream on top:


… ignoring all the manner professors in the world (including Michael, who would never, ever eat blueberry pie with any ice cream except vanilla).

After that easy pie, I posted some thoughts on the FaceBook group page, including:

I was reading through some posts on this page and found suggestions about watching a webinar about “Aging with Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries.” ( I watched a portion of it tonight and — honestly — I got pretty freaked out by the language and the conclusions I was hearing. Yes, I have heard all of this before — including concerns about my ventricle failing because it’s doing heavy work it wasn’t designed for — but the webinar, to me, seemed especially negative. I turned it off after I saw the graph showing people in a study all dying before the age I’ve currently reached (61). So I’m curious, and want to ask people who watched the whole webinar: does it get more positive? … This is an inherent challenge of having a congenitally corrected heart, I think … feeling safe enough to thrive and engage with life without fear, as we age.

I just went to FaceBook to check responses I got from the good people there, and those comments are helping me feel easier (if not as easy as that delicious blueberry pie from Petsi Pies) this morning.

Now, I need to go to work — where I get to sit with people who are dealing with things much more difficult than pie.

I just want to say this, in conclusion: I’m very grateful for the whole pie — blueberries, ice cream, and everything else. So, thanks to roller skates, manner professors, pies, and people everywhere who deal with the easy to the difficult every day — including you, of course!

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

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