Saturday, October 31, 2015


Today is Halloween! Poor little kids... around here it was cold and rainy. I remember how that felt. Huge BUMMER! I think there have been years when they've allowed the trick-or-treating happen on the day after, but maybe I'm dreaming that up. I don't leave the porch light on anyway, so I wouldn't get to see the kids in their costumes if the weather had cooperated. Why, you ask? Well, our dog, Silvio, gets mighty upset about trick-or-treaters. It's just not worth the stress for him. Plus, over the last decade or so, there have been fewer and fewer kids out in our neighborhood. Finally, if there is leftover candy, I'll just eat it. So there's that.

In thinking about what kind of phrase I wanted to create for today, I decided to search for inspiration on I found several cool photos that would have worked, but the one I chose is absolutely perfect. At least I think it is. It's just so dark. You can imagine walking in the dark night and coming upon this house... totally scary!!! There's nothing you can see, but that's what makes it scary. It allows the imagination to run wild. I love this photo and the particular processing the artist, "Driscoll," used for effect.

Then, what phrase to use...

I remembered that last year, my friend Kelli designed the Halloween T-shirts for Weiskamp Printing. She drew an amazingly elaborate skull (her drawings are absolutely stunning... all ink on paper with tiny ornate detail. I could go on... Anyway, she decided to place a phrase on the T-shirt that was in Latin. It was something about death, but I can't remember what the phrase was. Still, it was so intriguing and beautiful in its creepiness! This inspired me to look up some Latin phrases, and I chose this one. It means "Say Nothing But Good Of the Dead."

For Halloween, I'm pretty happy with this phrase. The lettering took awhile, and there's nothing all that special about it, but it works, I think.

Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Gloria Roubal's Daily Hand Generated Type Phrase #168

As I work, I like to listen to music. Sometimes I listen to music on Spotify or Pandora, which is fun because I'm introduced to things I haven't heard before. Other times I listen to my Itunes, and I have a ton of music on there—somewhere between seven and eight thousand songs! Today I listened to a large playlist that I had created for driving in the car to pick up dogs in Covington, Indiana when I was heavily into rescue transport a few years ago. I needed music that was fun and uplifting in some way. I usually played it on the way there, but on the way back, with dogs in the car, I didn't play music. Instead I talked to the dogs. :) And while listening tonight, a couple of Bowie songs made their way into the mix.

So anyway, on that playlist is this song, which makes me feel nostalgic for the time in my life when this was a hit. I was in my 20s and did quite a little bit of going out to bars with my girlfriends. I had a Ford Pinto. You know... the light blue one that had rust on the doors... the one that apparently had a defect (and might have been recalled) that would cause the car to blow up if hit from the rear... But crappy hand-me-down first car it may have been for me—I enjoyed that car a lot. I liked driving a manual transmission, and it got me from A to B. But the best thing about it was the custom stereo that I had installed. It kicked ASS. It was worth more money than the car! So most of the time, when my friends and I went out to hit the bars, we took my car because of the great tunes. We cranked it way up and drove around campus and other parts of town, hitting bars like The White Horse Inn, Studio One, Mabel's, and more. "Let's Dance" was probably on one of my mix tapes (yes, cassette tapes). And, I remember hearing it a lot in bars where there wasn't live music.

Ah, sometimes it was a misspent youth, but I still miss those days at times. And listening to music from a particular time period is one great way to go back there.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gloria Roubal's Daily Hand Generated Type Phrase #167

This phrase was just a spontaneous thought. No particular reason, at least on a conscious level. Maybe I'm resisting something, and I don't even know what!

While I didn't feel like it was particularly creative as I was designing it, as I added detail (like the squares and triangles) and tweaked things here and there, I felt it start to come together and feel like a more cohesive piece. I also have fun adding effects from Adobe Illustrator to give letters or backgrounds a little extra shine or texture.

I guess I kinda do like this one. But what am I resisting? Maybe I'll figure it out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


If we can get good at not resisting what is... just let things be as they are... we will suffer SO much less! And it really does take a LOT of practice. We have to practice with little difficulties so that when the really big challenges of life arise, we will have some tools with which to work.

We, especially those of us in western cultures, spend a great deal of time and energy resisting. We resist when we get what we don't want and when we don't get what we do want. We resist, mentally, so many things over which we have no control. We develop the mental habit of resistance, and then we just keep strengthening that habit if we aren't aware.

So, my tip for the day is to try to notice when you are mentally resisting anything in your day. Just make a note of it and see how much you resist things. Only by first being aware of our patterns of resistance can we start to practice not resisting. Accepting what is can lead to great joy and inner peace.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


My search for a quote about surfing was inspired by this photograph by Ralph Leão which I found on

William Shatner's quote was just what I was looking for.

That is all.

Monday, October 26, 2015


I thought this was some kind of proverb—or the beginning of one—or something... so I Googled it, and it's found in many things. It's in the Bible. It's the title of several songs. It's the name of a non-profit organization (probably more than one). It's the name of a board game. It's probably been used in stories, poetry, verses, etc.

I just like the way it's stated. It has been stated many ways, such as, "Don't be afraid," "Don't be scared," "Fear not," "Be brave," and so on. But here, there's such an emphasis on the word, "not," to me (which is why I made it visually so). I don't know why I like it, but I just like what I like, and sometimes that's all that need be said. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Somewhere I saw the phrase, "Life is short. Buy the dress." Hell yes, I say! (I don't know if it's an actual quote by someone in particular...)

However, I decided that I wanted to direct this little piece of wisdom to people who may not wear dresses because of gender or preference... just about everyone in our society wears shoes, so I did. Then, I wanted to find a good photo on or for the background. This one just begged to be used, so here ya go. Thank you, "rosevita!"

And, life is short... do something nice for yourself once in awhile!

Saturday, October 24, 2015


I know a tiny tad about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Really just a teensy bit. This is because my husband is a brown belt in this form of martial arts. He's obsessed, really. You would think I'd know more! But it's one of those things that unless you are actually involved in it personally—practice it—it's hard to be truly interested in it. I try to show an interest in it out of respect...

This is a short video of one of the most important figures in BJJ, Rickson Gracie, in which he discusses "flow." Take from it what you will. :)

Rickson Gracie video

Here is the quote that accompanies the video, just to give you an idea of who Rickson Gracie is:

"Rickson Gracie is the son of the late Helio Gracie. Helio and his brother invented the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The Gracie family has a huge family full of incredibly talented martial artists. Members of the Gracie family have dominated the sports of Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts for almost 80 years. They also founded the UFC and Ricksons younger brother Royce won 3 of the first 4 UFCs. "

I do like the phrase, so I decided to use it for my daily HGT phrase today. (And, if you're like me, you enjoy listening to Brazilian accents, so check out the video above.)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015


For Mac users everywhere...

In the world of computers, you can "turn back time" most of the time. Thankfully so!!! Otherwise we'd probably all go insane.

(I guess the PC version would be "control Z.")

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Life will knock you down. Again and again and again. Am I right?

All kinds of things will knock you down, and the only thing you can do is decide what you will do at that point. You can just lie there and wait for someone to rescue you... You can revise your life to live as someone who crawls around near the ground so that the next time you get knocked down, you won't have as far to fall... You can just roll over and give up completely... You can catch your breath, learn from your experience, and get back up. What do you do when you are knocked down by life?

I want to inspire you to get back up, realize that we ALL get knocked down, be open to the experience of being knocked down, and understand that you can always get back on your feet.

And smile...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I don't recall when I began hearing this phrase... It's like making a mental note, right?

As I look at this along with other recent phrases I've created, I'm noticing a color trend. I'm also noticing other similarities in the lettering and how I treat the phrase. Am I getting in a rut? Well, I'll just keep on keepin' on, and maybe tomorrow's will be something new, fresh, and exciting! With starting my new job this week, I have less time for this project, but I really, really, REALLY want to keep it up daily for a year. I'm getting close to halfway there!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I think about how difficult it is for a non native English speaker to learn the idioms of our culture. Once, many years ago, I was asked to tutor an 18-year-old Korean young man in English. His family owned a local restaurant, and he had just come from Korea. He was attending public school, and they were reading the book Rumble Fish by S. E. Hinton, which was full of idioms and colloquialisms... so much slang. He absolutely couldn't read the book even with my help because his English was so limited and he couldn't get any of the meanings of those phrases. The big picture couldn't be seen because of stumbling all the time over them. I ended up reading the book, chapter by chapter, and telling him the story.

I really enjoyed working with this young man, and I felt that his ESL teacher was out of his/her mind for having these students try to read this particular book!

This particular idiom might be a little easier to explain to someone...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015


I am drawn to photographs of deep, dark forests. I don't know why. I do tend to like the feeling of wilderness and nature, but I also like the eeriness of certain forest photos. This one, from by "Jacky" caught my eye, and I decided to use it to inspire a phrase. I don't know how exactly I came up with it, but it just seemed to fit. I did add a dark filter to make the white text stand out more and to give a stronger feeling of night.

How does it make you feel?

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Do you ever find yourself going through a phase of missing people or animals who are either no longer living or who you just don't see much anymore?

Sometimes, when I go through my Facebook friend list, I get very nostalgic and miss certain people very much. I always miss my animals who are no longer with me, but sometimes more acutely than others. Sometimes I miss the time periods in my life when certain things were going on. I even catch myself, in the present moment, being aware that I am really going to miss someone who is getting ready to move away or something like that. It's anticipatory missing!

An example of this is my dear friend Kelli to whom I became very close last year as we spent several nights a week together at my house, working on homework, talking, eating dinner, taking breaks, watching movies, and just enjoying being together. I knew and was aware, as we were listening to music and working in my office on our computers on our design projects or homework, that this time was very precious and that she would be moving away at the end of the semester after we graduated. I tried to soak up every minute of enjoying being with her and really tried to be present. Most of the time I was, but then I'd catch myself "missing" her, even as she was right there with me! I choose this example, but there are other people also—to whom I am extremely close—who elicit these same kinds of feelings in me. It's a reminder to come back to the present moment. Be in that moment. When the feelings of missing come up, it's okay... I try to embrace them, to bow to them, and then come back to what is happening in the moment and enjoy it. It's a lifelong practice.

The same holds true for missing those who are no longer here (permanently or temporarily). Missing is attachment. It's human nature. It's okay to feel the loss, the grief, the missing, the longing. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sad and blue. These feelings do arise. They just do. Again, if I can practice feeling those feelings, really experiencing the raw emotions without going over and over the "story" that feeds the emotions, bow to the feelings, and then let them go like touching a bubble with a feather, I don't get stuck. However, getting stuck does happen too. It's all a work in progress.

I really didn't think I would have so much to say about this phrase. One thing that's important to add is that I think it's really, really important to let people know that you miss them! It's almost as important as letting people know you love them. This is for everyone I miss. There are too many to mention.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Sheryl Crow.

One of my all time favorites.

Love her extensive catalog of songs, and even though many of her fans were disappointed with her 2002 "C'mon C'mon" record, I happen to love it. I find it uplifting, fun, and beautiful. "You're An Original" (with Lenny Kravitz singing harmonies) is one of my favorites from this record. It's a rocker. :) Check it...

You're An Original (studio recording)
You're An Original (live video)
You're An Original (lyrics)

Monday, October 12, 2015


Love and forgiveness for oneself and others are powerful and very important things in this life. At least that's what I believe.

Life is short. Holding grudges only hurts ourselves. Carrying around resentments is harmful to our body, mind, and spirit. When we can finally forgive (and it takes a lot of practice!) ourselves for all of the ways we have hurt ourselves and others—with the deep understanding that we can't undo the past, nor can we help being human—we lighten our burden and our heart becomes more open. When we can forgive others for the ways they have hurt us or hurt others, the same is true. Finally, when we can ask others for forgiveness for all the ways we may have hurt them, knowingly and unknowingly, we help them to move on while at the same time show them that we are truly sorry and remorseful. Forgiveness doesn't mean that we condone certain behaviors; it doesn't even always mean that we can repair a relationship... It's a way to recognize that we've held on to the pain—caused by clinging to anger and resentment—long enough. We can let go. It helps us to be free and more at peace with the way things are right now.

Love is a feeling, yes, but it is also something we can choose to do. We can choose to cultivate love. Deep love. We can open our hearts and deeply touch others. We can act out of love. We can be there for others because they need us... sometimes just to be with them without even saying any words. We can truly listen to another with the sole purpose of helping them, having no agenda of our own. Cultivating love and compassion takes practice, just like cultivating forgiveness. It is crucial that we learn to love ourselves, to love the little child inside of us, just as it is crucial that we learn to love others. Everyone deserves love. People who don't get the love they need when they are children grow up with imbalances that can be extremely difficult to repair. Difficult, but not impossible. Nobody is a lost cause. Even people who have committed the most heinous of acts still have the potential to change.

These are my beliefs, and it's okay if you disagree. I love you for being open enough to read what I wrote. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Gloria Roubal's Daily Hand Generated Type Phrase #149

What an amazing evening!

My musical duo (called "Paul & Gloria") performed at the City Center in Champaign, IL tonight for a very special event—C.U. Bands & Fans Third Anniversary Bash, which was a fundraiser to benefit C.U. Bands & Fans, an organization that does so much for local music and local musicians.

As part of this celebratory show, the C.U.M.A. (Champaign Urbana Music Awards) also presented wonderful framed certificates to the five nominees as well as a special etched glass award for the winner, chosen by popular vote of the public. I had the honor of being asked to be the opener of the envelope and announcer of the award winner. My partner, Paul Sabuco, was a nominee. And... he won!!! No, I didn't nominate him (although I was thinking about it but then found out someone else did). I did vote for him! Of course I did. He is such an inspiration to me in so many ways. He is so humble and doesn't know why he deserves this award, but it was apparently a landslide, according to my sources.

Paul is someone who truly cares about others. He's give someone the shirt off his own back if they needed it. He'd give someone his last dollar. He thinks about other people's feelings all the time, and his actions show that he does. He always, for example, tells my mom how pretty she looks when he sees her. He is always genuinely friendly to everyone—people he knows and doesn't know. He is loving and caring, and you don't have to know him well to feel this.

Paul has been musically inspiring to people since he was in high school. He's an amazing musician, singer, songwriter, and performer, and he connects with his audience in a way I've not seen in any other musician (and I've been seeing live music for all of my life!). He inspires the people with whom he works musically. I'm one of those people, and from the very start of our partnership, Paul inspired me to be more confident as a musician and performer. He always, always had my back at gigs. He taught me by example to be a much more connected-to-the-audience type of performer. He has done so much for me!

One other way that Paul is inspiring is that he has the gift of being able to make others feel special, to make others laugh. This is a true gift, and people remember and love him for it.

Finally, Paul has been through (and is currently going through) some major health issues. Right before our first scheduled gig about three years ago, he had a massive heart attack, emergency open heart surgery, and a 50-50 chance of survival. He turned his health around and truly beat the odds. He was out performing with me just weeks after the UHI ("unfortunate health incident," as he calls it). In April, right after our CD release show, Paul was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Another huge blow. Again, he is beating the odds, and we are playing shows regularly! He performs with the chemo bag dispensing his chemotherapy drugs; he plays when he's feeling really crappy; he is out there doing what he loves to do and living his life the way he wants to. Talk about an inspiration. Sure, he's had to cancel gigs. Most people who have had chemo say they can't believe he's even playing ANY gigs! His medical reports are positive, and he has so many people sending positive vibes and love to him, praying for him, and cheering him on.

Paul Sabuco, you are my hero. I love you. You DO inspire me tremendously!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2015


This has been an interesting birthday. Yesterday I had the pleasure of being taken to lunch by my wonderful music partner and bestie forever... then we went shopping a little afterwards. For dinner, two of my best girlfriends took me out, and we even had chocolate cake for dessert while singing, "Dad is great..................Give us the chocolate cake............." (from the old Bill Cosby standup movie, "Bill Cosby, Himself," which we decided was OK to still laugh at even after learning about Bill's awful secrets).

Today, after getting my workout done in the morning and having lunch, I went to my parents' house to give my dad a hand moving some clothes around from closet to closet in preparation for the cold weather. As it turned out, and I won't go into detail, I persuaded him to go to the ER for possible heart trouble, and I insisted that it had to be TODAY. So, I called an ambulance and followed it to the hospital (my mom rode with him in the ambulance). It wasn't really a crisis situation, but it did warrant a trip to the hospital. In fact, they are keeping him for observation overnight. So I was with him and my mom at the hospital for five hours today, missing my special dog class (to which I was going to take Silvio) and dinner out with my husband. But those things weren't sacrifices. My dad kept apologizing about me having to spend my birthday doing this... it didn't matter one iota. Those things aren't important. My dad is. His health, his life... I was happy I was there to take charge of the situation and get him in today! So grateful! I don't care about celebrating on the day of... There is plenty of celebrating to be done before and after. I was happy that my niece went to visit him in the evening. I'll be checking on him in the morning, and if I'm needed, I'll cancel the meeting I have at 11:30. Anyway, it just goes to show that when you are prepared for anything to happen, embrace whatever happens, are willing to simply go with the flow and do what needs to be done when it's needed, stay calm and relaxed as possible, and just be there for others when they need you, it strengthens one's inner joy and peace. There's no other way my birthday should have been today. This is what needed to be! And here it is, not even midnight, and I'm already done with my daily phrase.

Now I will go have a small snack and watch episode 2 of "Scream Queens," a guilty pleasure!

Tomorrow I get to play a show with my wonderful partner at a fundraiser for a great cause. I'm one lucky teenager-at-heart!

Peace and Love.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Music fills my head.

I don't think there's a moment of the day when I don't have a song playing in my head. I have no idea why this song was playing in my head today, but I do love Patsy Cline and so many of the songs she recorded.

I don't know if the word PIECES is readable enough, but the effect is there. Let me know what you think if you have a minute. Thanks!

Song lyrics

Song recording

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


There are so many things that we don't know how to do. There are so many areas of life about which we are uncertain. There are so many ideas that arise, but we don't have any idea how to make them materialize. We have fears. We become overwhelmed.

We say things to ourselves like, "I know I need to get back into exercise," or "I have so much work to do, I don't even know where to start, and I'm exhausted just thinking about it." We all have things like this. Sometimes, the best thing, the only thing, we can do is to just BEGIN. Take the first step. Do what you can do NOW. It's living in future and past thought that often become the stumbling blocks to beginning to develop a new healthy habit or starting a new project that we have been wanting to do. So, keep it simple. Only focus on this day, this hour, this moment. That's all you have to do. It's just like the old saying, "Put one foot in front of the other," or "Take baby steps." Keep your focus in the present, and simply begin, even if you aren't sure what to do. If you want to write a song or a story or paint a painting but you can't seem to figure out what your vision even is, just begin writing. Just get your paints out and make the first stroke. You'll feel so much better! Simply begin.

I hope this helps someone today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I was introduced to the music of G. Love and Special Sauce in the 1990s. Hip Hop-ish white dude... very basic but nice production... cool lyrics... great delivery... great grooves.

He's still going, but I think he dropped the "and Special Sauce" quite awhile ago. G. Love's music always puts me in a happy mood.

The last CD of his that I bought was "Lemonade," which has some great tunes. Many of the songs on this record have guest artists.

This particular song is a favorite of mine because of its positivity that shines through both the lyrics and music. Featured guest artist is Jasper. Give it a listen!

Thanks and Praise (listen)

Thanks and Praise (lyrics)

Monday, October 5, 2015


Ever since the disappearance of the mantis that was living on my front porch ("Beauty"), I have checked several times a day to see if she returned. I really do miss seeing that little creature. :(

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I love animals. I love insects. I love life. I love a lot of people. Really love. I wish I could say I love people...period. I'm working on it. I really am. I believe that people are basically good, and I try to cultivate love for all people. Like I said, I'm working on it.

Anyway, people who devote their lives or just a part of their lives to rescuing animals are very, very special people. They are angels. I spent some time volunteering to drive for Mobile Mutts Rescue Transports. I knew I was helping make a difference in the lives of these dogs (and occasionally, cats). It was sometimes very emotional for me. It took a lot of my time. But I was very dedicated. I have also volunteered for other good animal organizations over the years of my adult life. When I went back to school two years ago, I no longer had the kind of time it took to do rescue transports, but I continued doing what I could to help animals, including sharing posts on Facebook and doing a little volunteer work for CATSNAP, cleaning cages and socializing cats that are up for adoption through CATSNAP and and are housed at Pet Supplies Plus. I started doing laundry on occasion for CATSNAP, and now I do all of the laundry. I keep thinking I should get back to signing up for shifts of socializing the cats. I don't know why I hesitate right now, but it all ebbs and flows. I'll get back to it. Right now, I know I'm helping a lot by just keeping the laundry clean every week.

Just today, I spoke to the founder of another great organization called Hospice Hearts. They re-home animals whose owners are sick, dying, or have died. I am going to redesign their logo (donate my services), which is wonderful for me. I hope I can design one that will contribute greatly to the organization's success. They are doing very important work.

I know so many rescue workers who seriously dedicate every spare minute to saving lives. They are tireless and dedicated. They give up their social lives and other parts of life to save the lives of animals in need. They spend every penny on gas or supplies... and they often have several animals of their own to care for. This phrase is dedicated to anyone who helps in any way to help animals, rescue animals, save lives, stop abuse and neglect... and so on. It's all so important. You are all angels.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I was having a conversation with my bestie, Paul, about praying mantises. I was telling him a couple of cool things I recently learned about them, including that the female only needs to mate one time and can lay up to 6 egg sacs throughout the warm months as long as she gets enough to eat. Fascinating! I still, by the way, keep going out to the front porch to see if Beauty has returned... I'll check again in the morning.

Anyway, Paul asked whether they can fly, and I told him that the females can't because they have wings that are less than half the length of their large abdomen, so they can't. The male mantis, however, can and does fly (probably to find as many females to mate with as they can before one of them literally bites his head off after mating... another reason to have the means for a quick getaway).

So, we started talking about cool evolutionary changes, such as female mantids (another word for mantis is mantid) probably having once had wings that were long enough to carry their weight, but because they really do stay put once they find a small territory with a plentiful food supply, over time the wings started shrinking. This led to the conclusion that if you don't use your wings, you lose them.

That was the long story as to the impetus for this phrase. Thank you, Paul Sabuco!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Today I have felt so sad. Tears fell, and I didn't try to stop them. There are lots of things to be sad about, and much of the time I choose to look on the bright side. But the sadness is there. It's in every one of us. We all have pain. Sometimes the best thing to do is to fully embrace sad feelings, try to let go of the "story" that hooks us (easy to say, extremely hard to do), and feel the sadness with a mindful attitude and open heart.

Here are some of the things that brought sadness to the surface for me today.

The shootings in Oregon yesterday, which happened very close to where my niece and her family live, added to my feelings of sadness and despair. So senseless. So horrific. Such pain and suffering it caused.

Between later afternoon and early evening, I received messages that a very special former client of mine had fallen down his stairs at home, had bleeding on the brain, was in a coma, then was being moved to hospice, and then he passed away. I got this series of texts all within a few hours. He was an amazing man. Always optimistic and friendly. A true philanthropist. Someone who absolutely loved life and took every opportunity to enjoy life, his family, friends, and the arts and music. Rest in Peace, Al.

I have become very attached to two praying mantises, both female, that took residence on our house—one on the front porch and the other on the back patio. I have been going out several times a day to check on both of them for a couple of weeks. The porch mantis (I called her "Beauty") gave us a wonderful gift. She laid her eggs right outside our front door on the brick wall (actually while I watched!). She let me watch her hunt at night underneath the covered porch where lots of moths and other insects gather for the light. She let me move her out of harm's way when she ventured out into "bird territory." I talked to her, and she always looked right at me. The green one on the back patio is beautiful, but somehow I haven't had the same "connection" with her as with the brown beauty on the front porch. Last night was quite chilly, and around noon today she was pretty still, but still hanging out on the brick wall where she usually does. I noticed that the sun was hitting the hanging plant where I first noticed her two weeks ago, so I thought I'd be helping her by moving her there to soak up some sun and warm up. Plus there were some flying insects around the plant. However, in the process of moving her, she got scared and jumped out of my hand, falling several feet. This happened a couple of times before I could get her safely on the plant. I recently read that mantises can actually die from falling from high distances, so I felt horrible that I'd let this happen. I stayed and watched her for a little while on the plant, and she seemed okay. She cleaned her antennae and legs and got settled, so I went inside and worked for about four hours straight.

Around 4:30 I went out to check on her, but she was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere. No mantis. That's when I began to blame myself pretty intensely. Why couldn't I just leave her alone? She could have gotten to a sunny area of her own accord if she wanted to. I've looked several times now, and if she reappears I'll be surprised. I wept a lot over the loss of my little Beauty. And it was my fault. The sadness I felt was profound. Many people would have no way to understand this, I think. She's just a little insect. Well, that doesn't matter to me. She was a special little being who trusted me enough to lay her eggs right outside our door and to stay on our front porch while I watched and talked to her several times a day. The green mantis (I didn't give her a name, although she is quite a beauty herself...maybe I'll call her "Jade") is still there, but I fear it will very soon get too cold for her to survive. The circle of life. I'm pretty sure she also laid eggs somewhere because she disappeared for a few days and came back with her abdomen thinner than before. May Beauty (wherever she is) and Jade continue to live into the beautiful fall, and may they not suffer before or during their deaths. I am so grateful to have had praying mantises around my house again, and I hope Beauty's babies hatch while I'm there to watch.

Anyway, I wanted to express my sadness in my daily phrase. It's a basic fact: sadness will arise sometimes. I bow to it. I try to have compassion for myself, forgive myself. I let the tears flow. It's part of being human, and I'm grateful I can feel it and all of the feelings that are there...because I know I am alive.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I love fall, or autumn, whichever term you prefer. I think "autumn" has an elegant ring to it compared to "fall." Autumn is definitely here. The days are getting noticeably shorter, a few trees are turning colors, the temperature is cooler (especially at night), and socks are coming on at night. Yes, I do love autumn because of the relief from summer heat, the beauty of the turning leaves, the special position of the sun in relation to the earth which creates a unique kind of sunny day when it is sunny, and, of course, Halloween. :) As a student, I always loved the beginning of the school year (once I finished grieving the summer), and the change in seasons is always associated with that for me. It's not my favorite season. That is spring, most definitely, but autumn is probably my second favorite.

I saw the phrase, "dreamful autumn" in a poem once. I have no idea who wrote it. I Googled it, and found this, but I don't think this is the same poem I once read. It's lovely, nonetheless.

Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees...
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn?

                                  ~ Ernest Dowson

I also, in my Google search, found that the phrase, "On a dreamful autumn night," is used for various charity events and other things. It's funny, because I hadn't ever heard "dreamful autumn" used except for that mystical poem that I can't find anymore.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Here is today's phrase. May you enjoy a beautiful autumn this year.