Like a Hand Sewn Quilt

lldIn June of 2011, I began a blog titled that is still active on-line. It is/was one of three blogs that were a part of healing from past heartaches and turmoil and a tonic for restoring my belief in romantic love. For several years, near daily, I posted an personal thought about the beauty of loving and being loved, followed by an image and a borrowed quote or poetic line. What I wrote was fiction the vast majority of the time and originated from hope, aspiration and belief in the power of the human heart.

For close to three years I contributed regularly to and the statistics on visitor traffic (back when I checked such things) showed the blog visitation grew slowly, but consistently. For the last couple of years I have contributed occasionally, but highly irregularly to LLD and had not looked at the statistical info on traffic in a long, long time.

Recently I have been re-inspired to begin writing and posting to three blogs I was dedicated to for several years (this blog – – – ). Only in the last few days I became curious and checked out the stats for the content posted on all three. While the number of visitors and page views them have grown beyond anything I ever considered possible, the usage of one now blows my mind!

My writing has always been largely self-administered healing and I never felt like I was writing for any other reason. Just this week I discovered apparently has over time found an audience whose hope, aspiration and belief in love is something of a match for mine.

Stats about I found a few days ago that are mind-blowing to me:
Approximate average daily visitors over the last six months: 1,000
Approximate average monthly visitors over the last six months: 25,000
Number of visitors in 2015: 230,838
Number of page views in 2015: 605,528
Read at over hundred times in 62 countries
It’s difficult to wrap my intellect around the popularity of something created only as self therapy.

The gratitude I feel for the support of is near overwhelming. It seems there are lots of people who identify with romantic love in similar ways as I do. I hope many have borrowed lines and from the material I have posted in their own expression of love for someone special. To be a small portion of others’ romances is so sweet to my heart and mind. Thank you. I am deeply grateful for the validation and promise to become more consistent in my contributions!

Love should feel like a hand sewn quilt made by grandma,
wrapping you up on a cold winter morning.
Carroll Bryant



I have learned over a period of time to be almost unconsciously grateful–as a child is–for a sunny day, blue water, flowers in a vase, a tree turning red. I have learned to be glad at dawn and when the sky is dark. Only children and a few spiritually evolved people are born to feel gratitude as naturally as they breathe, without even thinking. Most of us come to it step by painful step, to discover that gratitude is a form of acceptance. Faith Baldwin

Beatus Rememberence (Happy Remembrance)


Feeling grateful brings a grace like little other. Through the power of gratefulness my life became more contented and centered. For three years I wrote almost every day about the light and dark times that shaped and molded my life. Those were contented times.

Nothing bad has happened. My level of gratefulness remains above average I think. However, when I PRACTICED gratitude in a near daily meditation and wrote about it, EVERYTHING was better. Human nature is to take for granted anything held in abundance. And so, richly filled with the joy of being grateful, over time I slowed in my notice of things to be thankful for.

By paying only spotted attention to this blog for well over a year, I have misplaced some of what was once gained. Realizing this brings a tingle of optimism; a happy remembrance. I know every full benefit of gratitude  can be restored.  I need only practice gratefulness regularly:  look up, be present, and live what comes to me as well as I can.

More very soon….

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can…
Steve Maraboli


my-window-night-rain-c2fb9be2-177a-40c3-8af6-fb082d1f8731Faded photographs
Covered now with lines and creases;
Tickets torn in half
Memories in bits and pieces;
Traces of love long ago
That didn’t work out right;
Traces of love with me tonight.

“Our time” will always be remembered with great reverence. I’ll cherish your expressions of love forever. Your gifts will be treasures that grow perpetually in value. I’ll never stop holding on to “us”.

Did you know I once saved strands of your hair? And then there’s the music I’ll never be able to listen to without memories of you filling my mind while love surges in my heart.

I have felt love for others, but paltry compared to what I felt/feel for you. Amore never blazed so brightly as it did in our embrace. The flame of our great love remains safe within. Curse or blessing, it always will.

Maybe our love was too much for two people to successfully bear.

Maybe we were too different in spite of all we had in common.

Maybe we were not supposed to find our way together.

Maybe we found each other at the wrong time.

Long ago I spent so much time being lost and searching; confused and uncertain of myself. Only when the damage seemed irreparable did I realize the destination my heart wanted and needed had moved out of reach. But that’s okay. the beauty of the lesson remains.

Thank you for loving me. Please keep the memory of our once upon a time love safely tucked away. What’s in my heart for you will always be there in a space reserved for you. Loving you so many years back was one of the lasting lessons that taught me how to love. Thank you.

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The Fault Lies Within Yourself

something to be thankful for

If you look at your life and compare it to most others, you would find it hard to even begin to complain. I live by the will-it-matter-in-five-years rule. When something happens that makes you upset, ask yourself that question, and you will find that most of the time the answer is no. I think that a lot of people give themselves way too many things to worry about when half of those worries really shouldn’t matter at all. Sometimes, the answer will be yes, and this helps you to understand that whatever it is you’re upset about is clearly important and deserves to be well thought through. Yes, we get upset, but taking a step back and looking at a problem on a bigger scale can help you realize that there are only a few things that really do matter. From an article by Shelby Doherty

When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food
and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself.

Two Companion States



…to be alive on another Monday…

…to have great health…

…to have a son I am proud of…

…to have the love of a beautiful woman in an honest “no secrets” relationship…

…to be completely in love with the woman who loves me…

…the wisdom and desire to make my love relationship really work, no matter what…

…to live in a home I enjoy very much…

…to make a home with the woman who has my heart…

…to have good friends…

…for the pretty bushes, trees, flowers and grass in the yard…

…for the light rain coming down today…

…for a new car ( to me) that I love to drive …

…to have a healthy curiosity and desire to learn, to know, to experience…

…to be where I am today knowing every heartache had a hand in shaping my path…

…to believe there is a God takes care of me even though I don’t understand God…

…to love living even on the most difficult of days…

…to laugh more than I ever have…

…to have a life filled with possibility…

…for all the people who take the time to read my ramblings…

…for a full pantry and fridge…

…for music that is almost always playing in the background…

…to be happy…

…and the greatest amount of hope for the future I have ever had!

Being consciously grateful is essential to a happy life. It keeps you positive and optimistic, which are two of the most important things you can be. Never forget that you get what you give, and being a positive person will bring more positive people, events and opportunities into your life. If you honestly think there is nothing to be thankful for in your life, you’re not trying hard enough. Marissa A. Ross

I am filled with happiness and gratitude; two companion states of being that almost ensure a good life. They are powerful weapons against depression, lack, uncertainty, difficulty, sadness and grief. Being happy and glad with gratitude unlocks the bounty of life.

Walk as if you are
kissing the Earth with your feet.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

In the Silence of My Soul

man-sitting-on-rocksIt’s late morning. The house is quiet. I slept very late because sleep began early this morning, not last night. My partner is still sleeping. She has not yet fully adapted back to a regular day and night schedule after tonsillectomy surgery week before last. Returning to a regular sleeping schedule remains elusive. So if she is up at 2am, I am glad to be right there with her.

My companion has felt much better the last three days and is finally able to eat, albeit slowly, food other than Jell-O, pudding, mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs. Her latest proud achievement was being able to eat pizza Saturday evening. That was a happy time!

Having one’s tonsils removed is a difficult surgery for an adult patient to have, but given time recovery is all but certain. Knowing that does not make it easy to see a loved one endure it. I am more of a spiritual man than a religious one. However, I can tell you when they wheeled the woman I love away for surgery my heart, mind and soul was calling on every source I thought might look after her. There are few non-believers in hospital waiting rooms or surgery suites!

The only specific prayer I could remember parts of is credited to Saint Francis: “…where there is worry let there be hope; darkness, daylight; sadness, joy…”. I got the general meaning correct, but some of the words were not stored away well mentally. My Higher Power did not care and heard me just the same. The woman in my heart is healing well.

Since as a kid being made to go to church three times a week by an abusive stepfather, God and I have been tenuous friends at best. Then I prayed for the abuse to stop and when it didn’t I came to believe there was no God. If anything, I decided I had to be my own god. And that kind of worked for a long time.

Eventually through life changes, heartache and recovery from depression and a host of childhood junk, I came to believe in something beyond myself. I can’t regularly give him/her/it a specific name except God, Higher Power or Einstein’s “the great cosmic mystery”. But I know there is something powerful beyond my comprehension working behind all things.

This morning it is with wet-eyed thanks I express my gratitude for my partner being safe and healing. That she is sleeping comfortably this morning is another of my life’s miracles I will not ever forget to be thankful for.

In the busy-ness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop
and say thank you for all that is good in my life.
My blessings are many and my heart is filled
with gratefulness for the gift of living,
for the ability to love and be loved,
for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation,
for sleep and water, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels.
I am thankful, too, for those things in my life
that are less than I would hope them to be.
Things that seem challenging, unfair, or difficult.
When my heart feels stretched and empty,
and pools of tears form in my weary eyes,
still I am grateful for my next breath
and that in the midst of turbulence,
I am growing and learning. In the silence of my soul,
I thank you most of all for your unconditional and eternal love
and the care taken of all those I love and hold precious,
particularly today my dear Tania. Amen.

Adapted from a prayer found at

Thoughts “A through F” and Their Antidotes


A – I wish I had not lived so much of my life for what I thought others wanted me to be. I chose mostly wrong and ended up pleasing no one.

B – I regret hurting so many people and know my dysfunctions at the time were no excuse. I’m truly sorry. I was lost within myself.

C – I wish I had not blamed my parents for so long. Even the bad job of parenting they did was the best they knew how.

D – I regret I broke the heart of the woman who within her grief found a way to forgive me and then taught me what love really is. I will never forget the kindness you showed me.

E – I wish I had been a better parent. I was a good one, but would be a great one now.

F – I regret living so much of my life hurrying always towards something uncertain in the future. I missed a lot.

1. Let go of the past. Learn your lessons. . . never forget them, but move on. Learn to forgive others and, (this is a biggie!), learn to forgive yourself. It’s difficult to move forward and take advantage of second chances if you are stuck in the past. Let it go.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt creep in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays. Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Develop a positive attitude and awareness. Expect the best and look for the good. Become conscious of opportunities and very often you will find them right under your
nose. Second chances can be quiet and disguised — one has to be on the lookout for them. Develop the right attitude for you and see what happens.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal. Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong attitude.”

3. Persevere. Keep on. Figure it out. Press on. If one approach doesn’t work the way you would like it to, then try another. Do what you gotta do.

One of my very favorite quotes is from Ann Landers, who says, “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most important piece of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'”

Let Go + Positive Attitude + Perseverance = Second Chances
by Beth Burns

I’ve had a great life and so much of it is left to live! I am excited about the future and am truly happy in the present. I am deeply grateful, never more so than at the moment I sit writing this.

Sometimes life gives you a second chance, or even two!
Not always, but sometimes.
It’s what you do with those second chances that counts.
Dave Wilson

Pick More Daisies

norway-picture1If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax.
I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else – just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many yeas ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.
By Nadine Stair, an amazing 85-year-old woman, from Louisville, Kentucky, who provided the words above after someone asked her how she would have lived her life differently if she had a chance.

Gratefulness adds richer color and a gentle texture to everything.

Never let the things you want
make you forget the things you have.

Deepest Roots of Happiness


The root of joy is gratefulness…
It is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
Brother David Steindl Rast

All day today I felt more richly blessed than usual, almost to the point of starting to think I did not deserve it. But I did not go there. Unworthiness was for a long time my why of crapping on my own joy. It’s so easy too. Thinking “this is too good to be true” or “this can’t last” or “when is the other shoe going to drop” are all types of thinking that often become a self fulfilling prophecy. What I pay attention to, I give energy to and make it stronger.

Intentionally paying more attention to being grateful has been a healthy way of finding more worthiness. Oh, yes my old monsters “not good enough”, “don’t measure up” and “too many mistakes” are very much alive. However, the longer gratitude has been a practice the more pigmy size those little demons have become; still with me but too small to do much damage most of the time.

Cultivating a level of thankfulness that is life changing is difficult when it has not been one’s way in the past. Well I know the white knuckled battles I had to fight with my old ways of seeing and thinking. Based on my experience I can promise that gratitude does bring a pay off and can change one’s view of life to be richer, deeper and even profound.

It’s the outside borders of gratefulness that seem to pay the biggest dividends: grief, pain and heartache on one side balanced with little things like a cup of coffee, a sunrise or a toddler playing on the other. Being grateful for the awful and thankful for the small are the deepest roots of my happiness today.

Be thankful for what you have;
you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey