Music and the Arts (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 14)

What are your career plans? Have you secured an internship? What’s the pay scale for graduates in that major? All important questions, but just as important are things like music, the arts, thinking critically, and expanding your horizons by studying subjects unrelated to your chosen vocation.

I was reminded of these broader concerns when I recently attended a concert of the Symphonic Winds at the University of Minnesota-Morris — a hidden public education gem in the middle of the Minnesota prairie. The ensemble is full of college students pursuing various courses of studies — science, social science, education, and, of course, music. Our world is increasingly interdisciplinary in its issues, and the liberal arts are critical to creating the problem-solvers of tomorrow.

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

~ Albert Einstein

University of Minnesota-Morris Symphonic Winds

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”

~ Plato

Take a moment to appreciate and support music and the arts, and the richness it adds to your life.

~ Kat


Cats Keep It Simple (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 11)

Maybe cats are telling us something. Give them the choice between a fancy toy that rolls around the floor and a crumpled up ball of paper, and they likely find the crumpled trash more enticing. Give them the choice between the Taj Mahal of cat condos and an empty box, and you can bet good money they will pick the plain box.


Echoing the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, simplify.” I need to heed those words more often, and take cues from the cats. They get it.

And where does gratitude come in? My concerns with needing to simplify fall in the category of #firstworldproblems.

~ Kat

Unconditional Love (30 Days of Gratitude: Day 4)

Really no words needed. The eyes say it all. Unconditional love.

The Eyes of Unconditional Love

Gratitude for the unconditional love I have received over the years ….

… from Bruce, who was only with us for 18 months before ill health forced us to say good-bye …

… from Snowy and Duffy, the goofy pair who were inseparable for over 14 years (as I reminisced about in this post) …

… from Corbin, my old soulmate and favorite running companion who is slowing down now (in this post I reflected on one of our last trail runs together) …

… from Sadie and Kruger, the sweet seniors we welcomed to our family when they still had more than enough love to go around (and just as much sadness to endure when it came to say good-bye, recalled in this post) …

…and from Winnie, whose eyes say it all.

~ Kat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

This week’s photo challenge seemed to foreshadow the weekend, and spur me to return to my blog, which has been neglected of late. Krista encouraged us to share a photo of a moment in time that held meaning for us … specifically, to share an evanescent moment or memory.

Evanescent Northern Lights

“Evanescent” is often used to describe something that quickly vanishes or is fleeting in time. The northern lights dance and shimmer and pulse in the sky ….. lights that can often vanish as quickly as they appear, and refuse to be scheduled or predicted with any certainty … evanescent lights in the sky.

Equally fitting is my college-aged son in this photo … for while the days may often be long, the years fly by, and then that time with those children you gave roots, but also gave wings, is evanescent indeed.

~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Evanescent” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here: Evanescent.


10 Lessons Learned From My President

Each President of the United States leaves a legacy. As President Barack Obama enters the last week of his tenure in the White House, his legacy is only just beginning to show itself. But I can say with confidence that these 10 lessons are takeaways that will endure:

10. Never lose hope.


9. Reading is essential for opening your mind, expanding your worldview, and giving you the depth and breadth to handle an infinite number of situations.


8. The umbrella is big enough to fit everyone under it.


7. Grit and resilience are keys to success, whatever you do.


6. Kindness and respect never go out of style.


5. Do not be afraid to show your emotions … even if it means crying sometimes.


4. There are different perspectives to most issues … work hard to understand each one.


3. Maintain your sense of humor, even under the most trying of times.


2. Raising your children is one of the most important jobs you will ever have in life. Never lose sight of that.


And since, as the saying goes, behind every great man there is a great woman … and better yet in this case, beside every great man there is a great woman ….

  1. When they go low, you must go high.


Thank you, Mr. President and Mrs. Obama.  You have honored the White House and our country with your grace and vision these past eight years.  You will be missed.  Let us return the favor by continuing to stand up for what is right, and doing it with respect and an openness to truly trying to understand all sides of the issues.  We have more in common than not; it is in our best interests to continue and try to move forward together, no matter how difficult and arduous it may be … while at the same time not letting our guard down and failing to speak out against injustice, inequity, and matters that harm the greater good.

Yes, we can. Yes, we did. And, yes, we will again.

~ Kat