Meditation is in the news. Good for the brain. Lengthens telomeres (made that one up). Immersion is a meditative act for me, one I’ve gotten better at because of yoga, birding, the man I live with, this blog, the growing family. A 420 character 9-line poem.

bloggyredbrstdmerk - 1

Dive Into It is my modus operandi:

juxtapositions that clarify, candidates who won’t carpet bomb,

native species that protect & attract birds,

core exercise in lieu of surgery, telomere lengthening,

10,000 simple steps along the lazy riverbank,

unaccompanied Bach reachable w/ practice,

woods w/ canopy birds I can learn by ear,

out of print but amazing writers.

I visualize hungry Red Breasted Mergansers–dive into it!


PS I came to 420 characters and 9 lines so I had to leave out the nearer and even dearer: family, yoga, sketching, & this blog with its blog partner.

PPS But perhaps my immersion in such is evident in previous posts.

A Red-breasted Merganser diving into the fray (I saw a Red-breasted Merganser at Sherwood Island State Park coastal waters; this movie is from YouTube.)


IMG_2685    This week’s writing challenge is about lists. I write lists, too, but none profound or epiphanic. Here are a few ~

About me~

About being 65~

About comic strips~

About lists. Seriously.~


Thanks, WordPress, for inspiring me to write another.

IMG_2615What’s Really Necessary In Life

1. A blue bay to gaze on.

2. Sun.

3. The kind of day you fold up and put in your pocket so you can have it over and over again.

4. Living life simply. Simply living life.

  Toni 5/28/14



When you get older, you learn certain life lessons.

You apply that wisdom, and suddenly you say,

‘Hey, I’ve got a new lease on this thing. So let’s go.’

~ Robert Redford

Think anything longer than 140 characters is a homework assignment? Sometimes I do. In fact, there’s a good chance your eyes are glazing over right now.


But I have to admit, I do like lists.  Think: Ellen, Oprah, Cosmo. The specific promise of the headline. The simple outline format that’s easy to skim and bullet points ~ a perfect balance of piña and colada.

Social media is about generating conversations and a list fascinates everyone I know.



I like to see what’s on it and whether it affirms what I think or is completely wrong.  Like The 7 Accessories That Will Change Your Life (the must-have statement necklace, remember Cleopatra?) or The 12 Secrets of Better Lawn Care (lots of sprinklers).



Did you ever see David Letterman’s very first list?

Dave inspires me. But why stop at 10?


65 Jpeg

3. Money doesn’t buy happiness ~ but it does allow for a secure life and resources to share with others.

4. Truly, the best things in life are free.  Take a hike, play with kids.

5. Show some love.  Go out of your way to thank people, pick someone up on their way down.

6. Be a problem solver.

7. Seek out the company of inspiring people. 

8. Never judge a book by its cover.  

9. Say no when you mean no, don’t say maybe.  Just be nice about it.

10. Embrace play.  Skip the sitcom rerun, join a community project.

11. Recognize how fortunate you are. 

12. Keep learning new things.  Exit the comfort zone.

13. Cherish your old friends and introduce them to your new ones. 

14. Run towards adventure.  Transform yourself.

15. Look inward.

16. Be brave.  Play on a swing set at least once a year.

17. Face your fears.  Don’t waste your energy on worry. Lose the guilt.

18. Think for yourself. 

19. Grow your own food.  It’s judderingly awesome.

20. Go places.  Anywhere will do. Ask Dr. Suess.

21. Be persistent.  Inch your way there.

22. Just be.  Sit, listen, let your mind wander, feel the peace.  Breathe.

23., words, art…and share it with the world.

24. Enjoy a simple pleasure every day.  The slow sunrise, a long shower, berries on your Kashi.

25. Go on picnics. 

26. Journal. Just get it down ~ on paper or in pixels.

27. Watch movies in your bathrobe.

28. Nap in the afternoon.

29. Bake.  Anything with chocolate.

30. Tell jokes.  Write the punchlines on your hand, if you need to.

31. De-clutter ~ in short time chunks or long ones.  Be merciless.

32. Back up your computer. 

33. Google it.  What do you want to know?  It’s all there.  Shocker.

34. Use your best stuff every day.

35. Cook dinner.  It’s a ritual worth celebrating.

36. Avoid roundabouts.

37. You can have carbs at night.  Eat protein all day.

38. Spend part of every day outside.  Yes, even in winter.

39. Get up in the middle of the night and eat peanut butter with a spoon.

40. Pump iron.  It beats dieting.

41. Add something to the tip jar. 

42. It’s OK to be different.  Note: you’re not as different as you think.

43. Try everything.  Even stuff that scares you.

44. Read books. Lots of them.

45. Take care of the earth.  And it might take care of you.

46. Learn the rules.  Then it’s OK to break them.

47. Sing.  If you can’t sing, sing anyway.  Especially at karaoke.

48. Give away something you love. 

49. Make life simpler.  Embrace technology.

50. Marry your best friend.  Hold hands.

51. Believe in miracles.

52. Tell the truth.

53. Learn from your mistakes.  

54. Don’t settle.

55. Focus on what you have.  Be grateful for the goodness.

56. Smile. 

57. Be honest. 

58. Keep a ‘To-Don’t “ list.  You know what goes there, don’t you?

59. Find a mentor. Or five.

60. Family is everything.

61. Focus on your strengths.  Do what you love.

62. Accept yourself. You are your own best friend.

63. Follow your gut, you’ll thank yourself later.

64. Remember what your mother taught you.

65. Take walks with your camera.  This little film tells me that a creative life ~ in whatever way you break from routine and for as much time you can spare ~ is one worth living.


Toni 3/26/14