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Missouri Cotton Candy Sunset

If you only say one prayer in a day, make it ‘Thank You’Rumi

In 2010, I created my first ABCs of Gratitude list.  I now look forward to this project every November. The simple yet thought-provoking exercise is a unique way to reflect on the year. Grab a sheet of paper and label it A through Z. Fill in with your blessings. If you get stuck on a letter, a dictionary is permitted!

Wayne Dyer believed that if you get to a place of gratitude you will experience peace. Be in a state of gratitude for everything because there is something to learn in everything. Be grateful even for the pain because there are lessons to be learned from it. According to Ingrid King gratitude is a wonderful way to raise your vibration and shift your energy. The vibration of gratitude is a powerful force. It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance.

In keeping with my annual Thanksgiving month tradition, my 2018 ABCs of Gratitude list is listed below. I find it interesting to compare my list to prior years. Looking back, some years had more ups, and other years had more downs. But in the end, I always found 26 blessings. This year is no different. Most of my days have ended with awe inspiring sunsets such as the one taken from my brother’s backyard deck in the country.

Angels on Duty Anthology…Angel by My Side poem

Angels on Duty

Board Director…DAR Seminole Chapter

Creative Genius Anthology…My Parkinson’s Muse essay

Creative Genius

Dineen…stress buster housekeeper

eBay Seller Plus…1000+ reviews

Fennelly State Poet Laureate…workshop leader

God…providing healing and hope for Judy

Highland Park Anthology…Power Struggle poem

Highland Park Anthology

Invigorate…Dr. Sarah King Parkinson’s exercises

Joe…my love, my rock, my partner

Kitties’ 8th Birthday…Grace, Chauncey, Rosebud, Tigger, Boots, Angus

6 Kitties, 4 weeks old

All Grown Up! Rosebud, Angus, Boots & Tigger

Grace & Chauncey

Lake Yellowstone Hotel…mountains and lake room view

Peacefulness–What a View!

Marsha at Perry Consulting…PD website diva

Nieto…compassionate doctor

Okun…internationally known movement disorder specialist

Parkinson’s My Way…website and blog launch

Quietude…meditative nature walks

Lane to Family House

Reunion…50 year high school class ‘68

School Teacher Mrs. Kice…special visit

June Kice. my 7th & 8th Grade Teacher

Ten Year Anniversary…member Daughters of the American Revolution

Uncles (great) Carl and Rupert…honor sacrifice 100 year WW

Honoring Rupert’s Place of Death, Naix, France

Vinnie Ream Award Finalist…Voice Within poetry collection

Wood Stairs…Nic’s skillful renovation

X-rays…caring Active Health Center 

Yellowstone National Park…trip with Joe for memory bank

pastel stone, water

Yellowstone Canyon

Zeal for Exercise…keeping Parkinson’s at bay





Princess Grace


Faith made visible
In daily living:
The perfect gift
Of a grateful heart.

~Florine Robionson

Warm Purrs!

Lexie Lee

A special thank you to Ingrid King for suggesting the ABC’s of Gratitude. According to Ingrid, “Gratitude is a wonderful way to raise your vibration and shift your energy. The vibration of gratitude is a powerful force. It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance”. It’s a simple exercise. Grab a sheet of paper and label it A through Z. Fill in with your blessings. I found it fun and eye-opening! What a great Thanksgiving ritual. Here’s my 2010 list.

A for Antiques…appreciating family heirlooms
B for Blog…blogging about cats in Catnip Connection
C for Chauncey…new kitty, inexpressible delight
D for DAR-Daughters of the American Revolution membership
E for Ethnic food…French, German, Mexican, Italian, Greek
F for Farm…rejuvenating on farm with brothers and sister
G for Grace…second sweet kitty this year, Chauncey’s brother
H for Home…beautiful tropical home filled with love and cats
I for Ideas…for creative classes, blogs and articles
J for Joe…can count on him always
K for Kindred spirits…guiding and watching over me
L for Lexie Lee…incredible hurricane cat, a dear companion
M for Mother’s Memory…a grand lady dearly missed and loved
N for Northwood…employer for over 20 years, where I can thrive
O for Ocean…refreshing breezes at my home
P for Prayer…connecting with Divine energy
Q for Quietude…being tranquil and calm
R for Rose…miracle cat, Chauncey and Grace’s mother
S for Sacha…life coach who always knows what to ask
T for Tatianna book…retailers and readers’ support
U for University…students and colleagues who inspire me
V for View…third story home office, my sanctuary
W for Writing…about my passion–cats
X for Xmas…cat tree with over 200 cat ornaments
Y for Yard…filled with nature’s gifts, a paradise
Z for Zeal…making a difference

So there you have it. Now what are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Cat Poem for Older Cats

I’ve been waiting here so long
For my “Forever Home”.
I’d nearly given up of finding
one to call my own.

Day after day I sat here.
I know I looked depressed,
while younger frisky kittens
moved to their new address.

Then you came and saw me,
and knew that I could be
the most devoted kitty,
and that’s why you picked me.

I hope you know how grateful
I am to have a place
To live the years that I have left
in dignity and grace.

I never will forget
all the kindness’ you’ve shown
an aging homeless kitty
who so needed a home.

Written for a Cat Shelter
By Rebecca Strecker 6/25/08

Bountiful Blessings!


I spent Thanksgiving reminiscing about 2008 and all the blessings that grace my life. For the past three years, Joe and I have dined at the Palm Beach Chesterfield Hotel, home of the Leopard Lounge for Thanksgiving. This hotel is one of my favorite in the world. In fact, this charming hotel was the site of my Tatianna book launch party last December. So it seemed fitting to return here once again. I left with a kitty bag of traditional Thanksgiving leftovers—enough for a second meal.

So in the evening, I heated the turkey, sage dressing, green beans and mashed potatoes and headed to my walk-in closet to give thanks! For the past four months, Lexie Lee and I have lived in our home during a major renovation. The third level furnishings are stored in a pod in my driveway and what would not fit is in my living room. A narrow path weaves through the living room to the dining room. One of the highlights of my renovation is a walk-in clothes closet. On Monday and Tuesday, the closet fixtures were installed. On Wednesday, I unloaded the wardrobe boxes and put everything in its proper spot in the closet. So that is why I ate leftover Thanksgiving dinner in my closet on Thursday! Picture me sitting on the floor with Lexie Lee nearby waiting for a few morsels of turkey, plate on my lap and a glass of wine nearby. A hurricane lantern provides elegant temporary lighting until the electrician hangs a chandelier next week! Unusual—yes, but the purr-fect spot to give thanks for my Tatianna and Catnip Connection readers, my university job and wonderful students, my health, my home, my loved ones, my dear sweet Lexie Lee and all the talented people responsible for my renovation.  

Bountiful Blessings!

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