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Gratus | April 2023

In February, I wrote about a few of the little things that had made me happy. Since it’s birthday week, I’d like to share a few more that have recently made me happy.

Dinner with a friend at a favorite Mexican restaurant during a torrential thunderstorm, which ended just in time for us to get to the car.

After an emotional conversation over coffee, seeing a lumpia food truck pass my friend and me on the road and laughing about how happy we would be to try said lumpia.

Rainbows on our walls are much more vibrant this time of year than at any other time of year, and it’s helped me get out of my winter funk a little more each day.

Taking the long way home from my migraine appointment in Chicago and seeing neighborhoods I would have missed if I had taken the highway.

Buying a pair of tie dye socks that I fell in love with during the lockdown but wore a hole in. These socks make me so happy, and I’m so glad I found them after two years.

Finding my iPhone’s “portrait” mode and doing an impromptu photo shoot of my dogs, which turned out to be quite lovely:

Finding this old song in one of my Spotify playlists (titled April Showers):

What little things have you been grateful for lately?

49 thoughts on “Gratus | April 2023”

  1. Love your impromptu list of things that made you happy this week. Happy Birthday Week. I’ve taken your lead and posted some of my own happy things. I have to admit that coming up with the list was a lot more fun than I thought it would be and easier too. I thought I would struggle to get to a 100. Thanks again for the suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am grateful for YOU, Birthday Girl!!!! Happy Birthday Week! We’ve got some Big Taurus Energy going on.
    I’m grateful for SO many things: cake, sunny days, the fact that my boys still want to spend time with me, Lebanese food, pasta, Peloton, and that I have a new session of yoga classes to teach, starting this week!
    Cheers to your week, hope it’s incredible and full of wonderful joys.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m grateful to you Kari, for reminding me of loompia (amongst a myriad of other things about you such as finding your blog!). I haven’t had a loompia since the last time I was in the Netherlands (it’s an Indonesian thing too, and Indonesian food is big there). Have a wonderful birthday week💕


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no idea it existed in the Netherlands and Indonesia! Because two of my best friends are Filipino, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot about their culture, including their delicious food. Side note: I’m now following the lumpia food truck on Instagram, and she’ll be in my area on my birthday, so I think I’ve figured out what I’m going to eat for lunch! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to check out my iphone’s portrait mode because those pictures are awesome. I’ve never heard of lumpia, but the photo looks delicious and I’m all about anything egg rollish.

    Grateful for this past week . . . well, my grocery store had a display of True Earth laundry strips that were 8 pack samples that were free! I visited the store 3 times in one week just to get my hot little hands on those. That’s 24 loads of laundry washed for free. Considering how expensive detergent is, that’s about an $8 savings.

    I’ve been searching for assisted living/memory care places for my mom and I spoke to the kindest young lady on the phone at one of those places. She was so compassionate and understanding, especially when she realized I’m doing this alone without any other family members’ support (besides my husband’s moral support). I almost started crying right there on the phone. I met with her in person on Friday and she was just as kind and nice. I don’t think the facility is right for my mother, but it was nice to be heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I came across that feature by accident and am so glad I did. Those are some fantastic photos of my dogs. 🤣
      The best egg rolls you’ll ever have are Lumpia. Trust me on this.

      That is definitely something to be grateful for!

      Oh, my friend, I know how much that must have meant to you. I’m sending you a lot of love during this difficult time. My oldest daughter’s grandmother died of Alzheimer’s at the beginning of this month, and it was a difficult time for her family members (it was my ex-husband’s mom). So I have a lot of empathy for everyone who is going through this. I hope you know you are not alone, and that if you would like to talk, I am here. My email is 😘


  5. I feel like portrait mode is giving Buddy piercing eyes. And a chin tuck . . . maybe it’s the angle?

    I’m grateful for the opportunity to be back at writers group. I’ve missed 3 due to endoscopy and Ireland trip, etc.

    Also grateful that summer is almost here and I’ve found Reg a basketball shooting coach.

    Dinner out and rain ending just on time- sounds like a great night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, I share a birthday week with 2 of my favorite bloggers and I am grateful for both of you! In this very same week I am grateful that I went to the writers retreat I went to in Taos that I almost decided to back out of! I am grateful that immediately following that I got to spend several days in Taos and Santa Fe with my traveling buddy. I am even more grateful she wasn’t in too much pain and that we both treated it as a last hurrah trip together before she has major surgery next month. I am grateful that I will get to spend some time with her in her home to help with her recovery after that. I’m grateful that Kari shared this Elvis tune and grateful that my friend got to see the film after I found it for her on free streaming in our hotel room. As the piece de resistance of our time together, I’m grateful we got to watch together, on that same hotel room TV, my Lakers beat her Warriors.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m honored to be one of your favorite bloggers! I am grateful for you as well! 😘

        I love the idea of a Taos writer’s retreat! I hope you intend to write about it all on your blog. I’d like to go to a writers retreat someday. It sounds wonderful.


  6. Kari, those rainbows on your wall is truly magical! WOW…. the colors are amazing!

    That photo of the Chicago neighborhood remind me very much of certain neighborhoods in New York City, like the upper Eastside. Gorgeous shot!

    LOVE the profile photos of the dogs. PRECIOUS!

    And speaking of Elvis, I just watched a few interviews with Priscilla, in which she still speaks so lovingly about him and their time together.

    I’m grateful for SO MANY things in my life – my health, my job, my apartment, the food I eat, my friendships, and for always knowing in my heart that I am loved.

    Happy Birthday, my friend! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love those rainbows. I’m not sure how I found the stickers (or how they found me) years ago, but it was the best purchase I’ve ever made.

      Isn’t it bizarre (in the best way) how many major cities resemble one another?

      I also thought of Lisa Marie, who died so young this year. I feel such empathy for Priscilla, who has lost both her husband and her daughter in her lifetime.

      Those are all wonderful things to be grateful for!

      Thank you, friend! 😘


  7. Happy birthday week! I hope it is full of wonderful things. This week I am grateful to be getting back into our garden again after all these months of rain. Spent a few hours getting dirty yesterday, and then had a good, sound, solid night of sleep (for which I’m also grateful). Your long way home picture made me think of Supertramp ( and of how, after a few days away, I am so grateful for our home. I remember having a house that was bigger and technically “nicer,” but I also remember when I felt the opposite of “at home” there. I’m so grateful to always feel comfortable and peaceful at home.

    Portrait mode is the best, for all kinds of things. But especially our doggos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been absolutely wonderful. Slowing down, relaxing, spending time with my loved ones. Perfect.

      I’m envious of you getting out in your garden. I should be able to plant some things in two weeks without fear of frost.

      I’m glad you had a good night’s sleep. Working outside does the same thing to me.

      That Supertramp song is a favorite! As I write this, I am listening to it. That song reminds me of my Dad working in the garage and me riding my bike down the street on a sunny day. Thank you for adding to my birthday week. 💕❤️


  8. I had to look up Lumpia, then remembered you talking about a friend years ago who made them for you.
    I love those Chicago neighborhoods; classic and charming. I’d love to peek into all of them.
    Your dogs = Love.
    Happy HAPPY birthday my sweet friend. I hope it’s all you need and deserve. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! They’re fantastic. We will actually get some on Friday! I can hardly wait. ❤️

      This summer, I hope to visit different Chicago neighborhoods. We live so close, and there are so many interesting places to visit.

      Thank you so much, friend. It has been a lovely week so far. 😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Another fine Taurean – happy birthday Kari!

    This week I am grateful for being if not healthy enough. I’ve got all sorts of aches & pains, and really need to have a knee replaced but, I’ve spent the past couple of hours chatting with a dear friend on messenger while he’s been attached to an IV infusing his second dose of chemo. He has terminal cancer, but is facing it with real grace. It’s a timely reminder of quite how much I have to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🖤

      Yes, there is so much to be grateful for. I’m sending you love for your aches and pains because it sucks, doesn’t it? And I’m sending so much love to your dear friend. Thank you for sharing their story and reminding me how important it is to live in the present moment. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

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