Being Grateful leads to happiness.

Just read a great article by Holstee founder, Dave Radparvar, who quotes Brother David Steindl-Rast who says,

“Is it really the happy people that are grateful?

We all know quite a number of people who have everything that it would take to be happy, and they are not happy, because they want something else or they want more of the same.

And we all know people who have lots of misfortune, misfortune that we ourselves would not want to have, and they are deeply happy.

They radiate happiness.

You are surprised. Why?

Because they are grateful.

So it is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy. If you think it’s happiness that makes you grateful, think again. It’s gratefulness that makes you happy.”

This month in particular, I see many gratitude posts…and it makes me happy. Hearing from close friends and family what they are grateful for…that simple act actually makes me happy. It is an obscure yet tangible concept. Maybe too simple! But all the more for it. Time to catch up and play….and go for the long haul!

34 Days till 50 so update on the 49 things before 50:

Diwali, 2019

So thought it be a good idea to see where I am at with the 49 things before 50. I always give myself room to do or not to do, but it’s nice to keep reminding myself to do every month! I’m a little late and to be honest did not check every month, but better late than never! Below is the list with those completed and some thoughts and worries, dreams and visions for the year ahead.

1. Cycle more- completed over 100 days at Cycle Tribe land looking forward to more cycling and hiking next year!

2. Clean eat- started Keto and clean eating to become pre-diabetic free.

3. Meal prep-Keto demands meal prep; not quite on it, but plan to continue into the new year

4. Write letters and cards – hoping to at least make holiday cards, but we will see.

5. Meditate regularly – sporadic at best, but when I do, I love it!

6. Drink lots of water- yes!

7. Journal and blog-must write more and often!

8. Donate stuff – the beginning of the year was great with lots of purging; tapered off towards the end, but less spending!

9. Spend less-see above!

10. Daily walks with Slider- Slider….I am sorry for not walking with you as much especially since recent time change, but will do more!

11. Use cook books- Love my cookbooks, but vowing not to buy anymore! Besided, all online, but my favorites this year has been Forest Feasts, Salt Fat Acid Heat, and Practical Paleo. Also online Keto resources.

12. Clean out trailer -not gonna happen this year.

13. Attempt garden- next year!

14. Make more art – would like to make more

15. Smile more – I want to smile more but the last half of the year has been hard. Also coming to terms that I don’t have to always smile and that is ok.

16. Read with girls – more like shared screen time with them!

17. Take family to museums – The Getty and other LA area ones are on my list.

18. Learn more about local politics – VOTE!

19. Bake for co workers /team – had fun with potlucks this year!

20. More hikes – Summer was great! Favorite new place was Harmony Headlands; plan to do the 52 Hike challenge next year.

21. See English Beat-Did for New Years last year!

22. Teach henna class – still practicing!

23. Yoga – not enough

24. Help Isa Drive – she decided to put off…crazy girl!

25. Play Minecraft with Tamra – watched her play and did play a few times…I think I have more fun watching! She is really good!

26. Play board games with family – not one…sad…need to change this before they fly the nest.

27. Have friends over- not as much as I wanted to.

28. Turmeric tea everyday – not everyday but will get back on it!

29. Take picture challenges – didn’t do any this year, but till managed to take a boatload of pics!

30. Clean out computer in-boxes-it never ends!

31. Grow herbs – next years! Bit do have a basil plant doing pretty good!

32. Stretch – more!

33. Take classes – Did take a crochet class; and did guided yoga with friends throughout the year. Would like to learn Italian, and write more! Speaking of writing, was able to volunteer at a writers conference lhis year and plan to volunteer again next year! Got to sit in the poetry track and loved it sooooo much!

34. Save money – did spend less and had a month of no spending that felt great!

35. Try passive income – happy with one job this year!

36. Print this list and too it if I want-done

37. Know that it’s ok not to finish this list and carry through to next year-yes

39. Give more hugs – learned that 24 second hugs leave a lasting impression.

49. Learn guitar – next year and learn off of YouTube!

Looking forward to creating the new list and hoping mostly I do get to smile more. I think I am struggling with my daughters both getting older, and Trevis and I missing connections. Something to strive for and work at…..time will tell.

15 and 23 – How it all began.

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary! 23 years ago I met this guy…this funny, wild, handsome guy! We worked at Lopez Lake Recreation area. He worked the night shift and I the day. Then one fateful workday we had the same evening shift together. He made the shift go by fast with crack me up stories…it was just a nice work shift getting to know this new person. I think this must have been in July or August of some year, but then fast forward to the February the following year and I had just broken up from a long distance relationship and decided no more relationships for me. So what do you do with that kind of affirmation, join the Cal Poly bowling league of course! So on Valentines day, I went down to the Cal Poly bowl and joined the league.

As me and another student…he was young, forgot his name, but he said he wasn’t any good, waited around for our third party. I was fairly good at bowling but not great, but I loved to bowl. So we waited and waited, and we were probably the last team waiting for the third man to show up. And, yup…in strolls Trevis. I was so happy to actually know someone in the league. And he happened to be a ringer! We managed to not come in dead last (ok, second to dead last!) But had a blast! It was the one night a week I looked forward to back then! We became friends.

Hanging out with him was just so easy. We laughed alot and just had fun. I invited him to come hang with me as I wanted to check out the Strawberry festival, to take photos. I carried that camera with me everywhere! No cell phones back then, so I lugged around an old big film camera and took “Rani Shots” of everything…which today happen to be called selfies! Yes, I like to think I invented the selfie! Later that evening. he invited me to be the fourth at SLO Brew for Burgers and beer night…I think it was buy one get one free! And then we watched Braveheart and loved it! After that we started hanging out more and more until, we didn’t want to be out of each other’s reach.

Fast forward to 23 years later: two amazing daughters, a dog, three cats, fish, a mortgage, dozens of family trips, he retiring from almost 20+ years, me finally finding my dream job, bad days and good ones, lots of crying and laughter and lots of change. I am one for change, but I have to admit the business of life and change sometimes get’s in the way. I am reminded to go abck to my roots of being outside and just gain knowledge and solace in nature…and somehow I am calm and at peace.

Dear Trevis…my Bino….I still love and like you and know we will stand the test of time! Can’t have good times without also making it through the rough, and sometimes stagnant, bad ones. You still amaze me with your humor, your role as dad and coach to our girls, and you by my side, always. I look forward to what the future holds, sharing the rest of lives together and all the adventures we will continue to have! Here’s to finding each other over and over again! Love always, your Bina- Rani

A letter to me…When I was 17 (cue Frank Sinatra song)

circa 1988 (Go Cal High Grizzlies!)

This year marks the year I turn 50. Sounds weird to say that. This first half of the year was what I realize a slight depression for me. Looking back I was feeling very down about the state I was in, both mentally and physically. I believe this to be my true mid-life crisis. I have been finding many ways to get my self out of this funk, but it has been hard. As my teens grow, full of independence, my role as mom is changing. I will forever be their mom, but they aren’t as needy as I would like them to be…I think that is what it comes down to. Then my partner relationship with Trevis is full of ups and downs. As he transitions into retirement, I am full speed ahead at work. I think these are good things, but we are searching for each other again and I am hopeful he finds me and I find him. We are working on it-always. Then my relationship with me. I have lost me. At times I wonder what am I here for, and again I ask what is my purpose. I am thankful for the posts on social media by the writer of Finding Joy. She has created moving words of wisdom that have struck a cord with me, encouraging me to keep up with my writing. Today is a turning point for me because,I again, realize that when in doubt, go outside and then write. And write some more.

As I started to look at my blog and do some redesigning, I noticed some unpublished writing I still had in draft form. This one caught my eye and made me smile! I wrote it when I was 17, and I must have copied it onto this computer from my journal to later publish. I’m impressed with how wise I was back then! Thankful to have found this and looking forward to a better second half of this year as 50 comes up in December!.

Dear Rani,

Some Random thoughts that keep coming to me that I must share with you! Have a cup of tea…chai tea, your favorite, as you read~

So here you are on the cusp of becoming a senior, you last year of high-school! If I have anything to say to you, it is this… free of commitments that tie or weigh you down. The world is too big of place to be tied down to anything or anyone right now. Explore and see all that you can, for life will surprise you. After graduation, you will soon be on your way to a London Study program for a semester! Make the most of this experience, for who knows when you will have this opportunity again to see the other side of the world!? I hope you do! But embrace all there is about this journey!

Even though you don’t care for your weight right now, know that you are healthy, playing tennis, on the dance and drill teams and making the most of your last year!

Explore different languages, meet people and attempt to talk to them in their tongue and culture. Always be aware of yourself and surroundings, and don’t explore in fear, but rather in curiosity and care. Take time to keep your healthy habits flowing with activity everyday and hearty, wholesome eating habit-you’ll be happier in the future for this little step of self care.

Don’t give up on your ideals and the goals you set out to do. And know that it’s ok to change your goals, but follow through as much as you can. Keep journals so you have memories in your written word to look back to.

Realize that anger can be controlled and that having a clear, calm and steady voice will help you overcome your fears.

Don’t settle for less than what you believe. Hold true to your ideals and faith and be strong to your convictions.

The life ahead of you will be full and happy, but also trying and poignant. Cherish every minute of it! Above all, practice the art of gratitude and giving. Find ways to help others in need; whether it be a small way or a grand statement…help others. Be thankful for your unique nature for there is only one of you in the world! Be thankful for where you came from, where you are, and where you may be going.

In Love and In Like forever…..


ps.-don’t underestimate the power of the written word, computers and technology will be your friend, but don’t be slave to them, go outside often and drink lots of water!

I Thrive – Honoring women everywhere

pictures of my Ma!

I journal-ed this poem on March 1st, 2019, knowing that this is the month of the woman and March 8 was International Women’s Day. I was inspired by my mom, my daughter’s and my friends. I hope to share this everywhere!

I Thrive.

My thanks,

For I thrive on the backs of those before me,

Who let me push the full weight of my soul,

Upon their fighting minds and wise ways.

They, who saw themselves as not inferior,

Not to be owned,

Not to be ignored.

For theirs is a might unlike anything in this world,

A wonder upon which to be revered.

A roar meant to be heard.

We stand alongside humankind,

Being kind, working hard, adding value to…


Thank you to the many of my kind.

The sisterhood.

The coven.

The grandmamas.

The many who fought, the many who continue to fight,

To protect our place in the human race……

Where we all could…

and should…


Meeting Michelle Obama, photo highlights and last post of this year!

YES! It happened! Back in September through my workplace, MINDBODY! Met Michelle Obama and then for my birthday weekend, got spend time with my bro and best buds, seeing Michelle speak on her book tour! Pics below.

As this year comes to an end, there are alot of changes in store for this new year. As nervous as some of our decisions have been, we work through those nerves, knowing our happiness in heart and health has exponentially increased! My goal is to write more, purge more and live simple in happiness and health with my family! I wish the same for you all too! Thanks you 2018! Cheers to 2019!





49 things before 50

Here we go again!

So many amazing things this year! 2018 will go down in my herstory as the year I met Michelle Obama, the year I celebrated five years with MINDBODY (through which meeting Michelle happened!), year of Tamra surpassing my height! Year of Isara winning over her mind and spirit to play what she loves, the year for Trevis to find his heart and health, the year of Becoming with my best buds. The year of spending time quality time with my parents and brother. But there is more to become and my key takeaway for this list and for this year is to not work and live and decide in fear. Rather stride and “swerve,” ahead, in kindness. I may not be rich in money or material goods, but I am in friendship, family and spirit of hope and forever thankful for change. It’s time to dig in Rani cause half a century is just around the corner! Oh the places you will go!

1. Cycle more

2. Clean eat

3. Meal prep

4. Write letters and cards

5. Meditate regularly

6. Drink lots of water

7. Journal and blog

8. Donate stuff

9. Spend less

10. Daily walks with Slider

11. Use cook books

12. Clean out trailer

13. Attempt garden

14. Make more art

15. Smile more

16. Read with girls

17. Take family to museums

18. Learn more about local politics

19. Bake for co workers /team

20. More hikes

21. See English Beat

22. Teach henna class

23. Yoga

24. Help Isa Drive

25. Play Minecraft with Tamra

26. Play board games with family

27. Have friends over

28. Turmeric tea everyday

29. Take picture challenges

30. Clean out computer in boxes

31. Grow herbs

32. Stretch

33. Take class

34. Save money

35. Try passive income

36. Print this list and too it if I want

37. Know that it’s ok not to finish this list and carry through to next year

39. Give more hugs

49. Learn guitar

There it is.