Sunday, October 6, 2019

Finally Fall And Other Thankfuls

My weeks are going by in a flash, a FLASH, I tell you! Sunday evening already? Time to be thankful!

1. It's fall, y'all! Really, truly, finally fall! Today was cool and rainy and utterly delightful.

2. I put fall decorations up in my house. They make me happy to see.

3. I have never had a job as physically demanding as the one I have now. This is a good thing. I spend a lot of the day doing squats as I pick up a little who is crying or just needs some love. I believe I'll be able to bounce a quarter off my ass by Christmas because of it.

4. We had a rainy morning one day this week just as we were about to go outside to play. Try to explain to one year olds that we have to take off their jackets and stay inside after telling them we would go out. Six little open mouths, crying tragically, and it's both funny and pitiful. I covered the table with butcher paper and gave them crayons, and they not only scribbled a masterpiece but NO ONE PUT CRAYONS IN THEIR MOUTH. We weren't so lucky the last time we tried this.

5. Last week, I wrote about a little spill I took where I bruised my left knee and sprained my right ankle. I'm happy to report that my knee is almost recovered and my ankle is improving. The ankle is still a little swollen and tender, but that's a HUGE improvement from this time last weekend.

6. My husband and I hopped on the Movie Pass craze two years ago and rode it until it crashed and burned. We moved to Cinemia next, got burned by that, and thought we were through with movie deals, then the Regal chain started their own unlimited movie pass recently, and we joined it, as Regal is the only movie theater we have in town (okay, locals, I know we have a tiny independent movie house, but you know what I mean). We have had it for less than a week and already seen two movies. Our theater is crappy, the floors are sticky, many of the seats are broken, and it smells like feet, but WE CAN SEE UNLIMITED MOVIES, MAN!

7. Lewis is a snuggly boy when the blankets come out! Refer to #1.

8. I had a long conversation with my Person this evening. It's hard to be 500 miles apart, and I'm thankful for cell phones and not having to wait to talk to someone long distance until nights or weekends when the rates were lower.

9. We went to the high school football game Friday night. Living in a small town may have its drawbacks, but you can't beat our Friday Night Lights!

10. Next weekend, I get to spend some time with our TToT hostest with the mostest, Kristi! Stay tuned!

Take time to be thankful!

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Coast: A Six Sentence Story

It was a summer Saturday morning, our family had just returned from a vacation the night before, and there was not much in the house to eat, so my mom made the decision to drive to Luke's Bakery and pick up some doughnuts for breakfast; 12 year old me decided to tag along.

"Is there enough gas in the car?" my mom asked, and my dad replied, "There's enough to get you there," and she and I climbed into our '72 avocado green Chevy Impala and headed the three miles down Blue Ridge Blvd. to the bakery, and my mom allowed me to get a custard-filled, chocolate covered long john (my favorite).

We took our doughnuts to the car and headed home, but as we turned into our subdivision, the car sputtered and died. My mom steered the car towards the curb as it coasted to a stop, the gas tank dry.

At that point, I knew my mom was madder than mad as she grabbed her purse and the doughnut box and started the three block walk to our house; the morning was hot and she was hotter, and I bounced along beside her, clutching the white bakery bag holding my custard-filled chocolate long john.

I remember my dad looking up as my mom threw the front door open and stomped into the house, saying through gritted teeth, "You said there was enough gas!" to which my dad grinned and replied, "I said there was enough to get you there, I never said there was enough to get you home."

Linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge's Blog for Six Sentence Stories with the prompt "coast"

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Propping My Eyes Open To Write A List Of Thankfuls

You want to know what happens when you start working with one year olds? YOU ARE VERY TIRED BY THE END OF THE DAY AND EXHAUSTED BY THE WEEKEND AND YOU CAN'T MOVE YOUR FINGERS TO TYPE A BLOG POST.

I've missed two weeks of Ten Things of Thankful in a row and with this week's that would be 30 things. 

Relax. Not going to do that to you.

How about a highlight reel of the past couple of weeks of thankfuls? 

1. I'm really loving my new job! The kids are adorable (most of the time), and they love me and even when they are crying and snotty nosed, I love them, too.

2. The kiddos get fed breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack every day, and the staff gets to partake in it as well. This is very handy when I am going straight from the child development center to my job at the photo studio. It's not always the best food I've ever eaten, but it doesn't suck, either, and it's free.

3. My dad and I went to an auction two weeks ago, and I got this amazing gem:

It's enamelware. Flawless. Could be worth around $30.
I got it for $2 and, believe it or not, NO ONE
bid against me on it.

Thoroughly cleaned and repurposed!

4. It's going to be fall soon. 

5. I went to a sing-along version of "Grease" at the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Springfield, an hour's drive away. My friend Traci went with me, and we had a BALL! 

They gave us props at the Grease sing-along,
including bubbles, a comb, and candy cigarettes.

6. The Med School student got to come home for a whole 24 hours two weeks ago. My daughter came home, too, and all four of us got to watch the Chiefs game and eat game day snacks and all was good.

7. I found out I have to ride on a float in the MSSU homecoming parade with the rest of the staff at work and any kids and their parents who want to join us. My thankful is that by this time next week, it will be over.

8. We attended parent weekend at the University of Arkansas last weekend. It was also Dad's Day at my daughter's sorority. We stayed at her apartment (she gave us her room and slept in the room of a roommate who was gone), walked to nearby shops and restaurants, and walked MILES AND MILES to the game and back.

9. I fell down yesterday. Fell. Down.  Wiped out. Ate it. The last time I fell down was 12 years ago when I was a camp counselor. (I won a contest earlier this year, sponsored by the university where I am now employed, ironically enough, by writing the story of that fall, and you can read it here.)  I can promise you that falling down at 59 is worse than falling down at (59-12=47) 47, and I can also promise you that I have no intention of it happening again. I am thankful that I wasn't hurt worse than a sprained ankle, and hard whack to the knee (opposite leg, naturally, so both legs hurt), and aches EVERYWHERE. Hey, I'm tall and it's a long way down to the ground from up here. Lots of ibuprofen and ice bags, and I will hopefully be at least close to good as new by Monday....

10.  Indoor plumbing. Which I am going to visit right now.

How was your week? Or weeks? Link up your thankfuls with us. We would love to have you join in!
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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Thankful For That Helicopter!

There's an old joke about a man who was caught in a flood, and he had to climb onto his roof to escape the rising water. A man in a rowboat came by and told him to get in, but the man declined, saying, "I have faith in the Lord that He will save me." As the water continued to rise, a man in a speedboat appeared and told him to get in, but again, he declined, saying, "I have faith in the Lord that He will save me." The water rose higher, and a helicopter appeared above him. The pilot called out that he would lower a rope and pull him up, but the man refused and said, "I have faith in the Lord that He will save me."  Eventually, the waters rose so high that the man was swept off his roof and he drowned. When he arrived in Heaven, he said to God, "I had complete faith in you, and I prayed that you would save me, but you did nothing. Why?" And God replied, "I sent you two boats and a helicopter! What more did you expect?!"

As many of you know, I have taught pre-kindergarten for 18 years at a preschool that is held at my church. Enrollment has been declining for years, starting during the recession, and it has not improved. A little over a month ago, I learned that the enrollment was low enough that some classes might have to be combined. Two weeks ago, that became a reality, and my five mornings a week job was going to be reduced to two mornings a week.The rainfall that was the initial decline in enrollment had continued steadily and had now become a flood. 

I was sad and angry and hurt as I climbed up onto my roof. In the past few years, I had been visited by a rowboat and by a speedboat, but I didn't get in either of them. Angry with myself for that and for the unfairness of life, my tears mixed with the floodwaters as I clung to the roof.

Then a helicopter flew over and dropped me a rope the very same day that I got the news about my job: I saw an ad for a teacher at the child care center at our local university. I submitted my resume, took a deep breath, and hit send. The next day, they called me for an interview. A few days after the interview, they called and asked me if I would like to join their work family, and I did not hesitate; I grabbed that rope and climbed into the helicopter.

As you might imagine, my thankfuls this week are plentiful! 

1. I'm thankful I didn't wave that helicopter on!

2. I haven't interviewed for a job since 1993 when I got my job at Warner Bros. in Burbank, and I am thankful that I didn't muff it up.

3. I am very thankful for the kindness of my references. You know who you are....

4. I am thankful for all the wonderful relationships I made over 18 years at the preschool. The kids I taught there will always be "my" kids.

5. My new job is not teaching pre-kindergarten, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do something different. I am working with the littlest littles at the school - one year olds. One. Year. Olds.

6. I've always said I wanted to be a professional baby holder. Now I am! They need a lot of holds and hugs, and there is nothing sweeter than being greeted by one of my littles with a sweet smile behind upheld arms. My heart!

7. The child care center recently moved to a new location, and the building has lots of windows and is bright and cheery.

8. There are student workers who help throughout the day and who currently know more about my job than I do, and I am VERY grateful for them!

9. I am now an employee of the university, and I get benefits.

10. My job is basically the same hours as my old job, so I am still able to do my afternoon gig at the photo studio.

Change can be good, even when we think it wasn't something we wanted.

Thanks for posting this, Wendy! Your timing was perfect!

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Monday, September 2, 2019

Anticipating Some Thankfuls

I've been in a state of flux for the past month or so, and I'm anticipating stability after this week (finger's crossed, y'all). As a result, I have decided that for this week's Ten Things of Thankful, I'm going to give you a list of ten things for which I am thankful to anticipate in the upcoming weeks: 

1. Cool enough weather to wear flannel shirts. I love flannel shirts.

2. And cool enough weather to sleep with the windows open. Ahhh! The BEST sleep ever! Reminds me of when we lived at the beach in Ventura and had the windows open 24/7 (unless the Santa Ana winds were blowing).

3. My son, the med school student, might, MIGHT get a chance to come home next weekend. This means I have to clean out his room, which has been used as a large closet lately (not by me, I'd like to add), but it will be worth it if I actually get to have him HOME for a couple of days.

4. Going to a Grease sing-along in September with my friend Traci. Yes, we're dorks. Yes, we might even dress up (although Traci doesn't know this yet...).

5. Dad's Day at my daughter's sorority and Parents Weekend are at one and the same time in September. The real scam here is that I get to be part of Dad's Day festivities (which is mostly a brunch at the sorority house), but when Mom's Weekend rolls along in the spring, no dads. So I get TWO yummy brunches 

6. My blog friend Kristi of Thankful Me is going to become my IRL friend Kristi when we get to meet LIVE AND IN PERSON in October. With husbands and everything!

7. A lunch date with my friend Ellen and her granddaughter. It's going to be a hoot!

8. It will be pumpkin pie season soon! I KNOW you can eat it any time of year, but it just tastes better in the fall!

9. Our kittens won't officially be kittens much longer, as they will turn a year old the first of October. I never wrote about how we got them, so that will be a good time to tell the story.

Lewis napping on top of a bookcase.

Finn letting me know that he lost a
toy mouse under the stove
and wants me to fish it out
for the hundredth time.

10. By next week, I will be able to tell you what I've been soul searching and praying about regarding work. I'll just say all's well that ends well!

What are you looking forward to?
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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Here's To Not Getting Stabbed And Other Thankfuls

It's me, your Ten Things of Thankful co-host who has been AWOL for a couple of weeks. I mean well, but I'm having thankful issues right now (still). I know, I KNOW, the best way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to find those silver linings, so dammit, here goes:

I am thankful for:

1. My new favorite podcast, "My Favorite Murder." 

2. My other favorite podcasts, "The Moth" and "This American Life."

3. "The Office" on Netflix. I only caught bits and pieces of the show when it was originally broadcast, so I started watching the entire series from beginning to end, and I'm 2/3 of the way through Season 8 (of 9 seasons).

4. Pudding cups. Portion control when you need a little something sweet, and no, eating two is NOT excessive, because they are really very small....

5. On that note, tapioca pudding. Does anyone else eat tapioca pudding anymore? They should. It's delicious.

6. Cap'n Crunch. Plain. Dry. Bowl optional.

7. Phone calls and texts from my kids.

8. Fresh, clean sheets on the bed. If we had a better chamber maid than we currently do, I would appreciate this to happen every single day. 

9. Cheese.

10. That cats don't have opposable thumbs. Today, Lewis bounded into my room and onto the ottoman and proudly dropped a utility knife next to my feet. He had cobwebs in his whiskers and eyebrows, which means he found the knife in the basement, carried it up two flights of stairs and down two long hallways to get it to me. I'm taking it as a sign that he loves me and wanted to show me his treasure and not that he wants to stab me, but time will tell.

Find the silver linings in your week. 

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

An Electrifying Week Of Thankfuls

Sometimes, thankfuls just write themselves.

We have spent most of the summer staying at my dad's lake house in Branson, which is about 2 hours from our house. My daughter is working there this summer, waiting tables at Big Cedar Lodge, my husband works remotely most of the time anyway, and I only have my photo studio job on Wednesday afternoons in the summer and no school, so it's worked out really well for us. My dad is in and out and our three cats are with us and it has been a delightful summer.

This past Wednesday morning, I drove back home to work at the studio that afternoon. My husband has been driving back home on Wednesdays as well, and we would go back to the lake on Thursdays, but this week, he stayed at the lake house, waiting for the air conditioner repairman.

I got home from work around 7:00 and made a big bowl of buttery popcorn for my supper, took it upstairs to my bedroom, and settled into the recliner to eat my popcorn and watch The Office on Netflix. A band of thunderstorms moved into the area about that time, big ones, with lots of rain and lightning and wind. The storm intensified, and the gap between the lightning and the thunder was narrow. Suddenly, there was a flash and an explosion right around me, and I looked toward the window in time to see sparks showering down: the house had been struck by lightning. 

It was at this point that I discovered that I SUCK in an emergency, because I panicked and began running around like a squirrel while the storm raged on and our security alarm screamed. I slipped on my flip flops, grabbed my laptop and phone, ran to the security system keypad and punched in numbers, only a few of which were actually our code. The alarm company called and I told them what happened and that the alarm wouldn't turn off. I was told a technician would call me (I did finally hit the right buttons and get it turned off). They asked me if the house was on fire, and I said I didn't know but I didn't smell or see smoke. I called my husband to tell him what happened, then I picked up my purse and keys and ran out the front door, stopping immediately when lightning crashed really close. I ran back in the house, then back out again, in then out, in then out, not knowing if I should risk staying inside when the house could be on fire or running to the car where I might be struck by lightning on my way. I eventually took the plunge and ran to the car. The alarm tech called me and patched me through to the fire dispatcher, and a few minutes later, a fire truck pulled up in front of my house.

By this time, the thunderstorm had moved past us and it was only raining lightly. I looked like a crazed, wet squirrel by now. The firefighters walked around the house, noting that the chimney cap was flopped over like it was hinged (it isn't), so it appears that's what took the hit from the lightning, then we went inside. They had a thermal imaging camera to look for fire and what looked like a piece of pvc pipe with some red and blue tape on it that they used to test rooms to see if there was power in the room. There was no electricity in my bedroom, my son's room, the dining room, and the living room, but they were able to restore it at the breaker box, telling me that if there were damage to the wiring, the breakers would not stay on (I was sure hoping they were right!). They went up in my attic to check for fire up there, then proclaimed the house safe. I called the alarm tech back and he arranged to have someone come first thing in the morning. I called my husband and filled him in on everything, and then I sat back in the recliner in my bedroom and tried to get my heart rate back down to normal.

Here are my thankfuls:

1. There was no fire. That's worth a lifetime of thankfuls right there, but I've got more.

2. Ron at Federal Protection. He was completely calm when I was completely freaking out, and I don't know when I would have had enough sense on my own to call the fire department myself without him.

3. The crew from Joplin Fire Department Station #1. They were kind and professional and pretended not to notice the upstairs was a mess.

4. I didn't pee myself when the lightning struck, and the chimney was practically right above my head where I had been sitting when it struck.

5. The cats were at the lake house and not at home with me. They would have freaked and hidden somewhere in the house between the lightning strike and the wailing of the alarm, and I would have freaked out trying to find them. 

6. My neighbors across the street, who came over just as the firefighters were leaving. They had heard the strike but didn't realize it actually hit the house. 

7. My neighbor up the street, who offered to let me stay with her if I needed to.

8. My daddy, who called me not long after everything had settled down, completely coincidentally, as he had no idea what had happened, and when he found out, he offered to drive down if I needed him (he lives an hour away, he's almost 85, and it was dark outside by then). 

9. My facebook friends, who offered sympathy and kind words when I posted what happened, and especially to the one who made me laugh by asking me if I now had superpowers. 

10. Our insurance company, because (small town bonus) the local office is run by people we know, and I just had to tell them what happened and they set the wheels turning to get our claim handled immediately. Now the fun starts of finding everything in the house that got zapped.

How was your week? Was it as electrifying as mine?

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