Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Ultimate Blog Challenge: The Beginning

Sooo...I seem to have inadvertently signed myself up for a 31 day blog challenge that begins today.  Hello, Ultimate Blog Challenge!

In the meantime, my little Welcome to July began when I dropped my bathrobe into the puddle of water that keeps accumulating in the bathtub because the faucet is dripping and won't stop. Why isn't the water just running down the drain, you ask? Because one of my three cats, Nora Pearl, likes to play with bobby pins in said bathtub and has been know to push them down the drain, a fun game that requires surgical precision to remove the bobby pin, so the plug is always kept down; hence, the puddle. Coupled with a bad throw on my part, that equals a wet robe to put on after my shower.

At least it wasn't the toilet.

Happy July!

Oh, and WEAR A MASK WHEN OUT IN PUBLIC!





Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Thumb: A Six Sentence Story


Dolores trudged up the stairs, pausing on the landing to catch her breath before climbing the rest of the way up and continuing down the dingy hallway to her apartment. She thought she heard a slight rustle as the door swung open, and she quickly flipped on the single, dangling lightbulb; seeing nothing amiss, she closed the door and sagged into the only seat in the room other than the single bed in the corner, a tattered chair with stuffing poking out and a spring that had to be negotiated carefully when sitting, and she kicked off her worn shoes.

"Oh, how I wish life were easier," Dolores sighed as she closed her eyes and laid her head back into the too-soft chair, but no sooner had she begun to relax, bone by bone, when a voice, a tiny voice, but one filled with strength, said, "I can grant you that wish."

Dolores's eyes popped open and searched the room, finally landing on a the figure of a mouse, a very small mouse, not any bigger than her thumb, that clambered onto the arm of her chair, and Dolores rubbed her eyes, fixed them on the mouse, and stuttered, "D-d-did you just say something?"

"I can make your life easier," said the little mouse, reaching out a minuscule paw and clutching her finger with its infinitesimal claws.

"Come with me," said the mouse, and, bewildered, Dolores stood up, the weariness leaving her body as she felt the mouse pulling her, and they flew out a narrow crack in the window and disappeared into the night sky.





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


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Simply Thankful

Some weeks, I don't participate in the Ten Things of Thankful (a real loser move, considering I'm a host) because I don't have the energy to come up with a list of thankfuls. The world (especially the US) is so weird and ugly in so many ways right now, and I let that overwhelm me and I. just. can't. I'm going back to basics. Here they are:

Propel Fitness Water packets. Grape, please.




Porch swings.




Lightning bugs.

Aussie Instant Freeze hair gel. No glycerin = frizz-free hair.




Roasted broccoli.

Juicy, ripe watermelon.

BBQ chicken on the grill, the kind where the bbq sauce carmelizes.

Fabric stores (may be a little obsessed with face mask options).

Naps with a cat.

Sitting on the porch swing with a glass of Propel water next to me, broccoli in the oven, watermelon in the fridge, while my husband grills the chicken, waiting for dusk and lightning bugs. Had a little nap with Lewis earlier. Currently mask-free. And my hair is frizz-free....




It's simple. Be thankful.



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Monday, June 8, 2020

Mattresses, Mattresses, Mattresses

I'm late to the hop, but what else is new? I'm just short of having to wish a belated happy 7th to the Ten Things of Thankful. My thankfuls this week are mostly mattress related.




1. I am thankful that my husband and I were able to make a trip to Oklahoma City last weekend to visit our son and his fiance. They are moving into a smaller apartment, so we rented a little U-haul trailer and hauled back a mattress and box springs and a few other items they wouldn't have room for in their new place. 

2. I'm thankful that bringing that mattress home was the catalyst we needed to deploy the Great Mattress Swap that was born when my dad got adjustable beds at both his house and the lake house and no longer needed his queen sized mattress sets. We wanted to put them in our kids' bedrooms, so every bed in our house was queen sized and all took the same size bedding (I'm lazy), but hadn't wanted to do it badly enough to go to the effort to move them. 

3. My husband and I (and we aren't spring chickens, people) moved my son's mattress and box spring into our house, carried my son's old, full size set (plus the heavy wood headboard and footboard, side rails, and slats) down a flight of stairs WITH A TURN IN THEM and loaded them in the U-haul, then delivered them to a friend who wanted them and unloaded all of it into her garage. While we had the U-haul, we picked up the queen mattress and box spring from my dad's house, carried them down a flight of stairs (no turn this time, thank GOD) and into the U-haul and brought them home. If you're keeping score, at this point, I had two mattress and box spring sets in my living room.) We also had to carry one mattress and box spring up those infernal stairs to my son's room. A few days later (and after the U-haul was returned), we carried a wood futon and the queen size futon mattress down the stairs with the turn in them ("Pivot! Pivot!") and stuffed them into the back of our Sequoia, took them to the lake house, unloaded and set up the futon and set up my dad's old mattress in the dorm-style kids' room there, moved a set of twin beds with heavy, antique frames to the basement, and feel no remorse that we still have a mattress and box spring in our living room because we are TOO OLD AND TOO FREAKING TIRED TO CARRY IT UP THE DAMN STAIRS WITH THE DAMN TURN IN THEM. Hopefully, we'll get it done before the weekend.

4. I felt badly that we couldn't help my son and his fiance move into their new apartment, because they wouldn't have access to it until the day after we left, but I'm not going to lie, I'm also a little (a lot) thankful for this, because I'm pretty done playing moving man.

5. Throughout all this, I didn't break a fingernail! 

6. I'm also thankful that my husband and I both agree that we are NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN OURSELVES. We're either living here until we die or will pay someone to move our crap after this.

7. The cats are pretty grateful that we got them each a queen sized bed....

8. I didn't take a single picture when we were in OKC, but I did get the link to Kyle and Lillian's engagement photos, and I'm going to share one of those now:


Photo cred: Payton Marie Photography


9. This has nothing to do with moving mattresses, but I had a TWO HOUR telephone conversation with my good friend and former TToT co-host Christine. We hadn't talked in AGES, and it was delightful to catch up.

10. Most important thankful this week: I'm thankful for Kristi of Thankful Me for taking the helm of the Ten Things of Thankful a few years ago and leading us to what is now our 7th anniversary. It's a big task, and how she fits it in with everything else she does in life, I'll never know. Thank you, cousin Kristi!

Go forth and be thankful!

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Thankful For Found Items

Why did Blogger develop a "new" Blogger  (which I HATE, by the way) and still only offer seven very basic fonts? I would change to Wordpress or something, but I wouldn't even know where to start to do that, and who's to say I would actually like it any better? All I can say is there are enough changes in the world right now, and having Blogger throw their hat in the ring was really not necessary.

I'm NOT thankful for the Blogger changes, but I have other things for which to be thankful, so on with this week's Ten Things of Thankful:

Four day work weeks. I am working Tuesday through Friday this summer, and let me say, I could get used to that.

When your day off is Monday, and Monday is a holiday, then you get Tuesday off, too.

I lost a checkbook this week, and I thought my name was mud, but after frantically searching for it, calling the bank and reporting that it was either lost or stolen out of my car, my husband found it that evening in the outside pocket of my lunchbox. In all honesty, I didn't even realize the lunchbox HAD an outside pocket, so I surely don't remember sticking the checkbook there, although I did check the INSIDE of the lunchbox several times, hoping the checkbook would miraculously appear. What a relief that it was found!

I'm thankful for the poor customer service guy at the bank when I called. I was pretty sure I was going to burst a blood vessel in my brain in my panic over the checkbook being AWOL, and he was very patient with me and even waived the fee to have the checks stopped until I either found the checkbook or someone tried to pass the checks.

On May 22, another anniversary of the Joplin tornado passed (9 years now, although it sometimes seems like yesterday). We haven't had anything more severe than thunderstorms and hail so far this year. It's highly unusual that we haven't had a tornado warning yet this spring, but I'm cool with that.

I'm thankful for barbecue chicken breasts on the grill.

I'm thankful my husband already had the chicken on the grill when a veritable monsoon came through. He hunkered under the deck and managed to stay reasonably dry, the lid was on the grill so the fire didn't go out, and the chicken didn't burn while he was unable to tend to it.

That last one counts as three thankfuls.

Okay, this is really weird, and the takeaway here is that the house isn't haunted, so that's the thankful. My husband and I spent the holiday weekend at the lake house. Not long after we arrived, I went into the laundry room and found a piece of paper lying on top of the washing machine. No one has been here since we left two weeks ago, and I had no recollection of putting a piece of paper there (of course, I didn't remember where I put a checkbook earlier in the week), Then when I unfolded the paper, I saw that it was a charge slip. Remember the kind that was filled out by hand, then the clerk put your credit card in a small machine, laid the slip on top of it, and slid a roller over it to make an imprint of the card on the strip? THAT kind of charge slip. It was signed by me with my maiden name and the phone number I grew up with, and when I looked closer, I saw that it was dated January 8, 1979. The hair on my arms was literally standing up, I was so freaked out. It was my mom's birthday (she passed away almost 4 years ago), and I had about decided she was behind it, just doing something to mess with me, when I remembered that I had found some old jeans and overalls from when I was in high school at my dad's house a couple of weeks ago and had brought them to the lake house to show my daughter and see if she would like them. This credit card slip must have been in the bottom of the old Casual Corner shopping bag that they had been stored in and fallen out when I emptied the bag to wash the clothes. Mystery solved, Scooby! My mother may or may not have been behind it, but she sure would have enjoyed me trying to piece that puzzle together!

Look at the price for that blouse.
Look at the price for that blouse!



Stay home if you can. Wear a mask if you go out. Shop local. Wash your hands. Don't get haunted.

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Well, That Week Went By Quickly

Blink! Week over.

I made a vow when my kids were born that I would never wish their lives away by saying things like "I can't wait until they're old enough to...". And I don't want to wish MY life away, either, by saying things like "I hope this week goes by quickly." But this week went by quickly in spite of that, and now it's time for another edition of Ten Things of Thankful. Here are my thankfuls:

1. My baby nugs started back this week at school! They haven't all returned yet for a number of reasons, including several who don't come during the summer because one or both parents are either college students or teachers, but it was a joyous reunion with the ones who were able to be there! We played and danced and sang. There were tents made out of blankets, dress up fun, rides in the bye bye bus, and a wee little bit of playground time on the two occasions this week that there was a break in the RELENTLESS RAIN. I love my baby nugs so very much! 

2. I am thankful for the actors (especially women) who are appearing on television without benefit of hair stylists and make up artists during the pandemic. They look perfectly normal and I find that perfectly perfect. I wish this trend would never stop. Wouldn't this be a boon for everyone's self esteem? 

3. I'm thankful for John Krasinski's web series "Some Good News" on YouTube. If you haven't caught this series, then do yourself a favor and watch this episode:



I cried, but they were happy tears.

4. I'm thankful that my toilet healed itself. It was shrieking every time it was flushed, and the Google told me it needed a new fill valve. Now, I'm a pretty fair plumber, and it's not difficult to replace this, but we have an over-the-tank shelving unit that would have to be emptied and the shelf moved in order for me to get to the tank and replace it, and it wasn't something I was looking forward to doing. Thank you, toilet fill valve!

5. My daughter has returned to her apartment in Fayetteville after two months at home with us. I am grateful for this time we've had with her, but my heart has a lonely place in it since she left.

6. I'm thankful the Food Network had the brilliant idea of having Amy Schumer and her husband Chris (a chef) do a cooking show together while they are sheltering in place. Check out "Amy Schumer Learns To Cook," unless you aren't an Amy Schumer fan because you think she's raunchy (she is, and that's one of the reasons I love her).

7. I'm thankful that wearing a mask when out means there is no need for make up. 

8. My Easter Sunday coronacut is growing out and looking less, I don't know, desperate? 

9. I am thankful for blister bandaids. I wore a pair of shoes to work on Friday that I really need to get rid of. They rub a blister on my heel every time I wear them. I keep them because I paid more for them than I should have, and I wear them because I kept them. Dumb all the way around. Someone tell me it's okay to forget about the money and give the shoes awayyyyy!

10. I took down my kitchen curtains today while doing ant eradication (long story). Naturally, I didn't think to take a picture of the window with the old curtains in it, but imagine hunter green and white gingham that went all the way to the windowsill, and there was a pair on each window, held back with ties. They were also lined. They matched the kitchen, and I didn't dislike them, but after I pulled them down, I got the bright idea to make new curtains from a pair of vintage, hand embroidered pillowcases, and I think they turned out pretty well. Plus, they make the kitchen about a hundred times brighter!

Lewis doing his part to impede the ironing.


Nora helping me with the sewing....



Tadaaaa!!!

What can you be thankful for today? 


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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Thankfuls From My Coronacation

My coronacation came to an end this past week when I returned to work Monday. Not complaining, just a fact. I had SO MANY PLANS for writing and reading and craft projects and home improvement projects and Dyanne improvement projects over the course of the break, and I. DID. NONE.OF.THEM. 

I did participate in the A to Z Challenge again this year, and that's truly the only accomplishment I made during the 6 weeks I was off work. My bad. Feel free to check out  my A to Z posts. They are not my best work.. Apparently, I write better when I'm juggling work and life than I do when I have all the time in the world.

Now the Prodigal Ten Things of Thankful co-host is back, and here's my corona list of thankfuls:

1. I was very grateful that the child development center where I work shut down when it did. I felt like a cat on a hot tin roof that last week, when cases were popping up all over the US. I literally have small children coughing and sneezing DIRECTLY INTO MY FACE at work, and I am not exaggerating, although I wish I were.

2. My husband, daughter and I have stayed at the lake house throughout this coronacation, and we've had such a nice time! We've cooked big meals, made big messes, and watched many, many shows on various streaming services.

3. My 85 year old dad had a colonoscopy this week (just routine). I wasn't thrilled about him having it done RIGHT NOW, but he wanted to get it over with (it had been rescheduled from March, when I insisted he cancel it right before the hospital canceled all non-emergency procedures). The little community hospital where we were followed all the safety precautions, we were in and out in a couple of hours, and he was pronounced fit as a fiddle. We also enjoyed take-out burgers from the White Grill that we cheerfully waited over half an hour for because they were so busy. Worth it.


Holding all the stuff my dad had in
his pockets (and his mouth, if you look closely).


4. I have cranked out quite a few masks during this time and have taken my time-per-mask from two and a half hours to 20 minutes, not counting the machine acting up or the needle coming unthreaded or a cat grabbing the thread as it leaves the spool.


Finn, the seamstress' helper (not).


5. I raised my baby sour dough starter to an adult, found out making a loaf of sour dough bread is a huge time commitment (and huge pain in the ass) and turned Jane Dough over to my husband, who finds making bread a Zen-like experience. (I do make bread fairly often, but I DON'T find it Zen-like and just want the end product, so I use the bread machine to make my dough and do all the Zen work for me).

6. Further to the Zen (or not) experience of bread making, I used the bread machine to make sweet roll dough that made amazingly tender and delicious cinnamon rolls that I took to work and shared (I was out of milk and had to use cream in the dough and in the frosting, so that might be one of the reasons they were so decadently tender). Meanwhile, my husband has been working for two days on homemade bagels that are currently in the oven and smelling heavenly. We balance each other out.

7. Amazon has not let us down! I feel like singing, "Oh, ho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street" every time a package is delivered. Not sure why I get so excited, since I have only ordered one item (an Asian-featured baby doll to add to my classroom), but I still get excited by a delivery!

8. My daughter has tempted me nearly daily with photos of kittens available for adoption, but I have been able to stand firm. It's not easy, but I've done it.

9. Much cleaning done this week at work to get ready for my little nugs coming back next week, including making sure all the toys are clean and sanitized. It also gave me a chance to organize paperwork and files, clean out cabinets, and power wash the winter grime off the outside equipment (a very rewarding and satisfying job, although I was soaking wet and had a maple tree seed stuck to the lens of my glasses when I was finished). Ready for my babies to come back to me!


We may have collected a few too many binks... 


10. Y'all, I made a new friend during the A to Z Challenge! As we at the TToT know, there ain't nuthin' like a blog friendship, and I'm hoping I am able to entice her to join our hop. If she takes the bait, please give her lots of bloggy love, and Clark, don't scare her 😂 If you're out there, Nancy, please join the party!

There are thankfuls everywhere. What are yours?



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