Sunday, June 26, 2022

It's A Ten

Ten Things of Thankful, without any ado:

I'm thankful for sweet notes from parents.

I'm also thankful for the love and support of friends, old and new.

I'm thankful for my son, who celebrated his 27th birthday and the end of his first year of medical residency this week.

I'm thankful for my daughter, who doesn't mince words.

I'm thankful for my husband who knows me so well.

I'm thankful for Rev. Shanna's message today that helped soothe the ugliness of the week.

I'm thankful for cool, calming water on a hot day.

I'm thankful for air conditioner repair people.

I'm thankful for the simplicity and comfort of a bowl of vanilla ice cream drizzled with Hershey's syrup.

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Wild Thankfuls

The heat and humidity was dreadful this week, and it took a toll on me Wednesday. By the time I came home from school, I just wanted to rest my tired self, which I planned to do as soon as I fed the cats their supper.

Nora loves me with all her heart and always meets me at the door whenever I come home with the same amount of exuberance whether I've been gone for a week or for the fifteen seconds it takes to put trash in the garbage can. Lewis comes running right behind her, not because of any great love for me but because I can operate a can opener. Timid, anxiety-riddled Finn always hangs back, sometimes not showing up for a meal until the other two have nearly finished their food. But when I came home Wednesday, Finn was in the living room (not unusual), but he wouldn't come in the kitchen, even when I tempted him with treats. When he finally did slink in the room, he was skittish and nervous and scampered back out without eating. It was odd, even for him, and I worried that he was having kidney problems again (he is on a prescription cat food for urinary tract issues).

I went upstairs and settled into my big comfy chair, where I promptly fell asleep, and I spent the rest of the evening dozing (okay, sleeping quite soundly) while my husband went in and out of the room as he did a couple of loads of laundry (he who now works from home gets laundry duty). I would open my eyes occasionally, look at the clock and think I should just go to bed, and then fall asleep again. I was aware that my husband would walk in and out of the room (old house, squeaky hardwood floors), so when he came in and stood in front of me and said, "I need you to wake up," I figured he was going to tell me to get up and go to bed.

"There's something I need to tell you. I don't want to tell you but I need to tell you," he said.

I opened my eyes and tried to focus on him, then began to panic that he had found Finn and was afraid to tell me Finn was, indeed, very sick.

"There's a possum in the basement."

That woke me up.

"Put on your shoes. I need your help."

I jumped up and followed him down the two flights of stairs to the basement, while he told me it was a baby possum, and he walked in the basement and saw it walking on the dryer vent. He started moving laundry baskets and things around the washer and dryer while I did a panicky little dance, and a moment later, a little possum popped out from under the stairs. 

I screamed. The possum scooted back under the stairs. My husband said, "Why didn't you stop him?"

"WITH WHAT?" I asked, then sent a message on my work group message to see if anyone had a live trap I could borrow, and I got two offers to send husbands over to help catch it and many requests for video of the whole nightmare. 

Back downstairs in time to see my husband with a broom and dustpan as he crashed into shelves as items on them fell to the floor, tipped over a drying rack, and knocked two trash cans over, I about-faced and ran back up the stairs, grabbing Nora first, who had come down to see what was going on, and closed the door behind me.

I could hear the scuffle continuing from the basement, punctuated with crashes and much swearing, then a triumphant, "I caught it!"

Huffing and puffing, my husband came through the basement door, holding the little possum by the tail. He ran out the front door and tossed it out in the yard.

It all happened too fast to get any video.

There are many questions that beg to be answered. How did the little fucker get in there? How long had he been in my basement? Did Finn have a close encounter with him, thereby sending his kitty anxiety level through the roof? Where are his possum mommy and siblings? 


The dryer vent duct had come loose from the back of the clothes dryer some time ago, and there is a strong possibility the possum came in the vent outside, slid down the rigid vent duct, and popped out at the base of the dryer. I went to the hardware store the next day, bought some flexible duct, and fixed it, plus I cleaned the old lint from the outside vent, so hopefully, the little trap door can't be accessed quite as easily.

Finn has finally calmed down. It took him four days, and he's still a little jumpy, but that's not out of the ordinary.

How is this my Ten Things of Thankful? 

1. My husband was the one who found the possum.
2. No one got bitten.
3. Possums don't carry rabies anyway.
4. He didn't get stuck in the vent and we find him after he was dead.
5. My friends got a lot of joy out of the whole episode.
6. It forced me to clean the laundry area of the basement.
7. I didn't find anything that appeared to be possum poop, so he must not have been there very long.
8. Finn is not having kidney problems that I can tell, although he was afraid to go to the litter box for two days.
9. It wasn't a snake.
10. It's funny now that it's all over.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Your Everlasting Summer, You Can See It Fading Fast....

What a great week! Yes, it's been hot. Hot. HOT. Humid. SOOOOOO humid. 70% humidity and 90 degrees. It's like walking through chest-deep water, and your clothes are clammy and your hair is all drippy around your face and a trickle of sweat runs down your back and into your underpants and you drink and drink and drink but you hardly ever pee, because all of the liquid in your body is oozing out of your pores and never makes it to your bladder. 

Sounds like a great week, huh?

Well. It was. Here's how:

1. It was "move up" week for some of my preschoolers, when four of my nugs moved up to Pre-k and four babies moved up from Toddlers to my preschool room. It's bittersweet, but I can stop in and visit my big pre-k nugs any time, since they are just down the hall, and it's fun to see how quickly the new nugs go from baby to preschooler once they are in a bigger kid classroom.

2. I'm thankful for severe weather forecasts that did not come to fruition.

3. Air conditioning. I'm quite thankful for that.

4. Several weeks ago, my friend Becky (we met in MOMS Club when our kids were toddlers AND I had both of her kids when I taught pre-k) posted on Facebook that she had tickets to Steely Dan that she was not going to be able to use and were free to anyone who wanted them. Guess where my husband and I went Friday night?  I am sorry Becky couldn't use her tickets (which she bought two years ago and had been hanging onto after Covid caused it to be postponed), but I'm really, REALLY thankful that I saw her post! 

5. We had never been to the Walmart AMP before, only driving by it on our way to Fayetteville, but it's a really nice venue. Parking was plentiful and FREE, and as we were walking down the sidewalk in the direction of the amphitheater, we ran into our friends Kristie and Steve, who are not only from Joplin but who live a couple of blocks away from us. We even used to live on the same street, and Kristie and I worked together many years ago, and we had a great visit before the concert. I love small world encounters!

Strict rules about taking photos at the event
(or, rather, NOT taking them) per Steely Dan,
so rule follower that I am, we took this before
we went through the gates.

6. I learned about boozy milkshakes at the AMP, specifically, hot fudge and bourbon milkshakes.... 

7. After getting home late from Steely Dan (which was excellent, by the way), we got up early Saturday morning and drove to Kansas City. First thing on the agenda was attending the KC Pride parade. What a joyful event! I couldn't even complain about being hot, because there were drag queens in full make up and wearing outrageous shoes marching down the street.


8. After the parade, we changed gears completely, and my daughter and I met my lifelong (as in since we were about 3 years old) friend Teresa at March For Our Lives. We also attended the first March For Our Lives together back in 2016, and as Teresa put it, it would be nice if we didn't have to keep rallying for gun law reform. May the horror at Uvalde elementary school be the last of its kind and we can be free of gun violence. May it be so.

We were positively melting.

9. Saturday evening, my husband and daughter declared themselves done with the great outdoors, but I took a leisurely walk down to the Country Club Plaza to buy a KC Pride t-shirt and people watch.

This sculpture used to be a fountain
and water trickled out of its nose. It
was located in front of Steve's Shoes,
where we went for my corrective
saddle oxfords....

The Hare Krishnas were
having a good time

In front of the fountain formerly known
as the JC Nichols fountain. He designed
the Country Club Plaza but was a horrible
racist and it took about a hundred years
for anyone to do anything about it.

10. Always on my thankful list is attending church in person at Community Christian Church, It always gives me comfort.

I hope you had a terrific week, too. because you deserve it!

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Sunday, June 5, 2022

Kidneys and Churros and Other Thankfuls

 I really, REALLY love my summer 4-day work week, but since I have Mondays off, then Sundays don't feel like Sundays and I forget that Sunday is Sunday and I need to write a TToT post. That will lead me to my first of this week's Ten Things of Thankful!

1. The famous Clark of The Wakefield Doctrine posted on the TToT facebook page and said he couldn't get the link to work, which prompted me to think OH DEAR GOD, I ALMOST MISSED MY OWN HOP AGAIN. I also linked him up, so you can read his entry, posted below.

2. Last weekend, my daughter and I visited one of my favorite thrift stores and I came across these two mugs:

I have no explanation for the missing eyes

This is how I knew it was a kidney....

I didn't buy them at the time, but after thinking about them all weekend, I went back and got them. Bonus thankful is they were half price on Tuesday, so I paid a big one dollar for both. I have since learned they were given away by drug reps back in the late 90s-ish and also included a liver, muscle, pancreas, and stomach. Guess we all know what I am going to be on the hunt for!

3. Because Monday was a holiday, I got Tuesday off as well, giving me a three day work week. Pretty sweet!

4. My assistant teacher's last day was Friday. I am not thankful for this, because she was amazing, but I am grateful for the time I had with her in class. I knew my nugs were in good hands when I was gone. She's going to deliver Baby Paul in a few weeks, and he's going to get a wonderful mama!

5. Blueberry season is almost upon us.

6. The Andy Griffith Show. 

7. Hershey kisses. Nice when you need just a little something sweet (also nice to mindlessly eat half a bag just because you can).

8. One of my friends and (co-workers) Emily got married last night. It was such a happy, beautiful wedding! Congratulations, Emily and Jacob!

With my friends Nikki and Robin before the
ceremony. There was a pretty waterfall
behind us, but my arms weren't long enough
to capture it in the photo

Did I also mention that we had a lot of
fun? Emily thought of EVERYTHIING and
had a table set up for kids with activities that
maybe included glow sticks....

With some of my co-workers (can you see how
pretty it is?). Photo cred to K.Nine!

9. There was a churro truck at the reception, so besides the delicious assortment of Mexican food that was served, you could get a big bowl of churros topped with ice cream and fruit and stuff. Oh. My. Word.

Chopped churros, cookies and cream ice cream,
strawberries, condensed milk drizzle

10. And more ice cream tonight! (Ice cream is one of my favorite food groups, along with the pizza food group and the doughnut food group). My neighbor is hosting an ice cream social for our block. We are bad about keeping to ourselves, especially since Covid, so it will be nice to meet all the neighbors on our street. I'm grateful Jane caught us in the driveway after coming home from the lake last weekend, or we might not have committed to attending!

Although it's usually entirely too late for anyone to link up with us by the time I finally get around to it, t's not too late THIS week! You've got until midnight CDT. Get writing!

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Sunday, May 29, 2022

I Made It!

I totally missed last week's Ten Things of Thankful because I was on a mini vacay to Nashville, and in light of the heart wrenching shooting in Uvalde, Texas, I didn't think I could write anything positive with so much negative in our midst. Then I realized that's exactly why we have the TToT in the first place. There is always something for which to be thankful. Here is my list:

Due to Covid, it had been almost three years since I was able to go to Nashville and spend time with my Person, Terri, but I finally got to go week before last.

I'm thankful for the vaccines and boosters that have helped bring down the number of infected individuals. May we continue to see the numbers decrease.

Terri and I had lunch with our dear friend Larry. He was two days post-op from hernia surgery and rallied enough to meet us for an hour or so. 

There have been so many changes to Nashville since I lived there, one of them being the house I lived in was torn down so a high rise condo could be built, and I did cry when I saw it, but other places have remained the same, namely, my favorite place to eat, San Antonio Taco Company.

Terri and I talked and laughed and ate and it filled my friendship cup to overflowing.

I got to hit my very first golf ball! I am not a natural (and if you watch the video, below, you will see that for yourself), but I had SO MUCH FUN at Top Golf and am thankful I happened to be in Nashville at the right time to participate in this event.

It was hard to say goodbye and leave, especially now that we know things like pandemics can come along and throw a wrench in any and all plans, so to make myself feel better, I stopped at one of my favorite spots along the way, the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

My little nugs missed me when I was gone, and I missed them.

Pre-K graduation was Thursday night. It had been rescheduled to that day due to (what else?) Covid, I went home to change clothes and feed the cats and otherwise piddle around the house before driving back to the campus for the program. When I walked in the door a few minutes before 6:00 for the 6:30 ceremony, the only person I saw was my friend Julie. Imagine my surprise when I realized no one else was in the lobby because they were all seated inside the auditorium for the graduation that was to begin in two minutes. Guess I should read my emails a little more carefully, but I didn't miss the program, so all's well that ends well.

My husband, daughter and I are enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day weekend at the lake house with four cats and no air conditioning.

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Sunday, May 15, 2022

When Unthankfuls Turn Into Thankfuls

My "puter is being persnickety. It's only two years old, but it acts as though a band of wild monkeys has been jabbing at the keys. TAME monkeys would never do that.... 

So, this week's Ten Things of Thankful are a little, well, odd, because they come from not-so-thankful events

First, there was the Covid exposure. That's not a thankful in itself, but it was the cause of some thankfuls:

--I had to quarantine for two days and miss work. I love my job, but missing work when you feel fine isn't exactly horrible.

--I have said it before and I will say it again: I hate, hate, HAAAAATE yard work of any kind, but I did a little in spite of it, and I was semi-pleased with the results.

--In my feeble attempt to do yard work, I discovered, to my pleasure, that our ginormous, overgrown holly bush with the thorns on every point of every single leaf is 90% dead, so I have a legit reason to cut it down.

--I am a weakling, plus I lack the correct tools to completely cut the holly bush down, but I made a pretty good dent in it, and I'm hoping to whittle away at it over the course of the summer. I'll figure out what to do when I get to the trunky part when I get there.

--I planted a couple of geraniums in two pots on either side of my front door, and they have lived for five days now. It's a good start.

--Covid test was negative!

A dear, dear family friend passed away this past winter. He was a second father to me growing up, as our families lived next door to each other from before I was born until I was 11. A Covid surge prevented the family from having a public memorial service for him, so it was postponed until this weekend. Funerals aren't usually on a thankful list, but this one is an exception:

--The last time I saw some of the people who attended this memorial service was at the one for my mom, six years ago (another bittersweet time). It's a shame that we sometimes don't see people we love except at funerals, but at least we DO get to be together then, and that's what makes losing a loved one a little more bearable.

--My very best friend growing up was Cherie (it was her dad who passed away). We were built-in best friends, since we were next door neighbors and our moms were best friends. Her sister and brothers were mine, and my brother, hers. Cherie and I shared our siblings, clothes, toys, parents, and memories, and seeing her made my heart happier than its been in a long time.

Wish I had gotten a better photo of us. Next time!

--My mom and Cherie's mom Earline had coffee together several times a week. There were two more coffee buddies on the block: Betty and Hazel. Guess who came to the memorial service Saturday? Both of them, along with Hazel's daughter. Another happy surge for my heart! 

--Of course, I got to visit with Earline, as well as Cherie's sister Lindy, who used to protect us by letting us snuggle up against her when we watched "Dark Shadows" on tv, her younger brother Craig, who we used to wake up from his naps just so we could play with him (sorry, Craig, if you have sleep issues to this day), and her older brother Doug, who owes me about a thousand dollars for unpaid back scratches from when we were kids and he promised us a quarter to scratch his back and NEVER PAID UP. It was so much fun!

--I got a surprise from Cherie's husband David, who I've known since junior high. He told me he was a huge fan of my blog and loved my writing. It may sound silly, but that comment meant the world to me. I have always written primarily for myself, starting my blog by documenting my breast cancer journey, and finding out that someone truly enjoys my storytelling is nothing short of delightful. Thank you, David!

--My dad and I stayed with my brother and sister in law all weekend. I always appreciate them letting me use their home as an airbnb, especially because the bed in the guest room is exceedingly comfortable and my brother cooks for us.

--I spenet some time with my daughter, who is recovering from two weeks of law school finals, and we attended the Bans Off Our Bodies rally.

Rally at Mill Creek Park

There you have it: thankfuls that could just have been unthankfuls! It's all in how you look at things.

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Sunday, May 8, 2022

Springy Spring

This is a week where I thought we might need to build an ark. Like 8 inches of rain or so in a week's time. Creeks and rivers out of their banks. Roads closed. Stupid people driving through water on a closed road and needing rescue. You know, normal life in the Ozarks. 

Today, though, the sun is shining. SHINING! I'm sitting on the couch at the lake house, and the morning sun is streaming in through the window with such intensity that I risk getting a migraine from it, but I hate to close the blinds to it. I WILL close them, because I hate migraines more than I hate blocking the sun, but you get the point.

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful for the week:

1. If our roof leaked through all this rain, it didn't do it enough to make it into the inner sanctum.

2. Basement stayed dry, too.

3. No severe weather - whew!

4. The number of ants in my kitchen has declined slightly. Not sure if this is the beginning of the end or if they are regrouping for another attack.

5. I upped my brownie game again. Forget the Hershey's Symphony bar inside the brownies, for I found a gigantic Heath bar that is wayyyyyy better tucked under the batter!

6. My friends Nikki and Julie have joined me at the lake house this weekend. We are doing a lot of eating and talking and laughing.

This is an indication of how much rain we've had. 
Seven of ten flood gates open. Lake levels 
rising. Makes a pretty pic, though!

7. My dad and husband are also at the lake house and are very patiently putting up with us.

8. My hair is finally long enough to put in a messy bun/ponytail and not look like a fluffy little knob on top of my head.

9. I have determined that I should leave the cutting of my hair to a professional. We'll see how long I adhere to that.

10. My body, my choice, and I will fight to continue that as long as I need to.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and like-a-moms out there! 

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