Sunday, January 9, 2022

Back To Work We Go!

It was back to school after Christmas break this week, and while I have said it before and will say again that I was born to be a woman of leisure, I do love my job and was glad to get back to a normal schedule, particularly one that didn't include eating every five minutes. How's that for number one of this week's Ten Things of Thankful? I agree! On to number two!

2. Almost all of my little nugs were happy to see me! 

3. I rearranged my classroom, and after much experimentation, I THINK I finally got it where I want it. I need to document this change with photos, but I have to dump about a thousand photos off my camera roll on my phone before I can take any new ones. Someone remind me, k?

4. Another Chiefs win!

5. All* the Christmas stuff is put away for another year.

*okay, with the exception of the candles in the windows, because I like them longer than just for Christmas, and I will put them away by the end of the month, I PROMISE

6.  The freezer part of our refrigerator stopped working, but my husband (Mr. Badwrench) turned dials and got it running again. This was not without two real fruit (important differentiation, as the color is more reddish than purple) grape popsicles (that I don't ever remember buying) melting and creating what looked like a crime scene all over the inside of the freezer door, then dripping and running onto the floor in strangely blood-like pools.

7. Thankful for Mr. Clean magic erasers.

8. I got myself a new heated mattress pad for Christmas, and it's even better than the old one I raved about. Warm feet, baby!

9. We have had some nasty cold weather, along with a little skim of snow, but there wasn't ice first, so it wasn't terribly slippery. Of course, my hope is the NEXT time we get snow (IF there's a next time), it's enough to give us a couple of snow days. Fingers crossed.

10. Good hair days. When you know, you know.

Stay safe, my friends! Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Stay home when you can.

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Sunday, January 2, 2022

Year End Thankful Roundup

2021 has been sucky in many ways, but it wasn't ALL bad, was it? Well, of COURSE not. For this week's Ten Things of Thankful AND to commemorate the last TToT of 2021/first one of 2022, I shall regale you with my top 10 thankfuls for the year:

The availability of a Covid vaccine (mine was Moderna - thanks, Dolly Parton!).

My son and (now) daughter in law matched for their residencies in Little Rock in March and we got to attend the ceremony.

The doctors got married in April. It was a beautiful wedding, we had a terrific time with family, and I gained a daughter!

My college girl was selected to be a Senior of Significance and further honored to be named a Razorback Classic (in the top 20 of the senior class) at the University of Arkansas.

College girl graduated from the Honors College of the University of Arkansas Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism (double major) and a 4.0 GPA while being involved in a sorority and other campus activities, including being secretary of the student government her senior year. She certainly made the most of her four years there!

The doctors graduated from University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. My son is doing his residency in Internal Medicine and my daughter in law is doing hers in Pediatrics. They are settled in Little Rock now, working long and hard, and I'm so very proud of them!

I went from part time teacher to full time early this summer. I really do love my job, and I am so grateful I got to become a full time employee!

The college girl is now a law student at University of Missouri at Kansas City! She has her first big girl apartment, an adopted cat named Calvin, many friends, and is doing well with her studies. 

We enjoyed a lot of weekends at the lake house this year with my dad, with the highlight being the weekend the sailboat was sold.

My last thankful for the year was going to be that our family made it through the year with no one getting Covid, but if you read my post last weekend, you will know that my daughter came home after two weeks of finals not feeling well and tested positive for Covid. Since it was a breakthrough case, she had pretty mild symptoms, so my thankful is that the vaccine did its job protecting her from serious illness and my husband and me from catching it from her.

We at the TToT would love it if you would join us this week and every week for the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop! The link opens just after midnight CST on Fridays and ends just before midnight on Sundays. 

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Friday, December 24, 2021

12 Days Of Christmas, Revisited

Short and sweet, here is my Ten Things of Thankful post for this Christmas Eve.

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

12 kinds of candy

11 loads of laundry

10 trips to Walmart

9 missing ornaments

8 rolls of paper

7 types of cookies

6 throw pillows

5 miles of lights

4 cats under foot

3 Christmas throws

2 kids who can't come

And 1 kid with Covid-19!

Have a merry Christmas!

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Thankful I Finally Made It To The Hop!

Excuse me a moment while I knock some cobwebs off my blog and write a Ten Things of Thankful post after being AWOL....

We celebrated my dad's 87th birthday last weekend. He asked for (and received) caramel popcorn and homemade apple pie and ice cream.

Isn't he adorable?!

There was a tornado warning that same evening. We were fine, but this is the same storm system that wreaked havoc on Mayfield, Kentucky. p.s. If you'd like to help, please consider a donation to the American Red Cross by visiting, calling 1-800-REDCROSS, or texting the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

I'm not COMPLETELY done with Christmas shopping, but I'm darn close.

I fixed the dishwasher today. In fairness, I'm also the one who broke it, but I'm still pretty pleased with myself.

I have friends who know me well and found an incredibly perfect gift for me. 

I didn't set out to collect antique urinals, but I got one at an estate auction for a dollar a couple of years ago, and I started using it as a vase. Then I found a second one at a Salvation Army thrift store for a couple of dollars, so of COURSE it came home with me. Now I'm the proud owner of a full-fledged bed pan.

Porcelain, baby!

The transformation.

Our staff Christmas party was this weekend at my house. We ate a lot, talked a lot, and laughed a lot. What more could you want?

We're getting a Raising Cane's chicken restaurant some time next year. I won't be so thankful when I gain 50 pounds from eating it, but the thought of being able to get it any time I want is delightful!

Speaking of food, I am thankful for an occasional peppermint ice cream cone from Braum's during the holiday season (for the record, I have only had one so far this year, but I think that's about to change).

I haven't mentioned my heated mattress pad in awhile, so here's a thankful for it and the delicious warmth it brings. 

Two day work week coming up this week. Woot!

Next weekend, we will have the link open for the Ten Things of Thankful, but don't worry if you miss it! Come back December 31-January 3 and give us a year wrap up! Hope to see you then!

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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Big, Small, And In Between, But Mostly Small Thankfuls

Lord Almighty, but it was hard to go back to work this week after the long Thanksgiving break! I rolled in late to work every single day this week (and by late, I don't mean LATE; I mean five minutes or so). But in a flash, it became the weekend again, and here are my Ten Things of Thankful for the week:

We left three cats home alone when we went to Kansas City for Thanksgiving weekend, and we returned to three cats still alive, so I'd say that's a thankful. Lewis is kind of an asshole when we ARE home, so without us to run interference when he's harassing Nora, we weren't sure how they'd do.

I cut my hair again. Like, really cut it. Close to 6 inches off the back. And it's mostly even, although with curly hair, who would know? I like it, except that it made it so curly that I feel as though I look like a cross between a poodle and one of the blue haired ladies from church who gets a perm and a weekly 'do.

We had unseasonably warm weather this week and oodles of fall leaves on the ground, and that equaled loads of fun for my littles on the playground. 

On-line shopping. 

The lullaby channel on Pandora. Works like a charm (usually) when I can't sleep at night.

Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes.

Finding money in a pocket.

Community theater productions.

Flannel shirts.

Twelve more days of school until Christmas vacation! 

Hope you're thankful for big things and small things and in-between things.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021

The One Where I Finally See Lights Turn On

Ten Things of Thankful, here I come!

We pre-gamed Thanksgiving last weekend at the lake house, cooking a small turkey we had in the freezer and having dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy with it. My son was able to drive up and join us, for which I am extra thankful (his wife was on call for the weekend and couldn't come with him, so that was a bummer), and my daughter's friend Kirstin was also there (surprise visit that she and I had planned weeks ago), and it was a lovely time.

You've got to be thankful for a two-day work week! I made pumpkin pie with my littles both days, and we took some mini pumpkins and dried corn out to the woods so the deer and squirrels and other critters could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, too.

No one threw up this year at Thanksgiving. This is BIG, because the last time we all got together (pre-Covid), every. single. person. EXCEPT me got the stomach flu. 

I'm thankful my brother is a terrific cook. We had a wonderful time with him and his wife and daughter Amy, ate entirely too much, and this bears repeating, NO ONE THREW UP.

My daughter's car got a flat tire while we were staying with her, which was fortunate (that we were staying with her, NOT that she got a flat tire), because we were able to get AAA there to put on the spare and then get the tire fixed within a few hours.

We live in the land of Walmart, and that's where we're used to turning when we have a problem like a flat tire while out of town. Funny thing, there aren't Walmarts conveniently located when you're in a city, and the tire repair places were closed because of Thanksgiving, so we are now the proud owners of a membership to Costco, which is only a couple of miles from my daughter's apartment. We did get small town treatment from the tire department when they squeezed us in, even though the were booked all day, and we are all grateful for that!

I did a little Black Friday shopping on the Plaza and ran into friends from home whom I hadn't seen in two years. It was delightful to see you, Vanessa, Carmi, and Laney! Hope you enjoyed the shopping and the cheesecake!

I saved my biggest thankful for last:

The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City opened in 1923 and was the first planned shopping district in the country. It was also built to accommodate shoppers arriving by car. The architecture is based on that of the city of Seville, Spain, and it's known for upscale stores and restaurants. In 1925, several merchants decided to put up colored lights to celebrate Christmas. By 1930, the lights had increased so much that they decided to hold a lighting ceremony, and now, tens of thousands of people attend the ceremony every Thanksgiving.

I grew up in Kansas City, and every Christmas, we drove down to the Plaza to see the lights, but I never, ever got to attend a lighting ceremony. In fairness, we spent many Thanksgivings out of town, but even when we weren't, we never made it down there for a number of reasons, mainly, that it was too cold and too crowded. Trips were attempted and aborted midway when traffic jams made it impossible to get there before the switch was flipped. I moved away from Kansas City when I went to college, and my parents moved away a year later, and while I would go see the lights every few years, I was never able to go to a lighting ceremony.

A few years ago, my brother and his family moved back to Kansas City, but once again, cold weather, traffic, crowds, and A BUNCH OF PARTY POOPERS IN MY FAMILY kept me from going to a lighting ceremony. I had to be content with watching it on tv (and I KNOW there are more spectacular Christmas lights in other places, but this is a Kansas City thing and a Big Deal if you're from there). Fast forward to this year, and my daughter is living a block away from the Plaza. THIS WAS FINALLY GOING TO HAPPEN FOR ME.

My daughter agreed to go with me, and we bundled up Thursday evening before walking down to the lighting ceremony. My husband decided at the last minute to go with us, and we headed down into the throngs. I didn't care about the ceremony itself, which included singers and dancers; I just wanted to be there when they flipped the switch and the lights magically came on. 

And it happened. 61 years in the making, and I was finally there!

I hope your Thanksgiving was magical, too. The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop link is open and ready for you to join! Please do!


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Sunday, November 14, 2021

As God Is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

This week's weather report ranged from warm and humid days with severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings (not for us but in the vicinity) to cold and breezy days, rain, sun, clouds, and snow flurries. Snow. Flurries. Not ready for that. I AM ready for this week's Ten Things of Thankful, though:

1. There's a long, dull explanation for the why of the following, but the Reader's Digest condensed version is that our child development center classrooms get yearly assessments provided by the state that are used to help improve the quality of childcare, and that includes periodic visits from "coaches" who visit our classrooms every few months and provide feedback. Let me say first and foremost that my coach is wonderful and gives me terrific support, but it still raises my anxiety level to have someone evaluating me and my classroom. 

My coach was supposed visit me on Monday of this past week, so I spent the Friday afternoon before, with MUCH help from one of my student workers (thank you, Baylee!) making 3D turkeys with my little nugs to hang from the ceiling of the classroom, as hanging 3D art is a must-have for the yearly assessment (and considered a "fireball" by the fire marshall, but that's a story for another day). I hung them up Sunday afternoon in preparation for my coach's visit, then I stood back and looked at them and laughed until I cried. Instead of cute turkeys hanging from the ceiling, it looked like a processing room at the Butterball plant.

My husband called my room a "Thanksgiving haunted house."

And I love it.

2. Unfortunately, my coach was not feeling well on Monday and didn't come for the visit, but she is not seriously ill and will be coming to visit my poultry processing factory, I mean, my classroom soon.

3. My daughter and I both received a letter from her former apartment complex notifying us we had been turned over to collection for an outstanding balance of $175 that turned out to be an error. I mean, WE knew we didn't owe money, but it's not always easy to convince the other party of that.

4. My daughter gets a big thankful for taking care of the above sitch. 

5. I gave myself a little haircut this week. I was wanting some more layers, so I tried something called a unicorn cut for curly hair. After watching a couple of YouTube videos, I unicorned myself. Bad news is I gave myself bangs, which I did not intend to happen, but the good news is, after living with them for a couple of days, I don't hate them anymore.

6. I donated blood this week for the American Red Cross. I usually do the Power Red donation, but their machinery was down, so I made a normal donation. The phlebotomist who took my blood was excellent, I was in and out in twenty minutes, and if you are healthy, you should consider being a blood donor, too. 

7. My husband and I went out for Mexican food this week. Twice.

8. It's pretty amazing that we can order something online and have it delivered in a day or two to our home, and while it can be frustrating when our deliveries are late, spoiled as we are with overnight shipping, it is even MORE frustrating when a delivery is early and comes when you are out of town (again, first world problem, but still a problem). My husband had three packages delivered two days before they were supposed to be, putting them square on our front step where anyone could see them. Enter my friend and co-worker Robin! She went out of her way to go by my house and pick them up and hold them until I see her at school on Monday. Yes, I bribed her with caramel popcorn, but she's the kind of person who would have done it WITHOUT the bribe, and I hope all of you have a Robin in your life!

9. I FINALLY completed a (what seemed like 100 but in reality was more like 9) session training on Conscious Disclipline that began in September, with each session being 2-3 hours long. On Zoom. I signed up for it originally because it meant a 3-day trip out of town with several fun people from work, but, cruelly, it was converted to a virtual training that, while interesting and valuable, seemed truly endless. I shall take a STAR breath now and move on....

10.Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming!

Be ever thankful. 

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