Sunday, September 18, 2022

I Finds Them Where I Sees Them

Week went fast. Weekend went faster. Here are my Ten Things of Thankful:

1. We celebrated Grandparents Day at school this week. I don't like events. I feel awkward and everyone is looking at me and I want to go home, so my thankful is that it is over for another year! 

2. As if Grandparents Day wasn't enough, we also had to have a booth at a local event called Third Thursday, which is a little street fair held downtown monthly from April through October. That's over now, too, until we are forced to do it again next September.

3. We learned about apples this week at school. I just got a text from a mom who said her son had an apple this weekend and wanted to plant the seeds to grow his own apple tree. It's delightful to see students carry what we talk about at school to home!

4. To add to that, I am thankful when parents text me stories and updates on my students (and former students). I love seeing little snapshots of their lives outside of school!

5. My husband and I picked out our own Christmas gifts this weekend:

6. I'm finding myself thankful for Instagram reels, which I never thought I'd say, since I thought them annoying, but when I can't sleep at night, they sure do help pass the time.

7. Update on the Upstairs Cat: he went downstairs on his own volition today, ate a little kibble, then sauntered back upstairs. He was jumpy while he was down there, and he jumped up like an armadillo no less than five times, but it's still progress.

8. Temps are back in the upper 90s here, but by mid-week, it's going to cool off. Not sweater weather, but not sweating weather, either!

9. I had a migraine yesterday, and I'm not thankful for that, because it was a doozy and my head still hurts this evening, but the thankful is the aura I get as the first sign I have a migraine has changed. I still HAVE one, but instead of a big blind spot (think the dark spot you see when the flash on a camera goes off in your face), I now have a large ring that moves across my field of vision. It's made of cut glass and has prisms with bright colors flashing in it, but at least I still have some vision until it passes (always from left to right, which is interesting). 

10. I'm thankful my son and daughter in law made it safely to and back home from vacation in Bali. Holy smokes, I didn't have a clue how far away that place is! Looks like I need to brush up on my geography!

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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Thankfuls With A Bonus Centerfold Photo

Whoa, the weekend almost got away from me! By the way, September is halfway over this week. Let that wash over you a minute. 

Here are my Ten Things of Thankful for this week:

1. Popcorn that has been popped on the stove. With butter. Note to self: buy more popcorn.

2. Slightly cooler weather. According to the forecast, it's fleeting, but at least for one night, we can sleep with our windows open for the first time since, oh, April.

3. The Upstairs Kitty has been brave enough to go downstairs a couple of times this week. He had to be carried down the stairs and gently deposited in the kitchen, but he didn't freak out, so maybe there's hope he will return to being a full-house kitty.

4. Propel Black Cherry water. Tastes so much like a bing cherry that I want to chew it every time I take a drink.

5. Clean sheets on the bed.

6. I had a lovely visit with my friend and former co-worker Janet.

7. A craving for Mexican food that was satisfied by going out with my husband. I texted him on my way home from work and said I NEEDED it and he didn't question it at all.

8. The many birthday greetings I received last weekend. Social media isn't all bad!

9. The amazing cinnamon rolls I made this morning. Totally worth the 3+ hours it took to make them.

10. Chiefs win their first game of the season! 

Gratuitous photo of Lewis (he is NOT the
upstairs cat) just so you can admire his
mustache, toe fluff and pink toe bean.

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Monday, September 5, 2022

Welcome To 62!

The post I was writing in my head last night when I couldn't sleep was much different than the version that I'm writing now. The other was dour and sad. What is it about the darkness of night that makes our thoughts go to what isn't rather than what is?

Today is my birthday. I've been feeling a little blue about it, not because I'm getting older (okay, a LITTLE bit because I'm getting older), but because I miss my mom the most on my birthday. It's been 6 birthdays since I've gotten a call from her with the running joke about how MISERABLE she was X number of years ago while birthing 10 lb.,1 oz. me. And in my sleeplessness last night, this was playing on a loop in my mind. 

It's daylight now, and the sad has slipped back into the shadows. There is birthday cake and ice cream to eat and calls and birthday wishes on social media and a family Zoom call to come. Pollyanna is back, and here are my Ten Things of Thankful, subtitled On Being 62:

Since my goal is to live to at least 104, I am just now middle aged.

I don't care a whole lot what other people think about me anymore. I'm finally taking the advice I've always given my kids that people really don't give much thought to anyone else but themselves, anyway, so quit worrying about it.

I have learned to avoid arguments by saying "whatever" and walking away.

I have embraced my silver hair for three years now. Does it surprise me sometimes when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror? Yes, yes, it does, but I wouldn't go back to coloring it for anything.

Comfortable shoes are my jam. I am in love with Allbirds sneakers, have probably a dozen pairs in all different colors, and wear them pretty much every day.

I can jump around with my preschoolers at movement time, and I can out-dance them when we have Fun Day Friday dance parties. This week, we danced to "Saturday Night" by the Bay City Rollers, and they were dropping like flies while I kept going, so take that!

I have grown more passionate about causes that I find important and work in whatever way I can, big or small, to promote them.

I'm very into self preservation, as in not hurting myself via falling or lifting. Gets me out of things I don't want to do.

I am not afraid to ask for a senior discount. 

I will never wish my life away, but I do look forward to the future. In spite of those thoughts and worries that creep in on sleepless nights, I have a terrific life that includes my wonderful family and friends and so many things to experience and accomplish in the next 40+ years.

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Sunday, August 28, 2022

Clicking Away At My Thankfuls!

My new leaf flipped over already, but it's early on Sunday, not minutes before midnight, so I guess you could say I'm early-ish for the Ten Things of Thankful!

First and foremost, I am writing this with much more ease than I have in the past, um, two and a half years. My husband got me a new laptop for Christmas 2019, and a couple of months after I got it, the left clicky thing on the mouse pad broke. It still WORKED, but it was loose, and sometimes it slid under the edge of the computer or under the right clicky thing, and I had to scoot it out. I finally told him the other day that it was broken, and he Googled a way to fix it (involving some foam he harvested from the inside of a laptop bag and has been using for fishing hook storage, so if my computer smells like trout, I'll know why). So far, so good!

I got to spend the last two Sundays at in-person church! It always makes my heart happy to be there.

I wore a blue knit dress one of the Sundays, and when I got back to my daughter's apartment, my husband immediately pointed to a place near the neckline and said, "What did you spill on your dress?" Obviously, I didn't know I had spilled ANYTHING on the dress, or I wouldn't have worn it. After closer observation (and I couldn't see it until I took the dress off), it appeared to be where a bit of chocolate ice cream dripped onto it one day after school when I was self-medicating. I know Rev. Shanna noticed it when we were talking before church, but she was kind enough not to stare at it while we spoke (I would have noticed THAT, or at least, I THINK I would have).

A few weeks ago, I woke up to what sounded like a critter running back and forth across our attic floor. A thunderstorm had just passed through, and at first, I thought it was tree limbs scraping the roof, but the more I listened, the more I heard scampering, and I woke my husband up by saying, "There's something alive in our attic." We have not heard it since, and I am hoping this means (a) the critter didn't like our attic or (b) it never was a critter in the first place.

We're a little jumpy, including the cats, but nothing will make you jump more than to get up in the night and see what looks like a skunk in your bedroom, only to have it turn out to be Finn.

All three cats trying to lie where they
can touch me. Finn was the lucky
winner of the lap. 

My husband just brought me my glass of ice tea that I left in the kitchen and as he handed it to me, he said, "Add this toy our list of thankfuls." Here it is.

Oreos. Specifically, double-stuffed Oreos.

Really good hamburgers.

Fun co-workers.

My little nugs at preschool. Sometimes, they are pickles, but most of the time, they are my sweet babies, and regardless, I love them to pieces.

Looking at a caterpillar

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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Birthday Parties Are More Fun Than Moving Parties

I totally missed the Ten Things of Thankful hop last weekend, but the reason why will just lead me right into THIS week's post!

1. My daughter moved from her sketchy apartment building located smack across the street from the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City to an apartment in a house in a quiet, residential area on the west side of the Plaza (aptly known as the West Plaza area). Whew! The OG apartment didn't seem that bad when we moved her in, but it degenerated rapidly, and I'm relieved that she is outta there.

2. After last year's move in, which nearly killed her father and me, we vowed we had retired from being her moving company and she would need to find friends or hire movers next time (you know where this is going, right?). She did hire movers for the large pieces of furniture, but she and I did the rest (my husband managed to skip out on helping by COINCIDENTALLY scheduling a business trip for moving day).  The OG apartment had a flight of (uneven) concrete stairs from the street level just to the front door, then another flight to the second floor, and a hallway that was LITERALLY half a block long before reaching her apartment at the back of the building. 

Turns out THAT was nothing.

The new apartment has 35 steps from the outside door to her third floor, attic apartment door, and they spiral. We huffed and chuffed (okay, I huffed and chuffed) our way up and down them dozens of times over the course of several days, but we got most of her stuff moved. 

I wasn't kidding

If this is your best choice for a
moving crew, you probably 
shouldn't be moving....

3. The movers she hired were amazing. They worked quickly, were friendly and professional, and liked us right up until they arrived at the new apartment with her furniture. . . .

Following the moving truck

4. After having to call in two more guys to help them take apart the futon (one of the movers said he could take it apart but wasn't sure he could get it back together again; hence, the call for assistance that we appreciated), they got the furniture up the stairs and set up in her new place.

Their slogan is spot on

5. My daughter was able to enlist a friend to carry a couple of chairs and a tv table over (using a moving company is an expensive luxury, and she only had them take the furniture items that we absolutely could not do ourselves, and, as it turns out, that they NEARLY couldn't do, either).

6. This weekend, we are bringing the last odds and ends from the old place here and then cleaning up every trace of cat hair from the cat she DID NOT HAVE (cough cough), and we will be done!

7. During all this moving, my daughter was also interviewing for summer internships for next year (yes, you read that correctly - for internships that are AN ENTIRE YEAR AWAY). She had 11 interviews the week before, and she has had several call backs this week (with more scheduled next week, as well as her law school fall semester starting). I'm thankful we (husband in tow this trip) are able to help her out as much as our feeble bodies will allow (excluding furniture, especially that damn futon).

8. I'm thankful for those huge plastic bags from IKEA. They are fantastic for moving! You can shove a lot in one, and they are pretty easy to carry, although 35 spiraling steps pushed the maneuverability of the load. Trader Joe's brown paper grocery bags also get a shout out for being sturdy and easy to carry.

9. Oh, best part of the move is my daughter has an actual parking space in an actual parking area behind her building! No more parking sometimes blocks away and making the trek, day or night, through sometimes questionable circumstances, to get to her apartment. Yay!

10. In other news, we had a little family dinner at my brother's home last weekend to celebrate my Aunt Mary Anne's 90th birthday! I brought my dad up (her "little" brother), and we had a lovely visit with her, her husband (my Uncle Gale), my cousin Cynthia (who moved to Florida a few years ago and who I wish lived closer but I SWEAR I'm going to go visit soon), my brother and sister-in-law, and my daughter. It was such fun, and we heard stories of my dad and aunt growing up that I had never heard before (it's funny how they grew up together but tell such different stories about that!).

Aunt Mary Anne, Cynthia, Emma Kate, me

My dad, Aunt Mary Anne, Uncle Gale

My brother and sister-in-law

I thought my cousin Cynthia was SO COOL
when I was younger (she is much, much older
than me), and I STILL do!

11. Also thanking my Aunt Mary Anne and my dad for passing on the good skin genes that they got from my Grandma Delpha. Underhill genes run strong! My mom always told me growing up that I had my Aunt Mary Anne's skin, and I didn't know what that meant. NOW I do! 

12. Our fall semester started last week at school, and I just finished week two with half my class being "babies" who moved up from the toddler class. They are rocking it, though, and learning how to be "big kids" in preschool! It's going to be a fun year!

I suppose I really owe 20 thankfuls, since I missed last week, but no one wants that, so 12 it is! How was your week? Can you find ten thankfuls from it? It's easier than you think. Give it a try and link up a post with us!

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Thankful And Counting

 I have many anniversaries in my life. There's the anniversary of the time my parents tried to kill me in a canoe accident (a/k/a my 10th birthday). The anniversary of the Joplin tornado. The anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.

But today, it is my wedding anniversary, the 29th one, to be exact. We have weathered a lot of storms along the way, including literal ones. We've dealt with moving across the country, job loss, financial setbacks, illnesses, aging parents. arguments over stupid stuff, and silences over important stuff. And we have also rejoiced in having two amazing children, taking little trips when we can, working in the kitchen together, shopping for bargains, and much, much love and laughter.

So ten things of thankful? Nah, more like 29 years of thankfuls.

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Sunday, July 31, 2022

I'm Conscious That I'm Thankful

I've spent the weekend working on a little project that required a great deal of scrapbooking paper and glue and led to me making a big mess of bits of paper all over my craft room, so I'm late with the Ten Things of Thankful post this weekend (correction: later than usual).

They seemed to think I needed their help.

Things that happened this week for which I am thankful:

I got to go to a conference on Conscious Discipline (and before you ask, no, it's not about being conscious someone needs to be disciplined and don't ask me how I know that) in Kansas City with my director and my grade-level partner. We. Had. Fun.

Got our picture taken with Jill Molli, the
amazing presenter of our Conscious Discipline
conference. I may or may not have asked
if I could touch her gorgeous, bouncy hair.

We picked out toys and other supplies at an educational supply store to take back with us. It's a lot more fun spending someone else's money (in this case, it was from a grant) than your own, and the nugs will enjoy using everything.

Yet again, my amazing Tetris skills came in handy when we had to fit the fruits of our shopping labor into the car, along with our suitcases and snacks and laptops and the stuff we bought at Target the night before.

Packed to the gills.

I enjoyed dinner at Minsky's pizza, which has been my favorite since I was in high school, AND I got to share it with my travel companions. They were suitably impressed, or at least gave a good performance of being so.

Driving back Tuesday night (I was the designated driver for the trip), I am thankful that I didn't hit the two fawns on the shoulder of the interstate that the person riding shotgun and, therefore, in charge of watching for deer, did not warn me about until we were right next to them. I also didn't hit the pedestrian who was wearing camo and walking on the shoulder of the interstate (take a sec and let that sink in), but I'm afraid the bat that swooped down right in front of the windshield did not fare so well....

Nikki, Alyssa, and me as we left KC

My nugs were happy to have me back, and I was happy to be back with them.

Thursday was a ROUGH morning. My class (and this is true for pretty much all children) thrives on routine, but our post-breakfast routine was interrupted when the very first kiddo to transition from table to bathroom let his little firehose get away from him and doused the bathroom floor, and the rest of the kids had to be diverted from potty time straight to play time. Yeah, THAT didn't wind them up at all.... The good news is I didn't have to hide in the bathroom and cry, and within an hour, all was well.

The school is closed this next week, so we can prepare for the fall semester, which starts on August 9 and isn't fall at all. We clean our rooms, wash all the toys, wipe down shelves, and decorate for back to school. There's always excitement in the air when it's back to school time, no matter how old you are. Something about seeing the stores stocked with crayons and glue and notebooks takes you back to your own days of going to Sears for back to school clothes with your mom. Good times.

I hope you find the thankfuls around you, too.

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