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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Sunday, August 4, 2019

It's More Important Than Ever To Find Thankfuls

Some weeks are easier than others when it comes to finding thankfuls. My heart is heavy. Too many shootings, too many innocent lives lost. I've also got something weighing on me with regard to my job. But you know what? When life is rough, it's even more important to find thankfuls in your world. 

1. My husband and I took a mini vacay last weekend to Nashville. I am eternally grateful to my person, Terri, who always opens her home to me (and this time, to my husband as well) whenever I want to visit.

2. On our way to Nashville, we had a lovely picnic in a little park I found that overlooks the Mississippi and Ohio River confluence. The weather was delightful and there were no ants. Or bears. 

The Mighty Mississippi behind us, with
a barge obligingly heading down river
for atmosphere.

3. We are not used to driving in city traffic where we live, and I'm okay that I can drive all the way across town in less than 20 minutes even if I hit red lights all the way, but there's also not much to do in a small town, and we had SO MUCH FUN while in Nashville attending a free big band dance at Centennial Park. The music was great, we danced a little and we people-watched a lot. We also ate yummy sammiches that we picked up at Publix. I sure do enjoy going to a big city grocery store!

Hawaiian shaved ice. Like eating a flavored
snowball and sooooo yummy!

My poor husband had to put up with us all weekend.

4. I was really touched when my old friend Larry made a point of joining us for Sunday brunch because he wanted a chance to see me while I was in town. He's a good guy.

5. We ate at pretty much all my favorite restaurants. Party Fowl. San Antonio Taco. Five Points Pizza. Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. My belly was so happy!

When the chef thinks you're 10 because you
don't want your hot chicken to touch your
cream cheese and apple stuffed french toast....

6. We stopped by the Tennessee Titans training camp for about an hour. We would have stayed longer, but it was (1) really hot and (2) not the Chiefs training camp. Really cool to watch the players go through the paces, hoping to make a spot on the team.

Marcus Mariota working with the
running backs.

7. I have mentioned before that I am working on my curls by following the Curly Girl Method (yes, it's a real thing). I am obsessed with products and techniques, and I got confirmation that it is, indeed, working when the 20-something checker at Walmart asked me if my curls were natural, then said they looked really good. Score!

8. I stepped on a fish hook in the kitchen at the lake house. This is a thankful because (a) it didn't embed into my foot like it could have and (b) it was my foot and not a kitty paw.

9. We may not have big band dances where I live, but we DO have Marian Days, an annual pilgrimage for Vietnamese Catholics in a neighboring town that brings in about 100,000 people to the town of 10,000 or so. They have giant food tents where you can get Vietnamese food, most of which I am too picky to eat, but I do love pho. I met my husband there for an early dinner, stopping at the bank first for some cash, which I tucked in my back pocket. We walked onto the festival grounds at Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix and headed straight to our favorite food tent, ordered bowls of pho and spring rolls. When the server brought our food, I reached into my back pocket for my money and...nothing. Empty pocket. I frantically check all my pockets, but no money, so my husband pulled cash out of his hidey hole in his wallet and paid for the meal while I fretted about how I could have lost $43. About halfway through our meal, I suddenly picked up my bowl of pho, and there was my money. I have a vague recollection of pulling it out of my pocket in anticipation of paying the server when she brought our food, then apparently sat my bowl right on the cash without even noticing it. Oopsie! 

My beautiful bowl of pho didn't taste quite as good
as usual when I lost my $43 cash from my pocket....

Well, I'll be! Hiding under my bowl the whole time!

10. Anyone remember the old cabinet I bought an auction and have been wrestling with refinishing? After a few weeks off for hot weather, I am at the painting stage. By this time next week, I hope to have a finished project!

There are decisions to be made. Prayers to be said. But I'm thankful. Always thankful.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pad: A Six Sentence Story

"I'm going to die."
"No, no, you aren't, but tomorrow morning, you're going to wish you could die."
"I've thrown up everything in my stomach and I think the soles of my feet are all that's left to come up."
"Have you learned a lesson from all this?"
"Don't eat take out pad thai before a night of binge drinking?"
"That's right, sweetie, now try to get some sleep."

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wave: A Six Sentence Story

When my mother was around 7, her parents moved from town to the old family farm; it was far enough away from town to be in a different school district, and worse, it was in a district with only a one-room school. As he was going to be starting high school that fall, my uncle would get to live in town with my grandfather's two maiden sisters, and my mother threw such a fit that she was allowed to stay there as well and continue to attend the town school with her friends. My grandparents both died when I was very young, so these great aunts were like grandparents to me and my brother, and we loved visiting them and never wanted to leave (why leave when you were thoroughly spoiled while you were there and never told "no"?). 

Their house had a long, gravel driveway with a strip of grass down the middle, and each time we had to leave, as the car backed out and headed down the road, my great aunts would step onto the driveway and wave to us, and I would turn and look out the car window, waving mournfully back to them until I couldn't see them anymore; occasionally, I would catch a glimpse of them as turned and walked back to the house, and each time I did, it made me painfully sad. 

I now have two kids who are away at school, one in college, one in medical school, and when they leave after a visit home, I follow them outside no matter what the weather, and I stand near the end of the driveway, and I wave to them. And I don't go back into the house until I can't see the car anymore, and I make sure I never turn and walk away until their car is completely out of sight.
My beloved great aunts, Daisy and Edith, ca. 1960

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

Saturday, July 20, 2019

It's Possible To Be Thankful For Hellishly Hot Weather

Ahhh, summer in the midwest: temperatures in the upper 90s with the heat index around 110 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. To make it even better, there has been a pretty strong breeze out of the south (hence, the reason for the humidity and the heat index). You know how that blast of hot air comes out of your oven and into your face when you open the oven door while you're baking something? That's what it feels like to walk outside right now. Don't get me wrong, though; I'm not complaining. I hate, hate, HAAAAAATE to be cold, so I shall devote this week's Ten Things of Thankful to why I'm cool with it being so hot:

Schooooools out for summer! 

My knock-off Yeti cup keeps my drinks reallllly cold, even outside. I filled my cup with ice and Diet Dr Pepper and left it in the car while I met a friend for lunch, returning to it an hour and a half later. It was 98 degrees when I got back in the car, and my drink was still icy cold and delicious!

I'm not cold when I get out of the shower.

I'm never late anywhere because I had to scrape the windshield before I could leave. I'm just late because I sometimes lack time management skills. 

I never leave my jacket anywhere because I don't NEED a jacket.

Cherries are in season and they are yummy.

Sonic has half price shakes after 8 pm in the summer. I never go get one, but knowing the possibility is there is good enough for me.

Flips flops are appropriate footwear everywhere.

Curly hair just gets bigger and curlier. Hello, 1980s!

If you get really, REALLY, hot in the house, you can always lie down on a cool, tile floor for some relief. If you're a cat, that is. If I were in that predicament, I would just go to the mall or a movie, because I have opposing thumbs and can drive and stuff....

Is it hot where you are? Are you thankful for that or are you one of those cold weather people? Either way, be thankful, then write those thankfuls down and join the Ten Things of Thankful hop!

Lewis, Nora and Finn, cooling off in the bathroom.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Escape: A Six Sentence Story

Elevated feet
Sitting in peaceful silence
Cat purring in my lap
A book nearby
Perhaps I will read
Except first, I think I will nap

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

Friday, July 12, 2019

I Said Yes to the Request and Other Thankfuls

"Ohana" means "family." And when a member of your family asks for help, you help. In this case, it's a member of my blog family and, through the miracle of genealogy research, also my cousin: Kristi, the reigning queen of the Ten Things of Thankful. She asked me if I would be interested in co-hosting the hop again. (I was a co-host for several years, starting in 2013.) So here I am, and here are my thankfuls!

Dual uses for objects. To you and me, it's a dishpan. To Lewis, it's a bed.

Lewis curled up and dead asleep in a dishpan.

All the car titles have been located! Three of them were AWOL, and my husband was in a panic, as we are wanting to sell two old, surplus vehicles (minivans, very old, should have sold YEARS ago, but instead, we let them set around and depreciate further, because that's how we roll). Guess who had custody of them? Mmmhmm, my husband. They were in his briefcase. If I had gotten my hands on them sooner, they would have been in a file folder marked "car titles", but where would the fun be in that?

Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yes, it was still in the upper 80s at 9:00 last night when I baked them, and yes, the kitchen heated up pretty good, but come on, homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Mexican food, specifically, really tasty tamales. At one point during the meal, I inhaled a tiny, little crumb of masa and nearly died, but as you can see, I didn't. Double thankful there.

Summer vacation.

The Curly Girl Method is WORKING! My hair is healthier than its ever been (in spite of being dyed) and the curls are POPPIN'!

Taken about a month apart. Hair is actually the same
color in both photos, but the lighting is very different.

I don't care much for reality tv shows, but my husband enjoys them, and from the bits and pieces of episodes I have seen, I can say my life may be pretty dull, but by golly, at least I'm normal!

Podcasts. I listen to them at the gym and while driving long distances. Some of my favorites are This American Life, The Moth, and Snap Judgment. If you have any favorites, drop them in the comments.

Don't make me look like a loser co-host! Link up with me at the TToT! There are really no rules, and if you click on the link below and read the other entries, you will find out that some of us *cough cough Clark cough cough* play very fast and loose with the whole concept of Ten. Trust me.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Burst: A Six Sentence Story

It was as summer as summer could be that Saturday morning, with the temperature hovering near 100 degrees already and it wasn't even noon, but there were errands to be run, and Mitch's wife needed sleep after she was up with the baby for much of the night, so with five year old Alex in tow, Mitch stepped into the hot, steamy west Texas morning and headed to the car.

They stopped at the pharmacy, picked up clothes from the dry cleaners, dropped of packages for shipping, and returned books to the library, and Alex was such a good sport throughout all stops and being unbuckled and rebuckled into his booster seat over and over, that Mitch let him pick out a can of soda from the gas station that he could have all to himself when they got home for lunch, and Alex placed his prize securely in a cupholder in the front seat before climbing back to his booster seat, keeping a watchful eye on the shiny can as they finished their errands.

Their last stop was at their neighbor Sam's house to drop off a baking dish; Sam's wife took the dish into the house after inquiring about the new baby, but Sam remained on the front step, he and Mitch talking about baseball and fishing and the best way to smoke a brisket while Alex amused himself with a pile of rocks next to the driveway, his cheeks red and his head sweaty. While the two men discussed the pros and cons of hickory versus applewood, Alex, hot and bored, got up and peered longingly through the car window at his can of soda, wishing he could drink it up now, when he called excitedly, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, my soda is SO BIG!"

"I'll be right there, buddy," began Mitch, but Alex, jumping up and down, cried, "Hurry, Daddy, it's getting round!" 

The two men exchanged a puzzled glance, then moved towards the driveway and the parked car just in time to witness the burst of hot soda spraying out of the heat-swollen can, spattering the windows and dripping from the ceiling as Alex's face fell and he burst into tears.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Happy 4th and Other Thankfuls

It's hot and muggy in the Ozarks, not unlike probably 3/4 of the country. But shouldn't it be that way for the 4th of July? In 1972, when my family moved to the house I lived in from 7th-12th grade, there was a crazy cold snap on the 4th. We had a 4th of July party at our house (we had a perfect view of a large fireworks display from our backyard), and everyone wore sweatshirts and huddled inside the house around the fireplace most of the night. I could maybe use a day like that about now.

Spending as much time as possible sitting
here, reading, napping, and watching
boats go by.

Moving on. If it isn't one kitten, it's another. Finn is part goat. He hopped and jumped his way on top of the armoire in our bedroom this week. I wasn't thrilled, since he was over 6 feet off the floor, but I thought he would come down the same way he went up (mostly via a recliner that has been sitting awkwardly in our room since March when we replaced it with another chair). I went in the bathroom to work on my hair (Curly Girl Method = many, many minutes working on the hair). My husband was sitting in the replacement recliner, facing the armoire. Over the noise of the hairdryer, I heard a TREMENDOUS crash and ran into the bedroom. My husband was calmly sitting in his chair. 

Me: What happened?!

Him: Oh, Finn fell off the armoire, I guess.

Finn fell. Off the back. Of the armoire. I called his name and got no response. This is a VERY OLD piece of furniture, and over the years, one of the boards that runs vertically along the back of it fell off and just kind of leans back there. It has made a terrific secret entrance to the armoire, where we store our linens, quilts, blankets, etc. (old house, no linen closet), and several of our cats have taken advantage of this over the years and will hide in there and sleep. I opened the door and called Finn's name, and finally his little face peeked up behind the bottom shelf. I reached through the opening and pulled him out. His eyes were black and he was pretty shaken up. He came in the bathroom with me and laid low for an hour or so and licked his shoulder and side, then bounced up and was good as new. I'm thinking he probably hit the board and mostly slid down, but I can't be sure, because I wasn't in the room, and the one who was DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE.

So, Thankful #1 is Finn is fine, although down a life. 

Finn before.

Finn after, protecting the catnip carrot

2. That old chair that has been sitting in my room since March and which allowed Finn to gain access to the top of the armoire? Gone! I had to take it apart and try to drag it downstairs by myself first, but my husband did get up and help me when he saw I wasn't going to quit, and we loaded it in the back of the van and I dropped it off at the Salvation Army. 

3. Finn found a brown recluse spider in the bathroom the evening before his Big Fall. It was under a rug in front of the sink, and it ran into a crack between the vanity and the floor before I could get it (note to self: caulk between the vanity and floor). Finn spent a very happy time trying to coax the spider back out, but to no avail, and he eventually gave up. The next morning, I saw the spider and squashed and disposed of him. I knew Finn was going to be okay after the Big Fall when he stopped licking his shoulder to peer under the edge of the vanity and look for the spider. It will be interesting to see how long he remembers that there was once a spider there and he almost (not) got it....

4. I have had tremendous success with a fruit fly trap in the kitchen at the lake house. I'm on my second trap and have caught close to 20 of the little suckers, and I may have decimated the herd.

5. Our neighbors across the street at the lake house have a 4th of July party at their house. Okay, a 3rd of July party, because the big fireworks display at the Branson Landing is on the 3rd, but my husband, dad and I enjoyed hanging out over there, eating grilled brats and hot dogs and all the side dishes everyone brought, and visiting with neighbors.

6. Everyone from the party came to our house and sat on our dock to watch the fireworks. It was a great show and we had ringside seats without having to deal with the crowds at the Landing.

7. More fireworks on the 4th, this time from Kamp Kanakuk, across the lake. Ringside seats once again with several of our neighbors joining us.

8. Summer food. Grilled burgers and chicken. Watermelon. Brisket on the smoker. Strawberry pie. Fresh green beans and new taters. Corn on the cob. Ahhh!

Strawberry pie with shortbread crust

9. A belated thankful for Kristi, our host and my dear cousin 😜, not only for her hosting duties, but also for the sweet TToT post-it notes that she sent me! 

10. I was today year's old when I found out you can include emojis in a post. Watch out!

Happy summer! Happy thankfuls!

Ten Things of Thankful