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.

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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

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Process: A Six Sentence Story

"This better be worth it," he said to himself as he trudged up the last of five flights of stairs to the tune of a baby's wailing from somewhere down below. He was already out for the tip provided by (and to) the building super and for the box of pizza he carried as he slowly made his way up the last few steps.

The battered door of apartment 502 was directly before him, and he rapped firmly on it, calling out, "Pizza delivery," and slipping to the side as the door opened a crack, revealing a young woman, her edges hard, her eyes wary. He proffered the pizza box, holding it just out of reach, and the crack widened, the woman drawn by the scent of the hot pie and curiosity about why it was there. 

As she reached for the box, he pulled documents out from under it and thrust them into her hands, saying, "Process server, ma'am." 

Her eyes widened, and before he could step away, she snapped, "Process THIS," as she slammed the pizza box hard against his chest, shoving him backwards where there was nothing to catch him but the bottom of the staircase.

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

Sunday, June 30, 2019

I Can't Remember The Day, But I Can Remember To Be Thankful

I had this week's Ten Things of Thankful mostly written on Friday evening. Then I slept and forgot all about it. That's summer for you. I have to have a vague idea of what day it is, since I still work on Wednesdays at the photo studio, but with no school, pfffft, what does it matter what day it is? Ohh, I suppose it matters when you have a weekend blog hop and the weekend is almost over, though, so here's my list:

1. I went blueberry eating this week. I mean, picking. Blueberry picking. It was a beautiful morning, not too hot. The dew was heavy, though, and I had water running down my arms from reaching into the bushes to eat. I mean, pick. (Truth: I stood in front of the bushes and ate blueberries for probably a solid five minutes without putting a single berry in my bucket, and I may have done this more than once.)

2. Mmmm. warm blueberry crisp for dessert.

3. My friend Allison and I met for lunch this week. We always say we're going to do so more often than we do, and we made a pinkie promise that we would actually do it. We also made a big deal out of taking a picture of ourselves on the sidewalk outside the restaurant because we're, like, 13.

4. Water has been leaking from the base of one of the toilets at the lake house; it started as an occasional trickle and progressed to a constant trickle, so I told my dad I thought it was time to pull the toilet and fix it. This is big talk from someone who has never pulled a toilet, by the way, but nearly four hours later, with two trips to the hardware store, three times having to pull the toilet back out to make yet another repair, about 20 trips down to the basement for tools, and three cats offering their assistance at different times, there is no more leak!

5. Lewis's personal plumbing is still working properly.

Lewis is pooped out....

6. Finn ate a squished but not dead brown recluse spider today and seems fine.

Finn, watching the turntable spin
inside the microwave.

7. I used power tools this weekend and didn't get hurt. I power washed the dock and the sailboat in the carport (long story), used the weed eater to whack down some weeds along the lake shore, and used a chainsaw-on-a-stick to saw down some Little Shop of Horrors-style weeds as well. 

8. My dad brought down freshly picked green beans, new potatoes, and corn on the cob (my great aunt always called them "roastin' ears"). I cooked the green beans and taters with plenty of ham juice and pieces of ham, onions, and a dollop of bacon grease, and we ate the corn with lots of butter and what more do you need for a summer meal? Nothing, that's what!

9. My husband and I enjoyed an afternoon in Eureka Springs this week. In all honesty, I enjoyed it more, because it was hot and it's built on a hill and there is a LOT of walking, but we had a fabulous lunch, looked around in little shops, and bought a set of salt & pepper shakers (bakelite replica), snowglobe, and a little ginger jar from a shop selling Polish pottery (I wanted one of everything).

My haul.

10. Great hair days! I'm learning to love my curls by following the Curly Girl Method. It's a work in progress. Stay tuned.

Look at that beaut!

How was your week? Do YOU know what day it is? Be thankful for that!

Ten Things of Thankful

Sunday, June 23, 2019

No One Died And Other Thankfuls

It's a rainy, dreary Sunday. Somewhere out there, folks are in the middle of a drought or wildfires, and if we could send them some of our rain, we would! I am currently at the lake house, watching the creek that runs along the edge of the backyard spill chocolate brown water and debris into the lake. I missed last week's TToT for no good reason other than I was lazy, so this week's list is a mishmash of the past two weeks:

1. Due to lower enrollment trends, among other things, my elementary school in the Kansas City area is being sold by the school district. The district was kind enough to stage an open house on a Saturday afternoon where former students and staff could walk the halls one last time. It was bittersweet. 

2. I got to spend some quality time with three of my childhood friends while I was in Kansas City. The first one, Cherie, is the one from my story about the black eye (read it here), and I have literally known her since birth. The second one, Jan, and I went to elementary, junior high, high school, AND college together. She knows where the bodies are buried. The third one, Dana, and I have been friends since junior high. She also knows where the bodies are buried AND is a great encourager of my writing.

3. My husband came home from his deployment to Little Rock with the Red Cross. He was gone for over 2 weeks, and it's the longest we've been apart since we got married.

4. We have two nearly-nine month old kittens in addition to our almost 3 year old calico, Nora. If you are a fan of the PBS Kids show "Arthur" at all, you will know exactly what I mean when I say Finn and Lewis are the cat version of the Tibble Twins. They are insanely energetic and playful and get into trouble CONSTANTLY. We're talking furniture moved, lamps turned over, curtains pulled down, trouble. 

Last weekend, however, Lewis wasn't being himself (and he is usually the ringleader). He threw up a few times, wasn't as playful, and then, he started to cough. My sweet, beloved Ruby, who we lost 3 years ago, coughed as the first symptom she displayed of what turned out to be cancer, so when Lewis coughed, I was in a panic. I took him to the vet on Tuesday morning, and my vet knew I was terribly worried about him and she knew why. Welllll, long story short, I spent $178 to find out that Lewis was just constipated. Not dying. Constipated.

Lewis at the vet's office

5. We've been spending quite a bit of time at the lake house this summer, cats included, so when Lewis was sick, I took him back to Joplin with me, and my husband and I got to enjoy a couple of days without the other Tibble Twin or Nora, and Mr. Independent became very sweet and cuddly, and he has continued to be so, even after rejoining the rest of the family. Amazing what a good poop will do for one's disposition!

6. I'm trying to strip an old cabinet that I purchased at an auction. It has layers and layers and LAYERS of paint on it, and I have worked with stripper and scraped and scraped and there's still layers of paint stuck to it. My husband pointed out that they use heat guns on Flea Market Flip, so I headed to Harbor Freight to get one. While I was there, a man who was standing in the same aisle, just a couple of feet away from me, bent over and A GUN FELL OUT OF HIS PANTS AND LANDED HARD ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR (I'd like to add that the part where the bullet comes out was pointed towards me; I don't know anything about guns and what the parts are called, but I know when the business end is pointed at me). I was so shocked that I just stood there. The man fumbled around with picking it up, and I decided to get out of the OK Corral before somebody or something got plugged.

Very slow process

Have power tool, will strip furniture

Man with no business carrying a gun

7. The med school boy paid us a visit! He has been studying practically non-stop for several months for a huge exam, after which he and his girlfriend took a week long camping trip. They came by to see us for a couple of days before heading back to school for orientation for rotations, which will start on July 1. It wasn't nearly enough time to have him around, but we got to see him and celebrate his birthday a day early. 

Isn't he handsome? He was in a
friend's wedding earlier this year.

8. At home, I have a small rolling pin from Pampered Chef that I use when I'm making pizza. It's perfect for spreading pizza dough in a pan that is either (a) not completely flat, like a pizza pan or (b) flat but has sides, like a jelly roll pan. At the lake house, I use an empty tomato sauce can with both ends cut out as a makeshift small rolling pin. My dad saw me and decided he'd make me a small rolling pin. He attached it to a small paint roller, and last night, I gave it a try. It worked pretty well, although it helped to ignore the dried paint on the handle of the paint roller, but when I had nearly completed rolling the first pan of dough, I was distracted by the little flecks from the whole wheat flour I used, and WAIT A MINUTE! I DIDN'T USE WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR! Instead, what I had was little bits of sawdust from the homemade wooden roller, and I had firmly pressed them into the dough. Sigh. I picked and picked and got all (I think) of the plainly visible wood chippies and decided to ignore the little bitty ones, finished the pizza, baked it, and served it to my husband and dad. Our conversation after they were partway through their serving:

Me: Remember those old Grape Nuts commercials with Euell Gibbons saying "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible"?

Husband: Why are you asking if I remember that?



Me: Remember, many parts are edible.

Husband: Okay. Wait, what?!

Both of them survived the extra fiber in the pizza.

Worked great in theory....

9. My Person, Terri, got a new job a few months ago, and she asked me to write her bio. She told me she got a lot of compliments about how well it was written, which made me happy. She called me last week and asked me if I would write a script for an award she was presenting at a banquet for work. It was about a five minute speech, and it turned out really well, and I might be just a little proud of it. 

10. Book of Secret Rules states that when you ramble in your first 9 thankfuls, you can call it a day and skip #10.

Be thankful!

Ten Things of Thankful

Monday, June 10, 2019

Six YEARS of Thankfuls!

I've been SO EXCITED for the 6th anniversary of the Ten Things of Thankful, and then I was so incredibly busy this weekend and having oodles of fun that I almost forgot to write my post!

Six years ago, my bloggy (and in real life) friend Christine told me she had been asked to co-host a blog hop and would I PLEEEEEASE write a post and link up. I did, then was asked by Lizzi to join as a co-host a few months later, and now it's 179 thankful posts later, and I'm still here. Let's call that Thankful #1.

2. I can't explain what a close bond we all had as hosts. Lizzie did a great job of choosing the hosts, and occasionally (okay, often), it may have seemed as if the inmates were running the asylum. Video chats. Hijacking each other's comment threads. Elaborate celebrations (cake!). And we did it all from coast to coast and points beyond!

3. In six years of participating in the Ten Things of Thankful, we have watched each other's kids grow up, seen job changes, illnesses, deaths of loved ones, good times, bad times, and everything in between. If you don't think online friendships are legit, you would be sooooo wrong.

4. And were we just friends online? Heck, no! Many of us have met in real life!

With Lizzi and Christine in St. Louis.

With Christine in St. Charles

5. If you're feeling sorry for yourself, maybe had a bad week, sitting down at the computer weekly and finding 10 things you can be thankful for is cathartic. Try it and see!

6. I took a hiatus from writing regularly for a couple of years. My biggest fan, my mom, passed away nearly three years ago, and I lost my heart for writing for awhile. It was this blog hop that brought me back.

7. Hey, not only can you make new friends by participating in the Ten Things of Thankful, you sometimes find long lost relatives, right, Cousin Kristi?!

8. TToT-ers are notorious pet lovers.

9. Oh, if you're in a store and not sure which dress to buy *cough cough Sarah Summerlin cough cough*, you can count on a TToT-er to be available to give you an opinion! 

10. I am endlessly thankful for the fun and love and laughter and tears from everyone (and if I try to list everyone, I'll forget someone, but for starters, Lisa, Zoe, Wendy, Denise, Kristi, the other Kristi, Christine, Lizzi, Sarah) and the shot of testosterone provided by Clark. Long live the Ten Things of Thankful!

And now, for your reading enjoyment, my original TToT post, originally published June 7, 2013:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

My friend Christine @ A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall is the brand, spanking new co-host of a brand, spanking new link up, "10 Things of Thankful," the goal of which is to challenge us to find the joy in each day.  When we think about what we are thankful for, we are probably all guilty of looking mostly at the big picture: family, shelter, employment, food, health. But what about the little picture? What about the every day things that happen that, when you stop to list them, prove that life is pretty good? Here's my list of ten things that happened today* for which I can be thankful:

1. I am thankful that I'm not Rafael Nadal's wife mom housekeeper and have to wash these socks he wore to the French Open.

2. I'm thankful that I didn't backhand my 17 year old son when he went all know-it-all while packing for a one week mission trip to Colorado. And wasn't planning on taking more than one pair of jeans. And hadn't read the checklist of what to take for all the activities they would be doing (and, more importantly, what NOT to take). And wouldn't believe me when I referred to said checklist.

3. I am thankful that I made a trip to Walmart today and did not lose the car in the parking lot. This is an anomaly.

4. I am thankful that my husband agreed to get up with me at 5:30 (as in A.M.) every day this week to work out at the Y, and that he wants to go on Saturday as well. And that he admits I was right that, as trite as it sounds, it gets your metabolism going and gives you energy all day.

5. I am thankful that I am home during the summer and am able to take a nap during the day when that 5:30 workout hits me between the eyes and I can't hold them open any longer.

6. I'm thankful that my husband didn't seriously hurt himself when his socked feet slid out from under him while he was leaning against the sink this evening, eating homemade pizza (which was DELICIOUS - spinach, sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions on whole wheat crust).



7. I'm thankful that he didn't get mad at me when I laughed, even as I was checking to see if he was okay. (It's a family trait that we laugh when someone falls, which is completely inappropriate,  I KNOW.)

8. I am thankful my parents bought too many freshly picked green beans and new potatoes at the old order Mennonite settlement's produce stand and shared them with me. I have a ham bone in the deep freeze that I've been saving for an occasion such as this.

9. I am thankful that Teri Biebel @ Snarkfest and Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 have both favorited comments I made on Twitter, because it makes me feel like I'm all that (and also implies I know what I'm doing on Twitter, which, sadly, I don't).

10. I'm thankful for my sweet friend Christine @ A Fly On Our (Chicken Coop) Wall because she (1) always encourages me, (2) was brave enough to do this link-up, (3) writes posts that always get to me on an emotional level, from raucous laughter to tender tugs at my heart, (4) draws the best pig/elephants I have ever seen.  (I could list about a hundred more, but I don't want her to get all big-headed about it.)

*Okay, I fudged a little. #9 actually happened over the course of about a week or so. So sue me.

Ten Things of Thankful