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

Monday, June 3, 2019

Interesting Finds And Other Thankfuls

Here I am, late to the thankful party again, but here's the list:

1. My daughter went on her first plane ride this week and lived to tell about it. She drove to Florida with a close friend whose parents moved down this year, stayed for a week, then flew back. She flew Allegiant Airlines, where every. single. thing. is billed separately, including paying extra for a window seat for her, then finding out she took a Dramamine before the flight and slept the entire way AND NEVER LOOKED OUT THE DAMN WINDOW. At least she didn't panic or throw up, so there's that.

2. More storms this week, although none severe enough to spawn tornadoes.

3. The flooding is just dreadful in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It's hard to find thankfuls at times like this, but they are there, in the volunteers and the agencies who turn out to help in droves. 

4. My husband has been deployed to Little Rock to lead the fundraising team there for the Red Cross. He's very good at what he does, and while I miss having him home, I know he's doing a lot to help disaster victims.

5. My daughter and I watched the first season of "Dead To Me" this week on Netflix, and you should do the same. Christina Applegate is amazing! Netflix is so fun!

6. I spent the weekend with my dad. It's auction season, and we hit one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Saturday's auction was pretty big, part business items from a place that worked on cars, part household items; in other words, something for everybody!  I really, really, REALLY wanted the Janet Lennon paper dolls, but they went higher than I was willing to go. That's okay, though, because I got some other fun stuff:

I guess it's a little planter. Old. Not as big as my hand.

Politically incorrect salt and pepper shakers.

Anyone remember the nightlight I made
in 2018 A to Z Challenge...?

Then I found something FABULOUS. Little frogs, see? 

Front view.

Aaaand side view.

Cute, right? I thought they were salt and pepper shakers when I first saw them, then THIS happened when I turned them over:

And they even have bellybuttons....

Here's what makes the frogs SO UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY COOL TO ME (as if they weren't cool enough on their own):

See these turtles that belonged to my Grandma?
They were a gift from her brother.


7. Auctions are great people watching places. At the one Saturday, there was a guy wearing a filthy, torn, oil-stained t-shirt with what appeared to be the Mountain Dew logo on it  I tried to get a picture of it, but I couldn't get a clear shot, so I'll just have to tell you that instead of "Mountain Dew" it said "Mount And Do Me." Isn't that sweet? 

8. Some of you might remember that, when the opportunity presents itself, I take photos of butt cracks (no children - adults only). I don't sit in bleachers for hours at a time at volleyball games anymore, so I don't have as much of a chance to get a shot, but that was remedied this weekend. Twice.

All morning. He bent over to look at
auction items all morning. Bonus:
the Mount And Do Me guy is in the
upper right of the photo!

Sunday's auction. Same. Guy.
He and his Biker Grandma partner
were at the same auctions as us
 both days, and both days, he blessed
 us with views of his butt crack.

9. Not all video games are a bad thing, and sometimes, they can even be educational! All that Tetris I used to play? Yeah, well, no one can pack a car like I can! I got a small deep freeze, a 6 foot tall antique cabinet, a vintage rolling cart, a two wheeler, a steer head (don't ask), four vises, and a propane heater in the back of the ol' mini van.

10. It's time for the big reveal. I did a little something with my hair the other day. I had grown weary of covering my grey roots every 3-4 weeks, so I got my whole damn head dyed silver with dark hair woven into it. The hope is that my grey will grow out and mingle seamlessly with the new color. I'm still getting used to it and often don't recognize myself in reflections, but it's growing on me. The dark parts are SOOOO much darker than my natural hair color (the non-grey parts of my natural hair color, that is), PLUS I'm using the Curly Girl Method to make my curls healthier, but I'd be ever so thankful if you look at the photo and don't tell me I appear to have aged 20 years overnight.

Keep on being thankful.