Monday, March 30, 2020

A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Seltzer Down Your Pants

The days. All. Blend. Together. I guess I missed Sunday altogether, and now it's Monday and I'm late to the Ten Things of Thankful hop. 

1. I'm sitting at the lake house. We are so blessed to have this place where we can get away! It's my happy place, and it's where I can push away troubles (or days of the week, apparently) and just be.

2. Our child care center was closed as of the 20th of March. I have the best co-workers, bosses (big boss and little boss, to quote a co-worker!), student workers, and little nuggets in the universe. How many people can say that?

3. I've been getting photos and videos texted to me by the parents of my nugs. My heart! I miss and love those babies so much!

4. I made a video for the YouTube channel we started to help us keep in touch with our kids. I have lost all dignity, as you will see when you watch it (please watch it - it's only 3 minutes), especially my finale. The parents and kids have gotten a hoot out of it.

5. I am raising a sour dough starter baby. Her name is Jane Dough and I don't think she's doing well. The thankful is that another friend saw my Facebook post about it and is growing her own now as well. Her starter baby appears to be faring better than mine, so I am hoping for help from her in raising Jane.

6. No flooding at the lake house! Taneycomo is one of a chain of five lakes on the White River, starting and ending in Arkansas, built for flood control and hydroelectric power. When the first one gets too full, the Corps of Engineers releases water from it to the next lake and so on down the line. Problems ensue when the Mississippi is flooded, because at some point, there's nowhere for the water to go. The two lakes upstream from us are both releasing water, but the Corps has been able to get it out of Taneycomo (which is the oldest of the lakes, looks more like a river, and is not able to hold more than about 6 feet of excess water before it goes over the banks).

The power and beauty of water flowing over Table Rock Dam is not to be missed! It's not often that all 10 flood gates are open, so I had to go to the dam and watch.

It's very LOUD. And 200 feet above you....

7. My daughter brought her roommate's kitten home with her for a week while her roommate was home for a week or so (on-line classes and spring break means many of the students went home). Our three did pretty well with her. Lewis wanted to be friends. Nora didn't want to be bothered and mostly avoided her. Finn had a love/hate relationship - part of him wanted to play with her, part of him wanted to beat her up. She left yesterday, and they don't seem to miss her, with the possible exception of Lew.

Layla. She thinks she now owns the place.

8. I am HORRIBLE about putting my hands on my face, particularly chewing on my fingernails. As a result of the new normal:

They're GROWING!

9. In spite of the horrors of the Virus That Is Not To Be Mentioned, there are still good things in the world. Spring is still springing, and new life gives me hope.

Redbud trees are blossoming.

10. I'm participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. Whaaaaaa??? I have planned nothing and written nothing and it starts on Wednesday. I also have no theme. I am welcoming any suggestions for topics, especially for those pesky letters like Q, X, Y and Z. BRING 'EM ON! I will be eternally grateful!

It's not too late to join us in the Ten Things of Thankful! Link up below!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Safety: A Six Sentence Story

She was hardly more than a child herself, this baby with a baby of her own.

"I never knew love until this," she told anyone and no one, whether she was waiting for the bus or tucking him gently, sleepily, into a frayed wicker basket before tucking herself into the sagging excuse of a bed in her tiny, rented room.

This night, looking down on his sweet, sleeping face, her heart swelled so with love that she truly thought it might burst. She gathered up baby and basket, along with her handbag, taking care not to jostle the basket and awaken him. Tenderly placing the basket on the bus stop bench, she checked once more for the slip of paper attached to his tiny sweater with a safety pin. Finding it exactly where she pinned it, she kissed his forehead one last time and disappeared into the night.

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

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Thankful For Toilet Paper

Does anyone else feel like they're just waiting for the other shoe to drop? I hope and pray that everyone is over prepared and the actuality of the coronavirus pandemic is far less than we fear, but I also know we need to be prepared for the worst, and I'm thankful that, at our house, we seem to be.

We have plenty of food in the pantry and freezer.

We have toilet paper and paper towels, because I'm a believer in having back ups of such essentials.

I did make sure we have plenty of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and yeast, because if I can't leave the house for weeks, I will need to have something to do.

In the event that we do get sick, we have medications for fever and a thermometer.

My daughter's college has moved to on-line classes and many of the students have moved back home for the rest of the semester. I think, THINK, I have convinced her that she is not invincible and not immune, and that social distancing is not just a suggestion.

The Med School Student said the students are being protected from contact with possible or known COVID-19 patients, which makes me feel slightly better.

The child care center where I work is not closed (area schools are on spring break this week, and I suspect the administrators will be deciding about how to proceed by the end of next week) even though the university has gone to on-line classes and encouraged students to go home.There's no precedent for this situation, so I don't know whether I would get paid or not if we don't have school, so I'm thankful that I still have a job. Plus, there are parents who are counting on us so THEY can continue to work as long as possible.

Going to work tomorrow will make life seem normal.

Our library is still open, and I am going to get a stack of books to read.

I'm getting much better about touching my face, or rather, NOT touching it!

Stay well, my friends! Wash your hands, respect social distancing, and how about if we start the trend of bowing and curtsying when we meet people instead of shaking hands or hugging or that COMPLETELY ANNOYING elbow bump? 

Because you have to laugh sometimes
to keep from crying....

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Sunday, March 8, 2020

We Survived The Birthday Adventure!

My husband is a pain in the ass to buy a gift for. He never mentions things he wants. If he DOES want something, he usually just buys it himself, having never once said it was something he was wanting in the first place. Fortunately, we have always just done stocking stuffers for each other at Christmas (I CAN pick out candy for him!). Unfortunately, not the case for birthdays.

On Tuesday, he is going to be 60. While he isn't exactly depressed about it, he has been a little incredulous about the number, so I wanted to do something to make 60 seem no different that any other birthday. Instead of giving him a gift, I would give him an experience!

The experience I chose was for us to go to a privately owned nature park near Branson called Dogwood Canyon. The park is owned and developed by Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops, and is run as a not-for-profit nature preserve. We'd never been there before, as there's a pretty steep entry fee (as in $15 a person just to visit the little museum and walk around the grounds), but it was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the low 60s by late afternoon, so off we went.

Now, as God is my witness, I thought the walking/biking trail (bicycle rentals start at $10 per person) was a 3.2 mile loop (no, I DIDN'T pick up a map at the ticket booth and why didn't YOU do it if you wanted one so badly), but in actuality, it was a 6.4 mile round trip (in fairness, the trail is completely paved and mostly flat, and this is important to note). I wanted to go all the way to the end of the trail, because the map on their website (which was accessible the very few moments we had internet reception - we were seriously in a canyon) showed a bison and elk pasture was located there. That would make the long walk worth it, right?

End of trail is on right side of map, followed by the words BISON AND ELK PASTURE.

The park really is beautiful. There's a creek that runs through the canyon, and the bluffs are gorgeous, and there are waterfalls (which I highly suspect are created with pumps and not one bit natural) and amazing views. What there ISN'T is benches scattered along the way, so one could actually sit down and take in the beauty (and so the WHINY ASS SISSIES could rest). 

We walked. And walked. And walked. And were passed by numerous Wildlife Tram Tours (starting at $25 per person for a two hour guided tour). The Birthday Boy asked why we didn't bring water with us ($2 per bottle at the gift shop) or snacks and why couldn't we just walk part way and turn around and go back (BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS 6.2 MILES AND I DIDN'T KNOW WE MIGHT WANT A DRINK AND I DIDN'T KNOW YOU DIDN'T EAT ANYTHING FOR BREAKFAST AND I WANT TO SEE THE DAMN BISONS AND ELK).

We walked all the way to Arkansas....

Two HOURS later, we got to the end of the trail. There was a waterfall and some picnic tables. There were no bison. There were no elk.

My husband grimaced as he sat down, telling me his thighs were burning, his feet hurt, and his boxers were causing chaffing and his balls were now on fire.

There does not appear to be any
bison or elk. Oopsie!

Now, I am in considerably better shape than my husband, and my feet did NOT hurt and my thighs were NOT burning and I had no chaffing, with or without balls, but what I DID develop at about that moment was a need to use a restroom, of which we had only seen two on the entire walk, and they were approximately one and two and a half miles from where we sat. Oh, and I didn't need to pee....

I expressed my great need to leave our picnic table and head towards the nearest outhouse (and yes, $40 for a one-hour segway tour, but nothing but outhouses for relieving one's bladder or bowels), and my husband, moaning and groaning, got to his feet and s-l-o-w-l-y began the walk back. Fortunately, once I was walking again, my need to find a bathroom lessened, but since my husband wanted to sit on every bridge we passed, the urge would return. We would get up and walk, my husband moaning and complaining (I think there are blisters on my balls!) and I would be fine, then we'd stop for him to rest, and my stomach would start cramping. This went on for the ENTIRE two hour return trip (You lied to me about the bison just to get me to walk all that way. I DIDN'T lie, and as soon as we have an internet connection, I'll PROVE to you that there are bison at the end of the trail, and oh, look, you have to ride the $40 tram to get to see the DAMN BISON!). At long last, we could see the parking lot, and we were done with our birthday adventure.

My minky friend.

Here are my thankfuls:

1. It was too early in the season for snakes to be out.
2. My husband's balls did not, in fact, burst into flames.
3. My urgent need to visit the bathroom disappeared without me having to avail myself of the facilities.
4. We didn't get run over by any of the bicyclists, many of whom had obviously not been on a bike since childhood.
5. We didn't have to wave down a tram to get my husband back to the car.
6. Bison are actually nasty animals and it's probably just as well that we didn't run into any of them.
7. The only 4-legged nature we saw was a show-offy mink, and as they, too, are nasty animals, I'm happy the one we saw didn't bite my face off.
8. We had drinks in the car that were still cold when we finally got back to the parking lot, more than 4 hours after we started.
9. Between the hike and several errands I had to run after I dropped Mr. Whiny McBurned Balls at home, I clocked 20,000 steps on my FitBit.
10. We really did have a delightful day together MOST of the time.

60 is the new 40 and 10 thankfuls are better than none! 

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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Coat: A Six Sentence Story

The two young men pulled themselves onto the sandy beach, panting, each silently rejoicing their good fortune of surviving the battering ocean waves and the relentless sun. 

Michael raised his head first, drew a ragged breath, and turned towards Andy, whispering, "You okay, man?"

Andy's eyelids fluttered, and his mouth worked before he croaked out, "I think so, but my tongue feels like it's wearing a leather jacket." 

Michael rolled onto his back, squinting at the sky, and answered, "Mine feels more like it's wearing a fur coat."

At the sound of running feet, both young men rolled to a sitting position.

"DUUUUUUUUUDES, beer run in ten minutes," was shouted to them, and they staggered to their feet and prepared themselves for the second day of Spring Break.

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