Monday, September 20, 2021

Win Some, Lost This One

 I'm watching the Chiefs, wondering why every game has to be a nail biter. Can I write a Ten Things of Thankful post AND watch the last quarter of this game? Let's find out!

It was hot and dry this week (again), but I think, THINK this may be the last week of that.

Movement time with my nugs at school. I love singing and dancing and jumping around with them, and I'm grateful I am able to do so at my advanced age....

We cooked this week at school, stirring up Applesauce Pancakes, and no one sneezed into the batter. 

My husband and I hit a few thrift stores and flea markets last weekend and scored two Fiestaware dessert plates for fifty cents a piece. They are around $12 each new, and these are in perfect condition!

Big eating week at school this past week: biscuit day, tater tot casserole day, and hamburger day.

My plantar fasciitis is (saying this guardedly) better. 

Homemade ice cream sandwiches, which I made today. They are delicious.

Co-workers who cheered me up when I was having a rough day.

Funny memes. Here's one:

Well, I'm not thankful for the outcome of the Chiefs game. Ouch. But it was a well-played game by both teams, my life doesn't change one way or the other due to the outcome, and I don't bet, so I'm not out anything except a couple of finger nails.

And that's the list for this week. 

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Monday, September 13, 2021

No Thanks To The DMV

I sort of missed my own blog hop last week, but Labor Day Weekend messed me up. I kept thinking I'd write my TToT post on Monday evening, but then I forgot it was Monday and not Sunday (because, you know, three day weekend), and then it was Tuesday and NOT Monday and I missed it. Also missed Six Sentence Story for pretty much the same reason. Sigh. 

How's about some thankfuls?

1. My birthday was over Labor Day weekend, and I got a surprise tray of cupcakes from one of my fave student workers that were BEAUTIFULLY decorated. . . .

Look REALLY CLOSELY at them.

2. I also got my Real ID, but not without difficulty. My husband texted me on Wednesday morning to remind me my driver's license expired on Sunday. Oopsie. I drove to the DMV in the next town over (the one here smells like feet) to get it, but I was told my marriage license wasn't good enough to prove I was the same person as my birth certificate said I was; they had to have a certified true copy, "with the embossed seal on it." I was told I would have to go to the Recorder of Deeds office to get it and it was already closed, so just to go there on Thursday, get the copy "with the embossed seal on it" and I could get my Real ID. 

I was really cutting it close to the ol' deadline, so I had to use my planning time on Thursday to go to the Recorder's office for the true copy, you know, the one with the embossed seal on it, then back to the DMV. I estimated the whole thing to take me about an hour, including drive time, and I'd still have half an hour of planning time, but when I walked into the Recorder's office, they told me they only had access to marriage licenses from Jasper County, and I got married in Vernon County. I said, "The woman at the DMV told me I could get it here," and they said, "Yeah, they keep telling people that. Someone should tell them not to," to which I answered, "I think YOU should be the one that tells them."  I then asked if the Vernon County Recorder could send the recorded license electronically, but the answer was an emphatic no, because (why?) IT HAD TO HAVE THE EMBOSSED SEAL ON IT. 

Quite pissed off about the whole thing, I called school to let them know I wouldn't be back after all, called the Vernon County Recorder's office and told them I was on my way there to get a true copy of my marriage license, and then drove the one hour it takes to get there. The very nice ladies in the Recorder's office had my copy ready for me when I walked in and handed it to me. I looked at it, then turned it over and looked again before asking, "Where's the embossed seal?!"

"Oh, we don't do an embossed seal here. We just use a stamp."

Breathe. Breathe. BREATHE.

There. Was. No. Reason. It. Couldn't. Have. Been. Sent. Electronically.


I drove over to the Vernon County DMV, gave them all my paperwork, waited while the clerk checked it, and then she said, "I need your birth certificate." 

The last time I had seen it, I had been at the Jasper County DMV. I frantically began rummaging through my bag where the rest of the papers had been, and as I searched, I said to the clerk, "I just want you to know that if my birth certificate is not in this bag, I am going to ugly cry right here and now." She was all of about 20 years old, and I don't think she had been adequately trained for that scenario, but fortunately, I found the birth certificate tucked way down in the bag, and no tears were shed. 

I had to pass a vision test, WHICH I DID WITHOUT MY GLASSES, so I am no longer restricted, even though I wouldn't trust myself to drive without them even if the DMV does. Besides reading the letters in the top row, the test also includes a check of your peripheral vision which my dad cheats on and they've never caught him at it. I did it without cheating.

Last step was the photo. I popped a pose for the camera, but the clerk told me I had to stand with my shoulders straight, so there went the flattering angle. I tried to get a little head tilt in there, but I got caught at that, too, but the photo isn't too horrid, and I'm sure if the clerk at the  Vernon County DMV keeps her OWN thankful list, the fact that I finally left was right at the top of her list. 

3. Okay, #2 was kind of long. I'll try to be more succinct with the rest of the list. I am thankful for a lovely birthday weekend at the lake house with my husband, daughter, and dad, plus our three cats and my daughters newly adopted cat, and there were no fights from anyone, two legged or four legged.

My Finn keeping an eye on my daughter's
cat as he relaxes in the bathtub.

Harmony: Finn, Nora Pearl, Lewis, and 
Calvin (inside the pride house)

4. I'm thankful that the two legged members of the household don't actually fight. Can't say the same for the four legged ones.

5. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about wanting, and finding, a house dress/muumuu at a thrift store. I was (and continue to be) baffled that you can't walk into a store like JC Penney or Walmart and find a house dress (they are also called house coats or dusters). I see women wearing them sometimes (they don't seem to understand the "house" part of "house dress"). Where do these old ladies find them, then? My husband found out the answer was the internet, and he bought me three, THREE of them for my birthday! They are so comfy and I love them. Don't ask me what made me want one in the first place, but they are THE BOMB.

Searsucker house dress. I'm fancy.

6. This sticker on one of the house dresses made our whole family laugh:

7. If you're from Kansas City, you will understand the significance of this snow globe I got from my daughter. Fun fact: it was printed on a 3D printer, which is something I cannot wrap my head around. 

The Nelson/Atkins Museum shuttlecock

8. Temperatures are still reaching the 90s in the afternoons, but the nights are cooler and the air just feels different. Fall is almost here!

9. The Chiefs won the first game of the season with a nail biter. I'm glad football season is back!

10. I got my post written. 

It's never too late to be thankful. 

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Nebulous: A Six Sentence Story

The dream came every night, without fail, and some nights, she would wake up suddenly from it and remember almost every detail, while other nights, the dream was nebulous, and the more she tried to remember what happened, the more it was like trying to catch smoke in her hands.

There were nights when she would try to wish the dream away, but it came anyway, dancing into her sleep, frightening her with its realism, and she would wake up, trembling, her throat dry from trying to call out as she dreamt, and she would lie still until the shapes of the night became the ordinary things in her room, and she knew she was safe.

The worst nights were when the dream was not realistic at all but was just shadows and fog  that swirled about until she was able to pull herself out of their grasp, and she would scramble from her bed and pace the floor until she could convince herself that it was just a dream.

She had begun fearing the night, because she knew the dream would come, and then she began fearing the day, because she felt as though the dream were watching her somehow.

Her skin grew sallow, her eyes hollow, her hair dry and unkempt, and her very being got smaller and smaller as the dream grew larger and larger, until one night, she quit fighting. Instead of trying to push the dream away, she rose to meet it, the dream taking her thin hand and pulling her upwards until she was nothing more than a wisp of mist, and then she was gone.

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

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Boat For Sale And Other Thankfuls

I don't know how you spent your weekend, but I spent mine in the cabin of a sailboat. If that sounds glamorous, let me continue that the sailboat was on a trailer and parked in a carport, it was 95 degrees outside, and I was cleaning spider webs, leaves, and other gunk that filtered into it around the various openings (hatches? are they called hatches?) over the past 30+ years the boat has sat in the carport. Contrary to what my brother said, there was NOT a family of raccoons living inside (and may that be #1 in my list of thankfuls), and it really wasn't as dirty as I feared, but 5'10" me did not fold up inside the cabin very well, and today, my body HURRRRRTS, but it's as done as it's going to get, and now, does anyone want to buy a sailboat...?

Here are the rest of my thankfuls for this week:

2. It was REALLY hot again this week, so we played in the water every day at school while we were on the playground. I was hot, too, so I sat on a balance beam and stuck my feet in a dishpan of water and was delighted that one of my little nugs wanted to join me in my "spa". 

3. Last week, I mentioned that I bought a muumuu at a thrift store (a homemade one, even!), because my waffle weave robe is too stinkin' hot to wear when I'm getting ready. It was a great purchase, as it kept me ladylike and covered up while getting ready, and it also kept me cool:

4. Another terrific thrift store purchase this week was a leather purse, made in Colombia, for only $12.00. I wish I knew more about it, but I can't find anything on the internet. I showed my daughter the embossed figure on the front (via facetime), which I thought was a woman holding a golf club, and she said it was more likely a woman playing some kind of instrument, which I suppose makes more sense.

5. My husband and I were driving to the lake and could see (and smell) rain just ahead of us on the highway. As the sun was still shining behind us, we got to see the left and right sides of a rainbow, and the coolest part was WE SAW THE END OF THE RAINBOW ON THE RIGHT SIDE. It ended in the ground in front of a grove of trees. If it weren't for the barbed wire fence, the quarter mile of pasture, the tics and stick-tights that pasture surely was filled with, the 50 or so head of cattle, and the lack of a shovel, we would have stopped and tried to dig up the pot of gold at the end. I mean, how many times do you actually see where a rainbow ends?!

6. Friday was a rather hectic day at work, and because I was whining about there being a lack of chocolate in the building, my friend Ceason brought me back a slice of cookie cake from the mall when she went out to run an errand. I even shared it with my boss, then stuffed the rest in my mouth. It was just what I needed!

7. My daughter adopted a cat this weekend. She is living alone for the first time in a big girl apartment while she goes to law school, and she reallllly wanted a cat to love and snuggle with. She found an amazing boy at the KC Pet Project and has named him Calvin. He's in love with her and she with him.

8. I'm thankful for the memes that make me laugh and help me keep my sanity. This one made me laugh until I cried:

9. I had a long phone call with my bff this weekend. I'll be even more thankful when Covid no longer prevents us from being able to get together.

10. Five more sleeps, then a three day weekend!

You still have 24 hours to write your Ten Things of Thankful and join the hop! Link up below!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Train: A Six Sentence Story

Initially settled mostly by Southerners traveling up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, Missouri entered statehood in 1821 as a slave state, but by 1860, it had become more diversified when non-slave holders from the North settled there; tensions increased with the two differing ideologies, and Missouri became a battleground state during the Civil War.

Besides troops from the same state fighting for the Union and for the Confederacy, there were also bands of pro-Confederate sympathizers called Bushwhackers who used guerilla warfare to fight a border war with Union sympathizers in Kansas known as Jayhawkers, and in an attempt to curtail the Bushwhackers and the Southern sympathizers who aided them, Union General Thomas Ewing issued General Order No. 11 in 1863 that required all persons living in certain border counties along the Kansas/Missouri line to relocate outside of the area.

My great, great grandfather Thomas, his wife Louisa, and his young son were among the several thousand forced to relocate; they lived in the St. Joseph area until the war ended, then made the return trek (along with a second son who was born during their exile) back home via wagon train. It was on this journey, somewhere near Lexington, Missouri, that Thomas was killed when another member of the wagon train accidentally shot him while cleaning a gun, and Louisa continued on alone with the little boys to Holden, Missouri.

In the dining room of my parents' house is a pie safe made of walnut (I originally worded this as a walnut pie safe and then it sounded like it was a pie safe only for walnut pies and that just wouldn't do). It rode on that wagon train back to the family farm and has remained in the family now for nearly 150 years, and I have a really crappy photo of it with someone's finger in the foreground, college-aged me just past that, a family member who is no longer in the family behind me, and the pie safe in the background.

I warned you it was a crappy photo....

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

Monday, August 23, 2021

In Times Of Struggle, Choose Gratitude

A few weeks ago, I wrote that my husband, daughter, and I had attended the church less than a block from my daughter's new apartment in Kansas City. We all enjoyed not only the warmth of the people that attended there, but also the warmth of the message and their commitment to inclusion. I wish I could attend every week, but it's a two and a half hour drive each way, so I have had to be content with watching their Facebook live stream while my daughter is lucky enough to attend in person.

I was struggling to write my Ten Things of Thankful this weekend, because I felt guilty about having so much for which to be grateful when there are so many horrible tragedies occurring: flooding in Tennessee and South Carolina, wildfires on the west coast, the fall of Kabul, the earthquake and tropical storm in Haiti, Covid numbers soaring. But this Sunday, during the live stream, the senior pastor said a prayer that really moved me. She said the calming presence of the Lord is reassuring even as the world seems to spin chaotically and is filled with so much anxiety and grief and uncertainty. She said the only thing we can do about it is choose how we will respond, and she believed we should take a few deep breaths and choose to begin with gratitude. I cannot agree more. Here are my ten:

1. I love my nugs at school so much! Are some of them more difficult than others? Yessss, but I still love them so!

2. My knees are getting better after my stupid fall. The bruises are gone, and the swelling has lessened. My right kneecap is still verrrrrrrry tender, but I can get down on the floor with my kids and back up again without wanting to cry....

3. I bought a different kind of boot to try to help heal my plantar fasciitis. You may recall that the one I borrowed from my friend was a wee bit too small, and my toes hung over the edge and went to sleep. This boot is more complicated to put on, but my big ol' foot fits in it, and it seems to be helping.

I look old and decrepit.

4. Last year, I included grape Propel water as a thankful, and shortly thereafter, there was a grape Propel shortage that lasted for MONTHS. A few weeks ago, I included Milo's ice tea (the one sweetened with Splenda) in my thankfuls, and I'll be damned but it didn't disappear from the shelves. I ran into Neighborhood Market last night, and I was pleased to see there were at least a dozen gallons on the shelf, so I breathed a sigh of relief and didn't immediately buy six of them to hoard.

5. When we were at the small town where my mom grew up for my cousin's burial, my dad took me by the farm that his parents bought in the early 1950's and which led to my parents meeting each other and getting married. To my knowledge, I had never been there other than as a baby before they moved away. 

My dad said the house hadn't really changed from
when my grandparents lived there....

6. I found this perfect Fiestaware carafe at the Salvation Army thrift store for only $25. I've seen them online anywhere from $50 to $100, so I'd say I got a pretty good deal!

7. I bought a muumuu. Because I get hot when I'm getting ready in the morning, and the bathrobe I have is too heavy for this kind of weather. I found this beauty at a thrift store, and it's not only loose and flowy and just what I needed to stay covered (I don't like getting ready while nakey) but not swelter. AND IT'S HOMEMADE. I'm in love.

My awesome muumuu.

8. I live in a Covid hotbed. Our positive rates are some of the highest in the nation, BUT today, it was announced that my town has reached 50% vaccination rate, and it's the highest rate IN THE STATE. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got that news.

9. I couldn't get a good picture, but I got out of my car in the grocery store parking lot to see this smiling dog sitting in the car, waiting for his person to come back (the car was running, so pupper was fine). This made my day.

If you look REALLY CLOSELY, you
can see that he's smiling.

10. I am very thankful for the ability to enjoy a church service that always touches me without attending in person. If there's one positive from Covid, it's that we have found out there is more than one way to do something.

Get out there and choose gratitude.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Explore: A Six Sentence Story

The state conservation area was quite lovely most of the year; in the summer, there were picnic spots and lakes for fishing, in the fall, there were the bright oranges, yellows, and reds of autumn foliage, and in the spring, wildflowers bounded from the ground, but in the winter, the area was brown and gray, dark and dreary, and mostly uninhabited, save for an occasional duck hunter.

The two friends met there to walk along a path through the woods one mild day somewhere between fall and winter; they chose it for its convenience, as it sat halfway between each of their homes, and also because of its isolation that time of year, so they could tell secrets and gossip without any other ears about.

Talking and laughing, they walked along the trail, picking their way over fallen branches and kicking piles of leaves, when Christine stopped and said, "I don't believe we're on the main path any longer, because there's an odd little hill over there that I think I would have remembered if I had ever seen it before."

The two women made their way around the strange little hill only to discover it wasn't a hill at all, but an earthen bunker nearly buried in wild grape vines and hidden by tree branches; the heavy wooden door was ajar, and Christine eagerly moved towards it, calling over her shoulder, "Hey, this looks like a cool place to explore - come on!"

"I don't know..." replied her friend, hanging back, "I don't think we should."

But Christine, already at the door and peering inside, said, "It's really dark, but it looks like there's just some straw in there and a wooden crate," when with a sudden, silent jerk, Christine was violently pulled through the crack in the door just before it slammed shut as her friend, standing frozen in horror, slowly sunk to her knees.

The very much still alive Christine while we explored the bunkers
at August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area near
St. Charles, Missouri.

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

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Thankful For The Downgrade And More

THIS week went by in a hurry! Whoosh! I am currently waiting to find out if my daughter can get out of Pensacola, Florida, before hurricane-turned-tropical storm Fred makes it there. Not looking good, but hopefully, this whole debacle makes it to the Ten Things of Thankful for NEXT week, and until then, here's this weeks list:

1. I'll start with being thankful the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm. 

2. Backtracking to earlier in the week, I managed to get my classroom clean, organized, and ready to start the new school year in time for Open House on Monday evening. Yes, there are still some loose ends to tie up, because I'm a loose end leaver, but the room looked good, the little nugs were excited to visit that night after a break, and the new school year is going to be fabulous!

3. My knees are improving after my little fall a week ago. They are still tender and bruised, but most of the swelling is gone. 

4. I have spent my life tripping over my own feet, but now that I know what happens the one time you aren't able to catch yourself, I have a newfound respect for gravity.

5. To make life even more fun, I have plantar fasciitis, so my right heel feels as though I'm constantly walking on a rock, and sometimes, it's a rock with razor blades embedded in it. My friend loaned me a special boot to wear at night that's supposed to help improve it. Trial run of wearing it for an hour had a positive result. Tonight I will try to sleep in it. Stay tuned for results.

My foot might be a little too big for the boot.

6. I'm thankful to my sis, Denise, and Six Sentence Stories. I have enjoyed getting back into writing them. You should check them out sometime, too.

7. This past weekend, our family held a committal of my cousin Terry Anne's cremains. She passed away a year and a half ago, but logistics and Covid prevented this from taking place sooner. Her son, Alex, along with my brother, created a lovely service, attended just by family members in the little country cemetery where many of our ancestors are also buried. It was a beautiful morning, not too hot, and we all shared stories about her and laughed and remembered.

8. My brother and sister-in-law let my husband and me stay at their house yet another weekend. We have definitely worn out our welcome this summer, with so many stays for apartment hunting for my daughter and. subsequently, moving her into one. We will give them a break until Thanksgiving.

9. Minsky's Pizza. A Kansas City original.

10. My cats are glad to see me when I get home. They greet me the same if I'm gone five minutes or five days.

Lewis, Finn, and Nora

You still have time to join us at the Ten Things of Thankful! We would love to have you!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Grip: A Six Sentence Story

The pounding on the door became more and more insistent as Abigail, face flushed, the fringe on her forehead damp with sweat, pulled the covers up to her chin and closed her eyes. Her body was trembling violently as a boot was thrust through the door, splintering the wood, heavy footsteps clattering across the floor; the men stormed towards Abigail, bayonets raised, as one of them shouted, "Where is he?!" 

Abigail painfully turned her head towards the men, eyes glassy, and with great effort, she attempted to raise her head but quickly dropped it back onto the pillow, coughing.

"Forgive me, officer," she said weakly, her voice straining, her forehead furrowed with pain, "but my family has been stricken with the grippe, and I'm the only one left now." The soldiers, eyes wide, began backing towards the door, hands over their noses and mouths, as the group's leader mumbled, "Sorry to bother you, ma'am," to Abigail, followed by a shout to his men to run for it.

Abigail, willing her racing heart to slow down, slowly counted to one hundred, and when she was sure there was no chance the soldiers would risk coming back to the house, she threw off the covers and leapt out of the bed, unlatched the camel back trunk, and furiously pulled the man inside to his feet by his hair before collapsing in tears in his arms.

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

Monday, August 9, 2021

Tired Is Not An Excuse

When you're the one always saying anyone can write a Ten Things of Thankful and join the hop, then you can't also say, "But I'm tiiiiiiiiired!"

Okay, you CAN say that, or at least think it, but it's still NOT AN EXCUSE FOR SKIPPING THE TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL. Here's my list:

1. My daughter came home for the weekend.

2. My daughter came home for the weekend AND CLEANED HER ROOM. 

3. My daughter came home for the weekend and cleaned her room AND ORGANIZED AND LISTED ITEMS TO SELL ON POSHMARK.

4. My daughter came home for the weekend and cleaned her room, organized and listed items to sell on Poshmark AND GOT OVER $80 IN SALES IN ONE DAY.

5. I fell and went boom last week, which is not a thankful, but I'm pretty sure the only damage is swollen knees and some pretty spectacular bruising.

6. My knees and elbow hurt so much that I didn't notice the pain from my plantar fasciitis for several days.

7. Oh, last weekend, we went to Kansas City to take some things to our daughter that she needed for her new apartment, and I'm thankful the man on the front porch of her building when we arrived around 10:00 a.m. (and who was apparently there the night before when my daughter returned to her apartment AT 3 A.M. after going out with friends) was not dead, as my daughter had feared when she found he was still there the next morning, but was only sleeping off a bender. Welcome to the big city, my little country mouse!

8. After researching the church a block down the street from my daughter's apartment, she wanted to go to a service, so the three of us went and absolutely loved it! The members were so friendly and went out of their way to welcome us, and we felt so much love there! Community Christian Church, if you're ever in Kansas City and want to visit a church that truly embraces inclusiveness. I wish I could attend it every week, but it's a little far for that (as in a two and a half hour drive each way), but I will enjoy their live stream every week.

9. When my daughter first moved to her apartment and we were checking out the neighborhood (she has to park on the street, so we were scoping out where would be best to do that), I thought that church had the ugliest, most dated building I'd seen in a long time. Hah! Guess what? It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! So I can say I've been inside a Frank Lloyd Wright building now, for what that's worth.

10. My anniversary was this weekend. We did absolutely nothing to celebrate it, except to exclaim to each other, "28 years? Really?" If 28 years had dragged on and on, then it wouldn't be a thankful, would it? But it has gone by in a flash!

Be thankful in everything you do.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Net: A Six Sentence Story

High top Reeboks, jelly shoes,
Jazzercise and Underoos.

Spandex, neon, stirrup pants,
Power suits and shoulder pads.

Flashdance, Footloose, Material Girl,
Thriller, Toto, We Are The World.

Ray Bans, Polos, collars popped,
Risky Business, mullets chopped.

Big hair, perms, hot roller sets,
Spray it all with Aqua Net

You can mock them, but I, for one,
Found the 1980s a little TOO much fun!

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

Friday, July 30, 2021

Hot Enuff Fer Ya?

Do you get jumpy legs? When you're trying to sit and read or watch tv or work on the computer and your legs feel like they need to MOVE? Sometimes when I get this, I get it in my arms, too, and can even feel it in the pit of my stomach. It's a weird feeling.

I've got the jumpy legs right now. I'm trying to sit with my feet on an ottoman, legs crossed at the ankles, and I can't hold my feet still. I have arranged and rearranged them from left foot on top to right foot on top, back and forth, and my toes are wiggling. My arms are jumpy from the elbows down, mostly, and I have to take a break from typing every few minutes and throw them over my head and flex my hands and wiggle, wiggle, WIGGLE. GAHHHHHHHH!!!

I'm going to put together my Ten Things of Thankful list between wiggles and jumpies. My guess is the list will be jumpy and wiggly as well. Let's see:

1. Temperatures in the upper 90s with heat index up to 107 degrees (heat index, for those of you living in dry climates, is what happens when you add high humidity to high temperatures, so the physical temperature is one number, but humidity levels make it feel much hotter and like you've stuck your head inside a hot oven that has a roasting pan of water boiling inside it). But the pipes aren't freezing like they were almost 6 months ago!

2. Central air conditioning.

3. One of few times I'm thankful I'm not a spoiled house cat, because even with air conditioning, a fur coat in this kind of weather would not be welcomed.

4. The flashlight feature on my iPhone. I use it daily.

5. Ditto the notes section. I currently have 188 notes saved. 

6. It's been on my list before, but Milo's iced tea is getting me through this heat wave.

7. I love to bake, but I haven't even had the urge to do so in this weather, which is good because then I'm not eating what I baked. Bad news is I'm pretty sure I feel some homemade ice cream may be in my future....

8. My husband and I went to Sam's Club this afternoon and picked up a few things we didn't need, but when we were putting the items in the car, I realized I bought a giant bottle of cumin instead of cinnamon. Talk about something I don't need! I HAAAATE cumin; it smells like feet. I went right back inside and was able to make the switch relatively easily. Really thankful for that, because, well, cumin.

9. Cooler weather is on its way! One more day of blistering temperatures, then it will *only* be in the mid-80s for the next week. Ahhh!

10. I am thankful for Simone Biles, who showed remarkable strength and character by putting her own mental and emotional health before all else and calling attention to the world that nothing is more important than doing just that. 

Made it! My jumpies have settled down somewhat, which is a relief, and I'm going to remove the furry blanket, a/k/a Nora Pearl, from my lap and get some sleep. What are you thankful for this weekend? Link up with us! It's easy!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Distraction: A Six Sentence Story

The teacher's voice droned on and on, echoing off the walls, the chalkboard, the wooden desks, even the students themselves, all of whom sat at attention, backs straight, eyes forward, save for Laurel, who sat slumped in her seat, blazer sleeves pushed up, tie askew, as she twirled the end of the single braid that she had pulled over her shoulder. Was it Latin or geometry, world literature or health, and did it even matter when you were bored to distraction and only wanted to escape the confines of this hell on Earth called school?

When Laurel let an audible sigh escape her lips, the teacher stopped speaking and turned, eyes narrowing, towards Laurel, and said, "Is there something I can do for you, Miss Halloran, to improve your experience here?"

From the back of the room, Laurel softly said, "You could jump out the window and die a painful death."

A gasp was heard from somewhere in the room, and the teacher leaned forward, ear cupped, saying, "Excuse me, Miss Halloran, but when addressing me, you need to rise and speak up."

Laurel slowly rose to her feet, straightened her shoulders, and with a glance at her classmates, replied, "I said, You could bump out the window so I can get a breath; it's terribly warm in here and I'm afraid I'm feeling a little light headed," and she slipped back into her chair, a faint smile on her face as the plan began to formulate in her head.


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

Friday, July 23, 2021

Ev'rythin's Up To Date!

 Ev'rythin's up to date in Kansas City
They've gone about as fur as they c'n go!

I didn't get a TToT post written last weekend, but I had a good reason! It was an extremely busy weekend, and when I finally had a little down time on Sunday evening, I realized I had no internet. Ready to rock the list now:

After weeks of apartment hunting and finding out that our list of must-haves had to be whittled down to four walls, a roof, and an indoor bathroom, my daughter found an apartment that she really loves and can almost afford! Last weekend was move-in weekend, and guess who her moving crew was...?

I am eternally grateful to my brother and his wife for opening their guest room to us while we searched and again as a home base while we moved Emma into the apartment. During this time, my SIL had knee replacement surgery and my brother had a kidney stone, and they still let us impose on them.

It took us less than three hours to unload an SUV, a minivan, and a small car, all three stuffed to the gills, and that included playing parking space musical chairs with the only space available in front of the building.

Did I mention there is no elevator in the building? And that she lives on the second floor? And that there is a flight of stairs from the sidewalk to the front entrance? And that the stairs from the sidewalk to the entrance are irregularly spaced and inconsistent heights? And that the inside stairway, while a straight shot that didn't allow me a reason to yell, "Pivot! Pivot!" was quite narrow? Those aren't thankfuls, but they did lead to a thankful, and that is we are thankful that that was the last time we physically help anyone move again. My husband and I have officially retired from the moving crew!

We decided it would be easier and cheaper to buy Emma a new bed than to move a queen sized mattress and box spring from the lake house to the new apartment, and I still stand by that, but the purchasing of the bed was no easy task. We got a mattress at IKEA (it was 56 pounds, and I know that because it was on the label) and rolled up like a burrito, but when we loaded a VERY HEAVY (more than 56 pounds) bed frame onto a cart with the mattress, then went to find the needed slats, we found they were out of them. Out. Of. Them. And didn't know when they would get them in. We put the bed frame back, bought the mattress, and went to Nebraska Furniture Mart, where a very nice salesman found us an affordable platform bed that was EXTRAORDINARILY HEAVY but had all its parts, and we are grateful for that.

We didn't get a divorce over putting the bed frame together, although it was touch and go for awhile there....

My husband and daughter did assemble the bed frame (without me after I quit the team over differences of opinion with the one who isn't my daughter), and I can somewhat gleefully report that he did, indeed, put the headboard together wrong, but it doesn't compromise the integrity of the bed; only the aesthetic of it. 

My husband left on Saturday morning (there's a thankful of its own, since I was still harboring leftover pissed-offyness from the day before), and Emma and I spent the next two days cleaning and arranging and buying until we turned the empty apartment into a home. Nothing hung on the walls yet, because she wants to take a little time to think about it all first.

We may or may not have scraped some paint off 
the banister whilst lugging this futon up the stairs....

Cute little kitchen. She now owns her first
set of dishes. Alas, no eating utensils,
but that's what fingers are for.

Headboard attached too high but
I didn't say it....

Teeny, tiny bathroom, but hey,
it's indoors!

Emma and I rewarded ourselves for all of our hard work with walking to have dinner on the Country Club Plaza*. It took us three minutes to get to the restaurant, and all we had to do was cross the street, walk through a (narrow) park, and cross another street, and BOOM! we were there!

In front of the JC Nichols fountain, the buildings
of the Plaza behind us, her apartment a block away.

I remembered to get renter's insurance for her this week!

That's a pretty fine list of thankfuls, which I believe number ten. And for the first time in AGES, my post is not only done before Monday evening, it's done BEFORE THE HOP GOES LIVE ON FRIDAY MORNING! Perhaps I've turned over a new leaf... PAHAHAHAHAAA! We know that isn't true.

Now it's YOUR turn! Write down ten things of thankful and link up with us! We would love to have you!

*for those not familiar with Kansas City, the Country Club Plaza, usually known as just "The Plaza", was built in 1923 as the first planned shopping district in the country that was separate from downtown and was built to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile. The area is known for the Spanish architecture and contains high-end retail establishments and restaurants, and is surrounded by upscale apartments and mansions. It's a destination for both tourists and locals and is a prestigious place to live.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Shift: A Six Sentence Story

At the time I learned to drive, my parents owned a 1972 Chevy Impala in avocado green and a 1971 Chevy Nova in harvest gold, and while neither of them were exactly hot cars, the Nova was at least slightly cooler, being a 2-door and with a three-on-a-tree transmission (3 speed, gear shift on the steering wheel column). I drove the 4-door Impala for about a year, but yearning to drive something closer to a sports car (and by closer, I mean like a bottle of Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's is closer to a fine French wine than Boone's Farm is), and I begged my dad to teach me how to drive the Nova. 

One Saturday afternoon, my dad took me to the junior high school (it had a huge, flat, empty parking lot and everyone went there to learn to drive) and taught me the ins and out of driving a car with a manual transmission. After about an hour, my dad determined that I had caught on well enough to drive us the two miles home, but as we neared our neighborhood, my dad had me stop the car halfway up a steep hill, then turned to me and said, "Now go on up the hill."

I slowly let out the clutch, the car rolled backwards, I panicked and hit the brake, and the car died; this sequence was repeated over and over and over, me sobbing and crying while my dad calmly sat in the passenger seat and said, "You can't drive this car until you can start and stop it on a hill, so keep trying."

I rolled all the way to the bottom of the hill, crying the entire time, when I finally, FINALLY was able to let the clutch out and press on the gas pedal without rolling backwards; I then drove the rest of the way home, and from that day through the rest of high school and college, I drove that little hotrod (not) Nova every chance I could, and with that, I'd like to add that I'm sure glad cars can't talk, because boy, oh, boy, that car knew A LOT....

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Center: A Six Sentence Story

He attended the party begrudgingly, worn down by his work mates who were tireless in their efforts to get him back into circulation. It had been 27 weeks since she vanished, 27 weeks since he came home from work to find her morning cup of coffee still sitting on the kitchen table, cold as death, the newspaper neatly folded to the crossword puzzle, every square as blank as his stare, the very center of his being now as hollow and as empty as their bed.

The party was uptown and promised to be one of THE events of the season, if his office mates were to be believed, and as the door opened to the opulent space and the music and laughter swelled out into the hallway, enveloping him, he began to relax for the first time in 27 weeks as he felt himself drawn to the gaiety inside.

One of the men from accounting clapped him on the back and handed him a drink, the alcohol quickly spreading its warmth throughout his body and soul, and before he knew it, he was enjoying himself, laughing along with the others, savoring the smooth bourbon that never seemed to empty from his glass, even going as far as to dance with a few of the charming young women who graced the party.

The hour grew late, the crowd began to lessen, and he bid adieu to the host and hostess, thanking them for the lovely evening, content that he had finally taken the step needed to free himself from the past. He walked home with a lightness in his step and a fullness in his chest and was so caught up in the thrill of the evening that he didn't see the car careening down the street until he had already stepped off the crosswalk, catching only the gleam of familiar blue eyes before the impact.

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

Monday, July 12, 2021

Ding Dong, The Mouse Is Dead

I mentioned last week that there was a mouse in my car. Here's how it went down: I got in the car at 6:30 in the morning two weeks ago today to go to work. It was pouring down rain, I had the wipers on and was about to back out of the driveway when I saw something zip towards the front of the car on the passenger side floorboard. Just a shadow from the wipers, I thought, but then - zip - it ran back the other direction. Shadow? In the dark and the rain? Zip -it ran back to the front, and ZIP! I was outta there.

I ran in the house and up the stairs and woke up my husband by shouting, "THERE'S A MOUSE IN THE CAR!" He rolled over, pulled his CPAP mask off (sexy, I know), and said, "What?" "THERE'S A FUCKING MOUSE IN MY CARRRRRRR!!!" I replied, and he said, "What do you want me to do about it right now?" "TRADE CARS WITH ME" I responded. He tried to say something along the lines of it will be fine, just drive it to work, and I was getting VERY PISSY as I was now going to be late to work, oh, and THERE WAS A MOUSE IN THE CAR when my daughter, who happened to be home for a couple of days, came in the room and said she would move my car out of the driveway so I could take the other one (right after she got in my car to move it, she realized SHE was now driving a car with a live mouse running around, and had it run past, which it fortunately didn't, she surely would have driven right into the side of the house).

My husband took the mouse mobile to Walmart later in the morning and bought mouse traps and glue boards, then liberally, and I mean LIBERALLY spread peanut butter on all of them, including putting a dollop in the middle of the glue board. I saw this when I came home that afternoon, looked in the car, and saw that he had put five traps, a glue board, and the what must have been half of a jar of peanut butter in there. There was so much peanut butter, in fact, that my little mouse friend was able to eat for several days off it and only set off one trap, and no, he did not meet his end doing so. I could envision the mouse lying on his back next to a trap, reaching a little mousy arm out and taking swipes from the peanut butter, then lazily licking his gooey mouse fingers IN MY CAR.

By Thursday, all the peanut butter was gone.

That afternoon, before leaving town for 4th of July weekend, my husband reloaded the traps and we left town (in the other car, of course). There were two problems with that: one, I REPEATEDLY asked him to put the traps inside empty cracker or cereal boxes with a hole cut in the corner, so when the inevitable (hopefully)  happened, there would be no, um, mousy bodily fluids on the interior of the car, and two: we were going to be gone for FIVE DAYS in July in the midwest with temperatures in the 90s. He did neither.

I tried not to dwell on it over the long holiday weekend. When we got home Tuesday evening, the first thing my husband did when we got out of the car was to check the mouse mobile, and immediately crowed, "I got him!"

And yes, yes, he DID get him, but not before the little fucker drug the glue board onto two umbrellas and a tarp and then perished rather untidily in a trap. My husband did the removal, I continued to refuse to drive the car until the traps, peanut butter, and mouse turds were cleaned up. 

On Saturday, my husband took the car out to run errands, and apparently, the first errand he felt was a priority was to buy a giant bottle of Febreze and spray the entire contents all over the inside of the car. Hmmmm. I then spent half an hour with a shop vac removing every last trace of poo while my husband tried to get sticky glue board residue off of two umbrellas and a tarp. Hmmmm. On the advice of my dad, I also stuffed dryer sheets under all the seats (it's supposed to deter future mice from moving in with a bonus of giving off a fresh scent).

The car still smells like peanut butter and not very fresh mouse and clean laundry, but it's MOUSE FREE.

And that's my Ten Things of Thankful post, because not only is the mouse dead, but he (or she) didn't bring nine other members of its family to take up residence in my car (and yes, I checked EVERYWHERE).

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Monday, July 5, 2021

4th of July Thankful Math

Thankful math is getting me again this week, and I have 4th of July holiday to blame. The child development center was closed Friday and Monday for the holiday, Monday because the 4th was on Sunday and therefore is considered "observed" the next day, and Friday because someone higher up was being really nice to us. We work a 4-day week during the summer, half of us taking Mondays off and half of us taking Fridays off. I'm a Monday person, and since everyone got Monday off, then Monday people got Tuesday off as well, and I thought today was Sunday but actually it's Monday and my Ten Things of Thankful is going to come in under the wire and THIS IS WHY I BARELY PASSED ALGEBRA IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Carrying on. Here are my thankfuls:

There is a mouse in my car. I am thankful that we have two cars, because I'm not setting foot in the other one until the little fucker is caught.

My daughter was approved for an apartment we found in Kansas City. This is a HUGE relief for all of us. Move in should be easy, since she only has a small arm chair, a desk chair, three cups, a couple of bowls, a sauce pan, and way too many clothes.

I had a dream I peed myself, and I woke up pretty relieved to find out that it was just a dream.

Made brownies in a bowl that was entirely too small and didn't slop it all over the counter.

Poshmark, which makes my addiction to Allbirds shoes affordable.


We can sit on the dock at the lake house and watch the fireworks display at Branson Landing without the crowds. 

Milo's zero calorie sweet tea.

Pleasant weather for the 4th of July weekend: warm during the day, cool in the evening, and low humidity.

Good tweezers.

I'd invite you to join us this week at the Ten Things of Thankful, but you're going to have to be quick, because the link closes soon!

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