Monday, May 31, 2021

A Repurposing Of Boxes And Biscuits And Christmas Trees Week

I have a confession: 

I still have a Christmas tree in my family room.

And tomorrow is June 1.

I left it up in January because it's silver with white lights and only about 4 feet tall, and I thought it looked more wintery than Christmas-y. I also might have been too lazy to carry it down to the basement.

Oh, I could have gotten all cute and decorated it to match each season, like little hearts at Valentine's Day and decorated eggs for Easter, but did I mention that I am lazy?

Now that the little silver Christmas tree has been in my family room for six months, do I leave it out or put it away? What to do, what to do....

Here are Ten Things of Thankful for this week:

My husband and I got to spend the day before the big graduation last weekend doing fun stuff in Oklahoma City. It started with the adorable Airbnb we stayed in. It was cute and comfy and had a cool mural outside that made a great photo backdrop.

Sweet mural

I belong to a Facebook group for weird secondhand finds, which is right up my alley, and on there, I read about place in OKC called Dead People's Stuff. It's mostly architectural salvage, and we had a great time poking around in it. 

Windows started at $250....

No price on the old toilets but I wasn't in the 
market for a new (old) one anyway....

Our awesome Airbnb hosts recommended a nearby restaurant, Hunny Bunny Biscuit Company, and it was divine! Everything biscuits. How could you go wrong with that?! I had the French toast biscuit. My husband had the chicken club biscuit.

Get in my belly now!

We also found a taco truck that was parked in a rundown, light industrial area. I don't think the truck had been driven in a very, very long time, but after I quit being judgy about it, I ate the best street tacos I've ever had.


Driving a stick shift is like riding a bicycle (sort of, because I fall off bicycles sometimes and I have yet to tip over a car), which is a good thing, as I drove my daughter in law's car back from OKC (logistics issues with only two drivers to get three vehicles from OKC to Little Rock). Other than driving my son's car briefly a year ago, I hadn't driven a car with a manual transmission since 1997. I still got it!

The car had a Pike Pass, so I got to breeze past the toll booths on the turnpikes instead of having to stop, and I felt VERY AWESOME doing so. It's the little things....

We have had a stupid amount of rain lately, and on Wednesday of this past week, we got five inches in just a couple of hours, leading to flash flooding. We only had a trickle of water in our basement at home, and more than a trickle at school, but nothing appears to have been ruined by it.

With that rain came severe thunderstorms. I didn't want my sweet nugs to get scared, so I closed the blinds, turned off the lights, put on a movie (Richard Scarry "Best Sing-Along Mother Goose Video Ever"), and gave them huge boxes to sit in. Indoor drive-in movie! We made it through a nasty storm, including a bolt of lightning that struck VERY close by, with NO TEARS!

Everything is better when you're sitting in a box.

Remember the French toast biscuit from the Hunny Bunny Biscuit Company? NAILED IT! 

Leftover biscuits, repurposed.


This was the last weekend of the Bluegrass Festival at Silver Dollar City. My husband and I went three different times throughout the festival to listen to music, seeing established acts like Rhonda Vincent along with up-and-coming groups like Southern Strings (all teenagers and all wildly talented). 

And there you have it. If you didn't link up with us this week, do it next week!

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Is There A Doctor In The House?!

When he was 4 years old, my son wanted to be a "mortuary worker" when he grew up, which, to him, meant he would wash fleet cars (my husband was working in the family mortuary at the time, and that's all Kyle had ever seen his dad do at work). In elementary school, he wanted to work for NASA. 

Then, in 6th grade, he had a sleepover at a new friend's house. I picked him up the next morning from a house that looked much like the Clampett's mansion in The Beverly Hillbillies, and he excitedly told me how cool the house was, especially the intercom system in every room. "What does James' dad do for a living?" he asked, and when I told him James' dad was a cardiologist, he said, "That's what I want to do when I grow up!" And thus, a tiny seed was officially planted.

In 8th grade, Kyle had to do a project for his gifted class on what you wanted to be when you. grew up, and one of the requirements was to job shadow. I helped him make arrangements to shadow the cardiologist I had after Emma was born (long story, but you can read about that here if you are so inclined). When I picked him up at the end of the day, he was bubbling over with stories from his day, including being in the ER when the doctor had to tell a family that there was nothing further that could be done for their loved one, watching a procedure where the cardiologist drew fluid off a patient's heart, and, most importantly, eating in the doctors private dining room at the hospital, where he got to eat brisket and chocolate cake. He was hooked!

High school and college were devoted to getting into medical school. I'm not going to tell you it was smooth sailing, because it wasn't always, but through a combination of him being very smart and me reminding him periodically to make sure he turned in all his work, he was accepted at University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, where he turned into this man who is now, officially, a doctor. And he's married to another doctor, our lovely Lillian, whom he met at medical school. They are moving to Little Rock in a week to begin their residencies, him in Internal Medicine and her in Pediatrics. We could not be more proud of them both.

And some day in the not-so-distant future, that kid will get to eat in the doctors dining room, and he will have come full circle.

And that, my friends, is my Ten Things of Thankful for the week, all rolled into one GIGANTIC ENORMOUS FABULOUS thankful.

May I introduce to you Kyle R. Dillon, MD, and his wife, Lillian Flannigan, MD, (neither of whom appreciate me calling them, collectively, the Doctors Dilligan):


We are grinning like fools behind the masks....

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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Just A Little Thankful List

I'm going for a short and simple Ten Things of Thankful list this week. You're welcome!

1. Cheese

2. Uncle Funky's Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator

3. Allbirds shoes

4. Oatmeal

5. Propel Fitness Water packets (not saying the flavor, because LAST time I did that, there was a national shortage of it)

6. Back scratches

7. Lap kitties

8. Preschoolers

9. 4-day summer work weeks

10. Parks and Rec and The Office re-runs

No reason for this. Just
didn't have a photo for the
post and so I dropped this
little throwback in.

There you have it. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. You can do it, too!

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Monday, May 10, 2021

My Pants Are Broken And Other Thankfuls

This Season of Large Life Events is about halfway over. Some days I think, it's ONLY halfway over and others, it's ALREADY halfway over. Kind of a glass half full or half empty way to look at it, but since I am forever a half full kind of gal, it makes it so much easier to come up with thankfuls!

We had lovely weather most of the week, and it was even warm enough for my little nugs to be barefoot in the sandbox.

I was gifted a package of Peeps. I had planned to save them but ended up pounding them down in a stress-eating frenzy, but they were delicious while they lasted.

This thankful is for one of my little nugs: all of my denim capris are too big for me (okay, that part is a thankful for me) and also very old and wearing out on the knees (I am down on the floor a lot at school). Two pairs have worn through at the knees and now the knees have ripped out, which is a look people pay A LOT of money for in the stores, and mine are completely natural. ANYWAY, I have continued to wear them, because I only had another couple of pairs with the knees intact; however, one of my little boys has been very concerned about the condition of these capris. When he first saw them, he said, "Dillon! Your pants are broken!" and continued to ask me about them about a thousand times. Last week, I bought not one, not two, but THREE new pairs - no holes! He did not notice when I wore my new "unbroken" pants, by the way, in case you wondered.

My daughter was invited to join Phi Beta Kappa. According to a quick Google search, just over 1% of college seniors are invited to join. She wouldn't have accepted it, had they not also sent a letter to our house that I intercepted, because she thought is was one of the many scam "honor societies" that she has been invited to join since she was in middle school. Two thankfuls right there!

Friday afternoon, my baby girl graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas honors college with a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism and with a 4.0 GPA. She was in a sorority, volunteered, and was involved in several campus activities, including serving as Secretary of the student government this year, and wrote and defended an honors thesis on the Covid vaccine. She rocks.

The University of Arkansas takes their Covid protocol VERY SERIOUSLY. There are 8 colleges within the University. These were divided into TWENTY different graduation ceremonies and held at venues throughout the campus. My daughter's ceremony was held in the Bud Walton Arena, home of Razorbacks basketball, and there were a total of 8 held in that building alone ON FRIDAY. There were 7 held in there the next day. There was much less pomp and circumstance than one would expect at a large college graduation, including the fact that they didn't even PLAY Pomp And Circumstance (my daughter felt a little cheated by that, and I have to concur), but we were in and out in an hour and traffic wasn't bad.

The graduates spread out on the arena floor.

We (meaning my husband and me, as the new graduate had better offers) went to the lake house for the rest of the weekend and spent Saturday afternoon at Silver Dollar City enjoying a bluegrass festival. We sat for three hours in an amphitheater in the blazing sunshine that had shown no signs of appearing when we left the house without putting on sunscreen, and somehow, we came away without getting sunburned. Won't risk THAT again!

These ladies cracked themselves up with
their makeshift sun hats. We weren't the only
ones who weren't expecting to see the sun!

I didn't count closely, but I think that's ten. This week should be fairly quiet, then the next Large Life Event will be looming ahead.....

Join us at the hop, if not this week, then next!

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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Busy Little Week Of Thankfuls

When last we were together, I had finished a fun-filled girls weekend at the lake house with two of my friends from work. One of the friends (not naming names, but it rhymes with Vikki) had been suffering from allergies all week. As we were headed to the lake, "Vikki" needed to take her allergy meds, and I was the only one with a drink, but (a) she's already had Covid, (b) we are both fully vaccinated, and (c) she has allergies, so what could possibly go wrong? Sunday afternoon, I became congested. By the time I got home from the weekend trip, I had a little fever. Monday, the headache started, Tuesday, the yellow snot (sorry, that's what it was). Anyone else think "Vikki" had allergies? Yeah, me, either, but they lead me to my Ten Things of Thankful.

1. After being in utter misery all week, by Wednesday, friends were telling me I should call a doctor. Light bulb moment: I BIRTHED a doctor! Okay, he's three weeks short of the degree, but close enough. I texted him about it. He told me 90% of upper respiratory infections are viral and if I didn't have a temp anymore, I probably didn't need antibiotics and to take some OTC anti-allergy medication to alleviate symptoms. On Thursday, I got an electric jolt in my upper teeth if I bent over, my face hurt to touch it, and I was having, shall we say, very productive episodes of nose blowing. I didn't want to go to the Urgent Care if I could avoid it, because Covid, but I remembered (another light bulb moment) my insurance company has a Telemed option. Registered on-line, got a phone call within five minutes, had a doctor confirm what I already knew, and got a prescription for an antibiotic for my bouncing baby sinus infection. Boom!

2. This is my antibiotic. I took a picture of it next to my finger to show you how big it is, but without you knowing how long my fingers are, it may not look that big, so I took it with a quarter for size. Then I added its twin, the Mucinex tablet. I'm thankful they have gone down easier than I ever could have imagined they would. Whew!

Big pill. 

See? Even if you don't believe I have long fingers,
you can't argue with a quarter

3. And they don't make my tummy hurt. Bonus!

4. I REALLY needed to get started on an antibiotic as soon as possible, because my husband and I had to go to Fayetteville Friday afternoon to attend the University of Arkansas Seniors of Significance awards presentation. Seventy-one seniors were selected from over 600 nominations by faculty and staff based on academic achievement, leadership skills, and co-curricular activities. Once the ceremony started, we were pleased to find out Emma Kate not only was a Senior of Significance, but she was also honored as a Razorback Classic, which was comprised of the top 20 students in the class.

5. They held five different ceremonies in order to provide for social distancing, but the recipients got to choose their time slot, and Emma was able to get in the same ceremony as several of her friends who were also recipients, including her cousin Will. Look very closely at the photos of Emma and Will (hint: check out the certificates).

Look closely at the certificates....

One of EK's friends walked by and told her 

6. After the ceremony and dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants (okay, it's a bar with food), we went to the dueling piano bar. It was boisterous and loud and sooo much fun! Singing along is encouraged, and no one can hear how bad of a singer you may or may not be!

7. Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:30 am per usual, and when I couldn't entertain myself any longer, I got dressed and walked to a nearby bakery. Made it there and back without getting lost and brought back an assortment of pastries, including THE most amazing cinnamon rolls ever! 

8. We accompanied Emma Kate all over campus as her personal valets as she got senior pictures taken. I can't believe these four years are over already!

Carrying nothing but herself....

We were there to carry her wardrobe and
all the graduation cords, medals, and stolls

At the Zeta house

9. When we left Fayetteville, we took a side trip south to Devil's Den State Park (just my husband and me, as Emma Kate gently hinted that she might have better things to do on her last weekend as a college student than spend the afternoon hiking in the woods - go figure!). We didn't see the entire park, but we got an idea of the scope of it, hiked along a river, and just generally enjoyed a really gorgeous day. The park was built by the CCC in the 1930s and includes a spectacular dam.

So lovely and has withstood the test of time.

10. I need to get some sleep now, because my final thankful is that, starting tomorrow, I will be working full time! I was hired as a part time teacher, and it fit my schedule at the time, but after working there for a few months, I loved it and wanted to be full time. It took another year to happen, but it's now official! 

Our link stays open until Monday night, so no, it's not too late for you to join us! Please do!

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