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!

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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"