Sunday, October 31, 2021

Goodbye, Halloween!

End of the week, end of October - already! The days and weeks really snowball once you get to September, but that's okay. We will get our time back in January, which seems to last about three months, and February, which spouts that "shortest month of the year" hype that it can't live up to. Whatever. We'll be here with the Ten Things of Thankful weekly blog hop no matter the month, because we are DEDICATED to recognizing that we all have thankfuls in our lives Here are mine for this week:

1. I sold a boat. I know this was in last week's post, but it bears repeating, and if you read the post about it, you will understand why I feel this way!

2. Halloween is over after this weekend. I am not, nor have I ever been, a big fan of the holiday, but children love it and can't think of anything else for the entire month leading up to it. If you've never been in a classroom the last week before Halloween, you cannot imagine the level of excitement they reach, including 2 and 3 year olds, who really don't have a clue exactly what it is they're anticipating.

3. Having said all that in #2, you might find it interesting that I put on a Trunk or Treat event for our little nugs at school. Due to Covid, we couldn't have our annual pumpkin party shindig, so I suggested doing a trunk or treat and inviting departments at the university to participate. The idea was immediately approved and I was promptly volunteered to be in charge. I had over 15 departments, groups, and individuals sign up, and it turned out to be a terrific event for everyone!

4. Did I mention that I have never been to a trunk or treat event myself and didn't really have a clue what I was doing? I am SOOOO thankful that the trunkers either had before or did a little research, because they KILLED it! I just walked around and offered extra tape and they truly did all the real work.

5. Did I also mention that I offered prizes and snacks to entice them? I think they would have participated regardless, but a friendly little bribe never hurts.

6. My husband and I went to Kansas City for the weekend to visit our daughter. We couldn't leave until the Trunk or Treat event was done, so by the time we got on the road, it was after 6 pm and dusky. We were on the interstate (it's a 2 hour and 15 minute drive through a very rural and very flat part of Missouri), when a deer bolted across the road in front of a pickup truck that was just ahead of us. The pickup hit the deer (the deer kept running - those things are hardier than you might think) but didn't lost control, we didn't hit the pick up, and my husband perked up and took his position at shotgun a little more seriously the rest of the trip.

7. Miraculously, we saw no more deer on the rest of the drive.

8. Daughter was at a law school Halloween party when we got to town, but there is an electronic entry on the building and her apartment, so we don't have to have a key to get in. 

9. Her cat, Calvin, was happy to have our company.

10. We had a fun weekend of eating, talking, and visiting thrift stores. Treasures were found by all three of us!

Gonna paint it.

Touted as "best burger in KC". Good,
but maybe not best. Will continue to
research that.

How often do you find an enamelware urinal
for sale? For me, it's twice, as I got one at
an auction a few years ago and use it as a vase.

How was your week? Are you ready for Halloween to be over and to move on to MY favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving? Link your thankful post with us below. The link is open from Friday mornings through Monday evening. You can find the time!

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Sunday, October 24, 2021


Sometimes, the Ten Things of Thankful just writes itself, and this is one of those weeks! Here's why:

The sailboat is sold!

In a TToT posted the last week in August, I wrote that I had cleaned (as well as I could or was inclined to do) the sailboat that had been sitting in the carport at the lake house for - I kid you not - 32 years. 32. Years.

Step into the Wayback Machine with me for this one.

In 1988, my parents drove to Las Vegas for an Ace Hardware buying show (my dad owned a farm supply store that also sold Ace). My brother was living in Yuma, Arizona, at the time, and he met them in Vegas, and then all three of them went to Los Angeles for a couple of days. Now, I wasn't there and have only heard the story second hand, but rumor has it that my dad found out there was a boat show in Long Beach, and he didn't want to do any of the activities (which included attending a Tonight Show taping) that my brother had planned once he found this out. By this time, they were all at sixes and sevens, so in the interest of family harmony, it was decided my dad would drop my mom and brother off at the Tonight Show taping, and he would continue on to the boat show.

When the taping had ended, my mom and brother were waiting for my dad to pick them up when what should pull up to the curb but my dad TOWING A SAILBOAT ON A TRAILER. Apparently, he walked into the boat show, saw the sailboat on display, sails up and in all its glory, and he wasn't going to leave without it. And he didn't. What makes this even better (because I wasn't there and didn't have to put up with any of it) is that everywhere they went from that point on was with a 26 foot sailboat following them. Hollywood. Santa Monica. Sailboat. Picture it.

After a couple of days, my brother headed back to Arizona, and my parents towed the sailboat allllll the way back to Missouri. They took the boat to Stockton Lake, about an hour from their home, and my dad learned to sail it (he had a small sailboat that they took to the lake occasionally, but this one was much bigger and could sleep 6 if two of them were very short or very limber). My mother was not a sailor and mostly went out on the boat because she didn't want my dad to go alone, but they did spend two summers going out on it, my dad loving it and my mom tolerating it. 

Fall of 1989, my parents started looking at lake houses on Lake Taneycomo (3 hours from where they lived). At first, it was just for fun, but then they found one they loved and they bought it. They pulled the sailboat out of Stockton Lake for the winter, parked it in the carport of the new lake house, and there it sat until this past weekend.

My mom was always after my dad to sell the sailboat, but he insisted he was going to get it out again (the lake house is NOT a sailing lake - the water is 45-50 degrees year-round), but he didn't. All the cushions and sails were stored inside the house, the boat got an occasional power wash, but otherwise, it just sat, forlornly, in the carport for 32 years.

In the summer of 2019, my dad said he thought maybe he should sell the boat, and we put a sign in front of the house, but no takers. This summer, after making plans with a builder to add on a real garage to the house and turn the carport into a shop for all his tools and saws and stuff, my dad said he might sell the boat on an online auction site, and I told him I would try to sell it on Facebook Marketplace first.

The only time I've been aboard the boat
is to clean it....

I cleaned the boat at the end of August, took pictures, and listed it on Marketplace. We had a couple of lookers, a lot of inquiries, all wanting to know if it came with a motor (it did not), and then I got a message that seemed too good to be true: someone who once owned the exact same boat saw the listing and wanted to buy it, and this weekend, the man drove to Branson, paid what we were asking for it, hitched it to his pick up truck, and drove off with the sailboat.

My daddy.

We couldn't have asked for a better transaction
and transfer of my dad's beloved sailboat.

My dad was wistful. "I wish I could have taken it out one more time," he said the night before it was sold, even though he knew that physically, at almost 87, he couldn't really have sailed it.  As long as the sailboat remained in the carport, there was a chance, but when it was gone, the chapter was finally closed. 

I'm not going to lie: I had a lump in my throat when that boat disappeared down the street behind the new owner's truck. Then I drove my car into the empty space in the carport and parked there for the first time in 32 years, and it was good.

I hereby invoke the TToT's Secret Rule 1.3(c)(iii) that states when one finally sells a boat after 32 years, that's thanks enough!

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Monday, October 18, 2021

Without Further Ado

Cool weather. Monday night football on tv. Cats snoring on the bed. Good writing atmosphere, right? Without further ado, here are my Ten Things of Thankful for this week:

1. There was a lot of rain last week. It's been really dry around here, so the rain was welcome EXCEPT when a big storm blew up one morning at school, and I had to lower the shades on the windows so the nugs couldn't see the lightning. Good news is none of them really noticed the thunder that followed, which perhaps will let you know what the noise level was like INSIDE the room....

2. My husband and I took Thursday, Friday, and Monday off for a mini vacay, and we began it with a visit to Silver Dollar City on Thursday, between rain showers. If you have a season pass and go to a certain number of their festivals, you qualify for a pewter Christmas ornament that you can pick up during Ozark Mountain Christmas. We had to make it to the fall festival rain or shine! While we were there, I devoured, and I do mean DEVOURED a small loaf of cinnamon bread that was utterly amazing. I'm calling it research, because I plan to try to recreate this delicacy, but my husband said I was just a piggy, and yes, I did share with him, but no, it was NOT a 50/50 share, because RESEARCH.

3. On Friday, we drove to Little Rock in (you guessed it) THE RAIN. It's a beautiful drive from Branson to Little Rock WHEN IT'S NOT RAINING. The highway winds through the Ozark Mountains and the Boston Mountains and has fun attractions like runaway truck ramps along it. Our brakes did not fail us, but the anti-skid device on the car kicked in once and scared the bejeebers out of me. We found an awesome little diner in Clinton, Arkansas, where I thought they were serving me pineapple and gherkins with my french toast but found out they were actually something called a luna grape, and we also made it through Damascus, Arkansas, without getting caught in a speed trap, which SOMEONE in my family **cough cough Emma cough cough** cannot say. 

I ask you, do these look like pickles or grapes?

4. We went straight to my son and daughter in law's house, narrowly avoiding a severe thunderstorm and getting to the house before the next wave hit. We got to visit for a bit and see (barely) our two grandcats (they're skittish, even though I brought them presents) before checking into our Airbnb and then meeting the two of them for dinner and an evening at our Airbnb.

His white coat was hanging by the door and
I couldn't resist!

5. While we were visiting after dinner, my son was poking around the house we were staying in, peeking in closets, opening drawers, tapping on the fish tank, and picking up and analyzing each item on the book shelf in the living room. The last thing he picked up was a round box that had a plaque on it and engraved with someon'e name. The lid was loose, so he opened it and looked inside, pulled out a plastic bag, and said, "Why would someone keep sand in this?" Guess what? NOT sand. Cremains. He hastily put it back (AFTER the rest of us yelled at him to do so), but it certainly was the most interesting thing I've ever seen in an Airbnb.

6. The wind changed direction and became pretty fierce, and small branches were even falling out of the trees when my son and DIL left, and shortly after that, we heard a boom outside and the power went out. It was definitely the sound of a transformer blowing, but none of the other houses on the cul-de-sac lost their power, which was odd. It was fairly heavily wooded behind the house, and we couldn't tell if any of the homes back there were affected or not. I sent a message to our Airbnb host to let her know, then texted my son to find out the name of the power company so I could report it. We were using the flashlights on our phones, but my battery was on 20% and my husband's on 50%, and my son told us there were flashlights in the nightstand in the bedroom, so I'm thankful after all that he snooped around the house!

7. Our host got back to us and kept sending me the updates about the power as she received them (estimated repair by 10 pm, then 12 pm, then no promises after they passed that time). We both slept fitfully, my husband mostly because he couldn't use his CPAP, and me, because (a) I was pretty sure my son had conjured up some kind of spirits from opening the box of cremains, (b) I was worried about the aquarium in the living room and wondering when I would have to find a straw and blow into their water so they wouldn't die, and (c) my husband couldn't use his CPAP. At 4:30, my husband heard voices in the backyard, saw men with headlamps, hoped they were with the power company, and then all the lights in the house came on - yay! Oh, and the fish coughed a bit but were otherwise fine....

8. I had this big plan to take the trail up Pinnacle Mountain on the west side of Little Rock, but apparently it's more of a climb than I am capable of doing (so says my family and they're probably right), so we took an easier hike on a trail that didn't require you to be part mountain goat, but it would have helped. It was about a 3 mile loop (truly a loop and not an up-and-back, as I've made that mistake before and my husband has never let me forget it). Neither my husband nor I fell down, and my son and DIL didn't get so far ahead of us as to lose us, although they may have wanted to. It was really pretty with perfect weather (meaning no rain OR wind).

The doctors.

My dad would say Indians bent this
tree which may or may not be true.

Caught a little golden hour light

Beautyberries. ps Get the "Picture This" app
for identifying plants. So handy!

9. My husband and I squeezed in a little thrift shopping throughout the trip, not really finding anything, although I did find more than one treasure that he wouldn't let me buy.

Caption this yourself

Mama Mama is a Llama

10. My daughter was in Fayetteville for homecoming (different part of Arkansas from where we were) and left her cat at our house with our three so Calvin wouldn't be lonely. I don't know what went on while all of us were gone, but after she left this morning to go back to Kansas City, our three cats have slept pretty much non-stop, and she reported that Calvin has done the same once she got him back home. At least we ended with the same number of cats we started with!

I hope you got rain if you needed it or had beautiful weather when you wanted it. I hope you saw people you love and ate too much food because you could. I hope you spend some time becoming one with nature or one with a comfy chair, whichever best suits you, maybe even both. I hope if you haven't counted your thankfuls lately that you do so starting today.

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Monday, October 11, 2021

Fast Week, Faster Weekend

The week went by much faster than I expected it would. Unfortunately, the weekend did as well, and now it's Monday and the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop is about to draw to a close. Here are mine for the week:

There are super cute bats hanging from the ceiling of my classroom that were kind of a pain in the ass to make but worth it. 

Feeling batty

It's one week until I get to see my son and his wife for the first time since right after they graduated from medical school. They're kind of busy with their residencies, so we're lucky to get a couple of days with them.

I'm thankful for sleeping nugs. There is nothing much sweeter than the sound of them sleeping while lullabies are playing in the background.

My daughter got invited to go to a KC Chiefs football game this weekend. I am thankful she got the opportunity, but I'm also quite jealous, as I've never gotten to go to one IN MY LIFE. 

My daughter, right, and her friend Taylor

One might have enjoyed the game more if (a) they were a duck and (b) if the Chiefs had actually played well and won, but she had a wonderful time in spite of the rain, severe thunderstorm, losing team, and that Travis Kelce didn't spy her in the stands and whisk her away, Maybe next time.

I hope Kelce could see her from here.

I'm thankful that my husband and I both agreed that, after enduring five episodes of Squid Game on Netflix, it just wasn't that good and we are not going to finish out the series. If you watched it and liked it, I'd like to know why. Did I miss something?

It FINALLY feels like fall. Maybe the trees will get the memo and change colors now.

I'm really loving the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics eye shadow palette. I've finally decided that I cut corners and save money often enough that I can justify this little splurge. The colors are, well, basic and neutral, they stay on, and NONE OF THEM ARE GLITTERY. Nobody over 30 needs glitter in their eye shadow, I'm telling you, and over, say, 60? HELL, no.

Graham crackers. I really like graham crackers.

My favorite take away from this week's church sermon: These ARE the good ol' days.

Be grateful for all gifts, big and small! If you didn't join us this weekend, then by golly, you should do it next one! Look for the link on Friday mornings.

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Monday, October 4, 2021

Be The Change!

 My husband's chair makes a mysterious noise that's something between a whistle and a squeak. It happens every time he breathes. I'm not thankful for this, because it annoys the crap out of me, but I AM thankful for the following, and thus begins this week's Ten Things of Thankful:

I am thankful for Vicks Vaporub, and not for the reason it's intended. If you have a chore to do that includes a distasteful, overpowering odor, smear a little Vicks under your nose first. Poopy diaper? No problem! Barf? No problem! Hint: if you put a mask on after applying, it works even better!

I'm thankful for buttered popcorn for supper.

I'm thankful that the US Constitution gives us the right to assemble.

I'm thankful I was able to participate in the Women's March for Reproductive Rights in Kansas City this past weekend. Be the change you want to see in the world!

I'm thankful my daughter's apartment is literally across the street from the Women's March venue, so I didn't have to deal with parking or worry where I'd find a bathroom.

I'm thankful my daughter got her precious orange kitty, Calvin, to keep her company while she goes to law school in a bit city. They needed each other. 

I'm thankful for a fun weekend with our daughter that included lots of eating, talking, laughing, and playing with Calvin.

I'm thankful that when I found out I cannot parallel park on the left side of a street (it was one-way, before you think I've lost my mind), there was no one around to witness my miserable fail but me.

I'm thankful that my first movie experience since the pandemic began was at a theater with roomy, reclining seats, that everyone adhered to the mask mandate, and that my daughter and I got to enjoy "Dear Evan Hansen" together.

I'm thankful that I got to attend my favorite church while we were in Kansas City. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (sorry, but I'm warning you that it's gonna happen), I wish I could attend this church in person every week, but I am grateful for them streaming it on Facebook so I can attend without, well, attending.

And there you have it. I hope you have oodles of thankfuls for this past week and the weeks to come, and I hope you'll consider writing a post about them and linking up with us here at the Ten Things of Thankful.

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