Sunday, December 18, 2022

Maybe It Means A Little Bit More

I totally do not have my shit together this holiday season. Some may argue that I haven't had it together this entire year, or at least, this school year (and I'll totally own that, because I am self-aware enough to realize it, just not able to fix it). I haven't finished decorating the house for Christmas, and while no one visiting my house would know it, I do, I'm woefully behind on Christmas shopping, and anything I need to order will most definitely not make it to our house before the tree gets put away for another year. Haven't made one cookie and only one batch of candy (fudge that in all honesty didn't turn out well). 

What's that, you say? I'm being a cotton-headed ninny muggins?! 

Let me turn it around and tell you about my thankfuls for the week instead:

1. My dad had a heart procedure done about a month and a half ago when he had a Watchman device inserted into his heart to help prevent blood clots caused by AFib. Monday, he had a scope done to see if the Watchman was doing its job, and the good news is that IT IS! He now gets to stop taking a blood thinner (without going into gory detail, the combination of thin skin and a strong blood thinner meant every time he brushed against something, his skin tore and he lost what seemed to be buckets of blood). Within three days, he could tell a difference! 

2. My son was able to come home this week for a few days. He got here on Monday, arriving at the hospital just before they took my dad back for his procedure. My dad had been given loopy juice in his IV and invited my son to go with him to the OR. The nurse's eyes got big and panicky, like she thought my son was going to storm the OR, but he said, "Well, Papa, I don't have any scrubs with me, aaaand I don't work here." The nurse looked greatly relieved.

3. It was a hard week to take time off of work, as it was finals week at the university, as our college student workers had other priorities (imagine that!), but I got to take off early two days to spend time with my son, and I'm HUGELY grateful to Ceason and Nikki for getting my room covered so I could do that. Love you both!

4. He can move away to attend school, get married, and become a physician, but that goofy, curious, little kid is still in there, right under the surface. At least this time, when he started pushing buttons and touching things he shouldn't (i.e., the monitor displaying my dad's vitals in the hospital), he knew what he was doing!

5. In spite of my general failure to conquer the holidays this year, I did have gifts purchased AND WRAPPED for my son to take back home.

6. Before he headed back to Little Rock, he stopped at my school. I had told my nugs that my little boy was going to come by and visit, and when I brought him into the classroom and introduced him as such, my littles stopped what they were doing and looked him up and down, mouths open. They weren't expecting my "baby" to be 6'4" with a beard!

7. I got the Christmas gifts from my nugs to their parents AND the ones from me to them completed, wrapped (thanks to two of my student workers, Baylee and Ashley), and sent home. Whew!

8. Friday, I drove to Kansas City to spend a couple of days with my daughter and to do some Christmas shopping. I found a couple of fun gift shops to visit, thanks to a Kansas City facebook page that I belong to. Pictures of one of my finds in a future post, because, you know, Christmas gift....

9. Saturday night, I had THE BEST time with one of my oldest and dearest friends. Jan and I met in second grade, and we went to school together all the way through elementary school, junior high, high school, AND COLLEGE. So, yeah, we know where all the bodies are buried. We drove all over Kansas City looking at Christmas lights and laughing and talking (her daughter rode with us for part of the night until she couldn't take us any longer, and we dropped her off at home). I can't tell you how many hours during our friendship that she and I have clocked by driving around in a car together (I would say "aimlessly" driving around, but we always had some aim or purpose). We even drove past Patrick Mahomes' house (where he has a GINORMOUS inflatable reindeer in his yard, but the giant Santa had fallen over and the Christmas lights were lovely).

10. Today, I am going to attend church IN PERSON. I appreciate the opportunity to do it via the livestream every week, but attending in person is the BEST. In fact, I'm going to take a shower now and get ready to go!

Take a few minutes to write down your thankfuls and post them with us at the Ten Things of Thankful. The holiday stuff can wait for a few minutes. Or hours. Or you just let some things go, because it's not about getting all the decorations displayed or looking for the perfect gift. Maybe it's a little bit more....

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Sunday, December 11, 2022

Another One Of Those Thankful It's Over Weeks

This week has been nuts, and I'm thankful it's over! Here's why:
The nugs are wound up beyond belief in anticipation of Christmas. 

On Monday evening, the State office that we share a building with informed us they would have to turn our water off Tuesday morning from 6:30 to 7:00 in order to fix a leak. I thought it would be useful if I got to work really early Tuesday, so I could fill pitchers with water so the kids' water cups could be filled and ready for them, just in case it had to stay off longer than was estimated. Didn't happen, as I didn't get to school until 6:45 due to hair issues (any curly girls out there will understand this).

The water was on when I got to work, which was good, but it gets not good. We have breakfast at 8:00, then we have mandatory Potty Try Time. I went in the bathroom to supervise potty time, and remembering the water had been off, I thought it best to give each toilet a practice flush first. Even though these toilets don't have a tank like a home toilet does, it made sense to try it out, right? Last thing we need is a gurgling toilet to scare a little nug and have a toilet training set back, right?

Big thankful here: I used my foot to push the lever down to flush the toilet.

That gurgling I was concerned about? Try an explosion of water from a tiny toilet that not only shot up like a fountain about a foot above the toilet, but also the fountain was spinning in a circle. (One of my 3 year old boys was with me as a witness for any of you doubting that could possibly happen, and he will gladly describe every detail!) 

I yelled something (possibly a bad word, but I have no idea) and backed quickly away. See why I'm particularly thankful that I wasn't bending over that toilet, flushing it with my hand?!

My student worker was dispatched to the office to get help. The other toilet in the room was useable, so while I was trying to potty 16 little nugs, I put a movie on for them to watch, not caring that they shouldn't be having all that screen time, but you gotta do what you gotta do when there is a water volcano in your bathroom.

Hillbilly came from the physical plant in record time and fixed the fountain toilet as I used the other toilet to potty everyone. He looked over at me at one point and said, as I was helping a one child onto the toilet, putting a clean diaper on another, and making sure a third one was washing his hands, "Bless you! You have a lot of patience!" 

The rest of the week was spent planning and shopping for the Christmas party we held on Thursday evening for our student workers. It was a huge amount of work, even with my co-worker Emily to help me by being the assistant cruise director (or perhaps assistant to the cruise director - IYKYK), including spending FOUR HOURS shopping for gifts and prizes. The student workers seemed to have a good time, as evidenced by how long they stayed, but hoo boy, I was exhausted!

Friday night was the staff Christmas party at my house. I had had no time (or energy) to decorate my house, so it was only half done, but at least I had the tree up and decorated. My husband nearly pulled his arm out of the socket patting himself on the back for "cleaning" the house for me on Friday afternoon, even though his idea of cleaning was sweeping the kitchen floor and hiding all his work stuff upstairs in my daughter's bedroom and I had to clean the bathroom, vacuum, dust, de-cat hair the furniture, and make food. It was a great party (even though a couple of them were probably not so much great the next morning...).

But I survived. I'm bone tired and need about a week to fully recover (preferably on a tropical beach somewhere). Seven more school days and we get a ten day break. For THAT, I am doubly thankful!

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Sunday, December 4, 2022

I Didn't Get Killed By A Raccoon And Other Thankfuls

The week after Thanksgiving is a loooooong one. The little nugs have been wound up since Halloween, and now there's no hope of reeling them back in until January. Christmas?  Only three weeks away, and I have done NOTHING. I don't even have my house decorated, which wouldn't be a big deal if I weren't having the staff Christmas party here on Friday evening. The party for our college student workers is Thursday, and it appears I am in charge of that, along with my co-worker Emily, and if that weren't enough, I promised caramel popcorn to get the students to attend. GAHHHHH!!!

Maybe next week's Ten Things of Thankful will include how delightful the children have been, how lovely my house was for the staff party, how the college students didn't think their party was in the least bit lame, with or without caramel popcorn, and that I have all my gifts purchased or at least ordered. Tune in to find out, but in the meantime....

I put a three foot tall Christmas tree in my classroom for the nugs to decorate, and they have only knocked it over once.

To the best of my knowledge, none of them have eaten any of the mint-scented playdough.

I had trouble getting my my internal motor started all week and left the house late every single morning, BUT I made it to work on time each day. This is doubly important because I am the one with the key and am responsible for opening the school each morning, 

Encountered deer near the side of the road two different days this week and discovered that if you honk the horn at them, they literally turn tail and run the opposite direction. Seems to be a LITTLE more effective than my usual M.O. of rolling down the window and yelling at them to go home and stay off the road.

I'm thankful for good hair days, because I've had several REALLY BAD ones this week and they served as a reminder that it doesn't always look bad.

On that note, a guy working at Belk department store told me my hair was beautiful, and I accepted the compliment without saying anything negative.

That and the $7.90 sports bra I found on the clearance rack put a big ol' smile on my face.

My husband and I went to Silver Dollar City this weekend to see the Christmas lights. They were nothing short of spectacular,  the weather was pleasant and a light coat was sufficient, and we didn't lose our car in the parking lot.

Well, I didn't get killed by a raccoon, but I almost did. While walking down the big hill (IYKYK) at Silver Dollar City right at dusk, something ran out from the trees and across my path. I stopped just short of tripping on what I first thought was a cat (although that clearly didn't make sense in a theme park) but turned out to be a VERY LARGE RACCOON. It ran past us and into a dining area behind a restaurant, a move that it was obviously quite familiar with. There were about a half dozen or so people who also saw it speed in front of me, and we all stood there open-mouthed before laughing.

My friend's mom got scratched and bitten by a raccoon this summer that SHE encountered in the dark and had to get rabies shots, so one more thankful that the raccoon I saw not only didn't trip me and send me flying, but it also didn't attack me for just being in the way.

Time to go to bed and not think about everything I have to get done. Wish me luck with that....

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

It's Always Thanksgiving, There Just Isn't Always Pie

At the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, we know that Thanksgiving isn't the only time to count your thankfuls. We do it weekly, ten at a time, because being thankful should be a year 'round activity. Here are mine for this week:

We spent last weekend at the lake house with my dad and my daughter and her cat. It was a pleasant, relaxing time.

Two day work week, baby!

I got cookies, pies, caramel popcorn, and Chex mix baked and cranberry salad made before we headed to Kansas City for a family Thanksgiving at my brother and sister in law's home, and I didn't forget any of it on our kitchen counter.

I'm not sure why I made this assumption, but I assumed my niece, who lives in South Carolina, wasn't going to be able to come for Thanksgiving. I was delighted when she came outside to greet us! 

My niece Amy and daughter, playing with Calvin.

After a delicious Thanksgiving meal (that was served at precisely 2:00 as per my brother's spreadsheet), my husband, daughter, and I attended the lighting ceremony at the Country Club Plaza again. It was warmer this year than it was last year, which makes this a double thankful!

Plaza Light Ceremony

My brother got the idea for a family field trip on Friday morning. The only good sports were my brother, niece, husband, and me, but it was WORTH IT. He took us to Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas, a store with a mixture of traditional toys, art glass, and marbles, It gets better. They MAKE MARBLES there. With melted glass and a flame and other magical things, and we were lucky enough to be there when Bruce Breslow, the owner, did his first marble making demonstration since Covid. Fascinating process, plus Breslow is not only a master marble maker but a master entertainer as well. I highly recommend the place if you happen to be in the Kansas City area. 

Bruce Breslow making a marble

People come and go from our lives all the time, but special ones leave a hole in your heart when they go. Back when my kids were preschoolers, I had a friend that I met at an organization for stay at home moms. Tiffany and I became close friends during those years, and when her husband was transferred to another state, I was devastated. They moved several times over the next few years, ending up in Kansas City, then good ol' Facebook became a thing and we were able to keep in better contact. In the meantime, our kids grew to be adults and Tiffany (no longer with the husband and a boss single mom who also worked full time AND got her doctorate) decided to make a big move to Florida two years ago. Once again thanks to social media (Be Real this time), we found out we were both in Kansas City for the holiday, and we spent several hours Saturday evening talking and laughing and catching up. It did my soul good.

Me and Tiffany, Boulevard Brewing Company

I've gained a few pounds this fall, which I am NOT thankful for, but it means that we have plenty to eat.

I talk about attending church at Community Christian Church when we are in Kansas City and how much I love it. I only get to attend in person once every couple of months, but I religiously (no pun intended) attend on-line church when I'm not able to be there. After 15 months of attending either in person or on-line, I received an email from the associate pastor asking if we would like to join the church. Yes, please!  Today, we were welcomed to membership in the church, and I feel so very blessed to be official members of the church family. Thank you, Rev. Ryan, for making us feel so welcome since the first day we walked in the door!

After a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, my husband and I are back home, where we were greeted by three very cranky cats who did not think it was very Thanksgiving of us to leave them for five days with nothing but dry cat food. They have now been compensated with canned food and all is right in their world.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you remember that Thanksgiving is with us every day of the year, just not always accompanied by turkey and pie.

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Quick And Easy (That's What She Said)

Am I phoning in this week's Ten Things of Thankful post? Yes. Is this terribly lazy of me? Also yes. But does it prove that a TToT post can be quick and easy? Absolutely! 

Here are my thankfuls:

1. (Barely) surviving my first five day work week in three weeks.

2.  A warm school building.

3. The smell of pumpkin pie in the oven.

4. Good hair days.

5. My Shark vacuum cleaner. It's awesome at picking up pet hair!

6. The best invention since sliced bread: the heated mattress pad.

7. Tapioca pudding.

8. Etsy shops.

9. Kitty snuggles after being gone all weekend.

10. Anticipation for my favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving!

Time to snuggle under the covers that are ALREADY WARMED AND READY THANKS TO MY HEATED MATTRESS PAD. Make notes this week on what YOU are thankful for and link up with us Thanksgiving weekend or any weekend!

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Sunday, November 13, 2022


My Ten Things of Thankful for this week comes from a little adventure that I waited a lifetime for:

1. I had a three day work week this week, because...

2. husband and I took a couple of days off work to go to Kansas City and spend the weekend (plus 2 days) with our daughter.

3. We ate well, as usual, including my favorite Minsky's Pizza, which we ordered online for carryout and where my daughter and I, sitting in her car in front of the restaurant, got the bejesus scared out of us when a man knocked on the passenger window next to me on two separate occasions. He did this because we had pulled into a space clearly marked "curbside pickup," although neither of us noticed the big sign in front of the car until after the first time he tapped on my window and we screamed and he probably peed his pants a little. Instant replay when he brought the pizzas to the car and once again tapped on my window. I know he was thankful he didn't have to come back to the car a third time, and we were thankful he wasn't a random rapist or murderer.

4. The most exciting part of the weekend, the reason we went to Kansas City that particular weekend for something we had been planning since August, was that we had tickets to see the Chiefs pay at Arrowhead Stadium! It was a night game, not starting until nearly 7:30, which is why we took off work on Monday. (If we had tried to drive back home after the game, it would have been 3 a.m. before we arrived.) SO thankful we were both able to take the time off from work!

5. We picked this game in particular because the Chiefs were playing the Tennessee Titans, and a college friend of my daughter's was a first round draft pick for the Titans. Sadly, he was on the injured reserve list (and had been for a month), but that way, 100% of our loyalty was to the Chiefs.

6. I grew up in Kansas City, but I had never been to a Chiefs game before. I was a kid when they won the 1970 Super Bowl, and it was pretty much impossible to get tickets then unless you were a season pass holder, which my family couldn't afford. Then I moved away to attend college (and points beyond), and my parents moved, and even after my husband and I returned to Missouri, we couldn't afford tickets. Then we made it happen, sitting in the cheap seats high in the sky, but I was FINALLY THERE!

7. We got to the stadium before 4 pm and had quite a lot of time to kill before the game started. We didn't tailgate (next time!), so we wandered around among the hardcore tailgaters and to an event in front of the stadium with music and food and way too many people, BUT I got my picture taken with KC Wolf, the Chiefs mascot, so my day was absolutely made!

8. It got cold, but not too cold. 

9. Okay, it got too cold during the 4th quarter, but when the game ended with a tie and went into overtime, the adrenaline rush made the ol' blood flow and I felt a wee little bit warmer!

10. They WON!

Did it take an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot and drive the six miles back to Emma's apartment? Yes. Did I spend a stupid amount of money on hot dogs? Yes. Did the four guys in front of me spend the entire game on their feet, loudly giving advice to the refs, the player, and the coaches? Yesssss. Was it all worth it? YES!

If you have a spare 20 minutes, watch this video about prepping for game day at Arrowhead, including some fun footage of Dan Meers, a/k/a KC Wolf, who has been the Chiefs mascot for 30 years.

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Sunday, November 6, 2022

Had A Little Owie

Hoo boy, I had quite a week! It started out with Halloween, my least favorite holiday, and wild little preschoolers on sugar and adrenaline highs, and it ended with an emergency department visit. For the record, no relationship between the littles and the emergency, but Imma take that little visit and drag it out to give me my Ten Things of Thankful this week:

Just an hour or so before the fiasco began....

1. Thursday evening found me making an apple crisp for my co-worker's birthday celebration that was being held the next day at school. I overbought apples, so after I completed the apple crisp for Manda, I began making a second batch just for ourselves.

2. The apples were peeled, quartered, and cored, and the next step was cutting them into smaller pieces. I had cut maybe a quarter of them when my left index finger grazed the edge of the knife blade. Just a little scratch.

The guillotine 

3. Wrong. Blood began pouring out of a cut in my finger that started at the edge of my fingernail and ran around the side of my finger on a diagonal. I stuck it under the faucet and ran cold water over it and made a stab (no pun intended) at assessing the depth of the cut. Eight paper towels later, I assessed that it was deep enough that I wasn't going to be able to get the bleeding to stop, so I went upstairs and very calmly told my husband I should probably go to an urgent care. 

My husband jumped up from his chair and went directly into panic mode. I directed him to find out what urgent care facility was still open (it was 7 pm) as I availed myself of the facilities before we left (I always have to pee in emergency situations like filleted fingers, tornado warnings, and earthquakes), using only one hand while continuing to keep several paper towels held tightly over the cut.

4. After driving across town like he was Mario Andretti (and with both of us angry because I kept telling him to slow down before we BOTH needed an emergency room visit), we got to an urgent care that was open until 8 pm. (For readers who are in the US, urgent care facilities treat minor injuries and illnesses and keep you from having to go to the actual Emergency Room at a hospital, where people are REALLY sick or injured).

My paper towel pressure bandage

5. I waited only about 5 minutes before being taken back to an exam room.

6. It was the very, very end of their day, but every one of the personnel I dealt with were very kind and helpful, even though I know they had to be tired and just wanted to go home.

7. The doctor determined I could be glued together rather than stitched, but I would need a tetanus shot if mine wasn't up-to-date (it wasn't). Funny thing, I got my Covid booster and flu shot a few weeks ago, and I WOULD have gotten my tetanus booster at the same time, but the pharmacist said I shouldn't get all three done in the same arm at the same time (I was instructed always to get shots, blood draws, etc., in the right arm because my breast cancer was on my left side). I opted to get the flu shot and Covid booster together, saying "I'm much more likely to get the flu than I am tetanus..."  

8. Bleeding still refused to stop, so the doctor put a tourniquet on my finger. I said it looked like a castrating ring, and the doctor laughed and assured me he would not castrate me. The tourniquet/castrating ring worked, and I was successfully glued back together (take THAT, Humpty Dumpty!).

You say tourniquet, I say castrating ring

9. I sat around for a bit, waiting for the glue to dry. The nurse came in and gave me the tetanus booster (which did not hurt, because she uses a smaller needle when she gives one). She then rolled my castrating ring, I mean, tourniquet down further and snipped it off, but what was left behind was a very neat but bloody cut around my finger where the ring had been. "Oh, no!" she exclaimed, "We really DID almost castrate you!" It didn't hurt at all, though. I was sent home with a splint on my finger to protect the cut and prevent me from bending my finger and breaking the wound open. 

Cut from tourniquet

My littles at school the next day were very intrigued with my splint and that I had an owie, and then each and every one of them proceeded to show me every tiny owie THEY had, real and imagined. It was a great bonding time.

Sporting my splint

10. Yesterday, I took the splint off and saw that the cut from the tourniquet had healed over and it looked like the scab from it was lifting off already. Hmmm. I started picking at it, and it all came off in one piece. Hmmm again. It turns out it wasn't a cut or a scab at all; it was blood from the original cut that formed a neat little line along the edge of the glue line. No wonder it didn't hurt!

Wrapped my finger in a shower cap and
secured it with a hair tie so I could shower

The glue is starting to wear off now, three days post-near severing (not really) of my finger. Still a little tender, but I can now type with two hands and tie my shoes, so all is now well! 

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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Halloween Over Yet?

I know that YOU know that Halloween is coming up, but do you also know what a nightmare it is for teachers? I have the added bonus of having ones so young that they don't even know exactly what they are all wound up about, but they are wound up tighter than springs anyway! Here's how the week went down and is my Ten Things of Thankful:

1. We painted this week for the first time, and only one child ate the paint. That I know of, anyway, but since we were mixing yellow, orange, and red, it would have been pretty hard to miss someone with a mouthful.

2. We got much needed rain this week, which was great except for it keeping us penned up inside all day.

3. We had our Fall Festival Tuesday evening at school, with Halloween themed games and snacks. I was building a spooky walk in my classroom and running out of time and materials. I was toying with the idea of shutting my door and going home (not really, but sort of) when I got by with a little help from my friends (especially Nikki) and got it completed in time to get dressed in my costume.

4. Instead of my go-to costume of a scarecrow (easy and comfortable), I decided to dress as my favorite character, who happens to be one of my dearest friends and work-sister. I also got by with a little help from my friends again to get my costume on before the party kicked off.

5. I started and finished writing messages on 200 postcards to remind people to vote. 200. My hand is still cramped. Wow, you may be thinking, it's a lot to expect someone to do so many in such a short amount of time, and you would be correct; however, I received the postcards in August and didn't touch them until now and have no one to blame but myself. But they are done and mailed!

6. There was a city-wide fall clean up scheduled for this upcoming week where the lake house is located, and my dad wanted to get rid of a couple of ancient recliners and a very old couch. Last weekend, my husband and I drug them out of the basement, up a hill and around the house as far as the carport and left them there until this weekend, when we hauled them to the curb, a distance of at least 50 yards. Fingers crossed that they get picked up this week as scheduled.

7. My husband and I drove to Little Rock after dragging heavy furniture to the curb. As the crow flies, it's maybe 170 miles, but the road winds through the mountains (plus you have to watch for deer, elk, and bears, and I'm glad to report none were sighted) and it takes over 3 hours to do the trip at a minimum. It's a pretty drive, though, and we took our time, even stopping at one of many, many flea markets on our way.

8. We made it through Damascus, Arkansas, without getting caught in a speed trap, which our daughter can't say she's always been able to do....

9. We stayed at an Airbnb in the Hillcrest area of Little Rock and which was only three blocks away from our son and DIL's house. We could walk out the door and take a few steps and be in a quaint business district with restaurants and other little shops, and it was just perfect!

I had planned to do three things while we were in Little Rock (other than visit with our kids), and that was to go to the Clinton Library, visit Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and go see the Big Dam Bridge, which is a lock on the Arkansas River. Instead, it poured buckets of rain Saturday and I didn't get to do any of them. The bright side is none of the three are going anywhere and I will try again next trip.

10. We had a very enjoyable visit with the doctors and enjoyed hearing about their work (still kind of in awe that that goofy little ginger-headed boy who was obsessed with dinosaurs and Thomas the Tank Engine is an honest-to-god physician). 

Tomorrow is Halloween. We are having a pajama day in hopes of the pjs having a calming effect on the little punkins. Wish us luck!

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Sunday, October 23, 2022

Winter Spring Summer Fall In One Week

Last week, we were pulling out winter coats. Today, it's in the 80s with a fierce south wind. Tomorrow: in the 60s and thunderstorms. Is there any reason why my sinuses are completely jacked? (Make that mine and everyone else's and this was a moot question.)

On with the thankfuls for this week:

Well, the week went by in a flash!

I thought I lost some paperwork and it turns out I didn't even HAVE the paperwork to lose, so that was a huuuuuuuge relief!

I went shopping to find some Halloween pajamas for Pajama Day at school, and I didn't find any of those, but I found not one, not two, but THREE new pairs of jeans...

...and they were all ON SALE...

...and while I didn't find any Halloween pajamas, I did find a Peanuts Halloween shirt that I will wear with yoga pants and no one will be the wiser.

I have everything I need for my Halloween costume for our school's Fall Festival, and if it turns out as I hope, there will be photos next week.

Halloween will be over in 8 more days. I am not a Halloween fan.

Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming! I am ALL ABOUT Thanksgiving!

I'm finalizing plans for a trip to Little Rock next weekend to visit my son and daughter in law.

I am ready to ROCK THIS WEEK. For real!

Join the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop this week, next week, every week! We. Are. Here.

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Sunday, October 16, 2022

It Really Is My Favorite

It's been a breathtakingly beautiful fall weekend, bright blue skies, light breeze, orange and yellow and red mixed in with the green (and drought brown) leaves, and the angle of the sun is only seen this time of year. I'm wearing a flannel shirt, the Chiefs are playing, and all's right in the world.

Sort of.

While fall is my very favorite time of year, sometimes it makes me feel wistful. Blue. Sad, even. It was my mom's favorite time of year, too, and it makes me miss her more than ever, knowing how much she would have enjoyed a weekend like this. 

I was shopping early this afternoon for a simple black blouse when a display of coats caught my eye. I've had the same lightweight, waterproof jacket for, oh, over 15 years. It does its job and shows no wear, but it's purple, and I feel like either Barney or a very large eggplant when I wear it, so I tried on a beautiful, deep red trench coat. It seemed to fit well and the color was gorgeous. Then I realized I haven't bought a coat by myself maybe ever. My mom always took me shopping to buy a coat whenever I needed one (and sometimes when I didn't but SHE thought I should have a long one or a short one or a warmer one or a lighter weight one or....).

My eyes began to sting and there was a lump in my throat as I had only a mirror to tell me whether it looked good or not, and let me tell you, that person in the mirror is a harsh critic. I carried it around the store, not wanting to spend so much money on a coat just because I didn't want to hear the Barney theme song in my head every time I put on my old one. I texted my husband, who said "Get it if you like it!" I just wanted my mom there to tell me I looked pretty. 

I finally talked myself into the coat. I took it to the register. The $150 coat was on sale for $105. I had a coupon for 40% off. It brought the price down to $60. My mom would have been pleased we got such a deal (although she would have paid the full retail price for it if I liked it, in spite of me protesting). And I felt a little better inside. 

Now for my Ten Things of Thankful:

I found the black blouse I needed and it was also on sale plus an extra 40% off.

I'm finally going to give the Barney coat away to someone who could really use it.

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Cookie dough, which I like better than the cookies anyway.

Aldi take and bake pizzas.

Listening to the Homestead Pickers at Silver Dollar City.

Running into an old friend at Aldi (Hi again, Sandy!).

That Sandy saw me and waved, because I'm always in my own little world when I'm out and don't particularly notice anyone else.

Candy pumpkins.

Harrison Butker.

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Sunday, October 9, 2022

Thanks, Mimi!

 Holy moly, what a week! I lead a fairly quiet life. Well, when you teach 2-3 year olds, your days are far from quiet, but at the end of the school day? I. Am. Dead. I fall asleep in my chair, get up long enough to wash my face and put on my jammies, and I fall into bed, and if you think I'm exaggerating, my husband would be happy to confirm this.

But THIS week, I had sooooo much going on that I forgot to post the link to the Ten Things of Thankful hop on Friday, and that will bring me to my own list for this week:

1. I am extremely thankful for Mimi of Messy Mimi's Meanderings for many reasons, but for this list, it's also because she emailed me on Saturday afternoon to let me know that I hadn't posted the link. Whoopsie! 

2. While I'm on the subject of Mimi, and to show another reason just why she is awesome, she reached out to me about the link because she was worried about me when I hadn't posted it. She's an awesome person, and if you've never read any of her posts, you should follow the link in #1 and do so. She is a kind and good person, plus she's funny!

3. Since February, I have been the lead teacher who opens the preschool at 6:45 every morning, and I live in fear that I will get there and not have my school keys and we will all be sitting outside as the children arrive until I can get ahold of someone with a key to rescue us. I check and re-check my purse for the school keys before I leave the house, but Tuesday morning, I checked and THEY WEREN'T THERE. They weren't somewhere else in my purse and they weren't in the pocket of the pants I had worn the day before and I knew I was screwed. I called the university police department but didn't get an answer, and I was contemplating which student worker would be able to climb the fence to the playground and let us in a coded door when I saw Mr. Kenton in the parking lot. He works for the State (they have an office on the other side of our building) and he also arrives at the buttcrack of dawn for work. He doesn't have a key to our side, but he has one to the basement, and both sides connect there. Whew! Saved! 

4. My friend Julie and I bought tickets to see Book of Mormon back in July or August, and Tuesday was the day of the show - finally! Bad news. Julie had a tummy bug and was siiiiiiick. She tried to rally, but it wasn't going to happen for her. My immediate other two options were not fans of musicals, but I knew one of my co-workers DID like musicals, and she agreed to go with me. We were like little kids going to the circus, we were both so excited to go, and it was worth the trip (70 miles each way) and the late night (we got home close to midnight). 

the lighting made our hair look translucent 

5. Rebecca and I not only didn't have any close encounters with deer on our way home that night, we didn't even SEE a deer the entire way. 

6. I still hesitate to say anything until the deal has closed, but I drove up to my dad's to sign some papers at a title company. Fingers crossed the closing goes as planned and I'll have a future thankful in a couple of weeks.

7. About a week before I heard Book of Mormon was coming to Springfield, I saw that Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt were performing in Springfield in October, and I told my husband we were going. We NEVER go to concerts, but after the high I got from going to Steely Dan this summer, I was going to this! Now, both events two days apart in a city 70 miles away and both on school nights was not ideal, but it was WORTH IT. Lovett and Hiatt played a 2-1/2 hour acoustic set where they took turns playing songs and shared stories with the audience. It was an intimate evening at the beautifully restored Gillioz Theater and I loved it.

dark but not worth trying to fix

8. Once again made the trip to Springfield and back in the dark and had no deer encounters.

9. It was homecoming weekend at the university where I work, and as self-proclaimed Cruise Director of our child development center, I was in charge of our float for the homecoming parade. There were times when I wasn't sure we were going to pull it off, but with outstanding help from student workers, parents, and co-workers, we got 'er done. Did we win? No. Do we care? Yes, so we will work harder next year! (In all honesty, we were hoping the cute factor of having our kids on a float and a candy bribe for the judges would override any lack of design aesthetics, but I guess we were mistaken. We will be back with a vengeance NEXT year.)

Emily, student worker and master of sign making ,
and the Cruise Director

10. Fall has really and truly made it to the Ozarks. Jackets in the morning, shirtsleeves in the afternoons, falling leaves, and beautiful blue skies. Ahhhh!!!

I hope you always have the keys you need, be they to a door or to your heart. I hope you have friends who check on you and that you indulge yourself in activities that make your soul happy (although two in one week is not recommended). I hope you find candy raining down on you from a parade, be it real or metaphorical. And I hope are looking for the thankfuls in your life, because in spite of everything else that may happen, the thankfuls are there; sometimes, you just have to look a little harder to find them.

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