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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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Ten Plus A Bonus

I missed the party last week, but the reason is what gives me the start of my Ten Things of Thankful list for THIS week:

1. My dad had a health scare last Sunday that turned out not scary after all. I could call that worth ten, but I won't.

2. Candy pumpkins are only available this time of year. If I could get them ANY time, (a) I would get tired of them and (b) my teeth would rot and fall out. One month is just long enough!

3. Certainly not cool, crisp fall weather around here, but it's not blistering hot, either.

4. My family members and friends who live in Florida were not devastated by Hurrican Ian. If you would like to donate to help those who were, I suggest making it to the American Red Cross

5. My friend Nikki and I went to a warehouse sale at Erimish, my favoritist bracelet maker, and got many bracelets. I spent wayyyyy less than Nikki, and I am thankful for that, too!

6. Speaking of Nikki, she surprised me with a SUPER COOL GIFT:

Fisher Price took Little People to a whole new level

7. I thought a clock in the family room was broken. Turns out it just needed the corroded battery replaced. Whoops! Thankful to my husband for discovering this and cleaning off the corroded crud.

8. While my daughter didn't exactly come HOME for the weekend, she came THROUGH, dropped off the grandcat Calvin, and continued on to Fayetteville to visit friends. We did get to spend a little time together on Sunday on her way back through, and I am grateful that she was willing to help me hose down the patio area on the playground at school (need a clean slate for all the chalk art the kids are currently obsessed with). 

9. We went to Target and poked around and bought a Halloween costume for Calvin. Of course, we tried it on all the cats (except the Upstairs Cat, who wisely stayed, well, upstairs).

Lewis was the first victim

Nora had no doubt she was still beautiful

Calvin can't hide his death wish

10. I'm looking forward to the upcoming week and several fun activities I have planned. Tune in next week to see if they make the thankful cut!

And bonus thankful: the Chiefs beat the Buccaneers!

I hope YOU are looking forward to a thankful week!

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