Sunday, July 30, 2023

Thankfuls Before The Storm

We have a severe thunderstorm warning with wind possibly at 80 mph. So much for a leisurely (close to the deadline so not THAT leisurely) Ten Things of Thankful post! Here we go!

I'm thankful for....

1. My Red Cross app that has been sending me alerts of the approaching storm.

2. They aren't expecting tornadic weather, so there's that.

3. Weekend anchors and meteorologists when you live in a small market. They are very entertaining. The weather guy just told us the sun is going to rise tomorrow morning, and I wouldn't have known that without his fine reporting.

4. Marian Days are this week! If you don't know, it's a pilgrimage of Vietnamese Catholics to a small town a few miles away, and it's about the only thing in the positive column for the entire month of August as far as I'm concerned. The forecast calls for a high of 104 on Wednesday, and what better weather to sit in a stifling hot tent while eating a bowl of boiling hot pho?

5. The wind has picked up. Not thankful for that. But I'm inside, so that makes it a little better.

6. I always have to pee when there is severe weather or an earthquake. Sure happy for that indoor plumbing right now!

7. The lights are flickering, so my husband is looking for flashlights BEFORE the power goes out.

8. All the cats are currently in the bedroom, and if we have to run down to the basement, two of the three will follow us. The third one is a crap shoot.

9. The coming storm is almost making me forget about my ear ache.

10. By midnight, the storm should have blown past, and I'll get a good night's sleep (except for the ear ache).

There. Did it. Now off to the bathroom before the lights go out! Stay safe! 

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Sunday, July 23, 2023

Beware The Barn Swallow

You know what happens when you hit the "publish" button before you proofread your post? YOU LEAVE OUT AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH. This is it. Hello. It's the Ten Things of Thankful.

1. It's hot here, but not as hot as it is in other parts of the country. Last week, we had upper 90s and high humidity (think Florida without beach access). 

2. That leads me to being thankful for air conditioning. 

3. And indoor bathrooms. My mother grew up in a home that had neither. She didn't have a shower or real tub bath until she went to college. And air conditioning? Hah!

4. Milo's iced tea sure tastes good on a hot day. Thankful for that.

5. So does watermelon. And I'm really thankful for that seedless biz. Now I don't have to worry about accidentally swallowing a seed and having a watermelon grow in my belly. 

6. I'm thankful that watermelon, contrary to what my dad told me as a child, can NOT grow in my tummy, since I know I have swallowed a watermelon's worth of seeds in my lifetime.

7. Fun story: I bought a watermelon not long after we were married, and as I spent a good hour or more removing the rind, cutting it into bite-sized pieces, and painstakingly removing the seeds from each of these pieces as single me ALWAYS did when I bought a watermelon, I came to the realization that after all my hard labor just so I could eat my watermelon without swallowing any seeds (see #5, above) or needing to pick them out as I ate (which lessens the joy of eating watermelon), my husband was also going to reap the benefits of my labor WITHOUT DOING ANY OF THE LABOR. Then that evening at dinner, when I told him we had watermelon in the fridge, he delivered the good news that HE DIDN'T LIKE WATERMELON. That's a thankful for a lifetime!

8. Mama and Daddy barn swallow built a nest over the front door at the lake house. This is not a thankful, because they dive bomb us every time we go in or out of the house and have deposited a mountain of poop on the ground next to the door, but the babies are now so big that they are spilling over the edges of the nest, so hopefully, the little family will move on soon. Don't get me wrong; I know they are skeeter eaters and are useful, but I will be most thankful when I don't feel like I'm in a scene from "The Birds" every time I go in or out the door. 

Baby bootie and baby beak

Their bowels are active....

The nest is in the corner at top
of photo. Mama picked a great
spot for her babies but not so
great a spot for us

9. Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I were driving across a bridge over the lake when a bald eagle flew past. I don't know how many bald eagles call this area home, but I'm thankful at least a few do and that we get occasional glimpses of them. Just can't mistake that white head and tail when they do a fly-by!

10. I'm thankful for lazy weekends that include naps on the couch and bingeing tv shows *cough cough Vanderpump Rules.

Thankfuls are everywhere. Find yours and link up with us! 

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Sunday, July 16, 2023

Lost Things And Found Things And Ending My Post With A Preposition

Closing in on the end of the weekend, and my Ten Things of Thankful post hasn't written itself yet. Time to shake a tail feather! Here goes: 

I checked out three library books a few weeks ago. Of COURSE, I didn't get them returned in time, but our library will automatically renew them for another three weeks unless another patron has the book on hold. That's a thankful right there.

I got a notice that the second renewal period was up, but when I tried to round up the three books, only two were to be found. I searched our house - nothing. My husband was at the lake house, so I had him look there AND in the cars - nothing. I finally decided I was going to have to take the L on this book, and in this case, the L was also for "loser" because I had NEVER lost a library book before. Mad at myself, I went to work cleaning my bedroom, and as I was vacuuming under the bed, the vacuum hit against something that turned out to be MY LIBRARY BOOK, located fairly deeply under the bed. I feel pretty certain a cat had something to do with its location (cough cough Nora Pearl cough cough), but it was found and that's that.

My anxiety-riddled cat Finn has been scared of the kitty toy basket that is kept in my room, so while I was cleaning, I decided to go through the basket and see if I could figure out what was scaring him. I didn't find anything except way too many toys, some of which had never been played with (typical, huh?), so I packaged those up to donate right before Nora Pearl caught me with all the toys out. I don't think she will miss a few, do you?

Pile on the left: cat toys
Pile on the right: stolen items belonging to 
my kids

So much for organizing the toys

My kids' elementary school is being demolished. It's very sad, as the building was almost 100 years old, but it was built over mined land and had been sinking and settling for many years (a new school was just built [on solid ground] to replace it this past winter). It's sad to see it go, but the demolition workers have been really nice and set piles of bricks outside the fence for anyone who wants a souvenir of the old building. I got a (lead dust and asbestos covered) brick for each of my kids.

RIP Columbia Elementary School

Pile of bricks left by the workers

Dusty bricks in the back of my car

My dad is doing okay. He's walked a little bit at PT and has increased range of motion in both his shoulders, so the antibiotics seem to be doing their job. Still has a long way to go, but he's working at it.

Victoria's Secret underwear sale this week. 10 for $35? Yes, please!

I'm halfway through "Vanderpump Rules." Five more seasons to go....

Oh, and I'm also watching the series "Quarterback" on Netflix with my husband. Patrick Mahomes is featured, so naturally it's a great watch.

My husband and I are at the lake house this weekend, although I feel guilty for not being there to visit my dad this weekend. We've had really hot weather and unstable air which has led to thunderstorms, some of them severe. We outran a storm Friday evening and made it to our street in Branson just as the power went out. As we got out of the car, the front hit and nearly knocked us off our feet, then the tornado sirens went off. No tornadoes (yay!) but a lot of lightning and wind and no power for a couple of hours. We didn't lose any trees or even anything more than one medium-sized tree limb, so another yay!

I don't know who took this photo besides not me,
but we saw this exact same cloud formation as
we were driving 

We finally got a chance to go to White Water (a local water park) this afternoon for the first time all summer. It was so relaxing to bob around in the wave pool, then I stretched out on a lounge chair like a turtle on a rock. Ahhh!


Here's to next week and SO MANY MORE thankfuls than I can even keep track of.

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Sunday, July 9, 2023

I Can Do Hard Things!

My dad has been pretty sick and was hospitalized for several weeks, and writing a happy list of thankfuls just wasn't in my wheelhouse. It SHOULD have been, but it wasn't. There were still many thankfuls scattered in those weeks, and here they are:

I'm so very thankful for my dad's neighbors, Tim and Linda. They have gone above and beyond, and I will never be able to thank them enough for everything they've done.

We moved my dad to a rehab facility near us, so life is a little easier now. He is doing OT and PT every day to get strong enough to go back home.

My dad has been telling all kinds of stories from his past, and there have been a few surprises thrown in that I had never heard before, including how my grandfather flew some secret missions into Vietnam for the CIA.

My husband has been my rock through all of this. Because he works remotely, he was able to stay with my dad at the hospital when I had to go to work, and when my dad was dismissed from the hospital, my husband helped orchestrate the two hour trip via ambulance and got him settled in the rehab facility. He's my rock star.

I was able to go to Pride in Kansas City and had a terrific time talking to attendees who stopped at my church's booth, telling them that we are an open and affirming congregation where all are welcome, and all means all. The parade was such fun, I made a new friend while watching it, and while it was lightly raining as my daughter and I walked from her apartment to the parade route, it stopped before the parade started.

With my daughter at the parade

Happy Pride!

This just makes me laugh

Ahh, Queen!

My assistant Baylee has kept things going in my classroom this summer when I've been gone, as have my student workers. I've missed my little nugs, but I knew they were in good hands.

When "Dirty Dancing" came out back in 1987, I saw it probably 5 times in the theater and then countless times on tv, so when the Alamo Theater in Springfield had a showing of it, I knew I had to go, and I knew I had to see it with my friend Traci. We sang along with the movie and received cool props like a motel room key and a (bouncy ball) watermelon *IYKYK 

Nobody puts us in a corner

I attended Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline Institute along with my co-worker Alyssa and my bestie and center director Nikki. It was seven days of intensive training, and I came away from it with tools and skills for helping children with their social-emotional growth. I'm really looking forward to implementing what I learned in my classroom! We also played games in the evening, one of which might have gotten a little vicious, went to a bbq place for dinner that turned out to be a biker bar and where I faked a phone call for an excuse to get us the hell out of there, and rode a luggage cart down the hallway of our hotel until someone (not me or Alyssa) tipped it over and nearly bucked me off like a rodeo cowboy.

At the biker bar, before I ditched.

It's all fun and games...

...until someone almost tips the cart over!

I also came away from the training with new friends! We shared a table with 6 educators who were from northwest Arkansas, less than an hour away from us. Considering there were people attending from a dozen states, it was a happy coincidence. 

I didn't get a picture of it at its prime, with dirt and leaves all over it and milk spurting out on the driveway, but I opened the back door of the car after a trip to the grocery store and a gallon of milk fell out onto the driveway. I managed to get it into the house and wiped off without leaving a trail of milk through the house, so yay, and I couldn't resist a photo of the carton peeing milk into my sink.

I did it! I can do hard things! How 'bout you? Can you find the thankfuls in a hard week (weeks?). Write your post and link it with us at the Ten Things of Thankful!

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