Sunday, October 29, 2023

The One Where I Carried On

I got overwhelmed by Life last weekend and went AWOL.

I'm back.

Still overwhelmed but ready to soldier on!

This week's Ten Things of Thankful:

Last weekend, my laptop decided to update itself, and in so doing, caused the whole thing to come to a grinding halt. I couldn't write a post on it, obviously, and while it is POSSIBLE to do so from my phone, it isn't easy and I wasn't in a mood to try. After two days of spinning icons that were telling me it was updating (and which I seriously doubted at that point), it claimed victory. I still need a new laptop, but at least it's functioning now!

My cousin Rick and his wife Dori visited us on their way from Point A to Point B. It had been several years since I had seen them, and it was simply delightful to spend a few hours with them! Dori joined our family when I was 10 years old, and she was the first adult who didn't treat me like a little kid, and I've never forgotten that (for the record, she was hardly more than a kid herself - she was only 20 at the time!).

My cousins Rick and Dori

With the beautiful Dori

I made vegetable beef soup and homemade rolls and a truly yummy dessert for lunch with the cousins. Need a pumpkin dessert? Totally worth making this Pumpkin Dump Cake.

Photo from the website. I forgot to take one of
mine, but I will say other than the pecans,
it looked pretty much just like this.

The University of Arkansas has something called Senior Walk, wherein miles and miles of campus sidewalks are etched with the names of each graduate by year. It started in 1905, and the names were stamped by hand until 1986 when the Physical Plant created a machine they named the Sand Hog to etch the names into the concrete. In 1930, the graduates previous to 1905 were added to the walkways. It used to take a year to get a graduating class added to the walk, then grew to 2 years, but for my daughter's class, it was 3 years (thanks to construction and covid). The 2021 Senior Walk was dedicated last weekend at homecoming:

Emma Kate pointing to her name on
the UArk Senior Walk

We had beautiful fall weather this week, and my class got to play in the leaves. They would have stayed outside throwing leaves up in the air for the rest of the day if I had let them!

My loves

I pulled all my winter clothes out from their summer hiding place under my bed and in the bottom of the armoire and hung them up. I'm going to be sick and tired of them by January, but for now, it's like getting a whole new wardrobe!

Fall Festival was held at our school on Thursday. I had a spooky maze in my classroom, and I couldn't have done it without the help of my grade level partner, Beck. I didn't get a good photo of it, but imagine a maze (well, it was just a loop, but when you are 5 or under, it's a maze) made from turning every available table on its side and using all the bookshelves and chairs to make the path, then covering all of it with black trash bags. Orange and purple lights were tucked under the trash bags, some Halloween lanterns were scattered about, and you have a not-very-spooky walk! The kids loved it, as they did all the activities that night.

With Beck

It's hard to see but maybe you get the gist of it.

I made this photo booth for the Fall Festival, and while I'm no artist, I think it turned out fairly well. Saw several little kiddos with their sweet faces in the sunflower centers, getting a picture taken, so totally worth it!

I decided my hair was too long and stringy (because it was) and gave myself a trimmy-trim this weekend. Mostly even, I think, and who can tell with curly hair, anyway?

I'm thankful for the hours and hours of enjoyment I have gotten over the years watching Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing on Friends. I have been deeply saddened by his death this weekend at the age of 54. Many knew of his struggles with addiction, but did you know he founded a recovery center for men in his own home and was an advocate in the courts for rehabilitative care instead of jail time for substance abusers? Rest peacefully, Matthew. You have earned it.

Thankfuls done, now I'm ready to knock out this next week. I hope you'll join us!

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Sunday, October 15, 2023

Long Live The Float And Other Thankfuls

Last weekend, I was mourning that our preschool didn't win best float at the homecoming parade, and I'm still bitter, but I'm trying to move on. What's the best way to do that? Why, write a list of thankfuls, of course!

I took the city scape from the homecoming float and lined the hallway with it. It reminds me of the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland and makes me happy,

I had a three-day week at school, as I had to take Thursday and Friday off to take my dad to a doctor's appointment. I miss my kids when I'm gone, though.

My dad is doing much better! The timing of him going home after his three month stint at rehab (for physical therapy, not drugs and alcohol!) coincided with the beginning of construction on his new garage and workshop. My husband takes his wheelchair outside so he can watch some of the work.

So, the first thing that had to be done for the addition was to replace all the sewer pipe from the house to the street (and it's 150 feet from the house to the street). There were several kerfuffles in getting this accomplished, including a huge, old, tree trunk in the path of the sewer line, as well as the cable and internet line being cut, materials and method not being to code and having to be replaced, plus (and this is the REALLY fun part) limited to no water use for several days AND NO FLUSHING THE TOILETS. As you may guess, we're all REALLY THANKFUL it's all fixed now.

I took my dad to his appointment with his new primary care physician. He reminded me of my son and can't be more than a couple of years older than he is. He was very kind and thorough, and we got all the medications straightened out and pared down.

I was able to safely dispose of the medications we no longer need by taking them to the police station. They have a drop box in their lobby, kind of like an after-hours library book drop off, except the pull down door is MUCH smaller, was heavy, and closed with a gigantic CLAAAAAANG. I'm sure the people working inside the police station were thankful when I finished, because (a) I had about 20 bottles of medications, (b) I could only fit about 4 in at a time, and (c) I couldn't hold the door open with one hand and put the pill bottles in with the other because the door would slam shut before I could get the pills in, so I had to stand on one leg and use my other knee to hold the door open while I threw in the bottles (then the door would slip and CLAAAAAAANG shut).

I came back from Branson early today with two of the cats (Nora Pearl and Lewis), partly because I don't like staying in the house by myself (and can blame any weird or scary noises I hear on them) and partly because my grandcat Calvin is coming next weekend and needed a playmate (that would be Lewis's job). They are good travelers and seldom complain, and for that, I am grateful. Our cat Fletcher used to get car sick, and it was. not. pretty.

After I unpacked the car, I drove to Miami, Oklahoma, to attend the graduation party of my beloved Baylee, who was my assistant teacher. She is currently student teaching and will graduate in December. She's going to make the most amazing high school English teacher! I'm so thankful to have been invited to her party. She is one of a kind!

Baylee's nana makes these scrumptious chocolate cakes that she knows I like, and she brought one to the party for me! I ate a big piece with butter pecan ice cream on top when I got home.

The Migration of the Winter Items has begun! I was only gone for a couple of hours for the party, and when I came upstairs, I found the following offerings from Lewis:

A new package of my husband's support socks,
and I have no idea where he even found them.

A little sculpture of a slipper sock (wondering where
the other one is) and his sloth toy.

An exhaustipated Lewis

In closing, I pray for peace in the Middle East and denounce terrorism and the senseless murders of this past week.

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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Whatever Floats Your Float

This was homecoming week at the university where I work. We had a spirit week at preschool, and while the kids didn't really understand it, they sure had fun participating in it! One day, they dressed like superheroes, another day we all wore pajamas. There was also a crazy hair day. This brings me to my Ten Things of Thankful for this week:

I thought the theme for homecoming was stupid, but I made the most of it and came up with a brilliant idea for our float. The theme only meant something if you were a fan of some comic book-based cartoon, which I definitely am not ("Lions Assemble"). Thankful for the help of the interweb!

My friend Robin procured GINORMOUS cardboard boxes from her dad's work that I used to make the float, and Dane took them apart for me.

I spray painted boxes until I was pretty sure my entire right arm was going to fall off, but it didn't!

Wednesday was a not so good day. Stress from my dad going from rehab facility back home and all that has entailed was bringing up big feelings, and then somebody was mean to me, and I felt like I had been slapped. Thankful for Ceason and Nikki for lifting me back up!

I'm also thankful for Kaley for lending me an ear and reminding me that self-care is vital, then bringing me a lovely little gift to help me in the self-care department. 

Getting my vision for the homecoming float to come to fruition took a village, and I'm thankful to Robin (again!) for dyeing the superhero capes I made for the kids and to Alyssa for creating and ironing on transfers of our logo to the capes.

With Alyssa

I'm thankful for my friend Jennifer, who came up to school on her day off and cut out the city I had imagined and drawn onto the cardboard sheets. Then she added countless windows with yellow duct tape and even left me a little surprise drawing on one of them! My student worker Madi also helped me with windows and with putting the whole thing together.

Party on the 14th floor

Dane and I got ourselves in a pickle once again, although instead of being locked out of the school with no keys and no phone, we were in the (definitely haunted) basement looking for something I could use as a frame for the float's sign. I was poking around some cinder blocks and saw what I now know to be the unmistakable shape of a black widow spider. I screamed. Dane screamed, levitated, and was suddenly about 20 feet away. Once again, we didn't have cell phones with us to holler for help, but there WAS a landline and all we had to do was call one of the extensions upstairs, and someone (hopefully Ceason) would come kill the spider and rescue us. Problem was, we didn't know anyone's extension, and even if we did, we didn't know how to dial them. I took one for the team and ran past the spider and through the basement, up the stairs, through the fire door, and found Robin the Spider Killer to save us.

It was bigger than it looks....

More thanks for Dane for getting my sign set up and to Dane and Ceason plus Mr. Bobby (who doesn't even work for us but for the office next door) who figured out how to attach my city to the trailer when it didn't have any sides on it. 

Thankful to the preschool dad who pulled our float with his truck. He was immensely helpful in getting the city attached and the sign in place and for being a perfect float driver. I'm also thankful to all the parents and students who rode on our float and brought candy to throw.

We didn't win best float in the parade. We SHOULD have, but we didn't. That's okay (not really). We were the cutest. Our float was the best. And we had the MOST FUN!

We built this city on rock 'n roll....

Now I'm ready for a much quieter week. From my lips (or keyboard) to God's ears!

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Sunday, October 1, 2023

It's Really Very Simple

A simple list of thankfuls when life isn't simple:

1. A kitty in my lap.

2. A kitty in my lap and one on my legs.

3. A kitty in my lap, one on my legs, and one on the ottoman next to my legs.

4. All of the above, and no fighting!

5  Sliced apples and caramel dip.

6. Bracelet sales.

7. Medicinal ice cream cones.

8. Candy pumpkins. Fight me.

9. Napping on the deck.

10. Laughing and being silly with preschoolers.

Now, remember to breathe, then get out there and find YOUR thankfuls! 

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