Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful for Dad

Well, here we are at the end of November 2010. One month ends and another begins. This has been a month of busyness, holidays, and family. It has been a month of remembering the many blessings God has bestowed on me.

Tomorrow starts the Christmas month. The month ahead promises more busyness and definitely more holidays. Family for Christmas this year will be just me and Dad and the animals. No out of town visitors and no trips to visit family are planned. This year will be a mix of old traditions and some new ones borne of it being just the two of us. While it makes me a little sad that our celebrations will be smaller this year, I am thankful for this time with Dad.

One thing I have always appreciated (as an adult anyway) are my parents. Except for the years I lived in the Great Northwest in the 90’s I have always lived close to Mom and Dad. I love being able to just pop over to the house and spend time with Dad. I don’t get to do enough of that, but certainly more than when I was out on the edge of the world.

Have I ever told you about how grateful I am for my Dad? I don’t think I have done a proper Dad thankfulness post this month. Daddy has always been my hero. As a little girl I believed he could do anything. As an adult I know that he would do anything for his family. He has been there through the trials of my life when I needed a handyman or a computer repairman or a sounding board. He has supported and loved me in a way that only Dad’s can.

Yes, my Daddy is definitely a keeper and for that I am very thankful!

Monday, November 29, 2010


A couple more days of thankfulness this month. Of course, I don't mean that I won't ever be thankful again. I just mean that I won't be posting things I am grateful for each day.

I think I mentioned last week that I may have something different on tap for the month of December and I've decided to go ahead and give this a try. December tends to be such a busy month for everyone that this will give me a chance to keep my sanity and give me a chance to spend a little more time on building my freelance career. So, starting on December 1 I am going to cut back on my regular posts to two a week for a while. On Mondays I will do a normal, whatever comes to mind kind of post and on Wednesdays I am going to post some of the stories I have been wanting to write.

A few months back I wrote a short blurb about Moonshine Marley for another post. I thought it was just a little thing, but Marley keeps coming back to me. He wants me to tell his story, although I don't fully know what his story is just yet. For a while there, he was keeping me awake at night as more of the story came to light. So, to quiet his yammerings I am going to write his story as long as he will keep telling it. I am working on the next installment for next Wednesday's post.

As my faithful readers I am going to ask a favor of you, it's easy so don't worry. If you enjoy my stories or {shudder} hate them, please would you consider leaving a comment to let me know what your think. Also, if you do enjoy them would you consider sharing my blog with your friends? I would love it if you would :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Forgetful Thankfulness

Thanksgiving has passed once again. As I was working on things this afternoon I realized I hadn't posted my thankful post yesterday or today.

Yesterday was a little busy with family stuff. It was a great time with my sister and her family. But, I got caught up in life and thankfulness was pushed to a back burner. Don't get me wrong, I was still thankful but it just wasn't on the tip of my tongue.

Gratitude is like that sometimes. Life gets busy and we forget to count our blessings. This time in November has been a good reminder for me that I need to be thankful each day, not just one day a year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Yesterday was Turkey Day and I spent the day with my family cooking, talking, laughing, eating, and being thankful. I have family in from the far reaches of the world, also known as Nebraska so I haven't had a lot of time to write and post and I didn't plan ahead. Thus, there was no post yesterday. It's okay, though, because I am pretty sure all my readers were busy feasting and being grateful also.

So, today is Black Friday and I am thankful that I am not crazy enough to want to go shopping with millions of other people. Seriously, I am not a fan of shopping as it is and when there are large crowds of people bent on getting a better bargain involved I just shrink back into my shell. Today instead of saving money I am going to be spending some. I am so very grateful for a day of time with my sister. We don't get to see each other much so a chance for her and I to get our nails done, go to a movie, and do whatever else we deem important is what is on our agenda for today. Therefore, I now proclaim this day, not Black Friday, but Sister's Day On the Town! Let the merriment begin.

On another note, I have been considering changing things up on the blog but haven't made any decisions yet. But, I am thinking about something a little different for the blog in the month of December. I will work it out this weekend and then post on Monday about my thoughts and what I have decided to do.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Little Things

The other day a friend posted on Facebook that her daughter told her she was thankful for stairs. I chuckled when I read it. It was a little ironic though since in recent weeks as I have vacuumed the steps at my house I think about how I hate stairs.

It may sound weird. I don't hate them because I have to vacuum them. Or because it takes a little effort to climb them.

No, I hate them because they remind me of my mother's death. She fell down the stairs and broke her neck. Nine days later she died. I was with her when the accident happened. I didn't realize she was there by the steps. I heard a little, "oh" and turned just in time to see her fall, but not enough time to race over a catch her.

That moment has tormented me for the last three years and often I get to the top of a set of steps and suddenly I am reliving it and can't breathe.

But I don't want to live in those moments and so I push them away and remember who my mom was. I remember her smile and her zest for life. I remember all the little things she taught me about life and living. That's what life is made of after all; the little things that we share with one another and teach one another. And for those memories and those things I shared with my mother I am very thankful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Cat's Meow!

If you've been here before there's a good chance you have read about my kitty cat, Wilson, and how much I love him.

Today I am thankful for my sweet boy who waits at the back door when it's time for me to come home. Yes, he does seem to know how to tell time, don't ask me how. This is the same adorable boy who just had a rousing bout of chasing his tail.

He's just been such a joy in my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Planning Turkey Dinners

It's finally Thanksgiving week! I'm excited that my sister and her family are coming for a visit. While talking about Thanksgiving dinner Dad suggested Honey Baked Ham which does more than just ham. I said if he wanted a real turkey dinner I would be happy to cook. Turns out he would like some real turkey and dressing so I am playing the hostess on Thursday and cooking up the bird.

Despite the fact that I have been an adult for over two decades, I have cooked very few full turkey dinners. So I'm having to do some pre-planning and research to make sure I get everything right. Luckily, I have a little "voice" from the past to help me along the way. Back in 1990 when my youngest sister was first married Mom wrote a long letter to her in October with details about how to fix a turkey and dressing! My sister was gracious enough to forward me a scanned copy of the letter.

The letter is a great tool for me as I plan my meal. It is also a beautiful reminder of the special person my mother was and I am so grateful to have a copy as part of my cookbook repertoire.Written in her hand writing it causes me to hear echoes of her sweet voice as I read through it.

Today I am thankful for the amazing woman who I am blessed to call Mom and for the little bits of history she left behind.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Thankfulness

So, I forgot to post yesterday. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to be thankful for 'cause I did. I spent the morning at my dad's house helping to get ready for a visit from my sister and her family. It's been a year since I have seen them and I am super excited they are coming. Then Dad and I did our typical Saturday night thing with church and dinner. I am so very thankful for my family.

Last week I posted about my printer spitting out random pieces which frustrated me, but I was able to find a good printer that will allow me to print not only from my desk top computer but also my laptop computer so I am thankful for new technology.

Friday night I spent the evening with three of my friends. We call ourselves a secret society and while I am not going to divulge any secret society secrets, I am going to tell you about these friends. You see the three of them are amazing, intelligent, beautiful women who have fabulous jobs; jobs that in one way or another touch the lives of thousands of people. They are dedicated to their jobs and give up much in their lives in order to do what needs to be done. Sometimes in pursuit of perfection for others they give up too much and forget to take care of themselves. So, they decided it was time to reclaim their lives. They knew that if they didn't they wouldn't have the strength needed to carry on their work for others. So they began to take time for themselves to remember that while work is important, life is important also.

Earlier this fall they invited me to join them on a life reclamation trip to Wyoming. Having quit my job earlier this year in an attempt to reclaim my own life and pursue my dream, the trip was just what I needed. And after that trip we decided that we needed to have a time at least once a month to get together to just enjoy life and each other's company. The society was formed one beautiful, chilly night under the stars. Da goils and I are now society girls ;-)

Today, two of these friends and I are going to see the newest Harry Potter film. It promises to be an afternoon of magic, mystery, and possibly a little mayhem.

Woohoo!! I am so thankful for friends and family!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today I am thankful for weekends, lunch with an old friend, and a group of friends to spend a Friday evening with.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pink Sky at Night....

The old sailor's tale says, "Pink sky at night, sailor's delight. Pink sky at morning, sailor's warning." The theory being that when the sky is all pink and red in the morning that means the coming weather will be bad, but at night means the weather will be good.

Last night the clouds over the mountain were all pink and beautiful. The weatherman says the next few days the temps will be in the 60s. It's been a very mild fall in the area so far.

Today I am once again thankful for the beautiful area I live in and the wonderful weather we are enjoying.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Breaking Down

Have you seen the Tom Hanks, Shelly Long movie The Money Pit? In the movie this couple buys a beautiful old house that looks great, but no sooner than the ink has dried on the mortgage the place begins to fall apart. Some days I feel like I am living in that movie!

Seriously, over the weekend I flooded the coffee maker and it stopped working. Last night I knocked the closet door in my office of its track and couldn't get it back on. Today my printer coughed a few dying coughs, spit out some random parts and died. It's all very frustrating when things are falling apart around me.

But, that's life and so what can a girl do about it except keep her chin up and move on. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a little house that is mostly not falling apart and I have stuff. Too much stuff sometimes, but there are people in this world who don't have these things. I am thankful for what I have.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Achy Muscles

I have been doing a new workout and I can feel it in muscles that haven't been used in a while. The achiness I feel as the muscles get used to being called into action is a good reminder that I am blessed with a healthy body and the use of my extremities. Today I am thankful for my health.

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Tis the Season!

‘Tis the season for trees, holly, mistletoe, presents, good will, and the jolly fat man in his red suit. Do you believe in Santa? Do you believe in the spirit of love, giving, and childlike wonder at the world that is Santa? Do you keep that feeling in your heart year round? I know that I can say I do believe in all that Santa represents and I try to keep the spirit year round, but sometimes I fail to do that.

I’ve been watching The Santa Clause movies as I get into the holiday mood. In the 2nd movie there is a scene which just gets me every time I watch it. Imagine a junior high school gymnasium/auditorium filling with adults in red and green. It’s the faculty Christmas party. Everyone’s standing around drinking punch; bored out of their skulls. Then Scott Calvin aka Santa Claus jumps up on stage and starts handing out presents. In each of those presents is something that the teachers loved as children. Soon the party has turned from dull to hopping as the grownups reconnect with their childlike spirit. They are suddenly enjoying life again.

I love this scene. Each time I watch it I think, “Why can’t we remember this in the darkest days of winter in February and March? Or during the dog days of summer? Or those early days of the season when we are complaining about the commercialism of the season with Christmas stuff out in stores by Halloween?”

Because really, Christmas isn’t about the decorations or buying the perfect gift. It’s about love and wonder and that should be something we hold in our hearts all year round. It’s just so easy to forget that. I know because I do it all the time. I get caught up in adult life and my heart gets full of thoughts of paying bills and getting oil changes and being on time for work. It drags the childlike qualities right out of my life. What’s a girl to do when that happens?

Well, this girl gets in touch with her roots by having fun with the nieces and nephews. Or she watches a silly movie. She pushes all the adult stuff to the side for a few minutes and rolls on the floor with her kitty cat. She tries to look at life through the eyes of a five year old or a fifteen year old. Some say I don’t act my age all the time and I say, “More power to me, baby!”

What do you do to keep your childlike spirit alive and well?

Today I am thankful for the holiday season that reminds us to love and be thankful for the things in our life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Blessings

Today I am thankful that I live in a country where I can openly worship the way I choose.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunny Saturday

The sun is shining, the kitty cat is napping, and I have time to get some stuff done at home. I am thankful for Saturdays today. And my super cute kitty cat!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little Pleasures

I have to admit that I enjoy reading the newspaper. I like the editorial page, but my favorite part is the funny pages. They just make me laugh so I keep reading them :-) Some people think that cartoons aren't for grown ups, but I don't care, I like them anyway!

Today I am thankful for cartoons.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Today I am thankful for all the men and women and their families who give up so much to serve our country in the Armed Forces. It's not an easy life but they do it willing.

I am especially grateful for my Dad who served for 27 years and my brother-in-law who is currently in his 21st year of Marine Corp Service. And, I have many uncles, cousins and an aunt who are current military or veterans.

Thank you to each and everyone of you. May God bless you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Winter has finally arrived in the area. Ironically enough, as it began raining and snowing in the northern part of the area crews were a couple of grass fires in the southern part. I live in a semi-arid landscape. I have grown used to the dry air and always struggle with the higher humidity of Kansas, Nebraska, and Indiana when I visit there. Still, moisture is needed to keep things growing and not going up in flames and around here any moisture is a reason to rejoice.

Today as the rain and snow fell I was thankful for the much needed moisture.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Movies and Music

I know lots of people are not wanting to see all the Christmas stuff up in the stores yet. They certainly don't want to hear the Christmas music. I, on the other hand, love the movies and the music! Tonight I am thankful for Christmas movies and music!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sisterly Love

Today I am thankful that God has given me two amazing sisters. I love my sisters like crazy. They are so very different and yet so much alike and they enrich my life in so many ways.

Christina is sweet and quiet. She makes me laugh with her subtle sense of humor. I admire the way she takes what life hands her and keeps on going. She has two sons; one 14 and the other 7. She was such a girlie girl growing up that I imagined her having little girls to dress up and do their hair. But she has these two incredible, energetic boys and so she learns to fish and skeet shoot and all the other things that boys do.
She once was the sister who wanted to borrow my sweaters and who the boys in high school wanted to get close to me so they could get a date with her. Then she grew up into this beautiful woman who is someone I would choose as my friend if she hadn't been a built-in friend called a sister.

Teresa is the baby of the family. She is spicy and strong. She was sometimes a bratty little sister...all the siblings were bratty, weren't they at one time? Today she is witty, beautiful, intelligent and such a good friend to me. Her strength through the years has been insurmountable. She takes life by the horns and wrestles it to the ground. Her two kids are as different as night and day yet she is there for both of them. I love that she is in a new phase of her life and that she is embracing it with gusto. Her new found verve as a stay-at-home mom makes me tired sometimes but impresses me at the same time. When she rattles off the different types of spiced pumpkin seeds she made or the homemade coffee syrups she created I just have to smile.

Having sisters is definitely one of the best parts of my life. Thank you, God, for blessing me so richly with these two fantastic sisters!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings time ends today. Did you remember to turn your clock back? I usually turn all mine back early in the evening on Saturday so I don’t forget. There’s lots of talk this time of year about how we gain an hour and vice versa in the spring. But, that’s not really true. The hours just get rearranged so we don’t really gain anything. Sorry, if that burst your bubble, but reality is what reality is.

Honestly, reality is that we can’t gain or lose hours in our life. We are born with a certain number of hours to live out our lives. The Bible tells us that our days on this earth are determined before we are born. Psalm 139:16 reads, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” Only God knows how many hours we have to live on this earth.

Our job is not to worry about how many hours we have or whether we can gain or lose them. Our job is to live out those hours and days that have been given to us. I believe we each have a purpose on earth. I have written before about my purpose until my 42nd year was to be there when my parents needed me during my mom’s illness. Now I know that God has another purpose for my life; I am just not able to verbalize it as I could before. I think that God has some use for me and my writing and I don’t necessarily need to know the details in order to fulfill my tasks. I just know that every choice I make can either move me in the right direction to fulfilling my days here or it can squander the time I have on foolish things. Life doesn’t always make sense to me, but it does to God. As long as I turn my heart to Him and lean on Him my hours will be well spent.

“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” ~Psalm 90:12

Today I am thankful for the time I have been given.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dinner with Daddy

Today is Saturday. That means it is time for church and dinner with Dad. This is a tradition that started while Mom was still alive and my sister and her family still lived nearby.

Now it's just me and Daddy, but that's okay because it's our time to reconnect.  I am thankful for this time with my dad.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here and Now

These days I have been working in a small office without windows and I find myself looking forward to getting out and walking in the park. When I am walking I make great plans for my stories and the things I am going to write when I get back to my home office. Then, when I am home in front of my computer I find myself thinking about tomorrow and the next day. I find myself always thinking about what is up and coming. I realized as I walked recently that I seem to never be just focusing on right now. There is always something ahead to consider and I seem to be perpetually living in the future. Do you ever do that?

The Bible tells us to not worry about tomorrow and to not make plans since we don’t know from one day to the next if we will still be here. I don’t think the Bible is telling us to not do any planning for the future. I think the import of those verses is that we need to remember to live in the here and now. I know I look back and realize how much I missed out on because I was not fully living in the present.

Today I am thankful for this day – all 24 hours that comprise it. I will make an effort to be mindful of what is happening right now in front of me, this minute.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful for Provision

Today I am thankful that God has provided a source of income during these months of pursuing my passion. And, I am grateful there is a little cushion in my bank account for rainy days.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Day

Last week I wrote an open letter to the political candidates. This week, despite the very negative campaign that just went on, I am very thankful that we are a country where everyone has a voice. I know it's easy to think that your vote doesn't matter, but it does. Our system of allowing me, you, and every other adult citizen to cast a vote is one of the things that makes this country great. Our system and country isn't perfect, but we Americans could make a difference if we all chose to step up to the plate.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today I am thankful for the beautiful surroundings I live in. After work I took a brisk walk around the lake as the sun set behind the mountains. It was so peaceful, albeit a little chilly since I left my jacket in the truck.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Month Again!

Can you believe that it is November 1st already!?! Can I be a little clichéd and say, “Time Flies?” Well, it just does.

So, since it is November again I thought it was time to do another Attitude of Gratitude Month. Last November I blogged each day about something for which I was grateful. It gave me an opportunity to appreciate the little details that make life what it is. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to enjoy life. Tuning my mind to those little gifts throughout my world helps me to rise above the drudgery. It makes my heart sing and puts a smile on my face.

And, now without further ado:

Today I am grateful for the peaceful walk through the cemetery yesterday when I visited my mom’s grave. Yesterday was the third anniversary of her death and while her death left a huge hole in my life I am grateful that she is once again healthy and happy in heaven. During the walk I came upon five deer who were just lounging in the grass among the graves under a bunch of trees. They looked at me and I at them and I took a couple pictures on my cell phone, then went on my way. It’s moments like these that make me smile.