Snow Days and Preparation – #10Thankful

Late Sunday evening and I’m finally sitting to think about my Ten Things of Thankful post.

That happens a lot lately. (OK, it happens all the time.) I start my posts early in the week, I plan to get in there on Friday evening, and then…life happens.

And I’m so very glad that it does.

I sometimes wonder if I’m too distracted to sit for a minute and focus on the moments and people that make me feel thankful each week. But it’s not distraction – it’s simply that I’m living my life and enjoying every last second of it. I am aware of the sense of thankfulness weaving and swirling its way through the moments of my days and taking its place in my heart.

I realized not long ago that what this means is that I’ve developed a mindset of gratitude and also of awareness. I don’t just go through the motions of my life; I live my life. That may be the greatest item of thanks there is for me.

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From a more practical perspective, I am quite thankful that I have several available leftover options for dinners this week. I have two choir rehearsals this week – both on Zilla’s karate nights, of course – which means dinner prep time is virtually non-existent. Dinner needs to be an absolute no-brainer and I’m prepared. I am also so glad that my family are willing consumers of leftovers and they never complain when a meal or a part of a meal shows up a second (or even third) night.

In these very cold days this week, I have been so thankful for a warm home, warm clothing, warm food on our plates, and plenty of fuzzy socks. I am painfully aware of those in the world, both near and far, who do not have enough of anything, no matter the season or temperature. I do my best to help where I can.

I have my week planned out and notes in my planner already. There is much to be accomplished this week, but having it all plotted gives me a sense of calm and control so I can wake up in the morning and hit the ground running. I just have to resist the urge to hit the snooze button and grab just five more minutes of snuggling before getting in gear…

Zilla was feeling a cold coming on today and asked for homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner and a batch of my “sick tea.” I love how aware of her self and her body she has become – not just about colds, but in general. She is growing into such an amazing person right before our eyes and it is exciting to behold. It is my hope and prayer that she continues to develop that gift of self-awareness in all things and use it to her best advantage. This weekend I witnessed again her beautiful and generous heart at work. I am blessed to know and to be mother to this child.

I am blessed with a wonderful husband and partner, too. We are a great team in all things from getting the chores and errands done to corralling three rotten cats to raising our daughter. I am grateful for all of the things we share as a couple and I am grateful for the things my Hub does for me every day, little things that mean a lot. He puts out my meds for me, he makes coffee, he makes sure we have the milk and creamer I like…and so much more. Those little things are huge.

While I still have a few tasks to accomplish this week and my house is far from picture-perfect, it is a place of love, warmth, respite, and joy.  I am happy here, even in the midst of a bit too much cat hair on the floors and a basket or two of laundry waiting to be put away. The chores will get done – they always do. We took advantage of the snowy day on Saturday and some empty hours on Sunday evening to simply rest, relax, and enjoy one another.  We read books, watched holiday movies and silly TV shows, did some decorating, and made some holiday plans and preparations.

Our hearts are ready.

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The Scent of Change – A Six Sentence Story

She hated the smell of Christmas.

Once upon a time, though, that wasn’t so. Christmastime had always provided a heady mix of memories, happy evenings spent listening to the pop and hiss of the fire as it warmed the room and all within it, breathing in the woodsy outdoors of a sledding day brought into the center of the room on snowy branches turned green and sparkling with lights and ornaments that reflected the crackling firelight.

Like her memories, the ornaments were a jumbled mess of handmade expressions of love and the store bought kind she always thought of as “fancy,” the pastel sugar-frosted ones with cut out spaces for Santa, snowmen, and angels. Christmas was always like this – a collection of perfect moments captured forever in their annual certainty.

But now, Christmas was different – still filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of years past yet empty in the moments where their smiles belonged, cut out spaces filled only with the certainty that Christmas would forever be changed.

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Each week, the lovely and talented Ivy Walker hosts a link-up challenging writers to spin a tale in six sentences – no more, no less. 

This week’s cue is PINE. 

Click on the link right here to link your own post and read more Six Sentence Stories from some wonderful storytellers.

#10Thankful – Another Year Older

So my blog and I both had birthdays this week.

My blog is four years old. Imagine that. And me? Well, I’m four and then some. Birthdays have a way of prompting retrospection, don’t they. At least for me. I often find myself reflective around birthdays – take time to consider where I’ve been, where I’m going…just think.

So for starters, I’m thankful for another year of life and one that has brought many changes and surprises. It’s been a year of progress (my One Word, as I recall) and that is always a good thing. I spent time on my birthday with the people closest and most dear to me. I received many thoughtful cards and messages and gifts – all of which really touched me in so many ways. And the Hub started the day off by leaving me several little birthday notes in places he knew I’d find them. Too cute.

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I am thankful for CSA produce! I know I put that on here every week lately, but it really is awesome. I love having the fresh produce straight off our local organic farm fields. And it makes meal prep kind of easy, too. The ingredients are supplied; I just have to put my creativity to use and figure out how to use them.

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This week we had another round of the sugar snap pea pasta we had last week. It was delicious. Again.

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The new carpet on the stairs remains (knock wood) unspoiled by Rotten Cat deposits. We are very happy for that. And the dark color keeps the stairs from looking filthy the minute one of the Rottens drops even one black hair on it. I suppose the down side to that is that it’s easier to forget to vacuum…but we’re working on that not being the case.

I am thankful for things like Shark Week and Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornament week during which they show Christmas movies on TV in July and fireworks and summer theatre excursions…all the things we enjoy together as a family that help maintain and strengthen the bonds we already share.

We’ve accomplished a few more small projects around the house this week and have plans in place for many more as the summer unfolds. Maybe it’s a throwback to my years as a teacher or just to having time off from school in the summer as a kid, but to me summer is the time to work on projects and improvements. I’m not much of a spring cleaner, but summer gets me going.

I am very glad to be tackling at least one of my writing projects this month. Yup, I signed up for the CampNaNoWriMo thing during July and have committed to getting a few of the books I want for my kids’ book series written, edited, and illustrated before summer is over. My goal is to start shopping for some readers and (hopefully) a publisher come fall.

I’ve also been doing a tremendous amount of reading just for pleasure, something I used to do quite voraciously and over time due to college and work and marriage and work and buying a house and having a kid and grad school and just all the things I fell out of the habit. I have a huge list and pile of things I want to read and I’m so very happy to be working my way through.

I am always thankful for Kidzilla and the Hub. They are my loves, my life, and they make every day beautiful.

And now I am thankful to finish this list and get on to other things. I didn’t do so well at getting around to read other posts last week (sorry!) so I hope to do a better job in that department this time around. It won’t be until after the long holiday weekend, though, for sure. We’ll be off doing…

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Your turn – what are you thankful for this week? What are your favorite summer activities and habits? You know the drill – share ’em or link ’em. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in the link-up by clicking that blue button down there.

Ten Things of Thankful
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TToT – The Never-Ending Cold

I still have a cold.

I think this must be the cold from hell, brought on by the unbelievably inconsistent weather here – unseasonably mild, then sub-zero wind chills, then up into the 30s, then down to the teens, then up to nearly 60 degrees, then a plummet to the 20s. No wonder my head is a mess.

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I’ve done all the home remedies – sick tea, my new favorite sick soup. Nothing is working so far – unless it’s all keeping it from getting worse, which I suppose can be Thankful #1 this week. How’s that for a silver lining?

Spring can come any time. Continue reading “TToT – The Never-Ending Cold”

TToT – I’m Back!

Did you miss me?

I was a little surprised when I looked at my last TToT and realized that I skipped two weekends in a row. TToT is not something I skip. But I did say I was taking an Internet break during the holidays and apparently I was serious.

I really did take a break – I barely thought about the cyber world and just barely paid attention to messages. I missed the people that I usually connect with. But overall? The time away felt freaking great.

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That said, 2015 is in the bag, so are the holidays and all of their stress, and by the end of this weekend all the Christmas decorations will be stored away for another year. I’m done and ready to move on.

So let’s commence with the thankfuls… Continue reading “TToT – I’m Back!”

Why I Seriously Need Advent This Year

I hate people.

No, seriously. I do.

OK, maybe I don’t hate people so much as I really hate how much negative crap people manage to spew into the world. Maybe I’m just over reading about all the bad shit people do to one another. It is really hard to have Christmas spirit and feel peace and joy and love when the headlines are about nothing of the kind.

For example, have you seen this one? There have been something like – what? – 352 shooting incidents in the U.S. this year that qualify as “mass shootings.” What is wrong with us? We are a country behaving badly and this is just one example of how. Just once I’d really like to see a headline about something positive, something life-promoting be as big a draw as the death and destruction. I don’t know how I can change that, though.

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Continue reading “Why I Seriously Need Advent This Year”

TToT – We’re Here Already?

I can’t believe it’s the weekend again already.

I also can’t believe that Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone, that autumn is now two-thirds past, and we’re heading rapidly toward Hanukkah next weekend and Christmas not far behind.

Time moves so fast… What is it that Ferris Bueller said? “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I definitely don’t want that to happen. I want to be aware of the life I’m living.

And so it is good practice, especially in times when life is busy and stressful, to just…be. We need time to stop and look around, to find the quiet moments for which to be thankful, the moments that give our life meaning.

So let’s talk turkey… Continue reading “TToT – We’re Here Already?”

TToT – Fall is Here, Baby!

And that could be my entire post…truly.

I am beyond happy that the weather is starting to cool and the fall season is officially – and visibly – upon us. I think my soul’s natural season is autumn or something…I am never more at peace than during autumn.Fall Trees

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TToT – Summertime

There’s something special about summertime…

The daylight lasts longer… Time seems to move a bit slower… Even the busy days feel a bit less structured and demanding. There is time to breathe, to inhale deeply, and to live deliberately…

We are one week into our official summer break and have filled it with wonderful moments and many things for which I am thankful. The first is, simply, that it is officially summer break for Zilla, the Hub has switched to his summer work schedule, and we are finding our summer groove.

 

Continue reading “TToT – Summertime”

TToT – Short Week

The short week after a Monday holiday is always a particular kind of hell.

In theory, it’s a great thing. You get to skip Monday and only face four days of the regular week – whatever your regular might be – before it’s weekend time all over again. But. In a short week after a Monday holiday, Tuesday is like a Super-Monday. By Tuesday you’re supposed to be in the groove already, picking up steam as you head toward optimum efficacy by Wednesday and Thursday. In a short week, it takes until Thursday to really get in the groove and the next thing you know, you’re sliding into Friday wondering what happened to all of the days. It’s a simple explanation – a short week is like trying to stuff ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag.

It’s not going to work.

But somehow we manage to get through the week, perhaps grabbing an extra cup of inspiration in the morning to keep us going until Friday when we’re never more relieved that it’s over. And if you can get the ten pounds to fit in the five pound bag? That’s definite cause for gratitude!

That being the case for me today, let’s commence with the thankfulness… Continue reading “TToT – Short Week”