TToT – Getting the Year Started Edition

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Happy 2014 and welcome to the first TToT for the year!

In an effort to get to a movie I am most thankful for having received as a Christmas gift, I am dispensing with any sort of crafty and witty introduction. I’ve got popcorn to pop, people.

And yes, I’m counting that movie gift up there as my first item of thankful. I owned it on VHS a million years ago and since my VHS tapes and VCR have long since left my life, I have not been able to find that movie on DVD. Until now. I am also pretty grateful for my trusty air popper because I really love popcorn and I do not mean the microwave stuff. Having the ability to make it any time is sweet.

Next, this week the Fab Hub passed the first of the two required exams he needs for A+ certification. When I asked him to explain it to me, I heard these words…general, support, networking, hardware and software, technician. I am not a computer illiterate by any means, but I could not process all of that fast enough to make a good translation happen on my screen. It’s computer industry certification and we are hoping and praying that it will render him employable employed in the IT field very soon.

I’m going to amaze myself here and say publicly that I’m thankful to have admitted out loud recently that I lost weight in the last couple months of the year. I kept that bad boy a secret, mostly because I wasn’t exactly on a quest to lose weight and I was as surprised as anyone to find that it had happened. I didn’t want to say it had if it was going to go away and make me look silly, so I just shut up about it. But then it stuck and stuck and stuck and I even hung onto it through the entire month of holiday gatherings. And I’m pretty happy about the fact that even though it isn’t much, I do feel a bit different and I know dropping some weight will help some other health issues. So I just decided it was time I stopped hiding it.

After weeks of thought, I committed (or re-committed) to my One Word and am developing a plan for working on that. You can read about it here and here if you are interested.

After reading an article on a new-to-me blog today (thanks again for the link, Sarah), I went ahead and made a concrete goal for the month of January. I am going to spend just fifteen minutes per day tackling the clutter in our house. There’s no way I’m ever going to sit and make it go away in one session, so fifteen minute sessions are the way to proceed. The blog is called Wait But Why and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back there again.

And, following suit, I am quite pleased that I did my fifteen minutes already today. Twice. See, I’m allowed to do more if I choose, but I only have to commit to doing the fifteen.

I am thankful for my awesome new cast iron Dutch oven, a gift from the Fab Hub. It’s really heavy. And it’s red. I’m also pretty happy about the red Corning casserole he gave me, which is a replacement for the hot red casserole dish he gave me for Valentine’s Day gift a few years ago. I’m pretty thankful that he knows it is safe to give me kitchen supplies as gifts and I won’t throw them at him.

And I am thankful to have had the opportunity to break it in today on a delicious stew that I found several days ago. This is great because I actually do not like stew. This particular one involved pomegranate and sounded so intriguing that I just had to try it. I was so glad that I did! All three of us loved it and there are leftovers for another night – win! More on that recipe later.

Today was a snow day. I suppose I should be sad that we’ve already had three and it’s barely even January, but it’s kind of hard not to be thankful for a snow day. It was great. It’s pretty cold here, though – like really cold. I am truly thankful, though, that I’m in my warm house with plenty of blankets and working heat talking about how cold it is and not sleeping outside in said frigid cold. That there are people in the world who are trying to make it through this under those conditions bothers me.

I am always thankful for Kidzilla – everything about her and yes, even the times when we are counting the minutes until bedtime. I’ll admit it – five minutes after she’s asleep, I want her awake because I miss her. But I let her sleep anyway…because quietness, that’s why. But back to the real reason for Kidzilla here – she makes us laugh on a regular basis.

For example, this week Kidzilla was reading the same Frozen story book at the table with both of us nearby and she asked if we thought she read with good expression (she does). We told her that she did and then I asked her if her Fab Dad read with expression when he visited the classroom. Zilla said that he did not. This was surprising because the Fab Dad does great kids’ book readings – expression, character voices, sound effects, the works. How could he not have read with expression when he visited the Kindergarten class?

Me: You mean Dadda didn’t read with expression and voices and everything like he does at home?

Z: No, he didn’t.

Me: Why not?

Z: Because. Anna and Elsa are girls. Dad didn’t read with expression because he doesn’t speak girl – he’s a boy.

True that the Fab Hub doesn’t speak girl – poor guy – but we’re both thankful that he gives it his best effort.

And, let’s just end with being thankful that I finally got the Twelve Things of Thankful wrap-up button to work on that particular post, despite the fact that I wasn’t in time to link up. It was just the principle of the thing that it wouldn’t show up correctly and now it does, so I can move on.

I stopped counting around the third or fourth thing on this list, but I’m pretty sure I’ve hit my ten. I need to get to the business of making that popcorn and watching my movie. While I do that, share your thankfuls in the comments!


Ten Things of Thankful
Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

36 thoughts on “TToT – Getting the Year Started Edition

  1. You’ve left us hanging–what is the wonderful movie you’ve been waiting to see?

    I’m also curious about that pomegranate stew–I’ve got lots of pomegranate arils in my freezer, but I never thought to add them to stews.

    1. Sorry, I did, didn’t I? It was Big Night.

      I never thought about pomegranate arils in stew. This was in the recipe and it was amazing. Meanwhile, I had no idea the arils could be frozen – thanks for hat tip!

  2. Yeah, what movie is it? 🙂
    The 15 minutes of due cluttering each day is a great idea. I need to put that into practice. Perhaps start with something easy, like my sock drawer.
    Kidzilla is a great little girl. I didn’t know reading with expression was a skill until we had kids. My husband really can’t read with appropriate expression. 🙂
    Happy new year!

    1. Ah, the movie was Big Night with Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub – and a whole bunch of others I had forgotten.

      The fifteen minutes is great – amazing how much you can do in fifteen minutes and then it just feels great.

    1. Sorry – I should’ve put it in the post and didn’t realize that I hadn’t until everybody started asking. It is Big Night with Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub. And you’re welcome! 🙂

  3. When I first read you were making an effort to get to a movie and were popping corn, I thought, “She must have a really big purse to carry popcorn into the movie theater!” Then I read a little further and saw DVD. Ahhh! I love my hot air popper, too. I use it when I make caramel popcorn. For regular eating, I pop it in a pan on the stove with a little oil in the bottom, like my mom used to. Perfection! And I NEVER eat microwave popcorn, but I have an aversion particularly due to serving on a jury for three weeks for a huge trial about workers in a microwave popcorn plant and I don’t even like to HEAR the words “microwave popcorn” now.
    Happy New Year, Lisa!

    1. How funny. Yeah, I’ve never actually snuck my own food into a movie theater – I’m way to afraid of getting caught. I’ve never tried popping corn in a pan – I somehow have horrible memories of Jiffy Pop things exploding and so the stove top method frightens me. I’ve always wanted to try it that way and I’m wondering if my Dutch oven would do the trick. I may give it a shot.

      1. Pour enough vegetable oil into the bottom of a heavy pan to cover it. Drop 3-4 kernels of popcorn into the oil and turn the burner on to medium. When the kernels have popped, the oil is the right temperature. Pour enough kernels in to cover the bottom of the pan, but the lid on, and shake it around occasionally (I use a heavy saucepan to make mine, because I like a handle). You can do this, Lisa! It’s not Jiffy Pop! (Incidentally, I found a package of Jiffy Pop in the top of my pantry when I was cleaning it out the other day – I bought it in 2008 when we were on a vacation to Colorado and never used it – whoops!)

        1. I’m going to try it. I have heavy lidded saucepans and I’m convinced this new cast iron Dutch oven is equal to the task! Jiffy Pop was awesome and terrifying all at the same time. I’ve seen many a Jiffy Pop balloon explode into flame.

  4. big night was an awesome movie! I like the one word project and I like the idea of 15 minutes on a monthly goal. All that makes it so much more doable. Which works with your first word simple. I think I might give it some thought. Thanks for the awesome list and the kidzilla cracks me up!

    1. I know, it really is a great movie. I quite enjoyed my little movie night.

      I already feel so much more productive just on that fifteen minute plan. That’s huge for me because usually when I have a big task, the procrastination that comes with my ADHD out of fear of the daunting task just takes over. So this is going to work great for me!

      Zilla really is a riot – and that’s not even some of her funniest material.

    1. I will be glad to package some and send it to you! 🙂 Below-zero temps and worse wind chills? No thanks. I honestly don’t know how people who live in places like Canada and Alaska do it all the time.

  5. Never heard of the movie, but I’m glad you’re so excited about it.

    Some SERIOUSLY GREAT STUFF in this here post, Lisa. I don’t know where to begin! Your weightloss sticking – AMAZING. Fab Hub’s exam results – AMAZING (oh please, please let him get a job soon…*crosses everything*). New kitchen things. Organised tidying.


    A list full of sheer delights. And popcorn. And now I kinda want popcorn 😀 Thanks

    1. It’s a great movie – old at this point but I was really excited to watch it again. Plus, it’s not a Disney princess movie. And while they have their merits, I’m about princess-ed out this holiday. The movie is about two Italian immigrant brothers with a struggling restaurant trying to find a way to save it. They have a big party at their restaurant because they think Louis Prima is coming to dinner…all about the preparation, the relationships, the food. It’s a foodie movie, for sure, but lots of other good stuff. I love it and haven’t seen it in forever. It was fun. Popcorn was awesome – used sriracha on it.

      It really is a pretty good list. And yes, I have every possible body part crossed and praying like mad.

      And today was so awesome I may just have a part two of TToT – first ever!

      1. Oh WHOA! Really? For real? Your first Twosie? Well I really hope so. And if you head over to mine, there might be something else to help you along.

        I might have to see if I can find that flick. It sounds good 🙂

        1. I saw it – the Sunshine? Yeah, woot! That’s so going on the list as well as what I already have. 🙂 Thanks and MWAH! 🙂 Have to tell you I’ve been simultaneously (yes, I really meant that) singing the following in my head since I read your sunshine post – “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy,” and “Good Day Sunshine.” Some of these are certainly incorrect titles, but you get the idea. So now I have a nice little cacophony of sunshine in my brain.

          Big Night is good – probably not the easiest to find, but I bet it’s out there.

  6. I trust you won’t mind my borrowing that most excellent and all-encompassing expression, if the need arises?

    … no I didn’t forget. Yes I believe you when you say that you told me what you needed just this morning, but you see…”because he doesn’t speak girl – he’s a boy.”

  7. Until I turned 5, my mom was a stay at home mom. She taught me that the best way to clean the house was to do it during the commercial breaks. Six times an hour we would get up and put things away or dust a room for 2 minutes and then be back at the couch. It’s the same principle as your 15 minutes a day, only spread out!

  8. Congrats on the weight loss! I agree that that’s something to should out loud. Mine creeped up a wee bit in the last two months of the year – so I’m back on the wagon now (I lost about 30lb in the first half of last year so hoping to keep it off etc… etc…)

    Never heard of the movie – but hope you enjoyed it!

  9. Oh my goodness do I ever understand missing them 5 minutes before they go to sleep. Why? Why do we do that to ourselves. We went out to dinner tonight, and at about 10 o’clock all I wanted to do was go home to see him, and then what did I do? I woke him up to talk to me! Oh those kids. Love them so hard.

    1. I have no idea, Jen. I just know that as we approach the end of the evening and it’s bedtime, I totally understand the where the guy who wrote Go The F*** to Sleep was coming from. But the minute Kidzilla is asleep, I want her awake. I don’t wake her up, though…I’ve learned no matter how much I might be tempted, I never wake a sleeping child. 🙂

  10. Great tip on the daily 15 minutes. I need to find ways to get things done in 15 minutes. It seems all the strength I have most days. I am glad your husband did well on those two exams. Hope you guys have a great 2014.

    1. I can’t tell you how great the 15 minutes is working Mary,. So far, most days I’ve done more. But even when I’m just not in the mood, fifteen minutes seems very doable and I am always amazed at just how much gets done in such a short time.

      Happy 2014!

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