Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Wrap-up

It's hard to believe that the month of November is drawing to a close.  And with the end of November comes the end of my goal to be intentionally thankful each day.  I like to think that I'm thankful for all that God's blessed me with, but to be honest, sometimes that thankfulness comes "on the fly".  There's just something about taking the time to really reflect on those blessings. 
Today I'm thankful for the challenge to take that time to be intentionally thankful, to ponder and reflect on all that I have to be thankful for and to acknowledge the Source of all those blessings. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet Me on Monday

The ole blog fodder well ... she be dry today.  So I'm joining in on Meet Me on Monday.  I've enjoyed reading Monday Miscellany posts on some of my favorite blogs over the last several weeks ... the questions seem fun, so I guess it's time I join in the fun.

This week's questions:

1.  What is your favorite way to eat chicken?
I'd have to say that I do love friend chicken ... with mashed potatoes and milk gravy.  But neither DH nor I need all those calories.  :-(  Instead we love Ina Garten's Chicken Piccata.  I am not normally a fan of lemon, or at least I wasn't before I had her Piccata.  It's made me re-think the possibilities of cooking with lemon more often!

2.  Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Yes.  I've embraced the whole "less is more" philosophy over the last few years.  So, we put up a tree, nativity set, Christmas village and a few Santas here and there ... and are good with that.  I would like to do some decorating outside ... maybe get a lighted wreath for the gable in front of the house ... but that begs the question of how to get it hung/lit.

3.  What is your favorite article of clothing?
Once I hit the big 5 - 0, I decided that comfort overrides style.  I wear sweats in the winter, Ts in the summer ... with jeans.  I'm not sure I have one single garment that I could say was my favorite. 

4.  Do you pay your bills online or write checks the old way?
Online.  And if they'll do the auto-deduct, even better.  At my age, having to rely on my memory to get my bills paid on time isn't the smartest thing!  About the only checks we write are for our giving at church, for our real estate taxes, and to the gal who cuts my hair.

5.  Do you make Christmas cookies?
Oh, yes indeed!  I always have.  It started back when DD was little and would be at her dad's on Christmas Eve ... I'd bake some cookies to keep me busy, so I wouldn't feel so lonely by myself.  In the years since, it's become an annual tradition ... one that DD & I do together.  And now that T#1 and T#2 are getting older, they join in a little, too.  I can't wait until we do cookies this year!

Today is going to be a bit of a lazy day.  Woke up to cloudy skies and a little rain ... perfect lazy day weather.  I'll have to get out in a couple of hours to go get my hair cut (yes, actually today ... I doublechecked my appointment card so I wouldn't pull a repeat of last Monday's episode.  I need to stop at the UPS store afterwards ... then I would like to spend the rest of the day quilting.  A perfect lazy day.  ;-)

Today I'm thankful for online shopping.  I'm not/never have been much of a shopper.  There aren't many things that I feel like I simply "must" buy in person rather than online (quilting fabrics comes to mind).  And if I do go shopping, it's mostly go, get what I need, and leave (unless I'm shopping with DD ... then it's all about the time spent together).  So being able to shop online is an easy way to be able to do just that ... without leaving the comfort of my home.  And the icing on the cake is when the packages arrive.  I just love seeing the UPS or Fed Ex truck pull up to our house.  There's something about the excitement of opening up a package (even when I know what's inside).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I know I did, because this weekend I ...
  • got some more quilting done ... I just don't seem to find the blocks of time to quilt that I did when I started this quilt, but I'm making progress ... it really looks like I'm not going to be able to make my self-imposed Christmas deadline, but that's ok ... it'll be done when it's done.  ;-)
  • spent Saturday afternoon & evening with the Ts so Mama & Daddy could do some Christmas shopping.  
  • put up our Christmas tree and our decorations ... we bought a smaller tree this year ... as far as the ornaments and lights are concerned, it's the perfect size ... but after 6+ foot trees for all these years, it just seems soooo tiny!  I suspect that in another day or two, I'll be used to the smaller size.

Several of you have asked for pictures of our Christmas decorating ... we don't go over the top here.  While I have a few little things here and there, most of our decorating is the tree, the village, and the nativity set.

This is, obviously, our tree ... sorry for the glare ... it was quite sunny today.

This is a ceramic snowy village that my sister-in-law gave DH & me as a wedding gift.  It isn't Christmas until it's up.

This is my Willow Tree nativity set.  I LOVE it.


Today I'm thankful for opportunities to support those who spread the Word of God around the world.  We had missionaries from Mexico speak at church today.  It was challenging to hear them tell of all that they're doing to spread the Good News.  While they need our financial support, their visit reminded us that they also need our prayer support.  I may not be able to go all over the globe spreading the Good News, but I can use what God's blessed me with to partner with those who do. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday's Stuff

I hope to get the tree purchased, up and decorated today.  We always do it the weekend after Thanksgiving ... usually the day after, but at least by the end of the weekend after.  I'm hoping that getting the tree up, decorations out and Christmas music on will give me the Christmas spirit that I'm not feeling right now.

I'm hoping to get quite a little bit of quilting done today.  Unfortunately yesterday I developed a dry-skin crack in the callous that I have on my right thumb (where the needle pricks it as I push the needle up through the fabric); I put on some Neosporin in hopes that it would heal up more quickly.  I may go ahead and see if I can't quilt today anyway.  If I can't, I suppose I could always start cutting the fabric I have for T#4's big girl quilt.

On the quilt I'm currently quilting, I've got 54 of the 72 blocks quilted ... I'm quilting the inner border as I'm stitching each outer block.  After I've quilted the blocks, it'll be time to quilt the border ... I'm going to use a cable-style stencil for the quilting design.

If you click on the photo, you'll get a better look at the fabric I used ... the smaller photo looks like I'm using solid fabrics, which I'm not.

I fear that I may be trying to come down with something ... the last two days, I've had a headache that I haven't been able to shake.  I've tried my usual remedy of Diet Coke and ibuprofen ... I even tried treating it with a piece of leftover apple spice cake with whipped cream.  ha!  On top of that I've got a bit of a tickle and just don't feel 100%.

Today I'm thankful for the anticipation and excitement of the Christmas season.  While I enjoy all the trappings of Christmas, I am most thankful for the reminder that Jesus is our Emmanuel - God With Us.  I am thankful that He came to be one of us so that when we go to Him with our weakness and temptations, we can be assured that He understands and can guide us.
Hebrews 2:18  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

I am thankful for the greatest Christmas gift of all:  Jesus. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I hope that everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.  Mine certainly was.  We had our dinner at DD's ... her family, DSIL's parents and us; my dad had planned to join us ... unfortunately, T#4 is sick ... DD thought that she had rotavirus Wednesday night, so we suggested that my dad (87 and pretty frail) might want to pass.  By the time we realized that it probably wasn't rotavirus, it was too late (and the weather forecast was for icy conditions, and I definitely didn't want him out on that!).  :-(

I got up at 5:00 to get up to DD's by 6:30 to have Tom in the oven by 7:00.  We got in a little ping-pong while he was roasting.
We watched a little bit of the parade, too.
I do believe that the meal was the best we've had - ever.

As we were cleaning up after dinner, DD noticed that it was snowing outside ... real snow flakes!  Our first snow of the winter - on Thanksgiving!  There was a tiny bit of accumulation ... on the mulch around the trees, on the sand in the sandbox, on the windshields of the cars.  It was lovely!

We played some Uno
 Go Fish
and Racko
Speaking of Black Friday, DH was a sweetheart and ran to Sears to pick up a floor jack for my dad ... it was on sale 50% off on the Black Friday flyer.  I'll definitely have to reward him with his favorite meal for dinner tonight ... Ima Garten's chicken piccata.  I told you ... he's a keeper!

He also brought back a couple of bagels from the Bread Co. (yummy!), and the rest of our day will be spent taking it easy.  The house is a bit of a mess from the late night Wednesday, preparing some Crispix Crunch n Munch and chopping the bread for the stuffing, so I need to do some tidying up, catching up on laundry.  I also need to wrap a few gifts (gifts for T#2 & T#3, our great-nephew and our angel tree kids).  And I plan to do some quilting.  I think that's enough work for one day, don't you?  ;-) 

We usually put our tree up on the day after Thanksgiving ... we get a real tree, and we would rather get it up early, since they're already sitting out on the tree lots.  But I think we might wait until tomorrow or Sunday ... I need a bit of a rest before I take on that tree.

Today I'm thankful for a blessed Thanksgiving with family, delicious food, memories made.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Turkey Lurkey

Another exciting edition of Wednesday HodgePodge ... if you'd like to play along, just click on the button above.  

1. If you had known what they knew then, would you have boarded the Mayflower?
Probably not ... I'm definitely not a risk-taker by nature, so heading off for the unknown would certainly have been outside my comfort zone.

2. How far have you traveled on a boat and how do you feel about boats in general?
11 miles ... from the mainland to Ship Island, off the coast of Mississippi.  Part of me would like to take a cruise, but the other part of me worries about sea-sickness, being unable to come or go or just do something else.  Not to mention that a cruise would take up a couple of years' worth of the travel budget.

3. What traditions have you kept, acquired thru marriage, and/or tossed? If you're single what are some of your family's favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
My family didn't do much for Thanksgiving, so I didn't bring any traditions into adulthood.  Then when DD was small, she always spent Thanksgiving Day with her dad, so I wasn't able to build any Thanksgiving traditions when she was growing up.  When she married, we started having Thanksgiving at her house ... she and I would get up early start Tom (the turkey) and fix the sides.  We usually have the Macy's parade on TV, and we usually scan the sales flyers in that morning's paper while Tom is in the oven.  DD & I usually get together at least the night before to prepare desserts, chop the celery & onion, etc.  The Blues usually play that evening, so we usually have that on the TV while we're working in the kitchen.  We've gotten our menu down pat ... not a lot of unique traditions, but that's ok ... I think we have a fantastic Thanksgiving.  

4. What time is dinner and how many will be round your table? And what is the one side dish you cannot do without on Thanksgiving day? 
Dinner will probably be served at around 1:00-ish ... whenever it's all ready.  We're planning on 11 (my dad, DD & her family, DSIL's parents, and DH & me).  I have to have the stuffing (the stuffed stuffing, of course!) ... to me, that's the quintessential Thanksgiving Day food, maybe because I don't generally prepare stuffing any other time?  

Yes, I know it goes against all I believe in to ask for 'just one', but I made up for it by asking three questions here.

5. Have you ever used a fire extinguisher? Do tell....
I personally haven't, but DSIL has used one at our house.  DD & DSIL were dating (I don't even think they were engaged yet), and we were all in the family room, watching a movie, with a fire in the fireplace.  A neighbor rang the doorbell ... I answered ... he told me that there was a fire in our chimney.  I said thanks and shut the door and started to walk back to the family room ... someone asked who was at the door & what they wanted ... I said that it was the neighbor telling us that there was a fire in the chimney ... and thankfully everyone else "got it" (I don't know if my reaction - or lack of - was due to shock or what).  While we were waiting for the fire trucks, DH got the fire extinguisher and a ladder and had DSIL climb up to try to put out the fire.  I remember being terrified that DSIL would slip and fall off the roof.  

6. Tell about a situation that caused you dreadful trepidation and feet dragging, only to realize later it was a true blessing. 
Gosh, nothing comes to mind ... I've been thinking about this for the last 24+ hours ... and nothing comes to mind.  I'm sure there has been several times when that has happened ...  mostly because I'm not a risk taker (see #1), so it wouldn't be surprising to think that I'd have several situations where I'd be feeling trepidation and be dragging my feet.  

7. Baked, sweet, mashed, hash browned or french fried...which one's your favorite? 
I assume that you're asking what kind of potatoes we have for Thanksgiving.  We have a sweet potato dish (that's more like a dessert) and the ubiquitous mashed potatoes - and plenty of them, as DSIL is a mashed potatoes fiend.  However, if you're asking just in general, I love them all ... especially sweet potato fries.  If we're dining out and I see them as a side choice, you can bet that I'll order them!  ;-)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Doesn't it feel like Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year?  Factor in the fact that Thanksgiving has become just an excuse to watch football and overeat ... and I'm disappointed in how more and more, the reason behind Thanksgiving is being forgotten.  :-(  

Today I'm thankful for rain.  We've had the 3rd driest fall on record here.  Not only do we need rain for our grass and plants, but the lack of rain is affecting farmers and damaging city sewer lines.  We needed rain ... and thankfully we got some rain Monday evening and it was raining again this morning when I got up.  Thank you, Lord, for rain.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Greetings from DorkLand

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had a haircut at 11:00.  I show up a few minutes early, as is my habit, only to be told that my appointment is NEXT Monday at 11:00.  <sigh>  And if you need further proof that I have no memory, I went to Hallmark to buy ornaments for the Ts (a tradition that dates back to when DD was a little girl).  I initially bought a “baby’s first Christmas” for T#4, walked out the door, and then realized that this will be her SECOND Christmas.  I must have had “SECOND” on the brain because I tried to exchange that ornament for one with 2 on it … she’s still just 1.  And to cap out the day, we walked over to our friends' house for dinner ... only to reach their front door and realize that we left the gift back home.  We can add more memory to our computers ... why not for us?  I believe I'd be the primo candidate for additional memory!  ha!

I think the lack of sleep so many nights last week has caught up to me ... I've got a sore throat and am feeling a little less than 100%.  There's nothing on the agenda for today, so I think I'm going to take it easy today.  I certainly don't want to be sick on Thanksgiving!

Today I'm thankful for God's protection.  I can't even begin to count the number of times when I've inexplicably made a choice that didn't seem to make a lot of sense at the time but in hindsight turned out to be evidence of God guiding me/keeping me safe.  As thankful as I am for His protection from physical harm, I'm even more thankful for His protection from spiritual harm.  I'm reminded of the Frank Peretti series on spiritual warfare ... while it was fiction, it certainly opened my eyes to the kind of struggle that Paul wrote about in Ephesian 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  I'm so very thankful for God's protection.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Monday

I was trying to think of a clever title for today's post ... and this song kept coming to mind.  So, I had to go with Monday Monday, right?  (Yes, I know using this song certainly shows my age.  ha!)

Today is one of those days where I just have more than I'd like to do than there are hours in the day. 
  • I get my hair cut in a couple of hours ... I've always worn short hair.  My hair is thin and fine and won't hold, so any attempts at growing it out has resulted in the "drowned rat" look (a phrase of my mom's ... anyone else familiar with it?) ... not exactly the style I'm looking for.  But DD and Leann my hair stylist have been trying to persuade me to go with a different look, something a little longer.  So earlier this summer, I told Leann that I was ready to try something different (I think I shocked her ha!).  My hair has reached the desired length, but it just isn't working.  :-(  So I'm ready to go back to my old cut.  
  • I need to stop at Target after I get my hair cut ... need a few things for Thanksgiving, a few things for home and some Angel Tree gifts.
  • We're going to dinner at our neighbors' (friends') house.
  • I'd really like to get some more quilting done (didn't have a chance over the weekend, with T#3 and T#4 here ... NOT that I'm complaining ... I'll forgo quilting to be able to spend time with the Ts any day of the week!!)

Today I'm thankful opportunities to help out those who are less fortunate.  We are entering the Christmas season, and there are loads of organizations who provide for those who are in need.  If anyone is led to be a blessing to those who are facing a bleak Christmas, they shouldn't have any trouble finding ways to help.  Help doesn't have to come in the form of big bucks ... even small gifts can make a huge difference.  I'm thankful for all the ways that I can make a difference.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Each weekend, it seems, gets busier and busier ... and with Thanksgiving and then Christmas coming up, I'm sure it will continue to get busier.  Whoever said that life would slow down when we retired was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  :-D

This weekend I ...
  • went to dinner Friday night with neighbors who have become good friends
  • had Saturday morning with the 3 younger Ts while T#1 picked up food for scouting with his Cub Scout pack (no scouts hit our neighborhood, so I was able to put some canned goods into a sack for him to take with)
  • spent the rest of Saturday with the 2 little Ts ... did I go ahead and take that nap, you ask?  no, but I sure should have ;-) and will definitely have an early bedtime tonight
  • got the 2 littles to church for Sunday School and worship
  • got caught up on ironing (slowly but surely, I'm weeding out all of DH's button-front shirts that need to be ironed)
  • spent the rest of the day taking it easy

 Today I'm thankful for public libraries.  I enjoy reading ... I've always been a reader.  I remember as a young girl, walking the several blocks to the library in my home town and coming home with the maximum 3 books.  Of course, it didn't take too long to read those books ... and back I'd go to get another 3 books.  I loved to read so much that I had dreams of becoming a librarian (until I learned that a librarian didn't just get to sit at a desk and read books ha!)  Now, I can check out more than 3 books (but usually don't because I don't always have the time to sit and read as much as I'd like) ... and thanks to the internet (and the regional library system), I can order the books I want to read right here from the comfort of my home, wait for the e-mail to notify me that the books are in at my local library, and go get them.  Easy peasy.  I'm thankful for public libraries.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday's Stuff

Today I'm thankful for sleep.  I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with sleep.  There are times when I think to myself "sleep - it's overrated" ... usually when I have so many things I want to do (never when there are so many things I need to do ha!).  There are other times when I'm so exhausted that I need toothpicks to hold my eyes open.  Seriously, though, I know that God designed our bodies so that we need sleep, so that sleep is important to good health and well-being.  Not only that, He created us so that we need good, restful, adequate sleep.  It's even in His Word (Ps. 127:2).

In vain you rise early
   and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
   for he grants sleep to those he loves.    

It's appropriate that I choose to be thankful for sleep today ... since this week is one where I've not been able to get adequate sleep.  I've already posted about the late night Wednesday night.  Last night I had a fitful night ... took a long time to fall sleep and woke frequently throughout the night.  And tonight we'll have the 2 littlest Ts here, and DD has warned me that there will likely be a "get-up" or two during the night with T#4.  ;-)  Nana will definitely need a nap this afternoon when the 2 littles are taking theirs.  I'm thankful for sleep.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Today I'm thankful for good neighbors.  When we chose to buy a home for our retirement years, we had two goals:  everything on one floor and a nice neighborhood ... with nice neighbors.  When our real estate agent showed us this house - in a town we had never even considered moving to, my first thought was while it was a nice size, a nice layout with everything all on one floor, there were only 3 other houses in this subdivision ... and they were all empty.  We prayed and decided to trust God and bought this house.  In the last two years, 18 other families have moved in, and we've become very good friends with two of our neighbors.  We're so happy here ... God answered our prayers ... not in the way that I had planned or even hoped, but isn't that usually the way He does? ;-) 

I believe that I'm even more tired today than I was yesterday (after the midnight run to the grocery store and only 4 hours of sleep) ... I've noticed that as I've gotten older, I can usually get through the first day after a night of not enough sleep ... it's the second day after that really has me dragging.  Thankfully, we don't have a lot on the agenda for today ... we'll be going to the Gun Club for Captain Hog's BBQ and will be taking one of the couples I mentioned above.

I got a good bit of quilting done yesterday and would like to get some more done today.  Of course, in order to do that, I'll need to get up and away from this computer.  ha!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today is definitely going to be a slow-moving day!  Yesterday was a looooooooong day ... DD & I met at the grocery store just before midnight to take advantage of the $10-off-any-purchase-over-$50-Thursday sale.  We got her refrigerator and pantry re-stocked (she'd cleaned them out before they went out of town), did my shopping, and got everything we needed for Thanksgiving.  Of course, it meant a total of 9 trips through the store ... to maximize the $10 off, we'd stop shopping when we got to $50, checked out, took the groceries to our vans and went back in to shop some more.  It also meant that it was 3:00 by the time I brought in the groceries, put everything away, and crawled into bed.  Thankfully I was able to sleep late this morning ... but not late enough.  It was worth it, though, to be able to save some serious money ($90 plus a lot of what we bought was on sale).  And I enjoyed some time with DD.

Today I'm thankful for the internet.  I'm thankful for how it allows me to stay in touch with family and friends ... through e-mail and Facebook ... and now blogging.  I'm thankful for the opportunities to be able to shop online ... I'm definitely not a shopper, so I'm thankful for being able to shop from the comfort of my home.  I'm thankful for all the information that's available at my fingertips.  Even though I have to be careful with how much time I spend online, the internet is still a huge blessing to me.  Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I intended to add today's thankfulness post at the end of the Wednesday Hodgepodge post ... but as is often the case these days, I forgot.

Today I'm thankful for medicines.
I've suffered from chronic tension headaches since I was in high school (we won't mention just how long that's been, ok?).  And now that I'm pushing toward a major milestone birthday, I've added plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and rotator cuff issues to my list of aches and pains.  I thank God for ibuprofin which thankfully is able to minimize the pain associated with those ailments.  I praise Him for medicines that have increased the odds of surviving various diseases that at one time would have been debilitating or even fatal.  I thank Him for advances in medical care that have helped make invasive procedures less traumatic and that have helped find diseases early enough to be treatable.  Thank you, Lord for providing wisdom to those who've developed medicines and medical procedures.

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Week 2

Joyce has another set of interesting questions for us to answer this week.

1. What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen?
I'd have to say the beauty of the ice sparkling in the sun after the ice storm in December, 2006 was pretty amazing.  Unfortunately that beauty came with a pretty heavy price tag ... tree limbs falling --> houses and cars damaged.  A neighbor's tree limb fell onto my car, smashing out the back window and doing some serious damage to the roof and trunk.  We were without power for 7 days ... the temperature inside the house got down into the 30's.    
2. What is a sound or noise you love?
Oh gosh, so many things come to mind ... hearing ocean waves hitting the beach, hearing the grands giggle, hearing them say "Nana, come look" or "Nana, will you play with me?" ... but I guess the sound I love the most is when I hear them tell me that they love me

3. Do you like seafood? What's your favorite seafood dish?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seafood!  That's one of the reasons that our travel destinations always include the beach.  If I had to pick a favorite, I guess I'd say grouper, cooked just about any way.  Aw man, now I'm hungry for some fresh seafood!   

4. What part of your day requires the most patience?
Probably late afternoon?  I seem to hit a wall in the late afternoon ... when it's too late to take a nap.  Because I'm dragging, I do find my patience does wear a little thin.  

5. What's your favorite shade of blue?
A midnight blue.  Deep, rich, not too overpowering.

6. Do people underestimate you?
Some have.  There was some ugliness that came with the last position I held at the University; I'm proud to say that my on-the-job performance changed some minds.

7. When was the last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
When I got up to "show off" T#3's "big boy" quilt at the guild meeting last month.  Beforehand and in hindsight, it seemed like such a no brainer ... hold up the quilt, explain a little about it, go sit down.  But I am NOT a public speaker.  

8. Insert your own random thought here, and remember...I have a wooden spoon and I'm not afraid to use it.
I am SUCH a creature of habit ... I have the same thing for breakfast every. single. day and I generally have the same thing for lunch every day, too.  Boring?  Not to me.  ;-)  I just find something that I really like and just "go with it".    

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Why is it that all the random thoughts in my brain ... the thoughts that would make some interesting blog fodder ... have all disappeared now that I've sat down at the computer?  <sigh>

Why is it when DH makes plans to be gone for several hours, I wish those were the days that he was home ... and the days he stays home are the days that I wish I could have some "alone" time?

Why is it when I have some free time that I could use to *finally* quilt, I find myself doing just about anything and everything other than quilting?

Why is it when I created a new background for my blog, my emoticons are no longer working?

Why is it when I think I've finally gotten a theme going, I run out of "why is it" questions?

Today I'm thankful for food.  I'm thankful that even though we're on a retirement income, we can afford to buy not only enough food to sustain us, we're able to buy food that we can enjoy.  When I'm frustrated because I can't think of what I'm hungry for or what I feel like cooking, God reminds me that I'm blessed to be faced with such "difficulties."  He reminds me that there are too many who may only have just enough to eat for the next meal ... that there are too many who may not even have any food at all!  He reminds me that while I cannot provide food for all those in need, I can play a part in providing food for those who need it.  I'm thankful for Christian organizations like Samaritan's Purse who can take what we give to use it to help feed the countless who go hungry.  I'm thankful for food banks that help fill in the gaps for those who don't have enough food to feed their families. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Wow!  What a busy weekend!  It's funny ... we're retired so every day is a weekend to us ... yet our weekends still are full of stuff to do!

This weekend, I
  • had a stay-at-home date night with DH ... fixed a steak dinner and then watched Invictus.
  • attended a workshop put on by my quilt guild ... I learned how to do needle-turn applique.  While I love to hand quilt, I'm not a big fan of hand sewing ... nor am I normally a fan of appliqued quilts.  So applique is probably not going to be something I do very often ... but as I mentioned yesterday, I have a box full of some of my mom's completed appliqued blocks and the pieces to complete some more.  I want to finish those blocks and put them together to make a wall hanging.  Like I said yesterday, they're not the pattern that I'd choose if I were going to make an appliqued quilt, but they were the last quilting project my mom worked on (she probably had to stop working on it when she was diagnosed with lung disease).
  • quilted while watching the Blues lose - again.  Hopefully they won't lose 7 in a row (they won 7 in a row before this current losing streak).
  • drove up to DD's to check on their house each day while they're out of town (they went to visit DSIL's sister in Chattanooga).
  • drove to O'Fallon to pick up DSIL's car (DD & the Ts drove the loaded van to O'Fallon to pick up DSIL from work, leaving his car in the parking lot); we drove it back to their house so it'll be there for him when he has to go back to work Thursday morning.
  • had lunch at Chili's while in O'Fallon (I had the big mouth bites ... I could only eat 2 so I have lunch already planned for today!).
  • attended Sunday School and worship.
  • attended a Financial Oversight team meeting at church to discuss the 2011 budget.
  • started our initial planning for our spring trip ... we are going to go in March this year because I'll be going to the Oregon coast with my dad and my sister in May (we usually prefer to take our spring trip in May).  Because we're going in March, we'll go further south so we can get warmer weather ... and take in a few spring training games while we're at it (since we usually get the spring training bug in early March anyway).  Because we're on a fixed income now that we're retired, we have a very tight travel budget.  If we can keep our lodging costs as low as possible, we can parlay those savings into more traveling.  We've always preferred to spend as little as possible on lodging anyway because we'd much rather spend our daylight hours on the beach or seeing the sights.  We don't need a lot of the luxuries or amenities offered by the pricier hotels ... as long as our hotel/motel is in a safe area and is clean (and comes with Wi-Fi ha!), we're ok. For this trip, we had a really hard time finding a motel that was in our price range ... we were even looking at motels along the interstate, with intentions of driving the 30 minutes over to the beach and finally we found a motel - ON THE BEACH!!!! <vbg> - in our price range, with good reviews, that's convenient to a couple of spring training ball parks, so we've got the hard part of our trip planning out of the way!  

Today I'm thankful for being able to travel.  When DH & I dreamed of retiring, we always talked about moving to the beach ... but as frequently happens, life intervenes ... in our case, the arrival of 4 Ts.  I just couldn't move that far away.  So as a compromise, we travel ... so far through adhering to a very strict budget, we've been able to afford take a couple of trips during the year.  We even enjoy the challenge of finding a destination, of finding lodging that will fit in our budget.  We love the time together driving to our destination ... even retired, we find ourselves so busy that sometimes we don't have (or take) the time to just sit and talk.  I'm thankful for the opportunities that we have to travel.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Catching up

It's been a busy weekend so far (more on the details on my weekend wrap-up post tomorrow morning :D ) ... and I didn't get a chance to post at all yesterday.  :(

Because I didn't get to post yesterday, I've got two days of thankfulness to catch up on.

I'm thankful for opportunities to learn.  Even though I'm pushing toward a major milestone birthday in a few months, I'm determined to be living proof that we're never too old to learn.  One of the things that kept me busy this weekend was taking a class offered by the quilt guild to which I belong ... on applique.  I don't know that I'll do a lot of applique work, but I now know that I could if I wanted to.  And more importantly, I'll be able to complete the blocks for an appliqued flower quilt that my mom started (when she passed, my dad gave me a box of quilt blocks and pieces for a quilt that she had started ... probably a good 2 years before she died).  It is definitely not the pattern that I'd choose on my own, but it'll definitely mean something to me to be able to finish it.  I'm thankful for Sunday School classes, where not only do we learn more about Jesus but we learn how to take what we've learned and apply it to our everyday lives.  I'm thankful for new technology ... it's not even been 2 months that I've been blogging, and I've learned all kinds of bloggy-kinds of stuff in those 2 months.  I'm thankful for all kinds of learning opportunities.

I'm also thankful for music.  I'm so thankful for all the songs that help prepare our hearts for worship, whether in our church buildings or in our cars.  I'm so thankful that God uses music to teach us important lessons ... that He uses music to help us hide His Word in our hearts ... that He uses music to bring us peace, to bring us joy.  I'm thankful for Christian radio stations that broadcast encouraging messages and uplifting music.  I'm thankful for music.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday - Veterans Day edition

Were/Are either of your parents or other family members active military personnel or veterans? What branch? When did they serve; was it during wartime or peacetime? Did they share much about their experiences with you or others? When you were growing up, was the USA (or your country, for those outside the US) involved in a war? What do you remember about it and how did it impact you? Are you, your spouse, or any of your children veterans?

Neither one of my parents served in the military. My father was a farmer and thus exempted from conscription during WWII. No one else in my immediate family are veterans. My maternal grandfather served in WWI in the cavalry ... he helped care for the horses in France.

When I was growing up, it was peacetime ... although that was during the height of the cold war (I was 10 when the Bay of Pigs Invasion was launched), so the term "peacetime" is not a very accurate description of the time.

I was in high school and college during the Viet Nam war.  It was a time of protest ... my protest was not against the men and women serving in Viet Nam nor even against the purpose for the war ... my protest was against the "establishment" whose response to the Kent State shooting was callousness best exemplified by the comment that "when dissent turns to violence, it invites tragedy".  I pray that our country will never know another time of division and conflict like the late 60's/early 70's.

Today is DH's birthday ... a fairly significant one ... in 5 years, he'll be eligible for Medicare. :P Although I've already shared my gratitude for the gift of my husband, I can't let his birthday go by without expressing how thankful I am for him.

My DH has a true servant's heart ... if someone needs something done, my DH will do his best to help. If I had been given the assignment, 25 years ago or more, of writing up the "qualifications" for a suitable hubby, I couldn't have done a better job than to have described my DH. God (like always) knew exactly what he was doing when he brought us together ... and He's still using DH to teach me some important lessons (like patience ... thanks for the reminder, DD :x). I don't have the words (nor the time ;) ) to be able to adequately express all that he means to me ... other than to say that God truly blessed my socks off when He brought DH into my life. :x :x :x