Friday, December 17, 2010

Today's second thankful: Optimism

Because I missed a few days, here is another thankful.

I am very glad that I have a genetic disposition toward optimism. I can’t imagine how hard life would be with a pessimistic outlook. Sure, I have had my, “awwwwww, SHIT!” moments, but they are usually followed by now what do I do, then humor. After all, most things ARE funny when they’re not you.

Today's thankful: My ability to hear

Truthfully, I am always thankful for my ability to hear. There are things in this world that are such sweet sounds. For example, that contented suck/grunt newborns make when they are eating. That is one of my favorite sounds. I also love hearing my babies tell me they love me, my spouse saying what for him are sweet nothings, and laughter. Last night, when my thankful bubbled to the surface, I was attending Middlest’s holiday concert where all of the high school’s instrumental groups performed for us. We are lucky to be part of one of the finest high school music programs in the country. This evening of mostly Christmas music, along with the debut of our high school orchestra, was pretty spectacular. I am so glad I was able to hear it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Today’s thankful: I am thankful that I can forgive myself for not posting a thankful since the 9th. That lapse puts me down five thankfuls. I have been struggling with myself as to whether or not I should make them up or let it go. I am opting for letting it go. After all, part of this thankful experiment is slowing down and taking time to enjoy the simple things. I don’t need the pressure of beating myself up for missing a few days.

On a related note, I have been a busy girl the past four days. I made a cake for a baby shower for my nephew’s wife. The cake was going to be spectacular, a three-ring circus with cookie animals perched on upside down cupcakes on top of three round cakes. The cookies were too heavy for the cake to support them. Basic disaster with a drop back and punt effort. Wound up with three round, rather boring cakes. At least they tasted good. Tiny person said to me, “guess the bear ate you that time.” Indeed. Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mom talk

Things I shouldn’t have to say but did: Don’t drink Kool Aid with a Squinky in your mouth.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today's thankful: Hot water that comes straight out of the pipes

Tubby time today had me being thankful for the hot water that magically comes out of the pipes when I turn the handle. If you have ever had to take a cold shower for reasons other than raging hormones, you know what I mean. Cold showers are nasty, and cold tubbies are an abomination. I am so glad we don’t have to heat our water on the woodstove to take a relaxing soak.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today's thankful: Classic Christmas shows

As I sit here watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with Youngest, it occurs to me how very lucky we are to have this and the other classic Christmas shows to share with each other. Some of my favorite childhood memories center around watching Charlie Brown, Mr. Grinch and Rudolph with my family. My mom would get me out of the tub and jammied up, then make a ginormous bowl of popcorn and the family would watch the Christmas specials. Of course, this was in the days before TNT and TBS and we only got each show one time per season, but it is still good.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Today's thankful: My indoor job

There are a lot of times I don’t like my job much and wish it were an outside job. Days like that are usually in the late spring and early fall when the temp hovers around 75 degrees and there is a light breeze and lots of sun. On those days, I usually drag my laptop outside and work outside for a little while. Today was NOT one of those days. The wind chill was nine below and there is a pretty stiff wind. Today I am SO thankful that I work inside a heated building. The only thing better than working in the house today would be working from my nice warm bed. I haven’t figured out how to make that happen. Yet.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Today's thankful: Memory foam

Today’s thankful may seem a bit odd, but given that I had to sit and transcribe for an 8-hour shift today, both my rear end and I are thankful for memory foam. I have a seat cushion that is two pieces of memory foam with a pouch of gel sandwiched in the middle. It is a tiny bit of heaven for a tired tush after about four hours in the chair.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Today's thankful: Mittens

I guess today’s thankful can be gloves as well as mittens, but I really prefer mittens. There is something comforting to me about all of my fingers touching when it is cold outside. This afternoon I had to go out and scrape the snow off my car before I could take Middlest to her evening activities. I was pleasantly surprised to reach in my coat pockets and find a pair of warm, fuzzy mittens.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today's thankful: House cats

As my kitty was head butting me and purring this morning, it occurred to me that I am extremely thankful for domesticated house cats. If you’re not a cat person, you won’t get it, but visiting a cat is different from living with one. Cats can be faithful companions, but they aren’t needy like dogs. I like dogs, too, but cats are my fave. I had one cat who used to walk out to the end of the driveway to meet the school bus each afternoon. Another of my cats was in every picture I took of the kids when they were small. He watched over them like a mother hen. When Eldest was a baby and started to cry in her bedroom, he would come get me and lead me to the bedroom to take care of her. My favorite thing about cats, though, has to be the fact that when they come up to you and offer affection, you know they really like you. It is a small thing, but I am thankful for my kitties, past and present.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today's thankful: Ankles

It occurred to me today, as I was hastily walking to my car in the cold, that ankles are good. Through the course of my day, they help me walk, of course, but they also help me drive. Another part of my day involves medical transcription. Pushing the playback pedal would be most difficult without ankles. I am, therefore, very thankful for my ankles. I am also pleased that they are not cankles, but that is shallow and not at all what this thankful exercise is about. Still, I have to be me, so I am thankful that I have ankles and not cankles.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today's thankful: Heat in the car

As I headed out the door today to take Youngest to the bus, I failed to grab a coat. This fact is not surprising given that a) I am a woman over the age of 45, b) I hate coats, and c) the temperature was a balmy 50 degrees. The thing that is surprising is that I actually got a little bit cold. Must be the fact that the sun is behind clouds which are spitting rain.

Anyway, as I was driving to my sister’s house to put my tiny person on the bus, I reached up and turned on the heater. My reward was instant heat. Though it isn’t something that is necessary to sustain life, I really am thankful that a mere flick of a switch can bring me so much comfort on a gray, drizzly day. I imagine the ladies riding in covered wagons on their way out West would have loved such a feature.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finding local food is hard in November

I have been trying for the past 11 months to eat less processed food and to buy local when I can. Often, I am finding that the two cannot peacefully coexist and I am forced to choose either nothing or processed. As an example, I can do the local meat, thanks to a wonderful local butcher shop, but finding local produce is extremely difficult this time of year. I have been forced over the last few months to buy produce at the grocery store. There are some organic offerings, but I am not sure I care about that as much as the transportation cost involved in getting the produce to the store. I would much rather buy a squash from, say, the southwestern US than from Brazil. Sadly, it is often impossible to tell from the information given in the grocery. Frozen is neither local nor unprocessed, but the variety is great and my family eats it well. For now, I am buying produce as best I can at the grocery and anxiously awaiting the spring growing season.
On a related note, tonight will be my first attempt at preparing/serving spaghetti squash. The kids are excited to at least see it done. That knowledge offers me some hope.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nature isn't being so kind

I have been struggling a bit lately with aging in general, and choosing how I want to age specifically. When I was a twenty something, my only real goal was to always look good for a woman my age. I still think it is a good goal, but looking good for a woman my age has become harder and harder to define.
It seemed in the early ‘80s that looking good for a woman in her forties pretty much consisted of exercising to maintain a healthy body weight and wearing more skillfully applied make up than is required of a younger woman.
Now that I am a middle aged woman, it seems that more is required to look good than living a healthy lifestyle. For example, hair color, neck waddle and sagging body parts all need to be addressed at this age.
With the exception of a few years in my self-absorbed teens, I have been happy with the hair color that my genes have provided. In fact, I have always really liked gray hair and was looking forward to having it. But then I started noticing that most of the women my age are dying their hair, covering the gray. Now to color or not to color is the question.
As for neck waddle, I have always known that it was going to happen. The thing is, I expected it to happen much, much later in life, like senior citizen age. It isn’t bad yet, but has definitely gotten a foothold. I have always had an aversion to pain, but that Lifestyle Lift is starting to look pretty good.
Which brings us to the aforementioned sagging body parts. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the sagging milk bags after the birth of Eldest, but would have been okay if the sagging had stopped there. Now I find that even the skin above my kneecaps is sagging. The only options I can think to fix them are having some work done or gaining a lot of weight to stretch out the skin.
So now I am struggling with looking in the mirror expecting to see the young, vibrant woman I am on the inside and seeing instead the middle aged frump bucket that is the outside. I am at the point where I think I would have some work done, but I have this aversion to pain. And therein lies the struggle. How do I define looking good for a woman my age?
The answer wasn’t simple, but after much soul searching I have decided that my definition of aging well and looking good for a woman my age doesn’t include having any work done. If I chose to color, whiten, nip and tuck, I wouldn’t be being true to myself. I know that my failure to enhance what nature has provided will put me behind the beauty curve among my peers, but I think I can be okay with that.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Water park woes

We went to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in August before school started. The new ride is a water coaster that we all wanted to ride. Thinking that the line would be shorter earlier, we went there first. After waiting an hour and a half, we got to ride. I love it. The girls, however, were not so enthusiastic. Youngest said she liked it though. Turns out, she lied. The next thing we did was the smallest water slide they have, called the Bamboo Chute. Youngest seemed to want to ride until we got to the top of the stairs. Then she started freaking out, throwing a fit, climbing me and screaming, "No, Mommy! No, Mommy! Don’t make me do it!"

I rarely back down from a challenge, and I absolutely refuse to participate in the walk of shame back down the stairs. I told her the only ways down were to go down the slide or jump over the edge. She said she wanted to jump. I told her that wasn’t really an option. After several agonizing minutes, part of which her bikini bottoms were down around her knees from the struggle, I told her that she had better hang on because we were going and I threw her into the front of the raft and pushed off. The crowd who had witnessed the fit started cheering. Youngest decided it was a great ride. When we got out at the bottom, the people who had also witnessed the fit but had gone on down, had waited to see the outcome of the screamfest. They told Eldest and Middlest that they were pretty sure we weren’t coming down. Eldest informed them that her mother would NEVER walk down the stairs. Then we came shooting out of the chute, and they all cheered too. Then Youngest actually wanted to do it again. She was fine the rest of the day, as long as I promised nothing was as bad as the Wildebeast. Her souvenir t-shirt read, "I survived the Wildebeast." She’s more lucky that she survived throwing a fit in public.