Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today's thankful: Nyquil naps

Everyone in our house has been sick over the holiday. Eldest, Youngest and I dropped Christmas afternoon. It has been a rough few days. The one thing that has kept me alive, I believe, is Nyquil. Just when you get to feeling so horrible that ending it all would make you feel better, you can do a shot of Nyquil, do a full body shudder, and wash it down with some water. After about 15 minutes, your body will go all tingly and it is time for the Nyquil nap. There isn't any kind of sleep like being knocked unconscious by Nyquil. Upon waking from a Nyquil nap, I no longer wish for the sweet release of death. Yep. Nyquil is some good stuff.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today's thankful: The day off work

I had to take an impromptu day off work today because I am such a whiz at this mom thing. You would think that after 19.5 years of doing it, I would be better. Alas, 40 was probably too old to have a baby and my mind ain't what she used to be. It didn't occur to me that Youngest had the day off of school, so I didn't take vacation time to care for her. I didn't want to make Eldest care for the tiny person because she will be in charge all next week while I am in Cali. Middlest had band practice most of today in preparation for the trip. So my boss graciously let me have another day away from the office to tend to my offspring.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Today’s thankful: The possibility remains that she wasn’t serious

Last night as I was trying to get Youngest to go to bed, I noticed something yellow-green and slimy in her mouth. I said, “Is that snot in your mouth?” She told me that it wasn’t snot, but was something she coughed up. I informed her that it was still mucous and somewhat disgusting. Obviously unwilling to give up her prize, she said, “But I like the way it tastes.” I am choosing to hope she was just trying to gross me out and doesn’t really enjoy the taste of her snot.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Today’s thankful: I am not “the elderly” yet

In the car this afternoon, I heard Youngest open the bag of Twizzlers we had purchased that she decided to keep in the car for emergency snacks. I asked her if I could have one. She handed one over, then said, “It is a good thing you aren’t elderly. The elderly aren’t allowed to have candy or chocolate.” I sure hope that rule changes before I get elderly.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Today's thankful: I haven't had to yell yet

The girls and I put up our Christmas tree this afternoon. The final part of this tradition has always been to get the cheap, old nativity out and put it under the tree for the kids to play with. When Youngest was tiny, I had to repeatedly yell, "Get Jesus out of the Christmas tree!" So far this year, I haven't had to yell. Of course, Jesus has only been out of the box for about two hours, so there is still plenty of time for him to get in some extreme downhill skiing before the big day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today’s thankful: I didn’t have any meetings

My coffee cup got away from me this morning after I got to work and I spilled mocha coffee down the front of my cream colored sweater. I wasn’t too upset about it, since I didn’t have any meetings and my coworkers know me well enough to ignore a little coffee stain.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest is able to think outside the box a little

We were watching “60 Minutes” last night. There was a segment about homeless families in Florida. One of the families they talked to consisted of a dad, 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. The dad used his last $1,000 and bought a panel truck, which the family had been living in for the past five months. Youngest watched with us, then during the commercial break turned to me and said, “that dad was really stupid to spend their last thousand dollars on a truck.” I asked her what else he should have done with the money. She said he should have spent the money on a hotel. When I pointed out that the money would have bought a few weeks in a hotel and they had been living in the truck for about 20 weeks, she decided that maybe he had made the best decision. She then paused a few moments and said, “you know what else they could do? They could go to the ocean and catch some fish. Then they could bury the fish and grow corn.” I’m not sure where she got the idea that corn grows from fish, but I like the way she thinks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today’s thankful: I didn’t trust my six-year-old to pack her own lunch

This morning when I asked Youngest if she wanted school lunch or packed lunch, she said, “You don’t need to worry about it. I packed my own lunch.” She had gotten up after I put her and I to bed and packed herself a lunch. I told her that I would check it just to be sure she had done a good job. I am SO glad I did. She had packed herself about a quarter cup of yogurt and six grapes. The good news is that she had filled her beverage container with water.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today’s thankful: I caught her in time

My sister and I went to Barnes & Noble this afternoon after I picked Youngest up from school. As we usually do when the tiny person accompanies us to B&N, we got our beverages and headed to the children’s section. While we were sitting at the tiny table watching Youngest, she informed me that she had to go to the bathroom. I took her, because the one time I let her go to a public restroom by herself, she dropped a deuce. The deuce dropping incident wouldn’t have been a problem, but she is so tiny, the automatic toilet flushed early, which scared her, causing her to jump off the potty and let the last nugget of deuce hit the floor. Since I wasn’t in there with her, the nugget stayed on the floor for the custodians to clean up. I still feel badly about that.
Anyway, on our way to the restroom, there was a dark spot on the carpet at the entrance to the restroom hallway. I commented that it looked like someone had peed on the floor. Yeah. I can see now I shouldn’t have said it. Youngest didn’t seem to notice and ran on into the restroom and took care of business. As we were leaving the hall, though, she dropped to her hands and knees right next to the spot. Fortunately, I realized what she was doing quickly enough and yelled at her to stop. Upon rising, she said, “Oh, man! I didn’t even get to smell it.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today’s thankful: Punishment doesn’t have to be boring

In Wednesday’s agenda, the teacher had written that I should see the attached note. There was no note attached. When I mentioned the missing note to Youngest, she informed me that she had chased down and tackled a boy on the playground and got in trouble. I asked her why she did it and was told he made her mad. I asked what happened next and she said nothing. Apparently, she wasn’t actually punished for the tackle. I noted to the teacher that I didn’t get an attached note. I did, however, get a phone call after school today.
First, I feel it necessary to note that in Eldest and Middlest’s collective 23 years of school, I have NEVER received a phone call from a teacher. When Eldest figured out with whom I was speaking, she told Youngest to go hide and try to think of a way to save herself.
So the teacher informed me that she talked to Youngest about appropriate ways to express one’s anger. She then informed Youngest that there are many other ways besides notes for teachers to communicate with parents. Hence, the phone call.
I am now trying to come up with a good punishment. She is in her room worrying about the fact that I am going to discuss her misbehavior with Daddy before we make a decision as to her punishment. Yeah, that IS part of the punishment. Shh! Don’t tell.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today’s thankful: My parenting skills aren’t under close scrutiny

I saw in the headlines today that Kate Gosselin, former reality television star, is under attack by parenting groups because one of her kids acted like a regular kid. Apparently, when Gosselin was picking up her kids after school, one of them crawled under the van WHILE IT WAS RUNNING! Yeah, okay. I really fail to see the big deal here. First, kids sometimes do stupid things. Second, she was firmly in the driver’s seat of said van, presumably in control of the vehicle. The parenting groups are saying she should have gotten out of the car to collect the kids. Whatever. In my humble opinion, she was just acting like a regular mom. The kids are big enough to get into the van under their own power, and she was allowing that to happen. I know how giddy I was each time one of my kids was able to get in the car without my assistance. Aren’t we trying to raise these tiny people to be independent adults? Well, you gotta start somewhere. I guess the bottom line for me is that I am not a perfect mother, but I do try my best to keep my kids safe. As for Kate Gosselin not getting out of her van to collect the kids, I don’t have enough information to get on her case. If she did, in fact, take a head count and make sure all eight of her babies were buckled in before she took off, there was no harm done. All eight of them could have crawled safely under the van if she counted before taking off. Without that critical bit of information, I am inclined to say give the girl a break. I am not a perfect parent and don’t expect anyone else to be, either.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today’s thankful: My crockpot and its ability to make magic

Last week I decided to buy a brisket and cook it. I asked the butcher shop how to properly prepare a brisket, and happily hauled my 7.5 pound, $48 brisket home. I cooked it as they said, and we mostly enjoyed it. I had never heard anyone mention how much fat is in a brisket, though. The fat factor kind of grossed me out, but it was so expensive, I wasn’t about to throw the remainder out. I wrapped it and put it in the freezer until last night. After thawing overnight, I chopped off all of the fat I could find this morning and tossed it into the crockpot. I then dumped in the gravy that I had saved from the first round and let it cook all day. I think I am in love. I have always known I am in love with my crockpot, and now that bond is stronger. I’m not sure I will ever cook another one, but am happy to deem my first brisket a success.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Today’s thankful: CPS wasn’t contacted

We have a new cupcake store in town, and Youngest and I checked it out Friday after I picked her up from school. The shop owner was telling us what the flavors of the day were. She got to the last one, which was a cinnamon coffee cake with rum drizzle frosting. Youngest piped up and said, “You have to get the rum one.” I ignored her and said I was thinking the grasshopper cupcake sounded good. She then said, “But Mom. The way you love rum, you HAVE to get the rum frosting one.” So I did. And it was delicious.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today’s thankful: A stranger accused me of being green

I went to JoAnn’s fabric and craft store on Sunday because they were having a sale on 100% cotton quilt batting. I grabbed a package of said batting, and as I was walking away from the area this woman stopped me and asked, “Are you buying that because you’re green?” I was kind of stunned that a stranger in the store would ask me that question, so I was just standing there kind of staring at her when she started trying to explain herself. I stopped her and said, “I get it, and yes, part of the reason I chose this type of batting is the green factor.” It wouldn’t have been as off putting had she been more enthusiastic about my choice, as in happy to see other people making green choices. She was kind of weird about it. As Eldest and I were walking away from the inquiring stranger, it occurred to me that I should be happy she called me green instead of something worse.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today’s thankful: Vacation days

On Monday when I realized that the days were going to be cold and rainy, it occurred to me that if I had to sit at my desk for five days straight, I would probably have to slit my wrists. I opted instead of self-destruction to request a vacation day. It was granted, and I have had a glorious day at home reading, catching up on housework, cooking and writing. Now the family is home, the work is done, and all is right with the world. Let the relaxing begin!
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today’s thankful: A little perspective

Youngest and I were in The Walmart this afternoon and she wanted to cruise by the toy department. She kept asking for toys and I kept telling her to ask for them for Christmas. She asked why I wouldn’t buy one today, and I informed her that it was too close to Christmas for me to buy just because toys. At that point, she nearly wailed that Christmas was toooooo fffffaaaaaaarrrrrr awaaaaaaaaaay. Just two days ago I was freaking out a little when I learned there were only 53 days left until Christmas. Youngest’s complete certainty that 51 days is too long to wait for new toys made me stop and reconsider my freak out position. It isn’t as long as I had hoped, but 51 days until Christmas is doable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Today’s thankful: Mom’s crazy family cookbook

My mom decided to create a cookbook for all of her children and grandchildren using family recipes. On the surface, a family cookbook seems like a good idea. It gets a little goofy, though, when you consider the fact that my mom was one of those throw in onions until it tastes right and cook it until it looks right kind of cooks. While compiling the tried and true family recipes, mom made an effort to actually measure and write down as she cooked our favorites. She then made copies and put them in plastic sheet protectors in binders for each of us. At first, I thought it was kind of a silly gift, but it has grown on me over the years. Tonight I used it to make one of Middlest’s favorite Grammy dishes, which we hadn’t had since Grammy passed away in May. As we were finishing our meal, Youngest looked skyward and thanked Grammy for the food.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today’s thankful: Grace periods

I have this thing in my DNA that prevents me from returning a library book on time. I try, I really do. But I always end up missing my deadline. My ever helpful friends have suggested that I renew my books online or over the phone, but I can’t even manage to make that happen on time. I don’t mind paying the fines, though, because I figure I am contributing to the library and that is a good thing. Several weeks ago Youngest went to the library with her class. The books she checked out were due yesterday. She put them in her backpack so we could drive by the library after school. Sadly, by the end of the day, we had forgotten that plan. Today I made driving by the library a must do on my to do list. When I asked the librarian how much I owed for the fine, he informed me that they have a one-day grace period on fines. Yesssss!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Today’s thankful: She didn’t want to be one

I was driving through town with Youngest the other day, when we happened upon a guy standing in front of one of those we buy gold places wearing a sandwich board and waving to get attention. Youngest exclaimed, “Look! A juice box with a head!” At least she didn’t say she wanted to be one of those when she grows up.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today’s thankful: That guy wasn’t my son

While attending a graduation ceremony recently, I saw something that I have never before seen. The student was a vet tech student, maybe in his late twenties. He had on a Batman cape over his gown, which honestly didn’t strike me as all that odd. Then when he walked past me up close, I noticed that he was wearing a small fleece pouch around his neck and cradling it as if there was something live in it. Again, as he was a vet tech, I assumed he was nursing a sick or wounded baby something or other back to health. I asked Eldest about it after the ceremony. She told me that the thing in his pouch was a sugar glider.
According to, a sugar glider is a small nocturnal marsupial native to Australia and Indonesia. They are awfully cute, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want one for a pet.
Anyway, Eldest informed me that the owner of the sugar glider takes it everywhere with him. I wonder how many cats try to eat it during the course of a regular vet tech day. At any rate, more than being entertained at such an odd pet owner, I was pretty glad the dude wasn’t part of my family.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest doesn’t have a clue

On the way out the door this morning I grabbed a small knitting project I had going. Youngest looked at me and said, “Are you going to work on that during recess?” I didn’t have the heart to set her straight. Why yes, I do have recess and take naps at my job. And the ice cream is free and covered in whipped cream and sprinkles.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Today’s thankful: Neither I nor my siblings are likely to be in the public eye

The news media today is in an uproar because one of Madonna’s brothers is apparently living on the streets in Michigan. Public opinion seems to be that she should take care of him. What?! On what planet is a person responsible for the welfare of his or her siblings? I understand that family should take care of family, and I agree with that to a point. For example, if one of my siblings needed help through no fault of their own, I would step up and do what I could. But, and here is the gigantic but, if I had helped them once and they made the same stupid mistake, I would SO not feel obligated to step in again. So my problem with the public opinion being that Madonna should step up and care for her brother is that we don’t know their back story. It is none of our business. I frankly don’t care what she does. I simply believe that it is awfully easy to sit back and judge when you don’t have all of the facts. I am choosing to stay out of that particular argument as to whether she should or shouldn’t help him. I am thankful that neither my siblings nor I are likely to be in the public eye anytime soon, so if they were to need help while I looked the other way, it wouldn’t make the evening news.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today’s thankful: A very pleasant, do nothing but play day

Today was one of my best in recent history. My sister and I celebrated my birthday yesterday because she won’t be in town when it actually happens. Part of my gift was a CD of nothing but ocean waves. I took that baby to my bathroom and listened to it while I basked in the warmth of a hot tubby. Then I got dressed in clean jammies and finished piecing a quilt top for a coworker’s baby. Before tubby, I had plenty of time to sit and knit; something I haven’t done for a very long time. So all in all, I have had an extremely pleasant day, and for that, I am thankful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today's thankful: My children haven't pulled a Lohan

I saw a picture of Lindsay Lohan on the Yahoo! front page again, looking more unrefined and mentally unstable than usual. I kind of expect to see photos of her shaving her head a la Brittney soon. I didn't read the story, nor do I care to. The reason I mention it is solely to share my thankful for today. My children thus far have not been to jail, nor have they seen the inside of a courtroom. They don't routinely behave badly in public. I am certain of this fact because if they did behave badly, no small number of busybodies would be more than happy to let me know about it. Are my kids perfect? Absolutely not. Have they been working in front of a film crew for most of their lives? Nope. Are they capable of making bad decisions and getting into trouble with the law? I'm pretty sure they are, but so far have managed to keep their noses clean. And for that small miracle, I am very thankful.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Today’s thankful: I was up working at 7 a.m. on a Sunday

This morning I was at my desk working at 7 a.m. Ordinarily, besides the fact that I have a job, I am not at all thankful to be up that early, especially on a Sunday morning. This morning, though, is different. Why? Because at about ten minutes after seven, my dog started hacking in her crate. I ran to her just in time to open the crate and patio door. She made it! And that is the source of my thankful today. It is a very good thing to catch the pooch before she makes a mess in the house.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today's thankful: Parent teacher conference is over

I went to Youngest's parent teacher conference this evening. I really like her teacher. This one seems to be in it because she truly loves children. That is refreshing. She also suggested offering a little more challenging work to keep tiny princess engaged. I never mentioned it. Ima so happy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today’s thankful: I have never, ever, fought putting on clean panties

A few mornings ago when I went into Youngest’s room to make sure she was getting dressed appropriately, I noticed that the clean panties I had laid out the night before were still not on her behind. When I suggested she put on the clean panties, she all but came unglued on me, wailing about not wanting to put on clean underwear. Although I am really a laid back kind of mom who is willing to let the kids be who they are, I draw the line at wearing dirty underwear to school, or anywhere for that matter. As hard as she was fighting me about donning clean underwear, I was forced to wonder if I am the one with the problem. Maybe not everyone likes or needs clean panties. Hmm. In all of my life I have never balked at the idea of putting on clean panties. Some of mom’s brainwashing was a good thing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Today’s thankful: I only have to see the public once in a while

Today at work I had yet another exchange with “the public” which serves to reinforce the many reasons I don’t want to work with them. For the most part, I don’t deal with the public, but only with my coworkers. My contact with the public tends to only occur when I am in the hallways on my way to the restroom or gift shop. So today as I was walking down a hall in my black skirt and pink top, an elderly gentleman stopped me. He was wearing an obviously work worn cowboy hat and had a large diamond stud in his ear. He said, “Excuse me. May I pay you a compliment?” Not being one to turn down a compliment, I stopped walking and told him he could go for it. He then said, “You remind me of a 1969 Chevy.” Really? Then he said, “You wanna know what color mine was?” I was still standing there with my mouth open when he said, “It was pink and black.” Oh. Now I get it. I think. I sure am glad he told me what he was about to say was a compliment, or I might have missed it. And for you guys out there, if you are going to liken a woman to a car and think it is a good thing, the least you can do is get a faraway look in your eye and say something like, “Man, she was a sexy beast.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today’s thankful: She took two helpings

Last night I was cooking dinner and feeling uninspired by our vegetable choices. Then I decided to shred carrots and put them in with the pasta and sauce. As I was standing over the pot grating carrot, Youngest walked into the kitchen and saw me. She raised her little palms, stretched her arms out in front of herself and shrieked, “What are you doing?” I told her she wouldn’t even know they were in there. Luckily, I was right. She ate two helpings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today's thankful: I didn't have to slit my wrists

It is no secret that I find my job incredibly boring. Most days there is enough work to get me through the day and enough variety to keep me going. Today was not one of those days. The good news is that just as I was trying to decide if I should use the scissors or an unbent paperclip to open my veins, one of my bosses asked if I could find time to maybe work on another project. Yay! I am holding out hope that tomorrow will be a busier day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest’s filter is starting to work

Yesterday evening Spouse and I were sitting in our chairs next to each other when Youngest came up for at least the hundredth time of the day and asked me a question. I answered, then gazed over at Spouse with a help me expression. He asked Youngest why she never asked him any questions. She said, “Because Mommy is smart –“ then she looked at me with a shocked and excited look on her face and said, “Mom! I didn’t say it all!” Well, yes, but daddy was sitting right there when she admitted there was more to her thought. We decided to praise her for kind of using her filter and let the rest of it slide.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Today’s thankful: I don’t wear high heels on hikes

Today I chaperoned a field trip with Youngest’s class. We went to Eagle Creek Park and learned about bugs. I do not like bugs. In fact, I don’t like outside much. Imagine my joy when we went into a room and had to look at different kinds of spiders and insects. Then we had to go outside and try to catch some in our bug nets. I had no idea that praying mantis were so plentiful in a grassy field. Had I known that little tidbit of information, I wouldn’t have willingly walked out into said field. After the bug catching adventure, we were led through the woods on a hike. Thankfully, the hike was more plant than bugs and I did learn about the pawpaw tree, aka Indiana banana. Did you know that deer won’t eat the pawpaw? It smells and/or tastes too nasty. Sadly, it won’t keep deer out of your garden if you plant them near your veggies. Yes, I had to ask.
Anyway, after the hike, we were directed to another room where we had to explore the critters that live in our local ponds and streams. I may never creek stomp again. Then we ate our home-packed lunches and had about 30 minutes to explore on our own. Of course, we had to run down to the reservoir and throw rocks. All in all, it wasn’t a horrible day. It could have been worse. At least the rain held off.
One item of note is that there was a mom wearing skinny jeans and high-heeled boots. For a hike through the woods, which we knew about in advance. I sooooo wanted to see her fall down a hill. Sadly, it didn’t happen. At first I thought my disdain for her was due to the wide gap in age, but upon further reflection, it stemmed from the fact that she didn’t have the good sense to wear appropriate shoes. Even as a teenager, I wouldn’t have worn high heels on a hike. So I guess my thankful for today is that my momma raised me with enough sense to leave my high heels home when hiking.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today’s thankful: Beating the rain

Youngest and I got home this afternoon about two minutes before the skies opened up and gave everything a good soaking. We were happy and dry as we took off our shoes and settled in for the night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today’s thankful: A happy server

Eldest had to participate in an art show at Circle Center Mall today in the Arts Garden for her school. Middlest and I went down in the early afternoon to see her. I figured part of our visit would include lunch, and I was right. Eldest was hungry when we arrived, so I took the girls to Johnny Rocket’s. I told them that if you played Respect on the jukebox, the wait staff would all dance. The girls thought that sounded fun, so we dropped in our nickel and waited. When the song came up and no one danced, I asked our server why they weren’t dancing. Apparently, there are several songs to which the staff will dance, but the diner has to be pretty empty and all of the servers have to know the dance. We expressed our disappointment. Then she did the neatest thing. She gathered the servers and asked what song they knew. Then she put that song on the overhead and the wait staff danced for us. One of the guys did NOT want to participate, so he was kind of glaring and hating life, making it super fun to laugh at his expense. All in all, it was a lot of fun and I am so glad we were lucky enough to have a happy server who not only brought us food, but catered to our whims.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Today’s thankful: She ate it anyway

I once dated a guy whose mom always tried a new recipe on Wednesday nights. When I learned this little tidbit, I asked him if he and his siblings had avoided the house on those nights. He told me that they actually made an effort to be there on Wednesdays because sometimes the food was really tasty. A bonus to being there meant you had a vote as to whether or not the recipe was a keeper. A while back, while listening to my family complain of yet another new dish, I instituted the only new recipes on Wednesday rule. For the most part, it has been a good experiment. Last week I decided to make chicken fried steak for my family. It isn’t a new recipe, but one that I personally have not made for years. When dinner time rolled around, Youngest yelled, “Oh, ick! What did you do to the meat?” I informed her that it was chicken fried steak, kind of like fried chicken, but with steak. She looked at me for a few moments, then said, “What day is today?” Busted. I admitted to her it was Thursday, but that this recipe wasn’t a new one. Thankfully, she liked it well enough to continue eating and let the matter drop.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today’s thankful: Two extra hours in my day

Okay, so it isn’t exactly two extra hours, but I am choosing to view it that way. I was scheduled to volunteer for our marching band’s invitational today from noon to 5:30. Oh happy day when I received an email informing me that I didn’t have to show up until 2:00. What did I do with my extra two hours? I thought about doing some chores or baking a tasty treat for my family. Truly, the possibilities for this gift were endless. What I did instead was sit in my chair and watch Chopped on the DVR. I don’t care what you think. Those two hours were not wasted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today’s thankful: I stayed home with sick Youngest

I have been home with a sick Youngest for two days. While watching Max & Ruby today, I found myself wanting to earn Bunny Scout merit badges. I don’t want to be a Bunny Scout, but it would be kind of fun to earn adult merit badges for regular adult activities. I don’t mean military medals, but wouldn’t it be fun to earn a merit badge for, say, getting three kids ready for school in the allotted time with all necessary tools in their backpacks? How about a creative lunch packing badge, or maybe a holiday cookie badge? I am beginning to think that I have been too long listening to whiny sick kid and not enough time in adult conversation. I am thankful, though, that I have been the person to be able to care for her.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today’s thankful: Middle of the night snuggles

Spouse and I don’t usually snuggle up while asleep because he is like sleeping next to a blast furnace and I get too hot if he touches me, which wakes me up. When I am cold, I skooch close enough to get the desired amount of heat, but he lets me take the lead. So last night I was in the middle of an extremely bad dream and, in my sleep, I felt him cuddle up to me and in my dream I knew I wasn’t alone. The bad dream stopped. This morning he told me I was crying in my sleep so he snuggled up. I thanked him. And I am thankful for him.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Today's thankful: It only cost a hundred bucks

We all make mistakes. Some of them are more costly than others, but they all have a price. My Middlest was selling discount cards for band. She lost 10 of them, at $20 each. I paid the $200 to make it go away, after she frantically searched for three days. I am happy that she wanted to pay for her mistake out of her savings account. Spouse and I didn't want her to do that. The fact that she wanted to was cause enough for joy (and a little pride). Thinking a $200 mistake was actually a pretty small misstep, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that half of that money would be put into her individual account to pay band fees. Yay! Her mistake was half as big as we thought it was, and for that I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today’s thankful: There was no blood

My cat, Tinker, has decided that it is great fun to jump up and attack our behinds as we are sitting on the porcelain throne. This morning her attack hit home and she grabbed my hiney hard enough to make me yelp. She got some air time for that. The good news is that she didn’t break the skin.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Today’s thankful: My children didn’t witness my bad behavior

I went to the grocery today before picking Youngest up from the bus. Thankfully, I left myself a lot of extra time. After choosing and placing $133 worth of food items on the conveyor, I realized that I had left my little wallet thingy in my band bag from the weekend. A heartbeat of panic was followed by the realization that I still had my checkbook. I continued with the checkout process and wrote the check. Then the clerk informed me that she had to actually see my driver’s license to finish the transaction. I told her I didn’t have it, and she told me she could hold my stuff and I could run home and get it. A quick look at the time told me I would have to hurry, but going back home for ID would work and still give me time to make the bus.

It was in this frame of mind that my bad behavior happened. I am not in any way trying to excuse what I did. It was inexcusable. There is a place in this particular strip center where three parking spaces are placed parallel to and in front of a few stores, end to end. The spaces are on the right as you head west, making them a legal spot for westbound travelers. As I approached the spots, I saw a car that was parked there headed east start to pull out. I stopped to avoid being hit. The driver stopped and motioned me forward. As I started to roll, he started to pull out again. I stopped again, only to be motioned forward by him. At this point, the old, illegally parked fart started clapping and making a face like, Yay! The stupid girl finally figured it out.” His jackassery pissed me off. I flipped him off as I rolled slowly past, making eye contact the whole time so he could be certain it was directed at him. I am not particularly proud of myself, but as I was relating the story to my grown nephew, he informed me that he would have parked in front of the guy’s car and gotten out to inform the guy what an ass he was. So I am a little thankful that I refrained from taking it that far. I am a lot thankful that none of my children witnessed my bad behavior.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Today’s thankful: I took a chance on being a box mom

Yesterday evening was the first time we dressed our band kids for a home football game. I am a box mom. What is a box mom, you ask? Our band has big boxes on wheels, which hold the uniforms of 14 kids. My fellow box mom and I are tasked with ensuring our 14 band kids are ready to go, with hair done, uniforms clean and complete, and shoes shined. Then when the kids are done, we ensure they hang up their uniforms and toss their socks and gloves in the bag to be washed. Then they get a snack. The kids were measured for uniforms in July. Last night, the first time they wore said uniforms, there were several last minute adjustments to be made. It is amazing how quickly a teenaged boy can grow.

Anyway, after a 45-minute frenzy of activity, our kids were all dressed, the freshmen educated, and my co-box mom and I were left, sweating and smiling, in the midst of a row of dirty sneakers, all neatly clipped together.

Taking care of the band babies is a lot of work, it is a gigantic time suck, but it is one of the most rewarding volunteer positions I have ever had. This task is exhausting, and will take up every Saturday from now until Thanksgiving, but I am so glad I took the chance and signed up that first time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today’s thankful: At least to a crazy-eyed guy I look young enough to be preggers

One of the restrooms at work is near a waiting area for patients. Right across from the doors is a small seating area with a television. There was a crazy-eyed guy sitting on the little sofa when I approached the door, and he smiled at me kind of weird. He was either special or completely lacking social skills. The jury is still out on that, but I smiled back because we are supposed to be friendly to patients.

Anyway, when I exited the restroom, he was standing outside the door waiting for me to come out. Yeah, that was kind of creepy. Then he said, “good luck.” Umm, okay. I said, “thank you.” Then he said, “Do you know what you’re having?” I said no and kept on walking. This is what happens when you are shaped like an apple. I guess I should thank my parents for passing that particular gift on to me. Instead of being mad about it, because, really, there was something obviously wrong with him, I decided to be thankful that, at least to a crazy-eyed person, I look young enough to be expecting. I am probably delusional, but if I believe otherwise, I might have to get depressed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Today’s thankful: She didn’t really kill the cat

Middlest has been tasked in the last six months or so with keeping the bathroom that everyone uses clean. I bought her the requested cleaning products and showed her how to do all of the tasks. Then when it became time to replenish the cleaning supplies, I bought her the green line of products from Clorox. She called me a hippie.

Two nights ago, she came into my room after I had fallen asleep and woke me up with “Mom! I think I killed the cat.” Yeah, that will wake you up from a sound sleep. I had forgotten to teach her to put the lid down when using toilet cleaner around small children or pets. Oops. My bad. Anyway, I told her to go get the bottle and read what it said about accidental ingestion. There was nothing. I had her read the ingredient list. Nothing bad there. She washed the cat’s paws off and went to bed, hopeful that she wouldn’t wake up with a dead cat on her bed.

Tinker is fine. She didn’t even throw up. And Middlest is super happy to have a hippie for a mom.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Today’s thankful: It was just a dream

I had a bizzaro dream last night wherein I was shopping for a bridal gown. For myself. I am not only happily married, but in the unlikely event I ever found myself in the market for a dress in which to get married, it most certainly wouldn’t come from some frou frou bridal shop. In the case of my dream, the shop was kind of like a Kleinfeld’s from Say Yes to the Dress on TLC. Middlest makes me watch that show waaaay to often.
Anyway, in my bridal gown dream, I was frantically trying to find a dress that wasn’t white, champagne, ivory, etc. I was also trying to find one that fit. All of the dresses in my dream store were a size three. I haven’t ever been a size three. I am very far removed from that size at this stage of life. I wanted a dress that was bohemian and deep red, or something like that. I finally found one, and not one snotty salesperson was to be found. Then, when I turned around to pick up the dress and carry it with me to find someone, it was gone.
Well, about that time I woke up in a cold sweat because I was getting married again. Thank goodness it was only a dream. One husband is plenty.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Today’s thankful: My kids knew it wasn’t a balloon

In local news this morning, a young girl found what she thought was a balloon on the school playground and put it in her mouth. I just threw up a little. She now has to be tested for STD’s. I know for a fact that this condom wasn’t the first one ever found on a playground, because my kids have found them in our neighborhood playground. Luckily, they were old enough to know what they were when they found them and left them alone.

On a semi-related note, my ex-mother-in-law refused to go to any Laundromat to do her wash because when she was in college she found a used condom in one of the dryers. It scarred her for life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today’s thankful: Baby girl made the bed

I have been trying, thanks to, to develop daily routines to help keep the housework semi under control. One of the things that I have been doing is at least pulling the covers up on the bed if I don’t have time to actually make it. I call it a lick and a promise, and have found a way to be happy with a less than perfect outcome. See, Flyday teaches that some of us are such lousy housekeepers because we get overwhelmed when we can’t make everything perfect, so we give up. That is exactly what I have always done. So learning to love less than perfect and doing a little instead of nothing is getting to be a new normal for me. This morning, as I was drying off from the bath, Youngest came into the bathroom and announced that she had made my bed for me because I hadn’t done it yet. Was it perfect? No, but it made me perfectly happy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today’s thankful: Daddy brought the bling

Youngest has been bugging me since last week to take her to Bath & Body Works to get a little holder to hang the sample size hand sanitizer off her backpack. Apparently, these holders with hand sanitizer are all the rage among the first grade set. My intention was to eventually get over there and buy her one, but an opportunity arose today for Spouse to take over that task. Youngest didn’t want to go to lunch with him over by the B&BW store, but she asked him to bring her back the holder and a new hand sanitizer. Oh, my gosh, did he outdo himself. They had plain holders for a buck, but he went all out for the three dollar one. It is hot pink with pink rhinestones all over it. Daddy brought the bling and baby girl was SO pleased.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today’s thankful: Eldest is old enough to run errands

 I have been canning corn all day. I am about ten quarts away from having enough to last us until next growing season. That corn will come off the cob and into my jars tomorrow. Since I have been doing pretty much nothing but corn today, it has also been a jammie day. When I realized I didn’t have enough jars to finish, I made an offer Eldest didn’t refuse and she picked up my jars for me. Yay! My thankful for today could have been the fact that I am almost done putting up corn, or that I had a day free from other obligations so I could do it. But the little thankful that is top of my list tonight is that Eldest is old enough and loves me enough to run an unentertaining errand for me. Any day that doesn’t require me to doff my jammies is a good day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today’s thankful: I’m not ready for the senior discount at Denny’s

Middlest is in a marching band. Every Thursday the parents are invited to go to the last 15 minutes of practice where we are treated to a complete run through of the show to the point it is finished. I asked my dad if he wanted to attend one this year and he said yes. When I called him today at lunch to make certain he still wanted to come, our conversation went like this:

Me: “I will be there to get you about 8:20.”
Dad: “At night?!”
Me. “Yes, at night. Do you still want to go?”
Dad: “Well, I do go to bed at 7:30.”

Needless to say, my dad will be skipping practice tonight. I can’t blame him. He is 81 and gets up at zero dark thirty every morning. The funny thing is, when I told Middlest I was bringing Bodie to watch her, she said, “but he goes to bed at 7:30.” She knew. I am glad that I am still willing and able to stay out after dark on occasion. I am not ready to eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. yet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today’s thankful: I didn’t have to wear the butt crack pants

This morning Youngest came running into my room, obviously upset. She exclaimed, “I can’t wear these pants! They give me butt crack!” I asked what she meant, and she informed me that if she didn’t hike up her pants before sitting down, she looked a lot like a plumber. She said she couldn’t wear them. I reminded her that these were the very pants that were “perfect” at Justice a few weeks ago. That little tidbit of information shut her up and she wore the butt crack pants to school.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today’s thankful: I don’t live in a gym

Youngest is taking a tumbling class, which she calls chinastics. She loves it. The place I take her is an actual facility for gymnasts. It has that icky odor of feet mixed with disinfectant. It makes me nauseous every time we step through the door. Having just returned from an hour on the bleachers in the gym, I am feeling very thankful that I don’t live in a gym. I’m not sure I could ever get used to that smell.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today’s thankful: It wasn’t my kid who flipped shit in class

Youngest went to kindergarten with a little boy last year who always had a little trouble being good, and was really annoying, but who really didn’t do anything noteworthy. He is in her first-grade class this year. On Tuesday of their first full week of school, he flipped shit and threw such a major fit that “Miss M” (I have no idea who she is) had to come “from somewhere” (in the school, I am assuming) to dig him out from under his desk and remove him from the classroom. Then, three days later on Friday, he threw another full-on freak fest. Miss M was again summoned to remove him from the classroom. I am SO thankful it wasn’t my child throwing the fit. We all know it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for her to throw one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today’s thankful: It isn’t on her face

Ever since Eldest turned 18, I have been begging her not to get a tattoo where mommy can see it. She took her birthday money from my sister and buy herself a tiny tattoo right after she turned 18, but it is in a place most people will never see. So this weekend when she told me she would be home later than usual because she was attending a tattoo party with one of her friends, I was pretty sure there would be a new one on my baby. I wasn’t wrong, but at least it isn’t on her face. Also, it isn’t the gigantic octopus on her shoulder she has been talking about for a while. It is a bee on her ribcage. Oddly, I am not terribly upset about this one for a few reasons. First, and most importantly, it can be covered up and I don’t have to see it. Second, it isn’t an octopus, and finally, it is a bee, and we have some good bee memories.

When Eldest was 16, she drove a paper route. The route took her out into the countryside. Middlest or I often went with her. It is fun to fling newspapers out of a moving car window. Anyway, on one of my trips with her, we went and got ice cream in the middle of the route. When we were back out on the route, I took a drink of my soda and felt something fuzzy in my mouth. It freaked me straight out, to the point I couldn’t think. I opened my mouth and dropped soda and a bee on my cell phone. The bee was swimming/flopping around in the soda and Eldest laughed. A lot. The fact that there was an open window to my left didn’t occur to me.

Another time, Middlest was running her route with her when a bee flew into the open window and landed in Middlest’s lap. She started freaking out and trying to climb into Eldest’s lap while the car was moving. They still laugh hysterically every time they talk about it.

So the fact that Eldest got a tattoo doesn’t upset me as badly as it could have. At least it has some happy memories attached to it – and it isn’t on her face.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today’s thankful: I didn’t slit my wrists

I am not a proponent of suicide, but for the past two weeks the temptation has been steadily growing stronger. The reason for my temptation has been that we are in the early stages of implementing a new software program, of which I will be the primary user, and I HATE it. I haven’t worked with a software so user unfriendly since I learned how to use Lotus 123 back in the days of long ago, and it was WAY more friendly than this current system. So after spending four days in a row fighting with it every day, the temptation to slit my wrists is at an all-time high. I won’t do it, but I have been keeping the scissors and sharpened pencils away from my line of sight as a precaution.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today's thankful: Middlest is making grown up decisions

Yesterday evening when I picked Middlest up from band practice, she was in the throes of a dilemma. I told her what I thought she should do, then told her that she was old enough to decide for herself and I would support whatever she decided. Then I reminded her that, as always, she could blame me for her decision if she didn't feel comfortable taking the hit. She decided on the course of action that I thought most prudent AND took the responsibility for her decision. I am so proud of her. I know we still have a long way to go to responsible adult, but this was a very good step.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest did not look like a snot rag this morning

Youngest came out of her bedroom this morning, dressed for school. Her hair looked a little bit unkempt, though, so I asked if she had brushed her hair. She said, “I brushed the ponytail.” I told her that she would need to take the ponytail out and brush all of it. She glared at me and walked back to her room. She returned a little later with her hair fully brushed and a new ponytail in place. She then said, “Do I not look like a snot rag anymore?”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today’s thankful: The brainwashing is working

Yesterday morning Youngest came into my room to wake me up and tell me she was hungry. I was telling her to go get food I knew she was capable of getting on her own while I pried the sleepy seeds out of my eyes. When I got to the offer of bread (she likes to eat it plain), she wailed, “But I’m not allowed to use the knife.” I told her to get the store bought bread. She said, “Yuck.” I’m not sure she wasn’t just trying to get me out of bed, but at least it appears that she is trending toward unprocessed food. The brainwashing might be taking hold. I am also thankful, on a much deeper level, that she didn’t take the opportunity of my sleep addled brain to actually wield the bread knife.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Today’s thankful: I survived

I have been working mostly from home for six years. I had to go back into the office full time last Wednesday. It isn’t as bad as it could be, given that my wonderful boss lets me take Youngest to school before I go in. But, given that I hadn’t worn shoes for more than about four hours at a stretch for six years, it was awfully hard keeping my shoes on all day. I was also a little concerned with the whole not being home all day and still managing to find time to cook from scratch and stay on top of the laundry. With the Flylady’s routines in place, my transition back into the outside the home workforce was relatively smooth. I managed to pack nutritious lunches for myself and Youngest and prepare home-cooked from scratch meals for my family. I know it was only three days, and next week will be the real test, but for my first three days back, I survived it. For that, I am thankful.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Today's thankful: Eldest called me

Anyone who has ever shared space with a teen knows how very little they like to talk to the adults in their lives. My eldest today received some happy news and called me while she was still giddy. It was a treat to get to share that moment with her. She is really good about texting me, as are most teens, but the phone calls are a lot less frequent. It was a good day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest’s occasional knowledge gaps

At Splashin’ Safari, I was hanging in the wave pool with the girls, holding Youngest on my hip. There were to boys approximately 12 to 14 years old in front of us. She watched for a few minutes as they frolicked in the waves like only boys can do. Then she said, “I bet they will have wet dreams tonight.” I asked her what a wet dream was. She said, “They are going to dream about being in the water tonight because they are having so much fun.” I said, “Yep, I bet they will.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today’s thankful: I didn’t get arrested

Yesterday I took my three girls to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Clause, IN for our annual before school starts day trip. I started taking Eldest and Middlest after the divorce and it has become our special annual girl day. We have taken friends with us in the past, but the last several years have been just me and my girls. Youngest has been part of our tradition for about four years. Yesterday we were standing at the top of Watubi awaiting our turn in the giant round raft. There were two rafts of people in front of us, when the big girls started to giggle. The reason? Youngest had gotten so nervous she peed on the stairs. I was so proud. We had a talk about how it is wrong to pee on the stairs and that she should never, ever do it again, even though the sisters laughed.

Fast forward several hours. We had talked Youngest into riding Bakuli, which is a large tube which empties into kind of like a toilet bowl and spins you down the drain in the middle. She did NOT want to go on it, but with a lot of encouragement (in the form of a new Now That’s What I Call Music 39 CD), she relented. As often happens when we stand in line for an extended period of time, we started chatting with the people behind us.

When we got to the last flight of stairs, the big girls started laughing. I looked down at Youngest to find her standing in another puddle of pee. About that time the line moved, and we went up a few steps. I was horrified and we were all laughing silently, shoulders shaking, when the guy behind us said, “Hey, why did you quit talking to us?” Then he laughed really hard. I turned around, face red, tears streaming and apologized through my laughter. It is really hard to sound sincere when you are laughing almost too hard to speak. Fortunately, they were all really good natured about it. Youngest got a stern talking to which included promise of a punishment should she do it again. I am so glad I didn’t get arrested for my kid urinating in a very public place.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Today’s thankful: Spouse’s powers of observation

Last night Spouse and I were watching Big Brother when he exclaimed, “That’s who Rachel looks like! Boy George!” Then he started singing do you really want to hurt me? I almost died laughing. Google images of Boy George. It is amazing we didn’t see the similarity sooner.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today’s thankful: We didn’t have to walk home with a bike

Today while I was in the office, Middlest took care of Youngest. They decided to ride their bikes (Youngest still on tiny bike with training wheels) through the next neighborhood to the elementary school’s playground. When Middlest texted me asking for permission, I almost told her I thought it was a little bit too far for Tiny Person. I didn’t want her to think I don’t trust her to be in charge, so I kept my thought to myself. I won’t make that particular mistake again. About an hour after granting permission, I got a call from Middlest asking me to come to the playground and get them. Tiny couldn’t pedal any more. So on the way home from work I stopped by the playground and picked up one tiny bike, one tiny girl, and followed a beautiful teenager home on her bike because it wouldn’t fit in my car. At least the tiny bike did and I didn’t have to go over there and walk her bike home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today's thankful: Middlest's ability to fend for herself a little bit

Today has been one of those days. Too much to do at work, not enough time, kids to run to and fro and fro and to. Today it was, I have to admit, a little bit hard to come up with a little thankful. Between running children hither and yon, squeezing in a meal can be pretty tough. Couple the time constraints with the fact that I usually don't go for fast food, and the schedule gets a tiny bit tighter. Here is where today's thankful comes in. Middlest is old enough to finish her own pasta and eat it while I am on the road picking up Tiniest. The ten minutes it will take Middlest to fend for herself a tiny bit is the difference between getting to daycare pickup on time and getting Middlest back to band practice on time. Would the world stop turning if I was a little bit late at one point or the other? No. Will I get to feel better about myself for managing to get it all done and on time? You bet!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Today's thankful: Express shipping and corn memories

I bought sweet corn to can. Then I realized I couldn't get a pressure canner locally, as everyone else apparently had the same idea. I got online and ordered one. I paid the express shipping (as opposed to overnight), paid a few extra dollars and got my canner today. Yay quick! I am SO excited to fly solo on putting up corn. The last time I participated in putting up corn was when I was about 12 years old with my mom. She was always kind of a messy bessy, and there was corn all over the kitchen by the time all was said and done. In spite of the fact that we didn't have any air conditioning, it was a good time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today's thankful: Hot summer days

The midwest has been under a heat wave for the last several days, and it isn't likely to end anytime soon. So the obvious thankful would be air conditioning or that I work inside, both of which I have already been thankful for. Today's thankful is still heat related. I am so thankful for the hot summer sun because it helps all of the wonderful summer produce grow and ripen. Last night we had sweet corn, cucumbers and tomatoes. I fried chicken at lunch and saved some of that for the meat lovers. Tonight we are having BLT's, one of my personal favorites. I LOVE BACON! The tomatoes, which I had to taste to ensure they were high quality enough to feed my family [wink, nudge], are knee weakening good. So while it may sound counter-intuitive, today I am thankful for hot summer days.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today's thankful: Making new friends

When Middlest was in three, she was upset by the fact that she didn't have any friends from school like her big sister did, mostly because I was a SAHM and didn't do the preschool thing. I constantly reassured her that when she started school she would make new friends. That summer, at the end of the first day of vacation Bible school she came running to me, beaming, and said, "Momma! I made up a new friend!" That friend turned out to be real instead of another imaginary friend as I had feared, and was the first of many. She actually is pretty good at making friends now.

I was forced to make friends when I was young so I would have someone to play with all day at the pool, but making friends isn't really something I do well and, now that I am an adult, I don't really make the effort very often. I am thankful, therefore, for my new friend. I am so glad I made the effort for this one. She's a keeper!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today’s thankful: Indiana sweet corn

If I need to explain today’s thankful, you have never experienced Indiana sweet corn. You should.

Now for a public service announcement. I work in a smallish regional hospital in the suburbs of a large city.  Today as I was walking toward one of our information desks, I noticed a woman standing on the visitor side wearing flip flops. They were black on the bottom from all of the outdoor walking, as one would expect. Then she flipped her shoe down by flexing her toes, thereby exposing the bottom of her foot. It was easily as dark as the bottom of her shoe. I would have to walk around barefoot for several DAYS to get my foot that dirty. So my PSA for the day is to be sure to wash your feet before going out in public if you intend to wear flip flops and expose the bottoms of your dirty feet, because not doing so is just nasty.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today’s thankful: I don’t live in Oak Park, Michigan

I was cruising around the Mother Earth News website today and came across a story about a woman in Oak Park, Michigan who has a court date and may have to serve up to 93 days in jail for growing vegetables in her front yard. Apparently, growing vegetables in your front yard is against city ordinances.
Okay. I get it. Some people don’t want to see vegetables being grown in the front yard. What I don’t get is why they are insisting that she uproot all of the plants. It would be a lot more environmentally friendly to charge her a fine for violating the code and let her veggies continue to grow, so long as she agrees to keep her veggies out of the front yard next year.
This story makes me even more thankful that my nasty HOA neighbors haven’t pitched a hissy fit about my veggie patch beside the house. I had to put it there because the dog owns the backyard and would tear up all of my hard work. I did plant marigolds in with the vegetable plants, making the argument that it is a flower bed which happens to have a few vegetable plants included. So far, so good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today's thankful: I work indoors

Easy thankful today. There is a heat advisory. Temps hit 90 by mid morning. I work indoors in the air conditioning. I am not sweaty. It is good.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Today’s thankful: Beer cheese fondue and chocolate

I took the big girls and Tiny Person to Build-A-Bear as the culmination of Tiny’s birthday celebration. Instead of a party, she wanted to go there. The big girls decided that they didn’t really need to drag home another stuffed animal. With the money we saved from them not purchasing, the four of us went for beer cheese fondue and chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot. It was delicious and we had such a good time. I am glad that Tiny has gotten old enough to change plans without freaking out. I am also thankful for the quality time I got to share with my awesome daughters. But today my little thankful is for beer cheese fondue and chocolate.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Today’s thankful: Youngest’s ability to use her words

Yesterday I was thawing a chicken in a bag in the sink. Middlest said, “Whatcha got in the bag, hag?” I told her it was chicken. Youngest yelled from her bedroom, “Ugh! We have chicken all the time!” She did eat all of said chicken at dinner. Tonight she is getting a new favorite of hers, porcupine meatballs. I know, they are extremely gross, but she LOVES them. It is my gift to her for putting up with so much chicken in her diet. I guess my thankful for today is that my darling daughter is capable of communicating with me so effectively. I would hate to have to wonder what makes her happy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Today’s thankful: Internet recipes

hI bought a whole chicken last week, because I wanted the skin on to roast it. I had the butcher cut it up, because I HATE to touch raw meat, especially on a bone. So I thawed out my chicken and realized that I don’t really know how to roast a chicken. I am sure that I have seen it done on The Food Network, but not recently. So I got online and searched for a recipe. Tah dah! We are having roasted chicken tonight! Let’s hear it for internet recipes!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Today’s thankful: My tiny person

Six years ago, Tiny Person came tumbling into this world like a stunt woman. She did a forward roll on the way out, and landed with such panache, I knew raising her was going to be a wild ride. We went to Splash Island today to celebrate her day, then to Chili’s for dinner and are now home for cake. She wanted a helium balloon, so we stopped on the way home and bought her one. It was such a simple way to make her day. She said this was the best birthday ever. That is reason enough to be happy. She reminds me every day why I call her a surprise instead of a mistake. I wouldn’t trade her for the world, and am so very thankful that she is a part of my life.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Today’s thankful: Hair dryers

A number of years ago, maybe 10, I took a small group of my then Girl Scouts into an Indy Parks park to reclaim farm land. The process included traipsing into waist-high weeds and planting trees. It was a lot of fun. A few days later, all but two of us had to pay a visit to our dermatologist’s office for steroid shots because of the raging case of poison something or other we caught. I hadn’t seen any poison ivy, and didn’t know what we had contacted. The park ranger who led our expedition informed me that the leaves were gone from the ivy and he hadn’t thought the stems would bother us. They did. Since that time, I seem to be a magnet for poison ivy, which brings me to today. I have a raging case of ivy rash on my left forearm and hand. I got it from touching my dog, who had been in contact with the weeds at the back of our lot.

What, you may ask, does poison ivy have to do with hair dryers? Only this: My ex-husband taught me that if you direct the heat from a hair dryer at an itchy patch, the heat intensifies the itch until you almost can’t stand it. Then, right before the heat burns a hole in your skin, the itch magically disappears and doesn’t return for several hours. That is right. HOURS. I have tried all of the over-the-counter remedies, to no avail. This morning as I awoke I was jonesing really bad for a hair dryer fix. My hands were shaking, I had it so bad. I am so very thankful for the sweet, hot relief found at the end of my hair dryer.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today’s thankful: Window screens

This morning, before the heat began to rise, I opened the window by my chair and had my coffee as I listened to the world wake up. There is nothing like listening to myriad birds greeting the day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today’s thankful: The option to change one’s mind

On a regular day, I am all for the right to change one’s mind, but today I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I work at a hospital in the medical records department. We have been bound as employees of the hospital since I began working there 10 years ago to follow the OSHA requirement that feet and legs be covered. The OSHA requirement specifies the rule for staff who have direct contact with patients and therefore may be exposed to bodily fluids. I agree with that rule completely. But the clinical people get to wear scrubs and comfy shoes. Those of us in the administrative offices do not have that luxury. We are left wearing dress pants or dresses with hose. I refuse to wear pantyhose, and have been wearing long skirts and boots for years. It is good in the winter, but in the summer, I keep the boots in my car and put them on just before I walk in the doors. Then my legs sweat the whole time I am there.
Today, administration sent out word that the hosiery rule has been repealed for all nonclinical personnel. Yippee skippee! I don’t have to wear boots in the summer anymore! My legs will be allowed to breathe! The only downside is now I will have to make sure my legs are properly shaved for work days. Not biggie. That only happens a few times a week. I am very thankful that humans have the capacity to change their minds.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today’s thankful: No more packaged muffin mix for me, and Camp Dellwood

I have been trying to eat more local and less processed food. My two elder girls love those strawberry muffins from an envelope which don’t have a drop of strawberry in them. I decided to give them a treat today and made a few bags. I have always liked them. Today they just didn’t taste as good as I had remembered. The girls still love them. I, however, will never eat another one. See, they didn’t taste overly delicious, which I was okay with, but they didn’t stick around in my system more than about 20 minutes either. Not cool. So I guess I can be thankful that I no longer want packaged, berry free, strawberry muffins.
Another thing about which I can be thankful today is that I tried to make my own butter from heavy cream, and it worked! It was also as easy as I had remembered from Girl Scout camp many  years ago. I am thankful for the summers I spent at Camp Dellwood.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today’s thankful: Clover and bees

From the title of today’s thankful, you might think that I am thankful for honey, the product of clover and bees. While I do enjoy a smackerel of honey on a regular basis, my thankful today has to do with my yard. Much to the disdain of my neighbors (there is a HOA), I don’t treat my yard for dandelions or clover. Oddly, I don’t have hardly any dandelions. I do, however, have a LOT of clover. The bunnies love it. The bees love it. I love it. While I was out mowing the grass this evening, I was pleasantly surprised to walk past several honey bees. I felt bad for cutting their clover, but I don’t want a nasty letter from the HOA. I am thankful that the clover will grow back in a few days and I will take my time cutting the grass again. I am also thankful for the honey bees busily gathering nectar. It is good to know they haven’t all disappeared into suburban oblivion.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today’s thankful: Awesome editor, new friends, time to dream

I have a few thankfuls today, which in itself is cause for praise. First, when I awoke this morning at three-ish, it occurred to me that I had missed a newspaper deadline. I cannot put to print the thoughts that went through my head at that moment. See, I knew the deadline was approaching Thursday, as it does each week, but I got busy making strawberry jam and completely spaced it. My big thankful here is that my editor is wonderfully understanding and didn’t bust my balls for it.

Another thankful for today is Youngest and I were able to spend some quality time with some new friends who are on their way to becoming good friends. Too add more thankful on top of what was already a great day, it occurred to me that I currently don’t have any major life decisions looming. It is so nice to be unconflicted with time to dream.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Today’s thankful: My mom taught me how to can fruits and vegetables

Last Saturday I managed to catch the last day of strawberry season in Central Indiana. I bought three baskets, each holding about four quarts. The first two we ate on shortcake. The third one I prepared for the luscious berries’ lives as strawberry jam. As I was stirring and sweating over the pot, I started missing my mom. She always preserved foods during the summer, and though I didn’t think I remembered all of the steps, her trusty Ball blue book which I inherited guided me as gently as she would have. We shared a lot of happy hours in the kitchen, sweating and canning. The best part of the day, though, came at the end when the jars would make that telltale pop to let us know our efforts were successful. We cheered, arms raised high, for each and every one. When my first jar of jam popped today, I cheered. My kids thought I had gone mad. Maybe I have, but I am just carrying on a family tradition.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Today’s thankful: Being lazy

Yesterday I was just too darn lazy to go to the grocery store for hamburger buns. Most of the time when I am too lazy to do a grocery run, I think up something else for dinner. On this day, though, Spouse had asked for hamburgers for dinner. I decided to make homemade buns. You would think that baking them from scratch would be way more work, but with a bread machine set to dough, it is surprisingly easy. I took a one-pound recipe and made eight buns. OMG! They were delicious. I may never again purchase hamburger buns. The result of my attempt was a bun worthy of being labeled gourmet. Couple the bun with Moody meat and the result was nearly orgasmic. When the tomatoes come in from the garden, we may very well get there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today’s thankful: I haven’t done anything socially reprehensible enough to be chastised by Paris Hilton

On the Yahoo! front page today, there is a story about an uproar film critic Rogert Ebert created when he tweeted something inappropriate about actor Ryan Dunn’s death in a car accident. Dunn, best known for his participation in the Jackass movies, died Monday morning. Apparently there had been drinking involved.
Anyway, Ebert’s tweet upset the masses, including Paris Hilton. Now, Paris has never been known for her class and attention to social mores, but she slammed Ebert in a big way, stating, "We certainly agree that driving after drinking is wrong, we think there's no reason -- especially RIGHT NOW -- that anyone should be pointing fingers or poking fun at a truly tragic situation. Everyone makes mistake, and this is somebody's son. Too soon, Roger." Ouch. Here is something I never thought I would write. Well done, Paris.
I am glad my name isn’t Roger Ebert. I am also thankful that I didn’t publicly do something so tacky that Paris Hilton had to call me out on it.