Thankful Thanksgiving 11-23-17

It’s been far longer than I intended since I wrote here. In some ways, I miss it. But today is not the time for melancholy reflections. Today is Thanksgiving! Instead of being cynical about the amount of over-consumption and how silly it is that stores are opening for Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving afternoon, I should take a look at what I have to be thankful for.

This week in church one of our elders read the following:

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision forΒ tomorrow.”

~ Melody Beattie ~

The phrase “It turns what we have into enough” echoed in my head. It reminded me of when I used to post Thankful Thursday lists every week, how eventually that deliberate act of gratefulness could turn a lousy day around, how keeping a running list in my head had me thinking of my blessings all week, how it made me see how much a change of perspective matters. I miss that.

The other phrase that stuck out was “It can turn a meal into a feast.” Of course, with Thanksgiving coming (and indeed, here already), everyone is thinking about the food. But it’s not the amount or quality of the fare that makes a meal into a feast – it’s gratitude and the company of family and friends. This year, for me, will be light on the “family” but heavy on the “friends.” I’m grateful to have friends here who are willing to do a potluck style Thanksgiving, so we can share the work and none of us has to eat alone. I’m grateful we can turn a shared meal into a feast.

I’ve been meaning to get back to writing for several months now, I even have a couple post drafts that are close to completion, but I just couldn’t get over the hump of “what do I say? How do I account for such a long gap?” So I’m grateful for the reminder that a thankfulness post on Thanksgiving is a perfect, low-pressure way to start again. I’m grateful for people who share inspiring quotes.

I’m also grateful for my mother, who gives good hugs, pretty Thanksgiving cards, and knows I like Goldfish crackers. πŸ™‚ So many things to be thankful for today… a bright sunshiny day, friends to share the Thanksgiving Day Parade with (and living in a country where we can watch it the day of, instead of waiting for someone to tape it and send it through the mail), the smell of turkey cooking, texting to keep in touch with family far away…

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and the chance to reflect on what you are thankful for. You can share below if you’d like!


Happy Thanksgiving coloring page, done by me on computer


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Thankful Thursday 8-23-17

So, I have a write-up that just needs a little polish to be a blog post. It’s about the adventure of finding a live scorpion in my room (my second live one since moving two years ago to where I am now – I specify live because I’ve found dead ones here before)  and is a little lighthearted. I was planning to get it posted some day soon.

Then this morning, I found another scorpion… as I was putting on yesterday’s pants to get ready for work. It got me multiple times before I could get the pants off again. It was dead a minute later, smashed by my trusty hard-soled New Zealand sheep’s wool slipper after it crawled out of the leg of the pants still on the floor, but it was my fifth live one in ten weeks – with the last three being in my bedroom.

It’s not funny anymore. 

Smashed scorpion on pants leg

It’s dead. The picture is a little blurry because adrenaline makes my hands shake. 8/23/17

It had been a month since the fourth one and I had begun to hope the spree was over. I had not, however, stopped checking my bed every night before I get in. I have spoken to the nice gentleman who does maintenence for our housing unit (we’re in a triplex) and he is going to talk to the housing manager about getting the building fumigated. Even for this area where scorpions are common, this is a little much.

Maybe I’ll post that write-up when I’ve been six months scorpion free. Maybe it’ll wait till the one year anniversary. Regardless, today I am thankful:

  • that it was not one of the species that live in the area that are poisonous and I did not have any adverse reactions
  • that the pain, which while not agonizing was still definitely there at the back of my left thigh, faded after about ten hours
  • that after five scorpions (five here, and three while living in Mexico ten years ago), this is the first one to get me. And, in a totally MK moment, I can now add “survived multiple stings from a scorpion” to the list of crazy things I’ve done…
  • for my dear mother who helped me clean my room, including behind the extra bed and furniture, in an effort to see if we could find out how they’re getting in. No such luck, but at least I know there’s not a nest of them lurking. They may be getting in somewhere else and just winding up in my room because it has the least activity.
  • for an understanding and wonderful boss, who said “take what time you need” when I texted her to say “Um, I think I’m going to be a bit late this morning…” (and she also suggested to ice it, which did help)
  • on a non-arachnid-related note, I’m thankful for the new ovens that got installed at work today and the friendly electricians who did it. We had an electrical fire in the top of our two stacked ovens almost a month and a half ago (there’s another adventure story for you, I got to use the fire extinguisher on it.) We’ve been limping along with one, less functional, oven since then. The new ones are so shiny! πŸ™‚ We’re hopeful they’ll run well for a good long time.

One thing to say about all this: when your day starts with a live scorpion in your pants, it can pretty much only go up from there! πŸ˜›

I hope none of you have had any scorpions this week (or ever) but I do hope you’ve had good, kind people in your life and things to be thankful for. You can share them in the comment box if you’d like.

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Nostalgia looks like…

… a green metal can.

A can of Milo, a beverage

And tastes like

A spoonful of Milo with a glass of milk

it’s own unique choclatey goodness. πŸ™‚

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Thankful Thursday 3-2-17

This post has been in the works a long time – I started the list below for posting on February 9th, then I got this actual post three quarters done on the 23rd and now I am finally posting it on the 2nd of March. πŸ˜› Life has certainly been busy in the meantime.

This week and over the past weeks, I have been and am thankful:

  • for more than one night in the past month that was warm enough to sleep without several of the half-dozen blankets on my bed
    Clear sky sunset with the sun glinting orange through trees

    Sunset, 1/30/17

  • for how endlessly unique sunsets are
  • for a trip to visit a good friend the last weekend in January – and the fun of watching her 18 month old be brave enough to try operating the hose with the fireman on our fire station tour πŸ™‚
  • for finding nice clothes for cheap at a local thrift shop in her town after I got myself in a jam by forgetting my Sunday outfit at home πŸ˜›
  • for a new-to-me CD bought for a dollar on clearance because it had a song I liked from a music streaming website that turned out to have several songs I enjoy. It made the drive home fun πŸ™‚
  • for the getting un-lost skills I developed when living in the town before this current one, since getting lost apparently comes naturally to me. πŸ˜› Said skills also came in handy on my trip…
    Purple-blue sunset with lacy clouds

    Sunset, 2/3/17

  • for an informative full hearing test in early February (after a preliminary in October indicated some more investigating might be needed.) I do have moderate loss in both ears in a couple of higher frequencies, thanks to multiple ear infections growing up, but my word recognition is 100% and my speech recognition threshold is still well within normal conversational range, so I won’t be getting hearing aids at this point. It was good to get more information about what is actually going on and to establish a baseline to compare future tests to.
  • that said hearing test was free
  • for strawberry preserves on a hot biscuit
  • that the crochet gauge I made for a new project (I think the first gauge I’ve ever made) actually came out right the first time πŸ™‚
  • for the fun of attending my first Scottish Highland Games last Saturday – watching the caber toss live is pretty incredible
  • that no one got hurt at the Games (at least, not hurt enough to admit it) πŸ™‚

    Reading back over it, that’s quite the list – I did say life has been busy! And there’s more that I’m saving for the next post so that I can finally get this one posted. πŸ˜› I am glad that in the middle of the busy there have been things to be thankful for. How about you? 

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    "What would humans be without love? RARE, said Death." ~ Terry Pratchett

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

    [Quote fromΒ Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett, 1988]

    (Side note for those who don’t know: Pratchett’sΒ Death always speaks in ALL CAPS.)

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    Thankful Thursday 1-5-17

    Well, welcome to 2017. In some ways, it’s crazy to be here –Β 2017 already! I mean, I have a science-fiction book,Β The Door Into Summer, written in 1957, set in 1970, by Robert Heinlein, in which a man winds up in the far distant and surely fantastic future of 2000. Wherein they have cured the common cold and perfected cryogenics “cold sleep.” How far they thought we should have come by now. Heinlein was right about video calling and house-cleaning robots being commonplace in this time, though. (It’s a good light book, you should read it.) There was a point when 2017 was almost unthinkably far in the future and now it’s here.

    But, in other ways, it’s just another year. The days keep marching on, one after another, and the laundry continues not to wash itself. The to-do list expands and shrinks, the weather follows the usual cycle, the pile of “books-to-be-read” is slowly converted into piles of “good enough to keep” and “books-to-rehome;” many things are the same as always.

    Children, especially young ones, do tend to change rapidly, though. Which I was reminded of over the week between Christmas and New Years, since I went to visit two of my brothers and their families in the northeast. Much of my list of things to be Thankful for this Thursday reflects that trip and those bright moments caught from the fast-moving streams of their lives. I am Thankful:

    • for safe travels (there and back again… I watched the end ofΒ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King while waiting for midnight on New Year’s Eve, which ends with dear Sam saying “Well, I’m back.”)
    • that, miserable as colds are, I caught mine off the cutest little germ sharer ever – and when she asked me to cuddle up and read to her, you know I wasn’t turning that girl down, stuffy nose or no
    • for the hilarity of watching my oldest nephew S’s contortions with the controller while playing their new MarioKart game – and the fun of playing against my brother, which I haven’t done in years πŸ™‚
    • for enjoying multiple rounds of Go Fish with S – and watching him beat his mother in the Minions Memory game they’d just gotten
    • for a late-night snack of delicious grilled venison backstrap
    • for the way my middle niece C’s face lights up when she gets to hold her favorite chicken (named Bunny, of course πŸ™‚ )

      Decorated gingerbread house with two gingerbread men


    • for phone calls and picture texts to loop in faraway grandparents
    • for the grin my youngest niece K’s way of saying that perennial childhood orange pasta favorite induces (“mac mac chee!”) πŸ˜€ – and the cute little ham she turns into when she gets her hands on a cell phone
    • for the joy of listening to my oldest niece E read aloud to her cousin (the same niece proceeded to beat me at Battle Ship a couple days later – it was a good game)
    • for the fun of assembling a gingerbread house with E (pictured) – I was the icing glue applicator and opinion-giver and she was the candy applicator and design specialist (the blue and white pattern on the roof was her idea. She did the gingerbread men and the front yard all by herself.)
    • for parents thoughtful enough to buy me blackout curtains (in a pretty demure blue) for Christmas, since the maintenance crew upgraded the street lights outside my room to bright LED bulbs

    Mac’n’cheese and chickens named Bunny and childhood games will not last; time rolls on and the years turn and children grow. But I am glad I got to be a part of these things for a little while, to add a bright note at the end of my 2016.

    I know there are a lot of things going on in the world and a lot happened this past year, on scales large and small; this is not intended to be a typical New Year’s post. For the past several years, I have rung in the New Year with paper and pen and ink, trying to wrap up the year with a nice bow – or at least provide a summary. Some years I’ve been more successful than others, but this is not that. This is just a little slice of happiness, a double-handful of things to be Thankful for, moments I’d like to remember as the days slip into years. Thanks for sharing them with me by reading – and welcome to 2017.

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