Gratitude

One of the saving graces in my life right now is a gratitude group that I’m a part of — a private, online group — sorry, you can’t join but you could start your own and invite others to comment with their own daily/weekly gratitude posts.
How does it work? Well, here was mine today:

  1. It’s a gorgeous fall day (by Friday it’s going to be wet and snowy and wicked cold overnight, but right now? It’s gorgeous with clouds and sun and wind and fall colors).
  2. One of my favorite blog writers has a new post about taking care of ourselves mentally right now — and not just a new post, but several others that I missed somehow over the past few weeks/months of being in and out of connectivity. She’s made me smile and nod with recognition, touched my heart with compassion, and made me guffaw over a dog story about the puppy in their house. I’m grateful for her writing and sharing of messy life.
  3. My cat is still alive and still healthy. (She is also annoying, constantly wanting to be in a lap and she sometimes yowls because she is deaf as a doorknob and that is lonely.)
Help! I’m being held captive by a sleeping cat!

What is it? Wednesday — the race course

I almost forgot to post tonight, so I’m getting this in just “under the wire”… or under the flags…

wiiwLast Wednesday I posted this picture. Carolyn had a good guess with a farmers’ market marker, but it takes a cross-country parent to recognize those flags! Melissa knew it was part of a course, although it wasn’t the finish line — just a marked section on a hillside. Here is the full photograph:

what-is-it-wednesday-cross-country-course

The Scout ran his first meet of the season last Wednesday. He’s had a late start due to his fall on July 3rd and subsequent concussion. His head started hurting 2/3 of the way through the 5k last Wednesday, although he did well on Saturday at his second meet. Unfortunately, he had to come home early from school today with a headache that got worse as the morning went on, so he did not race in today’s meet. After taking a 3-hour nap, he and SuperDad went down to watch and cheer on the team, however, because that’s what they do.

My understanding is that there really isn’t anything you can do to hurry up the healing from a concussion, but he’s got an appointment with the doctor in 2 weeks to discuss his progress and setbacks.

Auto Refle(x)ctive

The Common Household Mom reminded me that this week’s Thematic Photographic is Reflective. That seems to fit nicely with the classic cars on show at the local street fest today, so I snapped a few pictures before my camera battery conked out on me. (It’s a sad day when I last longer than the camera!)

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Head on over to Carmi‘s place for more Reflective shots.

It could be worse…

DSCN2529  Bruised toes, and this is my GOOD foot!Was it just 2 weeks ago I was nursing sore toes on my right foot? Apparently my left foot was jealous because in my sleep I somehow managed to jam or pull or otherwise bruise/sprain the littlest toe on my left foot (my FULF as Barb so succinctly puts it) prior to waking up on Wednesday morning. It’s too ugly to show you a picture, but I can assure you it’s really purple and coordinates nicely with my purple nail polish. (Maybe I do need to take a picture?)  And yes, it hurts.
It’s all adding insult to injury since I’ve also been having additional ankle pain — this time on my outer left ankle. The current suspicion is that the hardware on that side (one long plate, 6 screws) is somehow irritating the more natural parts of me.

I did manage to get out and about last weekend, putting at least 800 miles on the minivan (124,000 and counting) all by myself. My ankle truly hates me for all of that driving. (I’ve been hating my ankle lately, so the feeling is mutual)  On Friday I drove to Seattle for a quick visit with H-J. I got to see the lab where he is working this summer and I took him out to dinner at Ivar’s on Lake Union. It was one of those nights that makes a person love Seattle even if it is crowded: so many boats out on the lake full of happy people, beautiful weather, drawbridges allowing passage for the larger boats, evening glow on the buildings downtown.  After dropping my university student off at his place (college students, please don’t leave your dirty dishes in your room… science experiments belong in the laboratory!) I drove to my friend Annie’s house for 2 nights to celebrate her 50th birthday and recent home purchase.  This was the most relaxing part of the weekend, with little to do but a bit of cleaning, cutting up vegetables, drinking wine, and chatting with old friends while elevating my FULF. 

Is it wrong to high-five friends over mutually crummy injuries? We must be getting old. Next we’ll be talking about fiber supplements! Oh, wait…

Sleeping baby on my chest while mama gets allergy testing

Slightly feverish baby sleeping on my chest. I love him so much!

Sunday morning I slept in a bit, then packed up and drove back across the state, but not home — instead I drove to spend 2 nights with The Author and Little Foot. No new pictures because Mama was getting allergy testing done on Monday morning, baby was feverish and couldn’t go to daycare, and Daddy was out of town at a conference in another state. LF’s other grandma was able to come on Monday afternoon and stay for the week, so she’s still there now. It’s no fun to have a sick baby but the timing is great. The Author works for the university and it would be difficult to take time off right now as they are gearing up for fall courses.

cobalt blue lanyard

My blue lanyard: made it to sell, loved it too much and kept it

Tuesday morning I dropped my DIL off at work (hello, $15 per day parking? No, thank you!) and drove 90 minutes back home straight to work for me, too — only to discover I had left my lanyard with work keys at home. SuperDad to the rescue! He brought my work keys and my lunch to me. I was very grateful. He also went to the store and purchased several gallons of ice cream for the neighborhood block watch party held in our driveway that evening. I had enough time between the end of my work day and the start of the party to ice and elevate for 45 minutes on my bed. My ankle hates me and was badly swollen all day.

I’ve made an appointment (first one I could get, at the earliest time available) for August 18th. I’m hoping for some answers as to why I’m having “new” pain 8 months after surgery. By the time I see my PCM, it will be more than 9 months since injury. Did I mention that my ankle hates me?

If You Give a Pal a Paint Class…

I took another painting class recently and this was the result:

Cross painting, cropped

I thought it would look nice next to the collection of crosses I received from my dad. He’s a retired minister who collected crosses from antique stores for a few years. His wife had some of them in a framed display (not quite a shadow box) which looked quite lovely. A few years ago, after Dad entered an assisted living facility, he divided his collection up among all four of his kids and his wife mailed them to each of us for Christmas. I’ve been meaning to do a display of the crosses I was given but just hadn’t gotten around to it.

Now, however, I have an additional reason to get moving on displaying them all — we were offered a free used piano. The Scout’s piano teacher thought we would be a good home for it (she knew the person giving the piano away); I convinced my dh that this was a fine idea but none of us knew where we would put such a large musical instrument, so last month she came over and found the right place in our house. Then she gave us the man’s name and phone number, and a few days later was moving day.

DSCN2366  playing piano on back of truck, websized

The Scout didn’t wait to move the piano into the house before playing it.

DSCN2370  Moving piano with skateboard, websized

Where there’s a will, there’s a way — and sometimes that means using a homemade skateboard as a furniture dolly. 

 

 

 

Adding a new piece of furniture meant rearranging sofas, chairs, lamps, tables, and pictures — which, honestly, is still happening because we can’t move anything just one time.  I got first shot at telling young men where specifically to place certain items. Then the next day SuperDad put them to work rearranging my arrangement of the furniture. Within 24 hours, I was moving the coffee table and recliner myself — not the smartest activity in which to indulge but when you can’t sleep at one o’clock in the morning, what else do you do?  That was how it all went for the first 4 days, before we moved on the placement of lamps and pictures. I’d go to work and come home to an arrangement that needs tweaking by me (but only when SuperDad was not there to see what I’d done to his plan). It’s now been a month since the arrival of a piano disrupted the living room furniture arrangement, and I fear that inertia has exerted its powerful force on the hanging of pictures.  I don’t really like where some any of them are placed but no one has the energy to move them (the flu hit 2 out of 4 of us… so far) and rearranging would probably mean more holes in the walls. And then we’d have to patch and paint walls! Of course, if we’d been really smart, we would have painted the walls before settling the sofas and chairs and piano into their new places, but simply agreeing where to put each of those rearranged furnishings was difficult enough. Plus it has been well documented that married couples have difficulty choosing paint colors.

 

DSCN2386  new piano, cropped, websized

The piano and piano bench are the only items of furniture which have not been moved at least twice since this photograph was taken. 

At any rate, we have a new-to-us piano (the water damage might get partially covered by a table runner when I get back to sewing), a rearranged living room, and there will soon be a cross collection on display — if we can agree on where to put it.

 

 

Faithfully Mundane

DSCN2139, wish-n-puff, cropped, resized for web

The past few weeks have been filled with the mundane of daily tasks, including nagging the teen about his homework assignments, keeping up with the plethora of work e-mail and assorted responsibilities that I can’t pass off to others, and various appointments. While none of this is exciting or particularly blog-worthy, this is where we live — right here in a mundane existence. This is not a bad thing, as Tracy points out in this post.

I hope you click on that link before you get back to nagging reminding your teen about doing homework or cleaning up the pet vomit or dealing with Mt. Washmore (a.k.a., Mt. Neverrest) or washing those dirty dishes.

Thank God for dirty dishes
they have a tale to tell:
while others may go hungry,
we’re eating very well.
For home and health and happiness
I wouldn’t want to fuss
for by the stack of evidence
God has been good to us.

The above poem hung in my husband’s grandmother’s kitchen. My SIL cross-stitched it and framed it for me as a gift many years ago, and it has been in my own kitchen ever since. It really does keep me from grumbling too much about those dirty dishes.