April 06, 2023

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my home and the beauty surrounding it in spring. I love this field in front of my house and the fragrance is delightful. These pictures were taken with my phone and don't begin to capture the beauty of the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush.

Neighbors who watch out for each other.

Spring rains.

Hummingbirds and purple martins.

And since Easter is just days away, I can't end without saying that I am thankful for Jesus, who gave his earthly life so we might have eternal life.

Leeanna's prompt this week is ""do you have any fun or special memories of getting or giving an easter basket? What was in it? Was it covered in that shiny see through crinkly paper and candy sitting on that paper grass? Remember that wall of easter baskets in the front window of the dime stores ? Did you do easter egg hunts in the yard, and did you love it? "

When I was a little girl, it was usually too cold to have Easter egg hunts outside. The day before Easter, we drew on boiled eggs with our crayons and then dyed the eggs in rainbow colors. The dye wouldn't penetrate the crayon wax so the words and designs showed up after dying. One big splurge my mother made at Easter was to buy an Easter egg dye kit. There were tablets of concentrated dyes and little metal egg holders that looked like a lasso with a bend beside the loop. It was quite a contest to see who could carefully cradle the egg in the loop of this little metal lasso and dip the egg in the dye without it falling off.

On Easter morning, we got up to find that the eggs were hidden all over the house, and when I say hidden, I mean hidden. None were in plain sight. After all the eggs were gathered, we gave them to Mom in exchange for a live chick or duckling that we got to keep in our room until it was big enough to go outside. Cheep, cheep, cheep all night long! I didn't know Mom counted the eggs in our baskets until the year one was missing. It was finally found a couple of weeks later in my closet and boy did it smell bad! After our egg hunt, I put on my best dress and went to church. If I had grown much since Christmas, Mom would have made a new dress in spring colors. Lunch was probably a ham, but I only remember that the Easter eggs were now deviled eggs which we quickly devoured.

After we moved to North Texas where the grass is green and flowers are in bloom at Easter, our girls had Easter egg hunts in our yard and garden. We usually had their hunts after church when it was a little warmer and we didn't have to worry about being late for church. It was so fun to see them running from flower to flower looking for eggs, which were plastic, not boiled, and filled with candy or nickels.

Easter 1999, Mom with my girls.


Mia and Smokey Chime In

Smokey:  Why is Mia's name first?  I lived here first.  I demand top billing.

Mia:  I'm more important than you are and besides, it's alphabetical order.  You're already distracted too.  We're here to talk about things we are thankful for.

Smokey:  Well, I am happy that it is spring and my catio is open all day.  I'm happy the mice are in the backyard again.

Me:  Wait.  What mice?

Smokey:  The mice that lived under the steps last year are back again this year.  I got one already.  *smug grin* 

Mia:  I showed him where they were hiding, but mousing is cats' work.

Smokey:  What is dog's work?  You lay in bed all day.

Mia:  Chasing stray cats out of the yard.  Remember that black cat that was harassing you Saturday?

Smokey:  Yeah, he growled at me while I was in my catio.

Mia:  After mama shooed him away from your catio, he went into my backyard, and I chased him up one side and down the other and he finally squeezed through a cattle panel to get out.  He won't be back to bother you anymore.

Smokey:  You did that for me?  I love you.

Mia:  Ewww, don't say that, I don't even like you.  Protecting you is just part of the job.

Smokey:  I'm going to come rub on you anyway.

Mia:  Not looking at you.  You're not there.  Go away.

Me:  What are you thankful for Mia?

Mia:  I love dad.... and my pillow... and my bed in the kitchen... and my bed in the ham shack... and my bed in the RV.  And cheese.  I love cheese.

Me:  What about me?  Do you love me?

Mia:  Eh?  You're ok.  I love that you feed me chicken.


I am linking with the usual Thankful Thursday linkups, and I'm sad to see that Overflowing with Thankfulness is discontinuing her linkup after today. We'll miss it Jennifer but understand how a weekly obligation can be tiring. Jennifer has a Wednesday linkup called Currently that looks interesting and I hope to join it next week.

I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color

Thankful Thursday at It's a Small Town Life

February 15, 2023

Thankful Thursday

I don't have a lot of Thankfuls this week. I can't believe it's already been a week since I wrote my last post. For the last several days, I've been noticing signs of spring. I first noticed that the Callery Pear trees at Home Depot were in full bloom. You may know them as Bradford Pear or pyrus calleryana. They're a trash tree from Asia and have made the Texas Invasive Species List. But they do have an impressive display of white blooms every spring. So starting my list is:

1. I love spring! I haven't seen any wildflowers in bloom yet, but the dandelions have bloomed and gone to seed. I even like dandelions because the honey bees love them, and because they attract aphids which keeps the aphids out of my garden. I've heard dandelion wine is good, but I've never tried it. During the depression, people used to eat all parts of the dandelions, from the roots to the blooms. Thanks to the dandelions in bloom, I've also seen my first butterfly of the year, a sulfur, flitting from one yellow blossom to the next. I've also seen the first grasshopper of the year and the first mosquito. I'm not thankful for them though.

Free photo from Pixabay

2. I like my town. I am so glad we moved here and wish it had been sooner. The other day I had to mail something, so I grabbed it and headed to the post office where I picked up a padded envelope, carefully stuffed my project in it, and walked up to the counter where I realized I had forgotten the address. I started to take my project out (it wasn't a free envelope), but the postmaster waved me off and told me to take it home, put the address on it and pay for it when I brought it back. Small town trust!

3. I like my Sketchers. I noticed this week that they are starting to come apart at the seams and it makes me sad that I won't have them much longer, but they have given me 4 or 5 good years and maybe the next pair will too.

4. I'm adding this hours after posting this, but Hubby came in this morning and said the purple martins have come home! It took awhile for all four of them to be out at the same time, but he took a few pictures for me. Whoohoo! Spring is definitely on the way. These may only be scouts, but they seem to have claimed a couple of nesting boxes, so we'll see.

♥   ♥  ♥   ♥  ♥  ♥   ♥   ♥

This week, Leeanna's prompt is: "Tell us about a time you knew someone was for you... in honor of Love month, I'm thinking a mate but it can be a best friend, or your dog/cat, etc.

How did you know, what did they do or say that made you look again, this time knowing they were your person?"

I feel incredibly lucky to have several friendships that have lasted over 60 years. I think they have lasted so long because we have so much in common, but also because of trust. Without trust, I don't think any relationship will last. Let me tell you about two times that I knew someone was going to be in my life forever.

First was the boy I had known since I was 13. We went to the same church but not the same junior high so I only saw him a couple of times a week. We went to the same high school but we weren't in any classes together and dating different people, so didn't see each other much. But at the end of our senior year, we went out as friends, and we had a nice time. Thanks to years of frienship, there wasn't any first date awkwardness and then we started seeing each other more often. I think I started falling in love with him the day he came over to fix something on my car that he had noticed was broken. We both dated other people too, but it really wasn't until someone else asked me to marry him that I realized I only wanted to marry my best friend. A year later, we did get married and after 47 years, I'd rather spend the day with him than anyone else I know.

Second is a woman named Ruthie who I met on my first day at a new job. She sat at the desk in front of me and from that first day, it was like we had known each other forever. We weren't allowed to have personal conversations at work except during breaks, so we developed a kind of conversation shorthand where sentences went unfinished because we knew what the other was going to say, so it was a series of sentence fragments. It was an odd workplace, with co-workers who barely spoke to each other all day. But somehow, Ruthie and I communicated with nods and goofy facial expressions. We'd wave goodbye after work and then call each other as soon as we got home to have real conversations and laugh that we thought the same things about all the silent communication at the office. On weekends, we helped each other with home projects or went shopping. We moved away first and our conversations and visits became less frequent until they gradually stopped. Then, a few years ago, I googled her name, called her, and it was like no time at all had passed. She had also moved and now had cystic fibrosis. We began talking every day again, but as time went by, it was harder for her to talk very long and once again, we spoke in sentence fragments and still understood each other perfectly. I miss Ruthie but I know if we could talk today, we'd take up right where we left off.

I'm joining the usual Thursday linkups:

Thankful Thursday

I like Thursday

Thankful Thursday

February 09, 2023

Thankful Thursday

Leeanna, at Not Afraid of Color, posts a thoughtful question every week, and I want to start with it this week.

"How do you celebrate Valentines day, what do you like about it, special memory of one now or as a kid... you get the idea. Love is always good."

When I first saw this question, I thought about skipping it, because we really don't celebrate "Hallmark holidays." But then I remembered things we do or have done to show our love - without commercialism. We don't ignore that it is Valentine's Day, we just celebrate it without standing in lines with credit card in hand.

I start the day with hot tea made in a teapot decorated with hearts. One year I made French toast and cut the bread with heart-shaped cookie cutters. The kids loved that and wanted it every year after that. We'll wish each other a happy Valentine's Day and I will wear a silly Valentine's shirt which usually starts the Valentine's jokes. I usually make Hubby's favorite cake, a red velvet cake, in heart-shaped pans. When the girls were little, we made heart-shaped sugar cookies and iced them pink and red. Hubby's contribution is cinnamon candy. In the evening we will call the kids and grandsons and hear all about class parties and who brought treats to work. We will have a nice dinner at home, dust off the candles, and maybe even eat on the good china. Or it could be paper plates and celebrate a night without doing dishes. That's a special treat too. But our favorite part of the day is cuddling on the sofa with hot chocolate and popcorn while we watch a movie.

We don't give wrapped gifts, or send cards. I think our love language is acts of service.


Thankful/I Like Thursday

1. I am thankful for the rain we've had this week. Yes, it's cold, gray, and miserable, but we've been in drought conditions for months, so this is a welcome relief and hopefully will give us an extra hay cutting this spring.

2. I like bluebonnets, and we are going to have a bumper crop (no, not really a crop) this year.

3. I like living in the 21st century. I read a biography of a pioneer family who lived in Kansas. They had to make every single thing they needed. Need to wash clothes? First have to butcher the pig and render the fat, then make the soap. That took two or three days. Doing laundry was an all-day affair which included hauling buckets of water from the well, heating it on the stove, and then scrubbing clothes in tubs, and hanging it to dry. Later, everything was ironed, even the sheets. That took two days every week or two. And through all that, the daily chores had to be done, the milking, the cooking, the cleaning and the garden. Life for pioneer women sounded like pure drudgery. Today, we are so very, very lucky to have so many conveniences which give us free time for our hobbies and travel. As simple as those times were, they weren't easy.

4. I like audio books. I appreciate the authors and readers who make it possible for me to close my eyes and listen to a novel. I don't remember anyone ever reading to me at bedtime when I was little, but I could really get into bedtime stories for grownups. I think I'd pick the soothing words of Lucy Maud Montgomery read by Megan Follows. She was my favorite Anne. Right now I'm listening to The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian. It is our book club selection this month and does require some concentration, so I don't listen at bedtime.

5. I like rocks. I've picked up rocks for over 65 years, and I'm still amazed at the colors and shapes that are just lying on the ground. Of course, I like the unusual ones best. I found these two in my driveway. I assume they are fossils of shells, but I like to imagine that they are dinosaur teeth.

What are you thankful for this week? Join me at these very special linkups, where people share their thoughts and inspire us.

Thankful Thursday

I like Thursday

Thankful Thursday

February 02, 2023

Thankful Thursday

I am Thankful

1. That my mother is still here to lead by example. When she moved here last year, she said she was determined to make the best of it and she has. I'm sure she has been sad many times about missing the friends she left behind, the house she lived in for over 60 years, most of her possessions, and probably most of all, missing her independence, but she has never complained to me. She is always thankful for what she has now and never fails to thank us for doing things for her. She does talk about missing Mia who now lives with us, and I try to take Mia to her on days we aren't going anywhere else, although Mia wishes Mom would come here instead. Mom still enjoys learning new things even if it is more difficult than it used to be, and I hope I can say that when I am 91.

Mom called me last night and asked what a pdf is. I explained and then asked why. Well, she had come across a website with free crochet patterns. It's lovecrafts.com. (Have you heard of it? If so, what do you think of it?) Anyway, Mom said she tried to download one of these free pdf patterns but it didn't work. So while we were on the phone, I went to the website too, and finally found the pattern she wanted and asked if she had clicked the black Download Now button. No, she had only clicked on the picture (the snapshot) in the page of patterns. I told her to look for the Download button and she finally found it and said nothing happened when she touched it. (That should have been my first clue. She was on her laptop, which is at least ten years old and doesn't have a touch screen.) I wanted to see if that was the problem, so I clicked it with my mouse and it opened a signup page. Have you ever tried directing a 91 year old on how to do something on the computer by phone, without Skype or Facetime? She could not figure out how to type the underscore ( _ ) in her email address without it becoming ( ___________ ) and after much instruction, she couldn't find the log in button. I suspect part of the problem is that she hasn't updated her computer in years and she wasn't seeing the website the same way I saw it. The short story is that I signed her up using my laptop, so all she has to do is find the main page of that website where there is a big log in button. Now I just hope she has enough memory space to download some patterns. They do have some cute ones.

2. My dog, Mia. Or rather Mom's dog. Truth be told, she is Hubby's dog. Even Mom says that Mia never really attached to her. But Mia adores Hubby. I call him Mia's Beloved. Mom got her from a local shelter, so we don't know much about her previous life except that her original owner had to move and couldn't take Mia (who was first named Agnes). So that owner gave her to a friend and after a couple of months, that friend surrendered her to the shelter. We suspect the original owner was a man because Mia prefers men. Or maybe she's just a natural flirt. Last Saturday, at Hubby's ham radio weekend, she was the perfect hostess to a bunch of men. There were a couple of women who came, but it was mostly men and Mia wanted to greet each one. If they wanted to pick her up, she was fine with that too. One man in particular wanted her to sit with him, and I could tell she was uncomfortable but she stayed with him and made his day. He was an older man who felt like he was in the way while the younger men were setting up radios and antennas all around our house. So he sat in the living room and cuddled Mia while talking to me. I'd like to tell you that Smokey the cat was equally charming to our guests, but, he wasn't, so he spent most of the weekend in his catio.

3. For a beautiful weekend for the ham radio club. Since we were gone last year, they hadn't done their Winter Field Day since 2021 and they were all excited about their weekend. If you are wondering what Winter Field Day is, it is where ham radio people all across the country, or maybe even countries, leave the comfort of their indoor radio rooms and their permanent radios and antennas, and go outside. They set up mobile antennas, tents, trailers, and tables for their radios, and try to connect with as many other ham radio stations as they can. It runs from 1:00 Saturday to 1:00 Sunday and they endure whatever weather Mother Nature throws at them. There are people enjoying the weather in Florida talking to people freezing their toes off in Maine. Portable heat is allowed, but there are rules on how far they have to be from a building with electricity. The weather was nice Saturday, with a high of 60 and a light breeze and it stayed in the 50s all night for the night people. A cold front came through soon after breakfast on Sunday though and the men hurried to take their antennas down before the wind did it for them. That put an early end to the weekend. Now they will start planning Summer Field Day, which is in July and the hams will be sweltering instead of freezing.

4. That I didn't have to drive to work this week during our ice storm. Today we are listening to the ice slide off the roof and crash on the ground. At least it is finally melting.

5. Snuggling in the living room around the tv watching a family movie. Even Smokey wanted to watch this one, Dog Gone with Gonker the dog.

Eventually I convinced him that he could watch it easier from my lap.


I Like Me

1. I wanted to be able to say something positive to myself everyday, but I am still struggling with this. I mentioned above that an older ham radio operator stayed in the house and talked to me while the younger members were setting up. I don't do well with inactivity. Even when I watch tv, I either have a book in my hands, sewing, or the computer. I also don't do small talk well for very long. So I'm going to give myself a pat on the back for making this man, and another, for sitting and visiting instead of running off to do my own thing.

2. This isn't an I like, as much as it is a self pep-talk. Venture outside your comfort zone and join the ladies at coffee in the morning, or see what is going on at the senior citizens center. When my In-Laws first moved here, my mother-in-law was very resistant to even visit the senior center. I think it made her feel old. I finally understand how she felt. But who knows, maybe it will make me feel younger instead.


LeeAnnas thought question today is: What do you think of the panetone color of the year, Magenta?

I love magenta. It's a great jewel tone color, rich and vibrant, and looks good on most people. I don't think I would like it painted on the exterior of most houses though there are some "gingerbread" turn of the century houses around here that would shine with that color as trim. I think it would be pretty overwhelming inside as wall paint too, but as accent fashion, it would be fantastic.


I'm joining the following Thankful linkups:

Thankful Thursday and Fashion Files (I don't know what Fashion Files are though.)

I like Thursday

Thankful Thursday

January 26, 2023

Thankful Thursday and Positive Talk to Myself

I challenged myself to start keeping a thankfulness journal this year but we were both so sick the first week of January that I never gave it another thought. Then we had a busy week trying to run all our saved up errands and then of course, I had the mystery killer headache and invisible flaming arrow in my eye for a week and that challenge went to the bottom of the trash heap. But I was recently reminded of it by another blogger and thought I'd give it another chance even though the first month of the year is almost over. That's when I realized I really don't know how to keep a thankfulness journal, or even how to write thankfulness. How many times can I say I am thankful for my incredible husband? Then I thought I'd look at a few Thankful Thursday posts from linkups, and I couldn't find any Thankful Thursday linkups. I thought I had several bookmarked, but I only had one and it has ceased. So if you know of a Thankful Thursday linkup, let me know. I'd like to see how other people do this. *edit* Thank you for the link to a new Thankful Thursday. I added it at the bottom of this post.

I thought I'd write about something I'm thankful for every day, but since I was just reminded about this yesterday, that would be a short list. I'll try to do that starting tomorrow though. For this post, I want to tell how being sick for almost a month made me thankful. I'm not thankful I was sick. That is not how I wanted to start the year. But it did make me see things around me that I have been taking for granted.

I am so very thankful for my husband. For the last year, he has driven my mother and me to her doctor appointments, even when I'm sure he would much rather be doing something else. He drives us to the door, waits in parking lots, and picks us up at the door. He gets out wheelchairs, walkers, set up appliances, and put together furniture. All this without complaining, or at least not complaining much. He sorted through mom's house of hoard, packed box after box of stuff and carted them 350 miles to her new home, only to be met with requests for more stuff. This past week, he sat in the emergency room with me while people all around us coughed and hacked, and he listened to doctors toss ideas in the air and then say they have no idea what was wrong with me. Then he brought me home, turned out the lights and made me as comfortable as possible while we waited to see what to do next.

I am thankful for these two furballs who depend on me and support me by showing unconditional love. Even Mia, who has chosen Hubby to be her favorite person, showed she cared by sitting in my lap for two worst days of my headache. She did jump down and run into the kitchen when Hubby started cooking though. Did I mention that Hubby cooked for a week? I don't remember what all he made because I couldn't eat much, but I do remember we ate.

Mia saying "Do you know what time it is????"

I am thankful for the friends who called and asked how I was doing every day and who asked what they could do to help us out. I'm looking forward to paying them back for their kindness or paying it forward.

I am thankful for my mother, who put aside her wishes to give us time to get better. I know how it feels to be dependent on others for food and transportation and I'm sure there are places she would have liked to go in these weeks without doctor appointments.

I am most thankful that I woke up without a headache and eye pain Tuesday morning.

This one is pretty selfish, I admit, but I'm thankful the weather was cold and windy. It made it much easier to want to be home instead of think about what I was missing. Now bring on the nice weather please!

******** Another blogger, MiaIsMine, challenged me to write things we like about ourselves. So many people sabotage themselves with self-criticism, and it's time to turn the tables and build confidence with encouragement. I read this question on another website: "How many friends would you have if you talked to them the same way you talk to yourself?" So I am going to try to detach myself and talk to me as if I were a friend. If writing about being thankful was hard, this was nearing impossible. I couldn't seem to turn off my inner negative voice.

1. I like the way you cut your hair. Changing to a new look can be tough, so hang in there and grow one more layer out before you do anything different.

2. I like the way you held your tongue when he said that B12 and Biotin were the same thing. Save your energy for more important disagreements.

3. I like how you recreated one of mom's old favorites out of some chicken leftovers. I love comfort food.

******** What are you thankful for this week? And I challenge you to tell what you like about yourself too, espcially if your inner voice tends to critique instead of encourage.

Kate reminded me of I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of color, so I will try to link to that too. Lee Anna's challenge question today is: "I love color! what are your favorite colors? Do you wear them or decorate with them? has it changed in the last few years? Is it influenced by the seasons?"

I've never really thought about it before, but my favorite color has changed over the years. It took me a long time to learn about seasonal color analysis and I found out I was an autumn. For years, my mother and mother-in-law bought clothes for me for Christmas and birthdays and they were always pastels. I always felt washed out in pastels and tended to wear bright red when I shopped for myself. The last few years, I've added some bright blues into my fall colors, and lately I've been in love with jewel tones, especially teals. If I were buying fabrics like I used to, you would see more teal in my quilts.

When we bought new furniture for our family room, the furniture we both found comfortable only came in navy blue, so for the last twenty years, my house colors have either been navy blue or something that coordinated with navy blue. When we moved here, I considered buying new furniture, but our furniture still looked brand new, so we kept most of it and I said I would never buy blue furniture again. We were shopping for new recliners for our RV last fall, and wouldn't you know it, when we found one that we could both sit in and would fit in the space, they were navy blue! But let me say here and now, I will never buy blue furniture again!

Linking to:

Thankful Thursday and Fashion Files (I don't know what Fashion Files are though.)

I like Thursday

Thankful Thursday