Friday, January 31, 2014

Gratitudes 1/31/14

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that our highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John F. Kennedy

1. For a teacher work day today.
2. For my Rockapella station on Pandora. It was the closest thing I could find to my Friday soundtrack.
3. That I have a job to come to.
4. That I got paid.
5. For sleep. I desperately need some.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gratitudes 1/30/14

"Turn positive facts into positive experiences, savor these experiences, and sense them sinking in." ~Rick Hanson

Today I am grate*full...

1. For this commercial. Normally, at about 1:30 every afternoon, I check to see what teachers are going to have substitutes the next school day and run their rosters and stuff. But tomorrow is a conference day, so there are no kids, therefore, teachers don't need subs. I am working tomorrow, so I can run stuff for Monday's subs tomorrow while I'm here and the work is minimal. Whoo-hoo! But when my little reminder to do it popped up in my e-mail, I was like, "Not today!" and that Dikembe Mutombo voice just came out of my mouth.

2. That I got to sing the National Anthem last night for the Elmira Jackals hockey game. A little perk of that was four free tickets. So the whole family got to go, and we just had to pay $3 for Rachael to sit on one of our laps. We had such a good time! Which leads me into my next gratitude...

3. For this song. "This Is Our House" by Bon Jovi. They play it at the Jackals games whenever Elmira scores a goal. I couldn't get it out of my head last night. So after the game while I was waiting for John to pull the car around, I kept singing the refrain, and every time I would sing, "This is our house!" Marc would look at me funny and say, "No, Mommy, this not our house!"

4. For a very good friend having my back.

5. For Cameron, our head custodian, who deals with all manner of grossness and handles it so professionally. I'll spare my readers greater detail, but he did something for me today for which I was incredibly grateful.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gratitudes 1/29/14

"We only see what we want to see, and hear what we want to hear." ~Don Miguel Ruiz

Today I am grate*full...
1. For lip balm. When it's this cold outside, you've got to have a good one. I thought I forgot mine yesterday and almost stopped to buy a cheapo replacement (it's been below zero up here and if you lick dry lips they get chapped mighty fast).

2. That I found something extremely important that I had lost earlier in the week and have been tearing my hair out trying to find. Turns out it was buried in my backpack, which is NOT someplace I have a habit of putting this particular item. I often gripe about the expression "Well, it'll be in the last place you look." Well, of course it's in the last place you look! Because once you find it, YOU STOP LOOKING. But anyway, this turned out to be in the last place I would THINK OF to look. It wasn't in my purse, it wasn't in my car, it wasn't any of the normal places I would usually keep it. I'm so grateful to have found it because I would have been in big trouble without it.

3. For the website One of my coworkers turned me on to it. He wore some really funny shirts last week and he told me that he'd gotten them from there. They have some awesome ones! And for really good prices too. A lot of them are $9.99 and they only add $.99 for bigger sizes, which I appreciate. A lot of places add like $2 or more.

4. I got a letter earlier in the month from Social Services' investigations unit stating that a referral had been made regarding my case and that I had to come in for an appointment. The investigator's outgoing voice mail made him sound like he was going to be really tough and harsh. I have dealt with some caseworkers at DSS who are like that so going to that building sends my anxiety through the roof. But he sounds much nicer when you actually get him on the phone. There is a gruffness to him but after a few minutes of speaking with him you can tell it's an exterior. So he at least sounds like he'll be objective and not automatically assuming that I'm guilty of whatever I was referred for. (It's either for something valid that's a long story that I'd prefer not to air on the Internet or my sister-in-law trying to stir up shit.) So I'm grate*full that the appointment is scheduled and will soon be over and that the guy seems nicer than I thought at first.

5. My husband made bacon-wrapped pork chops for dinner Monday night. They were amazing. I was going to bring one for lunch yesterday but I forgot it. So I got to have a bacon-wrapped pork chop for lunch today. I'm grate*full for bacon wrapped pork chops. YUM!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gratitudes 1/28/14

"When you’re feeling grateful your mind is clear, and therefore you have access to your greatest wisdom and common sense. You see the big picture." ~Richard Carlson

Today I am grate*full...

1. for the sun, even though it's so terribly cold outside.
2. that we had a two-hour delay, so I got to extra-snuggle my Marc.
3. for the amazing women at Project Purse Club.
4. that I got a card yesterday from my dad's best friend, Al Topping. There was a cardinal on it.
5. for that enables me to read some of my Kindle stuff without having my Kindle with me, because I forgot it at home this morning.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Gratitudes 1/27/14

"I want to live my life a bride, married to amazement." ~Kathryn Blume

Today I am grate*full...

1. for my babies. I miss them so terribly when I'm at work.
2. for my DBT skills. I have been having a terrible problem with anxiety today and I knew some things I could do to cope and where to find resources when I didn't know what else to do.
3. for I created two new stations on it today and they were pretty helpful.
4. for my BFF Courtney.
5. for an amazing husband.

I just want to go home.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gratitudes 1/25/14 and 1/26/14

"To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have." ~Ken Keyes

So, once again I am in a position where I owe my friends on the challenge 10 things I'm grateful for.

1. As much as I complain about it, I'm grateful for cable. And more specifically...
2. I'm grateful for TCM. We love it. We watch a LOT of movies on it. There are a lot of stinkers thrown in there with the movies I consider truly great, but tonight we got to watch My Fair Lady, which is one of my favorites.
3. As much as it has pained me to hear her scream and cry today, I'm grateful that Rachael is teething and that that is the worst of the problems we have had with her. My friend Leslie's granddaughter just had her first great-grandson and the baby had to be taken at 27 weeks and was 2 lb. 3 oz. Little Carter will be in the NICU for quite some time and could use our prayers.
4. I'm grate*full for Marc delighting in little things. He got this toy in his Happy Meal today that has delighted him to no end.
5. I'm grate*full for my fellow gratitude challengers...Peni, Courtney, JoAnn, and Angela that I know are regulars. (And to anyone else that is out there, I'm grateful for you too! Speak up and let me know that you're here!)
6. I'm grate*full for my husband who drove on sketchy roads this morning (they weren't BAD but they were largely untreated and would have sent my stress level through the roof).
7. I'm grate*full that JoAnn (who in addition to being a fellow gratitude challenger is my son Marc's godmother) got to and from Quebec safely this weekend.
8. I'm grate*full to my GoFundMe donors, most recently my college friends Dave and Alicia (Dave is Rachael's godfather...I really chose some good godparents for my kids; Courtney, another gratitude challenger, is Melanie's godmother), and those who are saving bottles and cans for me for my bottle/can drive.
9. I'm grate*full for whoever was the first one to mix red and blue to create purple. I'm really grate*full for purple.
10. I'm grate*full for Facebook. I recently became "friends" with my friend Pete on there and it's amazing to see him, his wife, and his boys, two of whom I used to play with before they moved from Lexington to Louisville.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Gratitudes 1/23/14 and 1/24/14

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude." ~Maya Angelou

Well, apparently, I have one day per week that is particularly challenging to get my gratitudes posted. So, here are ten, for yesterday and today, and today is a new January 1.

The only failure is the failure to begin again.

Today I am grate*full...

1. I am so grateful for my children. I was listening to a colleague talking about her granddaughter and how her son skips his visits and how much time they have had with her this week and I cannot imagine just dumping my children with their grandparents for that long. And I certainly can't imagine if I didn't have them and not showing up for a visit! Marc Everett Thomas Shook was begging me - BEGGING me - to stay home today and it was so hard not to oblige him. Another colleague babysits a three-year-old and her's like they don't even want her and I just can't fathom that!

2. My W2s are in! And so if I can get everything filed by next week, hopefully I'll have my federal money by February 15. And since I didn't claim my tuition credit last year, I should be able to claim it this year, so I might get an even BIGGER refund than I thought!

3. Extra jackets. It's cold in the office again. The temperature has come up twelve degrees, though, from negative six to six above. But ugh, it's cold.

4. Rachael talking. That was what made it so hard to leave this morning, even more than Marc begging me not to leave. He made me promise to call at lunch time, though. She was laying on the floor and at first she was saying, "Ah-oo, ah-oo, and then she started going ba-ba-ba-ba-ba." She said, "Ma" once and I was hoping she was going to start saying "Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma" but no such luck.

5. Coffee. It's so freaking cold this morning. And supplies/materials to make coffee both at home and at school. I didn't have to stop and get coffee this morning, although if it's as cold today as it has been the past two days, I reserve the right to stop and get some again. Jeez, it's cold.

6. That the complications with my rationale and PLA grids aren't going to be as cumbersome as I first thought. I just have to revise my rationale and grids at the time I complete the workshops, which is fine.

7. For lip balm. (Again, a weather-related gratitude LOL.)

8. For my husband staying home with the kids. I'm so grateful that I don't have to put them in day care.

9. For coworkers that are true team players. They jump right in.

10. That I can actually take the steps up and down one flight. My knees hurt, but it will get better if I stop eating compulsively and get the weight off, for crying out loud.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gratitudes 1/22/14

"We think we have to do something to be grateful or something has to be done in order for us to be grateful, when gratitude is a state of being." ~Iyanla Vanzant

I am so grateful for coffee.
I am grateful for a warm coat.
I am grateful for a warm car that works.
I am grateful for Pandora and a whole list of covers that I now want to do.
I am grateful for both my jobs.
I am grateful, once again, for my indoor job.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Gratitudes 1/21/14

"Listening takes practice, and it takes patience. But I promise, if you listen, your
story will be better for it." ~Howard Gordon

Today I am grate*full...

1. for my garage. First of all, I'd have had to scrape snow off my car if we didn't have it. Secondly, the car warms up faster because it hasn't gotten as cold. I love having an attached garage!

2. for having an indoor job. I felt awful for the poor mail delivery person this morning! (It's nine degrees in Corning today and feels like -7.) Seeing Mark all bundled up made me really appreciate my inside job.

3. for WIC benefits. My son is lactose intolerant and we wouldn't be able to afford lactose-free milk for him if it wasn't for WIC. Hopefully by the time he's five and ages out of being able to receive WIC, we'll be making enough money so that we won't need it anymore.

4. for my study group with my friend Becca. A new semester starts today at Empire State College, and we are ready to go!

5. For Monica, our new babysitter.


Monday, January 20, 2014

1/20/14 gratitudes

"When you’re feeling grateful your mind is clear, and therefore you have access to your greatest wisdom and common sense. You see the big picture." ~Richard Carlson

Today I am grate*full...

1. that my car is fixed (and to my FIL for fronting us the money to pay for it, until my financial aid comes in.)
2. for the people that have offered bottles and cans to my bottle/can drive.
3. for naps.
4. for Joey Show on DVD (this is what my kids call "Friends.")
5. for warm blankets and heat. It's gonna get massively cold tonight.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gratitudes 1/19/14

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." ~Abraham Lincoln

Today I am grate*full...

2. that the fix for our car turned out to be relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive.
3. for Rachael babbles and smiles.
4. for the people who have volunteered to donate their bottles and cans to my "Help me start my business" bottle and can drive.
5. for a husband who can fix things.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Gratitudes for 1/17 and 1/18/14

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." ~John Milton

Once again Friday has come and gone, and once again I forgot to post gratitudes on Friday! I didn't remember until after I went to bed.

So today, I owe you ten, and today is another new January 1st for me.

I'm going to get on my soapbox for a moment. I don't pretend to think that my gratitude campaign is any better or worse than anybody else's. There are a lot of different gratitude campaigns out there in cyberspace and I would think that all of us could support one another and spread our gratitudes. Focusing on my blessings instead of everything that's negative in my life has really caused my life to take a turn for the better, and I watch others do it and watch their lives change too. Focusing on gratitude has enable the universe to show me other chances to practice my gratitude and I don't think trying to censor other gratitude campaigns is the way to go.

All of that said, today I am grate*full...

1. For naps.
2. That we moved out of my father-in-law's house. It is proving to be very, VERY good for our marriage.
3. That my friend Veronica is going to save bottles and cans for me for a bottle/can drive I'm doing for my GoFundMe campaign.
4. That I got paid yesterday.
5. That my car insurance and cable are paid. We'll be paying the trash bill tomorrow (well getting the money order to send to the trash company).
6. That my husband made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
7. That my older two kids got to slide down the hill on a toboggan.
8. For rosy pink playing-in-the-snow cheeks.
9. For hot chocolate with marshmallows.
10. That Rachael is going to sleep in her own room tonight!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gratitudes 1/16/14

"Invite your heart to be grateful and your thank yous will be heard even when you don’t use words." ~Pavithra Mehta

Today I am grate*full...

1. that I have completed the crux of my first article response for my organizational behavior class.

2. that my friend Allyson is coming in to sub tomorrow!

3. that I'm going to have a Pampered Chef party at the end of the month.

4. for my beautiful great-niece Emma, whose eighth birthday is today. OMG where has the time gone? I was like, "Oh, no, she's not eight, she's only six," but then I remembered my Melanie is going to be six in May and I know Emma is older than her...

5. for the cuteness of my oldest daughter, Melanie. She is playing doctor and has to give me a shot, but she promises it won't hurt, it will only tickle, and if it starts to hurt, she will put extra ticklyness in it.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gratitudes 1/15/14

"Gratitude is not something idyllic that comes when all good things line up to be
counted. Gratitude is there all the time waiting to be focused on." ~Antonia Montoya

Today I am grate*full...
1. That I got to work safely. The roads got a little dicey as I got closer to work.
2. Once again, for the flexibility of the staff in this building. They are amazing as they roll with the punches.
3. For my SARK friends. I never would have read Wishcraft if it hadn't been them.
4. For Barbara Sher's groundbreaking book Wishcraft. Actually it was earth-shaking for me.
5. That I didn't stay up to watch the Wildcats lose last night. If I had stayed up until 11:00 to watch them lose on a buzzer-beater I would have been so pissed.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gratitudes 1/14/14

In moments of discouragement, defeat,or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind - in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved. No man is so poor as not to have many of these small candles. When they are lighted, darkness goes away and a touch of wonder remains.
~ Tombstone Inscription In Britain

Today I am grate*full...

1. for calendars. Doesn't that sound weird? But when I can create a study plan, even if I can't always stick to it to the letter, I get more done and feel more accomplished. Today I did a study plan for my upcoming Consumer Behavior class. Earlier this week, I did one for the Organizational Behavior class in which I'm currently carrying an incomplete. I wrote the study plan on my calendar and little by little, it's getting done. And for that, I'm grateful.

2. for pencils. Remember how I said I can't always stick to the study plan to the letter? Well, that's why we pencil it in on the case it needs to be revised.

3. for my amazing and flexible coworkers. We had a substitute cancel this morning, and two of our wonderful teaching assistants picked up the slack. I (cringe) also forgot to include a teacher on an important purchasing process for next year. She had every right to be furious with me, and she may be so, but if she is, she hid it well and treated me professionally. I'm always, ALWAYS grateful for the people I work with.

4. that I'm finally getting to meet with the professor for my independent study Managerial Leadership class. He sounds like he's right up my alley and I think I'm really going to enjoy working with him. We have rescheduled this meeting twice and I'm really looking forward to it.

5. that my piano student is taking a break. She made the basketball team and I'm very proud of her. However, the practice schedule and her academics are causing her to have to take a break. I was supposed to go there this Thursday and I'm kind of grateful that I don't this week because my week is jam packed with stuff.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Gratitudes for 1/13/14

"Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet." ~Thich Nhat Hanh

What am I grate*full for today?
I'm grate*full for warmer temperatures. It felt like spring coming in the door this morning.
I'm grate*full for a close parking spot.
I'm grate*full for sunshine.
I'm grate*full for early morning snuggles with Rachael.
I'm grate*full for my husband taking care of dinner when I'm not on the ball in the morning.
I'm grate*full that that stomach bug I had yesterday was short-lived.
I'm grate*full that the Broncos won.


Thanks to Antonia Montoya for the quotes :) Visit her page here

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gratitudes 1/12/14

Typing with a 4 month old on my lap...

I'm grateful I got through the UU service.
I'm grateful I got a nice long nap.
I'm grateful that I got the Verizon bill paid.
I'm grateful that the food I ate at the UU stayed down because I was really hungry.
I'm grateful for Joey Show on DVD.
I'm grateful for my children's laughs.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Gratitudes for 1/10 and 1/11/14

Hi gratitude challengers,

I'm so sorry I didn't get my gratitudes posted yesterday. It was an insanely busy Friday that didn't actually end until the wee hours of this morning.

So today, I owe you ten gratitudes to be caught up :)

So today I am grate*full...

1. For a wonder*full evening spent with friends last night. We had three other couples and their children over for dinner and a few rousing games of Pass the Pigs.
2. For Pass the Pigs, which I recently discovered, and which is an incredibly fun game.
3. That my son is napping. He rarely takes naps anymore, and it took him climbing on the dining room table to get my husband’s cup of soda, then subsequently spilling it all over the playroom and his bedroom and the kitchen and getting in trouble and having to be sent to his room to get him to nap, but it worked, and he is napping, and I am grateful.
4. For amazingly flexible coworkers who are willing to work with whatever situation comes up. We were short a couple of subs yesterday, and due to some standardized testing that was going on, we were able to combine a couple of classes and re-assign some of the existing subs in the building. It worked well and I am grateful for their flexibility
5. For the internet. We made pulled pork in the slow cooker for the company that was coming over last night and the only side I could think of to go with it was coleslaw, which never gets completely eaten in this house before it goes bad, so I went looking on the internet for a couple of suggestions for alternate sides and my husband made excellent batches of corn pudding and candied sweet potatoes. Delish.
6. That my oldest daughter is getting big enough to be able to play games my husband and I like to play, like Yahtzee and Pass the Pigs.
7. For friends helping friends. One of the couples that came last night ran out of gas on the way over here, and not only were we able to help them a little, one of the other couples helped them out too.
8. For Christmas presents we got today for our children from my daughter Rachael’s godmother. They are beautiful and all fit perfectly. Thanks Lisa!
9. That my father-in-law came over today. My oldest daughter Melanie has really been missing him (we used to live with him; we moved out three months ago).
10. That my garage door is fixed.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gratitudes 1/9/14

"Whatever our individual troubles and
challenges may be, it’s important to pause
every now and then to appreciate all that
we have, on every level."
~Shakti Gawain

Today, I am grate*full...

1. for my handy fix-it husband. There is a broken spring in our garage door and our landlord can't fix it until Monday; however, I can still park in my garage thanks to my handy fix-it husband who devised a temporary solution.

2. that one of our really good friends is a mechanic. The tire pressure light keeps coming on in our van (which is over 10 years old and has over 150,000 miles on it; I'm praying it will last another year and trying to get a job closer to home after my current temporary assignment ends in June) and we have checked the pressure with a tire gauge and everything is coming up kosher, but there is a wobble on the front end, so when Chuck comes over for our monthly game night with friends tomorrow, he's going to take a look at it for us. We know he will steer us right and not into something that's going to cost us loads of unnecessary dollars. It may end up costing loads of dollars, but they won't be unnecessary ones.

3. that the reason three of the schools in our district were placed on lockdown this late morning/early afternoon turned out to be completely ridiculous and there was no real danger (some idiot who doesn't realize you can't DO stuff like that in an urban area was shooting at squirrels).

4. For the all-pink outfit I'm wearing today. It's making the stone in my engagement ring look really pretty. (It's the little things...really.)

5. That my husband and kids were OK this morning. I called and called and nobody answered the phone. I had to send my father-in-law over there to check on them. Whew.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gratitudes 1/8/14

Don’t plant your bad days.
They grow into weeks.
The weeks grow into months.
Before you know it, you’ve
got yourself a bad year.
~Tom Waits

Today I am grate*full...

1. for a two-hour delay this morning due to the cold. More time with the babies is always better.

2. for my friend Julia, for suggesting a sub when my friend and coworker Lindsey told me she was too sick to come in today. As a result...

3. I'm grate*full that I got to see my friend and coworker Allyson, who came in to sub for Lindsey :)

4. for my compatriots in the gratitude challenge. :) Were I in this alone, I would have been sorely tempted to blow it off today, because I'm getting tired, but I have to be a leader :)

5. that the dry-erase markers I ordered last month came in today. They write amazingly, and they're all my signature color, purple.


Thanks to Antonia Montoya for the book from which I'm taking the quotes :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gratitudes 1/7/14

"Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life." ~ Jack Canfield

Today I am grate*full...

1. that I had the day off.

2. that John, Melanie, and I had fun playing games. We played "Pass the Pigs" and "Nab-It." Nab-It is kind of like Scrabble and we got it for Christmas. It was fun and Melanie really held her own (which is pretty amazing...she is only five. Sometimes even I forget that.)

3. for our heat and the heating assistance we get through the New York State Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It is crazy cold outside today and I'm grateful that we have a nice warm house, although we did have to turn our heat up. Our house is better insulated than the others on our street (we could tell this last weekend when ours had more snow on the roof, indicating that the heat wasn't escaping), so we knew it was cold when it was even chilly in our house.

4. that my keyboard works again thanks to new batteries.

5. that Rachael (my 4-month-old) said mama for the first time today.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Gratitudes for 1/6/14

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." ~ Willie Nelson

Today I am grate*full...

1. for Becka at Wal-Mart. Becka is one of my favorite cashiers at Wal-Mart, and I look for her when choosing a line. Sometimes I will get into her line even when it's longer than some of the others because she's just so nice. Yesterday, my back was really bothering me so I used a mart-cart. It was cram-full, because I had gotten two cases of bottled water and set Rachael's car seat on top of it (don't worry, I was holding Rachael in my arms). I told Becka I was going to go park the mart-cart, come back with a regular cart and load up my stuff (usually I'm doing OK when I'm moving, it's standing still, like looking for items, or waiting in line that causes me pain, which is why I use the mart-cart). She said, "I can get someone to bring a cart over if that would help." I grate*fully said that it would and Jody, one of the customer service managers, got it for her. Then a man named Harry came over and said, "Do you need a carryout?" Apparently, Jody had paged him for a carryout. I was so grate*full.

2. for my friends on the job. Today was the first day the kids were back and all my teacher friends, as well as my wonder*full friend and office mate Laurie, were back from vacation. I had missed them terribly. I don't mind being alone in the office, but it was getting lonely, especially with high-anxiety-causing weather.

3. for FlyLady. I found her system of home management back in 2003 and I haven't always been able to follow it to the letter as much as I'd like, but I do try to keep a shiny sink at least. One of her tips that I love is "Put your things for tomorrow at the Launch Pad." Melanie's school says that as long as it's warm enough, they'll go out for recess so be sure the kids have appropriate clothing to keep them warm and dry. So I put her snow pants in her backpack, as well as a backup outfit in case her clothes got wet, and her shoes, because I told her that she absolutely had to wear her boots. I also made sure my to-do list and another item I printed out were in my backpack. It made the day start so much more smoothly.

4. for a snow day tomorrow! Both Melanie and I have one. It will be nice to stay home. And my husband is a little bit in the dog house with me right now, so he WILL let me watch Live! with Kelly and Michael, The Price is Right, and Days of our Lives (aka Days of Our Slime) tomorrow.

5. for my friend Ron, for following me to the gas station to make sure I didn't lose a tire yesterday. The tire pressure light came on in my car and I had no idea what I was doing to reinflate it.


Oh PS~Just found out one of the guys I used to tutor, Christian Johnson, JUST SIGNED A CONTRACT TO PLAY FOR THE ARIZONA CARDINALS!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for him!!!!!

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I am indebted to Antonia Montoya at for the quotes and the prompts I'm using on Twitter.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gratitudes for 1/5/14

Today I am grate*full...

1. to know my BFF, Courtney. (She's a member of our challenge. Her blog is at ). She stopped today to help a family whose van rolled over. As I posted a few days ago, 14 years ago, on January 20, 2000, I had a rollover myself. So I definitely feel for people whose vehicles roll over. Even if you're not seriously hurt, the memory of that never goes away. I'm grate*full that that family had a kind soul like Courtney stop to help them.

2. to my friend Marcia, for rocking my daughter Rachael while I rounded up my older daughter Melanie to leave church. Rachael does not like to be bundled up in her snowsuit and she was really fussy. She is rapidly outgrowing that snowsuit, so...

3. that we have a snowsuit for Rachael in a larger size.

4. for my slow cooker. We made an awesome chicken recipe in the slow cooker today. It's ready...we're just working on the sides. Good thing, too, because I'm starving.

5. that my girls were so well-behaved at Mass this morning. We sat right in the front, and actually got several compliments. My middle child is the wild one...I'm embarrassed to say we don't take him to Mass unless both of us go inside. It takes two of us to corral him, along with several snacks and toys.


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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gratitudes 1/4/14

Today I am grate*full...

1. That 17 years ago, my cousin Kathy gave birth to her now-sassy, spunky, completely adorable daughter Sarah. Happy happy birthday Sarah!!!!!!!

2. That we have a freezer and cupboard FULL of food. As much as we complain about how the US government wants to stick it to the poor at every opportunity, speaking as a member of the working poor, poor people in a LOT of other countries can't feed their families. Thanks to SNAP benefits, limited though they may be, I can. And I'm really grateful.

3. As always, I'm grate*full to my GoFundMe donors. Most recently, my friend Holly, whom I met freshman year at UK when we lived on the same hall. She once loaned me a pair of Aigner flats when I realized that I'd left my black flats home when I'd gone home for Christmas and needed them for a concert.

4. for my babies. My two older kids are really awesome kids with brilliant imaginations. And my baby is awesome too. The power of her imagination remains to be seen, but she is pretty darned cute and sweet and such a good baby.

5. That I made pizza for dinner, and it didn't suck. Sometimes I have a tendency to be Clark Griswold about my cooking. I get these amazing, Pinterest-worthy pictures in my mind, and it turns out that we end up at the threshold of hell. But this was somewhere middle-of-the-road. There were certainly things I could do to improve it, but it still tasted good.


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Friday, January 3, 2014

Gratitudes 1/3/14

"May you find what you are looking for." ~Chinese proverb

Today I am grate*full...

1. For my home.

2. For my job.

3. For the people who worked tirelessly to clear the roads.

4. For the custodians in the school where I work, who have also tirelessly been clearing snow from the grounds, in bitter, piercing cold. It's 5 degrees (Fahrenheit) in Corning, with windchill factor making it feel like -8. Ugly.

5. For my donors to my GoFundMe campaign, notably today, my friend Lisa, who is the most recent donor.

I am indebted to Antonia Montoya who runs the Collecting Gratitude Collective on Facebook, and has a blog at

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Have a great day, and if it's as cold or colder where you are as it is where I am, STAY WARM!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gratitudes 1/2/14

I've been doing this gratitude thing for several years now, sporadically. I'll go on a really good kick where I'll do them every day for a month or two, but I allow life to interfere, and I'll back off for a time. When I'm in a really good groove with it, I realize that there are days where the gratitude just fills me and spills over. Then there are days like today, where I'm like John Cusack's character, Eddie, in the movie America's Sweethearts, wandering around, muttering under my breath, "I'm grateful for the sun. I'm grateful for the moon. I'm grateful for the stars in the sky..."

Today is definitely one of those John Cusack days.

I live in upstate New York, south of Syracuse, south of Rochester, along the Pennsylvania border. If you looked at a map of New York State, and drew an inverted triangle with a line between Rochester and Syracuse at the top, and the diagonal sides coming down to a point at the Pennsylvania border, that's about where I'd be, just outside of Elmira.
It is snowing to beat the band, as my mom used to say, today. I work for a local school district as a secretary. If the kids had had school today, they would probably have had a snowday. Instead, they're still on Christmas vacation, and the support staff and administration have to be here.

Fourteen years ago this January 20, I was on my way to work, going about 35 mph down a hill and around a curve in much less snowy weather than this, and my little lightweight of a car, Leon the Neon, started to skid. I turned my wheel in the direction I was skidding....

....and skidded the opposite way.

Next thing I knew, I was upside down in a snowbank.

Needless to say, I now am a white-knuckle driver in the snow. A total chickenshit wuss who doesn't drive over 15 miles an hour if she can avoid it.

The school where I work is nestled in the middle of a lovely steep hill. The last time the roads were even a little bit bad I skidded through three intersections and almost got into about five accidents.

So, short story long (as most of my stories tend to go), anxiety is through the roof today.

Therefore, today, I am grate*full...

1. for BuSpar, which is my anti-anxiety medication. I can tell it's helping a lot today, actually. When I actually get behind the wheel to go home might be another story, but we'll see.

2. that I got to work safely.

3. for a warm coat, hat, and mittens, a crank flashlight, and extra water in the car.

4. for Pandora to take my mind off driving until I actually have to.

5. that, as I was typing this post, my boss came to me and told me that since the roads were so bad to go ahead and head home. It took me a little over an hour to get here, but I did...safely.


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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gratitudes 1/1/14

Today I am grate*full...

1. I'm seeing a lot of gratitude expressed in my little world today, and it does my heart good.

2. I made a recipe today that could have turned completely disastrous. Something I'd never made before, when we were having company over...and my husband and I at least both liked it. It was a little too spicy for my father-in-law, and I'd probably scale back on the red-pepper flakes next time, but I made Hoppin' John to bring us good luck in the new year. I got the recipe here:

3. My father-in-law brought us a bottle of sparkling wine for the New Year :)

4. My back is feeling much better today.

5. We have plenty of food in the house to weather the impending winter storm. And yes, I did buy four loaves of bread. We do have plenty of milk and eggs, though. However, our local Tops was doing a 200-gas-points special and all the eggs that qualified for that special were sold out LOL.

Happy New Year, friends!


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