* TToT: welcome to my neighborhood

Thanks to Kristi and friends for hosting the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blogging challenge. I’m a tad late but happy to share news from my world.

(#1) I’m so grateful that my dearest teaching widower (DTW) is back from New Orleans! I’m always discombobulated while he’s gone. I’m also wildly proud of him: He does so much to advance his field of child forensic interviews. Giving hurt kids a voice is HUGE.

(#2) During my DTW’s absence, I was both fascinated and annoyed with the bucks who roamed our neighborhood. Despite all the deer repellent I’ve sprayed lately, two big boys chased one another around our house. I managed to get a photo of one and then spotted a younger buck down the street (#4).

(#5) I have enjoyed walks around the neighborhood, carrying my phone for quick photos. This week I had an eye exam and was told I have “short eyes.” So grateful I also have long legs (#4). I don’t enjoy the pupil dilating drops but look how cool that is! Zombieland? (#6)

(#7) My Fantasy League experience has been much better than last year! Sadly, I am on the losing side right now, but we’ll see…. (Does that mean I’m back at #6?)

#8, #9, and #10: Thanks to clarkscottroger‘s Secret Rules (1.3?) which allow me to sink into gratitude for completing this challenge! Whew! See you next weekend, TToT’-ers.

* TToT- bloggers plus

I am thrilled to join the Ten Things of Thankful folks once again. I really need to be grateful for all that I have in this life and the one to come. Here we go!

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) has been so incredibly patient as I’ve gone through one-handed weeks after my shoulder surgery. I could not have survived this without his love, wisdom, and encouragement to take pain pills!

I am grateful for our pastor at Grace Church, Kendrick Vinar, who shares his journey and inspirations on his Enjoy More blog. Not only is he an amazing leader, he lives what he teaches. Kendrick was recently diagnosed with cancer and is celebrating the victory before the victory!

Last night in our movie group, we showed a powerful documentary (“Last Train Home”) on migrant workers in China. It was filmed across 3 years, with a focus on a couple who left their kids with grandparents and migrated to a city for factory work. Let’s just say that all of us were deeply moved to be grateful for the abundance of our lives.

I appreciate so many bloggers, including Barbara at Teleporting Weena, where you will find all kinds of lovely and mysterious writing plus photos. Her post on Fibbing Fridays is absolutely hilarious!

We’re having a cold spell, which makes me grateful for Shari’s post on the Weekend Coffee Share. She writes about all things Christmas: hot chocolate, snow, sledding, Christmas cards, and the old Sears Christmas Wish Book. Jingle, jingle!

My dearest teaching widower and I went on a short train ride with some friends! It was my DTW’s idea that we take up train riding as a retirement hobby. So neither of us has actually retired but we’ve made our first trip! Yay!

I’m grateful that it’s pomegranate season! Stained teeth and fingernails don’t bother me at all.

I’m grateful for the ‘purple pill,’ as my DTW calls it. Yes, Cadbury milk chocolate comes in a sparkling purple wrapper. And it makes my brain so happy.

What wonderful kiddos I serve! How they light up my life!

Finally, I am grateful to Clark (well, perhaps Roger or Scott) for the rule that allows me to stop at #9! Hope you feel encouraged to be grateful today!

* Weekend Coffee Share – Eeyore’s buddy

I’ve been drinking a lot of Tetley’s tea this week. It’s soothing and balances out the ice I’m keeping on my shoulder. I’m fairly not really patient about this painful process of healing, trying to keep my eyes on the prize: being able to swim again.

BUT there is a potential glitch with swimming again. It’s been 3 years since I had Eustachian tube surgery that left a tube in my ear. How many times I’ve prayed for that tube to fall out so I could swim! That prayer was recently answered, rather unexpectedly, when an audiology intern accidentally ripped it out. Ouch. I still have a pesky hole so I may need a graft….

Apart from my body falling to pieces around me, I’m enjoying my part-time work schedule. Yes, I am officially abandoning my third retirement. But I now have time to clean the house! And cook! I’d be decluttering if I could properly lift anything. I like to think I’d be extremely productive if I weren’t hurting so much. Probably not.

Yesterday my physical therapist asked me about my weekend plans. I said I was getting my hair cut. Seriously? My life sounds pretty edgy, right? I tell you, though, her EQ is really strong. She looked blank for just a fraction of a second and said, “Well, getting a haircut can often make you feel better.” I could have told her I was getting my legs amputated and she’d say, “There are some cool prosthetics these days.” She’s used to working with Eeyore’s buddies.

This little babe is a great cure for the blues. I’m teaching her to say, “Aunt Katharine.” Thankfully, I’m sooooo loved by Jesus! I’m his favorite, actually.

* TToT: my week

I’m joining a blogging challenge to share Ten Things for which I’m thankful this week. Here we go!

1. My stitches were removed from the finger I nearly lopped off almost 2 weeks ago. Whew! Glad to be on the mend.

2. This bunny friend comes daily to feast in our overgrown yard. He’s adorable!

3. Speaking of animals, oh say can see our patriotic deer? Thankfully, this one is in a neighbor’s yard.

4. The smoker my dearest widower won for Father’s Day was full of water and rust when we opened it yesterday. And it still worked! Here’s why the water got in. Not thankful for Dorian.

This photo was taken from the inside of the cover.

5. I prepared a rockin’ potato salad today! Thankful to Gimme Some Oven for the recipe.

And following ClarkScottRoger’s awesome book of rules, numbers 6- 9 are open for someone else to contribute! PLEASE!

As for number 10, I am grateful for my new, mostly-retired status: just hangin’ around!

* TToT: miracles

Ten Things of Thankful is a great weekend post, a celebration of the good stuff. I have a lot of that good stuff, so let’s go!

  1. I’m able to walk! I was in a wheelchair for 2.5 years and could not stand for long and could walk only about 30 feet. God answered prayers while we were at the beach in 2011. I enjoyed a walk just now. On my own two feet! I don’t take that for granted anymore.
  2. I have two ugly feet but as a PT told me, the folks with prosthetics for feet would give anything to have my ‘ugly’ tootsies.
  3. I could have chopped off my finger or hand last week while cutting hedges. Or worse. I’m grateful for all 10 fingers.
  4. I could be paralyzed (or in heaven) after a serious horseback riding accident. I only suffered some mild brain damage, which is less evident with spell check and word suggestions.
  5. Our son helped us with taxes today, exhibiting patience that he did not inherit from me! My dearest teaching widower is sooo patient!
  6. through 9. We have air conditioning, hot running water, a wonderful house, and a peaceful neighborhood.
[While we were at the beach, my dearest teaching widower and I had these “opposites” for glasses. That’s a reflection of how we are, with me always tilting off in some direction and him always steady. (But that’s his margarita!) I love him dearly.]

10. We are saved and loved by Jesus, so our lives are in perfect hands. No matter what happens, this is the worst it gets for Christ-followers. One moment with Him is worth a trillion of anything else. Christopher likes to play the “What would you do for all the money in the world?” game. I used to think all the money in the world was a great idea. Now I realize there are so many other, better things! What about you?

* Tuesday writing prompt

It’s my turn to get a writing prompt after years of providing them to struggling writers. I am trying out Devereaux Frazier’s weekly challenge. His prompt is the word ‘crucified.’ I certainly never came up with this one for my students!

I imagine most people think of Jesus when ‘crucified‘ is mentioned. His was the most publicized torturous death ever. As a Jesus follower, I am forever grateful for his death and resurrection, but I hate to linger on the details of crucifixion. I won’t watch The Passion or read about being crucified. What creatures we are to devise such things!. Yuck.

I wonder what the Romans would think of millions of us wearing crosses out of gratitude. It’s not what anyone expected. I used to think it was a myth, until I met Jesus myself. Wow.

Thanks to Bob at Of Cabbages and Kings for leading me to this prompt!

* Lines in the sand

My Ten Things of Thankful does not include the typical “back to school” nightmares I’ve had for 49 years now, but a certain level of anxiety improves performance, right? To continue:

  • We were not t-boned as I ran a stop sign on our way back from the beach. I am SO grateful that we raced through unharmed and that my dearest teaching widower had sort of dozed off, so he didn’t shriek.
  • We had a great time on vacation, with lots of prayer walks and opportunities to admire sand sculptures.
I may use this as my profile pic somewhere!
  • We faced an ant invasion of incredible proportions upon our return. When my dearest teaching widower offered to get me some guacamole and chips, he said an ant had launched itself onto the guac, leaving me a special message!
  • Another surprise was waiting for us yesterday: a broken hot water heater. Amazingly, it was replaced today! Yay! Water is back on! Laundry is done!
  • We were greatly missed by the deer who constantly stream through our neighborhood and yard. (This squad was across the street, having finished off anything of value in our yard.)
  • Thanks to the deer, I’ve coined a new term for where we live: neighborhooF!
  • Many thanks to Eva for her tip on rolling up clothes to conserve space. Everything was fine when unrolled! Wow! (Check out her website for the fabulous books she’s written!)
  • Oh yeah, back to the sand. I noticed that many of the creative efforts were an ill-fated attempt to stop or channel waves. Kids and adults alike spent hours digging trenches and moats. I could have told them resistance was futile….
  • I’m enjoying my new iPhone 10XR a great deal, probably to the point of obsession.
  • I got to play with a student today, thoroughly enjoying our laughter and games! What a sweet family!

Thanks for dropping by! I hope to blog more regularly but we’ll see….

* I can’t remember

#Weekendcoffeeshare is a group I joined a month ago but I still haven’t posted with them once! Why not?

  1. I don’t drink coffee
  2. My writing stinks
  3. My junk room decluttering is taking a LONG time
  4. We took a trip to Florida
  5. I started and deleted Housescapes after wasting many hours
  6. Ditto Solitaire
  7. I’m reading books to make sure I want to share them with kiddos
  8. I didn’t remember?

Wait a minute. Is there a rumor circulating that I need ‘memory care?’ I got this image from the linky-link page. How rude!

Of course I remembered this group. And that thingy you use to get the stuff out of the whatchamacallit. Wait, I left it somewhere. It’s probably with my phone. Have you seen my phone anywhere?

* Rough bird on a stick

You probably noticed, I mean I hope you noticed, that I was MIA from blogging in May (and at other times, sadly). Times were decidedly rough. Right now, I’m recovering from food poisoning so I’m feeling very a wee bit sorry for myself.

Back in May, during that distinctly rough time, I saw that Cee had a marvelous Fun Foto challenge on feathers. (Be sure to check out her fabulous entries!)

At the start of our dolphin adventure a month earlier, before times got severely rough, a grackle serendipitously posed for us as we waited for the boat to set sail. As usual, all the passengers were effortlessly snapping photos while I scrambled to get the lens on my camera. That pleasant grackle waited while I took this photo, no doubt grinning at my efforts. I also managed to smudge the lens with sunblock, so all my photos from this outing have a nasty worm-like blob which I have cropped out which didn’t matter since I was following Cee’s “rule of three,” despite my haste.

When times are not extremely rough, I will catch up on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges. I have plenty of singularly rough photos to use.