* Not the sharpest blade….

My dearest teaching widower has heart disease and so we’ve spent our fair share of time in the ER. Our current visit has been long and we’re dealing with a new medical issue now.

And then there was the issue of me being a threat to public safety. With my Swiss Army knife. I didn’t realize it was in my backpack when we got here but the X-ray machine caught it. I rambled on to reassure them I wasn’t a danger to anyone except myself (I had sliced my thumb trying to open all the gadgets). They stared at me while I explained I’d been a Girl Scout/Girl Guide and always wanted another special knife. Eventually a police officer showed me doodads on my weapon that I didn’t know I had! Who knew there was a toothpick? Or tweezers? Of course, they confiscated it but concluded I was harmless and certainly not as sharp as my blade….

* 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!

* I can’t hear you!

Yes, I wear hearing aids. A teaching assistant and I both lost our hearing after more than a year of daily testing a kiddo’s hearing aids without proper equipment. The student would end up with a cochlear transplant and we ended up saying, “Huh?” By the time the district finally hired a hearing specialist, it was too late.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I was tutoring a young fellow on a Monday and was distracted by my itchy ear. I ran my finger along the hearing aid to make sure it wasn’t falling off. No problem there. The itchiness continued and I developed cold symptoms. I felt miserable: low grade fever, ear ache, runny nose, sore throat, worsening congestion. While taking a shower on Wednesday, I rubbed my sore ear and felt something move! Yikes! I quickly aimed a spray of water into my ear and although it hurt, no critter crawled out. Whew!

Because my dearest teaching widower was tired of me yelling, “What??” I decided to try my hearing aids again on Friday. I noticed that the dome was missing from one hearing aid but figured it had fallen off somewhere. Duh. You know where it was, right?

As I forced that hearing aid into my ear (DUH!), I yelped in pain as the previously ‘lost’ dome pressed against my eardrum. After a few hours of panic at the ENT, the errant click dome was retrieved and I was taught how to attach it properly.

I had to laugh as I overheard a nurse asking, “How did she get a COMB in her ear?” Huh? What’s that?

* 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?

* Noom

Noom is a weight loss program using behavior changes, realistic goals, and an individualized support system. Research suggests it is an effective approach (and its stats are booming). Noom has a well-designed app, making it simpler to log weight, exercise, and food, ask questions, etc. I easily synced the Noom app with my Fitbit instead of tracking steps through my phone.

I participated in a brief trial to see how it works (my hedge-cutting adventure brought that to an abrupt end!). You can start for free or select a price you’re willing to pay. I was able to cancel instantly with no hassle. They offer a wide range of ongoing programs, including one for Noomoms. Great Noos! You can nominate a mom who’s given birth in the last two years to receive a free year-long program with Noom!

Noom starts you off with a lot of info gathering so that their support matches your needs. As a teacher, I appreciate their pre-assessment and efforts to understand how I respond to feedback. Support is a big key to this program. Two coaches immediately contacted me and I was going to be assigned to a group with similar weight goals and preferences.

Noom emphasizes the slow and steady approach to weight loss. The types of behavior they encourage include greater awareness of eating habits, a no-shame approach to missteps, accountability at a comfortable level (based on your feedback), and color-coding caloric density of foods.

Given my current weight and use of FitBit, I really don’t need Noom but I kinda wish my dearest teaching widower would show some interest in logging food and tracking his exercise. Noom makes it VERY easy to log food, dear man. If you are looking to start serious weight loss, I would definitely recommend Noom. Did you hear that?

* Sci-fi thoughts (1)

These are really my dearest teaching widower’s ruminations on flashlights, but he hasn’t copyrighted them, so here goes. As movie aficionados, we both see plenty of sci-fi movies where the actors venture into a scary scenario, somewhere dark and cave-like. It could be another planet or another century. What do theses scenes all have in common? Pitiful flashlights that only allow a sliver of illumination, despite having access to time machines or body shifting or whatever.

When we were at the beach, my widower pointed out the above “sci-fi” scene.

I had never even thought about it until our trip this week, but he’s right! For some reason, flashlight technology remains the same across universes and time travel and warp speeds. Crazy, right? But this tech glitch keeps us on the edge of our seats, knowing there is an alien just ready to jump out of the darkness. Perhaps it’s for the best if filmmakers don’t worry about these antique light sources….

* Retirement: 3rd time the charm?

For 8 years now, after my first supposed retirement, folks have been asking me why I’m still teaching full time. It didn’t start out that way. I took 3 months to socialize and sleep in late. Then I responded to tutoring requests, started providing homebound instruction for a local district, and eventually filled my days and evenings with delightful teaching and planning. End of retirement #1.

Midway through that retirement, my long-suffering teaching widower wondered if I would ever have time for him. So I shed most of my tutoring caseload and started on retirement #2. That lasted about 3 months and I was back at my full-time pace.

In March of this year, I announced my 3rd retirement to coincide with my teaching widower’s imminent retirement. Will this one last? I have the hat and flowers, the perfect equivalent of a gold watch. We’ll see. I already have students in the wings….

* Father’s Day

Like Mother’s Day, this holiday was long a source of anguish for me. Growing up in an abusive home, my Hallmark greeting would have read, “How much do I hate thee? Let me count the ways!”

Over time and much healing, a lot of it from the hands of my dearest teaching widower, I have come to endure these celebrations and rejoice with others who have had a different path. After today, I have a joyous and unique new memory: my dearest widower winning a smoker at church!

I laughed because we typically never win anything. And we have been trying to decide whether to continue our movie group in the fall. I think this is a sign: Movies and a Smoker. Who would have guessed? The One who loves us and constantly surprises us with many good things. A Father who is worth celebrating every day!

* digging for gold (ten things of thankful)

I have been a terribly sporadic visitor to the Ten Things of Thankful blog, but every time I go, I’m rewarded by the words, photos, and humor from such encouraging folks. It’s a great place to share gems of thankfulness.

Gem #1: My dearest teaching widower remains at the top of my list. His tech skills are sometimes clumsy but always endearing. I got him a Fitbit for his birthday and it’s already destroyed! I think his inner distrust of all things tech has created some kind of deadly force field. He’s a powerhouse when searching the web, though! (See #4.)

Gem #2: The patient families of the kiddos I teach, who must wonder if my body is falling apart. Yes, it is.

Gem #3: The Bible in One Year 2019 devotional by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. They are an amazing couple, perhaps best known for developing Alpha courses. OK, I am now 42 days behind in reading, but onward, ever onward!

Gem #4: Thanks to Cee’s inspiration and support, I have a REAL camera! It was a delightful Christmas present, heavily-researched by my dearest widower (see #1). I haven’t used it much but I look forward to the day….

Gem #5: Cadbury’s milk chocolate, which remains sweet and silky and mood-changing.

Gem #6: Faithful followers of my blog, despite my erratic posting. Thank you!!!!!!!!

Gem #7: Suzie’s kind support and encouragement. Check out her amazing blog (Suzie Speaks), her cat’s bottom, and her new job!

Gem #8: My own Fitbit, a birthday present from my fam. Fitbit and I love each other. It purrs on my wrist. It cheers me on, even as I feel like body parts will soon start dropping off.

Gem #9: Amazon Prime wardrobe, which means I never have to expose my feet to strangers again. No one fainting in horror at a shoe store.

Gem #10: A physical therapist who reminded me to be thankful I have feet (even if you can find them by googling “ugliest feet in the world”). That PT works with folks who have prosthetic feet and they would give anything for my ugly feet.

Freebie: Don’t search for ugliest feet in the world.