Friday Five: The Thankful Edition

I suppose it's a cliché to write a "What I'm Thankful For" post this time of year, but whatever. There are lots of things and people I'm thankful for, and I never really say it out loud. I mean, I figure everyone knows I love and appreciate them, but ... maybe not. So, here's my list of five things/people I'm thankful for. Cheers!

1.  My awesome family. Of course they would be number one! My dad was the best dad ever and I miss him every day, my mom is fantastic and I'm thankful I still have her in my life.  My grandparents were wonderful and I miss them terribly. My aunts, uncles, and cousins are all so fun and fabulous, and I enjoy hearing of their adventures through FB! I'm definitely very lucky to have been surrounded by such amazing, loving people my whole life.

2. My amazing friends. Throughout my life I've been blessed to connect with some of the most brilliant, intelligent, creative people on the planet, and really so many of them are more than just friends, but are really like family to me. They inspire me, encourage me, and make me laugh. It doesn't get better than that!

3.  My job. I'm not just thankful to have a job, I'm very thankful for the job I have. It's a very tough job in so many ways, but it's also a very rewarding job in so many ways. I'm also very lucky that I have wonderful co-workers I like and enjoy working with eight hours a day, five days a week!

4. My health. That may sound odd considering I'm dealing with polymyalgia rheumatica and possibly some arthritis in my knees, so I'm not 100%, but for the most part I've been totally healthy my whole life - I was born without any defects or challenges, and until the last couple of years, I've been healthy and active. (And, I'm quite confident I will be again very soon!) Considering I haven't had the healthiest of habits throughout my life, I'm quite lucky to still be so healthy, and I'm very thankful for that!

5.  My freedom. The USA might not be the world's most perfect country, but we have a lot more freedoms here than in other countries. Here I am free to openly carry my Bible and read it wherever, whenever I like. I am free to be a single woman, and should I ever decide to marry, I am free to choose my own husband. I am free to share my opinions out loud, even if they're not popular. I am free to own property and have a job. I also know that most of the time I take these freedoms for granted, and sometimes it's good to remind myself just how lucky I am to have been born in this country.

Friday Five

  1. OMG, I totally forgot about The August Break, a photo project I usually participate in. It's a bit late, but I'm going to try to catch up with it this weekend. I know, I know, trying to do TWO separate photo projects (I also try to doChantelle's monthly Photo a Day project)  in one month is pretty much setting myself up for absolute failure, but I feel like giving it a shot.
  2. If you're a frequent reader of this blog, or follow me on any variety of social networking sites, then you're already aware that my grandpa died on Tuesday. It was not unexpected, and he was quite old (97!), and had had a great, long life, but it was still very sad, and I still cried my eyes out and am still doing so. For all that, I am glad my grandparents are together again. They were married 73 years on this earth before my grandma passed in 2011, and I'm sure they've missed each other.
  3. I am contemplating going mostly off-line for the month of September. I was inspired to do this by Satya's recent entry about trying it herself, and also because of the cold shakes I got when I first thought about doing it. How much bigger a sign of addiction do I need??? I'm working on some general guidelines for my "Radical Sabbatical" (or RadSab, as I'm calling it), and will post them next week.
  4. One week from today I will be on a brief vacation to Avila Beach, and I'm so excited I can't tell you! Despite being only 20 or so miles away, I rarely get to the beach, as much as I love it. I'm hoping my RadSab will get me out of my rut in that manner as well.
  5. And, finally, here's a lovely picture of my grandparents on their 60th wedding anniversary. Cheers!

Teaser Tuesday: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Good morning! This week I'm rereading Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I bought this book at the gift shop of the hospital where my father was dying from cancer in 1981. I found it beautiful, lyrical and comforting. (It also made me wish I could fly!) Periodically over the years I have picked it up and reread it. This year I'm participating in the Rereadathon 2013 during the month of July, and figured this would be a perfect addition to my list. 

Here's my teaser from page 81:

Then one day Jonathan, standing on the shore, closing his eyes, concentrating, all in a flash knew what Chiang had been telling him. "Why, that's true! I am a perfect, unlimited gull!" He felt a great shock of joy.

Sepia Scenes: Vintage Rubber Stamp

I don't think the lady who used to host Sepia Scenes is blogging anymore, but I always enjoyed this meme, so I've decided to just keep doing it on my own. This past weekend my mom and I started cleaning out my grandparent's house. We discovered several treasures including this old rubber stamp that my grandfather apparently used for his work. It doesn't have a date on it or anything, but I know it's pretty old because my grandparents moved out of Dayton in the early- to mid-70s, I think around the time my grandpa retired. Also, this box only cost 8 cents for third class mail! Ha!

You Capture: Black and White

Yesterday my mom and I went up to my grandparent's house to collect my dishes and generally go through some stuff. 

PicMonkey Collage
There were lots of really old, interesting things to go through. Here's a cute little pitcher/vase:


And here's a collection of miscellaneous keys:


This, um, I'm not sure what it's called. Shot? It's not a bullet, but it's used in a rifle. My dad used to make these when he'd go hunting. It has to be pretty old because my dad died in 1981, and I don't know if grandpa went hunting after that. I know he didn't do any hunting after he moved to California, and that was in '95.


We found several pocket watches, too. Here's a cool one that lost it's glass. But it still works!




Beautifying the Front Yard

Our front yard has been looking a bit ragged around the edges lately, so mom and I decided to replace the edging and freshen it up a bit. The old edging was just some plastic stuff we bought probably a hundred years ago, and not only were many of the pieces sunk down in the ground to the point of being totally buried and overgrown with grass, many of them were broken and faded and just plain nasty! So, I enlisted the help of my professional basketball player cousin (and his truck) to pick up seventeen concrete edgers, some black plastic edging, a couple bags of bark and a couple bags of gravel. 


This morning, mom and I headed out to what we thought was going to be a long, tough day of digging and sod cutting. We prepared by slathering on the sunscreen, chilling bottles of Vitamin Water, and donning garden hats and gloves. 


As it turned out, however, the whole process went smoother than we expected. The old, plastic edging pulled out of the ground super easy, and the new concrete edgers fit perfectly in the dug-out space. After just an hour and a half, we added the fresh bark and called it a day.



Oh, there's still more to do, but we're in no hurry, and also it's pretty hot out, so we'll take care of the other little project another time. Like, maybe next weekend. 

In the meantime, here's some pretty pictures:




Oh, and Happy Earth Day! It was two years ago today that we had half of our backyard landscaped and had our little Madrone tree planted. Here's what it looked like April 22, 2010:


And here's what he looks like today:


Everything looks really good; we only lost a couple plants, and we're not really heartbroken over them, so it's no big. We tested the drip system, and it's working perfectly! We just need to do a little trimming and we'll be set for the summer! Then we can spend our free time day tripping to SLO, the beach, or just chillin' in our own backyard:



K is for Kangaroo #bloggingfromatoz


I've always loved this darling little ceramic kangaroo. It originally belonged to my dad, and now it's mine. I guess it was intended to store loose change or jewelery, and a man's wallet could fit in the little pouch the kangaroo is carrying. I don't know why he's wearing boxing gloves. 



I particularly love his smile. He's always so happy and he makes me happy, too!

And, no, he's not for sale. 


NaBloPoMo April 2012