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Ten Things of Thankful: Last Two Weeks

I apologize for not commenting on your blog posts this past week; John and I took a vacation to Yellowstone National Park, leaving behind our computers and, to a large extent, cell phone service. We escaped the outside world and just spent time in nature. Though we have friends near Yellowstone (who we love to visit) we made this trip just about us, so please forgive us if we were nearby and didn't stop by. The crowds were minimal (though we did mask up whenever we passed someone on the trails) and we spent our days hiking, taking photos, and watching geysers erupt.Today, we are back home and back to work, and, in the case of my computer, back to old shenanigans like not letting me import my photos. (I was able to add the above photo by using blogger on my phone, but that isn't my preferred method.) I want to write about Yellowstone and have photos I want to share, but will leave that for another day, after I'm caught up with the laundry and have patience to figure out why…
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Ten Things of Thankful: General Conference Edition

Last weekend was General Conference, which was a welcome break from everything stressful going on in the world. The messages were timely and both calmed my spirit and inspired me to do better. Before I share some of the things I heard, though, I have to first share Drexel's good news. When General Conference started, I snapped the above photo of Drexel intently watching the proceedings, and sent it out in a quick tweet. A few days after conference ended, I was scrolling through Facebook, and saw a link to this ldsliving.com article. Imagine my surprise when I saw my tweet featured! Good boy, Drexel! When my friend, who some of you may know as Ivy or Zoe, saw that photo she made some improvements to it. I'm thankful for her friendship.
If you would like to read or watch any of the conference talks, you can find them at churchofjesuschrist.org. Here are 10 snippets that stood out to me, and that I am thankful for this week:1. Christianity is comforting, but it is often not comfor…

Ten Things of Thankful: #GeneralConference Anticipation

In last week's post, I expressed gratitude for some things that hadn't actually happened yet, but that I hoped would soon. This week, I'm thankful that some of those things have happened--and I'm still holding out hope that the others will. In addition, I'm thankful in advance for other events. To revisit last's week's anticipatory items:My air purifier was repaired, the company sent it back to me, and I'm thankful for clean air.The car wash company accepted responsibility for the accident, have authorized a check to be written to the repair company, and I'm thankful I have an appointment scheduled for the new bumper to be installed.The shop did get the van repaired, though not in time for me to renew the tags before the end of September. However, I'm thankful that the state of Utah offers a temporary registration for only $6 which grants me another month to get the emissions test passed. I'm still waiting for the health insurance reimbursem…

Ten Things of Thankful: Planting Seeds of Gratitude

If Google is to be believed, there is a Chinese proverb that says, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." We planted some trees this week, and while it will be nice in future years when they are full grown, I am thankful for the beauty and shade they already add to the yard. Like trees, a thankful heart grows over time, but is something to celebrate even in its early development. The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, started by Lizzi in 2013, has provided an opportunity for me to reflect weekly on what I am thankful for in my life. Big things, little things, things that weren't necessarily great, but were better than they could have been--all those things count. Over time, this regular exercise shows me that situations and circumstances change, but there really is always something to be thankful for. When storms arise, those silver linings in the clouds are visible, if one looks closely. I am thankful for Lizzi for starting this blo…

Ten Things of Thankful: At Least it Wasn't a Boring Week

The front cover of the children's book, "NOTHING ever happens on MY BLOCK" shows a sulking child sitting on the curb, with a fireman and a robber behind him
I've mentioned the children's book Nothing ever happens on My Block in a previous Ten Things of Thankful post. In the book, a child complains that nothing ever happens on his block. Meanwhile, in the background, a whole lot of things are happening. In 2020, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, it felt like everyone was isolated in their own homes doing quiet things while the world raged on. It was as if all the excitement was happening outside, but inside remained calm. It still feels like the world is raging on, but (wearing a face mask and observing all recommendations) I'm not quite as isolated as I was in spring. I still don't get out much, though, and even when I do, it's often to use curbside pick-up at the store, so all-in-all, I lead a pretty basic (yet satisfying) life. This week, …

Six Sentence Story: Kettle

an antique typewriter
It's time again for another Six Sentence Story. Each week, Denise posts a prompt word and invites all to compose a story in only six sentences based on the prompt. This week, my inspiration came as I was dealing with the abundance of pears from my tree. The prompt word this week: kettle. Be sure to go to Denise's blog to check out the other entries. I'm always impressed by the talent of the other writers, and by the diversity of stories each word inspires. 
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Standing at the kitchen sink, her sharpest paring knife in hand, and with a bushel box of pears at her side, her thoughts turned to the past: how many years had she been an active participant (let alone captive witness) to the event that was about to unfold yet again? The air was muggy due to the heat of late summer and the big kettle of boiling water on the stove. Though it always seemed like so much work, the act of preparing the fruit, ladling it carefully in…

What's in a Name? Being Thankful When I'm Not