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Ten Things of Thankful: Coughing my Way to a Beach-Body

As you may have gathered from my last TToT, I've been fighting the crud for several weeks now.  John mentioned recently that I have now been sick longer than we were in Italy. There really ought to be a rule against that, I think. However, I am getting better, andI have discovered that coughing really works the abdominal muscles.

You have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. It also helps trigger coughing fits, which in turn, results in the equivalent of 100 crunches per episode. No need to feel sorry for me, though; I'm developing my own P90X-like workout routine. 

So, if you, too, are ready to tone up, read on! Listen to your body; you may want to start with gentle laughter before trying the full-blown coughing fit method. (*Disclaimer--always consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Proceed at your own risk!)

1. As indicated in the title of this post, I'm thankful for my new-found dedication to an abs workout. It's like something just come…

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Ten Things of Thankful: Sometimes Exciting, Sometimes Boring, Always Thankful

I teach the 10-year-olds at church. Our class meets while the younger kids are meeting together for singing time. When our class time is over, we go to singing time and the younger children have class time. Today, as my class was leaving the room and the little kids were coming in, one of the boys announced, "It smells like vacation in here!" Apparently I still smell like Italy. 😄

Sometimes, I have exciting posts to share, like the posts about vacation. Other times, like this week, my life seems rather dull. However, there is always something to be thankful for, so let's jump right into this week's Ten Things of Thankful:
1. I am SO thankful I wasn't sick while I was on vacation. I know some in our group were not feeling well, and each day that I continue to cough and just generally feel run-down, I feel badly that some people felt this way while on vacation. 
2. I am also thankful that I'm not chronically sick. So many people battle chronic problems. This is n…

Six Sentence Story: Milestone

Each week, Denise hosts the Six Sentence Story blog hop. Each week, she comes up with a new prompt, and each week, bloggers post their short stories. I don't always join in, but I've never regretted participating. This week's prompt: milestone. 

One day made all the difference. Yesterday, she had been young and carefree, but now, a new phase of life beckoned. She couldn't wrap her mind around the passage of time; though the previous years comprised her entire life, they had gone by so quickly. Did everyone else feel the same way?Though other milestone birthdays would come and go, it would be 90 years until a similar birthday came. Acquiring that second digit in her age gave her a sense of maturity; she could only imagine how old she would feel when she turned 100!

Tuesday Travels: Pisa is More than Forced Perspective

"Did you see the Leaning Tower of Pisa?" more than one person has inquired upon hearing that I recently visited Italy. The tower is an iconic symbol, but before my vacation, I couldn't tell you too much about it, other than the fact that it leans. 

It is the bell tower for the cathedral in Pisa. 



A baptistery stands across from the cathedral, or duomo. Our guide told us that in the early years, a person needed to be baptized before being allowed into the cathedral. 


Built in medieval times, the tower started leaning almost immediately after construction started. Several attempts were made to straighten it, but to no avail. In recent years, the tower has been stabilized, and visitors are allowed inside to climb the crooked stairs. 


We climbed many different bell towers and duomos during our time in Italy, but the experience of climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa was unique. About half of the time, the climb felt extraordinarily difficult, and the other half, it didn't even…

Ten Things of Thankful: So Much to Say Edition

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was taking a bit of a break, but what I failed to mention is that John and I were going on a decades-in-the-dreaming vacation to Italy. Neither of us had been there before, and we spent two full weeks soaking in the sights (and soaking in the rain and yes, even snow!) This post will give only a quick overview of some of the things I observed. I have plenty of material for future blog posts, though, so stay tuned for more extended reports of the various places we visited. Before I jump into my vacation slideshow, though, I have to start with a very important thankful:

1. I'm thankful for my oldest son, whose (30th!) birthday is today. He is a bright, capable, caring adult, and I am so privileged to be his mom. I can look back on those early years and see how his personality was shining through even then: his sense of humor, as he belly-laughed as an infant, when John tried to hit a golf ball with a stick; the creativity exhibited as he quietly play…

Ten Things of Thankful: It's Only January, but I'm Taking a Break

A new year often brings re-commitment, re-direction, and renewal of enthusiasm. A blank calendar shows possibilities: routines to be developed, and breaks to schedule in. While I know it's only January--the traditional "routines to be developed" phase--I'm shaking things up and starting with a break. I will be away from my blog and generally off-line for the next few weeks, but never fear, the Ten Things of Thankful link-up will go on. I will respond to comments and read linked posts when I return from my break. 

This week, I'm thankful for:

1. Book club. When I was a child, I had no problem at all living with my nose constantly stuck in a book. As an adult, I am trying to remember that it is OK to spend hours reading. Book club is a step in the right direction. I "have to" read, but I'm having fun, and have given myself permission to read other books, too. 

2. Thrift stores. I wanted an actual, physical copy of The Help (the book club selection for Fe…

Ten Things of Thankful: Holding Down the Pew Edition

What a week! Let's just jump right into the list of thankful things, shall we?

1. I'm thankful for snow plows. Last Sunday, we managed to get to and from church OK, but then left the house in the early afternoon. When we tried to get back up our street, we couldn't do it. We tried another street, thinking maybe we could get home the back way, but that didn't work either. So, we headed back to our street, drove up as far as we could, then walked uphill and in a snow storm to our house. (I might not have walked uphill for miles to school each day, but at least now I have my own story!) Once the snow plow came by later that day, John drove the car back home. 

2. I'm thankful for cars. Our vehicles are each 10+ years old, but they run pretty well (on non-icy roads), and they are paid for. John and I are starting to see the wisdom of at least one 4-wheel-drive vehicle in this climate and elevation, but we aren't in any rush. It's the rare day when we have to be an…