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Ten Things of Thankful: Anticipation Edition

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I look forward each year to attending Education Week at Brigham Young University. Why should children have all the fun of anticipating a new school year? Next week I will spend five days attending classes, recharging, and enjoying learning without the dread of final exams. I'll give you a recap next week, but this week, my post will be anticipatory:

I'm thankful that my mom will be joining me for Education Week again this year! (Thankful #1) I know it will be a week filled with laughter (Thankful #2) and fun (Thankful #3). (And, let's be honest, BYU mint brownies (Thankful #4) and ice cream(Thankful #5)!)

I'm thankful I've "tidied up" a bit this week (Thankful #6). My mom is a super easy guest (Thankful #7)--but even if she wasn't, I'm positive she wouldn't be checking to see how organized my master bathroom drawers are (Thankful #8)--but nothing gets me into super-organized mode more…
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Six Sentence Story: Code

When the prompt word (code) was given for this week's Six Sentence Story, it didn't take me long to come up with a topic. As a host of a blog hop (the Ten Things of Thankful), I have been frustrated trying to find a link-up code service that is truly accessible to those who use screen readers. The company I use used to work with screen readers, but they have "improved" their service, much to my chagrin, and the frustration of some bloggers. If any of you know of a blog link-up service that is accessible, please let me know! Thanks!

There once was a service called Inlinkz Once useful, but now it stinks. The link-up code, I find Is unfriendly to the blind. And Inlinkz doesn't care, methinks. (A sad, but true tale.)
#PleaseIntegrateAScreenReader #BringBackTheOldInlinkz

Tuesday Travels: From the Secular Domus Aurea to the Church of St. Peter-in-Chains

When in Italy, be sure to stop in Rome. Multiple days are best. I've written about our time at the Rome Italy Temple, our visit to the Capitoline Museums, the walking tour we took, and the experience of visiting the Vatican. Today I'm going to share some photos from the Domus Aurea, and the church of St. Peter-in-Chains. 

The Domus Aurea was Nero's extravagant palace. Nero (he of "fiddling while Rome burned" fame) was not a popular leader, and after his death, the Domus Aurea was looted (our tour guide emphasized that Italians were big on reuse/recycle!) then buried in dirt. Now, excavation is ongoing, and we donned hard hats to tour the site. Because so much that was there in the past is now missing, or at least incorporated into other buildings, it is difficult to imagine how it appeared in Nero's time. Fortunately, our tour included a virtual reality experience that allowed us to envision the opulence. 
Although we toured only part of the palace, we were abl…

Ten Things of Thankful: Balancing Out Edition

Sometime between 1-1/2 to 2 years ago, I decided to plant an avocado pit. It took what seemed like forever, but it finally sent up some green growth. The plant got taller and taller, but did not branch out. I made a drastic decision to prune it back in an effort to encourage some lateral growth. At first, I thought my action would be rewarded, but only one sideways branch developed. The other side remained only a tiny little bud. 

I moved the plant outside this summer, so it could soak up some direct sunlight and bask in the warm temperatures. It is enjoying its new locale (and I'm not telling it that it will need to move back indoors in a month or so). A couple of weeks ago, I was delighted to notice that it was finally developing another lateral branch. I'm looking forward to watching it become a more balanced plant.

I love balance; whether it is in the form of real life/blogging, vacation/responsibilities, or exercise/curling up with a book, it's nice to feel balanced. Wh…

Ten Things of Thankful: Another Road Trip and Other Summer Fun

I'm a little bit later than I normally am in linking up a TToT post this week, but I have good reason: I was at a friend's cabin in Idaho from Thursday-Saturday, and there was no wi-fi there. (And I'm glad there wasn't; it's really nice to disconnect every so often.) Before I tell you about that, though, let's start the list with things that happened earlier in the week:

1. I'm thankful that Drexel stopped limping. The last Saturday in July, I noticed Drexel wasn't putting weight on a front paw. I couldn't find any reason, but he was a bit better on Sunday, and by Monday was back to his usual self. I imagine he must have just strained a muscle on our Friday afternoon hike. In any case, I'm glad he's feeling better.

2. I'm thankful that I finished a little quilt for my granddaughter's first birthday. I just used a panel, and sewed straight lines for the quilting, so it wasn't complicated, but I got the mitered corners right on the f…

Tuesday Travels: A Walking Tour of Rome

The evening before our scheduled walking tour of Rome, John and I went with another couple on our own stroll around the city. Though we wouldn't go inside the Colosseum then, seeing the lighted arches of the Colosseum against the dark evening sky made the chilly outing worth it. 

The next day, we returned for a guided walking tour of Rome. What follows is a quick, photo-heavy recap.

The Colosseum is just as impressive in the sunlight as it is in the moonlight.  Note how tiny the people seem in the photo below:

Before we went inside the Colosseum, we stopped at the triumphal arch. It's easy to feel very small. 

Once inside the Colosseum, I again felt small. The Colosseum could seat at least 50,000 people in its heyday. Look for the people in the photo below for a sense of scale. The white plastic-looking area in the photo shows where the floor would have been. Below that is where the gladiators and animals would wait for their turn in the arena. 


Next, it was off to the Forum, where…

Ten Things of Thankful: Family, Friends, Pioneers, and More

I love participating in the Ten Things of Thankful, because it encourages me to reflect back on the past week. Even when much of my week has been filled with "regular stuff," there are always reasons to be thankful. And often, I find that my routine was actually anything but boring, but full of joyful moments. 

I have lots to be thankful for this week:

1. I'm thankful for my dad (pictured above as that cute little sailor boy). He celebrated a birthday recently. Happy birthday, Dad! I'm sitting here listening to the Chad Mitchell Trio as I write this, and I have my dad to thank for influencing my taste in music, among other things. 

2. I'm thankful for books. My dad always has a book he's reading. My mom read daily to us kids. I don't remember learning how to read; it just seemed a natural consequence of my childhood environment. 

This past week, I received in the mail a book I had ordered. I remembered it from childhood, and every so often I thought about it,…