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Ten Things of Thankful: Road Trip Edition

Youngest daughter and I went on vacation last week, leaving behind chores and projects to spend some time together. John stayed home and so while we were off having fun, he saw to it that home projects got completed. 

1. I'm thankful the wild, hilly part of our backyard now has sprinklers! Now that regular watering is possible, I can start planning where to put lilacs, raspberries, and other plants. The area is huge and the project will be ever-evolving, but I love gardening projects!

2. I'm thankful for some rain. I think the sprinkler installers were, too, because it made it easier to dig. Our soil is more rocks than dirt, and the installers quickly realized that trying to dig the trenches by hand would take forever. They left and returned with a trench-digger, and I think the recent rainfall made it at least a tiny bit easier.

3. I'm thankful for a mom-daughter vacation with youngest daughter. We spent last week together at Disneyland, and had a fabulous time.



4. I'm th…
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Ten Things of Thankful: Short Week Edition

Because I published my last TToT on Monday, this week has gone very quickly, but I'm sure I can still find ten things to list!

1. I'm thankful for eyeglasses. It had been 2 years since my last eye exam, and I thought maybe my prescription had changed a bit. I didn't wear glasses until after turning 40, and even then I just used readers for several years until finally getting tired of having to constantly take glasses on and off. Then I broke down and got progressives, with just a very tiny distance prescription in the lenses. Every couple of years, the prescription got a little stronger (both in distance and close-up). This week, although my astigmatism is worse and the close-up prescription got stronger (and the doctor said that was to be expected "at each birthday"--I haven't even had my birthday yet this year; he just didn't want to say "as you age.") my distance prescription was weaker! Woo-hoo! New glasses are ordered and I'm looking for…

Ten Things of Thankful: Labor Day Weekend Surprise

I'm a bit later than I usually am in linking up a TToT post, but I knew that I would have lots to say after the weekend, so I held off until now.

Last week, as John and I were sitting at the table, we heard a big thud. I went out to the porch, expecting to see a dead (or at least stunned) bird outside the window, but the only bird I saw was a magpie, flying out of our maple tree. I didn't think too much about it, until a day or two later I was standing outside, looked at the window, and because the light was just right, noticed this:


1. I'm thankful the bird (and the window) survived the impact.

2. I'm thankful that a couple of friends from California were able to come visit for a few days. They arrived in the middle of the night (which really wasn't a problem for us; we fell asleep at our normal bedtime, and just opened the door when they arrived and pointed out the guest rooms), and then the next morning after they were more rested, we started our fun. 

3. I'm th…

Ten Things of Thankful: Back to School (BYU Education Week) Edition

I drove my mom to the airport Saturday morning, after a week of fun together. I told her we should list the same items in our TToT posts this week, but we never coordinated that, so I'm curious to see how similar our posts turn out to be. There were more than ten things to be thankful for this week, so I imagine we won't have identical lists, but we'll see.

1. I'm thankful for the chance to speak in church last Sunday. We don't have a preacher/minister who speaks each Sunday; members are asked (ahead of time) to prepare an address (about 12-15 minutes long) to share. My assigned topic was the importance of remembering Jesus Christ. As is so often the case as I study for talks, a seemingly simple topic grew in depth and breadth, and I ended up touching on not judging, forgiveness, the sacrament (communion), names, and the love of God. Hopefully it made sense to those listening. 

2. I'm thankful for family history. My mom and I revisited a line that seems to have a…

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…

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…