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Ten Things of Thankful: First Official Full Week of Summer

Summer has officially arrived, and I've been delighted and amazed that our temperatures have (for the most part) stayed in the 90s.  Presumably, the well-over 100 temperatures will come, but for now, I'm enjoying the relatively cool summer.  

I'll count that as my first thankful.  This week, I'm also thankful for:

2). . . the summer solstice sunset.  My photo doesn't do it justice.

3) . . . the chance to speak in church last Sunday.  (In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, instead of having a preacher give a sermon, 2 or 3 members of the congregation give talks.  Last Sunday was my turn.) Preparing my thoughts meant I spent hours pondering my topic, which lead to increased insight.  In this instance, I spoke about the blessings that come through covenants with the Lord, and how it is important to recognize the source of our blessings.

4) . . . the decision John and I have made to "go solar."  Not only does solar make environmental sense here in the desert, it now makes financial sense.  I'm thrilled we will be able to make fixed payments that are actually a bit less than our current average electric bill, we will own the system, and the solar panels will generate all of our power.  After the loan is paid off, we'll pay nothing for our electricity!  

5) . . . the decision we made to over design the solar system a bit, so we can keep the house a little cooler in the summers without fear of a huge electric bill!

6) . . . the chance Drexel has to accompany me to Guide Dog training meetings, even though he is a career-changed dog.  He enjoys getting out, and it's good for him to have opportunities to practice his good social skills.

7). . . the fact that Drexel does have good social skills.  My granddaughters are visiting for a couple of days, and while I supervise the interactions they have with the dog--the girls are learning how to be gentle--I'm thankful for Drexel's patient and calm manner around them.

8). . . the chance for me to socialize, at the Guide Dog meeting, at a Relief Society (women's church group) meeting, and at a bridal shower this week.  I think I've mentioned this before, but spontaneous, "just-because" get-togethers are not my strong point.  I'm glad to have "reasons" to visit with friends.  (And I hope I'm not as socially awkward as this "thankful" just made me sound!)

9). . . the "no-sale garage sale" we had at the Relief Society meeting.  Whoever had things she wanted to get rid of, brought them to the meeting.  Whoever wanted things at the meeting, took what she wanted.  At the end of the evening, the leftovers were donated to charity.  I was happy to see that some math manipulatives I brought were snatched up by a school teacher, and I was happy to come home with some clothes for my granddaughters and a CD of bagpipe music for me.

10). . . being able to spend time with my granddaughters.  Oldest granddaughter is beginning to carry on conversations now.  If only I spoke Babble!  

And, due to popular demand (a handful of people equals "popular demand," right?) I will include the following video, which documents my apparently-amazing party trick: 

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Thanks for a sunny, relatively moderate summer and sweet granddaughters.

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  1. I love your party trick! Again! Again! You did have a lot of great things to be thankful for this week. I am also very thankful for our cooler than usual temps.

    My children are in the middle of the solar panel process and they are so excited. The hardest part now is waiting for all of the city permits so that the company can get started. I hope it is a great choice for both of you -- and anyone else! We need to take better care of our planet.

    1. I've heard that the permits are the longest part, but that (at least in my area), they are being issued more quickly than they used to be. We'll see. It would be nice to get that meter spinning backwards!

  2. love the expression of patience in Drexel's eyes in the photo*
    90 degrees as cool weather, I like the sounds of that! We have non-winter weather now, but have not really had any Summer heat (which for New England would be anything in the nineties).

    * yeah, I know, 2 photos of lifeforms to focus on… which one do I go for, what a surprise…lol

    1. Drexel's eyes are very expressive, and fortunately, he is a very patient dog.

      Living here in the desert, I have to add, ". . . but it's a dry heat!" It really does make a difference. 100 and very low humidity is much more bearable than 85 and high humidity.

  3. What a great list, Kristi - just the sunset alone is fabulous! I think it takes me until this first full official week of summer to really settle into it. It feels great.
    Love the idea of the solar power - awesome!

    1. Me, too. It takes time to establish a new routine--especially in the laid-back days of summer.

  4. Your granddaughter looks adorable.
    Have a great week.

    1. Thank you. I hope you have a great week, too.

  5. Great list I loved last weeks summer solstice even though it was the longest day of the year it sort got away with so much work having to get done...your sermon sounded beautiful very similar of what we are experiencing...your granddaughters are beautiful and so lucky after all they have such a talented Grandma (who knew) - have a wonderful weekend have a lovely Sunday!!! Marisa

    1. I guess my hidden talent isn't so hidden after all. ;-)

  6. Since I was one of the ones who demanded, may I first say WHAT A PARTY TRICK! Are you available for weddings and bar mitzvahs? Love the way your granddaughter fell over every time you tried it on her.
    I don't like speaking in front of adults, so I greatly admire that you can speak in front of your congregation.
    Oh, that Drexel! I like the term "career-changed." So much nicer than "unemployed." Maybe another opportunity will come along for him. Visiting nursing homes or something? He's got such a happy, goofy face!
    Your solar power sounds great! You certainly live in a good place for it. No lack of sunshine on the desert.

    1. Now, now, don't flatter me--I'll get a big head. Of course, that would make the party trick easier. . . :-)

      I think that Mormons have an advantage when it comes to public speaking, because we speak in front of people from a young age. The children aged 3-11 gives talks, prayers, and read scriptures in their Primary (Sunday School) opening exercises, and the 12-and-up crowd gets asked to give talks in sacrament meeting (our main Sunday worship meeting.)

      I've considered pursuing getting Drexel certified as a therapy dog, to visit nursing homes, etc., but I'm not sure if I will or not. I'll be getting another Guide Dog puppy in the fall, also, so I know Drexel will be happy with another dog in the house, and I'll have plenty of opportunities to work on training with both Drexel and the new puppy.

      I'm definitely looking forward to seeing my meter spin backwards!

  7. Another great post.

    I love the idea of the no sale garage sale. I should mention that to one of my groups.

    1. We did have guidelines, such as, "Bring only items in good condition," and, "No large furniture, unless you are willing to take it back if no one takes it." The organizers didn't want lots of items left for them to haul off to charity. However, it worked well, and I'd love to see it happen again.

  8. What a great idea! Love this list! Good luck w/the solar panels, they look really amazing, and NO heating bills? I can't even imagine! That's awesome.

    1. No cooling bills. Our furnace is gas, as is our stove and water heater, so we still will have to pay for some utilities. However, not having to pay for electricity will make a huge impact. Our swamp coolers and a/c units are electric, and a/c in particular is costly to run.

  9. O.o Bagpipe music?

    Going solar sounds like a great idea, especially where you live. I hope it works really well. And WOW! That SUNSET! Incredible :D

    1. I have always loved bagpipes! Growing up, the bagpipes were one of my favorite parts of hometown parades. I actually wanted to learn to play when I was about 11 or 12.

      I'm excited for the solar system to be installed.

  10. bagpipes! I can play a few songs on bagpipes... okay wait... I should clarify.... I USED to be able to play... I was in a marching band.... we all have odd talents I suppose.... but hey the party trick! Now theres something! You have the nicest voice and its so nice to see you actually move! Some night you will maybe come to vid chat and we can meet you in real time! Drexel :) ...nuff said!

    1. You play the bagpipes? (I'm not buying the USED to line--it's got to be like riding a bike, right?) Now THERE'S a party trick!

      Yes, I do actually move, when I'm not just parked behind the computer screen. :-) I know what you mean, though--being able to see or hear people makes them more real. Friday nights are traditionally date nights for John and I, but maybe one of these weeks I can drop in on the vid chat for a few minutes before we go out. I do appreciate the invite!

  11. What a talent you have! Don't suppose you worked it into your talk at church... :)
    How exciting that you are going solar powered! I imagine it is a great investment for those of you in the desert.
    A CD of bagpipe music? That certainly isn't something one sees every day, let alone brings home from a freecycle event.
    That Drexel is such a wonderful dog. What a great introduction to animals for your granddaughters.

  12. Oh that sunset! Summer solstice is worth a million thankfuls for me!

  13. That sunset picture is so beautiful! If it was more beautiful than that in! :) I've been seeing so many people getting the solar system. It seems like a really great idea!

  14. Love your party trick!! Lovely how kids can let you do something again and again!
    Love your Drexel-doggie. I'm so hoping to maybe get a dog like him too, once we will get our new home. We want to go solar then too, because it always makes sence to let nature do his work! Maybe even a small windmill for extra power?? (sorry for replying so late, but just reading up for two weeks... no need to reply yourself!)


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