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Ten Things of Thankful: Happy Fall Edition

This week marks the official end of summer and the beginning of fall. I'm thankful:

1. . . that summer was not as hot as the previous sixteen. I'm starting to enjoy summers again.
2. . . I can look forward to crisp autumn mornings and the coziness that comes with fall.

3. . . for my parents, who celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary this week.

4. . . for my oldest grandson, who turns 3 on the same day as my parents' anniversary.

5. . . for continued healing. I've discarded the crutches.

6. . . for grasses. I've decided I really enjoy the impact they make in the landscape.


7. . . for the fall harvest. 



8. . . for neighbors who share their bounty, whether that be carrot cake, cookies, or zucchini.

9. . . for the chance I have to attend a social media convention today and tomorrow. I'm looking forward to learning how to improve the blog and better utilize other channels.

10. . . for John. We spent last Saturday surveying our backyard (I now know how to use a transit!), a…

Six Sentence Story: Trip

I've been fortunate to take some wonderful vacations in my life, but when I read this week's Six Sentence Story prompt word (trip) I knew immediately what story to tell. 

The classified ad sounded perfect: an old upright piano in excellent condition, and at a price that the tax refund would cover. After speaking to the seller on the phone, the young couple loaded their two children in the car and set off to find the Seattle address. After pulling into the apartment complex,  she carried the baby and he held the toddler. In her excitement, and perhaps due to rain hitting oil spots,  she tripped in the parking lot; as she was falling, all she could think was, "Don't land on the baby!" Miraculously, she saved the baby from harm, but unfortunately, her face took some of the impact. 

"We're here to look at the piano, and, by the way, do you have a Band-Aid?"



Wednesday Works: Planting in Containers for Year-Round Interest

When my husband and I moved into this house, I was excited to find four big square planting containers in the yard. I moved them to the steps leading up to the house, and there they have sat, waiting for me to finally do something with them. I did plant some bulbs in one of them last fall, but the blooms didn't last long, and I want the boxes to look good for more than one season--and without constant attention from me.




I'm glad I waited, though, as it gave me time to observe that the boxes get only partial sun during the time of the year the maple tree in the front yard is in bloom. I'll have to find someplace else to plant roses. 

After thinking about what would grow well in a container in partial shade, and what would give multi-season interest, I decided to plant yew, specifically dense spreading yew (taxus x media 'Densiformis'). I probably would not have chosen it if we still had young children at home, as it is toxic if ingested, but as we are empty-nesters an…

Tuesday Travels: The Soap Factory

One of the joys of moving is discovering new places to visit. John and I have lived in Utah for just over a year now, and I'm excited to share with you some of the places we have found. I plan to make "Tuesday Travels" a weekly feature, and while I have quite a few posts already in mind, I'm also looking forward to doing further research. If you have suggestions for places you would like me to feature, please let me know. 
Today I thought I'd share my experiences with The Soap Factory in Provo. 

The Soap Factory, as you might guess, is a place where you can go make your own soaps. It's located in an upstairs office on Center Street. Though labeled, it is easy to miss if you aren't looking for it.

Once you reach the top of the stairs, you enter a big open area which is The Soap Factory. Employees are there to greet you and to explain the process. There is a small studio fee, plus the cost of your soap. All the charges are explained upfront. 
Your first step is…

Monday Mentions: Equate Crutches

Have you ever needed crutches? I hadn't, until a week ago.  I'm pretty sure I strained a muscle while running a half-marathon. (That sounds kind of cool, doesn't it? I'm not actually that cool; the last time I strained a muscle it was from carrying too many shopping bags at once.) In any case, I found myself in need of some crutches. I sent my husband to the store to get some.


Not that crutches are all that complex, but because I hadn't used any before, I wondered if I could figure out how to adjust them to fit me properly. I shouldn't have worried.

John came home from Walmart with their generic store brand of crutches, complete with instructions. First, I needed to take out a long bolt that went through the hand grip. Then I needed to find my height range, push down two metal pieces, and slide the crutches until the little metal pieces came up in the hole near my height range. (Having two people for this part worked best. I pushed down the metal parts, and John …

Ten Things of Thankful: Back on my Feet Edition

In my last Ten Things of Thankful post, I reported that I ran a half-marathon and that my leg was paying for it, but that I hoped I'd be back to normal soon. I published that post on Saturday. During the middle of that night, I tried to get out of bed and realized that I greatly underestimated the extent of my injury. Thankfully, I am doing much better after a week of lots of rest.

1. I'm thankful for crutches, which have allowed me to get around. I've never had need for crutches before, and didn't realize just how useful they are. (As thankful as I am for them, I'm also thankful that I went the entire day today without using them!)

2. Although normally I am thankful that many stores here are actually closed on Sundays, I am also thankful that a Walmart was open. I'm also thankful that although the closest store didn't have any crutches in stock, John didn't have to drive too far to find one that did.

3. I'm thankful that Drexel is such a good dog. Whe…

Ten Things of Thankful: Running Here and There

Last Saturday, John and I were in California visiting our daughter and her family. Today, we ran races in Utah (John ran a marathon, and I did a half-marathon.) It's been a busy week, but I am thankful.

1. I'm thankful that John was able to bless our newest granddaughter last Sunday, and that we could spend time with all of the grandchildren.


2. I'm thankful that the Labor Day weekend traffic was manageable, and we drove to and from California without incident.

3. I'm thankful for nice car shops. When we returned from our trip, one of our cars was due for an oil change. The guy at the shop mentioned that our windshield wipers need to be replaced. I had already purchased replacements, but we hadn't gotten to installing them yet. The guy at the car shop told me that if I brought the wipers to the shop, he would install them at no charge. Even though John will also install them at no charge, I thought it was nice for the employee to offer.

4. I'm thankful for helpful …

What I Want to Be(come) When I Grow Up

Back-to-school time (with all its trappings of new supplies, clothes, shoes, and hair-cut) builds excitement of change, transformation, and possibility--a publicly-mandated participation in the equivalent of New Year's resolutions for the K-12 set. Even as an adult, I find myself taking self-inventory as summer draws to an end and welcome the re-establishment of old routines and the introduction of new. 

No longer am I required to write essays titled, "What I Did this Summer," or "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up," yet I find myself pondering the answers--especially regarding that latter topic. That might seem strange, as I've been an adult most of my life. What I wanted for my future, I've obtained: a Bachelor of Arts degree, the opportunity to stay at home and raise a family, seeing my children grow up and start families of their own. Check. Check. Check. 

While I had wished for those things, and I'm happy they happened, I'm not sure I'm com…

Six Sentence Story: Difference

Dad, as a school-teacher and all-around smart guy, excelled in thought-provoking conversation. My brother and sister and I learned to listen carefully to questions like, "How many animals did Moses take on the ark?" so we could answer with confidence, "None!" (Moses didn't build the ark; Noah did.) 

Dad's question to top all questions and put us all in a fit of laughter, though, had to be this classic:

What's the difference between a duck? 

Its left feet are the same!

🦆

Linking up again for Six Sentence Story Thursday!

Ten Things of Thankful: End of August Edition

I know it's only been a few days since I linked up with the previous Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, but since I've titled this post "End of August Edition," I'm pretty much committed to publishing it today. 🙂 Besides, being thankful isn't limited to once a week. 

1. I'm thankful for unexpected surprises--specifically, my discovery that the dishwasher has a third rack. It would have been one thing if this dishwasher came with the house and I just happened to discover the rack now, but we actually purchased the dishwasher and had it installed months ago. I vaguely remember reading that it came with a third rack, and I guess I just figured the little fold-down piece on (what I thought was) the top rack counted as a third rack. I'm still laughing, and wondering if any of my previous dishwashers had features I didn't ever find out about!


2. I'm thankful for Drexel. He reminds me to take time to play.


3. I'm thankful to have (started and) finish…

Ten Things of Thankful: Education Week Edition

Brigham Young University hosts Education Week every year, and thousands of people come from all over the world to participate in classes. As often as I can attend, I do, and I always come away with new thoughts and ideas, and motivation to act upon what I've learned. One thing that I love about Education Week is the emergence of themes on an individualized basis. 

I try to take a variety of classes each year--some doctrinal, some practical, some just for fun--and yet it seems that regardless of the diversity of topics, I pick up on the same concepts that are woven throughout the presentations. Not only that, but as I talk to other Education Week participants, I realize that what they have picked up on in their classes is different that what I've learned, even when we've attended some of the same classes. 

The basic thought that I had come to me over and over again last week was that our Heavenly Father encourages strong relationships, and Satan wants us to feel isolated, apa…

Six Sentence Story: Mailbox

If you have seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you will remember the father, who frequently challenges someone to "Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek." Sometimes I feel like when Denise gives us the prompt for the Six Sentence Story, I might as well be saying, "Give me a word, any word, and I will tell you a story from my family that has to do with that word."

This week's prompt: "Mailbox."

The mailbox looms above his small stature. He reaches up, tugging hard to open the stubborn door. 

Moving had sounded like so much fun; the anticipation of being able to sneak down to the creek and play for hours had distracted him from the reality that his best friend now lived hours away. The U-Haul moving van was returned on Saturday, Mommy said the mailman doesn't come on Sundays, but today is Monday, and surely a letter will come.

His small hand plunges inside the mailbox, but his fingers feel only the cool bump…

Ten Things of Thankful: Reunion Continues Edition

The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop has been going for over 5 years now! It started with Lizzi, who had the wisdom to recognize the importance of gratitude in her own life, and who invited everyone to join her in giving thanks each week. A community was born, friendships were formed, and everyone benefited from writing posts, and reading and commenting on the posts of others. Lizzi encouraged nine other bloggers to join her in co-hosting duties (10 hosts for the Ten Things of Thankful). The hosting responsibilities have changed hands several times over the years. Co-hosts came and went, Lizzi turned the responsibility over to Josie Two Shoes, then I offered to help when Josie needed a break. 

Through the years, I have appreciated the bloggers who have taken time to join us. This month, I want to invite anyone who has ever participated in the TToT to join us for a reunion. Of course, as always, this blog hop is one of no pressure, so don't worry if you can't make it. Also know t…

Finish the Sentence Friday: Grandparents

I'm joining in again with Kristi and Kenya for a Finish the Sentence Friday post. (Fortunately for me, the link is open for longer than just Friday!) This time, we were to write for 5 minutes on the prompt "grandparents."

Say "grandparents" and my first inclination is to think of my own grandparents, even though I'm a grandma now myself.


My mom's dad was the first to depart this earth; my mom's mom will be the last of my grandparents to depart. There probably aren't too many grandmas who still have a living grandma, so I realize I'm fortunate in that regard. The woman my grandma is, is hidden in the shell of Alzheimer's, but I remember her as a vibrant, hard-working, surprisingly strong person. When I was very young, I didn't recognize all of that strength; my grandpa had a very big personality, and grandma's was mild in comparison. I do remember grandpa once teasing my sister and me about how he would cut off our ponytails, and gr…

Six Sentence Story: Fear

Denise at Girlie on the Edge faithfully comes up with a cue word each week for the Six Sentence Story link-up. This week's prompt is "fear," and though I don't think I live a fear-filled life, I must admit, I had several different incidents to choose from. I settled on the following. If you'd like to read a more extended version of the situation, you can find it here. (Spoiler alert: he survived, healed, and is OK.)

The revving of an engine interrupts their conversation, and she turns to the right to see what idiot would be traveling at such speeds. Her heart stops, and then beats quickly, as she sees the rider-less motorcycle sliding parallel to their vehicle. In the rear-view mirror, a figure lies on the pavement. Her husband stops the car and runs back to check on the man, as her shaking fingers grab her phone and punch in the numbers. 

"This is 911. What's your emergency?"








10 Things I Worry About (a Finish the Sentence Friday post)

It has been too long since I have participated in a Finish the Sentence Friday prompt, and here it is Sunday evening and I'm not sure I'll even get a post written before the link-up closes. 

1. I worry I will post something that doesn't really matter.

2. I worry I won't post anything because I'll run out of time.

3. I worry that I am not a real worrier; am I even allowed to participate?

4. I worry that I should be a worrier but am not.

5. I worry that what I am claiming are worries are not big enough.

And so it goes. 

Even though I am not a worrier, I can occasionally worry (usually when I'm tired but not sleeping, which fortunately doesn't happen often) and I've learned that what I really worry about falls into a big category called, "I CAN'T CONTROL THIS."

Now, since there are billions of things outside my control, how can I not be a worrier? 

I recognize my limitations, but don't allow them to become excuses to do nothing. (I can't solve…

Ten Things of Thankful: Birthday and Birth Day Edition

Today is my mom's birthday. I couldn't have asked for a more patient, kind, dedicated, understanding, hard-working, devoted, loving mother. This post that I wrote 5 years ago is still appropriate today, so I'm going to re-run it:

Ten Things of Thankful: Lessons Learned from Mom Edition Today is my mom's birthday, so today's Ten Things of Thankful is written in her honor.  


Ten Lessons I'm Thankful Mom Taught Me:

1.   It's important to think of others.  One of Mom's favorite questions to me was, "How would you feel?", meaning, "Try to put yourself in that person's shoes and be compassionate, patient, and kind."

2.  It's important to do your best, and if you've given your best effort, that's enough.  I distinctly remember being devastated with the first "B" on my report card, and Mom (and Dad) telling me that as long as I did my best, it was OK.  (I was a bit slow in figuring out that "best" meant "…

Ten Things of Thankful: August Already Edition

We're a week into August already, and I'm still surprised that July is over. I just seem to be running behind in more ways than one, but fortunately: (1) this blog hop is open until tonight, and (2) this is a no-guilt zone, and writing this post is not merely something to cross off my to-do list, but rather a welcome chance to reflect back on beautiful moments of the past week.
"Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?"--Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Now, with that attitude adjustment, I'm going to share with you a few things I've noticed recently:

1. I'm thankful for wildlife. We had our first deer sighting last week. John and I were sitting at the dinner table and saw a deer bounding across the mountain. I thought perhaps she was being chased by another creature, but I didn't see a predator.

2. I'm thankful for a nice run last Saturday. John is training for his first mar…