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Ten Things of Thankful: Independence and Mother Nature

Photo: A huge American flag flies on a cable between mountains. (Thanks to John for this great shot.)

I hope you had a happy fourth of July, and for my friends in California, I hope the ground settles down soon. We first lived in California in the late 1980's, and became quite familiar with frequent earthquakes. We moved out of the state a few years before the Northridge quake. When we moved back to California in the 2000's, we told our children to be prepared to feel earthquakes every so often. To our surprise, the expected shaking didn't materialize. Now California seems to be making up for lost time. My thoughts are with my friends and family still there, and I hope things quiet down. 

This week:

1. I'm thankful John and I got to go see the movie, Yesterday. We both really enjoyed it. We've been listening to Beatles' music off and on since then.

2. I'm thankful that we woke up early on the 4th to go watch a flag-raising ceremony. Big Betsy is the world's largest free-flying flag, and it was quite the experience to watch her unfurl at dawn's early light. 

3. I'm thankful that Follow the Flag, the same organization that flies Big Betsy, also has another chapter north of here, and has another flag, The Major. When a microburst came through on the evening of the 4th and significantly damaged Big Betsy, the northern chapter of Follow the Flag offered to bring The Major down so it could fly in Betsy's place. By Friday morning, once again we had a big, beautiful flag flying in the canyon. Big Betsy will be repaired, but will not fly again, due to the scope of the damage she received.

4. I'm thankful for chores I didn't finish. Our steps out to our backyard have flaking paint, and I've started the process of scraping and sanding in preparation for painting. I was hoping to paint last Saturday, but didn't get everything done in time. That night, it rained. If I had painted, the rain would have ruined it. So, even though the job isn't finished yet, I'm thankful. 

5. I'm thankful for fireworks. I have memories of watching fireworks from my yard as a child, and I'm glad that I can see fireworks from my yard as an adult. 

6. I'm thankful for books. I recently finished reading Puritan Witch; the Redemption of Rebecca Eames. It is a fictional account of my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandmother, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. It was definitely an interesting read, especially given the family connection.

7. I'm thankful for good timing. I pulled a bunch of weeds this week, then someone on the neighborhood Facebook page asked for yard waste. They came and picked up the entire pile, and I was happy to see it go!

8. I'm thankful for sales. John continues to plug away at the fire pit project; the retaining walls are completed and he is now beginning the process of the flooring. He considered using gravel, but when brick pavers went on sale, he decided to go that route instead. Now, for about the same price as gravel, we can have something that will require less maintenance. 

9. I'm thankful for a vehicle that can haul supplies for us. Our 14-year-old minivan has been a workhorse, making multiple trips back and forth to the home improvement store. Yesterday, it started complaining a bit, so it has earned a break until we can get it into the shop next week. John is thinking serpentine belt or alternator, so hopefully we can get that fixed soon. It's been a reliable transportation source for many years; hopefully a little TLC will get it back to normal. 

10. I'm thankful for John. I love that fact that he is hard-working, but not a workaholic. We have fun together, whether we're hauling bricks from Lowe's or watching a movie. 

Bonus thankful: I'm thankful for the TToT participants who help by sharing the link-up code on their blog posts. I'm also seeking bloggers to be co-hosts for this blog hop. If you'd like to be involved either by sharing the link-up code, and/or by being a co-host, please let me know. So far, Pat of A Season and a Time has agreed to co-host (thanks, Mom!), another co-host will join us in August, and still others share the code on their posts. Thanks to all who participate in the TToT in any way!

Linking up with us this week:

MessyMimi's Meanderings
A Season and a Time
The Prolific Pulse
The Wakefield Doctrine
Backsies is What There is Not
Carin's Gratitude
Viola's Daily Musings
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. So many good things! It's always a blessing to be able to do an improvement to the house that doesn't break the bank, and i hope your trusty vehicle is back in action soon.

    1. First thing tomorrow morning, I'm calling the shop to make an appointment. :-)

  2. How awesome to see the flag unfurl. My heart always flutters over such things.

    1. It was a really wonderful morning service. Jennie Taylor, widow of Major Brent Taylor (who was the mayor of North Ogden, UT, and was killed in Afghanistan) gave an articulate, stirring address. Several musical numbers were performed, and a WWII veteran was honored. The huge flag flying made the perfect backdrop.

  3. I love the photo you were able to take of the Betsy being unfurled, and I am so sorry that she is going to have to be retired.

    How fun for you to be able to carry on the tradition of watching fireworks from your yard.

    Great fortuitous timing on #4.

    Sounds like an interesting book to read. I don’t remember exactly how she connects. . .through the Ames or a different line?

    That is great that someone wanted yard waste and was willing to come get it!

    I hope the minivan will still be able to continue serving you. Such stories you have to tell about all it has hauled.

    1. Yes, the ancestor connects on the Ames line. Apparently the spelling changed after the witch trials, to disconnect from that history. Rebecca's maiden name was actually Blake; she was married to an Eames.

  4. 'cellent videos! both of the gigantic flag and the firefights throughout downtown (lol... nice to have the elevation to see down and over everything... gots to have been noisy on ground level).
    Never trued pavers, have seen the how-to shows, definitely lower-maint than gravel would be.
    Yard waste! Aiiyee, if they didn't mind the drive to southern New England, I still have a few hundred cubic feet left. lol I enjoy the exercise, but suspect theres still 100 or so wheel barrows left to move deeper into the woods.
    Have a good week.

    1. We do appreciate being up above the valley. It provides a view, and is quieter than it must be farther down. Because we are so close to the mountain (with all its usually-dry, but fairly green-this-year vegetation), we are in a no-fireworks zone. It's nice to be able to enjoy the fireworks without worrying about our house burning down!

      Other places we have lived have offered yard waste pick-up as part of the trash service, but not here. I should probably start a compost pile, but it is so convenient that the new neighbors will come haul the waste away. (Not sure if they are up for a road trip, though!)

  5. My husband and I are wanting to see Yesterday! Hopefully we can go this week.
    That flag video is very cool. Very.
    I'm still scraping and sanding an old cabinet that I bought at an auction, and I know how I'd feel if I finally painted it and it rained all over it! Glad you were delayed with your steps.
    I'm thankful we traded earthquakes for tornadoes. At least you know when a tornado is coming. If the epicenter of the recent ones had been in LA, it would have been devastating.
    Let me know if you need me to help with the TToT.

    1. Yes, the amount of damage was limited due to the fact the epicenter was out by Ridgecrest, but that doesn't make it any easier for those living there. Also, Ridgecrest isn't that far from where we used to live--my daughter took her driving test there, because they had appointments available sooner than the closer DMVs.
      I'll message you about the TToT. Thanks!
      I hate to break it to you, but we are related on my muggle side. :-)


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