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Showing posts from 2023

Ten Things of Thankful: Christmas is Nearly Here!

  Drexel the yellow lab points his nose up toward a bowl of banana bread batter Though I haven't done much baking recently, I made Drexel very happy by making some banana bread the other day. You might recall that Drexel used to be a guide dog puppy in training, but he "career-changed" due to scent distraction--and one of the scents he enjoys most of all is bananas! Even though gingerbread or peppermint might be more traditional, I think that the scent of bananas might evoke a feeling of Christmas for Drexel. I'm thankful for Drexel. Christmas has a different feel for me this year. Our place here is perfectly small for the two of us, but doesn't lend itself for entertaining big crowds, so we will have a quiet Christmas morning, then head to the grandchildren's house for the day. Later in the week, we'll visit our son and his wife, then our oldest daughter will come here for a few days. We will miss seeing our two youngest children, but know we will be back

Ten Things of Thankful: Yes, It's December!

Orange poppies bloom on a hillside in December in California. White wispy clouds punctuate the blue sky. I've put up a small tree and a few other decorations. A wreath is on the front door and Alexa is playing carols. By the looks and sounds of things inside, it's nearly Christmas. Outside is another story, as you can tell from the photo above. The poppies are blooming (!) and I've traded my sweaters and boots for short sleeves and sandals. While I'm not a fan of the summertime million degrees temperatures (OK, I might be exaggerating a tad on the number) , I really can't complain about "winter" weather here.  I'm thankful for shirt-sleeve weather and mixed-up flowers.  Even though we lived in this general area of California for quite a few years, we didn't live in this rural community. When we moved to Utah, I noticed differences between California and Utah , and now that we're back in California for a while, I'm noticing differences again

Ten Things of Thankful: We Made It!

  An orange sunrise in California marks the beginning of a new adventure Thanksgiving was last week, and I missed the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop! I was certainly thankful, but we picked last weekend to move from Utah to California, and even though we didn't actually move that many possessions, a move is still a move and so the blogging got delayed. But now we're mostly unpacked and settled in and it's time to return to blogging! We spent Thanksgiving day with John's family. The "kids table" was filled with adults, and for the first time, my sister-in-law didn't lead children in making apple and candy turkeys. With age comes perspective, though, and it was nice to gather together and reminisce.  I'm thankful for family. Friday morning, I woke up to a winter wonderland.  Even though I doubt we'll have a white Christmas in California, it was nice to see snow before leaving Utah. Snow blankets rooftops, trees, yards, and the street in my neighborh

Ten Things of Thankful: Final Countdown!

  a beautiful double rainbow crosses the 1-15 freeway in Utah This past week, John received notification of his start date for his new job. He'll be starting the week after Thanksgiving, which means that we have this upcoming holiday week to finish our preparations and move. While moving out of state during the busy Thanksgiving weekend when everyone and their dog (including ours) is on the road perhaps doesn't seem ideal, I'm thankful (1) we aren't in limbo anymore and we can make specific moving plans. Our rental house isn't available until the day John starts work, but I'm thankful (2) that we could find an available hotel room that accepts dogs and (3) that our new landlords will allow us to park one of our cars (loaded up with our boxes of stuff) on their property until we move in. I'm also thankful (4) that the hotel does offer late checkout, so hopefully I won't need to spend too much time (if any) driving around with Drexel before moving into the

Ten Things of Thankful: One Last Vacation Before Work

  The setting sun is shown through a Celebrity Eclipse life preserver As I mentioned in my last post, John has taken a job that will last for about a year and we will be relocating temporarily to California. However, before this job offer came, we had booked a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, so I spent the last week practicing "living in the moment"--which is not easy for a planner like me, especially when we have an upcoming out-of-state move! But I am definitely not complaining, and I was certainly glad John had the chance to relax before beginning his new job.  As relaxation week is over, I'll jump right into the Ten Things of Thankful list: 1. I'm thankful that on the way to port, we got to visit with our daughter and grandchildren. 2. I'm thankful we got to stay in the rental house that we will be living in shortly. It's even better than we realized from the online photos. 3. As an example of #2, I'm thankful the house has an installed doggy door leading to

Ten Things of Thankful: Westward Ho! Retirement Sabbatical

  Families stand in front of two covered wagons I have always loved the above photo. The youngest child is my grandfather. I don't know who the woman in the right of the photo is. With her hands on her hips, and staring at the back of the man in front of her, she appears to be none-too-happy about the situation. And what was the situation, anyway? Were these people relocating, or simply out for a picnic?  Change is hard. It takes time to wrap our heads around new things (just think about changing from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time--or vice versa!) Looking for the good in whatever situation helps us handle the not-so-wonderful parts. How can life be an adventure without change?  As you might have gathered from the title of this post, John and I have some imminent changes. He has decided to take a sabbatical from retirement for about a year and has accepted a new job in California.  There are things about this that make both of us relate to the hands-on-hips woman above, but

Ten Things of Thankful: Temperate Rain Forest Edition

  Four deer graze in my parents' front yard It's been a busy week for me, and I'm realizing that I need to hurry or I'll miss the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. John and I have been road-tripping; we visited my parents for a few days, then drove up to the Olympic Peninsula, then visited our daughter in Seattle. We got home late last night.  The Pacific Northwest is my "fill my soul" place. When I think of hiking, I think of walking on damp (if not muddy) paths in cool temperatures, with a constant canopy of green trees above me, and a dense understory growing on either side of the trail. When I think of the ocean, I envision a rocky coast, not a sandy beach. Come with me to the temperate rain forest in the Olympic National Park! A picture is worth a thousand words, so obviously the following photos are worth at least ten items of thanks! John stands next to the world's largest spruce tree Moss-covered branches hang over a pond in the Hoh Rain Forest John

Ten Things of Thankful: Camping Edition

  Our little trailer taking its final camping trip before winter Here it is, Friday the 13th, and I am, thanks to technology, blogging while in our little trailer in a campsite in a tiny town in Utah. This is a far cry from my childhood idea of camping. Camping means sleeping in a tent in the woods, away from people, with none of the modern conveniences of home. As an adult, I really appreciate a comfortable bed, running water, indoor plumbing, and a kitchen to cook in. Wifi is a bonus that allows me to get a post written. Would I prefer trees and fewer people around? Of course, but it's the day before an annular solar eclipse, so there are going to be lots of people. As for trees, this is Utah, not the Pacific Northwest, so trees aren't as abundant. A tiny little tree has been planted in our campsite, though.  In a decade or so, this tiny tree might provide some shade I'm thankful: 1. . . . for not being superstitious. Friday the 13th being followed by an annular solar ecl

Ten Things of Thankful: General Conference Edition

Drexel watches the TV screen during General Conference Last weekend, instead of going to a church building, I (along with millions of other people) worshipped from the comfort of our own homes by tuning into General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . I'm thankful that twice a year I have that opportunity, and that I could gather with family to watch and listen. There were many great talks, but for this week's TTOT, I've selected a few quotes that stood out to me.  A person sits alone on a bench. Caption: [Don't] let our eyes, our ears, or our fears mislead us but open our hearts and minds and minister freely to those around us as He did.--Chistophe G. Giraud-Carrier Four individuals hold their hands over their hearts. Caption: You will never be happier than you are grateful.--Gary B. Sabin A girl writes on a chalkboard. Caption: Our words are one of our superpowers and family members are like human blackboards. --Tamara W. Runia A woman'

Ten Thing of Thankful: Happy Fall!

  A walking path under cloudy skies, with mountains to the left and a red barn on the right It is officially fall now, and I love this time of year!  1. I'm thankful for General Conference, which is this weekend. The messages are always uplifting and inspiring and I come away from conference feeling encouraged. The sessions are broadcast live on , as well as recorded for future viewing, so if you are interested, check it out!  2. I'm thankful to be able to attend some BYU football games in person. It's a fun date, and John and I are even considering sharing a cougar tail tonight. Imagine a maple bar the size of a cougar's tail, and you get the idea.  3. I'm thankful that I'm sticking with the 5K training. Not only does it helps burn off cougar tail indulgences, but it feels good to be getting back into running  jogging (even if my legs sometimes think otherwise!)  4. I'm thankful for the beautiful changing leaves. Last weekend, John a

Ten Things of Thankful: Celebrate Eight, Sixty, or Autumn

  A hot air balloon flies in the sky above Utah Valley Recently, a hot air balloon soared overhead, and it seemed the perfect way to welcome in this week. Not only are we enjoying the last week of summer before the fall equinox, but this week also marks my grandson's 8th birthday and my parents' 60th wedding anniversary!  1. I'm thankful for my grandchildren. Thinking of each one of them puts a smile on my face. Happy birthday, grandson! 2. I'm thankful for my parents. I remember every election day as they left to go cast their votes, my dad would quip, "Well, we're off to cancel our votes out!" They are such different people, but somehow, it works. They provided me with a happy, secure, loving childhood and an eclectic exposure to music, books, and ideas. Happy 60th, Mom and Dad!  3. I'm thankful to live in a place with four seasons. Yes, winter can seem longer than the rest, but I still love experiencing the change of seasons.  One way I know the

Ten Things of Thankful: I Love This Time of Year!

  A yellow pear hangs from our green-leafed tree  I love this time of year. The weather is mostly sunny, with some rain sprinkled in here and there; the temperatures are comfortable; crops are ready for harvesting; and flowers are still blooming. (Thankful #1-4) Our Belmac apple tree is loaded with fruit Glass Gem corn (planted for decor, but also good for popping) displays many different colors of kernels September also means football season, and although I don't really follow football in general, I do enjoy going to the occasional BYU football game. (Thankful #5) The view from LaVell Edwards Stadium shows a large US flag and a Y on the mountain Fans are starting to fill LaVell Edwards Stadium prior to kickoff As we often do, we had our children who live close up for dinner and board games one night this past week. It's always fun to spend time together. (Thankful #6) Speaking of fun spending time together, I was able to get together with a friend for lunch one day this week,