Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. I've been keeping a gratitude list this month. I posted week 1 a while ago, and today seems like a good day to post the rest!
The first few come from when I took a trip to Eugene at the beginning of the month to visit my son Henry in Eugene, Oregon.
6-grateful for an on time flight and a movie theater that serves beer
7 - grateful for a quiet room and comfy bed; grateful for my son's help
8- grateful for a dry place to sit while watching soccer; a hot shower; and a much needed nap
9 - grateful for plans coming together
10 - grateful for a new beginning 
11 - grateful for family
12 - grateful for a walk on the bluffs with Paul and the dogs - sunshine, cool air, beautiful views and exercise 
13 - grateful for upbeat music on the radio and my students 
14 - grateful for signs of progress and a good friend who listens  
15 - grateful for Shanghai soup dumplings and date night with Paul
16 - grateful for a crisp, sunny day; good health; and help from the high school
17- grateful for a full tuition grant and a smile from my daughter
18 - grateful for a friendly stranger with directions and a well-placed in and out burger.
19 - grateful for soccer victories and dinner with an old friend 
20 - grateful to be a soccer mom and the connection it gives me to my boy
21 - grateful for the boys winning the national championship in club soccer, Henry being named to the all tournament team and (most of all) being able to share it all with him.
22 - grateful for a safe trip home and a relaxing afternoon 
23 - grateful to hear Henry's coming home for thanksgiving and that Clara found a school.
24 - grateful for my comfy home and loving husband at the end of a long day.
25 - grateful for my children 
26 - grateful for my brothers and sisters, my parents in heaven and best friends who have become family 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Me on Monday (or Tuesday)

Spent a long weekend in Phoenix, Arizona watching my boy play soccer in the national club championship tournament.

The boys won the national championship!
And Henry was named to the All Tournament Team for his outstanding offensive play!

Who could ask for anything more?
Well, apparently I could. Because I also got to sneak in a dinner date with one of my favorite blog friends, Deb of Paper Turtle. Overall, an outstanding weekend!
How was yours?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Gratitude: Week 1

Thank you to all who sent hugs and left caring messages on my Monday post. We are continuing to work through some issues here at home. But in the meantime, I have been keeping a gratitude list.
Here's a list of the things I have noted this week:
1. Grateful for a day of peace, a good workout, finishing my casebook chapters and rain.
2. Grateful for the time change, being able to fit into my clothes, escaping to work, and cooler temperatures and so I can bundle up.
3. Grateful for good counsel and a college acceptance letter.
4. Grateful for a well-taught class and a good stretch.
5. Grateful for the feel of sunshine on my skin and to be living by the sea.
What are you grateful for this week?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Photo Pairs: Land and Sea

I had a very nice walk down at the beach today with Luna. She's become quite the swimmer and loves to fetch. It's a day late, but I'm linking up with Helena's photo pairs this week.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Me on Monday: On Struggling and Gratitude

It's the Monday after the Halloween weekend and normally I would have a chirpy post full of how much fun we had this weekend and photos of the festivities. But, to be honest, it was a weekend of struggle. A struggle with work. A struggle with family. I may share more later; it depends how things play out. We didn't go to the annual Halloween party. We were not in the mood for a party. And I was, finally, making headway on my work project. So we stayed home. For now all I have to share are the photos I took of my Dias de los Muertos altar I put up, even though I took it down . . . a victim of the struggles.
And then, somewhere in the midst of the weekend, I came across this photo on instagram. That's my boy (#10 in midfield) playing soccer under a rainbow. His college team was playing in the regional club soccer tournament (they lost in the semi's to the eventual tournament champion). It made me smile.
And I started to notice people posting the intention to compile daily gratitude lists for November.
And, on Sunday night, as I was finally finishing up my work project to send, I heard rain begin to fall. 
And I realized that November 1 at least had not been a completely bad day. I did have things to be grateful for:
a day of peace;
a good workout;
finishing my casebook chapters; and
I'm not sure how often I will post my gratitude list, but I am going to try to find and note at least one thing to be grateful for each day in November.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Photo Pairs: Lost and Found

Here's a tail tale of two cats - "Gerald" and Julie. Clara found Gerald (as she called him) while out running at the beach. Or, perhaps I should say, Gerald found Clara. He followed her from the beach and hopped into her car. This is not a portion of the beach with any houses nearby. And Gerald was pretty scrawny (and very hungry). Yet, Gerald was clearly a (former?) pet. You could tell he had worn a collar by the indentation on his fur, and he was so mellow and friendly. Of course, Clara brought him home. We posted on facebook, looking for an owner, but when none popped up, I took him to the Humane Society the next day. 
They scanned him for a microchip, found one and promised to look for his owner. And they did! It turns out that Gerald Charlie had escaped while his owners were on vacation; sneaking out on the house sitter. We were so happy to hear that they were reunited!
And the second cat? That's Julie. The kitten Clara adopted from the Humane Society this year. She's definitely comfortable in her new home, don't you think?
Linking up with Helena's Photo Pairs meme this week. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Me on Monday: What's Happening in My World

I've seen several blog friends using an interesting meme recently, and I thought I would use it for my "Me on Monday" post, linking up with Sian over at From High in the Sky. The meme originated at All the Weigh but I changed a few of the questions to better suit me.
1.     What’s the title of the last book you read? 
I just finished "The Museum of Extraordinary Things" by Alice Hoffman for my book group. It is set in 1911 New York City (a pivotal year for that city, it turns out). It was a little slow starting, but overall I think it was worth reading. Some of the themes it raised about animals, nature, family, faith and fate will lead to an interesting discussion I think. It also gave a very good snap shot of 1911 NYC. Others have compared it to The Night Circus, but it reminded me more of The Golem and the Jinni. I listened to the story on Audible, and it went for thirteen hours. I think it would have been shorter if I read it myself, and I think the slowness of the reading contributed to my feeling that the book was a little slow.
2.     What is the last thing you cooked at home? 
Chicken cakes. I've been working on losing weight since the end of summer, and I've dropped about 15 pounds. It feels good to be back to a healthy weight. Chicken cakes are a recipe from my "Take Down Challenge" binder, and they are relatively quick, very tasty and filling.
3.      What is your favorite thing about Fall? 
I love the cooler temperatures and the ability to bundle up in a nice, warm soft blanket. I find it so comforting.
4.     Share one thing that challenged you at some point over the last week.
Clara. She is being incredibly challenging at the moment. Prayers and good thoughts for frazzled parents welcomed.
5.     List three hobbies that you actively pursue or want to pursue.
Working out (is that a hobby?), blogging and drawing mandalas are the ones I'm actually pursuing at the moment. Photography, scrapbooking and art journaling are what I want to be pursing. 
6.      What is the most recent sporting event  you watched? 
Watching the Manchester Derby (Manchester United v. Manchester City) right now.
7.     Besides watching "live TV," what service do you use to watch TV or films  (netflix, on demand, etc.)?
Mostly "on demand" which is part of our TV service that shows recently broadcast television shows (they generally have the current season for free and past seasons for a fee). I also watch Netflix for older shows and movies, but I will purchase/rent and download movies from itunes as well.
8.     Have you started Christmas shopping yet? 
I went to a "pop-up" boutique at a friend's house last week that sold socially responsible crafts and bought a few things. So I guess the answer is yes.
9.      Do you have any upcoming trips?
I've got two - I'm going to visit my son in two weeks. We'll go to a college football game, go to see Spectre (in its American release), and hang out. I'm hoping to also have a crafty afternoon with friends. Second, I'm going to Arizona near the end of November. I'm going to watch my son play soccer in the national club soccer tournament, but I'm also really, really looking forward to a visit with Deb
10.    Do you remember your dreams? 
Not usually... I wonder if it's because I don't dream?

In case you want to cut and paste the questions, I thought I'd list them here without answers to help you along. 
Here’s what’s happening in my world:
1.     What’s the title of the last book you read? 
2.     What is the last thing you cooked at home? 
3.      What is your favorite thing about Fall? 
4.     Share one thing that challenged you at some point over the last week.
5.     List three hobbies that you actively pursue or want to pursue. 
6.      What is the most recent sporting event  you watched? 
7.     Besides watching "live TV," what service do you use to watch TV or films (netflix, on demand, etc.)?
8.     Have you started Christmas shopping yet? 
9.      Do you have any upcoming trips?
10.    Do you remember your dreams?