Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hey, Turkeys

My favorite things about Thanksgiving week are...

Using my kayaking skills...

Thankfully setting the scales back...

And, of course, spending time with my baby and the rest of the family!

College Boy comes home Wednesday afternoon. The way my week of work and other activities is going, I might not get to spend much time with him except on Turkey Day and possibly Saturday if I can kidnap him for the Cookie Bake up north. So I'll treasure the minutes I have!

After attending the visitation tonight for our friends' dad, I also will be doling out extra hugs to all family members those two days. And remind myself to treasure the minutes I have with them, too!

Turkeys get a lot of attention this week. But don't forget to show some love for what fills your heart, not just your stomach.

Monday, November 20, 2017


This just in... As of today, half of the 8 R's are now in their 60s! Say what?

My sister RoAnn (aka Annie Ro) crossed the threshold today as the 4th SOS (aka Sister Over Sixty). Seriously, they do call themselves that. Well, until my bro gets there. Then it's Siblings Over Sixty.

It is my duty as one of the babies to point this out. As I have so diligently done with each milestone. Now, of course, it's catching up with us twins and we'll never hear the end of it when we finally reach the big one... at some point in the way off future.

These senior texting codes just cracked me up. And, since Annie Ro enjoyed a delicious carrot cake on her birthday, I have some freedom to poke fun. She is riding high on frosting. Plus she's my fellow Purple Princess and loves me best. Plus she's the "baby" of the SOS Club so she can still point out these apply to HER older sisters!


Lots of love, Skol Sister over Sixty!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Out Reach

Unless your life has been a bed of roses on Easy Street, you know it takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It's tough. We don't want people to know our lives aren't perfect. We know asking for help invites judgment and, at the same time, makes us exposed and vulnerable.

We also know that when we finally muster up the ability to say "I need help," a great weight is lifted off our shoulders. We no longer have to carry the burden alone.

I was blessed today that I had the opportunity to grasp that hand that was reaching out for help.

Through prior conversations, my pastor knew I could be a potential resource to help these people. These people who, on the surface, seemed not to have a care in the world. Many of us hide behind that facade, don't we?

As the saying above reminds us: We seriously have no idea what people are dealing with in their personal life so just be nice. It's that simple.

After some "ministering" to them after church – for lack of a better word – I was feeling incredibly blessed for where my life is at this moment. We only have this moment, after all. We know that things can change on a dime.

I am hoping I made an impact. My pastor thinks I did. But just to be on the safe side, we're praying for them.

Think about upping your own kindness game this holiday season. Sure, there may be cranky shoppers and whiny kids and maybe a Scrooge or Grinch in your midst. But remember, they might have something more serious going on their lives besides stuffing the turkey and decking the halls.

I have loved ones who will be overworked during the holidays, others going through their first Thanksgiving and Christmas without a loved one, family who are fighting major health issues, and plenty of friends who are stressed for countless reasons.

If they aren't ready to ask for help. You be the one who reaches out. Hold their hand. And be kind.

Always be kind.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Charting My Gratitude :: Part 3

The Gratitude Month is flying by. Gotta keep up with my chart! Here are a few blessings for Nov. 13-18...

13. What abilities are you grateful for?
I'm extremely grateful for my ability to write. I realize it does not come easy for everyone, so I am blessed. I am thankful I can use the written word to inspire, educate, and entertain others. Nothing eloquent. Just me typing from the heart.

14. What sight are you grateful for today?
Every sight. As someone who had glasses since kindergarten and was legally blind with 20/400 vision when I finally had lasik surgery 14 years ago, I really, really appreciate the ability to see without the aid of corrective lenses. Granted, I do use the "cheaters" because of hours working on the computer, but I can still wear cool sunglasses when I want to!

15. What season are you grateful for?
Mostly grateful for summer. The warm sun and longer days energize me. It seems like I can get so much done in a day – compared to now when it's dark at 5 p.m. and I am ready for bed at 7 p.m. Plus I get to bond with Mr. Deck Chair. Bonus gratitude points right there.

16. What about your body are you grateful for?
I'm glad I read this closely so I didn't have find a body part I love, ha. I am grateful for a healthy heart and strong legs. I can walk and run and bike or whatever. And they can handle that. Can't wear heels without getting a charley horse, but that's another story.

17. What knowledge are you grateful for?
To me, experience is knowledge. I am grateful for some of my struggles in the past because I can now use those experiences to help others. God saved me and I can pay it forward.

18. What piece of art are you grateful for?
I love anything my baby boy created! While much of it has gone into his scrapbooks, I still have masterpieces hanging around.

Plus, I have heart-warming creations like this Valentine's door hanger that I've seen every day on my closet door... since, oh, probably 2002. And no, I didn't keep everything. Just enough to fill the void in this empty nester's heart.

Hope you are continuing to find blessings to be grateful for each day!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Father Figures

You know I have "adopted daughters" I enjoy watching grow up, play sports, dance and sing. But I don't just need a daughter fix. Now and then I need a father fix, too.

Yup, I have several "adopted fathers," too, who don't mind at all that I call them Dad. Besides my father-in-law, there are a handful who are the real-life fathers of friends and, by default, grandfathers of some of my girls.

They all have a special place in my heart. I hope I have shown them that.

Tonight after work, I got a shock when I ran into a friend at the grocery store and learned one of my dads passed away unexpectedly this morning. My heart was breaking immediately.

I held it together in the store, but on the way home I let the tear ducts loose. I adored this man! We bonded over a lot of baseball (his son-in-law coaches with Jim) and softball (his son coaches and his granddaughters play) games the last few years. I was always greeted with a hug and we could exchange some decent ribbing. Just the sweetest guy around. Both he and his wife are wonderful people. And as a result, their kids and grandkids are pretty amazing people to call friends, too.

I adored this man to the moon and back. He just turned 70. That's NOT old. Not sure yet what caused his death but I know he broke a lot of hearts today and it has nothing to do with his smile and charm. It has everything to do with his departure.

While bawling on the way home from the store, I talked to God about comforting the survivors. And I talked to Dad, too. My real-life Dad up in heaven.

"Dad, you are going to like Doug. He's cocky and charming and funny like you and you can talk sports all day long! Take care of him."

God, please bless the Schill family. We love them like family. I know You do, too.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cat's Out Of The Bag

I have a confession to make. I am not as busy as you think.

Some people read my blog and say, "You're always so busy. Don't you ever sit still?"

The answer is yes, I am often busy. But yes, I do sit still. Quite a bit, in fact.

First of all, there is a difference between having a busy schedule and having to have a busy schedule. Some people don't have a choice. They may have to work several jobs or run their kids around or care for an ailing loved one.

I am grateful that for today, at least, I have a choice. I do have some extra side jobs but they aren't stressful. Freelance work that requires creativity is fun for me!

That brings me to my second point. Just because I'm busy doesn't mean I'm stressed.

We're social. Hubby and I love high school sports. He graduated from Assumption and our son did, too. We followed them before Carter was there and we'll follow them long after. We have lots of friends with kids still there so we love seeing them grow and showing our support.

I don't HAVE to take pictures of that – or anything – but I do. I enjoy the heck out of it! It's a fun challenge for me to see if I can capture any good action shots. And it's a selfless gift to share with the kids – and their scrapbooking moms, especially.

The past few weeks, between fall and winter sports, it has been quiet. Hubby has had to substitute bowl at least one night a week. I, on the other hand, have been sitting on my butt (with the cat), watching The Voice, This is Us, and Hallmark movies when I can. And trying to read some Christmas books I can share with my sisters at Thanksgiving.

Even though I did not get everything done on my "to do" list between jobs, I am still allowing myself to sit.

Just thought I'd clear the air about that. Sure, I'm busy. Just enough to keep me happy and out of trouble.

Tune in tomorrow when I explain why I do not have time to work out!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cheers to Hallmark

In order to get her husband to watch Hallmark Christmas movies with her, a woman in Fort Worth, Texas, invented a drinking game...

This cracks me up for a number of reasons. Mainly, it certainly points out the predictability of most Hallmark Christmas movies.

And frankly, I don't care. Ha. I'll still watch!

Hubby, though, not so much. He'll have his Bah-Humbug Budweisers elsewhere.

Frankly, even if a person doesn't drink, they could use this creative format for other activities. If you want to exercise, you can do a sit-up or push-up for each "point." If you are looking to donate to a charity like the Red Kettle, throw in a quarter a point or a dollar. Or just eat a spoonful of ice cream per point.

That Schwan's Peppermint Stick ice cream isn't going to eat itself. Unless that's part of the "Santa magic" listed above. Then I'd have to cash in that point somehow.

Anyone ready to play?