gratitude: with a missing button and hole in the hem

There are some things I sigh my way into.  A pair of soft, fleecy sweats…the t-shirt broken in by hundreds of washes…fuzzy socks on a cold, snowy day.  Then there’s that one special blanket I wrap around my shoulders and sink into for a nap.

And I have one of BrightSide’s shirts that always makes me feel like I’m home again.  It’s an old plaid flannel button down, so worn it feels like cotton balls brushing across my cheek, so soft it’s like being wrapped in a warm hug.

At the end of each day I change into my PJs and slide on this shirt, snuggling into it like my favorite pair of slippers.  The comfort of the familiar.  The warmth of a thousand nights spent cuddling with my family on the couch.

It might look like a battered old flannel shirt to some, but it is at once past, present, and future to me.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: another southern staple

I know I joke around about living in the south.  They have a strange obsession with Cheerwine here and a bizarre inclination to deep fry anything.  When we go out to eat I have to ask BrightSide to remind me which kind of sweet tea that particular restaurant serves – moderate, hummingbird, or put me into a diabetic coma sweet.  Don’t even get me started on why chicken and waffles are offered together as a breakfast order.

But I’ll tell you something this glorious state introduced me to: the delectable dish that is chicken pie.

I mean, chicken pie in general is delicious, but there’s this place in town called Michelle’s Catering.  Oh, my…Michelle’s chicken pie…

Anthems could be written about the savoriness of this pie.  Its tender chicken, the scrumptious sauce, a flaky and fabulous crust.  I have dreams about this pie.  The mere thought of it makes me salivate just a little.

I just texted my husband begging him to bring home this pie.  Tonight.

Some might say I have a problem, but I figure it’s better than being hooked on deep fried Twinkies.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: for the love of paws

Some things are really cool.  Handprints left in fluffy shag carpet.  Grass that looks pokey but feels soft as a blanket.  Couches that look hard but cushion like the fluffiest clouds.

But dog paws?  Those are infinitely cool.

Their pads are scratchy but, when I rub them just the right way, they’re also remarkably soft.  And when everybody’s all relaxed I can feel that really neat webbing between their pads.

Plus there’s something so deeply trusting when a dog lets you hold their paw.  It’s like touching a pure spirit, one capable of more love than her body can hold.

IMG_2806


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: little bits o’ joy

In honor of all the things that bring a little bit of joy to my life…

  • full fat creamer in a hot cup of coffee
  • squishy flip flops
  • white fluffy clouds in a true blue sky
  • being able to photograph the kids even when they’re going full speed
  • Tide™ pens ‘cuz, you know, clumsiness
  • yellow daffodils
  • clean water to drink
  • danish. really good danish.
  • yummy smelling body wash
  • soft, smooth, comfy leggings

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: a little stick now

So I have this friend…

** In a names have been changed to protect the innocent sort of way, we’ll call her Kay for the sake of this post.

Kay has what you might call a bit of (ahem) trouble with needles, if by “trouble” you mean “transforms from a sweet, sassy, competent woman to the Incredible Hulk at the sight of that pointed implement.”  Shifting from reasonable adult to hazy minded fight-or-flight creature in five seconds flat is her specialty.  Kay’s been known to actually warn medical professionals beforehand that she cannot be held responsible for her actions once the needle appears in the room, and woe to those who do not heed the warning.

Now, to be fair, I hear tell Kay’s gotten much better recently when it comes to her needle phobia.  This is a relief because I’ve always harbored a secret fear that some nurse would freak out, tranquilize her, and call the police, and it’s kinda hard to come up with bail money on short notice.

All of this is my round about way of saying I’m (exceedingly) glad I don’t have a thing with needles.  I get a lot of blood work done – have for years now – and that’s a whole lot easier when needles don’t send me into a massive panic.  Some draws are easier than others, but none of them cause me to threaten the lives of sweet little nurses.

Ahem.  Not that I’m saying that’s happened.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: capitals, planets, math, and geography

"Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
'cept February..." 

blah blah something...

whatever, February has twenty-eight,
twenty-nine in a leap year.

5-things-i-cant-do

I have a rather porous memory.  Some of my friends had the gift of reading something once and it was lodged firmly in their long term memory; I had to work a bit harder than that, and even then I wasn’t always successful.

I mean, learning the capitals for all fifty states?  Talk about torture.  (And talk about gone.  If that info’s still stored in my brain it’s hiding behind some long lost episode of M.A.S.H. or something.)

Mnemonic devices were my saving grace for everything from remembering planet names to the order of operations.  It’s how I memorized the colors of the rainbow, names of the Great Lakes, and that dessert is spelled with two esses.

Having a brain that needs those connections made me a better teacher, too.  Anyone can lecture from a textbook…I taught my kids tips and tricks, how to link facts together, ways to make learning personal so it’s easier to retain.  The same memory glitches that made me work harder are what helped me find better solutions for the kids whose lives I touched.  Including our own.

Thank goodness for those memory aids.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: here in the 21st century

I’ve been known to utter things like this to the kids when I feel like sounding a hundred years old:

  • I remember when I’d leave home for the day and that was that – I was out of reach.  If I didn’t make plans to meet up with my friends the night before then I was SOL.
  • Before we moved I always made sure I got my friends’ addresses.  No, not their e-mail addresses, I didn’t have one of those until I was in college.  I got their actual addresses so I could send them actual letters.
  • There was no such thing as online shopping.  Needed a new pair of shoes?  I was out of luck until my mom had a free day to go to the shoe store, and there was a fifty-fifty chance that wouldn’t happen until one of my siblings needed shoes, too.
  • Driving required dependance on the kindness of strangers.  If you ran out of gas, there was no OnStar or calling AAA.  You’d be hoofing it to the closest gas station (and hoping it was open).  Being stranded on the side of the road meant hoping a helpful neighbor happened by.  Getting in an accident dropped you off the map until you were towed somewhere; then you could ask to use the phone to call your parents.
  • There was a time when it wasn’t a choice between a flip phone, a smart phone, or an Android.  There was one phone, and it was plugged into the wall in your house.

Folks talk about the cell phone being both a blessing and a curse.  That constantly being available to the world makes it difficult to back off and refresh.

As for me, I land on the blessing side of things.  I handle roughly 90% of my scheduling and such while I’m out and about; I can’t imagine having to come home to a voicemail filled with messages to return.  I love being able to reach out to my sister with a question or a silly thought, and knowing my kids can reach me in an emergency is priceless.  (Granted, they think a headache and icky feeling at school constitutes an emergency, but the premise holds.)

Plus I know how to turn the phone off to go underground for a while.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: time to ‘Roe

I’ve been bitten by the Lularoe bug.

The first time BrightSide heard about them he burst out laughing.  “You mean like college?” he asked.  “With those leggings and all those giant sweaters?!”

No.  It’s not at all like that.  It’s like wrapping my legs in a layer of the softest material on earth, and in fun colors to boot.  They’re the kind of leggings that compel you to feel your legs all day long (admit it, you know you do) and give you an irrational urge to do the same to strangers on the street.

Which sounds entirely bizarre.  Unless you ‘roe.  Then you totally get it.

I’d like to say I’ve gained some style sense since college – no swimming in enormous, oversized sweaters and sweatshirts these days.  I’m still covering my assets, mind you, but with tops that look less like tents and more like, well, clothes.

But these leggings…oh my word, these leggings.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.