Ten Things of Thankful – 4/08/18

TTOT 250
(Click here to go to the TToT blog)

Sunday Greetings!

I am sitting here in the quiet of Sunday morning while Papa Bear drinks his morning coffee and reads the newspaper online.  The furkids have worn themselves out playing and are now gathered around me in my writing room and settled in for naps. I was just thinking how nice Sundays are now, peaceful! When I was working Sunday always went by too fast, and Sunday evening was a countdown until bedtime with the dread of Monday morning looming. Now every day is a good day for me, and I am so thankful for that! I am also thankful that Papa Bear can have a day of rest, and I’m praying that in the future he can have more.

Today is a nice break from the first week of A-Z and hustling to get posts ready and shared. My week started out a bit frustrating as the charger for my tablet suddenly died, and I learned after a trip to Best Buy that it was just obsolete enough for them to no longer carry charger cords for it. I am very thankful for the kind salesperson who risked his own job to quietly let me know that I could order the charger I needed from Amazon and provided me with it’s model number. He was a caring young man, and a godsend to me that day.

So I went home and ordered it and thought I would use my older laptop as a back up to complete my A-Z posts until the new charger arrived. No such luck. It seems that the old laptop charger also decided to finally give up the ghost and refused to keep the laptop powered up enough to use.  Big sighs, and another charger ordered online.

Making one more attempt, I pulled out an older laptop that has been laying around waiting for me to retrieve stored files and photos, thinking it would be slow but at least functional.  Unfortunately, it is so old and slow that it won’t stay connected to our wireless internet and won’t accept the security certificates for even WordPress.

Sharing my tale of woe with my kids, they decided this was the perfect time to provide me with an early Mother’s Day gift of a new notebook computer!  I picked one up at a great sale price at Best Buy and I LOVE it!  Perfect screen size and keyboard, and it didn’t cost and arm and a leg… thankful, thankful, thankful!!

Thankful to be back up and running and able to participate in the A-Z Challenge!  I’m also thankful for old friends and new visitors who have stopped by to read my A-Z posts that are themed to provide information about me, the person behind the words you read here.  Some of what I’ve shared and will be sharing is very personal, and I’m thankful for all the positive and supportive responses I’ve received.  This is kind of a test to see if I have the courage to someday write my biography, and if it would bore people to death. 🙂

High on my list of thankfuls this week are answered prayers for two friends facing major medical issues. One was able to undergo a procedure which will result in him feeling so much better, and the other received very hopeful news from a specialist. God is good!

Another great reason to be thankful… Andy, the (probably abandoned) kitty I rescued from outdoors along with his sibling Smokey, was adopted into a wonderful forever home along with his “girlfriend” from the rescue group in town where he’d been residing. The lady that operates The Forgotten Kitty Rescue is amazing, loves cats, and has wonderful success in caring for them, getting them vetted, and finding them new homes.  If you are an Amazon Smile shopper and haven’t set any non-profit to receive the benefits from your purchases, I encourage you to choose The Forgotten Kitty Rescue in Odessa, Texas! If you’re not an Amazon Smile shopper, check it out! It costs nothing and benefits whatever non-profit you choose!  I am thankful for the Amazon Smile program! 🙂

Speaking of Amazon shopping,  I was recently able to purchase two new saucepans and a large frying pan to complete my set of Cuisinart pots and pans that I love so much. They are not inexpensive, so it was a wonderful gift from Papa Bear, and I was able to double that blessing by donating my older but still very usable pots and pans to a recently single guy that works with Papa Bear.  He was so pleased with them.  I am thankful for rehoming things we no longer need or use. Win-win!

I am thankful for winning tickets in a promotional game at my grocery store which meant I got to take home a box of free donuts from their bakery one morning this week. What a fun start to the day! 🙂

I am thankful that the rattlesnake we found on the road less than 150 feet from our house is only the second we’ve seen since we moved out here eight years ago, and that it had already met it’s demise, probably thanks to one of the local dogs I grumble about that neighbors let run free.  I am terrified of snakes, all snakes, and when it comes to rattlesnakes it is with good reason, they are deadly.  We are exercising extreme caution when we are outside.

When you reach your sixties, thoughts on mortality are ever-present in your mind. I am thankful that none of our children – my two and Papa Bear’s three – are the kind that will fuss and argue when it comes to final settlements. We have very little to pass on, and what we have will be divided fairly between them. They are all doing well on their own, except for one, and would rather we hang around for awhile yet.  I have seen families torn apart over wills and inheritance and I think it’s such a tragic thing.

Papa Bear and I are both so very thankful that we now have him signed up for Medicare and a good Medicare supplemental plan, all of which go into effect on June 1st. Then he will finally be able to address a couple medical issues that need to be taken care of. The broker we are working with is a wonderful and patient young man who explained so much and was really helpful in making the right choices. I will be joining Papa Bear in the Medicare system in nine more months. It doesn’t seem possible that we are that old already!

I saved the happiest thankful for last… two weeks from today, God willing, we will have our toes in the ocean the Gulf Coast. The vacation to Galveston that we had to postpone last fall due to the hurricane is finally going to happen! The ocean is my favorite place, where I find my center and my peace.  I can’t wait!!

Blessings to each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!


If you’ve never participated in our weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I encourage you to check it out!  You can click on the link at the top of this post to go to the Ten Things of Thankful blog page and read what others are sharing this week, or you can click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own. If coming up with ten things sounds impossible, don’t worry, we aren’t counting – any expression of gratitude will do! You will discover that focusing on the positives is powerful… it’s impossible not to feel better about life when you finish writing your post and reading what some of the other contributors have shared!

Ten Things of Thankful – 3/30/18

TTOT 250
(Click here to go to the TToT blog)

It’s long since time I returned to writing and sharing my own list of thankfuls, somehow the time always gets away from me and the momentum gets lost.  But the being thankful part never does, there is not a day that I am not continually aware at how blessed I am, and how much I have in my life to be grateful for.

My first thankful today is for fellow bloggers who show up to participate in  the TToT even when I don’t make it to my own blog hop. It reminds me that it really isn’t about me, it’s about having a place to connect and share and encourage each other, and it’s uplifting!

I am beyond grateful for one evening this week when we at long last had a beautiful rain and another later that night, finally lowering the risk of wildfires and giving Spring a fresh start here!

Another reason to be thankful this week is for another successful bartering transaction between my husband and our newly discovered local handyman which will result in us getting rid of a couple more good items that are no longer useful to us in exchange for getting the electrical wiring done to Papa Bear’s workshop, a project that was begun a couple years ago and has languished since.  We are both delighted and the handyman is very pleased with his end of the deal. Win-win!

I am thankful for the birds, bunnies and ground squirrels which show up each day to enjoy the food and water I put out for them. They are beautiful and doing well. Needless to say, our cats love to sit on their window seat and watch the activity in the yard, it’s great entertainment. (Although I’m sure if I could read their minds, there would be some fantasizing about sneak attacks!)

I am grateful that we continue to be able to keep our bills paid and our heads above water and meet our obligations responsibly, along with providing food and care for our animals and the wild ones, and donating to good causes.  It is a blessing to be able to share the gift of life.

I am thankful that my son and his girlfriend were able to get away for a few days and enjoy some time off together. They both work hard and mini-vacations are fun!

I am thankful that my daughter is doing good at her new job. She is learning quickly, and although home health care case management is very different from what she’s done before, she loves that her feet and back are not in pain at the end of the day, and that she works days instead of nights, and has weekends off to be with her husband. The job is less stressful too (other than rush hour traffic in Dallas). Blessings all around!

Often being thankful is just the smile that comes when some small thing turns out just right.  My daughter’s birthday is next week and I had already ordered a gift for her online, but wanted something small to send for her to unwrap and enjoy too.  As I was doing some grocery shopping yesterday I spied the perfect gift… a ceramic Post-It Note dispenser in the shape of a playful kitty.  She loves cats like her mother does, and has three of her own.  She will think this is a great addition to her desk at home where she now spends her evenings typing chart notes on patients she’s seen that day. Then when I got home with the gift which needed to go out in the afternoon mail, I walked into my storage room and found a small box that was the perfect size to send it in with a little room for padding. It was so exact that I had to smile. I was also able to peel some “Priority Mail” stickers off a package I’d received and reuse them on this one.  Now all that is a very small example of the little good things in life that brighten our days. I found the right gift, the right mailing box, and it got sent out on time – I was relieved! 🙂

I am thankful for friends who value my friendship, put up with my quirks, make me feel appreciated, and make my days so much brighter by our interactions. I remember a time when I didn’t have any real friends in my life, and times when I’ve had people I thought were friends, but turned out not to be. I am blessed with great friends, and I am grateful!

I am thankful, as always, that Papa Bear is so easy to please.  He enjoys new recipes that I try, notices and comments on any small changes or improvements I make in the house, appreciates the errands I run for him and ways I am able to help, and puts up with the kitty fur which is ever present.  He is a wonderful, caring partner and best friend.

I am thankful for the sweet memories of Easter as a child, my Mom made them very special, as she did with all holidays and celebrations. Gathering with our relatives and spending time with our cousins was great fun too. Life was so simple back then!

Blessings to  each of you this Passover/Easter weekend and in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…


Ten Things of Thankful – 3/10/18

TTOT 250
(Click here to go to the TToT blog)


It’s the weekend, the sun is shining brightly in the East-facing window of my writing room, and it’s supposed to reach 83 degrees here today, my first two thankfuls right there!

Although the weekend doesn’t hold the same significance as when I worked and anxiously awaited those two days of freedom, I still look very much forward to it as the wrap up of one week and the beginning of another, and more importantly, because it means I will have more time with Papa Bear. Although he works until 3 PM on Saturdays, we will have “date night” time after that, and tomorrow he gets to sleep in. He works hard, and is on his feet and going all day long, so I am thankful for weekend rest and relaxation time for him, and I pray that someday he won’t have to work so much.

Spring weather always lifts my spirits, and although it is constantly changing, 83 today and 53 predicted for tomorrow, I can live with both of those, and even with the West Texas blowing dirt. I am thankful that so far there have been no wildfires this season, we are in a serious drought here and grass fires are a huge risk where we live. Pray for rain please!

High on my gratitude list this week again, is the wonderful participation in this blog hop! Such an awesome group of people, very diverse, yet united in our common belief that being thankful for what you have is an attitude worth cultivating and sharing. Gratitude is contagious, the world can use all the positivity we can muster!

My biggest thankful this week is a huge one… my daughter submitted many job applications for RN positions in Dallas with minimal response, even with 21 years of experience, because she doesn’t have a BSN degree.  Then one evening she decided to just open the phone book to home health agencies and leave job inquiry messages on their answering machines. Lo and behold, she got a call the next day for an interview which ended up lasting two hours, and she was hired the following day at a very good salary!  Home health is a field she has really wanted to explore, whereas 21 years of 12-hour floor duty shifts at hospitals have worn her body out, and is mentally exhausting too. So, she is excited and hopeful, and of course a little nervous too. She begins Monday, prayers for this new chapter of her life, and safety in the insane Dallas traffic are much appreciated. I am a firm believer that our prayers helped this job open up for her!

I am thankful that a gift card I was given for my birthday that wasn’t something I could use will be passed on to my son’s girlfriend’s young son, who will be very happy and enjoy it.  It’s fun to share.

I am so very thankful that Papa Bear decided it was time to sell the Polaris Ranger we bought eight years ago.  We don’t have a real place or opportunity to use it much here and it spent most of it’s time sitting in the shed.  A person he knows through work made him a great offer on it and was happy to get it, because he knows how well Papa Bear takes care of things.  So we took our last ride together, then he washed it and the next day it was loaded up and went to it’s new home.  I celebrate every paring down of un-necessities we accomplish. The money is earmarked for good purposes and is a real blessing to us too, as funds are always tight.

Then, frosting on the cake, the man  who purchased the Ranger didn’t need a trailer for it, as he already had one.  But… we had a handyman come out to give us a quote on some major deck and front porch repairs, and it turns out he was in need of a trailer for his handyman business.  So they agreed to swap out the deck/porch job for the trailer and it won’t cost us anything! Win- win, and another unneeded item will be on it’s way to a new home! The handyman works a fulltime maintenance job and does home projects on the side, so he is scheduled to begin ours in a couple weeks, and we will be happy to have the deck and front porch safe and looking good again.  Some days I just have to smile and say “Thank You, God” for how perfectly things work out at times.

I am also thankful for the recovery of a friend’s mother who was gravely ill and they wasn’t sure she would be ok.  She is doing much better and my friend is so relieved.

I am thankful for feeling more motivated to be active and get some things done this week. I can be a slug at times, and it surely isn’t mentally or physically healthy. I also deleted one of the two game apps from my phone, which has reduced my play time considerably, and that’s a good thing.  Words with Friends is staying, it’s great brain exercise and I enjoy the daily contact with friends, even if it’s just the exchange of words between us.  🙂

I am thankful for people who have the heart and energy to rescue animals from dire situations, do whatever is needed to get them healed and healthy, and help them find wonderful new forever homes.  There must be a special place in Heaven for the folks who do animal rescue.  The stories and photos can be so heartbreaking, but the end results are amazing!  Please donate time and/or money to your local shelter and rescue groups… they need you to keep doing what they do!

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…


Ten Things of Thankful – 3/03/18

TTOT 250
(Click here to go to the TToT blog)


Saturday morning, and for once I am on top of the game, caught up on commenting for the blog hops I participate in and the TToT posts that have popped in already for this weekend!  Now to settle in and share my own reasons to be thankful this week…

I am thankful for those of you who come to the TToT blog week after week to share your thankfuls… gratitude is contagious, and I look forward to your weekly updates!

I am thankful for new people who bravely share a post with us, and I’m glad this is a welcoming bunch of folks so they will know we appreciate their participation! I have been part of groups that are very cliquey, and thankfully this isn’t one of them.

I am thankful for those who understand that living life is more important than writing about life, and we shouldn’t feel guilty for the times we don’t get all the bases covered and don’t make it here.  The TToT has an open door, and we are free to make it work for us, no excuses or apologies needed.  We are always happy to see you!

I am thankful for the five wonderful furkids that bring so much love and laughter to my life, individually and collectively.  Yesterday Tiggy and Gracie turned seven years old, it doesn’t seem that long ago that they were tiny little squirmy balls of fur at their mother’s side.  They have both grown up to be beautiful, gentle, and affectionate furkids! (You can see their photos on my home page, with this WP template the sidebar doesn’t show on posts, though I wish it did.)

I am thankful for friendships that come easy, where connection and understanding is a given, no explanations needed, and where consideration for each other’s feelings is ever-present.

I am thankful that I have Microsoft Word on my tablet so I have been able to help my daughter update her resume as she begins the formidable task of job hunting in Dallas.  She is an RN with 21 years of hospital experience, and a good one. But in today’s world, and in Dallas where nurses are plentiful, BSN degrees are becoming a requirement, and she doesn’t have that.  I would appreciate prayers that she finds just the right position, she would love to do something other than floor-duty, as her body is worn out from it.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, I am so blessed and thankful for the close relationship I have with both my son and daughter. We can and do talk about anything and share our lives with love and laughter and sometimes tears. I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my parents, and I know what a difference it can make to feel support and encouragement from home.  They love to tease me about my house full of cats too, and that I am now feeding the birds and rabbits outdoors as well. 🙂

I am thankful for the precious gift of being able to wake up and start my day when my body is ready, rather than jumping out of bed to the sound of an alarm clock to rush and get ready for work.  Retirement is a real blessing in my life, and I find I am waking up earlier, because I look forward to having more time to do things I want to with my day.

I am thankful for the opportunity which was presented to us this week to sell our Polaris Ranger for a very fair price. We don’t really have a place to use it where we live now, so it spends most of it’s time parked in the shed, one more thing that we can part with, and the money will be put to good use to make things a bit easier financially in the future.

I am thankful and excited that we have made arrangements for a week of vacation at the end of April so that we can return to Galveston for a few days (my most favorite place within driving distance), and my toes can touch the ocean once again!  One our way home we plan to stop and spend an overnight in a small town that looks interesting. We like to check out places that we’ve never been. We were also blessed to find a wonderful lady to do kitty care in our absence.

As always, Papa Bear is the biggest thankful on my list of reasons that I love my life! He often sends me little love notes by text during his busy day, and shares photos of things he sees during his lunch break, like ducks at the pond.  At night while he finally gets to put his feet up and relax, he reaches out to hold my hand while we watch tv together. He is my very best friend, and I treasure him. ❤

And on that note, I am headed for the shower and to get daily house chores done. Papa Bear works six days a week, but gets off at 3 PM on Saturdays, so that is our “date night” and we usually go out for a late lunch/early dinner.  Today we are checking out the new location that Olive Garden just opened. Mmm! 🙂

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…


Ten Things of Thankful – 2/24/18

Ten Things of ThankfulThis year sure is bringing its share of struggles and challenges already, ‘m hoping that if we get them over with now the remaining months will go more smoothly.  Hey, I can hope! 🙂  Today I woke up sick, having a hard time breathing, and hoping it’s not some crummy virus and just an allergy/asthma issue.  Taking it easy, but sad because we were supposed to attend a play tonight and had to cancel our tickets because I don’t feel well. At any rate, when life is being ornery, that’s the very best time to start counting your blessings to give your attitude a boost.  So here goes….

I am delighted and thankful for all the little birds that are visiting the new bird feeder and bird bath, along with the doves and rabbit that are enjoying what spills!  We live in a dry climate, so I appreciate any critters that can sustain live here, and I’m happy to help them out.  We  also have an adorable roadrunner that’s frequently in the yard.  They are so cute, I hope he finds a mate!

I was so thankful for God’s timing yesterday when I went to Home Depot to return some unneeded items and received $14 in credit.  Then I went to purchase more birdseed from them and the garden center cashier offered me ten pound bags of premium birdseed for just $1 per bag, since the birds in the garden center were poking holes in them and they had to clear them out.  I came home with ten bags… 140 pounds, for fourteen dollars! BIG WIN 🙂

I am thankful for the little mom n’ pop sausage shop we found in Slaton, Texas on our trip to Lubbock for my birthday. We are enjoying breakfast sausage patties, German sausages, Irish bacon, and cheese, and will return in the future for ground beef as well! The smell of smoked meat in the little shop was wonderful, and took Papa Bear back to his childhood on the farm.

I am thankful for the lovely books, purple scarf, and fringed shawl jacket I was given for my birthday.  New things to enjoy are always a treat.  It was a very nice birthday.

I am thankful for the new pair of Skecher GoWalks I got at the outlet store in Lubbock. My old ones were past worn out.  As my friends know, I buy one pair of shoes and wear them till they fall apart, then buy another, the same for sandals in the summer. Not only was I happy to find comfy ones in the wide width my chubby feet require, but Papa Bear also found a pair to fit his giant bear feet, and that’s unusual.  Also, it was buy one pair, get one pair half-off, so we came out with two pairs of new shoes for a wonderful price! I love sale shopping!  This is his first pair of GoWalks, and I know he will fall in love with them for casual wear when not at work.

I am thankful for the waitress at a restaurant in Lubbock that went out of her way to find information on the best movie theater seating/pricing. We saved considerable money because of what we learned from her, and totally enjoyed our movie in comfy recliners.  They are such a blessing compared to tiny, cramped seats with narrow armrests shared by two!

I am thankful that Papa Bear’s oldest grandson who lives in Arkansas will be working in the oilfield in our area for the next few months and we got to meet up with him last Sunday for supper. We may again tomorrow if I feel up to it.  He has grown up to be such an intelligent, hard-working, respectful and friendly guy, and looks so very much like a younger version of his Grandpa.  It was fun to visit!

I am thankful for the fun of watching Winter Olympics events on TV. The opening ceremony was wonderful, and it does the heart good to see young people from everywhere coming together and competing in a spirit of friendship. It gives us hope that there is still tolerance to be found in the world, even in that troubled location.

I am thankful for the perfect writing-table I bought used on Let Go for $20 this week! It’s long and narrow,  fits perfectly in my writing room, and has just enough space for my Surface tablet, my phone and iced tea mug, and a cushion at either end for furkids to keep me company, which they always do. As I move from room to room in our little house all five follow me!  My previous writing desk was a small one that my mother had made for me when I was sixteen… so it almost qualifies as an antique. 🙂 I am going to refinish it and use it for a sewing table as I did years ago, then my sewing machine won’t have to reside in a box on the shelf, and maybe I’ll take on a new sewing project!

Last, but never least, I am thankful for prayer partners and for prayers answered again this week, some big ones too! Every time I begin to feel doubtful about life, God just amazes me with wonderful blessings and peace, and my faith grows ever stronger.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…

Ten Things of Thankful – 2/09/18

Ten Things of Thankful

Tomorrow Papa Bear and I are heading out of town for an overnight at a nearby city, a birthday/valentine get away that is relaxing for us both and involves crab legs, my favorite! 🙂 So, I thought I’d get my TToT post written and linked up on a Friday for a change. 🙂  Usually Friday is a quiet day at the TToT, so I was happy to see Missy already there and waiting for us to join her! 🙂

I am not a big sports fan, but I make an effort to stay somewhat aware of what’s happening with Papa Bear’s favorite teams (all teams Texas of course), and my son’s (who’s been cheering for Boston teams since he was two years old.) You might find it rather strange then, that my first thankful this week is that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl.  It was an interesting match up since my son cheers for the Patriots, and his father was born and raised in Philly and is of course Phildelphia loyal.  I was thankful the Philly’s won because my ex has waited his entire life for his team to win a super bowl and he is sixty-nine years old!  I was very proud of my gracious son who texted that it was ok if the Philly’s beat his beloved Patriots because they played better and deserved the win.  I am thankful for my son’s maturity and always gracious heart.  I am also thankful that over the years I have learned to be happy for someone when good things happen to them, even if I’m not particularly crazy about the person.  I know that my ex’s  team winning made his day.

I am thankful for the photo updates I received of both my kids this week.  Getting pictures from them can be like pulling teeth!  My son shared a really cute one of him, his girlfriend and her son in their Patriots t-shirts ready to watch the game, and my son-in-law sent a beautiful one of my daughter that he took while they were dining out at their favorite place.  I have awesome kids, and they have awesome partners, I blessed and I am so thankful for all of them!

I was thankful, and very relieved, this week when our monthly electric bill arrived and had returned to the normal amount.  We live in an all electric home, and last month our electricity provider began using a different utility source which resulted in an electric bill twice our normal rate, “due to the change over”.  We were not happy, it was a big chunk of money we didn’t have laying around, but they assured us it was a one time thing and this month would return to normal (we use an averaged payment plan which stays the same all year long).  We were worried that the higher rate would be the new norm, and weren’t sure how we were going to afford that.  It was a tremendous relief to see it back to the right amount!  I still think the whole switchover excuse for the double amount last month was kinda crappy and not really justifiable though. Oh well.

On much happier notes, I celebrated my sixty-forth birthday this week, a low-key day by choice. I am thankful I am alive and well, and God has brought me safely through another year.  I always celebrate birthday, I think everyone should, I’ve earned every candle and gray hair and I am proud of them.  I am a survivor!

I am thankful that Papa Bear surprised me and took Wednesday off work to spend the day at home with me so I wouldn’t be alone.  That was extra nice! ❤  He is thankful that we will be the same age for the next four months (until he turns sixty-five in June), so I can’t call him “old man” for the time being. :-))

I am thankful for the many birthday greetings I received on Facebook and in the mail. Facebook makes birthdays so fun! I am thankful for the awesome gifts I received from family and friends, I felt very spoiled. ❤

I am thankful for the beautiful birthday cake my daughter ordered from our best bakery here and had me pick it up. It was/is delicious!!  We indulged in a sugar overload and have several pieces wrapped and in the freezer for treats later on (though I doubt they’ll be there too long). Papa Bear loves sweets as much as I do and this was a real treat, and such a kind thing to do.  I also got restaurant gift cards for nice dinners out.  My kids are the best!

I am thankful for the Amazon boxes that my furkids love to play and nap in. They get so excited when a package arrives at the house, and each one has to try out the box, sometimes waiting their turn patiently and sometimes not so much. 🙂  Sometimes our house is an obstacle course of boxes, kitty trees and tunnels and toys.  I am certain that my father is grumbling about it in Heaven. 🙂

I am thankful for a two hour phone visit with my younger sister yesterday.  I am not a phone visitor, so we visit daily via text or Messenger, but only connect by phone once a month or so to catch up on the longer stories in our lives.  The afternoon passed quickly and it was fun to catch up.  We are so different and yet the caring between us is strong, and we grow more in the understanding of each other as the years go by.

Last but not least, I am thankful for friends who trust me with the important issues and concerns in their lives, just as I trust them.  That kind of support is immeasurable. When you have lived much of your life without any close friends, having them is a real gift.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…

Ten Things of Thankful – 2/03/18

Ten Things of ThankfulTaking advantage of the nice quiet Saturday morning here to focus on gratitude and put together a TToT post. I’ve been saving up things on my phone notes each day and I’m happy to see that I already have more than ten without any effort on my part, so much easier than staring at a blank screen when it’s writing time.

I would like to be able to report that we have sailed into the new month with ease and the prospects of more good things happening for everyone.  Sadly, we know that life is a mixture of good and bad, and this week has been no different for several people that I care about. For today though, my attitude is going to be to focus on the positives, and reserve the sadness and worries for prayer time. I’ve found things tend to work out much better that way. 🙂

First off, I am thankful for the great TToT turn out we had last week. It’s nice to see participation!  I am also thankful for Clark requesting the HTML code so he could share the link-up on his post, and then for Kristi who also wanted to add it and was able to tell me how Lizzi shared it with them in the past.  We got it working, and Val was also able to add it to her post!  From now on the code is available to anyone via email request; sharing it on your blog post helps get the word out to more people to come and join us!

We had a really big blessing come our way this week in the form of a cash bonus given to Papa Bear at work, which was (miraculously, but not surprisingly) just enough to cover our annual property taxes due this month.  Business has been booming and his boss was kind enough to share the benefits of their long hours and hard work.

Another awesome blessing was learning from our accountant that we would still get an income tax refund, despite the penalty for having no health insurance (which is unaffordable to many people in our age group. Extra funds always come in handy.  Add to that how grateful I am that Papa Bear will turn 65 in June and be able to receive Medicare coverage.  I have another twelve months to go, but getting there.

I am thankful for being led to a wonderful non-profit kitty rescue organization operating in Odessa, the nearest city, where Papa Bear works. The two ladies running it are doing a fantastic job of providing a place for homeless and unwanted cats, and finding them suitable new homes.  They are also working with the local city animal shelter to rescue cats that are potentially adoptable, and this makes me so happy.  I got to meet the director last week, and her love for cats is amazing. I will be happy to help in ways I can, and my Amazon Smile charitable donation is now going to their rescue. Every little bit helps!

I am thankful for the new electronic check register app I was able to find for iPad. I’ve been using an older one on my old laptop for several years but it crashes frequently which causes no end of frustration.  That program was not available for my Surface, which has limited apps available.  So I checked on apps for the iPad and found the perfect one, without all the extra bells and whistles we don’t need or use.  I love electronic check registers, no messing with calculators and finding five-cent errors! It took me a couple hours to get everything set up and the January data transferred over, but it is so much faster and more reliable than what we had before.  Wonderful!!

Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference!  I found a simple detachable hand strap for my cell phone on Amazon which makes it possible to hold the phone without finger grip, and without dropping it if reading in bed, or trying to shop for groceries.  I like this one because it isn’t bulky, the phone still slides easily into a pocket, purse, or car holder; and it can be easily removed or repositioned. The best ten dollar purchase I’ve made in a long time, and I am noticing the positive effect on my old finger joints as they spend less time clinging to a cell phone.

I am thankful for a day this week that found me with the stamina to run several errands in town and cover a bunch of small shopping that needed doing. Usually after a couple stores my knees and back are worn out and protesting, so it felt good to get more accomplished and still have energy remaining to put it all away when I got home.

I am thankful for friends who shared their recipes or ones they have tried, so if you make it, it’s going to be good!  Val shared her Easy Recipe for Cream Puffs  this week, and with her well-written notes and photos, she made it sound simple.  I haven’t made cream puffs in many years, but Papa Bear loves them, so now I will! 🙂

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the old friends and new friends that have been turning up in my life with great frequency this year.  What a blessing it is to reconnect and to form new connections! In each case, it is not something I have sought out, but something God has brought to me.  I’m not sure why yet, but I am loving it!  Being a home body, my online friend connections are so important and uplifting!  God has also placed a couple more “assignments” in my Inbox, people that need a little TLC to brighten their days, and I’m working on that too.  Caring for others makes me happy!

Last but not ever least, there are two ever-present blessings in my life that I can never share often enough…. desperate prayers answers in ways so wonderful it made me cry tears of  joy, and my beloved Papa Bear who loves me so much that he makes everyday good no matter what we are wading through together.  He is truly one of God’s best examples of how to be a wonderful, supportive friend and husband, and a man of true integrity.  I am so blessed to share my journey with him!

Bonus thankful: As I sit in my writing room tapping my thoughts out on the keyboard this morning, each of our furkids has come to join me and I am surrounded by napping and purring cats, all within arm’s reach.  I am always amazed that they want to be close by and will follow me room to room to share my space.  What a bunch of sweeties! ❤

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other TToT links and add your own!

Ten Things of Thankful – 1/28/18

Last Sunday of the month, and what a month it’s been. We’ll just call it emotionally challenging and leave it at that.  I’d rather spend my time and my energies focusing on good stuff and gratitude today. 🙂

I am always and above all grateful for my husband, Papa Bear, grateful for his unfailing love, his patience, his caring heart, his sense of humor, his love of animals, his values, his hard work… and the list could go on and on.  I am blessed beyond measure to have him as the rock and the joy in my life!

I am grateful for the many nice comments I’ve received on recent blog posts and responses to my comments on other blogs.  These little exchanges means someone takes the time to reach out with friendly words, and it’s always a smile generator!  I just can’t stress the importance of caring, communication and feedback enough in life.  Just do it!

I am grateful for warmer days, longer hours of daylight, all the little birds that are loving the food and water we’ve got out for them, and the supermoon coming up this week. Full moons are one of my favorite things and this one is going to be so beautiful!

I am grateful for the handful of friends I keep in touch with each day, being at home most of the time, they are my connection to the outside world and our daily check-ins assure that each of us is coping with the ups and downs of life and doing well.

I am grateful for my furkids, each and every one of them.  Animal personalities are as varied as those of humans, and as empty-nesters Papa Bear and I spend a lot of time enjoying their affection, antics, and interactions.  I honestly believe that everyone should have at least one furkid of some sort in their lives, it softens us and there are so many in need.  If you can’t, or don’t have room, or whatever, then do what you can to support the efforts of local animal shelters and sanctuaries.  Mac’s Mission is one of my favorites.

I am grateful for the relationships I have with my children and my nieces and nephews, you couldn’t ask for a better bunch of young people (well, young as relative to my age). They are caring and kind and just make me mighty proud.

I am grateful for my many friends from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This began about sixteen years ago when I adopted a first grade class at Red Cloud Indian School there, and the friendships that developed with the children and their families is a precious part of my life and a big piece of my heart.  This first class of kids are now in their early twenties, many have gone on to college and some have already graduated, some of families of their own, and it’s fun to see them in these new adult roles.  Life there is not easy, poverty, hunger, alcoholism, gang activity, suicide, and violence are a part of the lives of so many.  So it takes courage, hope and determination to find your way through that and make something good of your life.  I’m even prouder of those who choose to return home after college and do things to improve their communities.  Facebook has proven to be a wonderful tool for helping me stay connected with my Rez kids. Yay for Facebook, which also gives me an opportunity to share support and encouragement.

I am thankful for the blessed quiet that most often fills my days. I have not forgotten what it’s like to work in an office with phones ringing non-stop for eight hours, and the endless jabber of chatty coworkers.  I don’t even have the tv on when I am home alone. All you can hear is purring cats, kitty toys being chased around the room, and the clicking of my keyboard.  Quiet is my refuge.  Loud noise, lots of people, and general commotion are hard for me to process. I am so grateful to be at home.

I am thankful for all the basic needs that God so generously provides for us… food, housing, clothing, clean water, heating, transportation, clean air, mail service, machines to do laundry, phone service,and last but not least, the Internet!  Yes, for me that is a basic necessity! 🙂

I am thankful for the gift of four free nights of hotel rooms that my son-in-law gave us for Christmas this year.  This means that we might be able to reschedule that missed mini-vacation to Galveston either late Spring or early Fall, God willing.  I love the ocean, it is my happy place, and that’s the closest spot to access it.  I love Galveston too, and especially the free ferry rides with all the dolphins playing in the water. Delightful!

I guess that’s about a wrap for this week, I could go on endlessly about the many little and big things I am thankful for, but most of all I am thankful that God helps me walk through each day, one at a time, and enables me to see the all the beauty and the good things around me.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Ten Things of Thankful

Visit us at the TToT by clicking on the button above, or click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own!

Ten Things of Thankful – 1/21/18

A dusty, dirty, wind blowing 50 mph Sunday here in West Texas, but dishes are done and put away,  the Papa Bear is settled comfortably into his recliner to watch the big teams play football, the furkids are stretched out for afternoon naps, and it is the perfect time to do a little reflecting on the many reasons I have to be thankful.

First off, I am so very thankful to see old friends and new showing up here and responding to my posts.  I have a tendency to isolate, and I am always surprised to realize how fun it is to have so many nice people in my life! It is good to be back.  I am thankful that the transition from Blogger to WordPress was easier than I expected, though I still have more to do.

I am extremely thankful that I don’t have to be outside today. The wind and dirt are blowing 50 mph here in West Texas, it is nasty. I am thankful for the warmth and comfort of our little house, even if the dust filters in a bit – a good excuse not to work to hard on dusting today. 🙂

I am thankful that I am blessed with living in a home we own and with a husband who loves cats as much as I do, which enables me to have rescued furkids here where they can be loved and cared for.  Before I met Papa Bear I lived in an apartment for a year which allowed no pets. It was the only one I could find/afford and it was so very sad. Having a furkid family is a blessing to me.

I am thankful that my children are not growing up in a time when boys wear their pants hanging below their underwear, and girls are pasting on makeup, eyelashes, and eyebrows thick enough to qualify for the theater stage.  I wish I understood the obsession to always take it one step further.  I think I am still drawn to the simplicity of the sixties, and with young people who looked for more meaning in life than can be found in eating Tide Pods!  (And yes, I know that all young people aren’t this ridiculous, thank God.)

Little things I am thankful for….

– The flannel robe my son gave me for Christmas.  I love soft things, and this is the perfect house wear on a stay-at-home day like today. There is something cozy about flannel.

– The cool little cat feeding bowls my daughter taught me about that keep the food sitting at an angle they can easily access, and don’t slide around on the floor.  They work so well!  You would get a kick out of my dinnertime prep lineup of six bowls on the counter. 🙂

– That my sister so enjoyed the red reindeer nose I crocheted for her VW Bug at Christmas time that garnered so many smiles, now she has requested a daisy ornament for Springtime. I get such a kick out of her with that little VW convertible in Minnesota.  She always wanted one and my Dad was much more practical when it came to purchasing cars.

– That neither Papa Bear or I have been struck by the flu bug going around so far, or any other illness.  My exposure is more limited now that I am at home (except when out grocery shopping, etc.) but he deals with the public all day, so the risk of germs is ever-present.

Last, but definitely not least this week, I am thankful for reconciliation with a special friend who means a  whole lot to me. We’ve been through our ups and downs but somehow God always draws us back together, so I think it’s meant to be, and it makes my heart happy.  A little older, a little wiser, ready to try a little harder.  Love never fails!

Blessings to  each of you in the days and weeks ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Ten Things of ThankfulThe above photo is a click-button to the TToT link-up. It is photo of one of our beautiful Texas sunsets with blue still peeking through the clouds; yellow, orange and pink bands around the remaining sliver of bright sun, and a wide band of black earth below it on which I’ve written Ten Things of Thankful.*

* Descriptions of the included photos are being provided for those who may be unable to view the illustrations.

Ten Things of Thankful ~ 1/16/18

Here we are, already two weeks into the new year, and I wonder why time seems to go by so much faster as I get older.  Today is my big  sister’s 66th birthday, that seems impossible!  We were talking about how special my mom always made us feel on our birthdays, with crepe paper streamers and balloons, a few wrapped presents, and wonderful decorated cakes. We didn’t realize then how much we would treasure those homespun memories later in life.  I am thankful for the relative innocence of my childhood.

I am both amazed and thankful that I have somehow managed to lose 35 pounds since I quit working at the law firm with no intentional effort on my part. I did a lot of stress snacking back then, and often ate fast food lunches, so while I can’t say that lead a healthy lifestyle now with the right foods and exercise, I can say that I’m doing better.

January 2nd marked the 10th anniversary of my meeting Papa Bear on the Internet at the Yahoo Personals site (which is no longer in existence). People can say what they want about the risks and crazies involved with online dating sites, but I know of several people like me who have found the perfect for them partner that way. I am so thankful for the gift of Papa Bear in my life, it has totally changed me, it has changed everything!

The first week of the month brought the opportunity to take the two feral tomcats I’ve been feeding since last June to the vet clinic for neutering.  They both did well and recovered quickly, will now live much safer and healthier and happier lives, and won’t be adding to the rural cat population. I am thankful I was finally able to locate a low-cost spay/neuter clinic which made it possible for me to do this.

Smoky, one of the two feral boys is very special. I cannot explain it, but he was always very insecure outside, and loves being in the house.  He behaves perfectly, gets along well with our other four cats, and is just a big mushy teddy bear who loves to snuggle and sleep on our laps!  Both Papa Bear and I are amazed at how well he has adapted, and how peaceful and content he is.  Truly the sweetest boy, with thick blue/gray fur coat that feels like rabbit fur.  I am thankful that he and Toby have become good friends in the house, often playing together, both of them needed a buddy, since the three girls are older and not so delighted with games of pounce and chase. 🙂 He is happy to be an official insider.

Andy, the other feral boy is also completely tame now, but loves his outside life, so he shall remain there. He gets to come inside to stay in the guest room on cold nights, and he is a very well-behaved visitor. I am thankful we can provide love, care, good food, and warmth for him too. He is so cute popping up in the deck window to greet us, visit with the inside cats, or request supper!

This month marked my 9th year on Facebook, and I am thankful for all the wonderful connections with family and friends I have there.  I have reconnected with cousins, former classmates, and friends from all stages of my life, along with making many new friends via blogging, etc.  While Facebook can be frustrating at times, and is too often a means for people to promote political agendas, negativity and drama, it can also be used for the opposite, to promote love and light and strong relationships, and to present prayer requests. We CAN use it to encourage each other!  I am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities it provides.

Speaking of prayer requests, I am a great believer in the power of prayer, and the power of people joining together to pray for specific needs.  I could easily make a whole Ten Things of Thankful list each week of prayers answered, but the highlights of this week include a runaway found and returned safely home, animals rescued from the cold/starvation/neglect and abuse, the safe delivery of a high-risk baby, urgent financial needs met, and broken spirits starting to mend.  I am thankful I can offer up my prayers and know that they join those of others in reaching the ears of our loving Father.

I am thankful for the beautiful “supermoon” we were blessed to begin the New Year with! The moon is such a powerful symbol of the things that connect us all, and as we witnessed that beautiful bright sky we know the others we love were sharing it with us. I am also thankful that each evening now provides us with a few more minutes of daylight and I love moving slowly out of winter darkness.  With more light comes more energy and renewal.

Finally, I am thankful for my new blogging space here, and for the perfect picture popping up in my photo files to use for the header.  Sophie really does appear to be checking out what I have written.  🙂 Once I set my mind to it the transition is going better than expected.  I will eventually be archiving and printing hard copies of my old blogs.

I would also like to apologize for my absence over the past weeks/months. I feel very sad about not getting around to read and comment, and I resolve to get back on track with that beginning today!  The dark clouds of December and early January have passed and I am ready to rejoin you in the light. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

Blessings to  each of you in the days and weeks ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Ten Things of ThankfulThe above photo is a click-button to the TToT link-up. It is photo of one of our beautiful Texas sunsets with blue still peeking through the clouds; yellow, orange and pink bands around the remaining sliver of bright sun, and a wide band of black earth below it on which I’ve written Ten Things of Thankful.*

* Descriptions of the included photos are being provided for those who may be unable to view the illustrations.