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A Nostalgic Hodgepodge

I haven’t participated in the Hodgepodge for awhile, so I thought I’d give it a go this week.   If you’re new to my blog, welcome!  If you’ve been here before, hello again!  Thanks for stopping by, y’all!

1.  What’s something in your house you’d like to get rid of but can’t?

I want to get rid of a futon that’s taking up a LOT of space in a spare bedroom, but I can’t because nobody wants to pay what I’m asking.  It’s actually much better quality than what you’ll find in many stores, so I’m going to be stubborn and hold my ground.  I figure that it will sell eventually.

2.  When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

When the Mr. and I go to our neighborhood’s pool, I’m frequently reminded of when my children were toddlers.   We lived in Miami when they were little, and I took them to the pool twice a day, just to wear them out.  This was where both of the kids learned to swim – Rooster caught on before he was two years old!  Whenever I see littles at the pool, my heart does a little lurch, and I’m swept back in time to those exhausting, yet fun, days.

3.  You’re only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet…which three do you keep?

The pressure of this question is giving me a touch of anxiety!!!!  What the heck, Jo?  Ha!

I guess I’d have to keep my email because seriously, though, how would I function without it.

I’d also keep a GPS app because I am the queen of getting lost.

The third app I’d keep would have to be Safari because I can browse all the things with a web page.

Ha!  How’s that for being smart?

4.  July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What’s the last thing you baked?

Yeah, no blueberries for me, thank you very much.  If it’s a super food, I’m not having anything to do with it.

If I was going to eat muffins, I’d probably choose the Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe I cooked up a couple of weeks ago.

Y’all, I just discovered this gal, and so far, the recipes I’ve tried have been spot on!

The last thing I baked were her Soft and Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.

You’d never know that these don’t have eggs or any other dairy product in them!  I’ll be working those off later today – and every day.

5.  What’s the biggest way you’ve changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

The biggest way I’ve changed is that I’ve grown more comfortable in my own skin.  Am I still self conscious?  Yes.  Do I mind that I’m a bit odd and march to the beat of my own drum?  Nope.

One way that I’m the same is that I am still extremely shy and introverted.  That surprises people who know me, but you guys, I don’t do crowds very well.  I’m not your party girl either.  Please don’t make me introduce myself to new people (except my students, where oddly enough I’m not shy).  I don’t know that I’ll ever outgrow these things about myself.

6.  My Random Thought

Ok, so I posted about this on Facebook yesterday, but I’m going to write about it here as well.

Why is it that when I go out looking my rattiest, I run into people I know?

Take Monday, for instance.

I had a hard time getting going.  My back was bothering me a lot and honestly, the longer that summer break goes on, the later I sleep in.  Don’t judge; I wake up at 4am during the school year, so I pay my dues on the front end.

I threw on some clothes to work out in.  I knew that there might be a possibility that I’d need to go to the store, but I pushed on.

I have a pair of twenty year old, khaki stretch shorts.  The drawstring has been AWOL for years now.

They are comfortable though, and I usually wear them when I’m doing yard work.

The Mr. loathes these shorts.  He has often told me to expect them to go missing one day . . . that they aren’t fit to be seen in.

I put on one of my favorite Hogwarts Running Clubs tech shirts from a race I did last year.  It’s pink, as you can see from the picture below.

Oh yeah, and my hair.  Can we discuss the fact that I was wearing it in the easiest way possible?  Messy buns and headbands are my thang, y’all.

It’s summer, after all.

So, after I finished sweating it up, I thought to myself, “Do I change, or do I leave these clothes on.”

Laziness won out.  I wasn’t going to be too long, after all.

I forgot that I live in Podunk, USA, where you can’t even run to the gas station without seeing someone you know.

I walked in and sure enough, I ran into one of the store managers – a drop dead gorgeous girl and the wife of someone the Mr. works with.  I’d met her a month or so ago.  Oh, hello, please excuse my nastiness, I wanted to say.

Sigh.

Then, in the produce section, I spied a young lady from my church.  I think she’s Rooster’s age and, like the other gal I’d seen, gorgeous.

I kept my head down, but we ran into each other again, and I knew it would be rude to ignore her.  I covered my brow and mumbled an apologetic hello.  I actually told her that I was hoping that she wouldn’t notice me because I wasn’t exactly dressed for the public eye.

Sigh.

So when I got home, I posted my warning to all of my Facebook friends that one should never wear ratty clothes out in public.  Ever.

The Mr. got home, caught up on social media (including my post), and came out long enough to say, “Really?  You just had to wear those?”  Sigh.

So on Tuesday, I figured I’d be way smarter.

I dressed in my Nike workout shorts, Nike tank top, and matching socks with ASICs shoes.  Heck, even my headband had the Nike emblem.  I could have been a model, minus the magazine-cover-worthy face and great makeup and hair, for them.

I’m holding up one finger because I only had one repeat left in my cardio workout.

I worked out, sweating prettily of course (you know I’m being sarcastic, right?), and ran out to our health food store to pick up a few items.

Guess what.

I didn’t see a single person I knew.

Oh no, because at that earlier time (I’d actually gotten out of bed before 9), it was only the older people who were shopping.

Not one person, y’all.

I told the hubby about this when he came home for lunch.  His response?  “You should look nice every time you leave the house.”

Sigh.

Forget random thought – you got a random story.

Have a great day!

Heeding the Call of the Hodgepodge

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How awesome is it that it’s Wednesday already?  As a person who tries to look at the glass as half-full, I’m happy that Friday is only two days away.  Ha!  I’m loving Joyce’s questions this week – so much fun!  Play along by answering your own and linking up here.  Oh, and thanks for visiting my humble corner of the world!

1.  They say you learn something new every day. What did you learn yesterday?

I’m always learning something new from my students.  Yesterday, while discussing how to organize information for an essay we are writing, one of my students told me that he’d had an elementary teacher who had taught him to use a web (cluster) to organize narrative writing and an outline for informational writing.  I was a little dumbfounded because I’d never heard of that.  I asked him a few questions and learned that since narrative writing is more visual in nature, the planning of it, with the web, meshes well since it’s a visual planning too.

Oh yeah.  My mind was blown.  I’m still processing this.

2.  Have you ever had a now or never moment? Elaborate.

This is a tough and philosophical question.  When I think of now or never, it sounds like a person has an ultimate decision to make about something and the person can’t go back and make a different decision.  Am I overthinking this?  Probably.

With that said, I think that some decisions can feel like now or never moments.  For instance, when I had my second ankle surgery to remove the hardware that had been used to put my ankle back together after I broke it, I had a moment when I felt like it was now or never.  It was kind of an elective surgery that was kind of necessary to help me progress to the next stage of recovery.  I remember taking a deep breath as I was wheeled in, knowing that many people live with the hardware forever.  I also felt that if I didn’t go ahead and do it, I’d never get around to it.

Another example is that I’ve been considering getting a tattoo (or two), but I haven’t quite said yes in my brain.  If I do make this step, I’ll definitely have the now or never feeling.

3.  April 25th is National Telephone Day. Do you still have a land line or have you gone mobile only? When you receive a text message do you respond immediately? Last time you turned your phone off?  In two or three sentences share with us a story/memory/incident from your childhood (or something current if that’s too hard) where the telephone is featured.

I do still have a landline thanks to the Mr.’s job, which requires it.  When he retires, we will go mobile only to save some money, although I suspect that my landline is part of my cable package, so there’s that.

I am a person who responds to text messages immediately.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by doing otherwise.

The last time I turned off my phone was probably a week or two but only because I needed to update it.

As far as phone memories . . . I remember that I stayed on the phone all night years ago while talking to my boyfriend (he’s now my hubby).  I had watched one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and was petrified of going to sleep.  He talked me through the dark hours of the evening until I dozed off at twilight.  I don’t do scary movies, y’all!

4.  Close call, at someone’s beck and call, call the shots, call a meeting, call it quits, call in sick, call on the carpet, wake up call…which call have you ‘heard’ recently? Explain.

I’d say that I’m constantly at someone’s beck and call right now since there are still four and half weeks until the end of the year, but who’s counting.  The kids keep me on my toes, let me tell you, and that’s saying something considering that I teach teenagers.  They are in the process of writing an essay, and I promise you that they are asking a bajillion and one questions.  I feel like a mother of multiple children who are constantly calling, “Mama, Mama, Mama.”  All they really want is for me to write their essays for them.  Ha!

5.  What subject do you wish you’d paid more attention to in school?

I wish I had paid more attention in math.  I struggled so much with this subject, but as an adult, I wish I hadn’t let it beat me.  I wish I’d been more interested so that maybe I could have done better on the math part of my ACT.

6.  My Random Thought

The weather around these parts is slowly starting to warm up.  It’s still being a tad fickle, but I’ll take the warm, sunny days when I can get them.  Last Saturday night, the Mr. and I drove to the bridge to attend a wedding reception.  The couple had rented a house on the beach, and the view was incredible.

I’m a sucker for sunset beach photos.  The light, as it makes it way through the clouds is always awe-inspiring.

I don’t know how people can not believe in God when you see such handiwork.  Folks, this doesn’t happen by chance.

Buckets of Fun With the Hodgepodge

Look at me . . . two weeks in a row of participating in Joyce’s Hodgepodge.  Can I get a round of applause?  Ha!  Thanks for visiting today!  If you’ve never done this before, grab the questions from Joyce, link up there, and make a few new friends!

1.  Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don’t have an actual list that’s fine, pretend you do.

Spring, where art thou?  It’s been a weird one so far with hot and then cold temperatures.  Oh well, that’s not going to stop me from adding my first trip to the beach this season as item number one on the list (not a true bucket list item, I know, but can we just go with it?).

Number two:  Increasing my run intervals.  Ankle recovery is in year two, and it’s still a process, let me tell you.

Number three:  Getting abs like Autumn Calabrese.  I’m going to be starting a new Beachbody program, 80 Day Obsession, soon, and although I know it’s going to take 80 x 15 days to maybe start to see one can of a six pack set of abs, a girl can always dream, right?

2.  Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

Where, as in literal where or figurative?  Hmmm.  I literally find rest in my recliner at the end of each day.  I figuratively find it in the quiet hours between getting off of work and the Mr. getting home.  Empty nesting provides a lot of time for rest, and I do not keep a busy schedule, homebody that I am.

What restores my soul is time at the beach.  I find it very restorative to just lay there, listen to the surf and birds, and just be.

I last went to the beach a year ago when Chicky came to visit.  The Mr. was still too sick to go, so I didn’t get back there during the summer with my bum ankle and all.  We are planning on going a lot this year though.

3.  April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What’s your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes? 

There is a National Day for everything, it seems.

This is from a couple of weeks ago.

I do like celery,, but I can’t really say that I have a favorite dish made with it.  I use it often as the base for stews.  I’d probably go for cucumbers (peeled please) or celery from a platter.

4.  I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you’re having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you’re thankful for and one what’s weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

Things I’m currently doing (can we pretend that I’m writing this in the morning?) are drinking water (after my pre-dawn walk), getting dressed (the work life, y’all), and reading my Bible (I try to read the First 5 app in the mornings but don’t always get to it early).

I’d love to add starting a load of laundry, but I am out of the house by 7:15, so I can’t follow that up with putting stuff in the dryer.  I am not a list person, so I will never do a brain dump as described above nor make a to-do list.  I hate lists.  My mom always left long to-do lists on weekends, which completely ruined my time off from school.  No thank you.

5.  Describe the view from your window.

Looking out my friend window, I see a rose bush that’s grown quite tall, a lot of weeds in my flower bed, and the pond across from my street.  It’s not a bad view at all!

6.  My Random Thought

I’ve been walking in the mornings before work, slowly increasing my mileage and backing up my alarm (ugh) to give me enough time.  Yesterday, I went the farthest I’ve gone since breaking my ankle . . .

That photo is from 2.5 miles in, and yes, it was pretty dang dark.  Thank heavens for the street lamps in my neighborhood.

My friend, Leanne, told me that my pace was really good.

I very slowly jogged the last half mile, which probably helped.

I have goals . . . a specific one in fact . . . an item for a non-spring bucket list.

A Musical Hodgepodge

After a bit of a hiatus, I am back and excited to participate in this week’s Hodgepodge.  Thanks, Joyce, for posting these questions, even as you’re snuggling that precious grandson of yours!  Now, let’s get to my answers!

1.  April is National Jazz Appreciation Month. Are you a fan? If so what’s a favorite you’d recommend to someone new to jazz listening?

I can’t really say that I’m a fan.  I do appreciate music, but I don’t listen to jazz it and probably could only list out a few  musicians in this genre.

2.  Mandolin, ukulele, harp, accordion or banjo…which would you be most interested in learning to play? Or do you already play one of the instruments listed?

I think it would be fun to learn how to play the banjo.  Growing up in the South, I grew to love the sound of this instrument, and I always enjoy it when someone at church pulls one out for worship.

3.  Do you judge a book by it’s cover? Elaborate. You may answer in either/both the literal or figurative sense of the word.

I’m human, so I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I do, sometimes, judge a book by its color.

I think that teaching has changed this tendency, though.  A lot of my kiddos present tough exteriors as defense mechanisms.  I’ve learned that taking time to get to know them . . . to compliment them . . . to show them that I’m interested in them goes a long way and removes some of the walls they keep around their hearts.

As far as books and covers, well, there again I do judge them, initially, from how they look on the outside.  Let’s face it, folks.  Publishers need to help their writers market their books with eye-catching covers.  They are the first things that entice us to pick up their books and at least turn them over to read the blurbs on the backs.  I’ve often skipped over books (and have probably missed out on great plots) because the covers weren’t alluring enough.

As I said, I’m human.

4.  According to a recent study the ten most nutritious foods are-almonds, cherimoya (supposed to taste like a cross between a pineapple/banana), ocean perch, flatfish (such as flounder and halibut), chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, pork fat (shocking! but I don’t think they mean bacon), beet greens, and red snapper. Are any of these foods a regular part of your diet? Any you’ve never ever tasted? Which would you be most inclined to add to your diet?

I would have to say that almonds and chia seeds are a regular part of my vegan diet.  I’ve never tasted cherimoya (sounds interesting), Swiss chard, perch, flatfish, beet greens, or red snapper.  I guess I’d be most inclined to add the fruit to my diet, if given the chance.

5.  Besides a major holiday what is the most recent thing you’ve celebrated with your people? Tell us how.

The most recent thing I’ve celebrated with my people was my birthday last month.  Chicky was on Spring Break, visiting a guy friend nearby, and drove over to eat dinner with us.

We went out to a popular Mexican restaurant . . . a local establishment that has divine food.

Unbeknownst to me, she arranged for a surprise after we’d finished.  Of course, we had to wear the special sombreros . . .

I was both mortified and entertained by this guy (I do not like to be the center of attention).  He certainly earned his keep, let me tell you.

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The singing came with dessert, which I couldn’t really eat.  Chicky dug into it though.

The evening was definitely memorable!

6.  My Random Thought

So, while we’re on the topic of birthdays, allow me a moment to share what my sister gave me.

But first, the video of me opening it.  Excuse the hair (ahem) and lack of makeup.  I was about to go for my pre-work, o’dark’thirty walk – no fixing up required.

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After I finally got it opened, I found this . . .

The Mr. had snuck into my jewelry collection and given her a list of the charms I already had.  Of course, he told me later that he had a hard time getting to the bracelet because I wear it almost every day.

Here’s a closer look at the charm . . .

It was the perfect gift given my love for books and my job as a reading teacher.

I discovered that it opened up and had a special message inside . . .

“Ignore the things you have to do and just enjoy a book or two.”

What a lovely addition to the other charms!

A Taxing Hodgepodge

Y’all, it’s been over a MONTH since I’ve blogged.

I’m so ashamed.

Life.  It’s getting in the way.

For now, I’m here, so why don’t I just try this again, beginning with Joyce’s Hodgepodge.

1.  Are you currently operating at 100% capacity? If not, what % are you? What’s keeping you there?

Well, that depends on where I am.  At school, I’m running on 300%.  I put the blame on testing season.  It’s not pretty.  At all.

At home, I’m operating at 50% capacity.  I’m fighting either a chest cold or spring-time temperature changes.  I feel yucky when I first wake up, go do my job, and then feel yucky at night again.  It’s been a vicious cycle.

2.  Have you done your taxes? Planned/booked a summer holiday? Thought about or started your ‘spring cleaning’? Besides what’s listed here, tell us one task that needs doing before spring rolls around.

The hubby filed our taxes a few weeks ago.  He’s good like that.  We are planning a summer holiday to visit Rooster and his sweet wife.  We haven’t picked a date yet; that’s dependent on Rooster’s work schedule, which is always up-in-the-air (literally, since he’s in the Air Force).

Spring cleaning will begin as soon as I start feeling better.  I’ve got company coming or else I wouldn’t bother.

What needs doing?  Um, everything?  Ugh.  It’s going to get very ugly before all is said and done.

3.  What’s a favorite food from your part of the country?

I live near the beach, so even though I don’t eat meat, a local favorite is seafood.  Personally, I’m digging Chick fil A’s sweet tea.  That’s food, right?  I mean, I do live in the South, y’all.

Ahem.

4.  This isn’t a leap year, but let’s run with it anyway…look before you leap, a leap of faith, grow by leaps and bounds, leap to conclusions, leap at the opportunity…which phrase might best be applied to your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

I think the phrase that best fits my life right now is that I’m growing by leaps and bounds.  I’ve had a new prep this school year – getting juniors and seniors ready for the ACT, SAT, and the FSA.  So much test prep – in the hopes that we can get them graduated.  It’s been quite the learning experience and one that I am enjoying immensely.  I still get to utilize my knowledge of helping kids with their reading skills, and there’s added pressure with the kids so close to graduation, but it’s fun to interact with the older students, as opposed to the tenth grade kiddos I’ve taught for the past six years.

5.  As the month draws to a close list five fun and/or fabulous things (large or small) you noticed or experienced in February.

The LAST appointment with my ankle surgeon! Remember that I broke my ankle in November 2016.  The recovery continues, but this was a HUGE milestone!  I’m planning on blogging about my progress.


Incredible weather – what a teaser for the spring!


Early morning / before-school walks – a new thing for me and something I’m enjoying immensely

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Gorgeous sunrises – the BEST thing about being up so early each morning

The opening of Which Wich, my new favorite fast food restaurant.  When you live in Podunk, USA, you appreciate things like this!

6.  My Random Thought

I mentioned that we are in the throes of testing season.  Well, actually, we’ve been in that season all year long since I’m teaching upperclassmen this year, but we just started a big round of it.  As always, I grabbed some treats for the kids . . .

This is the first time that I’ve gotten Now and Laters.  The kids LOVED them.  They were still talking about them on Tuesday.  The kids who weren’t in my testing room were actually complaining.  I’m a strict teacher, but I try to be extra gentle on test days and spoil the kids rotten to alleviate their stress.  I think I’ll pick up another box or two of the beloved candy before we test next month.  We still have three more days.  Fun times, y’all!

A Positively Complimentary Hodgepodge

Look at me – joining in the Hodgepodge two weeks in a row.  Go me, Go me!  Ha!  Seriously, though, thanks for visiting!  I look forward to reciprocating after work since I must do teach the children all the things.

1.  January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you’ve given or received.

I guess it depends on the compliment as to whether or not it’s easy for me to accept.  If it’s something fitness-related, I’m all gushy yes, but if it’s something about teaching, I’d rather defer attention to my students or other teachers.

I give compliments to my students every day.  Yesterday, I told one of my girls that I liked her the way her hair was braided.

Yesterday, my principal complimented on what I was doing in my class when he came in to observe me the day before (despite numerous tech-related issues . . . hello blocked websites and forgotten passwords!).

2.  Ten little things you are loving right now.

Ten little things that I am loving right now are:

Being out of my boot

Driving again

Lunching on mason jar salads

Indulging in no-bake desserts

Exercising to some awesome Hurt Foot workouts on YouTube

Scooping poop in mild winter weather

Discovering delicious Instant Pot recipes

Watching the hubby and our fur babies engage in their nighttime carrot routine

Getting on track with 2nd semester lesson plans

Testing out a new griddler and a vegan waffle recipe

3.Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here  a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-

Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they’re kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisons

Which action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you’re a positive person, what’s something you do regularly that’s not on the list?

Yes, I believe that people describe me as a positive person.  I’ve had people tell me, in the midst of a conversation about bad stuff, that I always manage to find a silver lining in everything.

I do consider myself positive as well.  If you’ve been reading my blog since I broke my ankle a little over a year ago, you’ve probably seen that as well.

Out of the actions listed above, I think the one that stands out the most is that I celebrate the small stuff.  I’ve had to, y’all, especially with all of the challenges I’ve faced recently.  I think that my habit of finding joy in every circumstance became a big part of my healing as I focused more on what I was learning to do again versus what I couldn’t (that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a few pity parties along the way).

I think that I need to work on resisting comparisons.  If you know me personally, you’re probably nodding your head right now.  I am such an overachiever and can’t help but measure myself against what others are doing.  It’s tough.

Something that I do regularly that’s not on the list . . . hmmm!  I think that staying in my own lane, trying really hard not to gossip, helps me to be positive because I’m not immersed in the drama that can either come back to bite a person or be so drenched in negativity that one can’t find the way out.

4.  Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili…what’s your pleasure on a cold winter’s day?

Hold the meat on all of the above, please.  I’ll take any homemade vegan soup, stew, or chili – I have no preference.  I found a really good Instant Pot recipe for chili and man, even my students were raving about the delicious smell as it warmed up in the mini-crockpot I use in my classroom.

5.  The best part of my day is….

. . . coming home after a day of work and finding my dogs happily waiting for me.

6.  My Random Thought

So, I missed writing a birthday post for my daughter.  I snatched this photo from her Instagram feed.  Isn’t she a cutie pie?

My sweet Chicky, who has grown up on this blog, turned 26 on Monday.

I tried to call her while I was getting ready for work, but her planning period had changed, so she couldn’t talk.  We did, however, chat after I got off.  She was on her way to tutor a student.

Hello 26-year-old-life, welcome to adulting on your birthday.

Giving Thanks for the Hodgepodge

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving, y’all!  I’m very impressed, but not at all surprised, that Joyce put together another fun list of questions given her precious company this week.  ❤ ❤ ❤

Thanks for visiting, y’all, and have a wonderful holiday!  Oh, and if you’re new to this, link up with Joyce to play along!

1.  Traditionhow tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma’s, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

I used to cling to tradition like crazy.  I am a creature of habit and do not do change well; however, my life became rather chaotic from the moment that Rooster announced that he was enlisting in the Air Force.  I quickly learned that I couldn’t hold onto traditions quite as tightly; rather, I’d have to adapt.  So, I’m trying.

As far as traditions that we’ve observed down in these parts, the Mr. and I have hosted Thanksgiving ever since we lived in Miami.  Our family used to drive down, and I’d do most of the cooking.  When we moved closer to the family, we continued to have them over.  That changed last year when I had my ankle surgery four days before the holiday, and the Mr. and I spent that week alone, except for a quick visit from Chicky.

This year, the Mr. and I are on our own, unless Chicky drives up, which I’m still not sure of.  I won’t be cooking this year either for various reasons.  It will be a rather nontraditional day for us.

We always watch football on Thanksgiving, so that won’t change.

The only Thanksgivings we haven’t celebrated at home have been the ones when we were on cruises.  What a fun way to celebrate the holiday!

As far as Christmas, we have, for the most part, gone to the Mr.’s parents’ house.  The only exception was the year that Chicky had knee surgery.  We spent Christmas getting her back on her feet.  It was very strange to be away from the rest of the family.

Last year, we were fortunate that Rooster and his wife were able to be here.  Actually, they had their big wedding right before the holiday and spent the week after visiting us and her parents.  It was heavenly.  I knew that this would be one of our last years observing so many of our Christmas traditions.

This year, the Mr. and I will be home, with Chicky, because he is on call, and I’m having another ankle surgery on the 21st.

It’s a year of firsts for us.

2.  Help...is it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

Well, prior to this past year, it was difficult for me to ask for help because I am definitely a DIY kind of gal.  After breaking my ankle, I had to rely on everyone for everything.  Then, the Mr. got super sick in January, and the asking kept on going.  I’ve tried not to ask for help too often because I don’t want to be a burden on anyone, but the good thing has been that I’ve learned that most people really will help if asked.

3.  Abundance…what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

I have an abundance of flour – so many types of flour.  I am so grateful that the internet is a plethora of vegan recipes; however, I often plan to make something, buy the flour, and then forget which recipe I’d bought it for.  The struggle is real, y’all!

4.  Namethe smallest thing you’re thankful for? the biggest?

The smallest thing I am thankful for is having the week to nap . . . every day . . . (click the photo to play)

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The biggest thing I am thankful for is a loving, gracious God whose plan for my life is perfect, even when I don’t understand the reasons for some of the things He allows into it.

5.  Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

I think that the key to living a more grateful life is having a humble attitude.  When we get too big for our britches, we become ungrateful and begin to take things for granted.  Things can change in a nanosecond.  This is a lesson I’ve learned this year both with my struggle to recuperate from my ankle injury, my husband’s illness, and the passing of our beloved fur baby, Molly.

I am not strong on my own, and I sure as heck cannot do life with the grace of my precious heavenly Father.

6.  My Random Thought

I could make a list of all the things I am thankful for; however, I’m sure they’re the same things that most of you would include as well.

Instead, I’ll share this adorable video, which I took the other night.

This year has been one of the toughest I’ve ever had.  As mentioned above, I lost my buddy, Molly, this summer, and my heart just hasn’t healed yet.  I don’t know if it will ever be the same.

However, I am finding so much solace with my two boys.  I recently splurged and bought two more dog beds, which stay in my room.  I’ve been leaving the door open in the afternoons, after the Roomba has run, and the other night, I discovered that they’d gotten tired of waiting for me to go to bed.  They took matters in to their own paws.

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Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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