Category Archives: Thankful Thursday

She’s gone

I got the call at 11:15pm from my brother.
“She’s gone.”
My uncle (Mom’s brother) and my brother were each holding her hand, one on each side of the bed. Her best friend had been in to visit and had just left 5 minutes before.

She was surrounded by loving hands and hearts in her final hour, and for this I am grateful.

Strangely enough, I am also grateful for the gift that cancer gave our family: the chance to say goodbye over time. The grief process began in early January, when Mom was diagnosed with cancer. By mid-March, we knew exactly what type of cancer we were dealing with (stage 4 appendiceal cancer) and we knew the prognosis.  We had 3 months (to the very day!) to prepare for her death, three months in which to say “I love you” and grieve and say goodbye.

So now, I am not numb. I had my tears and I will have them again, but I am feeling strong tonight — strong enough to face the morning with a different kind of farewell. Tomorrow is the last day of school for my younger kids, filled with goodbyes and thank yous.
And I can do this.  I have to do this. EB’s graduation is Saturday morning.

Thankful Thursday: Magic Words

The magic words for today are:

Under Contract

Yes, we are happy & relieved. And what makes us even happier — besides a closing date at a convenient time in late July — is that the buyers are happy!

Thankful Thursday: Perspective

We continue the slow process of selling our house. A decent non-contingent offer has come in — it’s not perfect, but we will negotiate and hope for the best.

After an hour or more of tossing and turning on Tuesday night, I finally got up to check e-mail (teenagers use the computer all afternoon and evening around here) and then facebook… where I stumbled upon the news that a friend’s home took a direct hit from the tornado in Oklahoma that day. The family is safe, but the house is destroyed and 2 out of 3 horses had to be put down due to injuries sustained in the tornado.

It sort of made my own house worries seem paltry.

Anything happen lately to put your life in perspective?

Thankful Thursday: A different kind of A-to-Z

SnakeMaster presented me with a ribbon-tied scroll on Mother’s Day. I unrolled it and read, to my surprise, a very different kind of A-to-Z list than I posted yesterday. Here is my youngest son’s own A-to-Z:

Adaptable, come camping with me

Bland, don’t expect anything fancy of me

Careful, come rock-climbing with me

Dynamic, come swim with me

Economical, save money with me

Focused, pay attention with me

Generous, give away things with me

Healthy, don’t get sick with me

Inventive, make new things with me

Just, don’t break the law with me

Kind, don’t be mean with me

Loyal, don’t lie with me

Meek, be polite with me

Naturalist, don’t harm nature with me

Optimistic, think happily about the future with me

Peaceful, don’t fight with me

Quiet, don’t yell with me

Resourceful, don’t waste with me

Sensible, don’t go crazy with me

Thorough, don’t miss things with me

Unique, don’t laugh at me

Valuable, don’t harm me

Watchful, be alert with me

Xtra special, respect me

Young, have patience with me

Zest, be enthusiastic with me

Thankful Thursday: photo o[o]ps

As I watched a bit of the royal wedding last Friday (thank you, PBS and BBC America for helping me avoid the talking heads spewing blather) I was struck by the photographic opportunities I missed 15 years ago when we spent 3 days in London.  At least, I’m pretty sure I missed them — the photo albums are already packed in boxes for our move this summer.  I had scanned the Mannheim Wasserturm photo in yesterday’s post prior to packing the albums, but I can’t recall taking a lot of architectural photographs during that era. And that’s a pity, because were so many lovely old buildings I saw while living and traveling in Europe.

My camera and I were a bit preoccupied. Instead of buildings, I was busy photographing sights like this:

I’m sorry to not have amazing architectual photographs (or at least mediocre photographs of amazing architecture) in my scrapbooks, but I’m incredibly thankful to have captured moments like the one above.

Girls’ Night In

We shared a meal, scrapbooked our trip to NYC,  had an old-fashioned pajama party… and tried to not think about the fact that 2 of us are moving away this summer.

It had been freezing cold in New York City but our toes were as warm as our memories.


Hope springs forth again —
in form of opening buds,
green pokes through soil

Thankful Thursday Thirteen


Shanghai juicy dumplings

Pea leaves

Shanghai lo-mein

More than a dusting

It’s a good thing I love snow, because this is what we received in less than 8 hours yesterday. While many folks were trying to drive home from work. And the highways were closed because of accidents.

My cat hadn’t been outside for DAYS and she got all excited when I opened the back door for a photograph. It didn’t take long for her to change her mind. It turns out that sitting on the heat vent is the best way to spend her winter.

What's that? Cleo outside... brieflyCleo says, I'm coming in!On Monday it was so cold that the rhododendron leaves were curled up as tightly as possible (apparently they don’t like 15F). Wednesday morning they were dripping with freezing drizzle. When that stopped, I rushed out to Costco for another 5 gallons of milk (we were down to our last half-gallon) and eggs (down to the last 3) and bread (we went through an entire loaf at lunch yesterday).

For some idiotic reason, businesses that employ thousands of people did not allow them to go home at lunchtime yesterday. At 3pm or so, when the THUNDERSNOW hit (real word, people), everyone thought, Oh, I’d better head home before it gets bad. Unfortunately, it was already bad. And then it got worse. Many people were stuck in traffic for 7 or 8 hours. Roads closed. Cars died. Traffic did not move.  I was so very grateful that my husband had previously scheduled to take the day off. That way he was here to fill the bird feeder…

… and shovel snow.  😛
Waiting now for the snowplow to dig out our neighborhood. It might be a while.

School has been out for a couple of days now (one of those days was the semester break). With everyone at home –and it being newsletter week as well– I am terribly behind on writing and reading blogs. I hope return to normal by next week.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health: Healthy blog! The Blog-Health-o-Meter™

reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it. In 2010, there were 235 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 633 posts. There were 620 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 464mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

I’m a bit embarrassed that the photo those stat monkeys chose was a Google image that I used and not one of my own original photographs… I even have one of the USS Intrepid here.

The busiest day of the year was November 11th with 402 views. The most popular post that day was Remembering. Actually, the “Remembering” post was from 11 November 2008. The title of the post on 11 November 2010 is more fully titled “Remembering once again, for always“.  I don’t know why the older post got more hits than the current post that day.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were Google Reader,,,, and
I think this means that special thanks are in order to our friend Google in both the USA and its foreign self in Sweden and Paraguay. Way to go, Google!  😉 And obviously, I owe special thanks to Suburban Correspondent at The More, The Messier, and Reb at Sibu Pegasus Power. (Although maybe they just haven’t bothered to put me in a feed reader and really they are just reading me off their own blogs? Hard to tell…) Some visitors came searching, mostly for poppies, lincoln memorial, slogans, maxine cartoons, and horseshoe pit. Which I find rather funny, because whenever I bother to look at my stats, they are looking for a picture of a 4-month fetus (yes, I do have one here) or summer haircuts for boys (although in general, I don’t advise copying these).

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Remembering November 2008 12 comments


Cartoons that crack me up January 2008


100 More Bits December 2008 9 comments


WWC#34: (1,2,) Three….Fire! May 2008 9 comments


Gimme a “P”… Gimme an “A” April 2009 9 comments

Mostly, I want to say to each of you who bother coming here to read what I post:
Thank You. You enrich my life and make blogging worthwhile. A few of you I have met in person — what a wonderful treat!  Many of you I have not yet met but hope to have the opportunity to do so one day. Thank you for making the internet such a fun place to hang out. I value your friendship. ~KC