Friday, November 27, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - All Wrapped Up

As this day after Thanksgiving wanes, and the month of November begins drawing to a close, I am finishing my 30 in 30 Thankfully project with the last seven of the 30 things I'm thankful for this month.

24. I am thankful for that amazing sunset pictured above. Coming out of Barnes and Noble, that light-painted sky caught my eye, and I paused to snap a photo with my phone. I love having that technology in my pocket to capture life as it happens.

25. I'm thankful for Thanksgiving day, time to relax, do a bit of scrapbooking, spend moments with Daniel and DJ, eat good food, and write our wish lists for the holiday season. A simple, sweet holiday with people I love is a treasure indeed.

26. I am thankful for the local scrapbook store, where I've spent many a happy hour browsing and buying, and where I've met some wonderful people that have become good friends. I know not every scrapbooker is lucky enough to have such an awesome store nearby.

27. I am thankful for the book I'm currently reading, Writing Is My Drink. I am becoming inspired to write again, and that dovetails nicely with the word I've just about settled on for 2016.

28. I am thankful for the fun day I had with Daniel today, having breakfast, shopping, getting coffee, being together, laughing like we always do. Lucky, lucky, lucky me.

29. I am thankful for plenty. I know how fortunate I am to have what I have, to enjoy the abundance I enjoy. Life is good.

30. Finally, I am thankful for my own strength. It has been another very difficult year for me, and I am proud of myself for continuing to stand. Part of that is because of my parents who taught me by their examples how it's done. They are both gone, but their love for me lives on in my memories of who they were and who they taught me to be.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Numbers 21-23

21. I am thankful for this view out my front door this morning. Measurable snow doesn't usually fall this early in the season, and it was absolutely beautiful.

22. I am thankful for a day that was both restful and productive.

23. I am thankful to have a warm home on a cold night like this one.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Numbers 19 and 20

19. I am thankful for days like this, perfectly autumn, rainy and chilly. By far, this is my favorite kind of weather, and I love that I live in a place where it happens. (I do feel badly for the neighbor who just had all their leaves bagged up and set at the curb for pickup.)

20. I am thankful for the phone call from my niece Rebecca yesterday. People keeping in touch always makes me happy.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Catching Up

(I accidentally deleted this post, so I had to re-post it.)

Okay, I'm behind. Again. This is the main reason I don't usually attempt daily projects, why 30 in 30 was born in the first place. Daily is a difficult pace to keep, even during the best of times.

So, rather than lament, I'm just going to pick up where I left up and list some things in my life that I'm thankful for and catch this project up. Ready? Set…GO!

I am thankful…

10. that I don't live in a country so embroiled in all manner of turbulence that I have to be a refugee from it. While I know that the United States has its share of problems, I feel lucky to live here and enjoy how good things are for most of the people who do.

11. for my friends. I feel lucky to have really good ones.

12. for coffee. Enough said.

13. that there are good people in the world who balance out those who live out of fear and pain, rather than love.

14. for scrapbooking. It brings me so much joy and preserves memories. I recently looked through two different holiday season albums, and it made me happy to remember those two different holiday seasons.

15. for my health. Good health is precious. I don't want to forget that.

16. that I had good parents who cultivated a relationship with me. I miss them both every day.

17. for friendly folks who will chat with me in line at the grocery store.

18. for all the artisan beer flavors that arrive during the holiday season, making it that much more festive.

There we go, all caught up for now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Number 9

(Changing from "day" to "number" because I'm having trouble sticking to a daily format.)

A moment in time, I don't even know for sure what moment, captured on film. In this picture, taken sometime in 1979 or 1980, most likely, but that's a wild guess at best, I am with my mother on a paddle boat at Tyler State Park in Texas.

I think that's where we were.

I don't have a specific memory of that day, that moment, with my Mom, but I remember her being kind and loving. I remember her laughing and being a lot of fun. I remember her making an effort to make my life full and happy, and teaching me by example to enjoy moments.

Lately, with the holidays approaching especially, I'm feeling more in touch with the loss of my Mom this year.

I am thankful that I have so many happy memories of her.

Like the one in this photo.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 8

Today, I am thankful for the simple pleasure of relaxing with a good book. I forced myself to shelve all the responsibilities for today and just rest.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 7

(Yes, I realize I'm running a bit behind, but I intend to remedy that today.)

That is my nephew last May on his way into Karmanos Cancer Center on the day before he was admitted for a procedure we hope will save his life. He has leukemia, as I've written about before, and that disease, especially the form he has, is particularly nasty, as well as resilient.

I recently read this article about a new procedure that may eventually turn the tide in the sometimes losing battle with leukemia. It gave me hope that someday people diagnosed with this terrible disease will not have to endure the misery my nephew has endured, that someday, cancers of all kinds will not leave the devastation in their wake that they do, now.

I am thankful beyond measure that my nephew is doing well right now, and I am thankful that the little baby girl mentioned in that article has survived and is doing well. And I'm also thankful for the hope this new medical development brings.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 6

So very thankful for time to play with paper and pretties. For a couple of months or so, I've been going to crops at the local scrapbook store, and not only do I get several hours of scrapbooking time, I have met some truly wonderful women who have become fast friends.

Friendship and fun are great antidotes for the stresses of life.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 5

Today, I am thankful for taking walks with my husband. The one we took this afternoon was once around our neighborhood, about a mile, and while it was still warmer than November usually is, the wind felt like autumn is on the way back, replacing the Indian summer.

We always have good conversations and laughter on our walks, and some of the trees still have their leaves, shining beautiful fall colors, even against a sky promising rain.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 4

It is after midnight, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so I'm calling this day 4, and today I am thankful for autumn.

Because everywhere I turn, there are leaves of gold catching the sunlight, and it takes my breath away.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 3

Today, I'm thankful for treasures like this one, preserved by my little Mommy.

I painted that tree with watercolors on some very flimsy paper probably 25 years ago. I was hanging out with my nephew Luke, and we were watercoloring together. I wasn't thinking about perfection or creating a work of art. I wanted to paint a tree, and that's what I did. I remember being surprised by how much I liked the finished picture.

I gave it to my Mom, and she kept it, eventually framed it, and hung it on her bedroom wall. Today, I found it in a box of her things from her house in Texas, and it made me happy that it mattered enough to her that she would keep it.

Monday, November 2, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 2

Today, I am thankful for bright autumn sunlight on a November day warm enough to work out in the garage and sit on the deck with my husband, drinking coffee.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

30 in 30 Thankfully - Day 1

Now, I'm not promising to keep up with this on a daily basis, but I want to document gratitude again this November, so I'm going to give it a shot.

30 days, 30 things I'm thankful for. In no particular order, except today, because this? This I'm most thankful for, always:

Every day of my life, I am surprised and delighted that I get to be with him.

Every. Single. Day.

The two of us, we've been through so much shit together, and we remain head-over-heels in love. Devoted to each other, dedicated to the best for each other. Whatever happens, it is handled. Together. He is my soft place to land. He is my anchor. He is my hero in a hundred thousand ways, and I am so, so lucky I get to be the one to share his life, his dreams, his days, and that he shares mine.

So, yeah. Thankful. Really, really thankful for him.

When October Goes, 2015

October. My favorite month of the year. This one, admittedly, a bit more turbulent than most, but still...I enjoyed its moments. Here are some of my favorite photos from October, 2015.

Sunset at the intersection of 9 Mile and Middlebelt Roads.

Me and my love, together for 14 years, married for 13. So lucky. So much in love.

The light and water show at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. We were there for a conference and to celebrate our anniversary.

Me at the Starbucks near New York, New York, Las Vegas.

The baby tiger at The Mirage. So adorable.

Also at The Mirage, this playful dolphin, flirting with all of us watching from the below ground aquarium. Seeing the dolphins was probably my favorite part of the Las Vegas experience.

Back in the Mitten, fall color in the sunlight.

Daniel and I were invited to visit an elaborate Halloween display at two homes in the area. Every year, these talented people decorate their yards with all kinds of characters and lights and other nifty stuff. That's me with Yoda and Vader, wearing Daniel's Amazon conference jacket because I was freezing, and he is a sweetheart.

More autumn gold. Every year, I find the trees more and more breathtaking.

Me and Daniel, Star Wars fans. I tried and tried to come up with a great costume for us, but while October is my favorite month, it was also a difficult month, so we went easy with the costumes and had a great time at our friend Jenna's charity Halloween bash.

Our nephew DJ as The Punisher. Awesome.

And one more shot of that magnificent autumn color, so fleeting. The leaves are probably already off that tree, danced to the ground by the wind.

As the song by Barry Manilow says, "I should be over it now, I know. It doesn't matter much how old I grow. I hate to see October go..."