Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gobble, gobble!

Happy turkey day from me, Sitka, Juneau, and Poquito!  Thanks for reading my little blog!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I'm thankful for

What a year it's been! 
Despite this year's trials, I have a lot to be thankful for:

My best friend Martha.  I couldn't ask for a better bestie!  She came all the way from Seattle and spent a week with me when mom died.  And then came back in October and spent two weeks with me, during which she whipped through the majority of what was left to be done in my house.  What kind of great person comes on a vacation and then actually WORKS?  The BEST kind! 
My cousin Kris and her family.  It's nice to know that I have family that loves me and even wants to spend holidays with me!  Kris dropped everything and came when mom had her stroke.  She said that she knew if I asked her to come, it must be critical, so she did.
My friend Nicolas, who always helps me think things through.  I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like with him, but I know if I ask, he'll be there.  It's nice to have people like that in your life!
All my other friends:  John, Joann & Bill, Rebecca & Jonathan, Gail & Steven--you all rock!  You've been so loving and helpful throughout this year of turmoil. 
My dog-children:  Sitka, Juneau, and Poquito.  You're the reason I go home at night.  You're my companions and you brighten my days, even when you are naughty and chew furniture.  I do love you more than my "things!"
My home.  I am so lucky to have inherited mom's home.  It's well-built, and large enough to house all four of us, and all of my stuff.  I couldn't ask for a better place--and besides, it's filled with such happy memories. 
My job.  I love knowing that what I do impacts young (and sometimes not-so-young) people and their dreams for a better life.  Sometimes I get frustrated with the politics, and the whining, but, ultimately, I love it.
My car.  Never underestimate the value of having reliable transportation.  It's not the fanciest ride, but I don't look like a slob driving it either!
My stuff.  I know it sounds materialistic, but--if you've been paying attention to my blog--you know I love my stuff.  It all holds happy memories for me!
My church.  I appreciate all of the support I receive from my church and especially the church members.  After a lifetime of avoiding organized religion, I have a new appreciation of what it means to be a member of a church family.
My health.  Despite having several ailments, I am thankful that I feel good and have the ability to "get up and go."   Being diagnosed with leukemia has made me acutely aware of how thankful am I for the ability to do this.
My country.  I am thankful that I live in a country that allows me the ability to live my life as I choose, up to my ability to support that lifestyle.  It's a true blessing to have this freedom when so many don't.
My mind.  I am grateful that I have the ability to think for myself, and the ability to think clearly.  One of our family friends died from Alzheimer's this year, and it really reminded me that having the ability to think and be rational is a gift.
So, what are you thankful for?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Show and tell Sunday #2

Do you have anything in your house that has a pretty great story, but you sort of forget the story just because you see the object every day?  Seeing the object all the time dulls the amusement factor of the story.
This antique floor lamp has just such a story.  It belonged to my grandparents, and when my grandfather got remarried and moved to Texas (way back in the 1970s), my mom inherited it.  When she got it, the shade was totally ruined, although the lamp itself was in good shape. 

Mom decided that she wanted to redo it in what would have been the original style--with a beaded shade.  Since it also needed rewiring, she took it to a Dallas lamp shop.  When she asked the proprietor about redoing the lamp, he proceeded to insult both the lamp and my mom, suggesting that the lamp was a piece of junk, and that it didn't matter since she probably couldn't afford to have it fixed like she was wanting it anyway.  I don't know whether that guy was just naturally grumpy or whether he was just having a really bad day, but he--understandably--ticked off my mom. 

The next day when she had calmed down enough to talk about the incident, she called her banker (remember when we had those?).  She gave him the shop's name and the owner's name, and she told him to tell the owner that she wanted to buy the shop--and to be certain that the owner knew for whom the banker was making the inquiry. 

I don't know who got a bigger laugh over that phone call--the banker or my mom.  The banker called my mom back to report on what had transpired during the conversation.  The owner was puzzled at first as to why some apparently random woman wanted to buy his lamp store.  When the store owner inquired as to who wanted to buy his shop (which, of course, wasn't for sale) the banker lowered the boom, saying, "Remember the woman who tried to have a vintage floor lamp restored at your store, and you wouldn't help her?"  After receiving grudging confirmation that the owner did indeed remember my mom, the banker said, "Well, she just figured that if you wouldn't help her, she'd buy the shop and hire someone who knew how to run a business."  The banker hung up on a very flustered lamp store owner. 

We'll never know if he learned to treat customers better because mom redid the lamp herself!  She found a plain shade, and hand beaded the trim around the bottom.  She even rewired the lamp too!  I think it turned out pretty well!