Friday, December 29, 2017

Random Thoughts On The Christmas Season

  • Nine days ago both Sons Brian and Tony, along with their families, flew into town. Today they all climbed into a rental car for the trip to the airport to catch their flights.  Just like that everyone was gone, and the house was weirdly still.
  • Not everyone was here for the entire time. The day after Christmas Brian, Nicole, Grandson Jay, and Yves the dog left for a trip to Columbia, Missouri. They returned last night.  While they were gone we got to have some quality time with Tony and Ie.
  • The week was a mixture of ups and downs. Grandson Jay ended up having an ear infection, diagnosed at an urgent care on Christmas Eve morning. The illness muted his normally bubbling personality (but the good news is that he was better by the family's return).  The day before everyone arrived I started with cold symptoms, which got worse and worse. By Christmas evening my voice was raspy, my throat was sore from trying to talk, and I had a cough that wouldn't quit. The next day I laid around with no energy, and ended up going to the urgent care after dinner. My diagnosis was bronchitis, which is better but still not gone.
  • The cats have never been in close contact with a baby before. Jackson pretty much stayed in my bedroom for the entire time (the first two days under the bed), but Pepper was brave enough to make an occasional jaunt downstairs. Jay thought it was great fun to toddle along trying to catch him. Pepper wasn't quite as excited.
  • Our extended family celebration was smaller this year.  Thanks to a new baby born just four days earlier my nephew and his family stayed home.  However, the set of one-year old twin great nephews that were still in the hospital last Christmas were able to be here.  Including Jay, that was the first time in years there were so many little ones in the house.
  • We had a dusting of snow on Saturday morning, the first time Jay had seen anything like it.  He enjoyed looking out the family room door at the deck, but wasn't too sure about touching the white stuff when his dad took him out in it.
  • I had done quite a thorough job of organizing the kitchen, but Jay spent hours trying to improve on my work.  It will take me quite some time to get everything back where it belongs.
Pans don't go in the cabinet, Grandma!
Five years ago today: Make It Easy

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A List To Live By

I run across these beautiful thoughts every couple of years.  This time I thought I'd share them with you. Enjoy.
The most destructive habit ~ Worry

The greatest joy ~ Giving

The greatest loss ~ Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work ~ Helping others

The ugliest personality trait ~ Selfishness

The most endangered species ~ Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource ~ Our youth

The greatest shot in the arm ~ Encouragement

The greatest problem to overcome ~ Fear

The most effective sleeping pill ~ Peace of mind

The most crippling disease ~ Excuses

The most powerful force in life ~ Love

The most dangerous act ~ A gossip

The most incredible computer ~ The brain

The worst thing to be without ~ Hope

The deadliest weapon ~ The tongue

The two most power-filled words ~ I can

The greatest asset ~ Faith

The most worthless emotion ~ Self-pity

The most beautiful attire ~ A smile

The most prized possession ~ Integrity

The most contagious spirit ~ Enthusiasm

~~Author Unknown
Five years ago today: Busted!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Not Just Presents Get Wrapped Up. Projects Do, Too.

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Christmas is finally here. I hope your day is filled with friends, food, and meaningful activities.  And presents. 

Today is also the accounting day for my Advent of Gratitude challenge.  When I started at the beginning of the month I had no idea how the 24 simple prompts could open my eyes to all of the everyday blessings I have in my life.  As the directions specified I added up the money I contributed each day; it came to $68.00!

I sent the proceeds (along with a little bit extra I'm throwing in) to the Circle of Concern food pantry, which serves clients that live in the three West County-area school districts closest to my house. At the suggestion of the Advent of Gratitude Facebook page I included a copy of the daily prompts along with my check. 

Even after sending that donation off in the mail I had a little bit of money left over.  I read in the newspaper that the Salvation Army was behind on their red kettle goals this year, so the other day while I was out shopping I dropped my extra money off with a bell ringer.  This time I didn't provide an explanation.


Five years ago today: From Our House To Yours

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Darlings

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for

Today's prompt said, "If you have a pet, pay $2. Pay an additional $2 if you have more than one."

Synchronized napping
Do I have pets? If you're even a casual reader here you know all about my cats Jackson and Pepper.  They're certainly worth the four dollars I added to my total.

Five years ago today: I Guess You're Never Too Old

Saturday, December 23, 2017

I Love You. Do You Love Me?

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today I was asked to pay $2 if I could name more than 5 people who love me.

Is it egotistical to assume that someone loves you? I think not, but just in case I came at the project from the back side and listed all the people I love.  There were more than five, and I think for each of them the feeling is mutual.


So that added two more dollars to the total.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Coat For Every Need

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

The prompt for Day 22 said:
"Count the coats in your closet. Pay .25 per coat or jacket."
At the end of last winter I took a hard look at the coats and jackets on my side of  the coat closet, and got rid of the ones I don't use.  However, there are still quite of few left.  The winter section has a casual lightweight quilted jacket, a heavy coat, and a camelhair dress coat.  For in between weather there's a grey fleece, a lined twill jacket, and a knee length raincoat with detachable lining. And, if all I need is a little coverage, there's a short raincoat.


Seven items times twenty five cents adds up to $1.75, which I added to my total.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today the prompt told me that if I was traveling more than 65 miles for Christmas festivities I should pay a dollar into my kitty, and if I was confident my vehicle would get me there it would I should add an additional two dollars.

The only traveling I will be doing for Christmas this year happens today, when I drive to the airport to pick up Son Brian and family.  Actually, both he and Son Tony are flying into town with their families today, with the flights arriving approximately 90 minutes apart. Hubby Tony will make the second run to the airport after work. (Son Donald has been home since last weekend, when his college semester finished.)

Tonight, for the first time since last December, all the bedrooms will be filled. I am so ready!  The house and tree have been decorated with an eye towards Grandson Jay, who I understand is into everything. The bathrooms are stocked with extra toiletries, and the refrigerator and pantry hold everyone's favorite foods.

From our house to the airport is 20 miles.  Double that and it's still under today's guidelines.  However, I'm so happy to have everyone here that I'm going to pay the two dollar 'vehicle confidence fee' anyway.  Even though my car is old and has a lot of miles it gets me where I need to go.

Five years ago today: A Poem For The First Day Of Winter

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Grateful

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today, I read that if my parents had a high school education, pay $1. If one attended college or university, pay $2. $3 if both attended.

My father graduated from high school graduate, but my mother didn't.   Neither one of them attended college.  Thinking about their lives makes me especially grateful to be where I am today.   And that's all that needs to be said.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bountiful Books

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today's prompt said:
If your home has more than 25 books pay $1. If more than 50, $2.
I didn't even bother to count, but instantly added two dollars to my total. Even though (thanks to a mold issue in the basement that caused us to do a purge) we have far fewer books than we used to, there's still more than 50 on the shelves. 

And I'm happy to pay money for the privilege of having them.

Five years ago today: On The Case

Monday, December 18, 2017

One For You, None For Me

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today the Gratitude list said that if you bought gifts for others this season you should pay a dollar. If you added ‘a little something’ for yourself, you needed to toss an extra one into the kitty.

This year the adults in the immediate family drew names, so my main shopping list is greatly decreased. I also chose two envelopes from our church's Giving Tree and purchased items for a 19-year old woman and a 19-year old man. And, in addition to the person I received in the gift exchange there's also gifts to get for Hubby Tony and Grandbaby Jay. Then there's an item to buy for the extended family Rob Your Neighbor game. I also keep thinking of additional people I need to buy little items for before Christmas arrives.

This year though, maybe as a function of doing less shopping overall, I haven't found anything to buy for myself. So today only cost me half of what it could have.


Five years ago today: No Covers Allowed

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Spigot Summing

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today I was asked to count the faucets in my home and pay 50 cents for each of them.

At the beginning of the month I counted light switches, and came up with quite a few in my large house. Today I was sure my total would be pretty small.  However, when I started counting there were a lot more than I thought.   I came up with two faucets (sink and shower) in the basement bathroom, three on the main level (sinks in the kitchen, powder room, and wet bar that never gets used).  Upstairs there's a faucet for the sink and bathtub in the upstairs hall bathroom and FOUR (two sinks, bathtub, and shower) in the master bathroom. I almost forgot about the two hooked up to my washing machine and the two outdoor faucets, but added them in at the last minute.

So that's 15 faucets, and another $7.50 added to my total.  Things are starting to really add up, and there's still another seven days to go in the challenge!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Doctor Will See You Now

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today, the challenge said that if I had visited the doctor during the past year for something relatively minor it would cost me $2.

I have been very healthy the past year.   However, when I checked the past year's claims on my health insurance company website I was amazed to see that there were 13 of them!  Eight were from chiropractor 'tune ups', which I schedule to keep my minor aches and pains at bay.


I had a routine physical in August, blood work done, and then a follow up doctor visit to discuss the findings.
Also in August I saw the dermatologist to ask him about a weird looking patch.  It turned out to be nothing, but while I was there I had a large skin tag burned off.


Good thing I only have to pay a flat two dollars for the year, and not for each visit!

Five years ago today: It's On Us

Friday, December 15, 2017

Warm and Cozy

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

If I slept in a warm bed last night, my instructions told me to pay $2. I did, and I did.

When the temperatures dip, one of my first tasks is to remake the bed for winter.  The first layer is a set of flannel sheets. Next is a soft fleece blanket, and a comforter goes on top of everything.

Hubby Tony and I have different nighttime requirements.  He actually gets colder than I do, so he uses all of the bedding layers (and sometimes even wears a long sleeved shirt). I go to bed with a short sleeved, knee length gown.  Depending on how hot my internal thermostat is running I will use one or two layers of covers.  Often the covers go on and off multiple times during the night.

It doesn't help my temperature fluctuations when Pepper the Cat joins us on the bed to lend his body heat to the mix.  He doesn't seem to get insulted, though, if I kick him over to the other side to wrap himself around Tony's legs.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

An Accounting Of Accounts

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Advent of Gratitude asked me to pay $2 if I had more than one bank account, and pay an extra $2 if I have investments that earn income.

Hubby Tony and I have a joint checking account, and I have another checking account I use for business purposes. For reasons I don't remember the accounts are at different banks. That does make it convenient when I need to cash a check, though, because there are twice as many possible locations to choose from.

We both also have investments that earn income.  Tony's pool is larger, because he's always worked full time. Due to my spotty job history my fund is much smaller, but I proudly put money into it on a regular basis.  For the most part the account grows, which is satisfying to see.

Two dollars plus two dollars equals four dollars, which is the amount I added to my total today.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Well Stocked

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today's challenge said:
Open your pantry. If there is more food than you can consume in 2 days, pay $2.
I do most of my cooking from scratch, and my pantry has a lot of ingredients in it. It would be an interesting experiment to find out just how long we could eat on its bounty.  For purposes of this post I did a quick pantry inventory.

There are canisters of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, white, brown, and powdered sugar, and three types of oats (quick, old fashioned, and quick cooking steel cut). Plastic jugs hold brown rice and cornmeal. One side shelf has dried fruits (raisins, craisins, and plums) and nuts/seeds (always walnuts, almonds, and flax seed. Occasionally peanuts or pumpkin seeds). There's multiple kinds of dry beans ( black, pinto, great northern, garbanzo, and lentils).  .

I have my choice of vegetable oil, olive oil, and non-stick spray. White, apple cider, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. Bottles of soy sauce and several types of hot sauce are ready to be opened, as are jars of yellow and Dijon mustard. If I need liquid sweetness I can pull out jars of honey and molasses. The canned goods shelf has three varieties of tomatoes (diced, sauce, and paste). There are cans of chili, black, and lima beans, a couple of cans of tuna, and one can each of corn and green beans. 

The coffee (regular, decaf, and green beans waiting to be roasted) and tea (bagged-regular, decaf, and herbal) is housed in several different sections of the pantry. One lower shelf holds a selection of salty snacks and crackers. I try to keep sweet snacks out of the house, but what we have is next to the crackers.

My inventory didn't include the selection of spices, which are in a cabinet close to the stove.  And because I took the prompt literally I didn't include the food we have in the refrigerator or freezer.  Yes, we could eat a lot longer than two days on the available bounty.


Five years ago today: Five Star Day

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What's On Your TV?

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today's challenge called me to pay $1 per TV, and pay $1 extra if I subscribed to Netflix.

We have two televisions in the house, but the one downstairs is an old CRT model that we only use for the occasional exercise DVD.  Since it won't broadcast any more I didn't count it.  That's one dollar.

It was just last month that Hubby Tony and I discontinued our cable service.   Now the only paid video option we have is Netflix.  It's ironic, considering that Consumer Reports says that there are more than a dozen different video streaming services.  I posted that point on the Advent of Gratitude Facebook page, and got the response  "I wrote this according to what I subscribe to -- never expecting thousands of people to also participate! The original intent was to make ME grateful -- and I have one TV AND Netflix."

And I'm grateful, too.  As such I added an additional dollar to my total.

Five years ago today: Once In A Lifetime

Monday, December 11, 2017

Collegian

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today I was invited to pay $1 per degree if I graduated from college. I did. I'm the proud holder of a 1981 Bachelor of Arts in Education and Special Education.

Neither of my parents went to college, but from my youngest years the expectation was that I would.  When I completed my degree I was confident that I would spend my career using that piece of paper.  That hasn't turned out to be the case.  For the first three years I was a teacher.  Then my career turned into full-time mothering.  Years later I was back in the classroom as a classroom volunteer and then a substitute teacher.  Still later I ran a tutoring center for teenagers who were completing a correspondence curriculum and worked as an aide at a preschool.

Even though my non-teaching jobs outweigh the degree related ones, I'm glad I had the opportunity to go to college. I can't imagine my life today without the experiences I had during my four years on campus.

Five years ago today: Merry Christmas To Me

Sunday, December 10, 2017

To Toss Or Not To Toss

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

On the tenth day of Advent I was asked to count every cell phone in the house and pay a dollar per phone.


I was surprised to find out that it had been more than two years since I last cleaned out the electrical junk drawer. Since then both Hubby Tony and I have upgraded our phones...and tossed the old ones in the drawer for 'just in case'.   However, today I was in a purging mood and decided that it wasn't worth saving them anymore.  I did some research on disposing of old cell phones and found out there's an ecoATM kiosk a couple of miles from my house.  Mine may have some residual value, which I'll be able to determine after they charge up enough to figure out exactly how large the hard drive is.  If they do, that amount will help me pay for the ever-growing balance I'm accumulating for this Advent project. If not, the phones will go into our electrical recycling box and get dropped off the next time our city hosts a drive.

 Maybe I should have counted the old models in my tally, but I didn't.  Since Tony is keeping his own Advent Gratitude list he counted his current phone.  I counted mine.  We each added a dollar to our amounts.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Keep It Cool

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today's challengs said "Pay $1 for every refrigerator/freezer in your home."  In my case, that would be two.  We have a standard upright refrigerator with a top freezer in the kitchen, and a deep freeze in the basement.

We bought the refrigerator back when there were five people in the house. Now that there's only two of us you'd think it would be too large, but we buy a lot of bulky produce, and right after trips to the grocery store it's often hard to fit everything in. The door is filled with condiments and liquid staples, and there's usually a variety of leftovers on the shelves for quick lunches and dinners.

Two years ago we updated our freezer to a smaller, more energy efficient model.  I use it to store surplus items and food I've bulk cooked in advance.  Even though it's not necessary, because there's room I also store non perishables like rice and flour.  I don't know what I would do without it.


Five years ago today: Fuyu

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Nice Way To Make A Living

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

The list told me that if I went to work today and earned an income it would cost me $2.

Right now I'm a self employed independent contractor, which means each day I have the flexibility to choose whether to schedule work for myself or not.  Today I happened to have something scheduled, so I added the two dollars to the till.

It turned out to be a great day.  Hubby Tony had his office holiday luncheon, then he took off the rest of the afternoon.  I picked him up at the end of the event and he helped me with my assignment.  After it was completed we ran errands together and grabbed dinner, seguing the work time into date time.


Five years ago today: Cheesy

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Good, But Not Gourmet

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for. 

Today I was asked to contribute $2 if I had bought a gourmet coffee in the last month.

At first glance, the question sounded like it would be easy to figure out.  However, I spent too much time overthinking the whole thing, disappearing down a rabbit hole of Google searches and websites trying to figure out what made coffee "gourmet".

Eventually I realized that the answer didn't really matter.  The only important fact was that I had only purchased one cup of coffee from a shop in the past month.  It was black.  No flavors, no shots, no foam on top. Everything else I drank, although it was very good quality, came from my own house.

So, I didn't add anything to my kitty today.

Five years ago today: Basket Of Produce

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Travel, Trips, And Tours

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today the gratitude list told me that if I had traveled outside of the country I needed to pay $2, and if I had traveled within the past six months it would cost an extra $2.  I spent a couple of minutes reviewing all the wonderful trips we made this year, then happily added the money to the pot.

Years ago Hubby Tony and I were quite the homebodies, but as the younger generation has grown up and moved around the country that's really changed.  This year is a great example.  In June we attended our niece's graduation in Seattle, then we boarded a ship for an Alaskan cruise (which included stops in Canada). In August we visited Son Tony in Dallas. In October we got on a plane again and flew to California to help Grandbaby Jay celebrate his first birthday.

The instructions didn't say I had to, but because I'm so thankful to be able to make all these trips I took each into account.  If you're keeping track, today added up to eight dollars.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cozy and Bright

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.

Today, the challenge said "If you have never experienced having your electricity or heat shut off due to inability to pay the bill, pay $5."  I was overjoyed to be able to add that sum to my total. 

The request was very timely: 
KMOV
A cold front came through yesterday, and all of a sudden the weather changed from fall to winter.  Since we're well into the month of December, I don't think there's a good chance of it changing back.  Yesterday I wore capris and a tee shirt. Twenty four hours later I was using my heavy winter coat. 

Because Hubby Tony and I are fortunate to be able to afford to pay the utility bills the house was warm and the lights were on.  Life is good.

Five years ago today: Lights!

Monday, December 4, 2017

From Gardening Shoes To Galoshes

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.
For the fourth day of the challenge I was invited to pay 10 cents for each pair or shoes or boots I own.
 

Back when I worked in an office I used to have more shoes.  However, my career and lifestyle have changed, and as the footwear wore out it wasn't replaced.  Right now I have one pair of dressy sandals and one pair of 'sensible' black dress shoes.  Everything else is casual.

In the summer my choice of footwear is flip flops around the house and tennis shoes or sandals when I leave.  During the winter my house shoes are an old repurposed pair of tennies.  When I go to the gym or if I'm wearing jeans I use athletic shoes whenever possible.  If it's really cold our, or if the occasion requires it I have brown and black loafers and booties.  In addition, I also have a pair of shoes dedicated specifically to yard work and a pair of snow boots in the coat closet.

When I was getting dressed this morning I counted the shoes in the closet, the out of season pairs stashed in a box under the bed, then remembered to include the boots. The total was 20 pairs, which added two dollars to my donation total.

Five years ago today: Don't Waste Any Of Your Seconds

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Lights and Switches

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.
Today I was asked to count the light switches in my house and pay a quarter for each one. 

If you've been reading here for a while, you know that my house used to have quite a few more occupants back when the kids were all at home.  Now it's just Hubby Tony, me, a couple of cats, and a lot of excess space. (Except during the holidays, when everyone comes back for a visit.)

I guess it makes sense that a large house would have a lot of switches  Each of the four bedrooms has one. The dining and laundry rooms have controls at either end, as do the stairs to the basement and upstairs levels.  The kitchen and family rooms have zoned lighting, with switches for each area.  Each room in the basement has its own light source, along with its own switch.  And we can't forget the ones for the front, deck, basement, and garage doors, which turn on the lights directly outside them.

This morning before I rolled out of bed I tried to mentally count up all the switches.  After breakfast walked around the house and did a physical count to see how close I was, and was pleased to find out that both numbers were the same.  Hubby Tony is also doing the challenge, and he counted independently. We compared answers, which were close but not exact.  After we discussed exactly what the phrase 'light switch' meant (for example, should we include the switches that turned on the garbage disposal and bathroom ceiling fans or not) we agreed that there were 38.

In the end I rounded up my answer to 40, which made my donation a nice even $10.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Behind The Wheel

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.
The prompt today centered on transportation, suggesting that I pay one dollar if I rode in a car today and an additional dollar if I drove it.  I rarely stay home for an entire day, and the suburban neighborhood I live in would be difficult to navigate without a vehicle, so I  knew before I started the day I'd be adding to my fund.

I've spent most of my life living in neighborhoods that don't have great public transportation.  Shortly after my 16th birthday I received my first car (used, but serviceable), to help me get to the after school job I was expected to find.  Since that time I've never been without wheels.

There are three grocery stores that are within two miles from the house.  Add another two miles and you can make it to Costco  Hubby Tony and I  have been known to walk to those groceries, but the trips are more about the exercise then bringing home large amounts of food, because it's hard to carry more than a small tote bag or back pack that distance. This morning after breakfast I got ready for the twice monthly 'big' grocery shopping trip.  The 12-mile circular route took me to three places for food and a pet store to buy cat litter.  And, thanks to my trusty vehicle I was able to save money by getting the best deals at each of them.  Definitely worth two dollars in my Advent fund.

In the afternoon Tony and I went to Mass.  Although the church is within walking distance we were headed to dinner afterwards so Tony drove. It was nice to be a passenger this time, and definitely worth adding an additional dollar.

Five years ago today: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Friday, December 1, 2017

Grad And Glad

This December I'm participating in An Advent of Gratitude to help remind me of the gifts I already have, what I often take for granted, and what I can and should be grateful for.
Today's prompt was to pay 25 cents for each woman in my family who graduated from high school.  Being the mother of three boys and the only female in my house, I guess this was a painless way to ease into the challenge.  However, even going back a generation didn't help me add to my total.  My Mom, a member of the Greatest Generation, left high school early to find a job to help support her family (which was not particularly uncommon back then).  Her strategy backfired decades later, when the only work she could find was low-paying, but that's another story for another day.

So try as I might, all I could come up with today was a pittance.  And an appreciation of  my diploma.


Five years ago today: Christmas Traditions