Showing posts from June, 2014

Day 68: Raincoat

I love walking in the rain. I love it with that "Yay, I'm alive feeling". The same kind of feeling children probably experience when they jump in puddles.

I love the feel of rain running down my face. I love seeing the sky changing as the rain clouds move across it. I love watching ripples in the water that collects in places. I love the way a raindrop is precariously suspended in space. I love the way rain makes my hair feel so soft and the way it teases the curls out of hiding. I love how everything looks fresh after the rain.

So it only goes to reason that I am grateful for my rain jacket and boots which allow me to get outside and enjoy the rain. And even though my jacket collects water in its hem, and in an unsuspecting moment the dam bursts, sending the water gushing down my legs: even for this I am grateful for when I finally get home and get changed, I can appreciate the comfort of being warm and dry again.

Oh, and I'm grateful to DH for laying slate tiles in…

Days 66-67: Catch-Up

Yes, it's a catch-up post because even though there were many things for which I was grateful yesterday, I did not have access to the internet until 11pm and was too tired to post. I am definitely not a night owl even if I sometimes pretend to be.

In an effort to redeem myself, since I'm meant to post every day, I'm going to post several things for which I'm grateful.

I'm grateful for the lovely night we had baby sitting The Most Adorable Granddaughters #1, #2 and #3 while their Mummy and Daddy went out.

I'm grateful for popcorn and that said granddaughters thought it a wonderful treat.

I'm grateful that I was able to sleep in my own bed.

I'm grateful for visits - yes, plural - from The Most Adorable Granddaughters#4 and #5 this weekend.

I'm grateful for my new phone, even if my sons are likely to laugh when they see it (and yes, I did figure out how to use it myself).

I'm grateful for knitting time today and that I finished the project I was wo…

Day 65: Socks

Socks. Yes, that's right. Socks.

It might seem like a funny thing for which to be grateful, especially to my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, but I am particularly grateful for socks, especially the hand knitted variety.

I'd forgotten now much I loved them until the painful discovery of chilblains and I realised that I'd not dragged my knitted socks out of storage. I quickly remedied that. My husband has a theory that not only do hand knitted socks keep your feet cosy and warm through the thermal properties of the wool, but that the texture of hand knitted socks - the ridges and bumps of stocking stitch - stimulate the circulation and keep the feet warm that way, too.

I'm not about to argue with him because I enjoy my knitted socks and I like that he wears the ones I knitted for him (even the ugly black and white pair). I'd also forgotten how much I enjoyed knitting socks until I pulled out some leftover yarn last week and began a pair for someone special. I'…

Day 64: Glasses

I am grateful for my glasses (spectacles - what a funny word) without which I couldn't read, write, sew, knit, see my food (yes, I'm getting that bad), decipher ingredient labels, use my cellphone, etc.

However, even with them, I still cannot manage to buy a birthday card complete with envelope. Three times I've done it now: walked out of the shop with a card and no envelope. And the one time I did pick up the envelope (which I'm sure is included in the ridiculous price of the card) Son#5 wrapped the present and left the bright pink envelope at home.

Hopefully DIL#3 will be grateful for the card, envelope notwithstanding.

Day 63: Three

Happy Birthday to The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 who turns three today. I am so grateful God gave you to us.

Not A Grateful Post

This is not a grateful post ... although I could honestly say I'm grateful to have read the article I was directed to on Facebook of all places. Not that I don't derive some honest amusement, enjoyment, and sometimes even knowledge, from some of the links that are shared on Facebook, but I also know that a lot of what is shared does not come under the 'edifying' category.

So why did this article receive more than a fleeting glance? Because it addressed something I struggle with daily ... and I know it's something at least one of my grandmothers struggled with.

I have so few photos that include my maternal grandmother. She would hide whenever the camera came out and I could never understand that. I saw a beautiful woman, aging gracefully, and someone who loved me unconditionally. I loved her and couldn't understand why she was so ashamed to be captured on film (as it was in those days).

Fast forward thirty or so years and her granddaughter is exactly the same. I…

Day 62: Sunny Corner

I'm grateful for the sunny corner where I was able to set myself up with bean bag and laptop and edit Son#3's thesis today. We woke to a frosty morning with ice on the windows of the car, so I knew it was going to be one of those wonderful sunny winter days (albeit on the cold side) and my reward for being right was a wee corner this afternoon with the sun streaming in and making it hard to read the screen.

I'm also very, very grateful that the editing is done. (Sorry, sweetheart, but some chapters did not make for exciting reading.) I'm not sure if I'll have to do it again but I'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Day 61: Relief

I am so grateful that our youngest son has FINALLY contacted us to let us know that he is safely down off the mountain. However, he may not be so grateful when he hears what I have to say about his failure to let us know earlier, forcing us to wait anxiously for news for several hours.

I am grateful that he's safe and sound, alive and in one piece, but right now I feel like strangling him (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Day 60: Excitement

I am grateful for the excitement that is a young child's ... especially when awaiting the start of her very own I'm-now-big-enough-to-understand birthday party.

It reminds me of the simple joys of childhood that are such a blessing ... and I'm grateful that my grandchildren get to experience such joys.

I remember throwing up on my fifth birthday. I went to bed and my party was cancelled. Most parties (mine and others) were filled with trepidation because they involved people. I don't remember the excitement and thrill of a party unless it was for my twenty-first. I'm not saying such excitement didn't exist - I just don't remember it.

But today I enjoyed seeing excitement on my granddaughter's face and the pleasure she took in cards, presents, party games, and a cake with candles (that her sister blew out).

[Credit for the photo goes to Son#2.]

Day 59: Words

I am grateful for words.

Words that come in the form of a sweet email from a lovely reader of my blog.

Words that fill one hundred and fifty pages of Son#3's thesis which I am currently editing for spelling and grammar. Not that I understand five words in ten. I had no idea he was so smart! (Well, actually I did. I just didn't realise he was so much smarter than me.)

Words that flow from my fingers when I sit down to write.

Words that encourage ... inform ... delight ... illuminate ... convey love or appreciation or both ... words that bring healing. Words that cause us to cry ... or laugh. Words that we return to again and again.

And for The Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (John 1:1. NKJV).

Day 58: Five

I'm so grateful for The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 who turned five today. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Day 57: Secret

In one of my favourite novels, Emma by Jane Austen, Emma greets Mr Knightly after his return from London with these words:

"You have some news to hear, now you are come back, that will rather surprise you."

"Have I?" said he quietly, and looking at her; "of what nature?"

"Oh! the best nature in the world ..."

That news was a wedding. I don't have a wedding to report, and in fact my news must remain secret until I know I have permission to share it (having already been in trouble for sharing the fact that Son#4 had a job before he had accepted the job - oops) but let me say that I am extremely grateful, incredibly excited, tremendously thrilled with the news. In fact, I am over the moon.

(Apologies to those readers who haven't yet been let in on the secret. I know it's a mean trick ... but I am just so excited! And grateful, too, of course.)

Day 56: Kind Words

I'm grateful for the kind words - what amounted to a compliment - from the lady next to me at the checkout. Maybe she was just being friendly because I'd let her go ahead of me when she had one item and I had an overflowing basket, but she had no idea what kind of day I'd had up to that point and how very much her words would make a difference in my day.

I was having one of those ugly days: a day when I questioned why I am the way I am - why I couldn't be more like everyone else - why I had to look and feel like a freak. Because that was how this skirt-wearing long-haired-going-grey middle-aged (that's such an ugly word) lady felt.

I don't want to be the only one wearing a skirt in a sea of jeans and tunics-with-tights (and fashion conscious I may not be, but tights are not pants. Wear them with dresses, wear them with tunics, but please do not wear them with shirts regardless of body size) and I've tried to change. I've even thought of throwing out my …

Day 55: Concert

I'm grateful I went to the concert tonight, even if it was only the junior orchestra. They played well, the flute solo was wonderful and I am amazed that it was written by the twenty-year-old conductor.

I'm grateful, too, that Son#4 sacrificed his time and came with me. I'm not sure what he thought but he didn't yawn, fidget or complain so perhaps he even enjoyed it (I was too scared to ask too many questions). I'm grateful for this sacrifice and also the one that meant I came home to a clean house earlier today. After the busy week I've had, it was very much appreciated.

And I'm grateful that DH went and picked up Son#5 this evening and I now have my two handsome and single sons at home for the weekend. Not that he came home to see me (I'm not so vain as to think that especially when the other day The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 let me know with just a look how low I rate on the scale of wonderful incredible people to spend time with). No, the reason…

Day 54: Solitude

I am grateful for, and enjoy, my times of solitude.

I love my family but sometimes I need to be alone with my own thoughts and reflections. I don't do well always being surrounded by noise (unless it's my kind of music) or people (yeah, I'm an introvert). I need quietness to recharge my batteries and help me to keep going.

Perhaps the reason I thought of this tonight was because it's been a busy week and it's about to get even busier. I'm trying not to stress at the thought of what the next few days will bring.

I'm wondering how I will fit everything in and know that some things like attending The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2's birthday party is a priority - as is buying her a present - but that cleaning my house probably isn't, given all the other things I must do (even if it stresses me when it doesn't get done).

With the pressure I'm feeling at the moment, I know I'm going to need some times of solitude over the next few days - even…

Day 53: Sound of Rain

I'm grateful for the sound of rain on a metal roof. I didn't know how wonderful the sound was until we bought a home with a corrugated iron roof complete with multiple leaks. I'm also grateful that we will have a new roof soon (without leaks) but that it didn't happen this week (when it was raining).

Day 52: A Child's Comments

I'm so grateful for the comments of children, offered in innocence and without guile.

When The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 told our friend that his hair was sticking up she wasn't being rude. She had probably never before been so close to someone bald on top with short hair around the edges.

When The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 asked our parting guest if he knew that he talked funny, again, she wasn't being rude, but commenting on his American accent (and he probably did sound funny to someone used to Kiwi and Australian accents).

When I picked The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5 up out of her cot yesterday when she'd woken from her nap and she greeted me with, "Grandpa?" it wasn't because she was being rude or didn't want me (I hope) but it was her way of expressing her hope that her grandpa was also visiting (he was).

Since I work with children, I am often party to many of these beautiful comments: some profound, some funny, but always innocent. I…

Day 51: Four Chicken Drumsticks

I'm grateful that Son#5 was home for the past week. We seem to see far less of him than we did his brothers when they were at Uni and it was lovely to have him home. If I had my way, I would have my boys home permanently.

I suspect Son#4 was also grateful to have his younger brother home rather than being stuck with two oldies but he'll never admit it. What he might admit is that he's grateful that Son#5 has gone back to Uni because it means he'll get the extra chicken drumstick when there's four in the pack!

Day 50: Shopping Lists

Conversation in our home on Thursday night after I'd done what was for me a big grocery shop.

DH: Did you get any marmalade?

Me: Was it on the shopping list?

DH: No. Half the time I don't even know where the list is. [Um, same place it always is.]

Son #4 also happened to mention that we had no powdered milk. I didn't bother asking him if it was on the list because I knew it wasn't. The only items on the list were ones I'd written there.

Despite this, I am grateful for shopping lists. If I don't eat it, I don't know we're out of it. If we run out and someone writes it on the list, I buy it. Easy. I AM NOT a mind reader.

This reminds me how sometimes we expect a spouse, children, friends, to know how we're feeling, or what we're thinking. I am guilty more than most of expecting others to know what I want or am thinking. I expect them to be mind readers because I figure they know/love me. We live in the same house, after all.

Except it doesn't …

Day 49: Opportunities

I am grateful that Son#4 has had a job offer. It's not permanent but it will provide experience and perhaps may lead to other opportunities.

I'm also grateful that he has been provided with an opportunity to tutor a high school student. I'm hoping it will make him realise just how much knowledge is swimming around in that handsome head of his. Hey, I'm not in the least biased.

Day 48: Mother-in-Law

Forget the bad taste jokes: I am extremely grateful for a godly, loving mother-in-law. From conversations I've had with others - stories of criticism, non acceptance, intolerance, lack of harmony, insults, and even downright nastiness  - I realise I am certainly blessed to have this wonderful lady as my mother-in-law.

In recent years her health has deteriorated, and while still strong in mind, body and spirit for someone closer to ninety than eighty, it has been hard to watch these gradual and not so gradual changes. Her illness has meant that some of her filters have been removed. Even with these filters removed she is far and away the best mother-in-law anyone could wish for. If I could be half the mother-in-law to my daughters-in-law that she has been to me, I'll be grateful.

Day 47: Dry Shampoo

Years ago when I had a cyst removed from my scalp I was not allowed to wash my hair until the stitches came out. It was soooo hard. My roots were greasy, my scalp itched and all I wanted to do was to give my head a good scrub under the shower with whatever was my favourite shampoo at the time. Worse was to come. The wound never healed and it was discovered that part of the cyst had been left behind. I had to go through the procedure all over again and endure another two weeks of not washing my hair.

At the time I survived by spot cleaning around the front hairline with a cloth and diluted shampoo and alternating with a commercial dry shampoo which I kept away from the open wound. I also used baby powder as a dry shampoo and which worked surprisingly well.

This week I've suddenly developed an aversion to going out in the morning with wet hair. I do not want to spend the day with a wet cold head and so I decided to experiment with some homemade dry shampoo recipes.

I'm grateful …

Day 46: Leftovers

I am grateful for leftovers and for wonderful sons who cooked up a yummy meal with said leftovers (despite the fact they had spent most of the day travelling home after visiting Son#3 and DIL#3). It was so good to come home from work and not have to cook dinner!

Day 45: Queen's Birthday

Everyone loves a long weekend I'm sure. After two days with our friends where the only work I did was meal related, it's been handy having today to catch up on those things that need doing and which didn't get done over the weekend.

We even managed to fit in some leisurely shopping between housework, catching up with visiting family (where five minutes turned into an hour) and removing an old tree stump.

It means I won't go back to work and a potentially extra busy week feeling exhausted and super behind on all my chores (okay, I still didn't manage to get around to the chores I particularly hate and always put off but there's always next weekend). For that I am grateful.

Day 44: Goodbyes

While I'm not particularly grateful for sad goodbyes, I am grateful for the friendships that make saying goodbye so very very hard. For the past almost-forty-eight hours we have enjoyed catching up with friends whom we haven't seen in eighteen years (hence no recent updates on my blog or anywhere else for that matter during that time).

To have friends where you can just pick up after eighteen years is a real blessing. To be able to talk non-stop (unusual for me) was incredible. To share something of our lives was a joy. To exclaim at the wonder of children now fully grown was predictable and delightful (their baby was six months old last time we saw her - a lot has changed in that time obviously). To discover that nothing has really changed - that we're just as young and beautiful as before (on the inside at least) was a huge bonus.
For me there was another bonus to this weekend visit which has left me feeling immensely grateful. I met our friends when I went nursing. We w…