Sometimes you got it, sometimes you don’t.

I don’t got it today.

So, because I need to do this when I feel it and even when I don’t got it:

  1. I am grateful for the wisdom and comfort of Psalm 27.
  2. I am grateful for a busy evening, even though I would like to not be busy.
  3. I am grateful for disappointment because I’m sure it will teach me something.
  4. I am grateful for a little afternoon snack that I will not touch since it smells of Chantilly perfume, but it makes me smile:


Thank you, Delores, for my inedible snack that brings a smile. It is a permanent fixture underneath my computer monitor.

It is difficult to eat a crunchy taco when you can’t feel your face.


But I am grateful that I cannot feel my face, because it means that a cavity has been filled and mouth is once again semi-healthy. I do not recommend cavities however, in the front teeth, or anywhere for that matter. How many times have I bitten my lip while biting into that taco… Is bitten a word?

I am grateful that I am sleep-deprived, because it means that Michelle came to visit and talked into the morning after midnight, and it also means that the next night, the Royals decided to win Game 1 of the World Series in the 14th inning. Eye toothpicks are needed, but a bitten lip/lip bitten will have to do.

I am grateful that I am broke, because it means that I have stacks of books ready to wrap for grandchildren Christmas, Bingo prizes continue to flow on Tuesday nights, the furnace was able to be used last night for the first time this season since bills are paid, and I am blessed with a dead face for a little while in order to bite my lip while eating a crunchy taco.

I am grateful that I have no time to do anything, because it means that I have filled my time with lots of activity which means that I am not bored.

I am grateful that I am overweight, because it means that I am enjoying crunchy tacos and macaroni and cheese and chocolate anything and have decided that I am who I am.

I am grateful that I live far away from family, because it means that when I DO get to see them, it is that much better, like seeing Cindi, Greg, and Doug, and then Delores and Dwight and Marlene, and then Danny and Glenda, and then Michelle. That much better it is.

I am grateful that we were late to church, because it means that we were surprised to see Danny and Glenda walking in at the same time and that led to sitting with my cousin in church and then having breakfast with them afterwards.

I am grateful that I won’t be able to sit on the couch on Friday night and watch the Royals play, because it means that we will be overnighting with our small group in the Flint Hills.

And I am grateful that I can no longer relax on Thursday evenings after my CASA visit, because it means that I will now be a member of choir at church and I will once again be privileged to play the piano on a regular basis.


How are you?


This voice came out of the little black box under the menu sign, the same words asked every time my car pulls into the drive through line at this chain of taco stores here in Kansas City.

Every time. And the voice always baffles me. There’s no, “Welcome to Taco Store, what would you like today?” Or, “May I take your order?” It’s always, “How are you?”

Just once, I want to have the courage to say,

“Ya know, I am not really doing that great, because last night I broke a glass when I was emptying the dishwasher, and I ran out of toothpaste and that REALLY stinks when that happens, and I wasn’t able to get ahold of my daughter when I tried calling her, and I’d love to figure out why my boss is so irritating, but it’s okay, because she’s out of the office for the next few days, so we’re all easing up on the workload and taking it easy, which is good because I’m not really doing that great, but hopefully the Royals will make everything better by winning tonight. Thanks for asking and how are YOU doing?”

But I always say,

“Fine, one crunchy taco.”


Today, however, I’d LOVE to pull up to that little black box, armed with this:

“I’m so fine today you wouldn’t believe it! Did you watch that game last night?! Because if you did, you’d be so fine today too! I’m so fine because that Royals team was pure entertainment last night. Did you see Davis and Perez hugging after that last pitch?! That made me cry! And Davis smiled bigger than Dallas!! Did you see Cain fly around the bases?! Did you see Ventura so focused and that infield defense?! And oh my word, Jirschele makes me laugh I think he’s gonna do damage to that shoulder with his huge arm swings when he sends runners home. I’m so fine today, thank you for asking, because our Royals were not a fluke and they are going to the World Series AGAIN! It’s a great day to live in Kansas City and eat tacos, which, by the way, I’d like one crunchy taco, please, and thank you for asking how I am today. I AM MIGHTY FINE.



Pretty sure that taco store employee is grateful without even knowing it, that I am not craving a crunchy taco today.

Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams. – Ben Carson

Waiting in the long line winding through Mardel, seeing every. little. thing. that would be perfect for Jayme, Tatum, Parker, Anissa, Reilly, Andrae, Annistan, Anjalie, Andersyn, and BettyJo. Nice marketing ploy, Mardel.

Good thing I wore boots with heels today so I could put my old cell phone up really high and try to get a picture of the candidate walking through the door. Got him. Magnifying glasses needed, but got him.

Success! And I got to shake his hand, and he was as handsome in person as on the cover of his book. And very genuine, for the 5 1/2 seconds of our relationship.

Dad declined a picture by the bus, but it was quite an experience, and we can both now say we met our first Presidential candidate, and we have both now had the pleasure of standing in a long line for 5 1/2…okay, 3 1/2 seconds of encounter with brilliance. It was hard work, but we persevered, and we still have faith in God. Living that dream…

And I came out’a the store with more than just a signed copy of Dr. Carson’s book. A few more Christmas presents for the tribe of grandchildren, thanks to that great marketing ploy.

So, I am grateful for another new experience.
I am grateful for my Dad who is kinda a fan of Ben Carson, and I can see why.
I am grateful that Dad wanted to go do this, because I wouldn’t have taken the time, otherwise.
I am grateful for Mardel, if only I could win the lottery.
And I am grateful for a new choice, a very nice choice, a choice who hasn’t raised his voice or resorted to name-calling, who is offering hope in his message. I could be on board for Ben…

I am grateful that I have another opportunity to play for choir tonight.

I am grateful for clean teeth and the best dentist office in the history of the world.

I am grateful for a new electric toothbrush.

I am grateful for local businesses who spend the money to advertise via bulk/junk mail, because without that shiny card, I may never have found my best dentist office in the history of the world.

I am grateful for chicken fried rice to eat when I am tooth sensitive.

I am grateful for chance meetings at garage sales.

I am grateful for offers accepted.

I am grateful for business entrepreneurs who still go door-to-door and knock for leads, because if my new financial advisor had not done so, Dad would not have opened that door and met him, and I would not have been introduced to him via Dad’s impression of a really great guy.

I am grateful that in this season of life, even though I still make stupid decisions regarding money, I am making less of them and have begun a plan to grow some finances and think about the future. It’s never too late to start.

I am grateful that my husband does laundry and dishes and makes the bed every day and likes a clean vehicle always and teaches me how to use tools and says “thank you” and “I’m sorry” and lives and gives grace to everyone he knows.

I am grateful for post season baseball.

Clarified: I am grateful for post season baseball that includes the Kansas City Royals.

I am grateful that yesterday was just a game, but boy oh boy, was it a good one.

And I am grateful that I live in this city that loves their team.

I am grateful for leaves of many colors crunching underfoot.

Dust if you must, but there’s
not much time,
with rivers to swim and
mountains to climb,
music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

I am grateful for the masterpiece, the Master’s piece, that awaits just outside the window or the door – fall color that is everywhere I look.

I am grateful that I work in the woods and am privileged enough to enjoy the gorgeous of fall.

I am grateful for those who work for landscape companies, the men and women who work from before the sun until after the sun, in order to care for this Master’s piece.

I am grateful that, as Dad says, “It’s just a game.”

I am grateful for an almost yellow banana this morning. Thank you, Sam. You chose a perfect bunch.

And I am grateful for Bingo day and grateful that I got paid yesterday so that I can go and get Bingo prizes at lunch.

No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights when they got plenty of sleep.

I am grateful for:

  • a quick weekend trip full of decisions and miles and circus and chaos and sweetness and emotion
  • papers signed
  • tears shed
  • the joy of hearing the sound of running feet and “Ama’s here!” through the closed door
  • hula hoops for Anissa and Annistan
  • clean children after baths
  • make-up time with Ama
  • too-cool-for-school hair on a 4 year old soccer stud
  • a very happy Andersyn
  • bedtime stories with little ones snuggled close
  • the giggles of Anjalie
  • green ringpop slobber dripping down a chin
  • the thrill of sitting on the sidelines for the first time, watching grandchildren play soccer
  • hearing Andrae say, “yes, sir” to his Daddy
  • Sam’s sensitive heart
  • well-behaved children who do not fuss when bedtime is announced
  • the pride of watching my daughter coach soccer, handle five on her own, sing at church, manage her photography sessions, entertain company, create costumes for the entire family, and act like she isn’t tired in the midst of it all
  • a safe trip home
  • a driver/companion who talks to me and lets me read to him
  • Bobbi Jo’s book read out loud to Sam
  • tile unloaded
  • Royals on Monday night and an evening to watch the game
  • being asked to play for choir again
  • the way the sunrise highlighted the jet trails this morning

And I am grateful for the gift of being in my daughter’s home and having a small part in their lives again.


Like a boss.


Today is Boss’ Day.

I am grateful for my boss. Both of them.  They always correct me when I introduce them to others as my boss, but they are. My bosses.

They are also my friends.

They are actually so many things:

  • Funnier than any boss I have ever had
  • Full of drama
  • Always ready for laughter
  • Completely inappropriate in so many ways
  • Generous beyond measure
  • Crazier than cray cray when it pertains to juju and vortices and dogs and wine and KU basketball and Chiefs football and wrapping presents
  • The best card givers I’ve ever known
  • Willing to take a chance on a former Christian school music teacher who was looking for a new start
  • Great listeners
  • Patio dwellers and plant masters
  • Eskimos in their own home
  • Gifted and professional in their ability to secure a search and see it to a successful close

Happy is the employee who can call the employer “friend.”

Thank you for taking a chance on me three years ago –

Happy Boss’s Day, Ken and Karen!

You. Are. The. Best.


Two words: Cain’t WAIT! – Jarrod Dyson


I recently read that there is a difference between being thankful and gratitude.

Thankful is something you feel, but gratitude takes thankfulness to the level where the feeling must be expressed to the one responsible for what made you thankful.

If we deny God and refuse to acknowledge all He has done for us -gratitude has no expression, since all good gifts come from Him.

It is like receiving a ‘perfect’ and generous gift from an anonymous giver, that leaves us with that stuffed-up feeling of gratitude because it has no where to go!

I am grateful tonight for a very black night sky that makes headlights seem that much brighter.

I am grateful for an air mattress and extra sheets.

I am grateful for a fun night last night watching the Royals win, so that the season continues!

I am grateful that I am in a new season of life and can enjoy my daughter’s stories of raising children. It’s really easy to be on the outside and giggle at the adventures. That saying, “Not my monkeys, not my circus,” is normally true, but they ARE my monkeys, and they are SO FUNNY.

She called this morning to tell me how exasperated she was after two bandits threw Lucky Charms all over the house, eating the marshmallows of course, but leaving the cereal that crunches underfoot into tiny mounds of crumbs.

She shared that Daddy dressed him this morning, and when she went to pick the little soccer player up after school, he was wearing the exact outfit he had worn the day before.

When desperation sets in on a rush hour freeway, there’s nothing like improvising a portable toilet for the kindergartner in a Sonic cup.  Only one problem…the little soccer player had put a hole in the bottom of the cup with his straw. I’m sure my daughter was grateful for cleaning supplies when she returned home.

She shared that in one of the rings of this daily circus, the neighbors could have observed the two little bandits who love cereal marshmallows escaping out the front door to play in the freedom of the front yard when they discovered Mommy was busy. Escape artists in the making.


She lamented about the utter terror a parent feels when the kindergarten child comes home from school doing the latest dance and singing the lyrics to songs she had hoped would be foreign to her children.

She speaks in breathless exhaustion from stuffing 87 gazillion frozen items into the not-large-enough freezer to be delivered to all of the recipients of the school fundraiser tomorrow, or as she chases the little circus monkeys around at soccer practice, or as she tries to soothe the baby in her arms while marching the circus acts upstairs for nighttime.


So, again, I am grateful for this Ama season of life, so that I can just enjoy the circus. I am grateful that I get to attend the circus this weekend, and I am grateful for this quote from the great Fred Rogers, one of my “friends” when I was a little monkey.

“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.”  

Royals, you’re gonna have to win without this Ama this weekend. She has tickets to the circus! As Jarrod said last night, CAIN’T WAIT!


I’m pretty sure I need a Junior Class Chocolate Roll today.

It’s one of those afternoons when lots of drama is happening in lives around me.

I feel like curling up on a couch with my very own chocolate roll.

I am grateful for my Mom, who gave this nervous tic to me – the tic that says, “FEED ME. FEED ME ANY SORT OF CHOCOLATE OR POTATO CHIP YOU CAN FIND.”

I am grateful that the piano will be tuned tomorrow.

I am grateful that even the sky above is a Royals fan.

I am grateful that my Bingo friends don’t really mind the dumb prizes I bring to them.

I am grateful for $1 children’s books at Half Price Bookstore.

I am grateful for flowers in vases.

And I am grateful for facial tissue (aka Kleenex or Puffs) and the genius who invented the pop up box.