Surely you can’t be serious?!

shadows on the lawn


I am grateful for shadows on the afternoon lawn. It means the sun is peeking through for the first time today.

I am grateful for crunchy peanut butter that goes with celery for lunch.

I am grateful for the beginning of fall color outside my window, finally.

I am grateful for a kind postman.

I am grateful that memories I have of my mom are good ones, and the unpleasant ones have mostly vanished.

I am grateful for a huge surprise on the porch a few minutes ago.

Not the same kind of surprise, but I am grateful we have a big yard for dogs who use it to poop.

I am grateful for stupidness that makes me giggle. I was never ever a fan of those “Airplane” movies, however.

funny movie quotes airplane New 409 Airplane Quotes QuotePrism


I am grateful for easy-to-change toilet paper holders, because we have one certain guest, not mentioning any names, who likes to put the toilet paper UNDER every time he goes to the bathroom, and during his visits, I change it back to OVER no less than a half a dozen times.


I am grateful that we get to go to a football game tonight, one more time before surgery.

I am grateful that I have birdseed for Dad’s bird feeder.

I am grateful for a vacuum cleaner, much needed this week.

I am grateful that I have learned to wear jeans more than once before laundering.

I am grateful for all of the people who are giving Sam their advice, their gadgets and potions, and written word on faith healing and cancer cures. He has a small arsenal.

I am grateful for the tears that are flowing from an email that he just received from Soon-to-be-Author-Linda, and the one who sent us that box of blue bracelets last year. She has the best way with words and makes me either cry from laughter or cry from love. This one is from love, and so much of it:

I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that the blue bracelet is back on, the prayers that never ceased have been changed up a bit, and that you and your beautiful wife are in my thoughts daily.  
When a friend becomes ill, I always question why.  Why do these things happen to the nicest of nice instead of the prisoner awaiting execution?  Why haven’t they found cures for diseases that have been around forever?  They’ve found immunizations against polio, tuberculosis, mumps and measles.  What is the hold up on diabetes, arthritis and cancer?  I soon realize that the answer to my whys are not in my hands.  I am not a scientist. I am not a doctor. But I am a believer and so instead of petri dishes and test tubes I turn to my faith.  I know God.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  That is something that is not unfamiliar to you. I have visited with God about you Sam. I have asked Him for your healing.  I have asked Him to blur the memories of your last battle so that you may forge ahead with a fresh vision of hope and confidence.  I have asked Him to give you additional strength.  I have asked Him to let you realize the importance of you letting people do for you.  I think one of the greatest gifts someone can give another person is letting them serve and cater to them without being too proud to accept the offers. 
So in the days ahead Sam, remember you are never alone.  Remember to set your pride and stubbornness aside and ask for help.  Lean on those around you.  In doing so it makes you and them stronger.  What I want you to know most is that you are loved by many, myself included…
fall border

I am grateful for angels that God sends to us in the form of Lindas and Joyces and Karens and Chantals and Amys and Kathys and Kims and Carols and Roxannes and Melissas and Cindys and Julies and Deloreses and Michelles and Angelas and Jessies and Danas and Dennises and Cosmos and Mikes and Johns and Brians and Randys and Daves and Dads and and and…they are all around us.

I am grateful for color.

I am grateful for a good friend who brings me back to reality when I begin to panic, and she points out passive aggressive behaviors and subtle manipulation that still cause knots down deep.

I am grateful for the will power to turn down hash browns and cake.

And I am grateful for deep conversation with my husband who knows my heart and is so cautious to protect it.

airplane 2


When, then.

in spite of it all

When my back aches and I just want the day to be over,

I am grateful that I have medicine.

When my feet are cold because there is no heat in the house,

I am grateful for alpaca socks given to me by my boss.

When I just need a word of encouragement because, blah,

I am a grateful for a little card that fell out of Dad’s and Aunt Patsy’s devotion book today that says, “Relax…God has it covered.”

When my work is monotonous and I find myself zoning out,

I am grateful for occasional emails with directives for something different to do.

When I see all the dust that has been created in the last four days with more projects,

I am grateful that towel rods are hung, new shelves are in a walk-in closet, the new furnace will be up and running just in time for a cold weekend, there is crown molding in the master bedroom and dining room…

When I miss teaching and all the activity that goes with it,

I am grateful for school fundraisers that prompt neighbor kids to hit us up for donations, and I am grateful our local school posts videos of classrooms in session so I can see music happening.

When I miss my piano,

I am grateful that it is out there somewhere and just waiting on the floors to be refinished.

When I cannot think of anything good to make for dinner,

I am grateful for leftovers.


He’s all around us.

God's Hand

I am grateful for the warmth of a fire on a cold day.


I am grateful for a Saturday afternoon football game and watching Sam enjoy it.


I am grateful for the sense of calm and joy this little dog gives me.


I am grateful for sunny days.


And I am grateful for respectful young men who have hearts of gold and make a difference in our lives, like this guy. One of the best.


Seattle, meet Kansas.


Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy drops ’round us are falling, 
But for the showers we plead. 

As I watch the rain fall for the fourth day without reprieve, I don’t mind it because I don’t have to be out in it.

I am grateful for the reminder to consider these showers of blessings.

I am grateful for an inside job, in my home.

I am grateful for a space heater at my feet to warm me and Natia all day long.

I am grateful for electricity to power that space heater.

I am grateful for a blanket that covers my legs, and a nice warm sweater that keeps my arms warm.

I am grateful once again for the sound of nail gun and drills and saws, indications that things are happening and more progress is being made on our home.

I am grateful that Sam’s daughter came to visit last weekend. There’s nothing like company to prompt some good, focused cleaning.

I am grateful for a little box of conversation questions that spur discussions on random topics.

I am grateful for my first shower in our new master bathroom – once I am in, I don’t want to exit, it is so nice.

I am grateful for our pizza friends, Mark and Susan.

I am grateful for a surprise phone call from my son-in-law. He was calling HIS mom and dialed me by mistake. It was a very nice surprise.

I am grateful for lots of new cards ordered from Etsy that keep arriving in my mailbox – it’s almost an addiction, but at least I use them and share my addiction with others?

I am grateful for plans being made for our Blessings Breakfast. Better now than in a few weeks when we will have our hands full.

I am grateful for a good friend who has offered her home to us at Christmas, if we need a place to be.

And I am grateful for the word “galoshes.”


Alexa, you’re creepy.


We’ve gone to the dark side.

At first, it was when we broke down and traded in our ancient Motorolas for Apple iPhones.

I VOWED I would never get an iPhone and be one of “those” people.

Uh huh.

Then we got a sound bar for our tv.

I VOWED we would never be one of “those” people who had to have all the gadgets. But then the sound bar was SO CHEAP and pushing that little button on the display bar at Costco made the sound sooooo incredible.

And then Sam’s dream was to have a Sonos system throughout the house because Sam’s world includes music every minute of the day everywhere he happens to be.

So we began saving pennies and collecting little Sonos boxes. In case you are like me and Sonos is a foreign word, it is this conglomeration of technology that allows you to play any kind of music from an amazing little speaker that is connected to other amazing little speakers that you put in every room of your home, and every room can play different music of your choosing, or all the little speakers can play the same music at the same time, and you can control it all from your Apple products such as the iPhone or the iPad.

Uh huh.

We’ve went there. Bad grammar intentional.


Sam’s daughter came to visit this weekend and this Sonos project was their father/daughter togetherness. I was perfectly happy to bow out and let them configure the conglomerati. Boy oh boy, did they ever.

Sunday morning, Sam, always the first to awake, walked into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Alexa.”

“Good morning. Did you sleep well? I did, and I had a nice dream that I would like to share with you. I promise it won’t put you back to sleep. If you would like to hear my dream, just ask me to share it with you.”


This little black box is now in a relationship with Sam.

They talk. He asks her questions, she answers.  He wants a joke, she delivers.

“Alexa, tell me a joke.”

“A grasshopper walked into a bar and asked the bartender for a drink. The bartender said he would make a drink named after the grasshopper. The grasshopper said, ‘You have a drink named Steve?'”

She knows EVERYTHING. Well, not EVERYTHING. But close. I asked her, “Alexa, what is 57 x 244?”

Without hesitating, she fired back, “57 multiplied by 244 equals 13,908.”

Sam asked her for a bowl of ice cream.

She did not deliver.

At least I still have THAT advantage.


There is one word that is forbidden within earshot of Alexa.

Because if Alexa ever meets “Amazon,” I’m done for.



And with that, I am grateful for simpler times.

I am grateful for memories of record players that played 45’s and 33’s and tvs with three stations and no such thing as a remote control and radios with persnickety antennas and telephones that hung on a wall and had a curly cord and there was no such thing as an answering machine.

But I am also grateful for this wacky, creepy, crazy world. There’s always something innovative and wildly amazing…


NO STINKIN’ JOKE. I just finished this post. Sam is downstairs watching football. I am sitting at my desk. And the bedroom tv just turned on all by itself.




How you start your day is how you live your day.

blessing in everything

The way a leaf flutters to the ground, taking its time to get there, destination inevitable.

The feeling of being cold to the bones and then stepping into an almost hot shower.

Watching Natia go from nervous and scared with daily disruptions and noise to a sleepy contentment and relaxed nap.

The quenching of thirst with cold, pure, water or, in my mind at least, with a very carbonated Dr. Pepper.

Sitting at my second story window and watching the blanket of fog that covers our part of the landscape on our corner of the world.

Counting the “if there’s anything we can do to help, please let us know” ‘s.

The satisfaction of emptying the dishwasher, or having all the laundry done and put away.

Raising the flag on the mailbox.

Beginning our walks under a canopy of stars and moon, and ending our walks with a hint of a sunrise.

Feeling safe.

Life is amazing



Pray like it’s up to God – work like it’s up to you. – Ty Francis


I am grateful for prayer with my husband.

I am grateful for ridiculous things that make us laugh these days. Comedians that take our mind off reality, encounters with silly people, Sam saying, “You can hook up a trailer slicker ‘n a button,” funny but truthful memes like this one:


I am grateful for large bags of clothing ready to donate.

I am grateful for a fifth grader named Ethan who calls us Mister Sam and Miss Rhonda and does not answer “yes” or “no” without adding “sir” or ma’am.”

I am grateful for more piles of things everywhere, for lots to be done, for new drawer pulls and knobs even if there are a few extra holes, and half a closet that is now organized.

I am grateful for clean sheets.

I am grateful for a Chiefs game tonight.

I am grateful for online bill pay.

I am grateful for a boss who encourages me to do what I know how to do: research. I am going to know so much about this particular clinical trial and be able to pronounce the drug name and know its effects on colorectal cancer before we ever meet the study director.

I am grateful that Dave is here and a few more items are being crossed off the list.

And I am grateful for new friends who send encouraging text messages that are Power-filled.

Dandelion 2