Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ten Things I'm Thankful For ~ Feb.4/2013

 Gratitude always manages to work its way through various stages in our lives.  We can't ignore it, it's just there for us to savor, embrace, and feel blessed to have hovering within us.

This week, I am so very, very grateful for healthier people living here, at least all are in so much better shape than last week. 

No one completely understands what life is like for a family when a loved one has a compromised immune system, and life always seems to feel as though it's tenderly hanging in the balance. Life is fragile. We constantly live with this loved one, for what seems like "borrowed time", blessed for every new sunrise morning when we are able to place our feet upon the floor.  It's a gift this thing we call life, a gift to be treasured, cherished, and thankful for.

We've become used to people shrugging to show their childlike ignorance at first, until the understood reality smacks them on the back of their heads, kind of likened to a thunder bolt flying through the air determined to have a bullseye mission.

We as a family attempt to bow out of all winter time activities where anyone may appear, or sound unwell, but we can't always live life walking on eggshells either. So we make huge attempts at balancing our lives with the here and now, well, as best we can anyway.

Today, while pondering my newest "ten things" to share with you, as usual, I am thankful for an entire shopping list of things, always very random and plucked out of no where after perusing my beloved myriad of photos providing the memory jolt for noting here.

Got your list of ten written up yet? If not, come on, get going...

How about a crisp new journal to begin your own daily ten things? Warning though, it's highly contagious, so once you pick up the pen, you'll always be picking it up!

May I present a few of my "TEN THINGS" to you today? Here they are below...


- 1 - I'm thankful for a freshly scrubbed and mopped flooring. 

In the still of the night, while all of of our unwell family members were tucked away in their beds recovering from a recent illness, this momma hoisted chairs up onto table and countertops, working row by row to completely scour all the flooring below. 

Yes, this was part of the disinfecting, and home refreshing campaign I was swift to implement last week. The timing from this satisfying job completion was the best thing though, as I found myself smiling, almost chuckling over the fact the floor would truly remain clear and clean until morning.  All seemed calm, and so incredibly peaceful. No one would have guessed the action found here the night before, when I was up washing carpets from missed barf bowl deposits, and running washing machine loads, one after the other.

Ever find that the fruits of your labor feel mundane and completely wasted? I mean, check out the clean floors, and then engage your mind to realize how many people living here will quickly stroll across it again, perhaps forgetful with dirty shoes on, or with sweaty socks mucking it up, or worse - the strolling snacker attacking late evening cravings, dropping food bits as they pass towards another room. 

Nah, that never happens in your home, right? Here either, thus the reason to take a photo. Clean floors do exist, in photos. Grab your camera and shoot yours after your next floor wash session. You'll be glad you did. :)

- 2 - I'm thankful for lessons learned, hard lessons learned that is. 

Here lay Dad's ipod touch, the one his son borrowed to listen to music with while outdoors playing basketball. Of all the crazy things, when he removed the buds from his ears, he decided to place the ipod on top of my vehicle for the time being. And then, he forgot it there...

Later on, mom gets into vehicle to drive away for daughter's pick up at the barn. Mom doesn't realize what's going on, not at all. Once home again, son appears and announces that he had to rush outdoors because he forgot to bring in his father's ipod. Panic ensued for him once he realized his error, so with flashlight in hand, he sets off in the dark of the night to search for possible ipod along our long driveway, and then he began heading up the street. Whoa! 

Mom decides to drive up and pick up son, and together we drive in silence as sickened boy becomes incredibly humble in his search ahead in the vehicle's lighting on the road. One mile away, we spot the ipod in the middle of the road. Mom stops the vehicle. Son jumps out, picks up ipod, smiles very briefly, then jumps up and down doing a painful foot stomping dance. Quietly and somberly, he begins to walk toward the vehicle, he opens the door, and tearfully apologizes for the ipod having been run over and ruined. 

Hard lesson? You bet. Lesson learned as he is now required to make restitution and supply his father with a new one. 

- 3 - I'm thankful for former years old projects that are finally completed. 

Take this photo frame above, purchased about six years ago now, the one where the photos didn't quite fit and all it required was a black matting behind each to complete the framing properly. 

Perusing these four photos has done much for this mama's heart this week. Wow, all of these younger four children of ours are no longer so young. Instead of being ages; 8,10,14 and 15, they are now 14,15 (almost 16),20,21(almost 22). 

This photo frame was a one of a kind purchase for me, found at "Home Sense" in their photo's frame aisle, and one with the perfect quote which really spoke to me at that time. It still speaks to me. It's such a profound reality to remember... 

"HOME..is where your story begins." 

- 4 - I'm thankful for a wonderful rainbow of colors as I continue to pursue having this blog published into keepsake books. 

This past Christmas, my husband was gifted with blog book numbers 10 and 11, and every person here has spent many hours since, perusing the pages within them over and over again. 

How time flies when a family attempts to make memories along the way! 

How time flies when the family peruses these same memories, and passes their hands across the pages of photos and the written word, while in remembrance of them years later. 

Thinking of having your blog printed into a hardcover book? Just do it! You'll never regret it!

- 5 - I'm thankful for the last standing corner in our home, now completely finished. Yay!

This was the scene early last month when the cabinets and countertop were delivered and we awaited the arrival of the installation crew. We ordered everything last October which had to be custom made, such a long, LONG wait!

Yes, this is the perfect area for a wet bar in the future for our large rec room family entertainment events. We have a small sink already picked out, and in the near future my husband will complete the rest of the task at hand to install it. Voila! Perfect!  Now all we need is a huge popcorn maker machine to rest there. Yum!

- 6 - I'm thankful for a husband who has revisited and reunited with his musical passions from years gone by, the ones he fairly much gave up to concentrate on providing a living for his family, the one he previously sold all of his guitar collections so we could use the funds to help purchase our first home. 

Yes, he's a guitar player, but not only that. He enjoys the sounds of various types of guitars, noting their pickups, tones and unique characteristics. It's easy to accompany him to guitar shops because he's quite fussy about the kind he would enjoy playing on, so it's a fast window shop at the best of times.  

- 7 - I'm thankful for the world's BEST respiratory rehabilitation inpatient hospital program in Canada, for those who suffer from debilitating lung diseases with lousy future prognosis.  The entire staff provides a personalized wellness program for each patient individually, so as you can see in the photo above, all of those professionals work with every patient loving there for their designated timing. My husband's Week 2 of 5 (give or take), is here now! 

So, back to the talk of guitar shopping...last month my hubby found a second electric one he pined over, and eventually hoped to add to his newly growing collection. I laughed, as I figured he couldn't possibly be serious! He was. I wasn't. But he was. And was he ever! 

Even though we've been married for 36 years, I never knew how long he had been bridling his desire and passion to become reacquainted with owning a similar type of guitar collection he once owned, played, and used in a popular (now famous) band before we married? I guess that potential thought has been there, growing, lingering long and hard as other physical energy things aren't working out any longer, and the list of "I can" does include playing guitar. I realized there was just no denying his humble desire of being able to pursue his retirement years of guitar playing to come over the crest of the horizon nearby.

We didn't mean to, but we did walk out of the store with another guitar, rather I walked from the store with one. I bought it, not him. You see, there was a promise attached to it, that he would listen to his doctors and freely attend an upcoming respiratory rehabilitation refresher for the length of time they wanted him there for his personalized term. Always the gentleman, he has stepped aside to allow others before him the past two years, but this year, he very much requires this refresher, big time himself. 

The deal was, no playing the new guitar until home after his first week of resp. rehab. That was last weekend. He was especially thrilled to have his new instrument in hand, to become familiar with, especially after returning for his weekend home recovery, only to find himself confined to our bedroom for the entire weekend, due to the importance of not being exposed to a (throwing up kind of) flu (recently visiting) our home. 

Yes, that guitar has been well used already, and once more, our home is definitely alive with the sound of music these days.

- 8 - I'm thankful for night tables slowly ridden of telltale signs of folks unwell within our home. Those were two doozies back to back, and the "throwing up kind of flu" had not been in our home for ten years. It was not fun to revisit those times, although I never did get that one myself, nor did my husband, thank you God. 

I think forcefully jumping into mother servant mode, washing bedroom carpets from people who missed their barf bowls, changing sheets and towels, insisting on daily washing and airing out bedrooms, well, maybe I became immuned to it somehow. Having to wear a surgical mask around the sickies, and then change it to wear a separate more sterile mask around my hubby to protect him from what I'd been up to, well, I found it extremely trying this past weekend to say the least. I needed all of yesterday to decompress.

Between an unwell baby, and my hubby on leave to recover in between resp. rehab weeks who had to remain well, that was so not fun. Here's hoping this week improves and this mama can relax a bit more and roll with the times ahead. 

Is it Lent yet? It sure feels like we've been in it already.

- 9 - I'm thankful for the ambiance and comfort of apres ski moments with our children. Shortly before the second illness arrived in our home, we took to the slopes with our younger ones and two neighbors, all opting for a later evening ski/snowboarding time. 

The large picturesque windows allowed us the visibility for the action on the slopes, while we hung back and enjoyed the coziness of a wooden fire nearby, and hot drink in hand. 


Once the gang was finished for the night, we surprised them with some delectable hot chocolate hot drinks, topped with fresh whip cream and a cherry on top. They were very grateful, so relaxed, and it was the perfect end to a great night for all.

- 10 - I'm thankful for our little trinkets, those particular Delft blue things from Holland. 

In my cleaning moments, since replacing all of our Christmas decorations into storage, I was able to remove each item from my curio treasure area, to wash and buff them up for spring. 

There were beloved rushes of memories attached to each and every item resting there, all warming my heart in tender ways which words cannot even eloquently describe. 

My mother in law (may she rest in eternal peace) purchased quite a few of these items for me/us each time she returned from a trip to her native Holland. I've had most of them for over 30 some years, so naturally all have been around for some time to physically grace our space. I thought of her then, as I was lovingly buffing them up, before replacing again in some sort of renewed semblance upon my antique buffet shelving. 

 (Circa 1991)

It's hard to believe she's been gone for quite some time. I can still hear her thick accent in my head, the one I learned about when I first met her, and the one that sometimes got her a bit of a pickle when her attempt at her Dutch to English translation offered unintended strange choice wording insults. 

How we laughed at those awkward times over time, and how I came to love that accent. I'll never not giggle in the future when I hear the word hotdog, and not think of her dutch pronunciation of  "Haahaatdaaaag". 

Ik ben ble - Yes Mom B, I am happy! 

Miss you!