Day 24 – Thirty Days of Thanks – more writing … and chocolate, too

Continuing from yesterday – writing offers more than five things to be thankful for! So moving on, here are five more reasons I have to be thankful!

So here I go –

Today’s 5 Thankful Things:

  1. Online classes – Last fall, I was able to enroll in “Media Communications,” completing coursework at home and turning it in online. Professor Sara Brookshire was very encouraging. Among other things, I learned that I am not so fond of basic newswriting. I’d rather write something that can contain bits of personality, not just fact.
  1. recorder appSmart phone apps – Many thanks to Sara for introducing me to the “recorder app.” When I completed an interview for a course six years ago, I actually used a cassette recorder that I toted with me. (Yes, I was behind the times, but I didn’t own another portable recording device. Yet.) With a new smartphone, I was able to use a recording app that simplified so much!
  1. Siri Life 2 chocChocolate – As Siri told me just today, chocolate adds meaning to life. Even though I admit life has much Image result for Dove Chocolate Wrapper Quotesmeaning beyond chocolate, I do enjoy sharing words and chocolate with “Writers’ Bloc” frequently. I call these “chocolate fortune cookies,” as Dove chocolates have fun messages we read while enjoying our treats at our weekly lunches.
  1. Spring online class – What an incredible blessing my spring class was! “Nonfiction writing” offered many challenges and rewards. As I learned to hone this craft, life lessons came my way also. Remember my comments about March, how my nervous system turned extra-rebellious? This came to fruition the first full week of class. And it gave me extra reason to persevere – would this teacher let something like a burning tongue or uncooperative legs give excuse for missing an assignment? I think not.
  1. Wonderful instructor and new friend – Kim, a professor from a northern Indiana university, showed patience and skill. Thankfully, she believed me when I shared my reasons for schedule changes and such. But she took me seriously and took me to task as needed. My verbs are becoming more active, my sentences less bloated, and my messages more direct. Okay, sometimes … but I can keep trying. And I have a neat book project in the works!

 

 

Day 23 – Thirty Days of Thanks – about writing

A few words of thanks …

Background to today’s list: when I first decided to become a teacher, I hadn’t been able to decide whether I wanted to study to teach English, science, or general elementary grades (so as not to specialize, and to avoid teenage angst). Thirty years later, life has taken paths beyond my middle school classroom of 1994-97, my grad school years, and my Museum Educator chapter. Even my “adjunct professor” times. And the beautiful Kids Hope adventure.

During this journey, T.R. and others encouraged me to continue taking coursework that allowed me to keep my teaching license current. In order to keep my license renewed, I’ve needed to complete six hours of college coursework every five years. Graduate school classes were staggered enough that the first classes I took for this specific reason were about six years ago. My elementary license also includes middle school science and language arts, so I was thrilled to have the chance to take two writing courses to meet the licensure requirements..

Eight years ago, my writing adventure launched in an unexpected way. Our area newspaper, the Marion Chronicle-Tribune, put out a call for community bloggers. As T.R. and I discussed, we has an idea: blog about the challenges faced by those dealing with disabilities. These topics are often misunderstood, usually unseen. “Invisible Issues,” one could say.

Six years ago, I enrolled in “Freelance Writing” and “Creative Writing.” License was renewed. Five years later, I completed “Media Writing” and “Nonfiction Writing.” Each of these four courses helped me grow in so many ways, and I do feel like a better person because of it! And definitely a better writer. (One who is willing to purposefully break grammatical rules, for instance … but only if she knows she is doing it.)

So my point here? Writing: is this how I am now meant to teach? Without the physical wherewithal to lead a middle school, college, or elementary classroom, shall I hone my writing abilities so that God can use these tools in ways I hadn’t planned? So begins today’s thankful list:

Today’s 5 Thankful things:

  1. Thank you to patient college professorsDr. Hensley and Dr. Householder both tolerated this student, two decades older than the other class members. I felt a little younger myself, and I hope I helped teach them a tad bit. This was in 2010 and 2011, when I was the slow student with the floral folding cane. Doc Hensley taught me to stop splitting my infinitives, among other things.
  1. Thank you to my supportive husband – Though I had planned to attend Gen Con with him next week, he arranged things so that I could also attend Taylor’s Writer’s Conference in August. What a beautiful gift, meaning more than I think he realized!
  1. Business cards – How cool is it that one can design business cards, then have a box of
    image1100 delivered to your door less than a week later? Awesome! Thank you to T.R. for designing them and to Zazzle for printing. (Of course they had a special also. Even online, I try to follow my mom’s example to use coupons and catch sales whenever possible.)
  1. Thank you to Writers’ Bloc – our writer’s group that meets weekly or so, encouraging each of us to continue writing, and offering friendship along the way.
  1. A laptop on which to type – Particularly after my laptop died in early June, I gained an even greater appreciation for this technology. What a wonderful gift this is!

Day 22 – Thirty Days of Thanks

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This lovely but HOT Sunday held many things for which I am thankful, but I’ll narrow it down for brevity’s sake.

Today’s 5 Thankful things:

  1. Air conditioning! – With today’s temperatures climbing to around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (heat index over 100), I was very thankful for air conditioning!
  1. Willis Carrier – I am thankful for this American engineer who first designed a heating plant, then a lumber drying kiln, and even a coffee dryer before developing carrierthe first-ever air conditioner for a Brooklyn Lithography and Printing company. He was only twenty-five years old when he developed this design, and his invention changed the world!
  1. Blackberry jam – As each new day finds scads of blackberries for us to pick from our garden, I am blessed that T.R. and the girls were able to make several jars of jam for us to save and share.
  1. Blackberries to share – What fun it is to share berries with our friends and neighbors! Picking them becomes a little morIMG_0463e enjoyable when the weather cools a bit… and I will be thankful when it does.
  1. Writing – I am so thankful for opportunities over
    the past year to grow as a writer! Reading today’s blog, I see many imperfections, but I am thankful that I am developing a better eye for noticing those errors. More thoughts here will come over the next few days!

Day 21 – Thirty Days of Thanks – playing together

Today’s 5 Thankful things:

  1.  Game night! – Our church had its first “Game Night” yesterday evening – more than fifty people came together to enjoy card and board games! Lots of fun for ages 13-82, and everything in between.
  1. Showing that adults can have fun, too – How Image-1fun to teach new games and play them with friends last night. It is so fun to teach “Fluxx” to people who hadn’t seen it before.
  1. School supply time – it’s rather crazy to think that school begins in just a few weeks, but it does … and that means school supplies are on sale!
  1. New sharpies – “Sharpie” markers are the BEST, and back-to-school sale time is the best time to snatch them up. Sales are wonderful!
  1. Family movie time – We enjoy watching movies together as a family, and we had a delightful time watching the extras from “Zootopia.” We enjoyed this movie when we first saw it in March, and now that we purchased it on DVD, we are appreciating it even more.

Day 20 – Thirty Days of Thanks

Today’s 5 Thankful things:

  1. Skype – How lovely to chat with our friends, Dave and Heidi! I still feel like I’m living in the world of “The Jetsons” when I talk at a screen, then see and hear a response. Amazing – and even more wonderful is the chance to spend an hour sharing with friends, being able to look into their eyes as we share about our lives.
  1. Sharing veggies with friends – and spending the morning with our lovely friend Armila, who picked some berries then helped Em and Rach pull someDaisy stubborn weeds. (Thank you, Armila, for the weeding assistance!) I also appreciate how we all agreed that “weeds” with pretty flowers are only pulled if it’s to place them in a vase. (That is where my little white daisies keep coming from.)
  1. Music stores – the kind that sell instruments, not img_0584albums. We visited a Fort Wayne music store that we’d seen the name of but hadn’t visited… and a seventeen-year-old was able to test play different saxes to consider the
    purchase of a new one really soon. Neat trip!
  1. Missing the rain – I love it when rain is just starting as we walk into a store, we hear it pounding above while we’re inside, and it stops as we exit an hour later. And our formerly dusty vehicle now looks sparkly clean!
  1. Fruit cobbler – Baked on Wednesday, T.R.’s large dish of blackberry cobbler left goodness that can still be shared over the next couple of days. Yum!

    cobbler

    fresh, warm cobbler with frozen yogurt

Day 19 – Thirty Days of Thanks

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Today’s 5 Thankful things – keeping smiles alive:

  1. Dentists – I am thankful for a patient and talented dentist who helped us identify a problem back in early March. Thinking the extreme pain in my mouth was due to a cavity, he helped this girl who couldn’t even speak due to mouth pain… he found that it wasn’t a tooth, but he asked a funny question: “Have you ever had neurological problems?” He’s a new dentist to me, but he learned quickly that almost half of my life has been shaped by a mismanaged nervous system. When I saw Dr. Maddox yesterday, he was thrilled that I can speak and eat, while my tongue and teeth cooperate.
  1. Dental Hygienists – What a thankless job I think it would be to work at cleaning somebody else’s teeth. I can only imagine unpleasant breath that could emanate, and one wouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation with somebody while playing on their ivories. But Julie, Candice, and Stephanie have managed to help manage my dental stuff quite nicely – and always with a smile!
  1. Pasta – We always try to have soft food like pasta on days a daughter has an orthodontist appointment, and even though teeth cleaning doesn’t cause sore teeth, we enjoyed pasta last night. One doesn’t always need “reasons” for food choices. And this was a pasta dish that used zucchini, a very good thing.
  1. Toothbrushes and toothpaste – During March, the nerves in my tongue were uncooperative and recoiled when anything came near, particularly an electric toothbrush. I was so glad when medication helped tame those nerves, and my mouth could feel clean again.
  1. Reminder phone calls – I remembered this month’s appointment, but there are months that I don’t have it on the calendar. It’s then that I am extremely thankful for the little phone call I receive a day or two before an appointment, reminding me of an appointment I scheduled six months ago.

Day 18 – Thirty Days of Thanks

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Today’s 5 Thankful things:

  1. RP Amish Inn MysteryReading through an entire book – As life throws curve balls my way, I rarely have the chance to read through for an entire book in one week, just for fun. But last week, I did! Many thanks to Rachael Phillips for writing more than a cozy mystery, but a heartfelt tale of a young, intelligent lady who searched for and found Amish roots she didn’t discover until she helped uncover the story of a shocking murder. I can’t recommend her book Secrets of the Amish Diary enough. (And if you enjoy bulldogs, you’ll fall in love with the dog, “Beans.”)
  1. Bagels and blueberries – Cream cheese and fresh blueberries atop a bagel were IMG_0571
    such a lovely breakfast feast this morning – many thanks to my daughter, Emily, for putting this together!
  1. DaisyFresh, cheery daisies – So nice!
  1. Our garden’s first okra of the season – Tender and tasty, I had to enjoy it raw – these okraare even better than I remembered. Yum!
  1. Queen Anne’s Lace – After bringing in daisies, Queen Anne's LaceEm also entered with two stems of Queen Anne’s lace, my favorite wildflower. I had a version of these in my wedding bouquet twenty-two years ago, and I’m sure people would pay good money to grow these in their gardens if they didn’t grow on their own.

Day 17 – Thirty Days of Thanks – First fire

 

fire

Today’s 5 Thankful things – The home fires are now burning, and more:

  1. First fire in new fire pit – We got to share this with our special neighbors, the Dennings. T.R. and I had the chance to put our “Official S’more Tester” t-shirts to proper use.IMG_2155
  1. Patio and fire pit designed with accessibility in mind – The path to the fire pit from our house is clear and open, with benches around ¾ of the circle, then a space for me to sit on a chair without needing to scoot in on a bench. Or to stay in a wheelchair if necessary.
  1. fresh flowers.JPGGarden flowers – Emily cut a lovely zinnia and coneflower bouquet to adorn our table – I do love fresh flowers!
  1. Family movie together – Since T.R. and I are “children of gb posterthe 80’s,” we were intrigued by the idea of a Ghostbusters reboot… and when we saw that the ghostbusters were all females this time, our daughters decided they had to see it also. What a fun trip!
  1. Revitalizing lovely spots – I’m so glad that Wabash has revamped the Eagle’s Theatre! This historic Vaudeville Theatre had been turned into a movie theater when I was growing up, but after many years of disuse, it was reopened a year or two ago. With renovations inside and great prices, our family appreciates the chances to stop at the Eagle’s on occasion!

Day 15 – Thirty Days of Thanks – There’s no place like home

home sweet home

I wrote this on Friday the 15th, but due to craziness of luggage, laundry, and anniversary celebration, it wasn’t posted. Here it is, a tiny bit before Day 17.

Today’s 5 Thankful things – Returning home

  1. Fresh streusel – http://www.harbertswedishbakery.com/ Starting our final lake morning with fresh streusel from the nearby Swedish bakery was indeed lovely. (Thank you, T.R., for the bakery trip yesterday!)
  1. Sweet hugs from young nieces – It was nice to see our young nieces, ages 9 and 11, for an entire week. They may be similar, but they are as different as our own two daughters (more, of course, since they’re two years apart rather than thirteen minutes.) It reminded me of our girls’ elementary years, while also helping me appreciate how far Em and Rach have come.
  1. Ahhh, home – How nice it was to step into our own house. Aaaahhhh.
  1. Sleeping in our own bed – Our own mattress, sheets, pillows… so we can be home for our anniversary. Nice.
  1. A home without stairs – I don’t fully appreciate the way we designed our own home until I spend time at a place with plenty of steps. Our stairway-free house is appreciated even more at times like this!

 

Day 16 – Thirty Days of Thanks – Anniversary Blessings!

 

Today’s 5 Thankful things – A few of the many reasons I’m thankful for my dear husband:

  1. loverslane

    T.R. and Angie on “Lovers’ Lane” in 2008 at Green Gables

    Today is our second palindromic anniversary – And we’re both geeky enough to know and care what this means. These twenty-two years have been far from perfect, but I’m so glad we’ve enjoyed them together!

  1. T.R. is such a wonderful father to our two girls – From reading or playing catch with little ones to driving them to their junior prom, he has been there for them – a much-loved Daddy indeed!

  1. TR Angie beach chairHe finds ways to help me, even when it’s uncomfortable or highly inconvenient
    – T.R. and I have joined forces in helping define reasonable “accessibility” issues. He’ll help me find solutions to problems I knew were there, but hadn’t pinpointed.
  1. We have grown together in ways we would never have predicted – As my own roles and abilities have been redefined, he has also found ways to rework his own path to help take up the slack caused by my MS limitations. Along the way, he has further developed his skills with gardening and cooking, two things it pains me to leave behind. But I can still do a bit with this, even if vicariously.
  1. My “Knight in faded denim” is more dashing than he was in 1994 – and he was a handsome fellow then!

 

trandangiemacinac

our anniversary trip two years ago

I have so much more to write, but I’ll add specifics over the coming days. I just had to say before the end of today – Happy Anniversary, T.R. – I love you!

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