Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

Posts on my blog have been sadly missing this past month.  Life got in the way for a while, although thinking about blog posts I could write were still floating in and out of my mind, but actually writing and then reading the posts of others seemed too much for me.  I didn't really want to do a blog hop post and not read the blogs of others in return.  That is it for explanations and/or excuses for now.

This post for the Ten Things of Thankful kind of overlaps a few weeks.  I really have been thankful during those weeks I have been missing here.

Check out the other posts for this blog hop at Josie Two Shoes' tenthingsofthankful.blogspot.com

1.  Getting papers off to the accountants (ours and Mom's) so tax returns can be filed.  I just dread this job every year.  Sometimes kids pick up on the vibes parents transmit unintentionally.  My mother worked almost her entire life as a secretary and a bookkeeper.  I remember hearing comments about her not looking forward to the days when auditors came to the business where she worked.  She was a perfectionist at heart, so I think she always had a fear that something might not have been done in the right way.  Knowing her, I suspect all was okay.

2. Seeing a return of Mom's appetite.  For a week or so, Mom was not interested in eating.  While it isn't unusual for the elderly in nursing homes to begin losing interest in eating, especially toward the end, Mom's appetite has always been good.  Hearing that she was beginning to lose her appetite, made he wonder if she was approaching another stage.  That is to be expected, especially since she is 100 years old and has late onset Alzheimer's.  I decided to increase my visits and to make my visits during her lunch time to see if I could see what was going on.  I'm not exactly sure why she wasn't interested in eating, but she seems better now.  The doctor saw her one day last week, and nothing unusual was noted.

3. Neuromuscular massage, also called trigger point myopathy.  After of over a year of hoping to be completely pain free from my fall when I broke my right humerus near my shoulder, I decided to go get a massage thinking that might somehow help.  My husband thought a massage might be a nice Valentine's Day gift, but due to the schedule, our's and the therapist's, I didn't get in for the appointment until a couple of week's ago.  At the first appointment I saw the person I'd always seen in the past.  I decided to ask her to just concentrate on my right arm, shoulder, and shoulder blade area.  She did the Swedish massage and cupping which left me with a purple-spotted shoulder and arm for a couple of weeks.  After working on me, she said she thought I would greatly benefit from seeing the person who does neuromuscular massage.  She suggested that it would be good for me to see him for three times, once a week.  I'm hoping that the end result will be what I'm hoping for, because as of now, I feel like I've taken a step backwards.  I have faith that it will be better in the end, and I trust in his skill.

4.  People who are skilled in getting rid of pests.  With the advent of Spring and having a few sunny days ever so often between the more frequent rainy days, the box elder beetles and stink bugs came in droves.  Although we have had the box elder beetles appear in the Spring and in the Fall just about every year, they weren't as prolific as this year.  It doesn't help that the area where they come is on the side of the house near our front door, so walking through a mass of flying insects whenever entering or leaving the house certainly would discourage any door-to-door salesman, and freak out anyone who is entomophobic.  (I am not, but I don't appreciate having so many landing on me.)   We determined that this was the year to get a professional to take care of these pesky bugs.  He did a wonderful job!  Now maybe we can think about planting some new plants in the pots near the entryway, without box elder beetles using all the petals as their chaise lounges.

It snowed all night beginning the evening of March 5.

Daffodil ready to bloom

Box elder beetles in mass.  Yuck!
5.  Discovering a photo on Ancestry.com of my great grandfather's third wife.  My paternal grandmother was the last born child from his first wife.  I love seeing photos to go with the names.  Lately I have been spending more time trying to learn about the descendants rather than learning more about the ancestors.  Some of my ancestors had quite large families, and trying to learn more about the families and descendants of all the siblings has been interesting and challenging at times.  For instance, one couple just seems to have disappeared at a time when there should be some kind of a record for them.

Anna Swanson Morgan

6.  Taking time to read some books and finish them.  I found the book, Brain on Fire - My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan, an investigative reporter for The New York Post, to be fascinating.  It is about her experience with a rare neurological disease.  There is a movie by the same title which I haven't seen yet.  I would think it would be very difficult to portray Susannah in the film.

7.  A Stake Women's Conference that was based on the scripture in Galatians 5:22-23.  There were classes based on the different fruits of the Spirit mentioned in these scriptures.  These are so needed in our lives.  Although there was a delicious meal that followed, I think being Spiritually fed was the highlight of the conference for me.

8.  A baby shower without the usual baby shower games.  Instead all the guests were asked to think about a word of advice or a special memory of being a mother that they could share with the expectant Mom.  During this time of sharing, there was laughter, but mostly touching memories that brought tears to the eyes.  Being a Mother is so worth the effort and sacrifices.

9.  Different settings on the camera that I have been using.  I thought I was more limited in what I could do with my little camera.  Now I know.  What would I do without my husband to share his knowledge with me?  We have Anna's and rufous hummingbirds in abundance now, and I am able to get a better photo of one.  I appreciate how my husband encourages me in my photography attempts, when he is by far more skilled in this field.

Anna's hummingbird

10. Something new in the house.  Well, this needs an explanation.  Over the years we have had various animals in our houses.  Some we intentionally brought into the house, while others found a way to enter without our approval.  As I was eating breakfast yesterday, I saw something that I thought was a baby mouse scurrying across the floor.  We immediately set some traps at each end of the back of the sofa where it seemed to have taken refuge.  The little guy was smart enough to avoid exiting where the traps were, so now it was time to play two against one.  We were finally able to get rid of a shrew, not a baby mouse as I had supposed!  It was most likely a Baird's shrew, which is the kind most commonly found here.  I have a new appreciation for their intelligence in avoiding traps, but not in choosing in inhabit our home.  I still don't know how it got in, but I do know I wouldn't have been able to get it out without the help of my husband!  A little shrew is fast!


  1. I am so happy to see you were able to join us this week, Pat, I know that life keeps you very busy! Yay for getting the tax papers together and turned in, it's a relief when it is over. I'm also sure it was a great relief to you when you Mom began showing interest in eating again. My heart goes out to you as you make this journey with her.

    I truly hope the neuromuscular massage works wonders with the residual pain from your injury, and I will pray for that. That's quite a gathering of box elder bugs! Although I'm ok with them, like you I would feel a little overwhelmed by so many. I'm glad they were easily eradicated and that your husband was able to help you capture the little invading shrew. One of our cats once managed to get a baby bunny past me and into the house, and I wasn't quite sure what they had cornered underneath the tv table until my husband came home and said "you won't believe what it is. I had feared a snake. He was able to safely rescue it and release it, none the worse for wear and with quite a story to tell it's littermates!

    Your conference sounds so uplifting and I know you left feeling spiritually renewed. Finding time to do some reading is awesome too, and a great way to give your mind a break from daily stresses.

    What a wonderful idea for a baby shower, so much more fun sharing your experiences than playing games. I will remember that to suggest for future showers!

    I love hummingbirds, and your photo is wonderful! My husband is a camera buff too, and is usually my "take a picture for me" guy when we are on vacation. All of our gadgets have so many settings and capabilities that I feel like I never learn the half of them. How fun to discover new things you can do with yours!

    Thank you so much for sharing your thankfuls with us, may the coming days bring more blessings and peaceful moments.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement and patience with me during these past weeks of inactivity in blogging.
      That is funny about the baby bunny. So much better a bunny than a snake. HaHa.
      I'm glad that you like the baby shower idea.

  2. Glad to see you, Pat! I completely understand that feeling of doing a post and then not being able to return the favor of reading others' posts. It happens. So glad you're here, whether you read around or not!
    Baby showers without goofy games are my favorite kind! I love the idea you shared. Wish I knew of that when we had our shower years ago. Such a great idea!
    A shrew! An actual shrew! Who knew? OK, clearly it is time for me to go to bed...
    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I used to enjoy the baby shower games a little more when I actually had a clue what some of the current baby products are, but I haven't kept up on all the latest baby items.
      Yes, a shrew, and I hope it is the last one to come inside!

  3. I love the fact that at the baby shower, instead of games, people brought advice and memmories about motherhood. I imagine that was a very powerful time :)

    I love the photograph of the hummingbird! How well you did to capture it! Unfortunately we wouldn't get birds like that round where we live as they tend to have 'duller' colours. But they are really cute and sparky with their own personalities :)

    1. You are right about the personalities of hummingbirds! When the feeders are empty, they come right up to the window as though looking in and saying, "Hey, where's the food!"

  4. Beetles and mice and stink bugs, oh, my. (X3) I also absent my self when I cannot respond to others' posts. Sometimes though, the exercise of writing gratitude items is so fulfilling, we all understand. I am so over gift Bingo at showers. It's so much more fun to share mothering stories. A friend of mine, a recent Grandmother, shared this with me at my daughter-in-law's shower - "You know nothing about child rearing. Everything is different now. Practice saying, "you may want to ask your pediatrician about that." We got a good laugh over that.

    1. I love that comment by a recent Grandmother. So true!

  5. Your photos are beautiful - you have a real talent. This is something I want to get into - but life seems to get in the way. :) I have read "Brain on Fire" and found it to be a fascinating book as well. And Box Elder bugs - yuck! Have a great week.

    1. I enjoyed the book "Brain on Fire" so much. I almost don't want to see the book, because I think that the book is probably so much better than what the book can portray.

      As for those box elder beetles, I only see an occasional one. Yeah!

  6. I enjoyed your list of 10 Things to be Thankful for. - Man that was a lot of bugs!

    1. Yes, there were a lot of bugs. So glad that they are not longer around.