Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

There was a lot on my mind this past week. Some things were heart wrenching and some things made me smile and feel joy. Life is like that for all of us I think. It is up to us to come to terms with the different events that happen and perhaps learn from them. So I am sharing a few of my thoughts, things for which I am grateful and linking my post to Josie Two Shoes' Ten Things of Thankful blog hop where she provides us a place to share our views on this subject. Please pause and click her link to read some of the thoughts of other bloggers who have paused to reflect. 

There are very few things in life that are predictable. People will be born and people will die. Not everyone who begins their journey in the womb will live out their mortal life in this world. One out of every 160 pregnant women who are past 20 weeks of gestation end up with stillborn babies in the United States of America.  In 2013 legally induced abortions that were performed at less than 13 weeks gestation (91.6% of the abortions) was 200 for every 1000 births. These were numbers reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See link. If that isn't staggering enough take a look at what the World Health Organization has to say about child mortality in the world. With Red Nose Day this past week, we were able to see some ways others are trying to raise money to support programs that help children in the world who have not had the vaccinations we take for granted. These are sobering thoughts, but there are many people reaching out to help make a difference in the lives children and families, and I am grateful for their efforts.

Speaking of babies, I am now a great grandmother for the fourth time. I am thankful for a sweet little boy that was born healthy, and for his mother who was able to come through this pregnancy just fine. He was born on the same birthday as my mother-in-law. I know his parents will do all they can to protect and guide this little boy and his siblings.

As it turned out, the same day my great grandson was born was the same day I learned that our niece had returned home after spending six weeks in the hospital many miles from her home and family. Unfortunately all the efforts to get her to a point where she could have some hope of curbing the leukemia has been unsuccessful. She is now receiving hospice care. Hospice workers are angels to my way of thinking and are such a support to the entire family. I'm thankful that our niece could spend this past weekend with her immediate family, and her mom, and her siblings who had traveled some distance to be with her to share memories and express their love to her and just be there.

With all the rain we have had this year in our area, including rain again last night and this morning, things have been growing like crazy including the weeds. It has been quite a long time, over a year, that I have been able to actually pull weeds, so you can imagine how excited I was last week to finally be able to pull some weeds in the shrub beds. I only did it for a half hour on the days I went out, because I didn't want to overdo. Because I have increased flexibility now from the neuromuscular therapy, I am taking it slowly, so I don't have a setback. I felt like the little kid shouting to anyone who would listen that he was able to ride his bike! I am thankful for having greater strength and flexibility.

We have seen evidence of young life on our property the past couple of weeks, such as baby swallows in one birdhouse, baby bluebirds in another, and baby hummingbirds emerging from the depths of a large butterfly bush where nests no doubt are there. It probably won't be long before we will be seeing some fawns on the property. We've seen a doe resting in kind of a cove among some of our shrubs. We think she may be looking for a place to give birth to her fawn. I love the springtime, which to me is a season of rebirth and growth.


Inside our home some of the houseplants have decided to bloom again. Some of our Christmas cacti bloomed at Thanksgiving, sometime after Christmas, and now are getting ready to bloom again! The begonia has decided to bloom for the second time in these past few months. I'm always grateful for flowers, their colors, the many types of blossoms and leaves. The creator of all things is so imaginative!

Windfall sticks and branches

Some of you may remember playing Pick Up Sticks. That was one of the few games we had as kids. Well I got to play an adult version this past week.  Because of the wind storms this winter, we have quite a lot of sticks and branches of all sizes on the ground that need picking up. Our version of the game is to pile them up and then shred them for mulch. The pile isn't even complete yet. I am thankful for a body that will let me bend down, and legs that will support me as I climb up and down the hilly area to pick them up and stack them on the pile.

Scotch Broom

We are a little late on getting rid of more Scotch Broom. It is best to get rid of them before they bloom! Better late than never is our motto. They are quite beautiful, but very invasive plants, both my husband and I worked to remove at least some of these one afternoon. I'm thankful for times to work together with him. I even found some sweet peas that were blooming out near some Scotch Broom plants. I took time to smell each sweet pea. I love the smell of sweet peas!

A week ago Sunday, I went out to the car to go to church and discovered a chip in my windshield with a foot long crack extending across the window. We frequently will hear rocks hit our windshield when driving behind some truck, but often don't see where any damage was done. This time the damage had been done right in front of the rearview mirror, but kind of hidden from view, and apparently the foot long crack from it happened overnight. I'm sure we would have noticed it immediately otherwise. I'm thankful for those who are skilled in replacing windshields.

Another car situation happened this Sunday, when a very strange thing happened. On the way to church I discovered that the dashboard screen went completely dark.  I got to the church, and I couldn't turn off my car. Since I have a keyless entry and can start the car without having to insert a key, as long as the key is nearby, there was no key in the car.  I decided that maybe if I put the key in I could turn the car off that way. That was a bad idea. Not only was I still not able to turn the car off, I couldn't take the key out. I didn't want to leave the car running with the key in the car, so I drove home and told my husband my predicament. He was as puzzled as I was. After a few minutes, he said that he would drive it and see if he was able to get it to turn off. He backed up to the end of the driveway then pulled forward at which point the dashboard screen came on. He parked and turned the car off! This is another one of the situations when hubby, the miracle worker, does exactly what I tried, but with different results. He felt pretty good for "fixing" the car. I got back in the car and went to church, having missed just a little bit of the service. I'm so thankful for these little mysterious fixes that occur in our lives.

Wishing you all a wonderful week to come and that you can each recognize those blessing in your lives and give thanks for them.


  1. This was such a thoughtful post, Pat! Like you, for me this was a week of reflection on the cycle of birth, life, and death, and the quality of life others experience too. The casual approach to abortion is something that I am unable to comprehend, it breaks my heart, as does the suffering of children everywhere, including many areas of our own country. I know too many children that go to bed hungry, cold, and often afraid.

    New births in the family are a cause for celebration for both you and Val, and our hearts are with those who are reaching or have reached the end of their life journey, such as my uncle. It is never easy to say goodbye or to see family members struggle to deal with the loss in their lives, and yet we know that there are much better things and happy reunions yet to come. Release is a blessing for those who are suffering.

    We have had an unusual amount of rain here already this year too, including several inches tonight. My weed garden is thriving like yours, but I love that the birds, ground squirrels,rabbits and coyotes are thriving. It sounds like you have a lot of work to keep your land maintained, but it is wonderful that you are feeling up to more bending and stretching and being able to stand and move with stability, those are real blessings and make life so much nicer! Pick Up Sticks is a childhood game of our generation, and you recalling it made me smile, it didn't take fancy electronic gadgets to entertain us back then, we could spend hours with simple things like this or just our imagination.

    It seems that vehicles love to surprise us with new noises, issues, or damage. I am thankful too that windshields are replaced without great difficulty or expense, and even moreso that your car decided to play nice after your husband tried it! I would have been so frustrated, so it made me smile that you still managed to get to church just a little late. I get flustered even if my car alarm goes off and sometimes is difficult to silence. All is well that ends well.

    This new week is passing quickly with the holiday Monday, and it doesn't seem like it's already Wednesday evening now. Tomorrow night the new TToT linkup goes live, and I'll be looking forward to seeing you at the Ten Things of Thankful blog again in the next few days, your posts always leave me smiling. It's a nice way to end this day. XOXO

    I've never smelled sweet peas, and I had to smile in agreement with the vast array of flora and fauna in all colors, shapes and sizes that have been given to us to enjoy. Amazing and uplifting! I hope that you might be able to share photos of a new fawn in the near future. Your begonia is beautiful!! We have two Christmas cactuses that re-bloom at will during the year, and I love that!

    1. Oh my, when my comment posted I see that one of the paragraphs managed to reposition itself to the end (quite possibly user error :-) But at least it's all there, just a bit scrambled, much like the way my mind usually works!

  2. Cycles of birth and death are the most natural thing in the world. Still, hard to see family at the end of life, even as you're seeing the beginning of another. I recently read an excellent essay about a family coming together after one member is placed in hospice care. We are, I think, getting better at dealing with this sort of thing. As long as suffering is kept as low as possible.

    I often think, as I am walking, how grateful I am that I have legs that work. Sometimes they cause me trouble, but we can't have everything in life.


    Love all the talk of new life, nature, the birds and animals all around you. I hope that helps ease other pains that life inevitably holds.

    1. I'm glad you my blog comments about new life and nature, and yes it does help "center" me when things feel a bit stressful.