Santa stop here

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pictures as promised

Here are the pics of my birthday cake.  It tasted yummy even if it didn't look it so much.  I need input from you baking pros so I can do better next time around.  I baked lemon cake (Duncan Hines lemon supreme to be exact) and then lined the cake pan with plastic wrap and "spread" softened vanilla bean ice cream in the pan.  I covered it with another layer of plastic wrap and returned it to the freezer for several hours.  I leveled one layer of my cake then layered the ice cream between the layers of cake and attempted to frost the cake with buttercream frosting.  You can see that it didn't spread on all that smoothly on the sides and then the ice cream began to melt and that really messed up the frosting effort.  I stuck the whole thing back in the freezer for a spell while I contemplated how to make the cake look presentable.  I tried slathering a bit more buttercream on the sides but it just wasn't meant to go on smoothly.  I quick piped a border, added sprinkles (what's ice cream and cake without sprinkles?!) and piped Happy Birthday with the bright blue frosting leftover from my cousin's cake last week.  Ta-da!  Surely, there must be a frosting specifically for ice cream cakes--maybe something a little lighter than buttercream like a whipped cream frosting?  The cold buttercream was a bit too rich, in my opinion.  If anyone has any suggestions or tips I'd love for you to share them!
You might have noticed the six candles.  For all of you mathematicians out there:  4 represented the tens place and 2 the ones place!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Five Question Friday-24 September 10

Hello, blog buds!  Happy Friday to you.  When you only post a couple of times a week and you follow a meme or blog hop of sorts, it seems like every other post is the same..."Can't believe it's time for Five Question Friday again!" but it is.  Hop over the Mama M's "My Little Life" for the official "rules," link up and original questions.  Here are my answers for this week...(oh, and I did snap a few pics of my birthday cake from yesterday; I'll post them later today.)

1. If you could speak with a different accent, what would it be (i.e Australian, Scottish)?

I love the whole Aussie-accent thing, but I’d go with French-sounds sexy to me. (Okay, maybe I’m misinterpreting the question just a little and am thinking of speaking another language vs. just speaking with the accent now that I think about it.) Of course, the French accent may be unrecognizable coupled with my Tex-Mex Spanglish accent!

2. Can you fall asleep anywhere? (i.e floor, couch, deck)

Yes, I can fall asleep pretty much anywhere-even sitting up in front of my computer like I’m doing now while I’m waiting for PE and Band uniforms to finish washing so kids will have them for school tomorrow.

3. Do you use public restrooms? If so, do you sit on the toilet?

I use public restrooms only when I absolutely have to. I prefer when they have those disposable seat covers, but if not I sometimes sit on my hands—the idea being I can always wash & sanitize my hands immediately after using the public restroom. If it’s really disgusting I’ll cop a squat over the toilet bowl and try not to touch anything with any part of my body.

4. If you were stuck in an elevator for 24 hours, what celebrity would you most want to be stuck with?

Umm…are there hidden/security cameras in the elevator? Let me just play this safe…I’d want to be stuck with Steve Carrell. I LOVE his wacky sense of humor and think he’d do a great job of keeping me entertained enough to stave off a claustrophobic panic attack for 24 hours.

5. Where did you & your significant other go on your 1st date?

My hubs and I met through a mutual friend. My now brother-in-law works for a car dealership and I was in the market for a car after my return from Honduras. So, the hubs (with the encouragement of said mutual friend) volunteered to take me car shopping. One day we left the dealership and headed down the street to Chilis for lunch. We consider that our first “date.” I remember I ordered baked potato soup and a wine cooler. I know the Hubs thought I was up to something, but he quickly learned that that’s how I roll. He was obviously smitten by the thought of having a frugal wife!

That was fun; now I'm done...H ave a wonderful day and a great weekend

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday (no, I didn't create the above masterpiece-found it on google images, but it appears to be right up my alley: white cake, white frosting and purple script).  I just found out that I share my special day with Cassiopeia at  so hop over and wish her a happy day, too!  It's getting late and I still have dinner to finish (bad mommy! The family took me out for Mexican food last night) and homework to review, so I can't stay long.  I also am going to attempt to assemble an ice cream cake with lemon cake and vanilla ice cream  and buttercream frosting.  I probably should have checked with some of you seasoned bakers/deocrators for some tips, but this was kind of a last minute craving.  I'll let you all know how it turns out.  In the meantime, I wish you a pleasant evening/night.  Until next time...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sound familiar, anyone?

I just love the Baby Blues comic strip.  I could always relate to poor Wanda, and this one is no different.  I found it in a folder with some papers from the early years of my marriage when my son was an infant.  It still holds true today.  (Does anyone but me find it disturbing that I still have a file folder of papers from 14 years ago that I'm just now getting around to going through? Hmmm?  Please tell me I'm not the only packrat in the blogosphere!)  I could have taken this straight from any one of my many tirades about never getting ahead with housework.  And the Hubs would say something sweet and encouraging just like Darryl and make me not so crazy and still crazier at the same time.  I am gearing up for a series of "before and after" posts about the various hot spots in my house (okay, so my entire house is one huge hot spot-I'm not going to lie to you, but I'm going to go a little at a time so as not to overwhelm you all).  Two things are causing me to drag my feet: (1) It is as embarrassing as I don't know what; and (2) I can't even figure out where to start.
How did my house get this far gone? you might ask.  Well, at first I used the excuse that I had small children.  My chief decorators were Little Tikes and Fisher-Price.  I'd rather spend my time playing with my kiddoes than doing housework.  Those small children are now 12 and 14 and bigger than me, so there goes that excuse!  Then, I was busy working outside of the home (albeit part-time) and volunteering at the kids' schools.  Then, I was back in school myself.  Well, I have been out of school for months now, and I have several months before I will start working full-time.  I want to take the time to seize the moment and try literally to get my house in order so I can come home to a place I love after working 12-hour shifts at the hospital.
I would LOVE to hear how you all manage to stay on top the daily grind AND find the time to get to the big stuff, too.  Do you just throw away everything or have some elaborate system for dealing with "stuff"?  I tried doing household chores like my menu planning and designated certain tasks on certain days of the week, but I never could stick to it: Mondays were for mail & paying bills; Tuesdays tubs and toilets (i.e., cleaning the bathrooms); Wednesdays were wash day; and Fridays were floors (sweep, mop, vaccuum).  Don't remember what I had going on for Thursdays.  Nowadays, it's Monday-read blogs; Tuesdays-read blogs; Wednesdays-read blogs, etc...Housework is still falling by the wayside, but I'm frustrated more and more about it.  Won't you please, please help me?

Friday, September 17, 2010

I am Thankful, cont...(and 5QF)

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to finish my list of things for which I am thankful, but then I got super busy yesterday afternoon making this cake for this little cutie cousin of mine whom I just met for the first time on Wednesday, so here goes now.
(5) I am thankful for my friends and family, even the ones who live far away and only get to come for a visit every once in a blue moon.  My cousin, Micah and his family: Jennifer and Cian (pronounced Kee' ahn) are visiting from Wisconsin.
(4) I am thankful for all of the support and encouragement I receive each and every day from all of my friends in this incredible network of bloggers.  I am truly amazed at how God puts just the right people in your life at just the right time so we can learn from one another and uplift one another.  I just love that!
(3) I am thankful that my bills are almost caught up.  Okay, so maybe they're still not quite where I'd like them to be, but at least I'm not as far behind as I was this time last month!
(2)I am thankful for my hard-working husband who puts in lots and lots of hours and still has to listen to me complain that we need more, more, more.
(1) I am thankful for prayers answered (namely the job offer that I didn't want to expound upon yesterday in the event that any family members read that post.  It was Cian's day, and I didn't want the discussion to be about me and my new job).  I've told my Hubby and kids, but haven't even shared the good news with the rest of my family yet...I'm about to go do that now!

In the all can kick back and enjoy my Five Question Friday answers.  If you'd like to participate, hop on over to Mama M's blog "My Little Life" and copy and past the questions then link your blog to hers.  This is a lot of fun, and your readers get to find out the little things about you that you might not otherwise think to share.
1. What is the first nightmare you remember?

The first time I remember waking up scared, I thought snakes were crawling across the curtain rod in my bedroom in the middle of the night. I was so convincing in my hallucination that my sister and I were sitting up in bed clinging to each other and screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night. It must have scared the daylights out of our parents. (A little food for thought, here: Ever stop and wonder why we use the sayings we use? Why in the world would daylight be lurking inside my parents in the middle of the night; and why would my screaming force it out of them? Just wondering out loud.) Looking back I wonder what in the world I ate before going to bed that night?!

2. Even if you're not a sports fan, what's your favorite sport to play/watch?

I probably watch more basketball than anything simply because I have a husband and son who watch them. If I had to choose a sport I like to watch and play, I’d probably have to say baseball because I understand this sport. If the pitcher pitches too high or low, it’s a “ball” and you don’t swing. If he pitches just right and you don’t swing or swing and miss it’s a “steee-rike!” You do your best to hit the ball and run around 3 bases and make it back to home plate-plain and simple. There are no downs, first, second or otherwise, and constantly changing yard lines or 3-point shots vs. 2-point shots or fouls that get you to the free-throw line or fouls that get you thrown out of the game. I’m pretty much sports illiterate.

3. If you could pull off one piece of trendy fashion, what would you want it to be (jeggings, hats, thigh high boots, etc.)?

Okay, ladies, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I am fashion-challenged (and that may very well be the understatement of the year). My entire closet could be featured on “What NOT to wear-ever.” This, my friends, is why I chose nursing for a career: mix and match scrubs, people (and you thought it was because I’m a caring person)! I have no idea what piece of trendy fashion I would want to pull off. I could probably settle for anything that doesn’t make me look like the schlumpadinka that I am!

4. Did you make good grades in school?

I’m pretty certain I was on the A/B honor roll from kindergarten on-even managed to pull it off in nursing school (even though all of my exam grades were not always A’s or B’s!)

5. What magazines do you subscribe to?

I do not currently subscribe to any magazines. My most recent subscription was All You which I purchased from one of my kids’ band fundraisers in lieu of the overpriced chocolate and gift wrap. When my kids were younger I always subscribed to Family Fun for the awesome craft and kid-friendly recipe ideas. I am a packrat by nature, and until I learn some techniques for “letting go” and getting rid of stuff I do NOT need anything else coming my way that I will be tempted to keep forever and a day (ex: I only recently got rid of an entire stack of Parenting magazines from the late 1990’s when my kids were first born). I do enjoy thumbing through Southern Living, Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens at the dentist’s office. He even allows me take the older issues (I am partial to the December issues with all of the great holiday baking recipes).

Well, as always, that was fun.  Now I'm done.  Have a great weekend dear blog buddies in case I don't make it back here until sometime next week!  Until then...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am Thankful

Today I am thankful that I.HAVE.BEEN.OFFERED.THE.JOB!!!  I am doing the happy dance over here (well, actually, I have two left feet, so not really, but it sounded like a good thing most people could probably relate to).  I called one of my interviewers to let them know I speak Spanish (minor detail I forgot to mention in the interview...very handy here in Texas!), and she said she was glad I called her back because she was going to call and offer me the position anyway but got busy.  So, I have officially accepted but not spoken with Human Resources and hammered out all of those details yet.  I have to drop off my Grandmother before my folks think I've kidnapped her, so I'll be back to tell everything else I'm thankful for a little later.  Thank you all for your prayers and support!  Until next time...

Monday, September 13, 2010

How Sweet it is!

Good day, friends!  I am home from my interview, and I feel like it went well.  It was a panel interview, so I sat at the head of a large table in a conference room with four people to my left and three to my right.  ::insert sarcasm here:: I wasn't at all intimidated.  Almost asked if I got to pray since I was seated at the head of the table (is that how it works in your household, too?).  Anyway, they took turns asking lots of "Tell me about a time when...what was the did you feel?"-type questions.  They then opened the floor for any questions or concerns I might have.  Of course, I was thinking of the little 3x5 notecard that was tucked away in my purse and trying to remember what I wrote down.  Better yet, I strained my poor brain to recall what all of the job interview books said NOT to ask (Ex: If I'm hired, when's my first vacation?).  I asked about whether or not all units had 12-hour shifts, for further clarification of the residency program and about access to their onsite fitness center for employees, and that was that. I was told that they would be in touch by week's end but that the residency doesn't start until the end of January.  I knew that going into the interview, but was sure hoping that maybe there was an off chance that they could squeeze me into the residency that just started this month.  This means that even if I get the job, we still have to make it through Christmas, the New Year and property taxes coming due before I ever even start.  *sigh* That makes me sad because last year was truly a blessing because of the actions of angels here on earth (click here to read about that).  I just knew I would be able to pay it forward and help someone else this year, but it looks like that might not be the case.  Then again, I could still get the seasonal job giving flu shot that I applied for last week. I am awaiting word from them.  I have faith that in the end it will all work out.
Shifting gears for a moment, you might have noticed the cuddly teddy bear on my sidebar.  He represents the "Sweet Blog" award presented to me by Annette over at Mommy Spirit.  Thanks for that, Annette.  Now I have to pass it on to 10 other blogs I think are sweet, so here no particular order.  (Okay, so it's alphabetical order.  I just can't help myself sometimes.) Feel free to click on their blog name below to pop over for a visit. 
Big Fat Mama @ Cooking Up Faith
Carol @ Knee Deep in Mommahood
Cassiopeia @ Cassiopeia Chats
Charlene @ Adventures in Mommyland
Jinnia @
Kirsten @ Soaking Up the Sunny Side of Life
Rachel @ Cupcake Sprinkles of Life
Ruth @ Underneath His Wrapping
Sassy @ Dancing in the Rain; and
Stephanie @ Ecstatically Pregnant

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Hola, blog family.  I just wanted to pop in to say how much I appreciate all of you who take the time to stop by and/or leave comments.  I have been busy this weekend preparing for my interview on Monday.  I would love for you to say a little prayer that all goes well and that God's will be done.  I think this is just the right job for me, but what I truly want is the job God thinks is right for me.  I'm excited and about to turn in "early" (it's not quite midnight) so I'll be on top of my game.  When I get back I'll acknowledge my "Sweet Blog" award and pass it along to some of you fellow bloggers.  Good night.  Until next time...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Five Question Friday-10 September 10

Anybody out there saying TGIF or is that just me?  Because Friday has rolled around once more, that means...(drum roll please) it's time for Five Question Friday.  Thanks to Mama M and her crew at My Little Life for the new questions every week.   Click here to visit Mama M and get the official rules and questions.  So, here goes:

1. Do you feel guilty spending money on yourself?

I most certainly do not feel guilty about spending money on myself because (1) I don’t do it often; (2) when I do spend money on myself it’s usually not that much; and (3) I feel I deserve it when I do.

2. How well do you know your neighbors?

I am sad to say that I have lived in the same house with mostly the same neighbors (give or take a few) for over 15 years, and we only know each other on a casual basis. I have only been inside two of my neighbors’ homes, and only one of my neighbors has ever been inside my house. We all wave at one another, and we’ve even received invitations to their kids’ high school graduations and weddings. Many of our neighbors are “senior citizens” and have already “been there done that” with block parties and such when their kids were young and still at home.  The only reason I even know their last names is that I often do neighborhood campaigns for various charitable organizations, and they send me a list of my own neighbors' names and addresses!

3. What age are you looking forward to being?

The Big 5-0 is what keeps coming to mind, so I’ll go with that. Half the time I can’t remember how old I am; it’s just a number in my opinion. Both of our kids will be in college (*sniff* that makes me a little sad; but just a little). Maybe by the time I’m 50 money won’t be so tight (yeah, right, with 2 kids in college?!), and the Hubs and I can finally make it to the south of France or Hawaii or somewhere equally fun to celebrate in style.

4. Do you get excited when the mail comes? Why?

Heck NO! It’s all bills and “junk mail” these days. Every now and again I’ll get a handwritten letter from my dear cousin who is in her 50’s but suffered a nervous breakdown in high school and has had the mentality of someone much younger ever since. I enjoy that correspondence just because who handwrites anything anymore?

5. What is your earliest childhood memory?

I had to write about this in a paper once upon a time ago. I was about 2 years old. The only way I know I was that young is my mom told me we moved from that house around the time I was 2 or 3. Anywhoo…I had received the Fisher Price school house with the little wooden peg people that are now chunky plastic people. (I never choked on one of them, but I guess someone must have so the FP people of my generation really are a thing of the past). The school house came with playground equipment, namely a swing set with 2 swings on it. Anybody out there remember this toy? The side of the school house opened and had a chalkboard on it? The roof had a little bell on top to ring indicating school was in session? Sorry, I digress. So, my cousin (who was older than me so much so that I called him “Uncle Bob”) placed the little FP people on the swing and then proceeded to flip the top of the swing set so hard the swings flipped completely over the top bar and the little people flew out of the swings. For the longest time, I had what I thought was an irrational fear of swinging too high on the swings at the park. Turns out it was just as rational as could be!

Once again, this was fun, and now I'm done.  Good night.  Until next time...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday 9/9/10

I feel so ashamed, blog family!  I haven't posted anything since I was featured on the Nestwork almost a week ago.  I have been reveling in all of the wonderful comments and new followers as well as my tried and true followers, but I feel sort of like the kid who made out like a bandit on her birthday and forgot to write thank you notes.  Then, I was reading Pioneer Woman's latest post about tips on blogging (click here to read for yourself), and she says to tell your readers you love them often and to blog every day!  Yikes!  I have failed twice over.  So, I stand before you humbled and contrite hoping that you will accept my sincerest apology for dropping the ball.  If you're a new follower and I haven't been by to visit, or if you're a veteran follower and I've been by your site and commented but not said "thank you" please be patient with me.  Let's move on, shall we...
This Thanksgiving Thursday, I am thankful for...
(1) Mama Hen and the Nestwork for working so diligently to keep things moving forward in spite of the fact that she has a very sick little girl who needs her attention.  Thank you Mama Hen for all you do to keep us motivated and connected in the blogosphere.
(2) As the school year is well underway now, I am thankful for the teachers all over the world who dedicate not only their time from 8 a.m.-ish to 3:30 p.m.-ish Monday through Friday, but also stand in the rain before school to ensure kids get into the building safely and stay after school to sell sno-cones and pickles (and sometimes pickle juice sno-cones-blah!) for the Math-Science Team, and stay after for open house and PTA meetings and contribute their own funds for such endeavors as fundraisers and extracurricular activities for the students.  Thank you, teachers.  I have a little "story" I'd like to share here based on an e-mail I received, but it will make this post extremely long, so I think I'll post it separately.
(3) I am thankful for all of you reading this post or anything else I've typed in this blog.  I am uplifted, encouraged, and inspired by your comments.  Thank you and I love you, blog buddies!
(4) I am thankful for the rain we received (torrential though it may have been!); and I am so thankful that although I had one little leak that I couldn't tell where in the world it came from, that my house was not flooded like people about 6 miles away whose 1st level apartments were completely engulfed in water.
(5) I am thankful that I finally have a job interview at 10 a.m. on Monday morning!!!  Even if it is a bust, I'm stoked that I can finally say I at least had an interview!  I am now motivated to continue on and apply for other positions as well.
I think it goes without saying (but I feel like saying it anyhow) how very grateful and thankful I am for my family; especially that big cuddly guy who is in my bedroom next door calling hogs or sawing logs, whichever you prefer, as I type (that's snoring for you city folk!), the two amazing kiddoes down the hall, the sister who peddles fundraiser candy to her coworkers and always supports her niece and nephew, the Mom, Dad and Grandmother a couple miles down the road, the inlaws, the SIL who is just plain sweet, the cousin who encourages and expects great things of me.  I could go on and on, but alas it is after midnight, and I think I've got some hogs to call myself.  Good night, all.  Until next time...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The little things in life

Welcome friends, old and new alike to my blog. I’m glad you stopped by. I am so pleased to be a featured “inspirational” blogger on Mama Hen’s Nestwork. Grab something to drink and a snack and get comfy. I’d like to share a little story with you.

First of all, let me say that for years and years I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life (being on an extremely tight budget will do that for you). Actually, that may have all started when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. Living in a “room” built with mud and straw bricks and a dirt floor without indoor plumbing has a way of making one humble. As crazy as it sounds, I absolutely loved it. One of the locals really explained to me just how less is more. She told me, “The more you have; the more you have to worry about what you have.” That point has really stuck with me. Anyway, the point of all of that was to say that I consider myself a simple woman, and it doesn’t take much to please me. I think once my husband figured that out after the first few dates, he dropped to one knee on the spot and asked me to marry him! Just kidding; let me get on with the story.
Tidal Wave Silver Hedge Petunia
camera doesn't do this justice!

For the past couple of years for Mother’s Day I’ve given my kids a couple of bucks a piece and asked them to choose flowers from the local hardware store to plant in my flowerpots in the backyard. Voila-Happy Mother’s Day to me! I do not have anyone’s green thumb, but I figure even I can manage to transfer an already grown and blooming flower from the 4-inch pot it’s sold in into a larger pot with some dirt with relative success. I love the thoughtfulness that goes into my kids’ choices, and they have a good time handling the money and mixing and matching the varieties and colors of flowers. Last year, they selected an absolutely beautiful variety of petunia called a Tidal Wave Silver hedge petunia. It was the palest shade of lavender with deeper purple veins because purple is my favorite color. I planted it in a small pot all by itself. It was just that beautiful! The little plant really showed off and bloomed and bloomed through the summer.
See how much it grew?!
When the weather turned cooler and the plant quit blooming and dried up, I pulled up the brown stem and abandoned the barren looking terracotta pot on the patio in the backyard where it sat through winter’s wind, rain, sleet and snow. Yes, snow! You see, I live in North Texas so we really don’t see much snow, but this year did we ever see snow—like 12 inches in 24 hours. I know that’s not much to you northerners, but just to put things in perspective, schools and businesses close around here when there’s a threat of 2 or 3 inches of snow, so 12 inches in one day was a HUGE deal for us.
that's the little pot with a mound of snow on top!
When the kids and I went out to play in the snow, I noticed first of all that my little pot looked like a giant snow cone.  Secondly, after all of the snow had melted, I also observed that the pot was cracked in two. Oh well, I thought, I’ll deal with that in the spring. Then winter gave way to spring, and the days were filled with blue skies and warmer weather once again. From time to time I’d go past the little pot in the backyard and think I should do something with that before someone bumps it and gets hurt or makes a mess. Still, I left it.  Then one day I noticed a little green shoot sticking up. It looked similar to the leaves on the petunias my kids bought me for Mother’s Day this year, so I let it be to see what would happen. Sure enough my Wave petunias were back as beautiful as ever-cracked pot and all.

As I reflected on this phenomenon, I considered all that little seed had been through: too much water; not enough water; too much cold, not enough sunlight. Even its home had given way to the freezing temperatures; yet still it survived. Isn’t life just like that, friends? We deal with all sorts of adversities, but they are balanced with good times and sunshine. The best part is, just as God protected that tiny little seed buried in the dirt because it still had work to do and its beauty to share, He is with us on our journeys, too. Whatever you may be going through, He is with you. Psalm 62: 8 says we have but to: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope I didn’t keep you too long. You’re welcome to come back anytime! Until next time…

This is the gift that kept on giving this summer

Thanksgiving Thursday 9/02/10

Wow, happy second day of September to you all.  I had a post rattling around in my head all day yesterday.  I was going to call it "Make a Wish Wednesday" and list some of the things I wish for (probably inspired by Mama Hen's post a few days ago).  Anyway, it never came to fruition, so I'll save it for another day.  Moving right along to things for which I am thankful this week.
(5) I am thankful for peanut butter.  My high school student son refuses to carry a lunch box to school--not that I'm trying to convince him to carry the old metal lunchbox with Superman flying off to save the world.  No insulated lunch box means no way to keep cold stuff cold and hot stuff hot.  Thank God he likes peanut butter because I feel much more comfortable with him eating that in place of a lukewarm ham and cheese sandwich!
(4) I am thankful for fluffy new pillows.  I bought a "two-pack" at Kohls with the kohl's cash a while back and just now got around to using one of them.  I got that "oooh, aaaah feeling" and slept like a baby.
(3) I am thankful for temperatures in the 70's and rain, glorious rain!  My 92-year-old grandmother and I went for a walk after I dropped kids off at school this morning, and it was oh-so-nice to not be drenched in sweat after the first ten paces from my driveway! I had to slow my usual pace and not walk as far or long, but it was nice to get out with her.  I just love that woman.
(2) I am thankful that my 84-yr-old father in law was not seriously injured when he fell in his apartment last week.  I went on Friday to take him to his dialysis appt, and he told me through the door that he had fallen and couldn't get himself up off the floor to get to the door.  I had no key, so I called two of my sisters-in-law only to get their voice mails.  I called the Life Alert number posted on my FIL's apt door, and they were not much help either suggesting that I call 911.  They told me to call them back and let them know how things worked out.  I told my FIL to hang on and I drove around to the apartment office where I explained the situation and burst into tears.  I was so worried about my poor, frail FIL.  The maintenance man was given a set of keys and I followed him back to the apt where the key didn't work.  I could hear my FIL still struggling to make his way to the door.  The maintenance man brought up the fact that even if we had a working key, the dead bolt was still on from inside the apt with no key access from the outside.  I gave my FIL a little more time, he was now jiggling the doorknob but couldn't reach the top dead bolt.  I called 911 and again explained the situation.  They dispatched the fire truck, and I waited.  Meanwhile I told my FIL to take off  his shoe and try to reach the lock with his shoe.  I grabbed the doorknob and pulled toward me to take the pressure off of the dead bolt. Thump. thump.thump. thump. Click!  He did it!  Of course, he was sitting in front of the door so I couldn't get in right away.  I called 911 to tell them I was in the apt.  They said the fire truck had already been dispatched, and that was fine with me because I still didn't know if I would need EMT assistance.   I couple of minutes after my FIL scooted far enough away from the door for me to get in the firefighters arrived with that huge ax and some ramrod thing and were surprised to see the door was already open.  They asked my FIL where he wanted to sit, and two of them hoisted him up and plopped him on the couch before turning around to leave and bidding us a good day.  Weren't they supposed to ask pertinent questions like if he'd lost consciousness or check him out for broken bones or something?  After they left, I checked him out for myself.  I went into the kitchen and the oven door was off of its hing and gaping open.  This alarmed me because I kept thinking of how badly he could have been hurt if he had hit his head or anything else on one of those sharp metal corners.  My FIL said he grabbed the oven door when he was falling.  As best as I can figure, my FIL must have fallen shortly after I phoned him just before 10 a.m. to tell him I was on my way.  By the time I was able to get into the apt, it was almost 11:30.  The poor man had been on the floor a good hour and a half!  I don't think I've ever felt so helpless in my life as I was listening to him on the other side of that door and not being able to get right in to him.  Needless to say,  we didn't make it to his dialysis appt but rescheduled for Saturday morning.  I fixed him some lunch, gave him his meds and pulled his walker from behind the door and observed him using it.  I asked him if he would please come home with me just for the night and I could bring him back in the morning for his dialysis.  He looked at me with the sweetest smile and said, "Maybe another time," as if he were politely turning down an invitation to go out on a date or something.  Turns out my FIL had a house key in each of his pants pockets, so I took one and told him NOT to lock the top dead bolt anymore until we could get him another one with a key access from outside.  He is doing okay.  His other daughters have been seeing to it that he gets to his appts this week.
(1) I am eternally thankful for friends and family who support and encourage and share and help and say "I love you" when you need to hear it most.