Thursday, June 15, 2017

Day 392 - Thankful Thursday

As a part of active recovery, a gratitude list is paramount for me.

I've completed a month long thankful list in November here on the blog for at least two years.
Why not make it a weekly thing??  
I can't think of a reason not to.  

What I want to do here is not just be thankful for the easy stuff (although that does have a place)...but I want to take the negative and spin it positive.
So, no negatives here.  Only positive.

Here we go:

1. AA - I attended my first meeting last night.  Even though I've been sober for 13 months, I've never been to an AA meeting.  
My group is called Sobriety Sisters.
I wasn't sure I needed them, but I'm sure now.

2.  Book lovers - book bloggers
book, books, glorious books...stories, words, escaping to other places and new adventures.
Did I mention books?

3.  Zeke and Layla - dogs, y'all...cats too...but dogs.  They love me.  Truly there's nothing I could do to make them dislike me.  They don't judge me.  They worry about me.

4. The Free Press - I see the free press as integral to our democracy...and keeping American citizens informed of the goings on amongst those we've voted into office.
I'm from Mississippi.
Our votes don't count anywhere near as much as votes from California.
Instead of wining about that, however, I look to the free press to inform me of the facts, yes, even their ideas and analysis of the facts, but I, the informed citizen, make the final decision.  
Facts are facts, and I take them as such.  
Analysis is analysis, assumptions are assumptions, possibilities are possibilities...and the informed American citizen has to deal with those as well.
I teach composition to college students. 
You should see what they take as TRUTH sometimes.
Is it such a bad idea for us to have to think every once in while?
I like thinking.
I'm thankful that I live in a country where I can think whatever I want.

5.  3 Branches of Government - politics schmolitics....that may not be a positive phrase...
I'm trying...I really am.  
I'm learning more about politics.
I'm remembering the basics that were introduced to me in my government classes.
I'm applying those basics to the volatile situation that is U.S. politics right now.
No matter which way we lean, we surely can all agree that the political air around us all is wrought with drama.
Stay positive, Peppermint.
No matter which way we lean, we appreciate that one person or one unbridled group cannot make decisions on their own without going through a checks and balances system.
The authors of our Constitution knew that in order for us not to fall under the regime of a monarchy again, that no man (or woman) should be given all power.
The system is set up the way it is set up for a reason.

6.  Pantsuit Politics - plenty of "nuance"  - the ladies at Pantsuit Politics discuss politics from both sides of the argument...and do it without yelling, losing their minds, or sacrificing their friendship.
Whoa Nelly, right?
They purposely compliment the other side at least once during their podcasts :)
Could be possibly where I got the idea of turning things into positives.

**Added note: After I typed this today, I listened to Tuesday's podcast on my way to the grocery store.  The nuance was touch and go for a while, y' much so that I sat in my car for a few minutes to make sure things ended up ok.
The ladies are tired :(
I'm thankful for them anyway though...and thankful the weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Day 390 Top Ten Tuesday - Fathers Day Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday

The ladies at The Broke and the Bookish have been compiling this list each week for quite a while.  It was one of my favorites when I was reading, reading, and reading.
I tried to continue posting after my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia, but I just couldn't have fun with it.
I've missed the Top Ten Tuesday countdown and am glad to be back :)

This week, the topic is Dads...a freebie of sorts about Dads.  My first 8 dads are dads from fiction that I connected with...Dads that I think are pretty special.
I've tried to explain why I think these dads are special too.
The last two dads are real life dads.
And the best dads in the whole wide world.

1.   Atticus Finch - I am fully expecting to see Atticus on a lot of the other bloggers' lists... To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Atticus is a dad who appreciates his daughter...who learns as much from her as he teaches her...a dad who lives the same law he practices...
talks the talk and walks the walk if you will.

2.  James Potter - Harry's dad...what better example of a father than one who is willing to risk everything for his child.

3  Bob Cratchit - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The portrait of Bob Cratchit holding Tiny Tim on his shoulders is pretty recognizable to even those who've never read the book.
I like this picture of Bob actually better.
Bob had a house full of children.
More than he could afford.
He worked for a grumpy old man who didn't pay him fare wages and wouldn't even heat the office enough. 
The longsuffering Bob Cratchit left his soul sucking office everyday to go home to his family.
When he arrived home, his face completely changed...the warmth, the love, the positivity...making the best of what they had...and seeing the happiness in even things that seemed dismal. 
That's a father.

4  Robert Quimby - Ramona's Dad - Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary
I really could see myself in Ramona when I was a kid her age.  Her parents were a lot like mine too, especially her dad. Ramona wasn't a girly girl and just wanted to find her way...she wanted to be sure of herself even if she didn't like the same things her mother and Beezus liked.
Her dad encouraged and accepted her to be exactly like she was...
even though she sometimes wanted to be like him :)  

5.  Pa Ingalls - Laura's dad - Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pa was the guy you wanted with you in a hurricane, a snowstorm, a prairie fire, or moving day.  Pa found food when it was scarce or went without himself when there wasn't enough.  To top it off, this superman played the fiddle at night to entertain his family.

6  The Book Thief - Hans Huberman - He took someone else's child into his home and raised her like his own.  He teaches her love in the face of unimaginable hate and evil.  He teaches her survival...both physical and emotional.
I sobbed while I read this book...ugly cry sobbing too.
I haven't seen the movie either...I just can't bring myself to do it.

7.  Colonel March - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
He's not with them much.
But we know a lot about him simply because of how strong the women in his life were.
They treasured him and hung on his every word...they make sacrifice after sacrifice the cause he so desperately believed in.
And they grow up to make their own lives their own individual ways with his blessing.
*I realize this is a romanticized vision of Colonel March given the very different perspective we read about in Gwendolyn Brooks novel March, but the romanticized version is the only one I had for most of my I'm sticking to that father for Father's Day.

8.  Dexter Morgan - the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay...yeah, yeah, I know. He's a serial killer.
But, he's a dad too.  And a good one.  Nobody's going to hurt his kids.
Little Harrison is his lifeline.  He'll live and continue to do life in order to be there for Harrison the way his adopted dad was for him.

9.  Reading The Incredible Journey with my dad...this is a childhood memory that I carry with me.  I can still see us sitting on my bed.
Me, hanging on every word.
One chapter a night...except for the chapter that ends with the cat floating down the river stuck on a log.
We read two chapters that night ;)

10.  My husband...the father of our three daughters.
Ed is a lot like Mr. their younger days he was gone a lot...but he loved his girls and they knew it.
He hasn't always been a reader but in the last 20 years, he's started reading a lot.  He reads some history, particularly Mississippi history, sports, and crime thrillers such as Lee Child, Greg Isles, Vince Flynn, and Michael Connelly, etc.  He's not as fanatical about his books as I am...when he's done reading with most of them, out the door they go.  He does have some keepers though.  We have a John Grisham collection that is his and a good many coaching bios.
His office is in the library on our campus so he gets to the library more than I do :)
I try to get him a book at gift giving times when one pops up that I think he would enjoy...this is my this year's Father's Day pick for him:

Y'all, overwhelmingly the reviewers wrote that it didn't matter what side of politics you are on...the stories in this collection showcase the integrity, sacrifice, and perseverance of American military personnel...survival at its best...overcoming adversity...
I think he'll like it :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Day 389 - Welcoming Structure - Monday Meal Planning

I have a love hate relationship with structure. 
I resist it at all costs.
I have been dragged, teeth clenched, and biting nails, all the way to some event or task that I committed to but then changed my mind about. 
True Story.

I do, however, find security in structure when it's all said and done.
Heavy sigh.
Structure makes me feel like I do have some power in the world.
Structure makes me feel like everything may indeed just be ok. 
And a Meal Plan each week keeps each of my pesky family members from asking the dreaded question:

"What's for supper?"

I have such relief during the weeks that I actually plan ahead.  I totally realize this may not be a big deal to a lot of people...but for me, it parallels unbridled joy. 
I'm not even playin'.

I was visiting with my mom all weekend so my plan is a little behind, but here's what I have so far for this week:

Monday - Chicken Parm Salad with Baby Spinach and a Creamy Lemon Dressing from Hello Fresh

Tuesday - Zesty Crusted Catfish over Cilantro Jasmine Rice and Roasted Broccoli from Hello Fresh

Wednesday - Juicy Lucy Burgers with Tomato Onion Jam and Arugula Salad from Hello Fresh

**I'm a fan of the boxed meal plans and have tried 3 so far, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Home Chef.  Blue Apron is my favorite right now because of their focus not just on fresh foods but they also focus on the environment, sustainability, and recycling.  I'm teaching summer school so the boxed meals also help me keep structure at home while I'm holding down an outside job as well.

Thursday - Farmers' Market - fresh veggies and cornbread

Friday - Breakfast - We like pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits.  Yes, that's a lot of food, but it gets us through the weekend breakfasts, and everybody can eat what they want.
We used to have a big breakfast on Saturdays when all three girls lived at home.  As a matter of fact, I blogged about that very thing in 2010.
When I looked back at that post, I remembered one of the main reasons I started blogging to begin with...the memories :) 

Saturday - Grill, Prep for meals tomorrow.  What I grill will depend on what is fresh and available at the market on Thursday.  

Sunday - Casserole and/or Crock Pot - We're trying to stop eating out so much.  If I have a casserole made up and salad fixin's, we can just pop it in the oven after church and have a home cooked meal instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money for a sandwich somewhere.
I like the crock pot for Sunday Supper because it simmers all day, and I'm not in the kitchen all day. We just set the table and eat.

And, that's that for now!

Nap please!