Friday, November 25, 2016

Ten Things I'm Thankful For

I.  Freedom of speech.  (Kudos to the members of Hamilton, SNL, and Green Day for executing their First Amendment right.)

II.  That my 84 year old grandpa and 83 year old grandmother are still alive and doing relatively well.  They both were in the hospital last week.  I'm very thankful to have had another Thanksgiving with them.

III.  That I was awake to see this amazing sunrise Tuesday morning.

IV.  For my health.  I know several people my age and younger who have some serious health issues.  I am extremely fortunate that I do not.

V. For the opportunity to return to my childhood home not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.

VI.  For friends I've known since I was a kid and who, over the decades, have become "family."

VII.  Diverse friends who add a very special spice to my life.

VIII.  My tiny West Virginia family.  There were only eight of us around the table yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner, but it was wonderful being in each other's company.

IX.  For the relative ease in which I've been able to lose the amount of weight I have so far.  I know many people who struggle to lose more than a couple pounds.  I've been able to lose 10% of my original starting weight simply by making very doable changes to my diet and incorporating exercise.  

X. Unexpected miracles.  I know I've mentioned this phrase several times previously and I've never fully explained it.  I believe that some things in life are simply so wonderful that they shouldn't be explained.  I received a wondrous gift from someone who, sadly, was just passing through my life.  I will never forget that person or that gift.


I hope this finds you having a wonderful Friday, wherever you are in this great, big vast  world.  If you are here in the U.S., or are an ex-pat living abroad, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you are one of the many out there braving the Black Friday madness, I wish you fabulous deals and a safe shopping experience.

Have a wonderful weekend and, as always, thanks for stopping by!

PS - Happy Birthday to my fabulous mother!

Linking up with:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Five (Vol. 9)

I.  Despite being a little "old news," this poignant article about the Cubs in the Chicago Sun Times.

II.  My Cubbies World Series Championship t-shirt arrived this week.  I love it!

III. This poignant video about a very solemn day in my alma mater's history.

IV.  This CBS Sunday Morning segment.  Despite it being somewhat political, my inclusion of it on this list has nothing to do with my feelings for Trump.  This segment tells the story of some people in McDowell County, WV.  McDowell County is where my paternal grandparents were raised and it neighbors my home county.  It's not a happy video, but is worth sharing.

V.  There is a principal in Lexington, KY who makes hilarious videos regarding teacher and education issues.  If you are an educator, I'd recommend checking out his Facebook page.  Just a little warning, however, he is as country as corn and he might be hard to understand if you're not familiar with southern accents!

VI.  BONUS - Although this song is 21 years old, I think its message is still as relative and timely as it was in 1995.

I hope this finds you having a wonderful Friday.  May you have a blessed weekend.  Have anything fun planned?

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

It’s probably best to just go ahead and get perceptions out of the way so you know exactly where you stand with me. I don’t like you. I’ve never liked you and I probably will never like you. Most importantly, right now, I don’t respect you. 

What little respect I may have had for you in the beginning was basic, human respect that I would extend to anyone. You lost that with the distasteful, hateful things you spewed during the past 12 months while on the campaign trail. I, sir, am quite displeased with your behavior.

Mr. Trump, you are now the president-elect. I was raised to believe that the president of my country should be respected regardless of my personal feelings towards that individual. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not there yet and I’m not sure I’ll be ready come January 20, 2017 either. I will, however, give you a chance to earn my respect back. It’s fair to say, though, that you have your work cut out for you.

As a therapist and an educator, I believe it is of the utmost importance that the students with whom I work know exactly what their therapy targets are. If they don’t know what’s expected of them, then how can I expect them perform at the level I wish them to? The same is to be said of the duties of an employee. Holding the highest office of public service, you are now my representative to the world. You work for me and the other 350 million citizens of this country. As one of your “employers,” I feel that you should be made aware of what I expect of you.  If I don't inform you of my expectations, then how can I expect you rise to them?

So, without further ado, here's what I expect from you, Mr. Trump:

I expect you to view and treat all of us as your equals and when I say all I mean ALL. We live in a nation where all are believed to be created equal. That includes women, those with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, minorities, those with different skin tones, and those with differing religious views.

I expect you to stop making fun of the disabled. My life’s work revolves around helping children overcome communication delays and disorders. Making fun of ANYONE absolutely infuriates me, but making fun of someone for something that they cannot help… Man, that’s low. You should thank your lucky stars that you were born of able body and mind and that your children were as well. The disabled are not beneath you, Mr. Trump.

I expect you to stop being a womanizing, misogynist schmuck. We woman are more than just sexual playthings for members of the good ol’ boy club. We are more than pretty faces for you to gaze at, pieces of ass for you to try to bed, and we are more than genitals for you to try and fondle. And by the way, your self admitted behavior of grabbing women’s genitals without their consent - that makes you a sexual assailant and sex offender in my book. You claim to respect women, but there are numerous sound bytes and YouTube videos available to contradict you. Get your act together. 

I expect you to stop marginalizing and stereotyping people of other races, cultures, and sexual orientation. Just as all Mexicans are not rapists and robbers, nor are all Muslims terrorists. That’s like saying that all white men are members of the KKK, which simply isn’t the case.

I expect you to act better than you have on the campaign trail.  Act like you have some manners.  

I expect you to act with basic human kindness.

I expect you to act in a mature manner.

I expect you to rise to the gravity of this office and to the situations you are going to face.

Mr. Trump, your rhetoric has exposed a dark side of America that has long been living in the shadows. Now that it’s out in the open, I expect you to be a leader and do what’s necessary to eradicate it. In order to make America great again, we need to be united and right now we are not. I expect you to do what’s necessary to unite us. We the People are divided, exhausted, and weary about the future.  As our leader, I expect  you to lead.

I know this is a tall order and that you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. I will not blow the proverbial smoke up your butt and say that this will be an easy task, for it will not. Honestly, I’m not sure if you are up for it. 

I expect you to prove me wrong.



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Monday, November 14, 2016


In the middle of Huntington, West Virginia, there is a river. Next to this river, there is a steel mill. And next to the steel mill, there is a school. In the middle of this school, there is a fountain. 

Each year, on the exact same day, at the exact same hour, the water to this fountain is turned off. 

And in this moment, once every year, throughout the town, throughout the school, time stands still.

Remembering the seventy-five Marshall University football players, coaches, boosters, and flight crew of Southern Airways flight 932 who perished on November 14, 1970.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Recently Read - Vol. 13 (Oct. '16)

Busyness.  General distractedness.  Too much crap bouncing around in my head.  Disinterest.  Report cards.  The need for silence. Life.  Pick your reason for why I only read TWO books in October, for any of the reasons I mentioned will be valid.  

Ladies and gentlemen, the reading slump continues...  LOL!

On the plus side, however, at least I enjoyed the two books that I read last month!  Without further ado, there are the books I read in October:

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
Read October 1 - 13 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating:  4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.

I read one of Coben's books before (Six Years) and I really didn't care for it. I've avoided his books ever since. When I read the synopsis for Fool Me Once, however, I admit that I was immediately intrigued, but still a bit leery. After a few other trusted bloggers read it and gave it positive reviews, I decided to jump and I'm glad I did. Although Fool Me Once wasn't earth shatteringly brilliant or the best thriller/mystery I've ever read, it was intriguing enough to keep me interested (and given how distracted I've been as of late - that says a lot!) and to keep me wondering.

The Watchman by Robert Crais
Read October 14 - 31 | Format: Audiobook | My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:  To pay back an old debt, Pike is coerced into protecting Larkin Barkley, a hard-partying young heiress whose life is in danger after a "wrong place wrong time" encounter that quickly escalates and spins out of control. The enemy is shadowy, violent and relentless—but the fierce, focused Pike, one of the strongest characters in modern crime fiction, is equal to the challenge. The breathless pace and rich styling are sure to appeal to readers of hard-boiled fiction in general, but since up to now Pike has mostly remained in the background, some fans of the Elvis Cole series (The Forgotten Man, etc.) may find the explicit picture that emerges of Pike at odds with the image they've constructed for themselves.

This is the eleventh book in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series and is the first to feature Joe Pike as the main character.  As a long time fan of the series, this installment did not disappoint and I enjoyed Joe Pike taking the lead, so-to-speak.  The plot was thought provoking and provided enough twists and turns to keep me guessing.


So, there you have it... my October reads.  Like I said, although I didn't read much last month, I did enjoy what I read, so I guess that must count for something. 

What have you read lately?  Any recommendations?

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Steph and Jana 

P.S. Food for thought:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Currently... (Vol. 10)

Rejoicing...  over the Cubbies WIN last night!  What a freakin' come back!  The drought has been broken!  World Champions!

Feeling...  incredibly sleep deprived.  Between the rain delay, the tenth inning, and being so hyped up afterwards, I stayed up waayyy too late late night.  But it was worth it.

Ready...  for this dang-blasted election to be OVER and DONE WITH!   

Celebrating...  a total weight loss to date of 21 lbs.!

I had to take my belt up another notch on October 18.  I've tightened it up three times since August 1.
Accepting...  that the heart wants what it wants and, sadly, sometimes what it wants is something you just can't have.

Reading (listening)...  to the audiobook Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. I don't read romance books often, but like I've mentioned in the past, sometimes I get a hankering for a story that involves a man who wears a kilt.

Loving...  my new Alex and Ani bracelet.  Its name is Unexpected Miracles. 

"The humble acorn holds the potential of the mighty oak..."  I received an incredible gift, one that I view as a miracle.  Not only does bracelet remind me that miracles can happen when you least expect them, but it also reminds me to never forget that gift and to live my life fully because of it. 

Deciding...  on whether or not to participate in Megan's Semi Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge.  I'm typically all in when it comes to book challenges, but I'm feeling a bit burned out at the moment.  I'm really leaning towards sitting this one out.

Adapting...  to working with preschoolers again.  Preschool is not my favorite age group to have in therapy and I've recently acquired some on my caseload.  Yesterday morning, I found myself in the play kitchen in the preschool room pretending to eat plastic cupcakes in hopes of getting one particular child to speak to me.

Dealing...  with this reading slump that has plagued me since August.  I'm not beating myself up over it, I'm just dealing with it.  It simply is what it is. The universe has spoken loud and clear and I've listened.  Apparently, right now I'm supposed to continue working through some life things in lieu of escaping into books as I have done so often in the past.

Enjoying...  the mild, pleasant weather.  It's not hot, it's not cold - it's just right. It's not often that I find myself still wearing capris and sandals in November.

Struggling...  to keep up with replying to comments and reading other's blogs. (If I don't respond promptly, please know that I will eventually.)

Rewinding...  the HBO series Westworld and watching it from the very beginning.  There are several things going on in this show and I'm terribly confused.  I guess it's best to just back up and start over.

Dreading...  the upcoming time change.  I really dread the earlier darkness in the evenings.  For the next 4 months, there will be days in which I arrive at work in the dark and commute home as the sun sets.  

Shopping...  for new work pants and jeans.  Mine are getting too big.  YAY!

Amused...  by the fact that three different Facebook friends posted this on my FB page within a 24 hour period:

Seriously, though, this is AWESOME and I can't believe I didn't think of creating something like this before! 

Sending...  some light and love out into the universe in hopes that it finds its intended recipient.

Linking up with:
What's New With You
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