3-fer Thursdays

By Request

Last week, I shared that Tom is the Poet Laureate for the Kalamazoo Curling Club.  And several of you called me out . . . for not including some of his (rather naughty) limericks.

So.  

Here you go.  
Three (because Thursday) of Tom's limericks.  
By request.

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Curling Limerick #1

I met a skip last November
Had a curling tattoo on his member
Most times it said “MEND”
But on cue would extend
To say “Hey, come check out my 8-ender”

Curling Limerick #2

There once was a curler named Ina
Who’d learned how to guard in Regina
Twixt her knees held a rock
And with that she did block
Any draw attempt to her . . . button

Curling Limerick #3

Twas a curler who got into some trouble
Drank too much and passed out in the rubble
He woke up sick and giddy
With only one kidney
And a tramp-stamp that said “missed the double”

And.  There you are.

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Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday fun!

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I'm heading to Colorado this morning for an extended weekend visit.  There may or may not be a blog post tomorrow.   (Oh, the suspense. . . )

 


My Funny Valentine

Me and my Valentine (who really is funny, by the way) . . . don't do anything special to celebrate Valentine's Day.  

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But I thought it might be fun to acknowledge the day -- AND the fact that it falls on a Three on Thursday -- by sharing some things (three, in fact!) that you probably don't already know about my Valentine.

1 -- Tom grew up in Manhattan!

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Here he is back in 1969 (Tom's the skinny blonde kid on the left) in J. Hood Wright Park, which was across the street from his apartment building.  For those of you familiar with Manhattan, he lived at Ft. Washington Ave. and W. 173rd St, and attended PS 173.  It was quite a shock (as in culture shock!)  . . . when his parents moved the family to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he spent his adolescent years.  (And met me.)  (He can still bring back that NY accent when he wants to.)  

2 -- Tom used to be blonde!

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Yep, there we are.  1980.  Tom's college graduation.  Blonde.  He was blonde as a baby, blonde as a kid, blonde when I met him.  Somewhere along the way, though, his hair turned dark brown.  His hair hasn't been blonde in decades -- but I still think of him as having blonde hair.  (Erin's hair was exactly the same -- blonde until she got out of college, when it turned dark brown.)  (And that photo?  That's my natural hair color.  Until it turned gray, of course.)

3 -- Tom is a "Poet Laureate". . . 

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of the Kalamazoo Curling Club, that is!  Tom loves to play with words -- rhymes, funny turns of phrase, puns (and especially BAD puns, I might add).  He's also very good at telling jokes, and has quite a repertoire of memorized stories.  These skills have landed him a gig as the First Curling Poet Laureate.  He has written - and presented - many curling-themed poems and (rather naughty) limericks at curling events all around the region.

And now you know a little bit more about my funny Valentine!
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you.
XO

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Be sure to check out all the other Three on Thursday posts over at Carole's today.


Three to Go

I'm in the midst of one of those very full weeks.  (Actually, I'm now on the downhill side of the very full week.  So yay.)  Running around too much to blog.  Mind too preoccupied for creative thought.  Just . . . one of those weeks.

So.

How about an Oscars update?  

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If you look closely down at the lower right corner, you can see my "still to see" list.  Three to go!  (See how I did that there?  With the three?  For Thursdays?)

What's left?

1 - At Eternity's Gate (Willem Dafoe is up for Best Actor in this one).  We'll be checking this off our list tonight, though, as it's here in town and we've already made reservations.

2 - Can You Ever Forgive Me (Melissa McCarthy is up for Best Actress and Richard E. Grant for Best Supporting Actor).  I've been waiting and waiting to see this one -- but it just hasn't come to town yet.  It just came out on DVD, so maybe I'll have to break down and purchase it if it doesn't show up in the theater here before February 24.

3 - Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski is up for Best Director for this movie).  This one might be the real bug-a-boo for us this year.  Our local theater showed the previews for Cold War months and months ago, but either it hasn't been here yet -- or it wasn't on my radar when it showed up.  Either way . . . there is no sign of it locally.  And it's not yet available on DVD.  (Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?)

We have seen all the movies up for Best Picture -- and, really, neither Tom nor I have a real favorite this year.  They're all good -- and very different.  (Forced to choose, I would probably pick The Favourite or BlacKkKlansman.)  (My real favorite?  Glenn Close in The Wife.  If you have a chance to watch it, do!  It's an excellent movie -- and she is fabulous.)

How about you?  Any favorites this year?

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Be sure to check out other Three on Thursday posts today over at Carole's!


Making Room

Over the weekend, I started cleaning up/clearing out my "sewing room" . . . which is technically not a room, but a designated corner in our basement (albeit a room-sized corner.)  Technically, it's not a "sewing room" either, because it houses much more than just my sewing stuff (like . . . all my yarn and stitching stuff is in there, too.)  

Anyway.  I'm lucky to have chosen this particular corner for my "sewing room" . . . because it has a built-in storage space along one wall with a small closet, several drawers, and a cupboard.  I should be able to keep my stuff neat-and-tidy with all that built-in storage space, non?  Ha!  Of course not.  Because that storage space is storing stuff that is (mostly) not sewing or knitting or stitching related.

And therein lies the problem.  In order to properly clean up/clear out my "sewing room," I first need to tackle that built-in storage space with a little Kon-Mari action.  

And therein lies the other problem.  Most of the stuff in the closet . . . is sentimental stuff.  The flotsam and jetsam of my kids' childhoods.  Old school papers and mementoes and art projects.  Stuff I've been dreading sorting through for years and years now (and especially since I took an initial pass through much of that stuff in preparation for their high school graduations; I'd seen the enemy . . . ).

Last Saturday afternoon, though, in the midst of a snowstorm, I plunged in!  It turned out to be quite a nice trip down memory lane, actually.  I culled the best and most representative samples of my kids' school papers and artwork and programs and awards to curate a little pile of memories for each of them -- and I recycled the rest.  Along the way, I photographed several things to share with them immediately, and together we decided on some items that were on-the-bubble.  It ended up being . . . not so bad.  And - BONUS - I have freed up a huge amount of storage space in that closet area.

Want to see a few things I found in the closet?  (3 things maybe . . . since it's Thursday?)

1 - I found lots of wonderful school papers and drawings, mostly from the elementary years.  Eventually I came to understand the folly of my ways in keeping all the stuff, and by middle school and high school, I was much more particular about what I saved.  But those early papers brought back so many wonderful memories -- and the kids loved seeing how they wrote and drew as young children.  One that brought laughs to all 3 of us is this gem from Brian.  He made an alphabet Mother's Day book for me in second grade.  Here is his entry for the letter R:

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Yep.  I am the proud mother of a kid that doesn't reek.  (And that alphabet book made it into Brian's pile of papers to save.)

2 - I had several boxes filled with art projects from the elementary years.  Some were from school; some (especially from Erin) were projects they made at home.  (I will just say, in retrospect, it is amazing how many things kids can make from construction paper, cotton balls, glue, and glitter.)  Here is a wooden nutcracker that Erin made with my Dad in his workshop one winter:

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Sadly, this one didn't make the cut!  Erin and I decided it was time for this guy to go.  (Along with a pottery "tray" she made that weighed about 30 pounds, and a matching "mug" with a handle heavy enough to deliver an upper body workout with every lift.)

3 - I also had stashed and saved boxes of memorabilia from various special events over my kids' school years.  Concert programs, academic awards, newspaper clippings, announcements, party invitations -- the kind of stuff that you think you're going to want to save forever, but really . . . not so much.  I kept the best and most meaningful of the bunch and recycled the rest.  I also found about 20 copies of the newspaper with this article:

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Twenty years ago, Erin (along with her special "Fluffy French Toast" recipe) was featured in the monthly Grand Rapids Press Cooking with Kids segment.  It was a Big Deal . . . and I had (almost) forgotten about it.  I saved a copy for Erin, and the rest went in recycling.  (20 years . . . and Tom is still motified by the highlight of his quote.  "Did I really say that?" he asked when he saw it.  Yep.  He did.)

I'm glad I finally just got in there are tackled those boxes of kid-stuff.  It was quicker, easier, and way more fun than I expected -- and now I have all that room in my closet.

How about you?  Have you sorted through the sentimental memorabilia in your closets?  Or are you better at culling through that stuff from the get-go?

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Be sure to hop on over to Carole's today for more Three on Thursday fun.

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And . . . if you are interested in Erin's recipe for French toast, let me know.  I saved that, too.



  


Every Damn Day

I have an Every Damn Day list . . . a list of things I do, well, every damn day.  

What's on my list?  Just little things.  But important things.  Things that begin and end my day with a good feeling.  Flossing my teeth.  Applying moisturizer.  Making my bed.  Stitching . Sun salutations.  Meditation.

Doing these things . . . every damn day . . . make me feel like I accomplished something, even when my plans go off the rails.  (As they do.)

I didn't always do these things every damn day.  But at some point, I decided these things needed to become good habits that I could hang my hat on.  (Some of them - the bed-making and the flossing, for example - have been daily habits for over 30 years now.  But others - the sun salutations and the meditation, for example - have been more recent additions.)

Here, at the beginning of the new year, I've decided it's time to add three new daily habits to my Every Damn Day list.

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1 - Drink more water.  And by that I mean enough water.  According to my calculations, I need to drink close to 90 ounces of water each day, based on my weight.  More on the days I work out strenuously.  That means filling up my favorite water bottle 6 times each day.  I have tried to establish this habit many, many times over the years.  It never sticks.  This year, I want it to stick.

2 - Make time to stretch.  Like . . . really stretch. . . after my workouts.  Current fitness science (yeah, there is such a thing) stresses the importance of proper stretching after working out.  In fact, they say that stretching should be part of any balanced workout -- as important as strength and cardiovascular training.  I've got the strength  and cardiovascular training parts down pretty well, but I'm quite lax when it comes to stretching.  This year, I'm wanting to up my stretching game.

3 - Daily sketching.  Like everything else in life, you get better at the things you practice.  I want to get better at doing quick sketches, which means I need to practice.  (That perfection thing gets in the way every time.)  My plan?  Set a timer for 5 minutes and just . . . sketch.  When the time goes off . . . done.  Just for me.  Just for practice.

There you have it.  Three things I want to add to my Every Damn Day list:  Sketch. Stretch. Water.

How about YOU?  Do you have an Every Damn Day list?  And what's on it?

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(In the time it took me to write this blog post, I drank the all the water in my water bottle.)  (Just sayin.)

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Be sure to head over to Carole's for more Three on Thursday posts.


Highlight Reel

At the end of the year, I always take a little time to look back and review the year just finishing up.  What worked.  What didn't.  How I ended up with the goals I set for myself at the beginning.  What I learned.  That kind of thing.  I find it quite helpful in a perspective kind of way, and it certainly sets the stage for figuring out what I want for myself in the coming year.  (More on that another day!)

2018 . . . turned out to be a quiet and reflective kind of year for me.  Even-keeled.  Not a lot of drama.  It was peaceful, really.  Part of this was by design:  I was working on FOCUS last year (as you probably remember), which meant clearing out, re-evaluating, slowing down, paying attention . . . and that doesn't leave a lot of room for adventure.  But part of my quiet year was just . . . luck.  Some years are just full of more surprises than others, and this past year?  Not a lot of call to be reactive.  (It's nice to have one of those once in a while.)

As part of my review process, I make a list of highlights from the last year.  Things that make me particularly happy, or that went well, or that I'm relieved about.  (I also make a list of lowlights.  I'll spare you.)  Here are three things from my 2018 highlight reel:

1 -- In my journal this past year, on three separate occasions I declared last summer to be the "best summer of my adult life."  Why?  Tom and I spent almost half the summer up north at our cottage.  It was relaxing and fun and we developed an easy routine up there.  I also had a great garden season at home, with a number of long-anticipated projects completed, a more relaxed attitude about what constituted "good enough," and time to just BE in the garden.  I loved every minute!

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2 -- After 15 years, I finally re-decorated my dining room -- and I just love it.  (You can't believe how good it feels to begin 2019 with "deal with dining room" - finally - absent from my list of goals.)

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3 -- I got to see Hamilton.  Twice.

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What's on YOUR 2018 highlight reel?

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Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts.

 


Three Tom-isms: A Special Birthday Post

Today is a Big Day.

Yeah.  It is our Winter Solstice Party.  But that's not why it's Big Day.

It's a Big Day . . . because it's Tom's birthday.  His 60th birthday!

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It's hard for me to really grasp that we're celebrating his 60th birthday today.  Not because he's "that old" . . . but because I can remember celebrating his first birthday together-as-a-couple so clearly.  As if it were . . . just yesterday.  

December 20, 1979.  Tom was my boyfriend, then -- a senior in college at Boise State University.  I picked him up at the old Denver Stapleton airport when he flew home for Christmas break.  I gave him a gigantic crocheted afghan that I had lovingly stitched throughout the semester . . . in the parking lot at the airport . . . with irritated drivers who wanted our parking spot as our audience.

That was the first of many birthdays we celebrated together.  
40 birthdays together, actually.
40!  
Pretty much. . . 2/3 of our lives.

Amazing, isn't it?

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So many birthdays.  So many memories.  

As we go about our day today, working together to throw our big Solstice-Not-a-Birthday-Party (although I did get him a birthday crown to wear - and a flashing "60" button to wear), we'll also be kicking off the biggest Birthday Extravaganza in our history together.  (Well.  So far.)  

It's going to be a great year!

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And because today is a Thursday, I thought I'd share three Tom-isms with you - in honor of his birthday.  Three things about Tom and his general approach to life that have made the biggest impact on me and my own general approach to life:

1 - If you're going to commit to something, go all in.  Tom is always much more . . . considered . . . about what he commits to doing than I tend to be.  He doesn't take commitments lightly.  He always does what he says he's going to do.  He doesn't look for excuses.  He doesn't want to be let off the hook.  He also doesn't over-commit.  After 40 years, I'm still trying to follow his example.

2 - Function over form.  Every time.  Tuck your pantlegs into your socks (in public) to keep the ticks out?  No problem!  Create an eyesore in the back of your car by carrying every piece of gear you might ever need at all times?  Why not!  Wear a ratty old pair of shorts (in all seasons) with multiple layers of shirts and vests because you're cold in the winter?  Works for him!  (Stay back, girls!  He's All Mine!!!)  (Just sayin.)  Seriously, though . . . after all these years, some of his function-over-form lifestyle is finally rubbing off on form-over-function me.

3 - When it comes to deciding whether or not you should head to the gym for a workout, the answer is always, ALWAYS YES.  Whenever I feel too [fill-in-the-blank:  tired, sore, sick, busy, unsettled . . . etc.] to go to the gym, Tom always gives me That Look.  Then he says (in a But-It's-YOUR-Decision kind of tone), "I usually find that a workout helps."  And he's right.  It does.  (And I am the fitter because of him.)

So.

Happy Birthday, Tom!

(Let's get this party started!)

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Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts!

 


And Then Sometimes the News is Good

Back in the fall, Tom found a little lump in the crease just in front of JoJo's right hind leg.  And then we couldn't find it again.  And then . . . there it was again!  Not very big.  Hard to find.  Worrisome.  But also not so worrisome.  But worrisome enough that I took her to the vet in November.

I expected the vet to say No worries, just a fatty tumor.

But that's not what the vet said.  Let's aspirate that, the vet said.

And it turned out to be . . . not good.  A mast cell tumor.  Cancer.

We must cut that out, the vet said.  And have tests run to see how likely to spread it might be.

Unsettling.  (And JoJo is only 5.)

Last week, JoJo had surgery.  For such a small lump, she ended up with a massive incision.  I was aggressive with the margins, the vet said.  Because I could be, he said.  And because she is only 5, he said.

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Frankendog, said Tom.

After being kind of out of it for a couple of days, JoJo bounced back.  She doesn't like to sit still.  She wants to play and jump and run.  No roughhousing, said the vet.  And no running. 

And she really wants to get at those stitches.  So . . . 

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It's an inflatable collar.  Better than a cone, by far.  Ahoy there, matey! said Tom.

Last night we got the pathology report from the vet.  Good news, said the vet.  Clean surgical margins and a low probability spread, said the vet.

You know what we said?

  1. Yay!
  2. Yay!
  3. Yay!

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Be sure to hop on over to Carole's today for other Three on Thursday posts.


A New Day

Today, I am returning to the world.  Slowly, but surely.  And I am thankful . . . 

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For the flexibility to carve out time to just roll with a rather nasty reaction to my shingles shot.  (As in . . . sleeping for 18 hours in a 24 hour time span.)

For Vernors . . . because when you're not feeling well, there is nothing quite like it.  (Thanks, Tom.)

For having completed the 2-shot regimen and never having to go through this again!  (Also . . . for effective shingles protection.)

How about you?  What are you thankful for today?

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Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts.

 


Three Things That Bug

It's November.  The month of gratitude.  So I'm just going to get this out of my system this morning . . . so I can begin the month with a clean slate.

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Today . . . three things that bug me:

1 -- We had lots of very adorable and very polite children "trick-or-treat" us at our door last night.  (My Halloween candy strategy is demonstrated above:  purchase candy kids like, but that I won't eat.  Win-Win.)  But.  There were far too many that grabbed their candy and walked away . . . without so much as an acknowledgement or thank you.  (And several of them leaped off our rock wall, which although tempting and fun for kids, makes Tom a bit of a curmudgeon.)  I wanted to take the candy back from the rude kids, but by then of coure, they were already leaping from our wall. . . So.  That bugs me.

2 -- I got an email from someone who wants something I have.  She wanted to set up a time today or tomorrow to make an exchange with me, and said that she could shift her schedule (and I quote) "in any way possible to make this happen."  So I sent back an email, outlining my schedule and suggesting a few options for her.  Her response?  "I guess we'll have to set something up next week then."  What happened to shifting her schedule "in any way possible to make this happen?"  So.  That bugs me.

3 -- I remain perplexed by my inability to comment simply and easily on some (but not all!) Blogger blogs.  When I try to leave a comment "signed in with my Google account", there are a few Blogger blogs that don't seem to recognize that I AM, in fact and definitely, already signed in with my Google account.  (Because I AM signed in with my Google account.)  Nothing I do seems to "fix" this.  In fact, Blogger is now suggesting that it would be more convenient for me to "sign in with my Google account" when I comment.  (No. Kidding.)  But, of course, I AM signed in with my Google account.  (And I have discovered that it is impossible to "sign in with your Google account" when you are already signed in with your Google account.)  So.  If I have left a comment on your Blogger blog signed in with my blog address and not my email address, please know that I really love you and your blog.  Because before I can leave that comment, I need to "prove I'm not a robot" in several mind-numbing ways before I can leave the comment.  (I can click on fire hydrants, motorcycles, hills and mountains, and crosswalks with my eyes closed.)  (Because "I'm not a robot.")  Anyway.  If any of you have a solution or suggestion to my issue, please let me know.  (This never happens on Blogger blogs that have a separate pop-up window for comments, by the way.  On these blogs, apparently I AM logged into my Google account.)  So.  That bugs me.

Okay.  I feel better now!  On to November -- the month of gratitude.  With a clean slate.

(Anything you want to get off your chest today?)

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Be sure to head over to Carole's today for more Three on Thursday posts!