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10 gifts for the month of November

Traditionally people spend the month of November growing beards and listing things they are thankful for. The fact that I am thankful indeed that Bycemaster’s beard is back is just providential. There’s been many years I’ve participated, in the thankfuls, not the beard…but this year I decided to pass for some reason. I don’t know why, generally I try to cultivate a thankful atmosphere around here. I’d say it’s one of my guiding principles, if you will.

This morning the amount I have to be grateful for hit me so hard I just couldn’t help but write a few down. Remembering these things is not always easy. I’m struck when reading the old testament how many times God has to tell people to remember. Over and over, monuments were built and prophets were sent, we are a forgetful people.

For this reason I am sharing my list today. Writing helps me remember. I encourage you to remember and write yours as well! In the comments, facebook, in your journal, on your walls! Ok maybe not that last one, unless you have a chalkboard wall! Gratitude is really a wonderfully powerful thing, sometimes you just need to force it a little, to get the ball rolling.

  1. I am so grateful for Bycemaster and our joint love for music. So many songs have memories attached to them that make us both smile, that’s a wonderful thing.
  2. I got up for the second day in a row to do a morning run. I’m not training right now, just trying to finish out a just almost out of reach goal for the year. It’s getting a little closer 94.6 miles to go. Deep breath.
  3. It was cool out on said run this morning! Like no sun and 60s, it was wonderful.
  4. I’ve watched more than one friend recently take steps towards goals that have been hanging over them for a while. I LOVE watching people do this, pumps me up. Goals are awesome!
  5. Taking a shower with short hair is amazing. No heavy hair, no hour to wash it, no mess, no fuss, it’s done. Low maintenance FTW!
  6. Stress levels are returning to a normal/manageable level over here, some days we are breathing again. That is improvement.
  7. Even though I’d taken back too many chores in my uber stressed state, the kids have adjusted to the flow back to them with surprising grace, even my oldest. This is huge.
  8. Bycemaster got the second PC up and running for school on Monday. It has been amazing! So much faster and yesterday ALL FOUR got full lessons done. It’s incredible really, and look at me, I’m even on the computer. I may get some more grants done yet.
  9. My plea for coffee grounds was headed! One by one, my little plants are being nourished. It’s fun to watch something thrive.
  10. As always I’m thankful for our community. As I look back at the last week and think of the people who have sent messages saying they’re praying for us or responded to my pleas for prayers or made sure I exercised or just hung out and made me feel human again. I am always grateful for the people that are around me and my family. We have been in dry periods before, but I am so grateful we are not there now. Not at all.

What are you all thankful for? Do you do the November thankfulness tradition?

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10 things you’ll always find in the pantry…well my pantry

it’s fun day Monday! Let’s play a little game. I read a recipe post a while back that claimed it was a recipe you could make out of staples, no shopping needed, you should have it all in your pantry! I don’t even remember what the ingredients were now. But I can tell you they were NOT in my pantry. Ever since I’ve been kinda curious. What do people keep in their pantries? I mean I know what I keep in mine. However, I am well aware that 1)everyone is different and 2)I’m not what most would consider ‘normal.’

So humor me. Satisfy a little unwarranted curiosity on my part. I’ll list 10 things that you can always (or almost always) find in my pantry and you list yours in the comments or on Facebook. Come on…It’ll be fun!

Here are mine.

1) Beans – always black beans, often others as well

beans

2) Rice – gotta fill those kids up somehow

3) Canned tomatoes – they seem to be in every recipe and go BOGO pretty often

4) Nuts – walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews

5) Canned corn – same as tomatoes

6) Black olives – pizza, quesadillas, rice and beans, right out of the can, we go through a lot

olives

7) Popcorn kernels – Orville Redenbacher’s are non-GMO! (you know to balance all the totally GMO canned corn out…) Also that pinterest thing, about popping kernels in a paper bag in the microwave, totally works.

8) Oats – we use oats for EVERYTHING here

9) Peanut butter – always have to have an extra jar of peanut butter or almond butter or sun butter…

yeah it’s just like that….except minus the jelly…we like honey over here, but that’s in the cupboard, not the pantry 😉

10) Olive oil – gotta stock up on that stuff when it’s BOGO

And there you have it! That was actually a little harder than I thought it was going to be. I had to check ALL my pantry shelves. Geez, making me work on a Monday morning. What gives? Your turn, go to work!

What’s always in your pantry?

and the rain came down part 2

So I put off taking the phone out of the bag for just shy of 40 hours. I would have left it longer, the longer it’s in there, the longer I can hold onto the inane hope that it will start again. But Neil ripped the band aid this morning, and it’s gone. Surprise.

I’d already decided it will not be replaced with another smart phone, dumb phone, maybe, smart phone, no. I probably should have made this decision a few fixes ago, hindsight is 20/20. Neil is getting the latest iPhone when it comes out, in less than two months, at which point I can have his current one. I’m tempted to do without a phone till then. We’ll call it a modern day social experiment! We have an old, old, old iPhone, I would still have that for 911. I have facetime on the iPad. I mean when I was making a list (yes I actually made a list) of things I’d need to do without my phone, making calls didn’t even occur to me till #15

1. tell time outside – watch (would need to replace batteries or buy a working one)
2. period tracker (sorry guys, but this is essential!) – regular old X on the calendar (to later be confused with our X on the calendar for school days!)
3. couponing apps – Neil’s phone or iPad (thankfully I’d just submitted all my current stuff this weekend)
4. runs – le sigh, old school here will be hard, map miles before, add to website, music (I don’t know if I want to walk on the dark side here, can I run without music?!!?)
5. publix ad – iPad again, been making this switch anyway
6. Bible – it’s been a lot of years, but I could go paper again
7. ereader – this one will be hard, but I can steal the iPad from the children (Jena, reading over my shoulder as I write, gave audible protest to this one)
8. weather – it’s summer, the weather will be the same for another two months, my addiction won’t return till fall
9. music – computer for home, and I guess we’ll be all Story of the World audio for the car, 19 hours of fun!
10. facebook – computer
11. camera – been wanting to use the real one more anyway
12. gps – yeah i’m pretty much screwed here, no new places without Neil!?
13. banking – computer
14. texting – iPad when home, when out, screwed again
15. phone – family and friends can skype or facetime with the iPad, thank God the mortgage is done

So there’s my list, with comments, of course (who would I be without comments!). Am I forgetting something vital? I feel like I hit most of the things I use daily on my phone. Since I mostly work at home, this seems like it will be mostly a non-issue. However, when I leave the house, things start to get problematic. Granted I’ve gone months without leaving before, you can reference here and here to see why I was stuck in the house for almost 5 months. I’m not certain this situation calls for another house arrest. Perhaps a new places house arrest? Am I taking the social experiment too far? Perhaps, but the thought of making this some sort of experiment is actually somewhat exciting, I mean, I am nerdy like that. I need something to make me excited about this people. It sounds kinda freeing, to not have a phone for a while. I’ll have to relearn a whole different way of doing things. I’ll be a pioneer! (kidding, kidding, I know not having a smart phone is not the same as being a pioneer….) However, I am sure there are less extreme versions of the social experiment that would be acceptable as well.

So that’s where you all come in, help! Suggestions? Am I completely overlooking something major in my post phone traumatic state here? (not to be confused with real traumatic stress, you know, that actually matters) What do I have for options? Do you want to see the social experiment? Do you want to give me a phone? (kidding, kidding, maybe) Do you want to give me encouragement? (yes I know you do, so please do so, out loud, that’s why I love you people) So do what you all are so good at, help me please!

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