Attitude of Gratitude

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Life gets completely crazy busy, and I lose sight of what’s good in my world. I’ve been teaching middle school literature classes for the last couple of weeks. I love what I’m doing, but I’m so tired at night that I’m unconscious by 9pm. I’m treading water. Tears have been shed, most of them mine. But it will be okay. Today, I will be grateful.

Our pipes froze and burst, soaking a lot of stuff in our garage. But it was all good. The repair was in the most accessible place possible and took only 20 minutes for the plumber to fix, and the bill was very affordable. The really good part is that this incident alerted us to potential problems that we should be able to prevent going forward. And the boxes of ruined things I carted to the curb were things we really didn’t need anyway.

Squish has no ability to sleep in. I’m tired, my husband is tired. On weekends, we’d like nothing more than to just sleep until we can’t sleep any more. Currently, Squish’s feet hit the ground at 6am, school or no school. There is no rest for the weary. But the kid is a total morning person, and he really is a delight. He’s at his most entertaining before the sun comes up.

I can wake up to this face. Couldn't you?

I can wake up to this face. Couldn’t you?

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I am too tired to write. But it’s times like this I know how much my husband loves and supports me. When my half-day at school turned into a full day, he took off work a little early to bring me lunch. And the next morning, he got up with Squish so I could sleep. After I took a shower, I came back to my room and found he had set up my writing station, complete with my cup of coffee. And he sent me out of the house to write today. Forget Valentine’s day. My whole life is Valentine’s Day right now.

I am frustrated at having no time to write. Which means I still enjoy it and need writing in my life. It would be sad if I didn’t care. I have so many opportunities that are presenting themselves. I’ve been invited to contribute to a site in my own city, which is exciting and may open some new doors, and I’m trying my hand at short stories for the first time since this one. Go ahead and click over, if not for my story then for the Severus Snape gif that makes me a little teary-eyed. Snape loves me, he really loves me. I’m going to have this new story whipped into shape by February 15.

I’m ready for winter to be over. I hate driving in the snow. My road is off-the-beaten path and is oft neglected by snowplow and salt truck. When school was dismissed early a couple of weeks ago due to unexpected snow, we almost didn’t make it home. Our neighborhood is hilly any way I go. I chose the most likely path, and it was the wrong one. I couldn’t get up the hill, and when I tried to back up, I lost control of my van on a narrow road with deep drop-offs on either side. I prayed harder than I’ve prayed in a long time. When I finally let up on the steering wheel, the skid righted itself and I eased in to a driveway so I could turn around. I felt God telling me “You’re holding on too tight.” And He was right. My whole life of late has consisted of fighting to control things that just aren’t meant for me. I’m letting go of the things I’m not the boss of. The Serenity Prayer is my mantra. And I feel free.

Besides, if Squish slept late, and if it were summer, would I have ever seen this?

Besides, if Squish slept late, and if it were summer, would I have ever seen this?

What are you grateful for this day?

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This Won’t End Badly

So I made a tiny mistake this morning. Miniscule, really. I shouldn’t even be bothering you with it.

I got up this morning after a terrible dream in which girl-child wanted to move in with her grandmother because we had no weekend plans besides watching television and I threatened to send her to a work camp. Weird, I know. We never watch television.

Anyway, my tail was dragging. I did manage to plow through the morning routine, and there’s the problem. For you math majors, here’s an equation that adds up to trouble.

Muscle memory + coffee pot + husband leaving unusually early = making too much coffee.

No big deal. I poured my cup and put the rest in the thermos to save for tonight.Yeah, it’s a good Thermos. One day I’ll compose a poem in it’s honor. It’s several years old, but it still work…

I digress again. How did that happen? OH! I know! I came home from dropping off Squish in six degree weather. That’s degrees Fahrenheit, not dog years. It was flippin’ COLD! And I was cold. And grouchy. And upset because the heat cable we bought last night at Wal-mart (I know. But according to store inventories, it was the last place in a 50 mile radius that had one)  to keep our water pipe from bursting (again) had apparently been previously purchased and returned to the store because it was broken. So I was mad. And cold. Did I mention cold? I was cold.

I came home and jury-rigged a space heater and a box fan to try to warm the garage enough that the pipes won’t freeze. The garage was cold. My heart was cold. But you know what was hot? The coffee in the Thermos. I poured it. I drank it. Three extra cups of coffee. Not three cups of coffee, mind. Three extra cups. And I forgot to eat breakfast. Six cups of coffee. Empty stomach.

9:30am – I need to get busy! So much to DO! Laundry! Lots of laundry! ! FASTER, you stupid machine! FASTER! If the pipes burst, I want all my clothes to be clean! Wow. It’s hot in here. I should wash the clothes I’m wearing while I’m at it.

10:00am– Bored with laundry. Clothes are stupid. Maybe I’ll do some writing.Writing. What do I write? I don’t have any words. WHERE DID THE WORDS GO? I’m cold. Where are all my clothes? Why are they in the washer? I AM SO COLD!

10:30 – Forget writing. I need to scrapbook. 450 photographs to squeeze into an 80 page book. How am I going to do this? What is the matter with me? Why do I take so many pictures? I’m a terrible person. I am a pixel-hoarder. I will never get through this. NEVER GET THROUGH THIS!

11:00 – 30 pages of 80 page scrapbook done. All done. I am awesome! If I keep this up, I’ll have two weeks’ worth of work done IN ONE DAY! Whoa. Why is my t-shirt all fluttery? Oh, that’s just my heart. Cool! Look at it go! Like a little hummingbird. I can’t wait to see hummingbirds. They’ll come back in the Spring. If it is ever Spring. What if all the people in China jumped off a chair at the same time and impacted the earth’s tilt so that it will never be warm again?

11:30 – Finished drying the clothes. They’re so warm! So warm. It seems a waste to put them away. Maybe I’ll just drop them in the floor and lie on them!

12:00 – My good buddy reminds me that maybe I should eat something. Because she loves me. She’s my pal. And I love her right back. I love you, too. In case I forgot to tell you that. I do. I think it’s something that people should say more. I am eating. I got some oyster crackers and salted caramel cocoa. And they’re so good! Where’s my last cracker? Did you take my last oyster cracker? I open my little fluttery heart to you and this is the thanks I get? CRACKER THIEF! Pour one out for my lost oyster cracker.

12:30 – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean what I said. I found my oyster cracker. It was in my sleeve. I ate it. It was soggy. I think the cat sneezed on it. I am sad.

1:00 Is it time to get the kids yet? Wow. I am burning up. It is so hot in here! Is it hot in here to you? Am I going through The Change? I hope not. I just bought hygiene supplies. Hey! Maybe I can insulate the garage with tampons? I might not be needing them otherwise, and I’d hate to waste a perfectly good Tampax.

2:00 – It’s still not time to get the kids. What am I going to do? I wish I could think of something to write about because I have never typed so fast in my life! Here, kitty! Let Mommy paint your toenails!

2:30 – Husband is due home any minute. It’s about time to make some coffee.

Look! We have matching coffee mustaches!

Look! We have matching coffee mustaches!

Snow Day

After two weeks of Christmas vacation and some unexpected snow days, today we are finally returning to school. Conversation in my house this morning:

“I think I’m sick.”

“You’re fine.”

“My throat is really sore.”

“Uh-huh. You’re going.”

“I bet the buses still aren’t fixed.”

“They’re running. You’re going to school.”

“Water pipes have probably burst.”

“No one has called to cancel school. You’re going.”

“I just threw up on the couch.”

“You didn’t throw up.That’s just spit.You’re just- what?! Why did you spit on the couch?”

“I’m too tired!”

“Serves you right. You stayed up much later than you should.”

“What if the kids are mean?”

“They won’t be.”

“I don’t wanna gooooo! You can’t make meeee!”

“You have to go. You’re the teacher.”

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Fine. I’m here. Hope my husband is happy.

Happy “You’re Finally Back At School” Day, everyone.

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