Thankful Journal

Since it is the time of year that we often spend thinking about the issue of thankfulness, I thought this might be a good time to write an article I’ve had in my head for a while.  It is just something that I do, that I thought others might like to do as well.

For years I have kept what I call my “Thankful Journal”.  I get a small, narrow journal and in the front of it I write…

Today I am Thankful for…

Then on the rest of the pages I place the date, then I finish the rest of that sentence.  Skip a space, then repeat on the next day.  So the journal lasts for a very long time.  Here’s an example from my own Thankful Journal:

11-14-10
a fun telephone conversation with an old friend.

See how simple that is? I try to pick it up every day and write at least one thing every day.  It is not a “journal” in the long drawn out form.  It is literally just the last half of a sentence every day.  It doesn’t have to be something big, it can be any thing.  And sometimes I forget for a day or two.  I try not to, but it happens.  And I don’t stress about it. It’s not a chore, it’s a Thankful Journal.   😉

If your budget allows, I recommend getting a pretty little journal that looks like the keepsake that it is.  If your budget does not allow, you can use anything, a notebook, anything.  Just keep it separate from other journaling, etc. so that the focus remains clear.

In the past I used some lovely journals by Paperblanks.  But my latex sensitivity will no longer tolerate the odor of the adhesive in their binding.  I then went on the search for something affordable, and latex-free, that was slightly nicer than a plain wire notebook.  I found these:  (I apologize in advance for the not-so-great image quality.)

M brand by Staples Journals

They are a Staples brand. I have never seen them on their website, only in stores. They are currently $3.99 for a 3 pack.  Which works out to $1.33 each. Which isn’t bad at all for how long they last, when writing just a short half of a sentence each day.

Each 6 x 4 inch mini journal has 80 narrow ruled pages. Several days worth typically fits on each page, so one 3 pack could easily last you 3 years.

3 cover styles per pack

While not quite as fancy or durable as my former, hard-bound Paperblanks journals, these are nice and are bound in a way that does not give me asthma attacks – which is a necessity for me.

My point is, even with limitations physical or financial, most can find some nice little book in which to keep a Thankful Journal.

Another option would be to keep a private blog.  But for something like this, I prefer a journal, something physical I can hold and look at, and have with me anywhere at any time.

I find it to be a simple, yet worthwhile activity.  It makes me consciously stop and make an effort to be thankful each and every day.  And on low days (and we all have those), you can not only find one simple thing to be thankful for, but you can open up your Thankful Journal and read back over it.  And you will be reminded of all of the wonderful blessings in your life.

A Gift that Kept on Giving

This post was inspired by thypolarlife’s recent blog post, titled Dare to Share.  Her story is way funnier, so I highly recommend you read it first.  But I told her in a comment, that her story reminded me of something that happened to me in junior high and that I would share it here.  While my story is not nearly as cringe worthy or funny…. here ya go!

One day in junior high, two of my closest girl friends said that they had a present for me.  They had put it in my locker and wanted me to be sure and stop and get it at lunch.  (One of the friends was my locker buddy.)  I could tell by the sneaky smiles on their faces that they were up to something, but I didn’t mind. I was curious.

So at lunch time we go to the locker and I pull out a poster.  It was a BIG poster, so it was rolled up and stuck inside the tall, lower portion of our locker.  As I pulled it out (still in a roll), a teacher comes down the hallway.  Not any teacher – because that’s just not how my luck works.

It was one of the strictest teachers in the school.

She says, “Hello Girls!” and waves her hand.  We all three chimed back “Hello Mrs.   ……”  and as I went to wave back, I lost my grip on the poster.  (Being a clumsy dork is not a new thing with me.)  And I managed to catch it, but only part of it.  The rest of the roll went swooshing downward till it landed on my shoes.  I was still holding the top of the poster.

Suddenly the teacher’s formerly cheery face went pale, and she gasped.  Yes, she actually… and audibly I might add… gasped.   And I’m thinking to myself, “Oh great what is on this thing.”  And I scramble to roll it back up or something – probably looking as guilty as a person possibly could while doing it.  I don’t recall if she said anything after that.  I don’t believe she did.  But I do remember the scowl of disapproval as she walked off.

It was after she was gone and my two friends started simultaneously giggling and begging for forgiveness, that I actually got to see the poster.  It was a nearly nude male model.  In a very seductive pose, with a tiny red bikini on.  He wasn’t even attractive.  And he had a look on his face as he gestured with his hand, as if he were thinking, “Look at the giant red banana sling between my legs.  Yes look upon it, it’s right there.

Yeah.

Oh, yeah, and I had her for class later that day.  Where I continued to get the scowl of disapproval.  A great gift really, one that single-handedly managed to change a teachers opinion of me over night.

I actually ran into this same teacher in a store awhile back.  I swear I think there was a hint of the scowl of disapproval left when she saw me after all these years.  LOL!

Yes, a gift that kept on giving.

🙂

November 11th

I know what Nov. 11th is.  It is Veteran’s Day.  And nothing I’m about to say should be taken as a slight to our veterans.  The majority of the men in my family (including my husband, father, grandfathers, etc.) are veterans.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for those that serve our country.  I think of them and their sacrifices on a daily basis.  I teach my children to appreciate what those in uniform do and have done, to give them the life that they lead today.

But to me, November 11th will always be “Grandma’s Birthday”.   One of my grandmothers was born on November 11th. She was a very playful grandma and child-like in some ways.  When my first cousins and I were very small she would tell us with a sly smile that school wasn’t in session on Nov. 11th, because it was “Grandma’s Birthday”.  🙂

My Grandma is in Heaven now.  But no matter how old I get, when I hear “November 11th” my mind goes to the woman that kept us many weekends, let us run a muck, bought all our favorite foods, took us around and taught us about trees, flowers and birds, fed us grapes from her carefully kept grapevines – popping them in our little open mouths while she called us “her baby birds”.

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and Nov. 11th is technically over for this year, but she’s been on my mind all day.  Like all the other November elevenths before today.  Oh what I wouldn’t give to have one more weekend with her and PawPaw. One more Friday night staying up late with my cousins, trying to be just quiet enough to not wake anyone.  One more fun filled Saturday that started with my PawPaw loudly playing his fiddle at the crack of dawn and my Gram clanging pots and pans in the kitchen.  One more Saturday to play all day.  One more Sunday morning together, listening to my Grandma sing and complain about how hot the church was.  One more Sunday dinner with my family all around.  One more game of UNO or dominos after dinner.  One more chance to hug her goodbye & tell her I’d see her next weekend.

I can’t have any of those things again.  But I thank God for the blessings in my life and the wonderful people I have been able to call family.

Yep, Nov. 11th will always be Grandma’s Birthday.

I love you and miss you dearly, Gram.

 

Go stick your hands in some warm dish water!

I’ve been battling a severe iron deficiency for quite a while now.  One of the many annoying side effects of this is that I have become very cold natured.  (Emphasis on the very.)   The weather has turned colder and I am freeeeeezing today.  Everyone else in the house is of course, fine.

Have you ever had one of those moments that made you think of something from your past? Not the big stuff.  We all get reminders of the big stuff.  But just little things?

Today I had one of those, while shivering in the kitchen thinking about how cold I was.  I remembered when I was a kid and my maternal Grandmother was one of the most hot-natured people I’ve ever met.  My Grandpa was on the total opposite side of the spectrum.  On more than one 70 to 80 degree day he was known to turn the heat on in his truck.

But Grandpa was frequently cold inside the house.  He and Gram never agreed on temperature.  And Gram slaving away in a hot kitchen, didn’t help the issue much.  My Grandma LOVED to feed people. She didn’t just cook a meal, she made feasts.  As my uncle often put it, “She makes enough to feed an Army!”

Every Sunday after church we went to their house for dinner.  And nearly every Sunday my Grandpa complained about being cold.  He’d wear a jacket inside the house, and stand in front of one of their gas stoves, warming his back.  And every time he complained about being cold, Gram would always have the same response.

“Well if you’re so cold, go stick your hands in some warm dish water!”, then she’d tilt her head sideways and give him a playful grin.

🙂

And often he’d go do the dishes.

So today I’m following Gram’s advice.  I’m cold, and I’m going to stick my hands in some warm dish water!