Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm Grateful: Joy


This month of gratitude has been filled with joy. I find that I catastrophize an awful lot, but when i am forced to concentrate on all of the things that I have to be grateful for, the catastrophizing stops. And I feel contentment and joy. I have to say that I am grateful to Lisa for coming up with the brilliant idea of a month of gratitude; it has affected me more than I ever imagined it would. To that end, I am still going to incorporate grateful things in my blog to keep the practice going. I would recommend this assignment to anyone. You just may not realize how much joy there is in your life until you do it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Grateful: Healthy Children

Working as a doctor I learned all of the things that can happen to children. Illness that comes out of nowhere, genetic disorders that cause lifetime issues, psychological conditions that can tear families apart.


I am thankful for healthy children. A toddler that goes at 100% all day long and whose new found passion is harassing the cats. Teenagers who, for the most part (excluding the to be expected teenage angst) are happy, strong, athletic, and rarely ill. It is a blessing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm Grateful: Warmth


Winter has come to Ohio. We've had snow, though nothing that has stayed, and it is cold. So today, I am grateful for sweaters, blankets, mugs of hot chocolate, wollen socks, cozy blankets, the golden glow of candles, mufflers, slouchy hats, and all things that keep us warm as the weather gets cold.

Friday, November 26, 2010

And the Winner is . . .

I'm excited to announce the winner of the $50 CSN gift card, which should help with those holiday bills (or buy something really nice) for ....

Victoria of
Couture Unraveled!

Her number was chosen when I entered everyone into the Random Number Generator at Random.Org. Her winning entry said:

"I LOVE their kids back packs!! The cutest i think I have ever seen!! My youngest boy would Love the Angel Street Kids Jurassic Backpack...it has a dinosaur on it!!LOL!!"

Congrats, Victoria! Enjoy your Moolah!

I'm Grateful: American Indians

Yesterday while I was making my corn pudding and warming the sweet potatoes I started thinking about that famous story all Americans learn in school about the first Thanksgiving. How Squanto helped the fledgling colonists against his better judgement get through those first years as Americans and today we celebrate this with a great dinner with all of the trimmings.

The American Indians are a beautiful people. The first images of them are some of the most beautiful photographs in existance. We can't go back and change what our forefathers did to them, but we can honor and celebrate their culture and support initiatives to restore to them the diginity and respect that they deserve. We can honor our earth, respect the land, and work toward bringing back so many animals from near extintion. Most importantly, we can practice the principals that they tried to teach us so long ago. This might be the greatest tribute of all.




Garfield Jackson

Little Wolf, Cheyenne




Pawnee Warrior


For more absolutely beautiful photographs of early Native Americans (and all of the history, stories, and culture of this great people) visit First People. I'm just going to warn you: this site might actually blow you away.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Grateful: Silence

Enter my giveaway for a $50 CSN gift certificate! The holidays are upon us. Make your shopping easier!

The older kids have ditched us for Thanksgiving. I'm not really all shook up about it; they are starting to use their wings and fly further from the nest. They are all with various family members that they rarely get to see and I'm sure will be having a great Thanksgiving with them. Hubs, Will, and I will be having Thanksgiving with my parents and my aunt Carol.


It is usually pretty loud and chaotic around here when the whole brood is home. But now that it's just the hubs, the Will, and me, it's so Silent. And Calm. And Quiet. And it will be until next Monday. The cats aren't hiding. As I am writing this, Foxy, who is usually hiding in some weird spot like the lazy Susan or our bathroom waste basket, is trying to figure out how to get onto my lap. Seems I'm not the only creature in the house who was ready for some silence.

Ah, blessed Silence.


I received an email with a link to Tyler's Thankful story. Tyler is a 15-year-old with a brain tumor; in my years as a pediatrician I was always impressed and amazed with the way chidren and teens handle serious disease. Please read his words, and if you'd like others to know about him, please link to Tyler's story on your blog.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Grateful: Sibling Love

I am grateful to have a 17-year-old who loves to sing, dance, jump around with, slide, swing, and otherwise engage in all types of play with her sometimes annoying 3-year-old brother.


Hearing them in her room singing Top 40 music at the top of their lungs is always a highlight of my day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Grateful: A few things

Enter my giveaway for a $50 CSN gift certificate! Get some extra cash for the holidays!!

Today I am grateful for: microwave popcorn, Will spinning in circles singing songs, having money to buy Christmas gifts, and soft, silly kittens.


I'm grateful for a time of year that lets us reflect upon why we are grateful.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm Grateful: 1000 Followers!

Enter my giveaway for a $50 CSN gift certificate! Put a dent in your holiday spending!

Yee hee! I've broken the 1000 follower mark and am giddy! My 1000th follower is Nanny Anna and she writes a lovely blog with great advice, a giveaway linky, and some pictures of her gorgeous grandchildren.


And I have a 1001st follower, too! As of this moment, Rachel Crisman doesn't have a blog, but she's one of my new favorite followers! Hi Rachel!

11/21/10 - BREAKING NEWS! Rachel Crisman Does have a blog and is has the coolest title, The Dalai Mama! Her blog is a giveaway site galore. I'm starting to troll the giveaway sites more and also searching Twitter for #giveaway posts cuz I figure someone has to win these cool contests, and maybe it will be me! So visit The Dalai Mama and enter enter enter!


It's a blessing to know that my blog is reaching so many.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Grateful: Sponsors with Giveaways!

Long time readers know that over the last year I've had a great relationship with CSN. Well kids, they've contacted me again and this time I have a $50 gift certificate to give away!

CSN is a wonderful online store where you can buy a great suitcase, bedding, lighting, and pretty much anything you need for your home. Speaking of suitcases, people will be packing lots of them around this time of year and this would be a great opportunity to pick up a new snazzy model to make you feel like a chic traveler. My suitcase is covered in paisley and what I love most about it is that when everyone else is sorting through endless rows of black luggage all I have to do is wait for my green paisley suitcase to come down the chute - no one else has ever had another one!
You'll always spot your Lesportsac 30" Wheeled Duffle in Fresca! $180

Leopard print luggage - you bet! Heys USA X-Case Exotic Carry-On in Leopard, $99.99

I want this suitcase as my next piece of luggage! Diane Von Furstenberg Signature Six 25" Expandable Rolling Suitcase in Fuschia, $115.99

And now is your chance to win a $50 gift certificate from this great online store. There are a few ways to enter (each entry should be a separate comment):

1) MANDATORY entry: click on the "suitcases" link above and tell me what suitcase or piece of luggage you absolutely adore.

2) Become a follower of Dropped Stitches. If you are already a follower, tell me!

3) Follow me on Twitter. If you already follow me there, let me know!

4) Friend me on Flickr. If you already do, let me know!

5) Blog about the giveaway. Let me know about it in a new comment.

6) Tweet about the giveaway. Let me know about it in a new comment

The winner will be chosen with a random number generator next FRIDAY, the 26th. Good luck!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm Grateful: Free Speech

I don't really know what to write about today. I've spent more time in bed with my case of strep throat than I ever did in the past. Then William, my poor Boo, got it and I had to doctor him while trying to recover myself. I got out of the house today, but now am dizzy with a bit of a headache to show for it. But I got out and am no longer buggy with cabin fever.


Today I am thankful for the ability to write in a public forum about whatever comes to mind. For free speech and the opportunity to share faith and happy times with those that choose to read my words. And I am grateful for those that do read, who make me feel that my words have worth and weight, and for letting me know that my experiences can help others get through their days.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Grateful: Modern Medicine

I have a rip roaring case of strep throat. It's so bad that my entire jaw hurt last night, I couldn't turn my head, and I was getting to the point where I wanted to slobber so that I didn't have to swallow. It's the worst case I've ever had.
My husband was really concerned when he looked in my throat as my airway was getting smaller and sent me to the ER. There they diagnosed me, treated me with a shot of Bicillin and a steroid, and sent me home with Vicodan for the pain.

The universal use of antibiotics didn't start until after WWII. 60 years ago, I could have died from this case of strep throat, gotten rheumatic fever or kidney disease. Strep was a killer, but now it's just something that makes you feel really bad until you get it treated.

I'm going to lay down again. I still feel pretty cruddy, though nothing like I did yesterday. I suspect tomorrow I will be better still. Yay, antibiotics!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Grateful: Indian Summers

It is 63 degrees outside. It is beautiful. I don't remember the last time I walked around in the middle of November in a tee shirt, thinking about getting my sandles out, and knowing that there would be at least a week of this weather. A welcome respite from the cold.


"Indian summer" makes me think of horses and fall leaves and pumpkins. The term was first used by a French American in the 1700's and in literature by John Greenleaf Whittier in 1841 in his poem "Memories"


Thus, while at times before our eyes
The shadows melt, and fall apart,
And, smiling through them, round us lies
The warm light of our morning skies,--
The Indian Summer of the heart!
In secret sympathies of mind,
In founts of feeling which retain
Their pure, fresh flow, we yet may find
Our early dreams not wholly vain


The Indian Summers of the heart. Isn't that beautiful? There is something about the words that sets my heart alight and makes me feel free and happy. An Indian summer day to frolic and play. To walk and run and lie in the grass, out toes bare, our arms showing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm Grateful: Moments of Frivolity

Frivolity - self-indulgence, irresponsibility, triviality, abandon, levity, foolishness.


I love to watch William play. He plays with complete abandon, few limits, and for the simple pleasure of it. And his whole day is looking for the next fun thing to do. He relishes in going down slides, vroom-vrooming cars over any surface he can find, spinning in circles until he gets so dizzy he falls down, and singing at the top of his lungs.


Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could indulge ourselves like three-year-olds. Often, it seems, responsibilities like finances, cooking, cleaning, working, and raising kids gets in the way of our former frivolity.


But occasionally, those moments shine through. I urge you to tango with your five-year-old, to spin in circles with the toddler, to swing until your stomach flips, just let your hair down as they say. Let the frivolity take over; you will be grateful you did.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm Grateful: Time with the Kids

Being unemployed has been difficult. Our checkbook has suffered and sometimes I long for the days when I was a working woman - the thinking, the productivity, interacting with people other than my family. There has been a plus side to all of this, however; I've been able to stay home with William since the time he was born.

I never thought that I would be a housewife. It wasn't in my life plan. But it has been wonderful being home with my children and watching William grow. I'm available for practices, games, choir concerts, and whatever comes up. I don't have to figure out how I'm going to take time off to do these things with the kids. I can just get up and go.

I have a bond with William that I don't think I would have if I were working I would have. I have time to take him to nature trails, the library, on trips, to vote, and whatever comes to mind. I sometimes worry that because he isn't in preschool he isn't learning everything he's supposed to, then he comes at me humming a classical tune he heard on TV or I see him "reading" a book and making up a story the worry goes away.
Maybe I'll be able to let go of him next year and send him to preschool. For now, I'm enjoying the time I have with him and the other kids and am grateful for it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This month, I'm joining Curious Girl in blogging about those things that I am grateful for. I spend a lot of time doing the "if only we had more money" thing, so when Lisa brought up this topic I thought it would be a great exercise for me.


Today I am grateful for our home. I've written about how close we came to losing it and how we danced on the edge of homelessness. But my in-laws would have nothing of that and are helping us with our payments until we are more financially stable.

I watch HGTV manically and I'm always struck by how the people on House Hunters "need" so much room in their houses. Our house is small by most people's standards, but if you compare what we have to other parts of the world, we live like kings. And we have So Much Stuff. A few years ago a photographer had a family who lived in a mud hut in Africa and an American family put everything that they owned on their front lawns and took a picture of both. It was almost embarrassing how much more the American family had.

I struggle to teach our children that life is not about more, more, more; I'm not sure how much is getting through. It took me this long to realize that we could live a really nice life on very little money, it just meant that the couch was going to stay old and stained, some of my clothes would have little holes in them, and we weren't going to buy everything in the world for our children. We have so much already, we really don't need anymore.

Our needs have been supplied and we have a beautiful home to return to every day. For that, I am grateful.
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