Monday, October 31, 2011

Gratitude warm-up part 2

Well, here it is, Halloween and I actually am done taking the kiddo trick-or-treating and still have time to post my gratitude list for the day.

1.  As my husband coughs and hacks in the other room, I have to say I'm grateful for my health. Being in my middle 40's, I have quite a few friends that have already had to deal with major health issues. Some have been diagnosed with diabetes, cancer,  high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They've had to alter their lifestyle completely and take meds for the rest of their life. While I am a lucky duck and still don't have to take anything on a regular basis. I am definitely grateful for that.

2.  My husband is watching American Chopper which is always kind of sad to me because here is a father that screams and yells at his kids all the time when they make him mad and then seems surprised when they yell and scream back. They're all adults and you'd think they'd figure out a different way to communicate. I'm grateful that, while my family is no where near perfect, we all get along. I think that's pretty unusual for a family anywhere, so I feel very grateful for that.

3.  I'm grateful for my daughter's physical abilities. She does have autism, so her mental capabilities are delayed, probably always will be. She's 12 and still likes to watch Nick Jr. and preschool shows sometimes. But when I see some of the kiddos at my school that will forever be wheelchair bound and probably not live a long life due to their illnesses, it makes me grateful she can walk, talk and run. Watching the joy in her as she ran from house to house tonight to get candy while she trick-or-treated was as much fun for me as it was for her.

4.  I'm grateful for my oldest daughter. She's grown into a fine young lady and I'm proud of everything she's accomplished. She made the cheerleading squad her freshman year when tons of girls tried out and only the best eleven made it. Then she moved up to varsity which she's on a squad of 27 this year. Being a junior on the squad, she's become a leader being at functions and working when she's not required to be there because it helps the squad. She's learned to work hard at everything she does. She missed making straight A's on her report card by 1 point this first grading period and I never have to nag her about getting anything done. She is WAY self-motivated. I love that about her. She will go far in her life because she can't stand to wait till the last minute to do things.

   I tried unsuccessfully to move these pictures next to each other...still need to work on that. Obviously..... In the top pic of cheerleader daughter, she's standing in three other girls' hands that are bouncing her up and down while she 'chops'. We're the Warriors....and we chop. ;) The bottom pic you can see all the arms holding onto her one leg. This move, while cool, freaks me out just a little.

So I guess I'll post number 5 right here and if I need to post another picture, it'll be at the bottom of the post.

5.  I think I'm going to save number 5 on every list for a person that I'm grateful for. I could make lists and lists of those...I guess that would kinda be like cheating, so I'll just do one a day. So the first person in my life I'm grateful for is the one who gave me life. My mom. I know everybody's mom doesn't do the best job raising them. I married one of those people, which makes me even more grateful for her. I'm grateful that she's ingrained that family should be a priority and that you should spend time together when ever you can. She still cooks Sunday lunch for us at least twice a month and we all get together and just talk around the table. It's wonderful. We feel connected because of her because she makes us a priority. What a great role model she's been. Loving, patient, and solid. I have to say....I'm grateful for my mom. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gratitude project warm-up

My Twitter Buddy Jennifer Lopez, yes....that really is her, posted an event on Facebook that I feel like I need to participate in. The challenge is every day for the whole month of November to post five things you are thankful or grateful for. Everyone needs to do this, especially if they're feeling down or stressed out in their lives. It would do my 17-year-old well to do this. They're so narrow minded in their teens, they usually can't see past their nose and right this minute.
So, I thought I needed to do this. Hopefully it will do two things. First, it will give me something to write about on my blog, because I don't feel like I have a whole lot of interesting things to say ALL the time.
I want to keep my followers, so I thought this might be a good thing. :) Second, it will make me think about little things to be grateful for. It's easy if you just stop and think about it for a minute.

I'm not supposed to start until November 1st, but I thought I'd start today.  Just as a know...
I'm a musician..we warm up before we perform...that's just how we roll.

So...5 things I'm grateful

1.  I'm grateful for Fall. For the beauty of the falling leaves and the cool air that has no humidity in it like our air in the summer does. The colors around here are gorgeous. 

2.  I'm grateful for my daughter's sense of humor. She has autism, so things that she says usually strike us as funny because she's so literal. She likes to make jokes and even memorized some jokes out of a joke book when she was in 5th grade and did a stand up routine. I couldn't believe she did it, but she did and she was funny. Everybody loved it and laughed a lot. I felt kinda bad for the typical kid that came out a few acts later. He wasn't very funny at all and when it was over, everybody congratulated Cassidy on what a good job she did. She would say, "Yeah...I know," when they'd compliment her.

3.  I know this is probably not something I should be grateful for, but I'm grateful for chocolate.

I'm just being honest here. I'm sitting at my laptop with a pile of about 5 mini Hershey bar wrappers next to it.  Yes. I ate them all. Publix was having buy 1 get 1 free sale on some of their bags of candy for Halloween. Of course, I grabbed it with the pretense I would take it to school, but as long as it's in my house....why not have a few....I bought two bags....;)

4.  I'm grateful for my cat, Darcy.

He's such a great cat. He's a really big cat, at only a year and a half old, he's about 3 feet long when he stretches all the way out. This is the cat that fetches hair ties and wants me to snuggle him on my shoulder when I get home from school. He loves getting inside anything he thinks he can fit into. He's laying on the other side of my laptop right now because it's warm, but also because he likes to be where I am. He's smart too. He knows who feeds him. ;).

He's brought me and my family a lot of joy after we lost our cat of 17 years, Dagney
It took me over a year before I consented to get another family cat. Losing her was so hard on all of us, I didn't want to get so attached to another animal, but I decided that all the years that he would be happy in our family would be worth it when we finally have to say goodbye to him.

5.  And last for today...I'm grateful for my friend Jennifer, who decided to post this on her Facebook wall. She's been a great writer friend and is full of funny things to say. She's also a very talented writer. I've had the privilege of reading some of her short stories and she does a great job. Her blog is Jello World. You need to go check her out if you haven't before. 

Make sure to be grateful for something every day. You don't want to waste the short time we have on this earth being angry or having a bad attitude about things.You've got to make the best of every day....or try to at least. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weather Geek

Ok..I have to admit something. I didn't realize when I started to blog that this would become the 'true confessions' of Suzanne Payne. Well, there's something about myself that I think might be a little weird.
I'm a total weather geek.
I said it.
I think I have a problem.
How many of you WANT to watch the radar when there are severe thunderstorms coming across your state? *I'm raising my hand*
How many of you WANT to chase a real tornado? *raising hand again*
How many of you actually get secretly excited when the Weather Channel puts your area in a 'severe weather threat' red zone? *me again.*
What in the hell is wrong with me??
Am I not smart enough to be scared? I think if it came right down to it, and a tornado was bearing down on me...I think I'd be scared, but if it's not coming right at me...yeah..I want to watch it.. take pictures or video of it and stare at it's crazy, magnificent power. What is that anyway, a death wish?
Murfreesboro, TN April 10, 2009 The 'Good Friday' Tornado

The tornado in this picture is the one that chased my best friend into her house, and took out two of our teachers' houses at school and  our assistant principal's house too. I'd never known so many people effected by one tornado before. It stayed on the ground a long time and destroyed a lot of houses and businesses. It was an EF-4.

I've had more than one close encounter with tornadoes. The city that I live in has had more than one direct hit from tornadoes since I've lived here in 1984, when I started college here. I looked it up and I was surprised to find that 4 of the top 10 most costly tornadoes have been since  we've lived in our house. So I'm not just paranoid.
We've had direct hits in 1997, 2001,2002,2003, 2009, 2010 and just had another one in May of this year. I'm glad I'm not going crazy...I was beginning to wonder.
TN has  been moved into a secondary tornado alley, so to speak. It'll get really warm here and then a cold front will sweep in out of Canada and WHAM! Tornadoes, hail and thunderstorms.

Started out warm and sunny...partly cloudy...low humidity, light breeze...sheer perfection as far as weather goes. Then during the day, clouds get darker, wind picks up and by the time we're out of school, we've got hail the size of golf-balls breaking my daughter's driver's side mirror on her SUV...really??? I had to drive straight through it, but lucky me, I missed the hail core.
by Jo Ver Mulm
Normally, I've heard about weather trends and the forecasters are really good at giving us days in advance about a front that's headed our way that will drop us so many degrees..almost 40 degrees difference when it's all said and done. But this storm came out of nowhere. I haven't been watching the weather or too much TV lately. I've been reading on two different books and been on the computer rewriting my MS.
Yesterday, I had the bright idea to change a chapter when a pivotal moment happens and it snows.  I decided to make it a little more exciting to put a thunderstorm instead and hit somebody's house with a tree...or I might even knock part of their house down. I haven't written it out yet, so I won't know what happens until I start to actually write it. I thought it was a little odd that I would think to do that. You know..freak thunderstorm in the fall and then it actually happened in real life. It's October here in reality and in my MS it's November when all this happens. I also heard that October and November are our new secondary storm seasons because of our temperature extremes in the fall now. So there you go...I had the idea and was validated by our local meteorologist.
I am such a weather geek.