All's Fair

An imposing figure even on good days, Judge Baxter entered the courtroom looking stern.  It was divorce court day, and he was clearly in no mood for sympathetic pleadings.  When he reached the case of Joan and Amos Harper, he summarily dismissed the statements by Mr. Harper's attorney regarding the burden Mrs. Harper's financial demands were going to place on his client.  The attorney noted that Mrs. Harper had a lucrative online business and really didn't need spousal support in the amount requested.  Judge Baxter growled something under his breath about men who shirk their responsibilities, and ruled strongly in Mrs. Harper's favor.  Fifteen minutes after the court was adjourned Judge Baxter was in his chamber with his arms wrapped tightly around Joan Harper as they talked excitedly about trips to exotic destinations they'd be able to take together in the future.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written for Six Sentence Stories
where the theme this week is fair.  Join us!

Six Sentence Stories #28 - Fair

Six Sentence Stories
Welcome to Six Sentence Stories...  a place for storytellers who enjoy the challenge of keeping it short and sweet - a place that includes a sense of community, interaction, and encouragement - where everyone will feel welcome to join in and develop their storytelling skills. Even if you've never done it before, give it a try! :-)

Early each Thursday morning I'll put up a new Six Sentence Stories theme post, and then you'll have a week to write a six sentence story to share.  The rules to this writing prompt are simple... 1) Your post must be in story form, either fiction or non-fiction.  2) It must relate to the theme, though you don't have to use the prompt word in your story.  3) It must be a new original piece, not something borrowed or from your archives.  4) It must be exactly six sentences long, using standard sentence structure. In other words, stringing one sentence on forever and ever is probably not in best form.  5) The link you add must go directly to your 6SS post.  6) Somewhere on your post you must provide a link to Six Sentence Stories.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your story will be fine.  Posts that fail to adhere to these rules will be deleted from the link list out of fairness to those that do.

If you're curious to know next week's prompt ahead of time, it will be posted on the 6SS tab at the top of my blog on Friday night along with being announced in a special blog post on Saturday.

Please take time to visit as many of the other Six Sentence Stories participants as possible by the end of the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Our 6SS theme for the Week of Feb. 27th - Mar. 5th is: "fair"

Her Time to Shine

Ellie was shy growing up, and was often  made fun of by her classmates at school for her slight stutter.  Although she was bright, she kept mostly to herself on the playground and at lunchtime.  After school she scurried quickly home to help her brother have supper ready when her father arrived home from work.  Ellie's mother had left them a few years earlier, and her daddy didn't want to talk about why. He just said she was too young to understand, and let it go at that.  Maybe he was right, because Ellie sure didn't understand. She only knew that she felt terribly lonely without her.
 
On Ellie's twelfth birthday a small brown envelope arrived in the mail bearing no return address.  Wrapped in tissue paper inside Ellie found a silver necklace with the words "let your light shine" cut into it, so that when you held it up the light did indeed shine through.  A small sun hung next to it on the chain.  There was no note or card enclosed, but Ellie's brother told her he was sure the handwriting on the envelope was their mother's; he said that he remembered her beautiful penmanship clearly.  Ellie didn't dare ask her dad, but she wanted to believe, and so she did.  She pulled the chain carefully over her head and never took the necklace off again.  At times when life was really hard, she would hold tight to the silver disk and remind herself that someone believed in her, believed that she had a light inside. She hung tight to the hope that some day others would be able to see it in her too.
 
Ellie graduated from high school with honors and went on to nursing school.  She completed her nursing degree and passed her licensing exams, and then moved forward with a dream that had been in her heart since she was twelve; she accepted a position as a nurse at a mission hospital in Africa. She loved the hospital and the people of the village and they in turn came to love her, often referring to her in their language as "the angel."
 
A year later Ellie flew home for a short vacation with her family.  She was asked to give a presentation at the school about her mission work in Africa, and members of the community were invited to attend. She shared slides of the people of the village as she talked about the work they were doing at the hospital.  Everyone was amazed at how this once shy little girl had transformed into a confidant young woman who took so much pride in her work.  Her passion for the African people was obvious, and there was no doubt of her value to the mission work being there. 
 
As they were enjoying refreshments after the presentation, a middle-aged woman slowly approached Ellie. She reached up and lightly fingered the "Let Your Light Shine" necklace that Ellie still wore, and then pushed a folded note into her hand.  Ellie looked into the eyes of the woman and something stirred a memory in her heart.  As the woman walked away Ellie opened the note to find the same handwriting that she'd seen several years before.  With shaking hands she read the words "I've always known you had a special light within you, I knew you'd find your way.  Please call me." There was a phone number but no signature... none was needed. 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are rise and shine

Two Shoes Tuesday #67 - Rise or Shine

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The February 25th writing themes to choose from are rise and shine

A-Z and An Apology

It's almost time for the 2014 Blogging from A-Z April Challenge!  In just five more weeks you'll be seeing the above logo all over the blogsphere as nearly two thousand bloggers join together in creating 26 daily posts based on letters of the alphabet.  The themes are many and varied, or if you prefer, you can do your posts hodge-podge style with no connecting theme at all!  This will be my third year of participation, and I can tell you that it's great fun and a wonderful way to meet some new bloggers. Sign-ups are already in progress, click here to add your name to the list of participants; I'm #783! Come and join me for the A-Z Challenge this April... give your blogging muscles a stretch!
 
Also, a quick note of apology for my recent absence from my blog and commenting on others, I've been dealing with ongoing allergies/cold/sinus infection for about three weeks and it's worn me out. I finally gave up on waiting for my immune system to fight it off and went to the doctor yesterday for shots and medication, so hopefully I'll soon see my health returning and my blogging energy restored. As always, my brain is overflowing with things I want to say! :-)

Six Sentence Stories #27 - Explode

Six Sentence Stories
Welcome to Six Sentence Stories...  a place for storytellers who enjoy the challenge of keeping it short and sweet - a place that includes a sense of community, interaction, and encouragement - where everyone will feel welcome to join in and develop their storytelling skills. Even if you've never done it before, give it a try! :-)

Early each Thursday morning I'll put up a new Six Sentence Stories theme post, and then you'll have a week to write a six sentence story to share.  The rules to this writing prompt are simple... 1) Your post must be in story form, either fiction or non-fiction.  2) It must relate to the theme, though you don't have to use the prompt word in your story.  3) It must be a new original piece, not something borrowed or from your archives.  4) It must be exactly six sentences long, using standard sentence structure. In other words, stringing one sentence on forever and ever is probably not in best form.  5) The link you add must go directly to your 6SS post.  6) Somewhere on your post you must provide a link to Six Sentence Stories.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your story will be fine.  Posts that fail to adhere to these rules will be deleted from the link list out of fairness to those that do.

If you're curious to know next week's prompt ahead of time, it will be posted on the 6SS tab at the top of my blog on Friday night along with being announced in a special blog post on Saturday.

Please take time to visit as many of the other Six Sentence Stories participants as possible by the end of the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Our 6SS theme for the Week of Feb. 20th - 26th is: "explode"

Two Shoes Tuesday #66 - Delirious or Crunch

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The February 18th writing themes to choose from are delirious and crunch

The Moment It Stopped

 
They knew when she came into the world that Lana would be with them for a very short time. Her tiny heart had a defect that couldn't be repaired, and though it had labored mightily to ensure her arrival, it was growing weaker rather than stronger.  The doctor knew and her parents knew, but if tiny Lana knew, she wasn't letting on.  She snuggled into the crook of her father's arm and slept peacefully while he stroked her tiny face with his fingers.  She nuzzled against her mother's breast, and although she nursed weakly, in doing so she tightly tied their bond.  Resting then between her parents, she took her last few shallow breaths, and at the moment that her heart stopped, they both swear that she looked up at them and smiled. 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written for Six Sentence Stories
where the theme this week is heart.  Join us!

Six Sentence Stories #26 - Heart

Six Sentence Stories
Welcome to Six Sentence Stories...  a place for storytellers who enjoy the challenge of keeping it short and sweet - a place that includes a sense of community, interaction, and encouragement - where everyone will feel welcome to join in and develop their storytelling skills. Even if you've never done it before, give it a try! :-)

Early each Thursday morning I'll put up a new Six Sentence Stories theme post, and then you'll have a week to write a six sentence story to share.  The rules to this writing prompt are simple... 1) Your post must be in story form, either fiction or non-fiction.  2) It must relate to the theme, though you don't have to use the prompt word in your story.  3) It must be a new original piece, not something borrowed or from your archives.  4) It must be exactly six sentences long, using standard sentence structure. In other words, stringing one sentence on forever and ever is probably not in best form.  5) The link you add must go directly to your 6SS post.  6) Somewhere on your post you must provide a link to Six Sentence Stories.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your story will be fine.  Posts that fail to adhere to these rules will be deleted from the link list out of fairness to those that do.

If you're curious to know next week's prompt ahead of time, it will be posted on the 6SS tab at the top of my blog on Friday night along with being announced in a special blog post on Saturday.

Please take time to visit as many of the other Six Sentence Stories participants as possible by the end of the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Our 6SS theme for the Week of Feb. 12th - 19th is: "heart"

For the Sweetest

Johnny and Kim were living off the grid in a cabin tucked back in the rolling hills of Arkansas.  To do so had been more Johnny's dream than Kim's, and he loved her for the way she had dug in and worked hard to help him make the dream come true.  They had a snug little home and ample food from hunting and their garden, but actual cash was in very short supply. 

Johnny had managed to earn a little here and there helping out their neighbors, and today he had a mission. It was the day before Valentine's Day and he wanted to do something special for Kim. Telling her that he needed to order seed for Spring planting, he climbed into the old pickup and headed into town. 

His first purchase was a piece of fabric, a bright red print that Kim was sure to love, enough to make a dress for her and maybe a shirt for him. But he didn't want his gift to be just practical, he wanted something fun, something to surprise her. 

Johnny headed over to the bakery/confectionery and with the money left in his pocket, carefully chose three pieces of handmade chocolate.  He knew that Kim adored chocolate and it was a treat she rarely had these days.

The following morning Johnny was quick to get out of bed before Kim woke.  He laid the piece of fabric on their wooden kitchen table  and placed his handwritten Valentine note on top.  Next to it he arranged the three pieces of chocolate on one of the china plates Kim had inherited from her Grandmother.  Then he started the coffee, knowing the aroma would soon wake her.

Kim stumbled from the bedroom sleepy-eyed and curious, since she was usually the first one up to start their breakfast.  The gifts Johnny had arranged carefully on the table immediately caught her eye, and she looked up at him with so much love that he knew his efforts had pleased her. He loved that his wife never longed for fancy things, and was clearly delighted with his small Valentine offerings.  Marrying her was the best decision he'd ever made.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are cherish and chocolate

Two Shoes Tuesday #65 - Cherish or Chocolate

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The February 11th writing themes to choose from are cherish and chocolate

How I Spent My 60th Birthday

 I have often cautioned people that the only names they should ever have tattooed on their bodies are the names of their children, a parent, or a friend or relative who has passed on.  However, I've been wanting to put Papa Bear's name on my wrist for some time now.  I know without a doubt that he is the one and only soul mate I will ever have in my life.  (He jokes that any future husbands will also need to be nicknamed "Papa Bear" :-) 

Being my birthday, this was the perfect day to add some new ink.  I have seven other tattoos, most small, one that runs the nearly entire length of my spine, but it's been about fifteen years since I did the last one.  I knew in my heart what I wanted and that now was the time. 
The tattoo artist we use also did the beautiful tattoo on Papa Bear's forearm that I had done as a gift for Valentine's Day six years ago.  He owns the shop and has been doing tattoos for twenty-seven years. He not only does excellent work, but has great artistic talent so that everything looks perfect.
Papa Bear is of course on the top of my wrist where I can see it and smile, and I can proudly share the story of our love with other people I encounter too.  It is done in black with purple shadowing. In fact all four sections of the bracelet have purple shadowing, because I love purple. :-)
An engraved heart is to the left of Papa Bear, for love always and forever
A bear paw is on the right,  another symbol for the man I love.
 Connecting the two ends of the bracelet across the back of my wrist is this beautiful feather, in honor of the kids of the Pine Ridge Reservation in Dakota that I have come to love as if they were my own.
 
I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out - a gift from me to me - something that will remain with me for the rest of my life!

Turning the Big 6-0

1960... when I was just 6 and not 6-oh :-/

This post is set to make it's appearance on my blog at 2:32 AM in the morning... exactly sixty years after I made my initial appearance in this world on a cold winter day in South Dakota.  Needless to say, turning sixty is a major milestone in life and the cause of much reflection.  While I may write more about that later, I don't think I could begin to express what I've learned about life as well as Erma Bombeck did when she wrote the following piece in 1979.  It bears repeating... 

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.

My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.


Hungering for More

~photo credit~

At twenty, married to my first husband, I was so naïve about life, willing to follow him down a twisting dark path and easily deceived.
 
At thirty I was with my second husband, a marriage of necessity rather than love, because I knew no other way to ensure the well-being of myself and my daughter, and I had no faith in my ability to handle it alone.
 
At forty I married my third husband, who may have loved me in the beginning but had no idea of how to nurture a relationship, how to make it a priority and make it grow.  I was pushed aside in favor of his first love... making music with the band, and then the drugs took over.
 
At fifty I grew weary of spending my life waiting to be valued and appreciated, weary of years and years of neglect and abuse, weary of waiting for love and always hungering for more.
 
Now at sixty, I am loved beyond all measure and I want for nothing more.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written for Six Sentence Stories
where the theme this week is hunger.  Join us!

Six Sentence Stories #25 - Hunger

Six Sentence Stories
Welcome to Six Sentence Stories...  a place for storytellers who enjoy the challenge of keeping it short and sweet - a place that includes a sense of community, interaction, and encouragement - where everyone will feel welcome to join in and develop their storytelling skills. Even if you've never done it before, give it a try! :-)

Early each Thursday morning I'll put up a new Six Sentence Stories theme post, and then you'll have a week to write a six sentence story to share.  The rules to this writing prompt are simple... 1) Your post must be in story form, either fiction or non-fiction.  2) It must relate to the theme, though you don't have to use the prompt word in your story.  3) It must be a new original piece, not something borrowed or from your archives.  4) It must be exactly six sentences long, using standard sentence structure. In other words, stringing one sentence on forever and ever is probably not in best form.  5) The link you add must go directly to your 6SS post.  6) Somewhere on your post you must provide a link to Six Sentence Stories.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your story will be fine.  Posts that fail to adhere to these rules will be deleted from the link list out of fairness to those that do.

If you're curious to know next week's prompt ahead of time, it will be posted on the 6SS tab at the top of my blog on Friday night along with being announced in a special blog post on Saturday.

Please take time to visit as many of the other Six Sentence Stories participants as possible by the end of the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Our 6SS theme for the Week of Feb. 6th - 12th is: "hunger"
 

Creeping In the Fog


~photo credit~

Swiping her card through the time clock, Deidre headed out the back door of the fast food restaurant where she worked the evening shift.  Clean-up had taken longer than usual, and it was well after eleven when she finally pulled out onto the lonely stretch of highway and headed home. 
 
The damp night had brought with it a thick blanket of fog, turning familiar landmarks into mysterious shapes and shadows, and leaving Deidre feeling a bit unsettled.  Switching on the radio for company she encountered nothing but static and noise, apparently the weather was affecting transmitting towers as well. She had travelled about half of the twenty mile distance and had only seen one other car on the road, it's headlamps forming ghostly glowing orbs in the fog as it came toward her and then passed by.
 
Not many people lived out in these parts, the wooded hills South of town, and there were no lights to be seen from the few scattered houses at this late hour.  Deidre couldn't wait to be home, safe in the arms of her husband.  She smiled, thinking of him sitting there in the chair, no doubt reading his book by the soft glow of a kerosene lamp, which he much preferred to the harsh glare of electric lighting.
 
Knowing that she should be getting close to the curve which would take her past the river just a short distance from their house, Deidre stared intensely into the fog, trying to make out the old rock wall that bordered a camping area which teemed with life in the summertime, but now stood abandoned and silent in the cold.
 
Just as the outline of the wall began to take shape in the fog, Deidre saw something moving among the trees, or did she?  She wasn't sure.  The night had such an eerie feel and she knew her mind could well be playing tricks on her.  Maybe it was just the wind moving branches.  Then she saw a low form creeping slowly toward open ground. Her hair rose on the back of her neck as two glowing eyes emerged from the shadows. 
 
Deidre floored the gas pedal; her car lurched forward and hurtled down the road in the shroud of darkness.  Something compelled her to cast a glance in the rear view mirror, and when she did she saw it, the fabled black-tailed white wolf spoken of in hushed tones by local elders, resting there atop the wall and watching her. 
~photo credit~
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are tail and time

Two Shoes Tuesday #64 - Tail or Time

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The February 4th writing themes to choose from are tail and time

Thankful Thoughts - February 1st

Today I'm participating in Ten Things of Thankful, a weekly blog hop that asks us to "focus on the good things going on in your life by listing ten things you are thankful for..." 

1) This week was another endurance test at work and I was thinking that doing TToT would be a challenge, but then a few things made me smile and put me in a much better frame of mind.  So, top of my list this week is... I am thankful for smiles... those of others, and things that generate my own! Nothing brightens up a day more than someone intentionally smiling at you, be it a friend, a baby at a table next to you in a restaurant, or someone you encounter during the day. It's such an easy thing to share with others, and it can be such an attitude adjustment!

2) I am thankful for my children, who see me much larger than life and more wonderful than I could really ever be.  It feels so good when one of the other expresses appreciation for something I've done for them in the past, and I realize how important it is as parents that we make that time for them. Those moments, no matter how small, count big in their hearts!

3) My friend Gail At The Farm did a Two Shoes Tuesday post this week in which she expressed gratitude for indoor plumbing.  I told her I'd definitely have to steal that for TToT because it is so true. When I was young I have several friends who lived in the country and still had outhouses. While they are quaint, they are also mighty chilly on a cold winter night!  I do not make a good tent camper, because I love the comfort and convenience of my bathroom at home.. shower, potty and all!

4) I am thankful for Words with Friends!  I have several games ongoing with friends and love the mental challenge, especially ones where we are fairly evenly matched.   It doesn't matter who wins or loses, we just start another game.  I found out my little sister also likes to play and we've been enjoying some good games this week while exchanging little notes, it's been healing for our relationship.  If you like to play, email me for my ID, one can never have too many games going! :-)

5) I am delighted and so very excited about plans for a roadtrip coming up in May.  We'll be headed to Memphis for the graduation of John's grandson, and then my kids are coming there from Nashville to spend a couple days with us there.  I love roadtrips with Papa Bear - we relax, laugh, and have plenty of time to visit and enjoy the scenery.  Win-win-win! Thank you God!!

6) I am thankful that my daughter trusts me and feels that she can share the ups and downs of her life with me. I am glad she turns to me for encouragement and support.  I didn't have that kind of relationship with my parents, and it means so much to me that my daughter and I have become so very close after some pretty tough high-school years.

7) I am thankful for Hershey's Cherry Cordial Crème Kisses!!  They are wonderful!  They taste a lot like the chocolate covered cherries my father loved so much, and I wish he were alive so I could send him a bag.  I've been keeping some in a candy dish on my desk for coworkers and visitors and they rate a thumbs-up every time!

8) I am thankful that I am slowly learning to move away from my all-or-nothing mentality... If I can't do it all, or do it perfectly, then I won't try... If I can't make the whole place shiny clean today, I won't do any of it... If I can't walk three miles, I won't even try... etc.  When I feel overwhelmed by what I can't accomplish I often freeze up and find it almost impossible to get started on something. I want to adopt the "do it for 15 minutes" mentality that says every step in the right direction leads somewhere.

9) I am thankful for the courage to speak up when I am uncomfortable about doing things that I know are wrong.  Yesterday in our weekly office meeting I found the right words to say that I don't like telling clients on the phone things that are not exactly true... not lies, but things like "He'll says that he will call you back tomorrow" when I know in good conscience that he probably won't.  It was a touchy subject to bring up, but integrity is important to me, and Being honest is always the best way!

10) I am thankful for bright colors, they never fail to cheer me up!  I love bright clothes, bright artwork, bright flowers, anything and everything that bears evidence to the wonderful paint palette God gave us to create things of beauty with.  Searching for a new header for my Facebook page today, I found this wonderful artwork aptly entitled Rainbow Colors.  I love the waterfall effect the artist has created, the movement makes my spirit want to swirl and flow and dance in the wind!
Happily closing the door on January... today begins a new month and soon a new year for me, and I'm ready to begin again! Let's make February a month of love and lightened hearts... and don't forget to share your smile!
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Ten Things of Thankful
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If you enjoy creative writing and want a place to share your efforts,
 join us for Two Shoes Tuesday and Six Sentence Stories this week!