Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Grateful for Busyness

Wow! What a week!

Monday the 16th I worked on cleaning and sewing as well as getting my teeth cleaned and having a lunch meeting with the Boys & Girls Club clubhouse director. I'm thankful to have found the most fun dental hygienist ever! And I'm thankful that the Boys & Girls Club hires such great staff - so easy to work with.

Tuesday I finished Bekka's solo dress modifications and Steve came home. Thankful for the ability to sew well - thanks, Mom!

Wednesday Bekka had class here in Corvallis. We were going to leave for Portland at 3:00 so she could go to open studio, but just as we were walking out the door, found out that she was needed to teach (I thought she had checked the day before!) - so that day I was very thankful for the ability to be flexible. We moved the floor covering they had been using for hard shoe practice to the Corvallis Dance Center where the Adv. Beg. and Novice class is held, then back again to where the Prizewinner/Champ class is held, then over to our house where it will be stored over the break. THEN we left for Portland.

Thursday we flew to Denver for the Western Regional Oireachtas!!! Steve and I got to tour the Mint at the last minute, which as interesting. Very thankful that our flight was not affected by the computer glitch that delayed most of the day's flights. I'm also thankful for the friendly TSA staff at PDX - they are so great! And I'm thankful that Annamanda found the Crown Plaza - just two blocks from the convention center and two blocks from great, easy, food - the Corner Bakery Cafe and the Cooks' Choice Market, where I ate most of my meals.

Friday was the under's competition. We pretty much just got to hang out. Then Friday night was teams practice. The pressure was really on for our coach. I'm grateful for our amazing team kids who just let it all roll off their backs. I crazily volunteered to PAINT one of the men's competition vest! Yikes! I'm grateful for a steady hand and not messing it up. He loved it, thank goodness.

Saturday was teams. Bekka wasn't up for a while so we got to sleep in. They looked so great! Her ceile' recalled and placed tenth and her figure choreography took second (out of only two, but they were very good - wish there had been other teams). Our school's dance drama is the talk of the message boards - "Risque!" "Scandalis!" Our teacher is very pleased! It was a great show, even though there were several wardrobe malfunctions. I'm grateful for this crazy pseudo-family that we've come into through Irish Dance. These are just amazing people. Our school really is just so great.

Sunday was Bekka's solo competition. Her's was first thing - 8:00am. She had to be there and ready by 7:00. Her dress looked great and she danced well. The judges weren't as impressed and we were, and placed her third from last, but for a prizewinner, I thought she did great! We all went to the awards ceremony where we cheered for Allie, Tim, John, and Alex, our World Qualifiers, and for Nikki, who once again was one place away from WQ. After the ceremony we all went to the Spaghetti Factory - what a fun night! So thankful for the GREAT attitude of ALL our dancers - they are just SO AWESOME!

Monday we got up and went to the airport. A day of traveling and getting home. Steffi, her cousin Andria, and Steve's folks were already home when we got here. I'm thankful that I set up the in-law's room (which is really my room, but I'm the first to give up a room for guests) before we left.

Today I mostly finished cleaning the house. I have two bathrooms left. So grateful for my Plan HC friends, who I met with this afternoon and having a clean dining room. Yea!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Clean Rooms

Since I had the house all to myself most of the day, I finally got around to cleaning Steffi's room. She is on her annual trek to south Texas to visit with Steve's folks and when she returns our house will be full of family for Thanksgiving, so before she left I asked if I could clean her room.

It's just so nice to get one room totally clean every once in a while!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Grateful for: Trader Joe's and Honest People

After participating in and giving part of the Service Unit Cookie Manager Training in Eugene, I headed over to Trader Joe's. I LOVE TJ's and I especially love going by myself when I can really look at what's in stock.

But after a full day of training, my brain felt completely full of noodles! I spent some time picking out some new beer varieties, then I left it in the bottom of the cart and drove off. Once I got on the Delta Hwy I realized that not only had I left the beer, but that I had also forgotten that I was going to stop by Costco and get gas. Yikes - I used to be fairly sharp, hardly forgetting anything, but I'm starting to worry about my memory lately.

Since I had to go back by TJ's anyway, I stopped to see if some kind person had turned it in and sure enough - I didn't even have to finish my question before they were saying "yes, they had it". Yea!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Naps!

Bekka and I went to Homeschool Central at the Boys & Girls Club this morning for our occasional swap. By the time we dropped off the extra stuff to Vina Moses, got home and got lunch I had a terrible headache.

I love that I have the freedom to take a long, healing nap in the middle of the afternoon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Update Posts

It is already Thursday - well six minutes until Friday and I haven't posted since Monday.

So here's a list of things I'm thankful for this week:
My ability to figure things out
My rolled hem presser foot
Incredible musicians - have you seen Once?
Fabric Depot in Portland (wish it were much closer, but still...)
The Corvallis advanced dancers who routinely go up to Portland: Colleen, Tim, Sierra, and Maddie - you guys make the drive so entertaining! "It's 43 degrees and we're headed North." "Ya' big dummy." "Northwest!" "North!" All together now...

Monday, November 09, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Cats Who Love Too Much

We are down to two indoor cats (and one outdoor cat - no cats cross the threshold!), and they are so far from aloof it is often annoying, but I love it as well.

Lyra is just so entirely in love with me that she can't bear to be away from me. And if she has been, and we are reunited, she kneads, and purrs and rubs her face on mine. When I come home, she is at the door to greet me - begging to be lifted to my shoulder (so she can rub on my face). She loves the rest of the family, too, but I seem to be the recipient of most of her affections.

She wasn't always like this, but the last several months, she has been getting steadily more dependent on me emotionally. I'm starting to wonder where it will end! As I write this, she is laying on me - staking her claim to her spot for the night.

Tamwyn, our other indoor cat, is crying at me from the floor because she beat him to the coveted spot. Now, if he is up and she comes along she'll jump on up and reestablish her claim. He's not entirely keen on her, so he'll jump off quite quickly and concede the spot. But if she beat him to it, he'll give up and go away, waiting for another (rare and getting rarer) time when she isn't on me.

Most cats really aren't lap cats - and I feel so fortunate to have two who practically fight over the honor!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Dedicated Dance Teachers

With less than two weeks until Oireachtas (the Regional Championships), I think Jim and Lauren are now spending more time with our kids than with their own! They give the dancers everything they've got! They are generous, fun loving, kind, hard, and oh-so-dedicated to the entire An Daire family.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Fabulous Friends & Birthdays

Today is my fabulous friend, Dominique's birthday. I feel so fortunate to be able to help her celebrate. She is one of the most beautiful people I know, shining brightly and peacefully from the inside.

I made a cake for her last night, got a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine and some other treats on the way over and we enjoyed fresh homemade hummus, pita bread, 3P soup (my personal favorite), rosemary bread, a wonderful salad, and conversation late into the night.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Fun Shoes

Mostly because as soon as I got these shoes I wanted to post a photo of them. They make me smile to look at them. The girls don't like 'em, but my friends and I do - must be a generational thing.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Slow Start Mornings and Interesting People

This morning I had "laptop in bed" and didn't get up until well after 10:30. I just love it when I have a little extra time to poke around and explore what's out there.

While checking my email I found a great blog that I am thankful for by a couple in Dallas, OR who are trying to reduce the amount of landfill-bound garbage they produce in one year to less than a shoebox with a few, well thought out exceptions.

This afternoon I drive Bekka and a few other dancers up to Portland to prepare for Oireachtas (the Irish Dance Regional Championships). The forecast says rain, so I'll also be grateful that Steve and Steffi are off in TX with the Prius, causing me to have to take the Sequoia up.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

November - a Month of Gratitude

Today on my monthly GUTS call, Reggie asked us what we are going to focus on this month with regard to gratitude.

I said that I will notice. I will notice the small and the large things around me, for simply to notice (without judgment) is to be grateful.

I am already grateful for a couple of reminders from several fellow GUTS girls: viewing everything, even those things we don't like, with an attitude of gratitude; focusing on letting go of expectations; and daily journaling.

This reminded me of a daily blogging exercise, which I haven't done in such a long time. In fact, as I logged in, I noticed that I hadn't blogged at all since August! BTW, the Julie & Julia movie and post-movie discussion at Big River was so GREAT! So, for the rest of the month of November, I will try to post a gratitude or two each and every day.

I will start by backdating what I've been grateful for the first three days of the month...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I'm Grateful for: Clients who turn into friends

Today I ran into my best client and her daughter at Borders. They were on their way to a quick dinner and a Tech Smartz meeting and allowed me to invite myself along. I really enjoyed talking with them both at dinner and freezing and recapping the meeting in the parking lot after.

I am also grateful for my very understanding friends on the Plan HC committee. When I called just as the meeting was to start to tell them that I had forgotten (after completely forgetting a GS leader meeting the night before - Yikes!), they were just so great about it.

And I'm grateful for the technology available to chat with an absent member of the committee while the rest of us met live.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I'm Grateful for: Time to Breathe

I am SO GRATEFUL for time to clean and cook and just BE today. I've been up way too late the previous week getting things done that it is just so nice to have a little breathing room.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I'm Grateful For: Time Change and a Successful Feis

Today, we set our clocks back one hour. I am always SO grateful for this each year. I love how much easier it is to get up in the morning right after this annual change. This morning especially since it is the second morning of Feile Samhain, the Feis (Irish Dance competition) that our school, An Daire hosts. Getting up at 6:30 just wasn't quite as hard today as it would have been yesterday because of the extra hour of sleep.

The Feis went SO smoothly this year, and I am ever so grateful to all the hard working An Daire volunteers who helped make it so. Thank you everyone!