U is for Unexpected #AtoZChallenge

 

  • “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “The only real things in life is the unexpected things. Everything else is just an illusion.” – Watkin Tudor Jones
  • “Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” – Carl Sandburg
  • “The twists and turns of your life can be so unexpected, and that’s a good thing to learn.” -Christina Baker Kline

Life is filled with so many unexpected moments. Whether it’s an unexpected nap on your lap, a special moment between dad and his little boy, or your precocious dog actually allowing you to take her picture, it’s important to savor those times. They are as important as the big things. All of those little moments that catch you off guard are what fills in the cracks and the empty spaces to complete the full picture.

Don’t be so caught up in those major moments that all of those little unexpected pleasures in life just pass by unnoticed and forgotten. Each day is filled with treasures.

-Kat

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T is for Thrift Store Finds #AtoZchallenge

thrift store sprinkles jar

You never know what you might find at a thrift store. Such was the case back in 2014 when I was with Andrew, my youngest child, at the all-state music competition. I had time to kill while Andrew was attending rehearsals and I came across this quaint thrift store.

One of the items for sale was this jar of sprinkles. Yes, it was actually for sale.

Tag reads- “For display only- these are old!!”

The other side of the tag had a price. I believe it was something like $2. This jar just cracked me up. I remember looking at it and then having to come back to it to read it again and verify that yes, someone had donated a jar of old sprinkles and yes, the shop accepted it and expected to sell it! But that jar wasn’t the inspiration for this post. It’s just an added goodie.

thrift store dishes
Tag reads- “These dishes were used by an amazing woman. She prepared countless meals with love and served those meals on these dishes. Carry on that tradition and feel blessed to have these dishes.” 

I didn’t need dishes. I wasn’t looking for dishes. But something tells me that if they were marked just a little bit lower, for the sentimental value they held, I would have purchased them. Remember Brooke, Ryan and The Little Prince? I wondered if the person who donated the dishes wrote the note or if the store employee knew the previous owner of the dishes and felt that they needed that personal note. The shop was not filled with sweet notes about dishes and sprinkles- just those two…. and somehow I felt like the messages were from the previous owner. It was such a cool little shop!

Four years later and I wonder about that thrift store. I haven’t been in that part of the state since then but if I was, I know I would be back at that store looking for more treasures. I really am a softie!

Happy Monday!

-Kat

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S is for Surprise #AtoZChallenge

spring surprise

Just over a week ago, we purchased some $1 flowers for a project that my husband is working on. I wasn’t sure they would survive. They were spindly three inch green spikes with no sign of a flower to be found. Since we brought the lot home, they have been subjected to hard rain, snow (3 times) and high winds. I was convinced that there was little chance that we would ever see a flower. We went away for the weekend, fully expecting to find either empty pots or the lot having fallen off the steps. You can imagine our surprise and delight when we were greeted by this pot of little cuties along with three others! If nothing else, these flowers are survivors! Now they need to survive three year old Beej!

Spring might have finally arrived here!

-Kat

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R is for Rainbow #AtoZChallenge

rainbow

“I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of Oz’ very seriously, you know. I believe in the idea of the rainbow. And I’ve spent my entire life trying to get over it.” – Judy Garland

“The rainbow is a part of nature, and you have to be in the right place to see it. It’s beautiful, all of the colors, even the colors you can’t see. That really fit us as a people because we are all of the colors. Our sexuality is all of the colors. We are all the genders, races, and ages.” – Gilbert Baker

“We live in a rainbow of chaos.” – Paul Cezanne

Wishing you a rainbow filled day!

-Kat

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Q is for Quilts #AtoZChallenge

Short and sweet today-

I love quilts and if I had money to spend, I would have an extensive quilt collection. Since i am not independently wealthy, I have to content myself with taking pictures of quilts that catch my eye. I am intrigued by the old quilts that must have fascinating stories to tell. I find the repetitive patterns soothing and the ones with no rhyme or reason fun. I like that there is so much more to quilts than something nice to look at- that the color, pattern, fabric choice, all have meaning. Years ago I made a few baby quilts. Who knows? It’s never late to revive an old hobby!

Hope you had some fun and relaxation this weekend!

-Kat

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P is for Parents #AtoZChallenge

parentsA few years ago my friend, John’s booster group started hosting bingo at my children’s former high school. Wanting to support my friend and a program that had played a major role in my kids’ high school experience, I asked my parents if they would like to go. They had a blast and it turned out they knew people there.

This quickly turned into a monthly outing. Jo, a good friend of mine, also attended and before long we had fallen into a familiar routine. We sat at the same table in the same order- Jo, me, my mom, and then my dad. If Kris was home from school, they would either sit between me and my mom or my mom and dad.

My dad just wants to win, dammit! and when he doesn’t, boy, do people know it. If he is one number away from a bingo and someone else calls bingo, he groans audibly enough that people around us glance over. His smart remarks are a regular part of each evening, followed by my mom’s hushing. He loves to heckle his friends, who sit at nearby tables, and in true older guy fashion, they return the favor.

I spend my time talking to my mom and catching up with Jo, whose kids went to school with mine. We compare our grandchildren, always concluding that we both have the greatest ones around. I am not the most attentive when it comes to my bingo cards. My mom and Jo are often reaching over and dabbing a number that I missed.

The first time I got a bingo, I didn’t want to call it until I was sure. Both Mom and Jo told me to call it. I insisted that I needed to check my card first. I didn’t want to embarrass myself with a false bingo. While I was explaining my hesitation and asking if they were sure, Jo called out “BINGO!” waving her hand in the air with my mom joining in. Then the card checker walked up and they both pointed at me in the middle. The best part was my dad saying to my mom, “Did you get bingo? That’s great!” and her correcting him while a couple seated in front of us, turned to say that the entire conversation leading up to my bingo had to have been one of the most entertaining they have ever heard.  So much for not wanting to be embarrassed!

Somewhere along the way, I realized what a precious gift I had been given- time with my parents. So much of my time had been tied up with helping my son with CJ and Beej that I didn’t even realize that time was passing. You always think you have more time. This was never more evident than when an acquaintance’s father passed away suddenly. Like me, this woman was there every month with her parents. Actually, her kids had also attended school with mine from kindergarten all the way up so I had seen her parents at school functions for years. Like my parents, they were the grandparents that were always there. It brought the precariousness of life sharply into perspective to see her there with her dad one month and then him to be missing the next.

Even now, thinking about it stirs a feeling of panic inside me- that fear of losing my parents. I can’t live in fear though. What I can do is make the most of the time that I have with them. Although it can be a challenge when my parents and the little guys are both around because their needs are so different, I’m more mindful of ways I can make this work for everyone. I know this time won’t last forever and I plan on making the most of the time I do have with them.

“Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.” -unknown

-Kat

 

 

O is for Odd Little Group #AtoZChallenge”

odd little group I remember walking into our family room one day to find this odd little group laying on the side of the fireplace. Since I’m convinced that these toys have lives outside of being playthings, I’m not surprised when I come upon a scenario such as this one. I didn’t look too closely as I took the picture. And then it made the cut for “O” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Upon closer inspection, I wondered how this ragtag group came to be. I’m sure it wasn’t a prearranged meeting. I looked up at the ceiling above the fireplace to the spot that had captured Woody’s and Yoda’s attention. Hmmmmm…….

Finding the room quiet and empty of humans, Woody decided to have a rest, gazing at the hideous popcorn ceiling with glitter scattered throughout and he was reminded of the stars in the sky when he would unroll his pack out on the range and sleep under the wide dark sky with his faithful stead, Bullseye, nearby. Yoda, passing by in search of a young Padawan to train, was curious about Woody’s fascination with something skyward, and having no younglings or errant Jedis in sight, dropped (or maybe executed one of his fancy Jedi flips) down beside the cowboy.

Laying companionably side by side, the two unlikely friends found they had much in common. After all, both had found a calling in helping others to find their way and learn more about themselves. Yoda shared his frustration in recognizing the potential in Anakin and the stubbornness Luke displayed while Woody likened this to his adventures with Buzz (Lightyear). Not to be confused with another Buzz.

The other Buzz, of Beat Bugs fame, an adorable little fruit fly, along with her close friend, Walter the slug, stumbled upon the stargazing pair, while out exploring the fireplace. Buzz raised her magnifying glass to her eye, pausing to take a closer look. Walter, sensing that something exciting was going to happened and never one to pass up an opportunity to break into song, whipped out a microphone from his pocket with a dramatic flair.

It was at this time that I entered the room and pulled out my phone to take a photo. Nearby, Bumble, who had remained unnoticed, jumped into the picture upstaging Walter’s moment while executing a well timed photo bomb.

Or maybe the toys just landed there when I was tidying up and it was just a coincidence that they landed that way. I guess I’ll never know!

Have an awesome day!

-Kat

N is for Naptime #AtoZChallenge

naptime

Have you ever been so tired that you fell asleep standing up? Apparently a three year old’s work is never done because B was in the middle of a construction project and couldn’t even climb into bed before taking a nap!

Still behind but plugging away!

-Kat

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M is for Morning Messages #AtoZChallenge

morning

 

Although the trees are still bare, the wind is freezing and my car heater is working overtime to keep us warm, the sun is shining. As I drove CJ to school and then drove home, I wished I had a megaphone on my car so I could pass on some of the things that I find myself thinking and/or saying nearly every day when I’m driving.

You’d be surprised how many times you probably have the same thoughts over and over again and don’t even realize it!

 

Here are some that are recurring-

  • To the driver in the car that angrily passes me on the left to make a sharp right turn down a side street when I’m stopped at the train tracks (whose gates are down and lights are flashing), “Where do you want me to go?”
  • To the kind crossing guard who smiles and waves cheerfully every day, even though we don’t know each other, “Thank you for brightening my morning!”
  • To the school employee who tailgates me over half way to the school parking lot, starting to move forward at each stop sign even though I haven’t even come to a complete stop yet, then moves so close I can’t see her face in my rear view mirror because most of her car is obscured by that closeness, I have a few things to say. “It’s nice that you are so excited to get to school, that you don’t even realize you are tailgating.” “If you are being this rude because you are late and I’m in your way, then maybe you need to leave a few minutes earlier.” “The speed limit is 20 miles per hour- just a gentle reminder.” And finally,, “BACK OFF!”
  • To the children in my car, “No, we cannot play (insert whichever CDs each one wants to listen to- always two different ones) over from the beginning, it’s (insert the other child’s name) turn to hear their music.
  • To CJ as we sit there, “Remember you are a (car rider/bus rider- depending on the day), your lunch, snack and iPad are in your backpack, have a good day!”
  • To CJ, who only wants to wear a hoodie, “I know it’s spring but it is 30 degrees out and if it was raining it would actually be snow. It’s too cold to go without a coat.”
  • To the person who’s turn I sometimes take by accident when we are at that four way stop intersection, “I’m sorry about that!”
  • While we are sitting in the lot waiting for school to begin, “No, you cannot stand with your head and/or body sticking out of sun room. I don’t care if that small child’s dad let’s him do it.”
  • And lately to poor Beej, when we get back home, “No, we can’t play in the back yard right now. It’s (insert whichever weather is happening at the moment- cold, sleet, snow, rain, freezing winds).”

Such fun!

-Kat

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L is for The Little Prince #AtoZChallenge

little prince

Not long ago, I found this 1943 copy of The Little Prince in a thrift store. It caught my eye because it was obviously aged and worn. I was surprised to find it still had its dust jacket because the first thing my children did when they received a book with one was to remove it and hand it to me so i could put it in a safe place. The irony was lost on them.

I’m not familiar with the story in this book. One of the pitfalls of having early readers is that they preferred to read to themselves at a much younger age andlost out on a second chance to discover books that I might have missed myself when I was younger. This book was a favorite of my middle child, Kris. In fact, Kris went back as a teenager and read it in French. Kris’s copy is still on our bookshelf.

little prince 1

The reason that I ultimately purchased the book was because of the inscription inside. I wish it was dated. With names like Brooke and Ryan, I’m fairly certain that the book was purchased used and given as a loving gift because those names are more modern.

I have to wonder how it found its way to a thrift store. It raises so many questions for me. Were Ryan and Brooke already married when he gave her this book? Or were they dating and still in college, perhaps? And was it maybe referring to a future they might have together? Did poor Ryan jump the gun? Did Brooke end up not being a teacher? Or if they were married and more established, why would Brooke get rid of a book that her husband gave her to read to their child? Was there no child? Did they split up? I’m certain there’s a story in there somewhere!

Happy Weekend!

-Kat

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