Saturday, November 2, 2013

TToT, Week 22

In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.
~Brother David Steindl-Rast


1.  I am thankful for grocery stores, mostly Meijer.  While we do have a garden and raise pigs and chickens, we can't grow all we eat.  We still spend a ridiculous amount of money to feed these continuously-famished children.  The Indianapolis area is fortunate to have several grocers competing against each other for customers, so prices aren't too bad.   Meijer is my store of choice.  It has a great produce section and lower prices than most stores, but without the clientele who inspire a website all their own.

2.  I am thankful for mPerks.  Meijer has this new program where you can clip coupons online, then redeem them in the store by entering your code.  I usually forget to clip the coupons, and when I do, I forget which ones I clip.  However, they also have a rewards program where you choose which reward you are going for.  I go for the money off a total purchase.  Between my original $7 off for simply signing up, I've also earned and collected on my first reward, $10 off my order. 

What's not to love about free money????

3.  I am thankful for Dwija, who gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get signed up for mPerks in the first place.

(I'm starting to feel a bit like Clark, turning one thankful thing into three.)

4.  I am thankful for a night visiting with a friend.  Last night was a home football game, which Phoenix wanted to attend.  I asked around, and none of my friends were going to be there.  Instead of embarrassing Phoenix by sitting with him, I skipped the game and went to my friend's house to help pass candy out to the trick-or-treaters.  I never get to see this friend except in passing, so it was wonderful to finally spend some time chatting and laughing with her and one of her boys.  Bonus thankful was her husband picking Phoenix up at the game when he picked up their other son, so I didn't have to go back to get him.

5.  I am thankful for my generous boys.  Because trick-or-treating was postponed (storms on Thursday) and I had to take Phoenix to the game, I missed out on trick-or-treating with my boys.  First thing this morning, both Star and Giant came to me with the Butterfingers they had scored last night, knowing it is my favorite candy.

6.  I am thankful we were spared any damage or power outage from the storms which came through on Thursday.  We have some limbs down, but nothing as bad as the house we saw yesterday.  A huge limb came down on top of their carport, trapping and squishing their car underneath.  Thousands of people were without power overnight.  Many kids went to school looking rather haggard, as they were unable to shower or use anything powered by electricity since the previous night.  Our power never even flickered.  Instead, the storms allowed us to get the pumpkins carved.  We wouldn't have had time otherwise.

7.  I am thankful for the opportunity to know a man named Russ.  We first met him 14 years ago when COW and I were sponsors for engaged couples.  Russ was in charge of the program and assigned the engaged couples to the sponsors.  He and his wife are the perfect example of a wonderful, solid, devoted through the ups and downs marriage COW and I strive for.  Russ passed away last weekend, quite unexpectedly.  He will be missed by so many people.

8.  I am thankful for Russ's son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons.  This family has become one of our family's dearest friends.  It helps that their three boys line up exactly with our three oldest boys.  They are a fun, generous, loving family, and I can't imagine what we'd do without them.

9.  I am thankful for ham hocks.  (Yes, that's a jump from the serious, emotional tone of the last two, but there's a correlation.)  With Russ's passing, his relatives are descending on Indianapolis.  Many friends of the family are making meals to help feed them all.  I was able to make some ham and bean soup for them.  When I saw them the other day, they told me how wonderful the soup was.  With the first bite, they were transported to earlier years, as it tasted just like the soup her mother made.  They were so grateful for it.  The power of a simple soup is unbelievable.  And it's all because we raise pigs, and I learned about the lowly ham hock.

10.   I am thankful for friends who plan fun activities.  We will be going to a park for a big bonfire and hayride this evening.  A family with seven kids, two of whom are boys lined up with Phoenix and Giant, are throwing the party and invited us.  We're all looking forward to it, albeit the kids more than me.  You will find me huddled up next to the fire all night long, trying to stay warm.

Your turn!  What are you thankful for this week?

Have a lovely day!




Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts

56 comments:

  1. Oh, boy, my chance to grab first comment!

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's death. I imagine his family is grateful for your support. You're right, you never know just how helpful a simple dinner can be.

    (I also felt a bit like I was channeling Clark this week, both in grabbing a first comment and in stretching one thankful thing into multiple things.)

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    1. Thank you. It is quite a shock. I know they are grateful to everyone who has helped out this week. There are lots of us.

      He has a way of rubbing off on you, doesn't he? :)

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  3. I'm sorry to hear about Russell's sudden death. Very sorry. I love the bean soup you made and it's one of our favorite meals during the cold months.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

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    1. Thank you.

      I am not good at making soups, but I love some ham and bean!

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  4. This is the Russ from the couple who had been married fifty years? What a loss... so sorry. Good to have friends to gather round and support them. I know you love all things piggy! I don't know about the lowly hamhock... what is it? Im gonna go to google... vegetarians are so pathetic, yes? What a cool mom to not embarrass your kid with your mere presence... Its so important (and normal) but I remember those times...a blessing and a curse...Have fun at the hayride, bonfire...

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    1. Yes, he and his wife were married for 54 years, actually. The funeral was today, and I have never heard more funny stories about a person in my life.
      The ham hock is the leg of the pig. It includes the hoof, but I haven't gotten up the gumption to actually use the hoof.
      It depends on the situation. Sometimes I feel it is necessary to embarrass one of my kids, just to make a point. :)
      We had a great time at the bonfire, thanks.

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  5. The bonfire and hayride sounds like so much fun. Have you ever made bread on the stick (Stockbrot in German)? So awesome ;-)

    I'm sorry to hear about your friends passing. It's always difficult to lose loved ones.

    Glad you weren't affected by the power outage, and your boys are so sweet sharing their loot with you. How lovely!!

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend, Christine!

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    1. It was lots of fun. No, I have never done such a thing. S'mores are the food of choice for cooking on a stick.

      Thank you. It is just plain shocking that Russ is gone. I cried and cried at the funeral today.

      Me, too! I need to add to the list. Buttercup went trick-or-treating with a friend's family. This morning when I picked her up, there were four Butterfingers waiting for me. Buttercup, her friend, and her friend's little sister saved theirs for me.

      Thanks! You too!

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  6. It sounds like everything worked out well in your world this week, even the power outage! Spending time with an old friend is priceless, and your mention of bean soup made me so homesick for the ham n' bean soup my mother made, which would be so wonderful today with this lovely cold that I've managed to catch. That is, except for the one time she accidentally grabbed the sugar instead of salt as she was making the soup. It tasted a little strange that day! :-) Hope you all have a wonderful time tonight, keep toasty warm by that fire!

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    1. Ooohhh, can't imagine sugared ham and beans would be nearly as good. I once learned the hard way not to cool the soup in the metal pot I cooked it in. It was the worst-tasting food I have ever had. And of course my mother-in-law was here for dinner that day.

      It was the perfect temperature by the fire, thanks to my two layers of pants, four layers of shirts, my puffy coat, and boots. :)

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  7. 1. We don't have good grocery competition here. Still love Aldi, but can't get everything there. Stuck with the place that merits its own website of pics you really don't want to see.

    3. I made one of mine into 3.

    5. I told my preschoolers to bring me their Almond Joys and didn't get ONE.

    7. So sorry for your loss.

    10. Have fun and stay warm!

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    1. My dad doesn't either. It's shocking to me every time I go somewhere and there aren't 5 different grocery stores in a 5 mile radius.

      3. Looks like several of us did. Clark is getting to us.

      5. Selfish buggers.

      7. Thank you.

      10. We did and I was!

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  8. I want to say first that I am sorry for your loss and will keep his family in my thoughts. It sounds like the world lost a lovely soul and I'm sure your support means so much to them.
    I am so very glad that you were safe from the storm and that you managed to have some productive time with your family during.
    Enjoy what is left of the weekend and thank you for a lovely list.

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    1. Thank you so much. All through the long day we kept hearing story after story from people who were touched by Russ. It was wonderful.
      Me, too!
      Thank you. It was a whirlwind of a weekend.

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  9. do that stretching, multiple use of one

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  10. thing at all!

    The thing with providing some food (soup in this case), is very cool. Though I don't cook much, I really believe that anything meal that is more than microwave and eat, becomes a personal effort. And to have it (the food) elicit memories …what a bonus.

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    1. Hahaha!! You always make me smile, Clark.

      One of the best quotes ever was from a friend of mine to her husband. He came home from work and she told him she had made pizza for dinner. When he found out it was frozen pizza, he balked, saying she couldn't really say she made it. She responded, "The oven didn't turn itself on."

      Funny how some foods bring back memories of different times and people in our lives.

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  11. Storms on Halloween?! Not cool. If you avoid power outages and sustain no damage then all is good:) I can't seem to recall ever having Halloween postponed due to weather. Lucky I guess.
    As to those ham hocks...they're a popular item in the south but damned if I know what you'd use them for other than soup:)
    I think it's great you grow a good portion of your food. One day I would like to do the same. You know, can and all that fun sounding but probably tedious, looks good on tv and in the magazines, stuff.
    Hope you are toasty in front of the fire:D

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    1. I told my kids, too, that I don't remember Halloween ever being postponed. And we lived in the snow belt. I guess we were tougher back then.
      Is there anything else to do with them besides make soup? I can't imagine anyone enjoying sitting down to a ham hock on a plate.
      We can quite a bit, and while it can be tedious, it is worth it. The food tastes so much better, and I really get a kick out of sitting down at the table and seeing all that we did all on our own.
      The fire was perfect.

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  12. Mmm, ham and bean soup. I never thought I'd like it, but my husband made some and I did!

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    1. I've had people tell me they don't like it, because they don't like beans. Hogwash! That stuff is delicious if they would only give it a try.

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  13. I am thankful for ham hocks...and for friends like you who remind me to be thankful for ALL things. :)

    Sorry about the loss of your friend...

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    1. Even the lowly ham hock is worthy of thanks. :)

      Thank you.

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  14. Sometimes we all need a Clark post now and again.

    Glad to hear your boys know your favorite kind of candy and were looking out for you in your absence. That's adorable.

    Sorry about the loss of your friend, but glad to know he has made such a significant impact on your life and sounds like you have many great memories to remember him by.

    Also, I love when we are able to catch up with friends we rarely see. I get to do that this coming week and I am looking forward to it!

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    1. Seems like it. :)

      It is sweet of them. I even get them from my godchildren, but that has more to do with the fact I write to them and tell them to save their Butterfingers for me. :)

      Enjoy catching up! It is certainly a mood-booster.

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  15. Sorry to hear about your friend. He sounds like a dear and much-loved man, and I'm sure he'll be missed by many. I'm glad the funeral was full of fun rememberings about him though. That's really great. Finding the joy and the delight in a person's life, even after they're no longer alive. That's inspiring. Well done on the soup.

    The chance to catch up with your friend sounds awesome, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Yay for hayrides and bonfires and family and goodness. Hope you have (or had) a thoroughly amazing time.

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    1. Thank you. He will be missed. It's sounds weird, but people keep saying it...The funeral was the best funeral we've ever been to. Throughout the funeral and the funeral meal afterwards, people shared such funny stories. It is inspiring, and I've already done things in his name.

      It was wonderful. I see her kids and husband all over town (the running joke is that one of us is stalking the other. We even ran into each other at the eye doctor.), but never get to spend time with her.

      We had a great time.

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  16. So sorry about the power outages, we had Hurricane Sandy last year right around this time, so I truly do remember this and how it really wasn't good during this time of the year. Just glad it wasn't too bad for you all. Hoping that it is a quieter weekend now and thanks again for hosting.

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    1. I forgot that Sandy hit this time of year. Our area was fortunate to have had mostly minor damage. Lots of trees and limbs down, but not too many buildings damaged.

      It's never a quiet weekend, but there's usually fun. Thanks for joining in every week!

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  17. I always have thought power outages were a fun adventure but need to remember that sometimes they come along with bad damage. Glad you're all good!

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    1. Oh, I don't like anything about power outages at all, damage or no damage. Especially this time of year when it's cold and the sun goes down so early. I'm very grateful to have come through without worry.

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  18. It's a real toss-up for me which is worse...loss of power or water. Thankfully we don't usually lose both at the same time. HEY...can I use this on my list for next week??? ;)

    Sorry for your loss. I love that he was remembered with laughter.

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    1. You most certainly may!! I'm just going with the "I'd prefer not to lose any modern convenience" and call it a day.

      Thank you. There was so much laughter all day long.

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  19. Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and I'm sure it will be comforting for you to focus on gratitude for his life. I've certainly found that to be so since my father died. (Who incidentally was married to my mother for 58 years, so similar to your friend Russ and his wife.)

    I like the quote a the start of your post - it very much echoes the tone of my post for this week!

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    1. It was comforting, but even more so, it was inspiring. I'm sorry you have also experienced the loss of your father. I am grateful to still have mine around.

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  20. I am glad you came through the storms safely with relative damage. We were lucky to in SC where we had just a sprinkling of rain and no wind. My daughter was sick though with an ear infection and has braces so no cute costume photo this year. I love reading your list. I love bean and ham soup too. Thanks for sharing. I am putting you on my prayer list for the week too.

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    1. Aw, poor girl. Ear infections are bad enough, but paired with braces...Ugh.
      Ham and bean soup is delicious. I feel bad for people who won't try it, because they don't think they like beans.

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  21. I'm so sorry to read about your friend passing away. That's so hard. My husband's mother's funeral was all about celebrating her life and it was absolutely beautiful. I hope Russ' is as well. Also, I'm so glad that you weathered the storms well (see what I did there?) and also your soup sounds delicious! I've never used a hamhock. HAHA to calling Clark out on using one thing for three items!

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    1. It's weird to say, but the general consensus is Russ's funeral was they best funeral they have ever been to.

      I saw what you did. :) I had never heard of a ham hock until we started raising pigs and the butcher asked if I wanted it. The answer is always, YES!!

      Somebody needs to. :)

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  22. My condolences on losing a good friend. I'll keep you all in my prayers. All the storms too. I'm glad you came through those and you still found 10 things to be thankful for. Super cool. I love how you posted you were thankful to have known your friend. Best wishes to you!!

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    1. Thank you very much for your prayers. The family could really use some.

      The wind was ferocious, but thankfully it was mostly just tree limbs that came down.

      He was someone we are all glad to have known. Thank you!

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  23. So sorry for your loss.
    And now I want soup.

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    1. Thank you.

      If you lived closer, I'd make some for you, too.

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  24. Yep, now I'm hungry. I love ham.
    Glad you didn't suffer too much from the storms.

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  25. Sorry about the loss of your friend. He sounds like a great man to have known. I loved the one about the soup, we adore soup. It's good food.
    Your boys BROUGHT you their candy voluntarily? Parenting: you're doing it RIGHT!
    Great post!

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    1. Thank you. He was a force to be reckoned with for sure. Soup is wonderful. Too bad I only know how to make a couple kinds.
      They did. They may not be trained to do many things on their own, but they WILL bring me their Butterfingers. :)
      Thanks!

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  26. I need your grocery store where I live. My famished family is eating me out of house and home. I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man!

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    1. Just today, as I stood in Meijer yet again, I was thinking how many things I could get done if I didn't have to go to the blasted grocery store so often. Their need for food is getting out of hand.

      Thank you. He really was.

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  27. So sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man. "Sudden" deaths are never...well, that was a dumb & obvious statement. But, I think you know what I was going to say... and there is something... different about the news of a 'sudden' death rather than an elderly person or someone who has been sick for awhile. There's the 'shock' plus the pain, sadness and mourning. It's just that added element of surprise.... never easy. *Praying for all those involved/related*

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    1. Thank you. Funny you say that. In the homily (sermon in a mass) the priest talked about all death being a surprise. Even if the person is ill and ready to go, it's always a surprise. Russ was diagnosed with lung cancer about 2 months ago, but he was in treatment, driving himself around town, and getting his head shaved 5 days before he died. He ended up getting pneumonia, and it took him very quickly. It wasn't easy. The priest also said that God had to do it that way with Russ. He had to be stealth about it all, as Russ would have pulled out his salesman/negotiating skills and talked Him into a little more time.
      Thank you. They could really use prayers. Especially his wife.

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  28. I'm so sorry I hear of the passing of your friend Russ, Christine. That is so so sad. Love the story of your generous boys :) That's great that the worst of the storms passed over you! Hope you have a peaceful weekend. xx

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  29. I may or may not have done a little stretching of that Clark-like stretching of TToT items on this week's post. I see nothing wrong here...

    So sorry to hear of your friend's passing. Love, peace, and prayers go to you and his family.

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