Friday, November 28, 2008

"Only THe Good" Friday - Week #4

A couple of weeks ago, another blogger buddy of mine -Shelly at This Eclectic Life -launched this blog idea that on Fridays, those who wish to participate in this "Only The Good Friday" are to do a post that lists only the good things that we've experienced -be it today, earlier this week or month or perhaps even something good from way back in our lives -or that is happening or happened in the world around us. Shelly's post today is labeled as being her seventh but I don't remember having done that many of these and frankly, today I am just plain too lazy to go look and see how many times now I've participated in this either, but I think, for me, this is my Fourth!

Today, being the day after Thanksgiving, it's easy to list one thing I see as fitting for this post -Thanksgiving dinner -the big turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes with mini-marshmallow topping, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and a slice of any of the four types of pies I made for the occasion yesterday -apple, blueberry, mincement and of course, pumpkin! How great it is that we, as a nation, take the time to sit down to whatever we regard as being the makings of a feast and offer thanks for being able to do that -with family or friends -or even casual acquaintances. To be able and willing to share our own sustenance with others is an excellent way to show our gratitude for living in such a land of plenty.

Sadly, there are so many in this nation known for the bounties of work, food, freedoms of many varieties too who don't have the means to provide even the simplest of meals for themselves or their families. With the spread my family and I had here, we certainly could have fed several others at our table and still had plenty of leftovers to make a meal for another day as well. And trust me when I tell you this, my family and I are far from being "rich" in the monetary sense, but we were rich yesterday in that we were able to share our meal, our thanks for being able to purchase and prepare this feast too, with my son-in-law's sister, her son and her baby girl. Although the need for churches and other organizations to prepare huge meals and open their doors on Thanksgiving Day to those less fortunate is wonderful there are still so many others who could use at least a really great meal, in the company of family or new friends. I'm thankful this is being done and also that across the country, many other churches, civic organizations, even some restaurants as well, offer an opportunity for a meal either for free or at extremely low cost to those in need. One such event takes place in State College every Thanksgiving Day when the "Olde College Diner" -a favorite restaurant for Penn State students and many others in that region, offers a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a mere fifty cents per person and has been doing that tradition for many, many years now too.

That I was able to bake these pies, also some walnut sticky buns, along with cooking supper Wednesday evening for the two middle step-grandchildren who were here that evening and got the stuffing for the turkey done up for yesterday, I'm really happy to have been able to do that! Even though it meant being on my feet and in the kitchen for close to 10 hours -almost solid -Wednesday and that it took me a good while yesterday to get my joints kind of lubricated and able to move fairly freely again too from all that work, it was all so worth every ounce of effort when we finally sat down to eat!

Although I don't participate in the Black Friday Shopping day today -just not my cup of tea, at all -Mandy left about 7:30 this morning with our next-door neighbor and one of my older daughter's best friends to go meet up with another of Carrie's good friends too and then, the three of them met up with Carrie at the mall over in State College to comb the malls there for what they consider to be great bargains for those on their Christmas gift lists. They'll polish their shopping off with a nice dinner together over there and then, head back home, exhausted -no doubt -and probably stone-cold broke too in some instances but the camaraderie they enjoy I think is what makes this something that all four of them now look forward to doing, year after year!

Kurtis is doing so much better now and that really makes my heart sing! The work the therapists have been doing with him for over a year now finally seems to be kicking in for him as he is trying to speak much more now. Not that he has that many words as yet in his vocabulary, but my friends, these are all baby steps for him, just as they were for Maya about two to three years ago now too. He's learning little things that enable us to better communicate with him almost daily, or so it seems.

This morning, he woke me up about 6 a.m. -not fussing, but by something else he has discovered and that is that he can often reach the living room overhead light switch on the wall here -provided his pac'n'play is positioned close enough. And his flipping the switch to turn the overhead light on, then off, and back and forth, is what woke me today. Since he was being quiet about performing this little trick, I decided not to acknowledge him, in the hopes he would soon tire of this, lay back down and go back to sleep. However, after a few minutes of the lights going off, coming right back on, I finally spoke to him -without moving from the sofa though where I had been sleeping -and told him "No, no!" There was a pause then the lights went off and on again and I repeated my command to him. Still the pull to flip that switch was too strong and again, off they went, back on again. Finally, I said this to him in a much sterner voice and I could hear him moving in the pac'n'play and then, heard and also felt, the thud as something hit the arm of the sofa near my head. I figure he'd just determined where the sound of my voice was coming from and this was his way to acknowledge my presence. But when the lights went off and on, yet again, I told him -again -"No no, Kurtis. Time for you to lay down and go back to sleep!"

This time, he let out a little somewhat stifled sound -like a cross between a moan and a cry -as I heard him moving around and could tell he'd just flopped himself down in the playpen and then he said, very softly, "Okay." He sounded kind of resigned as he said that, like he meant it as "Well, okay -if you say so." And all in all, it made me really happy that he was understanding my words a little better today.

My son got home early from h is run this week -around 9:30 last night, he said. He came down about 8:15 this morning, waking me up (after I'd fallen back asleep from the light switch stuff with Kurtis) and surprised me that he was home already. That's always something that makes me feel much better when he does his truck run and makes it back home, safe and sound.

I've still been busy working on the current tablecloth project and hope that maybe over the weekend by Monday or Tuesday of next week, at the latest, I will have this table topper completed. Its a 32x32 inch square piece with a floral spray in each corner -very pretty colors of the flowers in pink shades, some white flowers and some pale blue. I have completed two corners so far and have all the greenery on the third corner done along with maybe a third of the greenery on the fourth and last corner, so I'm pleased that I'm making this much progress with the project so quickly. At this rate, I might even be able to do another table topper and who knows, maybe even another larger tablecloth too between now and Christmas -or perhaps some more pillow cases. Who knows! I'm just moving along, doing as much of this as I can and happy that it's coming together for me in such a good way too!

This past week with the church service on Sunday at which the Children's Choir sang -and Maya was up front with them, singing her little heart out, really was a very high point for me. That my son -good old Uncle Clayton -even saw fit to join with us in attending church this past Sunday so he too could see his beautiful little niece showing off her stuff, was indeed a great reason for me to be happy and yes, to celebrate!

This year, rather than making my kids puzzle over what to get me for Christmas, I sat down and made out a list of things they could choose from! The options were either a gift certificate -in any amount that would be affordable for each of them to either Herrschnerrs Craft store or to Barnes and Noble -or, if they wanted to shop for a specific item, I listed out various books I would love to receive. A large assortment there for them to pick from too, it was too! I don't need more clothes even though, like most any other person I always do like new stuff, but instead of them laboring over what they think I would like, the colors and especially the difficulty involved in finding something in my size (and style) that I can really use, well I just figured if I gave them this list it would be a lot easier for them for me and make all of us a lot happier in the long run that way too!

Now, one of the good things from having had a big Thanksgiving Dinner yesterday, is that my refrigerator is loaded to the gills with cooked turkey and it's time that I go fix some of it in a meal for the kids, the son-in-law, maybe my son too and myself now for supper.

How many ways can you fix a meal with leftover turkey and dressing? I think I'm about to find out at least my answer to that question over the next few days.

And I'm going to enjoy every bite of that food, making more stitches in my project, watching and hearing both Kurtis and Maya grown and learn more and more every day now too!

So many things -all good -that come my way -our way -daily that aren't given all that much thought to the happening at the time and way too many to even sit here and mention.

So much bounty, so little time to take note of it all, but these listed above are just a few that I found to be such good things -for me anyway -and all, just this week too!


Julia Smith said...

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with abundance in your heart, Jeni. Your dinner sounded delish.

Mary said...


It's fabulous that Kurt understood you and decided to lay down and go back to sleep. This is a HUGE step forward for him. I'm thrilled to hear this news.

Your Thanksgiving dinner sounds delicious and I'm glad you had such a great time. It's all well worth the work when you sit down and partake of the delicious meal and give thanks for all we have.

Take care, my friend. I'm looking forward to more news about Maya and Kurt.


Sandi McBride said...

Jeni, you are the busiest woman I know! I wanted to laugh as you told about Kurtis and his light switch...then cackle when he finally saw fit to be the good little munckin he is, lol...I can't wait to see your table topper after you get it completed! Have a wonderful safe weekend

terri said...

It's been just amazing to watch Kurtis grow and progress through your blog. He's sure come a long way in the time I've been reading here.

Your Thanksgiving dinner sounds fabulous. I can't believe you made four pies! My family contributed pies, each of them making a particular kind. We didn't have mincemeat though. I haven't had that in years. My grandma used to make it, but there's no one who enjoyed it enough to keep making it these days.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad for the bounty you and the family enjoyed, and that you were together in peace.

What a joy and how often we take if for granted when being together is peaceful and quiet?

And yes, thank the good Lord that we have leftovers too AFTER giving plates and pies to our neighbours.

You rock Jeni! Now try to relax!

Debo Blue

Paula said...

Love the story about little Kurtis. What a silly guy!
Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you show a picture of your tablecloth when you get it finished. Can't wait to see it!

Gene Bach said...

And here I am this morning trying to shoehorn the girls out of bed so we can get to church. LOL!

So Jeni, what do you do in your spare time? LOL!