Ten Things of Thankful – 3/30/18

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(Click here to go to the TToT blog)

It’s long since time I returned to writing and sharing my own list of thankfuls, somehow the time always gets away from me and the momentum gets lost.  But the being thankful part never does, there is not a day that I am not continually aware at how blessed I am, and how much I have in my life to be grateful for.

My first thankful today is for fellow bloggers who show up to participate in  the TToT even when I don’t make it to my own blog hop. It reminds me that it really isn’t about me, it’s about having a place to connect and share and encourage each other, and it’s uplifting!

I am beyond grateful for one evening this week when we at long last had a beautiful rain and another later that night, finally lowering the risk of wildfires and giving Spring a fresh start here!

Another reason to be thankful this week is for another successful bartering transaction between my husband and our newly discovered local handyman which will result in us getting rid of a couple more good items that are no longer useful to us in exchange for getting the electrical wiring done to Papa Bear’s workshop, a project that was begun a couple years ago and has languished since.  We are both delighted and the handyman is very pleased with his end of the deal. Win-win!

I am thankful for the birds, bunnies and ground squirrels which show up each day to enjoy the food and water I put out for them. They are beautiful and doing well. Needless to say, our cats love to sit on their window seat and watch the activity in the yard, it’s great entertainment. (Although I’m sure if I could read their minds, there would be some fantasizing about sneak attacks!)

I am grateful that we continue to be able to keep our bills paid and our heads above water and meet our obligations responsibly, along with providing food and care for our animals and the wild ones, and donating to good causes.  It is a blessing to be able to share the gift of life.

I am thankful that my son and his girlfriend were able to get away for a few days and enjoy some time off together. They both work hard and mini-vacations are fun!

I am thankful that my daughter is doing good at her new job. She is learning quickly, and although home health care case management is very different from what she’s done before, she loves that her feet and back are not in pain at the end of the day, and that she works days instead of nights, and has weekends off to be with her husband. The job is less stressful too (other than rush hour traffic in Dallas). Blessings all around!

Often being thankful is just the smile that comes when some small thing turns out just right.  My daughter’s birthday is next week and I had already ordered a gift for her online, but wanted something small to send for her to unwrap and enjoy too.  As I was doing some grocery shopping yesterday I spied the perfect gift… a ceramic Post-It Note dispenser in the shape of a playful kitty.  She loves cats like her mother does, and has three of her own.  She will think this is a great addition to her desk at home where she now spends her evenings typing chart notes on patients she’s seen that day. Then when I got home with the gift which needed to go out in the afternoon mail, I walked into my storage room and found a small box that was the perfect size to send it in with a little room for padding. It was so exact that I had to smile. I was also able to peel some “Priority Mail” stickers off a package I’d received and reuse them on this one.  Now all that is a very small example of the little good things in life that brighten our days. I found the right gift, the right mailing box, and it got sent out on time – I was relieved! 🙂

I am thankful for friends who value my friendship, put up with my quirks, make me feel appreciated, and make my days so much brighter by our interactions. I remember a time when I didn’t have any real friends in my life, and times when I’ve had people I thought were friends, but turned out not to be. I am blessed with great friends, and I am grateful!

I am thankful, as always, that Papa Bear is so easy to please.  He enjoys new recipes that I try, notices and comments on any small changes or improvements I make in the house, appreciates the errands I run for him and ways I am able to help, and puts up with the kitty fur which is ever present.  He is a wonderful, caring partner and best friend.

I am thankful for the sweet memories of Easter as a child, my Mom made them very special, as she did with all holidays and celebrations. Gathering with our relatives and spending time with our cousins was great fun too. Life was so simple back then!

Blessings to  each of you this Passover/Easter weekend and in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…


Hidden (A Six-Sentence Story)

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“Hurry, they are coming; we have to leave right now!”

The young girl quickly bent down and shoved a folded piece of paper through the slats of the heating vent in the room where she’d been staying.

Ten years later, as a demolition crew was tearing down the old farm house to make way for a new development, they made an amazing discovery… a yellowed piece of  folded paper fell at their feet as they pried an old heating vent cover from the wall with a crowbar.

“My name is Kara Willams and I am nine years old. My daddy took me from my mama and we are hiding and I am scared,” was written on the note in a child’s scrawl.

Mac, the demolition crew supervisor, had no idea who this little girl was or what had become of her after she left the farmhouse, but he knew that he had to find out.


Join us for
where the cue this week is “vent

Sparks #25


My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

I love the above quote for the simplicity of its message.  It is one that over many years has become engrained in my way of thinking.  Life happens, sometimes it blindsides us, sometimes it knocks us down, and sometimes it knocks the breath out of us.

Sometimes we think we don’t have the strength or the courage to try again… but we do, that inner resilience is always within us.  It was given to us by our Creator.  If life is hard and knocks you down, cry, and scream if you need to.  Take a little time out to re-center yourself.  Reach out for a hand to help you up if you need one.

Then refocus on what is most important to you in your life, and what your true purpose is for being here… and BOUNCE BACK!  Take one step at a time if necessary, but don’t give up, don’t ever give up!  Refuse to be permanently broken and defeated.  Refuse to become an angry, bitter person, weight down by the past. Let it go.

Bounce back… begin again… become an even stronger version of yourself than you were before.  You can do it! 🙂

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there, and maybe share something too!

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Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Where There’s Smoke (A Six Sentence Story)

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“Don’t you be messin’ with no Ouija board,” Grandma admonished them, “those things are the Devil’s playground.”

Judith and her friends rolled their eyes at each other as they headed up to the attic of the old house in their pajamas for a slumber party, the Ouija board already hidden away in the rafters.

Judith wondered how her grandmother could possibly take a board game so seriously; all the kids were doing it, and it was all in good fun.

Soon they were sitting in a circle on the floor, Ouija board and planchette in the center, candles at each corner, inviting spirits to come and join them and asking questions about a classmate who had disappeared and was rumored to be dead.

At first they were nervous and giggly, not taking the movement of the planchette too seriously; then the air got heavy, and it slowly spelled out, “I have taken him, and if you seek him I will come for you as well.”

The girls looked at each other in terror as sulfurous smoke began to fill the attic, activating the smoke detector in the hallway below.


Join us for
where the cue this week is “activate


I Did It! AtoZ Theme Reveal

atoz-theme-reveal-2018I[‘ve been saying all along that I wasn’t going to participate in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge this year. I’ve done it six out of the eight years it’s been in existence, including the last five, and I felt that it was more than I wanted to take on again.

But then it happened… AtoZ Fever struck, and hearing my friends talk about their plans and themes for the Challenge made me realize how much I was going to miss it if I didn’t get involved. So, here I am, once again getting excited about the month of April, with ideas for posts swirling in my brain.

I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress at the beginning of this year, and realized that some of the people I am now blogging with don’t know that much about me, not having been along for the ride at my old blog for the past eight years, or the one before that. So, I decided that it might be fun (and not too much of a brain drain) to use the AtoZ as a means of sharing a little more about me with new readers, and maybe even reveal a thing or two long time readers don’t know about me.

Don’t think, however, that it’s going to be a month long ego trip in Josie Land; I’ve always been straight forward, and along with some of the positives and things I’m working on, I’ll be sharing some of my foibles and failures. I am human and a long ways from saintly. Hopefully, by the end of April you’ll know me a little better, or know more about me than you ever wanted to… we shall see!

Thus, my theme for the April 2018 Blogging Challenge is:

AtoZ: The ABC’s of Me… the good, the bad, and the ugly!

See you on April Fool’s Day…. oooh, what a place to begin this theme! 🙂

If you’re planning to participate in the AtoZ, let me know so I can follow along. Feel free to steal the theme for the own use if it appeals to you, I’d enjoy learning more about you too!

Sparks #24

IMG_5517My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

When I first read the above quote I had to stop and think about it for a moment. Change is something we dread and often fear. We tend to avoid it or at least put it off as long as possible. Our minds are so locked into the idea that change means something bad has happened or is going to happened, or that we are going to be forced to do something we don’t want to do.

So CHANGE can really be a good thing in disguise? The more I thought about it the more I realized how true this quote is. While change can occur as result of difficult things happening, it can also be the beginning of something very good…. a job change… a move… a new relationship… a new beginning!

Ten years ago I made the decision to leave a job I had been at for nineteen years to move to Texas and marry Papa Bear, a man I had known for just a month! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  And I have to admit it was scary… leaving the job and the town I’d called home for a long time to start a whole new life in a new place, with someone I was just beginning to know well.  But my heart told me he was the one meant for me, and it was the right thing and the right time… so I took a giant leap of faith, and I am ever so happy that I did!

While I wouldn’t advocate that kind of rapid change for most people or relationships, I do advocate looking at your life and deciding if you are truly content or if changes are needed.  I had known for a long time that I was more than ready for a new job and a new place to live.  I wasn’t so sure I was ready to try a new relationship after three very abusive failed ones in my past. I wasn’t so sure I could ever make it work… but it has. God knew I needed big changes in my life and He brought them.

The point is, that when it comes to change we have two choices…. we can fear it or we can embrace it.  We can expect bad things to come of it, or we can trust that we are being given exactly what we need to help us grow and find our way to inner peace. Change isn’t always comfortable or easy, it can be difficult and sometimes painful, but in the end it will be ok… trust God!

Start thinking about the good things that have happened in your life, and I bet you’ll find that this quote is true, they happened because something changed.  🙂

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there, and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Behind the Curtain (A Six Sentence Story)


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Behind the curtain a young single mother suckles her newborn son.

Behind the curtain a young man fights for his life after a losing control of his car while texting on his phone.

Behind the curtain color returns to a working man’s face, and hope lights his wife’s eyes, as his body begins to accept the newly transplanted heart.

Behind the curtain nurses struggle to calm the homeless addict, a repeat patient trying once again to obtain the pain medication her body craves.

Behind the curtain family gathers around the bedside to whisper last goodbyes.

As a nurse she’s seen it all, life and death behind the curtain.

This week we’re moving
where the cue this week is “curtain


Sparks #23

IMG_5502My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

The Spark I’m sharing for today is all about attitude. While we can’t always change what’s happening in our lives, and everything isn’t always rosy, what we do have control over is how we respond… our thoughts… our attitude… our reactions.

Just as the well known adage states, “You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be.”  Happiness isn’t determined by our circumstances, it’s determined by our attitude, if your thoughts leave you feeling unhappy, you have the power to change them!

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there, and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Ten Things of Thankful – 3/10/18

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(Click here to go to the TToT blog)


It’s the weekend, the sun is shining brightly in the East-facing window of my writing room, and it’s supposed to reach 83 degrees here today, my first two thankfuls right there!

Although the weekend doesn’t hold the same significance as when I worked and anxiously awaited those two days of freedom, I still look very much forward to it as the wrap up of one week and the beginning of another, and more importantly, because it means I will have more time with Papa Bear. Although he works until 3 PM on Saturdays, we will have “date night” time after that, and tomorrow he gets to sleep in. He works hard, and is on his feet and going all day long, so I am thankful for weekend rest and relaxation time for him, and I pray that someday he won’t have to work so much.

Spring weather always lifts my spirits, and although it is constantly changing, 83 today and 53 predicted for tomorrow, I can live with both of those, and even with the West Texas blowing dirt. I am thankful that so far there have been no wildfires this season, we are in a serious drought here and grass fires are a huge risk where we live. Pray for rain please!

High on my gratitude list this week again, is the wonderful participation in this blog hop! Such an awesome group of people, very diverse, yet united in our common belief that being thankful for what you have is an attitude worth cultivating and sharing. Gratitude is contagious, the world can use all the positivity we can muster!

My biggest thankful this week is a huge one… my daughter submitted many job applications for RN positions in Dallas with minimal response, even with 21 years of experience, because she doesn’t have a BSN degree.  Then one evening she decided to just open the phone book to home health agencies and leave job inquiry messages on their answering machines. Lo and behold, she got a call the next day for an interview which ended up lasting two hours, and she was hired the following day at a very good salary!  Home health is a field she has really wanted to explore, whereas 21 years of 12-hour floor duty shifts at hospitals have worn her body out, and is mentally exhausting too. So, she is excited and hopeful, and of course a little nervous too. She begins Monday, prayers for this new chapter of her life, and safety in the insane Dallas traffic are much appreciated. I am a firm believer that our prayers helped this job open up for her!

I am thankful that a gift card I was given for my birthday that wasn’t something I could use will be passed on to my son’s girlfriend’s young son, who will be very happy and enjoy it.  It’s fun to share.

I am so very thankful that Papa Bear decided it was time to sell the Polaris Ranger we bought eight years ago.  We don’t have a real place or opportunity to use it much here and it spent most of it’s time sitting in the shed.  A person he knows through work made him a great offer on it and was happy to get it, because he knows how well Papa Bear takes care of things.  So we took our last ride together, then he washed it and the next day it was loaded up and went to it’s new home.  I celebrate every paring down of un-necessities we accomplish. The money is earmarked for good purposes and is a real blessing to us too, as funds are always tight.

Then, frosting on the cake, the man  who purchased the Ranger didn’t need a trailer for it, as he already had one.  But… we had a handyman come out to give us a quote on some major deck and front porch repairs, and it turns out he was in need of a trailer for his handyman business.  So they agreed to swap out the deck/porch job for the trailer and it won’t cost us anything! Win- win, and another unneeded item will be on it’s way to a new home! The handyman works a fulltime maintenance job and does home projects on the side, so he is scheduled to begin ours in a couple weeks, and we will be happy to have the deck and front porch safe and looking good again.  Some days I just have to smile and say “Thank You, God” for how perfectly things work out at times.

I am also thankful for the recovery of a friend’s mother who was gravely ill and they wasn’t sure she would be ok.  She is doing much better and my friend is so relieved.

I am thankful for feeling more motivated to be active and get some things done this week. I can be a slug at times, and it surely isn’t mentally or physically healthy. I also deleted one of the two game apps from my phone, which has reduced my play time considerably, and that’s a good thing.  Words with Friends is staying, it’s great brain exercise and I enjoy the daily contact with friends, even if it’s just the exchange of words between us.  🙂

I am thankful for people who have the heart and energy to rescue animals from dire situations, do whatever is needed to get them healed and healthy, and help them find wonderful new forever homes.  There must be a special place in Heaven for the folks who do animal rescue.  The stories and photos can be so heartbreaking, but the end results are amazing!  Please donate time and/or money to your local shelter and rescue groups… they need you to keep doing what they do!

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…


Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 96

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Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and Ellen of 15andmeowing provide four fill-in statements, and on Friday we post our answers and join their  link-up to share our responses.

The fill-ins for this week are:

1. Before you             , you need to                      .

2. After                                    .

3. Winter                         .

4. Spring                          .

Here are my responses:

1. Before you respond to criticism, you need to release any frustration or anger you are feeling, and then try to respond kindly, realizing that their remarks are more of a reflection of them than you.

2. After sixty your perspective on life changes. You think more about your own mortality, and you begin to realize what is really important to you… and what isn’t worth the time or energy.

3. Winter is a time for rest and reflection, and snuggling in.

4. Spring is a time of hope and renewal for all life, including our own, a time to move forward.

Come and join in the fun at Friendly Fill-Ins