Saturday, October 8, 2016


I managed to get a photo Friday morning. I love the landscape in Colorado. But I have to admit, I love the landscape in Iowa as well. For now and the rest of the weekend I will enjoy where I am.

I am grateful my mom still has spunk. She still knows how and when to flip someone off :)

I am grateful for a busy Friday at work as it makes the day go faster. 

I am grateful for making another dinner that Ken enjoyed. 


I am grateful for starting my day by working out. 

I am grateful for going to an auction with Mike - over the phone. 

I am grateful for winning one of the 4 quilts I asked Mike to bid on. 

I am grateful for going to the store with mom and buying myself some new running shoes. 

I am grateful for leftovers. 

I am grateful for completing a logistics committee task. 

This might seem like a boring list but for me it is a reminder that no matter how bad the day might seem to be I can always find something to be grateful for. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thirsty Thursday

Today was cooking day. Started out making pumpkin muffins this morning. I had everything I needed on hand. I must have been thinking ahead on one of my last trips out west.

Then I went to the store for a few ingredients for both dinner and dessert. Dinner was a beer brat cheesy soup. Hence the thirsty Thursday - had to go buy beer. And since a 6 pack is the smallest and the recipe only called for one I had to taste test :-)

For dessert I made pineapple upside down cupcakes. The recipe was only supposed to make 12 but I managed to get 14. The two single cupcakes had us all laughing until we cried.

Blessed to be in Colorado! Remember yesterday I was grateful that my mom hadn't forgotten who I am.Well last night she asked where is Debbie. I was sitting across from her and said "I'm right here". She said, "No, the other Debbie". I guess I spoke too soon. On a good note, she smacked me on my butt today and didn't say, "Your ass is getting big".

Mom also took a walk with me tonight. The day started out cloudy with some rain, but it was sunny and pleasant this afternoon. You have to focus on the positive as the negative is so often out of your control.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tuesday and Wednesday

A photo journey should have photos. I have one photo for the last two days, but many things to be grateful for.

I am grateful I can afford to gift my kids with groceries. I am grateful for Brennan and Noah and their dinner choice. I am grateful for Michael and Madison and their cooking skills. I am grateful for spending the evening with three of my boys and two of my girls.

We had a chicken pizza that tasted a bit like lasagna - good stuff. And a chicken, bacon, strawberry, balsamic pizza - amazing. White and red wine brought from Iowa. Laughter, family, pets, lively discussions - perfect evening.

And then today, Wednesday October 10th. I am grateful for being able to work from my mother's home in Colorado. She is slipping fast and has almost no short term memory. But she is happy and she remembers who I am most times.

I am grateful for the taste of Haagen Dazs ice cream.

I am grateful being able to stay busy at work.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Playing Catch Up Again

I am grateful the car ride was uneventful and we made it to Colorado. I've seen everyone except Noah and I'll have to wait until Tuesday to see him.

It was great to have travel companions. Thank you Tessa for the great conversation! And Kia - you are a good traveler as well.

I have no idea what this is supposed to be. It was in the water at our first rest stop. I just want to go on record that Tessa and I only had to stop twice! I am grateful for clean rest stops and an interesting thing to two to see during the drive across Nebraska. 

I am grateful for being able to see my boys (even Noah even though I haven't seen him yet). I love them without excuse, without limit, and without strings. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday Blessings on Saturday

I spent most of my time in the kitchen today - and I enjoyed it. I made chocolate chip cookies, lemon cookies, and miniature chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. Enough to take to Colorado AND to send back to IWCC with Jordan. Besides the baking we actually had a nice breakfast; fried eggs, sausage, and toast. And in the midst of the baking we cooked a pizza for lunch.

I also realized to day I missed washing laundry for the boys. Not because I love washing, drying, and folding laundry, but because I like to do things for them that they appreciate. Jordan actually brought home laundry this time. Although it was hardly a full load. I think he keeps up with it pretty well over there in Council Bluffs. 

And I made it to the library. Hopefully both Tessa and I enjoy this book on the way to Colorado. We are planning on leaving at 5 am. OK, I'm planning on leaving at 5 am and Tessa is along for the ride. I can't wait to see the boys, Maddie, my mom and Ken, and all of the animals, especially Diesel. 

Almost Forgot

Almost forgot to post my blessings and gratitude for Friday. This probably means a combined Saturday and Sunday, but we'll see how it goes.

I am grateful for warm socks on cold feet.

I am grateful for a cup of warm tea. Thank you to Angie Sour for introducing me to Sweet and Spicy tea and Amazon for caring it. Now I can have it delivered directly to my home and I don't have to go searching to find it. And thank you Noah for the mugs. This is one of four and still a favorite set. 

I am grateful for Jordan coming home to spend homecoming weekend and I am grateful I was able to listen to the game on the radio. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Still a Day Behind - Thursday's Blessings

There are things to be grateful for that occurred yesterday. Photos of any of them, well no. I guess this post will be photo-free. 

I am grateful for recycling and throwing away most of the binders and loose papers at work yesterday. We are moving to a new office and I am taking very little with me! Now if I could only recreate that experience here at home!

I am grateful for Re-Charge. I love being able to reconnect with this small group of women! They are a true blessing in my life. 

I am grateful for a good glass of red wine. 

I am grateful for finding the cord to the Cricut. I was starting to worry that it could be ANYWHERE and might never find it again :-)

I am grateful for spending 10 quick minutes in what will soon be my 'old' sewing room. I have some really cool new tools and fabric. I'm dreaming of a handmade Christmas!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Stretch

I'm grateful!

I'm grateful I didn't have to make dinner tonight. We went to the church and had dinner. So, not only did I not have to cook, I didn't have to clean either! Thank you John and Deb Williams and Crew. Great dinner!

I'm grateful I have a job that affords me the opportunity to pay someone else to refinish the hardwood floor in Michael and Noah's old bedroom. It looks amazing! I can't wait to move my quilting/sewing stuff in there. It's a good thing I'll be in Colorado next week otherwise I might have gone crazy waiting a week to move stuff in. Organizing and moving stuff might make coming home after the visit a little easier to bare.

I'm grateful that Mike is still making progress on the downstairs bathroom. I don't think Noah will recognize the place. Long gone is the shower with the cooler he used as a stool.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Running Behind

Again I'm posting in the morning those things I was grateful for yesterday. I need to work on getting back on track.

This is going to have to be a short post because of time but it doesn't mean yesterday was short on blessings.

Starting with a list of blessings that doesn't include photos:

  • My growing relationship with Tessa
  • Helping Phyllis and being rewarded with fabric and quilting tools (I might be able to get a photo of the garage. Too bad I didn't think of taking pictures of the treasues in the cars)
    • She was the proud recipient of two carloads of crafting stuff which will be shared with the church, the quilt quild, and many quilting friends
    • I helped her unload the cars and organize the treasures in the garage (poor Bob, not much garage left)
  • Working from home - I love working from home
And then the big event of the day. Wait for it. Wait for it. Work started on what will soon be my new sewing room. It looks wonderful, smells wonderful, feels wonderful. And should be done by Friday! I didn't expect to feel so good inside knowing this task would soon be complete. Everyone that suggested we hire it out - you were right! Best decision I've made in a long time. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Monday Musings From Tuesday Morning

Study, work, volunteer, have a beer, call it a night.

This is a plant given to me by Phyllis after last year's Thanksgiving dinner. It is the surviving favorite. My other favorite was an air plant given to me by Noah for Mother's Day. It did not survive, but it did teach me I love those types of plants so one day I will purchase a replacement.

The evening was started by going to the church to assist with filling bags and boxes with food for those who could use a little extra. It doesn't surprise me that it feels good to do something for others. The added bonus though was seeing and interacting with my RAGBRAI riding partner, Sharon. That's Ed with her. Also a nice guy, but I'm not sure he would go on crazy bike rides with me!

And here is just a sample of what was available. One of the elderly ladies I helped package things up made the comment that the Food Pantry of Iowa is such a big help as she just can't afford groceries at the current prices. It is heart breaking that putting food on the table at any age is a challenge for some. I have been blessed for 51+ years as to day buying food for myself and my family has never been a struggle.

The nightcap of the evening was accepting an invitation to Terra and Don's home for a drink. I may not know how to stay away from conversations about politics (the debate between Hillary and Donald started while we were there) and Black Lives Matter, but the brief conversation was hopefully the catalyst for me to become better informed, especially on the BLM issue. I hope Don and Terra will be willing to continue the conversation. Not just so I learn and know more, but so maybe I can do something to be like a pebble tossed into the water.

Thank you Terra and Don for your hospitality.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunday Breakfast and Football

Football weather and a football game - what a promising Sunday.

I am grateful for a wonderful breakfast. Two fried eggs, homemade bread toasted and buttered, avocado, and sliced garden tomatoes. To top it off, Mike made it and brought it upstairs for me to eat. So I ate. I did take it out of the bathroom. You see, I was getting ready so we could head out to Sioux City for a football game. My lower half was dressed and the upper half was covered by a towel. My hair and make-up also only half done. But I was not about to complain about the location of the breakfast delivery. I was just going to find a place I could sit and enjoy.

So I sat in the office, me half done, and ate all of my breakfast. It was the best breakfast of the week! I didn't think of taking a photo until after I had just about licked the plate. The best I can provide is evidence that I'm not exaggerating how good it was.

Not too far from the juncture of 168 and 29 there was a road sign for a scenic view. I would have driven past as I was on a mission - make it to Sioux City before game start. Mike said "we have plenty of time, let's go check it out." So we did. It really was a good time for stretch as we'd been driving for about 2 hours. As soon as I got out of the car my joints popped and cracked. Which turned into singing as I stretched "Snap, Crackle, Pop. Rice Krispies"

The scenic view required a short climb up a wooden structure. About 1/3 of the way up here is what I saw - It made me laugh out loud. The view was beautiful and I imagine it will be breathtaking once the leaves start to turn color, painting Iowa in the glorious colors of autumn.

We made it to Sioux City in time to stop (plenty of time) for a sit at a real table lunch before the game. The name of the restaurant was Rebos and it was in an old industrial part of town. I took the waitresses suggestion and ordered the pulled pork sandwich. I think it was the best pulled pork I've ever had! I went for the smothered potatoes (I love potatoes so this sounded like a safe option). They were OK, partially because they were only lukewarm, but mainly just because they were just OK. Mike ordered a lobster bisque as his side. It was wonderful and he was wonderful - he shared his bisque with me and ate most of my potatoes. So all-in-all lunch was a success.

Then came the whole reason for the trip - this guy

As always, it was wonderful to see his smile, get to talk with him for a moment, and receive a hug and a kiss on the cheek goodbye.

On the way back to IWCC to deliver the Halloween care package we brought with us, sans cookies as he told me he was cutting down on his sugar, we drove over this bridge. An unexpected visual treat. We even ended up right behind one of the two football buses.

The care package was a hit with Jordan, but it seems like cookies are on the 'please send' list again. As Jordan was walking into the dorms with this Halloween Tin a couple of players yelled, "Hey, more cookies!" Guess I have the honor and privilege of feeding several of the boys. Lesson learned, even if Jordan is cutting down on sugar consumption it doesn't mean others are - cookies are a request at all times.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday Continues

So we planned on getting a hotel in the Council Bluffs area in order to watch the IWCC Varsity football game this afternoon and then head up to Sioux City on Sunday to watch Jordan play in the JV game. At the last minute we made the decision to stay home so we could get some work done, save a little bit of money for the various projects we are working on, and just head up to Sioux City on Sunday since we will be able to watch Jordan play in that game.

Then I started to feel guilty and I wasn't getting much done. Before I hopped in the car Mike checked out what time the game started. Well, start time was one and since I took a late morning nap it was too late for me to leave and make the game.

That's when I decided to focus on the blessing of being able to take a nap. I love naps, probably a little too much. It felt good and now I needed to work on making sure I didn't let the guilt of not going to a game (a purposeful and conscious decision) ruin the napping experience.

The next blessing quickly followed. The game was postponed due to weather, for 5 hours. Was this a sign I should still go to the game - or have a Blue Moon I had recently purchased? I really wanted that Blue Moon but I knew the better choice would be to take a road trip and go see my youngest. This time before I jumped in the car and took off I decided to give Jordan a quick call. He let me know there was no guarantee the game would actually take place today. Now I can have my Blue Moon guilt free. And if the game is cancelled today there will be no JV game tomorrow. That hotel room would have been a waste.

There is a downside to this possible turn of events; I might not be able to see Jordan this weekend. I trust there will be more blessings today and tomorrow and I will see him at the end of the week no matter what happens tonight or tomorrow. The point of this - the blessings out-weight the disappointments!


I am grateful for these two beautiful young ladies. They have taught me something about how to love my sons. As a mom I truly believed I loved my boys unconditionally. But....I don't think I trusted others to love them the same way, so I wanted them to be 'perfect'. The perfect son, student, friend, boyfriend, employee, athlete, etc. My definition of perfect meant not making 'big' mistakes. Being honorable in all things, honest, fair, strong men without reproach. It meant them having dreams that became purposeful goals and the grit to work hard, making no excuses on the road to attaining those aspirations. I believed this was possible because you see, I know their strengths, potential, capabilities. I know their souls. However this picture I painted didn't allow for imperfections, for their major struggles and falls. My wants for them didn't allow for bad choices; choices that changed their paths, choices where they experienced the judgement of others, choices where at the worst they judged themselves and believed they were unworthy, lacking.

These two women proved me wrong. They proved that there are others that can see past the imperfections and into the very heart of two of my boys. They have loved them, truly loved them. Because you see, they have loved them at their best and at their worst, They have loved them during their struggles and falls. These two beautiful souls are proving to these two young men that they are worthy, and special, and loved beyond measure.

Madison and Tessa - thank you. Thank you for showing me how to be a better mother. Thank you for showing me how to love my boys at a different level. Most of all thank you for loving my boys!

It is a joy to have you in the family.

Friday, September 23, 2016


As messy as this room is it stands for creativity, possibility, potential, learning, and giving. I am grateful for the room I have in my home for this space.

This represents progress and a long overdue update. I am grateful for all the work Mike has put into the destruction and I am looking forward to the rebuild/renew.

Can you see them? Not what I was thinking of when I took this picture so this became a two-fold blessing. The spider webs made me think of Halloween and how my home is preparing itself for that holiday :-). This is also a Craigslist find and I love it. I also have Mike to thank for going to pick it up. He is good to me that way; I find things he picks them up!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 1

Change of scenery today. Somewhere near 11:00 the internet went down. Mike found out a fiber was cut and internet access would be down for an undetermined length of time. So, I went to one of my favorite places - the Winterset Public Library. And this is where we will start 365 days of photos.

I am blessed to be able to work remote. I am grateful that the local library is just a few blocks away and there are plenty of tables and outlets to set up shop. The most difficult thing about this afternoon was not getting up from the table and browsing through all of the books!