Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Yesterday was the last day of school before Thanksgiving break. As the kids in various reading groups were discussing things that they were thankful for (and many of them spoke of people and relationships, not just their Wii or bicycle), I thought it wise to take a moment to think of the things for which I am grateful. (Let's face it, a lot of people find it easier to dwell on the things that are missing and thus the negatives and forget to take the time to be thankful.)

First and foremost I am thankful for family and friends. My husband and two children are my life! While most members of my biological family are not a part of my life, the few with whom I still have a relationship are all the more dear to me. And I am ever thankful for the family I married into who have embraced me as one of their own for the past 24 years. Helmicks rock (including those with the last name Smith)!! Many of my friends are like family to me, and for that I am truly grateful as well.

I am grateful for my job. It is really nice to actually look forward to going to work and what the day will bring rather than dreading going and harboring dark thoughts on ways to NOT have to go. Thank you FDCSD!

I am thankful for good health as well as good insurance, for a house to call home, plenty of food to eat and clothing.

I'm grateful to live in Iowa and the U.S. (even though I have my complaints...I'm thankful I live in a place where it is safe to voice those complaints without fear of retribution, being disappeared or killed.)

I'm grateful for the traveling I have been fortunate to do.

There are, of course, many, MANY more things for which I am thankful. And none of these should be a surprise to anyone. (In fact, I'm guessing many people have a very similar list!)

Still, it is a good thing to stop every now and then and take account of your life and spend a moment in thanksgiving for all the goodness of life's many gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reasons To Love Iowa

It is a place for diversity and tolerance to take root and grow.

Sprouting up in the middle of nowhere, a Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in the middle of prairie and fields.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Absentia

Life sometimes gets in the way of things like blogging. I've had a lot of family stuff going on. By "family" I mean my immediate family as well as family of origin and extended family. Yeah....that's a lot of family.

It was a cr@p ton of stuff. By "stuff" I mean trips to ER's, dysfunctional craziness, overscheduled needs, follow-up to ER trips, emotional support to both give and receive, etc.

Suffice it to say that the sum of it all left me either too upset, too tired, or too emotionally drained to sit down and write anything here that wouldn't need to be immediately edited by dumping it into the trash.

I think I'm in a better place now.

In knitting news: I am working on some child sized mittens with leftover yarns to contribute to the school where I work. Lots of the children there don't have mittens, gloves or hats. Some don't have winter coats. So, I figured a good stash busting exercise would be to knit up some warm woolens they could use for recess to help keep those little fingers warm.

Also, I'm working on a scarf for my son. I hope to take some photos soon and post them.

Speaking of photos, here's one I shot of a country church about 45 minutes from here. I took it a couple weeks ago on a photo outing with my daughter. We had another destination in mind, but that didn't work out. (We'll have another chance to shoot that location next week. It's a potential State Fair entry.)

I've also enjoyed several postal letterboxes and LTC packages arriving at my door recently. That was fun!

Have a great weekend!