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Gratefulness and Smiles

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A place to share the small or big moments in life that make you smile. I enjoy the sarcastic joking in the peeves thread, but even I am not annoyed 24/7.

 

To start, I'm extremely pleased and thankful for prednisone. Sure, I've had to give up my dream of being the first senior citizen to win the Tour de France, but finally feeling normal again after a bad health year is a worthwhile trade-off. I'll even take the puffy cheeks!

Edited by lordonia
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What a nice idea for a topic! I'm thankful for the irises blooming in my backyard. They remind me of my grandmother and aunt, both of whom are gone but certainly not forgotten.  :)

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Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Cornflakes bars. No, seriously, they are delicious.

I'll have to look up where I can purchase this...sounds intriguing.

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Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Cornflakes bars. No, seriously, they are delicious.

 

Thanks for the tip! Are they very different from rice krispies in chocolate?

 

For a sweet/salty combo, I'd also recommend chocolate covered potato chips. I used to get them locally made at a candy shop when I lived in North Dakota* in the '80s but it seems like they're pretty widely available now.

 

 

 

* With Minnesota, the third largest potato growing region in the country!

Edited by lordonia
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Thanks for the tip! Are they very different from rice krispies in chocolate?

 

Basically the same idea - add a little crunch - but I like them better. More crunchy, I suppose!

 

I also love chocolate covered potato chips!

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For a sweet/salty combo, I'd also recommend chocolate covered potato chips. 

 

Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby.  Homer Simpson levels of drool worthy.

 

Really, you can't go wrong with any of the Ritter Sports, IMO.  It's German chocolate -- what more do you need?  I like it better than the Belgian and Swiss varieties.  But I'm a weirdo.

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^ exactly. Pretty much ALL German chocolate and candies are good.

Wasn't a fan of a lot of the breads and cookies though.

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OK, thanks for doing this! It's good to find something to counterbalance the drive to wanna kvetch!

 

 Here's something that always brings a smile to me: chocolate chip cookies! No matter where I've gone, or what I've been doing or how bummed out I might have been, chocolate chip cookies have never failed to cheer me up and put me in a good state.

 

 This was best epitomized when my connecting flight to Vancouver got cancelled due to fog and I had to 'overnight' in Denver in a hotel 20 miles from the airport and knew I'd have to be BACK at the airport a mere four hours later to try to get to Vancouver the next morning, the complimentary chocolate chip cookies made the difference to keep me from being totally bummed out re missing a day's time in BC and having to 'hurry and wait' to get the next connection. Nope, they didn't change the outcome any but, as illogical as it sounds, they made me feel as though a quick crash in Denver would be okay even though I wouldn't get to see any of the city or sites.

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My fellow Canucks will appreciate:

 

Unlimited fries at Swiss Chalet until May1.

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My husband is getting a promotion this summer!  Yay!  

 

Congrats to him and any your mutual bank accounts! If the stars align, it will even be a job he likes. :)

 

Out of curiosity, what kind of job requires a 3-month notice of an impending promotion? Does it necessitate training of some sort, or are we waiting for the current officeholder to leave?

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It rained, but didn't storm today. We didn't get quite an inch even, but anything helps after all the fire weather we've been having. And there were no tornadoes.

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Congrats to him and any your mutual bank accounts! If the stars align, it will even be a job he likes. :)

 

Out of curiosity, what kind of job requires a 3-month notice of an impending promotion? Does it necessitate training of some sort, or are we waiting for the current officeholder to leave?

 

He's military.  The date of his promotion is based on his "line number"; only a certain number of people will be promoted to the next rank each year, so he won't get promoted until everyone ahead of him in line are.  Does that make sense?  

Edited by Demented Daisy
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My mom, who has been sick with an undiagnosed illness for over a year, had a good day on Sunday and kicked my butt in a game of Scrabble.

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Last year, I got back in touch with someone I hadn't seen for close to 25 years (since I graduated, roughly). And we got on so well that we've been planning a great holiday together, just the two of us, in a few weeks. So much looking forward to it!

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NutMeg, it's nice how sometimes we easily fall into old friendship patterns even with people we haven't seen for a long time. I hope the holiday is great. :)

 

I've never eaten at Chick-Fil-A, even though there's one a few miles away. I was just cruising their online menu and think I'll check it out today to see what the hubbub's about. I'll definitely add a cookie to my order!

 

A franchise of Chicken Salad Chick recently opened in the same part of town, so maybe I'll make it an all-chicken restaurant run. Dang. Now that I think of it, the Chinese restaurant that I like with the good orange chicken is over there, too...

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Ritter Sport Milk Chocolate with Cornflakes bars. No, seriously, they are delicious.

 

 

I love their dark chocolate marzipan.

I'm grateful for you both mentioning these because the first one sounded intriguing and the second made me give marzipan another shot.  The versions I have had in the paste were akin to eating waxy glue.

 

World Market is the only place near me where I have seen Ritter's so stopped by while I was in the area.  They had bitsy sample sized ones on sale for 49 cents each, so I bought a couple of different flavors to taste.  As a result, I ended up buying full sized versions on the Cornflake one and the chocolate covered biscuit one (not based on a sample, but just because it seemed like something I would like).  I didn't buy a full size version of the marzipan, but it was so much superior to the other marzipans I have tried.  The only disappointment was the praline version.

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I've read reports of serious health problems coinciding with DST, but that defeats the purpose of our "smiles" topic, so I'll counter that with this:

 

The bluebonnets are out! And the grape Kool-Aid trees! Okay, Texas Mountain Laurel, but they smell just like grape Kool-Aid when they are in bloom.

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The talks about inventive candy here reminds me of my grocery store it has some pretty creative stuff.

Cashew butter with srihacha, peanut butter with pineapple and cayenne pepper, dark chocolate with pop rocks and chili peppers & fresh kettle chips cooked in Guinness (bought a sack for my parents along with link sausages)...

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I'm grateful that my cold is finally letting up and I can finally talk without breaking out in a coughing fit. Also, smiles for my elderly cats (19 1/2 & 15 1/2) who are as still happy and basically healthy for their advanced ages.

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The return of hiking weather.

Although I'm feeling all 11 miles across my body....

And yet my dog, who did probably 22, still wants her evening walk!

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It quit raining, so the boy (he's 4) and I went out for a walk to splash in the puddles. I pointed out a worm to him, thinking he'd find it cool, but he thought it was icky and slimy and kept asking what would happen if it got into his boots.

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A franchise of Chicken Salad Chick recently opened in the same part of town, so maybe I'll make it an all-chicken restaurant run.

 

I had lunch at a Chicken Salad Chick place a while back.  It was really tasty.  The only nitpick I might have it that I wish their salad was chunkier (that's how I like my chicken salad).  As I said though, it was tasty.

 

I'm grateful for my place of work.  Anytime I pass by construction workers working on paving roads, directing traffic, roofing, etc. I remember how lucky I am that I work in a nice air conditioned building (academic library), have a nice office, work among pretty nice people and make enough money to live on and support two cats.  And, although my house needs some work, it too has A/C and heat, is sturdy and is a nice place to come home to every night.  Last (but not least), I'm grateful for my two spoiled cats (I love 'em to pieces).

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I'm also so grateful for my current job situation.

I'm currently working as a High School Lifeskills/Special Education teacher for 7 students at a well-established local charter school and just signed on for my second year here with a nice raise.

This is a pretty damned well-deserved position considering my nearly 15 years of teaching. And I've taught in some pretty shitty schools with some pretty shitty students for some pretty shitty paychecks in all these years; I've been punched/slapped/scratched/kicked/spit on/humiliated by former problem students, I've been hired and fired, laid off, even been reduced to cleaning toilets and party-stripping between jobs just to make ends meet, so my good professional karma was long overdue.

To finally be content in my classroom and be paid what I'm worth and to actually be appreciated both by an excellent principal and likable colleagues at a school that's a five minute drive from my house, well, for all that I finally feel so very blessed.

It's so nice to go to work every day and feel like you're making such a difference and that your fellow staff believes in and supports you.

And to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for paying off my $30k worth of student loans? Such a good, liberating feeling...if I can reach age 40 next year with all my debts wiped clean((other than my mortgage, of course)), I can die a happy and complete woman with the travel budget I've dreamt of my entire life.

What else makes me smile? Champagne...and lots of it.

Dry or sweet, pink or white, with OJ or without...in any form, it's just the ultimate liquid luxury in my book!

Edited by Sun-Bun
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Sun-Bun - as a parent of a special needs child (high functioning autism), I am grateful to hear that you've found a position that is rewarding.  My son had adaptive provisions all through school and was mainstreamed for 80% of the day.  I was fortunate that his mix of teachers, be they new to the field or old hands, were so committed to his progress.  They continually adjust their approach with him bases on what was working and what wasn't.  The administration too in elementary school - if he was in your class, it was a sure bet you had the "best" class since they loaded his classrooms with kids that were on the more mature and patient side.  And the teachers and administration worked with me - they told me what they were trying to achieve in a short term goal and I reinforced the approach at home so there was consistency for him and sometimes I already knew how to build that mousetrap so I would share with them.

 

I wish you all the best and thank you for your commitment to teaching.  And I am sending you a case of virtual champagne!  When I used to drink, that was my drink of choice - I would rather spend the money for a decent bottle once a month than drink less fulfilling stuff several times a month.  I didn't believe that champagne should only be for special occasions and New Years.

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Thank you so very much, DeLurker---that's so sweet of you to say!! I really appreciate that; I switched my endorsement from teaching Art/English to Special Ed five years ago, and even though it was originally a decision I made strictly for job-security, turns out it was the best decision I ever made for both my career and my mind---I've taken my bruises working with these types of students, but it's all been so worth it...and much to my surprise, turns out I have a natural affinity with them, especially the mid-to-low-functioning autism students.

And you have my deepest respect as a parent to such a student, DeLurker---I've seen how tough it's been for many of the parents I deal with, and it's beyond just a parental commitment...it's a total lifestyle-changer. I've dealt with the more challenging autism students who aren't even able to sleep, have extreme texture/toileting issues, are scary aggressive, obsessed with eating/throwing certain items...some of those parents aren't even able to deal with those students anymore and have to give them up to the state, it's so bad.

Good for you having such an amazing support system for your son; he's one of the very lucky few.

Bubbly cheers to you both!!

Edited by Sun-Bun
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Well, I'll add my cheerful news.

After 36 hours of labor my baby girl finally arrived last Monday. I thought the more kids you had the easier the labor but that was obviously not the case here. She was a toughy. I had to be induced at 37 weeks and it was clear that she was not at all ready to enter the world.

She has two big brothers to help her learn how to navigate this earth who couldn't be more in love with their baby sister!

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36 hours?  Whoa....that is a long time to be in labor!  And a bit scary!

 

But if Mom and baby are fine, than yeah!  Congratulations to all of you!

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Congratulations, Mountainair! I remember when you first posted about your pregnancy and then later when you found out you were having a girl and how excited you were.

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I'm grateful for the little bit of spring we're getting this week (and next).  Even though it's overcast and some rain is expected, I'm happy for the temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s.  Here in the south, I had already had to turn on my A/C and was dreading the big electric bills that appear in the summer.

 

As I looked through my back patio door this morning, I saw a hummingbird way, way back in the backyard getting breakfast at one of my blooming azaleas.  I need to get out my feeder.  I love to watch those guys buzz around and drink their fill at flowers or my feeder's sugar water.

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Congrats, Mountainair -- I bet she's a beauty!

 

I am also grateful for the rain we've been getting, our main lake is 100% full for the first time in 6 years. And the rain cools us off, which is great 'cause we've already had 90-degree days. *bleh*

 

I am thankful for the super nice staff at the hospital. I had to take Dad in for dehydration the other nght, and they were so patient with him. A couple of bags of fluid and he was ready to go home. FYI for those of you who care for elderly parents -- it doesn't take as long for their electrolytes to get out of whack and symptoms can mimic those of a stroke.

 

Edited to add -- wildflowers make me smile!

Edited by forumfish
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I'm grateful for the internet--cause how else would I learn so many things from forums like this one?  And Prosecco!  I just discovered that it's only 10.4% alcohol w/ less sugar than regular wine (less calories, maybe?)  And our almost 20 year old Maine Coon Cat, M. Tiger Lily.  She's a piece of work and continues to bring us laughter and joy.

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I am thankful for the super nice staff at the hospital. I had to take Dad in for dehydration the other nght, and they were so patient with him. A couple of bags of fluid and he was ready to go home. FYI for those of you who care for elderly parents -- it doesn't take as long for their electrolytes to get out of whack and symptoms can mimic those of a stroke.

I never knew that!  After I read your post, I did a search and found this article (looked for something not too technical cause my brain can't always understand what they are saying or why it is important).  It was very informative.  I sent a quick synopsis to my parents and a copied my brother so he can print out the article for them.  Thanks for giving a little background on what lead to your Dad's visit because it was really helpful.  I hope he is feeling better.

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My town is replacing water meters in my neighborhood and when I called in I got the earliest appointment on the day of my choice.  The guy came on time, was neat and polite and was done in twenty minutes so I had plenty of time to move on with my day.

 

That happens so rarely I thought I'd mark the occasion!

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Months ago, someone put a sticker on one of the drive-up boxes at the post office near my house. It says, "you are beautiful" and it always makes me smile that no one has removed it.

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Ten years ago, I quit my (hated) job and moved from Denver to Austin. I didn't have a position lined up but assumed it wouldn't be too hard to find since I have experience up the wazoo. Didn't figure on age discrimination, but another story. It ended up taking me 7 months to find work and, due to preexisting medical conditions, I could not get health insurance to save my life. Anything. State, Federal, Medicaid, personal policy. I ended up taking a job as a receptionist for $22K just for the insurance.

 

Cue to last December when I quit work again due to a change in management. I had 10 months to go until Medicare kicked in, but what a different experience! I was able to sign up for a Marketplace health plan online and nobody could refuse me. So I am personally VERY grateful for and appreciative of Obamacare. I'm sure millions of others like me are, too.

Edited by lordonia
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I'm grateful for the fact that, no matter where I go, if someone finds out I'm my mother's child, they'll ALWAYS relate how nice a person they consider to be.   I agree but I admit to being a bit biased on the subject.

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My ex had the opposite problem - his Dad was a very popular high school teacher so he always heard "Your Dad is so great!  It must be wonderful to have a father like that!".  My ex had an enormous List of Sins for everyone, his Dad included.  Having spent a bunch of time with my ex's family, siblings included, I can safely say that my ex FIL was very invested in his students; his children?  Not even close. So being told by everyone Dad is the best was brutal.

 

And I emphasize very invested but he was a lot more invested in female students that happened to be attractive.

 

But on to good stuff!

 

I came home from hitting the grocery store early to get my Easter dinner essentials, to find my kids (21 yo son and 15 yo daughter) watching some kids show they used to watch years ago, Crashbox.  They were completely enjoying it without embarrassment.

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OK, since it's Easter (and I'm a Christian), I'm going to say I'm grateful for the holiday even though I'm not part of any congregation at this time. I like the concept of celebrating renewals and making new lives after devastating losses (as well as celebrating winter's end being around the corner AND regrowth of greenery). 

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I'll second that, Blergh -- I'm grateful for forgiveness. I taught my little kids class this morning and they love to play the Old vs New Testament game -- basically guessing where the various Bible books are located. It's refreshing to see kids get excited about anything that doesn't involve electronics.

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