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Filtering by Tag: good things


Cindy Maddera

Last Friday, I took my wheezy self on a walk up to the Nelson. Along the way, I found a five dollar bill on the sidewalk! Then, when I reached the front of the Nelson, there was an antique car parked there. There were two people in the process of cleaning the car because they had photography plans of their own. I managed to capture a shot of the car in front of the Nelson with the owner’s out of sight. After I made my way around the Nelson and back into Theis Park, I witnessed a man carefully taking a vase filled with plastic roses out of a suitcase. Then he blew up a balloon. He placed one end of the bubble wand between his teeth and then set the balloon onto the bubble maker part of the wand. Then he placed the vase of plastic roses on top of the balloon. I snuck a picture of the man balancing all of these items. I heard the balloon pop as I walked away.

I woke up the next morning to the first day of Fall, which appeared to happen by just turning the dial directly to Fall. The temperature outside was crisp and cool. The heat and humidity of Summer completely erased. We ran our errands and then I handed a paper grocery bag to Michael only to watch it split open and dump it’s contents at the end of the drive. I stood there and watched as two bottles of kombucha spilled out onto the drive. The Cabbage asked “what is that?” “Expensive.” Michael replied in a tone that suggested he had given up on life. The beet flavored one is my favorite. Watching that one stain the driveway purply red made me want to cry. Later that evening, I swallowed a fish bone or at least I believed I swallowed a fish bone. I spent the rest of the night covertly asking google what to do if you swallow a fish bone and trying not to panic my way into the emergency room.

The kombucha was replaced and I no longer feel like there is a fish bone stuck in my throat. My doctor gave me a clean bill of health yesterday. I am ten pounds lighter then I was this time last year and a friend sent me a text offering up her spare ticket to see Andrew Bird with the Kansas City Symphony. Life is an all terrain bicycle ride. Some days you get to coast down the hill all day long and along the way you get to take in all the interesting stuff happening around you. Some days you’re just doing your best to peddle up the damn hill. I know that it is completely Pollyanna of me to say this, but I am grateful for the times I have to peddle up those hills. Even if I am cursing. Even if my thighs have burned up in flames. Even if I am moving so slowely up that hill, turtles pass me. Actually, you know what? The steeper the incline, the better. That just makes the downhill parts all the more sweet.

Now granted, busted kombucha bottles and swallowed fishbones are not very challenging moments in the grand scheme of things. It’s those really challenging moments that make me stronger so that these little things are nothing. In fact, I welcome those little challenges over the big ones any day. Any challenge gives me strength and opens me up to seeing things like a random guy balancing crap on a bubble wand held between his teeth.


Cindy Maddera

It feels like it's been ages since I posted a Thankful Friday entry even though I know I did one for last Friday. I take that as a bad sign. If it feels like it's been a while since I've been grateful, then I need to take a serious look at things going on in my life. It makes me think that I'm not taking time out in my day to be grateful. The reality is I am not giving myself time in the day for gratitude. Here are somethings I am grateful for:

  • Michael is on day twelve of not smoking. This is significant because he had been smoking since the age of twelve. The first week was pretty rough for him but each day seems to be easier. I am super proud of him. There's always a reason not to quit and he chose the first week of school with students to do so. Those of you who are teacher knw that the first week of school is pretty stressful for, so good for him. I am also thankful that he is trying so hard and not being a complete bear while transitioning to non-smoker status
  • The Cabbage started kindergarten on Wednesday and so far, so good. She's super excited about it and gets to ride a school bus and has her lunch code memorized. I am grateful for her enthusiasm and hope it sticks.
  • My friend Becky suddenly had to have her appendix removed this week. She's recovering nicely. I am really really grateful she's doing okay. 
  • I had a check up with my doctor yesterday to see if my cholesterol medicine was working. He was very excited when he came in with my lab results. My triglycerides dropped from 308 to 161. High five! The meds are doing everything he was hoping they'd do. I'm still not to thrilled with the idea that I will always be taking this drug, but I am thankful that it is working.
  • The garden is ready for planting fall veggies. This weekend, I will plant Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale and maybe some cabbage. The garden has been a bit of a bust this year. There's tons of tomato plants, but no tomatoes. The few tomatoes we've gotten are green and do not seem to want to turn red. We ate five potatoes and three carrots and five or six bowls of salad greens. That's about it. I am thankful for a fresh start with the garden
  • Last Saturday night, Michael and I drove to the outskirts of town to see meteors. We could not escape the light pollution from the moon. We did see a couple of meteors though and a fox. I am thankful that the evening wasn't a complete bust.
  • I finally returned to my yoga mat this week. I had been neglecting it while I got over the cold I brought back from Boston. It feels so good to be back into my practice. I am thankful for that.
  • I am thankful for you.

It's a nice list. It's a nice reminder of the good stuff I've got going in this life. I hope you have a nice list going for this week as well. Here's to a relaxing weekend and a super Thankful Friday


Cindy Maddera

I know I said I was going to sit down and create a Vlog about all the things I want for 2016, but the idea of my face and voice on camera right now seems really unappealing. Note: there's nothing wrong with my face or voice and truth be told it's more about being too lazy to put together what I want and edit it in video. So it looks like I'm kicking off 2016 with a bout of lazy. Also, I'm still recovering from our trip to OK and the tense drive home through ice and snow. I feel like I'm shaped like the inside of my car. It's making me grumbly and not very pleasant and this post is not about that (or how I watched an egg boil while crying because weather cancelled plans to see friends, the holidays can be hard). This post is about the good things I want to see happen in 2016. 

If I were to do a video post about good things for 2016, it would start with a shameful video of my basement. I would expose the awful truth that is my basement and I'd do it mostly to shame myself into finally taking care of the mess. I don't need video evidence to be ashamed of the state of basement. Michael built some really lovely shelves (from pallets!) in one back corner area. Tuesday, I packed up all our Christmas and then we put those boxes on one of the shelves and it felt so good and organized and I have a plan for the basement. I will take off work during Michael's Spring Break to clean out the basement. The plan is to create four piles: things we're keeping, things we're selling, things we're donating and things we want to throw away. I will then call the Girls and Boys club to come get the things we're donating and I will call the Junk Guys and pay them to take away the trash. Things we are keeping/selling will all go onto the shelves. This is happening. It is happening this year. Cleaning out the basement is imperative if we are going to stay in this house. I know I said that cleaning out the basement was something that would be done in 2015 and I totally failed except for five bags of garbage. Yes. There's more than five bags of garbage down there. I'm telling you. The basement is BAD. It's embarrassing.  It's worse than behind the fridge, behind the couch and under the kitchen sink. Cleaning out this space would be the best good thing we could do in 2016.

The next part of that video post would be about garden stuff. I've had The Backyard Homestead on my Amazon wish list for a really long time. I finally gave in and bought the book a few weeks ago. This purchase came shortly after the arrival of my Bakers Creek Seed Catalogue. You guys? We can grow peanuts! See? See what happens? Every year I get that catalogue and I go insane. I buy things that don't grow. I buy things that grow like gang busters that we don't end up eating. Every year, I tell myself "Cindy! You're only going to plant what you'll eat!" The problem is I end up planting a lot of things I think we'll eat instead of things we actually eat. For instance, this year I planted fifty (exaggeration) squash plants. After eating squash four days in a row, we realized that we don't really eat squash. Squash is good, like every other week good, but not every single day of summer. One squash plant. That's really all we needed. Maybe two in case there are squash bugs. But a whole box and side bed devoted to squash was completely unnecessary. I need structure and discipline and a plan that's going to keep me from growing rows of miscellaneous veggies. At first glance, The Backyard Homestead makes me believe that I can have it all from goats to bees in my backyard. Once I started reading though, the authors made it clear that I do not have the space for having it all. They reached out of the page and slapped me in the face. "Snap out of it! You can only do this much. So do it!" I will spend these winter months putting together a list and a plan for the garden so that one of those good things for 2016 will be fresh veggies we actually eat. 

The basement and the garden are my main focus of good things for 2016. That doesn't mean I won't let myself be distracted by other things. I want to be more creative in 2016, maybe even start up a selfie 365 day project. A year of 40. Michael totally spoiled me this year for Christmas and my birthday with a new camera along with a fancy scarf styled camera strap that I'd been coveting for ages. I have no excuses. The lens isn't wonky. I actually have two lenses to choose from. Hell, the flash doesn't even make me mad. I want to use this camera. I want to be so comfortable with this camera that it's like an attachment to my body. It's part of my be more creative in 2016 plan. Michael and I want kayaks and envision early Saturday mornings kayaking down a river before breakfast. I want more bike to work days than drive to work days. I want scooter road trip adventures. I want more time on my yoga mat. The thought of teaching again has been tickling the back of my brain. I want to like this body again. I want to be healthy. I want to drop guilt and doubt. I want to be the best person I can be even when I'm in a room of negative people. 

I want good things for you in 2016. Here's to a wonderful, safe and happy New Year!


Cindy Maddera

Monday, I rushed home after work to meet the plumber (yes, again, and I don't really want to talk about it because if I don't talk about it everything will be OK). There's been family drama and while the plumber worked in the basement and I paced the floor, I took turns with Katrina in calming my sister down. Tuesday I rushed home after work to take Josephine to the vet for her last shot of the year. Wednesday, I stayed late for yoga class. Thursday evening, I went home and did yard work. Later that night, Michael made an emergency trip to the drug store for Benedryl and Calamine lotion to treat the patch of poison ivy that's appeared on my shin. All of this sounds like a week for which I am thankful is over. But....

The family drama has been somewhat resolved. Everyone is safe and unharmed and alive. Josephine was the most behaved puppy while getting a shot and then getting her nails trimmed. This earned her a pigs ear that she has been obsessing over all week. Oh, to chew or to hide?!?  That is her Shakespearean question. We came home to find Michael cleaning out the chicken coop. He opened the large back door of the coop to let the chickens roam the yard while he cleaned. I was soon recruited to keep an eye on the chickens because Michael was having a hard time keeping track of four chickens while trying to clean. Also, they fly. Not high, but high enough to fly up and over a fence. So I happily sat on the garden ledge and watched chickens peck and scratch in the brush that's grown up around one of the old logs form that tree fall years back.  I took pictures and marveled at how much they've grown and how their  feathers have turned mostly to feathers with only a little bit of down left on their necks. Marguerite's feathers around her neck have started to turn gold, like she's wearing a fancy choker.  I picked up each one and told them I loved them. 

Wednesday I had lunch with an old friend from high school. Kristina and I used to carpool to the Tulsa Community College our senior year because we both took college courses instead of sitting around doing nothing. She lived with in walking distance of our house and she has always been a serious girl with strong convictions but a ready smile and laugh. We sat at lunch talking about our nows and not to much of our thens. Our conversation was like stepping into a comfortable shoe. We hadn't seen each other in years (probably 10), but it was like we'd just seen each other yesterday. I wish we'd had more time. In fact I really wish we'd had time for a slumber party because Kristina is the type of girl you can do that with. Also, I would have liked to have felt up all the fiber and yarn she'd just made at yarn school. Her duffle bag was FULL. 

I got all of the backyard weedeated before the battery gave out on the weedeater and all of the hedges trimmed. The few times on my yoga mat this week have been glorious practices. I've made all of the step goals and sleep goals. The parts of this week that were unpleasant take up a tiny paragraph of this entry, but the good things? Wow! Would you look at all the good things I have to be thankful for?! A long time ago, Thankful Friday was just a list. A simple list of things that I was grateful for in my week. I started those lists to remind myself that yes, there some crappy things that happen, but tucked in between are some truly amazing things. I am thankful for this practice and I'm ending the week with a reward. It's First Friday here! Art galleries are open and food trucks are out. The high for today is 75. Our evening will be an evening of scooters and food trucks. 

Here's to a treat of a weekend and an awesome Thankful Friday!