40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Nineteen

Today I’m thankful for my paternal grandmother.

I was thinking of her last night when we were watching an old episode of This Old House and they were remarking about how Boston used to be a lot of swamp land.  I told DH that The Fens, (Fenway Park is on the outskirts), used to be a wetland for a long time and is now a beautiful park.

When I was growing up, my Nana used to live right on the outskirts of The Fens and in the summers I used to go there to play on the swings and run through the gardens.

So, I started thinking about my grandmother again and how brave she was.  In the early part of the century she had been living in Scotland with her husband and they had a young son – my father.   Her husband was in the Black Watch during World War I, and he died in Peshawar, India.

For whatever reason, she and her sister (who she never spoke to!) decided to come to America, to Boston to live.  So, when my dad was only 5 they sailed to the US.  I have pictures of him coming off the boat wearing a little kilt.

Somewhere along the line Nana married again, to a hard-working man who helped provide for their little family.

Until my grandmother died, she was a waitress at a YMCA.  But she managed to save a pile of money – under her mattress, in the closet, behind the sofa.  It was amazing.  Her American Dream, I guess.

I cannot imagine having her courage, leaving home with a small child, and starting life anew in a completely new country.

I wish I had been able to tell Nana while she was still alive how much I admired her.  I am thankful that she came here – or I wouldn’t have been born.

40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Eighteen

This is going to sound really stupid but today I am thankful for my dropbox.  I have files all over the place and I work on them on different computers (PC and Mac), or my iPhone, iPad and other places.  If I’m away from home without anything (rarely happens!) I can still access my stuff online and do with it whatever I want.

I am really lazy and it’s so nice to have my files synced everywhere.  I don’t have to try to find a cable, zip drive or SD card.  Sometimes I’ll find an image or a program I want to install on a different computer and I just stash it in my dropbox.  When I’m done, I delete it or move it to its permant home to save space on the dropbox.

I’m also cheap so I just have the free version and I’m always monitoring how much space is available.  I seem to be running about about a third capacity most of the time.

This really makes my life a little easier and, for that, I’m very thankful today!

40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Seventeen


Today I am thankful for my dog, Mimi.  She’s a beautiful dog, sweet, loving and usually very mild-mannered, but she’ll bark her head off whenever she hears someone in the driveway.

Tonight, she barked at potential trick-or-treaters and we have lots of candy left over.  🙂

Thanks, Mimi!

40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Sixteen

Today I am thankful that the skunk already passed by when  I took Mimi out for a walk!

It’s so not fair!  I can’t smell lots of flowers or perfumes but I can smell a skunk blocks away.

40 Days of Thankfulness: Day Fifteen

I hope I’m not jinxing myself but today I am thankful that I haven’t had any migraines for a long time.

It’s not “just” not having migraines, but the fact that, should I get one, there’s nothing I can do about them anymore.

I used to get migraines quite often, a hormone thing probably.  I spent lots of hours in a completely dark room, blocking out sound, trying to keep my head from pounding.

There was a long period of time that I had a migraine 6 days out of the week for several weeks.  By accident, a friend asked me on a Monday if I had one that day and that started me thinking – why do I have them every day except Mondays?  I figured out that it wasn’t a migraine at all but an allergy headache – I was allergic to the bath oil I was using Monday-Saturday.  I gave that to my Mom and those headaches went away.

I still often get allergy headaches.  Since my Cushing’s transsphenoidal pituitary surgery, I can’t smell things very well and I often don’t know if there’s a scent that is going to trigger an allergic reaction.  In church and elsewhere, my Mom will be my “Royal Sniffer” and if someone is wearing perfume or something scented, she’ll let me know and we’ll move to a new location.

There’s a double whammy here – since my kidney cancer surgery my doctor won’t let me take NSAIDs, asperin, Tylenol, any of the meds that might help a headache go away.  My only hope would be that coffee from Day Fourteen. And that’s definitely not usually enough to get rid of one of these monsters.

So, I am very thankful that, for the moment, I am headache/migraine free!

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