Last night I was at Walmart for my weekly shopping foray. I grabbed a cart and gave it a little test drive in the foyer area to be sure it rolled properly. I am notoriously famous for selecting the wonky cart. You know the one…one wheel sticks sideways, or doesn’t roll at all and constantly pulls to one side. This particular cart seemed good to go so I headed into the store. About five minutes later, after having procured dog biscuits and Band-Aids (which are oddly near each other), my cart started leading me in a steady circle to the left. WHAT? I tested this cart. It was fine! But no, wonky cart had lulled me into a false sense of security.
So I found myself manically circling the display of brightly colored Rachel Ray cookware. Nothing I do makes the cart go any other direction. Nothing. So what do I do? I just burst out laughing. I continue to circle Rachel’s fabulous kitchen gadgets, which include her signature EVOO (Rach’s spunky abbreviation for extra virgin olive oil, in case you’ve missed her show) dispenser.
I am fairly sure no one else understood the humor in my situation. I am fairly sure no one else understood that I was being held hostage by wonky cart. I am fairly sure I was the crazy lady on isle five. Fortunately for me, bizarre behavior is commonplace at our Walmart and deemed perfectly acceptable.
Anyhow, when I finally got wonky cart to head a different direction, though I had to muscle that stubborn cart every step of the way, I found gratitude in the fact that my shopping adventure was once again underway. It was then and there that I realized I had really failed in the 30 Days of Gratitude challenge that so many people are undertaking this month. I think I made it to day five and then baled.
It’s not that I’m ungrateful. It’s not that I don’t have a great deal for which I can be grateful. I think I just got so wrapped up in trying to come up with something profound to list each day that I kind of lost sight of the true meaning of the challenge.
Well, I may suck at the daily task, but I am bursting with an attitude of gratitude, so I decided to just go for it—30 thoughts of gratitude in 30 minutes (in deference to Rachel’s 30 minute meals since she played a part in the wonky cart revelation). They are in no particular order, so don’t get your feelings hurt if you find yourself in the middle. If you’re toward the end, then just tell yourself I saved the best for last. If you think I missed something, well, I am very sure I did. As I said, I have way more than a month’s worth of gratitude in me.
So here goes…30 things for which I am very grateful include, but are not limited to the following:
- Jim. I’m very thankful for Jim. There is likely no other person on this earth that would willingly share the insanity that is Tails You Win Farm with me. You have to love a man that manages to sleep with a 50-pound dog plastered across his face. At least I think he’s asleep…(mirror test in front of his mouth to check for breathing)…yes! Asleep.
- My animals. All of them. I have a crazy, fun variety of critters that share my world and I love them. All of them. Most of the time.
- Our home. It may never be totally finished, it may always be messy, there may always be a not-so-light coating of dog hair everywhere, but it’s our home and I love it. By the way, if you ever build a house and move in before it’s totally completed saying the words “we’ll do the finish work ourselves,” get a good, heavy DIY home improvement book and smack yourself in the head with it. Hard.
- My Jeep Wrangler. It makes me feel outdoorsy, a bit rugged, capable, and cool. And it talks to me. How great is that? My car talks to me. There is a male voice that gives me driving directions and a female voice that places phone calls for me and reads text messages to me. I do occasionally wonder if that is backwards because sometimes I really want the male voice to stop to ask for directions. He does tend to recommend some really odd routes. Just saying…
- Neighbors who don’t get angry…or get a gun…when they find my stray hog/mule/donkey/horse in their front yard.
- The guy I’m going to hire to come repair my pasture fencing before #5 wears off. I don’t know him yet, but I am grateful to him in advance.
- My house shoes. I have the greatest pair of house shoes. Seriously. Ugg house shoes. Treat yourself to some and I guarantee I will be on your 30 day list next year.
- House Hunters International. I am addicted to that show. I’m still shocked that most houses in other countries don’t come with kitchen appliances, and that closets in bedrooms are often optional. Huh?
- Bananas that are perfectly freckled.
- My family. I’ve had it pretty good in life. Cool parents, great sisters. Now I have nieces, nephews, and the “greats.” All gorgeous, smart, fun people. Sometimes I’m amazed that we are actually blood relatives. Love these people.
- My friend and business partner, Lawanna. We have built Pooches together over the past eight years and it would not have happened without her brains and determination. Grateful for our employees, customers, and the mad variety of dogs that grace our facility—and usually pee in our facility—every day.
- Grateful to my friend Bob who, in 1987, said that he thought Dalmatians were cool dogs. I would have never thought to get a Dalmatian had he not planted that seed. If not for my spotted dogs, my life would have taken a completely different path. I like this path, so I’m grateful to Bob for mentioning Dalmatians.
- For Jim’s family. They are great, intelligent, fun-loving people and they have taught me to play games. Lots of games. Dominoes, board games, card games. I did not grow up in a family that played many games. I’m not great at them, but I’m learning. Might I add that these are competitive people…their games are serious business and there is taunting. I think I’m taking Twister to the Thanksgiving gathering. They beat me at all of the games that require you to think, but with my freakishly long arms, I think I can go for the gold in Twister.
- Diet Dr. Pepper and duct tape. I don’t think either of these items require explanation, so I’ve lumped them together. If you don’t get it, then you just don’t get me.
- Facebook. Say what you will, Betty White, but I don’t think it’s a colossal waste of time at all. Ok, well, sometimes it is, but for the most part it has been a place of connection for me…old friends, new friends, friends and family across the miles, friends I’ve never met before, and pirates who inspire me (inside joke…but a good one. If you get it, you’re laughing. If not…sorry).
- Betty White. I love that woman. Facebook comment totally forgiven.
- My health. Your health. Everybody’s health. Strong and healthy, strong and healthy. Chant with me.
- Cloudy, cold, rainy days because they make me appreciate gorgeous, sunny days all the more.
- Our foster dog T-Mac and his miracle saliva. I had horrible chigger bites all over my legs a couple of months ago. That dog licked my legs and the bites disappeared. I am not making this up. I’m going to bottle that slobber as soon as I uncover all of its uses.
- The comeback of the Hostess Ding Dong. Don’t judge me.
- My aesthetician, Gabe. Every couple of months he makes me look like a zombie for a day or two, but oh how I love that baby-butt skin that follows. (Nothing fancy like injections of botulism …just chemical peels. I must add that you have to have a great level of confidence in the person who says he is going to administer a “controlled trauma” to your facial epidermis. Yes, I’m grateful for Gabe and his mad acid skills.)
- Audible books. I love listening to books while I commute to and from work. Love it. I may make a recording of this blog so I can see how it feels to be a famous author.
- The artists who read the books in my audio library. I just tried to make my own recording and let’s just say I do not have a future in that industry. Do I really sound like that to other people? Ugh. Don’t confuse that with Ugg. Uggs good—ugh bad.
- I’m grateful to whoever invented the Magic Eraser and Pill Pockets. Genius. Wish I had thought of them first.
- Spanx. I’m increasingly grateful for Spanx. I don’t call on them often, but on those rare occasions when I need to dress up…well…that’s all I’m saying about that.
- My crazy friends who challenge me to run in equally crazy races to hopefully help curb my need for Spanx. Who knew zombie races would introduce me to some of the greatest friends in the world?
- Mary Faye McFarland. She was my high school English teacher. She’s the reason I know cool stuff like “it-apostrophe-s” always means “it is.” It-apostrophe-s is not the possessive form of “it.” Crazy, right? And “Hey Nancy, did you lose (“s” makes a “z” sound) your pig…” means I should go check my neighbor’s yard for Jerry Swinefeld, while “Hey Nancy your pig is loose…” (hissing “s” sound) means that my pig is actually running amok in the neighbor’s yard. There, their, they’re, people. We all mess this stuff up. I’m pretty sure Mary Faye would make red marks all over my blog, but she will never catch me misusing “it’s!”
- My veterinarians, who are also my dear friends. These people never chastise me when I call to ask things like, “My dog just ate an entire couch cushion, what should I do?”
- The 12-step program that helped me stop playing Candy Crack…I mean Candy Crush. Again, don’t judge.
- Wonky shopping carts that remind me about gratitude and also give me an amazing upper body workout at the same time. The wonky shopping cart encounter taught me that gratitude does not always have to be about something profound and life-altering. It’s ok to be really grateful for the small stuff too. In fact, I should look for gratitude in every little moment of the day.
Damn. I sure wish November had 31 days, because I’m truly grateful to you for actually reading all the way to this point. And now here’s a little something for which (did you see that Mary Faye? I did not end my sentence with a preposition!) you may be very grateful…
The End. (Are you thankful?)