Year of Gratitude - Day 239 - Running a 5K

Today I ran the distance of a 5K. It was slow. It was not graceful. But it was over 3.1 miles and I never stopped running. I am grateful that I have gotten back into the habit of running again. I am really enjoying it and I feel great afterward. Plus, it's a great time to get back into my podcasts. If there's one thing that distracts me from the trials of running, it's trying to focus in on listening to the news, poetry, etc.


Year of Gratitude - Day 213 - Teachers: Mr. Bill Dummer

Mr. Dummer was one of the first, if not THE first, teacher I respected. Listen, back then I was a jerk, but I was always pretty smart. That combination wasn't great for a teen, but Mr. Dummer put me in my place while being an impactful teacher. He died on this day in  2006.

I had him in high school for American Literature. I should remember more than I do from that class, but I remember him introducing me to how I learn best - being challenged with intellectually deep dialogue and situations that required data collection and analysis. Mr. Dummer essentially taught me the first steps in reading and comprehending literature. I wish I had remembered more. I am tempted to go to my parents and try to find my high school notes (I know I have them). I could have used another half dozen teachers like him in high school.

Mr. Dummer died suddenly from what I understand was trauma to the brain. At the wake, I saw his brother, who looked EXACTLY like Mr. Dummer except for his white hair. He had Mr. Dummer's mannerisms, however, and that made me burst into tears. I was lucky to have had close interactions with Mr. Dummer. He changed my life and influenced many, many more.

Here is Mr. Dummer's death notice. I miss him very much and am extremely grateful to have had a teacher like him in my life.


Year of Gratitude - Day 211 - My Partner

My husband is my best friend. We have been together since 1999 and I feel like I love him more each day. I know that sounds very cliche, but there's really no other way to explain how I feel about him. Growing old with him will be wonderful. My best piece of advice to anyone who wants a long-term relationship is this: you have to be friends first. If you can't be friends, you can't be partners for life. Also, if you don't love yourself, loving others will be most challenging.

Also, when the server tells you that he is impressed that you ate that much surf and turf, you will regret what you've done in like 15 minutes after your anniversary meal.


Year of Gratitude & Book Review - Day 206 - Life as we knew it

Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was suggested to me a few years back and I recently saw it on a "Books you can't put down" list. It was indeed a very quick read, but I generally attribute that to young adult literature. Sometimes people are confused as to why I read so much literature dealing with dystopian worlds, miserable existences and the end of humanity. The reason is, and has been, that it makes me appreciate what I have and it makes me think about what it would be like if I DIDN'T have that.  That is definitely what this book did for me. This book is perfect for my year of gratitude.

This book is a work of fiction told through Miranda Evans's diary. She is a 16 year old girl in Pennsylvania and her entire world begins to change dramatically when the moon is struck by an asteroid. At first people celebrate, but then it's discovered that the asteroid pushed the moon closer to earth, causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and then knocking everyone off the grid. The family stays together and survives in the best way they know how. It is a part of a series and I'm not going to lie, I think I might want to continue with the series.

This book made me think deeply about my parent's love. It made me also think deeply about how fragile human life is. Back in 2003 when there was a major power outage, there was a day of celebration, then of quiet, then of slight panic that the lights weren't on. They came back on, but that was taste of how people would react. Of course, a power failure is not quite the same as a monumental natural disaster, but it was still a very sobering story.

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Year of Gratitude - Day 203 - Deftones

I got into the Deftones quite late and was at peace with the fact that I'd never see them live. Well, today I saw the Deftones live. Not only was I grateful to see the Deftones, but I was grateful that we got there early enough - they started at 7:30! It was great, though, and I heard all kinds of songs I loved.

Incubus was wonderful, too, but I've seen them a bunch. Totally grateful for a great night of great rock.


Year of Gratitude - Day 198 - Fitbit

My husband bought me a Fitbit today. Much like my iPod did many years ago, this is the device that is going to help me change my life. I am grateful for tools like this, MyFitnessPal and the countless cooking sites I use to change the way I eat and exercise.


Year of Gratitude - Day 189 - Mama

It is my mom's birthday. I don't feel that I need to expound about all the reasons I love my mom. She is literally half the reason I came into this world. The sacrifices that she has made for me, both on her own and with my dad, ensured that I would have a chance to succeed in life. For that, there is no repayment and we do not have enough time or words to share what that means to me.

I love you, mama!


Year of Gratitude - Day 188 - Mother Jones

While now I follow the publication on Facebook, I found out that:
"On July 7, 1903, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones began the "March of the Mill Children" from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's Long Island summer home in Oyster Bay, NY, to publicize the harsh conditions of child labor and to demand a 55-hour work week. 
That's from the Zinn Education Project Facebook (which is also great).  They have this awesome bio on her on the website. I loved this part of the passage (emphasis added):
Mother Jones, honored today by the political magazine that bears her name, lived in a time when women were not allowed to vote. “You don’t need a vote to raise hell,” she said about that. “You need convictions and a voice.” She perhaps is best known for her saying, “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”
This was an incredible women that lived through some pretty serious hardships, including losing four children to yellow fever and everything she owned in a fire after that. Yet, she lived. She truly lived.


Year of Gratitude - Day 184 - Anibal Sanchez

I have seen some great pitchers come through Detroit. Today, Anibal Sanchez came very close to pitching a no-hitter. It was a gem. Tigers were able to hang on, but it was looking rather dicey in the 8th inning. I've been grateful to see a couple of Sanchez's better work this season.

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