100 MORE Things To Be Thankful For
100 Things Just Weren't Enough
You may have seen my list of 100 things I'm thankful for, but now I'm back to share some more.
My life has changed in significant ways since I wrote those first 100 things, but I'm still thankful for them. Some of those things -- well, people mostly -- are not in my life anymore, but I'm thankful for them nonetheless. They were and always will be part of who I am and part of valuable and memorable life experiences.
But life goes on, and I'm finding more and more things to be thankful for.
I'm So Happy About...
Being happier than ever!
101.New and true love with my best friend: This is the biggest change in my life since those first 100 things. The initial change wasn't by my choice and was honestly a big shock, but I've moved on. And now I'm happier than ever with a great man -- a giving, honest, brave and compassionate man I really enjoy being with. Like I said, I don't regret and am still thankful for the past, but I'm so happy about the present and excited about the future.
And I Appreciate...
102. Being welcomed and embraced by my husband's family. They've been so warm and accepting, and I feel like one of the family.
103. Being included in the lives of two new additions: I was there the day they were born -- a boy and a girl, twins -- and have been able to watch them grow and change since. I'm not related by blood or marriage, but their parents and family have included me nonetheless. That's a new experience for me.
104. My new friends: I'm as thankful as ever for friends I've had for a long time, but I'm also thankful for the new and special people I've met in recent times. We may not see each other often, but they mean a lot to me.
105. Continued good health: I've had a couple of health-related experiences in the past year or so that have made me nervous, but all turned out just fine. Knock on wood, I'm so thankful I'm still healthy.
I'm Also Thankful For....
106. Kicking a bad habit: It's not something I'm going to write about publicly, but I can say I'm so thankful and proud of myself for putting it behind me. Sure, it's always "there," especially if I'm really stressed, but I feel like I'm in control of it. (No, it's not drugs or alcohol.)
107. My beloved dog reaching her 14th birthday and in such good spirits and health: She still runs and plays like a puppy. Okay, so maybe only for short bursts at a time, but she's still got plenty of energy overall.
108. The person I nominated for Search & Rescue Volunteer of the Year getting the award: Each year, our SAR team awards one of its members with this honor, along with a plaque. For 2011, I wrote a letter to the Board of Directors, explaining why they should choose the leader of our team's new K9 unit. I knew it would mean a lot to her, and I was so happy she received this acknowledgement for her hard work and dedication.
109. Running more half-marathons: I enjoy the personal challenge, not to mention the energy of the crowds at the events. I'm thankful I've been able to successfully complete the runs and have a good time along the way.
110. Becoming a freelance journalist: I've received a couple of assignments to date, and my agent says there are plenty more to come. I enjoy going to the events -- concerts so far -- which are free for me via the media group, and writing stories about them.
111. Finally coming up with a plan for my next book: It will be my first non-fiction book-length project, based on my three-month trip to Nepal in 2010. There's been a long delay that was out of my control, but now I can begin.
112. Reconnecting with family members: Specifically, nieces. They're adults now, and we live far from one another, but I'm thankful we're keeping in touch now after years of not doing so.
113. Passing the technical rescue team recertification test: We have to recertify every year, actually. But this past test was particularly important to me. I did have to put in extra practice time to get some skills down that had been challenging me, but I ended up passing the test with flying colors.
114. The bike a friend gave me: It's a mountain bike that she wasn't using anymore, and she gave it to me as a gift. I hadn't ridden a bike in something like 20 years, and now I have one of my own. Got a bike helmet for Christmas, too.
115. Learning how to be more successful writing online: I'm making a decent income writing about topics I'm interested in or that tickle my fancy at any given moment. I love working in my PJs!
116. Sunny winter days: It's not easy to get out there and go running during the cold winter days here at 7,000 feet, but it sure is nice we have so many blue-sky, sun-shiny days in Flagstaff. Once I'm out there and moving, I really enjoy myself and am so happy to live in such a beautiful place.
117. Finding a good care situation for my mom: It was getting harder and harder for me to take care of her myself, especially after her first stroke. (She's had three now.) And I was having a tough time finding an assisted living facility to take her once she was released from rehab. But a friend who owns three care homes here in Flagstaff came through and offered her a spot, and it really is the nicest, homiest place of its kind in town. Of course, I know my mom would rather be in her OWN home, but given the circumstances, it's the best place she could be around here.
118. Planning a secret trip for myself and my man: Yes, I'm thankful for being able to do that. (He knows we're going somewhere but not WHERE we're going.) I'm thankful he was game for a surprise -- which is so much fun to plan -- and that I can afford to do it. You only live once!
119. The fact that my husband wants to work at making a good -- no, great! -- thing better AND stay that way: I probably should have added this one a lot sooner, but anyway ... I was so happy that he came home recently with the titles of two books about relationships that he wants us to read together. There was no problem between us, he said, and he said he's very happy (as am I), but he says there's always more we can learn about ourselves and each other. He believes in putting forth the effort to keep our relationship strong. And THAT means a lot to me!
120. That I'm doing okay financially in tough economic times: Wealthy? No! But I'm okay. I'm earning an income. I have a roof over my head (with my partner, which makes me happy). And I have more than what I need. I know many people aren't as fortunate, so I'm very thankful for what I have and for relative security.
I'm Grateful For...
121. Our team's new Search and Rescue building being completed: Well, there are still some things to be finished, but we now have a really nice facility that houses all of our equipment and vehicles, our meeting and conference rooms, our Coodinator's office and more. I'm thankful the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved the additional funding for all the recent work on the building.
122. That people are reading my novels: I'm always so thankful to see that someone has downloaded a copy of one of my two books available on Kindle. They're priced low, but what matters to me is that they're being read at all. I hope people like them!
123. That I'm getting to be a better cook and to enjoying it more: Believe me, I have a knack for culinary screw-ups. And I've pulled off a couple since my partner and I have been together (poor man). But I'm having fun making meals with my guy and goodies with our new sorbet and ice-cream maker. Really, I am!
124. Becoming friends with someone I used to think didn't like me: Naming no names, but I'm glad we reconnected last year and realized that we really do like each other.
125. Getting my first payout from Zazzle: I created Ramkitten's Adventure Emporium last year and haven't really done all that much with it. But people have been buying the cards, postcards, mouse pads and other items I've created using my photos, and I made the payout threshold for the first time. Lots more work to do, and I'm thankful for the site and the customers.
126. All the pro deals we get as Search and Rescue volunteers: It's great to be able to get as much as 50 percent or even more off of good gear and outdoor clothing. I don't buy a whole lot, but I'm thankful for the savings when I do.
127. That my investment account is steadily gaining back its losses: Hope I didn't just jinx myself! And of course, things certainly can change. But I'm thankful that my account is close to being back where it was when I opened it. And I'll be REALLY thankful if it keeps going in that direction.
128. That my husband was able to fix a couple of leaks around the house: No, seriously! It would have cost a lot more to hire a plumber. And the fact that he's not exactly the most handy man ... I was thankful he figured out the problems and could fix them. (Well ... with my help.)
129. The free weight bench and weights we got from a guy on Craigslist: He traded me for some frames I wasn't using anymore, and we got something we can really use. I like when that happens. A good ol' barter.
130. Winning $500: Okay, well, it was my husband who won, I guess; although, we spend money together, so ... so, yeah, we were on our way out of the hotel in Vegas at the end of our long weekend. (I'd just run the half-marathon there.) He put a $5 bill in a slot machine, and $500 came out. Nice! That was the only gambling we did.
And I'm Thankful For....
131. Chamois Butt'r: This stuff really works! It's this goop I use to prevent chafing when I run. I'm NOT thankful for chafing. :-) Yay, Chamois Butt'r!
132. All the volunteers that help out during running events: They hand out water, sports drink, and that icky Gu stuff at the stations along the courses. Volunteer bands play music on stages along the way. Others hand out medals, food, give massages and more at the finish line area. They pick up trash and discarded clothing, and so forth. I'm thankful they make the runners' and walkers' experiences so great.
133. That the growth on my dog's heiny was completely benign: Yeah, it wasn't pretty, and it cost quite a bit to have removed. But, thankfully, it was just a benign thingy that grew from an infection caused by some kind of puncture wound on her toosh, possibly from scooting. Too much info? Sorry ... but I am thankful it wasn't cancerous.
134. That I'm being hired as a ghostwriter/freelancer: I've had repeat customers too, which is really nice.
135. Dog-friendly hotels: I can't always find a pet-sitter, and sometimes I don't want to. So it's nice there are places that will allow Sassy to stay with us when we go out of town.
136. For people who pet-sit for us: When we can't take our critters, it's great when they can either stay at home with a pet-sitter or go to a pet-sitter's home rather than a kennel. I know there are really good kennels, but I'm more comfortable with a pet-sitting arrangement. I'm thankful for friends who look after Sassy the dog and Rocky the cat too.
137. That my husband is really enjoying photography: (See photo above) And I enjoy going with him to take pictures, looking for photo ops and seeing his photos afterwards. I'm thankful he's found something else he really loves doing. I'm happy to see him happy and having fun. He's getting really good, too!
138. That long-empty commercial buildings in our area are filling up: It looks like the economy is improving a bit around here. At any rate, it feels good to see buildings occupied and used for what they were intended rather than sitting empty.
139. Living in a place where we can drive an hour and warm up: It may be cold and snowy in Flagstaff, but we can drive an hour "down the hill" to Sedona and warm up a bit. Drive another hour to the valley (Phoenix area) and we warm up even more. So it's like enjoying multiple seasons all at once. Pretty cool!
140. That my credit card company caught the fraud right away: I'm thankful for their customer service, calling when they suspected fraud on my account. And I'm thankful they immediately took the charges off.
141. That experimental surgery was successful for a family member: It wasn't a life or death situation, but doing nothing or not being successful would have changed her life significantly. I'm thankful for the advances in medicine and the fact that she was able to have the surgery at all.
142. My Amazon sales picking up: I'm thankful for extra commission these days, from sales through my affiliate links on my various websites. It's fun to wake up, check my account, and see the amount has gone up. It's helpful extra income.
143. For having help shoveling snow this year: Last winter, I had to shovel multiple times each storm by myself, and the driveway is long and wide. It hasn't snowed a whole lot this year, but it's great having those extra muscles out there with me, moving the white stuff when it has.
144. For going to visit my home state of Rhode Island this year: It hasn't happened yet, as of when I'm writing this, but we'll be going back east this summer. I'm looking forward to seeing my old stomping grounds after a number of years and hooking up with friends there. I'm thankful I'll be getting my New England fix.
145. Fresh seafood: I don't have it much now that I live in the desert, but I sure will when I go back east!
146. The Appalachian Trail community: It's been more than a decade since I thru-hiked the A.T., but the Appalachian Trail folks are just as welcoming now as then. I look forward to doing more hiking on that great trail again.
147. Credit card cash rewards: Sounds silly maybe, but I just use my cards for everyday purchases and everything else, then pay them off at the end of each month. So it's nice to then cash in the reward points for money back and not pay any fees for the cards, either. Kind of a little extra income stream.
148. Friends who work or volunteer for the Park Service: They sometimes invite me to go with them in National Parks, National Recreation areas, etc., which means no permit necessary. It also means getting to do and see some cool stuff I might not otherwise be able to. I'm thankful they think of me.
149. People who fight plagiarism: There are those who steal others' work and pass it off as their own. And there are those who fight the good fight and go after them. It's an uphill battle, especially on the internet, and a never-ending one, but I'm thankful there are those, including people who write for some of the same websites I do, who have the energy and take the time to get those illegal sites and pages taken down.
150. The V.A. benefit for my mom from my dad's service in WWII: My father passed away in 2007. Shortly thereafter, I found out that my mom was eligible for widow's benefits, so I applied on her behalf. Those benefits were approved, and the funds now help pay for her care. It would be much more difficult without them.
I'm Also Thankful For....
151. Smaller and more comfortable music players: I really enjoy running with music. I started doing that last year after not running with music for a long time. It's nice to be able to listen to a lot of different music with good sound and comfortable ear pieces using a tiny device that doesn't get in the way. Yay for technology!
152. The G.I. Bill: I'm thankful it's covering my partner's tuition, books and then some, so he's able to continue taking college courses. It's extra difficult, since he works full time while going to school full time, but he's doing really well and likes most of his classes.
153. Cheesecake: I never used to like it, but now I'm hooked, especially on chocolate cheesecake, key lime, and pumpkin. Maybe I shouldn't be thankful for something yummy that has so many calories, but it sure is enjoyable to treat myself now and then.
154. California Condors making a comeback: It's great to see them at the Grand Canyon and occasionally elsewhere. I love to see those huge wingspans as they ride the thermals.
155. Night hiking: I wouldn't usually do it if it weren't for Search and Rescue, but, to me, it's one of the perks. Late-night or very early morning calls get me out of bed and into the night, so I experience places at times I wouldn't otherwise be out there. The wildlife and the whole feeling of these places is so cool in the dark. And the stars are amazing!
156. Having two excerpts of my Appalachian Trail journal included in a new book: The publisher approached me after finding my journal online and asked if they could include some of my writing. I said yes, of course, and they even paid me for it. That was cool!
157. Forgiveness: I'm thankful people can forgive my screw-ups and character flaws. Perfect, I ain't!
158. Strangers who support strangers: Even something as small as a high-five from a passer-by when I'm running feels so good. And I love to see people being nice and encouraging to others they don't even know. I witnessed a lot of that at a recent running event with more than 30,000 participants, and people were so supportive and conscientious of those around them. It was great to see!
159. People who pull over to text or talk on the phone: I saw someone ahead of me do this recently, and I appreciate that. I'm guilty of occasionally talking on my cell phone when driving, so I'm thankful that motorist set a good example for me to try to follow.
160. Disco!: There, I said it. I'm a fan of that fun, upbeat, and, okay, kinda goofy music. I like listening to it while I run and dancing around the house. Stayin' alive, stayin' alive, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin' aliiiiiiive! The BeeGees rule!
161. Neil Diamond!: Yes, I like him, too, and I'm not afraid to admit it. (*cringe*) And it looks like I'll be able to see him in concert later this year. (I didn't even know he was still performing, until recently.)
I'm Thankful For....
162. Cactus flowers: I love how sharp plants produce such beautiful flowers. I'm always thankful when I get to see them.
163. Free parking: What can I say? I'm always thankful when I don't have to pay to park and walk. And I don't mind walking a good distance, either.
164. The purple heart earrings and necklace I got for Christmas: My man gave them to me, so they're really special. He has his own Purple Heart, but his is the real deal, from the military. A few months ago, as I was hiking in the Little Colorado canyon (on a search for a missing person, in the middle of nowhere), I found a small felt purple heart on the river bank. That was a neat coincidence. I kept it and gave it to my partner -- my hero -- and I'm thankful it presented itself to me.
165. Good backlinks I don't create myself or ask for: A link from a related website to one of my pages or websites helps my page or site get found by search engines, which means more people visit. It's so cool when someone likes something I've written enough to link from their page to mine.
166.Reading aloud: I'm thankful that my partner likes to do this together. We take turns reading chapters to each other. It's a great way to spend time together, and then we can talk about what we've read.
167. Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteers: They can really make a difference in a child's life.
168. Alligator hair clips: I don't know what I'd do with my curly mop if it weren't for those little plastic things. I'm thankful they give me an easy way to do next to nothing with my fuzz.
169. Patience: Mine (usually) and other people's.
170. An email I just got: It says, "Deb, My book about my sister is about to go to press. I have submitted the proofs - all corrected. When I get a release date I'll set up a website. I took the liberty of including two quotes (appropriately credited by trail name) from your journal entries from Monson, ME in 2000. I will keep in touch." That's from a trail angel I met while I was hiking the Appalachian Trail. I also met the sister he speaks of. I'm so excited he found me! And I'm really looking forward to that book!
171. Bugs: Really! I don't exactly enjoy most of them, but I know they're necessary to make the world go round with life on it. So I'm thankful they're here, doing their thing. (As long as they stay out of the house and off of ME.) They make for cool macro photos, too.
172. People on social sites like Facebook and Twitter who actually answer me: Posting stuff and not getting any comments is kind of a drag. I'm always happy when people talk back to me, and they usually do. So I'm thankful I'm not always just talking to myself. :-)
173. Having good water to drink, just by turning on the tap: Lots of people in lots of places don't have that luxury. I like to think about how fortunate I am for things that are easy to overlook because they seem so normal.
174. People who understand that my sometimes silence doesn't mean I'm unfriendly: It's just that I don't always have anything to say. But I love to listen and enjoy the company of friends and family, even if I'm quiet. I'm thankful when people recognize that that isn't rudeness or me being aloof and accept me that way.
175. Those reclining snuggle couches: Well, that's what I call them, anyway. You know, love seats or sofas that have side-by-side recliners, so you can be comfy AND snuggle with your special someone while watching the tube or a movie, rather than be in separate chairs. (We don't actually HAVE a snuggle sofa right now, but there's one in our future, for sure.)
And I'll Tell You What Else I'm Thankful For....
176. Going a full year without drinking a Diet Coke (or Diet Pepsi ... or any diet soda): I've done it before, for a year and a half. And I'm GOING to do it again. I'm about two weeks into that year as of right now. I figure being thankful for doing it ahead of time will help.
177. The squirrels playing outside my window: They're fun to watch while I work. Helps keep me entertained when I need to take a short break from typing.
178. Bulk trash pickup days: I don't like creating trash, and if something is still useful and usable, I try to give it away. But sometimes trash is trash, and sometimes that trash is too big or too much for the regular trash can. So I'm glad our small city has curbside bulk trash pick-ups roughly once a month. Very convenient and sure beats a trip to the landfill, especially when you don't have a truck.
179. The nights I sleep well, without a kitty walking on my head: I like the cat (he's really my man's cat), but he likes to step on my head or hair at night. Not exactly conducive to a good night's rest. So I'm always thankful when he DOESN'T do that. I'm hopefully sending him positive reinforcement by saying so.
180. My friend, Liz, for (among many other things) sewing my SAR patches on for me: And re-sewing and re-sewing. One or the other of us goofed on which sides and sleeves which patches were supposed to go on, so she had to re-do them more than once on multiple shirts and coats. Thank you to her for her effort and not heckling me TOO much about the extra work.
181. Getting "purple star awards" on 83 of my Squidoo lenses -- lenses being our word for web pages or articles: Purple stars were recognitions of top-notch work, they said, given by the staff of Squidoo.com. Lenses were nominated by our fellow "lensmasters" (or sometimes discovered by the staff). I'm thankful for the votes of confidence. **Squidoo has since been sold to HubPages.com and our content transferred over, so no more purple stars.
182. Being introduced to caramel-flavored Cheerios: Quite enjoyable, actually, with cold milk. I just had some for dinner.
183. Natural hot springs: I think they're so cool. I'll be soaking in some again this year, on my third canoe trip in Black Canyon.
184. Horse noses: I just saw a close-up picture of one. They're so cute and soft. (You know, the part between the nostrils.) I used to enjoy rubbing them when I was a farm caretaker. Yes, I'm thankful for squishy horse shnozzes. I'm also thankful mine isn't that big.
185. Sticking with running long enough to enjoy it: At first when I re-started running, it felt pretty bad, like I had concrete blocks for legs and the world's tiniest lungs. Even though I was already a pretty avid hiker and was doing aerobic classes, running made me feel like I'd been lying on the couch for years. Eventually, however, I realized that, hey, that run didn't suck! And now it actually feels good. I'm thankful I didn't give up.
186. That my 83-year-old mother found a companion at the assisted living home: That makes it better for her, since she really has to be there. And I must say, it makes things easier on me by default.
187. FlagScanner (Chad) for keeping us locals informed: Chad listens to law enforcement and EMS scanners in the area and lets us know about the important events as they're happening, including wildfires, winter road conditions, accidents and road closures, crimes and significant medical issues. You can visit Chad at Flagscanner.com and on his Facebook page. I'm thankful for his community service.
188. For having learned from past mistakes: I feel like I've put the past to pretty good use in the present, which will help me and make me happier in the future. I've tried to be conscious of what I've done wrong and what I could have done better, and I'm thankful I'm seeing good come of that effort.
189. That people I'm no longer involved with seem to be happy: Via the grapevine, Facebook, and other avenues, it seems that some folks I was once close to are doing well. That's what I want for them, and I'm thankful they're apparently happy and healthy. I'm also thankful I don't hang onto grudges.
190. For a friend I've never met who just did something nice for me: It's not a big thing, really, but I really appreciate it. And it was done without asking for anything in return. Just a very nice gesture. What and who it is isn't important, only that it was done, and I'm thankful. I'll pay it forward.
And Last Ten But Not Least Things I'm Thankful For....
191. The Flagstaff Urban Trail System: I like having smooth, paved and unpaved paths to run, bike and walk on without having to watch out for traffic.
192. Actually not hating watching football: I'm not saying it's my FAVORITE thing to do or see, but given that my guy is a big fan, I'm glad I sort of enjoy it, especially when it's a close game ... or when the Patriots are winning. I'm still learning what all is going on out there on the field other than a bunch of guys piling on top of each other, but, so far, I'm having fun (although I sometimes play on my laptop while half-watching football). I'm also thankful that Jer actually answers all my questions -- at least, sort of -- while he's totally focused on the game.
193. For remembering before it was too late that I'd left eggs boiling on the stove: Yes, folks, hard boiled eggs really can and do explode. My mother has proven that more than once. I'm just thankful that I actually remembered before that happened ... and before burning the house down. It's happened more than once to me too, but my memory kicked in in the nick of time.
194. Hugs: I LOVE hugs. In particular, hugs from my guy. He gives the BEST hugs. Yep.
195. The hair on my legs growing very slowly ... and being blond: Sorry, that's probably more than you wanted to know. But it's true! I don't enjoy having hairy legs, but neither do I like shaving them. So I'm fortunate that the fuzz on my legs takes a long time to grow, and when it does, it's kind of hard to see. Yay!
196. Dancing: I'm not that good at it, but I enjoy it. Flagstaff has lots of social dancing opportunities, many of them free or very inexpensive. I don't go often anymore, but I'm thankful there are lots of places and times to do that if I want to.
197. Jer's spicy popcorn: It's yummy and fills me up without being too fattening. It's a good standby when we don't feel like cooking dinner.
198. Long weekend trips: I really love getting out of town (as much as I do like town) for mini-adventures, especially with my best friend -- my partner -- and good friends. We try to do that once a month ... at least. I'm thankful to be able to do that, even if it's just pitching a tent somewhere and relaxing.
199. Life being really good all around once again
200. YOU! For stopping by and reading (or at least skimming) through all of this thankfulness.
BONUS! That I actually found 100 MORE things to be thankful for.
Did I Repeat Myself?
Am I thankful for something here that I was thankful for in my first 100 things? If you notice a duplicate, let me know. I'll find something else to be thankful for!
© 2012 Deb Kingsbury