Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why?   I am going to go with June.  Right now it's warm but not cook you from the outside in hot! I am also happy with the garden and all the flowers. 

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?  I can swim.  I took lessons as a child.  I can't remember not being able to swim.  I own one pair of sunglasses.  That pair stays in my car. 

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?  I am not really harsh about myself.  I have come to accept myself and not get worked up about things I am not "perfect" in. Years ago, I would have said my weight but now....not so much.  I just don't care what others think.  I guess some people would think I am a bit loud.  I am not the meek, mild and quiet type! I have good friends and they accept me for who I am.  As for other people, I have to say laziness bothers me.  I don't care much for people that are pure lazy as in- too lazy to take a shower and wash their clothes!  Too lazy to take care of their children- change their diapers and wipe their faces.... you know the type I mean? 

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled
The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you?   Honestly, the road I am traveling right now is a road I have always wanted to take.  I am a home schooling mom.  I take care of our home and raise our children. I am married to the best and hardest working man I know!  No one can take his place in our lives and I am loving the road I am taking!
5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor?  I am in the nay camp.... I may have only liked them when I was a kid....then just maybe....
6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?  I am in the upper scale.  I know about it and have followed it in the news but I am not going to concern myself with it right now.  I honestly don't know how it will play out in the USA.

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.  I don't have a summer playlist.  I don't listen to music unless it is from the kids devices or on the radio.  There isn't a particular song that comes to mind.  I have a radio on in the kitchen all day long.  I turn it on in the morning and off right before bed.  It is tuned to a local Christian music station.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  I have been keeping my cucumber plants watered (they take about 1-1.5 quarts of water a day) and they are really producing some terrific cukes!  I am really happy with these hanging vines.  I picked 5 cucumbers off them on Monday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Color My Walk

Summer evenings make for the best time to take a walk. The sun is sitting low in the sky and we usually have a breeze of some sort.
We went for a walk on Sunday and I thought that it would be fun to take pictures of the flowers that are right beside the road.  This is one of the perks of living on a country road!
I am having a bit of trouble getting all the pictures I took to download so these pictures will have to do. I also wanted to make them a bit larger but they are coming out blurry! Ack! Oh well, I can't win all the time. :-)
I personally think that daisies are a "happy" flower. We don't seem to have as many daisies this year.  Last year it appeared that we had more of the perky flower along the road.

I was happy at the variety of color. Tiger lilies were in several different groups along the road.
There were a lot of these bright yellow blossoms along the road.  They were scattered and not in big bunches but it made for a nice splash of color for our walk.
Ryder found several patches of wild strawberries along the fields that he stopped and picked.  Wild strawberries are very small in size- about the size of a pea- but they are very sweet. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cat Sitting- Pumpkin

   Pumpkin is fast asleep by the laundry basket. He is a deep sleeper.

   Madilynne came downstairs and asked me if she could cat sit her best friend's kitty for awhile.  I quickly replied, "Yes" and threw her off guard.  She was armed with all kinds of reasons why she should be able to watch the kitty.  She didn't expect me to agree to it and definitely not a fast positive response.  We have dog sat for family members before but never had a cat.  Pumpkin has by far been the easiest to keep.  

His little paw is curled under! So cute!

   Pumpkin has adjusted to our house nicely.  I was pretty concerned about his adjustment because we have our own cat, and I was a bit leery that she may get territorial or something and go crazy on Pumpkin. Oh, they still keep their distance from each other but nothing has happened.  It's kind of funny to watch them side step around each other. 

Pumpkin washing his face!
   We set Pumpkin's belongings up in the playroom. He has his own space at night. We are able to keep the door closed and he has full range of that room at night.  I feel it is good to separate them at night.  Our cat can have her regular space at night and not be concerned that Pumpkin will invade her area and I don't want to wake up to cats "arguing"!  :-)  I open the door to the playroom as soon as I come downstairs in the morning but Pumpkin stays under the cook stove until he feels ready to face the day.

   I think we are spoiling him though. He has his pick of couches to sleep on, air conditioning and Madi even turns a night light on for him every evening.  The one night it was bright from the moon so I didn't think he needed the extra light. Ryder really likes the kitty and Jeremiah has a temporary lap cat since our kitty isn't really a good lap cat.  


Monday, June 20, 2016

More Q & A

   Meredith at The Journey Starts With Imagination has nominated my little blog for the Liebster Award.  Since I have already done this before I decided that if I answered the questions she asked you could get to know me a bit more.  Well, and let me be honest, it was a really easy post idea.  However, I personally think that some of these questions are a bit hard.... I had to really think!  LOL

1. What is one of your favorite novels? I don't have a favorite novel. I enjoy reading but not a particular novel. 

2. What is your favorite recreational activity?  As much as it pains me to type this (wink), I have to say it is taking the boat to the lake with the family.  It really is relaxing to read and talk with out distractions.  We pack a small lunch or snacks and drinks and enjoy our time together.

3. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why? Alright, this is hard to decide between... I will preface that I do NOT wish to travel outside the US only because I don't like to travel much... I will fly short distances but not a fan of it in general and would rather drive there- sooooo.....  I really want to go to the Creation Museum and I would like to go to the Charleston Tea Plantation.  We do plan on visiting the museum at some point this year.  As for the Tea Plantation, well, that would just be me and I don't think that will be in my future anytime soon.  :-) 

4. What is your favorite breakfast food?  I am not a fan of breakfast.  I don't care much for any breakfast food but since I need an answer I will go with waffles with real butter and real maple syrup- nothing imitation.

5. What is the last song you listened too?  It would have to have been a song from church yesterday.  I couldn't tell you which one though.... I have the radio on all the time but I haven't paid attention to what was playing recently.

6. If you could pick one person that you would say, 'really gets you' who would it be? To be perfectly honest, I don't think any one person "gets me". The closest person would be Jeremiah.... 

7. What is the scariest thing you have ever done?  Scariest thing- would have to be bringing Madilynne home from the hospital as a newborn.  We had a good idea of what we were getting into but it was scary none-the-less.

8. If you could go back and do one thing differently in life what would it be?  IF I could do something differently it would have been to have more kids. Not a dozen or so but maybe two more....  ;-)

9. What is your favorite sandwich?  I am going to go with a BLT minus the T.  Lots of Bacon, Lettuce and Mayo!   

10. Tell about one time in your life when you have been really excited about something and when it finally happened were slightly disappointed.  This is going to sound ungrateful but I am going to tell it anyway. 

It was Christmas many, many years ago. 
Jeremiah was hyping up this wonderful gift he got me. 
I was going to love it! 
 I needed it!
I wanted it!
 It would be so happy with this gift!
Christmas morning dawned. 
I excitedly opened this "wonderful" gift.
It was a hot pink cell phone.
I didn't want a cell phone
and I certainly didn't want one that was hot pink!
You have to remember that years ago, (young readers) not everyone had cell phones.  :-)
He gave me a gift that came with a monthly bill!
We took that cell phone back and I got a silver instead.
All was well...

11. What is your favorite holiday memory?  Jeremiah proposed on Christmas Day 1994!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Wind chimes

   Several posts back, I answered some questions for the Liebster Award. Here is one of those questions is here with my answer: 

5. Would you hang windchimes on your porch? Would I? Yes. Do I? No.  At one time I had a small set hanging.  The set that I currently have was given to me when my aunt passed away several years ago. I do not want them to be ruined so they hang in the corner of our playroom by a siding glass door.  When the wind is strong it will ring them.  Each chime has a verse of "Amazing Grace" on it. 

I wanted to expand on my answer.
   Many years ago when we moved to the farm, I had a cheap wind chime set hanging on the front porch.  It didn't take long for it to be ruined from the wind that whips along the front of the house.  This particular set has too much emotional attachment for me to be destroyed. 
   My dad's side of the family is small.  My grandfather passed away in 1970's and my grandma passed in 2005 so that left my Aunt C and Uncle K ("Unc", Dad's brother). Several years ago Aunt C went to the beach with her sister and best friend as they did every year.  (She LOVED the beach and was the first person to take me to see the ocean in my teen years.) When they arrived at their hotel room Aunt C said she didn't feel too well and  that she was going to go to bed.  My aunt never woke up. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon in September when Unc called and told me that she had passed away very unexpectedly in her sleep.  It shocked me to the core as she was ONLY 50 years old, thin and appeared to be in good physical shape!  Not someone you would look at and think would die young.
   This set of chimes was given to me from Aunt C's mother and sister.  They weren't here to help Unc handle the funeral arrangements as they live 1.5 hours away. I walked through the process with him and it helped to have something to do with my time and a way to grieve myself. I think it helped him to know that he had us to lean on also. My aunt and uncle did not have any children; it's only my two brothers and me in this generation.  
   I don't write this post to make you sad.  I loved Aunt C dearly and she is in a much happier, better place- heaven.  I tell you this story because when I see my lovely set of wind chimes hanging in the corner of the playroom I think of her and I am reminded of how loving and sweet she was to us. Her love of sports, especially football and tennis and how she hated green beans!  I can remember the sound of her laugh. Many good memories come to mind when I see or hear those chimes. 
   I also remember that our time on this Earth is limited and we would do well to spend our time well. We do not know when we will breathe our last breath or spend time with loved ones.  Make the most of each day you have been given. Make memories with those you care most about. 
Live (Galatians 5:22) 
Laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
Love (1 Corinthians 13:4)
   Each chime has a verse to "Amazing Grace" written on it. 
~Amazing Grace~ 
John Newton (1725-1807)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.
When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Our Late Garden 2016

   We are several weeks late with our garden this year.  I am really not a good gardener- Jeremiah is so much better!  I do not find it relaxing to dig in the dirt and pull weeds.  It is a very dreaded chore for me and I was happy to not do it for the last couple years.  I had been going to a local produce stand that is less than 2 miles from our home.  I was happy to let them do the gardening part and with a smile on my face I would hand over cash to bring home the produce to can, freeze and process. 

Ryder's section of corn

  Well those were the days. Last week Ryder decided that he wanted to garden this year.  He wants corn and lots of it! It is a mite late to plant corn but we will see what happens. He went to work and started on tilling the garden.  That's all it took for the gardening gene in Jeremiah to explode so on Monday...a small corn patch has turned into a full garden. 

   We put in tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, red beets, carrots, radishes, watermelon, cantaloupe, spaghetti squash, zucchini and cucumbers along with Ryder's corn. 

   Jeremiah made a kind of raised bed this year.  He can run the tiller through the rows easier to keep weeds at bay. 

   I planted a marigold at the end of each row.  I thought it would make the garden look happier and deter small animals from coming into the garden with their smell.  We will see how that works but it does give the garden color at the moment.

   This photo shows the corn section in front of the garden.  They are close so it makes watering easier.  The last time this section was planted it was full of tomato plants, 50 I think! It was several years ago.  Ryder had his hands full getting the soil ready to plant.

  In the previous picture you can see one of our kitties "Meow" in-between the two gardens.  I took a picture of her since she was accompanying me while I took the photos of the garden.  She is 14 years old and a very affectionate kitty.  She will follow you around the yard and loves to be petted.  She is a loyal pet and a good mouser which is a good thing on a farm.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. If you could sit beside and/or jump in any lake in the whole wide world today, which lake would you choose and why? I would go to a local lake.  I just wrote about this yesterday!  Here is a link to that post! I have pictures included so you can see how beautiful it is against the mountains.

2. What's your favorite 'fruity' drink? Most anything "strawberry"! I really like strawberry flavored drinks. I did have an apple flavored iced tea last fall at a local restaurant it was delicious but I will stick with strawberry drinks. Oh wait...I did have a blueberry flavored soda at a quaint restaurant and it was beyond delicious!!  I have a post on that also. It's so hard to decide!  HaHa!

3. I read a list here of thirteen things to do right now to simplify your life. They were-
clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships (cut toxic ties), unsubscribe (too many blogs and websites), de-clutter, write down your daily goals, reply to emails right away, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, re-evaluate your commitments (which hobbies and responsibilities are most important to you), say no, clean up your computer, and plan your day ahead

Which of the tasks listed do you currently find most helpful in keeping life simple? Which item on the list should you adopt in order to simplify your life this month?
Helpful:  clean as you go, re-evaluate your relationships, de-clutter, forget multitasking, create a morning routine, say no,
Should adopt: unsubscribe, reply to emails right away
Now my thoughts... I try to clean as I go but it doesn't always work out.
I have re-evaluated my relationships and I have a close circle of friends in whom I find encouraging and freeing. These friends allow me to be myself and accept me for who I am. 
De-clutter, that is hard for me but I try to work at it regularly.
I do not multitask much anymore.  I concentrate on one thing before going on to the next.  It works out so much better for me as I am forgetful.  
I have a morning routine that works for me right now.  I have to be flexible with it as different days have different schedules but I have found what works for me.
Say no.  I am getting good at that now.  I used to be a people pleaser and took on way too much. 
I need to unsubscribe to some websites but I just don't do it.  I really can't explain why.  I have ditched some sites that wore me down mentally.  I can overlook some ideas because we are all different but I felt that several sites just didn't come in close to my ideas and found myself thinking that the ladies who wrote those sites were idiots so instead of thinking bad about them, I unsubscribed. Problem solved. No more negative thoughts...
I am NOT good at replying to emails right away.  I will if it is necessary but some I need to think about prior to forming the email and some just go unanswered.  I was better at this years ago but I have somehow let go of quick responses.  It would do me good to get better at this.
4. What did you do the summer after you graduated from high school?  I got a job and worked through college.
5. Are you a fan of podcasts? If so what's a favorite? I am probably the only person out there who hasn't listened to a podcast.  I honestly don't think it would be all that great for me.  I don't concentrate enough to listen to one. 
6. Do you think today's fathers have it harder, easier, or just different than fathers in the past?  I believe it to be- just different.  Men are men regardless of time period.  I think that they want to do the best they can to provide for their family and it doesn't matter what year they were born in.  Each time period has its own set of challenges and I think that good fathers really do try their best and make the most out of every possibility for their families.
7. Tell us one way you're like your father? Or not at all like your father if that's easier?  I like country living and so does my dad.  It's nice to go and sit on the front porch and look out and see the lush green fields and wooded areas all around us. 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.  Last week I mentioned our cucumber plants in hanging baskets and several asked that I keep you up to date. I think that they are doing really well.  I am pleased so far and think that if it keeps working out like this we will do it again next year!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sunday on the Lake

   Sunday was a lovely day for us.  Madilynne was a helper last week for Vacation Bible School (VBS) at a small, local church.  She loves to help at VBS and has been a helper for the last several years. After the week is complete the church dedicates the following Sunday to the VBS and the kids get to show what they have learned and to recognize the people that organize VBS and the helpers.  It is always a fun service.

 The weather was beautiful on Sunday afternoon and Jeremiah and Ryder couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than on the lake. We loaded up some snacks and took the boat out.  Madilynne and I usually spend the time reading or talking too much ;-) and the boys fish and join in on our chatting! 

We always have a great time together on the lake. Ryder caught several fish that he released to swim again.  I don't think that Jeremiah caught many/any because he was busy keeping the boat a safe distance from the shore but in a good range for Ryder to fish.

It was a bit windy in the open waters so Jeremiah took us into some of the coves and it wasn't very choppy.
This picture was just for fun... I don't normally take "feet pictures"! HaHa!
I am blessed that our family gets to spend time like this together.  I hope that you get to spend some quality time with your loved ones. What are some of your favorite ways to get spend quality time together?
Be blessed today!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. I read here a list of 13 things you should do in June. I'm paraphrasing a little but basically...

Go on a road trip with your best friend, pick fresh strawberries, host a garden party, take a morning run, treat yourself to a flower bouquet, spend a whole day hiking, discover a new coffee shop, try a new ice cream flavor, read at least one book, visit a Farmer's Market, make a swing for your home, and visit a new city. 

Which thing on the list do you most want to do? Of the activities mentioned, which one holds the least appeal? How many on the list will you attempt in June? What's one thing you'd add to the list?  I would most like to pick strawberries.  It is one of my favorite berries.  Jeremiah (I am a terrible gardener) had a lovely strawberry patch for us for many years but these past two years have taken a toll on it.  It hasn't produced many at all. 
Least likely to do- take a morning run is almost tied with spend a whole day hiking....
Will attempt in June: read at least one book and visit a Farmer's Market
Add to the list: Attend our homeschool graduation and end of the year picnic.

2. What's something you could do today to feel more peaceful?  Drink more tea!  Actually I start my day with Bible reading and prayer so my day has a peaceful beginning.
3. June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Are you a fan? Swiss mocha, rocky road, chocolate chocolate chip, peanut butter and chocolate, or a dish of plain chocolate...what's your pleasure?   This is easy...I don't care much for ice cream no matter what the flavor is. The only ice cream that I will eat occasionally is vanilla.
4. If you came with a warning what would it say?  Not a happy camper when hungry or hot!
5.What's the most interesting website you've visited in the last week?  Well unfortunately, for this question, I haven't had much time to surf the web this week or spend much time on the computer so I don't have anything to put here.
6. Spring, summer, autumn, winter...which season are you? Why? I guess summer because it is warm and I always seem to be warm.
7. "You lose sight of things...and when you travel, everything balances out." ~Daranna Gidel

Would you agree with that sentiment? Explain why or why not.  
I think it depends on where you are traveling and what your level of contentment is.  This seems to be a "worldly" quote to me.  A "keeping up with the Joneses" type of statement; if you will. If you are always in a competition for bigger and better then this statement would be beneficial to you. 
8. Insert your own random thought here.  Madilynne, Ryder and I went to a local greenhouse Monday to get some cucumber plants that my mom had told me about.  I got two plants.  They planted cucumber plants in a hanging basket and the vines hang down and produce nice cucumbers.  They aren't huge in size (about 5-6" long and 1" in diameter) but we don't eat a lot of them so what these plants will produce will be wonderful for us. Has anyone ever heard of doing this before?  I think it is a neat idea.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chocolate Syrup

   Ryder is our sweet tooth kid.  He is all about any kind of sweet.  One of his current favorites is chocolate milk. As a child, my mom made chocolate syrup.  She found it in a Hershey's recipe book.  I am not a fan of buying chocolate syrup from the store, especially since I can make a better version. I have been making this chocolate syrup for years and have shared it with many friends and they give it great reviews.  Several of them stated that their family members wouldn't use the store bought stuff ever again. 

   Try this recipe only if you don't want to buy the store stuff again- it's that good! 

Chocolate Syrup

3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
Dash salt
1 cup hot water
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan; gradually stir in water until mixture is smooth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir constantly for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla. Allow to cool then pour into a container. Cover and refrigerate. Makes 2 cups.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of syrup to milk; stir until blended.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


   I thought that I would answer my own questions from the Liebster Award post.  I was going to do this earlier but life interrupted. :-)  Here is another small glimpse into my world.

1.  Do you prefer to ride in a vehicle with the windows open or the air conditioning on?  Definitely use the air conditioning!  I do not enjoy the wind whipping in the windows and messing up my hair....shallow, I know!

2.  Do you prefer to swim in a lake or a pool?  I enjoy the pool.  I am not a fan of swimming in lakes. My in-laws purchased a pool when Madilynne was 2 and Ryder several months old. 
3.  Favorite food to eat when you are hot?  I don't have a favorite food to eat when I am hot.  I prefer sandwiches and chips over making a meal though.  I will not pass up some good sweet tea either! 

4.  Your favorite candy bar?  I am a plain chocolate eater.  I prefer a Hershey bar.  When I was younger I loved to eat Zero bars. 

5.  Cats or dogs? Cats all the way!  I am not crazy about dogs.  If I would have to choose a dog it would be a poodle but even that is pushing it.

6.  Do you prefer board games (like Monopoly/Scrabble) or card games(like Phase 10/Uno)?  I am not a board game fan but I enjoy playing Battleship with Ryder and Madilynne.  I enjoy card games like Skip-Bo and Uno.  Jeremiah loves to play games. 

7.  At home are you barefoot or wearing shoes?  Barefoot!  I don't care much for wearing shoes.  I kick my shoes off as soon as possible.

8.  You're going to make supper. Do you chose chicken or beef?  I would choose chicken. Here is a quick recipe:  I like to take a 13 X 9 pan and arrange chicken breasts on it, place uncooked bacon strips on the chicken and bake them for 30 minutes.  Add BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese and bake and additional 15 minutes. Easy dish to make.  I will pair it with mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes.

9.  Relaxing outside, do you prefer to sit in the sun or the shade?  Shade!

10. If you were to go camping do you want a tent or a camper?  Camper.  I have done both styles of camping and hands down would go with a camper! 

11. Country or city living?  Country living!  I am NOT a fan of the city.  I don't enjoy it even to visit a city.  I would not want to even live in a small town.  At one time we lived in a small village where the neighbors were close.  I prefer my country life so much more!  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Tell us about one fun thing on your June calendar.  Our home school group will be having our End-of-Year Picnic and graduation service this month.  You can't go wrong with good food and good friends. 
2. How careful are you in the sun? Do you tan or burn? Do you make it a point to see the dermatologist every year?  I am not careful in the sun.  I don't spend a lot of time in the sun but when I do I do not use sunscreen.  I don't think it can be healthy to bake chemicals into your skin and say its safe....Not going to have a debate on that though.  I burn and then get a slight tan.  Nothing great either way.  I do not go to see a dermatologist.
3. Describe a time when you wanted to 'throw in the towel'?  Our laptop will occasionally go wacky on us.  It seems to only do it when I am in a hurry or need to access something quickly.  I have to shut the system down and reboot again. It frustrates me and I am ready to say goodbye to technology.  Then it reboots and all is well again! 
4. What's a song you love that has a day of the week in the title or lyrics?  I can't think of a song at the moment....
5. Are you a fan of berries? Which one's your favorite? What's the most recent berry dish you've eaten? Which blueberry breakfast food appeals to you most-blueberry pancakes, blueberry yogurt, or a blueberry muffin?  I like berries.  Strawberries are my favorite.  While at our family Memorial Day picnic someone brought a Jello Cake with a flag design on it.  I had a piece with a strawberry on it! So good!  I enjoy blueberries also. My favorite from the list would be blueberry muffins.  I enjoy making them and apparently my family enjoys eating them as I never have many left over to have tea the next day! 
6. What's something you want to do before your next birthday?  I would like to visit the Creation Museum
7. June 1st is National Say Something Nice Day, so let's all say something nice here.  I was checking out at our local Wal-Mart Saturday and the cashier was very pleasant.  I told her that she made parting with my cash a much more pleasant experience. My former life (before kids) I was a secretary and worked with the public.  The public can be rude a lot.  I wanted to let this lady know that I appreciated her positive attitude.  She thanked me for noticing!  How about that?! 
8. Insert your own random thought here.  The temps have been cooperating and I have been running the kids to my in-laws to swim regularly.  We are hoping to go again this evening.  Enjoy your day!