Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 List

Year's End

I love New Year''s a great big way to wipe the slate clean and go at it once again. Like Mondays, only a lot more fun and with great snacks! I got to go to lunch with BFF today, cleaned my stalls this morning and wear my way-cool purple shiny silk shirt from GW again. So it's already been a good New Year's Eve afternoon.

But to succinctly wrap it up, I'll give you my Top 10 Lists for 2010.

Top 10 Things for which I Am Grateful:

1. A personal relationship with the one, true God, through the person of His only Son, Jesus Christ. This has to come first, not because it should but because it is the filter through which I try to live, really. That doesn't make me better than anyone, or smarter or more spiritual. I am the chief among sinners, but thankfully, I am "on the line" and appreciate each time the Lord reels me in for a little one-on-one with the Holy Spirit, reminding me of the stupidity of "going it alone". I tell my children, the only hope we have is through Jesus. Hope for the future of our country, hope for our lives, hope for the dreams that are in each of us.

2. Loving, kind, well-mannered, funny parents. Yep, they're all that and more. I am thankful for their raising of me and their continued relationship which has evolved into a wonderful friendship, where I get all their best stuff! As I have posted here many times, my poor dad is still barn-building for me after all these years! And my mother will soon begin sleeping more peacefully, knowing that my kitchen/laundry/dog kennel/storage room will soon be completely demolished and replaced with something akin to!

3. Of course, HANDYMAN! I am what I yam because of him. Really. My parents got the first couple decades, but I grew up a lot when I met Handyman, because I wanted him to like me. I paid attention to what was important to him and I morphed! I gave up some of the goofy, girly nonsense and got serious about being a grown-up. I also read Debi Pearl's "Created to be a Help Meet" and learned how Biblical truths will always, always, always work--duh! And then of course, I read 17 years worth of This Old House magazine, so I can converse intelligently about moulding, spray-on insulation foam, underlayment, fiber cement siding and drip edge. ;)

4. My Bratinellas--all three of 'em. Because, well because I like them better than I like anyone else's bratinellas! They know me. They know my bark is worse than my bite and they know that I am trying to teach them things it took me awhile too long to picking up after oneself. They know Mommy loves Daddy the most and she's gonna do what he wants first. And they forgive me...thank heavens!

5. My awesome estate. Some might disagree with me, but it's wonderful in the summer, and terrific on dark, starry nights and pretty in the fall and wonderful in spring and even pretty in winter. It continues to evolve into something more terrific each year. And this year will be the biggie: New kitchen, back room stops being a storage unit and will become living space, with NEW back staircase, new laundry room, new mudroom. And I'm gonna make Handyman build a riding ring, pour concrete on the barn porch and frame up the tack room, so I can really ride horses again. (My dad better get back soon. There's work afoot.)

6. My critters. Goes without saying. Even on the most bitter winter mornings, IN THE DARK, once I get out there, I am so glad to be with them and feed them and rub their long, shiny winter coats. They give me something to get out of bed for...durn it! And the ones in the house are even better with that non-stop flow of love. Poor Handyman, didn't know what he was getting into. I promised him, once the kids left, I would be a crazy cat lady, who cleans the litter boxes. Next up, baby goats and bees!

7. I have this amazing, small circle of friends who are as faithful and loyal as anything I could have hoped for. When you're in high school, you think your friends are so deep and true and life-long and nothing could be further from the truth! You don't even know what life is about or what hard really is. When your friendships aren't about what any of you are wearing or doing, but about slogging on through devastating personal crisis or illness or significant loss and you keep linking your arms together and pulling forward and laughing whenever possible and taking care and not calling as much as you should...this is friendship. And I have been the beneficiary of some beautiful friends over the last decade or so. Women who I should get together with MUCH more than I do...who have been the sisters that I never had to grow up with!

8. In-Laws--I sure lucked out in this department. When I hear the stories from others, I almost can't believe the grief other women suffer. My in-laws have given me about 2 hours total of trouble in 20 years. Maybe less. In return, I have eaten at their table and opened their gifts and dumped off the bratinellas many, many times. My FIL is gone now, but I remember that a long time ago he told Handyman to get on with marrying me or he would do it himself!

9. My health. Of course there is no order to the things on this list. They're all about equal for me. But this would fall pretty high. Having walked through cancer, I feel stronger and surer and much, much more focused and I am glad for that experience. I recognize moments now and am more willing to sit and soak them up. I can just enjoy time for what it is. I regained a sense of wonder about much that was being swallowed up in the inanity of everyday American existence.

I am THANKFUL for the "broken" American healthcare system that allowed me to pick my doctors, and organize my treatment program according to what I wanted and needed. I didn't require the approval of anyone or anything. We pay our own health insurance, and for the majority of our medical needs, we pay for those too. My insurance company didn't give me one minute's trouble about anything I needed and I was NOT booted out. I didn't ask anyone else to pay for me and I'll be the first to join the group of "folks who don't want to pay for others' healthcare".

10. I'll be a little flippant and just say, that I love the internet. I love shopping on it. I love reading other blogs. I love reading the news on it. I love emailing my kids' teachers. I love skyping with my parents. I love watching old tv shows and movies, INSTANTLY. I love watching horse-for-sale ads on youtube. Okay, I love the White Knuckles dog video on YouTube. I even like Facebook, a little. The internet is awesome, and I hope the government keeps its grimy, greedy big paws off of it!

Leave me your list, if you wish!