Giving Thanks For Small Pleasures

by Kimberly A. Cook

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. Food, family, food, friends and leftovers. Notice the pattern. It’s also a time for me to reflect on what I am thankful for at this time of year. Besides pumpkin pie.

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Spec Ops Cat letting me take a gazillion pictures of him.  Even though you can tell he is not amused. But he is ready for the holidays with his festive blankie.

So here is a quick list of some moments and small things that have recently made a big difference for me.

  • Five birdies having a great time in the bird bath yesterday
  •  Spec Ops Cat stalking the hair dryer cord
  • Reading the book “Soar” by T.D. Jakes
  • Hallmark Christmas movies
  • A hot shower
  • Laughing with family and friends
  • Two new kitten cousins, Thelma and Louise
  • Sunshine, rain, sunshine, wind outside
  • Reading in bed
  • Icy Hot, Tens machine, heating pad and massage
  • Dove Dark Chocolate
  • Donating furniture to homeless veterans program
  • Planning Christmas cookie baking
  • Holiday songs
  • Shopping in my Fire Mountain Gems bead catalog
  • Gathering leaves to dry
  • Spec Ops Cat cuddles
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Folks who read my blog – the best and brightest people on the planet

What is on your thankful list this year?

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


Filed under joy

Got A Turkey Launch List?

by Kimberly A. Cook

With everything going on right now, I think the best thing to do is to prepare for Thanksgiving. Focus on food. With less light, more rain and cold temperatures, it’s the perfect time to plot the menu for next week. Once again we must answer the age-old question – jellied or whole cranberries?

Pumpkin pies and/or cake? Both. Whip cream? Always. Turkey. Yes or homemade ravioli as one former co-worker’s family. Whatever food will grace your table, it’s time to prep.

I spent two Thanksgivings in mess halls and our Army cooks put on quite a feast. And it didn’t really count if that crab leg got away from me and flew across the dining hall. I acted cool. It might still be there.

So seafood or Italian or turkey or whatever you wish for your celebration, let’s be thankful for what we have. Let us also remember our military troops serving around the world who will be eating in mess halls and aboard ships.

For those of us who might need some help in the kitchen skills arena, Snoopy is happy to show off his sous chef skills.

Happy Quirky Friday and make your Thanksgiving launch list!


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Filed under Quirky Fridays

Happy Veterans Day

by Kimberly A. Cook

On Veterans Day eve I want to send out Veterans Day wishes to all our military vets, two and four-legged. Thank you for your service and your dedication to our country.

Since those of us who have served in the military are a smaller and smaller percentage of the United States population, veteran stories may not reach all our citizens.

For veterans struggling with the return from war, deployments and even sexual assault, know you are loved and hugged by your fellow veterans. Reach out and get help. We’re all still in the buddy system.

Whether you prefer Veterans Day ceremonies or choose to spend the day in reflection and quiet, know you have served our country with true citizenship in action.

Thank you. Enjoy your day.




Filed under Veteran Stories

Amused A Dolphin Today?

by Kimberly A. Cook

Dolphins are some of the smartest mammals on earth; humans included. With all the crazy going on these days, it gives me great hope to know we can have inter-specie communication which makes finned and earth walkers both laugh with delight.

Dolphins live in the now and this one is having a blast. There is hope for us humans to get along if dolphins will giggle with us. Maybe we just need to ask the dolphins for advice.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Filed under Quirky Fridays

Run For The Candy!

by Kimberly A. Cook

It’s candy day! Forget the kids, this holiday is for us grown-ups who really need an excuse to sugar-load. There are no calories on Halloween. Trust me. They roll over to November first. So enjoy yourselves.


How cute is this garden center ghost?


Today is our last day of bright sunshine for awhile. The rains are coming and cold temperatures. Today I am protecting faucets,  putting the fuchsias in the garage and stowing away my beloved lawn swing. I was only able to use it for six days this summer. better than none.

Right on schedule my Emergency Preparedness 5-day supply backpack arrived to put in the car. Given the horrendous weather we’ve had this year, maybe I should have bought two and one small cat one for Spec Ops Cat. (They need to make kitty and doggie emergency backpacks too.)


Candy days! But not my favorites.


Learned logistics from my military days; if you don’t have supplies, you don’t have them when you need them. Another reason why I hoard purple ink pens and Post it Notes. And copy paper. And printer ink. And three-ring binders. You get the picture.


Peanut M&Ms! My favorite. Along with Dove Dark Chocolate. Did you know M&Ms were developed in 1941 for World War II troops C-rations? Plus Tootsie Rolls helped save the lives of Marines at the Chosin Reservoir battle during the Korean War? Patriotic candy! 

So your one big decision today is what treat are you going to have? I let myself have one. It can be a piece of pie, or candy or a cinnamon roll. For some reason, cinnamon rolls have been prominent picks lately.

Enjoy Halloween.  Indulge but don’t overdo. And remember; running for the candy burns calories. Sweet!



Candy links:

M&Ms History –

Marine Corps and Tootsie Rolls –

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Filed under Food

Seen The Lemur Pumpkin Cam?

by Kimberly A. Cook

This is restock weekend to get the last of the Halloween candy before they clear it out of the stores on Sunday. For those of us who eat the pre-taste candy, get in there and get stocked up for the trick-or-treaters or yourselves. I don’t judge.

These pumpkin prowlers are ahead of the game at the Indianapolis Zoo by getting early treats. I prefer to think they are munching on raisins instead of some bug stuff. But that one little guy really wants to be a camera operator or selfie star.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!


Filed under Quirky Fridays

Blankie Time?

by Kimberly A. Cook

The past two weeks family commitments have kept me busier than a popcorn fart, as my Dad used to say.  Nothing bad, just hectic. Plus given the news lately, sometimes I don’t even know what to write.

But here goes. Compassion fatigue is real. Back in the day we had three tv channels that went off the air at midnight, no cell phones and social media happened at the hair salon.

So feel free to unplug, turn off and give yourself a break. Take action to focus on family, friends, pets and neighbors close to you. What you can control.

Believe it or not, we are USAStrong. We’re a very big family, a dysfunctional bunch, but that is true with most families. So practice kindness and see what happens.

With that goal in mind, here are some of my favorite recent pics to focus on pleasant moments.


The Fall colors are here. Gorgeous.



A picnic lunch last week at Chinook Landing in Fairview to watch the Columbia River presented us with river breezes and the approaching storm front.



This little guy was very busy storing snacks for the winter while we were on a neighborhood walk.



After passing Mr. Squirrel we came upon this gorgeous view of Mt. St. Helens, our resident volcano, across the farm fields.


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One of my favorite roses, The Fairy, is still blooming in October. How about that magic?


And if you could use more happy moments, the Hallmark Holiday movies launch this weekend on their two channels. Get your blankie, eggnog and snacks and start training for the holiday movie/series marathons of your choice.

There’s nothing like a good jammie day to pick up the spirits!




Filed under Photography