Of Cookies, Sunshine, and a Reality Check

Many thanks to Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch for naming the I Heart You cookie and Deborah (the Lone Star Queen) of Howdy from Cowtown for naming the Cookie of Paradise! Your half dozen cookie rewards will be winging their way to you later today. I've added the cookies to my Lazy G Ranch website and revamped the website too!

My readers simply rock! You guys came out in full force with so many cookie names, it was hard for me to choose. I liked so many of your names ~ thanks so much for being the best friends any blogger could have. I wish I could send y'all some cookies to thank you, but the USPS (translation = expensive!) makes that rather formidable.

And along that "expensive" vein, a little soul-bearing is in order here.

As my readers, you probably already know that when you come to my blog, you'll be treated to fun photos, beautiful Kansas vistas, and upbeat, positive stories of my life here. Trust me, my intent is not to make you vomit every time you come to my bucket of sunshine!

Like everyone, I have my fair share of life's reality checks. A few of my biggest sunshine-robbers?
  1. No job. I've been looking for a job since I moved here in July 2008. I lived off the profit of my Ohio house sale for almost a year, and then the small 401k that I cashed out last year. Two temporary stints at a local hospital have helped me bulk up my checking account so I could keep my car payment current, and family has helped me several times. (Thank you my lovely family and y'all know who you are!) The hospital wants to hire me full-time but they have not had any position become available for me. In the meantime, I often have sleepless nights wondering how I'll make my March payments... or is that just that nasty midlife menopause working its magic on me??! (This is why I peddle my dog biscuits and cookies!!)
  2. My grandmother in Ohio is not doing well. I went back to Ohio the 2nd week of January to visit her... after a brief hospital stay and a few weeks in a nursing home, she went back to her home. A home health care worker is visiting her 3x a week, and a friend who lives a few blocks away checks in on her several times a week. She has macular degeneration, and the doctors felt she had onset Alzheimer's. We seriously doubt she has even a speck of Alzheimer's... her wit and her sassy tongue were back in full force the day we got her situated at her house!
  3. We've had serious septic problems the last week. Hubby dug up the back yard and replaced a section of pipe. The problem seems to be fixed now, but just in case, we haven't backfilled that section of yard just yet! We'll still need to have the septic tank pumped. I mean, may as well, it's all dug up and easy to find now.
That's a few of the rainy spots in my life. And the only reason I decided to put it all out there? Because I know my fellow bloggers have problems too. Many times they air out their issues on their blogs. Often I can identify with them and I feel better, knowing I'm not the only one with issues.

Every day that I wake up, I try to think about the blessings in my life, the positive things. And there are many! Here are just a few:
  1. My son (only child!) and his wife are pregnant! THIS is a big deal. They've had 2 known miscarriages, heartbreaking for us all, but this time she's made it to 20 weeks and the baby is doing great. They've been seeing a high-risk specialist, and it looks like I am finally, finally going to be a gramma! I.AM.SO.EXCITED. This is the biggest blessing in my life, even though they are in Ohio and I am in Kansas.
  2. I'm healthy, albeit a tad overweight, but I'm healthy. Well, at least as far as I know. ;-)
  3. Hubby is healthy, the rest of my family is healthy. What more could one ask for?
  4. I love my dogs. Trixie and Tori are my salve. And Ringo too.
  5. I love our kitties and our horses too. Animals add so much warmth and love to a human's world.
  6. I have a home that provides warmth in the summer and coolness in the summer, with a very comfy bed. We have adequate clothing and vehicles to get us to work (when I'm working). We have enough food to eat and more than enough water. How could one NOT be thankful for these things, when so many people the world over don't even have the most basic need of adequate shelter?
  7. The sun shines most days here in south central Kansas. Sure, we still have gray days, but in winter, you can still count on seeing the sun every few days.
  8. Baking makes me happy. I love making dog biscuits for my pups and my customers' pups, and now I get to make my favorite cookies for all my friends and customers! Cooking for my husband makes me happy too... because he appreciates it!
  9. On a lighter note, a well-mixed chocolate martini can make me very happy.
  10. I love my life here on the Kansas plains! I know I've said it before, but I really do. :-)
Those 10 happy items come to you, my faithful blog readers, courtesy of Linda from Wander to the Wayside and her 101 Sweet Friends award to me last week. So now that I've named 10 things that make me happy, I need to pass this award forward to some of my readers. I'm just going to say that if you have 10 things (or more!) that make you happy in your life, then you need to grab this award and acknowledge all those happy things.

And thank you to all my readers who come here to visit. I enjoy your blogs just as much, even if I don't get there as often as I might like. I appreciate your comments so very much and I will always leave comments for you... as Linda mentioned, it's this back and forth that makes this blogging adventure so much fun!

Our next post will return to our regularly scheduled dose of sunshine... and vomit.


  1. Good luck on the job search! It's tough out there!

  2. We ned to remind ourselves of our good fortune, even when it doesn't feel as if we have any. Your list is enough to make even me smile. : )

  3. Cool. I'm glad you liked the name I came up with. I think it fits well, too.

    I never expected to see 'vomit'over here, my friend. lol! Good for you in keeping it real. Like you said, we all go through rough spots in life and it's comforting to know that we're not the only ones and we don't have to go through it alone.

    Your list of sunshine is certainly much longer than your vomit list. lol! So you've got much to be thankful for indeed.
    I hope a good job falls into your lap soon. Until then I hope your cookie business becomes very successful. How could it not be? ;-)

    Chocolate Martini, eh? Never had one before. What time should I stop by?


  4. I think it's important that we focus more on what we do have than on what we don't have. I count my blessings every day. Did you receive the copy of A Story of the West that I sent?

  5. Good luck, and you will find it when you least expect it. What great news about the upcoming baby, and the wonderful family life. When times get me down, and they do, I sit there and recite just how much we have. It is a lot, and if life is a teeter toter, than we truly are on the upswing.

    I hear you on the job search, my husband has been out of work for over 10 months. We are astounded every day that this continues. I don't talk about it on my blog. Somethings are just too harsh for a happy places.

    But I know that this too shall pass.

    Great to hear that your cookies are becoming more and more famous. Maybe we can all help by spreading the love a little for you in our blog posts.

    Wishing you well.

    PS that calendar is a refreshing joy for me, everytime I see it. I am so glad that I won it.


  6. Congrats on the grandbaby. They are such blessings, mine are the best thing in my life (besides hubby)! You really do have many things to be thankful for, way more than on your reality check list.

  7. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. I'll pray for her and your son and daughter in law.

    Best wishes with the cookies--love the selected names.

  8. Sorry to hear about your grandmother's health issues (sounds like she may have more than enough spark to carry on though!). What a wonderful blessing about your son and DIL. Well, I heart the cookie names... great job! And best wishes with the job search too. -Tammy

  9. thank you for sharing with us...it's nice to know others go through the same things we do....glad you got names for your cookies...hope you sell a bunch of them...congrats on the grandbaby....home your grandma is better really soon..

  10. Your lists are great - both the sads and the glads. I was just saying to someone the other day that I sometimes feel that so many people don't write about the real parts of their lives, the not so happy parts, even though everyone's life is made up of the ups and the downs. I admit that I've sometimes come here and thought 'Holy crap, could anybody have it nicer? Ranch, horses, dogs, cookies!' (Though I never wanted to vomit!) Anyway, it's nice to know you have some of the same issues I do!

    Congratulations, especially, on the grandbaby. I know firsthand the excitement you're experiencing, and I'll be sending good thoughts your way for a successful birth.

  11. Like you Susan, the 'blogosphere' never ceases to amaze me, when times are hard, just how many people can relate, support and simply offer a friendly ear to you. I completely agree that this is what it's all about...learning, loving and sharing with each other :)

    The job is a difficult pill to swallow. My ex lost his job twice when we had our mortgage and I became the breadwinner at aged 19 and 22. It almost killed him when he applied for 76 jobs and only heard back from 3 but after 3 months he finally found somewhere and we got back on track. You will get there, I promise.

    Big congratulations on becoming a grandma and I keep my fingers well and truly crossed that it's happy and healthy. I've had a miscarriage in the past so I know it must have broken your heart but, as much as we may not realise it at the time, everything happens for a reason. And babes will be so dearly loved and cherished.

    Oh and a chocolate martini? What are the ingredients and how do I make one? I think I just fell in love!

    Take care of yourself :) We'll always be here...

  12. Your happy list far out weighs your not so happy list....I too like the back and forth and appreciate all the nice comments that you leave for me...fun..

  13. I think this is my favorite so far of all of your blog entries, SiouxSioux. I promise that 2010 will be the year..I will finally book a flight out to Kansas! If that doesn't guarantee you'll get a job I don't know what will. At least I'll be able to take care of all the animals while you're at work. LOVE YOU!

  14. Those are some great cookie names!

    Making a list of your blessings is a great idea. It can help when there are dark spots. I hope a job turns up for you. I know the search is especially harder now. Hopefully the hospital will have something full time available soon.

    I am sorry about your grandmother too. It is so hard to live far away when stuff like that comes up!

  15. I can sooooo feel everything you have said...I believe so many od us are in the same boat. Trying to keep it from sinking is really hard, you just bailed out the water a bit for all of us!

  16. Great names for the cookies Suze, I am off to check them out. Hang in there on the job front, it took me 2 years. Have you thought about being a Substitute Teacher for local schools, that's what I did to keep money coming in whilst I looked around.

    Counting your blessings is the thing to do, you are right, we could all have it alot worse.

  17. Always fun to come to Oz. I see the comment above on substitute teaching. THat's what I'm doing. Theatre yesterday, World Geography today, Art and Algebra 2 last week. Keeps it interesting.

  18. Clouds passing over the sun make us appreciate it even more when it re-appears :)

  19. I start & end my day giving thanks for all that I'm blessed with. It's a great, life affirming habit to get into.

    Although I have a job, I work on commission, so I hear you with your financial concerns. I've come to view my job as a powerful mechanism to hone my faith in God and the knowledge that everything will work out, somehow, someway. I don't have to understand how it works, just trust that it does.

    I'm glad to hear your Grandma is doing better.

    BTW...if that's your picture over on the sidebar, you're not old enough to have a child who's having children!!!

    My list of 10 things I'm grateful for:

    1. The peace & quiet, safety & security of my home.
    2. My bed.
    3. My car and the freedom & independence it gives me.
    4. The health of all my loved ones, including my furry critters.
    5. My boyfriend.
    6. Good food.
    7. Warm water showers.
    8. Money in the bank.
    9. The rock solid love & support of my family & friends.
    10. I'm grateful that I can see, feel, hear, smell, touch, and taste.


  20. Best of luck on the cookie venture. Congratulation on the future grandbaby and it is good to look upon the positive. I will be parting the clouds with prayer for your sweet Grandmother. Take care ya sure have a lot goin' on right now.

    You have a marvelous day filled with blessing from above!!!

  21. Hey OZ gal, just found your blog and reading over, I enjoy it a lot. You have great stories and a wonderful writing style. Bookmarked you, and will be back.

    BTW, your pros far outweigh tour cons (except that septic tank thing, I have basic needs). How much more can we ask in life?

    And one more BTW, I am a suburban Kansasan, so love the Kansas angle of the blog.

  22. I'm glad that your cookies now have a name. Hang in there. The perfect job will find it's way to you soon.

  23. What a wonderful glas half full attitude plus you are helping yourself move forward so all that positive energy will come bouncing back to you .... I just know it - my best to you le xox

  24. Ah hun, I can kind of relate. B quit his job so we could move to our homestead. I am the sole bread winner. Thankfully, I work from home, but it's tight. Sometimes it's very tight. But it's such a joy to just be here, that it's worth it to me. I pray your grandma will be ok. She sounds like a real spit fire! And I hope the septic problem is cured now. No fun going through that! Here's wishing you success in your business ventures, and much happiness. BTW - my mother-in-law orders your pup cookies! She says her pups love them! Mine love them too - but we are on a tight budget, so I make my own. But they are OBVIOUSLY not as good as the ones YOU make! My pups have let me know that in no uncertain terms! XXXOOO