Thursday, November 26, 2015


A few of the many, many things I am so grateful for:

1. First and foremost, family and friends. They are what makes life worth the living.
2. A community that is not only beautiful, but embracing and protective. A community that cares.
3. Health. More appreciated now than ever at this age!
4. A busy life.
5. A relationship with God that keeps me centered, gives me purpose, and helps me grow.
6. Humor and good times.
7. A country where discourse and disagreement are not only encouraged, but protected.
8. Friends who can engage in discourse without anger or bitterness.
9. The ability to learn from my mistakes.
10. Parents who taught me how to survive in the world.
11. Enough money to pay the bills and dress myself but not enough to allow me to lose sight of humility and work ethic.
12. Music, which has helped me define myself for all these years.

Well, that's only some of what I have in my heart on this Thanksgiving day. No doubt there is more! Because once we sit and think about our blessings, the negatives in our lives quickly disappear.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving eve

The holidays are upon us as of today.

The family from away arrived last night-very late. We didn't get to see them until this mornings not. But it's been a busy day and it's not over yet. There are still things to do for tomorrow before I go to bed. And so it begins.

Theses next five weeks are going to be packed full of activities of all sorts. There will be parties to attend, community activities to help with, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and lots of people to spend time with. It's a busy, jam-packed time of the year, and I love every minute of it.

And it all started today. Hang on, it's going to be a ride!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Today has most certainly be colder than the most recent weeks have been. Today I could feel winter coming.

It began with grabbing the gloves from the loser. I haven't yet given in to the winter coat phase as many others have, so I was happy with an nice wool sweater. But gloves were a must.

Then it continued with the ice on my windshield. I sat waiting for the de-icer to warm up because I didn't have the energy to get the scrapper out and clean off the front and back windshields. Instead I sat for a good five minutes in the driveway, waiting for the heat to come up and the windshield to clear.

It's been a beautiful sunny day today though and the sky was clear and air crisp. It was the best of what November has to offer. It certainly has been unusually mild here this fall, but after all, it is Thanksgiving, and we've had blizzards in my memory on this very week. So I'm happy with the sun and the fact that I can still get away without my coat. Today was a beauty, and I'll gladly take it!

Monday, November 23, 2015


I started making lists today. A list of meals for the coming week. A grocery list. An errand list. Holidays always bring out the lists in me.

Family is arriving tomorrow night. The cupboards must be filled and menus filled out. There will be lots of people in and out of the house. It will be a wonderful holiday, filled with the presence of the people I love. These are my favorites times in life. But they do take some planning and preparation.

And so the lists are started. And tomorrow the items on the lists begin to be crossed off, one by one. Subtractions...and additions...will be made...and the holiday will be perfectly crazy, perfectly busy, perfectly tiring, and perfectly wonderful.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


It began feeling like November this afternoon.

I have to say, this has been one of the nicest Novembers I can remember. I always like November-it's always been one of my favorite months. That's why I chose it for my wedding 41 years ago. Not too hot and rarely cold enough for snow, it's like my dream time of the year.

Anyway, today - at least this afternoon -the temperature dropped considerably. It was also a rainy, dark day, and the combination of those two things made it feel every bit like November.

I like November even when it's colder and seasonable. Because this week is Thanksgiving. And next week we'll be decorating for Christmas, and baking Christmas cookies. And I love the holidays. Tomorrow officially begins the happiest six weeks of the year, filled with family, festivities, and food. The three "f's" that add up to the fourth: fun. Let the merriment begin!

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Today was a long day, but a fruitful one. We had lots to do.

This morning we made numerous trips to the attic. Our attic is ice and if, but not easy to access. We have a pull down staircase (c. 1920) that has seen better days so it's a bit rickety to say the least. But we don't have much storage in the first and second floor rooms so the attic is essential. We had suitcases to store, and more wrapped Christmas gifts to cart up there.

Once that was done we decided where to hang things in the newly renovated bathroom and my better half got busy with shelves and hooks and artwork. I headed downstairs for some regular cleaning jobs like vacuuming and the bathroom.

By noon it was time for some painting in the same bathroom, minor touch ups but necessary to finish it off. There were ornamental grasses to cut out in the yard, and sorting to do in the home office. In short, plenty to keep us busy on a nice Saturday in November.

Saturday's are grounding days for me. They are times to step back from a busy week, assess what has been done and what still needs to be. They're busy but not stress-filled because we get to decide what gets done and when we stop. Saturday's have been this way for many years for us. May it ever be so.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hold out

The sun is shining today and the last of my trees are in glorious, orange bloom.

We brought two tiny saplings home one day from a visit with family in the mid-island area. They had many of these green Japanese maple trees in their wooded yard and many small volunteers coming up. We pulled two from the ground and threw them in the back of the van, bare roots and all, assuming neither would take in our yard but why not try? After all, they were free, and we needed landscaping. I remember Aunt Helen's words as we tossed them in the car. She said "They're so nice-they're the last ones to lose their leaves in the fall and sometimes they're still orange at Thanksgiving!"

She was right of course. And those two saplings are now beautiful, towering trees, one by our front door and one where the driveway ends in the back. And as I look at them today, less than one week from Thanksgiving, they are surrounded by bare trees, yet they are full of bright orange foliage. Stunning, really.

Thanks Aunt Helen, for the trees....and the wonderful memories.