Friday, December 2, 2016

'Tis the Season

The tree is decorated, though I shall continue to tweak it until the day it comes down...

Gold by day...

Silver by night...

I enjoy different sorts of "tree stands." Last year the tree was in a bucket, the year before in a trunk, this year, it's in a barrel.

~gifts spread across buffet~

Thanks to Abby at Little Birdie Blessings for the delightful gifts. She has some for you, too, if you follow the link or click on the sidebar button. I am using some of my gifts as ornaments for the tree. The tree has itself become an Advent calendar. I won't be getting down all the ornaments this year. Phew!

↑My hometown niece came by today with this entire herd of turtles! Yikes! Three of them were just too delicious and didn't make it. I had to get the rest out of here. One to my tenant, one to my sister-in-law, two saved for some special peeps. My niece can come by every day, but it would be best for my svelte figure if she'd not tempt me so. πŸ˜‰

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ETA: Penny told me that she couldn't see the barrel so well so I took another photo and am popping it in here. Gosh there's a lot going on at my house with color and pattern and general busyness...just the way I like it! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Of New Second Hand Cars, Et Cetera

My beautiful blue Impala was getting older. Sometimes I fretted, but then I would give it to God because, like so many other things going on, all I know to do is give whatever-it-is to Him—always the very best thing to do.

Then last month, my father, sister, and brother-in-law gifted me with my dad's car. My father was sad when he had to give up his license, but it seemed to please him to be able to gift it. (I had not realized that he had the joy of giving it twice. ☺) It is another Impala, four years newer with much lower mileage. It's light gray, not my favorite color for Maine winters, but beggars can't be choosers. 

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I drove in freezing rain up into the Western foothills to deliver the blue Impala to a friend of hers who is going to help me sell it. Phew. I don't do the car selling thing so well. John always did that for me in the past, even for many years longer than we were married. 

He was good with that kind of thing. He had the perfect location along the main route and a good pull-off place at the end of his drive. I considered doing likewise, but it didn't take me too long to think again. The thought of having people call at all hours and having to meet with them and allow them to drive the car, etc. Nope, it wasn't giving me a happy feeling.

Recently, my daughter purchased a new car...white...have I mentioned this? Perhaps. Anyway, she had had a difficult time saying so long to her well-loved truck. Imagine my surprise when I began to tear up at the thought of leaving my old car behind. Good grief! So I followed my advice to her and thanked God instead for all the years of faithful service it had provided. He is my Source! He deserves all the gratitude.

~Saying So Long~

And I thank Him for good friends, too!
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Last Day for Leftovers

Here is our best photo of Thanksgiving. I forgot my camera so was counting on the other photographer. This is his best offering.

~Jack and Jake~
Jakob wore a tie for Thanksgiving and looked especially handsome. Alas, he had already ditched it by the time the photo was taken. Ever thoughtful, he asked how I was doing on this first Thanksgiving without John. I turned the tables on him and asked how he was doing. He shrugged. I said, "It's been a good day and we got through, right?" And so we did. I remember many Thanksgivings without John, but my grandsons were so young when I married John that they don't remember holidays without him. It makes it tough for them.

I was so excited to find that piece of pumpkin pie there...just enough to try *this.* Most of these leftovers are already long gone. I enjoyed my daughter-in-law's cooking all over again when I made a big Sunday dinner for myself, including red stuff. So all that is really left is enough turkey for my lunch today and that piece of pumpkin pie transformed for supper.

Got myself into so much trouble last week trying to multitask. I just can't function that way anymore. First I ruined pumpkin breads trying to also drag in the Christmas tree from the garage...not paying attention...didn't bake them long enough.

Then, while trying to string lights and make pecan pies, I quadrupled the butter. Not good. I am learning all over again the need to be present and focused.

Thank goodness, I was present and focused last year, which helped my harried self this.


I ordinarily decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I thought, especially if I started a day or two early, that I might get it all accomplished. Nope. Not going to be any faster or done in a day or two after all. Seems as if I should keep things simpler this year. Though I seem to need Christmas light therapy, I don't need chaos and clutter. There's just too much going on here with all the sorting, etc., that is ongoing. 

Last year, there were no outside Christmas lights here at my little haven. It was a first, but we made the choice and went with it. Didn't like it at all. I think it's important to enter into the joy of the season and provide a little cheer for neighbors. Sam helped me change that. The lights were unimpressive strung simply along the top of the fence so I decided to gather branches and light them. 

That was fun. They are red, green, and white lights and, if I could, I'd take a good pic of them after dark. I can't. They shouldn't add too much to the electric bill.

Did I say that I was planning to keep things simple? Silly me!

~hot chocolate center~

Let me know how it is going at your place! Have a good week...

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week stretches before us so soon. I read recently that though Thanksgiving is official by decree, it really is a matter of the heart that should not/can not be limited to a Thursday in November. 

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

What is it about the season (as much as I may wish that we'd be more sensible like our Canadian cousins) that evokes these powerful memories of family, hearth, and home? 

Families are more likely to travel to be together at Thanksgiving, moreso than even Christmas. Perhaps it is the memory of traveling...watching the farmhouses and all those autumnal scenes slip past mile after mile. The anticipation of being with cousins, aunts and uncles, siblings, parents, and grandparents was enough to make a child giddy for days. 

It certainly is also the memory of preparing and planning and getting the house ready for welcoming guests. And what about the smell of turkey baking for hours, fresh Parker House rolls, and all those other savory delights reserved for such holiday meals? Oh and there must definitely be red stuff on the table.

(I once made the mistake of serving John a chicken dinner without his favorite dish. He surveyed the table finally asking gently [and somewhat sadly], "What? No red stuff?" That was his term for cranberry jelly right out of the can.) 

This year, things are different. I will be joining my son and family at his home for Thanksgiving, though Wednesday, I will be doing some baking here in my little haven where it will be warm and cozy. Sometimes, I am tempted to feel bereft, but having found so many of John's messages written down in journals and Bibles, I am also rejoicing.

This week will be one of praise and thanksgiving to God for safely bringing us along. There is always so very much for which to be grateful.

Many blessings to you and those with whom you will gather this week. 

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