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Posts Tagged With: Holidays

The gift of an unconventional Holiday

I knew the day was coming, and tried to keep my voice cheery as I zipped his parka, handed off his Ninja Turtle backpack, and sent my 4-year-old off with his father.  Freshly divorced, and newly navigating the every-other-holiday thing, I kissed my boy good-bye and squeezed his mittened hand one more time.  He took his cues from me, and although bio-Dad was consistently inconsistent with visitation, and I had not yet met  (or even imagined) the man-who-would-be-Hubbs, I needed to keep my act together so my little guy would be OK.

Shutting the door, I stood in the darkened entry and watched them drive away, a wave of sadness fell over me. It felt like the wettest blanket on the coldest night.  It was a rainy, dreary Wednesday afternoon in western Connecticut.  My family was a million miles away in Canada and I’d been too busy surviving working to have made plans.  At least he would only be gone for the weekend, and knowing the other one, probably coming home early.   I looked around our sparse apartment, at my pull-out sofa in the living room, his bunk beds and toys in the bedroom.  My eyes landed on our small table with two chairs, at books and Play-Doh from earlier play.

Calling Mom, we chatted for a while and caught up on the goings on there.  I heard her attempts at a cheerful voice, knowing we were so far away, and that I was by myself tonight.  When she asked what I’d be doing for the Holiday, I sputtered out something about being invited to a friend’s apartment.  “Oh, that’s good, dear.  You should go, there’s no need to be by yourself, and, well, we’d feel better if you did.”  She was right, of course, but there was about a .001% of me that wanted to go out and meet new people.   I promised her I’d think about it.

Later that night my friend Dee called.  Practically begging,  she admitted her parents were coming, too, and “you know how my Dad can be.”  Yes, I’d met them both, they were European, on-again-off-again as a couple, the Mom, quiet and nervous, the Dad, critical and imposing.  I knew she needed a buffer and, quite frankly, I suddenly had a need to get out of that apartment.   We agreed I’d be there mid morning the next day.

Upon arrival, I learned she’d also invited the “strays” ~ anyone in her building who didn’t have a place to be or family to spend the Holiday with.  Wow!

We quickly set to work peeling potatoes, setting a card table & chairs at the end of the kitchen table, scrounging around for Fast Food napkins, extra plates, plastic cutlery, tablecloths and a couple of old candles.  She turned on the radio – with a countdown of sorts, a mixture of Motown and Classic Rock, fun.  The turkey simmered in the oven, and the aroma, unmistakable.

Next she announced we had turnips to prepare ~ her crusty Dad had a thing for buttered  turnips, except she had no clue how to peel the waxy layer off of  it and neither did I.  We managed to get a steak knife stuck embedded in that thing more than once.  Laughing, we developed a rhythm, but we were more like Lucy and Ethel than Fred and Ginger. I peeled carrots and steamed them with peas, poured off the turkey drippings to make gravy, and mashed the potatoes.  She stirred corn and cream and butter together, microwaved Stove-Top Stuffing.  We ran into each other more than once.  Yep, Lucy and Ethel.

Soon guests began arriving ~ old and young, a shy woman with a bright-eyed toddler and no mention of the father, a married couple from Venezuela, she with lovely accent, his hand on the small of her back.  My friend’s son and his girlfriend, her parents and me, and Ivan, the lanky maintenance man with a heavy Russian accent, a shy smile and two bottles of vodka.  Everyone streamed in, offering what they had, ~ buttery Seafood Paela, a cheesecake, Wine, chocolates, sausage, pickles and cheese. We sent her son to 7-11 for more plates and paper products while her Dad took a seat to carve the turkey.  Her Mom, a bit tipsy from the vodka, chatted animatedly with Ivan.  We all found a seat on uneven and mismatched chairs, making small talk, clanking glasses,and savoring the moment.  I was in and out, serving, and bringing more to share.

It was there, grabbing another bowl of something in my friend’s kitchen, when I remembered that I’d forgotten about being sad. About being far from home.  I felt a tug ~ a love of cooking I’d not experienced in years.  See, since the divorce, I’d been getting by on “functional cooking” —  cooking to live, cooking to check the box.  Day-to-day. No joy, no creativity.  This was different.  This effort, stirring the gravy and mashing turnips in a new-to-me kitchen – transported me to my mother’s kitchen.  To Holiday meals and Mom’s and my Grandmother’s tables so lovingly prepared one couldn’t feel anything but gratitude at being included.  To feelings of warmth and happiness and appreciation for everything – the love and the labor, the sweat and the tears, that went into it creating so much magic for all of us.  It was in that moment, on that unorthodox Holiday, when I felt my love of cooking re-ignite. It was there, tasting the turnips, that I gave thanks.

one end of my Grandmother’s Holiday Table, an Emjayandthem (C) picture

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Flash forward to now:  After a visit with our grand-daughter at school yesterday morning, my son and I enjoyed a brief lunch together.   He’s no longer that little tow-headed boy, he towers over me by a foot, and has a family of his own.  He helps them with their mittens and coats.  Full circle.

I told him the story of my unorthodox Thanksgiving holiday so long ago, and how I thought we would all be well served to experience a holiday like that.  I told him that getting through that helped me appreciate where I’m from, and the traditions we enjoy today.

He gently teased me about my “holiday marathons” ~ I pointed out that when I start cooking 2-3 days ahead of the holiday, it’s because I want to.

When I prep multiple appetizers and side dishes, meats and desserts, it’s because I have people to cook for.

And when I decorate the table well before anybody steps foot through the door, I channel all of them: my Mom, My Grandmother, and the other wonderful women of my childhood who did such things for me.

  • Did you ever spend a holiday in an unconventional way? What do you remember from the experience?
  • What traditions are you carrying forward?
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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Determination, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, music, News, Opinion, Personal, Recipes, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions, Wisdom, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

32 and 9 and still new

32 years ago I immigrated to the United States with $178 and a guitar.

9 years ago I stepped forward with 78 others to take the Oath of Citizenship.

It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.

(more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen.

Why?

Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

* * * *

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her,  and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above

From the mountains..to the prairies

To the oceans..White with foam

God Bless America!

    My Home Sweet Home

Happy birthday, America …. from a grateful citizen.

 

Related:

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Holidays, Home, News, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Trips, kids and canvas tents

Hubbs and I are back from our warm-weather vacation.   All I can say is … ahh!  Blue skies, warm sun and palm trees everywhere.    Our smiles couldn’t be contained.  It. Was. Wonderful.

Just landed – so many palm trees!

The resort we stayed at was sprawling – over 300 acres – so we rented a golf-cart  –  most evenings found us cruising around the resort, stopping to park at a random beach, to take in a walk or just sit and enjoy the view.

walkway to the beach

Headed back to our villa one evening, we came upon an older couple so Hubbs slowed down to ask if they’d like a ride (we’d rented a 4-person golf cart, the smallest available).

“No thanks,” she said, “We’re just getting our exercise.”

“Damn right I’d take a ride!” he exclaimed and hopped on, cane and all.

Meet Norm and Ginny from Rochester, New York.  Seems he’d had hip surgery and they were indeed out for a walk but he’d had about enough of that.  He asked where we were from and what brought us down this way  ~ when we said it was our 25th anniversary they both cheered us on and Norm said, with a wink, “we’re married 60 years and you know what? It only gets better from here!”  Sweet people and lots of fun, too.

We soon settled into a routine – up early to sip coffee in the screened-in balcony and watch boats slip in and out of the marina.    We’d finish up leftovers from the night before and head down to our pool around 12:30 ~  many families visited and so many  were busy with littlest ones wanting their attention.  “Dad, watch me.” “Mom, watch this!” “Dad!” “Mom!”  ~ when parents would comment on our lack of littles we’d just smile and say “been there, done that.”

Truth is – watching the excitement in their kids took us right back to when our boys were small.  Going to a pool – any pool – was such a big deal — and we’d pack and carry treats, floaties, noodles, paddle boards, diving materials, goggles, etc.  Watching the little kids at this pool – how they all run – everywhere.  Even when a parent shouts “NO RUNNING” there’s that quick walk-run that all kids do, they just can’t help themselves.    The more things change the more they stay the same.

Ahh

Hubbs and I spent our time together talking, laughing and enjoying the get away.  During our conversations, we discovered a shared loved of camping when we were kids – setting up that canvas tent in the backyard and having a friend or cousin over.  The night began early but the shenanigans didn’t start until well after dark – or after parents had gone to bed.  He lived in town so his adventures including hopping fences and swimming in others’ pools ~ mine including saddling up our ponies for a midnight moonlight ride.

We both remembered the excitement of the canvas tent waning around 7:00 a.m. when temperatures inside approached 600F.  Panting and sweating we’d emerge and head to the house, surely waking parents in our quest for food.

So it was comical yesterday, during Easter dinner, when youngest boy brought up how his girlfriend wants him to go camping and he wasn’t so sure. She exclaimed, “I love camping and I think you would, too.”

I caught Hubbs’ smirk when he encouraged them by saying, “You should do it, and make sure it’s a canvas tent!”

Sunrise view from the balcony

It was wonderful to go away. It’s great to be home.   And now, we’re plotting our next adventure and no it does not involve a tent!

And how was your week?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stress, horizons and pie

Vacation is on the horizon!

vacation next exitStarting Monday ~ 5 glorious days off with Thanksgiving tossed in for good measure.

Emails will pile up, phone calls will continue, conference calls will be scheduled even though others know I’m away.

“Take the time before you lose the days.”

I now have more vacation time “in the bank” than I have time to use.

Emails continue to come in, fast and furious, hundreds every day.

Calls, meetings, schedules.

Lately I feel like I’m scaling the Grand Canyon on a daily basis…. blindfolded.   I can feel the tension in my shoulders, which now approach my ears. I can feel stress in my heart rate when I lie down at night and can’t quieten my thoughts.

1,000+ miles in the past 10 days, 150 yesterday and another 400 tomorrow – and all the while project calls get scheduled and scheduled and scheduled. “Could you take the lead on this?”  “But you and your team know so much about X” “We want you on this task force…”  Flattering but ..my cup runneth over.

I hear my mother’s voice whispering in my year, “You can’t be everything to everyone, dear.”

My weariness reminds me to shut it down, shut it up and shut them out.

So – vacation is on the horizon … and there shall be pie!

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” ― David Mamet, Boston Marriage

*Note: no pies were consumed in the writing of this post.  Pies shall be made for 1) Grandpa (apple), 2) oldest boy (blueberry) and 3) youngest boy (pumpkin).  Will I have any? Not likely. See, the joy is in the creating ~ the cutting, the simmering, the kneading of the dough, Al Green on the stereo and happiness in my kitchen.

Oh so true!

Oh so true!

 

*Are you taking some time off over the Thanksgiving Holiday? What are you looking forward to most?  Is there a pie in your future? 😀

Flapper pie; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

A Flapper pie I baked in Mom’s kitchen ~ an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

 

Categories: Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Christmas 2015 ~ Changes, lessons and blessings

Christmas has come and gone and with that comes time to reflect.  I have a few days off ahead of me and a couple of closets that need attention.  But I also have new books waiting on the end table … I think the books might win. 🙂

The grand kids were with us the night of the 23rd and all day the 24th, and our family feasted, played and opened presents that evening. It was fun and cozy and wonderful.  But it was also different.  You see things changed this year: they’ve slept over on Christmas eve for 3 years now, and we have embraced waking to two bright little faces … even if they do tend to get up on the early side.

But this year was different.  They wanted to go home, to hang their stockings there with Dad and his fiance.  That’s a very good sign that they know who their home is.

Still, we packed as much in as we could, playing Yahtzee and Dice, making chocolate chip pancakes and lunches/snacks, enjoying Holiday movies like “Elf” and “Prancer” and calling the Santa Tracker regularly to check on the big guy’s whereabouts. We read the story of Jesus’ birth and “The Night before Christmas.”    At the end of the night, as Dad and his love bundled them up, they were sleepy but excited to go home, see the dog and put out cookies for Santa.

Several times that day I had tried calling Mom but she didn’t answer; what I didn’t know is she’s congested again and that impacts her hearing.  The phone is next to her, but she never heard it ring.  Talking with my sister Christmas Day she relayed that she and my oldest brother spent part of the day with Mom and how much she enjoyed it but that it played her out, too.   I shared my connectivity concerns and she suggested I call the front desk and have them bring Mom the portable phone, which we did.  For about 5 minutes Mom chatted with me, Hubbs and youngest boy, and while our conversations were brief,  we all expressed our love and gratitude for her as well as our sincere wishes for a Happy Christmas.  We each had a tear when the call ended. And if the time comes that she can no longer hear well enough to talk on the phone, I guess I’ll have to come up with an alternative.

I’ve beat myself up for weeks,  wondering why I wasn’t feeling it ~ the Christmas “spirit.”

I can see now that life has been preparing me for another change.  Time to let some things go – to roll with the changes – and to land safely on the other side.   I’m trying to remain open as to what He has in store for me.

a time to keep

“Sacred blessings and divine opportunities appear in your life disguised as unforeseen changes and challenging circumstances.” ― Miya Yamanouchi

 

What changes are you sensing?  Are you able to roll with them?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Friday – 3 things

*The idea for this post came from a friend’s FB page … it’s Friday so let’s have some fun ~ I double-dog dare ya!

double dog dare ya

Classic scene from “A Christmas story”

Three names I answer to:

  1. Mom
  2. Hon
  3. Nana

Three places I’ve called home:

  1. Saskatchewan
  2. Texas
  3. Connecticut

Three places I’ve worked:

  1. Horse Racing Press Box
  2. Radio Station Traffic desk
  3. Ad Agency

Three things I love to watch:

  1. Babies
  2. Dogs
  3. People in general

Three things I love to eat:

  1. Popcorn
  2. Watermelon
  3. Caesar Salad

Three things I’m looking forward to:

  1. Time off
  2. No schedule
  3. First winter storm of the season (today!)

Three  bloggers I think (might) play along, too:

  1. Dianna
  2. Kate
  3. Patti

Now, here’s where you come in — copy & paste, replacing your answers with mine – or — add your own questions.

Happy Friday, peeps!  You can also play along in the comment section! 🙂

friday cat

 

Categories: Family, Food, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

5 for Friday ~ fudge, Christmas lists and hooligans

It’s Friday (whoo hoo!) and it’s random.  Here are 5 random happenings from my world this week:

1 Office potluck called for my first batch of fudge of the season — this one uses only 4 ingredients.  Ready?  a) 1 bag of chocolate chips (or peanut butter or butterscotch), b) 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, c) 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows (3 cups) and d) 1 1/2 cups of dry roasted peanuts (or walnuts).  Directions:  Melt chocolate chips and condensed milk in microwave – on high – for one minute. Stir.   Continue for 15 min 15 second intervals until fully melted (mine took 1 min + 15 sec).  Stir in marshmallows and peanuts and pour into well greased (9 x 13) pan. Pop into the fridge to set for 1 hour then cut.   Take to office or family gathering, stand back, and watch these babies disappear.

rocky road fudge

2 Bought my first Christmas present this week – for the monkeys.  They circled their “ideas” (translation = everything) last weekend.  From that came THE list.  The best part of this (free) exercise are their comments during the activity:  Littlest one asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I replied I just wanted all of us together: playing games, enjoying each others company, yummy food and having lots of fun. So she replied “so you just want us?” and I said “yep,  that’s what I really want.” Her reply, ” well put a bow on me, Nana, – here I am!” Kids!

grands and xmas list

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 Had my first touch of snow this week – last night – and more on the way today.  Last year at this time we had 30″ of the white stuff.  Not complaining … yet :).

www.mlive.com

it’s coming

4  You know those Hallmark holiday commercials with the cozy “normal” families? Yeah, that is so not us.  Here are our boys as we try to take a birthday picture at youngest kid’s birthday.   You can see why I don’t write Christmas newsletters … most of what they come up with is not fit for public consumption!  But I never laugh as hard as I do as when I am with them :D.

hooligans at bday

an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 Heard a quote this week that bears repeating, “The only way any of us can grow to be older and wiser is if we’ve already been younger and stupider.”   Boy if that isn’t true!

owl1

The wise old own .. the big black crow .. flapping their wings singing go, birdie go …

What random happenings happened in your world this week?  Are your family shenanigans suitable for a Christmas letter?  Craving a little bite of fudge now?

** Thanks to my friend Diane H. who caught the 15 min error above – if you nuke your fudge for 15 min instead of seconds, your kitchen might be smoking! 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Holidays, Home, Love, Opinion, Personal, Recipes, Seasons, Thoughts, Useful Information | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Making time for the pauses

Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve and I am this excited about it: excited

For Christmas, of course, but because tomorrow afternoon the Grands arrive.  We’ll have a full house: our boys, me and Hubbs and the two littlest ones  – we’ll enjoy “fun” foods, play games and look for red noses out the window.  We’ll call the Santa Tracker to estimate the big guy’s arrival and we will surely ring Papa’s Sleigh Bell.  Here are the two of them last Christmas Eve:

the grands readying for bed; Christmas Eve, 2013

the grands readying for bed; Christmas Eve, 2013 – An Emjayandthem(C) photo

I’m working today, with only a few tasks left on off my list, and I like it that way. I have time to enjoy the pauses.  Pauses that allow me to be grateful that the sickness I’m getting over is on its way out not in, pauses to think about friends and family going through challenging times, and, of course, pauses to consider the gift given to all in a little stable far, far away.

Last night, I finished wrapping and now, just two presents remain: per wee MJ’s request could I save some wrapping for her to do? There are two left – one for Daddy and one for Mommy.  Yes their parents are divorced and don’t always along but doesn’t mean little ones don’t need to learn the joy of giving.   So after they arrive and coats and boots are off I’ll scurry them away with much ado about secrecy and “don’t peek here Daddy” and I’ll be giggling and thankful for little fingers and tape and ribbons and bows and three and a half feet of wrapping paper for a 10″ box.  That’s just how it goes when you have the chance to spread the magic that is Christmas.    I can’t wait.

But first – here’s a gem of a clip that I hope you take time to watch ~ it’s stirring and wonderful and takes me right home to my little prairie church.

 * * * Merry Christmas! * * *

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life Lessons, Mom, music, Personal, Products I love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

No watering the weeds

This has been my best Christmas holiday in recent memory.

Why? On top of the laughter and the joy was something even sweeter: never getting sick.

Nope, for the past four years, I’ve made it to the finish line (Christmas morning) and then collapsed in a heap as the flu bug ravaged my body.

Oh, I had a humdinger of a cold 2 weeks ago.  And a cold sore the size of Kansas to accompany it.  Pretty. Yeah, not so much.

But I never – not once – not this year – got the flu.

No body aches while wrapping presents.

No fevers while cooking breakfasts.

No wishing for bed while entertaining a house-full.

Nothing.

And I think I might know why.

This year, I stopped doing much of what I’ve always done.

I didn’t sign us up for Holiday visits.

I put up 1/4 of the decorations, and even less than last year.

I mailed only a few Christmas cards and most were to elderly aunties. If you received one, you might be elderly. 🙂

I never made fudge and I barely baked.   Everyone plowed through the chocolate covered peanuts, though.

I wrapped quickly and with industrial-strength tape.  (Hubbs has since been renamed “He who was not amused.”  I laughed my face off as he tried to open gifts.  Still am. Not apologizing.)

Yes I’ve stayed up, but I’ve also read up, slept in, and slowed down.

I’ve paid attention to what matters most to me and I’ve kicked my inner lizard to the curb, surrounded myself with battery chargers and heeded my own advice.

I didn’t continue rituals just because I always had.

I didn’t allow time for relationships that aren’t healthy for me.

Instead, I cultivated joy and rest, peace and quiet, laughter and music and happiness.  I harvested love and romance and take out menus and days without schedules.  I stopped shoulding on myself.

I didn’t water the weeds.

How about you?  Can you resist “watering the weeds?”

sunflower me

Here comes 2014. Let’s ignore the weeds & embrace the flowers in our lives!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

5 days

Till Christmas! And today, I gave myself an early Christmas present …a day off.

No driving, no sliding, no conferencing, no filing.

Whee!

As it turned out, schools in West MI closed today, 1″ of ice on the roads tends to slow everything – and everyone – down.

Kids are gleeful, as winter break comes early 🙂  How I remember those days!

So .. I spent the morning baking and cooking and putting together a few care packages.  One for my Father-in-Law, whom we’ll see tomorrow, a few more for friends, and the rest .. the rest for my crew here at home.

Here’s one of Hubbs’ favorites, chocolate covered peanut clusters:

"I could quit smoking before I could quit eating these" - Mr Hubbs

“I could quit smoking before I could quit eating these” – Mr Hubbs

Want to make some? Want to dazzle your cast & crew, too?

Here’s what you need: candiquick

  • 1 jar (16oz) of dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 package of “Candiquick” chocolate coating (see pic at right)
  • waxed or parchment paper

Directions:

Spread several sheets of waxed paper  on your kitchen counter (not on a wood table, as these will be hot at first).

Melt chocolate according to directions on package; ~ 1 min on high, stir, melt another 15 seconds or so then pour in peanuts and stir to coat.

Drop tablespoons of the chocolate-peanutty goodness onto the paper and allow to cool — about 1 1/2 hours.

Break into smaller pieces (or not) and cover — these can be frozen, they travel great (if they break apart, who cares?) and are a hit everywhere I take them! I store them in zip-lock bags in the freezer, hidden away from Hubbs.

What Christmas treats are you making this year? Have you treated yourself to something special, like a day off? 🙂

Categories: Blogging, Family, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Recipes, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

Random Five Friday

Inspired by Dianna at These Days of Mine, I thought I’d play along – on this Friday after Thanksgiving.

1.  No, not shopping. Wait. My mileage reimbursement just landed in my slush account … hmmm … maybe some online deals today?  I see coffee, pie and Amazon in my future :).

2. The best part of yesterday?  Smiling faces, laughter throughout the house,  a kitchen smelling yummy and no one wanting  the day to end.

Playing in the dress up box!

Playing in the dress up box!

being silly in Nana's kitchen

being silly in Nana’s kitchen

3.  It’s cold today but the fresh snow is beautiful, and every tree looks like they’ve been frosted with icing … a very good day to be tucked inside and cozy.

4.  I’m not one to leave dishes in the sink; no matter how late it is or how tired I am, I take care of them because  I’d rather get up and see a clean, shiny sink than a cruddy one. You?

5.  Before yesterday, I had set aside a stack of Christmas Toy fliers from past Sunday papers.  Why? I remember the joy of skimming through the Sears “Wish Book” and poring over all the neat things we dreamed of.  When Grandson A arrived, the first thing he did was grab that stack and ask if he could start circling… and of course I said, “Yes.”  He circled many items, putting his initial next to his selections, all while touted their merits in adorable detail, but it was his special attention to this section that made me beam with pride.  While some would say that my son is just his StepDad, moments like these let me see that the effort he’s invested in this little boy is coming through loud and clear as L-O-V-E.

with a "D" for Dad

with a “D” for Dad

Care to share your “Random Five?”

Categories: Blogging, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Happy Franksgiving

* Originally posted 11/22/11

Thanksgiving is only 2 days away!

I’d like to pass on some hard-learned lessons gleaned from old dog, Frankie, who had 13 years of living in a busy holiday-filled home:

C'mon Grampa, drop something!  Thanksgiving 2012

C’mon Grampa, drop something! Thanksgiving 2012

  1. Be nice; greet your guests with gusto. (Everyone gets an enthusiastic sniff hello!)
  2. Take naps and stretch before rising.   (Being well rested = a happier experience for all concerned, trust me on this)
  3. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. (When Frankie had enough of the company and confusion, he simply disappeared.  No feigned interest here. No drama either,  just slip away …. this works for people to people contact, too).
  4. On relatives: avoid biting when a simple growl will do. Come to think of it, he never growled. He stayed close to those he loved and, when he had his fill, he went back to step # 2 or 3 above.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope that you are able to “go where you’re celebrated, not just where you’re tolerated” and, if a situation you don’t care for finds its way to you,  remember Frankie and simply slip away!

# # #


Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Growth, Holidays, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Flamidwyfe's Blog

Midwifing women all over the world!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Care Packages for Deployed U.S. Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, First Responders & Military Children

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

Holy Ghost Bumps

...For when I am weak, then I am STRONG. 2 Corinthians 12:10

She's a Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

security is for cadavers

"One can attain a high degree of security in a prison cell if that's all he wants out of life." - Dwight Eisenhower

Stevil

Death Before Sour Mix

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

Kathryn M. McCullough

Author, Artist, Expat

Iced Tea with Lemon's Blog

Random Thoughts by Karen

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

A prairie woman choosing to enjoy each season, in weather and in life

Undercover Surfer

...random thoughts and images overflowing from my brain

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Writingfeemail's Blog

Random observations on writing and life

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...