Friday, November 30, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

The way this girl got excited to get a little decked out to go see Doc the Halls last night.  It's been awhile since I've seen her in anything aside from yoga pants and hoodies.

All the performers delivered.  Doc Severinsin showed up in a glittery red suit and was impressive on his French horn.  His guest, Vanessa Thomas, sang a couple solos that were show stopping.  The symphony, especially the handbell ensemble, was delightful, and the chorus such a treat.  T. Bone's choir teacher is in the chorus and so it was fun for him to be in her audience for a change.  I especially was moved by the performances of Gesu' Bambino and the Hallelujah Chorus.

An impromptu night out for dinner Monday.  It's a hard night to say yes, but it's hard to say no to Aunt Jess, and in hindsight, I'm very thankful I didn't.  We had sushi, which I don't eat often, but I'm enjoying it more and more.  Especially the spicy salmon. butter.  Beyond being wined and dined, it was worth it to meet one of her friends who was visiting from Texas.  As I drove home, I felt the chi.

I was bit by the decorating bug this week, but only after the clean and purge bug left.  I spent Tuesday and Wednesday  
sorting, tossing, scrubbing and scouring.  I have to say it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

Christmas lights.  I prefer white.

I finished trimming the tree in my dining room.  I put all my Mom's ornaments on it.  It's emotional for me.    The's a beaut just like her, and I get such a jolt of happiness every time it catches my eye in all it's radiant, glistening glory.

I picked up tickets for the Nutcracker today and made reserves for Breakfast with the big guy the day before.  I always feel buoyed up by the traditions that define December for me.  The experiences bring me the purest joy.

I decided to skip sending cards, cut my holiday baking in half and pare down the shopping considerably.  I am listening to my limits and honoring my needs, and I'm not the least bit sorry for it.

This morning I did it.  I switched to all Christmas music all the time.  For the first time of the season I listened to The Holly and The Ivy.  It's one of my favorites especially sung by Natalie Cole.  I cried, but not because I was sad.  I cried because I was awed.  That's how I feel every time I listen to that carol.  OK many carols. Do you have a carol that you never tire of?  I'd love it if you would share.  Please.

Aunt Jess is on her way with some wine.  It's Friday and the whole weekend is before

Advent starts this weekend.  Welcome December.  I believe that I am now finally ready for you.

Happy Merry Weekend one and all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Life Looks Like This Week

I wrote a lot last, there..yes, everywhere.  I wrote so much that I have few words this week.  Such is the ebb and flow of it all.  I used to find the quiet times unnerving.  Usually, this is no longer the case.  I have faith that I will find them.  I trust that the words will make their way to the surface when they are good and ready to be expressed. 

So in lieu of words, this is what life looks like this week... 

As you can see, I'm not feeling like much of a photographer either.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2 day pass

it was a quiet weekend by desire and design.
all the black friday frenzy felt wrong.
november is our self proclaimed and anointed month of gratitude.
it just felt traitorous to give thanks for what i have one minute and then go acquire more the next.
especially since when i think of thankful testimonials, i think of family and friends first.
my tributes are not with regard to things shiny and new, but rather the tried and true.
so i resisted the pull toward carnivorous consumerism and stayed out of all stores.
i didn't leave my house at all on saturday truth be told.
i enjoyed spending the morning with a friend in town for the holiday.
we have this standing saturday tradition...bagels and bacon.
and coffee.
we talk the kids play.
we chatted about everything and nothing until all the sudden it was time for their lunch date.
before they were out of the driveway the kids had afternoon plans.
coach had a date with the badger game.
i made turkey stock...for what i don't know.
then i caught up a little on my photo albums before settling in with a new library book that i finished before the weekend's end.
we four finally reconvened at 8:00 p.m. and ordered chinese takeout for dinner.
on the menu...kung pao, hunan, singapore and a christmas movie.
sunday i was up bright and early eager to get back into my novel.
coach worked his magic on a loaf of challah.
voila...french toast fit for a king.
the kids once again spent their afternoons with friends.
coach and i went for a walk on the sunny afternoon.
my brother, sil and some piping hot pizzas arrived as day turned to night.
we gathered aroung the t.v. to cheer on our team.
they didn't win, but i feel like i did.
i feel that way because i gave myself what i needed this weekend: reverant peace, holy quiet and meaningful connection.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

A very Happy Thanksgiving and these two for graciously hosting a fine gathering.

They cooked a meal that was so worth every single calorie.  Without a doubt the show stopper was this bird.  My dad brined it and then used copious amounts of butter to ensure it was juicy and moist and flavorful.  Mmmmm!


The annual picture which reveals that T. Bone is, in fact, officially taller than I am now!

My two.  So stinkin' cute and sweet and mine!

That they could have been a Brook's Brothers ad.  Bodi would be posing for L.L. Bean, however.

Long distance connections.  I was able to talk to four of my cousins in other states (GA and CO) and my Uncle in another zip code yesterday.  

Prince and the Pea.  Miss Bit corralled  Peanut atop two bean bags and inside a tent under an afghan and he just grins and bares it.  It is, after all, attention and this little chicolito loves him some amor.

Sadly Joe left us this week.  I say three years is a good long life for a Beta fish, yet I worried about how Miss Bit would take his passing.  There were tears and this sweet note.  She opted to flush him, said prayers to the porcelain God and sent him on his way back to the sea.  Candy cane ice cream and the promise of sleeping in Mom and Dad's room abated most of the sadness.

This girl is ready for the sun and the cold.  No, we did not purchase these rather enormous ear muffs.

T. Bone got into character (Wilbur Wright) for his wax museum this week.  He didn't want to, and then he rocked it.  

Playing chicken with these toms this week.  They ran and ran just trying to get away from me. All I wanted was a picture.  I was glad that I was alone at the preserve because I felt like I was harassing them and it looked like I was hunting them for our Thanksgiving dinner..

Time to travel on all the trails at the Audubon this week.  

PS22 singing Home in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  My kids were guffawing that I was balling...happy sad tears...heart filled up weepies.

An annual tradition.  Bagels and bacon with my college roomie and her family the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I love that we carve this time out of our busy weekends to reconnect this time each year.  I cannot wait to see her.  It's never enough time, but I gratefully take what I can get, and I don't throw a fit.

Coach made me my favorite breakfast Thanksgiving morn, and he served it in his handsome cap.  Then we headed out for a fast paced few miles in shorts!  It was sublime.

Camel's eyes it be.  Most people call them bullseyes or eggs in a hole, but my Grandma Rose always called them camel's eyes and that is exactly what they are in Casa Wags to this day.

I had to work today.  I didn't want to after all the festivities and night, but it was copacetic.  Coach took the kids to a movie and they brought home their leftover popcorn.  Then I left early, bought a tree for my dining room, steered clear of black Friday shopping (sickening) and made cheese danish and spinach quiche for tomorrow.  

It dropped 30 degrees today and there were flurries on my way to work.  I don't know why, but today that felt like a warm blanket.

Good night...I'm going to watch Charlie Brown.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Tigger started to insist that I stir at 5:00 this morning.  It was still dark out.  I finally gave in to his efforts at 7:00.  His efforts include uncovering me, standing on my bladder and pawing at my face.  Yet I'm still thankful for he and his brother our unconditionally loving dog cats.

Miss Bit was up before me.  I'm here with my second cup of coffee and she's there next to me turning naked Barbies into exquisite fashion plates in her sketch portfolio.  She just told me that she most wants a bearded dragon for Christmas.  I'm thankful that she wasn't too disappointed when I told her that Santa is under strict orders from parents not to bring pets.  I love animals, but I don't do reptiles.

I just put out kibble for the critter buffet. Miss Bit is watching the rodent antics and just chimed in, "this is way better than t.v."  I'm thankful that it is another beautiful day.  It's already in the 50s and will be perfect for a long walk before the festivities commence this afternoon.  My contributions to today's meal are complete.  My pumpkin bars are made, the wine chilling, Turkey Trot and Harvest Blend coffee ground, cheese platter ready to be assembled and Mom's zucchini casserole is waiting to bake. I'm thankful my dad and step-mom love to cook this meal and share it with us.  I love to cook, but not this meal.

I'm thankful that Coach just got up and is making breakfast: a cheesy bagel for her and camel's eyes for the rest of us.  We'll save most of our calories for what I have heard is typically a 2500 calorie meal.

I'm thankful that I am filled with gratitude today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Today I Choose Joy

I woke up this morning feeling a tad out of sorts.  It's the day before one of my favorite of the year so I couldn't exactly explain it, and I certainly couldn't tolerate it.  Thanksgiving is the culmination of everything good about living: turkey and thanks, family and fall, tradition and togetherness, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and marshmallows, games and good cheer.  I ask you what's not to love?

T. Bone was easy to wake, quick to rise and anxious to start his short day.  The fact that it was 60 balmy degrees and that he had plans to spend the afternoon with his friend were more than likely responsible.  Miss Bit woke up and immediately got into character as one of the Von Trapp children. She was singing through her morning routine, and quite beautifully I might add.  Of course, she was.  She only had a half day of school and then a nice, long weekend to look forward too.

I knew I had to adjust my angle.  I was in need of an attitude realignment so that my head and my heart were on the same page in the same book.  There was no question that I would walk the trails of my favorite area nature preserve  Beautifully, the slight shift started as soon as I was in route.  Finding an almost empty parking lot gave me another burst.  I only had to share the trails with gobbles of turkey who would be spared from any Thanksgiving feasts.  I didn't cross paths with any other living thing.  I saw scat evidence of coyote and deer, but I didn't spot a single animal.

In the time elapsed since my last visit here, nature's vibrant fall palette has lost its luster.  The jewel tones have faded and tarnished.  Soon everything will be brown.  As I took pictures, the subjects seemed to turn sepia before my eyes.  There were still shocks of color along the way.  The showy wine red branches of the dogwood tree and the spectrum of brilliant blues in the sky above me and the lake before me broke up the burnished monotony.

I looked up to see the ultramarine skies disrupted not by ethereal clouds, but by the remnants of jet exhaust.  Contrails criss crossed throughout the sky.  The day before Thanksgiving is credited as being the busiest travel day of the year, and here was visual evidence of so many going from here to there.  I felt so thankful that I could just be here.  Be. here. now.

Peace and joy, in equal measure, returned to my heart and soul in the hour and a half I spent at the preserve.  I traveled along the entire stretch of trail until I was exhausted and energized.  First I thought about everything and then nothing.  Nothing but be. here. now.  My legs ached with agony and burned with ecstasy.

There's incredible power in the way we choose to view life and then also in the way we choose to treat what we see.  There are days I feel like I have no choice, but today I choose joy.  It is both harsh and exciting.  

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
       love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees, 
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2 day pass

this weekend was full in a good way...just the right way..for us all.
coach was at a cabin in the woods with the hunters in his family.
he didn't get a deer, but that is ok with more than just miss bit.
i think he goes more for the camaraderie than the venison.
t. bone's weekend was filled with lots of basketball: 1 practice, 2 games and a little hoops with me-
a game on our home court after our lunch date.
date as in just the two of us.
miss bit attended a birthday party that included a very cool drum circle, went to a bon fire at the neighbor's and to see a high school performance of peter pan with me.
it was a good show and both me and my girl were impressed by these young talents.
when i asked her if she wants to try out for her school's spring musical, she told me that she has here sights on the part of annie.
she's shooting for the star, but would be happy being one of the orphans just the same.
i soaked up the sun during my walk saturday.
it was so unseasonably warm that i was uncomfortably overdressed, and yet it was lovely to be out sweating.
i shared wine and stories with one friend friday and another the next.
on saturday, i made my favorite pasta (whole wheat linguine and asparagus topped with a poached egg, parmesan and cracked pepper) and served it alongside a ceasar salad with my homemade dressing.
it was so good that coach and i reheated it for sunday dinner too.
only this time i added some crumbled bacon and it was the only way to make the best better.
we ended the weekend with buzz and woody.
i enjoyed toy story 3 just as much the second time as the first.
i'm headed up to bed right behind the kids tonight because i cannot keep my eyes open.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Memories and Music

During yesterday morning's commute, I listened to a cd I mixed for our trip to Power's Lake four long short years ago.  It was the last vacation we spent with my Mom so the memories of that week are bitterly sweet.  I almost turned the radio on out of fear that going back there would be a bad way to start the day.  Music is powerful like that.  A song can take me back years or even decades in such sucker punching or soul resounding ways.

The first song was Earth, Wind and Fire's September.  Do you remember the 21st night of September?  It was the star because it was my Mom's signature song.  Her birthday was the 21st day of September.  I smiled as I remembered her 50th birthday.  She hosted a dinner at her favorite French restaurant.  Friends from all five of her decades and family were seated around the table to celebrate her, and she was literally glowing.  Our hearts were ringing...In the key that our souls were singing...As we danced in the night.  There was no dancing, but it was a great one.  No one could throw a party like my Mom.  Two nights later Coach, my brother and I threw her a surprise 50th.  The same cast of characters attended and then some, but her party is the one I best remember.  No one deserved two parties for the same birthday more than my Mom.  We gave her a signed print by an artist she loved.  It hangs in my foyer now, and I think of her whenever I see it.  I'm pretty sure that gift surprised her as much as the encore party.  My thoughts are with you...holding hands with your heart to see you.

During Cold Play's Yellow,  I got serious shivers when I sang along to, look at the stars...look how they shine for you...and everything you do even though I was looking at the sun basking on the lake making it appear to be liquid gold.  I swam across...I jumped across for you.  I'll never forget seeing this song live.  Watching Chris Martin on stage was a moving experience and not just because he is a ball of energy...but because he is so passionate about his music and performing that you cannot help but know it is a privilege to be in the audience, to witness it, to be a part of it.

While listening to Billy Joel's You're My Home, I remembered a card I made Coach depicting these very lyrics when we first moved in together after college.  I was excited and scared.  Well I never had a place that I could call my very own...that's all right my love cuz you're my home.  Our one bedroom apartment was $450 a month.  My closet was in the front hall and nowhere near big enough.  When the front door was open, you could see right into the bathroom, but still it had it's charm.  The living room featured lots of French windows that opened up to let in fresh air and an abundance of light, and two couches that were always occupied by our friends on the weekends.  Two ugly couches that looked like Impressionist masterpieces gone horribly wrong, but they were in our budget and brand new.  Our pad was a block from the park we loved to run in and less a mile from my Mom.  Well I'll never be a stranger and I'll never be alone...wherever we're together that's my home.

Steely Dan's Hey Nineteen put me on a futon in my brother's eatside apartment on a fall night.  Sweet things from Boston so young and willing.  My baby brother just moved back from Madison and knew nothing yet of his imminent move to Boston.  Hey Nineteen That's 'Retha Franklin She don't remember the Queen of Soul...She thinks I'm crazy but I'm just growing old. Or at least growing up.  We drank cocktails and wine not beer out of mismatched bar glasses and played a raucous game of Balderdash not quarters or chandeliers.  It was so warm and cozy to have him home and living  in the same city again.

Love is the game at least for most of the questions in my heart...why are we here? and where do we go? and why are we so hard?  It's the most gorgeous summer night for a concert and I'm enjoying it with Coach and of course, Jack Johnson.  I have no questions tonight because I am lost in the lyrics, the music, the breeze and the stars.  And all of these moments just might find their way into my dreams tonight but I know that they'll be gone when the morning light sings or brings new things for tomorrow night you see that they'll be gone too, too many things I have to do.  Nothing to do right now, but sing and sway.  See those moments, they aren't gone.  I remember them like they were yesterday and I can hear and feel them today.  I'll never forget Paula Fuga taking the stage alongside Jack to sing Country Road and strum her ukulele.  What's meant to be will always be though I control my destiny.  I have been connected to that line from the first time I heard it and it was a gift to hear it live.

Just before I made my way downtown, I heard his horns and then Stevie Wonder started to sing, music is a world within itself with a language we all understand...with an equal opportunity for all to sing, dance and clap their hands.  Sir Duke makes me smile.  From my vantage point on the bridge, I could almost see the stage where I heard him sing this song live almost 4 1/2 years ago.  It was a sweaty July night.  I was with my Mom and my frister singing, dancing and clapping our hands.  It was the last concert I attended with my Mom. It feels like just yesterday.  Can't you feel it all over...come on let's feel it all over van feel it all over...everybody - all over people.

Do you have any songs that move you with memories?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

The way I have noticed the stars super sparkling in the chilly November night skies and 
loving the dark even more because of it.

Warm apple crisp with cold vanilla ice cream for dessert on the night of the first snow (flurries).

Our resident milk thief.  His weapon: the paw!  His bounty: every last drop.

Playing fair.  Miss Bit tried to pay T. Bone $15 for the Japanese soda he brought home from hibachi the other night after she drank her's.  He refused on account of the fact that the transaction wasn't fair.

Arm & Hammer laundry soap.  It smells happy and makes me feel good about doing laundry!

I was able to cross most of the items off my to do list the other day.  Of course, I've added as many as I've accomplished.

This chicken stew. ..colorfully healthy, delicious and easy.  Heat up 1 T EVOO in dutch oven.  Saute a shallot (or onion), a clove or 2 of crushed garlic, and 2-3 slices of bacon.  Remove and drain.  Add 1 T EVOO and  3-4 cups cubed potatoes to pan.  (I used fingerling and just halved them) Saute 5 minutes and then add cubed chicken (3-4 breasts).  Cook until potatoes are tender and chicken is golden (about 5 minutes).  Then add chopped veggies of choice.  I added 2 zucchini, 1 red pepper, 1 jalapeno and 2 cups of corn kernels off cob. Saute about 5 more minutes.  Then add garlic mixture, cover and cook at 350 for 20 minutes.  Salt, pepper and serve.

Sibling rivalry love.  See those smiles...feel the love.

Clouds.  I was paying lots of attention to the clouds overhead while I walked the other day.  The ripples were aligned in perfect waves: row upon row.  It was a sight.  Just then Stegner's protagonist, Susan, refers to the battlefields of clouds above her and I was tickled, did you know?  That was a text to world connection.

How excited the kids get to receive packages in the mail.  Yes, big Christmas bundles already!

Coach is enjoying a north wood's weekend with his dad and brothers.  Miss Bit is keeping his side of the bed   warm and snuggly.

A just because gift from a friend today.  I never knew I needed a bang buster until she presented me with one!!

I have plans with one friend tonight and another tomorrow.

Next week is a short holiday week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Truisms

Gretchen Rubin talks about many things in the Happiness Project that got my interested attention.  Her concept of true rules is one of them.  True rules consist of words of wisdom, practical tidbits and inner speak we pick up along the way from parents, mentors, peers and such.  Because we all come from different places and are traveling to our unique destinations, our rules are just that: our rules.  Every one's will be custom acquired and fit.  I prefer to think of them as truisms because some of the codes of conduct that filter through my mind every day are ways to do (rules) but more are ways to be (isms). This is my short list:

It is what it is.  It's a dandy I attribute to my Mom who was a wise woman.  Early in life she learned to live in and for the moment and also to be strong in the face of adversity.  She would say this not with a defeatist tone, but rather with an air of acknowledgement and attack ala what are we gonna do about it.

When life feels like too much, smile, nod and wear beige.  We all have bad days.  And bad days don't discriminate.  Sometimes that out of sorts feeling sets in on a day you don't have the luxury of checking out of.  So show up with a smile, but then blend in.  Chances are you'll feel better after for acting the way you don't feel and for keeping your commitment.

You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.  You know who says this?  Dr. Phil.  It's one of those things he's said that makes me think he actually is a licensed professional and not just an Oprah-made star.  It's so true though.  As soon as you admit that something is lacking or wrong in your relationships, work, self, the world, you can go about making a change, and not a second sooner.

You have to shut your eyes in order to see.  This is the one that reminds me to sleep on it.  Perspective and clarity are often revealed when I take step back or check out, and I'm usually glad I chose not to act in the heat of the moment.  Every thing looks different in new light.

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.  No, we have to step out of our comfort zones to grow.  We have to take chances and calculated risks to reap rewards.  I have not been faithfully adhering to this one.

Stars cannot shine without darkness.  Life is a series of necessary contradictions:  light/dark, joy/sorrow, birth/death, hot/cold, peace/turmoil.  The sadness I have felt heightens the joy I feel.  Yesterday's tears enhance today's laughter.  The human experience exists on this spectrum.  We have to take and experience the good in relationship to the bad.

Sometimes you can be so happy, you are sad.  This is one I whisper to myself when I am experiencing the apex of my joy.  It's at this point that I start to sense the shift in the continuum and I feel the fleetingness of what is as what was.

Just do it! Thanks Nike.

Everyday make your bed.  At the end of the day, there is nothing better than crawling between crisp, smooth sheets.

Always send Thank you notes to acknowledge gifts and kind acts.  This is such a lost art, but it is not lost on me and it will not be lost on my kids.

Get up at almost the same time every day.  It makes Monday so much easier, and Saturday and Sunday so much longer.

Leave your shoes at the door.  Dirty floors are my nemesis and dirty feet the bane of my existence.

Always say please and thank you with sincerity in your home, at your place of work, at school, in public.  These words are not just for children either. 

Always finish what you start.  I used to pride myself on this one.  Lately, not so much.  It's troubling me to the point that I have been avoiding starting things out of fear I won't finish them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On Blogging

I shouldn't be here right now.  I have a list of things to do.  It goes like this:
  • clean
  • consignment 
  • walk
  • shower
  • library
  • bake brownies
  • make soup
  • update vacation journal (PCB and Door County)
  • edit fall pictures
  • take Miss Bit to tennis
Nowhere on this lengthy list that I'm to accomplish between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. does it say blog, and yet here I am.  I'm here despite the fur balls the size of tumbleweeds crowding the corners of every room, despite the fact that this overcast day is my favorite kind for bundling up and logging miles and Stegner's Angle of Repose is just getting good and drawing me in, despite the fact that I have to feed my family and I want to preserve our memories.  Despite all of the compelling reasons not to be here, I  I'm going with it too because I have not been showing up here often enough for my liking lately.  Instead I've been in my head giving a lot of thought to why I blog.  Why?  I know why I write, but why do I write here?

It became apparent to me in stepping back that there is no one reason, goal, or motivation.  There are many and they are complex and obviously always changing.  Some days I blog to share.  Some days I blog so I don't have to share out there.  Other days I blog to celebrate, record,  get something off my chest, or to work through it.  I blog when the world feels so light and when life seems too heavy.  I blog when I'm happy and also when I'm sad.  I don't blog to make money or change the world...I blog to change my life.  And blogging has changed my life, which is why it may not be on today's list, yet I'm still here.

Sometimes I forget other people are reading.  Then one of a few friends that check in here will comment to me in person about something I've written and I remember there is an audience...albeit a small and quiet one.  I had a scare recently.  I linked to my blog on Instagram, and then one by one my son's friends found me there and started liking my photos.  I worried that they would make their way to My Musings.  It made me feel exposed in a way I was uncomfortable with so I removed the link and prayed it wasn't too late.  I don't want an influx of tween traffic here even though they are fine young men.  I'm just starting to feel the chi of what I deem to be kindred soul traffic here.  You see I have seen and heard the scrutiny that comes with a following.  I have witnessed how beautiful voices get muted and then lost as bloggers try to please everyone and offend no one.  Pretty soon they are saying nothing.

And then I have to wonder..what is the point in writing at all?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Little Shoe Story

Me and my girl share many loves.  We don't love shopping, but we do love shoes and boots.  Last week I ordered a couple pairs of Uggs online.  Yes, I'm late to the party trend, but better late than never because you see they are comfortable and warm (and also ridiculously expensive).  So I got a big box of furry lined boots in different styles and sizes last week, and I'm pretty sure Miss Bit was more excited than I was.  In fact, she assumed one for me one for her. Not sure who she though the third was for.  She slipped them all on and smiled big when the smallest size pretty much fit her.  I hated to tell her that I wasn't even sure yet if I wanted to spend that kind of money on a pair of boots for feet that aren't still growing  myself.  She was OK with it when I told her she can have mine someday.  I refrained from telling her that people have told me they last forever and I probably won't be outgrowing them.

When I picked her up from school today, she noticed right away that I was wearing my new boots for the first time.  She told me they looked G-R-E-A-T, and then she seriously inquired if they still fit.  I love this girl so much I'd  almost give her the boots off my feet no matter the cost.  Something tells me she knows that!

Monday, November 12, 2012

On My Mind Monday

And that, to me, is the meaning of Thanksgiving...Nothing lasts; everything changes.  People die, and marriages dissolve, and friendships fade, and families fall apart, whether or not we appreciate them; whether or not we give thanks every waking moment or one night of the year.  For the act of returning to the same table,  to the same people and the same dishes - to the same traditions - can blind you to life's transience.  It can lull you into believing that some things, at least, stay the same.  And if that's what you want to believe, then what have you got to be grateful for?  None of our Thanksgivings are ever coming back; we've lost them.  They're gone.  And so this year...give thanks - not for everything we have, but for everything, instead, that we have lost.


Michael Chabon
bon appetit

I read this in the November issue the other day and it has stayed with me...weighed heavy on my mind and heart.  No, I won't be traveling to some mystical hunting lodge to feast next week as Chabon did, I'll be going over the river and through the woods to sit at the same table I take my place at most years, but what and whom I have lost is evident and ever present.  Because what I eat, drink and do on this day is very much the same from year to year, doesn't mean that I don't see clearly and feel profoundly life's transience.  Quite the opposite actually.  Impermanence shadows me every day.  I know the depth of precariousness and terseness of what we have here now.  I will give thanks both for what I have and for what I have lost next Thursday as I do every day I am here to breathe and feel.  The traditions - Nanny's zucchini, Grandpa's sausage corn chowder, Grandma J's sweet potatoes, Rosie's cranberry fluff, round the table toasts and family games - are what tie me to them even though many of them are no longer taking their place at this table.   

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2 day pass

this weekend the weather felt like almost spring, not soon to be winter.
windows were wide open, legs left bare and as much time as possible was spent outside.
the kids wiled away the weekend in the yard with friends, and t. bone golfed what could be his last round of 2012.
coach did a makeover on our yard, and i tell you it's a real looker now.
he even strung lights on the bushes so they will twinkle and shine next month.
that makes me very happy.
so did having wine and cheese with my friend friday.
and a family night saturday was also much enjoyed.
we grilled bbq chicken that miss bit said was the best ever, lit candles in the dining room and then gathered in the family room to play games.
t. bone and i were right that it was miss peacock in the kitchen with the rope.
after church and during sunday school, coach and i managed a fast paced four miler all along the lakefront and winding through the city.
we noticed that the clouds looked like they were painted masterfully in the sky.
i baked brownies ala julia childs and cookie bars ala tollhouse for coach to take to work tomorrow.
it's his birthday, and he asked me nicely and then paid my baking compliments.
we celebrated his 45th an eve early at our favorite hibachi grill.
t. bone tried wasabi and pot stickers, miss bit tried (and very much liked) shrimp and ate quite successfully with chop sticks.
i ate some crab and tuna sushi and coach stuck with the filet mignon and saki.
we came home to open presents.
coach liked them all.
before bed, i'm going to have to turn the heat back on.
it's supposed to be in the 30s tomorrow.