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December 2013

November 2013

Saturdays are for Puppies

A few weeks ago, my parents rescued (literally) a tiny, little dog.


Meet Charlie.  Some sort of shih tzu/maltese mix.  He has completely wormed his way into my Mom and Dad's hearts!

Charlie came to our house for Thanksgiving -- his first real trip to a new house.  And his first introduction to Jenny and Jo-Jo.

There was some concern.

Jenny . . . weighs 75 pounds.


Jo-Jo . . . is closing in on 55 pounds.


Charlie . . . barely moves the scales at . . . 5 pounds!


They could eat him for lunch . . .


But they didn't!  In fact, all three got along very well . . . and especially Jo-Jo and Charlie, who played games in their own puppy way all day.  (Jenny-the-Tolerant mostly pretended they were Not There.)


Puppies . . . are puppies!


And with that, NaBloPoMo concludes.  See you Monday.

Right Now . . . November 2013

End of November.

Dark.  Cold.  Thanksgiving's over.

Time to hibernate -- and keep warm inside!

What's happening . . . Right Now?


Watching . . . Time to drag out the Christmas favorites:  Love Actually.  A Christmas Story.  Muppets Christmas Carol.

Reading . . . Nearing the end of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.  Donna Tartt certainly writes a good story . . . But.  I always hate her characters!  It's tough for me to LOVE a book when I despise the main character.  (Still. Worth the read.)  I've also just started reading The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin.

Knitting . . . Working away on a nice, relaxing, rhythmic project (Churchmouse's Easy Folded Poncho).  Just made Brian a hat (details next week).  No Christmas knitting for me this year, and that feels really good!

Listening to. . . Justin Timberlake.  


Planning . . . December.  Of course.

Drinking . . . Tonight?  A nice cab!  (Yesterday?  A little of everything!)


Needing to . . . Get myself on track before December careens out of control ahead of me!

Itching to . . . Finish all Christmas shopping and Put an End to It.

Organizing . . . Final, extensive clearing out of Brian's childhood/high school detritus.  (I've got plans for that room!)

Humming . . .  Lately it's been all Abbey Road.  All the time.


Inspired by . . . A label from a new bag . . .


Delighted by . . .   The bag!

Surprised by . . . How comfortable my new reclining couch is!  I think I could live in it!  (And I am definitely in danger of becoming a tv-watcher, just so I can sit in recline-o-comfort more often.)

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . right now?


Giving Thanks

(Oops.  This post was scheduled to post automatically yesterday - Nov 28 - in the morning.  Only I screwed up and chose the wrong month.  So I'm still counting this toward nablopomo . . . even though it's late . . . because it was teed up and ready to go.  Only user error.)


As this card from my sister says . . . 

It's Thanksgiving, pilgrim.

Scan 6

Buckle up!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Giving Thanks . . . With a Twist


Every year, at Thanksgiving time, I think about all the things I'm thankful for . . . and there are so many things!  There are the things that come immediately to mind - the easy and obvious things:  my health, Tom, my kids, my family, the dogs, my home, my job, my friends, my creative diversions.  So much to be thankful for.


To challenge myself, I decided to use today's Ten on Tuesday topic - 10 Things I'm Thankful For - to focus on things I'm thankful for this year . . . that I might not have been thankful for last year.

  1. Hearing!  It is a wonderful to thing to HEAR . . . now that I have my wonderful hearing aids!
  2. Meaningful work!  Although I didn't blog about it, I took on a whole new role at work last July.  At first, I didn't like it all that much.  But my new job is growing on me.
  3. Jo-Jo!  Although there have been a few times that I've seriously questioned my sanity, I've become quite attached to Jo-Jo, and I'm so glad that Tom and I adopted her last summer.
  4. Erin's job!  I'm so excited about Erin's job.  She's learning and contributing and earning her own way.  And, best of all, she's happy!
  5. Getting rid of the bird!  I also didn't blog about this . . . but Brian and I decided that his bird (Puck) would be better off in another home setting.  With much (much) guilt, we moved Puck to a foster bird home.  Much better for Puck, and much, much better for me (and Brian, too).
  6. Getting rid of the drum set!  Although I have always been supportive of Brian's drumming, I was very happy when he moved into a house with room for his drum set.  (Now I have new family room furniture.)
  7. New friends!  I made a couple of new connections this year, leading to a whole new group of friends.  Unexpected - but kind of wonderful.
  8. Running!  I needed to jazz up my fitness routine, so I decided I'd challenge myself to run (something I've always detested).  Now that I've started, I seem to be kind of (gulp!) . . . liking it.
  9. Kind bars!  Oh, I can't get enough of these things -- especially the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew variety.
  10. Port Fridays!  When Tom was traveling this year, he tried some Very Nice port.  He went in search of some . . . and finally found it!  Now, we've instituted "Port Fridays" where we share a glass together each Friday night.

How about YOU?  What are you thankful for this year?


Join the fun!  Sign up for Ten on Tuesday here.

All the Pumpkin Things

I am a fan of pumpkin things.

Pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin muffins.

Pumpkin bread.

Even Pumpkin Spice Lattes.*

(Although . . . some of the pumpkin spice-flavored things border on the ridiculous.)

So I always enjoy this time of year - and trying new recipes for pumpkin fare.

Last night, I tried chicken enchiladas with pumpkin sauce (à la Martha Stewart).


Really a great flavor combination -- pumpkin and jalapeño.


Who knew?


* I think they changed the Pumpkin Spice Latte "recipe" at Starbucks this year, because I really didn't think they taste quite the same this year.

Sundays are for Poetry


All Things Pass

by Lao-Tzu

All things pass
A sunrise does not last all morning
All things pass
A cloudburst does not last all day
All things pass
Nor a sunset all night
All things pass
What always changes?

Earth . . . sky . . . thunder . . .
    mountain . . . water . . .
    wind . . . fire . . . lake . . .

These change
And if these do not last

Do man's visions last?
Do man's illusions?

Take things as they come

All things pass

(included in She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems, selected by Caroline Kennedy)

Saturdays are for Puppies: Kickin' Back

It's been a busy week. 

Really.  A hectic, busy week.

But it's over now.  Time to enjoy a nice, slower-paced weekend.  (Yeah, I'm in denial over the holiday stuff coming right up.  But that's okay.  It'll catch up with me soon enough.)

It's easy to get into a slower-paced mood . . . with these guys in my life.


Just sitting with them and petting them makes me feel better.  Saturdays are for puppies . . . and for kickin' back!

Choose . . . to Celebrate

I would maintain that thanks are the highest
form of thought; and that gratitude
is happiness doubled by wonder. 
---- G. K. Chesterton


This week, I choose to celebrate:

  • simple things -- a cup of coffee in the morning, bright colored markers for notes and plans, music on my iPod
  • the end of a very busy week (actually, a very busy three weeks ... but who's counting?)
  • plans taking shape
  • lovely surprise packages in the mail

How about you?


Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving - The Early Years

This year, Erin won't be coming home for Thanksgiving.  Although she's missed a couple of Christmases with us, this will be her first Thanksgiving on her own.  I think she and her boyfriend will enjoy cooking up a turkey and creating their own Thanksgiving traditions this year.  (And, besides, they both have full-time jobs now -- without much vacation time.  This is something to be very thankful for, indeed.)

Talking to Erin about her plans got me remembering . . .

Let's take a little trip in the way-back machine.  Back to 1979. . .

Tom and I were in college (he a senior; me a junior) . . . although not at the same place.  I travelled up to Boise to spend the holiday with him.  It was our first Thanksgiving together; my first Thanksgiving without my family.

We cooked a small turkey and made some mashed potatoes.  We opened a can of cranberry sauce and baked up some Pillsbury crescent rolls.  We even had a bakery-store pumpkin pie and a bottle of Mateus Rose* to drink!

Tom at TG 1979

(We strategically placed the bottle of wine in front of the pie, so you couldn't see that we'd actually already eaten half of it. . .)

(We also made some Really Bad gravy.  It solidified.  We fed it to the neighborhood cats.)

Kym at TG 1979

Such a fun Thanksgiving -- all on our own and just starting out!  (We never imagined THEN . . . how many Thanksgivings we'd celebrate together.  Or how much bigger our turkeys would become!)

How about you?  What memories do you have of some of your early Thanksgiving celebrations?


* And since we're in the way-back machine anyway, check out this old commercial for Mateus Rose (which, at the time, I thought was the epitome of sophistication):