Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye November . . .

This year Thanksgiving was different in a good way. Normally we host it at our house, but this year my sister-in-law offered to take the hostess duties. They have a new house with a bigger kitchen and she was ready to put it to the test. I was quite happy to be the guest. It was thoroughly enjoyable to sit in my jammies through the entire parade. I did get up during the commercials (of which there were many :) to put the finishing touches on my contributions to the meal.

We even took a nice long walk before dinner.
That way there was a bit less guilt when it came time to eat these yummy desserts. My sister-in-law earned an A+ in her hostess duties.

~ A family picture ~
During dinner there was a big storm complete with thunder, lightening and hail. That seemed a bit odd for November. After a most delicious meal, we played games until it was time to say goodbye.

The rest of the weekend was spent Christmas decorating and checking up on the blog world (when my husband wasn't looking ;-). I had planned to post some Christmasy things around my home today, but the very dark and rainy weather outside wasn't conducive to good picture taking. Soooo, instead I put this in the crock pot. I have just recently discovered A Year of Slow Cooking. If you have never visited this blog, I suggest you head right over there for a visit. Such great crock pot recipes to save time in the kitchen at this busy time of year. It's so nice to come into the house after a busy day and smell dinner rather than have to think about what in the world I can throw together for dinner.

I hope your week is off to a good start.

*** See you in December ***

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Last Boat Ride Before Winter

A beautiful Sunday found me washing my car and my husband cleaning the boat in preparation for it's long winter nap. When he finished he came in the house asking if anyone was interested in one last boat ride?
Peanut couldn't get in the boat fast enough.
Would you like to join us? All aboard . . . here we go.

The sun was shining and the water was calm. No Dramamine needed today :-)

Look at all the sailboats.

If I lived in this house I think I would have trouble leaving that fabulous wraparound porch.

Here's another pretty house that sat out on a point. I can imagine it would be a great spot to watch the sun set.

The trees look so pretty when they reflect their autumn colors into the water.

Thanks for joining me on one last cruise before we sail into winter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Last weekend we took a little trip to Tennessee. Normally this particular trip is a straight shot across I-40 which takes you through part of the Smoky Mountains. It is always a beautiful drive on a sunny day.
On this trip we were detoured off of I-40 due to a rock slide.

It was still a pretty drive, but the color change was nearing the end.

Tennessee was the place my parents retired to 21 years ago. Lots of happy memories were made by our family as we took our yearly family vacations here. The purpose of this visit was to attend a memorial concert at the church where my mom and dad were members. The concert was performed beautifully and when they finished with the hymn titled "The Holy City" I was moved to tears as I recalled my mom playing Tony Fontane's version of it over and over when I was a child.

We also took a walk through this little tunnel which leads to the walking trail that went by my parent's house.

There are new owners in the house now, but we felt so fortunate to be able to meet them. They moved to Tennessee from Michigan just like my parents did many years ago.

They were kind enough to invite us back to the house to see the changes they have made. I thought this fall display in the front yard was so cute. It was evident that they are very happy in the house and I know that would make my parents feel so good.

Since we were staying right near this antique mall, I felt the need to stop in and check it out ;-)

Now we are back home and it's time to think turkey.

As we all know Thanksgiving is right around the corner in America.

Our thoughts turn to roasting that big bird. . .

Harvesting our crops . . .
Cooking and baking . . .
Family & Friends.

This week we received our first Thanksgiving card. How nice to be thought of by family far away.

Have you seen these adorable stamps?
Perfect for sending a card to those special people who mean so much to you, but you won't be seeing this Thanksgiving.

Today I lit a cranberry candle and wrote out a list of the people in my life who I won't be with on Thanksgiving, but wish I were. Tomorrow I will pick out some special cards to send to them. The lessons I have been learning this year have taught me to never take anybody or anything for granted.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Seasons Change

It was a welcome reprieve to be able to step outside today. These last few weeks have been a whirlwind and it was nice to have some time to see how things have changed since October turned to November.

A few of the trees have lost their leaves, but most of them are showing off their beautiful autumn colors.

While I was busy taking care of all of the details, the camellias were busy changing from buds to blooms.

It seems to me that the last time I glanced at the nandinas they were just starting to turn slightly orange. Today they were completely orange and looked so beautiful with the sun shining on them.

From the time I was a little girl I can remember following my mom around the yard as she gardened. From time to time she would share little gardening tidbits with me or let me plant a seed or flower. It instilled in me a lifelong love of digging in the dirt and getting immense pleasure from watching things grow

So, as I continue to garden, I feel mom's presence.

And as I dig and plant I have fond memories. My husband still laughs at the time he had just met my mom and we were in the family room talking when all of the sudden she bolted out the back door. He wasn't sure what was happening until we looked outside and saw her chasing a rabbit out of her newly planted vegetable garden. Through the years he would tease her about that one.

So while the seasons change outside . . .

I find myself in a new season of life too.

But, I'm so glad that all of those years ago my mom took the time to spark an interest in gardening for me.

I'm finding it so therapeutic to lose myself in gardening time. Today I planted six pots of pink (her favorite color) tulips and blue (my favorite color) pansies. They will be at their prime next spring and I imagine it will bring a whole new set of memories.

Soon this holiday cactus will be in bloom after having spent the summer outside. It belonged to my mom and will be sure to bring back more fond memories when it is covered in pink blooms.