Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Last Cup of 2013

Bidding adieu to 2013.

A fairly nice little year, actually. To and from family and friends. Punctuated with a wedding and my newest grand-baby on the way. A more beautiful than usual Spring and Fall and a mild summer. Flowers and expanding the garden and beds. New roses and ripe strawberries for jam. Putting up pickled banana peppers and bread and butter pickles. A beach getaway with my "bestie" where we experienced some of the best Tiramisu in the States, and flying to an amazing DS Gathering at Carol's in Pennsylvania. And flying Dave in from the UK. A special treat. Too many great books and movies to name this year. Loads of new recipes and the bag lady starter kit which has bloomed into slouch boots and Infinity scarves and eyebrow pencil. The 5:2 or Fast Diet which has helped me drop 25 pounds and two sizes...all while enjoying cupcakes, butter and homemade breads! A keeper.  

And new clothes in shades of creams and browns and greens to celebrate the new body!

Or at least the return of my pre-children waistline...

Publishing the first book in the Zen Living Trilogy last April...and hoping to finish and have the second in print by next April.

And with winter...a return to the keyboard. Too much to do/explore/enjoy Spring through Fall to get serious about a manuscript...but winter...with below freezing temps...snow piled on the windowsill...hot tea in one of my favorite bone china cups or a mug of hot chocolate...homemade soup bubbling on the stove and a round loaf of crusty bread baking in the oven...Tucker-Cat curled in a snoring black and white heap nearby...now that is the stuff of getting some writing accomplished!

The sought-after writer's retreat in Barcelona or the South of France or Sunny California when it is 75 degrees and the Pacific Ocean beckons would never work for me. It would have to be a snowbound cabin in Maine or Michigan or a cold rainy day in London. Otherwise the temptations would be too great.  

A glance back at my resolutions for the year...all pretty much kept. Looking forward to opening and reading the Moments from my 2013 Jar tonight. 365 0f the best "moments" of 2013.


The best thing about the Moments Jar this year was choosing the BEST moment from each day. 
Being mindful of how good life really is.

Sorting through the Moments is eye-opening

 Many centering around the weather/season change/firsts or the gardens.

"The first Robin of Spring chirping happily outside my window as I wake up"

"Tonight, I saw the first firefly flit by"

"A Warm Misty Morning Rain"

"Sitting outside in the rocker with Tucker feeling the electricity in the air as the storm brews."

"Three fresh inches of snow"

"The beautiful Fall colours"

Some are concerning political issues.

"Today marked the turnover of  DOMA and Proposition 8"

Many marked time or celebrated friends and family.

"James and Nicki got married today"

"Only 62 more days until Pennsylvania"

"Idgy and I, on the TOP of the Ferris Wheel"

"Today is ___________'s birthday"

"Today we met Dave from the UK at the Gathering!"

"Chris and Tina are back together!"

Quite a few were just sensory.

"122 MPH in the Chally...OMG!!!"

"Wrapped in warm towels- soft and fuzzy from the dryer- is anything nicer?"

"A tiny baby's laughter filling the library while I am reading, making me smile"

A few mentioned the 5:2 Diet indirectly.

"Made it through my first Fast and enjoying a chocolate cupcake for breakfast"

"Today I have lost a stone (14 pounds) "

"I can DO this! 125 pounds by next April!"

"End of the year and 25 pounds and two sizes smaller!"

And more than a few had to do with recipes and food. You know me.

"One PERFECT soft boiled egg."

"This morning's Raspberry Crepes"

"Is there anything better than  fresh veggie soup from the garden?"

Some were affirmations.

 "I can DO anything!"


"We can choose to start over again"

"Today I learned that Ithkah was here inside all along"

Or reassurances

"Everything is going to be okay."

"This too shall pass."  (and apparently it did...because when I unfolded and read this one I have no idea what the crisis du jour  even was. )

"A Light at the End of the Tunnel" (assumably not a train)

And one of my favorite moments...just an ordinary day taking the transit. Depauw had just started back and there were probably 30 new Chinese college students on it. A trip to the market for provisions in their new dorm.

"A bus full of chattering students board the bus. Crow black hair gleaming,slight and angular. Their faces buddha-like and their voices mingle in a birdsong of Chinese. I smile and close my eyes for that second- I could be riding a bus in busy Hong Kong  :) "

The best part of the Moments Jar is ( with the singular exception of a blue scrap which simply reads)

"The Keurig Coffee-Maker"

that the best moments of my year have centered around people or experiences. Proving what I've known all along.
 Happiness in life is rarely about things.   

Well...except that coffee-maker of course.

Learning each day what they mean by "a practicing Buddhist"...in fact I think I have come to the realization that no matter what we are or do in life (Buddhist or not)...we are all just practicing...and practicing...and practicing. 

And sometimes we actually make some progress. 

And the de-clutter and clean thing...it appears to be eternal...kind of like laundry, as "Idgy" would laugh.

And the Proactive Finances...an absolute sanity-saver. And always an extra $50. or so to make someone else's day a bit brighter. It is incredible how blessed you feel when you finally realize that whatever you have...is ENOUGH.

(...having said that...whoever invented the Keurig Coffee System should be canonized...)

Best find of the YEAR.
Thanks, Carol!

So approaching the up-coming year with a pile of TBR books...two manuscripts I am working on...and one that I am editing.  The newest grand baby's quilt to be completed before the first week on May and several soup recipes that i am looking forward to trying.

Looking forward to "Idgy" and I ringing in the New Year with noise-makers...cold shrimp and baked pretzel rolls...a cheese tray and dark chocolate covered cherries...confetti and Bellinis!

Bellini Recipe:

4 ounces champagne (Asti or for alcohol free the Sparkling White Grape Juice)

2 ounces puréed peaches with nectar

Pour pureed peach and nectar in champagne flute.

Top slowly with champagne.

Garnish with a candied cherry or slice of fresh peach.

Enjoy...and I'll see everyone next year!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little cup of Morning Rant...

and so soon after Christmas...

All because of a conversation this morning.  A "Christian" couple complaining about food eaten (by another friend) at their home.  This same couple abhorred to think I am Buddhist and that somehow they must "save my stumbling soul"

This rant is for you. 

My "soul" is fine.

To be honest...people like you are part of the reason I walked away from Christianity years ago. As Ghandi observed...Christ is wonderful. Christians...not always so much so.

And while we are at it...I have NEVER been so poor (...and trust me I've seen a lot of poor times in the past...) that I thought twice about fixing anyone a meal from my home...as my Aunt Coatni-Minton used to say

"There is always enough for one more plate at the table"

(...and she WAS a Christian and walked the walk...)

So that is my little rant this morning...try being Christ-like instead of (badly) pretending to be Christian.

Yeah yeah...I'm done. I told you it was a small rant.

Loving a gift I received from the youngest son's girlfriend. A Buddha-Board Mini.

This is a Buddha Board.

 A thin stone tablet (plain) that can be written/painted on with water. Whether you write a word or paint a bonsai or just draw "Mu"...In the 10 minutes of meditation afterwards the water slowly evaporates from the stone surface and when meditation is over the stone surface is smooth and blank again. Not only an amazing meditation tool...but also the ultimate lesson in impermanence.

 No worries this morning, though. Sipping a cup of Vanilla Coffee with a  Crueller on the side.

Enjoyed an evening with my oldest grand-daughter last night complete with Chinese chow (which we both love) and she, learning to use chopsticks and the recipient of a scroll-like bamboo calendar for the upcoming year (...she was thrilled...) and hot tea and board games and bedtime reading.

 And life is very good.

Finishing off the last bit of Christmas with my grandsons tomorrow and then going to savor the last bit of the Year in quiet reflection.

Have lost 25 pounds with the 5:2 Fast Diet so far. Dropped 2 sizes. Feel pretty good about it. Even the naysayers

"Are you sure this is healthy for you"

and the eye-rollers

"Fasting...what will they come up with next?"

have to admit that it is pretty amazing. And everyone has noticed the difference now.

 (...okay...I am terrible at Selfies...and I really need to clean the mirror, too...but hey...my waist-line is back!)

 To think of it in "grocery terms" I have lost a 20 pound bag of potatoes and a 5 pound bag of sugar that I had been lugging around daily on my body. 

With 5 pounds to go for my goal...my stomach is nearly flat again!
 (...that was always my problem area...)

And best of all I did it with a lifestyle change that didn't include deprivation. On the Non-Fast days I eat whatever I like. Since I enjoy recipes, and sauces, and creams, and carbs and desserts...this made all the difference.

And I have finally reached a peace with my body image that I haven't had for years and years.

Maybe ever.

And off to start the weekend...have a wonderful one!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Cup

And it was...is...will be.

With only my two grandsons presents still " 'neath the tree" and soon those will be gone in a flurry of wrapping paper and ribbon, too.  This year a month long celebration it seemed.  Tea's and brunches. E-mail and snail mail. Visits and Skypes. Phone calls and hugs~ real and virtual. Christmas wishes were whispered and granted. Some arrived completely by surprise. One made me cry.

                 The Crest Pitcher  (...perfect for Christmas Eve Cocoa...)

At the end of the day there are books, and brightly coloured containers of bubble bath and lotions and perfume. Potpourri and candles. Calendars and day-planners. Flowers and a warm fuzzy throw. Not just chocolates, but International Chocolates. Gift cards and picture frames designated for "Grandkids" only. A solid silver "Crest" pitcher ferreted out by my youngest son at a nearby antique shop (with those little feet...so presumably it will come scampering over when you call it) and my "gift to myself" of the lost "much loved teddy" for the year,which arrived on Christmas Eve.  It is all a bit overwhelming. 
                                         And that's just the STUFF.

                                              The New "Tossed Teddy"

The REAL Christmas was, of course, the people.  Waking early to all the Merry Christmas Wishes from Family, Friends & Friends who are Now Family. The Tea's and Brunches leading up to today with Loretta,Judi, and Ola and the laughter. A long round about discussion with the owner of the "Tossed Christmas Teddy" on eBay that left us both laughing and "...such a fuss over a tiny bear."  A re-connection/reconcilliation with Chuck and Shirley, Julie and Matt, Caitlin and Chloe...because life really is too short. Planning to spend the day with Donna and the boys soon. Tanya going above and beyond the call of duty yesterday when she drove the girls (4 1/2 hrs) to see their Dad and Nicki...their Christmas Wish...and then brought them here so we could share Christmas Eve together. And actually calling today to see if I wanted her to bring me over ham and such. It is the "grands" hugs and kisses and "You are the BEST grandma, Grandma Rose" and their faces when they unwrapped their dolls.

"Oh Grandma...she has pink glasses just like ME!"

                                Because Pink Glasses are Cool, Grandma!

And deep down even more than that.  Talked to all the boys early this morning. Shared Coffee and Cinnabons with Chris before he and Tina headed out for her grandparents. Chuck and Shirley and Crew phoned from Orlando where they had met up with Matt and Julie and the girls...so we talked for a while. When the phone rang this afternoon I was kind of stunned when Lennon's bio-mom Jill was on the other end. Jill...who was commonly referred to as "Our Ex-Wife" (and that was the term for polite company..okay) for all those years. Earlier in the week she had sent me a parcel. A wonderful book on Route 66 and a same-themed next year's calendar. She knows how much i LOVE The Mother Road and how many many times that all of the boys and I traveled it when they were growing up.

For a moment I was completely blown away when they arrived. Thoughtful. Thought out. It wasn't just the gift. It was the thought behind it.  Throughout the years to say our relationship to one another was a little rocky would be an understatement
Sort of like saying the Titanic took on a little water.

Slowly after Lennon's graduation and then Bill's death we have been cautiously extending the olive branch...an e-mail...a gift basket...a Christmas card...a phone call. Today we sat like old friends on the phone...wishing each other Merry Christmas...discussing the kids...all of them...and Lennon's graduation from college next year...and her health...and my health...and all the good there is in life.  
And there is so much good.

So here is to LOVE...and CARING...and FORGIVENESS

(...both ways...as there were a few years we both made each other's lives a Living Hell...and made several lawyers a bit richer...)

When I travel to Maine I am going to stop by Massachusetts and we are going to spend a couple of days visiting with each other...maybe if Lennon is on break he can join us.

So here's to a few tears shed on both our parts this afternoon...and a couple "I'm sorry I was a bitch sometimes"...and "You really did a great job with Lennon" and "Well he is a lucky kid...He has two Moms who love him with all their Heart." 

And you know what...2014 is shaping up to be an AMAZING year. And it isn't even here yet!

That whole "Peace on Earth" thing...it starts two people at a time. 


Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas!

And My Christmas Wish Come True...All the Grands!

And a photo appearance by Nicki and my "Grand-Bump"

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Remedial Cup...and ~sigh~ The Duck Debacle

because you KNOW I had to go there...

But first...a refresher:

How You May Feel When You are Talking to Others about saying Happy Holidays

How Others Actually Perceive You

                                                    Any questions?

And, because I often have more opinions than sense...here I go...diving into the whole "Duck Dynasty Debacle".

Disclaimer:  I have never watched even one episode of the DD...I wouldn't know Phil from your Uncle Bob. Hell, for all I know Phil may actually BE your Uncle Bob. When I have seen the posted pictures of Phil the only thing that comes to mind is that I want to throw him in a bath and scrub him until he is clean...and trim that nasty beard...okay? 

Even in the 70's my "hippie" boyfriends were required to have a certain level of personal hygiene.

But goat-beard and needing a bath (and possibly a higher education) aside...

What the hell was he thinking?  Really. 

This isn't a First Amendment issue, folks.

This is a "Use your damned head" issue.

 Phil could have went to any street corner in America...any mall...any local park...outside on his lawn...off into his favorite Walmart (which seems more likely) and shout his Bible verses to passer-bys. He could have them tattooed on his face, if that is what he wanted to do.

But the fact of the matter remains

A&E is his employer.

No matter how much of a jerk your boss is...no matter what they say or do...even if they stomp baby ducks or shove old ladies down in the street...unless you just want to be fired...you don't rush out in front of the office and yell

"Duck Stomper"

"Old Lady Pusher"

You just don't do it. 

And you don't go telling incidental tales about how happy the blacks were in your area before the civil rights era...or how disgusting you may or may not find homosexuality on television.  You want to head to the local tap or feed-store and talk until the cows come home...feel free. (caveat: Just don't be surprised if some black or gay dude cleans your clock for the effort...the whole opposite and equal reaction thing....) But when someone is paying you to entertain (all) the public...even the black, gay and drunken ones...well don't act all surprised and try to say your freedom of speech has been infringed upon when they lay you off.

Just Sayin'

 And while I am at it- the same thing applies to the Ten Commandment and Creche people...okay. And frankly I am a bit surprised how versed all of you are on the First and Second amendment and yet you miss the POINT of Separation of Church and State completely.

If you want to put replicas of Moses' tablets on your front lawn...fine.

If you want to have a manger scene complete down to the little sheep...beautiful.

If your kid wants to bring a Bible to school and pray quietly several times a day or before each test...no problem. (...as a matter of fact the ACLU will defend little Timmy's right to do just that...)

But if you want the tablets on the Courthouse lawn...or them handing out Bibles in class or teacher led prayer...or a crèche by the Inn at Yellowstone Park...well then you need to re-read the First Amendment and ask yourself if it were a Pentegram lit with candles on the Courthouse lawn...would you be so gung-ho...or if it were the Koran instead of the Bible in class (or prayer rugs and bowing to Mecca) or a life sized Shiva at Yellowstone...would you feel so warm and fuzzy about THAT? Because that is why we have the separation between Church and State (government).

Because the USA is not a theocracy.

That's why.

Now Phil...go get a bath and "for-god's-sake" do something with that beard...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The "War on Christmas" Cup

(and other fallacies) 


It is Beginning to look a LOT like Christmas...or is it?  

Frankly, I am sick and tired of the in-your-face "Let's keep CHRIST in Christmas" and "JESUS is the reason for The Season" or "I am saying Merry Christmas...not Happy Holidays...Repost if you AGREE" crap splattered all over social media this month.

To be fair...I am equally sick of the "Nobody needs Christ" and "Remove Christ from X-Mas" and rude insensitive remarks about people's invisible "sky-buddies".

Seriously, people?

I am beginning to think that Peace on Earth is going to require a lot of duct tape.

With fanatics on both Christian and Atheist sides hurling insults back and forth...creating the WAR and fanning the fames. And don't EVEN get me started about the whole Duck Dynasty Redneck Poser Wannabe...okay?

Foremost, I have never...ever...in nearly 54 years...heard anyone (social media excepted) wish someone a Merry Christmas and hear ANYTHING negative in return. EVER. The most common response I have seen is a smile and a Merry Christmas back. Even if the recipient of the greeting happens to be a non-christian. If it is a WAR it must be terribly ineffectual.
And by-the-way...Happy Holidays is derived from Holy Days..and there is always"Festivus...for the Rest of Us"...so I don't see the reason for the manufactured outrage.

And being a Christian doesn't mean you have the right to glomp on to the entire month of December either and belittle others who don't celebrate "...the birth of baby Jesus..." and while I am at it...Bodhi...Sinter Klaas...Evergreens and Yule...Saturnalia...Kwannza and the Solstice all play their part in the Reason for the Season, too. (and as my friends Barbara and Linda reminded me...Axial Tilt remains the biggest Reason for the Season...lol...thanks girls)

 And being an Atheist doesn't have to be synonymous with asshat either.  Being a non-believer doesn't mean you wander around swaggering with some sort of intellectual smugness and belittling everyone else's beliefs. And if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas, please...smile and be decent about it.
It doesn't detract from your belief (or non-belief) system one iota.

In fact both of the Christ signs above seemed rude, presumptuous and offensive.

Bottom line...instead of walking around like human "I find that offensive"  detectors...maybe we should take a deep breath and be happy that someone...anyone took the time out of their busy day (life) to be thoughtful enough to greet or "wish us" anything at all...

Happy Everything...now let's go play nice...shall we?

Peace on Earth starts with us.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Friday (...why the hell are they blinking...) Cup

Yeah...he might qualify as cutest grandson ever...

Maybe I am biased :)


Awaiting the "Grands"

Everything is wrapped. The Christmas fudge has been made and distributed. The halls are decked...and WHYTHEHELLLARETHEYBLINKING??? Hastily scribbled note to self:

"When Hand-Tying tiny white lights to use as Garland...use a brand new strand"

And no...I didn't.  And one night the tree went dark. And the beautiful hand-tied garland of lights became just so much garland. You live. You learn. We saved the tree with a simple strand of the large old fashion ceramic type bulbs on-hand. It isn't the twinkle and glitter of tiny white lights...but next year if I hand tie I will be buying a fresh strand...lol!

No time for a book this week with Christmas in Full Swing. One more trek out for the holiday meal and it is finished. If anyone wants me I'll be in a bubble bath with a Bellini :)

Baking a coffee cake to go with tomorrow's Christmas Brunch with Loretta...and looking forward to Donna and Eric's Christmas Party this weekend. Still marveling at the fact Dane is now "of age" and Chris and I have a bottle of Honey Mead tucked in a wine bag as part of his Christmas. Where have the years gone? I remember when he and Chris were around 9 years old- taking Tae Kwon Do classes together.  Donna and I sat on the sidelines and enjoyed the look on their faces the first time "the board" actually broke. I have Chris' reaction on film. The look on his face was

"Hey...this stuff really works!"

"Idgy" headed to the Smoky Mountains with Che for Christmas...but will be back before NYE. Get a million photos, girl!  And Che who is "in love" for the very first time at 15 :) Loved the photos. They make a really cute couple.

Invited by Diane and a group of my DS "sisters by different misters" to spend NYE in Chicago with them...but the month-long Christmas this year makes that seem daunting. I think "Idgy" and I are going to ring in the New Year with Bellini's and chocolate and a handful of confetti immediately followed by a good night's sleep...lol!

James anxious to get home to Nicole for their very first Christmas together. He is loving the wind-shield time. And has long-hauled  from Iowa to Oklahoma...to Atlanta...back to Texas...out to Arizona...over to Colorado...Up to Chicago...and now headed back in the general direction of Iowa. What a GREAT job!

Chris and The Leprechaun happy...in love...and looking at houses together!!! I am sensing wedding bells in the future.

And Lennon who survived finals and is enjoying his downtime...and sent me photos of something he was baking...following it up with the recipe. "It has several steps, Mom...but it is definitely worth it!"

It all sounded/looked so good I had to share!

Lennon's Pretzel Rolls

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups warm milk (about 100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 100-110 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 1/2 - 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Water Bath and Extras:
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or you can do this by hand in a large bowl), stir together the yeast, oil, milk and water. Add the salt and two cups of the flour. Add the rest of the flour gradually until a soft dough is formed and knead for 3-4 minutes. You may not need to use all the flour - add the flour until a soft dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl. It is similar in texture to bagel dough and should be slightly more stiff and less sticky than, say, roll dough, but definitely still soft and not overfloured. 
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). 
  3. Portion the dough into 16 pieces and roll each piece of dough into a little round ball.
  4. Lay out the rolls on lightly greased parchment or a lightly floured counter. Make sure the dough balls won't stick! Let them rest for 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the dough rests, bring the water, sugar and baking soda to a boil in a large 5-6 quart saucepan.
  6. Working with one piece of dough at a time, carefully take it off the parchment or counter, flip it over in your hand and pinch the bottom to form a little pucker and help the dough form a nice, taut ball. Take care not to deflate the dough; you should pinch just the very edge of the dough.
  7. Place 3-4 dough balls in the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (the longer you boil, the chewier the baked pretzel roll will be).
  8. With a spatula, remove the dough from the boiling water and let the excess water drip off into the pan. Place the boiled dough balls onto lined baking sheets (lined with lightly greased parchment or a silpat liner).
  9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  10. Using a very sharp knife or razor, slice 2-3 cuts into the top of each unbaked roll about 1/4-inch deep or so. It's important to use a very sharp blade so that it cuts the dough without deflating it. It's ok if the dough looks wrinkly and kind of funny. It will work itself out during baking. Lightly sprinkle each dough ball with coarse salt.
  11. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the rolls are deep golden brown. These rolls definitely taste best the same day they are made; however, lightly warmed in the microwave for a few seconds will do wonders for pretzel rolls 1-2 days old.
 I am going to make a batch with dipping sauce for Christmas Eve!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Snowy Saturday Cup

It;s beginning to look a LOT like Christmas :)

Finished my Christmas Shopping (and wrapping) yesterday except for a few incidentals. Making my fudge next week! Woke to a fresh blanket of snow and enjoying a bit of cocoa and whipped cream in my morning cup...and all is right with my world.


It is time for my Annual "Find-A-Bear" excursion. For me, "Find-A-Bear" is like a walk through your local animal shelter. They're all adorable and you want to take them ALL home. I collect them. To complicate matters...brand new bears need not apply. Nothing with perfect shiny fur or both button eyes. The teddy bears I love have been loved. To quote Margery Williams: Velveteen Rabbit "...a long long time...." and are already Real.  So through Antique shops and eBay...Thrift shops and Goodwill...I have finally found this year's Tossed Aside Teddy.

Talking with Idgy about next year's Christmas Cards. And personal habits. And Shelf Elves. When we were kids we both had Shelf Elves in the house. Not particularly the cute Internet Meme Elf you see today. The one in my house was Pre-War Japan Vintage with pointy ears and a salacious smile with green and white stripes instead of the traditional red...and positively creepy.  Today's Elves are mischievous to laugh out loud funny. After this "bad elf"

we started discussing Personalized Elf on a Shelf pictures to put on friends Christmas Cards...and like it usually does with us...it generally degenerated from there. So beware card recipients...next year...coming your way...an Elf on A Shelf Christmas Card specifically made with your M.O. in mind!


Hoping to see the boys this weekend to celebrate Christmas...and looking forward to Donna and Eric and Dane's Christmas Party the next. Picking up a couple of bottles of Honey Mead for the occasion.

No novel this week...but a re-read of one of my favorite classics. Truman Capote: A Christmas Memory.

If you have never read it


This is a downloadable version of the PDF. Give yourself a gift and read it this season. Always leaves me smiling!

Caught up with the boys this week. Chris and Tina already planning a wonderful NYE together...and she is joining us at Donna and Eric's because...well...you are almost family now!

Lennon finished finals this week.

Sent him this

but also this...kind of a treat to enjoy after it is over.

And James who sent me these...now headed out West to Arizona with a Team Driver.

He is already loving the whole "long-haul trucking" experience.

"So much better than being stuck in an office...or on a roof, Mom!

"I get to do all the road-trips and They pay ME!"

He is with an experienced team driver for the next 8 months paid training. Years ago, I think I may have made a serious error in career decision .


Have a great weekend!