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December 2009

November 2009

Happy Advent!

I just love this time of year ...


There is something especially beautiful about winter sunrises, don't you think? It's almost as if the sky is doing it's own holiday decorating! Or maybe giving  us a bit of cheer on these bitter early mornings. Scientifically speaking, it must have something to do with the weather conditions at this time of year - cold, frosty, dry - but almost daily it seems (unless it's raining) - the sunrise is startlingly intense and varied. I think I take pictures almost every day ...

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! Ours was wonderful - bustling, happy and homey. Lots of good food, family and friends ... and lots of leftovers to indulge in this week!

Right now I am working on a December "plans" post (hoping to post mid-or-late-week), but for today I'd like to share some photos from the past month or so ...


One Saturday Bill was breaking down the yard toys and we found this little fella (a salamander) hiding in the folds of the bouncy house! Isn't he gorgeous? We deposited him safely under an old log by the compost pile. Hopefully he'll curl up and enjoy a long winter's nap.


The Blue Jays have been especially active this fall. This picture was actually a tree filled with a band of birds, but the best shot was this guy in the middle.

The following few pictures were taken on a recent Nature Club activity - we learned about a local watershed and did some percolation experiments. It was a cool, gray day ...




I really love the woods at this time of year - everything seems so bleak and done-for, so the tiny bits of color really stand out all the more. A flash of blue feathers, a bright ray or light, the punch of a red berry ...


Boston on (yet another) cloudy day ... on our way into the Science Museum.


Crackerjack and Bookworm making "their" pie on Thanksgiving eve - a lime jello cool whip variety. :)


I made the one above - a "Holiday Fruit Pie" filled with cranberries (dried and fresh), orange peel and golden raisins. I thought it came out pretty well. :)


And a little taste of Advent preparations underway ... more on the tags and ribbons (etc.) to come later this week!

Have a wonderful week, my friends ~ and Hurray for December tomorrow!

Be back just as soon as I can ...  

A Very Happy Thanksgiving to You!

 For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


I hope you all have a lovely day with your family and friends. :)

I am grateful for every one of my readers, especially for your kind wishes and prayers of late. We are all finally back on the mend and I got the all clear from my surgeon yesterday.

I have so many things to be thankful for,  but I guess what I am most grateful for this year are the blessings of good health and the abundance of support and love that surrounds me. 

This year, for the first time in years, we are not hosting Turkey Day here. Instead we are gathering at my parents' house for our family celebration. I am making several dishes to bring over, however:

Cranberry-Apricot Relish

Artichoke Dip

Green Salad (this is Crackerjack's offering)

Thanksgiving Punch and Sparkling Pear Juice

Sweet Potato Casserole

Annie's Macaroni and Cheese (Earlybird's offering)

Lime Jello-Cool Whip pie (Bookworm's offering)

Holiday Fruit Pie

Maple Walnut Spice Cake (it's my mum's today!)


After today's bustle, I plan to sit down and sketch out a simplified Christmas season for myself. Usually by now I have the holidays fairly well organized, but not surprisingly, I'm behind on everything! Ah well, I know I will get us all back on track ~ this has been a very good lesson in patience for me. ;)

Enjoy this day my friends, I will see you all very soon!

Timing is everything ...

Hello, everyone! :)

Sorry I've not been around much lately. The good news is, I have completely healed from my surgery and feel just about 100% again. The bad news is (or was) the boys got the flu last week. Like, hardcore FLU (possibly of the Swine variety): high fever-chills-body-aches-cough. It was "conveniently" staggered: Crackerjack got sick on All Saints Day, Bookworm fell ill by the end of the week and Earlybird crashed hard last Sunday. Each one of them was sick for several days - honestly it was the sickest they've been in years. Luckily, Bill and I did not get it, and happily, they are all back on their feet. EB still has a nagging cough but is sleeping well again and acting like his little old self. (Sleep was hard to come by last week!)

I know I don't have to tell you what it's like when the flu hits your household ... you just lay in supplies, batten down the hatches and hope (and pray) for the best. Thankfully we're on the other side again, so I will be posting again soon.

I sincerely hope all of you (and yours) are staying well this late autumn season ... thanks so much for checking in. :)

~*Happy November* ~

Small jars of candles and a garland of marigolds sit upon the mantel, along with pictures of loved ones who have passed away. Today is the Feast of All Souls, and if I were feeling up to it, we'd be visiting a local graveyard today. Well, that trip will have to wait for another day but there are some simple homey things we can do to honor this day. As it is also known as the Mexican Day of the Dead, we'll be having tacos for supper tonight and this afternoon we'll be reading a couple of favorite books from our November basket:

Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book by Jeanette Winter


The Spirit of Tio Fernando: A Day of the Dead Story by Janice Levy

I'll make some Aztec Hot Chocolate for the boys to sip as we read. It's appropriately chilly today, on this second day of November. I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween. I can hardly believe that holiday's already come and gone, and with Daylight Savings Time in place, the days are growing ever shorter and darker. We need to fuel our inner light all the more as we journey ever closer to winter ...

Thank you again for all your kind wishes and prayers for my recovery. I am feeling so much better ~ it's mostly down to plain old tiredness now. I guess they really meant it when they said to take it easy, lol! There's really not much else you can do while waiting for your stamina to return. I can't complain though ~ my family has been wonderful stepping in to help out and making sure I do in fact take it easy.

Thanks for stopping by. I wish you a day filled with life, love and remembrance. :)


Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.  ~ John Muir