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Manipulation

H E L L O !

Happy Holiday wreath to you dear online neighbor. Minimalists that we are, it is the only exterior decoration at our house, but so darn pretty, and then there’s the up close and personal scent of it. That waft of forest makes me swoon.

Greg demonstrates how to make a masterpiece, which is a prelude to the photos below. I’ve spent a lot of time on ye old image editor as of late: cropping and repairing the ravages of time – stains, tears, scratches galore, editing out people, and adding fun pops of modern color. Though, I have yet to figure out a way to open my dear Grandma Esquipula’s eyes. All in good time, I suppose.

Great Aunt Mary, rosebud lipped adorableness – probably 1910 – standing in front of the Springfield house she lived in for the first eighty years of her life. What a treasure it was to find pictures of her as a child. In my mind, she was born grown and wise, a master at penmanship.

Grandma Tess

Grandma and Grandpa on horseback! Thrill of thrills to find these. Undated, though maybe both taken in New Mexico. A hot date together, perhaps?

post script

Last night, a little weepy during my nightly cuddle with the hubster, I wondered aloud, “Why do I cry when I think upon relatives and friends who have died?” I feel no yearning for them to return to bodies too old or broken (by sadness or illness) to carry them. More than ever, I feel their constant presence, more dazzling and steady than a buoy, but with that same sense of being safely carried, by waves or wings.

Then it occurred to me that the tears are not those of sadness, but of a truly infinite love and boundless wonder. We are and will always be ourselves, fleshy bodies or untethered souls on one splendid adventure after another.

Kindness

As our kindness for ourselves grows, so does our kindness for other people.

Pema Chodron

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BBQ drummies, corn, and blue cheese mashed potatoes. We eat well!

Juniper’s monthly bath (shower, actually) day landed on a very cold day.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Since they were all the rage when I was a kid, I have loved ceramic Christmas trees. Aside from damaged ones at the thrift store, I’d never seen them for purchase. The holiday decorating gods must have sensed my need because I received a catalog from the Vermont Country Store, and voila! They have them in multiple sizes, white or evergreen, and you can buy different “lights,” too. I chose the holly leaves and am pleased as punch. They also have bayberry scented candles, and we’ve been jammin’ on the nostalgic scent of Christmas every night since it arrived.

Peggy, my best friend from Pittsburgh, sent me cookies! They’re from Cheryl’s and positively delicious, too. She will also be delighted to see that we’re doing a little puzzling (a toughie comprised of house plants leaves) while eating them. Thank you friend! Love you LOTS…

Happy Birthday to my Grandma Tess, who would be 98 today!

Hello! Belated Thanksgiving greetings to my fellow celebrants. The above photo is not our Thanksgiving feast, but very delicious nonetheless: roasted red pepper and tomato soup, velvety grits, and paprika laced Oregon shrimp. It’s an easy ensemble, coming together so very quickly.

With COVID cases skyrocketing with a ruthless efficiency, we’ve been staying home even more and daydreaming about favorite restaurants and times when so many weren’t on the brink of closure. It’s just so horrible. How I wish for a magic wand to make this nightmare end.

But the vaccines are coming! Praying they will be equally ruthless in their efficiency so people can get out of food lines and back to their lives. A-M-E-N!

My favorite cutie pies waiting on me…

Menu for days and our Thanksgiving in a nutshell. We ate early and quite well, finished a puzzle of the good ole USA, and watched Tootsie, which, after seeing it in the theater when it came out (I was ELEVEN), was a bit new and fun and a marvelous nod to feminism. A great way to round out another perfect Colleen and Greg day!

Presence

Mystery, I’d read somewhere, is not the absence of meaning, but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.

Dennis Covington

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