Category Archives: Musings

Thanksgiving 2013

Fall 2013 Collage (resized)

Well, Thanksgiving is over and I don’t know about you, but I ate way too much!

The menu was simple~turkey, dressing, and all the traditional fare. We also have ham every year, because most of us like ham better than turkey.  Really, we serve turkey WITH our ham, but only because you’re supposed to have turkey.  It’s not a law, just a “rule”, but we follow it anyway.

I’m content with the familiar traditions, and often reflect on the changes.  We had a couple of new family members this year.  My son was here with his new wife, and one of my sisters recently got married, so she and her new husband came over after their noon meal with his family.  Some of my nieces and nephews were away at their in-laws.  So, some changes are good and some are a little bittersweet.  It’s nice to see our children grow up and have new and exciting things going on in their lives, but it still seems like they should all be with us.

I hadn’t given much thought to all the controversy about Black Friday being moved up to Thursday evening, at least not until my son and his wife left to do some shopping.  Then I understood.  It cut the family time short.

It’s funny, when my 75-year-old Dad calls me at 10:15 pm from Wal-Mart, with my mother along for the ride, I’m amazed that they could be at my house all day, eating, playing Ping-Pong, and staying until after 9:00 pm to help clean up, then manage to get a second wind and go shopping. How is that the younger ones couldn’t hold up as long?

Could it be that this whole Gray Thursday thing was a plot forced upon retailers by people who need exit plans?

Oh well, it was a wonderful time while it lasted and every year my sense of being blessed grows, as does my thankfulness.

The collage above is of my fireplace mantle.  It’s kind of hard to decorate, because it is short and wide, but I like the way it turned out.

For my table, I used a tarnished silver tray with painted pumpkins and a candle. Well, one is a spaghetti squash, but it added a little height, so I went with it.


This was simple, but it takes a little while for Puffy-Paint   (easily found at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby ) to dry.  It’s always worth the wait, though.  It gives the best 3-dimensional aspect, and is also the most effective, and least messy, way to incorporate glitter into projects.

As you may be able to tell, I always go for the simple.  I don’t have anything against the overstated, I just typically don’t have time for it.  So, simple, with perhaps a bit of elegance, is usually my style.

I hope your Thanksgiving Day was enjoyable and that your feelings of “Home” are ones of peace, love, and contentment.

I can’t end without mentioning the best part of my Thanksgiving Day.  Daisy was here and she spent the night with me and Pawpaw!  We were exhausted by the end of the day, but the happiness I feel when she sweetly tells me she loves me and that she loves being at my house, or when I see her running around and playing with her little cousins and giving hugs and kisses to everyone, is worth every bit of exhaustion.  To the last drop.  Or until I drop.

I’m feeling abundantly blessed.











After the Rain

(I cannot find the name of the person who took this photograph, but I did not take it.)

(I cannot find the name of the person who took this photograph, but I did not take it.)

Wow!  What else can I say?  Behold, the beauty we are blessed with after enduring the dreary showers in the fall!  I love how that works!  Putting up with a little irritation and messiness is worth it to then be able to enjoy the beauty that follows.

The beautiful fall foliage is nature’s last “Hoorah!” before the long, dry, cold, gray spell of winter.  Then, we will have to endure a little more irritation and messiness before springtime rolls around again!

Early in life we exclaim, “April Showers Bring May Flowers!”  We accept the showers and look forward to the rebirth of the beauty that they bring about.

I know I can’t change the weather, so I don’t try.  It is what it is.  I listen to the forecast and make plans accordingly.  I can even take my chances and hope the forecast is wrong. Sometimes, it is wrong and I get lucky. But for the most part, I just accept what the forecast is and try to work around it.

It’s harder for me to learn the same lesson when it comes to people. Ugh. I really have learned this lesson.  Seriously, I have.  But sometimes I ignore the occasional irritation and messiness of relationships and expect something more, or maybe just something different.

Note to self:

1) Some winters (or difficult relationships) are longer, colder, and harder than others. Make plans accordingly. Sometimes predictions are wrong.  If you’re feeling lucky, take a chance and expect more.  If the prediction is wrong, take what you get and enjoy the beauty when it eventually emerges.

2) Sometimes beauty is re-birthed in brand new things, including relationships.  Know when to let go.

3) Even when it’s difficult to see the beauty, give thanks.



Modern Day Grandmother

As I consider a modern day grandmother, I wonder if she’s one who fits a certain criteria, or if she breaks the stereo-typical grandmother mold. Perhaps she likes to knit, or sew, or garden, or cook…or, perhaps, not. Perhaps she has a career, or has never worked outside the home.  Maybe she loves the outdoors, or can’t stand the elements. The possibilities are endless.

I grew up with three grandmothers, because I had a great-grandmother. She actually outlived the other two.  I loved each one, but my great-grandmother was quite a character.  Maybe it’s because she lived the longest and had more stories to tell.  She did have the stories to tell, and enjoyed telling them, too.

She may have given us a glimpse of life before things were modernized, but that’s only partially true.  They may not have been modern times for us, but she was pretty modern for her time, whatever moment in time she happened to be in.  And she was tough.  She was what you would call feisty.

She lost her mother when she was 12 and, as the oldest, became caretaker for her younger siblings. She married young, soon had her own children, eventually divorced (more than once), and helped her daughter raise my dad.

She was a business owner.  She had a neighborhood grocery store in a decent sized city in the 1940s, and I’m pretty sure she may have originated the phrase, “taking care of business”, although decades later Elvis got credit for it (i.e., TCB).  And business wasn’t limited to her job or career…it simply referred to whatever was the business at hand.

She ran a tight ship, but always played games with us. She was tough (I know, I said that already), yet had a gentle side. She loved her family fiercely, and taught us to do the same.

She lived in the moment. She played the hand she was dealt and made the most of it. She did things she wanted and things she enjoyed, but one thing never changed. No matter the decade, no matter the circumstances, her family was her top priority.

She was what Oprah would call her “authentic self.”

Ironically, I just took a phone call from my dad and he and mom are visiting the town where they were born and raised, the town where we were all born . Mom is at a Red Hat Society event with her sisters and Dad just came in from romping around southern Indiana and western Kentucky with his sister.  And on this glorious fall day, from hundreds of miles away, our conversation reminded me our strong ties and deep roots.  I am taken back to some of the very memories I’m writing about.

He talked about different places they visited and things they had done, even foods they had eaten, and my emotions are stirred.  It’s a nostalgic feeling.  It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s a home feeling. And although I just have Daisy right now, it’s the feeling I want her, and my future grandchildren, to have when they think of me and our family.

So, what does it mean to me to be a “modern-day grandmother”?  It’s just living in the moment and making good memories with those I love.  Maybe it will even cause them to be a little stronger, smarter, or more well-rounded than I…or at least a little bit entertained.

Most of all, may it give those I love the ability to always have a little bit of home with them wherever they go.