Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday



Buying and Giving.


I've done a little of both over the past few days.


I've bought some new snow boots. I may, or may not, need them here in the North Carolina mountains this year. But I'm guessing a time and a place will present itself.


Besides. I couldn't resist the 50% off sale coupled with my own 10% coupon. 


 And my feet love Merrell.












I love Sezane clothes. Unless they're having a really, really good sale they are usually out of my price range. That doesn't stop me from looking. 

 I wished and wished for the Sezane Gaspard Cardigan to be lowered to a price i could afford. 


 Didn't happen.











But. Thanks to Who What Wear, I discovered a look-alike.



At Old Navy.


AND the already low price was marked down 50%.

To $25.00 ! ! !


And i like the V neck better.  😊










I love love love a bargain. My mama taught me well.




And, my parents also taught me the importance of giving.




Donald and I have a few places we support that are close to our hearts.




One charity I write a check to every year and send off along with a virtual hug and a prayer is Habitat for Humanity


 I believe, as Habitat does, that " everyone, everywhere should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. When a family helps build or improve a place they can call home, they are also building a better community, a better life for themselves."



I wasn't always able to support the causes that are important to me.


I feel blessed and lucky that I'm able to do a little now.



Buying AND Giving.  

They both make me happy.




















Saturday, November 26, 2022

A Belated Birthday Gift from my Mom - Reposted


Today has been a day of gathering up little messy piles of "stuff"  that have accumulated around the house.  Sorting them and getting rid of some of them.

First thing that had to go was an old TV.  One of those great big heavy TVs.  It still worked but we  replaced it with a flat screen TV that was my mom's.

The old TV has been sitting on a table in the sunroom.  Just sitting there.  Looking ugly.  Until we just all but stopped noticing it.  That's when it's really bad - when you stop noticing it.  

Anyway - it's on its way to the women's shelter as we speak.  It and a few other things like unopened toiletries we've picked up in hotels.  Some canned goods.  Some linens.  Just stuff we don't need that someone else might be able to use.

And while doing this I finally found myself ready to tackle a box of stuff that I had put aside.

A box from my mom's.

There are still things in that box I'm not ready to go through - photo albums, etc.

But I found my birthday bag.

This silly little bag means the world to me and we have always treated it like it was a family heirloom.

Mother always put my birthday present in here.  I would open the present, fold the bag up nicely and return it to her.  And we would laugh and laugh that sometimes the bag was way more important than the gift itself.  We had reached the point where our birthday gifts were just teeny little remembrance kinds of things.  

I had told my friend Diane that I would take a picture of the bag this past November when my birthday rolled around, but I didn't.  I just wasn't ready to go to the box where I knew it was temporarily living.

But I pulled it out today so I could take that promised picture.

And there was something in there.

Y'all.

I have been a puddle since finding this.

I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves, other than to say, this past birthday wasn't going to be one of those silly little gift birthdays.  

My mom bought me something very special.  

She knew how very much I love pearls.  I always have.

The very first really nice piece of jewelry i received from my mom and dad for my 16th birthday was a pearl ring which i cherished.

Sadly, it was stolen from our hotel room in Amsterdam back in 1984.  I'm still mad about it.


Probably when next you see me, I'll be wearing this gift.  From now until forever.









Love you, Mama.  thank you.


miss you














Friday, November 25, 2022

Happy Birthday, Annabelle!


 Today Annabelle turns 6!



She thinks birthdays are great . . .


She gets an extra treat or two, and the ice cream makes her pretty happy





but the picture taking -

             Not so much . . .














Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Day of Pondering Blessings - Reposted with Hope for our Future


I posted this here in 2014.

As I, again, on this Thanksgiving Eve, ponder my blessings, this seems to be almost right.


Except.

Along with my blessings comes sadness.
And, honestly, some guilt.

Families who won't have loved ones sharing their Thanksgiving dinner with them this year, or in future years, are on the rise.  
  
Families are having loved ones stolen from them by hate.

Shootings in this country are on the rise.

Anyone not connecting the violence with the hate spewing out of the mouths of the White nationalists wearing MAGA hats is seriously delusional.  Or worse.


So yes, join me in counting blessings, but I hope you'll also join me in doing all we can to change gun laws, and get rid of those elected officials who support them.  

Get rid of elected officials who foment this hate with their own bigotry and dangerous words.

We made a decent start with our recent elections.

We can continue on this path and return this country to a place of inclusion, tolerance, and acceptance.  Let's do it.

Get Rid of the Hate








While I feel as though there are many things in the world, in our country, that need fixing, I hope I never forget to give thanks for the blessings in my life.


They are many.






I sat over this laptop drinking coffee and began listing them, and felt as though rather than expressing gratitude, it might come across as something else.  Holding those blessings in my heart was the important thing to me today, I realized.  Not sharing them with others as I have in the past.  Not this year.


And this moved me to back away from the laptop for awhile and just ponder.


Isn't it amazing the twisty roads your mind can find when left to its own devices?


It wandered widely and had me reading pieces by some of my favorite writers, looking at paintings by some favorite artists.  I read some essays by Anne Lamott, some poetry by Mary Oliver, and some randomly scattered quotes.


I ended here  -


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy



This seemed to be what my heart was seeking.



This.


This, I need to work on.






I Am Not Old by Samantha Reynolds


I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.


~ Samantha Reynolds







Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Ta DA!!!!

 



ONE more step.

I'll take it to our alterations lady, Mrs. Chen, 

to sew on  a backing and we will be 

all done.

The backing is just another soft scarf which is

the same size as this one.


This was fun.



But I won't do another one.










Celebrating my birthday week. Day Two.

 




Continuing my birthday week celebration by having ice cream with my morning coffee.  

Life is good.


Future Plans by Kate Barnes


When I am an old, old woman I may very well be

living all alone like many another before me

and I rather look forward to the day when I shall have

a tumbledown house on a hill top and behave

just as I wish to. No more need to be proud—

at the tag end of life one is at last allowed

to be answerable to no one. Then I shall wear

a shapeless felt hat clapped on over my white hair,

sneakers with holes for the toes, and a ragged dress.

My house shall be always in a deep-drifted mess,

my overgrown garden a jungle. I shall keep a crew

of cats and dogs, with perhaps a goat or two

for my agate-eyed familiars. And what delight

I shall take in the vagaries of day and night,

in the wind in the branches, in the rain on the roof!

I shall toss like an old leaf, weather-mad, without reproof.

I’ll wake when I please, and when I please I shall doze;

whatever I think, I shall say; and I suppose

that with such a habit of speech I’ll be let well alone

to mumble plain truth like an old dog with a bare bone.


  "Future Plans" by Kate Barnes from Where the Deer Were. © David R. Godine, 1994





Celebrating my birthday week. Day One.

 This little cake is only 4" x 4".  Not big enough for 74 candles, but the perfect size to kick off a week of celebrating a new year.  (my birthday isn't for a few days, but it's fun to celebrate for several days instead of just one!)







Sunday, November 20, 2022

"Project: Scarf"


 Progress - - -





Next step -

Add some random outlining on the hearts





In case you're just joining in on this little project, 

I'm doing a "Kaye Barley" version of a scarf inspired by a

Kerri Rosenthal scarf which I love, but is way out of my price range.






I 'm giving it my own little spin. 

After the yarn, I'll be adding some buttons.



Stay Tuned!





J

Friday, November 11, 2022

Step 1 - Scarf Project



 I have taken my first baby step . . .







😊 😄 😊


And now back to the "let's think about this some more" stage


Then I'll choose some fabric colors, 

cut out some hearts,                                                      

                                                              baste them onto my scarf, 

choose contrasting colors for yarn stitching  


add some buttons.         




And Ta DA -



Hope I Love It.




💙 💚 💛 💜 ❤









Thursday, November 10, 2022

a scarf.


 You might remember me mentioning this scarf.

I love it.

But i can't afford it at over $300.





If i could, i would own a LOT of Kerri Rosenthal stuff.  


Clothes, art, home goods . . .



But.


I can't.


So.


I'm getting ready to see what my brain and my fingers come up with in an amateur effort of "My Version of a Kerri Rosenthal Scarf."

I certainly don't expect a Kerri Rosenthal duplicate, but it'll be a fun project and interesting to see what the result might be after being inspired by Ms. Rosenthal and her awesome talent..


I'll keep you posted.










Monday, November 7, 2022

I have laughed by Donna Ashworth



One of my all-time favorite books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is full of passages that have stuck with me over the years.

"Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true."



I have found this to be true. Not only for books, but for music, and for poetry.

If our minds and our hearts are open, magic will find its way to us.  As will truth.  And, if we're lucky, maybe even a little wisdom.

I have a birthday coming up this month. I'll be 74 years old.

Not as many summers ahead of me as behind me.

I'm experiencing hearing about death and illness visiting long time friends my age. An age I didn't give much thought to as a young woman, younger girl, little girl. Why would I?

We live our lives in phases and passages.

We enter each in slow evolution, not really noticing time passing as it pertains to our age. Until, all of a sudden "I'm 74" strikes a more strident note than just words.

It's no longer just another birthday.

It's a passage.

Perhaps the final passage. 

 That's the circle of life.

Depending on which report you read, life expectancy for a woman in the United States is around 76-78 years. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2022/20220831.htm

Do I spend a lot of time focusing on that number?

Of course not.

We all know women who are well past their 70s who are still fierce and vibrant.

But.

Life is not static. It can change in seconds. (This is the excuse I use when the travel bug bites and I start planning another trip to Paris 😊. 'tis a valid excuse to my mind 😉 ).



All that simply to say this poem by Donna Ashworth found its way to me at a most opportune time - - -



I have laughed.

Oh how I have laughed.

I have laughed so hard with so many wonderful people that I now wear the marks.

Mother Nature has engraved me as one, ‘who laughed whenever she could’.

I wear the tattoo of the joyful, and that makes me swell with pride.

How can I hate upon these lines when I remember the nights, the music, the dancing, the fun, the tears of laughter and the blindingly joyful light.

Give me a mark for every night I felt alive and I will show them to the world with pride.

I have laughed.

Oh how I have laughed.

I hope you have laughed too my friend.

And if you have not, start now.

It’s never too late.


 -  - - Donna Ashworth

From ‘LIFE’ : https://amzn.eu/d/9Y6E6kz









Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Day of the Dead - Dia de Muertos


Honoring the dead.  


We should be doing that.  


Here's an excellent article about the history of  Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). - https://www.thenationalnews.com/lifestyle/family/2022/11/02/day-of-the-dead-2022-what-is-it-and-why-do-we-celebrate-it/

 

I think Madame Marie Laveau would appreciate being honored.


Here's a picture I took of Madame Laveau's crypt in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 when I visited New Orleans.




Click on the link to read a story I wrote about her which was included in the Anthony award winning 2016 Bouchercon Anthology edited by Greg Herren, Blood on the Bayou.


And - 

You can click on the book cover to buy a copy of the anthology 


 It's excellent!
Especially if you love New Orleans






Blood on the Bayou was published in conjunction with Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, which was held in New Orleans in 2016. As with the convention itself, the anthology spreads a broad canopy across a wide variety of crime writers from across the country and around the world—including both veteran writers and the brightest up-and-coming talents in the field. These stories range from the light-hearted and fun to the darker side of crime; just as New Orleans and the bayou country can show both to the unsuspecting.

You'll find stories by best selling authors David Morrell, Alison Gaylin and many others.












Saturday, October 29, 2022

I DO NOT CARE how you feel about Nancy Pelosi. 

The attack on her husband needs to be a wake up call to Republicans who have sanctioned the increasing level of violence unleashed in this country.

An ugly, ignorant, hate filled man feeling emboldened by the tolerance shown these types of acts of aggression by the Republican Party and their leaders is disgusting.

Republican leaders are not only tolerating violence,  but encouraging it.

The GOP is now led by people who are are so afraid of losing power that they're purposely spreading lies to stir up a base of hateful racists to extreme measures.  

And yet - there are people supporting this party of hate.

If you're one of them, you disgust me too.

Attacking an 82 year old man with a hammer.  What a fucking coward.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Poet’s Occasional Alternative by Grace Paley

 

I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have had some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper
the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor
everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it many friends
will say why in the world did you
make only one
this does not happen with poems
because of unreportable
sadnesses I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership I do not
want to wait a week a year a
generation for the right
consumer to come along


Advent Calendars

 

I have loved the mystery, suspense, whimsy and magic of Advent calendars since I was a little girl.


One of my favorite bloggers, the Everyday Parisian Rebecca Plotnick, has put together her choices for this year's 20 Best Advent Calendars.


These are limited Christmas related items that sell out quickly, so if you're a fan, it's time to place your order.


Take a peek.  





She's also an amazing photographer.  

Be sure you stop by her print shop!


Rebecca is a great source for all things Parisian.  Hotels, restaurants, places to shop, even tips on packing.  Do introduce yourself to Rebecca and her wonderful blog.











Monday, October 24, 2022

What the girl's been up to . . .


 If you read my last post you'll know Annabelle and I are home alone.


I, in jest, muttered about "what's a girl to do while DH is out of town."


Those who know me know I've never had any difficulty entertaining myself.


Perhaps that comes from growing up as an only child.  Or being a bit of an introvert.  Or simply being content with my own company.  


I know some people need a good bit of socializing to keep them happy.  I know some people who think staying home alone is boring beyond words.  And some people just need to be out and about and doing stuff.


My lifestyle of happily being at home, sometimes, for several days at a time, seems weird to some.  Oh, well.  To each his own.


When the urge or need hits, believe me, i will get up, go out, and do stuff.


In the meantime, Annabelle and I are fine fine fine.  She has, by the way, started speaking to me again.  We're pals.  She is sticking pretty close.  ❤


We chat with Donald a couple times a day and things are going well with the move.


I did order a bag of scrap fabric from amazon, and pulled out all the other items needed to make my own version of the scarf I mentioned in my last post.


While waiting for the fabric to arrive I've done a little bit of cooking (thank you, Greg Herren for that Sloppy Joe recipe!  The BEST!). 


I've read a couple of VERY good books, and watched a couple of movies.


Books have let me down this year.  Some that sounded good didn't hold my interest.   Some I was looking forward to disappointed.


But.


Thanks to NetGalley.com I did read two that I loved.  Started and could not put down (I love being retired).


Want to hear what they were?


Neither have been released yet but you can pre-order them.









Check 'em out!!!


Next up is . . .




Movies I've (re)watched are Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Practical Magic, and Midnight in Paris.


And, that, my friends, is what's happening in Meat Camp, North Carolina.


Life is good.