It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why I Like Thanksgiving

The title sounds like a third grade essay, doesn't it?  Well, this may read like one, too!

I've been thinking and thinking about why I like Thanksgiving.  I've run a lot of ideas through my head and struggled with putting words to my thoughts.  Whenever I think of Thanksgiving I think of times in the past, times spent with family.  Some involved traveling to Houston or Brandon, some involve just being at home.  But I always have a pleasant, peaceful feeling that seems to drop over me when I think of Thanksgiving.  So I put together this list, which may be amended in the future but for now: 

Reasons I Like Thanksgiving:
  1. The weather is usually nice, not too hot and not too cold.  I love November mornings when it is overcast and a little wet and there are colorful, damp leaves everywhere (note that we have NOT had a morning like this this year).  Makes me want to call in sick and just go walk around with the dogs and then come home and have coffee on the deck before taking a nap (what a fantasy in sick? ha ha).
  2. Time spent with family.  Yes, we have a big meal on Thursday and then eat leftovers for a while.  There is something very peaceful about gathering together for a meal anytime, but there is something special about the Thanksgiving meal.  Maybe it is the quantity of food, maybe it is using the good china or the Christmas plates, or maybe because we usually have extended family in from out of town.  But we also spend time together shopping or going to the Peddler Show and eating at Chuy's.  Time spent together, something for which to be thankful.
  3. Anticipating the Christmas season.  Thanksgiving is the prelude, and the wonderful season of Christmas follows.  Just thinking about decorations, Christmas music, and the celebration of the season makes me excited.  I think that anticipating an event is part of the experience and should be fully enjoyed.
  4. Giving thanks.  We are blessed with so much.  I think most of us are thankful to God for all that we have and offer thanks throughout the year.  I'm thankful for health, for my family that lives so close together, for my home and my dogs and cats that are my companions, a job that supplies my needs, my church family, and for all that I have.  But I'm also thankful for the experiences of life and for each day that I live.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pulling the wishbone

Thanksgiving week has been absolutely wonderful!  I could write many words about this week and how much I enjoy Thanksgiving, but maybe I'll do that later.  For now I just want to share a few pictures, starting with pulling the wishbone.  This is a family tradition and we recited who has pulled with whom over the years!  This year Stephanie and Carole handed the baton to their sons:

The boys enjoyed some quiet time playing trains.

Emma is smiling sweetly at her Aunt Stephanie!

Erin and Sweet Ellie, mother and daughter!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stand Up & Shout "Hallelujah"

A while back I had written about a blog that I enjoy reading,  Today I was pleased to see a blurb that mentioned a building in my mother's home town.  There was a link to the county paper (sometimes I forget that the internet is everywhere!) so I clinked on it to read the article.  Just for fun I scrolled through some of the other articles of the day. 

There was a small article about one of the small towns in the county welcoming the Christmas season with their annual parade.  The theme this year is "Jesus Is the Light of the World".  Yes, that's right  Jesus is actually being mentioned and celebrated.  This little town isn't afraid they will offend someone, no sirree!  They've got the reason of the season figured out and they aren't afraid to tell it out!  Yes, the parade will feature Santa and they will have hot chocolate and refreshments afterwards.  I wish I could be there to see their parade.

So, stand up and shout "Hallelujah" for a small Mississippi town that puts Jesus in the Season!  I can't help but think that if someone did show up in the town and protest the use of religion in a public parade they would be so quickly smothered with Southern hospitality, good cooking, and the love of Jesus that they would quickly forget why they were objecting to the theme of the parade!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Basket of Fall

It's here!  Thanksgiving Week! Yippee!  I really enjoy Thanksgiving, and have many memories of different Thanksgivings, in many different places and settings.  Some years are just a blur, but other years are a treasured memory.  I always enjoyed going to Mississippi at this time of year, and always wish that I was there at this time of year. 

But the purpose of this post is to close out the fall season.  Last night I was gathering up fall decorations to be used at today's Thanksgiving potluck lunch for my Sunday School class.  I was putting them all in a picnic basket and realized that I had created a basket of fall.  It occurred to me that this was an appropriate way to say farewell to fall.

When these decorations came home today they did not go back on display.  They are now stored away, to wait for next October's display.  Goodbye Fall!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

UFOs and WIPs

Quilters have UFOs and WIPs.  It is part of our culture.  Start the project, get well into it with the project spread over half your house, then abandon it for a new project.  UFOs are un-finished objects!  WIPs are a little more gentler, they are works in progress!

I have UFOs, many UFOs.  Every now and then I do finish something so it is not like I totally abandon a project.  I started it because it was something I wanted to make, therefore, it is something I do want to finish, right?  Right, all will get finished someday.  Except for the failed projects, they get re-cycled into another project.  But, still these unfinished projects bug me.  They call out to me, and sometimes they fuss at me for not completing one project at a time. 

But I found out at the quilt festival that Martha Washington (yes, George's spouse) had unfinished quilts.  Or at least one anyway.  I attended a lecture luncheon with a well known quilt teacher, designer, publisher, etc. The lecture was titled "Why We Quilt".  It was light hearted and fun, but the best part was when she showed a picture of a quilt that Martha had pieced but never quilted.  The room roared when the speaker pointed out that even back then there were UFOs!  Now I feel better about my bad habit!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I know, it is early November

I have certain rules about decorating for Christmas.  One is that no decorations are to be put up before noon on Thanksgiving Day.  When Santa rides in at the end of the Macy's parade, around noon, that signals the official start of the Christmas season, or so I think.  Another rule I follow is that the Nativity set goes out first and another is that the stockings are hung on the mantle last.  I guess you can think of these as Christmas traditions, or so I think.

Now, the Christmas village is a little different.  I know that it has been put up earlier than my preferred start date.  I bought the first pieces in 1997, and I'm sure it was around the first weekend in November.  I remember bringing my precious purchase home and setting it up that same day.  Over the years I've put up the village at different times, sometimes before Thanksgiving and sometimes later.  One year I didn't put it out at all, and I really missed it. But it is okay to put up the village early, it is like the pre-season primer.  I love its soft, homey glow in the room and the charming Dickens scene is so peaceful.  I usually leave the village out until mid-January, it stays out as long as possible.

I let Jaydon put up the village this past weekend.  I had promised him that we would put it out after I got home from the quilt festival and he held me to the promise!  I was ready to get it out and set up, because that means that Christmas will soon be here.  Jaydon was ready, too.  He loves Christmas and frequently tells me so.  I love it, too!  It was fun to watch him with the set up.  I put out the fleece base and the buildings, after all they are heavy and breakable!  I put the lights in each one and plugged them in, but then Jaydon took over.  He put out all the small pieces, the trees and the snow.  He even got out batteries and put them in the little piece that has a battery light.  He worked for quite a while, getting it just right.  I know he enjoyed his work, and I enjoyed sharing the time with him.

I know that a memory was made for both of us while we worked on the village.  We've done this before, but each time reinforces the memory of the year before and the time we spent together.  Setting up the Christmas village is a small, simple thing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Gave A Party and No One Came!

The pumpkin was lit well before dark.  The big bowl of candy ready, sampled by Gammy, Jaydon and Stephanie.  A spare bag, large size, was nearby ready to make its entrance into the big bowl.  Candles were burning in the fireplace, coziness abounded in my house.  Ah!  Halloween, ready for trick-or-treaters. 

Or so I thought.  Jaydon and Stephanie headed out just before dark to John's house and his neighborhood.  I was ready for the doorbell to start ringing, dogs in the kitchen to prevent any escapes.   But only three treaters came to my door, all polite, all cutely dressed up.  But only three.  I went out about 7:40 to just check the neighborhood.  Other than someone playing one of those creepy sound CD's the neighborhood was fairly dark and quiet. 

It was a school night, there are not tons of small children in my subdivision, and parents are getting away from the trick-or-treat routine. And, I do live on a cul-de-sac and it was fairly dark so parents may have just skipped this street.  So, no one came to my party.  And I do love Halloween, too.  I'm already thinking that next year I'll have a real little party early in the evening and I'll actually invite people to come.   I'll have a little candy in case I get a treater or two (or three), just in case.