Archive for the ‘Life’ category

A Perfect Pick!

September 23, 2021

On Tuesday, my husband and I picked a peck of apple-icious apples!

Pick a Peck

Each picked apple conjured up tasty treats – apple sauce, apple crunch, apple pie, apple cake, apple donuts, apple cider, apple butter…

It was a beautiful day at Sunnycrest Apple Farm and Farmer’s Market.

Apples, and Mums, and Pumpkins, – Oh, my!

There was no need to mask up. We had wide-open spaces to roam up and down rows of apple trees.

Walkin’ Down the Apple Highway

There were no crowds, but the branches were jam-packed with apples.

Apples Galore

After picking our pick of apples, we splurged and bought ourselves a special treat.

Yum!

It was a great day to be out in the fresh air and sunshine. Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Apple anyone?

Remember. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Pick one of these apple books.

How to Grow an Apple written by Beth Charles and illustrated by Katie Rewse, Albert Whitman & Company, 2020

Let’s Go Apple Picking written by Lori Haskins Houran and illustrated by Nila Aye, Golden Books, 2020.

Applesauce Day written by Lisa J. Amstutz and illustrated by Talitha Shipman, Albert Whitman & Company, 2017

Apple Picking Day! written by Candice Ransom and illustrated by Erika Meza, Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016

A Wish

September 16, 2021

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

 ~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

September 11th is my birthday. On that day, twenty years ago, I was teaching in an elementary school near Boston. As a gift to me, I asked my husband to postpone his business trip so we could celebrate together. He did. (He was not booked on United Airlines Flight 175.)  By the end of that September 11th day, there was nothing to celebrate.

I was in class when the news of the terrorist attacks passed quietly through the halls as school administrators whispered to teachers what had happened. There were parents in our school community who flew out of Boston to various places to do business. It was imperative that students need not know what was going on before their parents could explain the situation to their children on their own terms.

It was a sad day – a scary day. “It was the worst of times. It was the season of darkness.”

The downside of the horrible terrorist attacks was the many people who perished and the first responders who have health complications today from desperately trying to save lives. The upside is that suddenly Americans, no matter what religious, ethnic, or diverse background, came together. We flew the American flag – a symbol of liberty, justice, and freedom, and we embraced each other to become a strong, resilient America.

It’s now twenty years later. Our nation is more dived than I’ve ever seen.

This year, my September 11th birthday wish is that we end our political divide. Stop the craziness on both sides. Listen and respect other’s opinions. Work to unite rather than divide. I wish this to be our “season of light” and “spring of hope.”

God Bless America

A Nation’s Strength

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
~Emerson

I’m Back!

September 9, 2021

It has been a busy six weeks. We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and family gatherings. Here are some high points.

Anniversary Flowers
Birthday Cake
Another Birthday Cake
And Another Birthday Cake
Three-Legged Birthday Games
Birthday Wishes
T-Ball Fun
Roasting Marshmallows
Cornhole!

We have lots of memories of days spent with family and friends. Now it’s time to get back to business, and…

.First Day of School

that includes the little ones, too.

Until next Thursday, enjoy each and every day!

Family Matters

July 29, 2021

A baptism last week. A wedding this week.

Last Friday, we headed to the Midwest. We haven’t traveled on an airplane in over two years because of COVID-19, but when a family wedding celebration is on the horizon, we go! Our destination was not an easy place to get to. We drove our car to the park ‘n ride to catch a bus that took us to the airport. We boarded a plane for a two-and-a-half-hour flight. We then boarded a regional plane for another hour’s flight. Arriving at the small airport, we picked up our rental car and drove another hour and a half to our destination. In all, it took us thirteen hours. We missed the rehearsal dinner, but the Midwest heat and humidity were there to greet us!

Saturday – Wedding Day

The Bride – Our Niece

Parents of the Bride – A Nervous Dad

The Bride and Groom

Father/Daughter Dance

We didn’t get a family photo of my brother and two sisters, but we did play cornhole at the reception. What else do you do in corn country? (Notice the determination on my face.) I lost to a five-year-old!

Me!

Sunday morning, we did a reversal of our Friday travel schedule. I was immediately reminded why flying is not my favorite pastime. Besides delays, cancellations, and turbulence, other problems creep up. On our first flight, all I wanted was a cold glass of ice water. Problem One:  No ice available. Problem Two:  They ran out of water before they got to us! Really?? The second flight had a mechanical glitch that had to be fixed. And so, we waited until it was a go. Twelve and a half hours later, we finally reached home. Even though it was a short visit and there were a few minor problems with our flights, it was wonderful to be able to get together with our family and enjoy a day of celebration! Family matters!

When Life Gets in the Way…

July 1, 2021

Is the week over yet?

Every time I think I have a free moment, something else comes up. My creativity is on hold as I try to get my life back together.

I’ll be back next week – a calmer, gentler person!

The Heart of Friendship

June 17, 2021

KNOCK! KNOCK!

No one is home. I’m visiting a special friend today.

Take time to visit your special friends!

Making “Scents” of Life

May 27, 2021

When my Bloomerang tree presented itself with a bounty of blossoms, I was more than excited. I’ve always loved the smell of lilacs. From the day I discovered the tiny buds on the tree until the buds grew into full-blown lilacs, I was anxious. The weather was good. The weather was bad. The weather said frost and that frosted me. I wanted to take the tree inside to protect it, but it was attached to the ground. After a few weeks of worry, the buds slowly began to blossom. During that time, a robin built its nest in the crook of the tree. Going near the tree caused the mama bird to become overly excited. I learned to quickly DUCK as I admired the tree and the animal life growing in it.

When the blossoms were in full array, the glorious smell of lilacs wafted through the air. I was immediately transported to my youth. After a year of dealing with COVID-19, not seeing family or friends, wearing masks, grocery shopping at six in the morning, and being stuck inside the house, the scent of the lilacs lifted my spirits. It brought me back to a time when lilacs graced our backyard and life was simpler. It was a time when children could play in the park by themselves, ride bikes freely, walk to the store down the block, play outside until a familiar whistle called them home.

My life has been filled with wonderful family and friends and very few worries, but this past year I feel like the world has been turned upside down. An ugliness has crept into our everyday lives. We all need to work harder to bring calm and kindness back into our world. Sometimes I wish we could go back to when life was not as complicated as it is today.

It’s time to stop and smell the lilacs. 

Zoomed Out!

May 13, 2021

I love Zoom as a way of connecting with people. Over the past year, Zoom has been a godsend to keep me in touch with family and friends.

As a writer, I’m constantly on Zoom. There are writing conferences, critique groups, writing classes, author webinars, etc. COVID-19 has made writing conferences much more affordable now that they are offered virtually. Because of this, I’m taking advantage of more and more of them.

There are bad things and good things about these opportunities. Different time zones present a problem with my schedule. Too early. Too late. Dinner time. Length of meetings. A perfect Zoom/webinar lasts no longer than one hour. After that, my mind, ears, and eyes begin to wander. The good thing is that most are recorded so I can catch up later at my own pace. The bad thing is I tend to jump into Zoom opportunities too often. I need to rectify that. Right now, I’m backlogged, trying to catch up on webinars and conferences I’ve missed. All this is eating into my writing time. That is not good.

I am zoomed out!!

Did I mention FaceTime? Don’t get me started!

Thoughts of the 2020 Fiasco

December 17, 2020

2020 began as a promising year, but before we knew it – BAM!

COVID-19 burrowed into every part of our lives.

March of this year COVID rules separated us from family and friends. April: The Easter Bunny came, but the family didn’t. May:  Mother’s Day – another day of COVID rules. June:  Father’s Day – a repeat of Mother’s Day.

Then came a reality check. The pandemic wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Boredom took over as my husband and I settled into uninspiring daily tasks. Breakfast conversations revolved around what to have for dinner. Weekly grocery shopping shifted to early morning once every three weeks. COVID words slipped into our vocabulary – social distancing, herd immunity, super spreader, surge. Hairstyles and clothes morphed into “THE COVID LOOK” – not pretty!

Toward the end of June – cabin fever struck! We had to get out!

Wearing masks and carrying a cache of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, we ventured out to see our daughter and family. No hugs. No kisses. But a welcome sight!

By July we formed our family bubble. Hugs and kisses allowed. Masks and social distancing be damned!  In August, September, and October we were on a high with babysitting and family get-togethers. Then…

BAM! A second surge!

Back to stay-at-home rules with no travel between our respective states. In November, my husband and I ate our tiny turkey gobbler in our ultra-quiet dining room. And now it’s December and COVID-19 is once again interfering with our precious family gatherings. Yesterday we did a socially distanced stop & drop and exchanged Christmas gifts at the parking lot where my daughter works. Once again our holiday plans are dinner for two at home. Santa, where are you?

Maybe someday I will get a professional haircut, buy some new clothes, and break out of this house to celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors without all the COVID rules. Maybe someday that vaccine will be available for everyone. Maybe someday we can call our lives normal once again.

Don’t forget to wash your hands!

For those of you who have had to deal with COVID-19 or other illnesses during this year, I send you healing thoughts and prayers. May 2021 bring all of us joy, good health, and happiness – a Christmas miracle!

The last thought…

As some of you may have noticed, there was no post from me last Thursday. Blame it on a busy day and COVID-19 fatigue!

Happy Holidays!

For the Love of Autumn

October 22, 2020

“As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

“How beautifully leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their last days!” ~ John Burroughs

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ~ L. M. Montgomery


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