LOOKING FORWARD

If there ever was another year when looking forward was so important it isn't a year in my memory.

That doesn't mean that we should or could forget 2020. 

gold poinsettia

This past year has been difficult in so many ways, and I hope that we learn from it. 

I hope that we will carry forward the lessons of love, of family, and of the importance of enjoying every moment of our lives. 

We are certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to the pandemic and we must continue to practice the guidelines we have been given to stay safe, but the vaccines have brought us hope that there is an end in sight.

mask up

My hope for each and every one of you is that you will find happiness in this new year and that you will stay safe and healthy.

I am looking forward to new adventures this year and hope to share whatever they are with you, dear friends. 

happy new year

Cheers!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Christmas is going to be different for many of us this year. Normally on Christmas eve I go to be with my family for pancakes and to track Santa on the radar with Tessa.

christmas

This year I won't be doing that, but Tessa suggested we Zoom and watch Santa's progress together. That girl is so sweet. 

We will be opening gifts together on Christmas morning on my daughter Cary's big front porch. They have two outdoor heaters so hopefully we won't freeze. It is going to be a really cold day here in Georgia. 

Christmas gift


My daughter Katy will be joining us She hasn't left her house in months, but we will be taking every precaution to keep her safe along with the rest of us.

christmas ornaments

I feel very blessed because I know that many of you are unable to be with your families this Christmas.

While I am home alone I am enjoying the peace of a good book, a cup of eggnog, and a crackling fire with soft Christmas music courtesy of YouTube.

It is amazing how relaxing it is.

Now on to the birthday. On Sunday I will be starting a whole new decade in my life. I was a bit depressed about turning 70, but I have decided to embrace it. I want it to be the best decade of my life. 

I think the pandemic has taught me to enjoy each moment and I intend to do that. I want to laugh more, spend more time with my family, hopefully take a trip to my childhood town in Canada, and see what life has to offer. 

santa

So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. Thank you for being here. 

A BUSY DECEMBER

Where has this month gone? I can't believe that it is half over and this is my first post of the month.

Have I been busy? Yes, of course I have. It's the holiday season and along with decorating and gift buying there seems to be so many other things to do.

It's my birthday month so my car registration had to be renewed along with the yearly emissions inspection. Done.

The probate papers on my mom's estate had to be completed and sent to the court in Kentucky. Done.

Stocking, selling, and shipping for my Etsy shop. Still being done.

My oldest grandchild, Jack Henry, turned eighteen (how is that possible?) and that had to be celebrated. Done.

Playdates with Tessa and Trixie. Ongoing.

Christmas cards and stamps ordered and received. Will be done today.

And on and on it goes. 

Christmas will be different this year. With covid raging out of control most of us will be hunkered down in our homes. We haven't decided how we are going to do things yet, but they will not be like other years. Tessa likes to watch Santa's progress, as he makes his way around the world, with me so she said we can do it together on Facetime this year. 

As the month rolls by I am cozy and safe in my apartment. I feel blessed.



THANKFUL BUT CONTEMPLATIVE

So many conflicting emotions running through my brain these days, and I feel quite certain that I am not the only one. 

I feel adrift and stuck between being thankful for all the wonderful things that I have, but at the same time feeling restless and stuck in a rut.

It's kind of like what is happening in nature outside my apartment. On one hand there are still summer flowers holding on for dear life,

but on the other hand fall is taking over, and winter is just around the corner. 


I know just how Mother Nature feels. Like everyone else in this country I am sick of the pandemic and the restrictions that we have to live with. I want to open my window and scream out into the world, "go away you evil monster", but the pandemic doesn't care how I feel or what I scream out.


I spent Thanksgiving day alone this year. I watched the parade on television, which by the way I thought was one of the best parades ever, and when Santa came on I clapped, cheered, and danced along with him alone in my apartment because he brought about a sense of normalcy. 

I know that we will return to a more normal world at some point, although it may not be exactly as it was before. We will get vaccines and although things will be difficult for millions of people, I know that if I do my part by wearing a mask and social distancing, I am doing what I can to help stop the spread until that happens.

In the meantime I am thankful for the things that I have. I saw my family briefly on Wednesday. I took them turkey and in return they gave me delicious side dishes. I think I got the best deal.


My apartment is decorated for Christmas and is feeling cozy. It makes me happy.

Now, about that rut. Only I can change it. I need to get outside and walk more, take on some of the projects in my apartment that I want to do, and breathe in life as life is now. 

Sometimes we need to scream, and that is okay. Other times we need to just contemplate on our lives, and that is okay too. it's important that we take care of ourselves.

How are you feeling these days?


FALL VIBES AND THANKSGIVING PLANS

While many of you are past fall and into more wintery weather, here in Atlanta we are in full on fall.

Autumn is one of the prettiest times here and seems to coincide quite nicely with Thanksgiving.


The leaves are changing and the temperatures are perfect. Cool overnights turn into the sixties during the day and even a seventy degree day today.

This weather makes me happy.

Thanksgiving day will definitely be different this year. I will not be gathering together with my family. Although it makes me feel sad, I know that we have to make sacrifices in order to save lives. 

I will be eating well though. I will be cooking a turkey to share with my two daughters, and my daughter Cary and her husband will be sharing their food with Katy and me. 

Katy and I will each be eating in our own homes, and although we won't all be sitting around the same table the love of shared food will be with us. 

I feel so blessed to be near enough to my family to be able to share in this way, but if I was far away I would follow the CDC guidelines to not travel. I know that this would be best for me.

We are all doing the best we can to stay safe and comfortable. 

I am going to be thinking about what I am thankful for this year. I am thankful for a safe and cozy apartment, for a family that is close enough that we can have outdoor visits, and that my immediate family has been safe from covid.

What are you thankful for?

 



THE THANKSGIVING POLICE

This week I ran up against the Thanksgiving police aka Tessa.

When I mentioned last weekend that I was going to decorate  for Christmas this week I got the evil eye. Tessa doesn't believe in decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Apparently it is disrespectful of Thanksgiving.

fall

Soon I found myself defending my decision, but then I thought why am I arguing with an eight year old about my apartment. Although Tessa definitely wields some major power I won out. (Probably because I was alone in my apartment)

Wednesday I pulled out all of my Christmas decorations and went to work. How is it that I still have so many. 

I got my tree up and decorated and sat down on my chair to admire it. That's when it happened, the fully decorated tree fell over. I sat staring at it in stunned silence and the first thing that I thought of was that maybe Tessa, aka the Thanksgiving police, was right. Thanksgiving was letting me know that I shouldn't be skipping over it. 

After realizing how silly that was I got up, and after tying that tree to the table, I started over. Needless to say I was exhausted, but a nice cup of Christmas Thanksgiving eggnog, while sitting in my chair and admiring my handiwork, made me feel much better.

camellias blooming outside my building

I'm not going to share the tree yet. After all I don't want the Thanksgiving police to show up at my door with a warrant for my arrest. 

DAILY LIFE DURING A PANDEMIC

This is a post that I planned and started a week ago, but like the best laid plans, things went awry. Hurricane Zeta had other plans for me and on that Thursday morning a large tree blew down and fell across my road snapping a utility pole and taking down wires. 


For the next three days I had no power. It was not fun and I ended up losing all of the food I had in my refrigerator and freezer. My insurance company informed me I wasn't covered because the outage affect more than my property. Of course I had done a large shopping the day before. 

So now on with the original post

I was watching an infectious disease specialist a couple of days ago talking about what to expect from our daily lives, and I realized that I have settled into the new normal.

bouquet


Is it a normal that I love? No, but it is our reality and I am determined to make the best of it, because as he said this is not going to end anytime soon. 

I feel blessed in so many ways. I don't live in a big house, but I love my cozy little apartment, and hey, it is a lot less to keep clean.

keys

It is a place where I am safe and secure, and although I do get lonely at times I can wander downstairs and there is always someone there to talk to. 

I am also blessed to live so close to my family. Every week I spend one afternoon visiting them, and I know that many of you don't have that. I do miss hugging my daughters, but one of them is high risk and the other one is extremely medically fragile. 

blotter

I get time with my grandchildren. It is time that I didn't have before I moved here, and although we have to visit outside I am so grateful for our bonding moments. 

Running into the grocery two or three times a week is no longer an option, but I make my one weekly trip to the grocery count. Fortunately I live where masks are mandated to enter the store and shoppers are very respectful about keeping their distance. 

tea towel

Last Saturday was Sidney's 15th birthday. I know that it was probably not the birthday that she wished for, but we had a wonderful family day outside. We staggered family members and Sid's best friend who lives around the corner from her came over. 


She is such an amazing girl, and I adore her.

So life goes on and we have to try and make the best of it.



IT'S A FOWL LIFE WITH TESSA AND TRIXIE

 If you have been reading my posts for awhile you are probably familiar with Tessa, my eight year old granddaughter, and Trixie, her pet chicken.

Back in the spring Trixie became broody. A fox had gotten her sisters and all the ducks, but after flying over the fence and hiding out in a neighbors yard Trixie returned home, where she became Trixie the lonely chicken. You can read about that here


Tessa decided that Trixie needed some babies to take care of so my daughter and son-in-law bought her some fertilized eggs to hatch. You can read the updates here, where she settles into being a broody hen, and here where more baby chicks were purchased to give some company to the one demented baby who was kicked out of the nest by Trixie. 

To make a long story short the babies grew and grew and along with the purchase of four new baby ducks, Trixie was definitely not lonely anymore. 

What did happen was that like many mothers, Trixie was no longer feeling the love for those grown up and annoying interlopers. 

She just wanted them to leave her alone.

ducks

The ducks especially seemed to love to annoy her. They would chase after her and when she got really mad at them one of the ducks would throw back her head and start laughing. Ducks can be pretty entertaining, although I don't think Trixie sees it that way. 

Two of the sweet little chicks grew up to be roosters. Tessa's favorite is Lemony Snicket, a real beauty. The other rooster has become overly protective of Trixie and comes after Tessa when she tries to get the eggs.

rooster

Tessa, the intrepid rooster hunter soon put a stop to that with her red umbrella. That rooster goes flying across the yard when Tessa wooshes that umbrella open at her.

tessa

That Rooster is no match for Tessa.

A Footnote.

I originally planned to post this on Saturday, but time got away from me and I wanted to spend the afternoon with my family. Tessa and I spent some wonderful time in the backyard tracking dinosaurs, and while out there I noticed that the chickens and ducks were congregating in and around the chicken coop. Trixie usually comes out to talk to me, but stayed inside the coop.  

Winky, their chorkie, came out on the back deck and started barking. I asked Tessa if she could see what she was barking at, but she brushed it off and said it was probably a squirrel. I wandered over to the area that Winky was looking at, under the pretense of looking for escaped dinosaurs, but didn't see anything.

A couple of hours after I left Cary texted me to say that something, either a fox or coyote, had gotten one of the black hens and Lemony Snicket. It is pretty bold for one of them to come into the yard in the daytime.


RIP Lemon

Farm life, even in the middle of a city, is tough, but Tessa is tougher. She usually takes these things in stride. It is scary that that animal was lurking there while we were playing, and I hate that Tessa might not feel completely safe in her own backyard. 

Cary said they may have to consider getting another large dog to protect Tessa, the chickens, ducks, and Trixie, the pet chicken. I'm all for that idea. 


DECORATING WITH VINTAGE AND ANTIQUE CHINA

I have always had a love for beautiful china.  I think it started when I was a child and visited my grandparents.

I slept in my Great Aunt Rose's old room and there was a china cabinet in her sitting room full of china and glassware. I eventually got that china cabinet, and after having it for 40 years, I passed it on to my oldest daughter, Cary.

Aunt Rose loved hand painted pieces featuring roses, and although I think those pieces are beautiful I have always had a love for blue and white transferware.

If I see a blue transferware piece for a good price, I cant resist buying it, and if I can't find a place for it in my own home I put it in my shop to sell.

turkey plate

 This is a turkey plate I found a few years ago, which I take out this time of year as part of my fall decor. I actually had nine of these, but sold the other eight as I just didn't have anywhere to put them. 


Yes, I know I have shown you my hanging plate rack before, but it makes me so happy to look across my room and see it that I have to keep sharing it. 

It is such a great place for my blue and white pieces.

pine cupboard

My pine cupboard holds my large set of Royal Doulton china, which was my mom's, along with another favorite of mine white ironstone. 

There are so many ways to use china in your home decor. I wish I had more space to display mine, but lack of space means I have to let a lot of it go, and that is where my Etsy shop comes in. 

brown transferware

Saturday is usually Tessa day, but as it is supposed to rain all day and we have to visit outside I am waiting to make a decision on visiting. 








EASING INTO FALL AND COVID

I have really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful photos of fall foliage on Instagram recently. So many places are at their peak of color. 

Here in Atlanta I have seen very little evidence of fall, although our temperatures have lowered and I imagine that the cooler nighttime temps will bring on changes. 

This is the only tree I was able to find this week that was in full on fall dress.


I'm looking forward to fall leaves. 

In the meantime my zinnias are still producing and I was able to cut a bouquet for my apartment Thursday. It is nice to still have summer inside.


On the other side of my living room I have a fall vignette on my coffee table. It's a bit of both seasons.


I am really concerned for the health of people of this country. Whether people want to admit it or not, Covid is real and it doesn't discriminate.

Too many people are not following the simple guidelines of washing your hands often, social distancing, wearing a mask, covering coughs and sneezes, and disinfecting surfaces.


No, these things don't provide 100% protection, but other than living in a bubble they provide the best protection we have. 

Also, I want to make one more suggestion. Get your flu shot. I got mine ten days ago. 

I am fortunate that I haven't lost anyone to Covid and I hope it will stay that way because I love you all dear readers.

Have a safe and happy weekend.









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