Sunday, December 29, 2013


It started on Christmas night - an attack of vertigo so scary that I couldn't walk without lurching in to things, and then had no choice but to close my eyes. After some fitful sleep, I woke with a really serious cough and I was on the slippery slope from there with chills, a temperature, headache and all sorts of  other aches.
Laying low....finished up my dog sitting stint and have been in my house since.  Today I am missing "Christmas" at my son's house with my little grandchildren, and my brothers as well as the rest of the family. A day I had been dreaming about for so long. Dear sweet, LM, came and got my car, all the gifts, then picked up Sara and Samantha and was off to the party without Nana.  He promises pictures and I am comforting myself with the fact that everyone is together, and also, knowing that I am basically very healthy, so will fight this thing off in a few days. I understand the flu is really spreading fast across MA right now, and in other areas of the country.
Hoping you all will be spared.

Peace and wishes for a wonderful New Year.  I will be done with this by then, yes, I will!! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Gift of Light

As I am contemplating this season, I am realizing that each year of my life, I have viewed it in a different way. In my formative years, this time was filled with magic, close family events, sharing, and, with my siblings, attending church. Christmas was my favorite time to be in our beautiful church. The decorations, the candlelight, and the excitement of Christmas morning causing a tingle down to my toes. As I left home and began my own family, I drifted away from many of those customs, but never forgetting them and the tenets imbued.
That time is indeed very far away now, and a 50 year trail  follows my checkered path of faith.  Darkness, cynicism and dread would fill the time leading up to the holidays, and the stress of people pleasing was crushing to the point that my attitude became seriously negative, then that would skyrocket me into a sure period of depression come the New Year. I let my children down in those times, and mainly myself. Now, that's all behind me, and I have come to terms with a faith that makes me feel whole.  A simple belief in an all-compassionate power greater than  myself,  and in the universe, to bring love, goodness, and healing through beauty. Believing thus, I am empowered to take much better care of myself and this precious place we call home, and to know a kindly and compassionate spirit toward all is the answer. As this evolution of thought has taken place, I am so grateful that I could see, open my heart, and treasure the gifts that are around me everyday.  Most of all my family and friends!!

My favorite part of this season now is the light and the hope that abounds in so many forms, even in the darkest time of the year.

To send you a gift of light, I took a drive around town last night in the fog.  Some interesting results. The town was virtually vacant (so unusual for here) and I could feel a magic, once more, as my heart filled with delight in the light. I love the way my very inexpensive little camera captured the light through the magnified fog.
 I pass this sailboat several times each evening on my travels back and forth to tend my boss's dogs. it is on the front lawn of a local boat company. 

 A 10th of a mile away is this "gift" boat at another local company.
A fish lights the way at an art gallery near my house.

 Frosty lights up the lawn at our Village town hall.
 Our bandstand in Kate Gould Park
 A Village icon
 Simpler the name  and architecture of this home decor store.

 Our Coast Guard Station and Lighthouse...At this point my back was to the open ocean and, in what is  usually a  crowded area, I was alone in the very deep fog.  I love the starkness, and the guiding light.

 This window has delighted me many times this year. A lovely gift and home shop - Tale of the Cod.
                                                                Green-themed feather tree.... 
 Peace on Earth
 The Hope Hospice tree on the library front lawn. Earlier in the week I saw the dedication and lighting ceremony at this tree, as relatives and friends honored the way too many who succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease this year.
 The next four photos are the windows at one of my favorite dreamy shops, Pentimento.

 Our village Christmas Tree just across from Pentimento
The Nickerson Art Gallery all sparkly and beautiful local work.
Sending you all love and wishes for a beautiful, peaceful and light-filled celebration!
LM, Ms Graysea, and I will be celebrating tomorrow with LM's children (dear Lm is doing all the cooking and planning - what a gift!), and on Sunday we will have a Christmas with my family - one with some very special guests who are making a long trip to come "home."  I will be back with details and photos next week.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Solistice Introduction

Warmly and gently, the solstice is guiding us toward winter. The bones of the trees are haunting, swaying, spheres, in a gentle breeze. The fog is so comforting as it creates a  place to be introspective and calm, in a time of year that can be so harsh and frantic. There is a cozy feeling about this day.

My holiday week of dog/house sitting has begun, and my first night was very quiet. The dogs never barked or disturbed my sleep - maybe they get the gentleness of this solstice time, too.

Much cooking is in process and today will yield some large batches of vegetable soup to freeze and some for gifts, and more of Mum's date nut bread.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with one of my dearest friends. She's just become a grandmother again to a beautiful boy, Luca, born to her only son and wife in FL.  Such happiness lies ahead.  We talked and talked and talked and could have gone on forever, but for my obligation to my doggie friends. We shopped, too! What fun.  Thank you, Sue. Our visit reminded me of all the reasons I treasure you and our friendship. You are truly an angel. LM says I should have addressed you as Justice C to protect you after the crime at the courthouse. 

Wishing calm,warmth and gentle fog for all this day, and LOVE, of course!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mum

Dear Mum,

Happy Birthday!!

It's been way too long since I've been able to talk to you, and I miss you more and more everyday!
Although we cannot see each other, I see you in the mirror, when I look down at my hands, and hear you every time I speak or talk with the sisters. You are always there in an inflection, a tone, an idea, or a laugh
I'll never forget the times I railed against your advice, yet, I hear you every time I find myself doing the same thing to my children, yet, realize you were the wisest, funniest, and most loving of mothers.....AND, you were always right, not so much for me.

Tonight, through the miracle that is the internet, I was able to attend your great grandson, Marshall's little birthday celebration in FL. Yes, on my computer, I was able to see and talk live with my grandson! It is amazing, Mum, and we had such fun. I met Marshall's new girlfriend, Paige, and also saw Anne and her 3 cats in their Florida kitchen. Marshall is even more special, having been born on your birthday. What a fine, funny and delightful man he has become. You'd just love him so much. Anne, David and Jared will be spending their Christmas and New Year's on Eleuthera at their haven. I am so happy they have that place of beauty and peace on which to soothe their souls, and we will get to share that beauty in March!

With Christmas approaching, I'll be calling you closer to me as I make your date and nut bread (Bebo will be making your date and nut bread, too, as her children still adore having that treat on the holiday), and applesauce cake. What fun it will be to have you in the kitchen. Your hands will be chopping, measuring and mixing. I learned from the very best. Evie is busy making dozens of loaves of your cherry nut bread to bring to friends, I'm sure Sam is busy planning a nice Christmas dinner. He is such a wonderful and adventurous cook and his  kitchen produced an amazing Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Trish has been making some very imaginative Christmas cookies and treats, too.  I'd really love to have one of your Swedish tea rings with all the wonderful fruits and nuts, but there just isn't time. Yours were the best and very hard to duplicate, but I keep trying. Margaret is making a lovely Christmas with her familyl. Emmy and Ellie will be there to make everything very special. Ellie and Margaret are making your decorated sugar cookies, and your cinnamon rolls will be a delight for the senses on their Christmas morning. El and Steve will be having Christmas at home with Steve's mother, Sally who hasn't been well - I remember what fun partners in crime you and Sally were. El and I enjoyed a fun phone call planning out a menu to please everyone. I believe they may have Alaskan King Crab legs, and I told her not to forget something decadently chocolate. I think they are my favorite food, I sure know they were yours!  Ah, the butter.....So you are with all of us, guiding us along on our journeys, and we are so thankful for the skills you gave us, and for making it all so much fun. Most delightful of all, for me, this year, will be knowing that Marty will be coming home for a visit in the week after Christmas. He has not been "home" from IL since Dad died and we long to see each other.  His wonderful sons, Steven and Sam, will be coming along to do the driving.   Marty longs to be here to feel your presence and have a sense of his roots again. By the way, Marty and his boys do a fair amount of cooking, too, and they have lots of fun creating new and healthy meals.  Of course, I hear often how much Marty thinks about your American chop suey, applesauce cake and cream puffs!!

Christmas Eve I'll be remembering the thrill of Daddy bringing the tree in and placing it in a "farmers tree stand", the bucket of coal. Oh, it smelled so good in the living room the next morning as the magic of Christmas appeared over night.  As I am remembering those wonderful Christmas eves today, I am also feeling very close to your best friend, and my godmother, Eleanor Haughey, and how she, in her regal mink coat, and her husband, Jack would arrive on Christmas Eve with many gifts, and how you would both revel in your friendship. There was so much laughter, and delicious food prepared for that evening.  Then off to bed we would go, trying to sleep with so much excitement in our heads. You taught us friendship's treasure, and the time proven advice that our brothers and sisters are really our best friends.

Christmas for my little family will be on December 29th at Jason's house and we will have Sara and Samantha with us to make it even more special.  Christmas Day will be spent with LM's children, and he is doing ALL the cooking!!! (Fish, of course).  I wish you could know LM. He has brought such peace and happiness to my life. 

Thank you for all these wonderful memories. There are zillions more, especially the cat involved stories....I'll save those for another time, you know how Dad pretended to be upset with too much cat talk.  He was a wily one, as he turned out to be one of the greatest cat lovers ever!! He even passed over to be with you, with a cat right by his side.

Happy Birthday, Mum and thank you for loving me and having faith in me, through all the travails.

I love you,

PS. How did you ever do it all?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Party Weekend!

Beautiful Samantha was already and so excited when I arrived to gather  her up to go to TheNutcracker performance on Saturday.  A pretty light snow was falling, lending to the Christmas-feel of the day. First, though, Samantha was delighted to show off "her" Christmas tree. She and mom, Sara, did a great job of decorating, but I have the strong feeling that there has been a lot of changing up the Christmas decor....little girl fun!!
We talked a blue streak all the way to the performance center, and again as we waited for the show to start. Along for the trip is Samantha's new little friend "My Little Puppy," complete with his very cute little carrying case. He promised not to bark during the show, and did very well, as did my date. She sat enthralled for the two hours, and kept telling me over and over that she couldn't wait to see it again next year!
A photo of the beautiful dancers from the show programme.
After the show, we were off to meet LM at a lovely open house given by fishing friends.  Samantha had a great time there and was so poised and graceful as she spoke with the other guests. After a while my sweet date asked if she could go had been a big day out for her and I think she was missing her Mom.  

The night before LM and I attended my company Christmas party at the Wequassett Resort in Chatham. They outdid themselves with a beautifully decorated setting and delicious food.  A fun time was had by all. 
Here are several pictures of their main restaurant, 28 Atlantic, where our event was held. 

The rest of our weekend included some rest, watching some movies, playing and cuddling with Ms G and doing some shopping for holiday baking...truly perfect!

Life is good!!
Love to all.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Little Miracles

It is very cold here today, and when I came back from lunch, the sun was coming in the window at just the right angle to warm the seat and back of my desk chair. Lovely start to my afternoon!
May you all have rays of sunshine to warm your soul this day!

A busy weekend is about to launch. Tonight is our company Christmas party, tomorrow I am thrilled to be taking Samantha to see The Nutcracker ballet. That will be followed by a stop at a Christmas open house being held by friends, where LM will join us. Next up is a snowstorm!!!  Could be a warm and cozy day on Sunday as the storm continues.  I'll be tucked in with LM and Ms G.

Happy weekend to all!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Very Construction Birthday Party

There was one very excited 5 yr old, waiting to greet us on Sunday as we drove up to his house, but first we were greeted by the proud Daddy birthday surprise. Jason brought the company front-end loader and parked it perfectly to announce there was a special boy about to turn 5.
Big toys charm little boys....

Teddy was a wonderful host as he eagerly welcomed everyone at the door.
He was beyond excited
As I tried to get him to pose for a photo,  he said, "wait, wait, Nana, we have to get my friend, Sidney, too"
Me thinks he is a bit smitten by Sidney!! They stayed together during the whole party.
While Teddy continued to greet all the guests, Alison was busy putting the finishing touches on the "construction" gala, and LM and I helped to set out snacks for the adults. The dining room table is ready to host 17 carpenters.

Dear Woo! (LM)
Sara watching Teddy greet his friends at the door.

A party favor "lunch box" for each of the revelers.
The day before the party, Teddy had helped his Mum to begin Christmas decorating. She always displays her pretty Village houses in the living room transom windows.
Pretty and wintry
More guests arriving...the boys in the blue hats are Mac and Mason, twins, and great friends of Teddy's
Alison begins organizing the crew in a game of construction with marshmallows and straws.
Teddy gazing at Sidney
This project interest lasted for a short time, but Teddy enjoyed his role as crew chief.

Samantha building her marshmallow house
Pensive poses amidst the celebration
More marshmallow creations
Interest waned on that idea and they began to wander....and graze the food.
Construction equipment and vehicles everywhere.
Next up was a game of musical dots. When the music stopped they were to land on a dot and stop.  We did not have too many in compliance and the game became quite hilarious.
A little mid-party meltdown when all the excitement overwhelmed the celebrant. Didn't last long, though.
Time for cake, and quite a cake it was. Alison "constructed" this masterpiece and it was a huge hit.
Rock candy and crushed Oreos were a great idea!

Lighting the candles
The proud Dad, Jason, who worked so hard to make this party come together.

Time for presents just as the Pats game was near the exciting end!
Teddy had  lot of help opening his exciting gifts.

Sidney, ever at his side, Teddy opens a great gift from his great aunt, Eleanor.
Thank you, Aunt Eleanor......
There was so much action that I hardly got a photo of this construction clock with his name on it. A gift from LM and moi.
Soon all the attendees had departed with their wonderful parents, and I looked down at my feet to see this cute little party-buy, inside one of the huge gift bags, rolling around in hilarity.
A delightful time was had by all, and most of all by the cutest little carpenter, ever, our dear Teddy....5 yrs old!