The Calm Before The Holiday Storm

candleflickeringautumnFor many, Thanksgiving weekend marks the beginning of a whirlwind of feverish preparations for the Christmas season.

There’s shopping, decorating, card-writing, wrapping, baking, cleaning, partying and just about any other “ing” you can think of.

The older I become, the more I am able to appreciate the words of my mother who has always said: “Thanksgiving is truly the best holiday; it has all of the joy and none of the stress involved with Christmas.”
(Wise lady, my Mum!)

This year, I’ve tried especially hard to sharpen my focus on every precious moment of the Thanksgiving season. So much to appreciate . . . so many blessings to count – family, friends, blog readers (you!) . . .

Not to mention daughters who bake pies! 😀

Chocolate Pie

Pumpkin Pie

As I write this post, it’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I have not yet shopped or decorated or developed a case of the Christmas jitters. I’ve ignored the noisy TV commercials, the barrage of email sales announcements, and the towering pile of store flyers in my mailbox. It’s been a calm and reflective 4-day weekend.

Perhaps you will try it next year . . . you might just like it!

I’ll begin to think about Christmas – tomorrow! There will still be plenty of time to plan, plenty of stores that are open, and plenty of holiday sales to be had.



I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to read what the other kids are saying! 😀

7 Everyday Things That Make Me Smile

The temperatures have been soaring and the humidity won’t quit.

Instead of letting the weather make me grumpy, I decided to think of things that make me happy! 😀

So Kids, today’s edition of Lucky Seven (and it’s been a while since we’ve had one!) will feature:

Seven Everyday Things That Make Me Smile

1.) Laughing out loud with Sir Beads
He has a delightful sense of humor and has kept me giggling for over 40 years now.

2.) Finishing the laundry
It doesn’t last very long but oh how I love to see an empty laundry basket!

3.) A new pen
It’s the kid in me, I guess. I just got a multicolored set of ultra fine gel pens (including purple and turquoise!) They are so much FUN to use.

4.) A nice bar of soap
In the last year or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to use a really nice bar of bath soap – not the standard supermarket fare. Right now, it’s Caswell-Massey’s, “Freesia” – so rich and fragrant. I love how it makes my skin feel and I’ve decided I’m worth it! 😉

5.) Something to make
I get so much joy from working on a new project. Whether it’s beading, crochet, sewing, or paper crafts, I’m a happy camper when I’m blissfully working on something pretty.

6.) Finding a great deal!
When I buy something that’s on sale, the thrill is magnified if it rings up with an additional percentage off at the check-out! Now, that’s a smile-maker. 😀

7.) Settling in a comfy chair and cracking open a brand new book (or magazine)
Relaxing, inspiring, and fun – all in one package!

Hey, I’m feeling cooler already! 😀

What makes you smile?



Home Again – By Heart

Nana had a glass candy dish . . .

One of my earliest memories is the sight of it sparkling on a little table in her parlor.

It was usually filled with Canada Mints.


As a very young child, whenever I’d visit Nana’s house, there were three things to relish:

First, the moment I came through the door – she’d be waiting. She’d gather me into a big hug, my cheek at apron-level, and we’d both let out little squeals of delight.

Second, an ever-present aroma of something wonderful cooking on the stove.

And finally, there was that candy dish!

I was fascinated by the fact it was always so accessible! This was not the case in my own home, where my mother had a few small children and probably felt that unattended candy could be a choking hazard.

But at Nana’s, you could have a piece any old time you wanted! Her only admonition: “Don’t take more than a few – you’ll get a stomach ache!”

Gosh, I loved those Canada Mints!

Recently, I thought about them and decided to try and find some in our area. I bought a package marked “Canada Mints”, but when I opened them – I discovered they were a rather poor version of my childhood treat. The rounded edges were chipped and very uneven – as if the candy mold had been ripped off too quickly. The word “Canada” was blurry and even the flavor somehow seemed more artificial.

It was a bit disappointing, but as most of us learn by the time we’re grown; we can’t really “go home again” . . .


The thing is though, if I close my eyes – I can still smell and taste that original candy from so long ago.

And if I listen very intently, I can still hear Nana’s soothing voice . . . and feel the warmth of her hugs.

Aren’t we lucky when a happy memory, all by itself, is enough? 🙂



Snap Out Of It, Crystal

Happy Monday!

(or “hi there!”, if you’ve stopped by on another day.) 😉

I’m not sure how you feel, but I’m thinking if the days continue to fly by (We’re almost three weeks into September!) then I’m about to become a teeny bit nervous. It means the holiday season is not only around the corner, but it’s barreling down on us at full speed!

Take this last weekend, for example. I had a long list of things that needed doing but all of a sudden it was Sunday night and I hadn’t done half of them. I couldn’t believe it. It made me think, though. I’m at a point in life where I’m finally realizing that I need to acknowledge a critical fact – I’ll never be able to do all I want to do in any given weekend, or month for that matter. It’s time for me to be content if I finish the most important things. There, I said it! Next I have to put it into practice. 😉

I need to re-write my lists with the absolute priorities at the top, the moderately essential things in the middle, and with an eraser for the things on the bottom!!! I’ll bet if I tried, I could really shorten the end of that old list – eliminate some of those would-like-to’s and feel better for doing so!!

When I look back on the last few days, and the chores I never got to, I am comforted when I remember what I did do.

* I did spend quality time with my parents 🙂 (who will be leaving for their winter home in Florida in a few weeks and so I won’t get to see them as often).

* We did drive into the city to see our daughter’s band perform. We loved it and she was happy we were there. 🙂

In the grand scheme of things, we accomplished much. Nothing could be more important than making memories with people you love . . . certainly not to-do-lists!

The Weekly Question!

How do you handle the ever-present “time crunch” in your world?