Monday, October 10, 2016


At my daughter's request, I've decorated for Halloween; it's one of her favorite times of the year.  We used to have blow-out Halloween parties.  Our front porch still bears evidence of the body outline we painted one year.  (Paint + cement = permanent) This little pumpkin sits on our kitchen mantle, adorable in its lumpiness. 

This is just one of number of decorations that I cherish, made by our children when they were small.   It's making me reflect fondly on years gone by.  It prompted me to dig through my needlepoint "hideaway" drawer to discover a canvas from a decade ago. Now I'm stitching madly in spare moments to finish this before Easter.  If all goes well, this bunny will take its turn sitting on the kitchen mantle.

Our youngest loves to dress the house for the seasons, but I'm getting a little teary-eyed thinking about next year when she'll be off at school.  What will I do?  I can't say one way or another.  All I know for now is that my youngest really isn't the "baby" of the family any more.

Her senior picture

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Bedside Table

With all my travels, I've had time to do some reading. Here are some of the books I enjoyed this summer:

1) A Man Called Ove.   The title character, Ove (pronounced ooo - veh according to my Swedish friend), is a curmudgeon.  How he interacts with his neighbors is the essence of this story.  For some people the beginning is a little bit rough , but please try to push through it.  We all loved it in our book group.

2) After a seven month wait, I was lucky enough to see Hamilton on stage in July.  Before I went I felt it was a good idea to supplement that experience with the book.  I know this is a heavy tome, but it is well worth the time investment.   Our forefathers really were a marvel.

3) This book by Catherine Ryan Hyde is about grief, truth, recovery, family, and the potential for natural beauty to offer solace.  It's a vacation read, but also had some moments that have lingered with me.

4) Kent Haruf's last novel is a poignant look at our desire for companionship even in our later years, when most might think that need has diminished.  Like all of his books, Our Souls at Night is sparse in language but rich in meaning.

5) Not to deny my geeky side, I've been reading I Contain Multitudes.  No, it's not Walt Whitman.  Instead it's a scientific look at the symbiotic and invaluable relationship across all species, animal and plant, between health and development and microbes. I find it fascinating, though some might be grossed out (or bored) by it.