Sunday, November 29, 2020


 On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we spent most of the day outside, working in the yard. We have pretty much finished the fall clean up now.

The beds are cleaned out and the lawn edges are trimmed.  

I raked up the carpet of red leaves in the secret garden

and used them as mulch.
Tom got the ivy edging on the raised beds trimmed, and I finally finished the edging all the way around the lawn, a project I worked on off and on for weeks. I'm good at crawling when I work. 
On Saturday we made wreaths. I started by making a little swag for this trellis. I can see it when I work at the sink in the kitchen and I just thought it needed something. 
Tom collected greens from the yard last Wednesday while I was making pies. On Thanksgiving afternoon we make a wreath for Jake to take home. Now it was time to make one for Jill and one for us. 

I made bundles and Tom wired them to the frame. Then we decorated them with reused bows and ornaments. 

All finished.

On Sunday we delivered Jill's wreath to her.

Then we went for a walk in the fog at the Des Moines Marina and Des Moines Creek Trail. 
I guess this was the hot spot for fishing. Social distancing seemed to not be in practice. 

This afternoon we cleared the shelves. The pottery collection is stored away, and table tops and other spots are cleared and dusted and ready for decorating. The Christmas tubs are out of the attic and stacked in the garage. 

I have appointments Monday morning, but by Monday afternoon the first of the decorations should be appearing. We'll take our time. I'll start with the Santa collection, of course!  

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Repast, and Passed

 We were thankful for each other.

We ate well.

We loved having time with just Jake and really talking.

After dinner we moved outside to do a photo shoot of us that will be part of our Christmas card.

Then we moved to the garage and made a wreath for Jake's door.

Then we served our pie and ate it while we Zoomed with Jill in Colorado, Tom's sister in Gig Harbor, Tom's brother and SIL on Whidbey Island, his niece in California, and Jake on his laptop in our family room while we were in our home office. 

Zooming is such a wonderful technological gift. 

We spent more time with Jake before sending him off with a leftovers dinner and his berry pie.

We ate a light meal in the evening before settling in front of the TV to watch recorded TV shows. 

Now another Thanksgiving has passed. We'll hit the ground running the day after. It's supposed to be dry, it's Opt Outside Day, and we have yard work to finish up before the serious decorating and baking start around here. 

Thanksgiving can happen, no matter how small. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Giving Thanks


I have finished my cooking for today. The pumpkin pie and berry pie are cooling on the counter. The stuffing, which will not be stuffed in the bird, is chilling in the refrigerator. The yams are baked and prepped and ready for orange sauce tomorrow. The cranberry sauce is cooling in a pretty bowl. 

Jake will join us and he is bringing a concoction of root vegetables. He experiments with produce he gets in his fresh from the farm box, delivered twice a month. 

We will roast a small turkey breast, trying not to miss the smoky turkey and gravy from our traditional BBQ smoked bird. Maybe for Christmas?

We will be grateful for each other, for our good health, for the company of our son, for plentiful food on the table , and a warm and secure home. 

Tom and I have worked hard for what we have but we know that it takes more than hard work. We had opportunity, good parents, and good fortune. So many were not so fortunate. My heart goes out to those who are struggling.

Stay well, stay warm, stay loved and loving. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thanksgiving Lights

 The Thanksgiving cactus is blooming in the dining room.

I don't know if we will be dining in the dining room, with just three of us for Thanksgiving dinner. The kitchen table might be cozier. Jake will be joining us. We are delivering Jill and the kids to the airport tomorrow for their flight to Denver to join the other grandparents for their traditional Thanksgiving. I am hoping for the best. 

We had a few days, or half days without rain so we got busy outside.

On Saturday Tom took the leaf blower to the roof. I worked nearby, cleaning up leaves and cedar droppings from the front walk and path, with my phone in my pocket, ready to call 911. 

Then it was time to clean up the mess from the roof. I raked up the moss and debris from the shady side of the roof while Tom took the leaf blower to the front walk and driveway. 

Then While Tom put up the house lights, I took the blower to the patio. 

It's great to have everything looking so tidy.
On Sunday morning I worked on cleaning out more beds and doing more edging. We're almost done with fall clean up, and the leaves are all almost down. 
Tom put up more decorations. We used to do a lot more, but as stuff wore out, we decided not to replace it and just do less. We're OK with that. 
I cleaned out the front porch pots and stuffed them with greens from the yard. 

I don't know who will even see the front porch or the other decorations, except the package delivery guys, as those packages keep coming, but we will see them  and we will know that as Thanksgiving arrives, Christmas will  not be far behind. 

We will turn on the lights early this year. I have started playing my Christmas instrumental music playlist. We will create JOY where we can, and we will be grateful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Mixed Feelings

 As Thanksgiving approaches, we turn to thoughts of gratitude. I am grateful for many things. I am also baffled, frustrated, even angered by other stuff. 

I am grateful that Tom walks with me and that we got our 1.25 mile walk in between rain storms this morning. 

I am grateful that I have time to read a newspaper and use technology to stay current and to connect with friends and family.

I am baffled and frustrated by election deniers. I do not understand those who can still believe Trump's self-serving claims of voter fraud, based on no evidence,  and I am frustrated at his inciting of marchers and protestors who refuse to accept our fair election simply because they chose to believe his lies rather than truthful reporting. He is causing great damage to our nation.

I am grateful for online shopping. Delivery dates are being monitored and packages are arriving on my front porch. One item wasn't right and I am grateful for the ease in being able to return it.  This shopping is making me a little bit excited for the holidays, where before I wasn't. Connecting with my "kids" over wish lists has also been fun. 

I am grateful that in this time of raging Covid, I was able to get a haircut safely yesterday.

I am baffled and angered at the Covid deniers who continue to spread the virus. I am frustrated by mask refusers. I do not understand how people dying in intensive care wards who are diagnosed with Covid still, with their dying breath, insist that Covid is a hoax. Why? Because Trump said so. Because of Trump too many people are dying. 

I am angered by the wedding party of 300 in our state, when the limit was 30, who are now up to 40 cases of Covid and spreading it. For this case and other careless, selfish superspreading events, we are now again in a modified lockdown. Many more small businesses will go under. The emotional and financial toll will be great. 

I am grateful that I have the resources to stay safe and well fed at home. When I cook our little Thanksgiving dinner for two, hopefully three, next week, I will be counting my blessings.

I am grateful that I can contribute to food banks and homeless services to in some small way help those who are struggling. I am thankful that there are so many of us who are still remembering that kindness trumps hate and empathy can overcome anger and frustration. I am working on it. I am a work in progress. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Cold November Rain

 It's a dark and dreary day here in the Pacific Northwest, with more to come. I just checked the Weather Underground forecast and there are raindrops on the chart for the next ten days. Typical November. 

We are content enough to be stuck indoors today. Our house work is done and the laundry is mostly folded and put away. Tom is at the desktop computer continuing his genealogy search for long ago ancestors using DNA tracing. I am in my recliner with my laptop. I just took a few photo, because, well, you know, I have to have photos.

I actually put on my rain jacket to show you this.

Tom's Brugmansia finally bloomed! Yes, it's a tropical plant and it is supposed to bloom in summer here, but it is an old plant now, and to keep it a size that can go into the greenhouse, it gets severely cut back each fall. Lately, each year it has bloomed later and later, until, this year, it didn't set buds until October, and is now blooming in November, and not very happily at that.  

This will be its last year. Tom has made cuttings which will take its place next summer, hopefully for summer blooms. The bell like trumpets are wonderfully fragrant on summer evenings. Not so much now in cold November rain.
The rest of the outdoors will have to be enjoyed from inside through windows. 

Some trees are bare, some are not. Wet leaves accumulate under the trees. It will be a while yet before we can do the final fall cleanup. We still have not had a killing frost here in South Seattle. 

There will be work to do when the rain stops. 


Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Last Hurrah

 It won't be long now before all of the  lovely leaves are gone. Leaves fall in the fall. Then there is just the raking up to do.

While they last I have been soaking in the beauty of the colors in our yard.

Dogwood and maples

This dogwood is glowing outside our home office window right now, as the sky darkens, bringing the expected rain. 
The flowers on the kitchen table are from the grocery store now. 

Picking them is easier, but maybe less fun.