Trial runs

In the pre-planning stages of Christmas, and my husband’s birthday we have Beef Wellington! It’s my first stab at this recipe. My lucky husband and children get to experiment with me.

I added a bit of sautéed greens, and a little red wine reduction to bring it all together.

Cooking is one of those things that I really enjoy, especially when it works!

Me and Santa

Yes, I still watch all the Christmas animation from my youth.

I remember the first time I saw the Abominable Snowman in the Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer animated show, and ran and hid in the kitchen.

My dad would even climb up on the roof to put carrots out for Santa’s Reindeer while my mom and I put cookies out on a plate for him.

The anticipation of Christmas morning was always too much. I would have the house awake before dawn to see what Santa had brought.

When my brother was big enough to understand Santa, he and I would build a pillow fort and “sleep” in the same room. We didn’t sleep much, as we would wonder aloud what Santa was like, and if the sound in the hall was him, and what the reindeer were like.

I don’t think I have ever admitted publicly that I don’t believe in Santa anymore, because deep down inside I still do….primarily because I became Santa for my children, and I hope to keep that Spirit of Giving alive.

I met my husband at a Christmas Party in 1991, when he was talking to one of my Realtors about ‘Who Played the Snowman on Rudolph?’ I sidled up to the conversation and said, ‘Well, that would be Burl Ives’. We have been together ever since.

Santa Claus is part of me, always. The Spirit of Giving, the wonder of Children, but the essence of God, who gives. Our Father who gave his only begotten Son, Jesus. The reason we get to enjoy the beauty of Giving.

A great reminder

Expectations are things that trip me up.

I’m not sure why I have fallen back into expectations, but I got a good kick in the pants and it’s time to get back to appreciation and gratitude.

Expectations put an unnecessary pressure to situations, and I have found that they also limit my ability to appreciate.

I’m starting off with a fresh perspective this morning.

I’m so grateful for the kick in the pants that woke me up from expectations and reminded me to appreciate the gifts in front of me.

Have you ever been grateful for a kick in the pants?

Windows open

That first really fine day of fall,

Full of mellow sunshine and fresh breezes.

Open the windows and let the fall air work it’s wonders.

78 degrees, and the sun is so mellow

My confused Lemon tree is still very happy.

Today, I’m so grateful to open the windows, clean all ceiling fans, the base boards, and change all the sheets.

A refreshing day, that is for sure.

I have a small family

Nobody left from my parent’s generation for my niece and nephew.

Just me and my brother for our generation from our family.

I woke up today thinking of my niece and nephew. They may not have grandparents, but they have an Aunt Wendy.

I found some fun costumes for play on Amazon and sent them out.

My niece M modeling the chefs costume I sent out. She’s a very serious cook!

Mid-Century Modern

This cool old stove is in my Mother-in-law’s house, which will soon go on the market. She’s enjoying her assisted living home, thank goodness. I’m so happy she is doing well. She’s gained some weight, she gets to go to Mass every day, play dominos with several of her cousins, and she’s across the street from her sister, brother, and brother-in-law. All good things.

My husband wants to keep the stove from his mom’s house for our place in the country. I think it’s charming. It’s a little time capsule.

The more I look at it, the more I like it. If it can be converted to use propane, I think it will be a done deal.

Isn’t it charming?

Something to enjoy

My recent dive into new poets, and a close look at beautiful sculpture has uncovered a new word for me.

From the Greek “meraki”. We all know someone who puts love into what they do. It’s so obvious that they are committed to their project that their work just stands out.

It could be seen in a beautiful garden, or photo, or poem, or meal, or the way a home is kept, or the way a team comes together.

Have you enjoyed something recently that had “Love” sprinkled in that just delighted you?

Is there something that you do that you can’t help but put that extra “love” into?

I’m a bit of a homebody. On Saturdays when I clean the house, I’m putting love into the chore. When I’m finished, I sit in my clean home and I feel such a sense of satisfaction and comfort. My home is not fussy, and there are no “untouchable” items here. I’m definitely not a clean freak. It’s just that I grew up in an “untouchable” house and that’s not fun. I strove for something different.

The enjoyment comes when friends and family gather together and they are comfortable. The best compliment I ever got was from my Brothers-in-law Tom and Kenny when at one gathering they remarked that they would come to anything at our house because it was “warm and comfortable”. That’s when I knew that the love I put in was seen by someone else. It was the best compliment I ever received.

Now it’s time for me to put some love into my garden and clean away the spent plants from summer, put out some mulch, and let the soil rest a bit till February.

Bronzes

I’ve been looking at bronzes, and longing to get to a museum.

Images from Pinterest.

Camille Claudel 1864-1943 French Sculptress/Artist.

She was a contemporary of Matisse, and Picasso. She kept going when no one believed in her.

There is something about sculpture, specifically bronze, that really speaks to me. I like Marble too. There is something so amazing about a cold hard element being turned into something warm, fluid, and wonderful. I just want to touch it.

What art speaks to you?

Get your own door!

I love manners. Please, Thank you, Yes Ma’am, Yes Sir, how can I help you.

It melts me. Kindness and respect begetting kindness and respect.

I can’t tell you the number of times, when I’ve been hurrying along, high heels clicking, bags in tow, hurrying to a meeting, airport, or any function, and a kind gentleman, old, young, in between holds the door. It stops me every time. This kind person is waiting to give me a small kindness, a gentle assistance, a simple gesture of respect. The simple “I See You” an acknowledgment of one’s existence.

I LOVE MEN WHO ARE GENTLEMEN!  There I’ve said it.  It’s the girliest thing to me, but when a man, acts like a gentleman and holds open the door, it’s one of my favorite things.

Manners don’t stop at gender, if someone is coming your way, hold the elevator, hold the door, acknowledge another human beings existence.  It’s why we are here.

I’m happy to say, I’ve given, and I’ve received these kindnesses, and I get a good laugh when people crap on them, and get their own comeuppance.