Inspire. December.

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Deep Snow. But thanks to my husband and son, my driveway is clear, and thanks to our local DPW, the roads are clear. The day is mine. (c)2019

“To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.”

 –  Philip Andrew Adams

How will I make tomorrow better?

By tomorrow, I don’t mean December 4th, but tomorrow in the extisential sense. During the weekend before Thanksgiving, I attended a retreat with the theme of joy. I went into it with a low mood hanging over my head, and left a bit better. Today is even better, and tomorrow can be too. 2020 is just around the corner, and putting aside politics for mere moments (it’s hard, I know), but putting it aside a moment, there is so much that can go right in 2020, and every moment is an opportunity; every failure or perceived failure, another chance. Learn from everything. Blog. Journal. Share. We are together; never alone.

Have a blessed December whatever your beliefs are.

November – Gratitude – Photo/Art

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Traveling to Vermont for Thanksgiving with family. (c)2018

Fireplace on a cold Thanksgiving night. (c)2018


Thanksgiving Dinner. (c)2018

Travel – Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

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Groundhog’s Day is my husband’s favorite holiday. He despises Valentine’s Day – too commercial, but he loves Phil.

A college friend had grandparents who lived there, so she grew up with Punxsutawney Phil, the myth, the groundhog.

Except that it’s winter in western Pennsylvania, I think we would try to take a vacation there for February 2nd. Maybe one day.

For information on how to get there and what to do, here are some useful links:

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club
Visit PA on Groundhog’s Day
When I was a teacher many years ago, I tried to find unusual books to read to the kids that wasn’t your typical Winnie-the-Pooh or ABCs. Those books have their places in classroom and they’re fun for the teachers as much as for the kids, but sometimes it’s good to introduce them to children’s literature and expand their horizons.

You may remember Crocket Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon. He also wrote a wonderful, simple book for Groundhog’s Day. It is my favorite:

Will Spring Be Early or Will Spring Be Late?​
We should know by now. Let me know in the comments.

Outdoors in the Winter? YES!

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Unless we ski, snowshoe, or take winter hikes, we tend to hibernate through the season. We rush from our house to our car to work and back again bundled up, heat on high. We layer up and avoid the outside as best we can. However our feelings about the cold and snow, the outdoors are actually very healthy for us, even those of us who are not particularly outdoorsy.

With our windows closed keeping us sealed in and cooped up, we’re more susceptible to colds and lingering infections and just feeling yicky and not ourselves. One way to combat that stale air and the winter doldrums is to get outside every day. We don’t often think of that as a solution, but the fresh air is a real pick me up.

I know. It goes against every fiber of my being too. The cold. The snow. The wind. But fifteen minutes every day has a way of rejuvenating our systems.

For kids, it gets their energy focused in the snow instead of on your living room sofa.

Bring out the shovels and the Nerf guns.

By the time winter recess comes along, at least in the northeast, we’re about ready for a mid-winter thaw. The air is a little warmer – forties instead of twenties, the sun is bright.

Take a walk.

Have a snowball fight.

Run and jump.

Make snow angels.

And then when you come inside, have a steaming cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

It takes just a little time, a little effort, and no money. Not to mention that it will help to keep the family healthy and ready to go back to school at the end of recess.

New Year, Not So New Me

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Plans, resolutions, goals, intentions, lists, stuff, things. They all need to be made and to be got done. Today is the first day of the first full week of 2016, and lucky for me I didn’t make any tangible resolutions other than to be more thoughtful and meditate on what I want this year to be and to bring and what I want to bring to it. I’ll set the tangibles a few more weeks into the calendar.

Christmas was quite lovely in that dull normalcy that we both crave and wish would be more exciting. I loved it. The kids were home, enjoying home and hearth and gifts by the tree. One son working, one son building Lego, my daughter rearranging her room and making her bed. Everyone in their own little worlds, but joining in the bigger world of our family for movies and food.

I was up early today, but then a second wind of tired blew in, and I laid down for just a minute. An hour later and it was snowing and my whole day melted away. I stayed in bed.

I can feel the sun trying to peek out, but the roads are still snow covered. I need a birthday snack for my daughter’s classroom for tomorrow plus a birthday cake for home. Plus tonight’s dinner. There goes the snowplow. That means more snow than it looks from my snow speckled, cozy window. I don’t want to go out in the snow!

My new me of getting up early, planning my writing calendar, and setting up my new blog format will come. After all, this first full week has just begun, and I have plenty of time to catch up.

Let the lists begin and the dressing commence.

My baby hits double digits tomorrow. Maybe that’s what I’m really avoiding. No, no; the library book is calling me. I’m sure that’s it.

Happy New Year to all whatever it may bring; or what we may bring to it.