Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Knitting The Italian Flag

I dabbled in knitting about 40 years ago.   But I found that, for me, crocheting was easier.  I could crochet much faster than I could knit.   I also found that it was easier to correct a mistake in a crochet piece than it was when I was attempting to knit something.

My mother-in-law taught me how to crochet and it became our shared interest.

I taught my mom how to crochet.  She crocheted many afghans.  If any of my siblings or their spouses saw one of her creations on the sofa of another sibling, we would tease her mercilessly.
"Oh, now we know who you like best", we would say.

I have also crocheted many, many afghans.   I'm sure everyone in my life has gotten an afghan from me at one time or another.   I also know that there are many puppies who have snuggled up in one.

On a trip to Florida about three years ago, Ross and I walked into what we thought was an antique shop.  Well, one side of the shop did indeed have antiques and collectibles, but the other side of the store was a yarn shop.  Most of the yarns were natural fibers.  Up until that moment, the only yarn I knew about was what I found in the big box craft stores.
As I wandered around the yarn part of the store, I think I touched and squished every skein in the place.  The colors and textures aroused my imagination.  Oh, the beautiful objects I could create.

I asked the owner of the store to help me pick a pattern that a beginner would be able to knit.   She not only helped me with the pattern, she also sat me down in one of the old rockers and gave me a refresher course in knitting.

Since then I have been hooked...well maybe that word should be reserved for crocheting.   Let's see since then I have been somewhat obsessed with knitting and especially with yarn.

One of the things that has helped me gain confidence in this skill is the internet.

Forty years ago, I taught myself how to knit by using beginner teach yourself to knit books.  These books had illustrated instructions.  Some of those pictures made absolutely no sense to me.

 Now, there are hundreds of tutorial videos available.  I am a member of a community of over a million  knitters and crocheters called Ravelry.  The Ravelers are the most generous group of people who are very willing to share their patterns along with their knowledge.

Knitting has helped me cope during some very difficult times and continues to provide a great deal of comfort for me.

I love to knit (and still at times crochet) for other people.

"What was that?"  "You want a hat, scarf, mittens, socks, sweater?"  "Oh...I don't know...Oh okay" I guess I will just have to visit my favorite shop in Mt. Holly, NJ Woolbearers and buy some yarn.  I mean if I have to I have to.

Last week I sent an e-mail to all of my children and their spouses asking them for gift suggestions.

My youngest son sent me a text today.   He wants me to make him an afghan with the colors of the Italian flag.

No sooner had I finished reading the text,  I had the Berrocco Vintage red, green and white yarn ordered the yarn from WEBS.  (They were offering free shipping).

So let's see, I just have to finish that scarf I have on the needles...oh and wait, there is the hat that I have to start, oh yes, and I can't forget, the mittens to go with the scarf and hat...

Okay, so, Jimmy just might get one half of the Italian flag for Christmas, and the rest of it sometime after Christmas.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You Can't Pass Down Your Tweets

A while ago I wrote a story on my blog about my great grandfather.

Briefly, he left for this country from Italy in the early 1900's.  His supposed intention was to send for his wife and children after he got settled.   But, his family never heard from him again.

His daughter, my grandmother, came to America when she was 16 years old to look for him.

According to my mother, my grandmother said she never found out what happened to him.  My mother also said that my grandmother never would talk about him.

I often think how sad it was that my mother and her siblings never got to know their grandfather or really anything about him.

Thinking about the untold story of my great grandfather made me think about the relationship that I have with my children.   I wonder how much of myself I reveal to them.

My children are all adults now and in their 30's.  They have children of their own.

I thought about how involved I was in their lives when they were little kids.   I knew everything about them.  I knew what they liked to eat, what they like to wear, what their favorite T.V. shows were, what made them laugh and what made them cry.

I could tell when they weren't feeling well, probably even before they knew they weren't feeling well.
And of course I always knew where they were.

I suppose I started to lose such close connections with them when they became teenagers and were allowed more freedom.

Suddenly, or so it seemed, they were picking out their own clothes, spending more time in their rooms with headphones on, listening to music that I was not familiar with, and talking less to me and more to their friends.

I feel as though there is a whole chapter of their lives that I know nothing about.  I would say that period of time would be from high school and college and up until they married.

Now we have entered into a new phase of our relationship.  We can relate to each other as parents and adults.

I am sad, though, that there are parts of their lives and parts of my life that we may never get to share.

A few years ago I picked up a set of diaries at an auction.  They were written in the 1920's by a young mother.  The diaries were filled with details about her daily routine.  She would start off writing about what the weather was like,  she would talk about who visited, what the children did, what she made for dinner.   She never missed a day.  I became very engrossed in this woman's life.   I found it fascinating.
I wondered how her grandchildren could part with such treasures.

Now people tweet about their daily routines, but the tweets disappear like a poof of smoke and wind up somewhere out there in cyberspace.  

My memories of my children as little kids are beginning to fade.  I wish that I had kept a journal.

Perhaps someday I will print out all of my blog postings, and have them bound.  Perhaps my grandchildren might want to know a little more about their grandmother someday.

For those of you who read yesterday's  post  regarding my experience with Kohl's,  I went back this morning and convinced the nice customer service lady that Kohl's should give me back my $15.00 in Kohl's cash.
So I am not angry at Kohl's anymore. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Using The Force to Get My $15.00 in Kohl's Cash Back!

I have a complaint.  Actually I am angry -  angry  at Kohl's.

I realize that with all that is going on in our lives right now, my complaint with Kohls is a little insignificant.   Okay, quite insignificant.

In a calmer time of my life,  I probably would not have given this incident a second thought.  But stress and anxiety can stir up all kinds of emotions.   And today I am mad - mad at Kohl's.

I don't do the Black Friday getting up at 4:00 a.m. to get the so called bargains thing.   I especially wouldn't get up at 4:00 a.m. to get 50% off at Kohl's.  This is mainly because Kohls always has 40, 50 and 60% off sales.

Also being a  Kohl's aficionado (yes I admit it)  I, of course, would never, ever, buy anything at Kohl's unless I had at least a "15% off your total purchase" coupon.

So I did no shopping on any part of Friday, early or late.

But today, since I had my Kohl's "15% off my entire purchase coupon"  and since they were giving $15 in Kohl's cash for every $50 you spend - good only for this weekend, (normally they only give you $10 Kohl's cash for every $50 you spend) I decided to check out the "sales".

So I head on over and was quite surprised and pleased to see that Kohl's was empTEE!

Anyway, I found quite a few nice things.  There were so many SALE! SALE! SALE! signs all over the store that I guess the "early bird specials ending at 1:00 pm" sign didn't quite register with me.

So I bought 3 tops, and two pair of corduroy pants.   And get this I spent $49.25, but, I saved $106.75

I know it hardly seems possible, but it's true, look

And even though I was $.75 shy of the $50 required to be eligible for the $15.00 in Kohl's cash, they gave it to me anyway.  It doesn't get better than that, right?

So I get home and try my goodies on.  I really like the way the cords fit.  But one of the tops doesn't fit quite right.  So I decide I would exchange the top for a different size and since I like the cords so much I would get another pair. 

Then I wonder.  What will happen to my Kohl's cash if I return one of the purchases.  So I look online to see what the policy is.  Kohl's Return Policy.

Basically it states that I could get a merchandise credit and it wouldn't affect the value of my Kohl's cash.

Oh by the way, one of the things that Kohl's touts is its "hassle free" return policy.  It is one of the messages they play over and over again on their PA system.

So I go up to the Customer Service Counter.  I tell the woman I have a return.  She processes the return and tells me that my Kohl's cash is going to be reduced.   

I say "No, no I am just exchanging this item."  

She says, "You said return, not exchange.  And I already processed this as a return.  And it can't be changed now." 

"Oh", I meekly say.   

She says, perhaps when you bring the new item up to the register, they will re-adjust your Kohl's cash.

"Oh, okay, I understand", I say.

So I go off to get my other pair of cords and the correct size of the top I returned. 

I get to the section where the cords are and...hold on here,  I paid $14.99 for my cords an hour ago and now the sign says they are $17.99.  Apparently still on sale but not as on sale as before.    

I just can't do it.  I can't pay $17.99 for an item that I just bought an hour ago for $14.99.

So I go over to the tops.  The price was the same as I paid before, but they don't have the size I want in the color I want.

So now I have no top and no Kohl's cash.

I probably should not have written about this because the more I think about it the madder I get.

If you look closely at my refund receipt you will see that my Kohl's cash had been reduced by $15.00 and that I have a remaining balance of $0.00.

Grrr! I am so mad at Kohl's!

What to do?  What to do?

I know! I am going to go back to Kohl's tomorrow and I will bring my  negotiator with me.  
Ross has this thing that he does.  He calls it "using the force."

I have seen and heard him get customer service people to do the darndest things.

Yes, I will have to get Ross to use "the force" to get my $15.00 in Kohl's cash back!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Am Invested in "Boss."

It's 10:10 p.m., Friday night. Ross and I are in bed watching episode three of "Boss". It is a series on "Starz" network. Actually, we started watching at 10:00 and after only
10 minutes Ross is sound asleep. I probably would have also fallen asleep, but I remembered that I had to post to my blog.

Anyway, back to "Boss". I want to like it. My sister likes it and recommended it.

I find the characters interesting but except for a few of the main ones, I am having trouble figuring out who is who. I can't tell the good guys from the bad guys.

I find the plot complex and difficult to follow. I know that it takes place in Chicago. The mayor, played by Kelsey Grammer, has some kind of degenerative disease. Apparently the town and everyone in it is filled with corruption. But I am not sure exactly what the corruption is.

It covers a lot of subjects with several sub plots. And now 1/2 way through the third episode, I am finally able to follow two of those sub plots. So, I guess I have to say that I am invested and will keep up with it. After all there are more questions than answers. Perhaps by the last episode there will be some clarification, just in time for next seasons cliff hanger.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nicely Quietly Enjoying Thanksgiving

Today was a quiet time.  I did have a few tough moments but I seemed to get past them by  keeping busy getting ready for Jen, Derek, Bella and Ryan's visit.

I decided not to do a turkey.  We had an Italian Thanksgiving instead.  Mozzarella and roasted tomatoes, gravy with meatballs, baked ziti, and tossed salad.  

Ross In His Favorite Spot
The Kitchen

Tomorrow we will have the traditional turkey dinner at my sister and brother-in-law's house.  My brother and his wife will also be there.

Even though I felt very sad at times today, kids and grandkids are the best spirit lifter uppers.

Coloring While Waiting For Desert
Today certainly was not typical of past Thanksgivings.  There was no turkey and not much hustle and bustle.  But it was nice to have this quiet time by spending the day with some of my most favorite family.

Hopefully, tomorrow we can all be together with a visit to Joe and Anne's.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

In addition to being the primary caregiver for Joe, my daughter-in-law, Anne, has a full time job and a frisky one year old son.

She now also has to take care of all of the responsibilities of their daily life, tasks that she and Joe once shared.

Of course there is a lot of family and friend support, which I am sure she appreciates.  But she is still carrying a heavy load.

Communication between Anne, and I can sometimes be difficult.   It's not that she and I don't communicate, but sometimes it is the form of communication that seems to be the problem.

A lot of the times our comminication occurs via text messaging.  I can see the advantage to this, it can be a form of multi-tasking.  However, sometimes after each message I seem to have yet another question.

Because Anne's time is so valuable these days, she takes advantage of every free moment.  Usually she will make her phone calls while driving to and fro.

This can also be frustrating.   There have been many times when her phone or my phone cut out and then we are both wind up simultaneously trying to call each other.

An incident which happened last week perfectly illustrates how cell phone conversations can result in serious miscommunication.

While Ross and I were traveling early Friday morning, I received a call from Anne.   She was driving in the car on her way to work.

The connection was poor and therefore I was not able to hear every word.   I did not want to keep interrupting her by asking her to repeat herself, so I figured I would still be able to get the gist of the conversation.

What I heard her tell me was that when she went with Joe on Thursday for his chemo treatment, they also met with Joe's doctor.   What I heard her say was that since Joe only sees the the doctor every two weeks, he recommended that Joe have a visiting nurse come to see him in between doctor visits.
What I heard her say was that the doctor recommended that Joe might also benefit from a social worker visit.
I agreed this was a good idea and it would relieve some of the caregiving stress that I know Anne must be feeling.

Anne told me Joe's course of Chemotherapy has been adjusted with the hope that the disease would still be manageable.

Anne keeps a journal on a web site called Caring Bridge.  This is a non-profit which provides free web sites for people with major health issues.  It allows the patient or caregiver a way keep their loved ones updated on the condition of the patient.

This is a great idea.  It means that the patient and caregiver don't have to answer the same questions over and over again, which can be quite stressful under such serious conditions.

Saturday, the day after Anne and I had our phone conversation, I received notification that Anne had an update on the Caring Bridge.

The title of the post was "A Visit From Compassionate Care".  Compassionate Care is a hospice service.
Anne went on to describe the services that CCH will provide for Joe.

I was totally unprepared for that.   I became very upset.   I have always known that Joe's illness is incurable.  But it's too soon.  It can't be.  And all of the "why" questions began spinning around in my mind.  "Why him?"  "Why now?"  and above all just "WHY?"

One of the why's was "Why did I have to find out that Joe was going to be receiving hospice care this way?"

After I calmed down, I suddenly remembered my phone conversation with Anne.   And that's when I realized that the parts of the conversation that I was missing were the parts about Joe receiving hospice care.  I also realized that's what Anne was trying to tell me.  And I knew that she wanted to tell me personally first so that I would not be upset when I read her update on her Caring Bridge journal.

But because of the poor cell phone connection that she and I had, I totally missed the most important parts of our conversation.

Now, though, as I am writing this post I realize that it would not have mattered how or when I was told that hospice would be involved in Joe's care, there is nothing that could have softened that news or made it less upsetting.

But I did learn a valuable lesson from this incident.  From now on, I don't care how many times I have to ask the person with whom I am having a phone conversation (or for that matter any form of communication) to clarify or repeat themselves, I will do just that!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Just Wanna Buy Some Yarn!

One of the things I wanted to do while Ross and I were visiting his sister Joan in Bemus Point NY was to find as many Local Yarn Stores as I could in the area.

I used the GPS app on my iPad to search for "yarn", "wool" and "knitting".

The first place we found was  located in Brocton NY.

The name of the store is Woolgathering.   It looked like a great place.  But even though we were there at 2:30 and the sign said they were open until 3:00, the store was closed.

The store was on the same block as Peggy's Enchanted Doll House & Hospital.   This was also closed, and apparently has been permanently closed for a very long while.   It must have been quite a neat place in its day.

Across the street was Adventure Limousine.  
Which one of these gems would you like to hire for your next big event?

This was the next one on the list.  The Country Yarn Shop.  The "Open" flag was out but there was a closed sign on the door.  (I'm sorry but I don't remember what town this was in.)

The GPS then led us down this country road

across this scary one lane bridge

and when we got here, the GPS announced, "You have arrived at your destination."  Really?
Well, perhaps this was once a yarn store.  But I bet there was a closed sign on the window!

The next place was "The Wool Works"  in Westfield, NY

Yep, that is a closed sign.

Finally, finally we found "The Yarn Cottage"at Red Brick Farm  in Mayville,  NY. 

   So I bought two skeins of this.  Just because it was OPEN!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Re-Routed To McDonalds and A Road Map

We left Bemus Point for home at 7:00 a.m. this morning.  Gina (our GPS lady) said we would arrive home at 1:46.

Ross tried very hard to prove to Gina that he could beat that time by at least 30 minutes.

You know, Gina calculated the ETA based on driving the legal speed limit. But, Ross believes the legal speed limit means keeping up or ahead of the traffic.  

When I remind him to be careful in case of speed traps, he always says the same thing..."I'm just keeping up with everyone else."  I read somewhere that state police officers don't take that as a reason for going 30 miles over the speed limit...just saying.

So after sailing nicely along for about two hours, traffic suddenly came to a halt.   Apparently there had been a serious accident and all cars were being de-toured off of the highway.   This confused Gina and she just kept repeating "re-routing".  Then she would give us directions back to the highway which we just came off of and could not get back onto.

So finally after driving another 20 minutes or so, we put Gina to sleep and pulled off the one lane highway, which we were now on, and stopped at a McDonalds somewhere in the Poconos.

Ross asked for directions and consulted an old fashioned road map and we were back on track...no thanks to Gina.

By the end of the trip we arrived one hour later than Gina said we would and 1-1/2 hours later than Ross most definitely could have.

Most importantly,though, we got home, safe and sound.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today Lake Erie - Tomorrow Barnegat, NJ

We had our final visits with Joan this morning and then again this afternoon. 

In between visits, we stopped at a local winery which is called Johnson Estate Winery.  Coincidentally they just happened to be having their anniversary open house event.  There were munchies around and of course wine tasting.   Ross found a Merlot and a Chardonnay that he liked and bought a few bottles of each.

Afterwards, we drove over to the Lake Erie area and had lunch at Zebro's Harbor House . The restaurant  overlooks the lake.  

After we ate,  we parked at the public beach. It was very cold and windy by the water.   I have to say the sight of that large body of water was pretty impressive. 

This trip was an emotional one for Ross and his sister.  She has been through an awful lot.  Even though right now she appears to be quite fragile, I know that her recuperation will steadily progress.

I'm sure the next time we visit, she will be able to accompany us and show even more of the sites around this beautiful part of the country. 

Now it's time to pack up and get ready for an early start for our trip back home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rules To Follow From Bossy Big Brother Ross

We started off the day with the breakfast part of the B&B where we are staying.

The owner of the establishment, who is also the cook and breakfast server, entertained us with her perspectives of the political shenanigans that go on in the USA.   Although she is not a citizen, she has been in this country for over 20 years.  Her views as a sort of innocent by-stander were quite interesting.

We then went over to Joan's and visited with her for a little while.   Ross decided to play bossy big brother and  lecture Joan on what she should be eating... or more like it, what she should  not  be eating.  He also had a list of activity do's and don't's.    I reminded Joan that she should remind Ross that he should practice what he preaches... just sayin'.

Okay so after I dragged Ross out of Joan's house, my mission was to find at least one new LYS (local yarn store).  I have the  MotionX GPS  app on on my iPad.  After plugging the words "yarn" and "wool" into the search window, the GPS came up with about 6 stores.
 The first  one was right on Main St. in Bemus Point called Imagine.  The store did not have a terribly big selection of yarn, but what they had was very nice.

I did buy a new size 9 24" circular needle.  The cable on the one I am using now is 47" and is way too long for the Saroyan pattern scarf I am working on.  The 24" one  is working much better.

As we continued on our quest, we caught glimpses of the damage left behind from a recent tornado, saw lots of vineyards, and had a peek at Lake Erie which was off in the distance.

The details of the wild goose chase we went on looking for the other 5 stores will be discussed complete with photos in another post.

We headed back to our B&B for dinner, which is included as part of it's weekend package.  It was served on the enclosed porch and was quite lovely.

I have to say that this trip would probably be very enjoyable if it were another time, and under different circumstances.

I know that Ross feels grateful that he still gets to play bossy big brother to his little sister Joan.

And as always my heart and thoughts are constantly with Joe.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lovin' Our Visit So Far

The B&B where we are staying for the next few days has lived up to the very good reviews which it received on Trip Advisor. It is called   The Great Tree Country Inn & Stables.

We arrived around 4:00 p.m., nearly dusk. There are a couple of inches of snow on the ground up here.  The driveway and grounds were lighted.  The farmhouse, horse stables, snow, and  twinkling lights were very picturesque.

Samantha was waiting at the front door to greet us. She gave us a tour of the house. There are two lovely sitting rooms with overstuffed sofas, chairs and a fireplace in each.  I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow which will be served on the enclosed porch.

We are staying the in Ivy room.  There is a big four poster bed, a gas stove, and two cozy wing back chairs in front of each window.

We took a few minutes to get settled and then headed over to Joan and Ryan's.  They live about 9 miles from the B&B.   Joan is recuperating from major heart surgery.  We stayed just a little while because we did not want to tire her.

We said our good-byes and had dinner at one of the restaurants that Joan & Ryan recommended.

When we got back to the inn, and into our room, we were pleased to find our bed was turned down and the blinds were drawn.

Tomorrow, after a little visit with Joan, I think I just might have to drag Ross around to a few of the local yarn stores that I have already scoped out in the area.

Bemus Point is a lakeside community on Chautauqua Lake.  I plan on taking plenty of photos during our stay.

After a nine hour car trip, and somewhat of an emotional re-union with Joan and Ryan, I think we are ready  to call it a night.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bemus Point Here We Come

Tomorrow morning Ross and I will be taking a nine hour car drive to visit his sister Joan. 
Joan and her husband Ryan live in Bemus Point New York.  We haven't seen each other in about three years. 

We will be staying at a B&B.  I hope the reviews of the place that I found on Trip Advisor are accurate. It seems like a neat place, a working farm with horses and goats.

 We hope to be on the road by 7:00 a.m., right after we drop off our Maltest Rico at Camp BowWow

My knitting bag is packed with enough yarn to start another one of my favorite scarf patterns  the Saroyan.

I am going to load up my Kindle with a few books and I don't go anywhere without my iPad.

So hopefully between my knitting, my Kindle and Words with friends, the nine hour trip won't seem like a nine hour trip.

Of course, I will be keeping an eye out for any local yarn stores along the way.

I am going to try to keep up with my blog.  It will be the first time I will use the BlogPress app on my iPad to post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Make Sure Santa Gets My Letter

I am participating in National Blog Posting Month November 2011 hosting by the BlogHer website.
So far I have been able to think of something to write about every day. 
Today I have decided to use the Wednesday, November 16, writing prompt: "What is the moment that you leave childhood and enter adulthood?" (Guest Post by Catherine Gildiner, author of After the Falls)

I'm not sure that there was a moment.  I think the process was so gradual that it was almost imperceptible.

I felt very grown up driving my father's big Buick for the first time, I could barely see over the steering wheel and my feet just about reached the gas and brake pedals.

When I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma, I felt that I was entering a new phase of my life  Anyway,  I think that's the message the commencement speaker was attempting to relay to me and my fellow graduates.

I started my first job right out of high school.  I worked with people of all different ages and backgrounds. I felt that I was their equal. It was the first time I called an older person by their first name instead of Mr. or Mrs.  I had my own car, I was earning a paycheck and I was helping with the family expenses.  Just another small step in the process of becoming an adult.

Perhaps it was when my grandmother, who was one of the most treasured people in my life, passed away.
I was 18 years old.  I was too upset to go to the funeral or wake.  I remember my uncle lecturing me about how Grandma would have wanted me to be there.  But I knew I didn't have to prove anything to her.  Her love for me was unconditional.  I always knew and understood that.  But I know a part of my childhood died along with her.

Just before my father and I started down the aisle on my wedding day, he leaned over to me and asked if I was ok.  I remember looking back at my Mom and Dad, as I drove away with my new husband.  Surely, symbolically, that must have been the moment.

But I think I can honestly stay I took the final step when I gave birth for the first time.  As I held my sweet little girl in my arms, I felt an overwhelming sense of proctectiveness towards this brand new life.
Yes, if I could or had to pick one moment, it would have to be that moment. 

When I see my one year old grandson point up to the sky as he spots a flock of geese, or when my seven year old grand daughter reminds her mother that she has to make sure Santa gets her letter, I am reminded of the wonderment of childhood, and that is something that should never be forgotten.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Not About the Free Turkey

November 24, 2011 will be the 65th time I celebrate Thanksgiving.

I do have a lot of nice memories, but I have to admit not all of them live up to "Hallmark's" version.

When I was young,  Thanksgivings were spent with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

As I, my two brothers and three sisters got older, dinner was at my parent's house.

Then I got married and the day became a little more complicated. His parents or my parents? The compromise was that wherever we had dinner, we would save room for desert and have it with the other family.

Then we had children and by the end of the day, after dinner here and desert there, the kids were cranky, and so were we.

There were some sad Thanksgivings as our parents got older.

I have a vivid memory of my father's last Thanksgiving.  He had gotten out of the hospital after having a brain tumor removed.   He was gravely ill.   My father's three sisters made a whole Thanksgiving dinner and brought it down to my parent's house.   My dad could barely eat, but made a gallant attempt to be Thankful for his sister's kindness.

The next year, we had Thanksgiving at the house my Mom was renting, many miles away from the home she shared with my Dad and it was the first time she was ever on her own.

Then our marriage broke up and our kids had to decide who they would spend the day with.  Usually the compromise was, Thanksgiving day with their dad and the Saturday after Thanksgiving with me.

My mother died in 2009, two days before Thanksgiving.

This year is another particularly difficult one.  Joe has not been able to get around as easily as he did last year and he has not been able to eat very much lately.

So this year, where we spend Thanksgiving is not nearly as important as having everyone together for at least a little while.

Last year I knitted Christmas Stocking caps for all the kids.  I made eleven of them and had them done in time to hand out on the day we celebrated Thanksgiving.
This photo brings back a memory of a Thanksgiving that rivals any Hallmark moment.  I am thankful for that day.

This year it's not about the free turkey.  This year it's not about standing in line at Kohls at 2:00 a.m. for the door buster specials.

This year, for me it's about realizing how thankful I am for each and everyday that we can all be together -  whatever day that might be.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Morning Out in the Back Yard - A View From the Sunroom

I love looking out of my sunroom windows early in the morning.

This is what I saw this morning