Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving comes to an end today........but by no means do I stop giving thanks to God for all the blessings he has given me/us!  This month of literally giving daily thanks has made me stop and give attention to so many great things in my life.

Sunday will mark the first Sunday of Advent and as we move into this phase of the liturgical year, the beginning of a new year, we wish you all a wonderful life.  That sounds like a movie!
It's two!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One month from today, our baby is getting married.  We are excited for her, our hearts melt to see how excited they both are and we couldn't be prouder.  We see them making plans that reach beyond the wedding and we like that.  It just isn't about the day.  For their commitment to each other which reaches far, we are thankful.

And, today, I also give thanks for a very special person in my life!  Donna and I have been friends for a long time and in an earlier post, I did give thanks for our friendship, but she's just that special to me.

We had dinner last night and I was once again reminded of just how special she is.

Thank you for all you do, for every day offering to help me (and meaning it), for knowing what it's like, for listening (and still sticking with me after hearing!) and for allowing me to share in your life.  People (and unfortunately, family too) come in and out of your life and you don't always understand how that happens or why, but I know Donna will always be there for me and I for her.

We are looking forward to sharing the windy city wedding weekend with you and Jeff!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday, November 28th.....

Once again, I give thanks for a great job and more so that I don't have to work full time!!!  True, I don't have as much as some, but I know I have more than others.  So it's a balancing act really.  I see many that have more than we do, but they still aren't happy and don't balance things very well.

My great work schedule has me off the next three days!!  WOO-HOO!

So, I have been doing lots of chores in preparation for Christmas and of course, the wedding.  I get so excited about the wedding that I feel guilty that I'm not focused on the "reason for the season", which isn't true.

Today is "round one" of baking...making a few things that freeze or keep well.  And the day did not start out well.  I made some cookies that a co-worker made and gave me the recipe for.  They did NOT turn out or taste like hers at all.  They didn't even taste good!  When I am making a recipe, I'm one of those people that has to have all the ingredients measured and laid out in order (not because I'm compulsive but because I have left things out in the past!) before I begin and this time was no different!  But still, they didn't taste the same or didn't cook up right.  Lude thinks it might have been the flour.  It called for a particular flour (granted, the recipe came from a flour cookbook) and when we buy flour we open it and store it in airtight containers so I don't really know what type it was. BUT, the first 4 trays went right into the garbage!  I am not thankful for that!

I moved on to a more tried and true recipe, one that my sister-in-law, Von gave me in the late 70's.  Today marks the anniversary of her passing and I miss her.  She was married to Lude's oldest brother and it often felt like we were generations apart.  She was like a grandmother to our two girls.  She was a home economics teacher and passed a lot of that knowledge on to whoever desired it.  Cooking, crafting, sewing, homemaking....all of it.  I feel slighted that we don't have "this" time together....the time when OUR kids are old enough for us to go off and do things together.  I miss that her passing has taken Lude's brother away and we miss not being closer to him.  (I know we will finally make the consideration to move to FL when he decides to move back to OH!  Isn't that the way it works?)

But, I am grateful for baking days, with music and recipes that work and the lovely memories those recipes invoke.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's funny that whenever I do certain tasks, I must listen to music.  Music always has a way of lifting me up.  When I decorated the tree today, I needed Christmas music playing and I know when I am baking at the end of this week, I will again need to listen to music.    It balances and soothes me, it can get my toes a tappin' and get me on my feet for a step, it can make me cry or laugh.  But when I am writing or organizing my thoughts, I find music to be a distraction.  I don't have a particular genre of music that I am most thankful for, I love so many.  But I do have some that I don't enjoy.  Rap...gets a bad rap every time, I know, but I don't like it.  I enjoy country music, but I'm not a fan of that "twangy" ole country style and lyrics that involve pickup trucks and guns and deer and such.  I LOVE musicals and the ensemble of tunes.  And of course I like most pop singers.  Not a huge fan of classical music, however it can be counted on to bring my heart rate down a beat or 12 so I love that about it.  And of course, Christian music is one of my favorites. 
Like, Natalie Grant, I enjoy listening to well as many others.   I am grateful for music and the power that it has.  While I am certainly not a great singer, I am a great choir member adding my voice to make a unified  great sound.  Thank you, Lord.

Monday, November 26, 2012

And then there are pets......they're on my list of something that I give thanks for.  Not for me, because we all know I am NOT a pet lover.  I’m certainly not an animal hater, though.  I appreciate the value of pets to others, I just don’t share that same feeling.  It's upsetting sometimes when pet lovers don't respect my feelings about pets in the same way that they expect me to respect their obsessions over pets, and come on, there are some obsessive pet owners out there.  

It was hard enough in the beginning to feed/medicate ourselves never mind an additional mouth to feed.  And, how do people do it who go to work all day?  While I never want to think more of my “possessions” than I should, we worked VERY hard to get the few nice things that we did have and I just wasn’t willing to have an animal destroy it.   Let's admit it, if you could "PICK" the pair of shoes, the end table or piece of upholstered furniture that your beloved animal was going to chew or "mark" wouldn't you rather it wasn't the new one from Arhaus that you just finished paying off?

The girls began the “pet begging” and it wasn’t long before we caved in.  We used to tell the girls, “you can get whatever pet you want when you have your own place!”  Well, one day, Jess came to us in all the dramatic seriousness she could muster and said “what if I should die young, I will never had had a chance to have a dog!”  Oh, good Lord!  So, along came Scruffy!  

We’ve done our pet time…..The training cages, the food, the vet bills, the boarding when you wanted to leave the house for 2 days, the bitten mailman, and the final straw, the "putting down" of someone so beloved when he could function no more.  (I do miss him some days!)

I am thankful for and LOVE the true love and companionship that people get from their's just not me.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

FEARS……I’ve always told my kids that there is a great value in FEAR. 

When they would say to me, “I’m afraid of that dog” (well, OKAY, Jess was never afraid of animals!) I would always tell them that their FEAR is something that safeguards them.  It’s a feeling that they get that keeps them from doing something that they instinctively know has an element of danger or wrong to it.  Otherwise, we would just plow, head-first, into crazy situations.  They didn’t have a lot of fears, so we were lucky.  We’ve tried hard over the years to not pass on or contribute to the development of fears in the girls. 

But there are irrational fears and I categorize all my own later-life fears as irrational fears because I am, after all an adult and able to reason things.  I still harbor a fear of electricity….that’s right!  Now you know!  I once saw a movie when I was a teenager where the main character was electrocuted in a bathtub by a toaster!  What a toaster was doing in the bathroom, I don’t remember.  It stayed with me…to this day.  They didn’t have one of those “never use this in the bathtub” labels on that toaster.  I think that’s what must have happened.

There are those fears of things of which you can do nothing about.  Those types of fears just bug the #%+€ out of me!  Things that you have no control over can stilll be feared but still!  When I find myself whispering to myself, "now, stop it!" how much more irrational have I become?  I do harbor some of these fears as we go into this last month before Kathleen’s wedding.  But, they are mostly things that upset me, not her and frankly, I just need to get rid of those irrational fears.

Anyway….I think fears, are an opportunity for growth and I’m very thankful that I get those opportunities. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I am enjoying one of my favorite times of the day.  It has ALWAYS been one of my favorite times.  Quiet, dark morning moments with coffee, a blanket and either a book, the rosary, my iPad, the paper or just my thoughts (which can be dangerous)!

Today,  we are having our first snowfall of the season....actually it began last night.  It amounts to nothing, but it's still happening.

The girls have always been good morning sleepers.  Jess used to get up very early but as she got older, all we had to do was place a stack of books at the foot of the crib and she would entertain herself for hours.  It was fun to listen to her in there either making funny sounds in place of the words or singing.  When she was ready to be out of bed, she would announce it and the slaves would come running!  She just got up and went then.

Kathleen just slept later, but when she got up, she needed transition time.  She'd sheepishly come downstairs and pull the blanket back and crawl under next to me where she would cocoon for awhile. Jess would try to lure her out, but that was always met with grunts of disapproval and then my intervening , "Jess, leave her alone!  She's not ready!"

Leah and Lanah are coming for a visit!!!!!  This will be great fun to see how big she has gotten.  The 4:30 mass is for my Mom and Dad today and we will try to get over there so my Dad doesn't have to take the bus over to the church.  And afterwards, I will try a new Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

Today, my great-niece, Mackenzie is dancing ceili at her regional Oreachtas in Philadelphia.  So, I wish her well.....GO KENZIE!

So, everyone is still asleep.....I have my coffee and my iPad.  The tree is up, the snow is falling and today is going to be another fun day.

So many things to be thankful for, but, thank you, Lord for the gift of beautiful snowflakes!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I am going all crazy when I record that the thing I am most thankful for today is the fact that there is no hammer in the basement!  My computer is running SO slow, that I can no longer sit here and watch it.  I have resorted to that never, never do action of pulling the plug!  I just don't know how this happens.  Lude says "you have so much STUFF on there!"  But wasn't it Lude that marveled eight or so years ago saying, "Mary, you will NEVER fill this computer, THAT'S how big it is.  You will never need more space.".

I realize that it's not necessarily the amount of stuff I have on here but WHAT I have on here and I just need to take the time to "spring clean" my computer.

Or take a hammer to it.......thank you Lord that the hammer never made it back down to the tool box from the garage last week!  I'd have a lot more to clean up and some serious explaining to do.

We are still the happy, happy innkeepers of two girls here!  It's always such a pleasure and gift to have them home for weekends especially at the holiday.  Now that kClare is about to take a spouse and lifelong partner, these wonderful visits over any holiday is at the expense of another family not with their daughter.  I know how I feel when the girls are unable to be home so I never forget how special this time is.  Jess is not here because  she is working and while I am not always a good sport about people having to work and miss such occasions, both girls have chosen a work path that is regularly centered around holidays when people travel, come to cities to visit with their families and end up, "hey, let's go see that show tonight!".   They are both in essence, freelance artists (Jess more than kClare) so you work when the show is offered to you.

Today is Black Friday and I do believe this retail day has lost it's luster for me!  I can appreciate the person who has waited and held off making that big ticket purchase for 6 months, those people will really get good deals today.  But for us, we have very little shopping to do these days (that's right, girls, no PREZZIES this year) and no one felt the big urge to get out there.   We had a lovely lunch at Panera's and then made our way to the mall.  I'm going all superficial here.....I had to get my nails done!  While normally, I would think that to be the worst use of anyone's time today, I am truly trying to keep all 10 nails growing well for the was on my calendar to go for a manicure on Sunday after the girls left, but the cooking and cleaning got to them and one broke and I couldn't wait.  So......I hated to do that today, but it had to be done. My big Black Friday spending!  But, it gave the others a chance to shop the mall and be malled by all the other shoppers.  They did go down to the Sears store where my nephew Owen has been help hostage working the appliance department for 24 hours straight!!!!  

This afternoon I had a little spot on my arm removed about which the dermatologist spoke badly about for only a second....but I still heard her.  She thought maybe if she only referenced the possibility that I might not notice!  HA.  And, while she was at it, she decided to hack away at a few spots on my back and I had to stop her.......I'll look like a spotted leopard come December 29th.  Guess who isn't taking their jacket off that day!

But our evening ended at the Irish Club, conveniently located next door for some family fun.  Joined by lots of family, we played the Club's game of "steak shoot"......I know, I know.  Is this a made up thing?  

But, it was more about getting together.  I remember with great fondness when my Mother and her two sisters would host big family meals on a couple of holidays during the year and Thanksgiving was always one of them.  We cousins would get together and horse around and play games all day while the adults cooked food, gabbed and played cards.  It's a very vivid memory for me going to each of their homes on those occasions and at one point tonight I had that deja Vu moment.  It was very nice.

But, I wished I HAD that hammer at the Irish club because the steak shoot number caller was a bit extreme.  So, coming full circle, I am yet grateful that the hammer was not within reach.

Happy Anniversary to my Dad.....while my Mom is no longer with him, I KNOW that he is a little sad today.  We woke him from a little nap today when we visited, so it wasn't too evident, but I know he is.  How could you not be?  While I would love to take away that sadness, it's all part of the process.  We are all going to experience this same thing and it makes him stronger and even more thankful to be living, living well and with so many of his children close by.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to one and all!

I have endeavored to keep up with my "30 Days of Thanksgiving" and have come to the one day of this month set aside for extra thanking!

Today, I give thanks to God for all things.  The good that excites me, the horrific things that never stop teaching me, the crazy and mundane things that make it all interesting.  I never forget how all these things are made possible but through God.

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  And I hope that if I didn't have so, so much to be thankful for, I would still enjoy everything that Thanksgiving means.   Like ALL things in their beginnings, thanksgiving was religious based but now has evolved into a very secular day of celebrating.  That's OK with me....thanks is thanks no matter what religion you are and I know Who to direct my thanks to!

I love too that Thanksgiving day comes with it's own traditions and everyone puts their own spin on it.  It almost always revolves around a turkey and just moves from there.  We have kept a lot of traditions that my McCafferty family did and add some Kemock traditions as well.  But like I said, the day comes pretty much with it's own menu.  And, I think the "smells" of thanksgiving are one of the really great things about this menu/meal.

Thanksgiving means family gatherings and I know my McCafferty is getting  together right now where Tom Turkey is almost always joined by Little Bo's sheep!  Yes, lamb.  Otherwise Uncle Sean will cry!  The last several Thanksgivings we have spent with the Kemock family after Nicole and Scott moved back to Ohio.  It was the year that finally, we were going to make the trip to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with them and Scott gets a job here.  But it's been great because for one holiday all year, we get to spend it with Lude's brother, Nick who comes to town from Florida.

And as I said, everyone puts their own spin on the traditions of thanksgiving and Scott and Nicole serve TURDUCKEN!  They do cook a plain turkey breast for those that can't handle change well!  She said that this years Turducken is "new and improved", so we'll see what that means!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.......I'll post a turducken picture tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Love and laughter are also high on my list of things I am thankful for.  For all the obvious reasons....but mostly because I am grateful to be in a very loving relationship where there is also a lot of laughter.  I'm grateful to not be in a place where I do not receive love or where I have no one to give love to.

We are very busy fixing the fixings for Thanksgiving over here.  Although we are not hosting dinner tomorrow, we are going to cook a turkey and just some stuffing.  But seeing as how kClare and Louisa will not be with us for Christmas, we wanted to have a little Christmas around the house.  So, the tree is up now.  I won't get any ornaments on it (unless the girls are up for doing that while they are here), I am quite content to just have the tree up and lit and will finish the decorating later.  It's presence alone commands Christmas, at least the secular part of Christmas!  When you walk in the room and the tree is there all lit up and tall, well, it just screams Christmas.  That was what I was going for.....just screaming out "hey, it's Christmas here!"

Thanksgiving Eve was always a lot of fun when I was younger.  Probably for most who were fortunate to have such big feasts.  Mom always made great stuffing and she prepared it on Wednesday night.....ah, the smells!  We had several days off school, so my sister and I would sleep in the basement on the pullout couch so we could watch late night TV.....Andromeda Strain!  One of the last movies I recall watching from the couch on Thanksgiving Eve and one of my favorites still.

So....for all of you who are preparing stuffing (with a lovely martini, because it is after all "martini-Wednesday!), I wish love and laughter, continued memories of Thanksgiving Eves gone by and a hope that you will continue to create those memories for the generations after us.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am very thankful for technology, a list of things that would be way too long for here!  I include all things electrical in that list as well because, electricity does, after all, power everything on my technology list.

I guess if I had to say what one piece of technology I was MOST grateful for, it just might have to be the washing machine!  I know, I know.  (Those who know me thought I was going to say my new Samsung Galaxy 3S, right?!  OH, but I am super glad for that!)

I have had trouble over the past ten years accepting some of the ramifications that have come from the development of such wonderful technology!  Like 10 year olds with better phones than me!  All kidding aside, really? 10 year olds with phones?, touches, notebooks...all of it.  I struggled with that back when the girls were young as well.  What child needs a TV and phone in their bedroom?  Now, they carry their phone and TV in their back pocket.

But my struggles aren't just about children.  I continue to struggle with adults who are required to be so connected to their work.  WE as consumers, developers and manufacturers have created a living style that we are fast having trouble keeping up with and justifying.  What was once held aside for the elite of any company is now the common and expected of employees.  And for very little in return besides the feeling of "I feel so lucky to just HAVE a job."

For the past 15 years I have listened to patrons at work ramble on about technology advancements.  The things they say and how they justify it in their lives is very interesting.  They don't like that a 10 year old carries their own phone AND/BUT they willingly justify why their job requires them to be connected to work 24/7 (stand there and take an all important work call while in the middle of a conversation with me) for less compensation (not even "pay") than 10 years ago and they don't realize that it's the very same thing.  They won't use our automated self checkout machines because they don't want to put anyone out of a job!  I wonder if that's how they feel about themselves?  Do they think that they wouldn't be able to keep their job if they didn't allow their phone ring at 3 in the morning because there was some problem at work.  They don't get that because THEY have that phone to answer, that in the not so distant past, someone ELSE was put out of a nightshift job because THEY were willing to answer their phone at 3 in the morning? Or while standing in front of me during our conversation?

When the patrons start complaining about all that at work though, I just respond with, "well, you wouldn't want to still be washing your clothes with a rock down by the river in the middle of winter now, would you?  It's almost always met with this severe question-like look!

While I wish I didn't see my good friends and siblings so tied to their jobs by technology (because they don't seem satisfied), I sure am grateful for my washing machine!

Would I be any stronger resisting that working lifestyle if I had to?  I'm not sure because as I've mentioned before, I am eternally grateful for the fact that I don't have to.

Sounds like I'm not really grateful for technology?  Not true.  I am not always so happy about it's place in our world, the shift in etiquette it has created and the ever growing attachment to it.  At the same time, I admit I am attached to my iPad!

But I really, really AM grateful that when I meet my neighbors these days, it's not down by the river with a rock and my dirty knickers!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Oddly enough, I am thankful for disappointments.

They help me to know the things that matter most.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am very grateful for the awesome magic of sunrises and sunsets.  Sometimes while on vacations, we will get up early to watch the sunrise.  At home, we often chase after a good view of a terrific sunset whether it's on a beach or from the hillside at Mapleside Farms.  And, I am often up early to watch sunrises (at least partial).

Like the day they present themselves to, each one is different.....but still miraculous.

And on this day, I express my gratitude for the "feel" that Sunday gives.
Church, dinners, relaxing, having fun, hanging out.....and more.

Sunday's are the only real day that have a "feel" for us.  Because Lude works out of the house and I work part time, the days don't feel the same to us as they do to others.

We no longer have "Sunday night syndrome"

We don't have "hump days".....that's all I'm saying about that

We don't celebrate the "Friday butt dance" although we can appreciate that it's an important part of the feel of a week to others

It DOES feel like a good day to put the tree up......!

So, for today, Sunday, we give thanks for all the good things we have!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 17.......

I am so very grateful for the kindness of strangers.......

The people that come in where I work and say things to me that brighten my day beyond even what the sun (that is very lacking today) can do!

Thank you kind stranger!  You made my day!

OH, and Happy Birthday Gerry....had great fun celebrating with you!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I am thankful today, for all the fun things that have and are happening in my life.  While my life might be busy, it's busy with very fun stuff.  Panicked because I can't work in a day to do some serious holiday baking or candy fun is that?  Worried about squeezing in time for such frivolous things as getting nails done and haircuts.  I'm so grateful that I can do those things.  If I just sit and reflect on all the things that are not going well for me these days I would be very embarrassed to admit that I couldn't find something to be grateful for when I lost a nail!  Lude and I regularly turn to each other to say "we're so lucky!"  Because while we don't have it ALL, we have ENOUGH.   Enough to do good for others while still keeping a little happiness for ourselves.  Balancing home/work/faith are really what's important to us.  Without success in one, the others don't fair very well.

We can say with honesty that we truly have everything we need and then some.

I am truly grateful!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today, I give thanks for my church friends, especially those in my choir!
We practice together on Thursdays and we are working on some wonderful and complicated pieces for Christmas.  They are a fun bunch of people to be around!
Sing out loud, friends!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today, I am thankful for my Doctor's Office and staff who squeezed me in today not once, but twice and with a smile!  Walk in, wait 2 minutes and get called in!  WOW!!!!  Love you guys!

Today, everything I touched crumbled.  Anything that could go wrong, went wrong.  NOTHING, and I do mean nothing, important, but still, a snag at EVERY turn.

BUT, I realize now something so great about those encounters.  Everyone taking responsibility for their own issues and not making excuses.  It can be exhausting listening to them.

Everyone so terribly sorry for being late, things not being ready when said, people not showing up for appointments sending me private emails to apologize and offering me free coupons for my troubles.

Despite all the issues, I did get a lot done today!  I feel very strangled some the noose became a little loose!

Maybe it's the martini....because it IS martini Wednesday at our house!!!!  Yet another thing to be thankful for!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Who isn't thankful for good books & authors, I ask you?

Some of my favorites include:  Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Robin Cook, Joy Fielding, Tess Gerritsen, Sue Grafton, Stuart Woods, Jane Green, Kate Jacobs, Jonathon Kellerman, Dean Koontz, Michael Palmer, James Patterson, Maeve Binchey, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult and the list goes on and on!!!

I am currently reading John Grisham's newest novel called.......The Racketeer

Monday, November 12, 2012

Continuing a month of Thanksgiving.....

For my senses and the health of my senses, thank you, Lord.  'nough said!
Going out to smell the roses now!

I am also THANKFUL for booking vacations......thankful for the birthday surprise from Lude of a vacation!  So sweet that he wanted to take me away after the wedding for a little R&R.    

Booked today.....count down begins! 



Sensational!  Thank you Lord, for my senses!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Today I am thankful for all the veterans of all the conflicts in our history.  We didn't get where we are without them!  Thanks for fighting off the bad guys!

But I also give thanks for these two beautiful days of sunshine and warm weather in Ohio.   We have accomplished a lot these past couple days......the last plants pulled out and the Christmas lights up!

Bring it on........

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Giving Thanks for all good things.........

I am thankful for my siblings and their spouses.....PJ & Judy. Kathleen & Will, Marty & Cindy, Owen & Vicki and Sean & Laraine......and for Lude's brothers Nick & Bob and their significant others!  

WOW, that's a lot!

Friday, November 9, 2012

I have to do some countdowns.......there are SO many, many exciting things coming up!

It's 49 Days till Kathleen's wedding.  WOW, that's like, soon!
67 Days till the much coveted trip to the Dominican republic!  Can't wait...gonna need it!
127 Days till St Patrick's Day on Chicago (for you girls going with me!)
298 (long) Days till we take the Europe Cruise with friends!
Can you tell I downloaded an event countdown app?????!

Today I would like to say how thankful I am for My friends!
If I named them all individually, there might not be enough coffee in the world.   I have a handful of very close ones that no matter what, I can count on them in a heartbeat.  I'm lucky to have them and I hope they know they can count on me.

Love you all!

Thursday, November 8, 2012 52 days or something!!!!!!

Today, I give thanks for two very loving, people.

My Mother is gone now but never forgotten.  I know how much she loved me and how much my Dad does, too.   My parents gave me everything I needed to be a good and productive person.

Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7 of Giving Thanks

I would be very remiss if I didn't express my heartfelt thanks for Lude's job and work ethic.  I am most grateful that he works a job that he LOVES because it makes all the difference in the world.  He loves his job and company and has a number of close work peers that mean a lot to him.  He doesn't travel as much as he did, but even when he does, he doesn't mind.  He's good at what he does and he's respected in his field.  Along with that, I give thanks that because of all that, I am able to not have to work full time.  

Again, I ask, how do you give thanks?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What an interesting week we had last week.   I did my 5th Scrapbooking Workshop since September 1st and it was on the evening that "Sandy" came to town.  I called to see if they were still planning to have me come and despite the weather, I had the best turnout ever.  Driving, however, was scary.

When I got home, the power went out and we didn't get it back for three days.

We've had power outages before, but this one, for some odd reason, was very different.  Maybe it was the water that came into the basement, a first for us.  We needed to get a generator (which, Hallalujah, we will never need again since we have it!) and our neighbors loaned us an industrial shop vac.  Within minutes the water receded and we got things dried up.  But, boy, oh boy, it sure does disrupt things.

Even so, I am so very thankful for the roof over my head and my comfy bed, especially after we travel!

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's MONDAY and OK, I'm thankful, even for Mondays (she says, very grudgingly)!!  
On Monday's I head out to work and for that alone, I give thanks.  But for the job I LOVE so much, I am truly grateful for.  I wished I'd found it a little earlier in my life, but I've been with the library now for 21 years.  
When the girls were little we would go to the library at least twice a week. They were voracious readers and we couldn't keep enough books around. We were never book "buyers" so the library worked for us.  When Jess was in Jr High, one of the library staff came up to me and said "how would you like to come work for us?" And the rest was history.

So, for my job, that has brought so much joy into all our lives, I am thankful

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Today, among my many blessings from God, I am thankful for Louisa who officially enters our family at the end of this year when she is united with our baby girl!  We've observed little things about them both that tell us they have found their lifelong companion.  

While in Chicago this past weekend, kClare and I were very busy on Friday running from place to place getting this, fixing this, tending to that....I don't know how she does it.   At times, she was terribly frustrated by different things, but along came Louisa and her eyes lit up, her heart healed and her love poured out.  I just know.  

Louisa's family and friends threw them a shower held in her Mother and Father's home.  It was a lovely visit and party.  Louisa's Mother, Cynthia gave kClare a beautiful gold thimble that belonged to Louisa's great, great, great grandmother, Helena.  Cynthia felt she just couldn't think of a better person to pass it onto than kClare.  I know kClare was deeply touched as was I, and I know had my own Mother been alive she would have been happy as well.


The girls are excited to check out the responses that have come!

Today I attended service at the Church of the Holy Nativity where the girls belong and as usual the service was beautiful.  It's such a small, quaint, country church (although not really IN the country) in Clarendon Hills; it's where their service will be in December.  We witnessed the baptism of a sweet baby boy and I watched as my own baby went forward with the Good Book to lead the little children out for their own activities.

Now, Jessica and I are on our way home.  Her visit cut short in NY by closed offices and subways she returned to Chicago in time to be at the shower and come back with me for a little visit.

YES, I am thankful.

The Lord blesses me everyday and I try never to forget it even when the path is rough, even when it's not easy, even when it's not convenient!

How do YOU thank the Lord.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today, along with all things in my life, I give thanks for my baby girl,
Kathleen....or Kath...or kClare....take your pick.

My sweet girl who will forever be my baby has grown into a remarkable woman.  Spirited and gentle,  calm and turbulent all at the same time.  Sweet and loving, a person you can always count on.  She is my child who willingly avoids the "path of least resistance" in order to be true to herself and her craft and I couldn't be prouder of her.  When I had Kathleen, I gave up a LOT in my life to work part time and I really enjoyed that baby time I had with her (and Jess, too) and I wouldn't change a second of it.

She is designing costumes for theatrical companies in Chicago and it's just an incredible lifestyle.  I spent yesterday with her while she answered dozens of phone calls from stage managers, actors, theaters about this and that!  As well as her "day" job in alterations at David's Bridal (that's a whole other life, as you can imagine).  We chased after items needed for costumes and it was non-stop!  Of course it wasn't all work and no play because we did get to do some personal shopping....YAY BOOTS!  

Just like the Willis Tower will forever be referred to as the Sears Tower, (I'm in Chicago now), they will forever be referred to as my "babies".....and the THANKS just keep on coming!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Today, I give thanks for my daughter, Jessica and her continued good health.  I am thankful that she is living her dreams even though EVERY DAY it is hard.  I am thankful that she has such a strong spirit and the will to be successful in her craft.  I'm glad that back when, she took the road towards her OWN goal and never looked back even when she had to present that goal to somewhat unwilling parents!

I  am attempting to devote November and my postings to "Thirty Days of Thanksgiving" ( mainly because I have so much to be thankful for.  As well, I am using this as a gateway for the season of Advent.  We have so much already and now we are entering into this season of giving and I can't get anyone to stop the madness with me!!!!

Visit that website and begin YOUR 30 days's not too late.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Month of Thanksgiving......

I have so much to be thankful for that I don't know where to begin.

Julie Andrews sang "you start at the very beginning,  ♪♫♫♪. it's a very good place to start" but I can't.  I need to start with Lude because he is the base for all that I am thankful for and happy about in my life.  I appreciate my life before Lude, my "beginning", so much better because of Lude

So, truly I need to start with him.

The rock in my life that I lean on.
The soft spot in my life where I crash.

For this, I am truly thankful.