Friday, November 30, 2018

European Robin

Thanks to Winnie and Sarah for this little light-up robin picture from the North Carolina Arboretum gift shop.  The clerk said it was a European robin.  I don't know about that, but I know I'm happy to have it.  I'm always drawn to birds in art work, but in real life I do NOT want to be in a room with a bird flying around.

The Newport Aquarium used to have a space with birds, some of which did fly around.  I was always glad when the grands said they wanted to skip it.  In recent times there have been otters in that space, and that's been better.

I need to go to church and take down the November visuals.  Run some other errands.  Groceries would be nice.  So would a hair cut.  Back to the bike shop to order a Christmas gift for Sarah.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Dual Season Week

This week feels like a dual season.  Christmas coming quickly.  But, still November and the last of the fall candle still burning.

And the weather.  Cold this morning with a little snow falling but the promise of 60-degree temperatures on the weekend.  There may yet be a chance for me to plant those bulbs and do some clearing up.

I am a bit-by-bit person, so I'm Christmas decorating a bit at a time.  Tucked away the Thanksgiving decorations yesterday.

Has anyone else seen those retro candles in the catalogs?  Molded Santas, angels, trees, etc?  I used to love those - we saved them carefully from year to year, maybe adding a new one.  Who knew that the nostalgic re-dos would be so price-y. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Blue Skies

Winnie and I on Friday at Grove Park Inn in Asheville, trying out Highlands Brewing Hansel and Gret Ale.  Notice the architecture and the gorgeous blue sky.  Nearby a wedding was about to take place, the bride had beautiful weather for an outdoor late November wedding.

And on Sunday, here's Sarah sitting outside at New Belgium Brewery.  There were kids on skateboards and running around having a great time.  Blue sky once again.

By the time we went to Winter Lights on Monday night, we were bundled up, but the light display was well worth a little cold.

When I drove home today, there were light snow flurries most of the way.  When I got home, there as snow covering the grass.  No blue skies.  But I am grateful for an uneventful trip.

Coming and going I stopped at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.  I love to look at the art, and the bathroom has fresh flowers, but really, I always stop for the corn pudding.  On the way down there were mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet potatoes as well and today fingerling potatoes and carrots.  Nice corn bread.  I have one potato left to slice for breakfast tomorrow.  It looks like a Yukon gold, nicely roasted.  Of course they have meat too, but for me it's all about the veggies.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Small Dog

Today is my last North Carolina day and I am doing some homework with this tiny rescue dog companion.  I do not take her companionship lightly because it's hard for her to trust.  Especially with men.  I think she had a hard time in a previous life.  This life is pampered.

Tonight we're going to Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum.  I have my heavy coat ready for outside walking.  Yesterday was a warm and sunny day.  We sat outside at New Belgium Brewing and watched the river flow by.

We also went to Sierra Nevada Brewery, an amazing place.  Huge with lots of seating places and outside gardens.  I've heard that they are good neighbors to the small local brewers. 

And the day before, a trip to Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread houses.  And the people dressed up for an outside wedding.  It's a wonderful place - maybe a picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Stack of Baby Quilts

A stack of baby quilts from our meeting on Monday.  I think we had nine.    

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  There is much to be thankful for.

I am packing.  I always dream of being that person who has the car loaded the night before but it never happens.  Of course, I did have a church meeting last night and a last-minute sewing job for a customer who needed something for Thanksgiving, so I need to be easy with myself

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Nora and I are hanging out this weekend while the rest of the family is gone.  She is an easy hanger-outer.  A friend staying overnight Friday night.  Mall shopping with me on Saturday.  Skating on Saturday night.  I introduced her to the joy of the hot bar at Whole Foods.

Here she is practicing her trombone, which she hasn't played much since learning the bassoon.  She is thinking ahead to marching band next fall when she'll need to return to the trombone.

In a bit we will be going to my house for awhile so I can finish a sewing job that I need for tomorrow.  No baby quilt to take to tomorrow's baby quilt group.  I have even had one sandwiched for the past month but haven't worked on it.

While I'm home, if the sun is shining and the temperature rising, I need to bring in the garden hose and shut off the water from the inside.  Last year I forgot to shut off the water.  Oops.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Some Say in Ice

My back yard this morning.  Usually there are tall ornamental grasses but this morning they are covered in ice and drooping.

They remind me of this favorite Robert Frost poem:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

I learned this morning that a former boss is in her last hours of her life.  She changed my life in huge and positive ways and I wish her a peaceful last journey.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Red Table

This red formica kitchen table was one of the few pieces of furniture still in my house when I first visited it.  My daughter Sarah loved it, so I put it in the purchase agreement, doubting that the heirs would want to part with it.  But they did, or were anxious for a sale.

The table lived in Asheville for eleven years and just came back to me.  It originally had two chairs, but those had seen better days over the years.

It is in my bedroom for now, and I am enjoying having a bedside table large enough to actually put things on.  My bedroom is located over the furnace and is the warmest room in the house, and I can picture bringing in a chair and doing some handwork during winter evenings.  We'll see.

Remember that picture from the Nature Center last week, when the temperature was in the 60's?  Today the high will be in the 30's.  It's hard for my body to adjust to these temperature changes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What To Do?

Under the newly-placed Christmas quilt, that belonged to Winnie's mother,  is a slightly baggy burgundy slip cover.  And under that is a beige floral sofa bed from fifteen years ago.  That floral is not a good look, even I know that.

But, what to do?  I know nothing about picking out a sofa these days.  Previously, it was easier.  I just went to the small local furniture store and picked one out.  It always looked nice and ok, if not wonderful.  

I find furniture placement in my Cape Cod living room to be awkward at best.  Sometimes I look through pictures of neighborhood houses for sale to see how those living rooms look, but they are no better than mine.

And where do I find a small local furniture store?  There is one near by but it's out of my price range.  And I still don't know what would look good.  

For the holidays, I'm happy with this quilt arrangement.  For the summer, I got a white bed cover, which will look nice on a bed but won't appear on the sofa again.

I also need a mattress, maybe I'll just get that and forget the sofa.  But goodness, mattresses are even more confusing.

Does anyone have words of wisdom? 

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Tree and the Cat

When Sarah was here this weekend, she helped me put together my new tree and she very nicely put on the lights.  She said I won't like her when I take them off, but she is wrong!

Sarah got a late start back because of a visiting cat.  The grands adored that cat, who just showed up on the porch, plump and friendly, on Saturday night.  The cat soon had a box house with towels and all the petting a cat could wish for.

Today Sarah took it to a local vet, who said the cat was chipped but he wasn't able to read the chip.  The animal shelter had better luck and Sarah met the owner's ex girlfriend   Apparently the couple adopted the cat together but are no longer a couple and the boyfriend got custody of the cat, which was registered to the woman. The boyfriend's dad died a few days ago and the boyfriend has just been in and out and hadn't been able to stay to let the cat back in.  It really was the friendliest cat ever.

And, good news, I had my car detailed and it is amazing.  And I can check off one of my goals for the year. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Family Visit

Sarah's car arrived from North Carolina at 1 a.m. Saturday morning for a weekend visit.  

Here we are at Fifty West having lunch yesterday.  A restaurant meal with my family is one of life's nice pleasures for me.  

Aaron worried a bit as he always does at a new place since he's always hungry and what if he doesn't like the food.  His plain cheeseburger with fries was just fine.

This morning my house is full of sleeping folks.  I went to bed early and missed the game of Clue that started late.  An overnight visit with Aunt Sarah is tradition.  

A cat came out of nowhere and got lots of petting on the front porch.  Life will be less complicated if it's gone this morning.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Come Wednesday (On Thursday)

If I didn't post these powerful words two years ago, I should have.  But now, two years later, they still resonate just as powerfully.  

By the way, just saying, Hasan has a great book:  Written Off:  How One Man's Journey Through Poverty, Disability and Delinquency is Transforming the Juvenile Justice System. 
By A. Hasan Davis
Come Wednesday
I will kiss my partner good morning, 
turn on the hallway lights
then wake my kids for school.
Come Wednesday
I will return to my unfinished Tuesday work
on behalf of all children and families in America.

Come Wednesday
My America will not fall into chaos,
even if my candidate did not win the seats of power
Come Wednesday
I will accept the election of new leaders
As a statement from those who chose to be heard.
But, I will not accept their election as a raging scream
Powerful enough to drown out the voices and rights of all the “other” Americans
Because my America is greater than
The rhetoric of fear that has spewed
Uncorked from all orifice of this political machine.
And my American is stronger than
The identity politics that seek every nook and cranny
Of human difference, hoping to widen the gaps within U.S.
Come Wednesday
I will choose to walk another mile with people
Who do not look like me.
Come Wednesday
I will choose to discuss our future potential with people
Who do not talk like me
Come Wednesday
I will choose to offer an affirming hug or strong supporting hand
To anyone who may have need of them,
Even if they had never imagined we could stand taller together
Come Wednesday
I will still be an American who grew up in the South
Come Wednesday
I will still be an American of African descent
Come Wednesday
I will still be a proud American who has:
Meditated with Buddha,
Fasted with Allah,
Lit candles with Yahweh, and
Prayed with God
And not one time felt
an imposter,
or betrayer,
or fool.
Come Wednesday
I guess I will keep my own promise of
Making America Greater,
Just like I have done at the break of every other new day
I have been blessed to meet.
Come Wednesday
I hope you will join me
On this long, worn road
Towards tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

That Day in November

Yesterday was a day off school for the grands, since their schools are polling places.  They had morning dentist appointments, then we went to lunch at The Gruff.  Nora's soup of the day was chicken dumpling, which she loved.  (Thought of you, Joanne.)

After a visit at my house, we headed out to the Cincinnati Nature Center.  Every year I look forward to that day in early November when the temperature is in the 60's, a last farewell to summer.  There were still many leaves on the trees, there was blue sky.  Perfect.  We stayed just long enough, then headed back toward their house since Aaron had basketball practice.  The Nature Center is about a mile from the baseball/softball complex where they play and it was fun to take one more pass and look at the empty fields.

I am relieved that yesterday's voting is pretty much past.  More votes to count in Georgia.  I am reminded of listening to the speakers before the Women's March in Cincinnati, two years ago.  The speakers were urging women to run for office, and it looks like all across the country women took that message to heart.

Maybe even someone in the crowd that day - for the first time, an African American woman was elected to the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.  (Cincinnati is in Hamilton County.)  She had $12, 562 and her opponent had $389,987. 

It looks as if a legacy of this president will be more women in elected office.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


It's the kind of place you don't really notice until you need it.  Between Sweet Frog, the yogurt place, and Jungle Jim's, the big international grocery store.  I was so happy to be able to take Nora to get the shattered screen on her phone replaced and a new home button put on and make her world right again.  I felt like such a grandmother.

The story is that she zipped her phone into her fleece when she was bike riding and the zipper slowly came unzipped and the phone flew out.  Both grands are really reluctant to take me up on any offers to spend money on them, but she quickly agreed to this.  An hour later, after a stop across the street to the mall for a pretzel and dash into the music store, and the phone was fixed.  A friendly technician.  I recommend this place.

It must have rained a lot during the night, but I didn't hear it.  Lots of oak leaves down from my neighbor's tree.  It's supposed to get cooler throughout the day.

Election day, finally.  Go vote, please.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Tough Loss

Hard football game on Saturday evening.  14 - 8 playoff loss.

His mom said it best: 

The disappointment in his face breaks my Heart! It was a tough loss and it could have ended either way. But I can honestly say he left it all on the field last night. So proud of him. Last year he played no defense. It was his heart’s desire to play D so he spent many many hours at the gym and practicing at home. Hard work paid off and he ended the season starting at middle linebacker. He made mistakes along the way like everyone else but I can honestly say he helped his team every game. You can’t ask for more than that from a kid.

Way to go buddy and way to go jr wolves!!!

Kids are resilient, though.  Now it's on to basketball.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pies, Filled

The pies were baked and, mostly, eaten.  Turns out that pies are more popular than cake, at least at my church.  Understandable, I would choose pie over cake any time.  And, I want to make more of them. I had a nice compliment, one of my friends said she was picky about her pie crusts but mine was thumbs up.

Thumbs up to me means not using a refrigerated pie crust and manipulating the crust as little as possible.  Using ice water and not adding more than necessary but not worrying too much about that.

One of my church friends has a deli and he provided three soups for Friday night - broccoli cheddar, vegetable, and ginger carrot.  I was surprised that the younger kids didn't go for just the vegetable.  Their parents have done a good job introducing them to other tastes.

Nora will try any soup of the day at The Gruff, and she's liked them all except the seafood chowder.  But given a choice, she will pick chicken noodle almost every time.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Pie Crusts

When had I last made pie crusts?  A year ago?  Two?  Five?  On those rare occasions when I bake pie - not a current family favorite - it's so tempting to grab one of those ready-made crusts from the grocery case.

But this time I bought Crisco, there was none in my cupboard and hadn't been in forever.  Luckily, I'd made enough pie crusts in earlier times and the memory was still there.  And it's easy, you all.  If you haven't made one recently, give it a try.

My rolling pin, a lovely metal one with ball bearings, came from S&H green stamps that my mother in law gave me forty plus years ago.  Prior to that rolling pin, I'd made do with a Coke bottle.

It was well known in family lore that the Habeggers loved pie.  My dad would eat it for breakfast, after his eggs, if there was any available.  Raisin pie was his favorite.  My mother made great pies, often double-crusted with a cut-out in the middle.

There is a pumpkin pie in the oven now, to be followed by pecan and an apple pie that has a granola topping.  I think it will be a good morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Day After

This is the Trick or Treat bowl, before the Trick or Treating started.  Two hours later, it looked just the same, except for missing one peanut butter cup that I nibbled the chocolate from.  My neighbor across the street got five kids, but I guess the steps leading to my front door discouraged them.

I saw my next door neighbor at the Kroger where he works yesterday.  He said he bought Halloween candy for the first time this year.  He has steps too.  Probably no visitors.

It did rain, but not a hard rain.  I saw lots of facebook pictures of kids having a good time.

Other than filling the candy bowl, I have been baking.  We have a church retreat this weekend and I volunteered to bring desserts for the Saturday meal.  So far, I have apple oatmeal cookies, chocolate cupcakes, and a pumpkin bundt cake.  A huge amount of homemade applesauce.  Today I'll bake pies.  My freezer is happy.

I rarely bake, although I enjoy it, and just finding everything in the store was an adventure.  Who knew, for example, that the chocolate chips and baking soda would be in a different aisle that the sugar, flour, and cake mixes.  I had recently been looking, but not too hard, for yeast, and finally found that too.