Celebrate the New Year’s Debut but Do So Safely

Many of us are anxious to turn over the last calendar page of 2020 in the hope that 2021 will be more peaceful and safe for everyone. Let’s not let our enthusiasm create a hazard. Celebrate at a distance and don’t overindulge.

Love this vintage display of glasses, a reminder of mid-twentieth-century hospitality.

Christmas Trees are Welcome Gifts No Matter What Size or Shape

The pine cone tree on its birch base and the little tree crafted from festive green and silver paper were quite unexpected and very welcome gifts received by mail this week from a friend in Maine. They make a great addition to the mini forest she sent me a few years previously, when she led a paper tree fundraising project with her grandchildren.

They remind me so much of the thick, fragrant pine forests of the distinctive northeastern state so different from my native Midwest. I haven’t made it to Maine in a few years, but memories return as I sit at my desk and admire the miniature artistry.

The tiny tree inside the dome was a gift from my husband. A talented designer and machinist, he created this “world’s smallest Christmas tree” himself from exotic wood, metal and Austrian crystal. It’s not easy doing intricate craftsmanship on such a tiny scale.

We didn’t put up a traditional Christmas tree, but our holiday will still be special thanks to these thoughtful creations and the other small decorations displayed about our home, many of them gifts I’ve received from friends over the years.

Why are Pumpkins the Pie Star of Thanksgiving – Not Autumn Harvested Apples?

I pondered this question for but a moment before I realized, as a visit to the Website of Plimoth Plantation confirmed, there were no apples in the New World at the time of the first Thanksgiving.

Not only had Johnny Appleseed not yet been born, to spread seeds of this pome across America as legend has it, but the fruit had not yet been planted on the continent, to sustain colonists with its comforting taste and properties that may prevent visits to a physician as the saying goes.

Modern research supports the theory that apples can help keep us healthy “100 million bacteria at a time. Of course baking probably kills many of the bacteria. Still, fresh baked apple pie, well seasoned with cinnamon, and my secret ingredients of nutmeg and allspice is a comfort food I treasure when I have an upset stomach.

Want to enrich your Thanksgiving dinner with an apple pie, tart or a fancier apple based dessert? Food and Wine offers some tempting options, from traditional to trendy.

Smiling Pumpkins Are My Preference

I’ve always been fascinated with good witches, like Samantha Stevens on Bewitched, and I love black cats. But I must admit, I’m not really in favor of frightening grins on pumpkins, skeltons, ghouls and goblins.

There is enough fear in the world already, especially this year.

Loved this grinning pumpkin image on an item I spotted in a thrift shop.

Happy Halloween!

Side Door into a Lovely Country Church

Here’s another picture from my spring morning churchyard stroll,which I posted about earlier. There’s something simply charming about the plain white door, neat sidewalk, plush bed of vinca minor,otherwise known as “periwinkle” or “myrtle” ground cover.

It was a perfect morning, very calming. I sat beside the vinca Bed for some time, contemplating these crazy times. The solitude, except for the melodic songs of birds, gave me hope and inspiration.

Parfait of Vehicles, Blossoms, Emerging Leaves

Springtime seems to finally be coming to the Midwest. This lovely seasonal view of a normally mundane parking lot seemed so unique I wanted to share. A momentary distraction from the recent worries we all face.

Oaks Against the Canvas of a Spring Sunset

Soon their branches will be filled with leaves, but for now these giants stand silhouetted against a spring sunset. This country road I take fairly often is one of most rustically scenic in the area.

Happy Mothers Day 2020 in Spite of Closed Restaurants and Predictions of Snow

This stressful spring seems to never end and now parts of the country are experiencing wintry weather when we’d rather be strolling aisles of greenhouses, bringing home flowers to plant for our mothers.

But like the hope of a mother for the future of a newly born child, we must remember that all things pass. Maybe, just maybe, when hot weather does arrive, it will burn out this virus.

But until the danger disappears, immunity comes, or a vaccine is developed and administered, we must continue to wear masks and social distance.

That won’t stop us from remembering our mothers in some way, whether we reside with them, or they are separated from us, as residents in nursing homes; places where precious citizens reside whom we must continue to protect as they are the most vulnerable among us.

If you can visit your mother, deliver dinner – her favorite takeout or a meal you cooked yourself.

If you can’t see her in person, connect via phone if possible, or send flowers. Think positive. Stay warm. Celebrate memories. Sunny days will eventually arrive on both a figurative and literal basis.

 

Forgotten Daffodils Bring Inspiration

There’s a longer post about this: on LinkedIn.

I’m finding I must remind myself of simple pleasures I’ve often skipped over in recent years in order to lessen stress.

During these days of crisis, a simple walk outside can be a wonderful way to raise spirits and build the sustenance necessary for enduring the “new normal” for as long as we must to minimize future risk from this virus.

A tour of the lawn revealed these daffodils, surviving through my recent neglect of the flowerbeds which used to bring me so much pleasure.

I’d forgotten the lovely light fragrance of these delicate blooms. They are now decorating the peak of a bookcase, scenting the air  nicely though I only brought in these three blooms.

Easter Snows and Glowing Sunsets – Typical Springtime Contrasts

Traveling home last evening, and then again this morning (I’m composing this post on Good Friday) I encountered several snow squalls, punctuated by sunny skies.

Here’s a photo of one of my favorites spots to observe sunsets. I love this huge old farmhouse. Each time I pass, images come to me, of brothers and sisters from a large family flitting about the upstairs bedrooms after a long day of labor on the farm during summer vacation, or following chores and homework on schooldays.

My mother always said an Easter snow was inevitable. I used to scoff when she said that, but the years have shown me, we do usually have at least a skiff of snow, somewhere within the week before or after Easter.

Hopefully today’s flurries will serve as this year’s official Easter encounter with the white stuff.

May Easter blessings surround us. . . 

And may those of us who are well remain healthy as our heroes in the medical research community work round the clock to find ways to help current COVID-19 patients and a  vaccine to prevent future outbreaks.