Saturday, November 30, 2013

Decorating the Tree

The day after Thanksgiving.  They put up the Christmas tree at my sister's house.  Their tree is so tall that one of the girls has to get on the ladder.  This year it was Molly, the youngest.  She seemed to be having fun up there. This is Molly, my 12-year old niece:

Then we sat by the fire and watched "White Christmas".

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our Family Thanksgiving

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house.  This is a photo of my brother-in-law with my three nieces.

They are growing up so fast.  Here is a photo of the family about six years ago:

This is Sarah, now 16 years old:

This is Aubrey, now 14 years old:

This is Molly, who is 12, beating Uncle Mike at air hockey:

Aubrey was wearing her purple socks:

Molly was wearing her "critter" socks:

Sarah was getting a hug from her dad in the kitchen:

Sarah was excited because her turkey won a spot in the paper…

The table was set:

People were watching TV, upstairs…

and downstairs…

A quiet spot in the corner:

The Elf on the Shelf… er, on the Nutcracker:

In the playroom:  paper dolls I colored with the girls when they were little girls… not that long ago!

Tomorrow:  decorating the Christmas tree.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Christmas Decor

Last night we were getting out the Christmas decorations.  Tinkerbell decided to sit in the middle of the wreath.

No one can tell me cats don't like to pose!  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve in Kentucky

This was Monday morning… big, fluffy snowflakes beginning to fall.  The grass is green and the trees are bare.

This was what I woke up to on Tuesday morning… snow on the feral kitties' igloos.  The sky was cloudy all day.

The lights were pretty, though.  Lights are a necessity to brighten winter days and nights… not just for Christmas.

This was the sunrise this morning.

Three different days, three different scenes… all from my back door.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Apostolic Exhortation

This morning I read that Pope Francis has issued an "apostolic exhortation".  This is the first time I have ever heard of such a thing.  I don't remember anyone else ever issuing an apostolic exhortation before.  I wasn't sure what it meant, but it sounded important.  An exhortation is emphatically urging someone to do something.

As I read in the news report, he is urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality.  Among other things, he addresses the "idolatry of money" and asks that politicians work to guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and healthcare".

It sounds to me that he is speaking of Biblical Christianity (is there any other kind?).  It seems some leaders over the last 2,000 or so years have strayed from those basic values.

Something to think about during Thanksgiving.

p.s.  Senator Bernie Sanders has had some things to say about this, too.  See, I'm in good company!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Humph!  That's what I can imagine this old man in a tree saying.

I bought him at a long-ago craft show.  I liked the tree-ness of him, the solemnity as he gazed out at the world.  He reminded me of the ents in Lord of the Rings.  Old, wise and solid.  I love the same things about trees in general.  I know I could never live in a place without trees.  One of the things about the area where I live that comfort me is the abundance of trees.

As I drive along the roads I notice two things; clouds and trees.  I am constantly seeing things I want to stop and photograph.  I make mental notes to come back and take the photo.  They say having a dog encourages a person to get out and walk.  I think that's true with me and my camera.  I need to walk because driving by is too fast. Sometimes the sun is just right and I know it will be too late to capture the scene when I come back with a camera. So, I have to always have my camera with me and be prepared to stop on a dime.  That's hard to do in traffic, though.  I'm going to work on that.

This post is just a "stream of consciousness".  From the "tree man" (I should name him) to driving and taking photographs.  I guess I might as well include some photos I took yesterday, documenting autumn before winter sets in seriously and the Christmas lights go up.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Antidote For A Sad Day

It was a sad day today, remembering fifty years ago when President Kennedy died.  There was a somber feel about this Friday; it was cloudy and grey outside.  The more I thought about it, my sadness began to turn to anger… anger that a person can take another person's life with a gun.  It's just too easy.  To destroy a life, to destroy a family, it's just too easy.

Anyway, I was trying to think of a way to lift my mood.  This was my answer.  To turn to the creatures in my life that are innocent, that depend on me for food and shelter.  They lift my mood and help the sadness and the anger be forgotten.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

To Move or Not To Move

A lot of my "psychic energy" has been taken up recently by a dilemma about moving or not moving.  I've been reading a novel called Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde.  At one point the main character (the godless blonde) is so paralyzed by indecision that she stands in the drug store looking at deodorant ingredients for twenty minutes. That's how I've been feeling recently, paralyzed by indecision.

To move or not to move.  That is the question.  When we moved here seven years ago to be closer to family, I thought we would probably one day move back to Philadelphia, where we had a life.  I worked there and came to love being in the city and taking the train.  We made friends there.  We still keep in touch with those friends, and they are encouraging us to "come home".

The problem is, we are retired now and the cost of living is considerably higher there.  We can live comfortably here in retirement, or move back to the east coast and worry about money.  Life isn't bad here and we do have family ties, but friends and social life are waiting for us there.  We have even discussed this with a counselor.  She admits it isn't easy to make friends in this area, unless you have children or grandchildren and have lived here all your life.  We have made friends with our next door neighbors, as we are all cat people and care for a little feral colony in our neighborhood.  Our friends back in Philly go to the shore and go to Broadway shows, and we would like that too.  I guess we could stay here and visit there for special occasions, but it's not the same as day-to-day life there.

I've been trying to decide whether to write about this here because it's so public.  But it's difficult to think about anything else while my brain is preoccupied with this.  You may have noticed Iv'e been writing posts featuring good things about Cincinnati.  That's one side of it.  But I remember, ages ago when I began this blog, writing about all the things I missed in Philadelphia.  The counselor says maybe you can have "two homes" in an emotional sense, but I can't live in two homes every day.

… and then there is always Hawaii.  I would like to live there too.  What a dilemma!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thinking of Hawaii

I'm too busy to post today, so I will just leave this photo I took while visiting the Big Island of Hawaii.  I hope you enjoy it!