Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Together at Home

Since Mike and I were apart for Thanksgiving last week, we had our own little Thanksgiving supper together last night.  We watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving cartoon--as is tradition--and part of a hockey game while we ate, and after supper, I pulled the fall quilt off of the table to switch out with a wintry tablecloth, and with that, Thanksgiving had passed once more. One of my favorite holidays, it was sweet all around again this year. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Home for Thanksgiving

It somehow slipped my mind to take more pictures Thanksgiving Day, but the few I took are proof I was home for the holiday a year I hadn't expected to get the time off to make the trip. 
That I will also have a few days off over Christmas is an incredible extra blessing this year. 
Hearing that news just a few days before going home for Thanksgiving made the holiday even sweeter and made saying goodbye to everyone a bit easier. I have been dying of homesickness lately, and the thought of not getting to see my family over the holidays had been breaking my heart. 
I am thirty-three and getting married next year, and I know it won't be possible to spend every holiday with my family in the future, but I hope to do it as many times as possible, and this year, it was something I just plain needed
As I told my mom Thanksgiving night while we got ready for bed, we're so lucky that we all enjoy seeing each other and spending the holidays together. Not every family feels that way, and mine is blessed in that we do. I appreciate it more the older I get, and this year, with all the uncertainty about whether I'd even be there to experience either Thanksgiving or Christmas with them, I feel it more deeply than ever. Blessed, blessed, blessed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The heart of autumn must have broken here, and poured its treasure out upon the leaves. ~ Charlotte Fiske Bates

It is what I consider a true Pennsylvania November day here with thirty-one-mile-per-hour winds making it feel much colder than it is. Trash cans and plastic lawn chairs have been blown into streets and now rest between cars. Dunk your brush of black paint into the water pot until almost no color remains in order to achieve our watercolor-water sky today. I think this morning is the prettiest I've seen so far this season, though. The dreariness above only makes the colors closer to us pop.  Many of the trees are only branches this morning. Some of the sidewalks are only leaves.  And some of the yards are the candy aisle of their street and neighborhood.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Stuffed Won the Photo Contest :)

In this case, people--40,115 people!--can't be wrong. :) Stuffed has won the photo contest we entered in September.  The company is mailing his prize sometime soon ("How are they going to deliver a bowling alley here tonight?!"), and I bought him some treats and a new mouse toy (which he's afraid of, of course).
Thank you if you voted for him.  :)  Yeaaaa, Stuffed! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Finally Have a Hoosier Cabinet. :)

I have wanted an old Hoosier-type cabinet as long as I can remember. Papa and Grandma had one in the pantry nook of their kitchen, and I always loved it. (Mom and Dad have it it in their house now, but I think it lost most of its charm when Mom recently repainted it. [Blue!] We agree to disagree on that.) My Italian great-grandmother had one in her kitchen too, but I don't know what came of it. Grandma kept baking supplies, food, recipes, and a few desk supplies inside her cabinet's cupboards. Papa and I would make gnocchi together on Sundays on its pull-out work surface. It was probably my favorite piece of furniture in their house. A neighbor was selling a similar cabinet-top on craigslist for only $25, and Mike and I lugged it up the stairs before supper tonight.  :) 

'Two sturdy shelves on the top, one below, and two drawers.  Its cupboard doors are etched glass.

Even the lock and hinges are old-fashioned and charming. 
I've already said "Hands off" to Mike. Every other surface in this apartment inevitably gets filled with his cds and books, but this one's all mine. Maybe someday when I have room again to do cake decorating and the real baking I used to do, this will be my go-to supply cupboard. In any case, I love it. With nothing inside it yet, the cabinet's top is not off-limits to Stuffed, though.  Clearly.  :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ~ Dickens

One of my favorite college professors used to say as he dismissed us from class on Friday afternoons, "I hope you have a relaxing or productive weekend, whichever you need," and it would make us laugh. This weekend was both, and it didn't race by either: It just felt like a good three days.
I caught up on sleep. I read some of the new Runner's World that arrived in the mail yesterday. I walked around taking pictures of the fading-but-still-glorious trees and leaves. I listened to a lot of music. I drank a lot of hot chocolate.
I got letters from my mom, my aunt Laurie, and my cousin Mark. I mailed out a couple belated Halloween cards to two of my aunts. I got a letter and photos out to my parents too.
I fluffed-up Stuffed's basket/bed with a new red fleece blanket. I lit the pumpkin-spice candle and kept it lit most of the weekend. Mike and I went out for breakfast yesterday, and on walk home, we tried a street we hadn't been on before, and oh! oh! oh! It was the single most beautiful street I have seen in the three years I've lived here. I'm going back on Tuesday, my next day off, with a camera.
The weather alternated between mitten-weather and gorgeous autumn sunshine. We had a feast of baked potatoes for supper the past couple of nights. We watched half a movie together last night.
I cleaned and organized a number of things around here. I had time just to putter around the apartment and decorate a little more for fall. I ate the year's first gingerbread cookie. I just enjoyed being home. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Weekend ~ With Paw Prints

Saturday night before watching Halloween movies, Mike, Stuffed, and I finally got around to making the hand/paw print artwork I'd been wanting us to make the past few years.  I was just happy that the project was finally done.
Mike was his usual clever and cynical self--"This is who we are" is the catchphrase from "Millennium," one of our favorite shows--but went along without much fuss.
And Stuffed, upon feeling paint on his paw pads for the first time, inexplicably tried to kneel down onto the paper like a horse. But he didn't fight me too much while I scrubbed his now-blue paw with a warm washcloth, so all's well that ends well.
In any case, it's now on top of our crazy mantel, and I'm delighted by it.
We watched the Snoopy "Great Pumpkin" movie and the Garfield Halloween movie, and at the last minute, I found a Spider-Man cookie to add to Mike's goody bag, so that made me happy too.
Chinese food for Mike and a chicken salad for me last night after work, a phone call from my mom during which I got to tell her that I do indeed have Thanksgiving off this year so will be seeing everyone in a few weeks, and the pleasure of watching Stuffed in his cozy corner all weekend.
And we're not out of Kit Kat candy bars yet. My kind of Halloween.