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Autumn-Show Me Your Hoodies & Pumpkin Spice

I woke up this morning to a plethora of “WELCOME OCTOBER” posts such as this gem.

Thank God! Had so many people not posted pics of sweaters, fall leaves, and well-manicured hands wrapped around steaming mugs of pumpkin-spice flavoured everything, I may have been stuck in the dreaded September-Time-Warp!

Autumn has always been my favourite season. It’s a do-over for me. I was a school supply nut, and loved the smell of fresh pencil crayons and the feel of a new pen. Ok, I was a book-nerd. I was also a little chunky, which meant that I could layer on a sweater and pants, and finally not feel naked.

Now that I’m into my 40’s, chunky fall sweaters just make me look like an exceptionally well-fed homeless person. And all of those pumpkin spice lattes – yah, I love the half-sweet version, but I can’t handle the sugar anymore (hence looking like a well-fed homeless person). Give me a strong Irish tea with some skim milk, and I’m  autumn AF.

( I pause now to put on the kettle…)

pumpkin spice

Autumn requires some serious planning  if you’re going to create all of those Instagram-photo-worthy pics for family and friends. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about???

The reality of my fall season is getting back to work after a beautiful and romantic holiday, and getting to as many of my son’s football games as I can. There’s also Thanksgiving (two adults and 7 young adult children around the table-one vegetarian), and Hallowe’en to get ready for. Since I don’t have to work this Hallowe’en, there shall be costumes and a dinner party, complete with a meat-wrapped-skull charcuterie board and brain-mold jelly dessert.

This all leaves (no pun intended) very little time for curling up with that over-sized mug of pumpkin spice goodness, frolicking on beautifully amber-and-red-leaved-lined trails and posing for that perfect shot with my pumpkin-spice beverage of the day.

At this stage what I need is a daily-high-fiber-digestive aid that comes in pumpkin spice version, and a sinewy house-lad who looks good in a cable-knit and knows how to brew a perfect pot of tea. Note to self: buy my honey a new cable knit and ask him to make my apres-dinner tea in his tighty-whities and the new sweater.

Hmmm…perhaps this could be a season of autumn romance after all – you wouldn’t make me a cup of tea would you darling?

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Why I Open My Door At Thanksgiving

give thanks…because I’m truly grateful for the abundance of friends in my life.

My Thanksgiving celebrations are always potluck, jeans and t-shirt style. I put on the turkey, and everyone else brings something to share. That way no one has to do a lot of work and I’m not too stressed out to enjoy my friends.

Potluck is also a good conversations starter; Mmm! I love this! Who made it? What’s the recipe?….and the conversation goes on from there.

That’s what life is about.

I’ve been through hell and back as a child and as a young woman. Throughout all of it, I’ve had wonderful friends who are each, in their own way, unique and perfect.

Holiday times used to be sad for me, lonely even . I was often new in town, without family, and I felt very alone. As time went on, my new friendships deepened, and although I went through times of despair and loneliness, my friends would always show up in ways that helped me understand what was really important.

So at Thanksgiving, many people are caught up in family tug-of-wars about who goes where and who is hosting what. Or, maybe they have no family at all.

Autumn is the time of year when we start turning inward. The changing colour of the leaves wave us into shorter days and cooler nights. We cozy up inside, in big sweaters and under cozy blankets. We begin the journey into a season often spiritually described as one of mystery and hope.

I open my door at this time of year so that friends have a place to come and relax. My friends are my family, and I love them all.

I don’t have much, but I hope I offer a safe space to be yourself, laugh, and be nourished; both body and soul.

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving & Not a Piece of Turkey in Sight

thanksgiving-snoopyIf you didn’t get your annual invitation to my Thanksgiving party this year, it’s because I didn’t have one.

The notice is out for our Hallowe’en bash though, so shake the dust off your costume and come prepared for some fun. For that I will be truly thankful – a bunch of adults acting like kids and an entire evening of silliness.

I do miss my leftover turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, but I don’t miss feeling obligated to do it. So this year, let me say that I am thankful for change.

Yes, change is scary, and vast, and sometimes it is a little overwhelming. I’m not talking about the nickel that I found next to my sweetie’s errant sock on the bedroom floor today. No, I’m talking about big, life-moves-on change. Taking a lesson from my most awesome mumster, I am excited about this new chapter that I’ve been blessed with.

For the first time I ran with my partner, (that’s a big deal for a private woman like me),spent a holiday weekend savouring a meal someone else cooked, and spent time in a different, refreshing atmosphere.

Instead of asking what my kiddo wanted for dessert, when what he really likes is being with his pals, I left him a surprise treat for when he gets home from grandma’s. Instead of planning and budgeting for a big dinner, I was spoiled to a weekend in wine country. Rather than cleaning up all night last night, I curled up by the fire and watched my favourite team sweep their rivals on the way to the World Series.

This year I am thankful for my wonderful son, my own determination to thrive, my amazing friends, and my loving man.

This year I am thankful that there is no turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie in sight, although, if you’re out there great-Thanksgiving-Fairy, it would not go unnoticed if you arrived at my place of work this afternoon with a plate of culinary-thanksgivingish-delight.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, whatever it is that you may be thankful for this year.

 

 

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Misfit Thanksgiving – Getting to Know You

give thanksI had the pleasure of getting to know an acquaintance much better last night as our Thanksgiving celebration wound down into the quiet evening hours.

I had known this gentleman and his wife for years, but never really had an opportunity to speak to him. He discussed community, politics, religion and generally, the stuff that makes the world go ’round.

This is the beauty of what I have come to call our, “Misfit” get-togethers; gathering people together who are kind and intelligent to share an evening of, well, true sharing.

The definition of Misfit is; One who is unable to adjust to one’s environment or circumstances or is considered to be awkwardly different from others.

As we age, being around people we actually like is a big deal. It’s rejuvenating, fun, and renews our belief that good triumphs over evil. Being surrounded by thoughtful (as in they think independently, and care about how they impact others), intelligent people with a true sense of who they are and how they show up in the world every day is something that I am thankful for.

Most people define themselves against their first experience of ‘them’ and ‘us’, basically, how and where they fit into the family unit.

For some, family gatherings are just another uncomfortable event they feel they have no choice but to attend. Others have tossed decorum and bunk to the side, and have decided to live a life less complicated and simply spend time with people they actually like.

As we charge full-steam ahead into the season of holidays that seem to be tied to family tradition and sanguineous relationships, don’t forget that it’s all a load of crappola.

These traditions of gathering are an opportunity to spend time with the like-minded, differently-minded or whatever-mined, kind, loving, wonderfully diverse people whom you call friends. If you have been invited to our home to share a ‘misfit’ holiday with us, know that you have my respect, and that I like you.

The good people whom I like; they are my family of friends, and for them, I am truly thankful.

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Be Thankful for Those Gentle on Your Mind

turkeycatI have to make this a quick one…

I have 25 people descending on our wee home in a few hours, and I’m still in my nightie, working on my first cup of coffee, and trying to help a dear friend in a crisis of the heart.

My girlfriends and I have moved past the ‘get-the-bastard’ stage of life to the, calm-down-breathe-and-hear-him-out stage. If he isn’t genuine or sincere, the default is back to ‘get-the-bastard’. I’m trying to help her avoid that.

My hair looks like Mick Jagger and my lounge-wear screams Phyllis Diller. It’s not pretty folks.

But it will be.

Whatever family crisis the long, holiday weekend may find you in the midst of, remember, this too shall pass. You are loved, and forgiveness goes a long way. Love has never been a straight, easy path. It meanders, turns back on itself, and often times the path is unclear.

Today, even though my own romantic and foolish heart is still mending, I am thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for those friendships that weigh gently on my mind and know will answer the call of connection when I feel lost.

Wishing you gratitude this Thanksgiving.

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How Will You Spend the Last Week of Summer?

28728-Vintage-Ferris-Wheel
“The end-of-summer winds make people restless.” ~Sebastian Faulks~
The 31st day of August, and all is well.

Well? 

The end of August, although not the official end of summer, is the end of summer-as-we-know-it.

Yesterday at the grocery store, I found myself sniffing pumpkin-spice scented candles and wondering at the orange, red and brown accessories that accompany back to school granola bar and juice box on-sale-specials. As I wandered the aisles, the reality that another summer was waving good-bye with her candy-apple red manicure, sunk in.

Did you manage to do everything that you wanted to do this summer? Did you go skinny-dipping under the stars with your sweetie? Did you plant your garden? Did you stay up too late drinking wine and talking the deep, soul quenching talks with your true-love?

Once again I have a summer-to-do list that is still unfulfilled. I did manage to do a few things though, and I still have a few days left. A concert, a day at the CNE and goodness-knows-what will be crammed in there. I hope to make every moment of this last week of summer count. I hope that you do the same.

During the past two weeks, I’ve silently mourned the dwindling hours of daylight. Yesterday, in the humid afternoon air of late August, I made a pathetic attempt to reorganize our shed, but made just enough progress to untangle lights and recycle a couple of empty boxes.

I hung twinkle lights on the patio, and dreamed of our annual fall Friends-Thanksgiving-Gathering. I imagined the pumpkins and corn stalks and decorations that would take the place of my petunias and geraniums.

summersunflowerAt dusk, under the twinkle lights with my cup of tea, I let my mind wander to the blessings in my life. For even though this summer has been the first time in my life that I have really come to know sadness, I have so much for which to be grateful.

The sunshine of summer is transforming to the warm colours of fall. Seasons change and turn with no regard for how much we feel we have accomplished, how satisfying our relationships are, or our ability to appreciate the swift, unforgiving nature of time.

We have one week left darlings; Wishing you a week of summer that is full of the light-hearted delights that only summer can offer.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Sending you a great big ol’ Happy Thanksgiving from up here in Canada!

Wishing you a peace, abundance, hope & joy….xo

happy thasnksgiving