Monday, December 30, 2013

An year is ending, a new, beginning

No photos to share since I am writing this on my new laptop and haven't added any photos since a) the Christmas holiday passed and b) I finally am recovering from the nasty virus going around town (and Kellond School, where I volunteer and suspect I picked up the bug).

I read on FB that the Secret Society of Happy People listed their 10 Happiest Happenings of 2013.  Just off the top of my head, here are mine--what are yours?

1.  Christmas Eve at Aron and Laura's with Izy and Lynette.
2.  September's Long Beach visit for my aunt's 100 birthday party.
3.  Same trip, with my cousin Craig and his wife Lynn, for an all day visit at the Getty Villa.
4.  Taking Izy to one of the last Sidewinders' Baseball game, taking Izy to "Frozen"; hey, just taking Izy anywhere.
5.  Father's Day with both dads, Aron and Laura at Hacienda Del Sol where Aron is banquet chef.
6.  Several day trips to Mt. Lemmon
7.  Bed time reading with Mark and Gray, who curls up on Mark's legs or mine, seemingly depending on Gray's mood.
8.  Afternoons alone or with Mark or a friend at my favorite Starbucks, River and Campbell.
9.  Happiness Community Conversations at Oro Valley and Main Libraries.
10.  Waking up each day, pain free, hopeful and ready to learn/do something--new or familiar; it really doesn't matter.

Hey, I still have to list:
11.  Book signings at Starbucks and Mostly Books.
12.  Handling my first and second self-published books.
13.  Visits to the Tucson Botanical Gardens
14.  Visits to the Phoenix Art Museum
15.  Surprise invite to see ATC's "Xanadu".
16.  2nd Saturdays, Downtown Tucson
17.  Summer Diamondbacks Game
18.  Downton Abbey, Elementary, Sleepy Hollow, Parks n' Rec, Raising Hope
19.  Rereading "Mary Poppins", "Alice in Wonderland", "Alice through the Looking Glass"
20.  Walking with Mark on Mountain Ave., along the Rillito, around Reid Park
21.  Working with 3rd grade readers at Kellond School

okay, that's it for now--but this fun to do.  Hope you try it, too.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gingerbread Town

I am a bit under the weather with the respiratory virus going around town, but yesterday we did take a day trip to the southern tip of Phoenix, making a stop at Ikea and the cafe at the Wild Horse Casino.  We wandered around inside and discovered their very nice Gingerbread Town display.  Here are two photos and the wish to my followers for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gray encourages us to slow down

Since I wrote a story Friday (based on a prompt from "Writer's Digest") that featured Gray having a conversation with me...I realized I didn't have a recent picture of him to share, thus I had to add an online sketch of a cat to my FB story post. 

So, since we decided to make Sunday (again) a slow day, Mark had time to try for several shots of Gray who is enjoying his first winter in and out of our porch, accessible through his own cat door.  Last year at this time, we still had our 13 year old dog, Lia, so Gray was limited to the front porch, or, when it got cold, the garage, warmed by a space heater and cat bed.

But now, life for Gray (and us) has turned into a much slower and happier pace.   Here he is, chowing down after a morning on the prowl in the neighborhood.

As for me, today, I spent almost two hours with my reflective reading and writing.  We took a vigorous 2 mile walk along the Rillito and then savored some time at our favorite Starbucks.  I skimmed the latest Poets and Writers magazine and Mark and I split a relatively healthy bistro snack, denying the temptation to have a pastry.  The sun is subdued behind late afternoon clouds and I am writing at my west-facing desk, anticipating a lovely sunset to draw this gentle day to a close.

I feel so grateful for our first night of Hanukkah with Lora and Izy, Thanksgiving dinner the next day at Lynette Chapa's, with Aron, Lora, Izy and Lora's brother's family and the "go with the flow" Saturday and Sunday that followed.  I didn't over eat, have exercised in moderate fashion and did fun things such as visit a new retail/buy local shop yesterday (NoneSuchHome on Broadway), "ran into" three past acquaintances I have not seen in years, and went to a matinee of "Despicable Me 2" where we laughed out loud at those charming, crazy yellow minions.

I hope readers of this blog also had a full-of-thanks holiday and are finding ways to "go slow" through this often stressful time of the year.