Saturday, November 12, 2016


You could say this is a day of pause for me. Catching up, cleaning, the yard work -- all of this filled my morning hours. But even so, I would not describe it as a day of great productivity. In fact, most of the afternoon hours I spent on the frustrating task of trying to fashion a holiday card for 2016. Funny, no?

I don't send out very many holiday cards, but I take the task of creating one seriously. It's not an easy job. Ed isn't a holiday guy and if you had to attach us to any tradition, you would have to remember that Ed's family is Jewish and mine -- well, it's a bit of a blank slate and so here I am thinking of how to write a card that is authentic, even as it has to have some elements of  beauty and a conveyance of good feeling -- with photos that support as much. I mean, the whole process is fraught with twists and turns and perhaps because I make too much of it, I am never happy with the end-product. But engaging in this project and working hard to convey love on what is ultimately a commercial piece of sillliness -- well, it's oddly rewarding and hugely important to me. And so I do it.

Go figure.

But first, I have a few hours of trying to be sympathetic to a sniffling Ed. (I did remind him many a time that I spent the whole week being sick and tending to Snowdrop and suffering through elections and cooking dinners, but then I decided I sounded a bit loopy so I calmed down and let him rest as if  he really was down and out, even though I don't think, just judging by the number of tissues he used as compared to me, that he was either fully down or out.)

After I cleaned the bathroom and tidied the kitchen, I asked Ed if he would like breakfast, permitting the possibility that he would not be able to slide downstairs for it. He said "yes, but just fruit."

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That was just fine. Certainly not the first time that he turned down food early in the day. But I was amused that, as I rinsed breakfast dishes afterwards, he reached for stale baguette and bits of cheese to tide him over for the remainder of the morning.

After, I worked in the garden, fine-tuning it for the coming of winter. (Would you believe this little gem of a day lily?! Remarkable!)

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I'll include a front view of our farmhouse. I rarely photograph it -- I focus on what's central to our life here and that would be the courtyard rather than this, but in late fall I give it a huge nod of appreciation, because it really looks pretty in the gold of the leaves that surround it (rather that rundown... which it is, but hey, we'll get to it one of these years!).

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I'll end with a photo taken from my kitchen window. There are three birds in the pic -- two on the ground and one in the tree and it just seems so real, so representative of life around us.

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Sleep well Scotch, Java. Sleep well old robin in the tree. Dream big, work hard, sleep soundly. It's life as we know it.


  1. Day lily in November... amazing! I don't think we have any here in WNY but at least we haven't had a real frost yet.

    Your mention of holiday cards reminds me... are you planning a sheep calendar? Or a cheeper calendar?

    1. if I have time... Oh, I must make time!

  2. Here in Ohio we had our first frost this past Thursday night. Dan and I felt playful, going out before bedtime under the crisp bright starlight, to harvest the last of the eggplant and peppers. It made me feel like a kid again - late night in the back yard with a flashlight - good memories.
    Our grand-dog was bounding through the leaves - he knows when we're feeling especially happy and he is just exhilarated!

    Maybe that connection to the "real world" was just what we needed to perk us up after the election. Life goes on - - - -

    1. Oddly so, no? Sometimes, when it's especially beautiful outside, you wonder -- is this possible? Is this right? And it is. And you continue.

  3. I would like to see your 2016 card after you've put so much thought into it. Maybe you can take a picture of it and "send" it to all of us here on Ocean :)

    1. I have one copy of each of the cards I've made in the past five years. They remind me how hard it is to put in place something that you have in your imagination.
      If I photographed this year's product, then would there be any pleasure in getting the real thing in the mail? I figure -- if anyone really cares, they will have put themselves on my mailing list (which, as I've noted, is actually very small). :)

  4. Oh, I know what you mean. I receive more and more e-cards and my reaction is "meh".

    Same with Facebook - oh! happy birthday today! - meh.

    Then I feel guilty for my ingratitude. Should be glad people at least think about me. Yes - I am.

    1. I like the effort part.
      Facebook is at once socially sweet (it puts us in touch with more remote friends) -- I love family posts of "friends!" but also oddly impersonal. I love real mail. And BTW, I did once ask if I might add you to my short list and you said no! :)

    2. and I have no recollection of that! :)

    3. Well, the invitation remains out there. I would need your address.

      A few years ago, you talked of keeping this conversation separate from "real life." I respect that as well. Many of my "real friends" feel still mildly apprehensive about mixing up these various worlds. Me, I'm less rigorous about boundaries. I've made good friends through this medium, but, I admit -- it's not quite the same as people you've known all your life in face to face contact. Though again, I'm happy with a mixture of solid and enduring connections! :)


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