Saturday, November 07, 2015

...With A Litttle Help From My Friends!

"Once in a while I am struck all over again... 
by just how blue the sky appears
 on windy played autumn mornings,
 blue enough to bruise a heart."

~Sanober Khan

I am tired. I am still working on unpacking, and getting the house in shape. It's a big house, while bigger than what I am used to, and Alan has to work, so that leaves me to do what I can to make this house a home! For the most part I am enjoying myself. The house and I are getting to know each other, and that's fine.

I have been pushing the house away, not really wanting to come to like it, or love it or anything as exhausting as making it a member of the family, but it's wearing me down little by little. It's a happy house, and embracing, if that makes sense. We felt it from the very first day we saw it! Our first walk through I knew it was our house! Alan felt it too. In fact, it was the first house, out of all the houses we looked at, that spoke to both of us. It just seemed to say... "You're home." 

My grief is easing a bit, and that's a good thing, but like I said I am tired so today's post is all about the leaves I photographed last week. Honestly, I think that little jaunt to photograph leaves is what gave me the energy to jump back into unpacking and to continue with the decorating. My office is almost finished, and I will post some photos this week, but for right now lets enjoy the colors of autumn!

By the way, I want to say a special THANK YOU to my friend Kat! I really appreciate the comments and words of encouragement. You have made me feel a lot less alone in this process. Thank you love... your friendship means a lot to me! :) Email me soon, and fill me in on all the latest in your world!

Leaf Of The Day
November 7th 2015
Mood: Tired
~Me :)

Friday, November 06, 2015

It's Autumn, So Let The Baking Begin!

"The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes... nothing was as calming as creaming butter, and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she'd been and where she was going. Everything was fine."

~Jennifer Crusie
Maybe This Time

It's autumn, and there is a definite chill in the air, so what better time for baking? I love cooking in autumn, especially the sugary treats like one of Alan's favorite cookies... Snickerdoodles! I put tons of cinnamon sugar on them, like everyone I suppose, but in my opinion there isn't enough cinnamon in the world. I LOVE cinnamon! Not only is it good for lowing your blood glucose numbers, but it keeps ants away from your home! Cinnamon is truly a gift. I adore cooking with it, and I have about 5 cinnamon brooms hanging on the walls of the new place to make it smell nice! I got them at Trader Joe's here in Stockton. The are amazing, they smell like cinnamon red hots. They are the perfect touch for decorating for the holidays! But back to baking. I think I will be doing more baking this year, then in previous years. It was good therapy to make the cookies. It has me in the mood for all the great treats enjoyed this time of year, and not just the sweet treats, I am looking forward to making quiches and savory bread puddings as well. And soon, Chicken in Puff Pastry! I haven't made that in several years. Creatively speaking, I am doing a lot better, and that can't help but bring me out of the homesickness I am feeling. Every day I am feeling a little more like I am home.

 Leaf Of The Day
November 6th, 2015
Mood: Content

~Me :)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The View From Grizzly Peak Boulevard

"If you're alive you can't be bored in San Francisco.
 If you're not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life."

~William Saroyan

Yesterday was our last day of vacation, and we decided to spend it in Berkeley, but no trip to Berkeley would be complete without visiting our old neighborhood on Grizzly Peak Boulevard. Not only is it home for us, but it has Tilden Park and the most beautiful views of San Francisco, Oakland, the Peninsula and Marin! I have been so lonely for the East Bay, and the Berkeley hills is my favorite spot to take it all in at once! There is nothing like that view in November, the air is so crisp and clear, and the air smells so good. I never thought I would miss the smell of eucalyptus as much as I do... but yesterday, while standing there, I realized I really did miss it. Sigh. But it wasn't so sad, I felt like I was home, and my heart didn't hurt for just a little while. I will be back again soon. 

After all... it's still home, and it always will be.
Leaf Of The Day
November 5th 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Grieving In Autumn

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."

~Stanley Horowitz

My favorite autumn trees are in a small, quiet park in the East Bay, and nothing makes me happier than grabbing a lunch and spending a little time there, just walking among the leaves and photographing as many of them as I can. It's a little more difficult now that I am living in Stockton, but while Alan and I were on vacation I managed to visit there a couple times. And I will continue to through the remainder of this autumn season, but I know that it isn't healthy to allow my grieving of my life in the East Bay to keep me from exploring new autumn sights here and in neighboring Sacramento. In fact, I just found out that Sacramento is known as the City Of Trees, and puts on quite a show of autumn leaves, so I really need to broaden my thinking, as I move through the five stages of grief. Believe it or not, those stages apply to anything in life that passes away, including the loss of a place you have lived your whole life. I miss the East Bay so much my heart aches, but at least we are in autumn as I grieve, because it's those leaves and the cool days that always guides me back to feeling alive. Strange... in that autumn is all about the final burst of life of each year. 

Leaf Of The Day
November 4th 2015
Mood: Quiet
 ~Me :)

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Sweet, Melancholy, November

"October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces."

~J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

I usually hate to see October come to and end. It's my favorite month. It holds everything I love most. My wedding anniversary, days at the beginning of the month warm and bright. Days at the end of the month with just enough chill in the air to remind me of a favorite sweater stored away. And the nights, oh the October sunsets that turn into long nights sitting with Alan, cuddled on the courch, watching a favorite show. Magical times. But this year is different. October was warmer than usual, because of our move to Stockton. 

This year, the October days seemed to run together. It's a lot warmer out here in Stockton than the Bay Area, and it's going to take some getting used to! But November started with a genuine chill in the air, and I got to see the rain fall on my pool! What a silly sight that was! But the best thing was getting to wear my newest autumn sweater. I bought it over the summer, at Ross in Turlock. It was too pretty not to buy, never mind the fact that it was 105 on the day I purchased it! I knew the earth would eventually turn back to the cold and dark, my kind of day, and that sweater would comfort me, and yesterday, it did. Who knew a comfy sweater could do so much for alleviating homesickness? 

And anyway, how can one night smile,
 with leaves as beautiful as the ones in this post?
Leaf Of The Day
November 3rd 2015
Mood: Quiet

~Me :)  

Monday, November 02, 2015

Our Joey

"I want to thank you for the profound joy
 I have had in the thought of you."

~Rosie Alison
The Very Thought Of You

My little Joey was very unsure about Halloween. What was that doorbell sound? Who were those strange little folk on the porch? And why was daddy giving them things? LOL. When we lived in the cottage in the Berkeley hills, we rarely got trick or treaters, so this was the first Halloween Joey really experienced. This was also his first time seeing children! As far as I know anyway. Hendrix loved Halloween. He was right behind his daddy at the front door, greeting the kids and their parents, and helping hand out the candy... in his own way! He is a black cat, so he was already in costume! I wish the boys enjoyed pet costumes the way Elvis did, but alas I have to let them be who they are, and who they are doesn't involve dressing up! 

It's okay, Elvis was an individual and so are each of my little guys! And Joey, being the littlest, is learning about things in the most respectful way a cat can. He is just happy to be a part of the family, you can tell he is still grateful to be safe and warm and loved. We found him two years ago, on Thanksgiving weekend, and we are just as grateful as he is that he came to live with us. He cuddles me, and knows when I have a blue moment, and loves me through it with hugs and whisker kisses. Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning for us, with Joey a member of the family!

Leaf Of The Day
November 2nd 2015
Mood: Grateful
 ~Me :)

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Punky's Big Night

"Halloween shadows played upon the walls of the houses. In the sky the Halloween moon raced in and out of the clouds. The Halloween wind was blowing, not a blasting of wind but a right sized swelling, falling, and gushing of wind.
 It was a lovely and exciting night, 
exactly the kind of night Halloween it should be."

~Eleanor Estes
The Witch Family

Last night was Punky's BIG NIGHT! Every year Alan and I look through, what seems like a million or so pumpkins, until we find the one that really speaks to us. I MEAN REALLY SPEAKS TO US! This year was the most important search of the perfect punky since our very first punky 25 years ago! This time we needed to find just the right punky for our first Halloween in our very first house! LOL. And because this was a special Halloween, Punky didn't disappoint! Not only did he shine welcoming all the little witches and goblins, but we had a decent turnout of the little ones! It seems this was a true witch night, followed closely by some black cats and super heroes! It was a good night! I love Halloween, and I was lucky enough to marry a man who loves it as much as I do! He was a big hit handing out the candy, all dressed up as a chef, complete with a rubber chicken for making Chicken and Dumplings tomorrow night no doubt! LOL.

 Life is good!
Leaf Of The Day
November 1st 2015
Mood: Happy

~Me :)