Cuddle time

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My mother had this little verse in an antique frame on her dresser. I have no idea who wrote it, as it is not signed. But I knew as a teenager that it was true, and it speaks to me even more now.

“A GRANDMOTHER is a special friend
who understands and cares.
She keeps you in her fondest thoughts
and always in her prayers.”

Last night as I was starting to think about quietly sitting down to blog, my youngest granddaughter came into my room and asked if I would go into the living room and cuddle with her. She said she was too hot with her blanket, and too cold without it, so she needed me. I tried wrapping her in my sweater, sitting at my computer, but that just “wasn’t comfy for her”. So I gave up and headed to the living room.

We settled down on the couch with The Lego Movie in progress (I did not find it particularly satisfying, but the girls were enjoying it), me stretched out with Olivia on my tummy. As always, she wanted to know how big she was when she did that as a baby, so I showed her that she didn’t even reach my waist, and now she reaches my knees. We did a lot of tossing and turning and readjusting, and never quite got things right because she was really too tired. But by the time we put the girls to bed it was already today!

So I missed a day of posting in this NaBloPoMo of November…but it was for a good cause. I would rather be Olivia’s special friend than meet my deadline, for sure. Happy Tuesday.

Tiny houses

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I first fell in love with a Tiny House back in the mid-1950s, when my best friend Jackie’s dad built a playhouse in the backyard for her and her little sister, Lucinda. It was a magical place, with a working doorbell, running water, lights, and curtains at the windows. It wasn’t as versatile as my canvas tipi, but oh — I coveted that little house.

Lately I have been intrigued by the burgeoning “Tiny House” movement, where people are building movable houses on flatbed trailers — not mobile homes or recreational vehicles, but self-contained homes that can offer affordability, a smaller carbon footprint, and a sense of adventure. As my involvement with homeless issues in Visalia has increased, Tiny Houses seem even more viable as independent living spaces for otherwise homeless people.

In Portland, Oregon, a Tiny House hotel has even developed. And in tiny Lemon Cove, California, just about 15 minutes from me, a tiny house subdivision will soon break ground.

Probably anyone who has seen my 25’x10′ rental storage unit, chock-full of “stuff”, would find my fascination with Tiny Houses laughable at best. But the part of me that longs to divest myself of said “stuff” and lighten both my mental and environmental load thinks that this is an idea that merits exploration.

Watch for Tiny Houses in a neighborhood near you.

Vacation from bedtime…the end

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Last night my granddaughters were having their Thanksgiving vacation from bedtime as I wrote my blog post. As I hit “publish” the big one was reading Harry Potter and the little one was just playing quietly on the couch. Both were enjoying staying up all night.

About 12:30, the big one fell asleep with Harry Potter on her face, and the little one crashed and burned. (I stayed up and read ’til nearly 3:00 a.m.) Fast forward to 10:00 this morning, when Lily woke up. Her first words: “I made it!” She was incredulous when her mother told her that she had been asleep for hours.

She did enjoy hearing that she was not the first of us to fall asleep reading Harry Potter, though, and loved hearing about my return-to-college habit of reading my textbooks on the couch and being awakened by having them smack me in the face as they fell out of my hands.

Another family tradition is born!

Thanksgiving vacation from bedtime

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I came home from work tonight to discover that my granddaughters had decided to stay up all night. Today was the last day of school until December 1, so they are celebrating. I followed the ruckus to their bedroom, where they were having a rollicking pillow fight, with lots of shrieking and giggling (their weapons were not only pillows, but a zillion stuffed animals, as well). Instead of micro-managing the fight, I decided to hide in my bedroom.

The oldest has declared that she intends to stay up all night every night this vacation week. It is already 11:30 p.m., and they are quieting down a bit; it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I know I’m not going to be on late-night duty. I will be in my bed, sound asleep (I hope).

Sweet dreams.

Today’s prompt

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Today’s prompt for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) wants to know whether or not I have a book in me, aside from my blog. And if so, fact or fiction, related to my blogging or not. So here goes:

I had a book in me once upon a time. It was a children’s book — a fantasy about Boombersnitzel the Bashful Elf and his friend, the Fairy Felicity. I finished it years ago, but am not completely satisfied with the ending. It needs more work. It also needs illustrations, so I might set Lily on that task.

And I actually would like to turn my blog into a book someday. Not every single post, of course, but a select sampling. There is plenty of time to do that, however. And along the way I hope to keep improving my writing style and my voice. But right now I need to go to sleep! Sweet dreams.

Bible study

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Every Wednesday morning a hardy group gathers at Valhalla Restaurant for Bible study and breakfast. I miss being the “baby” of the group by just a couple of weeks, although I am the newest attendee. While the Lectionary for the week provides the readings and the framework of the conversation, our discussions sometimes wander far afield. It is this wandering, I think, that brings depth to our thought processes and gives us space to bring up issues and ideas that really matter to us personally.

Our schedules get so busy during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays that we are going on hiatus until after the New Year. I will miss my study buddies.

Community

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Tonight as I watched the people filing into the Ballroom at the Marriott Hotel for this edition of Helping One Woman, I realized one of the reasons this organization and this event are growing so much: The HOW Community keeps expanding, as we Honor One Woman, who returns the next month and brings friends with her, and THEY bring other friends and other friends.

Sara (in the pink bandanna) and a few of her coworkers and friends.

Sara (in the pink bandanna) and a few of her coworkers and friends.

Amongst the greetings and hugs and exclamations of joy were layer after layer of friendships. Some old and now renewed, some everlasting, some brand new. All were filled with hope and expectation. As this month’s honoree, Sara Becerra, drew the name to choose our honoree for January, many eyes filled with tears of happiness, for she has been attending our dinners for many months already. And Sara assured us that she, too, would be here in January to continue Helping One Woman.

My heart is full.

Comfort food

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At the end of a productive day, I was able to indulge myself in a comfort-food filled dinner: Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, Towne House Crackers liberally smeared with peanut butter, and a big bowl of Dryer’s Butterfinger Ice Cream.

When I was a kid, a dinner of soup and crackers was reserved for nights that Daddy was out of town or working the swing shift. Mom felt strongly that meatless meals were okay for us, but Daddy did hard physical labor and should have meat with his dinner. And that was just fine with me. Those comfort-food dinners (soup and crackers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and very occasionally pancakes) were some of my favorites. I didn’t realize until way later how inexpensive they were, and how much that helped the family’s bottom line.

Long live comfort foods and the happy memories we associate with them.

Celtic evening prayer

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The Invocation from tonight’s Celtic evening prayer gathering at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Visalia was written by St. Patrick:

Lord, be with us this night,
Within us to purify us;
Above us to draw us up;
Beneath us to sustain us;
Before us to lead us;
Behind us to restrain us;
Around us to protect us. Amen.

May God protect us all this night, and always.

Chilly is in the bones of the beholder

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I’m feeling like a bit of a wimp tonight. I have been cold all day; I have dragged out my quilted slippers, but even my nose is cold. Our temperature reached a balmy (NOT!) 65 degrees today, and the house is sitting at 72. Some people air condition their homes cooler than that in the summer. But I’m still cold.

My sister in Ohio enjoyed a high of 39 degrees today, with a low of 25 expected tonight. And Monday they will have snow, with possible low temps of 10 degrees. Ugh. I can’t imagine living voluntarily in a place where it gets that cold!

I realize some of my east coast friends would look at 65 degrees as shorts weather. But I know what warm weather is. Warm weather is 80+. And while I am enjoying the changing color of the leaves and their beauty as they fall gently to the ground, I am missing warmer weather. And feeling like a wimp.

May you stay warm and cozy tonight.

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