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Redecorating Junkie

I feel “off” if I don’t try to redecorate my mantel spaces, bar top, and/or shelves every so often. I’m especially compelled to make a total difference redecorating for Summer and for Winter. It’s a “Thing”. Redecoraing Junkie on Shalavee.comt

This year, I happily entertained the achievement of some of this activity both for Halloween here and now for Fall. So before it gets too late and you need Christmas decorations, I thought I’d show you what my redecorating efforts got me.Redecoraing Junkie on Shalavee.comt

Redecoraing Junkie on Shalavee.com

I was feeling the copper, white, and wood combination. And yes, I have a lot of props to play with. I made the effort over several different days. Because, like writing, sometimes you have to fill the space up with something, even if it’s the wrong something, until you can come back and edit.

Redecoraing Junkie on Shalavee.comt

Redecoraing Junkie on Shalavee.comt

And since it’s all for me, I can allow it to come and play and touch and tweak until I’m happy. Hope everyone has a chance to play this holiday season with something. Whether it’s a tree of wrapping presents or their mantelpiece or cookies, I feel adamant that the spirit of the holiday is about creativity. May you be grabbed by your muse and twirled around the block a couple of times.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Thankfulness

I dare say I take everything for granted . Intentional thankfulness almost takes a little effort. But I know this so I slip free from the grips of guilt if I sit back and have a think.

And recently Fiona keeps saying “thank you”. Why am I surprised to hear that from my three year old. I am elated and suspicious all at once.ThaThankfulness on Shalavee.com

If I were to round up my gratitude, it may include these topics I feel grateful for:

  • After 5 years, my husband’s business has taken off
  • Bills are being paid off
  • Good food and wine was bought, cooked, and devoured
  • We have Great Friends and Family
  • My family is all healthy, for now
  • My creative muse is being entertained regularly
  • I have immense Freedom to create
  • I have a great therapist who has moved me on in ways I thought were fantastical
  • I love my life Thankfulness on Shalavee.com

Honestly, I’m not sure I could come up with anymore than this now and I’m OK with this being good enough.

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all from Shalavee.com !!!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Family Feasts and Football

We had occasion to go to my Mother-in-Law’s for dinner on a recent Sunday. The air outside has begun to get nippier. And we hustled onto the enclosed porch catching sight of Grammy at the sink in her Orioles t-shirt.

As she opened the kitchen door, she greeted the littlest one first as we all moved into the kitchen. The smell of her cooking hit me. A familiar mix of older people’s house and the simmering dinner. But then my brain pushed this aside for the sound of the whistles on the TV. Football season. And I anticipated the sad and glad memories of this family and families everywhere gathering for their upcoming Thanksgiving feasts and holiday celebrations. Everyone looking forward to the possibility of being together. That isn’t a given anymore. The sentimentality of holidays and the upset that arises around unresolved differences, is still a testament to the bonds of family. And the tenuousness of their time together.

Football Sundays spent with in-laws. Supper interrupting. A special desert and the celebration of someone’s birthday. Watching children get to know their aunts and uncles. And imagining the future when my children will come home from their lives abroad in the world. Me cooking feast food in the kitchen. And perhaps I’ll make sure the football game is on and the whistles are blowing just for the background music. To feel complete.

 

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Gratitudinal Goodness

I realized recently that every culture has a thanks-giving celebration with their family  community/society to give thanks for what they have.   A ritual communal gratitude for their connection to other people, their ability to eat, and to exist.

At least once a year, we all have an opportunity to be grateful. I’ll take mine now.DSC00711

Dear God,

Thank you for the sun and the clouds and the beautiful artwork the two make in the sky. And for the trees that make air so I can breathe. And for my existence so that I was able to experience the miracle of my children. And their laughter. And for my fabulous husband who will always forgive me for not listing him first. And for everyone who loves, cares, and supports me because I am truly nothing without them. And for the really cool dinosaurs that came and left their bones for us to look at. Good enough.
Amen.

Ghost of Holiday Meals Past

I used to have another life involving another husband, another set of in-laws who hosted Thanksgiving at their house, and no car. Eventually, we stopped showing up for Thanksgiving dinner.

Divorce is sad but my happy memory is of making my own meals based on whatever theme I felt like experimenting with. And I continued to do this with Christmases and New Years days with my now husband. We do spend Thanksgiving with his in-laws and we own a car and a truck.

I have often thought fondly of the themes and the dishes I’ve prepared for these occasions. There was an Italian themed dinner that included homemade egg pasta, which I do and it’s not hard, and a Reinforcement salad, a pickled vegetable salad with a religious story behind it. I remember reading Italian Christmas dinners are usually really late after mass. I prefer to eat early.

There was the seafood themed holiday where I got to cook a lobster tail. The lobster was attached. There were probably oysters for an appetizer. I make a pretty mean oyster stew too. But I add diced potatoes and carrots. Sue me.DSC02126

Talk of the feast always comes back to your favorites though, doesn’t it? My turkey day favorites include turkey with the cornbread stuffing incorporating any combo of sausage, apples, or chestnuts. Nuts or mushrooms too. It all makes me happy. Mashed potatoes and home-made gravy most definitely. We used to enjoy a cranberry jello salad called Junk. This one is close but maybe needs a ground up orange. I prefer whole cranberry sauce (recipe right on the bag of cranberries), love creamed spinach, and for dessert? I’m a pecan pie girl all the way.

I used to make this Oyster casserole dish below. Stopped because it was so rich. But found the recipe and thought to share as it’s an East coast classic. Happy Full Belly Day people.

I pint of fresh oysters…1.5 cups of crushed Ritz crackers, tossed in 1/2 cup of melted butter (use 1/2 cup for each layer in the recipe)…reserve 4 TBS of oyster liquor and combined with 2 TBS cream and the dashes of nutmeg, and Tabasco. Put a thin layer of crumbs on the bottom of a buttered baking dish that is about 8 inches square. Put on 1/2 the oysters Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on 1/2 the liquor mixture. Repeat, and top with remaining crumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F.

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