In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



This is a song about hope

In the girl there's a room
In the room there's a table
On the table there's a candle
And it won't burn out.

I met several interesting people at work today. There were a couple of nice gals from Atlanta, who reminded my of my Georgia friend. I chatted with one of them for a bit. I spoke briefly with this other lady about liking to beautify surroundings, and feed people and make them comfortable. And there were others too...
Ben came by and we talked too. Now I'm relaxing at his place for the evening.

Here's today's recommendation:
Christmas Break: Relaxing jazz for the holidays.
It is the epidome of that

Have I mentioned Charlie Brown Christmas?

This one is a true family tradition. Every year, we (my family) allow ourselves to start listening to it with the First Snow. It's classic, familiar, and terribly, iconically, Christmasy.

For your coziness.

Here at the pineapple house, we're getting ready for an evening of ample food and a few close friends. My day began early: a few hours at work, a hair trim, a visit to Ben, and a quest to find fresh turkey. There being none to be found, I settled on a couple of plump chickens, and headed home in a deluge of rain and hail.
It's quieted much since then. I've lit candles and baked apples with cranberries, so that fabulous aromas might pervade. The chickens are dressed and roasting. Christmas music is playing over our new speakers. We are wrapped in gladness.

True classic Christmas right here. 
Bing Crosby. Nat King Cole. Dean Martin.

A blessed Advent to you!

After a good night's sleep, and early service at church, I settled down to cleaning and decorating my room, and tidying up a bit around the house. Productive and soothing.
 Candles. Baking. Good cheer.
Today's Christmas listening recommendation is Christmas with Committed. I've known about these guys since they were on Sing-off six years ago. Love listening to them! Killer harmony and blend. Just the thing for a winter evening.

2 trees in 2 days

Today, my featured album is Michael Buble's Christmas. Hard to describe and do it justice. With the first strains of music, and the velvet tones of Michael's voice, this CD ushers in Christmas.
This is what Christmas sounds like, the most wonderful time of the year.

Out to find a tree part one: tree farm with the fam

Out to find a tree part two: roommates in the city

And this was me today:

Merry Season of Joy to You!

I adore the Christmas season. Even more than the day itself. The season is just magical, and brings out all the over-the-top party and decor in me. I'm so excited that the season is official now, and I can blast Christmas music and shout from the rooftops (figuratively speaking) all the festive cheer in the world.
As usual here on the this blog, I'll be sharing my traditions and holiday adventures. I've also decided that for every day of the season, I'll share with you a Christmas album that I enjoy: old classics, personal traditions, and new favorites. I'm starting off with one of the latter.
When I heard Leslie Odom Jr. was coming out with a Christmas album I was beyond excited. And to pay it the respect due, I waited until the day after Thanksgiving before I listened for the first time. It was the first thing I turned on this morning, being one of the first downstairs: coffee and Christmas music was immediately necessary. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever listened to in my life. His voice may be unequaled. It gave me goosebumps I tell you. And the good cheer and holiday spirit filled the house right from the start.

Here at my parents house, the day continued on in quite the joyous and festive manner. We made breakfast, and carried down countless boxes of decorations from the attic. Ben and I wore red plaid shirts, as is our custom, and Santa hats into the bargain. Eventually we were heading down the road with the parentals to a tree-farm that we'd just discovered existed. It was a brilliant day for it: it felt like the English countryside. There was hot cider and good cheer, and helpful family-owners.
We tramped about among the tree discussing relative merits until we found consensus.
With a stop at the store for lights and other supplies, we headed home for a day of decorating, decking-the-halls, and holiday episodes of our favorite shows. Twice-baked potatoes, peppermint hot cocoa. We're closing down the evening with White Christmas ~ * *

Enjoy it to the fullest my friends, and share the Love of the One who came down from heaven as a little baby, and lived to die in our place.


"Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State"

"Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" psalm 107

Pie Day

 I made thanksgiving potato-patties for breakfast this morning (stuffing and turkey in mashed potatoes), from last night's leftovers. A festive and promising start to the day.

 Then off to pie making: realized I was out of one of my flours, and missing a pie plate, but no wit abated! One is very deep-dish, and we'll see which kind of crust we like best, but gluten and dairy free they certainly are. And despite kitchen mess, was ready with my pies by midday as planned.

 Packed up the car, pies nestled in blankets and towels in the back seat. Clothes, shoes, coats, hats; laundry since I'm headed to my parents.
 And a couple of hours later I was strolling about Mama's kitchen, sipping tea, and thawing more pie crust. Two more pumpkin and an apple later, and here we are! A very pie day indeed. Hooray for tomorrow and all the family joy it contains (not to mention food, Gravy, and Pie). And a cozy family evening tonight with chatting and sipping and laughter.

Big hearts.

Preparation begins

And first friendsgiving is this evening~
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gifts!

Gorgeous sunset this morning

And... I did it again. Didn't get around to posting earlier in the day, and then went to bed too late to do it then. But I got the important things done yesterday. Worked, talked to Ben, called Mama, had supper with friends, and stayed up late for fellowship and music. And then more fellowship when I got home and Grace was back! It feels good to be a five-some again.

But I will try to do a proper post tonight.

Do most people enjoy walking through Home Depot? I find it thoroughly enjoyable: the familiar smells, the tools, wood, Christmas trees. And if one isn't compelled to walk around for hours, it's even exciting. Very satisfying too, when you go there to pick up necessary items--replacement glass and a snow shovel, in my case--find them without any trouble, and make it out in a timely fashion. Before you've rubbed the shine off your visit.
And then of course, I was right next to Goodwill, so I had to pop in there and check on the state of flannel shirts, and cheap christmas sweaters for holiday-barista season. I didn't find those this time, but I picked up a couple of other items. Anyone else hoping for a little snow this weekend?
I came home then and put a chicken in the oven to roast. I enjoy rinsing and drying a bird, rubbing with olive oil, salt, thyme; chopping an onion, putting the giblets in for broth later. It's peaceful.


Went to work, picked up groceries on the way home, came home and basically did this:
a few hours later I woke up feeling like this:
a little tea and supper and episode or so and then I'm turning in again.

Great fellowship last night, went till late.
Found out today that I don't have to work on Thanksgiving. Yay!
Made some plans for a little more R&R in my future,
as well as more fellowship and edification in the weeks to come.

Look who forgot to post last night.

Not that it's a terrible shock or anything. I was so worn out last night. I'd been planning on a slower Saturday, but ended up working a pretty hectic shift. So I was out-of-it even during the afternoon while the coffee propped me up. I got to spend some time with Ben and a few friends, which was lovely. But I didn't get to appreciate it properly. I was able to catch an evening church service, since I knew I worked this morning as well. Then I crashed about nine.

Today I worked all morning, and now I'm at the laundromat with all my earthly clothes it seems like. It's going to be brilliant to have things to wear again! And it's hard to beat that freshly-washed-laundry smell. Between that and my fresh gingerbread, my car should stay smelling pretty great.

I'm looking forward to shopping this week for Thanksgiving food and bacon and all the other lovely things. Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving? I've got a couple of Friends-givings to go to as well, so I'm enjoying planning what to bring... And we all know what season comes after that!

I'm listening to Michael's Buble's new album in my ear-buds right now and it's making me want to dance! Thanks to coworkers who remind one of such things...

hither and yon

I confess I thought about naming the post 'hither and yawn' as most of our days include quite a bit of that, do they not?

 This is a pack lunch I brought to work one day this week. I was rather proud of it (and it tasted so good!). Gluten-free fettuccine, olives, tomato, and roasted butternut squash.

I got to meet Grammy for coffee yesterday! She was back in the city briefly. So great to see her again and chat. Love you Grammy!

As you can see, I recently colored my hair... one of the side-effects of living with a bunch of girls: you do that sort of thing in the middle of the night. And then, if you're me, you instantly go "what was I thinking?" and feel bad about all your life-decisions. But it's fine. A learning experience. It's quite a nice color, but I think too drastic and unnaturally-pink for me long-term. I'll just go with it for a couple of weeks I think, and then change it back to something nearer my own to grow out.

I was able to clean out my closet last night. It felt great! Got several things organized, and realized I have a lot of black and grey shoes. :)

Christmas is starting to seep into the corners of my days. I know there are many who are religious about not letting Christmas come until after Thanksgiving. But for me, the glad expectation and wonderment begins earlier. November is a golden month for the blending of autumn and winter. I can wear wool to work. I listen to Shepherd's Abiding in the car. I walk through craft stores and home-goods stores and let the lights and colors and festivity play in my mind, inspiring me for the season to come. There's a little stock-pile behind one of my chairs of Christmas decor and paraphernalia. From subtle to dazzling. I confess I can't wait for the Christmas season, and the first snow, and the general pizazz.

If you're one of those that has to shut your ears and eyes and wait for the 25th for joy to explode, that's fine too. But I can smell hope in the air, and I've started my journey to the star.

The one where we talk about Friends

Because aren't they great when you're not feeling very good at this whole 'life' thing.