It Survived

In case you’ve been wondering, the tree survived the holidays. Scout made no effort to climb or get inside the tree at all. He did try to eat the darn thing, a quirky little habit that I still can’t explain.

Perhaps next year the tree can return to the living room rather than be banished to my home gym where a closed door could protect it while he’s home alone.

Note the absence of bows on all the packages. He’s a good boy but not good enough to resist a shiny bow!

Merry Christmas!

Scout and I wish you a Merry (or Meowy, depending on how you say it) Christmas! We hope that you are safe, happy, fed and loved wherever you may be.

The above image is the Christmas card I made to mark our first Christmas together. I know it looks silly but it made me happy!

Have a beautiful day, friends!

A Change Of Plans

Today’s post was supposed to be about a light display in a neighboring town. The plan was to go last night and grab a vegan burger from a mom and pop place in the neighborhood.

But the sun was shining yesterday and it was beautiful. Consequently, I made the game time decision to spend the morning hiking and stay home last night. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow!

That’s actually one benefit of being single – a gal can change her mind without considering anyone else’s feelings anytime she likes.

It’s dark when I leave work so hiking isn’t typically an option this time of year. It seemed smart to take advantage of the sunshine.

It was 30 degrees when I went into the woods and about 15 degrees warmer on exit. There weren’t many people out – mainly the hearty souls like me who really wanted to be in nature.

So it was a great day for a stretch of the legs and just what I needed to help clear my mind. In fact, I went in feeling a bit uptight but came out feeling great.

A quick trip through the antique mall yielded a new book. Afterward, a sandwich from a local deli resulted in an impromptu picnic. Hey! The sun was shining and it was above freezing! It was a perfect day for it!

It turned out to be a great day.

Nature was calling. I had to go. I’ve seen those Christmas lights before and they will be there later.

My Theory About Santa

After hearing about the struggles of so many friends who still aren’t done with their Christmas shopping, I have developed a new theory about Santa.

Perhaps he was invented by a procrastinator who wished that someone else would show up in the middle of the night with all the shopping done and gifts wrapped.

It makes sense to me!

My shopping has been done for a couple of weeks, the gifts are wrapped and cookies are baked. I’m making dinner tomorrow but things are pretty low key around here. I went shopping on Saturday to find a few things I needed for the house but sort of enjoyed the hustle and bustle since I was under no pressure to buy anything!

For your sake, dear friends, I sincerely hope that your work is done and that you can spend some of the next few days relaxing and enjoying the season.

Merry Christmas!

Scout’s First Christmas

Shopping for Scout’s first Christmas may have gotten out of control. I realized while gift wrapping Sunday that he’s going to have more presents under the tree than most kids will have this Christmas.

Here he is after a busy day of helping me wrap presents. He was all tuckered out so he curled up with his blankie in his favorite chair. He tried to supervise a little longer but his eyes were just too heavy to stay awake.

That little cat won the lottery when he picked me up in the street.

A Friendly Chat

I’m fortunate to work for a company that encourages community involvement among employees. Last week, my department volunteered at an organization that serves local senior citizens. Here I met two very sweet ladies who I’m still thinking about days later.

I stopped by yesterday to drop off some prizes for bingo and Christmas cards for the ladies. One of them was there, providing opportunity to sit and visit a while.

She’s 96 and still lives alone. She cleans her home, orders her own medicine and is quite proud of her independence. Her grown children help with her laundry but she shakes her head and frowns when she admits they don’t want her going to the basement anymore.

Someone else cuts the grass now. She stopped gardening two years ago but has no intention of slowing down in any other way.

When asked her secret to a long life, she said that staying active and social has kept her going. She also advised living below your means and saving as much as possible. She doesn’t have a large income but says she doesn’t have to worry.

First of all, she is the sweetest lady and I was happy to talk with her. More importantly, she seemed happy to have someone to listen. It took no effort to sit there for a few minutes and show interest in what she had to say. And yet, I walked away with a wealth of wisdom and the feeling that the conversation had made a difference to us both.

It was one of the most positive human interactions I’ve had in a long time and I’m grateful for it. Older folks have wisdom to share and can benefit from having someone to talk with. Never discount the value of a friendly conversation.

Have a nice day, friends. Be good to one another.

Happiness Is…

Happiness is when your parents read your blog and give you something that brings back good memories. They saw the post about bulk candy at Fout’s Store and, while that store is long gone, they knew someplace else to go.

They went to Newman’s Grocery in Wellston, a family owned store that’s been in business since 1929. My folks were excited to present me with two small brown paper sacks of candy – chocolate covered peanuts and little chocolate stars!

They’re certainly not on the vegan diet but I do not care. I’ll ration and savor them and appreciate the fact I’m revisiting my childhood each time I open one of those little bags.

Good things really do come in small packages!