A dedicated space to ponder, reflect, and converse about life, literacy, and learning
Friday, December 31, 2021
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Christmas has always been a very special time for me. There is something about the shining lights, the decorating, and the baking that reminds me of how faith, family, and love intertwines to bless the house with joy.
One feature of my new house that brings family and friends together is my kitchen with its huge space. It is here that I spent much time preparing the annual cookie bundles this year. I dabbled with different flavors and types of cookies but saved some time for the traditional sugar cookie making. First, I needed to find the cookie cutters that hold years of memories. Next, icing was needed so I searched the internet to find a delicious peppermint icing, Sprinkles were needed after several attempts to cut out the cookies. This process brought me back to memories of baking cookies with my mother. As an artist, she easily decorated her cookies with different types of nibs. No matter how hard I tried, I could not create a design like hers but I heard on TV that a cookie's decoration did not need to be perfect. All you need to do is have fun.
When I opened the sugar cookie container on Christmas, my granddaughter, Sierra, quietly snuck up next to me, peeked into the cookie container, and softly said.
"Grandma, you make beautiful cookies."
After that sweet statement, my heart leaped for joy. I knew that my kitchen would be the place where baking happens with the little grandgirls and new memories would be born.
Thursday, December 23, 2021
The days have a chill now and the countdown to Christmas is more real than ever. As dusk brings down its shades, timed lights illuminate the new house. The smell of cookies waft out from the kitchen where memories of Christmases past arise. Holiday joy is tucked into each nook, waiting for a special arrival of my granddaughters. Will there be a surprise on their face when they walk in the door?
The topic of granddaughters is often in my thoughts. My artist-poet friend Michelle Kogan picked up on my love of being a grandma and sent me a grand surprise through the mail, my first ever winter poem swap. Imagine my surprise to find an original Kogan watercolor pen ad ink art inside the envelope. Not only is the drawing beautiful but there is a golden shovel poem she created from a poem on my website. She even included instructions for the framer if the print is framed.
Michelle's note was included inside one of her cards, Reindeer, watercolor and watercolor pencil from her Etsy collection. Below you will find other floral and bird handcreated note cards and a a couple of bookmarks. I could look at these beautiful drawings again and again.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
From Bedecked In Autumn to Winter
All aboard nature's train. Next stop: Winter's Embrace but before hopping on the train take a stroll through the very last edition of Bedecked In Autumn, my fall gallery of artistic expressions.
"Autumn's humming with the wind a soulful lullaby, as heartbroken trees shed their leaves in a tear-stained goodby." - Angie Weiland-Crosby
As the seasons change, fall transitions to winter (in the northern hemisphere) and we get ready for a new year." (Angie Weiland-Crosby) Today, on December 21st, the official end of autumn and the celebration of the Winter Solstice, I bid a final goodby to autumn, a season of radiance and luster.
I invite you to take a gallery walk through the final edition of the Bedecked In Autumn Gallery.
While strolling through the gallery, listen to a beautiful instrumental song, Goodby Autumn, music by Giovanni Marradi.
2015 - Autumn's Palette2016 - Autumn Venture2017 - Autumn Ablaize2020 - Abundant Autumn
2021 - Bedecked In Autumn (comprised of three previous sections: Unveiling of the Bedecked in Autumn Gallery, A Slice of Bedecked In Autumn Gallery, In Praise of Autumn)
Friday, December 17, 2021
Winter Solstice Cento
Autumn is passing its baton next Tuesday, December 21st to celebrate the end of its radiant season and the Winter Solstice. "This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath." - Margaret Atwood, Canadian Poet
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Countdown to Christmas
The countdown begins. Lately, I am as busy as the North Pole elves trying to prepare for Christmas. I forget how few days are left to finish decorating, baking, and wrapping gifts-10 days exactly until Christmas Eve.
Tonight, I spend time decorating a little more of the outside and inside spaces. It is a layering process so take a peek. Let's start at the front door. I invite you inside.
My Nonnie's plant cart from 70 years ago is on the left while Santa is on the right.
Friday, December 10, 2021
It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas
It's beginning to look like Christmas everywhere in my home. Decorating for the season or holiday is one of my passions. I enjoy creating a home that brings the beauty of the outside in and the decorative spirit to the outside. What makes my new Virginia home different from my Long Island one is the open concept house where I can easily blend some of the old (antique pieces) with the new.
I opened the door so you can step into my foyer and study. The flocked pencil tree greets everyone. You can see some antique pieces mixed with my new furniture.
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays because of its connection to faith, family, and hope for brighter times. The latter is especially needed now.
Take a peek at some of the decorated corners. The foyer is still in the planning stages.
Sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,
a chant sublime.
Nature lends her voice to praises
in the jingle-jangle mornin'.
Waiting to remember exactly,
it calls us, with an angel's voice.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.
Wonder upon wonder.
©CV, 2021, Cento Poem
Sources for My Cento Poem
Title: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Michael Buble
1. The Christmas Holly by Eliza Cook2. Christmas Bells by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow3. Christmas Carol by Paul Laurence Dunbar4. Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds5. Ship's Manifest by Amanda Gorman6. Music on a Christmas Morning by Emily Bronte7. Ring Out Wild Bells by Alfred Lord Tennyson8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess9. O Holy Night by John Sullivan Dwight10. Before the ice is in the pools by Emily DickensonThank yous are extended to Mary Lee Hahn who inspired me to take on the Inklings' challenge suggested by Molly Hogan: try a poetry form that was new to us. I wrote a cento poem/patchwork poem. Research is needed when writing a cento poem that is composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets.”🎄🎅🎄Last week for Poetry Friday, I interviewed Matt Forrest Esenwine about his new book, Today I Am. If you did not visit my blog site and would like to read Matt's responses, please click here.Thanks to Shannon Krieg at POW! Kids Books for providing a copy of Matt's book for one lucky person. Congratulations Michelle Kogan. I know you are excited to receive and review the book.🎄🎅🎄I am ready for Poetry Friday but not fully ready to open the doors to all the decorated rooms in my house. It's hard to balance life during the holidays so here I am in the wee hours of morning typing away. Thanks to Cathy Mere for hosting Poetry Friday today at her blog, https://merelydaybyday.blogspot.com/. She is rolling out the red carpet for the Poetry Friday community."Happy holidays to all, and to all a good-night."