quoTe for a wiNteR day

Here's a quote that made me pause on a quiet January morning and think:

"There is a privacy about winter which no other season gives you ... Only in winter ... can you have long, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself."  Ruth Stout

Oh, I thought, what a nice quote. And on some days, it kind of applies to Scott and me, being empty nesters are we are. "Long, quiet stretches." "Belonging to yourself." But then, as I sat on the sofa in the family room copying the quote so I could blog it, I looked outside and realized that we're never alone. We have this dang WILDLIFE REFUGE right outside our back windows. We had deer that visit us almost daily. The one in the front is Buddy - he practically lives here all day every day. The others come and go along with some four-point and six-point bucks. They hang out under the bushes, lie under the trampoline, walk to Bristol Road via their well-worn path on the north side of our house. They love us. We pound on the windows and yell and they just look and look. They can't get enough of us and the crab apples on the ground beneath the crab apple tree. And then, there are the birds. One day there were thousands of birds. It's not always that busy. But there's always a few noisy magpies.The birds and the deer are fun to watch. They have a little "relationship" and seem to tolerate each other quite well. Finally, there's Freddie the pheasant. He hangs out and lets us know he's here with his distinctive call. Sometimes we see his mate - she stays in the shadows beneath the trees, and since she's not colorful, we miss he most of the time. We also have a variety of cats that visit our yard and I don't even want to know what else. I'm not gonna pretend to like this mini zoo - I'm not an animal lover and mostly worry about the droppings EVERYWHERE. But Scott gets a kick out of them and, well, they are kind of entertaining. 


the four-year-old cousins' surprise

Suzie and Lizzie came to visit after Thanksgiving. We were all excited that cousin Claire could join the fun for a couple of days. They're both darling four year olds - born seven weeks apart. They play well together and look darling when Suzie fixes their hair in twin styles.

One morning I had to run errands and do some shopping. While I was gone, the girls (and that includes Suzie) had the grand idea to decorate our Christmas tree for us. They emptied my boxes of ornaments and garland and bows. The best part of decorating the tree is climbing the ladder. They got to do that with Grandpa supervising. And sometimes when he wasn't looking.

When I came home and walked into the family room, I was so surprised. Yes, really shocked...and delighted. What a fun service project for them. What a gift to me! 

The tree's decorations were a little bottom heavy -but not too bad. I have only moved a few ornaments because I love it just as my four-year-old granddaughters decorated it. 


Christmas present

Christmas is in full swing around here. We had a wonderful couple of days with grandkids visiting and a house full of activity. Today, it has been quiet - not especially a good thing, but nice in a way because I've been longing for moments to read and write - which I did this afternoon and relished. Then I realized that we needed to deliver the breads we bought yesterday for our neighbors. I quickly jumped into action, made some tags and attached them, and we hopped in the car and got the job done. I have this dislike of going to people's doors after dark, so I was really motivated to not fuss about my labels, but just get them on and the bread delivered. I also went and visited with my mom for a couple of hours at her assisted living apartment (rather than bringing her to my house for Sunday dinner). We had a nice visit and watched a Christmas show on TV. Later, Scott and I had leftovers; the quick clean up was nice. This coming week is filled with fun things to do and necessary organization for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and beyond. The joy is with me and also the stress. That's Christmas - past, present and future. 


Mom's and Merilee's birthday party!

My sister Merilee was born on our mother's birthday. We've always enjoyed celebrating their birthdays together. All four of us siblings were able to attend the party this year at my house and many of the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Also mom's sister, Aunt Norma and Uncle Skeeter. Norma also had a baby on the same Dec. 10 day - our cousin Jami. We always called Merilee and Jami the twin cousins. Mom and Norma were living in different cities and didn't even know each other had had their baby. Long distance calls then were prohibitive and rare. 


If I just knew what the dream is...

"May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
and waste my heart on fear no more."
John O'Donahue


Party for Jen and Allie

Scott, Jen, and Allie live in Jamaica! The girls were able to come home for nice visit and we had a party to celebrate. 


music and biKes in Park City

Val, Merilee, Scott and I spent a wonderful evening at the Deer Valley Diana Krall concert.

It was the Utah Symphony outdoors series. We were so excited to hear singing Diana Krall. Somewhere in this crowd is also Doug and Kimberly. Doug has been a fan for years. 

Our seats had to be low, but we were glad we weren't in the blanket area. We had a picnic dinner too!

That's Diana Krall at the piano. She played and sang from the piano bench the whole concert.

And then it got dark - but it was warm and the music filled the night and it was magical!

The next morning we went for a bike ride.

Park City has lots of paths that are perfect for old people on cruiser bikes. 

Just to prove she isn't old, Merilee did tricks.

Not to be outdone, Val did a few of his own.

The scenery changed from Park City neighborhoods to a stream flowing through golden fields with the mountains in the distance.