Our local meteorologist makes visits to local schools ... often very early in the morning.
Last week he made an appearance at one school at 5:30 a.m.(!) and gathered a group of shy, sleepy, hands-in-pockets grammar school students and asked them, "What do you like most about Thanksgiving?"
The first few weren't sure what to say and simply shrugged their shoulders. The next student, one ... who had a minute or two to think, said "family," which was followed by, "all the food."
The next few mimicked the previous answers, but the last kid in line ... the one who had the most time to think, had the best answer, "I like wishing on the wishbone."
I love that he said that, I love how he phrased it ... and I love the sentiment behind it.
Whether you'll be wishing on a wishbone or giving thanks in some other way, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
And as Thanksgiving week gets underway, I want to say ...
I am thankful for you!
It means so much when you write comments, open my emails, and like my posts.
If you're interested in making note of what you're thankful for this Thanksgiving, click on the image above or right here, to download and print the "Today I Am Thankful for ..." sheet. There are two to a sheet so you can print extras for yourself ... and others.
What's your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?
But does it hold water?
I can't remember the name or subject of the class, but when I was in high school, one of our assignments was to give a demonstration speech.
One boy brought in a hockey stick and explained how to put a curve to the blade. It was a hat-trick* presentation ... 1) he was prepared, 2) he delivered his presentation with enthusiasm, and 3) with before and after hockey sticks on hand, he had relevant, engaging props. Even though I've never played hockey, I enjoyed the presentation.
When it was my turn, I initiated a hands-on origami exercise. The class followed along and we all folded a square sheet of paper into a cup. I recall some murmuring and a few moans and groans when I passed out the paper, but I won them over when I poured water from a pitcher into my cup and demonstrated that it would in fact, hold water.
It was the start of an origami obsession.
My next goal was to fold an origami crane and when I had that figured out, I challenged myself to fold one without looking at the directions. Still can.
Today is World Origami Day. If you want to ease into the art of origami, learn how to fold a cup that holds water: get your instructions here.
*In hockey, a hat-trick is when one player scores three goals in a single game. That kid put it in the net.
Some still hang
bright and red
others make like
polka dots, red on
The ones that
fill the gutter
line up like bowling
balls in the automated
Is it the imperfections,
or it it because they're not
already picked, in a bag,
in a store?
I wish it was my
Off to a good start?
Do you make your bed? I know my mother encouraged it when I was growing up, but it was my grandmother who found a way to make it happen ... and I think of her still when I change the sheets.
There was no pestering or pleading, she simply set the scene ... with new bedding. It was the best after-school treat I never imagined I might crave.
It was mid-afternoon when I arrived home from school and found the mismatched jumble of pillows, sheets, and blankets I'd left on the bed earlier in the day replaced with perfectly plump pillows and coordinated sheets tucked under a matching comforter.
I was spellbound.
Nothing but the bedding had changed, but there was new order to my small room, and I was all in.
The 11th of this month is Make Your Bed Day (get your calendar of days through the link below). Some do, some don't ... some only when company's coming. But there's evidence that suggests it might be a good idea. It was also a key point in Admiral William H. McRaven's popular commencement address delivered to the 2014 graduating class at the University of Texas.
"If you make you bed every morning," McRaven says, "you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another and another."
He goes on to say that even if you have a miserable day, when it's time for bed, you will be reminded that you did in fact accomplish something that day ... you made your bed.
I made mine. Did you? (Tucked or untucked?)
p.s. The same could be said for any project or goal you're working on. Try to work on it early in the morning, at the same time of day, or the same day every week. The routine/scheduling can help you move forward. Try it and let me know how it goes.
Window boxing and a place to write all about it
Though I don't do a lot of gardening, I do love my window boxes. They're really railing boxes - a lot like window boxes, but they sit on the porch railings. They have transformed my not-so-green thumb into a pale, almost green thumb.
Because I walk by the boxes every time I leave or enter the house, I am reminded to water them. And wow, doesn't that make everyone happy.
This collage is for the first book in my upcoming series of discovery journals: florals. It's a journal for recording the flowers you grow, the flowers you see, or simply the flowers you like, with plenty of room to write ... about flowers or anything else. Things that are coming up roses ... or leave you to say, oops-a-daisy!
This collage is for inside the front cover: tools of the trade.
Do you have a favorite gardening tool ... or gardening tip? Or flower?
Tell me about ... I need all the help I can get as I sow the seeds of this new idea.
It's been a week of bird sightings and activity.
I found a nest in the yard the other day. It was after a few days of strong winds ... winds that must have released it from its perch.
This morning we walked through the park and saw a group of people (a gaggle, or maybe it was a congregation) grouped together, all facing the same direction, looking up at a pine tree.
They were mesmerized by the great horned owl perched high above, with her two owlets(!) all fuzzy and huddled close together. In other words, a parliament of owls. Amazing.
And then there was the paddling of ducks down at the pond.
What's gathering in your neck of the woods?
- a convocation of eagles?
- a stand of flamingos?
- an ostentation of peacocks?
- a wake of buzzards?
- a peep of chickens?
- a muster of storks?
- a host of sparrows?
- an exaltation of larks?
- a colony of penguins?
- a wedge of swans?
- a party of jays?
I made this collage from old maps and a cancelled stamp. It occurred to me that when we look at a map, it's like looking at the world with a bird's eye view. I think we'll always need paper maps ... after all, what if there's no wifi?
December marks time like no other month.
Tomorrow the winter solstice brings us the shortest day of the year followed by the longest night ... and days later, the end of one year and the beginning of another.
I’m thinking about how I can add light to my days and mark new beginnings. Not just new beginnings on the calendar, or the light from longer days, but the light and change that comes from doing things differently, seeing things in new light, and being curious.
Last week we had a snow storm ... a big one. Most of us got anywhere from 18 - 24 inches. And as it so often happens, the next day it was glorious. Sunny and bright and fresh.
After the storm, we took a ride ... uptown to State Street, left at Longfellow Square ... and there it was. A rainbow. Shimmering in the windblown snow hanging in the air.
This week's calendar ...
Thursday is Egg Nog Day. Are you a fan?
You'll also see that today is Poet Laureate Day. Because the statue in the rainbow photograph is poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I want to share a post I did a while ago on blackout poetry.
Follow this link to read more about Longfellow and blackout poetry, and give it a try. Use it to create a poem. Stick it to the refrigerator or mail it to someone. It may add new light to your day.
After all, you could be a poet and don't even know it.
Even if you don't want to try the exercise, click through to read Longfellow's poem, Holidays anyway. It's fitting for this holiday season ... one that is so very different from so many others. Read it and let me know what you think.
And if you create a poem, share it with me. I'd love to read it.
p.s. There's also a link in the post to Robert Frost's poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. You can read the poem and find out why it's one of my favorites.
Don't miss this special event:
Sunday, December 13th at 2:00 EST
Letters Live celebrates the beauty and wonder of letters in a moving and altogether new way ... live readings.
From their website:
"Letters Live has brought to the stage letters written by people as varied as David Bowie, Marge Simpson, Mohandas Gandhi, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin ... and has seen the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliet Stevenson, Ian McKellen, Kylie Minogue, Russell Brand ... and Sir Ben Kingsley deliver unique and extraordinary performances."
On Sunday, December 13th, they are offering two one-hour screenings of previous performances.
I'm planning to watch (and listen), will you?
Backyard birding - it's easy, free, and just outside your door. If you're looking for something to do that doesn't take too much time (an hour or less), take a walk, look, and listen.
Birds are everywhere ... in trees, on fences, power lines, and porches. Track what kind of birds you see—and how many. In my neighborhood, we’ve got blue jays, seagulls, pigeons, robins, cardinals, chick-a-dee, dee, dees, and sometimes, woodpeckers.
If you find you enjoy it, get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count. It happens every year—and you can take part.
Of course there’s no equipment needed for watching birds ... but if you have them, grab a notebook and the binoculars.
We took a walk this spring and heard the woodpeckers ... listen here!
We went for a walk at the Audubon center this morning. It was an overcast day in an autumn landscape. At first glance, aside from the sweeping views of the field and the river beyond, it seemed there wouldn’t be much to see. At least not when compared to earlier in the season when so many birds flitted one way then another, flowers were blooming, turtles skimmed the pond, and the grasses grew tall and green.
Today the only green offered was harbored in the pine trees on the field’s edge. And it was unusually quiet. We spotted just one crow, another (unidentifiable) small bird, and in the distance by the river, a flock of seagulls. So many of the birds have migrated, the flowers and grasses have gone dormant, and there’s a chill in the air that seeks and settles in the gap of an open collar.
But there is beauty and intrigue to be found. Close up and at a distance if you look for it.
Red berries on bare twigs. The lilt of the marsh grass. And scat deposited on the edge of a well worn path. Yep, we’re talking poop. Pretty sure it didn’t come from a dog because they’re not allowed. And with all the berries in it, it was most likely fox droppings. Two sightings ... of poop, not the fox, unfortunately.
The walk was a bit of forest bathing; immersion in the natural landscape. Even though we weren’t in the forest, we focused on the landscape, the sky, the air, plants (and yes, poop), and nothing else. No worries about what to cook for dinner, the news, or impending chores. In return, we found what we were looking for ... calm in an otherwise hectic world.
We may not be able to visit or travel these days, but if we get out and explore what's close to home, there’s no telling what we might see and share ... in a letter, a phone call, or Zoom event.
Is there a park, walkway, stretch of beach, or field where you can go to get outside? Where you can watch, listen, and let nature wash over you? Go.
It will make you feel better and give you the scoop on new things to talk about.