Here we go again. I am singing song lyrics this morning. I don’t know why. Maybe the Christmas music has charged my brain in a particular mode for lyrical expression. However, the Christmas decorations are not hopping out of the boxes this year. Do I have too many? Is the thought of putting them all away again in a month just gotten to be too much? Am I a grinch? What’s wrong?

I have talked before about our planet, and the subject has come up once again. I attended a lecture on the Himalayas recently, and the fact that as they lose their snow pack, all of the people, millions of people down stream along the rivers that flow out of those mountains are in danger of losing their livelihoods and their lives. The concept we discussed is giving the mountains the status of a person, having the same rights to exist that people do.

Whoa you say, that’s crazy! Well, hold onto your hats. It’s not so crazy, and the momentum is building world wide to protect nature in just that manner. Think for a moment. We give corporations the status of humans all the time. They get to vote, to make contracts with you, be sued or sue you, and they are definitely NOT human beings. Well, nature sustains the people living on our planets. Should not nature, therefore, be allowed to exist without being abused, polluted, depleted, etc.?

Around the world, rivers have gained such status. It is one method of getting a government and laws behind the protections for our future. Yes, it is controversial, but most of those sounding the alarm are those who will be harmed economically (profits!) by not being able to continue polluting the rivers, depleting the resources, or emitting the green-house gases. Once again, it comes down to deciding what we can live with, a future for our planet and our children, or ??? Unfortunately, we raced right past Climate Change. We are in Climate Crisis.

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Less and Less

Snow, snow, snow! Great if you ski, shovel snow for a living, or like to drink water. Otherwise, it is a bit of an inconvenience when it falls anywhere but in the mountains or on the lawn. Snow is definitely non-discriminatory. It falls everywhere.

My daughter and I decided to forgo many of the Thanksgiving traditional foods. We kept it very simple, but did not skip mashed potatoes and pies. No no no, we did not skip on pie or on our favorite toppings. I like ice cream, she takes after her dad and likes the whipped cream.  We compromised by having both! Ha!

Life is so much easier with the Internet in assisting the manuscript revision. We are at it full steam, with a slight break for Thanksgiving day. Exciting to be getting so close.

Besides shoveling snow, eating too much good pie, and playing more rounds of Rummy than anyone could count, we had a wonderful holiday. Now the kids have two birthdays (both my grandsons were born in December) and Christmas to prepare for. I am hoping for a break in the weather, so I can drive home. Next week is packed with events and obligations. Cooperate Mr. Snowman!

So my five year old ( soon to be six ) grandson has mastered Rummy, sounding out new words when he reads, and rhyming. He also loves making up jokes. That seems to run in this generation of grandchildren. I’d like to take the boys home with me, but alas, they have to go to school next week. It sure gets in the way of our fun. Then again, so do the layers of snow and ice and cold. I must be getting old. I don’t even have to work outside anymore, and I like the cold less and less.

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The IRS gets the last laugh. They decided they DID want me to submit the form one more time. I should never have blogged that everything was finally done. So, now, instead of looking for a check from them the first part of December, should we start a pool on when it might show up? I’m not even betting on it being in 2019 at this rate.

While taking care of my grandsons, the Internet and TV ceased to work. Now normally for me, that isn’t much of a disaster, but I’ve been critiquing a book for a writer friend, and she has a deadline in early December to submit the manuscript. We’re trying to finish at least a chapter per day, and when I couldn’t send or receive, that became a big problem. Fortunately, my kids returned. In the meantime, hotspot to the rescue. The problem turned out to be a GFI in the laundry room. Houses are wired weird.

The boys and I played foursquare, Monopoly, Pete the Cat, rummy, Tenzi, and Go Fish. We took walks and a bike ride. We even went out after dark to enjoy the Christmas lights around the neighborhood. Because it’s not Thanksgiving yet, the lights being lit seems early, but then I realized, it’s really the fact that Thanksgiving is being celebrated late this year, and if you want to get your money and labors worth out of those lights – they might as well be lit.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. It is my favorite holiday because there are no gift expectations, disappointments, or mess. Only two decisions complicate the day: how much food to eat, and the choice of watching football or not. The smell of turkey roasting is divine, especially if you have lots of onion in the dressing. Regardless of how much there is for me to over-eat, I am grateful to be with family.

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Leave Behind

I am watching an impossible decision unfold around me: the death of an immediate family member and a wedding that’s been planned and looked forward to for a year. I have no answers. I am just so very sorry that it has happened this way. Sometimes life sucks. Grief is such a part of life. The hardest aspect is peeling away the guilt – that part that none of us needs or deserves, but most all of us feel.

My prayers for everyone are safe travels to wherever you are headed for the holidays. The weather has been so nasty. Drive carefully. Tell your loved ones you love them. Take a moment to appreciate all of the blessings around you. Forget your old grievances, they are a burden to you. Lay that bag of bricks down!

I don’t want to be remembered for a scowl. I want to be remembered for a smile.

This year is roaring past me faster than I believe is possible. My grandkids are growing faster than should be allowed. The polar ice caps and world’s glaciers are melting so fast now, flooding is going to become an unstoppable constant. Over two hundred years ago, Alexander Humboldt predicted what is now happening. Nothing but greed stopped his predictions from dictating a prudent and wise course for mankind to move forward with, be it in technology, agriculture, or industry. Each and every step of our progress in the past two hundred years could have been measured against the health and welfare of our planet – and thusly our own health. It has not been. It has only been measured in terms of economic growth and profit. How sad. How very very sad.

My wish is for each of us to take time to evaluate our priorities for the coming year, to measure our goals in life against how we wish to be remembered, and what we leave behind.

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Windy Wyo

The predicted weather for the day I was scheduled to leave looked nasty, so I left a day early. Good thing as the highway signs across Wyoming went from saying ‘Wind Gusts 45+mph’ to ‘Blowing snow warning’ for early the next morning. Good ole windy Wyoming. That’s okay, coming a day early has given me more time to visit with my daughter and family who don’t live close by – yet. I’m getting wimpy or smart, however you want to look at it, when it comes to driving on icy roads and winter weather. As long as I have a choice about what day I’m driving, I’m using it.

I took my first mile long walk the other day – without the boot. Yay! Absolutely yay! Such a relief to be able to do that again. I could definitely feel my foot talking to me afterwards, but I elevated it for fifteen minutes, and then continued with my day. Victory. We had a couple of days of wonderful, warm temperatures so I was also able to dead head a couple of the flower beds. As the year draws to a close, so should the yard work, but at my present pace, I see enough work out there to last well into the new year. Job security.

I’m thinking of taking French lessons with my daughter and granddaughter for the next six months in preparation for a trip to France next summer. We have a family wedding to attend. Maybe it’s crazy – I haven’t taken French since high school – but I think it might be fun. The next and even more difficult question is what to get the couple for a wedding present, something small enough that it can be packed in a suitcase. This trip is going to be fun to plan!

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Get Me Into

I had a very fun and somewhat productive writing retreat, as well as some ATV buggy time. That was a blast!  Each morning I watched the moon go down through the pines and the sun come up across the prairie. There were good visits with friends, good grilling, and I found more pieces of driftwood to bring home for decorating in my back yard. I call that  a win.

After returning home from the mountains, I tried raking more leaves, but the wind came up and swirled my pile away faster than I could gather it together. I decided to be patient and hope more leaves leave the yard than come in. I went to the hardware store instead, and came home with supplies for projects on this winter’s ‘to-do’ list.

My foot is definitely healing, not 100% yet, but getting there. I am re-training myself to walk straight, and the stairs are not one steppers yet, but hey, exercise is on the horizon. I am able to do some of my yoga balance holds. Every little bit helps. This has been a lesson in the importance of feet to our overall health, health to mental and emotional well being, and why NOT to wear slippers when you move big boxes.

Well, I have another grand-dog. This second one is almost identical to the first one that it was brought home to be a companion for. I have to admit, it is delightful to watch how much they enjoy each others company. Run, run, run until they drop from exhaustion. Pooper-scooping just doubled for my granddaughter. She seems to not mind, at least not yet. That means it’s doubled for me too when I dog sit. What my kids get me into!

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What If?

We are supposed to have some nice weather for a few days at least. When the latest snow goes away, I’ll probably have to rake more leaves, but for the time being, the reprieve is kind of nice. I’m taking advantage of the break by going to the mountains. I’m indulging in a self-made writing retreat. A special bonus is getting to meet up with some old friends.

My latest novel Compass Point is coming along. This is the one with some of my dad’s stories in it. My critique-buddy and a developmental editor are working on it with me. It helps so much to have outside eyes. Please don’t forget if you have young people to buy Christmas gifts for, you can find my books by going to my web-site: I am out of book One, Badger The Dog, but there are plenty of Book Two through Five as well as Rhyaden and my other novels.

The house in Grand Junction now belongs to other people. The transaction closed without incident. My emotions, however,  took one more rollercoaster ride that day. My kids were wonderfully supportive, and gathered with me to eat, visit, and make a toast to those not with us. That chapter of our family’s life has closed, another will open. It always does when grandchildren grow at Mach One.

In the meantime, in my effort to do my part for my planet, I am teaching myself to use re-usable plastic containers instead of plastic baggies, and buying compostable trash bags. I wonder if I can’t find compostable lawn and garden bags too. My daughter and I had a discussion about these things, if they aren’t too little too late. What if? we asked, What if legislation had been passed fifty years ago that required businesses to look at the health and environmental impacts of their products before being produced. What if? Of course, profit is what rules, so that would have never happened, but still, what if?

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