January 2017

Aaaahhhh, January.  The serene stillness, much like the picture of the abandoned sleigh above, a reminder of the joyous festivities just past.  January is a great month for taking stock.  Fresh starts and promises for the coming year. The word “resolution”, comes with so much pressure, almost a set-up for failure.  Instead  make this the month you choose to do something just for yourself.  It doesn’t have to be a year-long commitment.  Just something that will enhance your happiness.  Refresh a room in your home.  Tackle some challenging recipes.  Try writing (a forgotten art!), or even painting, take a walk on a quietly snowy morning – without ear buds!  You’ll be amazed at how something simple and/or creative can affect your well-being.  Your inner joy will be evident to your family and those around you as well.  Embrace the calmness of January.

December 2016

Photo blurfair.blogspot

As the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year….” , and it truly is.  Something about playing those time and again traditional Christmas carols that instantly put the mood into the holiday.  I, like so many, have my traditions and one of them is to put up the Christmas tree and decorations the day after Thanksgiving.  This process usually takes a couple of long days, but the result is worth it.  My motto has always been to get the “work” out of the holidays.  I get my shopping done before Thanksgiving, have the greeting cards printed and ready and put aside and then sit back and enjoy every minute of the beautiful season that is upon us.  So many of us are put off by the hustle and bustle, but I say it doesn’t have to be so. I have tips in my ‘entertaining’ section for making holiday dinners stress free.  A little advance planning goes a long way and I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Make all of December your holiday.  Live in the moment and remember to enjoy the magic of the season.  I wish you all a peaceful holiday season.

November 2016

The days here In the northeast have become markedly colder.  The trees are rapidly shedding their final leaves, and the squirrels are very busy scampering through the yards, burying their stashes here and there.  Winter is on it’s way.  November for me is a month of preparation for the holidays to come.  I am one of those who do all their shopping before Thanksgiving.  Not because I’m trying to beat everyone to the finish, definitely not.  I do it so that I can actually sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season.  I despise the retail pressure.  It seems as though as soon as Halloween is over the race is on for the Christmas season.  Unfortunate.  Personally my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  I love the whole day preparation of food, the company and the coziness.  It’s a wonderful holiday of gratefulness and togetherness.  Take time this month to plan ahead ways to make your holidays less stressful.  Enjoy the last of these autumn days, the snow will be falling soon enough!

October 2016

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the summer ends and suddenly it’s autumn.  One day it’s still quite warm, then one day we wake and there is that familiar nip in the air.  That quiet signal from nature, that cool barely perceptible little breeze that whispers, fall is on it’s way.  I found this leaf walking my youngest down the driveway to catch the school bus.  One of the first to fall, almost perfect and a warm crimson.  It has sprouted from its’ wintry cocoon, worked hard all summer to fuel the tree, put on fall attire for it’s final act and then released itself from the tree to fall to the ground.  Cycle of life.  Hope and promise for another spring.  We take our cues from nature, time to button up, prepare for the days and busy seasons ahead.  We make our homes cozy. Warm and delicious smells waft from the kitchen.  Time to pull out the sweaters, go outside and take in all the glorious last colors and the best October has to offer.

September 2016

September…..on my calendar, always the one that really marks the beginning of the year.  The weather has predictably hinted of cooler temperatures and the days are markedly shorter.  For me personally, this year is poignant.  My eldest child is out in Utah for her first year of college (we live in the northeast), pretty far for most parents.  However, I’ve had three years ‘training’, so to speak, since she has been away at ski academy chasing her ultimate goal of the US national team in her discipline.  Still, the melancholy settles in as I muse over the fact that she is now truly onto her next chapter…….as are so many of my friends.  Undoubtedly the next stage of life.  Nonetheless the beginning of many more experiences to be had.  Regardless, September is always sentimental.  I so remember that first school bus ride.  Like any typical parent, we recorded it all, and in succession, each child as they, and we, experienced the same.  The sentimentality of the moment never lost.   Life is truly a journey of experience and emotion, the essence of life.  The result of what carves away to our completeness.  Hold on and live the ride.  The results, whatever they may be, heartbreak, joy, love, happiness, will create your ultimate bliss.

August 2016

Hard to believe, but here we are in August already.  Summer in the northeast is fleeting.  Long days as the sun rises very early and lingers well into the evening.  Days filled with kids activities, camps, sports, vacations and entertaining. Summer is the time to enjoy, have fun and license to sit back on a shady porch or hammock and just ‘be’.  The vegetable garden is thriving despite the drought that has been plaguing our area this summer, and as evidenced above the tomatoes are turning.  August is the time to drink in all that remains of the season and fortunately there is still plenty of it.  Soon enough it will be back to school and all that it entails, so for now, make the most of these wonderful days.

July 2016

Summertime wishes.  Each year we release these into the night air on the fourth.  So magical.  Something about summer nights.  The warm air on suntanned skin, the cool breeze that makes you reach for that sweater.  Watching the moon come up.  Days spent at camps, lakes and the ocean.  Whatever your summer tradition, it seems we squeeze the most out of the long days and evenings.  July is here and summer is definitely into full swing.  My tidbit this month?….Enjoy, be mindful of now.  The season is fleeting so take it all in.  Soak in, July.

June 2016

As a parent, I think we tend to start and end our calendars with the school year.  I’ve mentioned this before with my September posts.  This year I am experiencing my first high school graduate and I have to admit, I know I’m sentimental, but I was not ready for the onslaught of such emotion.  Seeing many of the children I’ve known since Pre-K, grown up and moving on in their lives has caught me reminiscing for weeks!  Hearing the echoed cliché in my head, “they grow up quickly”, cannot possibly ring more true.  It wasn’t quickly, it was more like lightning speed!  At one point we are buried in diapers, strollers, lunch boxes and play-dates, and the next moment we are out on college visits.  It truly happens that quickly.  I would have never believed it, but with 4 children, I’m living it!!  June has never before been so bittersweet.  At once an end and a beginning.  Congratulations graduates, your time has come.  Carpe Diem!

May 2016

I found this lovely little watercolor on Pinterest, (nestofposies-blog.com).  I think it says all there needs to be said!  I think everyone can relate to opening the windows after a long winter.  The first wafting of fresh air through the house, the unavoidable first ‘SLAM!’ of one of the bedroom doors upstairs when a stiff breeze brazenly enters. Aaaahhhh, the smell, the feel, the joy, the warmth.  Driving along a beautiful stretch of road one day, I saw a car pulled over, the trunk was open and spread out wide were all the necessities for a day of plein air painting.  An elderly man sat on a make-shift stool, wearing a slouchy hat and a large shirt over a t-shirt, sleeves sloppily rolled-up.  Easel before him, he sat quietly painting the beautiful view of the valley and farms below.  I thought to myself, in our hurry up world, what a great way to just toss aside the chores and sieze the day.  I encourage you in this beautiful season, when the earth re-awakens to try to grab a moment, hour, day to yourself.  Take in the view.  Open the windows.

April 2016

April showers bring May flowers it is said.  Here in the northeast we have had such a mild winter that the May flowers are coming a little earlier than usual.  Nonetheless, it’s always nice to see some color again.  Every now and again there is a day that is warm enough to open some windows and invite the fresh air into the house.  Out with the old, in with the new, the fresh, the turn of another season.  Us gardeners feel the excitement of another growing season.  We can’t wait to get going, planting, pruning, planning.  Outdoor house projects are ready to be tackled.  It’s like waiting for the start of a race.  However, April can be fickle, and the unexpected cold snap and snow flurries cannot be ruled out.  Not to worry, the days are noticeably longer and the buds are thickening.  Spring is certainly here.  Use April to make your plans, the warm weather will be here soon enough.