Photo by Prairiekittin

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to give my list of things I am grateful for.

  1. My husband. Without him life would be so much more difficult and a lot less about laughing.
  2. My daughter. She has taught me to look at things differently and how to be close to another.
  3. My cat. Always unconditional love.
  4. My space. The house where I live, and the bits of it that are mine alone.
  5. My job. Challenging enough, interesting enough, pays enough, without absorbing every minute of my life.
  6. My friends. They are teaching me how to accept help.
  7. My spiritual community. The folks from my church who have been there for years.
  8. My music director. He is pushing me into ways I only dreamed of being.
  9. The trees. The one I park under, the one that shades my gazebo, the crabapple in the front yard that feeds the raccoons.
  10. My extended family. There aren’t so many of us anymore, but those that are left are connected in a way that is impossible to define.
  11. My family of choice. The people who celebrate and mourn with me, whom I choose to share myself and my life with.
  12. Books. The ideas of the world, accessible to everyone.
  13. My phone. Bringing me information when and where I need.
  14. Music. The soundtrack of my life.
  15. Coffee. The comfort, the warmth, the boost of energy.
  16. Those things that bring me joy. My new shower, my comfy bathrobe, doing yoga with my cat.
  17. My technology. Connecting me in ways that I never could have dreamed of.
  18. Creature comforts. My bed, warm sweaters, comfy chairs, heat, air conditioning…
  19. Freedom. Freedom to be who I am.
  20. My talents. They are being stretched and exercised and I am all the better for it.

Photo by Prairiekittin


I Get To Be Tonks

My current team takes the prize for nerdiness. There are five of us consultants (all from the same company) and our client manager. The work we are doing is complicated, and we are on the bleeding edge of technology, so we spend a lot of time talking geek.

The new company project office asked us to pick a team name and characters to represent ourselves. After rejecting several movie themes, we settled on Harry Potter.

For the most part, people picked their own characters. The client manager became Dumbledore (of course). The largest member of the team picked Hagrid. The one who is on site two days a week became a ghost – Nearly Headless Nick. The dark guy became Sirius. The one who really doesn’t know Harry Potter at all (and is conincidentally the smallest member of the team) was assigned Dobbie.

But what about me? As the only female on the team, they were throwing out McGonagall (nope, not severe enough). Hermione (nope, not enough of a know-it-all, and definitely not the smartest on the team). Sybill Trewlawney (are you kidding?) Mrs. Weasley (as if I want to be known as a mom to this group) And then it hit…Tonks.

So I chose Tonks. The guys think it’s a good fit because of my current teal-colored hair.

I know it’s a good fit because like Tonks, I get to go in, do what needs to be done, without caring to prove my worth to anyone, and move on.

So Tonks it is.

Don’t you dare call me Nymphadora.

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

I Want A Celtic War Chicken

Photo by protohiro

I was listening to a Celtic Music podcast at work the other day (because who doesn’t love bagpipes and need more of them in their life?)

The song was called “The Chicken Raid of Cymru” (pronounced come-ree) and it’s kind of a bluesy song by the band Emerald Rose. Talking about stealing chickens and such.

But then they start talking about how Celtic War Chickens helped win a historical battle (which is in the history books if you know where to look). Celtic War Chickens are apparently fierce creatures (not grocery store shake-n-bake chickens) that get launched at the enemy. And that’s how you win the war.

I think I want a Celtic War Chicken. There are many situations where I would love to pull a chicken out from behind my back, swing it around and then launch it to vanquish an enemy.

Anyone know where I can get one?

Photo by protohiro

Autumn At Last. Or Maybe Not?

Photo by Ian SaneI like autumn. I especially yearn for it during September, when the calendar tells us we should be cooling down, and yet the shorts are still on and the AC still running.

And then October hits, and it cools.

It’s the end of October here, and the start of autumn. The temps are mostly cooled, and the leaves are starting to consider turning color and hurling themselves to the ground. The deciduous trees are always later than the pines, who have been flinging pine straw everywhere for the past three weeks.

This is much different than it was where I grew up on the frozen tundra. I remember having to buy Halloween costumes big so that they would fit over winter jackets. Here it is still warm enough to cause the pumpkins to rot if they are carved too soon, and it is not unusual to have shorts on the trick or treaters.

Sometimes I need to get a dose of fall vicariously. Thankfully I belong to a Facebook group from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and they post beautiful autumn photos starting in early October.

But as we head into November, this area will switch to autumn. The weather will cool, the air will be scented with decaying leaves, and every now and then you will smell wood burning. The light will be softer, and the skies bluer. And the fall will linger until December when winter will begin.

Photo by Ian Sane