Grandma Peg

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my Grandma Peg’s death. She is the only grandparent with whom I had a real relationship, since my other living grandparent and step-grandparent both died when I was 13.

I only saw my grandparents a few times per year, since they lived five hours away. But when I was young, I started exchanging letters with Grandma Peg and continued up until she became very sick.

Grandma and I never talked about the past; we talked about the present day. She would talk about her crafts and baking; I would talk about school or work. She had never been on an airplane, so I delighted in sending her postcards whenever I traveled.

She never spoke of the tragedies that befell her. Her father was a miner and was involved in an accident (a rock fell on his back and crushed his spine). He died two year later, at the age of 37. Her husband would die from a tractor accident in their yard at the age of 38.

I only know about the poverty of her childhood (and adulthood) because she wrote a short book of life stories for her five grandchildren. But, as she wrote in her book, she often felt blessed by simple kindnesses from friends and strangers. Throughout her life, she had strong faith and trusted in God: “God had His own plans. It is not for us to question that,” she explained in her book.

She first learned to drive at 39; she was given her first doll (a preemie Cabbage Patch Kid) at 70.

I have many things to remember her by, which make me smile: ceramics she painted, holiday magnets she made, copper pans that hung on her kitchen wall, and some handwritten recipes. God/Universe willing, my niece will grow up to know her four grandparents. If you have living grandparents, send them a note or give them a call. Ask them to write down some stories. You’ll be glad you did.

At the end of the book are poems, songs, and quotes she liked. I leave you with this thought:

Always remember to forget
The troubles that pass your way,
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

Me and Grandma
Me and Grandma

You Have Too Many Mag Subscriptions…

…when you go through your magazine pile and find one that is almost a year old:


Benedict has been waiting…









And I’ve already received a new magazine subscription for Christmas! New Year’s resolution: Make more time to read…

Well, I have one day left of work and then it’s holiday break time. Hope you are all having a lovely holiday season. I was going through some old photos the other day and came across these pics of my childhood cats.

Kitty and Kiwi were the best cats ever (don’t tell Olive). They were very chill and great sports.

Happy Holidays!




Lil Bro with Kiwi
Lil Bro with Kiwi

Tee to Zee

Last week, my peeps and I hit T and Z on the Alphabet Bar List.

Trophy Room is a new-ish bar/bistro. I forgot to ask why there were trophies lined along the top of the walls but the home page of its website handily explains the story.








I tried the Cisco Brewery’s Winter Shredder (middle). I ordered nachos for a snack and they happened to be the most sophisticated nachos I’ve ever eaten. I had not known that nachos could be sophisticated. The chips were different; the cheese was different; the black beans and corn were different…suffice it to say that they were not your ordinary nachos. The atmosphere was cozy and the bartender was cordial and helpful. A nice place.









We headed to a Mexican place called Zocalo next. I’m not posting the link to the URL because when I just went to the site, all of the pages had weird German text on them. ?? If I recall correctly, there was only one craft beer on tap. But this is a tequila bar, so I guess I’ll forgive it. There were plenty of “cervezas,” so I tried Negro Modelo for the first time (I believe). I liked it more than the lighter cervezas.








The decor had some flair (dressed-up skeleton at the entrance, cute ceramic animals on the wall), which I enjoyed. I’ll return to try the food sometime.








I have 12 bars left, so I’m officially halfway through the list. This is good since I have five months left to complete it!

Tempus Fugit

The past few weeks have been a blur of work, volunteering, holiday shopping, holiday card sending, holiday lunches and parties, post office trips. And now it’s almost a week till Christmas.

Without fail, at least once during the holiday season, I buy someone a gift and buy myself the same thing. This year, the “one for you, one for me” is:








I found two of these signs sitting on the shelf at TJ Maxx the other day. I immediately picked one up and thought, “Mom needs this.”

“Oh, and I need it, too.”

My first reaction to the sign was laughter. Yes, we both over-schedule ourselves so much that it’s laughable (not to mention stressful at times).

But then I had a more mindful thought: This sign should serve as a reminder for us. We really don’t have the time to waste on busy-ness; our time should be spent more wisely. We need to make the time for relaxing, meditating, just being.

First (and maybe only) resolution for 2015.

Ready or Not, Here They Come

I haven’t switched my calendar from November to December yet.

I’m not ready for the holidays, but they’re sure as hell not waiting for me. Holiday cards are appearing in my mailbox and I’m attending three holiday parties this week.

Everywhere I go, I run into Christmas trees and reindeer shouting, “Ready or not, here we come!”

I’m trying not to wig out about the fact that the trees and reindeer are within arm’s reach. All of the baking, shopping, card making and sending, and gift wrapping will get done somehow, right?

Boston Common
Boston Common








Mall in Virginia
Mall in Virginia
Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston