Thankful

2022 hasn’t been the year I thought it would be. (What year is, right?) And the latter half, especially, has been challenging and stressful and sad and just not great at all. But as we come into this week of Thanksgiving, I’m still thankful for this life.

I’m thankful for my loving family and my supportive friends.

I’m thankful for Graham. All of him. Every day.

I’m thankful for Gatsby and Annie, and their wonderful chaos, and their sweet faces.

I’m thankful for a beautiful old house that just refuses to fall down.

I’m thankful for you, kind readers, who keep coming back and reading what I put out into the world.

I’m thankful for this day, and the one that will come after, and the new chance every morning to create something good.

I’m not perfect. I’ve struggled in these last few months with some darkness I honestly didn’t know I had in me. But I know that I’ve still got so much to be thankful for, and my heart is just full of gratitude. It really, truly is.

I hope 2023 is better, but I’m still thankful for 2022 and what it’s taught me: There is always light.

Tired

It’s what we are around here today. This fall has been a whirlwind – some good things, some not so good things, some I plan to write about, and some that I’d rather not – and as we come into the holiday season, I’m just feeling a little run down. I’m sure everyone can relate. It happens. But my gosh, I just really can’t believe it’s already November, and before we know it, we’ll be looking at 2023 on the horizon.

So, on that note, we’ve had a visit planned with Graham’s family for a while anyway, so I’ll be taking a break for the next week. I’ll be back on Friday,  November 11th. In the meantime, as we move from autumn to winter, and from spooky to festive season, I wish all of you rest, comfort, warmth, joy, and happy creating!

Winter’s on the Way

Almost gone, your leaves
Fallen and caught by the wind
You know what’s coming

It seems to have happened overnight, though I know it didn’t: We woke up this morning, and just like that, our birch tree is ready for winter. It always makes me a little melancholy, watching a season end. But I love winter, and hopefully this year, we’ll have some snow.

There are still plenty of colorful leaves on some of our other trees, so we’re not quite there yet. But winter is certainly on its way, y’all.

Another visit to the (maybe) most haunted house in Loudoun…

Around this time for the last couple of years, I’ve posted about this house. Is it the most haunted in Loudoun County? I can’t say. But I can say that it’s still standing, though for how long is anyone’s guess.

Here it is in 2020:

And in 2021:

And today:

There’s something sort of sad and beautiful about watching this house crumble. Sad, because it’s very old and doubtless full of stories, even if it isn’t full of ghosts. And as it deteriorates, a little more every day, it takes those stories with it. Beautiful, because nature has a way of reclaiming land and forging on, regardless of what humans do.

I don’t know what this house will look like next year. But I’ll be there, regardless, to find out.

P.S. As I did last year and the year before, I’ll add this disclaimer:  This house is on private property, and there are no trespassing signs posted, so please don’t go poking around where you’re not welcome. It’s easy enough to take a picture from the road.

A Very Fall Friday

It’s feeling very much like autumn around here lately. The leaves have started to change in earnest.

And some have already fallen.

It’s hard not to be in a good mood with colors like this.

Especially on a Friday. 😊

A quick note, I’ll be taking a quick break through Monday to visit family, so I’ll be back and posting again on Wednesday, October 19th. Until then, I wish you all happy creating!

I’m in a cooking rut!

Help!

Seriously, y’all, I have a problem. A cooking problem. Okay, so it’s not a big problem and everything is mostly fine and I’m probably making a big deal out of nothing. But nonetheless, I am in a cooking rut, and it is a problem.

I love to cook. I’m really good at pastas…

…and particularly at mac and cheese.

I like learning how to make new things.

And I love to bake.

Lately, though, I feel like all we’ve been cooking are pasta dishes and roasted veggies with some kind of protein and rice. Like, sure, I’m feeding us. But I’m just feeling totally, completely uninspired. It’s boring and monotonous and I don’t like it.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. You can help, and I’d love it if you would! How?

Send me your favorite recipes! (Bonus points for your favorite cozy, fall recipes!)

One of my favorite things about food is that it’s sort of a universal language. The ingredients and techniques might be different, but at the end of the day, we all gotta eat, right? (And I really like to eat.) And you can always tell when a dish has been made with care and love, and when the cook just really wants you to feel good and be happy.

So, share your favorites with me, and I’ll do the same! Over the course of this fall, I’ll post some of my all-time best, most complimented, or just go-to recipes. And we’ll cook. And it will be fun!

(And also, September’s short story will be up on Friday, so be sure to check back. It’s going to be a good one!)

The First Fall Friday

How will you be spending it?

Here in my little corner of Virginia, it rained yesterday for the first official day of fall, and I spent most of it inside, reading. Today, I’m volunteering with a fifth-grade book club. We’ll be discussing Because of Winn-Dixie, which is one of the sweetest and most adorable books I’ve ever read. And after that, who knows? Perhaps Graham and I will get out and about and run some errands, or maybe I’ll sit and write. I do have a short story to post by the end of the month, after all. 😉

Whatever you do with this first autumn Friday, I hope it’s something worth doing, and that it makes you happy.

Autumn Is Coming

I feel it in the cool morning air. I see it in the subtle turning of the leaves. I am ready.

*Also a quick note: If you commented on my last post, I wanted to say a very heartfelt thank you. I have been overwhelmed and so appreciative of the outpouring of love, support, and kindness, and once again at the number of women who have shared their own stories with me. Thank you, thank you. Your sweet words and caring thoughts have made this dark and painful time a little brighter. I am grateful for you.*