25 November 2015: WRAPPING UP

This is going to be the swan song for this prompt. I’m crazy busy and it isn’t getting easier to meet my schedule. I’m either going to cut back my blogging or I’m going to start dropping some of the balls I’m juggling. Bang, thud, whack, wham. Ouch!

At the grocery store, it's definitely Christmas

At the grocery store, it’s definitely Christmas

Okay, so if dropping those balls isn’t an option, then I’ve got to lighten up my schedule, at least until the end of January. I keep saying I’m going to do it, but then I find myself in the grip of blogging fever. Is there a 12-step program for this?


The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving tomorrow. Christmas in a month, then we’re off to Arizona for a couple of weeks just after New Year’s Day.

I’ve enjoyed doing this prompt. From now on, I’m will enjoy not doing it.


The weather is turning cold at night. It’s still relatively warm during the day … warmer than it usually is this close to Thanksgiving and you won’t hear me complaining about it. I took a bunch of crunchy leaf pictures, down by the river pictures, wide-angle pictures with my new Pentax lens.


It’s my farewell to Autumn, the last of the best of this year. The long, dark shadows on the driveway, the piles of crunchy oak and maple leaves.


For me, piles of autumn leaves are deeply evocative. My fondest early memories of walking to school was the feel of new leather shoes and those leaves crunching underfoot.


The snap of the leaves, the squeak of leather. The smell of fall. Crisp air.


I always say goodbye to autumn with utmost regret. I say goodbye to this prompt with equal regret. Maybe I’ll try something new in the spring, but it’s time for me to take a breath, step back, and recognize that I can’t keep up this pace.

Should you decide to accept this challenge, you can use a picture from this or any post of mine  — or any other picture you like. Write something about the picture or make something up, using a photograph — any photo — as a jumping off point.

This is the easiest prompt in the world. And this will be your last chance, so if you want to play, come one in!

Scotch Pride

Marilyn Armstrong:

I couldn’t help myself. Laird Morrie and the gang are TOO cute

Originally posted on lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown:

img_64411 My name is Laird Morrie and I’m the ruler of all you survey.

Version 2 This is my princess.  We’re about the same size.

Version 5 As you can see, my brother Diego is twice my size

IMG_7906 And although it looks like he is killing me in all of these tussling  matches,


IMG_7913 In fact, I always come back for more.  More often than not, I am the aggressor.  More often than not, the bigger dog wins.

IMG_7916 Yet still, I remind myself, I am royalty.  And I pounce again!

DSC07911 This is Frida, one of the three ladies of the house.  Here she maintains her distance.

IMG_3937 This is the other non-human lady of the house. Neither of these ladies likes me much, for I like their dinners entirely too much. Sometimes I jump up on the ledge of the wall and reach up to dine on what this lady leaves behind. Sometimes I dine on it before she’s…

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I know you think you are helping people by trying to get everyone to close on holidays, but it isn’t necessarily the right thing. It might be the right thing for you … but what about me? What about the people next door? Are they just like you? Same holidays? Same available choices? Same kind of family? Same religion?


When you promote a work ban on holidays, consider that many folks don’t have families. These are people who are grateful to be working. Moreover, there are many individuals and families who count on the extra money they can earn by working holidays.


Not everyone is equally enthusiastic or sentimental about traditional celebrations. There are plenty of people for whom Christmas,Thanksgiving, or Columbus Day are non-starters. They have their reasons and they are entitled to them.


Not everyone has someplace to go and a warm, fuzzy family to share with. It’s wonderful to be grateful for what we have. It’s also good to be mindful that not everyone is equally or similarly blessed … and not everyone celebrates the same holidays.


And. Even those who celebrate the same holidays do not necessarily celebrate them the same way you do or on the same dates.


I was delighted when Ellin offered to write some pieces for Serendipity. Good friend, passionate animal advocate, gourmet cook … a women who has done a lot of living and has made the best lemonade out of life’s lemons.


by Ellin Curley

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time travel. I’m particularly fond of the fantasy of going back in time, knowing what you know now, and changing some pivotal moment in your past. I used to wish fervently for this fantasy to become a reality so I could undo some of my Top 10 “mistakes” and bad judgement calls. Many of those involved my first husband – like deciding to marry him and deciding — multiple times — to stay with him when reason told me I should leave.


I’m a logical person. The problem with this fantasy is I would have to accept the drastic changes in my personal time line which would inevitably flow from new and improved life choices.

The biggest and most obvious change is obvious: if I didn’t marry my ex, I wouldn’t have my children. I can’t imagine life without them, so, scratch that option.

If I leave him after I have my kids, life still changes so dramatically the odds of my ever meeting my current husband are virtually nil. I’m not prepared to give him up. He’s the best piece of luck I ever had, the best decision I ever made.

What this adds up to? I seem to have reached a point in my life I never thought I would achieve: at peace. Knowing all the crap I went through led me to where I am now. Made me into who I am.

My husband and I often talk about how, without the angst in our past, we wouldn’t have appreciated each other when we did meet. We’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have gotten along nearly as well without having had to pass through the sturm-und-drang of our first marriages.

It turns out I don’t really wish my past would go away. Not anymore. I wouldn’t have minded it being a bit easier, leaving fewer scars. Even so, I’m content with where I am and who I’ve become. Whatever the price I paid, it was worth it.


If you are a women, discovering you don’t have suitable clothing for an upcoming event is a crisis. I don’t care how old you are. Since retirement, we go to so few events where anything dressier than yoga pants and a tunic is required that I don’t have “dressy” clothing.

Nonetheless, it happens. Someone invites us to an affair that requires dressing up. Not jeans. Not yoga pants. Not clogs. Not sweats. Real clothing. Without dog hair and lint.

Photo by Bob Mielke

Photo by Bob Mielke

Garry needed a tie and jacket. He has that. I needed a dress. Which I ought to have, but somehow, don’t. It’s one of the baffling things  in my life, how clothing I am absolutely sure I own isn’t there when I go looking for it. Pixies again?

So in answer to Garry’s question: “Do you have anything to wear to the wedding?”, I bought two dresses. One from Land’s End, another from J.Jill. Both arrived in time, but Land’s End won.

Shoes were a whole different problem. I eventually found the missing “box shoes” for which I searched, but they were higher than I remembered. Too wobbly. I wasn’t sure I’d make it down the stairs and into the car, much less to a wedding. I thought maybe I’d skip the falling down and breaking my hip part of our evening out.

Fortunately, in another box in a shady corner of my bedroom were a pair of new lower heeled dress shoes in go-anywhere black kid. Oh yeah.

Garry found his dress shirt and a brand new tie he’d bought, but never worn. Matching shoes and pants. The you-can’t-go-wrong-with-Harris-tweed jacket he bought in Dublin — on our honeymoon — and being Garry, it still fits just fine.

It was heart-warming and touching to be at the wedding of the woman who had been our flower girl when we were married — 25 years ago. Congratulations, Melissa and Christopher. May your marriage be long and rich with happiness.

And thank you, Bob Mielke for this great picture of us in our glad rags!