Twinkle Lights

twinkle-treeIt’s what Christmas lights do for me, they twinkle.  I especially like the small, white lights on my tree or front porch, or in the wreaths that hang on our windows and doors.  My husband, on the other hand, likes colored lights but tolerates my need for the holidays to be filled with all that twinkles. (Today’s thank you to him!)

I think white lights show off the tree and the ornaments better than anything else.  Just take a look at this picture!  Too much color would just compete with the many shapes and shades of what hangs on the branches or gets tucked further into the branch as a hidden treasure.  Even after the tree is decorated, I like to go back and take a close look at what I’ve previously placed—moving things if necessary or because the mood has changed since it was first hung.  I try to make sure that special ornaments have at least one of the twinkling whites nearby to draw attention to it.

My favorite thing about the Christmas season, twinkle lights!  (By the way, as of today, there are 108 days until Christmas!)

Bloggers Who Twinkle

Cake, A Love Story

Who doesn’t like cake, really, who?  The daily writing prompt from yesterday is one I just can’t let go by without a response! I know there are people who say they don’t like cake, but I’m going to de-bunk  a couple of silly excuses right now!

  • “I don’t like chocolate.”  (There are lots of other flavors: lemon, vanilla, strawberry, pumpkin, red velvet, liquor flavors…too many to list!)
  • “The frosting is too sugary–makes my teeth ache.” (You can have cake with no frosting, just a slight dusting of powdered sugar, a few nuts, a drizzle of chocolate.)
  • “I just don’t like the texture.”  (Okay then, maybe you’d like an angel food cake–light and fluffy, or a “no-bake” cake-cool and creamy, or a pancake with butter and syrup, or better yet–an ice cream cake!)

I will admit I don’t enjoy all types of cakes myself, but I have had somewhat of a love affair with frosting covered treat since I was a little girl.  It seemed like it wasn’t difficult to find cake around our house. Perhaps it was because my mom baked fairly often, so a cupcake was not out of the question for dessert after dinner.  And, with 8 kids, there was seemingly always a birthday cake to be had.  We each had our own favorite that my mom would make, without fail, every year.

cake-1But by far, MY favorite cake of all: Wedding Cake. Of all the weddings I’ve been to so far in my lifetime, I can’t recall ever having a “bad” cake experience. I love the texture, the temperature, and the topping! Maybe it’s because it’s part of a joyous celebration that wedding cake always tastes good, I’m not sure.  (Best wedding cakes in my area of the world can be found at Lasalle Bakery in Providence, RI. Today’s thank you, too.)

My wedding cake was wonderful! The topper, a nice little vanilla with lovely white, sweet, sugary frosting. They layers, we decided to go traditional but fun…chocolate and vanilla CUPCAKES!

cake-2I thought it would be great if everyone could come get their own from the tower of dainty comestibles, but as you can see from the picture a waiter carried the delicate tower to the kitchen to “plate” them for us. I remember watching him walk through all the tables and across the cobblestone floor thinking, “if he drops that, I’m gonna be one unhappy bridezilla!”

cake-4Our cake was so terrific that I’ll tell you a secret, we did not wait until our first wedding anniversary to eat the rest of it. Our theory, frozen wedding cake will probably not thaw well and won’t be the same. So we savored it on our honeymoon trip.

Life is short, faithful readers…eat cake!

Other Cake-loving bloggers:

I Got Skills!

keep-calm-i-got-skillsMad skills. Crazy good skills. Skills that help other people. Skills that I’ve really enjoyed developing over the course of my life so far. Am I a master at any one of them? I’m not sure I’d call myself a master of any of them; although there are a few that I so thoroughly enjoy, that maybe one day I’ll be referred to as an expert.

If I could choose to be a master of any skill in the world, and one I do so enjoy, it’s public speaking. I know that for most people having to get up in front of a group causes nausea, sweating, memory lapses, hyperventilation; all kinds of reactions! Regardless of the size of the group or whether or not the group members are known to the speaker, it is documented as one of the biggest fears of a human being.

After I make any sort of presentation I’m asked, “How do you do that?” “Were you nervous?” “You make it look so easy!”

I learned very early on, in fifth grade actually (thanks, Mrs. Fontana), that the key to speaking in public is to be prepared! That means, know your “lines” and practice, practice, practice. It helps too, if you’re somewhat passionate and excited about what you’re doing. There are any number of life hacks (tips for how to do something difficult, more easily) on-line for how to speak in public. Just Google and you’ll have pages of ideas and suggestions for overcoming your fear, some of them are quite good. But I’ll go back to the advice from my fifth grade teacher every time: know our lines and practice, practice, practice.

Today’s thanks goes out not only to Mrs. Fontana, but to everyone who has given me the opportunity to practice!

Other Bloggers With Skills:

It’s that time of year, again!

12507381_10208508269691060_4783544318916625728_nIt is five years since I was diagnosed and then had my thyroid removed. The time from suspicious cells being found through the fine needle biopsy to the complete thyroidectomy, was only 7 weeks. Not a particularly long period of time in the grand scheme of things, but by all accounts in the reading and exploring about thyroid cancer that I’ve done, it’s lightening speed!

“Suspicious cells” became cancer only after the pathology report was returned from the lab: papillary carcinoma, follicular variant.

The report was handed to me by my surgeon at the follow-up appointment two weeks after surgery. My sister took me to the appointment because my husband was out of town. I think the fact that I was still trying different medications to normalize my thyroid levels, calcium level, and to simply have the energy to get out of bed, the “cancer” diagnosis didn’t really register for me. By the time I might have wrapped my brain around the fact that I had “cancer”, my life was turned upside down by three young grandchildren who came to live with us; and then I was back to work.

Can’t even see the scar in the mirror any more!

There were other follow-up appointments and one treatment of radioactive iodine to make sure the cancer cells were obliterated. I continue to have an ultrasound of the thyroid bed done annually–not sure how long that will last, but I imagine its forever; as well as several appointments throughout the year with my endocrinologist to monitor medications and such.


Image result for CHECK YOUR NECK THYROID CANCER MIRRORSeptember is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. Thyroid cancer is often referred to as “the good kind” of cancer to get. Perhaps because if it’s found early enough and treated correctly, there is a 100% chance of recovery. Not everyone however is “lucky” enough to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as I was; deaths from thyroid cancer hover at 2,000 every year.

My thank you today is for the reminder that the month of September provides for me, and all of you, that there is no “good kind of cancer”.  Take a few minutes this month to CHECK YOUR NECK!

Flower Frame

20160826_143928The Weekly Photo Challenge “Frame”, brings me once again out to our garden.  This year Steve was able to grow HUGE sunflowers.  He did everything in the garden from seed this year, and as you can tell this bee [framed by the beautiful petals and seeds of the sunflower] is having a grand time of it!

Check out Frames from other bloggers that I enjoyed!

Frame: Statue of Liberty


Frames of the World

Cell Phone Frame

weekly photo challenge frame


Cat Chat

I just came across this draft of a post from 2013 that I never published.  I still like it, so here it is.  Our cat still sits atop the jelly cupboard every day, perhaps with the hope of a reply from the faces in the picture…who knows really what cats are thinking?

The Weekly Photo Challenge, Dialogue, prompted me to find pictures I’ve taken of our cats.  I often see Bubba, sitting on top of the jelly cupboard staring into this framed print.  He does it for several minutes at a time and occasionally will make a few small meows into the reflection.  I’m not sure if its the dog, the cow, or the blonde haired girl in the picture or “the other cat” he sees, that’s most interesting to him.  Nothing, not even treats in the window, will tear him away from his friend in the picture!

bubba dialogue


Lucille (weekly photo challenge)

This week’s photo challenge (Rare) got me thinking about how rare it is for me to have an elderly person in my life.  Last week we took our friend and former neighbor, Lucille, out for her birthday–her 89th birthday!  been in assisted living now for 3 years; since her third, and last, fall in her home.

She does not have much family and  no one really visits her with any regularity, except for me and my husband.  That’s not to say though, that she stays cooped up in her room all day.  Not Lucille!  She takes advantage of every road trip, bingo session, sing-a-long, or any other activity that’s offered at her residence.  Either my husband or I take her shopping at least once a month and stop to visit when we are in her neighborhood.

Lucille has let us know, often, that we’re “her people”. I’m grateful today that I’ve had the chance to get to know her and call her a friend.