1. I spent the lion's share of last week wandering the Autumn tapestried hills of North Carolina while attending a spiritual retreat in Asheville. Many kindred souls, mostly Boomers, met to listen to Barbara Brown Taylor and John Phillip Newell speak on the interconnectedness of all living creatures and the spiritual/mental/emotional struggles associated with the rebirthing of our understanding of the life force that connects us, below the level of our many differences. When I got back, Able asked me if this was a "tree retreat" or a "god retreat". The answer was yes. Here is a pic of Pat and I smiling at our good/new friend Lisa.
2. The weather was warm in the afternoons and slightly cool in the mornings all last week and up until last night. I went out to eat with Kari and Able after our "build" for holiday gift sets and when we came out of the restaurant the temperatures had dropped twenty degrees. No, I had not worn a jacket, of course, because it was sixty some degrees when we left the shop. Ye gads! Today the temp has been about 35 with a stout wind out of the north which made it feel like 23. I have managed to misplace my fleece somehow so I walked around in my flannel shirt this afternoon, acting like I didn't care. It was a mite 'brisk' as they say.
3. Stump speech for Southwest Airlines:
If you can, fly Southwest. I had to fly…another airline…on this trip and was soooo uncomfortable.
1.On Southwest you get to sit anywhere you want to and, if you can remember to check in right at the twenty-four hours ahead spot, you can be among the first ones to board.
2. On SW the seats are a little larger and farther apart so your knees are not smashed into the seat in front of you; AND (*a bonus) you don't have to do the silent negotiation about whether your arms are behind the arms of the people on both sides of you or crossed in front of you for the entire trip. I hate those non-verbal conversations. Awkward~~~ Oh well. I sat by nice people each time, actually, and managed to finish the mystery I was reading…despite having my arms crossed in front of me.
4. The garden is black and wilted from the cold, which was to be expected.
5. I have filled and hung all the bird feeders (if you have some feeders, now's the time.) Remember to have water out in some kind of container for the birds as well. They need food, shelter and water…and happy thoughts, if you have those to give too.
I am participating in the Cornell University Feeder Watch this year and am loving it so far. When I left for N.C. I had two pair of these lovely Bluebirds around the joint. I haven't seen them since I returned but am keeping my fingers crossed that they are still here.
6. We have all been building spice Gift Sets at the shop like worker bees. If you have a Christmas list that has people on it for whom you are at a loss as to what they might like, come along to the spice store and we will help you find the perfect thing to bring a smile to their faces.
7. My chickens have been gifted to some friends of mine for the winter, for various reasons. If I want to begin again next spring, I will start at the beginning…again. I will probably let my grandkids decide that one for me. It is nice to have fresh eggs all the time but….It might be time.
8. Doctor Who is over for the season and I managed to miss the finale. Hmmm….There will be a Christmas Special I suppose. I must admit, I haven't liked this Doctor so far. Can't seem to connect to him for some reason. He strikes me as too cold and is rarely if ever funny, which is something I liked with the others. Oh well. I know, it's a television show and they aren't real people. I got it. Thanks.
9. The newlyweds still seem to like each other, so that's a good thing. I'm getting used to using the phrase "my son's wife". It feels so nice to say those words. I am tickled pink to have Kari in our family and love sharing the "Mrs. Blakley" title with her.
10. This is a picture of Zane and our new Savory Spice Shop cookbook. It features ten different spice blends, three recipes for each one, and you can get the book and all the spices together in a nice little gift combo if you want to. What a nice present that would make for someone special who loves to cook and also likes to try new flavors. If you haven't yet made it down to the shop, or if you have, drop by and take a gander at all the new things we have for the holidays. We would love to visit with you and show you around. We are located at 43rd and N. Western Avenue in OKC, right across the street, north, from Will's Lobby Bar (the old Will Rogers movie theatre). You can also order from us online if that is easier. If your order is more than $50 we pay the shipping. Hmmm….click over to the website and see what's available, if you think you might be interested. We would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.