Thursday, November 15, 2012

curl up and chat a spell

-The warm comfort of a fresh-from-the-dryer cardigan.

-Looking everywhere for my fluffy dog and discovering that he had curled up in the sleeping bag I had out to pack for this weekend's youth retreat.  I think he'd like to be a stowaway.

-A long chat with a good friend that got us all caught up on life and theology.  I have such wonderful friends.

Monday, November 12, 2012

let me try that again...

-A delightful day spent running errands around Raleigh with a couple of friends. The target stop and Mexican food for lunch were especially enjoyable.

-A tree so bright with fall colors, it almost looked on fire. Have I said I love this time of year??

-Tripping over my tongue during communion and having everyone laugh (including me) making it feel more like a usual family dinner, which of course it should.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

a little warmth goes a long way

-Uplifting graffiti on a bus stop in a nearby trailer park.

-A little girl wearing a crown with joy.  She made me think of my nieces.

-Going from a frosty morning into the warmth of my house.  I'm so grateful that I have a warm place to live, so many do not.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

just divine, darlin'

-An entire day spent at home, preparing keynote talks for a presbytery retreat and relaxing after working all weekend. I can't remember the last time I was home all day. It was heavenly. (I voted early, by the way.)

-Hearing from someone wishing to join the church.

-A new creative endeavor: I am now a weekly food columnist for the Sanford Herald, the local paper in a neighboring town. Each week I get to share favorite recipes. What fun this is!

(The online edition isn't free, but you can just pay $2 a day to view that day's paper. My article comes out on Wednesdays.

Monday, November 05, 2012

turning over a new leaf

-A day spent working hard for our Mission to Cameron and raking up people's yards. The team insisted on doing mine too, which was so thoughtful. What a giving church.

-Going to hear a little bluegrass at a charming local place and feeling brave for going solo when friends couldn't make it. It turns out that the man who works there remembers me and said, "We haven't seen you here in too long! I was going to have to send a search party after you." How nice to be remembered.

-Cheery bright morning sunlight shining through the windows.

Friday, November 02, 2012

my favorite time of year

Oh, chickadees!  I've been a bad blogger of late.  Let me fill you in on life in the last autumnally delightful weeks. 

I made the most of my usual days off (Friday and Saturday) by heading to Wilmington to hang out with my buddy Kevin and enjoy sand between my toes and great music in my ears.  It was such a relaxing time.  

The gig was at a wonderful outdoor venue and we heard the Tedeschi Truck Band.  Strange name, phenomenal folksy, bluesy music.  They've won a Grammy, by the way!

 The beach was delightful.

Hayden tagged along and got completely sandy but loved breathing in that salty air.  He was a bit befuddled walking in the waves, though.

 Downtown Wilmington is a charming place with Saturday markets...

 ...and a boat-lined boardwalk.

 These fellas actually look happy next to each other! :)

 This was a pub connected to an old laundromat, in which people had written amusing reasons for the washers to be out of order.  I believe this machine was out of order because of "rickets and communism."  Ha!

 I love me some old buildings.

 And old bugs.

And walls with my name on them!

 And art deco!  It was a lovely time.

Hayden was tuckered out and glad to be in his suitcase bed when we got home.

 I enjoyed drinking my coffee out of the sea-shaded pottery mug I picked up at the Cotton Exchange in Wilmington.

This was just a usual Wednesday afternoon in nearby Sanford, made sublime by the play of light through fall trees.

Last week, a few lovely ladies from church invited me to go visit the pottery shops in Seagrove.  What fun!  I can't post pictures of all my treasures there because, well, Santa was busy.  Don't want to spoil the fun.  It was a chilly, dreary day but each shop offered creative takes on traditional North Carolina pottery.  The weather and pottery both reminded me of Ireland.

This shop looked like something out of a fairy tale.  They had beautiful French-inspired things, and best of all...

 ...a warm fire!

 Here was a delightful moment spent enjoying yummy homemade chocolate chip cookies and tea.  Speaking of yummy, I've been cooking lots lately, y'all.
One of my pottery finds was an adorable little blue baking dish, made especially to bake Brie in.  I had a couple of elders from church over to work on our manual of operations, and we made it a delicious evening with this puff pastry-wrapped Brie.  I even let the leaves outside inspire me to decorate it a bit.

The next night brought more entertaining at home: for Halloween!  I invited my friends Gina and Ali over to eat yummy food, pass out candy to trick-or-treaters (we had several for little Cameron!) and watch a cheesy Halloween movie (Hocus Pocus).  Ali and I go to a cooking demonstration on Saturdays at a local specialty food store and last week, it was all about Halloween-inspired recipes.  Hence the spiderweb cake and snake filled with meats and cheeses.  Very little tricks were found, but plenty of treats!

This was the only little monster to be found.

So, all in all, life is good and filled with challenging, rewarding work and wonderful people.  Grace abounds.  I hope you're doing well!  What's your favorite thing about this time of year?