Teddy and I went out to lunch in our township’s downtown. This is the view from the bridge above the canal. Fall comes gently in the south, if we are lucky. When there is a hurricane, all the leaves are blown away.
Yesterday I visited our pond across the road and it was bitterly cold. This beautiful heron was hunting in the marsh.
Every so often there is an odd tree or bush that is vividly colored and gives a real autumnal pop!
The sun was shining on the water but they avoided the cold water. They always wag their tails like dogs when they see me. I am just as happy to see them. If only I had a tail…
As Thanksgiving approaches, there doesn’t seem like much to be thankful for this year with ‘Winter is Coming’ fuel shortages, war, pestilence, inflation, climate change and all the other stuff we are worried about. Take self-centered me, for example – my newish bikini razor broke and I couldn’t find the receipt. I took out all my receipts and had a mini meltdown. All the numbers on the receipts blurred and I became panicked – about something that cost less than $20. I really struggled to find my sensible head but wonky head was in control. As always, I calmed down eventually, but I was shaken. The unimportant broken razor was just the catalyst for how I am feeling.
I am not alone but my worries are ridiculous and magnified by my mental illness. The city of Kherson in Ukraine has just been liberated from the Russians who destroyed all their infrastructure as they left. Yet, the residents were smiling and thankful. Perspective always helps to settle my mind so I make sure I read the world news every day. My aunt in Ireland told me that the government has asked local authorities, businesses and households to ration energy use and Christmas lighting displays.
Inflation makes us anxious in the US but it is running at around 85% in Turkey. It’s a post pandemic global issue and the US is about average compared to other first world countries. I just received a check from the UK for £1000 – once converted, it was only $1000. That’s never happened! The fact that I was fortunate enough to receive a check for $1000 should have made me thankful… As a child I was so happy to receive a $20 note in a birthday card from aunts in the USA. The concept of money was beyond me but I remember the excitement of going to the Rutherglen Post Office to change it into UK pounds.
Last week I wrote a draft post about having chronic fatigue but then the clocks changed back and I am not tired all the time. Two weeks ago, I could not walk around our circular street without being exhausted. We had Covid in the summer so perhaps that’s part of it. The ugly truth is that it is nearly always my aggravating mental ill health that causes or exacerbates my other physical complaints. It has been a stressful health year for us but nothing out of the ordinary for older people. Maybe ageing is stressful?
Twitter might be bankrupt soon and Meta, aka Facebook, is failing. Have we finally realized that social media is a potentially toxic entity, especially when managed by ethically dubious people? I have usually lived in small communities and when I heard a tantalizing piece of gossip, there was that initial thrill. Then I assessed it and hopefully made a sensible decision about repeating it. In a perfect world, I would not have repeated it but I am human! Is there anything more fun than sharing a juicy titbit with a friend over coffee? These days, there is less ‘wife swapping’, and more ‘he is in a wheelchair now’ tales. There is a difference between salacious gossip and keeping a community connected.
Most of us are now personally affected by climate change. This summer was just too hot and I struggled. It affected my mood being unable to go out for a walk because of the heat or dangerous UV radiation. Some of my neighbors got up at 7 am to take their dogs out but I just couldn’t manage that. Last week winter arrived and it was 40 F today but it was 82 F yesterday. That’s a huge change for big critters and little ones. Teddy and I talk aimlessly about living somewhere more temperate but remember how much we disliked the cold in northern Europe. Nowhere is perfect.
I remember bitterly cold nights in Scotland, as a child. Window panes frozen with delicate patterns. On the worst nights every blanket or eiderdown was used on the beds – with winter coats atop. Back then, I didn’t have such an aversion to cold. We had very old flannel sheets that we used in the winter. They were darned, as mine are now. Electric blankets weren’t commonplace so we put rubber hot water bottles in the beds, moving them from the middle to the bottom before slipping into bed. Heaven! My flannel sheets are so old that they feel a bit rough on your skin – maybe I could sell them as a body exfoliation product? This summer, I bought expensive new flannel sheets on sale. Once you go ‘Lands End’ you can’t go back…
Last week, I told the pharmacist that I was going to kill my husband and I think she believed me. We finally switched to Affordable Health Care aka Obama Care from our work sponsored medical insurance. Teddy spent months planning it so the transition would be smooth. My bill for cheap, generic medication was $92. What the heck? The insurance wasn’t working because I had the wrong birthdate on the policy. We assume that it was a Scottish accent problem… The worried pharmacist did a magic trick with coupons and reduced the bill to $13. Teddy was working at the wolf sanctuary so I didn’t want to call him in case he had another cardiac event.
Then I called healthcare.gov (pause for a joint sigh of despair) but it was okay. I had to swear on my first-born cat’s life that I was not committing a felony and sold my soul to somebody. It will take a few weeks for it to be sorted and it was not the end of the world. So, with that in mind, this is what am I thankful for –
I have healthcare of any type
There is enough money for food
We can heat or cool the house
My illness is manageable
I live in a democracy
Thrift shops are my happy place
Loving friends and family
There is a roof over my head
Let’s keep our wishes simple, our gratitude real and be generous with time or money for those who have less than us. That can be rescued wolves or homeless people. If you don’t feel good or need help, share it with someone you trust. It’s not necessary or normal to be happy all the time. Keep some perspective about real world problems. Be kind to as many species as possible. Mother Earth will thank you!
Was there ever a better year to thank health and care workers? On our recent trip to Natchitoches in Louisiana, we noticed little Halloween or Harvest displays by local companies along the banks of the Cane River. As we tentatively enjoyed our first vacation together since the pandemic, it struck me how much we need to thank all the people who worked relentlessly through the last two years. How grateful I am to farm workers, supermarket employees, scientists, health care workers and all the other essential workers who kept us alive and fed. Thank you!
When traveling, I love to find out something unique or whimsical about the area. Did you know there was a Creole fairy – Fee Folay? According to the sign, it is not dissimilar to our stories of Will O the Wisp. The display had a touch of Druidic charm that enchanted me.
Kerry wearing Vera Wang faux leather leggings with a bedazzled jerkin from the airport in Vegas and ancient faux leather biker boots.
For all you crazy Black Friday people – this is how you shop. You get an overwhelming need for black pleather leggings, you look around the shops and then find a pair on sale a few days before Thanksgiving. You can call them Vegan Leather but that’s just pretentious – it’s faux leather or cheap plastic as my Nana would say…
Teddy had mentioned that he liked the idea of pleather pants (he is a sensual Taurus and loves stroking materials/me). I swithered about a 59 year old woman wearing them but What The Hell. I worked hard for this figure so I am going to flaunt it. On my first foray to the shops, the very kind assistant had to keep bringing me smaller sizes because I can’t mentally see how slim I am. Curiously, the fluffy lady in the cubicle next to me had to ask for sizes 2 up. Mirrors truly are magical. The assistant had to finally tell me that pleather had to be tight with no wrinkles.
To start off Thanksgiving Day, Teddy and I settled down to binge on the Man in the High Castle – instantly hooked. By episode 2 we were shouting commands to each other in fake German. Somehow my outfit fitted into a Dystopian, militaristic future. At 3.30 pm we went off to our local restaurant which was packed with couples and families who couldn’t bear cooking. It is a posh steakhouse and I would guess that 5% of the guests had dressed up. Isn’t that part of the joy of going somewhere nice? The Latinos were dressy and some young beauties but there was far too many casual jeans with sloppy tops. Bring back dress codes!
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and be kind on Black Friday. We were a little sad about no kitty cats or family but it is just one day and tomorrow is full of promise.
A big thank you to Lisa, Life of an El Paso Woman who nominated me for a Liebster Award. I was going to say this is a No Award site but the Grinch has left my soul after a lovely day working on Christmas Day and I will accept with gracious appreciation.
The rules are: 1. Say thank you to the person who nominated you. 2.Pick 5 people to nominate 3. Ask 5 questions. 4. Post the pic in the post.
These are Lisa’s 10 questions –
1. What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. Everyone can celebrate it, no one needs to fight about what they should call the holiday (yes, it’s a happy holiday :)). There are no presents and most of us have something to be thankful about.
2. What is your favorite thing to cook or bake?
Nothing at all. Does salad out of a packet count with bottled dressing?
3. What’s the best thing about the city where you live?
My city is built in an indigenous forest. There are critters everywhere. We had the infra red camera out on Christmas and counted Betsy Sue the Possum and her two kids, Louanne and Chuck, two Woodrats, Willie and Winnie, the Raccoon twins, Rocky and Robbie, KATNISS, our feral cat who came back for Christmas. We think that Betsy Sue’s ‘husband’ was there too – Travis?
4. What are some of your favorite movies?
The Wizard of Oz and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. How is that for a contrast but they both have a moral tale…
5. What was one of the hardest thing you’ve ever done in life so far?
Move to Egypt and stay there after the Gulf War started.
6. Who are you the closest with in your family?
Does my husband count? If not, probably my dead mother, I see her in the mirror every day and somehow her words come out of my mouth in an involuntary manner. “Do you want a smack?”
Here are my questions –
1. Who was your first TV/Film hero or crush?
2. What other place in the world do you think you could live in?
3. What would you like engraved on your tombstone or written on your obituary?
4. What food to you hate to eat?
5. Star Wars or Star Trek?
This handsome fellow was sitting by the edge of the pond, watching us but not prepared to move until we showed signs of wanting to predate him. I have eaten duck (European upbringing) but it is quite strong meat not even helped by a la orange sauce. The traditional fowl to eat at Christmas in Britain was goose but it is also quite gamey. Since I am almost vegetarian, this duck was quite safe as was his beautiful family. The last time we photographed them was a few months back when they were tiny ducklings. They were very intent on eating their Thanksgiving pond weed which seemed to be delicious. I didn’t know much about Muscovy ducks until I researched them. Many of them are domesticated but these are wild ducks at the northern edge of their territory which extends from central America to the southernmost tip of south-east Texas.
As I was writing this, I gave my husband my best Donald Duck impersonation. He thinks it is pathetic because I am not making actual words but I think it is pretty good. He is just jealous of my skills…
When on our Thanksgiving walk yesterday I spotted this ‘burning bush’. I remember biblical references to it and assumed they were allegorical. I found this Wikipedia reference that was illuminating – get it??? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_bush
In real life the bush was within the bullrushes alongside the containment pond but it’s autumnal coloring stood out amongst the pale stalks. I almost expected to find a basket with Moses in it…:)
What struck me most was how amazing nature is. Enjoy this post Thanksgiving photograph.
We went out to walk off our Thanksgiving lunch, which was surprisingly nice, given that it was cooked by me and our local grocery store. I miss chestnuts from Europe so incorporated them into an organic cranberry stuffing mix – yummy. Not keen on turkey so had some organic ham. One wonderful Thanksgiving, when we first moved to Texas, we went far out into the forest and heard some wild turkeys. We were so excited to hear them in the wild and alive!
I intended to take some autumnal shots but our temperatures have suddenly risen and we are back to hot and humid south Texas. Last week we had a freeze warning, now it is up to about 77 degrees. So enjoy our beautiful pink hibiscus and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
This is a view from our favorite forest and lake close to our home in Texas. It was a beautiful day today, sunny but with a little chill in the air. We rarely get the fall foliage that is common to the north of us but sometimes Mother Nature gives us just enough rain, not too much sun and a gentle autumn to turn the leaves into gold, red and copper. If we are unlucky enough to get a hurricane it blows all the leaves off before they get a chance to develop autumnal tones. A quiet walk through this forest on Thanksgiving morning with the possibility of seeing an alligator or a giant Woodpecker gives us so much reason to be thankful. Click on the red link to see more fall photos. THANKSGIVING