Archive | December, 2014

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

29 Dec

Babycakes Cookies

Babycake’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – gluten free and vegan! Try them… they’re so good!!!

I know that I’ve said this before, but how can another month have gone by?  Do you feel as I do… that it took forever for Thanksgiving to arrive and then before you knew it, Christmas had come and gone and now you are facing a brand new year?  It seems that if you listen you can almost hear the “whoosh” as time flies by!

Coco's rolls

Rolls made by our son, Coco

And because I believe that’s true, I think it’s so important to do all that you can to really be there for the people you love.  Our time here is limited and yet most of us act as if we have all the time in the world. We only “get it” when disease or disaster strikes and then we realize how precious our time is.

my rolls

Potato rolls I made for Thanksgiving

I’m reminded of the play, Our Town, where the young wife, Emily, after having died returns to earth for one day.  She finds the experience of going home again very painful and asks the stage manager if anyone realizes how beautiful life is while they live it.  He tells her, “No. The saints and poets, maybe – they do some.”

If I can wish you anything at all for the coming year, other than the usual greetings, it is that you take a moment or two to really look around at the simple beauty that surrounds you and soak it in. Hug your family and friends every chance you get. Don’t let them wonder for even one minute about your love.

Then, if you can, take a glance beyond your own life and offer a hand to someone in need, sit with a friend who is grieving, adopt your new best friend from the animal shelter.  Or you could do what works for me: Make a pie and give it away.  You won’t regret it.

pie

Nobody on their deathbed has ever said “I wish I had spent more time at the office”.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

 

 

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What happened to November???

2 Dec

So much has happened in the last month!  I’m chagrined that I did not write once in November but hope to explain that I was not off on vacation.  It’s been a time of loss for several of my dear friends and as they are traveling their road I have tried to help in the ways that I know how. For me that means bringing soup, being there to listen, and of course, by offering pies.  Pies, in and of themselves, are not going to do much to assuage the pain of loss.  However, if my friends feel a little more loved for a while, then my efforts have been well worth it.

P1030484

Another reason I did not have time to write this past month was due to a different kind of loss.  In early November I helped my Dad move back to Florida.  He had lived there for almost twenty years before he had a stroke in March of 2013. After three trips to Florida that Spring I decided that he needed to come back to Oregon with me.  My goal was to be able to take care of him AND (try to) live my life.  To my great dismay, that plan did not work out.  My Dad did not like being in Oregon and longed to be back in Florida near his girlfriend.  After much deliberation, and with the blessing of his doctor and his social worker, I arranged for my Dad to move to the same facility where his girlfriend lives.  Friends ask, “Is your Dad happy now?” and I answer, “I think so” but what I know for certain was that he was not happy here with me.  Knowing that makes me a little sad but I have to honor his choice.  It is, after all, his life.

Before I left Florida, I made sure to bring a Pumpkin Pie to the woman in charge of the kitchen in my Dad’s building.  It was a way to thank her in advance for her care and attention.  Then I made some Pecan Shortbread cookies for the director of Nursing.  It is my hope that they will help her to think fondly of my Dad.

Pie and Cookies for Brookdale

The rest of the month is a bit of a blur.  A few days after I came back from Florida was the first night of the season for our church’s homeless shelter which I am helping to coordinate.  It’s my first time in this role and I am humbled to be able to help those in need in a tangible way and honored to work together with all the caring people who make this shelter possible.

Then last week, I helped Ashland High School Nordic Team bake 42 pies to raise funds for ski equipment.  It was a long day but it was fun to work together with friends helping our student athletes.  As you can imagine, the church kitchen smelled absolutely delicious afterwards!  I could not imagine leaving that wonderful aroma in the room without also leaving some food, so I took some of the leftover apples and put together a quick cobbler for our shelter guests.  I found this note when I came the next day

thank you napkin

That simple note made my day!  I believe that kindness is something we can all give to one another.  Often the cost to us is minimal, but the difference it can make in the lives of those around us is immeasurable.  I’d love to hear your stories of how an act of kindness made your day… either as the giver or the receiver.  Your story might inspire someone to do something they might not otherwise have done…. at least that is my hope!

Blessings!

“My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.”  The Dalai Lama

parsely, sage, rosemary, and thyme

Lastly I wanted to share a photo taken on Thanksgiving as my husband was cooking.  My son called this our family’s idea of “being funny.”