Inspired by Amanda

Table (Copying Amanda’s post this week)

Right now…I’m listening to Tenth Avenue North’s Hostage of Peace. Love the chorus.

Thinking...I really need to peek in the tomato-boxes in the garage. I suspect I’ve got lots more tomatoes ripe. Except I’ve canned probably 110 quarts of tomatoes this year and am feeling kinda tomatoed out. (Update:  the kids and I canned 17 more quarts this afternoon!)

Feeling…weary over the repetitiveness of some of the struggles of motherhood. Seems things should be improving/changing faster than they do sometimes.  Then again, I have to remind myself, I’ve been at this awhile.  Each new child needs to learn some of the same lessons.   So I will keep on keeping on…

Reading…Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream It has some language but otherwise it is a very interesting story of a young man who started with $25 and the clothes on his back and dramatically improved his life within a year.

Gratuitous adorablenessExcited..that it’s almost November, almost Thanksgiving, almost Christmas break. OK, I’m rushing the season just a bit. But wow, I’d love me some Christmas vacation right about now. I’ve even already bribed contracted with one of my sons to put up our Christmas lights BEFORE it gets bitterly cold this year!  ($10 was enough to motivate him, in case you’re curious.  🙂  )
Wondering…about maybe doing a ‘favorite things‘ gift exchange with the adults in our family as part of our Christmas eve celebration. Anybody ever tried this idea with a big mixed (not just ladies) group?  Seems like as long as folks all had the freedom to pick something interesting to them, it should work and be fun…

Working…away at my book. One.more.month. Yikes.
Proud….that my teens all did well on their chem test this week. Also, we’re 1/4 done with the book.  Hoorah!  School is feeling like a hard slog this year but we are getting lots done.

Inspired… by my daughters who together did a wonderful mothering series on their blogs this month.   Here is the link to Erika’s, and here is Amanda’s.  I wish I’d been half as thoughtful as they are as young mommas.

What about you? Reading anything interesting?  Pondering any new or better or more low-key ways to celebrate the upcoming holiday season?


  1. Many Dutch adults celebrate St.Nick’s Day with a dice game. Everybody brings 3 $5 gifts; 1 ladies’ gift, 1 men’s gift and one nonsense thing (usually something hideous that’s been hanging around your house for a while). All the gifts are piled up the table and everyone takes turns rolling the dice. If you throw 1 or 6 you get to open a present. After everything has been opened, the rules change. When you throw 1 or 6 you pick a card from a stack. We made these cards years ago. They have commands on them like: give one present away, all the guys switch seats but their presents stay where they are; the one with the most presents have to give one away, everyone has to trade gifts with someone else, etc. After a certain amount of time the game is over and you go home with what is in front of you. Of course we make sure everyone goes home with three things. It’s great fun and doesn’t take much money or much prep time!

  2. LOVE this post. Reading the book Ten Mindful Minutes by Goldie Hawn for the second time.
    Thanksgiving is a potluck. Also we do not have any snack foods or items that sit out on the counter. We found this saves time, stress, and cost. The only item that sits out is the punch bowl which is kept filled with a ‘swamp’ drink filled with whatever a person finds.
    Holiday season in Christmas: Interesting way to give gifts and maybe you have tried it. Everyone has to give a gift that starts with the letters in their full name for under $10 total. So if your name is Jane Alice Smith – ‘J’, ‘A’, and ‘S’ so I would buy a person (names to buy for are drawn) a jazz record, altoids, and a sucker. Recently had to set the rule that the initial used had to correlate to a noun and not a verb because shiny, little, etc. as matching the initial– no fun.
    Oh! Already gave my Christmas gifts to my mom and dad, sister and her family, and brother for this year. Always give them their gifts in October or November before the weather changes and driving becomes impossible. And have grandkids gifts done, ten kids done, neighbors, co-workers (all for under $100) — all from sales after last year.
    To have a stress-free holiday season for me is to shop and buy everyone’s gifts the previous sales season. By April, I am done with Christmas shopping. I find it a great challenge and fun to be Christmas shopping in the first part of the new year.

  3. I was going to steal this from Amanda too! 🙂 next week sometime I will. 🙂 i love how it makes you share different and random things creatively.

    Love you!

  4. Mary, I thought you might appreciate this. I took two bushels of tomatoes and oven dried the,. I washed, split, and lightly drizzled with a bit of sea salt and olive oil. THen I placed them in the oven for about 3 hours at 325. THey are amazing and I can use them for anything, even blend them up hor homemade ketchup. Mmm. good.