“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”” – “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr.
It’s cold here today…really cold, with a high of 16 and it felt like 3 when we woke up this morning. This song just feels right to me today; it’s a Stones and snowfall kind of day – take a look at this and this.
“It sure been a cold, cold winter
My feet been draggin’ ‘cross the ground
And the fields has all been brown and fallow
And the springtime take a long way around”
– Winter by The Rolling Stones
Winter isn’t always easy, but it is often beautiful. #winterainteasy
“You know another reason why I love the holiday season? Because it’s the time year the whole world dresses up in their ‘Sunday best’ – even the buildings.”
We got ~10 inches of snow here in Ann Arbor yesterday, when winter storm Caly blew through, and it looks like we have more snow in the forecast later this week and next week too, along with temps dropping to highs in the teens later this week; winter seemed to take it’s time getting here this year, but it is without a doubt here now!
It really is beautiful, the fresh-fallen snow, and it was lovely to watch it fall all day long outside my window. When I looked out my window Sunday morning and saw a family, pulling a sled with their children inside it and a happy, black dog bouncing through the snow alongside them, it was almost like a scene from a movie – pure, winter wonderland perfection. We enjoyed a cozy Sunday at home, sitting by the fire and the glow of our Christmas tree lights, watching Christmas movies all day, made our first batch of chili for the winter, and even managed to take a nice long nap.
Today is #GivingTuesday and we made a donation to our local Humane Society, which is something I always enjoy supporting. When we adopted our sweet dog, Melody, 15 years ago from a shelter in Austin, TX, they said she was a stray and she was so frightened and timid that she wouldn’t even walk on a leash…how far we’ve come! Melody continues to bring us joy and love every day and we are so lucky to have her in our lives. I hope that you will give in some way (your time, your talents, your donations, etc.) to a cause that is meaningful to you in honor of this day of giving!
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past, and Hanukkah and Christmas fast-approaching, it’s got me thinking about all things gifting – on that note, here are a few items I recommend for holiday gifts, if you’re looking for ideas or a little inspiration:
- Make a donation to the preferred charity of your family or friends’ choice!
- Etsy’s gift guide
- Our friend, Tanya, does beautiful, custom watercolor portraits (more on that here) – you’ll find her on Etsy here.
- Our friend, Abigail, makes beautiful, handcrafted porcelain – check out her online shop here.
- We’ve been loving using Framebridge for our framing needs lately; they’re fast, affordable, shipping is free, and they handwrite gift notes with your order!
- Consumable gifts are always nice! Here are a few, Michigan-based ones to consider…
- King Orchards: Ever eaten a Michigan-grown, Honeycrisp apple? If yes, then you understand; if no, you should try one!
- Zingerman’s Mail Order: Ridiculously delicious, high-quality, mouth-watering ingredients and all things food – they’ve got mail-order gelato, breads, meats, cheeses, pantry items, sweets, etc. You can even order sandwich kits with everything you need to put one of their famous Reubens together, right in your own kitchen!
- Mawby: Pop the cork on some bubbly to celebrate the holidays – Michigan’s Mawby can help you with that! My personal favorite is the Blanc de Blancs, but they’ve got something for everyone from sweet to dry.
We filled up 16 bags of leaves on Sunday and cleaned out the gutters on our house, in preparation for winter – which will eventually come here in Michigan; despite the fact that we have a high of 70 here on Friday, just two days later on Sunday our high is 38 with a chance of snow possible over the weekend, so we’ll see… It’s been a beautiful, mild fall with warmer temps and sunshine, which I’m not complaining about! And I’m excited for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday next week!
We enjoyed a visit with friends from out of town and the most perfect fall weather this past weekend; I’m enjoying every last drop of this beautiful fall we’re having here in Michigan, when the light is warm and golden, and there’s a cool breeze in the air – this is my happy place! We took a stroll around downtown A2 and it was so beautiful, I felt like I should be writing a poem or a song or something to commemorate how unbelievably picturesque it was. Our Halloween candy jar is already almost empty (oops!) and I can’t stop taking photos of gorgeous fall leaves and seeing adorable posts of friends and friends’ children jumping into big piles of leaves and thinking I need to sit down and watch this some time soon (it’s tradition!). It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just two weeks from this Thursday and it will soon be Christmas before we know it…and then 2017!
Now that we moved into our new (old) office, I’ve really enjoyed unpacking my things and sprucing up my work space; it’s nice to fill it with things I love, that make me smile, like photos, plants, and flowers. It is, after all, the place I spend most of my time at away from my actual home – so it’s important that I make it feel homey to me. I ordered this great print of Melody peeking out our front door from Framebridge, picked up a happy yellow lamp, and a few plants…and just look at this dahlia pictured below – wow! Speaking of work, the campus squirrels seem extra-squirrely this time of year too.
We are still cooking our Blue Apron meals and are getting better about skipping the weeks we’re not crazy about the menus for or that we know we’ll be too busy to cook much; you can view more photos of our meals here. Melody enjoys observing us cook and eat, as always, and it’s fun to have such a cute audience! Our local distillery, Ann Arbor Distilling Co., is now serving bourbon and rye and we enjoyed stopping by to sample the goods last week. The dahlias are just stunning this time of year and I love walking by our neighbor’s dahlia garden and seeing them all in full bloom! There’s something magical about a foggy morning that I can’t get enough of…